by Ron: Unfortunately, the Standish brothers did not include the
designation Zion as the “bride of Christ” (Isaiah 62:1-5), for the
144,000. There she is referred to as righteous. She is called a virgin
(bethulah in Hebrew) meaning strictly pure, whereas a deeper Lexicon
study of the word virgin will show that the 10 virgins may have been
concubines. They are not as pure as the bride of Christ.
did not show how Desire of Ages,
179, refers to the disciples of Christ as His bride.
did not mention Christ’s Object
Lessons, 405-6, where the voice of God AND THE VOICE OF THE BRIDE
awaken all 10 virgins, and Matthew 25 says that all those virgins slept.
In Isaiah 62:1-5, it is Zion the bride that is married—verses 1-5. In
verse 11, she is told to give a message to her daughter. That message is
the same as the message of Matthew 25:1-6.
it is unfortunate that the Standish brothers did not include the
designation True Reformers per the following statement by Ellen White:
"Characteristics of True Reformers.--Here are given the
characteristics of those who shall be reformers, who will bear the
banner of the third angel's message, those who avow themselves God's
commandment-keeping people, and who honor God, and are earnestly engaged,
in the sight of all the universe, in building up the old waste places. Who
is it that calls them, The repairers of the breach, The restorers of
paths to dwell in? It is God. Their names are registered
[written--Heb. 12:22, 23] in heaven as reformers, restorers, as raising
the foundations of many generations." E. G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1151.
God awakens (calls) the True Reformers first
as Jesus called His disciples first. They awaken the ten virgins, the
guests at the wedding. Also see The Great Controversy, pp. 426, 427
for the distinction between the bride and the guests.
It is equally unfortunate that the Standish
brothers did not mention that the bride is called Philadelphia for the
·She is the church of brotherly love.
·Though defined as weak, Philadelphia is not faulted—is found
·She is kept through the time of trouble.
·She is made pillars in the Temple (Rev. 3:10-12) in heaven and
Ellen White says that only the 144,000 enter the Temple, Early
Writings, p. 19.
Also, the Standish brothers did not mention
that the 144,000 are referred to as representatives of the heavenly
Jerusalem, GC, 426-7.
They did not mention that the 144,000 are
referred to as:
·Heavenly Mt. Sion (Zion).
·Church of the firstborn.
·Just men made perfect, Heb. 12:22, 23:
ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the
heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in
heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made
Names for the 144,000
By Colin and Russell Standish
Down through the history of the
world, God has always provided special names to designate His people. Some
of these names have existed throughout history. Others, such as the
144,000, are associated only with end-time events. It will be helpful for
us to identify other terms which God uses to designate His people at the
end of time to expand more completely our understanding of who the
144,000 are. We will examine a few of these names.
The “Very Elect” or the “Chosen”
We commence with Jesus’ designation in
His declaration concerning those who will not be deceived by Satan.
Matthew 24 presents Christ’s answer to the query of the disciples
concerning the events which occur just prior to the end of the world.
Four times Christ warns against deception:
And Jesus answered and said
unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I
am Christ; and shall deceive
And many false prophets shall
rise, and shall deceive
For there shall arise false
Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders;
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Verse 24)
It will be noted in verse 24 that so deceptive
will be the guile of Satan that almost the entire inhabitants of the
world will be deceived. So important was this warning that Jesus designated
His end-time people who cannot be deceived as the “very elect.” Surely,
many of them will form the 144,000. Now, who are the very elect? We
believe that the apostle Peter expressed the plainest characteristic of
Elect according to the foreknowledge
of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience
and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:2)
In the same epistle Peter
But ye are a chosen* generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth
the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his
marvellous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
The word “chosen” in 1 Peter 2:9 comes from the same Greek word as does
“elect” in Matthew 24:24 and 1 Peter 1:2. The same Greek word is also
translated “chosen” in Matthew ;
; Luke 23:35;
Romans ; 1
Peter 2:4; and Revelation 17:14.
Paul further presented the
holy characteristics of the elect.
Put on therefore, as the elect
of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of
mind, meekness, longsuffering. (Colossians 3:12)
These words of Peter and Paul
help us to understand the characteristics of those who will not be
deceived by Satan at the end of time. It is of great discomfiture to us
to know that a large number of those who now espouse the Seventh-day
Adventist faith will be deceived because they do not accept the fullness
of the saving power of Jesus in their lives.
No doubt, the 144,000, as part
of the “very elect,” cannot be deceived because they have the mind of
Jesus, as is referred to in Paul’s epistle:
Let this mind be in you, which
was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)
The term “remnant” has been
used down through the ages. In most cases, it is a term used to designate
the genuine, faithful souls among God’s professed people. One of the most
sobering statements concerning the remnant is to be found in the
introduction of the prophetic writings of Isaiah:
Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we
should have been like unto Gomorrah.
It is greatly disturbing to
think that only a very
remained in Judah
at a very critical time in the history of that nation. A little later in
his epistle Isaiah added,
For though thy people Israel be
as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed
shall overflow with righteousness. (Isaiah 10:22)
This was the prophecy concerning the
upcoming Babylonian captivity, signaling the fact that when that
captivity was over and the decree permitted the Jews to return to their
homeland, only a remnant would return. Presumably, most of the Jews felt
comfortable in Babylon.
They were at ease with the worldly affluence of their heathen
environment, for they had forsaken God, “having loved this present world”
as did Demas in a later era. (2 Timothy 4:10) However, both of these
prophetic passages regarding the “remnant” possess great relevance to the
closing moments of earth’s history when the 144,000 will be made up for
the kingdom of heaven. Paul changes the
language a little to present these texts in his epistle to the Romans in
the context of salvation at the return of Jesus, certifying that these
prophecies will be fulfilled in our day:
Esaias also crieth concerning Israel,
Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the
sea, a remnant shall be saved: for he will finish the work, and cut it
short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the
earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us
a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. (Romans
Paul was addressing God’s modern-day
and once again, God impressed the disturbing fact upon His professed
people that only a remnant will be saved, and the 144,000 certainly will
be a very small remnant. Who are the remnant? Zephaniah was very explicit
in setting forth specific details of their characters:
The remnant of Israel
shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue
be found in their mouth. . . . (Zephaniah 3:13)
The remnant of Israel
shall not do
How devastating it will be for those who claim that God’s people will
continue to sin until Jesus comes! Some have attempted to confuse the
issue of sin by redefining iniquity to mean the sin of our nature, or
“original sin” as the Roman Catholics and most Protestants falsely declare.
For example, in Elder Jack Sequeria’s book Beyond Belief, the author wrongly clarifies iniquity as
This [iniquity] does not
primarily refer to an act of sin, but to a condition of sinfulness: by
nature we are spiritually “bent” (see Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah
64:6). Jack Sequeira, Beyond
Press Publishing Association, 1993, p. 17.
While all three texts cited by
Elder Sequeira mention the word “iniquity,” not one plainly states that
iniquity is a condition of sinfulness by nature. Some have tried to twist
Psalm 51:5 in that direction. To support this false interpretation many
resort to using the disgraceful translation of this cry of David as
presented by the early New International Version. Let us compare the
truth as found in the reliable King James Version with this debased
translation of more recent times:
Behold, I was shapen in
iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psalm 51:5 (KJV)
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5 (NIV)
Our Seventh-day Adventist
Hymnal has been
seriously compromised by the inclusion of this doctrinally false
rendition of the latter translation. (See Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, No. 756)
However, the following verses
cannot be so interpreted.
But we are all as an unclean
thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade
as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah
All we like sheep have gone
astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity
of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
involves transgression of God’s law—the sinful, deliberate acts of
is confirmed in many texts, including the words of Christ.
Incline not my heart to any
evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let
me not eat of their dainties. (Psalm 141:4)
For the vile person will speak
villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to
utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he
will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. (Isaiah 32:6)
The law of truth was in his
mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace
and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. (Malachi 2:6)
And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew
that our Savior specifically stated that iniquity was a work, not an inherited state.
will be noted in Zephaniah 3:13 that iniquity clearly is not the state of
our being or our nature. Rather, it is something that is done, for the
text says “The remnant of Israel
shall not do
It also says that the remnant will not speak lies nor be deceitful in any
way. This parallels the purity of the 144,000:
And in their mouth was found
no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
it is plain that at the end of human history, just before Christ’s
return, the remnant is the same group as the 144,000. In detailing God’s
end-time faithful, John addressed them as the remnant:
And the dragon was wroth with
the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep
the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
is of fearful implications to recognize that Satan is angry with the pure
woman at the end of this sin-ridden world, for he is filled with wrath
against the church which possesses a pure faith. Satan is never wroth
with an impure church. There is only one church which professes a pure
faith at the end time, and that is the Seventh-dayAdventistChurch.
is also of deep consequence that the remnant of God’s church alone will
be under the attack of Satan, for he is making war with the remnant of
her seed. While Satan has attacked all who profess to be Seventh-day
Adventists, he especially focuses his attacks upon those who are
faithful. The faithful are characterized by those who keep the
commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation ). Today, vast segments
of the Seventh-day Adventist membership do not believe it possible to keep
the commandments of God in spite of the fact that there are such
wonderful promises to those who do His commandments.
Blessed are they that do his
commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter
in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
The servant of the Lord stated under inspiration
He who has not sufficient
faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from sinning, has not the
faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.
Messages, book 3,
again are presented the characteristics of the 144,000. They are law
keepers, not in human strength, of course, but in the power of the
indwelling Christ. They also have the testimony of Jesus Christ which is
the Spirit of Prophecy.
And I fell at his feet to
worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy
fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:
worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
are openly rejecting the Spirit of Prophecy; others are effectively
ignoring it. Such can never be included in the 144,000.
Here is the patience of the
saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of
Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)
He that leadeth into captivity
shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed
with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
again, we discover that the saints keep the commandments of God. The
144,000, we are told, are not defiled with women; that is, they have not
accepted false doctrine from the churches of fallen Christendom. They
have not been ensnared by the ecumenical movement. Even more importantly,
they have not followed the doctrinal apostasy of some Seventh-dayAdventistChurch
administrators, theologians, and ministers. They are virgins, an
indication of their spiritual purity, and they are without fault before
the throne of God.
And in their mouth was found
no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
notice in Revelation 14:12 that the saints not only keep the commandments
of God but they also keep the faith of Jesus. We cannot keep the
commandments of God except we have the faith of Jesus.
the 144,000 will be made up of those who have implicit and unwavering
faith in Christ in every facet of their lives and ministry. By studying
the very elect, the remnant of Israel, and the saints we
have gained further precious insights into the characters of those who
will comprise the 144,000.
In our next e-Magazine we will
continue our series with a study called “The Investigative Judgmentand
current series is taken from the book The
144,000, The Great Multitude, And The Return of Jesus, by Colin and
Russell Standish. To order a copy of the entire book visit www.hartlandbooks.com
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