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The Servants of GodóThe 144,000

 

 

 

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 The Servants of Our God

 

By Colin and Russell Standish

 

The primary Biblical name for the 144,000 is the servants of our God.

 

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed [the servants of God--the 144,000] in their foreheads. (Revelation 7:3)

 

In his introduction, John declared the book of Revelation to be the revelation of Jesus to His servants concerning the events to transpire in the future. God also promised a blessing to those who will study these prophecies.

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 1:1Ė3)

 

When we link Revelation 1:1 with Revelation 7:3 we sense that it is Godís servants to whom God reveals the future events through His prophets. Those who reject or neglect the word of God and His proffered salvation will not be privy to the warnings and promises God gives to His servants.

 

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. . . . For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

 

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 3Ė9)

 

History records a number of times that Godís people have been referred to as His servants. We must not forget that Christ Himself was our Example in servanthood. Godís servants are not those who strive for mastery, authority, or dominion. By definition, a servant is one who serves, carrying out the will of another, and seeks to benefit that individual.

 

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25Ė28)

 

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Fatherís will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:38Ė40)

 

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39)

 

Godís servants, in carrying out the will of God, serve the physical and spiritual needs of their fellow humans. Those who follow the will of God will understand the pure doctrine of truth.

 

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17)

 

As we study the call for servanthood, we are enlightened as to who will comprise this privileged group who will never pass through the portals of the tomb. Isaiah provides help for our understanding.

 

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)

 

The servants of the Lord are protected by God. Surely this promise of the prophet Isaiah is especially relevant to Godís divine protection afforded the 144,000. Yet it must not be overlooked that Godís servants possess the righteousness of Christ. This is in monumental contrast to the unrighteousness of the servants of Satan. The contrast is plainly seen just prior to probationís close.

 

In the time of the end the people of God will sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. With tears they will warn the wicked of their danger in trampling upon the divine law, and with unutterable sorrow they will humble themselves before the Lord in penitence. The wicked will mock their sorrow and ridicule their solemn appeals. But the anguish and humiliation of Godís people is unmistakable evidence that they are regaining the strength and nobility of character lost in consequence of sin. It is because they are drawing nearer to Christ, because their eyes are fixed on His perfect purity, that they discern so clearly the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Meekness and lowliness are the conditions of success and victory. A crown of glory awaits those who bow at the foot of the cross. (Prophets and Kings, p. 590)

 

To emphasize the characteristics of Godís servants, we list those presented in this passage:

 

1. The servants of God warn the wicked of their abominations and desecration of Godís law.

2. They humble themselves before God in penitence.

3. In humiliation and anguish they develop strength and nobility of character.

4. They draw closer to Christ, for their minds are fixed upon Godís purity in their lives.

5. They discern the sinfulness of sin.

6. Their victory comes because of meekness and loveliness of life.

7. They bow at the foot of the cross.

 

All the members of the 144,000 will be Sabbath-keepers:

 

The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creatorís work. Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods. All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of manís allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him. The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force. Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 307

 

On one occasion Paul and Silas were followed by a young woman under the control of an evil spirit, yet she was compelled to declare that they were the servants of God.

 

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. (Acts 16:16Ė17)

 

In spite of the fact these words were uttered by a demon in the presence of the two men of God, this declaration was true. However, the demon had sought to use this statement to associate Paul and Silas with this benighted woman and thus discredit them in the eyes of the citizens of Philippi. The demonís plan backfired when this precious soul was freed from the slavery of Satan and the devil was cast out of her. She became a disciple of Christ, thus confirming the truth of the words of the devil that Paul and Silas were servants of God who showed ďthe way of salvation.Ē So, too, those servants of God who form the 144,000 will have shown the pathway of salvation to other sin-sick souls before the close of human salvation.

 

Another insight into the identity of the servants of God was revealed by Paul to the Roman believers:

 

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)

 

Once again the perfect beauty of the character of the 144,000 is revealed in the holiness of their lives. Here the inspired apostle sets forth the character of the 144,000. These are not men and women who will be continuing in the slavery of sin. They will, in the power of the Holy Ghost, have victory over all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. Theirs will be a life of holiness, and the consequence of Christís grace in their lives will be the inestimable reward of a life with Christ for eternity.

 

In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul added to our understanding of what will fit the 144,000 to go through the time of trouble such as was not ďsince there was a nationĒ:

 

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Ephesians 6:6)

 

The 144,000 do not do their own will; they do the will of their heavenly Father. Their devotion to Him knows no defect; it knows no limitations.

 

Finally, we note that the 144,000 will be servants of Christ throughout eternity.

 

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. (Revelation 22:3)

 

Lest any believe that only the 144,000 exhibit these characteristics, we emphasize that all Godís saints throughout earthís history will have been true servants of God. Thus they are qualified by God to be His devoted and faithful servants throughout eternity. What a glorious privilege is this!