Today we are going to hear a life and death message of extreme urgency and importance to every SDA, who is serious about salvation.
We know God loves us with an infinite and everlasting love. We are saved by the mercy and grace of God alone, not by our acts of obedience. But without obedience to God’s revealed will, all His effort to save us becomes neutralized. One thing is very clear and something we seem to lose sight of. Our loving, merciful God of grace, is also a God of justice.
As we have learned over the last 5 weeks, blatant apostasy has infected every area of our denomination which includes our educational institutions at all levels, our seminaries, our publishing houses, our medical programs and the hospitals and institutions, our broadcasting media and even our evangelistic thrusts. Listen to this quote from T-5 page 217
I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.
The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus.
Modern Israel, the SDA church has been blessed with so much light, but we by stubborn resistance to make constant change in a positive, upward growth pattern, are retreating to Egypt.
Just as surely as God dealt with Egypt in an outpouring of 10 plagues, just as surely as God dealt with the antediluvians who mocked God’s messenger for 120 years, rejecting the offer of mercy to be saved and the forecasted flood came and destroyed them, just as surely as God’s justice fell on the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and other evil nations since antiquity, just as God has dealt severely with ancient Israel on numerous occasions, so He will bring swift justice on this God-forgetting world though the outpouring of the seven last plagues when it’s probation has forever ended.
But what we fail to realize is that before probation ends for the world, it will most certainly end for God’s church first. Through the justice God will serve upon His remnant people, He will have a purified church. Listen carefully, It is that justice, and the manner in which He will purify this church, that is the object of our study today. The 144,000.
Many within our church behave as though we have all the light we need and they are content that there will be no more. Is that true? Counsels to Editors and Writers Pages 34,35 tells us otherwise, listen:
A spirit of pharisaism has been coming in upon the people who claim to believe the truth for these last days. They are self‑satisfied. They have said,
"We have the truth. There is no more light for the people of God." But we are not safe when we take a position that we will not accept anything else than that upon which we have settled as truth...New light will ever be revealed on the word of God to him who is in living connection with the Sun of Righteousness. Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed.”
It is clear that even after the death of the prophet, there would be more light revealed, and we better not be closed minded.
Few today even preach on the subject of the 144,000 because few understand it. R&H March 9, 1905 it states, Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty‑four thousand.Now I ask you, can we strive to be a part of something we do not understand?
As we are going to see, a clear understanding is vital to every SDA. It is as much a life and death matter as understanding the 3rd angel’s message and maybe even more so. Turn in your Bibles to Rev. 7:1-4. I read in your hearing, And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
What we read here is that 4 angels are holding the 4 winds, then this angel that comes from the east with the seal of God must first seal the 144,000 servants of God before the 4 winds blow on the earth. Is that clear??
These verses do produce 4 questions we must answer.
1. When will the 144,000 be sealed?
2. Will it only be SDA’s or will there be some in the world who will be sealed?
3. Is the 144,000 a literal number or is it only symbolic as many believe?
4. What will happen to those who are not part of the 144,000?
First Question. When will the 144,000 be sealed? Has it already been done, or is it still going on, or is it soon to happen? Now, to answer this question we need to look at what is represented as the 4 winds. We have always understood winds in prophecy to represent wars, strife, commotion and turmoil between nations. We know that the 4 beasts in Daniel chapter 7 represented the 4 ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome and that they came into power through war and conquest.
But the winds in Revelation chapter 7 represents a strife of a different nature. Something that is to blow against the church, otherwise it would not say God’s people must be sealed before the winds blow. In spite of all the wars of the 20th century and now the 21st century, we know God’s servants have not yet been sealed. The 4 winds represent something religious in nature that is going to harm the church and test every soul. What worldwide religious trouble is soon coming. We read in T5 page 152
The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God's children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.
Inspiration makes it clear, the 4 winds of Revelation 7 do not represent the nations fighting amongst themselves, that would occur anyway, rather it is the mark of the beast decree and time of trouble such as never was, that God’s people will have to endure on a worldwide scale.
Rev 13:15-17 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
The 4 winds is not war as such, to conquer territories, rather it is to build up an
international religion that will force the world to worship the image of the beast.
That brothers and sisters is the 4 winds of strife the Lord is having His angels hold back until the servants of God are sealed.
So when will the 144,000 be sealed? Since the mark of the beast is almost upon us, the sealing is taking place right now. They are the ones who will stand when the great time of trouble comes. The only reason that the winds have not yet been let loose is because that number has not yet been reached. It is only the mercy of God that has stalled the passage of the National Sunday law.
Our second question, Will it only be SDA’s or will there be some in the world who will be sealed? Our answer is in Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
This verse is speaking not of Jews but of modern Israel today. From T-9 page 164 we read, In order to be purified and to remain pure, Seventh‑day Adventists must have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their homes. The Lord has given me light that when the Israel of today humble themselves before Him, and cleanse the soul‑temple from all defilement, He will hear their prayers in behalf of the sick and will bless in the use of His remedies for disease.
Now turn to Rev 14:1,4 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. The sealing will include some who have come into the SDA church from Babylonian churches, but when the sealing has taken place, those sealed will only be remnant SDA’s. The scripture says they are not defiled by women. We know from Jeremiah 6:2 and GC 381 that women in Bible prophecy represents churches. The churches that defile are all the churches of Babylon with their false doctrines. The significance of the phrase “for they are virgins” we understand from S.O.P., COL page 406 They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith.
The 144,000 are being sealed now and they are to be found in the SDA church.
Our third question, Is the 144,000 a literal number or is it only symbolic as many believe? The answer to this question is also in Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
There is no confusion here. John clearly states he heard the number of those to be sealed as 144,000. It is literal and not figurative. However when we look at verse 9 we read of a second company to come after the 144,000 . After this I beheld,
and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
This second group is so vast that no man can count it. God knows the number of the second group, but there is no doubt that the number of the first group is exactly 144,000 as John said he heard the number. Now hear what the S.O.P. says as to the number. EW page 14,15. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake.
So, the 144,000 are being sealed now. They will only be SDA’s and the number is literal. That brings us to the 4th question. What will happen to those who are not part of the 144,000? The answer must come from the Bible and the testimony of Jesus. It is critical to every SDA alive today, for it is a matter of life and death.
Listen as you have never listened before. This is serious business and the time for careless indifference and complacency is over. Our lives must live up to our profession. Hear what the servant of the Lord has written in TM page 445 This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.
Inspiration tells us that Ezekiel and John saw the same thing. In all of Ezekiel, there is only one chapter that speaks of a sealing and that is chapter 9. Let us turn there and read verses 1-11.
He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man [with] his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them [was] clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which [had] the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I
fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all
the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah [is] exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, [but] I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which [had] the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
Don’t miss this. Inspiration has told us the sealing John saw was the same that Ezekiel saw. These verses of Ezekiel portray the same sealing work of Rev. 7, the sealing of the 144,000 today, and it shows what is to happen to those who are not sealed. What an awesome event is about to take place amongst God’s people who are so deep in apostasy. Only those who are sighing and crying for the abominations will be saved. We cannot treat this matter lightly, nor can we ignore it. What needs to be done is an individual work. God is trying to wake us up.
What Ezekiel has told us is that those who are not sealed are removed. Our very salvation depends on whether we accept or reject on this point. Will we join the majority in celebration, or will we choose to be part of the minority that is sighing and crying. God is trying to show us where we stand as SDA Christians. Listen to this from T-3 pages 266-67 as we have additional light on these scriptures. The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty‑four thousand who are to stand
without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
The true people of God are found amongst the professed people of God. Those who have a great love for God and His people cannot stand by and see God’s name and honor trampled upon, by those who are professing to be His light to the world. Instead of the church converting the world, the world has been converting the church. COL page 316 says: The church has gone over to the world in
transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the
The true people of God are calling out to God and His people, for genuine revival and reformation. 1 Peter 4:17,18 says: For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
What we have studied so far, is that there is a work to be done for the church before the work for the world. The half-converted must become fully converted, before the gospel is proclaimed with power to the ends of the earth, before the loud cry, before the latter rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and before the winds blow on the church. What again is the winds? ....The Mark of the Beast decree, the National Sunday Law and the time of trouble such as never was.
Yes we are looking forward to the grand and glorious culminating event of the second coming of Jesus. But for the church today, it is the closing work and the sealing that is most imminent. When the 144,000 are sealed, probation will close for the church.
Our test now is, will we go along with the abominations in the house of God, will we silently sanction worldly practices that have crept into our church, or instead will we in God’s eternal presence bring our every thought, word and deed into compliance with His word and His testimony as revealed in the S.O.P., fully aware that we as a church are in a sad condition of miserable wretchedness, poverty and blindness. Are we going to study as never before as we seek truth for ourselves and zealously
follow every word from our Lord and then help others to do the same? Will we cry aloud and spare not against the wrongs that have taken hold of both the members and the leaders of God’s church? Will we in all Christian love and humility speak out and support a “thus saith the Lord” against the new customs and practices being boldly flaunted in our churches today? Listen to me now, time is running out. If our people do not make a quick, decided and determined turnaround, they shall not receive the seal. Instead, they shall fall under the slaughter weapons of the angel in Ezekiel 9. And that is the closing work for the church leading to the sealing of the 144,000.
T-3 page 267 Listen closely, Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and
in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in
linen, are those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done" in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.
It is now at this point where you must be wondering if the slaughter of God’s people in Ezekiel 9 is literal or symbolic? From the pen of inspiration we read in Manuscript Release vol. 1 page 260: Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience.
This inspired statement must leave no doubt, that the slaughter of God’s people will take place, and it will be literal. Both leaders and members in the SDA church will be slain by God’s angels. As sad and unbelievable as it sounds, that is what it says in the Bible and S.O.P. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He loves His church and His people, but make no mistake in your understanding, God will have a purified church.
Very soon, the limit of God’s forbearance will be reached, the blatant apostasy will have run it’s course and judgment at the house of God must take place. In Ezekiel 9:7 we are told the courts are to be filled with the slain. Dead physical bodies. It is a literal slaughter. The S.O.P. makes it clear as to whether it is literal or symbolic in T-5 page 211. The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house." She continues Here we see that the church‑‑the Lord's sanctuary‑‑was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles
and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.
What a solemn event lies ahead for the people of God. God truly is a God of love, grace and mercy, and He does love us with an infinite, patient and longsuffering love. But He just can’t bear forever with our ever increasing apostasy. Think about it. How is the world to be saved with the church continuing in it’s present condition?
We must wake up from our deep sleep.
In T-2 page 337 describes our ministers: Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!
God cannot and will not pour out His Spirit in the latter rain until His church has been purified. In T-3 page 265 it states, One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation.
Same book page 270 God's displeasure is upon His people, and He will not manifest His power in the midst of them while sins exist among them and are fostered by those in responsible positions.
Sin and sinners must be removed, God must have a pure and holy people. T-5 page 80 But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.
PK page 725 Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. "Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners", she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.
Before Jesus comes, before the plagues are poured out, before probation closes for the world, before the great time of trouble, and before the latter rain is poured out, probation will end for this church and God will send His angels to bodily remove the unconverted, the half-converted, world loving sinners from among His professed people. God is loathe to punish His people, but He must do it, if ever the world is to be reclaimed.
Some have mistakenly concluded that Ezekiel 9 refers to the 7 last plagues. It does not. Judgment begins at the House of God and then it continues out to the world. The sealing angel must first seal the 144,000, then will follow the sealing of the great multitude, but only after the purification of the church. Do you see that? The church is the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God, in the purification, the world will after feel the wrath of God, in the 7 last plagues.
Note also, Ezekiel 9 has 6 angels, 5 angels who have weapons and they slay and one that seals. There are 7 angels in Rev. 16 and they have vials that they pour out on Babylon. That’s the world. But in Ezekiel 9 destruction befalls Jerusalem, that’s God’s church today. Do you see that these are 2 different events. One describes what happens with the close of probation for the church. The other describes what happens with the close of probation for the world.
T-5 page 211 says, The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension,(that’s sighing) nor mourn over the sins of others, (that’s crying) will be left without the seal of God.
Are we following the standards laid down before us? Sadly, there are many among us who are not even aware of what these standards are. We must study the Bible and the S.O.P. as we have never studied before, so that our eating, and our dressing, and our thinking, and our acting, and our words, yes everything we do and say will be in harmony with His word.
Israel of old had a blueprint to follow, but they wanted to be like other nations around them and disregarded God’s clear directions. We too have been given a special set of guidelines and we are disregarding them as well, calling them old fashioned and irrelevant. We have paid them little or no attention at all. And so the world has crept into the church and we allowed it, which has caused our lives, our families, our churches, our schools, colleges and universities, our publishing houses and our hospitals be in a condition repulsive to God.
God only regards one thing today and it is the Hallmark of the truly converted. Are we sighing for our own lives, and are we crying for God’s people and the
abominations in the church? For only these will make up the 144,000.
Isaiah 66:15,16 is God’s plan for His church and it crystalizes what we have said today. Listen...For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
You have heard this scripture many times, as it has long been connected with the second coming of Jesus in the clouds of glory to receive His church. But upon
closer examination, these verses have nothing to do with the second coming at all. Why? Simply because when we look at verse 16 it says He, the Lord, is to plead with all flesh. But when Jesus returns for the second time He is not pleading any longer. When probation ends for the world, there is no souls to plead for. The books are closed. Verses 15 & 16 must therefore have to be illustrating the coming of a judgment. While probation is open for some, those for whom He is pleading, it is obviously closed for others, those to whom are being slain.
This is obviously what we have covered in Ezekiel 9. That the 144,000 will be sealed first from the House of God, and all the rest who rejected the testimonies, those half-converted who were celebrating, will have to be removed. Only the righteous will remain. This is verified in verses 17-20. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one [tree] in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I [know] their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, [to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, [to] Tubal, and Javan, [to] the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren [for] an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
This brothers and sisters is a judgment on those of God’s people that have been unfaithful. He slays them because He has no other choice. And those faithful ones that escape the slaughter, receive the latter rain and become His great missionaries to the whole world. At this time they boldly declare the final message. This is the loud cry. This is the time that God’s people are called out of Babylon and the glory of the angel of Rev.18 shall fill all the ends of the earth. That is when the great multitude which no man could number will be brought into the remnant church.
One class of people are sealed from the church, that’s the 144,000, then a second class of saints are brought into the church by the 144,000, from all the Babylonian churches, that’s the great multitude that no man could number. Is that clear?
Now as we begin to wrap this up, let’s look again at Rev 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
If the 144,000 are the firstfruits, does not that imply that there will be second fruits? A second class is brought in after the sealing of the 144,000. That is the great multitude.
Listen to this verification in EW page 33. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.
Here is the purified church proclaiming the Sabbath at the commencement of the time of trouble, filled with the Holy Ghost. It all fits!!!!
Now in summary, Rev. 7 says the 144,000 are to be sealed before the 4 winds are let loose, and the winds we found out is the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. The mark of the beast decree, the National Sunday Law. If they refuse to comply they will not have the right to buy or sell and many will be killed. The sealing is going on right now and every one of us could be sealed in that number. We have seen that the 4 winds of Rev 7 do not represent nation fighting against nation, rather it is something that is going to affect and harm the church worldwide.
God’s people are not preparing for what is coming. The testimonies of Jesus are either being rejected or ignored. They are disqualifying themselves as unuseable for service to God by their half-converted stance with some of the truth, and refusing to make needed reforms as found in the Spirit of Prophecy. By doing so they are not ready and God can not use them. Look at Gideon’s army of 300 to see what God expects in His army that will finish the work. Those who did not want to fight were sent home where they had more important secular things to do. Those who were half-hearted, and stopped to drink and rest are those among us who when shown healthful practices God wants us to employ, decide to put off needed change to some seemingly future date, and have some excuse for continuing in the hurtful indulgence. God does not honor indolence, nor does He force any one of us to put into practice changes in our living standards that He knows is for our best welfare physically, mentally and Spiritually.
But the remaining 300, are those who do not break stride as they scoop refreshing water with their hand and continue to press on to the goal. These today, are those who put into practice every ounce of truth revealed to them in S.O.P., without hesitation, without procrastination, without fear of loss. Especially in the area of perverted appetite. They will not waste precious hours that can never be reclaimed, sitting in front of TV’s drinking the world’s pollution, rather they will use those precious hours studying the will of God for His remnant ones. Their thoughts are not on how much they will miss satisfying their appetite for a hurtful indulgence, rather their attitude is Jesus has said it is so, therefore the matter is settled and needs no further discussion. These who are faithful in the little things will make up the 144,000. They will advance with every step of light given to reach higher standards of righteousness, while sighing and crying for the abominations found in the house of God.
You may be thinking that you find that you identify more with the half-hearted, half-converted group in these important areas and are wondering if you may be disqualified. The good news is that God is still searching for candidates to comprise this group of 144,000. What needs to be done is a decided change in the life. Determination that we will put into practice every ounce of light given without hesitation or procrastination, as we are now at a crossroads in time in the SDA church. It is a time when every SDA must take his/her profession seriously. That we will clean up our acts and all jesting, joking and kidding around will cease. Criticizing, fault-finding, gossiping and back-biting have no place with the serious minded. That we will guard our thoughts and our words, as we understand that every idle word will be considered in the judgment. There will be no hypocrisy in the 144,000 and no guile will be found in their mouths.
Now, in closing, we are taking a final look at Ezekiel 9 and 10, so that it is perfectly clear that there are only two classes that will comprise the remnant people. One is sealed when probation ends for the church, the 144,000, and they are filled with the Holy Spirit as they go out to gather in the second class, the great multitude.
We want to look at Ezekiel 9:11 and Ezekiel 10:1,2, then a statement in EW pg 279.
And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which [had] the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
What is it that he had completed? It was the sealing of the 144,000. Now see what takes place after the sealingin Ezekiel 10:1,2
Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the
appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, [even] under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter
[them] over the city. And he went in, in my sight.
Now don’t miss this point. After the sealing of the 144,000, which are those who were sighing and crying, the Lord has instructed the same sealing angel to go up to God’s throne in between the wheels and take coals of fire and scatter them over the city. The fire is the symbol for the Holy Spirit. We know that from Pentecost in Acts 2:2,3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
So here in Ezekiel the coals of fire, the Holy Spirit, is spread out over the city, that’s God’s church worldwide. But only those who are left and are sealed, the 144,000. The very ones both John and Ezekiel saw, the purified church who are all of one accord. The only ones left living in the church, the escaped ones. Now listen to this from EW pg 279. I was pointed down to the time when the third
angel's message was closing. The power of God had rested upon His people; they had accomplished their work and were prepared for the trying hour before them. They had received the latter rain, or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and the living testimony had been revived. The last great warning had sounded everywhere, and it had stirred up and enraged the inhabitants of the earth who would not receive the message. I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer's inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the ten commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a loud voice said, "It is done." And all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."
This angel is now reporting to Jesus after all the work has been done in all the earth and probation for the world ends. Jesus throws down the censer and makes the pronouncement that the holy remain righteous and the wicked are forever lost.
Ezekiel and Ellen White saw the same angel reporting to Jesus at two different times. In Ezekiel 9 it was after the sealing of God’s people, the 144,000, and the close of probation for God’s church. And in Early Writings, it was after the sealing of the great multitude and the close of probation for the world.
So this allows us to conclude, that there are two classes of people that are sealed. One in the church now, the others from the world later. The same angels do that work. In GC 656 The mark of deliverance has been set upon those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done." Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel's vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given:
So there, it is just as clear as it could be. The Bible and the S.O.P. teach it. Both sealings are done by the same angel’s work. One is for the church, the other for the world. One takes place before the time of trouble, the other when the 4 winds are let loose during the time of trouble.
T-1 page 190 listen. And I saw that the Lord was whetting His sword in heaven to cut them down. Oh, that every lukewarm professor could realize the clean work that God is about to make among His professed people! Same book page 198 Angels keep a faithful record of every man's work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter.
This message should do two things. It should wake us up as we need to break free of our spiritual lethargy. If we do not come out of our sleep, we will soon enter a 1,000 year sleep of death.
It should also stir us up and challenge us for what is about to happen among the people of God. The sealing will soon be completed and judgment is about to take place in the house of God. Are you ready? Are we preparing ourselves?
God is not trying to scare us with this message. He loves us too much. He wants us to wake up and be revived and make necessary reforms and embrace all light He has been pleased to give us.
He wasn’t trying to scare earth’s inhabitants with Noah’s 120 year preaching of destruction by a flood. He loved them and He was calling them to be saved.
He wasn’t trying to scare Sodom and Gomorrah, because He loved them, but their probation ended. And they were visited with God’s judgment.
God gave us Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Ellen White to awaken us because He loves us. For 159 years the remnant church has been on probation, but that probationary period is about to end and I believe this message has been sent to us, because God loves all the people in the SDA church.
But above everything we know about our loving, merciful heavenly Father, we must understand that He is a God of justice. The world can not continue this rapid downward spiral into degradation and neither can the church continue in it’s path of blatant apostasy. It just can’t. He must purify the church and it must be absolutely purified.
The Bible and the S.O.P. does not tell us how this slaughter of God’s people will be done. But we do know that it will be literal, it will be physical and it will take place.
Finally from T-5 page 505 we have a type of what has happened in the past so that we will know what will happen in the future. When God was about to smite the first‑born of Egypt, He commanded the Israelites to gather their children from among the Egyptians into their own dwellings and strike their door posts with blood, that the destroying angel might see it and pass over their homes. It was the work of parents to gather in their children. This is your work, this is my work, and the work of every mother who believes the truth. The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young.
This happened in Egypt.
Same book page 217 The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt.
What happened in Egypt is about to happen worldwide amongst God’s people today. Only those, who have the anti-typical blood on their foreheads, the seal of God, the group of 144,000 will escape. How do we get this seal? By sighing and crying. By falling on the Rock and being broken so that every last vestige of self is removed. By separating ourselves from all worldliness and anchoring ourselves to the solid Rock, by obedience to all revealed truth in the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy. By using all of our conscious free time in studying and becoming familiar with every revealed principle in God’s word. Nothing short of a total and complete surrender, and nothing less then a full and complete commitment to God and His word will do.