How Other Groups view the 144,000
According to the Divine Principle, “In order for Christ at the Second Advent to complete the providence of restoration, he must find a certain number of people who can restore through indemnity the missions of all the past saints who, despite their best efforts to do God’s Will, fell prey to Satan when they failed in their responsibilities. He must find these people during his lifetime and lay the foundation of victory over Satan’s world. The total number of saints whom Christ at the Second Advent must find to accomplish this task is 144,000.”
Revelation 7:9 -17
Vs 9 - 10: This is the beginning of the second vision of this chapter. John (in heaven) does not see the 144,000 instead he sees a great multitude that could not be numbered. This multitude included people from all nations who were standing before the throne of God and before Jesus clothed in white robes and holding palm branches.
This second vision is intended to show the anticipation of the future day when those who were persecuted will enter into eternal glory.
“white robes” symbolize victory in Jesus and the righteousness of Jesus.
“palm branches” signify festive joy (John 12:13)
The multitude was joyfully declaring their salvation from sin and its consequences.
Vs 11 - 12: It is here that we see the angels and elders from chapters 4 & 5 are part of this great multitude, and they respond to the joyful cries of those clothed in robes and they fall down, prostrate before God and offering him a seven-fold doxology of praise. (Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor and power and might).
I like what Robert Mounce writes in his commentary of Revelation, “If there is ‘joy before the angels of God over a sinner who repents (Luke 15:10), how unbelievably great will the joyful adoration o the heavenly host when all the redeemed stand before God!”
Vs 13 – 14: John has an interaction with one of the elders as he asks John the question that he is probably thinking to himself, “who are these, clothed in white, and from where have they come?” to which John says, “Sir you know.”
The elder tells John that the robed ones are those who have come out of great tribulation and have washed their robes in the blood of Jesus. These may be individuals who are still arriving from persecution or they refer to the point in time when the complete number of the redeemed stand before God and the blessings of the eternal state are to be realized.
“great tribulation” indicates a time when the final series of woes which will immediately precede the end. This would be the final hour of trial that the Angel spoke of in Rev. 3:10 which is to come to the whole earth. Persecution has always been promised to those who follow Jesus and the final conflict of righteousness and evil will rise to intensity as it will become the great tribulation.
Vs 15: Since they are clothed in righteousness of Jesus and they will serve him without pause. The words “day and night” is an expression that means unceasingly. This Temple is not a physical building in heaven. In Revelation heaven is the temple.
Vs 16 – 17: This is the promise that God will be their provider, protector, and comfort. The promise of never being hungry or thirsty is significant in an ancient area where this was a continual threat. The shepherd language tells how the LORD himself will guide his people to the springs of living water.
The tears that God wipes away are the tears like a child who is brought from sorrow to joy and the linger on the face of the redeemed.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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