40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

Two big questions: Does God kill? And, Who are the 144,000?

Over the past year I have seen two major questions floating around my church.  First, does God kill?   Second, who are the 144,000?

I am going to address these topics, as plainly and clearly as possible so that everyone not only understands these issues, but will not be deceived by outside groups concerning these issues, as well.

Does God Kill?

I have seen a book going around the church called God’s Character and after reading the first two chapters, I noticed the author was leading his readers down the wrong path with his conclusions.

In his book, he argues that God does not kill, but if we look at just two examples of God’s wrath in the Bible, the flood, and the destruction of Sodom, we see that both reflect the principle that God does, in fact, destroy.  Needless to say, God does it reluctantly. However, there are many clear statements in the Spirit of Prophecy on this topic. But those that argue against the idea that God kills,try to brush clear statements like these aside.  This is a common tactic with all false doctrine.

“A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere.”  {GC 614.2}

It’s pretty hard to get around that statement unless you argue that EGW was not inspired or that the statement is not inspired. It plainly says that God does command holy angels to destroy.

There is a book by Steve Wohlberg called The Character of God Controversy.  This is a must read for anyone that is searching for a better understanding of God’s true character.

Who are the 144,000?

I would like to start this issue with a quote from Mrs. White’s quotes about the 144,000.

She wrote: “Christ says that there will be those in the church who will present fables and suppositions, when God has given grand, elevating, ennobling truths which should ever be kept in the treasure house of the mind.  When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them.  It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as, Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand?  Those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question.

My brethren and sisters, appreciate and study the truths God has given for you and your children.  Spend not your time in seeking to know that which will be no spiritual help. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10: 25). This is the all-important question, and it has been clearly answered. “What is written in the law? how readest thou?”–Manuscript 26, 1901.  {1SM 174.4}

After reading this, one should understand that there are far more pressing issues to study than this one. So, rather than go in to a long discussion about this topic I will say these final words.

The 144,000 have an organic connection with the remnant of chapter 12, and their devotion to Christ is significant to the fact that they bear the characteristics of  the remnant in keeping God’s commandments and the faith of Jesus (Rev. 12:17).  They worship Christ totally and completely.  Revelation 12:11 says they overcame the dragon “because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.”  Every end-time believer can be part of this number. But we must remember that God wants all people to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved (1 Tim. 2:3, 4).  There is no limiting of the redeemed, and the end-time sealing and salvation are open to all.

My final thoughts:

The main problem with all false doctrines is that people build the foundations of their faith on statements in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy that are not clear. And when one’s theory collides with a clear statement, which he/she has to brush aside, an attempt to discredit or otherwise ignore the clear statements is then made.  That is the wrong way to go about building doctrine or gaining the full understanding of the truth. Always, we must build our ideas of truth on the clear statements and then harmonize all the unclear ones with the clear statements of inspiration.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

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This entry was posted on April 13, 2013 by in Extra Post and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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April 2013
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