144K in Cyberspace
hile editing the accompanying piece, I logged on to Facebook to grab a message I was expecting. In my collection of updates on the news feed page, I noticed that my friend, evangelist, and photographer Alden Ho had posted a question about an aspect of the 144,000 topic, and people were rapidly commenting. His question, and the answers that flowed in, only cemented the fact that believers—young and old and near and far—are still asking questions, seeking answers, and are eager for the conversations that ensue—on the Internet. My prayer is that the dialogues that arise from wrestling with tough theological concepts will only fuel our desire to dig deep into Scripture for the answers. Alden’s question and a selection of responses have been included below to give our readers a small indication of some of the opinions moving about in cyberspace.
AH: At the Second Coming will the 144,000 be the only ones alive that are translated without seeing death?
LS: I don’t think 144,000 is meant to be taken as a literal number . . .
EM: I heard a sermon about the 144,000 while I was in Hawaii, and it was sad because Christ was not mentioned—only what the 144,000 will accomplish. [It was] as if the hymn is wrong—as if there is no “Power in the Blood,” but rather “Power in the 144,000.” To me, it doesn’t matter exactly the number; what matters is that they follow the Lamb wherever He goes. I want to be part of a group like that.
PM: There is also the great multitude! I don’t care whether I make the 144,000 or great multitude as long as I bask in the light of the Son!
JS: I believe the 144,000 will be spiritual Elijahs—a remnant after the church has been terribly shaken by trials and apostasy that will proclaim to the multitudes in the fallen churches to hastily retreat out of Babylon and join with Christ and His pure bride. They will be an especially honored group of saints that will receive high honors in heaven. But when Christ comes in the clouds of majesty and glory and the work has ended, there will be a great multitude mostly made up of those who have come out of the fallen churches. Many Adventists will have been shaken out, perhaps the vast majority.
AH: I have heard a few say that Mrs. White herself will be in the 144,000, but I cannot find this in her writings or in the fact that they are found among the living at Christ’s return.
This article was published October 22, 2009.