STUDY  35A

WHO ARE THE "WE" CHRISTIANS?

STUDIES

  (This study was written by Bro. Don Adair and copyrighted    in 1999 by Mt. Carmel CenterYou can print a copy of this study for yourself and share it with others if you make no changes in it, if you take no credit for it, if you charge no money for it, if you include this notification in this parenthesis with it; and if you include his name, address, phone number, website, and e-mail, at the bottom.)

WHO ARE THE "WE" CHRISTIANS?

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All Christians have read or heard it preached from the writings of Paul about Christ's second coming for His people; and they rejoice in its blessed promises to the dead and the living saints. First, Paul wrote that Jesus will resurrect the sleeping saints--the "dead in Christ," and then next He translates the living saints, both of which are "changed" in a "twinkling of an eye" into a state of immortality, wherein they will be "incorruptable." But to the early Christian Jews in the days of Paul there was a "mystery" among them as to who was to "inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:50) and when they were to be immortal. And since one sect among their leaders, the Sadducees, was teaching them that no one would be resurrected after they died, then it is obvious that these Christians would want to know if the dead saints would ever live again; and especially if any of the Christian saints would be alive when Jesus comes again. So Paul explained that "mystery" to them:

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep {die}, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead {saints only, no wicked among them} shall be raised {resurrected to life again} incorruptible, and we {the saints who are still alive and have not died when He comes} shall be changed {into immortality}."--1 Corinthians 15:51, 52 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"For the Lord Himself {Jesus} shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead {saints} in Christ shall rise first {be resurrected}: Then we which are alive and remain {the saints who have not died} shall be caught up together with them {the resurrected dead saints} in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we {both the resurrected dead and the living} ever be with the Lord."--1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 (bold emphasis, braces added)

By the inspiration of God, Paul told the Jews and all Christians thereafter, even to this very day, that when Jesus comes again the dead saints are the "first" to become immortal after they are resurrected. And "then," he wrote, the "we" saints who never died and are still alive when He comes, will be translated into immortality. But in spite of Paul's clear explanation of that "mystery," there still remains among the Christians of today the mystery of the "we" saints (1 Thess. 4:17)--the ones alive who are translated after the dead saints are resurrected. So who are they? Though it is true that Paul's writings are in the Bible to instruct and edify all Christians during the two thousand years of the New Testament era, it is to be noted that he was at that time writing and preaching to the living Jewish Christians who all hoped that Jesus would come again in their life time, for this reason:

"Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple {John} whom Jesus loved {D.A. 816:2} following...{and} Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, what shall this man {John} do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he {John} tarry till I come {the second time}, what is that to thee? follow thou Me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple {John} should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him {John}, He shall not die; but if I will that he tarry till I come {the second time}, what is that to thee."--John 21:20, 21 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The Christian Jews thought Jesus said to Peter that John would be alive when He comes again; and this encouraged them to believe that they, too, would be living at the time of His coming. It is obvious, then, that when Paul wrote his letter to the Christians in Thessalonica about A.D. 50 (as noted in a Bible Dictionary), and mentioned the "we" saints "which are alive and remain" (1 Thess. 4:17) at the time of Christ's second advent, they probably remembered what Jesus said about John and thought that Paul meant them, possibly for this reason:

Though Paul began to take the gospel to the Gentiles in A.D. 34 (Acts 13:46) at the end of the seventy weeks (Dan. 9:24-27), the Bible Dictionay says that his writings were published about A.D. 50. It also says that the book of Matthew was circulated about A.D. 50; and that the book of Luke was circulated about A.D. 62; while the book of John was circulated about A.D. 85. And if this assessment of these publication years of the gospel writers are fairly correct, then the last chapter of John's gospel in A.D. 85, which recorded the rumor that John would never die (Jn. 21:23) and corrects it, could not have been known by the Christian Jews in Thessalonica when Paul wrote his letter to them about the "we" saints in A.D. 50. So it is possible that these early Christian Jews thought that Paul was telling them in A.D. 50 that they are the "we" saints who would never die--those who would be "alive and remain" at Christ's second advent. But John's later gospel published in A.D. 85 corrected the rumor about him being alive when Jesus comes again (Jn. 21:22,23), which meant that Jesus was not coming in their life time as they expected. And since they and all the other Christians who lived thereafter during the two thousand years of the New Testament era are all dead, then this fact proves irrefutably that they are not the "we" saints who will be "alive" when Jesus appears the second time.

And though Paul did tell them the mystery of the resurrection of the dead saints and the translation of the living saints at Christ's second advent, yet, the mystery of the "we" saints (1 Thess. 4:17) has continued to this very day--the latter days just before Jesus is to come the second time. This fact proves that it is time for this mystery to be understood, so that God's church today will know who are the two classes of people that make up the "we" saints who will never die. And since Paul first wrote about the "we" saints to the early Christian Jews in about A.D. 50, and since Jesus had already said that "salvation is of the Jews" (Jn. 4:22), then it is obvious that the first class of "we" saints must be the descendants of the early Christian Jews from among the people of Judah and Israel. And since the time of the latter days is here and Jesus' coming is very near, then the "we" saints must be "alive" today. So who are they? Are you one of them? If you are not sure or do not know if you are one of them, then read on and learn who they are, and how you can be one "of" or one "with" them.

JUDAH AND ISRAEL IN THE LATTER DAYS

"For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it....in the latter days ye shall consider it."--Jeremiah 30:3, 24 (boldings, braces added).

Jeremiah said that God would bring His "people" from the ten tribes of "Israel" and from the two tribes of "Judah" (Jer. 30:3), who are alive in the "latter days" (Jer. 30:24). But "Israel" lost their kingdom and were scattered by Assyria (2 Ki. 18:9-11), and no one knows where they are today. And "Judah" lost their kingdom when the Jews crucified their Messiah (Jesus), and were scattered by the Romans in A.D. 70 (Mic. 3:12; P.K. 713:1), and only a few of their descendants still exist today. Yet, the prophecy of Jeremiah must be fulfilled, but not by these "people Israel and Judah." So the "we" (1 Thess. 4:17) saints must be the Christians who accepted their Messiah (Jesus) and will be "alive" in the "latter days" when Jesus comes the second time; because "God is not a man that He should lie;...hath He said, and shall He not do it?" (Num. 23:19). But which of the Gentile Christians are they? And how can these Gentiles be "My people Israel and Judah"? And if they are these "people," then where do they come from?

CHRISTIANS CAME FROM THE JEWS OF JUDAH

The descendants of the latter-day "we" saints must come, of course, from among the people of Judah (the Jews) in the days of Jesus their Messiah, while they were ruled by the Romans. These descendants were the Jews who had accepted Jesus Christ; and that is why these "disciples were called Christians first in antioch" (Acts 11:26). But the great majority of the Jewish people rejected and crucified Him. This divided the people of Judah into two classes: The unconverted Jews and the Christian Jews. Then three and one half years later, the Christians told these unconverted Jews that because they had rejected their Messiah (Jesus), they had judged themselves "unworthy of eternal life;" therefore, they said, "lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46). And these Christian Jews did two things which the non-Christian Jews would not do.

(1) The Christian Jews took the gospel to the Gentiles.

(2) The Christian Jews married these Gentiles

"We must not overlook the fact that the Gospel of Christ divided the house of Judah into two sects--Jewish and Christian, that the Christian church for about four years after the resurrection of Christ consisted practically only of Jews. Plainly, then, the original Christians were full-blooded Jews,--the Christian church is only a branch {offshoot} of the Jewish church, but they and their descendants have, through the years, lost their racial identity {because they married Gentiles}. Then, too, the descendants of both Israel and Judah who through the years of captivity {married Gentiles and} lost their identity as did the Jews who embraced Christianity, according to prophecy must also have greatly multiplied. Plainly, then, many who are taken as Gentiles, are but unidentified descendants of ancient Judah, Israel, and the Jewish Christians. The Christian church herself is, as we have seen, a Jewish-Christian church."--2 Timely Greetings, No. 6, pg. 16:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

GOD'S GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF THE JEWS AND THE GENTILES

"The Christian church herself is an upshoot of the Jewish church and nation {of Judah}--the Apostles and her followers, up to about 35 A.D. were all Jews. Then it was that again a multitude of Jews lost their identity by {marrying Gentiles and by} calling themselves 'Christians.'"--1 Timely Greetings, No. 37, pg. 11:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

All during the New Testament Christian era (almost 2,000 years), the non-Christian Jews never lost their racial identity, because they did not marry Gentiles. Whereas, the Christian Jews accepted the Gentiles into fellowship and married some of them. As a result, the Christian Jews from Judah lost their racial identity, until today they look like Gentiles.

"It is, therefore, obvious that the few identified Jews of today {from Judah} are not the only descendants of Abraham's, but that many of the Gentiles must be of Abraham. Since this mixed up situation exists, hardly any one can really say for sure that he is not one of Abraham's children. Perhaps many of the nations whom the world calls Gentiles are the children of Abraham. We do not know for sure who is who. God, however, has kept a perfect genealogical record, for He says: 'I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know Me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the Highest Himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.' Psa. 87:4-6."--1 Timely Greetings, No. 37, pg. 12:0 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Since the Lord has a "genealogical record" of everyone (Jews and Gentiles), then He knows who are the descendants of Jacob's son, Judah (Gen. 49:10); whose seed not only continued to the early Christian Jews, but whose seed also continued until the "last days" (Gen. 49:1) as antitypical Judah. [If you want to know more about antitypical Judah, then click on that study at the end.] But how are we to know which people of Judah in the latter days would be God's saints that make up the "we" Christians (1 Thess. 4:17)? The identifiable non-Christian Jews who descended from Judah in the days of Jesus would, of course, say, "We are God's people today." But when they rejected and crucified their Messiah (Jesus), then the Lord rejected them. Therefore, these identifiable Jews today cannot rightfully say that they are God's people. So who took their place? Paul the apostle was inspired of God to reveal who they are when he wrote this:

"And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them {Jews who killed their Messiah}, Ye are not My people; there shall they {Christian Jews} be called the children of the living God."--Romans 9:26 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Thus, the Christian Jews are people of the "children of the living God," who also descended from Judah in the days of Jesus until today in the latter days. And what do they look like? They certainly would not look like Jews, because some of their descendants married Gentiles. It is obvious that these Christian Jews today would look like Gentiles!

"Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham. This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone's racial identity and tribal lineage. It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim. Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be {strictly} of the Gentile nations. They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob {some of which had married Gentiles}, though not necessarily of the present identifiable Jewish stock {who never married Gentiles}." --8 Tract, pg. 8:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Some Christians think that a Chinese Gentile (for example) who is a born again Christian grafted spiritually into the Jewish stock (Rom. 11:17), can now be sealed among the 144,000 Israelites. But that is not true, because being born again and grafted spiritually into Israel, can not fix his "racial identity" as a descendant of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4). That is, if the Chinaman is a pure Gentile who is not a direct descendant of Israel, then he cannot be among the 144,000 (though he can be one "with" them--1 T.G. 4:27). To be one of the 144,000 he must be a pure blood-line descendant of Israel, or be of Israel mixed with Gentile blood, but he can never be of the pure blood-line of a Gentile.

And since no one knows their "genealogical record," then he can't tell if he is a descendant of pure Gentile blood, or if he a descendant of the blood of Jews and Gentiles mixed (by marriage); unless he is a pure Jew. The Lord, however, has Christian people in the latter days whom He recognizes as His church, the place where He seals His 144,000 Christian saints; but which church is it? The answer to that question is found in the symbolic "candlesticks," which represents the Christian churches whose memberships are largely made up of Gentiles.

LAST CANDLESTICK (CHURCH) IS LAODICEA

The "Revelation of Jesus Christ" is a book of special words originated by the Lord which He "gave unto Him;" and He "signified it by His angel unto His servant John" (Rev. 1:1). That is, He inspired His prophet John the Revelator to see seven candlesticks with Himself, the "Son of man" (Rev. 1:13), standing in their midst. He also told John that the "seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches" (Rev. 1:20). There is, however, no need for anyone to wonder which churches these candlesticks symbolize, because of the fact that the "Son of man" (Jesus) is standing in their midst; which proves irrefutably that they can only be Christian churches! And the fact that there are seven candlesticks, which number means completeness, proves indisputably that they symbolize the Christian churches during the entire New Testament era; and that Laodicea, the seventh candlestick, is the last church. [If you want to know more about Laodicea, then click on that study at the end.]

"The names of the seven churches {candlesticks} are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian era. The number seven indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world."--Acts of the Apostles, pg. 585:3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"The Laodicean church, the last of the seven {candlesticks} churches (Rev. 2, 3), being figurative of the Christian church in her last period, our time, the message on record to her is therefore the last message to the church."--1 Answerer Book, pg. 8:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

DESCENDANTS OF CHRISTIAN JEWS IN THE LAODICEAN CHURCH

"Laodicea may be infallibly recognized amidst the many 'isms' of Christendom {Babylon} by the work she is doing--declaring the judgment {of the dead since 1844}. Indeed, this mark of identification is pointed out by the very name Laodicea, compounded of the two Greek words lao and dekei, the one meaning 'people,' also 'speak,' the other meaning 'judgment,' the two in one meaning the people declaring judgment. The church, therefore, which declares, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment {for the dead} is come' (Rev. 14:7), is evidently the one called Laodicea. And it is almost as well known outside Seventh-day Adventist circles as within, that the Seventh-day Adventist church is endeavoring to carry the judgment message of Revelation 14:7, and is therefore unchallenged in her claim to the title, Laodicea."--1 Answerer Book, pg. 11 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Thus, the fact that the last "candlestick" (Laodicea) is the Seventh-day Adventist church, proves undeniably that among them are the saints who are God's people. And though they may look like Gentiles because they lost their racial identity by marrying Gentiles, the Lord knows which saints in the Seventh-day Adventist church (Laodicea) are the descendants of the early Christian Jews; the ones whom Jeremiah said would be the "people of Israel and Judah" (Jer. 30:3) in the "latter days" (Jer. 30:24). These people of God would, therefore, be the "we" Christian saints (1 Thess. 4:17) living in the "latter days" who are "alive" when Jesus comes the second time. But if no one knows who they are, because they look like Gentiles, then how will they be identified so they can know if they are to be among the "we" saints who are the "people of Israel and Judah" (Jer. 30:3). They will know when the 144,000 saints are sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel.

144,000 SEALED IN THE LAODICEAN CHURCH

The Seventh-day Adventist church (Laodicea) was founded in December, 1844 (A.W.L.F. 22:5) by a young girl (5 Tr. 102:2), who later married James White, and was known thereafter as Sis. E.G. White. They consider her to be a prophetess of the Lord (1 S.M. 34:5), because Jesus spoke to His people in that church through her dreams and visions. This is Jesus' testimony to them through her writings, and that is why they are entitled, Testimonies for the church or The Spirit of Prophecy; because John the Revelator said that the "testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10).

Her first vision was about the literal number of 144,000 saints who are sealed from among the twelve tribes of Israel. They are a literal number because she wrote, "the living saints, 144,000 in number" (E.W. 15:0), and because the Bible said so: "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel" (Rev. 7:4). These facts prove irrefutably that this number of saints, 144,000, is not spiritual or symbolic of an unnumbered group of saints, but an actual literal number of saints--12,000 from 12 tribes of Israel, which equals exactly 144,000 living saints--no more and no less. And the Seventh-day Adventist church taught this fact for many years until after Sis. White died in 1915.

Then two years later in 1917, they celebrated their belief that Jesus would come, because they now had 144,000 members (5 Tr. 103:1). But He did not come, because most of their members were not saints, but hypocrites. So they continued to bring in many more hypocritical members (including a few saints) into their churches, until they had millions of believers. And this created such great concern among the members that they asked their ministers why they are bringing millions of people into their churches if only 144,000 members are to be saved. And since they had no answer to justify their belief that only 144,000 saints will be sealed, they changed their doctrinal belief and said that the exact literal number of 144,000 saints is symbolic, and instead means millions! And they are still teaching this false doctrine even to this very today.

But they can not explain how 12,000 times 12 tribes does not equal 144,000 as John wrote, but millions as they say. Not only this, they are accusing God of being a liar for telling John to write these words, "and I heard the number of them which were sealed" (Rev. 7:4), rather than write that he heard the number of millions! And they are also accusing Sis. White of being a liar for writing these words, "144,000 in number" (E.W. 15:0), rather than "144,000 in millions"! So when the ministers are questioned about their deliberate attempt to justify their false doctrine--only 144,000 saints are saved, they usually avoid any questions about what God's word says or what His prophetess, Sis. E.G. White wrote, so that they do not have to admit their error. They could, of course, understand that other people will be saved besides the literal number of 144,000 if they would study the types. Then they would know who are the "we" Christian saints that are "alive" (1 Thess. 4:17) when Jesus appears again.

ELIJAH--THE TYPE OF THE 144,000 SAINTS

"Now all these things happened unto them {ancient Israel--vs. 1} for ensamples {margin says types}: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world {latter days} are come."--1 Corinthians 10:11 (bold emphasis, braces added).

So what historical event connected with a person of ancient Israel who would be a type for the Christians living today to show that they would never die as he never died? The obvious answer is Elijah: "And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Ki. 2:11). As Elijah was translated without seeing death, then he is a "type" of certain saints in the latter days who will be translated without seeing death. They would be the "we" Christian saints whom Paul spoke of (1 Thess. 4:17). These saints must be the 144,000 (Rev. 14:4-8), because they are sealed by an "angel"--message (Rev. 7:2) in the latter days so that they cannot die. [If you want to know more about the people who seek death but cannot die, then click on that study at the end.] And if they cannot die, then they will be "alive" (1 Thess. 4:17) at Jesus' second advent. Sis. White also wrote about ancient Elijah being a type of these saints who never die:

"Elijah was a type of the {144,000} saints {the 'we' Christians} who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ and who will be 'changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,' without tasting of death. 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52."--Prophets and Kings, pg. 227:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Those who died under the third angel's message, keeping the Sabbath, are sealed with the Sabbath truth, but the 144,000 never die."--1 Shepherd's Rod, pg. 28:2 (bold emphasis added).

"Those who are sealed from 1929 {2 Ans. 34:0} to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 9 (close of probation for the {Seventh-day Adventist} church), are living saints, 144,000 in number, who shall never die--translated without tasting death." 2 Shepherd's Rod, pg. 162:3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Since Eliah was an Israelite, then he is a perfect type of the 144,000, because they are sealed from the twelves tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:43). And since Elijah never died, so the 144,000 never die; both of which will be translated. They are the "we" Christian saints who are "alive" (1 Thess. 4:17) at Christ's second advent. But they are only part of the saints that make up the "we" Christians; there is another class of living saints that will be translated without dying--the great multitude.

ENOCH--A TYPE OF THE GREAT MULTITUDE

John the Revelator not only "heard the number of them"--the 144,000 saints (Rev. 7:4), but he also "beheld...a great multitude" of saints (Rev. 7:9). And as the 144,000 is typified by one man (Elijah), so the great multitude is typified by one man (Enoch). The Bible not only said, "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5:24); but it also said, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death" (Heb. 11:5). But Enoch went to heaven long before there was Abraham, Isaac, and the children of Israel. Therefore, he was pure Gentile and could not typify the 144,000 living saints; instead, he typifies another class of living saints--the great multitude.

"By faith Enoch 'was translated that he should not see death' {Heb. 11:5}...The godly character of this prophet represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those {the great multitude} who shall be 'redeemed from the earth' at the time of Christ's second advent....As Enoch {not of the seed of Israel} was translated to heaven before the destruction of the world by water, so the living righteous {great multitude} will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire."--Patriarchs and Prophets, pgs. 88, 89 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Since there are two types for the living, and as Enoch himself was not a descendant of Jacob, he cannot logically represent Jacob's descendants, the 144,000. In fact, the name Jacob, or the title 'Israelite,' did not even come into existence until centuries after Enoch was translated. Accordingly, Elijah, an Israelite himself, logically typifies the 144,000, and Enoch logically typifies the great multitude, who are from 'all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues' (Rev. 7:9), because from his generation have descended all nations."--1 Shepherd's Rod Tract, pg. 22:4 (bold emphasis, braces added).

This means that besides the 144,000 (Israelite saints), whose type is Elijah--a pure Israelite, there is the great multitude of Gentiles), whose type is Enoch--a pure Gentile. And since they both were translated to heaven without dying, then this fact proves that both classes of these living saints will make up the "we" Christian who will be "alive " (1 Thess. 4:17) at the second coming of Jesus.

SDA LEADERS DO NOT ACCEPT THE GREAT MULTITUDE AS LIVING SAINTS

Jesus said that His last "seventh candlestick"--the Laodicean church has a leadership which He symbolizes as an "angel" (Rev. 3:14), whom Jesus said, "the stars are the angels" in His hand (Rev. 1:20); and whom Sis. White identified as the ministers: "In His hand are seven stars, representing the ministers of the churches" (S.L. 78:0). And when Jesus "rebukes" (Rev. 3:19) these ministers--the "angel" (Rev. 3:14), He said that they are "blind" (Rev. 3:17) spiritually. And that, of course, is the obvious reason why the leadership (angel) of the Seventh-day Adventist church (Laodicea) have a problem with accepting the great multitude as being living saints who never die; because of Sis. White's first vision (E.W. 13-20) about the 144,000 being sealed in their church. They can't, of course, deny that she is their prophetess and that she had the vision, but because of their blindness they have misinterpreted it to mean that only 144,000 will be translated "alive" (1 Thess. 4:17) out of the entire world! And they refuse to accept the great multitude as another class of living saints who will be translated.

These leaders, however, are obligated to give some kind of explanation to their laymembers, because they are supposed to know what are their official doctrines. That is the purpose of their Bible Commentary; and that is the very reason why their laymembers buy and read them, so they can understand these doctrines. But since the leaders do not want the laity to accept the great multitude as living saints, note what they say in their Bible Commentary to confuse them:

"A great multitude. From early Christian times commentators have been in disagreement regarding the relationship of this multitude to the 144,000. Three principal views have been held.

"One view holds that the 144,000 and the `great multitude' of the present verse both describe the same group, but under different conditions, and that vs. 1-8 portray the sealing of the 144,000 to prepare them to stand through the terrors that attend the coming of the Messiah, whereas vs. 9-17 show them afterward rejoicing about the throne of God in peace and triumph. Those who hold this view believe that the apparent differences between the description of the `great multitude' and that of the 144,000 are not differences, but explanations: thus the fact that the `great multitude' cannot be numbered, they take as implying that the 144,000 is symbolic rather than literal. The fact that the multitude is from all nations, and not from Israel alone, as the 144,000 are presented as originating from, they understand as meaning that the Israel from which the 144,000 come is not literal Israel, but spiritual, embracing all nations of Gentiles.

"A second view emphasizes the differences between the 144,000 and the `great multitude'. One is numbered, the other cannot be. One represents a special group, `the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb' who `follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth' (ch. 14:4), the other, the remaining triumphant saints of all ages.

"A third view represents the `great multitude' as the entire company of the redeemed, including the 144,000. Seventh-day Adventists have generally favored the second view"--Seventh-day Adventists Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, pg. 784 (bold emphasis added).

Did you notice that the Seventh-day Adventist leaders did not say, "Here is the official doctrine of what we believe and teach to others, which explains who are the great multitude." Instead, they presented three different views, all of which are false, and ignored the correct forth view (which will be discussed in great detail):

False View Given 1: The 144,000 (Israel) and the great multitude (Gentiles) are the same people.

False View Given 2: The 144,000 are the living saints who never die, and the great multitude are the dead saints of all ages.

False View Given 3: The great multitude are all the saints (dead and living).

True View Ignored 4: The 144,000 and the great multitude are two different classes of living saints, who exist in the latter days of this earth's history, both of which never die.

The reason why the leaders have deliberately ignored the correct fourth view, is because they have always taught that everyone will die, except 144,000 saints out of the entire world, who will be alive at Christ's second advent; therefore, they could not accept a great multitude as another class of living saints who never die. Besides this, their Bible Commentary does not say what is the official doctrine of the great multitude. This is evident by their final comment aimed directly at the laymembers: "Seventh-day Adventists have generally favored the second view." That second viewpoint teaches the false doctrine that the great multitude are all the dead saints. Any thinking person can see that their comments are purposely designed to confuse the readers by giving them three false views. They also keep them ignorant of another option (fourth viewpoint); and then at the end they give them no explanation of their official doctrine by which to identify the great multitude. Instead, they explain what is the most popular viewpoint among the laymembers which they have "generally favored." This is their clever way of making it appear that the laymembers have their own favorite viewpoint of this doctrine, so they do not have to say in their Bible Commentary what is the correct viewpoint.

And besides, any honest Seventh-day Adventist knows that our true doctrines come from God, not from the "generally favored" viewpoints of the laymembers. So what else can the readers who trust their leaders do after reading their comments, but go away accepting their "generally favored viewpoint," or be more confused than they were before! But if the readers think for themselves, they would know from reading the Bible Commentary that their leaders are trying to hide the truth of the great multitude from them. They do this by presenting three false views of the great multitude to confuse the members; and by not telling them about the fourth view, which their members could understand if they knew the answer to the following question:

DID THE GREAT MULTITUDE LIVE AND DIE IN A DARK CAVE?

The obvious reason why the leaders want the readers of their Bible Commentary to accept the "generally favored" viewpoint of the laymembers, is because they cannot or do not want to explain what the Bible said about the great multitude: "neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." (Rev. 7:16). God's word is the truth, because "God is not a man that He should lie" (Num. 23:19); therefore, "God means what He says" (5 Test. 365:2). He told John the Revelator that the great multitude will not feel the "light" of the "sun" or any "heat"! And since the leaders say that the "generally favored" viewpoint of the Seventh-day Adventist laymembers is that the great multitude are the "saints of all ages" who have died; then that would mean all the saints who have died from the time of Adam down throughout the entire Old and New Testament periods of time, must have lived in a dark cave and never felt the "sun" shining on them, nor felt the "heat" from any fire! And who can say, much less prove, that all of the dead saints (or even just a few of them) lived in a dark cave or any other dark place, and never felt the "light" of the "sun" or the "heat" of a fire? How can the leaders say that this is the "generally favored" viewpoint of the Seventh-day Adventist laymembers without making fools of them?

What! the apostles and disciples of Jesus cannot be resurrected among the great multitude (who are supposed to be all the dead saints) because they felt the "light" of the "sun" and the "heat" of a fire (Lk. 22:55,56)! If that is true (by supposing that the great multitude are all the dead saints), then there will be no dead saints for Jesus to resurrect at His second advent, because they all felt the sun and heat! Is this the "generally favored" viewpoint of the Seventh-day Adventist laymembers which the readers of the Bible Commentary are to accept? Your obvious answer "No!" proves that this viewpoint is not the truth, because God is not a liar. And since His words (Rev. 7:16) cannot be changed, because He said "I change not" (Mal. 3:6); then what John the Revelator wrote is the truth: the "light" of the "sun" and "heat" is not to fall on the great multitude (more about this later).

THE DEAD SAINTS CANNOT COME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION

Furthermore, John stated emphatically that this multitude of saints (not some of them but all of them) are to suffer "great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14). This fact clearly indicates that they are a special people of living saints who suffer an unusual time of trouble but do not die. And this cannot apply to the dead saints of all ages, because millions upon billions of them died by accident, or by warfare, or by disease, or by natural death, or died peacefully in their sleep, and never suffered any "great tribulation"! This, the writers of the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary do not explain; neither do they explain the fact that the great multitude of saints "came out of great tribulation," which means that they did not die but "came out" of it alive! Which is very obvious, because if they died they could not "come out" of it or anything else. So how can these leaders say that the great multitude are the dead saints of all ages who "came out of great tribulation," and then say that this is the "generally favored" viewpoint of their laymembers, without making them look foolish? You see why they were very careful not to record any official doctrine in their Bible Commentary to directly identify the great multitude?

THE DEAD SAINTS CANNOT COME BEFORE GOD'S THRONE

Moreover, Seventh-day Adventists know very well what the Bible and their own prophetess says about the state of all the people who have died--"the dead know not anything" (Eccles. 9:5).

"The people of God {Seventh-day Adventists} must be prepared to withstand these spirits with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything, and that they {dead people} who appear to them {the living saints} are the spirits of devils."--Early Writings, pg. 872 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Therefore, if the "generally favored" viewpoint of the laymembers is that the great multitude are the dead "saints of all ages," then how "are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night" (Rev. 7:15), and how do they "come out of tribulation" (Rev. 7:14) if they are dead and "know not anything" (Eccles. 9:5)? They can't, so it is obvious that the great multitude are not dead saints, but those living in the latter days who "serve" the Lord "before His throne" (Rev. 7:15) in heaven while they are yet on the earth. Paul the apostle stated this fact when he told the living Christians to "come boldly before the throne of grace" (Heb. 4:16) in heaven by praying to Him while they were on the earth! And the prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist church (Sis. E.G. White) also noted this fact.

"I saw a throne {in heaven}, and on it sat the Father and the Son....Before the throne I saw the Advent people {true Seventh-day Adventists} and the world. I saw two companies, one {company of saints on earth} bowed before the throne {in heaven}, deeply interested, while the other {company of wicked} stood uninterested and careless."--Early Writings, pg. 54:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Now this praying company {of saints} was in this mortal state on the earth, yet represented to me as bowed before the throne {in heaven}. I never had the idea that these individuals {the saints who were praying on earth} were actually in the New Jerusalem {in heaven}."--Early Writings, pg. 92:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

It is obvious, then, that the great multitude are saints living in the latter days just before Christ's second advent, who pray to God in heaven and "serve Him day and night" while they are on the earth. And since dead people cannot bow "before the throne" of God in prayer, much less "serve Him day and night," then how can the Seventh-day Adventist leaders say the "generally favored" viewpoint of their laymembers is that the great multitude are the dead saints of all ages, without making them look foolish?

SDA SAY ONLY 144,000 WILL BE LIVING AT CHRIST'S SECOND ADVENT

So why did the leaders ignore the fourth viewpoint (that the great multitude are living saints), and try to make the readers of their Bible Commentary believe that these saints "which no man could number" (Rev. 7:9), are the dead "saints of all ages"? It is for this reason:

Ancient Israel believed that only they would be saved, while the Gentiles were not worthy. So most Seventh-day Adventists believe that because they are the Israel of today (9 Test. 164:1), then only 144,000 (Rev. 7:4) from their church will be alive when Jesus comes again; and that all the living Gentiles in the rest of the world are not worthy, so they will all die by the seven last plagues (Rev. 16:1) and by Christ's "brightness" (2 Thess. 2:8).

And since the leaders know that Paul said two classes of saints will "meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17)--the resurrected "dead" and those "alive" (1 Thess. 4:16,17), then that is the reason why they say those "alive" is the 144,000 (Rev. 7:4) from their church, and that those "dead" is the great multitude (Rev. 7:9). But they can't prove this; so they are either ignorant of or have deliberately ignored the fact that both the 144,000 and the great multitude are living saints, and that they are identified by their living types who never died.

TYPICAL SAINTS IDENTIFY ANTITYPICAL SAINTS

When all the saints "meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17), they are taken to heaven to live where He is (Jn. 14:3) for one thousand years (Rev. 20:4). And though they will all be given the same "white robes" as those who are "killed" (Rev. 6:11), some others will have different things added to their dress that will identify which class of saints they are. The great majority of saints, however, are those who died by accident, or in warfare, or by disease, or by natural death; and they are typified by Moses who died, but was resurrected by Jesus.

MOSES AND RESURRECTED DEAD SAINTS WEAR WHITE ROBES

"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about {His resurrection of} the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusastion, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."--Jude 1:9 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"For the first time, Christ was about to give life to the dead {to Moses}....Christ did not stoop to enter into controversy with Satan...The resurrection was forever made certain....he was raised to immortal life....Moses came forth from the tomb glorified, and ascended with His Deliverer to the city of God."--Patriarchs and Prophets, pgs. 478, 479 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And they asked him,...Art thou that prophet {Moses}?"--John 1:19, 21 (boldings, braces added).

"The words 'that prophet' had reference to Moses. The Jews had been inclined to the belief that Moses would be raised from the dead, and taken to heaven. They did not know that he had already been raised {to life again}."--Desire of Ages, pg. 135:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"They {the disciples} beheld Jesus {at His transfiguration} clothed with the light of heaven;...they saw Moses {who died and was resurrected--Jude 1:9}, representing {as a type} those {saints} who will be raised from the dead at the time of the second advent."--Prophets and Kings, pg. 227:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

When Jesus Christ appears visibly at His second coming, "the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thess. 4:16) to be taken to heaven. These resurrected saints who died by accident, or in warfare, or by disease, or by natural death, will include most of the dead saints (the antitype) from Adam to the end, typified by Moses who is already in heaven. These saints will be clothed with just plain white robes, and all the host of heaven will recognize them (with Moses) as the resurrected dead saints. But what about all the other dead saints who did not die like them, but were killed (murdered) by the wicked and died as martyrs? Who is their type? and what will they wear? Since Abel was the first martyr, then obviously he would be the type of all the saints who were killed (martyred).

ABEL AND MARTYRS WEAR WHITE ROBES WITH A RED BORDER

"Therefore, these two men represent two classes of people....It was Cain who rebelled against God by presenting a false sacrifice, and because Abel obeyed and worshiped in the manner prescribed by the Creator, he incurred the displeasure of his elder brother {who killed him and he became the first martyr}."--2 Shepherd's Rod book, pg. 257 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"As we were traveling along {in heaven}, we met a company who were also gazing at the glories of the place. I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain {by the wicked} for Him."--Early Writings, pgs. 18,19 by Sis. E.G. White in vision (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Abel, first among martyrs {as their type}, leading the martyred host of the ages, all clad in glorious white robes with borders of red."--1 Shepherd's Rod Tract, pg. 23 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Again, when Jesus comes visibly the second time, as Paul the apostle wrote, "the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thess. 4:16) to be taken to heaven. Among them will be Abel the first martyr, the type of all the saints (antitype) who were killed by the wicked as martyrs. They, too, will be clothed with plain white robes, but they will have a red border; and all the host of heaven will recognize them as the martyrs who were killed by the wicked.

ELIJAH AND 144,000 SAINTS WEAR WHITE ROBES WITH A MANTLE

"And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground....and it ca,e to pass, as they still went on...that Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven"--2 Kings 2:8, 11 (bold emphasis added).

"Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square....And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet."--Early Writings, pgs. 16, 17 vision of Sis. E.G. White (bold emphasis, braces added).

Accordingly, Elijah, an Israelite himself {who never died}, logically typifies the 144,000 {who never die},..."--1 Shepherd's Rod Tract, pg. 22:4 (bold emphasis, braces added)

When Jesus appears again, "then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together" (1 Thess. 4:17) with the resurrected dead saints, and taken to heaven. These living "we" Christians are the 144,000 saints from the twelve tribes of Israel who never died, as Elijah the prophet of Israel (their type) never died. And they, too, will be wearing white robes like all the other saints; but they will also have a mantle from their shoulders to their feet as did ancient Elijah, their type. And all heaven will recognize them by their mantles as the "we" Christian saints (the 144,000) who will be "alive" when Jesus comes. But there is another class of living people among the "we" saints who never die.

ENOCH AND A GREAT MULTITUDE WEAR WHITE ROBES WITH PALMS OF VICTORY

"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude {whose type is Enoch}, 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 {of victory} in their hands."--Revelation 7:9 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Then I was taken {in vision} to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated {never died}. On his right arm he bore a glorious palm, and on each leaf was written 'Victory.'"--Early Writings, pg. 40:0 by Sis. E.G. White (bold emphasis, braces added).

"Accordingly,...Enoch {who never died} logically typifies the great multitude {who never die and}, who are from 'all nations,..."--1 Shepherd's Rod Tract, pg. 22:4 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Again, when Jesus appears visibly the second time, "then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together" (1 Thess. 4:17) with the resurrected dead saints, and taken to heaven. These living "we" Christians includes the great multitude who never died, as Enoch (their type) never died. And they, too, will be "clothed with white robes" (Rev. 7:9) like all the other saints. Then all the host of heaven will recognize them as the saints who had never died, by their palms of victory.

JESUS COMES FOR FOUR CLASSES OF SAINTS

"Thus we have the description of these four classes, and the symbols of their garments, and can be summarized as follows:

"Class 1--The 144,000 {whose type is Elijah} have the glorious white mantle, and stars in their crowns.

"Class 2--The great multitude of Rev. 7:9 {whose type is Enoch}, have palms in their hands.

"Class 3--The millions of all ages who were martyred {Abel their type}, have red around their garments as a border.

"Class 4--Great sinners plucked as brands from the burning, but who died a natural death {Moses their type}, who have white robes, and golden crowns, but no stars on their crowns. Same as those of Rev. 4:4."--1 Shepherd's Rod book, pgs. 42, 43  (bold emphasis, braces added}.

When Jesus comes visibly to the earth for His saints at His second advent, He will take four classes of saints with Him back to heaven (Jn. 14:3); and they will live with Him for one thousand years (Rev. 20:4). Those whom He takes to heaven will be two classes of resurrected dead saints, and two classes of living saints who never died.

DEAD SAINTS 1: Moses died and was resurrected; he is a type of the great majority of saints who had died and will be resurrected (1 Thess. 4:16).

DEAD SAINTS 2: Abel was the first martyr; he is a type of the remaining saints who were martyred (1 Thess. 4:16) and will be resurrected (1 Thess. 4:16).

LIVING SAINTS 1: Elijah the Israelite never died; he is a type of the 144,000 from Israel (9 Test. 164) who never die (1 Thess. 4:17).

LIVING SAINTS 2: Enoch was translated without dying; he is a type of the great multituded who will be translated without dying (1 Thess. 4:17).

The last class of the living saints typified by Enoch will be among the "we" Christian saints who are "alive" (1 Thess. 4:17) at Christ's second advent. They cannot be the resurrected dead "saints of all ages" which the writers of the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary would have their readers to believe; because they cannot or do not want to explain where these living saints come from.

THE GREAT MULTITUDE OF LIVING SAINTS COME FROM BABYLON

The 144,000 is a numbered company (Rev. 7:4) of living Christian saints who are sealed in the Seventh-day Adventist church, and who never die. And that is the reason why the great multitude is also mentioned in the same chapter (Rev. 7:9); because they, too, are living Christian saints who never die. But where do they come from? Certainly not from the same Seventh-day Adventist church where the 144,000 come from, because the members of that church number only a few million; whereas the great multitude are so many saints that "no man could number" them (Rev. 7:9). Therefore, the other "we" Christian saints (the great multitude) must come from the Protestant Churches (Babylon) and those out in the world; and they will be brought together into God's kingdom church (Dan. 2:28, 44).

"Many of the Protestant churches are following Rome's example of iniquitous connection with 'the kings of the earth'--the state churches, by their relation to secular governments; and other denominations, by seeking the favor of the world. And the term 'Babylon'--confusion--may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories."--Great Controversy, pg. 383:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The Protestant Christian churches have fallen and become a Babylon of confusion; and God is no longer working in them and through them. When the 144,000 saints are sealed, they will call the great multitude out of Babylon by the three angel's message. It is a most dreadful message of truth, and those who reject its fearful warning and refuse to come out of Babylon, will suffer the most severe consequences ever come upon mankind--the seven last plagues unmixed with mercy.

"And I saw another {first} angel {message} fly in the midst of heaven,...saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come."--Revelation 14:6, 7 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"And there followed another {second} angel {message}, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."--Revelation 14:6, 7 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"And the third angel {message} followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God {seven last plagues--Rev. 16:1-21}, which is poured out without mixture {unmingled with mercy} into the cup of His indignation..."--Revelation 14:9, 10 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"The most fearful threatening ever addressed to mortals is contained in the third angel's message. That must be a terrible sin which calls down the wrath of God unmingled with mercy."--Great Controversy, pg. 449:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The last Christian church is "Laodicea" (Rev. 3:14), which means "people declaring judgment." And since Seventh-day Adventists are the only people that has ever been declaring the judgment, then after the 144,000 are sealed from that church and the rest are destroyed, they will tell the people about the first angel's message, which is a warning that the hour of God's judgement has come to judge all the people in the world. And the second angel's message warns them that the Protestant Christian churches in their Babylon of confusion have fallen. And the third angel's message warns them that if they "worship the beast and his image" (the New World Order now being set up), then they must suffer the "wrath of God" (the seven last plagues), which will be poured out without mercy!

The great multitude, however, will be the only people who will heed the warning of the three angel's message, as proclaimed by the 144,000 saints, when they cry aloud to them these prophetic words: "Come out of her {Babylon}, My people {great multitude}, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not her {seven last} plagues." (Rev. 18:4).

"But God still has a people {the great multitude} in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments {seven last plagues}, these faithful ones {the great multitude} must be called out {by the 144,000}, that they 'partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues {Rev. 16:1}.' Hence the movement symbolized by the angel {message} coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory, and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard {by the 144,000}, 'Come out of her {Babylon}, My people {the great multitude}.' These announcements, uniting with the third angel's message, constitute the final warning {Tract 5} to be given to the inhabitants of the earth."--Great Controversy, pg. 604:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The saints who heed the "final warning" to come out of Babylon is the great multitude "which no man can number" (Rev. 7:9). And even though computers today can number everyone; yet, the great multitude can't be numbered, because they refuse the "mark" of the "beast and his image" (Rev. 14:9) which numbers the people. As a result, a death decree is issued to kill them for not taking the number, and a few will die; whom John identified as the saints: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth" (Rev. 14:13). And there are others who will be thrust into prisons; while "many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains." (G.C. 626:1). They will later be brought from the prisons and the mountains into the kingdom of God by the 144,000 "servants of our God" (Rev. 7:3). Finally, when the great multitude of saints have all been called out of Babylon, and probation has closed for the entire world, then the seven last plagues fall upon the wicked people unmixed with mercy.

GREAT MULTITUDE LIVE DURING THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

Thus, the great multitude are the saints who will be safe in God's kingdom and will not suffer any of the seven last plagues. This fact John the Revelator stated, while describing the great multitude, by mentioning one specific plague--the fourth:

"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God."--Revelation 16:8, 9.

After John mentioned the first company of living saints who never die--the 144,000 (Rev. 7:4), he also mentioned the second company of living saints who never die--the great multitude (Rev. 7:9). And when he said, "neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat" (Rev. 7:16), it does not mean that the great multitude always dwelt in a dark cave where the "sun" never shined on them, and they never felt any "heat." What it means is "They go through the fourth plague {when the sun will 'scorch men with fire'--Rev. 16:8}, so it is clear that this company lives in the time of the end, at the second advent of Christ,--to be translated." (1 S.R. 45:1). That is, while the seven last plagues are falling upon the wicked people in Babylon (Rev. 18:4), and the "sun" in the fourth plague is scorching those who had received his number and worshiped the "beast and his image" (Rev. 14:9), the great multitude are safe in God's kingdom, where they will not suffer the "great heat" of the scorching sun (Rev. 16:8,9)!

This fact (that the great multitude are alive at that time) is not a new doctrine, because the Seventh-day Adventist leaders have known about this truth since 1927. It was clearly defined in a Seventh-day Adventist publication entitled: SIGNS Of The TIMES, under the caption of "The 144,000, Their Triumphs and Reward" by Taylor Bunch. He wrote:

THE 1927 STUDY OF THE 144,000 AND THE GREAT MULTITUDE

"As the 144,000 reach the standard of perfection of character corresponding to their perfection of faith, 'the faith which was once delivered to the saints,' they are sealed for the kingdom, and go forth to give the loud cry that calls God's people out of spiritual Babylon and completes the gospel harvest. (Revelation 18:1-5.)...After describing the 144,000, the Revelator continued: 'After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude,'...Here is described the remainer of the final harvest."--SIGNS Of The TIMES, May 3, 1927, pgs. 11, 12 by Taylor Bunch.

The article above, which was printed in the official Seventh-day Adventist magazine and written by Taylor Bunch in 1927, proves conclusively that the great multitude saints, who are alive in the latter days, will be called out of Babylon by the 144,000 saints during the harvest time, just before the seven last plagues fall upon the wicked. And it also proves irrefutably that they cannot be the dead "saints of all ages" as the writers of the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary would have their readers to believe. They presented three false views of the great multitude to confuse their readers, and deliberately ignored the fourth view, to keep them from knowing that the great multitude saints are also included along with the 144,000 saints as the "we" Christians, both of which will be "alive" (1 Thess. 4:17) when Jesus appears the second time. But now the readers can know and believe that the great multitude are living saints who never died, for these three reasons:

CAME OUT 1: They are living saints who never die, because they "came out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14), which the dead saints cannot do. The few that will die are "blessed" (Rev. 14:13), even though they do not live to be a part of the great multitude who never die.

SERVE GOD 2: They are living saints who never die. They "serve" God before His "throne" in heaven, while they are on the earth (Rev. 7:15) during the "great tribulation," which the dead saints cannot do.

NOT SCORCHED 3: They are living saints who never die, because they are alive during the time of the seven last plagues, and do not suffer death by the "great heat" of the scorching "sun" (Rev. 7:16).

But why is it that the General Conference leaders do not want their laymembers to know the truth of the great multitude, which Taylor Bunch wrote about in his article in the SIGNS of the TIMES? The obvious answer is that they do not believe what he wrote: "the 144,000...are sealed for the kingdom, and go forth to give the loud cry that calls God's people out of spiritual Babylon"! And to where did Taylor Bunch say that the 144,000 are to bring them --to "the kingdom" of God. But how did he know this truth? by reading the writings of their prophetess (Sis. E.G. White):

GOD'S KINGDOM SET UP IN THE LATTER DAYS

"They {Seventh-day Adventists} are to be co-laborers with Christ in establishing His kingdom on earth {in the latter days before His second advent}, in harmony with the prayer of the Saviour, 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven' {Mt. 6:10}"--Gospel Workers, pg. 454:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The kingdom mentioned above is not the new earth, because it is created anew solely by God; whereas the 144,000 saints sealed in the Seventh-day Adventist church are "co-laborers with Christ in establishing His kingdom on earth" in the latter days. Even Sis. White had a part in "establishing His kingdom" while she lived. And since the angel told her that she would go "with the 144,000" (E.W. 40), then she will be in God's kingdom which she helped to establish, as noted below:

"Your work, my work {of saving souls}, will not cease with this life. For a little while we may {die and} rest in the grave, but, when the call comes {to be raised in the special resurrection--Dan. 12:2}, we shall, in the kingdom of God, take up our work once again {and go with the 144,000 to save souls}."--7 Testimonies, pg. 17:4 (bold emphasis, braces added).

The "work" of Sis. White to save souls continued until her death in 1915. One day during a "time of trouble" (Dan. 12:1), she will arise in the special resurrection (Dan. 12:2) to continue her "work" of saving souls "in the kingdom of God." Since no souls can be saved during the seven last plagues, or in the new earth, then the kingdom must be set up in the latter days after the 144,000 are sealed and stand with the "Lamb" (Jesus) on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1). Then they go out to call the great multitude from Babylon (Rev. 18:4); and Sis. White will go "with" them to "work" again to save many souls and receive "special honors in the kingdom of God."

"Reference to our {Seventh-day Adventist} published works will show our belief that the living righteous {144,000} will receive the seal of God {Rev. 7:2} prior to the close of probation; also that these will enjoy special honors in the kingdom of God {in the latter days}."--1 Selected Messages, pg. 66:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of glory, but in giving them this prayer {Mt. 6:10} Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established {at His first advent}. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future {in the latter days--Dan. 2:28,44}. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day {Christ's first advent}, the fact that Jesus made them pray for it {Mt. 6:10} is evidence that in God's own good time it will surely come {in latter days}....But the full establishment of the kingdom of glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ."--Mount of Blessings, pg. 1087, 108 (bold emphasis, braces added).

God's kingdom is set up in the latter days when the 144,000 saints stand on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1). Then they go out to the Babylon churches and the world during a "time of trouble" (Dan. 12:1) to gather into this kingdom a great multitude of saints, who "come out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14) and do not die. They are the living "we" Christian saints (1 Thess 4:17) in the kingdom, but it is not complete; because the dead saints are still in their graves. That's why the "full establishment of the kingdom" occurs when "the dead in Christ" (1 Thess. 4:16) are resurrected at the "second coming of Christ" (M.B. 108:1).

It is this latter-day kingdom (Dan. 2:28,44) which the Seventh-day Adventist leaders do not want the laity to know about; especially that the great multitude are living saints whom the 144,000 are to gather; because they must tell them the place where they are gathered, which cannot be the mountains. Then they must admit that it is not the 144,000 who are hiding in the mountains, because they have been sealed and cannot die. [If you want to know more about the saints who cannot die, then click on that study at the end.] Instead, it is the great multitude who have been thrust into prison, and others who are hiding in the mountains, that are saved from death when the 144,000 saints gather them into God's kingdom.

NOT THE 144,000 BUT A GREAT MULTITUDE HIDE IN THE MOUNTAINS

When the 144,000 preach the Loud Cry to the saints in Babylon, "Come out of her, My people" (Rev. 18:4); it proves two classes of saints living at that time: (1) The 144,000 who preach the Loud Cry; (2) and the great multitude (My people) who come out of Babylon! But because most laymembers do not know about God's latter-day kingdom, they think the 144,000 saints will be hiding in the mountains during that time. So they do not understand how the 144,000 can preach the Loud Cry if they are hiding in the mountains; and they are led to ask this question:

"If God's people are in the Kingdom during the Loud Cry, how can they be put in prison or driven to the mountains during that time, as the Spirit of Prophecy asserts they will ('The Great Controversy,' p. 626)?" Note below the obvious answer:

"When it is understood that the 144,000 are but first fruits, the forerunners or advanced guard of a great multitude of second fruits, the difficulty in question is immediately resolved. The first fruits stand with the Lamb, safe on Mt. Zion (in the Kingdom). Thus those who shall find refuge in the mountains, and those who shall be put in prison, can only be from among the second fruits {the great multitude}--those who shall accept the message during the Loud Cry, but who shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom."--2 Answerer Book, pg. 67:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Though the answer above does prove that the saints who are hiding in the mountains must be the great multitude, they still have another question about the mountains, because their leaders tell them there will be no latter-day kingdom (Dan. 2:28:44). This is calling God a liar (Num. 23:19) which confuses the laity; because their leaders say the great multitude are the dead saints, and that the 144,000 will be hiding in the mountains. Thus, the laity are led to ask this question: "How can the 144,000 hide in the mountains and still be 'alive' (1 Thess. 4:17) at Jesus' coming, when all the saints would be killed when the mountains are "not found" during the mighty earthquake" (Rev. 16:17-20) of the seventh plague?"

THE MOUNTAINS ARE NOT FOUND DURING THE SEVENTH PLAGUE

"The people {great multitude} of God will...find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains {until they are taken to God's kingdom}."--The Great Controversy, pg. 626:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Most members believe that during the plagues, the "people of God" (144,000 saints) will be hiding in the "mountains" until Jesus comes to translate them. This false idea led them to draw imaginative pictures of themselves standing on the tops of the mountains with smiles on their faces and arms raised toward heaven at Jesus' second advent. Since they are ignorant of God's kingdom (Dan. 2:28,44), they do not see that their imaginative pictures are totally inconsistent with John's account of the mountains destroyed in the seventh plague; when there is a "mighty earthquake...so great" (Rev. 16:18) that "every island fled away, and the mountains were not found." (Rev. 16:20)! And if the "earthquake" was so "mighty" and so "great" that the "mountains" were literally shaken right down to the ground, while those in the sea disappeared, so that they were "not found," then all of the 144,000 saints who were hiding on these mountains would be killed!

"The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving away. Mountain chains are {all} sinking {and not found--Rev. 16:20}. Inhabited islands disappear."--Great Controversy, pg. 637:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).

If all the mountains were "not found," then every saint who hides in them must die! This startling fact has confused many, because they can't say Sis. White or John was wrong. So they say not every mountain is destroyed by the earthquake; and then circulated a false report that Sis. White said or wrote that some mountains would be "safe hideouts" for the 144,000 saints. But their leaders exposed this false report, as noted in the statement below:

NO MOUNTAINS ARE SAFE HIDEOUTS

"Mountain Hideouts for Time of Trouble: Reports that Ellen G. White designated some particular mountain spots as safe hideouts in the time of trouble had no known support in any of her writings, published or unpublished."--INDEX to the Writings of Ellen G. White, pg. 3,190:1 (boldings were added).

Honest Seventh-day Adventists know that Sis. White would not contradict the Bible, which says that all the "mountains were not found" (Rev. 16:20); and teach the error that "some mountains will be safe hideouts"! Yet, many want to believe the error of so-called "safe hideouts;" and they live in cities near the mountains! What for? To hide in them, of course.

WHEN DO SAINTS HIDE IN THE MOUNTAINS?

Though Sis. White said the saints would hide in the mountains, she never said that certain ones would be "safe hideouts" (Index, pg. 3,190) during the "earthquake" of the seventh plague (Rev. 16:17-20), because every saint would be killed when the mountains are "not found." This apparent contra-diction, however, is not founded upon any error, but upon a "time discepancy." And since "discrepant" means "disagreeing," then, the truth of the time when the saints really hide in the mountains, disagrees with the time when Seventh-day Adventists think these saints are to hide in the mountains! Thus, they are confused about two facts: (1) The time when the trouble takes place while the saints are hiding in the mountains before the plagues fall; and (2) the time during the plagues. They do not know that the saints (144,000 and great multitude) will be safe in God's kingdom before the plagues fall. Thus, they would not be hiding on any of the fictitious "safe hideout" mountains, all of which will be destroyed--"not found"! So when do the saints hide in the mountains?

After the 144,000 are sealed and taken to God's kingdom to stand on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1), they are safe. And when they go out to preach the Loud Cry mesage during the time of trouble, the great multitude will heed their cry to come out of Babylon. A few are killed (Rev. 14:13), some put in prison, while most hide in the mountains; but they will be saved from the death decree of the "beast and his image" (Rev. 14:9) when the 144,000 saints gather them into God's kingdom. Therefore, if the Seventh-day Adventist leaders would admit that it is not the 144,000 saints, but the great multitude who will hide in the mountains, because they are not the dead "saints of all ages;" then they must also admit another very important truth: The 144,000 saints that are sealed in the Seventh-day Adventist church who can never die, are not all of the "we" Christians who will be "alive" at the visible coming of Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 4:17): A great multitude of saints from the fallen churches of Babylon and from the world who can never die, will also be among the "we" Christians who are "alive" at that time.

If you want to know more about the descendants of Judah, then click on--> STUDY30.

If you want to know more about Elijah the prophet in the last days, then click on--> STUDY5A.

If you want to know more about the Laodicean church, then click on--> STUDY7A.

If you want to know more about the latter-day kingdom of God, then click on--> STUDY.

If you want to know more the 144,000 who cannot die, then click on--> STUDY33A.

END OF STUDY  35A

STUDIES

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