Who are the 144,000?

You might know someone who claims to be one of the 144,000. Probably you have met someone who claims to know who the 144,000 are and how to become part of their number. Are the 144,000 found in the Bible? Who are they? What will happen to them? Can you become one of their number?

The 144,000 are mentioned in the book of Revelation and can be found in two chapters- chapter 7 and chapter 14. The Bible does not give many particulars about this group. The book of Revelation does not give the least hint that a person can do anything to become part of their number.

In Revelation 7 the 144,000 are described as the servants of God with a seal on their foreheads that indicates they are His and protected by Him from the tribulations about to come upon the world. They are called the 144,000 because that is the exact number of individuals sealed unto God in this way. “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.” (Revelation 7:4) These servants of God are of the descendants of Israel. Twelve thousand will be chosen from each one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Only biological descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be in this group.

Revelation 14 adds a few more details to their description. “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. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” The one hundred forty-four thousand are pure Jewish men who have devoted themselves to God. They are marked out by God and are the first ones in the tribulation to trust Jesus for salvation. They are saved, sealed by God and sent out serve Him.

This group of men live completely dedicated to God. Contrary to how some present them, they men do not earn their place by their holiness. They are first chosen and sealed by God. Following their selection they then live Godly lives in a very wicked, dangerous time.

The selection of these men takes place during the time of the tribulation. No one today can claim to be part of this group. Only after the rapture of the church and the rise of the anti-Christ will God choose these men.

The brotherhood of 144,000 men does not receive a special place in the highest heaven that has been reserved for the very best. They are servants chosen by God to minister for Him during the tribulation. The 144,000 will remain faithful to Jesus throughout the tribulation. At the end of the tribulation they will stand on Mt. Zion with Jesus at His return. They will serve Jesus during His conquest over the armies of the antichrist and His establishment of the millennial kingdom.

Advertisements

Why is Jesus called the only begotten Son of God?

This article is a follow up to the recent article regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses. A reader submitted a comment defending the Jehovah’s Witnesses as Christians. I did not approve the comment but want to respond to an objection raised in the comment. Before doing so I want to interject some comments about commenting on this blog.

I filter every comment. I will only approve comments which further legitimate discussion about the topic at hand. Comments which ignore the substance of the article, which raise questions already addressed in other posts or which regurgitate the long standing assertions with little regard to the Bible are going to be rejected. Comments which ask vaild questions or raise pertinent points that are profitable for discussion will be approved. This is not a debate blog. This is not a forum for everyone to spout their opinions- Mark Zuckerberg invented a place for that. This blog is an intentional teaching and evangelizing tool that answers questions about the Bible and Biblical Christianity. I am unapologetically the supreme dictator of the comment section and will only approve comments which in my sole discretion I consider as furthering worthwhile conversation.

I did not approve the comment about Jehovah’s Witnesses but do want to respond to one statement. The commenter said, “Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . do not deny the words of God Who does not tell lies and declares Jesus to be His only begotten son.” If Jesus is eternally God and equal with the Father in essence, nature and power then why does the Bible call him the Son of God? Why is Jesus presented as begotten of God if He has always existed as God?

The title of Son of God is used of Jesus in reference to His incarnation. In other words, Jesus was the Son of God in His birth as a human by the working of God. Jesus is the begotten of God because the supernatural power of God worked through miraculous means for His birth. Mary gave birth to a baby boy by the working of God without the usual biological means of becoming pregnant. Jesus is the only begotten because He is the only One born of woman without a human father.

The gospel of Luke calls Adam the son of God. Jesus is far greater than Adam but this comparison is helpful in understanding why Jesus is called the Son of God. Adam was the son of God in the sense that he came into existence without parents because God created him. Similarly, Jesus became a man because of the direct working of God. Jesus was born fully human, while remaining fully Divine, because of the supernatural working of God in Mary’s body.

Jesus is not the Son of God because at some point in eternity past God the Father brought the Son into existence. Jesus is the Son of God becaus He came into the world, becoming human through the miraculous working of the Father and the Spirit.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a familiar sight on many doorstops. The witnesses seek to introduce others to their church and their beliefs through a series of pamphlets and Bible studies. They claim to be a Christian denomination and to uphold the major doctrines of Biblical Christianity. Are the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian belief? Are they consistent with historical orthodoxy? Are their beliefs in line with what the Bible says must be believed to be saved?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not a Christian church by any historical definition of the Christian orthodoxy. None who hold to the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are genuine Christians. What is the basis for making such a bold declaration? First, and most significantly, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christian because they deny truths which the Bible defines as necessary for salvation. The first and second epistles of John state in very definite language that any one who denies Jesus is the promised Savior and Son of God is not saved and is not of God. The official teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses about Jesus is that He is a great spirit being, the first spirit created by Jehovah (they also deny the Trinity). Jesus was a god (note the small “g”), but not the second person of the Trinity. Jesus is not eternal, not equal with the Father nor possessor of the infinite glories of Jehovah. In Jehovah’s Witnesses theology Jesus is the greatest of created beings. They also teach that when Jesus came to the earth, he gave up all his divine nature. In their Bible studies they teach, “He was not a spirit-human hybrid.” Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus is God, that Jesus is God made flesh and that Jesus remained fully God while taking to Himself full humanity. All of these truths are crucial for salvation. One cannot be saved without first believing Jesus is God the Son and God become man.

The errors regarding the person of Jesus are sufficient to keep from salvation any who believe their lies, but Jehovah’s Witnesses compound their heresies about Jesus with heresies about salvation. According to their teaching, Jesus’ death does not wash away all sin forever. Jesus’ death makes it possible for men to be saved, but does not accomplish salvation for them. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses salvation is gained by faith in Jesus, by participation in God’s visible theocratic kingdom (the Jehovah’s Witness organization) and by steadfastly maintaining confidence that Christ made salvation possible. They teach that none are securely saved until the survivors of Armageddon chose to turn to God and submit to His rule. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach a salvation that is a mixture of faith and works. Their inclusion of lifelong good works as essential to salvation is a denial of the gospel. Galatians 1 describes this kind of gospel as no gospel and its teachers as ones who are accursed for their falsehoods.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are false teachers who must not be heeded or encouraged in their false doctrines in any way. This does not mean they are beyond the hope of salvation. Those who will repent of their false doctrines can turn to God and find pardon for their sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ.