I would like to share a little study on Revelation 14, specifically the sealing of the 144,000, and how it relates to the Day of Atonement, which was just a week ago. Here is the first verse:
“And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on the Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Name, and the Name of His Father, written on their foreheads.”
Do you see the marriage element in this? The 144,000 are those that are sealed under the third angel’s message and are representatives of the church bride of Christ. When the bride marries her husband, she receives the bridegroom’s name, which is also bridegroom’s father’s name. Well, in this case the name of Christ contains His Father’s Name. But what do their Names represent? Is it not their character? And what is their character?
Let us recall the study that I shared recently, Perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God. Remember what we learned from Malachi Chapter 2? Let’s read a passage from it:
“Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of Jehovah which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god…
“Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not He make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That He might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”
— verses 11, 14-15
Judah had originally married holiness, which is God’s character. The “covenant” here is equivalent with the Law given at Sinai, including all the statutes and judgments. And we know that the Law is the transcript of God’s character, which, again, is holiness. This is what the 144,000 will have engraved in their foreheads. Did you know that ‘character’ literally means ‘engraving’ in Greek? It is an engraved image. Christ is the express image of God, and when we behold that divine image, we become “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
I believe that Malachi 2 and Revelation 14 are speaking of the same marriage. In marrying holiness, or the Name, or the character, of God, and of His Son, they are effectually marrying the Son. But in both chapters is the illustration of a man or men, using a gender-opposite analogy to explain nearly the same thing. Let’s jump down to Verses 4 and 5 in Revelation 14 and see this.
“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 purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no lie: they are without blemish.”
We are now going to examine the question of what it means for them to not be defiled with women. To do this, let us read further down in the chapter. Here is the Second Angel’s Message, in Verse 8:
“And there followed another angel, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication’.”
Notice the “fornication.” This is what defiles. And it is in drinking her wine that this fornication happens. With that, we shall now read the divine commentary from the pen of Sister White:
“The great sin charged against Babylon is that she “made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This cup of intoxication which she presents to the world represents the false doctrines that she has accepted as the result of her unlawful connection with the great ones of the earth. Friendship with the world corrupts her faith, and in her turn she exerts a corrupting influence upon the world by teaching doctrines which are opposed to the plainest statements of Holy Writ.”
— The Great Controversy, p. 388
So, these are doctrines that originally came from Paganism, when the corrupted church made unlawful connection with the “great ones of the earth,” who were Pagans. So, these would include such things as the immortality of the soul, Sunday sacredness, and the Trinity doctrine. Those who cleave to any aspect of Trinitarianism—even if it is the theory that the Holy Spirit is an essence, or being—has been defiled and is one with fallen Babylon through fornication in drinking her wine. This includes the bulk of professed Seventh-day Adventists. But those of the 144,000 living at the end of time will be undefiled from these Pagan, idolatrous doctrines. By the way, when you study it in the Bible, idolatry is spiritual adultery; and false doctrines are images that stand in the place of Jesus, who is the divine image of God we are to continually behold in His Word.
Now, I would not say that all who have ever professed the Trinity doctrine actually believe in it. It is kind of impossible to believe since it is a mystery that cannot even be understood. God knows peoples’ hearts. But when He brings conviction on the truth of who He is and that truth is forcefully rejected, the defilement is incurable.
Also, I would like to say that the blood of Jesus—represented by the pure wine—will cleanse anyone who has believed a lie so that they become pure again, even virgins. God will look upon the purified as if they have never sinned, or have never been defiled, thus virgins. That is the grace of our God. And that is why the 144,000 will all be virgins, even though many of them will have come out of the false churches—the daughters of Babylon.
Now, I would like to quote some more from The Great Controversy, continuing in the next paragraph. Sister White emphasizes a very critical detail. Remember, she just finished quoting from the Second Angel’s Message where it is speaking of the wine of the whore, which she identified as representing false doctrines.
“Rome withheld the Bible from the people and required all men to accept her teachings in its place. It was the work of the Reformation to restore to men the word of God; but is it not too true that in the churches of our time men are taught to rest their faith upon their creed and the teachings of their church rather than on the Scriptures? Said Charles Beecher, speaking of the Protestant churches: ‘They shrink from any rude word against creeds with the same sensitiveness with which those holy fathers would have shrunk from a rude word against the rising veneration of saints and martyrs which they were fostering…. The Protestant evangelical denominations have so tied up one another’s hands, and their own, that, between them all, a man cannot become a preacher at all, anywhere, without accepting some book besides the Bible…. There is nothing imaginary in the statement that the creed power is now beginning to prohibit the Bible as really as Rome did, though in a subtler way.’—Sermon on ‘The Bible a Sufficient Creed,’ delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846.
— Ibid., p. 388
Just a few pages before this, here is what she said:
“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.”
— Ibid., p. 383
It is the creeds of the Protestant sects that made them Babylon, and they fell into apostasy when the first angel’s message came and they did not accept it because of their creeds. Let the words of our pioneers speak:
“The second angel’s message brought the Adventists from the creed-bound churches, where they could be reached by the gifts, be united and prepared for the coming of the Lord.”
— James White, Perpetuity of Spiritual Gifts, p. 23
“We can recognize the hand of the Lord in bringing out a people by the second angel’s message, free from the power of creeds, and placed in condition where they could search for and accept his truth.”
— J.N. Loughborough, The Church, p. 88
The Second Angel’s Message was all about coming out of the churches with creeds, because as soon as you have a church creed, even if it is very close to the truth, it is an idol, an image, that replaces the express image of God, and it prevents you from receiving that image, or engraving, of God’s character in your mind and heart. And yet this is the condition we have in Seventh-day Adventism today, both within and without the fallen General Conference system.
The issue has nothing to do with joining a church that connects with the government to do business. Neither Sister White or our pioneers teach that. It solely has to do with false doctrines and creeds, which the Second Angel’s Message calls us out from. And if we use the document of fundamental beliefs that Uriah Smith published for church use, then we are definitely defiled and we must be cleansed by the blood of Jesus through repenting and simply accepting His Word, as it is. If we want to officially show the world what we believe, then let us just quote the Bible—our only creed—and leave it at that.
Now, I’m not saying that the church should become a business registered with the government, but I believe we should do what our pioneers did and when it is time for us to organize establish an association whereby the church can do business, and let that association be separate from the church itself. Our pioneers called theirs the General Conference Association, and Sister White would refer to it as well and never condemned it. But she never commended the list of fundamental beliefs that Uriah Smith published and became official in 1889. She only commended the fundamental principles that were established in the late 1840s by the inspiration of God. These were settled right at our very beginning as the pillars of our faith, and there are only about seven of them that the Spirit of Prophecy refers to. There was not a long list. They were the simple truths associated with the Third Angel’s Message. During all of our pioneer years, we only had a church covenant—that we would “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12). And that was the Word of God, not the words of humans.
So, my appeal is for us to wash ourselves in the precious blood of Jesus and be purified from every defilement; and it is to constantly behold the bleeding Lamb OF God so that we are transformed into that same image, from glory to glory! Come out of Babylon, so that you can be married to Jesus Christ!
And it is on this day—the Day of Atonement—that Christ’s final atonement will be made. It is the day that the sealing of the 144,000 will end, and at that point Christ will apply His pure blood of humanity, no longer bearing sins, to the Throne of God—the Ark of the Covenant—which represents divinity. Thus, the marriage, through His blood, will be consummated. Zion will be married unto the holiness of Jehovah, and all their sins will be cast upon Satan the Scapegoat. On the Day of Atonement in 1844, Christ entered into the marriage chamber so that the marriage and consummation could happen on that same day on the calendar. But that day will not come until the 144,000 have all been sealed as pure virgins. The marriage is legally between Christ and His City, the New Jerusalem, but the representative subjects of that Kingdom and City are the 144,000. They must become married unto holiness by accepting all the conditions of the holy covenant, which are recorded in the Torah.
That is where we are at. We cannot go any further until we accept these conditions into our life and are purified from every false doctrine, no longer lying with our mouths as to what truth is. Please accept my appeal to have this purification. Remember, it was Babylon that changed God’s appointed times and His Law (Dan. 7:25). Come out of her, my people! The Law of Moses is the Law of God, and we must accept every part of it, including the ceremonial parts which Christ fulfills for us in the heavenly sanctuary, even His blood that purifies us! Be holy! Be clean! HalleluJah!