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“The 144,000”  — Section 8

The teachings concerning the 144,000 special witnesses

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
If we could, we would like to ask a question of you Christian ministers.  It is our understanding that some Christians believe that only 144,000 souls will stand before the throne of God, and that they will be righteous souls and that the rest of the righteous will inherit the earth.  Would you be willing to explain this belief to us?

Representative of a specific Christian church:
Yes, we teach that 144,000 will stand before the throne of God as special witnesses.  These 144,000 have already been chosen, or will be chosen, and not all can be numbered with them.  This is taught in the book of Revelation.  In Revelations 7:3-4, we read: “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads, 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.”  We read that they were “married ” to the church and therefore in Revelations 14:4 it states that they were not “defiled with women, for they were virgins”.  It was the 144,000 that stood on Mount Sion with the mark of the Father in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1) and “sung as it were a new song” before the throne, and before the four beasts and the elders and no man could learn that song but the 144,000, “which were redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:3).  So you can see that they were special servants redeemed from the earth, and as such were the only ones that will stand before the throne night and day.  It goes on to say that “these follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth.  They were redeemed from among men, being the first fruit unto God and to the Lamb.  And in their mouth was found no guile, for they were without fault before the throne of God.”  I think these scriptures clearly support our stand.

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:  Thank you for that explanation.  We agree that those 144,000 souls were indeed special, but we believe that they will not be the only ones worshipping before the throne of God.  Let’s examine some scriptures that support this belief.  John was indeed taken in vision and saw the 144,000 and then in Revelation 7:9 he records: “Behold, I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, which stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.”  In verse 13 of Revelation 7 one of the 24 elders asks: “What are these which are arrayed in white robes and whence came they?”  John answered and said, “Sir, thou knowest.”  The angel then said, speaking of those numberless souls in white robes, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.” (Revelation 7:14-15)  These verses would tell us that not only the 144,000 will stand before God’s throne, but also the great multitude that represents the 12 Tribes of Israel.  They were members of the “Church of the Firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22-24), this being a requirement of the multitudes.

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