There are two prevailing views in the Christian churches today regarding who the 144,000 are. One belief is that the 144,000 are literal Jews. The other belief is that the 144,000 represent the 'general body of believers' in Christ. But we believe both of these views to be wrong. Those who believe these are literal Jews, also tend to believe that literal Israel is still the special chosen nation of God. But they have missed the clear Bible truth on this. Yes, Revelation 7 says that the 144,000 are of the 'twelve tribes of Israel', but just as the Jews of old did, Christians today miss the spiritual aspect of God's kingdom and what it means to be a TRUE 'Jew' (Romans 2:28-29, Galatians 3:28).

IMPORTANT NOTE: The twelve gates of the New Jerusalem are named after the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev.21:12), and yet ALL who are saved in Christ, will enter at least one of those gates, named after the 12 tribes. So to believe the 'names' of the twelve tribes point only to literal Jews is wrong. ALL who are saved in Christ can come under those names. This shows that the 12,000 from each tribe of the 144,000 is not pointing to just literal Jews.

Please see our page about ISRAEL IN THE END TIMES to learn the truth. Remember, Jesus Himself told the Jews that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to another (Matthew 21:43)

So what about the view that the 144,000 represents the 'general body of believers'? This cannot be true either. You see, many Christians today believe that the general body of believers are the 'bride of Christ'. Well, if that is true, then who are the guests at the wedding (Matthew 22)? The general body of believers cannot be both the bride AND the guests. Plus in Revelation 21, John says that the NEW JERUSALEM is the bride.

Revelation 21:2 ...'And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.'

"I saw that while Jesus was in the Most Holy place he would be married to the New Jerusalem, and after his work should be accomplished in the Holiest, he would descend to earth in kingly power and take the precious ones to himself who had patiently waited his return." (Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1, p.158)

Isaiah 54:5-6,11-13 ...'For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God ... O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.'

Who is the wife? 'thy foundations', 'thy windows', 'thy gates.' Clearly, New Jerusalem. Also, if God's people are the wife, then who are her children as in Isaiah above? The wife is New Jerusalem and the 'children' and 'guests' at the wedding banquet are God's people.

So who are the hundred and forty four thousand, if they are not Jews or the general body of believers? Let us take a closer look:

Revelation 14:1-5 ...'And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they 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 hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 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'

Now compare the above description of the 144,000 with Zephaniah 3:13 ...'The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.'

Do you see? Zephaniah is speaking of the 144,000 as the description is exactly the same as the one in Revelation 14 - They 'do no iniquity', they 'have no guile in their mouths' and they are 'without fault before the throne of God.' And who did Zephaniah say these are? The REMNANT. And yes, they are the remnant of Israel according to Zephaniah, but when you learn the truth about who is TRUE Israel today, you will see it is not literal Jews of the flesh, but anyone who has surrendered life completely to Jesus Christ.

Standing on Mount Zion with Jesus - Now many will look at this and say 'see, these are Jews, because they are standing on Mount Zion which is Jerusalem in Israel.' ... And here they make the same mistake that the Jews and the Apostles to some extent made in New Testament times. They are focusing on the literal, rather than the spiritual application. What did Jesus say to the woman at the well in John 4, when she asked how the Jews say that worship should be in Jerusalem? Jesus told her in so many words not to focus on literal Jerusalem, because the Father seeks those who worship in spirit and truth. Jesus also told the Pharisees who were focusing on the literal, that 'the kingdom of God cometh NOT with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.' (Luke 17:20-21).

Jesus taught the people that the kingdom of God at this time is a spiritual one - until the second coming, when it will become a literal kingdom. So what is 'Mount Sion' in Revelation 14?

Hebrews 12:22-24 ...'But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.'

John doesn't see the 144,000 standing on the mount in Jerusalem, Israel. He sees in vision, the 144,000 standing with Jesus in the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. So this is a remnant group of Christians in the last days who have gotten the victory over sin through Christ and are 'symbolically' seen by John standing in heaven. And that is the special attribute of this group as we will see. They have been perfected by Jesus in this life. They are no longer sinning, because they have CLAIMED THE POWER OF CHRIST AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, living sin free lives and will stand before the world without a Mediator in heaven when judgment ends and Jesus prepares to return. This is the symbol of them standing on Mount Zion with Jesus. They have claimed a victory like no other people have, and will go through a time of trouble like no other have (Daniel 12:1).

Isaiah 62 speaks of the 144,000, whose 'righteousness thereof goes forth as brightness' which 'all Gentiles and kings' of the world see. They are the 'bride of God', and are 'The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord.'

The Father's name written in their foreheads - This group of Christians in the last days are the one's reflecting the image of God. They are full of the light and glory of the Holy Father in heaven. The name of God is IN their foreheads. Meaning their minds have been transformed into the likeness and character of God. To have the name of God upon us and in our foreheads, we must separate ourselves from all iniquity. We must forsake every evil way, and then we must trust our cases in the hands of Christ, who is our righteousness. While we are working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, God will work in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Yes, we must do our part, but it is God who must aid us, and sanctify us, through His Son.

Please understand this important point. Who's name do the saints have? THE FATHER's. Some translations say 'The Father and the Lamb'. So either way, the 144,000 are the one's who worship the one true God the Father .... AND His Son Jesus Christ. They do NOT worship the FALSE TRINITY GOD. They have 'settled into the truth' of the Father and His Son and therefore receive the seal of the 'LIVING GOD'. How can you get the seal of God if you don't worship the one true God? You can't.

They sung a new song that no other man could learn - This group of people really do stand apart from the rest of the human race and the churches in general. And the fact that they sing a new song that no other man could learn, shows that fact.

Revelation 15:2-3 ...'And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.'

"They sing 'a new song' before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb--a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song, for it is the song of their experience--an experience such as no other company have ever had. 'These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.' These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as 'the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb' (Rev. 15:2, 3; 14:1-5.) 'These are they which came out of great tribulation'; they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments." (The Great Controversy, p.649)

What was the 'song of Moses'? It was a song of deliverance from Egypt by the hand and power of God. It was a song of their experience going through the 10 plagues in Egypt and of God's power to deliver them. Could any other people learn that 'song' of the Israelites without experiencing the deliverance from Egypt? No. Only those who went through it could learn it. The same applies to the 144,000 remnant people of God in the last days. They will experience ALL of Satan's deceptions and temptations which he has crafted during the past 6000 years. They will stand as a holy people in a world in its most wicked state. They will go through the 7 last plagues, protected by Jehovah. They will gain the victory over the beast and its image - another proof that these are God's END TIME remnant people. Thus they sing a NEW song that no other people can learn. It is a song of their EXPERIENCE standing through the last days and Satan's final deceptions. And how do the 144,000 stand through all of this? Because they have such a close connection and relationship with Christ that none can move them! They 'follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth.'

They are not defiled with women and are without fault - What does it mean to not be defiled with women? Well, a woman in the Bible represents God's professed people, like the 10 virgin women 'guests'. Also, the 'pure' woman of Revelation 12 is a representation of God's pure church. And the 'harlot' woman of Revelation 17 is a representation of an apostate church.

So if a woman represents God's professed people. Then to defile ourselves with women, means to be defiled with apostate churches. And the 144,000 are the one's who are not defiled with any apostate church. How? Because as the verse also confirms, they 'follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth'. This is a group of people who do not just follow the church leaders. They follow Jesus and Jesus alone. They have been cleansed by Him. He is their leader and they put their trust and confidence in Him and His Word alone!

Please take careful note of the above point. No matter what church you are a member of, if you submit to that church FIRST, before submitting to Christ and His truth, then you are 'defiled with women' and cannot be part of the 144,000. There are many professed Christians today who submit to their church on a certain doctrine, LIKE THE TRINITY, rather than submitting to Christ and His truth, making them 'defiled'. So to NOT be defiled with 'women' (fallen churches), the 144,000 need to separate from those fallen churches and follow Christ instead.

'And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.' ... The 144,000 truly follow Christ's example ... 1 Peter 2:21-22 ...'For even hereunto ye were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.'

As mentioned above, this group of people have a special attribute that no other man has. In them there is found no guile and they are without fault before God's throne. Meaning they have been perfected by Jesus dwelling in them through His Spirit.

Zephaniah 3:13 ...'The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.'

Ephesians 5:24-27 ...'Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.'

Friend, do you see what God is waiting for in His final remnant people? Do you believe in the Word of God? If God says that when we live for Him and Christ abides in us we will not sin, do you believe that? Because let me tell you something. If you believe like the majority of professing Christians do, that we cannot stop sinning, then you are rejecting the power of God. It's that simple. If you don't believe God can transform you into a NEW creature, laying captive every thought to Christ Jesus, becoming dead to sin, then you have not fully accepted the gospel message and the wonderful, all powerful grace of God. And that means you cannot be part of the 144,000.

The end time saints are not the ones who just 'believe' in Jesus, they are the ones who are living the faith OF Jesus ... Revelation 14:12 ...'Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.'

"Barley was the earliest grain in Palestine, and at the opening of the feast it was beginning to ripen. A sheaf of this grain was waved by the priest before the altar of God, as an acknowledgment that all was His. Not until this ceremony had been performed was the harvest to be gathered." (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.539) ... In the same way, the 144,000 are the 'firstfruits' unto God and Jesus cannot return and 'harvest' His people until this number is made up and are ready.

Let me repeat what Christ waiting for ... "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:24-27)

Christ is waiting for a people that He can present as a 'glorious church, without spot or wrinkle.' THAT is a people who have gained complete victory over sin and the world, and have the character of Christ in everything they do.



Satan has long attacked God's character and His law, by claiming that we cannot keep God's law and should not need to keep it. So what specific job do the 144,000 do in the last days? They stand upon the earth, among the most vile sins and sinners the world has ever seen, and yet they shine forth the true character of God to the world. They are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and show Satan's lies for what they are.

"Why were they [the 144,000] so specially singled out? Because they had to stand with a wonderful truth right before the whole world, and receive their opposition, and while receiving this opposition they were to remember that they were sons and daughters of God, that they must have Christ formed within them the hope of glory." (Sermons and Talks, Volume 1, p.72)

The 144,000 stand before the world proclaiming the truth that is in Jesus Christ. The 'everlasting gospel' message that has been rejected in the fallen churches of Babylon. The truth about THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST. The truth about THE SABBATH DAY. The truth about the MARK OF THE BEAST. The truth about THE ONE TRUE GOD. The truth about SOUL SLEEP, etc.

But they are not just proclaiming these truths, they are LIVING EXAMPLES of them.

Because of these truths they proclaim, and because their holy characters are a constant rebuke to the rest of the world and fallen churches, they will receive great opposition, especially from the fallen churches of Babylon. These saints, the 144,000, proclaim the One true God and Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour ...

John 17:1,3 ...'Father ... this is eternal life, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.'

But it doesn't end there! I believe there is a strong connection between the Levites in the Old Testament sanctuary model and the 144,000. Have a good think about the following:

Who were the Levites? They were of the tribe of Levi, and were separated from the rest of the camp of Israel, set apart to do a holy work for the Lord in the tabernacle ... "But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them. For the Lord had spoken unto Moses, saying, only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle." (Numbers 1:47-50).

So the Levites were the 'set apart' tribe who were to minister to the Lord in the tabernacle. No other Israelites were allowed in the holy place of the sanctuary, only the Levites. Now look at what Jesus said to Sister White during a vision:

"Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies. And I saw the little ones climb, or, if they chose, use their little wings and fly, to the top of the mountains and pluck the never-fading flowers. There were all kinds of trees around the temple to beautify the place: the box, the pine, the fir, the oil, the myrtle, the pomegranate, and the fig tree bowed down with the weight of its timely figs--these made the place all over glorious. And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, 'Only the 144,000 enter this place,' and we shouted, 'Alleluia." (Early Writings, p.18-19)

So only the levites could enter into the earthly temple and only the 144,000 will be able to enter the temple in heaven - the original temple that the Lord made and not man (Hebrews 8:2). So were the Levites a 'type' of the 144,000? The Levites served God in His earthly temple, which is why they were the only tribe who were able to enter therein. And the 144,000 as per the vision above are the only ones able to enter the heavenly temple. Why? Look at what Jesus said to the Philadelphian church:

Revelation 3:12 ...'Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.'

They are to be made 'pillars' in the heavenly temple of God. They are the only ones allowed in the temple, because as the Levites, the 144,000 are to serve God in His heavenly temple. They are the true overcomers through Christ, being made perfect while on earth. And as the Levites were "not numbered among the brethren." of Israel (Numbers 1:47; 2:33), so the 144,000 were not numbered among the redeemed of the earth (Revelation 7:4-9), because the Lord has set them apart from the host of the redeemed.

Deuteronomy 10:8 ...'At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.'

Revelation 14:1-5 ...'And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne ... and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth ... 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.'

Now it also says in Revelation 7:9 that the 'great multitude', which are all the redeemed from history, 'stand before the throne.' So maybe what the Word of God is pointing to is that the 144,000 will perform a specific role in heaven and the temple and are closer to the throne of God due to their experience on earth in the last days and in a special sense, are representatives of Christ in the new kingdom.

"The appointed ministers of the sanctuary, the Levites ... were the teachers of the people, guests at all their festivities, and everywhere honored as servants and representatives of God." (Education, p.148)

Just as the Levites were faithful in the day of apostasy at the mount, so will the 144,000 be faithful in the day of apostasy now ... "And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him." (Exodus 32:25-26) ... Jesus is calling today - 'Who is on the Lord's side?'

"When the land of Canaan was divided among eleven of the tribes of Israel, the sons of Levi, on account of their faithfulness to the Lord, received no inheritance in the land. 'Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, according as the Lord thy God promised him.' Deut. 10:9. Blessed was Levi! high was his calling! great was his inheritance! 'These things .. are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.' The people who are going to stand in the great day of the Lord will be true Levites. Mal. 3:2,3. In our day there is a great falling away from the covenant. The commandments of the Lord are trodden under foot. Holy Writ has long ago foretold this state of things. Matt. 24:12; 2 Tim.3:1-5. Men, who clothe themselves with the name of the Master, are dancing around the golden calf as actually as did the Israelites in the days of Moses. As the Lord then, by Moses, called on those that were the Lord's, so he is calling now on every sincere man and woman to come out and take a stand for him and for his truth." (Review and Herald, Sept.3, 1908, Vol.85, No.36)

And don't think that the 144,000 will comprise of the leaders of the churches. No, God will use the simple, common man to finish the work. Those who are humble enough to submit to the Lord's will. Those who take God's Word as it reads, rather than being puffed up in their own thoughts, like the majority of leaders today ... "But the Lord will use in the accomplishment of His work means that we do not now see. He will raise up from among the common people, men and women to do His work, even as of old He called fishermen to be his disciples. There will soon be an awakening that will surprise many. Those who do not realize the necessity of what is to be done, will be passed by, and the heavenly messengers will work with those who are called the common people, fitting them to carry the truth to many places." (The Paulson Collection of Letters, pp. 319)


Some of our church pioneers believed the 144,000 was a literal number, as the below quotes show.

"The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake." (Early Writings, p.14)

"The number, 144,000, must mean a definite number, composed of just so many individuals. It cannot stand for a larger but indefinite number, for in verse 9 another company is introduced which is indefinite in its proportions, and hence is spoken of as 'a great multitude, which no man could number." (Uriah Smith, Review and Herald, Aug.10, 1897, Vol.74, No.32)

"They, though but a small remnant, finally triumph, and are seen on the 'sea of glass mingled with fire,' and on Mount Zion with the Lamb, singing the song of their experience, and their redemption 'from among men,' (not from the grave, for they will be alive at the coming of Christ and be changed,) which no others in all wide heaven 'could learn.'" (James White, The Third Angel's Message, p.6)

Something to remember though, is that in the Bible, when people are numbered, it tends to only be the men that are numbered. Like the feeding of the five thousand ... "And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children." (Matthew 14:21). So this number, if literal could just be the men, which means there will also be women to stand alongside the 144,000 men.

"Then the angel said, 'You must go back, and if you are faithful, you, with the 144,000, shall have the privilege of visiting all the worlds and viewing the handiwork of God." (Early Writings, p.40)

Important Point: Whether the 144,000 is a literal number or not, this is not the important point to focus on. The important point to focus on is their attributes. Because whether there are 144 thousand or 144 million, the qualifications to be part of that number remains the same. And that is perfection in Jesus Christ. We are not talking about absolute perfection, because only God has that. We are talking about a transformed life in the Spirit. A life that 'Sins no more', with Christ living within (Galatians 2:20).

We all should be striving to be one of the 144,000 through faith in Jesus and bring glory to God. Unfortunately, the majority would rather follow the crowd, or follow their church leader rather than follow Jesus. The first commandment tells us to give all our heart, soul, mind and strength in service to God. If we truly did this, and relied upon the power of Christ's transforming Spirit in us, then we could be counted in that number. Are you willing to surrender all to Jesus?