1. TWO CLASSES
a. What event will announce the imminent deliverance of the saints? Joel 3:16; Hebrews 12:26; Revelation 16:17 (last part), 18.
“Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters. . . .
“That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 636, 637.
b. Who are resurrected when God’s voice resounds before Christ’s return? Daniel 12:1, 2; Matthew 26:63, 64; Revelation 1:7. Will those raised to everlasting life be among those who will hear God’s covenant?
“Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt’ (Daniel 12:2). All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. ‘They also which pierced Him’ (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient.”—Ibid., p. 637.
2. 144,000 IN NUMBER
a. When God delivers the everlasting covenant to His people and gives the day and hour of Christ’s coming, how many saints will be alive to answer the question in Revelation 6:17? Revelation 14:13.
“When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father's throne. Therefore what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath must be done before Jesus leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.”—Early Writings, p. 48.
“Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.
“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground.”—Ibid., p. 15.
b. Is this number figurative or literal? How is the phrase “in number” used by the Spirit of Prophecy? Revelation 7:4; 1 Kings 18:19; 19:18.
“Jezebel’s prophets, eight hundred and fifty in number, like a regiment of soldiers prepared for battle, march out in a body with instrumental music and imposing display.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 279, 280.
3. ADDITION OR INCLUSION?
a. Did the early Advent people believe that those who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message are included in the number of the sealed saints? Revelation 14:12, 13.
“As [John] looked with intense interest he beheld the company of God’s commandment-keeping people. They had upon their foreheads the seal of the living God, and he said: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth’ (Revelation 14:12, 13).”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 15.
b. Show examples in the Spirit of Prophecy that the word “with” is also used to indicate inclusion (not always addition).
“The news of your wife’s death was to me overwhelming. . . .
“I saw that she was sealed and would come up at the voice of God and stand upon the earth, and would be with the 144,000.”—Selected Messages, bk2, p. 263.
“With the rest of the disciples, Judas partook of the bread and wine symbolizing the body and blood of Christ. This was the last time that Judas was present with the twelve.”—The Review and Herald, June 22, 1897.
c. Is Ellen G. White included in the 144,000?
“Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple. . . . 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.’ . . .
“After we beheld the glory of the temple, we went out, and Jesus left us and went to the city. Soon we heard His lovely voice again, saying, ‘Come, My people, you have come out of great tribulation, and done My will; suffered for Me; come in to supper, for I will gird Myself, and serve you.’ ”—Early Writings, p. 19.
4. ADDITION OR INCLUSION? (CONTINUED)
a. What should be our goal under the third angel’s message, since only 144,000 will be sealed? Matthew 24:13; Hebrews 4:14.
“The Lord manifests His grace and His power over and over again, and this should teach us that it is always profitable under all circumstances to cherish faith, to talk faith, to act faith.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 928.
b. Can the word “among” be used to mean inclusion? Give examples. Numbers 17:6, 8.
“Even when Jesus Himself was upon earth, and walked with and taught His disciples, there was one among the twelve who was a devil. Judas betrayed his Lord. Christ had a perfect knowledge of the life of Judas. He knew of the covetousness which Judas did not overcome, and in His sermons to others He gave him many lessons upon this subject.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 41.
“The Saviour did not repulse Judas. He gave him a place among the twelve.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 717.
c. What scriptures show the ultimate triumph of God’s remnant church? Philippians 1:6. How many are there in this group of overcomers? Revelation 14:1, 5; 15:2, 3.
“In holy vision the prophet saw the ultimate triumph of God’s remnant church. He writes: [Revelation 15:2, 3 and 14:1 quoted.] In this world their minds were consecrated to God; they served Him with the intellect and with the heart; and now He can place His name ‘in their foreheads.’ ”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 590, 591.
d. If a group is known or named according to the number of its constituents, does that group carry that name even when it is numerically incomplete? Mention at least one example. 1 Corinthians 15:5.
5. TWO DISTINCT RESURRECTIONS
a. Who will be resurrected at the second coming of Jesus? John 5:28, 29 (first part); 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17. What will the righteous receive at this resurrection? Revelation 22:12; 1 Corinthians 15:51–55; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.
b. What will be the main occupation of the righteous during the millennium? 1 Corinthians 6:1–3; Revelation 20:4–6.
c. Who are resurrected after the 1,000 years are over and the wicked have been judged? John 5:28, 29 (last part); Revelation 20:5, 7–10.
“At the end of one thousand years, Jesus, the king of glory, descends. . . . The city of God comes down and settles upon the mighty plain prepared for it. Then Jesus leaves the city surrounded by the redeemed host and is escorted on His way by the angelic throng. In fearful majesty He calls forth the wicked dead. They are wakened from their long sleep. What a dreadful waking!”—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, pp. 83, 84.
“At the close of the thousand years the second resurrection will take place. Then the wicked will be raised from the dead and appear before God for the execution of ‘the judgment written.’ ”—The Great Controversy, p. 661.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
a. Describe the special resurrection when two groups will be raised from the tomb at the voice of God, just before the coming of Christ.
b. For what purpose will be raised those who, since 1844, have died in the faith of the third angel’s message?
c. After those saints have been brought back to life, how many living saints will there be on this earth to hear God’s covenant of peace?
d. With what Bible verses does the Spirit of Prophecy identify the last remnant church that will be ready to meet Christ?
e. Describe the two general resurrections to take place, one at the coming of Christ and the other one thousand years later.