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    THE NUMBER OF THE SEALED

    THE query may now arise: “If the sealing message is to go to all the world with a Pentecostal power, and the earth to be lighted with its glory, and if, as recently stated by Brother Blank, it is to result in ‘millions’ being prepared for Christ’s second coming, is not 144,000 a small number to be sealed? It is only a fraction of one million.” In His word the Lord has spoken of those to be saved at His coming as a “little flock.” Luke 12:32. They are also a people who have been subject to a very rigid test. The prophet Daniel speaks of them: “Many shall be purified, and made white and tried.” Daniel 12:10. Some translate this “thoroughly tested.” It may be true in this case, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14. In “Testimonies,” volume 5, page 136, published in 1881, we read, “The great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal.” On pages 213, 214, we read: “Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads.. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works.... By their lack of devotion and piety, and their failure to reach a high religious standard, they make other souls contented with their position.... Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost.” On page 136 of the same volume we read: “Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers.”QSM 32.1

    In The Spirit of Prophecy 4:426, we read: “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third message, but have not been sanctified through it, abandon their position, and take refuge under the banner of the powers of darkness. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls.” The same is in The Great Controversy, 609.QSM 33.1

    In “Testimonies,” volume 5, page 216, we read: “The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of ... the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God-candidates for heaven.” On page 81 we read: “Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat.”QSM 34.1

    In volume 6, pages 400, 401, we read: “As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare, will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improve them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith.”QSM 34.2

    Whatever may be true of the millions that will hear the third angel’s message, the 144,000 seem to be a peculiar group, with peculiar characteristics, gathered in groups of 12,000 each, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel, “without guile in their mouths,” “without fault before the throne of God.” They are not all Americans, nor all users of the English language; but they are “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”QSM 35.1

    If, as lately expressed by Elder Blank, the preaching of the message “prepares millions to be saved at the coming of Christ,” and the Lord in compassion pardons the sins of ignorance in converted heathen who have not had the opportunities of those more enlightened, praise to His name. That does not excuse us who have had greater light, and might attain to one of the twelve groups of the sealed 144,000.QSM 35.2

    In the Review of May 22, 1889, Sister White said: “In a little while, every one who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads! Who can bear the thought of being forever passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads?”QSM 35.3

    Among the lacks on the part of professed Sabbath keepers, we read in “Special Testimonies for Ministers,” No. 7, written September 10, 1896: “A curse is pronounced upon all who withhold their tithe from God. He says: ‘Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.’ ... God help us to repent. ‘Return unto Me,’ He says, ‘and I will return unto you.’ Men who have a desire to do their duty, have it laid down in clear lines in this chapter. No one can excuse himself from paying his tithes and offerings to the Lord.” Of non-tithe-payers we read in volume 2, page 199: “They are withholding, and robbing God.... This is one reason that, as a people, we are so sickly, and so many are falling into their graves. The covetous are among us.” In volume 3, page 398, we read: “There are but few who consider the binding claims that God has upon them to make it their first business to meet the necessities of His cause, and let their own desires be served last. There are but few who invest in God’s cause in proportion to their means.”QSM 36.1

    “But,” you may say, “it is some time since those testimonies were written. Have not matters improved since that time?” During the year 1915, when the church treasurers were asked, “What proportion of your members pay tithes?” Now are we to conclude that the half do not have anything during the whole year, or are they like a wealthy farmer who said to me, “When I have boarded and paid my farm hands, met the expense of my family, bought a new reaper and a new threshing machine, there is not much left on which to pay tithes”? In response to this, a brother who had embraced the truth from infidelity, and who thought the tithing system “fine,” said: “You farmers will work a farm for one half or one third the crop for the use of the land. Now when you have life, land, and all, from the Lord, to whom yourself and all things belong, you think one tenth of your income a heavy tax. You must be very poor renters.” Do we expect those who withhold the tithes, who the Lord says are “robbers,” to have the seal of the living God placed upon them?QSM 37.1

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