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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 14

Section 5.

The Character of the 144,000 Firstfrults



"These are they who had not been contaminated with women; for they are virgins. These are the attendants upon the Lamb whither-soever he goeth. These had been redeemed from among men, an offering of firs fruits for the Deity and for the Lamb. And in their mouth had been found no guile; for they are faultless in the presence of the throne of the Deity".


With what class of women had they not been defiled or contaminated? It must be remembered that amongst these 144,000 will be many women, perhaps one half the number of the redeemed. It cannot be, therefore, in a natural sense, that they were not so defiled. The whole company of the redeemed, men and women, are "virgins"; for they constitute the Lamb's gune, woman, or wife; whom Paul was solicitous, as far as he had to do with the presentation, to "present as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27). In what sense, then, is this chaste virgin company undefiled with women? Who are these women?

The only answer that can be given to this question is that they are the women of the Apocalypse. The worst kind of women - the Harlot daughters and Harlot Abominations of the Great Drunken Murderess, whom they style "the Mother of All Churches." The "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church", is the Harlot in chief; "with whom the kings of the earth," the Secular Rulers of European and American Antichristen-dom, "have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication". This is the Mother of the Harlot Family. Her daughters are the Churches of Europe "by law established;" such as, the Lutheran Harlot, the Anglo-Hibernian Harlot, the Caledonian Harlot, and the Helvetian Harlot' all of them, bearing "the Sign of the Beast," indicating their utter destitution of the faith and its obedience. Besides these principal harlots is an innumerable fry of Harlot abominations, all of them distinguished as the relations of the Roman Mother by the livery they wear. The sign of the Beast is upon them all. In the aggregate, they are an unbaptized ecclesiastical community, distinguished in its subdivisions by various 'names," Apocalyptically styled, "Names of Blasphemy," of which the Scarlet-colored dominion is said to be "full". These are styled by the sprinkled worshippers of the Beast, "the Names and Denominations of Christendom;" but the Apocalyptic title is the true one - "All the Abominations of the Earth," of which the Roman Harlot is the Mother. For what is Lutheranism, but German Latinism diluted with the un-scriptural speculations of an Augustinian monk? Or Calvinism, but Swiss, French, Dutch, English and Scotch Latinism, diluted with the traditions of the man who caused Servetus to be burned? These dilutions of the Latin superstition have been very useful in crippling the absolutism of the Romish Hierarchy. The world has been greatly benefited by the Protestant Rebellion; and by the multiplication and rivalries of the sects. But, though promotive of civil and religious liberty, their dogmas are God-dishonoring and gospel-nullifying blasphemies. Added to these are other "names," which, though repudiating baby-sprinkling and practicing immersion, are as much worshippers of the Beast as the rest. These immersed sects recognize the sprinkled sects as denominations of christians, showing that they do not know, or do not believe what the Scriptures teach as the one faith and one hope of the calling.'

Now, in prophetic style, all these sects of the Court of the Gentiles are termed "women," whose favors lead to death. They are strange Women, who flatter with their words; whose houses incline unto death and their paths unto the dead. Their lips drop as a honeycomb and their; mouths are smoother than oil; but their end is bitter as wormwood sharp as a two-edged sword. Their feet go down to death' and their steps take hold on Sheol. The 144,000 have no fellowship with these unchaste women. Having come to the understanding and belief of "the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity, and the name of Jesus Christ they have obeyed the invitation. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues" Having the faith to be healed, they obey the Apostolic command, "repent' and be every one of you immersed for the name of Jesus Christ into remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). By this process, they are separated from the worshippers of the Beast, and washed, sanctified, and justified from all the defilement contracted in their days of ignorance and unbelief (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Thenceforth, they are no more to be found dangling and toying with these disreputable Mistresses of the Clergy. Being espoused to Christ, they have no more spiritual association with the impure; but, as wise virgins, keep their lamps trimmed, and their lights burning, that when the Bridegroom appears, they may be admitted to "the marriage supper of the Lamb."

When seen on Mount Zion their redemption had been perfected. "These had been redeemed, egorasthesan, from among men". If the redemption had not been complete, they could not have sung the song of redemption. The price paid for their redemption was the blood of the Lamb, by which they are constituted aparche, "an offering of firstfruits" for Deity and for the Lamb. Under the Law of Moses, the firstfruits were the New Fruits of the harvest of the land, offered in the form of Two Loaves, called "the Bread of the Firstfruits," fifty days after the waving of a single sheaf of the firstfruits on the third day after the Pass-over. In the antitype, Jesus risen from among the dead, is "the wave-sheaf of the firstfruits; and the New Converts to the faith preached by the apostles, "The Bread of the Firstfruits". Of this there is evidence in 1 Cor. 15:20, where Paul says, "Christ is risen from among the dead, and become the firstfruits of them who have been sleeping;" and in James 1:18, addressing the true believers of his day, he says, "Of his own will the Father of Lights begat us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of Firstfruits of his creatures." By this we are informed, that all who are truly begotten by the Word of Truth are designed to be what Jesus became in being waved before the Father after leaving the house of the dead. The Word of Truth, or the Gospel, illuminates the understanding; so that when the enlightened are immersed into "Christ the Firstfruits," they are planted in the likeness of his death, in hope that they shall also be planted in the likeness of his resurrection; or become "firstfruits for the Deity and the Lamb"   "the Bread of the Firstfruits," which can only be offered in the land promised to the Fathers, as indicated in the type (Lev. 23:9-21); and symbolically represented in this chapter of the Apocalypse.

In the type, the Pentecostian Firstfruits were waved in the form of Two Loaves, made from the fine flour of the new grain, and baked with leaven. This represented that the firstfruits would be taken from two classes leavened with the Truth - a loaf of the circumcision and a loaf of the uncircumcision; two loaves, but only one bread. This work began on the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, on "the morrow of the Sabbath," which he spent in the tomb. Three thousand were then leavened with the Gospel of the Kingdom, to which they became obedient. These were of the circumcision. After this many more thousand Jews became obedient to the faith. The invitation to God's Kingdom and Glory was then extended to people of other nations, beginning at the household of Cornelius. Since then, a people for the Father's Name has been collecting, as they sing, "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation." The work is still progressing, but after such a manner as to show that there is little more can be done. The Jewish and Gentile Loaves are almost complete; and little remains, but for the High Priest after the order of Melchizedec to come, and make a Pentecostian wave-offering of them before the Father on the mountain of his holiness. When this is accomplished, a company of undefiled ones will have been developed, all of them like himself - Firstfruits, in whose mouth exists no guile, being faultless before the throne of God.

Thus qualified and thus prepared, the honor and glory are conferred upon them of being "the attendants upon the Lamb whithersoever he goes". And here it must be remembered, that the Lamb is a symbol 'having Seven Horns and Seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth into all the earth" - the symbol of almighty and omniscient power, which goes in aid of the operations of the 144,000. In judgment being given to Jesus and his Brethren, "the Saints of the Most High" (Dan. 12:22) almighty power is given to them to execute it. In ch 14:13, this power is styled "the Spirit". Whithersoever the Spirit goes ir all the earth to "execute the judgments written," they are ho ako/outhountes, the attendants upon him, as soldiers attend upon the Commander-in-Chief. The Spirit energizing the 144,000 makes them almighty. Whither the Spirit is to go in taking the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, they go; and turn not when they go: and when they go the noise of their wings is like the noise of great waters, as the Voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host (Ezek. 1:12,20-24; Dan. 7:27). The mission of the Spirit is not confined to Europe; but extends "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people;" to all of whom judgment is to go forth, that they may be taught to "Fear the Deity, and to give glory to Him". No power but that of the Spirit in terrible judicial manifestation can do this. "When the judgments of Yahweh are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness". This is the only argument man can comprehend. The world attributes mild measures to weakness and fear; and so long as it thinks principles and precepts cannot be enforced it treats them only with contempt: for "let favor be showed to the wicked yet will he not learn righteousness". Hence, the necessity of the Divine arrangement which gives omnipotence to the righteous, and sends them forth to subdue all things to the will of Him who makes them invincible (Isa. 26:9,10).

The Lamb-Power invades the territories of the Beast and his Image: for their worshippers are said to be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; hence, as the 144,000 are his attendants, they are there also (verse 9,10). This is, if possible, still more evident from ch. 17:14,12; and 19:19; where the Beast and kings of the earth and their armies gather together to make war against the Lamb, and against his army, which is marshalled by "the called, the chosen, and faithful" 144,000, with him. The conflict, however terrible, is not doubtful. The Seven-Horned Lamb overcomes them in spite of all their improvements in artillery and the art of war; for he is the Almighty King of kings and Lord of lords, who smites the nations with the sword of his mouth, and rules them with a rod of iron. They can drive three hundred pound shot through iron armor-plates several inches thick; and discharge with great rapidity breech-loading rifles; but this outside force is not almighty. The shadow of the Spirit's power has greater resistance than armor plates of the greatest thickness. Cannon balls and rifle shot cannot penetrate it; while he can crumble into dust without a blow defenses of the hardest steel. The 144,000 firstfruits are themselves "spirit", on the principle laid down by Jesus, that that is spirit which is born of the Spirit. Being spirit, they are in the shadow of the Spirit's power - a polished shaft in His quiver, like the great Captain of their salvation. No projectile can reach them to hurt them. A storm of rifle bullets will fall before them like paper pellets from walls of granite. The artillery of the Beast's armies being thus rendered powerless, they have no defence against the tormenting fire and brimstone of the 144,000 of the Lamb. The Beast and deceiving False Prophet become captives; and those who sustained them by the sword, are made a sacrifice of with great slaughter (ch. 13:10) in the great Day of Retribution, when the Seven-Horned Lamb, with his invincible attendants, shall go forth into all the earth.




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