Recently, a minister from the Reformed [Seventh-day Adventist] Church gave some studies to some of our local brethren, and I attended one on the 144,000 because I feel their position is wrong. I wonder if you know of any definitive quotes that could clear this up. As you know, every wind of doctrine is blowing.
You are right about every wind of doctrine blowing. And some who take extreme or erroneous positions may, indeed, be very eloquent and may sound very knowledgeable on the points that they are belaboring. But this does not assure that they are correct. You do well to be on guard. See The Great Controversy, pages 648, 649, for Ellen White’s basic statement on this group. What follows are portions of a document that examines certain statements Mrs. White made about the 144,000. (The document is titled “Counsel Regarding the Question of the 144,000.”) Mrs. White did not try to define who would comprise this group, and she cautioned others about trying to do so.
Christ says that there will be those in the church who will present fables and suppositions, when God has given grand, elevating, ennobling truth, which should ever be kept in the treasure house of the mind. When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them. It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over ques-tions which will not help them spiritually, such as who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand. This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question (Selected Messages, 1:174, 175).
Silence Is Eloquence
[The following letter from C. C. Crisler, leading secretary in Mrs. White’s
office, addressed to , president of the Pacific Union Conference, was called forth by a request from him to Sister White for any light she might have bearing on the teaching that the 144,000 will be made up of Americans only, none from other lands.] . . .
Mrs. White instructs me to inform you she has no light further than that the presentation of uncertainties as certainties, and the urging of mysteries as revealed truths, is perilous and leads to disappointment. She suggests building on Holy Scriptures, the true foundation, rather than on personal conjecture. . . .
[She] expressed pleasure over the fact that I had included in my letter to you the words, “On the matter of the exact meaning of the 144,000 Sister White has repeatedly instructed us that ‘silence is eloquence.’ ”
She also commented favorably upon hearing the words with which I closed “So far as I now know, no one knows the full truth of the matter, nor will we know until we are on the other side of Jordan.” —Ellen G. White Estate, December 21, 1964; Revised September 1990.