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Now chapter 14 of our book of Revelation presents a symbol which is just the very opposite of the number of the beast, 666. Chapter 14 opens with the mention of 144,000 having the father’s name written on their foreheads. This is the opposite of the number of the beast. These 144,000 are named as the redeemed. Now the meaning of the 144,000 is similar to the symbolism of 666 but in reverse. Let’s go back to the number 12, 12, the 12 powers of man; 12 stands for wholeness, perfection, 12 times 12, 144, 12 times 12 stand for the 12 spiritual powers in us, combined with each other to expand and multiply wholeness and perfection in expression, and in manifestation.
In Bible numbers when zeros follow a number it always mean unlimited, unspecified. And so we have 144, 12 times 12, followed by three zeros, 144,000, which stands for our 12 spiritual powers perfectly combined with, and multiplying, and increasing each other giving our wholeness and our perfection unlimited expression in countless unspecified ways, 144,000 redeemed.
Beginning with verse 9 in this same chapter we have a classic example of the violent language of so much of the symbolism in this strange but great book. Here in these verses we are being referred to that which is within us, which has the mark of the beast. When we are told,
“the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb. And the smoke of the torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day or night who worship the beast and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
Now all of this very gruesome and very elaborate imagery actually refers to something which is quite good. It refers to the inner process going on in each person’s being, which ensures us that nothing in us, which is of error, evil, or negativeness shall be allowed to remain permanently. It will have no peace until it is dissolved. It will always be detected and cleansed from us by the action of Spirit. This detecting of it in us is called tormenting it, and it’s dissolving and cleansing in us is called burning. Now this great beneficial purification is described as going on forever and ever, which means that it is a part of the eternal law of our highest good. It is going on all the time always when needed.