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Jehovah's Witnesses believe that exactly 144,000 faithful Christian men and women from Pentecost of 33 CE until the present day will be resurrected to heaven as immortal spirit beings to spend eternity with 

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 and 
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. They believe that these people are "anointed" by God to become part of the spiritual "Israel of God". They believe the 144,000 (which they consider to be synonymous with the "little flock" of Luke 12:32) will serve with 
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 as king-priests for a thousand years, while all other people accepted by 
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 (the "other sheep" of John 10:16, composed of "the great crowd" of Revelation 7:9,14 and the resurrected "righteous and the unrighteous" ones of Acts 24:15), will be given an opportunity to live forever in a restored paradise on earth. According to the Witnesses, the first of the 144,000 were resurrected in 1918 (April) and others who die thereafter are immediately resurrected to heaven.


Individual Witnesses indicate their claim of being "anointed" by partaking of the bread and wine at the annual Memorial of Christ's death. In 2014, 14,121 Witnesses worldwide claimed to be of the anointed "remnant" of the 144,000.The members of the Governing Body who exercise teaching authority over Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide claim to be among the anointed 144,000, and also consider themselves as a group to be the faithful and discreet slave of Matthew 24:45 and Luke 12:42.

Jesus Christ is their "Mediator"

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Did the first million or so professed "Anointed Christians" really just end up in Gehenna? 


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Then you did not understand my answer. Jehovah did not chose the first come first serve on Christians, when it comes with those who are ones sealed as corulers with Christ. It seems to be everyone's thinking that all Christians who DIED from the death of Jesus were in line for this "gift" , whereas scripture clearly tells us that Jehovah makes the choice of the 144000, who would be with his Son in the heavenly kingdom. His choice, not their deaths, or martyrdom. So no matter how many from after

That article from 1951 does indeed indicate that the Watchtower had been teaching that from the death of Jesus (until 1931) all Christians were only allowed to be in line for the heavenly gift, the heavenly calling. Note this from 1965: *** w65 3/1 p. 148 pars. 18-20 Part Two *** However, down till recently, the Fine Shepherd Jesus Christ was not calling out and gathering his “other sheep” in hope of everlasting life on earth.—John 10:16. 19 The inspired Scriptures show that God set a defin

Malarkey: American English, of unknown origin; perhaps from Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (malakía, “stupidity, idiocy, nonsense, bullshit”). This word always makes me laugh. This whole subject is another of those areas strong on detail but thin on fact. It seems that some are almost obsessed over identifying who is or who isn't anointed and also get ra

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The numbers just never add up because the idea that there were less than 144,000 Christians from the first century until 1935 is countered by what the WTS has published in their own literature.

They published an article about the ten persecutions than took place from the first century to somewhere around 303 A.C. and the number of Christian martyrs just in the last one by Diocletian was over 850,000. These Christian martyrs were held up as examples for modern day JWs to imitate. But they must have realized their goof, or someone actually did write in about it, because a few months later there was one of the QFR that explained that the majority of those Christian martyrs they had praised so highly were actually just "professed" Christians, i.e. not true Christians at all.
 

[wt 9/1/1951 Hated For His Name, p.516-519] Diocletian assumed the crown A.D. 284. At first he seemed friendly to the Christians, but in the year 303 he gave in to persuasion and opened the tenth persecution, probably the most ferocious of all. Suffocation by smoke, forcible drinking of melted lead, mass drownings and burnings, breaking on the rack of men and women alike ran the empire with blood. In a single month 17,000 were slain. In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.


But someone noticed something about the numbers:
 

[wt 1/15/1952 QFR] Questions From Readers

● According to the article “Hated for His Name” in the September 1, 1951, Watchtower, hundreds of thousands of Christians died in the “ten persecutions” starting in Nero’s time, 144,000 dying in Egypt alone during one of the persecutions. How can this be harmonized with the Scriptural limitation of 144,000 placed on the number being in Christ’s body, andwhich position was the only one open to Christians during those centuries?—J.A., Dominican Republic.

The article did not class with any finality the individuals that died during these persecutions, but spoke of the results in a general way. Note that a key qualification was made in the case referred to in the question: “In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.” The victims are identified as “professed Christians”, not Christians in fact. Many of those persons might have been caught in the wave of persecution, but may never have actually preached the truth or followed in Jesus’ footsteps, being only professed Christians. They knew the world they lived in was rotten and they were listening to the message of the Christians and willing to die for it even though not in line for the high calling in Christ Jesus. Many professed Christians today might be willing to die for their faith, but still not be Jesus’ footstep followers and meeting the Scriptural requirements for such.
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In all my reading of scripture about these ones sealed for life with Chirst, they have been chosen and sealed; all in heaven. We seem to be trying to figure the number of those dead with those still alive. Not going to happen. Not part of this number until you have died, thus being sealed as anointed part of what John wrote about. None of the guessing? Right? There will be only 144000, we know that as fact, our math as we try to count will be flawed. If we change our outlook, and remember that number is only correct, from a heavenly standpoint, not an earthly one. If Demas had not found the world so appealing, wouldn't he be apart of that number, or those who turned into the wolves among us?, as Paul warned? But these ones are not, as those thousand baptized at Pentecost who faded away, correct? The number is final when Jesus collects whoever is faithful when he calls them, however many it is. For now the number may be growing for Jehovah may in fact still be chasing ones of that class. What makes people think Jehovah picked the first come first served? He is going to give the gift of immortality, this to be shared with his Son, would not others who would be alive centuries later be worthy of this gift? Would not Jehovah know this? From the time of his Son death and this promise, until the time Jesus comes for those who will fulfill the final number, during that time frame, Jehovah will have chosen 144000 worthy ones to serve as kings and priests, not the first numbers of martrys to fill the count. Just reading scripture, reasons as did Paul. Common sense! Agape!

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1 hour ago, John Houston said:

In all my reading of scripture about these ones sealed for life with Chirst, they have been chosen and sealed; all in heaven. We seem to be trying to figure the number of those dead with those still alive. Not going to happen. Not part of this number until you have died, thus being sealed as anointed part of what John wrote about. None of the guessing? Right? There will be only 144000, we know that as fact, our math as we try to count will be flawed. If we change our outlook, and remember that number is only correct, from a heavenly standpoint, not an earthly one. If Demas had not found the world so appealing, wouldn't he be apart of that number, or those who turned into the wolves among us?, as Paul warned? But these ones are not, as those thousand baptized at Pentecost who faded away, correct? The number is final when Jesus collects whoever is faithful when he calls them, however many it is. For now the number may be growing for Jehovah may in fact still be chasing ones of that class. What makes people think Jehovah picked the first come first served? He is going to give the gift of immortality, this to be shared with his Son, would not others who would be alive centuries later be worthy of this gift? Would not Jehovah know this? From the time of his Son death and this promise, until the time Jesus comes for those who will fulfill the final number, during that time frame, Jehovah will have chosen 144000 worthy ones to serve as kings and priests, not the first numbers of martrys to fill the count. Just reading scripture, reasons as did Paul. Common sense! Agape!

Hi John,

I'm not trying to figure the number of those dead with those still alive, I'm trying to figure how there could possibly have been less than 144,000 Christians in nearly 1900 years, especially in view of the nearly 1 million Christian martyrs the WT article cites in just the first few centuries of Christianity's history.  

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Then you did not understand my answer. Jehovah did not chose the first come first serve on Christians, when it comes with those who are ones sealed as corulers with Christ. It seems to be everyone's thinking that all Christians who DIED from the death of Jesus were in line for this "gift" , whereas scripture clearly tells us that Jehovah makes the choice of the 144000, who would be with his Son in the heavenly kingdom. His choice, not their deaths, or martyrdom. So no matter how many from after Jesus' death until now Jehovah will only choose 144000. And he has not finished with that yet. That number will not be completed until Jesus gathers those who are alive to heaven. Any who are chosen could not be sealed, so things could change. Dealing with imperfect humans. Any of the 3000 who were baptized were not all faithful until death, correct?  That is why your reasoning is flawed.

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On 7/6/2016 at 4:13 AM, John Houston said:

Then you did not understand my answer. Jehovah did not chose the first come first serve on Christians, when it comes with those who are ones sealed as corulers with Christ. It seems to be everyone's thinking that all Christians who DIED from the death of Jesus were in line for this "gift" , whereas scripture clearly tells us that Jehovah makes the choice of the 144000, who would be with his Son in the heavenly kingdom. His choice, not their deaths, or martyrdom.

That article from 1951 does indeed indicate that the Watchtower had been teaching that from the death of Jesus (until 1931) all Christians were only allowed to be in line for the heavenly gift, the heavenly calling. Note this from 1965:

*** w65 3/1 p. 148 pars. 18-20 Part Two ***
However, down till recently, the Fine Shepherd Jesus Christ was not calling out and gathering his “other sheep” in hope of everlasting life on earth.—John 10:16.
19 The inspired Scriptures show that God set a definite time for himself to gather together the “other sheep” for whom he reserves everlasting salvation on the Paradise earth under the kingdom of his dear Son. God’s provision for such “other sheep” is not a sort of safety net to catch all those whom he calls to the heavenly inheritance but who do not meet the requirements for it by a Christian course faithful to the death. Christians who have the heavenly inheritance reserved for themselves must either prove worthy of entering into it or else fail altogether without any other life prospects to fall back on. . . .
20 According to the historical facts, the gathering of the “great crowd” of other sheep began not before 1931 C.E., but particularly from 1935 C.E. forward.

So the 1951 and the 1965 articles said that the heavenly hope to be one of the 144,000 was the only hope open to Christians during those centuries following Christ's death [up until 1931].

*** w52 1/15 p. 62 Questions From Readers ***
. . .  the Scriptural limitation of 144,000 placed on the number being in Christ’s body, and which position was the only one open to Christians during those centuries?

The answer to that "Question From Readers" implied that most of these ones must have been only "professed Christians" and "not in line for the high [heavenly] calling." The reader might assume therefore that they could have been in line for an earthly calling, the "other sheep." But we were still teaching even in 1965 that there was no other calling between 33 CE and 1931.**[see footnote]

**footnote: Actually, for a time, up until the 1950's and 1960's, it was taught that the group identified in 1935, had not only been called since 1931, but since 1919, and we just hadn't recognized it yet. The reasoning, if I remember right, is that John saw them come out of the Great Tribulation, and we believed (at the time) that the Great Tribulation was still in effect up until 1919, before a break in the tribulation (on account of the chosen ones). I'll find the reference if anyone is interested.

I asked Brother Fred Franz about this, and he said that many of these 100's of thousands of Christian martyrs must be in Gehenna. He said even if they were just swept up in the Christian movement, they must have had a taste of the heavenly gift. 

(Hebrews 6:4-6) 4 For as regards those who were once enlightened and who have tasted the heavenly free gift and who have become partakers of holy spirit 5 and who have tasted the fine word of God and powers of the coming system of things, 6 but have fallen away, it is impossible to revive them again to repentance,. . .

This idea (that hundreds of thousands of persons who were willing to die for their Christian faith ended up in Gehenna) didn't sound right to my wife, who asked Brother Rusk about it. Brother Rusk was the Watchtower's Editor at the time, and he also was the brother who performed our wedding ceremony. He implied that all these reported numbers of  martyrs were just too high, so that these reports were all probably exaggerations in the first place, and so not to worry about it. If you knew the two men, you might have easily guessed that Franz would be judgmental, but Rusk would be more flexible with the Gehenna idea. At least Rusk never made the same claim that we could judge them to Gehenna, but he wouldn't deny it either. I wanted to believe, of course, that if they had not made it to full Christian maturity, then Hebrews 6 didn't apply. After all, the verses leading up to Hebrews 6:4 are these:

(Hebrews 5:12-6:2) 12 For although by now you should be teachers, you again need someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God, and you have gone back to needing milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who continues to feed on milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is a young child. 14 But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong. 6 Therefore, now that we have moved beyond the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works and faith in God, 2 the teaching on baptisms and the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment.

JUST ONE LITTLE PROBLEM . . .

Of course, as ex-JWs will often point out, since upwards of 56,000 were partaking around 1931-1935, and there are something like 19,000 partaking now, this would mean that more than half the 144,000 are already accounted for among Jehovah's Witnesses. That would mean that in those 1,898 years (between 33 and 1931) that only about 69,000 Christians existed on earth. That works out to be about 36 new Christians every year. But we also know that there were at least 10,000 Christians in the very first century. Leaving us with 59,000 in about the same number of years, or 31 new Christians every year. It would almost look like the Gates of Gehenna had overpowered Christianity.

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33 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

**footnote: Actually, for a time, up until the 1950's and 1960's, it was taught that the group identified in 1935, had not only been called since 1931, but since 1919, and we just hadn't recognized it yet. The reasoning, if I remember right, is that John saw them come out of the Great Tribulation, and we believed (at the time) that the Great Tribulation was still in effect up until 1919, before a break in the tribulation (on account of the chosen ones). I'll find the reference if anyone is interested.

Found a couple of the references. In the second one, the brackets are in the original quote.

*** w56 6/1 p. 343 par. 3 Keep Pace by Conforming to Theocratic Requirements ***
After 1919, and especially since 1935, great crowds of people, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, began to assemble to the New World society for theocratic instruction.

*** w51 12/15 p. 752 par. 14 Release Under Way to the Ends of the Earth ***
14 Have this “great crowd” come to Zion and submitted to the theocratic rule of Jehovah who is seated on the heavenly throne? They have; for one of the elderly persons identifies the crowd to John and says: “These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation [this locates their coming between 1919 and Armageddon] . . . "

*** w62 6/1 p. 340 par. 16 Why Should Christians Accept and Discharge Responsibility? ***
As one of the elderly persons informed John concerning the “great crowd” of “other sheep”: “These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9-14) These meek, sheeplike people, who, according to John’s vision, are an unnumbered great crowd, began to come to the royal house or temple after they heard God’s kingdom preached to them from A.D. 1919 onward.

I think that after enough years, it was not thought that those who were alive in 1919 could survive long enough to be part of a "great crowd" who come out of the great tribulation and survive into the new order (i.e., new world, new earth). Technically, we should typically add the term "other sheep" so that it doesn't appear to apply only to those who live long enough (even from 1935) to survive out of the great tribulation. Now, 1919 is almost exclusively with reference to the "anointed."

*** w07 11/1 p. 15 par. 6 Highlights From the Books of Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah ***
Since 1919, anointed Christians have been collected together “like a flock in the pen.” Being joined by the “great crowd” of “other sheep,” especially since 1935 . . .

*** w02 2/1 p. 18 par. 16 Are You Among Those Loved by God? ***
Since 1919, they have brought forth Kingdom fruitage in abundance, first other anointed Christians and, since 1935, an ever-increasing “great crowd” of companions.

*** w91 1/15 p. 26 The Pure Language Unites a Great Crowd of Worshipers ***
Ezekiel pictures the spirit-anointed remnant, particularly since 1919. Especially since 1935 have they been joined by the “great crowd.”

*** w91 5/1 p. 22 Thrilling Visions That Strengthen Faith ***
Blowing the fifth calls forth locusts that picture anointed Christians swarming forth to do battle from 1919 onward. With the sixth trumpet blast, a cavalry attack takes place. In fulfillment, anointed ones, reinforced since 1935 by the “great crowd,”

 

 

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2 hours ago, The Librarian said:

I haven't seen a specific date in April 1918 ever mentioned anywhere yet

"Spring of 1918" is no longer considered the definitive time for the first resurrection, and the temple inspection is no longer dated to 1918, either. That's because these were both based on time parallels and type-antitype utilization that were not specifically sanctioned by Scripture. Therefore "spring of 1918" as the time of the first resurrection, was turned into just "an interesting possibility."

*** w07 1/1 p. 28 par. 12 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! ***
Jesus Christ was anointed as the future King of God’s Kingdom in the fall of 29 C.E. Three and a half years later, in the spring of 33 C.E., he was resurrected as a mighty spirit person. Could it, then, be reasoned that since Jesus was enthroned in the fall of 1914, the resurrection of his faithful anointed followers began three and a half years later, in the spring of 1918? That is an interesting possibility. Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible

However, the marking of dates in 1918 has not been rejected for the 1,260 days interpretation. These are considered to be almost literal days from December 28, 1914 up until June 21, 1918. The "World Government" book came out while I was at Bethel, and when it was pointed out that the number of days is wrong, future references to this interpretation stopped using the specific days and just rounded off to the nearest month.

*** go chap. 8 pp. 128-129 pars. 16-18 Marked Days During the “Time of the End” ***
16 The “finishing of the dashing of the power of the holy people to pieces” evidently occurred on June 21, 1918. On that day the American federal court sentenced the president and the secretary-treasurer of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and five of their headquarters associates to long prison terms, amounting to a total of 140 years. It is true that it was on May 7, 1918, that these officers of the Society and their prominent companions were arrested by federal officers, but they yet had to stand trial and be sentenced, without benefit of bail. So the close of World War I on November 11, 1918, found these seven leading representatives of the International Bible Students, and a close co-worker, in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., to which they had been shipped from Brooklyn, New York, on July 4, 1918. Thus a high court of the Anglo-American Dual World Power did deliver a shattering blow to Jehovah’s “holy people” on June 21, 1918.
17 When, therefore, did the three years and a half, which were to be climaxed by that shattering action against dedicated, baptized Christians, begin? How was that beginning marked?
18 Well, June 21, 1918, fell, according to the Biblical lunar calendar, on Tammuz 11, 1918. Three lunar years back from that, or Tammuz 11, 1915, fell on June 23, 1915. Then the half of a lunar year, or six lunar months, back from that would be Tebeth 11, 1914, which coincided with December 28, 1914.—See The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, under the heading “Jewish Calendar for 200 Years,” pages 634-639.

The last paragraph is little more than a sleight-of-hand trick. The actual number of days is 1,271 here, not 1,260. Counting back from June 21, 1918 actually only reaches to January 8, 1915. That doesn't change at all by invoking a Jewish calendar. But the writer, Fred Franz, was pretty good at these things, and found a way, through obfuscation, to make the range reach back into the year 1914, which was his obvious goal. He was only able to get it to include the last 4 days of 1914, but at least it included the all-important year.

  • When I was baptized (1967) the 1,260 days were the 1,277 days from November 7, 1914 to May 7, 1918.
  • When I was born (1957)  however the 1,260 days were the 1,278 days from about October 1, 1914 to about April 1, 1918.
  • Just 2 years later (1959) the 1,260 days were the 1,233 (min) to 1,247 (max) days from the first half of November 1914 until April 1, 1918.
  • And while at Bethel, the 1,260 days were the 1,271 days from December 28, 1914 to June 21, 1918.

The problem with all of these dates is that if you give it an actual event in 1918 then you can't reach any significant event in 1914, and if you give a significant event in 1914, you can't reach any significant date in 1918.

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THE 144,000 ANOINTED CLASS and OTHER SHEEP

Watchtower Teaching:

They claim that only 144,000 JWs go to heaven, as the ‘Anointed class’.(Rev. 7:4 & 14:1-3).

They claim that all other JWs are part of God’s ‘other sheep’, and will live forever on a paradise earth.

They claim that only the 144,000 are born again as sons of God to share in the heavenly Kingdom. 

These will have a spiritual existence in heaven, not a physical resurrection, as they claim that ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom’.

JWs teach that only a few enter this spiritual Kingdom as a ‘little flock’ of believers (Luke
12:32).

JWs claim that this 144,000 began with the apostles and was filled in 1935.

The WT claims that the 144,000 will rule from heaven over the great crowd on earthly paradise (Rev 7:9), where the earth will remain forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 104:5).

The great crowd (Revelation 7:9) is the same as the ‘other sheep’ of John 10:16, who hope to survive Armageddon and enjoy Christ’s rule on a perfect earth.

Salvation for both classes is by works of witnessing or distributing WT literature door to door.

Consider these verses the WT uses and the correct Bible replies:

1. Luke 12:32 - The ‘Little Flock’ as the 144,000 ‘Anointed class’

Watchtower teaching: ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give
you the Kingdom.’ JWs claim that only this group go to heaven . WT teaches that Old
Testament saints such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and prophets are not part of this ‘little
flock’, but are part of the ‘other sheep’ of John 10:16, the ‘great crowd’ of Revelation 7:9.

Bible Teaching:

1) The WT interpretation of Luke 12:32 violates the context. Luke 12:22-34 shows Jesus
speaking to His disciples on earth in the first century, not to another 144,000 anointed
class that might develop from 30 AD to 1935. JWs are reading something into the
passage that is not there.

2) Elsewhere Jesus referred to His disciples as sheep in His flock:
(a) Matthew 10:16 - ‘I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves’
(b) Matthew 26:31 - ‘I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.’ (Spoken to the disciples before His crucifixion.)
Jesus called His disciples a ‘little flock’ because they were a small, defenceless group that could be easily preyed upon. They need not to worry because Christ would protect them.

Ask: In Luke 12:22, who is Jesus speaking to? (His 12 disciples)

Ask: Where in Luke 12:32 does it say that the little flock is the 144,000 of Rev 7:14?

Ask: How do you know that the 144,000 was completed in 1935?

3) Jesus never once restricted the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven to 144,000 people.

Ask: Can you think of any verse in the Bible where Jesus limits the citizenship of heaven
to 144,000?

4) I John 5:1 ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.’. The words
‘whosoever believeth’ are open ended, including everybody who believes, not just
144,000.

Ask: Doesn’t the ‘whosoever’ in I John 5:1 include everyone and not just 144,000?

5) The Watchtower teaching that Old Testament saints are not part of the heavenly class is wrong, as seen from Hebrews 11:13-16 where Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham all sought a heavenly country (v.16), not an earthly one.

6) Matthew 8:11 shows Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sitting down in the Kingdom of heaven.
Ask: Who is right here, the Bible or the Watchtower?


Revelation 7:4 and 14:1-3 - Are the 144,000 in the ‘anointed class’?

Watchtower Teaching: The WT claims that the 144,000 are a literal number of people, but that  12,000 people from each of the 12 tribes of Israel are not literally national Israel.

We ask,‘Why would 144,000 be literal, but the 12,000 in each tribe be figurative?’

WT reply:
a) There never was a tribe of Joseph in the OT, even though it is mentioned in Rev. 7:4-8;
b) The tribes of Ephraim and Dan are not included in Revelation 7;
c) The Levites, not reckoned as an OT tribe, are mentioned as a tribe in Revelation 7.

Bible Teaching:

1) Ask: Why does the WT switch interpretation in Revelation 7:4 from literal (144,000 as a precise number of people) to figurative in the last part of the verse where they say the 12,000 do not represent precise numbers of people from each of Israel’s 12 tribes?

2) Women are excluded from this group of 144,000 in Revelation 14:4 ‘These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.’ Masculine pronouns used show that this group are all men.

3) Heaven awaits all who believe in Christ, not just the 144,000. Check these verses:

1. Philippians 3:20 ‘For our conversation is in heaven; . . .’

2. Colossians 3:1 ‘Seek those things which are above.’

3. Hebrews 3:1 ‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.’

4. Hebrews 12:22 ‘But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem . . .’

5. II Corinthians 5:1 ‘We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved (physical death),we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.’

6. Colossians 1:5 ‘For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.’

7. Hebrews 11:16 ‘But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly . . .’

8. Hebrews 10:34 ‘Knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.’

9. I Peter 1:4 ‘To an inheritance . . . reserved in heaven for you.’

10. Revelation 19:1 ‘I heard a great voice of much people in heaven.’

11. Matthew 6:20 ‘Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.’

12. John 12:26 ‘. . . where I am (heaven), there shall also my servant be.’

13. John 14:3 ‘I go and prepare a place for you...that where I am (heaven), there ye may be also.’

Key: Making a difference between those with an earthly and heavenly destiny has no warrant in the Bible anywhere.

1. God has chosen the poor of this world who are rich in faith to inherit the kingdom, not just the 144,000. ‘Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him.’ (James 2:5). There is no distinction made here between 2 classes, only the poor of this world,(more than 144,000).

2. All who believe in Christ receive God’s righteousness. ‘The righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.’ (Romans 3:22)

3. John 10:16 ‘there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ - not two folds, one on earth and one in heaven, but ONE FLOCK (NWT).

Ask: How do you reconcile WT teaching of two flocks (WT: one earthly and one heavenly) with John 10:16 which says that all believers will be together in one flock (NWT)?

Question 1: ‘Are the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7:14 literal or figurative?

Nowhere else in the Bible are references to the 12 tribes of Israel figurative. They are always a literal, ethnic group.

Ask: Can you see that the WT interpretation of Revelation 7:4 goes against common usage of literal ‘tribe’ and literal ‘Israel’?

Question 2: Why are the OT tribes of Dan and Ephraim omitted in Revelation 7?

The OT has 20 varying lists of tribes of Israel.

a) Dan’s tribe was omitted because they were guilty of idolatry, and were largely wiped out. (Judges 18:1,30). Dan became one of two centres of idolatry in the Northern Kingdom (I Kings 12:29).

b) Ephraim is omitted from Revelation 7, while Joseph and Manasseh are included. Why? Ephraim was also involved in idolatry and pagan worship (Judges 17; Hosea 4:17).

Ask:

1) What is the Watchtower’s position on idolatry?

2) If the tribes of Dan and Ephraim were guilty of idolatry, do you think that these tribes should be listed in Revelation 7 as God’s servants? (No).

3) So you agree that there is a good reason for omitting Ephraim and Dan in Revelation 7?

4) Can you see that the Watchtower’s figurative interpretation of the 12 tribes is wrong, because it is based on the rightful omission of Dan and Ephraim?

Question 3: Why was the tribe of Levi included in the Revelation 7 list?

In the Old Testament, the tribe of Levi were not part of the 12 tribes because of their priestly separation under the Mosaic Law. Now that their tribe’s priestly functions have ceased with the first coming of Christ, our Great High Priest, there is no further need for their services as priests. Hence there is no reason for keeping them separate from the other tribes any longer.

They will be properly included in the tribal listing in Revelation 7 and 14.

Therefore the WT’s view of the 144,000 as a specially anointed class is twisting of scripture.

Note: JWs insist that the 12,000 from each tribe of Israel are figurative or symbolic.

Question: How is it that the sum of 12 symbolic numbers equals a literal 144,000? How can 12 times a symbolic 12,000 equal a literal 144,000? The total should also be symbolic, according to their reasoning, to be consistent. 

Their interpretation again gives a contradiction.

3. John 10:16 - The ‘Other Sheep’
'hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.’

Watchtower Teaching: JWs believe in two classes of people: the 144,000 heavenly class, and the ‘other sheep’, great crowd class who will receive eternal life and live forever on an earthly paradise.

Bible Teaching: The ‘other sheep’ in John 10:16 refers to Gentile believers, as opposed to Jews who are the ‘lost sheep of Israel’. (Matthew 10:6 and 15:24).

The one flock and one shepherd of John 10:16 agrees with Galatians 3:28 with ‘neither Jew nor Greek . . . ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’

All believers will dwell together as ‘one flock’ under ‘one shepherd’.

There will not be one flock of believers in heaven, and one flock of believers on earth.

Ask: How do you reconcile WT teaching of two classes, ,when the Bible clearly states that God’s people are one in Christ, and are part of ‘one flock’ under‘one shepherd’?

4. Revelation 7:9 - The ‘Great Crowd’ as the ‘Other Sheep

‘After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude (‘great crowd’ in NWT), which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb . . .’ (Revelation 7:9)

Watchtower Teaching: JWs teach that in 1935 God stopped calling people to a heavenly hope with Christ. They say that in 1935 he began gathering a secondary class of believers, outside the body of Christ, who would live forever on earth in the flesh, as the great crowd of Revelation 7:9-17.

This is one of the WT’s major doctrines, because it is the basis for convincing JWs that:

1) They cannot become members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27)
2) They cannot be born again (John 3:3)
3) They cannot go to heaven (II Timothy 4:18)
4) They cannot be baptized by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13)
5) They are not entitled to share in the communion loaf and cup (I Corinthians 10:16-17)
6) They are not in Christ’s New Covenant (Hebrews 12:24)
7) They cannot be fully justified by faith in Christ (Romans 3:26)

Hence the WT uses this ‘1935 Doctrine’ to rob its followers of the NT relationship with God.

Ask: Where does the Bible teach that entrance to the Christian congregation would be closed in 1935, with a secondary great crowd being gathered after that? Nowhere!

They can find no Biblical support for the 1935 date.

They refer to Rutherford’s ‘flash of light’ on 31 May 1935 at the Washington JW Convention.

Note: The verses JWs cite actually locate the great crowd as ‘before the throne and before the Lamb’ (Revelation 7:9), ‘before the throne of God’ (7:15), and ‘in his temple’ (7:15), all heavenly locations, rather than on the earth as the WT teaches. 

This is similar to the wording of the only other mention of the ‘great crowd’ in Revelation 19:1 ‘I heard . . . a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven’ (NWT).

Ask: Where is this great crowd? In heaven! Emphasize that the WT has taught them wrongly. Jesus in John 17:20-24 prayed that all His present and future disciples would ‘be with me where I am’ in heaven regardless of whether they were saved before or after 1935.

Consider the following conversation with a JW:

Q1: You: I’ve heard that you believe that you are part of a great crowd who will receive everlasting life on earth, instead of going to heaven. Is that true? Can you show me the Great Crowd in the Bible?
JW:Yes, it is in Revelation 7:9,‘look! a great crowd...before the throne and before the Lamb’
Q2: You: But Revelation 7:15 places the great crowd before the throne of God in heaven, doesn’t it? ‘...they render him sacred service day and night in his temple’.(NWT).
JW: Well, the throne of God is in heaven, but the great crowd is on the earth. All creation stands before the throne of God.
Q3: You:Would you read Rev 19:1 in your Bible to see where it locates the great crowd?
JW: It says, ‘After these things I heard a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.’
Q4: You: A great crowd where?
JW: The great crowd is on earth.
Q5: You: Is that what the verse says? Read it again.
JW: It says heaven, but the great crowd is on earth.
Q6: You: How can you say that the great crowd is on earth, when your Bible plainly says ‘a great crowd in heaven’?

Conclusion:

Ask: Where in the Bible does it say that the great crowd is exempt from heaven?
Ask: Where does it say that the great crowd is relegated to live on earth?
Ask: Since the great crowd serves God in His temple (7:15), where is God’s temple located?

Answer: Revelation 11:19 and 14:17 say ‘the temple which is in heaven

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A lot of malarkey. You twist much of scripture to prove this mud, you are good but not good enough. You sprinkle truth with falsehood which makes it all sound and feel good and right. You make a small point, like women are not part of those who have the heavenly hope, yet scripture tell us that when Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost Mary, Jesus' mother and Martha were among those in the upper room, they had a tongue of fire above their head, anointed with the spirit. So you told a lie! 

You scrambled the notion about the "great crowd", you did not finish what John wrote about these people. The 'elder' who was at the throne in heaven was describing the people who had come out of the great tribulation, now did those who have the hope of heavenly life go through this period of time on earth? Did they suffer the trials and tribulations of this great tribulation? NO! Because they, those still alive on earth are taken away before Armageddon, right? The days are cut short due to them, remember? They take part in the removal of the wicked  in the war of the great day of God Almighty. Then in 19 it states about 'a loud voice of a great crowd' in heaven. Is this the very same crowd? The leap to make that assumption, is insane. This verse is about A voice seeming to be about the volume of a GREAT CROWD, not a whisper, but LOUD. It was ONE VOICE, not many like a crowd, that is what that verse at chapter 19 speaks about. A LOUD VOICE! , not many loud voices. Verse 6 heard a voice with the same volume, expansive; that of a crowd and many waters and thunders.

 And if all are indeed in heaven, what are their duties? Those who are chosen are said to be king's and priests ruling with Christ, this 'great crowd' why are we there? To be ruled or rulers? Why do we want God's will to be done on earth if all of us are going to heaven? Your logic is flawed, my friend. You seek an argument for argument sake, right?

 There has always been two class of people in Jehovah's system. The Levite were separate from the other tribes and not given a portion of the promised land, correct? Judah was the tribe set aside for the royal headship. In heaven these offices will be combined, John wrote this numbered people would be both with Christ. Chosen by Jehovah. So from Christ's death until the final sealing, only 144000 will be chosen to heavenly life. And death is not the deciding factor, having Jehovah's name on HIS LIST , does. Only Jehovah knows who has been truly chosen. Paul was confident, the twelve apostles, but who after that? Many received the Holy Spirit, but also many left and some even became wolves in the congregation. Did these ones keep their heirloom of rulership in heaven with Christ? 

When it is all done with, as John saw in vision, there will be only 144000, bought from among mankind to go where Jesus was going to prepare a place for them. Not all of us!

 

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