Can you prove that only 144,000 anointed JWs go to heaven?
One core JW teaching is the idea that only 144,000 go to heaven, which is wrong. Here is the first of many reasons why that teaching can't be sustained by Scripture. Any other reasons you can think of?
1) That the 144,000 is not an exact number is made manifest by Jesus’ statement that the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will also be in heaven:
11 But I tell YOU that many from eastern parts and western parts will come and recline at the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens; … (Matt. 8:11 NWT).
Central to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs is the doctrine that the “Kingdom is in heaven, not earth” (NWT at 1653) and that neither the patriarchs, ancient prophets or anyone before the time of Christ goes to heaven. Yet somehow, in an effort to dislodge the patriarchs from heaven and disavow the words of Christ they theorize that this banquet in the kingdom of heaven is actually on earth.
Paul also stated that the patriarchs and other men of old sought a heavenly reward, not earthly, and that this heavenly destination was achieved on the basis of their faith.
13 In faith all these died, although they did not get the [fulfillment of the] promises, but they saw them afar off and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land. 14 For those who say such things give evidence that they are earnestly seeking a place of their own. 15 And yet, if they had indeed kept remembering that [place] from which they had gone forth, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they are reaching out for a better [place], that is, one belonging to heaven. Hence God is not ashamed of them, to be called upon as their God, for he has made a city ready for them. (Heb. 11:13-16 NWT).
None-the-less, the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach, incorrectly, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will not go, and never wanted to go, to heaven. This is understandable because to concede otherwise would completely erode their 144,000 theory.
Who are the “righteous” that are to be resurrected? These will include faithful servants of God who lived before Jesus Christ came to earth. Many of these persons are mentioned by name in Hebrews chapter 11. They did not hope to go to heaven, but hoped to live again on earth (Live Forever, 1989, Resurrection - for Whom? And Where? 172, 20).
If they had kept remembering and longing for the place they had left, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they were reaching out for a better place - ultimately life on paradise earth under God’s heavenly kingdom. - Hebrews 11:15,16. (W94 5/15 30, Coping With Homesickness in God’s Service).
And there is no question about the spiritual strength of those men and women of faith listed in Hebrews chapter 11. None of those were “born again.” All of them looked forward to “a better resurrection [to life under God’s kingdom] right here on this earth. - Hebrews 11:35. (W82 2/1c 29 “Born Again” - Man’s Part and God’s Part).
It is difficult to believe that millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, perhaps unwittingly, believe this without blinking an eye and completely ignore the clear words of Scripture; but they do. Never-the-less, because at a minimum Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will go to heaven, the 144,000 is symbolic and numbers at least 144,003. The final number cannot be ascertained, but is countless in the sense that it will be in the millions.
"Woe to You, scribes and Pharisees, because You shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men:for you yourselves do not go in, neither do You permit those on their way in to go in." Math. 23:13 NWT
Good. Here is another one.
Rev. 7:4-8 states that the 144,000 came from every tribe of the Israelites and then lists the names of what appear to be the original twelve tribes, but are not. As the Jehovah’s Witnesses point out “there never was a tribe of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Dan are not included in the list here, and the Levites were set aside for service in connection with the temple but were not reckoned as one of the twelve tribes. See Numbers 1:4-16” (Reasoning 166, 167). As such, the Jehovah’s Witnesses inadvertantly view the twelve tribes of the 144,000 symbolically without realizing it.
Rev chapt 7 :
Four angels - symbolic : sealing slaves of God - symbolic : The number 144K Literal : Tribes of Judah to Benjamin - symbolic :Palm Branches and white robes - symbolic : the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, -symbolic -
Does that really make a lot of sense?
As any Bible reader can attest, Revelation is filled with symbolic imagery, such as a “red dragon with seven heads and ten horns,” (Rev. 12:3), and numeric symbolism: “the number of the beast … is six-hundred and sixty-six” (Rev. 13:18).
Without the book of Revelation, would JW's be able to prove that only 144,000 go to heaven?
civics wrote: Without the book of Revelation, would JW's be able to prove that only 144,000 go to heaven?
REPLY: They can't even prove it with the Book of Revelation.
The flip-side of this question is whether the Great Crowd is standing in an "approved condition" on earth to eventually be ruled over by the 144,000. These two issues are different sides of the same coin, but think about this:
The Great Crowd cannot be standing in an approved condition on earth because Revelation 9:1-6 details the account of the Fifth Trumpet where locusts, given the power of scorpions, are instructed to torment and harm all those on earth who did not have the “seal of God on their foreheads.” This includes the Great Crowd.
1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet. And I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to the earth, and the key of the pit of the abyss was given him. 2 And he opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke ascended out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun was darkened, also the air, by the smoke of the pit. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came forth upon the earth; and authority was given them, the same authority as the scorpions of the earth have. 4 And they were told to harm no vegetation of the earth nor any green thing nor any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And it was granted the [locusts], not to kill them, but that these should be tormented five months, and the torment upon them was as torment by a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 And in those days the men will seek death but will by no means find it, and they will desire to die but death keeps fleeing from them. (Rev. 9:1-6 NWT).
According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses only the 144,000 have the seal of God on their foreheads, not the Great Crowd or anyone else.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrising, having a seal of [the] living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel:…. (Rev. 7:2-4 NWT)
Because the torment on the Great Crowd and others is to be so great that they will seek death it is difficult to imagine that the Great Crowd is standing on earth in an approved condition before God. Right?
Almost everything in revelation is symbolic and even the time sequence of John's visions are not constant, he goes from past events to current to "future" ones.
Revelation is a great book to study if you wanna get an idea or typical apocolyptic literature, but to get more out of it than that, well, do so at your own risk.
the passage in Hebrews 11 comes to mind although I'd forgotten verse 5;( even from the NWMisT)
By faith Enoch was transferred so as not to see death, and he was no where to be found because God had transferred him, for before his transference he had the witness that he had pleased God well.
where was Enoch transferred to? surely heaven?
verse 16 gives far more evidence then at Matt and Rev;
But now they are reaching out for a better place that is one belonging to heaven. Hence God is not to be ashamed of them, to be called upon as their God, for he has made a city ready for them(in heaven) brackets mine LOL
so has God got it wrong in the place he has prepared on Earth? No it is in heaven.