I remember reading a WT where they quoted a source that said 300.000 Christians died in the first century as martyrs. The obvious conclusion was that the 144,000 number was filled back then. No doubt many witnesses thought this for a Question from readers was later published addressing it. It said among other things "that they could not have all been faithful." These ones were matyers. They just didn't simply claim to be Christians. They died for their faith, fed to lions, set alight as human torchers on the Appian Way. For fxxk's sake what more did they need to do in order to convince the Gibbering Body they were faithful. Now I find such claims highly offensive. Yet when I was a Witness , I hardly gave it a second thought. Go figure
Christian matyres not faithfull?
According to Revelation, the number is symbolic, not literal as the WT teaches. This is stated in the first chapter and verse of the Book. What the number actually means is anyone's guess. Why they always miss this, I'll never know. Well actually, I do know, They're false prophets. Interestingly enough a "false prophet" is hurled into Gehenna along with the Wild beast and all those proven unworthy to Jesus.
When you consider that JW's are well known for predicting the End Times and being consistently wrong this could be an indication that the WT is THE false prophet mentioned in Revelation.
It's a good analogy for those old bastards in Brooklyn to use. I can hear it now..."See, even some of the first century Christians who were killed weren't good enough to be one of the 144,000...just as all jws today may won't make it into the 'new system'".