Wouldn't it be amusing if the GB or some high ranking member was screening this website and actually took some inspiration from a post like this?
The 144,000 Belief - What Will Happen To It?
I'm with isaacaustin on this one. As time passes, new light will have to define it as symbolic. As Rick Fearon said, "Time is their enemy."
Cthulhu... judging by what comes out in their magazines, I think there are those at Bethel who actively watch this site.
They should just add a "0" to the end of it, making it 1,440,000. They can claim that John accidentally left off a zero when he penned Revelation.
I think the 144,000 as literal is quite a cornerstone, it's not really that easy to budge it as juggling with the generations. This is how they could get out of this mess (if a WT writer gets ideas from here, I claim copyright!):
The "other calling" wasn't open in 1935, but it was always present. Even in the first century there were very few annointed. It sort of makes sense, because if 1935 wasn't the sealing of the annointed, then why should it be the opening of the other sheep's door? This would mean the sum of annointed in modern days could go up to around 140,000 without problems.
Of course this would pose a few new problems, like the fact that they claim the Greek scriptures were written for the annointed. But nothing the creative minds up there can't solve, and nothing the dulled minds in the congregations can't accept.
"It is to be regretted that some ran ahead of Jehovah's Heavenly Organization and perhaps said more than they should about a literal number going to Heaven." However, long before 1914, the Holy Spirit was instructing the Faithful and Discreet Slave, pointing forward to this being a figurative, rather than a literal number. When we examine the scriptures, it is evident that.........
I still say they'll go back to Russell's idea of 2 heavenly classes, a group of literally 144,000 "kings & priests", and a "little flock" of other anointed ones with the "heavenly hope". And of course the 3rd group, the "other sheep" with the "earthly hope".
This would kill 2 birds with one stone:
(1) It reconciles the apparent contradiction between the sure-to-continue-increasing number of partakers and the fixed number 144,000. They can say "sure there's lots of partakers, but not all of them are part of the 144,000. Only the 144,000 will rule - the rest just go to heaven."
(2) It serves to marginalize the ever-growing number of "new anointed". They can say "Yeah, sure, there's lots of new anointed ones, but they're just going to be in heaven - they'll have no authority over the earth. They're no different than your average JW apart from where they'll spend eternity. The Governing Body, on the other hand, are part of that 144,000, so you must obey them unquestioningly."
Of course that also opens up a new problem - what do the anointed-but-not-part-of-the-144,000 actually do once they get to heaven? But they've solved thornier problems in the past with a mere wave of their magical scripture-out-of-context wand, so it can be done.
Interesting observations. Thanks everyone!
Yes, it could become a typical, antitypical, representative, figurative, typical, anit-typical or some other convoluted thing.
And then, it's just a matter of mentioning that the 144,000 represent this and we have always believe this.
Rub a Dub
I'm sure that more judgement and more scrutiny will be passed on to those who believe they are receiving the heavenly calling though and many will become afraid to partake for fear of this judgement.
Its' rough to be a partaker already. NOBODY who knows you believes you're anointed unless you're OLD and have been partaking all along. NEW anointed aren't believed by the rank and file.
The tragic irony of this is that the vast majority of the GB ARE NEW ANOINTED and the Dubs follow them blindly as if they REALLY WERE GOD'S CHOSEN rulers.
"It is to be regretted that some ran ahead of Jehovah's Heavenly Organization and perhaps said more than they should about a literal number going to Heaven." However, long before 1914, the Holy Spirit was instructing the Faithful and Discreet Slave, pointing forward to this being a figurative, rather than a literal number. When we examine the scriptures, it is evident that...
Quandry, I think you are on to something. Likewise, Sir has a good followup:
I still say they'll go back to Russell's idea of 2 heavenly classes, a group of literally 144,000 "kings & priests", and a "little flock" of other anointed ones with the "heavenly hope". And of course the 3rd group, the "other sheep" with the "earthly hope"...
This will allow everyone to decide, based on their on conscience, whether they feel they have the heavenly hope or not, but whether they will be of the 144K or not will be decided when they get there.
But think for a moment: Now you have an unlimited heavenly hope and an unlimited earthly hope. Everyone who's been good enough to get to heaven will find room there - and an appropriate job waiting for them when they get there.
Down on earth, we will now have room for the people of Sodom, all the babies drowned in the flood, everyone who died without hearing the Gospel, and a few "bad guys" like Ham, Esau, Delilah, and Judas that just happened to be the poor bastards chosen to get the short end of the historic stick.
We can all watch as Jezebel, Nimrod, Herod, Caiphas, and Cain will just appear briefly after the resurrection, be judged, and then go poof! when judged and found guilty.
Without being tied to 1935, or a particular number like 144,000, there will also be room in either heaven or earth for all of the early Christians who DIDN'T get thrown to the lions, crucified, or used as living candles to light up the road to Rome during Nero's time. Maybe there will also be some room for all those truly good and devout Catholics, sincere and dedicated protestants that made the Reformation possible, and all those poor Jews who were forced to become Christians during the Inquisition, who faithfully served God with a good heart and dedication - but they lost out because they just didn't happen to have a Kingdom Hall in their town at the time so that they could belong to the "true" Christian religion of JWs.
Makes you think about all of the possibilities, doesn't it?