In Response to Anony Mous regarding the 144,000 and other questions...

by EasyPrompt 65 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • PetrW


    I am of the opinion that it is one Beast, but different descriptions. The JWs-theology does work with two different Beasts, but they have, among other things(!), a serious contradiction in the chronology of events. JWs claim that the two witnesses, were killed and revived in 1919 when they comment on the passage in Rev 11:7-12 where the Beast that is to come up out of the abyss is said to kill them. But in the commentary on Rev. 17:8, where the Bible describes the Beast coming up out of the abyss, it says it is the Company of Nations that was formed on January 10, 1920. That is, about a year after the alleged revival of the alleged two witnesses.

    The JWs may have been aware of the problem, so they claim that the Beast of ch. 13 that rises from the sea is already the one that rises from the abyss. However, the fact remains that the Beast rising from the abyss is not described in Revelation until chapter 17.

    In my opinion, the JWs have created a fictional problem that will not arise if we accept that there are two different views of the same Beast, or even more simply: if we prefer the biblical text to the JWs' commentary.

  • Kosonen

    Hi PetrW, I have got an other understanding distinct from the WT organization. I see the 42 months to get its fulfillnent not 100+ years ago, but prior to the destruction of Babylon the Great. But the beast in Revelation 17 will get the power for one hour together with 10 kings.

    So they can not be the same beast.

  • Duran

    The said 'one hour' is referring to the 'hour of test' that is to come upon the world. That time of test is the 42-month authority of the beast.

    Beast in 13 and 17 are the same.

    [I saw that one of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but its mortal wound had been healed,]

    [The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss]

  • Kosonen

    Duran, the difference is too big for them to be the same.

    They differ in appearance and in their mission. Also the one from Revelation 13 gets struck in only one of its 7 heads, while the other in Revelation 17 goes down in abyss entirely.

    The beast in Revelation 13 will set up a new financial system, that will require people to get it's mark or name or number to be able to buy or sell. And before that they will make an image of the beast that will both talk and get killed those who refuse to worship it.

    While the beast in Revelation 17 will have only one mission, to destroy Babylon the Great.

    But you are of course free to believe what you prefer.

  • Duran
    the difference is too big for them to be the same.

    Actually, it is the opposite. The similarities are too close for them to be different.

    The death stroke on the beast is the going into the abyss. The healing of the death stroke is the coming out of the abyss.

    The 10 kings giving their power and authority to the beast is the said 42-month authority the beast is said to be given.

    When the beast is said to come out of the abyss, it is said that those who admire it with amazement, etc., that not one of their names will be written in the book of life.

    Likewise, the same is said about the beast whose death stroke gets healed.

  • PetrW

    @Hi Kosonen,

    On the question of chronology, we are in full agreement. Surely the Beast will not be here for 100+ years. It is explicitly stated to be 42 months (Rev. 17:8).

    Now the question of the identity of the Beast of chapters 13 and 17.

    I think they are one and the same Beast based on these Bible passages: The dragon, Satan, is described in Rev. 12:3 as a seven-headed beast, with ten horns, wearing ten diadems on his head. In Rev. 13:1, the beast is described in much the same way: only the 10 diadems are on ten horns. But since it is explained in Daniel and Revelation that both the horns and the heads signify kings, the difference is a refinement rather than a reason for the difference. An important statement is then made in Rev. 13:4, where it is said that the Dragon gave the Beast his power. In Rev. 13:11 another two-horned beast appears, again speaking as a dragon, and in Rev. 13:12 it is stated that he exercises power, the first beast. Then in Rev. 13:14 it is said that this beast, will make an image of the first beast, which had the wound of the sword, but began to live again. In Rev. 14:9 or 14:11 the Beast and his image, or the "mark" of Rev. 13:16-19 is still spoken of. According to Rev. 15:2 there are to be overcomers over the Beast and the image of the Beast made by the two-horned beast, and finally in Rev. 16:2 there is a description of when the first bowl is poured out on those who have the mark of the Beast and worship his image. And the 5th bowl, according to Rev. 16:11, is poured out on the throne of the Beast. The reaction is that out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast, and the false prophet, came three unclean spirits. The number here is numerically limited and besides the Dragon, there is only the first, the seven-headed Beast and then, the two-horned beast.

    The beast of Rev. 17:3 is described as having seven heads and ten horns. In Rev. 17:8 the Beast is to come out of the abyss, which brings me back to Rev. 11:8, the basic time sequence is given: first the two witnesses (1260 days) and then the Beast killing the two witnesses after it comes out of the abyss and works for 42 months. In Rev. 17:11, this Beast is the last, for he goes into perdition.

    And the end result, in Rev 19:19-20, is the Beast and the false prophet are taken captive and it is specifically stated that the two, are cast into the lake of fire. In Rev. 20:2 the Dragon, Satan, is bound and cast into the abyss and Rev. 20:4 describes the resurrection of those who did not worship the Beast and his image and receive the mark. After the 1000 years are over, then Satan is released from the abyss (prison) and because Satan does not take a second chance, he is cast into the lake of fire where the Beast and the false prophet are (Rev. 20:10).


    The seven-headed Beast is variously described, but derives its form from the Dragon. It is explicitly stated that the Beast, with the Dragon and the False Prophet, as it three entities. The Beast comes up out of the sea (from the abyss = deep sea Rev. 17:8) and wages war with the faithful - killing the two witnesses (Rev. 11:8) and triumphing over the saints (Rev. 13:7).


    Personally, I think the Beast is one because it is well documented. Most commentators agree that this seven-headed Beast is the Antichrist. I find the Antichrist question more difficult than whether there are two Beasts according to JWs-theology. Rather, I understand the two-horned beast, with horns like a lamb (Rev 13:11) because of its designation as a "false prophet" (see Matt 7:15: beware of false prophets who come in sheep's clothing...) to be the Antichrist. The apostle John, in his letters, then identifies the antichrists with the false prophets (1 John 4:1-3), and like the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:14), the antichrists also go astray (2 John 1:7).

    Traditional exegesis (as far back as Irenaeus of Lyons) sees the Antichrist in the seven-headed Beast. But I am more inclined to believe that the real Antichrist is the false prophet...


    Later, I want to look at the issue of the Beast and the false prophet through the "lens" of the destruction of Babylon the Great and the identity of Babylon the Great, as this also - in my opinion - helps to clarify roles and relationships. I have written something on the identity of Babylon for about a year now, but I need to finish it...

  • Duran

    Ch 13

    I saw that one of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but its mortal wound had been healed,

    It was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for 42 months.

    It was permitted to wage war with the holy ones and conquer them,

    Ch 11

    When they have finished their witnessing, the wild beast that ascends out of the abyss will wage war with them and conquer them and kill them.

    Ch 17

    The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction.

    These have one thought, so they give their power and authority to the wild beast.

    Ch 19

    And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.

  • Kosonen

    PetrW, I am glad that you take it seriously to examine and try to understand the prophecies in the Bible. Daniel 12:4 promises that the true knowledge will become abundant.

    Daniel 12:4 “As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.”

    The book of Daniel is helpful for understanding the 1260 days/42 months/3,5 years. Because in Daniel it is quite clear that it is only one such a period and not multiple in a row.

    This knowledge helps to understand Revelation. Because there it talks about the same 3 and half year period. In Daniel we have also prophecies about the 1290th day and 1335th day counting from the same starting point as the period of 1260 days. All this starts from the placing of the disgusting thing in the "sanctuary" and the removal of the constant offering.

    Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place, there will be 1,290 days. 12 “Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days!

    So, according to Revelation 13 a beast gets a sword stoke to one of its heads, and after that the dragon gives it great authority over all the earth for 42 months which is 3 and half years. At the same time the two prophets witness and at the end of this prriod are killed by the beast that comes out of the abyss. So this means that the beast of Revelation 13 is not the one to kill these two prophets/witnesses.

    In Daniel 7 the fourth beast and its final eleventh horn which has a mouth and eyes will act 3 and half years. I think this is the same beast as the one in Revelation 13 who has two horns of a lamb but speaks like dragon and as it says in verse: 12 "It exercises all the authority of the first wild beast in its sight. And it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first wild beast, whose mortal wound was healed."

    But this two horned beast, the USA, with its two parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, will come to an abrupt end if it is the same beast as the one in Daniel 7:11 "kept watching at that time because of the sound of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking; I watched until the beast was killed and its body was destroyed and it was given over to be burned in the fire. 12 But as for the rest of the beasts, their rulerships were taken away, and their lives were prolonged for a time and a season."

    And this beast is also the king of the north and Daniel 11:44 tells how it will come to its end: "But reports out of the east and out of the north will disturb him, and he will go out in a great rage to annihilate and to devote many to destruction. 45 And he will plant his royal tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration; and he will come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him."

    Evidently the king of the south will stay for a short time after the king of the north is destroyed.

    Danniel 8 speaks also in an other vision about the end of this king/last eleventh horn, the final head of state of USA and its power.

    Daniel 8:25 And by his cunning he will use deception to succeed; and in his heart he will exalt himself; and during a time of security he will bring many to ruin. He will even stand up against the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human hand.

    He might be the man of lawlessness, because this horn, and the king of the north will elevate itself above all and boast, as will do the man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2.

  • Duran


    Ch 19 - And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.

    When and by what means do you say the wild beast and the false prophet get thrown into the fiery lake?

    Do you believe the UN is the beast in ch 13 who gets the said 42-month authority?


    Ch 17 - [And the wild beast that was but is not, it is also an eighth king, but it springs from the seven, and it goes off into destruction.]

    When and by what means do you say the wild beast/8th king goes off into destruction?

    Do you believe the UN is the 8th king?

  • aqwsed12345

    You can't talk about the spiritual Israel here, precisely because the spiritual Israel does not break down into "tribes." So, whoever becomes a member of the Church, or the spiritual Israel through baptism, will not be given a "tribe." Tribes are physical descendants, so referencing Bible verses that talk about God accepting the Gentiles as well doesn't fit here. This is true, but it doesn't apply here because they are also Israel, but not according to the tribe. Here, however, we're talking about Israelites by tribe.

    The elect have two major groups in terms of origin, but the hope for both is the same (Ephesians 4:3-6): from the Jews (verses 4-7) and the Gentiles (from verse 9). The angel who marks God's faithful has God's sign or seal. In the past, soldiers and slaves also wore a mark. This marking reminds us of Ezekiel's prophecy, where the tau letter in the form of a cross is used for marking (9:4-6); the mark represents God's ownership. This marking is caricatured by the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16). The word "seal" was also an early name for baptism.
    Among the tribes, the tribe of Dan does not appear; perhaps intentionally, because according to Jewish belief, the Antichrist will come from the tribe of Dan. In its place is the tribe of Manasseh, Joseph's son.

    Thus, the lineage of Dan, which especially marked itself with idolatry, is excluded, implying that all those who resemble them, those who love the world more than God, will share their fate and won't be part of the elect. Idolatry first appeared in Dan's lineage (Judges 18), and Jeroboam's calf was in his territory (1 Kings 12:30). Dan is not counted among the rest in the Book of Chronicles (1 Chronicles 4–8). Instead of the tribe of Ephraim, Joseph appears because Ephraim divided the unity of Israel. So, the 144,000, marked from every tribe of Israel, represent the Jews converted to Christianity. Then verse 9 continues:

    "After this, I saw a huge crowd, too large to count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing in front of the throne and the Lamb."
    Lest anyone think that the elect are only Christians converted from Jews, John is shown an even larger Christian army from the Gentiles, indicating that it's mainly the Gentiles who populate the Church, as the army of the chosen converted from the Gentiles is vast. The contrast is clear:

    In Revelation 7:4, only those "from the tribes of the sons of Israel" (from the tribes originating from Jacob's 12 sons) are mentioned. In contrast, Revelation 7:9 speaks of "every nation, tribe, people, and language." Note: for the sons of Israel, tribes are mentioned [since Israel was divided into tribes], while for the Gentiles, nations, peoples, and languages are discussed.

    The symbolic number in 7:4 also expresses that since "their minds were blinded, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." (2 Corinthians 3:14-16). Therefore, the number of Jewish converts to Christianity is negligible compared to the converted from the Gentiles (7:9), who make up a great multitude.

    The numbers and symbols in the Book of Revelation have led many astray over 2000 years, so it's essential to understand that this is just an expressive tool for conveying theological truth. The meanings of the numbers found in the Book of Revelation are:

    • One-first: exclusivity, primacy, dignity
    • Three and a half: limited time, defined period
    • Four: universality
    • Six: perfection, in a negative sense
    • Seven: completeness, perfection in a positive sense
    • Twelve: Israel, the entirety of the chosen people
    • Thousand: multitude, large number
    The numbers and symbols shed light on the theological truth God wanted to convey: this world will end, God will judge everything, then create a new world.Different tribal lists were not entirely consistent even in the Old Testament. Indeed, this fact shatters your attempt to entirely bracket the 144,000 Israelites. Because if the absence of the tribe of Dan did not bother the author of the Chronicles (even though only the Jews were the chosen people at that time), then today, when only a part of the chosen people are of Jewish origin, why should the omission of the tribe of Dan disturb us in accepting the Israelite origin of the 144,000 as John writes it?
    "And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand from all the tribes of Israel were sealed." (Revelation 7:4)

    It's hard for you to resist the clear teachings of the Bible and to reach far with the "leaping" Watchtower tactic for ideological ammunition when it's close to you in the Book of Revelation. The tribe of Joseph indeed existed, divided into two half-tribes: Ephraim, Manasseh. Basic things the Watchtower has to deny. In Numbers 2:17, the Levites marched in good order between Gad and Ephraim.

    There is also a list in which the tribe of Joseph appears, and Levi too:

    "These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali." (Deuteronomy 27:12-13:)
    You have to realize that God freely rearranged the twelve tribes even in the Old Testament. Here is a summary of the tribe lists. There may be inaccuracies in it, but the overall picture is sure to confuse the simple Jehovah's Witness who, blindly following his brochures, wants to exploit the Old Testament listings as something clear against the list in Revelation.

    The Watchtower Society claims that exactly 144,000 make up the heavenly hope class of believers. The 144,000 cannot be literally Jewish because (1) the tribal list does not match the Old Testament lists, (2) the tribe of Joseph never existed, (3) Dan and Ephraim are missing from it, (4) and the Levites were not counted as a separate tribe.

    The Society overlooks several pieces of biblical information. More than two dozen tribe lists can be found in the Old Testament, only three of which match perfectly, and some are even incomplete (e.g., Deut. 33). According to the Bible, Joseph was Jacob's son, so he was indeed the founder of one of the 12 tribes. Tribe lists usually mention one of his two sons: Ephraim or Manasseh. The Revelation 7 list is unprecedented only in that both Joseph and Manasseh (father and one of his sons) appear as separate tribes. The reason is clearly the omission of Dan, who became an idolater (Lev. 24:11, Judges 18:1.30, 1 Kings 12:28-29), and Ephraim (Judges 17, Hosea 4:17). Levi is included because, although he had no land, he was originally Jacob's son and counted as a separate tribe by blood. Finally, it should be noted that in Moses' blessing, both the tribe of Joseph and the tribe of Levi are included (see Deut. 33). Perhaps they missed that in Revelation 7, the 144,000 are not yet in heaven but are on the earth. God's plagues and the earthly disaster can only be released after they are marked, sealed, to protect them from or during the plagues. It makes sense that they will all survive the great tribulation, or at least its beginning, doesn't it? But then how can they be identified with the "anointed" of the entire 2000 years, as the Society does? How have they been continuously called since the 1st century, and only about 9,000 remain today when all 144,000 are on the earth before and at the beginning of the "great tribulation"?

    The 144,000 are about the converted Jews; the Society believes they cannot be Jews because the list of tribes does not match one of the Old Testament lists, but on the one hand, only three of the twenty tribe lists in the Old Testament match (!), and on the other hand, Dan and Ephraim are missing because of idolatry. It only differs in two respects and for good reason. This does not exclude that Chapter 7 talks about Israel. In fact, it specifically talks about the tribes of Israel. Whoever does not belong to a tribe is not Israel. Dan's tribe does not appear among the tribes, perhaps because according to Jewish belief, the Antichrist comes from the tribe of Dan. In its place is the tribe of Manasseh, the son of Joseph. So the tribe of Dan, which distinguished itself by idolatry, is excluded, meaning that all those who resemble it, love the world more than God, share its fate, and will not have a part in the election. Idolatry first reared its head in the tribe of Dan (Judges 18) and was in its district during Jeroboam's calf (1 Kings 12:30). Dan has not been counted with the others since the Book of Chronicles (Chron. 1: 4-8). Instead of the tribe of Ephraim, Joseph is mentioned because Ephraim divided Israel's unity.

    Here we are talking about the converted members of physical Israel, which is divided into "tribes". So, whoever becomes a member of the church, that is, spiritual Israel, through baptism, will not receive a "tribe". The tribes are physical descendants.

    There are two major groups of elect in terms of origin, but the hope for both is the same (Eph 4:3-6): from the Jews (verses 4-7) and the Gentiles (from verse 9). The angel who marks God's believers has God's sign, his seal.

    This is a detailed discussion about the biblical concept of the 144,000 and its interpretation, particularly as presented by the Watchtower Society.Dan, the fifth son of Jacob, was born from Rachel's maid, Bilhah. According to Genesis 46:23, when Dan came to Egypt with his father and brothers, he had only one son. We can read this very briefly: "And the son of Dan was...” and then follows the name: “Hushim". In contrast, the youngest son, Benjamin, already had ten children by then. However, two hundred years later, after the tribe of Judah, Dan was the largest in terms of numbers (Numbers 1:27, 39). The number of Judah's warrior men was 74,600, while Dan's was 62,700. So, the tribe of Dan represented a very significant force. According to Numbers 10:25, it also played a prominent role in the camp order. He was one of the four main flag bearers and provided security for the army as a rear guard.

    Without the Israelites, the tribes would not be mentioned separately. How could the tribe of Joseph never have existed? Israel, Joseph's both sons were adopted by him, and he gave them his name (Israel) (Genesis 48:1-22).

    "Now, therefore, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine." (Genesis 48:5)

    Israel adopted Joseph's two sons, so Joseph formed a double lineage. This duality emphasized that Israel (Jacob) accepts both as if they were his. Joseph received the right of the firstborn, primarily for Ephraim and secondarily for Manasseh. However, this duality helped a lot in tribal allocations. Since Levi (under the Old Covenant) did not receive a tribal inheritance, the twelve tribes remained with Ephraim and Manasseh counted as separate tribes. They received separate inheritances and their own territories. Thus, a 13th tribe emerged. This distribution can be seen in Numbers 10, where the western group consisted of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, i.e., Rachel's sons.

    This tribal distribution will change according to prophecies and reflects the modified system given in Revelations. Firstly, in Revelation 7, Levi is also listed among the tribes. Why? Because the Levitical priesthood was a temporary priesthood (Heb. 11:20), which became obsolete with the establishment of the Melchizedek order. Within the framework of the New Testament, Levi returned to the tribes and, along with the other tribes and grafted in Gentiles, they can all be part of this new Melchizedek priesthood through faith. Manasseh is separate because he received a separate inheritance. Joseph is therefore represented by Ephraim, who also has the primacy between the two brothers. What is strange for many is the absence of the tribe of Dan from the list. According to prophecies, Dan merges with Ephraim, so he is also represented under Joseph! (Which, by the way, has already happened in history to some extent in practice). Furthermore, the merged Dan Ephraim gives the last organized warning of the end times (Jeremiah 4:15) before the appearance of the two witnesses.

    So, the tribes in Revelations are already listed according to the millennial (which can also be called the Melchizedek order) system. In Ezekiel 48, this has changed to a completely reversed order. Dan is one of the three tribes whose primary birthright promises only come into effect with the coming of the Messiah. (the other two are Issachar and Zebulun, who will call the peoples to Jerusalem) Dan will be the judge of the tribes. That's why Genesis 49 says: "I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!". In the new millennial tribal distribution according to Ezekiel, Dan will take his post at the eastern gate with Joseph and Benjamin, Rachel's sons, as a judge. (Then Dan will be at the forefront, and Judah will be the rear guard). The Messiah will come through this eastern gate, and this gate is the place of judgment. Also, in Genesis 10, Levi is not listed in the marching order, but he appears in the gate distribution! So, the order in Revelation reflects the Messianic system, that's why the list deviates from the temporary, better-known marching order. The tribes will be led back to the promised land in a much more massive exodus that dwarfs the Egyptian one.

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