144,000 & The Trinity

by Libby 22 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    I am afraid you are requesting a teeny bit too much asking for explanations about two very complex teachings, one of which is found in a highly controversial book in the NT, called the book of Revelation,which is filled with largely symbolic language that is never explained. There are flying dragons and scrolls, and whatnot, all of which defy gravity, both literal and symbolic.

    This means that we as humans need to supply the meanings attached to those symbols, and naturally not everyone agrees with these explanations.

    It cannot be covered in 5 minutes. Vanderhoven7's crisp and clear video above is an excellent summation of the Watchtower position and required 14 minutes to explain.

    1. The concept of the 144,000 can be either symbolic or literal. Take your pick.

    The Watchtower Leadership, who conceive themselves to be the elite spokesmen for God, believe that they have an explanation that is uniquely divine, and is not open to dissent or debate by the rank and file followers.

    They believe and teach that the 144,000 are part symbolic [made up of symbolic Jews from 12 symbolic tribes of Israel] and part literal [the number from these symbolic tribes is somehow literal]

    2. Some [like the SDAs and other Reformed Churches] believe that the 144k are symbolic in that they are spiritual Jews who are thus identified as the entire body of believing Christians who have been born again, and who have replaced the Jews as God's people.

    3. Those like me who belong to Dispensational Churches, [I'm a Baptist] believe that they are literally Jews from the 12 "Tribes of Israel" as Rev 7:4 says. To the charge that these tribes no longer exist and thus cannot be the literal Tribes of Israel the reply is that the tribes are not actually non existent, it is simply that the records to prove who belong in these tribes are lost. There is nothing to suggest that these records cannot be archaeologically recovered.

    It must be pointed out that the 144k are not presently in view, but will be manifest only AFTER some items of prophecy have been fulfilled. See Rev 7:1, where John says that he saw the 144k only "After these things" which is what is portrayed in the last verse of Rev 6, which appears to describe the start of the Great Tribulation. Thus the 144k are, according to the literalist view, a purely Great Tribulation phenomenon.

    In all fairness, a Watchtower Follower once told me that "After" in Rev 7:1 is symbolic, and must be interpreted as "Before these things", that is, going all the way back to 33AD.

    Yeah, right.

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    The Trinity is altogether another can of worms, and is often misunderstood. The teaching occupied the theological aspirations, and intellectual capabilities of the early Christian Church for over three centuries [which is a lot more than 5 minutes] before the issue was established.

    It is often said that the Trinity teaching is not in the Bible, which is true. However, the Teaching of God is found fully articulated in those very same pages, and that has formed the basis of the Christian teaching of who the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are. The teaching of the Trinity whether you agree with it or not, is simply not that "Jesus is God" and that's it. It is far more complex and circumscribes 6 main specifics:

    1. The Father is God. [there is no "Jehovah" in the NT, and the early Christians, even in the first century, always appealed to this Personage as the "Father" and never "Jehovah". The earliest records we have such as "The First Letter of Clement" written sometime before the writings of John, speaks of how "we love the Father". Introducing the "name" Jehovah here muddies the waters and blurs the relation between the Father and Son]

    2.The Son is God. The very same word used of the Father is used of the Son in the NT. To say that the word "God" [Greek Θεος] when used of the Father means "God" but when used of the Son simply means "a god" is not acceptable by True Christians whether from the first century of the twenty first.

    3. The Son is also a Human Being. The same Gospel writer who calls Him God [John] also calls him Man. If one expression is literal so must the other. We are not required to understand it, or to modify it so as to conform to something called "human reasoning" but simply to accept it.

    4. The NT also indicates that the Holy Spirit is God

    5. Yet there is also only One God.The early Christians never abandoned their belief in Monotheism.Thus, in some way that passes all human understanding, the God of the Bible is portrayed as far more complex than a simple Monadic view [One Person in One God] would suggest.

    6. Within the Trinity there is a titular distinction. The Son, although fully God, is nevertheless Subordinate to the Father. And the Holy Spirit is Subordinate to both the Father and the Son, despite being fully God.

    Now, to answer some of your questions:

    A. Jesus was able to pray to the Father because He was a Man who needed the spiritual proximity of God, as should we all.

    B. Jesus is God, but He is not the Father. Don't blur the distinction in these words.

    C.Trinitarians are specific in their vocabulary since the NT itself is. Thus we say that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Distinct but not Separate. You cannot separate the three, because the Father is 100% God, the Son is 100% God, and the Holy Spirit is 100% God, Distinct but not Separate.

    When you combine all the specifics in the Trinity it should answer such questions as:

    How can Jesus be God if He was tempted, since God cannot be tempted, How can Jesus be God if He did not even know when He was coming again, How can Jesus be God if.......etc etc.

  • waton

    John 17:2, 21. "... that they all [the whole number] may be one.."

    it will be a 144003 ity at least.

    I think he bible is doing a number on us. numbing.

  • Vanderhoven7

    The Trinity ...occupied the theological aspirations, and intellectual capabilities of the early Christian Church for over three centuries

    Reminds me of the Catholic church's requirements during this period . In order to be ordained into the priesthood, a candidate was required to speak on the Trinity for 5 minutes without committing more than 17 heresies. ;^)

    By the way, Jesus is my Lord and my God. John 20:28


    The Father of the OT and NT is God. God is so awesome of a being that when he speaks, his words are alive. Like a hand attached to a body, the hand is part of the body. The Father's words are like a hand [,part of his body] and exerting all of the authority of the Father. So if Jesus is the Word of God, and God is so awesome that his words are alive, then the word of God has ALL of the authority of God.

    That's how I see it without getting too technical and philosophical.

  • Londo111


    Wikipedia is always a good starting place.

    Check out the section Canonical history section: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Revelation


    An interesting book I read on the subject was from Ellen Pagels, "Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation."

    Case in point of what 666 actually means, see the section about Nero: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_Beast

    Five kings have fallen: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius

    One is: Nero

    One is to arrive but remain a short while: Galba

    Babylon the Great is identified as a city. There are schools of thought that say Jerusalem, others say Rome.

    Another thing to consider if the genre of Revelation (apocalyptic literature). Both Daniel and Revelation fall into this category.


  • Libby

    Moggy Lover thank you for taking the time to explain the Trinity. It's so complex. I can feel my brain melting trying to understand it. The penny is starting to drop though so thank you.

  • Libby

    Londo111 thanks for thinks and the info, I'll start having a read. Thanks so much

  • Vanderhoven7

    Days of Vengeance. ..is available online. ..showing that most of Revelation speaks to events concerning first century Israel

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    Thanks for that, Libby. Remember that we are dealing with the most complex idea in all existence. The Being Of God. Not only are we struggling with the idea of an Infinite God while at the same time being finite, but we are also beset by the nature of sin which restricts us in pursuing any insight into this teaching, in the very first place.

    We are thus like people racing along at the dead of night in a superfast train with windows that are muddied with mist and snow restricting our visibility at the passing scene. That's what Paul had in mind at 1 Cor 13:12. There are some verses in Scripture that can only be understood by some degree of Trinitarian application.

    Unlike the Jewish Shema that encapsulated a creedal statement of belief in Yahweh, The God of the OT, "Listen, Israel Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh" [Deut 6:4 NJB],we have no such equivalent. No NT writer made any such statement as "OK, listen up you guys, our God is one God made up of three Persons, get used to it".

    Augustine, preparing his students for the teaching of the Trinity once said:

    "There is no subject where error is more dangerous, research more laborious, and discovery more fruitful than the oneness of the Trinity".

    Train your mind to fly beyond the gravitational pull of human rationality, where reason and secularism is the only yardstick to thought, and embrace the greatness of the Divine that awaits discovery.

    Cheers and be well. Always.

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