The 144,000 and the Great Crowd of Revelation

by Leolaia 66 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • slimboyfat

    Damn, I thought Leo was back.

  • Vanderhoven7


  • besty

    she is, invisibly..

  • nonjwspouse

    wow , I am going to have to take my time to read and digest this. Why is she not posting anymore?

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    I imagine Leolaia being told by a chauvinistic, window-washer elder how to interpret the Bible. Utterly ridiculous!! And yet some elders do believe they know better than women just by virtue of their sex.

  • Apognophos

    Well said, never a jw. Personally, I joined this forum partly for Leolaia posts, but I'm glad she no longer posts!! Know why? Because (1) she covered a massive range of topics in her years here, and I'm not sure there was anything left to cover in her usual thorough manner (besides the occasional new light), and (2) she must have spent countless hours on her posts. Think of how much she could have done with her time if she wasn't posting! So I feel that she is taking a much-deserved vacation. I do hope she'll come back to make the occasional post and keep up with any future "new light" announcements.

  • aqwsed12345

    The Christian's heavenly hope - The unity of all Christians

    Does the Bible support the division of Christians into two classes?

    “I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:20-24)

    The main signs by which his disciples can recognize each other based on the words of Jesus: love and unity. The perfect unity for which He prayed is realized both in this life and in the future.

    God, who so wanted His children to be united, promised the same hope to all who believe in Him: eternal life, deep communion with Him in heaven. Heaven is the ultimate fulfillment of our faith. It does not belong to the visible, material world. (1 Corinthians 15:50.53; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). For now, we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12). This was God's original will, that man should live forever in perfect relationship with Him. There we reach the fullness of our relationship with Him, the Father, and all our fellow believers.

    The purpose of Jesus' coming was to " and save the lost." (Luke 19:10). Because of our sins, we were far from Him and from God, we were alienated from our Creator (Ephesians 2:1-3), we were enemies (Colossians 1:21). Jesus triumphed over sin (Romans 8:3-4), brought forgiveness and reconciliation with God (Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). He renewed our lives (Ephesians 4:20-24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:16), so that we can once again be children of God, again we can call Him Father (Romans 8:15, John 1:12-13), and be in eternal communion with Him, Jesus, and all those who love Him.

    Everyone who serves Jesus will be where Jesus is!

    "Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." (John 12:24-26)

    In the context of the above scripture, Jesus is speaking about his upcoming sufferings and the fruit of his suffering and obedience, which brings redemption to all who obey him. He also draws a parallel that his followers must be ready to give up their own lives (not necessarily in a physical sense, but primarily in a spiritual sense), and he also promises them that they will be with him forever; if they have shared in his sufferings, they will also share in his glory. Similar statements are made in the 2 Timothy letter and the Gospel of John.

    "The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us" (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
    "“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:1-6)

    Jesus encourages his disciples to trust in him, for he came to show the way to the Father, to prepare a place for us, and to take us into his heavenly glory, into eternal communion with him and the Father. His statements about the way suggest that for everyone who wants to follow Jesus, this is the way and this is the goal.

    Despite these clear statements by Jesus, Jehovah's Witnesses claim that there are two groups of Christians, with two kinds of hope. One group (consisting of 144,000 chosen ones) has a heavenly hope, while the other group (the great crowd) can count on an earthly hope. They can only come to this conclusion at the expense of ignoring the clear words of Jesus and the apostles.

    In addition to the words of Jesus mentioned above (where Jesus clearly says that all who serve him and all who believe in the word of the apostles will be together with him and will see His glory in its fullness, and partake in His joy, Revelation 3:12-21), there are countless scriptures in the New Testament that speak of the heavenly hope of Christians (Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 10:34; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Ephesians 2:6). Jehovah's Witnesses either relate these scriptures to the 144,000, or simply say that they "apply to the first Christians."

    Let's examine, therefore, one of the most important scriptures, the main pillar of their teaching.

    “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)
    "And the Lord said, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful." (Luke 12:42-26)

    First of all, the question is, did Jesus really talk about only a small number of his disciples going to heaven? Jesus addresses them as, "Do not be afraid, you little flock"? What do you think, just looking at the text, what is related here: their fear and their smallness, or the great multitude of other sheep and their smallness? The WTS would like you to think that when you hear about their smallness, it's not about their situation, but a limited number, i.e., the 144,000 should come to mind. This way, it can use Jesus' words (little flock) to contrast them with the countless multitude of other sheep.

    According to their viewpoint, this scripture speaks about the 144,000 chosen ones, they are the "little flock". Moreover, they base their demand on this verse that their members must obey the Watchtower Society unconditionally, because it is the "faithful and wise servant" who provides the fellow servants their food in due time.

    In fact, it is impossible to find a basis for such an interpretation of Jesus' words - quite the contrary!

    If you read the text from verse 22, you can see that Jesus is continually encouraging the small group of his disciples. They had much to fear: Jesus, their master, had already predicted his own death by torture (Lk 9:22,44-45), religious leaders were increasingly resistant (Lk 11:53 cf. Mt 10:16), and they were worried about their supplies (Lk 12:11,22,29). Is it any wonder that they felt "little", that is, vulnerable and lost, and were afraid?

    Secondly, did Jesus really say that only a small number of his disciples would go to heaven? Remember, when Jesus' words were spoken, his disciples were still here on earth. As for the "kingdom" expression, you probably think that this kingdom or reign is two-tiered: heavenly and earthly. The heavenly reign will one day fully extend to the earth. Since the WTS identifies the "little flock" with the "anointed with heavenly hope," they would like you to think of the heavenly kingdom when you read Lk 12:32.

    If we examine verse 32 in its context, we can conclude that Jesus is not addressing a special group of his disciples here. The thoughts are part of an encouragement that is valid at all times for anyone who wants to follow him. The flock is small, not because it consists of only 144,000 individuals, but because it is made up of those who want to walk the narrow path (Luke 13:23-24; Matthew 7:13-14).

    Furthermore, a central theme of Jesus' teaching is that no one should be lesser or greater, but all should be brothers, children of the same Father. Even if there are differences among Christians in terms of responsibility. There are older Christians who care for the younger ones, who can help them better, but their relationship should be like that between older and younger members of a family. Every Christian's responsibility is to build up the other (1 Peter 4:5, Ephesians 5:18-21).

    In the parables, we should not attempt to identify every detail, as these are figurative expressions to illustrate the message. The content of this parable is similar to the one before it (verses 36-40). Jesus told numerous parables emphasizing vigilance, as he wanted to make us aware that only by persisting in the good and continuously obeying him can we reach our goal.

    Another aspect is expressed in the parable summarized in verses 47-48. Everyone can be held accountable to the extent of their given responsibility. Those who knew God's will - the Christians -, just as those who did not know - the others. This thought may be the answer to Peter's question formulated in verse 41. Jesus wanted to make Peter aware of the fact that everyone must be vigilant, must watch the path of their life, regardless of the degree of their recognition and responsibility.

    The question is, does the "kingdom" only have this one meaning? For example, according to Rom 14:17-18, "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men." (Paul is writing to brothers who are scandalized by each other's eating habits from Rom 14:2.) So, the "kingdom of God" can also signify a state of the heart, God's rule over the human soul. If this is what Jesus meant, then the WTS cannot argue that Jesus promised heaven to the little flock. It's worth looking at the verse before Lk 12:32: "But seek the kingdom of God [and his righteousness, Mt 6:33], and all these things [i.e., necessities] will be added to you." (verse 31). The "seek" command cannot refer to them having to search heaven and earth for God's kingdom as a place where they will finally receive providence. Jesus says something else: they don't need to be afraid because the Father gives all this to them.

    For further examination, let's look more closely at two questions:


    Jesus came to save humanity, to call to himself all those who long for God's glory. Therefore, we can clearly state that the New Testament was not written only for the first Christians, and not merely for the 144,000 chosen Christians. The promises apply to all Christians of all times. This fact is clearly visible from the following scriptures:

    John, the apostle writes about Jesus' coming into the world as follows:

    "He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:10-13)

    Jesus did not come only for His contemporaries, but for all of humanity (a fact even Jehovah's Witnesses agree with). Consequently, John's words - stating that those who accept Him receive the authority to become children of God - apply to everyone who believes in Jesus. According to Romans 8:12-17, the children of God are led by the Holy Spirit and are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Wouldn't the joint heirs with Christ be with Him in heaven?

    "So then, brothers and sisters, we are obligated, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if we in fact suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him." (Romans 8:12-17)

    Similarly, Christians are referred to as "seed of Abraham", "heirs of the promise", "children of God", and "the new Israel" (Galatians 3:6-7.16-29; Ephesians 2:11-23, 3:6-7; Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, etc.). Jehovah's Witnesses claim that these expressions apply only to the first Christians and the 144,000 chosen ones. In the case of Romans 8:17, we can see that the explanation lacks any foundation. Let's examine a few more cases. Paul speaks about the identity of Abraham's children in Galatians 3.

    "Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would reckon as righteous the gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the gentiles shall be blessed in you.” For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed." (Galatians 3:6-9)

    Paul says that the children of Abraham are all those who believe (verses 6-7), they are followers of Abraham's faith. Based on verse 9, they receive blessings with him. The children of God, through their faith in Jesus (verse 26), are heirs according to the promise (verse 29). Their faith is the guarantee of their inheritance (verses 26-29).

    "For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3:26-29)

    Therefore, Abraham (according to the thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses, one of the heirs of earthly hope) inherits the same blessing as those who believe in Jesus, who are the children of God and the heirs of heavenly hope.


    2.1 The unity of believers

    First of all, we need to establish that the New Testament speaks of the unity of all believers, as we can see from the previous scripture (all believers receive blessings together with Abraham), and other scriptures confirm this position. Luke 13:25-29 clearly shows that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with all the prophets, will be in the kingdom of God with all the redeemed.

    "Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. Once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and take their places at the banquet in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:22-29)

    Jesus answers the question of how many are the redeemed. He points out how seriously we need to take the struggle, not only to hear His word but also to keep it. He speaks of only two groups of people - those who are not saved and those who are saved - who sit at the table with Him in His kingdom. He mentions those coming from the east, west, north, and south, thus including all who accept Jesus, contrasting them with those who reject Him. The believers of the New Testament - even according to the standpoint of Jehovah's Witnesses - have heavenly hope, and therefore, based on this scripture, they will be part of the same community with God as Abraham and the prophets. The expression "to sit at the table" signifies a commitment to community in Jewish thought. See Luke 14:15-24 and Matthew 8:11-12, where the same idea is expressed: the Jews, who thought of themselves as "the children of the kingdom", since they were the chosen people, are cast into outer darkness, and others (the Christians) will sit at the table with God and the righteous of the Old Testament. The Letter to the Hebrews also expresses that God has prepared the same gift, the same completeness, for the believers who lived during the Old Testament, as for those of the New Testament (Hebrews 11:8-10.16.39-40). As we saw earlier in Galatians 3 concerning Abraham: he partakes in the same inheritance and blessing as all believers.

    The conclusion that Old Testament people were deprived of heavenly hope can only be drawn if we interpret the following scripture out of context. If Jehovah's Witnesses maintain their view - against these obvious scriptures - that the hope of the righteous of the Old Testament, as well as the majority of New Testament believers, is different - the earthly paradise - they should support this claim with clear scriptures. Let's examine a few scriptures they use and misinterpret! It should be mentioned that Jehovah's Witnesses have not always taught this. The concept of dividing believers into two classes was only introduced in 1935 when they "recognized" that Ezekiel 9:1-11, John 10:16, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelations 7:9-17, Acts 2:29.34, Job 14:13-15, Matthew 11:11, and John 3:13 speak about earthly hope, and that the number of the chosen ones, 144,000, has been filled.

    2.2 Are there believers who do not go to heaven?

    The first link in their chain of argument is to prove that there are believers who do not go to heaven. They base this on John 3:13, with the interpretation that until Jesus spoke, no one had entered heaven, therefore the righteous of the Old Testament did not go to heaven as they only had earthly hope. Examining the scripture in context helps with the correct interpretation.

    "“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." (John 3:11-13)

    This passage emphasizes that no one among the people living on Earth has ascended to heaven (as Jesus did), so no one can declare what Jesus has revealed. See also: John 1:18: "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known." No one has seen the Father, no one truly knew him: only Jesus was able to declare him. Therefore, His word must be authoritative for those who long to know God. Only He descended from heaven, from the presence of the Father, only he has a divine nature, and thus the authority and knowledge to speak of heavenly things and call us there. Jesus did not intend to talk about the fate of the dead. The same thought is expressed later in chapter 3.

    "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure." (John 3:31-34)

    Furthermore, the Jehovah's Witnesses, taking the example of some important Old Testament figures, claim that they are not and will not be in heaven.

    a. David (Acts 2:34: "...for David did not ascend to heaven...")

    According to the WTS, such great figures of the past as King David or John the Baptist did not make it to heaven. And if they couldn't make it, how could we, simple believers, ever hope to get there, right? However, it's worth continuing to observe how the WTS argues: The WTS poses a misleading question. No Christian denomination's theology claims that "every good person goes to heaven". This theory might be popular among non-Christians, but only someone who does not know the Bible could make such a claim. Again, examining the broader context helps us with the correct interpretation.

    "Fellow Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having released him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades or let your Holy One experience corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ “Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, ‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’ “This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” “Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”" (Acts 2:22-36)

    Peter wants to prove that Jesus' resurrection was prophesied, and the Old Testament prophecy could not be fulfilled in David, because he did not rise like Jesus. Only Jesus' body was not found in the tomb. This contrast wants to emphasize Jesus' resurrection, but it does not reveal anything about David's state in eternity.

    Acts chapter 2 uses David's prophecy about the physical resurrection. Peter makes it clear that David's prophecy could not refer to David, because David died, and his body experienced decay, his grave is still visible as proof of this. The contrast is between David's decomposed corpse in the grave and the living, immortally resurrected Christ. David's body saw corruption, Christ's body did not, but rose immortally and incorruptible. Christ is therefore clearly superior to David, and therefore He is Lord of David.

    The Watchtower quotes Acts 2:34 about David, who did not ascend to heaven and claims that he will be resurrected for earthly eternal life - instead of heavenly life. However, just because David did not immediately go to heaven at the time of his death, this does not mean that he was excluded from the Old Testament saints who went to heaven at Christ's resurrection.

    Moreover, far from the Watchtower using this verse to prove whether David has or does not have heavenly hope, the context does not mention David's resurrection at all, but rather Christ's and how He fulfilled the promises given to David. Thus, we see that when Jehovah's Witnesses use this verse as evidence for their view on David's resurrection, it is completely unfounded.

    The translation of this verse is intended to support the idea that the deceased go into a "death sleep" after their death, and even the best do not go up to "heaven". Concerning the doctrine itself, we only note two things: (1) No biblical Christian denomination teaches that "every good person" goes to heaven. The condition for salvation ("being saved") is faith in Jesus (Jn 1:12-13), not living a good life. (2) The souls of the deceased do not go to the "heavan" after their death, as we are not talking about astronauts or airplane pilots, but to heaven. There is a difference between the two, as under the heavan we usually understand the atmosphere or outer space, under heaven we understand the place of God, his presence, the place where he is, that is, the invisible sphere of his kingdom.

    However, it is more important now to examine the correct translation of the verse. In the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, it appears: "οὐ γὰρ Δαυεὶδ ἀνέβη εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς" (see The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, WTB&TS, 1985. p. 527.). The correct translation of the text is: "For David did not ascend to the heavens...". Regarding the misinterpretation, consider the following:

    Did you notice that the Society does not quote Acts 2:34 correctly? Its exact text is this: 'For David did not ascend to the heavens', but Christ, about whom David wrote in Psalm 110:1. Again, just observe the text itself! What do you think, was Peter really talking about David and his eternal fate, or was he preaching about Jesus? I believe Peter used David's lines to validate Jesus' resurrection. He is proving that David was not talking about himself in the psalm (since he died, his grave is well known, 2:29), but prophesied about Jesus (cf. Mt 22:43). Shouldn't David's fate be left in the hands of his Risen Lord?

    We see another example of how the Watchtower Society rewrites, falsifies the text of the Bible in order to support its own teachings, and prints and distributes this in hundreds of millions of copies among the people seeking God. Is this an honest practice on the part of the translators and the publisher? Shouldn't we rather let the Scriptures form people's lives with their unaltered text? Can it really be said of Jehovah's Witnesses in the light of Bible forgery that they are the true religion because the "members revere the Bible as God's Word"?

    Our understanding is aided by examining the broader context. Peter wants to prove that Jesus' resurrection was prophesied, and the Old Testament prophecy could not be fulfilled in David, as he did not rise in a manner similar to Jesus. Only Jesus' body was not found in the tomb. This juxtaposition wants to emphasize Jesus' resurrection, but it does not reveal anything about David's condition in eternity.

    The real question that Jehovah's Witnesses need to answer is where David will be in the resurrection? The Watchtower teaches that Old Testament prophets will be resurrected on earth, as they are not members of the 144,000 chosen Jehovah's Witnesses who go to heaven. In contrast, the Bible teaches that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be in heaven. Jesus said, "But I say to you, many will come from east and west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."

    So what is the correct answer, did David go to heaven or not? In the end, yes. Two aspects need to be considered: 1. When David put the quoted text on paper, he was still on earth. 2. Today, David's soul is in heaven. However, his body has not yet risen, and it is not in heaven, as Acts 2:29 suggests.

    b. Job (Job 14:7-15)

    “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grows old in the earth and its stump dies in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant. But mortals die and are laid low; humans expire, and where are they? As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, so mortals lie down and do not rise again; until the heavens are no more, they will not awake or be roused out of their sleep. O that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time and remember me! If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my service I would wait until my release should come. You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands."

    Job 14:7-15 reflects the hopeless thoughts of a suffering man. However, from this passage, we cannot conclude that Job had no heavenly hope, as Job did not deal with the question of heavenly or earthly hope. He speaks as if the dead would not rise and there would be no hope (even on earth). But later it is clear (see Job 19:25-27) that he recognized that the decay of the earthly body does not mean the end of human existence.

    Therefore, Jesus certainly did not exclude Old Testament saints from the kingdom of heaven. Job also looked forward to a time when he would be in the kingdom of heaven and would indeed see God:

    "For I know that my vindicator lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!" (Job 19:25-27)

    Job believed that the time would come when people could see God, and he believed that he himself would see God with his own eyes.

    c. John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11-12)

    “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and violent people take it by force."

    Remember that when Jesus spoke about John, John was still alive, he was only arrested (11:2). Secondly, note: does Jesus really claim that others are greater than John because he will only be resurrected on earth?

    Does he indeed talk about John's future after the resurrection? And does he indeed compare him to those who make it to heaven?

    According to Jesus, John is "greater than a prophet", he is the greatest man who ever lived (11:11,14). However, his earthly life, his fate is tragic: he is ultimately beheaded in prison.

    Otherwise, Jesus does not claim that everyone will be greater than John because he will only be resurrected on earth. He's not talking about John's distant future, he's making a statement about the current situation. John is now, at the time of Jesus' words, such that everyone who will live in the glory of the kingdom of heaven is greater than him.

    Finally, note: Jesus does not compare John's situation with that of the anointed with the heavenly hope, but with the privileged situation of those living in the future earthly kingdom. Of course, the WTS quotes Jesus' words from Matthew ("kingdom of heaven"), not from Luke ("kingdom of God", see Lk 7:28), because it's easier to think of heaven from the kingdom of heaven, and that Jesus compares John to the anointed who make it to heaven... However, the "kingdom of heaven" at Matthew and the "kingdom of God" at Luke refer to the same kingdom, which we are waiting for to be realized here on earth. Would John really miss out on it?

    Jesus wanted to point out that the gospel he preached is on a much higher level than anything found in the Old Testament. He wanted to express metaphorically that although John the Baptist is the greatest prophet, he still belongs to the Old Testament as its last prophet. So anyone who lives in the kingdom of God (those who live in the time of preaching the gospel, in the time of the New Testament) are greater than John because they know Jesus' redemption. We cannot always identify the expressions "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" with the Church, as Jesus used these expressions in numerous parables to emphasize an element of God's work. Entry into the kingdom of heaven often means accepting God's word, turning to God, essentially living with God, not only after death, but from now on.

    Examining the broader context, we can similarly debunk the false argument applied to other Scriptures. Ezekiel 9:1-11 speaks of the punishment of the Jews during the Babylonian captivity. Because of their idolatry and sinful lives, the Babylonians defeated them, destroyed their temple, killed many, and took the rest into captivity. Despite this, God promised that not all would perish, the obedient would survive. This passage has nothing to do with the various people's earthly or heavenly hope.


    The Jehovah's Witnesses often argue that the Bible speaks of the inheritance of the Earth, so this must apply to another group of Christians. Is this really the case? Jesus spoke about this promise in the Sermon on the Mount:

    "When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he began to speak and taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:1-12)

    All blessings, the "inheritance of the Earth," the "attainment of the kingdom of heaven," the "satisfaction," the "receiving of mercy," "seeing God," and "becoming a child of God" express deep joy and fulfillment that God promises to those who seek him with a pure heart. All "conditions" of inheriting these promises, "spiritual poverty," "compassion," "meekness," "hunger and thirst for justice" are fundamental Christian qualities, expressing deep longing for God. It is impossible to divide the blessings into two categories, and thus also the Christians who participate in them.


    Jehovah's Witnesses claim that Revelation 7:1-8 and 14:1-5 speak of those who inherit the heavenly hope, while 7:9-17 speak of those who will live forever on Earth in earthly paradise.

    The interpretation of the figurative expressions of the Book of Revelation is not among the simplest tasks, therefore the images of the book are often used to support various theories.

    In this case, numerous contradictions can be observed in the argument of Jehovah's Witnesses:

    If the tribes of Israel are understood symbolically (that is, not referring to Jewish Christians, but Christians chosen from various peoples), then on what basis is the 144,000 taken literally? 12x12=144 is a symbolic number, just like "thousand", which symbolizes completeness.

    Both the 144,000 (Revelation 14:3) and the great multitude (Revelation 7:9 and 15 - where they serve in His temple!) stand before God's throne, so it's quite arbitrary to claim that the 144,000 are in heaven, while the great multitude is on Earth!

    Those belonging to the great multitude are dressed in white, which is the reward promised to the victors (Revelation 3:5), along with the certainty that their names are written in the Book of Life, and thus they have the right to enter the heavenly Jerusalem! Similarly, those who are victorious will be in God's temple, and will take their place on Jesus' throne. (Revelation 3:12.21)

    There is no indication that the victors could be divided into 2 groups, and some would just put on white clothes but would not receive the other promises.

    Rev 7:4-8 The WTS claims that literally 144,000 people make up the class of believers with heavenly hope. 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) the Levites were not considered a separate tribe.

    The WTS overlooks several biblical pieces of information. There are more than two dozen tribal lists in the Old Testament, only three of which match exactly, and some are incomplete (e.g., Deut 33). According to the Bible, Joseph was the son of Jacob, so he was indeed the founder of one of the 12 tribes. The tribal lists usually mention one of his two sons: Ephraim or Manasseh. The list in Rev 7 is unprecedented only in that Joseph and Manasseh (father and one son) appear as separate tribes. The reason for this is obviously substitution, as Dan, who became an idolater (Lev 24:11, Judges 18:1,30, 1 Kings 12:28-29), and Ephraim (Judges 17, Hos 4:17) are rightly missing. Levi could be on the list because, although he had no land, he was originally the son of Jacob and was considered a separate tribe by blood. Finally, it should be noted that both the tribe of Joseph and Levi are included in Moses' blessing (see Deut 33).

    Perhaps you also missed that the 144,000 in Rev 7 are not yet in heaven, but stand on earth. The wrath of God and the earthly catastrophe can only be unleashed after their designation, their sealing, so that they can be protected from or under the calamities. Logically, they all survive the great tribulation, or at least its beginning, right? But then how could they be identified with all the "anointed" of 2000 years, as the WTS does? How could they have been constantly called since the 1st century, and only about 9,000 remain today if all 144,000 are on earth before and at the beginning of the "great tribulation"?

    Rev 14:1-3 According to the WTS, the 144,000 do not sing on earth, but on Mount Zion in heaven. They were redeemed for heavenly life "from the earth" as opposed to other sheep with earthly hope.

    Mount Zion here could indeed refer to heaven (cf. Heb 12:22-24). But notice the text: does it really determine the number of those who reach heaven? Doesn't it rather communicate that only this group of 144,000 was able to learn that certain new song, which they began to sing in front of the Throne? Yes, they are in heaven, and there are 144,000 of them, but where does the Book of Revelation say that only this group of believers is in heaven? See, for example, the souls of the dead martyrs who had to be reassured about the fate of their persecuted brethren left on earth (Rev 6:9-11). The WTS in its book "Revelation: Its Grand Climax at Hand!" pages 100-102 tries to identify the martyrs of chapter 6 with the 144,000, but the earthly sealing of the 144,000 only comes later in chapter 7.

    It's also important not to overlook that the 144,000 in Rev 7 and Rev 14 according to the WTS is the same group. We saw that according to Rev 7, the 144,000 survive at least the beginning of the great earthly tribulation, but in Rev 14 they are already singing in heaven. However, the question is, how could they have been the anointed ones continuously called from AD 33 to 1935, for almost two thousand years? I'm not asking who they really are, but can they be those whom the WTS calls them? According to the WTS, only a few thousand of the 144,000 are still alive, the rest have long died and are in an unconscious "sleep of death"... How could all the "anointed" of 2000 years be the 144,000?

    Finally, the WTS would like you to think that when you read: the 144,000 were purchased from the earth, immediately think that they were purchased for heavenly life as opposed to the other sheep with earthly hope. It's true that they were purchased from the earth, but does John really mention this to contrast them with the other sheep with earthly hope?

    In Rev 14:4 we find this expression: "They were purchased from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb." The biblical meaning of "firstfruits" is the first in line or from a larger quantity. The 144,000 are followers of Christ who were first purchased from the earth, from among men for God and the Lamb. Either they are the first in an absolute sense (which is unlikely) or the first within a certain period. I'm not asking who they really are, but can they be all the "anointed" of 2000 years according to you?

    Rev 7:9-10 According to the WTS, since the Greek word "enopion" means "in the field of view of something", the "great crowd" is not in heaven before the throne, but only in its field of view, standing on earth. The fact that they "stand before the throne" "does not necessarily refer to a place, but to their recognized status" (Rev 6:17, Lk 21:36). The "great crowd" is part of the "other sheep".

    The WTS argues with the meaning of the Greek word "enopion": however, the basic meaning of the adverb is "in front of him", i.e. "before him", cf. Rev 5:8, 14:3. When it has a figurative meaning (in God's presence, seen by God) it is always clearly revealed from the context (see Lk 1:74-75, Acts 10:33).

    To see where the "great crowd" actually is, just read through the chapter. The great crowd serves God in His heavenly temple, not just in the "outer part of the temple in the court of the Gentiles" or "the earthly court of the temple," as the WTS tries to claim. God has no temple on earth, only in heaven (cf. 11:19, 14:17). It is also questionable how there could be a "court of the Gentiles" in heaven, and where does the Bible write about the "earthly court" of the heavenly temple?

    The WTS would like you to think that when you read: they "stand before the throne", do not think of the place (for the throne is in the innermost part of the Temple), but of their "recognized status". However, standing "before God's throne" does not necessarily mean recognized status, and even when there is no place left, only God's immediate presence (see the final judgment, Rev 20:11-15).

    Notice that all the members of the great crowd came from the "great tribulation" (7:14). However, according to the WTS latest teaching, which I think is correct, the great tribulation has not yet taken place. But then the question is, how could Jehovah's Witnesses (or anyone else) have been identified with the "great crowd" since 1935? I'm not asking who the great crowd really is, but can they be those whom the WTS identified them as?

    Finally, consider what else John writes about them (Rev 7:13-17): since they are in God's heavenly temple, they serve Him day and night, and "they shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." The great crowd will rejoice in this blessed state there in God's heavenly temple, not on the renewed earth. The question is not who the members of the great crowd could really be, but can they be those whom the WTS has identified them as since 1935?


    The communion that Adam lost with God in the garden will ultimately be restored for humanity according to the book of Revelation. Contrary to the Watchtower's teaching of two different kingdoms (the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of earth), the Bible speaks of only one Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, where the new Jerusalem (the city of God) descends to earth, and the kings of the earth enter the city. "The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it." (Revelation 21:24) How can someone enter this Kingdom? Jesus said that there is only one way, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." (John 3:3) Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day when they closed the gates of the kingdom of heaven to the common people, "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in you stop them." (Matthew 23:13)

    Revelation 21 strengthens this hope with a promise,

    "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them ... they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads." (Revelation 21:3 & 22:4)

    As a final word, we can examine John 10:14-16:

    "I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd."

    According to the WTS, these "other sheep" are the class of Jehovah's Witnesses with earthly hope, who must have a close relationship with the "little flock" of 144,000 with heavenly hope, included in the new covenant. According to their interpretation, the "other sheep" are not participants in the covenant between God and spiritual Israel, but they are the ones who will attain the Earthly paradise.

    First, read the context: does Jesus really talk about how many kinds of sheep he has or will have in terms of their hope? Does he mention something like some of the sheep, for whom he gives his life as a Good Shepherd, will not be part of the new covenant after 1935? This explanation is clearly contradictory to the last sentence of the passage.

    "...and there shall be one flock, one shepherd..." - this is the fundamental thought of the New Testament. In the Old Testament and even in Jesus' time, there was hostility between Jews and Gentiles. Jesus came to tear down this hostility, and to form into one body all those who believe in God (Ephesians 2:15 (11-22); Ephesians 3:4-7; Hebrews 11; John 10:16; Galatians 3:9; Romans 4:16). This is God's miracle, to gather all His children together, to bestow them with the same gift, and to deeply unite them.

    Pay attention to what Jesus himself says: "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold" (literally: I also possess other sheep, which are not from this fold; both verbs are in present continuous tense). According to this, there was another fold and there were other sheep even at the time when Jesus spoke these words. Therefore, the "other sheep" mentioned by Jesus at that time cannot refer to a multitude called after 1935.

    Notice also that the other sheep are "not of this fold." Who were "of this fold" for Jesus and the disciples? Jesus was "sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt 15:24), initially he also sent his disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt 10:5-6), and he also called his disciples his sheep (Mt 10:16, 26: 31, John 21:16). The sheep of one fold are therefore clearly Jews, from whom the apostles came out, and the other sheep in the other fold are obviously not Jews, of whom his disciples will be in the same way (see Eph 2:14).

    Although these other sheep existed already in Jesus' time, Jesus said, "I must bring them also" (literally: I must lead them also, again in present tense). At the same time, he will address them in the future: "...they will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock [more accurately: herd] and one shepherd." Would Jesus have been thinking about the distant future after 1935? I don't think so. According to Jesus' missionary command, all nations must be made disciples (Mt 28:19 compare Act 2:39). In him, all the dividing walls between the chosen people and the other nations fell. For the Jews, the "Gentiles" (literally: the nations) were "unclean" (Acts 10:15), "far off" and "strangers" from God (Eph 2:12-13) (see Eph 2:11-18). When? Already in the first century.

    Jehovah's Witnesses falsify God's great mystery by claiming that "one becomes two", while the Bible teaches that "the two become one".

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