QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES
- 03/25/12 | Are we wrong? Is there two hopes? Is the Bible written only to the 144,000?
- 07/09/12 | Rev 14:4 says the anointed is virgin men. How can woman also have the hope?
- 07/29/12 | Comment from a visitor who believes the Christian Greek Scriptures are primarily directed to only 144,000 people.
- 09/28/12 | Visitor asks several questions about 144,000 and the resurrection
- 12/17/12 | Visitor explains why he believes the 144,000 of Revelation is not literal number.
- 02/23/13 Visitor believes Revelation proves 144,000 will be co-rulers with Jesus over earth.
- 03/07/13 Is the great crowd of Revelation 7:9 the same as the crowd of people of Revelation 5:8-10?
- 03/14/13 Visitor shows that the number of sons of God are not limited to 144,000.
- 03/19/13a Since only 11 faithful apostles were invited to the first Memorial, does that prove only 144,000 may partake?
- 04/01/14 Evidence from a visitor that the Watchtower doctrine of 144,000 is wrong.
- 04/08/14 Visitor is confused about the 2 classes of anointed Christians as stated in the WT 1/15/14
- 04/19/14 Visitor explains in more detail when we act as king-priests as a follow up to Question and Response 4/11/14.
- 01/19/15 Where does the Watchtower say that Jesus is the mediator only for 144,000?
- 05/12/15c How are people or a person baptized with the Holy Spirit?
- 10/31/15 Are you saying that all 144,000 will be on earth when the great tribulation starts?
On March 25, 2012, we received the following comment:
“I have read your writings on a hope for all Christians. but I think you're wrong. reason for this is that the Christian Greek Scriptures are written to the church of the anointed Christians, and before the defection was in full swing, so the letters are written to the 144,000 that are redeemed from the earth. the anointed ones did not understand at the time that it would emerge a large crowd with an earthly hope, but in the 1930s realized that it would appear such a group of Christians. and today there are over 7 million people living with an earthly hope, and think of all those who have died throughout history that has not been anointed, they also have an earthly hope.
“[T]o be anointed with a heavenly hope, you have to be chosen by God. You can not choose for themselves the hope of heaven. It is God who chooses the one he gives a heavenly hope.
“So when you have been anointed with the Spirit, then you have the event in your heart, spirit as collateral in the heart, it's something you remember. Then there are 2 options, 1 you must die and be instantly transformed into a spirit. 2 is transformed into a spirit when God wants.
“To have an earthly hope is not a second rate hope, there is a great hope, think of eternal life on earth in paradise. So it is God who chooses the one he gives a heavenly hope. in heaven they shall be 144,000, rule with the King Jesus Christ.”
To the author, we thank you for taking the time to not only express your disagreement, but also to explain the basis for it. We know that many of our brothers share your views. That is why this website was developed – to provide an alternative view based on more than human reason or opinion, but solidly and soundly founded on scripture. We will, therefore, take this opportunity to share with you scriptures and reasoning based on those scriptures, to perhaps lead you to consider a different conclusion. Let’s take your comments in sections:
First, you state: “I have read your writings on a hope for all Christians. but I think you're wrong. reason for this is that the Christian Greek Scriptures are written to the church of the anointed Christians, and before the defection was in full swing, so the letters are written to the 144,000 that are redeemed from the earth.”
We wonder what you base this conclusion on. Why is it that you believe the Christian writings from Matthew through Revelation was only meant for 144,000 people to the exclusion of the 7 billion who now dwell on the earth? What is the scriptural basis for that belief? For if you are correct, that means the Father and the Christ left the remaining ones on their own, so to speak, to fend for themselves without a hope of any kind until some time in the far distant future. They did not even have the earthly hope – certainly not an everlasting one! Think of all the Christians who sacrificed their lives from the first century onward believing that they were a part of the group that would inherit the Kingdom and reside in heavenly abodes with the Christ. Does that not sound like a cruel joke?
Surely, if you are correct, Jesus knew of this great crowd of permanent earthly dwellers, yet nowhere does he ever let on that most of his disciples would not be with him. And nowhere does he encourage any of his disciples to even consider living on earth forever. We find that strange if, indeed, there is an earthly hope.
And if the Christian Greek Scriptures were only written to the 144,000 anointed believers, once that number was filled, the Bible then becomes nothing more than a historical record of ancient letters that could just as well find their place in a museum. Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to mull over these writing if they are not meant for them? Are they just being good secretaries for the anointed? Aren’t they really just on the outside of God’s purpose, looking in.
And finally, why would Jesus instruct his anointed followers to go to all the nations, “teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Was not the pursuit of the heavenly hope part of the things Jesus taught them to believe? If the number was so small, isn’t that, too, a unfair tease? I doubt the Christ would engage in that type of behavior.
Then you add: “[T]he anointed ones did not understand at the time that it would emerge a large crowd with an earthly hope, but in the 1930s realized that it would appear such a group of Christians. and today there are over 7 million people living with an earthly hope, and think of all those who have died throughout history that has not been anointed, they also have an earthly hope.“
Are you implying that Jesus and the Apostles withheld this very important piece of information, namely that in about 1900 years, the anointed would be joined by a numberless crowd of believers before the anointed could receive their heavenly reward? And what about the hard work of the Apostles and early disciples? Don’t you think they could have made at least 144,000 anointed disciples within 2000 years? Jehovah’s Witnesses have made over 7 million disciples in less than 100 years. And if not, why wouldn’t Jesus give them some instructions on how to deal with this great crowd, or how to explain to them that they were not sons of God and not going to heaven, and that the Bible was not written to them? We don’t see anywhere in the scriptures where Jesus prepared them for such a contingency. Even as we read the scriptures pertaining to a future time when the Son of Man arrives, we still do not see any indication that there would be a secondary class who would live forever on earth. Notice the parable of the Sheep and the Goats:
“When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. . . And these [goats] will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the [sheep] into everlasting life.”
– Matthew 25:31-33, 46
So, you see the two destinies when the Son of man arrives in the future, presumably after the 1930s – either inheriting the Kingdom (heavenly life) and death. No mention of everlasting life on earth. Think, too, if righteousness leads to everlasting life in the heavens, what is the requirement for life on earth? Semi-righteousness? Half-heartedness? Or, again, is it just a cruel tease such that no matter what they do, they will never attain to the heavenly hope.
As far as the millions of people who have died not knowing they were sons of the God, we do not necessarily agree with that conclusion. We believe that most Christians who have died since the first century surely expected to be with the Christ in heaven. It is only the few Jehovah’s Witnesses who died since 1930 who may have been confused. Yet, they have lost nothing. Whether we believe in the promises of God or not, the promises will be fulfilled. When those asleep in death awaken, they will awaken exactly where the Father intended. If they were faithful, they will inherit the Kingdom. Notice in the scripture we just considered that those gaining the heavenly inheritance were surprised. They didn’t expect it. Nevertheless, they were granted it. It is as Jesus said:
“My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is something greater than all other things, and no one can snatch them out of the hand of the Father.”
– John 10:27-29
Do you agreed that the so-called “other sheep” listen to the Christ’s voice? Do you agree that they “follow” him? If so, there is nothing that can be done to snatch away their heavenly hope, not even their supreme humility.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8:38-39
Next you say: “[T]o be anointed with a heavenly hope, you have to be chosen by God. You can not choose for themselves the hope of heaven. It is God who chooses the one he gives a heavenly hope.”
“For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”
– Acts 10:34-35
This scripture puts the heavenly hope in the hands of the individual free will creatures. And if we fear God and work righteousness, he accepts us. And accepts us to what? To what? To the only hope held out in the Christian Greek Scriptures – the heavenly hope. Paul offered counsel on this matter, in the event we become confused:
“Not that I have already received it or am already made perfect, but I am pursuing to see if I may also lay hold on that for which I have also been laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not yet consider myself as having laid hold on [it]; but there is one thing about it: Forgetting the things behind and stretching forward to the things ahead, I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus. Let us, then, as many of us as are mature, be of this mental attitude; and if you are mentally inclined otherwise in any respect, God will reveal the above [attitude] to you.”
– Philippians 3:12-15
Yes, Paul was telling us if we are unclear about the need to pursue down toward the upward call, we should pray about it and God will readjust our thinking.
You also say: “So when you have been anointed with the Spirit, then you have the event in your heart, spirit as collateral in the heart, it's something you remember. Then there are 2 options, 1 you must die and be instantly transformed into a spirit. 2 is transformed into a spirit when God wants.”
We do not disagree with you here. But you may be getting the cart before the horse. Jesus came to reveal that we are ALL faith sons of God, we just don’t know about it. It is not until we become aware and accept that position that our anointing occurs. We are not anointed first and then become sons. Notice how this is stressed in Galatians:
“Now I say that as long as the heir is a babe he does not differ at all from a slave, lord of all things though he is, but he is under men in charge and under stewards until the day his father appointed beforehand. Likewise we also, when we were babes, continued enslaved by the elementary things belonging to the world. But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent forth his Son, who came to be out of a woman and who came to be under law, that he might release by purchase those under law, that we, in turn, might receive the adoption as sons. Now because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into our hearts and it cries out: “Abba, Father!” So, then, you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, also an heir through God.”
– Galatians 4:1-7
The anointing is not always associated with some outward manifestation. (Please see our Questions and Responses, February 25, 2012 which discusses in more detail the anointing.) And it is because some misled, but well-intentioned individuals stress that there must be some tremendous spiritual manifestation of the anointing that causes many humble and unassuming brothers and sisters to wrongly conclude that they must not be anointed. Therefore, the only other option is that perhaps there is some other provision for survival such as everlasting life on earth. This is a travesty. And there will be an accounting for stumbling these little ones. (Mark 9:42)
Finally, you tell us: “To have an earthly hope is not a second rate hope, there is a great hope, think of eternal life on earth in paradise. So it is God who chooses the one he gives a heavenly hope. in heaven they shall be 144,000, rule with the King Jesus Christ.”
We have NEVER referred to an earthly hope as a second rate hope. We have stated that there is no such hope of everlasting life on earth. The scriptures tell us that God’s plan for us is to inherit the heavens. Not us, but Paul said that to keep your minds on earthly things was error and shameful.
“For there are many, I used to mention them often but now I mention them also with weeping, who are walking as the enemies of the torture stake of the Christ, and their finish is destruction, and their god is their belly, and their glory consists in their shame, and they have their minds upon things of the earth. As for us, our citizenship exists in the heavens, from which place also we are eagerly waiting for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will refashion our humiliated body to be conformed to his glorious body according to the operation of the power that he has, even to subject all things to himself.”
– Philippians 3:18-21
“If, however, you were raised up with the Christ, go on seeking the things above, where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Keep your minds fixed on the things above not on the things upon the earth.”
– Colossians 3:1-2
The idea among Jehovah’s Witnesses of everlasting life on earth began as a teaching that they were a secondary heavenly class. Then over time, the teaching was changed such that the secondary heavenly class was now an earthly class. The development of this teaching is laid out for you in the Watchtower publication entitled “Revelation, Its Grand Climax at Hand,” Chapter 20. As you read that chapter, notice the authorities for the teaching – prior Watchtower publications, not scriptures. We believe the Society was acting in good faith and teaching to the best of its ability and understanding at that time. But the light has gotten brighter as we can clearly see in the in 2007 Questions from Readers. It appears to us, they were closer to the truth when they taught a “secondary heavenly class.”
As for us, we have stated in several articles that:
“The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.”
– Psalms 37:29
We just do not believe the Bible teaches that they will reside forever on earth as individuals. (See our article Bringing it All Together.) And for as long as the righteous ones continue on the earth during that time, they will have a happy and joyous life. However, they are still faith sons of God who will attain to the heavens either, as you say, at their mortal death, or at a time of God’s choosing.
It befuddles us as to why anyone would want to shut our fellow brothers and sisters out of the Kingdom of the Heavens. How are self-professed anointed Christians harmed by that reality? Remember the question in the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard:
“Fellow, I do you no wrong. You agreed with me for a denarius, did you not? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last one the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with my own things? Or is your eye wicked because I am good?"
– Matthew 20:13-15
Brothers, the Father is indeed good. And He welcomes all who exercise righteousness to “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
We hope we have at least given you some things to think about. And we encourage you to stand on truth, faith, hope and love, not just theology. Theology will not save you!
Your brothers in the faith_
On July 29, 2012, we received the following comment and inquiry:
“The Christian Greek Scriptures were written to various churches in the first century, and those who received the letters looked at them as special letters addressed to themself. So we must understand that when we say that the Christian Greek Scriptures are written to the 144,000 anointed Christians, we understand the letters in a different way. They were directed to the anointed Christians.
“Revelation has its fulfillment in the day to the lord Jesus Christ, which began in 1914, where we read of the great multitude who have an earthly hope. They also need the Christian Greek Scriptures.”
To the author, we thank you for posting your comments. It appears that you are new to the site and have not had an opportunity to read many of the articles. We believe if you do so, you will be enlightened and encouraged.
We do agree that the Christian Greek Scriptures are needed by those who have an “earthly hope.” They need to read those scriptures so they will know what their true hope is, namely everlasting life in the heavens, for they, too, are among the anointed – they just don’t know it yet.
But let’s be frank, and very clear. Isn’t it true that, aside from the gospels, the book of Acts and the book of Revelation, the Christians Greek Scriptures were written to the Christians in first century? Romans was written to the congregation in Rome, Galatians was written to the congregation in Galatia, Colossians was written to the congregation in Colossae, and so forth. So really, in the truest sense of the words, the Christian Greek Scriptures were NOT written to modern day Christians. But anyone who reads the writings are benefitted because they contain the most widely available record of Jesus and his teachings, and of how his audience understood him.
These same teachings were handed down from century to century, from generation to generation with the same hope being held out to all – the heavenly hope. As Paul wrote:
“I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus. Let us, then, as many of us as are mature, be of this mental attitude; and if you are mentally inclined otherwise in any respect, God will reveal the above [attitude] to you.”
– Philippians 3:14-15
In fact, Jesus commissioned his first century apostles and disciples to preach the good news of the kingdom as he taught it and exemplified it. And that message was to continue, unchanged, “until the conclusion of the system of things.”
“And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: ‘All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
– Matthew 28:18-20
No authority has been given to change the message. In fact, the Christian Greek Scriptures contain a specific warning against changing the message of Jesus:
“However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed. As we have said above, I also now say again, Whoever it is that is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.”
– Galatians 1:8-9
So isn’t it time to drop the self-appointed theories of superiority and favoritism of 144,000 people over the billions of mankind who have sought and served the God over the past millenniums? Isn’t it time to humble ourselves and accept all men as our brothers? Isn’t it time to admit that we have misunderstood the Revelation, rather than arrogantly challenge the clear and plain teachings of Jesus and the apostles that we are all brothers with a heavenly hope in view? (Matthew 23:8-9; Galatians 3:26; Colossians 3:14-15)
Rather than reiterate what we have already published, we direct your attention to the following articles on the Christian hope: “The Cherished Earthly Hope,” “Moving Forward in Faith,” “Who are Led by Spirit?” and “Foreordained from the Founding of the World.” These articles will address your comments far more fully than we can in this section.
If, after reading the articles, you still hold the view only 144,000 are sons of God, that only 144,000 have a special relationship to the Christian Greek Scriptures, and that only 144,000 have the hope of going to heaven, then please write us again letting us know where you believe we err. Thank you again for your posting.