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New Light on the 144,000?

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

This is a series of videos called NEW LIGHT. I'm using this phrase as it is a unique phrase only amongst jws it is a trigger phrase for us,isn't it? There was a time when jws used to get excited when new light was announced in advance of a district assembly or a Watchtower Study article.It was a time to look forward to some new understanding or clarification,this is not the case anymore.The Watchtower has no light at this point in history and any attempt to explain prophesy or doctrine can only be described as a nonsensical mess.

In this series of videos I will be considering major doctrines of the Watchtower and hopefully shedding some light to your understanding. I'm going to do that by firstly examining their latest position then the historical position and then offer a new understanding based on solid Bible interpretation rules. It is up to you to decide if what I say makes sense. Don't forget that I am one of you,I was abused mentally by the same people you were abused too.In fact my judicial Committee was based on charges of apostasy, because I dared have a conversation online on an obscure Bible teaching.So we are on the same boat.All I offer is my research and nothing else.

After leaving the Witnesses I spend countless hours re-examining my beliefs and looking for answers to my many questions considering others sources apart from the Watchtower publications.

One of the most serious mistakes that the Watchtower has perpetrated for over 140 years is cherry picking verses and using them to create whatever crazy teachings Russell or others formulated and promoted in their magazines.I won't be doing this same mistake and I will always explain in advance how arrived in my new understanding.

Now most videos on YouTube are preoccupied on whether the number 144,000 is symbolic or literal OR whether the 144,000 are physical or spiritual Israelites.I will deal with these questions in a different video but for now I will follow a completely different line of reasoning to approach the subject and in doing so we will learn so much more about this group of people and their identity. The first rule of correct Bible interpretation is to let the Bible explain itself.It is the famous EISIGISIS vs EXEGISIS.

EISIGISIS is when you start with a preconceived idea and get the Bible to fit around it by cherry picking verses, like the Watchtower has done for so many times.EXEGISIS is when you let the Scripture explain Scripture and the most bullet proof way to do this is by considering the immediate context ,first the immediate verses, then chapter.I will be doing exactly that when explaining the 144,000 teaching.

Historical & Current Understanding

Under the subtitle "WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR FAITHFUL ONES" the Watchtower Study Article for May 2022 has this to say in paragraph 4 about the 144,000:

"What group does the apostle John see with Jesus in heaven?In a vision, the apostle John sees two groups who support Jehovah’s rulership and receive the blessings of everlasting life. The first group numbers 144,000. (Rev. 7:4) They are taken from the earth to form a government, or Kingdom, with Jesus in heaven. Along with him, they rule over the earth. (Rev. 5:9, 10; 14:3, 4) In the vision, John sees them standing with Jesus on heavenly Mount Zion.​—Rev. 14:1.5. What will soon happen to the remaining ones of the 144,000?Down through the centuries, thousands have been selected to be part of the 144,000. (Luke 12:32; Rom. 8:17) John, however, is told that only a remnant, or a small number, would be alive on earth during the last days. These “remaining ones” will receive their final “seal” of Jehovah’s approval before the outbreak of the great tribulation. (Rev. 7:2, 3; 12:17) Then sometime during the great tribulation, this remnant will be taken to heaven to join the rest of the 144,000, who have already died faithful. There they will become corulers with Jesus in God’s Kingdom.​—Matt. 24:31; Rev. 5:9, 10."

So let's read the verses in question first,Revelation 7:2-4:"And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, having a seal of the living God; and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel"

The leadership of the Watchtower has for over 100 years misadentified the 144,000 and by doing so have closed the door to heaven for every Jehovah’s Witness.It might come as a surprise to you that unlike Jehovah's Witnesses most other Christian denominations preach that ALL Christians will go to heaven not just 144,000. So how did Jehovah's Witnesses get it wrong?

Let me just say that the doctrine of the 144,000 as promoted by the governing body of jws is a Satanic doctrine and I can prove that to you.Jesus warned that Satan's ministers will always try to close the way to heaven for you and deny you of your heavenly inheritance. He said in Matthew 23:13 :"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

One such minister of Satan was Judge Rutherford who created the doctrine.Charles Taze Russel taught that both 144,000 and the great crowd are different classes of Christians that will go to heaven but he always maintained the position that the 144,000 were more special from the great crowd.When Rutherford became the president of the Watchtower he expanded on that idea and in 1935 the final separation of the two classes became doctrine.Unlike Russell who taught that both groups will go to heaven but will have different tasks and position Rutherford changed this teaching drastically by separating the destinies of these 2 groups, the 144,000 were destined for heaven and the "great crowd" for paradise earth. This is simply false.If 144,000 were the only anointed going to heaven Jesus would have mention them and so would have his apostles in their letters.In fact I challenge you to find any mention of the 144,000 anywhere in the New Testament apart from the book of Revelation.You won't find it anywhere, and that is because the 144,000 is a FUTURE repeat FUTURE group of Christians chosen for a SPECIAL mission for the last 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation.

The well known website that reflects the views of mainstream Christianity has this to say about this group:"This FUTURISTIC count refers to the theory that the 144,000 are “sealed Jews,” protected from the wrath of the Antichrist during the tribulation period. This group of people will evangelize the world during this period, leading to salvation the millions referenced in Revelation 7:9." This is how many Christians see this group as yet to come and representing only a small fraction of the billions of proffesed Christians that have lived over the past 2000 years of recorded Christian history.

So is there a way to accurately identify this group using sound Biblical interpretation? When it comes to explaining prophesy there are several universally accepted laws of Biblical interpretation accepted and applied by most respected Bible scholars today.

As you know already the first rule is to look for explanation FIRST in the immediate context.

You see these 144,000 have a very special work to do but for that, they will need special protection. So, we read in the last 4 verses of chapter of 6 of the book of Revelation,which by the way is the immediate context: "14 And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”(Rev.6:14-17)

You see the wrath of God is reserved for the unbelievers and those without special protection. You can not withstand the wrath of God without special protection. So the answer to the question “the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” is not a RHETORICAL question,I repeat is not a RHETORICAL question, it has a real answer and the answer is given in the immediate 4 verses,Revelation 7:1-4,by the way the original book of Revelation had no chapters, so these following verses are in fact the immediate answer to the question "who is able to stand",let's read: “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:”(Rev.7:1-4) So “who can stand during those days”? The answer is the 144,000!

The 144,000 are God's answer to a necessity that will only come about during the last 3 1/2 years of human history and not before then. When mountains are falling into the sea, when islands dissapear when the sky is literally falling and people will cry out for a quick death there will still be a life saving work to be done but that can only be done by humans with super powers or divine shield of protection.FIlms like 2012 and X-Men come to mind.

It makes me laugh when I read different commentaries explaining that these verses in Revelation 7:1-4 are symbolic. The angels are specifically instructed not to harm “the earth or the sea or the trees”. These are not symbolic. You need zero protection to stand next to symbolic trees burning, or symbolic earth being destroyed or symbolic sea and Islands being removed BUT you need all the protection you can get when the sky is literally falling or the mountains are being removed or islands are dissapearing as we read earlier. The 144,000 will have to walk the earth when the winds of divine destruction are unleashed upon the earth. No human being can withstand that without God’s supernatural protection.

Now, the second way of correct interpretation of the book of Revelation is by looking in the text for Old Testament imagery or symbols. One of the hardest parts of reading Revelation is knowing what the images and symbols refer to. Even when we understand what’s happening at the text and vision levels, we may not know what’s going on at the referent level. we usually know what Revelation is saying, but we’re often not sure what it’s talking about. The two places to go for answers are the first-century historical context and the Old Testament.

Although there’s no explicit Old Testament quotation in Revelation, the book is filled with echoes and allusions to the Old Testament. In actual fact, Revelation contains more Old Testament references than any other New Testament book—almost 70 percent of its verses contain Old Testament references. Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel make the most important contributions to Revelation.

So with that in mind let's consider the first of the 3 accounts in the OT that echo the vision of Revelation 7 and the 144,000.

For that we have to go back to Moses and the time of the Exodus. When the 40 years of the wandering in the wilderness were coming to an end the Israelites were called to arms to fight one final battle before entering the Promised Land, this battle was a forerunner of the last battle of the End Times before the followers of Christ will enter their “Promised Land”. Right before entering the Promised Land the Israelites fell prey to Balaam the false prophet of God that along with Balaak the Midianite king coerced the Israelites to commit fornication and offer sacrifices to idols. For that reason, 24,000 Israelites were put to death but God didn’t forgive the Midianites. He ordered Moses revenge Israel but doing that in a way that is reminiscent of the book of Revelation chapter 7 and the gathering of 12,000 of each tribe at the time of the End. Numbers 31:1-6: “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel. Afterward, you shall be gathered to your people.”3 So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm some of the yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the Lord on Midian. 4 A thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel you shall send to the war.”5 So there were recruited from the divisions of Israel one thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. 6 Then Moses sent them to the war, one thousand from each tribe; he sent them to the war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy articles and the signal trumpets in his hand.”(So what we have here is a similar structure, Moses was told to send into battle 1000 from each tribe against the Midianites, God himself in sending into battle 12,000 from each tribe at the time of the end).What's interesting is that not one of these 12,000 died in battle they all returned alive.If they died they were ressurected after the battle, but the point they all came back, not one missing.We read in Numbers 31:48,49: “Then the officers who were over thousands of the army, the captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, came near to Moses; 49 and they said to Moses, “Your servants have taken a count of the men of war who are under our command, and not a man of us is missing.”

Now this is not a coincidence, it foreshadows the 144,000 who will face the worst physical destructions in human history but due to divine protection not one of them will die during that time, like the 12,000 special forces of Israel's army that came back unharmed.

Now the second account we will consider is in Ezekiel chapter 14.Now before we read this account we need to explain what is happening in this chapter. God is making the case that I'm all human history only 3 people enjoyed divine protection in an extrodinary way, Job,Daniel and Noah.Job protection from demonic attack, Daniel protection from wild animals and Noah protection from physical disasters.Although they enjoyed protection the protection was extended over them personally.In the future the 144,000 will face all these dangers combined ,demonic attack,wild animals and physical disasters and God will not only let them save themselves but many others with them.

Now let's read the account in Ezekiel 14 from verse 12:

"12 And the word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, if a land sins against me by acting unfaithfully, I will stretch out my hand against it and destroy its food supply, and I will send famine upon it and cut off man and animal from it.” 14 “‘Even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were within it, they would be able to save only themselves because of their righteousness,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” 15 “‘Or suppose I make vicious wild animals pass through the land and they depopulate it and make it a wasteland without anyone passing through because of the wild animals.As surely as I am alive,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘even if these three men were in it, they would save neither their sons nor their daughters; they would save only themselves, and the land would become desolate.’” 17 “‘Or suppose I bring a sword against that land and say: “Let a sword pass through the land,” and cut off from it both man and animal, 18 even if these three men were in it, as surely as I am alive,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘they would save neither their sons nor their daughters; they would save only themselves.’” 19 “‘Or suppose I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my rage on it with bloodshed to cut off from it man and animal, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as surely as I am alive,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘they would save neither their sons nor their daughters; they would save only themselves because of their righteousness.’” 21 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘So it will be when I send my four punishments—sword, famine, vicious wild animal, and pestilence—against Jerusalem to cut off man and animal from it.(=This premieres the 4 horses of the Apocalypse) 22 However, some(=This some are the 144,000) left in it will escape and be brought out, both sons and daughters(=so not only they will save themselves but also save others, they are doing a last minute life saving work). They are coming to you, and when you see their ways and their deeds, you will certainly be comforted over the calamity that I brought on Jerusalem, over everything that I did to it".23 “‘They will comfort you when you see their ways and their deeds, and you will know that it was not without cause that I did what I had to do to it,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” As I said I am considering 4 OT accounts ,I'm sure there are more references in the OT but I will cover the other 2 accounts in the second part of this video where I consider whether the number is literal or symbolic, whether they are symbolic or literal Jews and their connection to the great crowd. So this video will be out next Sunday. Now another thing the Watchtower confuses is the "seal of God" with the "holy spirit", this is important for identifying the 144,000 because we read in Revelation 7:2,3:"And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, having a seal of the living God; and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads"

The Watchtower's explanation is that the seal of God is nothing more than another phrase for the Holy spirit.The Watchtower 1973,12/1 clarified :"Well, the ‘sealing’ here referred to does not mean the initial sealing of the 144,000, as if all of these, particularly all those yet remaining on earth, had not yet been sealed. The apostle Paul shows that this initial sealing takes place at the time of selection of an individual for the heavenly inheritance. He says to his spiritual brothers: “By means of [Christ] also, after you believed, you were sealed with the promised holy spirit.”​—Eph. 1:13."

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