To how many does the Bible hold out hope of heavenly life?
Luke 12:32: “Have no fear, little flock
, because your Father has approved of
giving you the kingdom.” - Christ taught that there were two flocks, a little one and
another one, unspecified in size.
(John 10:16) “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold
; those also I
must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one
shepherd. . .
Rev. 14:1-3: “I saw, and, look! the Lamb [Jesus Christ] standing upon the Mount
Zion [in heaven; see Hebrews 12:22-24], and with him a hundred and forty-four
thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.
. . . And they are singing as if a new song . . . and no one was able to master
that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from the
Are the 144,000 only natural Jews?
Rev. 7:4-8: “I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four
thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel: . . . Judah . . . Reuben . . .
Gad . . . Asher . . . Naphtali . . . Manasseh . . . Simeon . . . Levi . . . Issachar . . .
Zebulun . . . Joseph . . . Benjamin.” (These cannot be the tribes of natural Israel
because there never was a tribe of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Dan are not
included in the list here, and the Levites were set aside for service in connection with
the temple but were not reckoned as one of the 12 tribes. See Numbers 1:4-16.)
Rom. 2:28, 29: “He is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that
which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and
his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit, and not by a written code.”
Gal. 3:26-29: “You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus.
. . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is
neither male nor female; for you are all one person in union with Christ Jesus.
Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with
reference to a promise.”
Is the number 144,000 merely symbolic?
The answer is indicated by the fact that, after mention of the definite number
144,000, Revelation 7:9 refers to “a great crowd, which no man was able to
number.” If the number 144,000 were not literal it would lack meaning as a contrast
to the “great crowd.” Viewing the number as literal agrees with Jesus’ statement at
Matthew 22:14 regarding the Kingdom of the heavens: “There are many invited, but
Do those of the “great crowd” referred to at Revelation 7:9, 10 also go to heaven?
Revelation does not say of them, as it does of the 144,000, that they are “bought
from the earth” to be with Christ on heavenly Mount Zion
. Rev. 14:1-3.
The description of them as “standing before the throne and before the Lamb”
indicates, not necessarily a location, but an approved condition.
Revelation 6:17; Luke 21:36.) The expression “before the throne” (Greek, enopion
tou thronou; literally, “in sight of the throne&rdquo
does not require that they be in
heaven. Their position is simply “in sight” of God, who tells us that from heaven he
beholds the sons of men. Ps. 11:4; compare Matthew 25:31-33; Luke 1:74, 75; Acts
The “great crowd in heaven” referred to at Revelation 19:1, 6 is not the same as the
“great crowd” of Revelation 7:9. The ones in heaven are not described as being
“out of all nations”
or as ascribing their salvation to the Lamb; they are angels. The
expression “great crowd” is used in a variety of contexts in the Bible.
source Jehovah witnesses.