Just like most everybody knows Muslim men expect 72 virgins to be waiting for them in heaven, Jehovah’s Witnesses have long been identified with their belief that God has selected 144,000 of them alone to spend eternity in heaven and all the rest of us are relegated to an "earthly hope” of living on a paradise earth.
The question of who the 144,000 people mentioned in Revelation 7 and 14 are is a very common one, and if you type it into Google, the first entry to appear is from a Christian website which, like most of the rest, incorrectly tries to explain away the number as simply being figurative. It reads:
“The ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ have almost no concept of the distinction between the literal and the figurative language in the Bible. And so, they literalize the number 144,000 in these two contexts, and ridiculously argue that only 144,000 people will gain heaven. A Watchtower publication states: ‘. . . the final number of the heavenly church will be 144,000, according to God’s decree’ (Let God Be True, p. 113). The balance of saved humanity, they contend, will live on God’s glorified earth. It should be noted that the term ‘thousand’ is used 19 times in the book of Revelation, but not once is it employed literally in this document.”
Ahh, yes, the standard old convenient trick among supposed Bible “scholars” to pass off on the most inscrutable, other-worldly text of the entire Bible, the Book of Revelation, as a metaphor any idiot should identify as such.
Just last week during the Q&A at the Bible conference held in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., a Bible student asked Jordan about the 144,000 and he gave her an easily comprehended literal answer that makes child’s play out of the centuries of misunderstanding about the number.
Jordan even acknowledged, “You know, there’s lots of things in the Book of Revelation that are different from what we’ve generally been told about it. You take (even the dispensational Bible scholars from the late 1800s-early 1900s), Clarence Larkin and C.I. Scofield, and they start with NO understanding, basically, but went a long way, and we stand on their shoulders and go on. If you don’t know more than your forefathers it’s because you haven’t sit on their shoulders and studied. You go out to a Lutheran church and they’re teaching today what Luther taught 500 years ago. Well, geez, don’t you think maybe they would have made a little progress?”
In a nutshell, the 144,000 represents the number of redeemed Believers in Israel at the time of the Second Coming who are made special “mentors” to kick off the inauguration of the New Covenant’s Kingdom program. It has nothing to do with heaven, period!
As I John 2:27 says of these Spirit-taught gurus, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
Jordan explains, “There’s going to be a class of them—the 144,000—who compare to the 12 Apostles in Acts and have a supernatural intervention that will give them an anointing where they know the things that they then can go out and teach.
“I John is written for some people in the prophetic program prior to the beginning of the 70th week. We know from verse 2:18 that the Antichrist hasn’t come yet. Well, it’s his manifestation that begins the 70th week.
“Now, those (144,000) people, verse 20 says, ‘But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.’ They have been given a foretaste of what the nation is going to get at the end. What that anointing is is Hebrews 8. The arriving of the law in their hearts is the new covenant.
“Hebrews 8:10 says, ‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people . . . for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.’
“That 144,000 is going to be some people who have . . . you know, when God wanted to start the dispensation of grace there was nobody to start it with so He intervened and saved Paul.
“When He needs to go back and re-inaugurate the kingdom program, He’ll intervene and save the 144,000. The 144,000 are called the servants of God. Revelation 1:1-2 says the book is written to the servants of God. I John is written to some people who are in that category.
“If you look at Hebrew 6:4, you see they got a foretaste of what was coming. They didn’t get it all, but they got a sample of it. Well, that’s what’s going to happen with these people. They’re going to get a ‘first fruits.’ In fact, in James they’re called ‘the first fruits’—which will come in its fullness at the Second Coming of Christ, the Day of Atonement, when the whole nation is redeemed and born.
“But in a sense the 144,000 is the whole nation too because that will be all the Believers. That will be the redeemed of Israel at that moment. They will be able to teach and when II Peter says ‘scoffers will say where’s the promise of his coming?’ they’ll say, ‘Well, II Peter 3 explains it!’
“So they’ll have books in Hebrews to Revelation that explain to them why there’s been 2,000 years of delay. The stuff in Romans through Philemon is why. Then there’s the book to the Hebrews: ‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.’
“There is a potential in all that . . . it isn’t clear in the Scripture really, but it’s certainly possible that even the 12 Apostles themselves might be resurrected to lead that 144,000! In other words, there is a mechanism in place to put that back into effect.”