Jehovah`s Witness/Where did Jesus or the apostles instruct ?
Brendon can you share with us where Jesus or the apostles have instruct or limit the memorial to only 144 000 Christians who are said to be anointed?
Where does the Bible say only 144 000 Christians are the only anointed Christians ?
Please I dont want conjecture I want scripture?
Thank you for your question and let me say right at the start that I am happy to give our understanding of this as it stands, but I will not
enter into an argument with you over this or play any of your mind games
. I am not providing YOU with an answer but readers because I know you have all this information at hand so I have to ask myself why do you not do your own research? is it because you are trying to catch me out on a slip I may make or some think I may have overlooked ? Or perhaps you have found some obscure old information that is no longer relevant. I sorry if that sounds like I doubt your motive for asking, but that is is based on previous experience with you.
The understanding that only 144000 are “anointed” comes from several texts.
First Jesus tells us that there are two flocks under the one shepherd, with Jesus being that shepherd
deals with this “7 So Jesus again said to them, …..11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus tells us he has two folds of sheep that make up the one flock “16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.”
Our understanding is that the ones Jesus was referring to in John 10 before he mentions the other sheep
, are a small flock or fold. It is this small fold that Jesus syays his father is going to give them a kingdom. Luke 12:32
“ Have no fear, little flock, because YOUR Father has approved of giving YOU the kingdom” (I am using here the RSV unless I say otherwise)
In the Revelation that God gave Jesus who intern passes the message to an angle who relays it to John. In Chapter 6 we see the ride of the four horseman which we understand represents the enthroned Jesus (the white horse with its rider) the other horses show the effects of his enthronement wars, famine and death So chapter 6 is a glimpse of events leading up to the end of Satan’s system. At the end of chapter 6 and beginning of chapter 7 we understand that to angels are going to be involved in the cleansing of the earth of all that belong to Satan. They were to hold back the cleansing until </b>a sealing is done</b> Now we come to verse 4-8
“4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand..”—Revelation 7:4-8.
The listing of the 12 tribes in Revelation is different to the 12 Tribes of fleshly Israel (Numbers 1:17-47)
________ Numbers 1
we understand that the listing here is not for the purpose of identifying fleshly Jews by their tribes but to show a similar organisational structure for spiritual Israel. This is balanced. There are to be exactly 144,000 members of this new nation—12,000 from each of 12 tribes. Unlike the earthly Israel that had a specific priestly tribe (the Levities) no tribe
in this Israel of God is exclusively royal or priestly
. The whole nation is to rule as kings, and the whole nation is to serve as priests.—Galatians 6:16; Revelation 20:4, 6.
It is felt that the number of 144000 is a literal number because it is so specific here as opposed the “ great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,”Reve. 7:9-11
This great multitude “came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.? Reve. 7:9-14
. These ones are also on the earth.
The 144000 are quite different from the great multitude. The 144000 are taken from the earth to heaven
Revelation 14:1- 4 “ 1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth
. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men
, being the firstfruits
unto God and to the Lamb.”
How do I know the great multitude are on the earth. Because of the following texts.
“ Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool</g>
“or by the earth, for it is his footstool,”
“’Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool.”
“11 But the meek shall possess the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”
“18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth
and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited
!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
“5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Revelation 21:2, 3
“With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them.” (NWT)
Just some extra information on why it is felt that the 144000 is a literal number
Some argue that since Revelation contains highly symbolic language, all numbers found in this book, including the number 144,000, must be symbolic. (Revelation 1:1, 4; 2:10
) That conclusion, though, is clearly not correct. Granted, Revelation contains numerous symbolic numbers, but it also includes literal numbers. For instance, John speaks of “the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:14
) Clearly, the number 12 mentioned in this verse is literal, not symbolic. Further, the apostle John writes about “the thousand years” of Christ’s reign. That number is also to be taken literally, as a careful consideration of the Bible shows. (Revelation 20:3, 5-7
) Hence, whether a number in Revelation is to be taken literally or symbolically depends on its background and setting.
The conclusion that the number 144,000 is literal and refers to a limited number of individuals, a relatively small group when compared with the “great crowd,” also harmonizes with other Bible passages. For instance, later in the vision that the apostle John receives, the 144,000 are described as those who “were bought from among mankind as firstfruits.” (Revelation 14:1, 4
) The expression “firstfruits” refers to a small representative selection. Also, while Jesus was on earth, he spoke about those who will rule with him in his heavenly Kingdom and called them a “little flock.” (Luke 12:32; 22:29
) Indeed, those from among mankind who will rule in heaven are few in comparison with those of mankind who will inhabit the coming Paradise earth.
Hence, the context of Revelation 7:4
and related statements found elsewhere in the Bible bear out that the number 144,000 is to be taken literally. It refers to those who will rule in heaven with Christ over a paradise earth, which will be filled with a large and undetermined number of happy people who worship Jehovah God.—Psalm 37:29
.*** w04 9/1 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***
– How are the 144000 virgins? We understand that this is in reference to a spiritual sense. They have followed the council of (James 4:4 ”Adulteresses, do YOU not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.” (NWT) Those that are sealed must stay free of the false religious teachings such as the God dishonouring trinity. Stay free of the pagan inspired holidays and celebrations such Easter, Christmas, Halloween, St Valentines etc
Revelation 7 :3-4
talks about those that are sealed. “ 3... Hurt not the land neither the sea nor the trees until we have sealed
the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of those that were sealed
” How are they sealed.
The Sealing of God’s Slaves
6 John goes on to describe how some will be marked for survival, saying: “And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrising, having a 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, 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.’”—Revelation 7:2, 3.
7 Though this fifth angel is not named, all the evidence indicates that he must be the glorified Lord Jesus. In line with Jesus’ being the Archangel, he is here shown to have authority over the other angels. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9) He ascends from the east, like “the kings from the rising of the sun”—Jehovah and his Christ—who come to execute judgment, as did kings Darius and Cyrus when they humbled ancient Babylon. (Revelation 16:12; Isaiah 45:1; Jeremiah 51:11; Daniel 5:31) This angel also resembles Jesus in that he is entrusted with sealing anointed Christians. (Ephesians 1:13, 14) Further, when the winds are unleashed, it is Jesus who leads the heavenly armies in executing judgment on the nations. (Revelation 19:11-16) Logically, then, Jesus would be the one to command that destruction of Satan’s earthly organization be held back until God’s slaves are sealed.
8 What is this sealing, and who are these slaves of God? The sealing began at Pentecost 33 C.E. when the first Jewish Christians were anointed with holy spirit. Later, God proceeded to call out and anoint “people of the nations.” (Romans 3:29; Acts 2:1-4, 14, 32, 33; 15:14) The apostle Paul wrote about anointed Christians’ having a guarantee that they “belong to Christ” and added that God “has also put his seal upon us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; compare Revelation 14:1.) Thus, when these slaves are adopted as God’s spiritual sons, they receive a token in advance of their heavenly inheritance—a seal, or pledge. (2 Corinthians 5:1, 5; Ephesians 1:10, 11) They can then say: “The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer together that we may also be glorified together.”—Romans 8:15-17.
9 “Provided we suffer together”—what does that mean? In order to receive the crown of life, anointed Christians must endure, faithful even to death. (Revelation 2:10) It is not a matter of ‘once saved, always saved.’ (Matthew 10:22; Luke 13:24) Rather, they are admonished: “Do your utmost to make the calling and choosing of you sure for yourselves.” Like the apostle Paul, ultimately they must be able to say: “I have fought the fine fight, I have run the course to the finish, I have observed the faith.” (2 Peter 1:10, 11; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8) So here on earth the testing and sifting of the remaining spirit-begotten sons of God must go on until Jesus and his accompanying angels will have firmly implanted the seal ‘in the forehead’ of all of these, identifying them conclusively, irrevocably, as tried and faithful “slaves of our God.” That seal then becomes a permanent mark. Evidently, when the four winds of tribulation are unleashed, all of spiritual Israel will have been sealed in finality, even though a few will still be alive in the flesh. (Matthew 24:13; Revelation 19:7) The entire membership will be complete!—Romans 11:25, 26.
How Many Are Sealed?
10 Jesus said to those in line for this sealing: “Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) Other scriptures, such as Revelation 6:11 and Romans 11:25, indicate that the number of this little flock is indeed limited and, in fact, predetermined. John’s next words confirm this: “And 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: Out of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand sealed; out of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand; out of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand sealed.”—Revelation 7:4-8.
11 Could this not be a reference to literal, fleshly Israel? No, for Revelation 7:4-8 diverges from the usual tribal listing. (Numbers 1:17, 47) Obviously, the listing here is not for the purpose of identifying fleshly Jews by their tribes but to show a similar organizational structure for spiritual Israel. This is balanced. There are to be exactly 144,000 members of this new nation—12,000 from each of 12 tribes. No tribe in this Israel of God is exclusively royal or priestly. The whole nation is to rule as kings, and the whole nation is to serve as priests.—Galatians 6:16; Revelation 20:4, 6.
12 Although the natural Jews and Jewish proselytes were given the first opportunity to be chosen for spiritual Israel, only a minority of that nation responded. Jehovah therefore extended the invitation to the Gentiles. (John 1:10-13; Acts 2:4, 7-11; Romans 11:7) As in the case of the Ephesians, who previously had been “alienated from the state of Israel,” now non-Jews could be sealed with God’s spirit and become part of the congregation of anointed Christians. (Ephesians 2:11-13; 3:5, 6; Acts 15:14) It is appropriate, then, for the 24 elders to sing before the Lamb: “With your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”—Revelation 5:9, 10.
13 The Christian congregation is “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” (1 Peter 2:9) Replacing natural Israel as God’s nation, it becomes a new Israel that is “really ‘Israel.’” (Romans 9:6-8; Matthew 21:43) For this reason, it was quite proper for Jesus’ half brother James to address his pastoral letter “to the twelve tribes that are scattered about,” that is, to the worldwide congregation of anointed Christians that in time would number 144,000.—James 1:1.
The Israel of God Today
14 Interestingly, Charles T. Russell recognized the 144,000 to be a literal number of individuals making up a spiritual Israel. In The New Creation, Volume VI of his Studies in the Scriptures, published in 1904, he wrote: “We have every reason to believe that the definite, fixed number of the elect [chosen anointed ones] is that several times stated in Revelation (7:4; 14:1); namely, 144,000 ‘redeemed from amongst men.’” In Light, Book One, published in 1930 by the Bible Students, it was likewise stated: “The 144,000 members of the body of Christ are thus in the assembly shown as selected and anointed, or sealed.” Jehovah’s Witnesses have consistently held to the view that literally 144,000 anointed Christians make up spiritual Israel.
15 Nevertheless, does not natural Israel today merit some special favor? In the period just prior to the Lord’s day, when sincere Bible students were rediscovering many of the basic truths of God’s Word, it was thought that with the ending of the Gentile Times the Jews would again enjoy a privileged standing before God. Thus, C. T. Russell’s book The Time Is at Hand (Volume II of Studies in the Scriptures), published in 1889, applied Jeremiah 31:29-34 to the natural Jews, and commented: “The world is witness to the fact that Israel’s punishment under the dominion of the Gentiles has been continuous since B.C. , that it still continues, and that there is no reason to expect their national re-organization sooner than A.D. 1914, the limit of their ‘seven times’—2520 years.” It seemed that the Jews would then experience a national restoration, and this prospect apparently brightened in 1917, when the Balfour Declaration pledged British support for making Palestine a national home for the Jews.
16 Following the first world war, Palestine became a mandated territory under Great Britain, and the way opened for many Jews to return to that land. In 1948 the political State of Israel was brought forth. Did this not indicate that the Jews were in line for divine blessings? For many years, Jehovah’s Witnesses believed that this was so. Thus, in 1925 they published a 128-page book, Comfort for the Jews. In 1929 they released an attractive 360-page volume, Life, designed to appeal to the Jews and dealing also with the Bible book of Job. Great efforts were made, especially in New York City, to reach the Jews with this Messianic message. Happily, a few individuals responded, but the Jews by and large, like their forefathers of the first century, rejected the evidence of Messiah’s presence.
17 It was obvious that Jewry, as a people and as a nation, was not the Israel described in Revelation 7:4-8 or other Bible prophecies related to the Lord’s day. Following tradition, the Jews continued to avoid using the divine name. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7-9) In discussing Jeremiah 31:31-34, the book Jehovah, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1934, stated conclusively: “The new covenant has nothing to do with the natural descendants of Israel and with mankind in general, but . . . is limited to spiritual Israel.” The Bible’s restoration prophecies relate neither to the natural Jews nor to political Israel, which is a member of the United Nations and a part of the world that Jesus spoke of at John 14:19, 30 and 18:36.
18 In 1931 God’s slaves on earth had received, with great joy, the name Jehovah’s Witnesses. They could subscribe wholeheartedly to the words of Psalm 97:11: “Light itself has flashed up for the righteous one, and rejoicing even for the ones upright in heart.” They could clearly discern that spiritual Israel alone had been brought into the new covenant. (Hebrews 9:15; 12:22, 24) Unresponsive natural Israel had no part therein, nor did mankind in general. This understanding cleared the way for a brilliant flash of divine light, outstanding in the annals of theocratic history. This would reveal how abundantly Jehovah extends his mercy, loving-kindness, and truth to all humans who draw close to him. (Exodus 34:6; James 4:8) Yes, others besides the Israel of God would benefit by the angels’ holding back the four winds of destruction. Who might these be? Could you be one of them? Let us now see. - *** re chap. 19 pp. 115-119
For a further discussion on the Israel of God see