Jehovah`s Witness/White Robes
QUESTION: Hi Sister T,
Could you explain who Jehovah's Witnesses believe to be the ones with white robes in the book of Revelation? Specifically:
Revelation 6:11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes...
ANSWER: Hello and thank you for writing.
White robes is symbolic for ones who have an approved standing before Jehovah God and Christ Jesus.
But in the two verses you gave it's speaking about two separate groups. The anointed ones who will be in heaven and then a great crowd or multitude that will be on earth, as the ones who go to heaven will rule over the earth with Jesus for a thousand years. That also helps us to see that there will be people on the earth, in order to be rulers over the earth they would have to have subjects on the earth to rule over. Also the ones who go to heaven do not come back later to live on the earth as kings and priests, as they and Jesus do not come back to live on earth as humans again, but will always be with the lord who is in heaven. And the ones on earth or "other sheep" remain in the earth, the Bible doesn't say they leave and come back later, but remain. Let's read about it in the Bible:
Rev 5:10 (Darby) "and made them to our God kings and priests; and they shall reign over the earth.."
Rev. 20:6 (ESV) "Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years."
Jesus said in John 14:19 (WE) "In a short time the world will not see me again, but you will see me again. Because I live, you will live also." (Jesus was speaking to the ones who would see him again in heaven.)
1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NIV) "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
John 10:16 (KJV) "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
Psalms 37:29 (JUB) "Ain The righteous shall inherit the earth and live upon it for ever."
Proverbs 2:21,22 (NET) "For the upright will reside in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, 22 but the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be torn away from it."
So Rev. 6:11 is speaking of the ones who will be in heaven with Jehovah and Jesus which has a set number, 144,000 that were bought from the earth. And as it says in vs. 11 "until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete" (RSV).
"until the number...should be complete" or "until the full number" what number? This helps us see that there is a set number to be filled or completed of how many go to Heaven. And the Bible gives us that number.
Rev. 14:1, 3 (RSV) "Then I looked, and lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 3 and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth."
Luke 12:32 (RSV) "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Jesus referred to these ones as a "little flock". As 144,000 is a little flock compared to the billions of people that will be on the earth. And this also coincides with Satan being let loose after the 1000 years to mislead ones, where? On the earth...and the ones who side with Satan the Bible says is as the sands of the sea.
Rev. 20:7, 8 (NET) "Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea."
In contrast Rev. 7:9 says these ones were a great crowd or multitude that no one could count. And they are spoken of as coming out of the great tribulation or ordeal spoken of at Matt 24:21, ESV "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be"
Rev. 7:13, 14 (RSV) "Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
So this great crowd or multitude "have come out of the great ordeal" or tribulation, after which "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Rev. 7:17 RSV ) This corresponds with Rev. 21:4 (ESV) "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
This scripture also attests to this great crowd or multitude being on earth as there has never been tears and death in heaven. And is why Jesus taught us to pray for God's kingdom to come and will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 (RSV) "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven."
So to recap, Rev. 6:11 is speaking of the ones who are/will be in heaven, 144,000, a set number. And Rev. 7:9 is speaking of the other sheep or great crowd, ones who will live on the earth, no set number, both of which are in white robes because they both have an approved standing before Jehovah God and his son Jesus Christ.
Feel free to follow up.
Have a great day!
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your time in replying. Amazing.
No chance that these verses are not speaking about two separate groups? That they are the same ones in both verses?
At first John sees ones that are GIVEN white robes and told to wait until the number of their fellow servants is complete. The verse does not say that there is set number, only that they are to wait until the full number is complete. It doesn't say that they are a heavenly group or an earthly group.
Later (after waiting perhaps) John sees a great multitude that no man could count now WEARING white robes. He does not say that they are a heavenly group or an earthly group, just that they are a large group.
Just wondering if reading straight from the Bible someone would conclude that John is talking about the same faithful ones all along.
Hello and thanks for writing,
Well Sir, You asked what JW's believed and I gave you scriptures to back up what we believed and why.
Again, white robes are symbolic for an approved standing before God and Christ. Regardless if they were GIVEN or WEARING them, they were approved by God.
And wait until the full number is complete does mean there is a set number. What else does until the full number is complete mean? It means there is a number that will be complete at some point. Therefore, it is a set number. If someone tells you that they only want 300 people to attend their event and for you to guard the gate and when full number of people is complete then close the gate. When 300 people have arrived, then the full number is complete and the gate closed. The set number of 300 is complete. It's that plain and simple. There is a set amount or number, just like the Bible says it is.
If the group of 144,000 were bought from the earth, and will rule with Jesus. Then one needs to know where Jesus is ruling? Jesus himself said that his Kingdom was no part of the world and the world not see him again, and the Bible says Jesus is at God's right hand. So those ones would be in that same place, which is heaven, and if they rule over the earth with Jesus who is in heaven, then that tells us they are in heaven too. If the Bible says the little flock would be given the Kingdom, then where is God's kingdom? Again in heaven. Flesh and blood cannot be in heaven. (1 Cor. 15:50) The scriptures I provided shows this.
Also if Jesus said there are other sheep he must bring who are not of this fold, then that let's us know that it's a separate group right there.
If the Bible says the meek will live on the earth forever, then again, it has to be separate groups if one is in heaven and one is on earth.
If Satan after the 1000 years is going to be let loose to mislead ones on the earth, and those will die, then it would be a contradiction when the Bible says that the second death has no power on the ones going to heaven as they will have immortality. But the Bible does not contradict itself, it's people who try to make the Bible be what they want it to mean.
If after the 1000 years people are going to die because of following Satan, and the ones bought from the earth and are in heaven can't die because they are immortal, (1 Cor. 15:53,54) then that also let's you know that there are two separate groups.
John says the Great Crowd comes out of the great tribulation, so where is the great tribulation to occur? On earth! did Jesus ever say that there would be a great tribulation in heaven? There are no food shortages, earth quakes, etc in heaven. John says that God will wipe out tears from this Great Crowds eyes afterwards, and death will be no more. There is no tears and death in heaven. So yes, it's clear that they are on earth. And it's clear that the others are in heaven. CRYSTAL CLEAR!
How else does one read the Bible unless they read straight from it? If a person considers the entire Bible as all scriptures are inspired of God, (2 Tim 3:16) then yes, they would come to that conclusion, because scripture interprets scripture. Not only that but Jehovah gives understanding as well, and He also does not give understanding, it's His choice. (Dan 12:10; John 6:44) And our spirit directed slave has great understanding that is backed up with the scriptures, we are Jehovah's Witnesses, we stand as one, it won't do you any good to try to taint the slave because I showed you scriptures, God is the author of the Bible and the scriptures do not lie.
Any belief no matter where it came from is learned from somewhere else. When a belief is based on what the Bible says, rather then what some man says that makes no sense or causes the Bible to be contradictory and lies on Jehovah, then I prefer the Bible based belief.
The Bible says "the wisdom from above is...reasonable", (James 3:17) not confusing or contradictory. As God is a God not of disorder (1 Cor. 14:33).
You do not have to believe the scriptures I showed you from the Bible, it's your choice. But I gave you our beliefs with scriptures that backed it up. Could it be that a belief that you were taught has caused you not to see what's plain as day? Think about it.