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Where Is the Great Crowd?


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If you ask a Jehovah’s Witness if he is going to heaven you’ll almost always get an answer such as, “No. That’s for the Anointed Class only”. The Watchtower teaches that only 144,000 individuals will live for eternity in heaven. This group is made up of “Christians” from the time of Christ’s resurrection until the year 1935 A.D. The rest of the approximately 6 million Witnesses belong to a class known as the Other Sheep, or Great Crowd. This Great Crowd, according to Watchtower doctrine, will live forever on a paradise earth. Consider the following:.

 "....the heavenly hope was held out, highlighted and stressed until about the year 1935. Then as 'light flashed up' to reveal clearly the identity of the 'great crowd' of Revelation 7:9, the emphasis began to be placed on the earthly hope." The Watchtower, February 1, 1982, p.28

 What does the bible have to say about the location of this Great Crowd? Will it, in fact, reside forever on the earth like the Jehovah's Witnesses teach? Let's turn to the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures for the answer.

Revelation 7:9-10 “After these things I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. And they kept on crying with a loud voice, saying: ‘Salvation [we owe] to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb’.” So, according to this verse, the great crowd is standing before the throne where God Almighty Himself is seated. However, instead of interpreting this passage  literally, the Watchtower appeals to the Greek text and teaches that standing before the throne really means that the great crowd is figuratively “in sight of” the throne from the earth. Can this interpretation be justified? Let’s look at the next verse:

Revelation 7:11 “And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell upon their faces before the throne and worshipped God.” Here we see in the very same context that the angels are also standing “before the throne” or, if you wish, “in sight of” the throne. Would it be prudent to conclude that the angels are not really in the presence of God in heaven, but at some earthly location with the great crowd? Hardly.

Now, where are the 144,000 going to reside? That’s right. In heaven. We do agree with the Jehovah’s Witnesses on this point. Take a look at what they are doing up there:

Revelation 14:3 “And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders....” Do you see the same phrase, “before the throne”? Obviously, this group is literally in heaven. To say that the angels and the 144,000 are actually standing before God, but the Great Crowd is not, goes against any rational and honest bible interpretation. One more verse:

Revelation 19:1 “After these things I heard what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.” Any problems with this verse? Obviously, anyone reading the book of Revelation would never come to the conclusion that the Great Crowd is relegated to the earth for all eternity. In order for one to believe that, it is necessary to read Watchtower publications.

We urge you to study the scriptures by actually reading the scriptures. I heard one bible teacher say that he was told to read all these commentaries to understand the bible. After some years he realized that by reading the bible he was able to understand all these commentaries. The point is that God gave us His Word for us to read and understand. We don’t have to be a part of any elite class of Christians to interpret the bible. We need to sincerely read it while praying that the Holy Spirit would illuminate it for us. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13) Why don’t you take Him up on it?

Tower To Truth Ministries

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