Accurately Interpreting the Scriptures Part 5: Revelations 14:1-5 and the 144,000

Jehovah's Witnesses and the 144,000

As I conclude looking at the doctrine concerning the 144,000, I will examine the only other passage in the Bible that speaks of the 144,000, Revelation 14:1-5.  John writes, Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they sang* a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.”

Does Revelations 14:1-15 teach only 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses will be in heaven?  The answer is NO!  Nowhere in this passage do we see only the 144,000 in heaven.  Do we have a description of the 144,000?  The answer is yes; in verse 4 will find additional information concerning the 144,000.  John informs us they are men who have not defiled themselves with women and are virgins.

When I asked two Jehovah's Witnesses if only virgin men will be in heaven, they replied no.  They said verse 4 is symbolic.  How do you know it is symbolic?  They said the Book of Revelations is full of symbolism and verse 4 is meant to be taken that way.  How do you know that?  They took me to other passages they said couldn’t be read as literal.  I agreed there are some verses in Revelations that are symbolic but Revelations 14:4 seems to be a very straightforward narrative and connects well with the previous verses.  What are your reasons for taking it symbolically?  Their final answer was “It just is.”

Again we witness an example of esogesis where the Watchtower Organization instead of taking the straightforward teaching of the Scriptures, come to the text with an agenda and without scriptural warrant and makes a claim these verses are symbolic.  This opens the door to any group who comes to the Bible and when the Scriptures disagree with their beliefs announce they are symbolic.  This method violates the exegetical rules for interpreting the Bible.

The Jehovah's Witnesses love to announce they are an organization of Biblical Truth; their claim is they let the Bible do the talking.  This is a smokescreen!  Regularly they take verses out of context to support their beliefs and when the Bible clearly contradicts their beliefs they read their beliefs into the Bible.  Don’t be fooled by this organization.  Their false teaching concerning the 144,000 is just one of many examples of Scripture twisting.  But don’t take my word for it; read the chapters yourself (Revelations 7 and Revelations 14).  You will find their belief of only 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in heaven is obviously false.

Not only are they wrong about the 144,000 but more importantly they believe in a false Jesus who cannot save them.  As a result, instead of only 144,000 Jehovah Witnesses in heaven, there will be no Jehovah's Witnesses in heaven; they will spend eternity in hell.  They need to believe in the Jesus of the Bible, fully God and fully man, second person of the Trinity.  Heaven is only for followers of the true Jesus Christ; who believe Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and bodily rose on the third day.  My hope is for any and all Jehovah's Witnesses that read this blog to turn away from the false Watchtower Organization and turn towards the one true Jesus.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • TJ August 15, 2009, 1:35 am

    Hi again. I suppose one could argue that the 144,000 are literally fruit, since they are also called “firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” in verse 4. But of course that’s figurative. 🙂

    But why wouldn’t we take them as literal virgins, instead seeing them as spiritual ones? It has to do with their relationship with Jesus Christ. The scene pictures Jesus, “the Lamb”, on Mount Zion, bringing to mind his position as the king-priest of God’s Kingdom.

    In Israel, the high priest was only allowed to take a virgin as a wife. Jesus’ relationship with anointed Christians is symbolically pictured as that between a husband and wife. So when Paul tells such Christians that he wishes to “present [them] as a chaste virgin to the Christ”, the virginity being spoken of is spiritual, not literal and fleshly. (2 Cor. 11:2) Many of those Paul was speaking to were in fact already married.

    But as far as the spiritual ‘marriage’ between Jesus and the 144,000 is concerned, they are indeed spiritual virgins, making them appropriate for the high priest.


  • admin August 17, 2009, 1:57 pm

    Were you able to read the entire series? You seem to want to focus on Revelations 14. It is best to evaluate the entire argument I made in the 5 part series concerning the 144,000. The Bible only gives 2 descriptions of the 144,000 and you reject both of them (Revelations 7 & 14). Interesting is you accept the 144,000 as literal and both descriptions as symbolic. Why?

    As I state in my 5 part series, where does the Bible say only the 144,000 Jehovah Witnesses will be in heaven?

    You also have to show how the scene in Revelations 7 changes from heaven to earth back to heaven. This chapter clearly shows a “multidude” which no one can count in heaven, which means lots of people, besides the 144,000, in heaven. How do you get the multitude out of heaven, when the context of Revelations 7 seems to set the whole scene in heaven? Plus Revelations 19 says the multitude are in heaven.

    I appreciate the dialogue…Steve

  • TJ August 17, 2009, 10:44 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I haven’t read the entire series, I was simply dealing with the point made in this particular post. You said, “The Bible only gives 2 descriptions of the 144,000 and you reject both of them.” Accepting aspects of the description as symbolic is not the same as ‘rejecting’ them.

    Revelation speaks of the Lamb’s marriage; do you take that in a literal sense as well? These aspects, the virginity, the marriage, the Israelite heritage, are all meant to help us understand the relationship that these anointed Christians share with Jesus and with his Father.

    You asked, “Interesting is you accept the 144,000 as literal and both descriptions as symbolic. Why?” That’s a good question. Keep in mind that a mix of literal and symbolic aspects in a prophetic scene is quite common. For example, elsewhere in Revelation we are introduced to the scarlet wild beast “that had seven heads and ten horns”. While the heads of the beast are symbolic, the number is indeed literal: “Here is where the intelligence that has wisdom comes in: The seven heads mean seven mountains . . . And there are seven kings.” (Rev. 17)

    Now, getting back to the 144,000, one has to realize the purpose of being stationed on Mount Zion with Jesus. This, along with many other scriptures in Revelation itself, shows that they have been anointed to reign along with him over God’s Kingdom. That fact in itself points to a limited number; not everyone in the Kingdom will be kings. That should be common sense.

    Throughout the scriptures this group is shown, again and again, to be limited, i.e. not open to everyone. With the opening of the fifth seal we see pictured those who have conquered through their witnessing, and they ask how much longer they must wait for God to bring justice, “and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled also of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they also had been.” (Rev. 6:11) Again, we are looking for a distinct number, but what?

    That is answered shortly thereafter, “and I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand.” (Rev. 7:4) That is the distinct number for those who are of the Israel of God. But are these the only ones who will be saved? No! That distinct, definite number is contrasted with an open-ended, indefinite one: “I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations.” (Rev. 7:9) This contrast emphasizes how one group has a specific number of persons, all in the Israel-like covenant relationship, while the other is open to everyone else. Both lead to salvation, but only the limited number will actually rule as kings and priests.

    So, though we have reason to understand their Israelite heritage as symbolic (the tribes don’t match that of natural Israel) and we have reason to understand their virginity also in a spiritual sense, emphasizing their spiritual purity for their ‘marriage’ to the king-priest Jesus, there is no reason to understand the specific, limited number of 144,000 in a symbolic sense. We know that that covenant group is limited and that we are waiting “until the number [is] filled”. So it makes sense to understand that definite number literally.

    I think that is enough for now. Thanks.


  • Michael Porter August 9, 2016, 4:56 am

    TJ you are so wrong and I will prove it. I don’t hide behind computer screens, call me at 770-807-2764. Those men you follow are wicked and false prophets and I will prove your interpretation of 144000 is incorrect. Don’t be afraid to call

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Do Objective Morals Exist?
Answering Tough Questions
Counting the Cost
Is God the Author of the Bible?
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Ministering to Mormons in Utah
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