144,000: What’s in a number? Not you, for one thing
Since its inception in 1881, the Watchtower Bible and Tract society, A.K.A. Jehovah’s Witnesses, has proclaimed that only 144,000 human beings will go to heaven. They get that number, of course, from Revelation 14:1-5, where we read that they are those
who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste; it is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes; these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.
They are identified as “male virgins” who have not defiled themselves with women (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἳ μετὰ γυναικῶν οὐκ ἐμολύνθησαν παρθένοι). Not surprisingly, that tidbit is not significant to Jehovah’s Witnesses, who concentrate on the fact that this literal number — only 144,000 and not a person more — will be the exclusive beneficiaries of heaven. Everyone else, including virtually all Jehovah’s Witnesses, will have to settle for paradise earth.
You’ll see in their literature many depictions of shiny, happy people endlessly picking fruit and petting animals on paradise earth. This video points out a real problem for the Watchtower that stems from, on the one hand, its insistence that only 144,000 will go to heaven and yet, on the other hand, quite a few more than that number have (cumulatively) partaken in the organization’s memorial “communion service,” consuming unleavened bread and wine — something reserved solely for those who will be among the 144,000 in heaven.
Something’s gotta give. Either the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society will eventually have to abandon its claim regarding the relatively tiny number who will be admitted to heaven, or they will have to somehow break the bad news to all the credulous Witnesses who have been partaking of the religion’s communion service thinking that they had gotten the Golden Ticket when, in fact, they really didn’t.
Just imagine the shock these poor folks are in for when the time comes and they don’t get to go to heaven but are stuck picking fruit and petting animals forever on paradise earth. Oh, and by the way, all of you who aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses are totally shafted. Not only, according to the Watchtower, do you have no shot at heaven, you have no shot at living on paradise earth either. So, you’d better pick whatever fruit and pet whichever animals you can now, before it’s too late.