144,000: What’s in a number? Not you, for one thing

February 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

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.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Memorial 2009 from Watchtower Comments on Vimeo.

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6 Responses to “144,000: What’s in a number? Not you, for one thing”
  1. alex says:

    Actually Mary its the jw ignorance that astounds me….what I gather is that there main reason is fear introduced by the watchtower and lack of catechism…I say catechism because most that i know here in sydney are mainly ex catholics…and they are the ones who are the most uneducated in catholism and loudest against the church especially the one that your Bishop Fulton Sheen said…the one that doesnt exist…Im currently talking to the ones here and im so discusted on some of the accusations…theres a youtube video series that the Watchtower have promoted about their history and check there history lesson on the catholic church lol here is the link
    part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoVCDa_OrGU

    part 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXp1uPTdu38&NR=1

    part 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUHZmtAhK7A&NR=1

    part 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j06ccYP6MRk&NR=1

    part 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz-WfXbRrB4&NR=1

    part 6
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vyz8K3wp4s&NR=1

  2. mary says:

    CATHOLICS PLEASE WAKE UP AND SMELL THE BREW LETS LEARN OUR FAITH SO WE CAN SHARED IT WITH THE JW,THEY ARE JUST BROTHERS THAT HAVE FALLEN FOR SOME CHEAP TALK AND FALSE FELLOWSHIP!AND IF THEY DONT LISTEN (WITCH THEY WONT)AT LEAST THEY WILL SEE WE ARE NOT IGNORANT AS THEY CLAIM.

  3. Jim Anderson says:

    What really amazes me is how many former catholics became jw’s.
    We have SO MANY great resources to learn and defend our faith!

    COME ON, CATHOLICS! NO EXCUSES!

  4. alex says:

    ive been battling out with a JW at work for a few years now and what strikes me the most Patrick is the awesome ignorance they have over history and twisted bible phrases…The watchtower is sooooo anti catholic… if i were a jew or muslim and they printed some of the same accusative and bias claims they do the same way they do to catholics they would never leave the courts…saying that why do we let them get away with this.the watchtower and awake (comic books)are just a dumbed down version of those jack chick tracts…my friend started to praise arianism as an early testamony to the JW beliefs in some ways and i almost fell of my chair…

  5. Good catch, John. I appreciate your clarifying that point. And welcome home! I can only imagine how your former Jehovah’s Witness friends reacted when you broke the news to them. God bless you.

  6. John Davis says:

    Patrick,
    The first sentence in your post on the Jehovah’s Witnesses is incorrect. It was not until 1935 that they came up with the idea of two hopes – one heavenly and the other earthly. They began laying the groundwork for the theology change in 1931 with the publication of the book Vindication. On May 31st, 1935, at a convention in Washington DC, the then President of the Watchtower Society, Joseph Rutherford, made clear the distinction.

    By the way – I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness, now Catholic.
    John

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