A mistake is in presuming that the Little Flock of 144,000 are the only ones who will receive a heavenly reward. The Anointed can be broken down into two classes after death: 1) the 144,000 and 2) those who fall short of the 144,000, but who are not going into second death.
We believe this second class is the same as the Great Crowd of Rev. 7. Notice the scriptural evidence for this second class.
1 Cor 9:24 – “Do YOU not know that the runners in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that YOU may attain it.” NWT
A Full Reward:
Building on our Foundation:
“11 ¶ For no man can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood materials, hay, stubble, 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the day will show it up, because it will be revealed by means of fire; and the fire itself will prove what sort of work each one’s is. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward; 15 if anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved; yet, if so, it will be as through fire.” (1Co 3:11-15 NWT_)
This passage describes two classes, both of whom build their foundation in Christ (vs 11). The Little Flock are the ones described as building with gold, silver and precious stones (vs 12). They will be rewarded (vs 14). The second group of the anointed build with wood, hay and stubble (vs 12). They will be saved through fire (trials, great tribulation)(vs 15)
The gold, silver and precious stones are the Christ-like character qualities developed (i.e. the fruits of the spirit). The wood, hay and stubble are the deficient character qualities of this anointed group which disqualify them from the 144,000 office of priests and kings (Rev 20:6). However, these are not going into second death. As verse 15 says, they will be “saved.” This is the Great Crowd of Rev 7. They come out of great tribulation, which for some is that tribulation in coming out of Armageddon and for others the personal tribulation they experience in their life before dying, which Jehovah permits to help them wash the spots (sins) off of their robes (Rev 7:14)
Discreet and Foolish Virgins:
“1 ¶ “Then the kingdom of the heavens will become like ten virgins that took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were discreet.” (Mt 25:1-2 NWT)
In the New Testament, the word “virgins” applies to Anointed Christians (11 Cor 11:2; Rev 14:3,4) The foolish did not have much oil in their lamps (vs 8 ) and none extra in their receptacles. Both oil and anointing with oil are associated with the holy spirit (Acts 10:38; 2 Cor 1:21, 22; 1 John 2:27). The lesson is that some of the Anointed are not filled with the Holy Spirit. They lack in zeal and the fruits of the spirit. The solution was to have been developing the fruits of the spirit in their lives, depicted by purchasing the oil (acquiring the Christ-like character by suffering for righteousness). The door was shut by the time the foolish virgins arrived (vs. 10), demonstrating that putting off serving the Lord and developing the fruits of the spirit will result in loss of the crown (Rev 3:11), however there is no statement to indicate that the foolish virgins go into second death, but simply that they lose the opportunity to enter the marriage feast.
Called, Chosen and Faithful
“These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.”” (Re 17:14 NWT_)
The called, chosen and faithful represent three progressive conditions. Those that are called are invited to the marriage (Matt 22:3,14). Those that are chosen have accepted the invitation and were chosen to be anointed (1 Peter 1:1,2) with the holy spirit. Those that are faithful unto death will receive the crown of life (Rev 2:10), the divine nature. This final group is the 144,000.
Just as not all who are called are chosen, so also, not all who are chosen to be Anointed, receive the crown of life (the Divine Nature). This group that is not totally faithful unto death are the same as previously mentioned in 1 Cor 3:10-15 who do not receive the reward, but are saved by fire. They are the Great Crowd of Rev 7 who serve before the throne and were pictured by the Levites who served in the tabernacle. They are mentioned in Psa 45:14 as the virgins, the brides companions in the Kings palace. These same bride’s companions are the Great Crowd of Rev 19:6 who in verse 7 are at the marriage supper (in heaven) rejoicing.