What happens to Anointed who do not make the 144,000?

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.

The Race:

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

Paul here tells us that not everyone in the race will win the prize.  We believe that those who do not win the prize are part of this second class called the Great Crowd in Rev. 7.

A Full Reward:

“Look out for yourselves, that YOU do not lose the things we have worked to produce, but that YOU may obtain a full reward.” (2Jo 1:8 NWT)
John implies there is a lesser reward by urging the brethren to receive a full reward.  We think that lesser reward is the Great Crowd.

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.

94 comments to What happens to Anointed who do not make the 144,000?

  • wow

    THe great crowd or other sheep will be here on earth, no matter how you put it. read psalm 37:11 it shorrt passage says alot. to me at least.

    • Hello Wow,

      I agree with you “Wow” that there will be a large amount of people on earth during the millennium to come.

      The Old Testament prophecies and New Testament promises are clear. The unbelievers who are left after the return of Christ, and those returning in the resurrection of mankind during judgment day will be resurrected on earth and will not be in heaven with the 144,000 who is the bride of Revelation 19, and the Great Crowd of other believers in heaven who were not a part of that 144,000, but are still invited to view the marriage supper in Revelation 19.

  • Essie

    Hello Larry,could please explain to me by scripture where it says the one hundred and forty-four were sealed in the first century before the destruction of the temple. I am stuck because I believe there is only one body, one Spirit one hope one Lord one Faith and one baptism as Ephesians 4:4. The only seperation of people as I understand in the Bible is between believers and non believes and races such as jew and gentile.I believe all who have embraced the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and have been born again are referred to as the True Church, the Bride of Christ. 1Cor15:9, Rev21:2.This Church was formed on the day of Pentecost in the year 33, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 disciples of Jesus waiting in the upper room, Acts2:1-4.In Acts 15:13-18, the disciple James recalls the prophecies of AMOS 9:11-12 AND jEREMIAH 12:15, where it is foretold that the nation of Israel would be restoredto GOD’S FAVOUR,and the GENTILES would see salvation as well.We are still living in the intermediate dispensation, since Israel has not been restored to God’s favour, and the DELIVERER CHRIST has not come to Zion in fulfillment of the prophecies of Romans 11:26, This will apparently occour at the end of the Great Tribulation, with the return od CHrist to the Mount of Olives Zech 14:4.

  • Larry

    The Bible clearly teaches that the hundred forty-four thousand were sealed in the first century before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. The were the first fruits to God in Christ and the beginning of many to inherit the kingdom of God for centuries to come right down to our day.

    This has nothing to do with the Watchtower Society or Jehovah’s Witnesses today. JF Rutherford was an elaborate hoaxer.

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Larry, Welcome,
      Thanks for that perspective, I’ve heard that and that the great crowd are the grafted in ones. Is that your thought? and also, is there scriptural support for the complete number being attained in the first cenruty?

    • Hello Larry,

      Your perspective sounds interesting, but one which appears to me to not fit due to the the timing of the writing of the book of Revelation after the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70.

      If I understand the original post clearly, I believe the point was that more than 144,000 will be in heaven as both will be in heaven, the 144,000 who is the bride at the marriage supper of the Lamb, and Great Crowd (Revelation 19:1) who is at the marriage supper, but not the bride.

  • Essie

    I believe J.F.Rutherford recieved a special revelation in May 1935 at the Washington D.C. convention that said ‘The heavenly hope was held out, highlited and stressed until the year 1935.Then as lighted up to reveal clearly the identy of the great crowd of Rev 7-9 theemphasis began to be placed on the earthy hope. W.T. 2-2-82 P16,28.
    Where does the Bible teach the entrance to the Christian congregation would be closed by J.Rutherford in 1935, with a secondary great crowd being gathered after that? There is NO BIBICAL BASIC FOR THIS TEACHING. Scripture discusses in detail the Old Covenant for the Jews and the New Covevant for Christians, But makes no mention of any third arrangement for gathering A GREAT CROWD WITH ONLY A EARTHLY HOPE AFTER 1935 BY A MAN NAMED J.RUTHERFORD.
    Rev 7-4. A particular account of those sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel
    Rev7-9. Located the great crowd as before the throne of God and in front of the Lanb.
    Rev 7-15. They are before the throne of God and serve him night and day.
    rEV 19:5-6. Loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.`
    Ephesians 4;3-6. Scripture talks about one body, one hpoe, one faith, one baptism one goal of a world redeemed in Jesus Christ.
    John 17;20-24. Jesus prayer is that all his disciples would end up with him, where he is,to behold his glory.Surely this prayer is for All of his disples even his furture ones.
    You can become members of the body of Christ
    You can be born again
    You can share Christ’s heavenly kingdom
    You ca receive baptism of the Holy Spirit.
    You are entitled to share in in communion
    You can be in the New Covenant mediated by Christ.

    • Jacqueline

      Jehovah Witnesses now have opened the heavenly calling back up. It is all based on the overlapping generation theory. But the generation now, is having the Bride of Christ chosen from it and the end will not come until that number is completed and all the chosen ones are completed, this generation will see it all happen. The great crowd is said to be in heaven according to the Bible. But the society has said this is the courtyard and that the courtyard of the temple is on earth and that is where they are standing. So it boils down to whether one can just change doctrines when they to fit everything together. Bro Rutherford like the governing body today say they have a vision or they are receiving help from deceased anointed, but the Bible does not say this. Bro Rutherford went on the theory that at every convention he had to have some earth shattering revelations to keep the crowds coming in. Instead the pure simple truth does not need such embellishment

  • Essie

    I believe J.F.Rutherford recieved a special revelation in May 1935 at the Washington D.C. convention that said ‘The heavenly hope was held out, highlited and stressed until the year 1935.Then as lighted up to reveal clearly the identy of the great crowd of Rev 7-9 theemphasis began to be placed on the earthy hope. W.T. 2-2-82 P16,28.

    • Jacqueline

      Essie, I know others wil lhave a reply for you, but I want to look up the passages on Sunday that you quote. I have all of the bound volumes and check with another witness or two to get the straight on why he closed it out. Jacqueline

  • mrs fader

    Thank you Joanna for your comments.I’m trying to study this information and understand.I have believed for so many years that I may never die,that all that are safe in Jehovahs org. will be saved and go right on through the end of this system to the new order.Sence coming out of this org.I know my thinking has to change.The great crowd is a new thought to me being in heaven.I love reading BS books and will continue to study.How wonderful so know Jehovah has his people all over the world….thanks again.Pat

  • Joanna

    We’re so happy you’re here, Sr. Candice. There is nothing more wonderful than knowing our Heavenly Father, and His dear Son! The love and mercy shown to this world of mankind is so far beyond what we can even understand.
    May He continue to bless you with understanding of His love and plans.

  • sistercandice

    Thankyou for providing this website. I have been on&off with the Witnesses from Summer of 2003 up to spring 2009. After researching on the biblestudents I recieved the 6 volumes & went to a meeting with some local brethern. I was happy about the non-judgment & the fact is was a biblestudy at home (though buildings are good too if provided) Now I got baptised October 2010 at a convention & glad I am in the truth for my family. It is hard sometimes being isolated however online forums & places like this is helpful when needed. thankyou.

    • Mike

      Please read the gospels alone and receive Jesus. He is THE TRUTH, not the watchtower society. If they are the truth, then their teaching will hold up to examination, wouldn’t you agree?

  • mrs fader

    This is all very interesting.I can understand the hope of going to heaven,the different classes.I’m also coming out of the Jehovah’s Witness organization.And was very happy to find the Bible students having the truth.I could never go back to all the false teachings of christain religons.But what about the earth.The hope of living forever on a perfect earth being rulled by God kingdon.I just don’t think I’m going to heaven…

    • Joanna

      Mrs. Fader,

      This is a great question…what about the hope of living on a perfect earth? Isaiah 45:8 tells us that Jehovah did not create the earth in vain, but to be inhabited. It will last forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4). So what will the earth the earth be like, and who will live there? Isaiah 35 shows us this, just as you have already believed. Isaiah shows us in such beautiful language that all sicknesses will be healed, and the earth will be made perfect.

      For those who have not given up this life to follow our Lord’s example of suffering unto death, the rest will return and live on this perfect earth, just as you want to.

      Isaiah 35:10 shows us who will live there – “the ransomed of the Lord”. Who is ransomed of the Lord? 1 Timothy 2:6 shows us that Jesus died a “ransom for all”. I realize the NWT says “a corresponding ransom for all”. This is a good translation of the Greek word translated in other translations “ransom”, which is “antilutron” – a corresponding price.

      I hope I haven’t wandered around too much here. I just find this hope of salvation for all so exciting! I’ll just include one more scripture – 1 Timothy 4:10, that our God is the “Savior of all men, especially of those that believe”. This text clearly shows two classes that are saved – all (the earthly class described by Isaiah), and those that believe (the heavenly class who follow Jesus unto death).

      • Mike

        When a ransom is paid in full, how much is still owed? Did Jehovah not complete something he started. Did he only partially complete and left the rest to us humans. No. Jesus’ sacrifice is complete for our eternal life with Him. All we need to do is accept the gift Jehovah gave us. If we do not accept the gift of everlasting life, we do not have it. All your works in the world will not suffice as you well know. Can you honestly say that today you are guaranteed everlasting life? I now can.

        • Joanna

          Hi Mike,

          I agree that Jesus paid the full ransom for all. In fact, through him, God is the Savior of ALL mankind, ESPECIALLY of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10). This ransom will be testified in due time…in God’s Kingdom, when all who ever lived will be resurrected.

          The “especially of those who believe” part is what you were mentioning, with the reward being glory, honor and immortality, (Romans 2:7) and being with our Savior forever.


  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this website. I am coming out of the Jehovah’s Witness Organization. I had been questioning some of the teachings and searching for “real” truth. I found it in April (2010) at a Bible Student Convention. One thing that made me question teachings was being told that no one coming into the organization is of the anointing today. Why then, I kept asking myself, does Romans chapter 8 resonate so deeply in me, that those verses mean me? And then there was the whole “ransom and restitution” dilema that they use circular reasoning to get around answering certain questions. I am thankful that I now have the spiritual support of the Bible Student Brethren and websites like this one.

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