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Is the Great Crowd the same as the World of Mankind in the Earthly Kingdom?

JW ParadiseSome argue that the Great Crowd are the same as the World of Mankind.  They point out that promises to the Great Crowd are similar to promises that we find for mankind in the coming earthly kingdom.  However, these are the same promises made to the anointed (spirit begotten) Bride of Christ (the heavenly 144,000).  These promises are for all who ultimately embrace Jesus as their Savior and follow him.

In many scriptures, a promise is made to one class, but extended to another group as well.  For example, the Church is promised that they may partake of the tree of life (Rev 2:7) and so is the mankind (Rev 22:14).  The church is promised manna (Rev 2:17) and so is mankind (John 6:48-51).  The church shall see God (Matt 5:8) and the angels do always behold God’s face (Matt 18:10)

The bottom line is that these similar promises do NOT prove that the Great Crowd is the same as the World of Mankind in the earthly kingdom.  Otherwise, by logical extension, we then must conclude that the Little Flock (Bride of Christ) is the same as the World of mankind in the Earthly Kingdom as well.   We of course cannot draw such a conclusion.

 

 

PROMISE                                    APPLIED TO CHURCH                 APPLIED TO THE GREAT CROWD

Fountains of water                   – Chruch Jn 4:14; Psa 23:2; 36:9        – Great Crowd Rev 7:16; 21:6

Sun not strike them                 – Church Psa 121:6                             – Great Crowd Rev 7:16

Lamb is their Shepherd           – Church Psa 23:1; Heb 13:20            – Great Crowd Rev 7:17

Shall not hunger or thirst        – Church Jn 6:35, 51; 1 Cor 11:26      – Great Crowd Rev 7:16

Cleansed by Jesus blood         – Church 1 John 1:7                            – Great Crowd Rev 7:14

Wipe away tears & comfort   – Church Matt 5:4, comp Is 25:8       – Great Crowd Rev 21:4 no more death
                                                                             with 1 Cor 15:54

Click here for more about the Great Crowd

27 comments to Is the Great Crowd the same as the World of Mankind in the Earthly Kingdom?

  • traveler

    Hi Barry, I’ve been reading the above comments and it occurred to me that the contributors should first come to terms with the realization that there is no provision in the promises and covenants that allow for the resurrection of anyone to Heaven. Look carefully. Jesus was resurrected to the earth through the promises made to Abraham, and then he ascended. At Armageddon those in the memorial tombs are resurrected to earth and they, along with the living, are changed. Christ descends from Heaven and those with the upward call meet him in the air. Remember kingdom means range of influence, so his “kingdom” on earth (those under his influence) is in the process of being put back into order, or in other words is drawing closer to God even during the thousand years. Thus the statement, “let your kingdom come…”. In order for the kingdom to return it is dependent on God pouring out the spirit of understanding on mankind. You may have noticed that the “new Jerusalem” is arriving at earth not leaving. With this concept in mind it should be fairly easy to work out who those of the upward call are: those of the sons of Israel who are to share rule over the earth with Jesus. Since you have only the twelve tribes minus 144,000 left on the earth, the great crowd seems simple enough to get a handle on also. It is also good to keep in mind that “few” find the path, so the “Great crowd” is a small remnant of mankind.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Traveler – Thanks for some thought provoking comments.

      Please share with us. What Bible evidence do you find that convinces you that the Anointed will be resurrected on earth?

      Please consider this the scriptures which refer to a spiritual / heavenly resurrection for the anointed.

      1 Cor 15:42-45 So also is the resurrection of the dead… It is sown a natural body [death]; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made a quickening spirit. (KJV)

      1 Cor 15:49-50 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (KJV)

      You will find further scriptural evidence at this link:

      We would like to hear your response considering scripture evidence.

      Thanks.

  • Barry Ward

    To Peter and Jaqueline. Thanks for your reply. I have met many Bible Students in USA also Sheffield and Manchester but nothing near Leeds, including Jim Parkinson Los Angeles, and Gilbert Rice California. I feel that you will be inclined to agree with the BS even if you have reservations on some points. I think Charles Russell might well have been specially used by God, but I also think the enormous preaching campaign carried out by JW’s has much significance even though corruption has been involved. I owe my Bible knowledge to them. Russell’s prophecies all appear to have been wrong so I do not understand why you have to agree with everything he said. Having reread Clifford Forward’s letter, he believed all Christians were of the 144000, but thought the great crowd were survivors. I am inclined to think them to be the same. How can you harmonise “as in the days of Noah” “a narrow way which few will find”, What would be the reason for the burning and dissolving of the earth, if most people were basically good or innocent? From my experience even church people will not raise one finger to help as the Samaritan did, unless they are instructed by their church. Jesus said they would be recognised by their love. I certainly have not found anything but superficial love in churches with few exceptions. Barry Ward.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hi Barry, I was a pioneer the better part of 30 years with the witnesses and have aided many, men and women to come to the witnesses. Some of theses very people were afraid of their children dying at armageddon if it had come in 1975. That was a lie I ingrained in them. What God would have eternal, Gehenna on their children who might have actually been a lover of truth. None of it made sense and I bear responsibility for that injustice. I learned a lot about the Bible from the witnesses and some of my classmates could run a ring around you with the Bible that learned from their church so all of them teach basics. For me I learn a distortion of Jesus, not so much before 1970 but after that. I don’t agree with everything anybody on the earth says. I do agree with the Bible however.
      To me the days of Noah was when fallen Angels had the influence in the world and thus the thoughts of men were bad. It was about deviant sex with those that they were not made to have sex with. I see that today in a big way. Pedophilia is one of them and I could go further in what I see. The Bible tells us what it meant by that phrase. I don’t believe the flood was judgement day for the people of that time. The ark was built for eight and I don’t remember them asking other people to get in. They to me fall under the Christ who had not come yet. Nobody was saved not even Noah and the eight until HE SAID “IT IS DONE AND GAVE UP HIS BREATH”. Noah was in the same boat as those that died, he would have died and stayed dead if Christ didn’t make it thru and be resurrected.
      I don’t believe that most persons are good and innocent, I believe they don’t care to follow the path of righteousness as set forth in the bible now. They miss out on being of any heavenly class, and that is something to run for in my book because of holy Spirit enjoining in my life.
      I haven’t gone to Churches looking for love as I am more focused on bringing myself happiness, that is just my born with trait. So on that one I can’t say how one should feel.
      I can say Barry that yoyu and I are on different streets. I am on the street of belief that this is not judgement day for mankind in general but for those that vow to run to help and be of the Bride of Christ.
      I believe that most of the damnation scriptures applied to this day with armageddon as it’s grand climax is a misapplication of most of those scriptures. I believe this will apply in Judgement day.
      And I see merit in any “carrying out an enormous preaching work”. But most Christian denominations have done more than the witnesses as they are tens times bigger. So with that the Catholics, Baptist, Methodist and some of the other religions have carried out an enormous preaching work throughout the globe even. The Bible societies like the Gideon put out way more bibles than the witnesses.
      Some people would starve if not for the religious orders and hopefully this will make them quickly understand the Divine Plan after armageddon, in Millennium, during Judgement Day. I do not believe the literal earth will burn or dissolve but instead the earthly systems will fall at armageddon and the tribulation but not the subjects. I also believe any killed during or just die during that time will rise with the rest of mankind. To be judged in Judgement day of 1,000 years and finally by God during the little season as outlined in the Bible. I tried to address all the points you mentioned in the above Barry, Take Care.

      PS regards the 144,000 and the Great Crowd I believe what Revelations says and the apostles for all Christians that Christ held out Heaven (as his bride, to rule and the temple workers and bridesmaids) to those that would follow him now and the rest of mankind paradise earth.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Barry,

      Thanks for sharing your views. You have stated some opinions and we are glad to have you share them here. I will not respond to your statements, as I don’t think you were asking for our opinion, except to answer that – No, I do not agree with everything Russell said. That is the beauty of fear free Christian Liberty. I hear you talking about your disappointment in superficial love in Churches. My unsolicited advice to you would be not to worry about other people. Focus on yourself and how you can be most pleasing and faithful to the Heavenly Father.

      For the remainder of my comment, I will focus on two questions that you asked.

      Barry’s Question #1) How can you harmonize “as in the days of Noah” “a narrow way which few will find?”

      My response: I do not understand your question. Why do you think that our view of the “days of Noah” and “a narrow way which few find” do NOT harmonize. Perhaps you are saying that Bible Students see too few being a part of the glorified body of Christ if we take the number 144,000 to be a literal count. Is that your point? Regarding the “days of Noah,” perhaps your point is that there are few good people and most are wicked like at the time of Noah. Is that your point? I must be missing something here, because that would seem to harmonize with the concept of a little flock of the faithful. Please explain your question and view.

      Barry’s Question #2) What would be the reason for the burning and dissolving of the earth, if most people were basically good or innocent?

      My response: Are you saying that the earth will be literally burned up”

      Zephaniah 3:3-9 (NKJV) “8 …All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy. 9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.”

      It will be hard to restore to the people of earth a pure language if they have been literally all burned up. Fire is symbolic of destruction in the Bible. For example, the symbol of the “Lake of Fire” is explained in Revelation to be the “second death,” (Revelation 20:14; 21:8) which is the same as eternal destruction.

      Barry – perhaps God is much nicer than many people think.

      2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is … longsuffering …not wishing that any should perish” ASV

      1 Tim 2:4 – God “desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

      God must be pretty incompetent if He wants to save as many people as possible, yet designed a plan by which as many people would be destroyed as possible.

      Consider taking ten minutes to read nearly 100 scriptures that pretty clearly lay out God’s plan.

      Click here for scriptures:

      Yep, believe it or not, God is a lot more loving and forgiving than many give him credit for.

      • Barry Ward

        To Peter and Jaqueline. My page went while writing yesterday so I had to rush my comment. I suppose the same has happened to you. I have to say I felt your replies were rather unpleasant. I hope we can agree on at least one thing, the identifying mark of a Christian is love. None of us should be so confident of our salvation that we can afford to offend others. I try very hard to understand another’s point of view. I left the JW’s precisely because people weren’t allowed to disagree. There are probably thousands of Christian sects, many of whom think they have been specifically chosen. I strongly believe in letting God do the choosing. Our love is demonstrated by our humility. I’m sure your aware the JW’s believe the vast majority of mankind will not survive Armageddon, so my views should be no surprise. Peter did say “by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water. But by the same means the heaven and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgement of the ungodly men”. The statement seems unambiguous to me, but clearly not to you. I emphasise again, Jesus did say “you will recognise Christians by their love”. I don’t see anything wrong with looking for fellowship with people who display love, in fact there would have been no point in Jesus’ words if the demonstration of love was of no importance to us or to him. “the greatest of these is love” 1cor 13.13. Barry Ward.

        • Peter K. (admin)

          Barry – I am glad you are talking with us. I agree with you on the importance of love. 1 Corinthians 8:1 (NASV) says, “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” There are also passages in the Bible which refer to the importance of knowledge. I will just quote one. In John 17:17 (NASV) Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” To be sanctified is to become Holy in character. So the purpose of head knowledge is to direct our heart towards character development in holiness. As free moral agents, we can use this knowledge for its intended purpose or not. With God’s help we will develop the Christlike character attributes in the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

          Now if you are happy meeting with loving Christians in a denominational church, then I am happy for you. I like many denominational christian’s that I have fellowshipped with. Personally I have found two different experiences with denominational Christians:

          1) Going by the official position of their church, Sr. Jacqueline and I would be condemned to Hell for not accepting Trinity, Hell and Immortal Soul.
          2) Sr. Jacqueline and I are going to heaven in spite of our beliefs, because the Christian we are talking to accepts our sincerity and believes we are Christians. They either believe this in spite of the official teaching of their denominational church or they are not aware of their church’s official position.

          Now I have been hoping to be contradicted on this score and introduced to a denominational church that would officially accept us as Christian’s who are going to heaven. So if anyone can demonstrate such an exception, I would be very happy to hear it.

          So as I see it, the best that can happen to me based on official denominational Christian beliefs is that I will go to Hell eternally. However, the worst that Brother Russell, Sr. Jacqueline, myself and all Bible Students believe could happen to any particular denominational Christian is that they would be resurrected on Paradise earth with a judgment period and opportunity to life forever on earth. So which view is most reflective of God’s love?

          Please do accept this as a friendly conversation. As I said, I would be most happy to discover that I am not correct and that there are one or more denominational church exceptions.

          You did refer to this passage:

          2 Peter 3:10 (NKJV) “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” [“burned up” some ancient manuscripts read “discovered.”]

          Now of course you take this literally and I take it symbolically. No problem. I can see how you would take it literally since at least on the surface that is what it appears to be saying.

          I will offer some suggestions for your further study (see below).

          Genesis 8:21-22 (NKJV) “21 Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.””

          Ecclesiastes 1:4 (NKJV) “One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.”

          Psalms 104:5 (NKJV) “You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever,”

          Zephaniah 3:8-9 (NKJV) “8 All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy. 9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.” [Fire can’t be literal if the people survive it. The fire is symbolic, just like the lake of fire – Rev 20:15; 21:8]

          Thanks to taking the time to talk with us. You are welcome to comment further and know that we wish all our visitors the best whether we can agree or not.

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Barry, I wasn’t being harsh when I answered. I felt you wanted me to answer each point. Plus I know I sent people here from Facebook to get answers via the conversation. That is why I tried to answer each point. Barry agreeing on everything isn’t necessary for brotherly fellowship. Why can’t you, I and Br. Peter express what our answer is to what you said. That is Christian liberty. I am so sorry you feel hurt, I didn’t mean any hurt and Br. Peter and I don’t corroborate on our answers. I am 4 hours away from him babysitting all winter.
          What exactly did you think I said that was not loving. If it is about the association, I can’t lie. Everybody that knows me know I am the biggest loner and travel alone and keep to myself. I like people around me but I don’t need the close loving association. So I can’t comment on churches not showing love. I like to keep distance. Born that way.
          For once in my life I try to answer truthfully yet simply. That is one of the downsides with the internet you can’t see the expressions on face.
          So could you please tell me what offended you. I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Jacqueline
          PS: Barry also we have two major points where we differ. You believe mankind is being judged now and should have to live up to bible standards. I think it is during the future judgement day of 1000 yrs and does not end with destruction of all but Jehovah witnesses. It isn’t harsh just the way I see the scriptures. Take care

  • Andrew Richard

    Hi! I just would like to share an intesting comment Bro. Russell made in the book The New Creation, that might add to this ongoing discussion:

    ““We may be sure that any consecrating and performing a full sacrifice of themselves in the interest of the Lord’s cause after the heavenly class is complete, will find that the Lord has plenty of blessings of some other kind still to give; and that all of his blessings are for such consecrators, self-sacrificers. Possibly they may be counted in with the ancient worthies who had the sacrificing disposition that is pleasing to God, prior to the beginning of the “high calling.”

    As we can see, Bro. Russell thought about the possibility of an Earthly class of approved, consecrated Christians coming to existence BEFORE the Great Tribulation… Who would they be?

    Also, I personally believe that the Great Crowd is in heaven. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t receive immortality. What if the distinction is made in terms of responsibilities and honor in the Kingdom?

  • Barry Ward

    Jaqueline. I’m not on line every day but Clifford’s letter is several pages long, and I think Bible Student’s believe in two heavenly classes. I haven’t had time to read a lot about your beliefs yet. So far I agree with Brettstone “one hope, one faith, one baptism” “I pray that these might also be one as we are one” “will become one flock, one shepherd”. As regards spiritual bodies, according to Revelation,the Christian church will come down from heaven to the new earth in their new spiritual, immortal bodies which indicates to me that the new earth will also be spiritual. That doesn’t mean there cannot be trees as their were in Eden. Being spiritual means they are not corruptible. (probably also a different dimension). From my reading of scripture, the belief of many churches that most members will “go to heaven”, although by very different roads does not agree with Jesus or the apostles and particularly Revelation. Why do churches ignore the warning of the enormous death toll? I have had terrible experiences in most churches I have attended. if we excuse these as imperfection, and excuse JW’s for taking the side of the WT whilst turning a blind eye to injustice against their spiritual brothers as just imperfection then who are the “cowards and dogs,offspring of vipers”, the blood reaching the height of a horses bridals referring to? Why doesn’t Jesus make allowance for the Pharisees’ imperfection? Really everyone inherits his behaviour from his genes anyway. I agree with the scriptures that mankind is basically wicked from my personal experience. Barry Ward.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Barry,

      Bible Students agree with you “one hope, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:4-5). However, not everyone who is anointed (spirit begotten) attains to becoming the Bride of Christ.

      1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NASV) “24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

      Hence, there is a class of anointed people who will not become Jesus’ glorified body members. Will these end up on earth or in heaven? If heaven, then there is more than one heavenly class. If earth, then there is more than one class of people ending up on earth.

      On your other point, we should not be excusing sinful behavior in our spiritual leaders and especially not in ourselves.

      Galatians 5:17 (NASV) “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”

      Paul’s point here is that we cannot please our flesh, but must walk according to the spirit.

      Romans 8:1 (NKJV) says that we ” do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Barry,

      You asked, what is being referred to by the statement “the blood reaching the height of a horses bridals”? This statement is found in Revelation 14:20.

      Revelation is a highly symbolic book which cannot be taken literally. Some of Daniel’s prophecies are similar. For example…

      Daniel 7:23 (NASV) “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.”

      This fourth beast is said to “devour the whole earth.” We cannot take this literally. It is symbolic language to convey that Rome conquered the world.

      Let’s look at another example regarding the destruction of Edom:

      Isaiah 34 (NKJV)
      5 “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom… 9 ¶ Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. 10 It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever. 11 But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.”

      Now we cannot take this passage literally. It is telling us that the land of Edom will be burning and that the fire will not be quenched and that smoke will ascend forever. Yet animals will dwell there. Clearly, no living creature could live under such heat and oxygen deprivation. So this is actually symbolic language applying to the destruction of Babylon/Christendom.

      In Revelation 1:1 we read, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.. He sent and signified it by his angel to His servant John.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary gives the following definition for the word translated “signified” in Revelation 1:1: “SEMAINO, to give a sign, indicate (sema, a sign: cp. Sign, No. 1), to signify, is so translated in John 12:33; 18:32; 21:19; Acts 11:28; 25:27; Rev. 1:1, where perhaps the suggestion is that of expressing by signs.”[

      Using this definition of “signified,” for Revelation 1:1, it simply means that Jesus communicated the book by symbols.

      Let’s look at an example:

      Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

      Fortunately, the symbol of the Lake of Fire is interpreted for us:

      Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

      So the “Lake of Fire” is not a literal lake of burning fire. It is rather a symbol representing “second death” or complete descrtuction from which there is not recovery. Christ died “once and we can only receive the benefit of His Ransom sacrifice once. If we die the “second death,” the Ransom is no longer available to apply a second time.

      Now to your question. This is complex and I recommend that you refer to the Revelation books in the right panel of this website under the subject “Books – electronic.” Here are some suggestions which I hope are not too consuming for a brief glimpse.

      In Revelation 14:20, we suggest that the “winepress” represents the final destruction of the worldly church (Babylon). Blood issuing forth from the winepress is the manifestation of retributive judgment avenging the former spilled blood of the saints (Rev 6:10).

      One view of the 1,600 furlongs is that 40 is a number representing complete testing (i.e. Israel’s 40 years in the Wilderness or Jesus’ 40 days in the desert). When a number is squared (like the Jubilee), the symbolism seems to be the finality of finalities. So 40 squared (1600) would represent the most complete and final testing possible of Babylon (the counterfeit church systems).

      More can be said, but I don’t want to make this too complicated. I think that a careful study of Revelation entails hours, months and years of effort.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Barry, some of the scary goes away when we stick to the bible that this book is in symbols (Revelations). For so long we have had the destruction of children and all humans other than Jehovah witnesses thrust on us and we tried to save these people by going door to door. These people have already been ransomed.
      I could not have given a concise answer to your question and it was important because we sent a whole facebook discussion to this site with your comment on the top. These are brothers that thought the Bible Students were a break a way group and were shocked to see they have never been witnesses.
      I was at the Miami Valley convention in Ohio this weekend and these brothers hardly have a concept of what the witnesses believe. I extend an invitation to you for yourself to attend perhaps the Chicago convention in May of a day or so of the General convention in Johnstown, Pa in July.
      Only by meeting looking in the face of the brothers can you realize the watchtower society veered away from truth. Watch as they use only the Bible from the platform and have used their power of reason to present the subject the way they see it and yet another brother can come from a different side of the same scripture.
      Diversity, ha, no the word of God is multi-faceted! It is so deep! And as a witness they ride on the top skimming it. I was literally overcome and was in tears often as I heard a logical loving explanation of Armageddon.
      The take down of the system like democrat to republican, they don’t kill the subjects!!! (Not the best analogy but you get the point. I am not as sharp as Br. Peter. lol)
      I mention this because I read words as a psycho therapist and I felt the concern and pain of your statement “Why do churches ignore the warning of the enormous death toll? I have had terrible experiences in most churches I have attended.)” Those words can be felt, coming from you. If you do nothing else read every one of these article and they will bring you to your knees before our Father and you will praise him as you see the scales fall from your eyes.http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/category/armageddon-2/
      The governing body of Jehovah witnesses have misrepresented him so grossly as a scare tactic like the hell fire doctrine. Once you see his plan is not to destoy people but take down the governments and religious commercial system and establish a world government for people that are already redeemed from Adamic sin and now can choose for the only time in history since Adam to worship and follow him or not.
      They will have had experiences with what it is like, the evil, without the Father directing us in righteousness.
      Conventions here, I gave a testamony at the 2010 and apologized for believing my brothers were dead and were the evil slave class as taught by the governing body.http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/conventions/
      We can’t understand it all at once because it will overpower you. Ask questions from a witness perspective as there are thousands of witnesses with the same questions. Thank you, In Christian Love, Jacqueline

  • Brettstone

    Peter
    Correct me if I’m wrong but Paul in chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians speaks of two bodies and that is celestial and terrestrial, mortal and immortal.
    He speaks of those who would be of the first resurrection and would recieve immortality. Paul never speaks of a different celestial body or spirit body which doesn’t posses immortality but just everlasting life.
    Revelation also confirms this in chapter 20:4-14
    Those of the first resurrection, then those of the general resurrection who will be judged, those standing before the throne.
    If the great company of Rev 19:6 was the same as those of 7 then there would have to be:
    1) first resurrection, 144,000, judges to rule with Christ
    2) second resurrection, which would have to be before the general resurrection because they would be present at the marriage of the lamb.
    3) third the general resurrection of all those who are to be put on trial

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Brett – Your logic and reasoning are good. I cannot find a verse with the words “second resurrection.” For Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15, I don’t think he needed to go into additional detail about a secondary spiritual class or about the “Ancient Worthies” being resurrected before the rest of mankind and having a “better Resurrection” (Hebrews 11:36, 40).

  • Barry Ward

    To ex JW. I have scriptural proofs that 144000 are same as great crowd presented to governing body in 1979 by Clifford Forward. (former JW missionary to Thailand.) Along with proofs that all Christians have to be born again and to partake the emblems. He was mistakenly under the illusion that they would take an interest in his presentation. Ray Franz and Ed Dunlap came to the same conclusion on researching the “Aid book” That’s why they were disfellowshipped. Barry Ward.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Barry can you post it here for us to see. We have over 6,000 persons and many have questions about the great crowd. I will be at a convention this weekend in Sidney Ohio but I will check in all weekend to see this. Thanks

    • Bret

      Great Crowd
      3 main points stand out in my mind based on scripture
      First and foremost the Great Crowd is not pictured as washing their robes and making them white BEFORE coming out of the great tribulation, nor are they have said to have been waiving palm branches or symbolically celebrating the festival of booths BEFORE coming out of the great tribulation. Nor does it say they are STANDING before the throne before coming out of the great tribulation.
      These are all assumptions that are not stated.
      If we allow scripture to interpret scripture here is where we stand.
      1) standing before the throne indicates judgment day. The same phrase is used at (ASV Rev 20:12 “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne”…)
      This is during the judgement Day, also this goes along with the parable of the sheep and Goats who are gathered before Christ to be judged (ASV Matt 25:32 and all the nations will be brought before him…)
      2) Palms in their hands… This reminds us of the festival of booths/Tabernacles where Israel was freed from bondage and in greater fulfillment represents mankind coming out from Bondage to sin and death but also is supported in the scriptures of those who survive Armegeddon and have to conform afterwards to serving Jehovah and his Christ
      Zec 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
      Zec 14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that go not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
      So those who survive the great tribulation will have to conform to Jehovahs worship and in a symbolic way celebrate the Festival of booths/Tabernacles being freed from bondage to sin and death.
      3) Re 7:17 for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. This scripture depicts conditions on earth also described at;
      Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it. Re 21:4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

      They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb through their taking advantage of the Ransom and knowledge of Gods plan for mankind. By symbolically washing their robes during the mellinium they are able to eat from the trees of life Re 22:14 Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and my enter in by the gates into the city.

      In conclusion i believe the Great Crowd is not a secondary class of christians who inherent heavenly life without immortality of which the scriptures speak of only 1 group the first fruits, the Bride, 144,000, the first resurrection.
      The great crowd or company are mankind in general of any denomination, religion or agnostic even atheist who survive the tribulation and who are later seen as conforming to serve Jehovah and his Christ. There is only 1 calling at this time and that is the bride of Christ the 144,000.
      The Bible i believe foreshadowed 3 harvests
      Wheat, Barley and ingathering or all the rest
      1) Christ
      2) 144,000
      3) Redeemed mankind at the end of the 1,000 years

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Bret – Thanks for some interesting thoughts. Do you believe there is a secondary class of the annointed who are not part of the Bride or do you think all the spirit begotten automatically recieve this reward?

        You might find this link useful: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2010/05/06/are-the-great-crowd-the-same-as-all-the-people-in-paradise-earth/

        • Brettstone

          Hi Peter..
          I believe there is one hope and one baptism. Being baptized into Christ death and obtaining a resurrection like his, that is as an immortal spirit creature with a divine quality like his.
          I do not see any other resurection mentioned in the scriptures than the first resurrection that Paul mentioned at 1 Corinthians, in which spirit beggotten Christians recieve everlasting life. I believe plain statement of scriptures prove this because Revelation 20 says happy and holy is anyone who is a part of the first resurrection, then John relates the General resurrection.
          There is not a single statement in the scriptures of another resurrection either you are a part of the first resurrection or you come up in the ressurrection to be judged.
          The spirit begotton, 144,000 all gain immortality, a resurrection like Christs.
          The Apastle Paul I believe said “lest I be a castaway”.
          I believe saying the Great Crowd is another group in heaven that do not posses immortality but simply everlasting life is an assumption that I do not see a single scripture to back it up.
          If we are not a part of that little flock, the church, or bride of Christ then we will simply be resurrected to life on earth and put on trial during the peaceable Kingdon or mellinium.

          • Peter K. (admin)

            Brettstone – Thanks. We are in agreement that there is only one hope of our calling – the Little Flock, Church or Bride of Christ.

            We agree that not all running in the race will receive the reward.

            1 Corinthians 9:24 (NASV) “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

            You believe that those who do not receive that reward will be part of the general resurrection on earth. However, I think you will agree that there is no specific scriptural statements to show that the spirit begotten who fail to be part of the bride will be on earth. You logically conclude with deductive reasoning that if there are only two resurrections (bride and earth) that there is no other option. We note however that the General Resurrection is not called the “second resurrection.” The beauty of topical Bible Study is that as we study more scriptures on a topic we can fill in more details.

            I sympathize with your conclusion from the standpoint that since there is only ONE hope of our calling, there are few scriptures that cover what happens to those who do not obtain the inheritance reserved for them in heaven.

            1 Peter 1:3-4 (NASV) “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

            I think this absence of great scriptural information is by design as we would be tempted to give up the struggle of the Narrow Way and take an easier path believing that if we do not achieve to the one hope, we will still be saved (1 Cor 3:15).

            I will suggest five lines of reasoning which persuade me of a heavenly resurrection for the spirit begotten who do not obtain a position in the Bride of Christ. I will leave out much evidence to keep it simple. We can drill down into more detail if any are interested.

            1) The Levites, who replaced Israel’s firstborn (compare Numbers 3:12; Hebrews 12:23), had no inheritance in the Land (Deut 10:9). This pictures that all the anointed spirit begotten have a heavenly hope and resurrection. (More about the Levites being the Great Crowd here)

            2) The only promises held out to the Anointed Spirit Begotten New Creatures in Christ is a heavenly hope. See here for scriptures. An earthly hope is never held out. Sure “the meek will inherit the earth” in the sense that the Little Flock will be the rulers over the earth (under their head Jesus) Psalms 2:8; Hebrews 6:17-20.

            3) The Great Crowd is in Heaven in Revelation 19:1

            4) At consecration (baptism) we give up our human life rights. Jesus sacrificed his human life and can never receive it back (John 6:51; 14:19). We are justified at consecration (John 6:51) which means Jesus ransom has been applied to us making us reckoned perfect or justified (Romans 3:24-26; 4:5) God does not accept blemished sacrifices (Lev. 1:3; 22:20-24). The anointed sacrifice their reckoned perfect bodies (Romans 12:1) and we cannot receive it back (Hebrews 6:6). Without a heavenly promise, they would be doomed to die.

            5) We are begotten to a heavenly hope. Just like a human embryo begotten to the human nature will be born human, so a New Creature, begotten to a heavenly nature will be born with a heavenly body (1 Cor 15:45-46, 49: Jas 1:18; 1 Peter 5:3-4; Romans 8:11)

            Whether you agree or disagree with these scriptural lines of evidence, the challenge stands to find specific scriptures identifying those who fall short of the heavenly bride as being resurrected on earth.

            • Bret

              Peter
              As always i count on you to share very good reasoning and scriptural points. I will look over some of those articles and research a little deeper. But nice points made as always.

        • Brettstone

          but the Great Crowd will already have clean robes (Rev 7:14 “washed” – Greek past tense).
          I believe John in his vision seen the final outcome when it states that their robes had been “Washed” in other words johns vision is that the 144,000 have already received their reward upon mount Zion and next he sees the outcome for the great company which is them attaining life at the end of the mellinium. He simply states where they come from, the great tribulation but their washing of the robes waiving Palm branches and standing before the throne all are simply answered with the scriptures I provided. Rev 22:14, Zechariah 14:16-19 and Rev 20:12

        • Bret

          Peter
          I do not believe any automatically recieve the resurrection like Christs to be of the bride the 144,000. I believe many are called but few are chosen.
          I will not consider it bad if I’m not chosen and come up in the resurrection along with the likes of Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah and many others.

          Peter I have found some Bible Students who share similar belief of thought about the great company RESLIGHT or restoration of Light which is a sight I enjoy.

          I am not dogmatic about this however and think the great company is speculation, not clear until it’s fulfilled. I will be happy with whatever Jehovah and Christ see fit for me. I just want to run the race for life and I am happy to be free from the enslavement to an organization.
          I am also greatfull for the Ransom For All, and coming to have association with a fine Brother in Christ like you..

          • Peter K. (admin)

            Bret – I agree with you the the subject of the Great Crowd is challenging and not so clear as some other topics like the Ransom for All and the earthly kingdom.

    • Ex Jw

      Thanks for the Info. Barry, I’ve come to the same conclusion…..

  • Ex Jw

    Could the “Great Crowd” mentioned in Rev. 7:9 be the same as the 144,000? Perhaps the number 144,000 is a symbolic representation of God’s church rather than a literal number?

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