The 144,000 Witnesses And The Jehovah Witnesses
I was wondering if you could explain who the 144,000 are? My take is they are Jews. 12,000 from each tribe of Israel. Are these people left behind to go through the tribulation period? What's their position with God? I'm curious because the ladies that keep knocking on my door on Saturday mornings (Jehovah Witnesses) KEEP TELLING ME THEY ARE THE 144.000 AND THE ONLY ONES GOING! How can anyone believe God only has room for 144,000 people? Do they think they are the only ones that are righteous enough to make it in? I was under the impression none of us are righteous enough. It's only by HIS MERCY and GRACE. I am confused on what their role is? What is it that these people really represent and why?
Simply put, they are deceived by Satan and only serve to confuse believers and non-believers. They seem like nice people, but they are not saved. Like all cults, they prey on individuals who have just enough knowledge of the Word to sound like a legitimate arm of the Christian church, but are far from it.
Many times I have asked Jehovah Witnesses, who have come to my door, to explain to me how I might have eternal life. Without exception, all have given me an answer that is based on works. Not one has proclaimed that eternal life can only be achieved through faith in Jesus, but if you challenge them on this, most will claim to have accepted Jesus as Savior at some point in their life. Certainly, they do not believe He is the absolute only way to eternal life. I say eternal life because no Jehovah Witness today believes they will go to heaven. Let me explain.
The Jehovah Witnesses alive today believe they are a product of the 144,000 witnesses. According to JW's, the original 144,000 witnesses all died decades ago near the beginning of their movement in the late 1800s to early 1900s. They believe these witnesses are the only members that will go to heaven. Any JW's numbered after 144,000 will live forever but it will be here on the new earth that God will create following the tribulation period. Of course, the JW's number into the millions worldwide today, so the vast majority will end up on this new earth.
They believe their purpose here on earth is to make as many JW's as possible before the Battle of Armageddon takes place. As witnesses, they don't necessarily care if you convert. It's more about them and their ability to work their way into eternal life. It is near impossible to be a Jehovah Witness and not put your time in regularly witnessing (recruiting) for the cause. But make no mistake, they have no desire to lead you to Christ, only to become a JW member, who in turn, will recruit others. That's what they believe.
All Bible believing scholars, preachers, and teachers believe that the 144,000 witnesses will be male virgin Jews who will be converted by God's two witnesses at the beginning of the tribulation period (Revelation 11; 14:4). These men will be converted out of the twelve tribes of Israel, in Israel, and not the US. If you took a look at the make-up of the original 144,000 JW's, you would find that they consisted of both male and female. The Bible makes it clear that the witnesses who will be raised up during the tribulation period will be all male Jews who have never known a woman (virgins).
Of course, the JW's have their own interpretation. They believe the 144,000 witnesses are virgins, in the sense, that they will be unstained by the world. Unfortunately, this passage is to be taken literally as written and not half symbolically (Revelation 14:4). Frankly, I find it puzzling how they get to this interpretation. They have essentially based their entire belief and hope on this grossly misinterpreted passage.
I won't get into their beliefs about Jesus, angels, and the Holy Spirit due to the fact that there are many good websites out there that can explain these subjects much better than I. Just do a search on what Jehovah Witnesses believe and you should find many who are versed on this subject.
But getting back to the question. As Satan is preparing his kingdom and making a false peace with Israel, God will also be preparing a way for those who will accept Him during this time. It is generally believed that the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-13 God's Witnesses) will come on the scene at the same time the Antichrist and the false prophet does. It will be through these two men that God will spread the Gospel throughout the world.
When the two witnesses do come, their ministry will center around Jerusalem and not the US. They will be responsible for starting a great revival that will see at least 144,000 male Jews saved in the early days of the tribulation period (Revelation 7:4-8). These 144,000 Jews will in turn be sealed by God (indwelt by Holy Spirit) and sent throughout the world to preach the Gospel. As the Holy Spirit was taken from the world when the rapture took place, He will be re-introduced back into the world through the two witnesses and 144,000 witnesses. Many will come to know the Lord during this time and most will die for this privilege (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-17).
These 144,000 male virgin Jews will be unsaved prior to the rapture of the church. They will not be converted until after they have heard the Gospel during the tribulation period.
One more thing about Jehovah Witnesses. I have a friend who once sat down with some experienced leaders of a local JW church. Many times if the first witness is not versed enough to handle the questions of a prospect they will arrange for a second meeting and bring in an elder witness.
As the second meeting proceeded, both presented what they believed. As expected, neither would give in to the others argument. Then the ultimate question was raised by my friend that stopped the JW elder in his tracts. The subject of our eternal destination was brought up. You see, there's one thing that both JW's and Christians both believe and can't deny...that we're all going to stand before God. Certainly, we as Christians believe that without Christ the outcome of this meeting will end with eternal hell in the Lake of Fire. But JW's don't believe in hell, much less the Lake of Fire. In fact, they believe when an unbeliever stands before God, they will be given a second chance to serve Him at the final judgment. That's right, a second chance! My question is, who in their right mind given a second chance to live forever in a perfect world would refuse it? I realize that the JW's do not believe in a hell but they do believe that the alternative for refusing to serve God is death. Given these two choices of a perfect life here on earth or death, I have to believe the conversation rate will be one hundred percent at the final judgment. Which begs the question--why even waste your time witnessing if everyone will ultimately be given a second chance at the judgment?
This was the opening my friend was looking for. Upon hearing this he said, if this is true, why on earth would I renounce my faith in Jesus as the Son of God to become a Jehovah Witness? I will remain a Christian, and when I stand before God, if by chance I am wrong, and you are right, I will use commonsense and change my mind then. But if what you believe is wrong, and I am right, the Bible says you will not be granted a second chance. According to the Bible, you will be turned away and cast into the eternal Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15)
Let me make this clear, no where in the Bible is there even the slightest hint that a person gets a second chance during the final judgment (Revelation 20:12-15). Once you have passed from this life into the next all chances cease forever. The only thing that will matter is if you made Jesus Lord of your life during your time here on earth.
Unfortunately, many have fallen for the lies of this modern day cult. That's why it is wise to heed the warning found in the Bible to not even allow them into your home (2 John 9-11).
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