(Originally printed in the Spring 2005 Issue of the MCOI Journal on pg 15)
Many are aware that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) teaches a two-class system: One is the 144,000 who will be in heaven, and the other is the “Great Crowd” who will never see heaven but hope to live forever on earth. What can we discover about this by asking questions from the Scriptures themselves? To be as fair as possible, we will do this using the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation Bible.
First of all: WHERE IS GOD’S THRONE?
|Matt. 5:34||“However, I say to YOU; Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne…”|
“and he that swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by him that is sitting on it”
|Acts. 7:49||“The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What sort of house will YOU build for me? Jehovah says …”|
WHAT GROUPS OF BEINGS AND WHAT THINGS ARE BEFORE (Gr.=enopion) THE THRONE OF GOD (IN HEAVEN)?
|Rev. 1:4||“seven spirits that are before (enopion) his [God’s] throne, ….”|
|Rev. 4:5||“seven lamps of fire burning before (enopion) the throne [of God], ….”|
|Rev. 4:6||“And before (enopion) the throne [of God] there is, as it were, a glassy sea like crystal.”|
|Rev. 4:10||“the twenty-four elders fall down before (enopion) the One seated upon the throne…, and they cast their crowns before (enopion) the throne, ….”|
|Rev. 7:9||“a great crowd, … standing before (enopion) the throne and before (enopion) the Lamb ….”|
|Rev. 7:11||“And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell upon their faces before (enopion) the throne and worshiped God, ….”|
|Rev. 7:15||“That is why they [the great crowd] are before (enopion) the throne of God; and they are rendering him sacred service ….”|
|Rev. 8:3||“And another angel arrived and stood at the altar, having … incense … to offer … with the prayers of all the holy ones upon the golden altar that was before (enopion) the throne.”|
|Rev. 9:13||“And I heard one voice out of the horns of the golden altar that is before (enopion) God.”|
|Rev. 11:16||“And the twenty-four elders who were seated before (enopion) God ….”|
|Rev. 14:3||“And they [the 144,000] are singing as if a new song before (enopion) the throne and before (enopion) the four living creatures and the elders; ….”|
Clearly, when considered in context, there is little reason to doubt that the “great crowd” is “before the throne of God” (in heaven) in the same manner as the seven spirits, the seven lamps of ﬁre, the glassy sea like crystal, the crowns of the 24 elders, the angels, the elders themselves, the four living creatures, the golden altar, and the 144,000.Ω
Corkey McGehee is our Senior Editor and along with Todd McGehee, who is her husband and an MCOI Board member, have done the proofreading, editing, and layout of the MCOI Journal and other printed materials since 1995. They have a deep love for Jesus and His truth Who has given them a passion to reach out to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics and others trapped in the grip of cults and false teachers.
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