Could being "before the throne" be like being before the queen of England while living in America? No. The great crowd will be serving God "in his temple" (Rev. 7:15).
Where is the tabernacle of God which is spread over the great crowd? Heaven! (Rev. 7:9 & 15a; 13:6; 15:5-6).
Where is the temple of God where the great crowd will be serving? The temple of God is "in heaven" (Rev. 11:19; 14:17; 15:5-6).
Could we say the great crowd is really to be on earth in the outer courts of the temple? No. The great crowd is clearly going to be "in heaven" (Rev. 19:1).
Could the great crowd in heaven be a different great crowd than the great crowd of chapter 7? No.
- Notice who is a part of the great crowd in chapter 19: 24 elders, 4 beasts, servants, the bride or the saints, angels and an army (people). In chapter 7: people from around the earth living during the great tribulation, angels, the elders, and the four beasts.
- Notice what the great crowd is saying in chapter 7:
- Salvation, glory, honor, and power.
- In chapter 19: salvation, glory, honor, and power.
- Notice what the great crowd is wearing in chapter 7:
- Vs. 9 white robes
- vs. 13 white robes
- vs. 14 white robes washed in the blood. In chapter 19: Verse 8 fine linen clean and white which is the righteousness of the saints
- vs. 14 fine linen white and clean (the blood washing is implied in verse 13 referring to Jesus' blood).
The burden of proof is on the Watchtower to prove that the great crowd cannot go to Heaven. What is this "proof"?
"The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever." Psalm 37:29. Do we assume that the great crowd never goes to heaven? By context, only if the righteous 144,000 never go to Heaven, this may include the great crowd.
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Are the meek the Jehovah's Witnesses who miss Heaven? Then why aren't they "poor in spirit" (verse 3), "pure in heart" (verse 8), "persecuted for righteousness sake" (verse 10), or reviled, persecuted or spoken evil against falsely (verses 11-12)? These go to heaven and they see God!
Was God's purpose to create earth a paradise for man to dwell in? Scripture declares that "heaven" and "paradise" are synonymous, to be used interchangeably, since the resurrection (2 Corinthians 12:2 & 4). Is there even one verse reading "paradise earth"? Not one.
Someone inherits the "new earth" so do people live on earth? Rev. 22:1. Indeed! God does not slam the door of heaven shut, saying, "Now you will never be able to leave the gates of Heaven!" Rather, "The gates of it shall not be shut at all" (Rev. 22:25). Do Jehovah's Witnesses claiming "an earthly hope" also hope their names are in the Lambs Book of Life? Good news! Those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter "it" (Rev. 21:27). "It" in context refers to heavenly Jerusalem. Those who trust Christ get BOTH the new heaven and the new earth in the salvation package! See Ephesians 1:10.
If the 144,000 rule as kings and priests over the earth, they have to have somebody to rule over. The 144,000 rule "on" not "over" the earth (Rev. 5:10). The New World Translation says "over"; the Greek says "upon". The Watchtower leaders want to keep the kings and priests above the earth as only spirit creatures. Christians living at the end of the great tribulation will populate the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ. Do kings and priests reign over them? The 144,000 are never spoken of as being the kings, priests or the bride of Christ in Revelation 7:3-8 or 14:1-5. Contrast Israelites (7:4) and every nation (5:9).
Didn't Jesus say He had other sheep of a different fold who would remain on the earth? John 10:16. No. Jesus was talking to Jews about the world-wide evangelism of gentile sheep. Jesus did NOT say they would remain separate. "There shall be one fold, and one shepherd"; not two (one in heaven and one on earth) or 2 Shepherds (Psalm 23:1; John 10:11) one in heaven and one on earth. To insist that there will remain two or three folds misrepresents Jesus Christ and God's Word! Ephesians 1:10.
Is there an earthly hope for one group of Christians and a heavenly hope for another? No. There is "one hope" (Ephesians 4:4). The hope, or confidence, is to live wherever Jesus is. There is just one body (1 Cor. 12:12,13,27; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:5). Scripture emphasizes "heavenly places" (Ephesians 2:6). We become like our heavenly Jesus (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2). We go to a heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18). We go to the Father's house to be with Jesus. Where is the Father? Heaven (John 14:1-3). Those who sleep in Jesus will come with Him (1 Thes. 4:14). After our earthly body is gone we get an immortal body in heaven (1 Cor. 15:42-56; 2 Cor. 5:1,6-9). If you believed on Jesus through the testimony of the apostles, you will be with Jesus (John 17:20 & 24). People from five different areas were all destined for heaven (I Peter 1:1 & 4). Conservatively speaking, 144,000 people were saved from Acts 2:41-6:7, before Judge Rutherford took away the heavenly hope in the 1930's (Matt. 23:13). The first century church at Ephesus alone was estimated to already have from 20,000 to 25,000 people! The church of Jerusalem was larger than that. We have a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1). Everyone who is not lopped off the vine will abide with Him (John 15:4-6).
Can believers from before the time of Christ go to heaven? Will they be resurrected to life on earth with the great crowd? Old Testament saints will be in "heaven" (Matt. 8:11; Job 19:25-26; Psalm 23:6; 73:24-25). The Bible has no contradicts. Abraham looked for a city made by God. He was a stranger on earth and headed for a heavenly city prepared by God, Heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:8-16; 12:22).
Are the 144,000 really the Jehovah's Witness grandparents who claim to be anointed? No. The 144,000 will be virgins; not grandparents (Rev. 14:1 & 4). They will be too busy serving God during the great tribulation to watch after a family. The 144,000 will be sealed, future, after the 6th Seal, the Day of Wrath and the holding back of the four winds (Rev. 6:12,17; 7:1,3).
What nationality will these 144,000 be? According to Scripture they will be Jews (Revelation 7:4). In contrast, the great crowd is from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, while the 144,000 are sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel (Rev. 7:9 & 4). The 144,000 are not sealed to become Israelites, they are sealed OUT OF Israel to become the 144,000. In both Revelation 7 and 14, a clear distinction is made between the 144,000 sealed Israelites and "every nation." If we take "every nation" to be literal, we should also take "Israel" to be literal. For the Watchtower to go from literal to symbolic in the middle of a verse is to radically twist the Scriptural context. How could anyone take 12 symbolic numbers, add them up and come up with a literal number of 144,000? If the Watchtower correctly says the 144,000 aren't Jews; why is the number of 144,000 literal? If they aren't Jews, what is the long explanation about the tribes of Israel all about? Rabbis, when asked if this is a literal list of the names of the tribes of Israel say it is authentic. Some names vary in Scripture, apparently due to the serious sin and then the loss of recognition of certain descendants of Jacob. Scripturally, the Jewish nation was indeed laid; but only temporarily (Romans 11:15-26). In contrast to the 144,000, the future kings are from every tribe, tongue, people and nation (Rev. 5:9-10).
Does the Watchtower have the correct light on Scripture through the faithful and discreet slave? The Watchtower has serious problems trying to interpret Revelation. They published The Finished Mystery in 1917, through their faithful and discreet slave (see page 5). Was the mystery really finished as claimed? No. The recent book, Revelation - It's Grand Climax At Hand! is very different. Scripturally, the seven trumpets of Revelation lead from one trumpet into another. The order of the seven trumpets according to the Watchtower book is 7,1,2,3,4,5,6. That's no way to count to seven.
Is the great crowd really excluded from heaven? The Watchtower's, Vindication, book three, p. 204, makes it clear the great crowd would go to heaven. Why? As the Watchtower said, Ezekiel says so! "This picture shows the position of the 'great multitude'. Even and anon someone advances the conclusion that the 'great multitude' will not be a spiritual class. The prophecy of Ezekiel shows that such conclusion is erroneous. The fact that their position is seven steps higher than the outside shows that they must be made spirit creatures." Was this message Watchtower light or was it darkness? (Proverbs 4:18). If not light, see how Scripture describes the Watchtower which taught this darkness (Proverbs 4:19).
Why did Jesus say you MUST be born again to enter the kingdom of "HEAVEN"? John 3:3 & 5. Jesus said you will not see or enter the kingdom of "God" unless you are born again. You will not reside in any part of God's kingdom, heaven or earth, unless you have been born of the Spirit. Is this provision only for the 144,000? No. It is all inclusive (1 John 5:1). This means you! If you have a kingdom message, understand clearly that you MUST be born again or you will miss God's kingdom. John explains that to born again is to believe aright on Jesus (vs. 16). Do write if you would like more information on the Almighty God.