How Many Will Go To Heaven

Keith Sharp
Baytown, Texas

The July 4, 1973 Houston Post carried the following quotation of Milton G. Henschel, "a top official" of the Jehovah's Witnesses: "The exact number who will make it to heaven is 144,000 . . . Revelation 14, one in four, gives the exact figure . . . ." Does Revelation 14:1-4 teach that exactly 144,000 people "will make it to heaven?" The Watch Tower Society, the ruling body of the Jehovah's Witnesses, has a peculiar habit of making figurative and symbolic things literal and literal things figurative in order to pervert a passage to suit their own purposes. For example, in Revelation 7:1-8 the 144,000 are depicted as being chosen from the twelve tribes of Israel-Hebrews to the man. The tribes are even named. "But," we are told, "this is figurative." In Revelation 14:4 the 144,000 are described as virgin men. Again we are told this is figurative. The blessed ones of Revelation 20:4, whom our Jehovah's Witnesses friends claim are the 144,000, are identified as "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus . . . ." You guessed it-figurative again! If every description of the 144,000-Jewish, virgin men, beheaded for Christ-is figurative, by what rule of scripture, logic or sanity is the 144,000 itself regarded as literal? Indeed, the legs of the lame are unequal! All in Christ have only one hope (Ephesians 4:4), for a home in Heaven (2 Timothv 2:10; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Hebrews 11:16).

Truth Magazine XIX: 49, p. 779
October 23, 1975