How Many Will Go To Heaven

By Keith Sharp

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