To Jehovah`s witnesses.
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144 000 and "THE GREAT CROWD" -WILL THEY BE IN THE SKY?Preface :
(all the citations, if it is not indicated differently, are from King James translation)
Release from 20.04.09
They argue much about these two groups, described in "Revelation" 7:4,9; 14:1. And they argue ardently. Will they be in the sky? Or are the skies - for especially gifted? Many Christians, including some witnesses of Jehovah, each in his own way, but in the whole they are acquainted with the opinion of the former secretary of Boarding Committee of Watch Tower Society John Mitchel on this occasion. He supposed, that "the great crowd", serving in the "temple" (greek "naos", sanctuary) - will also be in the sky, because the sanctuary is a prototype of skies and only anointed priests could be in it. But there is also such point of view, which WTS elucidated in publications: "a great crowd" is a group of people who will survive in the "great tribulation" of Armageddon and will remain to live on the Earth in the new system of things of Jehovah.
We offer to your attention another point of view, expounded in this article. It differs a little from the above- mentioned ones, however it is also founded by the Bible. That is, this opinion also has the right on existence.
As we have just found out from the previous article about the great mystery of God`s church, for Jehovah are however important two groups of Christians, which Christ died for: a "church of first-borns (first-fruit)" - the future co-rulers of Christ - and the future habitants of the new Earth under the new skies where justness will dwell - 2Peter 3:13. According to the Scriptures, the novelty of skies and Earth won`t mean that Jehovah will literally create again the out-of-date space and the out-of-date planet Earth - Is 45:18. He plans only to "change" skies and the Earth, and as a result of these changes both in the skies and on the Earth justness will "dwell" as it is written: "Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this (word) yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken as of things that are made that those things which cannot be shaken may remain" - Hebr 12:26, 27; Job 38:13,14.
According to the Scriptures, the future co-rulers will manage from the renewed skies, therefore they expect "inhabitation in heavens" - Philip 3:20. However the celestial government itself does not make sense, if it has nobody to rule. To the rulers should necessarily belong the citizens. Will these citizens be in the skies? The Bible teaches that citizens will live in the paradise on the Earth, because "meek shall inherit the Earth" - Ps 36:11, 29, Mat 5:5. Celestial kings and priests "will also reign on the Earth", that is they will organize the vital functions of tellurians in the system of things of Jehovah - Rev 5:10.
It is known that in the ancient "Promised Land" (mini - paradise) the society of Jehovah`s people was arranged so, that in it citizens who had earthly destiny, were managed by the government of priests of Jehovah who didn`t have the earthly destiny, they had only celestial one - Jehovah Himself - Deut 18:1,2; Joshua 11:23, 13:33 (more detailed about the structure - see the article "Who of the people living on the Earth now are the members of spiritual Israel?" and "Revelation. The new version", Appendix 1). Because the ancient structure was only the prototype on the future true structures - Hebr 10:1, the expected structure of future society of Jehovah`s people, the paradisial Earth, can look like as followed: earthly citizens will also be managed by celestial rulers, who will glorify the system of management of Jehovah - "celestial city Jerusalem" by their skilful management - Rev 21:24 (see about the system of management of Jehovah of the future - the article "Revelation. The new version", chapters 21,22). How exactly they will succeed it - it is not opened so far. Everybody who will get to the new system of things, will see it.
However this article will make an effort to understand mainly whether the book of the Bible "Revelation" describes the structure of the future society of Jehovah`s people? Whether there are Biblical grounds to consider that the habitants of new skies or future co-rulers of Christ are 144 000 from Rev 7:4: 14:1, and the habitants of the future Earth are "the great crowd" from Rev. 7:9? While reading the article we recommend to check the written with the Scriptures, as the habitants of Berea did - Acts 17:11. We will analyse these two groups separately.
At first we will consider the texts of Rev 7:1-4 about sealing 144 000 and will find for these texts the keys of understanding in the Bible. In this context the question appears about historical events which take place on the Earth in the period of "God`s Day" and at the moment of opening of the 6th seal (more detailed see the article "Revelation. The new version"), when the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The number of God`s servants is known - 144 000. It is known also, that God`s servants are from certain tribes of Israel.
We will define:
1)What does the "sealing" of God`s servants mean?
2)What do 12 tribes of Israel mean?
3)Why are the God`s servants chosen from each tribe of Israel?
4)What does the number 144 000 mean?
1)What does the "sealing" of God`s servants mean?
Because the angels are ordered to seal only God`s servants, so all 144 000 sealed are His servants. The others aren`t His servants so far.
Why is it possible to suppose that the "sealed" servants of Jehovah are the future co-rulers of Christ? There are several reasons:
First, the position of a servant itself says that he was bought by his owner, so he does not belong to himself and lives for the benefit of his owner. Apostle Paul - a future co-ruler of Christ - said about himself as about the "servant" of Christ - Rom 1:1, he said the other holy partakers of the heavenly calling: "you are bought with a price, be not ye the servants of men" - Hebr 3:1, 1Cor 7:23.
Second, the sealing itself meant that they were chosen by Jehovah. For example, it is said about Jesus: "for him hath God the Father sealed" - John 6:27.
Third, sealing with the holy spirit or "chrism" meant for the christians of the first century that Jehovah chose them for service as "partakers of the heavenly calling" - Hebr 3:1, 2Cor 1:21,22.
Fourth, something important is said about sealing in Jes 9:1-11. We will pay attention to the fact that before "mini-Armageddon" (in the Judaic system of things) "a man with a writer`s inkhorn by his side" was sent to the governmental capital - Jerusalem: "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."- Jes 9:4-6. The city Jerusalem was the only city in the country, where members of the government of Jehovah - "members of Jerusalem" had a seat.
If before mini-Armageddon the faithful "members of Jerusalem" were sealed, it is possible to expect by analogy with old times, that before great Armageddon the faithful "members of Jerusalem" will also be sealed, with the only difference, that Jerusalem in this case is spiritual, and "the members of spiritual Jerusalem" are future co-rulers of Christ - Rev 7:2.
The sealing of general number - 144 000 members of "Jerusalem"- takes place during ALL PERIOD of choosing of this group, since the chrism of the FIRST disciples till the sealing of the LAST anointed sovereigns who will live shortly before Armageddon. This text assures that each of 144 000 is taken on account by Jehovah.
Note: certainly, not only rulers lived in Jerusalem, but also "feeble" group of population, which didn`t participate in the state management. This group was presented by old men, women and children in the text Jes 9:6. As a rule, this group of defenceless citizens causes pity, however this text shows that during Armageddon neither feebleness nor "infancy" will protect from elimination if there won`t be a sign of loyalty to Jehovah in the forehead (see also the article "Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets")
Fifth, it is known, that the mountain of Jehovah`s temple - Sion - symbolizes heavens - the place of dwelling of Jehovah - Ps 9:12; 73:2; 1Chron 8:39. It is also known, that 144 000 "first-borns" (first-fruits) with the seals in the foreheads stand with resurrected Jesus on the mountain Sion, that is in the skies - Rev 14:1.
About apostles who will be next to resurrected Jesus in the skies it is also said as about His future co-rulers: "That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" - Luke 22:30.
It is also known that to the apostles the other "saints" will be "added", who will come to judge from the skies the whole world and fallen angels - 1Cor 6:2,3.
Consequently, about all those who are in the skies next to resurrected Jesus "in his kingdom" and has the special seal in the forehead, it is possible to say that all of them are 144 000 resurrected from the Earth; they are the celestial co-rulers of Christ and "first-fruit" of Jehovah - Rev 3:12, 14:4.
All the members of this group, including the anointed sovereigns, living on the Earth shortly before Armageddon, who are to be killed and to "complement" this number, - are taken into account by Jehovah before Armageddon and will be gathered to Christ in the skies for "marriage" and conducting of Armageddon - Rev 6:11 (see the parable about a marriage feast).
2)What do 12 tribes of Israel mean?
Many researchers of the Scriptures suppose that 12 tribes of Israel mean the people of Jehovah of the New Testament, from whom are the "first-fruit" of Jehovah - the future co-rulers, like literal first-borns came from 12 tribes of ancient Israel. This argument is reasonable and comports with the Scriptures (see the article "Should the members of great crowd take over characters?").
3)Why are the God`s servants chosen from each tribe of Israel?
In ancient Israel "first-borns" from all the tribes, atoned by Easter, were changed on one tribe of Levi - Numb 8:16-18. The expression "from all tribes of Israel" can mean that in the New Testament Jehovah rejected the concept when setting in priests was inherited in the family tribe of Levi. For the people of Jehovah of the New Testament the concept of "first-fruits" was given. They could "be born" in every vivid "tribe" of Jehovah`s people of the New Testament, as it is written about future co-rulers of Christ: "they are the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb" - Rev 14:4; Numb3:13.
Why are not all the tribes of Israel included into God`s servants, but only the limited number - 12 000? It is obviously, that from the people of Jehovah of the New Testament not all, but only deserving and worthy first-fruits are chosen who are to be the co-rulers of Christ - Rev 14:1,4. In every vivid tribe were found only 12 000 of them.
Why are the first-fruits chosen? To the first-fruits of literal Israel Jehovah gave a special role: they were "ransomed" by the Ruler from death by the cost of blood of Easter while going out from Egyptian slavery. As the "buyer", Jehovah had special rights on them: first-fruits had to belong to Him, to carry out His will exactly as the bought slaves, and to serve Him with loyalty in the internal court of literal Jehovah`s temple - Numb 3:12,13. However in the first century AD by blood of Easter - Christ - Jehovah "ransomed" from death "first-fruits" for the internal court of future spiritual temple - members of the future celestial government. Because literal Israel rejected and crucified Christ, Jehovah rejected them as His people, destroyed the literal temple and the state in the whole.
However the essence of "first-fruits", gathered for the celestial government, had to remain the same: Jehovah had special rights on them and expected devotion of "slaves" from them. From the New Testament He "gathered" His "first-fruits" (in figurative, spiritual sense) from the people of "all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues" - from every "tribe" of the new Israel - Acts 13:46,47.
Thus, the expression "12 000 from every tribe of Israel" in "Revelation" (when the literal temple was destroyed and literal Israel people stopped to be the people of Jehovah) explains in the best way that Jehovah took into account all His spiritual "first-fruits" - the anointed sovereigns - from spiritual Israel - people of Jehovah all over the Earth - Rev 14:4 (more detailed - see the article "Should the great crowd take over characters?")
4)What does the number 144 000 mean?
Because all that is written in the Scriptures, is written under the direction of Jehovah - there are no reasons to cast doubt on such numerical expressions given in the Bible, because the reader of the Scriptures cannot know more than the Author. For example there are no Biblical grounds to consider that such numerical expressions of "Revelation" as "24 old men", "144 000","42 months", "1260 days", "10 kings from which five are fallen" are just symbolic and actually mean something others. If, for example, Jehovah didn`t wish to report the date of advent of Christ and Armageddon, it is said clearly: "but of that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father (Mark 13:32). If Jehovah did not give the number of people in the group which will be considered below, it is said about it as about some "great crowd".
Exceptions make only those numerals to which there is the "key" for understanding in the Bible - some precedent of using this number. The search of symbolic sense, built on the Biblical precedent, is possible in such cases. For example: the number "12 tribes of Israel" can mean the complete quantity of Jehovah`s people of the period of New Testament like it meant the complete quantity of people of Jehovah of the period of the Old Testament. Or - "3,5 days", during which the last anointed sovereigns are "dead" - Rev 11:9 - can mean the period of their forced inactivity from the moment of their "murder" till the moment of resurrection", like 3,5 days of inactivity for Jesus lasted from the moment of His arrest on Thursday evening till the moment of His resurrection on Monday morning. Or "2 witnesses - candlesticks" from Rev 11:3,4 can also mean the "group" of witnesses, vividly sent by two men. In order to try to decrypt secret senses of numbers, one should be oriented very well in the Holy texts and their events and to build on the Bible the proofs of secret sense. But what is the most important, one should not try to search secret sense where it may not be present. Now - about the "great crowd".
ÒÍÅ GREAT CROWD
We will consider descriptions of this group:
1."They serve in His temple (sanctuary) day and night"
John was shown the great crowd from all tribes and people - Rev 7:9,14. Because only 144 000 co-rulers are with Jesus Christ on the celestial mountain Sion, the "great crowd" can be somewhere else, but within the sight of the throne of Jehovah and Jesus. As for this group, many researchers of the Scriptures suppose that they are in the skies, using Rev 7:15, where it is said that a "great crowd" will "serve in the temple of Jehovah day and night". Thus many researchers of the Bible use the word "temple" of this verse and prove that in this text of the Bible a greek word "temple" (naos) is used in the meaning "sanctuary" of the internal court where only anointed priests could serve.
In order to define the location of servants of the temple (sanctuary) of this text we offer:
1)to consider the structure of the temple and to define, which exactly its part symbolized skies;
2)to consider a few texts of "Revelation" where the word "naos" is used in the meaning "sanctuary".
1)The structure of the temple Dictionary of terms paragraphs 5,6
"Sanctuary" or tabernacle of God was made by Moses for earthly worship to Jehovah and was a large tent, where there was a little section meant specially for Jehovah - Holy of Holies, also named a "tabernacle" or "sanctuary" - Hebr 9:2,3. Because of that the misunderstanding in the interpretation of these texts sometimes takes place. This large tent in general - the "earthly dwelling of Jehovah" - was similar to the structure of His celestial dwelling and was made according to the sample, shown on the mountain Sina - Hebr 8:5. Later the sanctuary of cloth was changed by the temple of stone - naos, which Jehovah built "like (His) high palaces" on the mountain Sion - Ps 78:68, 69. In the little tabernacle - Holy of Holies - vividly lived only Jehovah Himself and there was a source of His truth there - the ark of His testament with people. To sinful humanity access to Holy of Holies was strictly forbidden - Lev 16:2; Hebr 9:7.
In the structure of large tabernacle only little section - Holy of Holies - symbolized skies - the real place of inhabitation of Jehovah and the real source of His truth - Rev 11:19. Exactly there the main high priest Jesus entered with His own blood, exactly there the future co-rulers of Christ got access from the moment of breaking of the curtain, separating Holy of Holies - Hebr 9:24; 10:19. Other space of the temple - the internal court - was meant for sinless servants of Jehovah - anointed priests, de bene esse "washed" with the blood of animals in the Old Testament - Numbers 3:6-10, Hebr 9:2-9.
Thus, the word "temple" - "naos" of the text Rev 7:15, meaning a certain not literal sanctuary where the sinless admirers serve, does not necessary mean Holy of Holies - the skies and place of inhabitation of Jehovah. It can mean the space of vivid "internal court", located very close to the dwelling of Jehovah. On this place can be only just servants of Jehovah, because Jehovah is very far from the wicked - Proverbs 15:29.
We will compare the place of worship of "great crowd" with the place of worship of celestial co-rulers of Christ - members of "celestial Jerusalem" and church of "first-fruits".
In the celestial structure of worship to Jehovah - celestial Jerusalem - where the resurrected co-rulers of Christ will be, - there will be no temple (naos), as it is written "and I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" - Rev 21:22. They got access to the small section of the sanctuary behind the curtain - in the Holy of Holies - and got directly into the celestial dwelling of Jehovah, like Jesus Christ - Hebr 10:19, 20. Being in the Holy of Holies, in the source of truth, they do not need the "internal court" - "temple" (naos), which just tellurians need - Rev 7:15.
As we see, the location of "celestial rulers" differs from the location of just "great crowd": the "great crowd" worships to Jehovah in the field of vision of celestial government, but not on its territory. Therefore it is written about "celestial Jerusalem": "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven" - Rev 21:2. Where does celestial Jerusalem come down? We read: "and the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." - Rev 21:24. It is obviously that celestial city Jerusalem - the government over the earth - comes down from skies to the Earth, that is its influence spreads on the tellurians (see the article "Revelation. The new version, chapters 21,22)
Besides for the saint servants of Jehovah, worshiping Him on the Earth in the internal court of the "temple", there will be night, and for celestial habitants - there will be no night - Rev 7:15, 22:5.
2) some texts from Revelation where the word "temple" - naos - is used
A) Let`s compare the text of Rev 7:17 with the text of Rev 21:3,4, where the identical idea is given: "and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" - from the eyes of those who "serves in the temple day and night" and from the eyes of those who is in the tabernacle of God.
In Rev 21:3,4 the period of paradisial life of happy sinless humanity is described in the system of management of Jehovah, who survived in the last "great tribulation" and it is reported: "behold, the tabernacle of God with men" (not incorporeal spirits, living in the skies). As we found out from p. 1 "The structure of the temple", the words "tabernacle", "sanctuary" and "temple" (naos) can mean both the internal court of the temple in general and its small section - Holy of Holies.
According to the Scriptures, people of flesh and blood who are to live on the paradisial Earth, can not be in the tabernacle - sanctuary - in the meaning Holy of Holies, because skies are meant for spiritual habitants - 1Cor 15:50. This text rather reminds of that period of old days when the general tabernacle with Holy of Holies was disposed on the earthly territory of Jehovah`s people and meant the fact of presence of Jehovah among His people - Lev 26:11,12. At that time the access into the internal court of "tabernacle" in general was categorically closed for all tellurians because of their sins, except for saint priests. However in the text of Rev 21:3, 4 humanity is in the state of perfection and absence of sins. Therefore every tellurian of this period gets the state of "holiness", can occupy the vivid territory of internal court of tabernacle next to Holy of Holies, where only "clean priests" could be before. As a result for every tellurian in the "tabernacle" of God there is a possibility to socialize directly with Jehovah without any mediators, as it is written: "God may be all in all" - 1Cor 15:28.
On the paradisial Earth, as well as in the sky, worship to Jehovah will always be arranged "in spirit and in truth" - Mat 6:10, John 4:23. Therefore the vivid "internal court" for worship - a tabernacle - a temple - naos, where the truth of Jehovah will be explained, will always exist. It may be said that all the paradisial Earth will become the "internal court" for worship to Jehovah.
The dwelling of Jehovah - Holy of Holies - and the source of truth will also vividly be on the territory of internal court of paradisial Earth, only there won`t be the curtain, separating "heavens" from the Earth.
Jehovah, vividly speaking, will live among His saint, sinless people and will socialize with them like He socialized with Adam and Eva in the paradise: "and it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear" - Is 65:24. "And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people" - Lev 26:11,12. "And I will be a Father unto you , and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" - 2Cor 6:18. "And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes" - Rev 7:17.
It is said in Rev 7:15: "they (the great crowd) serve to Jehovah day and night in His temple (naos)". As we have already found out, the "great crowd" worships to Jehovah in the internal court of the sanctuary, but not in Holy of Holies in the skies where there is no temple (naos). The situation, described here, reminds the situation of "tabernacle of God with men", when the saint admirers of Jehovah in white robes will be allowed to be in a vivid "internal court" - on the paradisial planet - near Holy of Holies where only anointed priests were allowed to be before.
Thus the word "temple' ( naos) in the meaning "sanctuary" from the text Rev 7:15 and "tabernacle" from the text Rev 21:3 can mean the same - a vivid place of worship to Jehovah, located on all paradisial Earth after a 1000 year management where the earthly children of Jehovah, having overcome their sinfulness, live.
Á) It is said in Rev 11:1,2: "… measure the temple (naos) of God, and the altar and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the gentiles". If to replace the word "temple" (naos) with the word "sanctuary", the following will turn out: measure the sanctuary and the altar, but do not measure the external court of the temple.
We will pay attention to the expression "the external court of the temple". It undoubtedly specifies that the "external court" exists not in itself and is somewhere abstractly located, but belongs to the temple. As, for example, the body of the car belongs to the car. At the moment of measuring of territory with the altar - the internal court, also belonging to the temple; the external court of the temple was just excluded from measuring - not taken into account - Rev 11:2. It is not worth that its servants were measured because the admirers of this court are heathens disapproved by Jehovah - (see in detail the article "Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets"). Besides the servants of the external court are eliminated from the calculation of Jehovah not forever, but only for 42 months - for the period of apostasy and rejecting of the last prophets.
Consequently, the Biblical expression "temple" (naos) from Rev 11:1,2 can mean the spiritual structure for worship to Jehovah on the Earth in the period before Armageddon, where there are both internal court and the external court (We remind that the expression "the servants of the external court trample the servants of internal court" does not mean that those who do not take over characters in the Organization "trample" those who take over characters. What does this expression mean - see the article "Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets", p 5 or "Revelation. The new version", chapter 11)
The servants of Jehovah of the internal court of this historical moment are just in the eyes of Jehovah, therefore they are taken into account by Him, and the servants of the external court are not taken into account until the certain time. What happened in the external court of the temple (naos) and why did the servants of external court become "heathens" - see also the article "The mystery of ten kings or how the beast will become the eighth of the seven?"
As we found out, the presence of the external court - outside the sanctuary - can make sense only for sinful imperfect humanity. Until all of the habitants of future paradisial Earth become perfect under the supervision of celestial government, the external court will exist, because the internal court - the territory of the sanctuary - is intended only for the loyal servants of Jehovah. Holy of Holies, located in the skies, in its turn, is meant only for 144 000 co-rulers of Christ (see also the article "Should the members of great crowd take over characters?")
Thus it is possible, that the group of "great crowd" will live on the Earth.
Â) Other texts in which the word "temple" ( naos, sanctuary) is used - Rev 11:19, 14:15,17; 15:5,6,8; 16:1,17. The participants of the events of these texts are habitants of the skies, angels. Consequently the word "temple" ( naos, sanctuary) of these texts can mean the celestial place of inhabitation of Jehovah - Holy of Holies where there is His truth - the veritable ark with the commandments of Jehovah.
2."Those who came out of great tribulation"
(after Armageddon or after 1000 years?)
The expression "those who came out of great tribulation" from Rev 7:14 can specify on two variants:
1)those who survived in the tribulation of Armageddon on the Earth- Mat 24:3,21
2)those who survived on the Earth in the great tribulation of the last test of the devil at the end of 1000 year management of Christ.
The attentive research of descriptions of this group from Rev 7:9 helps to find out, what kind of great tribulation the great crowd will come from.
1) "Nobody could count them". The book of Society "Revelation - Its Great Climax at Hand" explains, that because the exact number of "great crowd" is unknown beforehand, it is impossible to count them. However in this text the group of people is described which survived in the certain "great tribulation" and has already gathered in front of the throne of Jehovah. Consequently their quantity is certain. Difficulties with counting arise up probably because the number is too large for the human understanding, for example, more than "ten thousand times ten thousand" - Dan 7:10.
Because the witnesses of Jehovah suppose that the amount of people surviving in Armageddon will consist of witnesses of Jehovah, consequently there will be not many of them, and it will be not difficult to count them. At least presently, shortly before Armageddon there are not many of them - about 6,5 million. Besides, there are no biblical grounds to consider that Jehovah will save life only to the witnesses of Jehovah: in old days, for example, Rechabites, who carried out the laws of their father, got goodwill of Jehovah, and His people, on the contrary, appeared useless in His eyes - Jer 35:16-19. And in the days of Christ the "first" appeared to be the "last"
Thus, the first description is not in favor of the "great crowd", surviving in the tribulation of Armageddon.
2) They are "clothed with white robes", symbolizing justness. According to Rev 6:11, the last anointed sovereigns, living on the Earth at that moment, though they are "washed" by the blood of Christ, however do not have "white robes" yet: "white robes" are "given" after death and resurrection only to the "winners" of the world of satan - John 16:33. And in order to win, it is necessary to stand till the end, as it is written: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment" - Rev 3:4,5; 2:26. That one who "wears white robes" - does not die any more and does not have harm from the second death - Rev 20:6.
Consequently, in order to become "winners", to get "white robes" and not to have harm from the second death, the "great crowd" of tellurians must not only be "washed" by Christ`s blood, but also stand till the end, that is to remain faithful to Jehovah in the last test of earthly humanity by the devil, which will happen at the end of 1000 year management - Rev 20:7. Only after that the faithful "great crowd" can get "white robes". Those who have "white robes" will neither suffer from heat and thirst, nor cry or die (unlike the habitants of the Earth in a 1000 year management who will look young even at the age of 100, but if they make sin, they will die).
It is written about them:"… and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes" - Rev 7:16,17; 21:3,4. As we see, this description is also against the "great crowd", surviving in Armageddon.
3) They "stood before the throne (of Jehovah) and before the Lamb". We will pay attention to Rev 7:10: "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb". Because on the throne, before which the "great crowd" stands, Jehovah sits, but not Christ, it is obviously, that here it is described the moment of 1000 year management of Christ, which will begin after Armageddon. In a 1000 year management Jesus sits on the throne with the anointed sovereigns, as it is written: "When the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" - Mat 19:28; 25:31,32.
If the "great crowd" meant those who survived in Armageddon, they had to stand in front of the throne of Jesus and of the anointed sovereigns, but not of Jehovah.
Also the expression "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" means that they are already rescued, what can not be said about those who are yet to overcome the future great tribulation of the end of 1000 year management.
As we see, the third description is also for the period of 1000 management.
4) They had "palms in their hands". Palm branches symbolized the holiday of booths, when to the first harvest also the last harvest was added - Lev 23:39,40. The period, when Jehovah to the spiritual harvest of "wheat" - anointed sovereigns, collected in the first resurrection, will add in the second resurrection also the late spiritual harvest - "grapes" (the "great crowd" of tellurians) - will begin after the last "great tribulation" at the end of 1000 year management of Christ (see in details the article "Should the great crowd take over characters"). WT from 01.07.96, p. 24, par.18 describes in detail spiritual execution of the holiday of booths: The earthly servants of God will appear in front of him in human perfection, already not needing celestial priests. Then Jesus Christ "shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father" (1Cor 15:24). In order to test the perfect people, the satan will be released "for a little season". All the unfaithful will be eliminated forever together with satan. To those who will remain faithful eternal life is granted. They will become the residents of the paradise. So victoriously and successfully the prophetic holiday of booths will be carried to the end. Because the "great crowd" with palms is the last fruit of spiritual harvest of Jehovah and celebrates the execution of holiday of booths at the end of 1000 year management of Christ, consequently, the "great crowd" from Revelation 7:9-17 can not present tellurians who survived in the Armageddon.
Some researchers of the Bible are embarrassed also by the text of Rev 19:1, where it is said that John hears the noise of "great crowd" of people in the skies. Does it mean, that the "great crowd" makes noise in the heavens? No, because in this text it is reported only that all, who are in the heavens at that moment, "heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings" - Rev 19:6. Where is this noise from, it is not reported. It is described only the fact of noise which is heard in the skies. For example, Jehovah heard in the skies the cry of habitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, coming from the Earth, what impelled Him to check up the situation in these cities - Gen18:20,21.
Thus, on the basis of the research, it is possible to draw a conclusion: 144 000 are the future co-rulers of Christ and the habitants of skies, the "great crowd" is a group of people who will survive the last test of the devil at the end of 1000 year management of Christ and will remain to live on paradisial Earth.
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