In this video, we will critically examine the teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses that only 144,000 people will go to heaven. According to the Watchtower, there has only been the Heavenly Calling for anyone who became a Christian from the 1st century up till the 19thcentury. This would mean that Jesus Christ had less than 144,000 disciples following him from Pentecost of 33CE until the 19thcentury. Is this teaching supported by historical records?
We will demonstrate how the Watchtower will use historical records and data only to reject it when it conflicts with their teachings
The following references were highlighted in this video
w82 2/15 p. 30 par. 14 “What Prevents Me from Getting Baptized?” ***
“For 19 centuries there was only the one calling”
Insight -1 p. 441 Christian
“Persecution of Christians by the authorities of the Roman Empire from and after the days of Nero is a matter of secular history. (See CHRISTIAN.) The charges varied, but the objectives always seemed to be the same, namely, the suppression of Christianity.
Insight-2 p. 825 Rome
“These persecutions were attributed to two causes: (1) the great evangelizing zeal of Christians to convert others, and (2) Christians’ uncompromising stand in giving to God the things that are God’s rather than giving them to Caesar.”.
w58 2/1 pp. 73-75 Integrity of Early Christians Put to the Test
1The Great Events by Famous Historians,Vol. III, F. P. G. Guizot, page 246; F. W. Farrar, page 142.
2 On the Road to Civilization, A World History,1937, Heckel and Sigman, pages 237, 238.
3The History of Christianity,by J. S. C. Abbott, pages 238, 239, 255, 256.
4Mosheim’s Institutes of Ecclesiastical History,Twelfth Edition, pages 55-57.
5Christianity and the Roman Empire,by W. E. Addis, pages 54, 55, 59, 69.
6History of Christianity,by Edward Gibbon, pages 233-235.
7Library of Biblical and Theological Literature,History of the Christian Church, by G. Crooks and J. Hurst, pages 165-168.
1The History of the Church of Christ,by Joseph Milner, pages 258, 270.
2Mosheim’s An Ecclesiastical History,translated by J. S. Reid, pages 114, 115.
3History of Christianity,by Edward Gibbon, pages 270-275, 277.
4Eusebius’ The Ecclesiastical History,Vol. 2, translated by J. E. L. Oulton, pages 265, 269.
w51 9/1 p. 516 Hated for His Name ***
“the second great persecution, under Emperor Domitian, flared up. It is said that in the year 95 alone some 40,000 suffered martyrdom.”
“In a single month 17,000 were slain. In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.”
*** w52 1/15 p. 62 Questions From Readers ***
Questions From Readers
- According to the article “Hated for His Name” in the September 1, 1951,Watchtower,hundreds of thousands of Christians died in the “ten persecutions” starting in Nero’s time, 144,000 dying in Egypt alone during one of the persecutions. How can this be harmonized with the Scriptural limitation of 144,000 placed on the number being in Christ’s body, and which position was the only one open to Christians during those centuries?—J.A., Dominican Republic.
The article did not class with any finality the individuals that died during these persecutions, but spoke of the results in a general way. Note that a key qualification was made in the case referred to in the question: “In the province of Egypt alone, 144,000 such professed Christians died by violence in the course of this persecution, in addition to another 700,000 who died as a result of fatigues encountered in banishment or under enforced public works.” The victims are identified as “professed Christians”, not Christians in fact. Many of those persons might have been caught in the wave of persecution, but may never have actually preached the truth or followed in Jesus’ footsteps, being only professed Christians. They knew the world they lived in was rotten and they were listening to the message of the Christians and willing to die for it even though not in line for the high calling in Christ Jesus. Many professed Christians today might be willing to die for their faith, but still not be Jesus’ footstep followers and meeting the Scriptural requirements for such.
*** w97 8/15 p. 15 par. 12 Living for Today or for an Eternal Future? ***
The number of genuine anointed sons of God surviving on earth is greatly diminished. Furthermore, the Bible clearly states that it is “on account of the chosen ones” that the opening phase of the great tribulation will be “cut short.” (Matthew 24:21, 22) Most of those professing to be of the anointed are quite elderly. Again, would this not indicate that the end is close at hand?
Watchtower 2000 Jan 15 p.13
“Six Convincing Lines of Evidence” that we are in the Last Days. … Sixth, the number of genuine anointed disciples of Christ is dwindling, though some will evidently still be on earth when the great tribulation begins.
Most of the remnant are quite elderly, and over the years the number of those who are truly anointed has been getting smaller