Last night I heard on television that only 144k people will make it to heaven, now is this true?
Last night I heard on television that only 144k people will make it to heaven, now is this true?
Why would you believe television?
The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they are the 144,000, but that's only because they wrest Scripture.
The 144,000 are the redeemed of Israel at the end of the world. They are the only Jews to be saved at that time.
Me? Jesus has already paid my ticket to Heaven, and is preparing a mansion for me, there.
How about you?
If the Book be not infallible, where shall we find infallibility? ... Are these correctors of Scriptures infallible? Is it certain that our Bibles are not right, but that the critics must be so? ... We shall gradually be so bedoubted and be criticized that only a few of the most profound will know what is Bible and what is not, and they will dictate to the rest of us. I have no more faith in their mercy than in their accuracy... and we are fully assured that our old English version of the Scriptures is sufficient for plain men for all purposes of life, salvation, and goodness. - C.H.Spurgeon
No, the Bible does not say that. We all have free will to choose how we act. It won't happen, but EVERYONE could go to Heaven if they believed in Jesus and tried to be good. There is no limit to how many people can go.
The 144,000 are the elect remnant who died in faith before the cross. In Rev 7 we see them being sealed or given spiritual life after Christ went to heaven to prepare a place for them. We see them again in Rev 14, where they are called the firstfruits unto God; i.e. the elect remnant before the Holy Spirit was poured out upon all the nations of the world. Only in Rev 14 they are standing before God in heaven, because Christ paid the way for them to be spiritually ressurected from the dead to reign with Him.
Will these 144,000 be the only people who make it to heaven? Absolutely not! Rev 7 also shows us a great multitude that no man can number who come out of great tribulation from every nation of the world.
The significance of the 144,000 and the great multitude? Prior to Christ' coming relative few became saved, but after the cross and His promise of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we see so many people coming into His kingdom that it is impossible to count them. This is not to say that every man will be saved, or even that this great multitude represents most men, sadly Scripture does not agree with this. Truth is, narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it...on a positive note however, this number is large, and God's Kingdom is completely filled with His elect people and no power in heaven or on earth will be able to stop Christ from building His Church.
Revelations chapter 7, in its entirety, says:The reference to 144,000 recurs in Revelations 14:1-7And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying,
Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying,
Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.In neither case does it seem to be presumed that the people in question ("144,000") are the only ones saved: on the contrary in Rev. 7 there is also a great multitude which no one could number; and in Rev. 14 angels go out preaching to others.And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
However, there is (IMO) no reason to suppose that "144,000" refers to some precise number of people. The number 144 = 12x12. The number 12 is the number of the tribes of Israel (as reiterated in Rev. 7). 1000 is a number which indicates a multitude. Multiplying 12 by 12 (or, later 12x12x12) indicates the fullness, or redoubling, of the salvation of God and the formation of his people. These number recur frequently in Revelations, where they are given symbolic significance, as well as other parts of the Bible. Thus it's far more likely (IMO) that 144,000 has a meaning something like the fullness of God's people (or, His Jewish people, or, the firstfruits, or something like that).
RE: What about the verse saying "The path is narrow.." etc..and "few will make it"
†.Mtt 7:13-14 . .Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
†.Mtt 22:14 . .For many are invited, but few are chosen.
Webster's defines many as: consisting of, or amounting to, a large but indefinite number
few is defined as: consisting of, or amounting to, only a small number; viz: not many; i.e. some, but indeterminately small in number
According to Webster's then; few means a small percentage, and many means a large percentage; viz: most.
As of 04/01/09 @ 13:18 pm EST, there were approximately 306,128,022 people alive in the USA with a death rate of approximately one every 12 seconds; which amounts to 7,200 American deaths during just one 24-hour day.
Allowing for say, 1/3rd of those 7,200 daily American deaths to be underage children, that would leave 4,800 adult-age Americans crossing over to the other side every day. Giving them the benefit of the doubt by setting the minimum percentage of the many at 51%, would indicate that 2,448 Americans are taken to perdition each day: roughly 102 per hour.
That's a very conservative estimate as The Lord didn't really specify exact percentages to represent the quantities few and many. Just think; by the time Katie Couric completes her half-hour evening report, a bare bones minimum of 51 Americans cross over to the Bible's hell.
Using the ratio of 102 condemned souls per hour per 306,128,022 population: computing the number of condemned souls worldwide from a currently estimated population of 6,770,488,922 rounds out to something like 2,256 new arrivals in Hell every sixty minutes on the clock. Those numbers would fill the new 51,800 seat Yankee Stadium in just under one day, with one hour and two minutes to spare.
Christmas and New Year's are even worse. A study done of 26 years of death certificates shows that coronary fatalities are, on average, 11.9% higher on those days than any other days of the year; with non-heart deaths spiking to 12.2% higher; and believe me folks, the Bible's God makes no exceptions for those holidays; no, none at all. Souls never stop cascading into the dungeons of Hell in an endless stream like chocolate drops on a Hershey's conveyor belt.
Up to this point, I've only calculated the number of souls transferring to the infernal regions right now, today. I have not even attempted to guesstimate the number of people who have already been accumulating there since the days of Adam and Eve.
There are people languishing in the Bible's hell this very moment, even as you read this, who have been there not only since the time of Christ, nor even since the time of the Pyramids, but since the Flood. I won't speculate on how many years that might be, but Egypt's first pyramid, the Step Pyramid of Djoser, was about 4,600 years ago. The damned from Djoser's era have not only spent 4,600 years in the Bible's hell already, but they have another 4,600 yet to go, and another 4,600 years to go after that. Even after existing in the Bible's hell for 100 billion years, people will still have that many more years out ahead of them.
They go year, after year, after year, after year, with no relief from the pain and discomfort: no vacations, no recreation, no reading materials, and no hobbies— there's absolutely nothing to do but reminisce and writhe in fire. The mental atrophy, and the boredom that must result from that kind of mindless existence is beyond estimation.
In life, everybody enjoys God's blessings; even the really bad people. We're all breathing fresh air, basking in sunshine, drinking cool water, savoring tasty foods, listening to birds chirp, star gazing at night, throwing snow balls at each other in winter, river rafting, fishing, snow skiing, tending gardens, pruning shrubs, greeting friends during the holidays, spending days with grandkids; and all that sort of thing. In the Bible's hell, there are no blessings of any kind at all: only perpetual sadness, vexation, despair, and want.
And the din: think of the volume of noise down there with all the wailing and sobbing, and the screams, shrieks, howls, and gnashing teeth. Conditions are really bad, and no one has a good attitude about it; and in that kind of environment, it's reasonable to expect quarrels, and ugly words exchanged between people. (Is there really any good reason to respect your fellow man's civil liberties in the Bible's hell; or to be courteous, kind, forgiving, and patient?) Everyone is sad, blue, and lonely; and after a few years of the conditions I've been describing, I should think most folks break, and go mad from the stress.
Time stands still in the Bible's hell: it's for the now; it's an existence. People who arrived there yesterday didn't begin doing time in stir like convicts serving sentences in prisons expecting to get out some day; nor is Hell a tour of duty like a year in Viet Nam. No, people in the Bible's hell are its permanent residents.
But just imagine bringing with you a craving for tobacco with none available. Or longing for a cocktail with no liquor in sight. Or a sexual appetite with no way to satisfy it. A desire for music, with no way to produce it. A skill for writing, with no pen and paper. Yearning for a walk out in nature, with no world to do it in.
People in the Bible's hell will never again smell a sea breeze, sit in the shade of a tree, take deep breaths of mountain-fresh air, play at sports, hear a bird chirp, see a sunset, watch a lunar eclipse, jog in the park, strum a guitar, spend a day at the Casino, enjoy a Christmas dinner with loved ones; nor gobble barbecued spare ribs and corn on the 4th of July.
No baths, no showers, no sleep, no TV, no radio, no iPods, no computers, no video games, no internet, no clean sheets, no breakfast, no lunch, and no dinner. No snacks, no gum, no candy, no flowers, no parks, no rivers, no snow, no seasons, no picnics, no malls, no fast food, no trades, no careers, no trendy fashions, no jewelry, no cosmetics, no concerts, no operas, and no hobbies; absolutely nothing of this world that brings people the pleasures and the satisfactions of just being alive.
No pets are allowed in the Bible's hell and no flowers or vegetation of any kind. The absence of birds, fish, and animals of course precludes the citizens of Hell ever again spending a day at the zoo. The one advantage of the lack of pets and vegetation in Hell is the absence of fleas and allergies. I suppose you could say that's at least one good thing about it. There's a bright side to everything I guess; even to that place.
Please forgive the length of this post. But other than Christmas, I cannot think of a more appropriate time than Easter for the subjects of retribution and eternal suffering.
With Revelations - all of it are metaphors and symbols meaning something. 144,000 is a number which symbolizes God's completeness in this sense. Remember - back in those times numerology is a very important concept, and has been since back in the time of Abraham.
Without Jesus, the world would be naught.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Scottizzle (and all),
Christ is called the firstfruit of the resurrection: because he was the first person who was resurrected in the context of the New Covenant. The terminology is clear here: "firstfruit" means he was the first. This does not mean he was the only one who will ever be resurrected.
The 144,000 are called "firstfruits". They are the firstfruits of Christ's salvation and New Covenant. This means they are the first people to come into Christ's salvation. There is no mention of them being the firstfruits "of the end-times" or that they were the "first of the last". It simply says they were the firstfruits. They were the first... ever. But that would mean a bunch of people living during the era of the New Testament were the firstfruits. Is this Scriptural? Yes:
Romans 8.23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
2 Thessalonians 2.13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
James 1.18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Paul and James each directly call themselves and their contemporaries "the firstfruits" of Christ's salvation. The passage from Romans even speaks of them in an eschatological ("end-times") context, which is what the Revelation is. The first-century church was comprised of the firstfruits. Further, John says that after "hearing" the numbering of 144,000, he immediately "sees" a "great multitude which no man can number", all in the presence of God's throne (i.e., "in heaven"). Obviously, more than just 144,000 make it "into heaven" if they are standing before God's throne.
I don't agree. Ro 8:23 simply says we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, and indeed NT Christians do. The HS dwelt "with" His people in the OT times, but it wasn't until Pentecost that Christ sent His Spirit to dwell "in" them. Hence NT Christians have the firstfruits of the Spirit.
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Jas 1:18 says "we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." In other words God has set humans apart from every other created thing. It was humans that were created in the image of God, and it was humans He has elected to save. Hence, we humans are a certain "kind" of firstfruits, the beginning or those set apart for His atoning sacrifice.
Regarding 2Th 2:13 I wonder what translation you are using? The KJV shows us that God has chosen His elect people from the beginning (from before the foundation of the world), to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the true. Nothing about firstfruits.
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
vs 14 seems to confirm this.
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph also confirms this.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In Ro 16:5 we also read of Epaenetus being the firstfruit or the first Christian convert in Achaia.
In 1Co 15 we read of Christ being the Firstfruit of those who slept (144,000 OT remnant).
In 1Co 16:15 we read that the whole house of Stephanas was the firstfruits or the first whole house conversion in Achaia.
The point that I am trying to make is that nowhere in the NT are believers referenced as "the firstfruits unto God." But, finally we come to the 144,000 of Rev 14 whom I believe symbolize Israel "holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase".
Re 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Re 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Jer 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
Rev 21:1 speaks of a new heaven and a new earth?
Maybe the rest go to the new earth?
What is the purpose of having a new earth if those saved go into heaven and unsaved go into the lake of fire?
(Rev 21:1 NIV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
(Rev 21:2 NIV) I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
(Rev 21:3 NIV) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
RE: What is the purpose of having a new earth if those saved go into heaven and unsaved go into the lake of fire?
Heaven is only a temporary rendezvous. An earth has always been the destiny of Yhvh's people in both the Old Testament and the New. Even Christ is going to be on an earth in the future because the kingdom of God is not up, it's down.
†.Luke 1:32-33 . .The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.
David's throne has never been up in the sky, it's always been situated on the earth, in the State of Israel, in the city of Jerusalem.
†.Matt 5:5 . .Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
If you recall, Yhvh promised Abraham possession of the land of Palestine. Well, Abraham died before taking possession so God is going to have to raise him from the dead so's he can finally have what God promised.
†.Mtt 8:11 . .And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Don't let the word "heaven" draw your attention away from the word "kingdom". Though the kingdom is of heaven, it is not up in heaven.
According to Paul, I'm already a citizen of the kingdom, right now, no delay, and no waiting period. It's a done deal.
†.Col 1:13-14 . .For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The word for redemption is apolutrosis (ap-ol-oo'-tro-sis) which means: to ransom in full.
ESV! You have let me down again! It doesn't happen often, but from now on I will be more careful...
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