"Kings and Priests"

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ElieG12

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The Bible says that the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3,4) will be chosen from among humans to be "kings and priests" together with Jesus, their brother.

Rom. 8:28 We know that God makes all his works cooperate together for the good of those who love God, those who are the ones called according to his purpose; 29 because those whom he gave his first recognition he also foreordained to be patterned after the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 Moreover, those whom he foreordained are the ones he also called; and those whom he called are the ones he also declared to be righteous. Finally those whom he declared righteous are the ones he also glorified.

Jehovah's Witnesses learned that those 144,000 are the only ones who will live in heaven. To reach that conclusion it is necessary to understand that earth will continue to be the place where humanity will live in the future (Rev. 21:3,4)... but as the Scripture speaks of a small group that has a special mission and will go to heaven with Jesus, then we can understand that many things that are said in the NT apply only to them, BUT NOT to all Christians.

Psal. 115:16 As for the heavens, they belong to Jehovah,
But the earth he has given to the sons of men.

For many centuries the Roman church taught the people that all the good would go to heaven and all the bad would go to hell. In that way they confused humanity making them believe that the earth was a disposable planet. However, millions of people will continue to live on the planet after the removal of human rule, and the Bible calls them "a great crowd." (Rev. 7:9).

What differences exist between the 144,000 and the great crowd?
 

ElieG12

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One of the differences between the 144,000 and the great crowd is that the first group has a specific number

Rev. 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed (...)


... while about the second is said:

Rev. 7:9 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues (...)
 
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ElieG12

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Another difference between both groups is that the great crowd is "saved" when they are allowed to survive the great tribulation that occurs on earth:

Rev. 7:14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation (...) 10 And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

... while on the other hand, the 144,000 were bought from earth and taken up to heaven to be kings and priests. . They are taken there before the great tribulation ends, because they have to be the kings together with Jesus from heaven during the Millennium...

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had not worshipped the wild beast or its image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. 5 (...) This is the first resurrection. 6 Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years.
 
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Robert Gwin

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The Bible says that the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3,4) will be chosen from among humans to be "kings and priests" together with Jesus, their brother.

Rom. 8:28 We know that God makes all his works cooperate together for the good of those who love God, those who are the ones called according to his purpose; 29 because those whom he gave his first recognition he also foreordained to be patterned after the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 Moreover, those whom he foreordained are the ones he also called; and those whom he called are the ones he also declared to be righteous. Finally those whom he declared righteous are the ones he also glorified.

Jehovah's Witnesses learned that those 144,000 are the only ones who will live in heaven. To reach that conclusion it is necessary to understand that earth will continue to be the place where humanity will live in the future (Rev. 21:3,4)... but as the Scripture speaks of a small group that has a special mission and will go to heaven with Jesus, then we can understand that many things that are said in the NT apply only to them, BUT NOT to all Christians.

Psal. 115:16 As for the heavens, they belong to Jehovah,
But the earth he has given to the sons of men.

For many centuries the Roman church taught the people that all the good would go to heaven and all the bad would go to hell. In that way they confused humanity making them believe that the earth was a disposable planet. However, millions of people will continue to live on the planet after the removal of human rule, and the Bible calls them "a great crowd." (Rev. 7:9).

What differences exist between the 144,000 and the great crowd?
You explained it well sir, I know most want to go to heaven, but me personally I am so very thankful that I have not been chosen to go. That is not saying that I would reject it, and I certainly appreciate the sacrifice that those who do have made. I just hope it all gets put in place soon. What all of us pray for.
 

ElieG12

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Rev. 20:4 (...) I saw the souls of those executed for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had not worshipped the wild beast or its image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. 5 (...) This is the first resurrection. 6 Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years.

Have you ever noticed the detail of Jesus' statement in bold about the 144,000? That also differentiates them from the great crowd and the rest of humanity that will live on earth during the thousand years...

It is because the final test that every human being alive on earth will have to face at the end of the millennium is not a test for the 144,000, because they are living in another realm and are already immortal. Instead, those who are disobedient to God during that final test (among humans on earth), will face a second judgment that will mean their eternal death, the second death (Rev. 20:7-10).
 
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ElieG12

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To understand many of the NT statements, Bible students need to be able to distinguish between the "kings and priests" and those Jesus mentions in Matt. 5:5 as inheritors of the earth

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God; exercise faith also in me. 2 In the house of my Father are many dwelling places. Otherwise, I would have told you, for I am going my way to prepare a place for you. 3 Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be.
 
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Aunty Jane

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To understand many of the NT statements, Bible students need to be able to distinguish between the "kings and priests" and those Jesus mentions in Matt. 5:5 as inheritors of the earth

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God; exercise faith also in me. 2 In the house of my Father are many dwelling places. Otherwise, I would have told you, for I am going my way to prepare a place for you. 3 Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be.
There is not much point in being selected as "kings and priests" if they have no subjects over whom to rule, and no sinners on whose behalf to intercede and to perform their priestly duties. The "meek who inherit the earth" will fulfill that requirement.
Sin will take a thousand years to eradicate and we know that there are no sinners in heaven.

Death and hades will be eliminated in the Lake of fire (Rev 20:13-15...the second death) but the lake of fire itself will remain forever to receive any in the future who may be tempted like satan was to abuse the precious gift of free will. We already know where that leads and will never want to go there again.
 

Webers_Home

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What differences exist between the 144,000 and the great crowd?

According to the Jehovah's Witnesses; none among the great crowd-- a.k.a.
the hewers of wood and the haulers of water --are recipients of the Spirit
birth spoken of by John 3:3-8 whereas all of the144,000 are.

In addition: the Witnesses are busy adding folks to the great crowd's roster
because its slots are unlimited whereas slots for the 144,000 are limited and
all of them have already been taken.
_
 
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ElieG12

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If you have been aware of the topics that talk about the future of the planet, the kingdom of Christ and the Millennium, the first resurrection, and other topics in this subforum, you will have already understood that the Bible teaches that the brothers of Christ, that the Scriptures called many times as "Holy Ones", they will be co-regents with Jesus in heaven, while all the subjects of the Kingdom of God will reside forever on the planet turned into a paradise.

About reigning, Paul rebuked the passive, conformist attitude of some first-century Christians in Corinth with the following words:

1 Cor. 4:8 Are you already satisfied? Are you already rich? Have you begun ruling as kings without us? I really wish that you had begun ruling as kings, so that we also might rule with you as kings. 9 For it seems to me that God has put us the apostles last on exhibition as men condemned to death, because we have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels and to men. 10 We are fools because of Christ, but you are discreet in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in dishonor. 11 Down to this very hour we continue to hunger and thirst and to be poorly clothed and to be beaten and to be homeless 12 and to toil, working with our own hands. When insulted, we bless; when persecuted, we patiently endure; 13 when slandered, we answer mildly; we have become as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things, until now.

He is reproving them because their way of considering reality was fanciful. Somehow they believed that they were already enjoying privileges as "kings" without really having arrived the Kingdom of Christ over humanity. That is why Paul reminded them that if the kingdom had been a reality in their own time, the apostles and the others who headed the world preaching would already be reigning on thrones over the world... But the reality was very different: those who were taking the lead in carrying the witness to the world, preaching by the holy spirit in them, they were still suffering a lot of persecution and contempt from the world. So, to suppose that the brothers of Christ reign when in reality they are being humiliated by the earthly and spiritual world governments, is a mental delusion.

In our times some believers think and act the same as those erring Christians.

But if we study the inspired Scriptures, we will realize that those who are going to reign with Jesus will do so only when they are placed by Jesus and His Father in their heavenly positions from where in an objective, real way, they will begin to act with respect to the current system of things and the future of the planet and its world population.
 
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