From the very founding of Christianity in the first century the heavenly hope has been the only hope of every Christian. Did any writer of the Greek scriptures hold out any other hope? If this has been the hope of Christians, when did it change to a hope of living on earth forever? Even Jehovah’s Witnesses from the beginning of the movement until 1935 taught that every faithful Christian had the heavenly hope. Before 1935 JWs taught the great crowd was a group that would be in heaven. It was taught that many millions of other non-JWs would survive Armageddon and live during the 1000 yr. reign of Jesus.

This changed only 76 yrs. ago in 1935. The “one hope” (Eph. 4:4) was changed to two hopes, one earthly and one heavenly. The great crowd was taken from heaven and placed on the earth. Survival of Armageddon was severely narrowed to only JWs. Because of the arbitrary decision of one man, Rutherford, the hope of many JWs of being in heaven with Jesus was taken away and replaced with a different hope from one that any Christian up to that point had ever held. The hope given was an earthly one.

Many JWs state that this has to be the case since the bible states that those who go to heaven will be kings and priests, and if that is so, over whom will they rule?

To answer this question one must first rid oneself of the false modern teaching of the JWs that everyone not a JW will be annihilated. As previously stated this was not always the teaching of the Society. This teaching that 99.9% of mankind will be eternally destroyed in Armageddon is not a biblical teaching. The Society would have us believe that basically 1/2 the earth would be without any survivors at all, that whole countries, peoples, and tongues would be wiped out entirely. Few if any Arabs, Chinese, Afghans, Indians or a myriad of other cultures would survive. The mere fact of being born in certain countries where few if any JWs preach would all but guarantee eternal destruction. Thankfully this is not what the bible teaches.

Chap. 14 of Zechariah is an interesting chapter especially since it deals with things that have not happened yet. I would encourage all to read the entire chapter. After describing Armageddon, notice what verses 16-19 say (NWT) – ” 16 “And it must occur [that], as regards everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that are coming against Jerusalem, they must also go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, and to celebrate the festival of the booths. 17 And it must occur that, as regards anyone that does not come up out of the families of the earth to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, even upon them no pouring rain will occur. 18 And if the family of Egypt itself does not come up and does not actually enter, upon them also there shall be none. The scourge will occur with which Jehovah scourges the nations that do not come up to celebrate the festival of the booths. 19 This itself will prove to be the [punishment for the] sin of Egypt and the sin of all the nations that do not come up to celebrate the festival of the booths.”

Not only is God’s war of Armageddon not against every person on the face of the earth but only against the gathered armies in opposition to New Jerusalem but even some of those who do go up against New Jerusalem will appear to survive. Notice also how Isaiah 66:18-24 agrees with this (HCSB) – ” 19 I will establish a sign among them, and I will send survivors from them to the nations-to Tarshish, Put, Lud (who are archers), Tubal, Javan, and the islands far away-who have not heard of My fame or seen My glory. And they will proclaim My glory among the nations. 20 They will bring all your brothers from all the nations as a gift to the Lord on horses and chariots, in litters, and on mules and camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 I will also take some of them as priests and Levites,” says the Lord. 22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, will endure before Me”- the Lord’s declaration- “so will your offspring and your name endure. 23 All mankind will come to worship Me, from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another,” says the Lord. 24 “As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against Me (those killed in Armageddon)  for their maggots will never die, their fire will never go out, and they will be a horror to all mankind.”

This also agrees with Revelation 21:24 (NWT) – ” 24 And the nations will walk by means of its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it (New Jerusalem).”

Let us also read Rev. 20:3 (NWT) – “3 And he hurled him into the abyss and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.”

Who are these nations? It certainly could not be a class of true Christians, Satan has not misled these faithful ones. However he has misled the world in general. “19 We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the [power of the] wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) ” 4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” (2 Cor. 4:4) These nations that have been misled are people in general, non-Christians and perhaps nominal Christians who did not endure until the end. These people will learn the truth about God without interference from Satan. Perhaps these “nations” heeded the call in Rev. 14:6,7 – ” 6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people7 saying in a loud voice: “FEAR God and give him glory, because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived, and so worship the One who made the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.”

Yes, those “nations” no longer deceived by Satan who live during the 1000 yr. reign were former non-believers. Although the destruction of the gathered armies in opposition to Jesus’ rule will be great, the “nations” in general will not be slaughtered wholesale.

Now we can begin to see over who will faithful Christians rule.

For more information on why the great crowd should be placed in heaven see the post “What is a Christians Hope? Heaven or Earth?”

Is 144000 a literal number? See this link


Rating 4.00 out of 5

Tags: ,

17 Comments on Our Wonderful Hope part 2

  1. LonelySheep says:

    Er Andrew….no

    Mth 25?


  2. andrew says:

    I believe the parable of the sheep and the goats belongs in the same context with the rest of Jesus parables of Matt 24 and 25. That is to say the judgement of his household, those who claim to be his slaves.
    Matt. 25:31 “31 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne.”
    This happens when Jesus returns. We notice he arrives with the angels and not the saints.This would not be the judgement of the world in general, because the saints would partake in that judgement 1 Cor. 6:2 ” 2 Or do YOU not know that the holy ones will judge the world?”

    We notice the goats recognize Jesus as Lord. (Matt 25:44) This would be the same group that Jesus mentions in Matt. 7:22,23 ” 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.”

    The sheep are faithful Christians who inherit God’s kingdom. The goats are weed-like Christians. Because from whom would the sheep need to be separated? From the world in general? No, the separation of the sheep from the goats would be the same separation as the wheat from the weeds and the good fish from the worthless fish in Jesus parables of Matt. 13.

    How are we to understand the word “nations” in vs. 32 of Matt 25? The household of Jesus, the christian congregation or church comes from every nation, tongue and people. Rev 7:9 “9 After these things I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.”

    This separation will be the fulfillment of 2 Cor 5:10 “10 For we (talking about and to Christians) must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of the Christ, that each one may get his award for the things done through the body, according to the things he has practiced, whether it is good or vile.”


  3. JJ says:


    There are some unanswered questions in my mind and perhaps some others of us on this point. The scriptures that talk about the meek living forever on earth is one of them. It is a big leap to take when you have been taught the Earthly hope all your life.

    However, the Society’s view that harsh judgment upon nearly 7 billion men women and children will be meted out has been troubling to me. We reason with people about a God of Love not burning people forever in hellfire, the same way we would never burn our child’s hand on a stove as a punishment for their infractions. How could Jehovah and his appointed King Jesus kill 99.9% of their own children in this way? It seems unthinkable.

    Also, the location of the Great Crowd is “before God’s throne”. This was always assumed to be in the heavens by Bible scholars and indeed Russell. Are the great crowd and the 144,00 one and the same group? I haven’t seen proof of that yet. The article about where they are serving is quite compelling to me though, and indicates that the great crowd are a heavenly class. The original Greek words and meanings seem to strongly indicate this.


    • greybeard says:

      Hi JJ,

      The meek spoken of are not those who are “conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) Those “conscious of their spiritual need” go to heaven. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that as soon as they are “conscious of their spiritual need” they would want to be with there heavenly father? Who wouldn’t want to be with God in heaven? I believe those left on earth must come to be “conscious of their spiritual need” before they can gain everlasting life.

      The bible also talks about the end of this earth in many places.
      Please look at: for a review of that.

      Your brother,


    • andrew says:


      Some will quote Ps 37:29 (NIV) “the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.” (The NWT uses earth instead of land), and say see here Christians have 2 hopes!
      Jesus and the Greek Scripture writers revealed many things that up until that point had been hidden. The text in Ps. doesn’t contradict at all what Jesus and his followers taught about the one christian hope.
      If the “nations” live on the earth under Christ’s rule, will they be allowed to continue to be unrighteous and break God’s laws with impunity? Of course not. Ultimately everyone from the “nations” that continues living will be righteous.

      As far as dividing faithful Christians into 2 classes: the great crowd, and the 144000, the bible teaches there is one calling, one hope, we are all one body. The only reason we might think they are different is because that is what we have been taught all or most of our lives. Consider:

      1) Rev. 3:5 ” 5 He that conquers will thus be arrayed in white outer garments;…”
      Rev. 7:9 “…a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes…”

      2) Rev. 5:9,10 “…you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God,…”
      Rev. 7:9 “…a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues,…”

      3) Rev. 14:4 “These are the ones that keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes.”
      Rev. 7:17 “because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them, and will guide them to fountains of waters of life…”

      4) Rev 7:9 “…a great crowd…standing before the throne…”
      Rev. 14:3 “3 And they are singing as if a new song before the throne…”

      5) Rev. 9:4 ” 4 And they were told to harm no vegetation of the earth nor any green thing nor any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”

      Are the locusts only to spare the faithful 144000 because only they have the seal of God on their foreheads and attack the faithful great crowd?

      6) In Rev 7 John first hears the symbolic number of the slaves of God; later he sees this triumphant group in heaven as a great crowd.

      There are too many similarities in these 2 groups to be coincidence. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

      Hope this helps


  4. bruceguth says:

    “…God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him.”

    And, “…For God loved the world so much that He gave His only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him may not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”

    Isaiah 66:22: “‘For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making are standing before me,’ is the uterance of Jehovah, ‘so the offspring of you people and the name of you people will keep standing’.”


  5. VelvetFogger says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I really enjoy your comments and the articles that I’ve read so far. I may have a little different take on this subject than you but it’s fun to discuss. I agree with you that all righteous Christians, both the living and the dead will be taken to heaven, and I believe this happens at Jesus’ literal, visible and audible second coming. (1Thess 4:15-17) This is the first resurrection over which death has no authority. (Rev 20:6) Also upon Jesus’ coming, the living unrighteous He will “destroy with the brightness of His coming”. (2Thess 2:8 NKJV, Isaiah 11:4 ) This is the first death for the living unrighteous. However, my understanding at this time is that the righteous will be in heaven for the 1000 years while the earth lies desolate. (Jeremiah 4:23-28) During this time Satan will be bound to an abyss. I believe this abyss is the earth in a desolate state. One reason I believe this is that the Greek word for abyss is “abussos.” That same word is used in Genesis 1:2 in the Greek Septuagint in connection with the creation of the earth, but there it is translated “deep.” It says “Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep” (See NWT reference Bible)

    This is interesting to me. The earth in its totally dark, disorganized form before God made it orderly was called an abyss. Jeremiah, in describing this earth during the 1000 years, used virtually the same terms as these in Genesis 1:2 when he said, “Without form and void,” “no light,” “no man” and “black” (Jeremiah 4:23,25,28 KJV) So the battered, dark earth with no people alive will be called the bottomless pit, or abyss, during the 1000 years, just as it was in the beginning before creation was completed. Isaiah 24:22 also speaks of Satan and his angels during the 1000 years as “gathered in the pit” and “shut up in the prison.” When Revelation 20:1-3 speaks of “An angel…having…a great chain in his hand…laid hold of…Satan and bound him for a thousand years…and shut him up…” My understanding is that this “chain” is symbolic as to Satan and his demons being bound by a chain of circumstances and being confined to the desolate earth with nobody to tempt for 1000 years as all of the unrighteous are dead and all of the righteous are in heaven. The Bible says Satan was cast out of heaven to the earth, (Rev 12:4) but I have not yet found a verse that says he will be removed to a remote abyss as the Watchtower teaches.

    After the 1000 years there is a resurrection of the unrighteous. (Rev 20:5) The B part of Revelation 20:5 is a parenthetical thought which refers to the first resurrection. However, the A part says, “the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” Remember there are 2 resurrections. (John 5:28-29) Since the first resurrection occurs upon Jesus second coming and for those who are part of it “death has no authority.” However, the second resurrection comes after the 1000 years and includes only the unrighteous.

    At this time, after the 1000 years, Satan will be able to tempt those unrighteous and deceive them into thinking they can destroy the Holy city or New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from God. (Rev 20:8,9 Rev 21:2) I believe that at that time, even the unrighteous will admit that Jehovah is God and Jesus is Lord. In Isaiah 45:23 Jehovah says, “to me every knee shall bow. Every tongue shall take an oath.” The Apostle Paul quotes this verse in Romans 14:11. Also, in Philippians 2:10 Paul said, “That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and those under the earth.” This must happen so that even the unrighteous will recognize before their second death – which is total annihilation – that Jehovah and Jesus are the only way to life and their judgment is true. This will universally vindicate Jehovah! I do not believe the unrighteous have a “second chance” so-to-speak. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (NKJV)

    At this time I firmly believe that we are judged based upon the knowledge we have and according to the life we have lived in this world, not that which is to come. Now is the time of testing. I also believe that after Satan and his demons are destroyed, the earth will be as it was in the beginning, a beautiful paradise. Jehovah will remake this earth and it will eventually be our home. (Matt. 5:5, Matt 6:10, Ps 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34, Rev 21:1, & 22:14) And just like in the Garden of Eden we will partake of the tree of life. (Rev 2:7 & 22:2, 12) Whether this is symbolic or not I don’t know. Anyway, if possible I would like to talk to you sometime.


    • andrew says:

      Thanks Velvetfogger for you well thought out comments.
      I’m sure you would agree that prophecy is written in such a way that we can’t understand completely every detail. There can be more than one way to see a bible text that is compatible with the bible as a whole. That is why I advocate tolerance and acceptance of all Christians who are sincerely trying to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. Its amazing that the Watchtower Society would even make acceptance of their version of prophecy as a prerequisite to eternal life.



  6. VelvetFogger says:

    AMEN! Andrew, I believe that we can have Christian unity through diversity, though the Watchtower wants “lockstep uniformity” and no thinking outside of the box. Also, while I may have a certain understanding, and I may feel confident about it, I cannot nor can any of us be dogmatic about future prophecies, so I always try to remain open to others interpretations. I feel strongly that we should try to understand Bible prophecy and be malleable yet not gullible. I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” One of my ex-JW friends has often said to me, “The Society makes A issues out of B issues.” How true this is.

    VelvetFogger. :-)


    • bruceguth says:

      I will take liberty to chime in a bit here, VelvetFrogger.

      Oh! This is a dire situation you have drawn to our attention here, indeed!

      I see that you have a belief here that is not exactly presented as your prophesy in God’s name, so I ask that you relax some on these thoughts, and here is why.

      The points I make have to do with having a broader view of the context of the scriptures you use, and particularly those in Jeremiah. Backing up to chapter 4, and verse 3, you’ll see that the denouncements are toward Jerusalem and Judah in particular, and then that the warning is about (vs6) “calamity from the North”. It is significant to note through this that among so many sins exposed to Jerusalem was this: (v14) “How long will your erroneous thoughts lodge within you?”. And we see other indications with the 2 chapters, 4 and 5, that there was “swearing to sheer falsehood.” (5:2)

      Then at 5:10, Yehoweh makes some concession in saying to the ruiners, “…but do not you men make an actual extermination.” And at 15: “Here I am bringing in upon you men a nation from far away, O house of Israel. …”.

      So this brings the inspired discussion back into perspective for me. And we have learned that this was referring to Babylon.

      Now if we would like to get what we can from these things from the past, we could see parallel meanings for a current Jerusalem and a current Babylon, and apply good warning for ourselves, I am sure.

      Here is what I ask us all to consider at this point of discussion:

      O Greatest of Majesties
      In the heavens above!
      We entreat You in prayer,
      Through the Son of Your Love;

      To refresh us through Him
      In His masterly way,
      O Greatest of Majesties!
      May He lead us this day.

      -In the name of your Son, Jesus.



  7. simpleman says:

    Simple question…Why did God create Adam?


    • bruceguth says:

      We have seen and known simple clear answers to this question within Isaiah’s inspired words found in Isaiah 45:13-25. These words tell how Yehowah the “Former of the earth and Maker of it…did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited…” and that we may “Turn to (Him) and be saved, all you at the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no one else.” And, that which He has sworn by His own mouth in His righteous word that has gone forth will not have to return to Him, “that to (Him) every knee will bend down” and “every tongue will swear, saying, ‘Surely in Yehowah there are full righteousness and strength. All those getting heated up against Him will come straight to Him and be ashamed. In Yehowah all the seed of Isreal will prove to be right and will boast about themselves'”.

      Adam was also made to multiply, fill the earth and subdue it in God’s will, with everlasting life ahead, without death.

      There are more, related reasons, but these are the simple basic ones.


    • Amos says:

      simpleman: Simple question…Why did God create Adam?

      Hi simpleman,
      I believe that Adam was created to populate the earth, along with caring for it, as set out in Genesis.

      I believe that this is what will occur, come to fruition, in the future as part of God’s Plan for man & the earth. I also believe that the ultimate dwelling place for “the church”, will be upon the earth, as Rev.5:9,10 says;
      9 “And they sang a new song, saying,
      “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,
      for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
      from every tribe and language and people and nation,
      10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
      and they shall reign on the earth.” (ESV)

      There has been much ado over V10’s rendering of “on” as being “over” in some translations (to support the idea of “in heaven”), yet when you do the research, it really does mean “on” or upon the earth.

      Now if the church is to be, on/upon the earth & to reign over it, they will need subjects, I take this to be those of the second resurrection, the rest of the dead (other than the church).

      I know I have slightly digressed from your question, but felt the need to add these axtra comments, in light of the general discussion.



  8. Amos says:

    Hi VelvetFogger,
    I have been contemplating/struggling with a similar line of thought as you have presented in your first post. If we consider the scriptures pertaining to our Lord’s Parousia, it is very plain to me that He will make a visible, physical return….”every eye shall see Him”, etc.

    It is also my understanding that “the dead in Christ shall be raised, & those remaining (living) will be changed, & TOGETHER we will be raised to meet the Lord in the air”. This is what the scriptures say very clearly, they don’t need any interpretation.

    I believe (tentatively) that the rest of mankind will be destroyed at the time of the Parousia, not in judgement, as I believe that their jugdement is not until after they are resurrected, during or at the end of the 1000 years.

    I do however believe that ALL those resurrected shall have the opportunity to repent, I don’t believe YHWH would raise the dead just to pronounce judgement upon them. I firmly believe that the church is being judged now during the Gospel Age, but the rest of mankind following their resurrection.

    Your views concerning Satan, the earth & the abyss, etc, are worthy of consideration. It may be as you have said, & I’d like to do some research on this as time permits. Do you have more info on your research? I’d be interested in seeing what your notes are.

    Very distinctly, I agree that we do need tolerance with each others views that differ from our own. Oh how I have changed, I can now think for myself, without the need to conform to the WTS.



  9. Mark M says:

    Hi Amos,

    This is Velvetfogger. I decided to change from my username to my real name Mark M. since I don’t have to hide my identity any longer. Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts. And I agree with you about being changed. (1 Cor 15:51-52) Perhaps at this time until I see further proof we can lovingly agree to disagree on the judgment yet still share our thoughts. I think this is healthy discussion.

    It seems to me that if the unrighteous are to be destroyed at Jesus’ coming they have at that time already been judged as unrighteous. When Jesus speaks of the “time of the end” He says that it would be like the days of Noah and like the days of Lot. (Matthew 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-30) I believe this was a time of judgment and they were destroyed because they did not listen to the message of the coming destruction.

    I can’t find in Scripture where people will get a second chance – so to speak – to get it right. In 2 Corinthians 6:2 the Apostle Paul quotes from Isaiah 49:8 when he says, “In an acceptable time I heard you, and in a day of salvation I helped you.” Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation.” (NWT) Also Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “For the [true] God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.” (NWT) We also read, “let both [wheat and tares] grow together until the harvest.” “the Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend” (Matthew 13:30,41 KJV) “Behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Rev 21:12 KJV)

    Also Luke 13:24-27 MKJV says, “Strive to enter in at the narrow gate. For I say to you, many will seek to enter in and shall not be able. 25 And once the Master of the house has risen up and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, and He shall answer and say to you, I do not know you; from where are you; 26 then you shall begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You have taught in our streets. 27 But He shall say, I tell you, I do not know you; from where you are. Depart from Me, all workers of unrighteousness!”

    So my understanding for now is that we are judged in this life, not only the Church in the Gospel age but all who have lived from the time of Adam and Eve until now. I believe that we will be justly judged based on the knowledge we have and the life we live in this world according to that knowledge. Please don’t take this as a dogmatic stand as I am willing to consider any input.

    Isn’t freedom of expression refreshing? :-) (John 8:31-32)

    Mark M.


  10. greybeard says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Wow, you put a lot of meat on the table here bro. I have been side tracked for the last few days so i am now playing catchup. Took a while to read all of this. I agree with you as far as the “one hope” for christians being a heavenly hope in the Bible. What heaven is or where it is i don’t think human knows. I believe it to be so far beyond what we as humans can comprehend. I believe it is the eventual dwelling place for the entire human race.

    Good job!



  11. Amos says:

    Hi Mark,

    Yes, freedom of expression without getting upset is a wonderful thing indeed.

    It may take mne a little while to reply to your last post here, but I will do so.
    Briefly I can’t agree that there is no future (the millenium) time when fallen mankind will have the opportunity to repent, & accept God’s way. I will do some research & come back to you.

    Your brother in the Lord


Leave a Reply

Website Apps