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Has the Heavenly Call Ended? Or is it Still Wide Open? Jan 14 WEBCAST

You can now view this webcast by clicking here:

Does the Bible teach that you should be pursuing a earthly hope today, to be a part of the Great Crowd on earth?  Or does it teach that the Christian should be pursuing a heavenly hope, to be a part of the bride of Christ?   On January 14, we recorded our webcast.  Former JW and Bible Student elder David Stein interviewed a panel of Bible students (some Ex-JWs) to investigate and discuss this topic.  They answered the questions– What does the Bible teach about the Little Flock, the Great Crowd, the Other Sheep and the Heavenly Call?  The Webcast was on January 14, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. CST.

63 comments to Has the Heavenly Call Ended? Or is it Still Wide Open? Jan 14 WEBCAST

  • Terry

    Do the verses Mat. 22:14 and Ex. 19:5,6, mean anything.


    • Peter K. (admin)


      I hope this will help answer your questions:


      Called, Chosen and Faithful

      Revelation 17:14 (NWT) “These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.””

      The called, chosen and faithful represent three progressive conditions. Those that are called are invited to the marriage (Matt 22:3,14). Those that are chosen have accepted the invitation and were chosen to be anointed (1 Peter 1:1,2) with the holy spirit. Those that are faithful unto death will receive the crown of life (Rev 2:10), the divine nature. This final group is the 144,000.

      Just as not all who are called are chosen, so also, not all who are chosen to be Anointed, receive the crown of life (the Divine Nature). This group that is not totally faithful unto death are the same as previously mentioned in 1 Cor 3:10-15 who do not receive the reward, but are saved by fire. They are the Great Crowd of Rev 7 who serve before the throne and were pictured by the Levites who served in the tabernacle. They are mentioned in Psa 45:14 as the virgins, the brides companions in the Kings palace. These same bride’s companions are the Great Crowd of Rev 19:6 who in verse 7 are at the marriage supper (in heaven) rejoicing.


      Exodus 19:5-6 (NKJV) “5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
      6 ‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

      God’s favor to natural Israel was because they were the seed of Abraham; not because they were holier than others. Israel was first invited to be the antitypical Royal Priesthood. Israel knew they were the favored seed of Abraham, the natural heirs of the promises. Because Israel rejected Jesus, their Messiah, This prmis to be a kingdom of priests and holy nation was opened up to the gentile Christians (and Hebrew Christians).

      1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

      The Kingdom privileges or opportunities which were first offered to natural Israel were transferred to spiritual Israel, whose existence began at Pentecost.

      You can read more how though this opportunity passed on to Christians, yet God still has special promises for the nation of Israel by clicking here:

  • Cazenovi (Bible Student & JW)

    Peter – what was the hope for the natural Israelites? Was it not ‘paradise on earth? Did they have any inclination to go to heaven? I ask because the JW teach that natural Israelites lost the privilege of being the heirs of the heavenly kingdom. I don’t recall reading that they were to be heirs in the first place. This is assuming the scriptures in Revelation listing the 12 tribes to be solely symbolic.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Cazenovi – I think this will help:

      Watchtower Reprint 2522:page223 “No one can rightly appreciate the hopes and ambitions aroused in the minds of the Jewish nation by the Lord through the holy prophets, except as he realizes the fact that Spiritual Israel has taken the place in large measure of natural Israel, whose branches were broken off, that we who were of the Gentiles might be grafted in and become heirs of the chiefest, the heavenly, the spiritual features of those promises. Nevertheless, we are to remember that there are also earthly features of those promises, which the Apostle assures us are still sure, and reserved for the natural seed of Abraham, and through the latter to extend to all the families of the earth, that whosoever will may become of the earthly seed of Abraham: for Abraham’s seed is to be of two parts–“as the stars of heaven” and “as the sand of the seashore.”– Rom. 11:26-33 ; Gen. 22:17 . … ”

      Watchtower Reprint 5092:page277 “The Scriptures also show that there are two Israels, one of which is to be as the “stars of heaven” and the other as the “sand of the seashore.” ( Gen. 22:17 ; Isa. 8:14 ; I Cor. 10:18 ; Gal. 6:16 .) Natural Israel was used of God to make types of the spiritual things–the “better things.” … “

  • I would like to know when will the ancient worthies be resurrected, and will their mission be the same as the great company,but with fleshly bodies and perfect spiritual insight?

    • Peter K. (admin)


      You have asked some great questions.

      As I understand it, the resurrection occurs in this order:

      1) Little Flock
      2) Great Crowd
      3) Ancient Worthies
      4) Natural Israel and the World of mankind

      To elaborate:

      1) The Little Flock (144,000, Bride of Christ) – 1 Thess 4:16-17

      2) The Great Crowd. In Rev 19:1, 6 we find the Great Crowd in heaven and later in the chapter we find the final Armageddon destruction of the present systems.

      3) The Ancient worthies who receive a “better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35) – are raised first and with perfect bodies.

      In Micah 5:5 Israel raises up against the Assyrian (northern invaders, horde of Ezekiel 38) seven shepherds (the complete church) and eight princes of men, the Ancient Worthies. Eight being the number of circumcision and the sign of a covenant – Gen 17:10-12 – in this case the New Covenant under which the Ancient Worthies are raised.

      Also note that in Rev 19 after the Great Crowd is mentioned we find Jesus and his armies (Little Flock) destroying the present system (vs 11-16). The language of destruction in verses 17-18 “supper,” “eat flesh of captains…. mighty men…. and kings” is the same language found in Ezekiel 39:18-20, describing the final battle with natural Israel and God delivering them.

      So God has developed his own “Special Forces” unit to deliver natural Israel, the glorified Church and the Ancient Worthies.
      The Great Crowd, serving in the heavenly temple with support the spiritual and priestly functions (as the Levites supported the priests). Rev 7:17.

      The Ancient Worthies in the earthly kingdom will head up the earthly government. They will be in regular communication with the glorified Church and Great Crowd.

      Isaiah 2:2-4 (NKJV) “2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion [heavenly phase of the kingdom] shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. [under an earthly government lead by the ancient worthies] 4 He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

      We do not know all the specifics. We only have a general idea. Here are some Bible verses that speak about the role of the ancient worthies in the Kingdom.

      Isa 32:1 – Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. (NKJ)

      Ps 45:16 – Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You shall make princes in all the earth. (NKJ)

      Isa 1:26 – I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (NKJ)

      Matt 8:11 – And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (NKJ)

      Ps 47:9 – The princes of the people have gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted. (NKJ)

      Jer 3:15 – And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. (NKJ)

      Jer 23:4 – I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD. (NKJ)

      Dan 12:13 – But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days. – (NKJ)

  • Wild Olive

    My view of the great crowd is along the same lines of Bro Russell,they are another group in heaven that have a different function to the 144000,I also feel that the 144000 is not a literal number but symbolic as is their being male,virgins and of the tribes of Israel.
    The Great Crowd are not on Earth for these reasons.1 they worship in the sanctaury( naos in Greek)not in a courtyard.2 there is no covenanted arrangement for a paradise earth,not Jesus or any of his apostles speak of a covenant for any kind of earthly hope.3 there is no ressurection described back to an earthly realm,Paul laid it out very clearly in 1cor 15,which by the way harmonises beautifully with Jesus words at Luk20 which the GB has been unable to make sense of because their clinging to the idea of an earthly hope for the hairy,unwashed, unanointed.
    4 Paul also makes it clear to keep our minds on heavenly things,the idea that most Jw are going to get everything in their paradise earth that they didn’t get in this life,is really quite fleshly and materialistic,two things that work against the Holy Spirit,I notice this among older jw,their hope is not being realised,they can’t do what they used to be able to,they haven’t received of the indwelling spirit as the have been steered away from the born again experience and entry into the new covenant which is the ONLY way Jehovah will deal with humans at this time and give them Holy Spirit to cope with the mess called living.
    Any thoughts welcome.

  • Jacqueline

    May 2014, Study Edition of watchtower. “Are you moving ahead with Jehovah’s Organization”, par. 8 but start at par. 6 to get full scope.

    ….At one time, the anointed remnant were like “the little one,” but their number grew as other spiritual Israelites were brought into God’s organization. (Gal. 6:16) Because of Jehovah’s blessing over the years, the increase continues with the gathering of the great crowd….
    Does this mean the WTS is now embracing the rising anointed numbers an notice the link to the great crowd. (confusing)

    Also in this article it mentions that Israel was replaced with the organization forming today. But Israel will be forgiven and will embrace Jesus as their Christ. So how is this a replacement? The Bride Class is something different. Open for comment I didn’t understand article at all.

  • a person does not need to be 144000 to under stand the main teachings of the bible. all he needs to have. is love.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Psalms 119:105 (NKJV) “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

      Acts 17:11 (NKJV) “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”

      John 16:13 (Concordant) “Yet whenever that may be coming–the spirit of truth–it will be guiding you into all the truth…”


  • kevin

    i think 144000 is still open workers are in service still

    • Jacqueline

      Me too Kevin.

      • in the bible the workers work to the end. there is still people that do not know the true Christ or the father GOD WHO has a name in our tongue its Jehovah other tongues it may be another name.I feel GOD will judge me by my heart and faith and my works. always keep in mind works alone will not stand with GOD. LET GOD TEACH RIGHT FROM WRONG ABOUT TRUTH, AND COMMON SENSE

        • Peter K. (admin)

          1 Cor 9 (NKJV) 24  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
          25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
          26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
          27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

  • Sharon/Tulsigirl

    I don’t know if you post here anymore, Magdalena, but I feel the same way as you. I’m so thrilled you brought out those scriptures. I don’t feel as though I’m of the heavenly class, but earthly class. However, I do think that Jesus and the Holy Spirit of Jehovah is working in my life. The changes that have happened to my character are nearly miraculous. I’m 67 and nothing has helped me to have this Christian character as the Holy Spirit has. I didn’t know the Truth as a JW. I do now and I’ve truly been set free.

  • Magdalena

    All i know is that Christ is healing me,and his holy spirit is my help .
    John14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.

    John16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.

    (compare 1John2:26-29).

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