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The Great Crowd and the Little Flock [1]


[Quotes from the Watchtower, including their New World Translation, are in blue.]


Throughout WT publications there is the underlying false premise that there are two classes of believers, and every interpretation of the WT is put through that grid.

In the WT’s July 15, 1980 depiction of “Jehovah’s Arrangement for His Sheep” the great majority of the sheep are outside the sheepfold.  If that was the case in 1980, it certainly is more so today!  It brings to mind Matt. 9:36, “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

How did this division in the Good Shepherd’s flock come about? The WT, which identified itself with the 144,000 had outgrown that number in 1935[2], by it’s own insupportable calculations.  But the WT was stuck and the only solution to its self-made predicament was “new light”.  The two-category system was a 1935 invention of the WT!

[Other articles address the fact that the WT limits most of the benefits of Christ to the 144,000.  One of those benefits is the promise of heaven.]

To divert attention from the real question the Sept. 1, 1998 WT states,  “Some have questioned whether it’s fair ... that some have a heavenly hope while others have an earthly hope.”  No, we don’t question whether it is fair; we question whether it is Scriptural.

The WT also says,  - “those with an earthly hope are not jealous of those with a heavenly hope”.  Again, that is not the point.  The point is whether it is Scriptural!

For support of this doctrine that has such far-reaching effects the WT simply refers to John 10:16!  But John 10:16 says the very opposite!

“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  (Notice “One Flock”!)

What justification is there for connecting this John 10:16 passage with the number 144,000 in the Book of Revelation?  None.  Paul interprets what Jesus meant in John 10:16 when he says to the Gentiles:

Eph. 2:11-22:  “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  For he.. has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier.. thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,”.

The two groups that Jesus was talking about in John 10:16 are the believing Jews and the believing Gentiles (or “people of the nations” as the WT puts it) who will be brought together into one flock (John 10:16), as the Gospel message goes out.  Very clear, isn’t it?  

See also John 11:51-52  “(Caiphas, the  high priest) prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.”  Same thing here, one flock.

Let's look at 1 Pet. 2:9-10, a passage which the WT applies exclusively to the 144,000:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

Again, there is no justification for applying this to an elite few.  The context of this passage shows that it is addressed to all “those who believe”.  It identifies two groups only - believers and unbelievers, that’s it!  (And the WT would hardly categorize the “great crowd” as “unbelievers”.) Among all people on earth there really are only two categories - believers and unbelievers.   All believers comprise the one category, the little flock, little only because they are a minority compared to the number of unbelievers, but not limited in number to 144,000.  See Matt. 7:13,14.

As to the destiny of believers, John 12:26 says,  “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.”  Jesus promises all his servants that where he is they will be! [3] The WT teaches that only 144,000 will gain entrance to heaven, the rest will reside on the earth.  This passage teaches that his “servants”, (every believer), will be with Christ where he is. 

Much more could be said about this subject.  Check it out in the Scriptures.

Luke 12:32  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”  Those who truly believe in Jesus Christ are the “little flock” and will be with him where he is.

The WT has robbed people of God’s promises!

Written by Greta Olsoe

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[1] The WT also refers to this class as the “Elect,” the “Anointed”.


[2] The idea that there had been only 144,000 true believers in the 1900 centuries since Christ is astounding.   An article in the Sept. 1, 1951 WT, p 516, reports on the massive persecutions of early Christians.  The WT says there were “10 major persecutions  against Christians over a period of nearly 300 years.”  The 10th was the most ferocious.  The WT reports a total of 861,000 Christians slain in this persecution.  In one persecution 144,000 Christians were slain In Egypt alone.  The WT throughout the article regards all these as “Christians” and refers to them, in summary, as “faithful ones.”  So how could there have been only 144,000 Christians by 1935?!


[3] The same thought is stated in John 14:3:   Jesus says,  “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  Here too, there is no reason to limit this promise to 144,000.