The term ‘salvation’ occurs three times in Revelation and is specifically related to the ‘great crowd’. (Revelation 7:9,10; 12:10; 19:1)
The first instance introduces the great crowd, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great crowd, which no man could count, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” — Revelation 7:9,10
The next instance tells us when and why salvation occurs, “Now the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ has come; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. They overcame him because of the Lamb’s blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn’t love their life, even to death.” (Revelation 12:10,11)
The third instance concludes, “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God… I heard something like the voice of a great crowd, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!” (Revelation 19:1,6)
“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Revelation 1:1-3)
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelation 22:18,19)
The Watchtower’s ‘Reasoning from the Scriptures’ teaches,
“The “great crowd in heaven” referred to at Revelation 19:1,6 is not the same as the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9. The ones in heaven are not described as being “out of all nations” or as ascribing their salvation to the Lamb; they are angels.”
The great crowd cries out in both places that salvation belongs to our God, as demonstrated above. The Watchtower doesn’t have confusion over the 144,000 of Revelation 7 being the same as Revelation 14 even though it doesn’t include “out of the twelve tribes of Israel” in both places. It is human reasoning to require Revelation to include the entire description of the great crowd in both chapters where they appear.
Despite John’s warning (Revelation 22:18,19), the Watchtower removes ‘the great crowd’ from heaven, and ‘adds’ that they are angels, instead of believing his word, the ‘Faithful and True’ ‘Word of God’ (Revelation 19:11,13), as the truth.
So what is the truth? Jesus said, “I am … the truth.” (John 14:6) and, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31,32)
Whose word do you believe is the truth? The Watchtower, or the Revelation of Christ as the Faithful and True Word of God?
It is only if you continue in his word, that you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Revelation 14 tells us, “I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps.”
In Revelation 14, the 144,000 are gathered together standing with the Lamb on Mt. Zion, on earth, but where are the great crowd?
The description of the ‘sound from heaven’ (Revelation 14:2) accompanying the song of the 144,000 is the same as that of ‘the great crowd in heaven’ (Revelation 19:1), “something like the voice of a great crowd, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders”. (Revelation 19:6) The description of this sound from heaven (Revelation 14:2,19:6), the same as the crying out of ‘salvation’ (Revelation 7:10,19:1), is only applied to the ‘great crowd’ of Revelation (Revelation 7:9,19:1,6).
If you still believe the Watchtower over the Faithful and True Word of God, let’s continue reasoning from the scriptures…
Jesus is the salvation that belongs to our God, literally. (Psalm 3:8;62:1) The Hebrew word for salvation is yeshuah. The Messiah’s Hebrew name, Yeshua, is derived from his father’s Hebrew name, Yehowah, and means “Yehowah is Salvation”.
Salvation is revealed in Revelation.
Revelation 12 describes a sign and a seven year period of two parts, 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6) and 3.5 years (Revelation 12:14).
At the midpoint (Revelation 12:7) of the seven years, we are told “Now have come to pass the salvation…” (Revelation 12:9,10 NWT)
What was this salvation? “You yourselves have seen … that I might carry you on wings of eagles and bring you to myself.” (Exodus 19:4)
“Now when the dragon saw that it was hurled down to the earth, it persecuted the woman that gave birth to the male child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place; there is where she is fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent.” … “The dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17)
We see she flies away, but who are the rest of her children with whom he makes war?
In Revelation, the 144,000 are the ones referred to as “the saints” or “holy ones”. (Revelation 8:3,13:7,10,14:12,16:6,17:6,19:8,20:9) “And there was given to it to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” (Revelation 13:7)
Daniel teaches us this takes place in a period of three and a half years, “’He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.’” (Daniel 7:25) “I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”” (Daniel 12:7)
Matthew 24:29-31 confirms the outline of events as described in Revelation:
“And immediately after the tribulation of those days:
‘The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’”
The great tribulation are the events of Revelation 6 leading up to the sixth seal.
Revelation 6:12-14 describes the opening of the sixth seal with the same description from Matthew,
“I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood. The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind. The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places. The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. They told the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”
After this the 144,000 are sealed (Revelation 7:1-8), and we see the Great Crowd saved out of the great tribulation (Matthew 24:22, Revelation 7:9-17). How?
Matthew continues, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30,31)
Revelation 12 reveals this ‘sign of the Son of Man’:
“A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth… She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place for her to be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.” (Revelation 12:1-6)
After the unsealing of the sixth seal when the 144,000 are sealed, and the great crowd is saved, is the seventh seal and then the seven trumpets (Revelation 8-11).
When the Lamb appears on Mt. Zion with the 144,000, the great crowd are in heaven (Revelation 14:2;19:1,6):
“For this we declare to you in the word of the Lord, that we the living, remaining unto the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those having fallen asleep, because the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living remaining, will be caught away together with them in the clouds for the meeting of the Lord in the air; and so we will be always with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
The Greek word ‘elect’ (eklektos) is ‘select, choose, or chosen, out of’ referring to the ‘congregation’ (ekklésia) who are ‘called out from and to’ God, the entire congregation. It is out of this group that the 144,000 are sealed. (Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27) The great crowd are the rest of the congregation, who receive salvation, while the 144,000 sealed are “the slaves of our God” (Revelation 7:3), and they are ‘dead in Christ [that] will rise first’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Who is this woman?
Revelation later unveils “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9), “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2) This is “the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God” (Revelation 3:12), “the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God”. (Hebrews 11:10)
“Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have never travailed; because more are the children of the desolate woman, than of her who has a husband.” (Galatians 4:26,27, Jeremiah 3:14)
The 144,000 are the bride (Revelation 21:9), while the Great Crowd are the rest of the congregation, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
“You have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the feast gathering (panéguris), and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven… See that you don’t refuse him who speaks. For if they didn’t escape when they refused him who warned on the earth, how much more will we not escape who turn away from him who warns from heaven, whose voice shook the earth then, but now he has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.” (Revelation 12:7-9) This phrase, “Yet once more” signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.” (Hebrew 12:22-27)
‘But also the heavens’ refers to the war in heaven in the middle of the seven years which caused the third woe, Satan and his angels to be thrown down to earth. (Matthew 24:29) Mt. Zion foreshadows the appearance of the Lamb and his bride, and the feast gathering is their marriage feast in heaven…
Thus we return to, “And I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and like a sound of mighty thunders, saying:
“Hallelujah! For the Lord God our Almighty has reigned.
We should rejoice and should exult
and will give to Him the glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready.
And it was given to her that she should be clothed in bright, pure, fine linen.”
For the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
And he says to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those having been invited to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb.’” And he says to me, “These are the true words of God.”” (Revelation 19:6-9)
Happy are those invited, but what will they wear?
“Blessed are those washing their robes, that their right will be to the tree of life, and they shall enter into the city by the gates.” (Revelation 22:14)
The great crowd are the only ones mentioned having “washed their robes”, and they alone gain access to “the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)
Paul tells us, “I know a man in Christ who … was caught up into Paradise.” (2 Corinthians 12:3,4) “The Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer.” (Acts 8:39) The word to express ‘caught up into Paradise’ or ‘carried away’ is the same as used of woman’s child being ‘caught away’ to God’s throne. (Revelation 12:5) Commonly translated ‘rapture’, the Greek word is harpazó, meaning to ‘seize, catch up, snatch away, or obtain by robbery’.
We may recall then Christ’s words, “Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn’t walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15)
Revelation warns, “If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know the hour when I will come upon you.” (Revelation 3:3)
However, “You are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) “God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found.” (2 Peter 3:9,10, Revelation 20:11)
After the 144,000 appear on Mt. Zion with the Lamb (Revelation 14:1), then there is the marriage feast in heaven (Revelation 19:1,9), before they return to earth (Revelation 20:9) to reign for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
After this is the resurrection (Revelation 20:5,11-15), and “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. (Revelation 20:11, 2 Peter 3:9,10) I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.”
Hebrews tells us further of the faithful who died before Christ, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar, and having embraced them, and having confessed that they are strangers and sojourners on the earth. For those saying such things make manifest that they are seeking their own country. And indeed if they had been remembering that from where they came out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they stretch forward to a better one, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:17)
Those who “washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14) are the ‘Great Crowd’ (Revelation 7:9) who receive ‘salvation’ (Revelation 19:1,6) and have access to the “tree of life” (Revelation 22:14) in the “paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7), being “caught up into Paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:3,4, Matthew 24:30,31, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), they “may enter the city by the gates” (Revelation 22:14) of “Jerusalem above” (Galatians 4:26) before she descends to earth after the thousand year reign (Revelation 21:1,2,10, Hebrews 11:16, Hebrews 12:22).
The Watchtower teaches that the 144,000 are the new covenant. The 144,000 are only of the twelve tribes of Israel, and yet the entire congregation were taught to follow his commandments, including to ‘keep doing this in remembrance of him’. (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
It wasn’t until the end of the first century that Christ inspired the Revelation introducing the 144,000 out of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the great crowd.
People of all nations, tribes, and tongues, were already new covenant partakers, thus the congregation would have understood the 144,000 to be sealed as ones who would have been a part of the new covenant, albeit to be sealed at some future time, and specifically to be out of the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life… This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And this bread, which I will give for the life of the world, is My flesh.”
At this, the Jews began to argue among themselves, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink.” “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” (John 6:47-57)
The great crowd who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb have eternal life by eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Those who die he will raise on the last day, and those who live until his return will live ‘forever’ (to the end of the age) with access to ‘the tree of life’ which is in God’s paradise (Revelation 2:7, 22:14) in heaven during the millennial reign.
Afterwards it is as explained by Paul, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)
This is the resurrection at the end of the thousand years. (Revelation 20:5,11-15)
Do we have to ask “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” The Jews didn’t understand because “their minds were closed. For to this day, the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed.” (2 Corinthians 3:14)
Will you become a part of the new covenant before it’s too late? “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25)
“He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Did Christ give his body for you?
In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19,20)
Did he pour out his blood for you?
After Christ died, he became ‘the Lamb’ signifying his sacrifice for all mankind.
After he was resurrected he appeared to offer his last words on earth, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
It is the great crowd of Revelation, out of all nations, who are the new covenant, along with the 144,000.
We are reminded, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)
They wash their robes by obeying all that he commanded, not least of which was to ‘keep doing this in remembrance’ of him. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
What other commandments of Christ do you selectively choose not to obey, or believe don’t apply to you?
Outline of Revelation
Revelation 1 introduces Revelation
Revelation 2-3 letters to the congregations
Revelation 4 in the spirit, entering heaven
Revelation 5 Lamb is worthy to open sealed scroll
Revelation 6 unsealing seals 1-6, the last days & great tribulation
Revelation 7 sealing 144,000 and great crowd saved
Revelation 8-11 seventh seal and seven trumpets
Revelation 12 describes the seven year period Daniel referred to as the last ‘week’:
— The first half are the events of Revelation 8-11 for 1,260 days.
— The second half are the events of Revelation 13-14 for 3.5 times.
Revelation 15-16 is God’s wrath leading up to Armageddon.
Revelation 17-18 explains Babylon the Great, and announces she has fallen.
Revelation 19 is the Great Crowd and the Bride in heaven for the marriage feast.
— Armageddon takes place at the end of Revelation 19.
Revelation 20 is the outline of the 1,000 years, ending with the resurrection.
Revelation 21 begins with a new heaven and new earth for those resurrected.
— New Jerusalem then descends from the heaven to the new earth.
Revelation 22 concludes, “Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”