Many of you will recall that a few months ago I visited the saints in the UK and that the first evening of my trip I did a program on “Revelation TV” regarding the subject of predestination. You may also recall that my luggage did not make it to London for two days, so, I had spent most of the day letting them know the luggage was lost, and then going out and buying necessities. I had not slept on the flight over, so, I was doing the uber-jet-lag thing. Even had to borrow Justyn’s blazer for the program (it looks much better on Justyn–then again, anything looks better on Justyn).
In any case, in the middle of the second hour (we had originally been scheduled to do only one) one of Jehovah’s Witnesses called the program. Now, you can hear the caller much more clearly on this recording than we could in the studio, that’s for certain. The text I was referring to is Revelation 7 (which I once mis-identify as Hebrews 7 for some reason):
Revelation 7:9-15 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude [NWT: “great crowd”] which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” 13 ¶ Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
The 1984 edition of the NWT has as a subject title to this section, “Great crowd identified.” For many years Jehovah’s Witnesses were taught that the term “temple” used in Revelation 7:15 refers only to the “outer courts” of God’s heavenly temple, i.e., the earth. But since 1998, this has been changed. In any case, Witnesses still make a distinction as to where the Great Crowd will spend eternity over against the Anointed Class (the 144,000). Jon Mitchell, a former Governing Body secretary, has addressed the rather complicated history of the Society’s many attempts to fit their theology into this text here. In any case, this is what I was referring to when speaking to Pete in this video: