Rev. 7:4-8 says: "I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel: . . . Judah . . . Reuben . . . Gad . . . Asher . . . Naphtali . . . Manasseh . . . Simeon . . . Levi . . . Issachar . . . Zebulun . . . Joseph . . . Benjamin."
These cannot be the tribes of natural Israel because there never was a tribe of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Dan are not included in the list here, and the Levites were set aside for service in connection with the temple but were not reckoned as one of the 12 tribes. (See Numbers 1:4-16.)
Also notice the divine principle stated by Paul at Rom. 2:28, 29:
"He is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit, and not by a written code."
And Gal. 3:26-29 says:
"You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. . . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one person in union with Christ Jesus. Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham's seed, heirs with reference to a promise."
For more, see:
Eternal Happiness—In Heaven or on Earth?
If Jehovah's Witnesses believe that only 144,000 people go to heaven, then wouldn't making more Jehovah's Witnesses reduce their own chances of getting into heaven?
What future hope is there for Jehovah's Witnesses if they believe that only 144,000 go to heaven?
What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe Regarding Physical And Heavenly Afterlives? The 144,000?
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