Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses

12. The Great Crowd


Part 1: The Nature of God 
1. The Deity of Christ 
2. The Personality of the Holy Spirit 
3. The Trinity 
Part 2: The Nature of Man 
4. The Spirit of Man 
5. The Soul of Man 
6. The Nature of Death 
7. Resurrection 
8. The Nature of Hell 
Part 3: God's People 
9. Israel 
10. The 144,000 
11. God's Organization 
12. The Great Crowd 
13. The Faithful and Discreet Slave 
14. Persecution 
Part 4: Man's Salvation 
15. The Gospel 
16. Being Born Again 
17. Salvation 
18. Justification 
19. Sufficiency of Christ's Redemption 
20. Relationship with Christ 
21. Christian Freedom 
22. Witnessing 
Part 5: The Last Days 
23. The Return of Christ 
24. Watchtower Chronology -- The Year 1914 
25. The Rapture 
26. The Kingdom 
27. The New Heaven and New Earth 
Appendix A: Disassociation Letter 
Appendix B: The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures 
Scripture Index 
Subject Index 

12. The Great Crowd

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:

a. The "other sheep" of John 10:16 are to be equated with the "great crowd" of Revelation 7:9.10

b. Members of the great crowd are not to be born again.11

c. The majority of true Christians alive today, or 99.7% of Jehovah's Witnesses, are members of the great crowd.12

d. Members of the great crowd will pass through the great tribulation and enter directly into everlasting life on earth.13

e. The "earthly hope" is the only valid hope for the majority of true Christians alive on earth today. 14


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Q1. Who are the "other sheep" of John 10:16?

John 10:16-"And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock [with] one shepherd."

John 11:51-52-...that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

Eph 2:13-14,16-But now in Christ Jesus you [Gentiles, vs. 11] who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both [groups into] one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall...reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross...


Q2. What does it mean to stand before the throne of God?

Rev 7:9,15-a great multitude...standing before the throne...they are before the throne of God

Rev 7:11-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

Rev 14:1,3-one hundred and forty-four thousand...they sang a new song before the throne


Q3. In the book of Revelation, where is God's temple?

Rev 7:9,15-a great multitude...and they serve Him day and night in His temple

Rev 3:12-He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it any more

Rev 11:19-the temple of God which is in heaven

Rev 15:5-6-the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple

Rev 15:8-And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

Rev 16:1-And I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels , "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God into the earth."

Rev 11:1-2-And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.


Q4. Before Revelation chapter 21, where is God's tabernacle?

Rev 7:9,15-a great multitude...and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them.

Rev 13:6-And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, [that is], those who dwell in heaven.

Rev 15:5-6-the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple

Heb 8:1-2-Now the main point in what has been said [is this:] we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.

Heb 9:11,24-But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, [He entered] through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation...For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a [mere] copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us...


Q5. What is the eventuality of those who have washed their robes?

Rev 7:9,14-a great multitude...they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

Rev 22:14-Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city [New Jerusalem, Rev 21:2]


Q6. Must members of the great crowd be born again?



Q7. What hope does the Bible hold out to Christians living in these last days?



Q8. Does Revelation chapter 7 state that the great crowd will pass through the great tribulation directly into the new earth without ever having been in heaven?

According to Revelation chapter 7, the great crowd:

Rev 7:9 - no one could count

7:9 - is from every nation and tribes and peoples and tongues

7:9 - are standing before the throne and before the Lamb

7:9 - are clothed in white robes

7:9 - have palm branches in their hands

7:10 - cry out: "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb"

7:14 - these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation

7:14 - have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

7:15 - serve God day and night in his temple

7:15 - shall have God's tabernacle spread over them

7:16 - shall no more hunger, thirst, nor have sun or heat beat down on them

7:17 - shall have the Lamb as their shepherd

7:17 - will be guided to springs of the water of life

7:17 - God shall wipe every tear from their eyes


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a. The "other sheep" of John 10:16 are not to be equated with the "great crowd" of Revelation 7:9. By all indications the "other sheep" of John 10:16 are gentile Christians.

b. Members of the great crowd must be born again.

c. Members of the great crowd may or may not pass through the great tribulation and enter directly into everlasting life on earth. There are indications that many of them will spend some time in heaven.

d. The rapture is the only valid hope (other than dying in Christ and being resurrected) for all true Christians alive on earth today.


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Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:

Gen 1:28-And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."


Ps. 37:29-The righteous will inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.


Is 45:18-earth...He created if not in vain [Heb. tohu-without form; cp. Gen 1:2-the earth was without form], He formed it to be inhabited

Matt 5:5-Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.




10. Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, p. 364

11. Watchtower, 12/1/68, pp. 733-735

12. Watchtower, 1/1/86, p. 23

13. Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 356

14. Ibid., pp. 136-137