Comparing Tenet 17 of Watchtower to the Words of the Holy Bible…Who are the 144,000?


Tenet 17 – Only 144,000 people (consisting of early Christian believers, a few scattered Christians over the centuries, and a select group of Jehovah’s Witnesses) are “born again,” members of the Christian congregation (the church), and members of the new covenant, and only they will live in heaven in the presence of God and Christ. Christ is the Mediator only for the 144,000, since only they are participants in the new covenant. Only these 144,000 are “spirit-anointed,” and they are known as the “anointed class.” The rest of saved humanity, known as the “other sheep,” will live forever on Paradise Earth and will have no direct contact with God, Christ, or their loved ones in heaven. The “other sheep” who constitute the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are called the “great crowd.”

The various components of this tenet will be addressed separately.


Tenet 17 teaches that “Christ is the Mediator only for the 144,000, since only they are participants in the new covenant. Only these 144,000 are “spirit-anointed,” and they are known as the “anointed class.”

Watchtower is wrong and teaching a deadly doctrine to their people. When they say that only 144,00 are participants in the New Covenant they are saying that the rest of humanity are still under the Old Covenant. They say some of these (Jehovah’s Witnesses to be precise) will live on earth while the 144,000 will live in heaven.


“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34

What is this New Covenant?

Hebrews 7:22 22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.  

Hebrews 9:15 Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord. Hebrews 13:20

Luke 22:19-20 “This is My (Jesus) body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my (Jesus) blood. 

Jesus is the author of the New Covenant. Under Watchtower Doctrine all who are not in the 144,000 number are still under the Old Covenant which is the law. The writer of Hebrews reminds us”

In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:13

Paul has told us that those under the Old Covenant or Testament are lost:

But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:14

Those in Christ, Christians, are covered under the more excellent ministry, the New Covenant.

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. Hebrews 8:13


Tenet 17 –Christ is the Mediator only for the 144,000, since only they are participants in the new covenant.

Watchtower is teaching that there are people who are not in the 144,000 who are  considered worthy to live on planet earth eternally. They say these are not covered by the New Covenant, but rather by the Law. According to their doctrine, these are deemed worthy to live on earth eternally, but they have not been born again nor do they have Christ as their Mediator.


All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. Romans 2:12

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. Galatians 3:11

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! Ephesians 2:4-5

Christ is mediator for all who come to Him and those who refuse Him are lost for all eternity!

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…

John 2:2 teaches that Jesus died for ALL mankind… “And he  is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

John 3:16 For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the one of life. And the dead were judged out of the things having been written in the books, according to their deeds. The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone was not found having been written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:12-15

John, while seeing a vision on the isle of Patmos, heard who the 144,000 were. They represent Jews. (Most likely these are Jews who are saved out of the tribulation)

4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. 5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, 6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, 7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

We know that there will be others in heaven because Jesus has said:

…many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 8:11


Watchtower teaches that only the 144,000 will be born again.


Jesus said for all to read and know, “You must be born again.” This was recorded by John when Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. Nicodemus was a Pharisee. If anyone could work their way to heaven, Nicodemus would have been among that number.

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?”

5 Jesus answered “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” Jesus replied, “and do you not understand these things? 11Truly, truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, and yet you people do not accept our testimony.

12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

19 And this is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever practices the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be clearly seen that what he has done has been accomplished in God.”


The New Covenant is not just for 144,000. It is for whosoever will repent and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. The 144,000 are Jews saved during the tribulation period.

The Bible speaks of two groups of people, saved and unsaved. Jesus called them at one time goats and sheep. Another time He called them the clean and unclean. (Matthew 25:33, John 13:10-11) At no time does Jesus or the Bible teach three groups. We are either saved by the blood of Jesus or we are lost.

Jesus is the Lamb. Jesus told us that He is the light of the world. He is also the truth. We must turn from our sins and to the light. We must believe the truth and trust the Lamb who was slain. This offer extends to ‘whosoever’ will. Those who trust Him will be born again and live with Christ forever. Those who refuse are condemned.

Thanks to Jesus, WHOSOEVER WILL may come and can partake freely of the gift of salvation and life.

17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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