Great points made by everyone! The 144,000 teaching was one I was never comfortable with, yet I never dared question for fear that I would be looked upon as a doubter or worse yet, an apostate!
In all the Gospels whenever Jesus spoke to the masses it was to thousands of people. As a matter of fact, it would speak of thousands of men, plus women and children (See Matthew 14:14-21, Matthew 15:33-38, Luke 12:1). How is it then, that 2000 years later there are still over 8000 of the elite still on earth? In 2000 years God couldn't find 144,000 worthy of ruling with Him in Heaven? That makes absolutely no sense.
CCGirl, I looked up the verses quoted in the WT magazine, and found they have nothing at all to do with what is printed. I guess they are assuming no one checks the Bible, they just assume whatever is written by the "slave" is accurate.
As far as a new date, aren't they indicating that because it took Noah 120 years to finish the ark, that it would take that long for Armaggedon, and in that way are pointing to 2034 as "the year"?
From the Watchtower of December 15, 2003 pp.14-19 "Our Watchfulness Takes On Greater Urgency":
6 In Noah's day, Jehovah declared: "My spirit shall not act toward man indefinitely in that he is also flesh. Accordingly his days shall amount to a hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3) The issuance of this divine decree in 2490 B.C.E. marked the beginning of the end for that ungodly world. Just think what that meant for those then living! Only 120 years more and Jehovah would bring "the deluge of waters upon the earth to bring to ruin all flesh in which the force of life is active from under the heavens."—Genesis 6:17.
7 Noah received the warning of the upcoming catastrophe decades in advance, and he wisely used the time to prepare for survival. "After being given divine warning of things not yet beheld," says the apostle Paul, "[Noah] showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household." (Hebrews 11:7) What about us? Some 90 years have passed since the last days of this system of things began in 1914. We are certainly in "the time of the end." (Daniel 12:4) How should we respond to warnings we have been given? "He that does the will of God remains forever," states the Bible. (1 John 2:17) Now is therefore the time to do Jehovah's will with a keen sense of urgency.
What doesn't make sense to me is that by 2034 there should be NONE of the "elite" left on earth. Who will be running the WT then, since the faithful and discreet slave must be one of the annointed? Will the "rank and file" Witnesses have to take over the asylum?
Only time will tell.