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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 7:44 am
Location: Founder YORWW Bible Institute & Training Center
In the study article, “Look! I Am With You All The Days,” in the July 15th, 2013 study article, an interesting point surfaces. Paragraph #6 of that particular article says this:
- “What is the larger fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy? During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times. Still, there were numerous religious groups who claimed to be Christ’s followers. So a crucial question needed to be answered: Who among those groups were the wheat? To settle that question, Jesus began to inspect the spiritual temple in 1914. That inspection and cleansing work involved a period of time—from 1914 to the early part of 1919.”
Therefore we learn, Pastor Russell himself (who died in October of 1916) and some others of the faithful anointed, were not alive when Jesus made his historic move to begin the all-important “inspection” [in 1914] and begin to separate the “weeds,” and later finally gather the “wheat” into his “storehouse” in 1919. Which of course means, These ones who did a “John the Baptizer” type work [like CT Russell] of restoring bible truths, would have died and gone to heaven, at least by the time the true “wheat” began to be gathered in the “storehouse,” in 1919.
Next, we learn something very interesting, about our theology and belief system concerning the anointed and the heavenly resurrection that they receive, we learn something that we have taught now for very many years in fact, in our public ministry. In paragraph #12 of this very same study article, we learn this fact:
Quote paragraph #12:
- “Second, gathering the wheat. Jesus commands his angels: “Go to gathering the wheat into my storehouse.” (Matt. 13:30) Since 1919, anointed ones have been gathered into the restored Christian congregation. FOR THOSE ANOINTED CHRISTIANS WHO WILL BE ALIVE AT THE END OF THIS SYSTEM OF THINGS, the final gathering will take place when they receive their heavenly reward.—Dan. 7:18, 22, 27.”
So then currently, especially with the release of this particular magazine, all Jehovah’s Witnesses publicly teach there is a two (2) stage sort of heavenly resurrection of the anointed going to heaven. By that I mean, there is an initial group, like first century Christians and others like CT Russell and company, individuals who had died before the “wheat” could be gathered into God’s “Storehouse” [in 1919], and those who are of the “anointed” who were left “alive” upon this earth to continue that very same spiritual “restoration” of pure worship and public preaching activity that distinguished Jehovah’s Witnesses and which we are famous for the world over. So far, so good?
So then, here is an interesting question that we may encounter in our public field ministry, because of this unique understanding.
The Churches of Christendom have been continually telling us Jehovah’s Witnesses in our public field ministry, there is going to be a “rapture,” where the “living” on earth that belong to the Lord Jesus, are going to “meet the Lord in the air,” along with the “dead” who are raised in Christ, and they all go to heaven…together. They keep telling us this. Just about every baptized Jehovah’s Witness who goes regularly out in field service has encountered this viewpoint at one time or another, including the Governing Body, I’m sure.
How are we going to explain why the word “TOGETHER” in clearly shown, under inspiration I might add, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17? Why is that word there?
1 Thessalonians 4:17 clearly says:
- “Afterward we the living who are surviving will, TOGETHER WITH THEM, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord”
“…Together with them,” it says.
Doesn’t that mean, “together” with the “dead,” who are raised to Heavenly life?
We are told, the “living” anointed who “survive” till Christ “comes” for them, “WILL NOT PRECEDE” the dead, in the heavenly resurrection … right? (verse 15)?
Didn’t Paul specifically use the word, “TOGETHER” in our New World Translation, in verse 17?
So if all the “anointed” go to heaven, “together,” just Paul said under inspiration, then how can there be a two (2) stage heavenly resurrection of sorts? One group going directly to heaven, others of the anointed, who “survive,” and continue to live out their lives on earth, to prove their integrity to God Almighty, Jehovah? (In fact, some might even say this time period now, extends a century or 100 years, since the heavenly resurrection began, back in the early 1900s, with some of the “surviving” living anointed, still present on earth.)
In 1 Corinthians 15:23, 24 we learn the resurrection process in divided up in three particular specific time periods.
(1) The first one shown is Jesus’ heavenly resurrection, superlative in rank & nature and ahead of all others, raised to “Incorruption & Immortality,” first among all who participate in gaining life after death.
(2) Next in rank of importance, the resurrection of heaven-bound anointed, specifically mentioned at Jesus’ “PAROUSIA,” where all who “belong to Christ” and are resurrected to heavenly life to be with Jesus, forever.
(3) Then Paul mentions, finally, the earthly resurrection. This one he explains, under inspiration, occurs, “…AT THE END,” or at Armageddon, where Jesus visibly vanquishes “all government and all authority and power,” that of his enemies, particularly the political armies of Satan’s world in opposition to God’s Kingdom. He puts these “enemies” clearly “under his feet,” in destruction, does he not? (1 Corinthians 15:24, 25)
All of this means, we must by necessity, separate the “heavenly” resurrection [done at his "parousia"] from the earthly one which would include people that were NOT RIGHTEOUS,” as mentioned Acts 24:15 as well as shown clearly at Daniel 12:2. These scriptures, are making reference to an EARTHLY RESURRECTION, where it shows us both, good and bad people are to be raised and given life on earth, again. And clearly, Paul point-blank says this occurs, “AT THE END,” when all governments of Satan are destroyed, isn’t that so? When, all “enemies” are put “under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24, 25)
So then, why are we Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching people publicly, the heavenly resurrection continues right up to Armageddon? Aren’t we “hodge-podging” both resurrections, smashing them together, bringing one up to the other, making both resurrections happen still, at his “coming,” during the “Great Tribulation”? Aren’t we doing this, I ask?
Of course we realize, such a viewpoint would raise serious questions, if correct, about our entire belief system, would it not? Because if such a viewpoint was correct, then just as all Jehovah’s Witnesses currently believe, in the year of 1919 [or somewhere before that date] the “heavenly” resurrection of the anointed, occurred, then our entire belief system needs a SERIOUS OVERHAUL.
Yes because if that were true, it would mean all of the “anointed” went to Heaven, at least by that year  … “TOGETHER,” yes, “to meet the Lord in the air.” All of them went to “heaven” … AT THE SAME TIME. Which means…no anointed were left on earth, since the year of 1919…right???
And if that’s so, then all of the true “anointed” heaven-bound servants of Jehovah, and followers of Jesus, have been in heaven since that year , with ONLY … only the “Great Crowd” of “Other Sheep” left on earth, to write all of our “enlightenment” found within the pages of the Watchtower Society’s publications, again since that year …isn’t that so???
…Something to think about, I’d say.
"....save both yourself and those who listen to you." -- 1 Timothy 4:16