JW's now believe in The Rapture

by Oubliette 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Oubliette

    JW's now believe in The Rapture

    Notice this curious doctrinal change in the controversial July 15th, 2013 Watchtower:

    One of the events mentioned in these verses is the ‘gathering of the chosen ones.’ (Matt. 24:31) Hence, it appears that all anointed ones who still remain on earth after the initial part of the great tribulation has passed will at some point be raised to heaven before the outbreak of the battle of Armageddon. - Watchtower, July 15, 2013, p. 8 (Endnote #2 for Paragraph 8) - [Emphasis added]

    The significance is subtle. I missed it myself at first. Actually it was drawn to my attention by the following comments from this thread:

    Change of 144000 doctrine?

    mind blown: Also, from what the WT qoute I see they are promoting a "rapture" of the anointed....

    losingit: When I read that paragraph I immediately though, "WTH ! I thought we didn't believe in the rapture and looked down on other religions for thst belief. " I'm still dumbfounded by that drastic change.

    Curiouser and curiouser!

  • prologos

    WT conveniently did not tell the 144 000 aspirants to heavenly rulership, that execution with the ax is the entrance price. Rev.20.

    Wt has waffled wether or not some of the REMNANT would survive Armageddon or not.

    Could not imagine that The NEW WORLD would function without the ministrations of the Glorious 8 could it now?

    but the definite answer for now is , no, they will not survive, the GB, FDS will be gone BEFORE Armageddon.

    changed in a twinkling of an eye at the point of execution.

    sacrificial deaths like the Christ's.

    they will be history.

  • blondie

    They used to teach they might be raised after Armageddon, die a natural death.

    The WTS teaches that the wedding of Jesus and the Bride will take place shortly after the GT starts. That would imply that all of them would have to be in heaven before the GT ends with Armageddon.

    *** w90 8/15 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***

    Questions From Readers

    ? Will some anointed Christians survive the “great tribulation” to live on earth in the new world before being taken to heaven?

    Pointedly, the Bible does not say.

    Christians have long been interested in the privileges that God might extend to them. (Acts 1:6) That has especially been true in our time since the Kingdom was established. (Matthew 24:3, 24, 34) With the end of this wicked system to come in their time, Christians have wondered whether some spirit-anointed ones might live through “the war of the great day of God” and serve on earth for a time before receiving their heavenly reward. (Revelation 16:14) The Bible does not say that this will occur, yet certain patterns and prophecies have been taken to indicate that it might. Rather than be dogmatic, we can watch to see how God will handle things.

    Some Biblical events have parallels later on among God’s people. For instance, we know that Jonah was in a large fish for three days and three nights. Some people would view that as simply an example of divine deliverance, but Jesus said that it was a prophetic pattern of how he would be in the grave for a comparable period before his resurrection. (Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:40) Yes, Jonah’s experience was a prophetic type. Understandably, God’s servants have looked at prophecies and specific Bible accounts to see whether these might indicate how Jehovah will yet deal with them.

    As an example involving Bible prophecy, The Watch Tower of December 15, 1928, discussed Micah 5:2-15. The book of Micah dealt with ‘the Assyrian’s’ desolating of Samaria and the Jews’ return from exile in Babylon. (Micah 1:1, 5-7; 4:10) But it also pointed to later developments, such as the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) Micah prophesied that after their deliverance from “the Assyrian,” “the remaining ones of Jacob” would become “like dew from Jehovah” and “like a maned young lion among droves of sheep.” (Micah 5:6-8) The Watch Tower commented: “This may be taken as an indication that some of the remnant will be on earth even after Armageddon is fought and will then have some more work to do in the name of the Lord and to his praise and glory.” Notice the modest, reasonable language used to introduce this possibility: “This may be taken as an indication.”

    What of a Bible account that might parallel such survival on earth? One example that has been presented concerns Noah and his family. Noah has been viewed as typifying Jesus in this time of the end. (Genesis 6:8-10; Matthew 24:37) As Noah led his wife and their three sons and daughters-in-law through the end of that ancient system, Christ will provide leadership for the remnant of his bride class and those who become children of the “Eternal Father,” Jesus. Noah’s wife survived the Flood and shared in the renewing of true worship on a cleansed earth. A parallel might be the survival into the new world of a remnant of the bride class.—Isaiah 9:6, 7; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2, 9.

    Other Biblical accounts have also been viewed as suggesting that some of the anointed might live into the new world. For example, Jeremiah survived the destruction of Jerusalem; “the man” with the secretary’s inkhorn remained to see the executional work before he went back to give his report.—Ezekiel 9:4, 8, 11.

    Comments about the possibility that some of the anointed might survive into the new world are made with good intentions and in the light of Biblical precedents for trying to understand prophecies or patterns that could have later parallels. If it turns out that none of the anointed are left on earth, there will be no reason for dissatisfaction. We already have accepted that Biblical matters are understood better as time passes. For instance, The Watchtower of July 15, 1981, discussed Micah 5:6-9 again and explained that “the remnant of spiritual Israelites have not had to wait until after . . . Har–Magedon in order to be as a ‘dew’ of refreshment to people.” This discussion again offered the possibility that the remnant might survive God’s great war and for a while “continue to be as a refreshing ‘dew’ to the ‘great crowd’ of ‘other sheep.’” We can see, though, that the passing of time and the increase in spiritual light can broaden and alter our understanding of prophecy or of Bible dramas.—Proverbs 4:18.

    We do know that the Bible links the ‘coming of the Son of man’ with ‘the gathering of the chosen ones from the four winds.’ (Matthew 24:29-31) Also, during “the presence of the Lord” in Kingdom power, anointed ones sleeping in death are raised to life in heaven. (1 Thessalonians 4:15, 16) These sealed ones are there to become part of the Lamb’s wife. When does that occur?

    In the book of Revelation, immediately after John tells of God’s executing the religious harlot, Babylon the Great, he describes “the marriage of the Lamb.” A filthy, immoral “woman” is removed from the scene, and we see “the bride, the Lamb’s wife” ‘arrayed in bright, clean, fine linen, which stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.’ (Revelation 18:10; 19:2, 7, 8; 21:9) The destruction of Babylon the Great is part of the great tribulation. (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 7:14) So it could be reasoned that some of the bride class will survive the great tribulation as evidence of Jehovah’s approval and protection. (Zephaniah 2:3; compare Matthew 24:22.) If they are thus preserved on earth, they could remain here until God chooses to take them to heaven.

    However, the presentation in Revelation is not in strict sequential order. And it is not as though the small remnant of anointed ones will be needed to get the new world underway, for they have already trained millions of loyal Christians who will live forever on earth. Accordingly, God could take his anointed ones to heaven immediately after the destruction of Babylon the Great, setting the stage for “the marriage of the Lamb” to occur. All the holy ones could thus share with Christ in ‘shepherding the nations with an iron rod’ in the remainder of the great tribulation. (Revelation 2:26, 27; 19:11-21) If that is how God handles things, all the 144,000 would be with Jesus to ‘rule as kings with the Christ for the entire one thousand years.’—Revelation 20:4.

    It certainly is fine that God’s people are keenly interested in peering into how he will direct and reward his servants. (Compare 1 Peter 1:12.) This reflects their confidence that his will is going to be done. Though we cannot and should not be dogmatic about particulars, we can eagerly look forward to what will occur.

  • designs

    Try getting a JW to ever say I Believe in the RAPTURE ever! lol

  • Emery

    Can't wait to drop this on some Jdub friends of mine that week.

  • Oubliette

    The quote does not say that the " anointed ones who still remain on earth after the initial part of the great tribulation" will be killed. It simply says that " at some point be raised to heaven."

    It is implicit that they would have to die, but the manner of their death is not explicitly described in this bit of New Light TM from the GB.

    Any ideas as to how they would die is reading into it something that just isn't there.

    What is stated in the 7/15/13 WT is essentially what Fundamentalist Christians mean when they use the term: Rapture, (minor details aside). Although I doubt JWs will start using the term, this is nevertheless the point of my OP.

  • Dagney

    The WT has stated it before. I showed it to a couple of elder friends at the time and said "isn't this the rapture?"

  • prologos

    blondie, The july wt. page 14 par. 17 states:

    "--and shortly AFTER the battle of Armageddon, they will share as Jesus' joyous bride in the marriage of the lamb.

    so, as you pointed out,in your wt comment,

    The 144 ooo will fight with christ, because they are resurrected martyrs

    PRIOR to the battle. the after thebattle have the nuptials.

    thank you and bear up.

    Oubliette, you are right.

    wt does not say how they will die, but have mentioned a sacrificial death before.

    but the scriptures limit the right to rule to those that have been executed as martyrs.

    Rapture is generally refering to a death initiated by God to resurrect the person in heaven,

    rather than a death caused by persecutors.

    and we have a new term in the PURE LANGUAGE:

    FRESH LIGHT page 17 par.8.

  • Oubliette

    Doug Mason makes this point:

    The two-stage “Coming” of the Conley and Russell families was similar to the Rapture being promoted by Darby and Schofield at the time. Russell had been convinced of this two-stage process by Nelson Barbour. - The Truth Changes, p. 18 - [Emphasis added]

  • booker-t

    The JWs don't believe in the "traditional" rapture that is "all christians" will simply disappear from the earth. So Cant leave I think you are mixing apples and oranges to make the JWs look bad. That is like saying just because Born Agains believe in the bodily reserrection of Jesus that they are like Mormons who believe God is a man of flesh and bone. Similarities in a doctrine does not make it belief in the doctrine. I wish ex-jws just tell the truth and not use "word" games to make a point. If the JWs are teaching falsehoods like them hang themselves. JWs have always that I am aware of taught that the "annoited" might still have some on earth after Armaggeddon to usher in the new world. They have speculated and have always said it is not "dogmatic" just their opinion. It is amazing how I read on this board how some ex-jws use a eye catching phrase to get the attention of posters but condemn JWs when they do the same thing.

  • Oubliette

    booker-t: JWs have always that I am aware of taught that the "annoited" might still have some on earth after Armaggeddon to usher in the new world.

    Yes, but not any more. That is part of the point. I suggest you reread the WT quote.

    BTW, cantleave has not (yet) posted on this thread. Yet another point on which you are confused.

    That being said, I'm not playing "word games." I'll leave that to the GB and their Writing Department. They are forever changing doctrines and teachings, often by changing the meaning of ordinary words. For example, see these discussions of the Overlapping generation:

    The fact that " JWs don't believe in the 'traditional' rapture" does not invalidate my point. The new teaching about the anointed is, as I said before, essentially the same as what fundamentalist Christians believe (even if JWs do NOT use the term).

    The fact is that JWs only believe the Bible is written for "the anointed." So in reality their belief of what happens to the anointed is similar to what others mean by "The Rapture" for as you say "all christians." Remember, the "Other Sheep" don't go to heaven, they stay on Earth.

    booker-t: Similarities in a doctrine does not make it belief in the doctrine.

    Ok, that just doesn't even make any sense. If two groups believe similar doctrines, then they believe similar doctrines.

    You're arguing words and missing the point.

  • prologos

    booker -t

    perhaps they did not claim to have been dogmatic in the past, but the July Wt is:

    ilustrations and text:

    gone to heaven BEFRORE Armageddon

    marriage of the Lamb AFTER the battle.

    doctrine from before: resurrected "anointed" will FIGHT WITH CHRIST at Armageddon.

    Rapture or Resurrection :man* battlestations.

    question: Can you have a Rapture without a Resurrection?

  • AndDontCallMeShirley

    Booker-t: It is amazing how I read on this board how some ex-jws use a eye catching phrase to get the attention of posters but condemn JWs when they do the same thing


    Actually, I think the discussion thus far has been pretty fair, especially by the OP. No one has 'condemned JWs' or made dogmatic statements.

    Note also that the OP didn't use one "[ ]" or "...." to make the WT excerpt say something it doesn't really say (unlike WT tactics). He simply quoted the WT and a discussion followed. Wow, how unreasonable.

    They have speculated and have always said it is not "dogmatic" just their opinion.

    Really? Then why do all JWs believe the same thing? And, test the whole 'it's just an opinion' theory by going to an Elder and saying you disagree with the WT's "opinion". Guess what'll happen next?

    Incidentally, I'd love to see the quotes you're referring to, Booker. I don't think the WT has said "we're not being dogmatic" or "this is just our opinion" since CT Russell was the editor.

    WT "opinions" only become such after a prophecy fails or a doctrine gets "new light-ified". Current teachings are never 'just an opinion'.

  • Oubliette

    We cannot and should not be dogmatic about particulars. - The Watchtower, August 15, 1990, page 30

    This is really ironic, because as ADCMS pointed out, disagreeing with "Current Truth" will get you DF'd faster than you can say "New Light!"

  • MrFreeze

    Next thing you know they'll believe in the Trinity!

  • Comatose

    I found this nugget too Obuillete. I mentioned it to a few and it was totally ignored or I was told that it wasn't new and they remembered it at a convention.

  • Crazyguy

    Do they still teach that the 144,000 started to go to heaven in 1918? If so thats not biblical since in Thessalonians its written they all go together. Also it was mentioned in an earlier post but nowhere does it say they 144,000 are the actual ones that become Kings and Priests it says the ones that were killed as martyrs will be raised and made into Judges.

  • Faithful Witness
    Faithful Witness

    I found it interesting, all the new light in one magazine, culminating in the redefinition of the slave... And oh, by the way, we have another member on the GB! I think the new guy wants to be raptured, so they are changing the interpretation, or at least saying it's a possibility. They never have committed to any of this, of course. They dont know, and they admit it... But we just know it's the truth, even though were not really sure, since

    "Pointedly, the Bible doesn't say."

    "And notice the modest, reasonable language used to introduce this possibility: This May Be Taken as an indication."

    maybe and may be are not the same meaning, especially when spoken by your mother. i searched to find that 1990 article, only to find them referring back to some other thing they said in 1928, and another footnote referring to a book published in 1942. No wonder no JW can keep up with this run around! Wow.

  • a watcher
    a watcher

    "JW's now believe in The Rapture"

    Not necessarily. They never said "rapture", and I don't think that's what they meant. The anointed MUST die, either naturally or unnaturally, to get to heaven, but no one knows exactly HOW they will die.

    I think that they are downplaying the probable martyrdom of the anointed, so as not to upset the other sheep.

    They are trying to get the other sheep to focus on their OWN salvation rather than be OVERLY concerned about what happens to the anointed.

  • kaik

    I agree with a watcher on this. I remember from KH that the anointed will have to die first, and they will turn into spiritual being. Body in flesh cannot enter spiritual kingdom. Our KH also taught as that anointed will see their funeral, the tranformation is immediate as person passes from the human form to heavenly. I do not remember ever hearing Rapture. I encountered this teaching only in USA among various extreme denomination. Almost all major Christian denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, European Protestants) consider Rapture a heretical teaching. I have not seen in any WT publication teaching a Rapture along the way as is understand by eveangelical groups in USA.

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