Comments You Will Not Hear at the 02-18-07 WT Study (January 1, 2007, pages 25-30)(1 st Resurrection)
Review comments will be in red
WT material from today's WT will be in black
Quotes from other sources will be in quotes boxes
w = Watchtower
g = Awake
jv = Proclaimers book
WT child abusewww.silentlambs.org
"THE FIRST RESURRECTION" NOW UNDER WAY!
"Those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first."-1 THESSALONIANS 4:16.
When I saw this topic come up in a WTS publication, two questions immediately came to my mind:
*** Kingdom Approached chap. 17 p. 344 par. 29 The "Slave" Who Lived to See the "Sign" ***
As to just how the "faithful and discreet slave" class existed and served down through the centuries after the death of the apostles of the Master Jesus Christ, we do not have a distinct historical picture. Apparently one generation of the "slave" class fed the next succeeding generation thereof.
It is hard to believe that over almost 2000 years that 144,000 had not been reached. That is only 72 people a year. Over 90,434 at the memorial in 1925 at a time when all were anointed, ten years before the "great crowd" doctrine was presented in 1935. There are 120, plus 3,000 then 5,000 alone reported in the first few years of the Christian congregation.
*** w67 11/15 p. 694 par. 8 Orders for Worldwide Fishing ***
"We are pleased that the number participating in the Memorial is so great, because it manifests much interest in the truth everywhere, and this is as it should be. The grand total reported to date is 90,434, which is 25,329 more than were reported a year ago."
Reading the Studies in the Scriptures written by Charles Taze Russell, I discovered that the WTS had also taught that the first resurrection began in 1878 and that no new anointed were called after 1881.
*** jv chap. 28 p. 632 Testing and Sifting From Within ***
Based on the premise that events of the first century might find parallels in related events later, they (the Bible Students including Charles Taze Russell) also concluded that if Jesus’ baptism and anointing in the autumn of 29 CE paralleled the beginning of an invisible presence in 1874, then his riding into Jerusalem as King in the spring of 33 CE would point to the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King. They also thought they would be given their heavenly reward at that time. When that did not occur, they concluded that since Jesus’ anointed followers were to share with him in the Kingdom, the resurrection to spirit life of those already sleeping in death began then. It was also reasoned that the end of God’s special favor to natural Israel down to 36 CE might point to 1881 as the time when the special opportunity to become part of spiritual Israel would close.
Explanation of Chart Representing the Plan of the Ages
"The General Call To The High Calling Ceased—9
Even though the general call ceased in 1881, the door to the high calling remains open, as shown by number 9. However, it is only when one who is spirit begotten has to be replaced, (on account of being overcharged with the cares of this world, or sinful living, or loss of faith), that one, desirous of doing the Father's will, is invited to enter the narrow way as a replacement. The door to the high calling will remain open until the bride has made herself ready."
Finished Mystery, page 182
... in the spring of 1878 all the holy Apostles and other 'overcomers' of the Gospel Age who slept in Jesus were raised spirit beings,...
Studies in the Scriptures, Volume IV, Pages 621-622
Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A.D., according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it: and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A.D.: and the first work of the Kingdom, as shown by our Lord, in his parables and prophecy (the gathering of "his elect"), is now in progress. "The dead in Christ shall rise first," explained the Lord through the Apostle: and the resurrection of the Church shall be in a moment.* Consequently the Kingdom, as represented in our Lord, and the sleeping saints already fitted and prepared and found worthy to be members of "his body," the "bride," was set up in 1878; and all that remains to be done for its completion is the "gathering together ---------- *Vol. III, Chap. 6. unto the Lord" of those of the "elect" who are alive and remain --whose trial is not yet complete.
START OF ARTICLE
Q1, 2) (a) What hope is there for those who have died? (b) On what basis do you believe in the resurrection? (See footnote.)
1) " THE living are conscious that they will die." Ever since Adam sinned, that has been true. Throughout history, everyone born has known that he would eventually die, and many have wondered: `What comes next? What is the condition of the dead?' The Bible answers: "As for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all."-Ecclesiastes 9:5.
Ever since Adam sinned
Did you ever wonder what would have happened if only Adam had sinned? Would humans be dying today?
Everyone born….he…would eventually die
I guess, that means women aren’t "born" or won’t "eventually die"
Notice how it only takes one scripture to establish a WTS doctrine. Can you imagine using that one (OT) scripture to convince a Catholic or a Protestant?
2) Is there any hope, then, for those who have died? Yes. In fact, there must be if God's original purpose for mankind is to be fulfilled. Over the centuries, loyal servants of God have exercised faith in Jehovah's promise about a Seed who would destroy Satan and undo the harm he did. (Genesis 3:15) Most have died. If they are to see the fulfillment of that promise and of others that Jehovah has made, they need to be raised from the dead. (Hebrews 11:13) Is such a thing possible? Yes, it is. The apostle Paul said: "There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous." (Acts 24:15) Paul once resurrected a young man named Eutychus, who had fallen from a third-floor window and was "picked up dead." This is the last of nine resurrections recorded in the Bible. -Acts 20:7-12.* (Footnote: * For the other eight, see 7 Kings 17:21-23; 2 Kings 4:32-37; 13:21; Mark 5:35, 41-43; Luke 7:11-17; 24:34; John 11:43-45; Acts 9:36-42.)
loyal servants of God— only JWs
the last of nine resurrections recorded in the Bible
Makes you wonder if they are implying that there were resurrections not recorded in the Bible.
Did you ever wonder why some people were resurrected and not others in the first century?
Q3) What comfort have you personally drawn from Jesus' words recorded at John 5:28, 29, and why?
3) Those nine resurrections provide a basis for faith in Paul's statement. They strengthen our confidence in Jesus' assurance: "The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John 5:28, 29) What heartwarming words! And how comforting for the millions whose loved ones have fallen asleep in death!
allthose in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out
Notice that the WTS does not believe every person is in Jesus’ or God’s memory: Adam, Eve, Cain, people who died at the flood, people who died at Sodom and Gomorrah, Judas, unrepentant Jewish religious leaders of 1 st century, everyone who dies at Armageddon.w055/1p.13WhoWillBeResurrected?*** (see review on this WT on JWD)
[Picture on page 26] What resurrections take place before mankind in general is raised from the dead?
Q4, 5) What different resurrections does the Bible mention, and which will be discussed in this article?
4) The majority of those who are resurrected will come back to an earth made peaceful under God's Kingdom. (Psalm 37:10,11, 29; Isaiah 11:6-9; 35:5, 6; 65:21-23) However, other resurrections were to take place before that happens. First, Jesus Christ had to be resurrected to present the value of his sacrifice to God in our behalf. Jesus died and was resurrected in 33 C.E.
Notice there is no discussion of the WTS doctrine about the earthly resurrection, just a string of cited scriptures.
5) Next, anointed members of "the Israel of God" must join the Lord Jesus Christ in heavenly glory, where they will "always be with the Lord." (Galatians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:17) That event is called "the earlier resurrection" or "the first resurrection." (Philippians 3:10, 11; Revelation 20:6) When that resurrection is completed, the time will be at hand for millions to be resurrected back to the earth with the prospect of gaining everlasting life in Paradise. Hence, whether our hope is heavenly or earthly, we have a keen interest in "the first resurrection." What kind of resurrection is it? When does it occur?
Millions (not billions) to be resurrected back to earth
CARROT—prospect of gaining everlasting life in Paradise
The WTS teaches that they will only get eternal life at the end of the 1,000 Reign of Christ and the past the final test by Satan—so for 1,000 years they are still really dead.
"With What Sort of Body?"
Q6, 7) (a) Before anointed Christians can go to heaven, what must occur? (b) With what kind of body will they be resurrected?
6) In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul raises a question about the first resurrection: "How are the dead to be raised up? Yes, with what sort of body are they coming?" He then answers the question: "What you sow is not made alive unless first it dies . . . but God gives it a body just as it has pleased him ... The glory of the heavenly bodies is one sort, and that of the earthly bodies is a different sort."-1 Corinthians 15:35-40.
So as a seed dies and becomes a plant, humans die and take on another body. Makes sense that a human body cannot live in the spirit world and must become spirit.
7) Paul's words show that Christians anointed with holy spirit must die before they can receive their heavenly reward. At their death, their earthly body returns to the dust. (Genesis 3:19) At God's appointed time, they are resurrected with a body of a kind suitable for life in the heavens. (1 John 3:2) God also grants them immortality. That is not something they possess from birth, as if a so-called immortal soul were breathed into them. "This which is mortal must put on immortality," says Paul. Immortality is a gift from God, "put on" by those who share in the first resurrection.-1 Corinthians 15:50, 53; Genesis 2:7; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 2, 8.
that Christians anointed with holy spirit must die before they can receive their heavenly reward.
This statement shows why anointed JWs have a different outlook (or should) about death than the "other sheep." They have to die to get their reward; the other sheep are told that they can never die and just live through Armageddon into the paradise.
Q8) How do we know that God does not select the 144,000 from members of different religions?
8) Only 144,000 share in the first resurrection. Jehovah began selecting them at Pentecost 33 C.E., shortly after he resurrected Jesus. All of them have "[Jesus'] name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads." (Revelation 14:1, 3) Hence, they are not selected from many different religions. All are Christians, and all proudly bear the name of the Father-Jehovah. When they are resurrected, they receive an assignment of work in the heavens. The prospect of serving God in such a direct way is simply thrilling to them.
Began selecting at Pentecost 33 C.E.— that is why the WTS teaches that John the Baptist is not of the 144,000 and is their explanation why Jesus had to resurrect Lazarus or Lazarus would not have been in heaven with Jesus.
Such a direct way— the WTS way of telling the other sheep that they are second class Christians that will never have the "privilege" of seeing God.
Not selected from many different religions— what they mean is that they have to leave their religions and become Christians JWs first.
Now Under Way?
Q9) How do Revelation 12:7 and 17:14 help us to approximate the time when the first resurrection begins?
9) When does the first resurrection occur? There is strong evidence that it is now under way. For example, compare two chapters of Revelation. First, look at Revelation chapter 12. There we read that the newly enthroned Jesus Christ, along with his holy angels, wages war against Satan and his demons. (Revelation 12:7-9) As this journal has often shown, that battle began in 1914.* (Footnote: * For Scriptural proof that Christ's presence began in 1914, see the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? pages 215-18, published by Jehovah's Witnesses.) Notice, though, that none of Christ's anointed followers are said to be with Jesus in that heavenly war. Now look at chapter 17 of Revelation. We read there that after the destruction of "Babylon the Great," the Lamb will conquer the nations. Then it adds: "Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so." (Revelation 17:5, 14) "Called and chosen and faithful" ones must already have been resurrected if they are to be with Jesus for the final defeat of Satan's world. Reasonably, then, anointed ones who die before Armageddon are resurrected sometime between 1914 and Armageddon.
Christ’s presence began in 1914
But until 1943, the WTS taught that it began in 1874. Have you ever wondered why the title of the starting in 1879 the WT was entitled, Zion’sWatchtowerandHeraldofChrist’sPresence if it were not going to happen until 1914?
1909, The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence
- The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom
*** w74 8/15 p. 507 No Spiritual "Energy Crisis" for Discreet Ones ***
Hence, when C. T. Russell began publishing a new religious magazine in July 1879, it was called "Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence." It was heralding Christ’s presence as having begun in 1874.
Notice, though, that none of Christ's anointed followers are said to be with Jesus in that heavenly war (the one in 1914, not Armageddon).
In 1943 the Watch Tower Society’s book "TheTruthShallMakeYouFree" did away with the nonexistent extra 100 years in the period of the Judges and placed the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence in the 1970’s. It also fixed the beginning of Christ’s presence, not in 1874, but in 1914 C.E.
Q10, 11) (a) Who are the 24 elders, and what does one of them reveal to John? (b) What can we deduce from this?
10) Can we say more precisely when the first resurrection begins? An interesting clue is found at Revelation 7:9-15, where the apostle John describes his vision of "a great crowd, which no man was able to number." The identity of that great crowd is revealed to John by one of the 24 elders, and these elders represent the 144,000 joint heirs with Christ in their heavenly glory.* (Footnote: * For information on how we know that the 24 elders represent anointed Christians in their heavenly position, see Revelation-Its Grand Climax At Hand! page 77, published by Jehovah's Witnesses.) (Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 4:4) John himself had a heavenly hope; but since he was still a man on earth when the elder spoke to him, in the vision John must represent anointed ones on earth who have not yet received their heavenly reward.
RECAP: after 1914 but before Armageddon
Revealed to John by one of the 24 elders
24 elders represent the 144,000…in their heavenly glory**
John (on earth)—anointed ones on earth
**see below for page 77 Revelation book
published by Jehovah’s Witnesses— the inside cover of the WT itself says, "The Watchtower is published semi-monthly by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc." With a copyright assigned to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania" not a mention of Jehovah’s Witnesses anywhere.
11) What, then, can we deduce from the fact that one of the 24 elders identifies the great crowd to John? It seems that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today. Why is that important? Because the correct identity of the great crowd was revealed to God's anointed servants on earth in 1935. If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest. That would indicate that the first resurrection began sometime between 1914 and 1935. Can we be more precise?
It seemsthat resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today.
This was mentioned previously in the Revelation book in 1988.
Yes, that elder could locate the answer and give it to John. This suggests that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today.
1935—one of the anointed had to be in heaven in order to reveal identity of great crowd to those on earth
RECAP: between 1914 and 1935
You might find this website interesting re anointed on earth communicating with anointed in heaven.http://www.premier1.net/~raines/necromancy.html
Ken Raines: Talking with the Dead?
Q12) Explain why the spring of 1918 may be viewed as a possible time for the first resurrection to begin.
12) At this point, it may be helpful to consider what might be viewed as a Bible parallel. Jesus Christ was anointed as the future King of God's Kingdom in the fall of 29 C.E. Three and a half years later, in the spring of 33 C.E., he was resurrected as a mighty spirit person. Could it, then, be reasoned that since Jesus was enthroned in the fall of 1914, the resurrection of his faithful anointed followers began three and a half years later, in the spring of 1918? That is an interesting possibility. Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible, it is not out of harmony with other scriptures that indicate that the first resurrection got under way soon after Christ's presence began.
what might be viewed as a Bible parallel. Jesus Christ was anointed as the future King of God's Kingdom in the fall of 29 C.E. Three and a half years later, in the spring of 33 C.E., he was resurrected as a mighty spirit person.
Remember the WTS has used this same parallell (see above) to establish the dates 1874 and 1878.Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible, it is not out of harmony with other scriptures that indicate that the first resurrection got under way soon after Christ's presence began.
Remember they had established presence as 1874 and the first resurrection as 1878 using this same parallel. Did that prove to be in harmony?
Q13) In what way does 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 suggest that the first resurrection began early in Christ's presence?
13) For example, Paul wrote: "We the living who survive to the presence of the Lord [not, to the end of his presence] shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice and with God's trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 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." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) Therefore, anointed Christians who died before Christ's presence were raised to heavenly life ahead of those who were still alive during Christ's presence. This means that the first resurrection must have begun early in Christ's presence, and it continues "during his presence." (1 Corinthians 15:23) Rather than occurring all at once, the first resurrection takes place over a period of time.
Therefore, anointed Christians who died before Christ's presence were raised to heavenly life ahead of those who were still alive during Christ's presence. This means that the first resurrection must have begun early in Christ's presence,
Rather than occurring all at once, the first resurrection takes place over a period of time.
Remember 2 groups being discussed:
Died before Christ’s presence
Died during Christ’s presence
Could all those who died before Christ’s presence be resurrected all at one time?
"A White Robe Was Given to Each of Them"
Q14) (a) When are the visions recorded in Revelation chapter 6 fulfilled? (b) What is portrayed at Revelation 6:9?
14) Consider, too, the evidence contained in Revelation chapter 6. There Jesus is seen riding forth as a conquering King. (Revelation 6:2) The nations are embroiled in warfare of epic proportions. (Revelation 6:4) There is widespread famine. (Revelation 6:5, 6) Deadly plagues ravage mankind. (Revelation 6:8) All these prophesied events clearly fit world conditions since 1914. But something else happens. Our attention is drawn to an altar of sacrifice. At its base are "the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness work that they used to have." (Revelation 6:9) Since "the soul [or, life] of the flesh is in the blood," what is really represented as being at the foot of the altar is the blood of faithful servants of Jesus who were slaughtered because of their bold and zealous witnessing.-Leviticus 17:11.
Warfare of epic proportions
Deadly plaguesClearly fit ….????? Proof?
Were only JWs zealous witnessing? Proof?
Q15, 16) Explain why the words of Revelation 6:10, 11 refer to the first resurrection.
15) Like the blood of righteous Abel, the blood of these Christian martyrs is crying out for justice. (Genesis 4:10) "They cried with a loud voice, saying: `Until when, Sovereign Lord holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood upon those who dwell on the earth?"' What comes next? "A white robe was given to each of them; and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled also of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they also had been."-Revelation 6:10,11.
OT — Abel…Christian martyrs White robe— don’t the great crowd get white robes?
(Revelation 7:9) . . .After these things I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes. . .
16) Were these white robes handed out to pools of blood lying at the base of an altar? Of course not! The robes were given to the individuals whose blood was shed, as it were, on the altar. They sacrificed their lives in Jesus' name and were now resurrected as spirits. How do we know that? Earlier in the book of Revelation, we read: "He that conquers will thus be arrayed in white outer garments; and I will by no means blot out his name from the book of life." Recall, too, that the 24 elders were "dressed in white outer garments, and upon their heads [were] golden crowns." (Revelation 3:5; 4:4) So after war, famine, and pestilence began to ravage the earth, members of the 144,000 who were dead, represented by the blood at the base of the altar, were raised to heavenly life and clothed in symbolic white robes.
So after war, famine, and pestilence began to ravage the earth, members of the 144,000 who were dead, represented by the blood at the base of the altar, were raised to heavenly life and clothed in symbolic white robes.
[Picture on page 29] In what way is a white robe given to certain ones who were sleeping in death?
Q17) In what sense must those who receive white robes "rest"?
17) Those newly resurrected ones must "rest." They must wait patiently for God's day of vengeance. Their "fellow slaves," anointed Christians still on earth, have yet to prove their integrity under trial. When the time for divine judgment arrives, the "rest" will be over. (Revelation 7:3) At that time, those resurrected ones will share with the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing destruction upon the wicked, including those who shed the blood of innocent Christians.-2 Thessalonians 1: 7-10.
If they are resting, does that mean that they are not ruling with Christ and acting as priests?
Anointed…on earth…yet to prove their integrity
If an anointed JW sins and is disfellowshipped, then reinstated, do they come back as anointed or other sheep?
Resurrected ones will share,..in bringing destruction upon the wicked
Yes, they too will joyfully destroy all 6.5 billion non JWs on earth, including babies and little children.
What It Means for Us
Q18, 19) (a) For what reasons can you conclude that the first resurrection is now under way? (b) How does your understanding of the first resurrection make you feel?
18) God's Word does not disclose a precise date for the first resurrection, but it does reveal that it occurs over a period of time, during Christ's presence. The first to be resurrected are anointed Christians who died before Christ's presence began. As Christ's presence progresses, anointed Christians who faithfully finish their earthly course are changed "in the twinkling of an eye" into powerful spirit creatures. (1 Corinthians 15:52) Will all the anointed receive their heavenly reward before the war of Armageddon? We do not know. We do know, however, that in God's due time, all the 144,000 will be found standing on the heavenly Mount Zion.
God's Word does not disclose a precise date for the first resurrection, but it does reveal that it occurs over a period of time, during Christ's presence
For years the WTS has said that 1918 was when all those dead anointed were resurrected.
*** w93 5/1 p. 13 par. 13 Shedding Light on Christ’s Presence ***
Another amazing happening during Christ’s presence is the start of the heavenly resurrection. The apostle Paul indicated that those anointed Christians long asleep in their graves would be the first to be made alive and live with Christ Jesus in the spirit realm. Evidence has been presented over the years to show that this appears to have happened from 1918 onward.
*** w67 6/1 p. 345 The Wedding That Brings Worldwide Rejoicing ***
Evidence from the prophecies of the Bible and their fulfillment in our time indicates that Jesus Christ came with his Father, Jehovah God, to the temple for judgment in 1918 C.E. He first turned his attention to the members of his Bride who were asleep in death and resurrected them.
It was in 1918that Jehovah began rewarding ‘those fearing his name, the small and the great’—the first of these being the anointed Christians who had died faithful, whom he resurrected and stationed in the heavenly ranks of the 24 elders.
19) We also know that the majority of the 144,000 are already united with Christ. Only a relatively few remain on earth. What a powerful indication that the time for the execution of God's judgment is rapidly approaching! Soon, Satan's entire world system will be destroyed. Satan himself will be abyssed. Then, the general resurrection can begin, and faithful humans can, on the basis of Jesus' ransom sacrifice, be raised to perfection similar to that lost by Adam. Jehovah's prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15 is being wonderfully fulfilled. What a grand privilege it is to be living in these times!
While the majority may be in heaven, how to explain the 234 new ones in 2006. How few will remain if they keep on increasing?
How "powerful" an indication can it be that the "execution of God’s judgment is rapidly approaching?"Satan’s entire world system— all 6.5 billion non-JWs, including babies and children dead forever with no hope of a resurrection, first or last.
Can You Explain?
How do the following scriptures help us to discern the timing of "the first resurrection"?
- Revelation 12:7; 17:14
- Revelation 7:13, 14
- 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
- Revelation 6:2, 9-11
I can tell that the conductor is going to have a hard time getting anyone to answer the "Can You Explain" questions. A good day to go over time.
The WTS has backed off a bit using a "precise" date as to the first resurrection. It has couched it statements using a "parallel" and saying that the Bible does not say. Make you wonder about its other "truths."
All I can say is that I am so grateful not to be studying the Revelation book for a fourth time!!!!!!!!!
It looks like our cold snap will end this weekend and it will be back up in the 30’s and the 40’…time for the shorts and bikinis to appear…Thanks everyone for your concern over my health. I am getting better…I don’t need the cough drops today.
Below are some supporting information that might be interesting.
Another example of the WTS speaking out of both sides of its mouth?
Compare these two quotes from the January 1, 2007 Watchtower page 30 and 31:
"The First Resurrection"--Now Under Way! (page 30, para 18)
18) God's Word does not disclose a precise date for the first resurrection, but it does reveal that it occurs over a period of time, during Christ's presence. The first to be resurrected are anointed Christians who died before Christ's presence began. As Christ's presence progresses, anointed Christians who faithfully finish their earthly course are changed "in the twinkling of an eye" into powerful spirit creatures. (1 Corinthians 15:52) Will all the anointed receive their heavenly reward before the war of Armageddon? We do not know . We do know, however, that in God's due time, all the 144,000 will be found standing on the heavenly Mount Zion.
Questions From Readers: What is the sealing referred to at Revelation 7:3? (page 31)When will the remnant of anointed Christians who have initially been sealed receive their final sealing? Any still alive on earth will be sealed "in their foreheads" before the outbreak of the great tribulation. When the four winds of tribulation are unleashed, all of spiritual Israel will have been sealed in finality, even though a few will still be alive in the flesh and must yet finish their earthly course. http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/10/128966/1.ashx
*** re chap. 14 pp. 76-77 pars. 8-11 The Magnificence of Jehovah’s Celestial Throne ***
John knew that priests were appointed to serve in the ancient tabernacle. So he may have been surprised at seeing what he describes next: "Androundaboutthethronetherearetwenty-fourthrones,anduponthesethronesIsawseatedtwenty-foureldersdressedinwhiteoutergarments,andupontheirheadsgoldencrowns."(Revelation4:4) Yes, instead of priests, there are 24 elders, enthroned and crowned like kings. Who are these elders? They are none other than anointed ones of the Christian congregation, resurrected and occupying the heavenly position Jehovah promised them. How do we know that?
9 First of all, they are wearing crowns. The Bible speaks of anointed Christians as gaining ‘an incorruptible crown’ and attaining to an endless life—immortality. (1 Corinthians 9:25; 15:53, 54) But since these 24 elders are sitting on thrones, the golden crowns in this context represent royal authority. (Compare Revelation 6:2; 14:14.) This supports the conclusion that the 24 elders portray Jesus’ anointed footstep followers in their heavenly position, for Jesus made a covenant with them to sit on thrones in his Kingdom. (Luke 22:28-30) Only Jesus and these 24 elders—not even the angels—are described as ruling in heaven in Jehovah’s presence.10 This harmonizes with the promise that Jesus made to the Laodicean congregation: "To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne." (Revelation 3:21) But the heavenly assignment of the 24 elders is not limited to governmental rule. In the introduction to the book of Revelation, John said of Jesus: "He made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father." (Revelation 1:5, 6) These ones are both kings and priests. "They will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years."—Revelation 20:6.
11 What is significant about the number 24, in that John sees 24 elders around the throne? In many respects, these were foreshadowed by the faithful priests of ancient Israel. The apostle Peter wrote to anointed Christians: "You are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession.’" (1 Peter 2:9) Interestingly, that ancient Jewish priesthood came to be divided into 24 divisions. Each division was assigned its own weeks in the year to serve before Jehovah, so that sacred service was rendered without a break. (1 Chronicles 24:5-19) It is fitting, then, that there are 24 elders depicted in John’s vision of the heavenly priesthood because this priesthood serves Jehovah continually, without ceasing. When completed, there will be 24 divisions, each with 6,000 conquerors, for Revelation 14:1-4 tells us that 144,000 (24 x 6,000) are "bought from among mankind" to stand on the heavenly Mount Zion with the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Since the number 12 signifies a divinely balanced organization, 24 doubles—or strengthens—such an arrangement.