IF there were two classes/callings why were all early Christians limited...

by oompa 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • AnnOMaly

    Because, according to BS/JW eschatology, the second (earthly) calling could only exist in the 'last days.'

    Weirdly enough, one major reasoning that led to the 'other sheep/great crowd = earthly' connection was the understanding that Matt 25 (the part about Jesus arriving in his glory with his angels, etc.) was being fulfilled then - from 1914ish onward. The tribulation had been going on since WWI; Jesus had sat on his judgment throne in 1918 and was separating the sheep from the goats based on how they were treating the anointed brothers. Naturally, these nations were on earth while being judged. Couple that with the literal 144k number for the royal/'Christ'/joint sacrificer class and hey presto! (See the August 1935 editions of the WT.)

    The Matt 25 interpretation was modified last decade (its fulfillment now future). The 1935 cut off point for the heavenly calling has been ditched only recently. The two class anointed vs. non-anointed doctrine has been seriously undermined: lines blurred.

    Edit: The other reasoning Rutherford used in the Aug. 1935 WTs was that (like Oompa said) there were no 2 standards of righteousness as far as Jehovah was concerned so Russell's idea about a heavenly great crowd 'negligent,' also-ran class, who couldn't attain to the high calling, was bogus - and he had a point. Incidentally, previously no one knew who would be of the great crowd class because they wouldn't know until the End who had failed to reach the high calling by being 'negligent.' In contrast, R'ford got to pin down the ID of the great crowd with his new interpretation. But ironically, having thrown out an old 2-tier standard of righteousness, he made a new one in its place!

  • oompa

    WOOOO AnnOMaly.....that is one spooky 666 post!!! pretty heavy......................oompa

  • NeonMadman

    TD, I'm not sure that the issues you raise would be anything new if the organization made the doctrinal changes I suggested. The "third class" already exists, since many members of the other sheep have died during the Christian era, even if we accept the old position that the heavenly calling ended in 1935 or the newer understanding that the date is indeterminate. Many JW's who died in the concentration camps did in fact profess to be of the other sheep, so the conundrum you suggest already exists, regardless of any future change in understanding - how were those faithful JW's any better off than non-JW's?

    The answer from the JW's, as I understand it, is that even though both groups will be raised to earthly life, the faithful JW will have a big head start over the non-believer in having already accepted the "truth" and will therefore be raised much further along the road to eternal life. The unbeliever has a far greater chance of rejecting the "truth" and ultimately being consigned to the second death.

  • TD

    You make a good point NeonMadman, one that my JW wife also made. I believe that JW literature and teaching currently allows for the existence of the "third group" only as "Exceptions to the rule." IOW the great crowd as a class will survive armageddon, but individuals sometimes meet premature and untimely deaths.

  • AnnOMaly
    WOOOO AnnOMaly.....that is one spooky 666 post!!! pretty heavy......................oompa

    Oh dammit! I was supposed to be watching for that so I could mark the occasion!

    Never mind. I'll have to make do with this instead:


  • greendawn

    Hi Oompa there is no answer to this question simply because the JW doctrine of two classes of Christians is totally absurd, false and unbiblical.

    One would assume that the so called anointed or elite should be reaching a much higher standard of spirituality for their far greater reward of heavenly life and a lot less should be expected from the great crowd who can only receive the much inferior earthly life.

    To begin with we do not see such a difference in the life and activities of the two classes the anointed just say: "we have been called, we inwardly know it" and that's all otherwise they behave pretty much like the supposed other sheep in their daily lives. The GB who are the real FDS and the elite of all the elite in as much as they lay claim to all authority and direction and thus clearly think of themselves as being especially favoured by God versus the other anointed (in fact they appointed themselves to that position), are in fact the worst of all by manifesting greed, authoritarianism and a deeply deceitful nature. So to begin with their daily actions belie their doctrine.

    The JWs claim that God put out exclusively the higher destination of heavenly life until all positions were filled and only then did he make the lower destination available. But Biblically there is only one body of Christians one church, one Lord and one destination. There is no earthly and heavenly destination only a heavenly one and that's how it was from the start. All Christians back then had only a heavenly destination and all Christians now have only a heavenly destination. There never was an earthly one at any time and for all we know there never will be, earthly life is the first lower, weaker, basic stage of human existence a stage of great dependence and ignorance like that of a child on its parents. But of course a passing stage.

  • oompa

    "God is not partial" right? Well then why would he pick an entire century/centuries or generations of people to ALL be divinely chosen to go go to heaven???? Likewise why would he chose othere entire generations (1935 on) to to have virtually ONLY the earthly hope?? This makes no sense to me, like much of the Bible or WT teachings............oompa

  • Alligator Wisdom
    Alligator Wisdom

    Good question Oompa.

    However, a typical JW answer would be taken from this:

    (Revelation 14:4) 4 These are the ones that did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones that keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb,

    "Firstfruits" is what JWs will define as those with the heavenly calling as being selected first and foremost.

    Alligator Wisdom (aka Brother NOT Exerting Vigorously)

    P.S. Don't ask me to defend this position. I'm just relating to you what would possilby be the JW answer to your "If" question.

  • M.J.

    While on the subject, I suppose there is a 4th! class of believers--the ancient worthies. Russell (and early Rutherford I think) taught that they would be raised to instant perfection on earth. Is that still the case? Or will their status be indistinguishable from the "prospective members of the GC at one time but died before making it" class?

  • NeonMadman

    TD, my understanding of the "great crowd" doctrine is that the GC is made up ONLY of those who actually survive Armageddon. Any non-anointed faithful JW who dies before Armageddon is simply one of the "other sheep," but is not part of the great crowd. That person's status is comparable to that of pre-Christian faithful ones. This doctrine becomes more significant now that we are getting into the third and fourth generations of non-anointed JW's.

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