Women, the 144'000 and the Governing Body.
Throughout the history of the nation of Israel as recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, all of it's Kings and Priests, as appointed by Jehovah God, were male.
While on earth, Jesus obediently followed the rules of Jehovah's organisation as it then existed. He said "Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I came, not to destroy, but to fulfill" [Matt 5:17]
Thus, in accordance with Jewish custom and Law, Jesus apostles were all men. Not that Jesus was prejudiced, his dealings with many women prove just the opposite (consider John 4:3-43, Luke 7:11-18, and particularly Luke 7:36-50 and Matthew 11:28-30).
Still, it is a fact that all 12 apostles were men, the council of Jerusalem was composed entirely of men and, as a reflection of this 1st century pattern, the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses has always been exclusively male.
Well the Society teach that for a thousand years (soon to start), this male headship arrangement will be put aside and that resurrected women will serve as KINGS & PRIESTS!
What is the scriptural precedent for this?
How can the Society presume that the 144000 will be partly made up with women? (Presumably some 72000.)
This position has lead to statements such as the following;
*** w91 7/15 6 A New World Is At Hand! ***
Jesus' associate heavenly rulers constitute the New Jerusalem and in association with him form a capital organization that will govern righteous human society.
*** w88 6/15 6 World Rulership Changing ***
But there is more. Daniel was inspired to say that the Kingdom would be given not just to "someone like a son of man" but also "to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One."-Daniel 7:27.
Who are these? Revelation says of the Lamb, Christ Jesus: "You bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth." It further says that they will become "priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years." Their number is given as 144,000.-Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1; 20:6.
*** it-2 165 Kingdom of God ***
Thus, it became evident that the promised "seed" would involve a governmental body with not only a kingly head, the "son of man," but also associate rulers, "the holy ones of the Supreme One."
Of course the Society have gotten themselves into this predicament because of applying a literal rather than symbolic interpretation of the 144000.
Concerning the gender of this 'little flock', see what Revelation 14:4 itself actually says;
"They are the men who have kept themselves pure......." Good News Bible
"These are men who did not defile themselves.........." New English Bible
To complete the verse, even the NWT reads;
"These are the ones that did not defile themselves with women".
It is a fact that women generally live longer than men. The time will soon come when by far the greater part of the 'remnant' on earth will be female. What will this mean for the role of the Governing Body?
Can brothers of the Great Crowd who are now being groomed to take on the duties of the current Governing Body following their departure do so while their are still hundreds if not a few thousand anointed sisters still alive?
Well this turned out to be a much longer post than intended. Sorry.
Let me know what you think though.
"sisters are doin' it for themselves!"
Much of Revelation reads like it was written by someone who was on hallucenagneic drugs. One part is very clear and literal. The 144,000 would be composed of male jewish virgins. Furthermore, sex is portrayed as vile in this scripture.
"While on earth, Jesus obediently followed the rules of Jehovah's organisation as it then existed. He said "Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I came, not to destroy, but to fulfill" [Matt 5:17]
Well, that is not correct, for Jesus followed and fulfilled the Law. The Law was given through Moses as the mediator and at that time there was no "organization." There was only a "mediator," "priests" of Jah, and the "high priest" of Jah. They were a 'holy nation' who presented themselves to Jah through their "mediator" or through the "high priest." An "organization" did not form until Israel began "asking for a king." At such a time there was NOW, an "organization" with one in power, who was the king. Before, only Jah was the king. Jesus obeyed and fulfilled only the Law pertaining to the "covenant." Any additional "laws" formed by the king, Jesus "observed" according to his Father's commandment so that he would not "stumble" the Jews.
you also said:
"Still, it is a fact that all 12 apostles were men, the council of Jerusalem was composed entirely of men and, as a reflection of this 1st century pattern, the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses has always been exclusively male."
There was no "council" in Jerusalem. for the ENTIRE congregation was there, and only one man, James, made the decision. The apostles with older men TOGETHER with the WHOLE congregation agreed with James and thus formed a letter to send to those who were not present. (Acts 15:19-23)
One other thing which I wish everyone would comment on is this:
Rev. 5:9, 10 says:
"You bought persons for God out of EVERY TRIBE AND TONGUE AND PEOPLE AND NATION, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings upon the earth." (Check your Greek)
And these same people from "every tribe" are mentioned here ....
"And I saw, and look! a great multitude which no man can number, from EVERY NATION AND TRIBE AND PEOPLE AND TONGUE ...... "(Rev. 7:9) (Check your Greek)
And yet the SAME revelation John sees,
"And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand, sealed out of EVERY TRIBE of the sons of Israel: " (Rev. 7:4)
Now Israel is only "one" nation. John heard people from EVERY NATION made to be a kingdom and priests. John is VERY clear when he says 144,000 are from EVERY TRIBE of the ONE nation, Israel. In addition to that, if the 144,000 is a literal number, then their "description" of which tribes they are from, must ALSO be literal. OR, 144,000 is symbolic, then the tribes are also symbolic. But then, if its symbolic, then the "great multitude" from "every nation" is ALSO symbolic.
Both of them were purchased from the earth by the Lamb according to Rev. 14:4; 5:9, 10. Now, unless someone wants to be BOLD and say, "Not all of us were purchased by the blood of the Lamb," John is very clear as to who each one is and where they will be.
As regards them all being "male" keep in mind that "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be neither MALE NOR FEMALE; for you ALL are ONE MAN in Christ Jesus.
Peace to you all,