Paradise: in Heaven or on Earth?

by artful 35 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • onacruse

    I just came back to this thread, and haven't read all the posts, but I just found something that I thought might be interesting (bold added):

    Wt 1/15/25 p.23

    In what does the better resurrection of these faithful ones {ancient worthies} consist? Their awakening is to a better condition; and their resurrection brings them to a point where, the Scriptures show, they will be changed from human to spirit beings at the end of the Millenium. That will be a better resurrection, emphatically. Otherwise, how would they have a better resurrection than other men made perfect?

    News to me that the WTS ever held such a doctrine.


  • artful

    Craig: That is a VERY interesting bit of information.
    I didn't realize that the WTS ever held the idea that these OT "worthies" would have a heavenly existence. In light of Rutherford building the "house of princes" for these OT men in California, I would think that they changed this doctrine shortly after this 1925 WT!

    Thanks for posting it!

  • onacruse

    artful: hehe, now I'm on a mission.

    I don't have a searchable database for the 1920s Watchtowers (am reviewing manually), but I do have one for Rutherford's books. I just found another piece of "new light" (LOL):

    Those loyal and true men of old all died in faith, and God has promised to raise them up out of death and that they will be resurrected as perfect men. The promise is that their resurrection shall follow the completion of the body members of Christ. (Heb. 11: 35,40) The proof showing that 1914 was the great turning point, that God has placed his King upon his throne, and that he has come to his temple and is putting his kingdom in operation, it may be reasonably concluded that the ancient worthies will be back on earth as perfect men within a comparatively short time. Their presence as perfect men on the earth will enable the people to see more clearly that the time has come for Gods righteous rule to take complete charge of all the affairs of men. Government (1928) pp. 275-6

    (bold added)

    So, they are resurrected as perfect men, and then at the end of the Millenium converted to spirit beings.

    Curiouser and curiouser.


    PS: Note too that this was printed in 1928, and still "the ancient worthies will be back on earth...within a comparatively short time." Didn't give up the 1925 prediction all that quickly, did they? I'll let you know if (read "when") I find a later reference.



    Edited by - onacruse on 8 January 2003 18:39:22

  • JosephMalik


    There really is no excuse. The word spirit and it's use is complex and nowhere do such verses say spirit beings?. The seed of a natural body does not result in something totally different in nature. We do not go from one Kind to another Kind so easily as our Lord proved. It took a change in Kind to provide a suitable sacrifice. This is not something we must do. Our body would still be human as the seed was human but immortal (provided by God not man) and a spiritual body for this reason. The result is not a change in Kind. So jumping to conclusions does not excuse them. It is still a mystery why no one bothers to look into it in more detail. Paul also compared our Lord to Adam and that should have been enough to put his writings in human context.

    Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adams transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    I have covered all this in my book so there is no need to repeat it all again. You can download it and see for yourself.


    Edited by - JosephMalik on 8 January 2003 19:40:37

  • artful

    Craig: Great stuff! I'll wait to hear more!! In reviewing the two references you cited, I wonder if this second one (1928) was actually a complete change in their doctrine taking precedence over the "conversion to spirits" after the 1000yrs printed in 1925. So in other words this would now mean that the "worthies" would no longer be spirit creatures at any point but would be resurrected to earth and that's it?
    Joseph: I have really enjoyed our discussions over the past few weeks on this, and a few other threads. I will download your book (do you mean the "christbody.doc" file) and read through it so I can get a better grasp on what your beliefs are.


    P.S. It's OK Joseph, I found the RTF version of your complete book.


    Edited by - artful on 8 January 2003 20:16:8

  • onacruse

    artful: I just completed my searches of Rutherford's books, and a couple more timelines of the doctrine become apparent.

    By 1932, they seem to have moved away from the "spirit conversion" theory:

    Vindication III (1932) pp. 296-7 (bold added):

    The east inner gate will be open on state occasions: Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the Lord, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the sabbath day; then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate. ([Ezek] 46: 12) This is a further testimony of the loving-kindness of Jehovah, showing his consideration for the faithful prophets of old and that they will be favored with a better resurrection." There will be nothing about their service that is compulsory, but they will serve joyfully, willingly and with a ready mind. They will be happy to worship and make offerings of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord privately and when not acting in an official capacity with the people. Note that when the princes conclude offering their voluntary (or free-will) offering he shall go forth; and after he goeth forth one shall shut the gate. This shows that the doors of audience with Jehovahs heavenly priesthood will always be ready to open to these princes of the earth whenever their personal needs require them to seek communion with the Lord of heaven. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer: and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.-Isa. 65: 24.

    By 1941 they had abandoned the "eventually gonna be spirit beings" theory:

    Children (1941) pp. 178-9:

    Faithful men of old, from Abel to the last one of the prophets, cannot have a part in the first resurrection, for the reason that they died before the heavenly way was opened and before anyone was called to the heavenly kingdom. The life of those faithful men shall be forever human on the earth.

    But they still held that these men would be resurrected as perfect humans:

    Children (1941) pp. 181-2:

    Their resurrection shall take place, according to the Scriptures, when the Kingdom comes and begins to function. When raised from the dead and given life they will be the children of Christ Jesus because receiving life by and through him. Therefore it is certain that those faithful men will be raised from the dead as perfect human creatures, and be appointed to and occupy the high position of princes [or visible overlords or sovereign rulers] in all the earth. They will not be a part of the Holy City, or THEOCRATIC GOV ERNMENT, because that is spiritual; but they will occupy the high position of visible representatives of the Holy City, or THEOCRACY, and will govern or rule the peoples of the earth...

    More to come?


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