Brothers. Sisters. Of recent I have been most interested in those invisible yet world shaking events that altered human history, those taking place in the early part of the 20 th Century. I refer to the 1914 “return” The 1914 Kingdom Of Christ, The Babylonish “captivity” of 1918, the 1919 “release” etc.
Most recently I have delved into the subject of the 1918 “resurrection” of the 'sleeping saints'. I figured Id find something on the subject in the book…. REVELATION. ITS GRAND CLIMAX AT HAND (1988) ..... and searched under the words “resurrection / 1918” using my WT CD library. I was most surprised to find scant reference to this major event...... Page 102:
….”All the evidence indicates that this heavenly resurrection began in 1918, after Jesus' enthronement in 1914 and his riding forth to start his kingly conquest by cleansing the heavens of Satan and his demons
“All the evidence” may indeed “indicate”, but I wanted to SEE the Biblical evidence for myself. Anyway, I pressed on. Page 209 says:
…”In our century the cry that Babylon the Great has fallen has also been heard! Babylonish Christendom's temporary success in 1918 was sharply reversed in 1919 when the remnant of anointed ones, the John class, was restored by a spiritual resurrection. Babylon the Great had fallen as far as having any captive hold on God's people was concerned
This was not the “1918….resurrection” I was interested in, I wanted the 1918 resurrection of St Paul and St Peter not some symbolical organizational “resurrection”w hich occurred in 1919. I was searching 1918, and this 1919 “resurrection” kept asserting itself . Somewhat disillusioned I decided to search Watchtower magazines rather than books. Surely the channel of truth itself would have something meaningfull on the subject in its pages..,... WATCHTOWER May 1. 1993:
…”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
With feverish eyes I searched for the continuation of this thought and the “Evidences presented over the years” but I was to be disappointed. (a feeling very familiar to long term members of the Organization) this was another mere assertion with no proofs presented. At least it didn’t mention the 1919 symbolical “resurrection”, however the next source on my CD , the WT of October 15, 1988, DID refer, ad nauseum, to this 1919 “resurrection”...... As did the WT of 1 July. 1983:
…”With those words Jehovah borrows or draws upon language suitable for the time of the literal resurrection of the ransomed dead of mankind under the heavenly Kingdom in the hands of his enthroned King, Jesus Christ, the Ransomer. Like the Israelites of old who were deported from the land of their national life and, spiritually speaking, buried for 70 years in Babylon, so the remnant of modern spiritual Israelites were threatened with extinction during the years 1914-1918. The end of World War I in 1918 left them like a "corpse" on Jehovah's hands, spiritually speaking”….
“Buried…extinction…corpse…”, Naturally, I made the appropriate links in my mind but this was not what I sought. My hart leapt like a gazelle in paradise when I, next, came across the WT of 15 June 1979, which, finally, discussed the matter at some length rather than making brief, undeveloped assertions:
….” This wrath of nations came to a head in the spring of 1918, markedly in the United States of America. This was three and a half years from the end of the Gentile Times and the installation of the anointed Jesus as a heavenly King. What happened to the Kingdom proclaimers on earth in 1918 runs quite parallel with what happened to Jesus at Jerusalem "at the half of the week." In his case a resurrection of the dead became necessary. Correspondingly, in 1918 the proclaimers of his kingdom were dealt what the persecutors thought was a "death blow," so that the Kingdom proclamation needed a revival, a resurrection
Yes, yes. Then this caught my attention. At Last! Some explanations about the 1918 resurrection:
….”In the case of the Kingdom proclaimers yet in the flesh, their revival was to an earthly activity, to renewed preaching of "this good news of the kingdom" in all the inhabited earth "for a witness to all the nations."….. Their experiencing this was not scheduled to "precede" the resurrection of Christians who had "fallen asleep in death through Jesus" down till 1918. Rather, as 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 points out, "those who are dead in union with Christ will RISE FIRST" Fittingly, their resurrection first would precede the reviving or ‘resuscitating’ of the Kingdom proclaimers to their further work….This reviving occurred in spring of 1919
Basically this passage says that Because the ORGANIZATION was ‘resurrected’ in 1919 the sleeping saints MUST have been resurrected before 1919. Because the “dead in Christ” must rise FIRST ( before the organizational “resurrection”) Well that makes perfect sense to me brothers. Not. It seemed somewhat of a bastardization of 1 Thessalonians 4 to me. It continues:
…”The spiritual resurrection of the "dead in Christ" in the spring of 1918, three and a half years from the enthronement of Christ at the end of the Gentile Times in autumn of 1914, would PARALLEL Jesus' own resurrection in …33 C.E”.
This is a direct throwback to Russellian Time parallels. not only does the 3 and a half year (29 - 33 CE) ‘parallel’ apply to the literal heavenly resurrection (1914-1918) but it also applies to the figurative ‘captivity’ and release of the org . This 3 and a half year ‘parallel’ between Jesus baptism and his Resurrection in 33 ce is a line of evidence offered again as proof of the 1918 “resurrection” in the WT of August 1, 1960:
….”In a TIME PARALLEL, Jesus Christ was enthroned as King in heaven A.D. 1914. Three and a half years later, or in 1918, would be the time for him to come to God's spiritual temple. Would Christendom's rulers receive him or reject him as King? They rejected him and showed it by killing the work of Jehovah's witnesses concerning the Kingdom. Just as the Jewish leaders' rejection of Jesus could not prevent God's raising of his Son from the dead, so Christendom's rejection of the King could not prevent God from raising Jesus' faithful followers from the dead. So in harmony with the picture of 1900 years ago, it was only a short time after the temple's cleansing in 1918 that the heavenly resurrection of the anointed Christians sleeping in death took place, unseen to human eyes”
The article goes on, but it provides no other “proofs” that this resurrection occurred in 1918. However it DOES go on at length, to speak of the ‘figurative’ resurrection of the organization in 1919:
…”When Jesus came to God's spiritual temple in 1918 for the purpose of judging men, Christendom was rejected. A remnant of Jesus' anointed followers on earth passed that temple judgment and were cleansed and purified and sent forth as Jehovah's witnesses, as visible representatives of the "new heavens." During the high point of World War I the spiritual remnant were practically silent, and they were in captivity to symbolic Babylon, Satan's world. But in 1919 Jehovah regathered his disorganized people, increased their numbers and organized them for Kingdom preaching
Not much in the way of proof really is it brothers? You would think that a major spiritual event like the 1918 resurrection would have more backing than a couple of references to Russellian Parallelism.