Some quotes in WT publications in the 50's indirect comments and backing off from not marrying and having children (search "divine mandate" or "procreation mandate on WOL to find)
Questions From Readers
● What about a witness whose mate dies faithful before Armageddon and is then brought back in a resurrection soon after that battle’s end? Can that couple be reunited and share in the procreation mandate?—A. M., South Africa.
Romans 7:2, 3 (NW) states: “A married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is alive; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law of her husband. So, then, while her husband is living, she would be styled an adulteress if she became another man’s. But if her husband dies, she is free from his law, so that she is not an adulteress if she becomes another man’s.” Death ends the marriage tie. We cannot say for sure just how Jehovah will arrange matters after Armageddon, but it does not seem unreasonable for two such persons to be reunited after Armageddon if that is the wish of both. They might entertain that hope. However, the one surviving is free to remarry, before Armageddon, and is under no obligation to wait for the resurrection of the deceased one. The marriage tie is completely broken by death. If the survivor remains single and the dead one is raised shortly after Armageddon, they might be made companions if Christ their Everlasting Father pleases, but whether to procreate, we have no definite scripture to favor this.
Divine mandate after Armaggedon
Letter from WT to jw with question on divine mandate:
“ON THE DIVINE MANDATE”
October 9, 1949
Answering your recent letter regarding birth of children to the “other sheep” class surviving Armageddon:
The Watchtower has a number of times pointed out that Christ Jesus is not yet begetting earthly children and for this reason the present members of the “other sheep” class are not justified to life eternal on earth. The remnant of the anointed members of Christ’s body are likewise not the mother of the “other sheep” class of today, and it would not be right for the “other sheep” to address the remnant as either father or mother in a spiritual sense. During the thousand-year reign of Christ those who come forth from the tombs and gain eternal life are not spoken of as the children of the earthly princes but are said to be “equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection”. (Luke 20:35, 36, Am. Stan. Ver.) As their life on earth is gained through the sacrifice of Christ’s perfect humanity, he also is spoken of as their “Everlasting Father”. The life these get will be not a life in a spiritual way but in a very literally human or earthly way, and the “princes” do not give them this.
To speak of the “other sheep” that survive Armageddon who marry and bring forth children by intermarriage as being like the “sons of God” that married the daughters of men in Noah’s day is wrong. Their intermarriage is not a turning from the spiritual to the human or earthly, to produce a mongrel race of unapproved hybrids. To say that marriage after Armageddon and then producing children is turning from the spiritual to the carnal is the same as saying for the anointed Christians to intermarry and produce children is turning from the spiritual to the carnal. In cases the apostle Paul advised anointed Christians to marry “in the Lord”, and surely he was not telling them to turn from the spiritual to the carnal and produce a hybrid offspring disapproved by God and doomed to destruction. Nor when an anointed member of the remnant marries one of the “other sheep” and children result is it a dropping from the spiritual to the fleshly and the producing of mongrel children. At 1 Corinthians, chapter 7, the apostle says that where one member of a family union is not Christian, still the children of such union are holy and the unconsecrated husband is sanctified by the believing wife and the unconsecrated wife is sanctified by the believing husband. Why, then, should it be different when Armageddon survivors of the “other sheep” marry, both being consecrated and divinely approved with survival, and then bring forth children? Their children will certainly not correspond to the gibborim or men of renown whom the “sons of God” and the daughters of men brought forth in Noah’s day.—Genesis 6:1-4.
Since both of these “other sheep” marrying are devoted to righteousness, then their children are conceived in righteousness and are righteous. You try to force into the word “righteous” the meaning of physical perfection. Evidently you have forgotten that the booklet ‘The Meek Inherit the Earth’ says, on page 28: “The marriage of these faithful and meek survivors of Armageddon will cause homes and family circles to spring up throughout the earth. Beautified earth will cheerily ring with the sweet voices of children, whom these devoted parents will conceive and bring forth in righteousness. Not yet perfected themselves, the parents will not be able to generate their children in perfection, but will do so in righteousness. They will thereafter bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord God and under the righteous supervision of the ‘new heavens’.”
The flood was a real physical catastrophe to the old ungodly world. The Battle of Armageddon will be likewise a physical catastrophe to this present evil world, and not something just spiritual. The ark of salvation that we enter is not a literal ark but is God’s organization; and as for Noah’s family’s not having children while in the ark, if the “other sheep” class’ now having natural children in the “ark” condition vitiated the picture of the childlessness of the ark’s occupants, then the anointed remnant’s having natural children now would also vitiate the “ark” picture or type. But it does not. Children born now are not born in fulfillment of the divine mandate reissued. When God reissued this mandate to marry and reproduce to Noah after the flood (Genesis 9:1, 7) the mandate was fulfilled in a typical way by a token fulfillment, 70 (10 X 7) generations being listed in Genesis, chapter 10, as springing from Noah and his sons. In the same way the fulfillment of the divine mandate reissued after Armageddon will be, not by crowding it with inhabitants to the saturation point, but by a token fulfillment that will allow for the resurrection of the dead with plenty of room for these resurrected ones. Thus, as pointed out in the Watchtower article “The Apostle’s Counsel on Wedlock”, February 1, 1947, page 45, column 2, footnote, God will show that he can have the divine mandate fulfilled in a very literal way in vindication of his world and he will give a faithful demonstration of its fulfillment. Those having part in its fulfillment will still ‘serve God in his temple day and night’ (Rev. 7:15), they will fulfill Deuteronomy 6:7 as to bringing up their children, and their children will fulfill Ephesians 6:1-3 as to obeying their parents, in the same way that the anointed
A whole study article devoted to Divine Mandate in 1950
The question then arises: Since those who will comprise the great multitude are now being gathered, is the marriage of any of them now and their bringing forth children now the beginning of fulfilling the divine mandate? The fact that none of Noah’s sons had any children born to them before or during the flood would indicate that the answer to that question should be No. Only eight humans entered the ark and only eight came forth. (Gen. 7:13; 8:16; 1 Pet. 3:20) In harmony with the fact that the divine mandate was first restated after the flood, the first child mentioned was born two years after the flood. (Gen. 11:10) The conclusion is therefore inevitable that the time for the fulfillment of the divine mandate is after Armageddon.
Since the carrying out of the command to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth” waits until after Armageddon, does that mean that those who now marry and rear children are violating God’s laws? No, for the Scriptures show that “marriage is honourable in all”.—Heb. 13:4.
https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1954688#h=1:0-9:0 No marriage after final test (at end of 1,000 years reign of Christ)
After that final test there will definitely be no marrying or being given in marriage then by those counted worthy of the new world and having the right to eternal life, just as angels have that right.
No children before Armaggedon?
4 After the great flood Jehovah God repeated to Noah and his family the mandate to have children. But there is now no procreation mandate laid upon Christians. Otherwise, no Christian should remain single and childless. So no Christian obligation exists now before the battle of Armageddon to have children. To keep as free as possible for the direct service of God in preaching the good news of his kingdom, some Christian couples may choose to remain childless, thereby avoiding parental obligations and keeping unburdened. If there were now in force a procreation mandate from God, all married members of the New World society would choose to have children immediately, and not delay it till after Armageddon, if possible. Although under the original procreation mandate from God Adam and Eve did not have any children in the garden of Eden for what time they were there. It was not for their failing to conceive children at once that they were driven out. No married couple should be criticized for refusing or failing to have children now before Armageddon.
5. What misconceptions have caused celibate marriages, and why have these never fared well?
5 This is not saying that married couples should not give each other the sexual due. This is not saying that, before getting married, they should make an agreement and enter a common vow before God to live a celibate life even after marriage, having no sexual relations but merely enjoying each other’s companionship. No one should think that this is raising marriage to a spiritual level and keeping it on an exalted, unfleshly plane, and so belittling the marriage of others who have sexual relations. If a married couple does not want to pay marriage dues, then the man and woman should not marry at all and not subject the mate to deprivation of what is natural and craved naturally. By celibacy they are not putting their marriage on a level higher and holier than that of others. They cannot change God’s honorable sexual arrangement. Celibate marriages have therefore never fared well.
6, 7. Celibate marriages involve what inconsistencies, and what advice does Paul give in this regard?
6 The others are not degrading their married life by intercourse, but are following an honorable, rightful course. There is no proper marriage for so-called “Platonic friendship” just because the end of the world is so near. If an engaged couple think natural connections are carnal, then why wed at all? Why have one of the opposite sex so close to one all the time, in the most intimate privacy? If it is not good or spiritually upbuilding to touch a woman, why live so intimate with her even in celibate marriage? Be natural, be normal, do not be falsely idealistic. Do not be like some Irish Catholic girls who are in the news, who get married but refuse to give their husband his due because they want to imitate Jesus’ mother Mary and remain “ever virgin.”