In 1952 it was explained that Paul saw by "vertical rapture" a spiritual paradise that existed in his day.
*** w52 4/15 p. 248 The Field of Bible Prophecy ***
23 An excellent example of a ?vertical rapture? is the case of the apostle Paul where so realistically in a vision he was carried away in mind to see the highest heavens where God dwells. He vividly saw the paradisaic spiritual prosperity that existed in God?s organization in Paul?s day then and there. He says he saw and heard unutterable words which it is not lawful for him to speak or record. (2 Cor. 12:1-4, NW) What Paul saw was no prophecy but an actual insight into the operations of God?s masterful invisible organization. Doubtless this enabled Paul, not only to be such a stout advocate for strict adherence to principles of theocratic organization in the early congregation, but to introduce additional organizational procedures and counsel based on this experience of vertical rapture.?1 Cor. 7:25, NW.
"Verticle rapture" was part of the vocabulary of the "Pure Language". I really wonder how many JWs have used or even heard the words "verticle rapture"?
*** w53 4/15 p. 231 The Language Barrier and the ?Pure Language? ***
And as the columns of The Watchtower throw ever more light on God?s Word, Jehovah?s witnesses find their vocabulary being enriched, the pure language growing. Thus we note that for his unfaithfulness the covering cherub who became Satan was ?divorced? from God?s organization; compared with Jehovah?s absolute freedom, ours is a ?relative? freedom; ?vertical rapture? refers to supernatural revelation of heavenly things existing at the time; whereas ?horizontal rapture? tells of things far along on the stream of time.?2 Cor. 12:1-4.
The explanation applying the vision to a future time seems to have been explained in 1959.
*** w59 2/1 p. 77 Maintaining Our Spiritual Paradise ***
2 Nineteen hundred years ago, when Jesus spoke those words, no earthly paradise existed. Neither did there then exist the spiritual paradise to which Paul was later caught away to hear unutterable words which it was not lawful for a man to speak then.?2 Cor. 12:4.
*** it-2 p. 576 Paradise ***
Paul?s vision, nevertheless, must logically have applied to some future time, so as to constitute a ?revelation.? (2Co 12:1) An apostasy was due to set in among the Christian congregation and was already working in Paul?s day; it would result in a condition like that of a field oversown with weeds. (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43; Ac 20:29; 2Th 2:3, 7; compare Heb 6:7, 8.) So, Paul?s paradise vision would not reasonably apply while such was the case but would evidently relate to the time of ?the harvest season? when the genuine Christians would be gathered by the angelic reapers and would enjoy rich blessings and spiritual prosperity from God.