Has the first resurrection begun?

//Has the first resurrection begun?

QUESTION: I have a question for you. What is your understanding of Revelation 6:10,11? The Watchtower interprets it in a way so that they may support their 1918 resurrection dogma. In their Revelation Climax book and in W07 01/01 they say that the Christian martyrs’ receiving white robes represents their being resurrected in 1918 while the “resting” “a little while longer” takes place AFTER they are resurrected when “they must wait patiently for God’s day of vengeance”. In the Revelation book they quote Revelation 3:5 and 4:4 in support of the idea that being dressed in white garments represents resurrection. What is your explanation of this, especially in light of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 where he says that both the living and the dead Christian will meet Christ TOGETHER?

Revelation 6:9-11 is the opening of the 5th seal and it says: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given. They shouted with a loud voice, saying: ‘Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.”

This is a paradox and an irony: On the one hand, the Watchtower shows great insight into unraveling the sacred mysteries. On the other hand, because of being driven to harmonize everything to 1914 the Watchtower comes up with some head-scratching nonsense.

As the Watchtower is aware, the apostle plainly taught that those who die in union with Christ before his second coming are resurrected before those who die during the parousia. In the verse cited by the questioner, Paul wrote: “Moreover, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping in death, so that you may not sorrow as the rest do who have no hope. For if we have faith that Jesus died and rose again, so too God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus. For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.”

If the parousia began in 1914, as the Watchtower teaches and as all of Jehovah’s Witnesses are required to believe, than yes, those who are destined to be among the first of the so-called first resurrection have already been resurrected.

But, alas, there are many reasons to believe that the whole 1914 thing is one massive delusion. Support for 1914 really comes down to a specious interpretation of the meaning and application of the so-called seven times of Nebuchadnezzar’s madness. There is no need to rehash all of that in this article, but I would point out the fallacious reasoning the Watchtower uses in the 2007 article, mentioned by the questioner. Specifically, paragraph nine states:

When does the first resurrection occur? There is strong evidence that it is now under way. For example, compare two chapters of Revelation. First, look at Revelation chapter 12. There we read that the newly enthroned Jesus Christ, along with his holy angels, wages war against Satan and his demons. (Revelation 12:7-9) As this journal has often shown, that battle began in 1914. Notice, though, that none of Christ’s anointed followers are said to be with Jesus in that heavenly war. Now look at chapter 17 of Revelation. We read there that after the destruction of “Babylon the Great,” the Lamb will conquer the nations. Then it adds: “Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.” (Revelation 17:5, 14) “Called and chosen and faithful” ones must already have been resurrected if they are to be with Jesus for the final defeat of Satan’s world. Reasonably, then, anointed ones who die before Armageddon are resurrected sometime between 1914 and Armageddon.

It is true, in the vision depicting Michael and his angels battling with the dragon and his angels, there is no mention of the holy ones being in the fray, as there is in the final scene leading into Armageddon. And their reasoning is sound also, that the resurrection takes place during the interval of Satan’s “short period of time” that commences with his ouster from heaven and concludes with the annihilation of this world and the complete removal of all the demons. However, that does not in anyway prove that the demons were hurled down in 1914. It is a fallacy of argument known as alleged certainty. The notion that the first resurrection has already begun is based entirely upon the highly questionable premise that Christ has already come and the Devil has been hurled down.

Upon closer examination of the verse in question, what are we to make of the fact that the resurrected holy ones are told to rest a little while longer until the number of their fellow slaves and brothers have been killed as they had been?

Christians served as human torches before the demonic emperor

Nero had Christians tied to poles and used them as human torches

While not all of the saints were literally killed in the first century, many were. Thousands were apparently killed in the coliseums, thrown to lions or slaughtered by gladiators. Some had animal skins tied to them and were ripped apart by packs of wild dogs. Emperor Nero blamed the Christians for the fire that consumed Rome. As a result of the ensuing pogrom, anointed witnesses were killed in the most horrific ways; some being nailed to poles lining the streets and set ablaze to illuminate the night like human torches. (No doubt the demons were making a mockery of Jesus telling his followers they were the light of the world and are to serve as illuminators.)

Some were murdered by maddened mobs of zealot Jews, like Stephen was. The apostle James was executed by King Herod Agrippa. Paul was executed by the Roman emperor. The apostle John probably met the same fate when he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos. Tradition has it Peter was killed too.

But how many anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses have been executed in modern times? I would venture to say none of the present generation have been. True, the Nazis horribly persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany and in the countries the Nazis invaded. But amazingly only a few hundred were killed or died from their ordeals in the concentration camps. No doubt some were anointed heirs of the Kingdom. But that was a generation ago. 

But that leaves us with a dilemma. Revelation 12:11 indicates that the holy ones will be literally killed, and that “they did not love their souls even in the face of death.” But if the execution of God’s judgment depends upon the “rest being killed,” that is to say the “remaining ones of her offspring,” then there is no indication that the end of the system is anywhere in the future. Generations have come and gone since the resurrected martyrs were presumably given their white robes and told to wait for a little while and still there is no sign that anything is culminating.

Here is the real problem. It is not something that Jehovah’s Witnesses are even capable of coming to terms with presently, but it is true — None of the seals of the scroll have been unsealed. That is most apparent and provable when we consider the ramifications of the opening of the six seal, which betokens the utter collapse of the present system, even the great tribulation.

The Watchtower recognizes this and shrugs it off by claiming that, yes the sixth seal was opened back in 1914, but we have only experienced the preliminary tremors of the coming seismic shaking. What utter nonsense!

How can all of this be reconciled? It is actually fairly simple. Shift the coming of the Kingdom and the ouster of Satan to a point in the immediate future. The opening of the seven seals will bring about war, famine, earthquakes and pestilence on a scale far surpassing anything that has ever occurred. These events will unfold over a short period of time, certainly not years and decades. The present, relatively benign governments will become a monster after the beast revives from the crash. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be outlawed. Just as the insane Nero falsely accused the Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses could easily be vilified and set upon as enemies of the state, with no legal recourse possible in the aftermath of the collapse of democratic institutions. 

Indeed, as Jesus forewarned, brothers will hate and betray one another. Fathers will have their Christian sons put to death. Sons will have their Christian fathers put to death, etc.

After the final sealing all of the chosen ones will be killed during the 1,260 day interval. That is how God’s purpose is ultimately accomplished. Their deaths will result in the “living” holy ones being transferred in the twinkling of an eye to join the holy ones who had already been resurrected, together the entire 144,000 will be united with Christ in heaven. And that is when the nations will find themselves confronted by an army of holy immortals led by Jesus Christ himself.

LEVIATHAN, THE GLIDING SERPENT

Interestingly, with the opening of the fifth seal the martyred souls are depicted as being underneath the altar, as if they had been previously sacrificed upon the altar. The 27th chapter of Isaiah is really an amazing bit of prophecy that brings the symbolic characters of the dragon and the woman and her seed into focus. However, in this prophecy the original serpent is depicted as a leviathan — or a dragon. The opening verse states: “In that day Jehovah, with his harsh and great and strong sword, will turn his attention to Leviathan, the gliding serpent, to Leviathan, the twisting serpent, and he will kill the monster that is in the sea.”

Jehovah judges Leviathan, the gliding serpentIn the 13th chapter of Revelation a seven-headed wild beast empowered by the dragon emerges from the sea and conquers and kills the holy ones.  Next the prophecy in Isaiah speaks to the woman, the woman being the same woman who gives birth to the seed in the 12th chapter of Revelation and who is persecuted by the dragon, saying “In that day sing to her: ‘A vineyard of foaming wine! I, Jehovah, am safeguarding her. Every moment I water her. I safeguard her night and day, so that no one may harm her. There is no wrath in me. Who will confront me with thornbushes and weeds in the battle? I will trample them and set them on fire all together.'”

Speaking of the offspring of the woman as “Jacob” and “he” and the covenanted woman with the pronoun “her,” Jehovah addresses the gliding serpent and asks: “Must he be struck with the stroke of the one striking him? Or must he be killed as with the slaughter of his slain? With a startling cry you will contend with her when sending her away. He will expel her with his fierce blast in the day of the east wind.”

The woman will be expelled? From where? From the earth. By executing all of the woman’s seed, that is to say all of Christ’s brothers, she is sent away from the earth —having no physical presence any more on the entirety of God’s earth. Ironically, her expulsion from the earth is a result of the dragon’s expulsion from heaven. They trade places, basically. Her desolation results in the final ingathering of all the children of the “Israel of God” to heavenly Mount Zion. That is evident in the concluding verse of the 27th chapter of Isaiah, which reads: “In that day Jehovah will beat out the fruit from the flowing stream of the River to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one after the other, O people of Israel. In that day a great horn will be blown, and those who are perishing in the land of Assyria and those dispersed in the land of Egypt will come and bow down to Jehovah in the holy mountain in Jerusalem.”

Jesus referred to this same event when he said: “And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.”

But as regards the altar of God, verse nine states: “So in this way the error of Jacob will be atoned for, and this will be the full fruitage when his sin is taken away: He will make all the stones of the altar like chalkstones that have been pulverized, and no sacred poles or incense stands will be left.”

The “error of Jacob” refers to the sinful state of the holy ones being remedied by the full application of the ransoming power of Christ’s sacrifice. Their atonement means that the new covenant is concluded. There is no longer any need for Christ to mediate for them. The altar upon which they were sacrificed to God, and all the trappings of the earthly organization, like sacred poles and incense stands, will be left behind. The spiritual altar that had been used to present the sacrifice of Christ to God and subsequently the living sacrifices of those who follow the Lamb no matter where he goes, including to their own slaughter, is then dismantled —pulverized. Christianity is thus concluded.

But the point is, Jehovah enters into judgment with Leviathan for his having killed the offspring of the woman, who are God’s sons, and nothing like that has occurred in modern times yet. 

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2017-03-27T14:44:45+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Mailbag|25 Comments
  • bobby6343

    This very article has enhance my understanding, just like your other many articles.

    May Jehovah, continue to bless your efforts in behalf of those like me that thirst for truth.

  • at least they decorated the stakes with flowers. how retarded

    • You are a funny man, D.A.

      • Cathii D’Anthonii

        A similar letter was sent to Malawi in the 1960’s when the govt of the time tried to force the brothers to buy a political party card..the brothers were forced to flee..

        • Burt Reynolds

          Yes I remember that. Our congregation was asked to write and I think most of us did. It didn’t make the slightest difference as you may expect and eight million letters will not make a jot of difference to Putin. His motives lie elsewhere.

  • KB

    So in the future we are to expect a great persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses. Right now in Russia things are heating up. Even your regular rank and file JWs know they will be persecuted in the future. On JW.org in the news section, all 8,000,000 JWs are asked to write letters on behalf of the JW ban. In my opinion this ban could be allowed by Jehovah, for his will to be accomplished. For the branch to ask JWs to write letters could actually be going against Jehovahs will, and be grieving the Holy Spirit. Is the branch worried about the JWs in Russia, or the branchs holdings there. As it stands if the ban is successful their holdings we be confiscated and sold. There are 2,300 Kingdom Halls in Russia according to JW.org. As we have learned the organization will become an antichrist. To me this looks like a step in the right direction.

    • Yeah, when there is money and property at stake you have to wonder what the motivation is. Russian JW’s endured 50 years of Soviet tyranny, with God’s help they’ll be able to go underground again and keep up the work. Seems that the WT has already compromised though, by agreeing not to use literature in their meetings or distribute the so-called “extremist” literature to the public. Basically they have agreed to stop preaching, if I am understanding it correctly. Whatever happened to “we must obey God as ruler and not men”? Back when Hitler banned the JW’s they blitzed the Nazis with sneak information campaigns. Drove Hitler stark raving mad. Course, he didn’t have far to go.

    • Burt Reynolds

      That’s an interesting point you raise KB. What better way could there be to pin point where the witnesses are by getting them to write to the oppressors of the brothers. It reminds me of hitler and the Jews, getting them to register their addresses.

  • kieth900

    As I was reading some articles yesterday, I was wondering about the first resurrection and when this suppose to happen. Happy to find the answer today. Brother Robert the article is so inspiring and uplifting. As I read the article today I just could see in my mind the glorious triumph of Jehovah using the 144000 over Satan and his evil system of things. I look forward to see the blessings brought by this “army of holy immortals led by Jesus Christ” These articles are so full of encouragement. May our Heavenly Father Jehovah God give us the strength to be faithful till the end!

  • Cathii D’Anthonii

    Since jws are taught that part of the anointed were already ressurected, it would be easy for a person to be tricked into praying to someone they new of the anointed. And that how the Catholic mustered up all their “saints”

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    Superb article every time Robert makes it as a point Good work brother.

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    Robert has pointed out that support for 1914 really comes down to a specious interpretation of the meaning and application of the so-called seven times of Nebuchadnezzar’s madness.

    Well I like to add a point see the prophecy of seven times of madness was uttered to Nebuchadnezzar. He was pagan king and his kingdom was of Satan. The logic is how can we connect the prophecies uttered to a pagan king can be applied to the Kingdom of Christ? So this is where the WTS has made the mistake. The prophecies uttered to the King/Kingdom of Judah, Holy place or to the house of David or Jerusalem, Zion or Jacob can be applied to the Christian congregation or to the kingdom of Christ, I don’t know how the WTS has failed to apply this logic.

    One more argument is that if the tree in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is applied to the Kingdom of Christ means then there is also a similar tree in Eze: 31:4-8 to which this can be applied. If Nebuchadnezzar’s tree is applied to Kingdom of Christ why the Eze: 31 tree is not applied to Kingdom of Christ. Therefore it is logical to conclude that 1914 is wrong and that Parousia did not begin so that even the first resurrection did not happen.

    • Marisa Gomez

      Wou…!!! I had never noticed that point. So…why reason GB. do not recognize their error?
      Sometimes I feel so sad, because my brothers do not suspect nothing and I cant talk about

      • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

        Thanks for the reply at least people on this website note this.

    • Jamie Mac

      Basa, good comment. This is the power of the deluding influence fully in view. They will never admit their errors until it is forced upon them.

      • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

        Thanks for your reply love and warm Christian love to you Jamie Mac. Take my email address easajw@gmail.com. Now I am bold to reveal to everyone who I am as I may be shortly going to be dis-fellowshipped when I go to Coimbatore in August 2017 for not committing any sin, but telling the truth because it is a JW pharisees congregation and they never accept anything other than WTS.
        When I was young I thought people get dis-fellowshipped for committing serious sin but now I know people also get dis-fellowshipped for telling the truth. LOL

        • Marisa Gomez

          Yes,,, for that reason I don’t talk nothing,,, I dont want to be disfellowshipped , I love my brothers, and my congregation is warm and loving. Just one brother listened me about Robert king and 1914

  • Burt Reynolds

    Thanks for this Robert. Very clear and understandable…..though I have to say I’m surprised that you suggest that no one from this generation has been executed for their beliefs. You know very well that the governing body are now offering thee generations for the price of one now, and we will have to wait some considerable time to see if what you say is correct. Tut.

  • Marisa Gomez

    Certainly I believe you are an anointed,,,..Otherwise,,how could anyone explain your comprehension of the Holy Scriptures? However you mention in this article ” all demons will be destroyed..”
    ¿Does all demons include Satan?… So…..Revelation 20:1-3…mentions Satan be harled into abyss…..After these things he must be let loose for a little while.

    • LW

      Satan and the demons are hurled onto the abyss of inactivity and are to lay dormant for a thousand years…and then afterwards will be the final test, where they will be released for a little while, and they will mislead many PERFECT humans once again. And THEN, and only then, will they be finally annihilated for all time.

      I think many Christians are under the impression that Satan is destroyed when Jesus returns….not so fast, it’s the system that will be disintegrated.

  • Francis Bencharles

    Hi Robert:

    Do you have a verse by verse explanation of Revelation 12? If so, where can it be found? Could you post it in the near future if it exists?

    Frank

    • Francis Bencharles

      Also, the word woman is used eight times in Revelation 12. How many women does this word woman represent, one or multiple different women?

      Frank

    • I have never written a verse-by-verse commentary on the 12th chapter of Revelation.

  • Andres Felipe

    That article so special, beautiful …. No words is simply magnificent what we learn … Thanks Robert

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