WT Study: The Resurrection of Jesus—Its Meaning for Us

– posted by meleti

[A Review of the November 15, 2014 Watchtower article on page 3]

“He was raised up.”—Mt 28:6

Understanding the value and meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is of course vital for us to keep our faith.   It is one of the elemental or primary things that Paul spoke about to the Hebrews, urging them to move past these things to the deeper truths. (He 5:13; 6:1,2)
This is not to suggest that there is anything wrong in reviewing the importance of the Lord’s resurrection as we are doing here in this article.
Peter and the other disciples had all abandoned Jesus because of fear of man—fear of what men could do to them. Even after witnessing the resurrected Jesus on numerous occasions they were still unsure what to do, and were still meeting in secret until the day that holy spirit filled them. The proof that death held no mastery over Jesus, combined with the newfound awareness from the spirit that they like him were untouchable, gave them the courage they needed. From that point on, there was no turning back.
As with many of us, the religious authority of that time immediately tried to silence them, but they did not hesitate to answer back, “ We must obey God are ruler rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) When confronted by similar persecution from within the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, may we have similar courage and take a corresponding stand for truth and obedience to God over men.
It can take time for us to see the truth, to come to a spirit guided understanding of Bible truth that is unfettered by human dogma and fear of man. But recall that the holy spirit wasn’t given to the apostles alone, but came upon every Christian, male and female, on Pentecost. The process continued from there on. It continues today. It is that spirit that cries out in our heart, declaring that we too are sons and daughters of God; ones who must live in the likeness of Jesus, even to death, that we may share in the likeness of his resurrection.   It is by that same spirit that we  cry out to God, abba Father. (Ro 6:5; Mk 14:36; Ga 4:6)

Why Jesus’ Resurrection Was Unique

Paragraph 5 makes the point that Jesus’ resurrection was unique to all previous ones in that it was from the flesh to the spirit. There are those who disagree and contend that Jesus was resurrected in the flesh with some type of “glorified human body”. Having reviewed the texts used to support that theory, you may find them lacking in convincing evidence. Each can easily be understood in the context of Jesus raising a fleshly body when he saw fit, doing so not to deceive the disciples into thinking he was something he was not, but rather to exhibit the nature of his resurrection. Sometimes the body he used had the wounds from his execution, even a hole in his side big enough for a hand to enter. On other occasions he was not recognized by his disciples. (John 20:27; Luke 24:16; John 20:14; 21:4) A spirit cannot be perceived with human senses. When Jesus took on a human body, he could manifest himself. The angels in Noah’s day did the same thing and were as humans, even able to procreate. Nevertheless, they had no right to do so, and were thus in violation of God’s law. Jesus however, as the Son of man, had the right to take on flesh as well as the right to exist in the spirit realm from whence he had come. It follows that if Christians are to share in the likeness of his resurrection, we too shall possess the lawful right to manifest ourselves in the flesh—a necessary ability if we are to assist the billions of unrighteous resurrected ones to a knowledge of God.

Jehovah Demonstrates His Power Over Death

I have always found it heartwarming that Jesus appeared first to women. The honor of being the first to witness and report on the resurrected Son of God goes to the female of our species. In a male-oriented society such as exists today, and existed even more so in that day, this fact is significant.
Jesus then appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. (1 Co 15:3-8) This is intriguing because at that point in time there were only eleven apostles—Judas having committed suicide. Perhaps Jesus appeared to the original eleven and Matthias and Justus were both with them. Perhaps, this was one of the reasons those two were put forward to fill the vacancy left by Judas’ death. (Acts 1:23) This is all conjecture, of course.

Why We Know that Jesus Was Resurrected

I would submit that this subtitle is ill-conceived. We do not know that Jesus was resurrected. We believe it. We have faith in it. This is a significant difference the writer seems to have overlooked. Paul, Peter and the others mentioned in the Bible knew Jesus was resurrected because they saw the evidence with their own eyes. We have only ancient writings to base our belief on; the words of men. We have faith that these words are inspired of God and are therefore beyond dispute. But all that is still a question of faith. When we know something we do not need faith, because we have the reality. For now, we need faith and hope and of course, love. Even Paul, who saw Jesus’ blinding manifestation and heard his words and had visions from our Lord, only knew partially.
This is not to say Jesus was not resurrected. I believe that with all my soul and my whole life course is based on that belief. But that is faith, not knowledge. Call it faith-based knowledge if you like, but true knowledge will only come when the reality is upon us. As Paul so aptly said, “when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with.” (1 Co 13:8)
Three of the four reasons given in paragraphs 11 thru 14 for believing (not knowing) that Jesus was resurrected are valid. The fourth is also valid, but not from the viewpoint from which it is presented.
Paragraph 14 says, “A fourth reason why we know that Jesus was resurrected is that we have evidence that he is now ruling as King and is serving as Head of the Christian Congregation.” He was the head of the Christian congregation from the first century and has been ruling as king since then. (Eph 1:19-22) Nevertheless, the implication which will not be missed by those attending this study is that there is “evidence” that Jesus has been ruling since 1914 and this is further evidence of his resurrection.
It seems we cannot pass up any opportunity to plug our over-extended doctrine of the 100-year rule of God.

What Jesus’ Resurrection Means for Us

There is a quote in paragraph 16 that we do well to dwell upon. “One Bible scholar wrote: “If Christ is not raised,…Christians become pathetic dupes, taken in by a colossal fraud.”[A]
There is yet another way for Christians to become pathetic dupes. We could be told that Jesus was resurrected, but that his resurrection is not for us. We could be told that only a select few will enjoy the resurrection spoken of at 1 Corinthians 15:14, 15, 20 (referenced in the paragraph) and that promised by God through Paul at Romans 6:5.
If, by using artfully contrived type/antitype relationships, an individual were able to convince millions that they have no opportunity to share in the likeness of Jesus’ resurrection, would that not amount to “a colossal fraud”, turning those millions of sincere Christians into pathetic dupes? Yet, this is precisely what Judge Rutherford did with his historic two-article series in the August 1 and 15, 1934 Watchtower issues. The leadership of our Organization down to the present day has done nothing to set the record straight. Even now that we have disavowed the use of made-up, non-Scriptural types and antitypes, referring to them as ‘going beyond what is written’,[B] we have done nothing to undo the fraud perpetrated by the gross misuse of that practice as exhibited repeatedly by Judge Rutherford and others who followed in his footsteps with still more concocted types/antitypes. (See w81 3/1 p. 27 “Overwhelming Credentials”)
The title of this study article is: “The Resurrection of Jesus—Its Meaning for Us”. And just what is its meaning for us? There is something offensive about an article that purports to strengthen our faith in Jesus’ resurrection while denying millions of us the very opportunity to share in it.
[A] Apparently this quote comes from this 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by David E. Garland. It is an annoying custom of our publications not to give due credit by providing references for the quotes used. This is likely because the publishers do not wish to be seen as endorsing publications that do not originate from our presses, for fear that the rank and file may feel entitled to venture outside of the carefully regulated spigot used to disseminate our truth. This could lead to the much dreaded threat of independent thinking.
[B] David Splane speaking at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses; w15 3/15 p. 17 “Questions from Readers”.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by bobcat3 on 2014-12-28 08:37:44

    Good article. It causes one to think.
    The "scholar" reference on page 16 is (as you stated), the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT - 1 Corinthians (David E. Garland, p. 703). I believe you are right about the WT motives for not sourcing their quotes. They have a stake in being the 'one and only source for all your spiritual needs.' They wouldn't want anyone to find out that these commentaries are a huge treasure chest of Bible analysis.

  • Comment by bobcat3 on 2014-12-28 08:44:35

    I also downloaded the WT study article and went over it looking for and reference to Romans 6:1-7. As far as I know, this passage is the most complete in explaining the "meaning" Christ's resurrection has for Christians in this life.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I found no reference to that passage (although there were a couple of "near misses" with Romans 5:12 & 6:23 cited in paragraph 19.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-28 20:52:09

      You are correct, Bobcat. It is most telling that in an article intended to explain the meaning of Christ's resurrection, no mention is made Romans 6:1-7. I would venture to say that the reason for this is that the passage is clearly intended for those we like to refer to his anointed Christians. I believe this is the same reason why we use the Hebrew Scriptures so often in our articles when looking for examples to follow, or when trying to find a basis for some doctoral teaching. It is just too difficult for us to use the Greek Scriptures extensively because we keep running into verses that are clearly not intended for any group of people calling themselves Christian who are not also considered children of God.

      • Reply by kev c on 2014-12-29 09:56:56

        Yes romans 6 does answer the question presented in the theme.
        But the problem is it doesn't take the study in the direction that our religious teachers want it to go. It seems to me that they have their own message for the R and F in this case the importance of preaching the paradise earth hope.

      • Reply by kev c on 2014-12-29 10:17:35

        The problem is with the watchtower it has its own agenda puts it forth in paragraph form and then uses selected verses from the bible to add wieght to their message its not the best bible study method to follow when is the watchtower going to study the bible in verse by verse study format. And let it speak for itself. Kev

  • Comment by donotforgetus on 2014-12-28 12:54:23

    I have been confused about something and hope someone here could supply the answer to a question I have had.
    The writer above wrote, "There is something offensive about an article that purports to strengthen our faith in Jesus’ resurrection while denying millions of us the very opportunity to share in it."
    But weren't we all baptized with that very understanding? Were we kept in the dark about this? Did we not already know of the paradise hope before our baptism? Did we not accept it and rejoice in it? Did we not accept the scriptures upon which it is based?
    Then how can we find "offensive" that the Organization merely continues to teach the very things we accepted? I find this hard to understand. It is not offensive, it is a belief taught to all before baptism.
    My aunt was a Catholic and believed she would go to heaven but after studying with the Witnesses she was happy to have the hope of living forever on earth with her family. She is not offended by this teaching, she feels glorified by it.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-28 20:34:00

      Thank you for your comment Laura.
      To understand the reason behind that statement, I would recommend you read the article "Orphans".
      However, to give you a short answer: Jehovah's Witnesses are not taught to share in the resurrection of Jesus. We are taught that we cannot share that resurrection. We are denied the hope of ever sharing in that resurrection because we are denied the hope of becoming sons of God. That we willingly accept this deceit as fact and even rejoice in the hope of the resurrection does not free those who teach us this falsehood from liability and culpability. A starving man is grateful for any food. But if a rich benefactor has provided the finest of food for those who are starving, what do you say of the man who is charged with feeding them when he withholds the best of the food for himself?
      Many who have been drawn to the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses have responded to the appealing thought that they will see dead relatives again. That is a valid biblical hope. If that is the only hope we have, I hope to live forever on earth, then it is a very fine hope and we should all embrace it openly and eagerly.
      However, Jesus came to provide an even better hope. The Bible speaks of this as a "better resurrection". (Hebrews 11:35) Therefore, it is accurate to say that an article which purports to teach us about the meaning of Jesus' resurrection should not deny the 99.9% of all Jehovah's Witnesses from sharing in that resurrection. We are happy with what we've been offered, because we believe that is all we have been offered. But we simply have not been offered the opportunity to share with Jesus in his resurrection. Jesus offered us a gift in the governing body has snatched it from us.
      Perhaps offensive is not the right term. Reprehensible comes to mind.

      • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-29 11:09:34

        I think I understand what you are trying to say. But I still feel there is no reason to be upset with the Organization for continuing to teach something we once agreed with. Jehovah if he chooses can cause the Organization to become whatever he deems is good or necessary. The Organization, though imperfect, teaches what Jehovah and Jesus say is good for our time for these last days.
        I copied this from a footnote in the article you linked to, "At the five day elders school I attended, we spent a considerable amount of time on the Reference Bible and the J references were well covered. I found it revealing from the comments made that all believed the J references pointed to Bible manuscripts, not to Bible translations. The instructors admitted privately that they knew the true nature of the J references, but did nothing to disabuse their students of their wrong notion."
        I was surprised by this because that information is found in the Reference Bible on page 1564 under Restoring the Divine Name.
        *** Rbi8 p. 1564 1D The Divine Name in the Christian Greek Scriptures ***
        "Throughout the centuries many translations of parts or of all the Christian Greek Scriptures have been made into Hebrew. Such translations, designated in this work by “J” with a superior number, have restored the divine name to the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures in various places. They have restored the divine name not only when coming upon quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures but also in other places where the texts called for such restoration."
        The translators of the NWT did not hide the fact that the "J" references were Hebrew translations of the Greek Scriptures. I do admit that too many brothers and sisters have not been carefully reading what the Organization is providing.
        Thank you so much for your reply and the link. It did help me to see a little better where you are coming from and though I may not agree it is good to understand one another.
        I respect your work and effort to help others as you believe they need such help. It is very much like what we do in field service which I do enjoy very much. You must also enjoy your work on this site and if it is from Jehovah he will bless you for it.
        With deep respect,

        • Reply by menrov on 2014-12-29 13:04:56

          HI Laura, you said the following: " Jehovah if he chooses can cause the Organization to become whatever he deems is good or necessary. The Organization, though imperfect, teaches what Jehovah and Jesus say is good for our time for these last days.".
          I can agree that the Father can shape any organisation into something He wants it to be. But you are assuming the following:
          - The Father (Jehovah) actually wants an organisation on earth
          - the WBTS is the organisation Jehovah wants.
          - The WBTS is actually being used by Jehovah to teach on earth.
          Can you provide any support from the Bible to support this and that does then exclude any other religious Christian organisation?
          In addition, the use of the tetragrammaton in the NT translation is purely based on assumptions as there is not one little piece of Greek fragment that contains the tetragrammaton. Is it wrong to do so? Yes, until there is written proof it should be there, it is wrong to put it there. It is like Peter who said to Jesus to protect himself. You know the answer Jesus gave Peter. In other words, the organisation did something that presumably the Father could not do: maintain His name in the reek translations.
          Also, the organisation did admit that Jehovah is probably not the correct name (see The Name brochure) and that Yahweh is most likely better or correct.
          If one does these things, it generates a question: why? If the Father did not prevent the Greek translators not to use HIs name, and Jesus did not do anything to prevent it either, then why did the organisation believe they knew better? And who are hey to decide where to insert it and where not? And what if by doing this, the actual message becomes blur? What was the real reason to do this? Was the driver may be to be different from mainstream Christendom? To become as far from anything that even smelled like a trinity?
          Finally, you said that it is alright that the organisation continues to teach something we once agreed with. Not sure what you mean as the organisation has changed its views in many ways on many doctrines and there is more to come (see WT March).
          I once also accepted the teachings. And I have thought about it a long time. I now realize why. At that time, I was not a study person. The message as presented in their literature was constructed in a way that I eventually accepted (after 10 years). There was not internet, I did not do research in other material, I did not attend other churches etc. As a result, I more or less got blinded.
          Now, with the internet, doing my own research, reading many bible translations in parallel is so easy and at the same time, very revealing.
          I now see the flaws and "manipulatons" in the magazines, books and booklets and in the (r)NWT, that I could not see before. I sometimes had my doubts but lacked the reference material.
          Like Saul who became Paul, I also decided not to follow what I have been taught but to follow what really is written. The real, plain, simple message.
          Hence, it is perfectly alright not to continue with what one has believed in the past. Paul is our example.

        • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-29 14:12:29

          Menrov, Jehovah's Witnesses are fulfilling (Daniel 12:4) . . .“And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.”
          We are fully committed to the increase of scriptural knowledge in this time of the end. We may not have everything just right all the time but we are out there around the world doing as Daniel said would be done in the time of end.
          I copied your statement, "Finally, you said that it is alright that the organisation continues to teach something we once agreed with." I said that to be upset that the Organization continues to teach something we once also believed is hard to understand. To me it's like being upset that rain continues to fall from the same cloud that gave rain just a few minutes before. If I once enjoyed the rain but now prefer something else does it make sense that I raise my fist to the cloud and demand it stop doing what it has always done?
          I am not in any way trying to dismiss your concerns only to understand how one can be upset with something that is a rock or a cloud or the Organization which in all respects is also a rock unmovable and at times a cloud unpredictable.
          With deep respect,

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-29 14:44:27

          An interesting analogy Laura. A rain cloud is what it is and it would be wrong to blame it for raining. It is only doing what it must do by nature. Likewise, a rock has the nature of a rock and if you stub your toe on it you can hardly blame it for being hard. I take your point. Like your cloud and your rock, you are suggesting that the organization is merely doing what it does by its nature, which historically has been to deceive us. We can hardly blame it anymore than a Catholic can blame his church for keeping him in fear of eternal torment. It is a buyer beware mentality.
          I take your point, but I know Jesus won't see it that way when he returns in the judgment. And frankly, I have a natural aversion to anyone who I have trusted and who later turns out to betray my trust and who then continues to unrepentantly attempt to deceive. I do bear some of the blame for allowing myself to be deceived, but it is not the little one who gets tossed into the deep blue sea chained to a millstone, but the one who stumbles him.

        • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-29 15:10:51

          May I ask are you saying you believe the Governing Body does not believe its own other sheep teaching and is therefore deceiving everyone? If they believe it they are not deceptively attempting to deceive people by teaching it. Is that not correct?

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-29 15:44:16

          The human capacity for self-delusion is enormous. It would be wrong for me to venture on their motives. I do know that the case has been made many times over the years by many brothers at all levels of the organization. I also know that those who have chosen to speak up have been punished often with disfellowshipping.
          When Jesus spoke up to the Pharisees and exposed their false teachings did they really believe him? Did they say in the hearts, We know we are wrong but we're going to do it anyways? The Bible says that often those who persecute true Christians do so in the belief they are serving God. Yet their misguided belief does not save them from adverse judgment. What I can say for sure is that the GB are not teaching the truth just as I can say that the Catholics do not teach the truth when they teach their doctrine of hell fire. Do the Catholics know they are teaching a falsehood? If they do not, does that set free them from guilt?
          Was the 16th century Catholic priest who burned a faithful Christian at the stake for denying the teachings of the church freed of bloodguilt because he was sincere? What of the 21st century Jehovah's Witness elder who disfellowships a brother for partaking because he believes all Christians should obey this command? Does his loyalty to the teachings of men free him of guilt?
          Jehovah sent prophets to the house of Israel to warn the religious leaders of their misconduct and they beat them and killed them. Finally he sent his son, and they killed him as well.
          Jehovah's Witnesses have preached to people in many lands dominated by the church unmasking false doctrines like the Trinity immortality of the human soul and hellfire. Often they were persecuted, even killed.
          Now the tables are reversed. Now faithful Christians are pointing out the skeletons in our own closet and in the time-honored tradition of all Christian ecclesiastical hierarchies, these are being persecuted.

        • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-29 17:16:42

          I recognize that like all men the Governing Body is subject to error and even perhaps self-deception. Jesus and his Apostles acknowledged that while ignorance does not excuse sin, a sin committed in ignorance is forgivable.
          (Luke 23:34) . . .“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.. . .
          (Acts 3:17-19) . . .And now, brothers, I know that YOU acted in ignorance, just as YOUR rulers also did. 18 But in this way God has fulfilled the things he announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. 19 “Repent, therefore, and turn around so as to get YOUR sins blotted out, . . .
          If the Governing Body has committed grievous sins Jehovah will correct them as sure as the sun rises in the east.
          I feel I may be walking on eggshells here, perhaps there has been too much hurt and perhaps it has not been a good thing to have added my thoughts. I do not mean to be contrary or to dismiss what you have written.
          May Jehovah God bless you and give you increase in your sincere effort to do what you believe is good in his behalf and in behalf of your brothers and sisters.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-29 17:53:09

          Not at all! Your thoughts are most welcome. You have expressed yourself honestly and respectfully and that is appreciated. Iron sharpens iron, so we appreciate and need those who might differ with us in some way to help us make sure of ourselves and of how we are walking. (Eph. 5:15)
          I did not mean to imply that the Governing Body is condemned,for judgment is up to the Lord. In fact, I have wondered about how these verses might apply when Jesus returns:
          “. . .Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. 48 But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. . . .” (Lu 12:47, 48)

        • Reply by menrov on 2014-12-30 04:57:05

          Hi Laura, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately you did not answer my questions. You made a reference to Dan. 12:4 and applied it to JW's. I believe this is not the place to extensively discuss this topic (Dan. chapter 12). I just like to highlight the message in this verse. It talks about KNOWLEDGE to become abundant. Question is, what knowledge? Is it the knowledge that has been revised (often many times) or even been dismissed by the organisation? Or the knowledge about upcoming events that did not happen?
          I agree that the organisation spreads a lot of information but that is not the same as knowledge, in particular not the knowledge that leads people to the Son, which leads to salvation (Jn. 14:20, 6:40,47 and others).
          So often I hear JW's say that they wait for Jehovah to set things straight. I mean it respectfully but such a view actually is the same as saying: "well, things might be wrong but that is not my fault I just do what I am being told. I do not take accountability for what I believe and preach".
          I truly believe that people who are really interested to learn and open their hearts and pray for insight and are humble, will succeed. However, if one only looks to the leaders of their organisation to provide "knowledge" and close out all others that are not in that position, in fact you might close out exactly what you were waiting for.
          (In fact, if all those to whom you preach act like that, you better stop preaching. Is not one of the arguments used in field service that everyone should be convinced that what is being taught by their religious leaders is correct and if it is not, one should act?).
          Just consider this: why did most believers had difficulties (or rejected) to believe the many prophets, the apostles, Paul and above all, Jesus? It is because they were not from the group of leaders at the time. They were in general very ordinary people.
          I also did ask myself many times: if I would have lived in times of Jesus, would I have believed him? Or would I prefer to listen to the leaders of my synagogue? After all, Jesus was just a man, from a carpenter and even his brothers did not believe him (at first). Jesus did not have a temple to live in, in fact no place to sleep. Same with Paul. Why believe Paul? He persecuted the Christians at first and his appearance seemed not that attractive. He was not sent by the Jewish leaders, worked with the Gentiles....all things that were not in line with the Jewish doctrine at the time.
          My point and sincere recommendation is: think for yourself. Read you bible and use multiple translations.Think about the message and try to remove any mental model you might have. Allow the bible to create your mental model, not by the views of others. Use the view of others to sharpen your views and as such, increase your understanding. That is what the bereans did (Acts 17:11). I know that JW's are told to be like them but in reality, the idea is that a JW only uses the material provided by the organisation. Again, that is not actually being like the bereans.
          Unfortunately, I know my wording can sometimes be a bit harsh or too direct but believe me, my intentions are sincere. Cheers.

        • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-30 10:55:24

          Menrov, my aunt studied and came into the truth in her 50's. All her life previous to that she spent as a sincere Catholic believing what she was taught. When she started her study she was dumbfounded to learn that the Trinity was not something taught in the Bible. For my aunt this was knowledge she had never known. She felt she had for the first time in her life come to know God and Jesus as they truly were. Deep in her heart she had always felt discomfort when kneeling before a stature of Mary and believing the wine in the cup she drank from every Sunday became the real blood of Christ in her mouth was something she accepted but could not understand. So for my aunt the knowledge she received did bring her closer to Jehovah and Jesus and she continues to feel that way this many years later. She keeps her rosary on her dresser as a reminder of where she came from and where she is and is grateful to Jehovah for the knowledge she has gained.
          I wait on Jehovah because that is what the scriptures teach us to do. Before 2007 those who partook of the wine and bread at the Memorial had a very difficult time. When the Organization changed their understanding I rejoiced! My prayers and I'm sure the prayers of others had been answered. I waited, Jehovah answered my prayer. I continue to wait on my Father. When the Faithful and Discreet Slave teaching was refined I also rejoiced. I was not appointed by Jesus to give food at the proper time to my fellow anointed brothers and sisters. I was just a publisher like all the other publishers receiving food at the proper time from the anointed at Bethel. For me the refined teaching on the Slave made so much sense and I regard that also as a gift from Jehovah because it lifted from my shoulders something I as a sister was not able to do or bear nor did I want to take the lead. Leading is a great responsibility only few can truly carry. This too is from the scriptures.
          I copied this from what you wrote, "However, if one only looks to the leaders of their organisation to provide “knowledge” and close out all others that are not in that position, in fact you might close out exactly what you were waiting for." I believe Jehovah is leading the Organization. I do not believe Jehovah is making the Organization or the elders perfect. If our prayers to Jehovah are sincere and in accord with his will he hears us and will either sustain us until a change is made or he will open our hearts and minds to see, understand and to be patient. If Jehovah is leading me to him how can I close out what he is leading me to? If Jehovah leads me in another direction I will go but until this very moment he has not and so my life is going in the direction he has led me to.
          I think if you had lived in the time of Jesus and Jehovah wanted you to believe in Jesus you would have. Jesus said we must love Jehovah our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Putting Jehovah first is the only way to Jesus and everlasting life.
          I am not blind to some problems in our congregation or in the Organization. I have been troubled by some things but I know that Jehovah knows what is good and if something needs to be corrected it will be corrected. I am a nobody and as such I wait on Jehovah and hope in Jesus. My heart is at peace with them and my fellow brothers and sisters who also love Jehovah and follow Jesus.
          We have entered difficult times not just in the world but also in the Organization. I feel as I'm sure others also do that this is a time for closing ranks, for building up our brothers and sisters in the congregation, and for supporting our elders even in the small things. They have enough on their shoulders and we should not bring more upon them.
          Thank you for the encouragement to seek out other reading. My father left me his library with scores of books on the Bible and various translations as well. I have read them a little when I get the time that is and believe I have benefited.
          If I have not answered all your questions please remind me which one it is and if I can I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
          With deep respect for your brotherly love,

  • Comment by Anonymous. on 2014-12-28 16:27:48

    I agree whole-heartedly on the point that we do not know that Jesus was resurrected but that we believe it. (Romans 10:9) We do not even know that God exists and we're not required to. We're only required to believe that he exists. (Hebrews 11:6) If we say we know God exists or that we know Jesus was resurrected then we cannot say we have faith in God's existence or in the resurrection of Jesus, because knowing a claim to be true renders faith in the said claim as obsolete.

    • Reply by yobec on 2014-12-30 12:57:17

      "If we say we know God exists or that we know Jesus was resurrected then we cannot say we have faith in God’s existence or in the resurrection of Jesus"....
      I never thought of it that way. Thank you

  • Comment by anderestimme on 2014-12-28 18:42:12

    A false teaching is only offensive if you realize it's false. I find the doctrine of ECT (eternal conscious torment) offensive, but the millions who believe it's God's will obviously don't.
    You may, like me, have a great fondness for the idea of living forever in paradise, in perfect health and free of the bonds of sin. Certainly, there's nothing offensive about that. But what I personally find offensive is how the interpretation 'other sheep = earthly subjects of the kingdom' is put forth as gospel despite a lack of solid scriptural basis, and to the point that you can be called an apostate for openly questioning it and have your cherished relationships burned at the stake.
    I think the promises at Matthew 5:3 and 5:5 are parallel promises, and the article above contributes to that idea in saying that someone raised up in a spirit body will likely still be able to 'put on' a fleshly body and enjoy the wonders of earthly life as well. That's all conjecture, but at least it doesn't seem to contradict sacred scripture. I look forward to being with my God in whatever way He sees fit, and free of the authority of immodest men.

    • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-29 14:39:06

      Anderestimme, you may be right about Matthew 5:3 and 5:5. If so I am sure Jehovah will in his due time cause that to become a welcome teaching. Until then I wait.
      With deep respect,

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-12-29 04:10:38

    Perhaps its not us that should be offended . I know this though that our king is not going to be very happy .to hear his words contradicted. . Its just that as appealling the message may be its just not the one that jesus preached . Kev

  • Comment by menrov on 2014-12-29 04:12:14

    Thanks Meleti, I can see that is can be most beneficial to meditate on the offer Christ made and his subsequent resurrection. But that is not what this article actually does, for many of the reasons mentioned already. Par. 11-14 are most peculiar. We believe in His resurrection because we believe the bible. Not because the organisation tells us what to believe, but because it is written in the bible. This is not only valid for a JW but for every Christian in earth.
    Further, His resurrection was not to give JW's strength to preach (par. 15). It might give a reason to preach but it is the holy spirit that gives strength as well as faith.
    I do not know how many scholars there are but to partly quote only one, without even mentioning his name, and base a conclusion on that one quote from that one scholar is pathetic. (Par. 16)
    Par.18 talks about judgment. What is does not say is that this judgment is for deeds done in current life, not future life. It happens after one has died. In fact, the par. doesn't say anything.
    Same for par. 19. It actually says nothing other than a hint to obedience.
    The last 2 pars. changes the focus back to the Father instead of stressing the role Jesus has to play in the life of a Christian.
    In summary, this whole article does not actually explain what Jesus offer and resurrection actually means to believers. His death was not to judge but to save. That is what it should mean to us, being saved.

  • Comment by on 2014-12-29 15:49:07

    Meleti, could you please elaborate on your comment, "It follows that if Christians are to share in the likeness of his resurrection, we too shall possess the lawful right to manifest ourselves in the flesh—a necessary ability if we are to assist the billions of unrighteous resurrected ones to a knowledge of God."

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-29 16:03:03

      As I said, it's conjecture at this point. Nevertheless, if one reads scriptures like Mt 26:29 and Rev. 21:1-4 with this thought in mind, it does seem to fit. But we simply cannot say for sure either way. That is to say, the organization's view that anointed Christians will rule remotely from heaven evidently never leaving nor abandoning their spiritual state is also conjecture and in my opinion, one which is harder to justify from either a logical or a Scriptural perspective.

      • Reply by on 2014-12-29 16:44:16

        Thanks, Meleti. I appreciate your candor and honest analysis of how various scriptures could be interpreted. It helps me appreciate that the Christ can use any man or woman to reveal certain aspects of truth. After all, doesn't the spiritual man examine all things through the holy spirit, and yet, is not examined by anyone?

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-29 17:44:30

          Quite true. We have an ecclesiastical hierarchy that pushes the idea of trickle-down dispensation of the holy spirit, but the idea Paul shared with us in Romans chapter 12 shows a very different scenario at work in the Christian Congregation.

      • Reply by Anonymous. on 2014-12-29 17:15:13

        Can you imagine an anointed one having close family members who have the earthly hope and dying and being resurrected to heaven never, ever, ever to be reunited with his family members who are on earth? Those family members never get to see their anointed relative ever again. To them its as if he was never resurrected. But in stark contrast those of the earthly hope get to be reunited with their other close relatives of the earthly hope. Why would Jehovah break up a family of faithful worshippers like that by permanently separating the earthly hopers from the anointed without giving them the ability to be reunited?

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-29 17:45:16

          An excellent line of reasoning.

      • Reply by donotforgetus on 2014-12-29 17:43:42

        Meleti, I knew a member of the old anointed who believed the very thing you are saying. Perhaps in the future this teaching will be amended.

        • Reply by anderestimme on 2014-12-29 23:02:36

          Well, the laudable abandonment of types and antitypes leaves the anointed/other sheep distinction hanging, without a leg to stand on. It remains to be seen whether, having talked the talk, the GB will be able to walk the walk. I have to admit to being very skeptical about 'this teaching being amended', but I would love to be wrong on that.
          Of course, if the organization abandons the idea that the anointed will never again be with their other-sheepish family members, there might be a few anointed brothers who will actually be disappointed:)

  • Comment by stonedragon2k on 2014-12-30 09:19:55

    Hi Meleti
    I just read your article on 'Orphans'.
    Breathtaking and exactly my sentiments.
    Before reading your article I had come to the same conclusions (especially of John 17:3) but you have expressed this basic truth in an awesome manner.
    I know we don't see eye to eye on everything (ie Jesus' pre-human existence) but the fact you write such wonderful truths make me appreciate that 'we' (I speak for myself) can and must look beyond those few things that we don't agree on and be in unity with the essentials - aka our sonship, our future as Christians in heaven, the ransom etc.
    Great article(s). You have my total respect and appreciation regardless of the few differences between us.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-30 09:34:29

      Thank you for sharing that. I'm sure that given time, we can resolve our differences as well.

  • Comment by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-12-30 15:48:55

    Beautiful article as always. It is offensive that Jesus is treated like the substitute teacher SMH
    "angels in Noah’s day did the same thing and were as humans, even able to procreate. Nevertheless, they had no right to do so, and were thus in violation of God’s law"
    I disagree :/http://discussthetruth.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=532&start=20#p8767
    What do you think?

  • Comment by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-12-30 17:39:31

    Angels materialized in the service of God. But to do so to satisfy their own selfish desires away from God's will is what brought them into sin.

  • Comment by Dieter G. on 2015-01-02 06:29:14

    Why would Jesus be resurrected, when he gave his life for others? How possibly could he ever take it back (or receive it back) when it was the price paid to save another's? This is not about some power source he taps back into after a job well done, while the saved can now also stay plugged in and simultaneously avail themselves of that power.
    Who 'killed' the Old Testament in the early history of apostate Christianity? I ask you. Who ignored the relevant types and prefigurements of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures to JWs), given prominent attention here by the Apostle Paul in: 2Ti 3:16: 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,' and why?
    What was the sole scriptural currency available to Jesus, the Apostles and other NT contributors in the first Century to which the above words of Paul can apply? The non-existing New Testament canon still in inspiration mode? No, but none other than the Old Testament. That's all they had!
    Now, according to these things written aforetime: Was the sheep that saved Isaac ever resurrected?
    I leave you to ponder.

    • Reply by Christian on 2015-01-05 11:40:20

      If that was the case Dieter G then it has already happened.
      Jesus was resurrected wasn't he?
      He was seen by his apostles and other disciples before ascending to Heaven and told them he would come again, which is what we are all waiting for isn't it?
      He will not be resurrected to live as a human man again to be sure, but how does that preclude him from appearing on Earth again as materialized angels have frequently done?
      No one would argue that certain types and anti-type don't exist in scripture.
      The point is we can't just make them up or try and make them fit our beliefs, which is what the WTS has repeatedly done, and in doing so they have made a mockery of the very illustrations that the Hebrew Scriptures do provide for our benefit.
      I give you as an example, the claimed fulfillment of Revelation 14:20 by J.F Rutherford in The Finished Mystery 1926 edition, p 230.
      “By the space of a thousand and [six] TWO hundred furlongs.—
      A stadium is 606 ¾ English ft,; 1200 stadii are, mi., 137.9
      The work on this volume was done in Scranton, Pa. As fast as it was completed it was sent to the Bethel. Half of the work was done at an average distance of 5 blocks from the Lackawanna station and the other half at a distance of 25 blocks. Blocks in Scranton are 10 to the mile. Hence the average distance to the station is 15 blocks, or 1.5 mi.
      Official Railway Guide time table distance Scranton to Hoboken Terminal, 133.0 mi.
      New York City Engineer's official distance Hoboken to the Bethel, via Barclay Street Ferry, Fulton Street and Fulton Ferry, 8,850, 4,950, 2,540 and 1,460 feet respectively, or a total of 3.4 mi.
      Shortest distance from place where the winepress was trodden by the Feet Members of the Lord, Whose Guidance and help alone made this volume possible. mi., 137.9”
      What honor does this kind of delusion bring to a God of truth?
      And animals don't get resurrected, you know that surely?

      • Reply by Christian on 2015-01-05 12:09:47

        This is a better WTS quote Dieter G.
        "A simple calculation of these jubilees brings us to this important fact: Seventy jubilees of fifty years each would be a total of 3500 years. That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of 1925, at which time the type ends and the great anti-type must begin. What, then, should we expect to take palace? In the type there must be a full restoration; beginning of restoration of all things. The chief thing to be restored is the human race to life; and since other Scriptures definitely fix the fact that there will be a resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other faithful ones of old, and that these will have the first favor, we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men and Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected and fully restored to perfect humanity and made the visible, legal representatives of the new order of things on earth. (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920 p 89-90)

  • Comment by smolderingwick1 on 2015-01-04 21:26:52

    Just got home from today’s PT and WT study—brain drained again by contradiction. Why am I there? To please the good wife. Which kinda gets like Job trying to reason with his wife who thought the God he worshiped was dead enough to her that he should curse his God and die.
    Now as to my predicament. I need to appear sane while deluged with an insanity that pays no heed to contradiction throughout this particular study that presents a incongruous dogma promulgated down through the many congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Paragraph 16 of today’s Watchtower study, “The Resurrection of Jesus—Its Meaning for Us,” is a prime example. It said:
    “Jesus’ resurrection validates all that he taught. Paul wrote that if Christ had not been raised from the dead, Christian faith and preaching would be in vain. One Bible scholar (whom wasn’t identified—which is interesting since outside authorities used to be) wrote: “If Christ is not raised, . . . Christians become pathetic dupes, taken in by a colossal fraud.” Without the resurrection of Jesus, the Gospel accounts become only a sad story of a good and wise man who was put to death by his enemies. But Christ did rise, confirming the truthfulness of all that he taught, including what he said about the future.—Read 1 Corinthians 15:14, 15, 20.”
    But as I read verse 15, are not all of us “pathetic dupes” if we defame Jehovah's name by going beyond what was is written now, in this period of time when no evidence exists that Jesus began reigning in 1914. What evidence is there? Was there anything like the events of Pentecost and all that subsequently happened—the miracles preformed by the apostles and disciples, the healing of the cripple and their ensuing trial in the Sanhedrin—all that proved the exact same spirit coming upon them?
    What do we have today? A singular event in 1914 and nothing but failed fulfillments since? If verse 15 of 1 Corinthians 15 is true when it reads: “Moreover, we are also found to be false witnesses of God, because we have given witness against God by saying that he raised up the Christ, whom he did not raise up,” then how much more are we false witnesses if we say the Christ began ruling in 1914 and didn’t? So I look around to see all the nodding heads. How am I to comment on this without being brought forth to stand trial before those committed to this dogma? No miracles. No evidence to defeat but a dogma of uniformity with the same demands of a modern day Sanhedrin!
    Pray for all converts of Watchtower Dogma.

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