Recent Finds: How SPIRITISM is still attached to the 1914 doctrine

“Recent Finds” reprints interesting and relevant discoveries from various sites, blogs, and forums, where we have permission either from the site owner or the person who created the post. We do not necessarily agree with everything said by the contributor on the originating site, nor does the person who gave permission necessarily agree with the contents of this site.

For this topic the contributor was “JW Insider” on Some of the points have been made before on this site, but in this case we highlight (in bold, red text) the portions of the post where spiritism is discussed:

[Post #1]

Historically, the Watchtower has always said that the resurrection of some of the 144,000 happened many years ago. Up until 1927, that resurrection had happened in 1878. This is why in 1916 after Russell died, the Watchtower claimed for many years that Russell was communicating with the Watchtower Society and was continuing to run every phase of the work “from beyond the veil.” The Watchtower defended this position against a charge of spiritism on the grounds that Russell was still alive. (Of course, he would still be a spirit, so I don’t know how well that argument worked.)

In 1927, the date for the resurrection of all the previously deceased members of the 144,000 up to that point was changed from 1878 to 1918. Up until less than 10 years ago, our official position was that the apostle Paul, for example, was resurrected in 1918. This was taught, not just as a guess, but an established fact. But then in 2007 we got a very interesting Watchtower article:

*** w07 1/1 p. 27 par. 9 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! ***
Reasonably, then, anointed ones who die before Armageddon are resurrected sometime between 1914 and Armageddon. *** end of quote ***

This opened up a whole new range of possibility, including the possibility that NONE of the 144,000 have been resurrected yet. And this is still a possibility based on the updated view of the rapture in the May 15, 2015 Watchtower.

However, the old 1918 resurrection is not completely dismissed as a possibility, it’s only that it has been downgraded from an established fact to “an interesting possibility”

*** w07 1/1 p. 27 par. 10 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! ***
Can we say more precisely when the first resurrection begins?
. . .
It seems that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today. Why is that important? Because the correct identity of the great crowd was revealed to God’s anointed servants on earth in 1935. If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest. That would indicate that the first resurrection began sometime between 1914 and 1935.
. . .
Could it, then, be reasoned that since Jesus was enthroned in the fall of 1914, the resurrection of his faithful anointed followers began three and a half years later, in the spring of 1918? That is an interesting possibility. Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible, it is not out of harmony with other scriptures that indicate that the first resurrection got under way soon after Christ’s presence began.
*** end of quote ***

[Post #2]

Just noticed that I referenced the May 15, 2015 about the “rapture.” I meant the July 15, 2015 issue. In fact, that’s most likely the very issue where the question comes up about whether the 144,000 are all in heaven just before the Great Tribulation starts, or just after it starts. Paragraphs 15 and 16 of the “rapture” article becomes just a bit vague at exactly that point.

http://www.jw. org/en/publications/magazines/w20150715/rapture-anointed-great-tribulation/

Just another curiosity on the 2007 issue quoted above.There are now about three different NEW problems with the 1918 date we used to teach.

1918 used to be mentioned as much or more than 1919. But in the last couple decades we had already stopped mentioning it for many years with reference to ANY current doctrine. Also, the Governing Body as the Faithful and Discreet Slave didn’t exist until 1919 in our new understanding. So as of the July 15, 2013 issue of the Watchtower, we officially dropped the last teachings related to 1918. We used to teach that the “spiritual temple” was inspected in 1918, and also that great tribulation started in 1914 and was interrupted in 1918, and that it would start up again just before Armageddon. Note:

*** w13 7/15 p. 3 par. 3 “Tell Us, When Will These Things Be?” ***
For a number of years, we thought that the great tribulation began in 1914 with World War I and that “those days were cut short” by Jehovah in 1918 when the war ended so that the remnant would have the opportunity to preach the good news to all nations.
*** end of quote ***

*** w13 7/15 p. 11 “Look! I Am With You All the Days” ***
Paragraph 6: This is an adjustment in understanding. Previously, we thought that Jesus’ inspection took place in 1918.
*** end of quote ***

So 1918 is no longer important to any other doctrine.

Another problem with it is that the 2007 article ends with the idea that “although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible, it is not out of harmony with other scriptures that indicate the first resurrection got under way soon after Christ’s presence began.” The problem here is that the only scriptural example is the verse in Thessalonians 4:13 which is not that directly supportive of the claim that this resurrection happens EARLY during the presence. If anything the emphasis is on how close together the timing of the resurrection aligns with the raising of the final LIVING survivors at the end.

Also, a third problem is the idea that we kept the “spiritism” idea as the way of supposedly narrowing down the time of the first resurrection between 1914 and 1935. The article said: “If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest.” (24 elders is still identified as another term for the 144,000.)

The real problem is that we used to say that although 1935 was not found through Scripture, it didn’t matter because it was revealed as “lightning flashes” going forth into the “spiritual temple.” Rutherford used this expression a lot as if it was a form of either angelic inspiration or communication with those who had already passed beyond the veil. (The idea survived for many decades in our songbooks with the words “In God’s holy temple / Lightnings flash and shine / That we may be guided / By his light divine.) The problem is that 1935 is no longer considered to have any specific significance anymore. Now, it is just a time when the Watchtower began teaching something different and therefore clarifying or identifying the hope of a class who had seemed, for many years prior, not to know exactly what there hope was.

One last consideration is not included above because it hasn’t been commented upon yet in the Watchtower with reference to the first resurrection:

(2 Timothy 2:18 ) These men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are subverting the faith of some.

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