Reviewing the article, “Pleasant Unity and the Memorial” in the January 2018 Watchtower Study Edition. Admittedly, I struggled to explain the Watchtower’s resurrection doctrine. There is much to criticize, but also much to learn as it’s important we accurately represent the JW’s in what they believe.
Topics of discussion: The Lord’s Supper, the “faith examination test”, having a relationship with Jesus, types/anti-types, the Other Sheep, obedience to the Governing Body, the New Covenant, and the resurrection of the anointed class.
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JW.org sources cited in this podcast:
“When were these two symbolic sticks joined together? It was when the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple in 537 B.C.E. Representatives of both the two-tribe kingdom and the ten-tribe kingdom returned together from exile. No longer was there a division between the sons of Israel. (Ezek. 37:21, 22) Once again, the Israelites worshipped Jehovah unitedly. This reconciliation had also been foretold by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.—Isa. 11:12, 13; Jer. 31:1, 6, 31.
What important truth about pure worship is highlighted by this prophecy? This: Jehovah will cause his worshippers to “become one.” (Ezek. 37:18, 19) Has this promise of unity come true in our time? Yes. Initially, the prophecy began to be fulfilled in 1919 when God’s people were gradually reorganized and reunited. Satan’s attempts to divide them permanently had been thwarted.” (SOURCE)
“13. In what way does 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 suggest that the first resurrection began early in Christ’s presence?
13 For example, Paul wrote: “We the living who survive to the presence of the Lord [not, to the end of his presence] shall 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. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) Therefore, anointed Christians who died before Christ’s presence were raised to heavenly life ahead of those who were still alive during Christ’s presence. This means that the first resurrection must have begun early in Christ’s presence, and it continues “during his presence.” (1 Corinthians 15:23) Rather than occurring all at once, the first resurrection takes place over a period of time.” (SOURCE)
14 What will happen after Gog of Magog starts the attack on God’s people? Both Matthew and Mark record the same event: “[The Son of man] will send out the angels and will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from earth’s extremity to heaven’s extremity.” (Mark 13:27; Matt. 24:31) This gathering work does not refer to the initial ingathering of anointed ones; nor does it refer to the final sealing of the remaining anointed ones. (Matt. 13:37, 38) That sealing happens before the outbreak of the great tribulation. (Rev. 7:1-4) So, what is this gathering work that Jesus mentions? It is the time when the remaining ones of the 144,000 will receive their heavenly reward. (1 Thess. 4:15-17; Rev. 14:1) This event will take place at some point after the beginning of the attack by Gog of Magog. (Ezek. 38:11) Then these words of Jesus will be fulfilled: “At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.”—Matt. 13:43.* (SOURCE)
“13 Jesus will judge people of all nations as sheep or goats when he comes during the great tribulation.” (SOURCE) [I didn’t mention this source in the podcast, but it add some weight because this event happens at Christ’s coming]