The Feasts

The Watchtower December 15 2006, informs us on p.15, that “True Christians eagerly await the arrival of a special day”. This we are told is a day when God will, “Execute judgement on His enemies andglorifyHis great Name”. It is a day however, we are further told, that most of those living on this earth should dread. In other words there are those that will see it as the completion of their salvation – they will treat it with joy – but there are many others who will come into judgement at this time – these should hold such a day in great fear.

What is a surprise is that nowhere in this article do they spell out how we can be safe in that day; how we can know that we are looking forward to it with joy. We are told to, “Be on the alert” because we are, “Deep in the times of the end”, and the great day is very near; but if we don’t know how to be ready we can be on the alert but the events still overtake us.

The following Watchtower, January 1 2007, then printed an interesting article entitled, “You must Become Nothing but Joyful”. The article is all about the Old Testament Feasts and shows the Watchtower way to be ready and what we should be on the alert about.

The article title is taken from the New World Translation of Deuteronomy 16:15; the NASB renders it:

“Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.”

The context is the Feasts of the Lord and although it will take more than one Quarterly article to be able to look at all they say, the outcome will be the Watchtower’s teaching on being ready for this great day.

We want to start by noting what the Scripture actually says compared with the slant the title gives it. The title puts the emphasis on the person who must become joyful; however the Scripture shows that as we celebrate correctly our relationship with the Lord, we will be joyful, because of what the Lord has done and not what we do.

We will look at the Feasts and what the Watchtower says about them and compare that with the way evangelical Christians see Scripture, but first some introductory remarks from this article which begins on p.20.

INTRODUCTION

In their second paragraph they agree that the Feasts are a shadow of things to come and state in ‘watchtowerese’:

“They contained foregleams of the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose for the Seed”

Then in the next paragraph they identify the ‘Seed’ as Jesus. Thus they believe that considering the feats is the same as considering Jesus as the fulfilment and this, they say, “Will strengthen our faith in the reliability of Jehovah’s promise”. I’m not sure they realise what they have said but this will be an interesting point as we move on.

The appearance of Jesus as the ‘Seed’ is described as follows:

“As a perfect man, Jesus kept his integrity to the death and thus proved that Satan’s accusations were lies. In addition, since Jesus was sinless, his death was a sacrifice of great value. By means of it, Jesus provided deliverance from sin and death for the faithful descendants of Adam and Eve.”

The way they describe Jesus is making Him less than He really is but it also is a major problem in Watchtower ‘theology’. Jesus, according to the Society, was created, by Jehovah, as a heavenly angel, and as such was totally different in ‘make-up’ to a man. Thus before Jesus was transferred to the womb of Mary, He was a creature just like Satan, indeed on the same level as Satan, a powerful chief angel. As such He could not defeat Satan and He had no authority to be able to release man from sin and death.

Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus is eternal, as John 1:1 clearly indicates, and thus He existed as God before He came to earth. As God, He could be born, not affected by Adam’s sin; He is described indeed as the seed of the woman, showing He would still be God but born of man. However, if Jesus was an angel before coming to earth, what was He born as? Certainly not God, and so He could never be that perfect, spotless One, who could atone for sin – an angel could not do that because he would be a created being.

PASSOVER

Immediately after this statement they show the fulfilment of the first feast in that Jesus died on Nisan 14 at the Passover. But, not only is there a weakness in their understanding as shown above, regarding the perfect lamb, but there is also a problem as to the ‘blood being applied to the doorposts’.

They declare that the Passover lamb foreshadowed Jesus, and make clear reference to Exodus 12 and the, “role that the blood of the lamb played in the deliverance of the Israelite firstborn”. We should look at a couple of verses from Exodus 12 and see what they foreshadowed and what the situation is regarding the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses today.

“Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.” – Exodus 12:7

“The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 12:13

Two things we learn from this; first it was the blood applied to the doorposts and lintel that was a sign for the angel to Passover – no blood, and the angel would bring death to the firstborn; second it had to be applied to the house in which they were dwelling. They could not apply it to another house and if after applying it to their house they went elsewhere, there was no assurance of protection. It had to be personal and real to the individual.

Evangelical Christians show that this is true of them and that they have come to know the reality of deliverance through the blood of the lamb, by taking the emblems of the bread and wine at the Lord’s Table. They are dwelling in Christ and know His security. Here is the problem for the majority of Witnesses alive on this earth today, they do not take the bread and the wine, because they have no relationship with Jesus and do not know deliverance through the blood of Christ.

NOT TAKING EMBLEMS

This is a serious position and one which every member of the Great Crowd of Jehovah’s Witnesses, those who do not take the bread and the wine, needs to be asked about. The Society says that the Passover was fulfilled by Jesus, but if anyone does not know the reality of that fulfilment then they are in trouble as far as deliverance is concerned. However, the writers of the article just ignore this, and go on to say:

“Like the blood of the Passover lamb, Jesus’ shed blood provides salvation for many.” – p.20.

Unfortunately the actions of the Society shows that they believe the blood only provides sal
vation for 144,000 – the rest, the Great Crowd, have no relationship with Jesus and have not ‘applied the blood to their lives’.

“Should those now doing good to the remnant of the 144,000 brothers of Christ partake of the Lord’s Evening Meal? (Matthew 25:31-40; Revelation 14:1) No. God has reserved that privilege for individuals he has anointed with holy spirit to be “joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-18; 1 John 2:20)” – The Watchtower, 15 February 2003, p.19.

The first Feast therefore is not fulfilled in the lives of the majority of Witnesses today and they do not know the security of dwelling in Christ and have a clear hope for the ‘Promised Land’ of the future.

UNLEAVENED BREAD

This festival followed on immediately from Passover and was a week long feast; on the first day of which all leaven was to be removed from the house. Leaven in Scripture is a type of sin and just how do we see Jesus fulfilling this feast. Evangelical Christians believe it shows that the deliverance of Christ by His blood ensures that all sin in our lives is dealt with and there is no longer a penalty for sin and at the same time the power of sin is broken in our lives. However, when you study Watchtower theology this is not what is taught to the members of the Society.

The majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the Great Crowd who believe they will live on paradise earth, die without having their past sins dealt with and then go out of existence, and become a memory in the mind of God. When they are ‘resurrected’ again to this earth during the 1000 year reign, God simply forgets all about their past sin:

“We can be sure that Christ will be fair and just in his judgment. A prophecy regarding him at Isaiah 11:3, 4 assures us of this. So, contrary to popular opinion, he will not judge persons on the basis of their past sins, many of which may have been committed in ignorance. The Bible explains that at death a person is set free or released from any sins he has committed. It says: “He who has died has been acquitted from his sin.” (Romans 6:7) This means that when a person is resurrected he will be judged on the basis of what he does during Judgment Day, not on what he did before he died.” – You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1989, p.175.

But in the future the blood of Jesus is not applied but it is all to do with being obedient to Christ and the 144,000 – sin is never dealt with!

“During Judgment Day those who survive Armageddon will work to make the earth a paradise. Into this paradise the dead will be welcomed back. (Luke 23:43) What happiness there will be when families long separated by death are joined together again! Yes, how pleasant to live in peace, to enjoy good health and to receive instruction regarding God’s purposes! The Bible says: “When there are judgments from you for the earth, righteousness is what the inhabitants of the productive land will certainly learn.” (Isaiah 26:9) During Judgment Day all the people will learn about Jehovah, and they will be given every opportunity to obey and serve him.” – You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1989, p.177.

As such there can be no fulfilment of this part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and no reality in the life of the Witness. Interestingly no mention of this aspect of the fulfilment of this feast is made in the article but this is at the heart of the fulfilment in Christ.

What is mentioned about this feast is that it incorporates the day that Jesus rose from the dead and indeed He is the firstfruits. The Greek word firstfruits has its root in the word arche and literally means “the beginning of sacrifice”. Albert Barnes, Notes on the Bible puts it like this:

“The word, therefore, comes to have two (meanings):

(1) That which is “first,” the beginning, or that which has the priority of time; and,

(2) That which is apart and portion of the whole which is to follow, and which is the earnest or pledge of that; as the “first” sheaf of ripe grain was not only the first in order of time, but was the earnest or pledge of the entire harvest which was soon to succeed.”

Its meaning is that this is the beginning and there will be more of the same kind; this is another problem that the Jehovah’s Witness must face. The writer states in the article:

“Jehovah resurrected Jesus from the dead to immortal spirit life.” – p.21.

If that is so, then as the firstfruits, so those that follow – all would need to be raised to immortal, (living forever), spirit life, (a new life with a new body in the heavenlies!) If this is the firstfruit then all those that come after Him as the harvest will have the same resurrection. There is no place in the fulfilment of this part of the Feast for there to be two different outcomes – all that are part of Christ and have His life will have the same resurrection as He had. Once again we see that for the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses today there is no fulfilment in Christ of that which he has done and they are missing out on being part of the full harvest.

Before we leave this feast there is another aspect we need to look at that the Society say is fulfilled:

“… he ascended to heaven to Jehovah’s right hand, where he waited until he would be installed as King of Jehovah’s heavenly kingdom… Since his instalment as King (1914), Jesus is now in a position to bruise the great enemy, Satan, in the head permanently and to destroy his seed.” – p.21.

Notice that Calvary was not enough; something more had to happen. But this does not fulfil the promise of Jehovah in Genesis 3:15. In characteristic Watchtower style the Society simply alter Scripture and its meaning. Speaking of this promise they say:

“He foretold the coming of a ‘seed’ who, after having his heel bruised, would fatally bruise Satan in the head.” – p.20.

However, the Scripture is very clear, first Jesus would bruise his head and only then would he bruise the Promised One’s heel. The Society change it around because they want to put the fulfilment forward to the supposed crowning of the King in 1914 but the Scripture shows that it happened at Calvary some 1900 years earlier. The work was finished by Jesus as He hung on the tree. This thinking of the Society means they then have to change the meaning of further Scriptures, especially 1 John 3:8. The NASB says:

“…The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

First all we note that the work was connected with His appearing, (manifestation, being made visible), not His enthronement in 1914. Then at this time He is to destroy the works of the devil. The Greek word for destroy is literally, ‘to loose’ set free of bonds and has the meaning that the effectiveness of Satan has been brought to nothing and I can be freed from any bondage I was in to him.

The writer in this article only quotes part of the verse and indicates that Jehovah would use Jesus to “break up the works of the Devil”. The article avoids all mention of this would be at Jesus’ appearing but that He would simple be a tool in Jehovah hands to ‘break up’ which to my mind does not have the same force as ‘loose’. They both downgrade the work of Jesus
and what He accomplished, so that the full impact of the Feast is not fulfilled in the lives of the average Witness.

FESTIVAL OF WEEKS

This feast has to do with the harvest that would be gathered in 50 days after the firstfruits were presented to the Lord. The fulfilment of course comes at Pentecost and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. This was the beginning of the Church, and of course in many ways the harvest is till going on but not for the Watchtower Society. They will limit it to just the 144,000.

The Watchtower not only limits those of the New Covenant to 144,000, they do not see the Holy Spirit coming as part of the Godhead but simply a force. This downgrades the person of the Holy Spirit and shows that they do not accept the Scriptural presentation of the Trinity but rather the man made idea that God is simply the Father, not Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

There is also another problem that they seek to get around and that is the two loaves offered before Pentecost. In one sentence they make the statement that most Evangelical Christians would agree with, that the, “anointed sons of God would eventually be drawn from two groups – first from natural Jews and later from Gentiles.” However, this is complicated in the next paragraph:

“The two loaves offered at Pentecost came from the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. Correspondingly, those spirit-begotten Christians… are the first to have their sins forgiven on the basis of Jesus’ shed blood, and that makes it possible for them to be granted immortal life in the heavens.” – p.22.

So even though Scripture clearly teaches that the two become one – the two loaves are both offered at the same time and in the same way – the Watchtower still teaches that there are two distinct groups with two distinct futures. The Watchtower Society have only given a few elite entrance to the presence of the Lord and the rest will never see their Saviour nor will they have the blessing of His presence but rather they will have a second class salvation.

So with the 3 feasts we have looked at so far we discover that what the Bible teaches is different to what the Watchtower teaches. Thus, those who seek to get ready on the basis of the ‘gospel’ of the Watchtower, will never be ready.

Thousands will never know forgiveness of sins and the blood of Jesus Christ applied to their life.

Thousands will never know the complete deliverance from the domain of Satan and the power of sin dealt with in their lives.

Thousands will never know the true meaning of the Holy Spirit given in their lives to be true witnesses and part of His church without any division or difference of inheritance.

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

On p.23 of the Watchtower article we read:

“On Atonement Day, the high priest slaughtered a young bull, and in the Most Holy, he spattered some of its blood seven ‘times before the cover of the Ark, thus representatively offering the blood before Jehovah. That offering was for the sins of the high priest and “his house,” the underpriests and the Levites. Then the high priest took two goats. One he slaughtered as a sin offering “for the people.” Some of its blood too was sprinkled before the cover of the Ark in the Most Holy. Afterward, the high priest laid his hands on the head of the second goat and confessed the errors of the sons of Israel. Then he had the goat led off into the wilderness to carry away the nation’s sins in a symbolic way.-Leviticus 16:3-16, 21, 22. As those acts foreshadowed, the great High Priest, Jesus, uses the merit of his own lifeblood to provide forgiveness of sins. First, the value of his blood is applied to the “spiritual house” of 144,000 anointed Christians, enabling these to be declared righteous and enjoy a clean standing before Jehovah. (1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 6:11) This is foreshadowed by the sacrifice of the bull. Thus the way is opened for them to receive their heavenly inheritance. Second, the value of Jesus’ blood is applied in behalf of millions of others who exercise faith in Christ, as shown by the sacrifice of the goat. These will be blessed with everlasting life here on earth, the inheritance that Adam and Eve lost. (Psalm 37:10, 11) On the basis of his shed blood, Jesus carries away the sins of mankind, just as the live goat in a token way carried the sins of Israel off into the wilderness.- Isaiah 53:4, 5.”

As we begin to look at what is said in detail we become aware why many Witnesses are not aware of the vital importance of dealing with sin and how central to their faith the Cross of Jesus Christ needs to be.

What they don’t explain in any detail that this was the only time that the High Priest could go into the very Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood. No other time could do it. Hebrews 9:7 tells us that this was only to happen once a year; at no other time did anyone enter through the thick veil into this inner, most holy place. Never would anyone see inside, not even the priest when he was there because the thick curtain kept out all light.

This makes the fulfilment as we have it in Jesus, even more remarkable:

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” – Mark 15:37-38

For the first time, everyone could look straight into the inner holy place. Everyone could see in detail the place, ‘where God dwelled’. Can you imagine the fear of the priests on duty that day; however once the initial shock was overcome maybe they began to realise that this had to be by the hand of God because no human could reach the top of the curtain and even if they did they could not have torn through the thickness. Now the way was open to all; no barrier existed at all.

This is difficult for the Watchtower to explain because of their teaching of a two-tier salvation but the veil was broken down for all and either all can be saved or none there are not different strata of salvation. You have either ‘entered through the veil’ with Jesus.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” – Hebrews 6:19,20.

Note that Jesus as entered as a forerunner; because He is there, we can be there. That is the meaning of the Atonement; sins forgiven, dwelling with Jesus in the inner-most sanctuary. The very word, atonement, means the reconciliation of God an man. The veil has been taken away, we can live in His presence. This is the salvation shown by the celebration of the Day of Atonement.

It is not a picture of living remotely from Jesus and not having any assurance of knowing our sins forgiven. Tragically, millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses do live like that and therefore they have no reality of the fulfilment of the Day of Atonement. The Society do try to bring this picture of two-tier salvation into this Feast by ignoring many of the facts. They say that first a bull was shed and the blood sprinkled; this signified that “the value of the blood is applied” to the 144,000 and opens the way to heaven for them.

Then a goat was sacrificed and this shows that “the value of Jesus’ blood is
applied in behalf of millions of others who exercise faith in Christ.” Thus these ones will experience paradise earth. This interpretation bears no resemblance to the actual fulfilment and either deliberately or in ignorance the Society are forbidding millions to enter into the fullness of salvation as shown by the day of Atonement.

Please note carefully the following about the fulfilment:

There was only one sacrifice of sin and blood was only shed once and for all. There are not two sacrifices of blood that give different values of salvation.

Notice the phraseology that is used by the Society, “value of his blood applied”. There is no reality here, they do not appear to know that their sins are forgiven; there is no intimate relationship that the day of Atonement stands for but simply a distant inference even for the 144,000

The shedding of the blood of the goat was accompanied by a second goat who took symbolically took the sin of ALL Israel into the wilderness. In the fulfilment Jesus took away ALL sin. It is the same for everyone. Either you sins are forgiven and you are dwelling with Christ in the inner sanctuary or you are cast outside His presence, there is no intermediate ground.

FESTIVAL OF BOOTHS or TABERNACLES


The final feast mentioned in the article is the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a joyful festival where people live in booths to remind them of 40 years wandering in the wilderness but it ends with the final ingathering of all of God’s people into His ONE kingdom. Again of course this has many problems for the Watchtower Society and they have written a further article in the January 1 Watchtower to try to explain things from their perspective. But first let us see what they say about the actual festival.

“The Festival of Booths was a harvest festival, a joyful celebration of ingathering, and it foreshadowed the joyous ingathering of those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ. The ingathering began at Pentecost 33 C.E., when Jesus’ 120 disciples were anointed to become part of “a holy priesthood.” As the Israelites lived in booths for a few days, anointed ones know that they are mere “temporary residents” in this ungodly world. Their hope is a heavenly one. (1 Peter 2:5, 11) That ingathering of anointed Christians reaches its conclu-sion during these “last days,” when the final ones of the 144,000 are gathered.-2 Timothy 3:1.” – p.24.

What a mishmash and contradiction of their own ‘theology’ apart from Biblical truth. First, nowhere do we see in Scripture that the ‘anointing’ on the day of Pentecost was for them to become a holy priesthood, it was to be witnesses. Second, we read that the Israelites dwelt in booths to show that they were not citizens of this world but rather that they had a heavenly hope! Yet, in another breath we are told that the Old Testament Israelites will only have an inheritance on paradise earth because the heavenly ones were not chosen until after Jesus died. Either Old Testament saints have a heavenly hope or they do not; you cannot however, choose either/or just to suit the context. Third, nowhere in Scripture are we told that the ingatheing will stop at 144,000.

“It is noteworthy that during this ancient festival, 70 bulls were offered. (Numbers 29:12-34) The number 70 represents 7 multiplied by 10, numbers that in the Bible represent heavenly and earthly perfection. Hence, the sacrifice of Jesus will benefit faithful ones from all 70 families of mankind that descended from Noah. (Genesis 10: 1-29) In harmony with that, in our time the ingathering has widened out to include individuals from all nations who exercise faith in Jesus and have the hope of living on a paradise earth.” – p.23, 24.

I have a question. Who living on earth today is not descended from Noah? Right, we all are! Therefore we all have the same benefit of the sacrifice of Jesus and the ingathering cannot include any other families because all are included in Noah’s descendents. Don’t the y realise what they are saying when they right this stuff?

“The apostle John saw this modern-day ingathering in vision. First he heard the announcing of the sealing of the final ones of the 144,000. Then he saw “a great crowd, which no man was able to number,” standing before Jehovah and Jesus, with “palm branches in their hands.” These” come out of the great tribulation” into the new world. They too are now mere temporary residents in this old system of things, and they look forward with confidence to the time when “the Lamb … will shepherd them, and will guide them to fountains of waters of life.” At that time, “God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:1-10, 14-17) The antitypical Festival of Booths will reach its climax after the end of the Thousand Year Reign of Christ when they along with faithful resurrected ones are granted everlasting life. – Revelation 20:5.” – p.24

We have dealt elsewhere with the 144,000 and the Great Crowd and will not take time to repeat it here other than to say as we have all through this article there is no place for two-tier salvation in the fulfilment of these feasts. You either know the fullness of the fulfilment or you are not in the good of what it brings. Therefore when they say that this festival will reach its climax at the ingathering, they are correct, as far as that simple phrase goes, but how many Jehovah’s Witnesses on this earth today can truly look forward to that climax? Please note that the Feast of Tabernacles comes after the day of Atonement and if, as we have already seen, members of the Watchtower Society do not know the reality of forgiveness of sin and a closeness with Jesus, then they have no hope to be in that ingathering. What an encouragement to share with the Witnesses the real truth of these Feasts. Unfortunately they will not here that message of warning from the Watchtower Society only a false hope:

“We too can be ‘nothing but joyful’ as we meditate on the meaning of the ancient Jewish festivals. It is thrilling to consider that Jehovah provided foregleams of how his prophecy given back in Eden would be fulfilled, and it is exciting to see its actual fulfillment taking place step-by-step. Today, we know that the Seed has appeared and that he has been bruised in the heel. Now he is a heavenly King. Further, most of the 144,000 have already proved their faithfulness to the death. What remains to be done? How soon will the prophecy be completely fulfilled? This will be discussed in the following article.” – p.24.

This is false hope as the following summary and comment on the next article they mention, entitled, “‘The First Resurrection’ – now under way”, clearly shows. The article from pages 25-30 of The Watchtower, 1 January, 2007, is a rehearsing of what the Society says will happen at the time of the fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The article contains a number of issues that we have dealt with elsewhere, for instance it starts with the fact that the dead go out of existence and the only hope is that God will remember you and give you a resurrection (which is more like recreation because there is nothing left to bring back to life. Of course, this is a false hope as already mentioned, because God is not just going to forget what we did in the first life, and the only hope for such a resurrection to life is to know the reality of the death of Christ in our lives now. Belonging to a certain group or doing outward things is not sufficient.

The part I want to comment on though is the
different resurrections. They say the first resurrection was that of Jesus (p.26) in order that He could “present the value of his sacrifice to God”. Next came the anointed members, “the Israel of God” (144,000) joining Jesus in His heavenly glory. This event is called the “first or earlier resurrection”. To show that this Biblical they mention two specific Scriptures – Philippians 3:10, 11 and Rev.20:6. However, do these Scriptures really show what the Watchtower say? First Philippians;

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

This is Paul’s personal testimony and not relating to anyone else. There is no way from these Scriptures to decide whether it is just for the 144,000 or for everyone. Indeed, with the timing that the Society put on this resurrection later in the article, (spring 1918), it would rule out taking about ‘the first resurrection’. In chapter 1 Paul shows that he expects to die and immediately be with the Lord not to have to wait some 1,850 years! So what about Revelation 20?

“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”

Yes, it speaks of a first resurrection but; there is no mention of the 144,000 and the 1,000 years did not begin in 1918 and so it cannot be talking about the same group that the Witnesses are talking about. Always check carefully the Scriptures quoted in watchtower articles because, in most cases, as here, they are out of context and do not back up the points made.

Next, in the Society’s chronology:

“When that resurrection (the first one) is completed, the time will be at hand for millions to be resurrected back to earth with the prospect of gaining everlasting life in Paradise.”

No Scriptures given; no certainty offered! This is not the complete salvation talked of in Scripture, but a second-class offering of the Watchtower.

The conclusion of all this, which of course as they see it is the fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles, comes on p.30.

“God’s Word does not disclose a precise date for the first resurrection, but it does reveal that it occurs over a period of time, during Christ’s presence. The first to be resurrected are anointed Christians who died before Christ’s presence began. As Christ’s presence progresses, anointed Christians who faithfully finish their earthly course are changed “in the twinkling of an eye” into powerful spirit creatures. (1 Corinthians 15:52) Will all the anointed receive their heavenly reward before the war of Armageddon? We do not know. We do know, however, that in God’s due time, all the 144,000 will be found standing on the heavenly Mount Zion. We also know that the majority of the 144,000 are already united with Christ. Only a relatively few remain on earth. What a powerful indication that the time for the execution of God’s judgment is rapidly approach-ing! Soon, Satan’s entire world system will be destroyed. Satan himself will be abyssed. Then, the general resurrection can begin, and faithful humans can, on the basis of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, be raised to perfection similar to that lost by Adam. Jehovah’s prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15 is being wonderfully fulfilled. What a grand privilege it is to be living in these times!”

Please note their fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles; over a period of time; two-tiered; no certainty; very near. How much greater is the true fulfilment as shown in the New Testament!

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