Friday, October 21, 2011

The 144,000 rule over..."the Bible does not say," says the Watchtower

In the January 15, 2012 Watchtower Study Edition, p. 30 par. 18, the following is stated,
18 Thereafter, how will Jehovah use these highly privileged associates of Christ? According to Revelation 22:5, “they will rule as kings forever and ever.” Over whom? The Bible does not say. But the quality of life that they possess and their experience in helping a world of imperfect people will equip them to hold a regal position in Jehovah’s purposes forever.
I found this to be an noteworthy admission for several reasons.  But first, it must be emphasized that the above quote is not necessarily new, for the Watchtower has previously articulated a similar point,
*** re chap. 43 p. 313 par. 30 The Resplendent City ***
30 John closes out this magnificent vision by saying of these slaves of God: “And they will rule as kings forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5b) True, at the end of the thousand years, the benefits of the ransom will have been applied to completion, and Jesus will present a perfected human race to his Father. (1 Corinthians 15:25-28) What Jehovah has in mind for Jesus and the 144,000 after that, we do not know. But Revelation assures us that their privileged sacred service to Jehovah will continue into all eternity.

The reason I have found this to be noteworthy is because of a commonly used argument by Jehovah's Witnesses in defending the "two-class theology."  For example,

*** rs p. 79 Born Again ***

If Someone Says—

‘I’ve been born again’
You might reply: ‘That means that you expect someday to be with Christ in heaven, doesn’t it? . . . Have you ever wondered what those who go to heaven will do there?’ Then perhaps add: (1) ‘They will be kings and priests, ruling with Christ. (Rev. 20:6; 5:9, 10) Jesus said that these would be just a “little flock.” (Luke 12:32)’ (2) ‘If they are kings, there must also be subjects over whom they will rule. Who will these be? . . . Here are some points that I found to be very interesting when they were drawn to my attention. (Ps. 37:11, 29; Prov. 2:21, 22)’
In other words, if there are rulers then there must be subjects.  Who are the rulers and who are the subjects?
*** w75 1/1 p. 21 par. 7 Appreciating the Things of God ***

The Scriptures show that those who would be joint heirs with Christ in his kingdom and who would rule with him for a thousand years would be 144,000 in number, and that on earth there would be an unnumbered “great crowd” that would prove themselves loyal subjects of that kingdom.—Rev. 7:4-10; 14:3-5; 20:6.
But is this "great crowd" meant to be subject to the 144,000 for all eternity?  The above quote from the January 15, 2012 issue as well as the "Revelation book" (abbreviated "re" above) indicate that the Watchtower is not sure because "the Bible does not say."


So what effect does the rulers/subject argument really have if the Bible doesn't tell us who these kings rule over?  Does this mean that non-JW apologists are no longer obliged to answer this argument?  


Some might be interested to read how some JW's have responded to this HERE.
  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Can you please tell me where you get hold of a 2012 Watchtower, please. Thanks.

The Apologetic Front said...

You can download them at www.jw.org. However, the printed issues will only be available at your local Kingdom Hall.