QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
On December 5, 2013, we received the following inquiry:
“I refer to the above magazine-study edition [February 15, 2014]. It states all the Anointed who are alive will be taken up to heaven to be with the Lord PRIOR TO THE START OF ARMAGEDDON. Yet the Revelation book published 2006 states the Anointed who are alive will survive Armageddon. Is this new light from the Society? God bless you all for this website.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We noticed this change in position as well. It was first mentioned in the October 2012 Annual Meeting notes. However, we would hardly call it ‘new light.’ New light indicates there has been some enlightenment or enhancement of a prior understanding. The change you mention is a complete reversal, and an admission that the Governing Body considers their prior understanding to be wrong.
Interestingly, their new, or current, understanding of when the anointed would be taken to heaven is really the equivalent of the teaching of the rapture. The Governing Body may not refer to it as a ‘rapture’ because the teaching is specifically denounced in the book Reasoning From the Scriptures, page 315, published by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, and in other books and magazine published by them as well. It is part of their contrarianism and their determination to be different from other Christian sects. Yet now, for some reason, they claim a rapture for themselves and others whom they consider anointed. So this change is really a double flip/flop.
This constant need for the Governing Body to make changes in their teachings is strong reason to give pause to placing one’s trust in the interpretations of men, especially as they relate to prophecies and future events. How much better to have faith in the plain and open teachings of Jesus that all those who accept the heavenly call will be taken to heaven either after their earthly life is concluded, or in a ‘second’ or group resurrection at the end of an age or ‘last day’ of the current age, as discussed in The Promised Resurrection, and then wait to see how Bible prophecy works itself out.
To all those whose hope is in the Father and His Christ, it does not matter whether all things crash or whether all things gradually change. Our future hope is secure. No one can snatch us out of their hands:
“My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is something greater than all other things, and no one can snatch them out of the hand of the Father. I and the Father are one.”
– John 10:27-30
We hope this adequately answers your question.