Lately, the Watchtower Society has been stressing in their teaching sessions for Jehovah's Witnesses the importance of cleanliness. This includes articles from The Watchtower, December 1, 2008 issue, as well as in the recent Congregation Book Study meetings from the publication, Keep Yourselves In God's Love. Part of the history and teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses includes the belief that survivors of Armageddon have the privilege of burying the dead ones who are destroyed during that time. This (in general) means ~7 billion dead being handled by some of the ~7 million Jehovah's Witnesses survivors.
Their burying of dead ones is based on the Watchtower Society's interpretation of the scripture found in Ezekiel 39:14-16. From The New World Translation, it reads as follows:
"‘And there will be men for continual [employment] whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of [the] city will also be Ha·mo´nah. And they will have to cleanse the land.’"
As the Watchtower Society often does, instead of just applying the passage in the context and times of which it had occurred or was written for, they claim there is a future, or sometimes referred to as a greater fulfillment of scripture. Again, this is according to the Watchtower Society's interpretation. It has resulted in the following spiritual food for Jehovah's Witnesses...
The Watchtower, August 1, 1956, page 465, paragraph 17, from the article entitled, Jehovah’s Message Against Gog of Magog, states:
"With such a glorious feast of victory concluded, only the bones, bones from one end of the earth to the other, will be left for burial. What a task that will be for the survivors, to cleanse the earth of every remaining evidence of Gog’s forces! Even with the work well organized it will take seven months, Jehovah says, just to bury the bones. Scouting corps will be sent out on a full-time basis to search the land thoroughly and, when bones are found, markers will be set up for those with the spades and shovels who follow. (Ezek. 39:14, 15) Those privileged to share in that cleanup work will not view it as a revolting and disgusting assignment but will rejoice to be alive when Gog’s long and oppressive rule has come to an end and when the wicked are no more. Survivors of Armageddon will be happy and will greatly rejoice to have a share in preparing the earth for a global paradise of beauty and perfection under the reign of the King Christ Jesus. But first, before that happy day, this message against Gog must be delivered in its completeness."
What a task, indeed! Just think all those neighbors and family members who refuse to believe the Watchtower Society's interpretation of matters as overseen and directed by a few men in Brooklyn calling themselves the Governing Body will need to be buried - Perhaps by your own hand if you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses; all those elderly ones and all those children. And they will not find this revolting or disgusting, but Jehovah's Witnesses will rejoice.
But this good news that Jehovah's Witnesses have did not stop in 1956, as a one time teaching. Perhaps, the light had brightened. Jehovah's Witnesses really won't have to clean up the dead, including those whom they loved and known for so many years, right?
According to the Watchtower August 1, 1961 page 469, paragraph 17, from the article entitled, Enlarging Your Privileges of Service, Jehovah's Witnesses are informed:
"After God’s execution of judgment upon the wicked in his war of Armageddon, the earthly subjects of the King will have before them a world-wide cleanup program that will eclipse anything this globe has ever seen. Countless numbers of human dead will have to be buried. (Ezek. 39:11-16)"
Evidently, the future world-wide cleanup program of dead loved ones is still in effect. Jehovah's Witnesses should get a good look at those not Jehovah's Witnesses around them, as the majority of them will possibly be buried by their hands. Not to fret over it though, after all according to the Watchtower Society, it is a way in which one can enlarge their 'privilege of service'. And what a fine privilege this will be. According to surveys taken by such organizations as the Pew, upwards of over 60% of Jehovah's Witness children leave the religion. In knowing that information, it surely leads to a fine privilege for Jehovah's Witness parents to look forward too.
More good news, such spiritual truths did not end in 1961 either. In the Watchtower Society publication published in 1971, The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah - How?, chapter 20, Land of Magog No More to Threaten Mankind, pages 374-375, paragraph 15, states:
"The "new earth" of human society under Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom of the heavens in the hands of "David my servant" must be perfectly clean of all traces of Gog’s crowd. To make a vivid picture of this, the "utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah" goes on to say respecting the survivors of Gog’s attack: "And there will be men for continual employment whom they will divide off, passing along through the land, burying, with those passing through, those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. And those passing through must pass along through the land, and should one actually see the bone of a man he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog’s Crowd. And the name of the city will also be Hamonah. And they will have to cleanse the land."—Ezekiel 39:14-16."
So here we have a somewhat brighter or clarifying light helping Jehovah's Witnesses to appreciate that in order for human society to be "perfectly clean" this burying of dead ones is necessary. Is it not comforting to know, that Jehovah's Witnesses possibly burying their family and others they may care so much about is needed for them to obtain perfect cleanliness?
Jehovah's Witnesses are taught not to speculate on matters, but let's ponder this for a moment:
- Who receives the blessing of burying the remains of babies and toddlers?
- Does each Jehovah's Witness head have the honor and privilege of burying their dead family members?
- Will Elders or/and Ministerial Servants have to bury those in the congregation who didn't quite make it pass Armageddon?
- Does a son receive the privilege of burying their father, and fathers the privilege of burying their son? Perhaps even mothers and daughters can be involved in this wonderful and joyous work.
What a privilege to be known and taught as Jehovah's Witnesses!