Current Watchtower doctrine is that nothing survives of any person after the point of physical death. This is made very clear in their rather misnamed publication ‘ What Does the Bible Really Teach’. On page 58 of this book we read ‘When a person dies, he ceases to exist’. This is further confirmed on page 59 where we read that we do not survive the death of our body and that the life we have is likened to the flame of a candle – when the flame is put out it does not go anywhere and that it is simply gone.
The picture we have here is therefore a total annihilation of body, soul and spirit, consigning the person who has died simply to the pages of history. Further on in the publication we read of a resurrection of some of these individuals.
However the Bible concept of resurrection relates solely to those who continue to exist after death in another form, that is to say soul and spirit. The Scriptures below show the truth of continuance of existence following death.
The Watchtower therefore in not accepting the implications of these Scriptures cannot justify the use of the term resurrection in their teaching. It is not logical to claim resurrection of a non-entity that doesn’t exist in any shape or form.
The Watchtower however promise to their faithful followers a place in Paradise, following what they call a “resurrection” based on God remembering their previous personal details. As clearly you cannot resurrect nothing, or something that isn’t there, this would have to be another creation, making an exact match of the person who had previously existed in the past.
What are we saying here then? Just this. If you are a Jehovah’s Witness reading this, do you realise the implications of this Watchtower teaching? The new person created in your image will not be you. Your existence and consciousness will be complete and finished at the point of death, no soul or spirit will remain and at some time in the future your characteristics and image will be transferred to another creation. What that would be saying to me if I were a JW is that death would be final and complete for me as an individual – the end of my existence forever. The fact that another person will be created in my image to enjoy the Watchtower paradise I am afraid would be of very little comfort to me.
Matt. 10:28 man can kill the body without killing the soul.
Rev. 6:9 and Rev. 20:4 souls can exist apart from the body
Luke 23:43 Jesus speaks of man’s conscious existence on the same day as death.
2 Cor. 5:8 If we are absent from the body we are present with the Lord.