Questions From Readers
● What is the significance of the characters on the lower right-hand corner of the cover of the book “Let Your Name Be Sanctified”?—B. P., U.S.A.
On the lower right-hand corner of the front cover of the book “Let Your Name Be Sanctified” appears an impression of an open Bible, with the Tetragrammaton reproduced in four different styles of Hebrew lettering. The first style is shown on page 113 of the book as occurring on the Moabite Stone. The next style, which appears underneath in Phoenician or Palaeo-Hebrew letters, occurs in an ancient recension of the Septuagint Version of the Minor Prophets, containing parts of Habakkuk, a page of which is reproduced on page 424 of Volume 5 of the New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The third style of lettering, appearing at the upper right in the impression, is the style that appears in the text of ancient Greek versions, such as are listed on page 413 of the Appendix of the New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, Volume 5, and as also found illustrated in the footnotes of Volume 3 of the New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, beginning with footnote “c” on page 295. The fourth lettering of the Tetragrammaton is that of the modern block style and may be seen on page 3, or the title page, of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in its revised edition of A.D. 1961.
● Is there no hope at all that one of the “great crowd” who dies now before Armageddon will be reunited with his marriage partner as that one’s mate in the new world and share in the fulfillment of the procreation mandate?
Hope is based upon God’s Word, not on sentimentality. The stark Bible truth remains: Human marriage is dissolved by the death of one of the married partners. (Rom. 7:1-3) For this reason, the Christian dying now has no right to bind his surviving partner to stay single in the hope that in the resurrection they may be reunited.
The surviving one is not proving unfaithful to his dead marriage mate by afterward marrying someone else. As long as the departed mate was alive, the surviving one gave that one the fullness of his love, loyalty and devotion and did not prove unfaithful therein. So on this score the departing one has no fault to find.
The survivor, however, has to live a normal life after the death of the beloved marriage mate. Circumstances and developments may dictate that he remarry according to the Scriptures. He is free to do so. The deceased one has no strings attached to him, for the deceased one cannot give the surviving one the marriage dues during the interim between now and the resurrection of the dead. God makes no exceptions with regard to this law that dissolves marriage by the death of one of the marriage mates. He would be doing so if he allowed for former marriage mates to be reunited as man and wife by means of the resurrection and to take part with Armageddon survivors in fulfilling the procreation mandate.
This is correspondingly true of Christians who are not of the “great crowd” of “other sheep” but who are Christ’s spiritual brothers and who are therefore joint heirs with Jesus Christ for the heavenly kingdom. For these also death dissolves the marriage tie. Hence in the resurrection of the dead to life in heaven the former married couple will not be reunited in heaven as man and wife or even as the most intimate companions. To such spiritual new creatures it is written: “From now on we know no man according to the flesh. Even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, certainly we now know him so no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16) Certainly, then, if such a “new creature” Christian has died and experienced a spiritual resurrection to life in heaven without the fleshly body that lies moldering there in the grave, the surviving spirit-begotten marriage mate cannot know the departed one any longer according to the flesh. There is no more flesh about the resurrected joint heir of Christ. Marriage as of man and wife for the producing of children is a thing that belongs to the flesh, not to the spirit. Consequently, a surviving spirit-begotten Christian with heavenly hopes should not feel that he should stay single and not remarry under the idea of staying free to rejoin his former marriage partner in the heavenly kingdom. He should not entertain the hope that his staying single and remaining exclusively attached in his affections to but one earthly marriage partner will be recognized and be rewarded by Jesus Christ, and that Christ will therefore reunite the former marriage couple in the resurrection and in the affairs, arrangements and activities of the heavenly kingdom.
So for dead ones with spiritual, heavenly hopes and for dead ones with earthly Paradisaic hopes the rule enunciated by Jesus Christ stands unaltered: “In the resurrection neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30) At the flood of Noah’s day angels were punished for entering into marriage, which in that instance was with the daughters of men because they were so lovely-looking. (Gen. 6:1-4) In the resurrection of the “other sheep” on earth, no former married person will have occasion to envy another former married person, as would be the case if this latter one got back his former marriage mate who had remained single, whereas the envious marriage mate does not get back his former partner because this partner remarried and survived Armageddon with his new marriage mate. What the resurrection promises men is, not remarriage, but reliving, and this under God’s kingdom by Christ. Is that not something satisfying? Has anyone a right to demand more through Christ’s sacrifice? Christ died for you, not to marry, but to live! Let us not be swayed or overcome by sentimentalism or emotionalism.