Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems

Daniel 9:25: The Messiah arrived at the end of the 69th week of years (it-2 900 par. 7)

This reference gives the date of the 20th year of Artaxerxes as 455 BC

Readers should note that mainstream chronology does not agree with this date and places it at 445 BC, ten years later.

However, it appears that—perhaps by chance—this date of 455 BC is correct. More than one chronologist who has investigated this period has found that the data available has been misunderstood and misinterpreted, and can be reconciled, yet gives a date of 455 BC. For those interested in the detail, see Dating the Reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes.   (Incidentally, the same author also gives 587 BC as the date of the fall of Jerusalem.)

Daniel 9:24: When was “the Holy of Holies” anointed? (w01 5/15 27)

The conclusion of this “Question from Readers” is: “Hence, at the time of Jesus’ baptism, God’s heavenly abode was anointed, or set apart, as the ‘Holy of Holies’ in the great spiritual temple arrangement.”

Is this truly the case?

In the type, the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies once a year and spattered blood on (anointed) the Ark of the Covenant. Hebrews 9:1-28 discusses the type and anti-type, so we know there is an anti-type. What is that anti-type?

Hebrews 9:11-14 indicates that Christ went through the greater tent and offered his blood (his life) as a ransom sacrifice, going ‘once for all time into the holy place and obtained everlasting deliverance for us.’ This enabled the new covenant to go into effect, for as Hebrews 9:16-18 states ‘for where there is a covenant, the death of the human covenanter needs to be furnished.’ Therefore, these verses indicate that when Jesus died his blood was figuratively spattered on the figurative altar, thereby anointing it, and giving validation to the new covenant. He did that by entering ‘into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.’

It is therefore more logical to conclude that the “Holy of Holies” of the second tent ‘not made with hands’ was anointed [HEBREW 4886: ‘mashach’ – smear, anoint] on Jesus death’ on the torture stake or on his ascension to heaven, rather than at his baptism.

How to become a diligent Student of the Scriptures

‘What should you study?’ This paragraph suggests:

  • ‘Researching the weekly Bible reading’. The culture of the organization would imply that you do this with the organization’s literature. However, far more can be learned by going outside of the limited research available when one sticks only to what has been printed by the Watchtower society.
  • ‘Learning about Bible prophecy’. A good suggestion to start with would be to put together a chronological summary of dateable chapters from Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. Then examine the events leading up to and covering the exile of the Jews in Babylon with the aim of proving to yourself the dating of the start and end of the exile, and the destruction of Jerusalem using the universally agreed date of the fall of Babylon in October 539 BC.
  • ‘Aspects of the fruitage of God’s spirit.’ This is a good point from the article, tempered however by the fact that any in-depth discussion of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is hard to find in Watchtower literature—especially on how to apply these fruits in our daily lives. So to get the best out of this suggestion you will need to do some personal Bible research, and meditate on what you have find.
  • ‘Jehovah’s Creation’. Unknown to most Witnesses, there is much fine material available supporting creation by God and disproving evolution. One fine site is icr.org which regularly contains articles reviewing discoveries in scientific journals and the like. One recent article entitled Another Complex Cambrian Critter describes a fossil that is anything but simple, and has preserved soft tissue allegedly 514 million years old.
  • ‘Your next Study Project’. A suggested subject is ‘The Resurrection’. Why not find all resurrections recorded and prophesied in the Bible and put them in chronological order, noting who performs them, where and when? What does the Greek word translated as resurrect(ed,ion) mean? You should find some fascinating facts, such as where do all resurrections take place, and you may well find further questions for scriptural research as a result.
  • ‘Where can I find information?’ This paragraph suggests using the options in the video ‘Research Tools for Discovering Spiritual Treasures’.

None of these options include:

  • Prayer, asking for Holy Spirit.
  • Reading the Bible in context, context, context.
  • Looking at other scriptures on the same\related subject via cross-references or word searches (such as the NWT Reference Edition, and other literal translations).
  • Use of an app or internet site to access Interlinear editions (both Hebrew and Greek) of the Bible and look up the meaning and root origin of key words in multiple Bible concordances and dictionaries. A good example is BibleHub. (Discover the true meaning of ‘nor give him any greeting’ in 2 John 1:10,11, by looking up the meaning of the Greek word translated ‘greeting’ there.)
  • All the options suggested in the video relate to the publications of the Organization.

Congregation Book Study (kr chap. 19 para 1-7)

Paragraph 1 makes the point that the Israelites were generous in the provision of labour and materials for the tabernacle. The point they overlook is that the scripture cited Exodus 36:1,4-7 shows Jehovah commanded they build it. Jehovah did not make the same command through Jesus in respect of building Kingdom Halls, Assembly Halls, Bethel Homes and the like. In fact, the indication of John 4:21-24 is that buildings were no longer required to worship the Father. Rather it was ‘spirit and truth’ that were the important things.

Paragraph 2 again misuses Mark 12:41 to support its agenda. See Seeking Riches that are True.  They follow this up by misapplying Hebrews 6:10, where the wording and the context indicate that God appreciated what the Hebrew Christians had done in physically supporting (serving) their fellow Christians (holy ones), not preaching as the implication is in the literature. The Greek word translated in the NWT as ‘ministering’ is ‘diakoneo’ (Greek 1247) which means, to serve the needs of others in an active, practical way, and literally means ‘to wait at a table’.

Then there is the claim in paragraph 4 that ‘Jehovah requires that we meet for worship’ citing Hebrews 10:25 for support. However as mentioned about John 4:21-24 above, buildings were not important, and Hebrews 10 discusses ‘not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together’, so as to keep ‘encouraging one another’. It does not mention anything about formal worship at a meeting place in these verses or their context. James 1:25-27 supports encouraging and helping one another when it says, ‘to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world’ as ‘the form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father’ rather than formal worship in a building. Actions are more important than listening to words. Acts 2:42 and Acts 20:8 show the early Christians met together, but these gatherings were meals and discussions and reports from travelling apostles, not formalized meetings.

It is interesting that paragraph 5 quotes Rutherford as the source of the term ‘Kingdom Hall’. At least that had some biblical basis, unlike ‘JW.Org’ hall. How ironic that while brothers in the US are reading about how the building of Kingdom halls expanded so rapidly that 60 RBC’s (Regional Building Committees) were formed by 1987 which grew to 132 by 2013, today we are in the situation that many Kingdom Halls are being sold off.  RBCs have been done away with and LDCs are commissioned to look into downsizing, not expanding. Is this evidence of the ‘rapid expansion now taking place’ that is emphasized so regularly? Sadly, it seems that the facts are at odds with the claims.