The long-awaited issue has arrived! Since the revelations of last year’s annual meeting, witnesses worldwide have been awaiting The Watchtower issue which would make this new understanding of the faithful and discreet slave official, and provide a fuller explanation that would address many of the outstanding questions which the talks gave rise to. What we have received for our patience is an issue brimming with new understandings. Not one, but four study articles are provided to convey this bounty of interpretative revelations to us. There is so much material in this issue that to do it justice, we will issue four separate posts, one for each article.
As always, our goal is to “make sure of all things” and “hold fast to what it fine.” What we look for in our research is the same as what the ancient Beroeans sought, to ‘see if these things are so’. So we will look for Scriptural support and harmony for all of these new ideas.
To get the theological ball rolling, the third paragraph briefly discusses our old understanding of when the great tribulation started. To fill in the blanks, 1914 wasn’t considered to be the start of Christ’s presence back then. That was set at 1874. We didn’t revise it to 1914 until much later. The earliest reference we have found to date is a Golden Age article in 1930. Considering that we apply Acts 1:11 to mean that only his faithful ones would see his return because it would be invisible and discernible only by those in the know, it would appear we failed at that, as it was fully 16 years after 1914 before we realized he had arrived in Kingdom power.
The article states: “These ‘pangs of distress’ correspond to what took place in Jerusalem and Judea from 33 C.E. to 66 C.E.”
This statement is made to preserve our belief in a dual fulfillment of Mt. 24:4-28. However, there is no historical nor Scriptural evidence that there were “wars, and reports of wars, and earthquakes, pestilences, and famines in one place after another” during those years. Historically, the number of wars actually went down during that time period due in part to the Pax Romana. Nor were there indications of pestilences, earthquakes and famines in one place after another. If there had been, then would not the Bible have recorded this remarkable fulfillment of prophecy? In addition, if there were such proof, either in Scripture or from secular history, would we not want to furnish it here to support our teaching?
This is one of a number of instances in these articles where we make a categorical statement without providing any Scriptural, historical, nor even logical support. We are merely supposed to accept the statement as a given; a fact or truth from an unimpeachable source.
Paragraph 6 & 7
Here we discuss when the great tribulation occurs. There is a typical/antitypical relationship between the tribulation of the first century and our day. However, our application of this creates some logical inconsistencies.
Before reading this, refer to the illustration on pages 4 and 5 of the article.
Here is a breakdown of where the logic from this article leads:
Can you see how the logic breaks down? The first century great tribulation ends when the disgusting thing destroys the holy place. However, when the same thing happens in the future, the great tribulation does not end. Jerusalem is said to parallel Christendom, Christendom is gone before Armageddon. Yet we say, “…we will witness Armageddon, the climax of the great tribulation, which parallels Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 C.E.” So it would appear that the Jerusalem of 66 C.E. (which isn’t destroyed) typifies Christendom which is destroyed, and the Jerusalem of 70 C.E. which is destroyed typifies the world at Armageddon.
Of course, there is an alternative explanation that doesn’t require us to jump through interpretive hoops, but this is not a place for additional speculation. We’ll leave that for another time.
Here are the key questions we should be asking ourselves: Is any proof provided for including Armageddon as a so-called “phase two” of the great tribulation? Does this thought at least harmonize with Scripture?
A careful reading of the article reveals the answer to both questions is “No”.
What does the Bible actually say on the subject?
According to Mt. 24:29, the signs the precede Armageddon come “after the tribulation of those days”. So why do we contradict that plain declaration of our Lord and say these signs come during the great tribulation? We arrive at our belief in a two-phase great tribulation based not on Scripture, but on human interpretation. We have concluded that Jesus words at Mt. 24:21 must apply to Armageddon. From par. 8: “With the battle of Armageddon as its climax, that coming great tribulation will be unique—an event ‘such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning.’“ If Armageddon is a tribulation, then the flood of Noah’s day was also one. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, could be titled, “The tribulation on Sodom and Gomorrah.” But that doesn’t fit, does it? The word tribulation is used in the Greek Scriptures to refer to a time of testing and stress, and almost always applies to God’s people, not the wicked. The wicked are not tested. So Noah’s Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and Armageddon, were not and are not times of testing, but of destruction. Arguably, Armageddon is the greatest destruction of all time, but Jesus wasn’t referring to destruction, but tribulation.
Yeah, but Jerusalem was destroyed and that was called the greatest tribulation of all time by Jesus. Perhaps, but perhaps not. The tribulation he predicted referred to Christians being required to travel, to abandon home and hearth, kit and kin on a moment’s notice. That was a test. But those days were cut short so that come flesh could be saved. They were cut short in 66 C.E., so the tribulation ended then. Do you say you are cutting something short if you’re only going to start it up again? So, what followed was the destruction in 70 C.E., not a revival of the tribulation.
The endnote indicates that we’ve abandoned the idea that some of the anointed might possibly live through Armageddon. The endnote references a “Question from Readers” in The Watchtower of August 14, 1990 which asks, “Will some anointed Christians survive the “great tribulation” to live on earth”. The article answers that question with these opening words: “Pointedly, the Bible does not say.”
My apologies. That isn’t a very dignified reaction, but to be honest, it was my own visceral response at reading this. After all, the Bible does say so and very pointedly. It says: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones…” (Mt. 24:29, 31) How could Jesus have stated it any more clearly? How could we have expressed any doubt or uncertainty as to the sequence of events he predicted?
At least now, we have it right. Well, almost. We say that they will be taken up—dare we use the term, “raptured ”—before Armageddon, but since we consider that to be phase two of the great tribulation, they still don’t live through it—at least not through all of it. But just for a change, let’s go with what the Bible actually says and acknowledge that the anointed still alive after the tribulation ends will be raptured up.
This paragraph states, “…Jehovah’s people, as a group, will come out of the great tribulation.”
Why “as a group”? All the Christians that left Jerusalem in 66 C.E. were saved. Any Christians who stayed behind ceased being Christians due to their disobedience. Look at all the destruction that Jehovah has brought throughout history. There is no one instance where some of his faithful ones were lost as well. Collateral damage and acceptable losses are terms that apply to human, not divine warfare. Saying we are saved as a group allows for the thought that individuals may be lost, but the group as a whole will survive. That shortens Jehovah’s hand, does it not?
In paragraph 13 the conclusion is that Jesus “comes during the great tribulation”. This is so blatantly out of step with scripture it’s ridiculous. How much clearer could this passage be …
(Matthew 24:29, 30) “Immediately after the tribulation of those days… they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
This whole article is supposed to be an authoritative statement on timing (notice the emphasis on “when” in the title and the opening paragraphs). Very well. In Mt. 24:29 Jesus makes a clear statement on the timing of events. Our teaching contradicts his statement. Do we address the contradiction anywhere? No. Do we offer Scriptural support for our contradicting teaching to help the reader resolve the conflict? No. We again make an arbitrary assertion which the reader is supposed to accept unquestioningly.
Paragraph 14 (onwards)
Under the subheading “When Does Jesus Come?” we deal with a change in our understanding of the time of Christ’s arrival as it relates to the parables of 1) the faithful and discreet slave, 2) the virgins as the wedding feast, and 3) the talents. We finally admit the obvious thing that all Christian commentators have known for years: that Christ’s coming is yet future. This is new light only for us. Every other major religion that claims to follow Christ has believed this for years. This has an impact on our interpretation of the application of Prov. 4:18 which is so profound that we will deal with it in a separate post.
As stated above, a brief mention of the parable of the Discreet and Foolish Virgins is made here. Our new understanding obliterates our previous interpretation of these parables which had everything being fulfilled from 1914 to 1919. However, no new understanding is given here, so we await a revised interpretation.
It is our desire to be impartial and to review these articles dispassionately. However, with fully half a dozen points of contention in the very first article of the four, it is a real challenge to do so. New understandings need to be taught with full Scriptural support. Any apparent contradiction with Scripture needs to be explained and resolved. Supporting statements should never be presented as accepted or established truth without ample corroboration from Scripture or the historical record. The foregoing is all part of the “pattern of healthful words”, but it is a pattern we are not holding to in this article. (1 Tim. 1:13) Let us see if we fare better in the subsequent articles.
“the king will soon come to beging his presence”by you. The king will soon come i agree but his presence (parosia) ‘being alongside’you said to begin. By this you contadict youself. Earlier, you have tried to prove that he began ruling since 33CE and not 1914, thus that his presence in kingly power began then i.e that he had being alongside since 33CE but now his presence is to begin when he comes. When we even talk about his being aloneside,is it not in relation to his assuming the Davidic throne which account of Ezikiel 21:26,27 said that will remain… Read more »
Keep in mind that “being alongside” is not a Bible term. It is a partial definition of “parousia”. We need to stick to the scriptures to see the simple truth. Jesus promised to be “with” his disciples “all the days until the conclusion of the system of things” (Matt 28:20). So in this sense he has been alongside us since 33 C.E. But we know that is not the “erchomai” or “parousia” referred to in scripture since those would occur at the conclusion of the system of things (Matt 24). Christians are also warned not to listen to premature declarations… Read more »
Again, you are making many unsupported assertions, but are not answering the question I put to you yesterday. “Are you suggesting that you can provide scriptural proof to show the date when Satan was cast down?” To that allow me to add, “If yes, then please provide the scriptural proof.”
Meleti, the answer to your question is afirmatively Yes! I have proved it over and over here,go back and read please. Last time you asked if there is any relation between 2tim3 to other scriptures that counld prove if the last days in that account is synonimous to the conclution of this system, that i had done. And in the 7 point i laid out initialy, i proved that satan and his demons were hurled down from heaven the same time period God’s kingdom and the authority of his Christ went into effect, that you can read here: Rev 12:9,10,… Read more »
I beg to differ. You have not “proved it over and over”. You have asserted it over and over is all. This site contains numerous articles by both Apollos and myself, together with thoughtful, well-researched comments, all proving from scripture as well as historical sources that 1914 is of no significance at all. These do not contain assertions, because we do not value the opinions of men masquerading as divine truth. >>”Last time you asked if there is any relation between 2tim3 to other scriptures that counld prove if the last days in that account is synonimous to the conclution… Read more »
your reasonings are laughable, it is said that birds of the same fadder flock together, you and Appolos have the same goal and that is why YOU rejects all scriptural evidiences provided and still claim there is no evidience provided. I underwent this little discoursion with you people to text how you are mature in understanding the deep things of Jehovah, but am sory to say am disappointed,because their is no true reasoning with YOU. I do not know if you both are still active servants of Jehovah,but i do not hate you at all, while i will discontinue this… Read more »
Well, when I compare your reasoning to Meleti’s and Apollo’s – then it is yours which is pretty poor and based on assumptions, not on plain bible teachings. Sorry, but I’m just a honest watcher
Thank you Kyp for that independent viewpoint. We have allowed this seemingly profitless discussion to proceed thinking that it might provide an object lesson in what seems to be the characteristic method that those supporting the 1914 doctrine use when dealing with a contrary viewpoint. I don’t agree that this question qualifies under Paul’s direction to Timothy as “foolish and ignorant” since it is a pivotal doctrine of our Organization. However, I do lament the lack of serious supporters who are willing to carry the banner of the Organization and present us with a logical, reasonably stated argument in its… Read more »
truth- In contrast with the scriptural admonition to always be ready to provide an answer for our beliefs, you only seem capable of running away from the scriptures when they are presented to you.
After many years of reading commentaries from various sources, I have always found that people who make no genuine effort to spell, or provide a reasonable degree of grammar in what they write, are often equally flawed in their reasoning ability.
In this day and age spell-checker is only a click away.
You may benefit from using it, truth
I was about to remove this comment in light of my direction to you in my previous comment, but I thought it best to give you one more chance. You’ve laid down seven premise points upon which your argument is based, but a false premise will only lead to false conclusions. This is the fallacy of “circular reasoning”. First, prove your premise, then make your point. Example: 4. “The lenght (sic) of the last days of this system of things corresponds to the length of Satans ‘ (sic) short period of time’in (sic) this same system of things,thus, (sic) both… Read more »
This is a continuation but conclution of my comment about the start of the last day of this system of things, which i and appolos were discoursing. I exterblished this point in earlier comments. 1. The last days of any system, is always before the destruction of that system. 2. The first centuary Christains lived in the last days of jerusalem destruction which evidiently began in 33CE( Acts2:17). 3. Appostle paul wrote 2timothy 3, where he mentioned “in the last days”, while the last days of jerusalem’s destruction had already began,making his word to have more future implications.if he was… Read more »
You are choosing to ignore a critical point that I made in relation to 2 Tim 3. You insist that Paul must have been talking about a period still 2000 years in the future, otherwise according to you he would have explicitly worded it to indicate that they were already in that period. Let me ask you this? Who was Paul writing to? At the end of v5 he gives an instruction “… and from these turn away”. Who is he giving this instruction to? The answer quite obviously is Timothy. Now who is Timothy to “turn away” from? Again… Read more »
Apolos bro, i have never in anyway disagreed that 2tim3 does not have an application during when it was written. In my initial comment, i said that the account of second timothy was written while the last days of that system had already begon,that means, while it has an application then but the context show that paul’s word will have greater meaning in the future since there will be a greater last days to come. In this my last comment i showed that contextually, paul’s word have more future implications that will be more crtical than in first centuary, ‘from… Read more »
And I am not saying that 2 Tim 3 doesn’t have application for Christians today. I am merely countering your argument that Paul’s choice of words automatically lead us to conclude that he wanted to reader to infer a second period in history delineated by particular start and end dates. All true Christians who have ever lived need to be on guard against the “wicked men and imposters” who would advance from bad to worse (2 Tim 3:13). In your world view do you think that someone hit the reset button in the year 71 A.D. and all of a… Read more »
Are you suggesting that you can provide scriptural proof to show the date when Satan was cast down?
Now I will also address your interpretation of Ps 110:1,2. You believe that “Sit at my right hand until …” denotes a “waiting period that ran from 33C.E. to 1914C.E. Is that correct? There are three questions that need to be answered from scripture: 1) When did the period begin? 2) When did (or will) the period end? 3) What role is Jesus playing during this period? It seems that we can agree on the answer to #1, based on Acts 2:33-36. The “sitting at God’s right hand” must have begun in 33C.E. But what about the end? According to… Read more »
let me correct you Appolos. The watchtower did not say ‘we misinterpreted jesus comming’. Jw have always differentiate between Christ comming(elkomai) and his presence(parousia) placing his coming in the future while his paroucia began in 1914 even as you can see it in reasoning book.it is the last four coming (pragraph 16,17 of second acticle) that were before thought to apply to his presence,read carefully please. About your 3 questions, i have answered all in my previous comments. When the waiting period began, the role jesus played during the waiting period and when it ended. Ps 110:1 has a seperate… Read more »
“Jw have always differentiate between Christ comming(elkomai) and his presence(parousia) placing his coming in the future while his paroucia began in 1914” Let me correct you in turn. Keep working your way back on the Watchtower Library and you will find that even the “coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” in Matt 24:30 was claimed to have already occurred. We have gradually been forced to relinquish our doctrine piece by piece as it becomes more obvious that it just doesn’t work. This latest batch that you refer to (it’s article 1 by the way), is… Read more »
I need to slightly modify a statement I made above. Since the comment has received a reply I will do it by way of a further comment rather than an edit. I stated that 1 Cor 15:25,26 very directly answers both questions 2 & 3. Actually it really only directly answers #2, and gives us further information about #3. We are told that Jesus “must rule as king until” the end of this period, since both here and in Psalm 110:1,2 the end of the period is marked by God having put all enemies under his feet. However I acknowledge… Read more »
And on a similar vein (at least I think so) from everything I have read I find it easy to overlook the errors of Bro. Russell based on his obvious genuine love for Jehovah, the Scriptures and his treatment of others, but do not regard ‘Judge’ Rutherford as anything more than an intellectual pretender, egotist and abuser of the flock. A flaw which some of the GB members have been renowned for over the years, according to many ex Bethelites.
i think many people here are seeking for attention. The whole truth is that you are doing more harm to urself than good.hunestly,i will like to address so,e self thought here,but thats will be next time
I’m not entirely clear on what you are saying. My guess is that you are not a native English speaker. If that is the case, might I suggest you get someone to translate your comment into clear and understandable English. We welcome all sincere truth seekers, but I personally am reluctant to reply until I’m sure of what the writer really means.
WHEN DID THE LAST DAYS OF THIS SYSTEN OF THINGS BEGAN? i appreciate your comment Appolos, yes, there should be a definite point in time denoted by the bible and decernable through history as to when the last days of this present system of things should begin,isn’t it? But is there such point in time that both the scripture and history support?. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SHOW? What is the total length of the last days of this system of things? Learning how long it will last will help us know when it attually began since as jehovah’s people,we already… Read more »
I can certainly anticipate your next comment. You will already find my reply to it, if you examine my discussion with J Watson here. But here’s the thing. If your faith depends upon 1914 being the enthronement of Christ Jesus and 1919 being the appointment of God’s human channel, then I do not wish to personally dissuade you. I still think that it is better to have faith based upon something flawed, than to lose faith altogether. And I truly think that is a danger for Christians who have been misled. There are many who have lost their faith in… Read more »
The great difficulty many of us face, is that once we ‘know’ that what we have been taught is based on organizational lies and misleading scriptures, we cannot go back. (compare James 4:17) I am sure many will gain Jehovah’s favor based on their heart condition and application of bible principles, not perfect knowledge of scriptural intricacies. The burden of judgement will fall on those who reject the Bible’s authority to determine right from wrong and impose their own authority. Which is why Jesus condemned the Pharisees and will reject similar ‘men of lawlessness’ in our time. I have spoken… Read more »
Friends, I have very much enjoyed the discussion so far. I just want to add a few comments One about Mat 24:14 Part of the sign of the last days. Another that has to do with Christs “coming in a cloud”.. Firstly Mathew 24:14 (Matthew 24:13, 14) . . .. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come. The footnote under Preached says..Or, “be heralded.” Gr., ke·ry·khthe′se·tai; Lat., prae·di·ca′bi·tur. Compare Da 5:29 ftn, “Heralded.” Also in Mark 13:10 (Also, in all the… Read more »
A very good comment from you.
All God has left for us is the Holy Bible, so why being stuck to one possible interpretation and damning everyone that doesn’t stuck to it together with us until the leadership says it otherwise? No friends, that’s not the meaning of the gospel, not the meaning of following Christ, isn’t it? So I like your good, Bible based reasoning, thank you brother.
Again, while i wll aggree wt u my brother, that the Angel of Rev 14:16 has a direct part in accomplishment of math24:14 , yet,u 4got to tell us the time period when this Angel wll likely begin his anouncement since u do not believe that He is now doing so through the organised preaching campain of JW today and thus,u concluded that ‘the last days had not began’. My question is: what does the bible mean by “the last days”(not day)?. When did or perhaps will it begin? How and when will the Angel begin this proclamation? How will… Read more »
We are interested in exchanging scriptural research on this forum; research and insights which are upbuilding, instructive, thought-provoking and challenging. However, we should strive to do this always with humility and deep respect. Respect for others; respect for ourselves; even respect for our message can be demonstrated in many ways. An important Bible truth deserves to be well presented. “As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken [or written] at the right time for it.” (Prov. 25:11) However, if that “word” is indecipherable, then how much good can it really do? If our readers have to struggle… Read more »
This is partly a reply to Silas and also to the other comment by “truth”. One point that Silas is making, on which I agree, is that nothing indicates that 1914 is a delineated start of “the last days”. But we have to remember that the term “last days” itself is not specifically linked with the preaching or disciple making work anywhere in scripture. Matthew chapter 24 does not use the term. Neither does Rev 14:6. So what is meant by “the last days” in the context of Acts 2:17 and 2 Tim 3:1 could simply be the entire Christian… Read more »
it seems you are not really sure of what the bible mean by the term “last days”? (Please focus on my point not my English yet i will try to improved) first, according to the reasoning book,its first hand definition is:”…the concluding time period leading up to a divinely appointed execution that marks the end of a system of things”. That is the general defination. People in time past have before a destruction,lived in its last days,now a destruction is before us,when can we say that the scripture shows that the last days of this our own system of things… Read more »
You have supposed that Paul was trying to show that “the greater last days” as you put it was still in the future from his perspective. However, this is not substantiated from the context of his writing. It was a letter to his brother and fellow Christian Timothy. 2 Tim 3:14 shows that the warning Paul gave would indeed be something that Timothy himself should be on guard against. It was not just something that would occur nearly 2000 years in the future. That Paul was saying that these things would occur throughout the entire Christian era, and therefore all… Read more »
I would just like to mention that’s there are plenty of scriptures that seem to indicate Jesus was given his kingdom directly after or soon after he was resurrected. Acts 1:11 Rev. and other scriptures seems to indicate that when he comes we will all know it. There is only 1 scripture at Mt.24:3 that says or indicates a presence, and that word in Greek actually means ‘along side’ not hes here up there somewhere but we can’t see or feel or anything we just have to take someones or the bibles word for it. last but not least i… Read more »
I concur, this website has shown extensive arguments about why the 1914 doctrine is flawed.
Since Jesus did not come back in 1914, doubts are cast on the timing of what went on in heaven from 1914-1919.
As a matter of fact, the whole foundation for the authority of the governing body as the faithful and discreet slave is shown to be built upon sand when we realize the truth about 1914 and subsequently 1919.
Dear Meleti, I am a sister in the U.K, having attended meetings since 1961, babtised 1966 and being an avid student not only of the Bible and J W’s, but also of as many other religions as I could. Bible prophecy always fascinated me, although it was sometimes hard to see how some things could be made to fit, as you may say. My understanding of the prophecies concerning the last days is as follows. The prophecy starts with the disciples asking Jesus, ‘what will be sign of your presence, and of the conclusion of the system of things?’. Jesus… Read more »
Hi J Watson I appreciated reading your comments. You have obviously given the matter more thought than some – in particular your point about why the ‘parousia’ must mean an end-times invisible presence, whether or not 1914 is an exact date. Your reasoning seemed to hinge on the necessity for Jesus to be invisibly “alongside” his followers during these critical years leading up to the end of the system of things. My burning question therefore is what do you think Jesus meant by “And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things”… Read more »
hello Apollos, interesting comment, – ‘When Christ is present, all will know ……. and his millenial reign will begin.’ Are we to understand that you believe the parousia, arrival and subsequent presence, – is yet to come? If so, – I can see why, but yes, from Jesus words at Matt 28:20, it is clear that he would be with any genuine Christians from that time on. However, as far as any organised religion disemminating God’s message to both the sheep and the world is concerned, can you suggest any that can stand up under the scrutiny of Matt 7:… Read more »
You know, the apostles were imperfect yet nothing they said in the bible contradicts itself neither does the holy spirit allow them to teach anything that later is to proved wrong.
JW Excellent points regardless of what side of the fence on this discussion ones fall on, I think I actually needed your perspective. Two points that stood out are how as an org we’ve learned for the most part (and it’s a continuing process) that giving predictions or trying to say we understand prophecies 100% even though well intentioned is not recommended (including as you mentioned us as Christians non GB members as well). We’ve got it so wrong before and by doing those things only gives people/ Satan ways to mock a group of mostly sincere Christians unnecessarily. Also… Read more »
Yes, I do believe that the parousia, arrival and subsequent presence is yet to come. I am fully convinced of that. Matt 7:15-23 is referring to individuals, not organized religion. I accept that an organization that promotes the good fruits that Jesus talks about would be a good place to practice Christianity. As I’ve previously made clear, I do believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses have got many things right as far as this is concerned. However, if someone were to continue to practice the moral elements of the original Mosaic law to the best of their ability then they would produce… Read more »
A very appealing proposal. It would be of great benefit to have both sides argued out so that all can see the reasoning for and against. If you are interested in “picking up the glove” J W, we could arrange a format that would present every element of the teaching as a single topic. Each topic would be argued, pros and cons, and then we could move on to the next element. We could start with the topic of 607. What proof is there that 607 is an accurate date marking the exile of the Jews to Babylon? If you… Read more »
Dear Meleti, and Apollos,
have sent you email confirming acceptance.
Got the email accepting. I’ll follow up tomorrow with details. Thanks,
Hi J W, It looks like it’s just as well we’re moving it to another thread. I can’t even reply directly to your acceptance as the column has gotten too small. The email will have gone to Meleti, so I’ll wait to hear how we might present this. All the best for now, and I look forward to the discussion. Apollos
I would just say that even more than the 607 issue, I think the interpretation of Daniel 4 and Jesus’ statement concerning the gentile times are even more telling. We can argue all day long about dating, but the interpretation of those passages is much more straight forward.
Just my 2 cents.
Hello J Waston The apostles ask Jesus a question. Matthew 24 3 Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” The Watchtower Society explains that Jesus answers them by saying something like “Well guys, when you see wars, an increase in wickedness and sickness etc…thats when I have arrived.And I will be with you( invisibly) until the conclusion of the system of things, until Armageddon!Oh by the way ive appointed a faithful slave to tell you what to do, so that you will survive… Read more »
If you haven’t already done so, you might be interested to read my full exchange with J Watson over the matter of 1914 here: http://meletivivlon.com/discussion/1914-2/apollos-vs-jw/
I agree with all the points you made. Understanding what Jesus meant by the sign in relation to his parousia is crucial to avoiding the mistake that the Apostle Paul warned Christians against in 2 Thes 2:1,2
Missed that, will have a look
That scripture in 2 Thessalonians 2:1,2 is very powerful in exposing the errors in our current belief of what christ’s presence is. Verse 1 links the presence of Jesus with the gathering of the anointed to christ – a gathering that takes place AFTER the great tribulation according to Matthew 24:29-31. Yes, this scripture shows that christs presence starts with his coming after the great tribulation. Verse 2 uses another synonymous term – “the day of Jehovah”. Christ’s presence, Christ’s coming and the day of Jehovah, all refer to the same time period of christ’s climactic coming after the great… Read more »
Absolutely right. The NWT rendering of “not they knew” (Interlinear) as “they took no note” was a key point in my article here in case you missed it: http://meletivivlon.com/2013/06/12/parousia-and-the-days-of-noah/
The whole context is about the unexpected nature of the parousia, just as you say.
Rereading my own comment I realized that “absolutely right” is a bit presumptuous. What I mean is that I completely agree that your reading of the scriptures makes sense. I never want to claim that my (or your) interpretation of them is absolutely right in a dogmatic sense. We already know where that leads to.
Forgive me J Watson I incorrectly spelt your surname(Waston)
I am saddened that instead of clarifying matters, the articles seem to make things harder to accept, I was hoping for more faith-strengthening scriptural information that would help me to press forward to the new system. It seems to me that scant effort has been made to make the new teachings things we can trust as “inspired expressions” that we can test, and no explanation as to how we are to view decades of our going door to door with a different message that we proclaimed to be the truth. Most of my Theocratic Library is now made up of… Read more »
Harrison You state basically what I’ve been feeling since December. Just recently I’ve been fighting with myself on the very points you bring up and other things that has not given me the confidence I think most of us need on certain teachings. I say fighting because certain doubts some feel as a lack of faith but how can that be since I REALLY want to make sure I’m always teaching truth not only since Jehovah holds me accountable for false teachings but also so I can respond to others in confidence since we preach we have accurate knowledge. However,… Read more »
Meleti, I’d like to make a few comments on your post and the article. On paragraph 6, I must disagree with your conclusions. If it isn’t a dual fulfillment I’m more inclined to see it fulfilled in 70 with the events leading up to it. While you raise some objections, I don’t feel these are valid. For example, older commentaries by the likes of John Gill and Adam Clarke seem to give the answers to when the events transpired. Consider them: Gill – “Which wars, the gloss says, will be between the nations of the world, and Israel. Here wars… Read more »
Hi Steve I must say I am slightly torn on the dual fulfillment, single fulfillment, or partial dual fulfillment question. It seems possible to reconstruct history to fit, but we do have to do some “fitting”. It doesn’t just stand out in general history as a precise fulfillment. That having been said I do think it’s always important to try to view scriptures through the eyes of the audience, and to that end I agree there is a decent case to acknowledge that the people of the day may have seen those events as matching Jesus’ words. It seems to… Read more »
Apollos, you and Steve have got me thinking. I too had trouble with the idea of the “holy place” being Jerusalem and Christendom, though that understanding made much more sense than our previous one. However, in attacking Jerusalem, the Romans were threatening the spiritual temple. In attacking apostate Christendom, the UN will likewise be attacking true Christians, as they–like the Romans–will be making on distinction between true and false worship. They will want to wipe it all out. So an argument can be made that the holy place refers to true worshippers of Jehovah God, the spiritual temple then and… Read more »
There are various opinions on Matthew 24, including the partial preterist view that finds all of Matthew 24 fulfilled in the first century, and only final judgment in Matthew 25 in the end times. Addittedly, there is an appeal to this perspective to me because it flows from the very beginning of the context, but that is not without difficulties also. I don’t see how we can remove the temple context from the prophecy, given that if we start in verse 1 that is what is directly in view. Matthew 23:38 does bring up some interesting questions, but I wonder… Read more »
I appreciate your extensive research, Steve. I’m learning of things I had no idea of previously. My main point was that the article provides no support for the allegation that there was a parallel fulfillment from 33 to 66 C.E. In all the years I’ve been reading the magazine, I’ve never seen historical proof presented to support this claim. There have been some attempts, but citing a war here and a famine there is not proof, as there is no era in history where there haven’t been wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. In addition, if our interpretation is to hold, there… Read more »
Thanks Meleti for a well researched post.
I am more than a little surprised there are so many inconsistencies in this article. They are very straightforward points from the scriptures. It would seem that we have a real hesitancy to leave some long held ideas behind.
I am really looking forward to discussion on these articles.