Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems – Jesus offered Refreshment (Matthew 12-13)
Matthew 13:24-26 (w13 7/15 9-10 para 2-3) (nwtsty)
This reference states “how and when Jesus would gather out of mankind the entire wheat class—anointed Christians who will rule with him in his Kingdom.“
As discussed on this site before many times there is no scriptural support for splitting Christians into two groups. Jesus said two groups would become one flock. (John 10:16.) This is in the opposite direction to that taught by the organisation (one flock of Christians becoming two groups with different destinations, the 144,000 anointed, and the Great Crowd). The reference would therefore be accurate if read without “anointed” in the sentence or replaced with ‘chosen’.This goes for all the references cited this week to the w13 7/15.
This part of the reference raises two issues.
- The first is that neither of these scriptures cited mention or give any support to the claim that those gathered are taken to heaven.
- The second is that the gathering is interpreted as occurring over a long period of time by the organization. This does not make sense. Piecemeal resurrection of ‘anointed ones’ to heaven to wait for Armageddon serves no purpose. See the discussion of Matthew 13:30 regarding the ‘gathering’.
Matthew 13:27-29 (w13 7/15 10 para 4) (nwtsty)
“There have always been some anointed wheatlike Christians on earth. That conclusion is confirmed by what Jesus later told his disciples: “I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20) So anointed Christians would be protected by Jesus all the days leading up to the time of the end.”
Did you notice what Jesus said, as opposed to the interpretation of the organization? He said “I am with you” or “I will be accompanying you”, not “I will protect you”. He would be supporting true Christians. He didn’t protect true Christians in the time of Nero from being put to death by being burnt on stakes or by wild beasts in the Roman arenas, but he was with them, helping them to undergo such suffering with dignity and calmness that surprised those seeing them.
Matthew 13:30 (w13 7/15 12 para 10-12) (nwtsty)
The paragraphs in this part of the reference are all based on the false premise that Jesus became King in 1914, rather than in the first century. For scriptural reasoning that this premise is wrong and that Jesus became King in the first century please see this article as well as others on this site.
How long does a harvest take? Harvest time is usually a very busy time, depending on the crop and planting time, lasting a few days to a few weeks out of a whole year. There is a short window in which the crop is ripe for harvesting. As it says in verse 30 “in the harvest season”. Outside of this short period of time the crop is inedible and unusable. In Matthew 13:39, 49, where Jesus explains another parallel parable he talks about the harvest taking place at the completion or consummation of the age. The origin of the Greek word for completion or consummation (“conclusion” in NWT) comes from a joint payment where two parties come together and settle debts. The sense is therefore the absolute end, consummation of a situation. It cannot be stretched to cover a long period of time, which is what the organization do to support their doctrine of Jesus becoming King in 1914, but Armageddon coming over 100 years later.
Did everything described in the scriptures for the ‘consummation of the age’ occur in 1914? No, many things are still to occur.
- Has Babylon the Great been destroyed yet?
- Have the weeds been collected and destroyed?
There is no evidence that either of these events have occurred. We could go on, but these two event themselves alone show the harvest cannot have started, or finished for that matter.
In paragraph 10 of the reference the claim is made that “After 1914, the angels began to collect weedlike Christians by separating them from the anointed sons of the kingdom”.
The paragraph gives no evidence to support this claim. It builds further upon this foundation of sand, by claiming in paragraph 11 that “By 1919 it became evident that Babylon the Great had fallen.” Again we ask: on what basis? While it is true that those affiliated with Christianity have fallen for Christianity since the early 1900’s from 95% to 52% in 2015[i] in countries where 80% were Christian, this has been counter balanced to some extent by the influx of migrants with religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and so forth (which are also part of Babylon the Great). Babylon the Great may be in a slow decline, but it has not fallen, (which would be dramatic and noticed), it has not been destroyed.
Also in paragraph 11 “What especially set true Christians (by which they mean JW’s) apart from imitation ones? The preaching work.” By the preaching work they mean going from door to door, not informal witnessing or other types of witnessing. That is the primary way of witnessing (almost to the exclusion of all others) both in the publications of the organization and in practice. Yet the term preaching does not apply to door to door witnessing.
Why do we say this? We have been recently reminded in the Study Bible notes on Matthew 3:1 “The Greek word basically means ‘to make proclamation as a public messenger’. It stresses the manner of the proclamation: usually an open, public declaration rather than a sermon to a group.” And we would add “or a single person coming uninvited to the door of their home”.
The use of sound cars and the open-air or hired halls events of the showing of the Photo-drama of Creation would probably qualify, as would standing and speaking from a soap-box at Speakers Corner,[ii] but not calling from door to door. So even by these means they have hardly set themselves apart from others. Do other religious groups witness and evangelise? Yes, they do. Adherents of other Christian religions will speak informally to friends and work colleagues. Some even advertise conventions in newspapers, on the internet or have TV \ Internet broadcasting (most setup many years before JW broadcasting started). This work has even coined a new phrase ‘TV Evangelist’.
Finally for paragraph 12 they cite Daniel 7:18,22,27 as support for what will happen to the chosen ones at the end of the system of things, saying “the final gathering will take place when they receive their heavenly reward”. Nothing in Daniel supports either a “final gathering” or “heavenly reward”. As for claiming “Since 1919, anointed ones have been gathered into the restored Christian congregation”, the changes that have been made to the “restored Christian congregation” are so great that the current “restored congregation” bears little resemblance to that which I knew 35-40 years ago, and virtually no resemblance to that of 1950 or 1919 or 1874. The structure, the teachings, and the practices have all changed so dramatically over that time. The Christian congregation of the first century did not undergo such radical changes in so short a time.
In short the scriptures talk of a gathering; not an intermittent gathering, followed by a final gathering. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Revelation 7:1-7, Matthew 24:30-31)
Jesus, The Way (jy Chapter 7) – Astrologers visit Jesus
Nothing of note.
[ii] Speakers Corner: An area where open-air public speaking, debate and discussion are allowed. The original and most noted is the northeast corner of Hyde Park, London, UK.