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[Most of the work and research that has gone into this article is the result of the efforts of one of our readers who, for reasons we can all understand, has chosen to remain anonymous. My sincere thanks go out to him.]
(1 Th 5:3) “Whenever it is they are saying peace and security, then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape.”
As Jehovah’s Witnesses, our current interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 5:3 is that there is going to be some sort of worldwide proclamation of “peace and security” that signals true Christians to the nearness of the “sudden destruction” of this world’s system of things. This will begin with the demolition of false religion referred to in Revelation as “Babylon the Great.”
In this year’s Regional Conventions, this topic is generating a lot of interest. We are told that “whenever they are saying peace and security”, the Great Tribulation will be imminent and that we should keep in expectation for some special life-saving message from the Governing Body. (ws11/16 p.14)
Is that line of reasoning the correct interpretation of this verse, or is it possible the verse has another meaning? Who is it that says, “peace and security?” Why did Paul add, “you are not in darkness?” And why did Peter warn Christians to ‘be careful not to be misled?’ (1 Th 5:4, 5; 2 Pe 3:17)
Let us begin by reviewing a sampling of what has been repeatedly taught in our publications for many decades:
(w13 11/15 pp. 12-13 pars. 9-12 How Can We Maintain “a Waiting Attitude”?)
9 In the near future, the nations will say “peace and security!” If we are not to be caught off guard by this declaration, we need to “stay awake and keep our senses.” (1 Th 5:6)
12 “What role will the leaders of Christendom and of other religions play? How will the leaders of various governments be involved in this proclamation? The Scriptures do not tell us.…”
(w12 9/15 p. 4 pars. 3-5 How This World Will Come to an End)
“…However, just before that day of Jehovah begins, world leaders will be saying “Peace and security!” This may refer to one event or to a series of events. Nations may think that they are close to solving some of their big problems. What about the religious leaders? They are part of the world, so it is possible that they will join the political leaders. (Rev. 17:1, 2) The clergy would thus be imitating the false prophets of ancient Judah. Jehovah said about them: “They [are] saying, ‘There is peace! There is peace!’ when there is no peace.”—Jer. 6:14, 23:16, 17.
4 No matter who will share in saying “Peace and security!” that development will indicate that Jehovah’s day is to begin. Paul could therefore state: “Brothers, you are not in darkness, so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves, for you are all sons of light.” (1 Th 5:4, 5) Unlike mankind in general, we discern the Scriptural significance of current events. How exactly will this prophecy about saying “Peace and security!” be fulfilled? We must wait and see. Therefore, let us be determined to “stay awake and keep our senses.”—1 Th 5:6, Zep 3:8.
(w10 7/15 pp. 5-6 par. 13 What Jehovah’s Day Will Reveal)
13 The cry “Peace and security!” will not fool Jehovah’s servants. “You are not in darkness,” wrote Paul, “so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves, for you are all sons of light and sons of day.” (1 Th 5:4, 5) So let us stay in the light, far away from the darkness of Satan’s world. Peter wrote: “Beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard that you may not be led away with them [false teachers within the Christian congregation]”
Since no corroborating scriptures are provided to support this understanding, we must consider this as a completely unsupported eisegetical interpretation, or to put it another way: the personal opinion of men.
Let’s examine this verse exegetically to see what Paul really meant.
In conjunction with this statement, he also said:
“Brothers, you are not in darkness, so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves, for you are all sons of light.” (1 Th 5:4, 5)
Note: regarding this “darkness”, the last cited article adds:
“…be on your guard that you may not be led away with them [false teachers within the Christian congregation]—2 Pet. 3:17.” (w10 7/15 pp. 5-6 par. 13)
Who Are “They”?
Who are “they”? Who are the ones crying “peace and security”? The nations? The world rulers?
The WT Library publications equate the words of the apostle Paul, “whenever they are saying peace and security”, with the ancient words of Jeremiah. Was Jeremiah referring to world rulers?
Some Bible commentators suggest that the apostle Paul likely had the context of Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s writings in mind.
(Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11) And they try to heal the breakdown of my people lightly (*superficially), saying, [a delusionary belief] ‘There is peace! There is peace!’ When there is no peace.’
(Jeremiah 23:16, 17) This is what Jehovah of armies says: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are deluding you. The vision they speak is from their own heart, Not from the mouth of Jehovah. 17 They are saying again and again to those who disrespect me, ‘Jehovah has said: “You will enjoy peace.”’ And to everyone who follows his own stubborn heart they say, ‘No calamity will come upon you.’
(Ezekiel 13:10) All of this is because they have led my people astray by saying, “There is peace!” when there is no peace. When a flimsy partition wall is built, they are plastering it with whitewash.
Notice, these people were being influenced by false prophets. What Jeremiah was saying is that the people—God’s unbelieving, wayward people—were superficially led to believe they were at peace with God, because they chose to believe the false prophet. Consider Paul’s words: “Whenever they are saying, “peace and security”. Who are the “they” he refers to? Paul did not say they were the nations or world rulers acting in concert with religious leaders. No. Rather, staying within the harmony of Scripture, it would seem he was referring to the self-deluded, self-proclaimed, self-righteous Christians who are being spiritually misled, and therefore walking in darkness. (1Th 5:4)
It is analogous to the Jews in spiritual darkness in 66-70 C.E. Those trusting in their false prophets were due to receive Jehovah’s sudden judgement. Why? For believing the idea that He would not destroy what amounted to their holy ‘hide outs’, their “inner rooms”, that is, Jerusalem and the temple. Therefore, they had no compunction about proclaiming peace and security with God.
One is reminded of the biblical principle recorded at Proverbs 1:28, 31-33:
(Proverbs 1:28, 31-33) 28 At that time they will keep calling me, but I will not answer, They will eagerly look for me, but they will not find me… 31 So they will bear the consequences of their way, And they will be glutted with their own counsel. 32 For the waywardness of the inexperienced will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 But the one listening to me will dwell in security and be undisturbed by the dread of calamity.”
Note that it was their failure to lean on God rather than men that brought about their demise. Writing before that destruction, Paul’s timely reminder that these ones would be crying out, “peace and security!”, gave sincere Christians the forewarning they needed not to be taken in by false prophets proffering false hopes.
(w81 11/15 pp. 16-20 ‘Stay Awake and Keep Your Senses’)
“Let us not sleep on as the rest do but, let us stay awake and keep our senses.”—1 Th 5:6.
WHEN Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in his generation, he stated: “These are the days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22) In 70 C.E., God’s righteous execution of judgment came against those [Jews] who had profaned his name, broken his laws and persecuted his servants. Similarly, God’s righteous execution of judgment against this present wicked system of things is soon to come, once again demonstrating that all the things written in Bible prophecy are sure to be fulfilled. And ‘that judgment will come with shocking suddenness to “those” who are unprepared, for the Bible states: “Whenever it is that “they” are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them.”—1 Th 5:2, 3.
It was about 50 C.E. when the apostle Paul’s successful preaching to the Thessalonians brought them under fiery persecution and tribulation from the Jewish religious leaders. Prompted by holy spirit and God’s providence, Paul makes the pronouncement, “whenever it is that they are saying peace and security…” (1 Th 5:3) That was 20 years before the great tribulation and complete destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, including the Jewish religious system. So, who specifically, are “they” that are saying “peace and security?” It would appear that in the historical context, it would be the wayward inhabitants of Jerusalem with their false prophets that Paul had in mind. They were the ones crying peace and security, shortly before sudden destruction came upon them.
Referring to it as “the cry of peace and security” as the publications do, leads one to think it is a single noteworthy proclamation and as such represents a sign Christians can look to. But Paul does not use the phrase “the cry of”. He refers to it as an ongoing event.
So, how do our public instructors draw a parallel to the prophesy regarding the so-called cry of peace and security with that first-century generation, and the conclusion of this system of things?
Consider this reference from the November 15, 1981 The Watchtower (p. 16):
3 “…Note that those who are not awake spiritually are caught “unawares,” [as in Noah’s day] for that “day” comes upon them “suddenly,” “instantly,” in just the same way that “sudden destruction is to be instantly upon” those who are saying “Peace and security!”
5 Jesus … likened spiritually ‘unaware’ persons to those in Noah’s day who “took no note until the flood came and swept them all away….With good reason did Jesus say: “Remember the wife of Lot.”
6 … In addition, there is also [the example] of the first-century Jewish nation. Those religious Jews felt that they were worshiping God sufficiently…”
Note: As this Watchtower article shows, the Jews were misled by their false teachers as to their personal relationship with God: ‘There is peace! There is peace!’ When there is no peace.’ (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11.) The point at issue in this review is: it is not the nations of the world that proclaim some irresistible message of peace and security. No. That statement is directly attributed to the false prophet who misled the people with a delusional message about their personal relationship with God—their peace and security—in essence saying, ‘to be saved all you need to do is obey our directives, for we are God’s prophet.’
Witnesses like to call Israel, Jehovah’s first earthly organization. Well, consider the situation back then.
(w88 4/1 p. 12 pars. 7-9 Jeremiah—Unpopular Prophet of God’s Judgments)
8 “… the Jewish religious leaders were lulling the nation into a false sense of security, saying, “There is peace! There is peace!” when there was no peace. (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11) Yes, they were fooling the people into believing that they were at peace with God. They felt that there was nothing to worry about, for they were Jehovah’s saved people, possessing the holy city and its temple. But is that how Jehovah viewed the situation?
9 Jehovah commanded Jeremiah to take a position in full public view at the gate of the temple and deliver His message to the worshipers who entered there. He had to tell them: “Do not put your trust in fallacious words, saying, ‘The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!’… It will certainly be of no benefit at all.” The Jews were walking by sight, not by faith, as they boasted in their temple.”
Since all things were written for our instruction, if we recognize that it is not the nations that declare peace and security, but the false prophets, then what instruction do we glean for our benefit? Could it be that in a similar manner many are being deluded by fallacious words today about the great tribulation? How about the promised, life-saving, coded words of special instruction from the Organization—God’s Prophet?
“Thus Jehovah’s earthly channel of communication is identified. The earthly channel is either a prophet or a collective prophetlike organization.” (w55 5/15 p. 305 par. 16)
From the prophetic shadows to the actual realities we observe that this God-provided channel for Christians is the collective congregation of anointed ones who serve as a prophetlike organization. (w55 5/15 p. 308 par. 1)
Unlike the prophecies or forecasts of men, which are at best only educated guesses, the prophecies of Jehovah are from the mind of the One who created the universe, the One powerful enough to direct the course of events to fulfill his word. Jehovah’s prophecies are in his Word, the Bible, available to all persons. All have opportunity, if they desire, to take heed and sincerely seek understanding of them. Those who do not read can hear, for God has on earth today a prophetlike organization, just as he did in the days of the early Christian congregation. (Acts 16:4, 5) He designates these Christians as his “faithful and discreet slave.” (w64 10/1 p. 601 par. 1, 2)
Today, the “interior rooms” of the prophecy likely have to do with the tens of thousands of congregations of Jehovah’s people around the world. Such congregations are a protection even now, a place where Christians find safety among their brothers, under the loving care of the elders. (w01 3/1 p. 21 par. 17)
At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (w13 11/15 p. 20 par. 17)
The Organization has a 140-year-long record of failed prophetic revelations. Yet they tell us that our survival depends on obedience to them; that our very lives will depend on following without question whatever direction they provide to us in the future. They say this is the way to true peace and security!
How to Prepare Ourselves
19 How can we prepare ourselves for the earthshaking events that are to come? The Watchtower stated some years ago: “Survival will depend on obedience.” Why is that so? The answer is found in a warning from Jehovah to the captive Jews living in ancient Babylon. Jehovah foretold that Babylon would be conquered, but what were God’s people to do to prepare themselves for that event? Jehovah stated: “Go, my people, enter your inner rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a brief moment until the wrath has passed by.” (Isa. 26:20) Note the verbs in this verse: “go,” “enter,” “shut,” “hide”—all are in the imperative mood; they are commands. The Jews who heeded those commands would have stayed in their houses, away from the conquering soldiers out in the streets. Hence, their survival depended on obeying Jehovah’s instructions.
20 What is the lesson for us? As in the case of those ancient servants of God, our survival of coming events will depend on our obedience to Jehovah’s instructions. (Isa. 30:21) Such instructions come to us through the congregation arrangement. Therefore, we want to develop heartfelt obedience to the guidance we are receiving.
(kr chap. 21 p. 230)
Putting our trust in men for salvation violates the rule given to us by God found at Psalm 146:3—
“Do not put your trust in princes Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation.” (Ps 146:3)
Let us not repeat the errors of the past. Paul warned the Thessalonians that those saying “peace and security” would experience sudden destruction. When the Jews of Jesus’ day repeated the behaviour of those from Jeremiah’s time, they believed their leaders, their false prophets, and missed out on escaping.
“But when Roman armies that had been surrounding Jerusalem withdrew in the year 66 C.E., the overconfident Jews did not “begin fleeing”. Having turned the Roman army’s retreat into a rout by attacking its rear guard, the Jews felt no need to flee [as Jesus had warned and instructed]. They believed that God was with them, and they even coined new silver money bearing the inscription “Jerusalem the Holy.” But the inspired prophecy of Jesus showed that Jerusalem no longer was holy to Jehovah. (w81 11/15 p. 17 par. 6)
Note this commentary from the ESV Bible:
(1 Th 5:3) ‘peace and security’. Possibly an allusion to imperial Roman propaganda or (perhaps more likely) to Jer. 6:14 (or Jer. 8:11), where similar language is used of a delusional sense of immunity from divine wrath. — [A false sense of ‘peace and security’ …with God]
Adam Clarke’s Commentary adds this for our consideration:
(1 Th 5:3) [For when they shall say, Peace and safety] This points out, very particularly, the state of the Jewish people when the Romans came against them: and so fully persuaded were they that God would not deliver the city and temple to their enemies, that they refused every overture that was made to them.”
As those commentaries, including the 1981 Watchtower show, the Jews were fully convinced by their false prophets that if they hid themselves within the protective walls of Jerusalem and God’s Temple (the inner-rooms) God would save them from the great tribulation soon to befall their revered city. As Clarke’s Commentary says: “…so fully persuaded were they that God would not deliver the city and temple to their enemies that they refused every overture that was made to them.” They believed their salvation was assured if they obediently listened to those claiming to be Jehovah’s prophets and took refuge together within the sacred city of the temple of Jehovah God. (Ezra 3:10)
For many of us, this will not be enough. We want to know how we will be saved, and in the absence of that, just who will be the one to lead us to salvation. So the idea that an established Governing Body has this all in hand can be very appealing. However, that is the sure way to perdition, unless you want to believe that Jehovah got it wrong by what he tells us at Psalm 146:3.
Rather than rely on men, we must have faith in the one true channel of communication that the Father has provided to us, Jesus Christ. He assures us that his chosen ones will be protected. How, is not important. All we need to know is that our salvation is in very good hands. He tells us:
“And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.” (Mt 24:31)
“But that only applies to the anointed”, some will object. “What about us as the other sheep?”
This article—Who are the Other Sheep?—shows that the other sheep are the chosen ones. Matthew 24:31 applies to the other sheep as well as to Jewish Christians.
The Other Sheep doctrine as taught by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society has as its purpose to create a class of Christian wholly dependent on a higher class—the anointed—for their salvation. Since 2012, this “prophet class” has become the Governing Body which rules over the “other sheep class” by making them believe that their salvation depends on blind obedience to the leaders of the Organization.
It’s a very old scheme; one which has worked for thousands of years. But Jesus freed us of that if we are only willing to accept that freedom. He said: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Joh 8:31, 32) Why is it then that we are so willing to give up that freedom, just as the ancient Corinthians seemed to do?
“Since you are so “reasonable,” you gladly put up with the unreasonable ones. In fact, you put up with whoever enslaves you, whoever devours your possessions, whoever grabs what you have, whoever exalts himself over you, and whoever strikes you in the face.” (2 Co 11:19, 20)
The Governing Body, speaking in the name of Jehovah, has got its followers to labour for free, building up a real estate empire (whoever enslaves you) while they were absconding with all congregation savings worldwide (whoever grabs what you have) and then after getting them to build Kingdom halls for their own use, has sold them off and taken the money for themselves (whoever devours your possessions) all the while proclaiming themselves to be Christ’s chosen “faithful and discreet slave” (whoever exalts himself over you) and punishing with the greatest severity any who dissent (whoever strikes you in the face.)
Peter warns that “judgment starts with the house of God”. That house is the Christian congregation—at least those who proclaim themselves to be followers of Christ. When that judgment comes—likely in the form of attacks from governmental authorities as it did when Rome came against Jerusalem in 66-70 C.E.—the Governing Body will surely issue its predicted directive assuring its followers that their “peace and security” depends on following the instructions which ‘will not appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint’—because they won’t be. (1 Pe 4:17; Re 14:8; 16:19; 17:1-6; 18:1-24)
The question is, will we imitate the first-century Jews in Jerusalem when facing the might of Rome and obey our false prophets, or will we obey the instructions of our Lord Jesus and remain in his teaching with freedom and salvation in view?
“And when he got nearby, he viewed the city and wept over it, saying: “If you, even you, had discerned on this day the things having to do with peace—but now they have been hidden from your eyes. Because the days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification of pointed stakes and will encircle you and besiege you from every side. They will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.”… Read more »
You make good points AnnaNana, but the final one is based on a false premise IMHO. You state: “In the meantime, we are like David when he was out in the wilderness. It is good to attack false teachings, but we have to be careful not to attack Saul himself, even though he may be trying to “kill” us. Jehovah would not approve of it. Jehovah is a God of order, and He will remove those taking the lead who abuse their authority when He sees fit.” Saul was appointed by Jehovah. However, are the members of the governing body… Read more »
There were many kings in ancient Israel. Some were directly appointed by Jehovah. Others inherited the throne from their family members. Some usurped the throne. How the present members of the governing body became members, I do not know. But the command to respect the superior authorities does apply even to how we show respect for the president of a country or the principal of a school, so the illustration of David and Saul is meant in that respect. If anyone in any authority asks us to do or believe something that is not in harmony with Jehovah’s will, we… Read more »
Twój post potwierdził moje przemyślenia:) od 01 stycznia 2021 odłaczyłam sie od organizacji Towarzystwa Strażnica jestem na nowej drodze 🙂 Dziękuje bardzo za artykuły i video na you tube. Ty robisz piękną prace dla nas wszystkich Dla Boga Jahwe i dla Pana Jezusa . Dużo błogosławieństw życze dla Ciebie 🙂 Niech łaska Pana Jezusa bedzie z Tobą 🙂 Pozdrawiam bardzo z Polski Your post confirmed my thoughts 🙂 from January 1, 2021, I disconnected from the organization of the Watchtower Society. I’m on a new road 🙂 Thank you very much for the articles and video on you tube. You… Read more »
Peace and Security. I have listened to ‘Watchtower speak’ on this subject for many years. In fact, decades ago I wrote them on this topic. I pointed out the glaring contradiction. I was replied to with, in essence, ‘shut up and sit down’. || Jehovah’s Witnesses can tell you exactly what 1 Thess. 5:3 says any day of the week. But not one can tell you what the preceding verses say. || Ask a JW how they will know this supposed ‘peace & security’ statement, as there have been many such statements, some even being “written” about in the Watchtower… Read more »
Then they have indeed been misled. When a person tells a lie, it takes another to cover it up. I am not saying the early lies were deliberate, but time has proved they were lies. Eventually the person telling lies will be found out. Time to say sorry and try again, but will that happen ?
I agree with all of the above comments you have made. On the point of the cry of peace and security, I also think this is just a general distinction being made between those who are looking forward in anticipation of Gods judgement day and others who are in spiritual darkness and are slumbering like the foolish virgins. I think Paul was making a case for a balanced view of the Judgement day/return of Christ event. In the subsequent letter Paul warned at Thessalonians 2:2 that the brothers should not be quickly shaken from their composure or be disturbed either… Read more »
I would like to add a bit around this discussion as to whether this scripture is prophetic at all in the usual sense. I am thinking along the lines of Wild Olive. To make my point I think it good to consider first a little about the religious leaders of the time particularly the Sadducees, and what they believed in trying to understand why Paul may have made the comment about peace and security, and of the need to be awake and alert. The Sadducees were the ruling elite who also looked after and managed/controlled the temple. They had a… Read more »
From quite early on when I became a JW, it appeared to me that Paul was pointing at a pattern, not a single event. Similar to saying “whenever you walk into a lamppost, headache you will instantly feel”. Isn’t this what history also shows? Looking at only recent events, we see that declarations of peace and security do tend to be quickly followed by destruction. For example, many a time cease fire-agreements were broken as soon as they came into force. This is not to say that there is no single event or series of events to look for, because… Read more »
July 2018 jwsurvey website has a great consideration and contribution on this very subject with awesome Comments to the discussion also. “great minds think alike…?”
Fine article Eric. I personally came to the conviction quite a while ago that the way WT interprets these verses was incorrect, simply because Thessalonians is not a prophetic book, virtually all of Paul’s writings are instructions on Christian living, the context of them, to myself anyway, suggests this to be a correct view. Actually very little of the NT is prophetic, aside from things Jesus said and what’s in revelation, that’s about it. The other reason I came to this conclusion was the old chestnut of been able to predict when the end will come , which other articles… Read more »
Agreed Wild Olive, the scriptures are devastatingly simple to understand. Besides the sermon on the mount, there are only a few other sayings of how to walk as a Christian in the footsteps of our Lord and patiently await his return. And if in the meantime we pass in death we have the hope that we will have a resurrection. All of this “gnostic” type I know something you don’t stuff is exactly as you put it, the arrogant egotistical over stimulated imaginations of men who would like to make a show of so called knowledge. One would think after… Read more »
You are correct, this is not a prophecy. It’s as you say, about how to live. The Christians Paul was speaking to were busy trying to figure out when things would take place. Paul warned them against this kind of speculation. Paul pointed out that it was useless to spend time watching the world as if for clues. He made the point well, that the nations could claim “peace and security” and yet the opposite would take place. So, no clues.
Listen to the Lord, and you won’t have to worry about what “they” say (Lu 11:28).
On the “who are ‘they’ ” aspect of this, I posted some context here: http://discussthetruth.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=335&start=10#p4223
“They” is actually inserted by translators because the verb (“are saying”) has no explicit object. (Object-less verbs and verb-less objects are a common writing style of Paul.) But the verb is third person plural. Thus, “they” is rightly added by translators.
Nice point. Thanks Bobcat
Great article! A big thank you to “anonymous” and Eric. Indeed, who are “they”? Reminds me when I was a kid and my mom would preface many of her statements to me by saying, “They say”…….. For example, I remember one time I fell off my bike and tore my knee open. Our dog started licking the open wound and I got freaked out a little. Sure enough, my mom said, “They say a dog’s mouth is the cleanest thing there is”…. This was the start of me asking her, who is “they”? I had honestly never really thought about… Read more »
Very interesting examination of Jeremiah and Ezekiel as it relates to “peace and security.” Perhaps the most important point of all . . . simply depend on our Lord and Master, Jesus – not men! We will not be found asleep by doing so. The rest will just fall in line in keeping with prophecy and Jesus’ handling of matters.
The claim the JWs constitute a “spiritual paradise” gives weight to the notion that the GB is really saying “peace, when there is no peace”.
Wow! That’s a slant that most JWs will furiously reject, except it is directed at another religious organization.
Some Day, one day, maybe, maybe never, WT will admit that it just does not know exactly what some scriptures mean. What you have done, Meliti, once again, is examine what is there, and you have shown what similaritities there are to the past, and how God’s people fared previously. Thank you for your explanations. As to the exact interpretation of “they” you are probably correct. But while WT continue to make it a matter of law that members believe and teach their interpretations, with no solid proof that they have ever got anything correct (apart from a few basic… Read more »
last paragraph you said: The question is, will we imitate the first-century Jews in Jerusalem when facing the might of Rome and obey our false prophets, or will we obey the instructions of our Lord Jesus and remain in his teaching with freedom and salvation in view? One question, who led the Christians out of Jerusalem? Which of the apostles was alive in the year 66CE to be with the Christians in their departure? How will the instructions come to us? How will Jesus give us the instructions…… Through another book? I checked the bible commentaries: biblehub.com: (1 Th 5:3)… Read more »
It appears that no one led the Christians out of Jerusalem. They needed no leader other than the Christ, who had given them precise instructions as to what they had to do and when. All they had to do was obey the Christ.
Likewise, today, when the time comes and Jesus makes his appearance as described in Matthew 24:30, we do not need to worry. He explains how we will be saved in the very next verse.
Can it be that when Matthew 24:33 says that when you see all these things, know that he is near the doors, that it meant that when they saw all the things spoken of in Matthew 24 , and along with the instructions to get out, that they would realise that it was Jesus who was making sure his people escaped, he was watching over them. He was near the doors.
I’m not too sure but I do know the parallel account in Luke mentions “the Kingdom of God” is near, where Matthew recorded “he (or “it”) is near. (Luke 21:31) “Likewise also you, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.” Regarding Jesus words about fleeing to the mountains in the gospels, I’ve been thinking lately about whether what he said had any connection to the prophecy in Zechariah. Not too sure but it has been something I’ve been thinking about lately. (Zechariah 14:3-5) “Jehovah will go out and war against those nations as… Read more »
Regardless of my personal views, I think this article and the scriptural reasoning to be more than worthy of the Archive section to serve as a ready reference for ex JWs or questioning ones, debunking the Orgs interpretation of this scripture around peace and security and what import it may have. At times I may differ on a single point or take another angle and it may seem that I lightly esteem the article in its entirety. Not so, I appreciate all of the articles and look forward to the next ones. After putting so much effort into producing lengthy… Read more »
Fantastic article! For years in the org I struggled with and was frustrated who the “they” were (whenever they are saying peace and security”,) and the interpretation of men. A lot like the GB’s completely unsupported eisegetical interpretation of Daniel 8:12 the “who is it” that commits “transgression’.
Great article! ^^ I delivered mail for some time, and while doing that I listened to an audio Bible. When I was listening to 1 Thessalonians and heard the ‘peace and security’ part the first thing I thought of was people ignoring the end and believing they are safe and secure. A few seconds later I pondered: ”Why does wt say this means the UN will say ‘peace and security’ and then attack false religion?” Just like the trinity, you wouldn’t come up with this idea if you just read the Bible by itself. Listening to (or reading) the whole… Read more »
This is brilliant. I remember how excited we were to hear that 1988 was the UN’s Declared Year of Peace and to receive our “Peace and Security” books. Armageddon was declared to be so-close that the convention advised couples not to conceive children. (REALLY? Those kids would be turning 30 now.)
Well now, by this analysis, those putting trust in the false prophets will see their judgements, starting with the “House of God,” which one recalls is “Bethel.”
You meant to say 1986, not 1988, right??
Those kids are now 32. (My oldest daughter was born that year)
My wife and I are so glad we didn’t listen to the Org on that one……
You are correct Warp. Glad you had more than one.