Hello. My name is Eric Wilson. And today I’m going to teach you how to fish. Now you may think that’s odd because you probably started this video thinking it’s on the Bible. Well, it is. There is an expression: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; but teach him how to fish you feed him for life. The other aspect of that is, what if you give a man a fish, not just once, but every day? Every week, every month, every year—year after year? What happens then? Then, the man becomes totally dependent on you. You become the one who provides him all he needs to eat. And that’s what most of us have gone through our lives.
We have joined one religion or another, and eaten in the restaurant of organized religion. And each religion has its own menu, but essentially it’s the same. You are being fed the understanding, doctrines, and interpretations of men, as if they come from God; depending on these for your salvation. That is all well and good, if indeed the food is good, nutritious, beneficial. But, as many of us have come to see—unfortunately not enough of us—the food is not nutritious.
Oh, there is some value to it, no doubt about that. But we need all of it, and it all has to be nutritious for us to truly benefit; for us to achieve salvation. If a little bit of it is poisonous, it doesn’t matter that the rest of it is nutritious. The poison will kill us.
So when we come to that realization, we realize also that we have to fish for ourselves. We have to feed ourselves; we have to cook your own meals; we can’t depend on those prepared meals from religionists. And that’s the problem, because we don’t know how to do that.
I get emails on a regular basis, or comments on the YouTube channel where people ask me, “What do you think about this? What do you think about that?” That’s all well and good, but all they’re really asking for is my interpretation, my opinion. And isn’t that what we’re leaving behind? The opinions of men?
Shouldn’t we be asking, “What does God say?” But how do we understand what God says? You see, when we start learning how to fish, we build on what we know. And what we know are the mistakes of the past. You see, religion uses eisegesis to arrive at its doctrines. And that’s all we’ve known, eisegesis, which is basically putting your own thoughts into the Bible. Getting an idea and then looking for something to prove it. And so, what happened sometimes is you get people who leave one religion and they start coming up with crazy theories of their own, because they are using the same techniques they left behind.
The question becomes, what drives eisegesis or eisegetical thinking?
Well, 2 Peter 3:5 records the apostle saying: (talking about others) “according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice.” “According to their wish, this fact escapes their notice”—so we can have a fact, and ignore it, because we want to ignore it; because we want to believe something that the fact doesn’t support.
What drives us? It may be fear, pride, a desire for prominence, misguided loyalty—all negative emotions.
The other way of studying the Bible though is with exegesis. That is where you let the Bible speak for itself. That is driven by love in the Spirit of God, and we will see why we can say that, in this video.
First, let me give you an example of eisegesis. When I released a video on Is Jesus Michael the Archangel?, I had a lot of people argue against that. They were arguing for Jesus being Michael the Archangel, and they were doing that because of their previous religious beliefs.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, for one, believe that Jesus was Michael in his prehuman existence. And they would take all information the video, all the scriptural proof, all the reasoning—they put it aside; they ignored it. They gave me one verse, and this was “proof”. This one verse. Galatians 4:14, and it reads: “And though my physical condition was a trial for you, you did not treat me with contempt or disgust; but you received me like an angel of God, like Christ Jesus.”
Now, if you don’t have an axe to grind, then you would just read this for what it says, and say, “that doesn’t prove that Jesus is an angel”. And if you doubt that, let me give you an example. Let’s say I went to a foreign country and I was mugged and had no money. I was destitute with no place to stay. And a kind couple saw me and they took me in. They fed me, they gave me a place to stay, they put me on a plane back home. And I could say about that couple: “They were so wonderful. They treated me like a long lost friend, like his son.”
Nobody hearing me say that would say, “Oh, a son and a friend are equivalent terms.” They would understand that I’m starting with a friend and escalating to something of greater value. And that is what Paul is doing here. He saying, “like an angel of God”, and then he escalates to “like Christ Jesus himself”.
True, it could be the other thing, but then what do you have there? You have ambiguity. And what happens? Well, if you really want to believe something, then you will disregard the ambiguity. You’ll pick the one interpretation that supports your belief and ignore the other. Not give it any credit whatsoever, and not look at anything else that might contradict it. Eisegetical thinking.
And in this case, though probably done out of misguided loyalty, it is done with fear. Fear, I say, because if Jesus isn’t Michael the Archangel, then the entire basis for Jehovah’s Witnesses’ religion disappears.
You see, without that there is no 1914, and without 1914, there is no last days; and therefore no generation to measure the length of the last days. And then, no 1919 which is, supposedly, when the governing body was appointed as the faithful and discreet slave. It all goes away if Jesus is not Michael the Archangel. You will want to remember, too, that the current explanation of the faithful and discreet slave is that it was appointed in 1919, but prior to that, all the way back to the time of Jesus, there was no faithful and discreet slave. Again, all of this is based on the interpretation of Daniel chapter 4 which leads them to 1914, and that requires them to accept Jesus is Michael the Archangel .
Why? Well let’s follow the logic and it will show us just how destructive eisegetical reasoning can be in Bible research. We’ll start with Acts 1:6, 7.
“So when they had assembled, they asked him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom of Israel at this time?” He said to them: “it does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.”
Essentially he is saying, “It’s none of your business. That’s for God to know, not you.” Why didn’t he say, “Look to Daniel; let the reader use discernment”—because according to Jehovah’s Witnesses, the entire thing is there in Daniel?
It’s just a calculation anybody could run. They could have run it better than us, because they could’ve gone to the temple and got the exact date when everything happened. So why didn’t he just tell them that? Was he being disingenuous, deceptive? Was he trying to hide something from them that was there for the asking?
You see, the problem with this is that according to Jehovah’s Witnesses we were allowed to know this. The Watchtower of 1989, March 15, page 15, paragraph 17 says:
“By means of “the faithful and discreet slave,” Jehovah also helped his servants to realize, decades in advance, that the year 1914 would mark the end of the Gentile Times.”
Hmm, with “decades in advance”. So we were allowed to know the things, “the times and the seasons”, that were within Jehovah’s jurisdiction…but they were not.
(Now, by the way, I don’t know if you noticed this, but it said the faithful and discreet slave revealed this decades in advance. But now we say, there was no faithful and discreet slave until 1919. That’s another matter, though.)
Okay, how do we resolve Acts 1:7 if we’re Witnesses; if we want to support 1914? Well, the book Reasoning from the Scriptures, page 205 says:
“The apostles of Jesus Christ realized that there was much they did not understand in their time. The Bible shows that there would be a great increase in knowledge of the truth during “the time of the end”. Daniel 12:4.”
That’s true, it does show that. But, what’s the time of the end? That’s the thing that is left for us to assume is our day. (By the way, I think a better title for Reasoning from the Scriptures, would be Reasoning into the Scriptures, because we’re not actually reasoning from them here, we are imposing our idea into them. And we’ll see how that happens.)
Let’s go back now and read Daniel 12:4.
“As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.”
Okay, you see the problem right away? For this to apply, for this to contravene what is said in Acts 1:7, we have to first assume that it’s speaking about the time of the end as now. That means we have to assume this is the time of the end. And then we have to explain what “rove about” means. We have to explain as witnesses—I’m putting on my witness hat on even though I am no longer one—we explain that roving about means roving about in the Bible. Not actually physically roving about. And the true knowledge is everything including things that Jehovah has put in his own jurisdiction.
But it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say to what extent this knowledge is revealed. How much of it is revealed. So there is interpretation involved. There is ambiguity here. But, for it to work we have to ignore the ambiguity, we have to thrive on the human interpretation that supports our idea.
Now verse 4 is merely one verse in a larger prophecy. Chapter 11 of Daniel is part of this prophecy, and it discusses a lineage of kings. One lineage becomes the King of the North, and another lineage the King of the South. Also, you have to accept that this prophecy is all about the last days, because that is stated in this verse as well as the 40th verse of chapter 11. And you have to apply this to 1914. Now if you apply this to 1914—which you have to, because that’s when the last days started—then, what do you do with Daniel 12:1? Let’s read that.
“During that time (time with a pushing between the King of the North and the king the South) Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.”
Okay, if this happened in 1914 then Michael has to be Jesus. And “your people”—because it says this will be something that affects “your people”—”your people” have to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s all one prophecy. There are no chapter divisions, no verse divisions. It’s one continuous writing. One continuous revelation from that angel to Daniel. But, it said “during that time”, so if you go back to Daniel 11:40 to find out what that time is when “Michael stands up”, it says:
“In the time of the end the King of the South will engage with him (the northern King) in a pushing, and against him the King of the North will storm with chariots and horsemen and many ships; and he will enter into the lands and sweep through like a flood.”
Now the problems begin to appear. Because if you read that prophecy, you cannot make it stretch in one continuous succession for 2,500 years, all the way from Daniel’s day down to now. So you have to explain, ‘Well, sometimes the King of the North and the King of the South lapse, they kind of disappear. and then centuries later they’ll reappear’.
But Daniel chapter 11 says nothing about them disappearing and reappearing. So now we’re inventing stuff. More human interpretation.
What about Daniel 12:11, 12? Let’s read that:
“And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place, there will be 1,290 days. “Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and arrives at the 1335 days!””
Okay, now you’re stuck with this too, because If it starts 1914, then you start counting from 1914, the 1,290 days and then you add to that the 1,335 days. What events of significance came in those years?
Remember, Daniel 12:6 has the angel describing all of this as “marvellous things”. And what do we come up with as witnesses, or what did we come up with?
In 1922, in Cedar Point, Ohio, there was a convention talk that marked the 1,290 days. And then in 1926, there was another series of convention talks, and a series of books that were published. And that marks the one who “keeps in expectation to arrive at the 1,335 days.”
Talk about a marvellous understatement! It’s just silly. And it was silly at the time, even when I was fully involved and believed. I would scratch my head at these things and say, “Well, we haven’t got that right.” And I would just wait.
Now I see why we didn’t have it right. So we’re going to look at this again. We’re going to look at it, exegetically. Were going to let Jehovah tell us what he means. And how do we do that?
Well, first we abandon the old methods. We know that we will believe what we want to believe. We just saw that in Peter, right? That’s the way the human minds works. We will believe what we want to believe. The question is, “If we only believe what we want to believe, how do we make sure we’re believing the truth, and not some deception?
Well, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 says:
“But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders and every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth in order that they might be saved.”
So, if you want to avoid being deceived, you have to love truth. And that’s the first rule. We have to love truth. That’s not always that easy. You see, this is a binary thing. Notice, those who don’t accept the love of the truth, they perish. So it’s either life or death. It’s love the truth, or die. Now often the truth is inconvenient. Even painful. What if it shows you that you’ve wasted your life? Of course you haven’t. You have the prospect of infinite life, of everlasting life. So yeah maybe you spent the last 40 or 50 or 60 years believing things that weren’t true. That you could used much more beneficially. So, you’ve used that much of your life. That much, of an infinite life. Actually that’s not even accurate, because that implies that there is a measure. But with infinity, there isn’t. So what we have wasted is inconsequential compared to what we have gained. We have gained a better hold on everlasting life.
Jesus said, “the truth will set you free”; for those words are absolutely guaranteed to be true. But when he said that, he was talking about his words. By remaining in his word, we will be set free.
Okay, so the first thing is to love the truth. The second rule is to think critically. Right? 1 John 4:1 says:
“Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”
This is not a suggestion. This is a command from God. God is telling us to test any expression that is inspired. Now that doesn’t mean that only inspired expression’s are to be test. Really, if I come along and say to you, “This is what this Bible verse means”. I’m speaking an inspired expression. Is the inspiration from the spirit of God, or the spirit of the world? Or the spirit of Satan? Or my own spirit?
You have to test the inspired expression. Otherwise, you’ll be believing false prophets. Now, a false prophet will challenge you for this. He’ll say, “NO! NO! NO! Independent thinking, bad, bad! Independent thinking.” And he will equate it to Jehovah. We are seeking our own thoughts on things, and we’re being independent from God.
But that’s not the case. Independent thinking is really critical thinking, and we’re commanded to engage in it. Jehovah says, ‘think critically’–” test the inspired expression”.
Okay, rule number 3. If are going to really learn what the Bible has to say, we have to clear our mind.
Now this is challenging. You see, we’re full of preconceptions and biases and previously held interpretations that we think are truth. And so we are going into study often thinking “Okay, now there is a truth, but where does it say that?” Or, “How do I prove that?”
We’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to remove from our minds all thoughts of previous “truths”. We are going to go into the Bible, clean. A clean slate. And we’re going to let it tell us what the truth is. That way we don’t get deviated.
Well, we have enough to start with, so are you ready? Okay, here we go.
We’re going to look at the angel’s prophecy to Daniel, that we’ve just analysed eisegetically. We’re going to look at it exegetically.
Does Daniel 12:4 nullify Jesus’ words to the apostles at Acts 1:7?
Okay, the first tool that we have in our toolkit is contextual harmony. So the context must always harmonize. So when we read in Daniel 12:4, “As for you, Daniel, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.”, we find ambiguity. We don’t know what it means. It could mean one of two things or more. So, to arrive at an understanding we have to interpret. No, no human interpretation! Ambiguity is not proof. An ambiguous Scriptures can serve to clarify something once we’ve established the truth. It might add meaning to something, once you’ve established the truth elsewhere, and resolved the ambiguity
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us: “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?”
Okay, how does that apply? Well, if you have a friend who turns out to be a traitor, but you can’t get rid of him—maybe he’s a family member—what you do? You’re always wary that he might betray you. What do you do? Can’t get rid of him. Can’t tear our heart out of our chest.
You watch him like a hawk! So, when it comes to our heart, we watch it like a hawk. Anytime we read a verse, if we start inclining to human interpretation, our heart is acting treacherously. We have to fight against that.
We look to the context. Daniel 12:1—let’s start with that.
“During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.”
Okay, “your people”. Who is “your people”? Now we get to our second tool: Historical perspective.
Put yourself into the mind of Daniel. Daniel is standing there, the angel is talking to him. And the angel is saying that, “Michael the great prince will stand up in behalf of “your people”” “Oh yeah, that must be Jehovah’s Witnesses,” says Daniel. I don’t think so. He thinks, “The Jews, my people, the Jews. I now know that Michael the Archangel is the Prince that stands in behalf of the Jews. And will stand in a future time, but there will be a terrible time of distress.”
You can imagine how that might have affected him, because he had just seen the worst tribulation they had ever suffered. Jerusalem was destroyed; the temple was destroyed; the entire nation was depopulated, taken into slavery in Babylon. How could anything be worse than that? And yet, the angel is saying, “Yeah, they will be something worse than that.”
So that was something that was applied to Israel. So we’re looking for a time of the end that affects Israel. Okay, when did that happen? Well, this prophecy doesn’t say when that happens. But, we get to tool number 3: Scriptural Harmony.
We have to look elsewhere in the Bible to find out what Daniel is thinking, or what Daniel is being told. If we go to Matthew 24:21, 22 we read very similar words to what we just read. This is Jesus now speaking:
“For then there will be great tribulation (great distress) Such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning (since there was a nation) until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones Those days will be cut short.”
Some of your people will escape, those who are written down in the book. See the similarity? Do you have any doubts?
Matthew 24:15. Here we actually find Jesus telling us, “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment).” How much more clear does that have to be for us to see that these two are parallel accounts? Jesus is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. The same thing that the angel said to Daniel.
The angel didn’t say anything about a secondary fulfillment. And Jesus doesn’t say anything about a secondary fulfillment. Now we come to the next tool in our arsenal, Reference Material.
I’m not talking about interpretive guidebooks like the publications of the organization. We don’t want to follow men. We don’t want men’s opinions. We want facts. One of the things I use is BibleHub.com. I also use the Watchtower Library. It’s very useful, and I’ll show you why.
Let us see how we can use Bible aids such as the ‘Watchtower Library and BibleHub and others that are available on the Internet, such as BibleGateway to understand what the Bible is truly telling us about any subject. In this case, we’ll continue our discussion of what the Bible says at Daniel chapter 12. We’ll move to the second verse, and that reads:
“And many of those asleep in the dust of the earth will wake up, some to everlasting life and others to reproach and to everlasting contempt.”
So we might think, ‘well, this is talking about a resurrection, isn’t it?’
But if that’s the case, since we’ve already decided based on verse 1, and on verse 4, that this is the last days of the Jewish system of things, we have to look for a resurrection in that time. Not only of the righteous to everlasting life, but a resurrection of others to reproach and everlasting contempt. And historically—because you’ll remember that historical perspective as one of the things we’re looking for—historically, there is no evidence that any such thing occurred.
So with that in mind, again we want to get the Bible’s point of view. How do we find out what is meant here?
Well, the word used is “wake up”. So perhaps we could find something there. If we type in “wake” and we’ll just put an asterisk in front of it, and behind it, and that will get every occurrence of “wake”, “awake”, “awaken”, etc. And I like the Reference Bible more than the other one, so we’ll go with the Reference. And let’s just scan through and see what we find. (I’m skipping ahead. I’m not stopping at every occurrence because of time constraints.) But of course, you would scan through each verse.
Romans 13:11 here says, “Do this, too, because you people know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.”
So obviously that is one sense of “waking up” from sleep. He’s not talking about literal sleep, obviously, but sleep in a spiritual sense. And this one, actually, is an excellent one. Ephesians 5:14: “Wherefore he says: “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and the Christ will shine upon you.””
He’s obviously not talking about the literal resurrection here. But, dead in the spiritual sense or asleep in a spiritual sense and now awaking, in a spiritual sense. Another thing we can do is try the word “dead”. And there are many references to it here. Again, if we really want to understand the Bible, we have to take the time to look. And immediately we come upon this one in Matthew 8:22. Jesus said to him: “Keep following me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
Obviously, a dead man cannot bury a dead man in a literal sense. But one who is spiritually dead could indeed bury a literal dead person. And Jesus is saying, ‘Follow me…show interest in the spirit and not worry about things that the dead can take care of, those who are not interested in the spirit.’
So, with that in mind we can go back to Daniel 12:2, and if you think about it, at the time when this destruction took place in the first century, what happened? People woke up. Some to everlasting life. The apostles and the Christians for example, woke to everlasting life. But others who thought they were the chosen of God, they awoke, but not to life but to everlasting contempt and reproach because they opposed Jesus. They turned against him.
Let’s move on to the next verse, 3: And here it is.
“And those having insight will shine as brightly as the expanse of heaven, and those bringing the many to righteousness like the stars, forever and ever.”
Again, when did that happen? Did that really happen in the 19th century? With men like Nelson Barbour and CT Russell? Or in the early 20th century, with men like Rutherford? We are interested in the time that coincides with the destruction of Jerusalem, because this is all one prophecy. What happened before the time of distress that the angel spoke of? Well, if you look at John 1:4, he’s speaking of Jesus Christ, and he says: “By means of him was life, and the life was the light of men.” And we carry on, “and the light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it.” Verse 9 says, “the true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world. So that light obviously was Jesus Christ.
We can look at a parallel of this if we turn to BibleHub, and then go to John 1:9. We see the parallel versions here. Let me make this a little bigger. “One who is the true light that gives light to everyone who is coming to the world”? From the Berean study Bible, “The true light who gives light to every man was coming into the world.”
You will notice that the organization likes to limit things, so they say “every sort of man.” But let’s look at what the interlinear says, over here. It simply says, “every man”. So “every sort of man” is a biased rendering. And this brings something else to mind: While the Bible library, the Watchtower library, is very useful for finding things, it is always good then, once you find a verse, to crosscheck it in other translations and especially in BibleHub.
Okay, so of Jesus with the light of the world, he left. Were there additional lights? Well, I remembered something, and I couldn’t exactly remember the whole phrase, or verse, nor could I remember where it was, but I remembered it had the words “works” and “greater”, so I entered those, and I came across this reference here in John 14:12. Now remember, from the things we use, one of our rules, is to always find scriptural harmony. So here you have a verse that says, “Most truly I say to you, he that exercises faith in me, that one also will do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father.”
So while Jesus was the light, his disciples did works greater than him because he went his way to the Father and sent them the Holy Spirit and therefore not one man but many men were spreading around the light that was bright. So if we go back to Daniel in the in light of what we just read—and remember this all happened in the time period that is considered the last days—those having insight—that would be the Christians—will shine brightly as the expanse of heaven. Well, they shined so brightly that today a third of the world is Christian.
So that seems to fit quite nicely. Let’s go to the next verse, 4:
“As for you Daniel ,keep the word secret and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rove about and the true knowledge will become abundant.”
Okay, so rather than interpret, what fits with the time period we’ve already established is in play? Well, did many rove about? Well, the Christians roved all over the place. They spread the good news all over the world. For example, Jesus in the prophecy we’ve just spoken spoken about in which he’s predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, in the verse just before he predicts that destruction, he says, “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations and then the end will come.”
Now in the context of this, what end is he talking about? He’s just about to talk about the end of the Jewish system of things, so it would follow that the good news would be preached in all the inhabited earth before that end came. Did that happen?
Well, the book of Colossians which was written before Jerusalem was destroyed has this little revelation from the Apostle Paul. He says in verse 21 of chapter 1:
“Indeed you who were once alienated and enemies because your minds were on the works of a wicked, he has now reconciled by means of that one’s fleshly body through his death, in order to present you holy and unblemished and open to no accusation before him— 23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith, established on the foundation and steadfast, not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven. Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.”
Of course, it wasn’t preached by that point in China. It wasn’t preached to the Aztecs. But Paul is talking about the world as he knew it and so this is true within that context and it was preached in all creation that is under heaven and therefore Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled.
Given that, if we go back to Daniel 12:4, ‘it says many will rove about’, and the Christians did; and the true knowledge will become abundant. Ok, what does he mean by ‘the true knowledge will become abundant’.
Again, we’re looking for scriptural harmony. What happened in the first century?
So we don’t even need to go outside the book of Colossians for that answer. It says:
“the sacred secret that was hidden from the past systems of things and from the past generations. But now it has been revealed to his holy ones, to whom God has been pleased to make known among the nations the glorious riches of this sacred secret, which is Christ in union with you, the hope of his glory.” (Col 1:26, 27)
So there was a sacred secret—it was true knowledge, but it was a secret—and it was hidden from past generations and past systems of things, but now in the Christian era, it was made manifest, and it was made manifest among the nations. So again, we have a very easy-to-establish fulfillment of Daniel 12:4. It’s a lot more credible to believe the roving about was literally roving about with the preaching work and the true knowledge that became abundant was that which was revealed by Christians to the world, than to think this pertains to Jehovah’s Witnesses roving about in the Bible and coming up with the doctrine of 1914.
Okay, now, then we get to the problematic scriptures; but are they really problematic now that we’ve used exegesis and let the Bible speak for itself?
For example, let’s go to 11 and 12. So let’s go to 11 first. This is the one that we thought was fulfilled in assemblies in 1922 at Cedar Point, Ohio. It says:
“And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place, there will be 1290 days. Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days.”
Before we get into this, let’s establish once again that we’re talking about events that occurred in the first century and had to do with the destruction of Jerusalem, the time of the end of the Jewish system of things. Therefore, the exact fulfillment of this is of academic interest to us, but it was of vital interest to them. That they understood it correctly, was what counted. That we understand it correctly, looking back 2000 years and trying to figure out what historical events took place and when and how long they were, is less critical.
Nevertheless, we can establish that the disgusting thing had to do with the Romans that attacked Jerusalem in 66. We know that took place because Jesus spoke about it in Matthew 24:15 which we’ve already read. Once they saw the disgusting thing, they were told to flee. And in 66, the disgusting thing laid siege to the temple, prepared the temple gates, the holy place, to invade the holy city, and then the Romans fled giving the Christians the opportunity to leave. Then in 70 Titus came back, General Titus, and he destroyed the city and all of Judea and killed everybody except for a small number; if memory serves something like 70 or 80 thousand were taken into slavery to die in Rome. And if you go to Rome you’ll see the arch of Titus depicting that victory and they believe that the Roman Colosseum was built by these ones. So they died in captivity.
Essentially the nation of Israel was obliterated. The only reason there are still Jews is because many Jews lived outside of the nation in places like Babylon and Corinth, et cetera, but the nation itself was gone. The worst disaster ever to befall them. However, it wasn’t all gone in 70 because the fortress of Masada was a holdout. Historians believe the siege of Masada took place in 73 or 74 C.E. Again, we can’t be specific because a lot of time has passed. What’s important is that those Christians in their day could know exactly what was happening, because they lived it. So if you take, ah, if you do a calculation of lunar years from 66 to 73 C.E., you’re looking at about 7 lunar years. If you do a calculation of 1,290 days and 1,335, you get a little more than seven years in count. So the 1,290 could be from this first siege Cestius Gallus to the siege of Titus. And then from Titus until the destruction at Masada could be the 1,335 days. I’m not saying this is accurate. This is not an interpretation. This is a possibility, a speculation. Again, does it matter to us? No, because this does not apply to us but it’s interesting that if you look at it from their perspective it does fit. But what is important for us to understand is found from verses 5 to 7 of the same chapter.
“Then I, Daniel, looked and saw two others standing there, one on this bank of the stream and one on the other bank of the stream. Then one said to the man clothed in linen, who was up above the waters of the stream: “How long will it be to the end of these marvelous things?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was up above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left hand to the heavens and swore by the One who is alive forever: “It will be for an appointed time, appointed times, and half a time. As soon as the dashing to pieces of the power of the holy people comes to an end, all these things will come to their finish.”” (Da 12:5-7)
Now as Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religions claim—indeed quite a few claim this—there is a secondary application of these words to the time of the end of the Christian system of things or the world system of things.
But notice, it says here that the holy people are “dashed to pieces”. If you take a vase and throw it down and dash it to pieces, you break it into so many fragments that it cannot be put back together. That’s the whole meaning of the phrase “to dash to pieces”.
The holy people, that is the chosen ones, the anointed of Christ, are not dashed to pieces. In fact, Matthew 24:31 says that they are taken, gathered by the Angels. So, before Armageddon comes, before the great battle of God the Almighty comes, the chosen ones are taken away. So, what could this possibly mean? Well, again we go back to the historical perspective. Daniel is listening to these angels talking and then this man above the stream raises his left hand and his right hand and swears by heaven; saying that it’ll be an appointed time, appointed times, and half a time. Okay, well, that again could apply from 66 to 70, that was about a three-and-a-half-year span. That could be the application.
But what’s important for us to understand is that they were a holy people. To Daniel, there was no other nation on earth that had been chosen by God; rescued by God; saved out of Egypt; were the holy or chosen or called out ones, separated ones—which is what holy means—of God. Even when they were apostates, even when they did bad, they were still God’s people, and he dealt with them as his people, and he punished them as his people, and as his holy people there came a time when eventually he had had enough, and he dashed their power to pieces. It was gone. The nation was eradicated. And what does the man who stands above the waters say?
He says, when that happens “all these things will come to their finish”. All the things we’ve just read about…the whole prophecy…king of the north…the king of the south, everything that we just read about, comes to its finish when the power of the holy people is dashed to pieces. There can, therefore, be no secondary application. It’s pretty clear, and that’s where we get with exegesis. We get clarity. We remove ambiguity. We avoid silly interpretations like the 1922 Cedar Point, Ohio assembly being a fulfillment of what the man says here are marvelous things.
Okay, let’s summarize. We know from our previous videos and research that Jesus is not an angel and especially not Michael the Archangel. Nothing in what we just studied supports that idea so there’s no reason to change our point of view on that. We do know that Michael the Archangel was assigned to Israel. We also know that a time of distress came upon Israel in the first century. There’s historical research to corroborate that and that’s exactly what Jesus was talking about as well. We know that the holy people are dashed to pieces and all these things were fulfilled. And we know that they are fulfilled completely at that point in time. The angel doesn’t allow for any subsequent events, any secondary application or fulfillment.
Therefore, the line of the kings of the north and the kings of the south ended in the first century. At least, the application given to them by Daniel’s prophecy ended in the first century. So what about us? Are we in the time of the end? What about Matthew 24, the wars, famines, pestilences, the generation, the presence of Christ. We’ll look at that in our next video. But again, using exegesis. No preconceptions. We’ll let the Bible speak to us. Thank you for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe.
JB, keep putting that little birdie in their ears,….. what else can you do? If mama’s not happy, aint nobody happy! One of these days that little birdie may return with a message for you. Noah’s bird… you know what I mean!
That’s a very good picture of you, it would be even better if Splane wasn’t in it.
Brother’s in Christ and if need be Soldiers in Christ.
Right on, Psalmbee. (Oops, I’m dating myself.)
Hi all, I would like to share this experience: A young married couple and their 2 children visited us last night, all was well, until he told us that his mother who was a witness, has not seen the kids, because she was disfellowshipped and they have nothing to do with her. I asked has she tried to contact you to see the grand children? They said many times, but as JW’s we cut her off, and tell her not to contact us until she is back. The brother is an MS in our congregation. So I asked him to… Read more »
Thanks James. We can discuss technical hoo haa about one thing or another, but at the end of the day a simple everyday real life example such as the one you shared, exemplifies the truth around what Jesus said would identify true Christians.
That they would have love amongst themselves.
A good reminder with which to constantly gauge our relationships and how we treat other people in our efforts to please our Creator and in following our exemplar Jesus.
Love to all from Alithia.
Thank you Alithia for your comment. I feel exactly the same. Different opinions about different technicalities could cause division. In many cases, this was the cause of various denominations formation, resulting in grudge and violence. We often argue about opinions or words. In such a situation I always try to keep in mind 1 Cor 13:12. Maybe I am right or not. But first of all, love unites us with beloved Jesus and with one another. So let’s never forget that love is the most important and above all (1 Cor 13:13) and everything will be fine. Love to you… Read more »
Interesting that he said “to the organization” and not to Jehovah. He has made his stand. So very sad.
I was in a similar situation, namely following the WT dictates of 1981 and others in the 1980s. it seemed the right thing at the time, but then we trusted the Organisation. 1 Tim 5:8 is well quoted by you. Ultimately we must answer to Jehovah, and realise what will please him, But we were fooled and mistakenly pleased men, thinking they knew what would please our creator and his son.
If it wasn’t for the Internet, I wonder how much longer it would have taken to work all these things out.
Greetings and love to all fellow picketers.
Thank you Eric for your clear explanation. I really appreciated the detail on those verses in Daniel, particularly verse 7 and the “dashing to pieces of the power of the holy people. You quoted in the article : “By means of “the faithful and discreet slave,” Jehovah also helped his servants to realise, decades in advance, that the year 1914 would mark the end of the Gentile Times.” I do not know whether anyone else had come up with similar interpretations, but it is clear, when reading the 1875 Herald of the Morning editions that Nelson Barbour was instrumental in… Read more »
Good point Leonardo. The revelation about 1914 came from an Adventist who later denied the value of the ransom sacrifice. Thus we must conclude that the faithful and discreet slave chosen by Jesus was this Barbour. Or, just maybe, some of our brothers will finally put 2 and 2 together. 🙂
When you mentioned Nelson Barbour it reminded me of something I found when reading the old watchtower with Russel’s familiar quote, “A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth”. I had always heard and read the organization say that Barbour rejected the ransom teaching but this article actually brought out another aspect of it which touches a sensitive spot when it comes to the organization’s current teaching. Here is the quote: Zions Watchtower February 1881 p.189 paragraph 12 “Just at this time we met with a sad and very severe trial. A brother of influence and ability… Read more »
Barbour wrote and published in the Herald “that Christ’s death was no more a settlement of the penalty of man’s sins than would the sticking of a pin through the body of a fly and causing it suffering and death be considered by an earthly parent as a just settlement for misdemeanor in his child.
So sad he would liken Christ’s body and blood to that of a fly, This is so much worse than what the Jews did in Hebrews 10:29.
Nice coverage of Daniel chapter 12 Eric. The ESV Study Bible, in its commentaries under the scriptures, has a very detailed coverage of the King of the South and King of the North while covering chapter 11 of Daniel. Their commentaries in chapter 11 link scriptures to historical characters and events.
Thanks for pointing out that resource.
Thanks Eric, I like the thought of teaching someone to fish. The beauty of learning to fish is that anyone can learn and it can be very simple and progress from the basics. People have their favorite restaurants they visit frequently to dine in- and even when they can’t go in to dine their have food delivered to them for a fee. The truth is we don’t need Religion! And it’s Chefs and waiters with now their online home delivery service. They will try and convince us we do need them- Jesus says though- he is with us. So, Alternatively,… Read more »
Thank you Eric for a great review of a very important subject. Examining the scriptures exegetically. I would like to mention, the very next verse on from the scripture you brought out from 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10, contains information about how God responds to those not loving the truth. One thing that I have noticed recently in my study and still working through to understand, is the concept of how Jehovah uses his right to induce or make people believe a certain position. For me this very next scripture says it all about the position of those who teach doctrines… Read more »
Hello all. This is a nice review of how to study scripture in a way that brings one closer to the truth as God intended it rather than how anyone’s personal agenda or fantasy might lead them to conclude what the bible has to say. Eric has only pointed out a miniscule part of the massive amounts of eisegetical type “spiritual food” the organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has churned out. The “Type, Anti-type” method is one such eisegetical method of arriving at what the scriptures “say”. The Org has used this method extensively from the beginning. Anyone in the “truth… Read more »
Excellent video Eric! I wonder, could there possibly be a connection between Daniel 12:2 and Matthew 27:52?
I don’t think so, because Daniel 12:2 speaks of two groups, one that is condemned and one that is blessed.