Examining Matthew 24; Part 3: Preaching in All the Inhabited Earth

– posted by meleti

Hello, my name is Eric Wilson, and this is the third in our series on the 24th chapter of Matthew.

I’d like you to imagine for a moment that you are sitting on the Mount of Olives listening to Jesus when he utters the following words:

“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.” (Mt 24:14)

What would you, as a Jew of that time, have understood Jesus to mean by,

  1. This good news?

  2. All the inhabited earth?

  3. All the nations?

  4. The end will come?

If our first conclusion is that this must apply to us, aren’t we being just a wee bit egocentric? I mean, we didn’t ask the question, and we didn’t get the answer, so why would we think it applies to us unless, of course, Jesus explicitly says so – which incidentally he doesn’t.

Jehovah’s Witnesses not only think that this verse applies in our day, but also believe it applies only to them. They alone are charged to carry out this historic work. The lives of billions, literally everyone on earth, depend on how well they complete their mission.  Its completion will signal the end of the world.  And they will know when it is completed, because they have yet another message, a not-so-good-news message to preach.  They believe they will be commissioned by God to pronounce a message of judgment.

The July 15, 2015 The Watchtower says on page 16, paragraph 9:

“This will not be the time to preach the “good news of the Kingdom.” That time will have passed. The time for “the end” will have come! (Matt. 24:14) No doubt… (Oh, the number of times I’ve read the words “no doubt” in The Watchtower only to suffer disappointment later.) No doubt, God’s people will proclaim a hard-hitting judgment message. This may well involve a declaration announcing that Satan’s wicked world is about to come to its complete end.”

This ostentatious destiny is being bestowed upon Jehovah’s Witnesses by God.  At least, that is the conclusion they take based on this one little verse.

Do the lives of billions of people truly rest on accepting The Watchtower and Awake! magazines on a Saturday morning?  When you walk by that cart on the street guarded by its silent sentries, without giving it a second glance, are you really condemning yourself to eternal destruction?

Surely a fate so dire would come with a warning label of some kind, or does God not care about us that much.

The three accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke which we are analysing all contain various common elements, while some less critical features are absent from one or two accounts.  (For example, Luke is the only one who mentions the trampling of Jerusalem during the appointed times of the gentiles.  Matthew and Mark leave this out.) Nevertheless, the really crucial elements, such as the warnings to avoid false prophets and false christs, are shared across all accounts. What about this supposedly life-and-death, end-of-the-world message?

What does Luke say on the subject?

Oddly enough, not a thing.  He makes no mention of these words. Mark does, but all he says is “Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first.” (Mr 13:10)

“Also…”? It is like our Lord is saying, “Oh, and by the way, the good news gets preached before all this other stuff happens.”

Nothing about, “You had better listen, or you’ll die.”

What did Jesus really mean when he said these words?

Let’s look at that list again.

It will be easier to figure it out if we start from the bottom and work upwards.

So the fourth item was: “And then the end will come.”

What end could he be referring to? He only mentions one end. The word is in the singular. They had just asked him for a sign so they would know when the end of the city with its temple would come. They would naturally assume that was the end he was speaking of. But for that to make sense, the good news would have had to be preached in all the inhabited earth, and to all the nations, and that didn’t happen in the first century.  Or did it? Let’s not go jumping to any conclusions.

Moving to the third point: What would they have understood Jesus meant when referring to “all the nations”? Would they have thought, “Oh, the good news will be preached in China, India, Australia, Argentina, Canada, and Mexico?

The word he uses is ethnos, from which we get the English word, “ethnic”.

Strong’s Concordance gives us:

Definition: a race, a nation, the nations (as distinct from Israel)
Usage: a race, people, nation; the nations, heathen world, Gentiles.

So, when used in the plural, “nations”, ethnos, refers to the Gentiles, the pagan world outside of Judaism.

This is how the word is used throughout the Christian Scriptures. For example, in Matthew 10:5 we read, “These 12 Jesus sent out, giving them these instructions: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Samaritan city;” (Mt 10:5)

The New World translation uses “nations” here, but most other versions render this as “Gentiles”. To the Jew, ethnos meant non-Jews, gentiles.

What about the second element of his statement: “all the inhabited earth”?

The word in Greek is oikoumené. (ee-ku-me-nee)

Strong’s Concordance explains its usage as “(properly: the land that is being inhabited, the land in a state of habitation), the inhabited world, that is, the Roman world, for all outside it was regarded as of no account.”

HELPS Word-studies explains it this way:

3625 (oikouménē) literally means "the inhabited (land)." It was "originally used by the Greeks to denote the land inhabited by themselves, in contrast with barbarian countries; afterward, when the Greeks became subject to the Romans, 'the entire Roman world;' still later, for 'the whole inhabited world' ".

Given this information, we could paraphrase Jesus’ words to read, “and this good news of the kingdom will be preached throughout the known world (the Roman Empire) to all the Gentiles before Jerusalem is destroyed.”

Did that happen?  In 62 C.E., just four years before the first siege of Jerusalem and while he was imprisoned in Rome, Paul wrote to the Colossians speaking about “…the hope of that good news which YOU heard, and which was preached in all creation that is under heaven.” (Col 1:23)

By that year, Christians had not reached India, or China, or the indigenous peoples of the Americas.  Yet, Paul’s words are truthful within the context of the then known Roman world.

So, there you have it. The good news of the kingdom of the Christ was preached throughout the Roman world to all the Gentiles before the Jewish system of things came to its end.

That was simple, wasn’t it?

There we have a straightforward, unambiguous explanation for Jesus’ words that fits all the facts of history. We could end this discussion right now and move on, except for the fact that, as we’ve already stated, eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses think they are fulfilling Matthew 24:14 today.  They believe this is an antitypical or secondary fulfillment.  They teach that Jesus’ words had a minor fulfillment in the first century, but what we are seeing today is the major fulfillment. (See w03 1/1 p. 8 par. 4.)

What effect does this belief have on Jehovah’s Witnesses?  It is like a life preserver.  When they are faced with the hypocrisy of the Governing Body’s 10-year affiliation with the United Nations, they cling to it.  When they see the groundswell of bad publicity surrounding decades of mishandling child sexual abuse, they hold on to it like a drowning man.  “Who else is preaching the Good News of the Kingdom in all the earth?” they say.

It doesn’t really matter that they know they are not preaching to all the nations nor in all the inhabited earth. Witnesses are not preaching in the nations of Islam, nor are they effectively reaching the one billion Hindus on earth, nor are they making any appreciable difference in countries like China or Tibet.

Those are all facts easily overlooked. The key thing is that they believe only Witnesses are preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. No one else is doing that.

If we can show that this is not the case, then this bedrock of Witness theology crumbles. To do that, we have to understand the full breadth, and width, and height of this doctrine.

It originates in 1934. Three years prior, Rutherford took the 25% of Bible student groups still affiliated with his publishing company, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and made them into a proper religious organization by giving them the name, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and centralizing the power to appoint elders at headquarters. Then, in a two-part article that ran in the August 1 and 15, 1934 issues of The Watchtower, he introduced a two-class system which permitted him to create a clergy and laity division like the churches of Christendom had. He did this by making use of unscriptural antitypical representations employing the cities of refuge of Israel, the relationship between the Israelite Jehu and the gentile Jonadab, as well as the parting of the Jordan river when the priests crossed with the ark of the covenant. (I have a detailed analysis of these articles on our web site. I’ll put a link to them in the description of this video.)

By this means, he created a secondary class of Christian called the Jonadab class otherwise known as the Other Sheep.

As proof, here is an extract from one of the final paragraphs of the two-part study—square brackets added:

“Be it noted that the obligation is laid upon the priestly class [the anointed] to do the leading or reading of the law of instruction to the people. Therefore, where there is a company [or congregation] of Jehovah’s witnesses…the leader of a study should be selected from amongst the anointed, and likewise those of the service committee should be taken from the anointed….Jonadab was there as one to learn, and not one who was to teach….The official organization of Jehovah on earth consists of his anointed remnant, and the Jonadabs [other sheep] who walk with the anointed are to be taught, but not to be leaders. This appearing to be God’s arrangement, all should gladly abide thereby.” (w34 8/15 p. 250 par. 32)

This created a problem however. The belief was that atheists, heathens, and false Christians who died prior to Armageddon would be resurrected as part of the resurrection of the unrighteous.  The unrighteous come back still in their sinful state. They can only achieve perfection or sinlessness upon being declared righteous by God at the end of the thousand years. What resurrection hope did the Jonadabs or Other Sheep have?  Exactly the same hope. They too would come back as sinners and have to work toward perfection by the end of the thousand years.  So, what is to motivate a Jonadab or other sheep Jehovah’s Witness to make great sacrifices for the work if the reward he gets is no different from that of an unbeliever?

Rutherford had to offer them something which the wicked unbeliever wouldn’t get.  The carrot was survival through Armageddon.  But to make it really desirable, he had to teach that those killed at Armageddon would get no resurrection—no second chance.

This is essentially the JW equivalent of hell fire. The doctrine of hell fire has long been criticized by Jehovah’s Witnesses as antithetical to the love of God. How could a God of love torture someone forever and ever simply for refusing to obey him?

However, Witnesses fail to see the irony in promoting a belief that would have God eternally destroy an individual without providing him even a faint chance at redemption.  After all, what chance does the 13-year-old child bride in Muslim and Hindu cultures have of ever knowing the Christ?  For that matter, what chance does any Muslim or Hindu have of really understanding the Christian hope?  I could go on with many more examples.

Nevertheless, Witnesses are content to believe that these ones will be killed by God with no resurrection hope, simply because they had the misfortune of being born to the wrong family or in the wrong culture.

It is crucial for the leadership of the Organization that all Witnesses believe this.  Otherwise, what are they working so hard for?  If non-witnesses are also going to survive Armageddon, or if those killed in that war receive a resurrection, then what’s it all about?

Yet, that is essentially the Good News that Witnesses preach.

From The Watchtower of September 1, 1989 page 19:

 “Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil."

From The Watchtower of August 15, 2014, page 21:

"In effect, Jesus also conveys Jehovah’s voice to us as he directs the congregation through “the faithful and discreet slave.” [Read “Governing Body”] (Matt. 24:45) We need to take this guidance and direction seriously, for our everlasting life depends on our obedience." (Brackets added.)

Let us think about this for a minute. To fulfill Matthew 24:14 the way the Witnesses interpret it, the good news has to be preached in all the inhabited earth to all the nations.  Witnesses are not doing that. Not even close.  Conservative estimates show that about three billion humans have never been preached to by a single Jehovah’s Witness.

Nevertheless, let’s put all that aside for the moment. Let’s assume that before the end the Organization will find a way to reach every man, woman, and child on the planet. Would that change things?

No, and here’s why. That interpretation only works if they are preaching the real good news that Jesus and the apostles preached.  Otherwise, their efforts would be worse than invalid.

Consider Paul’s words to the Galatians on the matter.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness to another sort of good news. Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

Of course, Witnesses are sure they alone are preaching the right, the correct, the true good news. Consider this from a recent Watchtower study article:

“So who really are preaching the good news of the Kingdom today? With full confidence, we can say: “Jehovah’s Witnesses!” Why can we be so confident? Because we are preaching the right message, the good news of the Kingdom.” (w16 May p. 12 par. 17)

“They are the only ones who preach that Jesus has been ruling as King since 1914.” (w16 May p. 11 par. 12)

Hold on! We’ve already proven that Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong about 1914. (I’ll put a link here to the videos that demonstrate this conclusion clearly from Scripture.) So, if that is a mainstay of their preaching of the good news, then they are preaching a false good news.

Is that the only thing wrong with the preaching of the good news of Jehovah’s Witnesses? No.

Let’s start with Armageddon. Their entire focus is on Armageddon. They believe Jesus will come and judge all humankind at that point and condemn everyone who is not a Jehovah’s Witness to eternal destruction.

What is this based on?

The word Armageddon only occurs once in the Bible.  Just once! Yet they think they know all about what it represents.

According to reliable historical sources, the word was revealed to Christians toward the end of the first century long after the events recorded in the book of Acts. (I know the Preterists are going to disagree with me on this, but let’s leave that discussion for our next video.) If you read the book of Acts, you’ll find no reference to Armageddon. It is true that the message that the first century Christians preached in all the inhabited earth and to all the nations at that time was one of salvation. But it wasn’t salvation from a globe-spanning catastrophe. In fact, when you examine the only place the word Armageddon occurs in the Bible, you’ll see that it says nothing about all life being destroyed eternally. Let’s just read the Bible and see what it has to say.

“. . .They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty….And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon.” (Re 16:14, 16)

You will notice that it is not every man, woman, and child that is brought to the war but the kings or rulers of the earth.  This coincides with the prophecy found in the book of Daniel.

“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever,” (Da 2:44)

Like any conquering power, Jesus’ purpose will not be to destroy all life but rather to annihilate any opposition to his rule whether it be political, religious, or institutional. Of course, anyone who fights against him right down to the lowliest of mankind will get what they deserve. All we can say is that there is nothing in the Scriptures to indicate that every man, woman, and child on earth will be killed eternally. In fact, those that are killed are not explicitly denied the hope of a resurrection. Whether or not they are resurrected is something we cannot say for sure. To be sure, there is evidence that those that Jesus preached to directly as well as the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah will come back in the resurrection. So that gives us hope, but we simply should not go making any categorical statement on the matter.  That would be rendering judgment and as such would be wrong.

Okay, so witnesses are wrong about the 1914 establishment of the kingdom as well as the nature of Armageddon. Are those the only two elements in their preaching of the good news that are false? Sadly, no. There is something far worse to consider.

John 1:12 tells us that all who exercise faith in the name of Jesus get “authority to become God’s children”. Romans 8:14, 15 tells us that “all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons” and have “received a spirit of adoption”.  This adoption makes Christians heirs of God who can inherit from their Father that which he has, everlasting life. 1 Timothy 2:4-6 tells us that Jesus is the mediator between God and men, a “ransom for all”. Nowhere are Christians referred to as God’s friends but only as his children. God has made an agreement or covenant with Christians, called the New Covenant.  Nowhere are we told that the vast majority of Christians are excluded from this covenant, that in fact they have not covenant with God at all.

The good news that Jesus preached and that his followers took up and preached in all the inhabited earth prior to Jerusalem’s destruction was that all who believed in Christ could become the adopted children of God and share with Christ in the kingdom of the heavens. There was no secondary hope which they preached.  Not alternate salvation.

Nowhere in the Bible do you find even a hint of a different good news telling people they will be declared righteous as friends of God but not children and will be resurrected still in a state of sin despite being declared righteous. Nowhere is there mention of a group of Christians who would not be included in the new covenant, would not have Jesus Christ as their mediator, would not have the hope of everlasting life immediately upon their resurrection.  No where are Christians told to refrain from partaking of the emblems that represent the lifesaving flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If, upon hearing this, your first reaction is to ask, “Are you saying that everybody goes to heaven?” Or, “Are you saying there is no earthly hope?”

No, I’m not saying anything of the kind. What I’m saying is that the entire premise of the good news that Jehovah’s Witnesses preach is wrong from the ground up. Yes, there are two resurrections. Paul talked about a resurrection of the unrighteous. It is clear that the unrighteousness cannot inherit the kingdom of the heavens. But there are not two groups of righteous.

This is a very complex topic and one which I hope to deal with in great detail in a series of future videos. But just to quiet the concern that many might feel, let’s look at it very briefly. A thumbnail sketch, if you will.

You have billions  of people throughout history who have lived in some of the most horrendous conditions imaginable. They have suffered trauma that most of us can’t even imagine. Even today, billions live in abject poverty or suffer from debilitating disease, or political oppression, or enslavement of various forms. How can any of these people have a reasonable and fair chance to know God? How can they ever hope to be reconciled back into the family of God? The playing field, so to speak, has to be levelled. All have to have a fair chance. Enter the children of God. A small group, tried and tested as was Jesus himself, and then given the authority and power not only to rule the earth and ensure justice but also to act as priests, so as to minister to those in need and assist all back to a relationship with God.

The good news is not about saving every man woman and child from a fiery death at Armageddon. The good news is about reaching out for those who will accept the offer to become an adopted child of God and who are willing to serve in that capacity. Once their number is complete, Jesus can bring the end of human rule.

Witnesses believe that only when they finish the preaching work can Jesus bring the end. But Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled in the first century. It has no fulfillment today. Jesus will bring the end when the full number of the chosen ones, the children of God, is complete.

The angel revealed this to John:

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given. They shouted with a loud voice, saying: “Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.” (Re 6:9-11)

The end of human rulership comes only when the full number of Jesus’ brothers is filled.

Let me restate that.  It is only when the full number of Jesus’ brothers is filled, that the end of human rulership comes. Armageddon comes when all the anointed children of God are sealed.

And so, now we arrive at the real tragedy that has resulted because of the preaching of the so-called good news preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses.  For the past 80 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses have devoted billions of hours in an unwitting effort to push back the end.  They go door-to-door to make disciples and tell them they cannot enter the kingdom as children of God.  They are attempting to block the way in to the Kingdom of the heavens.

They are like the leaders of Jesus’ day.

“Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for YOU yourselves do not go in, neither do YOU permit those on their way in to go in.” (Mt 23:13)

The good news that Witnesses preach is actually anti-good news. It is diametrically opposed to the message the first century Christians preached.  It works against the purpose of God.  If the end comes only when the full number of the brothers of Christ is achieved, then the efforts of Jehovah’s Witnesses to convert millions to a belief that they are not being called to be children of God is intended to frustrate that effort.

This was begun by J.F. Rutherford at a time when he claimed the holy spirit no longer directed the work, but that angels were communicating messages from God.  What “angel” doesn’t want the seed of the women to come to power?

Now we can understand why Paul spoke so forcefully about this to the Galatians. Let’s read that again but this time from the New Living Translation:

“I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

Matthew 24:14 has no modern fulfillment.  It was fulfilled in the first century.  Applying it to modern times has resulted in millions of people unwittingly working against the interests of God and the promised seed.

Paul’s warning and condemnation resonates as much now as it did in the first century.

I can only hope that all my former brothers and sisters within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses will give prayerful consideration to how this warning affects them individually.

We will continue our discussion of Matthew 24 in our next video by analysing from verse 15 onward.

Thank you for watching and for your support.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by Leonardo Josephus on 2019-10-25 04:04:44

    What an excellent and informative article, Eric. So much detail. I did think of Matthew 23:13 well before you got there, but what is disturbing is that all Witnesses are sharing in the thought that "they did not go in" and they "do not permit those on their way in to go in", specifically by directing people, at least in part, initially to truths and then instructing them to teach untruths.
    Just an aside passing thought here. If all Christians are sons of God, then the 144000 (whether literally 144000 or not) at Revelation 14, are simply a number selected from all the (ex human) sons of God, not the only ones to go to heaven. Is that in line with your thoughts ? Or am I wandering way off target ?
    This comment has been slightly amended.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-25 09:24:54

      To be honest, I'm still working on who or what the 144,000 are. Will get back to you on that. ?

      • Reply by louabbott on 2019-10-26 16:52:20

        "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer in many cases.

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-10-25 06:54:22

    I recently came across an interesting acronym that I think should be applied when we study Scripture. I'm not sure if I remember it correctly but it goes like this; STOP. Each letter of the acronym stands for something as follows.

    S. Situational. We need to think as best as we can deduce what the exact circumstances or the situation was at the time where we read in Scripture. Such as you mentioned where the disciples were living in under the Roman rule in a very Jewish situation.

    T. We need to think of the type of literary writing of the Scripture we are reading. Is it poetic? Is it prophetic? Is it just simply a statement of fact? Also as you clearly pointed out that Jesus was merely stating a fact regarding the scope of the preaching work prior to a cataclysmic event.

    O. Objective. We also need to think who were these words are directed to? Who or what was the object of what Jesus said? To the early Christian disciples of that past first century era as you pointed out? Or to handful of bearded modern day Jehovah's Witnesses 2000 years later in Pittsburgh or Brooklyn New York!

    P. And we have to ask ourselves if the Scripture we are reading is prescriptive or just simply describing events. Clearly Jehovah's Witnesses have come to the conclusion that it is a prescription of great importance that everybody is involved in this preaching work to have it preached in every recess nook and cranny of the known world! Saving lives! And as you mentioned ignoring the simple fact that really this is not happening by a large measure! Even on a daily basis there is only a few Jehovah's Witnesses baptised every day however there are millions born into the world every day! How is that saving lives?According to Jehovah's Witness theology the net result is only resulting in millions more perishing forever rather than receiving everlasting life.

    Just a small point, I would just like to point out in Romans chapter 8 versus 14 and 15 and also in verse 28 the original Greek merely says that we will be as a son of God. If you look up Bible hub most of the translations translate those verses by inserting the phrase as by adoption. This does not occur in the original Greek.It merely states that we will be in the position as sons of God. I think considering that being a son of God can be through birth after we are born again by spirit and fire we can be considered as close as natural sons of God! We do not have to think of ourselves as being adopted. I think inserting the phrase as adopted sons waters are down somewhat this natural close bond that we can have with God. And possibly was considered to differentiate between Jesus as being a natural son of God albeit through and a supernatural process; and everybody else who is born again by spirit, a new creation. I think it is better just to consider ourselves as any natural son of a father as was Jesus with his father! I think this better conveys the idea of the relationship that Jehovah wants to have with us and that we can have with our father, something the organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses also makes great effort to strenuously deny for most Christians.
    No biggie, what are your thoughts on that?

    Loved your presentation! It certainly helped me to STOP and consider things as they should.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-25 09:23:36

      Thank you, Alithia. I always appreciate your comments. You certainly make me STOP and think. ??

  • Comment by Bazic on 2019-10-25 11:26:52

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you for your great work of research.
    You said that nothing in the Bible refers to a massive destruction of people (excepted the rulers who clearly stand against God).

    What do you think about a scripture like Zephaniah 1:18?
    In the context, it talks about the great day of Jehovah, concerns many nations (mainly Israel but also nations like Ethiopia, Assyria).

    I feel a little bit confused...

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-25 16:00:08

      Hi Bazic,

      Given the time of the writing of Zephaniah (prior to the exile to Babylon) it appears that this prophecy relates to the nation of Israel. The NASB states in verse 2: ""I will completely remove all things From the face of the earth," declares the LORD." The word rendered "earth" here is adamah which means "ground, land", so he is not referring to the planet, but the land of Israel, or by extension, all that region. We know that more than Israel was affected and subjugated when Babylon came to power.

      The great day of Jehovah did effect more nations than just Israel as Jeremiah prophecied.

      “. . .And all this land must become a devastated place, an object of astonishment, and these nations will have to serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”’” (Jer 25:11)

      • Reply by Bazic on 2019-10-26 06:48:32

        That makes sense.

        Not easy when you have raised with the idea that every mention of "day of Jehovah" has a fulfillment in Armageddon...

        Some prophecies have a future fulfillment (Haggai / Hebrew 12, Daniel, Ezekiel), whereas some others (maybe the most) should be taken only in their historical context.

        Thank you Eric for your clear answer.

  • Comment by whatisTruth on 2019-10-25 13:38:46

    hello Eric, thank you very much for all your articles on this site, which are very helpful and encouraging for me.
    I also agree with you, but as soon as I get clear about a topic, many questions come up again. e.g. I agree with you that in the Armageddon not all the other believing people will die, but now I can not explain the prophecy with the sheep and the goats!
    If the boy from China will survive, then he belongs to the sheep and he is also one of the righteous ones (Mat 25:37)! but if he is a goat, then he will be cut off in Armageddon! Do You see my dilemma?
    Please help!

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-25 16:13:48

      Hi WhatIsTruth,

      The parable of the Sheep and Goats is just that, a parable. It is an illustration in other words, a simple way to explain a complex situation. If you take the time element out of it for a moment, what do you derive? Is it not that acts of mercy given unwittingly (They did not know they were showing mercy to Jesus through his brothers) are the way to favorable judgment. Conversely, withholding mercy when one sees suffering is the way to adverse judgment.

      "For the one that does not practice mercy will have [his] judgment without mercy. Mercy exults triumphantly over judgment." James 2:13

      Now let's put the time factor back in. When does this happen?

      The organization tells us this happens at Armageddon, but then they turn around and tell us that Judgment Day lasts a thousand years, so which is it?

      The question is, when does Jesus sit on his glorious throne?

      ““When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.” (Mt 25:31-33)

      I'm not making an declaration here. I'm just asking a few questions, because I cannot speak to this firmly. We know that Jesus was enthroned in heaven in 33 C.E. So he sat on his throne then. Do we count from that point?

      Food for thought.

      The important thing to take away from this passage is not the need to know when it occurs, because the principle of mercy versus judgment is timeless, so what we should take from this is the need to be merciful now and always.

      I've just scratched the surface of this head-scratcher of a parable, but hope to get into it more in the Mt 24 series which is likely to stretch beyond chapter 24. ?

      • Reply by whatisTruth on 2019-10-26 10:37:51

        Thank you Eric ?

      • Reply by Igor Kocelj on 2019-11-03 14:06:51

        HI Eric! What I found exciting the other day, as I was reading Ezekiel 34, was that Jesus was apparently quoting Ezekiel with his parable of sheep and goats. In Ezekiel, the sheep and the goats both refer to ONE group, actually a SUB-group of God's people. THE TEACHERS and MEN IN CHARGE. With this understanding, I came to realize that Jesus' parable of sheep and goats might, in fact, be THE SAME one as the parable of the FDS or MINAS, TALENTS, ten virgins.... Basically, it's all about how Christians treat other Christians, their fellow servants. The time frame is the same as in, for example, the fulfilment of the words "LORD; LORD, didn't we expel demons in your name..."etc.

    • Reply by drdadkhah on 2019-10-26 02:27:17

      it is great sentences: When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given. They shouted with a loud voice, saying: “Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?

  • Comment by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-25 16:15:06

    Thanks for this excellent breakdown of the JW doctrine, Just Asking. You're not just asking. You're also answering. ??

  • Comment by messenger on 2019-10-26 11:53:09

    The statement below, taken from the article, contradicts the two primary ideas in it. Those two ideas that appear after your claim about Witness beliefs contained in your first sentence are the ideas I refer to:

    "Witnesses believe that only when they finish the preaching work can Jesus bring the end. But Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled in the first century. It has no fulfillment today. Jesus will bring the end when the full number of the chosen ones, the children of God, is complete." (article quote)


    If Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled in the first century, then the full number of God's chosen would have already been completed in the first century, or at the very latest the second century, since no one in the first century lived much longer that 100 years. And the end of this world would likely have come then also, in the first or second century.

    The Bible claims the elect believe in God as their god only after they hear the preaching about God, characterized by Christ's words at Matthew 24:14. If the preaching of the good news stopped as your article states it did in the first century, then no more elect would be chosen after the first century-per your article. But according to Bible scriptures their number increases until Christ comes to end this world. God adding to his elect did not stop when the Roman armies tore down the Jewish temple stones.

    The preaching characterized at Matthew 24:14 began in the first century but continues until Christ comes. Actually all the descriptors Christ spoke of while on the Mount of Olives, recorded at Matthew 24 (and Luke 21), continue until he comes again, with the exception of just a few. Those few being the temple stones getting knocked down, the great tribulation, the miraculous signs in heaven, and sign of the Son of man. Those few descriptors cover shorter time spans than the rest. The rest of the circumstances Christ mentioned were conditions Christians should expect to experience until his return e.g. the persecutions, earthquakes, food-shortages, wars, etc. Christ never claimed those were by themselves any sort of sign. And we could include the Good News being preached in among them. It was not any sign when included with those other events until added to them is the great tribulation, those heavenly signs Christ spoke of, and the sign of Christ's presence, a miraculous sign in heaven. Christ said Christians would see all those things before his return, not some. And most of those have been going on continuously since he gave the prophecy.

    The Jews being scattered among the nations, and the appointed time of the nations fits somewhere in-between those other descriptors as to it's time span. We have not seen Christ's immediate return since they returned to their promised homeland in 1948. So the appointed time of the nations appears to have ended while the wars, earthquakes, food-shortages, persecutions, and preaching still go on.

    The scriptures below speak to the necessity of the elect hearing the Good News, and that they will be chosen until Christ returns:

    Romans 10:14 "How then can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those whog bring good news!”

    “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given. They shouted with a loud voice, saying: “Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.” (Re 6:9-11)

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-27 11:27:56

      I don't think you listened carefully to the video or read the article thoroughly. There has to be at least a willingness to understand the viewpoint of another even if one disagrees with is.

      You state: "If Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled in the first century, then the full number of God’s chosen would have already been completed in the first century, or at the very latest the second century, since no one in the first century lived much longer that 100 years. And the end of this world would likely have come then also, in the first or second century."

      In the first part of the video/article I tried to make it clear that my understanding is that "the end" referred to in verse 14 is that of the Jewish system of things. Your point is based on the understanding that Jesus was referring to the end of our current system of things. I don't accept that premise for the reasons stated in the video/article. This isn't to say that the preaching wouldn't continue after 70 C.E. and that it wouldn't continue to grow to new places. Of course it would and it did.

      Jesus was telling his disciples just how far the preaching work would reach before the end of the Jewish system of things and his words came true.

      You write: " If the preaching of the good news stopped as your article states..."

      I never stated in the video/article that the preaching work would stop.

      When I said, "Matthew 24:14 has no modern fulfillment. It was fulfilled in the first century." I was referring to the application Jesus made of his words. He only spoke of one end not two. He made no secondary or anti-typical application. So we must understand it in that context. Will the good news be preached in all the inhabited earth in our day before the end comes? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We'll have to wait and see. But Matthew 24:14 does not apply to our day. Will the hundreds of millions of Muslim get a thorough witness in their native countries before the end? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not.

      I disagree with the importance you attach to the 1948 establishment of a Jewish state, and I don't think that has anything to do with the appointed times of the nations. But I respect your right to an opinion that differs from mine.

      • Reply by messenger on 2019-10-28 05:21:59

        I see your point. I didn't listen to the video. I read your article which states:

        "But Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled in the first century. It has no fulfillment today. "

        I took your statement to mean the preaching of the GOOD NEWS was fulfilled, not merely the latter part of that scripture, which speaks of "the end. "

        Even though I disagree with you about what end Christ referred to in his answer, a Christian's belief about that, as it relates to our salvation, I feel is inconsequential.

        As you know I feel in Matthew 24 Christ spoke of circumstances that do exists from the time he left until his return, and so I believe he meant the end of this world at Matthew 24:14. I don't believe those individual circumstances Christ mentioned there, except for Jerusalem's surrounding by an army, referenced by Daniel's prophecy, and the signs in heaven, were given by Christ as signs at all. I believe instead Christ told them what to expect to happen after he left.

        Since his apostles' question asked when he would return then the answer to that would have been their primary concern. That being true Christ focused on that question instead of their question about Jerusalem's temple stones getting knocked down. The fact Christ clearly devoted most of his conversation to circumstances preceding his return shows that to be the case -see the latter half of Matthew 24 and all of Matthew 25. Those scriptures are all part of the same answer. Since in the latter part of Matthew 24 and all of Matthew 25 Christ was clearly focused on their second question, that asked when he would return, while they associated his return with the end of an age, it's clear to me "the end" in Matthew 24 refers to when he returns bringing the end of this world.

    • Reply by Frankie on 2019-10-27 18:40:31

      Hello Just Asking.

      You wrote: " ... God .... had rejected Israel". But brother Paul disagrees with you. "I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! " (Romans 11:1). Chapters Romans 9 to 11 deal with REMNANT of Israel (Romans 9:6) and Gentiles and with future significant acceptance of Jesus as Messiah by "remnant" Jews, which will be performed by God Himself.
      And, of course, this has nothing to do with the state of Israel. You are right: “Jews and the secular nation of Israel have no special status in the eyes of God.” But God did not forget them.
      But this is off topic with respect to this Eric's article. Maybe next time.
      Love to you and all. Frankie

      • Reply by Frankie on 2019-10-28 16:32:21

        Hello Just Asking

        Thank you for your response. Your view is very similar to mine. I agree with almost everything you wrote here. I briefly presented my views in discussion with sister "UserNameUnknown" (Eric's article "Examining Matthew 24; Part 1: The Question”). Yes, neither the nation of Israel, nor Jews, have no longer a special position in God's eyes - you substantiated it exactly.

        My different view concerns only single thing - the favor of God for REMNANT of the nation of Israel "for the sake of their forefathers" (Romans 11:28), which lasts until today and will last "UNTIL the FULLNESS of the GENTILES has come in." (Romans 11:25), when significant part of Jews will accept Jesus Christ as Messiah (IMHO). The fullness of Gentiles was not accomplished yet. I feel, this situation may occur just before Armageddon.

        I'm currently at the end with writing a short study "The future of the nation of Israel”, where this topic is presented in detail - this would be too long comment. But this Eric's article deals with "preaching” in context of Matthew 24, so we are a bit off-topic. I will be happy to exchange thoughts with you about this within future BP articles.

        BTW, I appreciate your very good reasoning about 144000, you crushed this JW theory to dust :o) .
        Love to you and all. Frankie

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-10-26 18:03:36

    At the beginning of the video you demonstrated plainly that this scripture (Matt 24:14) was fulfilled in the first Century. Also as you point out stated by no less than one of the most dedicated and active publisher of the Good News, the Apostle Paul himself, who travelled most of the know “World” at the time to preach the “Good News” and who wrote under inspiration.

    I note the comments you mark with regards to how JWs believe that the preaching of the good news in all of the inhabited Earth has a modern day fulfilment only to them. And JWs salvation under the Kingdom is dependant on ones personal efforts towards this prodigious work as directed by the Governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses. You easily discredit this belief of Jehovah's Witnesses and summarised the resultant confused, contradictory and inexplicable theology of JWs with regards to salvation of the different “classes” by means of the Kingdom arrangement, (as understood by JWs).

    However in this forum and in the context of Ex Jws, (some still reeling in confusion, especially around the all important and “identifying mark of true Christianity” being the preaching work for JWs) I wonder if having viewed this presentation some may have been led to the conclusion that there is no need as a Christian today to share in preaching the Good News? And that after dispelling the wrong view of Matthew 24:14 and its application to ones personal responsibilities to preach, the correct view of each ones personal responsibility should be expressed.

    Succinctly put, how should we respond as to what is the Good News? How should disciple making look like today? Perhaps a discussion for some time down the track so as not to interrupt the flow of this current series?

    I say this with certain scriptures in mind such as the following one;

    Matthew 28:19 NSAB version “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    Jesus expressly commanded we preach and make disciples until the end of the Age which is until his coming.
    (Incidentally the JWs have also diverged from this command lately by baptising into the “Spirit directed Organisation”, instead of Gods Holy Spirit, another aspect of preaching another gospel than the one delivered by Christ in the first Century).

    Love to all from Alithia

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-27 08:49:28

      You make a valid point, Alithia. Funnily enough, I was reading a comment on WhatsApp from Jose Vincent today which got me to thinking along similar lines, to the point where I thought it would be a good thing to start the next video off with a summary of what we have covered thus far and to clear up wrong conclusions.

      Really, my only point in this current video is that we cannot use Matthew 24:14 as some measuring rod to know how close we are to the end. It was not given as a sign. Of course, the preaching would continue after 70 CE and would eventually encompass the world by one means or another but it would not necessarily reach every last man woman and child since its purpose is not to provide a last chance for salvation but rather to find and gather the chosen ones. I think we might look at the history of humanity as a series of phases leading to the eventual salvation of the entire family of man. We are in phase acts at the moment, in phase why will begin with the establishment of the kingdom crushing all other rulerships.

      So thank you for keeping me on my toes because one cannot see all the ramifications of one's words nor the conclusions at which some will arrive based on what they hear. It's important to see such things so as not to inadvertently mislead others.

  • Comment by if ever on 2019-10-27 23:55:29

    About a year ago I was doing some Bible study on Matthew 24:14 and wanted to understand how the ancient Roman world understood the term "inhabited earth". Knowing in Luke 2:1 this phrase inhabited earth is also used – “Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Au·gusʹtus for all the inhabited earth to be registered.” – New World Translation.

    Luke's audience would have an understanding of the term "inhabited earth" that would not be the same as ours.

    So knowing my limited my understanding on how the ancient Romans viewed the term "inhabited earth", I started reading The Annals of Tacitus. Tacitus was a Roman historian whose writing provided a valuable insight into the ancient Roman political and administrative system.

    I wrote to Meliti Vivlon about my study of Matthew 24:14, who advised I should add a reference to the website where I wrote a summarisation of my study. You can find it here: https://isaytoall.net/jeohvahs_witnesses/in-all-the-inhabited-earth/ .

    Enjoy studying the Bible and let us share what we have found.

  • Comment by messenger on 2019-10-28 20:00:47

    On the Mount of Olives the disciples asked Christ two questions:

    vs 3-" While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

    Note first they did not ask for a sign of any last days. And the phrase "Last Days" or "last days" is not written in the books Matthew, Mark, or Luke.

    Second, as the article's author brought out only Matthew, which was the only one of these three gospel writers that was present, included the second question, "what will be the sign of your presence and end the age?"

    Third, Matthew only states Christ's apostles asked him for a "sign" with regard to their second question, not their first. According to Matthew, they did not ask for a sign preceding the temple stones getting knocked down-see below:

    vs 3 "While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

    Christ's first words in answering were:

    vs 4 “See to it that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains."

    In his more extensive answer covering the whole chapter extending into chapter 25 Christ continued to list events and circumstances that would occur prior to his coming. Why? Because of what he said in vss 4-8 (above). That is because of these things coming upon the Christian congregation, including the destruction of Jerusalem, some Christians would believe and teach it was time for Christ's arrival. Additionally Christ spoke to give all Christians reasons to endure these conditions while awaiting his arrival.

    The great tribulation that Christ mentioned as one of these events, if it had any application to Jerusalem's end at all, will have its primary application to a worldwide Great Tribulation to occur later. Why do I say that with such certainty? Read those words here:

    "29Immediately after the tribulation of those days:

    ‘The sun will be darkened,

    and the moon will not give its light;

    the stars will fall from the sky,

    and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

    30At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory."

    In a previous article Tadua applies this great tribulation Christ spoke of to Jerusalem's end. Because Tadua said after Christ was impaled the sky got dark over Jerusalem. But according to vs 29 the sky gets dark after the tribulation. It doesn't get dark directly after Christ died, or directly before Christ died. And Christ died when? thirty some years before the temple stones were knocked down. Also, note vs 30, "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven," Vs 30 teaches AT THAT TIME the sign of Christ's coming appears, and Christ actually appears THEN, right after this great tribulation or during it. His appearance is linked to the great tribulation he spoke of, coming "at that time" or at the very least very soon after it.

    So what is the primary message Christ gave on the Mount of Olives that is recorded in Matthew 24, and extends into chapter 25? Christ was telling all Christians the type of events they will live through, and type of circumstances they will live in, which he said ARE NOT a sign of his arrival. He warned all Christians not to take those things as a sign. Instead in the verses he encouraged us to endure these things. Especially in the last half of chapter 24, and those verses in chapter 25 Christ was warning us to endure those circumstances.

    Now if one chooses to take those circumstances as a sign, then Christ stated that Christians who see his coming will have seen "all these things." All what things? Obviously the things he was just speaking of, and ALL of them. Jerusalem's end would not have been literally seen by this group that would arise in its future. However, historically they will have seen it. In other words the greater Christian congregation would have seen it by the time their generation is alive.

    Watchtower's biggest mistake in interpreting this, since it is one group that accepts these events as a sign, is that Watchtower is not including all the events Christ said must occur in the sign WT teaches. The major events, which are actually a sign by themselves, are what WT leaves out of its sign. WT does not include "the great tribulation," the miraculous signs in heaven, and the sign of the Son of man. The circumstances WT does include are the type Christ said do not mean the end is imminent-see Luke 21:8. WT does that partly because it preaches a sign of the last days, instead of a sign of Christ's actual presence. But Christ's apostles did not ask him for a sign of any "last days." They asked instead for a sign showing Christians Christ is back. Remember "last days" is not a phrase that is found in any of these gospels.


    "Last Day's" as the phrase was used by Peter started on the Jewish celebration of Pentecost A.D.33 and ends when this world ends. The phrase evidently signifies how in the world of mankind, all those that do not accept Christ are now in a period of judgment, a period of their "last days," along with the world they believe in. I believe it's at John 3:17-19 that Christ speaks of this judgment that is upon all those who don't believe who he is and what he said. And again his speech in Matthew 25 about separating people and throwing some into the fire, WHEN HE RETURNS WITH ANGELS, speaks to the time right after the "last days " expire. Also see 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 and 2 Peter chapter 3, both speak to their final destruction too. Those scriptures and others showing those killed were in their final days or "last days, " prior to this world ending. They won't be coming back, per Christ's words, and per Paul's words, at least not coming back with a chance to reconcile with God. Christ said their fate is thrown in with the eternal fate of the demons.

    THE START-Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.b 16But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

    17“‘And in the LAST DAYS it shall be, God declares,
    that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,

    THE END- 2 Peter 3: 3 scoffers will come in the LAST DAYS with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

    8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,a not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodiesb will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

    11Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-05 13:50:38

      Hi Messenger,

      You're conclusion based on your reading of Mt 24:3 is wrong in my opinion. These are parallel questions, but I've already said that in my video, so you know that's my reasoning. That yours differs is the beauty of our arrangement, isn't it?

      As for the rest of your questions, I'll address those in upcoming videos.


      • Reply by messenger on 2019-11-07 01:16:17

        Hello Eric,

        I imagine by parallel questions you are referring to those renderings of that account in Mark and Luke. Am I correct in understanding that's what you mean by parallel questions?
        If so you obviously are not considering that Matthew is offering a more detailed account in his rendering of those questions asked by the apostles.

        Well then, if I am correct about what you are saying, how do you reason that neither Mark or Luke included the question that asked Christ for a sign of his presence? Because Mark and Luke show the disciples asked for a sign, but they did not say it was for a sign of his return. Only Matthew claims disciples asked for a sign of:
        1. THE END OF THE AGE
        associated with

        Christ spent most of his answer speaking to their concern about when the end of an age that they associated with his arrival would occur. Even though Christ did not specify that time period, his long answer covering all of Matthew 24 and 25 was primarily in response to that concern of theirs.

        He spent so much time on it. Indisputably all of his answer in Matthew 25 was because of it, and indisputably the last half of Matthew 24 scriptures was in response to that end of the age associated with his return question.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-07 09:15:26

          I disagree and I've already explained why, but I respect your right to hold a different opinion.

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-10-30 06:28:55

    I agree with the point you make around the 19 minute mark regarding contradictions of the so-called “good news” as preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The fact that atheists heathens and false Christians who die prior to Armageddon will be resurrected as part of the resurrection of the unrighteous. The hope for the faithful who die prior to Armageddon (Incidentally who must be Jehovah’s Witnesses) are rewarded with the same resurrection Hope! There’s a real irony in this!

    Also you are quite right in what you say about what God’s objective is at the battle of Armageddon. It is not to destroy for eternity every man woman and child who is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The Scriptures are abundantly clear as to what God’s attitude is with regard to this matter. We could even look at the old Testament to see many examples of how merciful God can be to those who humbly submit to his rulership. He only exercises his divine sovereignty to decommission his opposes in cases where people defiantly take their stand against him and fight against him! As will be the case if this happens in the coming great war called Armageddon!

    Take for example, the case of Rahab and the city of Jericho.
    Rahab herself said at Joshua chapter 2 verse nine; she said to the men, I do know that Jehovah will give you the land and that the fear of you has fallen upon us. All the inhabitants of the land are disheartened because of you, for we heard how Jehovah dried up the waters of the red Sea before you when you left Egypt and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, Saigon and Ogg, whom you devoted to destruction on the other side of the Jordan. When we heard about it we lost heart and no one has any courage because of you for Jehovah your God is God in the heavens above on and on the earth beneath.

    The warriors in the fortified city of Jericho were well aware of the events leading up to their encirclement by Joshua and his men. They could have well fled and left the land, however they decided to stay and fight despite having the knowledge of Jehovah’s overwhelming sovereign power. Not a good idea!!!
    Rachel on the other hand conceded to this, and did not take a defiant stand before Jehovah. And so she is survived.

    We can think of the account of Jonah, after predicting the destruction of Nineveh, Jehovah relented when they repented in sackcloth and ashes. Disgruntled at this outcome Jehovah reprimanded Jonah by telling him in Jonah chapter 4 verse 10. But Jehovah said, you felt sorry for the bottle board plant which you did not work for nor did you make it grow, it grew in one night and died in one night. Should I not feel sorry for Nineveh the great city in which there are more than 120,000 men who do not even know right from wrong, as well as the many animals?
    Because the Ninevites repented before Jehovah he spared them! Jehovah loves animals too.
    Jesus said not a sparrow falls to the ground and your Father Jehovah does not notice!

    We also have the example of the Gibeonites. Joshua and all the people were instructed to drive out all the Canaanites and all of the inhabitants of the land and to occupy it. However the Gibeonites used a ruse and pretended they were ambassadors from a faraway land and concluded a peace covenant with the Israelites. I cannot imagine for a moment that Jehovah in the heavens would be thinking to himself Dang! Dang! That somehow the inhabitants of the land had got the better of him!!!!. And that they thwarted the will of God! The truth of the matter is unlike the ones in Jericho the Gibeonites had enough sense to repent and to bow to God’s sovereignty and for this there lives were spared.

    It is almost unimaginable, when Jesus returns in kingdom power with the heavenly host to exercise his rulership over the earth that anyone would dare to resist him. Well we have the examples that I just mentioned that some people apparently did, would, so let’s wait and see on that one.

    There are many many examples in Scripture where Jehovah determined to punish certain ones, and used the hyperbolic language that was common in polemic text in the ancient near East civilisations. Expressions like you must kill every man woman and child and beast, and every living breathing thing! These were common polemic literary expressions. However the expressions did not mean what the words themselves could mean.

    The simple fact is that the above did not happen. Moses expressed himself that way and charged Joshua with this commission. Later in Scripture we read that Joshua did everything as he was commanded by Moses! However the Canaanite nations still existed, in great numbers.

    It was not the purpose of the loving God to arbitrarily destroy every man woman and child and beast and breathing thing. Rather his purpose was to drive out of the land these civilisations, dismantle their military and political power, and most importantly totally destroy every vestige and aspect of false worship! And allow it to be occupied by the Israelite nation. The main object was not to pursue and kill as many of the inhabitants of the land until the last man woman and child and beast was killed! However anyone that stood their ground and wanted to fight against Jehovah, would suffer the consequences.

    The hyperbolic expressions used in the polemic text of the ancient near East is a study in itself perhaps for another time. However I just take this opportunity to concur with the fact that Armageddon is not about the destruction of billions of seemingly innocent people and even wicked people without hope of the resurrection or the opportunity to avail themselves of the ransom sacrifice under conditions that would be conducive for them to do so. It simply is not consistent with what we know about Jehovah and Jesus.

    Jehovah is a loving God, we know him from his actions in the past, in the old Testament and in the new Testament. Formulating false doctrines that present him in the way that Jehovah’s Witnesses do is blasphemous.

    • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2019-10-31 11:47:05

      Thank you for those thoughts, Alithia. Many of the Mosaic laws state that individuals who sinned must be cut off, or put to death without fail. Those are tow expressions which may or may not mean the same thing. But what about the sinner who repents ? Would he be put to death ? An examination of history of the Jews does indicate that they were not bloodthirsty leaders who wanted to always put people to death, while Jehovah as a loving God does not portray himself as a "kill him anyway" sort of God. Admittedly there were odd occasions when large numbers lost their lives, as after David's census. I do struggle with those events.

      But there are very few examples of people being put to death because of sins against the law. So we have nothing to tell us what happens if such an individual repents. However, David repented and was not put to death.

      • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2019-10-31 17:53:46

        Interesting reply JA. May I get your thoughts on statements such as in Exodus 31:14 where the profaner of the Sabbath must positively be put to death, and the person working on the Sabbath would be cut off from his people. Did they or did they not carry out what the law said, or did the judges have latitude ? I do not think I have ever really got my head round this one. The death penalty applied to a fair range of sins. Are you suggesting that it was not necessarily applied ?

        • Reply by Vox Ratio on 2019-10-31 21:23:21

          Hi JA,

          You said:

          Why was the Sabbath so important to God that a violation deserved the death penalty? This I don’t understand.

          Something that has helped me better understand the purpose and the strictures surrounding Jewish OT law was by reading what Jewish commentaries, even contemporary ones, have had to say. From what I have gleaned, there seem to have been two primary reasons for why faithful sabbath observance was required.

          Firstly, observing the sabbath day was a volitional act that recognised that no other God but YHWH created the world – he bringing a world into ordered habitation within six days and then resting on the seventh. As such, violating the sabbath was effectively a denial of a fundamental teaching of the Torah, namely, that God created the world in the manner that he did and of man's sharing in the final creative process of God.

          Secondly, and perhaps more pertinent, was that the only people that worked seven days a week were slaves. Given the incredible cost of their freedom from Egypt, an Israelite who worked every day spurned God's liberation of his people and conceded that they were willing to suffer again under another yoke of slavery.

          Thus, by resting on the sabbath, an Israelite not only confirmed their place in God’s creative order, but they also affirmed that they were a free people who worshiped a free and living God.

          • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2019-11-01 12:11:16

            Thank you Vox (good to see you commenting again - long time is it not ?) and JA.
            I really appreciated both your thoughts. You put a lot off effort into your replies, and confirm what I thought, that some things are hard to explain. Actually I am quite happy with that as none of us knows all the answers. It also allows us to work things out until we get an explanation which seems right.
            What you have said does at least help with my thinking, which is a very good reason for being on this site in the first place.

            ? Be happy

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-31 08:59:21

      "There are many many examples in Scripture where Jehovah determined to punish certain ones, and used the hyperbolic language that was common in polemic text in the ancient near East civilisations. Expressions like you must kill every man woman and child and beast, and every living breathing thing! These were common polemic literary expressions. However the expressions did not mean what the words themselves could mean."

      Thank you for that, Alithia. I never considered that before. It puts one more piece into the puzzle.

  • Comment by Jerome on 2019-10-31 10:24:03

    I'm a little confused. If Matthew 24:14 has no modern day fulfillment, then how are the chosen ones to be gathered? Isn't it more accurate to say the preaching work carried out by Jehovah's Witnesses today has no first century counterpart?

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-10-31 11:18:28

      I'm not suggesting that the preaching work doesn't continue. Of course it does, right down until the last of the anointed children of God is gathered to the Lord. Matthew 24:14 isn't just about the preaching work. It's about the time of the end and the only end that is relevant in the context of Jesus words is the end of the Jewish system of things. So what he's saying is that all the nations will receive the good news before Jerusalem is destroyed. He's not saying that the good news will stop being preached at that point. He's commenting on the extent of the preaching work that will be achieved prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. Since the end pertains to the end of Jerusalem there can be no modern day fulfillment since it was fulfilled prior to 70 CE. Following 70 CE, a counterfeit good news has been preached by pretty much every religion claiming to be Christian. Nevertheless, true Christians throughout the centuries have been preaching the real good news. Whether or not they will accomplish that preaching work in all the inhabited earth to all the nations in our day is something we'll just have to wait to see. However, Jesus never said that they would.

      • Reply by Jerome on 2019-10-31 18:45:11

        Thanks so much for this explanation. It makes a lot of sense. I guess I'm still having trouble removing my Watchtower glasses.

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-11-01 06:39:38

    To have a reasonable discussion around the justification for God putting anyone to death we need to get a proper perspective of a few things.
    Firstly Jehovah is the giver of life, the sustainer of life, and the only one who can bring people back to life from the dead. Humans are unable to do that.

    Unlike Jehovah if we take a life we are murderers. When Jehovah takes a life he’s not a murderer, because he has the right to take life if he wants to.
    And if Jehovah pleases he can bring a person back to life if he so desires.

    So we need to see things from God’s perspective and not from our own limited understanding as to whether God is justified in taking people’s lives by killing them.

    Also when God judges someone worthy of death we simply cannot from our limited perspective question God’s judgement, as to the validity of the decision to kill someone!
    We simply can’t know all of the facts. We cannot read hearts as he can.

    Even so, I have pointed out a few examples, and others here have also pointed out some additional examples where despite clear instructions that certain ones should be put to death it has not always resulted as such. God has shown mercy, great long-suffering and forbearance or for some other reason perhaps unknown and not discernible to ourselves has chosen not to follow through and put to death certain groups of people or individuals.

    We simply have to have faith in God. We have to trust him, (And we have sufficiently good reasons for this) knowing him to be the loving kind merciful and forgiving God that he is.
    We have many examples that we can point to where certain ones were put to death by Jehovah who while guilty of great wickedness, appear to have the prospect of a resurrection.
    Take for example what Jesus said about the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    If we are greatly disturbed by the biblical record where God has commanded the death of certain groups of people or individuals, perhaps, we are still somewhat left with some vestiges of Jehovah’s Witness indoctrination, where we were told that in the cases where God put certain individuals to death they had received a final judgement and there was no hope of a resurrection in the general (second) resurrection of the unrighteous.
    Perhaps this causes us to be overly disturbed at the degree of punishment that Jehovah decides by putting certain ones to death. That possibly in some way it may be final without any future prospect of life again.

    Of course this is part of the doomsday message that Jehovah’s Witnesses have developed around their understanding of Armageddon and the consequences for those who do not respond to the version of the “good news” as preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses. False of course!

    One way to think about matters that can help us reconcile God putting people to death is to think of it using the analogy of the “game of life”. As the writer of the “rules” of this “game” the umpire Jehovah enforces the rules of the game. If some don’t play according to the rules he puts them on the “bench” for a period of time. (Putting them in the state of the sleep of the dead for a period of time).
    We all only live about 70 to 90 years anyway, which is a very small limited lifespan. In the great scheme of things where people have the hope to live for eternity, philosophically to be “benched” for a short period of time until you are called to re-enter the game of life again and have the opportunity to never be benched again doesn’t seem to me to make God such a terrible God that some make out him to be.

    To further the analogy of the game of life, some are “sin binned” or red carded as in a soccer game. Denied any further participation in the “game”. Jesus spoke about this and called it sinning against the Holy Spirit. I understand this to mean that some have little hope (Or no hope) of forgiveness from God because of their evilness. Perhaps it was some in Jesus day who in Jesus presence saw marvellous miracles demonstrating undeniably that he had God’s Holy Spirit and was the Messiah. Yet they resisted him denied him and even put him to death. If under those circumstances these ones resisted the Holy Spirit, God could judge that these people even if given another chance under ideal situations would still act in the same manner and defy his sovereignty. So than God in his great wisdom if he decides that certain ones have had ample opportunity and require no further opportunity for redemption it is really his call and we are in no position to second-guess or question his decisions, we are simply not in the position as imperfect limited human beings to question his judgement.

    Remember, we need to trust that hat God has good reasons due to his redemption plan to “bench” certain ones to ensure that the redemption plan continues in such a manner that it will finally result in the salvation of all mankind giving everyone the opportunity to live forever in a righteous new system of things where as Revelation says there will be no more death no more tears or pain or crying anymore. The former things have passed away!

    This occurred (Sent to the bench) during Noah’s time, where God brought about a great flood as judgement against the wicked inhabitants on earth.
    This occurred during the time of the Israelite's during the dramatic time when the Israelite's were freed from bondage and slavery under the Egyptians.
    He did it during the time when the Israelite's took possession of the promised land.
    And it appears that he will act in a similar way in the future when his son Jesus returns to the earth to directly exercise his kingly power over all of the earth.

    In any case, as sinners and deserving of death only; God extends grace to all mankind past present and future, undeservedly so and at great cost to him. Isn’t it somewhat ironical that people challenge him with regard to killing certain ones? Yet how is it that few if anyone questions the fact that God offers this wonderful future of eternal life to all mankind? Something that no-one can rightly demand ask for or justify as something that God is morally bound to extend to mankind?
    No one seems to have a problem with this, no one questions or second guesses God’s wisdom in offering his own son as a sacrifice to buy back what Adam lost and to give mankind the prospect of endless life in bodies that don’t get sick old or die!

    How is it that people only look at one side of the equation? Some people seemingly only see one side of the story? How is it that people fail to look at all the facts to come to a conclusion as to the righteousness of God’s actions?

    In conclusion, for the good news to really have any real merit, there has to be a component whereby wickedness is removed forever. Wickedness is perpetrated by people. And so if wicked people persist in their wicked ways then really there is no place for them in God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Although the good news is in some ways quite separate from the elimination of wicked people, nevertheless the full effects of the good news could not come about unless Jehovah acts in his good time and in his good way to deal with wicked people.

    Love to all from Alithia.

    • Reply by Alithia on 2019-11-01 17:32:26

      Just Asking, your comment "being put to death as being the severest form of rebuke" possibly resulting in some eternal good, resonates with me. Indeed what might appear to some at a point of time as a cruel and unloving action could in the fullness of time actually be the best thing that could have happened for that person and for all others affected by that persons actions at the time. There could be a "ripple affect" from Jahs judgements that has implications to not only the immediate individual but also to countless others too.

      W cant know what the ultimate outcome from Jehovah's actions can result in. Only that we can be sure that the best possible outcome will result from his actions.
      There is a movie starring Gweneth Paltrow, I think it is called "Revolving doors". It shows the two parallel lives the star lived based on just having missed getting on a train one day, and just making it on. All through the movie we feel sorry for the Gwen who just missed getting on because things are difficult all her life because of a single event. Door shutting preventing her getting on the train. The other parallel life she has is a marvellous blessed life in every way. However the kicker of the movie is that in the end the blessed life ends with her getting run over by a bus if I remember rightly. The other parallel life continues not with out struggles but she lives on and does have a life with a measure of joy nevertheless. Point being, we cant look forward to the ultimate outcomes as God can. That is why we are constantly reminded of the fact that God can.

      Humans are prone to respond in a way to suggest that there may have been a better way to deal with matters and that given the opportunity, (especially the critics) say that they could have done better in the circumstances.

      This is real grand standing given mans track record at taking the "wheel" in when it comes too making decisions about life and death and even for lesser things, that could have far reaching affects.
      Hitler. Stalin. Pol Pot. Lenin. Mao. All set out and convinced every one that they had answers to problems that would result in great good.

      Even in other areas of life such as in the sciences. The making of the atom bomb. Burning fossil fuels at the rate they do for power generation. The making of the car and the need for oil, deforestation and land clearing for cattle grazing to mention only a few. Global warming as a result!
      In Australia a plant called Prickly Pear introduced to be used as natural fencing has become a curse invading huge tracts of land that is till now unstoppable. Also a Toad called the Cane Toad was introduced in Australia to control a bug that affected sugar cane production. It did well except now the Cane Toad is a problem because it is spreading rapidly and there is till date no way to stop it from spreading rapidly all over the country. It is poisonous and predators who eat it die. If your dog in the Summer time even nudges it with their mouth or try to kill it they foam violently in the mouth and you need to take urgent action tho wash their mouth out as they get sick and could die from the contact.

      Point being we cannot Pontificate about the actions God has taken because with all things considered humans are really in no position to question the justification for God taking a life at a particular time and in certain circumstances. We cannot know what he has in store for that person and the ultimate good that could result.
      Thanks for your comments Just Asking.

      Love to all from Alithia.

    • Reply by Alithia on 2019-11-01 20:12:40

      The more I think about this simple sentence the more I am blown away with it. "Suppose all the persons executed by God in the past received that fate as the severest form of REBUKE".
      I just had to get back on and tell you how much I appreciate this reasoning as I feel it empowers one to respond powerfully to critics who challenge the justification of God taking lives.

      Love your comments and everybody else too.

      Love to all from Alithia. John Contrary on You Tube don't ask me how or why!

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-02 08:25:35

        There have been a lot of excellent comments and thoughts in this thread. I haven't weighed in, because I plan to do a full video on this as part of a larger series. It is a topic that comes up constantly in the comments of the YouTube channels and causes a great many to lose faith in God, so it is a very important topic to discuss. I want to give it all the attention it deserves.

        • Reply by Alithia on 2019-11-03 06:19:55

          FYI and anybody else, you may like to view a couple of You Tubes as follows. Paul Copan, "Is God a moral monster"? Its about 1.5 hours long but you get the sense of things in the first few minutes. He has specialised in understanding ancient scriptural literary forms. And look at a few of Joe Amaral you tubes. Joe has based himself in Israel with the express purpose of gaining a better insight around Jewish customs, speech and sayings that are understood differently by Westerners and often incorrectly! Watch the one on the Mustard Seed for starters really eye opening, from people who have actually seen mustard seeds and how they may develop in particular circumstances to see how the Jews would understand what Jesus was saying, and how it can help us to better understand what Jesus meant by faith moving mountains.

  • Comment by messenger on 2019-11-02 07:01:17

    Hello Eric,
    Considering the scriptures below, do you feel it safe to teach your narrative of a “level playing field,” that every human must receive before receiving God’s judgment, along with your teaching that God was using hyperbolic language when he ordered Jews, in scripture, to commit mass killings; but God really didn’t mean what those scriptures claim God said?

    From Revelation 22:
    7“Behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of prophecy in this book.”
    12“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
    18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

    From Revelation 13:
    8”And all who dwell on the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb who was slain.”

    From Revelation 17:
    8”The beast that you saw—it was, and now is no more, but is about to come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. And those who dwell on the earth whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet will be.”

    I also include the scriptures contained in the next paragraph. It’s a paragraph I copied from a post I posted 4 or 5 days ago, which is still not seen by guests to your site. Because your site claims it is presently suspended in moderation.

    “Last Day’s,” as the phrase was used by Peter, started on the Jewish celebration of Pentecost A.D.33 and ends when this world ends. The phrase evidently signifies how in the world of mankind, all those that do not accept Christ are now in a period of judgment, a period of their “last days,” along with the world they believe in. I believe it’s at John 3:17-19 that Christ speaks of this judgment that is upon all those who don’t believe who he is and what he said. And again his speech in Matthew 25 about separating people and throwing some into the fire, WHEN HE RETURNS WITH ANGELS, speaks to the time right after the “last days” expire. Also see 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 and 2 Peter chapter 3, both speak to their final destruction too. Those scriptures and others showing those killed were in their final days or “last days,” prior to this world ending. They won’t be coming back, per Christ’s words, and per Paul’s words. At least not coming back with a chance to reconcile with God. Christ said their fate is thrown in with the eternal fate of the demons.” (messenger)

    There are no scriptures that support your teachings below.

    “There are many examples in Scripture where Jehovah determined to punish certain ones, and used the hyperbolic language that was common in polemic text in the ancient near East civilizations. Expressions like you must kill every man woman and child and beast, and every living breathing thing! These were common polemic literary expressions. However the expressions did not mean what the words themselves could mean.” (Eric)

    “The playing field, so to speak, has to be leveled.” (Eric)

    Is faith in God not believing what he told us, trusting in God that he will do what is right, and agreeing with the decisions he makes, whether we consider that the playing field for all mankind, regarding judgment, is level or not? (messenger)

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-05 13:50:56

      Hi Messenger,

      Your question:
      "Considering the scriptures below, do you feel it safe to teach your narrative of a “level playing field,” that every human must receive before receiving God’s judgment, along with your teaching that God was using hyperbolic language when he ordered Jews, in scripture, to commit mass killings; but God really didn’t mean what those scriptures claim God said?"

      My answer:
      "Yes, I do."


  • Comment by Igor Kocelj on 2019-11-03 13:03:44

    Hello everebody! This is just a copy/paste of my comment at YT...

    Thank you, Eric, for this video. I have greatly appreciated many of your past articles, too. As a (former, of course) WT conductor, they were even helpful to me during the WT study at the Kingdom Hall, so I could ask the right questions. :). Of course, I was then advised not to ask questions nobody, including the elders, could answer. :) However, those questions also helped my wife to realize what's going on.

    In this video I particularly appreciated your willingness to understand the notion "the inhabited Earth" or "the nations" as people in the 1st century would. Much of the mess created by theologians and religious teachers today actually stems from a wrong understanding of Hebrew and Greek terms and idioms, or understanding Hebrew ideas from a Greek (not necesarily philosophical, but more modern, or Western, and INACCURATE) point of view. Basically, it may just be the problem of TRANSLATION. Nevertheless, I believe that simply considering the context of the Bible can be of great help if we want to understand what did the original writers really have in mind. And we don't need to be translators, or learn Greek or Hebrew to get the point. It may be helpful, but it's not crucial. For example, what did Jesus have in mind when he asked the Pharisees: "The baptism of John, was it from HEAVEN or from MEN?" He was actually asking whether it was GOD who commissioned John to baptize or the mandate to baptize came from John himself or other men, right? So, this is basically the meaning of the expression "from heaven", as understood by the Jews in 1st century. Could this clarification also shed different, non-Gnostic, light on other passages? And then, terms like "flesh", "sent", "parousia", "Son of God" and others, may also have been misunderstood.
    Anyway, keep up the good work. Looking forward to your next video.

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-11-04 01:17:58

    A very valid point was made at the 21 minute and 21 second mark, where it was stated that the supposedly good news is preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses is really an anti-good news.
    One point being that Jws believe that only very few select ones have the opportunity to become children of God.

    You also mentioned a phrase that quite possibly could have been drawn from the following five Scriptures that appear in the new Testament; Romans chapter 8 versus 15 and 23. Romans chapter 9 verse four. Galatians chapter 4 verse five. And Ephesians chapter 1 verse five. “adopted as children of God”.

    I take issue with the Greek word (Transliteration used here “iothesian”)translated into English as adoption. And it only occurs five times in the new Testament, in the Scriptures quoted above.
    According to some sources such as vines lexicon it means; the place and condition of a son given to one to whom it does not naturally belong. Lau and Nidas a Greek lexicon says. To formally and legally declare that someone who is not one’s own child is henceforth to be treated and cared for as one’s own child including complete rights of inheritance.

    Hence most Bible translations render the word as, adopted as sons.
    However translated literally from the Greek the word which is a compound word made up of two words, son and situation/position/status, is better translated as “sonship” Dispensing with the idea/s behind the process of adoption.
    It is apparent from the kingdom interlinear, for example that at Romans chapter 8 verse 15 where this word is used, the literal translation is, “placing as son”. One can use the kingdom interlinear to compare the other four verses above too.
    The King James version as most others renders it as having received the spirit of adoption too. Fewer as sonship.

    There is some attempt from commentators to suggest that the word adoption best translates the Greek word that could literally be translated as sonship. One reason given is that the references above had a specific audience in mind such as Christians who had a Gentile background. Therefore Gentiles who were familiar with the customs and law of the Romans would better understand coming into a relationship with Jehovah who would now become their father. Also among the Jews adoption had zero importance and hardly any existence. The perpetuity of the family when a man died childless was secured in another way, such as through the Leverite marriage arrangement. Only sons by blood were esteemed in the Hebrew view. The commentators therefore making their point that the Greek word could be understood, translated into English as adoption.

    Commentators also say that, Roman customs and laws differ from those of the Jews and it is by understanding Jewish laws and customs which is why we see “birth” used in Peter and James and the expression being a born-again in other places such as the book of John. This specific Greek word is used in Romans Galatians and Ephesians, such is the argument for translating the Greek word as adoption. I disagree.

    Further argumentation to sustain this translation of the Greek word with the word adoption is that God was trying to help the Gentiles see that they could become permanent members of his family, and the permanence of Christian salvation. (Permanence of salvation is a teaching by many Churches with more shades than a paint shop colour chart).

    This to me is just iesigesis.

    Granted, one needs to take into account the audience to whom the writings were directed to and try to understand how they may have understood them. Also to take into account the current political social and cultural understandings of the time. But that does not mean one can just immediately ignore what is blatantly and directly obvious. Look right past it and and apply all of the above criteria for understanding. This would be like travelling to Mexico and speaking Spanish to Swedish holiday makers! Also akin to diving onto dry land and to begin paddling!

    In each of those Scriptures mentioned, regardless of the fact that Paul was speaking to Christians with a Gentile background, no doubt many amongst them were also Jewish. As we know that when Paul went to Antioch and many other places there already were thriving Jewish communities by the time he wrote these letters because of the persecution, ironically instigated greatly by himself decades before. So yes the location may have been mostly Gentiles who populated them but that does not rule out the fact that there were a great many Christian Jewish readers too.

    This can be seen simply by the context and construction of Paul’s arguments used in those Scriptures referred to, that argue the relationship possible with Jehovah our Father through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus and by putting faith in him. He just uses illustrations to emphasise the changed status of one under the Law and to what is possible by putting faith in Jesus. In fact Jews in one sense were already sons of God and he was their Father as in the Old Testament.

    The constructions of Paul’s arguments may be a discussion for another time or for someone else to comment upon who may disagree with me.
    However the point I simply want to make is that I feel using the word adoption to translate this Greek word in question in those five Scriptures found in the new Testament seems to me to dilute the relationship one can have with their father Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. Just like the expression "undeserved kindness" as used in the NWT instead of "grace", and the resultant nuance or inflection this can have on understanding Gods love and how he has reached out to us and the offer he has made to all of mankind.

    Remember Jesus said to his apostles shortly before he left the earth, I call you brothers! Jesus said this as a Jew with adoption nowhere in view when he said it. Jesus was the son of God. Son of man (Messiah). Yes Jesus was the son of God in a special way no doubt! However nevertheless also a son of God. As was Adam.

    Christians have the opportunity to be sons of God and to enjoy that relationship of being brothers with Jesus. To me using the word adoption in some way weakens this relationship that we can have with Jesus and Jehovah. Just as a full blooded relationship amongst a blood relative brother and father can occur today. This makes full sense to me and I don’t see how the argument that adoption under Roman law and the permanence as such is an argument to use the word adoption rather than sonship.

    I think like the JWs this is another small piece of the puzzle to deny the fullness of the relationship God offers through his Son to all mankind without partiality, distinction, class or privilege.

    Love to all from Alithia.

    Sound only like to semantics to anyone???

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-04 08:57:09

      I take your point, Alithia. If one is adopted, one still isn't family as are the children born of blood. What God offers us is transference by blood, the blood of Christ, from the moribund family of the first Adam into the eternal family of the last Adam. So adoption doesn't quite cut it.

      One thing. You say that the Jews were sons of God in one sense. Yehowah refers to himself as the father of the nation, but individually, they were not his sons, otherwise, they would get the inheritance. Is that the sense you were referring to?

    • Reply by Igor Kocelj on 2019-11-04 14:14:55

      Hi Alithia!
      I have also been quite interested lately in understanding of the meaning of the terms "sonship" and "Son of God" in the Bible. This is what I found out at Wikipedia (topic: "Son of God" (Judaism):

      "Although references to "sons of God", "son of God" and "son of the LORD" are occasionally found in Jewish literature, they never refer to physical descent from God.(The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion by Maxine Grossman and Adele Berlin (Mar 14, 2011) ISBN 0199730040 page 698)

      In many verses people interchangeably used "Son of David"; "King of Israel""Messiah" " with "Son of God", because they were all MESSIANIC TITLES.
      (John 1:49: “Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”)

      (Mark 15:39 "When the centurion standing there in front of Jesus saw how He had breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”)

      Notice that both Nathanael and the centurion couldn't possibly have in mind his miraculous conception. They were using this term, Son of God, as a messianic title.

      Hence, the words from Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" got an exciting meaning to me.

  • Comment by Leonardo Josephus on 2019-11-04 09:01:00

    This is off the subject. There is a new Organisation book out, on line, with amended Baptsim questions, some of which are :-

    In section 1 Q14 asks "Do you believe that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the "faithful and discreet slave" appointed by Jesus.

    Q19 asks "How do you know that Kingdom blessings will soon be here".

    In part 2, Q 17, regarding those who are disfellowshipped, has been amended to include the words from
    2 John 10, to "not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him".

    Q18 asks "Why should your close friends be those who love Jehovah".

    Q33 is another leading question when it asks "Why is it a special privilege to be baptised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses".

    Thought you might like to know.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-04 09:18:01

      I'm finding the whole process to be quite repugnant.

  • Comment by messenger on 2019-11-07 06:37:10

    "and what will be the sign of your coming and end of the age?"

    That is Matthew 24:3b, the disciples second question.

    Eric since in their second question disciples asked for a sign of Christ's coming; and since in that same question they associated Christ's coming with the end of the age, then why are you so confident that in his answering Christ meant the end of Jerusalem, instead of his return and this world's end when he returns? Because the latter is what his disciples asked for. It was his coming and the end of the age associated with it.

    Note that at Matthew 24:3 they didn't ask for any other end. In the A Part of Matthew 24 : 3 they merely request , tell us when will these things be. No reference is made to any end in that request, as Matthew related the incident.

    Also in that second question they were not merely associating Christ's return with the end of the age, as if his return played second fiddle to it. Rather the other way around. They associated the end of the age with Christ's return. By mentioning Christ's return first in their second question their primary motivation seems to be finding out when Christ will return.

    Also, notice that prior to the disciples' two questions Christ wasn't speaking about the end of Jerusalem at all. He was telling them about their temple's stones getting knocked down.

    But the thrust of my inquiry is centered in their question, and not what Christ was speaking about before it. They were asking for a sign of Christ's return. He didn't return in 70 A. D. And the end of the age in that question is only associated with his return, not the temple stones getting knocked down.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-07 09:13:38

      It appears that the disciples thought that the destruction of Jerusalem with its temple would usher in a new age with Jesus as king. As it turned out, that was not the case, but they couldn't know that. Jesus gave them a sign to know when they had to take action to be saved (Mt 24:15).

      There is no sign to give us advance warning about the arrival or presence of Jesus the King. The only "sign" we are given is that actual manifestation of Jesus visible at his presence.

      • Reply by messenger on 2019-11-08 00:04:30

        Thank you for your response Eric.

        How do you explain that this part of Christ's answer was fulfilled with Jerusalem's destruction in A.D.70, when Christ said these things will happen "immediately after the tribulation of those days," while continuing his answer saying it will be "at that time" he appears to the world? Christ hasn't appeared to this day. Not in A.D. 70, or after it. That's too long a time span to be considered immediately after.

        Matthew 24:29 "IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days:

        ‘The sun will be darkened,

        and the moon will not give its light;

        the stars will fall from the sky,

        and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

        30 AT THAT TIME the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory."

        It is possible when the apostles asked their questions they believed Christ would come when the stones were knocked down. Although there is nothing explicit in that Matthew text claiming that. So, it remains only a possibility. But even if they did believe the events were correlated the import of Christ's answer to their second question centered on his return. That can be seen in his answer. [His parables representing Christians that would be ready vs those not ready, the comparison of his return to the day of Noah, the warnings about events and circumstances that do not signal his return, the statement that it does not belong to them TO KNOW THE TIME.] Christ was not just speaking to those Christians in the first century. He was speaking to all Christians. Again, that's obvious by his answer. Because he spoke to all Christians, in all times Christians live, Jerusalem's destruction was not as important in that answer as you perceive it to be.

        The most important part of Christ's message to Christians on the Mount Of Olives was telling all to be ready when he returns. And surely Christ knew those would not be the Christians alive in the first century.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-08 08:28:47

          Hi Messenger,

          From the tone and content of your comment, it appears to me that you consider me to be a Preterist. That is not the case. I haven't yet spoken about the Scriptures you are challenging me with, so I think it best for you to wait until I do and then you can form your opinion as to whether or not we are on the same page.

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-11-09 00:40:42

    Hello messenger I am trying to decipher your reasoning here, and get to the crux of what you’re trying to posit.

    Are you trying to establish if Jesus' return is at the conclusion of the system of things, or age when Christ returns; and if the conclusion of the system of things referred to was the destruction of the temple and the Jewish system things as they had been for centuries in Jesus time?

    With regard to Jerusalem being destroyed this is an undeniable fact, there was a huge slaughter at the time many lost their lives. Those who heeded Jesus words and fled were saved from that terrible time. Jewish culture and way of life disintegrated slowly over the following centuries, it was not as immediate as many might think it was. The Jewish people were scattered widely all over the world for a long time.

    With regard to your question around what Jesus said would immediately occur after the tribulation of those days and Jesus reply let me say this.

    Jesus did not have in mind a strict timeline as Jehovah’s Witnesses and some others have tried to superimpose over what Jesus was trying to say in answer to his disciples questions. Certainly not a timeline with years or even centuries in mind. But Jesus did have in mind a sequence of events. So
    Jesus was simply providing a schematic explanation as far as he knew at the time as to what God’s purpose was up until the time of his Parousia.

    Besides there being “business as usual”, with regard to never-ending series of false messiahs, and the devastating wars, earthquakes and pestilence and so forth; after God dealt with the disobedient nation of Israel and abandoned them as his special people because of rejecting and killing his own son!
    The only other thing of significance in Gods redemption plan, is Christ’s return! Jesus knew that this occurrence was the only other factor or milestone in the sequence of events that his disciples at that time or at any time, we can say now for at least 2000 years could look to with regard to the outworking of God’s plan for the restoration of all things.

    If you would like to suggest that the word and sentence in Matthew chapter 24 verse 29 where it says immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened et cetera et cetera is a timeline projecting 2000 years into the future, this may be fallacious thinking.

    Because it may simply mean that in Gods plan after God judges the nation of Israel “immediately” in his plan, could apply equally at that time, in the first century as in any point in between then and until Christ returns.

    I think trying to establish from the word immediately as a reference point to the time of Jesus and soon after when the temple was destroyed or some 2000 years later and draw conclusions from this is erroneous. I do not think it has any other function other than to describe effectively the sequence of events in God’s plan.

    The destruction of the temple, and Christ’s return. Jesus could have simply said in God’s plan you will see the destruction of the temple immediately after that you will see me coming. A simple basic schematic explanation. Of course we would like more details but perhaps as Jesus even said himself he did not know the day or the hour and was perhaps only privy to those facts.

    He could not, and would not make any assumptions and pass these on to his disciples possibly misleading them. As have Jehovah’s Witnesses and many others.

    You may like to look up the Greek word Eutheos (Matthew chapter 24 verse 29)for immediately. And look at how it can be understood. Directly, henceforth, soon after etc. Jesus was simply saying that his disciples need not consider anything else with regard to his second coming. That is with regard to God’s plan. Things that had any relevance or significance with Bible prophecy. Or Christ’s return.
    To reiterate again, I think Jesus simply stated.

    1. The city of Jerusalem and its temple would be destroyed. Then to use the Greek word Evtheos; or in English; directly after that, or henceforth or soon after, (As far as Christians would be concerned), the outworking of God’s purpose would be that Christ would return. And hearkening back to Jesus words as a warning his disciples should not assume from cataclysmic and apocalyptic events such as great wars earthquakes pestilence or anything else or false Messiah is to assume that this may indicate his approaching or imminent presence.

    Of course as Eric mentioned the disciples thought that everything would happen in their lifetime. Charles Russell thought that too. Judge Rutherford thought that too. Jehovah’s Witnesses have thought that for about 140 years. And continue to do so.

    The simple fact is that all of these people have tried to understand what Jesus said by superimposing their own timeline over his words, years centuries or whatever timeline they have dreamt up, mostly to come to a conclusion that it would occur in or about or soon after their lifetime. It is wonderful to think that these things will have a fulfilment in our own personal lifetime but quite possibly it may not.

    Was a problem for early Christians they wrestled with this thought to. Paul needed to counsel the early Christians second Thessalonians chapter 2 where some were causing disruption suggesting that Christ had returned already. In second Peter many were tired and worn out and had lost faith because they expected the Messiah to return in their time. Many said where is this promised return all things are continuing exactly as they have from the beginning. So Peter had to counsel them and remind them that God is not slow respecting his promises and that thousand years is like a day for Jehovah. That should curtail anyone trying to strictly impose humanistic timeline that is realistic and palatable in human terms. I don’t think anybody in Jesus time would have sat down with the day year theory of understanding Bible prophecy and considered that Christ’s return would be in about 2000 years time from when they lived. It just simply wouldn’t occur to them. Except that it might occur in their lifetime.

    So I think anyone who tries to understand Jesus’s words and has this quiet program running in the back of their minds (A TIME LINE THAT APPEALS TO THEM)Christ’s second coming is in our day or could even guess it, then that will lead to a wrong understanding.

    Love to all from Alithia.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2019-11-09 10:56:10

      Well put, Alithia.

  • Comment by Alithia on 2019-11-09 18:12:52

    Hello all. Are we there yet? Nope! Am I jumping the gun Yep! With regards to the darkening of the Sun and the Moon and Heavenly Celestial phenomena, and coming in the clouds; again this is ancient Near Middle Eastern apocalyptic judgemental language which many fall afoul upon in their understanding. Will not happen literally and only to be understood in a symbolic sense. JWs wasted their efforts trying to pin these on physical things. Even mooted was the Russian space satellite the Sputnik in the 50s for goodness sake. Then the Governmental authorities, and who knows what in the future, perhaps the current Pope!

    Jesus and Matthew often referred to the OT when they were talking, so we need to also go there to understand what they meant. And not consider them from a point 2000 years later.

    See as an example Isaiah 13:10,13 and 19:1 which is word for word what would occur when Jesus was talking about his return. Jesus would have read and been familiar with these expressions too.

    Isaiah 13:10-13 Here Isaiah was making a pronouncement against Babylon in the first instance then Egypt in the second instance.

    King James Version (KJV)
    10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
    11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
    12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
    13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

    Isaiah 19:1 King James Version (KJV)
    19 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

    These scriptures and many others were around the Heavenly judgements that were executed in turn upon Jerusalem by the Babylonians in around 587, by Cyrus against Babylon some 70 years later, and Jesus was using the same apocalyptic judgemental language against Jerusalem and at the end of the Age etc that is all. No need to read mystical Gnostic type understanding of what they may or may not mean or turn out to be in some typical and anti typical scenario.

    This is just another example of the necessity to have a handle on the languages of the day and try to understand them as they would have. Jesus was a Jew with thousands of years of history and culture behind him that affected the way he spoke. Similarly the people listening too him also had the same background and could easily understand him and what he really meant by the sentences, phrases, idioms and words he used.

    In our Western culture we may speak of an upcoming major event with decisive results in terms of; A bomb is going to drop! Something is going to blow up! A slaughter house! An annihilation! Seismic! Mind blowing! Or to describe something as being too costly as costing an arm and a leg. In Jesus day possibly they would understand this literally but we all know this is not what is meant today in the Western World.
    And I could go on and you could add to the list depending on where you are from. Fact is none of the above is intended or meant to occur. It is just how we use language to add affect. I could use some everyday most common beauties from Australia but I fear they may offend peeps from other parts of the World who are not used to them so I will not. Suffice to say the words mean anything but the actual words themselves! (E.g Urine and someones pocket. Aussies will know what I mean)

    It is laughable that 20 century New Yorkers read things from their point of view and understanding in trying to interpret Gods word.
    But then again if you convince yourself that the bible was written only for you and that God was waiting for a group of bearded Americans to read, understand and spread the message of the bible about the good news of the kingdom, then what do you expect except the chaos that we have been victims of.

  • Comment by erikforbes on 2020-03-29 21:27:14

    Hi brother Erik. Thank you very much for all your hard work. Me and my wife are JW’s who are just waking up. Your videos and articles are extremely useful and comforting. We are very confused. We are sad that to get to know the truth it’s actually not that easy as we were thought. Many thanks

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