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HollyW

God's Kingdom Rules

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On 8/1/2016 at 8:29 AM, HollyW said:

Let's take a look at the Bible evidence Russell had been saying would prove him right about the end of the Gentile times. This is from his book called "The Time Is At Hand" which he wrote in 1889:

In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that that date will see the disintegration of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove:
 
Firstly
, That at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, "Thy Kingdom come," will begin to assume control, and that it will then shortly be "set up," or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions.
 
Secondly
, It will prove that he whose right it is thus to take the dominion will then be present as earth's new Ruler; and not only so, but it will also prove that he will be present for a considerable period before that date; because the overthrow of these Gentile governments is directly caused by his dashing them to pieces as a potter's vessel (Psa. 2:9; Rev. 2:27), and establishing in their stead his own righteous government.
 
Thirdly
, It will prove that some time before the end of the overthrow the last member of the divinely recognized Church of Christ, the "royal priesthood," "the body of Christ," will be glorified with the Head; because every member is to reign with Christ, being a joint-heir with him of the Kingdom, and it cannot be fully "set up" without every member.
 
Fourthly
, It will prove that from that time forward Jerusalem shall no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but shall arise from the dust of divine disfavor, to honor; because the "Times of the Gentiles" will be fulfilled or completed.
 
Fifthly,
It will prove that by that date, or sooner, Israel's blindness will begin to be turned away; because their "blindness in part" was to continue only "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25), or, in other words, until the full number from among the Gentiles, who are to be members of the body or bride of Christ, would be fully selected.
 
Sixthly,
It will prove that the great "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation," will reach its culmination in a world-wide reign of anarchy; and then men will learn to be still, and to know that Jehovah is God and that he will be exalted in the earth. (Psa. 46:20)  The condition of things spoken of in symbolic language as raging waves of the sea, melting earth, falling mountains and burning heavens will then pass away, and the "new heavens and new earth" with their peaceful blessings will begin to be recognized by trouble-tossed humanity.  But the Lord's Anointed and his rightful and righteous authority will first be recognized by a company of God's children while passing through the great tribulation--the class represented by 
and 
on the 
Chart of the Ages 
(see also pages 235 to 239, Vol. I); afterward, just at its close, by fleshly Israel; and ultimately by mankind in general.
 
Seventhly,
It will prove that before that date God's Kingdom, organized in power, will be in the earth and then smite and crush the Gentile image (Dan. 2:34)--and fully consume the power of these kings.  Its own power and dominion will be established as fast as by its varied influences and agencies it crushes and scatters the "powers that be"--civil and ecclesiastical--iron and clay.

So, these are the events you would be expecting when you imagine yourself in the dining room that day in October 1914 when C.T. Russell announced that the Gentile times had ended.  These events are the evidence that would prove October 1914 was the correct date Biblically for the end of the Gentile times.   

On another thread, these seven proofs were termed "nonsensical gibberish" that was attached to the beliefs of the Bible Students at the time.  So say you one, so say you all?

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Holly quoted: "Nonsensical gibberish"

Well, this is up to the individual to determine isn't it?

It is of no consequence what  "events you would be expecting when you imagine yourself in the dining room that day in October 1914 when C.T. Russell announced that the Gentile times had ended."

What is of consequence is that they did actually end, regardless of the expected events.

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On 9/15/2016 at 4:52 PM, Eoin Joyce said:

Holly quoted: "Nonsensical gibberish"

Well, this is up to the individual to determine isn't it?

It is of no consequence what  "events you would be expecting when you imagine yourself in the dining room that day in October 1914 when C.T. Russell announced that the Gentile times had ended."

What is of consequence is that they did actually end, regardless of the expected events.

It was an announcement that was based on what you call “nonsensical gibberish.”  The current governing body of the WTS describes the reaction of Russell’s audience as one of joy and excitement, with “sustained, enthusiastic applause.” Knowing, as you now know, what it was based on, it’s difficult to imagine your reaction being the same as theirs is said to have been. 

In your opinion, Eoin, were these seven proofs nonsensical gibberish to Jehovah and Jesus when they reviewed your religion to determine if its teachings qualified it as a faithful servant to give their household high quality spiritual teachings?

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3 hours ago, HollyW said:

nonsensical gibberish to Jehovah and Jesus

Obviously, they would have to make that evaluation. And I suspect Jehovah and Jesus' evaluation of what qualifies a faithful servant would have a little more substance than what is cited here.

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9 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Obviously, they would have to make that evaluation. And I suspect Jehovah and Jesus' evaluation of what qualifies a faithful servant would have a little more substance than what is cited here.

I tend to agree with that suspicion. ;)

If they really did inspect the writings of the WTS publications, they would have been looking for them to be providing spiritual food at the proper time, as the parable there in Matthew 24:45-47 indicates.  I don’t think you believe (and I certainly don’t believe) that Jehovah and Jesus would consider “nonsensical gibberish” to be the high quality food their faithful servant would be serving as food at the proper time.

I’m sure you agree that Jehovah and Jesus would not make their decision about appointing a faithful slave based on what the WTS is currently teaching today, but on what they were teaching from 1879 to 1919.  Surely their decision would be based on the quality of those teachings in that time period to make sure they were the right sort of spiritual food at the proper time----they would be looking for higher quality substance, just as you pointed out, not nonsensical gibberish.

This brings up an interesting question: could the WTS have God’s backing today if its teachings up to 1919 did not qualify as the spiritual food of the right sort and of the high quality one would expect from a servant of Jehovah and Jesus?

The only way to know this is by taking a look at the teachings Jesus and Jehovah would have been inspecting back in 1919. 

The WTS Governing Body is inviting you to do so by taking you back to that day in 1914 when Charles Russell announced to his dining hall audience that the Gentile times had ended.  Throughout the pages of this book, God's Kingdom Rules, there are numerous references to what the Bible Students (as JWs were known back then) were preaching from 1879 to 1919. 

What standards would God use to evaluate teachings before He gave anyone His backing?  Well, those teachings would have to be in accord with what His word, the Bible, reveals; they would not be teachings based on the opinions of men or on tradition.

 

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3 hours ago, HollyW said:

This brings up an interesting question: could the WTS have God’s backing today if its teachings up to 1919 did not qualify as the spiritual food of the right sort and of the high quality one would expect from a servant of Jehovah and Jesus?

The only way to know this is by taking a look at the teachings Jesus and Jehovah would have been inspecting back in 1919. 

This  a logical view, but unfortunately is taken from a human standpoint with all the limitations that imposes so, really, what would be accomplished?.

It is easy to look at past teachings now. For example, I think today only a small minority would look at the pyramidology persuasion and view it as anything other than "nonsensical gibberish",  a conclusion which Jehovah's Witnesses came to themselves. However, there are also those who look at our teachings on the human soul, hellfire, Trinity, evolution, and such like and view them similarly.

I personally don't feel qualified to review Jehovah or Jesus's judgement processes. I don't think I am party to all the facts of the matter and even if I was, to weigh and test those facts against a criteria that I am also not party to is, frankly, way above my pay grade.

There is also the business of what it is that Jehovah evaluates. The statements at 2 Chr. 16:9 "For the eyes of Jehovah are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him", and Pro. 21:2 "All of a man’s ways seem right to him, But Jehovah examines the hearts" take the business of judgement into a completely different arena, way out of human experience or capability.

Paul got it right about Jehovah's judgements at Ro 11:33 "O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are!" and I am quite happy to accept them on that basis.

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2 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

This  a logical view, but unfortunately is taken from a human standpoint with all the limitations that imposes so, really, what would be accomplished?.

 

Well, it might accomplish what the WTS says it would by fulfilling John 8:32: "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

[w69 3/15 p.165-167] We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination. It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God’s will is for us, and then to do it.—John 8:32.

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2 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Amen to that.:)

Truly, Amen. :)

Notice that the application being made of John 8:32, "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," in what I quoted is said to be fulfilled by examining "not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated."  As "lovers of truth", it says, we should ask (and answer ;)) "Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men?"

Would you not expect the teachings of a religious organization that claims to be the sole communication between God and mankind as the appointed faithful slave of Matthew 24:45 to be in full harmony with God's Word?  You've already indicated that you believe the teachings the WTS was using to prove whether or not its predictions about 1914 were based on God's Word at the time of its appointment as that faithful servant were "nonsensical gibberish."  There are more of those teachings that qualify in that description, I might add, such as the child born in Revelation 12 was the antichrist and Michael in that same chapter was the Catholic Pope.  Nonsensical gibberish indeed!

But, leaving off from the truly nonsensical, let's take a look at three teachings that surely would have caught Jehovah and Jesus' attention.

The first one is that this group they were thinking of appointing as the faithful slave of their household was teaching that Jesus' coming in 1914 had already occurred---in 1874.

The second one is that they were teaching for sometime both before and after 1914 that one man, Charles Russell, had already been appointed as that faithful slave.

The third one is that the first resurrection had begun in 1878. (see the 4/1/86 wt for the importance of this.)

So we should ask the question the WTS article says to ask: Are these teachings in full harmony with God's Word?

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I still do not believe humans are in a position review the judgements Jehovah makes. One thing that is clear is that these judgments are not based on limited human capacity..

2 hours ago, HollyW said:

Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men?

For me this will always be a question for the present and not the past in view of the principle at Proverbs 4:18. If understandings need correction, Jehovah will provide it for His servants as He did with Apollos (Acts 18:26). What is important is how we respond to His correction and enlightenment, not that we get everything right. Apollos was "aglow with the spirit" despite teaching inaccurately.

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