Right after talking to his disciples about when “the end will come” at Matthew 24:13, 14 Jesus warned of a time when his followers would “catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place” after which they were to “begin fleeing” from Jerusalem and the surrounding district of Judea “to the mountains”. (Mt 24:14-16) This was a signal that the end was imminent. For the most part, all can agree how and when this occurred in the first century but what about our understanding of the modern day fulfillment? Do we understand it completely? What prophecies “spoken about by Daniel the prophet” was Jesus referring to in regard to the modern day fulfillment of the disgusting thing standing in a holy place?
There are only a four prophecies of Daniel that could apply to Jesus description of a “disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place”.
Daniel 8:9-25 is a prophecy that Jehovah’s Witnesses applied to Anglo America, starting first with Britain as a “horn, a small one” then when joined by America this horn “grows very great toward the south, toward the east and toward the decoration”. Then Anglo America is said to become responsible for a “transgression causing desolation” upon God’s people “to make both the holy place and the army things to trample on.” (Da 8:9-25) This was applied to the persecution of Jehovah’s witnesses starting in Nazi Germany and then persecution expanding to engulf the British Commonwealth and America during WWII. However, could this prophecy in Daniel 8:9-25 apply to a time when Anglo America stands the UN disgusting thing “in a holy place”? If so, does this passage show that this “holy place” is associated with God’s people?
Another prophecy that could apply is Daniel 11:30-35, this prophecy is regarding the king of the north. In this prophecy he is said to “hurl denunciations against the holy covenant” and then he returns or “will go back and will give attention to those leaving the holy covenant. And arms will stand up, proceeding from him; and they will profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant feature. And they will put in place the disgusting thing that causes desolation.” (Da 11:30b, 31) Jehovah’s Witnesses have applied this prophecy in a few ways. It is applied to Nazi Germany’s assault of Gods people during WWII and it is also expanded to include the installation of the UN as the disgusting thing in 1945 as well as the intrusion into their organization by Soviet spy’s during the Cold War. Is it possible that Daniel 11:30c shows that the king of the north returns to assault Gods people again by standing the UN disgusting thing in a holy place? (Da 11:31) Also do to the similarities in the language used in Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 8:9-25 show a possibility they are describing the same thing and does this suggest Anglo America is the king of the north?
Another prophecy in Daniel that could relate to the standing in a holy place is Daniel 11:40-12:1. According to the prophecy of Daniel 11:40-43 the king of the north “storms” against the king of the south and “enter(s) into the lands and sweep(s) through like a flood and also enter(s) into the land of the Decoration”. Again this has been applied by Jehovah’s Witnesses to events surrounding the persecution of God’s people during WWII particularly in Nazi Germany and then by the Soviet Union during the Cold War (because these world powers were viewed as the king of the north). Yet according to the latter part of the prophecy in Daniel 11:44-12:1 after conquering Egypt (a symbol for both the world and the king of the south) the king of the north will “go out (of Egypt) in a great rage to annihilate and to devote many to destruction” and will return to Israel to “plant his royal tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration”. Jehovah’s Witnesses view this as a future and final attack on the estate of spiritual Israel by the King of the north. Armageddon or God’s war was said to be triggered by this attack which is said to come at the end of the great tribulation after false religion is destroyed.
Because of reasoning in this manner, Jehovah’s Witnesses have never associated this final attack by the king of the north with “the disgusting thing that causes desolation . . . standing in a holy place”. (Mt 24:15) Also they view the “standing in a holy place” as an attack upon false religion and not an attack directed at Jehovah’s Witnesses. But does the scriptural evidence within the context of Daniel 11:44-12:1 point to a time when the land of Decoration (a symbol of spiritual Israel) is invaded by the king of the north near his end? Also if Anglo America is actually the king of the north would such an understanding harmonize with the other prophecies of Daniel already mentioned above and would that enhance understanding of the disgusting thing standing in a holy place?
Daniel 12:5-12 is a vision that surrounds a period of 3 ½ years that involves “the dashing to pieces of the power of the holy people”. (Da 12:5-7) This was viewed as something that occurred to the bible students during WWI, which climaxed when eight prominent members were imprisoned, headquarters was shut down and the constant feature (the preaching work) was said to be removed. The date set for this 3 ½ year time period is December 1914 to June 1918. Daniel 12:11, mentions a time period of “1290 days” that occurs when “the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place”. Jehovah’s Witnesses used this verse to explain that after the preaching was virtually stopped and the League of Nations was proposed in Jan 1919 there was “1290 days” in which “anointed Christians awaken and progress spiritually”. The “1335 days” of Daniel 12:12 is said to follow on the heels of the 1290 days, and is a time when the “anointed Christians attain a happy state”. However could it be possible that the application of Daniel 12:5-12 has not been fully understood and that it may extend to the time when “the disgusting thing that causes desolation” is “standing in a holy place”, a holy place associated with God’s holy people?
All four of the above mentioned prophecies picture either a ‘profaning’ or a ‘transgressing’ of the temple sanctuary (According to Jehovah’s Witnesses these are symbols of the condition of the anointed congregation), an ‘entering’ into “the land of the decoration” (a symbol of the spiritual estate of anointed remnant) or “the dashing to pieces of the power of the holy people” (depicting persecution and stoppage in their preaching work). In all four of these prophecies, Jehovah’s Witnesses view the anointed as either “holy people”, “holy ones”, the “sanctuary” (Decoration / temple), “the land of the decoration” (spiritual Israel) or “the holy mountain of decoration” (Jerusalem). In view of this it’s hard to deny that “the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place” is something directed against or directly affects God’s “holy people” in the manner described by Daniel's prophecy. (Mt 24:15)
By JW Insider
What would you do if you were someone who took very seriously the idea that Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 were speaking about the time we are living in, especially the time surrounding the year 1914? You are someone who believes strongly that the time period you live in is the the one that will see Armageddon, and you believe it's important that others learn this truth, too. How would you go about convincing people?
We know that we, as Jehovah's Witnesses, still carry on the legacy of someone who took that idea very seriously: Charles Taze Russell. I know that his time period produced a lot of people like him, but I was thinking about the sheer unlikelihood that anyone would be able to start a following with his specific beliefs when we compare them to Matthew 24, etc. I think this is why his success is sometimes looked at as proof that God blessed his efforts in spite of his doctrines, not because of them.
He started publishing a magazine, tracts and books that taught that some of the most important events that most Christians had been waiting and praying for, had already occurred, but that they had missed them: He taught that Jesus had already returned in 1874. He taught that this long-awaited PAROUSIA, which they thought to be a bright manifestation like lightning, had actually been invisible to everyone in the world. He taught that Jesus, as King of God's Kingdom, had already begun when Jesus became king and started reigning in 1878. He taught that William Miller, the man who started a movement that ended in the "Great Disappointment," was actually being used by God to begin drawing attention to proper issues of chronology, and to lay a true foundation of this chronology, back in 1844. He taught that since 1799 his contemporaries were in the "last days" and would remain so until the last days ended in 1914. But there were many more specific issues with this religious movement he is credited with starting. These seem so counter-intuitive, as if they were exactly the wrong way to go about starting a following that would be focused so much on Matthew 24, etc. For example:
We can still pray for his Kingdom to Come, but "in truth" it had just come a few years ago and they missed. (see above) Jesus said it would be as visible and surprising as lightning shining from one end of the heavens to the other end, but "in truth" it had been invisible. (see above) Jesus implied that wars, earthquakes, famines and pestilence would be seen during the final generation, but in truth Russell taught that these were not "signs" and that they had nothing to do with the final generation, but were merely the experiences of humans over the last 1,800 years. Jesus implied that a great witness work would lead people out of all nations but "in truth" Russell taught that all the people who would be part of Christ's Bride, the Body of Christ, the Church, the 144,000 had already been selected and the door was shut back in 1881. (Russell thought the preaching work was generally useful for witnessing to only a "lower plane" of Christians who would not serve as kings and priests with Jesus, even though they'd still make it to heaven because that's where all Christians went, according to Russell. But, as odd as these things might have seemed, we can look at even more specific lines in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 to see a few more ways in which Russell, you might think, would have been working against getting people to listen to him. He seemed to purposely go out of his way to "do the opposite." You'd think that this might have turned more people against his teachings. For example:
Matthew 24:45 speaks of a "faithful and discreet slave" and we usually think of someone who is discreet as not just wise, but careful never to come across as haughty or presumptuous. Yet Russell who had seen his former publishing partner try to claim that he, Barbour, was that faithful, discreet slave, Russell soon began publishing material that pointed to only himself as that "faithful and discreet slave." He began publishing letters to himself that addressed him as that faithful and discreet slave, and referred to some of his writings as "food at the proper time" (meat in due season). He called himself "God's mouthpiece" and referred to his writings as more effective than the Bible itself at bringing someone into the truth of God's word, adding that someone who read his works for just a few months would learn the truth, but if a person just read the Bible for a few months they would go back into darkness. Matthew 24:26 said (KJV) "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." ASV (and NWT) used the term "inner chambers" instead of "secret chambers." Jesus was evidently helping the disciples to avoid the mistake that would be made if someone said Jesus had indeed returned, but that he was currently not visible to them, yet this person claimed special knowledge about where he actually was. Russell already taught that Jesus Parousia had been invisible, so how could Russell find a further way for people to "believe it not" in this matter? Simple, Russell accepted the idea that God's supernatural witness, his prediction of Jesus' Parousia, had been found in the desert, inside the Great Pyramid. In fact, not just in the desert, but also in the secret, inner chambers of that pyramid. Luke 21:8 in the translations that Russell usually used, says: "And he said, Take heed that ye be not led astray: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is at hand: go ye not after them." (ASV). It was almost like Russell said to himself, "Hmmm . . . Jesus said that no one should go after anyone who says, 'The time is at hand.' " "Hmmm... I got it!" Russell says, "I will write a book to distribute around the world and call it: 'The Time Is At Hand.' " It was one of Russell's best selling books, and it showed how chronology would let people know the times and the seasons, even the very month and year when Christ's presence and kingship began. But how would Russell prove himself to be a person not to be followed based on the first part? Was there any way that Russell could come in the name of Jesus and say "I am he"? How close could Russell get to saying "I am he" or as the the KJV words it: "I am Christ"? [The KJV puts the word Christ in italics to indicate that it is not in the original Greek.]
Turns out that he was able to get much closer than most people think. As I'll get to in the next post.
By Edward J
Good Day friends
I've recently received a voice note of a brother giving a talk and mentioned that the governing body feels that the prophecy in Matt 24:14 has been fulfilled.
I'll try to attach the file
Please let me know what you think
Thanks in advance my dear brothers and sisters
By JOHN DAVIS
WHAT IS THE DISGUSTING THING THAT CAUSES DESOLATION IN OUR TIME AS RECORDED AT MATTHEW 24:15?
Has anyone wondered about this?
God’s Kingdom Rules! Page 230, par.19 & 20 says:
How to Prepare Ourselves
19 How can we prepare ourselves for the earthshaking
events that are to come? The Watchtower stated some years
ago: “Survival will depend on obedience.” Why is that so?
The answer is found in a warning from Jehovah to the captive
Jews living in ancient Babylon. Jehovah foretold that
Babylon would be conquered, but what were God’s people
to do to prepare themselves for that event? Jehovah stated:
“Go, my people, enter your inner rooms, and shut your
doors behind you. Hide yourself for a brief moment until
the wrath has passed by.” (Isa. 26:20) Note the verbs in this
verse: “go,” “enter,” “shut,” “hide”—all are in the imperative
mood; they are commands. The Jews who heeded those
commands would have stayed in their houses, away from
the conquering soldiers out in the streets. Hence, their survival
depended on obeying Jehovah’s instructions.
20 What is the lesson for us? As in the case of those ancient
servants of God, our survival of coming events will
depend on our obedience to Jehovah’s instructions. (Isa.
30:21) Such instructions come to us through the congregation
arrangement. Therefore, we want to develop heartfelt
obedience to the guidance we are receiving. (1 John 5:3)
If we do so today, we will be more inclined to obey willingly
in the future and thus receive the protection of our Father,
Jehovah, and our King, Jesus. (Zeph. 2:3) That divine
protection will allow us to witness ﬁrsthand how God’s
Kingdom will completely remove its enemies. What an unforgettable
event that will be!
Prior to those paragraphs, and in harmony with Matthew 24, it was made clear that the sheep and the goats will have already been judged, the sheep being marked for survival. Why would there be further need to follow some other instructions in order to survive? Matthew 24 does not indicate anything about additional instructions as a criterion for survival. In fact it says “then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned.” This indicates that people will be in ordinary situations, when they are “saved”. The rest of the gospels focus on doing God’s will and following in Christ’s footsteps as the criterion for gaining salvation. "For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome" 1John 5:3. None of the Greek scriptures talk about any special instructions that will have to be obeyed during the great tribulation and Armageddon. It is only Isaiah that mentions this in relation to surviving the overthrow of Babylon, with similar references to the Passover in Egypt and perhaps also Noah entering the Ark.
I wonder why the Slave thinks that the same pattern will be followed when the ultimate destruction comes, as if Jehovah is not capable of saving individuals wherever they may be. Looking at it from a practical point of view, not everyone will be physically able to “go” or “shut” or “hide”. Think of the old and infirm. The scripture in Zepheniah 2:3 talks about doing specific things well before the day of Jehovah's anger. “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, Who observe his righteous decrees, seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger”.
The paragraph that follows, (Par. 20) talks about us learning to obey the Slave now, so that when the time comes we will “obey” the Slave then, because our salvation depends on it. But the scriptures clearly show our salvation depends on lots of other things, one of them being enduring faithfully to the end. This was the symposium at this year’s Do not Give up convention as well. This included practical steps to “Run With Endurance”
· Run to Win! (1 Corinthians 9:24)
· Train Diligently (1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
· Let Go of Unnecessary Burdens (Hebrews 12:1)
· Imitate Good Examples (Hebrews 12:2, 3)
· Eat Nutritious Food (Hebrews 5:12-14)
· Drink Plenty of Water (Revelation 22:17)
· Obey the Rules of the Contest (2 Timothy 2:5)
· Be Confident of Gaining the Prize (Romans 15:13)
That pertains to everything we do now. And those are the things we will be judged on. That’s how we prepare ourselves surely? Not by obeying some last minute instructions as if Jehovah is not capable of saving each individual Witness wherever they may be, since the whole performance is going to involve supernatural powers anyway....Plus, it has been speculated that some may die at Armageddon, not by Jehovah's hand, but by other extenuating circumstances, even by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I will do some more research on this....
Matthew 24. Is the INVISIBLE PAROUSIA doctrine based on less likely, special definitions of SIGN, PAROUSIA, CONCLUSION, LIGHTNING, GENERATION, and "GENTILE TIMES"?By JW Insider
There seems to be be several ways to read Matthew 24 (and parallel accounts in Mark 13 and Luke 21). This has been noted by many Bible commentaries through the years, and even C. T. Russell admits some things about Matthew 24 that might surprise a lot of Witnesses today.
The primary discussions about Matthew 24 revolve around the question of whether it was ONLY about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., or primarily about the final Great Tribulation on the whole earth, or was it about BOTH judgment events. (Even if this were primarily about 70 C.E., of course, it would still provide principles to guide Christians in every era and generation, especially about the expectation of the judgment event. -- 2 Tim 3:16; 1 Cor 10:11)
Over the years, the Watchtower has proposed slightly different ways to read Matthew 24, including splitting it up into two and sometimes three parts, where the first part referred pretty much equally to both a "minor" fulfillment on the first-century generation and a "major" fulfillment on the "final" generation that sees the final judgment event. Then, a middle portion of the chapter was often said to be primarily for the first century without direct application to the "final" generation. Then, later parts of the chapter were said to be meant primarily or sometimes ONLY for the final judgment event on the whole world. None of the differences in these variations was very significant in the overall picture, because in general the Watchtower has seen the greater "major" important fulfillment of almost all of Matthew 24 to be tied to the final generation that sees that "parousia" or "presence."
If we assume that the primarily fulfillment of Matthew 24 was intended for the final generation, then the secondary discussion is about whether we have correctly understood what Jesus meant with respect to the sign, the parousia, the conclusion, the generation, etc. So, that's the basic discussion being proposed here: that we look carefully at Matthew 24 and see if we have not perhaps tried to fit unlikely definitions of words so that we could make our specific doctrine fit.
Of course, it is quite proper to look at unlikely definitions of words if the meaning derived becomes the only possible way to understand a passage and the only way in which it properly fits the context and related scriptures. But what if the more likely definitions of each of the words also produces an overall meaning that fits just as well with the context and other scripture? What if accepting the more likely definitions of words in the chapter resulted in an even BETTER fit overall for the rest of the scriptures? What if it were seen that trying to make a doctrine out of the unlikely definitions actually created scriptural contradictions?
What I'd propose is that we try to let scripture explain scripture wherever possible and then try to give an honest appraisal of whether or not our "special definitions" we have infused into the meaning of several words in the chapter really makes more sense than the more common definitions of these words. We could start with general ideas that we can all agree on (hopefully) and then check those ideas as either more or less likely to fit the ideas created from other parts of the chapter that depend on special definitions. I think this will help us evaluate whether we have built a doctrine upon the more likely or the less likely meaning of the words that Jesus used.