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ALL aspects of 1914 doctrine are now problematic from a Scriptural point of view


JW Insider

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Even before C.T.Russell was born, commentaries on Bible prophecy included  dozens of potential dates. Nearly 200 years ago, a couple of them even included 1914 as potentially significant time period.

WAITING… AND FIGHTING ARchiv@L, I appreciate your advice. Very laconic, but appropriate. Only to develop a little further my attitude, let me mention David example in, perhaps, the most difficult pa

(Luke 12:47, 48) . . .Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. But the one who did not understand and yet did t

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9 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

The idea that a chronology dependant on the corroboration of secular academia would be essential to our faith seems to me to violate the principle at 2Tim 3:16-17. So either side of a debate for or against the significance of the year 1914 on that basis seems (also to me) to be only of mild interest.

As usual, I thought that was worded very well and it expresses several excellent points. But it might be useful to highlight that any claim that the year "1914" is found in prophecy is already totally dependent on corroboration of secular academia. That's because there is no such thing as stating any Biblical year in such terms without secular corroboration. That includes 29 CE, 33 CE, 70 CE, 2370 BCE, 4026 BCE, 640 BCE, 539 BCE, and of course 587 or 586 BCE. Every one of these dates, whether we think it's exact, or if we think it's within 20 years, or even within 500 years, will always require secular corroboration.

10 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

However, the application of Matt.24, Mk.13, Lu.21, Rev.6 (Horsemen), 2Tim.3:1-5 etc., to events and conditions since the early part of the 20th Century and the tying of these to the arrival Satan and his "angels" to eke out their desperate "short period of time" after their humiliating, heavenly defeat as described in Rev.12:12 is entirely plausible to me, and of far more interest than anything I have heard yet, au contraire.

I'm glad I could count on you to remind us all that putting up a list of bullet points doesn't mean that 1914 has already been shot down. But it's an easier and easier target to hit, and the two life-span generation puts an even bigger bulls-eye on its back. Whether or not the book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Matthew or Revelation ever intended to point us in advance to a specific event or activity in the 20th century, no one can rule out that Jehovah might still have had in mind a specific type of work to be done. Jehovah manages who he allows to be king and who he wishes to be deposed. He would not do this without some purpose, as with Nebuchadnezzar. Jehovah is in charge of history, and his thinking is beyond our own. If he can raise kings and despots to his purpose, surely everything he has either inspired or permitted in every age has a purpose. The kingdom we pray for is about God's will both in heaven and on earth. We must be alert to opportunity in every season of our own lives and perhaps we may even obtain guidance about opportunities based on the particular season the world is in.

We should always point out what is unreasonable (Philippians 4:5), but we can't always just rule out every idea that appears unreasonable to human minds. Our thoughts are not God's thoughts. A humble spirit will allow us to be used as Jehovah sees fit.

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On 6/25/2017 at 3:48 PM, JW Insider said:

But as you said: "That's all you need." Unfortunately, this is true for many persons. I think that most of us believe that if someone makes a claim that fits a preconceived notion, it must be true.

Actually, I think that many things are essentially unknowable. They have too many permutations. Our nature is that of emotion. And vested interests spin too many notions, sometimes deliberately, to muddy the waters. We make fools of ourselves with our current insistence on 'critical analysis' when we imagine that will solve the problem. Jesus never spoke that way. If anything, he deliberately tweaked those of that mindset, with 'heart' illustrations that he rarely explained.

Illustrative is a quote from Max Planck. Who is more science-minded than he?

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

And that assumes that new 'truths' accepted after a generation truly are truths. it is not inevitable that they are. Instead, they are often the mountains, the hills, the islands, that crumble just when you need them the most.

That being the case, 'that's all you need' usually suffices. There is nothing wrong with it. Experts are like hired guns. They are like psychiatrists at a murder trial - one insisting the accused knew exactly what he was doing, the other insisting he was crazy as a loon.

Yes, it is a bit cynical. But that doesn't mean it's not true. Perhaps that's why people accept 'the Truth' in the first place. They see all the diverse puzzle pieces come together to reveal the mountain vista on the box cover. They taste and see that Jehovah is good. The latter has nothing to do with 'critical thinking,' the former only marginally so. The critical thinker would analyze the pieces in great detail, find some flaws in them, and therefore never attempt to assemble them.

If it goes, it goes. As you say, it is not the essence. But I like it when things work. WWI and the Spanish influenza works. Hitler, Roosevelt, the Fed, and the returning Jews do not.

 

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14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I was not referring to Micaiah, I was referring to 400 other prophets.

Those were not prophets of God. They were probably a replacement group of priests when the tribes split, AND Jehoshaphat did not trust them or he would not have summoned Micaiah. If he did not trust them, there was a reason and most likely it was because they only gave lip service and nothing of substance. 

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15 hours ago, JW Insider said:

“Saw something interesting on this scripture related to the Bible reading (Ezekiel 12) for next week:

(2 Peter 3:3,4) 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.”

The first thing was the cross reference from the NWT. The pre-2013 NWT cross-referenced 2 Pet 3:4 to Ezekiel 12:27 and I think I might have misunderstood the value of the cross-reference:

(Ezekiel 12:27) “Son of man, look! those of the house of Israel are saying, ‘The vision that he is visioning is many days off, and respecting times far off he is prophesying.’

Without the context, this verse alone looks like a discussion about patience in waiting for the fulfillment of the promised prophecy. After all, Peter will go on to say that in Jehovah's timetable something could go on for a 1,000 years in our time, but could still be like a day in Jehovah's eyes. Of course, the verse in 2 Peter (and also the verse in Ezekiel 12) is not about fact that something might be fulfilled in a far off time, but about the ridicule.

In the rNWT this is made easier to see by adding another verse from the context of this one in Ezekiel 12. Now, the 2013 Revised NWT includes the following verse in the cross-references:

(Ezekiel 12:22) 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in Israel that says, ‘The days go by, and every vision comes to nothing’?

Now it makes sense, that Israel had seen so many prophets and visionaries declare things that didn't come true so often that it had become like the fable of "the boy who cried wolf." (Also, btw, I found this verse to be much more readily understandable in the new rNWT.) @ComfortMyPeople reminded me of this verse when he spoke about how we have plenty of precedent for handling error. We need not be discouraged overmuch, as if this is something that should never be expected to happen. Imagine being in a congregation where some of them were saying there was no resurrection!

Another verse that has been added to the cross-references to the passage in 2 Peter 3:3 is the first verse in the passage below:

(Jeremiah 17:15, 16) 15 Look! There are those saying to me: “Where is the word of Jehovah? Let it come, please!” 16 But as for me, I did not run away from following you as a shepherd, Nor did I long for the day of disaster. You well know everything my lips have spoken; It all took place before your face!

It's interesting that 2 Peter is about "ridiculers" but this verse is about a person who does not want to be a ridiculer, but is anxiously looking for the promised prophecy to come true. I added the next verse because it provides another interesting point that the person is not going to leave Jehovah just because of a perceived delay, but also he is not longing for the day of disaster. Perhaps it refers to the right attitude toward God's judgments.

One last point is that those who read both 2 Peter 3 and the parallels in the book of Jude might be surprised to see that both of these books together make a very consistent point that they were already in the "last days." It is both now and all the way back through to the first centuries that Christians would expect to hear persons ridicule them by saying "Where is this promised parousia?" and they would make the point that things are going on pretty much as they always were.

In Jude it's also easy to see that he was speaking about the "last days" or "last time" having already started in Jude's day:

(Jude 16-20) 16 These men are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life, following their own desires, and their mouths make grandiose boasts, while they are flattering others for their own benefit. 17 As for you, beloved ones, call to mind the sayings that have been previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 how they used to say to you: “In the last time there will be ridiculers, following their own desires for ungodly things.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, animalistic men, not having spirituality. 20 But you, beloved ones, build yourselves up on your most holy faith, and pray with holy spirit,

Of course, if it were about our own day, and if the parousia was going to be a long period of time, such as 103-plus years, for example, then the real response would be: "Don't you know that things are NOT going on as they always were? Didn't you notice the big wars and earthquakes that started the parousia? Are you blind to the sign?"

The "parousia" of course is a "visitation" and it came on Jerusalem 37 years after Jesus prophesied such a visitation. We can see that the visitation (parousia) wasn't the entire period of the generation with its great wars and great earthquakes in one place after another and pestilences and food shortages. It was the final visitation event when judgment was visited upon Jerusalem:

(Matthew 23:35-38) . . .there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it. 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.

It must have been especially important when speaking of the final visitation of judgment (parousia) to remind the ridiculers that there was a good reason that things were going on just as they had been since the days of their forefathers. It's because, if there was not going to be a sign in advance, that it (the visitation - parousia) would come quickly and suddenly and without warning as a thief. Just as in Noah's day, when the world was apart from the water, then suddenly in the midst of water:

(2 Peter 3:5, 6) 5 For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with waters.

Jesus was the one who had said that things WOULD go on just as they had been going on in the days of their forefathers.

(Matthew 24:37-41) 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 41 Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned.

This is just like when Paul said that it would also be a time when they were calling out peace and security! (Wars would occur but they would not be a defining sign of his parousia.) The ridicule is not about claiming that the parousia wasn't really there, it was ridiculing the delay of the parousia, just as they were ridiculing the delay of the judgment visitation in Ezekiel 12. The only advance warning we have is the reminder that it will come as a thief and we should therefore watch what sort of persons we should be at all times:

(2 Peter 3:11-18) 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 as you await and keep close in mind the presence [visitation] of the day of Jehovah,. . . 14 Therefore, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation,. . . 17 You, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard so that you may not be led astray with them by the error of the lawless people and fall from your own steadfastness. 18 No, but go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. . . .”

 

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You must have put a great deal of time into this research. Very much appreciated. 

Though you make your points very well in this dissertation, I still believe, that the previous understanding can go alongside this without doing much harm because as you well pointed out:

“the person is not going to leave Jehovah just because of a perceived delay, but also he is not longing for the day of disaster. Perhaps it refers to the right attitude toward God's judgments.”

 

The discussion of 1914 date and the generation understanding both emanate from a perceived delay and wanting to find our more so we can be prepared.

 

 Our attitude towards God’s judgements is what is important as you stated above, if I understand you correctly.  

We continue to pray for God’s Kingdom to come but meanwhile work on ourselves. (Matt 6:9,10)  As imperfect people, righteous ones are “scarcely” being saved, so we have to take care.  Leave the judging to Jehovah, show a waiting attitude. Love your enemies,continue to do good to them, including warning them. Jehovah is the one who will take vengeance – he can read hearts.

 

(1 Peter 4:18) 18 “And if the righteous man is being saved with difficulty, what will happen to the ungodly man and the sinner?”

 

 (2 Peter 3:8, 9) However, do not let this escape your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.

 

(2 Peter 3:15) Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him,

 

These scriptures were addressed to the Christian congregation and show that we need to use the present time to become known by Jehovah. We must not think Jehovah is slow as his timetable does not  necessarily concur with our lifespan. 2 Peter 3:8. 

 

Also the understanding  of Ezekiel 9 that we are being marked for salvation by the Jesus who has been appointed to be the Judge the living and the dead, at a later time nearer to Armageddon, should impress upon us the need to have the right attitude towards others at all time. We are not here to judge anyone or mark anyone, only to inform them of Jehovah’s purposes, as he will not need the stones to cry out, but we will offer ourselves willingly. (Ps 110:3) So we are grateful for this understanding.

 

Remember too how urgent it seems that Naboth and his sons need to have justice.  But Jehovah will resurrect him in the new system. He has to wait.  Also Abel, Zechariah and lots more whose blood cried out for justice.  We need the right attitude and to wait on Jehovah, the Judge of all the earth.

Some points to ponder in this article.

*** w78 10/15 pp. 14-15 pars. 5-7 Bearing the Burden of Injustice ***

5 Asaph apparently was not alone in being adversely affected by what he witnessed. He goes on to say: “Therefore he brings his people back hither, and the waters of what is full are drained out for them. And they have said: ‘How has God come to know? And does there exist knowledge in the Most High?’” (Ps. 73:10, 11) When thinking about the way in which the wicked appear to get by with their lawlessness, the righteous find this very disturbing. They cannot put it out of their mind. Again and again they return to it. The effect on them is comparable to their having to drink a bitter potion. This moves them to ask: ‘How can God tolerate these things? Does he not see what is going on?’

6 Comparing his own lot with the prosperous condition of the wicked, Asaph exclaimed: “Surely it is in vain that I have cleansed my heart and that I wash my hands in innocence itself. And I came to be plagued all day long, and my correction is every morning.” (Ps. 73:12-14) Thus the psalmist actually began to think that it was useless to lead an upright life. While the wicked were enjoying prosperity, he was plagued constantly. He felt that God was correcting or reproving him every morning. The wicked, however, appeared to be getting by with the grossest of wrongdoing.

7 Nevertheless, Asaph realized that it was wrong for him to give in to such thinking. He said: “Had I let myself talk on in this fashion, I should have betrayed the family of God. So I set myself to think this out but I found it too hard for me.” (Ps. 73:15, 16, The New English Bible) Yes, the psalmist recognized that his viewing service to God as vain would actually mean his being disloyal to the faithful ones. Then, too, his giving way to public expression of doubt could have undermined the faith of some. Though he tried to straighten out his thinking, Asaph simply could not reconcile how the wicked could get by with their wrongdoing, while righteous persons were suffering.

In your well researched dissertation, I think you can go a little further to explain these. You usually have much resources.

1.       If you care to, kindly explain this some more for me. I thought it referred to the fact that it didn’t rain, and that the water canopy was suspended above the earth.

“Just as in Noah's day, when the world was apart from the water, then suddenly in the midst of water:

“(2 Peter 3:5, 6) 5 For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with waters.”

2.        I think you should explain this statement some more:

Now it makes sense, that Israel had seen so many prophets and visionaries declare things that didn't come true so often that it had become like the fable of "the boy who cried wolf."

You might wish to explain that they died before the fulfillments took place, e.g. Nineveh destroyed after Jonah’s time. Not that they did not come true.  The problem with Israel is that they did not have faith in Jehovah like their forefather Abraham

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35 minutes ago, Melinda Mills said:

You must have put a great deal of time into this research. Very much appreciated.

Glad you appreciated it, but it was more like a 'stream of consciousness' dissertation, where I just kept adding comments as I went along, hoping they'd stay fairly close to a central theme. I can't really say I spent any time at all preparing it.

 

39 minutes ago, Melinda Mills said:

Though you make your points very well in this dissertation, I still believe, that the previous understanding can go alongside this without doing much harm because as you well pointed out:

“the person is not going to leave Jehovah just because of a perceived delay, but also he is not longing for the day of disaster. Perhaps it refers to the right attitude toward God's judgments.”

If you are referring to the previous set of cross-references, I had no problem with it, but it was easy to misunderstand, for me at least, without more context. I like some of the additional cross-references added in the rNWT. To me they often show a greater depth of thought.

If you are referring specifically to the 1914 doctrine, I can't quite figure out what you mean by "previous" since it is still very much "official" doctrine. Perhaps you meant from my perspective, in which case, I agree that even if the 1914 doctrine, is wrong, or unnecessary, it need not cause "much harm," assuming that we continue to highlight several of the counterbalancing ideas.

I wouldn't even bring it up, however, if I didn't think it had the potential for doing some harm. That's because I believe that Jesus was completely serious when he repeated all those ideas about not knowing the time of his parousia. I believe we feel we have found a loophole by claiming that Jesus really meant to say the time of judgement at the END of the parousia, so that it is somehow OK for us to know the time of the parousia. The problem is that knowing the time would have such an effect on our motivations that any specific types of conduct could be hypocritical. We might easily find ourselves motivated by the closeness of judgment, not purely out of willingness and love. Imagine, therefore, if we had translated the original word genealogies in the following passage with "chronology" which is, in fact, one of the primary uses of genealogies in the Bible.

(1 Timothy 1:3-5) . . .command certain ones not to teach different doctrine, 4 nor to pay attention to false stories and to chronology [literally, genealogies]. Such things end up in nothing useful but merely give rise to speculations rather than providing anything from God in connection with faith. 5 Really, the objective of this instruction is love out of a clean heart and out of a good conscience and out of faith without hypocrisy.

Verse 5 summarizes pure Christianity, and Jesus made clear that the "moral" of verse 5 was the same "moral" of not knowing the times or seasons of the parousia.

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13 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I agree that even if the 1914 doctrine, is wrong, or unnecessary, it need not cause "much harm," assuming that we continue to highlight several of the counterbalancing ideas.

I'm sure that we've dealt with this before recently, but I just don't understand how a central doctrine of the jw faith cannot cause serious concern when it is inconsistent with the Bible. I see people within the org notice it and brush it aside as something minor. How this is acceptable is mind boggling when it is one of the doctrines that establishes the foundation of the belief. 

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1 hour ago, Melinda Mills said:

Our attitude towards God’s judgements is what is important as you stated above, if I understand you correctly.  

Absolutely. And I appreciated the comments you added from 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Ezekiel, and Psalms. "Offering ourselves willingly" gets right to the heart, our motivation.

1 hour ago, Melinda Mills said:

In your well researched dissertation, I think you can go a little further to explain these. You usually have much resources.

1.       If you care to, kindly explain this some more for me. I thought it referred to the fact that it didn’t rain, and that the water canopy was suspended above the earth.

“Just as in Noah's day, when the world was apart from the water, then suddenly in the midst of water:

“(2 Peter 3:5, 6) 5 For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with waters.”

I believe you have been a Witness long enough to remember when we often made the point that it had never rained prior to the Flood. It used to be in one of the talk outlines, which was updated to remove it. It's not a point that any publications have repeated for 60 years. (Since the February 15, 1956 QFR.) I mention this because I do not know what the current view is on the physics of the water canopy as described. When I was doing some research on another topic, a member of the Governing Body told me that we had "dropped" the idea that each of the creative days were 7,000 years long, so that the 6 creative days had taken 42,000 years and we were already 6,000+ more years into the 7th rest day: in effect in year 48,004 Anno Mundi* at the time this came up. It was important in the 2/1/1973 Watchtower as a support for 1975 (p.83). But then, even though I was told for sure that this had been dropped and would never be mentioned again, it was mentioned again anyway. (In a January 1, 1987 QFR.)

So my comment wasn't trying to reference the canopy teaching nor to dismiss it. I notice now that it looks like I was paraphrasing verse 5 alone, but I was paraphrasing both 5 and 6 together.

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2 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

but I just don't understand how a central doctrine of the jw faith cannot cause serious concern when it is inconsistent with the Bible.

Most Witnesses still think it is consistent with the Bible. Those who find that it isn't consistent, probably no longer see it as a central doctrine and therefore are able to dismiss it without causing a serious concern. I think it's because there is still so much more to the core teachings, and they might even seem enhanced in value when one critiques the overall set of remaining doctrines.

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38 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

So my comment wasn't trying to reference the canopy teaching nor to dismiss it. I notice now that it looks like I was paraphrasing verse 5 alone, but I was paraphrasing both 5 and 6 together.

Thanks, I understand.   Appreciate the background info, though.

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6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

 

I believe you have been a Witness long enough to remember when we often made the point that it had never rained prior to the Flood. It used to be in one of the talk outlines, which was updated to remove it. It's not a point that any publications have repeated for 60 years. (Since the February 15, 1956 QFR.) I mention this because I do not know what the current view is on the physics of the water canopy as described.

Awake 3/2014 mentions "canopy of vapor". And 3/15 2011 Watchtower also mentions "the water canopy" on page 26.  Those are just the most recent articles. And many more after 1956 up to today.

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Also about "rain" from 1988 Insight on the Scriptures :"At an early point in the history of the preparation of the earth, “God had not made it rain upon the earth,” but “a mist would go up from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground.” The time referred to is evidently early on the third creative “day,” before vegetation appeared. (Ge 1:9-13; 2:5, 6; see MIST.) The first instance in the Biblical record when rain is specifically mentioned as falling is in the account of the Flood. Then “the floodgates of the heavens were opened,” and “the downpour upon the earth went on for forty days and forty nights.”—Ge 7:11, 12; 8:2.

Also going back to topic some apostates in Christendom say Jesus became King in 33 C.E. [or sometime in the first century]  Yet in 33 C.E. the Apostles asked Jesus "WHEN" are you restoring the Kingdom. So obviously that teaching of Christendom is wrong as is the Trinity, Hellfire and Immortal Soul. Acts 1:6. And this was "after" he was given all authority. Context shows the meaning.

In 33 C.E., Jesus made it clearly known that the corulers who would assist the King of God’s Kingdom would be taken from the earth and raised to life as spirit creatures in heaven. His disciples, though, did not immediately understand this revelation. (Dan. 7:18; John 14:2-5) In that same year, Jesus indicated by means of illustrations that the Kingdom would not be established until a LONG TIME AFTER he ascended to heaven. (Matt. 25:14, 19; Luke 19:11, 12) The disciples did not comprehend this vital point and later asked the resurrected Jesus: “Are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at THIS TIME?” Jesus, however, chose not to reveal any more details at that time. (Acts 1:6, 7).

“Respecting the PRESENCE of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though FROM US, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come unless the APOSTASY COMES FIRST and the man of lawlessness gets revealed.”—2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.

{So the "presence" is long after the First Century as the apostasy would be revealed first. And notice the apostasy is related to the presence of Jesus as they [the apostates] would say he came at THAT time and not a later time} 

{"From us" - obviously interpretative authority came from a particular source not from individual Christians on some blog.}
 

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    • In the era of the Bible Students within the Watchtower, there were numerous beginnings. It is essential to bear in mind that each congregation functioned autonomously, granting the Elders the freedom to assert their own assertions and interpretations. Most people embraced the principles that Pastor Russell was trying to convey. You could argue that what you are experiencing now, they also experienced back then. The key difference is that unity was interpreted differently. Back then it had value where today there is none. To address your inquiry, while I cannot recall the exact details, it is believed to have been either 4129 or 4126. Some groups, however, adopted Ussher's 4004. It is worth mentioning that they have now discarded it and revised it to either 3954 or 3958, although I personally find little interest in this matter. I believe I encountered this information in the book titled "The Time is at Hand," though it may also be referenced in their convention report. Regardless, this is part of their compelling study series 3. Please take a moment to review and confirm the date. I am currently focused on Riblah. The Bible Students who firmly believe that Israel is the prophetic sign of Armageddon have made noteworthy adjustments to their chronology. They have included significant dates such as 1947/8 and 1967/8, as well as more recent dates. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, according to their calculations, 2024 holds immense importance. The ongoing tension of Iran targeting Israel directly from its own territory amplifies the gravity of the situation. If their trajectory continues, the subsequent captivating event will occur in 2029, rather than as previously speculated, in 2034 by some.
    • Would it be too much to ask what was the bible students starting point of creation?
    • @JW Insider Your summary is irrelevant, as I do not make any assertions regarding BC/AD other than their usage by scholars and in history, as you yourself have also acknowledged on numerous occasions, thus rendering your point invalid and evasive. The Watchtower leverages external viewpoints, including secular evidence, to substantiate the accuracy of their chronological interpretations. There are numerous approaches to dating events. Personally, I explore various alternative methods that lead to the same conclusion as the Watchtower. However, the most captivating approach is to utilize secular chronology to arrive at the same outcome. By relying solely on secular chronology, the pattern still aligns, albeit with a distinct interpretation of the available data. Nevertheless, the ultimate result remains unchanged. This is why when you get upset, when you are proven wrong, you, Tom, and those with the authority to ban take action, because you like others cannot handle the truth. In this case, your infamous tablet VAT 4956 has become useless in this situation. I do agree with you on one thing: you are not an expert, just like COJ. However, I must admit that this foolish individual was not the first to debate the chronology with the Watchtower and abandon it based on personal beliefs. He simply happened to be the most recent one that's on record.
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