Wasn't Jesus' supposed parousia/advent to be recognized only by those who had spiritual insight at the time?By JW Insider
I think you referenced my opinion here. It's as follows:
We know that Jesus' invisible presence began in the first century, around 33 CE, because, as Jesus said:
(Matthew 18:20) For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.”
(Matthew 28:20) . . .And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
So, Jesus is invisibly present with Christians always from his resurrection UNTIL the conclusion (Gk, synteleia). If the conclusion began in 1914, then Jesus was saying he would be invisibly present with us UNTIL 1914.
But this is not the "parousia" which can also be translated "presence" or "visitation." The scriptures tie the "parousia" to the "glorious manifestation" of Jesus when he is revealed, and "every eye shall see him" and a time of sudden, bright flashing like lightning. (Scripture references available upon request. 😊) Thus, for several years, the following comment was included in the NWT appendix, which has since been removed from the 2013 Revised NWT:
*** Rbi8 p. 1577 5B Christ’s Presence (Parousia) ***
Also, Bauer, p. 630, states that pa·rou·siʹa “became the official term for a visit of a person of high rank, esp[ecially] of kings and emperors visiting a province.”
These visitations of royal personages were a spectacle, often with trumpeted fanfare and with the official accompanied by throngs of persons brought with him and joined by spectators alongside the parade. To make sure that the "parousia" went smoothly, the local authorities could even raise a special tax on the local citizens to fix the roads to make straight paths for the king's chariots and horses and entourage on foot. That tax was minted on "parousia" coins, or later "adventus" coins, just as they were in Paul's day. (This can explain why the first Bible translations did not translate "parousia" as presence, while koine (NT) Greek was still a living language. They used a word that meant "advent" or "visitation" focusing, therefore, on the arrival/coming, not the presence that followed.)
It seems obvious that this "parousia" did not start in 1914.
On the issue of when Jesus sat down in his Kingdom, this also seems pretty obvious from the scriptures. Jesus is called "king of kings" in the first century.
(1 Timothy 6:13-15) ...I give you orders 14 to observe the commandment in a spotless and irreprehensible way until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which the happy and only Potentate will show in its own appointed times. He is the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords,
(Revelation 1:5, 6) . . .and from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “the firstborn from the dead,” and “the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood— 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father. . .
Immediately after his resurrection, Jesus said that "ALL authority" had bee given to him in heaven and on earth.
(Matthew 28:18) . . .“All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.
Trying to minimize this kingdom authority in the first century appears to take away from the scriptures. In the scriptures, Jesus is already "crowned" in the first century.
(Hebrews 2:9) 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than angels, now crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death,. . .
(Hebrews 1:3) . . .he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
He already has a scepter:
(Hebrews 1:8) 8 But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.
And "sitting at God's right hand" means the same as "rule as king" as said above:
(1 Corinthians 15:25) . . .For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet.
So with this in mind, I think that 1 Cor 15:23 makes sense:
(1 Corinthians 15:20-26) . . .But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death. 21 For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each one in his own proper order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence. 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.
In other words, Jesus has now been raised from the dead, and he is the first of those to be raised alive "in the Christ." The word "during" is only used here because the NWT translators believe we should focus on a long time period. Most often the word just means "at."
So, first Jesus, then those who belong to him "at his visitation," at his parousia, at his manifestation, at his coming, at his arrival, at his presence, at that day.
(2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9) 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence [parousia].
(2 Timothy 4:1) I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his Kingdom:
Paul does not ever speak about 1,000 years, specifically, but he makes it appear that there is a resurrection of those "in the Christ" and then the end, when he brings to nothing all government and authority and power. Paul appears to refer to only one single end that includes bringing to nothing all these other governments, and that this results in the end of death. Mission accomplished.
From Paul alone, then, we can't tell where a 1,000 year reign fits in. Paul speaks from the perspective of this particular kingdom of Christ accomplishing its purpose, and in some sense being handed back to God at the point where the final enemy (death) is fully subjected.
I'd like to ask @JW Insider 's view on the 'public edition', No 2 2020 Watchtower of 'What Is God's Kingdom'
Page 8 bottom left corner. mentions the 'so called' Signs of the times' Luke 21 v 10 & 11. But fails to mention the previous verse that say :- Verse 9.
"Furthermore, when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified. For these things must take place first, but the end will not occur immediately.”
And Matthew 24 v 8 says, All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.
So are the GB / Writing dept' still playing an old record here ?
And I notice on page 10 and 11 that the GB are holding on tightly to their doctrine of 1914. Is this a good thing ?
It is this type of thing that i mention when i say about taking the GB's message to the world, not God's.
Any opinions on this please but would like JWI's opinion as I think he has made his feelings known on these things before.
( I'm being told about my 'tags' not being done properly so I haven't added any )
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
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. The "1914 presence" doctrine, however, is only about 75 years old.
All the ideas behind the Watch Tower's version of the 1914 doctrine have already been discussed for decades now, and all of them, so far, have been shown to be problematic from a Scriptural point of view. Since the time that the doctrine generally took its current shape in 1943, the meanings and applications of various portions of Matthew 24 and 25 have already been changed, and the timing of various prophesied events and illustrations have changed. Most recently, the meaning and identification of the "faithful and discreet slave" has changed. And the definition of "generation" has changed about half-a-dozen times. This doesn't mean that the current understandings are impossible, of course, only that it has become less likely from the point of view of reason and reasonableness.
Besides, for most of the years of teaching this doctrine, we have had the flexibility of extending the "1914 generation" from a possible 40 years, up to 70, then 75, then 80 years. And this has been applied to teenagers who saw 1914, 10-year-olds who saw 1914, then even newborns who saw 1914. With every one of these options already tried and stretched to their limits, we finally were forced to convert the meaning of generation from its most common meanings and give it a new "strained" meaning that has no other Biblical parallel. (See Exodus 1:6; Matthew 1:17; 16:4; 23:36; Luke 11:50)
But that flexibility is still seen as the last reason for hope that the Watch Tower Society might have still been correct in hanging on to 1914. Since the Bible says that a lifespan is 70 or 80 years and 1914 + 80 = 1994, the "generation" doctrine in its original form (1943) could remain stable until about 1994. Of course, a lifespan could technically reach to 120 years or more, and Gen 6:3 even gives vague support to the idea that the "1914 generation" could last 120 years, until 2034.
The current alternative solution is to make the generation out of the length of two lifespans, which technically could be double 120 years, or nearly 240 years from 1914. That would have had the potential to reach to the year 2154 (1914+240) except for the caveat that it can, by its new definition, only refer to anointed persons who discerned the sign in 1914 and whose lives overlapped (technically, by as little as one second) with the lifespan of another anointed person representing the second group. If persons from each group don't really discern their own "anointing" until age 20, for example, this would effectively remove 40 years from the overall maximum. 1914+120-20+120-20 = 2114. We could also assume a possible lifespan of more than 120 years, but otherwise, the new two-lifespan generation could potentially make the generation last 200 years. This "technical maximum" is not promoted currently, because for now we look at examples like Fred Franz who was part of that original generation already anointed and who saw the sign, and the typical example of an anointed brother who was apparently "anointed" prior to Franz' death in 1992 would be someone like Governing Body member, Brother Sanderson, who was born in 1965, baptized in 1975, and was already a "special pioneer" in 1991. His is currently 52.
However, the generation problem is just one more problem now which we can add onto the list of all the other points that make up the 1914 doctrine. Here are several points related to 1914 that appear problematic from a Scriptural point of view:
All evidence shows the 1914 date is wrong when trying to base it on the destruction of Jerusalem. (Daniel 1:1; 2 Chron 36:1-22; Jer 25:8-12; Zech 1:12, 7:4; Ezra 3:10-13) Paul said that Jesus sat at God's right hand in the first century and that he already began ruling as king at that time. (1 Cor 15:25) Jesus said not to be fooled by the idea that wars and rumors of wars would be the start of a "sign" (Matt 24:4,5) Jesus said that the "parousia" would be as visible as lightning (Matt 24:27). He spoke against people who might say he had returned but was currently not visible. (Matt 24:23-26) Jesus said that his "parousia" would come as a surprise to the faithful, not that they would discern the time of the parousia decades in advance. (Matt 24:36-42) Jesus said that the kingdom would not be indicated by "signs" (Luke 17:20, almost any translation except NWT in this case) The "synteleia" (end of all things together) refers to a concluding event, not an extended period of time (Matt 28:20) Jesus was already called ruler, King and even "King of Kings" in the first century. (1 Tim 6:15, Heb 7:2,17; Rev 1:5; 17:14) Wicked, beastly King Nebuchadnezzar's insanity and humiliation does not represent Jesus as the "lowliest one of mankind." (Heb 1:5,6; 2:10,11; Daniel 4:23-25; cf. Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 3:17,18) The demise of a Gentile kingdom cannot rightly represent the time of the rise of the Gentile kingdoms (Daniel 4:26,27) The Gentile kings did not meet their demise in 1914. (Rev 2:25,26) The time assigned to the Gentile Times that Jesus spoke about in Luke 21:24 is already given as 3.5 times, not 7 times (Revelation 11:2,3) The Devil was already brought down from "heaven" in the first century. (1 John 2:14,15; 1 Pet 5:8; Luke 10:18; Heb 2:14) The Bible says that the "last days" began in the first century. (Acts 2:14-20; 2 Tim 3:1-17; 1 Peter 3:3-5; Heb 1:2, almost any translation except NWT in this case.)
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....