djeggnog what is your point?
I wasn't exactly talking to you, so maybe I should ask you, what is your point? If you read my post, then you already know the "point" that I was making to @TD (and to @Cameron_Don and others to whom I specifically referenced in my message -- none of them being you) as to the lies that "you guys" here on JWN tell about things you either know not a thing about or that people like @Cameron_Don have told you here that do not bear the ring of truth. I've met many Jehovah's Witnesses just like you, and some of them are still "in," attending the meetings, but just going through the motions since they do not really believe in their heart of hearts that Jehovah God raised Jesus from the dead, let alone recognize Jesus as their personal Lord. I mean, how could they?
They've studied the Bible and heard that Jesus taught the dangers that are attendant to being judgmental, judging folks by one's own standards and not God's, but they haven't listened, haven't taken such counsel to heart, which is clear to anyone that hangs around them listening to them gripe about this and that, their spouses, even their own children. Who except those that delight in hearing and spreading gossip could enjoy being in the company of such hate-filled people? We call them "Brother This" and "Sister That," but they have no appreciation whatsoever for the true knowledge that they've come to know from having been taught by Jehovah. None.
Many of those that are called "Jehovah's Witnesses" are pioneers, ministerial servants, elders, but it's clear me to me that they don't care about themselves, don't care about their own families, don't care about people period, and yet we are Christians engaged in an organized Bible educational work, teaching folks what things Jesus has commanded of us, which isn't an easy things to do for those that never completed high school, never earned a college degree, many of them married people with an earning capacity of little more than zilch today with many young children that they must raise on the income of the one that has a job in a world where few not-very-high-paying jobs exist for those having no diploma and those that don't have a BA, BS, MBA or JD or some alphabet characters representing their professional credentials, if they have a job at all. (Still, the kids gotta eat.)
I don't understand baptized Witnesses being so vulgar with no respect for themselves, like @WMF who speaks to me like I'm as worthless as the ashes in one's fireplace when she knows that just as is true in her case, I am made in the image and likeness of God, and worth so much more than ashes in a fireplace as evidenced by the fact that Jehovah God sent his only-begotten Son to die here as a man in order that through my faith in his ransom, his shed blood, I would receive forgiveness of my sins and with that the opportunity to live forever, which prospect I am sure that @WMF has heard too many times to count, but which she rejects over this foolishness over what Pastor Russell believed in the late 1800s and early 1900s before his death about the Second Coming of Christ, which is exactly the same that Jehovah's Witnesses believe today, namely, that Christ's Second Advent, his return, occurred in the year 1914.
Now Jehovah's Witnesses today know that what the Bible Students, including Russell and Barbour, believed regarding Jesus' presence or parousia as having occurred in 1874 is not scripturally sound, for Jehovah's Witnesses today believe his presence to have begun at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914, which is based on a more accurate Bible chronology than the Bible chronology on which Russell's calculations were based. Imagine being so sure that 1 Kings 6:1 should have been rendered "in the five hundred and eightieth year" instead of "in the four hundred and eightieth year," and using 580 years instead of 480 years in your calculations, and teaching others that Adam was created in 4128 BC, and "sin's entrance" in 4126 BC, and this causing many Bible Students to leave the truth under Rutherford because of their refusal to believe that Russell was mistaken about 4126 BC, when it turns out that he was off by 100 years since we now know that Adam was created in 4026 BC.
These Bible Students had learned that we were conceived in sin, that had learned that we all have sinned. They also knew that humans make mistakes, and that Russell was a human being, but some of them bitched over the change in doctrine, thinking Russell alone to have been the "faithful slave," and so couldn't put up with anyone disrespecting their leader by making changes that he couldn't veto, and thought it best to leave our ranks. Perhaps some of them came back. Jehovah is big about forgiving others.
What folks do here on JWN isn't new, railing against the shortcomings of those who are (or were!) Jehovah's Witnesses like themselves for this reason or that reason, attacking the brothers that have a stutter as did Moses (or whatever was his exact problem) or who tend to speak rather loudly because when one reaches their 50th or 60th birthday things change, things that were firm at one time sag, eyeglasses and hearing aids become better friends than your pet dog or cat, and the fact that one's spiritual sisters and brothers are gossiping about how this ne'er-do-well brother is a stay at home dad that "forces" his wife to be the breadwinner of the family while he spends much of his time caring for his kids and playing policeman in the congregation and wondering why no one respects him in the congregation as an elder.
It doesn't matter to those we call Jehovah's Witnesses, but who really are a contemptuous lot that only pretend to be Jehovah's Witnesses that this brother's wife may be an attorney or an accountant that earns more than enough for her family's needs or how glad he and she both are that one of them is available to pick up the kids during the work day when so many parents, especially single parents, must make do with their children being latchkey kids knowing the dangers to which this can expose them in a dangerous world in which both out-of-work burglars and pedophiles also live.
You see, I know the kind of people that many of you are, believe me, and it's not hard to believe that some of you were once called Jehovah's Witnesses, when before Jehovah's Witnesses, you had no friends, not really, and were bored with your church and your life, and thought about all of the money you were saving by not having to empty your pockets to celebrate this holiday or that holiday, and how wonderful and how filled your life became with having so many new friends in it, including folks with children that were willing to come over to your home to babysit for a few hours from time to time in a pinch.
And then one day it finally dawns on you that the Kingdom Hall isn't a club in which you have membership, but a Christian organization whose mission is to share with others what things we have come to know through our study of the Bible, to teach other folks all of the things Jesus had commanded us to teach, so that the commission that you had been given became burdensome, you began to realize that attending meetings every week and field service had begun to take up too much of your time and were causing you to miss things that you did not want to miss, and you being to reason, if none of these things you learned from Jehovah's Witnesses is the truth, then I can be free of all of the restrictions that are the source of the burdens you have been carrying, so the faultfinding begins:
If this is God's organization, then why did Russell and the Bible Students believe Christ's invisible presence began in 1874 in the first place? And: If Jehovah's Witnesses are being led by God's holy spirit, then how could this central body of elders in Brooklyn, NY, the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, keep getting so many things wrong? Why was it that you got to your own sister's noon wedding last Sunday an hour late because your clocks at home and your watch were all of them off by an hour? Were you calculations off just a bit? This same kind of thing happened to Russell, too, but mistakes happen to human beings all of the time, right? Russell's mistake in 1876 lasted for 40 years until he finished his earthly course, and affected more and more people with Rutherford at the helm even after his death in 1942, for an additional 27 years -- for 67 years! -- until Russell's mistake was finally corrected in 1943.
Does Jehovah, the Great Timekeeper, care about Bible chronology? Probably. Does he care about the truth? Yes, I believe he does. Is Jehovah so petty as to abandon his timetable in order look for someone else less imperfect than was Russell to guide his people? You arrived less than an hour late to your sister's wedding because of a mistake, but should your sister disown you as her sister for it, or should she forgive your mistake? What about Jehovah? Russell made a mistake that lasted some 67 years, but should not our God forgive Russell his mistake, too?
The quotes from TD show that the second coming and parousia continued to be taught to be 1874 well after 1914.
But this is not true. Just as I pointed out in my last message, Jesus' Second Coming was expected to occur at the end of the Gentile Times, some 2,520 years after 606 BC, or 1914. Notice I said 606 BC and not 607 BC, because Russell's chronology was based on an error in allowing for a zero year that did not exist, but taking this into consideration, when counting 2,520 years from 607 BC, you still arrive at 1914, which is when the Bible Students expected Jesus' return, his Second Coming.
However, Russell never taught Jesus' parousia to be the same as Jesus' Second Coming. What those quotes that were provided in my previous message from those 1913 and 1914 issues of the Watch Tower prove is that neither Russell nor the Bible Students did not believe Jesus' parousia or presence to have been the same as his Second Coming. In 1876, Russell and Barbour believed that Jesus' parousia had begun in 1874, two years earlier, and that his Second Coming would occur 40 years later in 1914. After 1914, that Jesus' parousia has begun in 1874 continued to be taught until 1943 until the Society released the book, The Truth Shall Make You Free, which served to correct the misunderstanding that had existed since Russell's time with respect to Bible chronology.
The quotes you include just further support that the Watchtower was wrong, and its teachings changed after 1914. For instance it states in your 1913 Watchtower quote "
The kingdoms of earth will come to an end, and "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom."
The kingdoms did not end in 1914.
No, the kingdoms of the world did not come to an end in 1914, but this wasn't something that Russell predicted, but what he had speculated based on his study of the Bible. Just as was quoted from the Watch Tower, dated February 1, 1914, which quote I've appended to this message, the Bible Students believed that they were living in the earliest stages of his second coming, in the time of his parousia, his presence.
In my previous message, I wrote that the difference between what the "Bible Students" -- and this would include Pastor Russell -- taught in Russell's day and what Jehovah's Witnesses teach today is that the Bible Students believed Jesus' presence to have begun in 1874, some 40 years earlier than what Jehovah's Witnesses teach today. The other difference is that the so-called "Millennial Age" which was in active use by the Bible Students then, but not so much by Jehovah's Witnesses today, would begin after Armageddon. What I should have written is that the so-called "Messianic Age" which was in active use by the Bible Students then, is not used so much by Jehovah's Witnesses today, whereas we might refer to the coming Age as the "Millennial Age," and this Millennial Age would begin after Armageddon.
I have no way of knowing, @jwfacts, whether you just wanted to argue with me because I happen to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses, but I included this quote for three (3) reasons: (1) To make the point that the Bible Students in 1914 realized that they were living in the time of Jesus' "presence," despite the fact that they had recognized Jesus' presence as having begun 40 years too early, and (2) to make the point that they considered themselves to be living "in the earliest stages of his second coming." We today are living in the time of Jesus' presence, even though Jehovah's Witnesses today believe that his presence began in 1914 and not in 1874 as had been believed by the Bible Students. And now here's my third reason.
I wanted @Cameron_Don to read the quote from the Watch Tower, dated October 15, 1913, which not only supports my contention that there was never any expectation on the part of the Bible Students that Christ's Second Coming would occur in 1874, but that he is a liar. I wanted to further make the point that even though "the kingdoms of the earth" did not come to an end in 1914, there was every expectation on the part of the Bible Students "according to the best chronological reckoning" of which they were capable at that time that Christ's Second Coming, his return or Second Advent, would occur in 1914, "whether it be October, 1914, or later":
We say that according to the best chronological reckoning of which we are capable, it is approximately that time--whether it be October, 1914, or later. Without dogmatizing, we are looking for certain events: (1) The termination of the Gentile times--Gentile supremacy in the world--and (2) For the inauguration of Messiah’s kingdom in the world. The kingdoms of earth will come to an end, and "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom." (Daniel 2:44)
Apparently Djeggnog thinks of Christ's "invisible presence" and his "Second Coming" as referring to two separate, unrelated events. I think he feels that although Russell incorrectly looked backward to 1874 as the date of the beginning of Jesus' "invisible presence," he correctly looked forward to 1914 for the beginning of his "Second Coming."
But I think of Christ's "invisible presence" and his "Second Coming" as referring to the same thing.
Now you know why I have said that you are clueless. Russell believed back in 1876 that Christ's invisible presence had begun in 1874. Russell did not believe in 1914 that Christ's presence and his Second Coming were the same thing. You're mistaken to suggest that these two things are the same; they're not the same thing.
I quoted, for you benefit, the Watch Tower, dated February 1, 1914, in which Russell describes "our Lord’s parousia," the "earliest manifestations of his second advent." Russell stated that his church would know Jesus' presence "by his 'knock'" when the prophecy had undergone fulfillment, for then "the watchful ones" would recognize "this fulfilment ... by faith ... to acknowledge the Master's presence" as to "the nearness of his kingdom," which his church had been doing, "by faith, since 1874, as Jesus' "second advent" in 1914 approached.
Can you give us an example where Russell calculated that Christ's Second Coming would occur in 1914?
Why do you seek such an example? You're going to believe what you want to believe anyway.
In my previous message as well as in this one, you will find the words: "Without dogmatizing, we are looking for certain events...." If you should find the time to do so, why not read points (1) and (2), and Daniel 2:44. There's a cure for cluelessness, but I don't believe there to be a cure for anyone like you that chooses to feign ignorance.
If the teaching of 1874 as the start of the second coming changed in 1930 (not 1943), then it had nothing to do with the change in the calculation of the 6000 years.
Excuse me, but what on earth are you talking about here? I never said a thing about the teaching regarding Christ's "second coming" as having been changed from 1874, since Russell never taught that his second coming had occurred in 1874.
Russell had calculated that the end of the Gentile Times would occur in 1914, and it is then that Jesus' second coming was expected to begin with his enthronement in the heavens as king. The change in the calculation of 6,000 years occurred in 1943 with the release of the book, The Truth Shall Make You Free, which recalculated 1975 as marking 6,000 years of human history.
September 15, 1913, p. 291
"Are Suicides Morally Responsible?"
(5) The only exceptions to this rule of restoration Adam’s original perfection will be those who during this Gospel age--from the death of Christ to his second coming--are called out of the world, invited to become new creatures in Christ, and made associates with Jesus, sharers in his exaltation to the divine nature and in his office. These are justified (reckoned perfect) by faith in Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, and then given the opportunity to present themselves as living sacrifices.--Romans 12:1.
(6) As Christians, during this Gospel age, might sin wilfully and thus forfeit all relationship to God and die the second death, so in the coming age, during the Millennium, the world in general, after having been brought to an accurate knowledge of the truth, may by wilful sin forfeit all relationship to God, and die the second death.
October 15, 1913, pp. 307, 308
"Resume of the Ending of the Times of the Gentiles"
We think of October, 1914, as, in round numbers, the ending of the Gentile times.
We say that according to the best chronological reckoning of which we are capable, it is approximately that time--whether it be October, 1914, or later. Without dogmatizing, we are looking for certain events: (1) The termination of the Gentile times--Gentile supremacy in the world--and (2) For the inauguration of Messiah’s kingdom in the world. The kingdoms of earth will come to an end, and "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom."
NOAH’S DAY SIMILAR TO THE PRESENT TIME
Our thought in connection with the inauguration of Messiah’s kingdom is that there is a similarity between the ending of "The world that then was," and the ending of this Gospel age.
Then it will take a certain time for the bringing in of God’s favor--the peace, the blessing. It will be some little time before this peace will be developed, as represented by the dove’s returning to the ark, unable to find rest for its foot. The dove was again sent forth, and this time it returned with an olive twig, indicating that the blessing of the Lord was bringing about vegetation again. Thus Noah knew that the waters were considerably abated. We do not undertake to say that the trouble will all be over in a year; but, with the kind of trouble that the Bible seems to picture to our minds, we cannot see how it could last more than a year, and yet any of mankind be left alive. There would be no flesh saved--all would be destroyed. The Lord intimates that unless these days be shortened such would be the fact.--Matthew 24:22. It is not our thought that the events associated with the inauguration of Messiah's kingdom will all be momentary, instantaneous in a literal hour, or day; rather, we are to expect that it in to be a gradually increasing trouble. It is to be a culmination of trouble--" such as never was since there was a nation." (Daniel 2:44) The Scriptures do not say that the trouble will come in an hour, or in one day, or in one year. The intimation is that the catastrophe coming upon our civilization will be a very sudden one. (Revelation 18:8, 10, 17, 21; 1 Thessalonians 5:3) But it will be very sudden if it comes within twelve months. The flood required many days to come, and many days to assuage. As a matter of fact, however, the first day of October is not the end of the Jewish year, which varies at its closing’, just as at its beginning. It is regulated by the moon, instead of the sun. The Jewish calendar can never depart from this fixed arrangement of regulation by the moon. The date 1914 is not an arbitrary date; it is merely what the chronology of the Scriptures seems to teach. We have never said positively that the Scriptures do so teach--that the Jewish favor will begin exactly at that time, or that the Gentile times will end [exactly] at that time.
LIGHT FROM THE PROPHECY
The elect will constitute the kingdom before that time. On the divine plane they will then begin the work of blessing and restitution; and this will have the effect of bringing the strife and trouble in the world to an end. Thus the difficulties will not be so prolonged. The olive branch will sprout, the dove will find a resting place, and the new dispensation will be fully inaugurated.
When we look through the prophecies relating to the times of the Gentiles, we find that there are two promises--one appertaining to the Jews and the other to the world. During this period of 2,520 yearn, known as the times of the Gentiles, the Jew was to have more or less tribulation from the Gentiles. He was not to be free--he would be more or less under subjection to the "powers that be." At the close of this period the church will be glorified. The kingdom will not be established until that time. At the end of the Gentile times Messiah will appear and set up his kingdom.
Referring to the last king of Israel, Zedekiah, we read, "Thou profane, and wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end; thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem and take off the crown; . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it to him." (Ezekiel 21:25-27) If this period of overturning be rightly understood to be 2,520 years, it would seem to end with the second coming of Christ and the setting up of his kingdom. The Gentile supremacy was to pass from nation to nation until the time of the establishment of Messiah’s kingdom. That would prove that the treading down of Jerusalem would then cease--it would not continue after the end of these Gentile times.
February 1, 1914, pp. 45-47
"The Faithful are Watchful"
[The text to which reference is made here is Luke 12:37, KJV]
This Bible students understand to signify that at the parousia of Jesus, his second presence, he will first of all make himself known to his faithful followers, while the world in general will be ignorant of the fact that he has come. His manifestation to the world will come later; as we read, "He shall be revealed in flaming fire "--judgments. When he shall appear [to the world], we [the church] shall appear with him in glory.--Colossians 3:4.
It is our Lord’s parousia that is described in today’s lesson--His earliest manifestations of his second advent.
For such as receive him he will make a feast. Out of the divine Word he will bring things new and old, for their refreshment and comfort. The Bible will become to them a new book; they will feast upon the riches of God’s grace, and the dark things will become clear, the hidden mysteries shall be revealed. The Master himself will be the servant, the revealer, the setter-forth of these viands of truth. Many Bible students believe that we are now living in this very time; and that each faithful, watchful follower of Jesus will be granted a hearing of the knock and the privilege of participating in this feast, which many tell us they are now enjoying.
OUR GOLDEN TEXT
"The heart of this lesson is found in Verse 37, which refers to all of the Lord’s servants who will be living at the time of his second coming--who in the earliest stages of his second coming, in the time of his parousia, his presence, will be faithfully watching, on the alert to serve every interest of the Lord’s cause, seeking his will, doing his will, searching the Scriptures, obeying the Scriptures, to the best of their ability." The world will see him not, and know not of his presence, and his church will know of his presence only by his "knock "--by the intimations given in the Scriptures--the fulfilment of prophecy. It will then be for the watchful ones to recognize this fulfilment, and by faith to open their hearts and minds promptly to acknowledge the Master’s presence and all that presence implies of the nearness of his kingdom and of the proving of all who will be found faithful, worthy to share in that kingdom as members of his bride.
August 15, 1914, pp. 252, 253
"The Ten Virgins"
"In the preceding chapter the Master traces various experiences of his people down to the time of his second coming--the time of the consummation of this (gospel age and of the inauguration of Messianic age, the age immediately ahead of us."
PAROUSIA AND EPIPHANIA
Many Bible students hold that this parable began to have its fulfilment in the Millerite movement, which in 1844 culminated in a disappointment. For some fourteen years prior to that time a cry had gone forth throughout the church that the time of the second coming of Christ was at hand. History tells us that many noble characters of all denominations believed the message and, in the strength of their faith, went forth to meet the Bridegroom. But they were disappointed, in that the Bridegroom tarried.
Then all of the "virgins," both wise and foolish, slumbered and slept. A general stupor, uncertainty and drowsiness came over all. Some of them dreamed of strange knockings during that time, too. Later, at midnight, the Bridegroom came apparently, and announcements were made to that effect--"Behold the Bridegroom! Go ye forth to meet him!"
An increasing number of Bible students believe that this latter cry sounded forth just thirty years after the disappointment of the followers of William Miller; namely, in 1874. They do not claim that Jesus came in the flesh then; but, on the contrary, they hold that he is never to come in the flesh--that he is flesh no longer, that he has "ascended up where he was before"--to the spirit plane--far above angels.
These Bible students call our attention to the fact that the Bible distinctly differentiates between the parousia of Christ and his epiphania, at his second coming.
With the conclusion of this work of separating the wise virgins, and after they shall have entered into the joys of their Lord by the glorious change of the first resurrection, then will come Immanuel’s Epiphania, revealing, showing forth. "When he shall appear, ye also shall appear with him in glory." "He shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance." In other words, the revelation of Christ to the world will be subsequent to his revelation of himself to the "wise virgin" class. The world will know that he has taken his great power and begun his reign of righteousness, not by seeing Jesus in the flesh, but by seeing the great time of trouble which then will break upon the world--"a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation."--Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21.The word parousia signifies presence, without in any sense of the word indicating that the presence is visible. The word epiphania signifies the revealing of one who is already present. These Bible students claim that in the end of this Gospel age Christ will be present, invisible to men, during a period of forty years, doing a work especially in his church--rewarding the faithful, as shown in the parables of the Pounds and the Talents, and receiving the "wise virgins," as in the parable of our lesson.
THE LAMPS AND THE OIL
The views of these Bible students are interesting to us. Whether all of their conclusions may be accepted or not, they are at least worthy of consideration, inasmuch as they furnish a new interpretation of some Scriptures not previously understood. Whether they have the times and seasons properly divided is another matter, upon which each individual Christian should use his own judgment. Let us follow the parable from this standpoint; for we know of no other to which the terms and conditions of the parable could be applied.