It's so simple -- Matthew 24

by cruzanheart 91 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • cruzanheart

    So here I was this evening, reading the old familiar Matthew 24 with the kids before bedtime, BUT I was reading out of our very nice Contemporary Parallel New Testament, specifically The Message version, and I had this sudden realization: Jesus didn't give us a really complicated, mysterious prophecy that had different types and antitypes -- he was simply continuing his original message (love your neighbor, love God). Remember verse 12 about the love of the many cooling off? The verse right after that talks about enduring to the end. Here's how The Message puts it: "In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in -- nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes. Staying with it -- that's what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry, and you'll be saved." Well, as I see it (and I welcome all comments), "it" is love. He's telling us not to give in to the hatred around us but keep that love of God and neighbor no matter what, and that's what's going to save us. And he says over and over again that "you have no idea when the Son of Man will arrive." As for the preaching, a comparison of the eight different versions gives the idea that people around the world will be aware of Jesus and know about his teachings, but not that every single human being (including the little girl in China picking flowers) is going to have a Watchtower slapped into their hands before "the end" arrives.

    It's a lot of fun reading the Bible without help! *Gasp!* Do . . . you . . . think . . .* I *. . . can understand it without six multi-colored books to interpret for me????


  • Double Edge
    Double Edge
    He's telling us not to give in to the hatred around us but keep that love of God and neighbor no matter what

    BINGO. I understand it as that too. Love is the most important thing. I also have always found it interesting that most people think that Genesis says that Sodom and Gohmorrah (sp) was destroyed because the the people were perverse, when other scriptures in the bible point to their total lack of love for their 'neighbors'.... yes, I believe that indeed Love is the most imporant thing we can learn here.

  • cruzanheart

    I knew it all along!! The Beatles were RIGHT!!!! "Love is all you need!"


  • rocketman

    Hey interesting understanding Cruzanheart! I'll have to reread Matt 24 with that in mind.

    Btw, I like your new avatar. Cute!

  • onacruse

    This is the kind of simple message that parts of the Bible contain, and many other "sacred" writings as well, that strikes a chord in our hearts and might very well, if for no other reason than that, be called "inspired."

    It isn't complicated.

    Craig (of the "makes things more complicated than they should be" class )

  • JCanon
    he was simply continuing his original message (love your neighbor, love God).

    Hi interesting simplification, but....some of us apply more to this text.

    For one, you cannot ignore the reference to "the many" or the "greater number", which means there must be a "lesser number". That means the love is for a specific larger group of two groups.

    What two groups?

    The two groups are the Christian anointed group, those gathered to see Christ's return who are the "holy ones" in the the temple organization (i.e. Jehovah's witnesses generally speaking)--which is the SMALLER GROUP; and "the many", or the "greater number" is a reference to the other "holy ones" who are the natural Jews.

    Thus, as a specific SIGN for the last days, the reference to the "love of the greater number cooling off" is a reference to the love of the Jews cooling off during the last days, meaning the rise of anti-Semitism. This would create the climate for, of course, the HOLOCAUST when the prophesied "great tribulation" would occur to "Judea", also a reference to the natural Jews.

    So the prophecy is a bit more complex when you apply it to the entire scenario.

    Two "chosen people" in operation in the last days: The Christian group, Jehovah's witnesses (who also produce the evil slave among it's leaders, unfortunately) and the natural Jews, who get redeemed after the prophesied two-thirds are wiped out during the "great tribulation" (the Holocaust).

    These are the TWO STAFFS mentioned in Zechariah 11:7. And the reference to two-thirds of the Jews being killed off during the "great tribulation" is at 13:8 "..two parts in it are what will be cut off and expire, and as for the third part, it will be left remaining in it."

    In the end, the Christian and Jewish facets will be brought together into one covenant via the 144,000.

    Since you are reading Matthew 24, though, check out verse 27 which says quite clearly: "IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days.....the sign of the sun of man will appear...." Therefore, the great tribulation happens BEFORE the Messiah arrives. It is not Armageddon. Plus it warns "those in Judea" were to flee to the mountains. This could be literal Judea or a reference to the concentrated resettlement of the Jews themselves. Either way, you could fleeto the mountains so it is a specific place where this desolation of Judea takes place. Thus the reference is not a general reference to Armageddon but to a great tribulation for "Judea" or the Jews and this was to happen before the Messiah arrives. Since the Holocaust fits this one-time event "that never happened before nor would happen again"...we know the Messiah would not have arrived before 1945 when the Holocaust ended.

    At any rate, what I think you were also implying was that there is no need to look for a specific fulfilment of these verses since they were generalized. Well, that's fine, but if you do look for a specific reference, as some of us do, there is still no problem in the fulfillment if you have the correct interpretation and are making sure all the details fit. Thus a casual reading of Matthew 24 is not sufficient, it takes a detailed analysis, as far as I'm concerned.


  • cruzanheart

    Uh-HUH. Listen, hon, that's really nice and grandiose and straight from the mouths of the GB themselves, but my point was that just MAYBE if we follow the TWO commandments Jesus gave: love God and love your neighbor, and if we are doing our best then that's good enough in his eyes and in the eyes of his Father. I grew up as a Witness; in fact, the first book I remember studying at book study was the "Your Will Be Done On Earth" book which is quite a brainful for a five-year-old, but I listened and I learned and I could explain the vine and the branches and 1914 as well as any member of the GB. But since I've left the organization it has given me a chance to read the Bible -- JUST the Bible -- and try to see what Jesus was saying. He had a beautiful, simple message. Whether there are hidden meanings and types and antitypes, I'm not bothering with that right now. I'm getting back to the basics, and it feels really good.

    Don't get so caught up in the mechanics and the prophecies and the chronologies that you lose sight of the point. Try to do one thing each day to help someone else. Look around and appreciate the beauty of what Jehovah and Jesus together created.

    As for your comment about a lesser group (". . . because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off."), well, Master Canon, maybe the lesser group is us right here on this forum, and just MAYBE we've got it right and the greater number (i.e., all those Witnesses out there struggling to make five meetings a week, 10 hours in service, understand what the heck the Isaiah book is trying to say) are so busy trying to keep up with an impossible schedule that they are completely missing the point of their lives.

    You are alive NOW. You are a being created in God's image. Are you making the most of today or are you merely wishing for a future?


  • plmkrzy


    I think you are right.

    For one thing, continuing to love thy neighbor can be so damn hard sometimes during episodes when everything seems to be going all wrong and when people we put our trust in, lie to us! or steal from us! ARG!

    Personally I think it would be much easier to be a complete asshole and not care, then it is to keep extending a helping hand to those in need no matter how many time we get burned by it.

  • herk


    I like your analysis. Some interpreters arrive at really far-fetched explanations of what Jesus meant: "This Greek word means this, and that syllable suggests that, etc." When Jesus returns, I really doubt he's going to hand out rewards because we were good at reading between the lines of what he said and dogmatically saying this applies to this and that applies to that. Neither will he commend those who got to every meeting and got their hours in and carefully underlined their WT lessons. Instead, near the end of the sermon that he began in Matthew 24, he drove his message home with this easy to understand lesson:

    "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me. ... Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.'" (Matthew 25:34-40)

    So, it seems to me that Jesus' main message in Matthew 24 was that - while we have time for it before he returns - we should take the initiative to show love, especially towards the less fortunate. I'm in full agreement with you that The Message supplies some renderings well worth considering. It puts the above text this way:

    "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me. ... I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me.'"

    The "least" of Christ's brothers are not the self-centered and arrogant organization known as the WT Society and its associates. I think The Message has it right, and other translations agree: "Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me."

  • DJ


    Love is what the whole book is about. Love fulfills the law. If we do wonderful things but don't have love, then we wasted our time. Jesus said to love your neighbor, even love your enemies, bless those who curse you, love and do not curse.....he taught us to love, that's it!! You are being given a precious gift to see that Cruzan, love is the fruit of the spirit. It is not easy to keep loving those who hurt us, it is very hard but we have to endure. Few find the road of love. Hey....I can't remember where it is you know where Jesus said that the road to destruction is wide and the chosen are it again, even that is only about love!! Also in James where is says faith w/o works is it again, he is speaking about giving to those in need which love, dj

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