"Are natural disasters a sign of the times?" -- Yes, says WT

by FatFreek 2005 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005
    Yes, Bible prophecies suggest that there would be disasters during “the conclusion of the system of things,” or “the last days.” (Matthew 24:3; 2 Timothy 3:1) For example, concerning our time, Jesus said: “There will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another.” (Matthew 24:7)

    That from their website this morning.

    I see how they've morphed (by interpretation) food shortages and earthquakes into virtually all bad happenings today.

    I'll bet if the "blue bonnet" (one elder's fractured pronunciation of bubonic during a public talk, using it not once but three times) plague, one of which happened nearly 700 years ago -- was going on today, it would be a sign of the times. After all, it "caused the death of 60% of the population of Europe".

    No natural devastation like that seen since.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    food shortages---yep--that would be a sign of the times. all times.

  • blondie

    FF2005, I remember the WTS saying that earthquakes would increase; actually the records show they have decreased which is another lengthy discussion on JWN and elsewhere.

    Increase in earthquakes still mentioned in 2012.


    Bible prophecies describe in detail the concluding period of the present system of things. The Bible revealed that in contrast with what might be expected in an age of progress, people would be ruining the earth. Distress caused by wars, food shortages, earthquakes, and disease epidemics would increase. (Luke 21:11; Revelation 11:18) Moral standards would collapse. In these difficult times, Jesus’ followers would preach the good news of God’s Kingdom in all nations.​—Read Matthew 24:3, 7, 8; 2 Timothy 3:1-5.


    (Despite this back off in 2002 in the Awake, a WT magazine intended for the non-jw public)

    Note, though, that the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy does not require an increase in the number or power of earthquakes. All Jesus said was that there would be great earthquakes in one place after another. Furthermore, he stated that these events would mark the “beginning of pangs of distress.” (Matthew 24:8) Distress is measured, not by the number of earthquakes or how they rate on the Richter scale, but by the effect that they have upon people.

  • eyeuse2badub

    Let's face it, everything negative, catastrophic, evil, vile or just plain bad that happens anywhere in the world at any time, Is A Sign Of The Times! According to the wt!

    Armageddon will be here soooooooooooooooooooon!

    just saying!

  • Bobcat

    Hi FF2005,

    There are definite scriptural problems with the quote from the WT:

    "Conclusion of the system of things" does not equate with "the last days." See this post (off site) that surveys each occurrence of the phrase. The phrase equates better with the start of judgment day or "the day of the Lord."

    On the phrase, "last days," this post (also off site) has links showing that NT writers viewed Jesus' 1st advent as the beginning of the last days. 2Ti 3:1-5 is a good example. When you look at the ensuing context (2Ti 3:6-9) it is clear that Paul included his time within "the last days."

    Heb 1:2 shows that Jesus' 1st advent was viewed as the beginning of the "last days." - In all translations except the NWT. They don't want the last days to begin then. It would mess with their 1914 & 1919 doctrines.

    Also compare Paul's reasoning in Acts 17:30-31. In Paul's view, Jesus' resurrection changes how God is dealing with mankind. Prior to that He lets mankind go about as they wish. But since then He is trying to coax "all mankind, everywhere" to repent.This view argues that Paul saw the time since Jesus' 1st advent as a final age before judgment day. And this view compares well with Heb 9:26-28.

    Prior to 1914 God was calling on 'all mankind' to repent. And it continued to be that way after 1914. 1914 changed nothing - nothing, that is, from God's standpoint. The WT's position on "the last days" is arguably anti-christian, anti NT.

  • Finkelstein

    Sorry Watchtower but there has been food shortages and earthquakes with more intensity in the past than in recent times particularly from 1914.

    Actually the earth was more active in earthquakes (tectonic movement) in the past causing the great mountain ranges we see today such as the Himalayas (Mount Everest) the Rocky mountain range etc.

    ....but then again you have to be intellectually honest and educated to know that.

  • Bobcat

    On the subject of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, Jesus' words to his disciples was to 'watch out that nobody mis-leads them. (Mt 24:4-8) The sign they were to look for (in connection with the destruction of the temple) was in Mt 24:15.

    Natural disasters, wars, famines and diseases would have been naturally viewed back then as indicators of the displeasure of God or the gods. And would naturally lead people to think that some sort of divine judgment was soon to come. Jesus is warning his disciples not to be influenced like that.

    The bright minds at the WT are 'straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel.' You can see that with all the explaining they have to do to get their view to work.

  • Vanderhoven7

    As I see it

    These were the rather abnormal signs that preceded the destruction Jerusalem at the end of the Temple era signaling the beginning of the gospel age.

    There were no signs given for the second advent; it would come as a thief in the night, during normal times as people were working normal jobs and doing normal things like marrying ect.

  • dozy

    The "signs of the times" are so vague as to be pretty meaningless and for the last 2000 years , people have applied them to their own times - Russell , for example , applied them to the times before 1914.

    I was trying to reason this out with a ( still in but totally disillusioned ) JW recently. If they really did apply to our time , why not make them more specific? How about foretelling global warming - rising sea levels and melting glaciers for example?

    Also the irony of course is that some of the foretold events have actually got better. Food shortages , for example. And wars. https://ourworldindata.org/war-and-peace

  • Vidiot

    More natural disasters? "Sign of the times". Less natural disasters? "Sign of the times".

    Isn't it obvious?

    Everything is a "sign of the times"...

    ...or in the case of the WTS...

    ..."Everything is proof we're right! Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"

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