WT May 2022: The Seven Headed Beast

by raymond frantz 50 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidqun

    Jeffro, you say first century fulfillment. I don't see it, not even at a stretch.

    As indicated, Jesus’ words according to Luke (21:11 CJB) will become relevant: there will be great earthquakes [Gr. σεισμοί τε μεγάλοι, lit. mega-quakes] there will be epidemics and famines [Gr. λιμοὶ καὶ λοιμοι, lit. hunger, famine and plague, pestilence] in various places, and there will be fearful sights and great signs from Heaven [Gr. ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ σημεῖα μεγάλα, lit. from heaven spectacular signs or portents].” The latter is a transitional phrase. It finalizes the first phase of Jesus’ composite sign, in order to pave the way for the second, i.e., the breaking of the sixth seal. Even in Pre-Tribulation times there will be “terrifying sights and great signs from heaven,” for all to see (Luke 21:11 CSBO; cf. Joel 2:30 [3:3]; Acts 2:19). The second phase is the prelude to the Tribulation:

    25 Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and [its] agitation,26 while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 28 But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift YOUR heads up, because YOUR deliverance is getting near (Luke 21:25, 26, 28; cf. Rev. 6:12-17).

  • Jeffro

    You seem to imagine that expectation is supposed to guarantee fulfilment. People wrote stuff that they thought would happen after other stuff happened. The superstitious claims about what would supposedly follow the destruction of Jerusalem simply didn’t happen (though Revelation, written later, does also allude to some events during the reigns of individuals such as Domitian that aren’t included in the ‘gospels’). The NT claims about tribulation contai a mixture of mundane statements, hyperbole and fantasy, none of which means that any of it is legitimately ‘prophetic’.

    (Also, comparison of Luke 21:25 with Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 shows that even in the story, the ‘signs in heaven’ follow the tribulation.)

  • Vanderhoven7
  • Vidqun

    Jeffro, this is how I see it. Note there will be celestial phenomena twice, at the beginning and at the end of the Tribulation. Jesus' Olivet discourse, especially Matthew and Luke, serves as a confirmation of the Revelation chronology (Matt. 24 & 25; Mark 13; Luke 21).

    A. Pre-tribulation period. Jesus said: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs (Luke 21:10, 11; cf. Matt. 24:6, 7; Rev. 6:1-8). This is a fitting summary of the first phase of Jesus’ composite sign.

    B. Prelude to the tribulation. Above prepares the way for the breaking of the sixth seal. Jesus continues: “Also, there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and [its] agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25, 26; cf. Rev. 6:12-17). This introduces the second phase of his prophetic sign.

    C. Great tribulation. As seen, successive cosmic disasters and deadly plagues lie in wait. This is to be the tribulation proper. Jesus warned: “Keep praying that YOUR flight may not occur in wintertime, nor on the sabbath day; for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the worlds beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short” (Matt. 24:15, 20-22; Mark 13:14, 19, 20; cf. Dan. 12:1; Rev. 8, 9, 11, 15, 16). This describes conditions during the tribulation, the third phase of Jesus’ warning sign.

    D. Post-tribulation period. After the Tribulation, during Jesus’ Second Coming, celestial phenomena will again be the order of the day. This is the beginning of the LORD’s Day (Mark 13:24, 25, 28-32; Luke 21:27-33 NIV; cf. Is. 13:9-13; Joel 2:1, 2a; 3:14-16; Rev. 16:14, 16; 17:12-14). This is the fourth phase of his prophecy.

    E. Judgment. Jesus will be filling the dual role of judge and executioner during the period of his Second Coming (Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 17:31; cf. Rev. 11:18; 14:14-20; 19:11-21). This is the fifth and final phase of Jesus’ composite sign.

  • truth_b_known

    Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. - Matt. 16:28

    Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. - Matt. 24:34

    Allegedly the above words we spoken by Jesus to his disciples in the year 33 CE. The expiration date on the prophecy has expired. Further proof that John's Book of Revelations was written for the 1st century and everything referred to the atrocities being carried out by the Roman Empire.

  • Vidqun

    Truth_b_known, those around him did see him in kingdom glory. It's called the transfiguration. Its importance is suggested by the fact that it appears at length in each of the Synoptics:

    Matthew 16:27–17:13; Mark 9:1–13; Luke 9:27–36. The entire picture can be seen only as all three accounts are diligently compared. In all, thirty-eight verses of the Sacred Text are assigned to the description of this event; added to these are the three verses of 2 Peter 1:16–18, in which portion the divine interpretation is revealed.
    Lenski is correct that “all these things” (Matt. 24:33) refers to the preceding context beginning in Matthew 24:3.1) More specifically, it points to the Great Tribulation, and the appearance of the two prophets, as a specific sign of the end of the present system. Therefore the “generation” referred to in Matthew 24:34 is the generation who will see the Great Tribulation, and not the generation living during Jesus’ first advent. 2)

    So in Matt.24:34 one must establish to whom is he referring, to those of his generation or to those that will witness the great tribulation (Matt. 24:20-22, 32). Jesus is here using the fig tree as a natural illustration and not as a typical one. In other words, just as a budding fig tree is a sign that summer is near, so the Great Tribulation itself is a sign of the end of the age.

    1) R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Minneapolis, 1943), p. 951.

    2) J. F. Walvoord (1972). “Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the Time of the End.” Bibliotheca Sacra, 129, pp. 20–23.

    Peacefulpete, I believe John of Patmos was the writer. I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the book.

  • peacefulpete

    Study of an ancient text involves the most basic questions, who wrote it, why and when. What were the circumstances what influenced the author's style. Comparative literature studies often illuminate cryptic or esoteric language.

    Begin with who wrote it and immediately you will find surprises. Soon after it was written it was attributed to different authors and denied to have been written by the anonymous author of the gospel John. Then pursue the when and whys. Only then are you making any legitimate effort to interpret it.

  • peacefulpete

    Who was John of Patmos?

    I also do not doubt the "authenticity". It is, at least in some form, an ancient example of Jewish apocalyptic literature not a modern counterfeit.

  • Jeffro
    this is how I see it.

    Frankly, the way you see it is convoluted nonsense that isn’t even consistent with what is actually written. For example, there is no basis for asserting that the ‘signs in heaven’ are a ‘prelude’ to the ‘tribulation’. Your interpretation is not unique, but is one of various interpretations that have sought to make early Christian predictions ‘relevant’ after their original 1st-century expectations failed.

    those around him did see him in kingdom glory. It's called the transfiguration.

    There’s no evidence that it happened at all, but it’s also incorrect because Jesus ‘coming in kingdom glory’ is explicitly supposed to happen after the ‘tribulation’.

  • Vidqun

    Peacefulpete, John is the last of the apostles, held prisoner by the Romans on the Isle of Patmos. John says so himself (Rev. 1:9). There's no reason why I should question him or his existence. We've got his books (John, 1-3 John and Revelation) and witness borne to that effect by the Church Fathers. That the images of Revelation could be known to the author only, or only to be explained by the apocalyptic literature corpus, is another fallacy. The book of Revelation is unique. Every page shows how immersed its speech and imagery are in the OT. Every page shows also how free the author is from the letter of the OT and from any attested apocalyptic tradition. That is why its theological and prophetic contribution is of immense value to understanding the Bible message.

    Jeffro, I don't understand you. You believe all of it is "convoluted nonsense." Why do you participate in these conversations at all? It seems to me you are so intent at disproving the theological argument that it has become an obsession. You can be an atheist, agnostic, believer or antichrist. Which one are you? If I knew that I might be able to supply you with a proper answer. Two options here, either the prophecy failed or we are looking at a future fulfillment. If you read the reference in Peter, that would have explained to you the significance of the transfiguration. It's not that complicated. The possibility exists that the "Moses" and "Elijah" the disciples saw foreshadow Revelation's two witnesses (Rev. 11:3-6). So, it's a future occurrence. Jesus, after he has become king, will guide these as to their work:

    16 No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we acquainted YOU with the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it was by having become eyewitnesses of his magnificence.

    17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when words such as these were borne to him by the magnificent glory, This is my son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.

    18 Yes, these words we heard borne from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain. (2 Pet. 1:16-18 NW) [Cursive script added.]

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