End Times Prophets are BOGUS! - Matt.24, Mark 13, Luke.21

by LittleToe 23 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • LittleToe

    I've had a thing against hearing about "End Times Prophecies" for some time now, no doubt as a reaction against what I had been raised with by the WTS.

    Recently, however, I had cause to re-read Luke 21 in "The Message".
    It suddenly struck me how we would always use Matthew 24 to support 1914, but only dipped into Mark 13 and Luke 21 occasionally. You may remember the "Tote" Watchtower in 1995 (?) which was used to dismantle the "generation" teaching we'd all previously believed, but there was no parallel study from Luke. Could it be because the other gospels more clearly identify that the "signs" were supposed to relate to the fall of Jerusalem, and not some far future time?

    The following is how "The Message" renders Luke 21:7-36:

    7They asked him, "Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it's about to take place?"
    8He said, "Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, "I'm the One,' or, "The end is near.' Don't fall for any of that. 9When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end."
    10He went on, "Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. 11Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You'll think at times that the very sky is falling.
    12"But before any of this happens, they'll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. 13You'll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. 14Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. 15I'll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.
    16"You'll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. 17There's no telling who will hate you because of me. 18Even so, every detail of your body and soul--even the hairs of your head!-is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. 19Staying with it--that's what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry; you'll be saved.

    Vengeance Day
    20"When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you'll know that she is about to be devastated. 21If you're living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you're in the city, get out quickly. If you're out in the fields, don't go home to get your coat. 22This is Vengeance Day--everything written about it will come to a head. 23Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! 24People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do.
    25"It will seem like all hell has broken loose--sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, 26in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.
    27"And then--then!-they'll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style--a glorious welcome! 28When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!"
    29He told them a story. "Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. 30When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. 31The same here--when you see these things happen, you know God's kingdom is about here. 32Don't brush this off: I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too--these things will happen. 33Sky and earth will wear out; my words won't wear out.
    34"But be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, 35for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. 36So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man."

    As for the rest of it, that's another story...

  • sleepy

    Doesn't one of the "end time"scriptures say something like "if anyone tells you the end is now , don't listen to him"?

  • LittleToe

    Aye, it's that passage.

    Here's it rendered in the NWT:

    Luk 21:7-26 Then they questioned him, saying: "Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are destined to occur?" He said: "Look out that YOU are not misled; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The due time has approached.' Do not go after them. Furthermore, when YOU hear of wars and disorders, do not be terrified. For these things must occur first, but the end does not [occur] immediately." Then he went on to say to them: "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. "But before all these things people will lay their hands upon YOU and persecute YOU, delivering YOU up to the synagogues and prisons, YOU being haled before kings and governors for the sake of my name. It will turn out to YOU for a witness. Therefore settle it in YOUR hearts not to rehearse beforehand how to make YOUR defense, for I will give YOU a mouth and wisdom, which all YOUR opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute. Moreover, YOU will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of YOU to death; and YOU will be objects of hatred by all people because of my name. And yet not a hair of YOUR heads will by any means perish. By endurance on YOUR part YOU will acquire YOUR souls. "Furthermore, when YOU see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. Then let those in JuĀ·de'a begin fleeing to the mountains, and let those in the midst of her withdraw, and let those in the country places not enter into her; because these are days for meting out justice, that all the things written may be fulfilled. Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. "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.

    And especially verse eight in the KJV:

    And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
  • Shakita

    Hey LT,

    I like how The Message words that passage:

    7They asked him, "Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it's about to take place?"
    8He said, "Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, "I'm the One,' or, "The end is near.' Don't fall for any of that. 9When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end."

    Throughout the centuries various self proclaimed prophets have pointed to their time as being unique. They claimed that the signs of the times proved that the return of Christ was near. Invariably, their time would come and go, without the realized return of Christ. In the meantime, these false prophets would draw too much attention to themselves. They would also claim that they had some special knowledge and that one could only be saved by listening to their version of the truth.

    Carl Olof Jonsson made a similar point in his book: "The Signs of The Last Days, When?" His point was that Jesus was warning his followers not to be misled by the wars, earthquakes, famines, diseases, etc. as if these events would point to his imminent return. All these events are "routine" as The Message makes clear. It makes sense to understand the scripture that way since Jesus said that no one would know the day or hour of his return. If we could figure out Jesus's arrival time due to so called signs, then we would know the day and hour of his return.

    Since the average person is unaware of the correct understanding of those verses, they can be manipulated to believe that Jesus was indicating these events as signs of his return. The Jehovah's Witnesses have twisted these verses in such a way as to cause their adherents to fear that the end is near based on these supposed signs. So, it is very hard to convince the average JW of the true meaning of these verses because they are in a great deal of fear since they fear the end is so close. Jesus's message is clear: "Don't fall for any of that." Did you catch that any of you JW lurkers out there?

    Mr. Shakita

  • jst2laws

    It is amazing how when one is raised with belief in a concept it takes so much effort to disprove it to ourselves as if we adopted the concept on the basis of proof.

    Check out the Preterist. After reading a little one may wonder "when did I become convinced there was as extended or "major" fulfillment of prophecy in the first place".


  • Shakita

    Hey Steve,

    The pretereist point of view makes a lot of sense. Although, I believe that the scriptures dealing with Christ's return will have a future fulfillment. I do now believe that most of what is contained at Matthew 24, Mark 13 and luke 21 had solely a first century application.

    When you think about it logically: Who was Jesus speaking to? He was speaking to his first century followers. He wasn't speaking to people that wouldn't be born for 1,900 or 2,000 years. If what he told his followers were to be fulfilled in one generation, then how could what Jesus said be applied to a time period that would occur 1,900 to 2,000 years later. It makes sense to understand that Jesus was telling his followers about events that would be fulfilled during the first century. Jesus said that THIS GENERATION would not pass away until all these things took place. The THIS GENERATION Jesus was referring to was the Jews of the first century. When one applies this understanding to Jesus's words then alot of confusion is taken away.

    If Jesus uttered those words in 33 AD and the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, then certainly it could be said that the things that Jesus foretold were fulfilled on the Jews of the first century. There would not be another generation that would see the signs that Jesus had foretold for the Jews. How could a modern day Christian apply Jesus's warning to flee from Jerusalem when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies? If those words at Matthew 24 had a future fulfillment, how does that make any sense? Christians are located around the world, so how could they obey Jesus's command to flee from Jerusalem, when the vast majority live in places around the world? When one realizes that these words of Jesus were to be fulfilled only in the first century, then many things are cleared up.

    All the signs of the end that Jesus expounded on was in reference to the end of the Jewish system. The wars, earthquakes, famines, diseases, lawlessness, preaching of the good news, etc., all were fulfilled in the first century. If the average JW knew this then they wouldn't be suckered in by false prophets that claim that the signs that Jesus foretold have a dual application and that the end is near.

    Mr. Shakita

  • Narkissos

    The problem with the "preteristic" interpretation is that it fits all the "prophecy" except its conclusion (which, according to the text, is not a "spiritual kingdom" within or alongside the continuation of history but the end of history with the coming of the Son of Man and universal judgment -- this of course didn't happen in the 1st century).

    From a critical standpoint, most "prophecies" are preteristic in another sense, i.e. they were actually written after the events (and in effect are not predictions at all). To the Bible critic, aside from a few cases where the prophet had a lucky guess at foretelling some events in the close future, the characteristic of "true prophecy" (in the sense of "prediction") is actually the opposite of the test of the "true prophet" in Deuteronomy: the genuine Bible "prophecy" is the one which was never fulfilled. For instance, Daniel 11 is a fake prophecy down to verse 39. Until that point in time it is just a relation of historical past events in the form of future prediction. From v. 40 on we know it is "true prophecy" because it departs from history. In the eschatological discourses of the synoptic Gospels the "true prophecy" actually begins in Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25: what was to occur immediately after (Matthew) the destruction of Jerusalem (past event) was "true prophecy" indeed... because it did not come true. We know that the Lukan parallel was written somewhat later because it already implies that this would not occur "immediately" after (cf. v. 24, the "times of the nations", an many other elements in the Gospel, e.g. 20:9, "A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time.")

  • Princess

    Wow Ross, this thread is moving along...

    Steve and I were just discussing Matt 24 the other night. Shocking isn't it? The eruption of Mt St Helens along with all the earthquakes and hurricanes brought it up. I figure the dubs are peeing their pants with excitement.

    I basically ended it with "who gives a ****?" Now that's not so shocking.

  • Carmel

    Personally my take on the "end times" is the end of the Christian era, replaced as it should be by a more appropriate revelation. The end of the world and "new heavens and earth" are not literal and INHO refer to the influence of a particular religion that has lost its elan and ability to advance civilization.


  • jst2laws


    The Preterists were a stepping stone for me in stepping away from my escatological expectations. I think it may help others do the same, unless you come along and slam the folks with the reality that the gospels were not written until after 70 CE, after the fact.

    was "true prophecy" indeed... because it did not come true


    • Do you feel Mark was not an exception, as some say his account was written before 70 CE.
    • Why do you differentiate the test of Prophet from the test of Prophecy. (more explanation)
    • Do you view any New Testament prophesy as being fulfilled?


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