great tribulation or no great tribulation that is my question

by BlackSwan of Memphis 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis

    So, what's the deal? Are witnesses now expecting a tribulation to precede armageddon or are they expecting armageddon without a tribulation?

    Because in the last couple of years some of the things I am hearing and reading, lead me to believe they are phasing out the concept of a tribulation.

    The impression I have gotten over this tsunami and the brochure that was released this past summer, is keep on the watch 'cause Armageddon could happen at any time. Okay. Well, what happened to the tribulation?

  • Raphael

    They have just come round to what the bible has taught for almost 2000 years..."that day will come as a thief in the night" and "no-one knows the day or the hour"

    Their new light has just caught up with what the scriptures have always taught.

  • Elsewhere

    Maybe they think that the tribulation and armageddon will be the same thing.

  • Justin

    They periodically change and redefine their terminology from time to time without changing their basic thinking. Armageddon was supposed to be the final war between God and the forces of evil. Then they began emphasizing the "great tribulation," which was supposed to include Armageddon as its last phase but would begin with the political element turning against Babylon the Great (false religion). Previously, they had taught that these were two phases of Armageddon itself. Then, whenever Armageddon was mentioned as the last part of the "great tribulation," it was called Har-Magedon (a variation depending on which Greek manuscript you use). Now it looks like they're back to Armageddon. What is consistent is that they are always saying the "end" is at hand.

    Those who are new to the organization can't really tell when changes are of any substance, or if they are just cosmetic. This gives the impression that the organization is constantly receiving "new light" even when it is stagnating. If also makes it difficult for people who have left to sneak back it, as they will not be familiar with the must current terminology.

  • blondie

    Still valid components. the GT is still mentioned 13 times in 2003, the same amount of times in the last 5 years. The WTS has backed off identifying the scarlet-colored wild beast as the UN and has backed off saying that the League of Nations stood in a holy place back in 1918.

    Cry of peace and security

    Governments (used to say from the UN but have backed off that) attack Babylon the Great (false religion per WTS)(beginning of great tribulation)

    Governments see that WTS is still standing and attack WTS (Gog of Magog/Satan prophecy)

    Like touching God's eyeball so he directs Jesus, the angels, and the 144,000 in heaven to destory the wicked (Armageddon)

    *** w03 6/1 p. 19 Stand Still and See the Salvation of Jehovah! ***

    Gog?s attack will cause God?s enthroned King to take action and wage the war of Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14, 16) Those who have refused to acknowledge Jehovah?s sovereignty will suffer destruction.

    During the upcoming great tribulation, culminating in Armageddon, Christ will war against all evil.

    Gog of Magog is identified as Satan the Devil in his debased position since 1914. As a spirit creature, he cannot carry out his attack directly, but he will use human agencies to do his deeds. Who will these human agencies be? The Bible does not give us details, yet it does give us certain indications that can help us to identify who they will be. As world events unfold in fulfillment of Bible prophecies, we will gradually get an ever clearer picture. Jehovah?s people avoid speculation but remain spiritually alert, fully aware of political and religious developments that fit into the framework of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.


    w03 12/1 p. 29 Questions From Readers ***

    The modern-day watchman class, anointed Christians, have been warning about the doom of Christendom, antitypical Jerusalem. When the "great tribulation" strikes and devastates "Babylon the Great," the world empire of false religion, the anointed Ezekiel class will need to say nothing more about the demise of Christendom, which constitutes a major part of that empire.?Matthew 24:21; Revelation 17:1, 2, 5.

    *** w00 10/15 pp. 15-16 What God?s Kingdom Will Do ***

    Marking this transition will be the period of time that Jesus called the "great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world?s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again." (Matthew 24:21) The Bible does not say how long that time period is to be, but the calamities that are to take place during it will be worse than anything the world has ever seen. At the beginning of the great tribulation, something will happen that will be a severe shock to most people on earth: the destruction of all false religion. That will not be a shock to Jehovah?s Witnesses, for they have long anticipated this. (Revelation 17:1, 15-17; 18:1-24) The great tribulation ends at Armageddon when God?s Kingdom crushes the entire Satanic system.?Daniel 2:44; Revelation 16:14, 16.


    w99 5/1 p. 17 "Let the Reader Use Discernment" ***

    Revelation depicts "a scarlet-colored wild beast" that exists for a time, disappears, and then returns. (Revelation 17:3, 8) This beast is supported by world rulers. Details supplied in the prophecy help us to identify this symbolic beast as a peace organization that came into existence in 1919 as the League of Nations (a "disgusting thing") and that is now the United Nations. Revelation 17:16, 17 shows that God will yet put it into the hearts of certain human rulers who are prominent in this "beast" to desolate the world empire of false religion. That attack marks the outbreak of the great tribulation.


    w99 5/1 pp. 17-18 "Let the Reader Use Discernment" ***

    Since the start of the great tribulation is yet future, is the "standing in a holy place" still ahead of us? Evidently so.(NEW THOUGHT) While "the disgusting thing" made its appearance early in this century and has, thus, existed for decades, it will take a position in a unique way "in a holy place" in the near future. As first-century followers of Christ must have keenly watched to see how the "standing in a holy place" would develop, so do present-day Christians. Admittedly, we will have to wait for the actual fulfillment to know all the details. Yet, it is noteworthy that in some lands there is already a detectable and growing antipathy toward religion. Some political elements, in league with former Christians who have deviated from the true faith, are promoting hostility against religion in general and true Christians in particular. (Psalm 94:20, 21; 1 Timothy 6:20, 21) Consequently, political powers even now "battle with the Lamb," and as Revelation 17:14 indicates, this fight will intensify. While they cannot literally get their hands on the Lamb of God?Jesus Christ in his exalted, glorified state?they will further vent their opposition against God?s true worshipers, his "holy ones" in particular. (Daniel 7:25; compare Romans 8:27; Colossians 1:2; Revelation 12:17.) We have divine assurance that the Lamb and those with him will be victorious.?Revelation 19:11-21.

  • garybuss

    They actually apparently teach that Armageddon and the end of the world are two different things. See yearbook 1941. The end of the world already happened in 1914.

  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis

    Gary, I don't think I have access to that yearbook, right now, but I think I have a handle on what you mean.

    So, yes on the trib, yes they're figuring out they don't know when, yes on Armageddon. Technically, the trib comes first, but they're telling witnesses armageddon could come at any time, we don't know when, but it is supposed to come after the (or at the end of) the trib. But Armageddon could come at any time.

    Is it just me or is something screwy?

    Thank you guys for your posts

    I feel like I'm dumb or something, cos it's so simple and when I hear things like Armageddon could come tomorrow I just think did I miss something? Has there been a trib?

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    Jws mix up tribulation and persecution (not suprising).

    Tribulation is what they go through every day - like that little knowing

    { Is the wtbts right? Is jehovah going to kill me? Am I ok? What is this all about? Am I on the good side? Am I doing enough? What's going on? What does god want? What should I do? Abandon my family? Will that 'win' it for me? }

    That's why they say "Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore" (those who are never baptised or are ignorant of such things) and "to the hills, cover us" (those spiritually higher) and the mountains (like the apostles).


    Who can say there is no tribulation, aside from those ignorant of it - the wombs that never bore

  • justhuman

    Nice question!!!

  • blondie
    I feel like I'm dumb or something, cos it's so simple and when I hear things like Armageddon could come tomorrow I just think did I miss something? Has there been a trib?

    Actually, the start and end of the great tribulation is one of the WTS flipflop doctrines.

    Up until 1970, the WTS taught that the GT started in 1914 and was put on hiatus in 1918 to start up in again in the near future. 52 years later (near future?) it had not started up again.


    w70 1/15 pp. 52-53 Peace with God amid the "Great Tribulation" ***

    On account of his "chosen ones" he cuts short the days. How? Back in the year 1925 the suggestion was set out in the leading article of the Watch Tower issue of May 1, entitled "For the Elect?s Sake," that "those days" of the "great tribulation" were cut short in the middle. The explanation was given that the "great tribulation" had begun in 1914 C.E. and that it was not allowed to run its full course then but God stopped World War I in November of 1918. From then on God was allowing an interval for the activity of his anointed remnant of elect Christians before he let the final part of the "great tribulation" resume at the battle of Armageddon and come to its termination. This would allow for sheeplike persons to be saved.?Matt. 25:31-46.


    This explanation sounded good and reasonable back there in 1925, just seven years after World War I and fourteen years before the unexpected World War II, a conflict four times as bad as World War I. But even World War II did not merge into the "war of the great day of God the Almighty" at Armageddon, as some had expected it to do. (Rev. 16:14-16) Here we are, twenty-four years after World War II closed in 1945 and a portion of the anointed remnant of elect ones are still here and the war at Armageddon is still ahead, although getting very close now. Back in 1925 the Bible timetable as set out in the book "The Time Is at Hand," published in the year 1889, was still thought to be correct. Hence it was not calculated that six thousand years of man?s life on earth were yet to end during the 1970?s. Of course, the old timetable for scheduling the events of the Bible and fulfillment of prophecies affected the understanding of matters by the International Bible Students. But now chronology has been reexamined.


    If, as explained in 1925, the first part of the "great tribulation" began in 1914 and ended in 1918, then the time interval by which "those days" of the tribulation are being cut short has extended itself for fifty-one years and is not yet over. Many of the anointed remnant that witnessed the end of World War I in November of 1918 and others that have been added to the remnant since then have grown old, and some have been killed in persecution or died of old age or other causes. For example, in the year 1948, out of 376,393 that celebrated the Lord?s Supper, only 25,395 partook of the bread and wine to testify that they were of that anointed remnant. But on April 1 of the year 1969, out of 2,719,860 that celebrated, only 10,368 partook of the bread and wine. This included quite a number of the remnant who experienced the "beginning of pangs of distress" during World War I. A number of these should survive still longer to see and go through the war of Armageddon, in harmony with Jesus? words, at Matthew 24:33-35:


    "When you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away [unfulfilled]."


    Were the suggestion made in 1925 true as to cutting short the days of the "great tribulation" in the middle, "for the elect?s sake" (Matt. 24:22, AV), what then? Then the time interval between the opening part of the "great tribulation" and the closing Armageddon part thereof will prove to be around five times as long as the length of the "great tribulation" itself. However, in order to correspond with the events of the first century, from the time of Jesus? departure by ascending to heaven in 33 C.E. to Jerusalem?s destruction in 70 C.E., the antitypical "great tribulation" did not begin in 1914 C.E. Rather, what took place upon Jerusalem?s modern antitype in 1914-1918 was merely "a beginning of pangs of distress" for her and her political allies. The "great tribulation" such as will not occur again is yet ahead, for it means the destruction of the world empire of false religion (including Christendom) followed by the "war of the great day of God the Almighty" at Armageddon against the political allies of Babylonish false religion. In that "great tribulation" the present system of things must end in its religious and political phases.

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