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Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Today we start with a chapter where Jesus, after he has been discoursing all day in the courts of the temple, went out from the temple, going on his way to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples coming to him to show him the buildings of the temple. (Matthew 21:23; 24:3)

The apostle Mark let us know that the disciples particularly pointed out the stones of the temple, as well as the buildings.

“In that temple,”

says Josephus, the Jewish historian,

“were several stones which were forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and sixth in breadth”;

that is, more than seventy feet long, ten wide, and eight high. These stones, of such enormous size, were principally used in building the high wall on the east side, from the base to the top of the mountain. They were also, it is said, beautifully painted with variegated colours.

The Temple was renowned for its beauty and was considered to be one of the wonders of the world. It is written in the Talmud,

‘Whoever has not seen Herod’s Temple has never yet seen a beautiful building.’ (SB I,944).

We find the disciples on the Mount of Olives where they question the Nazarene in particular about his own future coming, the time of the desolation of God’s temple and its destruction and the sign of its advent and the end of the world (verses 1-3). They do not understand Jesus his predictions and cannot believe that the temple should be destroyed in their time. – The one by Herod I in 20 BCE. The new construction of the temple that was started was only really completed seven years before it was destroyed.

We are coming closer to the imprisonment of Christ. The writing here can well be talking about the last private school before their final gathering at the upper room. Jesus comes to talk once more about a future time, namely of the last things, and extends to the end of the world, modelled on the impending end of the Jewish Republic. But this private school is still somewhat linked to the previous lesson. – Jesus went out, as he said, and away from the temple,
in which he made the previous speech, of which the last words were that their house should be left deserted to them. Thus, these words refer back to chapter 23:38, where is mentioned that the House shall be left abandoned.

We shall find a discourse that foretells in the outset the destruction of Jerusalem (e. g., v. 15-21, v. 34); and in the conclusion certainly foretells the final coming of the son of man, with the gathering of all nations, the general judgment of mankind and the resulting permanent state of the good and the bad, (Matthew 25:31-46) in a way substantially equivalent to the predictive descriptions afterwards given by the apostles.

The question of the disciples in verse 3 was obviously misguided, because it attracts the response from Jesus

“Take heed that no man deceive you”.

which echoes the words of God to Zedekiah (Jeremiah 37:9) where he was anticipating a deliverance from the Chaldeans. – When the Romans were surrounding Jerusalem there would have been Jews who encouraged the people, falsely, saying that the Romans would not over throw the city.

Did the disciples think that the coming of Jesus, and the end of the world was to be very soon? Jesus goes to great lengths to let them in gently on the fact that the “time of the gentiles” was to come in the intervening period. (v. 6, 8, 14).

Today still many may wonder what an unfolding end with beginnings of birth pains and those rumors of wars may imply. They should remember it shall only be when the Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

In this last of the five major sermons, Jesus focuses on prophetic and apocalyptic themes of judgment and the end times. The disciples have been listening to the prophetic judgment Jesus has issued on the religious leaders. They have images of collapsing temple buildings, of prophets pursued from town to town, of floggings, and of blood-soaked garments. They can imagine themselves blood-soaked. They wonder when this all will happen, and what it means.

Their master teacher Jeshua answers them to be careful that no one leads them astray, which we should take at heart also! We too must be be aware of it for many will come in Jesus name, doing as if they are the Messiah or the one who can bring people to salvation. Jesus warns for all those people, preachers and so called prophets who, by their talking and frigtening people will lead many astray. (Matthew 24:4-5,11)

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but should not directly be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. In Scriptures many signs of times to come are notated. In the Book of books is written that nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are only the beginning of birth pains, it is to say the start of a generation which shall come to see more. (Matthew 24:4-8)

In Scriptures is told that God provides time for man to listen to His Words, and as such, first all over the world, shall the Good News being preached, before the worst battle commences. And we should know that those who preach the Good News and worship the Only One True God, Who is One (and not two or three), shall be mocked and laughed at, and even worse being hand over to persecution and being killed. They that pronounce the Name of the Only One True God  and the true name of the Messiah, Christ (Jeshua the Messiah) will be hated by all the nations because of Jesus and his Father’s name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9-14)

We shall have to face it that many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one other. All that leading astray might happen because of people prefering to listen to false prophets and human dogma‘s instead of listening to the the Word of God and the believe in the Biblical dogma‘s. It shall all happen also because lawlessness will multiply and the love of many will grow cold, by their selfishness.
Though we might have hope, because those who endures to the end will be saved. They that take time to listen to this Good News of the kingdom which shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, shall recognise the signs when there will be great trouble such as has not happened since the beginning of the world, the end will come. We must hear and listen to the words of Jesus Christ, know and believe that for the sake of the chosen, those days will be cut short.(Matthew 24:10-14, 21-22)

Even when false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen, we should be alert and keep tot he writings of Scripture and the call of God and His master teacher, because that last one told us beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25)

We should know that it shall be with the coming of the Son of Man, being as lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, that we should come to see the signs clearly. Because immediately after the trouble of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
That is when the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. (Matthew 24:26-28, 29-30)
At that time all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out his angels with a great shofar, and those heavenly messengers will gather his beloved faithful elect from the four corners of creation, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)

This 24th chapter concludes with a parable of a fig tree. We too should learn from that parable from the fig tree. (Matthew 24:32-33)
Jesus tells them that story because he wants to warn that generation which will not pass away until all these things happen. Though it will pass away, Jeshua’s words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:34-35) But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, except the Father alone, because only Jehovah God is the Only God above all gods Who knows everything. (Matthew 24:36)

Afterwards Jesus also reminds his disciples of those days before the flood, when people enjoyed all the best things of life and were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. We may not forget that at that time they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away, but then it was too late. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39) Then many shal be at work as well, but also find some one taken and the other one left. (Matthew 24:40-41) Therefore we all have to stay alert; for like Jesus and his disciples did not know the time of the end, we do not know what day our Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:42) But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:43-44)

The chapter ends by talking about the “Faithful Servant“, a subject that can also confuse or despair many, or use some to present their leaders as that only reliable servant.
Jesus questions

“ “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Mt 24:45 NIV)

and then continues with telling that the faithful and wise servant, has to be some one who takes good care of that household to give them the necessary things at the proper time (Matthew 24:45-46)

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Preceding

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Signs of the last days when difficult times will come

Matthew 23:37-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jerusalem, Jerusalem – Your House Is Abandoned!

Next:

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Photo from the blog of Aaron Richert, pastor of The Church at North Pole in North Pole, Alaska. From the article: Is Matthew 24 about the Rapture?

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Additional reading

  1. Looking into the Future
  2. Prophecies over coming days
  3. Signs of the Last Days
  4. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  5. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  6. Signs of the times – “An object of scorn and ridicule”
  7. The Rapture Wars
  8. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  9. Memorizing wonderfully 35 When the son returns it shall be As it came to pass in the days of Noah
  10. Be not afraid of those trials which God may see fit to send upon thee
  11. From pain to purpose

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The ice in the photo above reminded Tekoa Manning of judgment that often is described using hail. Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara, has an Arabic name meaning ‘valley of stones and also, a valley of streams.’ – Photo from Obadiah’s Cave article Comfortably Numb

Related

  1. Give Your Precious Time To God
  2. The Events of 70 AD do not Fulfill End Times Prophecies Jesus prophesied that the Great Tribulation will be the most severe time in world history. It will surpass all other times of crisis. Some seek to minimize this prophecy by reducing it to symbolism or by seeing it as being totally fulfilled in 70 AD.
    The Great Tribulation will be so severe that God shortens it to three and a half years to keep the entire human race from being physically killed (Matthew 24:21-22). One million people died in 70 AD and in World War II, 50 million died.
  3. This is Not the Way It’s Supposed To Be
  4. Abundant Fruit (Matthew 24: 6, 11)
  5. Famine
  6. Storm Clouds
  7. Stars Falling From the Sky: Figurative Language
  8. Day 159: There will be wars
  9. A Rising Called For!
  10. Fear Not!
  11. Be alert
  12. Comfortably Numb
  13. Trouble Such as Never Was before
  14. “This Generation” Shall Not Pass Away “Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”
  15. What Did Jesus Mean When He Said “This Generation Won’t Pass Away”?
  16. The darker it gets
  17. The Olivet Discourse: For Israelis Only?
  18. The Olivet Discourse: 02 – The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
  19. The Last Days Acceleration of Time
  20. Study Guide for Matthew 24: (Matthew 24:1-2) Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple. (Mat 24:3) Jesus’ prediction brings up two questions. (Matthew 24:4-8) Jesus describes general world conditions during the period between His Ascension and the time immediately preceding His second coming. (Matthew 24:9-14) Jesus describes what His disciples must expect during the time between His Ascension and Second Coming. (Matthew 24:15) The sign: the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel.
    1. Yet when we understand the importance and what is said about this event – the abomination of desolation – we must give priority to this event, even more than the easiest interpretation of Matthew 24:34.

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  1. Explaining Matthew 24
  2. Matthew 24:1 // Reboot – The end of times
  3. Matthew 24:3 And Olivet’s Structure
  4. AND when you SEE these THINGS BEGIN
  5. Apocalypse Talks: Temporary Temples – Matthew 24:1-8
  6. Apocalypse Talks: The Fall Is Approaching – Matthew 24:9-14
  7. Apocalypse Talks: Mitigating Disaster – Matthew 24:15-22
  8. Apocalypse Talks: The Bigger Picture
  9. Apocalypse Talks: The Mean Time
  10. Armageddon, Part 3: Are there ‘signs’ that the end is coming?
  11. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part I
  12. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part III
  13. 11.24.19 Matthew 24 Part V
  14. Matthew 24:12,13
  15. Matthew 24:14
  16. Matthew 24:23,24
  17. Matthew 24:36-44 Sunday School Lessons and Activities
  18. Matthew 24 and the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-33
  19. Three things that must happen before Jesus returns – Matthew 23:37-39; Matthew 24:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3
  20. End Times Q&A
  21. Christ’s Coming Again to Judge
  22. Timing of Christ’s second coming
  23. Don’t Be Deceived (about the Coming of Christ)
  24. The Parable of the Fig Tree
  25. Mark 11 – Fig Tree
  26. Being a good servant – talk-notes for 27th Oct 2019
  27. Called or Chosen?
  28. Paul Explains the Second Coming
  29. Hope in the Second-Coming
  30. Faith That Is Fruitful For God

Matthew 22:34-40 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Which Is the Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:34-40 – Which Is the Greatest Commandment?

|| Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28

MT22:34 Having heard that Jesus had hushed the Sadducees they gathered together as a body. MT22:35 One of them educated in the Law tested Jesus, MT22:36 “Teacher, which kind of commandment is the greatest in the Law?” MT22:37 Now Jesus responded, “‘You shall love YHWH[1] your God with your complete heart, your total person, and your whole mind.’[2] [Deuteronomy 6:5] MT22:38 This is the greatest and premier commandment. MT22:39 A second [commandment] is similar, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[3] [Leviticus 19:18] MT22:40 The entire Law, and the Prophets, hang on these two[4] commandments.”

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[1] You shall love YHWH: The quote is from Deuteronomy 6:5. In the Hebrew Text (as well as the earlier versions of the Jewish Greek Septuagint) the Tetragram YHWH occurred. Whether Jesus actually uttered the Divine Name is a subject of debate. It is likely that he did not but followed the Jewish custom of substituting ADONAI or “Lord.”

[2] Your complete heart, your total person, and your whole mind: Or, KJV: all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. Mark 12:30 adds, “… and with your whole strength.”

[3] You shall love your neighbor as yourself: The quote is from Leviticus 19:18.

[4] Hang on these two: Or, RHM: all the law is contained; WEY: summed up in these two. Paul virtually quotes the Nazarene at Romans 13:10 and Galatians 5:14.

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

Matthew 22:29-33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Resurrection Proof from Moses

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Additional reading

  1. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  2. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  3. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  4. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  5. Taught by God to love one another
  6. Avoiding friction and distraction in the body of Christ
  7. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  8. Examples of Living Faith
  9. Today’s thought “Clothing yourselves with the right attitude” (May 16)
  10. Commanded to love

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Related articles

  1. True Love And Devotion To God
  2. Thou Shalt Love the Lord Thy God
  3. Most Important Commandment
  4. Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Matthew 22:39 – May 4, 2019
  5. Matthew 22:35-40
  6. 2 Serious Questions for Church Leaders
  7. 5 Things the US Church Needs to Realize
  8. Some Thoughts on the Book “What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?” (Post #13): Chapter 12- “Jesus’ Priority”
  9. March 5: “Christians, and the Laws of Love”
  10. The Great Commandment and Healing Prayer – An Unlikely Connection?
  11. Putting Jesus’ Commands in Context – Law or Love?
  12. God Helps Us Love
  13. Love Is Of One Piece
  14. When Emotions Become an Idol
  15. It’s time we lived Christ’s Gospel of Love with more conviction and more volume
  16. Four Things Are Found In The Life Of A Disciple
  17. Faith is a Gift
  18. Love Poems and Rejected Stones
  19. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” ~Apostle John
  20. Christian Characteristics
  21. Hospitality {Five Minute Friday}
  22. The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew and Other Mysteries
  23. Loving Yourself: A High Holidays Primer for Non-Jews
  24. Love Yourself, Too.
  25. To Love Ourselves
  26. Love thy neighbor
  27. Not Me
  28. Lead With Love
  29. The “chosen” people – Marilyn Armstrong
  30. Salvation to the Jews

Matthew 22:29-33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Resurrection Proof from Moses

Matthew 22:29-33 – Resurrection Proof from Moses

|| Mark 12:24-27; Luke 20:34-40

MT22:29 Now Jesus answered them: “Not knowing the Scriptures[1] or the dynamism[2] of The God, you are mistaken. MT22:30 For in the resurrection men do not marry[3] nor are women given in marriage[4] but they are like the angels in heaven.[5] MT22:31But concerning the subject of the resurrection of the dead did you never read what The God said to you: MT22:32 ‘I am The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob’?[6] [Exodus 3:16] He is not The God of the dead but of those alive.”[7] MT22:33 Upon hearing this the crowds were astounded at his teaching.

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[1] Not knowing the Scriptures: A powerful thing to say to Jewish scholars. It is proof what the others had said earlier in verse 16.

[2] Dynamism: The Greek is DYNAMIN as is generally translated “power.”

[3] Men do not marry: “Men” are inferred by the phrase and context.

[4] Women given in marriage: “Women” are inferred by the phrase and context.

[5] They are like the angels in heaven: That is celibate spirits. Compare Galatians 3:28.

[6] I am The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob: The quote is from Exodus 3:6 (Compare Exodus 6:3). There are far better verses Jesus could quote to prove the resurrection in the Scriptures. However, the Sadducees only accepted the first five books of Moses. So this is an adept rabbinical move on the part of the Nazarene to find the resurrection in such a vague phrase.

[7] But of those alive: Or, Luke 20:38 adds, “… for they are all living to him.” The dead are unconscious in sleep and reside within the memory of God (Job 14:12-14). From this standpoint dead Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sleep within the Mind of God.

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

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Additional reading

  1. Death

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Related articles

  1. Matthew 22 Verse by Verse
  2. Restoration, Resurrection, and Reconciliation
  3. Resurrection of the Dead, Part I
  4. Resurrection of the Dead, Part II
  5. Resurrection of the Dead, Part III
  6. The Investigative Judgment
  7. Katelyn’s Question #5
  8. Where is king David? [935d]
  9. Resurrection and Afterlife in the Old Testament
  10. The Hope of the Resurrection

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

Matthew 22:23-28 – Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

|| Mark 12:18-23; Luke 20:27-33

MT22:23 On that same day the Sadducees[1] approached Jesus. Not believing in the resurrection,[2] they asked Jesus, MT22:24 “Teacher, Moses said[3] that if a man should die without children his brother should take in marriage his woman and raise up his brother’s seed.[4] [Deuteronomy 25:5] MT22:25 Now we had seven brothers and the first one died without children and so his woman[5] was released to his brother. MT22:26 This happened also with the second, the third, and finally all seven brothers. MT22:27 In the end the woman died. MT22:28 Therefore, in the resurrection to which of the seven will the woman belong? For all seven had her.”

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[1] Sadducees: See the notes on Matthew 3:7.

[2] Resurrection: The Greek is ANASTASEI means again + stand. A synonym for it is raised up. Research the word resurrection. For a thorough considering see Where are the Dead?

[3] Moses said: The Sadducees only accepted the five books of Moses as inspired of God. They allude to Deuteronomy 25:5. Compare also Ruth 1:11; 3:13. This is called “brother-in-law marriage” and though it may seem quaint to a modern western world the need to preserve the family, tribe, and nation were obsessive to the Israelites. Jesus himself is the product of such a relationship (see the book of Ruth).

[4] Seed: The Greek is SPERMA.

[5] His woman: Or, “wife.” See notes elsewhere under wife.

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Abuse been kept silent by Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation

The Watchtower’s child abuse protocols read like a mashup of Scripture and corporate policy.
From a 1989 Watchtower letter to all U.S. elders describing the importance of secrecy:

“Often the peace, unity, and spiritual well-being of the congregation are at stake.
Improper use of the tongue by an elder can result in serious legal problems for the individual
the congregation, and even the Society.”

Every year in the United States, 60,000 children (aged 11 and younger) are sexually abused.
Every year, 321,500 (aged 12 and older) are sexually assaulted or raped.
80% of all those sexually abused under the age of 18 are abused by a parent or stepparent. (RAINN, 2019).

Normally believing people following Jesus should try to have an immaculate life, taking care of and protecting those around them.

From Jehovah’s Witnesses one would expect that they would show respect for men, women and children and would take care that those who do something atrocious against the Law of God would be punished and would be put out of the community. Often we hear about people have been disfellowshipped for matters which could be talked about and which are not so terrible as for the matters we came to hear about the last few weeks.

At the end of March a documentary was shown on the Flemish state television about reports of sexual abuse by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the edition of “Pano” on VRT Eén the documentary brought to light that the organisation had been covering up sexual abuse of minors via an internal ‘disciplinary’ system for years. That way, none of the claims were reported to the police. One of the witnesses, who has been an elder in the organisation, was very straightforward in the documentary, in calling it

“a paradise for paedophiles”.

The (protected and therefore made anonymous) elder made it clear the organisation had in March 1997 already sent a letter to each of its 10,883 U.S. congregations, and to many more congregations worldwide indicating for the dangers if some news about paedophile acts would come into the public. The organization was concerned about the legal risk posed by possible child molesters within its ranks. The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator:

Write a detailed report answering 12 questions — Was this a onetime occurrence, or did the accused have a history of child molestation? How is the accused viewed within the community? Does anyone else know about the abuse? — and mail it to Watchtower’s headquarters in a special blue envelope. Keep a copy of the report in your congregation’s confidential file, the instructions continued, and do not share it with anyone.

The man in charge for Belgium, Louis De Wit was not really willing to give a reasonable reply for what was going on behind the doors of this religious organisation.  He gave the impression he did not know about such “blue envelope”.

One would think Jehovah’s Witnesses disapprove of sexual abuse, and would do everything to react properly against such unwanted actions. When there were sent “blue envelopes” like many from different countries tell, are sent to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, they must have a large database of undocumented child molesters:

at least two decades’ worth of names and addresses —likely numbering in the tens of thousands — and detailed acts of alleged abuse, most of which have never been shared with law enforcement, all scanned and searchable in a Microsoft SharePoint file.

we known from more than one source.

In recent decades, much of the world’s attention to allegations of abuse has focused on the Catholic Church and other religious groups. Less notice has been paid to the abuse among the Jehovah’s Witnesses, though this Christian group with more than 8.5 million members was much spoken off at several fora and blogs of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, stating such and other problems in that organisation.

In the United States already millions of dollars have been paid over the years to keep it secret.

Because the church, and its community, is for many of those victims their life, it is even more difficult to cope with, because they also feel that they can give a negative impression over their religious group. Often they live in a certain way isolated of the outside world. They go to school but friendship with non-JW is not exactly recommended or encouraged. In several countries and several JW families kids aren’t allowed to play sports in school or participate in holiday observances in school.

When the abused persons tell others about what happened they are asked to keep it quiet or are treated as the trespasser and soon after talks with elders they become considered as a “reproofed” member of the congregation, being effectively shunned,  not permitted to speak unless spoken to. Often they even become forbidden from participating in church activities and as such having been made invisible in the eyes of the church.

Having had little contact with the outside world, staying with their own, save for going door-to-door to convince others that their religion was the one and true path to salvation in these, the final days of human history, they feel like betrayed and shut down by their own “family”. For the devout, disfellowshipping feels literally like a death sentence, because according to what they have learned one has to be a JW or to “belong to the Truth” to be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

Jehovah’s Witnesses call their version of excommunication disfellowshipping, a punishment by shunning to rid the faithful of bad associations with those who break the laws of God. Though this time not the abuser is disfellowshipped but the victim which makes she or he as expelled person cannot have any further contact with Witnesses, even polite acknowledgement on the street, until they take back the accusations or allegations and have proved ‘their repentance and willingness to return obediently’ to the organization.

Midway through the last century, the Watchtower took the power to judge and punish Witnesses away from the entire membership of congregations and gave it to the elders in each kingdom hall. The Watchtower also began to emphasize the importance of keeping the organization “spiritually clean.” By the early 1990s, roughly 40,000 Witnesses were disfellowshipped each year, according to Watchtower literature.

For decades, Jehovah’s Witnesses literature has described the importance of cutting off unrepentant sinners, even when they are family members. A 1988 Watchtower article traces the roots of the organization’s shunning policies to Deuteronomy, which says Israelite parents must bring rebellious children before the elders to be judged and executed

“to clear away what is bad from the midst of Israel.”

Israelite parents even participated in the execution of their own children to show their loyalty to God before family, the article states, because such demonstrations of devotion can be necessary to save one’s own life.

From the way the organisation reactions we can have the impression those youngsters who say they are misused are rebellious children who themselves created such situations where the adult fell in their trap.
What is also so ‘funny” is that those people by others are called “man of God” and should receive full respect and as such nothing bad can or could be said about them.

The same as what seems to happen in many other countries (like the Netherlands) the organisation does not have any policies to prevent sexual abuse or report it to the police and even worse want to keep it silent, sometimes even giving the victims the idea that they are the cause or warning them that they may not let outsiders know about this.

Victims that quit the organisation are not only ignored completely but become disfellowshipped and considered outcast nobody of the JW (lower) members may have contact. Only elders are supposedly to have contact with them, but do not seem to do anything to help them really.

According to CIAOSN, an independent centre set up by Belgium’s Department of Justice to study sectarian organisations, there are similar findings in 12 other countries. The report concludes that the issues in all other countries are the same. Due to the strict hierarchy of the organisation, it’s very difficult to come forward, reports CIAOSN. Another issue that returns frequently in CIAOSN’s report is that victims have to give their statements about the abuse in the presence of their abusers. If the accused denies involvement, they’ll only further the investigation after two other witness statements. In all these 13 countries, there is not one woman involved in the internal disciplinary system.

Reclaimed Voices Belgium finds that it is noteworthy how many people that talk about the severe psychological damage that the exclusion by the community brings with it. They say

“In conversations we’ve had with victims so far, it seems that the trauma caused by the exclusion that follows when a victim speaks up about the abuse has an even bigger impact than the abuse itself.”

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Find also to read:

Papers documenting instances of child abuse by the JW

Over the past couple of years, Mark O’Donnell has been leaking stolen letters and other papers documenting instances of child abuse. (Lexey Swall)

  1. A Secret Database of Child Abuse; A former Jehovah’s Witness is using stolen documents to expose allegations that the religion has kept hidden for decades.
  2. Belgian Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse scandal
  3. Sexual or indecent assault in the Belgian Criminal Code
  4. Let’s talk about it
  5. Amendment to hide child sex abuse claims
  6. Jehovah’s Witnesses use 1st Amendment to hide child sex abuse claims
  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses cover up child sex abuse and oust a victim
  8. ‘Punished’ for being sexually abused in York County: Jehovah’s Witnesses’ culture of cover-up
  9. Jehovah’s Witness leader says child sex abuse claims are ‘lies’
  10. She spoke about Jehovah’s Witness abuse, and her home was vandalized
  11. Surviving
  12. A Moment of Silence
  13. Child abuse
  14. Dear Dairy
  15. No Comment: Fordham’s Continued History of Silence on Sex Abuse Claims
  16. George Pell: A Devil in the Disguise of a Saint – One of the worst immoral things/crimes I can think of is child abuse, physical or sexual.
  17. What Do the Church’s Victims Deserve?

Matthew 19 Concerning the saved ones and those able to enter the Kingdom

The Scriptures makes it clear what choice man has to make to receive a non-ending life after this life on earth which can be full of temptations, problems, difficulties and suffering.

In the 19th chapter of Matthew we can see that after some time going with the master teacher the disciples still did not know him. Jesus looked at the small children who wanted to come to him and saw how their soul (their inner being) was still pure and without personal interest. Jesus not only blessed the babes, but rebuked the disciples, who had misrepresented him; and says

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

For us that should be a message to become or to be like “such as these”. In our life we should get a state of purity and innocence. It is very possible that those children could have done some faults, but often having been not aware of it. It is only when one knows what is good and what is bad and when knows the rule s and regulations that one can go against such rules or laws.

The Kingdom of heaven will not be literally composed of little children, but those who want to enter the Kingdom should be like little children, innocent and pure of mind, simple-hearted, true, teachable, obedient, honest and trustful of their heavenly Father.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Lu 18:17 NIV)

says Jesus. At other places in the New Testament we also do find

“And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3 NIV)

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” (Mt 19:14 NIV)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Mr 10:15 NIV)

Instead of the children being regarded as intruders, they were most welcome to the master teacher; and, instead of being interlopers, they had full right of access, for of children and of childlike persons God His kingdom was composed and Jesus is the way to that Kingdom. Jesus spoke with certainty, using his own expressive “verily,” and he spoke with the weight of his own personal authority,

“I say unto you.”

These prefatory expressions are intended to secure our reverent attention to the fact that so far from the admission of children into the kingdom being unusual or strange none can find entrance there except they receive the gospel as a little child receives it. It is this statement of the Master which affords us a subject for this morning, which may the divine Spirit open up to us and impress upon our hearts.

As adults we have gone through a parcour of life and have made several choices to continue on our path of life. Not always did we take the right path. When we look back at the past we shall be able to notice we made many mistakes and more than once we took the wrong decision.

Making the child the model for those who seek entrance into the kingdom of God, we should remember that we too should try to get a childes attitude of innocence. Childlessness is an ‘Essential Element’ in the Christian Life.

“The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.” (Ps 116:6 NIV)

“But I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (Ps 131:2 NIV)

“Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” (1Co 14:20 NIV)

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” (1Pe 2:2 NIV)

The phrase, kingdom of heaven (lit. of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the earth. It is also for that kingdom Jesus prayed and taught us also to pray for.

“your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10 NIV)

The phrase is derived from Daniel, where it is defined as the kingdom which the God of heaven will set up after the destruction by “the stone cut out without hands,” of the Gentile world-system.

“34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing-floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. 36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.” (Da 2:34-36 NIV)

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

“23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. {Or for a year, two years and half a year }26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’” (Da 7:23-27 NIV)

Already in the Garden of Eden God spoke about some one who would come to save the world but also who would reign. God also spoke about a kingdom covenanted to David’s seed which was described in the prophets.

“7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people shall not oppress them any more, as they did at the beginning” (2Sa 7:7-10 NIV)

Under an heir of king David would an other kingdom being established which would be greater and stronger. That heir would be born of a virgin, therefore truly man, but also “Immanuel,” the one coming from (or sent by) God. That person was
confirmed to be Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary, through the angel Gabriel.

“32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.”” (Lu 1:32-33 NIV)

It is that never ending kingdom where at first that man shall be the king, we have to look for. A kingdom heavenly in origin, principle, and authority.

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

When hoping to be a partaker of that kingdom one has to obey the commandments so that life can come to this one who is willing to love God and to be His child. Many think they do not have to do any works any more, because they are saved. But Jesus warns them and us, that they may not be mistaken and that it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for man to enter the small gate to the Kingdom.

He clearly indicates we have to keep to the commandments of god, even when that would not always so easy.

“17 …. Jesus replied.

“There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” the man enquired. Jesus replied,

“23  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” (Mt 19:23-24 NIV)

Jesus gives also those commandments we have to fulfil or keep to.

18 … “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honour your father and mother,’ {Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20 }
and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’” {Lev. 19:18 } (Mt 19:17-19 NIV)

Jesus also gives a hope for those who are willing to follow him.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother {Some manuscripts mother or wife } or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19:29 NIV)

But first we have to seek God His kingdom, and His righteousness before all these good things the bible talks about, shall be added unto us. (Matthew 6:33) First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, this should be our greatest care and not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom).

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Ro 14:17 NIV)

When we want to enter the kingdom of God we should prepare ourselves and work at our character, making sure that we do our best to keep to God’s commandements.

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved

Matthew 19:27-29 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: We Have Left Everything for You!

Matthew 19:30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: First Last – Last First

 

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Find also to read

  1. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  2. The Mountain: Radical Obedience
  3. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  4. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  5. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  6. Ability (part 5) Thought about the abilities to be under God’s Spirit

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:16-24 – Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

|| Mark 10:17-25; Luke 18:18-25

MT19:16 And, look! a [young] person[1] approached Jesus, asking, “Teacher, what good shall I do[2] so that I might have everlasting life?”[3] MT19:17 Jesus told him, “Why do you ask me about some ‘good’?[4] [Only] One is ‘good’.[5] But if you wish to enter Life,[6] observe the commandments.”[7] MT19:18 This person answered, “Which [commandments]?” Jesus responded: “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false testimony,’ MT19:19 ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Exodus 20:13-16] MT19:20 The young man told Jesus, “I have guarded myself regarding all of these.[8] What more am I lacking?”[9] MT19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish perfection[10] leave and sell your belongings[11] and give to the poor[12] – then you will have treasure in heaven – and [then] come be my follower.”[13] MT19:22 But having heard this statement the young man departed very depressed,[14] for he had many possessions.[15] MT19:23 Now Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you this truth: Rich people will only enter the Realm of Heaven with great difficulty.[16] MT19:24 In addition I tell you this: It is easier for a camel to enter through a needle’s eye[17] than for rich people to enter the Realm of Heaven.”

*

[1] A [young] person: Revealed in verse 20.

[2] Teacher, what good shall I do: Mark 10:17 adds, “… a certain man ran up and fell upon his knees before him and put the question to him: ‘Good Teacher, what must I do…’” He addresses Jesus as “Good Teacher.” Luke 18:18 adds, “… a certain (religious) ruler.” Therefore, a young rabbi. The Received Text (KJV) has, “Good Teacher.”

[3] Everlasting life: The Greek is ZOEN AIONION. Or, KJV: eternal life; RHM: life age-abiding; TCNT: immortal life; BECK: everlasting life. See word studies else where by researching AION or everlasting life.

[4] Why do you ask me about some ‘good’: This response has resulted in much commentary. If Jesus were “God” one wonders why he would resist a title with the word “good” in it. The Lesson of Eden is that only Yehowah can determine what is ‘good’ and this is not the responsibility of Messiah. Research the word good or AGATHOS (from which the name Agatha comes). Note that the Nazarene’s response is to point to the Ten Commandments and the Law. He does not originate his own philosophy.

[5] [Only] One is ‘good’: Or, KJV: none is good but one, that is, God; ASV: One there is who is good; KNX: God is good, and he only; WMS: there is only one who is perfectly good; ABUV: One is the Good. The subject is absolute or ultimate Good. No one would argue that Jesus was no a “good man.” Note John 7:12. Compare also how others are described as “good.” (2 Samuel 18:27; Proverbs 14:14) Jesus recognizes there are good people (Matthew 12:35; Luke 6:45; Romans 5:7). Surely Jesus refers to his Father, Yehowah.

[6] To enter Life: It may be argued that “Life” here is something like John 5:24 and 1 John 3:14. Thus “Life” means the new Life within the Realm of Heaven – the Church. Others will limit it to that future Life though both may be include.

[7] Observe the commandments: It is possible Jesus speaks to a young Jewish rabbi. Note the commandments Jesus lists. It will startle some what he has omitted in a list of his own choosing: the Name and the Sabbath. Jesus goes on to quote Exodus 20:13-16 then skipping back to Exodus 20:12. He also quotes what he calls late the Second Greatest Commandment: Leviticus 19:18.

[8] I have guarded myself regarding all of these: The KJV version adds: “… from my youth up.” Or, ASV: all these things have I observed; WEY: carefully obeyed.

[9] What more am I lacking: Or, NEB: where do I still fall short; BER: how do I still fall behind; WEY: what more is required. One wonders if there is some self-righteous hypocrisy here. However, Paul himself claims such rigorous righteousness or obedience to the law (Philippians 3:6).

[10] If you wish perfection: Or, KNX: if thou hast a mind to be perfect; NEB: if you wish to go the whole way; NASB: to be complete. To the Nazarene spiritual perfection will involve charity. See notes on Matthew 5:48. – Perfect: This is the Greek word TELEIOI from TELOS (= “end”) and may be rendered “complete, mature, fulfilled.”

[11] Leave and sell your belongings: Or, RHM: withdraw! sell thy substance; go and sell your possessions. Note how in Luke 12:32, 33 Jesus tells his “little flock” the same thing. Note their response in Acts 2:44, 45; Acts 4:34-37.

[12] Give to the poor: The man could divest himself of his possessions in any manner of ways: giving it to his family, hiding investments. Jesus gives no hint that he expects the man to contribute to him though never was there a poorer man on earth (2 Corinthians 8:9). The young rabbi must say goodbye to all his belongings – strip himself from material attachment and desire.

[13] And [then] come be my follower: Note he must do this before becoming a follower or disciple of Jesus. It is possible “follower” means a member of the Nazarene’s private entourage of apostles.

[14] The young man departed very depressed: Or, KJV: he went away sorrowful; NASB: he went away grieved; KNX: sad of heart; RIEU: in gloom; WMS: in deep distress; PME: crestfallen. We watch our Lord’s eyes as he follows the young man as he leaves and we note a slight expression of pity. We would like to know the future of this young rabbi. Did he follow later, become an angry opposer screaming for crucifixion, or merely indifferent. We wonder at his death what thoughts he must have had.

[15] Many possessions: Or, NASB: owned much property; NEB: a man of great wealth; BECK: very rich.

[16] Rich people will only enter the Realm of Heaven with great difficulty: Perhaps of all the teachings of the Nazarene this is the one most disliked by western capitalist society. While the world struggles to be rich Jesus warns of the great difficulty in such conflicting lifestyles and ideals. Compare the notes on Matthew 5:42 and Matthew 6:25. Or, KJV: a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven; ASV: it is hard for a rich man; MON: a rich man will find it difficult. Though the celestial realm of God is the final goal, Jesus makes it clear that it will be very hard for a rich person to become a Christian and gain membership in the Realm of Profession. Note Paul’s counsel to the rich at 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Throughout the Gospel Age there have been wealthy Christians who gave all to help others, while others used their riches to forward the Gospel message. Research the words rich and riches. In Bible terms “rich” means having a surplus (Mark 12:44; 2 Corinthians 8:14).

[17] Camel to enter through a needle’s eye: The Lamsa translation of the Aramaic has this ‘a rope through the needle’s eye.’ Some understand it is the difficulty a camel has in crawling through a very narrow gate to enter a city. It must get on its knees and move forward with difficulty. The Nazarene does not say it is impossible nor does he rule it out altogether. He just says it will be difficult for a rich person to give attention to discipleship while torn over riches. The conflict between love and greed is the struggle between self and others.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

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