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Separation of local judgment regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and Final Judgment

In the reading of Matthew chapter 24 we may find that the writer separates the local judgment-coming prophecies regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and the Final Judgment which is much further in the future.

Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse is significantly different from Mark’s 13 chapter. It does not differ, however, through contradiction, but by supplementation. In Mark’s chapter Jesus also warns to take care that no one deceives us (v 5). There also we hear Jesus telling how many will come claiming to be him, saying, “I am the One,” and they fooling lots of people. But we might not forget also the false teachers who claimed or shall come to say, the time had/has come or would be at this or such moment in time or calendar date.

In Matthew’s and Mark’s chapters we hear about people hearing of wars, or that war would be coming, which should not surprise us, because many wars would take place before the end of times. These things will have to happen, although it won’t mean the end yet. (Mark 13:5-8; Matthew 24:4-8)

Matthew shifts the attention away from the known time of his local (metaphorical) judgment-coming against the Temple (Matthew 24:2) in Judea (Matthew 24:16), which was to be in “this generation” where he made part of (Matthew 3).

In Matthew 24:15 we read about a time when people would see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand).

The disciples can’t help but notice that something is in the air during this week between Jesus his entry into Jerusalem and his preparation for the Pesach. By repeatedly calling himself the ‘Son of Man‘, Jesus has told people about God His kingdom, but also about his position here on earth and about his kingdom, which will be divinely instituted like the one described in Daniel 7. They are also thinking of promises about the coming Anointed One.

The time coming closer that he would not be there any more with his pupils Jesus warns them about what would happen in 70 when those who would be in Judea had to flee to the mountains. He predicts the temple’s fall — an event that will occur about 40 years later — and speaks of his second coming, which would also be as something that everyone just surprises.

Some people, and perhaps also some of the disciples, were talking about the Temple and how it was decorated [adorned] with beautiful stones and gifts offered to God, but now hear Jesus telling how all that shall be destroyed (Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:5-6). This makes them wonder when that would happen (Matthew 24:3; Mark 13:3; Luke 21:7).

Jesus said,

“As for these things you are looking at, the time [days] will come when not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown [torn] down.”

In the second part of the chapter of Matthew Jesus speaks about the coming of the ‘Son of Man‘ which shall come for many also as a surprise or unexpected event. Jesus and his disciples were well aware that only God knows everything, but somehow the disciples had hoped Jesus would know when the end of times would take place, as they believed him to be the son and sent one of God.

In this 24th chapter of Matthew we learn that about that day or hour no one knows, even not Christ Jesus, or not even the angels in heaven, but only the Father (v.36). Therefore, Matthew wants that people would be warned to prepare themselves. People have to keep watch because they do not know on what day their Lord will come. (v.42) Matthew moves from the known time to the unknown time; from the near-future to who-knows-when. We have to learn this lesson about preparedness, from the parable of the fig tree, and have to make sure to be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when we do not expect him (Matthew 24:32-41; 42-44).

For nobody knows exactly which day [whether near or far] Jesus is coming back to earth, we just have to be on the alert (v.43). But we might have hope when we come to see certain foretold signs. In Mark’s chapter he has Jesus telling about that time when the good news of the coming kingdom of God must be delivered first in every land and every language (Mark 13:10).

As Isaiah said in the days after that great suffering, that the sun will refuse to shine, and the moon will hold back its light, having the stars in heaven falling, and the powers in the heavens been shaken (Isaiah 13:10; 34:4) than we should be seeing clear. Then you will see (as Daniel predicted in Daniel 7:13)

“the Son of Man coming in the clouds,”

clothed in power and majesty. (Mark 13:26) it shall be the time that Jehovah God will send out His heavenly messengers and gather together to Himself those He has chosen from the four corners of the world, from every direction and every land (Mark 13:27).

“5  Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no-one deceives you.
6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
7 When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth-pains.
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.” (Mr 13:5-10 NIV)

“26 “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” (Mr 13:26-27 NIV)

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Preceding

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

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

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Even with a few gathering

All over the world there can be found serious Bible Students. But the big problem with them is that often they live in isolation or far away from each other.

It would be wrong to think there is no reason then to come together. Even when we are not with many at a certain place, there is good reason to meet with each other. We should always remember that we have to go out in the world to proclaim the coming Kingdom of God. We do need to witness for Jehovah and should be pleased that we can be inspired to do so by His Word.

Even if we are only with two, a gathering is valuable. when gathering we show our interest for the other as well as our love to share the loving kindness of our Lord. Together we can be carriers of a holy command, spreading the light of heaven. Gathering you give each other the opportunity to share thoughts and to grow by reading and discussing the Word of God together. That way you shall also much easier become doers of the word, like the master teacher required from his followers.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (Jas 1:22 NIV)

“24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (Jas 2:24-26 NIV)

We need to act and we need to show our love to others as well as our preparedness to form a group of believers in the hope of Christ. Let us therefore remember:

“13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” {Joel 2:32 }14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Ro 10:13-14 NIV)

“So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the market-place day by day with those who happened to be there.” (Ac 17:17 NIV)

“Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation,” (Zep 2:1 NIV)

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:25 NIV)

Even when not with many we can help each other to grow in biblical knowledge and rely on it that Jesus shall be with us.

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”” (Mt 18:20 NIV)

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Preceding

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

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Additional reading

  1. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  2. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  3. Not staying alone in your search for truth
  4. Companionship
  5. Being in isolation #2 Looking at the word “Isolation”
  6. Being in isolation #3 Gathering and Sharing
  7. Being in isolation #4 Man’s greediness, slackness, internet, friends and social contacts
  8. Being in isolation #8 Those isolating themselves and those being isolated by others

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Related

Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?

Typical preaching work of Jehovah's Witnesses ...

Typical preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses Português: Trabalho de pregação típico das Testemunhas de Jeová (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It sounds so strange “trying to get her hours in as it was the end of service year.” Jesus asked us to go out into the fields, into the world and to preach the gospel. That bringing Good News did not have to tear us down or exhausts us so much that it would become a burden. Christ came to this earth to liberate us from the chains of this world. That means also taking away our bondage with worldly organisations.

Where do JW get it from that in a certain year a regular pioneer would need to put in a total of 840 hours? In this world were every body has to work hard for a living those 70 hours a month look quite a lot. though it might depend how you look on it; Does it conclude all sorts of preaching? One can witness all day around at work, on the streets, in public transport … there are so many occasions that one can occasionally talk about God and His system.

untruthful - not expressing or given to expressing the truthWhat is the use of JW’s who would falsify their hours just too keep the elders off their backs. And would they not consider that lying or being untruthful? Not telling the truth is considered a lie and as such also a sin, according to the Bible. But when many people would do such a thing this would give a false picture to the elders and the organisation. Because then they would have the impression that what they ask is possible to do by the majority.

English: Chart of active Jehovah's Witnesses b...

Chart of active Jehovah’s Witnesses by year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Just imagine if a quarter of a congregation of say a hundred members are giving in fake hours, how much of that yearly report is pure fiction? Are they faking their hours out of malice? No, its out of fear because they don’t want the elders to start boring their eyes into them wondering what is wrong.”

It is totally wrong to think

” You cannot be a Witness and not preach pretty much,”

Preaching and witnessing have nothing to do with quantity but all with quality of talking about God, His commandments, His promises and His sent one, the salvation which is hanging above our head, not by the amount of hours we spend knocking at doors, but by the way we behave and treat others and keep to God’s commandments.

When people do have to bring in a report every month to prove their ‘field service’ it looks more like they do not trust their congregation of being devout witnesses. No where in the Scriptures is indicated that elders should monitor the ‘spiritual health’ of the flock in such a way. Never has Jesus done such a thing.

When it is out of fear that Jehovah’s Witnesses go out to witness

because they don’t want the elders to start boring their eyes into them wondering what is wrong.

than their motivation is wrong and than all what they are doing is to no avail, because God only wants us to honour Him out of love for Him and not out of love for man or fear for man. We never should fear man, but fear more God.

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Preceding articles:

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Random Observations From My Most Recent JW Convention Experience

You Are The Truth

Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

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We Chose Freedom

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I’m not looking for the usual answer  that they will probably repeat to you verbatim. “Because Jesus did”, or “we are only following Jesus’s example”.

Let me tell you a little memory of mine about a Jehovah’s Witness regular pioneer. I will call her R in my story, she was a friend of mine, in fact she was one of the first friends I made in the congregation when I was still ‘in’. She regular pioneered for years straight out of high school, she  worked part time in order to make sure she could still be in full-time service. Her one ambition (if I may say so) is that she wanted to go to Bethel. At that time the South African Bethel hardly ever took in single sisters, so she did finally get in by marrying a bethelite. Roughly seven years later she left bethel with her husband and is…

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