I am With You All the Days Until the Conclusion – Then What?

//I am With You All the Days Until the Conclusion – Then What?

Sunday, July 24

That good news that you heard . . . was preached in all creation under heaven.Col. 1:23.

The common, or Koine, Greek language helped to promote good communication and unity among the early Christian congregations. Greek was widely spoken and understood. Thus, God’s servants could communicate with all kinds of people, and this contributed to the spread of the good news. Moreover, Jews living in Egypt had translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. People were familiar with this Septuagint version, and the early followers of Christ quoted freely from it. How could Christians use the Scriptures in their ministry? Scrolls were cumbersome, for they had to be rolled and unrolled, and usually there was writing on only one side of the parchment. The Gospel of Matthew alone would fill an entire scroll. But then came the codex—the earliest form of a book. It was a collection of pages bound together. A reader could open a codex and easily locate a passage of Scripture.

COMMENTARY

There is no question that the timing of the first coming of the Messiah was made to coincide with certain developments in the ancient world, such as the dominance of Greek and Latin and the invention of the book itself. As a result of having a common language and the ability to have a more portable form of the Holy Scriptures, the preaching and disciple-making work Christ assigned his followers was carried out with great success. 

However, over time as Christianity became more popular it was corrupted and eventually it was taken over by the state and fused with the pagan religion of Rome —Mithras. Then the Dark Ages engulfed Europe and ignorance and superstition prevailed under the tyranny of the Catholic Church.

Probably the single most important invention during the renaissance was the printing press, around 1440. Appropriately, the first book to be printed using the new technology was the Holy Bible. Less than 50 years after the invention of the printing press Christopher Columbus discovered the so-called new world.

Guttenberg printing pressOver the course of the ensuing centuries the peoples of Europe began to colonize less developed parts of the world, many of the colonists taking their English King James and Douay Bibles with them. As in the first century with Greek and Latin, as a result of colonization English and Spanish, and to a lesser extent Portuguese and French, became the common languages, with English gradually becoming the universal tongue.

One feature of the original Authorized King James Version of the Bible that would have a far-reaching impact on English readers was the use of the name JEHOVAH in four places. (The most recent versions of the KJV have completely expunged the name of God and replaced it with Lord.)

Bible colporteur

Bible colporteur

Although the printing press made mass-production possible, the Bible was still not widely available to the poor due to its cost. So it was, during the early 1800’s dozens of Bible societies sprang up in America, England and Europe that were devoted to distributing the Bible far and wide. By 1900 there were about 1,000 “pedlars,” also known as colporteurs, who traveled through Europe distributing Bibles to the poor. Eventually over 100 Bible societies came under the umbrella of the British Bible Society, or more commonly called The Bible Society

By the dawn of the 20th century the Bible was at last widely available and was being read and studied by millions of people. Thus, the stage was set for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to come on the scene and sponsor the greatest preaching and teaching campaign ever undertaken.

In the spirit of the other inventors who developed the book and the printing press, Jehovah’s Witnesses spearheaded the use of computers to translate Bible literature. MEPS, an acronym for Multilanguage Electronic Phototypesetting System, was originally developed in the 1980s by the Watchtower.

And more recently, JW.org has pioneered the use of hand-held devices as a preaching tool in the field. Now ministers can have in the palm of their hand access to the Bible and Bible reference material in literally hundreds of languages. To illustrate the power of such a small device, in my area there are many Amish farms. When the witnesses try to engage them the Amish are known to resist saying that they only read the Bible in German. With a download from JW.org now a brother’s reply to the potential conversation stopper might be: (Swipe, tap…tap) ‘No, problem, here’s that verse in German.’

2016685_univ_lsr_lgNow, as regards prophecy and where we stand in relation to the ultimate accomplishment of Jehovah’s great overarching purpose to create a new heavens and a new earth, Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that the success of the Watchtower-sponsored worldwide work is due to the Kingdom having come to power in 1914. But consider this, the first century Christians also accomplished a remarkable work without any of the technologies that are available today. As the day’s verse states, the inspired apostle said the good news had been preached in all creation under heaven.

Question: If Christ directed and impelled his followers to preach the message in all creation back then, why ought we assume that the accomplishment of a similar work now can only come about if Christ’s Kingdom is ruling the world?

Besides, the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples before his ascension were: “And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

Obviously, the original Christians accomplished their work because Jesus was with them. Quite likely divine providence led Johannes Gutenberg to invent his movable type contraption, which changed the world. No doubt Jesus impelled John Wycliff and William Tyndall to defy the authority of the Church and translate the Bible into English, which also had a far-reaching impact. And Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was with C.T. Russell and the International Bible Students over the four decades leading up to 1914. So, an important question to consider is: If Jesus is with his followers up until the conclusion what changes when once the conclusion begins?

The reason that question ought to be pondered is because not much changed as regards the Watchtower and the Bible Students from the pre-1914 period to the post-1914 era. True, the world changed considerably as a result of the Great War. But there is no discernible difference in the relationship of Christ to his followers since 1914. After the tumult that followed Russell’s death and the release from incarceration of his successor, Rutherford, the Watchtower and the Bible Students simply carried on the work as before. The reason that is an important distinction is because it indicates that the conclusion of the system did not begin in 1914, or any time since then.

Contrary to the prevailing delusion that presently grips Jehovah’s Witnesses, the conclusion, or the “end of the age,” as some translations word it, brings an end to the work of preaching and disciple-making work that Christ initiated. That is why it is called the conclusion, or the end of an age. It is the end of the gospel era.

As evidence of the deluding influence the Watchtower wields over Jehovah’s Witnesses consider their inability to comprehend the message contained in the prophecy of Joel, which unquestionably concerns the very matter of the end of the preaching of the Christian message.

What are we to conclude then, that when the end of the age begins Christ will no longer be with his followers? Yes and no. The truth is, during the conclusion, or the time of the end, Christ temporarily abandons his flock and allows his sheep to be scattered. Then the final gathering takes place. And instead of Christ being with them, as he has been all down through the ages —they will finally be with him.

The most obvious reunion will take place via the first resurrection. That is when all of the first century Christians and apostles down to those chosen ones who have died most recently, are resurrected.

But the holy ones who are living then will experience the parousia. That is when Christ comes alongside them to minister to them, as he promised his little flock, saying: “Be dressed and ready and have your lamps burning, and you should be like men waiting for their master to return from the marriage, so when he comes and knocks, they may at once open to him. Happy are those slaves whom the master on coming finds watching! Truly I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them.”

Jesus’ coming alongside his slaves and ministering to them, making them recline at the table, invokes the scene of the original evening meal, when Christ girded himself and assumed the role of a slave and washed the feet of the apostles as they reclined at the table. In other words, the coming of the master to minister to his slaves is the consumption of the new covenant, which Jesus initiated when he passed the bread and wine symbolizing his flesh and blood to his 11 disciples.

To be sure, Christ’s ministry to the remaining slaves is what occurs during the parousia, which literally means to “come alongside.” The presence or manifestation of Jesus then will be extraordinary, resulting in the total enlightenment and transformation of the chosen ones, so they shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of Jehovah. Then they will be made to stand before governors and kings in order to give them a witness. And then the end will come.

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2017-05-24T21:05:33+00:00 July 24th, 2016|Commentary|30 Comments
  • Council of Nicaea

  • After the great tribulation , Jehovah spreads his “tent” over the great crowd of survivors thus indicating that they are indeed worthy guests in his tent. Everyone of them belongs there, and that is why they are guided to “fountains of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.” ―Rev. 7:15-17

    • Volcanic

      Just thinking out loud here, JS, I wonder when we will know the tent is spread over us. I mean, for example, what if I am hiding in the volcanic park all alone with my two princesses & we wake up one morning to silence (as in, no bombs or yukky stuff) Will we KNOW that the tribulation has ended or will we leap down the mountainside only to be trapped by whatever army is waiting for us?

      Or will I still be insisting we hide, a bit like the survivor of a war I read about, when approx ten yrs after it ended, he finally realised that there was peace.

      (Or will Robert take pity on me from the heavens & throw down a stone with a message wrapped round it to say, ‘it’s okay, Annie, you can stop cowering now’)
      One thing I really am looking forward to is a new tooth! I lost mine not long ago & am holding out going out to the dentist for another – I mean, why pay for it when Jehovah will give me a whole new set soon?

      Do you see how my mind works now? I s’pose I should have been an author, I could have made a fortune from writing crazy fiction!! Poor me….hah!

      • Joe Dman

        My dentist told me I needed an implant, I’m waiting too. And I’m afraid if I go in about my shoulder and they give me a knew one, how’s that going to work? I don’t want to take any chances. I’ll just duct tape it to keep it in the socket.

        • Volcanic

          hahahaaa, I imagine many of us will be walking around with metal bits hanging from us for a while in the new world, Joe! I am the same with my spine, I’m supposed to go for a metal cage fitting but I’m holding out so far, good tip about the duct tape though, might give it a shot, hah!

    • Daisy

      That’s one wide ocean full of tears Joseph…

  • JW’s & LJC

    JW’s have here a wrong translation: http://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/28-20.htm

    • ewatchman

      There is more than one way to say something. “Conclusion of the system of things” is not a wrong translation. It expresses the very same thought as does the expression “time of the end,” or “ending of the age,” or “final part of the days,” or “culmination of the age,” or “last days.” The Greek word syntelia signifies a period of time – not an absolute end – that leads up to the absolute end. The “conclusion of the system” is an acceptable rendering, as are the others. The one expression that is not accurate is “end of the world,” as the KJV states

  • 1914for100Alex

    Hi Robert. I want to make sure I understand how we (those of us here) are to react to the Tribulation as it unfolds. Obviously the chaos that starts pre-Tribulation will throw the Witnesses for a loop. It will upset their belief system to the point that they’ll have to question what they’ve been taught. That alone will make it pretty much impossible to continue, because what is there to preach if everything you’ve been preaching about The End is a lie? Add in the persecution that is to take place and it isn’t hard to imagine it coming to a screeching halt.

    Once the Tribulation starts (or maybe even pre-Tribulation as it seems to fit) I assume that’s where Micah comes in? Are those of us with this special knowledge supposed to guard it and just let things unfold, or are we to share it with those that seem willing to learn? I can’t imagine keeping it to myself (I’d feel guilty) but it seems apparent that sharing it will carry great risk.

    Micah 7: 2 The loyal one has perished from the earth; Among men there is no one upright. All of them lie in ambush for bloodshed. Each hunts his own brother with a dragnet. 3 Their hands are expert at doing what is bad; The prince is making demands, The judge asks for a reward, The prominent one makes known his desires, And they work it out together. 4 Their best one is like thorns, Their most upright one is worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen and of your reckoning will come. Now they will panic. 5 Do not put faith in your companion Or trust a close friend.
    Guard what you say to the one who lies in your embrace. 6 For a son despises his father, A daughter rises up against her mother, And a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his household.

    • Burt Reynolds

      When it is asked of us, we must make reply. The example. Christ before Pilot. We clearly cannot deny our faith if we expect to gain life. The example of the otherwise course, is judas, who only after the event, realised the gravity of what he did. I don’t think we can find comfort in the detail. What is coming is beyond what ever we have seen or will see again. We will see things beyond our comprehension, beautiful happenings, fearsome happenings. Who knows what we will do at that time?. I think it folly to treasure what we are too much, but value instead, what we may become or inherit. The anointed know that they will die. As for us, if we expect the same, we will not be thinking more of ourselves than is necessary. The more we cling to life, the harder our test will be. One might hope that the stronger our faith that we have, perhaps the less our test need be?! Just a thought. We have to move forward in faith that if it is written, we will survive either alive, or through death we will live again. My opinion…The devil is in the detail! We cannot gain assurance through what we do not know.

      • 1914for100Alex

        The replying part if asked I know. It makes you wonder if they’ll be taking a census of sorts trying to figure out who’s who. It’s the what if you aren’t asked, but the people around you are trying to make sense of it all that I’m curious about. You’re right though. Live or die, our faith is what matters. If we don’t trust in Jehovah when it matters most, and take the path of Judas we’re in big trouble. I guess I’ll just wing it and see what happens LOL.

        • Burt Reynolds

          I meant asked about our faith. I think the bit about being bullied by judges and kings, well it’s an opportunity to give a witness, but in so many areas, we may apply the dove and serpent reply. I don’t know really. What I would not agree with is the sort of approach the wAtchtower uses of ‘spiritual war’ which seems to be a euphemism for lying.

          • 1914for100Alex

            I think we’re on the same page. If it’s in some sort of official capacity, ie courtroom, we have to be honest about what we believe. Outside of that, cautious as serpents and innocent as doves, which is in Matthew 10, which I think kind of answers my question. I just read it and got a sense of what will be will be. Some of us will get handed over, some will likely get looked over. Probably no sense in worrying about it.

            • Volcanic

              the way I read the last paragraph, it tells us that it is the chosen ones who will have to appear before the governors & kings, I may be wrong

            • 1914for100Alex

              I think you’re right that they’ll be a part of it. They’ll likely make up the majority, given their role. I was just curious as to how far they might go in prosecuting people (other than them). Will they only be targeting people that admits to certain beliefs, or identify specifically as JW’s, or make it obvious that they’re teaching people about what’s going on? That kind of thing. Ultimately it’s going to be Christianity in general that gets targeted, but before that, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

            • Volcanic

              yes, Alex, I think Christianity will suffer first. I saw something last night, I think on FB, where Hillary Clinton said that Christianity must be wiped out first & people must learn to ‘worship’ the new order religion. Whether JWs come under her banner of Christianity remains to be seen, but from what I see of USA politics you are in for an extremely harsh ride if she is elected in. No doubt that is part of the ultimate sacred secret to be allowed, but I don’t envy you at all, she makes General Franco look like a pussycat!

            • 1914for100Alex

              I did a quick Google search and found a couple things regarding Hillary’s views on Christianity. First is an article where she’s asked about her faith. Give that a read and then watch the video where she says people need to change their religious views when it comes to abortion. Sorry Hillary. You can’t have it both ways.

              http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/25/hillary-clinton-gets-personal-on-christ-and-her-faith/

              Video: https://youtu.be/7f8of3NAX-c

              Not that I think Trump would be any better. A lot of his supporters are rabid nationalists. That can be very dangerous too, especially if war were to break out. Nothing good will come of this election.

      • Ed(the other Ed)

        Burt,
        I love you man! Your wisdom is shining beyond the expanse of the stars themselves.
        You must be an older dog….correct?? But keep your magnify glass for back up, you could call this your plan B just incase you run out of matches. You probably carry flint in your pocket too like a real man!

        • Burt Reynolds

          Steady on old chum, steady on! No, I don’t carry a flint. Usually a piece of twine. Less bulky. Attach each end to a willow sprig to make a bow, loop string around a suitable dry piece of wood, find a likewise flat piece of wood and start drilling for fire. If that fails, pop into your local hardware store for some matches. As for my age….as old as my tongue, a little older than my teeth.

    • thats so sad. i havent read that scripture in a long while. ive been upset for my brothers an sisters here reading their experiences in the Hall’s and it bothers me a lot. i think about it for days. i just hate bad people and dont understand people. i dont blame e.v.g.* for being grumpy and antisocial, i know he has a good heart and we cant be ourselvs as much cause this system keeps us in a box burdened with it. i lost my thought

      • Volcanic

        Dead Alien, I can well understand your feelings about the treatment some of us have received from the KH, but look on it this way, at least our healing has begun by being here. Many more will drift in as the word about us spreads, I am certain of it, Jehovah is working hard to bring His lost sheep into the correct sheep pen – the majority of us ‘newbies’ have been crying for weeks/months/years for absolute truth & look – Jehovah himself has brought us here! It is also part of the healing that all of you here are so kind & loving, far better than our supposed friends in the congregations. Don’t be a Sad Dead Alien please.

  • LW

    This confirms exactly what I felt regarding those possible anointed individuals during the Dark Ages, such as John Wycliff and William Tyndale. That fire and zeal do publicize the truth in spite of that brutal time gives evidence of this..

  • Revv_zone@gmail.com Please8834

    There is a question that should also be addressed about the flock. One significant question that has run the entire length of the scriptures, that being that Jehovah has always appointed rather anointed one or a few over his people- flock-great crowd.That being said everytime those over the flock/crowd made grave errors Jehovah did not always directly punish the appointees, but the sheep /crowd most always bore the punishment for there errors. .So, where does that leave the other sheep/ crowd when Jesus is no longer with us ? after all the entire premise for the rehabilitation of humans and the earth is to be put under kingdom rule by a relative few. One can imagine what will happen to us when we are thrown to the lions so-to-speak with Christ’s coming inspection and then the great tribulations. So the question is since Christ will not always be with the anointed, does that mean he will not be with the great crowd all the way through if he isn’t then there could hardly be a Great Crowd coming out. .

  • JW’s & LJC

    Bro. Robert, there (in Greek) is no evidence for “conclusion” word in the text. JW’s have here a wrong translation: http://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/28-20.htmWe,
    as Jehovah God and of Lord Jesus Christ Witnesses (Isaiah 43:10, Acts 1:8) need a better
    translation. In Matthew 28:19 for example the ancient texts contains “in
    my name” like Eusebius of Caesarea the Christian historian wrote in his
    books in many places.

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    It an another beautiful article to meditate today.

  • Joe Dman

    Did everyone catch the tablet in the guys hand in the picture. Struck me as funny enough to laugh out loud.

    • T L C

      Yes the famous Caleb & Sophia. LOL!

  • T L C

    Every time I read these articles and realize how much sense it all makes it throws me for a loop. It’s crazy to have been on the other side (when I was active) and not have been able to see such huge discrepancies. Amazing. I’m so happy Jehovah’s spirit moved you to embark on this journey Robert:-)

    • Everytime I see you post, Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T (T.L.C.) plays in my head !
      Silly but true ?????
      Sending you my love ❤

      • T L C

        LOL! That is too funny…Now I’m going to think about that everytime I post. XO

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