Kingdom Not Coming with Striking Observableness

//Kingdom Not Coming with Striking Observableness

Thursday, June 9

Your throne will be firmly established forever.2 Sam. 7:16.

Jehovah made this covenant with David during David’s reign in Jerusalem, promising him that the Messiah would be his descendant.  Thus, Jehovah further narrowed the line of descent of the offspring of the woman and established that an heir of David would have “the legal right” to the throne of the Messianic Kingdom.  Through Jesus, David’s kingship “will be firmly established forever.” Yes, the Messiah’s rule will never become corrupt, and its accomplishments will last forever! While the Davidic covenant makes it certain that the offspring would have a kingly function, that role alone would not suffice to bring blessings to people of all nations. For them to be truly blessed, they would have to be freed from their sinful state and brought into Jehovah’s universal family. To accomplish this requires that the offspring also serve in a priestly capacity.

COMMENTARY

People who accept the reality of God’s Kingdom naturally want to know when all of this is going to come about. Some two thousand years the apostles of Christ were especially keen on finding out, so they approached Jesus privately and asked: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”

From virtually the very beginning of the publishing campaign of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society the presence of Christ has been heralded, not as a future event, but as an ongoing reality.

After numerous adjustments and reiterations Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that the sign of Christ’s presence and the conclusion of the system have been in evidence since 1914.

It is a concrete tenet of the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses, so absolute that any students who do not accept it as God’s Truth are not allowed to be baptized and any baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not express their whole-hearted acceptance of the 1914 doctrine are subject to expulsion from their respective congregations on grounds of apostasy!

For the most part the Watchtower has affixed 1914 as the date for Jesus to receive the Kingdom upon a somewhat complex chronological calculation predicated upon the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar’s madness. Except the seven times in itself does not point to 1914. First, the seven times have to be converted into a period of years. This is justified based upon the fact that because three and a half times of Daniel and Revelation are the equivalent of 1,260 days it is extrapolated that the seven times must represent a value twice that, or 2,520 days.

But we are still talking about days, not years. In order to covert the days to years the Watchtower unjustifiably assumes that the 2,520 days actually represent years because on a couple of occasions Jehovah’s decree was ‘a day for a year.’ It should be noted, though, that there is no evidence that the 1,260 days symbolize years. On the contrary, Revelation plainly states that the time, times and half time (3½) or 1,260 days are equal to 42 months.

Besides the chronologic sophistry, the loose thread in the seven times formula is the inconvenient fact that there is no basis for supposing that the seven times are the same thing as the appointed times of the nations that Jesus spoke about in connection with the nations trampling upon Jerusalem. The context indicates that the nations trampling Jerusalem for an appointed time begins when the disgusting thing stands where it ought not.

The significance of the Watchtower’s error is that Jesus forewarned his disciples to be on guard against those who would falsely announce that the Christ is already here or there.

“FOR JUST AS LIGHTNING FLASHES…”

When Jesus appeared in the flesh some two millennia ago he did not just show up unannounced. The legal basis for his appearance was established long beforehand and many details were recorded in prophecy, such as the place of his birth and circumstances surrounding his death. The 70 weeks prophecy in Daniel even pinpointed the approximate time of his baptism and length of his ministry.

In spite of the overwhelming evidence that Jesus himself provided regarding his credentials as the Messiah, having the legal right as Ezekiel foretold, the majority of the Jews refused to accept him as such. The reason that was the case is in no small part because of the influence of the Pharisees. They saw Jesus as a threat to their power and authority in Jewish society. Despite their opposition Jesus patiently answered their questions and tried to reason with them.

One such occasion was when the Pharisees asked him when the Kingdom of God was coming. Jesus responded to them, saying: “The Kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness; nor will people say, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Many translations render the verse at Luke 17:21 to read “the kingdom of God is within you,” which has misled many persons to assume that Jesus was saying the kingdom was within each person. But that could not have been the case because at Matthew 23:13 Jesus said to the Pharisees: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the Kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.”

It should be evident that Jesus was not telling the faithless Pharisees that the Kingdom of God was in their hearts. (Of note, the hugely popular New International Version also renders Luke 17:20 the same as the New World Translation.)

What did Jesus mean? He meant that because he was the king designate and he did not come with great pomp and ceremony with legions of angels showering rose pedals in his path, it was possible for people to not to even know the Messiah was walking among them; hence, the Kingdom of God did not show itself in some remarkable way —“with striking observableness.”

lightning lights up the skyAfter saying that to the Pharisees Jesus continued to speak with his disciples, saying to them: Then he said to the disciples: “Days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, but you will not see it. And people will say to you, ‘See there!’ or, ‘See here!’ Do not go out or chase after them. For just as lightning flashes from one part of heaven to another part of heaven, so the Son of man will be in his day. First, however, he must undergo many sufferings and be rejected by this generation.”

In saying “first he must undergo suffering” it is evident that his preceding remarks are in reference to his return, long after his resurrection and ascension to heaven. “In his day” correlates to the Lord’s day. Paul used a similar expression in his letter to the Philippians, saying: “For I am confident of this very thing, that the one who started a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

According to the inspired apostle “the day of Jesus Christ” is the completion of the work that Christ initiated in the first century. Or rather, the work of making disciples will be completed before the day of Christ Jesus.

It is significant that Jesus reiterated to his disciples what he stated to the Pharisees concerning people saying ‘See there,’ or ‘See here.’ However, in speaking to his disciples Jesus was not referring to his being in their midst then, but rather, to his second coming —the parousia. That is evident by the fact that Jesus used a similar expression in the 24th chapter of Matthew.  In warning his followers not to be deceived by those who announce that the Christ is in the inner chambers of in the wilderness Jesus said: “For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be. Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

Although on the one hand the Watchtower readily admits that all of the features of the sign of the presence of the Son of man are not in evidence, and hence cannot be observed, on the other hand Bethel insists that Jehovah’s Witnesses have discerned his lightning-like presence has begun already. Here is what the February 15, 2008 Watchtower said:

Those without spiritual understanding today have felt that there has been no “striking observableness” with regard to the sign of Jesus’ presence. They reason that everything is continuing on as it did in the past. On the other hand, Christ’s faithful anointed brothers, the modern-day John class, have recognized this sign as if it were a flash of lightning and have understood its true meaning.

Without question the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine is a massive delusion. The future coming of Christ will be as striking as a thunderbolt in the black of night.

However, like in the first century the Kingdom itself will not be on display in striking observableness. That is because Jesus will only come alongside Jehovah’s chosen ones.

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2017-03-18T10:39:03+00:00 June 9th, 2016|Commentary|52 Comments
  • Bobby 6343

    Thank you Bro. for this clear understanding. So far I have been digesting “solid” spiritual and valuable food. I have use almost all of your articles and stumbling question for three of Jehovah’s sheep in bible studies. I have directed two of them to your site.

  • Burt Reynolds

    This is a wonderful comfort to read . The chronology of Christs coming spoken this way is clear and its comfort is in understanding the shape of the tribulation before such will occur. I cannot think why the governing body refuse to adjust their thinking. How can they have spent this last century steadfastly teaching what they know to be wrong and worse, that they say they have Jehovah’s direction in perpetrating such a lie? It is so clear when spoken of this way I really cannot understand why I can see it and they cannot, or more likely, will not. Why everyone on this site can see it but they cannot. It is even more strange to me that were they to be honest with the flock and lead them properly, then the strength of the congregation would be all given to Jehovah, the rightful owner, but instead, they deprive the brothers and sisters and seek glory for themselves as leaders. If the congregations knew, it would boggle the mind, but few seem to have minds left to boggle. Thanks for showing this knowledge from God to me Robert.

    • Bobby 6343

      You’re right, why is it that we on this site can see clearly yet others don’t? Every time I read any of Robert’s article or stumper questions, it is reasonable and clear. Of course I make sure of all things.

      • Burt Reynolds

        I will have to envy you that. It’s no problem to check a scripture that may be quoted, but for me, I just don’t have the sort of interpretive insight that I see here. Having trawled the scriptural sea for 50 odd years and seen the ridiculous thoughts that people have, based on emotion; others who pray for a car and one miraculously turns up the next day, courtesy of Jehovah himself no less; the blood shed in the name of God,….well, it makes me despair of life. But stare at the scriptures as I might, nothing ever lept off the page and hit me in the face. Maybe this is why I was fodder for the organisation. I’m not talking the basic stuff like the trinity or creation, the signs of the times…though I was deceived over that when I was a witness, but the issues of the tribulation I could never get my head around. Until now, I have to admit. However, what I do have is a sense of the truth when I am told it. I never had it with the witnesses,…that’s was all obligation and drudgery. I could never see how the load could be light. It was like a ball and chain. But this is like getting a new pair of glasses instead of looking at the bible through the bottom of a coke bottle. I guess the scripture to quote here is that his sheep will know his voice and come out. I no longer have to think …die now before it’s too late!

      • Alexandra Bogolin Bautista

        Because we kept knocking and asking.

        • 2-Chronicles 16:9a – For the eyes of Jehovah are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.

    • ewatchman

      We really can’t say who at Bethel knows it is a lie and who is just blind. Group think is very powerful, especially when God is in the mix. I have to keep in mind that I believed the whole 1914 thing up until around 2001. As a book study conductor we went through the Revelation book 3 times. 3 times mind you!! And I never doubted one bit of it. Then one day it all came unraveled.

      • thats true Robert. im glad you once pointed out the definition – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

        its been a annoyance my whole life. i hate it. its an infection that consumes this whole planet

        • Burt Reynolds

          It sure is. I’m so glad I’m retired. The only group think I have now is with my dog. Is it feeding time? No, it’s not feeding time. Is it walkies time? No it’s not walkies time. Then it must be feeding time….it’s a sort of spiritual paradise

          • Alexandra Bogolin Bautista

            Me too! Dog group think is always therapeutic. Especially with a good book.

            • Burt Reynolds

              There is something very spiritually therapeutic about a pooches ears and nose and the paw poked at you to ask for a scritch. It’s a lesson for us that a pooch is happy with a bed, water, food, walk and company and that nothing else is required except a scratch behind the ear.

          • do you run into people to speak to about Jehovah when you go on your walks?

            • Burt Reynolds

              Hello D34D, my walk along the beach does not yield much opportunity. There are a few characters; the paper reader, the gull feeder, the dog talkers…. Walker….who leave their pooches sitting while they talk the morning away to an acquaintance…both talking at each other at the same time, both saying yeees to things they have not heard. As for me, I am talking exercise. My phone app tells me I am walking at 3.8 miles an hour…4.2 is my fastest…and it seems faster than most so no one keeps up with me. I certainly don’t interrupt the Power Walker panting up behind me, or more amusingly walking towards me like a lunatic steam engine with its hip like wheels wobbling left to right as though they are about to come off…and I return a good morning when spoken to me by the odd person but know full well that such is not an invitation to speak. So no, there is not much chance to speak with others and for me, I need to keep fit and so it is my time. I think if someone came unto me and said please tell me about Jehovah, then I certainly would. As for witnessing, yes, on every opportunity, but in a society that does not even make eye contact unless already introduced, that is not often. And even if I did, should I send someone to the congregation where they may be ensnared and how do I remain in their development when I do not attend, or explain to them why I do not attend. Am I sending them to be blinded? These are questions for me that I need to think on. And do I have the skill to tell them them the two sides of the coin as I see it now? It is difficult. I do point to this site with people I meet on the Internet, and I will be speaking more with my family when I can compose a letter that will get read by someone who has been encarcerated some 50 years now. I am still thinking if I will ever return to the congregation. Where I live now, I have not been to the congregation and they do not know me. That is my story thus far.

      • Hard to believe that you were a watchtower zombie at one time, guess we all were. Praise Jehovah for giving us insight, or at least directing us were to find it .

        Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

        • e.v.g

          Probably it was not the time to discover the truth, Jehovah allowed this with a purpose.

        • Beverly kenyon

          So much for Groupthink……they still got it wrong!

      • Huldah

        So helpful that you said this! One must wonder how the apostles felt once they saw the whole picture. It took them some time too. But this just emphasizes that Jehovah has a timetable that he keeps to. I really think he reveals things to us at the time best for each of us in the framework of our spiritual progress.

        I think the fact that the Revelation book is no longer available speaks volumes as to how much they know they have gotten wrong. Great insights from all here BTW:)

    • Joe Dman

      I may have mentioned before, but I wonder why we were given this understanding. Is it because the shepherds weren’t doing their job and there was a chance that without it we may have gone astray or been lost for good or will we be required to use this knowledge in some way? But of course in line with scripture, it was given through one of the anointed so it is as though those of us who were lost were retrieved by one of Jehovah’s shepherds.
      It’s like when Satan thinks he has claimed a victim, there’s one of Jehovah’s safety nets. Amazing.

      • Beverly kenyon

        That comment so insightful and very true Joe. Don’t know why it made me a bit emotional (and I’m not all that tired,lol). I just think how loving and generous of Jehovah to provide a safety net for ones who were lost here on this site. And providing an anointed one no less to provide us with true spiritual food. Such generousity!

        • ^_^

          • Beverly kenyon

            Thank you D34D4L!3N. So comforting. I appreciate that. I’m going to laminate that image in my head!

            • Beverly kenyon

              Hiya D34D 4L!3N, I also meant to ask if you’re ok but my bad boy IPad, lol, was fading. Also wanted to say it was nice to see you posting to Burt. I think that means a lot to him.

      • i’ll have to edit and and add scriptures later.
        one simple answer is because Jehovah loves you and you drew close to him. thanks to him, your faith in him and his servents such as Robert around you. – Daniel 12:4b

        • Beverly kenyon

          D34D 4L!3N I just posted you but I sent it to myself. Duh! Aaarg! Hope you get to read it.

      • Bklyn Kevin

        Matthew 18:
        12 “What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays, will he not leave the 99 on the mountains and set out on a search for the one that is straying?
        13 And if he finds it, I certainly tell you, he rejoices more over it than over the 99 that have not strayed.
        14 Likewise, it is not a desirable thing to my Father who is in heaven for even one of these little ones to perish.

        • jezz Kevin i was just thinking that and i didnt even think of that scripture. awesome

        • Bklyn Kevin

          For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: “Here I am, and I myself will search for my sheep, and I will care for them.
          Ezekiel 34:11

          The lost one I will search for,+ the stray I will bring back, the injured I will bandage, and the weak I will strengthen; but the fat one and the strong one I will annihilate. I will feed that one with judgment.”
          Ezekiel 34:16

      • Bklyn Kevin

        Daniel 11:
        33 And those having insight among the people will impart understanding to the many. And they will be made to stumble by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plundering, for some days.
        34 But when they are made to stumble, they will be given a little help; and many will join with them by means of smooth speech.https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/daniel/11/#v27011034

    • e.v.g

      The JW’s are well indoctrinated, some of them can not believe anything because they only believe the teachings of faithful and discreet slave, I remember when I explained to an elder about the man of lawlessness and we quote 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, the elder changed the meaning of the verses according to the teachings of the Watchtower.

      • e.v.g

        The elder denied the meaning of the verses saying , no no no no !!! the man of lawlessness is the clergy of Christendom (that was funny), the elders I know are very eloquent, from that moment the elders revere more to fds, probably because what we talked the elder and I.

        • just ask what Jesus consideres holy and they will agree that Jerusalem was holy to some Jews. but Jesus didnt call it that cause it wasnt holy but because it was. then ask them if they think Jesus considered religous sects outside Jerusalem at the time to be holy to Jesus. talking to brothers and sisters in the congregation is like talking to trinitarians sometimes

          • e.v.g

            I try to reason with him, even came a time when tempers got heated, then I stopped talking, (he seemed ready to take me to a committee)
            We talked for a long time during surveillance of assembly hall

            • Jehovah’s got your back 🙂 even if you were asked to a committee. sad we have to tap the sand off our sandals among our own congregations

            • Beverly kenyon

              He lost the battle as soon as he seemed ready for a committee hearing. It really upsets me that you really can’t speak freely to a fellow witness. The climate of fear created is something like North Korea but without the cool uniforms!

            • Beverly kenyon

              D34D 4L!3N is right! Jehovah has your back. The truth from Gods word stands!

            • Speak out or question anything and you’re off to the firing squad, Great analysis of being like North Korea.

            • Beverly kenyon

              I’d have to take the bullet Joseph. Lol. At least it’s quick!

            • e.v.g

              This elder is more accessible, I had the opportunity to talk with him, I followed the advice of brother Robert.

            • Beverly kenyon

              That’s good to hear there was a happy outcome e.v.g. He might now be more reasonable to engage some more. That’s wise taking Brother King’s advice.

        • then the clergy of Christendom is Jehovah’s temple and since its just a part of Babylon then they are saying Babylon is Jehovah’s temple. so their answer is Babylon is Jehovah’s holy sanctuary. stupid

          what part of “he sits down in the temple of God” dont they get?

      • ive had a winness out in service cgange the meaning of what Jesus meant about a holy place (a second time recently) saying that ‘what it means is the popular openion of the world’. i kid you not

  • Christian Obadiah

    I’m not sure if I understand this quite well. So, the future presence of Christ will be as striking as a thunderbolt in that it will be obvious that Jesus has come based on the conditions that take place (e.g. wars, famines, earthquakes)? Yet, the Kingdom itself will not be strikingly observable because Jesus will only be seen by the anointed?

    “Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” What exactly is the meaning of that phrase? What is the carcass and who are the eagles?

    Sorry for being slow to understand.

    • read whats just before that phraze. – Luke – “There will be two women grinding at the same mill; the one will be taken along, but the other will be abandoned.”

      see the context? whos being gathered to who?

      carcass – Jesus
      eagles – faithful servents

      (special thanks to B. Kevin for his epiphany when doing the same thing)

      • Beverly kenyon

        Both you and Christian Obadiah explained it well D34D 4L!3N. Him the first part and you the second part. Simply put, precise and understandable.

      • Christian Obadiah

        Thank you. That was what I suspected. So like all the similar illustrations these are the anointed ones.

        • like the birds that feast at Armageddon – Revelation 19:17-19

        • Bklyn Kevin

          2 Thessalonians 1:
          6 This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you.
          7 But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels
          8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.
          9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength,
          10 at the time when he comes to be glorified in connection with his holy ones and to be regarded in that day with wonder among all those who exercised faith, because the witness we gave met with faith among you.

          Matthew 24:
          27 For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.
          28 Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
          Its young sip up blood; And wherever the slain are, there it is. Job 39:30

          Revelation 19:
          7 Let us rejoice and be overjoyed and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself.
          8 Yes, it has been granted to her to be clothed with bright, clean, fine linen—for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.”
          9 And he tells me, “Write: Happy are those invited to the evening meal of the Lamb’s marriage.” Also, he tells me: “These are the true sayings of God.”
          17 I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God,
          18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.

  • “But we are still talking about days, not years. In order to covert the days to years the Watchtower unjustifiably assumes that the 2,520 days actually represent years”

    thats what my brain had been trying to explain on several acations, email or otherwise

  • The lost one I will search for, and the stray I will bring back, the injured I will bandage, and the weak I will strengthen.

    • a scripture that hit me a little while back. ty for the reminder. Ez 34-16

  • Leighton Williams

    Hey I have a question, maybe someone can answer this for me. In the Daniel chapter of Jehovah has become king, there was the following: “The chosen ones are indeed very desirable to Jehovah. So much so that Jesus said that the chosen ones personally have an angel that always has direct access to the face of Jehovah himself. They are desirable because Jehovah has chosen to lavish his rich blessings upon them, making them sharers of Christ’s heavenly nature.”

    My question is where exactly in the Bible did Jesus say that the anointed have this kind of access to Jehovah via an angel? I’ve read the Gospels countless times and have never noticed this before…

    • dont know bout anointed but should be just as well for anyone – Matt 18:10 Heb 1:14 Psalms 34:7

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