Friday, November 23
I have decided to put an end to all flesh. —Gen. 6:13.
Noah lived in a world that was “filled with violence” and immorality. Although Noah faithfully preached Jehovah’s warning message, he could not force wicked people around him to accept that message, nor could he make the Flood come any sooner. Noah had to trust that Jehovah would keep His promise to end wickedness, believing that God would do so at just the right time. We too live in a world filled with wickedness, which we know Jehovah has promised to destroy. In the meantime, we cannot force people to accept the “good news of the Kingdom.” And we cannot do anything to speed up the start of the “great tribulation.” Like Noah, we need strong faith, trusting that God will soon intervene. We are convinced that Jehovah will not allow this wicked world to continue for even one day longer than his purpose requires.
There is a notable difference between Noah’s day and ours. Noah and his small family were all faithful to God. It is different now. There are many evil and faithless persons who mingle with those who are true to their faith. Of course, as Paul assured us, “God knows those who belong to him.”
Nevertheless, before God brings about the end of all wickedness, first he must perform a separation of the evil and the righteous among his own congregation. This is what Christ will do when he comes. Jesus illustrated it in various ways. In the oft-read 24th chapter of Matthew Jesus forewarned: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”
On the surface of it —and that is certainly the way it is considered by the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses —it may appear that Jesus is contrasting his people with the people of the world, who are destined to be swept away, as were the wicked in the days of Noah. But a deeper examination of the context reveals something else. Notice, please, Jesus is speaking to those who recognize him as their Lord. That is why Jesus said, “you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” So, Jesus’ warning extends to all those who claim him as their Lord —not the unbelieving masses of mankind.
Notice, too, that the ones taken along and the ones abandoned are working side-by-side before their Lord unexpectedly comes. This represents fellow Christians —even anointed Christians. That is what is represented by the two men being in the field together and the two women grinding grain at the same mill. They are in the same congregation, so-to-speak —the same earthly organization if you please, at least prior to their being separated.
The enlarged context bears that out, as Jesus then becomes quite specific —indicating that the separation to come will occur among his appointed slaves. Jesus continues: “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it. Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so! Truly I say to you, he will appoint him over all his belongings.”
Back in 2005 the first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King, which was distributed to all members of the then-Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as various department heads at Bethel and branch offices around the world, it was pointed out that Christ has not yet come to appoint his faithful slaves over all of his belongings.
That was certainly counter to the prevailing teaching at the time since it was believed that the Master appointed his slaves over all of his belongings back in 1918. But, lo and behold, new light flashed forth in 2013. And now the Watchtower teaches that the appointment is in the future —when he comes.
So, according to the enlarged context, the separation of the two men in the field and the two women grinding at the hand mill really applies to the coming judgment that will divide the faithful slaves from the evil slaves. The ones who are taken along are granted entry into Christ’s Kingdom. Those who are abandoned are locked out —debarred from any more influencing God’s people. “That is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be” —knowing their doom is sealed, as they take their place among the condemned hypocrites.
But what is Jesus’ coming? His coming relates to his presence. That is why Jesus said: “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.”
Since even the Watchtower now admits that Christ has not come to reward his faithful slave and punish the evil slave —neither has the parousia of Christ begun. After all, it is the presence of the Son of man that initiates the taking along of some and the abandonment of the others. That is what Christ likened to the day Noah entered into the ark and the door was shut.
Because the Watchtower has perpetrated the hoax of the ongoing invisible parousia since its very founding, no doubt it is this powerful delusion that will be instrumental in bringing about the separation.
Because the Watchtower is considered the infallible mouthpiece of Jehovah God —the source of all true spiritual illumination —it being assumed by all the “faithful” that the Governing Body will be front and center, issuing life-saving directions during the day of Jehovah —in his wisdom, God has purposed to use the Watchtower as a stumbling block by causing Christ to appear outside the auspices of the earthly organization.
That very thing is what Christ went on to illustrate in the opening words of the 25th chapter of Matthew, where he said: “Then the Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were discreet. For the foolish took their lamps but took no oil with them, whereas the discreet took oil in their flasks along with their lamps. While the bridegroom was delaying, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. Right in the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Go out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and put their lamps in order. The foolish said to the discreet, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are about to go out.’ The discreet answered, saying: ‘Perhaps there may not be enough for both us and you. Go instead to those who sell it, and buy some for yourselves.’ While they were going off to buy it, the bridegroom came. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward, the rest of the virgins also came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open to us!’ In answer he said, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you.’ Keep on the watch, therefore, because you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Notice, please, that all of Christ’s related illustrations —such as the wheat and the weeds, the dragnet, faithful and discreet slave, the illustration of the slaves entrusted with their master’s talents, and the wise and foolish virgins —all result in a separation.
As regards the wise and foolish virgins, all of them are in expectation of the arrival of the bridegroom —meaning, all ten virgins symbolize the collective of those who have received an invitation to become part of the heavenly bride of Christ. But, first they must go out to meet him. And because the foolish virgins do not prepare themselves beforehand by having extra oil for their lamps to see their way through the gloom, they are locked out of the marriage feast –just as those in Noah’s day were shut out of the ark when the mighty hand of God closed the door and sealed it tight. (It should be noted that the rain did not commence immediately. The ark sat closed for a week before the deluge was unleashed.)
No doubt, the foolish virgins miss out because they turn back to purchase oil from the supplier whom they had known before and trusted. In other words, they look back to the Watchtower for life-saving instructions —to their eternal loss. “Remember the wife of Lot!”