The Revelation and Presence of Christ

//The Revelation and Presence of Christ

Wednesday, April 26

Without faith it is impossible to please God well.Heb. 11:6.

Have you ever thought, ‘Am I the kind of person Jehovah will want to save during the great tribulation and bring into the new world?’ One very important requirement is that we cultivate strong faith. The apostle Peter drew special attention to the importance of faith when he spoke of its “tested quality” that “may be found a cause for praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Since the great tribulation is fast approaching, do we not want to make sure that we have the type of faith that puts us among those whose faith will be praised by our glorious King when he is revealed? Most certainly, we want to be “the sort who have faith for the preserving of our lives.”  With this goal in mind, we may plead like the man who said: “Help me out where I need faith!”  Or we may be moved to say, as did Jesus’ apostles: “Give us more faith.”

COMMENTARY

It is no exaggeration to say that the cornerstone of the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the belief that Jesus began ruling the world in 1914. Since 1933 the Watchtower has taught that 1914 marked the beginning of an invisible presence of Christ. (Prior to 1933 the Watchtower taught that an invisible presence had begun in 1874.)

It is a very curious fact, though, that at no time has the Watchtower ever built anticipation for a future visitation of Christ in what the Scriptures refer to as the parousia. From the earliest beginnings Russell’s circle of Bible Students believed the parousia had already begun. Whether 1874 or 1914, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been conditioned to accept the parousia as an historical fact and consequently, a commonplace affair.

In today’s text, however, the Watchtower cites a passage in scripture that refers to the revelation of Christ —and “when he is revealed.” What exactly is the revelation of Jesus Christ? The Greek word from which the English “revelation” is derived is apokalypsis; meaning, an unveiling of something previously hidden —a disclosure.

Surely the revelation of Jesus Christ is a big deal —something that cannot be ignored or overlooked. But over the past 67 years the Watchtower has rarely spoken of the apokalypsis. The Greek word appears in the WT a mere half dozen times; whereas, the Greek word “parousia” appears over 160 times in the magazines and more than that (184) in WT books. It is believed that the revelation is to occur at the end of the parousia. But is that true?

No. It is not true. The parousia and the apokalypsis are essentially the same thing. This truth was originally set before the Watchtower in the first edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King (2005) in the chapter entitled Parousia.

As an example, consider the following passage from the 17th chapter of Luke: “Moreover, just as it occurred in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of man: they were eating, they were drinking, men were marrying, women were being given in marriage until that day when Noah entered into the ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. But on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed.”

On one occasion Jesus likened the revelation of the Son of man to the judgment of Sodom and the destruction of the world during Noah’s day. However, speaking to his disciples about the conclusion of the system Jesus reiterated his warning, but instead of referring to the revealing of the Son of man Jesus twice used the word “parousia,” saying: “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.”

Anyone who is not intent on perpetuating the Watchtower’s invisible presence delusion ought to be able to discern that Jesus Christ used the terms “revealing” (derived from a form of apokalypsis) and “presence” (parousia”) interchangeably. 

The simple fact is, the Scriptures do not speak of an invisible presence of Christ. It is simply a made-up term that has circulated as official biblical currency. It is not. Did not the apostle warn us that false teachers would exploit us with “counterfeit words”? (2 Peter 2:3) Jehovah’s Witnesses have certainly been exploited in this regard.

THE HARVEST IS A CONCLUSION OF A SYSTEM

In his parting words to his disciples Jesus assured them that he would be with them all the days until the conclusion of the system of things. In other words, Christ would be invisibly present with them in spirit, watching over them, guiding and directing them in their teaching and disciple-making assignment. However, what happens during the conclusion? Is Jesus no longer with them?

According to the Watchtower’s implied teaching it is simply more of the same. And really, Bethel’s main offering of “proof” that Jesus has been invisibly present since 1914 –when the conclusion is believed to have begun –is the success of the preaching work over the past century. But such a claim belies the fact that the original Christians also accomplished a remarkable work, not because of the parousia, but because Jesus was invisibly with them, as he had promised he would be.

In truth, the conclusion of the system of things marks the sudden end of the disciple-making work. That’s why it is called the harvest. It is not a time when Christians will be preaching the good news, planting seeds and teaching others basic truth —or cultivating and watering. The harvest ends the planting, watering and growing season.

Contrary to the popular delusion, the conclusion is a relatively brief period of time when the judgment begins with the house of God and ends with the destruction of Babylon the Great and the beast. During that 42 month period Christ’s visible presence, his manifestation and revelation, will take place.

A question Jehovah’s Witnesses would do well to consider is this: Was Jesus invisible after his resurrection? The answer, of course, is yes. Jesus was raised as a spirit and spirits are invisible to human eyes. However, Jesus manifested himself on numerous occasions, revealing himself to his disciples in various guises. On one occasion Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of his apostles when they were behind locked doors. Those various appearances were possible because Jesus cloaked himself in flesh in order to convince his disciples that he had been resurrected.

It is noteworthy, though, that after his resurrection Jesus did not appear to anyone who was not already a believer. That is in keeping with what Jesus told his disciples on the night of his arrest, when he said to them: “In a little while the world will see me no more, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.”

The one exception to the rule, Jesus appeared to the pharisee, Saul; albeit, he quickly became a believer. In the 15th chapter of Corinthians Paul likened his seeing the manifestation of Christ in glory as to being born prematurely. What Paul meant was, all the other brothers who saw Jesus after his resurrection saw him as a man of flesh and bone. Paul, however, who was blinded for three days by his encounter with Jesus, saw Christ as the chosen ones will see him during the parousia.

Indeed, Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to need all the faith they can muster to overcome the enormous stumbling block the Watchtower has placed before them in order to endure the coming crash and subsequent revelation of Christ to the holy ones and the revealing of the sons of God before all creation.

2017-08-07T06:01:46+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Commentary|55 Comments
  • Luis Meriño Vásquez

    So… the destruction of Babylon occurs at the end of the tribulation… interesting! But will that be before or after the killing of the chosen ones? Because that killing ignites armageddon.

    • The tribulation begins when the system crashes. That is what is portrayed in Revelation with the opening of the sixth seal. But, like Jesus said, the tribulation will be cut short on account of the chosen ones. However, later all of the holy are put to death by the harlot and the beast. That is when the sins of the harlot amass clear up to heaven. That is why she is described as being drunk with the blood of the holy ones and of the witnesses for Jesus. Then, in the interval after the last of the holy ones is killed and the wedding of the Lamb takes place, the harlot is destroyed by the beast. Then Christ and all those called and chosen and faithful with him, will destroy the beast and lock Satan and the demons away for 1,000 years

      • brother robert do you think this all starts with the death stroke?

      • brother robert do you think this all starts with the death stroke?

        • Yes. The death stroke upon the head of the beast, or rather, the recovery of the beast, begins the three and a half year period of judgment.

          • that’s what i thought thank you brother Robert for clearing that up 🙂

      • Brian

        Robert, if the sixth seal is the start of the tribulation what do you think it means back at the second seal? As the first seal seems to indicate that Jesus is going forth “inspecting” the congregations which appears to be a sign of him coming and a direct prelude to wars in one place after another and Kingdom fighting against kingdom in Matthew 24??

        • ive brought this up too.
          a fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword is a Great Tribulation.

          • “Now when the seven thunders spoke, I was at the point of writing; but I heard a voice out of heaven say: “Seal up the things the seven thunders spoke, and do not write them down.”

            humm

            • Marc Tilley

              What an incredibly intriguing scripture that is…

        • Marc Tilley

          I’m confused by this also
          Brian. If the sixth seal is the start of the Tribulation, then are the events described in Matthew 24:29 different to Revelation 6? Because they appear to be describing the same thing. And if they are the same events, Matthew tells us that it’s AFTER the Tribulation. So the sixth seal must be opened after the Tribulation in that case, and not at the start…. it seems to me.

          • Brian

            Indeed Marc, if you also take a look at Daniel 11:29 where it is talking about the King of the North coming against the south, there would no doubt be somewhere in that a military clash and not only geopolitical and economic stoush for what would have been a changing of the guard on the world scene, after or even during this the “disgusting thing” is put in place, the disgusting thing being the beast, the little horn or the eighth kingdom, of course the 8th kingdom cannot come until the beast actually appears complete with the ten horns (governments) that the “little horn” springs from. I would suspect that there will be a time coming when the ten major players on the planet, maybe the G7 + 3 will set up a “solution” to all of the worlds problems via the instrument that is depicted as the complete beast.
            I know Robert and many others here go with that the beast is already here but it can’t be as it is not ruling over the world and nor is any other Nation as much as they want to, it appears to appear suddenly once the 10 kings are in place.
            In Daniel at 7: 11-12 it speaks of this very beast that is killed and its body destroyed and thrown into the fire, it also states that it is in fact a part or an extension of the forth beast that is the Roman empire which is still ruling over the world at that time!!!

  • Hamparsum Menekse

    Once Christ cast down Seytan and demons.party will begin.it did not happen at 1914.but soon loyal ones will know.than real cheos insanity.once they are trapped in earth.

    • Ezekiel 25:11
      And I will execute judgment in Moʹab, and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’

      Ezekiel 30:19
      I will execute judgment on Egypt, and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’”

      Ezekiel 22:16
      And you will be dishonored before the nations, and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.’”

      Ezekiel 39:22
      From that day on the house of Israel will have to know that I am Jehovah their God.

      Ezekiel 11:10
      You will fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.

      Ezekiel 16:62
      “‘And I myself will establish my covenant with you; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.

      Ezekiel 30:8
      And they will have to know that I am Jehovah when I set a fire in Egypt and all its allies are crushed.

      Ezekiel 30:26
      And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among the lands, and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’”

  • Max

    What a beautiful article!! Don’t you
    guys feel motivated with articles like this? At the KH we do not have
    anything like this articles. Sometimes it seems that most of the
    articles of the WT are meant to keep us asleep in a time when they
    should be writing things like brother King does. We are in the very
    last days of this system of things and we need to know and review the
    steps leading to Armageddon. We need to be ready just like Israel was
    before leaving Egypt. They eat the pass over meal while standing.
    Jehovah ordered them to stand so they could understand the URGENCY
    because they were about to be rescued by Jehovah. That urgency is
    what I personally do not see in the WT magazine these days. On the
    other hand I think of myself very blessed to have found this site
    because every time I feel like “siting” there comes another
    article that make me stand up and keep myself on the watch ready to
    leave this awful old system. Dear friend lets us all rejoice in
    Jehovah’s salvation and be happy because our liberalization is near.

  • Francis Bencharles

    According to the July 15, 2013 Watchtower the GB, who have proclaimed themselves the “Faithful and Discrete Slave” will be appointed over all of Jesus belongings when he comes on the clouds of heaven at the start of the “Great Tribulation”. What a surprise they are in for. I’m sure Robert has commented heavily on this point, but I didn’t know where. If someone would like to point us in the right direction, please do!

    • L.H.

      On the bottom of each artikel you can type what you search for. I typed “appointed over all the belongings”, and several artikels appeared ,one of them was Kingdom bulletin 7. I hope this is helpfull.

      • Burt Reynolds

        Where at the bottom of the essay L.H? Thanks.

        • L.H.

          actually I meant : if you scroll down to the bottom of the comments there is a black zone with a section ” search site”

          • Francis Bencharles

            Is this on twitter or e-watchman’s page?

            • Francis Bencharles

              never mind, found it, I think???

            • Francis Bencharles

              You can also use the magnifying glass icon at the top of the page next to About

            • L.H.

              On the E. watchmans page

          • Burt Reynolds

            Thanks L.H.

  • Burt Reynolds

    Read the subsection article Britain, Brexit and the USA connection, MI5 in Roberts tweet on Britannia -titanic. It gives great detail on the USA/British relationship and manipulation that helps to clarify the war footing that we see now along with the very real manipulation of public opinion. It also gives insight into Mr. Trump. Not what he’s made out to be by the British. Worth the read…it adds depth to biblical prophesy. This world is a whole lot more evil than we can imagine.

    • Francis Bencharles

      I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence.

    • Francis Bencharles

      Especially the U.S. & U.K. which used to be “the good guys”.

      • Richard Long

        How’s about you submit some evidence that either the US or the UK were EVER “the good guys”?

        • Francis Bencharles

          Hi Richard: I don’t actually think they ever have been, that’s why I put the term in quotes, but most people do believe that. But they get their wings clipped very soon and will be brought down to the very earth just as the WT will

        • Francis Bencharles

          They look like sheep but have a dragon’s voice!

      • Brian

        In reality, when were they really the “good guys”?

    • Richard Long

      hence, my first post here. Everything is a rich mans trick.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM

  • Francis Bencharles

    I just put twitter on my phone. I never did before. I was wondering why I wasn’t getting Robert’s tweets? That shows how computer savvy I am?

    • Jamie Mac

      Francis, you should know by now to leave the tekkie stuff to the kids. 🙂

      • Francis Bencharles

        I know, even though I’m now set up on twitter I don’t know how to properly use it. I’ll have to get my 6 year old grand nephew to show me.

        • Jamie Mac

          way to go 🙂

    • good

  • Burt Reynolds

    An interesting development with regard to Robert’s discussions on the control of the beast and of people being coerced into signing up to it. In Britain it has just been released that cash machines are going to be replaced with a ‘Bank in a Wall’ machine, that will credit a ‘Wallet in your phone’….no cash, just credit. It’s only a detail in the passage of events, but yet another crack in the wall. Comforting to know in an obtuse way!

    • Jamie Mac

      Burt, have you had a go yet at placing links in your comments via the way I showed you. This would be a case in point. I would be interested in following that story.

      • Burt Reynolds

        You’re supposed to be at work aren’t you Jamie!? ? The article is copyright, but if you have the BBC news app, you will find it on the home page under business. ( or theft, however you want to view it!)

        • Jamie Mac

          Thanks Burt, I start on the 2nd May. Have you tried posting any links yet. 🙂

          Theft is more apt. Have you had a chance to view the link Richard posted called the Rich Man’s Trick. IF you have then theft is appropriate.

    • Brian

      Yes Burt the money system is potentially one element of the absolute control of the beast or the forerunner to it, I sort of think that the following of the beast has a lot more to do with what they will be saying and ultimately cajoling the world into believing in their false salvation kingdom, the “anti Gods kingdom” that they will be setting up and by doing so they will be placing their palatial tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of decoration just as Satan will want. All of those that are not on board will certainly be exempt from being able to operate in the system.

  • Marc Tilley

    If Jesus presence is not an invisible one, why did the apostles ask Jesus for a sign? And why would Jesus need to give them one?

    • Jesus’ presence will be invisible to 99.5% of the world. And the sign alerts the 0.5 that he is coming.

      • Marc Tilley

        Surely, a ‘revealing’ also suggests an invisible presence that precedes it…? As you said, apokolypsis means the revealing of something that was previously hiddden. So how could it be argued that that revealing is essentially the same thing?? When something has to logically precede it?

        I don’t quite understand how you can argue that the idea of an ‘invisible’ presence is some kind of delusion on that basis.

        • Jesus said he would be with his disciples all the days up until the conclusion of the system. So, Christ has always been invisibly present. The parousia, which occurs during the conclusion, is something different. The Greek word “paruosia” literally means to ‘come alongside.’ Christ’s coming along side his disciples is something more than his merely being with his disciples spiritually, as he has always been.

          • Marc Tilley

            Ok, that’s starting to make some sense to me now…. thanks.

          • Burt Reynolds

            That is an interesting point Marc raises. Please would you give me your insight into how the parousia is different in physical and spiritual terms from the ‘always been invisibly present’, presence? This has always been a difficult point for me in understanding what it meant to have Jesus always with the faithful ones since his time on earth. What did that mean, in terms that we would understand? My problem has primarily been that if Jehovah is impartial, how could we benefit from Christ being present? It appears to be a contradiction in terms, if not in meaning. Being with someone lends a meaning of comfort, assistance in practical terms or in insight and some recognisable sense of feeling that such is the case. Thanks.

            • Maybe an illustration will help. Say you have an online friend. You have never met them face-to-face. But you email back and forth. That is the way Christians are with Christ now. We pray through him, we read his words. He counsels his, etc. But we have never seen him. But the parousia would be like hooking up with your online friend and being in the same room. Totally different than just emailing.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Thanks Robert. Is it therefore correct then that Christ’s being with Christians until the parousia is through our reading his counsel and us aligning ourselves through our reading and understanding? I don’t want to labour the issue, but having never experienced this or understood it fully, it is of importance to me to find the depth of it. For instance, I recall your story about coming to a personal point of realisation as being a very significant moment to you. I have never experienced such an event, or expect to given my hope, though I am trying to understand the substance of it as it describes an understanding of Christ’s invisible presence that I can’t appreciate. Maybe I’m two dimensional. I understand your illustration…I just don’t get the tangible experience of invisible presence as implied by Christ’s words. I want to separate it from my imagination so that I can appreciate it. Thanks.

            • practically the whole point of Robert’s is site the paruosia.

              when Jesus returnes, it will be
              the same as after his resurrection
              and the time he met with Paul.

              he was only seen by his followers.

              if you read what happened with Paul, Daniel and Ezekiel, they were
              all walking with friends when Jesus
              showed up.

              same with Cleopas & another disciple.

              none of this Watchtower invisible return balderdash

      • Brian

        How does this apply to “every eye will see him, even those that pierced him”?

        • Bklyn Kevin

          The very fact that Jehova’s prophetic word had come to pass before everyone’s eyes will be as if “every eye had seen him, although they did not literally see him they surely would have seen his prosthetic word come true.

          Brian ask ‘How does this apply to even those that pierced him”?

          Also the very fact that they kill Jesus’ brothers would be as if they pierced Jesus himself.

          In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Matthew 25:40.

          • Brian

            Thanks Kevin, I can sort of get the connection with the prophetic word being passed off for every eye will see but one could look at where this line of reasoning came from in the first place, if we go back to pre 1914 there would have been an expectation that Jesus would turn up in some sort of visible apparition, of course when that didn’t happen people had to go to work on finding what actually fitted into their belief at the time so an “invisible” presence was the obvious choice to fulfil the the belief that Jesus had turned up between 1914 and 1919 and only those in the “know” could possibly know that “he was here”.
            If no one is to actually see him with their eyes there is surely something that is going to indicate to all that he is here and not just some people running around telling everyone that he is.

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