The apostle Paul used an expression that the New World Translation renders as “the ends of the systems of things.” One place where that expression appears in scripture is 1 Corinthians 10:11, which states: “Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have come.”

Whereas most translations render the expression as “the ends of the ages,” what is noteworthy is the plurality of “ends” and ages or systems—meaning that more than one system will end. The NWT marginal reference takes note of the plurality and explains that in the first century, the Israelite nation had closely related multiple systems of things, such as the Law, the priesthood, and the national system.

Paul was certain the Jewish system was nearing its end because Jesus foretold that the generation that heard his words would not pass away until all things had been fulfilled. In the first century, the ends of the systems of things were entirely related to the Jewish systems. Everything else continued.

However, as Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, the things Jesus foretold have a much broader application than to Jerusalem in the first century. Did not Jesus say that these things were coming upon the entire inhabited earth? He surely did. That being true, Paul’s warning concerning the ends of the systems must be relevant, too. This gives rise to the question: What systems are ending?

The modern world is composed of multiple systems. Civilization is primarily governed by interlocking religious, political, and economic systems. Since the first century, much of the world has been influenced by the Christian system. That has been especially true since Constantine imposed a form of Christianity upon Roman civilization, which, over the centuries, has developed into Christendom.

Over the past roughly 500 years, two competing political and economic systems have emerged—nation-states and empires. From these two systems have come the British Empire and the United States. Although historians claim the British Empire is a relic of yesteryear, the empire is a supranational invisible structure that wields immense power through control of the money system and everything that it buys, which is pretty much everything.

Since the end of the last world war, the Anglo-American system has dominated world affairs. The centerpiece of Anglo power has been the dollar’s reserve currency status and the floating exchange system, which is controlled almost exclusively by the City of London and the central banks.

After the collapse of the USSR, the lords of the Anglosphere put into motion a scheme for absolute control. Hundreds of military bases have sprung up around the world. Instead of disbanding after the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, NATO has expanded its members to Russia’s very border. The proxy war against Russia in Ukraine was intended to take Russia down and bring its vast natural resources under the control of the City of London.

By all accounts, the proxy war and sanctions have failed unless the actual goal is to destroy the nations of America and Europe, in which case the plot appears to be proceeding as planned.

In what sober observers see as insanity and absolute madness, the West is doubling down and has declared that Russia must not be allowed to be victorious. The only way to prevent a Russian victory, though, is by a more direct confrontation, deploying NATO troops, farther-reaching missiles, and F-16 nuclear-capable warplanes. Such an escalation would bring nuclear powers into direct conflict for the first time in history.

What is driving this madness that could lead to nuclear annihilation? There are many dynamics. Geo-politically, the emergence of the BRICS represents a new system beyond the control of the Anglo empire. And at the same time, the financial/monetary system upon which the empire’s power is derived is being sucked into an accelerating vortex of unpayable debt—otherwise known as bankruptcy.

So, we now find ourselves living at the point when the longstanding political and economic systems upon which we depend have reached their end. By all accounts, the next few months will bring great changes. Wars and civil wars, food shortages and pandemics are inevitable. The powers of the heavens are due to be shaken like never before.

But what comes next? The end of the present systems of things will not be the end of the world, as is commonly thought. Bible prophecy reveals that a short-lived eighth king will rule for a prophetic “one hour.” His allotted hour is the time, times, and half a time, 42 months, 1,260 days revealed in Daniel and Revelation. 

There is another factor to consider. And that is the spiritual. Jesus spoke of the end of the systems in connection with the preaching of the good news.   In Mark’s gospel, Jesus indicates that the good news must be preached first. First before what? First, before anointed Christians are arrested and handed over to local courts and thrown from the synagogues, and made to stand before governors and kings. Clearly, none of these dire things have befallen the chosen ones yet. That is because the good news must be preached first.

In any case, it is highly unlikely that any Christian would attend a Jewish synagogue, much less likely that they be evicted from it. During the conclusion being thrown from the synagogue must represent the Christian congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In other words, Jesus foretold the end of the Christian system of things too. And the chosen ones will be persecuted by some of their former spiritual brothers.

Up to this point, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has had a mission. When that assignment is accomplished—when the good news of the Kingdom has been preached throughout the world to Christ’s satisfaction—the Christian system will be terminated.

With no more preaching, teaching, and disciple-making, and no more calling and choosing of Kingdom heirs by Jehovah, the publishing company Christ has used will become obsolete—even a snare and a trap. This eventuality is what is prophesied: “Jehovah of armies—he is the One you should regard as holy, He is the One you should fear, and he is the One who should cause you to tremble.  He will become as a sanctuary, but as a stone to strike against and as a rock to stumble over to both houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  Many of them will stumble and fall and be broken; they will be ensnared and caught. Wrap up the written confirmation; seal up the law among my disciples!  I will keep in expectation of Jehovah, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.” — Isaiah 8:13-17

In the first century, Christ was a stumbling block to the majority of the Jews because he did not fit their false expectations. In the same way, the second coming of Christ and his visible parousia will be a stumbling block for many Christians.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are wholly unprepared for this eventuality since the Governing Body has promoted the delusion that Christ has been invisibly present since 1914. The organization will remain intact and issue “life-saving instructions” during tribulation. No doubt that is why Jesus went on to say, “Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved.”

The central feature of Jesus’ epic prophecy concerning the end of the entire system is the desolation of Jerusalem. Although the modern state of Israel and the city of Jerusalem with its Islamic Dome of the Rock appear to be ground zero for a war between Zionists and Islamists and could be the flashpoint for World War Three, the modern city of Jerusalem has no prophetic importance—other than what Satan makes of it. The “Jerusalem” that is destined to be desolated by a disgusting thing is a symbol. It represents Christ’s congregation. That is because Christianity began in Jerusalem.

So, Christ’s instructions in the first century required them to remove themselves from what had been not only the center of Jewish worship, but more importantly, Jerusalem was the unofficial headquarters of what the Governing Body calls the first-century governing body! That truly was the ends of the systems—both the Jewish system and the Christian system.

As stated in Isaiah (quoted above), the coming of Christ will serve as a stumbling block, and Jerusalem will become a trap and a snare, and many will be stumbled. Did not Jesus say, “Many will be stumbled”? How will “Jerusalem” become a snare? In the first century, Jesus was executed outside the walls of Jerusalem. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul said we must go out of the camp to meet him. The apostle explained in spiritual terms that Christians would be required to leave Christ’s congregation to go where Christ would be. That would require each to demonstrate faith and insight.

Those who did not leave Jerusalem when the disgusting thing first appeared likely lost their lives when the Romans returned. In the grander fulfillment, Jehovah’s Witnesses will have to leave their beloved Watchtower when it becomes obvious that the organization has been wholly compromised. Already, the leadership has become apostate. Did not Paul forewarn that the apostasy must come first before the manifestation of his presence? When the disgusting thing finally appears, it will be undeniable. Those who remain will be ensnared. Then will be the large-scale ends of the systems of things. 

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