Luke 21:8

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by BreakTheWalls, Jul 18, 2017.

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    marshroanoke

    marshroanoke Member

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    It's not that I dogmatically know for sure it isn't true, but I don't put in any faith in it. My faith isn't based around dates. I have a strong feeling that in the future 1914 will prove false and we will need to support those who are disillusioned by it (similar to 1975).
     
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    Earthbound

    Earthbound Guest

    I've been away from the discussion boards for quite a while so I guess I may not be aware of what you and BreaktheWalls are referring to. "False presence"?

    ~~Earthbound
     
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    marshroanoke

    marshroanoke Member

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    The official doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses is that Jesus Christ presence began back in 1914 when he became King in heaven. At that time, he came invisibly to earth & an exclusive group "saw" his presence. Then in 1918 Jesus selected a faithful and discreet slave from that group to take the lead over his people. I don't put much clout in this chronology, because the generation of people that "saw" Jesus Christ in 1914 have all died. Now, the org promotes the idea that a second group (contemporaries of the first group that saw Jesus) are the ones that won't die before the Great Tribulation. It feels like the org is squeezing a square peg into a round hole with the "two groups" theory to make the generation idea still work.

    I have a feeling that in the future 1914/the generation theory will prove false similar to 1975. This will cause a lot of JWs to become disillusioned, and those who have speculated it is false will need to be there to lend their support. Jesus said his presence will be like "lightning"...undeniably visible to all. Those who hold onto 1914 will have to humbly accept it was an incorrect theory and move on.
     
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    Earthbound

    Earthbound Guest

    Thank you for the summary, @marshroanoke; I am only remotely aware that they had decided to explain the 1914 with something about a second group, as you mentioned, but even that came from second- and third-hand. I do find it curious that the Watchtower leaders' narrative has them being the only group of believers out of all others who were found watching for Jesus' parousia in 1914. Except that Bible Students from Charles Taze Russell onwards had been preaching that the parousia began in 1874.

    1897 “Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874,” (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, p. 621).

    Studies in the Scriptures was itself required reading for every Bible Student as brother Russell laid out everything from his views and interpretations of Bible prophecy to what he had found of worth from several other Christian groups he investigated.

    If memory serves me here, Bible Students didn't even reform that interpretation until the late 1930s, some 20+ years after 1914. You can probably search Google or DuckDuckGo for verification. Seems like it was 1935 or 1937; I'd have to go look at my research notes.

    I admire brother Russell for what he poured into the movement that became the Bible Students. Not that he didn't have his gaffs and sins. An imperfect man trying to serve a perfect God. It's definitely not as easy as it sounds, and I'll give a witness to that. :confused:

    It seems his heart was in the right place, because to me it seems his efforts to stir others in their faith and hope were blessed. I'm looking forward to asking him what he thinks of how things went after his death and "Judge" Rutherford came in and Trump'd him, overturning everything he could and making the organization into his own image. But that's a whole other topic.

    Back on track, though, my point is that the Bible Students believed that Jesus had returned in 1874 until 1935-37, when the Watchtower, under Rutherford, reformed the parousia doctrine, setting the return as 1914, and that's where it's remained to this moment. How they could've been the only Christians looking for Jesus' return in 1914 becomes a difficult premise to maintain, I would think.

    But I don't believe that believing in dates brings one into condemnation or identify someone as a "false" Christian. However, it does expose those believers to unnecessary hurt which can, and does lead to stumbling, even to the point of atheism— because the date and everything it represented had been the cornerstone of their faith. Only they didn't realize that. :oops:

    We are plainly told that dates, times, and seasons are not ours to know. We're just to be doing what we ought to be doing in view of the Time in which we find ourselves, are we not told, and looking out for opportunities to become vessels of blessing to others, that even in their unbelief they will praise our Father by thanking us, because it was our Father working through us that we are able a living witness.

    But He gave us an inquisitive mind, and so we peek and try to guess. Even the angels do. Who wouldn't want to know how this is all going to go down, right? ;) I've certainly dabbled plenty with prophecy and interpreting it.

    And since the dates, times, and seasons are not ours to know, we're left to rely on interpretation. It's when we make our interpretation mandatory for fellowship and freeness of speech among the brothers that we've crossed the line. After all, we were never authorized to "peek" in the first place (although our Father knows we probably will). Nor are we authorized to become masters over the faith of others.

    "But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm." — 2 Corinthians 1:24, NLT

    What a contrast to Christian churches and organizations today which make every effort to tell their respective members how to prove they're true followers of Jesus— rather than helping each brother and sister how to stand firm by their own faith in the Promise!

    But I'll stop there, before I digress again! :eek:

    ~~Earthbound
     

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