Monday, March 12, 2018

The Time Frame of Matthew 25:31-46

Many times people confuse the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses with that of the Bible Students. One point of confusion that often arises is concerning the parable to the sheep and goats. What most Bible Students believe and what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach are not the same. One thing that the JW leadership (as well as many of other groups that have views similar to the JWs) does is to place the time frame of Jesus’ parable as being before Satan is abyssed, before the individual judgment of the world during the thousand years of Christ's special rule to bring mankind back to God. The usual conception they present is that the goats enter into everlasting punishment of the second death at, or immediately after, Armageddon, before Satan is abyssed, before the nations are blessed in the millennial reign of Jesus.

However, when does Jehovah come to judge the world (the nations, the unbelieving heathen) as individuals by means of Jesus? (Psalm 96; 98; Acts 17:31) When do the saints judge the world (the nations, the unbelieving heathen) with Jesus? (Daniel 7:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4) Jesus said regarding those of the world who not believe in him that he came to save them and that they will be judged in the “last day”. (John 12:47,48) Isn’t this after Satan is abyssed, so that he cannot deceive the heathen during the thousand years while he is abyssed, when those who rejected Jesus in the first century will be raised for individual judgment, when the books are opened to them? (Revelation 20) It is at that time that Jesus actually sits on his throne of glory for judging the world (Daniel 7:14) individually, for it is during that time the glory of the saints will be revealed, by which the condemned creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glory of the sons of God. (Romans 8:18-23) It is during that time of revealment, after Satan is abyssed, that the nations — the heathen — will be judged individually, as depicted in the parable of the sheep and goats, as to who will be worthy of eternal life, and who will not. The parable of the sheep and goats parallels Revelation 20:4-15.

Do the sheep of the parable actually have eternal life at the beginning of the millennial rule, so that they will not be judged during the millennial age? We know that the Watchtower has taught (and we presume still does) that the “other sheep” do not actually inherit eternal life until after the thousand years. Their teaching, as best as we can determine, is that the sheep of the parable will still have to judged further during the millennial rule, before they actually receive eternal life. However, we have seen them applying the destruction of the goats, as Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:46, as taking place at the beginning or before the beginning of the thousand years, thus meaning that they receive no benefit from the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, and they will never be blessed with the knowledge of who Jehovah is. According the JWs, they have their opportunity now, despite the fact that they are still blinded by Satan, so that they cannot understand. Thus, it would appear the JWs would have them enter into eternal destruction, without ever receiving the knowledge of the truth at all, evidently claiming that the "works" of their Watch Tower Society in their alleged proclaiming the Good News of God's Kingdom, provides the basis for the their eternal judgment, so that they -- and also their children -- are being judged worthy of eternal destruction although they have never been justified from the first condemnation in Adam. In other words, in effect, they are separating the application of Jesus’ words of Matthew 25:46 by one thousand years, applying the eternal “cutting-off” before the 1,000 years and the eternal life after the 1,000 years, although this was not what Jesus stated.

In truth, both the sheep and the goats receive their reward, not 1,000 years apart, but after the 1,000 years of the coming day of judgment of world now blinded by Satan.

A more detailed study of the parable of the sheep and goats can be found in the studies:

Mankind’s Course to the Day of Judgment
and
Will Billions Be Eternally Destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon?

Some other studies by Bible Students
(We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions presented)

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats

Day of Judgment Misunderstood (Charles Taze Russell)

The Final Judgment of the Human Race (Herald of Christ’s Kingdom)

Christ’s Kingdom (Ernie Kuenzli – Herald of Christ’s Kingdom)

Prophesy Against the Shepherds (Charles T. Russell)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Revelation 12:1 - Who is the Woman?

By comparing spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing, we conclude that the woman of Revelation 12:1 represents the promise, the covenant, which was to produce the seed, the seed of Abraham. That sign "was seen" (Isaiah 7:14) in the symbolic ecclesiastical heavens in the first century, with Abraham's seed of faith being brought forth. -- Genesis 3:15; Romans 4:13,16; Galatians 3:6-18; 4:23,24.

Not only was Jesus the seed of Abraham, he was not of the crooked and perverse seed of Adam (Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-17; 7:13; Romans 1:24-32; 3:9; 5:12-19; 8:19-22; 2 Peter 1:4), so he was additionally a human "Son of God" as was Adam before Adam sinned. (Luke 3:38) Jesus was begotten of the holy spirit -- not as a spirit being, but as a human being -- in the womb of Mary (Matthew 1:20), and his body was prepared by God. (Hebrews 10:5) Thus, he was not born "under the sun" of vanity, with its present futility (Ecclesiastes 1:2,14,15; Romans 8:20); Jesus was indeed a new creation, and became a new sun, a "sun of righteousness." -- Malachi 4:2.

Nevertheless, to pay the price for sin, Jesus suffered as though he were under that bondage of corruption. Furthermore, the seed of the woman is not just Jesus, for it includes those who, by application of the blood of the new covenant before the age to come, are allowed to come into covenant God made with Jesus through Abraham. (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; Galatians 3:16,29; Hebrews 6:5; 10:14,29; 12:24) It is for the revealing of this seed of the woman that the nations -- the heathen -- the whole creation now groaning in travail and pain (Romans 8:22), is waiting for, since when the seed is revealed all nations will then be blessed, so that the whole groaning creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. -- Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 2:2-4; Romans 8:19-22.