The Sign of the Son of Man
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered them, “SEE THAT NO ONE LEADS YOU ASTRAY.
For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matt 24:3-14
“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,
and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.
And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!
Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
For FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
See, I have told you beforehand.
So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." Matt 24:15-18
The Sign of the End
"What will be the sign of your presence (Greek--being beside/alongside) and the end of the age?" Matt.24:3
In response to that question, Jesus listed a cluster of events, that would mark the ends of God's Covenants with men, and the expiration of both their religious systems. These events occurred at the fulfillment of the "Law Covenant" (promise/covenant fulfilled by the "seed", Christ --Rom.10:4; Gal.3:16,24,25), and were foretold to occur at the fulfillment of the "New Covenant" as well (promise/covenant fulfilled by the "seed" "first-fruits" --Eph.1:10; Gal.3:19,26,29; Rev.20:4; 14:1,4; 7:4). Yes...the "New Covenant" also becomes fulfilled, and ends (1Cor.11:26; 13:10; Rom.8:25; Phil.3:12)
Any religious system set up by men can not compare with the Kingdom that is constructed by Yhwh God (Heb.11:10; Rev.21:2;Eph.2:10,6; Heb.12:22,23). Imperfect mortals are not permitted to rule in God's Kingdom (1Cor.15:50; John3:3; Matt.5:48). Only the "New Creation" which will be resurrected/"born again" as spirit, are permitted this inheritance (1Cor.15:53,54;Rom.8:18,19,23,25,29,30; Rev.20:6; John3:3)
The 144000 receive their kingdom with Christ and reign with him during the Thousand Years (1Cor.4:8; Rev.20:4; 14:1; 21:1;2Pet.3:10,11,12,13). This reign is now judging all enemies of Christ (Psalm110:1,2; 1Cor.15:24,25,26,27,28; Matt.25:45,46;Rev.20:12,13,15; John12:48) by their response to the truths of Christ, which are dispensed through his Chosen priests (2Cor.2:14,15; 5:20; 4:7; 1Cor.4:1; Matt.10:40; John15:4,5,8; 13:20; 1Tim.4:16; 1Pet.2:9; Mal.2:7)
Only after this testimony is finished, and all have been judged according to it's opened understanding,
(Rev.20:12 -pearl-newscrolls.blogspot.com) will God's eternal Kingdom arrive. That Kingdom will rule the entire earth (Rom.4:13; Gal.3:29; Ps.37:29; Dan.7:18; Matt.25:23), not just the body of Christ (Eph.1:22; Rev.1:5; 5:10) as it serves God (Rev.5:10; 1Cor.3:9; 2Cor.6:1,2,7; Luke10:19,20). The old and new do not overlap, but rather; the new completely replaces the old (Mark2:22; 2Pet.3:11,13).
The symbolic "Thousand Year" reign of Christ and his probate, elected brothers (Chosen priests) began in the first Century. By means of it, a testimony of truth is given among all those claiming to be slaves of God. This message will either be rejected by those who persecute it's agents, or it will be accepted by those who support it's agents (Matt.25:45,46). Satan's and his seed oppose and battle against truth by their deceptions. By means of truth, all are judged by their reaction to it (John15:20;Rev.20:12).
When this witness is completed, Christ hands over his kingdom to God (1Cor.15:24,25,28), who then begins His own eternal Kingdom. At that point, all those Chosen who have proven faithful during the Thousand Years over "a little", will then be installed as agents of GOD'S Kingdom, under Christ (1Cor.15:27,28), and over ALL the Master's belongings (Matt.24:46,47;Luke19:17), which will then be a complete exercise of all Christ's authority (Matt.28:18; 1Cor.15:25,25).
God's rule does not arrive to the earth until His Kingdom does (Rev.21:1). It's blessings will be complete and evident earthwide (Rev.21:4,5). Until then, that which is "incomplete" will be here, to be totally replaced by that which is "complete" (1Cor.13:10).
If you are one of "Jehovah's Witnesses", you have been taught that the list of "signs" Jesus gave
(a "composite sign" Matt.24:3), are now evident in the World around us. You have been taught that Christ's rule started in 1914, and is expressed through an organization which in truth, is not made up of Christ's chosen priests, but rather, of spiritual Gentiles ("Jew" / "Gentile") who have been appointed as elders to rule over the Chosen ("Disgusting Thing"). That is a counterfeit Mount Zion / priesthood / temple ("YHWH's Genuine Mountain") (Zech.4:7; Rev.8:8; Mark11:23; Rev.18:21)
The "Watchtower" has assigned each detail of the composite sign, it's corresponding fulfillment in Satan's world, since 1914.
It is asserted that when these things began fulfillment in the world, it was proof, that GOD began His kingdom through Christ, and this would initiate the literal "Thousand Years".
These doctrines assert:
1. The composite sign of the end is evident in Satan's World.
2. Christ began ruling God's Kingdom in 1914, without his completed 144000 co-heirs.
3. The arrival of the Kingdom initiated the start of the composite sign.
4. The Kingdom is being visibly ruled by "the faithful and discreet slave" Governing Body
through the "Watchtower" Corporation.
5. The "spiritual paradise" is the first benefit of the Kingdom rule. The other blessings will come
separately at a later time.
6. The last events due to take place before Armageddon, is the fall of Babylon the Great (who is
thought to be the Harlot and "Christendom"/ world empire of false religion) followed by
an instantaneous "tribulation" on God's people. This will invoke God's defense of
His "people", when God executes the "wicked", at Armageddon.
I hope to make a comparison of these doctrines, to Jesus' words. I also hope to provide scriptural evidence that we have all been taught to look in the wrong place, for The Sign of the End.
You heard it said that Jesus first act as king, was the casting down of Satan in 1914. But a closer look at Rev.12:10, reveals that Satan is cast down, before the arrival of God's Kingdom. The arrival of the kingdom is in the Greek present tense, and the casting of Satan in the past tense. The context even says...Now the kingdom...because the hurling down of Satan has been accomplished. The reason for being cast down? The last of the 144000 prove faithful, and the number is completed (Rev.6:11; 12:11,5). The scriptures make clear that even after the number is complete/child born; God's Kingdom does not start right away (Rev.12:12,13).
could that group be complete even today, if Holy Spirit is still inviting prospective members? How could God's Kingdom begin in 1914, if members of that group of kings are still missing? The Bible tells us that every member of this group, is present to rule
WITH Christ (Rev.14:1; 20:4,6 note: "With Christ"). He does not rule the entire earth without
1John5:19 tells us plainly, that Satan still rules this world. This is self-evident.
It is during Satanic authority, that Christ's rule of a "Thousand Years",
battles with his faithful priests against enemies of truth (Ps.110:1,2; Matt.28:18; 2Cor.10:4,5; 6:7; Rev.12:7; 17:14; 19:11,14,8;6:9,10,11; 12:11; 11:7; 20:4) to the death, just as the example of Christ (1Pet.2:21; Rom.8:17; Mark8:35)
In Part II of this series, we examined Jesus illustration of the kingdom's arrival, as being compared to a woman giving birth ( pearl-laborpains.blogspot.com ). He said that the signs of the end, compare to her labor pains (Matt.24:8; Mark13:8; Isa.26:17;John16:20,21,22). This is the Greek meaning of "pangs of distress". We know who the "woman" "giving birth" is (Rev.12:1,2 pearl-thewoman.blogspot.com ) and we know that birth occurs AFTER labor, not at it's start.
The birth of the Kingdom comes at the end of the woman's labor pains, not at the start of them (Mark13:7 "end not yet";Matt.24:8 "beginning of pangs"). Therefore, the signs of the "end/labor pains", take place before the eternal Kingdom of Godarrives...not after!
(God's eternal kingdom is separate from Christ's Thousand Year kingdom.)
How did Jesus describe the "labor pains" that would lead up to the birth of God's Kingdom? What was the "sign" which would indicate that the Kingdom and the end of the age, would soon arrive?
How did Jesus describe the "labor pains" that would lead up to the birth of God's Kingdom? What was the "sign" which would indicate that the Kingdom and the end of the age, would soon arrive?
If you read the Chapters referenced above and compile a simplified list Jesus gave as his reply, it is as follows:
False Prophets, "wars and rumors of wars", "Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom", famines, pestilences, "earthquakes in various places", unprecedented tribulation, death, hated by all for Jesus' sake, hatred, betrayal, taking of offense, widespread deception by false prophets, lawlessness, salvation through endurance, kingdom witness, a "disgusting thing in a holy place", spiritual danger to the chosen, a gathering of "eagles" to a "carcass", signs in the heavens, apathy, powers of the heavens shaken, a premature appearance of "Christs", Jesus inspection of his slaves, a dire need to be vigilant, a great sound of trumpeting angels to gather the chosen, and finally...."THE SIGN of the Son of Man...
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (John2:19; Matt.12:40; Rev.11:11)
The "Organization" has taken these signs, and defined them as follows...
Great War, Widespread disease, a lack of food, Earthquakes, Wicked People, Crime.
(see brochure, "You can be God's Friend" WTBTS 2000; lesson 6)
It is asserted that this has come true since the year 1914 by two world wars, additional conflicts, and the millions of people who have died in them. One scripture is offered....Matt.24:7. There we can read Jesus words about one labor pain being war...but this scriptural citation includes no other scriptural references for interpretation
or application of his words.
Certainly these visible, physical events, are convincing. Yet we must reason with ourselves...
Who has control over the wars of this world?
Are these wars a labor pain of the Bible's woman who is giving birth?
Do these events of the world have anything to do with the kingdom heirs being tested, born and sealed?
Did Jesus feel that the wars, politics, or economics of Satan's world were a threat to his brothers becoming born/sealed?
Did Jesus intend that these signs be taken literally, visually, and physically?
Is a physical interpretation in harmony with the rest of end time prophecies?
Since Jesus always taught by means of illustrations (Matt.13:34,10,11), even when in normal conversation with his apostles (Matt.16:6,7,8,11,12), could these "signs" have a spiritual meaning? From Jesus'
counsel, we see that even the apostles had to change their natural inclination to view things physically (Mark8:15,16,17,18,21).
At Matt.24:32,33; Jesus makes plain that his disciples who are present upon the earth during the fulfillment of these signs (Rev.1:1), will need to "discern the signs of the times" (Matt.24:32,33). We can turn to when this happened before....
Matt.16:1 "Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.
These people wanted a physical, obvious sign, to test Jesus claim of divine authority and Truth. He points to their ability to read symbolic indications of weather and their meaning, and contrasts their inability to read symbolic indications of the "signs of the times"...the meaning of the critical days in which they lived.
Jesus then condemns them as wicked. Why? What bad thing did they do?
Those who are unable to discern the meaning of the symbolic "signs of the times" (Matt.24:3) are blind for a reason. Jesus tells us that reason, at Matt.13:14,15. Jesus' disciples asked him outright..."And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”Matt.13:10
Jesus answered, "13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." Matt.13:13
By always teaching by means of symbolism, Jesus and Jehovah control who they grant understanding to. This is confirmed atMatt.13:11: " He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given."
teaching by means of symbolism/illustrations/signs, Holy Spirit would determine who is granted to understand the words of Christ; especially when it comes to grasping "the signs of the times". Those who do not grasp it, have not been "granted"/"given" understanding,
by design, and on purpose. Such ones are physical men, who seek physical signs. Jesus expects us to show our appreciation for these hidden spiritual treasures, by digging for them (John6:27; Matt.13:44,36,51; Luke8:8,9,10,11;Rev.2:29; 3:22). We must look to Jesus for the meanings (by means of scripture), not look to Satan's world. Only
those willing to "beg" for God's spirit and truth by means of his Word (John17:17), will be granted understanding and insight (Luke16:3; 11:13;Matt.7:7; 21:22). For those who are physical and want everything given plainly, Jesus said, "A wicked and adulterous generation
seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet[b] Jonah.” And He left them and departed." Matt.16:4
The only physical sign given, would be Jesus' death and resurrection (Matt.12:40). No further "understanding"/"visible sign, would such men be given. In the same way, the only reliable physical/obvious sign given physical men today, will be the death of the "two witnesses" Rev.11:7,11; Matt.24:30; 1Cor.2:14]
At Matt.13:35, it says of Jesus, " that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:“I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
With certainty, the "signs" of the end of our age, are such precious "secrets" (Dan.12:4; Rev.10:7). To be granted understanding of the greatest mysteries of all time, is the one of the most precious of divine favors. Should we expect then, that Jesus' words about "the signs of the times" of the end, would not also be by means of illustration? If he tells us that wicked false prophets are present at that time (Matt.24:4,5,24,25), would he not cloak these precious secrets in symbolism as well? Those with wayward hearts are prevented from having insight...by means of symbolic illustrations...
"For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them." Matt.13:15
Only those who are granted, will see the deeper meaning (Matt.13:11,16,17). The time would arrive for those blessed ones, to understand (Rev.22:10; Matt.24:33).
Daniel 12:9,10 reads:
And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand."
In light of the fact that in the "time of the end", the wicked will not be granted "understanding", it is a certainty that the "sign of your presence and of the end of the age", would be by means of illustration. The meaning of those signs would not be obvious and physical (Luke17:20), and the "sealed up" understanding of those signs, would be granted by means of spirit (Matt.16:17; 13:11;John16:13; Daniel 12:4; Luke11:9,10,13; 1Cor.2:7,10,12,13,14; Luke10:21) and truth (John17:17; Heb.4:12; Gen.40:8; John7:16;8:47), which are the requirements of our faith and beliefs (John4:24; 2Cor.5:7).
The Signs: A Comparison between the obvious, visible, and physical and the hidden, symbolic, and spiritual.
is asserted that this has come true since the year 1914 by two world wars, additional conflicts, and the millions of people who have died in them. One scripture is offered....Matt.24:7. There we can read Jesus words about one labor pain being war...but this scripture contains no interpretation or application of his words. There are no scriptures which point to the conflicts in Satan's world
as being the fulfillment of this sign.
The Kingdom's birth is not through Satan's world, nor does it originate from that source (Job14:4). The genuine "birth pangs" of the Kingdom therefore, are not taking place there (Matt.24:8; Gal.4:26; Rev.12:1,2; John18:36; 16:20,21,22).
Does the Bible contain scriptures to indicate that the "woman" who is actually the one giving birth to the kingdom (Rev.12:2)...the one having these "signs" of "labor"...Does she have "war"???
Please consider the interpretation of this "sign"/"labor pain", according to God's Word:
Gen.3:15; 2Cor.10:4,5; Eph.6:10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17; 1Tim.1:18; 2Tim2:3,4,5; Rev.6:2; 19:11,14; 16:14; 12:17; 13:7;11:7)
When we read in the Book of Revelation, that the "kings of the earth" are at war (Rev.16:14; 19:19). Does this not rightly indicate a parallel of physical, worldly warfare?
These are spiritual kings (Rev.1:5,6; 5:10; 20:6) Jesus would not be a "king" over the leaders of Satan's world (John18:36). The "kingdom" of this world is Satan's "kingdom", over which Satan is king/ruler (Matt.4:8,9; John16:11; 12:31; 14:30; Eph.6:12;1John5:19). The kingdom of Satan's world rulers is distinct from Christ's kingdom of kings (Rev.11:15; 5:10; 1:5).
These "kings of the earth" are also engaged, in a spiritual warfare (Rev.17:2,12,14,16,17,18; 11:7; 19:11,14;
This war culminates during the final harvesting of the last of the 144,000 (causing "birth pangs"), and that final harvesting will bring about the kingdom's birth (1Cor.3:6,7,8,9; John4:36,37,38; Matt.13:40,41; Rev.1:20;
Zech.4:9,7,11,14; Rev.11:4,5; Jer.5:14; Matt.3:12).
The kingdom of God does not arrive by means of a physical world conflict between political powers under Satan's dominion, (fighting over worldly power, resources, and territory), but rather, by means of the separating of the wheat from the weeds, at the time of the harvest/end of the age (Matt.13:39).
This explains why Jesus stated that this spiritual warfare, was "necessary to occur"/"must take place"/"must come to pass" (Matt.24:6; 18:7; Dan.11:36; 2Thess.2:4; Dan.7:20,21; Rev.13:7; Dan.8:24).
This conflict between the "woman's seed" and "Satan's seed" (Gen.3:15) IS necessary. Only through this necessary spiritualwarfare, will the final Chosen Ones be established as sealed (on the forehead); and as slaves belonging to either Jehovah or Satan (1Cor.11:18,19; Rev.14:1; 13:16,4 a; Deut.6:6,8) (Rev.13:16,7,8)(pearl-666.blogspot.com). THIS spiritual conflict between truth and lies, IS "necessary to occur"(1Cor.11:19; Matt.18:7; 24:6; Jer.51:46,49; Isa.19:2; Joel3:2). Only by means of this spiritualwar, will Satan, his seed, and his lies, finally be cast down (Rev.12:10,11; 17:14), the heirs of the kingdom be given their white robes/seal (Rev.6:9,11; 7:14; 19:8; 12:11), the enemies of Christ finally be subdued (Ps.110:1,2; 1Cor.15:25,24; Dan.2:35;Matt.21:44; Zech.12:3), and all those observing the warfare, will be able to discern the true prophets from the false (1Cor.11:19;John7:17,18; Mal.3:18) so that they can take their own informed stand for truth, or not (Deut.13:3; Heb.6:10; Matt.10:40;1Thess.2:13; 2Cor.2:14,15,16,17) (1Tim.4:1; 2Thess.2:11; Rev.11:10; 9:21; Eze.14:10).
The Justice of Yhwh and Jesus would never assert that senseless physical carnage, bloodshed, and violence were needed, in order to accomplish the birth of God's Kingdom, and sealing of the "seed" (Psalm11:5; 2Cor.10:4; Eph.6:12).
This "sign"/"labor pain" of "warfare" for the "woman" giving birth then, is not physical.
It is a "labor pain" of the "woman" sealed in heaven (not Satan's world) as she struggles to give birth to the full 144000 (Gal.4:26;Rev.12:1,2; Eph.2:6; Gal.4:19).
God's kingdom is not sourced in Satan's world. Satan's world is not giving birth to it (Job14:4). If Satan's world is not giving birth to God's kingdom, Satan's world is not where we find the genuine "labor pains".
The "woman" and her sealed ones, are in labor; as the scriptures above show.
That labor is not due to the world's economics or politics; but is due to ongoing spiritual war between the "wheat" and "weeds"...the sons of the kingdom, and the sons of the wicked one (Gen.3:15; Rev.12:7; 16:13,14,15,16; 17:14; 19:11,14;
so that each can finally be made manifest and sealed (Matt.12:36,37; 16:27; 1Cor.3:12,13,14; Luke8:17; 2Pet.3:7,10,12;Jer.23:29; Hosea6:5; Rev.11:3,5; Jer.5:14), as the gathering of the kingdom administration of heirs to God's Kingdom, is brought to completion during the final battle of Amageddon (Rev.16:13,14,16; 17:14; 19:11,14,15; 2:26,27; Jer.23:29; 2Cor.10:4,5;Hosea6:5; Matt.24:51,50) when the final harvesting of wheat, and of "the vine of the earth", is completed (Rev.14:14,15,16,17,18,19) (pearl-winepress.blogspot.com).
At the root of this battle of Armageddon, is the struggle to win over the hearts of men, and what it is that they put their faith in and worship. Each side of this battle, has it's own overlord and King. It is what proceeds from the mouth of each of these King of kings, that fuels this decisive battle.
(Matt.4:8,9; 1John5:19; Rev.9:11) (Rev.19:16; 5:10; 1:5)
From the mouth of Satan (and those belonging to his "woman" -Rev.17:5), comes deception, spiritual darkness, false doctrines, and death (Rev.16:13,14,15,16; 12:17,15; 20:7,8; 17:14), instigating Armageddon. From the mouth of Christ (and those belonging to his "woman" -Gal.4:26; Rev.22:17), comes insight, spiritual light, truth, and life (Rev.1:15 B; John4:14; Rev.1:16 B;Rev.19:13,21,15 A; Heb.4:12).
According to scripture, Armageddon is a battle between truth and lies, and the sources (fathers) and messengers ("angels"/"seed"), of each side (John8:44,45; 1:9,14; Eph.5:9; 6:12; 1Pet.2:9; 1Thess.5:5; 2Cor.11:13,14,15) (Rev.12:17; 2Cor.10:4,5; John18:37;Mark1:38; Rev12:7; Gen.3:15).
Nowhere in the Bible, is the interpretation of Armageddon described as a literal execution, instigated by God and carried out by the political governments of Satan's world by material warfare, as so many have assumed.
The Bible simply describes it as a battle that results from "demon inspired sayings" coming from the mouth of Satan and his messengers, and the resulting backlash of truth by means of Christ and his messengers. (Rev.16:13,14,16; 13:11,4,6;2Thess.2:4,9,10,8) (Rev.2:12,16; Rev.17:14; 19:11,15,14,19,20,21; 2:16,26,27; Gal.5:17; Rom.8:5,6,7,8,13).
The doctrines of men
assert that the kingdom will be born by means of the physical food shortages and famines that we see taking place around the world today. As distressing and grievous as this injustice is; please try to recognize it's irrelevance to the birth/sealing of the
completed number of the Kingdom Heirs. Again, there are no scriptures which tell us that this "famine" must be applied physically (Mark13:8).
Does the Bible indicate that within the experience of the "woman" and her "seed"...that these would be faced with a lack of adequate Truth/accurate spiritual food?
The book of Revelation tells us that there would be a powerful "false prophet" (Rev.13:11,14; Rev.19:20) in tandem with a worshipped Beast (Rev.13:6,8). This is confirmed in Jesus' "sign" of the end (Matt.24:24; 7:13,15). Please consider Amos8:11.
Rev.18:8 reveals that the religious Harlot will experience "famine". We know that the book of Revelation IS a book of symbolism. This must be true of the Harlot's "famine", since it arrives "in one day". Such is not the case with physical famine.
Yes, the famine that effects the remnant, is spiritual. So too, this "labor pain" of the "woman" giving birth to the kingdom.
Jehovah considers the "woman" who gave birth as needing to be fed. At Rev.12:6 and Rev.12:14 , the Greek says that this "woman" is "nourished". Again, her need is not for physical food, but for spiritual. Due to the pervasive deceptions aimed at this woman (Rev.12:15), she is in dire need of Truth. Her dire need for spiritual nourishment will be addressed by Jehovah God himself (Rev.12:6,14), while the Harlot is consigned to "famine" (Rev.18:8). Certainly, one of the signs of the end, is a spiritual famine. (Rev.18:8; Isa.5:13; Hosea4:6; Isa.65:13,17; Rev.6:6; Matt.25:8)
According to WT doctrine, Matt.24:12 ("increasing of lawlessness") receives the heading of "Crime."
This is the only scripture given under this "sign"/"labor pain".
The publication then follows by saying that the reader will likely agree that crime is worse than it was years ago. It refers to the ever increasing "risk of being robbed, cheated, or harmed" (mugged, raped, murdered).What did Jesus mean by "lawlessness: according to the scriptures?
We get a leading indication, if we go to the words he used to depict his final judgment upon his followers...
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wondersin Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" Matt.7:21,22,23
I ask you to consider whom Jesus considers one who practices "lawlessness".
According to Jesus' standard and estimation;
...Is "lawlessness", robbery, cheating, assault and battery, or any other "crime"?
According to the words of Jesus above,
these persons consider themselves...not criminals...but followers of Christ!
According to verse 21, they consider Jesus their "Lord", and they are working to "enter the kingdom of the heavens".
Therefore, those whom Jesus identifies as "lawless", are a large segment of those with the heavenly hope. A large segment? Yes...just a few verses before, Jesus says at Matt.7:13,14:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt.22:14
Clearly, it is "many" from among the "invited" and "called" anointed, who unwittingly become "workers of lawlessness", and are therefore disqualified from entering the very kingdom they are striving to "enter into". (Matt.22:8)
Therefore, it also becomes clear, that this "labor pain" of the incoming Kingdom, is associated with that same woman/Covenant and her "seed". She is the one experiencing the labor pain of
"lawlessness"....NOT Satan's world, with it's Crime! (Rev.12:1,2; Matt.7:23)
Whatever this "lawlessness" among the anointed is then, Jesus claimed that it would be increasing, as the end drew close (Matt.24:12).
In order for interpretation to be of God, the scriptures must continue to guide us in our understanding of what Jesus meant, by saying that one of the "labor pains", would be "lawlessness"/"wickedness" (depending on translation) (Matt.24:8,12).
First, to be "law-LESS", means to be without the constraints and guidance of LAW. What LAW did Jesus have in mind, when he confided that his anointed ones would increasingly flout it as the end drew close?
How would this "lawlessness" cause the "woman", increasing pains of labor?
Please consider what the Bible tells us...
(John13:34,35; Gal.6:2; James2:8; 1Cor.13:1,2,3,13; Matt.22:36,37,38,39,40; 25:40; 1John3:11; 2John1:6)
What was the "Law" of the Christ, which would be increasingly broken by his own anointed followers?
What then does it mean to be "Lawless"?
Please consider again, what the Bible tells us...
(Rev.2:4,5; [Rev.3:17 with 1Cor.4:8]; 1John3:10,11,12,13,14,15; John8:44; 1John4:20,21; Matt.24:48,49,51; Hosea6:5)
Can you see why Jesus condemns those who practice "lawlessness"? (Matt.7:21,22,23)
Due to the increasing practice of "lawlessness", "the love of the greater number will cool off".
Ah, there is our original scripture...
"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold" Matt.24:12
So, to return to our original theme....the "labor pain" of "lawlessness"....
Did Jesus have in mind, the growing "crime" statistics out in Satan's world?
No, not according to the Bible.
God's recorded words of Jesus indicate that this "lawlessness", or growing lack of brotherly affection, would be among his anointed followers....
for a certainty,
a "sign"/"labor pain",
not belonging to Satan's "world"...but belonging to the "woman" who is trying to give birth to the sealed Chosen Ones.
Have we seen an increase of "lawlessness" among the anointed? Yes. With the increasing power of the "steward", he has "cooled off" his love for his fellow slaves...beating them by disfellowshipping any who beseech him to heed the Law and Truth of Christ. The steward has empowered with control and authority; the "Man of LAWLESSNESS" (2Thess.2:3,4,6; Rev.13:15; Dan.8:24)... and so, the "increasing of Lawlessness" is inevitable, and it occurs right within God's own Temple (2Thess.2:3,4; 1Cor.3:16). It is through this loveless proud "Man" (spiritual "Gentiles" taking over the "Holy Place" Matt.24:15; Rev.11:2), that the faithful anointed are "beaten", "stung", "expelled", and "killed" (Matt. 24:49; Rev.9:3,10; John16:2; Rev.11:7; 13:7)...
..."labor pains" indeed!
has certainly fulfilled this physical sign over the course of the last century. Though geologists debate over the reasons for increased seismic activity; a visit to the National Geological Survey ( http://www.usgs.gov/ )
helps to confirm, that over the last Century, earthquakes have increased in number and intensity.
This may be a compelling indication of Satan's control over natural elements (Job1:9,11,12,16,19), human activities (Job1:15,17) and their possible effect on the environment.
Despite this, we should once again ask ourselves if natural earthquakes is what Jesus had in mind. When he cited "earthquakes" as a "labor pang" of the "woman"; he referred once again to the Covenant, who gives birth to the Kingdom administration.
Since he normally spoke by illustration (and the physical earthquakes once again, have nothing to do with the arrival of God's Kingdom); we should give God's Word first consideration in interpreting this "sign". Are there symbolic earthquakes within the Bible, which are associated with the "end"/birth of the "seed" ?
When we think of an earthquake, what comes to mind? Upheaval? Feelings of insecurity? Damage and destruction of things which were established? Transformation and loss of what was familiar?
Jesus chose perfect illustrations, which suited his message and lesson. Therefore, the meaning of this "labor pain" will mean the very same things...in a spiritual sense. There will be upheaval, insecurity, damage to the established religious system of the "seed", and a loss of what was familiar. The "seed" of the woman would experience these things, on their way to being "born"/sealed (Mark13:25; Jer.49:21,22,24; Heb.12:27).
In the book of Revelation, we read the symbolic events that occur at the opening of the 6th seal.
"I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold,[e] there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon[f] became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. (Jer.24:2,3; 29:17; Isa.34:4; Matt.25:2;24:29)14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up (Isa.34:4; Mark13:24,25) and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders,[g] the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
There is so much more which could be written about these spiritual
earthquakes which are associated with Jehovah's rage toward those who leave His Covenant in the time of the end; but from the scriptures cited, you can hopefully see that the "earthquake" labor pain/"sign" of the end, is not a physical earthquake at all...
but a spiritual upheaval that splits the "soil"/territory, of "Israel" (the faithful and unfaithful Chosen) (Ezek.38:19; Zech.14:4,5) during the "harvest"... which separates
the "wheat", from the "weeds" (Matt.13:39,41,49; Mal.3:18; Heb.12:27).
Regarding the prophecy of Luke23:30, see it's association to earthquakes, at Isa.2:19,21. This literally says, "shake the earth".
Regarding that, also see Heb.12:26; Isa.13:13; 24:19; Hosea10:8; Haggai2:6,7.
There is great change afoot. God is allowing a sifting and shaking, to separate and sift out, those who are fit for life. These tremors will unearth the truth about the present heavens and earth, and the evil work being done and hidden within them (2Pet.3:10,7). This quaking is being caused by the voice (decrees/judgments) of God (Heb.12:26; Dan.7:7,8,21,26,9,22,18,27;Joel3:16;
He will cause what is low, to be raised up, and what is high, to be brought down to the dust, just as a great literal earthquake does.
(See Isa.45:2; 40:4; Zech.4:7; Ps.113:7,8; Eze.21:26; Luke14:11; 3:6,5; Isa.43:19,20,21;
Jer.31:22 -literally: woman [daughter who was elusive/backsliding/shrunk back -see context] will [come forward to] defend/shield/protect/guard, her master. In doing so, this defies the usual scenario of a master defending his maidservant. In her doing so, streams of water are produced in the wilderness for God's people. -Isa.43:19; Jer.31:22; Isa.52:2,1,3; Rev.12:6,14).
The reason there was an earthquake upon Jesus death (Matt.27:50,51,54), was also a meaningful manifestation of God's release of anger, when He upturned His covenant with Israel (Matt.21:43,42; Matt.21:37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45). It caused the curtain which enclosed God's abode within the Most Holy, to be torn apart, (Mark15:37,38; Luke23:45), exposing that the ark of God's covenant was gone. The armies of Titus found the Holy of Holies quite empty in 70 A.D. Just as Jesus said, "Your house is left to you abandoned"
(Eze.8:6; Matt.23:37,38; Jer.22:5; Matt.24:2).
So will the wayward Temple members today, be upturned, debased, and abandoned.
(Rom.11:19,20,21,22; Matt.24:15,16; 2Thess.2:4; Rev.11:2;
Zech.12:2;Luke21:24; Rev.13:10,7; 11:3,5; 20:9)
("Fire From Heaven").
The day of reckoning rushes upon them, when these Harlotrous representative agents of their mother Covenant of Death ("Babylon the Great" -Rev.17:5)
(Harlot and Beast) (Harlot and Beast -2)
will have to face the writing on the wall (Dan.5:5,6,25,26,27,30; Luke12:20,21; Prov.13:22; Job27:8; Prov.10:2) when they will lose all their worldly treasures on earth (Matt.6:19; 1John2:15,16), given them by the god of this world (Matt.4:8; 1Pet.5:8;2Cor.2:11; 11:3), and taken away by his Gentile sons of destruction (2Thess.2:3; Rev.13:4; 9:3,11; 17:16), with whom she also fornicates.
The "high" "mountain" of the WT will be abased (Zech.4:7; Rev.8:8; 18:21), and the despised and rejected capstone will be set in it's place...completing the Temple of God.
(1Pet.2:5; 1Cor.3:16; Eph.2:21,22; Zech.4:7,9; 3:9; Rev.14:1; Isa.2:2,3,10,17,18,19,20,21,22)
("Yhwh's Genuine Mountain")
Jesus told us that "earthquakes" will take place in various localities (Matt.24:7,8).
Rev.18:4; Isa.44:23), all the strongly entrenched falsehoods "in various places", are overturned (2Cor.10:4,5) and judged (Matt.12:36,37). There are many such manifestations of falsehood..."various places"; because up until then, "Babylon the Great" (lit. "Great Confusion") reigns (and death reigns, through the
famine she causes -Isa.28:15; Amos8:11,12).
Is this not presently evident on all the forums, and even among those claiming to be anointed priests?
(Dan.12:4; Amos8:12,11; Rev.18:8; 6:6; Matt.24:7,8)
All the end time powerful lying signs, powerful demonic portents, and the false prophets who teach them (1Tim.4:1;Rev.12:9,15,17; 20:7,8; 16:13,14,15,16; 19:20; 13:4; 2Thess.2:8,9,10; Matt.24:4,5,24,25), will become mire in the streets (Hab.2:16; Jer.13:13; Rev.14:8; Micah7:10; Isa.51:22,23) when compared to the beaming revelations of God (John1:5; Acts26:18;John3:19; 2Thess.2:11,12; Rev.20:10; Isa.24:6; Hosea6:5; Rev.11:5; Jer.5:14; Zech.1:6).
These events happen in the spiritual realm, and are perceived with spiritual eyes that are open and awake. These events will eventually change the surface of the "earth", removing rebellious kings, and installing faithful kings
(Dan.2:21; 4:17; Rev.10:11; Ps.82:1; 75:7; Jer.1:10; 31:28).
These are spiritual earthquakes, and concern the removal of the wicked powers that exist ("heavens"), and the installation of the powers that were not....a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells.
(2Pet.3:7,10,12,13; Isa.60:21; 65:17; 66:22; Rev.21:1,27; Dan.7:9,18,22).
I will write more about these "earthquakes", when I finish the articles about the visions.
Since the fall
of man, physical disease has always existed. Jesus well knew that this would still be the case previous to the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Why then, did he mention this sign as a unique distinction of the time of the end, and a hallmark of his
If spiritual pestilence were to occur within his own "body"...the anointed Congregation...would Christ consider that worthy of mention? If a contagious spiritual disease were overtaking his chosen ones in the time of the end; would that be a threat Jesus would be sure to warn his slaves of? He did. Many times (Matt.7:21,22,23; 24:24,25; 25:11,12; Mark8:15).
What scriptural evidence is there, that this "pestilence"/"labor pain" of the Covenant and her seed, is spiritual?
First...do we have proof that Jesus indeed does illustrate spiritual ailments, as physical ones?
Luke 5:30,31,32; James5:14,15.
Take note of some of these spiritual sicknesses:
John12:39,40. Physical "blindness"? No...spiritual
(2Cor.4:4; Acts28:27; Isa.6:9; Matt.13:13; Rev3:17,18,19).
Isa.43:8. Physically "deaf"? No...a spiritual deafness (Jer.6:10; 5:21; Prov.28:9).
Jehovah allows spiritual sickness in those who have left him
(Eze.28:23,24; Rev.16:2,11; 2Thess.2:11,12; Rev.2:21,22,23) as recompense for their lack of repentance.
Yet He also offers "healing" to those inclined to repent.
(Jer.3:22; 6:14; Hosea14:4; Acts28:27; 3:19; 10:38; Psalm103:3; Isa.6:10; Matt.13:15; Rev.3:19,18)
In a physical sense, we try to maintain our physical health. If this illustration truly applies fully in a spiritual sense, we would expect that our spiritual health could also be referred to in this
Please consider: (note: some translations render the Greek: "Healthful words", as "sound doctrine" or "trustworthy message")
Titus1:9; 2:1; 1Tim.1:10; 6:3; 2Tim.1:13; 4:3.
Can you see that to maintain our spiritual health, we must cling to the "healthful words" "of our Lord Jesus Christ"? (1Tim.6:3)
There are men today that apply this scripture about the teachings of Jesus Christ, to their own doctrines!...calling these doctrinesthe "healthful words"!
Yet this scripture makes clear that it is not the doctrines of men that keep us spiritually healthy (Matt.15:9)...But rather, the perfect words of Christ. Can you conclude what the results would be, of leaving the "healthful words" ..in favor of vane doctrines of men? Would that not result in a lack of spiritual health...or, spiritual disease?
This does occur in the time of the end (Rev.8:10,11,12; 9:2; 13:5,14,8,11; 3:2; 2:14,20; Matt.24:24).
Do other scriptures confirm that in the time of the end (the period in which we expect the "labor pains", including "pestilence") the Chosen ones would be succumbing to spiritual disease?
2Thess.2:3,4 tells us that in the time of the Lord's presence (2Thess.2:8; Matt.24:3,24), the "seed" would be at risk of being deceived by Satan. This occurs right in among the "seed" (2Thess.2:4; 1Cor.3:16; Matt.13:24,25,30). Are any of the "seed" overtaken by this end-time deception, lose their spiritual health, prove unfaithful, or fall?
See Matt.24:42,44,48,49,50,51; 25:1,2,11,12,30; 2Cor.11:2,3,4;
[Phil.2:15; Dan.12:3; Rev.1:20 anointed "stars" (can fall --Dan.8:10; Rev.12:4; 2Pet.3:17; Rev.8:10; 9:1)].
Dan.8:11,12; 11:31,33,35; Rev.13:7; 3:2
Would you conclude that all these Chosen Ones in the time of the end, who fail at loyalty to Jehovah and Christ (and "fall"), have spiritual health?...or "Pestilence"?
Clearly, the Bible often refers to our spiritual health and lack of it, in physical illustration.
(Prov.4:20,22; 3:7,8; 16:23,24; Acts15:29)
Once again...in the light of the fact that this "labor pain" is of the "woman" covenant and her seed; the sign of "pestilence" is to be fulfilled among them.
We can choose to search for the fulfillment of prophecy upon the world stage over which Satan has complete control;
or, we can look deeper into the spiritual meaning of Christ's illustrations (1Cor.2:10,12,13; Matt.13:34) by means of scripture(Gen.40:8 b; Rom.3:4).
By means of the Bible we will recognize the true meaning of the signs of Christ's presence, the arrival of the True Kingdom, and the "conclusion of the system of things". Luke8:10; 17:20; 1Thess.5:4; Matt.24:15; Rev.13:18;