Messianic Confessions

CHAPTER TWENTY:
“The Time Is At Hand”

Any one familiar with JWs know they teach “the time is at hand” and that Armageddon is “immediately ahead”49 of us. This has been a theme since 1874 when 1914 was predicted to be the end of the world. (The phrase, “The Time Is At Hand” occurs about four dozen times in the JW literature.) I had already read all of these predictions in Watchtower magazines. For example, consider a few:
49 IMMEDIATELY AHEAD. This is a phrase which occurs frequently. Compare: Watchtower 10/1/83, p10; 11/15/83. p 23; 10/15/80, p 23; 2/1/75, p 8; 10/15/75, p 627; 1/15/74, p 49; 2/15/71, p 108; 11/15/63, p 687; 12/15/63, p 756; Kingdom Ministry: 10/75, p 1; 12/73, p 2; other publications: ce p 246; su p 174; uw p 45; sl p 3, 312, 325; ka p 19, 44; ws p 16.

“We see no reason for changing the figures–nor could we change them if we could. They are, we believe, God’s dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. We see no reason for changing from our opinion expressed in the view presented in the Watchtower.” (Watchtower, July 15, 1894)

“The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of the Scriptures.” (C. T. Russell, Sermons, 1917)

“…1925 shall mark the resurrection of the faithful worthies of old…“ (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, page 97, J Rutherford, 1920)

“1914 ended the Gentile times… The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures. ... By then the great crisis will be reached and probably passed.” (Watchtower, September 1, 1922)

“Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly… It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.” (Watchtower August 15, 1968)

“Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.” (Kingdom Ministry, May 1974)

Much has been published of a half dozen dates predicted by the Society. But, this last one demonstrates the spirit of the times. I remembered a long-time JW, Herald Toutjian, whose father had “come into the truth” in 1905. The Toutjians were a highly respected family of JWs. They all expressed their shock the Society would do this. Herald Toutjian said: “O, no, not again!” He just shook his head in disbelief.

This last phrase from the Kingdom Ministry about selling property and entering the “pioneer service” described exactly what I had done. However, two things later dawned on me: a) that the Society itself did not “sell belongings” as the “little flock” was enjoined at Luke 12:33; and, b) all of that money and property went to spreading the Society’s publications widely at the expense of all of those who truly believed 1975 would be the real end of the world.

In Spain I began to re-examine this whole idea of time-chronologies.50 The basic Bible text around which JWs pin-point 1914 is Daniel chapter four. I determined to read this with two things in mind: a) what was the interpretation within that chapter? and, b) were there any allusions or quotes of this chapter by an inspired writer in the New Testament?
50 TIME CHRONOLOGIES. The Pastor had originaly rejected “time chronologies” because of the example of William Miller’s failures: “At least by 1870, a publication edited by Joseph Seiss and associates and printed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was setting out calculations that pointed to 1914 as a significant date, even though the reasoning it contained was based on chronology that C. T. Russell later rejected.” (Proclaimers, page 134)

Below is a portion of the fourth chapter of the Book of Daniel with footnote commentaries. I read this material scores of times and I began to note the occurrences of the word “interpretation.” These are underlined. I also noted the actual fulfillment. Read now one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible from the JW perspective. (Daniel 4:1-37 NWT)

4 "I, Neb·u·chad·nez'zar, happened to be at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. 5 There was a dream that I beheld, and it began to make me afraid. And there were mental images upon my bed and visions of my head that began to frighten me. 6 And from me an order was being put through to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon, that they might make known to me the very interpretation of the dream.

7 "At that time the magic-practicing priests, the conjurers, the Chal·de'ans and the astrologers were entering; and I was saying before them what the dream was, but its interpretation they were not making known to me. 8 And at last there came in before me Daniel, whose name is Bel·te·shaz'zar according to the name of my god and in whom there is the spirit of the holy gods; and before him I said what the dream was:

9 "'O Bel·te·shaz'zar the chief of the magic-practicing priests, because I myself well know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that there is no secret at all that is troubling you, tell [me] the visions of my dream that I have beheld and its interpretation.

10 "'Now the visions of my head upon my bed I happened to be beholding, and, look! a tree in the midst of the earth, the height of which was immense. 11 The tree grew up and became strong, and its very height finally reached the heavens, and it was visible to the extremity of the whole earth. 12 Its foliage was fair, and its fruit was abundant, and there was food for all on it. Under it the beast of the field would seek shade, and on its boughs the birds of the heavens would dwell, and from it all flesh would feed itself.

13 "'I continued beholding in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, look! a watcher, even a holy one, coming down from the heavens themselves. 14 He was calling out loudly, and this is what he was saying: "CHOP the tree down, and cut off its boughs. SHAKE off its foliage, and scatter its fruitage. Let the beast flee from under it, and the birds from its boughs. 15 However, LEAVE its rootstock itself in the earth, even with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field; and with the dew of the heavens let it be wet, and with the beast let its portion be among the vegetation of the earth. 16 Let its heart be changed from that of mankind, and let the heart of a beast be given to it, and let seven times pass over it. 17 By the decree of watchers the thing is, and [by] the saying of holy ones the request is, to the intent that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that to the one whom he wants to, he gives it and he sets up over it even the lowliest one of mankind."

18 "'This was the dream that I myself, King Neb·u·chad·nez'zar, beheld; and you yourself, O Bel·te·shaz'zar, say what the interpretation is, forasmuch as all the [other] wise men of my kingdom are unable to make known to me the interpretation itself. But you are competent, because the spirit of holy gods is in you.'

19 "At that time Daniel himself, whose name is Bel·te·shaz'zar, was astonished for a moment, and his very thoughts began to frighten him.

"The king was answering and saying, 'O Bel·te·shaz'zar, do not let the dream and the interpretation themselves frighten you.'

"Bel·te·shaz'zar was answering and saying, 'O my lord, may the dream [apply] to those hating you, and its interpretation to your adversaries.51
51 APPLICATION. Is it misreading Daniel’s answer to say the “interpretation” applies to those contemporaries of Daniel?

20 "'The tree that you beheld, that grew great and became strong and the height of which finally reached the heavens and which was visible to all the earth, 21 and the foliage of which was fair, and the fruit of which was abundant, and on which there was food for all; under which the beasts of the field would dwell, and on the boughs of which the birds of the heavens would reside, 22 it is you, O king,52 because you have grown great and become strong, and your grandeur has grown great and reached to the heavens, and your rulership to the extremity of the earth.
52 IT IS YOU, O KING. Is it fair to say Daniel’s interpretation is directed to the king?

23 "'And because the king beheld a watcher, even a holy one, coming down from the heavens, who was also saying: "CHOP the tree down, and RUIN it. However, LEAVE its rootstock itself in the earth, but with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens let it become wet, and with the beasts of the field let its portion be until seven times themselves pass over it," 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and the decree of the Most High is that which must befall my lord the king.53 25 And you they will be driving away from men, and with the beasts of the field your dwelling will come to be, and the vegetation is what they will give even to you to eat just like bulls; and with the dew of the heavens you yourself will be getting wet, and seven times themselves will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind, and that to the one whom he wants to he gives it.
53 THIS IS THE INTERPRETATION. How can anything be determined here other than the dream is fulfilled in Nebuchadnezzar?

26 "'And because they said to leave the rootstock of the tree, your kingdom will be sure to you after you54 know that the heavens are ruling. 27 Therefore, O king, may my counsel seem good to you, and remove your own sins by righteousness, and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor ones. Maybe there will occur a lengthening of your prosperity.'"
54 YOU. Can there be any question Daniel applies the dream specifically to the king?

28 All this befell Neb·u·chad·nez'zar the king.55
55 ALL THIS BEFELL. The dream was fulfilled in what actually happened to the king.

29 At the end of twelve lunar months he happened to be walking upon the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king was answering and saying: "Is not this Babylon the Great, that I myself have built for the royal house with the strength of my might and for the dignity of my majesty?"

31 While the word was yet in the king's mouth, there was a voice that fell from the heavens: "To you it is being said, O Neb·u·chad·nez'zar the king, 'The kingdom itself has gone away from you, 32 and from mankind they are driving even you away, and with the beasts of the field your dwelling will be. Vegetation they will give even to you to eat just like bulls, and seven times themselves will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind, and that to the one whom he wants to he gives it.'"

33 At that moment the word itself was fulfilled upon Neb·u·chad·nez'zar,56 and from mankind he was being driven away, and vegetation he began to eat just like bulls, and with the dew of the heavens his own body got to be wet, until his very hair grew long just like eagles' [feathers] and his nails like birds' [claws].
56 FULFILLED. Is it fair to say that the “interpretation” of Daniel is limited here to the king?

34 "And at the end of the days I, Neb·u·chad·nez'zar, lifted up to the heavens my eyes, and my own understanding began to return to me; and I blessed the Most High himself, and the One living to time indefinite I praised and glorified, because his rulership is a rulership to time indefinite and his kingdom is for generation after generation.”

After reading this, most will see the dream has a limited application to Nebuchadnezzar. JWs will howl here, however, and insist there were two fulfillments: a minor one on the king of Babylon; and, a major one two and a half millennia into the future. I began to see what I later called “the Magic Wand” and “Fairy Dust.” It is the exercise of the tyranny of authority, passing an invisible magic wand over the text and then sprinkle arbitrary fairy dust on the words to make them say something they do not. The only way to find this JW interpretation is to be subtly conditioned or pre-programmed ahead to accept such a view. Below is a copy of the general answer in the Reasoning book, the field service manual for door-to-door preachers. Remember, very few JWs can actually supply these arguments on their own. (Reasoning, pages 95-97, “Dates”)

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses say that God's Kingdom was established in 1914?

Two lines of evidence point to that year: (1) Bible chronology and (2) the events since 1914 in fulfillment of prophecy. Here we will consider the chronology. For fulfillment of prophecy, see the main heading "Last Days."

Read Daniel 4:1-17. ?Da 4 ?Verses 20-37 show that this prophecy had a fulfillment upon Nebuchadnezzar. But it also has a larger fulfillment.57 How do we know that? ?Da 4 ?Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the Kingdom of God and God's promise to give it "to the one whom he wants to . . . even the lowliest one of mankind." The entire Bible shows that Jehovah's purpose is for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to rule as His representative over mankind. (Ps. 2:1-8; Dan. 7:13, 14; 1 Cor. 15:23-25; Rev. 11:15; 12:10) The Bible's description of Jesus shows that he was indeed "the lowliest one58 of mankind." (Phil. 2:7, 8; Matt. 11:28-30) The prophetic dream, then, points to the time when59 Jehovah would give rulership over mankind to his own Son.
57 LARGER FULFILLMENT. Note no proof is given for this assertion.
58 LOWLIEST ONE. Though the argument is interesting, is it fair to say that Nebuchadnezzar eating grass like a beast was really the “lowliest” human on earth at the time?
59 THE TIME WHEN. This “time” has been shown as 33 AD. Compare Ephesians 1:20-23 and Revelation 1:5.

What was to happen in the meantime?60 Rulership over mankind, as represented by the tree and its rootstock, would have "the heart of a beast." (Dan. 4:16) The history of mankind would be dominated by governments that displayed the characteristics of wild beasts. In modern times, the bear is commonly used to represent Russia; the eagle, the United States; the lion, Britain; the dragon, China. The Bible also uses wild beasts as symbols of world governments and of the entire global system of human rulership under the influence of Satan. (Dan. 7:2-8, 17, 23; 8:20-22; Rev. 13:1, 2) As Jesus showed in his prophecy pointing to the conclusion of the system of things, Jerusalem would be "trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations" were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)61 "Jerusalem" represented the Kingdom of God because its kings were said to sit on "the throne of the kingship of Jehovah." (1 Chron. 28:4, 5; Matt. 5:34, 35) So, the Gentile governments, represented by wild beasts, would 'trample' on the right of God's Kingdom to direct human affairs and would themselves hold sway under Satan's control.-Compare Luke 4:5, 6.
60 WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN? This is arbitrary and an example of the Magic Wand, though texts are cited they are not applicable to the prophecy.
61 LUKE 21:24. Revelation 11:2 and Daniel 7:25; 12:7 limit these “times” to three and a half years and not 2,520 years.

For how long would such governments be permitted to exercise this control before Jehovah gave the Kingdom to Jesus Christ? Daniel 4:16 says "seven times" ("seven years," AT and Mo, also JB footnote on ?Da 4 ?verse 13). The Bible shows62 that in calculating prophetic time, a day is counted as a year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34) How many "days," then, are involved? Revelation 11:2, 3 clearly states that 42 months (3 1/2 years) in that prophecy are counted as 1,260 days. Seven years would be twice that, or 2,520 days. Applying the "day for a year" rule63 would result in 2,520 years.
62 THE BIBLE SHOWS. This is classic Magic Wand and Fairy Dust. There is no proof for this assertion.
63 RULE. Who established this “rule”?

When did the counting of the "seven times" begin? After Zedekiah, the last king in the typical Kingdom of God, was removed from the throne in Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Ezek. 21:25-27) Finally, by early October of 607 B.C.E.64 the last vestige of Jewish sovereignty was gone. By that time the Jewish governor, Gedaliah, who had been left in charge by the Babylonians, had been assassinated, and the remaining Jews had fled to Egypt. (Jeremiah, chapters 40-43) Reliable65 Bible chronology indicates that this took place 70 years before 537 B.C.E., the year in which the Jews returned from captivity; that is, it took place by early October of 607 B.C.E. (Jer. 29:10; Dan. 9:2; for further details, see the book "Let your Kingdom Come," pages 186-189.)
64 607 BCE. Find a single secular authority who agrees with this JW date.
65 RELIABLE. This assertion is not backed up with secular commentaries.

How, then, is the time calculated down to 1914? Counting 2,520 years from early October of 607 B.C.E. brings us to early October of 1914 C.E., as shown on the chart.

CALCULATING THE "SEVEN TIMES"

"Seven times" = 7 X 360 = 2,520 years

A Biblical "time," or year = 12 X 30 days = 360. (Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14)

In the fulfillment of the "seven times" each day equals one year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34)

Early October, 607 B.C.E., to December 31, 607 B.C.E.= 1/4 year

January 1, 606 B.C.E., to December 31, 1 B.C.E. = 606 years

January 1, 1 C.E., to December 31, 1913 = 1,913 years

January 1, 1914, to early October, 1914 = 3/4 year

Total: 2,520 years

What happened at that time?66 Jehovah entrusted rulership over mankind to his own Son, Jesus Christ, glorified in the heavens.-Dan. 7:13, 14. (END QUOTE)
66 WHAT HAPPENED IN 1914? a) JW’s did not believe this until over ten years after the event in 1925. b) Jesus began to reign in 33 AD. (1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Ephesians 1:20-23)

Now compare the above with a simple reading of Daniel chapter four. The reason few JWs can explain this is simple: it is impossible. But, back to this Magic Wand and Fairy Dust: it takes an arrogant, or highly misled man, to think he can just pass his hand over a text and then insist on a particular meaning. How else could we go about understanding Daniel chapter four?

If one insists there are two interpretations, where would the burden of proof lie? With the one making the assertion. Using the rule I had established above: try to find out if an inspired writer, Jesus or one of his disciples, ever alluded to this portion of the Bible. This was a particular area of my own high interest. I considered numerous Bible versions to see what the cross references indicate. I am unable to find a single allusion or quotation in the New Testament to this portion of Daniel.

I thought surely the Book of Revelation would allude to this most important chapter of the Bible as it does to chapters 2, 7, and 12. The Apocalypse makes at least four dozen allusions to the Book of Daniel but never to chapter four. I could not find a single inspired writer who made a passing reference to Daniel chapter four.

JWs might point to a single word at Luke 21:24 as proof of an allusion to Daniel chapter four: ‘Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.’ This word “times” in Greek is kairoi and that is the word which appears in Daniel 4:20, 22, 29. This might have a certain appeal to some. However, how many “times” did Jesus mean in Luke 21:24?

This question occupied much thought. Using the rule to find either a source or a later allusion by an inspired writer, I pondered if there were a source to Luke 21:24 or a later inspired writer who alluded to it. I found both!

First, a clear inspired allusion to Luke 21:24. Compare Revelation 11:2: ‘ ... it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city (New Jerusalem) underfoot for forty-two months.’ Can anyone argue this is not a clear and direct reference to Luke 21:24? How many “times” does the apocalyptic angel make known? It is 42 months, or 1,260 days, which equals three and a half times. (Compare Revelation 12:6, 14) But, what was the source of Revelation 11:2 and Luke 21:24?

I returned to the Book of Daniel and the source for this precise period of three and a half times, or 42 months. Note these in Daniel 7:25 and 12:7: ‘And he will speak even words against the Most High, and he will harass continually the holy ones themselves of the Supreme One. They will be given into his hand for a time, and times and half a time. ... It will be for an appointed time, appointed times and a half. And as soon as there will have been a finishing of the dashing of the power of the holy people to pieces, all these things will come to their finish.’ Both these verses limit the “times” to, not seven, but three and a half.

Now this is an example of letting other inspired writers interpret a matter. We have those august persons of John and Daniel interpreting the amount of the “appointed times” to three and a half, not seven. But, is there more proof to this amount of “times”? Yes!

It is in the fulfillment upon Jerusalem itself. The war with the Jews began in the fall of 66 AD and ended in the spring of 70 AD. That was three and a half years! Josephus accounts these historical matters in his First Century eyewitness report, Wars of the Jews. The Romans minted coins commemorating these years of Jewish wars, finally ending with the capture of Masada in 73 AD.

DO NOT FOLLOW THEM!

Luke 21.8. There was a particular text which kept haunting my thoughts. Why I had missed the idea before I cannot say now. I think it struck me when I read it in the Watchtower Byington Translation. It was the phrase, ‘The time is at hand!’ which caught my eye. In the NWT this reads: ‘Then they questioned him, saying: "Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are destined to occur?" He said: "Look out that you are not misled; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The due time has approached.' Do not go after them.’ This phrase, ‘The due time has approached,’ is rendered, “The time is at hand,” in the JW Byington. I knew right away that this was a title of one of the Pastor’s earliest works: “THE TIME IS AT HAND!”67 This made me pause and look at the verse carefully.
67 THE TIME IS AT HAND. For details see Nazarene Principles and Nazarene Apocalypse!

In the prophetic context of the Synoptic Gospels’ answer to the disciples’ questions, this statement comes first, but only in the Gospel of Luke. The disciples have asked their question about when the end of Jerusalem’s Temple would take place; and, the sign of Jesus’ parousia. Right off, first of all, the Nazarene warns them about those who come claiming his authority and preaching: “The time is at hand.” How could this be? I was led to believe by JWs that Jesus went on to give a single “composite sign” which would mark a certain generation so his followers could say just this very thing he warned about: “The time is at hand!”

The Kingdom Interlinear had this same phrase literally, ‘The appointed time (kairos) has approached.’ I immediately recognized that kairos was the word in Luke 21:24 and Daniel chapter four was supposed to pinpoint 1914 as the “appointed time.” I also remember this Greek word appeared at Acts 1:6, 7, ‘When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: "Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?" He said to them: "It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons (kairous) which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.’

I realized that neither Jesus or his disciples could possible know this “appointed time” for the parousia. The Nazarene had made this clear: ‘Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.’ (Matthew 24:36) ‘Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.’ (Matthew 24:42) ‘Concerning that day or the hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but the Father. ... Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is. ... Therefore keep on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing or early in the morning; in order that when he arrives suddenly, he does not find you sleeping.’ (Mark 13:32, 33, 35-36) Could there be any question no one could calculate by some time-chronology the “appointed time” of the parousia?

However, had the Society actually preached, “The time is at hand”; or, “the due time has approached”; or, “the appointed time is near”? I ran these phrases and the various ways they are translated through a search program covering the Society’s publications. These were some I found:

“THE APPOINTED TIME IS NEAR!”

w93 3/1 7 Will you Heed God's Warning?
“Do you want to survive the last days and live to see God's glorious new world? Then "keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is." (Mark 13:33) Nevertheless, world events make it evident that the appointed time is near-dangerously near for many. There is no time to lose.”

w89 4/1 10 Hear What the Spirit Says to the Congregations
“The information on pages 10 to 21 was presented at the Divine Justice District Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses during 1988 as the opening talks of the symposium entitled "The Appointed Time Is Near."

w89 4/1 21 The Hour of God's Judgment Has Arrived
So she now waits, as it were, on death row for her merited execution. Yes, "the appointed time is near" for world-shattering developments!

km 5/70 3 Revelation-Does It Make you Happy?
“But what about us? Though John could not have understood all that he wrote, we have Biblical and historical proof that today "the appointed time is near."

re 17 3 Things That Must Shortly Take Place
The time is near for God and Jesus Christ to execute final judgment on Satan's world system. ... So the appointed time for executing God's decision must be drawing perilously close. (Mark 13:8, 30-32)

“THE DUE TIME HAS APPROACHED” NWT

w79 11/1 19 Christian Neutrality as God's War Approaches
“They stand firm in Christian integrity, confident that "the war of the great day of God the Almighty" has approached.”

w74 5/15 320 A Thousand Years of Peace!
“Read the fascinating new 416-page book God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached. Its convincing evidence, based on the prophecies of Jesus Christ, reveals that God's kingdom is really at hand. Send only 50 cents.”

w73 10/15 637-8 Assemblies Assist Those Who Would Share in Divine Victory
"Seeing now more clearly than ever before that God's kingdom of a thousand years has approached and that the time gets shorter and shorter for distressed humanity to take advantage of the good news of salvation.”

ka 3 God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached “An examination of much evidence in the Holy Bible and Twentieth-Century World History on whether God's Millennial Kingdom will begin its blessings within our own generation.

ka 165 10 The "Sign" of Its Approach “For this vital reason the promised Millennium with life-giving blessings for mankind is assured to us. It has approached!

“THE TIME IS CLOSE AT HAND” WEY

w67 5/1 262 Where Are We According to God's Timetable?
“Yet of this we can be certain: the generation that Jesus said would witness those events is nearing its close. The time is close at hand.

w54 3/1 151 Restoration of True Religion Today
“The time is close at hand for Jehovah to punish these Name-destroyers. Terrible destructions are near and immediate action is required of all those who hear the message of true religion and who are for Jehovah and against idolatry.”

“THE TIME IS AT HAND” – By, Amp, Nas

w90 10/15 18 Be Thankful-Jehovah's Messianic Kingdom Rules
“Thus, the book The Time Is At Hand, published by the Watch Tower Society in 1889, clearly stated: "The term 'Times of the Gentiles' was applied by our Lord to that interval of earth's history between the removal of the typical Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Israel (Ezek. 21:25-27), and the introduction and establishment of its antitype, the true Kingdom of God."

w86 10/1 19 Peace From God-When?
Now the time is at hand to settle the issue once and for all.”

w76 11/15 684 'Glorious Good News from the Happy God'
“And now that man-rule has shown itself to be a complete failure, the time is at hand for Jehovah to deliver his loyal servants, vindicate his sovereignty and restore his Kingdom rule over all the earth.”

w75 2/15 110 The Wages of Disloyalty
“In these "last days" there are some of such who constitute a class that, according to their conduct, do not recognize the invisible presence of Christ and do not discern and acknowledge that the time is at hand for his coming to destroy the world system of things.”

w75 5/1 260 Relief from Global Problems at Hand
“But now the time is at hand when, as He has promised, God will destroy all who make a practice of wickedness, and then he will fulfill his own grand purpose to make the earth a paradise. “

w72 1/15 56 Declaration Concerning the Divine Name
“The time is at hand for the One whose name is being ignored and defied to express himself, to make himself known by name to the defiant nations.”

w62 3/15 164 How the New World Comes In
“The time is at hand, though we do not know the day nor the hour.”

w55 3/15 173 Part 6: 1914 Date Verified
"According to the Calculations of Rev. Russell's 'International Bible Students,' This Is the 'Time of Trouble' Spoken of by the Prophet Daniel, the Year 1914 Predicted in the Book 'The Time Is at Hand,' of which Four Million Copies Have Been Sold, as the Date of the Downfall of the Kingdoms of Earth.”

w54 6/15 384 Announcements
“Yes, for all, the time is at hand!

w52 5/1 260 1914 a Marked Year!
“'Look out for 1914' has been the cry of the hundreds of traveling evangelists who, representing this strange creed, have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that the 'Kingdom of God is at hand'. Although millions of people must have listened to these evangelists; although one of their books, The Time Is at Hand, has had a circulation of more than four million copies, and although religious publications and the secular press service involving hundreds of country newspapers, as well as through lectures, debates, study classes, and even moving pictures, the average man does not know that such a movement as the 'Millennial Dawn' exists."

g89 11/8 13 When Will It All End?
“The present increase in wickedness indicates that the time is at hand!

yy 188 24 A Grand Future in Store for you
“And this sign tells us that the time is at hand for God's kingdom by Christ Jesus to take control of this earth. you can see that sign today just by looking at newspapers or through news programs on radio and television.” End quotes.

Could there be any doubt the Society had made such prophetic preachments in a variety of forms as they appeared in different renderings of Luke 21:8? The shocker was the Lord’s own commandment: “DO NOT FOLLOW THEM!” Was this my error? How could I deny I had made the mistake of following those the Lord had warned about? This made me examine further warnings in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21:

‘Look out that nobody misleads you; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. ... And many false prophets will arise and mislead many. ... Then if anyone says to you, 'Look! Here is the Christ,' or, 'There!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you.’ (Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, 23-25) I knew the “faithful and discreet slave class” and its GB definitely insisted they spoke for Christ. I knew they had in fact made certain false prophecies which could not be ignored and swept under the rug of Proverbs 4:12. I knew, in fact, the Society made claims like: “The Christ is here!” albeit, invisibly. My Lord had warned “not to believe it,” but that is what I did. Worse, the phrase, “I am the Christ,” could be rendered, “I am the Anointed,” and that is what the GB of the “faithful and discreet slave class” claimed to be: “the Anointed.” It was a common term used among JWs.

‘So Jesus started to say to them: "Look out that nobody misleads you. Many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am he,' and will mislead many. ... Then, too, if anyone says to you, 'See! Here is the Christ,' 'See! There he is,' do not believe [it]. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen ones. you, then, watch out; I have told you all things beforehand.’ (Mark 13:5, 6, 21-23) I thought of the word “signs and wonders.” For very often the publications pointed to great statistics, properties, the enormous volume of printed literature, as proof of Christ’s backing. They had done this the same way the Trinity Broadcasting Network pointed to satellites and radio and television stations around the world. The words: “DO NOT FOLLOW THEM! and, “DO NOT BELIEVE IT!” rang in my ears.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved