Jehovah`s Witness/FDS Cont.
Hello Brother Eddie G, thank you for your response. I have read the information provided and it too was very informative. Of course it brought about more questions, however those can be addressed at a later time.
In my last correspondence with you there were some questions asked that in reading the information from the Watchtower does appear to be answered, however so as not to embrace a clouded or wrong interpretation of the answers, please allow me to address them so they can be clarified if needed:
1. . "How is it, that Russell is called a "faithful and discrete slave", when by omission of all of his teachings in the present organization, they are testified too as being false?"
In reading the information it is stated the in the 1990's the illustrations of the FDS and 1914 came under review. In so doing a "new understanding" was gained:
1.1914-1918 Cleansing period
2.1919 Appointment of the FDS over the "Domestics"
Now as this relates to my above question, it appears that prior to 1919, there were was no appointment. It would appear that the FDS, according to the information, was just beginning to be selected. The reason I say this, is because if there were a cleansing, then that would mean there was no FDS class per se, just those being considered for it. So all those who were removed were in fact not 'faithful and discrete".
As it speaks to a "remnant" of Bible Students, is it therefore assumed that all those accepting the "New Teachings' of Rutherford considered part of the "cleansed class"?
As stated before Russell held very different views than that of the "Bible Students" under Rutherford. So mush so, thatthe Bible Students seperated not only because of Doctrine, but also because they thought Rutherford to be an "autocrat". The belief that Jesus began his rule in 1914 was a revelation of "New Light" from Rutherford and the WTBS under his presidency.
So then, in consideration of this, does this mean that Russell and those adhering to his beliefs were not "FDS" or part of the "domestics"?
In trying to understand this, just as we discuss the scriptures, it appears to be confusion because of the language used to describe what happened. Example:
The "FDS" formerly called WTBS says that there "understanding" needs to be clarified:
3" How, then, are we to understand Jesus’ illustration about the faithful slave? In the past, our publications have said the following: At Pentecost 33 C.E., Jesus appointed the faithful slave over his domestics. The slave represents all anointed Christians on earth as a group at any one time since then. The domestics refer to the same anointed ones as individuals. In 1919, Jesus appointed the faithful slave “over all his belongings”—all his earthly Kingdom interests. However, further careful study and prayerful meditation indicate that our understanding of Jesus’ words about the faithful and discreet slave needs to be clarified."
The misunderstanding comes because of the word "Clarifed". To "Clafiry" means to make something more clear, easier to understand. It appears by all that I have read in the articles, that everything except the basic docrtrine of 1914, has not been clafified but "changed" for the understanding is totally different than before. This leads to 4 questions that lead us back into our previous conversation:
1. Could it be that the cleansing has only just begun? Could it be that it began in 1990 with the revelation that things needed to be reviewed?
2. For the sake of correct understanding is it really being implied that the statement should have read: "our understanding of Jesus’ words about the faithful and discreet slave needs to be changed."?
As I stated early, more questions have come to surface, however these tie into our discussion. So let us look at your response as we progress.
You: "I believe the confusion is stemming from which word is the correct one to use when talking about "en parousia". That is whether it's correct to use the word "coming" instead of "presence" at 1 Corinthians 15:23.
"Like you stated, to fully understand it, CONTEXT needs to be accounted for, needs to be in the mixed."
"And in the context the apostle Paul talked about an orderly resurrection (of the dead) - in stages."
To the above statements we are in total agreement. There is an order of resurrection and it is clearly stated. However, your following comment would require proper interpretation and context to be examined, along with harmonization of testifying scripture:
"That is, first the Christ (in 33 C.E.), then followed by those who "belong to him" (during his "parousia"), then the rest of (dead) mankind and finally the surrendering ALL things by Jesus to God. "
In your comment, you describe the order as being 1. Christ 2. Those who belong to him 3. The rest of the dead. Now we both are in agreement that this is the order Biblically, however, what needs to be examined, is if it is the order described in 1 Cor 15:23. We must keep in mind, that at this time Christ had already risen, so what was it that was being described?
The first thing we have to look at is this: "Christ the firsfruits" As things go, there are a few things that need to be considered: 1. Translation - was it translated fully 2. Context 3. Punctuation 4. Harmonization
Let us look at this scripture from the NWT and KJ versions:
1 Cor 15:23
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
23But each one in his own rank: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence.
Now these two versions agree in translation with the exception of the use "coming" and "during his presence"
So first we examine "Christ the Firstruits" and the order of the words and how they appear in the original text in Greek:
Textus Receptus: Christos Aparche Epeita O Ho Christos En Autos
Christ= anointed First Fruits = First portion Epeita = afterward
O Ho = They that are Christos= anoited en = at/in autos = his/himself parousia = coming, presence, arrival
Without giving a full Greek lesson, what we see is two things.. 1. Word order. By the word order being 'Christos Aparche" and the second use of the word Christos and order denoting a belonging too....we may find a more accurate or harmonizing passage if fully translated. Example:
First; the "anointed firstfruits; afterwards they that are "anointed" at his coming; in His presence or
First the "anointed firstruits", afterward they who are anointed "selected, approved" at his arrival, during his presence.
Last....."belong to Christ at his arrival".
I am sure we can agree that the 144,000 are the "firstfruits" :
Rev 14:4 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Christ is the "Firstfruit" of them that sleep and has already risen:
1Cor 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those who slept.
I do understand your order Christ, The ones who belong to him, and the rest of the dead. However does it harmonize with 1 thes 4 as you previously quoted in support? All belivers belong to Christ. So in looking at it in reference to 1Thess. 4 it appears 1 Cor 15:23 either needs to be tranlsated out further, or does not apply(although we know it does):
1 Thess. 4
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so will God bring with Him those also who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord: that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who are asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
17 then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
So we see in vs 16 and 17 the order of ressurection; those who are asleep in Christ, and then those who remain until his coming, presence.
Now as for all those who are asleep, this would include All who lived that served Jehovah and passed away in sleep. The 144,000 will be first of those raised to take their position. At the time they are raised however, non other shall be raised until the end:
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Because this is lengthy I will follow with a question on Parousia to address the second part of your response and tie things in with our conversation.
Brother Eddie G, it is pleasurable discuassing with you, I look forward to your further thoughts on this matter.
By the way..Yes...you may call me Darryl...LOL
Rev. Darryl Murphy
Now as we move toward addressing 1Thess 4 and how it relates to the subject of the FDS, Resurrection etc, as I and you both have stated "en parousia" needs to be understood not only by meaning, but application and context as well. If you will, let us consider the core scriptures that can help us understand what is being conveyed.
Interesting take on Brother Russel, but I'll have to put it aside for the moment and come back to it later in order to address some of the questions from your last post.
Where you asked:
>>1. What happens with the ones that died before Christ?<<
They are awaiting for this
prophecy to be fulfilled (during the thousand year reign of Christ and his anointed class - 144,000)
That is, the "resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous"
from among mankind.
(Acts 24:15) “and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”
(John 5:28, 29) “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”
In other words:
Those who died "righteous" (from God's standpoint) from Abel to John the Baptizer will receive what the Bible calls "resurrection of the righteous". They will be resurrected here on earth - "to life" in a paradise earth. This will include the prophets like Daniel, kings like David, Judges, and all righteous servants of God (that are not part of the "little flock"). In addition this will also include those who died "righteous" after Christ's resurrection and ascension to heaven. Those who were never part of the "little flock".
Some of these righteous ones will receive what the Bible calls a "Better Resurrection".
(Hebrews 11:35) “Women received their dead by resurrection; but other [men] were tortured because they would not accept release by some ransom, in order that they might attain a better resurrection.
On the other hand, those who died "unrighteous" (from God's point of view), like the thief who was impaled next to Jesus, like those people who died without ever knowing the truth (before or after Jesus' resurrection), like those who died due to circumstances beyond their control and never got a chance to put "faith" on the Christ will given a second chance. They will have what the Bible calls the "resurrection of the unrighteous".
In the thousand-year reign of Christ (with his co-rulers) "those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”
These ones will have a second chance to become "righteous" (in Jehovah God's and Jesus' eyes). As such (being "unrighteous") the "second death" mentioned in Revelation will still have power over them for Rev. 20:5 says:
> ...the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.<<
Thus their resurrection is conditional. It's conditional in that it's their OWN choice now (during the thousand years) whether to continue their former ways of life or (as resurrected ones) put faith on Jesus' RANSOM sacrifice. If they continue in their old ways - their resurrection indeed becomes " a resurrection of judgment " for the "second death" - eternal destruction will be applied to them.
This is just on God's part!!! What a merciful and loving God Jehovah is as he provided a just and loving judge and King such as his son Jesus Christ!
And unlike those that are part of the "first resurrection" - those who belong to Christ:
"6 ... the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years".
Then after the "thousand years" has ended...
" . . the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing...then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone."(1 Corinthians 15:26-28).
>>2. How is it, that Russell is called a "faithful and discrete slave", when by omission of all of his teachings in the present organization, they are testified too as being false?<<
As far as brother Russell is concern I haven't encountered any (official) statement saying that he's of the FDS class or The Slave, but rather he understood that the FDS was not a single person but a body, a class of people. Some though, those who thought of Brother Russell as "The Slave" eventually separated themselves (from the organization) when Russell died. What a way to "clean" the Organization!
Interestingly enough the July 2013 stated that:
"6 ...During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times."
So, clearly, although one of the anointed, brother CT Russell was not of the Slave Class but "did a work like that of John the Baptizer."
As for this:
>>if the inspection was in 1918, who was it that was inspected and what was it that was found?<<
Correction - the inspection was not in 1918 but from 1914 through the early part of 1919.
"7 When Jesus began his inspection," he found a "small group of zealous Bible Students who for well over 30 years had given their strength and fortunes to pursue a vigorous preaching campaign. What a joy it must have been for Jesus and the angels to find that those relatively few but sturdy wheat stalks had not been choked by Satan’s weeds! Still, there arose a need to “cleanse the sons of Levi,” the anointed ones."
"after he and his Father came and inspected the temple, or spiritual arrangement for worship, from 1914 to the early part of 1919"
"..., a time of spiritual revival [took placed in 1919], Jesus [then] selected capable anointed brothers from among them to be the faithful and discreet slave and appointed them over his domestics.
OK I'll stop here so that I can cover some of your latest post - where you stated:
>>Now as this relates to my above question, it appears that prior to 1919, there were was no appointment. It would appear that the FDS, according to the information, was just beginning to be selected. The reason I say this, is because if there were a cleansing, then that would mean there was no FDS class per se, just those being considered for it. So all those who were removed were in fact not 'faithful and discrete".<<
Correct, as already mentioned there was no FDS class prior to 1919 since their (official) appointment occurred sometime/during 1919.
In addition this is also consistent with the parable of the "harvest" of the "wheat and weed" class - mentioned at Matt. 13:30, 38, 41..
>>1. Could it be that the cleansing has only just begun? Could it be that it began in 1990 with the revelation that things needed to be reviewed?<<
The answer is NO as already explained above but also for several reasons, scriptural and otherwise.
1) The year 1914 is the only year that was MARKED as the starting point of the prophetic events of Jesus Christ's presence.
(Matthew 24:3) “. . .While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?””
(Matthew 24:7, 8) “. . .For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. 8 All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.”
This is also connected to (borrowing brother Rando's favorite words - a sacred secret ->):
2) The ride of the "Horsemen of the Apocalypse".
Where Jesus is pictured as riding " . . .a white horse; and the one seated upon it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went forth conquering and to complete his conquest.” - (Revelation 6:2)
This happened when he was crowned King in the heavens in 1914 where afterwards:
“. . .war broke out in heaven: Mi′cha•el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.. .” (Revelation 12:7-10)
At Satan and the demon's defeat, they were ousted from the heavens. With "great anger", PEACE was taken
"...away from the earth so that they (mankind) should slaughter one another; and a great sword was given him.” -(Revelation 6:3, 4)
A "great sword" of war indeed was wielded by the rider of the "fiery-colored horse". The rider galloped towards a very bloody massacre of the human kind. Many lives were lost in WWI.
But then, the prophecy continues...
“. . .when he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say: “Come!” And I saw, and, look! a black horse; and the one seated upon it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice as if in the midst of the four living creatures say: “A quart of wheat for a de•nar′i•us, and three quarts of barley for a de•nar′i•us; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine.”” -(Revelation 6:5, 6)
Economic hardship struck the earth during and after WWI/WWII and present. But the ride since 1914 wasn't finished yet, for...
“. . .when he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say: “Come!” 8 And I saw, and, look! a pale horse; and the one seated upon it had the name Death. And Ha′des was closely following him. And authority was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with a long sword and with food shortage and with deadly plague and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:7, 8)
Again the prophecy:
“... in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” (Luke 21:10, 11)
3)The Seven Gentile prophetic Times (2,520 years) from 607 B.C.E to 1914 C.E.
"Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24 and Daniel 4:16, 23, 25, 32)
Since the appointed "time of the nations" ended in 1914, Christ presence began, gathering of the "wheat class" began and the appointment of the slave class in 1919, thus 1990 C.E. doesn't fit the events mentioned in the prophecy!
OK - that's all the time I have for the moment - need to run some errands. I'll add some more info later in response to the questions you raised.
BTW - I changed the subject title to make simple and easy to locate. Besides Adam is not in this discussion.