Jehovah`s Witness/PROPHECY IN THE BIBLE

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Question
Hello. Hope youre fine.

I was searching google to find an answer to my question, the first 2 pages of results were really disappointing. Half were atheistic, half were christian but too much poor, without going in depth examination.

My question is: WHY prophets speak in riddles and symbols, without giving EXACT details as an exact date, time, person, empire etc.

I will present some views and let you criticize them.


a)The atheistic (or just unbiblical) answer consists of 2 points
1)if prophets would speak straight, they could be easily exposed as ignorant liars. Thats why they didnt dare.
2)they wished to terrorize the faithful ones so that they are slaves for ever. Uncertainty of a specific time of the end would keep them enslaved by fear and obedient to religious leaders all the time(every one would think there are enough signs that the end is coming during his times, the same 2000 years ago, the same now)

b)The common christian answer is very confusing. Some claim Jesus said we are not allowed to know the times God has ordained, some others we couldnt the time Jesus spoke but after Revelation we can. Some say the wicked will not know but only the humble ones.
In the Bible, riddle dates are given(for example 1290 or 1335 days in Daniel), so how is this in harmony with what Jesus said? Of course, the common view skips the reason why God uses symbols.

c) A more balanced christian view(that may be right in part according to my judgement) is the following: A bible prophecy is not static in time, its rather a promise of God that can not be closed in a box. Prophecies have double fullfillments etc.

I will end the letter giving my view. I dont know why prophets give or dont give exact dates, names, details and if we can know times of fullfillment or not. If people disagree that we cant know, I ask them then why prophecy exists. Does it exist to CONFUSE us?

But I think I got the answer about the symbols. I believe most people are prophets and symbols have to do with our subconsciousness(the world of our feelings). We can verify this in our dreams. We are not just beings of logic, we are also beings of emotion and experience. For example if someone is scared or angry with something, he may see in his sleep a lion roaring. I dont say logic is bad, but I believe the greatest part of our life is experience and experience always comes with emotions and pictures. Love, joy, pleasure, fear, hate, courage etc.. and the appropriate images that fit in these feelings.


This is a very important subject. I hope we may clear the confusion about prophecy. I believe prophecy is real and is God's gift.

Thank you.

Answer
Hello, Christaras.  I hope you are well today.  I am trying to once again, get caught back up on my questions, as I have about 3 tonight that need answering.  Been a very full last 2 weeks for me.

I too, believe that prophecy is real, and that our God knows all things future, before they happen.  I would give you a brief answer to what I think you are asking, namely, why do prophecies in the Bible appear the way they do, and more detail is not given?

Well, I would say that would depend on the prophecy itself.  Some prophecies do not go into detail, and some go into great detail.  One thing must be remembered....The prophet's job is to speak what GOD GIVES HIM...nothing more, nothing less.  If God chooses to reveal an event or give a warning, without attaching a time period to it, then the prophet has no business attaching a time period on his own.  

For instance, have you seen the utter nonsense that has transpired on this forum in the past few  months, ESPECIALLY in the past 2 days?  I mean, we have a couple of JWs who have learned absolutely nothing from their past prophetic failures, coming on here and trying to give the impression that they are really something spiritual, with some insight about the tribulation coming in October.  Interestingly, they have ALREADY had to CHANGE THE YEAR from 2014, to 2015.  Wow...who didn't see that coming?  And now, because Mr. Hepburn chose to take a SCRIPTURAL approach and NOT put any stock in a date prediction, he is now being maligned by one of the so-called "prophets" that has been the most vocal about the 2014 date to begin with...namely, this Mr. Stewart.  

Mr. Stewart questions Mr. Hepburn's maturity as a JW, and then says that they don't want Witnesses like him, answering questions on this "apostate site".  Uh Stewart, if this is an apostate site, then why are YOU here?  And if you were such a spiritual guy, why did you call out your own brother in public here, instead of writing to him privately.  And if you did write to him privately, you apparently were unable to convince him of the scriptural nature of your date-setting, just like you aren't convincing THINKING people here either.  

The fact is, Hepburn took the MATURE and SCRIPTURAL approach, and Mr. Stewart did not.  And this guy is now questioning Mr. Hepburn as a JW, all because Brenton decides not to jump on the 2014 wagon, which is a wagon that is sure to lose its wheels and go off the road sooner or later.

Now, back to your question about prophecy....Some prophecies are quite revealing, and go into great detail.  Jonah's prediction to the Ninevites contained an exact date, but they were spared because they repented.  I believe that Daniel chapter 9 gives us some pretty clear timing, as well.  

The atheistic answer is stupid, to say the least.  Let THEM try to write something and make predictions, that come even CLOSE to what the Scriptures have done.  I had an atheist tell me recently, that he doesn't see how ANYONE still believes the Bible in this day and time of education and enlightenment.  My reply to him, was that I don't see how anybody could live in today's world, and NOT believe it.  Its words are happening right in front of us.  Its predictions concerning the condition of the last days, Israel, etc, are coming to pass right in front of us.  

One prophecy that has always amazed me, is the one in Daniel 12:4....

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

Notice a couple of things here....First, it is SEALED until the time of the end.  God has a principle that He has normally gone by, and that is to HIDE His plans and purposes from those who oppose Him.  He makes salvation, and the invitation to become His child, available to everyone.  Those who willfully reject Him, He allows them to do so.  He allows their hearts to be hardened, their eyes to be blinded, and for them to believe a lie....because that's what they choose to do.  

Secondly, this is a prophecy that NOBODY living in that day, could comprehend the fulfillment of.  I believe 2 things are alluded to here....world travel, and technological advances.  Think about it...You can go ANYWHERE in the world today on an airplane.  You have more technology than ever dreamed of, when this prophecy was penned.  The fact that you can be in Greece, and I in the USA, and we can communicate instantaneously via the internet, is something the prophets of old could never have imagined.  

Similarly, the prophecy concerning the "2 witnesses" in Revelation chapter 11....We are told that they will be seen by the entire world.  Now, was this possible in the day that this was written?  No. They couldn't even have imagined how that would be fulfilled...they simply wrote and recorded what the Spirit of God revealed.  But TODAY, we know that it is certainly possible, via satellite and live news coverage.  There is no problem with that prophecy, in the world we now live in.

Now as for dates, it is true that God is NOT revealing the dates for the end, because He wants us to live EACH day for Him, like it is our last.  That is why people like this Mr. Stewart, make utter fools of themselves, for predicting dates that will only prove them false.

Don't worry about the lack of dates, Christaras.  The Bible is YET to be proven in error, and it never will be.  If God says it is going to happen, it is going to happen.  It doesn't matter when....just know that it will.

Take care, and God bless.


Derrick

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Derrick Holland

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I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.

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29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

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I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for certain...in a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

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High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

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