Jehovah`s Witness/Return of Christ
I believe I'm right when I say: the Witnesses believe that Jesus returned in 1914. The Memorial that you celebrate is still being celebrated each year by the Witnesses. But wasn't it suppose to be done away with as soon as Christ returned? I'm some what puzzled as to why the Witnesses still celebrate it. Please clear this up for me.
Thanks ever so much.
Bryce from Toledo, Ohio.
Thank you for inquiring with All Experts. Your question has merits. First, lets back track a little bit in history and analyze Jesus’ words. If he did return, why do we continue to celebrate The Memorial? You know when Jesus was on earth, he didn’t create a commotion. In fact, Pharisees ask him about the arrival of the Kingdom. They believe that it will come with great pomp and ceremony, but Jesus says: “The kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness, neither will people be saying, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For, look! the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Jesus’ words “in your midst” have at times been translated “within you.” So some have thought that Jesus meant that the Kingdom of God reigns in the hearts of God’s servants. But, obviously, the Kingdom of God is not within the hearts of these unbelieving Pharisees to whom Jesus is speaking. Yet, it is in their midst, since the designated King of God’s Kingdom, Jesus Christ, is right among them. But of course Bryce, the Pharisees did not understand for they were a generation looking for signs.
It is probably after the Pharisees leave that Jesus talks further with his disciples about the coming of the Kingdom. He has particularly in mind his future presence in Kingdom power when he warns: “People will say to you, ‘See there!’ or, ‘See here!’ Do not go out or chase after [these false Messiahs]. For even as the lightning, by its flashing, shines from one part under heaven to another part under heaven, so the Son of man will be.” Hence, Jesus is indicating that just as lightning is seen over a wide area, the evidence of his presence in Kingdom power will be clearly visible to all wishing to observe it. The key word Bryce is “wishing to observe”.
Jesus then draws comparisons with ancient events to show what the attitudes of people will be during his future presence. He explains: “Moreover, just as it occurred in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of man . . . Likewise, just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. But on the day that Lot came out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all. The same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed.”
Jesus is not saying that people in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day were destroyed simply because they pursued the normal activities of eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building. Even Noah and Lot and their families did these things. But the others went about such daily activities without paying any attention to God’s will, and it was for this reason that they were destroyed. For the same reason, people will be destroyed when Christ is revealed during the great tribulation on this system of things.
Emphasizing the importance of responding quickly to the evidence of his future presence in Kingdom power, Jesus adds: “On that day let the person that is on the housetop but whose movable things are in the house not come down to pick these up, and the person out in the field, let him likewise not return to the things behind. Remember the wife of Lot.”
When the evidence of Christ’s presence appears, people cannot let attachment to their material possessions hinder them from taking prompt action. On her way out of Sodom, Lot’s wife apparently looked back longingly for the things left behind, and she became a pillar of salt.
Continuing his description of the situation that would exist during his future presence, Jesus tells his disciples: “In that night two men will be in one bed; the one will be taken along, but the other will be abandoned. There will be two women grinding at the same mill; the one will be taken along, but the other will be abandoned.”Being taken along corresponds to Noah’s entering with his family into the ark and the angels’ taking Lot and his family out of Sodom. It means salvation. On the other hand, being abandoned means suffering destruction.
I don’t know how much knowledge you posses about the Bible, but there is another prophecy that needs to be fulfilled after Christ also starts to reign. The cry “Peace and security!” The UN with their Millennial Development Goals is the front runner with this demon-inspired lie. You can go to their website to read more of their goals ; yet, it will not fool Jehovah’s servants Bryce. Satan is all about having mankind rule without Jehovah’s rule. The Bible calls this entity The Wild Beast. But that is a discussion will be explained a little further. Paul said that “You are not in darkness so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves, for you are all sons of light and sons of day.” (1 Thessalonians. 5:4, 5) Paul admonished for Jesus’ followers to stay in the light, far away from the darkness of Satan’s world. Peter wrote: “Beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard that you may not be led away with them [false teachers within the Christian congregation] by the error of the law-defying people and fall from your own steadfastness.” 2 Peter. 3:17.
Note that Jehovah does not simply tell us to ‘be on our guard’ and then leave it at that. Rather, he dignifies us by kindly granting us “advance knowledge” in the form of a general outline of what is to occur in the future. Sadly, though Bryce, some have become casual or even cynical about reminders concerning the need to stay awake. ‘We have heard that same reminder for decades from Jehovah’s Witnesses,’ they may say. However, those individuals should keep in mind that by making such remarks, they are actually questioning Jehovah and his Son, not just the faithful slave class. “Keep in expectation,” Jehovah said. (Habakkuk. 2:3) Likewise, Jesus stated: “Keep on the watch . . . because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Mathew. 24:42) In addition, Peter wrote: “What sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!” (2 Pet. 3:11, 12)
Indeed, it is the “evil slave” who concludes that the Master is delaying. (Matt. 24:48) That evil slave is part of a group described at 2 Peter 3:3, 4. “In the last days,” wrote Peter, “there will come ridiculers” who, “according to their own desires,” mock those who obediently keep Jehovah’s day close in mind. Yes, rather than focus on Kingdom interests, such ridiculers focus on themselves and on their own selfish desires. Let us never develop such a disobedient and dangerous frame of mind! Rather, may we “consider the patience of our Lord as salvation” by keeping busy in the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work and by not being overly anxious about the timing of events that belongs to Jehovah God. 2 Peter. 3:15; Acts 1:6, 7.
Here is a good point to remember Bryce. After the Roman armies invaded Judea in 66 C.E., faithful Christians acted on Jesus’ admonition to flee the city of Jerusalem at the first opportunity. (Luke 21:20-23) Why did they act promptly and decisively? No doubt, they had kept Jesus’ warning close in mind. To be sure, they expected that their decision would involve hardship, as Christ had forewarned. But at the same time, they knew that Jehovah would never forsake his loyal ones.—Ps. 55:22. We too must fully trust in Jehovah, for he alone will be our salvation when the present system undergoes the greatest tribulation of all human history. At some point after the beginning of the great tribulation but before Jehovah executes his judgment upon the rest of the world, people will “become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.” However, while God’s enemies tremble with fear, Jehovah’s loyal servants will feel no dread. On the contrary, they will rejoice because they know that their deliverance is near. Luke 21:25-28.
Violence is making news headlines in just about every corner of the earth Bryce. Human leaders seem unable to stop it. Our world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place in which to live. Perhaps you feel discouraged because wherever you look, there is so much bad news. However, the time for a change is near. Jesus taught his followers to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and for God’s will to take place, “as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) This Kingdom is a government with Christ Jesus as its God-appointed King. It will solve all of mankind’s problems. For God’s Kingdom to bring about changes on the earth, however, there has to be a change from human rulership to the rulership of Christ. This is exactly what Christ’s coming will accomplish. Here is where you question comes in my friend.
Will the nations submit to Christ’s rule peacefully? The apostle John was given a vision that provides the answer. John relates: “I saw the wild beast [the world’s political system] and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one [Jesus] seated on the horse and with his army.” (Revelation 19:19) How will the kings of the earth fare in this war? Jehovah’s anointed King(Jesus) “will break them with an iron scepter, as though a potter’s vessel [he] will dash them to pieces,” states the Bible. (Psalm 2:9) The political system will be completely smashed. God’s Kingdom “will crush and put an end to all [human] kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”—Daniel 2:44. You see Jesus already started ruling in 1914, but Jehovah still needs to authorize him to go conquer his enemies. That is yet to happen.
What about the people who oppose God’s Kingdom? “At the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels in a flaming fire,” Jesus is portrayed as someone who “brings vengeance upon those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8) “As regards the wicked,” states Proverbs 2:22, “they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it. ”With regard to Christ’s coming, the Bible says: “Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him.” (Revelation 1:7) People will not see him with their literal eyes. Since his ascension to heaven, Jesus is a spirit person “who dwells in unapproachable light, whom not one of men has seen or can see.” 1 Timothy 6:16.
Jesus does not need to take on a human form to be “seen” by the inhabitants of the earth any more than Jehovah needed to do so when he brought the Ten Plagues on the Egyptians in the days of Moses. The people of that time had no doubt that Jehovah was causing the plagues, and they were forced to recognize his power. (Exodus 12:31) In a similar way, when Christ takes action as God’s Executioner, the wicked will be forced to “see,” or perceive, that Jesus is being used by God to judge them. They will know this because mankind will have been warned in advance. Yes, “every eye will see [Jesus], and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him.”—Revelation 1:7.
The destruction of the wicked and the removal of wicked rulership are essential before true peace and prosperity can be restored to the earth. Christ will accomplish that. Then he will take full control of all affairs on the earth, and momentous changes will follow. In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote: “We bear incessantly in mind your faithful work and your loving labor and your endurance due to your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ before our God and Father.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) Paul attributed fruitful labor and endurance to hope in Jesus Christ. That hope includes faith in Christ’s coming and in the restoration for which it paves the way. Such a hope can sustain true Christians, or keep them going, in spite of very difficult situations.
Now those in the new covenant “have boldness for the way of entry into the holy place.” (Hebrews 10:15-20.) These are the ones who are “to receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken.” (Hebrews. 12:28) So, then, only those who will be kings and priests in heaven with Jesus Christ should drink from the “cup” that represents the new covenant.
These participants in the new covenant are the ones promised in marriage to the Lamb (Jesus). (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2, 9) All others who attend the annual Memorial that have the earthly hope of living in paradise forever are respectful observers, who do not partake of the emblems.
Now Bryce Paul helps us to understand that those with an earthly hope do not partake of the Memorial emblems. He said to anointed Christians who do partake: “For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.” (1 Cor. 11:26)
When does the Lord ‘arrive’? When he comes to take the last of his anointed bride class to their heavenly home. (John 14:2, 3) I know that is difficult to comprehend but to put it in plain words, when the Great Tribulation comes, which is very soon, then Jesus will finish his final round up of his heavenly brothers. Clearly, the annual observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal is not to continue endlessly. “The remaining ones” of the woman’s seed yet on earth will continue to partake of this meal until all of them have received their heavenly reward. (Rev. 12:17)