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“The Harvest is the End of the Age” Matthew 13:39 – What is the Harvest?

HARVESTMatt 13: (NKJV) 24 ¶  Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;   25 “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.   26  “But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.   27 “So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’   29 “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.  30  ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” 

Denominational Christians generally take this parable to be referring to a future coming of Christ with his literal angels for a separation and judgment of the righteous and the wicked, at the beginning of the 1,000 years.   However, commentators have trouble getting specific in their explanations as they understand the Great White Throne judgment of Rev 20:11, 12 as taking place at the end of the 1,000 years.  It is impossible for them to rationally resolve the two passages and explain how and when eternal judgment of individuals takes place.

Today’s Watchtower Organization currently teaches that Christ’s invisible presence and reign began in 1914.  They believe that the Harvest began in 1919, when the “wheat,” began to be freed from the “tares,” or false Christians.  Christ Jesus inspected the various religious organizations on earth, and in 1919, after cleansing those persons affiliated with the Watch Tower Society from religious and worldly defilement, he appointed them to be the “faithful and discrete slave” and his “sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come”

Yet if the Watchtower Organization truly passed Jesus’ inspection in `1919, than how is it that anyone who today embraces those old 1919 views would be considered a TARE, an Apostate, yes an evil slave?

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8 comments to “The Harvest is the End of the Age” Matthew 13:39 – What is the Harvest?

  • Francis

    Do the volume’s shed any light on the final hour as to what minute we are in?

  • Francis

    Rus or anyone. Could I get scriptures to help on these questions please?

    1.Can we as a Bible Student say that Nicodemus became a Christian?

    2. Did God know that Adam would sin?

    3. Did God know that Cain would kill Abel?

    A few thoughts to reason on. Some priests did become believers. Why would not God rather just make a new man before he sinned, one that he new would not sin? Why warn Cain if he new Cain was going to do it? So he could say, I told you so!

  • Francis

    Funny thing happen as preparation for you previous comment which took me to Volume Three. Just started reading from front and went about to page 95. Wrote down a bunch of things but only shared a few. Your answer makes total sense.

    Look at John the Baptist. Was being used by God and yet when in prison sent out asking if Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus told the person to say about all the miracles he was doing.

    So it looks like John was preparing a people for something big. And he did, the Messiah was coming.

    The 11th hour was mentioned, but would like to hear some thoughts as to how many minutes have passed towards the 12th hour.

  • Francis

    Volume Three The “Time of the End,” a period of one hundred and fifteen (115)years, from A.D.1799 to A.D. 1914 is particularly marked in the scriptures.

    On the next page 24 it reads, The Last forty years of the Time of the End called the “End of Harvest” of the Gospel age, as we read, “The Harvest is the end of the age.” (Matthew 13:39)

    Page 59, This time of the End, or day of Jehovah’s preparation, beginning A.D. 1799 and closing A.D.1914.

    Page 94 and the harvest- period of 40 years from the fall of A.D.1874-to the fall of A.D. 1914.

    Volume One page 288, Those who will constitute the spiritual phase of the kingdom are the over comings saints of the Gospel age 1874-1914.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Francis – Thanks for the quotes. You have not stated the purpose of your quotes, so I can only assume, then you can correct me if I am wrong. I think you perhaps are trying to say that Brother Russell thought the Harvest would end in 1914 and either that he was not correct or indicating that our article contradicts that thought by indicating that the Harvest is not over yet.

      In the forward to volume 2, Brother Russell says, “The author acknowledges that in this book he presents the thought that the Lord’s saints might expect to be with Him in glory at the ending of the Gentile Times. This was a natural mistake to fall into…. We could not, of course, know in 1889, whether the date 1914, so clearly marked in the Bible as the end of the Gentile lease of power or permission to rule the world, would mean that they would be fully out of power at that time, or whether, their lease expiring, their eviction would begin. The latter we perceive to be the Lord’s program; and promptly in August, 1914, the Gentile kingdoms referred to in the prophecy began the present great struggle, which, according to the Bible, will culminate in the complete overthrow of all human government, opening the way for the full establishment of the Kingdom of God’s dear Son..”

      I think that Brother Russell was correct in the events that he expected to take place. His mistake was in expecting too much of it to happen quickly, whereas, 1914 was just the beginning of this process still playing out. Confusion in Bible interpretation results from the common practice of expecting prophecy to take place to play out faster than Jehovah has planned.

      In Ezekiel 26 we read about seven events that would take place regarding the destruction of Tyre. The Fulfillment begins when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the mainland metropolis (26:8). Over 200 hundred years later Alexander the Great conquered the island fortress of Tyre (a fulfillment of vs 4 and 12.2). From 314 BC to AD 1291, Tyre in fulfillment of verse 3 was sacked and restored numerous times by many nations until its final destruction in 1291. In fulfillment of verse 14, never again was there an attempt to rebuild the Tyre of old. Since then, even today, Tyre is the “place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea.”3 The six predictions from God’s word concerning Tyre in Ezekiel 26 have been remarkably fulfilled. The point is that the complete fulfillment of this prophecy took nearly two thousand years to be fulfilled.

      2 Pet 3:9 (ASV) “ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you…” He says this two thousand years ago when speaking about the destruction of the symbolic heavens (government and church systems) and earth (social order), also noting that “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years” (vs. 8). So we are impatient and prophecies (i.e. end times prophecies) play out over a much longer period than most people imagine.

      There is no other prominent religious figure in history that was ever able to predict a future date and events from the Bible and get it right to the very year. For his success, Charles Taze Russell is thought of by many to be a false prophet. Generally the people who say he was wrong blame him for the mistaken predictions of the JW Organization (1925 and 1975) and have never read his works, Volume 2, “The Time is at Hand” and Volume 3, “Thy Kingdom Come.”

      It is true that Brother Russell expected too much to happen too quickly. Students of prophecy at Jesus first advent, made the same mistake. At the time Jesus was born, people were in expectation of the Messiah (Luke 3:15.) They expected the 70 weeks of Daniel 9, pointed to a Messiah that would immediately conquer the Romans and set up the earthly kingdom in their time (Luke 24:21). Before Jesus ascension, the Apostles asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) They were wrong to expect more than the prophecy had promised. Nevertheless, the Seventy Weeks prophecy was correct and did point to Messiah, just as the 1914 prophecy was correct.

      Pastor Russell “owned” the Times of the Gentiles concept which identified 1914 as the end of the Times of the Gentiles. In other words, he is the one who taught, promoted and spread the concept worldwide. His reputation would have been severely damaged had nothing happened in 1914. As it turned out:
      1) Church/State rule ended
      2) European Kings were dethroned forever
      3) The European Empires began to lose their colonies
      4) WWI lead to the 1917 Balfour Declaration which set aside Palestine as a homeland for the Jews.

      Is this all a coincidence? Did C.T. Russell just get lucky like the man at the roulette wheel who picked the lucky number (exact date)?

  • Jacqueline (Bible student)

    Miroslav, I agree this is an excellent article for the Facebook pages. We share some In common.

  • My dear ones in Christ this is wonderful article.I will translate it into Croatian and use on our web site here. Let Jehovah our dear Heavenly father bless you in the labor of the Harvest in this 11th hour.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Miroslav – We are glad this article is a blessing to you and that you are translating it. The Harvest has not yet ended, so we believe more wheat can be gathered into the barn and the Truth continue to bind tares into sectarian bundles.

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