There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

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Bobcat
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There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#1 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

This thread is a late addition to Apollos series where he asked those of the 1914=Start of the Last Days persuasion to present their evidence that things had significantly changed in a way that would clearly present 1914 as an undeniable 'turning point' in human history.

This was the introductory topic:

Here were each of the specific topics:

I later added this topic:

And so, this thread adds yet an additional topic to this series:
There will be an Increasing of Lawlessness.

It is open to anyone who wishes to try to set forth evidence to prove that 1914 is the start of a significant change in Lawlessness in human affairs.

Just a few things to set up the 'gauntlet,' though:

The phrase, "increasing of lawlessness" occurs in Matthew 24:12 in the Olivet Discourse. One of the things arguing against the phrase having a modern fulfillment is the Jewish context that the phrase finds itself in. Mt 24:15 describes an "abomination of desolation" that would start standing in a "holy place" with the instructions that "those in Judea" were to start fleeing. They were to pray that their flight did not occur on a Sabbath or in the winter, which would also argue for a Jewish setting as well as one locality, since worldwide, it would always be winter (or winter-like conditions) somewhere.

Jesus also said that "these things" would, beyond any doubt, happen to "this generation," arguing, again, for a Jewish context ("this") and one soon after Jesus spoke ("generation").

But all that aside, can those who hold for 1914 as the start of a bigger fulfillment present their reasons why.

One other piece of evidence I'll present on this topic is a article written by Carl Olaf Jonsson on this topic. It can be seen here. (The english portion of the parent website can be seen here.)

Keep in mind what is being asked for: Clear evidence that leads to the conclusion that things have changed since 1914. If people are expected to believe that 1914 is a 'turning point,' and if they are to be judged as unfaithful and skeptical and as scoffers if they don't agree, then, it is only fair that clear evidence be given. So merely showing that a bad crime happened since 1914 is not proof that 1914 saw a dramatic change. You have to show that 1914 saw a 'sign worthy' change. Otherwise, it is you, the one preaching this idea, who become "false witnesses of God." (1Co 15:14-15)


Bobcat

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Daniel12
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#2 Post by Daniel12 » 3 years ago

Greetings Everyone;

As I lay in my warm bed typing this post, while eating a bacon, egg, cheese biscuit with a hot cup of coffee, and looking at the pumpkin pie that I will have for desert ------which I didn’t prepare and only cost me $4 plus some change, while listening to background music, and having the TV on at the same time, it is kind of hard for me as well as hundreds of millions of others my age who have benefited from a better world than the past centuries before 1914----- to believe that the time after the year 1914 has gotten worse than the centuries prior.

If those my age were told by a genie that we could be transferred to any century in the past, and live out our lives in the past, ------we would put that genie back in the bottle, cork it and throw it back in the ocean. Don't you touch my bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. :evil:

It’s true that millions of people have suffered in the 20th century but here is the point; “What was achieved for the benefit of humanity in the 20th Century far outweighs the human catastrophes that give the 20th Century such a bad image in the eyes of contemporaries”


Plus we are in the 21 century, the 20th century (1914) is old news to us and has no relevance at all to my generation, that is, those of my generation who are 20 years and younger. How many generations is that from1914???? :oops:

Many observers of history, whether professional experts or you average John and Mary Doe, do not put the 20th Century on a list of the worst centuries in human history?----Why?

“The reason is that, in many respects, the 20th Century was the best in all of humanity’s history so far, in which major and unprecedented increases in life expectancy and reductions of human suffering were achieved. Consider, among others, the following developments, which largely occurred during the 20th Century:”

203 million deaths from collective violence in the 20th Century, according to White’s estimate under Worldwide Statistics of Casualties, Massacres, Disasters and Atrocities., is horrendous beyond measure in terms of human suffering, but if you set that against the number of people saved from premature and horrible deaths due to advances in medical and other science, the 20th Century looks a lot better than any of its predecessors. Just a few examples:

1. Violence is also at an all-time low

2. The 20th Century was the first in history in which world population at the end of the century exceeded the number of deaths from all causes that occurred during the century. In all previous centuries the number of deaths during the century largely exceeded the number of world inhabitants at its end.

3. World life expectancy is as high as never before,

4. Worldwide mortality is as low as never before, ca%. 0.8 % per year, see

5. Infant mortality is also at an all-time low

Lawlessness always leads to poverty, famine, and many times disease since those in the medical field, those producing and storing food, and jobs, are also affected by lawlessness. So with this in mind.

6. The percentage of people who are undernourished has decreased considerably since 1990,

7. The share of the world’s population living in poverty and absolute poverty (which was, respectively, 94 % and 84 % in 1820) has been steadily going down and is currently at an all-time low


8. At least one disease that has scourged mankind since 10,000 B.C. and killed at least 300 million people in the 20th Century alone, has been completely eradicated.


9. The 20th Century was the first in history in which non-communicable diseases, which mostly occur at advanced ages, took the place of infectious diseases as the main cause of death. In all previous centuries most people died from infectious diseases. Why is this relevant to lawlessness? Because peaceful time allows humans to research and discover things that benefit mankind.


Here is the link to all the quotes on statistics;

https://www.quora.com/What-were-the-wor ... ry-and-why

Hisclarkness
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#3 Post by Hisclarkness » 3 years ago

Thank you Daniel12 for breathing fresh light into this age old belief that things are getting worse and all is doom and gloom.

People have been pointing to current events as proof that things are getting worse and that the end is imminent LITERALLY since the first century!!

Before everybody comes at me, OF COURSE I believe Jesus can and will return at any moment. OF COURSE we must remain “alert”, as it were. But we should be doing that for the simple reason that tomorrow is never promised, not because we see certain events happening around us and interpret them as some sign.

Of course there are horrible things happening in the world today. But as you pointed out, in many ways things are much better now than they’ve ever been. And it should be pointed out that the reason things have improved in so many areas is because people have WORKED to make things better instead of sitting around and expecting God to fix everything. Maybe God is waiting on us to fix ourselves.

Daniel12
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#4 Post by Daniel12 » 3 years ago

Hi Hisclarkness
this age old belief that things are getting worse and all is doom and gloom.
You know something that I’ve noticed among some of the parents of my jw friends that I still have contact with, is their excessive concern and anxiety because of every news item (an earthquake, a killing of a group of people, a scandal, a war threat, etc.) that is reported on a daily basis world-wide. :-?

They are constantly worried that they are not doing enough and they worry their children are not doing enough, and they worry that their relatives are not doing enough, and they are just constantly on “Alert and worry Mode” :shock:

I mean Jesus made it very clear;


Matthew 24:6 AMP You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened


Two things I’ve noticed happens when people put a lot of emphasis on bad events and interpret them as a “Sign that the end is close”

One, they are so busy focusing on bad events as they happen, that their joy in life is zapped. And “Joy” is a fruit of the spirit. Their heart is instead weighed down with anxiety.


AMPC Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.

And two, for those whose life has revolved around the idea that all the events since 1914 marked the last days and now find themselves in their Golden years, (If that’s what you want to call them) they are either disillusioned or crushed that the end hasn’t arrived.


Proverbs 13:12 GNT When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed, :cry:

But for those Christians who focus on trying to imitate Jesus in loving God with all their heart and loving their neighbor, and not be concerned with bad events happening world-wide, and hoping and believing these events are a sure-thing that the end is around the corner,----- their life will have more meaning and more joy.

(Romans 12:12) Rejoice in the hope. :D

Dajo1
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#5 Post by Dajo1 » 3 years ago

:waiting: What an absolutely, insightful and delightful breath of fresh air! :)

Bobcat
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#6 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Daniel and Hisclarkness, thank you both for your great posts.


Bobcat

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simplyme
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#7 Post by simplyme » 3 years ago

Hello everyone,

The title of this thread is “There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness”.

So in the interest of keeping this interesting topic going I am going to ask a few questions. :D

So my obvious question is; This “increasing” is from what or when? Does this mean through out the Christian Era there will be peaks and valleys of “lawlessness”? So don’t be afraid or misled when you see this “increasing”?

Other questions are; What is this “lawlessness”? Is it the literal crime etc. of human society through out this era? Or is it something else scripturally?

That verse goes on to say “the love of the many will grow cold”.

What is this “love” that will grow cold? It’s growing colder than when?

Lastly, Who are the many? Humans in general or Christians?

I know what JW theology teaches but I hope I am beyond that.

From the comments above I would think the argument could be made that the last 100 years has been a period of “lawlessness decreasing” and human society has improved.

leaving_quietly
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#8 Post by leaving_quietly » 3 years ago

My views:
Other questions are; What is this “lawlessness”? Is it the literal crime etc. of human society through out this era? Or is it something else scripturally?
Go on carrying the burdens of one another, and in this way you will fulfill the law of the Christ. Gal 6:22
For when people of the nations, who do not have law, do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. 15 They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and by their own thoughts they are being accused or even excused. Rom 2:14,15

People of the nations do not do "by nature" the things the Mosaic Law required. However, there is a moral compass that most humans have. I believe this is referring to the law of the Christ, the law of love. (Matt 22:37,38; John 13:34,35)

What is this “love” that will grow cold? It’s growing colder than when?
Nevertheless, I hold this against you, that you have left the love you had at first. Rev 2:4 (to Ephesus)
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. Rev 3:15, 16 (to Laodicea)
Who are the many? Humans in general or Christians?
Both

Bobcat
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#9 Post by Bobcat » 3 years ago

Thanks to everyone for your comments so far. Still waiting for the indisputable pro-1914 evidence.

Just as a side point, one of the things that might have to be accounted for (if one were to contend for a sign-worthy change in lawlessness since 1914) is a "crime rate." That is, crime as a ratio of population. For example if one crime occurs in one year in a town of 100 people you would have a 1% crime rate. To get that same amount of crime in a population of 100,000,000 you would have to have 1,000,000 crimes in the same period. In a population of 7 billion . . . just to get the same 1% crime rate. And what would indicate a 'sign-worthy' change. Would 1% percent have to become 2%, 5% . . .? And what would be the Biblical basis for saying what change amounts to a definite sign.

This would inevitably lead to problems since past times/eras kept no statistics such as are kept now, making any such comparison basically impossible. Even among modern countries statistics are variously kept (or not kept). The best one could really say was that it feels like it's worse. But even that would be subjective. A person who has just been victimized by crime would naturally say that crime feels worse. In contrast, a person who lives in maybe a gated community (for example) might just as honestly feel that things are not that bad. Are they to be judged as SKEPTICS, SCOFFERS, or UNFAITHFUL simply because someone else has a different opinion?

IMO, which admittedly is not the final word on things, but IMO it is much easier to accept Mt 24:12 in its 1st century context. The Jewish Christians who were a part of "this generation" back then would be able to take note of the increasing breakdown in law-abiding around them (in comparison with what they were used to) and sense that Jesus was correct in his prophetic assessment of "this generation." No need for statistics. 'No muss, no fuss.'

One additional point that was alluded to in some comments above is, What constitutes "lawlessness"? In Jewish society it would include immorality, idolatry and similar 'religious' crimes. None of these things would be 'criminal' in most modern societies. (But compare what God is looking for in Rev 9:20-21.)


Bobcat

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Bobcat
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Re: There Will Be an Increasing of Lawlessness

#10 Post by Bobcat » 2 weeks ago

A graphic showing violent crime in the USA over a 28 year period (1991 - 2019): Here. The trend is generally downward.

Does this mean we are not in the "last days"? Someone who depends on statistics, which might vary from place to place, may claim that this post has that intention. But that would not be true. (Heb 1:1, 2) Rather, Mt 24:12, as its surrounding context shows, is describing events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 CE. Contrast Mt 24:1-3,15-20 with its Jewish background, with Mt 24:42, 44 & 25:13 which show that Jesus' return will not be attended by physical signs that show how near his return is.

When one tries to misapply Mt 24:3-35 to how near we are to Jesus' return it creates opportunities for a well read person to use statistics to refute the idea, to their own detriment. (See also post # 9 above. Here is the Reddit thread where the crime graphic is being used to mock JWs and the idea that we are in the "last days." - 2Pe 3:3, 4)


Bobcat

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