MATTHEW 20:6-9.

For those refusing to serve the Kingdom interests of Almighty God and His Son The Christ Michael, an 'eleventh hour' concession for Godless unbelievers to be saved does not exist. The poem entitled No Hopers Of The 'Eleventh Hour' was written to forewarn those who erroneously believe they can be saved by turning to God just before the Son of God arrives to judge mankind. Their belief in an 'eleventh hour' salvation is mistaken, as it would not allow enough time for them to be spiritually readjusted by The Christ to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God. (Rev 7:9-14). The opportunity that once existed through the  exercise of faith in the "good news" of salvation by The Christ has finished. It ended when the "appointed times" were completed. (See Rev 10:7 NWT). The only opportunity that now remains is for people to give glory to God out of fear as they witness fear-inspiring calamities from God befalling mankind.  (Rev 11:13).

As for the "appointed times", they were a specific period sanctioned by God to test those in Christ's congregations to reveal who would remain faithful to Christ's anointed* brothers, and who would mistreat them by "trampling" upon their God-given authority and removing them.  (Rev 11:1-3) (2 Thess 2:1-12). Because apostates of the sect falsely calling themselves Jehovah's Witnesses were guilty of "trampling" upon Christ's faithful anointed brothers and refusing to help them, the following scripture refers to them: "Then they also will answer with the words, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?'  Then he will answer them with the words,  'Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did not do it to one of these least* ones, you did not do it to me.' And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life."  (Matt 25:44-46).



AND  THE  FIRST  ONES  LAST".  (Matt 20:16).

In contrast to the erroneous explanation given by false witnesses, the following is the correct understanding of the illustration given by Christ Jesus to his disciples and recorded in Matthew 20:1-16 (NWT).  It is in continuation of Matthew 19:28-30.

Almighty God Jehovah is the "Householder" of His spiritual "house", who went out to "hire workers for His vineyard". (20:1). The "true vine" is The Christ, and the "branches" of this "vine" are those under the "new covenant". (John 15:1-5.  Matt 26:27-29.  1 Cor 11:25). The "day" is a period of time during which Jehovah cultivates and gathers His anointed sons of the Kingdom through His "steward" The Christ.  (20:8 NEB).  Receiving the pay of a "denarius" symbolizes their heavenly reward.

It is important to note that those first hired for this work would have to be present to see those last hired receiving their wages and to learn they are to receive the same. (20:9,10).  Jehovah certainly would not allow murmurers holding a grudge against His generosity to inherit anything more than what had been agreed. That is why those first hired are told to: "Take what is yours and go". As anointed ones already asleep in  death will rise first, they will see their "eleventh-hour" brothers rewarded first by our Lord.  (1 Thess 4:15  17).

The "burden of the day" borne by the first hired ones was the spiritual work they were called upon to do and complete during the "day". (20:12). This symbolic "day" runs from the beginning of hiring in the "morning" to the end of the "eleventh hour" in the "evening" when their complete number is finally gathered.  (20:8.  Rev 6:9  11). They murmured of the burden of the "burning heat" they experienced during the "day", believing they had suffered greater persecution. They supposed that they should receive more than their more recent "eleventh hour" brothers.  (20:12).

The teaching of The Christ is that Kingdom heirs will all receive the same, but that some would feel they deserved more for length of service and/or greater difficulties. That is why Jehovah the "Householder" tells them to "Take what is yours and go"; receiving a reprimand instead of a blessing, as the Kingdom disposition of the new heavens is not self-seeking. Their agreed reward is intended to be for their service to God in working for their brothers to gain everlasting life. Cultivation of their spirits must bear good "fruitage" within them. (Gal 5:22). Through jealousy some of the first hired ones will be least in favour with Jehovah because of proven self-importance over their late-hired brothers. (20:15 NEB). The illustration Jesus gave was to show that loving unity is a spiritual requirement of the sons of God inheriting everlasting life.

Matthew 19:30 conveys that some will murmur against Jehovah Himself and lose favour for harbouring resentment against their late hired brothers and the judicial decision of God. So it was understood that after Christ inaugurated the "new covenant", certain first hired ones would fail to give due respect to their Heavenly Father and their late hired brothers.

(Dates correct only if year of wages paid is 1999 and each of the 11 "hours" are 179 years).

There is no mention of complaints or murmuring against the third, sixth, or ninth hour workers. But while the "burning heat" of intense persecution claimed to have been suffered by JW apostates is expressed at length in their book 'Then is Finished the Mystery of God', the correct understanding of The Christ's illustration and the above diagram is as follows:

At any point in time during the Lord's symbolic "day" there are brothers who may have worked on earth in the "vineyard" of God for many more years and/or suffered greater persecution than their more recently gathered brothers. Any sense of superiority they may harbour over their brothers will be manifest in their failure to help cultivate fellow Spirit anointed brothers for ministerial work in Christ's congregations.  (Eph 4:11,12). There are in total 144,000 workers, with a number still on earth in the process of being cultivated and gathered to Jehovah at this time.**  (See 1 Cor 12:4-31).

But as for apostates who install themselves as "shepherds" in the spiritual "land" of God, Jehovah has said: "Here I am against the shepherds, and I shall certainly ask back My sheep from their hand and make them cease from feeding My sheep." (From Ezek 34:7-10). Jehovah is here referring to those called to be anointed ones but who corrupt themselves and in their apostasy refuse to shepherd His "sheep".  (Luke 12:32.  John 10:16).

Revised 12/7/98
and 2/10/09.