“suffered destruction.” What does that mean? Well, does the Bible say anywhere else that those who perished in the Flood will receive a resurrection? Does it say that they will be present on Judgment Day? No! But here in Second Peter the destruction they suffered in the Flood is compared to that of “ungodly men” who are destroyed at the end of this present system of things, concerning whom Jesus said that they will be symbolic “goats” and “will depart into everlasting cutting-off.” So apparently those people who were destroyed in Noah’s day were everlastingly cut off.—Matt. 25:31-46.
● How could the apostle Paul truthfully say that he was a Pharisee, as he did at Acts 23:6?—R.M., U.S.A.
Paul the apostle was standing accused at an assembly of the Jewish court of the Sanhedrin when he said, “I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Over the hope of resurrection of the dead I am being judged.”
The day before he said this the apostle Paul had openly preached the resurrected Jesus Christ and caused an uproar among the Jews. (Acts 22:6-24) So the Pharisees and Sadducees assembled on this occasion definitely knew that Paul was no Pharisee but was a Christian. It is to be remembered, though, that he had been raised a Pharisee and was fully aware that Pharisees believed in the resurrection, angels and spirit, while the Sadducees rejected such doctrines. (Acts 23:8; 26:5; Phil. 3:5) As far as these doctrines were concerned, Paul the apostle held a belief similar to the Pharisees, in contrast to the position of the Sadducees.
The actions of the high priest Ananias, recorded in Acts 23:2, made it plain that those assembled would not be impartial or reasonable when hearing Paul’s case. It is possible that when the apostle saw this he attempted to divide the assembled group by driving between them the controversial wedge of the resurrection doctrine. While he was obviously not a Pharisee in the strictest sense of the word, he was still a “son of Pharisees” and indicated that he espoused the position of the Pharisees on the matter of resurrection. He believed in the resurrection of Jesus as a spirit, and this added to the disagreement between the groups present.—Acts 23:9, 10.
The apostle Paul did not here claim to accept some false beliefs in order to “become all things to people of all sorts.” (1 Cor. 9:22) He told the truth, not compromising his position, and used the occasion to give an effective witness.
In the first century of our Common Era the apostles of Jesus Christ urged the people: “Get saved from this crooked generation” (Acts 2:40) If the need to do so was great then, how much more so is it urgent today! For that reason, Jehovah’s witnesses regularly call at the homes of people everywhere, talking to others about the purposes of Jehovah God and leaving with interested persons literature that will build up their appreciation for the Bible. As they engage in this work during October they will be offering a year’s subscription for the magazine Awake!, along with three. Bible-study booklets, for $1.
JOIN THE MILLIONS READING “AWAKE!”
Will you be one of the new subscribers for Awake! during October? Each year thousands of names are added to the growing list of regular readers of this instructive companion magazine to The Watchtower. Circulation through the mails and by individual copy has now reached the four and one-quarter million mark! Send $1 today for your year’s subscription for Awake! and receive three free booklets on timely Bible subjects.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
October 24: Putting Up a Hard Fight for the Faith, ¶1-17. Page 584.
October 31: Putting Up a Hard Fight for the Faith, ¶18-23, and Execution of Divine Judgment upon the Ungodly, ¶1-10. Page 589.
November 7: Execution of Divine Judgment upon the Ungodly, ¶11-26. Page 593.