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  1. Past hour
  2. Yes. We know that the Bible itself says that for many, a time will come when it will be too late for some to repent. But as you say, we don't know when, exactly in the timeline this point occurs. We know that it would be "wicked" for any of us who truly know God's undeserved kindness to use it as an excuse for badness, using the idea that we could always repent at the last minute. But there are so many things we don't know about God's judgment. For example, what if the Great Tribulation goes on for three months, and Armageddon goes on for 25 seconds? What if the Great Tribulation is 100 years long and Armageddon is 200 years long? I think most Witnesses anticipate a period shorter than the common 3.5 and/or 7 year speculation that is often attached by fundamentalists and literalists to either or both of these events. But we have no direct knowledge from the Bible about these timelines, except from Revelation, a book which we usually interpret non-literally. Therefore I don't think most of us would be deeply offended if the Watchtower someday taught that the Great Tribulation turns out to be the entire history of mankind. I don't expect that, and I don't believe it, but there is a lot of flexibility available in the interpretation of symbols. For that matter, who is to say whether any great majority in Christian countries have faith in the same Jesus who taught "undeserved kindness" and heart motivation as opposed to those who think Christianity is about a reward for righteous works? Allen Smith has previously questioned whether it is, in fact, only a smaller minority of Jehovah's Witnesses who are really Jehovah's Witnesses. Jesus said at Luke 18:8: (Luke 18: 6-8) 6 Then the Lord said: “Hear what the judge, although unrighteous, said! 7 Certainly, then, will not God cause justice to be done for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night, while he is patient toward them? 8 I tell you, he will cause justice to be done to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?” The "type of faith" here is in a God who gives justice, not based on our own merit or works or legalistic requirements, but based on our petitions and desire, as he loves us enough to patiently "put up" with us in our sinful state. This is a difficult concept for most works-based organizations promoting Christianity. There could be an implication that those in supposedly Christian nations are in pretty much 'the same boat' as those in nations who have barely (or never) heard of Jesus. And speaking of patience and those "3 billion." Every year that goes by brings an even greater number of people who are not being reached. If as Peter says, that the patience of our Lord means salvation to more people, then there is no evidence that this salvation is related to our efforts to preach to more people. The number of persons alive who will have effectively never even heard of Jehovah's Witnesses (or Jesus) goes up every year. If the end comes today, this might be, as you say, "3 billion." If the end comes in 10 years, the number of persons alive at that time who will never have heard of us (or Jesus) might be "3.5 billion." If the end comes in 20 years, the number of persons alive at that time who will have never heard of us (or Jesus) might be "4 billion." So if it were based on our efforts as Witnesses to reach these persons, then the patience of our Lord would mean greater death and destruction to billions more people.
  3. Today
  4. Dos mujeres fueron víctimas del hampa, ayer, en distintos puntos del norte de la urbe. Ambas llegaron a la Fiscalía del Guayas a denunciar los casos junto a los uniformados que habían logrado detener a dos de los tres sospechosos. El primer asalto se registró en la avenida Casuarina, por la entrada de la 8. Ahí una joven de 19 años salió a las 07:00 hacia su trabajo cuando fue sorprendida por dos hombres a pie que la amenazaron con un arma de fuego y un cuchillo. El fiscal Víctor González se refirió al caso y explicó que la víctima entregó las pertenencias a los ladrones, pero alertó rápidamente a la Policía por lo que detuvieron en pocos minutos a uno de los hombres. “Se le encontró la cartera y celular de la joven, así como el arma blanca”, comentó el fiscal, que dijo que el sujeto podría enfrentar de 5 a 7 años de prisión, pues la mujer contó que el tipo puso el cuchillo en su barriga. Mientras la primera víctima asentaba la denuncia, llegó otra mujer quien habría estado recorriendo las calles de la ciudadela El Cóndor predicando. Ella pertenece a una iglesia de Testigos de Jehová y mencionó que un hombre aparentemente drogado la amenazó con un cuchillo y le quitó su teléfono. Cerca de ella estaban sus compañeros con los que suele ir a predicar. Uno de ellos contó que siguieron al hombre y que a pocos metros se habría metido a una casa. “Lo sacaron los vecinos y la Policía, cuando timbramos el teléfono de la hermana le sonó en el bolsillo al tipo”, narró el hombre a las autoridades. El sospechoso fue ingresado a la Unidad de Flagrancia, donde junto al primer detenido esperaba ayer la audiencia de Flagrancia. Otro asalto violento se registró ayer en el sur de la ciudad, en este caso las víctimas fueron unos comerciantes que se movilizaban en una camioneta. Ellos habían salido desde el mercado de Montebello y cuando iban por las calles Gómez Rendón y Guerrero Valenzuela fueron sorprendidos por cinco hombres que se movilizaban en tres motocicletas. “Los cerraron y se le llevaron $ 500, parece que los venían siguiendo desde el mercado”, contó un testigo del hecho que quedó registrado en fotografías.(I) https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2018/09/19/nota/6959618/dos-detenidos-asaltos-violentos-contra-mujeres
  5. Yesterday
  6. Probably depends where and when they indulge.
  7. *** it-1 pp. 616-617 Destruction *** Will all persons who were destroyed by God in times past be dead forever? The Bible indicates that not all destruction is eternal. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Hebrew word ʼavad·dohnʹ (destruction) is used twice to parallel “Sheol.” (Job 26:6; Pr 15:11) The prophet Zephaniah spoke of the destruction of Assyria, whereas Ezekiel said that the Assyrians would go down to Sheol. (Zep 2:13; Eze 32:21, 22) When speaking of the destruction of the rebels Dathan and Abiram, Moses wrote that they went down “alive into Sheol.” (Nu 16:31, 33) Since Sheol in the Bible denotes the common grave of mankind from which there will be a resurrection, it is evident that not all destruction—not even all destruction at the hand of God—is necessarily eternal. Everlasting Destruction. The Bible does not indicate that all the dead will be resurrected. Jesus implied this when he spoke of “those who have been counted worthy of gaining that system of things and the resurrection from the dead.” (Lu 20:35) The possibility of eternal destruction for some is also indicated by Jesus’ words at Matthew 10:28: “Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Regarding this text, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (edited by C. Brown, 1978, Vol. 3, p. 304) states: “Matt. 10:28 teaches not the potential immortality of the soul but the irreversibility of divine judgment on the unrepentant.” Also, Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (revised by F. W. Gingrich and F. Danker, 1979, p. 95) gives the meaning “eternal death” with reference to the Greek phrase in Matthew 10:28 translated “destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Thus, being consigned to Gehenna refers to utter destruction from which no resurrection is possible.—See GEHENNA. “Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them . . . are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.” (Jude 7) That punishment evidently applies not merely to the physical cities but to their inhabitants as well, because it was the people themselves who committed the gross sins that led to their annihilation. The possibility of eternal destruction is particularly an issue during the conclusion of the system of things. When Jesus was asked by his disciples what would be ‘the sign of his presence and of the conclusion of the system of things,’ he included as part of his answer the parable of the sheep and the goats. (Mt 24:3; 25:31-46) Concerning “the goats” it was foretold that the heavenly King would say: “Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels,” and Jesus added, “These will depart into everlasting cutting-off.” Clearly the attitude and actions of some individuals will result in their permanent destruction. END QUOTE The Bible at Jude 7 did say Sodom and Gomorrah have undergone "everlasting fire". Certainly Satan and his demons, Judas, Ananias and Sapphira, those destroyed at Noah's Day and at Armageddon, are in that lot. (Matthew 24: 37-39; Matt 25:41,46)) I think the point was raised by JWI about Jesus reading hearts and saying the people of Sodom would have repented after seeing certain signs. (Matthew 11:20-24) 20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his powerful works had taken place, for they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Cho·raʹzin! Woe to you, Beth·saʹi·da! because if the powerful works that took place in you had taken place in Tyre and Siʹdon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more endurable for Tyre and Siʹdon on Judgment Day than for you. 23 And you, Ca·perʹna·um, will you perhaps be exalted to heaven? Down to the Grave you will come; because if the powerful works that took place in you had taken place in Sodʹom, it would have remained until this very day. 24 But I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sodʹom on Judgment Day than for you.” Checking here is says Sodom would have remained until this day, and that the people of Tyre and Sidon would have repented and it brings the people of Sodom and Gomorrah into the conversation about Judgement Day. So that is where the speculation begins. Thanks for the impetus to do more research. Look forward to your comments and those of others.
  8. Would it be fair to say, that all those that came under God's judgement in the great flood have the possibility to return in the resurrection? Or are we confident, those have already been judged by God? What is the difference in this theoretical focus? Would Judas have the same prospect? would those that committed suicide, be raised? On suicide, it would merit considering the mental state of a person rather than just being fed up with life.
  9. Probably because no one has come to understand the beginning ideology of Pastor Russell since you keep insisting he erred in judgment when he didn’t have all the facts and God’s guidance that he eventually received. So, it is NOT I that make those claims, they come from you. That’s where the revision comes from for the great crowd, and the little flock, not before. So, as far as you can tell, it merits further analyzes in your part. First, what was the condition of Christianity in Russell’s Time? “And since the Church of Christ, which has been developing during the Gospel age, is to be associated with her Lord in the great restitution work of the Millennial age, the first work of Christ at the second advent must be the gathering of his elect Church, to which reference is made through the Prophet (Psa. 50:5), saying, "Gather my saints together unto me—those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." This gathering or harvesting time is in the lapping period of the two ages. As will be shown, it is a period of forty years, which both ends the Gospel age and introduces the Millennial age. (See Vol. I, pages 219-221;” Therefore, the one that has been wrong about Pastor Russell, and Rutherford, along with their initial views is yourself. And that’s been the problem here that you can’t seem to accept, along with your followers. “Not only is this the time for the gathering of the saints by the truth (into oneness with their Lord and each other, and out of fellowship with mere professors, tares), but it is also a time for cleaning up the field by consuming the tares, stubble, weeds, etc., preparatory to the new sowing. In one sense the "wheat" is gathered out from among the tares—because of the greater abundance of tares—as when the Lord says, "Come out of her, my people." Yet, in another sense, the separation is properly represented by the tares [C140] being gathered from the wheat.” This plays into what started Russell in his path, to a deep study of chronological order and eternal punishment. So, his initial thoughts were the SAINTS! Now, the assumption that bloggers like JWfacts consider is: Great Crowd of Other Sheep? The Bible is clear that the Great Crowd are in heaven, as was taught by the Watchtower until 1935. The current Watchtower concept of Jesus followers having two hopes is at odds with the Bible teaching of the Other Sheep becoming "one flock." How can this be in defense in one hand, and yet rejected in the other? “The field looks beautiful and flourishing to many, as they count by the hundreds of millions. But really the proportion of wheat is very small, and it had been far better for the [C147] wheat, which has been choked and greatly hindered from development by the tares, if the worldly-spirited tares had not been in the Church, but in their own place in the world, leaving the consecrated "little flock," the only representatives of Christ's spirit and doctrine, in the field. Then the difference between the Church and the world would be very marked, and her growth, though apparently less rapid, would have been healthy. The great seeming success manifested by numbers and wealth and social standing, in which many glory so much, is really a great injury, and in no sense a blessing, either to the Church or to the world. As we examine this subject, we find that many of these tares are little to blame for their false position as imitation wheat. Nor do many of them know that the tares are not the real Church; for they regard the little flock of consecrated wheat as extremists and fanatics. And, when compared with the tare multitude, the Lord and the apostles and all the wheat certainly do appear to be extremists and fanatics, if the majority, the tares, be in the right.” By understanding who Pastor Russell was referring to in proper English, which fails modern people.
  10. Some interesting points from Anna and JWI. Just commenting on clear signs - JWI - and it being too late for those at Armageddon to repent - Anna. By allowing the preaching to continue Jehovah is allowing people to learn, repent and convert. Even with a non-Christian nation, the Ninevites, he gave them time to repent, even if it was only 40 days. All nations are accountable to God - non-Christian or not. The signs from heaven will be clear - including literal celestial phenomena - as Jehovah won't let us be mistaken that it is He who will bring the destruction. (The world powers also have hideous weapons that could also produce some celestial phenomena.) But the Revelation shows that people will say to the mountains and rock-masses to cover them and hide them - nothing stated about their repentance there, but continued looking to earthly sources to protect them, which is idolatry. (Revelation 6:14-17) 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: “Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” Note it says all categories of people - from the elite to the ordinary people , depicted by high officials to slaves - will understand that the destruction is the result of the anger of the Lamb, Christ Jesus, authorized by the One seated on the throne, Jehovah God. *** w99 12/1 p. 17 pars. 11-12 Be Happy Readers of the Book of Revelation *** 11 Joyful submission to Jehovah’s sovereignty is the basis for happiness on a personal level and on a universal level. Soon a symbolic great earthquake will shake Satan’s world system to its very foundations and destroy it. There will be no place of refuge for humans who refuse to submit to Christ’s heavenly Kingdom government, representing God’s legitimate domination. The prophecy states: “The kings of the earth and the top-ranking ones and the military commanders and the rich and the strong ones and every slave and every free person hid themselves in the caves and in the rock-masses of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rock-masses: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”—Revelation 6:12, 15-17. 12 With regard to that question, in the next chapter, the apostle John describes those making up the great crowd, who come out of the great tribulation, as “standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9, 14, 15) Their standing before the throne of God shows that they recognize that throne and fully submit to Jehovah’s sovereignty. They therefore stand approved. *** re chap. 18 pp. 112-113 Earthquakes in the Lord’s Day *** “Fall Over Us and Hide Us” 26 John’s words continue: “And the kings of the earth and the top-ranking ones and the military commanders and the rich and the strong ones and every slave and every free person hid themselves in the caves and in the rock-masses of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rock-masses: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”—Revelation 6:15-17. ... 29 Now, the opening of the sixth seal has shown that something similar will happen during the coming day of Jehovah’s wrath. At the final shaking of this earthly system of things, those committed to supporting it will desperately seek for a hiding place, but they will not find one. False religion, Babylon the Great, has already failed them miserably. Neither caves in the literal mountains nor symbolic mountainlike political and commercial organizations will provide financial security or any other kind of help. Nothing will shelter them from Jehovah’s wrath. Their terror is well described by Jesus: “Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”—Matthew 24:30. 30 Yes, those who have refused to recognize the authority of the victorious Rider of the white horse will be forced to admit their error. Humans who have willingly been part of the seed of the serpent will be faced with destruction when Satan’s world passes away. (Genesis 3:15; 1 John 2:17) The world situation at that time will be such that many will, in effect, ask: “Who is able to stand?” They will apparently assume that no one at all can stand approved before Jehovah in that day of his judgment. But they will be wrong, as the book of Revelation goes on to show. END QUOTE [The scriptures do inform us to seek Jehovah before God's fear-inspiring day. (Zephaniah 2:3). But we leave final decisions to the Righteous Judge, the God of all the earth, as to those who are in the middle of converting their lives. Sodom and Gomorrah: These cities were thoroughly corrupt (they even sought to introduce unnatural sex to the angels) and the destruction came suddenly and Lot and his family were moved immediately to safety by the angels before the destruction overtook them. We have to learn from what happened to the wife of Lot. Lot's wife left the city physically but her heart was still with the materialistic, corrupt society she was living among. So the angels changed her into a pillar of salt. Those angels could read hearts. (For example, when Sarah doubted the angel and laughed about pregnancy in her old age, he asked her why she laughed, but she had not done it audibly, and when she denied doing so, he said "But you did laugh".) Jesus, the 144,000 and other angels coming with him will also be able to read hearts, and that will make it easy for them to be selective in carrying out the execution of people. (Rev 17:14: 19:14) Whether these people in Sodom and Gomorrah are in Hades or Gehenna is not clear - we had some revisions in the publications on that subject. I cannot remember any conclusive comment about it. Jehovah will do or have done the right thing regarding them. But they and the people in Noah's day are placed before us as a warning of what happens to ungodly people in the future - 2 Peter 2:4-10. We are living in a parallel period now with all types of moral wrongs being sanctioned by various governments and peoples.]
  11. That can be a yes and no in some cases regarding excommunication. If anything, there would be a push to help that one person who is dealing with that problem some help. This was the case of my brother, who was literally deep in the trenches when it came to masturbation and pornography. Before myself and my father stepping in to help, after he commits such an action, you can tell, even though you do not know what he did until he spoke up, he was not 100%, and didn't get enough sleep. Agreed. In the community I linked here several times already, self-control is a key factor in trying to stop the habit. That and a ton of willpower, mainly if such one is practicing the habit for a very long time, and it is not easy. Those who succeed act as an influence and or leaders to those in the same boat they use to set sail in.
  12. Hard to fault the old pork chop here, much as I like to do it. Still, it's hard to picture the ancient Israelites carrying on this way.
  13. Not only Bullfrogs, but what if.... Just what if pigs can truly fly? Whisk away into the heavens alongside birds and flying insects. The Chickens will be very jealous. For us of mankind this would be extremely bizarre to see, moreover, the phrase "when pigs fly" would have been literal this time.
  14. Yes, I agree that Russell's first thoughts were apparent. Which is why Russell made it clear from the start that he believed not just the 144,000 would be anointed and go to heaven but that the great crowd would also be anointed and go to heaven. (Although of a less worthy class.) The book you are quoting, above is Divine Plan of the Ages, also known as "Studies in the Scriptures" (or Millennial Dawn), volume 1. That book also shows that Russell believed the "great crowd" would go to heaven. Quoting from page 214: They will have everlasting, spirit life as angels have it, . . . . They will serve God in his temple, and stand before the throne, having palms in their hands (Rev. 7:9-17); but though that will be glorious, it will not be so glorious as the position of the "little flock" of overcomers, who will be kings and priests unto God, seated with Jesus in the throne as his bride and joint-heir . . . I'm not sure why you keep insisting on this particular point about Russell's supposed "initial thinking" that only the 144,000 would go to heaven. It is clearly not true, and I'm sure you saw the evidence from what Russell himself said. And now you are quoting another of his books, "SiS V.1," and hinting that this unrelated quote has some relevance to that question. But "SiS V.1" is just another book that shows that Russell was consistent. But I don't get why it's so important to you anyway. If Russell's "initial thinking" was right, and he later changed it to something wrong, then how does this prove that "God gradually opened up his truth," which you also quoted above. At any rate, Russell was consistent on this point, as far as I can tell.
  15. FEMA.... That state organization has a bit of a dark side upon them.
  16. James Thomas Rook Jr.

    Anti-Masturbation Training Video For Jehovah's Witnesses!

    By the way ... I instantly got your cartoon joke! Good thing I was not gargling with hydrogen peroxide when I saw it.
  17. James Thomas Rook Jr.

    Anti-Masturbation Training Video For Jehovah's Witnesses!

    Therein lies the problem, Anna. EVERYBODY who considers themselves a Christian, in every religion "Christian based" on Earth, has their own deeply felt ideas about what a Christian should be. Makeup, tattoos, eating of foods or not, forbidding clergy to marry, and the list is literally endless, as it varies with "new light", old light, flashing light, colored light, black light, etc. Something that CAN be interpreted to fit a translator's, or interpreter's preconceived notions of their personal morays, WILL BE. This is where the common sense smell test has to take place. Masturbation MAY be alluded to in Paul's writings, but in the Old Testament, When Jehovah was a "harsher taskmaster", and NOBODY could obey the Old Covenant regulations .... THERE WERE NO REGULATIONS ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. This was at a time when nearly EVERYTHING ELSE was regulated. Hard evidence, what we REALLY know from what is ACTUALLY clearly and unambiguously written is that Jehovah only mentioned it as something that Onan did, and the criticism was ONLY that he did not impregnate someone. Look it up. With this perspective, whatever Paul was talking about, common sense would dictate it was NOT THIS. I am of course only guessing ... but understanding humans' propensity to want to control EVERY ASPECT of other peoples' lives ... and commonly going beyond the things that ACTUALLY "written", and those same amateur tyrants can make a good living, by inducing guilt in the guiltless. LEAVE THE PEOPLE ALONE. ( God does NOT care about this ) DON'T BE A "BUSYBODY" (... remember THAT scripture? ) Because ALL translators and interpreters are subject to what they do being filtered and colored through their own perspective, it is CRITICALLY important that we do NOT GO BEYOND the things in the Bible that are clearly and unambiguously written. For a hundred years the Society has continuously "overreached" for organizational stability, and have had their butts chewed completely off! Overreaching, even with the best of intentions ( with which the road to hell is reportedly paved...) generates tyranny, and error .... and ingrained, induced mental illness. Once this takes root, common sense no longer becomes all that common, and the Pharisees win, and that means the people .... lose. If they leave the TRUTH ... chased away ... it is the same as manslaughter. And we who continue to carry these unnecessary heavy burdens become slaves, only to be sheared and eaten. Next thing you know, it will make perfect sense to treat our own family, spiritual and physical, with extreme cruelty. There is a very simple solution. "Do NOT go beyond the things that are written."
  18. While it might seem of interest to some, it is an unrealistic proposition, since God had already placed judgement upon them. I cannot stress the word time enough to understand, that wouldn’t have been an option had Jesus himself would have been in those cities. The only difference would have been, that Jesus would have stated his father’s judgement since he would have known there were no righteous people aside from Lot. Therefore, the state of affairs would have remained the same. As for Pastor Russell’s beginning research into Bible Truth. He started from scratch to willfully understand scripture as God intended. Not how he was taught, or by the progressiveness clergy was forcefully applying scripture. Therefore, Russell’s first thoughts were apparent. “But if the enemies of this book have been bitter, unjust, [Aiv] untruthful, its friends are proportionately warm and zealous. The millions of copies in the hands of the people have nearly all passed out through the friends of the book, who, from the love of the Truth, have given time and energy for its wide circulation. While we write these lines, we have knowledge of the fact that approximately six hundred Christian people from various walks of life have "left all" earthly business and calling and ambitions that they may glorify the Lord and bless His hungry saints by putting this little Volume into their hands. These include doctors, schoolteachers, nurses, ministers, barbers, mechanics—people from every walk of life who, touched to the heart themselves with the love of God, are anxious to pass the blessing on to other hearts and heads.” “During the Christian Age, some of the saints sought to understand the Church's future by examining this symbolic book, and doubtless all who read and understood even a part of its teachings were blessed as promised. (Rev. 1:3) [A28] The book kept opening up to such, and in the days of the Reformation was an important aid to Luther in deciding that the Papacy, of which he was a conscientious minister, was indeed the "Antichrist" mentioned by the Apostle, the history of which we now see fills so large a part of that prophecy.” Thus gradually God opens up his truth and reveals the exceeding riches of his grace, and consequently much more light is due now than at any previous time in the Church's history. I believe I have been quite clear, that I have yet to see a book written, that has captured the full and rightful history of the Watchtower. The Watchtower has correctly placed the pertinent aspects of Pastor Russell, while those that rejected Russell’s ideology smeared his character by suggesting his interest was only to fill the seats of the 144,000 Saints. That prompted a question, what was to happen after the 144,000 Bible Students were gathered. What about the rest? Analyze!
  19. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a feeling I read somewhere in our publications (not too long ago) that it will be too late for those at Armageddon to repent. There are plenty of scriptures that make it clear that only those who put faith in Jesus will be saved....but I don't think there is anything that puts a time frame on it. Also it might be easy for those who live in Christian countries to put faith in Jesus at the last minute, but what about those in non Christian countries, who don't know much about Jesus or the requirement for salvation. So it would make sense that judging those might involve the reading of hearts, especially considering that there are nearly over 3 billion of such people. In that case why does WT make that statement about it being too late? What of those over 3 billion people, does the org. believe we will reach all those people before Armageddon, I doubt it. (I know this has been discussed in a topic here somewhere before, I think I might have I even created that topic)
  20. I get what you're saying. And yes, I'm sure you know of religions that have done that very thing, banned make up based on scriptures about modesty etc. But masturbation isn't in that category, (of going beyond what is written) it has to do more with self control as part of the Christian personality that we are supposed to cultivate.
  21. I agree. The thing is, no one will get disfellowshipped for masturbating.
  22. No. I was referring to what Melinda quoted about Abraham and Sodom, and what Jesus said about how the men of Sodom "would" have repented if they had seen the types of works/signs that Jesus gave to some in the first century.
  23. Yes. This is right. This is why I said "some" would remain until the end of the thousand years before being destroyed.
  24. True, I only meant that if you agree we are are now living in a time near Armageddon that your statements would apply at a time near Armageddon. Not intending to read into it anything more specific, but wondering just how close to Armageddon your words might still apply (for some). The "great crowd which no man was able to number" were to become "spirit creatures" in heaven. The 144,000 were "more than conquerors" but the "great crowd" (great multitude) were also conquerors, yet unworthy to become "more than conquerors." Page 297 of "What Pastor Russell said" includes the question and his answer: Does the Great Company receive life direct from God on the spirit plane? Answer -- Yes, they receive life direct in that they have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, and when they are begotten they are just the same way as the little flock, because we are called in the one hope of our calling. They do not make their calling and election sure, but not being worthy of second death, they therefore receive life on the spirit plane." I don't know how we would know Russell's "first inclination" even if you are right. One of the very first issues of the Watch Tower that Russell published included the following, in November 1880, p.4 (R156): As the exemption from the seven last plagues in Goshen preceded the final deliverance from Egypt, so it seems that the "sea of glass" condition which is "mingled with fire" precedes the final entering of the temple in heaven of this "great multitude" of victors. And one of the last issues of the Watch Tower that he published, February 1916, page 75-76 states virtually the same thing. Here, then, we see the difference between two classes in the Church, all of whom are spirit-begotten, all of whom are called with the same High Calling . . . But although they cannot be recognized as the Bride class, we praise God for His mercy in indicating that they all belong to the company of virgins, the Bride's companions who follow after her. . . . The water of life which Jesus will give the second class will be everlasting life on the spirit plane like unto the angels. . . . Rutherford repeated this same position about the "great crowd" (great multitude; great company) going to heaven up until at least 1932.
  25. My understanding from reading the Bible and Bible publications provided is that those who do not cooperate with the Kingdom government after Armageddon (resurrected ones) will be cut off. If they reach the end of the 1000-year reign it is believed that they would have been healed by the King-Priest and his 144000 associate king-priests and have become perfect. They would be destroyed only if they fail the final test. (Rev 20) Righteous ones (survivors and those who get a resurrection to life) will most likely continue to be righteous in an environment free of Satan's influence if they did so in the former life with him around. But they will have to be tested after attaining to perfection. See scriptures below, and comment on how they relate to your statement above. "(Isaiah 26:10) Even if the wicked is shown favor, He will not learn righteousness. Even in the land of uprightness he will act wickedly, And he will not see the majesty of Jehovah." (Resurrected unrighteous ones would be given the opportunity in the new system to see the majesty of Jehovah - those not seeing will have proved to be wicked and will disappear from the earth) "(Isaiah 65:20) “No more will there be an infant from that place who lives but a few days, Nor an old man who fails to live out his days. For anyone who dies at a hundred will be considered a mere boy, And the sinner will be cursed, even though he is a hundred years of age. " (No one will be disadvantaged by hunger, sickness, deformity, disease, short life span, etc. Will live healthy lives and afforded ample time (lifespan) and opportunity to learn about Jehovah and will be expected to transform their lives according to Jehovah's will (see the eminence of Jehovah's way of doing things). Those who continue to love sin, will be cursed/cut off. This sabbath period of 1000 years will be for learning about Jehovah (scrolls opened) not the practising of sin. All the scriptures mentioned by AllenSmith pertain to things people choose to do. So I don't believe there will be any big group of people sailing along and enjoying the Paradise and not acting in harmony with the expectation for them, after they are taught. I believe they will be taken out of the earth, once they get ample knowledge of Jehovah's requirements. Choosing was always connected with getting God's approval. As we learned in our meeting this week, Jehovah draws us but he doesn't force us. Deut 30:19,20. All will have to show whether they are on Jehovah's side by their choices. Why all who survive to the end of the thousand years will have to be tested: What the final test will do for those who have been obedient up to the end of the the 1000 years will be to test their fitness for Jehovah granting them eternal life after Jesus would have healed and uplifted them. Adam had that test while perfect and he failed it; all perfected people then would also have that test. Satan would be used to test their motive for serving Jehovah. (On every occasion where we invite people to enjoy themselves, there are always those who come along for the food and the entertainment, not really out of appreciation for the host. Even in Jesus' time on the earth when large crowds were following him and he fed them, his disciples wanted to understand what he was saying but lots of people were satisfied with the literal bread, and also the cures, and he detected it, and he told them so. They were not interested in spiritual things. ) Also Jehovah would want to ensure that peace and security would be permanent in the earth. He will eliminate those whose heart is not complete toward Him and who might possibly cause danger in the future. Satan would see to it that any rebellious tendency dormant in their hearts is shown up. Even this statement bears out the fact that people will be expected to act now and in the future paradise.
  26. Is that what I was demonstrating? I am unaware I was giving any timeline for the discussion. While most of your comment might seem agreeable, the intention doesn’t seem analytical. C.T. Russell’s first inclination was only the 144, 000 would inherit the heavenly kingdom of God. Rutherford expanded on that. Rutherford understood, that the heavenly kingdom would be inherited by people on earth, without them being raised as saints to support Christ. Therefore, they both were correct given the information and understanding they had at that time. Keep in mind, C.T. Russell was setting a new perspective in understanding scripture away from the norm of Christendom. Even after 1931. There were many things manual research had yet to uncover. But the Watchtower writing department did the best they could. Of course, now the Watchtower has instant access to confirm or reject theological understandings. This is where the GB come in to pray for understanding. They don’t guess, as many seem to think. Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6-7. Therefore, my reference is in understanding TIME! Nothing more. In Sodom and Gomorrah, God’s judgement was swift. The Angles didn’t go into the cities to give them time to repent. They had been sent to destroy these unholy cities. So, judgement had already been made. The fact that people wanted to have sex with these Angels as to punish them for bringing in judgement upon them, is the very idea that the Angels were sent. Now, Lot wanted the cities spared, and he asked the Angels for clemency on his behalf. However, there were no righteous people other than Lot. So, their fate was already sealed. Time became inconsequential. However, you must be referring to the account of Noah and the flood, where people did have time to reform and repent before judgement would come upon them. Noah often gave informal witnessing to the people about their unholy evil ways and the purpose of building the Ark. So, people were given time without a set date, just as Jesus told his apostles. Therefore, I don’t see any “true” witness NOT understanding what the Watchtower is referencing through scripture. Now, billions throughout man’s history have died. Some at the hands of others. Wars, murder, illness, etc. that weren’t given the opportunity to know the one true God. I guess these are the “unrighteous” people you speak of. You are correct to think an extension of the heavenly kingdom will be established on earth. We only need to look at the Lord’s Prayer to understand that. The operative word here is “will”. Does that mean setting up an earthly kingdom like the 12 tribes of Israel? Or will there be a more workable solution, where Christ's, Heavenly Kingdom will take charge of all earthly domains in order to revert humanity back to a sinless state? This is the food for thinking Christians! Therefore, EVERYONE will have been raised to see, experience and understand for themselves the glory of God before Satan is set free. One point to understand is, there will no longer be death. So, what does that mean for generations as we know it?
  27. That’s correct Srecko. If everyone in the world would adhere to Jesus message, there would be no need for discussions such as this. Therefore, the imperative word is faith. True Christians not only need to say they have faith, but trust in God to prolong that faith, in their heart, mind, and soul, even if we die. God is going to take into account what your earthly behavior was. Therefore, Srecko, You’re asking for something that no earthly government, no religion, no institution, etc. can give, even though they strive every day to find a way to please all. It just can’t be done by them. What can be done, is take responsibility for our actions. Our responsibility is to teach our children how to live in a world full of danger, instead of making excuses, that certain policies don’t go far enough as though we understand how all earthly systems work. Anger and Hatred solve NOTHING! Especially when things are misinterpreted. The theological approach would be “Best effort” as seen by the actions of Christ apostles. There lies the Strength of David, and the Wisdom of Solomon. We all have it. It just takes “courage” and a “will” to achieve it. So, that strength is not literal, but spiritual.
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