By The Librarian
The Coming of the Name Jehovah's Witnesses - Talk by A.H. MacMillan (Editor of the Watchtower with C.T. Russell)
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.
Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible; They prefer to use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God's kingdom on earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.
See also: Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Jehovah's witnesses
The group emerged from the Bible Student movement—founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell with the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society—with significant organizational and doctrinal changes under the leadership of Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The name Jehovah's witnesses, based on Isaiah 43:10–12, was adopted in 1931 to distinguish ourselves from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. The name appears to be first coined by H.A. Ironside in 1911 in "Lectures on Daniel the Prophet" when referring to the Jews whom the promises of Isa.43 would be fulfilled, noted on page 152:
"These shall be Jehovah's witnesses, testifying to the power and glory of the one true God, when brother Christendom shall have been given up to the strong delusion to believe the lie of the Antichrist."
Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, and refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider use of the name Jehovah vital for proper worship. They reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, and hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity. They commonly refer to our body of beliefs as "the truth" and consider ourselves to be "in the truth". They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, and most limit thier social interaction with non-Witnesses. Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning. Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are also shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may eventually be reinstated if deemed repentant.
The religion's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Consequently, some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and it's activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries.
In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed an independent group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study the Bible. During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, hellfire, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world. In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy. The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874 inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times," at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth. Beginning in 1878 they jointly edited a religious journal, Herald of the Morning. In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, and in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, stating that its purpose was to demonstrate the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.
From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, and during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings. As congregations continued to form during Russell's ministry, they each remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, and in 1884, Charles Taze Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles. By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs, and was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred "pilgrims," or traveling preachers. Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry, and by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States.
Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship; volunteers were housed in a nearby residence he named Bethel. He identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement and congregations re-elected him annually as their "pastor." Russell died October 31, 1916, at the age of 64 while returning from a ministerial speaking tour and inspecting a recent gold mine investment.
In January 1917, the Watch Tower Society's legal representative, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, was elected as its next president. His election was disputed, and members of the Board of Directors accused him of acting in an autocratic and secretive manner. The divisions between his supporters and opponents triggered a major turnover of members over the next decade. In June 1917, he released The Finished Mystery as a seventh volume of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series. The book, published as the posthumous work of Russell, was a compilation of his commentaries on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation, plus numerous additions by Bible Students Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher. It strongly criticized Catholic and Protestant clergy and Christian involvement in the Great War. As a result, Watch Tower Society directors were jailed for sedition under the Espionage Act in 1918 and members were subjected to mob violence; charges against the directors were dropped in 1920.
Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society. In 1919, he instituted the appointment of a director in each congregation, and a year later all members were instructed to report their weekly preaching activity to the Brooklyn headquarters. At an international convention held at Cedar Point, Ohio, in September 1922, a new emphasis was made on house-to-house preaching. Significant changes in doctrine and administration were regularly introduced during Rutherford's twenty-five years as president, including the 1920 announcement that the Jewish patriarchs (such as Abraham and Isaac) would be resurrected in 1925, marking the beginning of Christ's thousand-year Kingdom. Disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford's tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society, most of which still exist. By mid-1919, as many as one in seven of Russell-era Bible Students had ceased their association with the Society, and as many as two-thirds by the end of the 1920s.
On July 26, 1931, at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, Rutherford introduced the new name—Jehovah's witnesses—based on Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen"—which was adopted by resolution. The name was chosen to distinguish his group of Bible Students from other independent groups that had severed ties with the Society, as well as symbolize the instigation of new outlooks and the promotion of fresh evangelizing methods. In 1932, Rutherford eliminated the system of locally elected elders and in 1938, introduced what he called a "theocratic" (literally, God-ruled) organizational system, under which appointments in congregations worldwide were made from the Brooklyn headquarters.
From 1932, it was taught that the "little flock" of 144,000 would not be the only people to survive Armageddon. Rutherford explained that in addition to the 144,000 "anointed" who would be resurrected—or transferred at death—to live in heaven to rule over earth with Christ, a separate class of members, the "great multitude," would live in a paradise restored on earth; from 1935, new converts to the movement were considered part of that class. By the mid-1930s, the timing of the beginning of Christ's presence (Greek: parousía), his enthronement as king, and the start of the "last days" were each moved to 1914.
As their interpretations of scripture developed, Witness publications decreed that saluting national flags is a form of idolatry, which led to a new outbreak of mob violence and government opposition in the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries.
Worldwide membership of Jehovah's Witnesses reached 113,624 in 5,323 congregations by the time of Rutherford's death in January 1942.
Continued development (1942–present)
Nathan Knorr was appointed as third president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1942. Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the full version of which was released in 1961. He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world. Knorr's presidency was also marked by an increasing use of explicit instructions guiding Witnesses in their lifestyle and conduct, and a greater use of congregational judicial procedures to enforce a strict moral code.
From 1966, Witness publications and convention talks built anticipation of the possibility that Christ's thousand-year reign might begin in late 1975 or shortly thereafter. The number of baptisms increased significantly, from about 59,000 in 1966 to more than 297,000 in 1974. By 1975, the number of active members exceeded two million. Membership declined during the late 1970s after expectations for 1975 were proved wrong. Watch Tower Society literature did not state dogmatically that 1975 would definitely mark the end, but in 1980 the Watch Tower Society admitted its responsibility in building up hope regarding that year.
The offices of elder and ministerial servant were restored to Witness congregations in 1972, with appointments made from headquarters (and later, also by branch committees). In a major organizational overhaul in 1976, the power of the Watch Tower Society president was diminished, with authority for doctrinal and organizational decisions passed to the Governing Body. Reflecting these organizational changes, publications of Jehovah's Witnesses began using the capitalized name, Jehovah's Witnesses. Prior to this, witnesses was consistently uncapitalized, except in headings and when quoting external sources.
Since Knorr's death in 1977, the position of president has been occupied by Frederick Franz (1977–1992) and Milton Henschel (1992–2000), both members of the Governing Body, and since 2000 by Don A. Adams, not a member of the Governing Body. In 1995, Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned the idea that Armageddon must occur during the lives of the generation that was alive in 1914.
After the death of Governing Body member Jack Barr in 2009 the organization relaxed many of the previous taboos such as dancing in Kingdom halls and Assembly Halls as well as a more "fun" party like atmosphere at official meetings. Previously avoided evangelistic style choirs were embraced for the first time to entertain the delegates and even used at the Annual meeting. Children's choirs began to appear at the Annual meeting and other events. Formerly corporate and somewhat secretive Annual meetings changed. Starting in 2013 they began to be events where releases were made of publications and other media. In October 2014 televangelism, which was previously avoided and even scorned by the witnesses for decades, was embraced with the new tv.jw.org known as JW Broadcasting. Most witnesses embraced the sudden change pointing out the difference that JW TV does not ask for donations to be sent in such as other TV evangelists have traditionally done to enrich themselves.
Rejection of blood transfusions
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions
Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, which they consider a violation of God's law based on their interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29 and other scriptures. Since 1961 the willing acceptance of a blood transfusion by an unrepentant member has been grounds for expulsion from the religion. Watch Tower Society literature directs Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions, even in "a life-or-death situation". Jehovah's Witnesses accept non-blood alternatives and other medical procedures in lieu of blood transfusions, and the Watch Tower Society provides information about current non-blood medical procedures.
Though Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions of whole blood, they may accept some blood plasma fractions at their own discretion. The Watch Tower Society provides pre-formatted Power of Attorney documents prohibiting major blood components, in which members can specify which allowable fractions and treatments they will personally accept. Jehovah's Witnesses have established Hospital Liaison Committees as a cooperative arrangement between individual Jehovah's Witnesses and medical professionals and hospitals.
Organ Transplants and Jehovah's Witnesses
Vaccinations and Jehovah's Witnesses
Aluminium and Jehovah's Witnesses
Controversy surrounding various beliefs, doctrines and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses has led to opposition from local governments, communities, and religious groups. Religious commentator Ken Jubber wrote that "Viewed globally, this persecution has been so persistent and of such intensity that it would not be inaccurate to regard Jehovah's witnesses as the most persecuted group of Christians of the twentieth century."
Main article: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
See also: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany
Main article: Supreme Court cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses by country
Several cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses have been heard by Supreme Courts throughout the world. The cases generally relate to their right to practice their religion, displays of patriotism and military service, and blood transfusions.
In the United States, their persistent legal challenges prompted a series of state and federal court rulings that reinforced judicial protections for civil liberties. Among the rights strengthened by Witness court victories in the United States are the protection of religious conduct from federal and state interference, the right to abstain from patriotic rituals and military service, the right of patients to refuse medical treatment, and the right to engage in public discourse.
List of United States Supreme Court Cases
Federal case in Puerto Rico regarding Municipality Gates
Publication: Preparing for a Child Custody Case Involving Religious Issues
Similar cases in their favor have been heard in Canada.
Child abuse lawsuits against Jehovah's Witnesses started to hit the finances hard starting in 2014 with the Candace Conti lawsuit in California. See Jehovah's Witnesses and child abuse
Newspaper or Media Reports Involving Jehovah's Witnesses (in the old wiki. For newer articles see the JW News section in this forum)
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
Notable Brothers and Sisters
How to Donate to the Work
Watchtower Real Estate News and an example of it's investment portfolio strategy
Twelve members as of September 2005 (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26) Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31) Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 😎 Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31) Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23) Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6) Sanderson appointed September 1, 2012. (See The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26) Raymond Franz (In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, p.449) cites various Watch Tower Society publications that stress loyalty and obedience to the organization, including: "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect."; The Watchtower, September 1, 2006, pg 15, "Have we formed a loyal attachment to the organization that Jehovah is using today?"; "Your Reminders Are What I Am Fond Of", The Watchtower, June 15, 2006, pg 26, "We too should remain faithful to Jehovah and to his organization regardless of injustices we suffer and regardless of what others do."; "Are You Prepared for Survival?", The Watchtower, May 15, 2006, pg 22, "Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization."; Worship The Only True God (Watch Tower Society, 2002), pg 134, "Jehovah is guiding us today by means of his visible organization under Christ. Our attitude toward this arrangement demonstrates how we feel about the issue of sovereignty ... By being loyal to Jehovah’s organization, we show that Jehovah is our God and that we are united in worship of him." 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. p. 178. "During the 2012 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over $184 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments." A common example given is a baptized Witness who dates a non-Witness; see The Watchtower, July 15, 1999, p. 30. Raymond Franz cites numerous examples. In Crisis of Conscience, 2002, pg. 173, he quotes from "They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them", (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972,) which states that God had raised Jehovah's Witnesses as a prophet "to warn (people) of dangers and declare things to come" He also cites "Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 😎 which identifies the Witnesses as his "true messengers ... by making the messages he delivers through them come true", in contrast to "false messengers", whose predictions fail. In In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, he quotes The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah—How? (1971, pg 70, 292) which describes Witnesses as the modern Ezekiel class, "a genuine prophet within our generation". The Watch Tower book noted: "Concerning the message faithfully delivered by the Ezekiel class, Jehovah positively states that it 'must come true' ... those who wait undecided until it does 'come true' will also have to know that a prophet himself had proved to be in the midst of them." He also cites "Execution of the Great Harlot Nears", (The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, pg 17) which claims God gives the Witnesses "special knowledge that others do not have ... advance knowledge about this system's end".
"Court Trial Testimony Redwood City". Superior Court of the State of California. February 22, 2012. "I am general counsel for the National Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses out of Brooklyn, New York. ... We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church." 2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2013. pp. 185–186. Sources for descriptors:
• Millenarian: Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 118–119, 151, 200–201. ISBN 0-631-16310-7.
• Restorationist: Stark et al.; Iannaccone, Laurence (1997). "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application". Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 (2): 133–157. doi:10.1080/13537909708580796.
• Christian: "Religious Tolerance.org". "Statistics on Religion".
• Denomination: "Jehovah's Witnesses at a Glance"."The American Heritage Dictionary"."Memorial and Museum AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU". . . . Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 221. ISBN 0-631-16310-7. "Doctrine has always emanated from the Society's elite in Brooklyn and has never emerged from discussion among, or suggestion from, rank-and-file Witnesses." "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 20. July 15, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-16. "Jehovah's Witnesses". The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7876-5015-5. "The Witnesses base their teaching on the Bible." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 100. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "Predictably, mainstream Christians accuse the New World Translation of inaccuracy, as if their own translations were thoroughly reliable. Jehovah's Witnesses will engage in discussion with others using whatever translation is available." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. pp. 70, 123. "This was the Witnesses' own translation of the New Testament ... now that the Society has decreed that they should use the New World Translation of the Bible in preference other versions, they are convinced their translation is the best." Tess Van Sommers, Religions in Australia, Rigby, Adelaide, 1966, page 92: "Since 1870, the Watch Tower Society has used more than seventy Bible translations. In 1961 the society released its own complete Bible in modern English, known as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This is now the preferred translation among English-speaking congregations." Edwards, Linda (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 438. ISBN 0-664-22259-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of Christianity and their rejection of orthodoxy influenced them to produce their own translation of the Bible, The New World Translation." Our Kingdom Ministry, November 1992, "When we read from our Bible, the householder may comment on the clarity of language used in the New World Translation. Or we may find that the householder shows interest in our message but does not have a Bible. In these cases we may describe the unique features of the Bible we use and the reasons why we prefer it to others." "Jehovah's Witness". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59339-293-2. Michael Hill, ed. (1972). "The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect's Development: The Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (5): 11–12. "Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded to Russell's position as President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, but only at the expense of antagonizing a large proportion of the Watch Towers subscribers. Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Jehovah's Witnesses." Leo P. Chall (1978). "Sociological Abstracts". Sociology of Religion 26 (1–3): 193. "Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from 1919 to 1932 and created Jehovah's Witnesses—a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community." Isaiah 43:10–12 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 274–5. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64 Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "It Separated the Wheat From the Chaff: The 1975 Prophecy and its Impact Among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (Spring 1989): 23–40, footnote 8. doi:10.2307/3710916. "'The Truth' is Witnesses' jargon, meaning the Society's belief system." Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 280–283. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Most Witnesses tend to think of society outside their own community as decadent and corrupt ... This in turn means to Jehovah's Witnesses that they must keep themselves apart from Satan's "doomed system of things." Thus most tend to socialize largely, although not totally, within the Witness community." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 5. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their practice of 'disfellowshipping' wayward members." Gary Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1993), pg 1–13 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 6. ISBN 978-0094559400. Beckford 1975, p. 2 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Bible Examiner October, 1876 "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" pp 27–8: "The seven times will end in A.D. 1914; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever ... when Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nations and they acknowledge him King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Studies in the Scriptures volume 4, "The Battle of Armageddon", 1897, pg xii C. T. Russell, The Time is at Hand, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1889, page 101 Heather and Gary Botting, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984, p. 36. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 18 Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, pg 1: "This is the first number of the first volume of "Zion's Watch Tower," and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication. That we are living "in the last days"—"the day of the Lord"—"the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a "new" age." 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watch Tower, pages 38–39 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1884, pp. 7–8 Studies in the Scriptures volume 6 "The New Creation" pp. 195–272 C.T. Russell, "A Conspiracy Exposed", Zion's Watch Tower Extra edition, April 25, 1894, page 55–60, "This is a business association merely ... it has no creed or confession ... it is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth."] Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses by George D. Chryssides, Scarecrow Press, 2008, page xxxiv, "Russell wanted to consolidate the movement he had started. ...In 1880, Bible House, a four-story building in Allegheny, was completed, with printing facilities and meeting accommodation, and it became the organization's headquarters. The next stage of institutionalization was legal incorporation. In 1884, Russell formed the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, which was incorporated in Pennsylvania... Russell was concerned that his supporters should feel part of a unified movement." Religion in the Twentieth Century by Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm, Philosophical Library, 1948, page 383, "As the [unincorporated Watch Tower] Society expanded, it became necessary to incorporate it and build a more definite organization. In 1884, a charter was granted recognizing the Society as a religious, non-profit corporation." Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 19 A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States Greenwood Press: 1996. pg. 35: "Russell is naturally media literate, and the amount of literature he circulates proves staggering. Books, booklets, and tracts are distributed by the hundreds of millions. This is supplemented by well-publicized speaking tours and a masterful press relations effort, which gives him widespread access to general audiences." The Overland Monthly, January 1910 pg. 130 Penton 1997, p. 26–29 W.T. Ellis, The Continent, McCormick Publishing Company, vol. 43, no. 40, October 3, 1912 pg. 1 Religious Diversity and American Religious History by Walter H. Conser, Sumner B. Twiss, University of Georgia Press, 1997, page 136, "The Jehovah's Witnesses...has maintained a very different attitude toward history. Established initially in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell under the title International Bible Students Association, this organization has proclaimed..." The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374 Penton 1997, p. 26 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 31. ISBN 978-0094559400. Penton 1997, p. 53 A.N. Pierson et al, Light After Darkness, 1917, page 4. Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 101. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Penton 1997, pp. 58, 61–62 The Bible Students Monthly, vol. 9 no. 9, pp 1, 4: "The following article is extracted mainly from Pastor Russell's posthumous volume entitled "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," the 7th in the series of his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and published subsequent to his death." Lawson, John D., American State Trials, vol 13, Thomas Law Book Company, 1921, pg viii: "After his death and after we were in the war they issued a seventh volume of this series, entitled "The Finished Mystery," which, under the guise of being a posthumous work of Pastor Russell, included an attack on the war and an attack on patriotism, which were not written by Pastor Russell and could not have possibly been written by him." Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. "One of Rutherford's first actions as president ... was, without reference either to his fellow directors or to the editorial committee which Russell had nominated in his will, to commission a seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures. Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H. Fisher and Clayton J. Woodworth. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell ... and to draw upon his published writings ... It is obvious ... that it was not in any straightforward sense the result of editing Russell's papers, rather it was in large measure the original work of Woodworth and Fisher at the behest of the new president." "Publisher's Preface". The Finished Mystery. "But the fact is, he did write it. This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. Why?... This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church." Penton 1997, p. 55 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 44. ISBN 978-0094559400. Franz, Raymond (2007). "Chapter 4". In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1993. pp. 72–77. Chryssides, George D. (2010). "How Prophecy Succeeds: The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Prophetic Expectations". International Journal for the Study of New Religions 1 (1): 39. doi:10.1558/ijsnr.v1i1.27. ISSN 2041-952X. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. p. 144. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Salvation, Watch Tower Society, 1939, as cited in Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, page 76 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 39, 52. ISBN 978-0094559400. Herbert H. Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses, Colombia University Press, New York, 1945, pg 14,15: "Following his election the existence of the movement was threatened as never before. Many of those who remembered wistfully the halcyon days of Mr Russell's leadership found that the new incumbent did not fulfill their expectations of a saintly leader. Various elements split off from the parent body, and such fission continued throughout Rutherford's leadership." Reed, David, Whither the Watchtower? Christian Research Journal, Summer 1993, pg 27: "By gradually replacing locally elected elders with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous, democratically run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine controlled from his office. Some local congregations broke away, forming such groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day." Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Rogerson, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left, but quotes Rutherford (Jehovah, 1934, page 277) as saying "only a few" who left other religions were then "in God's organization". The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Epiphany, P.S.L. Johnson (April 1927, pg 66). Johnson stated that between late 1923 and early 1927, "20,000 to 30,000 Truth people the world over have left the Society." Tony Wills (A People For His Name, pg. 167) cites The Watch Tower(December 1, 1927, pg 355) in which Rutherford states that "the larger percentage" of original Bible Students had by then departed. Penton 1997, p. 50 Rogerson 1969, p. 37 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. London: Constable. p. 55. "In 1931, came an important milestone in the history of the organisation. For many years Rutherford's followers had been called a variety of names: 'International Bible Students', 'Russellites', or 'Millennial Dawners'. In order to distinguish clearly his followers from the other groups who had separated in 1918 Rutherford proposed that they adopt an entirely new name—Jehovah's witnesses." Beckford 1975, p. 30 "A New Name". The Watch Tower: 291. October 1, 1931. "Since the death of Charles T. Russell there have arisen numerous companies formed out of those who once walked with him, each of these companies claiming to teach the truth, and each calling themselves by some name, such as "Followers of Pastor Russell", "those who stand by the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell," "Associated Bible Students," and some by the names of their local leaders. All of this tends to confusion and hinders those of good will who are not better informed from obtaining a knowledge of the truth." Beckford 1975, p. 31 Penton 1997, pp. 71–72 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Beckford 1975, p. 35 Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. 1943 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1942. pp. 221–222. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1959. pp. 312–313. Beckford 1975, pp. 47–52 Beckford 1975, pp. 52–55 Penton 1997, pp. 89–90 George Chryssides, //They Keep Changing the Dates//, A paper presented at the CESNUR 2010 conference in Torino. Chryssides, George D. (2008). Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses. Scarecrow Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-8108-6074-0. Penton 1997, p. 95 Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Awake!. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. October 8, 1968. p. 14. "Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say... If the 1970s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us." "How Are You Using Your Life?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 63. May 1974. "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly, this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Franz, Raymond. "1975—The Appropriate Time for God to Act" (PDF). Crisis of Conscience. pp. 237–253. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Retrieved 2006-07-27. Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "The '1975'-prophecy and its impact among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (1): 23–40.doi:10.2307/3710916. JSTOR 3710916. Notes a nine percent drop in total publishers (door-to-door preachers) and a 38 per cent drop in pioneers (full-time preachers) in the Netherlands. Stark and Iannoccone (1997). "Why the Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application" (PDF). Journal of Contemporary Religion: 142–143. Retrieved 2013-07-16. Dart, John (January 30, 1982). "Defectors Feel 'Witness' Wrath: Critics say Baptism Rise Gives False Picture of Growth". Los Angeles Times. p. B4. Cited statistics showing a net increase of publishers worldwide from 1971 to 1981 of 737,241, while baptisms totaled 1.71 million for the same period. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime. Chicago: Edition Temmen c/o. pp. 296, 298. ISBN 3-861-08750-2. The Watchtower. March 15, 1980. pp. 17–18. "With the appearance of the bookLife Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, ... considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. ... there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated. ... persons having to do with the publication of the information ... contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date." Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 32,112 Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 64 Joel P. Engardio (December 18, 1995), "Apocalypse Later", Newsweek Penton 1997, p. 317 John Dart, "Jehovah's Witnesses Abandon Key Tenet", Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1995. ---------
Penton 1997, p. i Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 70–75. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 91 Muramoto, O. (January 6, 2001). "Bioethical aspects of the recent changes in the policy of refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses". BMJ 322 (7277): 37–39.doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7277.37. PMC 1119307. PMID 11141155. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, page 183. United in Worship of the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1983, pages 156–160. Bowman, R. M.; Beisner, E. C.; Ehrenborg, T. (1995). Jehovah's Witnesses. Zondervan. p. 13. ISBN 0-310-70411-1. Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "How Blood Can Save Your Life," Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, pages 13–17 "Questions From Readers—Do Jehovah's Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood?". The Watchtower: 30. June 15, 2000 Sniesinski et al.; Chen, EP; Levy, JH; Szlam, F; Tanaka, KA (April 2007)."Coagulopathy After Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Jehovah's Witness Patients: Management of Two Cases Using Fractionated Components and Factor VIIa"(PDF). Anesthesia & Analgesia 104 (4): 763–5.doi:10.1213/01.ane.0000250913.45299.f3. PMID 17377078. Retrieved 2008-12-30. "The Real Value of Blood". Awake!: 11. August 2006. Durable Power of Attorney form. Watch Tower Society. January 2001. p. 1.Examples of permitted fractions are: Interferon, Immune Serum Globulins and Factor VIII; preparations made from Hemoglobin such as PolyHeme and Hemopure. Examples of permitted procedures involving the medical use of one's own blood include: cell salvage, hemodilution, heart lung machine, dialysis,epidural blood patch, plasmapheresis, blood labeling or tagging and platelet gel (autologous) Our Kingdom Ministry (PDF). November 2006. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2009-06-21. "Jehovah's Witnesses and Medical Profession Cooperate". The Awake. November 22, 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Kim Archer, "Jehovah's Witness liaisons help surgeons adapt", //Tulsa World//, May 15, 2007. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1996–2014. "Question Box–Should a family Bible study be reported to the congregation?".Our Kingdom Ministry (Watch Tower Society): 3. November 2003. "Question Box—May both parents report the time used for the regular family study?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3. September 2008. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. pp. 9, 30. The Association of Religion Data Archives David Van Biema, "America's Unfaithful Faithful," //Time// magazine, February 25, 2008JumPEW Forum on Religion and Public Life. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. The next lowest retention rates, excluding those raised unaffiliated with any church, were Buddhism at 50% and Catholicism at 68%. Beckford 1975, pp. 92, 98–100 Beckford 1975, pp. 196–207 Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993 "Comparisons". U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Jubber, Ken (1977). "The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Southern Africa". Social Compass, 24 (1): 121,. doi:10.1177/003776867702400108. Penton, James (2004). Jehovah's witnesses and the third reich. Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 376. ISBN 0802086780. Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 484. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. Shulman, William L. A State of Terror: Germany 1933–1939. Bayside, New York: Holocaust Resource Center and Archives. Holocaust Education Foundation website. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi Regime. Edition Temmen. p. 12. ISBN 3-86108-750-2. Kaplan, William (1989). State and Salvation. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press. Yaffee, Barbara (1984-09-09). Witnesses Seek Apology for Wartime Persecution. The Globe in Mail. p. 4. Валерий Пасат ."Трудные страницы истории Молдовы (1940–1950)". Москва: Изд. Terra, 1994 (Russian) "Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom",chapter 22,page.490 "Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses 1991",page.221 Claims that Jehovah's Witnesses chose a deliberate course of martyrdom are contained in:
Peters, Shawn Francis (2000). Judging Jehovah's Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. University Press of Kansas. pp. 82, 116–9. ISBN 0-7006-1008-1.
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory, 1978, chapter 6.
Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 190.
Schnell, William (1971). 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids. pp. 104–106. ISBN 0-8010-6384-1 Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1993, pp. 679–701. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 1–14; Shawn Francis Peters, Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, University Press of Kansas: 2000, pages 12–16. "Jehovah's Witnesses and civil rights". Knocking.org. Retrieved 16 August 2012. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms..., pp. 15–201 "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect ... in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements." "Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 24, "When we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave's Master." Beckford 1975, pp. 89, 95, 103, 120, 204, 221 "Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs" and "Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits", The Watchtower, January 15, 1983 "Serving Jehovah Shoulder to Shoulder", The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, page 28. "Jehovah's Theocratic Organization Today",The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, pages 79–81. "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 27. 15 January 1983. "From the very outset of his rebellion Satan called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 20. February 15, 1979. "In a world where people are tossed about by confusing winds of religious doctrine, Jehovah's people need to be stable, full-grown Christians. (Eph. 4:13, 14) Their position must be steadfast, not shifting quickly because of independent thinking or emotional pressures." The Watchtower: 277–278. May 1, 1964. "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division." "Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings?", The Watchtower, July 15, 2011, page 15, "brothers are 'mentally diseased,' and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3, 4)." The Watchtower (8/15). August 1988. The Routledge History of the Holocaust, Routledge, 2010, "Labeling the Jehovah's Witnesses as totalitarian trivializes the term totalitarian and defames the Jehovah's Witnesses." "Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708. "Execution of the "Great Harlot" Nears", The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, page 17
By The Librarian
Part of a series on:
Sources of doctrine
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their religion is a restoration of first-century Christianity. Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by the Governing Body, which assumes responsibility for interpreting and applying scripture. The Watch Tower Society does not issue any single, comprehensive "statement of faith", but prefers to express its doctrinal position in a variety of ways in its publications. Its publications teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose, and that such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study, the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from Jesus Christ and angels. The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern "deep truths", which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions. The religion's leadership, while disclaiming divine inspiration and infallibility, is said to provide "divine guidance" through its teachings described as "based on God's Word thus ... not from men, but from Jehovah."
The entire Protestant canon of scripture is considered the inspired, inerrant word of God. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the Bible to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable and interpret much of it literally, but accept parts of it as symbolic. They consider the Bible to be the final authority for all their beliefs, although sociologist Andrew Holden's ethnographic study of the religion concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through Watch Tower Society publications, carry almost as much weight as the Bible. Regular personal Bible reading is frequently recommended; Witnesses are discouraged from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through Bible research independent of Watch Tower Society publications, and are cautioned against reading other religious literature. Adherents are told to have "complete confidence" in the leadership, avoid skepticism about what is taught in the Watch Tower Society's literature, and "not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding." The religion makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings and all Witnesses must abide by its doctrines and organizational requirements.
Jehovah and Jesus Christ
Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize the use of God's name, represented in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible by the Tetragrammaton. In English we prefer to use the name Jehovah. We believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all things, and the "Universal Sovereign". We believe that all worship should be directed toward Him, and that he is not part of a Trinity; consequently, our religion places more emphasis on Jehovah God than on Christ. We believe that the holy spirit is Jehovah God's applied power or "active force", rather than a person.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's only direct creation, that everything else was created by means of Christ, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God's "only-begotten Son". Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity. They believe Jesus died on a single upright torture stake rather than the traditional cross. They believe that references in the Bible to the Archangel Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), and the Word all refer to Jesus. Jesus is considered to be the only intercessor and high priest between God and humanity, and appointed by God as the king and judge of his kingdom. His role as a mediator (referred to in 1 Timothy 2:5) is applied to the 'anointed' class, though the 'other sheep' are said to also benefit from the arrangement.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty. Other angels who sided with Satan became demons.
Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1, 1914, at which point the end times began. Witnesses believe that Satan is the ruler of the current world order, that human society is influenced and misled by Satan and his demons, and that they are a cause of human suffering. They believe that human governments are controlled by Satan, but that he does not directly control each human ruler.
Life after death
See also the video: What Happen's after Death?
Jehovah's Witnesses believe death is a state of non-existence with no consciousness. There is no Hell of fiery torment; Hades and Sheol are understood to refer to the condition of death, termed the common grave. Jehovah's Witnesses consider the soul to be a life or a living body that can die. Watch Tower Society publications teach that humanity is in a sinful state, from which release is only possible by means of Jesus' shed blood as a ransom, or atonement, for the sins of humankind.
Witnesses believe that a "little flock" go to heaven, but that the hope for life after death for the majority of "other sheep" involves being resurrected by God to a cleansed earth after Armageddon. They interpret Revelation 14:1–5 to mean that the number of Christians going to heaven is limited to exactly 144,000, who will rule with Jesus as kings and priests over earth. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that only they meet scriptural requirements for surviving Armageddon, but that God is the final judge. During Christ's millennial reign, most people who died prior to Armageddon will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever; they will be taught the proper way to worship God to prepare them for their final test at the end of the millennium.
Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
A central teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is that the current world era, or "system of things", entered the "last days" in 1914 and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably. They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17, and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the "great tribulation". Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden. After Armageddon, most of those who had died before God's intervention will gradually be resurrected during "judgment day" lasting for one thousand years. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race. Christ will then hand all authority back to God.
Watch Tower Society publications teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God's kingdom in October 1914, and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in "woe" to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of "signs". They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as "coming" when referring to Christ—as "presence". They believe Jesus' presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in 1914, and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the "second coming" of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.
Meetings for worship and study are held at Kingdom Halls, which are typically functional in character, and do not contain religious symbols. Witnesses are assigned to a congregation in whose "territory" they usually reside and attend weekly services they refer to as "meetings" as scheduled by congregation elders. The meetings are largely devoted to study of Watch Tower Society literature and the Bible. The format of the meetings is established by the religion's headquarters, and the subject matter for most meetings is the same worldwide. Congregations meet for two sessions each week comprising five distinct meetings that total about three-and-a-half hours, typically gathering mid-week (three meetings) and on the weekend (two meetings). Prior to 2009, congregations met three times each week; these meetings were condensed, with the intention that members dedicate an evening for "family worship". Gatherings are opened and closed with kingdom songs (hymns) and brief prayers. Each year, Witnesses from a number of congregations that form a "circuit" gather for one-day, and two-day assemblies. Several circuits meet once a year for a three-day "district convention", usually at rented stadiums or auditoriums. Their most important and solemn event is the commemoration of the "Lord's Evening Meal", or "Memorial of Christ's Death" on the date of the Jewish Passover.
Different Schools Provided for Training within Jehovah's Witnesses
Do Jehovah's Witnesses Practice Tithing?
Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their preaching from house to house.
See also: Jehovah's Witnesses publications
Jehovah's Witnesses are perhaps best known for their efforts to spread their beliefs, most notably by visiting people from house to house, distributing literature published by the Watch Tower Society in 700 languages. The objective is to start a regular "Bible study" with any person who is not already a member. Once the study course is completed, the individual is expected to become baptized as a member of the group. Witnesses are told they are under a biblical command to engage in public preaching. They are instructed to devote as much time as possible to their ministry and are required to submit an individual monthly "Field Service Report". Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are termed "irregular" and may be counseled by elders; those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are termed "inactive".
Ethics and morality
See article: Sex and Jehovah's Witnesses
Their views of morality reflect conservative Christian values. All sexual relations outside of marriage are grounds for expulsion if the individual is not deemed repentant; homosexual activity is considered a serious sin, and same-sex marriages are forbidden. Abortion is considered murder. Suicide is considered to be "self-inflicted murder" and a sin against God. Modesty in dress and grooming is frequently emphasized. Gambling, drunkenness, illegal drugs, and tobacco use are forbidden. Drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted in moderation.
The family structure is patriarchal. The husband is considered to have authority on family decisions, but is encouraged to solicit his wife's thoughts and feelings, as well as those of his children. Marriages are required to be monogamous and legally registered. Marrying a non-believer, or endorsing such a union, is strongly discouraged and carries religious sanctions. Divorce is discouraged, and remarriage is forbidden unless a divorce is obtained on the grounds of adultery, termed "a scriptural divorce". If a divorce is obtained for any other reason, remarriage is considered adulterous unless the prior spouse has died or is since considered to have committed fornication. Extreme physical abuse, willful non-support of one's family, and what the religion terms "absolute endangerment of spirituality" are considered grounds for legal separation.
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline
Formal discipline is administered by congregation elders. When a baptized member is accused of committing a serious sin—usually cases of sexual misconduct or charges of apostasy for disputing the Watch Tower Society's doctrines—a judicial committee is formed to determine guilt, provide help and possibly administer discipline. Disfellowshipping, a form of shunning, is the strongest form of discipline, administered to an offender deemed unrepentant. Contact with disfellowshipped individuals is limited to direct family members living in the same home, and with congregation elders who may invite disfellowshipped persons to apply for reinstatement; formal business dealings may continue if contractually or financially obliged. Witnesses are taught that avoiding social and spiritual interaction with disfellowshipped individuals keeps the congregation free from immoral influence and that "losing precious fellowship with loved ones may help [the shunned individual] to come 'to his senses,' see the seriousness of his wrong, and take steps to return to Jehovah." The practice of shunning may also serve to deter other members from dissident behavior. Members who disassociate (formally resign) are described in Watch Tower Society literature as wicked and are also shunned. Expelled individuals may eventually be reinstated to the congregation if deemed repentant by elders in the congregation in which the disfellowshipping was enforced. Reproof is a lesser form of discipline given formally by a judicial committee to a baptized Witness who is considered repentant of serious sin; the reproved person temporarily loses conspicuous privileges of service, but suffers no restriction of social or spiritual fellowship. Marking, a curtailing of social but not spiritual fellowship, is practiced if a baptized member persists in a course of action regarded as a violation of Bible principles but not a serious sin.[note 4]
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible condemns the mixing of religions, on the basis that there can only be one truth from God, and therefore reject interfaith and ecumenical movements. They believe that only their religion represents true Christianity, and that other religions fail to meet all the requirements set by God and will soon be destroyed. Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that it is vital to remain "separate from the world." Watch Tower Society publications define the "world" as "the mass of mankind apart from Jehovah's approved servants" and teach that it is morally contaminated and ruled by Satan. Witnesses are taught that association with "worldly" people presents a "danger" to their faith, and are instructed to minimize social contact with non-members to better maintain their own standards of morality.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their highest allegiance belongs to God's kingdom, which is viewed as an actual government in heaven, with Christ as king. They remain politically neutral, do not seek public office, and are discouraged from voting, though individual members may participate in uncontroversial community improvement issues. They do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, nationalistic holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. They feel that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect a nationalistic or political spirit. Their position is that these traditional holidays reflect Satan's control over the world. Witnesses are told that spontaneous giving at other times can help their children to not feel deprived of birthdays or other celebrations.
They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not serve in the armed services, and refuse national military service, which in some countries may result in their arrest and imprisonment. They do not salute or pledge allegiance to flags or sing national anthems or patriotic songs. Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as a worldwide brotherhood that transcends national boundaries and ethnic loyalties. Sociologist Ronald Lawson has suggested the religion's intellectual and organizational isolation, coupled with the intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline and considerable persecution, has contributed to the consistency of its sense of urgency in its apocalyptic message.
See also: Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Religion?
Yearbook 2002, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 31, 2002 Van Voorst,Robert E. (2012). RELG: World (with Religion CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card). Cengage Learning. p. 288. ISBN 1-1117-2620-5. Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, pages 17–18. "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today,", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 19. Beckford 1975, p. 119 "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 22. 15 July 2006. "Impart God's Progressive Revelation to Mankind", The Watchtower, March 1, 1965, pp. 158–159 Penton 1997, pp. 165–171 "Flashes of Light—Great and Small", The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, page 15. Penton 1997, p. 165 J. F. Rutherford, Preparation, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1933, page 64, 67, "Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them. Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones ... Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose." "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?". The Watchtower: 19. February 15, 1981. "True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" "Do You See the Evidence of God's Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, pages 3–5, "How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it “right afterward”? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them? Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions? ... Do you clearly discern the evidence of divine guidance? Jehovah uses his organization to guide us, his people, through “the wilderness” during these last days of Satan’s wicked world." "Unity Identifies True Worship", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 13 par.8 "This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah." "Overseers of Jehovah’s People", The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, "Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor ... It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." Penton 1997, p. 172 All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 336. All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 9. Reasoning From The Scriptures | pp. 199–208 Jehovah's Witnesses Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 67, "Materials such as The Watchtower are almost as significant to the Witnesses as the Bible, since the information is presented as the inspired work of theologians, and they are, therefore, believed to contain as much truth as biblical texts." James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance, Welch Publishing Company, Burlington, Ontario, 1986, ISBN 0-920413-37-4, pages 25–26, 101, "For every passage in Society literature that urges members to be bold and courageous in critical pursuits, there are many others that warn about independent thinking and the peril of questioning the organization ... Fear of disobedience to the Governing Body keeps Jehovah's Witnesses from carefully checking into biblical doctrine or allegations concerning false prophecy, faulty scholarship, and injustice. Witnesses are told not to read books like this one." "Keep Clear of False Worship!", The Watchtower, 15 March 2006, "True Christians keep clear of false worship, rejecting false religious teachings. This means that we avoid exposure to religious programs on radio and television as well as religious literature that promotes lies about God and his Word." "Questions From Readers—Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet". The Watchtower: 31. May 1, 1984. "So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive." Question Box, Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, "Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through the publications of Jehovah’s organization. Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought and remain stabilized in the faith. Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, the faithful and discreet slave does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight." "Make Your Advancement Manifest", The Watchtower, August 1, 2001, page 14, "Since oneness is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the faithful and discreet slave." Testimony by Fred Franz, Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954. page 123, Q: "Did you imply that the individual member has the right of reading the books and the Bible and forming his own view as to the proper interpretation of Holy Writ? A:" .... No....The Scripture is there given in support of the statement, and therefore the individual when he looks up the Scripture and thereby verifies the statement,...search[es] the Scripture to see whether these things were so." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, page 19, "Jesus’ disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in the way of the truth. But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about. We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his 'slave' to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using." Beckford 1975, pp. 84, 89, 92, 119–120 "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower April 1, 1986 pp. 30–31. Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 27. Holden, A. (2002). Cavorting With the Devil: Jehovah's Witnesses Who Abandon Their Faith (PDF). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK. p. Endnote . Retrieved 2009-06-21. Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 87. Beckford 1975, p. 105 Revelation Its Grand Climax, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, pg 36, "In the songbook produced by Jehovah’s people in 1905, there were twice as many songs praising Jesus as there were songs praising Jehovah God. In their 1928 songbook, the number of songs extolling Jesus was about the same as the number extolling Jehovah. But in the latest songbook of 1984, Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus. This is in harmony with Jesus’ own words: 'The Father is greater than I am.' Love for Jehovah must be preeminent, accompanied by deep love for Jesus and appreciation of his precious sacrifice and office as God’s High Priest and King." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 90. "What is the Holy Spirit?". The Watchtower: 5. October 1, 2009. "There is a close connection between the holy spirit and the power of God. The holy spirit is the means by which Jehovah exerts his power. Put simply, the holy spirit is God’s applied power, or his active force." Hoekema 1963, p. 262 Hoekema 1963, pp. 276–277 Penton 1997, p. 372 Hoekema 1963, p. 270 "Stay in the “City of Refuge” and Live!", The Watchtower, November 15, 1995, page 19 Penton 1997, pp. 188–189 Penton 1997, pp. 188–190 Hoekema 1963, pp. 298–299 Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 25 "Identifying the Wild Beast and Its Mark". The Watchtower: 5. 1 April 2004. "This does not mean, however, that every human ruler is a direct tool of Satan." Hoekema 1963, pp. 322–324 Hoekema 1963, pp. 265–269 Penton 1997, p. 186 Penton 1997, p. 193–194 "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium", The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, page 19, "Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the 'great crowd,'as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pg 255, "Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one ... there will be only one organization—God's visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching 'great tribulation.' It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life." "Our Readers Ask: Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?", The Watchtower, November 1, 2008, page 28, "Jehovah's Witnesses hope to be saved. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who will be saved. Ultimately, God is the Judge. He decides." Hoekema 1963, pp. 315–319 Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 p. 606 "Declare Righteous" Hoekema 1963, p. 297 Hoekema 1963, pp. 286 "Apocalypse—When?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1986, page 6. Penton 1997, p. 180 Hoekema 1963, pp. 307–321 Penton 1997, p. 17–19 The Watchtower 10/1/92 p. 16 par. 6 "The Messiah’s Presence and His Rule" Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64–69 2010 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses: p. 6 Highlights of the Past Year "UPBUILDING AND ENJOYABLE FAMILY WORSHIP" The Watchtower 5/15 2011 p. 14 par 13 Christian Families—“Keep Ready” Maintain a Family Worship Evening Hoekema 1963, p. 292 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 5. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 1. ISBN 978-0094559400. Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 15,18. "Global Printing—Helping People to Learn About God", online, jw.org Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 43. "Question Box: How long should a formal Bible study be conducted with an individual in the Knowledge book?". 'Our Kingdom Ministry. October 1996. "We want people to receive a basic knowledge of the truth. Yet it is expected that within a relatively short period of time, an effective teacher will be able to assist a sincere average student to acquire sufficient knowledge to make an intelligent decision to serve Jehovah... (if there is no) clear evidence of his desire to serve Jehovah .... it may be advisable to discontinue the study." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "The society states explicitly that all Bible studies should quickly show signs of 'real progress' to be deemed worthy of pursuit ... unless the potential converts are willing to give clear indication that they accept both the doctrines and the consequent responsibilities of attending meetings and going from door to door themselves, the study should be discontinued." Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2009, page 63, "Do you obey the command to bear thorough witness, even if the assignment causes you some apprehension?" "Determined to bear thorough witness," The Watchtower, December 15, 2008, page 19, "When the resurrected Jesus spoke to disciples gathered in Galilee, likely 500 of them, he commanded: 'Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.' That command applies to all true Christians today." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Do You Contribute to an Accurate Report?", Our Kingdom Ministry, December 2002, page 8, "Jehovah’s organization today instructs us to report our field service activity each month ... At the end of the month, the book study overseer makes sure that all in the group have followed through on their responsibility to report their activity." "Regularity in Service Brings Blessings", Our Kingdom Ministry, May 1984, page 7. "Helping Irregular Publishers". Our Kingdom Ministry: 7. December 1987. "Keep the Word of Jehovah Moving Speedily". Our Kingdom Ministry: 1. October 1982. Chryssides, G.D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-304-33651-3. "Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness", The Watchtower, August 1, 1998, page 16. Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 26–27, 173 "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 30,31. June 15, 2002. Penton 1997, pp. 152, 180 "The Bible's Viewpoint What Does It Mean to Be the Head of the House?".Awake!: 26. July 8, 2004. "Christian Weddings That Bring Joy". The Watchtower: 11. 15 April 1984. Shepherd the Flock of God. pp. 37–38, 124–125. "How should individual Christians and the congregation as a whole view the Bible advice to marry "only in the Lord"?". The Watchtower: 31. 15 March 1982. Penton 1997, pp. 110–112 "Adultery". Insight on the Scriptures 1. p. 53. "Marriage—Why Many Walk Out", Awake!, July 8, 1993, page 6, "A legal divorce or a legal separation may provide a measure of protection from extreme abuse or willful nonsupport." "When Marital Peace Is Threatened". The Watchtower: 22. 1 November 1988. Beckford 1975, pp. 54–55 Penton 1997, pp. 106–108 Osamu Muramoto (August 1998). "Bioethics of the refusal of blood by Jehovah's Witnesses: Part 1. Should bioethical deliberation consider dissidents' views?". Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4): 223–230.doi:10.1136/jme.24.4.223. PMC 1377670. PMID 9752623. The Watchtower April 15, 1988. Jehovah's Witnesses Official Media Web Site: Our History and Organization, "Do you shun former members? ... If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow-worshipers. ... The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. ... Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the elders with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith [emphasis retained from source]" "Display Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3–4. August 2002. "Disfellowshipping-How to View It". The Watchtower: 24. 15 September 1981. "Appendix: How to Treat a Disfellowshipped person". Keep Yourselves in God's Love. Jehovah's Witnesses. 2008. pp. 207–209. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 163 "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23. "Do You Hate Lawlessness?", The Watchtower, February 15, 2011, page 31. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 358. Shepherd the Flock of God. Watch Tower Society. p. 119. "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower, January 1, 1983 pp. 30–31. "Should the Religions Unite?". The Watchtower: 741–742. 15 December 1953. "Is Interfaith God's Way?". The Watchtower: 69. 1 February 1952. Beckford 1975, p. 202, "The ideological argument states that, since absolute truth is unitary and exclusive of all relativisation, there can only 'logically' be one human organization to represent it. Consequently, all other religious organizations are in error and are to be strictly avoided. The absolutist view of truth further implies that, since anything less than absolute truth can only corrupt and destroy it, there can be no justification for Jehovah's witnesses having any kind of association with other religionists, however sincere the motivation might be." "15 Worship That God Approves". What Does The Bible Really Teach?. p. 145. Reasoning From the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 435–436. "Live a Balanced, Simple Life", The Watchtower, July 15, 1989, page 11. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 12 "Keep Your Distance When Danger Threatens". The Watchtower: 23. February 15, 1994. "Steering Clear of Danger ... We must also be on guard against extended association with worldly people. Perhaps it is a neighbor, a school friend, a workmate, or a business associate. ... What are some of the dangers of such a friendship? We could begin to minimize the urgency of the times we live in or take a growing interest in material rather than spiritual things. Perhaps, because of a fear of displeasing our worldly friend, we would even desire to be accepted by the world." Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 109–112 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 409. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. ""Each One Will Carry His Own Load", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 23. Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993, "They have extensive contact with the wider public, [in Britain in 1989, 108,000 publishers undertook 23 million hours of house-calls]. Yet, they remain little affected by that exposure—they confine their contacts to their single-minded purpose and avoid all other occasions for association." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, p. 28,"As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah's Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, p. 30 Reasoning From The Scriptures p. 178 Holidays The Watchtower 8/15/09 p. 22 par. 20 “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love” The Watchtower 9/15/68 p. 573 par 6 "The Seriousness of It" The Watchtower 10/15/92 p. 18 par. 21 "Work to Preserve Your Family Into God’s New World" Worship the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, p. 159. Korea government promises to adopt alternative service system for conscientious objectors Education, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, pp. 20–23 Owens, Gene (September 1997). "Trials of a Jehovah's Witness.(The Faith of Journalists)". Nieman Reports. Racial and ethnic unity Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site Ronald Lawson, "Sect-state relations: Accounting for the differing trajectories of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses", Sociology of Religion, Winter 1995, "The urgency of the Witness's apocalyptic has changed very little over time. The intellectual isolation of the Witness leaders has allowed them to retain their traditional position, and it is they who continue to be the chief purveyors of the radical eschataology ....This commitment (to principle) was bolstered by their organizational isolation, intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline, and considerable persecution."
In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation.
NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/five-jehovah-s-witnesses-detained-in-russia-investigators-10812938)
MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement.
They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.
The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia.
"They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said.
She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details.
Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition.
"We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?"
One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said.
THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense)
On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding .
Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination.
By Guest Nicole
Si algo conoce Marilín Jiménez Bouchereau, y de cerca, es dejar el pellejo para salir adelante: es mujer, negra, oriental, no tiene una carrera universitaria y tampoco suficiente dinero como para guardar en el banco. Por si fuera poco, ha sufrido el rechazo y la discriminación por ser Testigo de Jehová, una combinación no apta para personas que teman meterle el pecho a la vida.
Ella es una verdadera «Mariana». En Cuba se le dice así a esa mujer heredera del espíritu de Mariana Grajales, esposa de Marcos Maceo, progenitora de una estirpe gloriosa de la historia nacional y patriota cuyo valor y fuerza de carácter le hizo ganar el epíteto de «Madre de todos los cubanos».
Generalmente se les llama así a las féminas obrera, campesina, Heroína del Trabajo, investigadora, científica, dirigente, todas vinculadas de alguna manera al sector estatal… y aunque Marilín nunca saldrá en la televisión o en el periódico, y su conmovedora historia jamás será convertida en ondas radiofónicas, ella tiene de sobra para considerarse una verdadera Mariana.
Leer más: https://www.cibercuba.com/noticias/2018-08-18-u135253-e20037-s27061-vida-marilin-cubana-testigo-jehova-ha-hecho-todo
By The Librarian
United Arab Emirates
Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
By Guest Nicole
3. Jehovah's Witness in Cuba, for decades, were stigmatized, persecuted, criticized and taboo, even Catholic. But in recent years there has been some other flexibilization. However, Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, continue to suffer discrimination. Pedro and María Isabel are a couple from Las Tunas. Both are Jehovah's Witnesses. On one occasion, Pedro applied for a vacant post in a company. Among the inquiries that are normally made in the CDR that detail was known, that even though it did not officially prevent him from opting for the position, he knew from comments from a friend that it was what tipped the scale unfavorably. But María Isabel has also suffered discrimination because she is a Jehovah's Witness. The first was when, after being affected by a cyclone, she was denied the temporary facilities she required when she lost the roof of her house. Officially she was told that it was because of being a Jehovah's Witness. The second one "happened to me in a hospital. I said I was a Jehovah's Witness when I required blood and I requested to them to use a blood substitute. The doctors disrespected me and did what they pleased. I felt bad, more than religious they treated me like an insane person, "she says.
By Guest Nicole
3. Testigo de Jehová
La práctica religiosa en Cuba, por décadas, fue estigmatizada, perseguida, criticada y tabú, incluso, la católica. Pero en los últimos años ha habido alguna que otra flexibilización. No obstante, los testigos de Jehová, por ejemplo, siguen sufriendo discriminaciones.
Pedro y María Isabel son una pareja de Las Tunas. Ambos son testigos de Jehová. En una ocasión Pedro optó por una plaza en una empresa. Entre las averiguaciones que normalmente se hacen en el CDR se supo ese detalle, que si bien oficialmente no le impidió optar por el puesto, supo por comentarios de un amigo que fue lo que inclinó la balanza de forma desfavorable.
Pero María Isabel también ha sufrido las discriminaciones por ser testigo de Jehová. La primera fue cuando, tras resultar afectada de un ciclón, le negaron las facilidades temporales que requería al perder el techo de su casa. Oficialmente se le dijo que era por ser eso, una testigo de Jehová.
La segunda “me pasó en un hospital. Dije que era testigo de Jehová cuando requería sangre y solicité que usaran un sustituto de sangre. Los médicos me irrespetaron e hicieron lo que le dio la gana. Me sentí mal, más que religiosa me trataron como una demente”, señala.
By The Librarian
As you read this.... remember PERCEPTION is 90% of everything. Sometimes it even trumps the truth itself for centuries. It is that important.
I suspect we should consider that most businesses no longer require suits (business casual and clean is now ok for most jobs)
I try to not bring my electronic devices to my business meetings. It sends the wrong message I think. What is wrong with the Bible and songbook (actual books)?
Let's also consider what a Kingdom Hall full of Mercedes and Audis appears like to the public.
I remember how I felt as a regular pioneer showing up in California one day at a KH with all their expensive cars. WRONG MESSAGE!!!
Remember what Jesus said about the RICH?
Just some random thoughts when I saw this on Facebook.
View the full article
By Guest Nicole
Pero más en el presente, existen casos donde la libertad religiosa sigue siendo nula, para Berta Núñez, practicante testigo de Jehová, la vida en Cuba se le hace difícil, ella me da su nombre completo, pues “estoy acostumbrada a las represalias, como de costumbre fui abucheada por no usar pañoleta cuando niña, no se me permitió entrada a la universidad y ahora a mis hijos, que decidieron abrazar este camino, les pasa lo mismo. Las relaciones con el Estado son pésimas, puesto que nos tratan como una secta malévola”. La prohibición de hacer templos pesa sobre los Testigos de Jehová, grupo que casualmente ha sido igual de perseguido por otros regímenes totalitarios como la Alemania Nazi o la Rusia de Stalin.
Leer más: https://www.havanatimes.org/sp/?p=133783
By Guest Nicole
The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry.
Read more: https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/05/jehovahs-witnesses-reject-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-sexual-abuse/
By Guest Nicole
HAVANA -- A Cuban-operated airliner with at least 110 people on board crashed into a cassava field just after takeoff from Havana's international airport on Friday. There appeared to be mass casualties as Cuban officials said three people had survived, but had yet to give an official toll.
Authorities said there were 104 passengers and nine foreign crew members on the flight that was headed to the eastern city of Holguin. Witnesses said they saw a thick column of smoke near the airport.
Witnesses said they saw a thick column of smoke near the airport.
"A column of black smoke rose up in the sky," resident Ana Gonzalez told the Reuters news agency.
The screams of high school kids could be heard inside a nearby school as they ran to safety, CBS News' Manuel Bojorquez reports.
The plane lay in a field of yuca-root plants and appeared heavily damaged and burnt. Firefighters were trying to extinguish its smoldering remains. Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers. Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.
Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/plane-crash-havana-cuba-today-2018-05-18/
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
April 20, 2018
Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.
The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper. Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.
Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
(New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 12, 2018
On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
By Guest Nicole
Helene Gotthold, a Jehovah's Witness, was beheaded for her religious beliefs on December 8, 1944, in Berlin. She is pictured with her children. Germany, June 25, 1936.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Which Pill Would We Take ..... The Red Pill? .... or the Blue Pill?
In the political world, more and more people are rejecting "Fake News" as provided by CNN (Clinton News Network), ABC (All 'bout Clinton) and NBC (Nothin' but Clinton), etc., and are seeking the truth about what they are being told ..... wherever it may be found.
Today John Stossel had an article about this on Foxnews which is incredibly important ... not only for the political ramifications ... but every manner of philosophical thought .... and our very view of how the Universe works, and what "makes it tick".
If you have seen the movie "The Matrix" .... a MUST SEE movie .... you already know the common expression "Red Pill? Blue Pill?".
If you don't ... YOU SHOULD.
The concept behind the expression is incredibly important ... as to whether we live in and artificial fantasy construct world ... or a world of what is actually REAL.
JOHN STOSSEL: More people tuning out mainstream media, embracing 'truth'
Oh ... and if you have not seen it .... get a copy of the movie, so you will actually get a "feel" for the depth of the now commonly understood idiomatic expression.
(For those in Rio Linda, that has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with basic understanding .....)
By Sergey Christosenko
After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb! (Rev. 7: 9-10) .
Today, on the ground there are thousands of religions that have made billions of people slaves of their religious teachers. Even atheism is as much a religion as everyone else, just atheists do not believe in the Creator, and the existence of a certain matter, which is magically formed our very complex and surprisingly organized universe, including living organisms and humans. The slavery that exists on our planet thousands of years, is in the most bizarre forms, and at first glance it seems freedom. But who, in reality from the people in the world, rich or poor, smart and silly, important and simple free from the bondage of sickness and death?
In the world there is no free people! There are only slaves, because the people is not available, and dependent creature creator. Just a few know about it, and most of the other does not know about it until the time comes to get sick and die! When people do not know their future, they are easily fooled.Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses religious teachers deceive the flock, saying that "great crowd" of Revelation 7: 9, are members of their religion. who survived a bloody Armageddon. But can there be such slaves to religion, were free from death?
Of course, it can not be! That is why the leaders of the people and their leaders, including religious and trying to convince people the idea that they can be free, including from disease and death. Of course, God is well aware of this, so he ordered to be written in His Word - the Bible, about who are the religious leaders of all religions existing on earth, and especially such a religion, as Jehovah's Witnesses:
17 These are waterless springs, and mists driven by a storm: they prepared the gloom of eternal darkness.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure in the lusts of the flesh and much wantonness, those who are just escaping from being misled. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; For if a man who is defeated, he brought in bondage. (2 Peter 2: 17-19)
Is it not a very exact words with which religious teachers of Jehovah's Witnesses are described as "wells without water", ie have no life, "cloud", which quickly appear and disappear quickly, because their speech is "great swelling words of vanity," with by which they deceive their religious lie even those "who barely, that is quite a few, have lagged behind in error a variety of false doctrines, such as atheism with his theory of evolution, without any evidence, and such as Christianity, with its one God from three heads, each of which then by itself, then acts together.
Therefore, the apostle Peter writes about the right of all religious leaders, and in particular, the leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses, they "promise their followers the freedom" are themselves being slaves of corruption, that is, diseases and death !. And then the apostle writes about the sad fate of the religious leaders, who seem to have rejected the deceitfulness of the godless world, and seems to have acquired a knowledge of Jesus Christ, but again and again, like dogs srygnuvshie food, keep returning to eat that vomit them previously. That's why these people are completely in vain learned about Yehovahe - the God of Israel and sent them to the people of renegade Jesus Christ.
20 For if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the first.
21 It would be better to them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog returns to its vomit, and: washed pig [is] wallow in the mud.
(2 Peter 2: 20-22)
And why slaves freedom, if they see the happiness of the people in bondage? So today in bondage to the American Watchtower Society held in slavery around 20 million people, with 8.5 million of them, so to speak, active slaves who show diligence in the execution of the will of their religious teachers of the Governing Body. Teachers of the Christian sect, as well as other Christian faiths, seduce his students that promise to release them in the near future and from diseases and poverty, and on crime and violence, and even death, the promise of eternal life in paradise on the ground.
But as you know, none of the promise of these religious teachers, as well as all others, no one will. Just because they are in bondage to death. They are her slaves, despite the fact that they are trying to present the case so that they are holy and righteous before God. In fact, there is none of the people living on earth today, neither holiness nor righteousness before Yehovahom - the God of Israel. There are just silly religious fantasies, in which some people naively believe!
Freedom from disease and death of the people can only give the Creator - Yehovah. So he gives to those who are worthy of the people, by virtue of its divine or holy spirit to adopt them as his adopted children.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage, [to] again [to live] in fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father!"
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are - children of God.
17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him, to his glory.
18 For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8: 14-18)
That is why stupid to become a disciple of any particular religion, but should only become a disciple of the sole mediator in the adoption, by the power of Yehovaha, a man named Yehoshua Anointed One, or as it was called Greeks, Christ Jesus. Only the teaching of Jesus Christ, which bears no relation to Christianity or any other religion, is able to free man from the slavery of human teachings, and hence from the slavery of death!
And what is happening in religions? And in the religions, all religious teachers - leaders of these religions, prevent, so you can be free to follow Jesus Christ, repeating his steps, making adherents to live the commandments, the long-dead law of Moses, and they invented rules. Therefore, even taking the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a person staying in one religion or another again loses this freedom, and returned as the "dog to his vomit", following the instructions and tips are not the Christ, and their religious leaders.
For example, in the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses, religious teachers force their students to live according to the precepts of the Mosaic Law, requiring them to knock each other elders of the congregation, prohibit blood transfusions, forbidding to marry with someone who is not in the religion, are forced to proselytize - in proselytizing, and other nonsense, which have no relation to faith in Christ as their only teacher and mediator. This is why the disciples of the American Society of watchtower flies not freedom in Christ, and only the yoke of slavery!
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, if ye be circumcised, will not do you any good from Christ. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he should do the whole law. 4 You are justified by the Law of Moses, were without Christ, they have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love. (Gal 5: 1-6) The Gospel of Luke tells us that after his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus Christ forever leave his collection to the city of Nazareth, where he taught from the age of 12 the Pharisees and scribes of the Jewish religious system of worship Yehovahu - the God of Israel. Therefore, today, those who really got the spirit Yehovaha rather than imitates this event, pretending to be a party to the New Testament, as a guarantee of its adoption, become his anointed, that is Christ, and forever leave their religion. Well, why do they promise which the people if he Yehovah gave them the spirit of their adoption?
21 establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us [there is] God,
22 who also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 1: 21.22)
As is well understood by those who read the Bible carefully, rather than across the page, with tea and scones, God is going to raise a limited number of anointed ones, that is, people who have, so to speak, on his brow seal Yehovaha. The total amount of those of them who remain faithful until death, all of the first apostles of Christ is limited to 144000 of 12 conventional (the number of the Apostles) tribes of Israel. What this means for the rest of the people who have ever lived on the earth?
This means that they "looked forward to the revelation of the sons Yehovaha who begin their reign as kings in heaven with Jesus Christ in his 1000 year kingdom.
18 For I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits with eager children of God, revelation, 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; 23 And not only [it], but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen is not hope; For if someone sees it and hope that it?
(Romans 8: 18-24)
Only in the end of the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ, "the whole thing", that is, all creation Yehovaha can finally get rid of the bondage of disease, poverty, crime, death and old age. Here is how this painting the liberation of mankind from the bondage of the book of Revelation describes the prophet John.
9 After this (after 1000 years) I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb! (Rev. 7: 9.10)
Thus, we see a great many are not Jehovah's Witnesses, and in general people do not consist of any one religion. They all praise Yehovaha - the God of Israel and Jesus Christ as their savior. Their white clothes makes it clear that they are far from any religious system that people have created on earth for thousands of years. But religious leaders are not satisfied. So they, like all children of the devil uses deception to deceive humanity and forced under threat of eternal torture, or threat of bloody Armageddon, to serve them, to be their slaves.
Yehovah is a spirit; and where the spirit Yehovaha, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17
By Guest Nicole
By The Librarian
Part of a series on:
We didn't capitalize the "w" until the 1970's except in a title or a quotation from someone who didn't know the "rule."
At the Bethel Library when it was at 124 Columbia Heights (before it moved to 25 and then Patterson) there was about 20 feet of shelf space dedicated to Jw court cases, and even on the outside cover you would see titles like "Supreme Court Cases of Jehovah's witnesses" and the outer spine of the cover would have it abbreviated as "Jw's" or "J.w.'s."
Although my day-to-day assignment at Bethel was to do artwork, I sometimes
helped out the proofreaders and it turned out that the year I came to Bethel was the same year we made the change from J.w.'s to J.W.'s. Some of the writers weren't used to it yet, and there were also translation issues. There was a legal reason behind the change, too.
If you check the Watchtower Library CD, you'll see that the change happened
between the printing of the March 15 and April 1 issues of The Watchtower in 1976. (And between the March 8 and the March 22, 1976 Awake!) The lower case "w" rarely shows up any more unless a new publication is directly quoting an older publication in a place that has it, and even then we will sometimes go ahead and capitalize it in the quotation.
For those who find such trivia interesting, here is a reference from that time period. Note the only exception to the rule in the following 6 examples:
*** g76 3/8 pp. 21-22 A Conspiracy Thwarted in “the Land Down Under” ***
He had written on behalf of the Methodist people of his district, who had . . . supported a Tasmanian government request . . . that Jehovah’s witnesses be declared illegal. . . .
Another Australian clergyman, objecting to the zealous public preaching of Jehovah’s witnesses, wrote to Mr. W. M. Hughes, then Attorney-General of Australia: “The sect calling themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses are a distinctly disloyal lot of people and in my estimation ought to be declared as such.”
These letters from clergymen did not contain any evidence of subversive or illegal acts on the part of Jehovah’s witnesses. . . ."
The Commonwealth Archives show that the Attorney-General had been pressured also by the Catholic clergy to suppress freedom of religion enjoyed by Jehovah’s witnesses. However, in a direct reply to the then Catholic archbishop of Sydney, N. T. Gilroy (later elevated to be a cardinal), the Attorney-General confirmed that the government had no legal grounds to restrain the Christian activity of Jehovah’s witnesses.
*** end of quote ***
via @JW Insider Link
By Noble Berean
The February 2017 WT had this to say about the GB:
Compare this to the November 2016 WT which had this to say about the GB's authority:
The GB wants the unquestioned control and the credit for leading God's organization, but they also wants total freedom from accountability when they are wrong. The existence of the org is based around everyone accepting this premise.
But how is this premise not 100% illogical and absurd? The GB is presenting itself in 2 completely conflicting ways:
The GB is uninspired, fallible, and errs, so they should not be blamed for incorrect direction. The GB should not be questioned by JWs, and there is no place for independent thinking. The GB cannot state they make errors in their direction and simultaneously demand unquestioned obedience to their direction. That doesn't make any sense. If anything, JWs should be skeptical of the GB's directions because of their history of incorrect direction. However, critical thinking is discouraged as a negative trait in organization literature--even when that thinking is based on the Bible.
If there is a God, then surely he is just, and I cannot imagine he would structure an organization on such an illogical premise.
Think of how this premise negatively affects JWs. Adherents are essentially commanded to follow direction that may be 100% wrong. They are told to "wait on Jehovah" if they have doubts. This also means that a JW could be punished for having a correct idea that is currently not in harmony with the GB. I'm sure this has happened with JWs over its history.
Also, isn't it disturbing that the GB have set things up so that they have maximum control and minimum accountability? It's the definition of plausible deniability. Everyone here is well aware of the legal issues with blood transfusion rejection and the sex abuse. In these legal matters, it is pretty clear that the organization is distancing themselves from any accountability and is instead placing the burden on the individual JW. This flies in the face of the culture of the religion where everything a JW does revolves around supporting the organization. There is no room for personal opinion. To suggest otherwise in legal cases is very dishonest and shady. Moreover, it goes against the idea that their is an equal relationship--we're supposed to die over organizational doctrines but the GB won't even acknowledge their role in court proceedings?
The very fact the organization uses plausible deniability in their literature is highly suspect. The fact that they can force JWs to follow their direction, but when it's wrong they can point to a WT and say, "See! We said we were fallible and uninspired!" It all smells dishonest and shady.
By Guest Nicole
La organización Solidaridad Cristiana Mundial (CSW, sus siglas en inglés) denunció el jueves en un nuevo informe un incremento de las violaciones de los derechos religiosos y de culto en la Isla durante el 2017.
De enero a diciembre de 2017, CSW documentó 325 violaciones a los derechos religiosos y de culto.
Para Kiri Kankhwende, vocera de la organización citada por Martí Noticias, ello evidencia la tendencia del Gobierno cubano y la Oficina de Asuntos Religiosos de hostigar a líderes de la iglesia de todas las denominaciones.
El reporte recoge detalles sobre la restricción severa a eventos religiosos públicos, incluida la interrupción y la detención de un evento de culto interconfesional en el oriente de Cuba, que había recibido permiso anticipado de las autoridades locales.
The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?
Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the belief in a superhuman power bear such "rotten fruit"?
Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion. Is there such a thing as the only true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?
Please watch the documentary below and feel free to share any observations you might have, or comment on the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.
At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude: “People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you want”?
I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back. I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....
By Guest Nicole
IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Two years ago Mary Kurtz suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease making daily activities unbearable.
"I would wake up with terrible terrible pain in the chest area, it wasn’t a heart attack, I knew that, but it took my breath away," said Kurtz.
Typically a surgeon could perform an open surgery by making a long incision in the abdomen to prevent acid reflux. However this wasn’t an option for Kurtz.
"Being a witness, we abstain because in the Bible it tells us in Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood through digesting it or taking it in as a medical use and this is our belief," explained Kurtz.
After consulting with non-witness and witness friends, Kurtz came across Dr. Fanous who could offer a TIF surgery where her esophagus could be worked on by entering through the mouth.
"TIF or Transoral incisionless fundoplication where we use the device called the EsophyX HD device to go in, use the patient's tissues to construct the valve between the stomach and the esophagus," said Dr. Medhat Fanous.
Currently Aspirus is the only program in the UP that provides this new option for surgery. Not only is it safe and durable but done as an outpatient procedure.
"It was the best thing I’ve ever done," said Kurtz. "After two years, I have no pain I have no acid reflux, I can eat things that I never even thought about touching before."
And Kurtz isn’t the only one who seen the benefits of the TIF procedure, in just under two years, Aspirus has helped more than 150 patients go through similar surgeries.
"It’s a tight community and the word of mouth is very strong but the fact we’ve seen 150 procedures, it’s a testimony to the quality of our work," said Dr. Fanous.
Recently Dr. Fanous published a study regarding the safety of the TIF with Jehovah witnesses and Kurtz couldn’t be more thankful for his work and consideration of her beliefs.
"I am happy that Dr. Fanous went along with this, because it is a big thing for us."
Cuba Embassy Attacks on U.S Diplomats State Department officials testified about the attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba before a Foreign Relations subcommittee chaired by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Several questions to the witnesses focused on the timeliness of the State Department’s response to the attacks, the health and medical treatment of personnel affected, the possibility of the involvement of a third party, and future relations with the Cuban government. Several committee members determined that a future classified briefing would be needed to address more sensitive questions about the attacks. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues
Here is a 14 year-old girl who sexted an explicit picture of herself to her boyfriend via Snapchat - and he spread it about widely. Guys will do things like that and girls should not be dumb.
She is looking at 10 years felony jail time for violation of Minnesota's child-porn law. The ACLU spokesperson defending her says this is a "teachable moment" for parents to inform the girl that her actions have consequences. Tell me about it.
It is also a "cautionary tale," the ACLU adds. Yes. It IS cautionary for a 14 year old trying to live in an insane world supplied her by adults that pushes powerful social media tools, a sexually promiscuous culture, and then ten years for making use of them.
Only RT.com picks this story up (besides local media), probably in a quest to embarrass the West, but that is hard to do because the West routinely embarrasses itself yet feels no embarrassment. To the contrary, it parades around in its wisdom. Meanwhile – ‘wisdom from the mouth of babes’ – the girl says “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.” Of course. It is a no-brainer. It is not that what she did wasn’t wrong – it is that the entire adult world should be prosecuted ahead of her. That way, there will be no room left in jail for the child.
In a greater context, the story highlights the absolute failure of the world to vanquish pedophilia, which it has declared public enemy #1 - with its frothing take-no-prisoners, pulling-their-hair out frustration over making no dent in the pandemic, and so wildly overswinging to compensate. It is the frenzied carpenter who misses the nail and then furiously hammers ten times more, again missing each time. This is how it is with zealots who see their cause and nothing else – and the world is full of such people.
It mirrors the Arizona law of 2015 criminalizing contact with the private areas of any child under 15 REGARDLESS OF INTENT. Prosecutors did not back down even when it was pointed out that the law criminalizes parents changing diapers. No “sane or reasonable prosecutor” is going to misuse the law that way, they said. That is reassuring, but what about the insane and unreasonable ones? Will the law be repealed? Not easily. Just try repealing it and political enemies will scream you are being soft of pedophiles – no politician dares risk that.
Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses, of all people, get caught in the cross-fire of pedophilia for doing what no other religion attempts to do. Where there are reports of wrongdoing in their midst, they investigate, so as to keep the congregation morally clean – an obligation they feel before God. There is the unfortunate by-product that their name is always attached to pedophiles within their ranks, something that happens nowhere else. No other faith dreams their members should actually apply Christian conduct in their lives. No other faith looks into such things – preach Sunday and be done with it - and thus rarely learn of them. Thus pedophiles, who appear to be every third person on the planet, especially when the statute of limitations is forever, and the 14-year old and folks changing diapers are included, are never ever identified with any religion (unless they are clergy), with but a single exception.
The book I am almost finished with about Witness persecution in Russia will contain individual chapters on all charges made against Witnesses. ‘Pedophilia’ will be one of them, even though the subject did not arise there, strangely. It has arisen most everywhere else and it is only a matter of time there. The Russian embassy to the U.S. recently did mention the topic in a tweet, attempting to justify its ban – the first such mention I have ever seen, despite years of flinging dirt in that country to see what will stick.
Even my shoving match with @Ann O'Maly over who has the best child-protective video is in the pedophile chapter.
By Guest Nicole
Who Was Online 86 Users were Online in the Last 24 Hours (Most members ever online in 24 hour was 111, last accomplished on .)