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What were Jesus’ instructions regarding shunning wrongdoers (disfellowshipping)?

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Guest Nicole

What were Jesus’ instructions regarding shunning wrongdoers (disfellowshipping)?

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No, while on earth Jesus did not explicitly give such instructions. It was apostle Paul that gave it in 1 Corinthians 5:13 that says:

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13 while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.”

But Paul was an instrument used by Jesus for a special purpose. So whatever direction comes from Paul could be said to be coming from Jesus as these verses in Acts 26:16 makes clear.

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16 But rise and stand on your feet. This is why I have appeared to you, to choose you as a servant and a witness both of things you have seen and things I will make you see respecting me. 

You can read the context to get the sense that Jesus was using Paul for a special reason.

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*** Insight-1 pp. 787-788 Expelling ***
During the time of his earthly ministry, Jesus gave instructions as to the procedure to follow if a serious sin was committed against a person and yet the sin was of such a nature that, if properly settled, it did not need to involve the Jewish congregation. (Mt 18:15-17) He encouraged earnest effort to help the wrongdoer, while also safeguarding that congregation against persistent sinners. The only congregation of God in existence then was the congregation of Israel. ‘Speaking to the congregation’ did not mean that the entire nation or even all the Jews in a given community sat in judgment on the offender. There were older men of the Jews that were charged with this responsibility. (Mt 5:22) Offenders who refused to listen even to these responsible ones were to be viewed “just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector,” association with whom was shunned by the Jews.—Compare Ac 10:28.
 

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During the time of Jesus' earthly ministry,  disputes and criminal charges were handled in the CITY GATES, so that everyone could see what was going on... and everyone could stand up and make themselves heard by everyone if they had anything to add.  This kept the witnesses honest, as they had no idea who MIGHT stand up and call them a liar, and be able to prove it ... and even MORE importantly, it kept the Judges honest, as if they were stupid, on the take, or railroading someone, it was obvious to all .... and they knew the Jews in the audience could throw rocks at them as well.

Evildoers were ordered to make reparations, or executed.  Juvenile delinquents were counseled and punished with hard labor, and if ineffective, they were stoned to death, and the parents had to throw the first stones. Prisons and jails did not exist, although chains did.

In the Jewish system, for thousands of years, this system worked .... and I have NEVER heard about institutionalized "shunning".  Individual people can "shun" whoever they want ...  this has always been an individual option.

Jesus even talked to and ATE WITH men of the nations, tax collectors and others the Pharisees shunned and looked down on.

If you want to emulate Jesus ... act courteously with ALL people ...

If you want to emulate the Pharisees,  first check the list, then shun, Shun SHUN yourself into an orgasm of self-rightousness.

Can you imagine Jesus treating people with deliberate cruelty like WE are instructed to do?

... and to discipline ONE PERSON, we tear apart entire generations and extended families?

I cannot.

 

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5 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

In the Jewish system, for thousands of years, this system worked .... and I have NEVER heard about institutionalized "shunning".

Ezra 7:26;  10:7-8?

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15 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

If you want to emulate Jesus ... act courteously with ALL people ...

If you want to emulate the Pharisees,  first check the list, then shun, Shun SHUN yourself into an orgasm of self-rightousness.

Nice post, Isn't this exactly what Jesus preached? tolerance to all in humility and kindness, EVEN if they strike your right cheek! 

The topic of this discussion is what did Jesus (NT) say to do.  Matt 5:39, Luke 6:29, Matt 5:40

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I have read the two scriptures you posted, and it says NOTHING even similar to the way disfellowshipping and shunning is done today.

When a person was "banished from the realm", he was exiled, but communications with his family was never cut off, nor were THEY threatened with banishment if they continued to talk or correspond with him (or her).  They could even go with him, if they wanted, and come back freely.

Let's say the border was a small river ... he could move to the other side of the river, and his family, extended family, and his friends could go over at will to socialize, have dinner, or help him build a house, or plant fields, etc, and NOT BE THREATENED WITH BANISHMENT.

Banishment consists of forcing a person, under pain of death, to relocate PERSONALLY out of a particular geographic area. 

It does not cruelly punish OR THREATEN TO PUNISH  innocent bystanders who might love him ... or her, with the same treatment.

.

 

 

 

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My informal and sporadic study of ancient cultures, and the ability to understand how power is wielded, and WHY they did the things that they did.

There is ALWAYS a reason.

As a Barbarian myself, I understand how less refined cultures think, when daily life was hard, hungry, and dangerous.

If  a person is banished and no one ever hears from him again, the assumption can be made that the authorities, whoever they are, just took him out in the woods and killed him.  Life moves on, and people one day would say "Who?, never heard of him.".

It is politically MORE IMPORTANT that his sin and punishment be a constant reminder to people not to do what he did to offend the powers-that be, to serve as a constant warning not to cross them.  That is one reason we have prisons today, and punishment for convicted felons that continues until the day they die, LONG after they are released from prison. It costs about $56,000 a year to incarcerate one prisoner for one year ... in the United States. 

It USED to be that him walking around forever stained served as a constant reminder to others not to "goofball the Feds".

Every time the indigenous people get word of how he (or she) is doing, they are reminded of the error, and the punishment and this creates a chilling effect that emphasizes two things ... ONE: That the authority is merciful, and could have killed him, but didn't, giving the illusion or reality of Justice, and TWO: They have the power and authority by virtue of that power to enforce that ... and that it CONTINUES, even many years later, as evidenced by the fact that the person banished has NOT returned, but is still alive, and COULD .. except that he would be killed.

This way the power structure is maintained.

Unlike the Society which has  become world class politicians and legal manipulators, except in Russia, even those in Solitary confinement have communications with Family and Friends, albeit on a limited basis.  Every time Mommy and the Kids go back home, after visitation, this serves as a warning to others when they hear the sad tale.

Shunning, as we do it today, threatens anyone being POLITE and CORDIAL to one being chastised .... WITH THE SAME PUNISHMENT.

IT MAY BE JUSTIFIABLE TO THE CONVICTED TO BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED .. BUT TORTURE IS ONLY TORTURE IF THE INTENT IS TO TORTURE ( .. flamethrowers on Iwo Jima come to mind...) and with disfellowshipping... AS IT IS DONE TODAY... The political INTENT is to TORTURE, by holding families hostage and under the "sword of Damocles", if they do not comply.

This is CRUEL ... this is torture of the innocent as well as the convicted .. and it is EVIL.

.

 

.

 

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17 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Shunning, as we do it today, threatens anyone being POLITE and CORDIAL to one being chastised .... WITH THE SAME PUNISHMENT.

 

17 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

This is CRUEL ... this is torture of the innocent as well as the convicted .. and it is EVIL.

Interesting.......

I noticed you said "we" in the first statement I quoted and in the second classify this action as evil. Not trying to pry to much into your personal life, but how can one reconcile the two within your own mind? I mean to align oneself with a group that practices things that you deem evil. While I quite agree that the practice encompasses more than the intended victim and puts innocent ones in that same line of fire, but does it work? Of course it does, by the exact examples you gave above. That doesn't make it right or loving, even if it is told to the group that it is out of love.

The whole thing reminds me of the boy who wishes people into the cornfield. -----Rod Serling

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      The apostle Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 11:4 — there are some who preach a different Jesus.
      - The Bible teaches that Jesus has always existed as God (John 1:1). Mormons see Jesus as someone who worked His way up to godhood.  In fact, to Mormons, Jesus is merely one in purpose with God the Father; whereas the Bible declares that the Father and the Son are also one in essence (cf. Phil. 2:6) — that they are both equally God and members of the Holy Trinity.
      - The Bible says Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:34-5. Is. 7:14. Matt. 1:18,20.  Mormons see Jesus as being CREATED by sexual relations between God the father and mary.  "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood---was begotten of his Father as we were of our fathers" (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.115); and "when the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness [flesh and blood]. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.50). "I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my Savior Jesus Christ...he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it" (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.211); "Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.51). Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: "The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended by any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit" (Religious Truths Defined, p.44). Bruce McConkie (LDS apostle) states: "Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 547, 1979).Carfred Broderick (Mormon author) writes: "God is a procreating personage of flesh and bone...latter-day prophets have made it clear that despite what it says in Matthew 1:20, the Holy Ghost was not the father of Jesus...The Savior was fathered by a personage of flesh and bone" (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn, 1967, p.100-101).
      - Mormons see Jesus as a polygamist. Apostle Orson Hyde: "…Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee... Mary, Martha, and others were his wives ... he begat children" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p.210). Jedediah M. Grant: "Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do... Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified" (Journal of Discourses, vol.2, p.82). Orson Hyde: "It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it" (Journal of Discourses, vol.4, p.259). Orson Pratt: "We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born... We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings' daughters and many honorable wives are to be married" (The Seer, p. 172).
      - The Bible says that Jesus created ALL things. This includes lucifer. Gen. 3:1, Ez. 28:13,15,17Mormons see Jesus as a brother of satan, not His brother.
      - Mormons see Jesus was procreated as a spirit child of the Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother and later conceived physically by the Heavenly Father and an earthly mother: The Ensign, Jan. 1989, pp.28-29; Come Unto Christ by Ezra Taft Benson, p.4). Bruce McConkie states: "Christ the Word, the Firstborn, had of course attained unto the status of Godhood while yet in pre-existence" (What Mormons Think of Christ, p.36).
      Bruce McConkie continues: "He is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state" (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pg. 129).
      Orson Pratt: "God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born" (The Seer, p. 172).
      "Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for He is one of them. He is The Son, as they are sons and daughters of Elohim." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol.4, Appendix 4).
    • By Jack Ryan
      from 2016 the year that they started the return to Jehovah brochure.
    • By Jack Ryan
      a heartbreaking video has emerged online showing how far reaching and deeply ingrained this shunning policy is; a video showing JehovahÂ’s Witnesses clapping in applause as a little girl announces she is shunning her own sister.
      Little Melody, and the sister she doesnÂ’t have.
      The incident appears to take place at one of this years Watchtower conventions. The video was posted on youtube by the girls parents, apprently eager to share with the world how they had trained one of their children to pretend her sister didnÂ’t exist purely on the basis of religious dogma.
      The video was comment-protected once viewers began expressing concern and displeasure at what they saw, but at the time of writing the video itself is still live and can be viewed below on the family’s youtube page. (EDIT 11/09/2017 – The video has been removed, but we have linked to an alternate site which has a copy)

      t shows a little girl called Melody. She is ten years old, and was apparently baptised when she was 9. This means that Melody is now committed to the religion for life, and will be shunned if she ever leaves, or “unrepentantly” breaks any of its vast array of detailed rules.
      During the interview, Melody explains that she has a sister who was “disfellowshipped,” which is the Witness term for one who is excommunicated; someone who was thrown out of the faith rather than leaving of their own accord. We are not told the reason for the disfellowshipping, but one can be subjected to it for a wide range of reasons such as pre-marital sex, celebrating Christmas or birthdays, voting, taking a blood transfusion, joining the military, or simply questioning any of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      Melody states that her sister was trying to contact her, and asking her to stay in contact despite Watchtower decreeing that she be shunned. Remember, MelodyÂ’s sister has probably lost all her family and friends at this point; everyone she ever knew and loved.
      Melody admits that she misses and loves her sister, but states that she was afraid that if she didnÂ’t cut her sister off completely, she might be tempted to keep some form of relationship going. Thus, she has decided to shun her completely, as Watchtower demands. She claims that this was to protect her relationship with Jehovah.
      The audience of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses watching this announcement applaud.
      Source
    • By Jack Ryan
      This comes from the final talk at the Birmingham, AL Convention. Herd talks kind of low and there is some background noise, so here is a transcript starting at about 1:25.
      I thought this was interesting because it doesn't appear to be in the talk outline. Admittedly, I just skimmed through the outline quickly, so it might be in there. Either way, there is something twisted about comparing the shunning of children to casting out demons from heaven.
      Edit: For those wondering, this talk is from August 5. The part before when the transcript starts is Herd talking about King Asa removing his grandmother from her position.
    • Guest Nicole
    • By Witness
      Pearl Doxsey, July 2, 2018:
      Many refute that Michael the archangel is an identity of Jesus Christ, in his capacity as protector of the saints (Dan.12:1;John17:12; 6:39; 18:9; Rev.19:12) and defender of God's supremacy in the face of global idolatry (Rev.13:8,4) 
      (The name "Michael" means, "Who is like God?").
      Those who refute that role of the resurrected Jesus Christ, point to the fact that Jesus could not be a mere angel, even if being, an arch - angel. 
      Those who make such an assertion, apparently do not know the meaning of the Greek word, angelos. It simply means "messenger" (John12:49; 7:16). 
      The Greek meaning of "arch", is defined as the original prototype, with no equal. To be the "archangel", is to be supreme among God's messengers. 
      When Armageddon arrives, Jesus takes on an identity of a warrior (Rev.19:11,14; 17:14; 12:7) (Rev.3:12; Jer.31:33; Heb.10:16;Ex.34:14; Deut.11:18; Rev.7:3; 13:7,8,16,4). The name "Michael" ("Who is like God?"), perfectly describes his battle tactic and purpose, and indicates the target of his warfare that needs to be neutralized by the strategy reflected in that victorious name (Isa.40:25,18; 46:5) (Rev.13:14).

      Others may refute this named role of Jesus, based upon Michael being called "the great prince" (Dan.12:1) and "one of the chief princes" (Dan.10:12-14). Those are the topics that the link below, addresses.
      The article on the chief princes was broken down into three parts/questions. Previously, only part one was finished. This post serves as notice, that part two is now ready.
      June 6, 2015:
      QUESTION:

      "does the Bible shed light on how many Chief Princes are there and who they are as stated in Daniel 10:13 Michael, one of the chief princes"

      MY REPLY:

      Yes, the Bible sheds light on how many Chief Princes there are,
      who these chief princes are, and who all the princes are, among whom there are chief princes.
      Accordingly, I will answer your question in three parts.
      1. Who are all the "princes"?
      2. Who are the "chief princes" among all these princes?
      3. Who is The "Great Prince" ("arch-angel") mentioned at Dan.12:1?
          (Jude1:9; Dan.10:21; 8:25; Acts 3:15)
          (Jude1:9; Job 1:8-11; Zech.3:1-2; Rev.12:10 --
                        "Moses" -Deut.18:15,18; Heb.3:5; Matt.16:28; 17:1-3,5; 2Pet.1:18; Rev.14:1)
      -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

      1. Who are the Bible's princes?

      I will limit my reply to the princes of God's covenant woman, and not include the princes of Satan's covenant of death
      (Eph.2:2; Isa.31:9; Eze.21:25; 22:27; 38:3; Dan.9:26; 10:20; Zeph.3:3; Rev.18:23; 9:7).

      The princes under the Great "guardian" Prince/Rescuer, (Dan.12:1; Isa.49:24-25; Matt.12:29; Rev.20:1-2; Luke10:19), who is Christ,
           (Isa.9:6; Dan.9:25; 12:1; John17:12; 6:39; 10:28; Matt.28:20),
      are the kings under the great king (Rev.19:16; 1:5; 3:21; 5:9,10; Eph.2:6; 1:22; Col.1:13).

      They are also considered by God, Christ's sons, because by means of Christ, they receive spirit life (John10:10; 20:22; 6:63; 5:21;17:2; Rom.8:9,10,11,13; 1John4:9,13; 5:11-12; 2:25; John3:6,15,36; 6:47,48,51,57,63; 10:28; Heb.5:9). "But", you may protest, "don't we all become 'sons of God'?". Yes. But there is more to it.---

      Within the Bible, forefathers are multiple. This tradition is a cultural difference from most modern day societies. 
      Please let me explain...
      Within the Bible, living faithful can have more than one father... both God and Christ (Isa.9:6).  Christ received his life from God first, before he can pass that incorruptible seed to those after him (1Pet.1:23; Luke8:11; John12:49; 6:63; James1:21).
      "Grandfather" is not in the Bible's language. This is why Abraham, David, Jacob, etc., are considered "fathers" of many subsequent generations. 
      All the generations of their descendants, have all of these as "fathers"
      (Zech.1:2,4-6; Acts3:13; 7:19; John8:39; Ex.3:6; Luke1:32; Matt.1:1), regardless of how many generations may come and go in between.

      Accordingly, we should not limit the spiritual lineage of those born of spirit, to either God or Christ as "father". Such ones are "sons" of both. Yet some are born of God's spirit directly (Rom.8:16; Heb.2:11), and others, through Christ and his bride (1Cor.15:45; Gal.4:26; Rev.22:17). 
      You may have noticed that within the scriptures, our spiritual fathers are the ones whom we imitate (John8:39,44; Eph.5:1;1Pet.1:16; Matt.5:44,45,48).  We can therefore, also be sons of Christ (1Pet.2:21) and of the sealed faithful (1Cor.11:1;4:15,14,16,17; 1John2:13,14; Philemon 1:10; Luke1:17; Phil.2:22; 3:17; 1Thess.2:11; 1:6) (Mal.4:5-6). 


      Hopefully, all these previous scriptures have helped to establish within your understanding, that whoever we imitate and do the will of, becomes our spiritual father (Eph.5:1; Matt.12:50; 7:21; 1John2:17; Rom.8:14) -- (Eph.2:2; John8:44). 
      If you do grasp that imitating Christ (1Cor.11:1; 1Pet.2:21) can make us his son, it will then be easier to grasp who the "princes" are. 

      First, lets look at Ps.45:16, which speaks of the dominion of Christ.

      "In place of your fathers will be your sons;
      You shall make them princes in all the earth."

      In place of Christ's kingly forefathers (Luke1:32; Isa.9:7; Matt.12:42), will come his spiritual sons (Heb.2:1-9,14,13,16; Isa.8:18;John10:28,29; 6:37-39; 17:2; 1Pet.1:5; Matt.18:3; 19:14), with whom he shares his kingdom (Ps.132:12; 110:2; Rev.3:21; 14:1;Jer.17:25; Eze.37:25; 34:24) (Heb.2:5,16; Rom.4:13; Gal.3:29; Gen.28:13,14; 13:14,15).
      They become co-kings (2Tim.2:12; Rev.5:9,10; 20:6) and co-princes (Isa.10:8; 9:6; Acts3:15; 5:31; Isa.32:1,2).
      As heirs of the earth, these will heal creation (Rom.8:19; Rev.22:1,2; 21:2-5; Jer.17:7,8; Matt.7:20; Eze.36:8), and also provide a "fatherly" example, that leads to life (1Cor.4:15-17; Phil.3:17; 4:9; 2Thess.3:9; 1Thess.1:6; 2Tim.3:14,15; Heb.13:7; 1Pet.5:3).
      From the foregoing reply to the first question...
      "Who are all the princes?";
      I hope you now perceive, that all those redeemed from death by Christ (Rev.5:9,10; 1Cor.15:54-55; Acts20:28) which "church" is the chosen saints of God's household (1Tim.3:15; 1Cor.14:33; 1Pet.2:10,9), are given fatherly life by Christ's blood...
             (through the new mother covenant of promise/sealed Bride
                 -Gal.4:26,24; Matt.26:28; Rom.9:8; Rev.12:2; Gal.4:19; Eph.4:13; 1Thess.2:7; 3John1:4) 
      ...These are his "sons", referred to as "princes" at Psalm 45:16.
      As such, they become "heirs of the earth" 
      (Rom.4:13; Gal.3:29; Heb.2:5,16; Matt.5:5; Psalm.37:11,22,29)
      and are, 
      "all the princes".

      2. Who are the "chief princes" among all these princes?

      Based upon the facts established above, we can re-word this question as, "Who are the "chief saints/sons of God" among all the saints/anointed chosen and holy ones?". Does such a position, exist? Please consider:
      Luke 12:42; John 21:17
      Although all members of the "one body" bride of Christ (Eph.5:31-32; 1Cor.6:17) are needed by all other members (1Cor.12:21,25;4:7); each has their own assignment (1Cor.12:14,4-7,18,11,20; Eph.4:8,11-12). 
      Some are given more responsibility (Luke 12:42; Mark 13:34; Matt.25:14-15; James 3:1; 1Cor.12:24,26; Luke 14:8,10-11), as "chief princes". How does the Bible describe the position held by those appointed as such?
      One of the symbols used to describe the body of Christ, is as God's Temple (Rom.12:5; 1Cor.3:16; 1Pet.2:5,9-10; Col.1:13).
      Jesus, is described as the cornerstone of that Temple (1Pet.2:6-8; Matt.7:24-25). If we build our faith upon the teachings of that cornerstone, we will not be put to shame but all we teach, will be proven true (Rom.10:11; 3:4; John7:16-18). Can you perceive how the symbolic "chief" cornerstone of our faith (remember, "chief princes"?), is the first symbolic foundation to our worship in spirit and truth? 
      If so, then we are starting to build the Temple of God, within your perception. If the "chief cornerstone" is the "great prince"/"chief prince" (Dan.12:1)... What about the other "chief princes" (Dan.10:13)? Does the Bible describe the rest of God's symbolic Temple, as having other foundation stones, upon which our faith needs to be chiefly built upon?
      Please consider Eph.2:20-22; 3:5; Rev.21:14; 1:20; Dan.12:3-4; Phil.2:15; 2Cor.11:4; Gal.1:8-9; Luke12:42; 1Pet.5:2;Heb.13:17; 1Cor.4:15)
      1Cor.12:28 and Eph.2:20, clarify the arrangement of authority ("chiefs") within the congregation, appointed by God and Christ. The apostles are our foundation stones, along with Jesus the cornerstone, of the truth. 
      ---No one can remain in union with the cornerstone and head of the body, if they leave the teachings of the apostles, whom he appointed as fatherly heads to the 12 tribes of spiritual Israel (Matt.3:9; Gal.3:29,26; Rom.2:28-29; Rev.7:7; 21:11-12,14). 
      ---No one can remain in union with the unfolding direction of holy spirit, if they leave the declarations and warnings of the genuine and faithful prophets, whose foundation is the right hand of Jesus (Rev.1:20; 22:6; Amos 3:7; 2Pet.1:21; 1Cor.14:32-33;Rev.11:3-5; Jer.23:29; Zech.4:11-14,6; Hosea 6:5; Rev.22:6; Mal.3:1-3; Rev.11:3). Those "stars" provide the light of spirit to each of their assigned "lampstands" (Rev.1:20), which lampstands hold up, and work to make visible (Matt.5:14-15; Eph.2:19;Gal.6:10), the prophet/"star" whom they support (Heb.6:10).
      We have learned that the symbolic foundation to the Temple of God's spirit (1Cor.3:16), is the truth of the apostles and the spirit of the prophets (Eph.2:20; 3:5). They are both necessary if a disciple is to lay a foundation of faith and worship, upon spirit and truth (John4:24). The apostles and prophets who produce spiritual food sourced in the spirit and truth from Christ (John15:4-5,8,16;Rev.22:1-2), are the "chief princes"/foundation stones. They are aligned with the cornerstone, and provide a basis upon which the living stones of the Temple of God, rest.

      3. Who is The "Great Prince" ("arch-angel") mentioned at Dan.12:1?
      Dan.12:1 reads; “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered."

      [Before I go into Part 3: The Great Prince; I would like to offer additional information on other points made by Dan.12:1. 
      First, the unprecedented "time of distress". Here is a link to start off the information about the Great Tribulation (Matt.24:21)

      Second, the Book of the Lamb, within which the names of the delivered, are written (Rev.13:8; 21:27; 3:5; 17:8; 20:15,12)

      (TO BE CONTINUED)
      Pearl Doxsey – “WHO ARE THE CHIEF PRINCES?”
      4womaninthewilderness
    • By Diakonos
      One thing that has always puzzled me is this: what happened to the spirit creature Michael when Jesus was conceived/born as a human? We are told that Jehovah transferred Michael's life pattern into Jesus in much the same way as God will do for those who are resurrected. This would mean that when Jesus was alive on earth there was no Michael in heaven. As we do not believe that humans have a spirit, in the accepted sense of the word, the question remains, what happened to Michael during Jesus earthly presence?
    • By Jesus.defender
      BIBLE PROOFS OF THE TRINITY

      Key: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are so clearly and consistently linked in Scripture that, assuming that God is not three persons, makes it impossible to understand some passages.
      Though JWs exalt human reasoning against the Trinity doctrine, saying it is unreasonable,those who submit to God’s Word must conclude that it is unreasonable to doubt the Trinity.
      Consider these scriptures proving the Trinity:
      1. Matthew 28:19 The ‘Name’ of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

      Watchtower teaching: JWs ask, ‘Does this verse prove the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal in substance, power and eternity?’ They say, ‘No, no more than listing three people
      Tom, Dick and Harry mean that they are three in one.’ They say that the Trinity doctrine is imposed on the text, not derived from it.

      Bible Teaching: The key point is that the word ‘name’ is singular in the Greek NT, thus proving that there is one God, but three distinct persons within the Godhead.
      This proves the Trinity because Jesus did not say:
      i) ‘into the names (plural) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
      ii) ‘into the name of the Father, and into the name of the Son, and into the name of the Holy Spirit’, as if we had three separate beings.
      iii) ‘into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ omitting the three articles (the), as if the Father, Son and Holy Spirit might be three designations of a single person.
      What He does say is: ‘into the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.
      Jesus first teaches the unity of the three by combining them all within a single name.
      He then teaches that each is a different person by introducing each of them in turn with the
      article (tou):
      Question: Can you see that rules of grammar dictate plurality (the, the, the) within unity (the name), because the word ‘name’ is singular and definite articles (Greek: tou) are placed in front of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
      Other verses showing ‘three-in-oneness’ of the Godhead are:
      i) At the creation of man, ‘God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness . .’ (Genesis 1:26). ‘Our image’ in v. 26 is explained as God’s image in v. 27.
      The one true God consists of three persons who are able to confer with one another and carry out their plans together, while still being one God.
      ii) After the Fall, ‘the Lord (Jehovah) God (Elohim) said, Behold, the man is become as one of us . ’ (Genesis 3:22)
      ‘Us’ refers back to LORD (Jehovah), showing plurality within the Jehovah Godhead.

      iii) At the Tower of Babel, ‘the LORD (Jehovah), said . . let us go down’ (Genesis 11:6,7).
      iv) Isaiah ‘saw the Lord (Adonai) sitting upon a throne (v.1) mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts (v.5). I heard the voice of the Lord (Adonai) saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’’ (Isaiah 6:1,5,8) Here Isaiah sees ‘Adonai’ on the throne, then Isaiah calls Him ‘Jehovah of hosts’ (v.5).

      Then Adonai asks,‘Who will go for us?’The ‘us’ shows plurality in the Jehovah Godhead. This equivalence of Adonai and Jehovah (both called ‘us’) proves the Trinity Godhead.
      2. Genesis 18 and 19. Three men each called Jehovah.
      JWs believe that it is impossible for Jehovah God to exist as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet Genesis 18 and 19 shows Jehovah appearing to Abraham as three men. This
      shows that even the impossible from a human viewpoint is possible with God. Notice that:

      i) Abraham addresses the three as ‘Jehovah’ (v.3 NWT);
      ii) When two of the three men depart to visit Lot in Sodom, Abraham continues to address the remaining one as ‘Jehovah’ (Genesis 18:22,26,27,30,31,32,33).
      iii) Lot addressed the other two as ‘Jehovah’ (Genesis 19:1,18 NWT). ‘Then Lot said to them: “Not that please, Jehovah”.’ (19:18 NWT)
      iv) ‘Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens upon Sodom and Gomorra.’ (Genesis 19:24)
      Notice the mention here of two Jehovahs, one in heaven who sends judgment on Sodom and Gomorra, at the bidding of the other Jehovah on earth.
      This gives strong evidence for more than one person in the Godhead. The Jehovah upon earth was one of three persons to visit Abraham, one of whom stays behind to speak further to Abraham and is called Jehovah. (Genesis 21:1 ‘Jehovah turned his attention to Sarah’).
      Hence this shows that it is possible for Jehovah to manifest Himself as three-in-one.
       
      3. II Corinthians 3:17 - ‘Jehovah is the Spirit’ (NWT).
       
      JWs challenge Christians to prove the Trinity in the Bible. This can be done if we find verses teaching that the Holy Spirit is Jehovah God, and the Son is Jehovah God.
      II Corinthians 3:17 teaches this by saying: ‘Now Jehovah is the Spirit.’

      How much clearer can it be than this, which states that the Holy Spirit is (=) Jehovah God? This proves the Deity of the Holy Spirit, and the existence of 2 persons in the Godhead.
      4. I John 5:7,8 The Johannine Comma, the famous Trinitarian proof text (3 Heavenly witnesses)
      Watchtower teaching: JWs claim that this passage ought not to be in the Bible, because it is not in most Greek manuscripts. It is omitted by most modern Bible versions. ’
      Bible Teaching: Erasmus omitted it from his first edition of the printed Greek NT (1516), because it occurred in the Latin Vulgate and not in any Greek manuscript. To quieten the
      outcry that followed, he agreed to restore it if it could be found in one Greek manuscript.
      Two Greek manuscripts, Codex 61 and 629 were found, so Erasmus included it in his 1522 edition. Since these manuscripts are late (14th and 15th Century), some think the readings are
      corrupt. What do we answer? (See page 805-806).

      5. In II Corinthians 13:14, (the Apostolic Benediction) why is there a change in the order of the persons of the Trinity, compared to Matthew 28:19, if not to show that ‘in this Trinity
      none is before or after the other, and none is greater or less than another’?

      ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.’ (II Corinthians 13:14)
      ‘Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Matt. 28:19
    • By Jesus.defender
      Isaiah 9:6 - Is Jesus ‘a Mighty God’ or ‘Jehovah God’?

      ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God (410), the Everlasting
      Father, the Prince of Peace’.
      Watchtower teaching: JWs concede that Jesus is a ‘mighty God’, but they are adamant that
      He is not Almighty God as Jehovah is. They think that Christ is one of lesser gods.
      Bible teaching: The Bible shows that both Jesus and Jehovah are called ‘Mighty God’.
      Jehovah is called ‘Mighty God’ in:
      a) ‘The remnant of Israel . . . shall stay upon Jehovah, the remnant of Jacob shall return . .
      unto the mighty God (410)’. (Isaiah 10:20,21).
      b) ‘the Great, the Mighty God (410), Jehovah of hosts, is his name’. (Jeremiah 32:18).
      Because Jehovah and Jesus are both called ‘Mighty God’, this proves Christ’s equality with
      God the Father.
      Ask: Since Jehovah is called ‘Mighty God’ (Isaiah 10:21) just as Jesus is called ‘Mighty
      God’ (Isaiah 9:6), doesn’t this mean that the Watchtower is wrong in saying that ‘Mighty
      God’ means a lesser deity?
      Ask: If both Jesus and Jehovah are ‘Mighty God’, then what does this tell you about Jesus’
      divine nature?
      Ask: If both Jesus and Jehovah are equally ‘Mighty God’, then isn’t this two members of
      the Trinity?
      Note: There is only one Mighty God in heaven:
      a) ‘I am the first and I am the last; beside me there is no God (430)’. (Isaiah 44:6b)
      b) ‘Is there a God (433) besides Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any’.(Isaiah 44:8b).
      c) ‘I am the Lord (YHWH), and there is none else,there is no God beside me’(Isaiah 45:5a)
      The NWT translates John 1:1 as ‘the word was a god’.
      Isaiah 44:8b shows this to be false by denying the existence of ‘a god’ other than Jehovah.
      The phrase ‘Mighty God’ is ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew, meaning ‘Fullness of power’, portraying
      Christ as the ‘powerful Governor of the universe’.
      Notice that ‘Elohim (430)’ is also used to describe Jehovah God as:
      i) ‘The God (430) of the whole earth’. (Isaiah 54:5)
      ii) ‘The God (430) of all flesh’. (Jeremiah 32:27)
      iii) ‘I prayed to the God (430) of heaven’. (Nehemiah 2:4)
      iv) ‘For the Lord (YHWH) your God (430) is God (430) of gods....a great God.’(Deut 10:17)
      In Isaiah 40:3 Jesus is called both Jehovah (3068) and Elohim (430) in the same verse:
      ‘Prepare ye the way of the Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (430)’.
      Mark 1:3 and John 1:23 apply Jehovah here to Jesus.
      Question: What is meant by calling Jesus ‘Everlasting Father’?
      Since Jesus is not the Father, why does Isaiah call Jesus ‘Everlasting Father’?
      Answer: Jesus considers the Father as someone other than Himself over 200 times in the NT.
      ‘Everlasting Father’ in Isaiah 9:6 means ‘Father of eternity’.
    • By Jesus.defender
      JEHOVAH’S NAME or JESUS CHRIST’S NAME.

      The Watchtower teaches that God’s true Name is Jehovah. They teach that:
      ‘Sometime during the second or third Century CE, the scribes removed the tetragrammaton (JHWH) from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with κυριος (Lord) or θεος (God)’. Reference Edition of NWT, 1984, p 1564.
      The Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation (KIT) proves that Jesus is Jehovah God.
      On page 10,11 of the 1985 KIT, under the heading ‘Restoring the Divine Name, Jehovah’ we read: ‘the evidence (what evidence?) is that the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures has been tampered with (no proof) . . . Sometime during the second or third centuries CE, the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) was eliminated from the Greek texts by copyists (no proof).
      Instead of YHWH they substituted the words Kurios (‘Lord’) and Theos (‘God’).’
      Note: This is a lie. There is no historical or manuscript evidence or evidence of protest to support this claim. Somebody would have protested such a change.No one did. It never happened.
      The New World Translation (NWT) is the JW perversion of the Bible made to support their false doctrines. It inserts the name ‘Jehovah’ in the New Testament in the place of God (θεος=theos) or Lord (κυριος =kurios) on 237 occasions, where they believe it refers to God the
      Father. They often refer to Hebrew translations of the NT to see where this has been done.
      These are footnoted as J1 to J27. Their dishonesty and deceit is shown by their failure to translate these words as ‘Jehovah’ when it refers to Christ. (eg: Philippians 2:11; Hebrews 1:10).
      JWs say that the proper use of God’s ‘correct’ name (Jehovah) is absolutely essential to one’s salvation. They quote from their NWT: 
      ‘Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.’ Romans 10:13 (NWT).
      ‘People will have to know that I am Jehovah.’ Ezekiel 39:6 (NWT).
      JWs believe that because they are the only group who refer to God by His ‘true’ name, Jehovah, they are the only true followers of God.
      Their claim is false for these reasons:
      1) Jehovah is not a Biblical term. It is a man-made term. The Old Testament has YHWH because the original Hebrew only had consonants. Jews feared taking God’s name in vain, so when they publicly read YHWH, they would pronounce it ‘Adonai’ (Lord).
      Later they inserted the vowels from Adonai (a-o-a) into the consonants YHWH to give YAHOWAH, which became Jehovah. Hence, the word Jehovah comes from a consonantvowel
      combination from YHWH and Adonai.
      2) No-one knows for sure the original correct pronunciation of YHWH. Hence we cannot insist on ‘Jehovah’ as being correct.
      3) Jesus never addressed the Father as Jehovah in the New Testament. If JWs are correct that God must be always called Jehovah, then Jesus was sinning by not calling God ‘Jehovah’. When the NWT puts Jehovah in Jesus’ mouth in the NT, it contradicts all the NT manuscripts which don’t have it.
      QUESTION: Since Jesus never in the NT addressed the Father as Jehovah, why should we?
      4) Jesus and the Apostle Paul tell us to address God as ‘Father’:
      a) Jesus taught us to pray to God as ‘Our Father’, not ‘Our Jehovah’: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father.....’ (Matthew 6:9).
      b) Jesus addressed God as Father in His own prayers:
      ‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth’. (Matthew 11:25).
      ‘O my Father, if it be possible.......’ (Matthew 26:39,42).
      ‘He said, Abba, Father.......’ (Mark 14:36).
      ‘ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven.......’ (Luke 10:21).
      ‘Saying, Father, if thou be willing.......’ (Luke 22:42).
      ‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them;.......’ (Luke 23:34).
      ‘Father, the hour is come......’ (John 17:1).
      c) Paul said, ‘we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Romans 8:15).
      d) The Holy Spirit through Paul said, ‘God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father’. (Galatians 4:6).
      Here the Holy Spirit of God tells us to call God ‘Abba, Father’, not ‘Jehovah’
      QUESTION: If Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Paul all address God as Father nine times (and never as Jehovah) then shouldn’t we call God ‘Father’?
      5) No Ancient NT manuscripts contain the tetragram (YHWH) to translate as Jehovah.
      The Church writers before 325 AD only mention Jehovah once in passing. JWs tell us that most Bible versions deceive people because they omit Jehovah as God’s Name, so
      the JWs dishonestly add the word ‘Jehovah’ to the NT text, even though it is not in any NT Greek manuscript, ancient version, papyri or lectionary.
      The WT’s claim that ‘Jehovah’ as God’s name was removed from the NT by superstitious scribes, is a total lie with no supporting historical or manuscript evidence.
      6) Whose Name did the early Christians identify themselves with? Was it Jehovah or was it Jesus Christ? Always Jesus Christ, never Jehovah.
      Who knows more, the Apostles or modern JWs? Consider these examples:
      a) The Apostles never used the name ‘Jehovah’.
      b) The Apostles and first century Christians were never called ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’. ‘The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.’ (Acts 11:26).
      c) There is no proof that Jesus or his disciples ever pronounced the tetragram YHWH. 
      JWs claim that when Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me....’ as quoted in Luke 4:18,19, that Jesus pronounced the word ‘YHWH’.
      This is most unlikely. JWs assume that the religious leaders endorsing Christ’s ‘gracious words’ in verse 22 was because He uttered the name YHWH?
      Historical records in the Mishnah, from Josephus, and from other sources show the Jews were loathe to allow the name YHWH to be used. The Jews would not have tolerated it being used by anybody but the High Priest.Jesus would have read ‘Adonai’
      7) 119 Bible passages referring to Jehovah, are quoted and applied to Christ in the New Testament (Proof Available)
      QUESTION: In view of 119 Bible verses applying ‘Jehovah’ to Christ in the NT, what does this tell you about who Christ is?
      ? The New Testament tells us to name the name of Jesus Christ, not the name of Jehovah. Consider these examples:
      1. ‘Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’(II Timothy 2:19)
      2. ‘I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .’ (I Cor 1:10)
      3. ‘Ye are washed,....sanctified,... justified in the name of the Lord Jesus ’ (I Cor 6:11)
      4. ‘Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’ (Col 3:17)
      5. ‘That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you....’ (II Thess 1:12)
      6. ‘Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves.....’ (II Thess. 3:6)
      7. ‘all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.’ (I Corinthians 1:2)
      8. ‘Thou holdest fast my name....’ Jesus said to the Pergamos church. (Revelation 2:13).
      JWs have not held fast Christ’s name, nor have they called upon Christ’s name, nor do they name the name of Christ, nor is Jesus Christ precious to them, because they do not have saving belief in Him. ‘Unto you . . . which believe He is precious’.(I Peter 2:7).
      QUESTION: Where does the NT tell us to name the name of Jehovah?
      9) The New Testament always lifts up Jesus Christ’s name, not Jehovah’s name. Why?
      Because Jesus Christ is Jehovah God on earth. Christ is 100% God and 100% man.
      Q1: In whose name should we meet together?
      ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matthew 18:20)
      Q2: Demons were cast out by the authority of whose name?
      ‘Paul.....said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ (Acts 16:18)
      Q3: In whose name should we preach repentance and forgiveness of sins? ‘And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. And ye are witnesses of these things.’ (Luke 24:47,48)
      Q4: In whose name are we to believe and receive forgiveness of sins? ‘....through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.’ (Acts 10:43, John 1:12)
      Q5: By whose name, and no other, do we obtain salvation? Acts 4:10,12 says: ‘by the name of Jesus Christ ... Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’
      Q6: In whose name should we pray? John 16:23,24; 14:13,14; 15:16 says: ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.’
      Q7: In whose name is the Holy Spirit sent?
      ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name......’ (John 14:26)
      Q8: In whose name and authority did the disciples heal the sick?
      ‘His name through faith in his name hath made this man strong’ (Acts 3:16; 4:30)
      Q9: Whose name did Paul say that we are to call upon?
      ‘ all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (I Cor 1:2)
      Q10: Whose name is above every name?
      ‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name .... that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.’(Phil 2:9-11)
      Paul’s quote about Christ is from Isaiah 45:22-24 where every knee will bow to Jehovah. What is true about Jehovah, is also true of Christ, the Lord of all mankind
      Q11: According to Acts 1:8, of whom are we to be witnesses?
      ‘Ye shall be witnesses unto me (Jesus)’
      Q12: In whose name were believers baptized?
      ‘they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus’. (Acts 8:16; 2:38)
      Q13: In whose name were believers designated?
      ‘the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch’. (Acts 11:26)
      Q14: In whose name did the apostles speak?
      ‘Commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus’ Acts 4:17,18
      Q15: In whose name did early Christians suffer? Acts 15:26 says:
      ‘Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ ‘rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name’Acts 5:41;9:16
      Q16: Whose name was Paul to carry?
      ‘Lord said: He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.’ (Acts 9:15)
      Q17: In whose name did Paul deliver a man to Satan?
      ‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...to deliver such an one to Satan.’ I Cor 5:4,5
      Q18: In whose name did the apostles teach? Acts 5:28; 8:12 says:
      ‘Did we not straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?’
      10) Why does WT break their own rule (where the OT speaks of Jehovah), that they do not insert Jehovah in the NT, when the quote clearly refers to Christ?
      Peter quotes from Joel 2:32 (spoken of Jehovah) and applies it to Jesus in Acts 2:21 and 38.
      Calling on the name of Jehovah for salvation equals repenting and being baptised in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of sins.
      Conclusion: Jesus shares the nature of His Father and His Name. The absence of YHWH in any NT manuscript demolishes the WT case of introducing the word ‘Jehovah’ into the NT.
      Question: If God was so concerned about preserving His covenant name, why did the apostles not preserve it in their writings?
      Question: To imply that the name ‘Jehovah’ is the main name of God that we are to use, contradicts the continued NT use of the name ‘Jesus’ on 900 occasions, while the tetragram YHWH is used nowhere in the NT.
      QUESTION: Why does the WT not translate ‘Jehovah’ into Hebrews 1:10, I Peter 3:15 andPhilippians 2:11, when the OT passages from which these are quoted refer to YHWH?

      We are to make the name of the Father known as Jesus emphasized (Matthew 6:9; John 17:26). How do we do it? By recognizing that Jesus Christ was chosen by the Father to embody all the glory and important reputation of that Name.
       
    • By Jesus.defender
      CHRIST’S BODILY RESURRECTION ‘I have power to take it again’Jn 10:18
      Watchtower Teaching: ‘Jesus was raised to life as an invisible spirit. He did not take up again that body in which he had been killed . . .’ ‘Let your Name be sanctified.’ (p.266).
      The Watchtower teaches that Jesus’ body was disposed of by God.
      The NWT mistranslates I Peter 3:18 as ‘being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit’ to teach merely a spiritual resurrection of Christ.
      Bible Teaching: I Peter 3:18 refers to when Christ died. His Spirit went and preached to spirits in prison (v. 19,20). After three days, Christ’s physical body was raised.
      I Peter 3:18 (KJV) correctly reads: ‘being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.’
      Which Scriptures best teach Christ’s bodily resurrection?
      1. ‘They were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.’ (v.37) He said unto them, ‘Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.’ (Luke 24:37, 39)
      Notice that the resurrected Christ says here that:
      (1) He is not a spirit;
      (2) His resurrection body has flesh and bones;
      (3) His physical hands and feet are proof of His physical resurrection;
      Jesus is trying to convince them that He, ‘I myself’ has a permanent physical body which still had the nail scars in His hands and feet. This is opposite to the WT teaching that Christ’s body was disposed of and that He became only a spirit. If the WT claim was correct, then
      Jesus would be deceiving the disciples here in showing them His body.
      2. ‘Then saith he to Thomas, . . . reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ (John 20:27)
      Here Jesus says that He has a physical side that He challenges Thomas to touch.
      3. ‘Neither did his flesh see corruption.’ - Acts 2:30,31
      Notice the following:
      a) God promised David that ‘according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ’ to sit on his throne.’ (v.30). This is a bodily resurrection of Christ, not spiritual. The NWT omits this because of its corrupt Westcott-Hort Greek text. Well over 38 manuscripts have it.
      b) ‘neither did his flesh see corruption’ (v.31) means that Christ’s body did not decay.
      Why? Because Jesus was raised from the dead in a material, fleshly body.
      4. ‘I will raise it up . . . he spake of the temple of his body.’ - John 2:19-21
      ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (v.19). But he spake of the temple of his body.’ (v.21)
      Jesus here promised that He Himself would raise up His own body after three days.
      Notice how Jesus uses the word ‘body’ meaning a bodily resurrection, not a spiritual resurrection.
      5. Christ promises to eat of the fruit of the vine in the Kingdom. Only a body can eat.
      ‘I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come.’(Luke 22:18)
      Jesus here showed that his resurrected body would be able to eat and drink even in the Kingdom of God. Notice that a non-material spirit cannot eat and drink. Jesus promised the disciples in Luke 22:30 ‘that ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom.’
      Question: If Jesus expected to become an immaterial spirit, why would He promise the disciples that they would eat and drink with Christ at His table in His Kingdom?
      6. Christ ate a broiled fish and a honeycomb in front of them. Luke 24:41,42.
      7. ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies’. Rom. 8:11
      As Christ’s body was raised physically from the dead, so shall our mortal bodies be raised.
      8. His resurrection body could ‘breathe on them’(John 20:22). A spirit cannot breathe, can it?
      9. ‘His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives...’ Zechariah 14:4
      A spirit does not have feet. Only a physical body has feet as Jesus has at His second coming.
      10. ‘One shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Zechariah 13:6
      Question: How can a non-material spirit have wounds in his hands which can be observed?
      11. The resurrected, glorified Christ touched John, laying his right hand on him. Rev. 1:17
      Watchtower Objection: JWs quote I Corinthians 15:44,50 to support their claim that Jesus was raised from the dead as a spirit creature:
      a) ‘It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.’ (v.44)
      b) ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.’ (v.50). JWs claim that Jesus must have had a spiritual resurrection, because flesh-and-blood bodies cannot exist in heaven.
      They claim that mortality and corruption belong to the fleshly body.
      Bible Teaching:
      a) The Greek word for body, ‘soma’ (4983), always means a material body, an organised whole made up of parts, when used of a person (Zodhiates, NT Word Study,p.1358). The spiritual
      body in I Cor.15:44 is not an immaterial body, but a supernatural, spirit-dominated body.
      It is a body directed by the spirit, as opposed to a body under the dominion of the flesh.
      There are no exceptions to Paul using ‘soma’ for a material body.
      Paul even refers to a believer as a ‘spiritual’ man who judges all things (I Cor. 2:15), yet Paul did not mean an immaterial invisible man with no physical body.
      He meant a spirit-controlled man with a flesh and blood body.
      QUESTION: In I Corinthians 2:15 (‘He that is spiritual judgeth all things’), is Paul discussing an invisible spirit creature or a material, flesh-and-blood human? Can you see that being ‘spiritual’ does not demand a non-material body? The same is true in I Corinthians 15:44.
      b) Key: In v.50 ‘flesh and blood’ is an idiom meaning that mortal, perishable, earth-bound
      humans, as we are now, cannot have a place in God’s glorious, heavenly Kingdom.
      c) ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’v.53
      Nothing is taken away from us (materialness). Instead immortality is ‘put on’ or added to us.
      Question: Don’t the words ‘put on’ mean adding something to humanity (that is immortality),
      not taking away something from humanity (our material body)?
      Conclusion: Since Christ’s resurrected body could eat, drink, breathe (John 20:22), show His hands and feet with scars (Luke 24:40), be touched, and have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), it is certain that this body was a material body. This is especially true since Jesus corrected the disciples’ misconception that they had seen a spirit (Luke 24:37).
      For the JWs to say that a body is not a body, is their last resort of redefining common words.
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Mike MartindaleUpdated 6:11 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018 Keego Harbor Â— A quiet residential street became a horrific crime scene Friday with news that four people — a couple and their adult children — died in what police are describing as a triple murder-suicide.

      By late afternoon, some yellow police crime scene tape remained around the two-story wood frame bungalow in the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road where police were sent about 8:10 a.m. on a welfare check after a relative became worried about the family, Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald said.
      One of four bodies is removed from the home of the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      “A relative had concerns and asked us to look into it,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
      Inside the house officers found four bodies who neighbors identified as Daniel Stuart, 47, his wife, Lauren, 45, and their children, Bethany, 24, and Steven, 27.
      Fitzgerald said the “perpetrator” was among the dead but would not provide details other than to stress “we think we know what happened here and there is no danger to neighbors.”
      Fitzgerald said police have recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon but would not elaborate. He said all the deaths remain under investigation.
      Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald briefs the media on the murder-suicide. (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
      Neighbors John and Jackie Tristani said they awoke Friday to learn police were outside the victimsÂ’ home.
      “My son said police were repeatedly calling out ‘Lauren, come outside,’ " said John Tristani. “When she didn’t respond they (police) went inside. A few minutes later, they came back outside, shaking their heads.”
      Tristani said he had been watching television late Thursday night and never heard anything from the Stuarts' home.
      Sources close to the investigation said the family pet, a dog, was also slain by the killer. Investigators also found a note which may help explain what led up to the deaths. They would not discuss its contents.
      The deaths puzzle the Tristanis, who knew Lauren Stuart as a “hard-working” neighbor who could often be seen working in her yard and remodeled the house largely on her own.
      “She would often come over and borrow tools – a saw, a pickaxe – whatever,” said Tristani. “She was always doing something.”
      The Tristanis said in one of their first meetings with Lauren Stuart a few years ago she attempted to “recruit” them into the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “I said we were Catholics and weren’t interested,” he said. “She accepted the answer and it was the end of that.”
      Lauren Stuart worked at an area gym, he said, and her husband was involved in some form of medical business in the Ann Arbor area.
      Darlene and Dennis Buck, who live a block away on Cass Lake Road, said they were enroute home from a trip to northern Michigan when they learned of the murder-suicide.
      “We have lived here since ’74 and nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood — not even close,” said Darlene Buck.
      Jackie Tristani said she found it all “scary” – not just the deaths but that something might have been going on in a neighbor’s home without her knowledge. She had tried to get Bethany a job at her workplace and her son knew both Bethany and Steven. There was never any mention or indication of trouble inside the home, she said.
      “I would hope that if there was a problem inside there someone would have reached out, we would have tried to help,” she said, her voice quaking. “Maybe we could have done something.
      “But you never really know everything there is about your neighbors, do you?”
      http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2018/02/16/4-dead-keego-harbor-murder-suicide/345756002/
    • By Cos
      One of the most striking features of the teachings of Jesus is that He was constantly talking about Himself. And to enter into the Kingdom depends on how we respond to Him personally; He even called the Kingdom of God “my Kingdom”.

       

      This self teaching of Jesus is one of the first things that set Jesus apart from the other religious teachers of the world. Jesus points people to Himself saying “I am the truth; follow me” No other founder of the world religions would dare say such a thing and expect to be taken seriously.

       

      The personal pronouns that Jesus uses force us to pay attention.

       

      "I am the bread of life…” (John 6:35)

       

      "I am the light of the world…" (John 8:12)

       

      "I am the resurrection and the life…”  (John 11:25)

       

      The great question on Jesus’ teachings about Himself leads to Him asking, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15).

       

      Jesus had such a strong opinion of Himself, it is not surprise that he should call people to Himself, “Come to me” and “Follow me”.

       

      Jesus offered Himself as someone in whom His contemporaries should put their faith in and to whom they should offer their love to. People are to believe in God – Jesus urged them that to have eternal life people are to believe in Him (John 3:36).

       

      So when we look at the biblical evidence for the true Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ one cannot help noticing Jesus’ own self-consciousness witness of Himself, in other words, His self-understanding…what did Jesus think and believe about Himself?

       

      Let’s have a look at what Jesus says about Himself and whether what He says reflects a consciousness of being Deity?

       

      Keep in mind that what follows is NOT an exhaustive study, but just a brief expose of the topic.

       

      In Mark 2:5-10 we read: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things?  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....’"

       

      When the paralytic was lowered through the roof by his four friends, Jesus did not respond with a comment about the man’s physical condition or his need of healing. Rather, his initial comment was, “your sins are forgiven”. The reaction of the scribes indicates the meaning they attached to his words: "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

       

      What we have is a strong statement of divine authority, and the context shows that it was a blasphemous assertion IF HE WAS NOT GOD! Notice that He does not answer their charges with a "Hold on now! I am not claiming to be God! I am claiming something less!"--not at all!

       

      The reaction of the Jews shows that they interpreted Jesus’ words that He was exercising the prerogative that belong to God alone (see Isa, 43:25). Here was an excellent opportunity for Jesus to correct the scribes if they had misunderstood the significance of His words. Note that He did not. In fact His response is highly enlightening for He goes on to claims that He has that prerogative of God, notice also how Jesus knew their thoughts; only God can know the thoughts of men (Acts 15:8; 2 Chron. 6:29; 1 Kings 8:38). More can be said but I’ll leave that for another time. <><
       
       
       
       
       
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    • Quote @b4ucuhear " For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers " BUT the original teaching by the Bible Students was that the 'superior authorities' was the political rulers. It was fully understood in the first place. So, why was false reasoning used to give false teaching ? Obviously no Holy Spirit involved there. So you cannot say that it was new light or better understanding when it was originally known anyway 
    • “We Must Obey God as Ruler Rather Than Men”  This is something that not sound to me as doctrine. This sound as standpoint. Also we have to take context. Apostle responded with this statement as position on Sanhedrin's command that they must not preaching....about what? Peter and John answered: “We cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.”  Well, this is original context. Some other examples speaking about similar things where JHVH and Jesus' servants refused to do something or have done something. Life has got to be more complexe through centuries, so we have now more explanations and interpretations how should look like today's reality of "obey god rather than man". Even things about education come to be viewed through this sort of glasses. Advice to not going to higher education coming from "spiritual place" as god's instruction through GB. Not obeying counsel/advice/recommendation in this matter is considered as not putting god on first place in life. But contrary, own selfish ambitions. As consequence this could be understand that you listen/obey yourself and not god.  About what JW's of today can making claim as apostles did? What things JW today "have seen and heard"  that make their standpoint so firm to obey god as ruler? They have seen and heard only their faith and beliefs. Because they have not seen and heard nothing similar what apostles or first christians experienced.   And this is good way how system making doctrines that sounds like "the truth". And after some time you will read new articles with similar explanation :))) ... year after year. ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change? Yes, it changes. Because you believe in new, advanced knowledge. "The Truth" should not to be knowledge, but Principle. Because Principle is older than this what we calling "the Truth". Even in JW understanding when they speaking about something that is so firm and deep, unchangeable, they using word "Principle" not word "Truth". Principles in Old Testament, for example, that stood behind some laws of Moses, are visible in New Testament too.  In that context we can talk about Moses Law as "The Truth". Perhaps old Israel people used same or similar wording to describe what they think and feel about God' Words. But this kind of "Truth" and their "Truth" are gone. (Not completely, because we have Israel of today.) So, "The Truth" was changed, even more, with time it had been abandoned gradually by new formed Jew congregations. "Old truth" became useless as sort of knowledge about what, how, when and why to be practiced in daily life. Principles stayed. Love God, love neighbor are most known.
    • ronan keating singing a song from the film notting hill   Keith Whitley - When You Say Nothing at All  
    • This song does make you want to "hustle" in whatever you are doing. 😉  
    • From '66 WT: (Just to throw something else into the mix as to the original post) "Questions From Readers ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change?—W. P., U.S.A. Really it is the Bible that speaks of beliefs that are in harmony with the Scriptures as “the truth.” At 2 Peter 2:2 the worship based on such beliefs is termed “the way of the truth.” Yet concerning that “way of the truth” we read at Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.” So we do not know all there is to know. In fact, even when the post-Armageddon system of things is ushered in we will not know everything. Throughout all eternity there will always be more to learn. This is indicated by what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:33: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!” It is to be expected, then, that at times there may be changes in viewpoint. Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up. For example, a few years ago we had a fine series of articles in The Watchtower on the “superior authorities.” (Issues of November 1–December 1, 1962) Before those articles were published, we knew and taught that Jehovah is the Most High, and that Jesus Christ is the second to Him in power and authority. We knew that we should be law-abiding persons, but that, when there was a conflict between man’s law and that of God, we would obey God as ruler rather than men. Those basic truths are the same today as they were before; they have not changed. However, by careful scrutiny of the Scriptures we have come to appreciate that certain Bible texts ought to be applied in a different way. For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers. That is also true of Titus 3:1 and; 1 Peter 2:13, 14. Yet the basic truth is unchanged. Our viewpoint toward God and toward the State is the same as before. Similarly with our study of the resurrection. We believed in the resurrection of the dead before our recent series of Watchtower articles (issues of January 15–March 15, 1965) on the subject and we believe in it now. We also believed that 144,000 would be raised to heavenly life with Christ. We believed that many more would be resurrected as humans; that some of them would be persons who had faithfully served God in the past, and that others would be those who had lived ‘unrighteously.’ We also believed that a great educational work would take place when they would be raised. Those truths have not changed. But now we see that, according to the Scriptures, more are to return than we expected. So, rather than setting aside the truth of the resurrection, it has been magnified, and our appreciation of Jehovah’s love and mercy in providing for the resurrection has been enhanced. This is in direct contrast to what occurred among certain men of whom the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, as recorded at 2 Timothy 2:18: “These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.” Those men no longer had any hope in the resurrection; they believed that what was in the past was all there was to it. But they were setting aside the truth that Jesus had taught. Likewise in Christendom there have been changes in viewpoint; but they are rejecting the Bible as myth and setting aside its moral code as out-of-date. What a tremendous difference between what is taking place among them and what Jehovah is doing for his people in order to bring our thinking even more closely in line with his inspired Word of truth!" As stated above: "Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up." I'm hoping we get more away from claiming some human ideas/dates (that go beyond the things written), as divine revelations/new light from God. I believe we are getting there, which is a far cry from what established Christendom  accepts: i.e.. thinking in war God blesses one side over the other of nations in Satan's system; that God has people tortured for all eternity in a fiery hell; there is no real need of a resurrection since all humans have an immortal soul that automatically goes to heaven of Hell when they die; Trinity...and on it goes. Nor do JW's claim infallibility as hundreds of millions believe of the Pope and similar views (although not official) to protestant leaders as well. Yes, I do believe we have a lot to work on, but I don't see any other religions offered on this site by the "nay-sayers" as a better alternative. And even if they don't believe other religions have the truth either, having their own viewpoints, they might as well be a religion unto themselves - an army of one - since even among themselves they don't see eye-to-eye on everything either. That doesn't mean I believe that means we need to believe we are correct on everything we currently believe. As stated in the article quoted above, we should accept there will be clarifications and changes in understanding - in some ways our understanding is fluid and that's a good thing, (despite how some people view it.) That is a huge difference from believing blatantly unscriptural doctrines from apostate Christianity - some of which we at one time accepted ourselves organizationally. I know some people would be highly agitated if some "sacred cow" date/idea turned out not to be so sacred. But remember, we didn't dedicate ourselves to a date and while we respect the imperfect, uninspired "channel" we accept guidance from today, we don't and shouldn't worship an organization any more than the Israelites were to worship Moses and Aaron. We worship the creator, not the creation.   
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