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James Thomas Rook Jr.

What is a Christian Man's MORAL responsibility to protect his own life, or that of his immediate or spiritual family?

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James Thomas Rook Jr. -
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SCENARIO:  You are at a packed Kingdom Hall on Memorial night, and ten minutes into the remembrance talk, six masked people with weapons enter the Kingdom Hall and begin shooting everyone they can, without any conversation.  

You are shot in the left side of your face and most of those teeth are gone.

Before you know what is going on twelve Brothers and Sisters have been shot, screaming and panic ensues, and there is blood and bodies and brains all over, and the shooting continues.

Would it be fitting for a Brother  to use his handgun to return fire on the murderers to try and save his own life, or the lives of his Brothers and Sisters?

Or, in PubSpeak ... "Would it be fitting for a Christian to keep a firearm, such as a handgun or a rifle, for protection against other humans?" ( July 2017 Watchtower )

This raises MANY Theocratic, moral, ethical, legal, and Societial policy questions ... all of which have REAL answers. 

What is the RIGHT thing for a responsible Christian to do?

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I would not hesitate to be the judge, jury and executioner right then and there in that situation. I would even try to keep my teeth ;-)

And the law would be on my side.

Do Kingdom Halls prohibit you from carrying weapons?

I'm not even sure what Catholic churches say about carrying weapons inside them.

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Yeah, my working assumption is that in order to be a Theocratic man, FIRST you have to be a man.   There are too many males ... not enough men.

Besides, it is MORALLY WRONG to even ASK a Babylonian police officer to put his life on the line to defend yours ...if YOU WILL NOT DEFEND YOUR OWN LIFE.

In this scenario, it would not even matter, as by the time the police arrived, the Kingdom Hall would be filled with bodies, and a lake of blood.

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Well, it's very sad but such a scenario wouldn't justify a Christian coming with firearms to the Kingdom Hall, Jehovah's place of worship or even keeping one for that matter. I think you are examining the Bible's teachings from a physical point of view that is why two verses are pertinent for you to consider.

1. 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 that says:

Quote

14 But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. 15 However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.

2. Psalm 34:7 that says:

Quote

 7 The angel of Jehovah camps all around those fearing Him, And he rescues them.

Thanks 

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Nnaemeka:

I think all the Apostles might disagree with you, Nnaemeka, because as Luke 22:36 points out, the APOSTLES BROUGHT THEIR OWN PERSONAL SWORDS TO THE PASSOVER, AND MEMORIAL.

Or do you think that Jesus, after being with the Apostles for somewhere around THREE YEARS, never noticed the swords, and long expensive fishing knives they carried, as did almost all Galilean males?

When is the last time YOU rented a dining room, and over in the corner, were two expensive swords, each made from hand-mined metal and shaped and beaten into an individually hand made AND EXPENSIVE swords by a blacksmith ?

Peter and at LEAST one other Apostle had their personal swords with them .... AT THE MEMORIAL.

Hint: Life is simpler when you use plain old common sense, AND you do not have to use irrelevant to the topic references to support a bogus agenda.

.

 

 

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... and then there is the morally bankrupt position of not allowing a Brother to protect his own life ...or YOURS ... but calling on paid Babylonian Policemen to risk their lives for yours, in mortal combat ... something you are not willing to do for yourself.

To my mind, that is how professional COWARDS think.

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2 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Nnaemeka:

I think all the Apostles might disagree with you, Nnaemeka, because as Luke 22:36 points out, the APOSTLES BROUGHT THEIR OWN PERSONAL SWORDS TO THE PASSOVER, AND MEMORIAL.

Or do you think that Jesus, after being with the Apostles for somewhere around THREE YEARS, never noticed the swords, and long expensive fishing knives they carried, as did almost all Galilean males?

When is the last time YOU rented a dining room, and over in the corner, were two expensive swords, each made from hand-mined metal and shaped and beaten into an individually hand made AND EXPENSIVE swords by a blacksmith ?

Peter and at LEAST one other Apostle had their personal swords with them .... AT THE MEMORIAL.

Hint: Life is simpler when you use plain old common sense, AND you do not have to use irrelevant to the topic references to support a bogus agenda.

.

 

 

You should realize that Jesus was aware that there were so many things his apostles had to learn and overcome such as fear of man and the customs they grew up with. Jesus did not set out correcting every fault they had instantly but when the occasion arises. Realize that in the Luke 22 you quoted when the apostles showed him two sword he answered them: "It is enough." He went on to emphasize that their confidence should not lie in weapons when he laid down a principle before them right at the moment when Peter cut off Malchus' ears. This was stated in Matthew 26:52 thus:

Quote

52 Then Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword. 

Jesus admonished Peter for using one of those swords. Just picture this scenario with the one you pointed out in your original post. They are both similar. But Jesus reproved Peter for falling on a weapon to protect himself and his master. Jesus laid a principle that all his followers will do well to follow. Jesus then in the next verse showed why it is wrong to do as you imagined in your original post scenario - that is, bring weapons to the Kingdom Hall. He emphasized to his disciples that he had legions at his beck and call - invisible spirit weapons - but in this time of death, he did not and would not use it when he said in Matthew 26:53 thus:

Quote

53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than 12 legions of angels? 

That idea above, allowing Jehovah's will to be done irrespective if your life is in danger, does not show Jesus to be a coward as you contend. Or do you think he also is one? I doubt it. Jesus was bold and courageous to exercise self control at the darkest moment in his life and he never flinched from his resolve. We do well to follow his steps closely as Peter urges in 1 Peter 2:21.

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I was taught the same way that @Nnaemeka explained so well above.

I also see the practicality of @James Thomas Rook Jr. position on weapons in general.

--------------

Questions still stuck in my head are:

Jesus could summon the 12 legions... but I cannot. = I get to carry a "sword"?

Was Jesus reproving Peter for acting on the offensive? would a defensive use of his sword only been ok?

-----------

The reason I ask these questions is that in a world where every 3rd person and his grandma is carrying.... when that one lunatic shows up at the KH one day I would like someone there to be able to fire back.

It would be hypocritical of me to say that it is wrong to carry such a firearm and then be glad JTR had one on his person.

---------

After the bombing of the Kingdom Hall in Australia we see that there were no legions of angels dispatched to protect that congregation. 

Leaving me to ponder these questions still.

-------

FYI - I do not carry or own a gun. I barely know how to fire one correctly. I do have a "dagger" camping (Rambo style) knife kept in a closet somewhere that I bought at a camping store. (I can't say that I know how to even fight with a knife either)

 

It may be that we live in a fiercer world where us older (I use that term reluctantly since I am only 45) JW men may need to "toughen up" and learn to protect ourselves.

 

I think sometimes about Abraham (God's friend) and his ARMY.... or David and his ARMY.... or Solomon with his NAVY...

 

Good discussion everyone.

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I have carried weapons all my adult life, and my biggest crime was driving around a barricaded road when I knew the road construction to be completed, and good ( I designed roads for a living for many years...), and I got a ticket that cost $240.

Although my arsenal may scare the timid, I do NOT "live by the sword", and never have.  I even take spiders outside, assuming they are lost, so they do not starve to death.

Peter was being admonished not to GET INTO A BATTLE,  offensively,  and after he demonstrated that he was NOT going to let Jesus be murdered by an illegal night time mob (by cutting off the ear of the slave of the High Priest...) ... WITH THE SWORD HE WAS COMMANDED TO BRING WITH HIM ...  Jesus said the DEMONSTRATION was enough ... an ear cut off bleeds like a faucet turned on.

It has always been common knowledge that I "carry", and so far, to the best of my knowledge, in a half century, it has never stumbled ANYONE, even Elders who asked me about it, and in three different congregations throughout the U.S.A., I was called into "Room 101" before the triumvirate and questioned.

The last time it went something like this ...

"Um... Brother Rook, it has come to our attention that you carry a gun....um... is this true?"

"Yes, it is."

"Um, er... Brother Rook, uh.. are you carrying one now?"

"Yes, I am."

This is where they don't know what to say next ... there  are looks all around, and then after a pause,  they stand up, I stand up, they extend their hands, thank me for my time, and we all go out into the main Hall and go about our business.

When I go into a new Congregation, those elders that don't know I carry a firearm, I hand a prepared letter informing them that I do ... and it has NEVER, anywhere in the USA, created the SLIGHTEST ripple or complaint from ANYONE, in over 50 years. 

I have had elderly Sisters ask me about  security for them, and I always advise them NOT to be armed, as you have to have a certain mindset to use weapons responsibly.  

If you are scared of the responsibility, best to be a victim, than make someone else a victim by your own hand.

When we returned to the KH after Field Service, I did go to the trunk of my car and gave her a child's baseball bat I kept there, and explained how NOT to use it for self-defense ( a whole other story) ...

I agree with the Society's position that Elders, Ministerial Servants, and those in authority should NOT be armed ... I have yet to meet an Elder, etc., that could handle the responsibility necessary, or have the mindset.

I disagree with the rest that creates a mindset of cowardice.

I am un-apologetically NOT a sheep ... I am a Sheepdog, and all that implies.

It's even my job to protect Snowflakes, who think 7 minutes to an armed policeman  is faster than  a 1700fps defense, 30 feet away.

.

 

 

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Everyone has to live with his or her conscience but it is a protection to adhere to the advice of the faithful and discreet slave. Although someone could point to the violence in the world as a rational for why he should carry, the scriptures have consistently advised us to rely on Jehovah both spiritually and physically. When Peter attacked Malchus he must have been thinking: "Attack is the best form of defense. Look at the large crowd with swords and clubs from the high priest. If I attack first, it would be a signal for Jesus to use his power to help us." Jesus would have none of that. He relied on Jehovah. And we should do.

I heard of the story of a Kingdom Hall bombed in Australia. It was very sad. It's part of the signs of the last days but that would not be a rationale for us to take to arms. One of the fruitage of the spirit is self-control. That is what we need in occasions like this when we find ourselves under threat. Against the natural inclination to take arms and fight back, we prefer to leave it in the hands of the authorities. That is Godly wisdom. Remember King Hezekiah. Despite the fact that he was staring at death in the face when Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem, he relied on Jehovah. We want to do the same.

Come to think of it. Would you say that because many politicians are corrupt that you'd go into politics because as a Christian you'd bring about the needed changes? That would be a natural inclination of every human. But the bible shows consistently that Christians should not engage in politics. As a Christian you'd want to follow bible principles. That is the same with the firearms issue. We want to follow bible principles rather than our natural inclination.

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      Kingdom Ministry School for the 2015 Service Year

      List of JW Terminology
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      Traveling Overseer
      Kingdom Ministry School
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      2011 Manual - School for Congregation Elders 2014 “School For Christian Couples” Graduation - Audio
       
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      2014 Letters to Bodies of Elders

      July 13, 2014 Letter to Body of Elders (regarding appointment and deletion of elders and ministerial servants)
      2005 - Organized to do Jehovah's Will
      2013 Kingdom Ministry School Videos (Elders only viewing please)
      1991 - ks-91E * "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
      2010 - ks-10E * 'Shepherd the Flock of God' (Revised version)
      1977 - "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
      1961 - Kingdom Service Questions
      1955 - Qualified to be Ministers
      1961-2010-Elder-Manuals-Combined-R.pdf References
      Our Kingdom Ministry 10/98 p. 7 par. 1-2 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Secretary, "As a member of the Congregation Service Committee, he cares for the congregation’s communications and important records. ... He directly oversees those handling accounts and subscriptions as well as all convention-related matters." Our Kingdom Ministry 12/98 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Watchtower Study Conductor Our Kingdom Ministry 11/98 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Theocratic Ministry School Overseer Our Kingdom Ministry'10/07 p. 3 Theocratic Ministry School Schedule for 2008' The Congregation Book Study—Why We Need It, Our Kingdom Ministry June 2004, p. 4 pars. 4-5.
    • By Jack Ryan
      If it was a crime can you imagine a judge saying "well nobody found out you robbed the bank because you covered it up. Well done you can continue as the bank manager and not go to prison."
      unless...
      "evidence of God's blessing" IS not getting caught - lmao 😂🤣
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses >
      Jehovah's Witnesses began capitalizing Governing Body as a proper noun in 1971;The Watchtower that year announced "The present Governing Body comprises eleven anointed witnesses of Jehovah." The original members of the 1971 Governing Body, all now deceased, are indicated in italics in the lists below.

      Current
      The following people are members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses[7] (year appointed in parentheses): Samuel Herd (1999) Geoffrey Jackson (2005) M. Stephen Lett (1999) Gerrit Lösch (1994) Anthony Morris III (2005) Mark Sanderson (2012) David H. Splane (1999) Kenneth Cook (2018)  Deceased
      The following individuals were members of the Governing Body until death (years active in parentheses, including years as Watch Tower Society directors, informally identified as the "governing body" prior to 1971): Carey W. Barber (1977–2007) John (Jack) Barr (1977–2010) William Lloyd Barry (1974–1999) John C. Booth (1974–1996) Charles J. Fekel (1974–1977) Frederick William Franz (1944–1992)—5th President of Watch Tower Society George D. Gangas (1971–1994) John O. Groh (1965–1975) Milton George Henschel (1947–2003)—6th President of Watch Tower Society William K. Jackson (1971–1981) Theodore Jaracz (1974–2010) Karl F. Klein (1974–2001) Nathan Homer Knorr (1940–1977)—4th President of Watch Tower Society Guy H. Pierce (1999-2014) Martin Pötzinger (1977–1988) Albert D. Schroeder (1974–2006) Grant Suiter (1938–1983) Thomas J. Sullivan (1932–1974) Lyman Alexander Swingle (1945–2001) Daniel Sydlik (1974–2006) Resigned
      The following individuals resigned or were asked to step down from their positions in the body (years active in parentheses): Ewart Chitty (1974–1979) Raymond Franz (1971–1980) Leo K. Greenlees (1971–1984)  
    • By Jack Ryan
      Loesch, Barr in the middle, Barry in the foreground
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Luke 10 v 21  In that very hour he became overjoyed in the holy spirit and said: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have carefully hidden these things from wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children. Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved.
      This seems to show that 'higher education' was not needed to learn, understand and teach, the truth from God, at that time. 
      It seems to be a well know thing within the JW Org and by people outside of same, that JW's are 'told' not to aim for higher education. I say told, although some will say strongly advised, with a possible caution of being disfellowshipped. 
      Now I've noticed on here recently that deep conversation about many things has been and is taking place. Politics earthwide. religious beliefs earthwide and the latest thing seems to be Evolution (from a very deep standpoint ). ( These things were never taught to me at school. )
      I left school at 15 years old, as soon as I was able, for reasons previously mentioned. Here in UK now teenagers have to remain in education until they are 18. The three years from 15 to 18 seem to me to be almost 'higher education', but compulsory.  How much they learn at school now I've no idea. 
      My feelings are, and yes ok i cannot put proof to these feelings, but, my feelings are, that all forms of higher education are advised against by the GB and the JW Org. Some of you may have some proof of this in writing. So, where does this leave JW's ?
      If a young person leaves school to go into full time 'service' ministry, they do not get a higher education. Their 'basic' education may have been just that, very basic. They are then not 'qualified' to talk to others on a higher education level, and this might even be to the point of not understanding such things as are being discussed on here lately. 
      ( Much of what is being discussed leaves me miles behind. I'm a very simple person. Plus at 69 I forget more than i learn. Yes I do write lots of notes and have books for recording different things, but the mind boggles. )
      With respect for those I knew and loved in the past, within my ex congregation, many of them were 'simple country folk'. And I think Tom said about not having the time or inclination to do research online or or otherwise. So let us go back to the scripture at the top. 
      So many questions. Does God reveal more to those of a lesser education ?  Is higher education and greater knowledge a disadvantage when wanting to serve God properly?
      Or is it that those of higher education are too stubborn to learn God's way ?  Too proud maybe ?   
      There are many things that the Bible doesn't tell us. is that deliberate ? Does God want to keep it simple for us ? So, should we pursue more knowledge about worldly things ? 
      A problem may occur when talking to others about God, in that they may have more knowledge on a certain subject than we do and therefore believe something different. Should we then educate ourselves to their level on the same subject, or just pass them by ?  Bearing in mind the scripture at the top of this page. 
      There has to be a balance of course. But my feelings are that the GB would like JW's to be educated only by the Watchtower studies and by the 'workbook' evening meeting studies. And of course by personal Bible reading.   But do JW's do as they are told in this respect or do a lot of them 'educate themselves', or take further education elsewhere ? 
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      People who lied, betrayed someone or committed other immoral act begin to perceive what is good or bad in another way.
    • By The Librarian
      All posts tagged 'Geoffrey Jackson" 
      Brother Jackson started pioneering in February 1971 in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. In June 1974, he married Jeanette (Jenny). Shortly thereafter, they were appointed to serve as special pioneers. From 1979 to 2003, they served as missionaries in Tuvalu, Samoa, and Fiji—island nations in the South Pacific. While in the islands, Brother and Sister Jackson also contributed much to the work of translating Bible literature. Beginning in 1992, Brother Jackson served on the Branch Committee in Samoa, and from 1996, on the Branch Committee in Fiji. In April 2003, he and Jenny became part of the United States Bethel family and began to work in the Translation Services Department. Soon thereafter, Brother Jackson was made a helper to the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body. (See w06 3/15 p. 26) Tragically, Geoffrey's wife Jenny lost her battle with cancer and died 22 December 2009 at the age of 54. Geoffrey has since remarried. He is one of the youngest members of the Governing Body, born in 1955.   Recent news:
      Geoffrey Jackson testifies at the Australian Royal Commission 

      Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson Declines to Appear Before Australian Royal Commission and then is ordered to appear on Friday August 14th at 11:00am Australian time.
       
      Milshon Masara (L) posing for a picture with guest speaker Geoffrey Jackson and his current wife, Loraini Jackson. 

      Taken at the Zimbabwe 2014 International Convention - They came, saw and made Zim richer.
       

      Geoffrey and Rae Jackson

      Loraini Jackson is from Tazmania according to this talk: 
      Related Items:
      Talks by Geoffrey Jackson
      When Is Armageddon Coming? - Encouraging clip of a talk by Geoffrey Jackson of the Governing Body

      Talks translated into Spanish
      Enseñe a sus hijos a amar el Reino de Dios - Teach your children to love God's Kingdom
      Geoffrey Jackson knows how to dance and party!


      Books by Geoffrey Jackson available for sale on Amazon.com
       

      International delegates running into Geoffrey and Loraini Jackson in Harare, Zimbabwe.   
    • By Jack Ryan
      While chanting: Listen, Obey, and be blessed
    • By TrueTomHarley
      How many of them do you want answered?
      We went round and round on a prior thread and you just repackage your questions and run them through again.
      The verse says: ‘Taste and see that Jehovah is good.’ If you tasted and saw that he was bad, what can I say? Check your taste buds. But you can just as easily say it to me.
      It may be that you should be praying to The LORD. It is the GB that brings God’s name to the fore, nearly everyone else seeks to bury it, and you have made clear that you don’t trust the GB as far as you can spit.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      As the one-year anniversary of Chester Bennington's death approaches, his widow Talinda has compiled a list of all official memorial services worldwide. "There are so many beautiful memorials planned all around the WORLD in honor of Chester," she wrote in a tweet. "I wanted to share them with you."
      She shared a link to a Google document that gives further context around the list and #LPMemorial2018. "The main purpose of this hashtag is to find the memorials specific to the one year of Chester’s passing, but also to simply separate upcoming events from the past ten months, as the hashtag took off beyond our expectations,"
      Read more: http://loudwire.com/chester-bennington-every-one-year-anniversary-memorial-service/

    • By Jack Ryan
      I suspect @James Thomas Rook Jr. made this one... LOL
    • By Jack Ryan
      Did You Know?
      You can openly and publicly question if the President of the United States is fit for office. You can question his policies, his statements, and his character. Your family and friends will not be taken away from you.
      You can openly and publicly question the policies, fitness for office, statements, and character of governors, senators, congressmen, judges, and various other politicians and leaders in the United States. Your family and friends will not be taken away from you.
      If you believe in a god, you can pray to your god questioning his authority, ability to rule, his decisions, and his purpose. When you open your eyes, you will find that your family and friends have not and will not be taken away from you.
      Jesus had his authority questioned many times. (Matt. 21: 23-27) According to the Bible, he would have had the power to punish those questioning him. Yet, he did nothing to them. He harmed no one physically or emotionally.
      You can confidentially question the ability to lead, the validity, the teachings, the doctrines and policies of the Governing Body to only two family members or close companions.  Your family and friends WILL be taken away from you. You will be labeled as dead, evil, and mentally diseased. You can and will likely lose all the social connections and relationships you have developed over a lifetime.
      Only absolute dictators take away the rights of those they rule if their authority is questioned. Look at the examples of Stalin, Hitler, Bashar al-Assad, and Kim Jong Un. 
      The Governing Body today will attend court hearings in other countries rejoicing when freedoms are granted to their followers. They will organize letter writing campaigns to lobby for religious freedoms of Jehovah's Witnesses. They will take legal arguments to the highest courts to fight for the rights of the organization that they govern. Yet, all it takes for you to lose all of your freedoms to be with your very own family is the admission to enough witnesses that you no longer believe the Governing Body are chosen by God and have authority over you. 
      Did You Know? The Governing Body will fight tooth and nail for their own perceived freedoms, but they have no problems taking away your own freedoms and declaring you dead if you dare to question them.
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on: Jehovah's Witnesses

      The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the ruling council of Jehovah's Witnesses[1] based in Brooklyn, New York. The body assumes responsibility for formulating policy and doctrines, producing material for publications and conventions, and administering its worldwide branch office staff.[2][3] Members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders.[4] One member explained the Governing Body as being "Guardians of the Doctrine" when under oath in Australia in 2015.[119]
      Its size has varied, from seven (2010–2012)[5] to eighteen (1974–1980)[6]members.[7][8] As of October 2012, there are eight members.[5] Members of the Governing Body are not elected; membership is only possible by invitation of existing members.[9]Updated: Current list of the Governing Body as of October 2014
      History

      The Governing Body in 1975
      Since its incorporation in 1884, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has been directed by a president and board of directors. Until January 1976, the president exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activity of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected—the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses.[10][11][12]
      When the Society's second president, J.F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them; in 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society's editorial committee—selected by Charles Taze Russell to have editorial control of The Watch Tower after his death—when it opposed publication of an article that altered doctrines on Bible chronology related to 1914. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved.[13][14] 
      as of 2013
         
      In 1943 The Watchtower described the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society as the "legal governing body" of anointed Jehovah's Witnesses.[15] A year later, in an article opposing the democratic election of congregation elders, the magazine said the appointment of congregation servants was the duty of "a visible governing body under Jehovah God and his Christ."[16] For several years, the role and specific identity of the governing body remained otherwise undefined. A 1955 organizational handbook stated that "the visible governing body has been closely identified with the board of directors of this corporation."[17] Referring to events related to their 1957 convention, a 1959 publication said "the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments [then] the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society [acted]."[18] The 1970 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses noted that the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was the organization used to plan the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses and provide them with "spiritual food", then declared: "So really the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses is the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania."[19]
      On October 1, 1971, Watch Tower Society vice-president Frederick Franz addressed the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania corporation in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, stating that the legal corporation of the Watch Tower Society was an "agency" or "temporary instrument" used by the Governing Body on behalf of the"faithful and discreet slave".[20] Three weeks later, on October 20, four additional men joined the seven members of the Society's board of directors on what became known as a separate, expanded Governing Body.[21] The board of directors had until then met only sporadically, usually only to discuss the purchase of property or new equipment, leaving decisions concerning material to be published in Watch Tower Society publications to the president and vice-president, Nathan Knorr and Fred Franz.[20][22] The Watchtower of December 15, 1971 was the first to unambiguously capitalize the term "Governing Body of Jehovah's witnesses" as the defined group leading the religion, with a series of articles explaining its role and its relationship with the Watch Tower Society.[2][23]
      The focus on the new concept of "theocratic" leadership was accompanied by statements that the structure was not actually new: The Watch Tower declared that "a governing body made its appearance" some time after the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Society in 1884,[24] though it had not beenreferred to as such at the time.[10]
      The article claimed that Watch Tower Society president Charles Taze Russell had been a member of the governing body.[24] The 1972 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses stated that following Rutherford's death in 1942 "one of the first things that the governing body decided upon was the inauguration of the Theocratic Ministry School" and added that the "governing body" had published millions of books and Bibles in the previous thirty years.[25] Raymond Franz has disputed those claims, stating that the actions of presidents Russell, Rutherford and Knorr in overriding and failing to consult with directors proved the Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses had been under a monarchical rule until 1976, leaving no decisions to a "governing body".[26]
      In 1972, a Question From Readers article in The Watchtower further reinforced the concept of the "Governing Body"; the magazine said the term referred to an agency that administers policy and provides organizational direction, guidance and regulation and was therefore "appropriate, fitting and Scriptural."[23][27]Organizational changes at the highest levels of the Watch Tower Society in 1976 significantly increased the powers and authority of the Governing Body.[28] The body has never had a legal corporate existence and operates through the Watch Tower Society and its board of directors.[29]

      Re-organization
      After its formal establishment in 1971, the Governing Body met regularly but, according to Raymond Franz, only briefly; Franz claims meetings were sometimes as short as seven minutes,[30] to make decisions about branch appointments and conduct that should be considered disfellowshipping offenses.[31][32] Franz claims that in 1971 and again in 1975, the Governing Body debated the extent of the authority it should be given.[33]
      Headquarters purge

      Raymond Franz claimed that in 1980, unease with doctrines surrounding the significance of 1914 surfaced within the Governing Body. In February of that year, three Governing Body members—aware that those who had been alive in 1914 were dying out despite the teaching that their generation would live to see Armageddon—proposed a doctrinal change to identify the "generation" who would see Armageddon as those who witnessed the 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik, which would be considered a 'sign in heaven'.The proposal, which would have extended the deadline for Armageddon by 43 years, failed to gain a majority vote.[36][37] Former Witnesses James Penton and Heather and Gary Botting claimed that internal dissatisfaction with official doctrines continued to grow, leading to a series of secret investigations and judicial hearings. As a result, the Governing Body led a purge of dissenting Brooklyn headquarters staff in April and May 1980.[38][39][40] Raymond Franz claimed he was forced to resign from the Governing Body, and he was later disfellowshipped from the religion. The Watch Tower Society responded with a new, hardened attitude towards the treatment of expelled Witnesses.[38][39][41] In his 1997 study of the religion, Penton concluded that since Raymond Franz's expulsion in 1980, the Governing Body displayed an increased level of conservatism, sturdy resistance to changes of policy and doctrines, and an increased tendency to isolate dissidents within the organization by means of disfellowshipping.[42]
      Helpers
      The April 15, 1992 issue of The Watchtower carried an article entitled Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones” which drew a parallel between ancient non-Israelites who had been assigned temple duties (the "Nethinim" and "sons of the servants of Solomon") and Witness elders in positions of responsibility immediately under the oversight of the Governing Body who did not profess to be "anointed".[43]Both that issue of The Watchtower and the 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses carried the same announcement:
      In view of the tremendous increase worldwide, it seems appropriate at this time to provide the Governing Body with some additional assistance. Therefore it has been decided to invite several helpers, mainly from among the great crowd, to share in the meetings of each of the Governing Body Committees, that is, the Personnel, Publishing, Service, Teaching, and Writing Committees. Thus, the number attending the meetings of each of these committees will be increased to seven or eight. Under the direction of the Governing Body committee members, these assistants will take part in discussions and will carry out various assignments given them by the committee. This new arrangement goes into effect May 1, 1992. For many years now, the number of the remnant of anointed Witnesses has been decreasing, while the number of the great crowd has increased beyond our grandest expectations.[44][45]
      Each of the current Governing Body members served as a committee "helper" before being appointed to the Governing Body itself.[46][47][48] The appointment of helpers to the Governing Body committees was described in 2006 as "still another refinement."[49]

      2000 and beyond
      Until 2000, the directors and officers of the Watch Tower Society were members of the Governing Body. Since then, members of the ecclesiastical Governing Body have not served as directors of any of the various corporations used by Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Governing Body has delegated such administrative responsibilities to other members of the religion.[50] The current president of the Watch Tower Society, Don A. Adams, is not a member of the Governing Body. As of October 2012, the Governing Body comprises eight members, as shown below.
      Governing Body 2003 


      Photo shot prior to the death of Guy Pierce in the 2014 release "God's Kingdom Rules!"
      One of our favorite moments of Annual Meeting…when all 7 of the Governing Body came out and sang with the Watchtower Chorus the last and newest song called: “Jehovah Is Your Name”….what a powerful and moving 100 Year Celebration! @stephendianna
       
      See also
      Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses Letters from the Governing Body Funeral (Memorial) Programs for late **Governing Body** Members How to remember Governing Body Members' names Governing Body signing Bibles for public officials Residences of the Governing Body David H Splane: The Slave Is Not 1900 Years Old - Matt 24v45 - Frederick W. Franz was against the formation of a Governing Body References
      Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 216. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 703. November 15, 1972. "Our active leader today", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 27, "They recognize, however, that Christ is using a small group of anointed Christian men as a Governing Body to lead and direct his disciples on earth." "Bearing Thorough Witness" About God's Kingdom. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2009. p. 110. As of September 2005, twelve members listed (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 8)
      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)
      Mark Sanderson appointed in September 2012 "A New Member of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26.[1] Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (2007). Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. pp. 4, 6. Botting, Heather & Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 58.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 186, footnote. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 162–163, 214. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. The Watchtower. July 15, 1943. page 216, paragraph 24. The Watchtower. November 1, 1944. page 328, paragraph 32. Qualified to be Ministers. Watch Tower Society. 1955. p. 381. cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, page 74 "Divine Will International Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses", The Watchtower, February 15, 1959, page 115, "So with intense interest the spiritual governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses watched the developments... Without delay the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society closed a contract with the owners to use the Polo Grounds simultaneously with Yankee Stadium." Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1970. p. 65. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 57.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 44. The seven directors at October 20 were Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz, Grant Suiter, Thomas Sullivan, Milton Henschel, Lyman Swingle and John Groh. The additional four to form the Governing Body were William Jackson, Leo Greenlees, George Gangas and Raymond Franz. Testimony by Fred Franz, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954, as cited by Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience, 2007, page 75-76. "Theocratic Organization with Which to Move Forward Now; A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower. December 15, 1971. "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower: 761. December 15, 1971. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. 1972. pp. 254–257. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 78.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 703. November 15, 1972. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 44–110. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 45.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. p. 46.ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 215. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 81–105. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 80–107. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. pp. 108–109. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Franz, Raymond (1997). Crisis of Conscience. p. 262. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 117–123. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Botting, Heather & Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 158–165. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Witness Under Prosecution", Richard H. Ostling, Anne Constable,//Time// Magazine, February 22, 1982. Franz, Raymond (2007). "11-12". Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 219, 297–302, 319. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones”", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, pages 16-17 "Announcement", The Watchtower, April 15, 1992, page 31 "Organizing for Further Expansion", 1993 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 253-254 "Governing Body Addition", The Watchtower, November 1, 1994, page 29, "The new member is Gerrit Lösch. ... Lösch has served in the Executive Offices and as an assistant to the Service Committee." "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, January 1, 2000, page 29, "The new members, all anointed Christians, are Samuel F. Herd; M. Stephen Lett; Guy H. Pierce; and David H. Splane. Samuel Herd ... was also serving as a helper to the Service Committee. Stephen Lett ... was a helper to the Teaching Committee. Guy Pierce ... had been serving as a helper to the Personnel Committee. David Splane ... had been a helper to the Writing Committee." "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26, "Geoffrey W. Jackson and Anthony Morris III—would be added to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. ... In April 2003, [Jackson] became part of the United States Bethel family and began to work in the Translation Services Department. Soon thereafter, Brother Jackson was made a helper to the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body ... 2002 [Morris] worked in the Service Department at Patterson and later as a helper to the Service Committee of the Governing Body." "Walking in the Path of Increasing Light", The Watchtower, February 15, 2006, page 28 "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation". The Watchtower: 29. 15 January 2001. The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29 "How the Governing Body is Organized", The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 29. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 85, 115. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. "A History-Making Meeting", The Watchtower, Aug. 15, 2011, page 21. "Schools That Teach Jehovah's Ways", //2012 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses//, page 13-17. "Theocratic Schools-Evidence of Jehovah's Love", //The Watchtower//, September 15, 2012, page 13-17. "A “Body of Elders” with Rotating Chairmanship", The Watchtower, November 15, 1971, pages 699,700, "how will the “body of elders” in each congregation be selected? The governing body through the Watch Tower Society will send out a letter asking the committee that now looks after each congregation’s activity to...prayerfully consider who within your congregation really meets the qualifications of an elder or overseer. ...Then recommendations will be made to the governing body. ...After the governing body receives recommendations from the congregation, then proper appointments will be made. The governing body will do the appointing of elders in every congregation and this information will be sent out by the governing body through the various offices of the Society throughout the world." Hope Based on the Unfolding Purpose of God", The Watchtower, February 1, 1975, page 86 "Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15 "Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 15, "In addition to appointing Branch Committee members, the Governing Body appoints Bethel elders and traveling overseers. However, they do commission responsible brothers to act for them in making certain other appointments." "“Keep Holding Men of That Sort Dear”", The Watchtower, October 1, 1988, page 18-19, "[The] traveling overseers sent forth by the Governing Body to preach the good news and help the congregations should be received hospitably and with respect. ...Elders, in particular, should show proper respect for these visiting representatives of the Governing Body. They are sent to the congregations because of their spiritual qualities and their experience, which is usually more extensive than that of many local elders." [emph added] "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, pages 19-20, "Since February 1, 1976, each of the branches of the Watch Tower Society has had a Branch Committee made up of capable men appointed by the Governing Body. As representatives of the Governing Bodyfor the country or countries under the supervision of their branch, these brothers must be faithful, loyal men. ...Branch Committees recommend mature, spiritual men to serve as circuit and district overseers. After being appointed directly by the Governing Body, they serve as traveling overseers. These brothers visit circuits and congregations in order to build them up spiritually and help them apply instructions received from the Governing Body." [emph added] "Humbly Submitting to Loving Shepherds", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 27 "The Watchtower and Awake!—Timely Journals of Truth". The Watchtower: 21. January 1, 1994. "Building for an Eternal Future". The Watchtower: 25. January 1, 1986. 2012 Annual Meeting Program (Gov. Body is "Faithful & Discreet Slave" explained in 8 minute clip) "Seek God's guidance in all things", The Watchtower, April 15, 2008, page 11. "‘They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them’". The Watchtower: 200. April 1, 1972. "the modern-day “prophet,” the spirit-begotten, anointed ones who are the nucleus of Jehovah’s witnesses today" "The Things Revealed Belong to Us", The Watchtower, May 15, 1986, page 13. Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. The Faithful Steward and Its Governing Body, The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, page 24 ¶18 Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 211. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "The faithful slave and its governing body", The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, pages 23-24, "They do not believe that their being of the anointed gives them special insights beyond what even some experienced members of the "great crowd" may have. They do not believe that they necessarily have more holy spirit than their companions of the 'other sheep' have. They do not expect special treatment; nor do they claim that their partaking of the emblems places them above the appointed elders in the congregation." "A Secret Christians Dare Not Keep!", The Watchtower, June 1, 1997, page 14. "Insight That Jehovah Has Given", The Watchtower, March 15, 1989, page 22, "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that explanations of vital Scriptural truths have been provided for us by Jehovah’s 'faithful and discreet slave.' The Watchtower is the principal instrument used by the 'slave' class for dispensing spiritual food." "The faithful slave and its governing body", The Watchtower, June 15, 2009, pages 23-24. "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." "Question From Readers", "The Watchtower", August 15, 2011, page 22 "Annual Meeting Report". "A Governing Body as Different from a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, December 15, 1971, page 762 "The Governing Body", 1973 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 257, "The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses consists of eleven brothers, all anointed of God. They are as follows: Frederick W. Franz, Raymond V. Franz, George D. Gangas, Leo K. Greenlees, John O. Groh, Milton G. Henschel, William K. Jackson, Nathan H. Knorr, Grant Suiter, Thomas J. Sullivan and Lyman A. Swingle." "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, January 1, 2000, page 29 "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26 "Governing Body Addition", The Watchtower, November 1, 1994, page 29 "A New Member of the Governing Body", //The Watchtower//, July 15, 2013, page 26. Interviews - 133rd Gilead Class (stated at video b. Mark Sanderson of Gov. Body) "Rejoicing Over "Victory With the Lamb", The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31. "Britain", 2000 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 130 "New Members of the Governing Body", The Watchtower, November 15, 1977, page 680 "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975, page 60 "We Were a Team", The Watchtower, April 1, 2001, page 24. "He Humbly Served Jehovah", The Watchtower, June 15, 1996, page 32. "A Joyful Perseverer in Good Work", The Watchtower, July 1, 1977, page 399. "Service Assembly and Annual Meeting—Pittsburg", The Watchtower, November 1, 1944, page 334. "How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation", The Watchtower, January 15, 2001, page 28. "His Deeds Follow Him", The Watchtower, December 1, 1994, page 31. Franz, Raymond (2007). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. pp. 273–336. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. "Gilead Sends Missionaries “to the Most Distant Part of the Earth”", The Watchtower, December 15, 1999, page 28, "Theodore Jaracz, a member of the Governing Body, who himself graduated with Gilead’s seventh class in 1946" "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", The Watchtower, January 15, 1975, page 60 Theodore Jaracz Memorial Service Brochure (1.4MB) "Jehovah Has Dealt Rewardingly With Me", The Watchtower, October 1, 1984, page 21. Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, "Background of N. H. Knorr", page 91: "On June 10, 1940, he became the vice-president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Pennsylvania corporation)." The Watchtower, July 15,1977, "Firm to the End", page 441. "A Staunch Fighter for the Truth", The Watchtower, September 15, 1988, page 31. "His Delight Was in the Law of Jehovah", The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31. "The corporation, the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, pursuant to its charter and by-laws, and the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, held its annual meeting at Pittsburgh, North Side, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the first day of October, A.D. 1938, at which annual meeting a Board of Directors was elected as follows, to wit: J. F. Rutherford, C. A. Wise, W. E. Van Amburgh, H. H. Riemer, T. J. Sullivan, Wm. P. Heath, Jr., and Grant Suiter, to hold office for a period of three years, or until their successors are duly elected." - 1939 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, "Election", page 195 "A Loyal Fighter Passes On", The Watchtower, February 1, 1984, page 9. "He Ran for “The Prize of the Upward Call” and Won!", The Watchtower, September 15, 1974, page 554, "On October 31, 1932, he [Sullivan] was made a member of the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania; he was also one of the eleven-member governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses." "A Time of Testing (1914-1918)", Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, ©1993 Watch Tower, page 71, "Thomas (Bud) Sullivan, who later served as a member of the Governing Body, recalled: “It was my privilege to visit Brooklyn Bethel in the late summer of 1918 during the brothers’ incarceration." Jehovah's Witnesses–Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Society. 1993. p. 91. "How Priceless Your Friendship, O God!", The Watchtower, June 1, 1985, page 27. "Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Enlarged", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 60 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. 1980. pp. 257–258. "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, page 2, "Raymond Victor Franz is no longer a member of the Governing Body and of the Brooklyn Bethel family as of May 22, 1980." Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Beverley, James A. (1986). Crisis of Allegiance. Burlington, Ontario: Welch Publishing Company. p. 71. ISBN 0-920413-37-4. 1986 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, ©Watch Tower, page 255 Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 322, 393. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Geoffrey Jackson testifies before the Australian Royal Commission 2015  
       
    • 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.
       
       
       
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    • The bible itself says that we must not have fellowship with those who are brazen in conduct.  There is no "threat".  When a person is a spiritual threat to other brothers and sisters and does not stop brazen conduct......then only, after they have been requested many times to stop unacceptable behaviour,  are they disfellowshipped.  These are the ones who usually then defame JWs and hide the truth-  that they were disfellowshipped because of a Christian conduct,  be it repetitive lying, stealing, fornication etc...... a practice of some und of unacceptable behaviour. Many realize the need to change and come back into the fold - others become more brazen..... and defame JWs.   I see you did not like this comment. ...... it says a lot about you.  People like to blame "others" .... never themselves.... Adam blamed eve.... lol.
    • My daughter bought a small home in UK in a safe area. One bathroom, 3 bedrooms - and it costs over over half million pounds.   So a 1 million pound house (especially in London must be the size of a dingy) and  is definitely not the epitome of luxury -  which impression you are trying to create. To sell a house that people have been using is good. They can use this money to assist brothers in the rest of the world. I guess they are selling because it is no longer needed..... but if they kept it you would also complain.  One cannot ever please some people.....
    • I guess - according to you -  we can throw out all the scriptures which indicate the anointed will have heavenly bodies such as 1 cor 15 and revelations - too many places to mention.  Not even those which show they will be changed in an instant. And the scriptures in Hebrews which indicate that they will be priests in the heavenly temple of jehovah.   Jehovah is perfect in logic, so why give a heavenly body when a physical body is more suited to the earth?  The marriage of the lamb will take place where? Did Jesus give up his earthly body to receive a heavenly  spiritual body? And did he really say to his disciples they will be with him where he is? Agh, there are just too many scriptures which indicate it is a heavenly kingdom and heavenly rulership....and a heavenly priesthood - a function you have forgotten about by just wanting to " rule"......... .which tells me you are up to your same old, same old behaviours.  You boast you are of the body of christ...... so which "body" do you belong to which has perfect unity? . How many members?  Where do you meet?  And are you and your adherents fulfilling the prophesy that the good news of the kingdom will be preached throughout the earth?     
    • And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10  and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kingsr over the earth.”Rev 5:9,10 - NWT As a JW, this sounded accurate to me, since it fit the supporting doctrine that the “144,000” will rule strictly from heaven – “over” the earth...not within its vicinity, but from the spiritual realm.  What I have since learned about this scripture and Christ’s truth regarding where the anointed will be “ruling” from, has been an important turning point for me. Notice how the organization’s own Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures breaks down vs. 10: “and you made them to the God of us kingdom and priests and they are reigning upon the earth” Here are a few other examples: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”  Scripture4all.org “…they will reign upon the earth”.  https://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/5-10.htm It is very rare to find a Bible translation using the phrase “over the earth” in this scripture. The organization’s latest pictorial depiction of the 144,000 kings/priests ruling in heaven was of a vast array of emerald green thrones where men appearing identical to one another and to Christ, gazed over the earth as Christ’s “co-rulers”.  I wonder what the anointed JW women feel about a female’s apparent transition into a man, who are clones of each other.  This teaching sounds ridiculous to me today.  However, since the role of JW women is repeatedly slighted, should we expect any acknowledgement of the anointed being both male and female?  I could be in error, but I haven’t seen any photos of women partaking in the magazines.  There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  Gal 3:28 To be one in Christ does not mean the faithful sealed anointed take on the same physical appearance as Christ. All of the members of a fleshly body are distinctly different in appearance; working separately yet collectively, with the unified goal to allow the body to work efficiently.  It is the same in the Body of Christ. 1 Cor 12:15-20  All are given various gifts, and all are individuals with individual personalities. They have abilities reflecting the gift they receive.  Paul described it this way: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  1 Cor 12:4-6 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Cor 12:19,20 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized byone Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Cor 12:12-14 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Eph 4:11-16 The 144,000 are the Bride of Christ under the New Covenant “woman”/promise.   (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:29-32; Gal 4:26) It is curious that the WT's leaders rarely go into detail about this.  When I recall their latest illustration described above, I don’t believe the artist had the idea of “bride” in mind. I could only sense an aura of steely authority, without the needed compassion and love that Jesus exhibited and taught his disciples to nurture within themselves. (Isa 42:3; Matt 14:14; John 13:34,35; 1 John 4: 17; Heb 4:15) Just as a bride and groom are not identical to each other, neither is Christ’s Bride of many members; either to Christ, or to one another, as the illustration erroneously shows. (1 Cor 12:29,30; Eph 4:11-13)  Marriage partners compliment and support each other in love.  It is the same with the Body of Christ, being united in one Spirit that imparts love, faith and knowledge of Christ and the Father. The organization’s leaders are unable to perceive this spiritual unity, since they have rejected the Spirit of Christ, in exchange for the spirit of Satan.  (John 15:4-7;1 Cor 6:15-17; 2 Cor 11:3; 2 Pet 1:10; Rev 2:4; 8:10;13:11) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  1 Cor 2:12-14  In order to “rule on the earth”, God’s priests must be on the earth.  If we can shed the false belief that once the 144,000 are sealed in “heaven” they will remain there, we are then able to grasp how such “heavenly” angel/messenger/priests will be found ruling, teaching, and helping God’s future children on the earth.  (Mal 2:7; 1 Pet 2:5,9; Heb 1:14; Rev 5:9,10)   We can comprehend God’s “new creation” as having two “births”; one by fleshly parents through Adam and Eve, (Gen 2:7) and one by spiritual parents.  (John 3:3,5; 1 Cor 15:50; John 15:45; 20:22; Gal 4:26) Once Jesus was resurrected, he appeared many times to his disciples in the flesh; and just as easily, disappeared into the spirit realm.   His example set the precedence of what it means to be a “new creation”.  (Mark 16:12; John 21:14; 1 Cor 15:3-8)  By combining this event with Pearl Doxsey's help from her article, “Who are the gods?”, we can visualize the 144,000 “angels” present not only in the spirit realm, but on earth as well: The sons of God ("gods") inherit the promises given to Abraham. What promises are these? "I will make you very fruitful (John 15:8) I will make nations of you (Rev 5:9,10), and kings will come from you (Rev 20:4; 1:5; 3:21; 19:16,15; 2:26,27)". “Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  There above it stood the Lord, and he said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying  (Ps 37:29; Heb 2:5,16; Gal 3:29; Heb 11:8-10; 13:14; Rev 21:2; Heb 12:22,23; Luke 10:20) (Gen.17:6).  Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring (Rev 22:2). I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go (Matt 28:20), and I will bring you back to this land (Rev 21:7).  I will not leave you (John 14:18) until I have done what I have promised you (John 16:22).  Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place (Heb 12:22,23,28)! This is none other than the house of God (1 Cor 3:9,16; Isa 56:7; Eph 2:19,10); this is the gate of heaven (Rev 11:6; Matt 16:19; Rev 3:12; John 10:9; 2 Cor 5:20)." (Gen.28:12-15,17) "Jesus added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open (Luke 24:32; Rev 2:17; Matt 13:11; Rev 4:1; 1:1)  (John 3:12; 1 Cor 2:12,13; Col 3:2), and the angels of God ascending and descending (Heb 12:22; Eph 2:6; Rev 3:21) "on* (Greek--*"in service to") the Son of Man.” (John 1:51) The "angels" (Lit. Greek, "messengers" – Isa 43:10,21; 1 Pet 2:9; Mal 2:7; Acts 1:8) referred to here, could not have served before the time of Christ (John 3:13) Jesus specifically said that they are in service on "the Son of Man" (1 Cor 4:1).  The "Son of Man" is Jesus in the flesh (John 1:14). Therefore, these angels serve Christ, after his coming down from heaven.  To be a messenger of Christ ("ambassador") who harbors God's spirit of life within... who has been made new (Rom 12:2; 8:11) as a part of God's new creation (2 Cor 5:17) by means of incorruptible seed, the Word of God (1 Pet 1:23; Luke 8:11)... …who has been reborn as a Son of the Most High (John 3:3,5; Rom 8:16,17,19,28-30)... who has been made an immovable pillar in the eternal heavenly Temple of God (Rev 3:12; Prov 9:1; Jer 1:18)... ...is a "god" (Ps 82:6; Rom 8:14; 1 Cor 8:5).  I do hope readers here find this information to be a personal turning point as it was for me, in learning that both Christ and the 144,000 kings and priests/ Bride of Christ, will have access to heaven as well as on earth, and living among God’s future children in the Kingdom. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt 5:14  Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Rev 21:1-3  “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” Rev 21:22 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:3-5 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16 Pearl Doxsey: (type in her name and the title of the article in the search bar. The link should appear) “End of the New Covenant” “Those not anointed – what benefit now?” “The Holy City”   PLEASE SEE AND ENJOY,   “The Holy City” - http://pearl-holycity.blogspot.com/   Pearl Doxsey, “End of the New Covenant” Those not anointed-what benefit now? - http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2013/04/i-received-two-questions-1.html         And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” (Heb.1:6) "Jesus will again, be brought into the world. At that time, the totality of his angels/messengers, will worship him... and be in service to, the Son of Man."  Pearl Doxsey
    • We do have very good reasons, the math for 1914 wouldn't work out otherwise Yes, I think we would laugh. After all, messing around with numbers to "fit something you want it to fit" sounds pretty cultish. When looking at this subject again, in light of Br. Splane's talk about types and antitypes, and how he said that (paraphrased) we have to make sure that when we are talking about types, that they are genuine types, because the word of God says they are puts a whole different slant on it. Then the idea is enforced even further when he says who is to decide if a person or event is a type, if the word of God doesn't say anything about it and he quotes Br. Shroeder: ( We need to exercise great care when applying accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures as prophetic patterns or types if these accounts are not applied in the Scriptures themselves). Therefor reading the account in Daniel 4 without any preconceived ideas, I see these main lessons: verse 17  "This is by the decree of watchers, and the request is by the word of the holy ones, so that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he gives it to whomever he wants, and he sets up over it even the lowliest of men.”  Lesson: (quite self explanatory really) Jehovah can do what he wants because he is the ultimate sovereign. verse 27  "Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you. Turn away from your sins by doing what is right, and from your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor. It may be that your prosperity will be extended". Lesson: Listen to Jehovah and do right, otherwise Jehovah will discipline you. verse 37  “Now I, Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens, because all his works are truth and his ways are just, and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride. Lesson: similar to above, and also proof that Jehovah carries out his discipline.  ---------------- The reasoning put forward as to why this particular chapter of Daniel (4) has greater meaning (paraphrased from WT October 2014) is that the book of Daniel has a central theme, that of God's Kingdom, and keeps pointing forward to the establishment of that Kingdom under the rulership of his Son, Jesus. For example what it says in Daniel 2:44: "“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever.” I can see that Daniel Ch 2 is talking about Neb's. dream of the statue, representing subsequent rulerships, and that during the feet period God's Kingdom will come. In my opinion this is one valid and definite description of when the Kingdom will come. Then Chapters 7 and 8 are full of cryptic beasts, Chapter 9 prophesy about the coming of the Messiah including his cutting off, chapter 11 more cryptic descriptions, this time involving the king of the north and south, and the last chapter (12) the time of the end with Michael standing up. I need an encoder! I must admit, because of my more practical disposition, when we studied the Daniel book, I did not pay enough attention. My son was quite small and I had my hands full, and I can't even remember if we studied it again after that? For example what are these numbers about?: Daniel 12:11  “And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place, there will be 1,290 days. 12  “Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days!" (It's ok, no need to answer, I can look it up myself).   ,Sorry, I was being confusing. I didn't mean 607 was special. I meant what happened when counting 2520 years from that date, I meant that 1914 was a very significant year. (have to go, will carry on later)
    • My daughter would play her album Time After Time, over and over. When I found out that Eva Cassidy had already died when the album came out, it kind of made a few of the songs sound even more "haunting" than they already were.
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