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The ex-Jehovah's Witnesses shunned by their families (BBC report)

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990

Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.

This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the most inexperienced researcher could easily find out the circumstances leading to this serious and scriptural measure by looking at https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/shunning/.
It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.
 

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1 hour ago, Eoin Joyce said:

It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.

Disfellowshipped or disassociated persons do accumulate. And they don't always pine for the day they will be reinstated. Sometimes they go on the attack. When they do, like people anywhere, they play down whatever responsibility they had in favor of how others done them in.

You would think that the BBC would get the accurate scoop on what circumstances can lead to this most extreme form of discipline and what ones cannot. It's not as though the process is hidden.

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5 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990

Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.

This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the most inexperienced researcher could easily find out the circumstances leading to this serious and scriptural measure by looking at https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/shunning/.
It is unlikely that the interviewees would reveal the real reason for their disfellowshipping which would probably cause personal embarrassment, and there is no way that the official organisation would comment or reveal the details of an individual case.
 

While I agree with you to an extent, I also disagree. The point you made about the abusive relationship and skipping the memorial is true for the most part. I would also not expect that type of reaction to those instances. I think the point being made is not actually WHY one is disfellowshippped, but rather the unnecessary reaction by ALL once one is DF'd, even to the extent of family. I've heard of instances of one getting DF'd  for silly reasons, but yet the reaction is the same. The punishment, in my opinion, does not fit the crime. To God, sin is sin and it has only ONE consequence unless you have Jesus' covering. Us as humans are not God and that is also why there are degrees of consequences when breaking the laws of men. To have to live like you have no family because that family is holding to what the gb says instead of the compassion Jesus had, is cruel. 

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6 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Even the highly regarded BBC cannot resist the  temptation to indulge in gutter-press standard reporting when it comes to Jehovah's Witnesses.

This report on the Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping process is rather misleading. It associates the disfellowshipping action with totally unrelated experiences and leaves the impression that this action is taken: 
1. when a person leaves an abusive relationship 
2: when a person does not attend the annual memorial celebration of Christ's death.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a shame because I have relied on the BBC as an excellent source of information on the abuse scandals within the Catholic Church and have usually found their religion section to be reliable.

On the second point, I can state for a fact that most disfellowshippings, on average, take place within a 190-day window after the Memorial. All disfellowshippings take place within a window of time that is either 183 days before or after a Memorial. So the average amount of time between a disfellowshipping and the time of the Memorial is less than 90 days. See what you can do with numbers?

On the first point about leaving an abusive relationship, I would have to admit that this has happened. A few months ago I told the example of my own sister under a different thread. I'll copy it here:

On 3/11/2017 at 9:08 AM, JW Insider said:

This was my sister's experience. She was always told to err on the side of enduring abuse, even if it meant not going for needed treatment at a hospital - for violent abuse. Her husband, my brother-in-law, remained a ministerial servant after at least half-a-dozen complaints. My sister was disfellowshipped for finally "defying" the elders' recommendations and separating from her husband saying she had no intention of ever trying to patch things up with "mildness and submissiveness"

But this was about 35 years ago, and this person in the BBC article is saying that something like this happened much more recently. I have not seen the type of thinking that produced such disfellowshippings in the last couple of decades. I have serious doubts about it.

More seriously, however, a person who leaves the Witnesses for doctrinal reasons is considered very differently from a person who decides not to return to the Witnesses after immorality, improper divorce, or simply drifting farther away from association with the congregation. I have been personally involved in a discussion of a person who decided not to associate for doctrinal reasons, and a discussion of going after him for disfellowshipping came up. The conversation went something like this:

First Elder: "His father says he called us a cult"

Second Elder: "At least he came to the Memorial."

First Elder: "So he probably isn't really that antagonistic."

Second Elder: "Or he's just trying to make his parents think he might come back some day, that he still has a chance."

The conclusion was not to go after him, but watch if he causes any commotion. But if a person really is causing divisions and contentions as an ex-JW or apostate, I'd be just as concerned whether he showed up for Memorial or not. I agree that it has nothing to do with disfellowshipping.

 

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

This is a shame because I have relied on the BBC as an excellent source of information on the abuse scandals within the Catholic Church and have usually found their religion section to be reliable.

The program featuring this report is a sort of British version of those shows in the States that lean to emotion rather than factual and balanced reporting. Maury Povich, Geraldo Rivera, even Jerry Springer come to mind, although there is more "theatre" . You probably have worse shows.

 I can imagine that the reporter involved in this news item had their own agenda regarding the Witnesses. Reporting on the BBC is usually of a much higher standard.

The incidents of disfellowshipping you sketch, whilst historic and different, illustrate how much more goes on behind the scenes in these matters and why this particular BBC report is really of no value other than a sterling example of media prejudice.

I must say that, once again, I am amazed at the level of "weirdness" you appear to have personally encountered over the years. Particularly this incident regarding the disfellowshipping of your sister over what appears to be entirely legitimate grounds for separation is disturbing.

The best part of the disfellowshipping process for me has always been about repentance and reinstatement and I am glad to have been involved in this side of the matter over the years. :)

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2 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

I must say that, once again, I am amazed at the level of "weirdness" you appear to have personally encountered over the years. Particularly this incident regarding the disfellowshipping of your sister over what appears to be entirely legitimate grounds for separation is disturbing.

60 years in 8 different congregations in 3 states can offer up a few anomalies. My sister's experience was actually not so uncommon in the mid-west (Missouri) congregations I grew up in (1964-1976). But I've never personally heard of such things being covered up in the last 20 years. At the time, 1981, the elders seemed more concerned that my sister was going to tell the truth to the hospital staff, and this seemed to be their greatest fear. (Small towns revel in gossip and judgmentalism, so fears of public reproach on the congregation were very real.)

The only truly "weird" disfellowshipping I ever got involved with (and on the "wrong" side, at that)  was that of a 90-year old brother because his friends asked me if I could do something about it, and maybe even help to initiate an appeal. It was the kind of travesty that directly resulted in the loss of several other members of this old brother's congregation, including the couple who asked me if I could get involved.

Yet, I have never directly seen a pedophile case or child abuse case in all my years and congregations. I have not seen an apostasy case since 1984. Immorality, divorce issues, smoking and other youthful indiscretions are the only types of cases I've seen in 30 years, and these have been relatively rare, only one every few years. And, of course, the joyful side of each of these has been the return to normalcy after spiritual encouragement.

What I really hoped to get to in this conversation was to just go ahead and admit that I don't believe we shun properly, most of us anyway. That probably won't surprise anyone. I have no doubt at all, personally, that we overdo it, especially with family-based shunning. I think that shunning should be defined as not inviting disfellowshipped persons into congregation activities (platform teaching, audience comments, public prayer, congregation outings, etc). It has nothing to do with whether we should continue to do good things for any and all persons: enemies, friends, neighbors. We should be able to encourage them, talk to them, hire them, visit them when they are sick, etc., etc. That won't work for every single person in the congregation, especially someone who may have been wronged, but it will work for most.

(I think I ignored the previous conversation on shunning.)

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6 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I think that shunning should be defined as not inviting disfellowshipped persons into congregation activities (platform teaching, audience comments, public prayer, congregation outings, etc).

Might need a bit more detail in view of the scriptural specifics don't you think?

My comment on wierdness was more general than related just to disfellowshipping. Mind you, on reflection, having had similar experience to yourself both in years and exposure (albeit much of it inner-city), I've seen my fair share.

I would add that the level of competency and experience required to judge matters that have such a potentially serious outcome needs careful attention and is something that I was totally unprepared for. This is a particular challenge in areas of rapid growth in numbers where skills and experience gets spread pretty thin.

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On 7/25/2017 at 6:20 PM, JW Insider said:

On the second point, I can state for a fact that most disfellowshippings, on average, take place within a 190-day window after the Memorial. All disfellowshippings take place within a window of time that is either 183 days before or after a Memorial. So the average amount of time between a disfellowshipping and the time of the Memorial is less than 90 days. See what you can do with numbers?

Actually as an afterthought, how do you substantiate this?

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6 hours ago, Gone Fishing said:

Actually as an afterthought, how do you substantiate this?

This was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I was havin' a laugh (or in this case "having a loaf" as one of your UK ads says it.) But here goes:

There are about 365 days in a year. So all disfellowshippings take place between 0 and 365 days after the Memorial. The average amount of time is therefore 365/2, which is 182.5 days. Just to allow for some unpredictable skewing, and to be a little more conservative, and because the word "most" is technically at least 50.0001%, I pretended that the year has two extra weeks, so that the average would be 380/2 which is 190 days.

So it was no different than saying that about half of all disfellowshippings will take place during a six-month period, on average. Saying on average, should make the estimate even a bit more conservative, since some years all of a congregation's disfellowshippings might take place towards Winter, but in other years all of them might take place closer to Summer.

It should always be the case that a disfellowshipping is either 182.5 (or 183) days before or after a Memorial because this will cover the entire year, although I left out the word "on average" here which would have better accounted for the times when one Memorial is in March but the following year's Memorial is in April. Still, if, on average, all events (DF'ing or anything else) take place either 182.5 days before or after a Memorial, then the average amount of days that these events take place on EITHER side of a Memorial is 91.25 days (182.5/2) or 91.375 accounting for leap years. I rounded this to 90 instead of 91.375.**

** In my own experience in about 6 congregations from Californian, Missouri and New York, there is a strong skewing toward summer disfellowshippings, and some of this might even be related to the reminders all the elders get in the "season" of extra shepherding visits encouraged just before the Memorial, and the follow-ups just after. This helps my numbers by a few decimal points, but is unnecessary where I said "average." 

At any rate, after correcting the 90 to 91.375, I stand by these numbers, on average. :D

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      "Sunday, December 30
      Asa’s heart was complete with Jehovah all his life.—1 Ki. 15:14.
      Each of us can examine his heart to see if it is fully devoted to God. Ask yourself, ‘Am I determined to please Jehovah, to defend true worship, and to protect his people from any corrupting influence?’ For example, what if someone close to you has to be disfellowshipped? Would you take decisive action by ceasing to associate with that person? What would your heart move you to do? Like Asa, you can show that you have a complete heart by fully relying on God when you are faced with opposition, even some that may seem insurmountable. You may be teased or ridiculed at school for taking a stand as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or colleagues at work may taunt you for taking days off for spiritual activities or for not often working overtime. In such situations, pray to God, just as Asa did. (2 Chron. 14:11) Remain firm for what you know is right and wise. Remember that God strengthened and helped Asa, and He will strengthen you.
      w17.03 3:6-8 "
      https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/dt/r1/lp-e/2018/12/30
    • By Jack Ryan
      This was a case where in June 1987, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the Witnesses' right to shun those who fail to live by the group's standards and doctrines, upholding the ruling of a lower court.
      http://openjurist.org/819/f2d/875
      Has there been any cases after this, where DF cases went to court? Have there been cases in other countries were DF decisions were challenged and reversed?
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Here in the United States we have Cable TV with such things as "History Channel", "Discovery Channel", "Scifi Channel", and "A&E" the "Arts and Entertainment Channel".  Apparently around November 13 of this year they had a famous (?) TV star, Leah Remini,  who had been a Scientologist since she was eight years old turn Apostate, and she has done at least two TV seasons exposing the ills of the Church of Scientology", do an Expose' of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      I do not watch TV as a rule, and missed it, and I spent a few days looking for it and trying to download a copy.  It was not on YouTube, but I did find it under "Aftermath Jehovah's Witnesses" on the Russian equivalent of YouTube, "Rutube.ru". It would not download with my usual download software, so I had to find a free screen capture software, which took about four hours to get the settings just right, and I was able to download the two hour program from my monitor, as it was playing.
      Therefore, I watched the TV program three times, as I experimented with the settings to get a good screen copy to my hard drive..
      I could see both sides of the program viewpoints presented, and did not find us to be misrepresented in any way whatsoever ... but if there was EVER a clear example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the horror the Governing Body has caused in disfellowshipping the way that it is currently done ... by ripping families apart, and creating  irreparable damage that can never be corrected with reinstatement, was chilling, and puts us in the same class as Scientologists ... which completely disregarding the horror and hardsip, and cruelty without any mercy whatsoever it creates locally, shames Jehovah's Name and Reputation over the whole planet.
      I don't believe there is anything a local Jehovah's Witness could do ... rob a bank ... have a harem ... have sex with horses ... etc., ad nauseum ... that would besmirch Jehovah's name and reputation globally as much as our current blatantly cruel public policies of destroying whole families for the sins of one person.
      I am very glad to have the education I have to know that the TRUTH is still the truth .... even though the 85% drivel has rotted and fermented into rotten sewage.
      Most JWs do NOT have this educational advantage ... so their lives are permanently destroyed.
      I don't expect much from people, and almost NOTHING from groups of people .... so for me, like getting one of those great salads at the Olive Garden Restaurant, and finding a big chunk of solid sewage in it ... I hold my nose, and eat around it.
      This TV Special is global news .... what could I possibly say to the average person that would clear the Name of God, that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, NOT THE TELEVISION PROGRAM, has corrupted by its Pharisaic policies that have real world consequences?
      The exact same thing happened in ancient Israel, and a system that God blessed and supported for a thousand years and more was abandoned by God.
      The exact same thing.
       
       
       
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      CAN A PERSON ... OR SHOULD A PERSON . BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED IN ABSTENSIA?
      Here is the situation .....  a person REPORTED to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses is accused, and NOT convicted ( ... because he is a fugitive from Justice ...) .....

      Apparently he was at one time in a "Position Of Authority", which possibly alludes to his being an  "Elder", and he may have relocated to another State or even another Country. Possibly using an alias.
      The  various Congregation Elders cannot find him, the Society cannot find him, and the U.S. Marshal's Service cannot find him.
      Not having any indication to the contrary ... at least from the information given in the pseudo-Wanted Poster shown above, he is possibly still officially one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Whether he is or not, his bad example raises an interesting  aspect of trying to figure out how the disfellowshipping "system" protocol actually works.
      Can any of the Congregations  he went to disfellowship him without his being present  to answer charges ?
      ... and SHOULD he be?
       
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
      I was a teenager in the 60's,  and I had a good friend that on Scout camping trips I introduced to the Truth, and I was there in NYC at Yankee Stadium when he was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witness. He was a true "straight arrow", and pioneered, always dressed immaculately, and eventually over the years became an Elder.
      One night, at an Elder's Meeting, he announced to the other Elders that he was Jesus Christ, and that his mother was the virgin Mary, and of course he was disfellowshipped.
      He spent several years in private mental institutions until his insurance money ran out, then in a State institution for several years.
      He called me up, and told me the story, and I told him I was the Great Turtleman, and every November, before I hibernated, I rose from the swamp and gave toys to all the good little boys and girls.  I was just pulling his leg, but he was dead serious.
      Later, he was in England, while his wife was trying without success to get him to take his medications, and fell over a balcony at Heathrow Airport and got killed.
      DO  WE STILL  DISFELLOWSHIP  THE  MENTALLY  ILL ?
       
    • 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.
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    • Now I understand why many executives disallow any reports to them longer than one page. They KNOW how easy it is to be hypnotized by many words, which for some, is a finely tuned art form.
    • Lol. Same thoughts here. That is why I posted it, genuinely wondering if anyone really read it when it was first published. But then people did read a lot more 50 years ago...... but then they also might have been clueless and just, like I said, zeroed in on the number 1975, which was a mere 7 years away at the time..... If it's any consolation, I only read to about paragraph 10 😃
    • Nope we can’t blame their lack of inspiration by Holy Spirit on distance.  What they do blame it on, is Jesus.  Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food. w17 February p. 26 In light of this admittance, what is absolutely ironic is the emphasis on “pure language”. It is especially noteworthy that the language that God gives his servants is said to be pure. This is true, not because of grammatical construction, but because it gives evidence of moral and spiritual cleanness. There is no allowance in this language for lying, deceit, or a tricky tongue. Those who speak this language must always speak truth. w91 4/1 p. 24-25 The organization boasts that “pure language” is found in the organization, when at the same time its leaders fail in providing truth.  Jesus did promise to teach his faithful servants “all things”, which would be “perfect spiritual food”.  John 14:26; 1 John 2:27  Since the GB cannot receive it, neither do they receive the “pure language” from God...or anyone who learns from them.        
    • Anna: .... I tried to read all that stuff from the 1968 Watchtower you posted.  I REALLY did. But I concluded that the whole thing could probably be condensed to two short paragraphs, and to read it in it's entirety would probably be fatal to me, from the handful of caffeine tablets I would need to finish it. ...continuing with TTH's comments about John F. Kennedy being the impetus to get mankind to the Moon ..... the thought just occurred to me that with all his foibles, weaknesses, and missteps, ( Bay of Pigs .. what's THAT?), and setting the stage for the Vietnam War, etc., he was sorta like the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, with all their foibles and general cluelessness. What he did RIGHT ... makes up for everything else, with change left over. Same thing.
    • My opening scriptures were Rev 5:9,10.  If you will look again at the WT’s Greek Interlinear, it states that the kings/priests will reign ON the earth.  Do you want to change that truth, Arauna?  If you could only see that a “new creation” is both heavenly and human.  They will serve God in heaven and as the early priests were commissioned to do – teach and serve the people under the direction of their High Priest, Jesus Christ..  Mal 2:7; Rev 1:5,6; 7:15  Can God’s priesthood teach the people if they remain in a spiritual state that the rest of God’s children do not have access to?  Can they say these words and be heard if they are out of contact with God’s future children?... “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And the one who hears, let him say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty, let him come. The one who wants, let him take the water of life freely.”  Rev 22:17 Can “New Jerusalem” prepared as a bride, come down from heaven if it is to remain in heaven?  Rev 22:2 Remember, the “144,000” are the Temple, the Holy City.  They bring God’s Spirit/direction/guidance to His children.   And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with humanity, and he will take up residence with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them.  Rev 21:3 The dwelling of God is the Temple/House of God – 1 Cor 3:16,17; 1 Cor 6:19; Eph 2:20-22 So, his ability to come back to earth has now passed.  Is this what you are saying?  Where are the scriptures that support this?  I have provided scripture that show Jesus returning to the earth. And after he had said these things, while they were watching, he was taken up, and a cloud received him from their sight. 10 And as they were staring into the sky while he was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood by them 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand there lookin] into the sky? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven like this will come back in the same way you saw him departing into heaven!” Acts 1:9-11 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “And let all the angels of God worship him.”  Heb 1:6  I am pretty amazed that Gen 28:12-17 and John 1:51 do not help you see that Jesus will be on the earth in the Kingdom.  I hope you actually read them.  A symbolic stairway in Jacob's vision is set up between heaven and earth.  The descendants of Jacob in Genesis, are “Israel”.  His descendants, the “144,000” inherit the earth.  Jesus referred to the stairway again in John, with his “angel”/messengers “ascending and descending” upon the Son of Man.   An anointed, refined and found faithful can be sealed while on the earth.  Yet even so, their obedience only to Christ must continue until he returns.  1 Cor 1:21,22; Eph 1:13; 4:30 Can you see you are creating a doctrine with no sound basis?  How do you know this?  You speak of unity among all in the organization, yet they are all individuals, both men and women.  You have even in error, designated that the organization's members are the Body of Christ.  But, when it comes the the true anointed Body of Christ you now say there will be no men or women, but clones as your GB portray them, once God's Kingdom arrives.  You are applying two sets of standards, which is hypocrisy.    Yes they do...in heaven.   You can see the slaves however you like, but I detect you looking through the lens of the GB who are telling all JWs lies about the anointed ones.  I see what scripture points out clearly, that the elders have usurped the role of God’s priesthood. Matt 24:15,16; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1-3; 13:6  Revelation’s “Jezebel” feeds God’s servants/slaves lies, and expects gratitude given to an organization, an idol.  Your very words speak their lies. The ancient Jezebel killed the prophets of God (1 Kings 18:13);  today’s “Jezebel” spiritually “kills” any anointed as well as their companions who see truth and reveal “her” lies.  Rev 13:11,14-17 But I have against you that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess,(Rev 13:11) and teaches and deceives my slaves to commit sexual immorality (spiritual harlotry) and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  Rev 2:20 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear, and will produce great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect    
    • One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! Here authors said how some "fulfilled Bible prophecy" showed something. This would mean how WT Society knew at that time what was already fulfilled or it will be. Is this claim really correct? Because they made interpretations about human events and projected their expectations, explained them as Bible prophecies. This was common practice. Another thing, let me remind please what was explanation of "generation" in 1968?  But they knew "something" about 70., what was more important for them :)) .... and it seems how "instructions" (gave from Jesus, and not Jeruzalem GB)  showed themselves as reasonable even from human standpoint. :))
    • After today's WT study I was reminded of how much simpler and clearer we have become. There are still some speculative elements there, but overall its nothing compared to some past WT studies, and although this might be slightly off topic here (but still on topic with regard to "difficult doctrine") I would just like to post one example from 1968. (WT 68/8/15)  Either people were more patient and studious than they are now, or even back then, perhaps only a handful were able to wrap their heads around this study. I will be bold enough to say many may have just heard "end in 1975", and that's it. Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? 1, 2. (a) What has sparked special interest in the year 1975, and with what results? (b) But what questions are raised? WHAT about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion. 2 But wait! How do we know their calculations are correct? What basis is there for saying Adam was created nearly 5,993 years ago? Does the one Book that can be implicitly trusted for its truthful historical accuracy, namely, the Inspired Word of Jehovah, the Holy Bible, give support and credence to such a conclusion? 3. Is the date for Adam’s creation as found in many copies of the Bible part of the inspired Scriptures, and do all agree on the date? 3 In the marginal references of the Protestant Authorized or King James Version, and in the footnotes of certain editions of the Catholic Douay version, the date of man’s creation is said to be 4004 B.C.E. This marginal date, however, is no part of the inspired text of the Holy Scriptures, since it was first suggested more than fifteen centuries after the last Bible writer died, and was not added to any edition of the Bible until 1701 C.E. It is an insertion based upon the conclusions of an Irish prelate, the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656). Ussher’s chronology was only one of the many sincere efforts made during the past centuries to determine the time of Adam’s creation. A hundred years ago when a count was taken, no less than 140 different timetables had been published by serious scholars. In such chronologies the calculations as to when Adam was created vary all the way from 3616 B.C.E. to 6174 B.C.E., with one wild guess set at 20,000 B.C.E. Such conflicting answers contained in the voluminous libraries around the world certainly tend to compound the confusion when seeking an answer to the above questions. 4. What have we learned in our previous study, and, hence, what are we now prepared to do? 4 In the previous article we learned from the Inspired Writings themselves, independent of the uninspired marginal notes of some Bibles, that the seventy years of desolation of the land of Judah began to count about October 1, 607 B.C.E. The beginning of this seventy-year period was obviously tied to its ending, that is, with the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. So with 607 B.C.E. as dependably fixed on our Gregorian calendar as the absolute date of 539 B.C.E. we are prepared to move farther back in the count of time, to the dating of other important events in Bible history. For instance, the years when Saul, David and Solomon reigned successively over God’s chosen people can now be dated in terms of the present-day calendar. 5. What history-making events took place in 997 B.C.E.? 5 At the death of Solomon his kingdom was split into two parts. The southern two-tribe part, composed of Judah and Benjamin, continued to be ruled by Solomon’s descendants, and was known as the kingdom of Judah. The northern ten tribes made up the kingdom of Israel, sometimes called “Samaria” after the name of its later capital city, and were ruled over by Jeroboam and his successors. By our applying the prophetic time period of 390 years found in Ezekiel 4:1-9 with regard to Jerusalem’s destruction the death of Solomon is found to be in the year 997 B.C.E. This was 390 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. ISRAEL’S ERRORS CARRIED 390 YEARS 6, 7. What time periods are referred to in Ezekiel 4:1-9? 6 Notice what is said on this matter by the prophet Ezekiel: 7 “And you, O son of man, take for yourself a brick, and you must put it before you, and engrave upon it a city, even Jerusalem. And you must lay siege against it . . . It is a sign to the house of Israel. And as for you, lie upon your left side, and you must lay the error of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you will lie upon it you will carry their error. And I myself must give to you the years of their error to the number of three hundred and ninety days, and you must carry the error of the house of Israel. And you must complete them. And you must lie upon your right side in the second case, and you must carry the error of the house of Judah forty days. A day for a year, a day for a year, is what I have given you. . . . And as for you, take for yourself wheat and barley and broad beans and lentils and millet and spelt, and you must put them in one utensil and make them into bread for you, for the number of the days that you are lying upon your side; three hundred and ninety days you will eat it.”—Ezek. 4:1-9. 8. When did the carrying of the “error” of the southern kingdom end? 8 This chapter 4 of Ezekiel, was not recounting past historical events but was prophecy of future events. It was telling of the time in the future when the glorious city of Jerusalem would be besieged and its inhabitants taken captive, all of which occurred in 607 B.C.E. So the forty years spoken of in the case of Judah ended in that year. The “error” of the northern kingdom, said to be carried for 390 years, was nearly tenfold greater when compared with the error of Judah carried for 40 years. When, then, did these 390 years end? 9. What indicates the “error” of the northern kingdom also ended in 607 B.C.E.? 9 They were not terminated in 740 B.C.E., when Samaria was destroyed, for the simple fact that Ezekiel enacted this prophetic drama sometime after “the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin,” which would make the termination not earlier than 613 B.C.E., that is, 127 years after the destruction of Samaria by Assyria. (Ezek. 1:2) Since this whole prophetic drama plainly pointed forward to the destruction of Jerusalem, and since both the house of Israel and the house of Judah were in reality one inseparable covenant-bound people, the remnant of whom would not be a divided people upon their return from exile, there is only one reasonable conclusion, namely, the errors of both houses ran concurrently and terminated at the same time in 607 B.C.E. In this way the 70 years of desolation of the land of Judah ended 70 years after the termination of carrying the error of both houses, so that thus a remnant of both houses could return to the site of Jerusalem. 10. So when did the “error” of Israel begin? 10 If the “error of the house of Israel” ended in 607, its beginning, 390 years prior thereto, was in 997 B.C.E. It began the year that King Solomon died and Jeroboam committed error, yes, great error, in that Jeroboam, whose domain was ripped off from the house of David, “proceeded to part Israel from following Jehovah,” causing them “to sin with a great sin.”—2 Ki. 17:21. DATE OF EXODUS, 1513 B.C.E. 11, 12. What other event in man’s history are we now prepared to date, and with the aid of what key text? 11 Looking back into the distant past we see another milestone in man’s history, the never-to-be-forgotten exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, under the leadership of Moses. Were it not for Jehovah’s faithful Word the Bible, it would be impossible to locate this great event accurately on the calendar, for Egyptian hieroglyphics are conspicuously silent concerning the humiliating defeat handed that first world power by Jehovah. But with the Bible’s chronology, how relatively simple it is to date that memorable event! 12 At 1 Kings 6:1 we read: “And it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, that is, the second month, after Solomon became king over Israel, that he proceeded to build the house to Jehovah.” 13, 14. (a) On the Gregorian calendar, in what year did Solomon begin to reign? (b) In what year did he begin the building of the temple? 13 With this information one has only to determine what calendar year Solomon began building the temple, and it is then an easy matter to figure when Pharaoh’s army was destroyed in the Red Sea. 14 “And the days that Solomon had reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel were forty years.” (1 Ki. 11:42) This means that his last full regnal year ended in the spring of 997 B.C.E.* Adding 40 to 997 gives 1037 B.C.E., the year that Solomon began his peaceful reign. He did not begin the temple building, as the account says, until the second month of the fourth year of his reign, which means he had ruled a full three years and one month. Thus subtracting 3 years from 1037 one gets 1034 B.C.E., the year that the building work began. The time of the year was the second month Ziv, that is, April-May. This, the Bible says, was “in the four hundred and eightieth year” after the Israelites left Egypt. 15. (a) Explain the difference between a cardinal and an ordinal number. (b) So when did the Israelites leave Egypt? 15 Anytime we put a “th” on the end of a number, for instance on the number 10, saying 10th, the number is changed from a cardinal to an ordinal number. When one speaks about playing baseball in the tenth inning of the game, it means that nine full innings have already been played, but only part of the tenth; ten innings are not yet completed. Likewise, when the Bible uses an ordinal number, saying that the building of the temple began in the 480th year after the Israelites left Egypt, and when that particular year on the calendar is known to be 1034 B.C.E., then we add 479 full years (not 480) to 1034 and arrive at the date 1513 B.C.E., the year of the Exodus. It too was springtime, Passover time, the 14th day of the month Nisan. HOW LONG SINCE THE FLOOD? 16. How far back in history have we now penetrated, and what are the prospects of probing even deeper? 16 Already with the help supplied by the Bible we have accurately measured back from the spring of this year 1968 C.E. to the spring of 1513 B.C.E., a total of 3,480 years. With the continued faithful memory and accurate historical record of Jehovah’s Holy Word we can penetrate even deeper into the past, back to the flood of Noah’s day. 17. In recounting Israel’s experiences, to what events and to what time period does Stephen refer? 17 Stephen, the first martyred footstep follower of Jesus Christ, referred to what Jehovah said would befall Abraham’s offspring. “Moreover, God spoke to this effect, that his seed would be alien residents in a foreign land and the people would enslave them and afflict them for four hundred years.” (Acts 7:6; Gen. 15:13) Stephen here mentions three of Israel’s past experiences: As alien residents in a foreign land, as people in slavery, and as people afflicted for four hundred years. 18. What argues against the conclusion that these events were separate experiences following one another in consecutive order? 18 It would be a mistake to assume that all three of these experiences were of equal duration, or that they were separate individual experiences that followed one another in consecutive order. It was long after their entrance into Egypt as aliens that they were enslaved, more than 70 years later, and sometime after the death of Joseph. Rather, Stephen was saying that within the same 400-year period in which they were afflicted, they were also enslaved and were also alien residents. 19. How do we know the Israelites were “aliens” before entering Egypt? 19 Please note that, when Stephen said they were “alien residents in a foreign land . . . for four hundred years,” he did not say and he did not mean to imply that they were not alien residents before entering Egypt. So it is a mistake to insist that this text proves the Israelites were in Egypt for four hundred years. It is true that, upon entering Egypt and being presented before Pharaoh for the first time, Joseph’s brothers said: “We have come to reside as aliens in the land.” But they did not say nor did they mean that up until then they had not been alien residents, for on the same occasion their father Jacob, when asked by Pharaoh how old he was, declared: “The days of the years of my alien residences are a hundred and thirty years.” And not only had Jacob spent his whole lifetime as an alien resident before coming to Egypt, but he told Pharaoh that his forefathers before him also had been alien residents.—Gen. 47:4-9. 20. When did these 400 years end, and when did they begin? 20 Since the affliction of Israel ended in 1513 B.C.E., it must have begun in 1913, 400 years earlier. That year would correspond to the time that Isaac was afflicted by Ishmael “poking fun” at him on the day that Isaac was weaned. At the time, Isaac was five years old, and this was long before the Israelites entered Egypt.—Gen. 21:8, 9. 21, 22. Were the Israelites 430 years in Egypt exclusively, and how do certain ancient manuscripts shed light on this point? 21 Well, then, how long were the Israelites down in Egypt as alien residents? Exodus 12:40, 41 says: “And the dwelling of the sons of Israel, who had dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came about at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it even came about on this very day that all the armies of Jehovah went out of the land of Egypt.” 22 Here Ex 12 verse 40 in the Septuagint reads: “But the dwelling of the sons of Israel which they [and their fathers, Alexandrine MS] dwelt in the land of Egypt AND IN THE LAND OF CANAAN [was] four hundred and thirty years long.” The Samaritan Pentateuch reads: “IN THE LAND OF CANAAN and in the land of Egypt.” Thus both of these versions, which are based on Hebrew texts older than the Masoretic, include the words “in the land of Canaan” together with the word “Egypt.” 23. (a) So how long were the Israelites actually in Egypt, and how does Paul confirm this? (b) Explain the difference between the 400 and the 430 years mentioned in the Scriptures. 23 From the time that Abraham entered Canaan until Isaac’s birth was 25 years;* from that time until Jacob’s birth, 60 more years; and after that it was another 130 years before Jacob entered Egypt. All together this makes a total of 215 years, exactly half of the 430 years, spent in Canaan before moving in to Egypt. (Gen. 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9) The apostle Paul, under inspiration, also confirms that from the making of the Abrahamic covenant at the time the patriarch moved into Canaan, it was 430 years down to the institution of the Law covenant.—Gal. 3:17. 24, 25. The Flood began in what calendar year, and how long was this before Abraham entered Canaan? 24 By adding this 430 years to the 1513 it puts us back to 1943 B.C.E., the time when Abraham first entered Canaan following the death of his father Terah in Haran, Mesopotamia. It is now only a matter of adding up the years of a few generations to date the Flood correctly. The figures are given in Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, and may be summarized as follows: From start of Flood To Arpachshad’s birth (Gen. 11:10) 2 years To birth of Shelah (11:12) 35 “ To birth of Eber (11:14) 30 “ To birth of Peleg (11:26) 34 “ To birth of Reu (11:18) 30 “ To birth of Serug (11:20) 32 “ To birth of Nahor (11:22) 30 “ To birth of Terah (11:24) 29 “ To death of Terah in Haran, and Abram’s departure to Canaan at age of 75 (11:32; 12:4) 205 “ Total 427 years 25 Adding these 427 years to the year 1943 B.C.E. dates the beginning of the Deluge at 2370 B.C.E., 4,337 years ago. 6,000 YEARS FROM ADAM’S CREATION 26, 27. (a) How long before the Flood was Adam created? In what year? (b) What indicates that Adam was created in the fall of the year? 26 In a similar manner it is only necessary to add up the following years involving ten pre-Flood generations to get the date of Adam’s creation, namely: From Adam’s creation To birth of Seth (Gen. 5:3) 130 years To birth of Enosh (5:6) 105 “ To birth of Kenan (5:9) 90 “ To birth of Mahalalel (5:12) 70 “ To birth of Jared (5:15) 65 “ To birth of Enoch (5:18) 162 “ To birth of Methuselah (5:21) 65 “ To birth of Lamech (5:25) 187 “ To birth of Noah (5:28, 29) 182 “ To beginning of Flood (7:6) 600 “ Total 1,656 years 27 Adding this figure 1,656 to 2,370 gives 4026 B.C.E., the Gregorian calendar year in which Adam was created. Since man naturally began to count time with his own beginning, and since man’s most ancient calendars started each year in the autumn, it is reasonable to assume that the first man Adam was created in the fall of the year. 28. How does this chronology differ from Ussher’s in regard to Adam’s creation? 28 Thus, through a careful independent study by dedicated Bible scholars who have pursued the subject for a number of years, and who have not blindly followed some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, we have arrived at a date for Adam’s creation that is 22 years more distant in the past than Ussher’s figure. This means time is running out two decades sooner than traditional chronology anticipates. 29. Why be concerned with the date of Adam’s creation? 29 After much of the mathematics and genealogies, really, of what benefit is this information to us today? Is it not all dead history, as uninteresting and profitless as walking through a cemetery copying old dates off tombstones? After all, why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam’s creation than in the birth of King Tut? Well, for one thing, if 4,026 is added to 1,968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E.) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn, since Adam’s creation. That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher’s figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind! ADAM CREATED AT CLOSE OF “SIXTH DAY” 30. What may occur before 1975, but what attitude should we take? 30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years. 31. What do the first two chapters of Genesis disclose? 31 In regard to Adam’s creation it is good to read carefully what the Bible says. Moses in compiling the book of Genesis referred to written records or “histories” that predated the Flood. The first of these begins with Genesis 1:1 and ends at Genesis 2:4 with the words, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth . . . ” The second historical document begins with Genesis 2:5 and ends with Ge verse two of chapter five. Hence we have two separate accounts of creation from slightly different points of view. In the second of these accounts, in Genesis 2:19, the original Hebrew verb translated “was forming” is in the progressive imperfect form. This does not mean that the animals and birds were created after Adam was created. Genesis 1:20-28 shows it does not mean that. So, in order to avoid contradiction between Ge chapter one and chapter two, Genesis 2:19, 20 must be only a parenthetical remark thrown in to explain the need for creating a “helper” for man. So the progressive Hebrew verb form could also be rendered as “had been forming.”—See Rotherham’s translation (Ro), also Leeser’s (Le). 32. What indicates the sixth creative day did not end immediately with Adam’s creation? 32 These two creation accounts in the book of Genesis, though differing slightly in the treatment of the material, are in perfect agreement with each other on all points, including the fact that Eve was created after Adam. So not until after this event did the sixth creative day come to an end. Exactly how soon after Adam’s creation is not disclosed. “After that [Adam and Eve’s creation] God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31) After the sixth creative day ends, the seventh one begins. 33. (a) How do we know the end of the sixth creative day came very soon after Adam’s creation? (b) How does Genesis 1:31 prove the sixth day ended before Adam and Eve sinned? 33 This time between Adam’s creation and the beginning of the seventh day, the day of rest, let it be noted, need not have been a long time. It could have been a rather short one. The naming of the animals by Adam, and his discovery that there was no complement for himself, required no great length of time. The animals were in subjection to Adam; they were peaceful; they came under God’s leading; they were not needing to be chased down and caught. It took Noah only seven days to get the same kinds of animals, male and female, into the Ark. (Gen. 7:1-4) Eve’s creation was quickly accomplished, ‘while Adam was sleeping.’ (Gen. 2:21) So the lapse of time between Adam’s creation and the end of the sixth creative day, though unknown, was a comparatively short period of time. The pronouncement at the end of the sixth day, “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good,” proves that the beginning of the great seventh day of the creative week did not wait until after Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. 1975! . . . AND FAR BEYOND! 34. What has brought about a better understanding of Bible chronology? 34 Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. Major problems in sacred chronology have been straightened out either due to fulfillment of Bible prophecies or by reason of archaeological discoveries or because better Bible translations convey more clearly the records of the original languages. However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?—Ex. 12:1, 2. 35. Why is this no time for indifference and complacency? 35 One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the “day and hour”! 36. What helpful example did the apostles leave us in this regard? 36 Even if one cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be less active? The apostles could not see even this far; they knew nothing about 1975. All they could see was a short time ahead in which to finish the work assigned to them. (1 Pet. 4:7) Hence, there was a ring of alarm and a cry of urgency in all their writings. (Acts 20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) And rightly so. If they had delayed or dillydallied and had been complacent with the idea the end was some thousands of years off they would never have finished running the race set before them. No, they ran hard and they ran fast, and they won! It was a life or death matter with them.—1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1. 37. So what will you be doing between now and 1975? And beyond that, what? 37 So too with Jehovah’s faithful witnesses in this latter half of the twentieth century. They have the true Christian point of view. Their strenuous evangelistic activity is not something peculiar to this present decade. They have not dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah only until 1975. Christians have been running this way ever since Christ Jesus blazed the trail and commanded his disciples, “Follow me!” So keep this same mental attitude in you that was in Christ Jesus. Let nothing slow you down or cause you to tire and give out. Those who will flee Babylon the Great and this Satanic system of things are now running for their lives, headed for God’s kingdom, and they will not stop at 1975. O no! They will keep on in this glorious way that leads to everlasting life, praising and serving Jehovah for ever and ever!     You are referring to Luke 10:17,18 "Then the 70 returned with joy, saying: “Lord, even the demons are made subject to us by the use of your name.” At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven".  But one of the cross references to Satan falling is Revelation 12:7-9   "And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8  but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9  So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him". I wonder why, since as you say we are to understand that it referred to the power Satan had over Jesus and his disciples. In a way no, but I think we are meant to see that the world in general was brought into more of a turmoil than it had been before, with the world warring on a worldwide scale, with lethal weapons capable of total world destruction I am thinking rather than using the word "defeat" (because Satan won't be defeated until after the 1000 years) the purpose of the battle in heaven in 1914 was to cleanse the heavens of his evil presence. Then during Armageddon it will be to bind him and put him in "jail" for a period of time. So no, I don't think there are several stages of defeat.   We are to believe that what changed after the battle in 1914 was the world in general.   Yes indeed. But how fatal would it really be if we ignored Jesus words about not knowing the day or hour?
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