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    Srecko Sostar

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    • By Witness
      I was having a conversation the other day, about the weather patterns happening across the United States.  Beginning again today in the western U.S., flooding rain has presented a potential danger of more destruction to occur in the burned over areas, resulting from the previous two years of massive fires.   
      The earth can benefit from cleansing fires that rid the unruly undergrowth below a forest’s trees, by only removing the thick flammable brush and weeds, as well as downed diseased trees, making way for new growth, new life.  In various state agencies, the practice of “controlled burns” benefits the soil’s fertility and increases wildlife habitat with new sustainable growth. 
       Those trees that experience a cleansing forest fire, grow stronger and green with life.  I have seen the evidence of this type of fire where I live.  When walking through woods, some of the older trees bear the charcoal marks of a past fire from long ago, that still allowed them to stand and reach great heights.     
      However, fires that burn extremely hot, remove all evidence of life.  On earth’s sloping grades -- its hills and mountains -- the land becomes unstable, allowing rainfall of large proportion to wash earth’s soil away.  It moves as a flooding, murky river; which on the California coast, eventually reaches the sea.   
      In the Bible, God’s people under covenant with Him, have been and are, compared to elements in nature. They are referred to as trees, the earth, and mountains/hills.    At the time of the end, a messenger is sent to the anointed remnant– these “living stones”/"trees" of God’s Temple sanctuary. Matt 11:10,14; Luke 1:17; Rev 11:3,4; 1 Pet 2:5,9   
       They are “measured” according to God’s Word, fulfilled in the teachings of Christ. Ezek 40:3,20; Amos 7:7,8; Isa 28:17; Rev 11:1,2; 21:15   
      God said, “IS NOT MY WORD LIKE FIRE?”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and like a hammer that pulverizes rock?”  Jer 23:29 
      “See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His TEMPLE, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,” says the Lord of Hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be able to STAND when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire and like cleansing lye.”  Mal 3:2
      Can you picture this raging “fire” blowing through the forest of “trees”, its intense flames licking at their roots? 
      "And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner." (Rev 11:5) 
      If God’s people submit to the cleansing fire of His Word, allowing their hearts/“ground”/”earth” to be purified of all lies – of all thorns, weeds and thistles -  they will stand firmly rooted in truth. Luke 8:8; John 17:17; Prov 2:1; 2 Thess 2:15; Rom 14:4; Heb 12:6-11  
      They will bear the mark of God, from the necessary refinement needed; to thrive as a faithful priest with roots that grow deep in stable “ground”.    Zech 13:9; Isa 48:10; Col 1:23; Luke 6:45; Deut 11:18; Heb 8:10 
      They become forever part of the immovable mountain of God, Holy Zion, as priests who will administer to Him, and to His Son, as the Bride. As the fulfilled covenant, they will be trees of life, bringing “healing to the nations”, to all of God’s children in the Kingdom. Isa 2:1-3; Ezek 47:12; Rev 22:1,2,17; Mal 2:7 
      “He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.”  Mal 3:3
       Yet, many do not stand up and take notice of the fire raging around them.  They are weak, burdened down by the “thorns and weeds” that have grown over them, infiltrating their heart. Prov 4:19; 1 Cor 3:18; Rev 16:15 They face imminent “fiery” destruction.  2 Pet 3:7,10-13  
      "Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes."   Jer 5:14
      What are they doing wrong?   
      Jesus said, “If you HOLD TO MY TEACHING, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”    John 8:31,32 
      The anointed in the WT have filled their hearts with the words and decrees of men, who have deceived them into accepting their demon-inspired lies. Luke 21:8; Rev 16:13,14   The entire “land” of God has become filled with iniquity, from “Wormwood’s” poisoned waters. (1 Cor 3:9)  Yet, they have become convinced that God will deliver them from all harm.  Jer 6:14  The fiery mark they bear, is that of Revelation’s Beast and its guiding head, the false prophet of Rev. 13:1,2,11-13,16,17. 
      Truth in Christ has set those who submit to God’s refining fire, free of false doctrine, failed and replaced teachings; which are thorns and thistles that choke out the Word of God. Matt 13:7,22   Satan has made sure that escaping this tangled captive environment will be difficult.  “Locust/scorpions” deliver the lies that are planted and watered at the root of trees soon to lose foothold on the pure teachings of truth in Christ. Jer 7:4,8; Ezek 44:6-9; Rev 9:7; Nahum 3:17; Eph 4:25,27; Rev 9:1-3
      Life-giving water can travel throughout an entire tree, beginning at the root.  “Wormwood’s” teachings reach the heart of the anointed, and can slowly choke the “life” from each one.  Jer 17:13; John 4:10; 7:37,38  
      They are allowing false prophets and their “army” to influence and mold their hearts instead of the Father (Phil 1:6; 2:13); leading to weakness and the inability to stand in the day of God’s “fiery” judgment.  Eph 2:10,19-22; Jude 1:15,12,24  
      All of the anointed remnant are exposed to this to this time of testing. 1 Cor 3:13; Mark 9:49,50   All JWs residing with them, are also under its effect.  Matt 24:4,5,24,25,21  
      “I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny justice to the foreigner. They do not fear Me,” says the Lord of Hosts. 
      “Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Hosts.  Mal 3:3-5,7 
      Can you understand, JWs, that it is God’s statutes that have been broken the Watchtower.  Would God make up new statutes other than those He gave us in Christ?  Is another Bible being written by your leaders? 
      “Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances I am teaching you to follow, so that you may live, enter, and take possession of the land YHVH, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you.”  Deut 4:1,2
       There is, among so many, statutes that God has outlined for His priesthood, that the Watchtower has clearly broken.   
      No one is to represent God’s priesthood, but, Wt’s leaders have allowed men not anointed to be your counterfeit priests, which is the elder body. 2 Chron 13:9   
       No one is to “enter” God’s Temple; yet, the elder body has authority to “set itself up” and rules over His priesthood. Ezek 44:6-9; Num 18:7; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 13:5-7  
       We are not to give our allegiance to anything made by men, but JWs dedicate themselves to an earthly organization. Rom 1:25   It rivals the true God in power and authority over YOU.  Spiritual “Israel” and those with them, have become idolaters.  Rev 13:8,4 
        No one is to replace Jesus Christ as the Head of the anointed Body; yet, the GB expects obedience of the anointed priests and YOU, to obey THEM.  Matt 24:24, 48-51; 1 Cor 7:23; Rom 6:16
      There are only two choices for the Called and Chosen Anointed:
      Remain in union with Christ, be refined, and bear fruit for salvation  (John 15:5; Prov 18:20; Heb 13:15; 1 Tim 4:16)
      Or, if they leave Christ (John 15:4,5; Col 2:19), they will eventually have their self-sourced work/doctrines, (OR the rotten fruit of the false prophets whom they follow -Ezek 14:10; Rev 2:23), burned up by the spirit of the truth  (John 5:31; 8:54; 7:18; 15:4,6; 16:13,14)   (Zech 9:4; Rev 14:10).    
      Once the lies we may believe and teach, are exposed and consumed by Truth  (Luke 8:17; John 16:8,13-15; Rev 1:1; 22:6; 1 Cor 3:13)
      we can either humbly be refined by that fire  (Isa 48:10; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:1-3; Jer 9:7; Mark 9:49; 1 Cor 3:13,15; 1 Pet 1:7; Rev 15:2; John 15:3; Mat 7:24) 
      OR, suffer eventual destruction   (Matt 3:12; 13:40; 25:41; 7:26; Luke 3:9; 2 Thess 1:8; Rev 20:9,10,15; 21:8) .  Pearl Doxsey, "Fire From Heaven"
      I remember thinking I had found the truth that would set me free when joining the Wt. organization.  What I “saw” with my eyes and heard with my ears, seemed to be the assured promise of life, until one wicked lie after another began encroaching on my heart.  Failed teachings, and men expecting your obedience to them, and to the idol/organization they promote, is captivity.  The combination cannot sustain life. Col 2:8; Gal 1:10; 2 Tim 2:26 
      What about you, JWs? Do you realize your foothold in Christ’s pure teachings is eroding away at a very rapid pace?  Ps 69:1,2; Jer 2:13     
      There is a mountain of “earth” that is rushing to the sea, being brought down by a flood of lies. Unable to stand when God’s fire culminates, “earth” and its “vegetation”, will be washed down as mud and debris are washed from the side of burned-out slope; soon to be consumed by the sea.  Ezek 6:1-3; Rev 8:7; Matt 24:39   
      “The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain ABLAZE WITH FIRE was hurled into the sea. So a third of the sea became blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”  Rev 8:8,9
      Because of the severe danger in California during this series of rainstorms, concerted efforts are in place to alert people to leave the area of potential landslides due to torrential rains. They are taking this destructive threat very seriously.  Please, listen to the fiery warning that God’s Word carries to all in the Watchtower organization.  Think carefully on what “words” you fill your heart with.  Are they strictly from the Bible, or are they thorns and thistles delivered by poisoned water, that locust/scorpions to make sure to grow thick within your own heart?  Jer 5:31
      Once the counterfeit mountain is “pulverized” by the flaming Word of God,  Mount Zions rises under nourishing rains blessed with life.  Its “trees”/”earth” will be firmly established for eternity.  
       Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. 11 I will rebuke the devourer( meaning:  “perhaps locusts”)  for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the Lord of Hosts. 12 “Then all the nations will consider you fortunate, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of Hosts.
        Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other. The Lord listened and took note, and a scroll of remembrance was written in his presence about those who fear the Lord and honor His name. 17 “They’ll be mine,” says the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, “in the day when I prepare my treasured possession. I’ll spare them, just as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 When you return, you will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, and between the one who serves God and the one who does not.”  Mal 3:16-18
       
       
       
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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I don't believe in life being predestined, preplanned, but some scriptures seem to show otherwise. Or is interpretation wrong ?
      Pauls says at Ephesians 1  3  Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with Christ,b4  as he chose us to be in union with him before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and unblemished before him in love. 5  For he foreordained us to be adopted as his own sons through Jesus Christ, according to his good pleasure and will, ... 
       Foreordained = (of God or fate) appoint or decree (something) beforehand. 
      Now is this correct translation of the scripture or not ? Did God know Adam would sin ? Did God have plans for a 'heavenly class ' 144,000 anyway ?
      My brain can only take in so much at once and although i would have read this a hundred times or more I've only just began to think on this particular scripture. But it made me think on another scripture. 
      Romans 9 v 10 through 13. 
      Not only then but also when Re·bekʹah conceived twins from the one man, Isaac our forefather; 11  for when they had not yet been born and had not practiced anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose respecting the choosing might continue dependent, not on works, but on the One who calls,12  it was said to her: “The older will be the slave of the younger.” 13  Just as it is written: “I loved Jacob, but Eʹsau I hated.”
      ( As a note here I could not find this scripture by searching in JW Org but found it immediately by putting it as a question into google. Google showed BibleHub and there it is. )
      God chose Jacob before Jacob was even born. Why ? How ? Predestination ? Jacob's life pre-planned by God ? 
      There are probably more examples but i think these two serve the purpose. Does God have plans for all of us or only a chosen few ? 
       
    • By Witness
      As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”  Mark 13:1 
      I never realized just how massive and magnificent these stones were, until doing a bit of research.  From their quarrying to their installation, the construction feat of Herod the Great’s temple in Jerusalem still marvels the world.  Cut from a limestone quarry above the ancient Temple Mount, some stones of the temple wall and retaining wall weighed up to 160,000 pounds while many a mere, but still impressive, two tons. Each of these stones is the reversed image of a typical framed piece of art, with a raised flat center and embossed edges, a masonry technique called “ashlar”. The larger of the ashlars are cornerstones weighing up to 80 tons, 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 3 ½ feet tall.  The temple building, fifteen stories tall, was made out of white marble, and embellished with gold.  A hundred sixty-two pillars of grandeur formed from single blocks of white marble, lined the colonnade in the location of the “Royal Porch”.  The historian Josephus remarked that the temple appeared as a shimmering “snowy mountain” in the sunlight.   
      Within the inner court at the location of the altar of sacrifice, the stonework changed to unhewn stones following God’s decrees in Deut 27:4-8 and Exod 20:25 (Dan 2:34; 1 Pet 2:4,5).  At its entrance to the inner court, a stone now housed in the museum in Istanbul has the following inscription concerning foreigners: 
      "Let no foreigner enter within the parapet and the partition which surrounds the Temple precincts. Anyone caught [violating] will be held accountable for his ensuing death."     (Ezek 44:6-9; 2 Chron 13:9)        
      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut+27%3A4-8%3B+Exod+20%3A25%3BDan+2%3A34%3B+1+Pet+2%3A4%2C5%3B+Ezek+44%3A6-9%3B+2+Chron+13%3A9+&version=NIV
      Herod enlarged the footprint of Solomon and Zerubbabel’s earlier accomplishments to around 35 acres. What was his motivating factor for taking on such a tremendous project?  He had established a reputation for enhancing many cities and building pagan temples, but Jerusalem was his capital and thus far, fell behind in works of achievements. Also, his reputation among the majority of the Jews was less than appealing; being known as a brutal tyrant appointed by, and upholding the Roman emperor, although he being a Jew. He heavily taxed the citizens to support his ambitious effort. Building the temple was an act of appeasement as “king of the Jews”, but more so, it appears to be the result of his insatiable desire to build upon his fame and legacy to follow.   
      As Edomites of the lineage of Esau, Jacob’s brother, his family line converted to Judaism in the second century b.c.; yet, Herod’s luxurious life-style and appointment by Rome was unacceptable by the majority of Jews.   On ,the one hand he insisted on Jewish priests to build the temple, but for political advantage he eventually appointed high priests from outside of the traditional Levitical priesthood to serve in the temple – a contradiction of the stone’s writings near the inner court.   
      This man spearheaded what historians call the “Massacre of the Innocents” in his attempt to find and kill, the young Jesus – the “chief cornerstone” of the spiritual Temple of God and a perceived threat to his kingship. Herod, the rebellious hunter acting in the same manner as his Edomite descendants, was obsessed with keeping power at all costs; and it brought about his mental and physical ruin.  Jesus was still a child when he died an excruciating death from chronic kidney disease and its complications.  Matt 2:3,4,7,8,19,20      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+2%3A3%2C4%2C7%2C8%2C19%2C20&version=NIV
      “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”  Mark 13:2 
      Herod’s massive stone legacy was attacked by the Romans and their siege engines, beginning in 66 c.e. and ending with complete destruction of the temple in 70 c.e.  
      Today, we have an intriguing correlation to Herod, his tyranny and his desire to build a legacy in stone, manifested in the leadership of the Watchtower organization.   We see again a spiritual progeny of Esau (Edom) building “Jehovah’s Mountain”, which is taught as the avenue for “God’s people” to stream in from the desolate places of Christendom.  Mal 1:4;Obad 1:2-4; Jer 49:4; Heb 12:15-17; Rev 8:10,11     https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mal+1%3A4%3BObad+1%3A2-4%3B+Jer+49%3A4%3B+Heb+12%3A15-17%3B+Rev+8%3A10%2C11+++&version=NIV
      Wt 55/12/15  In great numbers the inhabitants of the isles are hearing the call of the Right Shepherd, Jesus Christ, as they hasten to flee to Jehovah’s mountainlike ORGANIZATION. 
      Would the chief cornerstone of God’s SPIRITUAL Temple call individuals to a deceiving stone imagery, under the pretense of offering “peace and security”? John 18:36; Rev 13:1,4-8,15;1 Thess 5:1-3   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+18%3A36%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C4-8%2C15%3B1+Thess+5%3A1-3&version=NIV
      The woman at the well in John 4 commented: 
      “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”  “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father NEITHER ON THIS MOUNTAIN NOR IN JERUSALEM 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers MUST worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  John 4:20-24
      JWs, please consider the Watchtower 2016 No. 2 pp. 8-10 comment on these scriptures:
       “The Jewish temple was a tangible structure at a specific geographic location. But spirit and truth are not material, nor are they limited to any physical place. Thus, Jesus was explaining that true Christian worship WOULD NOT BE CENTERED IN OR DEPENDENT ON ANY MATERIAL STRUCTURE OR PHYSICAL LOCATION, whether Mount Gerizim, the temple in Jerusalem, or any other sacred place.”
      Now, notice the brief quip from this video about assembly halls entitled, “Caring for Centers of Pure Worship”:
      “The assembly hall is an educational center.  This is A CENTER OF PURE WORSHIP for all the congregations that come. Taking care of JEHOVAH’S HOUSE is part of sacred service, even going back to the temple everyone had an assignment.  They had someone open the doors, of course they also had someone maintaining things.”
      (Please read 1 Chron 23:28 to see who “everyone” refers to) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chron+23%3A28+&version=NIV
      In an off-handed way, Watchtower’s gathering places are compared to the early temple, as places of “sacred service” in “Jehovah’s House”.  The only “house” sanctioned by God since the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple, is the anointed Body of Christ where spiritual sacred service is to be carried out by his priesthood. 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22; 1 Cor 3:9; Heb 3:6; 1 Pet 4:17; Rom 12:1; 2 Cor 9:12,13  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Eph+2%3A20-22%3B+1+Cor+3%3A9%3B+Heb+3%3A6%3B+1+Pet+4%3A17%3B+Rom+12%3A1%3B+2+Cor+9%3A12%2C13++&version=NIV
      In this video, Wt. is basically telling JWs to forego their previous remark, and maintain “Herod’s” impressive buildings and pagan “shrines”.  The organization has a large portfolio of them, as did Herod the Great.
      We can see a grim future for the anointed “living stones”/priesthood of the Temple of God residing under the spiritual progeny of Esau. Gen 25:30-33; Rev 17:7,12,13,18   Using their labor force, including all JWs, Watchtower’s “Herods” have built their TEMPLE IDOL, leaving God’s priesthood/stones misplaced and scattered unidentifiably, throughout the organization.  Masked tyranny is one of the trademarks of deceit.  It is employed effectively by false ‘kings of the Jews’ to construct not only their idol, but its wall of lies; all the while robbing God of His living stones who fail to join the chief cornerstone and Head of the true Temple, Jesus Christ. Obadiah 1:8-10; Matt 21:42; Acts 4:11,12; 1 Pet 2:7,8  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.25%3A30-33%3B+Rev.17%3A7%2C12%2C13%2C18%3B+Obadiah+1%3A8-10%3B+Matt+21%3A42%3B+Acts+4%3A11%2C12%3B+1+Pet+2%3A7%2C8++&version=NIV
      Herod the Great never blinked an eye when it came to killing his family members if his authority seemed at risk; similarly, the governing body think nothing of it when authorizing their false “Gentile” priesthood, the elder body who “sits” in God’s Temple, to disfellowship - spiritually “kill” - their “fellow slaves”, the chosen anointed priesthood who may challenge both their authority and their teachings.  2 Thess 2:3,4; John 16:2; Matt 24:48-51; Obadiah 1:11; Rev 13:15; Rev 11:3,7   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Thess+2%3A3%2C4%3B+John+16%3A2%3B+Matt+24%3A48-51%3B+Obadiah+1%3A11%3B+Rev+13%3A15%3B+Rev+11%3A3%2C7&version=NIV
      Jesus said, “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. Luke 10:5-7
      Herod hunted down Jesus going house to house wanting to destroy him; similarly today, this sly hunting technique has effectively captured the anointed “firstfruits” into the Beast /organization using basic truth. Once caught, he liberally feeds them lies from the Harlot’s mouth. We know God allows this period of testing by Satan, just as He did with Job. Job 1:12; Luke 22:31; Mal 3:1-4   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+1%3A12%3B+Luke+22%3A31%3B+Mal+3%3A1-4 + &version=NIV
      Watchtower’s counterfeit Zion is doomed to fall.  “Jehovah’s mountainlike organization” and its wall of lies is crumbling quickly and will soon become dust.   Ezek 13:1-16; Zech 4:7;Rev 8:8   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+13%3A1-16%3B+Zech+4%3A7%3BRev+8%3A8+++&version=NIV
      “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
      “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where itdoes not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”  Mark 13:4,14
      As for “Jerusalem”, the city gone apostate, its Temple wall or protective defense of Truth has already been breached by a “Gentile” army, which upholds the Harlot/governing body’s lies. Job 1:10; Ezek 38:10,11,14-16;Rev 9:1,3,4,7 This “Herod” uses his delegated “Gentiles” to trample down the Temple – a Beast that is the very fabric holding the wall of demonic expressions in place. Dan 7:23; Matt 24:15; Rev 16:13,14  When Jesus told his disciples that the stones of the early temple would be thrown down by the Romans, I can imagine how difficult it was to comprehend his words, since its striking beauty and mass appeared invincible; yet it happened.  Over the last 100 or so years, a new “temple” of “hewn stones” and a “wall” of lies with its detestable sacrifices, has grown and surrounded the already scattered and unused “living stones”.  Mal 1:6-8;  Dan 11:31; Isa 28:7,8; Rev 20:7-9     https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+1%3A10%3B+Ezek+38%3A10%2C11%2C14-16%3BRev+9%3A1%2C3%2C4%2C7%3BDan+7%3A23%3B+Matt+24%3A15%3B+Rev+16%3A13%2C14%3B+Mal+1%3A6-8%3B++Dan+11%3A31%3B+Isa+28%3A7%2C8+%3B+Rev+20%3A7-9++&version=NIV
      I hope, JWs, that you can perceive this. 
      Pearl Doxsey:
      “In the first Century, the Temple was already under the dominion of the Romans, before either attack on Jerusalem. So too today (Dan.7:25; Rev.13:7; 9:3,5,10; Matt.5:13).
      The point at which the first assault by the Gentiles occurs today, is when the faithful anointed, are "killed", or, disfellowshipped/expelled (John16:2; Isa.66:5; 2Chron.13:9). This is comparable to the first century, and it's temple's "wall" being breached at the first siege (Isa.5:5; Ps.80:12; 89:40; Prov.24:31). Today, not all of the anointed Temple, are made powerless with this first breach.  That complete collapse of "Jerusalem" is yet to come (Dan.12:7). 
      This "wall" today, (Matt.21:33; Neh.1:3; 2:17) was a defensive boundary (Job1:10) for the "Temple" (1Cor.3:16; 1Pet.2:5; Eph.2:21,22) and all the unsealed priests (both invited leaders and invited followers/Steward and domestics) within it.
      Once the “wall” is initially breached (Rev.8:10,11; 13:1; 9:1,3; Job 30:14) by the spiritual "weapons" the false prophet gives to the Gentiles (deceptive doctrines, lying arrangements, illicit power and false authority Rev.9:1,2,3,7; 13:2,11,12,14,15; 16:13,14; 2Thess.2:9,10; Hosea4:6; Dan.8:24 (Rev.13:12); Luke21:24; Rev.11:1,2),  
      (1st Century-- Matt.27:1,2; John18:30,31; 19:12,15; Luke23:2)

      The previous defensive “wall” no longer protects the invited priests within it (Ec.10:5,6,7; 2Thess.2:4; Ps.82:6). Once the breach expels those who take a stand for truth, the stage is then set for the demise of the ENTIRE temple, ...INCLUDING THE “HARLOT” (Ec.10:8; Isa.47:10; Dan.8:13; 11:13). 

      The second siege is the point after which all have had the opportunity to "flee" apostate Jerusalem. Once you see the faithful trampled upon, you know that "Jerusalem" is "surrounded by encamped armies" of Gentiles, and it is time to FLEE (Luke21:20,21,22).” 
      That time is now, JWs!  Seek the true Mountain of God, the true Zion where Christ is the cornerstone and worship is in “spirit and truth”.  God’ true Temple is His handiwork,(Eph 2:10,20-22; 1 Cor 3:16,17) not the work of men who are obsessed with obtaining your money and slavery to build their temple.  Someone on a forum pointed out the covert meaning behind the chosen address of Warwick’s “Bethel” – 1 Kings Drive. The book of 1 Kings concerns the building of Solomon’s temple; yet the conglomerate temple the GB has built is an IDOL, diverting your attention from the true Temple in God’s anointed priesthood.   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph+2%3A10%2C20-22%3B+1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17&version=NIV
      Watchtower 2017/10 “Today, millions of people worship Jehovah. They are happy to give him their “valuable things,” such as their time, energy, and material resources. In this way, they support Jehovah’s great spiritual temple.”
      Since when does a “spiritual temple” that “WOULD NOT BE CENTERED IN OR DEPENDENT ON ANY MATERIAL STRUCTURE OR PHYSICAL LOCATION,”  need another's "time, energy and material resources”?  (Wt 2016 No. 2)  God’s “valuable things” are his “special possession” (1 Pet 2:5,9) and His faithful sheep who listen strictly to the words of Truth from the cornerstone of His True Temple.    1 Pet 2:7,8; John 13:20    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Pet+2%3A7%2C8%3B+John+13%3A20 + &version=NIV
      “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else."  Acts 17:24-25
      Pearl Doxsey:
      “First the ‘wall’…Then the Entire ‘Temple’”
      “Wall/Christ’s Side”
      4womaninthewilderness
      “The day of the Lord is near
          for all nations.
      As you have done, it will be done to you;
          your deeds will return upon your own head.
      16 Just as you drank on my holy hill,
          so all the nations will drink continually;
      they will drink and drink
          and be as if they had never been.
      17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;
          it will be holy,
          and Jacob will possess his inheritance.
      18 Jacob will be a fire
          and Joseph a flame;
      Esau will be stubble,
          and they will set him on fire and destroy him. (Jer 23:29; 5:14; Rev 11:5; Hos 6:5;1 Cor 3:13)
      There will be no survivors
          from Esau.”
      The Lord has spoken.  Obadiah 1:15-18   
      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jer+23%3A29%3B+5%3A14%3B+Rev+11%3A5%3B+Hos+6%3A5%3B1+Cor+3%3A13&version=NIV
       
       
    • By Witness
      Rev.13:14-18 reads:
      "14 And it (two horned beast-Rev.13:11) misleads those who dwell on the earth,because of the signs that were granted it to perform in the sight of the wild beast, while it tells those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the wild beast that had the sword-stroke and yet revived. 15 And there was granted it to give breath to the image of the wild beast, so that the image of the wild beast should both speak and cause to be killed all those who would not in any way worship the image of the wild beast. (Daniel 3:6; Rev.9:2)
      16 And it puts under compulsion all persons, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, that they should give these a mark in their right hand or upon their forehead, 17 and that nobody might be able to buy or sell except a person having the mark, the name of the wild beast or the number of its name. 18 Here is where wisdom comes in: Let the one that has intelligence calculate the number of the wild beast, for it is a man’s number; and its number issix hundred and sixty-six.


      Leading up to the mystery of 666, are details about the beast that bears this symbol. Bible names themselves, are indicators of the attributes of a name's bearer (Gen.17:5; 35:18; Luke 6:14). (Ben-Oni means "son of my sorrow") Therefore, it is reasonable that the attributes of the beast that we are given in Rev. ch.13, are expressed in this number. It will therefore be helpful to take a closer look at these attributes.


      As indicated by my word emphasis above, I will list those attributes
      of the Wild Beast:

         * Receives backing from one who is misleading (Rev.13:14; 19:20; Dan.8:24)

         * Stands as an idolatrous image (Rev.13:14,8; 2Thess.2:4) (this god is false)

         * "Image" is falsely given life/breath/spirit, so seems a true, 
             spirit-inspired Image / god (Rev.13:15) 
                      (to "give breath" is to imbue with "spirit-direction" -John 20:22)
               (false idols are obviously dead: Psalm 135:15,16,17) The "image of the wild 
               beast" does have "spirit/breath in it's mouth", and "speaks" Rev.13:15). 
               From where did it get this life/"breath"/spirit as a "living" image/god? 
               From the "two-horned" beast! Just as YHWH took from Himself some of 
               the life/spirit within him, and gave it to Adam (Gen.2:7) so too this 
               "two-horned" beast has taken authority ("key" to deception/abyss) 
               to appear to give divine authority and power, from itself,
               to unleash the Wild Beast/"locust-scorpion" collective) as also having
               "divine" authority to speak and kill / power (Rev.9:1-3). 
               The Image of the Beast is not one of wood or stone, 
               but one consisting of living men (Joel 1:6; 2:2,4; Rev.9:8-9; Matt.24:21).

                 Since the "earth" accepts the Image of the Wild Beast as spirit-inspired,
               (due to the "two-horned" beast symbolically breathing upon it),
               then the "earth" has also assumed, that the "two-horned" false prophet
               possesses the power and authority to bestow spirit. It is therefore also   
               assumed as possessing spirit itself, and is therefore viewed as god-like. 
               Such "gods"/"objects of reverence/worship", are the Chosen Ones 
               (2Thess.2:4; John 10:35; 1Cor.3:16). 
               
               The two-horned beast, is an anointed false prophet/witness 
               ("two" horns)**. He is one of the unfaithful, fallen anointed, 
               (Matt.24:48,51; Zech.11:15,16,17) (2Tim.2:20-21; Jer.51:7)
               wicked stewards, who became one of Satan's weeds. 
               (2Pet.3:17; Rev.8:10,11; 9:1; Matt.13:24,36,37,38,39,40,42; 24:48,51). 

               Therefore, this "image" progeny of the "two-horned" beast, is a 
               misleading deceptive tool used by this false prophet (Rev.13:14-15; 19:20).
          -After this image is given life/"breath"/spirit/authority (Rev.9:3), it can "kill" 
               those who do not worship it (Rev.13:15). The collective beast is made up of 
               living representatives of this "image" (Rev.9:3; 13:15), just as the 
               faithful anointed make up (and represent) the body of Christ. 

               As we represent our Lord...the locust-scorpions represent the beast. 
               If anointed ones unwittingly subject themselves to this image, 
               they will not be "killed" (Rev.9:5,6,4), but they also will not get sealed. 
               If they refuse to worship the wild beast, then they will be 
               "killed" (Rev.11:7; 13:15; John 16:2; Zech.11:4-5) 
               and sealed (Rev.15:2; 6:9,11; Mark 8:35; Rom.6:5; Heb.13:13; Matt.25:6).
         -The image enslaves people's minds (2Cor.10:5; Deut.11:18 antithesis) 
               and power 
                (Prov.3:27 "hand"), and makes these obedient to the false prophet's lies. 
                (Rev.13:16; Isa.44:20) (see " MARK  on the Forehead")
         -Unless you are a worshiper of the image of the wild beast, you cannot "buy" 
               or "sell" (Rev.3:18; Matt.25:9,10; Rev.18:11; Isa.24:1,2,3,4;  
                Eze.7:10,11,12,13; Zech.11:4,5)
                (Matt.21:12; Luke 17:28,30; Matt.13:44) This is the spiritual currency of 
               power, devotion, provisions, counterfeit divine approval, authority, and 
               obedience. The wild beast oversees all such "buying" and "selling" 
                (Rev.13:17)
       
      Based upon these attributes of the image of the wild beast, we can now be helped to "calculate" the "number" of the wild beast, which is the tangible reality of the idolatrous "image". We are given two additional clues. It is a "man's number", and it is "666" (Rev.13:18).
       
      The interpretation of Revelation's symbols must be by God in order to be true (Gen.40:8). The only way to access God's interpretation, is through scripture alone (John 17:17; 2Pet.1:20,21; 2Tim.3:15,16,17; Rev.22:18) Only if we let this simple rule guide us, will our understanding (and our "lamp") be bright (Matt.6:22; Matt.25:8).
       
       So then, when we read that the "number" of the wild beast is a "man's number", we must turn to the Bible to find that "man". Since this number represents the traits of the wild beast, it would also represent the traits of this "man" (They both have the same "number" Rev.13:18 and measure up the same to Jehovah.)
      What "man" in the Bible, measures up like the wild beast? In order to know this, we have to review the traits of the wild beast's image.....
          -misleading
          -an idol/"image" that is worshiped
          -seems true
          -receives authority/power/life from fallen anointed.
          -oppresses/"kills"/opposes faithful anointed
          -enslaves people's minds and deeds
          -controls spiritual commerce
       
      Is there a "man" in the Bible who bears all these traits?
      Is he associated with the "Lord's Day", as the wild beast is? (Rev.1:10)
       
      Let's review the traits of the beast, to find this "man".
       
          -misleading: 2Thess.2:3,9,10,11,12
          -an idol that is worshiped: 2Thess.2:4
          -seems true: 2Thess.2:2,9
          -receives authority from fallen anointed: 2Thess.2:2,15; Eze.44:7
          -opposes faithful anointed: 2Thess.2:4,6,15,17 (1Cor.3:16,17; 2Cor.6:16; 
           Eph.2:20,21,22)
          -enslaves people's minds and deeds: 2Thess.2:3,9,10,11,12
          -controls spiritual commerce: 2Thess.2:4,6,7,9
      And finally, is he associated with the "Lord's Day"?  2Thess.2:1,8
      Who is this "Man"?  2Thess.2:3
      This is, the "Man of Lawlessness" (Matt.7:22,23)
       
      Now that we know who the "Man" is, we are half way through our "calculations" (Rev.13:18).
      Our other clue, is that both the wild beast and this man of lawlessness, measure up the same (Amos7:7-8; Isa.28:17; Zech.2:1-2,7; Rev.11:1); and that both their number,is 666.
       
      Can this number be "calculated"/measured/estimated, based upon scripture? Will that number indicate the traits of both the "Man of Lawlessness", and the image of the "wild beast"?
       
      Yes, it can be calculated through scripture. But as indicated, it will require "wisdom" and "intelligence" (Rev.13:18) to do this mathematical calculation. Such wisdom must be given by God (James 1:5).
      We receive our answer in an unexpected place.
      Let's turn to Rev.14:1 and Rev.4:4; 5:8,9,10
       
      The "crowns" upon the 24 elders, are "stephanos" crowns...the sort rewarding those who   "conquer" (Rev.3:11,21).
      The anointed temple (not made with hands) is akin to the pattern given Moses, for the physical temple and priesthood that was made with hands. (Ex.25:9; Heb.8:5;Eph.2:10)
      There were a total of twenty-four heads of families from the tribe of Levi during the days of King David's reign. The regulation of twenty-four courses of priests rotating to minister in the Tabernacle was established in the days when Solomon had the Temple constructed and continued to be observed until the Second Temple was destroyed by Rome in AD 70.
      This appointed order of ministering by rotating among twenty-four priests was commanded by Jehovah. When Aaron received the regulations concerning the duties of the Levites, he wrote them down. Generations later, during the time of King David, the tribe of Levi had grown to twenty-four clans. The heads of these tribes served as priests in the Temple according to God's commandment. (1Chron.24:1,2,3,4,19).
       
      Therefore, these 24 elders in heaven, are representative heads of the 144,000 priests and "12 tribes" of spiritual "Israel" (Rev.7:4; Rom.2:28,29; Gal.3:29;Matt.21:43; John15:5,8; Matt.7:20).
       
      Now it's time to do some "calculating".
      How many of the 144,000 does each "elder" represent?
      The calculation is.....
      144,000 divided by 24, = 6,000.
      So, each elder represents 6,000. 
      Each "witness/head of truth" (Rev.14:5; Isa.43:10,21; 1Pet.2:9) represents and stands for 6,000.
      Why would this be...since each tribe consists of 12,000? (Rev.7:4-8)
      Apparently, this is because there are two representatives (witnesses/heads/elders) over each tribe.
      12tribes X 2witnesses(elders) = 24 elders
      Why would that be?
      Well, the Bible makes this reason clear...
      (2Cor.13:1; Deut.19:15; 17:6; Matt.18:16; 26:60,61,62; Heb.10:28,29; Numbers35:30;1Kings21:10,13; John8:17,18; Rev.11:3)
      Two witnesses are always needed to establish truth. Truth is the entire essence of
      this holy temple priesthood.
      The 144,000 become sharers in the human personification of truth perfected (Rev.14:4,5).
      Every duty these priests perform is based upon this pattern of truth...two witnesses. 
      How does this figure into our "calculation"?
      As we have seen...these conquering priests pattern their dispensing of truth in perfection, and always by means of two witnesses. 
                            (This will be studied in more depth in a future addition to the article
                              about the "Trees of Life", and their monthly "crops" of "fruit".)
      Therefore, these two elders (two witnesses per each tribe), represent 12,000 priests, or one tribe. Yes...the number ascribed two faithful witnesses (or the number for truth), is twelve; or multiples of 12. It is derived from two witnesses. Each witness is represented by six (6+6=12) (144,000 = 12X12)
      (Mark 3:14,15; Luke 22:30; Acts 26:7; James 1:1; John 8:18; 11:9; Acts 1:15;7:8; Rev.7:5-8; 12:1; Rev.21:12,14,16,21; 22:2)
      The entire Kingdom arrangement is based upon truth, two witnesses, and it's symbolic number "12" (6+6).
      I find interesting confirmation, in the fact that God's Word contains 66 books.


      **The fact that the "two-horned" beast has TWO horns like a lamb (Rev.13:11), yet "speaks like a dragon", indicates that it appears to be true witnesses/prophet, who is imitating Christ; 
      but it is really an agent of Satan's lies.
       
      If Truth (two witnesses) is represented by twelve (6+6), then can you see that each single witness is represented by six?
      What if we only had one witness? Would that establish truth?
      (Deut.17:6b; 19:15; John 7:18; 5:31; 8:13,14,18; Num.35:30)    No...one witness is as good as a lie. The number "6", would represent a single, false, witness.
      This is brought out for us when we compare Ezra 2:13 and Neh.7:18. 
      Do you perceive the lesson in those two scriptures? 
      When there is only one witness for a fact, which do we believe? 
      We should not really put faith, in either. Two witnesses with the same story, are needed.
       
      Now that we have calculated the meaning of the number "6", let's return toRev.13:18.
      The number of the wild beast, and the man of lawlessness, is 666.
      Does this interpretation follow through?
      Remember the traits of both the "man", the false prophet, and the "wild beast"?
      (see Rev.13:6,14; 2Thess.2:9,10,11,12)
      All who receive the mark of the beast on their forehead, believe and become slaves to lies.
      (pearl-forehead.blogspot.com)
      All who receive the mark on their right hand, have their willpower enslaved to lies (Isa.44:20; Psalm 144:8,11; Rev.13:16; 2Thess.2:9; 2Tim.3:13; Rev.16:13) 
      They also become false witnesses of false witnesses, as seen in the scripture below.
       
      We do receive confirmation of the meaning of 666, as representing slaves of deception....
       
      Rev.16:13 "And I saw three unclean inspired expressions [that looked] like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty."



      "Three...inspired expressions...expressions inspired by demons". 666
      The only unclean expressions of demons, are lies.
      (2Chron.18:20,21; Rev.16:13; John 8:44)
      Three...a full amount of false witnesses to establish a lie, (2Cor.13:1)
      causing it to prevail (2Chron.18:21; Rev.12:9; Rev.13:8; 2Thess.2:11,12)
      Those three lying witnesses are mentioned here....the "dragon, the wild beast, and the false prophet". Here we see who is behind the lies of the wild beast and man of lawlessness (2Thess.2:9; Rev.13:2). Lies are their wisdom, power, and riches ("gold") (1Kings 10:14; Isa.28:15).
      We must only accept "gold" refined by fire (Rev.3:18) from Christ himself (Matt23:10;John 7:18).

      "FROG-LIKE"
       
      Why are the lies (6's) described as "frog-like"?
      In all creation, the life cycle of frogs is the most evolutionary. The change it's life undergoes from invisible egg to land reptile, is drastic. Without fully knowing about this life cycle, we might think that one stage of it's life is an entirely different species. Yes...the frog starts out barely noticeable. If one gave it's development constant attention, the gradual change would be imperceptible.
      If the tiny "egg" (lie...6) were called "Truth", those enslaved through it's progression would still call the full-grown Frog, Truth.          (6+60+600=666)
      Yes, Satan and these demons know human nature. They have brought about these lies so gradually, that it has gone undetected by those mislead by them. Those who are perishing and enslaved to the wild beast, still feel that these obvious lies, are truth. (Rev.16:13) Their foreheads have been branded like slaves, to lies (1Tim.4:1,2; Rev.13:16).
      No one can "buy or sell" spiritual provisions (Isa.55:2,1; (Rev.21:6;22:17); John 6:27,51; 14:6; Rev.3:18; Deut.11:18,1; 6:8), unless their mind ("forehead") and work/power ("right hand") is branded into slavery by the demonic lies of the Beast (Rev.13:16,17; Isa.44:20), rather than to God's free truths (Deut.6:6,8; John 8:32). It is robbery to enslave others as the cost for spiritual bread (Amos 8:4,5,6; Matt.24:20; Micah 6:10,11;Eze.45:9,10; Prov.11:1; Hosea 12:7,8,14; Zech.5:10,11; Rev.6:5,6;13:17)  (Isa.52:3,5; Rev.13:5,6; 2Thess.2:4). All others who attempt to offer spiritual provisions without cost: (subjection, obedience and worship of the Beast and it's lies), outside the spiritual "commerce" and monopoly of the Beast (Matt.10:8), will be "killed" (Rev.13:15,17; 11:7; 6:9).

      These enslaving, demonic lies will cover the land....just as the plague of frogs did, in Egypt (Exo.8:1,2,3,4,5,6; Rev.16:13,14; Prov.12:17;2Chron.18:20,21,22; Eze.14:9,10; 2Thess.2:9,10,11,12).
      (Rev.18:3,6; Isa.51:21,22,23; Rev.11:2; Jer.25:15; Rev.14:10)
      For those of us who know the Bible's meaning of 666...
      we are not mislead. We can see these full grown lies, for what they really are.
      1Thess.5:4,5,6
      Pearl Doxsey 4womaninthewilderness
       
    • By Witness
      The picture below was posted by a JW on pinterest.  Frequently, the organization warns against idolatry; yet the most diabolical form of idolatry goes unnoticed - reverence given an earthly organization.
      Quote from the Watchtower 05/8/15 p. 31:
      “Jehovah God’s GLORY directly lights up this ORGANIZATION, just as the Shechinah cloud illuminated the Most Holy.” 
      Isa 42:8
      I am YHWH, that is My name;
      I will NOT give my GLORY to ANOTHER
      Or My praise to IDOLS. 
       
       KR Book chapter 20, pp. 209-219:
      “Their work brings PRAISE to Jehovah and his ORGANIZATION.”
      Isa 42:8, again:
      I am YHWH, that is My name;
      I will NOT give my GLORY to ANOTHER
      Or My PRAISE to IDOLS. 
       
      “Little children, keep yourselves from IDOLS. Amen.”  1 John 5:21
       
       
       
       

    • By io.porog
      2 Corinthians 13: 5 "Keep testing whether you are in the faith; keep proving what you yourselves are. Or do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with you? Unless you are disapproved".
       
       
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    • 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?
    • The music video for Lionel Richie's "Hello" directed by Bob Giraldi, attracts attention as it tells the story of a music teacher (played by Lionel Richie) who falls in love with his blind student. "Hello is it me you're looking for?" is quite an insensitive pick up line to use on a blind woman.   Ah, the 80s, when people thought teachers stalking their disabled students was romantic...    
    • Quote @b4ucuhear " For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers " BUT the original teaching by the Bible Students was that the 'superior authorities' was the political rulers. It was fully understood in the first place. So, why was false reasoning used to give false teaching ? Obviously no Holy Spirit involved there. So you cannot say that it was new light or better understanding when it was originally known anyway 
    • “We Must Obey God as Ruler Rather Than Men”  This is something that not sound to me as doctrine. This sound as standpoint. Also we have to take context. Apostle responded with this statement as position on Sanhedrin's command that they must not preaching....about what? Peter and John answered: “We cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.”  Well, this is original context. Some other examples speaking about similar things where JHVH and Jesus' servants refused to do something or have done something. Life has got to be more complexe through centuries, so we have now more explanations and interpretations how should look like today's reality of "obey god rather than man". Even things about education come to be viewed through this sort of glasses. Advice to not going to higher education coming from "spiritual place" as god's instruction through GB. Not obeying counsel/advice/recommendation in this matter is considered as not putting god on first place in life. But contrary, own selfish ambitions. As consequence this could be understand that you listen/obey yourself and not god.  About what JW's of today can making claim as apostles did? What things JW today "have seen and heard"  that make their standpoint so firm to obey god as ruler? They have seen and heard only their faith and beliefs. Because they have not seen and heard nothing similar what apostles or first christians experienced.   And this is good way how system making doctrines that sounds like "the truth". And after some time you will read new articles with similar explanation :))) ... year after year. ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change? Yes, it changes. Because you believe in new, advanced knowledge. "The Truth" should not to be knowledge, but Principle. Because Principle is older than this what we calling "the Truth". Even in JW understanding when they speaking about something that is so firm and deep, unchangeable, they using word "Principle" not word "Truth". Principles in Old Testament, for example, that stood behind some laws of Moses, are visible in New Testament too.  In that context we can talk about Moses Law as "The Truth". Perhaps old Israel people used same or similar wording to describe what they think and feel about God' Words. But this kind of "Truth" and their "Truth" are gone. (Not completely, because we have Israel of today.) So, "The Truth" was changed, even more, with time it had been abandoned gradually by new formed Jew congregations. "Old truth" became useless as sort of knowledge about what, how, when and why to be practiced in daily life. Principles stayed. Love God, love neighbor are most known.
    • ronan keating singing a song from the film notting hill   Keith Whitley - When You Say Nothing at All  
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