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In our path of study of the prophecies, as already seen in various previous articles, we will have come across something that we would not have believed possible.
The understanding of Babylon the Great, as well as that concerning Armageddon, the Jerusalem above or the Heavenly Jerusalem, have indeed constituted great changes in the official understanding of Jehovah's Witnesses.
We can not ignore the chain effects that these "changes of vision" have produced and continue to produce on many other more or less important doctrines.
The author of this blog would like above all to clarify that all the theses presented so far have never been considered inspired or infallible and therefore each reader is invited to make their own evaluations (and maybe to contribute) by comparing and meditating on the Scriptures without any injury.
At the same time, however, the author is equally convinced that the articles showed respect for the Bible and used it as a guide and supreme authority.
Every affirmation, whenever it was possible, was accompanied or confirmed by one or more Scriptures and therefore, although certain arguments went against the official teaching, it was decided to do so in good conscience.
The possible firm conviction of the author as well as certain categorical expressions used are exclusively due to this: the support of the Scriptures - John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Corinthians 10: 4, 5
The article that will be developed now, will also consist of a significant change of vision and we will see how, changing the conditions, real or possible scenarios become real that, until the day before yesterday, we would have considered really far-fetched - Job 42 :2; Mark 10:27
The wisest thing that each of us can do is to evaluate that every thesis presented is really in harmony with the Scripture, and nothing else, without closing up in shell or reshaping the power of God to what we think possible - Mark 12:24 ; Job 38: 4
arma.jpg
What do we know, with certainty, of the battle of Armageddon?
 
 
What do we know about the Armageddon war?
Speaking of the war of the great day of the Almighty God, what do we know for sure? - 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Well, we know that it is not total destruction due to a human war, a solar flare, a meteorite or other Hollywood nonsense - Isaiah 45:18; Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastes 1: 4
We know it is the crucial war in which God takes revenge on his enemies and on the enemies of His people - Psalm 2: 3-6; Sofonia 1:18; Zechariah 2: 8
We also know that it is the occasion when Jehovah is magnified and makes himself known to the nations - Ezekiel 36:22, 23
It is the war that will free His people from oppression and slavery and will finally begin the Millennial Kingdom - Exodus 15: 11-13; Revelation 7:10
These are reliable informations.
For the rest, when it will happen, what means it will use, which scenario will present itself just before the outbreak of this war, etc., only assumptions are made.
One of these assumptions, which seems to have a strict logic, is that the place in Hebrew is called Har-Maghedon, is not a literal place but a situation.
In practice it would be the situation in which all the enemies of God find themselves fighting against His People, wherever they are.
This conclusion seems absolutely logical because how could a war of such proportions, which should encompass all of humanity and therefore billions of people, take place in such a small geographical area?
It is absurd to even think about it.
However, before closing our faculties of perception on any contrary subject we try to consider the following - James 1:19
First of all we have seen that the war between the king of the north and the king of the south, which is a prophecy to come, could greatly reduce the number of people present on earth including their armies - compare Revelation 6: 3, 7, 8
It's a raw topic we would not like to talk about but the prophecies seem clear.
This topic has been dealt with in various previous articles, including the one entitled "Who is the horn that became very great?".
Furthermore, as we saw in the article titled "Which nations disappear in Armageddon?" We know that the war of Armageddon will not destroy all nations and people on the planet.
This war will indeed destroy the satanic system which includes the savage beast, the kings of the earth and their armies - 1 John 3: 8
Seen from this point of view, perhaps the fact that this war can be fought in a specific and relatively restricted place becomes a possibility?
Furthermore it is necessary to make a couple of clarifications.
Har-Magedon, which means "Mountain of Megiddo", is not a specific reference to that "tell" that you see in Volume 1 of the book "Insight" (page 953 in the edition in Italian).
What you see in photography is what remains of ancient Megiddo, a small hill built on 26 layers of ruins of ancient cities.
That is "Megiddo" but where's the mountain?
Since there is no mountain called "Mount of Megiddo" we try to make assumptions without prematurely concluding that the whole argument is symbolic.
Megiddo is located at the entrance of the pass through the chain of Mount Carmel, which overlooks the valley of Esdraelon from the south-west.
So the Mount of Megiddo might be Mount Carmel (compare 1 Kings 18:19, 20, Jeremiah 46:18, Amos 1: 2; 9: 3; Naum 1: 3, 4) and could include all the hilly countryside that surrounds the valley of Megiddo, one hundred kilometers north of Jerusalem, including the valley of Esdraelon.
Space is noticeable, but before assuming any calculation, we try to ask ourselves according to what logic or why the kings of the earth should / could be there.
To a superficial judgment it would seem a stupid thing.
The kings of the earth and their armies will not be able to fight against Christ and his elect (though they will try to - compare Revelation 19:19, 20) and so it is evident that they will take it upon His people.
Why, then, to concentrate in one area of the earth (whatever it is) to try to destroy the people of God if it is found in all the inhabited earth?

we have seen that the earth chosen by God for His people is still the Promised Land and the gathering of Israel will be literal.

The article in part said, "When nations have run out of time, including both the trampling of Jerusalem and the persecution, Armageddon will begin to destroy this beast and all the compact peoples in the fight against the Lamb.
At that moment Jerusalem will have been freed and the people of God, after the necessary period spent in the "inner rooms", will be able to go to that country which is still part of the promise and where in a short time it will begin to flow milk and honey - Isaiah 26: 20 "
What have we seen so far?
We have seen that Babylon the Great is modern apostate Israel but this has to do with the people who occupy it, certainly not with the geographical area which, in itself, can not have merit or guilt - Zechariah 5: 6-8
So, once Israel is liberated from Babylon the Great, Jehovah will bring His people back to that land that bears His name and will be inhabited from generation to generation - Joel 3:20
The crucial question is therefore: will this rallying and consequent exodus to the Promised Land begin after Armageddon or its approach?
Some scriptures suggest that this happens just before the final battle.
How can we say it?
We have seen that during the last war between the king of the north and the king of the south, some nations are able to escape - see Daniel 11:41
The writing mentions Edom, Moab and Ammon and, coincidentally, these are the same nations in which a part of the people of Israel found shelter in the past - compare Psalm 60: 8, 9; Isaiah 16: 4; Jeremiah 40:11
The logical conclusion is that the people of God who survived the war, since they will have to live again Israel now liberated by the Great Whore, are in the vicinity of the Promised Land at least some time before the final battle.
This situation would also be similar to what happened in the past but on a much larger scale.
If the meeting takes place before Armageddon, then it becomes logical and plausible that the "kings of the earth" will gather in the place that in Hebrew is called Har-Maghedon.
This is done to prevent the achievement of the Promised Land (and kill them all at once - compares Psalm 2: 1-6) or simply to kill them once they reach.
This hypothesis makes reasonable not only the literal gathering of kings and armies but also the specific place of the gathering.
Let's try, for a moment, to read Revelation as if it were the first time and as if they had not taught us anything.
The writing says “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 they perform signs,+ and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war+ of the great day of God the Almighty ( ... ) And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon" – Revelation 16:13, 14, 16
Without doing any disquisition on what terms and what it means, the first image that would come to mind are the kings who are gathered together somewhere, is not it?
In fact, the writing says that these frogs "gathered them", which makes one think that these kings are heading towards a specific place.
After all we have never done any disquisitions on the idea that these frogs actually go to the kings of the earth; we have never hypothesized that their "going to" the kings of the earth was symbolic because it is evident that, if these kings live in different and distant nations, these frogs have to go or go towards them.
But we have re-discussed that the kings go somewhere.
So frogs go literally (they must reach these kings) while kings go in a symbolic sense. That is, they do not go anywhere.
The question that would be spontaneous to those who did not know anything about the issues at stake would be ... "Why do the kings of the earth, at the approach of the war, go to the place called Har-Maghedon (whatever place it is)?"
In a war scenario, the answer would become simple: because the object of contention is in that area or near that area.
Any nation that would place its army on the borders of another nation would send a strong and clear message.
He is preparing for the war.
In this case, however, the question does not concern the conquest of the territory of Israel but the extermination of the people who intend to live there - Psalm 2: 1-4
Finally we must distinguish the kings of the earth from their armies.
The writing of Revelation says that only the kings of the earth are gathered at Har-Maghedon.
How many will be the kings of the earth, following their ministers, their officials in various capacities, their bodyguards, etc?
A few thousand?
A few tens of thousands?
Is the entire hilly area of Carmel and the valley of Esdraelon itÂ’s sufficient to accommodate a few tens of thousands of people?
Obviously yes, even only the Carmel.
Where will the armies be and for which aircraft will they be extended?
We do not have a precise answer but we can make some reasoning based on what we know from the scriptures.
The simple distinction, which perhaps few have noticed, between the kings of the earth and their armies, should make every hypothesis fall "of the impossibility of the event" because if the Bible does not specify the area of armies extension they could really be hundreds of millions and even billions of people.
The final battle would take place "around the Mount of Megiddo" for an indefinite area (why could not they cover all of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq for example?) God's people would still be surrounded, the writing would not it would fail and Jehovah would rise above the nations.
So, regardless of all the reasoning we have just made, if the Bible does not specify the extent of the armies deployed against the people of God, all the discourse on the secure symbolic nature of writing lapses or at least is not as reasonable as it initially seemed.
We will try however to "build" the extension of this army only on the basis of what we know and keeping as close as possible so that all the talk will acquire heaviness and it is really the Bible to speak - Romans 3: 4
Regarding the last dominant king described in Daniel chapters 11 and 12 we know that he will place his tents "between the great sea and the holy Mount of the Adornment" - Daniel 11:45
After this event "he will have to come to his end, and there will not be a rescuer for him" and then it is understood that "pitching the tents" is the last action he performs before his final destruction.
We have also seen that the destruction of Babylon the Great (or the nation of Israel) is the prelude to Armageddon and not to the great tribulation.
As a result, the army of the last ruling king should already be present on the territory of Israel before the final battle * (see footnote).
He simply has to wait for all the others to come (it is to be noted, in fact, that the writing which calls for the gathering of the kings of the earth at Har-Maghedon makes no mention of the wild beast. He is not mentioned because he is among the kings or simply because it is already there?).
However, for the moment we do not know whether this immense army will stand as a shield to prevent Israel from entering or whether it will wait for "the people gathered from all the earth" to actually enter the country and then surround it - see for example Joel 3: 9- 12; Nehemiah 6:16; Psalm 44:13; 59: 5, 6; 76:11, 12; 97: 1-3; Jeremiah 1: 14-16; 6:25; 25: 9; Lamentations 1:17
For the moment we can imagine both situations since concepts do not change.
So, to obstruct any access to the coming people, the armies will have to cover Israel at least for its entire length.
Does this seem reasonable to you?
So we have to hypothesize an extension that goes from the Great Sea (the Mediterranean) to the Mount of the Adornment west of Israel and an extension at least similar to the east side of Israel (in terms of width).
So a length at least equal to that of Israel if not more.
What area are we talking about?
We can only make an estimate but a territory equal to twice the current Israel should cover an area of 45 / 50,000 square kilometers.
With this in mind, let us now assume how powerful this army could be.
A site makes a list of the ten most numerous armies (updated to 2015).
This is the list with the respective numbers.
 
CHINA (number of staff: 2.285.000).
UNITED STATES (1.458.000).
INDIA (1.325.000)
NORTH KOREA (1.106.000)
RUSSIA (1.027.000)
TURKEY (666,500)
SOUTH KOREA (639,000).
PAKISTAN (617,000)
IRAN (523,000).
EGYPT (468,000)
 
The total number of staff would be just over ten million people.
We also consider that, as we saw at the beginning, the war between the kings of the north and the king of the south by then will have greatly reduced the numbers and at least a part of the nations listed above may not exist anymore.
For the benefit of the numbers, however, it must be said that in case of conflict the "effective" would not be the only ones to go to war.
The numbers could be greatly underestimated (it is doubtful, in fact, that the official numbers correspond to the real ones).
Finally we must consider that this is the last move of Satan before being thrown into the abyss for a thousand years so he would have every interest in making the armies as numerous as possible.
So we multiply by five these numbers and assume that the final attack includes 50 million armed soldiers to the teeth.
The area we estimated could contain fifty million people?
Yes and fairly well if we consider that these people are not there to live or stay but simply as soldiers waiting to launch a furious attack.
Every soldier would have a living space of about one square meter.
Do you remember the photographs in which Hitler had his huge troops?
In those large gatherings there were probably three or four people every square meter.
hit.jpg
 
In Hitler's huge gatherings there were probably 3 or 4 people per square meter
 
It is evident that we are making assumptions and the estimates, both of the army and of the militarized area, could vary a lot, but the point we want to illustrate is simply one.
Despite the ideas that we made about the war of Har-Magedon, and how they are rooted in us, we can not exclude that the final battle takes place in this geographical area and that it will prove to be the biggest fight in the history of humanity.
Indeed, the scriptures mentioned in support of the argument suggest that this is not simply a possibility.
Any new understanding, however, can make other scriptures harmonious or create forcing.
Forcing should be an indicator that "something is wrong".
What happens with the other scriptures, understanding that the place of the final battle will be a specific and relatively restricted place?
Meanwhile, as we have mentioned, this situation would be very similar to several biblical episodes we know - see for example Exodus 14: 10-14; 2 Kings 18: 19-25
Jehovah would be exalted in the midst of the nations precisely because, not being really all destroyed, the distant peoples and nations would speak of this event with terror and for centuries - compare Joshua 2: 9-11; Deuteronomy 2:25; Psalm 112: 10
Isaiah 63: 1-6 describes Jehovah coming from Edom who, as we have seen, is one of the places where God's people find refuge, and from there he begins to "tread peoples into His wrath."
Psalm 2: 2 describes all the peoples and national groups united "as one man" and this gives the idea that the rulers of the earth, and therefore their armies, are effectively gathered somewhere as one army, a single mass and compact.
Finally (but not "finally" because you will find many other similarities if you want to look for them) suddenly becomes clear why the king of the north is troubled because of news from the east and the north - see Daniel 11:44
So far what have we been told?
In other words ... we have been told that we do not know.
In the book "Pay attention to the prophecies of Daniel" on page 283 (Italian edition) we speak of Gog of Magog (among other things in the understanding that it is Satan the Devil) and paragraph 26 concludes with the words "But what at the end they will contain the news from the east and from the north only God will establish it and time will tell it ".
Instead, understanding the scenario that will be created shortly before the final battle we can guess why this king is so upset.
He sees the people of God, who evidently believed he had eliminated, gathered and on their way to the Promised Land!
Depict the scene.
It is easy to imagine that he understands that there is God, the True God and not the farce built by the false prophet behind all this.
Despite his immense power and his fury, he has not succeeded in eliminating the people of God who are now reaching the Promised Land in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
It is not surprising that this causes great anger in him and comes out "with great fury to annihilate and to vote many to destruction", or the people of God gathered there - Daniel 11:43
And this explains why he "will pitch the tents of his palace between [the] great sea and the holy mount of the Adornment".
Let's take a moment to imagine the scene and see us there, intent on reaching the promised land as the Israelites were in the time of Moses.
Perhaps we may find ourselves imprisoned between the Great Sea and the army or we may be a few kilometers from the border and see "men of extraordinary stature" - Numbers 13:33
Perhaps some of us, seeing such a colossal army, might doubt Jehovah's power or his will to protect us - Isaiah 43:10, 11
Try to imagine how many situations described in the Bible would become the mirror of those last moments of the system of things.
It is not difficult to see the harmony of the Word of God and to understand what will happen if we free ourselves from our conditioning and do not associate the word "impossible" with God.
Is not it a wonderful prospect?
One day, towards the end of the terrifying events that will occur on earth, someone will call us to lead us to the Promised Land, but the journey will be reserved only for those who will understand the prophecy and act accordingly.
Next stop: Israel.
Take the ticket.
Make reservations now.
The forecasts say that the area will be quite crowded.
 
 
Footnote.
The article entitled "1290 and 1335 days" shows a difference of 45 days between trampling on God's people and achieving his "happiness" - see Daniel 12:12
These 45 days could include the time of the gathering of the people of God and the consequent exodus that will lead them to cross the boundaries of the Promised Land.
 
It is necessary to specify that even if the lowering of the waters of the Euphrates has to do with the destruction of these peoples and not simply with the loss of the defenses, this could refer to the peoples that surround Israel and not with Israel - compare Joel 3 : 4
This could mean that the payment of the sixth cup of the angel is not yet the actual destruction of Babylon the Great and therefore the people of Israel might still be alive and active when God's people approach it to "repopulate".
As strange as this may seem, this seems to be in harmony with Revelation 16:19 which says that God would have remembered Babylon "to give it the cup of wine of the fury of his wrath" and by reading the context this happens during or near of the judgment of armageddon - compare Revelation 16:13
Other Bibles translate in a similar way and therefore it would seem evident that when nations gather in Armageddon, God still has to pour his wrath upon Babylon the Great.
If this understanding is correct, when the king of the north "will come out with great fury to annihilate and vote many to destruction" it is possible that in his blinding fury he will strike first the nation that had always been their lover - compare Revelation 18 : 10, 15, 18 (see also Zechariah 14:13, 14)
And obviously this will happen by God's will - Revelation 17:17
This possibility makes very probable the situation in which the people of God are effectively blocked between Israel (still populated) and all the armies of the world.
 

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       17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:17
      Through the sacrifice of his life, Jesus willingly “bought” a people – a “land” of wheat to be threshed as faithful “living stones” of the Temple of God. (1 Pet 2:5,9)  And who also, in the footsteps of Christ, sacrifice their lives to do God’s will.  (Luke 8:15; Matt 13:38; Mark 4:20;1 Cor 3:9) (Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 2:5)
      As the tree of light and life, he has refined a people of strong “trees” on a spiritual “threshing floor” since the first century, to serve with him in God’s Kingdom. (Gen 2:9; John 6:57;8:12; Rev 2:7; 22:14; Matt 12:33; Ezek 47:12; Rev 22:2)   Without this atonement, none of God’s people would have been saved from total destruction. (Luke 21:5,6; Matt 23:38,39;; Acts 3:22,23; John 2:18-21; Acts 3:25; Rom 9:6,7)
      Rev 5:9,10 -  9 And they sang a new song, saying:
      “You are worthy to take the scroll
          and to open its seals,
      because you were slain,
          and with your blood you purchased for God
          persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
      10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
          and they will reign on the earth.”
      1 Pet 2:5,9,10 - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house (“a temple of the Spirit”) to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
      This new Temple is reaching completion, as the remaining anointed are being “sifted as wheat” on that symbolic, spiritual “threshing floor”. Today, the Great Tribulation is the time of threshing the remnant of God’s people “Israel”. (Luke 22:31; Rev 12:1-4,15-17; 16:13,14)  Entering the organization does not lead to a salvaged condition of the heart, as I believe many JWs think so.  Its existence is for one reason only, to incite God’s people to transgress His decrees, primarily by committing idolatry.
      Never did Moses teach that an organization was the source of salvation.
      I, I am YHVH,
      and there is no other Savior but Me.
      I alone declared, saved, and proclaimed—
      and not some foreign god among you.  Isa 43:11,12a
      God’s “Israel” today blindly permit men to lead them in this spiritual adultery, forgetting who “bought” them with his atoning sacrifice. They allow a “foreign god” and “thief” (John 10:10) to persuade their heart in exchanging the truth about salvation, for a lie.  (Ezek 32:8,4; Rom 1:20-22,25; 2 Thess 2:9; Rev 13:11,14,15,8)
      You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Cor 7:23
      “ Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor 6:19-20 
      @Arauna also commented -  “I wait for ideal conditions when Jesus has restored the original purpose of God and given rulership back to Jehovah.”
      Restoration happens now, amidst a plague of “locust/scorpions” (2 Thess 2:9,10; Joel 2:1-5; Rev 9:3,4,7) and famine, resulting from a wicked house steward restricting spiritual provisions to be received from all servants of the House. (2 Chron 15:3; Amos 8:11; Rev 6:5,6,8; 18; 13:17; Isa 55:2) (Luke 12:42-46)
      Not only are God’s holy people committing idolatry, they are valuing the word of men over God’s decrees concerning His Temple, of which they as “living stones” under Christ, have submitted to the rule and judgment of a “Gentile” counterfeit priesthood, as dictated by false “christs”. (2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 13:5-7,11,12; Matt 24:24) They are scattered among all JWs and readily accept their anonymous identity. (Jer 23:2; Lam 4:1,2) Because of all of this, the appearance of an “Elijah”, a role that also John the Baptist fulfilled, is again seen in the “two witnesses” preaching in “sackcloth”.  (Rev 11:3)
      10 And the disciples asked him, saying, “Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And he answered and said, “Elijah indeed is coming, and will restore all things.” Matt 17:10
      This servant of Christ reveals the sins of God’s people and the need to escape the coming destruction, at the hands of the Destroyer. (Rev 11:3,4) (John 10:10)  John preached to the nation of Israel, as do the “two witnesses” of Revelation – to spiritual “Israel”, and those with them. (Matt 10:23; Rev 11:3; 18:4-8)
      The "two witnesses" are “killed” for their witness to Christ’s truth concerning the “abominations standing in God’s “holy place” (Dan 11:31,32,36; Matt 24:15; 2 Thess 2:4; Eccl 10:5-7)
      “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.”  Rev 11:7
      “For you will be excommunicated from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing God a service.” John 16:2
      “It was granted to him (by a false prophet/Beast, Rev 13:11) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Rev 13:7
      “He (that false prophet) was granted power to give breath (direct spirit/”spirit-directed”) to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”  Rev 13:15
      “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”  Matt 9:24
       “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  Luke 21:24
      “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. ]And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”  Rev 11:1,2 
      JWs are taught that the two Beasts of Revelation are found in the world of “Christendom” and politics.  Not so. “Babylon” is the spiritual condition where God’s wayward people exist now, in a haven of confused teachings, resulting in spiritual famine, and idolatry to an organization. (Isa 28:7-15)  The anointed Temple of God is “trampled” by this Beast, the “man of lawlessness”/elder body/counterfeit priesthood that rules over them. (Dan 7:23 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 9:3,4;11:1-3)  These two Beasts, a false prophet and an organization, have been successful in applying pressure and persecution through the use of lying accusations against them, enough to extinguish any light of truth they may hold in their hearts. (Matt 5:14-16; Rev 13:5-7)
      Why do God’s anointed priests tolerate men who dictate how they are to serve God?   It is because these men offer them the captivating false promise that eternal life is achieved through the organization, a promise God and His Son have never made.   (Isa 44:20; Col 2:8; Rev 13:10)
      The Lord, the holy God of Israel,
          the one who shapes the future, says:
      “You have no right to question me about my children
          or to tell me what I ought to do!
      12 I am the one who made the earth
          and created human beings to live there.
      By my power I stretched out the heavens;
          I control the sun, the moon, and the stars.
      13 I myself have stirred Cyrus to action
          to fulfill my purpose and put things right.
      I will straighten out every road that he travels.
          He will rebuild my city, Jerusalem,
          and set my captive people free.
      No one has hired him or bribed him to do this.”
      The Lord Almighty has spoken.  Isa 45:11-13
      Pearl Doxsey
      I have learned from my own experience with Holy Spirit, that Satan has demanded to test all those elected by God (Luke 22:31; 1 Pet 4:12,13). As was the case with Job, God allows this (Job 1:8,9,12,22), that we might prove worthy of the calling (Luke 16:10; Matt 25:14,19,23,29,30;8:12) in the face of Satan's accusations (Job 1:11; 2:5; Zech 3:1; Rev 12:10).
      I was clearly shown in vision, that our time in the WT is a test....
      a great tribulation. The Greek word there, refers to the beating, threshing, crushing, and sifting of wheat by constraint, restraint, and opposition. This time is also referred to as a period of "labor pains", or "pangs of distress".
      2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options") and carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is "no way of escape" ("hemmed in"). (Rev 13:10; Ezek 22:29,28; Isa 5:7; Rev 14:19)

       [By contrast, 4730 (stenoxōría) focuses on the external pressure exerted by external circumstances.]
      Therefore, we are not without explanation as to why we were drawn into the WT. Satan has baited our test with the only thing that draws the chosen.....Bible Truth (Ps 119:103,72;19:9,10).
      The best way to get someone to swallow 1/3 poison, is to put it inside something attractive (Rev 8:10,11; Jer 23:15).
      The decades we spent inside the abyss of the WT was not without purpose (Isa 59:10,19-21; Ezek 14:21-23; Rev 6:8; Prov 17:3). When our loyalty (exclusive devotion) to the God of Truth is finally fully tested…
      …we "wake up" and realize something is wrong, and we must act.
      Despite the anticipated losses, those of faithful heart loyally cling to the God of Truth. Like Christ their exemplar, truth is more precious than our own lives (Mark 8:35). Like Christ, truth is more precious than conformity to those who rule over God's Chosen Nation under test (Matt 23:13).
      (Luke 19:41-46; Rev 13:17,7)

      Only those who make it all the way through the gamut/refining pot/crucible, are sealed as sons/heirs of God's Kingdom (Acts 14:22; Luke 13:23,24;Matt 7:14; 24:13)  
      From Pearl Doxsey, "The Anointed Teaches Truth--How?
       “Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the chaff to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping. Threshing may be done by beating the grain using a flail on a threshing floor. Another traditional method of threshing is to make donkeys or oxen (beasts) walk in circles on the grain on a hard surface.” Wikipedia
      Matt 24:48-51 – “ But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
      Revelation's Beasts are experts at circular reasoning, shaping scripture to fit their doctrines and calling it "truth". Babylon from long ago was destroyed because of idolatry, and foreigners who “entered the holy places of the Lord’s temple”. Jer 51:51-53  Today’s temple “living stones” under the covenant /promise of “Babylon” have apathetically allowed “Gentiles” to walk all over them, which has desecrated God’s Temple in Christ.  (Ezek 44:6-9; Isa 51:23; 1 Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:16,17)  As Pearl brought out, they have fully conformed to the rule of men. Gal 1:10
      Rev 18:4-8 tells God's "saints" and companions to leave this confusion, ("babal") - to leave "Babylon" (the gate of gods).  Many have obeyed this call, desiring to follow the word of God over the word of man.  Matt 13:24-30
      The cry to “come out of her my people” happened then…and is happening now.  Jer 51:45,46; Rev 18:4-8  
        Ephraim herds the wind
          and is pursuing the east wind all day long;
      he multiplies deception and violence
          and he makes a treaty with Assyria,
          and oil is brought to Egypt. Hos 12:1
       A merchant loves to extort
      with dishonest scales in his hands.
      8 But Ephraim thinks,
      “How rich I have become;
      I made it all myself.
      In all my earnings,
      no one can find any iniquity in me
      that I can be punished for!”  7,8
      Ephraim has caused bitter provocation,
          and his Lord will hold him responsible for his crimes
          and pay back to him his insults. Hos 12:14
       When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
      he was exalted in Israel.
      But he incurred guilt through Baal and died. Hos 13:1
      2 Now they continue to sin
      and make themselves a cast image,
      idols skillfully made from their silver,
      all of them the work of craftsmen.
      People say about them,
      “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves.”
      3 Therefore, they will be like the morning mist,
      like the early dew that vanishes,
      like chaff blown from a threshing floor,
      or like smoke from a window.  Hos 13:1-3
      Israel, return to the Lord your God,
      for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
      2 Take words of repentance with you
      and return to the Lord.
      Say to him: “Forgive all our iniquity
      and accept what is good,
      so that we may repay you
      with praise from our lips.
      3 Assyria will not save us,
      we will not ride on horses,
      and we will no longer proclaim, ‘Our gods!’
      to the work of our hands.
      For the fatherless receives compassion in you.”
      4 I will heal their apostasy;
      I will freely love them,
      for my anger will have turned from him.
      5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
      he will blossom like the lily
      and take root like the cedars of Lebanon.
      6 His new branches will spread,
      and his splendor will be like the olive tree,
      his fragrance, like the forest of Lebanon.
      7 The people will return and live beneath his shade.
      They will grow grain
      and blossom like the vine.
      His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
      8 Ephraim, why should I have anything more
      to do with idols?
      It is I who answer and watch over him.
      I am like a flourishing pine tree;
      your fruit comes from me.
      9 Let whoever is wise understand these things,
      and whoever is insightful recognize them.
      For the ways of the Lord are right,
      and the righteous walk in them,
      but the rebellious stumble in them.  Hos 14:1-9
       
       
       
       

    • By Witness
      Except for some time-consuming events, my husband and I have traveled across the heart of the state of Nevada, numerous times per year, for the last fifteen years. It can be a long, lonely jaunt, but with periods of peace. We know where to look for herds of sheep wandering freely without fences, taking their time in maneuvering to a fresh crop of grass on other side of the highway. We’ve witnessed rogue sheepdogs seemingly searching for their flock. We’ve got it down where the elk hang out, the pronghorn, as well as the long straight stretches that we wish would end sooner than they do. I know I’ve seen every sign along that highway; but their appearance doesn’t always register in the brain. During this last trip, one rather small sign took on a different meaning for me. Besides highway markers pointing to the major natural attractions, there are minor signs directing the way to areas such as Fish Creek, Robert’s Creek, Duckwater; and the one that caught my eye on this last journey, Blind Valley. What was someone’s reason for naming it such? Is it a valley hidden from the view of the highway? Was it a land purchase made sight unseen? Most likely, fish are found in Fish Creek, ducks are found at Duckwater. Robert might even be found at Robert’s Creek. Could it be that someone blind, lives in Blind Valley?
      How well the name “Blind Valley” designates a symbolic valley where multitudes within it are found to be spiritually blind - the Bible’s “valley of decision”.
      “Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
      and assemble there.
      Bring down your warriors, Lord!
      12 “Let the nations be roused;
      let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
      for there I will sit
      to judge all the nations on every side.
      13 Swing the sickle,
      for the harvest is ripe.
      Come, trample the grapes,
      for the winepress is full
      and the vats overflow—
      so great is their wickedness!”
      14 Multitudes, multitudes
      in the valley of decision!
      For the day of the Lord is near
      in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:11-14
      During this war of Armageddon, the “abundant” or “great number” found in this valley of decision, have chosen to remain spiritually blind to the truth presented before them. God’s final judgment that they face, involves their choice of teachings derived from anointed ones who speak truth or lies; lasting, good “fruit”, or rotten fruit from bad “trees”; spiritually equipped either with God’s Spirit or that of Satan’s, to battle against their opponent. (Matt 7:20; Eph 6:12-17; Rev 16:13,14;17:14; 19:11)
      The question is, why would someone desire to remain blind to God’s truth, resulting in permanent blindness? (Matt 13:14,15,16; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Tim 4:1,2)
      How does one’s heart become a “weed” during this final harvest? (Matt 13:24-29)
      The following quote may help reveal why. It is taken from an interview with a JW last month, on the organization’s broadcasting channel. He states:
      “The ambitions that I had before, that may have been obtainable, became second place. Now it was to have a simple life, to walk with the organization and to raise my children in the truth”.
      Does this statement portray the general feeling of JWs? I think so, otherwise they would readily accept the choice to leave the organization and serve God without it, and without the repercussion of shunning. Yet, we know doing so, is not a simple decision to accept. (Dan 12:1; Matt 24:21; Rev 9:4-6) It has been made perfectly clear by its leaders, that without “moving ahead” with the organization, eternal life is not possible. (2 Cor 11:4; Col 2:8)
      So, undoubtedly, it is perceived that ‘walking with the organization’ and bearing its brand on one’s mind and heart, equates with walking with God in truth. (Isa 42:8; Jer 2:8; Deut 11:18; Rev 13:4,16) Doing so, keeps the decisions as a faithful member of the organization, “simple”, no matter what fallacies may be taught throughout the years. (Jer 18:15; 2:13)
      The weapon used by Satan in this war of truth against lies, is the organization; constructed with one purpose, to mislead and subsequently persecute the “remaining ones of the woman’s seed”. (Gen 3:15; Dan 11:10; 12:4; 8:15,17; Rev 1:1; 20:7-9)
      A hunter uses camouflage to disguise himself from the prey. A bird hunter also uses decoys to attract the prey into believing he is joining in with his fellow birds. How naive it is, to believe Satan would not also utilize a bait of truth and the tactic of disguise, using elements at his fingertips. This allows him to build a decoy on the grandest scale possible in his realm. (Amos 3:5; Ps 140:4,5; Prov 22:5; Rev 9:3,10)
      He has successfully created a delusion to sift each anointed heart as “wheat”, which our God of justice, allows to occur. (Amos 9:9; 2 Thess 2:10-12) His “ministers of light” call it, “the truth”. (2 Pet 2:2; Rev 13:5,6)
      “sift”: “shake in a sieve”/”inward agitation to try one's faith to the verge of overthrow”
      If we give in to “walking with the organization”, our faith in God has been overthrown – conquered.
      Let’s compare the JWs’s testimony with scripture. To God’s authentic anointed “witnesses”, He declares,
      I, I am YHVH,
      and there is no other Savior but Me.
      I ALONE declared, saved, and proclaimed—
      and not some foreign god among you.
      So you are My witnesses”—
      this is the Lord’s declaration—
      “and I am God.” Isa 43:11,12
      Although he may speak of God, the man interviewed revealed what lies in the deep-seated intentions of his heart. (Matt 15:18,19; Luke 6:45) It is evident that it is idolatry toward an organization.  He believes he cannot obtain eternal life without it.  
      Isa 43:11,12 speaks of a “foreign god”, with a footnote that refers to “foreigners”. There are “foreigners/foreign gods among God’s true “witnesses”, His Temple priesthood. (Jer 2:11) They have secured the priesthood from whom it rightly belongs. (Isa 51:23; Mark 13:14; Rev 11:1,2)
      Their magnified presence signifies the very organization that JWs adhere to. (Exod 20:5; Rev 13:15) It is the elder body, the “Gentile” “man of lawlessness” that opposes “and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thess 2:4; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22)
      Left unchecked, Satan’s ruse would fully “devour Jacob”. (Jer 10:23-25)
      Only a remnant is prophesied to survive. (Isa 10:19; Amos 7:1,2; Rev 9:3,4; 3:18;7:13-15)
      The JW interviewed puts his faith in an organization built by spiritually unqualified men. (Num 18:7; 2 Chron 13:9; Ezek 44:7-9) He has allowed it to trap, rule over, and lead him into serving a “foreign god”.
      “But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block (“to place a trap”) in front of the Israelites: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.” Rev 2:14
      This is an act of blasphemy against YHVH and His decrees concerning His Temple. (Dan 11:31; 1 Cor 3:16,17) If we are to envision this idolatry, it must be our heart’s desire to love God and His decrees, over those of men. (Exod 34:14; 2 Tim 4:3; Tit 1:9)
       
      As each prophet/"tree" bears "fruit"/teachings,
      and this war of words escalates; God foresaw that the ruling wicked would persecute the faithful, on the basis of false doctrines (Matt 24:49; Ezek 38:21; 1 John 3:12; Rev 13:15; 11:3,7; 16:13,14; 17:14; 19:11,14; 6:9,11; John 16:2; Matt 5:11,12; 23:37; Acts 7:52; Rev 11:8; Dan 7:21,23,25; Dan 8:12)
      The faithful retaliate with the sword of God's Word of Truth. (Dan 11:32,33; 2 Cor 10:4,5; 6:7; Heb 4:12; Eph 6:17; Rev 19:19,15,20; 11:5,3,4)
      As this battle between truth and lies occurs, the final harvest/judgment of "fruit"/teachings/words occurs (Matt 12:36,37,34,35; Prov 18:21; Matt 7:17) in the symbolic "valley of decision" (Heb 4:13; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Prov 16:4; Rev 22:12; Dan 7:22).  
      Pearl Doxsey – “What is Armageddon?”
      Should anyone earnestly yearn to know Christ’s authentic truths, they would be granted that understanding. Those who choose to remain in darkness, close-minded to God’s decrees, are among the blind judged in the valley of decision.
       Hades when translated, means "not perceiving". It is the consignment of all those born under sin, and means to be under a blanket of spiritual darkness, ignorance, and confusion. Only those granted light, truth, and understanding, are figuratively rescued from the realm of Hades.

      When Jesus tells us that he has the keys to Hades/Abyss... this means that he has the power and authority to release whom he chooses, from spiritual darkness... and transfer them into his kingdom of light and life (Col 1:13; Luke 8:10) those who are repentant. Jesus also has the authority and power to lock up others... or to leave them there, in ignorance and spiritual darkness (Matt 13:10,11,13-16; Jude 1:13; John 12:35) those hard-hearted who are not repentant. Such ones remain under the authority and power of the Devil (2 Cor 4:4; John 3:18).  
      When Rev 20:1 tells us that the chain of restraint that Jesus possesses is "great"; this points to the ability of Jesus, to prevent understanding and perception among the blind, but proud (John 9:41). When Jesus wraps that symbolic chain around the Devil, and then casts the Devil into the Abyss/Hades... this depicts for us, Satan's blind inability to mislead those whom Jesus rescues from darkness... because it is now Satan who is overcome by the blind confusion of his own realm.
      Jesus also shares his keys to release from the abyss (or bind in chains of ignorance) (Matt 16:19; 18:18), those whom his enlightened brothers judge as repentant (John 20:23) and worthy of the treasures of truth which they are empowered by Jesus, to impart (Matt 10:7,11-14; 7:6).
      Rev 20:1
      Pearl Doxsey
       
      Idolatry among Israel happened continually. (2 Kings 17:9; Judges 10:13-16; Neh 9:26,28; Hos 1:1,2; Jer 2:28; Ps 78:35-37) Today’s spiritual “Israel” and companions in the organization have also blindly fallen into idolatry, by ‘walking with the organization’. It is a “god” possibly not previously known, before dedicating themselves at baptism and serving this god through their necessary, various activities laid out for them by a Harlot/false prophet. (Matt 24:11,12; Luke 21:8; 2 Thess 2:1-3; 2 Pet 2:1-3; Rev 13:11-14,16-18)
      “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a *sign or wonder to you, 2 and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ 3 do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. 4 You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged *rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.” Deut 13:1-5
      The organization appears as an apparent ‘simple’, wide open, welcoming door; yet, it if one chooses to remain blind to its true intention, it will lead to one’s downfall. (Luke 13:22-27; John 10:9,10 )
      “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the *rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of *false miracles, signs, and wonders, 10 and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.” 2 Thess 2:3,9,10
      “Mankind, He has told you what is good
      and what it is the Lord requires of you:
      to act justly,
      to love faithfulness,
      and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
       
      WALKING WITH THE ORGANIZATION CANNOT EQUATE TO WALKING WITH GOD.
      “Take delight in the Lord, and HE will give you your heart’s desires”. Ps 37:4 
       
      Pearl Doxsey, 4womaninthewilderness blogspot –
      “Wheat and Weed Seeds Grow Up Together”
      "Abomination of Desolation"

       
    • Guest
      By Guest
      The Year 2038 problem is an issue for computing and data storage situations in which time values are stored or calculated as a signed 32-bit integer, and this number is interpreted as the number of seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970 (the epoch).[1] Such implementations cannot encode times after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038, a problem similar to but not entirely analogous to the Y2K problem (also known as the Millennium Bug), in which 2-digit values representing the number of years since 1900 could not encode the year 2000 or later. Most 32-bit Unix-like systems store and manipulate time in this Unix time format, so the year 2038 problem is sometimes referred to as the Unix Millennium Bug by association.

      Animation showing how the date would reset, represented as a signed 32-bit integer (at 03:14:08 UTC on 19 January 2038).
      Technical cause
      The latest time that can be represented in Unix's signed 32-bit integer time format is 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038 (231-1 = 2,147,483,647 seconds after 1 January 1970).[2] Times beyond that will wrap around and be stored internally as a negative number, which these systems will interpret as having occurred on 13 December 1901 rather than 19 January 2038. This is caused by integer overflow. The counter runs out of usable digit bits, flips the sign bit instead, and reports a maximally negative number (continuing to count up, toward zero). Resulting erroneous calculations on such systems are likely to cause problems for users and other relying parties.
      Programs that work with future dates will begin to run into problems sooner; for example a program that works with dates 20 years in the future will have to be fixed no later than 2018.
      Early problems
      In May 2006, reports surfaced of an early manifestation of the Y2038 problem in the AOLserver software. The software was designed with a kludge to handle a database request that should "never" time out. Rather than specifically handling this special case, the initial design simply specified an arbitrary time-out date in the future. The default configuration for the server specified that the request should time out after one billion seconds. One billion seconds (approximately thirty-two years) after 9:27.28 pm on 12 May 2006 is beyond the 2038 cutoff date. Thus, after this time, the time-out calculation overflowed and returned a date that was actually in the past, causing the software to crash. When the problem was discovered, AOLServer operators had to edit the configuration file and set the time-out to a lower value.[3][4]
      Players of games or apps which are programmed to impose waiting periods[5] are running into this problem when they attempt to work around the waiting period on devices which harbor the coding, by manually setting their devices (such as the Nexus 7[6]) to a date past 19 January 2038, but are unable to do so, since a 32-bit Unix time format is being used.
      Vulnerable systems
      Embedded systems that use dates for either computation or diagnostic logging are most likely to be affected by the 2038 bug.
      Many transportation systems from flight to automobiles use embedded systems extensively. In automotive systems, this may include anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC/ESP), traction control (TCS) and automatic four-wheel drive; aircraft may use inertial guidance systems and GPS receivers. However this does not imply that all these systems will suffer from the bug. Many such systems will not require access to dates. For those that do, those systems which only track the difference between times/dates and not absolute times/dates will, by the nature of the calculation, not experience a problem. This is the case for automotive diagnostics based on legislative standards such as CARB (California Air Resources Board).[7]
      Another major use of embedded systems is in communications devices, including cell phones and Internet appliances (routers, wireless access points, etc.) which rely on storing an accurate time and date and are increasingly based on UNIX-like operating systems. For example, the bug makes some Android devices crash and not restart when the time is changed to that date.[8]
      Despite the modern 18–24 month generational update in computer systems technology, embedded systems are designed to last the lifetime of the machine in which they are a component. It is conceivable that some of these systems may still be in use in 2038. It may be impractical or, in some cases, impossible to upgrade the software running these systems, ultimately requiring replacement if 32-bit time_t limitations are to be corrected.
      MySQL database's built-in functions like UNIX_TIMESTAMP() will return 0 after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038,[9] though a bug-fix was contributed on 22 March 2017.[10]
      Data structures with time problems
      Many data structures in use today have 32-bit time representations embedded into their structure. A full list of these data structures is virtually impossible to derive but there are well-known data structures that have the Unix time problem:
      file systems (many file systems use only 32 bits to represent times in inodes)
      binary file formats (that use 32-bit time fields)
      databases (that have 32-bit time fields)
      database query languages, like SQL that have UNIX_TIMESTAMP() like commands
      Examples of systems utilizing data structures that may contain 32-bit time representations include:
      COBOL systems of 1970s–1990s vintage that have not been replaced by 2038-compliant systems[citation needed]
      embedded factory, refinery control and monitoring subsystems
      assorted medical devices
      assorted military devices
      Any system making use of data structures containing 32-bit time representations will present risk. The degree of risk is dependent on the mode of failure.
      NTP timestamps
      The Network Time Protocol has a related overflow issue, which manifests itself in 2036, rather than 2038. The 64-bit timestamps used by NTP consist of a 32-bit part for seconds and a 32-bit part for fractional second, giving NTP a time scale that rolls over every 232 seconds (136 years) and a theoretical resolution of 21321 seconds (233 picoseconds). NTP uses an epoch of 1 January 1900. The first rollover occurs in 2036, prior to the UNIX year 2038 problem.
      Implementations should disambiguate NTP time using a knowledge of the approximate time from other sources. Since NTP only works with the differences between timestamps and never their absolute values, the wraparound is invisible as long as the timestamps are within 68 years of each other.
      This means that for NTP the rollover will be invisible for most running systems, since they will have the correct time to within a very small tolerance. However, systems that are starting up need to know the date within no more than 68 years. Given the large allowed error, it is not expected that this is too onerous a requirement. One suggested method is to set the clock to no earlier than the system build date or the release date of the current version of the NTP software. Many systems use a battery-powered hardware clock to avoid this problem.
      Even so, future versions of NTP may extend the time representation to 128 bits: 64 bits for the second and 64 bits for the fractional-second. The current NTP4 format has support for Era Number and Era Offset, that when used properly should aid fixing date rollover issues. According to Mills, "The 64 bit value for the fraction is enough to resolve the amount of time it takes a photon to pass an electron at the speed of light. The 64 bit second value is enough to provide unambiguous time representation until the universe goes dim."[11][note 1]
      Solutions
      There is no universal solution for the Year 2038 problem. Any change to the definition of the time_t data type would result in code compatibility problems in any application in which date and time representations are dependent on the nature of the signed 32-bit time_t integer. For example, changing time_t to an unsigned 32-bit integer, which would extend the range to the year 2106, would adversely affect programs that store, retrieve, or manipulate dates prior to 1970, as such dates are represented by negative numbers. Increasing the size of the time_t type to 64-bit in an existing system would cause incompatible changes to the layout of structures and the binary interface of functions.
      There is also no universal solution for the issue with DVB and ATSC real time transmitted dates due to issues with legacy receivers. The issue has yet to be acknowledged or resolved by either organization. The only workaround would be to discontinue all time-related metadata services such as programming guides and automatic date synchronization after the affected dates. One possible option would be to create new table types for the affected part of the specifications and use ISO 8601 date strings rather than fixed integers—as are used in ISO 9660 and ISO 13346 filesystems.
      Most operating systems designed to run on 64-bit hardware already use signed 64-bit time_t integers. Using a signed 64-bit value introduces a new wraparound date that is over twenty times greater than the estimated age of the universe: approximately 292 billion years from now, at 15:30:08 UTC on Sunday, 4 December 292,277,026,596. The ability to make computations on dates is limited by the fact that tm_year uses a signed 32 bit integer value starting at 1900 for the year. This limits the year to a maximum of 2,147,485,547 (2,147,483,647 + 1900).[12]
      Starting with NetBSD version 6.0 (released in October 2012), the NetBSD operating system uses a 64-bit time_t for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. Applications that were compiled for an older NetBSD release with 32-bit time_t are supported via a binary compatibility layer, but such older applications will still suffer from the Year 2038 problem.[13]
      OpenBSD since version 5.5, released in May 2014, also uses a 64-bit time_t for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. In contrast to NetBSD, there is no binary compatibility layer. Therefore, applications expecting a 32-bit time_t and applications using anything different from time_t to store time values may break.[14]
      Linux uses a 64-bit time_t for 64-bit architectures only; the pure 32-bit ABI is not changed due to backward compatibility.[15] There is ongoing work, mostly for embedded Linux systems, to support 64-bit time_t on 32-bit architectures, too.[16][17]
      The x32 ABI for Linux (which defines an environment for programs with 32-bit addresses but running the processor in 64-bit mode) uses a 64-bit time_t. Since it was a new environment, there was no need for special compatibility precautions.[15]
      Network File System version 4 has defined its time fields as struct nfstime4 {int64_t seconds; uint32_t nseconds;} since December, 2000.[18] Values greater than zero for the seconds field denote dates after the 0-hour, January 1, 1970. Values less than zero for the seconds field denote dates before the 0-hour, January 1, 1970. In both cases, the nseconds (nanoseconds) field is to be added to the seconds field for the final time representation.
      Alternative proposals have been made (some of which are in use), such as storing either milliseconds or microseconds since an epoch (typically either 1 January 1970 or 1 January 2000) in a signed 64-bit integer, providing a minimum range of 300,000 years.[19][20] Other proposals for new time representations provide different precisions, ranges, and sizes (almost always wider than 32 bits), as well as solving other related problems, such as the handling of leap seconds. In particular, TAI64[21] is an implementation of the Temps Atomique International standard, the current international real-time standard for defining a second and frame of reference.
    • By Jack Ryan
      To all naysayers and apologists who say that Jehovah will look at hearts at armageddon and save billions, my own mother believes this.
      This is the october 2019 study Watchtower page 11 paragraph 14. As you can see it makes it crystal clear that ONLY baptized witnesses will survive armageddon.
      14 Read Matthew 28:19, 20. As we conduct Bible studies, we have to try our best to “make disciples . . . , teaching them to observe all the things [Jesus has] commanded.” We need to help people understand how important it is for them to take their stand for Jehovah and his Kingdom. This means trying to motivate people to make the truth their own by applying what they learn, dedicating their life to Jehovah, and getting baptized. Only then will they survive Jehovah’s day.—1 Pet. 3:21.
    • By Witness
      To get to the meaningful core of what Armageddon is about, which is the battle of truth against lies, we look at Israel’s sins of the past.  Today’s spiritual “Israel” comprised of the anointed ones, is also steeped in sin, resulting from a testing delusion put upon them by Satan; a delusion that is passionately called “the truth”.   Luke 22:31; 2 Thess 2:9-12; Rev 13:1,2,11 
      God does expect us to seek Truth.  Ps 25:5; Matt 7:7,8; John 4:23,24; 8:31,32; 14:6 
      Yet, today’s “Israel” is feeding on the lies of their leaders/prophets. Matt 7:15; Acts 20:29; Rev 16:13,14  
      When reading Ezekiel chapter 13, notice that the term “whitewash” helps reveal what is behind the organization’s ‘new light’ label.  Many translations use the phrase, “untempered mortar”, a few say “loose mud”, or “chalk”; all are descriptive of the organization’s attempt to cover over unstable teachings that do not last.  John 15:16,5 
      “untempered mortar” is defined as “whitewash" used to patch a wall, creating the facade of beauty.
      As an example:
      Matt 23:37 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
      Why were these teachers described by Jesus as whitewashed tombs?
      “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  John 8:44-47
      By choosing to deny Christ’s words of truth which offer eternal life, they remained in spiritual darkness, alienated from God and life.
       “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”  John 6:63
      “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” 1 John 1:6
      The battle of truth against lies was evident then, and is now, as it reaches the end point in these last days.  The “two witnesses” (“two “meaning truth – John 8:17) proclaim the revealing message from Christ, while false prophets battle against it, with their lies. Dan 12:9; Rev 1:11; 11:3; 1 John 4:6 
      Ezekiel chapter 13:
      The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish (“wicked”) prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 
      4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. (Lam 5:17,18; Ps 44:19)
       5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. ( Ezek 22:30)
      6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect Him to fulfill their words. (Ps 50:21; Isa 57:11) 
      7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken? (Ezek 22:28; Rev 16:13,14) 
      8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord.9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.  (Rev 13:8)   
      10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,  (Jer 23:13,17; 1 Thess 5:3) 
      11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 
      12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”
      13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. (Ps 18:12,13; Isa 30:30 [Heb 12:1] Ps 147:17,18; Matt 24:30; Rev 11:3,5; Rev 8:7; Matt 7:24,25}  
      14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. (Matt 7:26,27; 1 Cor 3:10,13)  When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.
      15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it,16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’ 
      Pearl Doxsey:
      I have come to appreciate, that "walls" stand for doctrines/teachings. Just as the city wall protects the city from their enemies, so do doctrines defend against threats to faith, but they also offer boundaries to keep a "flock" in an enclosure. My point, is that Ezekiel "dug" a hole in the wall. (Ezek 12:4-7) We know the meaning of "digging" (Prov 2:2-5; Matt 13:44), and when we combine these symbols (digging, wall) I take it as scrutiny of teachings (1 John 4:1; 1 Thess 5:21) which weakens a wall of false doctrine, just as digging holes in a literal wall would. We are told (according to this symbolism) that the "wall" of apostate Jerusalem will fall (see Ezekiel 13:10,11,12,14,15), no matter how much they "whitewash" their teachings.
      I am certain of this connection and meaning of "wall", because the fall of Jericho’s wall is inextricably linked with the "end", and to Revelation (Heb 11:30; Luke 21:20; Josh 6:15,20,8; Rev 8:2,6).
      The "wall" of false teachings will "fall", leaving all those within that city defenseless and conquered. The wall they trusted in will fail them.
      (From “Wall/Christ’s Side” 4womaninthewilderness)
      As a child, I was occasionally assigned to clean the chalk boards after school, using water and a large cloth.  Most children rode the bus home to the far reaches of the farming community I lived in. I was one of the few who walked home from school, which gave me the opportunity to stay longer.  I remember the satisfaction of washing away the day’s writings to reveal a clean board, ready for the new day’s teachings. 
      JWs, from the outset, the organization has added layers and layers of decaying interpretations to its doctrines, like smudged chalk accumulating on a dirty chalkboard. This is the reality behind the organization’s new light philosophy.  In its history, it has never returned to the clean pure truth of Christ’s Word. 
      To understand why God allows his people to submit to this powerful delusion, please see:
       “Who is to Blame?”
      “Spreading Tribulation – Tainted or Tested?”
      “Satan’s Fall”
      4womaninthewilderness blogspot
       

    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Questo è il primo articolo dedicato alle 70 settimane di cui si parla in Daniele 9:24-27. Seguirà un secondo e forse un terzo articolo a conclusione del tema.   Chi ordinò la ricostruzione della città di Gerusalemme e del secondo Tempio? Ciro o Artaserse? Avvenne entro il 515 o nel 455 a.E.V.?     Il titolo di questo articolo avrà forse lasciato perplesso qualcuno. La maggior parte dei testimoni di Geova ma anche appartenenti ad altre confessioni religiose probabilmente si chiederanno che “senso ha” associare la parola “enigma” alla profezia relativa alle 70 settimane. D’altronde non ci troviamo più al tempo di Daniele, non è vero? Qualcuno dirà che per lui, a quel tempo, sia quella che altre profezie a venire furono considerate enigmatiche (confronta Daniele 12:8) ma non per noi oggi! Oggi l’abbiamo capita! Molti diranno che quella profezia si adempì alla perfezione con la venuta del Signore e la distruzione del Tempio di Gerusalemme. È davvero così? Questa sarà senz’altro la parte più difficile da ridiscutere perché considerata in assoluto “la più sicura” interpretazione di tutte. Lo stesso autore di questo blog riconosce di aver avuto questa convinzione. Nel primo articolo dedicato al 1914 (che ovviamente ridiscusse quella data) si faceva un’introduzione proprio relativa alle 70 settimane mostrando “la differenza” tra una e l’altra. In pratica si domandava se la spiegazione del 1914 fosse “altrettanto accurata” come quella delle 70 settimane… . In realtà un esame più accurato rimise presto in discussione quella certezza per cui è arrivato il momento di mettere sul tavolo le varie motivazioni che hanno spinto ad una rilettura. Il lettore è invitato a valutare attentamente queste ragioni, come al solito, basandosi esclusivamente sulla logica Scritturale e non sulla propria educazione religiosa. Prima di far questo confrontiamo attentamente come, le diverse traduzioni bibliche, rendono questi versetti. Riflettendo sulle diverse traduzioni bibliche forse si inizierà a valutare come, l’interpretazione di questa profezia, è ancora oggetto di discussione.   Daniele 9:24-27 nelle diverse traduzioni bibliche   Settanta settimane sono state fissate riguardo al tuo popolo e alla tua santa città, per far cessare la perversità, per mettere fine al peccato, per espiare l'iniquità e stabilire una giustizia eterna, per sigillare visione e profezia e per ungere il luogo santissimo. 25 Sappi dunque e comprendi bene: dal momento in cui è uscito l'ordine di restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme fino all'apparire di un unto, di un capo, ci saranno sette settimane e sessantadue settimane; essa sarà restaurata e ricostruita, piazza e mura, ma in tempi angosciosi. 26 Dopo le sessantadue settimane un unto sarà soppresso, nessuno sarà per lui. Il popolo d'un capo che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine verrà come un'inondazione ed è decretato che vi saranno devastazioni sino alla fine della guerra. 27 Egli stabilirà un patto con molti, per una settimana; in mezzo alla settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta; sulle ali delle abominazioni verrà un devastatore. Il devastatore commetterà le cose più abominevoli, finché la completa distruzione, che è decretata, non piombi sul devastatore"» - Daniele 9:24-27 secondo la Nuova Riveduta   Cominciamo già a vedere qualcosa di interessante che cambia di molto l’intendimento di alcuni. Il versetto 24 parla di “luogo santissimo” e non di “Santo dei Santi” come fa la Traduzione del Nuovo Mondo. Ovviamente anche “Santo dei Santi” (o Santissimo) è corretto perché questa parola può essere tradotta in più modi ma il problema è capire di chi o di cosa si sta parlando. Traducendo “Santo dei Santi” alcuni potrebbero intendere che la profezia riguardi il Cristo, il Messia. Tuttavia bisogna comprendere se lo scrittore si stava riferendo ad una persona o ad un luogo perché il “Santo dei Santi” era la parte più interna del tempio. Insomma era un “luogo”, non una persona. La Nuova Riveduta, infatti, non ha tradotto “il luogo santissimo” a caso. È scontato asserire che questo non è un piccolo particolare perché non cambierebbe solo aspetti marginali della nostra comprensione: cambierebbe tutto il soggetto. Quindi anche il versetto 25 è tradotto in maniera sostanzialmente diversa: la Nuova Riveduta non traduce “IL Messia” ma “un unto, un capo”. Nel prossimo articolo vedremo cosa compare, in effetti, nel testo originale ma di fatto se questa parola tradotta “unto” fosse la stessa che abbiamo usato per Ciro (confronta Isaia 45:1) o per qualsiasi altra persona con un incarico speciale distinguendolo dal Messia, allora è lecito chiedersi cosa abbia spinto il traduttore a tradurre in quel modo. La Scrittura dà modo di ritenere che si stia parlando del Messia (ossia Cristo Gesù) o più semplicemente di un unto, un capo? Andiamo al versetto 26 e troviamo un’altra espressione che crea un’enorme differenza con la TnM. In questa traduzione si legge: “Dopo le sessantadue settimane un unto sarà soppresso, nessuno sarà per lui” mentre la TnM traduce “senza nulla per sé” e anche questo non è un particolare insignificante. Il perché lo vedremo meglio confrontando altre traduzioni ma già si nota che nel primo caso si parla di qualcuno che non avrebbe ricevuto aiuto da nessuno mentre nel secondo di uno che non aveva nulla. Un’altra profonda differenza la troviamo al versetto 27 dove si legge di qualcuno che “stabilirà un patto con molti” mentre la TnM traduce “terrà in vigore il patto per i molti”, cosa che lascia intendere l’esistenza di un patto precedente, senza contare che nella prima versione si capisce bene che è il condottiero di questo popolo distruttore a “stabilire un patto con molti” mentre nella TnM non si capisce se è questo condottiero a farlo oppure il “Messia”. Provate a rileggerle bene e a confrontarle per vedere se le cose stanno così. Ed infine bisognerebbe anche capire chi è “colui che giace desolato” (e cosa significano queste parole) mentre la Nuova Riveduta dice che “la completa distruzione, che è decretata, non piombi sul devastatore". Cominciamo a riflettere su queste differenze.   Adesso leggiamo come la C.E.I/Gerusalemme traduce questi versetti. 24 Settanta settimane sono fissate per il tuo popolo e per la tua santa città per mettere fine all'empietà,
      mettere i sigilli ai peccati, espiare l'iniquità, portare una giustizia eterna, suggellare visione e profezia e ungere il Santo dei santi. 25 Sappi e intendi bene, da quando uscì la parola sul ritorno e la ricostruzione di Gerusalemme fino a un principe consacrato, vi saranno sette settimane.
      Durante sessantadue settimane saranno restaurati, riedificati piazze e fossati, e ciò in tempi angosciosi.
      26 Dopo sessantadue settimane, un consacrato sarà soppresso senza colpa in lui; il popolo di un principe che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine sarà un'inondazione e, fino alla fine,
      guerra e desolazioni decretate. 27 Egli stringerà una forte alleanza con molti per una settimana e, nello spazio di metà settimana, farà cessare il sacrificio e l'offerta; sull'ala del tempio porrà l'abominio della
      desolazione e ciò sarà sino alla fine, fino al termine segnato sul devastatore».   Questa traduzione riporta “principe consacrato” e si capisce bene che i traduttori non hanno ritenuto che esso fosse il Messia (il commentario, infatti, riporta il Sommo Sacerdote al tempo Antioco IV). Inoltre c’è un particolare molto interessante. Questa traduzione non considera affatto 69 settimane come fa la TnM scrivendo “7 settimane e anche 62 settimane” ma divide in due avvenimenti ben distinti. “Da quando uscì la parola sul ritorno e la ricostruzione di Gerusalemme fino a un principe consacrato, vi saranno sette settimane”. Stop. Quindi sta dicendo che dall’annuncio (editto o quello che è) di ricostruzione di Gerusalemme fino all’apparizione di questo “unto consacrato” devono passare 7 settimane. Non stiamo per ora a disquisire se sono settimane di giorni o di anni ma il punto è che scritto in questo modo non si evince affatto che per l’apparizione di questa persona dovevano passare 69 settimane ma solo 7. Come continua la scrittura? “Durante sessantadue settimane saranno restaurati, riedificati piazze e fossati, e ciò in tempi angosciosi”. Quindi è chiaro: secondo questa traduzione dall’annuncio di ricostruire Gerusalemme fino all’apparizione di questo capo passano 7 settimane mentre Gerusalemme viene ricostruita in 62 settimane al termine delle quali questa persona viene soppressa. È davvero così assolutamente chiara questa scrittura e l’interpretazione che abbiamo sempre accettato era “senza difetti” o sta saltando fuori un vero e proprio enigma? Ovviamente qualcuno dirà che la storia ha dimostrato una certa interpretazione mentre avrebbe scartato tutte le altre… ma questo lo vedremo più avanti. Per il momento, per coloro che sono convinti che la traduzione corretta debba essere 7+62, ovvero 69 settimane alla comparsa del Messia, potrebbero chiedersi perché la Scrittura dice che il Messia sarebbe stato soppresso dopo 62 settimane e non dopo 69 (vedi Daniele 9:26 nella TnM). Se la traduzione corretta fosse 7+62, ovvero 69, perché essa non dice che il Messia sarebbe stato soppresso dopo 69 settimane o, al limite, dopo “7+62 settimane”? Ed infine un’altra differenza si trova nel versetto 27 dove si parla “dell’ala del tempio” mentre la TnM traduce “ala di cose disgustanti”. Anche qui la differenza è notevole ma in questo caso potrebbe non esserci un vero contrasto, dal momento che la wt ritiene che si applichi alla distruzione del tempio avvenuta nel 70 E.V.   Passiamo dunque alla traduzione successiva. 24 Settanta settimane sono stabilite per il tuo popolo e per la tua santa città, per far cessare la trasgressione, per mettere fine al peccato, per espiare l'iniquità, per far venire una giustizia eterna, per sigillare visione e profezia e per ungere il luogo santissimo. 25 Sappi perciò e intendi che da quando è uscito l'ordine di restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme fino al Messia, il principe, vi saranno sette settimane e altre sessantadue settimane; essa sarà nuovamente ricostruita con piazza e fossato, ma in tempi angosciosi. 26 Dopo le sessantadue settimane il Messia sarà messo a morte e nessuno sarà per lui. E il popolo di un capo che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine verrà con un'inondazione, e fino al termine della guerra sono decretate devastazioni. 27 Egli stipulerà pure un patto con molti per una settimana, ma nel mezzo della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e oblazione; e sulle ali delle abominazioni verrà un devastatore, finché la totale distruzione, che è decretata, sarà riversata sul devastatore» - Nuova Diodati   Anche la Nuova Diodati ritiene che “il Santo dei Santi” sia in realtà “il luogo santissimo” ma poi anch’essa traduce “Messia” intendendo evidentemente Cristo. Anch’essa traduce “7 settimane e altre 62 settimane” e nel versetto 26 si legge “nessuno sarà per lui” ribadendo il concetto “nessuno che lo aiuti” e non “senza nulla per se”. Ovviamente riconoscendo da un lato che il Santissimo è il luogo più interno del tempio e non una persona ma dall’altro traducendo “Messia” dove altre traduzioni traducono semplicemente unto o capo, sorge la domanda: è il luogo ad essere unto (cioè messo nella condizione giusta) oppure è il Messia?   La versione successiva traduce… 24 Settanta settimane son fissate riguardo al tuo popolo e alla tua santa città, per far cessare la trasgressione, per metter fine al peccato, per espiare l'iniquità, e addurre una giustizia eterna, per suggellare visione e profezia, e per ungere un luogo santissimo. 25 Sappilo dunque, e intendi! Dal momento in cui è uscito l'ordine di restaurare e riedificare Gerusalemme fino all'apparire di un unto, di un capo, vi sono sette settimane; e in sessantadue settimane essa sarà restaurata e ricostruita, piazze e mura, ma in tempi angosciosi. 26 Dopo le sessantadue settimane, un unto sarà soppresso, nessuno sarà per lui. E il popolo d'un capo che verrà, distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine verrà come un'inondazione; ed è decretato che vi saranno delle devastazioni sino alla fine della guerra. 27 Egli stabilirà un saldo patto con molti, durante una settimana; e in mezzo alla settimana farà cessare sacrifizio e oblazione; e sulle ali delle abominazioni verrà un devastatore; e questo, finché la completa distruzione, che è decretata, non piombi sul devastatore' – Luzzi/Riveduta   Isolando i punti che ci interessano vediamo che la Luzzi traduce “un unto”, il quale compare in sette settimane esattamente come traduce la CEI. Con un punto e virgola tra le due espressioni, si capisce che le successive 62 settimane servono per restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme e non hanno nulla a che vedere con l’apparizione di questo unto (che è comparso da un pezzo). Alla fine di queste 62 settimane, ovvero quando ormai Gerusalemme è ricostruita, questo unto viene soppresso. Un’altra differenza importante è che questa traduzione riporta che “è decretato che vi saranno delle devastazioni sino alla fine della guerra” e non “fino alla fine ci sarà guerra” e anche questa è una differenza notevole. Nel primo caso si sta dicendo che la devastazione durerà fino alla fine della guerra (guerra che può essere breve o lunga) mentre nel secondo caso dice che ci sarà guerra “fino alla fine” ovvero fino alla fine del sistema satanico. Probabilmente a questa traduzione si deve la credenza comune che se in Israele c’è sempre guerra è perché era una profezia (anche se bisognerebbe spiegare che guerre ci sarebbero state in Israele quando Israele non esisteva e comunque per quale motivo non c’è sempre stata devastazione). Vi sembrano differenze di poco conto? Prima di “scegliere” una traduzione e scartarne un’altra, dovremmo almeno capire quale criterio seguire. Non sarebbe un po’ troppo facile scegliere quella traduzione che accarezza maggiormente le nostre credenze o le nostre idee preconcette?   Come già accennato, qualcuno però dirà che la storia ha dimostrato quale dovrebbe essere la traduzione più corretta. Non viene però spontaneo chiedersi perché, “se fosse così”, molte traduzioni continuerebbero a tradurre male sapendo com’è andata la storia? Questi traduttori biblici preferiscono negare la storia pur di giustificare le proprie traduzioni o forse la storia non è andata proprio come ci è stato raccontato? Sorvolando temporaneamente queste domande, analizziamo in profondità la spiegazione della Wt e vediamo se è davvero così inattaccabile.   Analizziamo l’interpretazione delle 70 settimane secondo l’intendimento della Watchtower   E’ opportuno, prima di cimentarci nella spiegazione ufficiale della società Torre di Guardia, citare cosa diceva la rivista del 15/02/2014 alle “domande dai lettori”. Segue la citazione. “Nel II secolo alcuni ebrei credevano che le 70 settimane abbracciassero il periodo di tempo che andava dalla distruzione del primo tempio nel 607 a.E.V. a quella del secondo nel 70 E.V.; altri invece pensavano che la profezia si fosse adempiuta durante il periodo dei Maccabei, nel II secolo a.E.V. Quindi, sul calcolo delle 70 settimane non c’era unanimità. Se nel I secolo il calcolo delle 70 settimane fosse stato fatto correttamente, sarebbe lecito pensare che gli apostoli e altri cristiani dell’epoca usassero questa profezia per dimostrare che Gesù Cristo era il promesso Messia e che era arrivato proprio quando era stato predetto. Non ci sono però prove a conferma del fatto che questo è ciò che fecero i primi cristiani. È opportuno mettere in risalto anche un altro fattore. Gli scrittori dei Vangeli spesso menzionarono profezie delle Scritture Ebraiche che si erano adempiute in Gesù Cristo (Matt. 1:22, 23; 2:13-15; 4:13-16). Nessuno di loro, però, associò la comparsa di Gesù sulla terra alla profezia delle 70 settimane. In conclusione, non possiamo affermare con certezza che ai giorni di Gesù si avesse un intendimento corretto della profezia delle 70 settimane. I Vangeli, comunque, forniscono altre valide ragioni per cui il popolo avrebbe dovuto essere “in aspettazione” del Messia”. Fine della citazione.   Riflettiamo attentamente su queste parole. Finché parliamo del II secolo e di persone non approvate da Dio è solo logico pensare che essi non avessero il corretto intendimento di questa o di altre profezie – confronta Daniele 12:9, 10; Matteo 11:25, 26 Tuttavia se parliamo dei discepoli di Cristo, in particolare gli apostoli, i quali predicarono in Israele e altrove per dimostrare che Gesù fosse il Messia promesso, non è strano constatare che tra le tante Scritture che essi menzionarono a riprova dell’identità del Cristo, nessuno mai fece riferimento alle 70 settimane? Eppure sarebbe stata la dimostrazione più forte e incontestabile! Riuscite a trovare un solo discorso degli apostoli o dei primi cristiani che, durante la loro opera di predicazione, citano la profezia delle 70 settimane a riprova che Egli fosse il Messia promesso? La rivista Torre di Guardia qui citata afferma “non possiamo affermare con certezza che ai giorni di Gesù si avesse un intendimento corretto della profezia delle 70 settimane”… e a parte il fatto che si sarebbe dovuto scrivere “non possiamo affermarlo e basta” e non “non possiamo affermare con certezza” c’è un problema più serio da affrontare. Ammettiamo che i primi discepoli di Cristo non avessero una conoscenza completa della Scrittura, come infatti era – confronta Giovanni 16:12 Le stesse domande che essi facevano dimostravano i loro limiti e il loro desiderio di capire – confronta Matteo 15:15, 16 Questa mancanza di conoscenza sarebbe perdurata? Il Signore disse “Mentre rimanevo con voi, vi ho detto queste cose. Ma il soccorritore, lo spirito santo, che il Padre manderà nel mio nome, quello vi insegnerà ogni cosa e vi rammenterà tutte le cose che vi ho detto” - Giovanni 14:25, 26 La predicazione della buona notizia non si interruppe alla morte di Cristo anzi… essa raggiunse tutta la terra abitata allora conosciuta – Atti 24:5; Romani 10:18 Quindi anche ammettendo che durante la vita del Signore sulla terra essi non avessero un accurato intendimento delle Scritture, dopo la Sua morte sarebbe sceso su di loro lo Spirito Santo che avrebbe “insegnato loro ogni cosa”. Perché, dunque, in tutte le lettere apostoliche fino alla lettera di III Giovanni non si menzionano, mai, le 70 settimane di Daniele? Quello che la rivista qui citata dice tra le righe in effetti è: anche se i primi cristiani non compresero la profezia delle 70 settimane, l’abbiamo compresa noi.   Ciò che segue è preso dal libro “Prestate attenzione alle profezie di Daniele”* parti estrapolate dal capitolo 11. 16 Tre avvenimenti notevoli meritano di essere presi in considerazione a proposito dell’inizio delle “settanta settimane”. Il primo si verificò nel 537 a.E.V. quando Ciro emanò il decreto che permetteva agli ebrei di tornare al loro paese. Si legge: “Ciro re di Persia ha detto questo: ‘Geova l’Iddio dei cieli mi ha dato tutti i regni della terra, ed egli stesso mi ha incaricato di edificargli una casa a Gerusalemme, che è in Giuda. Chiunque fra voi è di tutto il suo popolo, il suo Dio sia con lui. Salga dunque a Gerusalemme, che è in Giuda, e riedifichi la casa di Geova l’Iddio d’Israele — egli è il vero Dio — la quale era a Gerusalemme. In quanto a chiunque resta da tutti i luoghi dove risiede come forestiero, gli uomini del suo luogo lo assistano con argento e con oro e con beni e con animali domestici insieme all’offerta volontaria per la casa del vero Dio, che era a Gerusalemme’”. (Esdra 1:2-4) Chiaramente il preciso scopo del decreto era far ricostruire il tempio — “la casa di Geova” — nel luogo in cui sorgeva un tempo. 17 Il secondo avvenimento si verificò nel settimo anno del regno del re persiano Artaserse (Artaserse Longimano, figlio di Serse I). All’epoca il copista Esdra fece un viaggio durato quattro mesi da Babilonia a Gerusalemme. Era latore di una lettera speciale del re, che però non autorizzava la ricostruzione di Gerusalemme. L’incarico di Esdra consisteva solo nell’“abbellire la casa di Geova”. Per questo la lettera menzionava oro e argento, vasi sacri e contribuzioni in frumento, vino, olio e sale per sostenere l’adorazione presso il tempio, nonché l’esenzione dalle tasse per coloro che vi prestavano servizio. — Esdra 7:6-27. 18 Il terzo avvenimento si verificò 13 anni (ovvero 13 anni dopo il settimo anno del re persiano Artaserese) dopo, nel 20° anno del re persiano Artaserse. Allora Neemia serviva come suo coppiere “a Susa il castello”. Gerusalemme era stata parzialmente riedificata dal rimanente tornato da Babilonia. Ma le cose non andavano bene. Neemia apprese che ‘le mura di Gerusalemme erano diroccate e le sue stesse porte erano state bruciate col fuoco’. Questo lo turbava molto e il suo cuore era rattristato. Quando gli fu chiesta la ragione della sua tristezza, Neemia rispose: “Viva il re a tempo indefinito! Perché non dev’essere triste la mia faccia quando la città, la casa dei luoghi di sepoltura dei miei antenati, è devastata, e le sue medesime porte sono state divorate dal fuoco?” — Neemia 1:1-3; 2:1-3. 19 La descrizione dell’episodio che riguardava Neemia prosegue: “A sua volta il re mi disse: ‘Che cos’è dunque che cerchi di ottenere?’ Subito pregai l’Iddio dei cieli. Dopo ciò dissi al re: ‘Se al re in effetti sembra bene, e se il tuo servitore sembra buono davanti a te, che tu mi mandi in Giuda, alla città dei luoghi di sepoltura dei miei antenati, affinché io la riedifichi’”. La proposta piacque ad Artaserse, che acconsentì anche a un’ulteriore richiesta di Neemia: “Se al re in effetti sembra bene, mi siano date lettere per i governatori che sono oltre il Fiume [l’Eufrate], perché mi facciano passare finché io giunga in Giuda; anche una lettera per Asaf il custode del parco che appartiene al re, affinché mi dia alberi per costruire col legname le porte del Castello che appartiene alla casa, e per le mura della città e per la casa in cui devo entrare”. Neemia riconobbe il ruolo di Geova in tutto questo, dicendo: “Il re, dunque, [mi] diede [le lettere], secondo la buona mano del mio Dio su di me”. — Neemia 2:4-8. 20 Il permesso venne accordato nel mese di nisan, nella prima parte del 20° anno del regno di Artaserse, ma l’effettiva “emanazione della parola di restaurare e riedificare Gerusalemme” andò in vigore mesi dopo, quando Neemia arrivò a Gerusalemme e iniziò il lavoro di ricostruzione. Il viaggio di Esdra aveva richiesto quattro mesi, ma Susa si trovava più di 300 chilometri a est di Babilonia e quindi ancora più lontano da Gerusalemme. Molto probabilmente, dunque, Neemia arrivò a Gerusalemme verso la fine del 20° anno di Artaserse, cioè nel 455 a.E.V. Le predette “settanta settimane”, o 490 anni, iniziarono allora. Sarebbero terminate nell’ultima parte del 36 E.V. — Vedi “Quando iniziò il regno di Artaserse?”, a pagina 197. 21 Quanti anni passarono prima che Gerusalemme fosse effettivamente ricostruita? La ricostruzione della città doveva avvenire “nelle strettezze dei tempi” a motivo di difficoltà fra gli ebrei stessi e dell’opposizione dei samaritani e di altri. Il lavoro a quanto pare fu completato nella misura necessaria verso il 406 a.E.V., entro le “sette settimane”, cioè entro 49 anni. (Daniele 9:25) Sarebbe seguito un periodo di 62 settimane, o 434 anni. Dopo quel periodo sarebbe comparso il Messia promesso da tempo. Contando 483 anni (49 più 434) dal 455 a.E.V. arriviamo al 29 E.V. Cosa accadde quell’anno? Il Vangelo scritto da Luca ci dice: “Nel quindicesimo anno del regno di Tiberio Cesare, quando Ponzio Pilato era governatore della Giudea, ed Erode era governante del distretto della Galilea, . . . la dichiarazione di Dio fu rivolta a Giovanni figlio di Zaccaria nel deserto. Egli venne dunque in tutto il paese intorno al Giordano, predicando il battesimo in simbolo di pentimento per il perdono dei peccati”. In quel tempo “il popolo era in aspettazione” del Messia. — Luca 3:1-3, 15. 22 Giovanni non era il Messia promesso. Ma riguardo a ciò di cui fu testimone al battesimo di Gesù di Nazaret, nell’autunno del 29 E.V., Giovanni disse: “Ho visto lo spirito scendere dal cielo come una colomba e rimanere sopra di lui. Nemmeno io lo conoscevo, ma Colui che mi ha mandato a battezzare in acqua mi disse: ‘Chiunque sia colui sul quale vedrai scendere e rimanere lo spirito, questi è colui che battezza nello spirito santo’. E io l’ho visto e ho reso testimonianza che questi è il Figlio di Dio”. (Giovanni 1:32-34) Al suo battesimo, Gesù diventò l’Unto: il Messia o Cristo. Poco dopo Andrea, discepolo di Giovanni, incontrò l’unto Gesù e poi disse a Simon Pietro: “Abbiamo trovato il Messia”. (Giovanni 1:41) Quindi “Messia il Condottiero” comparve puntualmente, alla fine di 69 settimane! Dal sottotitolo “GLI AVVENIMENTI DELL’ULTIMA SETTIMANA” 23 Cosa doveva compiersi durante la 70a settimana? Gabriele disse che il periodo di “settanta settimane” era stato determinato “per porre termine alla trasgressione, e porre fine al peccato, e fare espiazione per l’errore, e recare giustizia per tempi indefiniti, e imprimere un suggello sulla visione e sul profeta, e ungere il Santo dei Santi”. Perché questo si compisse “Messia il Condottiero” doveva morire. Quando? Gabriele disse: “Dopo le sessantadue settimane Messia sarà stroncato, senza nulla per lui stesso. . . . Ed egli deve tenere in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana; e alla metà della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta di dono”. (Daniele 9:26a, 27a) Il momento cruciale era “alla metà della settimana”, vale a dire nel mezzo dell’ultima settimana di anni. 24 Il ministero pubblico di Gesù Cristo iniziò nell’ultima parte del 29 E.V. e durò tre anni e mezzo. Come era stato profetizzato, nei primi mesi del 33 E.V. Cristo fu “stroncato” quando morì su un palo di tortura, dando la sua vita umana come riscatto per l’umanità. (Isaia 53:8; Matteo 20:28) La necessità dei sacrifici di animali e delle offerte di dono prescritti dalla Legge cessò quando il risuscitato Gesù presentò a Dio in cielo il valore della sua vita umana sacrificata. Anche se i sacerdoti ebrei continuarono a fare offerte sino alla distruzione del tempio di Gerusalemme nel 70 E.V., quei sacrifici non erano più graditi a Dio. Erano stati sostituiti da un sacrificio migliore, che non si doveva mai ripetere. L’apostolo Paolo scrisse: “[Cristo] offrì un solo sacrificio per i peccati in perpetuo . . . Poiché con una sola offerta di sacrificio ha reso perfetti in perpetuo quelli che sono santificati”. — Ebrei 10:12, 14. 25 Benché il peccato e la morte abbiano continuato ad affliggere l’umanità, il fatto che Gesù fu stroncato nella morte e la sua risurrezione alla vita celeste adempirono la profezia. Ciò ‘pose termine alla trasgressione, pose fine al peccato, fece espiazione per l’errore e recò giustizia’. Dio aveva abrogato il patto della Legge, che denunciava e condannava gli ebrei come peccatori. (Romani 5:12, 19, 20; Galati 3:13, 19; Efesini 2:15; Colossesi 2:13, 14) Adesso i peccati dei trasgressori pentiti potevano essere cancellati e le relative pene annullate. Grazie al sacrificio propiziatorio del Messia, per coloro che esercitavano fede era possibile la riconciliazione con Dio. Potevano aspettarsi di ricevere il dono di Dio della “vita eterna mediante Cristo Gesù”. — Romani 3:21-26; 6:22, 23; 1 Giovanni 2:1, 2. 26 Così nel 33 E.V., con la morte di Cristo, Geova abrogò il patto della Legge. Come mai, allora, si poteva dire che il Messia doveva “tenere in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana”? Perché mantenne in vigore il patto abraamico. Sino alla fine della 70a settimana Dio concesse le benedizioni di quel patto ai discendenti ebrei di Abraamo. Ma alla fine delle “settanta settimane” di anni, nel 36 E.V., l’apostolo Pietro predicò a un devoto italiano, Cornelio, ai suoi familiari e ad altri gentili. E da quel giorno in poi si cominciò a proclamare la buona notizia fra persone delle nazioni. — Atti 3:25, 26; 10:1-48; Galati 3:8, 9, 14. 27 La profezia aveva predetto anche l’unzione del “Santo dei Santi”. Non si tratta dell’unzione del Santissimo, o compartimento più interno, del tempio di Gerusalemme. L’espressione “Santo dei Santi” si riferisce qui al celeste santuario di Dio. Lì Gesù presentò il valore del suo sacrificio umano al Padre. Nel 29 E.V. il battesimo di Gesù aveva unto, o appartato, quella realtà spirituale, celeste, rappresentata dal Santissimo del tabernacolo terreno e del successivo tempio. — Ebrei 9:11, 12. Dal sottotitolo “LA PROFEZIA CONFERMATA DA DIO” 28 La profezia messianica pronunciata all’angelo Gabriele parlava anche di “imprimere un suggello sulla visione e sul profeta”. Questo significava che tutto ciò che era stato predetto riguardo al Messia — tutto quello che compì mediante il suo sacrificio, la sua risurrezione e la sua comparsa in cielo, come pure le altre cose che avvennero durante la 70a settimana — avrebbe avuto il suggello dell’approvazione divina, sarebbe risultato vero ed era degno di fiducia. La visione sarebbe stata suggellata, limitata al Messia. Si sarebbe adempiuta in lui e nell’opera compiuta da Dio per mezzo suo. Solo in relazione al predetto Messia avremmo potuto trovare l’interpretazione corretta della visione. Niente altro ne avrebbe dischiuso il significato. 29 Gabriele in precedenza aveva profetizzato che Gerusalemme sarebbe stata ricostruita. Adesso predice la distruzione della città ricostruita e del suo tempio, dicendo: “Il popolo di un condottiero che verrà ridurrà in rovina la città e il luogo santo. E la fine d’esso sarà mediante l’inondazione. E sino alla fine ci sarà guerra; sono decise le desolazioni. . . . E sull’ala di cose disgustanti ci sarà colui che causa desolazione; e fino a uno sterminio, la medesima cosa decisa si verserà anche su colui che giace desolato”. (Daniele 9:26b, 27b) Anche se sarebbe avvenuta dopo le “settanta settimane”, questa desolazione sarebbe stata il risultato diretto di avvenimenti verificatisi durante l’ultima “settimana”, quando gli ebrei rigettarono Cristo e lo fecero mettere a morte. — Matteo 23:37, 38. 30 La storia mostra che nel 66 E.V. le legioni romane al comando di Cestio Gallo, legato di Siria, accerchiarono Gerusalemme. Nonostante la resistenza degli ebrei, gli eserciti romani con le loro insegne idolatriche penetrarono nella città e cominciarono a scalzare il muro del tempio a nord. Il fatto che stessero lì li rendeva una “cosa disgustante” che poteva causare completa desolazione. (Matteo 24:15, 16) Nel 70 E.V. i romani al comando del generale Tito vennero come un’“inondazione” e resero effettivamente desolati la città e il tempio. Niente li fermò, poiché questo era stato decretato — ‘deciso’ — da Dio. Geova ancora una volta aveva adempiuto la sua parola al tempo da lui stabilito! FINE DELLA CITAZIONE   Cominciamo dunque ad analizzare approfonditamente questa interpretazione che, ad una prima lettura, sembrerebbe inattaccabile. Dopo aver spiegato le motivazioni secondo cui dobbiamo considerare le settimane come settimane di anni (come traducono anche alcune versioni bibliche), il libro riconosce che ci sono “tre avvenimenti notevoli che meritano di essere presi in considerazione a proposito dell’inizio delle “settanta settimane””. Il primo si verificò nel 537 a.E.V. quando Ciro emanò il decreto che permetteva agli ebrei di tornare al loro paese. Si legge: “Ciro re di Persia ha detto questo: ‘Geova l’Iddio dei cieli mi ha dato tutti i regni della terra, ed egli stesso mi ha incaricato di edificargli una casa a Gerusalemme, che è in Giuda” - Esdra 1:2-4 Questo sembra davvero essere il più ragionevole perché fu Dio stesso ad autorizzarlo. Questo editto non fu proclamato per iniziativa di un imperatore borioso ma, come egli stesso disse, “Geova l’Iddio dei cieli (…) mi ha incaricato di edificargli una casa a Gerusalemme”. Non solo: è proprio lui ad essere chiamato “unto”! - Isaia 45:1 Daniele menziona chiaramente “l'ordine di restaurare e ricostruire Gerusalemme” Secondo la Parola di Dio e non secondo le interpretazioni umane, chi fu incaricato di ricostruire Gerusalemme? Isaia 44:28 dice “Colui che dice di Ciro: ‘È il mio pastore, e tutto ciò di cui mi diletto adempirà completamente’; perfino nel [mio] dire di Gerusalemme: ‘Sarà riedificata’, e del tempio: ‘Saranno gettate le tue fondamenta’”. A questo punto la questione dovrebbe già essere chiusa** (vedi la nota in calce) perché la semplice domanda che dovremmo farci è: queste parole si adempirono oppure non si adempirono? Se non si adempirono, allora affermiamo apertamente che la Bibbia si è sbagliata. Dio disse di aver incaricato Ciro per riedificare Gerusalemme e gettare le fondamenta del tempio ma questo non si avverò. Giusto? Non si avverò perché il libro “Profezie di Daniele” dice chiaramente che “Gerusalemme era stata parzialmente riedificata”… ma la profezia di Isaia diceva che Ciro avrebbe riedificato Gerusalemme e non “parzialmente”. Inoltre lo rimarca dicendo “tutto ciò di cui mi diletto adempirà completamente”. Cosa avrebbe adempiuto, completamente? Forse il diletto di Geova era che Gerusalemme fosse ricostruita parzialmente? Sul tempio si potrebbe disquisire perché la profezia riguardo a Ciro diceva semplicemente che “sarebbero state gettate le fondamenta”, a indicazione del fatto che egli non sarebbe vissuto abbastanza per vedere il tempio di Gerusalemme completamente ricostruito e dedicato, ma non si può disquisire sulla ricostruzione di Gerusalemme. Cosa ci dicono i dati storici? Quando fu ricostruita Gerusalemme e quando fu ricostruito e dedicato il tempio? Dopo il ritorno dall'esilio babilonese, sotto la guida di Zorobabele, nominato governatore della Giudea e sommo sacerdote Giosuè, immediatamente si cerca di ricostruire Gerusalemme e la Giudea, devastati ed abbandonati 70 anni prima. Dopo le iniziali e notevoli difficoltà comunque Gerusalemme viene ricostruita e le fondamenta del Secondo Tempio, sempre secondo la storia secolare, vengono concluse nel 535 a.C. Ovviamente stiamo parlando di una “data secolare” e finora abbiamo preso queste informazioni con le dovute cautele. Possiamo tendenzialmente fidarci di questa data? Sì, perché essa sarebbe in armonia con il periodo di vita dell’imperatore Ciro, il quale morì nell’anno 530 a.C. Come abbiamo letto nella profezia di Isaia, egli avrebbe emanato l’ordine di ricostruire Gerusalemme ma per quanto riguarda il tempio egli avrebbe visto soltanto “gettarne le fondamenta”. Sempre secondo la storia secolare, confermata dagli storici ebrei, il Tempio viene consacrato nella primavera del 515 a.C., ovvero più di venti anni dopo il ritorno da Babilonia. Ciro non avrebbe mai visto il completamento dei lavori in quanto mori 15 anni prima. Senza voler per forza associare questa profezia (quella di Isaia) a quella di Daniele, la questione è solo una: quante volte il tempio o la città dovevano essere ricostruiti? Se la parte iniziale della profezia delle settanta settimane si riferisce alla ricostruzione di Gerusalemme e del tempio, allora dobbiamo stabilire se ciò sia avvenuto nel 515 a.E.V (o al limite qualche anno prima) oppure nel 455.   Chi emanò l'ordine di "restaurare e riedificare Gerusalemme"? Ciro o Artaserse?     Possiamo scegliere “la data che ci piace di più”, come fanno in molti, ma la Bibbia menziona Ciro come “unto” incaricato sul rimpatrio degli ebrei e sulle fondamenta del Tempio e nessun Artaserse fu mai incaricato per questo. Anche ammettendo che le date su Ciro e sul suo editto non siano precise, di certo non possono essere sballate di 60 anni e Ciro e Artaserse non sono intercambiabili. La data di inizio da cui far partire queste emblematiche “70 settimane” è già diventata molto discutibile ma vediamo altre questioni difficili da armonizzare. Facendo partire le prime sette settimane dal 455 a.E.V. arriviamo al 406 a.E.V. (come ammette lo stesso libro) citato. Riguardo a questa data, il libro afferma “Il lavoro a quanto pare fu completato nella misura necessaria verso il 406 a.E.V”. “A quanto pare” dal punto di vista di chi? Esiste, nella storia secolare, un solo dato riscontrabile che anche solo si avvicini a questa data? Oppure “a quanto pare” è da riferirsi a qualche data biblica? Esiste, nella Bibbia, qualche riferimento che possa farci ricavare questa data o una data vicina? In realtà non esiste nulla di tutto ciò e “a quanto pare” è da riferirsi ad una convinzione preconcetta: se dobbiamo far collimare questa data alla comparsa del Messia, dev’essere così per forza. Forse adesso cominciamo a capire perché diverse traduzioni bibliche traducono “unto” anziché “Messia”, insistendo nella loro traduzione nonostante quella che per molti di noi era un’ assoluta evidenza storica? Riusciamo anche a mettere il beneficio del dubbio sul perché i primi cristiani non usarono mai questa parte delle Scritture per dimostrare l’identità o il periodo della comparsa del Messia? Ovviamente, quindi, partendo dal 406 (?) e aggiungendo altri 434 anni arriviamo al 29 E.V. che è proprio l’anno in cui Gesù viene battezzato e diventa il Messia. Tutti sanno fare i 434-406, nessuno discute che faccia “29”, togliendo l’anno zero; questo semplice calcolo lo sapranno fare anche i diversi traduttori biblici ma il problema sta a monte. Se forziamo la data di partenza riusciamo a far collimare qualsiasi cosa. Se poi forziamo sia la data di partenza che la data di arrivo, allora possiamo far dire alla Bibbia tutto quello che vogliamo… ma andiamo avanti perché i problemi non sono certo finiti qua. Il libro vorrebbe lasciar intendere che questo calcolo, cioè quello che porterebbe al 29 E.V., era intrinsecamente conosciuto dagli ebrei del primo secolo in quanto il popolo era in aspettazione del Messia proprio nel periodo di predicazione di Giovanni il Battista – confronta Luca 3:1-3, 15 Questo resoconto, però, dimostra soltanto che il popolo ebraico era in aspettazione del Messia già da parecchio tempo e sicuramente da molti anni. Vedendo Giovanni il Battista battezzare e predicare il pentimento dei peccati, il dubbio che potesse essere lui era solo legittimo. Che essi non avessero affatto un’idea precisa dell’anno della sua apparizione lo si capisce sia dalle parole del Signore che dal resoconto della storia secolare. Parlando degli ultimi giorni del sistema giudaico il Signore disse chiaramente che sarebbero sorti “falsi Cristi e falsi profeti” che avrebbero potuto sviare perfino i suoi discepoli per cui dovevano stare in guardia. I resoconti storici confermano che poco dopo il primo assedio, avvenuto per ordine di Cestio Gallo nel 66 E.V., ci fu un’apparente riscossa degli ebrei i quali arrivarono al punto di inseguire i propri invasori. Proprio in quel periodo sorsero “falsi Cristi” asserendo che era volontà di Dio che Gerusalemme fosse definitivamente liberata. Ora, se come lascia intendere il libro il popolo conosceva il calcolo delle 70 settimane (e di conseguenza erano giunti alla stessa data del 29 E.V.) perché essi diedero retta ai “cristi” apparsi quasi quarant’anni dopo? In realtà essi aspettavano l’arrivo del Cristo liberatore fin da quando furono soggiogati dall’impero romano ed essi sapevano che il Cristo poteva comparire da un momento all’altro, all’improvviso. Inoltre non è ragionevole credere che essi avessero fatto questi calcoli sulle 70 settimane perché la scrittura parla di “giustizia eterna” ma anche di distruzione del tempio – vedi Daniele 9:26 E’ dunque strano che essi si illusero di poter liberare Gerusalemme se interpretavano la profezia delle 70 settimane come viene interpretata oggi, ovvero sapendo che il tempio doveva essere distrutto. Che questa interpretazione delle 70 settimane proposta dalla Watchtower sia fasulla lo si vede ancora nella parte finale della profezia. Pur avendo forzato le due date di inizio (il 455 e il 406), non si riesce a far collimare neppure la parte finale. Vediamo perché. Intanto la scrittura dice che quel periodo di tempo era stato determinato “per porre termine alla trasgressione, e porre fine al peccato, e fare espiazione per l’errore, e recare giustizia per tempi indefiniti” ma ciò non avvenne nel 33, nel 36 e neppure nel 70. Non si pose fine né al peccato, né alla trasgressione e non si recò giustizia a tempi indefiniti ma ovviamente la wt spiega queste affermazioni in senso “spirituale”. Dal momento che il sacrificio di Cristo servì al perdono dei peccati abrogando la Legge che li condannava, venne stabilita questa “giustizia a tempi indefiniti”… . Citando le parole del libro: “Adesso i peccati dei trasgressori pentiti potevano essere cancellati e le relative pene annullate. Grazie al sacrificio propiziatorio del Messia, per coloro che esercitavano fede era possibile la riconciliazione con Dio”. Noi abbiamo capito che Israele non ha mai smesso d’avere importanza agli occhi di Dio: non c’è mai stata alcuna “sostituzione” come dicono le religioni della cristianità. Se questo è corretto, allora dovrebbe essere scontato che è proprio sul popolo di Israele e sulla terra di Israele che si doveva “porre termine alla trasgressione, e porre fine al peccato, e fare espiazione per l’errore, e recare giustizia per tempi indefiniti”; infatti l’angelo dice a Daniele che quelle 70 settimane erano state determinate non solo sul suo popolo ma anche “sulla sua santa città” - leggi Daniele 9:24 La santa città di Daniele era Gerusalemme e nessun’altra… invece in quella città, anche dopo la morte e risurrezione di Cristo, continuò ad esserci trasgressione e sicuramente non si può dire che venne stabilita una “giustizia eterna” durante i 19 secoli della sua inesistenza. Neppure oggi che Gerusalemme esiste di nuovo si può dire che è stata stabilita questa giustizia eterna. Saltiamo comunque il particolare della città e ammettiamo la possibilità di aver capito male proseguendo il nostro esame. Diciamo che fu stabilita la giustizia eterna quando Gesù pagò il riscatto versando il suo sangue in sacrificio e che Israele non c’entri nulla in tutto ciò. Molte traduzioni, come abbiamo visto, non condividono le parole “tenere in vigore il patto” e infatti riportano “stabilire un patto” o un’alleanza o “stipulare un patto”. Anche se patto e alleanza possono essere sinonimi, di certo sono molto diverse le espressioni “tenere in vigore” o “stipulare”. La prima espressione presuppone l’esistenza di un patto pre-esistente mentre la seconda menziona un patto appena fatto o nuovo di zecca. Ovviamente coloro che partono dal principio che il messia menzionato nei versetti precedenti sia proprio IL Messia, si sono dovuti chiedere “quale patto” Egli potesse stipulare con quel popolo che l’aveva appena ucciso. Quindi il patto diventa il patto Abraamico e la traduzione più congeniale non può essere “stipulare” ma “tenere in vigore”. In realtà anche accettando questa possibilità avremmo dovuto trovare scritto che il Messia avrebbe tenuto in vigore il patto per “un’altra” o “ancora una settimana” e non semplicemente per una settimana. Al limite avremmo dovuto leggere che il patto sarebbe stato “prolungato” per una settimana… ma non si legge nulla di tutto ciò in nessuna traduzione. Comunque il problema non riguarda semplicemente stabilire quale sia la traduzione più corretta (che cambierebbe comunque le cose) ma stabilire chi è il soggetto che “tiene in vigore” o “stipula un patto”. Dalla punteggiatura presente nella TnM non è molto chiaro ma sembra che sia “il Messia” a farlo. Il versetto 26 finisce così: “E il popolo di un condottiero che verrà distruggerà la città e il luogo santo, la cui fine arriverà come con un’inondazione. Sino alla fine ci sarà guerra; è stata decretata la devastazione”. Quindi il versetto 27 continua… ““Lui terrà in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana, e alla metà della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta”. “Lui terrà in vigore il patto”: lui chi? Colui che è stato ucciso dopo le 62 settimane (versetto 26a) oppure il condottiero di quel popolo che sarebbe arrivato e avrebbe distrutto la città e il luogo santo? (versetto 26b). La domanda è lecita perché la CEI traduce così: “il popolo di un principe che verrà distruggerà la città e il santuario; la sua fine sarà un'inondazione e, fino alla fine, guerra e desolazioni decretate. Egli stringerà una forte alleanza con molti per una settimana e, nello spazio di metà settimana, farà cessare il sacrificio e l'offerta” lasciando intendere che è questo principe, ovvero il principe che comanda questo esercito distruttore, a stipulare una “forte alleanza”, una sorta di trattato di pace. Pur scegliendo la versione più congeniale ai nostri preconcetti, che l’intendimento sia completamente sbagliato è dimostrato dalla storia stessa perché, come abbiamo detto, neppure l’avvenimento finale può dirsi adempiuto. Con il massimo della semplicità l’opera citata “conclude” la spiegazione della profezia con la conversione di Cornelio, che sarebbe avvenuta nel 36 E.V. e questo chiuderebbe le 70 settimane. Quindi non si parla affatto della distruzione del Tempio, che avvenne 34 anni più tardi, tanto meno della distruzione di “colui che giace desolato” (chiunque sia per la TnM e qualunque cosa significhi). Questo è ragionevole? Questa profezia non includeva anche la devastazione del Tempio nonché la distruzione dello stesso devastatore? Non sorprende adesso capire perché la TnM traduca in maniera incomprensibile “colui che giace desolato” rendendo inverosimile applicare questa descrizione all’impero romano. La spiegazione lascia intendere che la stessa distruzione del tempio sarebbe avvenuta in un periodo al di fuori delle 70 settimane perché esse si concluderebbero nel 36! L’angelo Gabriele avrebbe parlato di 70 settimane le quali si concludono con “lui terrà in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana” (stop) ma per quanto riguarda la parte che dice “sull’ala di cose ripugnanti arriverà colui che causa devastazione; ciò che è stato deciso sarà riversato su colui che giace desolato, fino alla completa distruzione” sarebbe avvenuto quando sarebbe avvenuto. Anche in un lontanissimo futuro… se prendiamo per assodato che “colui che giaceva desolato” era l’impero Romano. Per chi legge senza pregiudizi queste scritture, pur non comprendendo i soggetti implicati né il tempo dell’adempimento, il susseguirsi degli avvenimenti è chiaro e lineare: Lui terrà in vigore il patto per i molti per una settimana (ciò vale a dire che alla fine di questa settimana il patto scade o viene infranto) e alla metà della settimana farà cessare sacrificio e offerta. Sull’ala di cose ripugnanti arriverà colui che causa devastazione (ovvero alla fine della settimana quando ormai “il patto” è giunto al termine) ciò che è stato deciso sarà riversato su colui che giace desolato (ovvero, subito dopo aver infranto il patto – durato una settimana – egli stesso verrà eliminato) fino alla completa distruzione. Tutti gli avvenimenti descritti dall’angelo Gabriele dovevano iniziare con le prime sette settimane (dall’annuncio di partenza all’arrivo dell’unto) e concludersi nell’ultima settimana (con la distruzione del Tempio o della “città santa” e quindi la distruzione del devastatore). Questo lo capirebbe anche un bambino. Quindi, pur avendo forzato la data di inizio (il 455 a.E.V., in quanto gli ebrei non tornarono in patria quell’anno e non gettarono le fondamenta in quell’anno bensì nel 515 a.E.V. grazie all’editto di Ciro, autorizzato come unto di Geova) e pur avendo forzato la data “di mezzo” (il 406… data assolutamente inesistente in tutti i libri di storia) gli avvenimenti non possono combaciare a prescindere. Salvo spezzando la profezia, dimenticandosi della parte finale.   A questo punto dobbiamo essere onesti con noi stessi e scegliere. Alcuni dicono che quella delle 70 settimane è una “profezia errata” e la usano per “dimostrare” che il libro di Daniele racconti falsità. Altri, cercando di salvare capre e cavoli, dicono che è una profezia “ipotetica” dicendo che quelle cose si sarebbero adempiute se il popolo avesse o non avesse fatto determinato cose. In pratica alcuni dicono che Dio cambiò idea riguardo a questa profezia a motivo delle mutate condizioni generali, un po’ come accadde nel caso dei niniviti al tempo di Giona. Altri, come possiamo immaginare, continuano a negare l’evidenza insistendo sulla corretta interpretazione della propria organizzazione religiosa (che non riguarda nello specifico la WT ma le spiegazioni delle organizzazioni religiose in generale, le quali, non da meno della WT, giocano molto con le parole). Che dire di noi? La Bibbia si è sbagliata oppure Dio ha cambiato idea all’ultimo momento non facendo più avverare la profezia? Adesso che abbiamo compreso i termini dell’enigma, possiamo sperare di aver fatto il primo passo verso la comprensione oppure ci siamo allontanati ancora di più? Dobbiamo rinunciarci? L’enigma della 70 settimane sarà mai svelato? Se la Bibbia è davvero il Libro di Dio, le risposte devono trovarsi lì... no? Pur riconoscendo i nostri limiti, il prossimo articolo cercherà nella Bibbia la chiave per svelare questo millenario enigma – Daniele 12:10; 2 Timoteo 3:16, 17       Note in calce * Il libro "Prestate attenzione alle profezie di Daniele!" è edito dalla Watchtower   **Nel prossimo articolo si menzioneranno, tra le altre cose, le Scritture di Esdra e Neemia in genere utilizzate per dimostrare che la profezia delle 70 settimane dovrebbe partire dall’editto di Artaserse Longimano.  
    • By Witness
      The good news is not preached in all the world, as we understand it. 
      Paul talked about that being done, even in the first century. 
      He said of their work of preaching to the Jews; 
      "But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
      ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
      And their words *to the ends of the world.’* Rom 10:18

      That word "world", really means, "land". Not all lands, are the whole world.

      Paul also said;
      Col.1: "5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, *as it has also in all the world*"

      He was saying that the gospel was already heard, in the whole land.
      Verse 23 continues; "and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was *preached to every creature under heaven*, of which I, Paul, became a minister."
      Paul did not preach to the whole world. Yet he says that the gospel was preached to "every creature under heaven".
      Rev.14: 6 says; "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach **to those who dwell on the earth**—to *every nation, tribe, tongue, and people"*.
      We may think from this, that everyone in the world is being referred to.
      But notice that the great crowd is described in the same way...

      "9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, **of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,** standing before the throne and before the Lamb...) (Rev.7)

      Is the Great Crowd, the whole planet? No.
      Look at how the anointed priests and kings of God are described....

      "9 And they sang a new song, saying:
      “You are worthy to take the scroll,
      And to open its seals;
      For You were slain,
      And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
      **Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation**,
      10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
      And we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev.5)

      They are not the whole world either.
      So they too, are described as "from all nations", but they are not the whole world.
      When Rev.14:6 tells us that the good news will be preached "to all those who dwell on the earth"... the word that was translated "earth", also means, a particular land and is occupied by people.
      In Revelation, the "earth" is not the "sea".
      The "sea" represents those who do not know God (see Isa.57:20). 
      The Land that does know God, and claims to worship him, and that land is translated into the word "Earth" (God's occupied land).
      So again, the good news is not toward the whole world, but toward God's people.
      Even though the gospel opened up to Gentiles of all nations, who were also added to God's people, notice that they also *become Jews, in their spirit*...

      "28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but *he is a Jew who is one inwardly*; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Rom.2)
      Do you see that those of all nations, become spiritual Jews?

      Gal.3:28-29 agrees;
      "28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And **if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed**, and heirs according to the promise."
      If you become the seed of Abraham... you become a spiritual Hebrew.

      Rom.4: "16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham"
      So then,
      who did Jesus say we would be preaching to, and trying to reach with the truth?

      He said;
      "22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures *to the end* will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, **you will not have completed preaching to the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."** (Matt.10)
      Did you notice who Jesus said, would be getting preached to?
      "The cities/towns, of Israel".
      What are the towns of Israel? 
      Jesus named them, in Revelation 1:11...
      "...“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
      The message being sent out to the "towns of Israel", is the opened scroll of Revelation. To understand that message, is good news....

      Rev.1: "3 Happy is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
      So from all this, we see that the good news is not preached to the whole planet, as JWs teach. Jesus said that we would not even finish preaching to "the towns of Israel" before he would return. The good news that is trying to reach God's people, is the true and full interpretation of the book of Revelation. That message reveals the truth, about who is wicked, and who is faithful. That is good news to those who have been slandered and thrown out as wicked, because they are the ones to receive the kingdom. Those who raised themselves up, will be humbled and condemned.        Pearl Doxsey, 4 womaninthewilderness
       

    • By Kurt
      Here's something you may not have seen, from the JW archives, a countdown to Armegeddon as we once believed would occur in oct 1914. Our brothers used this to help them keep track on their faith. Just a bit of JW history.
    • By Anna
      Something I thought might be relevant since we are studying the God's Kingdom book. Not long ago, in a WT article, it was mentioned in reference to the "Kingdom being preached in all the inhabited earth" that this will not mean that literally everyone on Earth would have heard about the Kingdom before Armageddon starts.
      When one does a bit of mathematics (not my forte) and calculates the percentage of current Jehovah's Witnesses in comparison to the World's population we arrive at 0.1%. This is a very small percentage indeed. (8 million JW to 8 billion population)
      If we were to assume some averages, and use the United States as a fair example, then we can assume the ratio of 1 publisher to roughly around 400. This seems a fair number since "only a few are the ones finding the road to life". However, as we know, there is practically a non existent ratio when it comes to India and China, two of the world's countries with a population of over 1billion each (the majority of whom have never heard of the Bible, never mind Jehovah's Witnesses).  If we would assume the same ratio of 1:400, then this would immediately create over 3 million Witnesses in each of the two countries, i.e. over 6 million in India and China alone, bringing the total of JWs to over 14 million. If we were to also add 650 thousand in Indonesia, 485 thousand from Pakistan, and 402 thousand from Bangladesh that adds another 1.5 million bringing the total to over 15 million, almost doubling the Witnesses today.
      If we go by the fact that all people are equal in Jehovah's eyes, and that no nation is above another when it comes to salvation, and that all people are basically the same, then we have to assume that there are people in those countries who, if given the chance, would embrace the truth and put themselves on Jehovah's side and create that ratio of 1:400.
      With that in mind, it is evident that either there is going to have to be a lot of preaching done, verging on the miraculous, in order to bring in over 7 million new Witnesses within the allotted time of the "Generation", or, Jehovah will judge their hearts and allow nearly HALF of the people, (agnostics or believers in false Gods) entry into the new world without them even needing to know him.
      Or, is "this Generation" a lot longer than we think.....
      Any scriptural thoughts?
       
    • By Brother Rando
      Being a student of Prophecy and intently studying the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1914 is only the beginning of the end. “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. ?All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.” (Matthew 24:7-8)
      In 1914 the world as we know it, has entered into its death throes.  God’s Kingdom would slowly begin crushing all kingdoms of the earth. (Daniel 2:44)  Those inhabiting the earth would enter into an ‘allotted amount of time of distress'. “During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book.” (Daniel 12:1)
      What is causing this ‘time of distress’?  “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled ?but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven.” (Rev 12:7-8)  “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.” (Rev 12:12)  Here’s an important teaching from Jesus Christ, he stated, “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:37)  Did you catch that?  So the presence of the Son of man will be.  Jesus Christ has been ruling from Heaven since 1914 and he compared his presence like the days of Noah!  Few people understand this, but the Days of Noah lasted 120 years. (Genesis 6:3)  Jesus continues, “For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, ?and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (Matthew 24:38-39)  Folks, the presence of the Son of man is now 103 years from 1914 and counting.  Yet, the World is taking no note.
      The Last Days must reach their full time allotted, which is 120 years.  1914 + 120 = 2034.   Since the Great Tribulation is Spiritual, many will  fall away from the faith. But it’s during this time period that the one’s separated to the right hand of Christ, will come out of the Great Tribulation as Survivors.  In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” (Rev 7:13)
      So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14)  “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42)
      Armageddon is an act of undeserved kindness of removing the wicked by means of the second death.  Soon, those outside our interior rooms will be dying the second death in the same manner as Adam and Eve. 
       
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    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      Everything we read about the "70-Week" prophecy reported in the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy!" (Chapter 11) is worthy of attention and demonstrates how accurate and reliable the word of God is even when pronouncing prophecies very distant in time. The historical accuracy and the numerous Scriptural references that gave weight and authority to the whole speech were also evident. Anyone who approaches the Word of God without preconceptions can not but be struck by this demonstration of power and wisdom on the part of God. The explanation of the 70 weeks is unexceptionable but can be said to be the same as other prophecies? What about those calculations on which many of us have based the hopes of a lifetime and that clashed with the criticism of the majority? We are talking about 1914. Is this also a prophecy of Daniel? Was this also treated with the same marvelous accuracy of the seventy weeks we have just read? Although it may not be easy, we try to be truly objective because understanding or not understanding the prophecy, like the rest of God's Word, can make much difference to our eternal future - John 17: 3; 2 Thessalonians 1: 8   WHAT DID OF 1914?   The book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" on pages 85 to 97 explains in detail the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the 7-time prophecy asserting that it indicates the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914. It would therefore be profitable to take the book and compare it with what will be read below. Does Nebuchadnezzar's dream really prophesy the coming of the Kingdom of God in 1914?   THAT'S IT? Let's try to examine what is written in the book without prejudices. At a first reading it seems that Jehovah God wanted to give a lesson of humility to Nebuchadnezzar, which happened. The "seven times", at least for him, were seven years and this is confirmed by the whole story. Reading all this without preconceptions, it does not seem that we should look for other explanations more or less hidden. However, let us take the thesis that "the tree indicates a dominion and a sovereignty much greater than those of the king of Babylon. It symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, the King of the heavens, especially with respect to the earth ". This means, first of all, that the Kingdom of God is comparing, in a certain way, to the kingdom of Babylon and this strides with many biblical passages describing Babylon as the greatest enemy of God's people. It also means that the "vigilante" (ie an angel of Jehovah) decides to overthrow the Kingdom of God and this is, to say the least, strange. Some will object that we must not look for similarities in every aspect of the prophecy but also decide which part of the prophecy must have a second fulfillment and which one could be arbitrary enough. After all, we have no other scriptural references to show us which details to focus on and which to leave out. So it is being said that the prophecy of the tree applies entirely to Nebuchadnezzar while only a small part would apply to the Kingdom of God. For the prophecy of the "seventy weeks" we did not need to break the prophecy to try to understand who was applied or if it applied to more than one person because the subject was clear and recognizable from the beginning. On the contrary, all the 7-day prophecy is built on a single verse that is what it says ... "The tree grew and became strong, and its same height finally reached the heavens and was visible to the end of the whole earth" (Daniel 4:11). Meanwhile, the writing says that the tree "becomes visible" to the end of the earth and not that "embraces the end of the earth" and the meaning is very different. The aforementioned book says: "the great tree represents the 'domain that reaches the end of the earth', which embraces the whole realm of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 ". "Reaching the end of the earth" means that it extends the domain to the end of the earth while "being visible to the end of the earth" means that it is known, famous. AnyhowÂ… is not it a bit fragile, let's say risky, to build a series of prophecies (all linked together) on this single explanation? Note that the specification "particularly in relation to the earth" is due to the fact that the universal sovereignty of Jehovah is, indeed, universal, for which the tree should have been seen not only in the whole earth but throughout the universe. By specifying, instead, "in relation to the earth", we can exclude the skies from the vision and take the application for good. Anyway, we should ask a question. Is the fact that the tree reaches the heavens or the end of the earth itÂ’s a demonstration or even an indication of the fact that we are talking about the Kingdom of God? We always leave the Bible to enlighten us. Notice what Jehovah told Ezekiel in reference to the Pharaoh. Ezekiel 31: 1-8 says Â… “In the 11th year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah again came to me, saying: 2  “Son of man, say to Phar?aoh king of Egypt and to his hordes,+‘Whom are you like in your greatness?  3  There was an As·syr?i·an, a cedar in Leb?a·non,With beautiful branches like a shady thicket, lofty in stature;Its top was among the clouds.  4  The waters made it grow big, the deep springs of water caused it to grow high. Streams were all around where it was planted;Their channels watered all the trees of the field.  5  That is why it grew taller than all the other trees of the field. Its boughs multiplied, and its branches grew longBecause of the abundant water in its streams.  6  All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs,All the wild animals of the field gave birth under its branches,And all the populous nations were dwelling in its shade.  7  It became majestic in beauty and in the length of its branches,For its roots went down into abundant waters.  8  No other cedars in the garden of God+ could compare to it. None of the juniper trees had boughs like it,And none of the plane trees could match its branches. No other tree in the garden of God could rival its beauty”. Do we note some similarities with the vision of Nebuchadnezzar? Both are compared to tall and mighty trees. Both reach high heights, up to the sky in fact the expressions "reach the heavens" or "reach the clouds" are equivalent - Compare Job 22:14; Isaiah 14:14; Daniel 7:13 Of both we notice the big difference with the other trees. Of both it is said that all the flying creatures and all the wild beasts find food and shelter. Now if we apply the principle that the tree that "reaches the clouds" must represent the Kingdom of God, then even the Egyptian empire should be an antitype of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, however, in this story there is no mention of the "times" and consequently it is not possible to count anything. If you think it's ridiculous that the Egyptian empire will represent the Kingdom of God, why should it be acceptable to the Babylonian empire? Jehovah goes on to say ““Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Because it* became so tall, lifting its top among the clouds, and its heart became arrogant because of its height, 11  I will hand it over to the mighty ruler of the nations.+ He will surely act against it, and I will reject it for its wickedness”. The Pharaoh was exalted, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, and for this reason God decided to humiliate him - Matthew 23:12 Nebuchadnezzar escaped with seven years of madness while Pharaoh's empire was besieged. Also this verse remarks the fact that God takes away and gives "the kingdom to whom he wills" (and in this case He gave the kingdom of Pharaoh to the "despot of nations"). Ezekiel 31: 12-14 continues Â… “And foreigners, the most ruthless of the nations, will cut it down, and they will abandon it on the mountains, and its foliage will fall in all the valleys, and its branches will lie broken in all the streams of the land.+ All the peoples of the earth will depart from its shade and abandon it. 13  All the birds of the sky will live on its fallen trunk, and all the wild animals of the field on its branches.+ 14  This is so that no tree near the waters should grow so tall or lift up its top among the clouds and that no well-watered tree may reach up to them in height. For they will all be given over to death, to the land down below, along with the sons of mankind, who are going down into the pit.Â’. Even this tree is cut down and humiliated (Jehovah will do this through the king of Babylon). Because of the many similarities with the kingdom of Egypt, are we really certain that the tree that "reached the heavens" refers to the Kingdom of God?   When we talk about 1914, are we really like the Bereans? Or are we "Bereans" only when we have to refute the doctrines of Christianity?   There is another interesting detail that should make us reflect. The Bible compares the heavens to governments, be they human or celestial. Applying this concept to the tree that reaches the heavens and whose other trees do not stand comparison with it, it would simply mean that this tree has the kingdom over the other (smaller) kingdoms and of Babylon the Great is said to have " the kingdom over the kings of the earth "- Revelation 17:18 The only legitimate parallel that you can do with Babylon, without fear of taking corners, is related to Babylon the Great because it is the parallelism that makes the Bible. Indeed, all the world empires mentioned in the Scriptures had, for a time, the kingdom over the other kingdoms. Cyrus, in fact, said of himself ... "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four extremities (of the earth), son of Cambyses (Ka-am -bu-zi-ia), great king, king of Anzan, nephew of Cyrus ,. . . descendant of Teispe,. . . of a family (that) has always reigned ". (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 1974, p.37). Undoubtedly humility was not a characteristic appreciated by the Persians as well as by the Babylonians but in fact the kingdom had power over the other known kingdoms (so to be called "king of the four ends of the earth") and so it could be said that its height had reached the heavens and was visible or known to the ends of the earth. In the story of Ezekiel and in that of Daniel there is no reference, just anyone, to the Kingdom of God, on the contrary ... both accounts mention a judgment from God on enemy nations, proud and violent. Any chronological calculation should respect the subject in being and in fact this part of the Scripture is very different from what is said about the "seventy weeks" - Daniel 9: 24-27 In the account of Daniel chapter 9, one speaks clearly of the Messiah (see Daniel 9:25) and it is not necessary to read what is not written. Anyone who wanted to be polemical could discuss the start date from which to count the "weeks" or even the adduct method * (one day for a year) but certainly we can not discuss the subject in existence (the Messiah). It could also be absurd to discuss who the Messiah really was (which Jews are still discussing) but certainly we can not argue that Daniel chapter 9 speaks of the arrival of the Messiah! Instead, Daniel chapter 4 speaks of Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom, while all the "understanding" concerning the Kingdom of God is built on four lines in the book "Pay attention to Daniel's prophecies!" That read: "But the great tree represents the domain that reaches the end of the earth, which embraces the entire kingdom of mankind. Thus it symbolizes the universal sovereignty of Jehovah, particularly in relation to the earth. - Daniel 4:17 "(chapter 6, page 87 of the Italian edition of the book). Does not this seem like a very firm statement with a very weak base? Let us try not to tell Daniel 4:17 what he does not really say because it is enough to know the basic rules of grammar so as not to be distracted by the subject. The subject is Nebuchadnezzar and God makes him understand that, because of the fact that he is exalted, he would have taken away his kingdom and given it to whoever He had wanted (exactly as He did to Pharaoh). In practice the one who really rules is the Creator and the other kingdoms exist only because He allows it - Compare Romans 13: 1 So there is no reason to believe that the tree (that is, one of the many governments that Jehovah has permitted in the history of mankind), actually represents the Kingdom of God. If someone wants to imply that the fact that God mentions His dominion is indicative that the tree itself represents His dominion (and is an incredible semantic acrobatics) then we can take the story reported in 2 Kings 19: 14-19 and do it same reasoning. “Hez·e·ki?ah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them. Hez·e·ki?ah then went up to the house of Jehovah and spread them* out before Jehovah.+ 15  And Hez·e·ki?ah began to pray+ before Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, sitting enthroned above* the cherubs,+ you alone are the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth.+ You made the heavens and the earth. 16  Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear!+ Open your eyes,+ O Jehovah, and see! Hear the words that Sen·nach?er·ib has sent to taunt the living God. 17  It is a fact, O Jehovah, that the kings of As·syr?i·a have devastated the nations and their lands.+ 18  And they have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were not gods+ but the work of human hands,+ wood and stone. That is why they could destroy them. 19  But now, O Jehovah our God, please save us out of his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are God, O Jehovah.” Hezekiah knew very well that Jehovah was "the true God of all the kingdoms of the earth" and he prayed that Sennacherib would be stopped in his intent to destroy Jerusalem. We know very well what was the answer of Isaiah which last part reads Â… “Because your rage against me+ and your roaring have reached my ears.+ So I will put my hook in your nose and my bridle+ between your lips,And I will lead you back the way you came.” - 2 Kings 19:28 If we did the same reasoning as for chapter 4 of Daniel, then we might suppose that the "reign of Sennacherib" was also an antitype of the kingdom of God because he too had to learn (at his own expense) that Jehovah is "the true God of all. the kingdoms of the earth "or, in other words, "dominates over all mankind ". Unfortunately, even in this story there are no numbers, days, weeks or months to be calculated and therefore no reason to read "the coming of the kingdom of God" even where no mention is made of it. Is it possible that the strong desire to see the prophecies fulfill has influenced the intention and therefore pushed to read what was not actually written? This means that if you really want to see a second fulfillment of the story reported in Daniel chapter 4, you should respect the subject in being and that is Babylon. It is likely that the story of Daniel is simply telling the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar and that the "seven times" mean only seven years but we can not be categorical. In this regard it is useful to reflect on the fact that even the humiliation of the Pharaoh, reported in Ezekiel, could have a second fulfillment as Jehovah says that he will "shake the nations" and this could be a reference to the Armageddon war.   So, without fixing ourselves too much with a specific date, in case the story of Daniel wanted to show us a second fulfillment of the prophecy, the report is actually saying: "Babylon will fall, will remain inactive for seven times and then rise again". This can only bring our mind back to the last mention that the Bible makes of Babylon - Revelation 17:5 The clues about Babylon the Great brought us to the nation of Israel so the question we should ask ourselves is ... "From what year we should start counting the 2520 years (ie 360 * 7) until we see the rebirth (if any) of Babylon? " From the story of Daniel the possible dates from which to count the seven times are two: 1) Since Nebuchadnezzar has had the vision or has fallen into "misfortune" (in fact, Daniel says "the tree is you" - Daniel 4: 20-22) 2) From the death of Nebuchadnezzar (if Nebuchadnezzar represents the kingdom of Babylon, his death is the moment when the tree is "knocked down" but it is to be noted that there is no reference to this in the narration of Daniel who, indeed, he says that the kingdom would be assured - Daniel 4:26) As far as the first hypothesis is concerned, it is impossible to have an accurate date because neither the Bible nor the secular history tells us in which year Nebuchadnezzar was expelled from his kingdom. This happened, obviously, after 597 a.E.V. (year in which Nebuchadnezzar brings the first Jewish prisoners to Babylon according to the secular date, there is a difference of 20 years with that of the slave who, in fact, puts 617 a.E.V.) and within 570 a.E.V. (if Nebuchadnezzar dies in 562 BCE - always according to the secular date - and the period of "captivity" lasts 7 years and the kingdom is returned to him presumed to have reigned for at least a year, 570 is the last useful year) . However in the first four chapters of Daniel we mention Daniel, Sadrac, Mesac and Abednego first as children (Daniel 1: 3, 4) and later as robust men (Daniel 3:12, 27) and all this before Nebuchadnezzar has the famous dream tree. This means that, from their deportation until the day when the king erected the image of gold, at least 15, 20 years passed. So if the Jews came to Babylon in 597 a.E.V. but they pass 20 years before the construction of the golden idol and having taken for good the secular date (562 a.E.V) it is possible to restrict the period from 577 a.E.V. up to 570 a.E.V. Obviously they are only estimates but the important date is the maximum time limit (570 a.E.V) so if from the deportation until the construction of the image had passed 15 years instead of 20, the starting date would be 582 a.E.V. but the last possible useful date would always be 570 a.E.V. The eventual rebirth of Babylon, if Daniel is talking about this, would have happened between 1943 E.V. (2520-577) and 1950 E.V. (2520-570). To reinforce this hypothesis there would also be the fact that the narration of his expulsion is the last story reported to Nebuchadnezzar. Few verses later, in fact, we no longer speak of him but of Baldassarre (Daniel chapter 5). It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Nebuchadnezzar had the vision in the last years, perhaps during the last decade of his reign.   The second hypothesis concerns the death of Nebuchadnezzar, which takes place, according to the secular sources, in 562 a.E.V. According to the slave, in 582 a.E.V. (see the book "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" chapter 7, page 99). Counting 2520 years we arrive at 1958 E.V. in the first case and to 1938 E.V. in the second case.   "Babylon will fall, remain inactive for seven times and then rise again"   What does recent history tell us? If, as we have seen, Babylon the Great is the nation of Israel, this would corroborate the first hypothesis. The first hypothesis places the rebirth of Babylon between 1943 and 1950. Indeed, the "resurrection" of Israel took place in May 1948.   Knowing the fixation of human beings for dates and calculations, however, it is prudent to pay attention to the most important things. The secular dates can not be secure, based on findings and comparisons more or less incomplete, and certainly we can not base our faith on this - 2 Corinthians 5: 7 What would happen if the 597 a.E.V., as well as 607 or 537 or any other date on which we based much of the biblical prophecies (without there being a real reason for doing so) tomorrow proved to be completely wrong? The consequences could be very serious and not just from a human point of view - Amos 3: 1, 2 We must not take Jehovah's mercy for granted, so we must be cautious in our statements. Since we have no certainty that the "seven times" do not simply represent seven years, we should not lose ourselves in these speculations. Is not the most important thing to understand the identity of Babylon the Great? Those who have truly studied the Bible without preconceptions have understood that Babylon the Great is indeed Israel and this has understood it regardless of dates and calculations. This is a crucial aspect of prophecy because it is the clues that guide us in the subjects and times in which we are living, such as road signs, and not the calculations - Compare Matthew 24:32, 33 and 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 and do a contrast with Matthew 24:36 There is no temporal indication for the killing of the two clothed witnesses (see Revelation chapter 11) but we know that they are revealed at the end of the war. We know that the city called "Sodom and Egypt" is Babylon the Great, hence Israel, and as a result we also know which nation and events to watch carefully. That the Bible actually prophesises the year of his "resurrection" or not, is certainly interesting but not fundamental for those who believe that it is indeed the inspired Word of God. Fundamental, if anything, will be "get out of it" when the UN prepares to destroy it.   * However the Bible confirms the "one day for a year" method and also that this was the same method used by God's people - Ezekiel 4: 6; Luke 3:15 ** The Bible allows us to be "fully competent" then all the speeches made on 607 a.E.V. pro and contra, they are absolutely useless. Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as we have seen, has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God    
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      We are now very close to the great tribulation!
      A brother of the betel was concluding his speech when he made the following comment: " Be intensely busy with the word of God," I would like listening very carefully. We who are in Betel we are privileged to work with the faithful and discreet slave and with the body of directors and I wish know you how he feels the body of directors about the time we live now in this system of things.
      The faithful slave feels that it is already happened to the Matthew 24:14 prophecy: "quest for good news the kingdom's be preached in all the inhabited earth."
      What does the party later this word? He says that ... then the end will come.
      He knew you that there are only three countries in the world where there are no Jehovah's Witnesses?
      ONLY 3 countries!
      Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan ...
      This does not mean that there does not reach the in our literature to but just that there are not Jehovah's Witnesses. I had mentioned earlier to some friends and they wanted to know why there are no Jehovah's Witnesses in these countries. I 'll tell you the reason.
      Jehovah does not send his people to any place where he knows that van there! * (See footnote)
      But in these three countries the good news have already been published (I guess it refers to the fact that literature is still available).
      Matthew 14, Luke 21, Mark 13, as well as Revelation 6: these words are ending (?)
      So what is the biblical prophecy that still has to fulfill?
      You know what?
      The read for you.
      See Revelation 17: 15-17 - (read the prophecy)
      The faithful slave is waiting for the day Jehovah will put this thought into their hearts.
      This is the next prophecy that must be fulfilled. For those who know what it means, this will cause the great tribulation.
      Once this is fulfilled , the door will be closed (in a spiritual sense).
      Whatever thing you did, you can not go back.
      "I could have done this or that if I had more time."
      Now is the time!
      How will you spend the time you stay?
      For what are you working or are you committed ?
      - in higher education?
      - you are struggling to get more money and material goods?
      - you are engaged in the distractions of the world?
      Or are you undertake to favor the kingdom.?
      We do things urgently, we try to be quick! (Story running on facebook between of various witnesses of Jehovah accounts)
        I want to point out that the aforementioned text is the translation of the translation of a translation and then of specific phrases may have been distorted sense. Apart from that, however, the general sense of the discourse is clear. Assuming that they are not the ravings of some overzealous brother (which still brings out what they believe, more or less openly, many Jehovah's Witnesses), the meaning is as follows. The prophecies have almost all been fulfilled.  
      The preaching was completed.  
      We are just waiting for the fall of Babylon the Great.  
        Our expectations are really in harmony with God's Word?   That's it? Some brother more in later years and with a good memory will recall that statements like these (views from different angles) have already been made in the past. Without wishing to be too argumentative, beyond the past mistakes, it is clear that sooner or later you have to get to the point where it will begin the great tribulation, will fall Babylon the Great, and you will enter the Millennial Kingdom. The fact we were wrong in the past, more than once, this in itself does not prove that you're wrong again. Could it really be so and definitely not wrong to keep alive the sense of urgency - compare Matthew 24:42; Revelation 16:15 Beyond, however, the "hint" that each of us can have, the only thing we should do is search the scriptures to try to understand "what extent we are old" in reference to biblical prophecy. It is true: if we take the writing of Matthew 24:14 and we make an analysis of the presence of our brothers in the world, probably we would come to the same conclusion of the aforesaid brother in the introduction of this article (always assuming that the report is credible). The question, however, end here? Being such an important subject, it would be no need to also examine other scriptures to see if you dial a credible framework or if "something is not right"? Moreover, as the same "slave" has admitted, they are not inspired and therefore we would like to build on something more than a simple "I want you to know how you feel the governing body about the time we live in." The Bible is not "imperfect spiritual food", does not lend itself to corrections or rewards, does not change with time and definitely do not mind - John 17:17; Romans 3: 4; James 1:17; Titus 1: 2 Obviously you are not suggesting that the interpretations of this blog are infallible; far from it. You simply want to emphasize that the Bible is always to have the last word and so we must look for answers there, not in our desires or people that we value - Matthew 4: 4 Some do not even accept the possibility that even those who are taking the lead can go wrong (as if they were human beings). For some to question the statement "slave" is an indication of lack of respect and submission but this is a myopic view of the situation. We know that many times the people of God fed wrong expectations about the future and about the will of God - compares Isaiah 28: 14-19 They were the people of God but this, in itself, did not guarantee the protection and the priests themselves, more often, showed a complete ignorance of the Scriptures - John 3:10 This also happened with good intentions and the best people - compares 1 Samuel 16: 7 Considering the biblical past, trying to see what the Bible says to beyond the proclamation and to everyone who comes , is not it the best? - 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Romans 15: 4; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 The Lord Jesus Christ himself, the one who was the wisest of all men , and that he could speak of his own initiative, not perhaps did the same? - Matthew 4: 4-10 Questioning certain statements (not for bias, of course) is not a lack of respect towards the index "slave"; on the contrary, it shows profound respect for the one true authority of God's Word - Psalm 31: 5; Acts 17:11 Let us examine the claim that the prophecies would almost all be fulfilled, and we just have to wait the fall of Babylon the Great. The officer says that understanding God's Kingdom was established in heaven in 1914, by 1918 the heavens were purified, in 1919 the heavenly resurrection began (as well as the purification of the people of God) and so on. Perhaps there is some error in this generalization also because of the constant "adjustments" (adjustments that change the periods of a few months, ever the concepts) but roughly this is what you believe.

      In this article you will see just how the logic and writing can corroborate or invalidate these ideas. The official explanation identifies the slaughtered head of death Revelation 13: 3 as the Anglo-American empire. It is true that the book that lists this explanation (the Revelation Its Grand Climax) has now been withdrawn but there is nothing new on the horizon that, until there is a different explanation, this is the ultimate understanding accepted. As we saw this explanation is problematic because the Anglo-American empire, according to official explanations, is the "king of the South" described in the Bible book of Daniel. However in Daniel is the king of the north to win the last war, and so it is obvious that something is not right - Daniel 11: 40-45 Of course we can not say that Daniel and Revelation contradict, does not it? To focus with Daniel Revelation there are only two possibilities. Or the Anglo-American empire is actually the king of the north ** (see note below) or head slaughtered to death that you see in Revelation can not be the Anglo-American empire. Does not it seem logical reasoning? How can the Anglo-American empire (and be the king of the south) if Daniele does understand that the last ruling king, or what will be defeated by Michele, is the king of the north? In Revelation we do not see another political power that defeats the beast that ascends from the sea. After the Great War (which can also have multiple stages), do not talk about other human wars in Revelation, right? - 1 Thessalonians 5: 3 The last war we are talking about and who participates in this beast is against the God Almighty - Revelation 16: 10-14, 16 The conclusion is logical. Apart from the fact that the end will come when the preaching has reached "all the inhabited earth" before this you will see the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south. And must win the king of the north, of course. In the last World War he has probably won the king of the north as well as to assert that "we just have to wait over the fall of Babylon the Great"? Absolutely no. The last king of the north was the Third Reich and, during the battle against the king of the south (the Anglo-American empire, in fact) it came out defeated. This is a prophecy that still has not been fulfilled and it is more than enough to establish that it is not enough that the preaching arrivals in these last three remaining countries. Among other things, the writing of Matthew 24:14 does not give any basis for determining how long the good news has to take place in a given country in order to receive adequate testimony. If tomorrow our brothers  they come in those nations and begin to preach ... how much time would pass until God considered adequate and sufficiently complete that testimony? The answer is simple: we do not know . However, although that has yet to burst the war between the king of the north and king of the south, it is conceivable that in the meantime there are other prophecies that have to be fulfilled or are being fulfilled, is not it? As we have seen in several previous articles before the war should emerge a certain persecution of brothers (you have tribulation, but is not yet the great tribulation ) because the king of the north must start to suppress the daily sacrifice (the preaching work ) until you get to completely suppress it - see Daniel 8: 10-12, 24, 25 In our recent past, the preaching work was perhaps suppressed completely, which it did by means of the king of the north? According to the prophecy, and this must be done only during the last years of the scheme of things it must have a last impulse - compares Revelation 10:11; 14: 6, 7 E 'at this point that the preaching work will reach the ends of the earth, and this will happen very quickly - Zechariah 4: 6 The total suppression of preaching did not happen even during the Second World War and certainly did not happen in all countries; Also this leaves well understand that it is a prophecy to come. There is much more to say but the above should be sufficient, even for those who disagree with the explanations of this blog, to reflect that the Great, "you can not expect only the fall of" Babylon. Who has respect for the Bible itself to be shaped by it. Of course what has been said does not want to show that the end will come "who knows when." In contrast, recent international events suggest that we are far ahead in the end time  All the events described above will occur in a very short time so when we can really begin to come to "raise high head" - Luke 21:28 Those who have lifted up their heads in 1914 all died with a stiff neck but when these things begin to take place (such as the war between the king of the north and king of the south) we can do it peacefully because of this incident until the actual fall of Babylon the Great (which will not be the world empire of false religion ) will spend a maximum of ten years. So us ensure that our expectations are in harmony with the Word of God not to be disappointed - Isaiah 28:16 Us ensure that our expectations are in harmony with the Word of God to be prepared for what's to come and not discouraged - 2 Peter 1:19; Proverbs 24:10 Us ensure that our expectations are in harmony with the Word of God, ultimately, for our lives - Matthew 7:24, 25     The Bible traces the path. It will not lead to disappointment.   Footnote. * The translation was not very clear. ** From previous articles we saw that the Anglo-American empire is indeed the king of the south.
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      "Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones+ and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.” - Revelation 18:24
       
      If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel, why does the book of Revelation say that "in her was found the blood of all those who were slaughtered on the earth"?
      Obviously the objection is that if Israel exists only since 1948, it can not be responsible for all the blood spilled!
      To answer this question we must understand when the Revelation and the context of this writing are fulfilled.
      In the meantime, it is useful to reflect on the words of Our Lord when, addressing precisely to the scribes and the hypocritical Pharisees of that nation, he said: “Serpents, offspring of vipers,+ how will you flee from the judgment of Ge·henʹna?For this reason, I am sending to you prophets+ and wise men and public instructors.+ Some of them you will kill+ and execute on stakes, and some of them you will scourge+ in your synagogues and persecute+ from city to city, so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of Zech·a·riʹah son of Bar·a·chiʹah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.+ Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation" - Matthw 23:33-36
      Now we know that when the Lord said "this generation" did not mean something strange, like a generation that intersects with another generation or such absurdity.
      Jesus pronounced those words in 30 AD. about, and those words came true in 70 CE, that is about forty years later.
      Nobody asked himself "what the Lord really meant" when he said "this generation" because it was clear what he meant.
      This also applies to the "sign of His presence" and should make each of us reflect when, trying to hide a series of errors and wrong intentions, we try to make Scripture say what it does not say.
      However, in this context, the question we should ask ourselves is "Why does the Lord impute crimes from Abel to the scribes and the Pharisees?"
      Obviously Abel was not killed by a scribe or a Pharisee!
      At the time of Abel, the nation of Israel did not even exist!
      Why, then, this condemnation?
      This could be one of the reasons that led to think that "Babylon the great" was the world empire of false religion because the Pharisees could not be guilty of the death of Abel or of "all those slaughtered on earth".
      However this hypothesis is absurd because could also be made the opposite objection.
      If when Jesus condemns those who are guilty of the blood of "all those who have been slaughtered on earth" meant this phantom "world empire of false religion" because, instead, the judgment strikes only on Israel? - compare Luke 21:22
      The judgment fell into "that generation" and fell right on Jerusalem, exactly as the Lord said.
      Why, then, did this condemnation starting with the murder of Abel?
      This is because God considers those who have "known God" to be especially responsible, yet they commit unspeakable crimes - Amos 3: 2
      What other nation in the world has had a "special relationship" with the Creator of the universe so that they have a greater responsibility for their mistakes? - compare Matthew 11: 21-24; 12: 38-41
      It is also very important to consider people's heart condition - Matthew 5: 21-22
      Although these scribes and Pharisees were not directly responsible for the death of Abel or all those who had been killed until that day, they had clearly manifested the same mental attitude of Cain and for this reason they were already subject to judgment - John 8 : 44-47; 1 John 3:12 However, the legitimate next objection could be "Why should God condemn Israel again, since it has already paid for its mistakes in 70 AD?"
      As said at the beginning, to answer this question we must understand when the biblical book of Revelation is fulfilled.
      Every time we read Revelation 18:24 we understood that it was to pay for all the blood spilled since the beginning of time but it does not.
      Indeed, Revelation is fulfilled on the day of the Lord - Revelation 1:10
      So the blood that is imputed to Babylon the Great is all the blood that will be shed on the Lord's day and not from the beginning of time.
      This should make us reflect on the period in which the day of the Lord really begins, namely a period in which there must also be Israel, not before.
      If Israel exists only since 1948, the day of the Lord can not start on any other previous date.
      It can start at a later date, not necessarily in 1948, but it certainly can not begin sooner.
      However we will deepen this "bold statement" in a future article.
      Why will Babylon the Great be held responsible for all the blood shed on earth during the day of the Lord?
      Because this nation will be the main cause of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south - Daniel 11:40
      The king of the north (Russia) either directly or through one of his allies, will find himself in a situation where he will be forced to attack Israel.
      This attack, predicted in the Scriptures, will become the expedient to bring into play the two great world powers.
      These will be the wars that foretold the Lord as an unmistakable sign of His presence - Matthew 24: 6
      The first and second world wars, though terrifying, have nothing to do with what we have been taught.
      It will be the next wars to identify the "day of the Lord" - Revelation 6: 3, 4
      God is not responsible for these wars but Babylon the Great.
      This will be the main reason why it will be destroyed, but this will not happen during this attack (now close).
      Babylon the Great will continue to exist until the last moment of the world system.
      Towards the end of the great tribulation (not at the beginning), Babylon the Great, or the nation of Israel that will continue to exist until the end of the third world war, will be finally destroyed.
      This event will start the armageddon war.
      Look carefully at world events.

      The next article will see another characteristic of Babylon the Great and this will also help us to identify it as the nation of Israel.
    • By Jack Ryan
      referring to CHAPTER 18 “My Great Rage Will Flare Up” in the new book:
      and in the first picture? at top of study. Mom, Dad and daughter are at the table reading - praying while Gramps is keeping a watchful eye on the streets for recon angel forces ? Perhaps a few cherub paratroopers dropping behind the lines?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Would we just drop dead? Would it be painful? Would we suffer? Would we know? If we die wouldn’t our sins be forgiven anyways cause if not that makes god a liar. No one ever talked About how we would all die
      Arrow to the chest by Jesus on a mighty steed?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Will God kill billions of children?
    • By Jack Ryan
      Panic and escape scene in Moncalieri, but it is the film of Jehovah's Witnesses
      Stampa Newspaper:
      La Stampa (meaning The Press in English) is an Italian daily newspaper published in Turin, Italy. It is distributed in Italy and other European nations. It is one of the oldest newspapers in Italy
    • Guest Nicole
    • By Jack Ryan
      The Bible clearly shows where it is written that he himself says he does not. Only the Father knows.
    • By Jack Ryan
      Watchtower, Study Edition, March 15th, 2015
      Loyally Supporting Christ’s Brothers
      Link: https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2015207
      This article is a doozy. It has many points of interest that carefully play on words, and emotionally manipulate the reader. It really is something.
      Pay special attention to paragraphs 6, 7, 9, 10, 17, and 18.
      These paragraphs clearly highlight anyone who is not an active JW will be judged a goat and be killed. Also, spectacularly, those paragraphs point that if you want to be judged a sheep, meaning to not be killed by God imminently, you need to a)recognize the divine authority of the Governing Body, b) obey the organization unquestioningly, c) preach to recruit new members, and d) give financially to the organization.
      This article sealed the deal for me. I'm sorry but only a cult would wield the fear of divine destruction to demand divinity status, loyalty, obedience, and money.
      Some more source material:
      Gods Kingdom Rules!
      Chapter 21, Paragraph 17
      Link: https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102014263#h=25
      Here we are told that the goats, who are comprised of everyone from kings to slaves, will be sent to everlasting cutting off.
      This material is great for discussing how a God of Love could murder billions:
      Watchtower, December 1st, 2005
      Armageddon - A Happy Beginning
      Link: https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2005881?q=armageddon&p=par
      This wonderful article is a real gem. It compares the murder of billions of human beings, including children, to a home owner exterminating pests. I kid you not. They use the word pest when describing the destruction of people. Real people.
    • By Jesus.defender
      Past tense since the watchtower predicted armageddon so many times?
       
      1877 'The End Of This World; that is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period, which is to be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation Dan. 12:3." (N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell, Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World, p. 17).
       
      1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77)
       
      1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
       
      1894 "Seventeen years ago people said, concerning the time features presented in Millennial Dawn, They seem reasonable in many respects, but surely no such radical changes could occur between now and the close of 1914: if you had proved that they would come about in a century or two, it would seem much more probable. What changes have since occurred, and what velocity is gained daily? 'The old is quickly passing and the new is coming in.' Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures-nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Zion's Watchtower, Can It Be Delayed until 1914? C. T. Russell July 15, 1894, Also in Watchtower Reprints, l894 p. 1677)
       
      1894 "A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the space of time that intervenes." (Watchtower p. 56, 1894)
       
      1894 "We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints)
       
      1917 'There will be no slip-up...Abraham should enter upon the actual possession of his promised inheritance in the year 1925' (Watchtower Oct. 15, 1917, p. 6157)
       
      1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection." (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89)

      1920 '...we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected' (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88)

      1920 '...we may expect 1925 to witness the return of these faithful men of Israel from the condition of death, being resurrected' (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 88)
       
      1966 "According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E Six thousand years of man's existence on earth will soon be up, yea within this generation. The rein of Christ...to run parallel with the 7th millennium ..." (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 1966, p. 29-30)
       
      1966 "Discussion of 1975 overshadowed about everything else. 'The new book compels us to realise that Armageddon is, in fact, very close indeed,' said a conventioneer." (Watchtower 15/10/1966, p 629)
       
      1968 "Why Are You Looking Forward To 1975?" … "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." (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494)
    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      "E in quanto a te, o Daniele, rendi segrete le parole e sigilla il libro, sino al tempo della fine. Molti [lo] scorreranno, e la [vera] conoscenza diverrà abbondante” - Daniele 12:4
      In Daniele 12:11, 12 si legge… “11 “E dal tempo in cui è stato soppresso il [sacrificio] continuo ed è stata posta la cosa disgustante che causa desolazione, ci saranno milleduecentonovanta giorni.
      12 “Felice colui che rimane in attesa e che arriva a milletrecentotrentacinque giorni!”
      Questa parte è fondamentale per completare il quadro di Rivelazione.   Intanto rispolveriamo la memoria in base a ciò che diceva/dice lo Schiavo in merito a questi giorni. I 1290 giorni andrebbero dal gennaio 1919 al settembre 1922 in quanto nel 1919 i membri della Società furono rilasciati e da quel momento iniziarono a fare progresso fino al 1922... anno in cui si tenne quella storica assemblea a Cedar Point (Ohio) che diede straordinario impulso all’opera di predicazione (questi sarebbero i 1290 giorni). Dopodiché a questi giorni aggiungono altri 1335 giorni arrivando così al maggio 1926, anno in cui gli unti “raggiungono una condizione felice” in quanto non ci sono più “nostalgici” (fratelli che ancora rimpiangevano Russell e ancora studiavano la Bibbia attraverso gli “studi sulle Scritture”) viene presentato il libro “Liberazione” (1926) e altri particolari. Tutto questo è riportato nel libro “Profezie di Daniele” alle pagine 298-305. C’è da dire che per far combaciare queste date i giorni sono stati “grandemente arrotondati” (Rutherford e i suoi collaboratori furono rilasciati il 26 marzo 1919, non a gennaio 1919; si veda la Torre di Guardia del 16/05/2016 all’articolo intitolato “A chi è stata affidata l’opera”) ma cosa anche più importante la scrittura di Daniele, dopo aver menzionato i 1290 giorni, dice “Felice colui che rimane in attesa e che arriva a milletrecentotrentacinque giorni!” - Daniele 12:12 “Arrivare a...” significa aggiungere a quanto c’era prima. Questo significa che se si parla di 1290 giorni e poi si dice “arriva a 1335 giorni” bisogna aggiungere altri 45 giorni e non altri 1335 giorni. Si potrebbe pensare che applicando le profezie ad assemblee o congressi o pubblicazioni o risoluzioni speciali, qualunque numero dovesse comparire nella Bibbia, forzando anche la data di inizio e fine con qualche gioco semantico, cadrebbe sicuramente su qualcosa di importante. Comunque proviamo a leggere semplicemente quello che c’è scritto dimenticando quello che sappiamo o crediamo di sapere. Intanto negli ultimi due capitoli di Daniele si parla di questa “cosa disgustante” e di un re che dice “cose meravigliose e bestemmie”. Si dice inoltre che questo re avrebbe fatto guerra contro i santi e li avrebbe fatti inciampare o vinti e che sarebbe arrivato fino al santo monte dell’Adornamento – Daniele 11:32-45 Questi particolari importanti, senza alcuna forzatura, ci riportano al libro di Rivelazione in particolare ai capitoli da 11 a 13. Inoltre Daniele 12:1 parla di Michele che sarebbe sorto in favore “dei figli del popolo di Daniele” e sarebbe quindi iniziato un tempo di angustia “come non se ne sarà fatto accadere da che ci fu nazione” – Daniele 12:1; Matteo 24:21; Rivelazione 12:12 E’ fin troppo evidente che Daniele e Giovanni stiano parlando dello stesso periodo di tempo. Partendo da questo assunto, quindi, anche i giorni descritti nei due libri devono combaciare. Tuttavia Daniele parla di 1290 giorni mentre Rivelazione parla di 1260. Come mai? La domanda di Daniele è... “Quale sarà la parte finale di queste cose?” - Daniele 12:6 In pratica Daniele, turbato da tutto quello che ha visto, deve essersi chiesto quando tutto sarebbe finito (cioè quando la cosa disgustante avrebbe finito di frantumare il popolo Santo e quando avrebbe avuto termine questo sistema politico guerrafondaio). L’angelo risponde... “Dal tempo in cui è stato soppresso il sacrificio continuo ed è stata posta la cosa disgustante che causa desolazione, ci saranno 1290 giorni” – Daniele 12:11 Quindi, prima di andare avanti, dobbiamo farci una serie di domande. 1) Chi offriva i sacrifici continui? 2) Qual è la controparte moderna? 3) Cos’è la cosa disgustante? 4) Confrontando con il libro Rivelazione, quando viene soppresso il sacrificio continuo? Dovremmo ormai saper rispondere a queste domande. 1) Erano i sacerdoti leviti ad offrire i sacrifici. 2) La controparte moderna sono i cristiani che predicano (potremmo supporre coloro che hanno incarichi speciali nell’ambito della congregazione, eletti o potenziali tali, ma il sacrificio che offriamo è, appunto, l’opera di predicazione – Ebrei 13:15) 3) La cosa disgustante, in Rivelazione, è la bestia selvaggia che ascende dall’abisso (la stessa che distruggerà Babilonia la Grande) ma fosse anche l’impero anglo-americano, il blocco Russia-Cina o qualsiasi altra forza politica, l’avvenimento che ci interessa in questo contesto è la soppressione del sacrificio continuo (cioè l’uccisione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco). 4) Confrontando quindi con il libro Rivelazione... esaminiamo quanto segue. La soppressione del sacrificio continuo (cioè l’opera di predicazione compiuta dagli eletti) è descritta nel capitolo 11 di Rivelazione quando, “la bestia selvaggia che ascende dall’abisso farà guerra contro di loro e li vincerà e li ucciderà” – Rivelazione 11:7 E’ proprio questo il momento in cui il sacrificio continuo viene soppresso? Sembra proprio di sì perché successivamente si sentono alte voci in cielo che dicono: “Il regno del mondo è divenuto il regno del nostro Signore e del suo Cristo” e quindi si parla della nascita del figlio (il regno di Dio). Quindi questo è l’avvenimento da cui contare 1290 giorni. Questi 1290 giorni sono “la parte finale di queste cose” cioè gli ultimi atti di questo sistema di cose secondo la domanda fatta da Daniele. Sappiamo che, una volta scacciato Satana sulla terra (avvenimento successivo all'uccisione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco) egli dà alla bestia tutta la sua potenza e autorità e Rivelazione 13:5 dice che essa avrà autorità d’agire per 42 mesi. Questi 42 mesi, ovvero 1260 giorni, sono gli stessi menzionati nel capitolo 11 dove l’angelo dice a Giovanni di “tralasciare il cortile che è fuori del santuario del tempio” perché sarebbe stato dato alle nazioni le quali lo avrebbero calpestato, appunto, per 42 mesi. Ricapitolando… Prima c’è la predicazione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco. La cosa disgustante o bestia selvaggia, descritta sia in Daniele che in Rivelazione, sopprime il sacrificio continuo quando li uccide (Rivelazione 11:7; Daniele 12:11); da questo momento si devono contare 1290 giorni i quali portano alla “fine di queste cose”. La bestia selvaggia è libera di calpestare il cortile per 42 mesi (ovvero 1260 giorni; vedi Rivelazione 13:5) e quindi dobbiamo chiederci: cosa succede tra la morte dei due testimoni e il momento in cui Satana dà alla bestia tutta la sua potenza (la quale agirà, calpestando il popolo di Dio, per 42 mesi)? Dunque, leggiamo… “15 E il settimo angelo suonò la sua tromba. E vi furono alte voci in cielo, che dicevano: “Il regno del mondo è divenuto il regno del nostro Signore e del suo Cristo, ed egli regnerà per i secoli dei secoli”. 16 E i ventiquattro anziani che erano seduti dinanzi a Dio sui loro troni caddero sulle loro facce e adorarono Dio, 17 dicendo: “Ti ringraziamo, Geova Dio, Onnipotente, Colui che sei e che eri, perché hai preso il tuo gran potere e hai cominciato a regnare. 18 Ma le nazioni si adirarono, e venne l’ira tua, e il tempo fissato di giudicare i morti, e di dare la ricompensa ai tuoi schiavi i profeti, e ai santi e a quelli che temono il tuo nome, i piccoli e i grandi, e di ridurre in rovina quelli che rovinano la terra”. 19 E il [santuario del] tempio di Dio che è in cielo fu aperto, e l’arca del suo patto fu vista nel [santuario del] suo tempio. E ne seguirono lampi e voci e tuoni e un terremoto e grossa grandine. 12 E un gran segno fu visto nel cielo, una donna vestita del sole, e la luna era sotto i suoi piedi, e sulla sua testa c’era una corona di dodici stelle, 2 ed era incinta. E grida nelle sue doglie e nel suo travaglio per partorire. 3 E fu visto un altro segno nel cielo, ed ecco, un gran dragone color fuoco, con sette teste e dieci corna e sulle sue teste sette diademi; 4 e la sua coda trascina un terzo delle stelle del cielo, e le scagliò sulla terra. E il dragone si teneva davanti alla donna che stava per partorire, per divorarne il figlio quando l’avesse partorito.5 Ed essa partorì un figlio, un maschio, che deve pascere tutte le nazioni con una verga di ferro. E il figlio di lei fu rapito presso Dio e il suo trono. 6 E la donna fuggì nel deserto, dove ha un luogo preparato da Dio, affinché vi sia nutrita per milleduecentosessanta giorni. 7 E scoppiò la guerra in cielo: Michele e i suoi angeli guerreggiarono contro il dragone, e il dragone e i suoi angeli guerreggiarono, 8 ma esso non prevalse, né fu più trovato posto per loro in cielo. 9 E il gran dragone fu scagliato, l’originale serpente, colui che è chiamato Diavolo e Satana, che svia l’intera terra abitata; fu scagliato sulla terra, e i suoi angeli furono scagliati con lui. 10 E udii nel cielo un’alta voce dire: “Ora son venuti la salvezza e la potenza e il regno del nostro Dio e l’autorità del suo Cristo, perché è stato gettato giù l’accusatore dei nostri fratelli, che li accusa giorno e notte dinanzi al nostro Dio! 11 Ed essi lo vinsero a motivo del sangue dell’Agnello e a motivo della parola della loro testimonianza, e non amarono la loro anima neppure di fronte alla morte”. Alla morte e risurrezione dei 2 testimoni il regno del mondo diventa davvero il regno “del nostro Signore e del suo Cristo” in quanto nasce il Regno di Dio (ormai sufficientemente completo del numero degli eletti) e inizia la purificazione dei cieli e il giudizio sulla terra. Infatti il capitolo 12 parla della nascita del figlio. Quindi scoppia la guerra in cielo e Satana viene scagliato sulla terra. Da quel momento ha davvero “un breve periodo di tempo” perché potrà giocare con la sua bestia soltanto per altri 42 mesi – Confronta Rivelazione 12:12 e 13:5 con Rivelazione 19:19–20:2 Quindi se la risurrezione spirituale avviene in un “batter d’occhio” i 30 giorni sono il periodo che include la nascita del Regno di Dio e la durata della guerra in cielo o poco meno. In armonia con ciò, 30 giorni furono il periodo di tempo in cui il popolo di Dio fece lutto per la morte di Aaronne (il primo Sommo Sacerdote) – Numeri 20:29 Quindi, dopo un’interruzione di 30 giorni, il nuovo Sommo Sacerdote ricominciò ad officiare. La morte dei due testimoni “vestiti di sacco” porta ad un’interruzione dei servizi sacerdotali per 30 giorni (essi vengono risuscitati appena 3,5 giorni dopo ma evidentemente non possono cominciare ad officiare subito anche perché bisogna purificare i cieli). Questa differenza di 30 giorni sono anche i giorni abbreviati di cui parlò Gesù in quanto la grande tribolazione non inizia immediatamente dopo l'uccisione dei due testimoni – Vedi Matteo 24:22 Satana e i suoi demoni, infatti, saranno occupati a combattere una guerra in cielo che perderanno ma che li terrà occupati per un po'. Anche al tempo dei primi cristiani i giorni di tribolazione furono abbreviati sul nascere e non verso la fine; il ritiro degli eserciti romani (avvenuto all'inizio dell'assedio) permise ai cristiani di "fuggire ai monti" e salvarsi la vita. Da questo possiamo ricavare anche la durata della grande tribolazione la quale inizia nel momento in cui Satana viene scagliato sulla terra, appena 30 giorni dopo l’uccisione dei due testimoni, e dura 42 mesi. Infine l’angelo conclude dicendo... “Felice colui che rimane in attesa e che arriva a milletrecentotrentacinque giorni!” Daniele 12:12 Perché si diventa felici? Evidentemente perché, dopo che la cosa disgustante ha scatenato la sua furia su tutto il popolo di Dio, adesso è arrivato il momento del giudizio di Dio sulla bestia e su tutto il resto del mondo. Questo dovrebbe essere quel periodo di tempo di cui parla Isaia dicendo... “Va, popolo mio, entra nelle tue stanze interne, e chiudi le tue porte dietro di te. Nasconditi per un breve momento finché la denuncia sia passata” – Isaia 26:20 45 giorni sono effettivamente pochi giorni in più rispetto ai 40 giorni di tempo in cui la nazione di Israele avrebbe dovuto vagare nel deserto per raggiungere la terra promessa.   Quindi premettendo che… Se il racconto di Rivelazione è in ordine cronologico (come sembra) e se i 1290 giorni di Daniele sono i 1260 giorni (+30) di Rivelazione… 1) La risurrezione generale (spirituale) inizierà solo dopo l'uccisione dei due testimoni vestiti di sacco descritti in Rivelazione 11. 2) Questo permetterà la nascita del Regno di Dio. 3) Solo alla nascita del Regno di Dio scoppia la guerra in cielo la quale durerà 30 giorni o poco meno. 4) La grande tribolazione inizierà 30 giorni dopo l’uccisione dei due testimoni e cioè alla fine della guerra in cielo. 5) La grande tribolazione durerà 42 mesi i quali sono anche “il breve periodo di tempo” rimasto a Satana per agire. 6) Armaghedon inizierà allo scadere di questi 42 mesi e durerà 45 giorni (la "breve denuncia" in cui il popolo di Dio si chiuderà nelle sue stanze interne – Isaia 26:20)     COMMENTI SIGNIFICATIVI Ora, la mia domanda è: come facciamo a sapere che i riferimenti temporali che troviamo in Daniele e Rivelazione (che siano giorni o mesi) non sono simbolici ma letterali?
        Prima Parte. Ti ringrazio, Sagmar, per la tua domanda.
      In effetti sembra che quando "ci gira" applichiamo "un giorno per un anno" e quando "non ci gira" un giorno equivale ad un giorno.
      Bene, proviamo a fare alcune considerazioni.
      Partendo da Rivelazione, la prima menzione che si fa di questo periodo di tempo si trova al capitolo 11 il versetto 2.
      L'angelo dice a Giovanni "Ma in quanto al cortile che è fuori del [santuario del] tempio, gettalo completamente fuori e non misurarlo, perché è stato dato alle nazioni, ed esse calpesteranno la città santa per quarantadue mesi".
      Quindi il capitolo 11 si concentra su questi due testimoni vestiti di sacco i quali ricordano i sacerdoti leviti (infatti si parla della misurazione del Tempio) che officiano nel Tempio e si occupano dei sacrifici – Ebrei 13:15
      Se i due testimoni rappresentano i sacerdoti leviti, chi rappresenta "il cortile che è fuori del santuario del tempio" il quale sarà calpestato, appunto, per 42 mesi?
      Evidentemente sono il popolo di Dio nel suo insieme.
      Vediamo come continua il resoconto di Rivelazione.
      Alla fine della loro predicazione i due testimoni vengono uccisi, risorgono, suona la settima tromba, nasce il regno di Dio... (Capitoli 11 e 12 di Rivelazione).
      Alla nascita del regno di Dio scoppia la guerra in cielo e Satana è particolarmente adirato perché, da quel momento in poi, "ha un breve periodo di tempo" – Rivelazione 12:12
      Quanto breve?
      Dal momento che secondo lo schiavo il "breve periodo di tempo" sarebbe iniziato nel 1914 la domanda è più che legittima.
      Continuiamo a leggere.
      Una volta che Satana è stato scagliato sulla terra si parla della bestia con dieci corna e sette teste che ascende dal mare e della testa scannata a morte che "fu sanata"... quindi i versetti 4 e 5 (capitolo 13) dicono... "E adorarono il dragone perché aveva dato l’autorità alla bestia selvaggia, e adorarono la bestia selvaggia con le parole: “Chi è simile alla bestia selvaggia, e chi può guerreggiare contro di essa?” 5?E le fu data una bocca che diceva cose grandi e bestemmie, e le fu data autorità di agire per quarantadue mesi".
      Agire per fare cosa?
      Per "far guerra contro i santi e vincerli" – Rivelazione 13:7
      Quindi si sta parlando dell'avvenimento descritto dall'angelo, vero?
      Il cortile fuori dal tempio sarebbe stato calpestato per 42 mesi e, infatti, questa bestia agirà contro il popolo di Dio per 42 mesi.
      Questo periodo è letterale o è simbolico?
      (segue seconda parte)
        Seconda parte. Anche se per lo schiavo 103 anni possono essere considerati "un breve periodo di tempo" se rapportati a 6.000 anni di esperienza di Satana... certo non può dirsi di 1260 anni!
      Se applichiamo, infatti, la regola "un giorno per un anno", 42 mesi sono 1260 anni e certo non può essere considerato "un breve periodo di tempo" neppure rapportato all'età dell'uomo.
      Se questo è opinabile, sicuramente è difficile immaginare che questo possa essere il periodo in cui Satana è "particolarmente adirato" contro il popolo di Dio e cioè il periodo di tempo in cui cerca di distruggerlo!
      E' difficile immaginare che qualche cristiano possa sopravvivere a 1260 anni di furia satanica (continuando a leggere la Rivelazione si capisce che la persecuzione sarà molto intensa) – Matteo 24:21, 22
      Potrebbero non essere 1260 anni ma comunque un periodo di tempo non letterale, comunque breve?
      Il fatto che la Bibbia rimarchi questo periodo di tempo due volte, non c'è motivo per credere che non lo sia.
      Inoltre scopriamo che la Bibbia menziona questo periodo non due volte ma tre.
      Quando la donna "fugge nel deserto" si dice che ciò accade "affinché vi sia nutrita per milleduecentosessanta giorni".
      Dove si incastrano questi 1260 giorni (ovvero 42 mesi)?
      Ovviamente nello stesso periodo in cui la bestia avrà autorità d'agire.
      Infatti la scrittura dice che Satana si adirò contro la donna e, non riuscendo a farla annegare, "se ne va a far guerra al seme di lei".
      Questo fa ben capire che il popolo di Dio, durante tutta la grande tribolazione, continuerà ad essere nutrito (in qualche modo e in qualche misura) per tutto il tempo necessario ovvero "1260 giorni" che sono gli stessi 42 mesi in cui il popolo di Dio sarà "calpestato".
      (segue terza parte)
        Terza e ultima parte. Una volta stabilito che è un "breve periodo di tempo"... perché dovrebbero essere 5 anni (ad esempio), 74 mesi o qualsiasi altro periodo "breve" se la Bibbia dice, per ben 3 volte, che saranno 42 mesi?
      Ricordiamo inoltre che ciò che avviene in questo punto della Rivelazione è simile a ciò che avvenne ai primi cristiani.
      Quando l'esercito romano ritirò l'assedio a Gerusalemme (e in un articolo precedente si identifica Israele come Babilonia la Grande) i cristiani fuggirono ai monti in obbedienza alle parole di Gesù.
      La distruzione di Gerusalemme, però, non avvenne immediatamente ma circa tre anni e mezzo dopo (si può discutere se contare il periodo da Cestio Gallo a Tito o da Tito a Tito ma grossomodo il periodo è quello). Alla fine dei tre anni e mazzo, o giù di lì, Gerusalemme viene assediata e distrutta ("questi sono i giorni per fare giustizia" disse Gesù).
      Allo stesso modo alla fine dei 42 mesi le Nazioni Unite distruggono Babilonia la Grande.
      Il tempo per la bestia selvaggia di agire termina. Inizia Armaghedon.
      Dunque andiamo a vedere i 1290 giorni di Daniele.
      Avrai già evinto che, se i giorni di Rivelazione sono letterali, devono esserlo anche quelli di Daniele ma alcuni particolari rafforzeranno questa interpretazione.
      Sia in Rivelazione che in Daniele possiamo identificare "la soppressione del sacrificio continuo" – Daniele 12:11 Rivelazione 11:7
      Quindi a meno che non si stia parlando di due avvenimenti distinti (ma entrambi parlano del "tempo della fine", della grande tribolazione e di "Michele") dobbiamo concludere che stiano parlando dello stesso avvenimento, giusto?
      Tuttavia il calcolo riportato in Daniele parte un po' prima di quello riportato in Rivelazione.
      L'angelo dice "E dal tempo in cui è stato soppresso il [sacrificio] continuo ed è stata posta la cosa disgustante che causa desolazione, ci saranno milleduecentonovanta giorni" – Daniele 12:11
      Invece il tempo rimasto a Satana per agire (il breve periodo di tempo) parte da quando egli è stato scacciato sulla terra, giusto?
      Quindi tutti gli avvenimenti che accadano "nel mezzo" (dall'uccisione dei due testimoni fino a quando Satana da alla bestia tutta la sua potenza) rientrano in questa differenza temporale.
      Ci si aspetterebbe che se i giorni fossero letterali anche la differenza tra i due periodi dovrebbe essere minima, non è vero?
      Perché Daniele dice proprio "1290 giorni" e cioé un periodo di tempo che racchiude i 1260 giorni di Rivelazione più "qualcosa in più" (che serve a far rientrare la risurrezione spirituale e la guerra in cielo) se questi giorni non fossero letterali?
      Quindi possiamo dire che questo "breve periodo di tempo" è ripetuto per ben 4 volte tra Rivelazione e Daniele.
      Questi fatti rendono più che ragionevole considerare i 1260 giorni e i 1290 come letterali.

    • By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
      The 19th and 20th chapters of Revelation will reveal some significant details about the war of Armageddon, and what will happen next.
      These details will include two major changes to the current understanding and, just as happened with the identity of Babylon the Great, this "vision of change" will be a real stumbling block for many Jehovah's Witnesses.
      These chapters will be discussed in the next article, but, facing such a serious change of intent for two more subjects, it was decided to treat them separately in the light of all Scripture. First, we must realize that Revelation speaks of the resurrection at the end of the millennium, and not during the millennium . This will be discussed in detail in due course. For the moment ... you accept this opportunity just to make understandable the theme of this article is to answer the question, exactly, "what countries actually disappear at Armageddon?". It is clear that here we return to the usual "problem" if the book was written in chronological order or not but in the meantime we have seen that the 7 seals are sequential, the 7 trumpets must be sequential (the apostle Paul calls the seventh trumpet the "last trumpet ") and so are the seven bowls of the wrath of God. If all this is sequential ... it is consistent to think that just the last chapters they are not? Let's try to read the whole chapter 20 of Revelation and follow the order of events. Satan is loosed out of his prison, so misleads the nations which are in the corners of the earth, these surround the camp of the saints and then are killed by fire coming down from heaven. After this event, the death and hades return the dead that are in them - Revelation 20: 11-13 The writing of Revelation 20: 4 it says that the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished. " As long as" means "up to the moment when" and not "during" and this would appear to suggest that these thousand years the elect would reign on the survivors of Armageddon and their families but not on any resurrected. The same term, "long" used in Matthew 1:25, we always used to prove that Joseph had no intercourse with his wife Maria until the baby is born .  This should be enough to prove that the resurrection will occur after the end of the millennium , a concept that seems to be repeated in verses 12 and 13. These verses will deepen better but now let's focus on these "rebels" who attack God's people. Who are they and where did they come?   7  Now as soon as they finished the thousand years, Satan will be loosed out of his prison, 8  and will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them to the war. The number of these is as the sand of the sea. 9  And they advanced over the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10  And the Devil who misled them was hurled into the lake of fire and brimstone, where [had already] the wild beast and the false prophet; They will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20: 7-10)   At the end of the thousand years Satan is loosed for "mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth" and gather them for war. It seems incredible that such a thing to happen! It is possible that in the new world people still organize into political nations, that create divisions and even attack the part of that remained faithful people? This is the first case and is roughly the current understanding. Before you think this is nonsense ... it is possible that during the war of Armageddon be spared some of the land also to allow the survival of the people of God? In most parts of the Bible we are told that during the time of judgment his faithful people survives by finding shelter to Edom, Moab and Ammon (which by the way are also the city spared from last World War described in the scripture) - Compare, for example, with Daniel 11:41 Isaiah 16: 4; Psalm 108: 8-10 with Jeremiah 40: 10, 11 These three nations (Edom, Moab and Ammon) were mountainous / hilly and this recalls the words Jesus said to his disciples - Matthew 24: 15, 16 Perhaps the Scripture warns all Christians around the world to flee to the nearest mountains just see the disgusting thing about Israel? In fact, if the destruction of Babylon the Great start should at Armageddon (as we saw) and not the great tribulation, "fleeing to the mountains" mean that Jehovah saves, inevitably, these mountains. In fact, these "mountains" might be a specific location on earth where Jehovah will lead his people just before Armageddon. This or these locations would then be "preserved from judgment." It would not be the first time that Jehovah, in His love and in His mercy, avoid destroy a people on account of his servants. According to the story of Genesis 19:21, 22, the angels of Jehovah avoid destroying Zoar for consideration for Lot yet, from what we understand by reading the whole story, the "small town" was part of Sodom and Gomorrah and had to be destroyed. The war of Armageddon in effect destroys the satanic system composed of the wild beast, the false prophet and his supporters. They fall also all those nations that are compact in the fight against the Lamb. The vast majority of people die in this war because it blinded and marked by the wild beast will die, but those who are not Christians? To the congregation in Philadelphia are told that " would have kept the evidence that has come upon the whole inhabited earth" and for this to happen it is at least conceivable that some Christians find shelter in a "free zone" - Revelation 3:10 If we assume this, then the nations that the end of the millennium they decide to attack the people of God, may arise from these strains survived. Why, in fact, it would make a distinction between them and "the camp of the saints"? There are saints all the inhabitants of the New World? In the new world there will be a "camp of the saints" and a "camp of the saints do not"? Another confirmation could come from the same protection of the Jerusalem above; it is said that "flights in the desert" away from the face of the serpent. When Satan tries to drown her "the land comes to your aid" and this means that at least until the last moment of divine judgment there is still a "stable" part of the world - Revelation 24:15 This could also explain why the resurrection takes place during this millennium; simply because it is still in this new world that we imagine even if it will be a new world, and you will already have many reasons to be happy . Perhaps we should make a distinction between "millennial reign" (which will bring to humanity so many faithful blessings) and "New World" which will begin after the resurrection, when Christ will return the kingdom to his God and Father. This period could simply be a transition period during which human beings can live in peace without the influence of Satan and under the divine teaching guide for those who wish to obey. In fact one of the issues that Satan raised in the garden of Eden, it was if the man was able to govern themselves but the man, with the interference of Satan, you never really ruled alone.   He can man to direct his steps without God and not Satan? Even this must be answered This is linked to the words of Revelation 20: 3; Satan is bound " lest mislead the nations" and that it is necessary to give definitively answer to the issue raised in Eden. However, if all nations were destroyed at Armageddon ... how could he mislead? It would make sense to say that Satan is not tied so misleads the nations that no longer exist? Any nations in the four ends of the earth, born from this strain spared, could prove whether the man is really able to govern themselves under favorable conditions, ie without the influence of Satan. After this human rebellion, which they will have demonstrated consciously prefer the government of Satan unto Jehovah, that Satan is disobedient humanity will be deleted forever. Only after the resurrection of the dead and after their judgment "death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire" and therefore we should assume that, during the whole millennium, despite favorable conditions, we will continue to age and die? It is unthinkable that the anointed rulers will comply to their priestly functions atoning for the sin of humanity and thus preventing the death of their subjects. Death, however, is still there and still not finally extinguished until the end of the millennium. It will be "the last enemy" to be eliminated in fact, if at the end of the millennium there will still be "enemies to be eliminated" (the nations surrounding the graveyard), this should show that the resurrection, and then the final elimination of death, will occur only after that incident - I Corinthians 15:26 In this regard the writing of I Corinthians 15:24, 25, if read carefully, it seems to specify the order of events, and that is Jesus Christ hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing "all government and all authority and power".   Obviously if all government and all authority and power were reduced to nothing during the war of Armageddon, He (Jesus Christ) should hand in their government at that time and that just took over. Let us read these six lines and try to understand its meaning even if "this way" collides blatantly against our most deeply held convictions. Verse 25 says ... " For he must reign until [God] has not put all his enemies under his feet." This would seem to mean that during the millennial reign there will still be enemies. Thus the Kingdom under Christ will be a temporary measure to Jehovah's praise to restore humanity in perfect condition and this may also include the destruction of the last government, authority and power, which until the end will refuse to submit - Revelation 20: 8   Who is to surround the "Saints' Camp" ?
       
      In Ezekiel chapter 38 verses ranging from 8 onwards, it says that you will pay attention to Gog Magog after "many days" and then suggests that they had been left out that is not taken into account or saved during the trial. It seems a contradiction that Gog of Magog exists at the end of satanic system of things and there again in the New World at the end of the millennium ? It makes you think that this "coalition of nations" always has the same name and in fact, in the description of Ezekiel, the subject does not change at all? If Gog of Magog is a coalition of nations, it does not seem strange that nations exist under the reign of Christ? It 'a contradiction only if we take for granted that are destroyed at Armageddon really destroyed all governments and all people. Evidently Gog of Magog  does not exist "again" but he exists "still" (that has never ceased to exist). If you pay attention to him after many days it means that they are always and "many days" are all the years of the millennial kingdom. Gog of Magog always has the same name because it is always the same subject. The people who "accumulates wealth and property" is of course the people of God (the "camp of the saints" according to Revelation) and this indicates the many blessings will God's people during the millennial reign and for contrast with other peoples (why specified that there is a people who accumulate wealth if all accumulate the same wealth?). Blessings that, evidently, will not Gog of Magog otherwise there would be this contrast and there would be no reason to feel envious - Ezekiel 38:12; compares Proverbs 10:22 Why, moreover, there would be this contrast with those who "do not even bar and doors" we are all in a new world of peace, no thieves or other criminals? - Ezekiel 38:11 If you simply read it for what it is, writing really seems to indicate that, during the millennial reign of Christ , there are still people who have bars and doors and they are, obviously, those who have never been interested in the will of God that they must put " bars and doors "and pay attention to their own brothers. The events related to Gog of Magog, described in chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel , they are full of interesting details, but one of the things that stands out to the eye is the distinction that exists between them and Israel. It seems, then, that Israel, or the holy people of God, will coexist for a thousand years with these other peoples - Ezekiel 39: 6, 7 At this point the writing of Isaiah 2: 2-4 acquires special significance. So far we have applied this scripture to the people who, accepting the truth today , change behavior and "make their swords plowshares" becoming peaceful people. We also applied to education that will give resurrected in the New World, but let us now reread accepting the possibility of what we have just described.   Isaiah 2: 2-4: " And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and it must stream all nations. 3  And many peoples will certainly go and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths. " For out of Zion shall go forth [the] law, and Jehovah's word from Jerusalem. 4 And he will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have their swords plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more. "   The mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established and raised. When? Evidently, when the system of Satan is eliminated and it will be clear that the way to govern Jehovah is the best ever. " For it must stream all the nations," in what sense and what nations? To the People of God are actually many nations flocked to recognizing that the performance could have to do with our days ; However it is possible that, at the end of Armageddon, people of the nations who escaped from the judgment of God (the nations at the four corners of the earth) decide to flow to the mountain of Jehovah . After the incredible events of Armageddon, now it should be clear who is the True God and what His people! Even so, Jehovah is sanctified among the nations. Many people flock and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths "then describes how their initiative and not as someone who has been persuaded through the preaching of the good news. Indeed, they themselves say, " he will instruct us about his ways." We can imagine that many survivors will stream to Jehovah once seen the great signs of Armageddon, abandoning their old nation and making the necessary changes to be accepted by God - Compare Revelation 11:13 and Joshua 9: 8-11 However it is quite easy to imagine that, despite these unmistakable signs of Jehovah's blessing on His people, not everyone will decide to join. So many people continue to stay in their countries, with their governments, refusing to rush to the mountain of Jehovah. Seen in this light, it is not so amazing to imagine that, at the end of the millennium, when the people of God will have accumulated wealth and blessings to no end, these nations organize themselves to "take many spoils" - Ezekiel 38: 10-12 Even the writing of Daniel 2:44 should give pause. The scripture says, " And the days of those kings the God of heaven set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not go to any other people. It will crush all these kingdoms and put an end, and it itself will stand to times indefinite " . Of such realms he is talking about Daniel? If we read the preceding verses we understand that you are talking of the kingdoms that make up the image of a man with the head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of copper, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay . We know very well that these kingdoms are respectively Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and according to the current understanding, the Anglo-American empire (but, as we saw in a previous article, the last ruling king must be the king of the north). The same powers, always in the book of Daniel, are described as the lion with the wings of an eagle (ie Babylon described in Daniel 7: 4), the hungry bear with three ribs between the teeth (Media- Persia described in Daniel 7: 5), the leopard with four heads and four wings (the Macedonian or Greek empire described in Daniel 7: 6) and the dreadful and terrible beast with iron teeth and ten horns (Rome and then the last power described in Daniel 7: 7, 8, 19). Because the same realms or domains are viewed in two different ways? This is interesting because the beast that John sees "ascend from the sea" has characteristics of all these beasts - Revelation 13: 1, 2 It is, in fact, like a leopard, has the feet of a bear, the mouth of the lion and the ten horns last seen beast of Daniel. These are the kings that are destroyed by Jesus Christ and his chosen ones at Armageddon, ie the kingdoms that join together in the final battle. It includes course his image (the UN) and the false prophet - Revelation 19:19, 20 It includes all those who have participated in the war, directly or indirectly, and all those who have persecuted or wronged the people of God - Revelation 19:21; Zechariah 2: 8 Surely most of humanity will be killed in this war because the ruler of the world will make sure to have people as possible from her, but this will mean that they will be destroyed all the kingdoms and all the people except the Christians? Even those petty kingdoms, small? Even those isolated from the rest of the world, such as islands or small ethnic groups, including those people who, living in restrictive countries towards religion and other religions, they never had the opportunity to know the wonderful truth of God's word? - See Ezekiel 39: 6 These are questions to ponder. It 'true that the "good news" was preached in all the inhabited earth before the end of satanic system ... but this one has really understood all the people and all they really had the same opportunities? Beyond all human cases the words that should make us think more are those given in Daniel 7:11, 12. The scripture says ... "I beheld then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld till the beast was slain and his body was destroyed and it was given to the burning fire. 12  But as for the rest of the beasts, their domains were removed, and was granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season. "   What does this mean and how long "a time and a season"? Meanwhile the context we see that horn that speaketh great things is referred to the "dreadful and terrible beast," that is, the last beast of Daniel's vision. We talk about the period in which "are places of thrones" and "the Ancient of days" sits to judge and therefore can only refer to the time when Jehovah and Christ took power - Revelation 11: 15-18 It is said that the beast is killed and his body is given to the burning fire - Compare Revelation 19:19, 20 It's clear that the writing is referring to the wild beast of Revelation at the time of his judgment yet, after specifying that the beast is given to the burning fire (that was destroyed), verse 12 says ... " But as for the rest of the beasts, their domains were removed, and was granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season " . This specifies very clearly that the other domains are not destroyed but it allows them to continue to exist for some time after the judgment of Armageddon . Let's stop for a moment and re-read carefully these last four lines comparing the cited scriptures. In fact if we carefully read Revelation 19: 19-21 we see that the wild beast, the kings of the earth and their armies gather to make war against Jesus Christ and his army is destroyed but who among all these? The scripture says that is taken the wild beast and the false prophet and cast into the lake of fire. Then, verse 21 says "the rest were killed with the long sword of him that sat on the horse, which [] sword came from his mouth." The remaining whom? The involved subjects are two: the kings of the earth and their armies . Saying "the remaining" the vision refers to kings, their armies or both? If he was referring to both the writing of Daniel specifies that the domains of these kings are simply removed , not destroyed. Surely those who die are in that position (armies, any general or king) in fact, the scripture says that "being killed" but they do not say which end up in the lake of fire. We know that the lake of fire means the second death, and that is a place where you do not back then we have the assurance that the wild beast is destroyed, never to return but the "other" are not uprooted from the earth. Not yet. They killed those who at this moment are making war with the Lamb, but apparently will remain something of their reigns, that the nations belonging to these "remaining" to which an extension for a time and a season was granted. These will have a thousand years of time to recover and at least part of them, fairly numerous in the words of Revelation 20: 8, will attack God's people at the end of the millennium. Gog of Magog existed before Armageddon and will exist after. Finally, as we have seen, after the destruction of these enemies there is still a "last enemy" to be eliminated: the death - See I Corinthians 15:26 This confirms the sequence of events of Revelation
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    • It is interesting how from time to time, from post to post some unanimous individuals falling from some unknown Planet, and start giving down-vote symbol to other people comments.   :)))))  This is funny, but also very good. Because their reaction are proof how they read comments and found it serious to such level that they (comments) in fact pressed right bottom in people's minds and feelings. 
    • True but not any of my ancestors claimed to be the “faithful and discreet slave personally “ and God’s mouthpiece to the congregation of God’s true followers.
    • Obviously God did not inspire those paragraphs. They read very badly in 2019. Nevertheless, you shouldn't judge dead people by the morals of today. You probably have an ancestor that believed something similar yourself.
    • Dear @Arauna , nothing in my comments are written because of hate. Just try to openly discussing about religious practice and reasons for such beliefs and practice. 
    • @Arauna  So you are saying God's standards on child baptism have changed? Because if OUR standards as humans have obviously changed then that means that we weren't or aren't following God's will at some point. Correct? One could always make the argument like Watchtower always has that we should follow how things were done back in the first century Christian congregation. = Jesus set the example = Men should be baptized at the age of Jesus.  
    • Well the older the kid gets the harder to get that kid to be baptized.  No underage should get baptized as the price of changing their mind later is too high. 
    • For your reading pleasure this fine Tuesday afternoon. Today’s Watchtower articles come from the pen of our former and only loving Pastor, Charles Taze Russell and one quote from the 1932 Year Book of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Let’s dig into this spiritual food that flowed from God’s mouthpiece to our tables. The Watchtower April 15th, 1900 p 122; “There are probably as many as a hundred colored brethren on the Watch Tower lists, some of them very clear in the truth, and very earnest in its service, financially and other-wise .. [but they are not allowed to participate in the "pioneer work" as] although we have received letters from several of these, who had intended engaging in the volunteer work, expressing surprise that in the call for volunteers in the March 1, 1900 issue we restricted the inquiry to white Protestant churches. .. The reason is that so far as we are able to judge, colored people have less education than whites - many of them quite insufficient to permit them to profit by such reading as we have to give forth. Our conclusion therefore is based upon the supposition that reading matter distributed to a colored congregation would more than half of it be utterly wasted, and a very small percentage indeed likely to yield good results. We advise, therefore, that where the Watch Tower literature is introduced to colored people it be not by promiscuous circulation, but only to those who give evidence of some ear for the truth. We avoid, so far as possible, putting the pearls of present truth into the hands of the vicious and depraved ..” The Watchtower July 15th, 1902 p216; “The Negro Not a Beast .. that Ham's characteristics which had led him to unseemly conduct disrespectful to his father, would be found cropping out later, inherited by his son, and prophetically he foretold that this degeneracy would mark the posterity of Canaan, degrading him, making him servile. We are not able to determine to a certainty that the sons of Ham and Canaan are negroes; but we consider that general view as probable as any other.. We are not to forget, either, that Africa is inhabited by various tribes or nations of negroes - some more and some less degraded than the average.. While it is true that the white race exhibits some qualities of superiority over any other, we are to remember that there are wide differences in the same Caucasian (Semitic and Aryan) family.. The secret of the greater intelligence and aptitude of the Caucasian undoubtedly in great measure is to be attributed to the commingling of blood amongst its various branches; and this was evidently forced in large measure by circumstances under divine control. It remains to be proven that the similar commingling of the various tribes of Chinese for several centuries would not equally brighten their intellects; and the same with the peoples of India and Africa.” The Watchtower April 1st, 1908 p99 “The negro and Latin races will probably always be inclined to superstition.” Year Book 1932, pp 63-64 Colored Branch When our colored brethren were made a separate branch there was considerable objection on the part of some, these have the thought that the Colored or Negro race was being pushed aside. This was not the case, however. It was thought best for the Colored brethren to work amongst their own people, and the results show that this conclusion was correct. This concludes our racist study course for today. Golden Age 1920-'Agriculture and Husbandry' This was an old article speaking against the dangers of crossbreeding crops and the unusable 'hybrids' that resulted. Then added: "Even in the case of the human family, if the father and mother are of different races the children are sometimes unfit for brain work. Wonderful are the fixed laws of God." I think there were writers of the literature that held views with varying levels of racism. There were articles (c.1914) that spoke about how great it was that the 'colored friends' wanted to watch the Photodrama of Creation (oh, but so as not to offend the white attendees, lets segregate them to the balcony.) And... Watchtower 1952. "Really, our colored brothers have great cause for rejoicing. Their race is meek and teachable, and from it comes a high percentage of the theocratic increase. What if the worldly wise and powerful and noble look down on them as foolish and weak and ignoble, not on an equality with self-exalted whites? It is to God’s ultimate honor, for he confounds the wise of this world by choosing those the world considers foolish and weak and ignoble. Let us boast in Jehovah and in our equality in his sight, rather than wanting to boast in equality in the world’s sight." Then... Awake! 1953 Oct 8 p.6 "South Africa's whole color policy is conditioned by this fact and this fear: 80 per cent of her population is black; if the color bar is breached, what new dike can stop a black flood from overflowing and destroying the civilisation with which white man have displaced the wilderness?"
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