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  1. James Thomas Rook Jr.

    James Thomas Rook Jr.

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    • By The Librarian
      Satan = [Resister].
      In many places in the Hebrew Scriptures, the word sa·tan′ appears without the definite article. Used in this way, it applies in its first appearance to the angel that stood in the road to resist Balaam as he set out with the objective of cursing the Israelites. (Nu 22:22, 32) In other instances it refers to individuals as resisters of other men. (1Sa 29:4; 2Sa 19:21, 22; 1Ki 5:4; 11:14, 23, 25) But it is used with the definite article ha to refer to Satan the Devil, the chief Adversary of God. (Job 1:6, ftn; 2:1-7; Zec 3:1, 2) In the Greek Scriptures the word sa·ta·nas′ applies to Satan the Devil in nearly all of its occurrences and is usually accompanied by the definite article ho.

      Origin. 
      The Scriptures indicate that the creature known as Satan did not always have that name. Rather, this descriptive name was given to him because of his taking a course of opposition and resistance to God. The name he had before this is not given. God is the only Creator, and ‘his activity is perfect,’ with no injustice or unrighteousness. (De 32:4) Therefore, the one becoming Satan was, when created, a perfect, righteous creature of God. He is a spirit person, for he appeared in heaven in the presence of God. (Job chaps 1, 2; Re 12:9) Jesus Christ said of him: “That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him.” (Joh 8:44; 1Jo 3:8) Jesus here shows that Satan was once in the truth, but forsook it. Beginning with his first overt act in turning Adam and Eve away from God, he was a manslayer, for he thereby brought about the death of Adam and Eve, which, in turn, brought sin and death to their offspring. (Ro 5:12) Throughout the Scriptures the qualities and actions attributed to him could be attributed only to a person, not to an abstract principle of evil. It is clear that the Jews, and Jesus and his disciples, knew that Satan existed as a person.
      So, from a righteous, perfect start, this spirit person deviated into sin and degradation. The process bringing this about is described by James when he writes: “Each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death.” (Jas 1:14, 15) In the course that Satan took, there seems to be, in some respects, a parallel with that of the king of Tyre as described in Ezekiel 28:11-19.—See PERFECTION (The first sinner and the king of Tyre).
      The Scriptural account, therefore, makes it plain that it was Satan who spoke through the medium of a serpent, seducing Eve into disobedience to God’s command. In turn, Eve induced Adam to take the same rebellious course. (Ge 3:1-7; 2Co 11:3) As a consequence of Satan’s use of the serpent, the Bible gives Satan the title “Serpent,” which came to signify “deceiver”; he also became “the Tempter” (Mt 4:3) and a liar, “the father of the lie.”—Joh 8:44; Re 12:9.
      Issue of Sovereignty Raised. 
      When Satan approached Eve (through the speech of the serpent), he actually challenged the rightfulness and righteousness of Jehovah’s sovereignty. He intimated that God was unrightfully withholding something from the woman; he also declared that God was a liar in saying that she would die if she ate the forbidden fruit. Additionally, Satan made her believe she would be free and independent of God, becoming like God. By this means this wicked spirit creature raised himself higher than God in Eve’s eyes, and Satan became her god, even though Eve, at the time, apparently did not know the identity of the one misleading her. By his action he brought man and woman under his leadership and control, standing up as a rival god in opposition to Jehovah.—Ge 3:1-7.
      The Bible, in lifting the veil to give a glimpse into heavenly affairs, reveals that Satan later as a rival god appeared before Jehovah in heaven, challenging Jehovah to His face, saying that he could turn God’s servant Job, and by implication any servant of God, away from Him. He charged God, in effect, with unrighteously giving Job everything, along with full protection, so that he, Satan, could not test Job and show what was really in his heart, which, Satan intimated, was bad. He implied that Job served God primarily for selfish considerations. Satan made this point of his argument clear when he said: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh and see whether he will not curse you to your very face.”—Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; see SOVEREIGNTY.
      In this special case, Jehovah allowed Satan to bring calamity upon Job by not interfering when Satan brought about a raid from Sabean marauders as well as destruction of flocks and shepherds by what Job’s messenger called “the very fire of God” from the heavens; whether this was lightning or other fire is not stated. Satan also brought a raid by three bands of Chaldeans, as well as a windstorm. These things caused the death of all of Job’s children and destroyed his property. Finally, Satan inflicted a loathsome disease upon Job himself.—Job 1:13-19; 2:7, 8.
      These things reveal the might and power of the spirit creature Satan, as well as his vicious, murderous attitude.
      It is important to note, however, that Satan recognized his impotence in the face of God’s express command, for he did not challenge God’s power and authority when God restricted him from taking Job’s life.—Job 2:6.
      Continued Opposition to God. By his challenge of God and his charging God’s servants with lack of integrity, Satan lived up to his title “Devil,” meaning “Slanderer,” which title he deserved for having slandered Jehovah God in the garden of Eden.
      Joined by other wicked demons. Before the Flood of Noah’s day, it appears that other angels of God left their proper habitation in the heavens, as well as their assigned positions there. Materializing human bodies, they came to dwell on earth, marrying women and producing offspring called Nephilim. (Ge 6:1-4; 1Pe 3:19, 20; 2Pe 2:4; Jude 6; see NEPHILIM; SON OF GOD.)
      These angels, having left God’s service, came under the control of Satan. Hence Satan is called “the ruler of the demons.” In one instance, when Jesus expelled demons from a man, the Pharisees accused him of doing so by the power of “Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” That they had reference to Satan is shown by Jesus’ answer: “If Satan expels Satan, he has become divided against himself.”—Mt 12:22-27.
      The apostle Paul associates Satan with “the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places,” and he speaks of them as “the world rulers of this darkness.” (Eph 6:11, 12) As a governing force in the invisible realm immediately about the earth, Satan is “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph 2:2) In Revelation he is shown to be the one “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Re 12:9) The apostle John said that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1Jo 5:19) He is therefore “the ruler of this world.” (Joh 12:31) That is why James wrote that “the friendship with the world is enmity with God.”—Jas 4:4.
      His Fight to Destroy the “Seed.” Satan made early efforts to block the promise of the “seed” to come through Abraham. (Ge 12:7) He evidently tried to get Sarah contaminated so that she would be unfit to bear the seed; but God protected her. (Ge 20:1-18) He did everything possible to destroy the ones whom God chose as Abraham’s seed, the nation of Israel, by inducing them to sin and by bringing other nations against them, as Bible history shows throughout. A high point in Satan’s ambitious attempts in his fight against God, and what appeared to Satan to be success, was reached when the king of the Third World Power of Bible history, Babylon, took Jerusalem, overturning the rulership of King Zedekiah of the line of David, and destroyed the temple of Jehovah, desolating Jerusalem and Judah.—Eze 21:25-27.
      As an instrument of Satan, the ruling dynasty of Babylon, initially headed by Nebuchadnezzar, held Israel in exile for 68 years, until Babylon’s overthrow. Babylon had no intention of ever releasing its captives and so reflected Satan’s own boastful, ambitious attempts as a rival god opposed to the Universal Sovereign Jehovah. The Babylonian kings, worshiping their idol god Marduk, the goddess Ishtar, and a host of others, were actually worshipers of the demons and, as part of the world alienated from Jehovah, were under Satan’s domination.—Ps 96:5; 1Co 10:20; Eph 2:12; Col 1:21.
      Satan filled the king of Babylon with the ambition to have complete domination over the earth, even over “Jehovah’s throne” (1Ch 29:23) and “the stars of God,” the kings of the line of David sitting on the throne at Mount Moriah (by extension, Zion). This “king,” that is, the dynasty of Babylon, ‘lifted himself up’ in his own heart and was in his own eyes and in the eyes of his admirers a “shining one,” a “son of the dawn.” (In some translations the Latin Vulgate term “Lucifer” is retained. It is, however, merely the translation of the Hebrew word heh·lel′, “shining one.” Heh·lel′ is not a name or a title but, rather, a term describing the boastful position taken by Babylon’s dynasty of kings of the line of Nebuchadnezzar.) (Isa 14:4-21) Since Babylon was a tool of Satan, its “king” reflected Satan’s own ambitious desire. Again, Jehovah came to the salvation of his people by restoring them to their land, until the real Seed of promise should come.—Ezr 1:1-6.
      Efforts to cause Jesus to stumble.
      Satan, no doubt identifying Jesus as the Son of God and the one who was prophesied to bruise him in the head (Ge 3:15), did everything he could to destroy Jesus. But, when announcing the conception of Jesus to Mary, the angel Gabriel told her: “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son.” (Lu 1:35) Jehovah safeguarded his Son. The efforts to destroy Jesus when an infant were unsuccessful. (Mt 2:1-15) God continued to protect Jesus during his youth. After his baptism, Satan approached Jesus in the wilderness with three different strong temptations, thoroughly testing him on the issue of devotion to Jehovah. In one of his appeals Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, claiming them to be his own. Jesus did not contradict this claim. Nonetheless, Jesus refused to contemplate even for the briefest instant of time any “shortcut” to kingship, nor did he consider for an instant the doing of anything merely to please himself. His immediate reply to Satan was, “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” At this, “the Devil . . . retired from him until another convenient time.” (Mt 4:1-11; Lu 4:13) This illustrates the truth of James’ words later written: “Oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.”—Jas 4:7.
      Jesus was ever alert to the danger of Satan’s machinations and to the fact that Satan desired to cause his destruction by getting him to entertain a thought contrary to Jehovah’s will. This was demonstrated when Peter, on one occasion, though with good intentions, was actually throwing temptation in his way. Jesus had spoken of the suffering and death he was to undergo. “At this Peter took him aside and commenced rebuking him, saying: ‘Be kind to yourself, Lord; you will not have this destiny at all.’ But, turning his back, he said to Peter: ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you think, not God’s thoughts, but those of men.’”—Mt 16:21-23.
      Throughout Jesus’ ministry he was in danger; Satan used human agents to oppose Jesus, trying either to cause him to stumble or to kill him. At one time the people were about to seize Jesus to make him king. But he would not consider such a thing; he would accept kingship only in God’s time and way. (Joh 6:15) On another occasion those of his own hometown attempted to kill him. (Lu 4:22-30) He was constantly harassed by those whom Satan used to try to trap him. (Mt 22:15) But in all of Satan’s efforts, he failed to cause Jesus to sin in the slightest thought or deed. Satan was thoroughly proved to be a liar, and he failed in his challenge of God’s sovereignty and the integrity of God’s servants. As Jesus said, shortly before his death: “Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out”—completely discredited. (Joh 12:31) Satan had a grip on all mankind through sin. But, knowing that Satan would soon bring about his death, Jesus, after celebrating his last Passover with his disciples, could say: “The ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me.”—Joh 14:30.
      A few hours later, Satan succeeded in having Jesus put to death, first getting control of one of Jesus’ apostles, then using the Jewish leaders and the Roman World Power to execute Jesus in a painful and ignominious manner. (Lu 22:3; Joh 13:26, 27; chaps 18, 19) Here Satan acted as “the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil.” (Heb 2:14; Lu 22:53) But in this Satan failed to promote his cause; he only unwillingly fulfilled prophecy, which required that Jesus die as a sacrifice. The death of Jesus in blamelessness provided the ransom price for humankind, and by his death (and subsequent resurrection by God) Jesus could now help sinful humankind to escape from the grip of Satan, for, as it is written, Jesus became blood and flesh “that through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil; and that he might emancipate all those who for fear of death were subject to slavery all through their lives.”—Heb 2:14, 15.
      Continues to fight Christians. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Satan continued to wage a bitter fight against Christ’s followers. The accounts in the book of Acts and in the letters of the Christian Greek Scriptures furnish numerous proofs of this. Paul said that he had been given “a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan, to keep slapping” him. (2Co 12:7) And as in the case with Eve, Satan disguised his real nature and purposes by “transforming himself into an angel of light,” and he had agents, ministers who “also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness.” (2Co 11:14, 15) Examples of these were the false apostles who fought against Paul (2Co 11:13) and those in Smyrna ‘who said they themselves were Jews, and yet they were not but were a synagogue of Satan.’ (Re 2:9) Satan never ceased in making accusations “day and night” against Christians, challenging their integrity, as he did Job’s. (Re 12:10; Lu 22:31) But Christians have “a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one,” who appears before the person of God in their behalf.—1Jo 2:1.
      His Abyssing and Final Destruction. 
      At the time of Satan’s act in causing Eve and then Adam to rebel against God, God said to the serpent (actually speaking to Satan, since a mere beast could not understand the issues involved): “Dust is what you will eat all the days of your life. And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Ge 3:14, 15) Here God made it known that Satan, cast outside God’s holy organization, would have no life-sustaining hope but would ‘eat dust,’ as it were, until he died. The “seed” eventually was to bruise him in the head, which would signify a death wound. When Christ was on earth, the demons identified him as the One who was to hurl them into the “abyss,” evidently a condition of restraint that in the parallel account is spoken of as “torment.”—Mt 8:29; Lu 8:30, 31; see TORMENT.
      In the book of Revelation, we find described the last days of Satan and his end. Revelation reports that at the time of Christ’s taking Kingdom power, Satan is hurled down out of heaven to the earth, no longer having access to the heavens, as he did in the days of Job and for centuries thereafter. (Re 12:7-12) After this defeat Satan has only a “short period of time,” during which he makes war with “the remaining ones of [the woman’s] seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” In his efforts to devour the remaining ones of the woman’s seed, he is called “the dragon,” a swallower or crusher. (Re 12:16, 17; compare Jer 51:34, where Jeremiah speaks for Jerusalem and Judah, saying: “Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon . . . has swallowed me down like a big snake [or, “a dragon,” ftn].”) In the earlier description of his fight against the woman and his efforts to devour her man child, he is pictured as “a great fiery-colored dragon.”—Re 12:3.
      Revelation’s 20th chapter describes Satan’s being bound and abyssed for a thousand years, at the hands of a great angel—doubtless Jesus Christ, who has the key of the abyss and who is the “seed” to bruise Satan’s head.—Compare Re 1:18; see ABYSS.
      Satan’s final effort culminates in permanent defeat. 
      The prophecy says that he is to be let loose for “a little while” as soon as Christ’s Thousand Year Reign is ended and that he will lead rebellious persons in another attack upon God’s sovereignty; but he is hurled (along with his demons) into the lake of fire and sulfur, everlasting destruction.—Re 20:1-3, 7-10; compare Mt 25:41; see LAKE OF FIRE.
      What is meant by ‘handing a person over to Satan for destruction of the flesh’?
      In instructing the congregation at Corinth as to the action to take toward a member of the congregation who had wickedly been committing incest with the wife of his father, the apostle Paul wrote: “Hand such a man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.” (1Co 5:5) This was a command to expel the man from the congregation, cutting off all fellowship with him. (1Co 5:13) Turning him over to Satan would put him out of the congregation and into the world over which Satan is the god and ruler. Like “a little leaven” in “the whole lump” of dough, this man was “the flesh,” or fleshly element inside the congregation; and by removing this incestuous man, the spiritually minded congregation would destroy “the flesh” from the midst of it. (1Co 5:6, 7) Similarly, Paul handed Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan, because they had thrust aside faith and a good conscience and had experienced shipwreck concerning their faith.—1Ti 1:20.
      Later, the incestuous man in Corinth apparently repented from his wrongdoing and cleaned up, prompting the apostle Paul to recommend his being received back into the congregation. In exhorting them to forgiveness, he gave as one of the reasons, “that we may not be overreached by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2Co 2:11) In the first instance, Satan had brought the congregation into a bad condition in which they had to be reproved by the apostle, for they were too lenient, in fact, were letting the wicked man carry on his practice without regard for the reproach it brought, being “puffed up” in allowing it. (1Co 5:2) But on the other hand, if they now swung to the other extreme and refused forgiveness to the repentant one, Satan would be overreaching them in another direction, namely, that he could take advantage of their becoming hard and unforgiving. Through God’s Word, Christians are enlightened to realize Satan’s existence, his power, his designs and purposes, and his manner of operation, so that they can fight this spiritual foe with the spiritual weapons God provides.—Eph 6:13-17.
      - Insight on the Scriptures
      Will Satan be dead when he is in the abyss for one thousand years?
      Who ultimately destroys or “kills” Satan? Jesus Christ or Jehovah?
      What about the Demons?
       
      Devil
      This descriptive name was given to Satan because he is the chief and foremost slanderer and false accuser of Jehovah, his good word, and his holy name. The Greek di·a′bo·los means “slanderer.” (Compare Lu 16:1, where the related verb di·a·bal′lo occurs.)—See SATAN.
      Down through the centuries the Devil has demonstrated that he is the arch-opposer of both God and man. He disputed with Michael over the body of Moses (Jude 9); showed he has power to ensnare others (1Ti 3:7; 2Ti 2:26); used people such as the false religious leaders, Judas Iscariot, and Bar-Jesus as his children (Joh 8:44; 13:2; Ac 13:6, 10); oppressed persons beyond the cure of the physicians (Ac 10:38); had righteous ones thrown into prison (Re 2:10); and even had the means to cause untimely death (Heb 2:14). Christians are, therefore, admonished not to give this Slanderer of God an opening by continuing in a provoked state. (Eph 4:27) “Keep your senses, be watchful,” Peter warns. “Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.”—1Pe 5:8.
      There are other instances in the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures where the word di·a′bo·los occurs but does not refer to Satan, so the word is properly rendered “slanderer.” For example, in referring to Judas, Jesus said to the 12, “One of you is a slanderer” (Joh 6:70); women in the congregation were cautioned not to be slanderous (1Ti 3:11; Tit 2:3); that “men will be . . . slanderers” is one of the evidences of “the last days.”—2Ti 3:1-5.
      Jehovah’s law to the nation of Israel forbade them to slander one another. (Le 19:16) The tenor of the entire Bible is against such misuse of the tongue.—2Sa 19:27; Ps 15:3; 101:5; Pr 11:13; 20:19; 30:10; Jer 6:28; 9:4.

      See also
      Watchtower (Public) - November 2014 - Is Satan Real?
      Can Satan Influence Our Dreams?
      Satan The Master Craftsman PDF


    • By The Librarian
      Question sent in years ago that I never posted.
    • By Jack Ryan
      I assume the Watchtower meant this to represent Satan in Eden?
    • By Bible Speaks
      12 ...."‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says:“You were the model of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
      13  You were in Eʹden, the garden of God. You were adorned with every precious stone —Ruby, topaz, and jasper; chrysʹo·lite, onyx, and jade; sapphire, turquoise, and emerald;
      And their settings and mountings were made of gold. They were prepared on the day you were created.
      14  I assigned you as the anointed covering cherub. You were on the holy mountain of God, and you walked about among fiery stones.
      15  You were faultless in your ways from the day you were created
      Until unrighteousness was found in you.
      16 Because of your abundant trade, You became filled with violence, and you began to sin. So I will cast you out as profane from the mountain of God and destroy you, O covering cherub, away from the stones of fire.
      17  Your heart became haughty because of your beauty.
      You corrupted your wisdom because of your own glorious splendor. I will throw you down to the earth. I will make you a spectacle before kings.
      18 Because of your great guilt and your dishonest trading, you have profaned your sanctuaries.
      I will cause a fire to break out in your midst, and it will consume you. I will reduce you to ashes on the earth before all those looking at you.
      19  All who knew you among the peoples will stare at you in amazement. Your end will be sudden and terrible,
      And you will cease to exist for all time.”’”
      (Ezekiel 28:12-19) NWT
      jw.org
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      What was the point in creating them in the first place?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Why the Watchtower Study Edition,  January 2018, page 26, says: 
       
      "Satan’s world has made humans suffer for some 6,000 years."? How do they get that calculation?
       
      HOW TO BE HAPPY
      19. Who can never be really happy?
      19 Satan’s world has made humans suffer for some 6,000 years. Now, in the last days of this system, the earth is full of people who focus on themselves, money, and pleasures. They think of what they can get and make their own desires the main thing in life. But people like that cannot be truly happy! In contrast, the Bible says: “Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob as his helper, whose hope is in Jehovah his God.”—Psalm 146:5.
      https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/402018246
    • By The Librarian
      There are other versions out there... not quite as smooth as this one however.
      Learn more about:
      and even
       
      The Bible (TV series) - Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) extrait from episode 6.
       
    • By Bible Speaks
      GO AWAY SATAN! IT IS JEHOVAH GOD YOU MUST WORSHIP
      4 "Then Jesus was led by the spirit up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.  
      2 After he had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he felt hungry. 
      3 And the Tempter approached and said to him: “If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 
      4 But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.’”
      5 Then the Devil took him along into the holy city, and he stationed him on the battlement of the temple 
      6 and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’” 
      7 Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’”
      8 Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 
      9 And he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 
      10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” 
      11 Then the Devil left him, and look! angels came and began to minister to him."
      (Matthew 4;1-11) NWT
      jw.org

    • By Bible Speaks
      9 "But the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders."
      (2 Thess.2:9)
      Who were the Magi that visited the young child Jesus?
      Astrologers (Gr., maʹgoi; “Magi,” AS ftn, CC, We; “Magians,” ED) brought gifts to the young child Jesus. (Mt 2:1-16) 
      Commenting on who these maʹgoi were, The Imperial Bible-Dictionary (Vol. II, p. 139) says: “According to Herodotus the magi were a tribe of the Medes [I, 101], who professed to interpret dreams, and had the official charge of sacred rites . . . they were, in short, the learned and priestly class, and having, as was supposed, the skill of deriving from books and the observation of the stars a supernatural insight into coming events . . . Later investigations tend rather to make Babylon than Media and Persia the centre of full-blown magianism. ‘
      Originally, the Median priests were not called magi . . . From the Chaldeans, however, they received the name of magi for their priestly caste, and it is thus we are to explain what Herodotus says of the magi being a Median tribe’ . . . (J. C. Müller in Herzog’s Encl.).”—Edited by P. Fairbairn, London, 1874.
      Rightly, then, Justin Martyr, Origen, and Tertullian, when reading Matthew 2:1, thought of maʹgoi as astrologers. Wrote Tertullian (“On Idolatry,” IX): “We know the mutual alliance of magic and astrology. The interpreters of the stars, then, were the first . . . to present Him [Jesus] ‘gifts.’” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1957, Vol. III, p. 65) The name Magi became current “as a generic term for astrologers in the East.”—The New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, 1952, Vol. 22, p. 8076.
      So the circumstantial evidence is strong that the maʹgoi who visited the infant Jesus were astrologers. Thus The New Testament translated by C. B. Williams reads “star-gazers,” with a footnote in explanation: “This is, students of stars in relation to events on earth.” Fittingly, then, modern English translations read “astrologers” at Matthew 2:1.—AT, NE, NW, Ph.
      How many of these astrologers “from eastern parts” brought “gold and frankincense and myrrh” to the child Jesus is not disclosed; there is no factual basis for the traditional notion that there were three. (Mt 2:1, 11) 
      As astrologers, they were servants of false gods and were, wittingly or unwittingly, led by what appeared to them as a moving “star.” They alerted Herod to the fact that the “king of the Jews” had been born, and Herod, in turn, sought to have Jesus killed. The plot, however, failed. Jehovah intervened and proved superior to the demon gods of the astrologers, so instead of returning to Herod, the astrologers headed home another way after being given “divine warning in a dream.”—Mt 2:2, 12.
      http://m.wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000448#h=9:0-10:218

    • By Jack Ryan
      Demon possession comes to mind....
    • By Jack Ryan
      In the temptation account, Satan is shown as reflecting the erroneous belief of ancient time that shape of earth is flat, thus taking Jesus to the top of “a very high mountain” and showed “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” (Mathew 4:8, 9) The fact that Jesus did not correct the mistaken view of Satan shows the account of temptation is allegorical. Further, Jesus knew that Satan was only a personification of evil (Mathew 16:23; John 6:70) and categorically declared that “all evil thoughts proceed from one’s heart,” not from Satan. (Mark 7:21; James 1:14). There is nothing unusual with personification as Bible personifies even material riches. (Mathew 6:24).
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    • From '66 WT: (Just to throw something else into the mix as to the original post) "Questions From Readers ● At times there are changes in viewpoint on Biblical subjects discussed in the Watch Tower Society’s publications. We speak of what we believe as “the truth.” But does “truth” change?—W. P., U.S.A. Really it is the Bible that speaks of beliefs that are in harmony with the Scriptures as “the truth.” At 2 Peter 2:2 the worship based on such beliefs is termed “the way of the truth.” Yet concerning that “way of the truth” we read at Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.” So we do not know all there is to know. In fact, even when the post-Armageddon system of things is ushered in we will not know everything. Throughout all eternity there will always be more to learn. This is indicated by what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 11:33: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!” It is to be expected, then, that at times there may be changes in viewpoint. Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up. For example, a few years ago we had a fine series of articles in The Watchtower on the “superior authorities.” (Issues of November 1–December 1, 1962) Before those articles were published, we knew and taught that Jehovah is the Most High, and that Jesus Christ is the second to Him in power and authority. We knew that we should be law-abiding persons, but that, when there was a conflict between man’s law and that of God, we would obey God as ruler rather than men. Those basic truths are the same today as they were before; they have not changed. However, by careful scrutiny of the Scriptures we have come to appreciate that certain Bible texts ought to be applied in a different way. For example, we realized that the “superior authorities” mentioned in Romans 13:1 are, not Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, but the political rulers. That is also true of Titus 3:1 and; 1 Peter 2:13, 14. Yet the basic truth is unchanged. Our viewpoint toward God and toward the State is the same as before. Similarly with our study of the resurrection. We believed in the resurrection of the dead before our recent series of Watchtower articles (issues of January 15–March 15, 1965) on the subject and we believe in it now. We also believed that 144,000 would be raised to heavenly life with Christ. We believed that many more would be resurrected as humans; that some of them would be persons who had faithfully served God in the past, and that others would be those who had lived ‘unrighteously.’ We also believed that a great educational work would take place when they would be raised. Those truths have not changed. But now we see that, according to the Scriptures, more are to return than we expected. So, rather than setting aside the truth of the resurrection, it has been magnified, and our appreciation of Jehovah’s love and mercy in providing for the resurrection has been enhanced. This is in direct contrast to what occurred among certain men of whom the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, as recorded at 2 Timothy 2:18: “These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.” Those men no longer had any hope in the resurrection; they believed that what was in the past was all there was to it. But they were setting aside the truth that Jesus had taught. Likewise in Christendom there have been changes in viewpoint; but they are rejecting the Bible as myth and setting aside its moral code as out-of-date. What a tremendous difference between what is taking place among them and what Jehovah is doing for his people in order to bring our thinking even more closely in line with his inspired Word of truth!" As stated above: "Our basic belief may be sound Scriptural truth, but there may be some details that we did not fully understand in the past. In time, with the aid of Jehovah’s spirit, we get those matters cleared up." I'm hoping we get more away from claiming some human ideas/dates (that go beyond the things written), as divine revelations/new light from God. I believe we are getting there, which is a far cry from what established Christendom  accepts: i.e.. thinking in war God blesses one side over the other of nations in Satan's system; that God has people tortured for all eternity in a fiery hell; there is no real need of a resurrection since all humans have an immortal soul that automatically goes to heaven of Hell when they die; Trinity...and on it goes. Nor do JW's claim infallibility as hundreds of millions believe of the Pope and similar views (although not official) to protestant leaders as well. Yes, I do believe we have a lot to work on, but I don't see any other religions offered on this site by the "nay-sayers" as a better alternative. And even if they don't believe other religions have the truth either, having their own viewpoints, they might as well be a religion unto themselves - an army of one - since even among themselves they don't see eye-to-eye on everything either. That doesn't mean I believe that means we need to believe we are correct on everything we currently believe. As stated in the article quoted above, we should accept there will be clarifications and changes in understanding - in some ways our understanding is fluid and that's a good thing, (despite how some people view it.) That is a huge difference from believing blatantly unscriptural doctrines from apostate Christianity - some of which we at one time accepted ourselves organizationally. I know some people would be highly agitated if some "sacred cow" date/idea turned out not to be so sacred. But remember, we didn't dedicate ourselves to a date and while we respect the imperfect, uninspired "channel" we accept guidance from today, we don't and shouldn't worship an organization any more than the Israelites were to worship Moses and Aaron. We worship the creator, not the creation.   
    • @Srecko Sostar I don't know, but it made me laugh anyway.  If some of the 'brothers' are deeply involved in the property business, and other brothers are deeply involved in the legal / lawyer business (court cases), then it seems the JW Org becomes more worldly every day.  I cannot believe this is what God or Jesus Christ wants from 'chosen ones'.   
    • Are JW people, who are involved in making money with buy and sale business  inside WT Society, those "sons of this world" :)) because of their wisdom how to handle and make arrangements with "wicked generation of darkness" ?
    • I see you as a funny spiritually blind person, so your comments do not bother me at all.   Adam blamed Eve did he? Well you seem to blame the Victims of Abuse and wrongful D/fed.  When Almighty God, working through Christ, decides to take action against the Watchtower / JW Org, then you and many others will get the biggest shock of your lives.  I think though that God may be helping the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse within the JW Org, so God may have started His cleansing process. Only time will tell if God wishes to use the Org or to replace it.  Meanwhile you can keep worshipping the GB and your Elders. 
    • They are not selling ONE house, they are running a Property business  https://ibsaproperty.com/ IBSA London Properties is part of IBSA (International Bible Students Association) a registered charity acting on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Britain and Ireland. For more information about Jehovah’s Witnesses please follow this link.
    • Individuality and unity is what should be expected, and not clones as you said well. According to vision and description with word "bride" in the Bible, it would be more accurate to see artistic pictures of female persons (in heaven or earth) as 144000. I can say how don't see any special need for 144000 to be in Heaven for purpose to reign. That can be done also very good from Earth too. But maybe we can say, for fun, that problem is hidden in transferring power of spirit from Heaven to Earth. We been explained by WT Society how "miracles" stopped. In that context it seems how one of "miracle" is to be inspired by God also finished in 1 century. :))) Perhaps that could be reason why is important for 14400 to be lifted in Heaven. Because distance must be too far, too long to be handled by spirit. :))))    This too verses show how distance is not obstacle for spirit's activity in 1 century. I really don't see why GB and Helpers making issue and such problem about "inspiration" and "be inspired" ?!! :)) 
    • This has been discussed a few times before on this forum. I typically just rewrite new comments every time a subject comes up, but this time I'll be anti-typical and just re-quote myself from one of those earlier posts. Comments went on for 9 pages on that topic, too. For context, Israeli Bar Avaddhon wanted to make another modern day application of these periods and said: By the way, to match these dates day were "greatly rounded" (Rutherford and his associates were released March 26, 1919, not January 1919; see Watchtower, 5/16/2016 all ' article entitled "to whom was entrusted the work"), but even more importantly the writing of Daniel, after mentioning the 1290 days, he says, "Happy is he who waits and who gets to 1335 days!" - Daniel 12: 12 "Getting to ..." means to add to what was there before. The rest of this post is a copy of my brief response to that: I think you are right that the basic idea here is more likely a set of time periods from the same starting point. If I were to tell someone that they are going to have to wait 1260 days for something, but that they might really have to get to 1290 before seeing it, and that they will be truly happy if they wait for 1,335 days, then I don't think it's likely that anyone would guess that I meant 3,885 days in total. And yet this is something like the Watchtower's view. I also think that if such a specific number of days were intended for us today that they would match to a specific number of days in a calendar. I agree, too, that the 1,260 of Revelation 11 & 12 is key. (And of Daniel 7:25; 12:7) The Watchtower also generally agrees on this point, even though they move the 1,290 as a completely new time period away from the 1,260. The explanation given in the Watch Tower publications, as you say, are "greatly rounded." None of them can even reach back as far as October 1914, the most important date/event in modern history according to the new "God's Kingdom Rules" book. The best they can do is start it near the end of December 1914, just a few days from January 1915. In fact, since they end it around June 21, 1918 it must start around December 21, 1914. To even catch this little piece of the tail-end of the all-important year 1914, they must end this period with the sentencing, rather than the actual imprisonment. In the scheme of things, the sentencing was just another part of a process that had begun in the "scheming" that began back in March 1918 when the FBI was building a case based on the Finished Mystery book. *** dp chap. 9 p. 142 par. 28 Who Will Rule the World? *** God’s witnesses would preach dressed in sackcloth for 42 months, or 1,260 days, and then be killed. When did this time period begin and end? . . . Hence, beginning in December 1914, that small band of witnesses preached “in sackcloth.” . . . Harassment of God’s anointed ones climaxed on June 21, 1918, when the president, J. F. Rutherford, and prominent members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society were sentenced on false charges to long prison terms. Intending “to change times and law,” the “small” horn had effectively killed the organized preaching work. (Revelation 11:7) So the foretold period of “a time, and times and half a time” ended in June 1918. The start of the next period 1,290 days does not even attach to the first period without a several month gap. And again, even to get it as close as possible they used the "proposal" of the League of Nations rather than the actual start of the League of the Nations: *** dp chap. 17 p. 300 pars. 22-23 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End *** The League was officially proposed in January 1919. At that time, then, both conditions of Daniel 12:11 were met. So the 1,290 days began in early 1919 and ran until the autumn (Northern Hemisphere) of 1922. During that time, did the holy ones make progress toward becoming whitened and cleansed in God’s eyes? They certainly did! In March 1919 the president of the Watch Tower Society and his close associates were released from prison. They were later exonerated of the false charges against them. Aware that their work was far from over, they got busy immediately, organizing a convention for September 1919. In the same year, a companion magazine to The Watch Tower was first published. Originally called The Golden Age (now Awake!), it has always supported The Watchtower in fearlessly exposing the corruption of this world and in helping God’s people to remain clean. By the end of the foretold 1,290 days, the holy ones were well on the way to a cleansed and restored standing. In September 1922, right about the time when this period ended, they held a landmark convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, U.S.A. Notice again that the periods do not work out. 1290 days is about 17 months, so that a starting date in January would have to end in August, and the convention wasn't until September 1919, which is why it ends at a time when they were only "preparing" for this assembly. And the next period of 1,335 days is even looser in terms of anchoring to any specific occasions. Note: *** dp chap. 17 pp. 303-304 pars. 24-26 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End *** “Happy is the one who is keeping in expectation and who arrives at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!” (Daniel 12:12) The angel gives no clues as to when this period begins or ends. History suggests that it simply follows on the heels of the preceding period. In that case it would run from the autumn of 1922 to the late spring of 1926 (Northern Hemisphere). Did the holy ones come to a state of happiness by the end of that period? Yes, in important spiritual ways. 25 Even after the convention in 1922 (shown on page 302), some of God’s holy ones were still looking longingly to the past. The basic study material for their meetings was still the Bible and the volumes of Studies in the Scriptures, by C. T. Russell. At that time, there was a widely held view that pointed to 1925 as the year for the resurrection to begin and for Paradise to be restored to the earth. Thus, many were serving with a fixed date in mind. Some proudly refused to share in the work of preaching to the public. This was not a happy state of affairs. . . . The issue of March 1, 1925, carried the historic article “Birth of the Nation,” giving God’s people a full understanding of what had happened in the 1914-19 period. After 1925 passed, the holy ones no longer served God with an immediate, explicit deadline in view. . . .  At the convention in May 1926, the book Deliverance was released. (See page 302.) This was one of a series of new books designed to replace Studies in the Scriptures. No longer were the holy ones looking to the past. They were looking confidently to the future and the work ahead. As prophesied, the 1,335 days therefore ended with the holy ones in a happy state. If Daniel had spoken of the 1,335 days as culimating in the most unhappy time period ever for God's people, then this could have made more sense. It would have been very easy to show why this was the most UNHAPPY time period in our organization's history. 1925 had been hyped since 1918 as one of the most important prophecies that the "prophet" -- the Watchtower -- had ever proclaimed, and it turned out to be a miserable failure: a false prophecy. People were now leaving in larger numbers, even those who had hung on past the 1917 organizational debacle. In 1926 Rutherford began to systematically throw away all the old foundations for the time prophecies of Russell. More people were upset. Although Rutherford claims that he had been fighting against Russellite creature worship all along, this was actually the time when Rutherford himself stopped making great claims for Russell and began pushing against Russell's teachings almost "en masse."   Rutherford was beginning to fight with colporteurs and pioneers because they no longer wanted to sell Russell's books if they were pushing doctrines that were now considered "from Satan" (pyramids, etc). But Rutherford still had large stockpiles of these books and insisted that the Lord wanted them sold to the public. The "Bulletin" (Later Informant, later Our Kingdom Ministry) claimed that anyone who balked at this particular edict by Rutherford was going against the Lord himself. More people left the organization over this, and from 1926 to 1932 the campaigns to sell Russell's books continued. We could go on and on comparing this particular period of sadness and gloom with the periods before and since, but there is definitely enough to make us wonder why these particular time periods were chosen for the 1260, 1290, and 1,335 days. I think there are enough weaknesses in it, that the Society will revisit it -- especially if they realize that more and more Witnesses are looking at the prophecy more closely. If I get a chance, I'll explain more of the problems I have with the primary solution that is being promoted from the original post in this topic. I think there is a much simpler solution -- it's one we already have used in the publications on a closely related set of time periods related to the half-week (3.5-year period) in the final 70th week in the week-of-years prophecy. I don't doubt there are other possibilities that might seem more exciting, but some of those ones here imply that we can currently predict the times and seasons, and this particular period is one in which Jesus said the end events would come like a thief in the night. I admit that this is more boring than tying current events to Daniel and Revelation, but there are some excellent reasons to look at it this way (I think) starting with the "two witnesses" and the "olive trees" in Revelation 11. Paul explains the two olive trees very well in Romans 11, and we had already used this tie-in to a 3.5 year period in the discussion of the "keys of the kingdom." Note: *** w79 10/1 p. 23 pars. 1-2 “The Keys of the Kingdom” and the “Great Crowd” *** IN THE year 36 C.E. a marked event in Christian history took place in Caesarea on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Whether Philip the evangelizer had settled there by that year we do not know for certain. If he had done so, then why was he not used in connection with a certain army officer of the Italian band of soldiers then stationed there? Philip had preceded the apostle Peter in Christian activity in Samaria, so why not now in Caesarea in 36 C.E.? The inspired Scriptures give us the answer. The Law covenant that Moses had mediated between Jehovah God and Israel at Mount Sinai in Arabia was abolished on the basis of the impalement of Jesus Christ, the descendant of Abraham and King David. That was three years and a half from the water baptism and spirit-anointing of Jesus back in 29 C.E. Nevertheless, Jehovah continued to give preferential treatment to the natural Jews and Samaritans also during this period for three years and a half more, to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27a. This “week” or period of seven years terminated in the seventh lunar month (Tishri) of 36 C.E. From then on the Israelite descendants of Abraham would be put on the same spiritual level as the people of the non-Jewish nations, the uncircumcised Gentiles. After that no more preferential treatment to the Jews by the God of Abraham! How was this demonstrated in 36 C.E.? From here, we already have a Biblically consistent tie-in between the two witnesses (the witness to the Jews, and the witness to the Gentiles) and the two olive trees (natural Jewish olive tree and the grafted Gentile olive tree) the 42 months or 1260 days. If we look at a few other events with respect to the week of Pentecost of 33, Christ's ascension, etc., we can attempt to work out the differences between a simple 1260 and 1290 and 1335, but I don't even think this is necessarily the answer here.
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