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THE WATCHTOWER—STUDY EDITION | February 2019

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    • By Jack Ryan
      I've been able to get my hands on these pictures of the new printed Study Bible which was released at the Annual Meeting yesterday. Has a light brown cover rather than the grey tone of the regular bible. The page edges are gold rather than silver. And it only includes Matthew-Acts. Surprisingly, while many of us were expecting the Org to reduce printing operations even further, this actually wasn't the case this year. Although apparently they did mention that due to the "high resolution colour pages and high quality materials", the Bible is rather "expensive to produce".




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    • By Jack Ryan
      2019 BRD Newsletter
      https://docdro.id/zCdI01Y   2019 BRD Visitor Center Newsletter https://docdro.id/WQpmfDD   2019--S-147-19-05-E https://docdro.id/Vrx3fVG
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      wow!
      It's been NINE years since the first "Shepherd the Flock Of God" Elder's handbook came out, that was so top secret that non-elders were forbidden to read it, and sisters were not even allowed  to touch it, and to this day, most Jehovah's Witnesses are not aware that the book even exists.  At the same time copies were given to the Finnish Department of Justice, and the Department of Education, and the Australian Royal Commission on Child Abuse.
      Here it is 2019, and the latest 2019 version is out, available all over the Internet in PDF format, but I have not had a chance to read it yet.    
      I still do not know what all the top secret hub-bub was about .... I read the 2010 version and the subsequent updates, and found it a fine publication that ALL Jehovah's Witnesses would benefit from reading.
      I did not mention I knew of the 2010 version's existence until they started giving out copies to lots of government officials, my reasoning being that the Society had thereby "declassified" it.
      Does anybody know if the Society has given the OK for the general Brotherhood to read this book, by which we are governed?
      Can any Brother or Sister at the Kingdom Hall request, and get a copy?
      I will ask at my Weekend Meeting, in two days, and let you know what I have found out.
    • By Jack Ryan
      Here some points I noted not sure if these r different from the previous edition:
      medical marijuana is a personal choice
      Any allegations of child sexual abuse r to b given to the legal department to tell the elders how to proceed.
      Also specific instructions to not make abused persons face their accuser
      The elders should all b made aware of any sexual predators and if they move the new congregation elders should b made aware including parents of children in the congregation. This is only done if the legal department says to.
      Victims of abuse or their parents r to b advised that they can go to the police and r not to b discouraged from doing so.
      Masturbation is not pornia and is not really covered. Not sure if this is new and the org is backing away from discussing it.
      Probing sexual questions r to b avoided during a judicial committee
      Sexual offenders r not to receive any major privileges in the congregation, possibly minor ones such as handling mics after an extended time has passed.
      The elders r to clearly tell people that they r being invited to a judicial committee and what the meeting is about up front.
      Things they r still clinging to:
      Still sticking to the two witnesses rule for child abuse
      it says that attempted suicide victims may b subject to a judicial committee ( someone that has mental illness should not b subject to more trauma I find this to b so disgusting)
      Of course all the other ridiculous invasive restrictions we all have experienced
      Highlights from the book above (2019 links added)
      The three year rule is re-iterated without specific mention of "three"
      An elder or MS will be removed if he allows his adult DA'd child to move into family home
      An elder can be removed for filing for bankruptcy
      The language around the definition of rape is better - no more references to the woman having to scream
      The stayover rule is still there. If you stay in the house of a member of the opposite sex, and two people know about it, it's a judicial matter.
      "Abhorrent" forms of porn are now a DF offense. Gay, Lez, child, violent, bestial.
      Gluttony is now listed as a DF offense. Not sure if it was there before
      They have narrowed the definition of apostasy: " Deliberately Spreading Teachings Contrary to Bible Truth " the end of that sentence used to read "as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses"
      I think this the first time they explicitly stated that marking talks can be given based on misconduct from unbaptized minors
      There's a whole new section on CSA. It seems like an improvement overall and includes the child no longer having to confront her rapist in most cases, but it still doesn't have the promised female representation from Jackson's promise to the Australian court.
      Willingly taking blood remains an automatic disassociation offence.
      Reinstatement is "several months, a year or even longer"
      Ownership of kingdom halls. They make clear that regardless of what it says on the title, a congregation does not OWN their own kingdom hall.
      jw.org email - all correspondance between elders is now via the elders private account on jw.org. I guess they want to make sure they know EVERYTHING
      Congregation file: Still they say the best place to keep it is at the KH. Therefore, paper records of all judicial matters should be in those files. ALL CSA RECORDS HAVE "DO NOT DESTROY" WRITTEN ON THEM
      Here's the entire section on legal action as a result of judicial action. I think it's worth noting that it demonstrates that they will leave you alone if you write a legal letter:
       
      IF THE ACCUSED THREATENS LEGAL ACTION 18. If the accused threatens legal action against the elders, the elders should suspend proceedings and promptly telephone the Legal Department. 19. If a member ofthe media or an attorney representing the accused contacts the elders, they should not give any information about PREPARING FOR JUDICIAL HEARINGS CHAPTER 15 “SHEPHERD THE FLOCK OF GOD” the case or verify that there is a judicial committee. Rather, they should give the following explanation: “The spiritual and physical welfare of Jehovah’s Witnesses is of paramount concern to the elders, who willingly provide spiritual assistance to congregation members. The elders extend this spiritual assistance confidentially. This makes it easier for those who seek the elders’ help to do so without worrying that what they say to the elders will be divulged later. Consequently, we do not comment on whether elders are currently or have formerly met to assist any member of the congregation.” If there is a need to do so, the elders may obtain the inquirer’s name and phone number and inform him that their attorney will contact him. The elders should then promptly telephone the Legal Department. 20. Ifthe authorities request confidential congregation records or ask that elders give testimony regarding confidential congregation matters, the elders should promptly telephone the Legal Department.
       
      This seems like a big change below as it codifies what we have all been hearing about ownership of KH's:
       
      OWNERSHIP 2. A Kingdom Hall is dedicated to the worship of Jehovah. Whether the property title, or deed, is held in the name of a local corporation or by means of a trustee arrangement or it is held in the name of a legal entity managed by the branch office, no congregation should conclude that it “owns” the Kingdom Hall. However, it is the responsibility of the congregations using the property to care for it and see that it is used in harmony with Kingdom interests. 3. As many as three or four congregations may be assigned by the branch office to use the same Kingdom Hall auditorium in order to make full use of the facility and to keep expenses to a minimum. The branch office will generally correspond with only one of the congregations using the facility regarding legal, property, and related matters. Usually, this contact congregation holds the documents related to the Kingdom Hall and the property on which it is located. This is for practical reasons only and does not provide a basis for the contact congregation to make unilateral
    • By Jack Ryan
      Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses The Ridgeway, London, NW7 1RN Telephone: 020 8906 2211
      SDI December 31, 2018
      TO ALL FIELD SERVICE GROUP OVERSEERS
      Re: Auxiliary Pioneering in March 2019
      Dear Brothers:
      We are aiming for an all-time peak in auxiliary pioneers during March 2019, which will be announced to the congregation in the Announcements and Reminders (S-147) form for January 2019. How can you and your fellow elders assist?
      During January, arrange to meet with your group. (Where a group is cared for by a ministerial servant, the body of elders should assign an elder to meet with the group servant and the group.) In the meeting, kindly and tactfully build enthusiasm for this campaign. Share practical suggestions to help the publishers plan ahead.
      This March campaign offers you an excellent opportunity to give even greater attention to your assignment. (ks10 chap. 2 pars. 22, 23) Warmly commend the brothers for the efforts they make to increase their share in the ministry.
      Thank you very much for giving this matter your prompt attention. We are confident that, through your loving efforts and Jehovah’s blessing, this initiative will increase praise to his name. Please accept our warm brotherly affection and greetings.
      Your brothers,
      😄 All elders
      Circuit overseers
       
        Both BOE's are in a zipped folder.
      https://we.tl/t-ZWvQuWOa5V
      Atlantis!"
    • By The Librarian
      This issue contains the study articles for May 6 to June 2, 2019
      Source
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      Consider some of the challenges that face us and what it will take to make this world a safe and secure place to live.
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      The Bible book of Ezekiel contains many prophecies that focus on the restoration of pure worship. How do these prophecies involve us?
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      Pure Worship of Jehovah—Restored at Last!
      Title Page/PublishersÂ’ Page
      A Letter From the Governing Body
      Contents
      Explanation of Special Features

      CHAPTERS VIDEO DOWNLOAD LINKS


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    • By John Houston
      Was curious if there would be a posting of the upcoming season of assembly talks. It would benefit us who may be unable to go, for personal study and research. Any answer would suffice. Thanks for your time.
    • By The Librarian
      This publication is designed to help sharpen your skills in public reading and in the arts of speaking and teaching.
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      What you do every day can make God’s heart rejoice.
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    • By The Librarian
      This issue contains the study articles for March 4 to April 7, 2019
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    • By The Librarian
      General instructions for how the midweek meeting should proceed.
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    • Just as the WT knows how to work the global market by investing their money in hedge funds, they know how to manipulate a developing mind with persuasion techniques.  I perceive the downplay of higher education as a safeguard from losing members.  While the organization warns these young ones of Satan’s worldly traps when pursuing higher education, in reality it appears to me that it’s all about keeping JWs captive to the organization’s “empty philosophy”.  Col 2:8  Knowing how the young mind develops sheds light on the org's use of persistent warnings not to pursue higher education.  “Developmental Tasks and Attributes of Late Adolescence/Young Adulthood (Ages 18-24 years) http://www.amchp.org/programsandtopics/AdolescentHealth/projects/Documents/SAHRC AYADevelopment LateAdolescentYoungAdulthood.pdf This is a time of life when very little is normative. It is a period of frequent change and exploration that covers many aspects of their life: home, family, work, school, resources, and role. Develop and apply abstract thinking skills Adolescents experience significant changes in their capacity to think. In changing from concrete to abstract thought they are increasingly able to understand and grapple with abstract ideas, think about possibilities, think ahead, think about thinking, and “put themselves in another person’s shoes.” In general, this changes their ability to think about themselves, others and the world around them. This is a gradual process that spans adolescence and young adulthood. For example, early in the process youth are limited in their ability to hold more than one point of view – understanding something from one perspective but not another. ·        Capacity for abstract thought becomes established; can think abstractly and hypothetically; can discern the underlying principles and apply them to new situations; and can think about the future, considering many possibilities and logical outcomes of possible events. ·       Able to hold and manipulate clusters of abstract ideas and create systems for organizing abstract thoughts. ·       Greater ability to consider different points of view at the same time can result in increased empathy and concern for others, and new interest in societal issues for many. It also allows youth to better value the diversity of people (and their perspectives) and appreciate that there may be many right answers to a problem. Adopt A Personal Value System Adolescents develop a more complex understanding of moral behavior and underlying principles of justice. They question and assess beliefs from childhood and restructure these beliefs into a personal ideology (e.g. more personally meaningful values, religious views, and belief systems to guide decisions and behavior). ·        Decisions and values are less influenced by peers. ·       Able to see multiple viewpoints, value the diversity of people and perspectives and appreciate that there can be many right answers to a problem. ·        Identify values and viewpoints that work for oneself while respecting viewpoints/values of others I would imagine there is a high risk of young JWs entering a college or university after high school, with the same age group, and going through the same mental development stages ...leaving the Watchtower altogether.  
    • John 17:14-16 The comments in the study Bible on John 17:15 say: "Jehovah...could even separate his people physically from the rest of the world and place them in a a safe and peaceful environment. However, regarding his disciples, Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father: "I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one." Jehovah has chosen not to take us "out of the world." Rather, it is his will that we live among the general population of this world in order to proclaim his message of hope and comfort to others. (Rom. 10:13-15) But, as Jesus implied in his prayer, by living in this world, we are exposed to "the wicked one." Disobedient mankind and wicked spirit forces cause much pain and anguish, and Christians are not immune to distress." 1 Peter 5:9 So while we recognize we have to live in a world under Satan's control, it doesn't mean we should go out of our way to expose ourselves to potentially dangerous influences and bad association. There are of course necessary things we must do to survive and provide for our families - such as employment, which as you correctly pointed out, can mean rubbing shoulders with worldly people and attitudes whatever level of education we choose. But even on that, we are selective so as to minimize our exposure to potentially harmful influences. It may include being selective as to what type of work we are willing to accept, or whom we work with/for. Many caring parents know they can't completely eliminate bad influences at school for instance (since kids have to have some type of schooling and it is beneficial), but they may choose to be selective as to whom they allow their kids to spend their extra time with. So living in the world, we recognize there are certain things we must do whether we like it or not. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise caution and be selective as to what we choose to involve ourselves in. I could rationalize that I need a job to support myself and my family - a legitimate and necessary need,  but would I choose to work for the mafia to do so? No, I would be selective and cautious.  I agree with you. I often have the same problem on both phone and tablet. Fortunately I've recently discovered that we can edit and make corrections. I wish I had known that earlier before "auto-correct" ran roughshod over my posts.  As for my level of education, I provide as little information as possible to identify me. As a "whistleblower" on some things, there would be an opportunity for "blowback" from men in authority who have something to hide. I don't even post what country I'm from. So when I have written that at times there are men in authority who act as wickedly as people in the world and hide behind their authority, I know exactly what I'm talking about. That's why I don't buy into the "Jesus is in full control of everything..." stuff, because I know some of the stuff that goes on is about as unChristlike as you can get. He doesn't cause/control it just because he allows it for a time. I also question some of the decisions men (not Jesus) have made when I am in possession of all the facts - especially when removal or disfellowshipping has as it's objective to silence whistleblowers who expose their corruption. I have never been DF'd, but I know if they thought I was spilling the beens on them, that's exactly what would happen. So I don't mention any names either that would tip them off. Just letting people know that you can still maintain your faith and relationship with God despite the evil that (some) men do - and get away with for now.  Sorry if this rant is off topic.
    • Perhaps it can be as you said. And perhaps this can be true with many other similar "stories".   What I see as important in this "story", is fine moral message and inspirational, motivating injection that in this materialistic and superficial everyday life offers a spiritual upgrade.... said with different order of words. 
    • Some do. Like the Rainbow Mountains, and some of the Caucasus (Svaneti) look more like rocky Alps. I'd love to see those mountains, and I planned to visit Georgia within two or three years if possible. I've never been to Georgia, the closest so far has been to northern Turkey (Ankara, Zonguldak, Samsun). If Jehovah did not intervene, and nature was left to itself, moving the tectonic plates would have caused thousands of violent aftershocks and tsunamis for quite some time after the floodwaters settled. Even on water, during the Flood, the Ark would have to be given divine protection. Settling on a high mountain might protect from tsunamis but not the quakes. I'd like to look up some info on these. Where should I start?
    • The story has also been told that it was a "black boy" who offered him the newspaper for free: https://mylife-chapter.blogspot.com/2017/08/who-is-richer-than-bill-gates.html When my wife was a school principal, teachers were always putting up posters about, for example, the "Ten Things Bill Gates Says about School" or "What Bill Gates Said Were the Most Important Things in Life" etc. He may have told a story like this, but usually people create such stories so that their own moral lesson comes across with more authority.  
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