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FOUR problems with latest "GENERATION" teaching

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Are you saying that Russell expected God to use the fleshly Nation of Israel to rule over this Earth. If so, why would God use the nation which He handed over to the Romans to destroy ? 

In 1879, the Watch Tower wrote:

We believe that fleshly Israel will, in the near future, be recognized as the chief nation of earth, "Jerusalem be a rejoicing and her people a joy," and that ten men shall lay hold, out of all nations, of the skirts of one Jew, saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. (

    Hello guest!
.)

Who else would have the right? In Russell's primary view, it was not just the 144,000 who would go to heaven, but ALL Christians, including the "Great Crowd." The difference was that the Great Crowd would be a secondary group who had not quite made it to the level of becoming part of Christ's Bride, and who would not rule as kings and priests. The chosen ones, the 144,000, would be spared the time of chaos that was originally expected to begin around 1910 and last to 1914. The rest of the Christians would live out their earthly life expectancy and die and go to heaven, also enjoying immortality just as the 144,000 do. About 10 years prior to 1914 that time of chaos was moved out to 1915, with Russell teaching that the 144,000 would all be called to heaven by that time.

Part of the reasoning behind changing their doctrine was that the Jews were not moving to Palestine fast enough, although they assumed God would speed it up in his own due time, just before October 1914. But remember that with all the Christians in heaven, the blessings on earth would come through a visible capital, Jerusalem, under invisible guidance from "The Christ." (In Russell's view "The Christ" included Russell himself, along with 139,999 others as the "body" of the Christ, plus Jesus himself as "head" of the Christ.)

The reason God would use a nation handed over to the Romans to destroy was, by this way of thinking, the Hebrew prophets had promised a literal restoration of the Messianic throne, and Jesus was the Jewish King and Messiah, who would fulfill the promise made to fleshly Israel, by being a king ruling from heaven as a government from Jerusalem in Israel distributed those blessings to the rest of the earth. Jesus would be the actual "king" sitting on David's throne, but from heaven, yet still in fulfillment of the promise to restore the throne of David so that all the nations of the earth would bless themselves. This way it would be fulfilled that the "nations would come streaming to Zion" and "ten men would take hold of the skirt of a Jew." (etc., etc.)

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3 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I do admit that it is all above me and I do wonder how much God actually expects us basic humans to understand.

Part of my reason for participating with these details is so that we can see that we are NOT expected to understand such things, because they are actually now admitted to be false teachings. It could never have been important to accept false teachings to be a true Christian. 

And a problem I have pointed out before is that Russell made elements of chronology a key part of the criteria by which someone was deemed to be included in the true Bride of Christ, the 144,000, or just an average Christian who is not so spiritual and merely makes it to heaven. That major point of distinction between those who could have been part of the 144,000 and those others he also considered "anointed" (but who didn't quite prove themselves worthy) was this: 

They had to accept that those who had heard about 1844 but gave up on chronology after its failure would not be allowed in the 144,000. They were likened to foolish virgins who let their lamps run out because they did not realize that a kind of call had gone out in 1844, but that the midnight cry was from Barbour's message beginning around 1859 to 1860, and that the Bridegroom actually showed up in 1874. If they had given up on chronology and not listened to Barbour, they missed the midnight cry, and had no oil in their lamps to meet up with the Bridegroom.

Those who didn't accept 1874 could not be a part of the 144,000. This might have created the inertia to allow 1874 to still be taught in the Watchtower as the beginning of Christ's presence all the way up until 1943.

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@JW Insider So are you saying the God allowed these false teachings to be taught to those that were seeking truth ?

And does it then follow that God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings to those who are seeking truth now ? 

One other point, that is, if there were to be a second type of spiritual person, not good enough for the 144,000, but still going to heaven, that would mean they would still have to die as a human. 

Then if fleshly Israel was to rule over the paradise Earth, would people still die to go to heaven, to be part of that second spiritual type  ? 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

 So are you saying the God allowed these false teachings to be taught to those that were seeking truth ?

Yes. God allows false teachings to be taught to those seeking truth. There is no perfectly true knowledge for all teachings today. We will continue to grow and distinguish right from wrong. We will continue to refine dross from gold.

1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And does it then follow that God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings to those who are seeking truth now ? 

Yes. God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings as far as we know. There are continuous changes, and therefore continuous admissions that what was previously taught was not completely true, therefore "false." The teachings are not as important as the desire to do God's will. The imperfect and flawed attitudes are not as important as the desire to do God's will. This is why Jesus could say:

  • (Matthew 23:1-3) . . .Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore, all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds. . .

 

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4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Then if fleshly Israel was to rule over the paradise Earth, would people still die to go to heaven, to be part of that second spiritual type  ? 

I don't think this doctrine was ever fleshed out, as it were. Russell's focus was on the development of the "high calling" to be Christ's Bride. Edited to add: But the answer was basically "Yes," death to all Christians, but millions of non-Christians might never die. This changed over time of course.

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I'm noticing a lack of response from others here.  And I'm noticing that you are 'in a way' admitting the things I've been saying for a long time. 

Thank you for your honesty. However it reminds me of a song, 'The More I learn The Less I know'. 

I seriously cannot understand why God is allowing these things to happen. My conscience would not allow me to go into the ministry with hit or miss teaching that may or may not be true. Especially if i were to offer a Bible study to someone that really wanted the 'Truth'. Only to worry that today's truth is tomorrow's falsehood. 

Where is the true foundation ? We have God and we have Jesus Christ, yes. But then all else seems to be just people's opinions. Even Bible translations cannot be trusted it seems. 

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19 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But the loophole was found in the 10 words I skipped from verse 18, where it adds ". . . and he is the head of the body, the congregation." So all that needed to be done, was to ignore all the talk of Jesus position and authority, and focus on this idea of "and he is head of the body, the congregation." The "kingdom" is therefore not Christ's Kingdom, not the Messianic Kingdom of God through Christ, but merely Jesus headship over the congregation as a kind of "kingdom."

But this "kingdom" cannot have a capital "K" as in "Kingdom" because that would remind us of God's Kingdom through Christ. In the rest of the NWT, every mention of God's Kingdom, sons of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of heaven, the Son of man coming in his Kingdom, sitting at the right of Jesus in his Kingdom, this good news of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of the Son of the Most High, eat and drink at the table in my Kingdom, Jesus' Kingdom, etc., etc., are all capitalized. Although there is no Greek support to capitalize some of these and not others, the NWT chooses NOT to capitalize Colossians 1:16. It is the only exception in the Greek Scriptures when referring to God or Christ's Kingdom. (Clearly because it is one of the few references to the word that cannot be pushed to the future, but is already in the present.)

That is a very weak argument, not on your part by any means. I thank you for explaining this from the jw perspective. To me, this argument presented by the wt, is a deliberate attempt to remove facts from the Bible to support their view. It has no basis other than to establish their own timeline and differentiate themselves from what most Christians believe. The problem will lie with how God views such tampering, ie. Rev 22:18&19. 

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19 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Thank you for your honesty. However it reminds me of a song, 'The More I learn The Less I know'. 

I don't think that title is a bad mantra at all.

19 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I seriously cannot understand why God is allowing these things to happen.

If you are looking for perfection, that's great. If you are expecting perfection, then you will be without any kind of brotherhood at all, and Christianity requires a brotherhood.

19 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

My conscience would not allow me to go into the ministry with hit or miss teaching that may or may not be true. Especially if i were to offer a Bible study to someone that really wanted the 'Truth'.

Everyone will be different. For me, it's not so difficult. Just review all the topics that you are sure of, at least sure enough so that you can express agreement. Emphasize these. On all other topics just say to the study or householder that 'among Jehovah's Witnesses you will find that most of them accept this particular interpretation of the topic, but that it is a difficult topic for many to understand and if they don't understand it or accept it, that a good understanding of the topic may come in time.' Remind them that Jehovah is more concerned with motivations and our love for one another than any particular teaching or specific action. This is clear from Jesus:

  • (Matthew 7:22, 23) . . .Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’
  • (Matthew 25:34-40) . . .“Then the King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; 36 naked and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
  • (John 13:35) 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”

Once you know which things you want to emphasize in your ministry, then focus on those things. My motto, difficult as it is for me, attempts the following:

  • (Philippians 4:8, 9) . . .Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well-spoken-of, whatever things are virtuous, and whatever things are praiseworthy, continue considering these things. 9 The things that you learned as well as accepted and heard and saw in connection with me, practice these, and the God of peace will be with you.

We have a lot more freedom in our personal ministry than you imply. The most difficult times will likely be the times when you will be inevitably be asked to take on more responsibility. To hold the title of elder, for example, or to take on the assignment of certain talks that must hold strictly to an outline. But the Witnesses still offer a brotherhood in which it is very possible and enjoyable to succeed in a humble ministry of helping others related to you in the faith. For me it is a brotherhood in which I find friendships and a fellowship of believers who will not kill one another in wars, who will not threaten with violence, who will not judge one to a fiery hell, and who see God as a knowable, loving entity we can approach, and who generally share in a common sense of morality. Imperfect? Yes! But who knows? One might even be able to be a force for good from within without really trying. 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Yes. God is allowing the Governing Body to teach false teachings as far as we know. There are continuous changes, and therefore continuous admissions that what was previously taught was not completely true, therefore "false." The teachings are not as important as the desire to do God's will. The imperfect and flawed attitudes are not as important as the desire to do God's will. This is why Jesus could say:

  • (Matthew 23:1-3) . . .Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore, all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds. . .

But the requirement of jws is to adhere to ALL teachings of wt unless you would like to lose your family or in the case of not having family, be expelled. This is the case even if you know in your heart that you are correct, to keep up with the gb chariot, one must believe what they say verses what the Bible tells them.  Again, the Bible warns against such things, juts as you pointed out at Matt 23:1-3. 

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4 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

But the requirement of jws is to adhere to ALL teachings of wt unless you would like to lose your family or in the case of not having family, be expelled.

I don't consider that a requirement. I consider it an opinion of a few. It was an opinion of many more in the 1980's, of course, but this has been mitigated with the more recent explicit admissions of fallibility in both doctrine and in organizational decisions. Brother Jackson echoed this when he said, in Australia recently, that it would be presumptuous for the GB to consider themselves God's only mouthpiece.

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6 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Brother Jackson echoed this when he said, in Australia recently, that it would be presumptuous for the GB to consider themselves God's only mouthpiece.

but isn't that exactly what the publications state? That they ARE. 

"They do not claim that this slave class is infallible, but they do view it as the one channel that the Lord is using during the last days of this system of things." Proclaimers p.626

"It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the "slave" as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." Watchtower 1957 Jun 15 p.370

"Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of "the faithful steward." Pay Attention to Yourself and to All The Flock p.13

Isn't it a disfellowshipping offence to not believe that the gb is the faithful and discrete slave?

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Yes Brother Jackson's comment / reply to questioning, has played on my mind a bit sometimes.

I somehow related it to when the disciples reported to Jesus that other people were curing the sick using Jesus' name (I think) and Jesus said something like, 'Leave them alone for those that are not against us are for us'. (I think it's something like that anyway).

Nearly 9pm here in Devon England. My brain is tired. 

Concerning Shiwiii's comment, I knew not to mention certain things inside of the Kingdom Hall for the obvious reasons of 'not causing a division in the congregation', however in the privacy of a brother's home we would often speak our minds to each other. 

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17 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

but isn't that exactly what the publications state? That they ARE. 

The GB are not exclusively God's mouthpiece. The heavens declare the glory of Jehovah, as do His creative works on earth; His Word is called that because it is also His mouthpiece; even "the mouths of babes" can become His mouthpiece. And not since the 1980's has the idea been repeated like this.

I believe that if I were seriously questioned about whether I believed the GB were the faithful and discreet slave, I would not be disfellowshipped if I said that I have trouble believing that they are exclusively the "faithful and discreet slave"/"faithful steward"/"faithful and wise servant." I have no trouble believing that the GB are part of a group of faithful and discreet slaves, and that we can allow them to represent the faithful slave in many ways. But that I can't "shake" the idea that Jehovah wants all of us to be faithful and discreet slaves. In fact, Jehovah wants all of to be sure of our teaching so that anyone as stewards can declare our faith as if we are God's spokespersons. This is exactly the thought of the following verse:

  • (1 Peter 4:10, 11) . . .To the extent that each one has received a gift, use it in ministering to one another as fine stewards of God’s undeserved kindness that is expressed in various ways. 11 If ANYONE speaks, let him do so as speaking pronouncements from God; if anyone ministers, let him do so as depending on the strength that God supplies;. . . [emphasis added]
  • [Edited to add:] (Matthew 13:52) . . .Then he said to them: “That being the case, EVERY public instructor who is taught about the Kingdom of the heavens is like a man, the master of the house, who brings out of his treasure store things both new and old.” [emphasis added, of course]

Naturally I would probably need to add that I would never promote this view in the congregation because I feel it might create friction, misunderstanding or division among some. But that I cannot conscientiously believe that Jesus meant that an exclusive group of only eight men constitute the entire reason for Jesus' illustration at the end of Matthew 24.

When Jesus said "Who really is your neighbor?" in the parable of the Good Samaritan, he surely didn't mean that there would be a special "Neighbor" class made up of 8 people somewhere, or a "Good Samaritan" class, or a "robber" class, or an "Innkeeper" class. He meant it as a lesson about what it means to be a true neighbor. I would tell them that I see the "parable of the faithful and unfaithful slave" in the same way. When Jesus said "Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?" he must have similarly meant it as a lesson about what it means to be a true faithful and discreet slave. After all, in 2014 and 2015 we got information (from the GB) telling us not to accept parables as referring to special classes of people unless explicitly explained that way in the Bible itself.

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Um, round in circles i know BUT, the teaching used to be that ALL Anointed were the faithful slave class, is that right ? 

And as for your scripture at 1 Peter 4 v 10 & 11. It gives me more reason to believe that the scriptures were /are written for the Anointed to fully understand and the scriptures apply fully to those of the Anointed. The earthly class are just the other sheep. 

The scripture says " To the extent that each one has received a gift.... " I believe that gift to be Holy Spirit from God, given the Anointed.

 If anyone speaks, let him do so as speaking pronouncements from God;   Pronouncements FROM GOD, which in my humble opinion would only be from those that can use the expression 'Abba Father' 

    Hello guest!

Now because you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, and it cries out: “Abba, Father!”

    Hello guest!

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!”

The earthly class are not 'sons' of God, they are 'children' of God. 

 If anyone speaks, let him do so as speaking pronouncements from God.  Note it does not say AS IF speaking pronouncements from God. It says AS SPEAKING... to me that means it is directly speaking words from God. Acting as God's spokesperson, just as Jesus did whilst here on this Earth. 

I think only the Anointed have the right to do that.  The rest of us are only 'helpers' to the Anointed, which relates to another scripture where Jesus says,  'as much as you did it for one of my brothers, you did it for me'. (Or words to that effect). 

And quote "The GB are not exclusively God's mouthpiece.. "  Is that because the rest of the Anointed are ? 

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Naturally I would probably need to add that I would never promote this view in the congregation because I feel it might create friction, misunderstanding or division among some. But that I cannot conscientiously believe that Jesus meant that an exclusive group of only eight men constitute the entire reason for Jesus' illustration at the end of Matthew 24.

And here lies the crux of the matter. This is exactly what the gb wants of the rank and file, for them to believe exactly what we are talking about. You may or may not be the exception and I would be naive to think there are not others who hold the same thoughts, but the fact of the matter is that this is exactly what the gb and the wt wants. They want no one to question their view and not to speak about it to others who may have the same feelings, because then there might be a change that was not from the top down but rather from the bottom up. This would disrupt the ivory tower they have created for themselves. I can tell you are sincere in your words,beliefs and your treatment of others and I share many of the same thoughts as you, I just don't hold the gb's point of view as being from God. 

Thank you JW Insider for all that you contribute here and for helping us to understand the gb point of view when we ask. 

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23 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And quote "The GB are not exclusively God's mouthpiece.. "  Is that because the rest of the Anointed are ? 

I meant that they cannot be exclusively God's mouthpiece, because if Jehovah can bring draw praise from a child ("Out of the mouths of babes" Mt 21:16 quoting Ps 8:2) then that child is also God's mouthpiece.

The Psalm 19 says:

  • (Psalm 19:1-4) 19 The heavens are declaring the glory of God; The skies above proclaim the work of his hands.  2 Day after day their speech bubbles forth, And night after night they reveal knowledge.  3 There is no speech, and there are no words; Their voice is not heard.  4 But into all the earth their sound has gone out, And to the ends of the inhabited earth their message.. . .

So even the heavenly and earthly creations cry out as God's mouthpiece. And therefore all who preach God's good news of his Kingdom are also his mouthpiece. (Compare Romans 10:18 with Psalm 19:4.) Even "rocks" can become Jehovah's mouthpiece if necessary (Luke 19:40). So I can't see a direct connection between the "mouthpiece" and the "anointed" from this.

I should add that In Isaiah 43, Israel representing their God Jehovah against the gods of the nations, became Jehovah's mouthpiece by their actions and avoidance of idolatry. This applied to a nation that was "anointed" but not in the sense in Romans 8/Galatians 4.

Notice too that the verse in 1 Peter 4:11 that said that we should speak as if a mouthpiece for God, actually said "if anyone speaks" without a specific sense of limiting it to the anointed.

Of course, I can't say that you are wrong. I don't know. Perhaps the Greek Scriptures were written just for the anointed. But when Peter speaks of "a new heavens and a new earth which we are awaiting," he seems to include two groups with the word we. When Jesus tells meek people that they shall inherit the earth, we get a sense Jesus is inclusive of more than just the anointed in all his parables and teachings.

My sense is that there really are two groups of persons who hope for life in paradise, and some of these will be in heaven and some on earth. But I get the sense that the Bible is written for the edification of all of us -- every statement, including those about the spirit bearing witness with our spirit. The Bible never says that only an anointed class become "sons" and only "sons" go to heaven, but not "brothers."

  • (Matthew 23:8-12) 8 But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your Teacher, and all of you are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one, the Christ. 11 But the greatest one among you must be your minister. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

(At least the verse didn't say, "Neither should any of you be called Governing Body.")

But, of course, there is an even more explicitly clear scripture that includes the "brothers" in the "heavenly calling."

  • (Hebrews 2:11-3:1) 11 For both the one who is sanctifying and those who are being sanctified all stem from one, and for this reason he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 as he says: “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you with song.” 13 And again: “I will put my trust in him.” And again: “Look! I and the young children, whom Jehovah gave me.” 14 Therefore, since the “young children” are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly shared in the same things, . . . 17 Consequently, he had to become like his “brothers” in all respects, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, in order to offer a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the people. 18 Since he himself has suffered when being put to the test, he is able to come to the aid of those who are being put to the test. 3 Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling,. . .

So, again, I think creating a distinction between brothers, sons, children, etc., is false. All of us call out to our Father, Jehovah, and all of us should call out "Abba," in the sense of a fatherly relationship, because we see Jehovah as "near and dear" to us. 

  • (Acts 17:27-29) . . .so that they would seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us. 28 For by him we have life and move and exist, even as some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his children.’ 29 “Therefore, since we are the children of God, . . . [Remember that Paul was speaking to persons here, who were not even convinced of Christianity. ]
  • (Matthew 22:37) . . .“‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’

 

That is the reason we ALL should think of God in loving endearing terms like "Abba, Father." But even here the distinction between "Abba" and "Father" has been carried further than the Scriptures actually state. In fact, there are several times in the Greek Scriptures when Aramaic terms are spelled out, and spelling out "Abba, Father" is just one more (actually, it's done 3 times). But in Aramaic it doesn't really just mean "papa" as is a common idea. It really means "father" or "the father."  It's the same in Aramaic as when Jesus prayed a model prayer: "Our Abba, who art in heaven." There is no reason to think that "Abba" is supposed to have a special meaning JUST for the anointed.

In Galatians when the point about sonship is made it is compared with slavery to the fleshly world. Our anointing of the SPIRIT is reflected by our own production of the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT. (Galatians 5:19, etc)  This is not just for the heavenly class, ALL of us should produce the fruits of the spirit because of the outpouring of the spirit.

Romans, also, in context, if you read the entire chapter (Romans 8 ), is about the difference between the SPIRIT and condemnation of the flesh. Notice that ANYONE who does not live in harmony with the spirit is condemned. So this context is for those who need Jehovah's spirit (Christ's spirit is mentioned here, too), and it includes ALL persons who set their mind on spiritual things instead of fleshly things.

 

  • (Romans 8:5-9) . . .For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit. 6 For setting the mind on the flesh means death, but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace; 7 because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God, for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. 8 So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in you. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this person does not belong to him.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on it. There are many possible ways to look at this.

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26 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

They want no one to question their view and not to speak about it to others who may have the same feelings, because then there might be a change that was not from the top down but rather from the bottom up.

I think that Jesus understood well that Leaders would naturally appear in all religious organizations and some would position themselves as "high council" "Pope" "Archbishop" "governing bodies" "leadership of the synod" "president of the Sanhedrin" etc. The point of Jesus' illustration of the faithful and unfaithful slaves in the household was a warning about how some of these would begin to "lord it over" the household of faith, trying to actually be "governors of their faith."

I find that the letters of Peter provide an excellent commentary on Matthew 24, and it serves well on this illustration, too. Just after the point about faithful stewards, quoted above from 1 Pet 4:11, there is another point at the start of the next chapter that perfectly explains the Matthew 24:45 parable, including the "reward" for setting the right example, just as in Matthew 24:

  • (1 Peter 5:1-4) . . .Therefore, as a fellow elder, a witness of the sufferings of the Christ and a sharer of the glory that is to be revealed, I make this appeal to the elders among you: 2 Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers, not under compulsion, but willingly before God; not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd has been made manifest, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Still, in the case of the Governing Body, they might be as averse to questioning as you think, if it is done in a useful and upbuilding way. What they are probably more afraid of is the chaos that a forum like this would dump on them, and the chaos trying to control such ideas from being accepted willy-nilly and randomly. It would be difficult for them to keep up with all the crazy ideas that might be spreading if people were encouraged to speak up.

 

 

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@JW InsiderI appreicate your attempt to salvage our faith after introducing such a controversial topic. I've not read everything but I think you comments go too far.

I've not read everything here and perhaps i should before i comment.

This Generation

I'm neutral regarding the new This Generation doctrine. I don't see the scriptural basis for several reasons I will not add here. I don't think it is appropriate on a public forum where anyone can read. I don't think it is wrong who can be sure? But I do think it is unwise.

I think the brothers focus on "This generation" because of Jesus' own words: " Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen." (Mt 24:34). What do they mean? Did he say them for nothing? It is a part of the sign of the last days!

Now my view is that they should have provided numerous possible interpretations and we just watch and see which seems to be more true. This is my contention. They also made other comments that i think will be picked up and used by apostates in the coming years when things dont develop as quickly as we thought.

The Last Days

I have no problem with the 1914 doctrine, but anyone with a brain should at least question our understanding of this generation. I thik it is significant that WWI started in 1914. Its a major coincidence and the world acknowledges taht the world as we know it changed. I don't have to pull references form a Watchtower to find them. It was in my history book. I've seen these references in numerous publications that I read casually. THe world changed in 1914.

@JW Insider

If these are not the last days what is the purpose of the sign??? if the prophecy pertains to any ol' time period, how do we know that he is near at the door? The system is progressing just as we would think. JWs are not the only ones that believe these are the last days. Evangelical and most of the US population up until a few years ago did also. JWs have along explained that religion was in danger of being destroyed, the waters are not only drying up, there are groups of people calling for her death--the New Atheists. Movies and television shows are attacking the BIblical worldview in very subtle and brilliant ways! The legalization of gay marriage has created a protected right group diametrically opposed to traditional views on religious freedom. (If the Bible at all seemed archaic before, gay rights is a constant reminder that the Bible is outdated and irrelevant for building a progressive and modern society. WE can come up with better ideas.) The previous US president promoted "Freedom of WOrship" which is not as broad as "freedom of religion." Basically you can go to church but you may not promote or freely express your beliefs in the public square!

We have no idea what effect redefining the family. marriage, gender, gender roles, and morality will ultimately do to a secular society with no restraints. Science and evolution filling the religious gap in people's minds does not hold promise of a happy future. Secular thought and evolutionary teaching undermine human rights, the dignity and value of human life. Such views open the world wide open to eventual genocide. It IS THE NATURAL PROGRESSION of social Darwinism. As society becomes more in line with the themes "Survival of the fittest" we will become more and more like the degraded animals they claim us to be.

Knowledge is power. We've put a lot of knowledge and power in the hands of a lot of ordinary people to inflict a tremendous amount of harm!

The twisted thinking of clever yet flawed philosophers catch wind all too easily and spread all too fast. We have a population with growing amounts of information much of it agenda driven. These people are not necessarily any more intelligent or capable of critically assessing this information. Puns and memorable sound bites are accepted as AXIOMATIC yet unexamined words of truth! Democracy is becoming more about herd control and manipulation. (DO this and do that to get a vote. Time your propaganda just right before the people go to the polls. Use code words that people think they understand but  really dont except a minority thus winning people over who aren't paying attention to the rhetoric.)

That is just on a social level. What about tampering with DNA? Super strains of diseases. Tampering with our food supply? We have no idea what these will do. What happens if some scientist or evil government unleash this crap on people on purpose? We have never lived in a time where a single person can inflict so much harm.

Jehovah's Witnesses constantly Getting it Wrong!

Daniel 12: 4 says: “As for you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end.

    Hello guest!
Many will rove about,
    Hello guest!
and the true knowledge will become abundant.”

Some other translations here:

    Hello guest!

As one would logically think and expresses in this Scripture, trying to understand prophecy IF IT IS TRUE AT ALL, is to run into many dead end! Some bible version say wander about. Some say go to and fro. Either way, the person runs into a dead end. He loses his way. He experience cognitive dissonance. He rethinks, he regroups, he presses forward with a new idea!

Christendom is smarter! They've given up almost completely. They understand that taking an official stance on prophecy is suicide! SO they leave it to a few brave theologians and nothing more.

JEhovah's pitiful Witnesses are not afraid of the ridicule. They believe that God will grant understanding and they press on. They simply have faith that God will vindicate them for their efforts and expose those who lack faith in God's Word!

I do believe Jehovah's WItnesses are approaching the end of their rope. If Jesus doesn't come soon, it will be the end of our religion! But Christendom won't be far behind!

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:40 AM, JW Insider said:
  • #1. It creates a set time limit for Armageddon to occur.
  • #2. It is based on the idea that the date 1914 was predicted in the Bible. 
  • #3. It is based on a false definition of the word "generation." 
  • #4. It is based on a false premise about a supposed belief in 1914 that didn't even exist in 1914. 

#1 is not a problem with the doctrine unless you mean it is unwise. Being unwise may be a concern but it doesn't make the doctrine untrue.

#2 This is only a problem if 1914 is not predicted. You presuppose your conclusion.

#3 What is your more correct definition of a generation? Can you establish your belief Biblically? (Those are two different questions. I'm not trying to make it hard to answer. I'm simply wondering whether you have a definition whether it is based on Scripture or not. But if it isn't what is your complaint?)

Note: Apostates and skeptics always criticize something but they bring no solutions to the table. When they do those solutions are often superficial. It is easy to criticize. it is another to demonstrate an adequate alternative.

#4 I don't think the new doctrine is based on any belief that people had at anytime. Related historical statements about what people believed or not may be inaccurate but it doesn't mean the doctrine is false. It simply means they provides supporting facts that were unfounded. The doctrine could be independently true.

I already said what i think about the doctrine. I feel they have put too much emphasis on it. We dont need this doctrine to believe it is the last days. Christendom believes it the last days (The Southern Baptist convention and many Pentecostal religions believe the end is IMMINENT! Their words not mine.) They don't have any date on which the last days started. We have other signs taht tell us where we are in the stream of time and how close e are. WE don't need the "this Generation" doctrines!

I think you need to refine your complaint. It is quite ad hoc and not well thought out.

That is not intended as an insult.

I think you have valid concerns but these are not really doctrinal problems. I'm concerned about your rejection of 1914 and that these are the last days!

I fully affirm your scriptural concerns as expressed in the original post.

 

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@JW Insider

The discussion about Jehovah's mouthpiece and the anointed as expressed is completely off topic. Further these statements mildly misrepresent WT doctrine. Jehovah's Witnesses believe both classes will be sons and daughter NOT JUST ANOINTED. The distinction is those who go to heaven obtain an immediate reward that cannot be taken away. Those on earth apparently can lose their reward based on Revelation 20. On earth it appears that it is not until after those who are resurrected to a Day of Judgment turn on God's true Sons that these faithful Sons of God are revealed!

 

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