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JOHN BUTLER

Apostles, Judas, GB, Raymond, Satan, Holy Spirit

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I imagine you have dismissed the OPED I submitted, with how many in charge would be frank and open with their responses. Raymond was no different in private. Perhaps his behavior was more polished in public but that would be something people that liked him would only see.

There are two sides to a coin, and I got to experience both sides. It really didn’t matter to me, since adults at that times were by and large as you stated “child abuse” oriented by today’s standards, not so much by the signs of that time. Perhaps, this is the problem people have today.

They look at every situation with today’s ideology rather than being intellectual and cite with the past.

The ecclesiastical determination allows viewing scripture correctly. The understanding of rapture is defined by how God’s Holy Spirit can and will operate. I believe that has been discussed before.

The inference that Fred was not involved in translating scripture to other languages when at that time there were around 109 languages if memory serves, is not an adequate characterization of Fred’s abilities. I believe that was something that was challenged in court.

While the word “framer” is taken out of context, it was the foundation for best practices for having a judicial system through the congregations, Committee. Which Fred had a fair amount of input on how this committee should be conducted, with various scriptural conditions to support it?

Once again, perhaps this is why you hold loyalty to Raymond. In an ecclesiastical level, there was no one more qualified than Fred Franz.

This, however, will remain one opinion over another. The “actions” of both subjects speak for themselves.

This is why I don’t see how you can effectively contradict arrangements that weren’t part of the Watchtower after 1931.

Before that, each congregation ran independently of each other. There was no central system, even though some continue to insist, Bethel was Pastor Russell main hub when it wasn’t.

Elders in each congregation had the ability to choose for themselves what was best for their congregants. Another reason why other denominations were welcomed to speak at their church meeting. Traveling preachers. If they had internal matters within local congregations, they would form an Ecclesia body of Elders.

“We write to apprise you of the fact that a class of Bible Students of this town have organized as an Ecclesia--24 members --Brother W. Sargent of Halifax officiating; and have voted you in as Pastor and Elder.”

“We have heard of cases in which an Elder refused to speak to one of the Congregation because the latter had not voted for him”

Dear Brethren:

I am writing you this to testify my appreciation of the visit it of dear - Pilgrim Brother Blackburn. I so much enjoyed his sweet fellowship. He seemed so, charged with the Message of love-the Gospel of Glad Tidings­ that there was no room for malevolent backbiting and -slander of fellow-servants . . . Brother Blackburn, in all his discourses, emphasized the possessing of the spirit of -Christ Jesus as the all-important, qualification of Christian character . . . Ali! how can those 'Who have tasted of the heavenly gift be so lacking in the spirit of love as to smite brethren who cannot accept every wild speculation and vagary thrust before them! If those who do such things are thereby manifesting the spirit of the Lord, then I have read the Divine Word in vain.

If the Associated Bible Students were offering "strange fire" when they preach the Truth independently of the Society, not only would their efforts come to naught but they themselves would be cut short, even as your article suggests. But, instead of this, the Lord is richly blessing their efforts, and many have come to a knowledge of the Truth and into full relationship with the Lord as a result of these ministries outside of the Society.

 

 All in all, we choose to believe what Satan has placed before us. If we refuse to acknowledge that effort, we will always play into his handy work. To distort the facts by distorting the truth.

For the Watchtower history, it’s been clear, the framers besides Raymond and former apostates like him, fell in a trap of their own device. Self-destruction by opening their hearts to Satan. Another evidence of this was the writing department in Raymond’s time. Conflict within, what a shame and wasted effort.

 

TTH, it is true some consideration should be given to some that still consider themselves as being part of this organization, but NOT when we are dealing with apostasy. If Raymond resigned and then disfellowshipped for it, how much more slack do you think people here should have? Therefore, you have the same conflict the writing department had back then with misplaced loyalty. But, that's between you and our creator.

 

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2 hours ago, FelixCA said:

But, that's between you and our creator.

That’s a good way to put it. I like it.

If you cut people absolutely no slack, you almost push them out.

We do cut people slack in most areas. For example, if we cut them no slack on ‘loving violence,’ we would REALLY clamp down on those watching sports like American football, which has been PROVEN to drastically curtail life. (See the movie ‘Concussion’) But we don’t. We allow for the fact that all have missed the mark.

This should not be the one area in which we cut people ABSOLUTELY NO SLACK. JWI spouts off on ‘the way things ought to be.’ So what? He has made it clear many times that he recognizes that there must be headship and that he acqiesces to it. He has picked some obscure backwater channel presided over by some 4th-rate school Liberian who really doesn’t like kids and who is counting the days till her retirement, easing her days with wine, while the children play mean tricks on her, lowering a cat from the ceiling that will first latch onto and remove her toupee like in Tom Sawyer, to pour out how he really feels for the sake of his ‘conscience.’ Let him. If he is a windbag, let that be his vice—probably he is not hung up on violent football. Challenge him on points if you like. I have done so, but every time he does, he defends his point so well that I have learned not to do it. I mean, what am I going to say—that his experiences are not his? He will agree in a heartbeat that what he says is subjective.

Plus, he makes his posts so long that people skip over them, unless they are absolutely fixated on the points he raises, and if they are, they may as well get data from him, rather than from people who decidedly think ill of the JW cause and will make up falsehood. No, Felix, it is not that your point is invalid, but there are bigger fish to fry. 

Opposers say ALMOST TO THE PERSON that Jehovah’s Witnesses are ‘controlling’ and MANY say they were driven away on that account. You (forgive my bluntness) are here a case in point, striving very hard to ‘control’ him (with good motive—don’t misunderstand). Of course, it is in the nature of the truth that there is going to be authority, but in light of ALL opposers saying it and MANY friends conceding that it can at times be smothering, it pays to give thought to not being unnecessarily that way.

My blog and book experience has led me to think of other areas where change may one day come. Elsewhere I wrote:

It may be unavoidable, but the scriptural counsel to avoid apostates come what may has a serious downside. If a youngster of ours succumbs to the oldest trap of human nature- going somewhere out of curiosity because he has been advised not to, and he stumbles, he finds himself totally unsupported because we don’t know what is there ourselves. All we can say is that he shouldn’t go there, which opposers spin as proof that he should stay in order to escape from being “controlled.”  I don’t know the answer, but it would be nice if there was one.

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Quote TTH "From my point of view, that is almost the sole purpose of this site. "

Plus belittling people. Making fun of important issues,

And advertising your books. 

And from my viewpoint the 'one of good heart' seeks only truth and justice, along with mercy and honesty. And in doing so looks to God through Jesus Christ for the guidance of holy spirit. Also reading and believing God's word, not mans.  

They do not take the easy, cowardly, way out, by serving 'A body of men' and hiding in an organisation that they know is dishonest and has no true love in it. 

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Quote TTH. "Opposers say ALMOST TO THE PERSON that Jehovah’s Witnesses are ‘controlling’ "

Opposers do this opposers do that. Apostates do this, apostates do that.

Dear old TTH, he loves to generalise.  Tom, everyone is an individual.

Haven't you watched 'Life Of Brian' ? We're all individuals. 

However if ten people saw a vehicle accident happen and had to give a report to the police, they would all probably give similar accounts.

If you have 50 ex JW's, they will each have their own experiences. If all 50 of them found the Org to be controlling then doesn't that tell you something ?  If you are not blind or deaf, it should tell you that those 50 people found the JW Org to be controlling. 

The only way JW's can get out of that control is by not completely obeying the 'rules'. And it seems that you are saying that the rules are not always enforced. BUT the rules are there none the less. 

Quote TTH "We do cut people slack in most areas."   Please explain.

WHO cuts people slack ? What slack are they cutting ? Do you mean that Elders allow congregants to break the rules ?

So are you admitting that there are those rules in place ?

If so, having those rules in place, is controlling. 

Yes I know we all have to obey rules in everyday life. For instance, which side of the road we drive on, stopping at red lights. 

But the superior authorities will admit they put rules in place, so they are controlling.

So why won't the GB of JW Org ,and you, admit that the Org is controlling ? After all isn't it supposed to be that way ? 

If there are rules it is for the purpose of having control. 

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On 2/3/2019 at 2:59 AM, FelixCA said:

Luke 12:32 . . . little flock; . . . John 10:16 . . .other sheep. . . Revelation 7:3-8 . . . the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, . . .

When you juxtapose those 3 verses as you have, it helps to make a case for the idea already presented that the little flock might be Jews and the other sheep might be non-Jews, that is: people out of every tribe and nation. In fact you stopped just one verse shy of verse 9:

(Revelation 7:9) . . .After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.

So we already know that in some sense the 144,000 refer to Israelites, and the great crowd refer to Gentiles. The question is whether the reference is literal. We claim the number 144,000 to be literal, but we claim the reference to Israel is not. In fact, we teach that people of every tribe and nation are a part of that 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel, and that even many who are fleshly Israelites can end up being a part of that great crowd from all nations. Saying these expressions are NOT literal might appear to some people to be the equivalent of adding and subtracting from the Bible.

If the number 144,000 is not literal then it is surely not up to us to decide how many literal persons might make up this group. Since this is a discussion which has become centered on the views that R.Franz presented. I'll just present some of what he said on this so that other persons can reference it, and decide if it has any merit, or to point out the flaws in the reasoning.

At the time, there were only two of Jesus' parables that were believed to include the "other sheep." John 10:16 of course, and the "sheep and goats" parable because it mentions someone doing something for Christ's brothers, considered here to be only from the 144,000.

R.Franz points out that even if everything we teach about the 144,000 being literal is true, and only 144,000 will be in heaven, and a great crowd will make up the new earth  --even if all this is true-- it still doesn't mean that Jesus wasn't referring to literal Israelites in the "little flock" and literal "Gentiles" in the "other sheep" when he used these terms in John 10:16. The best argument the Watchtower uses for our current view of John 10:16 is that Christendom teaches they are literal Jews and Gentiles. This is not a real argument because we use Christendom all the time as evidence that we are right when Christendom's commentaries and scholarship agrees with us.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I did explain. All you had to do was read the next sentence.

You avoid answering the questions I asked though and that was what i wanted you to explain, as you well know. 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

You avoid answering the questions I asked though and that was what i wanted you to explain, as you well know. 

The post itself explains those things.

if you don’t mind, I’ll pass, John. Many others have explained these things for you. I haven’t seen any of them make an inch of progress.

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

f the number 144,000 is not literal then it is surely not up to us to decide how many literal persons might make up this group. Since this is a discussion which has become centered on the views that R.Franz presented. I'll just present some of what he said on this so that other persons can reference it, and decide if it has any merit, or to point out the flaws in the reasoning.

At the time, there were only two of Jesus' parables that were believed to include the "other sheep." John 10:16 of course, and the "sheep and goats" parable because it mentions someone doing something for Christ's brothers, considered here to be only from the 144,000.

R.Franz points out that even if everything we teach about the 144,000 being literal is true, and only 144,000 will be in heaven, and a great crowd will make up the new earth  --even if all this is true-- it still doesn't mean that Jesus wasn't referring to literal Israelites in the "little flock" and literal "Gentiles" in the "other sheep" when he used these terms in John 10:16.

Then your exegesis is flawed. While the Israelites do hold some of the 144,000 saints it is conclusive with Jesus mandate by God’s Holy Spirit that the none-Jew (Gentiles) be included. Therefore, when scripture mentions all the tribes of Israel, it can’t be seen other than the descendants of all the tribes that have gotten mixed throughout the generations.

The same flaw found with Raymond. The same ill-conceived argument, when he failed to consider if Jesus was really a Jew because of his Parents. Raymond, just like about everyone doesn’t consider that Jesus was conceived by God’s Holy Spirit, therefore, Jesus was ALL nations (ADAM), not just the heritage of his parents. Was he clinging to his heritage, or was he framing how the Jews and none-Jews would be included?  He was the first Christian, meaning the first none-Jew, by a proclamation not by heritage. If we consider Raymond’s argument, with that logic, where does it leave Apostle Paul?

To that extent, the 144,000 would have the same proclamation. So, don’t think too much into the heritage that the Jews ultimately lost favor for, defying God so many millennia, ago.

Let’s not confuse the original Israelites that Jesus himself claimed to be Matthew 1:1–17 with the Jews in his time. Why else would Paul make a distinction with Romans 11:1 as to the Remnant of Israel? Paul demonstrated that Israel followed God by works instead of faith. That’s why those Jews refused to believe in Jesus and accept him as the Messiah. Had Jesus been born in the time of the Israelites, what do you think would have happened, seeing the son of God present.

We’d be having a different conversation if any, however, the makeup of humanity wouldn’t have been this evil. The same outcome present-day Israel is trying to do by building their own righteousness and their own sovereign state (Kingdom).

With Raymond’s understanding and yours, the 144,000 are already collected by heritage, way before Jesus was born, and serving as kings and priest, presently. This would leave out all the gentiles and converted Jews to Christianity. That is a distention the Watchtower makes when it refers to the false teachings of Christendom.

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5 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

This should not be the one area in which we cut people ABSOLUTELY NO SLACK. JWI spouts off on ‘the way things ought to be.’ So what? He has made it clear many times that he recognizes that there must be headship and that he acqiesces to it. He has picked some obscure backwater channel presided over by some 4th-rate school Liberian who really doesn’t like kids and who is counting the days till her retirement, easing her days with wine, while the children play mean tricks on her, lowering a cat from the ceiling that will first latch onto and remove her toupee like in Tom Sawyer, to pour out how he really feels for the sake of his ‘conscience.’ Let him. If he is a windbag, let that be his vice—probably he is not hung up on violent football. Challenge him on points if you like. I have done so, but every time he does, he defends his point so well that I have learned not to do it. I mean, what am I going to say—that his experiences are not his? He will agree in a heartbeat that what he says is subjective.

I guess that would be the point TOM. What part of apostate views can be accepted? Especially when those same ideas are found in apostate sites. Where can we compromise as not to be seen hypocritical by NOT practicing what we preach? James 1:22–25 How can this marvel be seen different just because JWI explains it the same way as opposers. Where’s the intellectual capability with mistaken loyalty.

That in itself makes no ecclesiastical sense. In this case, there is no persuading those that honor God, not to have things seen, contrary to bible standards. Sorry. 😉

But, as you state in such an indirect way. JWI is a power player here and he can say whatever he wants. When he gets challenged by showing those areas of error, people get deleted, which decides where the greater influence lies. I get that, thanks for the warning, I’m on the verge of being erased, by Tom, Anna, JWinsider.

That being said, I do agree it’s your world TOM, the slave must conform to the master. 🤔

Now just because I used the phrase, “that being said” doesn’t automatically make me Space Merchant. JWinsider, LOL! 😄

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

We claim the number 144,000 to be literal, but we claim the reference to Israel is not

Can't resist a contribution to this bit of a rather diverse thread if you don't mind.

Jesus said to the Jews at Matt.21:43 "the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits." That was pretty much confirmed by the acceptance of Cornelius into the Christian congregation in 36CE. With the rapid expansion of the congregation into non-Israelite territories and the consequent influx of non-Jews, there was an ongoing attempt to Judaize these Gentiles that was countered by many of the letters and actions of the apostle Paul. One particular letter, Galatians written about 50-52CE is relevant.

One of the statements Paul made in this letter is interesting: Gal.3:28-29: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise." There he introduces the idea of a united body of Christians (with Christ) made up of Jews and Gentiles but disregarding their fleshly national origins. He also states that they are (by reason of their being united with Christ) included in the "offspring" (or seed) of Abraham, "heirs with reference to a promise".  Quck flip to Genesis 22:18, "And by means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves because you have listened to my voice.’”. No prize for associating Israelites as the "offspring" (or seed) of Abraham, and the promise as relating, in part, to all (other) nations getting a blessing by means of Abraham's offspring (or seed). Now Paul has clarified the identity of this offspring as comprising Jesus, plus his congregation, amongst whom there are no fleshly, national, or religious distinctions. He tops it off by referring to this congregation at Gal.6:15-16 as having no need of fleshly circumcision, as being a new creation, and most importantly for the purpose of this discussion, terms them as "the Israel of God".

Now this has a neat connection with the words of Peter about 10 years later, at 1Pet.2:9."But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies” of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." These words are written to scattered Christians in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia who are reminded of their reserved heavenly inheritance (1Pet.1:1;4). The words Peter quotes are taken from Ex.19:6 and Is.43:21 which applied directly when they were written to the fleshly nation of Israel. BUT, in the light of Jesus words about the loss of privilege on the part of fleshly Israel, Paul's words about another Israel, united spritually rather than by fleshly descent, and becoming instrumental in the blessing of all nations, coupled with Peter's application of words describing the role of fleshly Israel to this newly constituted other Israel is significant. These words fit well with Jesus' determined pronouncement that another deserving nation would become the instrument to fulfill the blessing to the nations via a spiritual rather than a fleshly offspring of promise. A spritual Israel. And this is not a figurative Israel, it is a literal, spiritual Israel.

So, in view of these developments, and the late date of writing for the Revelation nearly 40 years on, it seems pretty clear that the group of 144,000 described at Rev.7:3-8 must be the same as the "Israel of God" referred to by Paul which, by no stretch of the imagination, can be comprised solely of fleshly Israelite Christians. The idea of them "following the Lamb where ever he goes" fits well with Peter's words at 1Pet.1:4 regarding their inheritance. To emphasise, the reference to Israel is actually literal, along with the complete number of 144,000.  It's just that it is a spiritual, not a fleshly, nation. The tribal split of course is figurative. The location of the group, the historical loss of any genealogical records, the equal split in numbers, the difference in tribal names all lend support to this view.

This , of course is only one thread of scripture that can be brought to bear on the matter. 😊

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7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

JWI is a power player here and he can say whatever he wants. 

All you have to do to be a power player here is to hang around This is a commercial site, after all 

7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

When he gets challenged by showing those areas of error, people get deleted, 

The only one who has ever been deleted is Allen, (as far as I know) which both JWI and I tried to prevent/undo. And he DID get abusive at times, which is a little different than obnoxious. Many here are obnoxious with no penalty whatsoever. That’s okay. But abusive is not. Even I was once penalized for being abusive. (for beating up on apostates, to a FAR greater degree than you.) I have preserved the experience, with embellishments, in the introduction of TrueTom vs the Apostates.

    Hello guest!

Butler is right. I shamelessly self promote (but it is for the best)

 

7 hours ago, FelixCA said:

I get that, thanks for the warning, I’m on the verge of being erased, by Tom, Anna, JWinsider.

None of these have that power. The ones that do, @admin and @The Librarian (that old hen) would not want you erased.  You contribute to eyeballs on this forum, and that drives traffic, which drives money in the form of advertising. This is a commercial site.  The worst you can do from their point of view is to disappear. JWI has been given minor clerical powers. They are mostly so that he can straighten out the messes that his posts mak in the form of launching tangents. The Librarian is a Witness, I would call her an ‘avante gard’ one, which to some means she is not. Admin is not a Witness and is ambivalent in how he feels towards them. Certain posts of his have not been encouraging, but he stays on his side of the fence. Business, you understand.

You have made your point well. Possibly I may mention it again, but I have no plans to bring it up again. An ‘agree to disagree’ thing, and yours is undeniably the majority view among our people. Perhaps it must be that way.

I will be with you as I am with him. In the words of the great American forefather, ‘I may not agree with what you say, but I will argue mildly for your right to say it!!’

That being said, that being said.

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9 hours ago, Outta Here said:

Can't resist a contribution to this bit of a rather diverse thread if you don't mind.

Glad you're here. Your points made are very good. And, fwiw, I agreed with every single word you said above, except for one sentence. And even in that one sentence I would only change one word. I would change the word "must" to "would likely." And to be consistent, then, I would also insert two more instances of "likely" further on in that same paragraph.

It's because everything you say about spiritual Israel is true. And you make an excellent Biblical argument to tie that spiritual/symbolic meaning to Revelation 7 & 14. But everything you are saying need not reflect the specific literalness of the number, although I'm not personally arguing that you're wrong. It very well could be literal. I'm just saying that we can't say it MUST be literal. And there are several good Biblical reasons why we should avoid saying "must' here.

This particular explanation of the passage in Revelation has stood the test of time among Witnesses for 80-some years. Still, there are many parts of it that are difficult to defend as "absolutes" in their specific Biblical context. And there have been a few arguments in favor of our interpretation that have made use of false reasoning. Whenever that happens, it doesn't mean it's wrong, but false reasoning should always perk up our senses to 'make sure of all things.' We need to know that it does not depend on false reasoning.

I'm sure you are personally aware of the points I refer to. But I'll be happy to play "The Bible's Advocate" here and point out some of the scriptural difficulties and false reasoning employed in support of the teaching.

Revelation is very symbolic, and therefore it seems that we definitely ought to consider whether any reference to Israel could refer to "symbolic" Israel, or "spiritual" Israel. Of course, if Israel is symbolic, this might be an argument for considering all the numbers in this context to be symbolic: 12, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, 12,000, and 144,000. Of the dozens of numbers referenced in Revelation, we already consider about 90 percent of them to be symbolic. We consider:

  • 24 elders to be symbolic, (and 24 harps, and 24 incense bowls),
  • the 3 and 1/2 days to be symbolic,
  • the 7,000 persons killed to be symbolic,
  • the 1,600 stadia to be symbolic,
  • the number 666 to be symbolic,
  • the 7 mountains to be symbolic,
  • the 7 horns of the Lamb to be symbolic,
  • the 7 eyes of the Lamb to be symbolic,
  • the 2 witnesses to be symbolic,
  • the 12 stars to be symbolic,
  • the 1/10th of the city to be symbolic,
  • the 1/3rd of the stars hurled to earth to be symbolic,
  • the 1/3rd of the people killed to be symbolic,
  • the 1/3rd of the ships, 1/3rd of the sun, 1/3rd of the moon, 1/3rd of the earth, etc.,
  • the 12 gates made of 12 pearls with 12 angels at the gates to be symbolic,
  • the 12,000 stadia to be symbolic,
  • the 12 crops of fruit to be symbolic,
  • the 12 foundation stones to be partially symbolic (of the 12 apostles),
  • the 12 crops of fruit to be symbolic, and
  • the 144 cubits to be symbolic.

I've never made a chart of all of the numbers, but there are dozens of them in the book of Revelation, but we take only a very few of them to be literal.

The basic point from Revelation 7, and its context, without any attempt to interpret for the moment is this:

  • John sees 4 angels holding back the 4 destructive winds from the 4 corners of the earth. Then he sees an angel come out of the East with a God's "seal" and that angel tells the 4 angels to keep the destructive winds back until [all] God's slaves are sealed.
  • John heard that the number of those who were sealed was 144,000 out of every tribe of the sons of Israel. He hears that there are 12,000 out of each tribe, so that the number 12,000 is repeated here 12 times. (A list where the tribe of Levi replaces the tribe of Dan, and the tribe of Ephraim is called by his father's name.)
  • Then John sees a great crowd that no man could number out of every nation/tribe/people/tongue.
  • These ones, unlike what is said about the 144,000, are:
    • standing before God's throne
    • standing before the Lamb
    • dressed in white robes
    • waving palm branches, shouting: "Salvation we owe to our God, seated on the throne, and to the Lamb."
  • John also sees, not just the great crowd, but also all the angels around God's throne, along with the [24] elders, and 4 living creatures, and they also shout in praise, not because they owe their salvation to God, but to offer God a prayer of thanks, praise and honor for his glory, wisdom, power, and strength.
  • John is asked by one of the [24] elders who and from where are these ones that are "dressed in white robes." The elder does not say "Where is this 'great crowd' from?" The important distinguishing feature is that they are "dressed in white robes." John defers to the elder who gives John more information about them:
    • they come out of the great tribulation
    • they have washed their robes, made white in the blood of the Lamb, which is why they can stand before God's throne
    • they render God sacred service day and night in his Temple (Greek, "naos," often referring to the most sacred and holy part of the temple, where only the priests could render sacred service.)
    • God will spread his tent over them so that they will neither hunger, thirst, nor be scorched by heat, because the Lamb in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them, and guide them to springs of waters of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

==================

So immediately, we see that the Watch Tower's version has a couple of problems that must be overcome through interpretation so that the uninterpreted verses don't continue to give the impression that it's the "great crowd" and not the 144,000 who are standing before the heavenly throne. Somehow we need to put the 144,000 up there in heaven, too. And then we need to re-interpret this heavenly scene where John is viewing things in heaven, and talking to one of the 24 elders in heaven. We need to keep the "great crowd" on earth. We also need to diminish the meaning of the "white robes" because this is how the 24 elders are dressed, and also is the mark of those dead awaiting under the altar "crying out" for those still alive on earth until their full number was filled:

(Revelation 6:11) . . .And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.

(Revelation 19:14) . . .Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen.

The white robes are mindful of the requirements for priestly garments, but it seems to refer to the clean standing required of heavenly beings so that they can stand before God and his throne, and perform sacred service in his heavenly temple. The 144,000 are not shown to be in these heavenly garments. The 144,000 are not said to be performing sacred service in the Temple. The NAOS, which often refers only to the inner chambers of the temple, as opposed to the outer courtyards, or courtyard of the gentiles, for example, is only mentioned with reference to the "great crowd."

Both these "issues" are resolved by two basic interpretations unique to the Watch Tower publications:

  • The Watchtower makes the 24 elders refer to the 144,000
  • The Watchtower teaches that the NAOS can refer to the outer courtyards of the temple

There's more, of course. But this post needs to be broken up.

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11 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

The only one who has ever been deleted is Allen, (as far as I know) which both JWI and I tried to prevent/undo. And he DID get abusive at times, which is a little different than obnoxious. Many here are obnoxious with no penalty whatsoever. That’s okay. But abusive is not. Even I was once penalized for being abusive. (for beating up on apostates, to a FAR greater degree than you.) I have preserved the experience, with embellishments, in the introduction of TrueTom vs the Apostates.

I will not quarrel over the meaning of the words “abusive” versus “obnoxious” since I’m sure its use is meant to justify the wrongful act of another.

I would think a witness would welcome a defender from abusive rhetoric like Butler and this person by the name of James Thomas Rook Jr.

Therefore, I see this as an unconstructive action on how the Pharisees tried to justify the persecution of Jesus, by removing an obstacle of righteousness from within their populous.  No difference here.

As you stated, this is something we are all guilty of by being here, including the librarian. Ephesians 5:1

Walk in Love

5, therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 wLet no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

 

By your explanation, there was no good reason to have removed Allen, and what is offered, is another form of unjust, justification to retain those that are abusive and against the Watchtower for the sake of revenue. Therefore, apostasy sells.

Then it becomes a matter of what side we're on.


 

 

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12 hours ago, FelixCA said:

What part of apostate views can be accepted? Especially when those same ideas are found in apostate sites. 

I wrote the book on apostates.

Literally.

’TrueTom vs the Apostates”

Everything there is to be known about them I know. They come in many shapes, sizes, permutations, colors, and genres. Some of them may even be misnamed. Some are too young to be apostates, though they must be treated pretty much the same. Call some of them apostates-in-training. They are more like the inexperienced one snatched away by some wave of the trickery of men. (Ephesians 4:14)

Is JWI one them? It is probably good discipline for him to keep hearing it from every Tom, Dick, and Harry Witness that passes through here, for he undeniably is ‘out there,’ but I am not ready to throw him under the bus just yet, if only for fear that he may grab me by the ankle and pull me in, too.

Are his views ‘apostate,’ even if they can also be found ‘on apostate sites?’ There are many of such views that have eventually become adopted by the Witness organization. Were they apostate right up until the moment they were adopted and then revealed truth afterwards? It makes no sense.

There is some verse somewhere about not running ahead. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but it may be in John’s writing. Help me out, someone. Not you, Butler. That’s not good, to run ahead, but it mostly finds expression in those who are promoting a sect. Is he? It’s arguable, perhaps, but imo he is not. 

The prime component of what makes an apostate to me is a lack of submission to theocratic authority, and he goes out of his way to make clear that he has no problem with that. If you can’t even talk about something that (history has shown) might eventually be adopted, then it really IS true that eight men are the only ones authorized to think. Neither they nor anyone else would want that to be the case, I think.

When push comes to shove, he is submissive to appointed authority. Let that be enough on a bayou backwater thread as this. If he set up a booth at the Kingdom Hall: “JWI’s Thoughts,” that would be one thing, but he doesn’t (you don’t, JWI, right?)

Honestly. If he was an apostate I would know it because I wrote the book on apostates and he is not in it. (Yet. It is an ebook, after all, which has already been updated and no doubt will be updated again) Remember, ALL of us are apostate if you stretch the word too far, for Bethel clearly prefers we abstain from sites of off the grid spiritualality and yet here we are.

 

528A1187-AE31-4A1B-8352-0C146786AC6D.jpeg

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Quote TTH  " Remember, ALL of us are apostate if you stretch the word too far, for Bethel clearly prefers we abstain from sites of off the grid spiritualality and yet here we are. "

Oh dear thar word APOSTATE. 

 

apostate

Dictionary result for apostate

/əˈpɒsteɪt/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.
    "after fifty years as an apostate he returned to the faith"
    synonyms: dissenter, heretic, nonconformist; More
adjective
  1. 1.
    abandoning a religious or political belief or principle.
    "an apostate Roman Catholic"
     
    GET IT IN YOUR HEADS THAT, A PERSON CAN LEAVE A RELIGION, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ABANDON GOD OR JESUS CHRIST
     
    And, all f you will know exactly how JESUS spoke to the Pharisees. That would have made Jesus an apostate to the Jewish religion. All Jesus' followers became apostate to the Jewish religion.
     
    No more animal sacrifices, Jesus fulfilled the LAW. 
     
    So why are you all so keen to worship the GB of JW Org, and to hang on their every word. If you GB wishes to misuse the word Apostate are you all so stupid you have to follow them ? 

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Quote TTH :-

"I wrote the book on apostates.

Literally.

’TrueTom vs the Apostates”

Everything there is to be known about them I know."

Ah but only from your viewpoint. And only with a view of being famous for writing such a book. 

Self recommendation i think Tom. 

 

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1 hour ago, FelixCA said:

By your explanation, there was no good reason to have removed Allen, and what is offered, is another form of unjust, justification to retain those that are abusive and against the Watchtower for the sake of revenue. Therefore, apostasy sells.

I think it was personal with Allen. I afterwards had some private communication with him and found that I liked him a great deal. He got under the Librarian’s skin, I think. It is very hard for me to justify why he was thrown overboard and the equally bombastic Rook and shrill Butler were not. I don’t try. I just explain what I think happened.

The Librarian is one of those Witnesses who thinks truth emerges from vigorous debate. When you shine the bright light of TRUTH around, cockroaches disappear. (I think they just go elsewhere.) It is even possible that she is disfellowshipped. It is impossible to know with anyone. My practice is to update the words of Paul, “Every man is a liar,” to “Everyone online is a liar.” It is impossible to know, which is why the slave repeatedly advises young ones (and probably everyone else) to friend only those whom you know personally, counsel everyone here has chosen to ignore.

On Facebook there is a originator of Witness memes, commonly copied by the friends, that is supposedly run by someone disfellowshipped. It is a huge page. His work is excellent and loyal, shared widely by those who don’t know his status. Who can say what his motive is? but it doesn’t appear to be bad. Someone who knows he is disfellowshipped because she personally knows involved parties created a major ruckess trying to get everyone to unfriend him. (I never had in the first place; his kind of material is not what interests me) It looks absolutely ridiculous to outsiders, and to even most of us, when you try to enforce congregation standards on the Internet. Talk about a bad witness!

The one serious beef I have with The Librarian, besides her being an old hen, is that she drags people in through social media (I came in through Twitter) purporting to be a fine gathering site for Witnesses. I blew a gasket when I found that it was not, and one of the ones I came after was JWI, though to a MUCH lesser degree than I went after ones like Rook. I wrestled for some time whether it was right for me to stay here at all. In the end, I decided to and that move has facilitated two books, both loyal, and both absolutely one-of-kind, that I would not have been able to write otherwise. I hope that brothers enjoy it, but the brothers are not my main targeted audience in either case.

I have gotten comfortable here now. I’ve even struck up some sort of semi-camaraderie with Rook, the old pork chop, who I sometimes think of as ‘my’ apostate. A good number of opposers here I don’t think are mentally sound. They probably (inaccurately- or is it?) think the same of me. Several I can’t stand, though in some cases I have caught a glimpse or two of what makes them tick. I have gotten to prefer the word ‘opposer’ or ‘detractor’ over apostate, partly because the latter makes for a ridiculous spectacle to ones like @adminand partly because, in my case, it pays to know that they, too, are people. They chose a wrong course, imo, but they are still people, and I benefit by putting myself in their shoes sometimes.

There you are, Felix. As honest as I know how to be. Though it is very objectionable in many ways, I have reaped benefits by being here, and to the extent that my books are any good, Kingdom interests have also. There are so many sites 100% devoted to opposition, that this site cannot rate too highly on the JW HQ annoyance list. However, maybe because it is in some respects disingenuous, it is at the top of the list.

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My goodness, if peeps can't handle this forum then how do they handle the real ministry ? 

As for me, Tom, can you honestly show me any reason I should be removed ?

Have I been any more direct than Jesus was with the Pharisees ?

I've just given as good and I've taken. Some of it just  mudslinging which i know is pointless but it is a sort of stress relief. 

 Quote "It is very hard for me to justify why he was thrown overboard and the equally bombastic Rook and shrill Butler were not. "

Perhaps the forum should come with a massive warning, 'IT'S A HOT KITCHEN, IF YOU DON'T LIKE HEAT THEN KEEP OUT'

 

 

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4 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

There is some verse somewhere about not running ahead. I cannot quite put my finger on it, 

What! Are you going senile now, you disgusting old fool? At least if you do, the damage will be slight. Nobody will be able to tell the difference!

Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.” 2 John 9

Why don’t you try READING that book that you beat everyone over the head with? I think John Butler has you pegged pretty well, you hypocrite!

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