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    • By The Librarian
      Special Notice: This is a controversial page. The views expressed by Raymond Franz are his alone and do not represent the views of this website or it's readers. It is included here for historical and archival reasons in holding with the truth of the events of the early 1980's - The Librarian
      Raymond Victor Franz (May 8, 1922 – June 2, 2010) was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses from 20 October 1971 until 22 May 1980,[1][2] and served at the organization's world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980. Franz claimed the request for his resignation and his subsequent disfellowshipping resulted from allegations of his apostasy from the faith.[3] Franz wrote two books that related his personal experiences with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and his views on Jehovah's Witnesses teachings.
      He was the principal author of the book Aid to Bible Understanding which was replaced in 1988 by the Insight on the Scriptures


      Watch Tower career
      Franz was born in 1922. His uncle, Frederick Franz, was influential in the religion's development, practices and doctrines.[4] His father associated with the Bible Student movement (from which Jehovah's Witnesses developed) and was baptized in 1913. Raymond joined the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1938, and became a baptized member in 1939.[5]

      In 1944 Franz graduated from Gilead, the religion's school for training missionaries,[6] and temporarily served the organization as a traveling representative in the continental U.S. until receiving a missionary assignment to Puerto Rico in 1946. Franz became a representative of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the Caribbean, traveling to the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, at least until 1957 when Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in the Dominican Republic by dictator Rafael Trujillo.[7] At the age of 37 Franz married his wife, Cynthia, who joined him on missionary work. Both returned to the Dominican Republic in 1961 to evangelize for four more years before taking up work at Watch Tower headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.[8]

      Franz began working in the organization's writing department and was assigned to collaboratively write Aid to Bible Understanding, the first religious encyclopedia published by Jehovah's Witnesses. On 20 October 1971 he was appointed as a member of the Governing Body.[9] In his personal memoir Franz said that at the end of 1979 he reached a personal crossroad:
       

      Frustrated by what he viewed as the Governing Body's dogmatism and overemphasis on traditional views rather than reliance on the Bible in reaching doctrinal decisions, Franz and his wife decided in late 1979 they would leave the international headquarters.[11]
       

      TIME magazine February 22, 1982
      Expulsion
      In March 1980 Franz and his wife took leave of absence from the world headquarters for health reasons and moved to Alabama, where he took up laboring work on a property owned by a fellow Witness. The following month a committee of the Governing Body raised concerns over the spreading of "wrong teachings" emanating from headquarters staff and began questioning headquarters staff on their beliefs. Staff were also questioned about comments Franz had made that may have contradicted Watch Tower doctrine.[12][13] The 15 March 1980 issue of The Watchtower issued a statement of regret that its assertions of probability of Armageddon arriving before 1975 had "apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of expectation already initiated."[14] It told disappointed Jehovah's Witnesses, "including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centred on that date" to "concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint".[15] This statement, which placed blame for the disappointment about 1975 on Raymond Franz and his writing committee, precipitated a purge of that committee and eventual disfellowshipping of its sometime Chairman.[16] On May 8 1980 Franz was told that he had been implicated as an apostate.[17] He was called back to Brooklyn on May 20 for two days of questioning[18] by the Chairman's Committee. Franz claimed the discussion concerned allegations that some Witnesses were meeting privately to discuss various teachings of the Watch Tower Society that may have constituted apostasy.

      On 21 May 1980 Franz was called to a Governing Body session, questioned for three hours about his Bible viewpoints and commitment to Watch Tower doctrines[2][19] and agreed to a request to resign from the Governing Body and headquarters staff. Franz refused the Watch Tower Society's offer of a monthly stipend as a member of the "Infirm Special Pioneers".[20] The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff.[21][22][23]

      On 1 September 1980 the Governing Body distributed a letter to all Circuit and District overseers stating that apostates need not be promoting doctrines to be disfellowshipped. The letter stated that individuals who persisted in "believing other doctrine despite scriptural reproof" were also apostatizing and therefore warranted "appropriate judicial action".[18][24]

      On 18 March 1981 Franz's employer in Alabama submitted a letter of disassociation from Jehovah's Witnesses. A Watchtower article on 15 September 1981 announced a change of policy on disassociation, directing that those who formally withdrew from the religion were to be treated by Witnesses as a disfellowshipped wrongdoer.[25] Franz, who continued to socialize with his employer, was summoned to a judicial hearing on 25 November and disfellowshiped for disobeying the edict.[2][26][27] Determined to set the record straight, not only with respect to his having been disfellowshiped, but with respect to larger doctrinal issues, in 1982 he sent Heather and Gary Botting proofs of his upcoming book Crisis of Conscience so that they could chronicle the more widespread discord within the Watch Tower Society.[28] They wrote regarding Franz's contribution to their expose on the Witnesses that his recommendations "undoubtedly strengthened the veracity of the text; we were impressed by his insistence on both fairness and frankness with respect to representing the view of the Watch Tower Society."[29] Following his disfellowshiping, Franz published two books—Crisis of Conscience (1983) and In Search of Christian Freedom (1991)—presenting detailed accounts of his experiences as a Jehovah's Witness, a Governing Body member, and his experiences throughout various levels of the organization.

      Franz was ultimately disfellowshipped for having dinner with his employer, a disassociated brother. See also this video
      Our Kingdom Service, August 1980 announced when he left the GB and Bethel.
      Death
      On 30 May 2010, at age 88, Franz fell and suffered a brain hemorrhage.[30] He died on 2 June 2010.[30]

      References
      "Announcements", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, page 2, "This is a notification that Raymond Victor Franz is no longer a member of the Governing Body and of the Brooklyn Bethel family as of May 22, 1980." "Witness Under Prosecution", Richard H. Ostling, Anne Constable, Time Magazine, February 22, 1982. "Church Told to Break Privacy, Report 'Sinner'", by John Dart, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1987. Part 1."Church Told to Break Privacy, Report 'Sinner'", part 2. Rogerson 1969, p. 66 Franz 2002, p. 11 "Gilead’s 61st Graduation a Spiritual Treat", The Watchtower, November 1, 1976, page 671. Franz 2002, p. 16 Franz 2002, pp. 19, 20 Franz 2002, p. 31 Franz 2002, p. 273 Franz 2002, p. 274,275 Penton 1997, pp. 119–121 Franz 2002, p. 298,299 p. 17 pp. 17-18 The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 48-49, 158-163 Franz 2002, pp. 312, 313 Beverley 1986, p. 71 Franz 2002, p. 331 Franz 2002, p. 332 Penton 1997, p. 121 Botting & Botting 1984, p. 161 "Branch Letter", Our Kingdom Ministry, August 1980, "We are saddened to report at this time that five members of the Bethel family, and a few others in the New York city area have recently been disfellowshiped. There has been some apostasy against the organization and the promoting of sectarian divisions in some of the congregations of God’s people. (Titus 3:9-11) Living as we are in times difficult to deal with, it should not be surprising that such things occur. The first-century congregation also experienced deviations as we well know from our reading of the Holy Scriptures.—1 Tim. 1:20; 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:17, 18; 1 Cor. 15:12, 13; Acts 20:29, 30." Protecting the Flock, Watch Tower Society letter to district and circuit overseers, September 1, 1980, part 1. Protecting the Flock, Part 2. "Disfellowshiping — How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23, "One who has been a true Christian might renounce the way of the truth, stating that he no longer considers himself to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or wants to be known as one. When this rare event occurs, the person is renouncing his standing as a Christian, deliberately disassociating himself from the congregation ... Persons who make themselves 'not of our sort' by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing." Franz 2002, pp. 357–369 "Expelled Witnesses Claim Group is Ingrown", Miami News, March 19, 1983. the Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 161-63 The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses,p. xxiii "Obituary". Legacy.com. Bibliography
      Beverley, James A. (1986). Crisis of Allegiance. Burlington, Ontario: Welch Publishing Company. ISBN 0-920413-37-4. Botting, Heather; Botting, Gary (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Franz, Raymond (2002). Crisis of Conscience. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Penton, M. J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. ISBN 0-0945-5940-6. External Links
      Richard N. Ostling (February 22, 1982), "Religion: Witness Under Prosecution", Time magazine. Raymond Franz at Find a Grave  
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Tras pasar 11 años dentro de los testigos de Jehová, un exmiembro de la secta religiosa decidió huir de la organización y emprender un viaje de cinco años a través de toda Rusia y el espacio postsoviético.
      Iván Shiriáyev, que es oriundo de la ciudad de Kamyshin (Volgogrado, Rusia), se ganó el prestigio y reconocimiento de los testigos de Jehová durante sus 11 años como miembro de la organización religiosa. No obstante, un día decidió abandonar la secta y dejar atrás tanto la doctrina que predicaba, como a su esposa, devota a las creencias de aquella.
      "Siempre dudaba de si estaba siguiendo el camino correcto", reveló Shiriáyev en una entrevista concedida al portal The Village. Durante su membresía en la secta el hombre apenas tuvo tiempo para analizar sus dudas en profundidad, ya que dedicaba casi todo el tiempo libre –lo cual no era poco teniendo en cuenta que trabajaba unas pocas horas al día, justo lo necesario "para ganarse el pan y la leche"– a oraciones, predicación y actividades de la organización. La salida de la secta empezó a fraguarse con el libro 'Crisis de conciencia' del exmiembro del cuerpo gobernante de los testigos de Jehová Raymond Franz.
      Shiriáyev llevaba más de un año considerando la idea de salir de la secta. Las obras de Franz, "probablemente la persona más temible en el universo después de satán [para los testigos de Jehová]", le ayudaron a entender cómo funciona la organización.
      Un día cotidiano en el seno de la secta
      Un día típico de un testigo de Jehová empieza con la lectura del folleto 'Examinando las Escrituras diariamente' y con oraciones, explica el exmiembro de la organización. El trabajo de la vida mundana no adquiere mucha importancia para los testigos, que tratan de dedicarle el menor tiempo posible. La ocupación principal es predicar. "Sirves varias horas, vuelves a casa, te preparas para una reunión y te vas a la cama", señala Shiriáyev.
      Cuando estaba en las filas de la secta, las reuniones tenían lugar dos o tres veces a la semana y contaban con la participación de unas 30 personas. "Entre los testigos siempre te sientes culpable, por eso muchos padecen depresión", indica. Los miembros de la secta constantemente se enfrentan a la pregunta de si podrían hacer más y 'robar' tiempo de asuntos menos importantes para dedicarse aún más a su misión.
      Convencidos de que el Armagedón se acerca y solo 144.000 personas se dirigirán al cielo después de la muerte mientras el resto se queda en la Tierra, los testigos de Jehová tienen como objetivo principal divulgar este acontecimiento a todo el mundo. Y la predicación es la forma principal de lograr este fin.
      Cada mes los miembros de la secta presentan un informe donde indican cuántas horas han servido y cuántos materiales religiosos han difundido. "Existen miembros experimentados que, por ejemplo, predican no menos de 70 horas al mes", comenta Shiriáyev, quien ejerció a lo largo de ocho años. También existe un sistema de incentivos y castigos que pueden estimular tanto el crecimiento en la jerarquía de la secta, como la privación de los privilegios. El castigo más duro es la expulsión.
      En cuanto al perfil de los miembros, la mayoría de los testigos de Jehová son personas sin estudios superiores (la educación superior no es bienvenida en la organización). En las reuniones solo el 20% son hombres. El resto son mujeres jóvenes, mujeres con niños y ancianas, menciona Shiriáyev. El matrimonio civil está prohibido y los matrimonios con personas ajenas a la organización no están bien vistos.
      La fuga
      La escapada de este ciudadano ruso fue radical: simuló su muerte. Dejó una nota de despedida señalando que había seguido el camino de su padre (que se suicidó tres años atrás) y se esfumó. Se fue a su casa de campo con un magnetófono, una manta y una lancha neumática. Tras encontrar la embarcación en un sótano entre basura, sus familiares se dieron cuenta de que Shiriáyev estaba vivo e iniciaron su búsqueda a nivel federal.
      El hombre pasó nueve meses de vida ordinaria, utilizando su pasaporte en los nuevos puestos de trabajo que desempeñó y no fue consciente de que lo buscaran. Lo encontraron por casualidad en un puesto de control en la región de Amur, cuando fue detenido probablemente al sospecharse de que había participado en saqueos en unas aldeas que sufrieron inundaciones.
      Desde entonces dejó de ser objeto de búsquedas. "Nadie –ni mi mujer, ni los decanos– se esforzó en encontrarme", señaló Shiriáyev. Solo un amigo suyo, extestigo también, trató de avanzar en su búsqueda. "Así me di cuenta de que no tenía amigos", explicó el prófugo.
      La expulsión
      Shiriáyev constató de manera escrita que ya no quería seguir siendo testigo de Jehová y se presentó a la reunión de la secta donde la noticia fue anunciada oficialmente con un traje de boda para celebrarlo. Paralelamente, su matrimonio fracasaba.
      Una vez al año acude a la celebración anual de los testigos, la Conmemoración de la muerte de Jesús o Cena del Señor, con una cazadora que lleva la inscripción 'apóstata abyecto'. "Los que me conocen se apartan de mí de un salto: ¿cómo puede salvarse un renegado? Pero para mí es una actuación anual", explica Shiriáyev. Entre las ventajas de su membresía en los testigos de Jehová señala las destrezas adquiridas en en el terreno de la comunicación y los discursos públicos y que ha aprendido a vivir con modestia.
      El viaje
      El 27 de octubre de 2012 Shiriáyev abandonó su casa y empezó a viajar haciendo autostop.
      Tras su viaje por Rusia, Ucrania y Bielorrusia ha visitado numerosas ciudades. De las 1.122 localidades rusas que planea visitar ya ha estado en 360 de ellas. Se ha hecho agnóstico, viaja con una mochila que pesa 20 kilos y no cuenta con patrocinadores influyentes: utiliza sus propios medios para cubrir los gastos. Trabaja de obrero, de vez en cuando recibe alimentos, ropa y otras donaciones de desconocidos y pasa las noches básicamente en sitios donde no tiene que pagar la estancia: en casas de otros viajeros, monasterios o paradas de transporte. Su viaje de cinco años todavía no ha terminado y no tiene claro qué le deparará el futuro.
      https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/221714-testigo-jehova-huir-viajar-rusia
    • By Jack Ryan
      Crisis of Conscience is a book written by a former member of the Governing Body, Raymond Franz
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
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    • Yes, Russell does make a distinction for 1844 that goes a little beyond just suggesting it was only a great disappointment for the second coming churches. Yes. He absolutely does. He says that according to the Lord's prediction it was 1844 when the Wise Virgins went out to meet the Bridegroom, 30 years before his arrival in 1874. In the parallel dispensations, of course, this mapped to the time when Jesus was born until his baptism at age 30. 1878 mapped to Jesus' death and resurrection. No. Russell was definitely going beyond the scriptures when he spoke of what may be expected around 1910. (But then, he was going beyond the scriptures with all the other dates, too.)  True. They probably do that just because so many of his early associates were Adventist leaders, preachers and publishers. It's important to note that Russell himself claimed to be embarrassed and ashamed by Adventists, not only for all their failed dates, but for exactly what they were expecting on those dates. It was pretty much ONLY in the area of chronology could we say that Russell remained trapped in Adventist thinking for his entire life after the 1870's. For this reason, Russell had some trouble distancing himself from the failures of Adventism, especially after beginning an early publishing venture with NH Barbour, who had been a Millerite Second Adventist and continued to use Miller's chronology as a foundation for his own, including the year 1844. He absolutely used it as a basis for comparison. He published that it was the wise virgins who came out in 1844, at the same time that the foolish virgins came out in 1844. But he compared the wise and the foolish by saying that those who only stayed stuck on 1844 were foolish, but those who went ahead and began believing that 1874 was the actual date for his arrival (after 30 years of tarrying) were the wise virgins. Being WISE meant accepting the 30 years from 1844 to 1874. Being FOOLISH meant only accepting 1844 and giving up, letting their oil lamps burn out. The LIGHT in their LAMPS was the truth about 1874.
    • For a brief time, Mike Tussin was a roommate of mine. He drove me nuts in taking literally the admonition to read God’s Word “in an undertone day and night.” In time, he learned that he had better not do it in my presence. I logged some of his exploits in No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash. He was one of the most squirrelly characters that you will ever hope to meet, and yet—people are a mix—he had the most telling common sense, knack for nailing aspects of human nature (though mixed with an odd naïveté), no fear whatsoever of man, and the ability to simplify the complex. I can hear him now explaining to someone or other just how it worked with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, composed of anointed Christians. This would have been in the early 1970s. “They study and study their Bibles and one of them notices a point and discusses it with the others. They continue to turn it over and over. If their discussion reaches the point of agreement, that idea finds its way into the Watchtower—that’s how God’s people are fed spiritually today. “Now, in your own personal study, you may have noticed that point, too, maybe even before they did. And if this was Christendom, you’d go out and start your own religion over it.”  He captured it. I like the idea of ‘they’re not the only people who can think’ as well as the notion of waiting on headship and not running ahead. Present your idea, but if it doesn’t get adopted, don’t lose your cookies over it. The ship cannot sail in every direction at once. Rumor has it that Sputnik came up for discussion at the Bethel table after 1957, but it was aborted before takeoff. Might that date not be a milestone in the last days stream of time commencing with the outbreak of World War I in 1914–a year marking the first time in history that the entire world went to war at once? Throw in the greatest plague of history, the Spanish flu of 1917, the colossal food shortages that always accompany colossal war, and viola!—one is powerfully reminded of Luke 21:10: Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”  Might 1957 Sputnik mark a mighty exclamation mark in “fearful sights and great signs from heaven?” It certainly scared the bejeebers out of the Americans, and within 3 years President Kennedy declared that the US would not play second fiddle to the Russians. They would join—and so make it—a “space race” by sending a man to the moon. It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea at Bethel—three GB members batted about the idea, I’m told, but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. The “fearfulness” would have been lost on most people. Did the race have military implications? Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value, as it was popularly repackaged just a few years later: Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before! On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some strange fellow that he probably took for an angel presented the idea to him right there as he was riding in the Shatner seat. Like Saul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration, and so forth. It’s one of the few major accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use—though that could ever change—the way that airplanes were. No sooner had they been invented then they were strafing the towns of Europe and dogfighting each other in the skies. In contrast to 1957, World War I was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other GB members pointed out, sending the three Bethel “astronauts” pitching the notion hurtling off like Darth Vader in his crippled craft, careening off to the pantry for a donut or two. Hmm. Maybe an update could incorporate robocalls from the cloud. What year did they begin? Truly, they cause men to raise their faces and curse the heavens. Truly, they too, are instantly perceived as a great evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows. You know, as I read the 1960 speech, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones—overtones that just might make some tremble—in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch. Everything must be considered in its own historical context. I’ve added italics to his words that play this way: “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?  “We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.” ..... Yes, you could read a measure of terror into that speech if you were of a mind to, though I did not as a boy. The President says: “Space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.” What are the chances of that happening?  
    • You know, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch.  We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.
    • Good start. Just noticed the latest post. Does Russell make any distinction for 1844 other than to suggest it was a great disappointment for the second coming churches? Did he use 1844 to further his calculation? Does he mention 1844 to be part of his calculation? Does he stipulate 1910-1911 is referenced in scripture? It far more interesting, that some continue to project Russell as an Adventist, when Russell was “clearly” criticized for having a negative view of Adventist. It speaks volumes to those that continue to portray a false narrative. “So today, when prophetic time or anything relating to the Lord’s Second Advent is mentioned, many Cry ‘Adventist,’ as if to say, ‘Can any good thing come out of Adventism?"- even though they admit that many prophecies containing time are not yet fulfilled, and that the second coming of the Lord is the most prominent topic of Scripture." "We have great sympathy for both the First Adventists (the Jews) and the Second Adventists, though only a few of either realized the truths they So nearly apprehended, yet failed to grasp, each being blinded by false expectations. Our Adventist friends have failed to recognize both the manner and the object of the Lord’s return as taught in the Scriptures; consequently they have not been expecting to ‘see him as he is,’ but as he was. They consider the object of his coming one which will fill the hearts of all except the saints with dismay and terror; that his object is to gather the elect, destroy all others of mankind, and burn up the world."   Interesting how conflicted people start with William miller’s account of chronology, 1844. I wonder if Brown and Miller were the only ones to make calculations on the 1260 days, 2520 days. CHRONOLOGY--Prominent Dates. Q76:1: QUESTION (1910)--1--Should we consider it necessary to call attention to other Prominent dates than 1874, 1878, 1881 or 1914? Should 1911 be included?   ANSWER--I am glad that question is there, my dear brothers and sisters. You will notice that in my own teachings and writings I am careful to avoid any other dates than these. I know nothing about other dates. In the third volume of Scripture Studies there is a suggestion, but it is offered only as a suggestion, merely that a certain measurement in the Pyramid (not in the Word of God) Looks as though it might point down to 1910 or 1911, but we do not say that it does mean anything, but merely throw out a suggestion. Don't anticipate, don't say things are to occur, for we do not know, at least I don't, and don't believe anyone else does. My advice is to follow the Apostle when he says, "We speak those things that we know." Don't say anything about those things that you do not know. Quite likely you will wish you had not after a while. Nineteen hundred and fourteen is the time when the "Gentile Times" will end. What does that mean? I do not know, but I think it is when God lets go in a general sense of the word, and permits things to take their course; and we can readily suppose, as the Apostle says, that the course of nature would be set on fire, because of strife. In the world of mankind, I shall expect a time of great trouble, which the Bible marks out as having its beginning about October, 1914, but I think, dear friends, that it is more important, instead of telling of the time of trouble, to tell about the good things. The poor people who get into the time of trouble will have all they want of it then. I have enough now, and so have you. The Scriptures say that through much tribulation shall we enter the kingdom, and if we pay attention to our duties, we will get enough without taking time to tell them about the time of trouble. The world will not be profited by our telling, either. We do not wish to scare anybody. It is indeed a spectacle, when that kind of suggestion is made by a conflicted person. Were there any earlier works of Miller 1844 disappointment? History shows, there were some. Some that paint a more precise picture than that of Miller. Therefore, Russell did not have any influence with Miller’s 1844 prediction nor did Russell use it as basis for comparison. "When the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; when the earth and the works that are therein shall be burnt up."   At the present time the blessings of peace seem to be nearly general throughout the nations of the earth. This I deem a very favourable sign. War, however, with its train of abominations, may not finally terminate till about A. D. 1914, or perhaps A. D. 1956; neither do I think that the seventh thousand years, or great Sabbath of the world, or the beginning of Christ's third day, will commence before A. D. 2046 ; and this belief or conclusion I take to be no less deducible from a variety of the prophetic numbers, than from the figurative language employed by Christ concerning the three days, and the three measures of meal, during the time of which the whole world shall be gradually leavened by the kingdom of God.   As I have calculated the prophetical numbers, it will be 206 years from A. D. 1840, before the beginning of the seventh thousand years, or the great Sabbath of the world, when God's rest shall begin to be glorious, and when Christ, that glorious Sun of Righteousness, by the brightness of His coming into those temples, It is indeed sad when people try so hard to end up empty. As stated earlier by an architect of misrepresentation said, it’s an embarrassment. I agree it is.
    • It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea—but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. It would have been lost on most people. Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value—“Space: The final frontier: these are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise—it’s continuing mission: to seek out new world’s, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some odd fellow that he took for an angel presented the idea to him right there on the Shatner wing. Like Paul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration. It’s one of the few accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use, as airplanes were.  In contrast, WWI was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other—how many were there then—GB members pointed out, sending Bert and his co-astronauts scuttling off to the pantry for a donut. Robocalls from the cloud, on the other hand, ARE perceived as an instant evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows.
    • If you think they use it for their own purposes then why do you donate?  That is not logical. It depends on what you define as own purposes, private purposes, public purposes, necessities, etc.  I think you really should be more thankful to be associated with the organization and what it does for us.
    • My donations are always by check, and written thereon is "for local needs". It's like paying taxes, some of which are used to make hydrogen bombs, and ICBMs. Not my problem. Jesus and the Apostles needed NONE of those things you mentioned, Arauna. If you are NOT inspired of God, as the GB admits they are not ( February 2017 Watchtower), you do need all of those things you mentioned. They are actually essential, as I would freely admit. .... and HEY!, I am just guessing about all of this ... as is everyone else. And Arauna .... did you get NOTHING out of the "Follow Jesus" Assemblies? Jesus set the example . We are either following that example, or ..... WE ARE NOT. The fact of the matter is that the GB DOES use the billions for their own purposes. but, I am, as you stated, "no one to criticize" ... as I do not follow Jesus' example either. If I had that kind of money, I would buy a Chinook double rotor helicopter, instead of Rolex watches, and cartoons of Caleb and Sophia, etc. uh ... for Witnessing on beautiful Pacific Islands, of course ....    
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