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    • By Witness
      What follows is my partial response to a letter, which accurately expressed and represented the tribulation now being experienced, by many.
      -  -  -  -  -  -  -
      My response:
       
      I am so very glad that you contacted me. Please read the scriptures as you come to them. The central body of learning which I offer you, is found within them.
      Regarding the links, I hope you will return to them in a second reading, to go into more depth about my statements and cited scriptures.
       
      I will go right to one comment you made, because if I don't address it first, all that follows may not have value to you.
      You said;
      "I wanted to ask is this; since you are  
      in contact with other anointed Christians, are all of your anointed  
      associates a product of the Watch Tower Society? That is, are there not  others, outside of the Society, that have been called? 
      Since I view many of  the new and current views of the Society to be an apostatizing, I would  tend to question the provenance of all anointed issuing forth from that  source."
       
      The best way to address your concerns about anointed former members of the "WT", is to give you some facts for your own consideration...
      Satan has demanded to "sift" each Chosen one 
      (Luke 22:31; 1Pet.4:12; James 5:10-11; Job 1:8,12; John15:20; Rev.12:10; 1John2:14) 
      by using his "world" (1John5:19; John15:18) of the Jewish system (John8:22-23), against them...
           [to see the identity of that "world"/"system" of the scriptures that 
            does the persecuting , (See: Greek- system/arrangement/adornment):
      The Chosen must be subjected to the same tests and trials which Jesus endured. They accomplish this by following closely, the exact pattern of his example, symbolized by his "path"...
      (John16:28; 14:28, 6, 4; Luke 9:23; Rev.14:4 B; Heb.13:13;
       2Cor.1:5; Phil.3:10; Rom.6:5; 1Pet.2:21), 
      ...up to the capacity which each one is able to endure them (1Cor.10:13). 
      If they take the same full course of Christ, they can reach the Father (John14:6; Matt.11:27; 18:10; Eph.2:6; Rom.8:9; Matt.5:8).
         Traversing the full course of Christs example, means that like Christ, the Kingdom candidates must start out in subjection to the influential power of the leaders of God's genuine people/the "world"
      (Gal.4:4; John1:11; Matt.15:24; 1John4:9; John1:12,10; 8:23), 
      and faithfully conquer their hatred and opposition, as Christ did 
      (John16:33; 14:30; 1John2:14-15; John8:40; Mark 9:31; John19:6-7; 15:18; Matt.24:9; John16:2; Mark 13:13).
      A glaring contrast appears, between the genuine path presented by Christ, when compared to the counterfeit "Peace and security" and "spiritual paradise" that is offered to anointed, by the "WT" (1Cor.4:2,8-13; Rev.3:17-18). Accepting that false safe harbor, brings them under the "operation of error" -2Thess.2:9-12; Col.2:8; Rev.13:10; Luke 21:24 . The flimsy and vain protection they offer (Rev.6:15-16) is a lie... a snare, sourced with Satan (Matt.16:21-23; Luke12:19-20; 2Thess.2:9-11; 1Thess.5:3-4, 6; 1Pet.5:8) 
      (Rev.16:13-15; 1Tim.4:1). This demonic delusion is designed to lull Gods Chosen into spiritual sleep, and prevent them from ever completing their gamut of faithfulness against that "safe harbor"/lie/apostate nation of God 
      (Eze.13:10-14; Jer.23:16-17; 8:11; 6:13-15; Rev.16:21; Ps.18:13; 147:17; 1Thess.5:3) 
      (Eph.5:6,11; 2Pet.3:10; Jer.13:26; Rev.17:16-17; Nahum 3:5; Jer.51:25; Rev.8:8; Zech.4:7) 
      (Rev.11:3,5; Jer.5:14; Hosea 6:5; Rev.16:8; Jer.23:29; Matt.10:20)
      Satan's snare is camouflaged by a counterfeit Mount Zion (Rev.14:1). They claim that their "mountain-like organization" (Zech.4:7;Jer.51:25; Rev.8:8), is the fulfillment of Isa.2:1-2 ... even though the next verse reads (Isa.2:3); "The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.". Although they claim that the "governing body" are representatives of Zion; they also claim that those men are fallible. To ascribe fallibility and a lack of spirit-inspiration to Mount Zion (and, "the word of the Lord"), is blasphemy.
      Additionally, the Organization's  heirarchy of "overseers" made up of spiritual Gentiles (Rom.2:28-29)), is an impersonation of the spirit-directed Body of Christ (Rev.13:15) (John20:22,21)... both due to be revealed and exposed in the time of the end (Isa.28:17;Nahum 3:5; 2Thess.2:8).
      Naturally, one could not complete the course of Christ, unless they were surrounded by the same circumstances and challenges, and offered the same "path". 
        I submit to you on the basis of the collective experiences of all present and sober anointed ones, that the "WT" is the only place they can come under the dominion of apostate religious leaders, who authentically lead, represent, and are, "God's chosen people" (Isa.43:21; 1Pet.2:9-10) (Luke12:42,45-48), such as those who persecuted Christ (Matt.15:24; 20:18-19; John19:11; 1:11). 
       The various erroneous doctrines sourced in "Christendom" cannot successfully subvert and take captive (Col.2:8), those who have been anointed by God's spirit (1John2:20,27). Only the "WT" has succeeded in misleading (Matt.24:24-25; Luke 21:24; Rev.13:10,7) and "killing" them (Rev.6:11; 11:7), and prophecy tells us why, and how.
       
      Therefore, those anointed who are waking up from the "WT",
      (Mark 13:34; John10:2-4; Isa.42:16; 49:9) (2Cor.6:17; Rev.18:4; Matt.24:15-16)
      should not so much be viewed as tainted, but rather, as being tested (1Cor.3:12-15) and refined (Zech.13:9; Mal.3:1-3).
          Yet I will tell you, that when I was anointed by God through Christ, it was just previous to my first contact by the "WT". I was not a "JW" at the time of my anointing. It has been made clear to me by Christ, that the immediate contact by, and joining the Organization which ensued after my anointing, was my initiation into my gamut of testing in the pattern of Christ.
          We are clearly told that God's genuine priesthood in the time of the end, require refining from defilement/wormwood. 
      (Mal.3:1-3, Eze.22:30; Zech.3:1,3-4,8; Rev.3:17-18; 13:7; Dan.8:11-13; 11:36; 2Thess.2:4; Mark 13:14)  
      (Rev.10:10; 8:10-11; Jer.23:15) 
      That would not be necessary, if they were not coming from a place of spiritual and doctrinal defilement (Rev.2:20).
       
      Having addressed your question about the authenticity of anointed who are now regarded as "apostates" from the "WT", 
      (Mark 13:13; John16:2; Matt.25:6; Heb.13:13; Rev.11:3,7-10; Luke 17:33,37)
      and their reliability as trustworthy priests (Mal.2:7)... 
       ...It cannot be taken for granted (1John4:1; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:13-16), that all ex-"JW" chosen ones are sources of "the proper food at the proper time" (Luke12:42). Scripture exhorts and equips us, to discern this on an individual basis, determined through what is offered (Matt.7:20; Luke 6:43,45) (LINK).
      Of the number of anointed who have obeyed Christ (Matt.24:16; Rev.18:4), not all are being fully refined, nor offering "the proper food at the proper time". Yet a few, are.
      I hope you have at least determined that a period of unfaithful ignorance, is not equivalent to permanent uselessness 
      (Zech.13:9; Rom.9:27-28; Isa.65:8; Jer.3:21-22; Isa.22:12; Rev.11:3).
      With this in mind, I will respond as best as I am able to various points you raise in your letter, and if there is one that I neglect, please let me know. 
       
      Because of my responding before to others who have written to me, there will be some points for which I have and will, provide a *link*. The link will contain deeper and further scriptural information on the subject at hand. 
      I hope you will not view such references as an impersonal response, because I will tailor such references as close as possible to my best appraisal of your need, and great care has gone into making the scriptural information contained at each *link*, thorough, relevant, and substantial. Parts of an article may seem irrelevant to you, but if the *link* is cited, there is something of import in the article, that does relate. I hope you can extend the needed patience in this regard.
       
      I can see from your comments, that you are relatively new to the writings at my Blog. For this reason, what follows is a Bible course of study, tailored to the individual needs expressed in your letter. Those needs are actually becoming more common among those who write to me, so my response to you will be helpful to many. 
      I'm sure you will need to divide the material into segments. I hope you will take your time, and attend each section with as careful attention as was given to it's composition.
       
        Again, if any coverage of a topic is found lacking for you personally, I am eager to address the need. In addition to tending to you, it will also help supplement the overall resources offered at the Blog.
       
      - ONE  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
       
      First I will say that I relate to much of your expressed experiences, while within the "Watchtower". I was in from 1975, until my disfellowshipping in 2011 for "causing divisions" 
      (Luke 12:51; John7:43; 10:19-20). 
      According to prophecy, the distressing "cognitive dissonance" with "WT" doctrine which you mention, initially plagues the anointed who are capable of repentance, to be followed by it breaking out upon the "rest" [symbolized in Revelation, as "earth, sea, trees" (Rev.7:3; 8:7;Zech.13:9)]. This is a new thought to those coming out from the "WT"... specifically... that the Great Tribulation is spiritual, not physical. 
      (Luke21:25; Isa.17:12; Joel 2:1-2; Rev.9:2-3; 13:1) (LINK). 
      The Greek word for "tribulation" is 
      G2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options") and carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is "no way of escape" (mentally "hemmed in").

      Luke19:43; Hosea 2:6; Mark 15:17; Eze.28:23-24
      You speak of the evident "confusion" (meaning of "Babylon") which is manifested by these vacillating doctrines of the "WT". 
      Yes, this is also what the Bible refers to as "shifting sands", "churning sea casting up mire and mud" ("waters" that lack clarity -Eze.34:19), and "shifting shadows" (darkness that keeps changing), 
      which the Bible indicates would identify the false prophet/wicked steward, who was due to arrive with dominion over the Chosen, in the time of the end.
      (Matt.24:24-25; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.13:13-16; 13:11,14-15; 19:20; 14:8; Jer.51:7)
          In contrast, those priests who faithfully represent Christ by teaching his truth (Matt.7:24; Rev.22:1; James 1:17), would have immovable consistency (John15:16; Rom.3:4 B).
       
      -  TWO -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
       
      You then speak of a job that took you away from "WT" indoctrination for a time, and upon your return, you perceived a discrepancy between past and present teachings. You cite the futility of learning tenets and teaching them, only to later be told that they are outdated and obsolete.
      What you are observing, is just what the Bible foretold about the teachings of this particular religious empire which holds captive, the anointed. I think you will recognize the connection with prophecy, if you understand the interpretation of the symbolic "three" "froglike expressions" of Rev.16:13.
      A frog goes through many changes as it develops from an egg to an adult. If we were to constantly observe it's development, we would not clearly notice it's transformation. 
      If we were to remove ourselves from observing its development, only to return at a much later time, we may not even believe that it was the same creature. Gradual transformation from accepted truths, to accepted lies, is a tactic of Satan.
      -  THREE -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
       
      I am extremely sorry for the loss of your daughter. I can only imagine the heartache. Yet please know that you are not alone in experiencing loss of children. I understand that it is not the same as physical death... but it is now common for many to lose their children in other ways, due to the organization. I have lost two daughters. One is still captive and zealous in the organization, and I have not had contact with her, in years. The other was so damaged by the "elders", that she went off the deep end, into sin, drugs, and mental illness. She blames all of her problems, on my raising her in the Organization. She despises me for it. Our pain might cause us to lash out at God (Rev.16:11) (Job 1:22). But if we stop to consider that loss of children, cooling of love, family conflict, and many other distresses, were all a part of Christ's confiding to his disciples, what we must expect of these times in which we are. 
          He gave such warnings, in the hope that we would not be overcome, but rather, would recognize the reality of our spiritual circumstances and our place in the time-line of prophecy. The "Great Tribulation", is just that. It is the greatest spiritual oppression, to ever arise upon Christians. If it's Satanic deceptive powers were not limited by God, even the Chosen could not be saved from it (Luke 18:26-27;Matt.24:22,13).
       
      Although it may seem like stale bread... the observing of such fulfillment **among the authentic Chosen, IS an indication of the approaching End 
      (Luke 21:28-31; Mark 13:19-20,28-36; 1Cor.15:24-25; Ps.110:1-2; Rev.17:14).
       
      -  FOUR -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
       
      Ec.7:7 reads;
      "Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason,
      And a bribe debases the heart."
      I deeply regret how all your oppression has impacted your wife.
      Even the wise can lose their sanity when tribulation becomes severe. I myself, was driven to an attempt of suicide. But I hope that you will not give up in your trying to understand the bigger picture of our present reality; Because with that understanding, comes a way out. Once your hold on truth is firm, you may be able to comfort and assist your wife to that same freedom. I am not saying that full healing from the loss of a child can come in this life. But I assure you that hope and peace are within reach, 
      for those who do not give up (Matt.7:7; 24:13; John14:27).
       
      Regarding your comment about Christ's "return" and "invisible presence", please consider these scriptures... 
      (Acts1:11; Rev.1:7; Heb.12:1; Matt.24:30; 16:4; Luke 17:20-21; 
       Rev.3:3; 1Thess.5:2; 3:13; Jude 1:14; Rev.19:11,14; 17:14;
       2Cor.10:3-5; 5:20; Matt.24:45; Rev.1:7; 6:9-11; 11:7)
       
      -  FIVE -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
       
      Lastly,
      you state; "I guess I lack an assured expectation of things hoped for. ".
      Please clarify for us, in your mind, what hopes we had, as well as the hopes to which "JW's" still cling. Were they not false hopes? These too, Bible prophecy, identified and foretold 
      (2Thess.2:1-3; Luke 17:20-24) (Deut.18:20-22).
      What I am saying, is that it is not wrong for you to let go of the false hopes which we were previously given (Heb.13:14; Rom.8:25; 12:12)...
      as long as we replace them with authentic reason for hope.
      Regarding a premature expectation of Christ 
        [and the reason why he seems to "delay" (Luke 12:45-46; Hosea 6:5; Hab.2:2-3)],
      these *links* may help.
      I hope I have covered all the points you raised, and have given you an ample start to learning and perceiving what God's Word has to say on those issues and subjects.
      As always, I am here for questions.
      I know my responses tend to be copious, but I must offer as much of what I have been given, as is possible, in my desire to be found faithful and diligent in feeding Christ's sheep... especially those who are in distress.
       
      In my own experience of regaining my spiritual sight, I remember the steps I had to go through, as I peeled away "WT" deception by means of spirit and truth, by the grace of God. 
      I know that each puzzle piece is hard to fit into one's previous faith (Mark 2:22), unless the related concepts are also addressed. This is why I try to anticipate the same objections and questions which I myself went through during my process of being "set free". 
      (John8:32) (Isa.49:9; Eze.34:14; Matt.24:16).
      Rather than leave such a problem to arise, I hope to smooth the path, by anticipating how a "WT" doctrine might cause one to stumble at a particular point. This is why I provide *links* to common objections or questions to the subject at hand. Yet each person is an individual, so if there is something not covered, just let me know. Thank you for your good questions. If you conclude that what is written here, is true; please heed it's guidance, and share it. If so, I hope you will also associate with our group, to afford yourself some comfort and support. Though we are few, we treasure our precious harmony of faith.
      (*links* can be found in this article on Pearl Doxsey’s blog)
       
      May God's spirit be with you, as you examine the wisdom of His guidance, found in His Word.
      Love in Christ,
      Pearl
      (Pearl Doxsey 4womaninthewilderness)
    • By io.porog
      2 Corinthians 13: 5 "Keep testing whether you are in the faith; keep proving what you yourselves are. Or do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with you? Unless you are disapproved".
       
       
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    • Now I understand why many executives disallow any reports to them longer than one page. They KNOW how easy it is to be hypnotized by many words, which for some, is a finely tuned art form.
    • Lol. Same thoughts here. That is why I posted it, genuinely wondering if anyone really read it when it was first published. But then people did read a lot more 50 years ago...... but then they also might have been clueless and just, like I said, zeroed in on the number 1975, which was a mere 7 years away at the time..... If it's any consolation, I only read to about paragraph 10 😃
    • Nope we can’t blame their lack of inspiration by Holy Spirit on distance.  What they do blame it on, is Jesus.  Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food. w17 February p. 26 In light of this admittance, what is absolutely ironic is the emphasis on “pure language”. It is especially noteworthy that the language that God gives his servants is said to be pure. This is true, not because of grammatical construction, but because it gives evidence of moral and spiritual cleanness. There is no allowance in this language for lying, deceit, or a tricky tongue. Those who speak this language must always speak truth. w91 4/1 p. 24-25 The organization boasts that “pure language” is found in the organization, when at the same time its leaders fail in providing truth.  Jesus did promise to teach his faithful servants “all things”, which would be “perfect spiritual food”.  John 14:26; 1 John 2:27  Since the GB cannot receive it, neither do they receive the “pure language” from God...or anyone who learns from them.        
    • Anna: .... I tried to read all that stuff from the 1968 Watchtower you posted.  I REALLY did. But I concluded that the whole thing could probably be condensed to two short paragraphs, and to read it in it's entirety would probably be fatal to me, from the handful of caffeine tablets I would need to finish it. ...continuing with TTH's comments about John F. Kennedy being the impetus to get mankind to the Moon ..... the thought just occurred to me that with all his foibles, weaknesses, and missteps, ( Bay of Pigs .. what's THAT?), and setting the stage for the Vietnam War, etc., he was sorta like the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, with all their foibles and general cluelessness. What he did RIGHT ... makes up for everything else, with change left over. Same thing.
    • My opening scriptures were Rev 5:9,10.  If you will look again at the WT’s Greek Interlinear, it states that the kings/priests will reign ON the earth.  Do you want to change that truth, Arauna?  If you could only see that a “new creation” is both heavenly and human.  They will serve God in heaven and as the early priests were commissioned to do – teach and serve the people under the direction of their High Priest, Jesus Christ..  Mal 2:7; Rev 1:5,6; 7:15  Can God’s priesthood teach the people if they remain in a spiritual state that the rest of God’s children do not have access to?  Can they say these words and be heard if they are out of contact with God’s future children?... “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And the one who hears, let him say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty, let him come. The one who wants, let him take the water of life freely.”  Rev 22:17 Can “New Jerusalem” prepared as a bride, come down from heaven if it is to remain in heaven?  Rev 22:2 Remember, the “144,000” are the Temple, the Holy City.  They bring God’s Spirit/direction/guidance to His children.   And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with humanity, and he will take up residence with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them.  Rev 21:3 The dwelling of God is the Temple/House of God – 1 Cor 3:16,17; 1 Cor 6:19; Eph 2:20-22 So, his ability to come back to earth has now passed.  Is this what you are saying?  Where are the scriptures that support this?  I have provided scripture that show Jesus returning to the earth. And after he had said these things, while they were watching, he was taken up, and a cloud received him from their sight. 10 And as they were staring into the sky while he was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood by them 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand there lookin] into the sky? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven like this will come back in the same way you saw him departing into heaven!” Acts 1:9-11 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “And let all the angels of God worship him.”  Heb 1:6  I am pretty amazed that Gen 28:12-17 and John 1:51 do not help you see that Jesus will be on the earth in the Kingdom.  I hope you actually read them.  A symbolic stairway in Jacob's vision is set up between heaven and earth.  The descendants of Jacob in Genesis, are “Israel”.  His descendants, the “144,000” inherit the earth.  Jesus referred to the stairway again in John, with his “angel”/messengers “ascending and descending” upon the Son of Man.   An anointed, refined and found faithful can be sealed while on the earth.  Yet even so, their obedience only to Christ must continue until he returns.  1 Cor 1:21,22; Eph 1:13; 4:30 Can you see you are creating a doctrine with no sound basis?  How do you know this?  You speak of unity among all in the organization, yet they are all individuals, both men and women.  You have even in error, designated that the organization's members are the Body of Christ.  But, when it comes the the true anointed Body of Christ you now say there will be no men or women, but clones as your GB portray them, once God's Kingdom arrives.  You are applying two sets of standards, which is hypocrisy.    Yes they do...in heaven.   You can see the slaves however you like, but I detect you looking through the lens of the GB who are telling all JWs lies about the anointed ones.  I see what scripture points out clearly, that the elders have usurped the role of God’s priesthood. Matt 24:15,16; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1-3; 13:6  Revelation’s “Jezebel” feeds God’s servants/slaves lies, and expects gratitude given to an organization, an idol.  Your very words speak their lies. The ancient Jezebel killed the prophets of God (1 Kings 18:13);  today’s “Jezebel” spiritually “kills” any anointed as well as their companions who see truth and reveal “her” lies.  Rev 13:11,14-17 But I have against you that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess,(Rev 13:11) and teaches and deceives my slaves to commit sexual immorality (spiritual harlotry) and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  Rev 2:20 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear, and will produce great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect    
    • One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! Here authors said how some "fulfilled Bible prophecy" showed something. This would mean how WT Society knew at that time what was already fulfilled or it will be. Is this claim really correct? Because they made interpretations about human events and projected their expectations, explained them as Bible prophecies. This was common practice. Another thing, let me remind please what was explanation of "generation" in 1968?  But they knew "something" about 70., what was more important for them :)) .... and it seems how "instructions" (gave from Jesus, and not Jeruzalem GB)  showed themselves as reasonable even from human standpoint. :))
    • After today's WT study I was reminded of how much simpler and clearer we have become. There are still some speculative elements there, but overall its nothing compared to some past WT studies, and although this might be slightly off topic here (but still on topic with regard to "difficult doctrine") I would just like to post one example from 1968. (WT 68/8/15)  Either people were more patient and studious than they are now, or even back then, perhaps only a handful were able to wrap their heads around this study. I will be bold enough to say many may have just heard "end in 1975", and that's it. Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975? 1, 2. (a) What has sparked special interest in the year 1975, and with what results? (b) But what questions are raised? WHAT about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam’s creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion. 2 But wait! How do we know their calculations are correct? What basis is there for saying Adam was created nearly 5,993 years ago? Does the one Book that can be implicitly trusted for its truthful historical accuracy, namely, the Inspired Word of Jehovah, the Holy Bible, give support and credence to such a conclusion? 3. Is the date for Adam’s creation as found in many copies of the Bible part of the inspired Scriptures, and do all agree on the date? 3 In the marginal references of the Protestant Authorized or King James Version, and in the footnotes of certain editions of the Catholic Douay version, the date of man’s creation is said to be 4004 B.C.E. This marginal date, however, is no part of the inspired text of the Holy Scriptures, since it was first suggested more than fifteen centuries after the last Bible writer died, and was not added to any edition of the Bible until 1701 C.E. It is an insertion based upon the conclusions of an Irish prelate, the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656). Ussher’s chronology was only one of the many sincere efforts made during the past centuries to determine the time of Adam’s creation. A hundred years ago when a count was taken, no less than 140 different timetables had been published by serious scholars. In such chronologies the calculations as to when Adam was created vary all the way from 3616 B.C.E. to 6174 B.C.E., with one wild guess set at 20,000 B.C.E. Such conflicting answers contained in the voluminous libraries around the world certainly tend to compound the confusion when seeking an answer to the above questions. 4. What have we learned in our previous study, and, hence, what are we now prepared to do? 4 In the previous article we learned from the Inspired Writings themselves, independent of the uninspired marginal notes of some Bibles, that the seventy years of desolation of the land of Judah began to count about October 1, 607 B.C.E. The beginning of this seventy-year period was obviously tied to its ending, that is, with the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. So with 607 B.C.E. as dependably fixed on our Gregorian calendar as the absolute date of 539 B.C.E. we are prepared to move farther back in the count of time, to the dating of other important events in Bible history. For instance, the years when Saul, David and Solomon reigned successively over God’s chosen people can now be dated in terms of the present-day calendar. 5. What history-making events took place in 997 B.C.E.? 5 At the death of Solomon his kingdom was split into two parts. The southern two-tribe part, composed of Judah and Benjamin, continued to be ruled by Solomon’s descendants, and was known as the kingdom of Judah. The northern ten tribes made up the kingdom of Israel, sometimes called “Samaria” after the name of its later capital city, and were ruled over by Jeroboam and his successors. By our applying the prophetic time period of 390 years found in Ezekiel 4:1-9 with regard to Jerusalem’s destruction the death of Solomon is found to be in the year 997 B.C.E. This was 390 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. ISRAEL’S ERRORS CARRIED 390 YEARS 6, 7. What time periods are referred to in Ezekiel 4:1-9? 6 Notice what is said on this matter by the prophet Ezekiel: 7 “And you, O son of man, take for yourself a brick, and you must put it before you, and engrave upon it a city, even Jerusalem. And you must lay siege against it . . . It is a sign to the house of Israel. And as for you, lie upon your left side, and you must lay the error of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you will lie upon it you will carry their error. And I myself must give to you the years of their error to the number of three hundred and ninety days, and you must carry the error of the house of Israel. And you must complete them. And you must lie upon your right side in the second case, and you must carry the error of the house of Judah forty days. A day for a year, a day for a year, is what I have given you. . . . And as for you, take for yourself wheat and barley and broad beans and lentils and millet and spelt, and you must put them in one utensil and make them into bread for you, for the number of the days that you are lying upon your side; three hundred and ninety days you will eat it.”—Ezek. 4:1-9. 8. When did the carrying of the “error” of the southern kingdom end? 8 This chapter 4 of Ezekiel, was not recounting past historical events but was prophecy of future events. It was telling of the time in the future when the glorious city of Jerusalem would be besieged and its inhabitants taken captive, all of which occurred in 607 B.C.E. So the forty years spoken of in the case of Judah ended in that year. The “error” of the northern kingdom, said to be carried for 390 years, was nearly tenfold greater when compared with the error of Judah carried for 40 years. When, then, did these 390 years end? 9. What indicates the “error” of the northern kingdom also ended in 607 B.C.E.? 9 They were not terminated in 740 B.C.E., when Samaria was destroyed, for the simple fact that Ezekiel enacted this prophetic drama sometime after “the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin,” which would make the termination not earlier than 613 B.C.E., that is, 127 years after the destruction of Samaria by Assyria. (Ezek. 1:2) Since this whole prophetic drama plainly pointed forward to the destruction of Jerusalem, and since both the house of Israel and the house of Judah were in reality one inseparable covenant-bound people, the remnant of whom would not be a divided people upon their return from exile, there is only one reasonable conclusion, namely, the errors of both houses ran concurrently and terminated at the same time in 607 B.C.E. In this way the 70 years of desolation of the land of Judah ended 70 years after the termination of carrying the error of both houses, so that thus a remnant of both houses could return to the site of Jerusalem. 10. So when did the “error” of Israel begin? 10 If the “error of the house of Israel” ended in 607, its beginning, 390 years prior thereto, was in 997 B.C.E. It began the year that King Solomon died and Jeroboam committed error, yes, great error, in that Jeroboam, whose domain was ripped off from the house of David, “proceeded to part Israel from following Jehovah,” causing them “to sin with a great sin.”—2 Ki. 17:21. DATE OF EXODUS, 1513 B.C.E. 11, 12. What other event in man’s history are we now prepared to date, and with the aid of what key text? 11 Looking back into the distant past we see another milestone in man’s history, the never-to-be-forgotten exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, under the leadership of Moses. Were it not for Jehovah’s faithful Word the Bible, it would be impossible to locate this great event accurately on the calendar, for Egyptian hieroglyphics are conspicuously silent concerning the humiliating defeat handed that first world power by Jehovah. But with the Bible’s chronology, how relatively simple it is to date that memorable event! 12 At 1 Kings 6:1 we read: “And it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, that is, the second month, after Solomon became king over Israel, that he proceeded to build the house to Jehovah.” 13, 14. (a) On the Gregorian calendar, in what year did Solomon begin to reign? (b) In what year did he begin the building of the temple? 13 With this information one has only to determine what calendar year Solomon began building the temple, and it is then an easy matter to figure when Pharaoh’s army was destroyed in the Red Sea. 14 “And the days that Solomon had reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel were forty years.” (1 Ki. 11:42) This means that his last full regnal year ended in the spring of 997 B.C.E.* Adding 40 to 997 gives 1037 B.C.E., the year that Solomon began his peaceful reign. He did not begin the temple building, as the account says, until the second month of the fourth year of his reign, which means he had ruled a full three years and one month. Thus subtracting 3 years from 1037 one gets 1034 B.C.E., the year that the building work began. The time of the year was the second month Ziv, that is, April-May. This, the Bible says, was “in the four hundred and eightieth year” after the Israelites left Egypt. 15. (a) Explain the difference between a cardinal and an ordinal number. (b) So when did the Israelites leave Egypt? 15 Anytime we put a “th” on the end of a number, for instance on the number 10, saying 10th, the number is changed from a cardinal to an ordinal number. When one speaks about playing baseball in the tenth inning of the game, it means that nine full innings have already been played, but only part of the tenth; ten innings are not yet completed. Likewise, when the Bible uses an ordinal number, saying that the building of the temple began in the 480th year after the Israelites left Egypt, and when that particular year on the calendar is known to be 1034 B.C.E., then we add 479 full years (not 480) to 1034 and arrive at the date 1513 B.C.E., the year of the Exodus. It too was springtime, Passover time, the 14th day of the month Nisan. HOW LONG SINCE THE FLOOD? 16. How far back in history have we now penetrated, and what are the prospects of probing even deeper? 16 Already with the help supplied by the Bible we have accurately measured back from the spring of this year 1968 C.E. to the spring of 1513 B.C.E., a total of 3,480 years. With the continued faithful memory and accurate historical record of Jehovah’s Holy Word we can penetrate even deeper into the past, back to the flood of Noah’s day. 17. In recounting Israel’s experiences, to what events and to what time period does Stephen refer? 17 Stephen, the first martyred footstep follower of Jesus Christ, referred to what Jehovah said would befall Abraham’s offspring. “Moreover, God spoke to this effect, that his seed would be alien residents in a foreign land and the people would enslave them and afflict them for four hundred years.” (Acts 7:6; Gen. 15:13) Stephen here mentions three of Israel’s past experiences: As alien residents in a foreign land, as people in slavery, and as people afflicted for four hundred years. 18. What argues against the conclusion that these events were separate experiences following one another in consecutive order? 18 It would be a mistake to assume that all three of these experiences were of equal duration, or that they were separate individual experiences that followed one another in consecutive order. It was long after their entrance into Egypt as aliens that they were enslaved, more than 70 years later, and sometime after the death of Joseph. Rather, Stephen was saying that within the same 400-year period in which they were afflicted, they were also enslaved and were also alien residents. 19. How do we know the Israelites were “aliens” before entering Egypt? 19 Please note that, when Stephen said they were “alien residents in a foreign land . . . for four hundred years,” he did not say and he did not mean to imply that they were not alien residents before entering Egypt. So it is a mistake to insist that this text proves the Israelites were in Egypt for four hundred years. It is true that, upon entering Egypt and being presented before Pharaoh for the first time, Joseph’s brothers said: “We have come to reside as aliens in the land.” But they did not say nor did they mean that up until then they had not been alien residents, for on the same occasion their father Jacob, when asked by Pharaoh how old he was, declared: “The days of the years of my alien residences are a hundred and thirty years.” And not only had Jacob spent his whole lifetime as an alien resident before coming to Egypt, but he told Pharaoh that his forefathers before him also had been alien residents.—Gen. 47:4-9. 20. When did these 400 years end, and when did they begin? 20 Since the affliction of Israel ended in 1513 B.C.E., it must have begun in 1913, 400 years earlier. That year would correspond to the time that Isaac was afflicted by Ishmael “poking fun” at him on the day that Isaac was weaned. At the time, Isaac was five years old, and this was long before the Israelites entered Egypt.—Gen. 21:8, 9. 21, 22. Were the Israelites 430 years in Egypt exclusively, and how do certain ancient manuscripts shed light on this point? 21 Well, then, how long were the Israelites down in Egypt as alien residents? Exodus 12:40, 41 says: “And the dwelling of the sons of Israel, who had dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came about at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it even came about on this very day that all the armies of Jehovah went out of the land of Egypt.” 22 Here Ex 12 verse 40 in the Septuagint reads: “But the dwelling of the sons of Israel which they [and their fathers, Alexandrine MS] dwelt in the land of Egypt AND IN THE LAND OF CANAAN [was] four hundred and thirty years long.” The Samaritan Pentateuch reads: “IN THE LAND OF CANAAN and in the land of Egypt.” Thus both of these versions, which are based on Hebrew texts older than the Masoretic, include the words “in the land of Canaan” together with the word “Egypt.” 23. (a) So how long were the Israelites actually in Egypt, and how does Paul confirm this? (b) Explain the difference between the 400 and the 430 years mentioned in the Scriptures. 23 From the time that Abraham entered Canaan until Isaac’s birth was 25 years;* from that time until Jacob’s birth, 60 more years; and after that it was another 130 years before Jacob entered Egypt. All together this makes a total of 215 years, exactly half of the 430 years, spent in Canaan before moving in to Egypt. (Gen. 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9) The apostle Paul, under inspiration, also confirms that from the making of the Abrahamic covenant at the time the patriarch moved into Canaan, it was 430 years down to the institution of the Law covenant.—Gal. 3:17. 24, 25. The Flood began in what calendar year, and how long was this before Abraham entered Canaan? 24 By adding this 430 years to the 1513 it puts us back to 1943 B.C.E., the time when Abraham first entered Canaan following the death of his father Terah in Haran, Mesopotamia. It is now only a matter of adding up the years of a few generations to date the Flood correctly. The figures are given in Genesis, chapters 11 and 12, and may be summarized as follows: From start of Flood To Arpachshad’s birth (Gen. 11:10) 2 years To birth of Shelah (11:12) 35 “ To birth of Eber (11:14) 30 “ To birth of Peleg (11:26) 34 “ To birth of Reu (11:18) 30 “ To birth of Serug (11:20) 32 “ To birth of Nahor (11:22) 30 “ To birth of Terah (11:24) 29 “ To death of Terah in Haran, and Abram’s departure to Canaan at age of 75 (11:32; 12:4) 205 “ Total 427 years 25 Adding these 427 years to the year 1943 B.C.E. dates the beginning of the Deluge at 2370 B.C.E., 4,337 years ago. 6,000 YEARS FROM ADAM’S CREATION 26, 27. (a) How long before the Flood was Adam created? In what year? (b) What indicates that Adam was created in the fall of the year? 26 In a similar manner it is only necessary to add up the following years involving ten pre-Flood generations to get the date of Adam’s creation, namely: From Adam’s creation To birth of Seth (Gen. 5:3) 130 years To birth of Enosh (5:6) 105 “ To birth of Kenan (5:9) 90 “ To birth of Mahalalel (5:12) 70 “ To birth of Jared (5:15) 65 “ To birth of Enoch (5:18) 162 “ To birth of Methuselah (5:21) 65 “ To birth of Lamech (5:25) 187 “ To birth of Noah (5:28, 29) 182 “ To beginning of Flood (7:6) 600 “ Total 1,656 years 27 Adding this figure 1,656 to 2,370 gives 4026 B.C.E., the Gregorian calendar year in which Adam was created. Since man naturally began to count time with his own beginning, and since man’s most ancient calendars started each year in the autumn, it is reasonable to assume that the first man Adam was created in the fall of the year. 28. How does this chronology differ from Ussher’s in regard to Adam’s creation? 28 Thus, through a careful independent study by dedicated Bible scholars who have pursued the subject for a number of years, and who have not blindly followed some traditional chronological calculations of Christendom, we have arrived at a date for Adam’s creation that is 22 years more distant in the past than Ussher’s figure. This means time is running out two decades sooner than traditional chronology anticipates. 29. Why be concerned with the date of Adam’s creation? 29 After much of the mathematics and genealogies, really, of what benefit is this information to us today? Is it not all dead history, as uninteresting and profitless as walking through a cemetery copying old dates off tombstones? After all, why should we be any more interested in the date of Adam’s creation than in the birth of King Tut? Well, for one thing, if 4,026 is added to 1,968 (allowing for the lack of a zero year between C.E. and B.C.E.) one gets a total of 5,993 years, come this autumn, since Adam’s creation. That means, in the fall of the year 1975, a little over seven years from now (and not in 1997 as would be the case if Ussher’s figures were correct), it will be 6,000 years since the creation of Adam, the father of all mankind! ADAM CREATED AT CLOSE OF “SIXTH DAY” 30. What may occur before 1975, but what attitude should we take? 30 Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovah’s loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of man’s existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovah’s seventh creative “day.” Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the “sixth day,” which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adam’s 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or “day” ended, and how long Adam lived into the “seventh day.” And yet the end of that sixth creative “day” could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adam’s creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years. 31. What do the first two chapters of Genesis disclose? 31 In regard to Adam’s creation it is good to read carefully what the Bible says. Moses in compiling the book of Genesis referred to written records or “histories” that predated the Flood. The first of these begins with Genesis 1:1 and ends at Genesis 2:4 with the words, “This is the history of the heavens and the earth . . . ” The second historical document begins with Genesis 2:5 and ends with Ge verse two of chapter five. Hence we have two separate accounts of creation from slightly different points of view. In the second of these accounts, in Genesis 2:19, the original Hebrew verb translated “was forming” is in the progressive imperfect form. This does not mean that the animals and birds were created after Adam was created. Genesis 1:20-28 shows it does not mean that. So, in order to avoid contradiction between Ge chapter one and chapter two, Genesis 2:19, 20 must be only a parenthetical remark thrown in to explain the need for creating a “helper” for man. So the progressive Hebrew verb form could also be rendered as “had been forming.”—See Rotherham’s translation (Ro), also Leeser’s (Le). 32. What indicates the sixth creative day did not end immediately with Adam’s creation? 32 These two creation accounts in the book of Genesis, though differing slightly in the treatment of the material, are in perfect agreement with each other on all points, including the fact that Eve was created after Adam. So not until after this event did the sixth creative day come to an end. Exactly how soon after Adam’s creation is not disclosed. “After that [Adam and Eve’s creation] God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a sixth day.” (Gen. 1:31) After the sixth creative day ends, the seventh one begins. 33. (a) How do we know the end of the sixth creative day came very soon after Adam’s creation? (b) How does Genesis 1:31 prove the sixth day ended before Adam and Eve sinned? 33 This time between Adam’s creation and the beginning of the seventh day, the day of rest, let it be noted, need not have been a long time. It could have been a rather short one. The naming of the animals by Adam, and his discovery that there was no complement for himself, required no great length of time. The animals were in subjection to Adam; they were peaceful; they came under God’s leading; they were not needing to be chased down and caught. It took Noah only seven days to get the same kinds of animals, male and female, into the Ark. (Gen. 7:1-4) Eve’s creation was quickly accomplished, ‘while Adam was sleeping.’ (Gen. 2:21) So the lapse of time between Adam’s creation and the end of the sixth creative day, though unknown, was a comparatively short period of time. The pronouncement at the end of the sixth day, “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good,” proves that the beginning of the great seventh day of the creative week did not wait until after Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. 1975! . . . AND FAR BEYOND! 34. What has brought about a better understanding of Bible chronology? 34 Bible chronology is an interesting study by which historic events are placed in their order of occurrence along the stream of time. The Watch Tower Society over the years has endeavored to keep its associates abreast with the latest scholarship that proves consistent with historic and prophetic events recorded in the Scriptures. Major problems in sacred chronology have been straightened out either due to fulfillment of Bible prophecies or by reason of archaeological discoveries or because better Bible translations convey more clearly the records of the original languages. However, several knotty problems of chronology of a minor nature are not yet resolved. For example, at the time of the exodus from Egypt when Jehovah changed the beginning of the year from autumn time on the secular calendar to spring time on the sacred calendar, was there, in the Jewish calendar, a loss or a gain of six months?—Ex. 12:1, 2. 35. Why is this no time for indifference and complacency? 35 One thing is absolutely certain, Bible chronology reinforced with fulfilled Bible prophecy shows that six thousand years of man’s existence will soon be up, yes, within this generation! (Matt. 24:34) This is, therefore, no time to be indifferent and complacent. This is not the time to be toying with the words of Jesus that “concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matt. 24:36) To the contrary, it is a time when one should be keenly aware that the end of this system of things is rapidly coming to its violent end. Make no mistake, it is sufficient that the Father himself knows both the “day and hour”! 36. What helpful example did the apostles leave us in this regard? 36 Even if one cannot see beyond 1975, is this any reason to be less active? The apostles could not see even this far; they knew nothing about 1975. All they could see was a short time ahead in which to finish the work assigned to them. (1 Pet. 4:7) Hence, there was a ring of alarm and a cry of urgency in all their writings. (Acts 20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2) And rightly so. If they had delayed or dillydallied and had been complacent with the idea the end was some thousands of years off they would never have finished running the race set before them. No, they ran hard and they ran fast, and they won! It was a life or death matter with them.—1 Cor. 9:24; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1. 37. So what will you be doing between now and 1975? And beyond that, what? 37 So too with Jehovah’s faithful witnesses in this latter half of the twentieth century. They have the true Christian point of view. Their strenuous evangelistic activity is not something peculiar to this present decade. They have not dedicated their lives to serve Jehovah only until 1975. Christians have been running this way ever since Christ Jesus blazed the trail and commanded his disciples, “Follow me!” So keep this same mental attitude in you that was in Christ Jesus. Let nothing slow you down or cause you to tire and give out. Those who will flee Babylon the Great and this Satanic system of things are now running for their lives, headed for God’s kingdom, and they will not stop at 1975. O no! They will keep on in this glorious way that leads to everlasting life, praising and serving Jehovah for ever and ever!     You are referring to Luke 10:17,18 "Then the 70 returned with joy, saying: “Lord, even the demons are made subject to us by the use of your name.” At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven".  But one of the cross references to Satan falling is Revelation 12:7-9   "And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8  but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9  So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him". I wonder why, since as you say we are to understand that it referred to the power Satan had over Jesus and his disciples. In a way no, but I think we are meant to see that the world in general was brought into more of a turmoil than it had been before, with the world warring on a worldwide scale, with lethal weapons capable of total world destruction I am thinking rather than using the word "defeat" (because Satan won't be defeated until after the 1000 years) the purpose of the battle in heaven in 1914 was to cleanse the heavens of his evil presence. Then during Armageddon it will be to bind him and put him in "jail" for a period of time. So no, I don't think there are several stages of defeat.   We are to believe that what changed after the battle in 1914 was the world in general.   Yes indeed. But how fatal would it really be if we ignored Jesus words about not knowing the day or hour?
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