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JOHN BUTLER

ALL JW'S HAVE IS BELIEF IN THEIR GB AND WRITING DEPT

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Having read lots of comments on this forum it is very easy to see that all that Jehovah's Witnesses have is their belief in their Governing Body and it's Writing Department. 

If they believe, as a certain cowboy would have it, that a person can gain no true knowledge from the bible itself, then how else does a person gain true knowledge ? 

It would seem that Jehovah's Witnesses rely totally on their GB 'boses' and on the Writing Department of same, to tell all JW's what to believe and when to believe it. 

Why do i say 'and when to believe it' ?  Well you have to keep up you know :). What is said to be 'truth' by the GB and co one day,  will be said to be totally untrue the next day or week.

JW's have nothing, no proof of any 'enlightenment' from above. They talk proudly about having 8.5 million members earthwide, but how many Muslims are there earthwide ? How many Catholics earthwide ?  Numbers prove nothing as it can be clearly seen. 

Yes I was once fooled by all the 'niceness' of a few brothers and sisters. But once I got to know those people properly I soon found out that they are no better than people in the world. 

The JW Org is no better than any other organisation that pretends to serve God, but the JW Org is in some ways more dangerous.  It wraps itself around people's lives and restricts people's freedom of thinking. It pretends to have 'special knowledge' from God that no other organisation has.

But then if one looks closely one can see it is all just a smoke screen. The JW Org only has 8 men in America dominating it, and 8.5 million people worshiping those 8 men. 

I do feel a bit foolish having wasted years of my life believing all of it's lies and deceit, but I congratulate myself for not being frightened to ask questions and do research for myself. 

No matter what any Jehovah's Witness tells you, the truth is, all they have is a belief in their GB, and they follow their GB's orders via all the others in charge including the puppet men Elders. 

At meetings, conventions, assemblies, on the ministry et al, all they do is use the literature provided for them by the GB and the Writing dept. Without question they pump this 'information' into other people. When conducting a supposed 'bible study' it is actually a book study, studying the words of the GB / writing dept, not studying God's written word properly. They spend more time reading the paragraphs and answering those questions than they do reading scriptures and focusing on God's words.

It is a horrid way of brainwashing people, washing out the common sense and replacing it with lies from the GB / writing dept. Dictating, giving orders and pretending it is God's will. 

Removing the love that people have for one another and replacing it with discrimination. Shunning family members, turning their back on anyone that is not a JW by saying all other people are just 'part of the world' and therefore wicked. 

Frightening people with threats of 'armageddon' killing them. 

And now it seems that they are almost begging for contributions as they seem to be getting short of money. Well paying off millions in compensation for the Child Abuse / Pedophilea of course. Selling off Kingdom Halls too as funds run low. 

Oh how low that religion has sunken. Are they really stupid enough to believe that God is with them ?  

 

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1 hour ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I do feel a bit foolish having wasted years of my life believing all of it's lies and deceit, but I congratulate myself for not being frightened to ask questions and do research for myself. 

 

 He replied: “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom all who cause sin and those guilty of lawlessness. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let anyone who has ears listen.  Matt 13:37-14

His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  Luke 3:17

“…just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire”

"...burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire".

Literal fire?

 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”   “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  Luke 12:49-53

This is what takes place when a JW rejects the lies.   The teachings/words of Christ are “fire” that burns against the lies. 

Jer 23:29 - “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

When lies are burned by "fire"/God's word through Christ, those who submit to His word, are refined and cleansed of lies, idolatry.

"I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."  Rev 3:18

This again supports Armageddon as a decisive battle between those who speak truth and those who speak lies.    It is a war of words. Joel 3:14  Satan’s outlandish deception of “truth” is the lie.  2 Thess 2:9-12  Only Christ is truth, it is his words that we have in the Bible that give life; not the doctrine of men and their organization.  John 3:36;John 14:6    God “sends” his “angels”/messengers to expose and burn the lie, using truth from Christ.  2 Thess 2:8; Rev 16:13-16; 11:1-3

 

 

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      McIntireÂ’s shared his concern about living so close to whatÂ’s become a repeated target.
      “I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said.
      Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.
      By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”
      Read more: https://q13fox.com/2018/08/08/possible-explosive-device-found-after-attempted-arson-at-kingdom-hall-in-yelm/

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
      https://www.clarin.com/mundo/trataron-chicos-separados-padres-frontera-relatan-dias-detenidos-unidos_0_SJh7dyam7.html
    • By Witness
      As the result of job change many years ago, we moved the family of three young children from the vicinity of the Pacific Ocean to the vicinity of a large mountain lake in California.   Until housing was found, a drafty, “caretaker’s cottage”, built around 1900 and part of once was a privately owned grand estate, was offered as temporary housing for those brief summer months. Since 1965, this estate has been a state park attracting thousands of visitors each year. A handful of these visitors ogled my dishwashing techniques from the window of our borrowed kitchen, while on their independent tour of the estate.  The cottage porch sits back just a bit from the lake’s shoreline, and close by, the mouth of a small creek empties into its chilly waters.  That summer, the lake level was below its natural rim; and the creek, a perfect flow for three boys to wade up and down between its banks.  In this creek, a discovery was made.  A gooey clay cache oozed between the toes of the oldest son’s bare feet, and soon a combined slip and clay lumps were hand scooped from the creek bottom and brought to the front porch for sculpting.  Young hands formed and reformed small pots and trinkets put aside to dry in the warm sun.  Because of the clay’s raw, unrefined quality, the artwork produced didn’t survive long; crumbling into dust as the summer days passed by.
      During that time period as a JW entering a new congregation, I would not have recalled to mind God’s people as clay from the earth in a potter’s hands. Jer 18:6 (Acts 7:49; Mark 14:58; Matt 16:1; Mark 14:58; Matt 16:18; Eph 2:19-22) Only briefly did an anointed one join the congregation; an older woman, and very submissive to the elder body’s direction.  She seemed so fragile, resulting from her age; yet now, I can envision her as “clay” in the hands of the Father.  I was oblivious then, that the chosen ones were in jeopardy of becoming ‘crushed’ under the unseen heavy weight of a “Gentile”/Elder rule.  Do you, JWs, realize that the power of the “holy ones” is crumbling to dust under this dominion?  This is the reality in the Watchtower among God’s chosen people.  Dan 2:35; 8:13; 12:7; Rev 13:1,4-8  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jer+18%3A6%3B+Acts+7%3A49%3B+Mark+14%3A58%3B+Matt.16%3A18%3B+Eph+2%3A19-22%3BDan+2%3A35%3B+8%3A13%3B+12%3A7%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C4-8&version=CSB
      As long as good clay remains supple in the hands of a skilled potter, a beautiful and useful formation is born.  God desires this for His people under covenant with him; to fulfill His purpose for all of His children in the Kingdom.   Isa 64:8; 2 Cor 4:7; Gal 6:15; 2 Tim 2:20-21; Eph 2:6,7,20-22;3:9-11   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+64%3A8%3B+2+Cor+4%3A7%3B+Gal+6%3A15%3B+2+Tim+2%3A20-21%3B+Eph+2%3A6%2C7%2C20-22%3B3%3A9-11+&version=CSB
      Yet, each one since Christ, has faced a refinement period allowed by God; a sifting put upon them by Satan through dominating powers.  Luke 22:31; 1 Pet 4:12,13   In the Watchtower organization, other hands and other minds are at work coercing this possession of God, to remain marked as unrefined and susceptible to complete crushing under an iron rule and its lies. Rev 2:26,27;13:16;14:9,10; 2 Thess 2:11,12  At the upper level, its anointed leaders have molded as defiled impure clay, to the iron; ‘mingling’ as one dominating power of both clay and iron; spiritual “Israel” with spiritual “Gentiles”, who are the un-anointed elder body. (Rom 9:6; Gal 6:16; 3:29)   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22%3A31%3B+1+Pet+4%3A12%2C13%3B+++Rev+2%3A26%2C27%3B13%3A16%3B14%3A9%2C10%3B+2+Thess+2%3A11%2C12%3BRom.9%3A6%3B+Gal.6%3A16%3B+3%3A29+&version=CSB
      This merging of powers is depicted in the feet of the image from Daniel’s dream. It is the final kingdom, unlike any other, that comes against the “holy people” during the time of the end. Will God’s “clay” turn back to the Potter seeking refinement, and leave this oppressive power ruling over them?  Well, how often in the past has the majority of the nation of Israel listened to God and been forgiven for their transgressions?  Always, only a remnant was restored.  Dan 2:41-43; 2:40; 7:23; Job 10:9; Hos 8:8; Isa 1:16-18,2,9    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Dan+2%3A41-43%3B+2%3A40%3B+7%3A23%3B+Job+10%3A9%3B+Hos+8%3A8%3B+Isa+1%3A16-18%2C2%2C9++++&version=CSB
      FROM WATCHTOWER’S “ISAIAH’S PROPHESY”: “In these “last days,” Jehovah has bared his holy arm in order to revive the anointed remnant, the “two witnesses” of the book of Revelation. (2 Tim 3:1; Rev 11:3,7-13) Since 1919, these have been brought into a spiritual paradise, the spiritual estate that they now share with millions of their associates, the other sheep. ip-2 chap. 13 pp. 180-193
      “These “escaped ones” were restored to their God-given spiritual estate, which he caused to sprout abundantly. THIS SPIRITUAL ESTATE HAS PRESENTED AN INVITING, ATTRACTIVE APPEARANCE, which has drawn millions of other God-fearing people to join the remnant in true worship.” ip-1 chap. 6 pp. 61-72
      To believe that the Watchtower holds a refined remnant of spiritual “Israel” to come out of the “world”, is true folly.  Its version of Revelation’s “two witnesses” were those who “took the lead” and were physically imprisoned by the U.S. government after preaching in “sackcloth”.   Why were they imprisoned?  Among other charges, it was for Rutherford’s publication “The Finished Mystery”, which contained his blatant accusations against the political and religious entities and their stand concerning the war at hand.  He and his cohorts were charged with sedition. When this charge was made, Rutherford scrambled not only to stop further printing of the book, but required the Bible Students to rip out 7 pages of it; all to AVOID being sentenced to jail.  The Society even encouraged the Bible Students to buy war bonds and participate in a day of prayer for victory, all to appease the government.  Although the Watchtower has revealed some truth regarding these events, it then glorifies and embellishes it, as you see written in “Isaiah’s Prophesy” by effectively hiding the true account from its members.
      Did this book reveal biblical truth and Revelation from Christ?  Did it explain the need for God’s Temple anointed priesthood to be refined and cleansed of all sin and idolatry, by speaking in the manner of Moses and Elijah; or, was it preaching lies? (1 Pet 2:5,9;1 Cor 3:16,17; Dan 12:10; Mal 3:1,2; 1 Pet 1:7; Matt 17:1,2; Rev 11:1-3)   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Pet+2%3A5%2C9%3B1+Cor+3%3A16%2C17%3B+Dan+12%3A10%3B+Mal+3%3A1%2C2%3B+1+Pet+1%3A7%3B+Matt+17%3A1%2C2%3B+Rev+11%3A1-3&version=CSB
      Watchtower’s own “Revelation” book gives a conflicting report on “The Finished Mystery” exposed by a leaflet covering various aspects of the book.  This leaflet was created by JWs, not by the website where it was found.  After quoting two contrasting remarks from the Revelation Book, it states:
      “Therefore, according to ‘Revelation – It’s Grand Climax at Hand!’, even though ‘The Finished Mystery’ ‘proved to be UNSATISFACTORY AS AN EXPLANATION OF REVELATION’, its distribution was SOMEHOW INSTRUMENTAL in fulfilling the bible prophesy in Revelation 11 concerning the ‘Two Witnesses’ and the manner which they ‘struck the earth with every sort of plague’.” (caps mine)  http://jwsurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/finished-mystery-leaflet-letter.pdf
      In truth, “The Finished Mystery” struck the “earth” – God’s chosen ones – with every sort of lie imaginable and is well documented in the leaflet. 
      Revelation’s authentic “two witnesses” preach in “sackcloth” over the detestable things committed by God’s anointed Temple priesthood; yet, “The Finished Mystery” and all Wt. literature concerning the message of the “two witnesses”, deflects attention away from God’s chosen people, to those outside of His Covenant by targeting Christendom and the world’s governments.
      These “two witnesses” are not symbolically “killed” for their brief jail time and then later released to further spout off more lies and more false prophesy; but are rejected for exposing the real identity of the Beast/”man of lawlessness” and the false prophet/Harlot directing it. They have spent years in captivity among their own people, drinking in Wormwood’s corruptive waters before waking up to Truth.  It is then they are “killed” when speaking TRUTH revealed by Christ; disfellowshipped and marked as spiritually “dead”.  Luke 21:24; Rev 13:7,10; Micah 4:10; John 16:2; Rev 8:11;13:15; 12:11    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21%3A24%3B+Rev+13%3A7%2C10%3B+Micah+4%3A10%3B+John+16%3A2%3B+Rev+8%3A11%3B13%3A15%3B+12%3A11&version=CSB
      Through Satan’s full use of his earthly resources, he has successfully spun a “spiritual estate” as attractive and inviting; yet, this spiritually immoral, sultry deception that JWs slave to maintain, effectively afflicts and trample God’s chosen people. It is an oppression symbolically perceived through the physical evidence of the combined iron and clay powers ruling over them.  Matt 24:15; Dan 8:11  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15%3B+Dan+8%3A11+&version=CSB
      When Pilate presented both the robber Barabbas and Jesus before the Jewish leaders and the people, he asked,  “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. Matt 27:21
      Barabbas, (meaning “son of a father”), a robber and killer, was arrested for sedition – “insurrection”, by the Gentile Roman government. Mark 15:7; Luke 23:18,19   Although guilty for his crimes, he was also released by that same power at the demands of the Jewish spiritual leaders.  Rutherford was also released, having his own confidantes fighting for him.  He was not pardoned or exonerated because his innocence was established, as the Watchtower would have you believe. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+15%3A7%3B+Luke+23%3A18%2C19+++&version=CSB
      (see:  http://www.freeminds.org/history/exonerated.htm)
      However, at the vicious demands of the Pharisees and his own people, Jesus was put to death by the Gentile nation for exposing the Pharisees as hypocritical liars and spiritual adulterers; and for laying “heavy loads” on the people they ruled over. Matt 20:17-19; John 8:44,45; Matt 23:4 He preached “repent for the Kingdom of heaven has come near”. Matt 3:2   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+20%3A17-19%3B+John+8%3A44%2C45%3B+Matt+23%3A4%3B+Matt+3%3A2&version=CSB
       Likewise, on the authority of the Harlot/GB, the “two witnesses” are handed over to the “Gentile”/elder body and judged as apostates worthy of “death”. They also, expose the leaders of their people for spiritual blasphemy, preaching the same message as Jesus did to God’s wayward nation, to “repent for the Kingdom of heaven has come near”.  Matt 10:17,18,21,22; John 16:2; Rev 13:1,5-7,11,12,14,15;  Matt 10:16,19,20,24; Rev 11:3,4;11:7    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+10%3A17%2C18%2C21%2C22%3B+John+16%3A2%3B+Rev+13%3A1%2C5-7%2C11%2C12%2C14%2C15%3B++Matt+10%3A16%2C19%2C20%2C24%3B+Rev+11%3A3%2C4%3B11%3A7&version=CSB
       So, what about Rutherford and Watchtower’s string of leadership? Is it fair to say they are "robbers" and "killers" - sons of the Father of the lie? If anointed ones preach lies and not truth in Christ, do they not rob one of teachings leading to eternal life?     Matt 23:13-15; 15:14; Rom 9:1; Ps 52:1-4; Matt 7:15-20  When they spiritually “kill” their brothers for speaking truth, does this not make them spiritually blood guilty?  Matt 24:48-51; 27:25; 23:34; John 16:2,3; Rev 16:2,5,6,7; 18:24  The organizational arrangement was “born” during Rutherford’s reign.  This arrangement allowed for the development of the power of iron to eventually overcome the Temple of God, at the authority of the Harlot/GB.  Rev 11:1; Matt 24:15; Dan 11:31,32,36; 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 9:1,3,10,11     https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+23%3A13-15%3B+15%3A14%3B+Rom+9%3A1%3B+Ps+52%3A1-4%3B+Matt+7%3A15-20%3B++Matt+24%3A48-51%3B+27%3A25%3B+23%3A34%3B+John+16%3A2%2C3%3B+Rev+16%3A2%2C5%2C6%2C7%3B+18%3A24%3B+Rev+11%3A1%3B+Matt+24%3A15%3B+Dan+11%3A31%2C32%2C36%3B+2+Thess+2%3A4%3B+Rev+9%3A1%2C3%2C10%2C11&version=CSB
      JWs, how long will you keep listening to Watchtower’s persistent attempt to cover over its lies with more lies?  Matt 24:15-21; Luke 17:26-30    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt+24%3A15-21%3B+Luke+17%3A26-30&version=CSB
      "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the TRUTH. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." John 18:37
      Testifying to the TRUTH is the purpose Jesus sends his “two witnesses” to the Temple priesthood and “clay” of the earth.  Their warning call shouts out and reveals the looming iron/clay power threatening the salvation of God’s chosen people, and all, who reside in the organization.  Ezek 33:6,8; Rev 9:17-20; 13:8; 2 Thess 2:9-10   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+33%3A6%2C8%3B+Rev+9%3A17-20%3B+13%3A8%3B+2+Thess+2%3A9-10&version=CSB
      This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal my words to you.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.
       The word of the Lord came to me:  “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.  At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it.  However, if that nation about which I have made the announcement turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it.  At another time I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it. However, if it does what is evil in my sight by not listening to me, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it.  So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds.’ 
       But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”  Jer 18:1-12
      The Watchtower teaches that God's people are like "clay in the Potter's hands", then turns the attention of JWs to Satan's world for fulfillment of the feet of the image in Daniel's dream.  Yet, the "disgusting thing standing in the holy place" of Matt 24:15 and Dan 9:27  is spoken as the coalition of power in Dan 11:14-16; one of these powers as COMING  "FROM YOUR OWN PEOPLE" - spiritual "Israel", and the "clay" of  the last power in Daniel's image.  
      Pearl Doxsey has several articles about the last destructive power over the holy ones.
      “Iron and Clay”
      “Why Jesus Came to Earth/Last World Power Over the Chosen ones/”Iron” and “Clay”
      The meaning of ““World/earth/home”
      4womaninthewilderness
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Anna
      The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?
      Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the belief in a superhuman power bear such "rotten fruit"? 
      Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion. Is there such a thing as the only true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?
      Please watch the documentary below and feel free to share any observations you might have, or comment on the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.
      At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude: “People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you want”?
      I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back.  I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....  
       
       
    • By Ann O'Maly
      Why banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t work for Russia
      BY EMILY B. BARAN APRIL 20TH 2017 The Supreme Court of Russia has a decision to make this week about whether to label the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and liquidate its assets. This act would transform the religious community into a criminal network, and make individual Witnesses vulnerable to arrest simply for speaking about their faith with others. While the court case has attracted recent media attention, this move is the culmination of two decades of increasing state hostility to Witnesses. In the late 1990s, Moscow took the Witnesses to court to deny them legal standing in the city limits. After several years of court hearings, the city banned the organization. In more recent years, anti-extremism laws drafted in the wake of domestic terrorism have been turned against Witness magazines and books. Currently, over eighty publications have been placed on the federal list of extremist materials. Even their website is now illegal. So is My Book of Bible Stories, an illustrated book for children, listed alongside publications by terrorist organizations.
      If the state criminalizes the Witnesses, it will represent a major deterioration in religious toleration in post-Soviet Russia. It will also put Russia at odds with the European Court of Human Rights, which has repeatedly ruled in favor of the Witnesses in the past two decades. It may make other minority faiths vulnerable to similar legal challenges. In the 1990s, scholars spoke of a newly opened religious marketplace, in which post-Soviet citizens, freed from the constraints of state-enforced atheism, shopped around among the faith traditions. It is fair to say that these days, this marketplace has fewer customers, fewer stalls, and more regulations.
      If history is any guide, Russia will find it nearly impossible to eliminate Jehovah’s Witnesses. Soviet dissident author Vladimir Bukovsky once admiringly wrote of the Witnesses’ legendary persistence under ban. When the Soviet Union barred religious literature from crossing its borders, Witnesses set up underground bunkers to print illegal magazines for their congregations. When Soviet officials prohibited Witnesses from hosting religious services, they gathered in small groups in their apartments, often in the middle of the night. Sometimes they snuck away to nearby woods or out onto the vast steppe, where they could meet with less scrutiny. When the state told believers that they could not evangelize their faith to others, Witnesses chatted up their neighbors, coworkers, and friends. When these actions landed them in labor camps, Witnesses sought out converts among their fellow prisoners. Witnesses are certain to revive many of these tactics if placed in similar circumstances in the future.
      Moreover, technology makes it far more difficult for Russia to control the religious practices of its citizens. Although the Witnesses’ official website is no longer available in Russia, individual members can easily share religious literature through email or dozens of other social media platforms and apps. While Soviet Witnesses had to write coded reports and hand-deliver them through an underground courier network, Witnesses today can text this information in seconds. Technology will also facilitate meeting times for religious services in private homes.
      The Russian government simply does not have the manpower to enforce its own ban. It is hard to imagine that local officials could effectively prevent over 170,000 people across more than 2,000 congregations from gathering together multiple times per week, as Witnesses do worldwide. The case of Taganrog is instructive. Several hundred Witnesses lived there in 2009, when the city declared the organization illegal. A few years later, it convicted sixteen Witnesses for ignoring the ban and continuing to gather their congregations for services. The state spent over a year in investigations and court hearings for sixteen people, a tiny fraction of the total congregation, and then suspended the sentences and fines rather than waste more resources in following through on its punishment guidelines. There are not enough police officers in Russia to monitor the daily activities of each and every Witness, and the Witnesses know it. Under a ban, everyone will face more scrutiny, a few will be dealt more serious consequences, and most will continue practicing their faith regardless.
      Russia may nonetheless decide that all of this conflict is worth it. After all, Soviet officials were fairly successful in relegating Witnesses to the margins of society. Few Russians will complain if Witnesses no longer come to knock on their door. After all, even Americans rarely have kind words for religious missionaries at their own doorsteps. In my own research, I have never heard a single Russian, other than a scholar, say anything positive about Witnesses. For the record, my experience with Americans has been similar. On a more basic level, Russian citizens may not even notice the Witnesses’ absence from public life. While the post-Soviet period saw a religious revival for all faiths, far fewer joined the Witnesses than the Russian Orthodox Church. For all their recent growth in membership, the Witnesses remain a tiny minority in a largely secular society.
      The vocal determination of Witnesses not to acquiesce to state demands should not cause observers to overlook the very real damage a ban would do to this community. Yes, Witnesses have faced similar challenges before and have dealt with them. For decades, they held their baptisms in local rivers and lakes under cover of night. In the post-Soviet period, new members were finally able to celebrate their baptisms in full view of their fellow believers at public conventions. A long-time Witness who attended one of these events in the early 1990s recalled, “What happiness, what freedom!” A new ban would mean a return to this underground life, to a hushed ceremony in cold waters. This is not what freedom of conscience looks like in modern states.
      Emily B. Baran is the author of Dissent on the Margins: How Jehovah’s Witnesses Defied Communism and Lived to Preach About It. Her work explores the shifting contours of dissent and freedom in the Soviet Union and its successor states. She is Assistant Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University.
    • By The Librarian
      Is Russia clamping down on Jehovah Witnesses? BBC News
      Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organisation. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.

      Forum to discuss in detail located HERE
      Via
    • By Kurt
      GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*. 
      “This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said. 
      “The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed. 
      The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.  
      A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events. 
      A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’. 
      Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a communication by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016.  
      The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.  
      “We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded. 
      (*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.  
      The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.  
      UN Human Rights, country page: Russian Federation  
      - See more at
    • By Kurt
      TRANSCRIPT
      In an earlier Vortex, we reported between the years of 2008 and 2014, 3 million Catholics left the Faith in the United States. So we went digging to see what the numbers are for the the last 15 years, since the turn of the century — essentially one generation.
      Brace yourselves here: According to the most recent data from solid sources, in the year 2000, 18 million Americans identified themselves as former Catholics — those who had left the Faith. One generation later, as of 2016, that number had swelled to 30 million.
      Elevent million more Catholics have left the Faith since the turn of the century. There are more Catholics over 50 than under 50. And there are more Catholics over 65 than under 30. And the percentage of young people — those under 30 — in the Church is a smaller percentage than almost any other religion.
      Only Jehovah's Witnesses and mainline Protestants have a smaller percentage of young people comprising their ranks than Catholics, and even there, Catholics are a hair's breadth away from being dead last.
      17 percent of the Church are people under 30. 16 percent of mainline Protestants are people under 30. 15 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses are people under 30. Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and the Eastern Orthodox all have larger percentages within their ranks of people under 30 than the Catholic Church does.
      Over the next 15 years, we can expect to see the raw number, the straight pure number of Catholics begin to drop off more dramatically. One of out every five Catholics right now, today, is over 65. Almost all of those people will be dead in 10–15 years. And they aren't being sufficiently replaced. Additionally, we're beginning to reach the moment where there will be more Catholics who have actually left the Faith then there are those who claim to still be in it.
      Although there are conflicting data on the actual number of Catholics in the United States, a safe number is about 73 million. Thirty million Catholics, as we said before, no longer call themselves Catholics. Just another 6 or 7 million leaving the Faith, and there will be more former Catholics than those who still identify as Catholics.
      At current trends, which show no slowing up or changing, we will reach that moment in about three years — right around 2020. We already know from surveys during the campaign that the percentage of Catholics relative to the overall U.S. population has slipped from the historically stable number of 25 percent to roughly 20 percent, and the percentage of Catholic voters dropped from 26 percent to approximately 21 percent.
      This is a Church in full-blown retreat.  
      Eleven percent fewer parishes since 2000; 18 percent fewer priests; and only two thirds what priests there are are in active ministry. The other third are too old for active ministry. Graduate-level seminarians essentially flat lined. The slight increase in the numbers of priestly ordinations is nowhere near enough the number needed to replace those dying — not by half, in fact.
      Infant baptisms off by a third. Adult conversions down by 40 percent. First Holy Communions and confirmations also both down. And marriages — perhaps the most significant barometer for the future life of the Church — down almost 50 percent since the year 2000. In fact, the only two sacraments that there aren't officially horrible numbers for are the only ones no official records are kept for: confession and anointing of the sick.
      But any Catholic with working eyes knows the number of confessions has also fallen off the cliff. Even the number of Catholic funerals since the year 2000 has dropped by 16 percent.
      This entire disaster — and that is what it is — must be placed squarely at the feet of the U.S. hierarchy, who have done nothing meaningful to arrest the decline and have in many ways helped speed it along. What business would tolerate such horrible results from its managers and directors? It would have fired them more than a decade ago for complete incompetence.
      We here at Church Militant often get blamed for causing division, often times by many of the bishops and their staffs. Look at these numbers, Your Excellencies, numbers largely taken from your own data, and own them. Don't blame us. The vast majority of Catholics have no idea who we are. It's not causing division to point at the house burning down and yell "Fire!"
      Your lackluster, protestant-minded, false ecumenism, happy-clappy, fake-joy, heresy-accommodating, tradition-hating strategies are responsible for this failure. You and your staffs have caused the division — not us, not others. You!
      You have given young people nothing to commit to, other than embracing worldly causes, which they don't need you to tell them to do. You have abandoned or destroyed one tradition after another to the point that now, we have arrived at a point where there is no longer any Catholic identity to speak of. You have allowed and even encouraged a flood of abuses in the liturgy, the seminaries, religious houses, schools and colleges so that young people have no idea what being Catholic means, so understandably they have no loyalty to it.
      You have not taught. You have not encouraged. You have not loved. And accordingly, your sheep are abandoning you. You have ground underfoot the patrimony of tens of millions of Catholics from former generations and sold it off. And you rip into loyal Catholics who point this out to try and wake up what few remaining Catholics there are before it's too late — if it isn't in fact already too late.
      Your ill-advised, protestant-based evangelization efforts and emotional theatrical presentations won't turn this around. All you are doing is putting into high gear what you've already been doing since the year 2000. In the next 15 years, when most of you will have been judged by Almighty God, you will stand before Him and be directly responsible for a Church in America that will be unrecoverable owing to your spiritual cowardice.
      You will have to explain to Jesus Christ, one by one, how you embraced the world instead of converting it. Your lampstand has been taken away. You need to meditate on that in the quiet of the night, when there is no one around except you and God. And you need to tremble and quake at the fate that awaits you at your judgments if you don't reverse course immediately.
      Pray for them, Catholics; pray that the majority of them will wake up before they all die in their sins in a few years.
      source
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The organization faces a ban in all of Russia

      The supreme court in Russia’s Karachay-Cherkessia declared the local Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization on February 10 and ordered for it to be dissolved and its property forfeited to the state.
      Earlier, the republic’s prosecutor office had accused the organization of producing and disseminating extremist materials. The Witnesses were then forced to pay a fine and had their literature seized, however, as they wouldn’t give up what the prosecutor’s office referred to as “extremist activity”, the matter was taken to court.
      The Russian prosecutor general’s crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses started with a notice of “unacceptability of extremist activity” sent to the organization’s management last April. Citing religious discrimination, JW representatives appealed against the notice. However, Moscow’s city court on January 16 upheld it, ordering the organisation to “fix the violations” unless it wanted to be banned on the entire territory of the Russian Federation.
      Seven of JW’s regional branches have been closed down in Russia by courts. In the southern Russian city of Taganrog, 16 Witnesses were convicted for failing to comply with the ban. Four criminal cases have recently been launched against several members of the organization for “inciting hatred” and “creating a non-commercial entity violating citizens’ rights”. 
      In 2005, a Moscow court ordered the dissolution of the capital’s JW community. In 2010, the European Court for Human Rights found the court in violation of the European convention. And in 2015, the community finally had its registration resumed. 
      There are 100 to 150 thousand Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Christian denomination emerged from the Bible Student movement, founded in 1872 by Charles Russel. It reports a worldwide membership of more than eight million adherents.
      https://jam-news.net/?p=19191
    • By ComfortMyPeople
      Our problem with the humility
      Humility is not a problem, obviously, is the lack of this quality that I’m referring as a problem. And when I mention “our”, I mean “our” in all our levels. And, let me be direct. I see -in general- more humility in sisters than in brothers, more in publishers than in elders, more in elders than in elders with “special responsibilities.” I’m talking in general, I know real fine examples of humility in brothers with big responsibilities in our organization.
      Ask for forgiveness
      This is a basic lesson parents teach to their children: “ask for forgiveness” always you’re wrong. And, as Christians we’ve received a lot of fine instruction to follow the path of humility, expressed specially when we apologize for our errors. Then…
      Should the GB ask for forgiveness when erring?
      Do you think the same rule all Christians try to follow also apply to GB? Naturally. And, do you usually see the GB asking for forgiveness? Before you answer, one example.
      Will resurrect the unborn babies? Until 2009 we ‘officially’ thought that not. After reading the article w09 4/15 one sister told me that years ago she lost a baby in her womb. She recognizes that our teaching about the lack of hope for these creatures really hurt her. Even the quoted article recognized the possibility of these emotional wounds when mentioned:
      ·        “For those who have never suffered the loss of an unborn baby in this way, it may be difficult to imagine the feelings of those who have. Some parents grieve such losses intensely. One mother lost five children before they were born. In time, she felt blessed to raise two healthy sons. Yet, she remembered each loss. To the end of her days, she knew just how old her stillborn and miscarried babies would have been had they survived.” What was the reason we thought in a way that caused ADDED emotional wounds to these sisters? In the same article, the GB, the “slave”, IMPLICITLY answer:
      ·        *** w09 4/15 p. 13 Questions From Readers *** Does all of this mean, then, that the Bible teaches that children who perish before birth will be resurrected? We must emphasize that the Bible does not directly answer that question, so there is no basis for humans to be dogmatic on the matter. Do you saw? When we in the past were teaching plainly “no resurrection” WE WERE BEING DOGMATIC. This was the IMPLICIT reason. Then, if the writers of the article would have shown more humility, this paragraph, EXPLICITLY apologizing would had been perfect:
      ·        “We sincerely apologize because our previous understanding lead to these sisters to an added emotional damage… We, the brothers with the responsibility, were dogmatic. Signed: The Governing Body” Would have been bad if the GB would have included this kind of commentary in the article? If not, why we have never found this kind of expressions? One moment! The “slave” is humble, the brothers recognize they commit errors and aren’t unerring.
      “I am a sinner”
      I use to give a talk about the pray. At some point ask to the auditorium what they think about my pray this night if I mention to Jehovah “Oh God, forgive me please, I am a sinner.” Now, stop for a while and observe from the platform the brothers nodding. At this point ask them “what if I modify my pray tonight in this way: ‘Oh God, forgive me please, today I’ve envied brother James a lot when he showed me his new car’…etc.”. Now the brothers nodded with more emphasis.
      What I mean is that a humble person should be specific when ask for forgiveness. Sadly, I haven’t found this humility with the errors the branch in my country has made over the years, nor the errors the GB has made when publishing some information causing damages –Later I’ll try to justify them.
      Perhaps someone thinks this is to be hard or lack of appreciation with the teaching and work of these brothers of the GB. Believe me, I pray for them. Whether I like it or not they are, under Christ, guiding the ship, and all of us are in the same boat –Later I’ll try to justify them.
      If someone thinks this matters don’t cause wounds…
      The 1975 repentance
      Between many other references, I quote this, because is easily found in the WT Library (CD edition).
      ·        *** km 7/70 p. 3 Announcements *** A new circuit assembly program is scheduled to begin in September. We believe you will find it most informative and upbuilding. The public talk will be “Who Will Conquer the World in the 1970’s? I attended this assembly. This and other declarations make us to feel very excited. After this came the disillusion but, in general, God’s people, as we serve God for love, have continued worship Him until now.
      Had damage with this unscriptural emphasis to one date? These are, rounded, the average of publishers in those years:
      ·        1975: 2,062,000 ·        1976: 2,136,000 ·        1977: 2,117,000 ·        1978: 2,086,000 ·        1979: 2,087,000 ·        1980: 2,175,000 As we can see, it had a slowdown in several years just after 1975. Was it the fault, at some degree, the GB teaching about 1975? All of we, serving in the congregations around the world, know the answer. In my personal case, as I’m alone in the truth and I was a teenager in those years, all my family laughed about my new religion and my beliefs. Weight was added to their arguments about we were a group of fanatics.
      Well, what is the supposed behavior of a humble person when errs so seriously? Yes, ask for forgiveness. Some brother now is crying: “but the brothers recognized his error!” Yes, I’m witness of this. It began in the 1979 district convention. I still remember the talk and the brother assigned to the speech. Follows quotations about this talk.
      ·        *** yb80 pp. 30-31 1980 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses *** The brothers also appreciated the candor of this same talk, which acknowledged the Society’s responsibility for some of the disappointment a number felt regarding 1975.
      And, the talk was partially recorded in this Watchtower article:
      ·        *** w80 3/15 pp. 17-18 pars. 5-6 Choosing the Best Way of Life *** In modern times such eagerness, commendable in itself, has led to attempts at setting dates for the desired liberation from the suffering and troubles that are the lot of persons throughout the earth. With the appearance of the book Life Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, and its comments as to how appropriate it would be for the millennial reign of Christ to parallel the seventh millennium of man’s existence, considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated. In its issue of July 15, 1976, The Watchtower, commenting on the inadvisability of setting our sights on a certain date, stated: “If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.” In saying “anyone,” The Watchtower included all disappointed ones of Jehovah’s Witnesses, hence including persons having to do with the publication of the information that contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date
       Before someone says “this proves the humility of GB”, let me say this illustration.
      Imagine a tourist guide in a journey by the jungle is leading a group of tourists. He lost the way and, as a result, some of the persons under his responsibility lost their life. Now, years later all finishes, he says to the group he took by the wrong way: “I wasn’t the only one wrong, all of you were also lost.”
      Do you think the guide was humble? Do you think our GB showed humility? –Later I’ll try to justify them.
      An Apostate Fails
      This is the subtitle containing the next quote, six years after the above statements regarding the 1975 “error”:
      ·        *** w86 12/15 p. 20 pars. 20-21 *** “Is there a modern-day parallel to Achan’s sin? Yes, there is. […] For a recent example, during the mid-1970’s some prominent elders became disgruntled. It was below their “dignity” to witness from house to house, proclaiming the Kingdom message after the pattern of Jesus’ apostles. (Acts 5:42; 20:20, 21, 29, 30) It looked good to them to go back to Babylonish teachings. Slyly they tried to raise doubts about “the last days” and to slow down the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (2 Peter 3:3, 4) Finally, they had to be disfellowshipped.—[…]  Loyal Witnesses moved forward vigorously into the 1980’s! Likely the presence of a small number of apostates had contributed to the slowing down of Jehovah’s work during the last half of the 1970’s—when the average yearly increase in the active ranks of Jehovah’s Witnesses fell to less than 1 percent. However, the annual increase in the last five years has averaged more than 6 percent. Kingdom publishers reached a worldwide peak of 3,024,131 in 1985, compared with 2,179,256 in 1975”
      I remember those days. In my country almost no one could perceive any bad influence from these ex-brothers. I have no doubt those days were hard but, each reader of the above Watchtower article got the idea that the slowdown of those years was due for these apostates. Really? The 1975 disillusion hadn’t nothing to do with this?  Following with my illustration about the guide in the jungle, what if he says: “the blame wasn’t mine, this other people also contributed to the error!” Is it humility?
      I think it is time to justify this behavior of our brothers in his VERY DIFFICULT assignment.
      The patriarch Job and the “two witnesses”
      As all we well know Job was under attack, not only by the Devil, but unconsciously also his friends cause him to develop an attitude of self-defense. This pressure forced this man to deny any error on his part. (Job 34:5) “For Job has said, ‘I am in the right” resumes his attitude. Also this quote from WT reflects well the idea.
      ·        *** w09 4/15 pp. 10-11 par. 14 Job maintained his integrity even though he was imperfect. Sometimes, under extreme pressure, he had the wrong perspective. For instance, he said to Jehovah: “I cry to you for help, but you do not answer me . . . With the full might of your hand you harbor animosity toward me.” Moreover, Job attached undue importance to justifying himself when he said: “I am not in the wrong” and “there is no violence upon my palms, and my prayer is pure.” (Job 10:7; 16:17; 30:20, 21)
      And it isn’t true the GB is continuously under scrutiny, attack, looking them with a magnifying glass? In the old good days of the types-antitypes we would say this should be a model. But even without types, the GB is continuously criticized (this forum is a very soft example, I dislike many others places because those persons only want to spit on our faces). As one strong proof the GB is under scrutiny, let’s read about the two witnesses in Revelation, which foreshadow God’s people in our days, mainly the brothers leading the work:
      ·        (Revelation 11:7-12) “the wild beast that ascends out of the abyss will wage war with them and conquer them and kill them […] And those of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their corpses for three and a half days, and they do not allow their corpses to be laid in a tomb. And those dwelling on the earth rejoice over them and celebrate, and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those dwelling on the earth. […] And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them.
      I think is crystal clear from the scriptures these brothers would have enemies and they would be persecuted. And the hate upon them would get to the point to celebrate their killing and enjoying with the sight of their corpses.
      Well, for me it justifies the attitude of the GB. I mean, I understand it, not I share it.
      The difficult role of Elihu
      Which side are you on? Perhaps Job thought this when heard this words from the young: (Job 33:12) “But you are not right in saying this.” And this is the situation of some of us. Our brothers overseeing the worldwide brotherhood are, scripturally under scrutiny, continuously. If we thought that some errors or injustices are made from these brothers, if we point these mistakes, it appears that we are in the side of opponents. It is a difficult role. What did Elihu? Disqualified entirely Job, as his ‘friends’? Look these exact words: “you are not right in saying this.” I hope nobody would think he was an apostate to say this.
      And for some of us I think there is a quite similar situation. We respect the GB. We think these brothers are being used for God to oversee His house, as we, the elders in one specific congregation are being used for God to oversee this congregation. But sometimes, we can't deny ourselves and our intelligence, when we point out, as Elihu “you are not right in saying this.”
    • By Bible Speaks
      PICTURE THIS:
      THE apostle Peter and some other disciples are struggling to row their boat across the Sea of Galilee during a nighttime windstorm. 
      Suddenly, they see Jesus walking on the sea. Peter calls out to Jesus, asking if he could walk across the water to his Master. When Jesus tells him to come, Peter gets out of the boat and miraculously walks toward Jesus on the choppy surface. 
      Moments later, though, Peter starts to sink. Why? He looked at the windstorm and became afraid. Peter cries out to Jesus, who quickly catches hold of him and says: “You with little faith, why did you give way to doubt?”—Matt. 14:24-32.
      When Peter climbed out of the boat to walk on the water, he did so in faith. Jesus had called him, and Peter trusted that God’s power would support him just as it was supporting Jesus. 
      Similarly, when we dedicated ourselves to Jehovah and got baptized, we did so because of our faith. Jesus called us to be his followers, to walk in his footsteps. We had to exercise faith in both Jesus and God, trusting that they would support us in various ways.—John 14:1; read 1 Peter 2:21.
      Faith is truly a precious possession. Just as Peter’s faith enabled him to walk on water, our faith enables us to do things that from a human standpoint may seem impossible. (Matt. 21:21, 22) 
      For instance, many of us have changed our attitudes and practices so drastically that we are almost unrecognizable to those who knew us before. Jehovah supported our efforts because we took these steps based on our faith in him. (Read Colossians 3:5-10.) 
      Once our faith moved us to dedicate ourselves to Jehovah, we became his friends, something we could never have done in our own power.—Eph. 2:8.
      Our faith continues to empower us. In faith we are able to resist the attacks of our superhuman adversary, the Devil. (Eph. 6:16) 
      In addition, trust in Jehovah helps us to minimize our anxiety during challenging times. Jehovah says that when our faith moves us to put Kingdom interests first, he will provide for our material needs. (Matt. 6:30-34) 
      More than that, because of our faith, we will receive a gift no human could ever obtain by his own efforts—everlasting life.—John 3:16.
      jw.org

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      When Audrey Butler dedicated herself to becoming a Jehovah's Witness seven years ago, she knew she would never accept a blood transfusion—even if that meant making a choice between life and death.
      "Well the scriptures do tell us that the blood is the soul. So that's how precious blood is to us. It's your life. It's the person's life," she explains.
      Butler and other Jehovah's Witnesses believe that several passages in the Bible forbid them from consuming blood in any way, including via blood transfusions. This belief can be at odds with standard medical practice; during the course of surgery, some patients require blood transfusions in order to combat blood loss.
      At age 46, Butler began suffering from pain and stiffness in her knee. Doctors told her she had arthritis, and that she would likely need a knee replacement in the coming years.
      Butler avoided surgery for as long as possible, enduring painful knee injections and doing her best to live with a limp. But eventually, she began to feel that her limp was slowing her down significantly. Her arthritis was having a considerable impact on her quality of life. 
      Butler knew she needed the knee replacement. She also knew she was unwilling to abandon her faith.
      http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/thepulse/item/100713-a-jehovahs-witness-balances-surgery-with-beliefs-

    • By Anna
      In the past months, there have been quite a few study articles with regard to the GB/Slave. I am trying to get an overall  understanding of 2 particular WT articles on this one topic, so that two quotes from the WTs harmonize. 
      Today's WT study (Nov 2016) p.15 par.9:  "Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives.’"
      And
      WT Feb.2017 p.26. par.12 " The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870".
      It seems that the key to making sense of these 2 seemingly opposing quotes is in the above paragraph if we continue reading: " Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food".
    • By JW Insider
      Usually when we refer to the "faithful and discreet slave" parable, we refer to the parable of 'the faithful and the unfaithful slave' found in Matthew 24:45-51. But the parable of the "faithful and discreet slave" is also found in Luke, where the expression is changed a bit to "the faithful steward, the discreet one . . . that slave."
      (Luke 12:42-48) 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? 43 Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so! 44 I tell you truthfully, he will appoint him over all his belongings. 45 But if ever that slave should say in his heart, ‘My master delays coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female servants and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting him and at an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones. 47 Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. 48 But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.
      "That slave" is given an assignment to feed the master's "body of attendants." If he obeys, he gets a promotion, and if he disobeys he is punished. This is the exact same idea as in Matthew 24, except that there are only about 15 words referring what happens if this slave obeys and 150 words in the section about what happens if the slave disobeys. That's about 10 times as much space given to the idea of disobedience versus obedience. In Matthew it's only about 3 times as much space given to the idea of disobedience.
      That might explain why the verses in Matthew are referenced so much more often in Watch Tower publications and speech. The Watchtower has, of course, minimized the idea of any potential disobedience:
      *** w13 7/15 p. 24 “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” ***
      Was Jesus foretelling that there would be an evil slave class in the last days? No. Granted, some individuals have manifested a spirit similar to that of the evil slave described by Jesus. We would call them apostates, whether they were of the anointed or of the “great crowd.” (Rev. 7:9) But such ones do not make up an evil slave class. Jesus did not say that he would appoint an evil slave. His words here are actually a warning directed to the faithful and discreet slave.
        Notice that Jesus introduces the warning with the words “if ever.” One scholar says that in the Greek text, this passage “for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition.”
      This is an adjustment to the doctrine held just up until the change in 2013. Prior to the quote above (originally presented at the Annual Meeting in 2012) the idea about the evil slave was just the opposite: that the "evil slave" came directly from the ranks of the "faithful slave."
      *** w04 3/1 p. 13 pars. 2-4 ‘The Faithful Slave’ Passes the Test! ***
      The expression “that evil slave” draws our attention to Jesus’ preceding words about the faithful and discreet slave. Yes, the “evil slave” came from the ranks of the faithful slave. How?
      3 Before 1914, many members of the faithful slave class had high hopes of meeting with the Bridegroom in heaven that year, but their hopes were not fulfilled. As a result of this and other developments, many were disappointed and a few became embittered. Some of these turned to ‘beating’ their former brothers verbally and consorting with “confirmed drunkards,” religious groups of Christendom.—Isaiah 28:1-3; 32:6.
      4 These former Christians came to be identified as the “evil slave,” and Jesus punished them with “the greatest severity.” How? He rejected them, and they lost out on their heavenly hope. They were not, however, immediately destroyed. They first had to endure a period of weeping and gnashing of teeth in “the darkness outside” the Christian congregation. (Matthew 8:12) Since those early days, a few other anointed individuals have shown a similar bad spirit, identifying themselves with the “evil slave.” Some of the “other sheep” have imitated their unfaithfulness. (John 10:16)
      Now, of course, the "faithful slave" is made to be the equivalent of the Governing Body since 1919. (The Governing Body has only existed in its current form since the early to mid-1970's.) For this reason, evidently, it would no longer be appropriate to consider or expect that the evil slave might come from the ranks of the Governing Body. Continuing this teaching would likely create a measure of suspicion and questioning of the Governing Body themselves.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Éloïse Dupuis was giddy with excitement the day before she gave birth to her first child, a son she and her husband named Liam.
      In a Facebook message to her aunt Manon Boyer, the 27-year-old said “she couldn’t wait to see him, to hold him and to rock him.”
      “She said the dream of her life was about to come true and she couldn’t wait to introduce him to me,” Boyer recalled, one week after her niece died in a hospital following complications from a difficult delivery.
      Dupuis was a Jehovah’s Witness and had signed a document, when she became an adult, saying she would not accept a blood transfusion. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that passages in the Bible order them to abstain from taking blood, even when their life is in danger.
      The young woman died six days after giving birth in a hospital in Lévis, near Quebec City, after being transferred from a birthing centre when complications arose. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined. However, reports suggesting she didn’t accept a blood transfusion have created a stir in Quebec, with friends, some family members and politicians questioning whether she made the decision freely. 
      Her parents, her husband and her in-laws were with her for six days before she died, Boyer said.
      “I don’t believe she would have refused blood after having her baby if she knew her life was in danger. I don’t think she had the capacity to make a free choice because she was ill from two surgeries. The family never notified us that she was ill.”
      Boyer said she is happy that coroner Luc Malouin is investigating her niece’s death, because he will probably question the nurses and doctors who treated Dupuis at the hospital. Boyer said she has already spoken to Malouin about the death.
      Boyer said she felt that something was amiss when Dupuis, and her niece’s mother, failed to answer Facebook messages she had sent inquiring about the birth on Oct. 6.
      “I sent a message congratulating her on being a grandmother, but she didn’t answer,” Boyer recalled. “The next day, I sent a message saying I know they’re busy, but could they let me know if Éloïse is fine. But that wasn’t answered either.” 
      A few days later, Boyer noticed a message on Dupuis’s Facebook wall, congratulating her and her husband on their second wedding anniversary. However, the person who posted the message said that they knew “it wasn’t a happy time but that the couple would have other times to celebrate.”
      Boyer said she was confused by the message, so she replied to it asking for news about her niece.
      “Why isn’t it a good day to celebrate when you just had a baby?” she wondered.
      It was then that someone wrote that Dupuis was fighting for her life and had lost a lot of blood.
      Boyer said her daughter called the hospital to find out what was going on. A nurse said she would ask a member of Dupuis’s family to speak to her, but family members refused to come to the phone, she said.  
      “The nurse said we could come to the hospital to visit, but she said that Éloïse’s heart was beating slowly and it was just a question of hours before she would die.”
      After hearing the news, Boyer contacted Cassandra Zélézen, a childhood friend of her niece. Zélézen and her two sisters, who are triplets, drove to the hospital from their home in Rawdon, in the Lanaudière region, to try to see their ailing friend.
      Zélézen told the Montreal Gazette that Dupuis’s father refused to allow them to see his daughter. Dupuis’s husband told the triplets that he had regrets about having the baby at the birthing centre and wondered about the decision not to have a blood transfusion. 
      “Now, it’s too late,” Zélézen recalled the husband saying.
      Her friend died a short time later. 
      While at the hospital, Zélézen said that Dupuis’s husband showed her a note that Dupuis had written, while intubated, after having her uterus removed. 
      “It’s OK, we can adopt,” the note read.
      After Dupuis’s death, her friends messaged her aunt saying: “She’s dead, she’s dead.”
      On the day Dupuis died, three elders from a Jehovah’s Witness congregation were present at the hospital, according to Zélézen.
      John Redwood, a former Jehovah’s Witness from Maryland who wrote about Dupuis’s death on his website, said the organization has a Hospital Liaison Committee made up of trained elders who are dispatched to hospitals any time a Witness may require a blood transfusion.
      “Their purpose is to support the family in their decision (and) to avoid being coerced into taking blood,” said Redwood, 49, who left his congregation three years ago. “They may not have ever met the patient, but these are the enforcers of the policy.”
      He said there is a second committee, called the Hospital Visitation Committee, made up of members who visit and pray with sick patients but don’t “interfere with blood policy.”
      Simon Picard, a spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada, denied that elders are sent to hospitals to ensure that blood transfusions do not take place.
      “We have members who will be there to provide support, but the choice to not have a blood transfusion is an individual choice,” he said. “When you’re in a crisis situation, you like to have members to support you in a decision you have made.”
      Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called Dupuis’s death “terrible,” but said it was important for society to respect the law and individual choice.
      “The jurisprudence has been very clear: if a person of sound mind refuses medical treatment, even if it costs them their life, we can’t go against their will.”
      In Quebec City, the Coalition Avenir Québec described the incident as “troubling,” and said it raises serious questions about the health care system.
      “I don’t have answers today, but I say to myself: ‘How can it be that we let someone die in Quebec for religious reasons?’ ” CAQ Leader François Legault said. 
      Nathalie Roy, the CAQ critic for secularism, wondered whether Dupuis “had really given free and clear consent. Are there people who spoke for her, who decided for her? Did she know she was going to die leaving her child there?” 
      Dupuis, whose immediate family could not be reached for comment, had moved to the Beauce region two years ago, following her marriage, but still remained in touch with Boyer and her family.
      “It’s unbelievable that you could die a few days after having a baby,” Boyer said. “The baby will be raised by them (Dupuis’s family) and we will never see him. We have lost a beautiful girl. She was full of love and was ready to help anyone, anywhere, any time.”
      http://montrealgazette.com/news/aunt-questions-whether-niece-refused-blood-transfusion-before-death
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (QUEBEC) The Government does not intend to restrict access to hospital rooms to specific groups, religions of the disciples, said yesterday the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette.
      “You ask me to decide on a person can receive visits from his entourage. You are going away, “said Mr. Barrette briefing. Mr. Barrette has acknowledged that as a physician, he had already faced JW representations to patient.
      Earlier in the National Assembly, the caquiste MP Simon Jolin-Barrette had claimed that Quebec clearly gives hospitals the right to restrict access to patients. In addition, a judge should be asked to intervene to assess if a patient refuses treatment rightly whose life may depend, proposed caquiste Member for Borduas.
      The young Eloise Dupuis, died last week at the Hotel Dieu de Lévis, refused a blood transfusion because she was a follower of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, shortly before his death, the young woman had been in the hospital, visiting senior members of the sect. This “Jehovah’s Witnesses Hospital Liaison Committee” had pressured the young woman to conform to the dogma and refusing to receive blood. The Sun reported yesterday that relatives of M me Dupuis had indicated that members of this group were found in the room of the young mother until the final hours of his life.
      “We know that a font of blood is present in Québec hospitals,” said Simon Jolin-Barrette, caquiste Member for Borduas.
      “[The policy of blood] put pressure on patients and their families, it denies access to people who are not members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the patient’s room,” reported Mr. Jolin-Barrette. According to him, access to in-patients should fall away. Can not let the “blood police” control access to rooms.
      It exceeds certain limits”
      According Gaétan Barrette, it is an exaggeration to talk of “blood police”; the opposition would, in fact, create a “police visits.” But the patient is “autonomous in his choice must be done independently.” It is a “situation is dramatic.”
      “But to use inflammatory language, when we talk of” blood police, “I think here we exceed certain limits,” said Gaétan Barrette.
      A coroner examines the circumstances of his death.
      For the PQ member Agnes Maltais, not need a judge. “Decisions on the free and informed consent, he takes daily by doctors, and it faces, in general, this kind of situation. We do not agree with the position that says that they can attack the doctors. The doctors do their job. In this case especially, we know very well that there were lawyers, there was an ethics committee and there were doctors who intervened, “said she summarized.
      http://stopru.org/quebec-said-no-to-a-police-visits-in-hospitals/19694
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Would you date a reproved?
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    • You are right. I was equating the importance not so much in the number of times it is mentioned, but that it is mentioned at all! I just tried to create a graph, but alas, since I've never done one either in word or excel, I failed miserably. I got the horizontal axis right, but I just can't find how to create the vertical axis and how to change the data (numbers) for the vertical axis so I completely messed up. In any case, the chart would show that since 1950 Watchtowers, the mention of 1914 has a sharp downward trend. During 1950 to 1959, it was mentioned 891 times, and during 2000-2009 it was mentioned 216 times. I don't have data for the years 2010 to 2019. So comparatively there is a big difference, but it still seems like too many mentions, if we are thinking along the lines of it slowly being phased out. In my opinion anyway....  
    • I just woke up startled, from my afternoon nap. I had a really scary nightmare, about the Presidential Impeachment effort now going on. I dreamed I was a Democrat Congressman, and in the dream I thought I was possessed by a demon that controlled me like a puppet. And in fighting that double whammy of being a Democrat Congressman, and a demon, I was trying to fight the evil that possessed me. I thought "Could it be that we are just whiney bullies, completely divorced from reality, trying to railroad and frame a man for crimes that do not even exist, but are merely policy differences between adversaries?" I thought "Could it be that this is just a vendetta, for his unspeakable crime of making us and all out friends look like complete fools, in predicting Hillary would win in a landslide of historic proportions?" I thought "Could it be that our hatred for this man, and his continuous string of accomplishing what he promised to do in his campaign is making us hate him even more, giving us NOTHING to run on in 2020?" I thought " Could it be that this unfair sham of a trial to get him impeached is merely to mortally wound him so he will lose the 2020 Presidential Election, especially since every one of our candidates are either senile, or bat-crap crazy .... or both?" And then I came to the unconsious realization ( ... as I was in fact dreaming ...) that "NAAAAH! ... merely a spot of indigestion."        
    • Nice try! Nothing has changed with word manipulation. Face it, its was you, JTR, TTH, Anna that get people banned. But here we go, I prove you wrong, and now you're using it as an excuse to ban. So, let's not contradict yourself, why people get banned because of spamming. It doesn't have anything to do with being rude or anything else. It has to do with people here not wanting to be proved wrong. I don't wish to give anything. I just don't like manipulating other peoples words to come out with a false claim. I could go even further about Russell's spoken words. Put you're the researcher and ranking expert here. Your supposed to know all that already.
    • You are going to have to do some serious explaining, to justify that statement, as it makes no sense at all. Further, if Thor is the reaction you get when eating a Thanksgiving Day meal, you need to take some Athpirin.
    • Watch out, you just admitted that it was you who got people banned from this forum. And up until now, I'm sure no one had any idea that it was you getting yourself banned all those times. 🙄 You said: "Russell didn't care for the Pyramid scheme" and now it appears you wish to give, as evidence, the fact that Russell wasn't sure if the Pyramid indicated anything for the year 1910. If you read what Russell said, however, he claimed that the Pyramid perfectly supported 1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. He had several times predicted related events timed to about 1910, but he could not distinctly find them in the Pyramid, as he claimed to have found for other dates. Even in 1911, just months after this 1910 question was answered, Russell said in the March 15, 1911 Watch Tower: "No doubt all of our readers have read STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. III, the last chapter of which describes the Pyramid and sets forth much of the wonderful symbolic teachings shown in its construction. It shows the Pyramid to be in exact harmony with the Bible. Indeed, some, after reading this volume, have referred to the Great Pyramid as 'The Bible in Stone.'" Just because Russell didn't care for how well the scheme supported 1910, doesn't mean he didn't care about how it was in EXACT harmony, he claimed, with 1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. The 1917 Finished Mystery book bragged about how Russell's chronology was written before he ever saw the Pyramid, and before he even saw any of Edgar's abundant evidences of the accuracy of Bible chronology in the Pyramid. In 1920 Rutherford went to see it, and the Watch Tower in Dec 15 reported that all the other pyramids were built under the direction of Satan except "the Great Pyramid, which was built under the Lord's supervision." In the June 15 1922 Watch Tower Rutherford published that the "present-truth chronology . . . the correspondency of dozens of measurements proves that the same God designated both pyramid and plan. . ." By 1924, it was claimed of course in the May 21, 1924 Golden Age that the Pyramid, the "Scientific Bible" verified the importance of 1874, 1914 and 1925. (This addition of the 1925 date is actually kind of hilarious if you have carefully read Charles Piazzi Smyth and Joseph Seiss, and see how Russell had re-used their material.) Also in 1924, The Way to Paradise, showed the Pyramid with the caption "GOD'S PLAN WRITTEN IN STONE." Here, it was conjectured that Shem probably built it. Russell had conjectured it was Melchizedek. This was repeated in 1925, and as late as 1926, the Watch Tower said that "advanced Bible Students believe that the Great Pyramid at Gizeh is the witness to the Lord in the Land of Egypt mentioned by the Prophet. (Isa. 19:19)" It was not until 1928 that it became a monument built "under the direction of Satan the Devil." It was now Satan's Bible and no longer "Jehovah's Witness" in stone. This was one of the reasons for the controversy when Rutherford insisted that this false information in Volume III, continue to be sold and advertised in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, etc. And still made available for sale by the Society even in the 1940's. Special deluxe editions of the Studies in the Scriptures were still mentioned in the Kingdom Ministry as late as July 1967.
    • I get exactly what you mean, kinda like these?  "Families are free to report abuse to the authorities"  "leave it in Jehova's hands" "click on jw.orb" "the answers are on the website" "That's for Jehova to decide"  "we don't shun former members"  "we only had the library card"        
    • @JW Insider and there's your 15 minutes of fame!
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