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  1. 5 points
    Here us the meeting material for weeks of Workbook for July 20-26 and July 27–August 2, 2020. TB CBS July 20-26 , 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 20-26, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 20-26, 2020.pdf Watchtower July 20-26, 2020.doc Watchtower July 20-26, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights - July 20-26, 2020.doc Additional Highlights - July 20-26, 2020.pdf CBS July 20-26 , 2020.doc CBS July 27–August 2 , 2020.doc Additional Highlights -July 27–August 2, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights -July 27–August 2, 2020.doc Watchtower July 27, 2020–August 2, 2020.pdf Watchtower July 27, 2020–August 2, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 27–August 2.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of July 27–August 2.doc CBS July 27–August 2 , 2020.pdf
  2. 5 points
    I don’t even pretend to know how this works. I know what is the place of safety. I know what is my obligation to publicize it. Everything else involves matters “too great for me.” Can you be some distance from the place of safety or not on millimeter? Dunno. “Is it only Jehovah’s Witnesses who will be saved?” someone asked my daughter, a need-greater. “Well—I’m not Jesus, and I don’t know,” she replied. What of the verse that you will by no means complete the circuit of Israel before the son of man arrives? How does that factor in? Will Jehovah pull some last minute trick like he did with Jonah? It is enough to know that he can read hearts. I’ll just do an Abraham and say, “is not the God of the entire earth going to do what is right?” After Armageddon, (let us assume that I find myself on the other side of it) I will look around, see who I see, and say, “I guess that is what’s right.” All we can do is what we can do. Between house-to-house, carts, internet, and just plain zeal, what we have done is a lot. Is the kingdom the burning issue in everyone’s mind that they consciously approve or reject, as much of our material would suggest? Or is it that people are consumed with the day-to-day and “take no note” of what is happening around them, as also much of our material would suggest? What is the interplay between the two? The issue is do people prefer government by God or government by men. The GB would be negligent to not continually stress the place of safety and call attention to verses that indicate you’d better be there. They would be negligent to not urge those there to prioritize their lives so as to join Christ in saying “Come,” They have not been negligent. Imitate them, says 2 Thess 3:7-9. Imitate their faith, says Heb 13:17, a faith that has manifested itself as deeds, because faith without works is dead. That is enough for me to go on. You don’t have to know every little thing. Not a sparrow falls to the ground unseen by the Father. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t fall. How many will fall, and why, and how many will stand?
  3. 5 points
    @Witness referenced a recent Watchtower article from 2013 that shows that the word "shunning" is interchangeable with "disfellowshipping." It was also in the same 2013 Watchtower where an article was referenced on jw.org: *** w13 8/1 p. 2 Table of Contents *** READ MORE ONLINE | www.jw.org FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion? (Look under ABOUT US > FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) The Frequently Asked Questions section is still there, but that particular article has been removed. You have to go to the Wayback Machine (internet.archive.org) and look for the article that was picked up 62 times between August 30, 2012 and February 6, 2019. (There have been 16,777 captures from the jw.org website on the Wayback Machine from 2012, and the most recent was today). The article in question says: Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion? ... We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. And we can go back to the 1970's up through 2016 (and website up to 2019) to see that the word "shun" was commonly used as part of our vocabulary for how we should shun disfellowshipped persons. The 1988 case has been mentioned above as it was reported in the 1988 Watchtower. The shunning article was removed from the website in February 2019 about 15 months after the Canadian case in 2017. Just before the Canadian court presentation in 2017, the October 2017 Wathtower said this: *** w17 October p. 16 par. 19 The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” *** For example, Jehovah instructs us to “stop keeping company” with unrepentant wrongdoers. (1 Cor. 5:11-13) Despite our pain of heart, we must avoid normal contact with a disfellowshipped family member by telephone, text messages, letters, e-mails, or social media. This is exactly at odds with Gnam's claim that normal family life goes on. 2017 *** lvs chap. 3 p. 40 par. 19 Choose Friends Who Love God *** He may choose to leave the congregation himself, or he may have to be disfellowshipped. If this happens, the Bible clearly says that we should “stop keeping company” with him. (Read 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 John 9-11) This can be very difficult if he is a friend of ours or a member of our family. But in a situation like this, our loyalty to Jehovah must be stronger than our loyalty to anyone else.—See Endnote 8. 2019 *** od p. 200 Part 2: Christian Living *** 17. If an announcement is made that someone is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, how should we treat him? • “Stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.”—1 Cor. 5:11. • “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.”—2 John 10. 2016 It was in the 2016 Assembly where the following part of the program even included a dramatic example of how family members don't allow family life to go on normally: But the actual word "shun" disappeared from the website in 2019 (so far).
  4. 5 points
    It's not that God is giving separate and advanced knowledge about covid to the GB. The GB collect information from worldly experts just like anyone else can. But the difference is that many people do not consider the Bible's wisdom in their lives. All that the GB are doing is applying scriptures a.k.a wisdom from God. For example, Br. Morris quoted Proverbs 14:16 "The wise one is cautious and turns away from evil,But the stupid one is reckless* and overconfident." and applied it to covid 19 in that recklessness and overconfidence have literally cost people their lives. Then he quoted Ecclesiastes 7:12 "For wisdom is a protection just as money is a protection, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner." He said our aim is to make wise balanced decisions that protect lives. The next scripture was Proverbs 22:3 "The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself,But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences" to which he said that we should not develop a casual attitude. So all he did was apply these scriptures to the present covid situation and encouraged everyone else to do the same. He urged that we must not have a casual attitude. He said this because many people are relaxing in their caution, including probably the brothers and sisters. All that the GB are doing is reminding people that covid is NOT over. We hear the same from worldly media. We also know that countries which have relaxed their restrictions are facing a covid come back. Countries are relaxing restrictions so that people can get back to work. It is vital for the economy. But as Br. Morris said, we care about life more than money. So it's no so much that God is giving separate info to GB, anyone has access to the Bible, the same info, but it's more like the GB are paying attention to it and applying it, and urging us to do the same because many in the world are not. Here is the video:
      Hello guest!
  5. 5 points
    Yes. That is the point. And it was not just the statement about Covid19 that I was responding to in the speech, even though it was the only example I focused on. If an example of good guidance proves that Jehovah is with the GB, then someone could just as easily point out that examples of bad guidance must be proof that Jehovah is not with the GB. Most of us who have been Witnesses over a long period of time will recall how a continuing theme of our meetings, especially the book study, for years had always been about how examples of bad guidance in Christendom is proof that they are being guided only by Satan. This can result in the same hypocrisy. But worse, it can make brothers, like the speaker above, feel that he must try to hide negative information away from the average Witness who can't face anything negative. It has made brothers like him in responsible positions try to declare that false doctrines had a good purpose in the past to filter out those who were weak. (This has been done for several of the big falsehoods like 1925, superior authorities, 1975 expectations, etc.) If it ends up making us call what is good, bad, and what is bad, good, then we should point that out.
  6. 4 points
    I think I can also prove that both David's and Solomon's kingdoms were run by men. Could these same men still be used by Jehovah?
  7. 4 points
    Yes. It looks like this matches up best with the scriptures. I think that "synteleia" and "parousia" refer to the same time period. Synteleia can refer to the end of many things together, similar to a phrase that Peter used when he said "the end of all things has drawn close." Note the plural: (1 Peter 4:7) . . .But the end of all things has drawn close.. . . (1 Corinthians 10:11) . . .a warning to us upon whom the ends of the systems of things have come. We sometimes think of this as only referring to an end of a time period, but the word can refer more to a "destruction" of things that brings them to their end. Therefore the phrase in Matthew 24:3 could even be stated as: What can you give us as an advance warning sign before this "Visitation" and this destructive "End of the Age?" This is the current WT view on it, of course. (I have scrunched up your comment to fit in the re-quote box.) There are a few issues with it, which is why it comes up. #1 is right of course, but it ignores the fact that this is only the first step in gaining proper subjects for a "Kingdom." The scriptures make so much of the fact that Jesus has been given ALL AUTHORITY at his resurrection. He has conquered something that makes him above all other powers in the Universe except Jehovah. He is called king of kings after 33 CE. So why are we so reluctant to give Jesus credit for what he has accomplished? Note how the WT view is the REVERSE of the Bible's view here: (Ephesians 1:19-22) . . .It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, 20 which he exercised toward Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named, not only in this system of things but also in that to come. 22 He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation, In the WT view, Jesus is made head over all things with regard to the congregation for now, but by 1914 he will also come into his Kingdom authority with regards to every government [kingdom], authority and power and lordship. And as you know, Ephesians 1 is only one example of this. There are several others. Including 1 Timothy 6:16 already calling Jesus the "king of kings" in the first century. The Bible writers honored Jesus new position of authority over all governments of the earth, and all powers and lorships in heaven, too! *** it-1 p. 1136 Honor *** Since it was Jehovah God who highly exalted his Son, all who refuse to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the immortal King of kings and Lord of lords dishonor the Father. Because of who he is and what he has accomplished, the Son deserves honor and loyal support. (Joh 5:23; 1Ti 6:15, 16; Re 5:11-13) But,can you imagine the Watchtower ever highlighting the fact that Jesus was "king of kings" in the first century? Instead we get statements like the following: *** w94 5/1 p. 17 par. 9 Kingdom Proclaimers Active in All the Earth *** At the second Cedar Point convention, in 1922, Brother Rutherford highlighted the fact that at the end of the Gentile Times, in 1914, ‘the King of glory had taken unto himself his great power and had begun to reign.’ Next, he put the issue squarely to his audience, saying: “Do you believe that the King of glory has begun his reign? Then back to the field, O ye sons of the most high God! . . . Herald the message far and wide. The world must know that Jehovah is God and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. This is the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity agents.” Yes, in 1922, Rutherford began to speak of Jesus taking his power in 1914 as King, and cleansing the lips of the temple class, and it appeared that this was the first time Rutheford began to move the official date of Christ's reign from 1878. And even quotes such as these must forget that the actual words at the assembly included statements like: “In 1878 God’s favor was withdrawn from the nominal systems. From that time on Brother Russell and the brethren who supported him went throughout the land . . . . Do you believe it? Do you believe that the King of glory is present, and has been since 1874? Do you believe that during that time he has conducted his harvest work? Do you believe that he has had during that time a faithful and wise servant [Russell] through whom he directed his work and the feeding of the household of faith? Do you believe that the Lord is now in his temple, judging the nations of earth? Do you believe that the King of glory has begun his reign? “Then back to the field, O ye sons of the most high God! Gird on your armor! Be sober, be vigilant, be active, be brave. Be faithful and true witnesses for the Lord. Go forward in the fight until every vestige of Babylon lies desolate. Herald the message far and wide. The world must know that Jehovah is God and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. This is the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! It's true that Jesus could already be king of kings since 33CE, and then some great event in the future may move his followers to speak as if his kingship has just been renewed in some power way: "Jesus has now taken unto himself his great power and had begun to reign." Just as the Psalmist could look at a new Temple, or a great victory and say that "Jehovah has become King." But nothing was seen in 1914 about Jesus taking his power and becoming king of kings. It took Rutherford nearly 10 years before he began moving that "kingship" date from 1878 to 1914. During 1914, Rutherford must have seen 1914 as a failure. After it passed, Russell even changed the end of the Gentile Times to 1915. Rutherford specifically admitted later that no one had discerned what had happened in 1914 or 1918. The word "synteleia" itself (meaning the ending of things together) would not fit 1914. And "parousia" doesn't fit because Jesus only spoke of a very visible visitation for judgment, resurrections, and gathering the chosen ones. It's easy to claim it all happened invisibly, but it doesn't fit the scriptures. Even if parousia was being used in its most simple sense of an arrival and subsequent presence, there is nothing "invisible" about this particular visitation and presence. It would be like trying to claim that lightning is invisible.
  8. 4 points
    think it is a matter of being practical, balancing what you know with what your audience is able to bear at present. Even of his disciples Jesus said there were things they were not yet able to bear, so what does that say about speaking to non-disciples? A pretty good guess on the 70% - 80%, I think. People’s criteria for “knowing” with certainty will differ. All will agree on the place of safety, however. None will say “all roads lead to heaven.” As to, “I believe how more JW's try answer this way, because of need to give answer that is more acceptable for non-JW people,” Tharcisse Seminega does this in his book No Greater Love—How My Family Survived the Genocide in Rwanda. Proclaiming the superiority of one’s religion comes across as crass in “educated” parts of the world, and it is actually illegal in Russia—that is the pretext used to ban the Jehovah’s Witness organization. The local populace, not being able to get their heads around something so devious as banning a religion’s organization but not the religion itself, conducts itself as though the Witnesses themselves are banned. What sensible person would not? So Brother Seminega has to self-peddle this part about “religious superiority,” a part that many would say is integral to giving a thorough witness. I don’t blame him for this—it is the only way he can reach his intended audience. Besides, whoever has spent several weeks in the hole, hidden at enormous risk by his spiritual brothers, while others of his tribe are being slaughtered wholesale on the outside, can do whatever he likes. That he privately has given a thorough witness is clear from the Foreword, written by a fellow academic, John K. Roth, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Claremont McKenna College: “As a result, the book makes an appeal to folks like me who are not members of that particular community: Embrace and follow the ethical values embedded in the acts that saved the Seminegas. I am grateful for that invitation.” Yet, he does miss the point. He takes away from this book not that people should embrace the religion that stood fast in the face of genocide, but “the ethical value embedded in the acts that saved the Seminegas,” as though such a separation were possible. Brother Seminega prefers to let others say it, not he himself: He is content to include in an appendix: “Peace and conflict researcher Christian P. Scherrer states: ‘All the churches active in Rwanda, with the exception of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (of whom only a few survived), were involved at least ‘passively’ in the genocide.’ Genocide and Crisis in Central Africa: Conflict Roots, Mass Violence, and Regional War (London: Praeger, 2002), 113.” [Italics mine] He doesn’t thereafter say, “You see? Our religion is superior!” even though anyone of moral sense can deduce it from the above passage. There are examples in his book, corroborated by international adjudicators, of clergymen purposefully luring Tutsi parishioners to their churches to be slaughtered by the thousands. A passage from his book, that of his wife who was not then a Witness, testifies from her spot of hiding: “The stifling conditions, lack of sleep, scanty food, and darkness had a numbing effect on our minds. But one thing I knew: I, my husband, and all five of my children were alive because our Jehovah’s Witness friends had repeatedly risked their lives to save us. Their faith was like a rock. They lived for peace. No one could force them to use weapons against their neighbors, even those of a different ethnicity. They would sooner die than harm others. They were Hutu, just like the machete-wielding murderers who spilled rivers of blood. It pained me to think of it, but I knew in my heart that the vast majority of Hutu killers claimed to be Christian. Most of them belonged to my Catholic church.” Okay? The Witness religion is superior. Yet Brother Seminega is writing to an audience loath to accept that idea. “If he will really say it, the radio won’t play it, unless he lays it between the lines,” so that is what he does. The greater sophisticated world wants to view the atrocity as though there are noble qualities distributed more or less at random among all religions, and in this case, it is but the luck of the draw that they fell to Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is clear in how religionnews.com reviews the book. It does what it can to obscure the conclusion inescapable to anyone of common sense: of the superiority of a religion that alone enabled all members to withstand genocide. (Or maybe it is that I am myself influenced by how that source doesn’t appear to regard Witnesses as a religion, and how such is not necessarily disagreeable to the JW organization.) It expounds on how “Witnesses had long been oppressed for refusing to take up weapons or participate in politics. Because of this apolitical teaching... ‘Hutu Witnesses were impervious to calls for patriotic Hutu to take part in mass killings’... Professor Seminega says that his family’s rescuers and other Witnesses followed Jesus’ “new commandment”—To love one another just as he loved them, even to the death.” Note how “new commandment” is in quote marks, as though it is new to the reviewers themselves, or at least an unsophisticated and quaint notion that they know is not one that readers can be expected to quickly get their heads around. Maybe the professor has something to teach us, is the tone of the review and the Foreword. It cannot hurt that he is a professor. What learned lesson does he, and maybe even the people he has sided with, have to teach us? In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses do try to teach them—every single day they try—and their attempts are rebuffed. To secure the integrity of the Witnesses, they have to side with the kingdom—and most of them don’t even know what it is. To secure the integrity of the Witnesses, they have to become “no part of the world” (John 17:16), and most of them are fully part of it. Here, Brother Seminega’s academic connections come in handy, for he is able to trace the historical, political, and religious roots that ultimately triggered the Rwandan sudden slide into barbarism. He, the former Catholic seminarian, writes of the Catholic Church’s deep involvement in “the world,” and of how it abruptly switched sides in the late 20th century, from that of oppressor—the Church had historically been associated with the European colonizers, and as such promoted the “privileged” tribe of the Tutsi—to the oppressed, the “lesser” Hutu. If you embrace the world and its power plays, you eventually embrace its tactics, and the tactics in this case descended to genocide. It doesn’t happen that often. During most times of normal stress, church teachings and even politics are enough to, after a fashion, ensure acceptable conduct among members. But during times of abnormal stress, they collapse completely. Did no one of the greater Rwandan religious community other than Jehovah’s Witnesses act nobly? A small minority did, and this is detailed in the Appendix section. The end of Tharcisse Seminega’s narrative marks only the halfway point of the book. Numerous appendices follow, which start with the same tale told through the eyes of different participants, as though the author has taken a cue from construction of the four Gospels themselves. Thereafter, No Greater Love is the work of a meticulous historian, and he nails down each historical detail of a story and its aftermath that ought never suffer extinction. The small minority of religious Hutu that did not participate in genocide is enough for a certain church revisionist to write that “church institutions cannot be blamed for the moral failure of individuals who abandoned Christian values.” However, scholar Timothy Longman cuts the Church no slack—the fact that some did it proved they all could have done it, is his position. This dovetails with some digging I did for ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ Perhaps 10% of church Christians refused to support Hitler during Nazi times. Is that good? Of course. But the fact remains that they had to defy their own church to do it, churches that invariably played ball with the dictator. With Jehovah’s Witnesses, the figure is close to 100%. How can anyone state that their religion is not superior, or that the organization that coordinates is not to be lauded? The greater lesson for the religious scholars that Brother Seminega has is that they should become Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is a collection of core teachings often discussed (two have been cited here: identification with the kingdom and withdrawal from the politicized world) that serve to identify one and only one religion. There is no setting more poignant than 1990’s Rwanda or 1940’s Germany to highlight how vital those teachings are. This is why those “apostates” who vehemently oppose the Witnesses readily slide into hypocrisy. They ignore the vital core teachings—rarely when people leave the faith do I ever hear them referring to such things again—to rail about how the faith impeded their freedom of movement. They ignore the vital core teachings, preferring to put humans under the magnifying glass in a search for dirt. They dig through the diamonds in search of the turds and present revelation of the turds as their version of “good news.” I like how at the 2019 annual meeting, Mark Sanderson examined Hebrews 2:15, of how “through [Jesus’] death [God] might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil, and that he might set free all those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death.” He then spoke of the Nuremberg trials, in which various Nazis who had committed unspeakable atrocities were asked the simple question, “How could you do those terrible things?” “What did they say?” he asked, and then related the answer they had given: “We had no choice. If we didn’t obey they would put us to death.” “Those people could be manipulated,” Sanderson said. “They could be controlled. They could be made to do the most wicked things because they were afraid.” It was true of the Hutu tribe as well. To not join in “the work” of slaughter was enough to be put to death oneself for being disloyal to the cause. Many consciences, religious and otherwise, were cast aside due to fear of death. That’s manipulation. That’s control. That’s the consequence of—shall we say it?—not being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and benefiting from the program of spiritual food directed from the Governing Body. Reject it and settle for a genocide every so often when with winds blow just right—history affirms that such will happen. Professor Roth welcomes No Greater Love, agreeing with the author that it is likely the first book by a Jehovah’s Witnesses writing of his own experience, the first book by someone who was there. It almost didn’t come about. From the Acknowledgments section, Brother Seminega thanks Alexandre Kimenyi, the scholar who invited him to speak and subsequently encouraged him to gather his records for history. I wrote in Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia that “books about Jehovah’s Witnesses authored by Jehovah’s Witnesses are not plentiful. This is a shame, for no outsider, even with the best of intentions, can do justice to the faith as can an insider - they miss the nuances, and in some cases, even the facts. Jehovah’s Witnesses are primarily drawn from the ranks of working people, who are not inclined to write books... Why write a book when you can and do look people in the eye and tell them what you have to say?” Professor Seminega is from a class that is inclined to write books, yet he still doesn’t do it until much later, after outside encouragement, because he is used to “looking people in the eye and telling them what he has to say.” In time, a Russian Jehovah’s Witness will write a book of his experiences at the hands of current persecutors there, and when that happens, his book will rightly vault ahead of mine. Mine is merely a compilation and analysis of worldwide news reports, along with a considerable amount of witnessing along the way, but not so much as to negate its historical value. When that Russian Witness writer appears, he or she will be likely facilitated by the Arnold Liebster Foundation, as has been the case with No Greater Love. This, too, will vault it ahead of mine, because the Foundation at present regards me with a dubious eye. Probably they came across me when I was battling online with the malcontents and said, “What Witness would do that?” They do not know that I subsequently kicked them all to the curb. No matter. At the Kingdom Hall, we would straighten it out in two minutes. But the internet is the land of the liars where frauds roam at will, and it can be difficult to distinguish friend from foe. Of course, it is always possible that they regard even taking on the controversial topics that I do as the work of an “indiscreet brother,” and should this be the case, who am I to say that they are not right? Maybe I am the soldier singing atop the Jerusalem wall after Hezekiah has told the troops to zip it.
  9. 4 points
    Lawyering (and barristering) is a whole field unto itself with its own ethics considerations, similar to how policeman in the United States are legally allowed, and often expected, to lie to a suspect to elicit incriminating information for a case. My oldest son is an attorney. In his last two years of law school they had him do paid summer internships with a well-known and well-respected firm in NYC, and they kept putting him on cases to help defend cigarette companies and insurance companies to lower their payouts. He was not an attorney yet, but he learned how the entire existence of some of the major law firms is based on their ability to get away with lying. After he took the exam and became a lawyer himself, he took a job in family court, and found, of course, that dishonesty pervades each side of arguments there, too. So now he does mostly real estate, wills and estates, and contract law. (Yet in just those few weeks of paid internship as a non-attorney he made more money than in his first year of being an attorney.) The case with Gnam above is not nearly as serious as others, even compared to examples of other Watchtower lawyers in the U.S. But I don't condone such dishonesty, even in small amounts. In my opinion Mr. David Gnam is dishonest here, and therefore a wrongdoer, and very likely an unrepentant wrongdoer. I don't think he should be disbarred, but he should not be used by the Watchtower Society in any way unless he is ready to be honest.
  10. 4 points
    No. Sorry. I just highlighted some words of yours to get your attention. It does sort of look that I am attributing them to Glock, doesn’t it? Do you mean they feared that if they left, Jehovah’s Witnesses would kill them? When Fauci says people may die if they do not wear a mask, do people take it that he means to kill them himself? When the fire department says you may die if you don’t change the batteries of your smoke detector, does it mean they are going to do the deed themselves. Of course not on all three. The game is too stupid to play. Such opposers are just upset that faith has power—they wish it were gutted. Of course, the Witnesses say that departing from Jehovah’s organized way exposes one to eventual death. A very good tell that such might be true is that whenever ones do it, in no time at all they come to think the Name itself is a hill of beans, and that it hardly matters if it is used or not.
  11. 4 points
    All that repetition by JB about how the GB could be "taken out" either by God directly or through the hands of humans (and that it would happen sooner or later) was probably interpreted by some here as a semi-veiled threat. I remember exactly what you said at the time, and never took it as all that threatening. But someone did. Perhaps more than one person. And the action taken in removing JB was probably made at an admin level, not by any of those who might volunteer as moderators. I would not have thought you should be kicked out, but a website owner probably could face some kind of legal scrutiny if someone carried through on a threat, and they had let such talk go on. Personally, I don't want anyone thrown out of here. There are many things I don't like about the content of several of your posts, but I'm sure there are things you don't like about mine, too. I can't believe all those "laughing" emojis I get from you are given because you think I am saying something comedic, especially when it's little more than a scripture quote that you appear to be laughing at.
  12. 3 points
    By now, most people have heard about the "Weeger" issues in China. There are supposedly concentration camps, torture camps, medical experiments, thousands imprisoned, etc. When someone changed thousands to "for all we know, there might even be millions" the new number changed to "millions" without Western media even batting an eyelash. So here's an opinion about it, which focuses on Xinjiang Province (also known as the “Uyghur Autonomous Region”)...There’s a lot of background to this, but the basic problem is geopolitical: The US wants to sabotage the growth of China as a world power in favor of the Western model of capitalism and imperialism.What imperialist Western elites see as China’s weakest links are its new Belt & Road Initiative (BRI: an infrastructure project to expand high-speed rail, telecommunications, and both dirty and renewable energy worldwide) and its relations with other Asian and Muslim countries (which are increasingly friendly). There has been a “New Cold War” against China since Obama’s/Hillary’s “Pivot to Asia” strategy (of which the TPP and the deployment of THAAD in Korea were a part), but especially renewed now since Trump’s propaganda and trade war. China is threatened by HUNDREDS of US military bases and nukes surrounding it (and Russia, Iran, etc.)!The basis for the propaganda has always existed, of course: “Tiananmen Square was a heartless massacre proving the unpopularity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” “Hong Kong is being brutalized by Beijing,” “China is genociding Tibet,” and so on. I think most of these issues are lies — completely fabricated — or distortions of reality not presenting the whole story. The CCP, for example, is one of the most (perhaps THE most) popular political parties in the world, which hilariously perplexes international polling agencies and Harvard researchers time and time again.[See “Understanding CCP Resilience” by Harvard University. The writing is biased, but the researchers are forced to admit the fact that the Chinese people — and particularly underprivileged minorities — are in love with the Party.]This claim — “China is genociding Muslims” — is no different. The “1 million Uyghurs in concentration camps” and “forced to eat pork” are complete fabrications. They were alleged by one US official, and then some Western diplomats went along with it. Most of the recent “reports” and “statistics” (which extrapolated numbers to ALL of Xinjiang from a localized study!) originate from US-funded think-tanks, usually involving a man named Adrian Zenz. Zenz is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who believes that he has been “led by God” against the unspeakable evil of China. In Western media, when they write “reports show” such and such, find their source; it’s typically Adrian Zenz.[See:
      Hello guest!
    ]It has not merited an official statement by the UN. In fact, nearly every Muslim-majority country has praised China’s response to the rise of Islamic extremism and terrorism in Xinjiang Province.Speaking of which, how did this extremism arise in the first place? One answer is poverty and lack of adequate education. The other is the promotion and funding of Jihadist terrorist groups by the US and the West since the 1980s, first against the Soviet Union, and then again recently in Afghanistan, Pakistan, former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and China — all of which have sizable Muslim populations. This includes some fundamentalist propaganda and especially weapons from U.S. allies in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia (but which are now beginning to move closer to China).Everybody knows the history, how Obama expanded the wars into Syria and Libya by arming Jihadists, how Hillary admitted we aided Al-Qaeda, and how, going back even further, the New York Times praised Osama bin Laden himself on the cover as our “freedom fighter.” We also don’t need to review the aftermath. We all know how devastating it was, how many millions lost their lives due to the civil wars and US bombs. We also know how many lies we were told, about “weapons of mass destruction” and “chemical warfare.”China responded to Islamic extremism in Xinjiang Province — which shares borders with Pakistan, India, etc. — through poverty alleviation, education centers, and arrest/punishment for crimes (such as stabbing) or possessing incriminating materials (propaganda, knives, etc.). Most Muslim countries believed this response to be unprecedentedly good. Pakistan went so far as to say that this should be the “model for antiterrorism.”[See also:
      Hello guest!
    ]Another thing to research (with a skeptical eye of course) is the 2009 Urumqi Riots in China. These incidents, in which many ethnically Han Chinese people were arrested for retaliating against Muslim violence in Xinjiang, were ugly and brutal, and scarred the CCP and all the peoples of China, especially Muslims. Many Uyghurs also fled China to fight alongside ISIS and Al-Nusra “rebels” (Al-Qaeda) in Syria. This is well-documented! And these are typically the Uyghurs quoted in explosive “news reports” crying “My husband was murdered!!!”Some more facts: China has built thousands of mosques, both within China and throughout the Middle East and Africa. How can this be explained? The Uyghur population has nearly DOUBLED since 1990, as minority ethnic groups (like them) are guaranteed certain privileges and exemptions by the Chinese Constitution in order to (as the party states) “combat Han chauvinism.” How is this possible if they are being “genocided”? Road signs and schools use Arabic and Uyghur scripts along with Chinese. Many Chinese and Uyghurs intermarry! Do those sound like “genocide”?In short, there’s a real propaganda campaign ramping up. It’s very possible (and very stupid) that a war with China is brewing. The illegal actions against Huawei (the world leader in 5G technology) are yet another example. Unfortunately, our entire social media experience from the top-down is manipulated by elites, the ones who own it and all the other media we consume.It is extremely tempting to fall into peer pressure these days and deny real research about this issue because it makes one look like a "genocide denier." Revealing what the research shows makes one seem "evil" for not following what others think. And that is exactly how propaganda works in the modern age, all while the details and research required to become informed are increasingly in the hands of mega-monopolies like Google and CNN. Sometimes, one can learn from the mistakes of these same media companies, too. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube can quickly ban someone who get complaints against them for showing evidence that goes against Western propaganda. SkyNews just ran a story about claimed Uyghur torture, and they used footage of prisoners in blindfolds. Embarrassingly, it turned out to be SkyNews' own footage from a few years earlier of a prisoner transfer of Han Chinese, not Uyghurs. It had nothing to do with torture, or Muslims. (Blindfolding prisoners during transfers is common practice in many countries.) The original report knew this, but the footage was re-used to fit Western propaganda. There have been many such examples. Another time it was footage of the U.S. capturing Muslims that had nothing to do with China or Uyghurs. Another time it was footage from Thailand or Indonesia repurposed to supposedly show Muslim Uyghurs in China. People have pointed out mistakes in claiming certain persons were Uyghurs just because they looked like they were wearing Muslim garb, which turned out to be a style from Muslims unique to other countries.
  13. 3 points
    Here is the Meeting material for weeks of August 3-9, August 10-16, 2020. TB MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 3-9, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 3-9, 2020.pdf MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 10-16, 2020.doc MEETING WORKBOOK week of August 10-16, 2020.pdf Watchtower August 10-16, 2020.doc Watchtower August 10-16, 2020.pdf Watchtower August 3-9, 2020.doc Watchtower August 3-9, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights - August 3-9, 2020.doc Additional Highlights - August 3-9, 2020.pdf Additional Highlights - August 10-16, 2020.doc Additional Highlights - August 10-16, 2020.pdf CBS August 3-9, 2020.doc CBS August 3-9, 2020.pdf CBS August 10-16, 2020.doc CBS August 10-16, 2020.pdf
  14. 3 points
    My wife’s grandfather was born in Zagreb. My son went to Serbia to “find his roots.” He fell in love with the people, and eventually moved there. “You have to be careful in accepting their hospitality,” he says, “becasue they will give you what they don’t have.” He also confirms what you have said about Tito.
  15. 3 points
    @4Jah2me a while back you expressed contempt at the fact that there is a JW only club and mockingly wondered what kind of topics might be discussed there. Well before this topic was moved here, (since it was off topic in the Furuli discussion) I considered making it a topic in the JW only club for the very reason that has become apparent with your latest comment. In the JW only club, we like to actually discuss scriptures and their application, without inserting child sexual abuse or the imperfections of imperfect people every chance there is. That is the reason why the JW only club was set up, to avoid that. That is not to say the problems regarding child sexual abuse are not discussed there, they are, but under a relevant topic. I wish I had moved this topic there now. 😠
  16. 3 points
    I realize I had skipped this question. Revelation 2 and 3 show that various congregations should at all times watch out for false teachings and that they might even go through phases of cleaning out false doctrine, immorality, and increasing their Christian "deeds." This is exactly what Russell and the WTS had tried to do, and it's being done in greater measure all the time. (Revelation 2:18-23) 18 “To the angel of the congregation in Thy·a·tiʹra write: These are the things that the Son of God says, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine copper: 19 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and ministry and endurance, and that your deeds of late are more than those you did at first. 20 “‘Nevertheless, I do hold this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezʹe·bel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and misleads my slaves to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. . . . so that all the congregations will know that I am the one who searches the innermost thoughts and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds. (Revelation 3:1, 2) . . .“To the angel of the congregation in Sarʹdis write: These are the things that he says who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have the name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Become watchful, and strengthen the things remaining that were ready to die, for I have not found your works fully performed before my God. Those were just two of several examples. But they show how Jesus has been head of the congregations, who are responsible for greater accomplishments. The CCJW has done more than any others to accomplish greater deeds to more fully perform the congregation's duties regarding love, faith, ministry, morality, doctrine, and do this on an international scale. We are living in a time when certain methods are just now possible that were not possible before. Being alert to such types of "deeds" have included our ability to go beyond just "house-to-house" and make use of the printed page, transportation, radio, advertising, Internet. Staying alert to doing what we can, when properly motivated, is why we are blessed to be associated in this particular time period. And it seems like a pretty good guess that we are reaching the most critical of critical times. We don't actually "need" any chronology to tell us that it's time to lift our heads up because our deliverance is getting near.
  17. 3 points
    If you look up the phrase "interesting possibiity" in the Watchtower Library you will also find this statement: *** w07 1/1 p. 28 par. 12 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! *** Could it, then, be reasoned that since Jesus was enthroned in the fall of 1914, the resurrection of his faithful anointed followers began three and a half years later, in the spring of 1918? That is an interesting possibility. Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible, it is not out of harmony with other scriptures that indicate that the first resurrection got under way soon after Christ’s presence began. Before and after the statement above, the article also said: *** w07 1/1 p. 27 par. 9 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! *** Reasonably, then, anointed ones who die before Armageddon are resurrected sometime between 1914 and Armageddon. *** w07 1/1 p. 30 par. 18 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! *** God’s Word does not disclose a precise date for the first resurrection, . . . . The preference in the article was for a date between 1914 and 1935, but no definitive reason could be given. Just "interesting possibilities." He was writing that the anointed dead would rise first at the parousia. At the time, all Christians were considered either anointed or fleshly/unspiritual. He was writing because some were concerned that the parousia might be so close, that it would be a shame if some Christians died or were killed, because then they might then miss this most spectacular event in all of history. So Paul said to "comfort one another" with these words that showed that no one would miss anything, because when the parousia arrives, the dead [anointed] will rise first, and then those who were still alive at the parousia would be instantly changed together at the same time. The timing would be so close that it would be as if all of them were meeting together "mid-air" to be with Christ forever from that point on. Paul was just trying to make it clear that no one would miss a thing. 100% of the anointed dead who died before the parousia begins. From about 33CE on up to the time of the parousia. (I used the term apostles, prophets and nobodies, because of the context of 1 Cor 12, where all these different types of persons make up the anointed "body" of Christ.) Same here. Seems correct to me. But we aren't the ones who make that ultimate selection. And the scriptures make a reasonable case for that, but not definitive. I wasn't talking about what you are worthy of. No human is worthy. And that goes for "anointed" or even "true anointed" as you call them. No "true anointed" is worthy; it is by undeserved kindness they are called. Anything can happen. In 10 minutes or in 10 centuries. We don't have to wait until certain signs line up and make it seem inevitable. Doing this can make one desensitized when and if those particular signs clear up, and we then think we have to wait for something more specific, or something worse. People look at Covid-19 and say: "This is it!" or at least that this must be a part of the "end-time" process. It could very well be. But we shouldn't be looking at any sign that way. We know our deliverance is getting near (and nearer all the time). If Covid-19 clears up in a couple years and people start saying that things look peaceful and secure again, it could just as easily happen in the middle of that more peaceful time. It could also easily happen in the middle of a pandemic.
  18. 3 points
    Yes. That's my opinion. (It's also stated as a possibility in the Watchtower, but I think most people missed it.) I noticed something funny when that article came out. I made it a point to bring it up with all the pioneers and young baptized persons in service. And this was in two distant parts of the country, as I spend time in my parents' congregation, too. It turns out you can ask most pioneers and 20-year-baptized Witnesses when was the first resurrection, and most will still say 1914/1918/1919. Then if you immediately follow up with "When was Paul resurrected?" they think it's a trick question and go back to the first century, often at his death in prison in the 60's CE. It throws off elders, too, because nobody usually hears the question put in practical terms like: "When was the Apostle Paul resurrected?" I think people on this forum would give a more accurate sense of the Watchtower's teaching than most people in our congregation. I don't think Paul, while living, considered himself and the Twelve as those who are dead in union with Christ who would rise first. He thought of the possibility that he would live to the parousia (judgment/resurrection day) which could happen at any time, as a surprise, like a thief in the night. But since no one knew the day or hour, and it could be immediately after he wrote this, or thousands of years in the future, he also discussed what would happen if he happened to die before the parousia. Paul thought all anointed were in union with Christ, even the "lowliest" of them: (1 Corinthians 12:12-26) . . .For just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although many, are one body, so too is the Christ. 13 For by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink one spirit. 14 For, indeed, the body is made up not of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am no part of the body,” that does not make it no part of the body. ...19 If they were all the same member, where would the body be? 20 But now they are many members, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” or again, the head cannot say to the feet, “I do not need you.” 22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary, 23 and the parts of the body that we think to be less honorable we surround with greater honor, so our unseemly parts are treated with greater modesty, . . . Nevertheless, God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that had a lack, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but its members should have mutual concern for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all the other members suffer with it; or if a member is glorified, all the other members rejoice with it. Christ was the firstfruits and all the other anointed who died (apostles, prophets, or "nobodies") would rise "first" just before those who survive to the time of parousia, who would then be changed together, at the same time, so they could all meet the Lord in the air, together. Of course. Anything is possible. Jehovah sees all these persons as alive, in the "book of life," and knows what their "heart" is still "speaking," although not physically alive: (Revelation 6:9-11) . . .I saw underneath the altar the souls of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given. 10 They shouted with a loud voice, saying: “Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And a white robe was given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been. Similar to how Abel's blood was crying out to Jehovah from the ground. (Genesis 4:10) . . .At this He said: “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. We are not the judge of who ends up where, whether heaven or earth. Even those who are "sure" they are anointed and have been told that this means they will be in heaven instead of earth. I listened to a president of the Watch Tower Society in the final year of his life sometimes praying about how much he would miss the earth when he died. Jesus mentioned those who would be seated in the back and called up to the front by him. (Matthew 22:8-10) . . .The marriage feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore, go to the roads leading out of the city, and invite anyone you find to the marriage feast.’ 10 Accordingly, those slaves went out to the roads and gathered all they found, both wicked and good; and the room for the wedding ceremonies was filled with those dining. (Matthew 25:10-12) . . .The virgins who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward, the rest of the virgins also came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open to us!’ 12 In answer he said, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you.’ (Luke 14:7-11) . . .He then told the invited men an illustration when he noticed how they were choosing the most prominent places for themselves. He said to them: 8 “When you are invited by someone to a marriage feast, do not recline in the most prominent place. Perhaps someone more distinguished than you may also have been invited. 9 Then the one who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Let this man have your place.’ Then you will proceed with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when the man who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, go on up higher.’ Then you will have honor in front of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” The first shall be last and the last first. So all we know is that Jehovah knows how to give good gifts to his children. He knows how to fulfill the desires of our hearts. His thoughts are higher than ours, and we do not know ourselves as well as Jehovah knows us. You have often expressed doubts about your own place in Christianty, and you definitely don't think of yourself as a true anointed. But this does not mean that things won't change for you in the next 5 to 10 years ( 😉 ) and you will find yourself among the apostles in heaven or in the bosom position of Abraham or on earth looking at the newly descended New Jerusalem. There are plenty of things we can't say for sure, and there are intriguing scriptures that might provide some things to think about. (Matthew 11:11, 12) . . .Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has not been raised up anyone greater than John the Baptist, but a lesser person in the Kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the heavens is the goal toward which men press, and those pressing forward are seizing it. (Hebrews 11:8-10) . . .By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, although not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a foreigner in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. 10 For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:13-16) 13 In faith all of these died, although they did not receive the fulfillment of the promises; but they saw them from a distance and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land. 14 For those who speak in such a way make it evident that they are earnestly seeking a place of their own. 15 And yet, if they had kept remembering the place from which they had departed, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, to be called on as their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Luke 16:22) 22 Now in course of time the beggar died and he was carried off by the angels to the bosom [position] of Abraham.. . . (Acts 2:29-34) . . .Men, brothers, it is permissible to speak with freeness of speech to you about the family head David, that he died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. . . . 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in the Grave nor did his flesh see corruption. . . . . 34 For David did not ascend to the heavens,. . . (Matthew 22:31, 32) 31 Regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, who said: 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 17:3, 4) . . .And look! there appeared to them Moses and E·liʹjah conversing with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, it is fine for us to be here. If you wish, I will erect three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for E·liʹjah.”
  19. 3 points
    This statement is 100% spot-on truth. I think is started when the Supreme Court decided $ = Speech and that a corporation is a person and hence illegal to curb the corporate "free speech" 20 some years ago.
  20. 3 points
    The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned about the situation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Russian Federation. As we said on 12 March, the ruling of the Russian Supreme Court in July 2017, which rejected the appeal against the decision to categorise Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremists”, criminalised the peaceful worship of 175,000 Russian citizens and contravened the right to religious freedom that is enshrined in the Russian Constitution, and in multiple OSCE commitments. It is with deep regret that we learned that on 13 July, 110 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were simultaneously searched by Russian authorities in the cities of Voronezh and Stary Oskol. Thirteen Jehovah’s Witnesses were detained at the time and two individuals were reportedly beaten during a home search. The total number of homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses that have been searched by Russian law enforcement authorities now stands at over 1,000. As we noted in March, home raids are often conducted in the early hours of the morning by large numbers of masked and armed police. We repeat our concern that the increasing number of searches, as well as use of simultaneous large-scale home raids, creates the impression of an organised campaign of persecution against Jehovah’s Witnesses. So-called “evidence” used against those investigated and prosecuted includes regular aspects of communal religious life. We again remind the Russian Federation of our extensive commitments on freedom of religion or belief, including from Vienna 1989, as well as Kyiv 2013, where States committed to: Fully implement their commitments to ensure the right of all individuals to profess and practice religion or belief, either alone or in community with others, and in public or private, and to manifest their religion or belief through teaching, practice, worship and observance, including through transparent and non-discriminatory laws, regulations, practices and policies; For three years now, the delegation of the Russian Federation has assured the Permanent Council that individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are able to practice their religion at home, as no permission is required to pray in Russia. However, we have witnessed time and again that any manifestation of their faith by Jehovah’s Witnesses can result in the search of their homes, lengthy detention, criminal prosecution and imprisonment. We again call on the Russian Federation to end the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and to uphold the commitments on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief for all individuals across the Russian Federation.
      Hello guest!
    #jwrussia #uk
  21. 3 points
    I think we can probably figure out a rough timeline that Revelation 20 appears to show, and then, compare it to 1 Cor 15. If it doesn't make sense, we can see if our current understanding helps us to make more sense of it. I'm still thinking about it, mostly about whether I should even share what I'm thinking. I had some thoughts that were eerily similar to what TTH shared in the post where he said: And, as before, my comments on the example of Abraham were a bit different from TTH: I would have pointed out that if we were really doing what Abraham did when he said then, that we should be questioning this judgment, just as Abraham did. Perhaps that is one of the lessons. If we truly want to be God's friend then we should be ready to "argue" with Him. We should question the numbers, as Abraham did. We should question the sense of justice, as Abraham did. Ultimately, we would never question Jehovah's judgment after the fact, but we should always be thinking and questioning what justice should look like before the fact. It is important that we try to understand Jehovah's justice as best we can. To that end, I brought up whether we should question the WT's view of Armageddon as it was spelled out from the time when I was still very young. We seem to have backed off on using such numbers, but I know that many JWs still believe these numbers are about right. The following article is on the jw.org website:
      Hello guest!
    *** w58 10/15 pp. 614-615 What Will Armageddon Mean for You? *** Armageddon will be greater than any nuclear war fought on a global or even on a “space” scale. The Bible shows that Armageddon will be a war between gods and universal in scope. In it “Jehovah God, the Almighty,” and the “Mighty God,” his Son, Jesus Christ, will do battle with “the god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil. Involved in that battle will be all intelligent creatures, seen and unseen.—Rev. 11:17; Isa. 9:6, AS; 2 Cor. 4:4. Revelation 9:16 gives us an inkling of the size of Jehovah’s forces when it speaks of him as using, on a certain occasion, cavalry to the number of 200,000,000. And 2 Kings 19:35 tells of just one of these destroying a host of 185,000 warriors in one night. How many demon cohorts Satan has, the Word of God does not indicate, but from the description of the war in heaven at Revelation 12 their number can by no means be insignificant. That Satan’s demons are likewise powerful can be seen from the fact that one of them once hindered an angel of Jehovah for twenty-one days, until the archangel Michael came to his rescue.—Dan. 10:13, 21. As for humans upon earth, on the side of Jehovah will be all those fully dedicated to him and who are faithfully following Jesus Christ; compared with earth’s billions these are indeed few. They are the few that walk the narrow way or cramped road that leads to life. These will not share in the fighting but will merely sing God’s praises.—2 Chron. 20:20, 21; 2 Cor. 10:4, 5; Matt. 7:13, 14. On Satan’s side will be all the rest of mankind, more than 99.9 percent, even as we read: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” That includes all the governments of the world together with their supporters, the commercial, religious and social institutions. Even the professedly Christian organizations? Yes, because all such that are friends of the world are making themselves enemies of God.—1 John 5:19; Jas. 4:4. Yes, today the earth is filled with wickedness, much innocent blood has been and is being shed, both in war and in peace. Godless men are persecuting Jehovah’s servants and ruining the earth. Jehovah will express “indignation against all the nations” and “against all the inhabitants of the earth,” because “there is nought but swearing and breaking faith, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery.” At Armageddon Jehovah “will cause justice to be done” speedily to “his chosen ones who cry aloud to him” because of being persecuted. At that time he will also “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”—Isa. 34:2; Jer. 25:30; Hos. 4:2, AS; Luke 18:8, 7; Rev. 11:18. God’s Word likens Armageddon to the Flood, to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and to the battle at Gibeon, where God rained down great blocks of ice upon his enemies. Armageddon will be the worst thing ever to hit this earth in the history of man. It will be marked by shocking surprise, consternation, fright, collapse of government, tremendous upheavals of earth, landslides, cloudbursts, overflowing flash-floods, rain of corrosive liquid fire and terror in the air, on land and in the sea. No wonder that “the slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the face of the ground.”—Jer. 25:33, AS. @César Chávez pointed out that there are about 8 million Witnesses. (When compared to a global population that is nearing 8 billion, this is also just another way of saying that 99.9 percent of the world are not Witnesses.) *** w58 6/1 p. 330 Why Dedicate Ourselves to God? *** Yes, all such would foolishly ignore the instruction Book of their Maker and his “traffic laws” for living. And yet that is the very course that more than 99.9 percent of earth’s population *** w55 11/1 p. 648 Using Wisely the Reduced Time Left *** Time spent in trying to accumulate wealth, fame or power or in trying to perpetuate this old system of things is wasted, and that is what more than 99.9 per cent of this earth’s population are doing. Of course, we don't know. CC has pointed out before that he thinks most Witnesses are not true Witnesses, with true faith. He has also made statements that question faith and loyalty of elders and ministerial servants. So perhaps the percentage of actual survivors is much lower than .1 percent from CC's perspective.
  22. 3 points
    Last night my mother called and said that they just had the circuit overseer who asked a question: Which Bible character was confined to his own place for a long time? I said, don't tell me, let me guess. Uzziah? She said, no. But wasn't he the one who steadied the ark? I said, no that was Uzzah. King Uzziah had to be confined at home for leprosy. She said, well it wasn't Uzziah. It was Noah. And that the circuit overseer said that at least we don't have to be confined with a bunch of stinky animals. And I said, "Says you!" (We have two dogs, two cats, 10 fish. I was not, repeat not, referring to any son of mine who hasn't cleaned his room in over two weeks.) And then, I added that Noah steadied the Ark, too. He had to keep the elephants and hippos at the four corners to keep it balanced, then "steady as she goes!!"
  23. 3 points
    It's not unwelcome at all. I think that most of us have seen this idea in service and and in commentaries. And most of us have probably considered it (and dismissed it). It is such a big break from a "workable" understanding of Revelation and 1 Corinthians 15, that I dismiss it before I get very far into it. And that's because I see some potential contradictions among ALL the possibilities, but the idea that we are now in the 1,000 year reign seemed unworkable. I'm fine with trying to work it through again since it's been so long. I don't have any time to do this today, but I'll put a few thoughts out here to at least show why I had a problem with it. You believe that the 1,000 year reign of Christ began at the time he began to reign in the first century. So when does it end? At the time of tribulation/judgment/resurrection? When does Jesus hand back the Kingdom to his Father? When was/is Satan cast down, and angry for a short period of time? When was/is he abyssed? Are these the same periods. When is/was he let loose from the abyss? Yes, I believe that Jesus began to reign when he sat down at the right hand of God. 1 Cor 15:25 as much as says this. And, yes, we know from Col 1:13 that Christ already began gathering subjects to that Kingdom as soon as he was resurrected. My problem with it is that the 1,000 years appears to be a literal time in history with a beginning and an end. Otherwise the scriptures could not say "the rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended." If it has a beginning and an end, then why not see it as a special, literal time period during the time of the otherwise everlasting kingdom. (Revelation 11:15) . . .The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.” I believe that this kingdom of the world did already become the Kingdom of God and Christ beginning when Jesus sat at the right hand of the throne of Majesty, at about the time of his resurrection, when "ALL authority was given him" and he could be called "King of Kings." (1 Timothy 6:15) . . .He is the King of those who rule as kings . . . But the biggest problem I have with claiming that we are already in the 1,000 year reign is that Jesus gave an indication that the end could come at any time, and that people could expect it, even in the first century. Paul said that the congregations could expect it at any time, even in the first century. He did not know if he or others alive at the time would live to see a "rapture" or if he or others would die first and be resurrected into the heavenly kingdom. What kind of "1,000 year reign" could have started around 33, when Jesus was resurrected, but then might have ended at a judgment day, perhaps only 70 years later? Do you think that the 1,000 year reign is so symbolic that it refers to an unlimited time? If so, why does Revelation speak of the time when it is over, and why does Corinthians speak of a time when Jesus hands back the kingdom to his Father? I know that Russell thought he was already living in the 1,000 year reign, which is why his books were called "Millennial Dawn." But he thought that the 1,000 year reign began around 1874. When this was changed, it made sense to think of the thousand years as a time to prepare for, and accept billions of resurrected persons into the new earth (including the unrighteous). Practically it makes sense. If Satan had not yet been completely destroyed, it makes sense that in the overall scheme of showing Satan the verdict of his false claim, that this "court case" is completed with Satan witnessing his own failure before meeting his final fate. So there is a certain "practicality" to the 1,000 year reign as a special time when God through Christ takes his great power and begins ruling as king, even though he has always been king, and Christ too will be king from long before and eternally after. It becomes one of those special times when one can say in a special way: (1 Chronicles 16:31) 31 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be joyful; Declare among the nations: ‘Jehovah has become King!’ I understand that Satan could be destroyed at Armageddon and this same scenario could play out. I also know that your point of view removes the problem of the "second Armageddon" at the end of the 1,000 year reign. But we still have this, which can produce an issue for both points of view, but I think it is harder for your point of view: (Revelation 20:4, 5) . . .And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.
  24. 3 points
    For me, if I must stay up that late, the tree of life becomes the coffee bean tree.
  25. 3 points
    I think it was clear that Arauna was referring to humans, not animals. Jehovah was the first to create beings that died, and they died before Satan could cause Eve and Adam to rebel. Are we back to discussing Furuli's book again? That's the way he spells immortality in at least one place, too. Just to go off topic a bit more, the view on whether animals died prior to Adam has been pretty consistent. One of the reasons that some fundamentalists need to deny the age of dinosaurs is that they don't want them to have died until Adam sinned. We also used to insist that the animals prior to Adam didn't kill each other for food, going back to Russell, Rutherford, Franz, but this is not insisted upon anymore. Of course, Russell also believed that since animals were so much lower than humans that Jehovah could have used evolution to develop them into their specific kinds. Going back only half as far as Russell we have a 1950 Watchtower that gives a good answer that's still consistent with current teachings, about how animals lived and died, and will be expected to live and die, even in the new system. (Also happens to cover that point about the kind of death that is destroyed in the lake of fire.) *** w50 10/15 p. 399 Questions From Readers *** ● Revelation 21:4 says that in the new world there will be no more death. Does this mean that even animals will not die then?—M. I., New York. This text does not mean that all death will be eliminated. Rebellious human creatures will die during Christ’s millennial reign, and those siding with Satan at the end of the thousand years will perish. (Isa. 65:17, 20; Rev. 20:7-10) True, Revelation 20:14 shows death destroyed and thereafter Revelation 21:4 says there will be no more death, but the death referred to is death due to inheritance from Adam. Men will not then degenerate and die because of Adam’s transgression, but at any future time Jehovah God could execute any willful rebel that would disrupt the peace of the new world. Hence Revelation 21:4 speaks only of the Adamic death of humans, and has no application to the animal realm. As to whether animals will die in the new world we cannot be dogmatic. It appears that men will not kill them for food, nor will animals prey upon one another. In the new world Jehovah’s original purpose relative to food supplies will be realized, as stated to Adam and Eve: “See, I give you all the seed-bearing plants that are found all over the earth, and all the trees which have seed-bearing fruit; it shall be yours to eat. To all the wild beasts of the earth, to all the birds of the air, and to all the land reptiles, in which there is a living spirit, I give all the green plants for food.” (Gen. 1:29, 30, AT) If that outstanding carnivorous animal, the lion, is to “eat straw like the ox”, surely no others will be meat-eaters. (Isa. 11:6-9) Incidentally, this shows that Revelation 21:4 does not eliminate all death of organic life, for plants will die to become food for men and animals. But merely that animals will not be used for food does not prove they will live forever. There is reason to believe they will die. Man’s disobedience in Eden did not bring death to animals—they had been living and dying and many forms becoming extinct for thousands of years before man’s creation. The new world will eliminate the effects of Adam’s disobedience, but that does not concern animal death. The status of the beast has remained unchanged since its creation—it lives out its life span and dies. At no time has it had set before it the prospect of eternal life. Man’s position is different. Adam had hope of eternal life set before him, but that hope vanished when he failed to pass the test of obedience. Had he passed that test he doubtless would have eventually eaten of the “tree of life”. Through Adam all men lost the opportunity of eternal life, but through the ransoming work of Christ Jesus the opportunity is restored and men of good will may hope for eternal life in the new world. None of this concerns animals. If a man is willfully wicked and scorns the ransom, he will never gain eternal life, though he lives for a few years now. He loses the better position of opportunity that is open for mankind, and drops into the same position as that of animals, a position that offers no opportunities of eternal life. Of such ones the inspired apostle Peter wrote: “But these men, like unreasoning animals born naturally to be caught and destroyed, will, in the things of which they are ignorant and speak abusively, even suffer destruction in their own course of destruction.”—2 Peter 2:12, NW. If animals had opportunity for eternal life, why would these men who lose such opportunity be compared to them? There seems to be no Scriptural basis for arguing that animals will live forever in the new world, but rather that they will continue being born, maturing, bringing forth offspring, and dying. Argument to the contrary seems to be based largely on sentimental grounds.
  26. 3 points
    It is good to write books.
  27. 3 points
    I think this has been discussed somewhere before, that in fact Gnam's claim was correct, that is, in the context of a family member living at home, which would naturally apply to husband and wife, and any children that were currently a part of the household. But, the claim was deceptive because it did not clarify this, and allowed for the assumption that the topic included ANY family member living inside or outside the home, in other words in a broad sense, which is how most people view "family".
  28. 3 points
    Here, the word “shunned” is interchangeable with “disfellowshipped”: "We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. W 13/8/1
  29. 3 points
    How can one be so obtuse as Srecko? He fusses on and on about the GB’s counsel, as seen through the appreciative eyes of Glock. “It’s just good sound human advice,” he says. “What’s God got to do with it?” He misses the point most powerful so as to focus on the petty. Tell Jehovah’s people to obey the secular authorities, and they will. Tell ones of the greater world to obey, and they won’t—as a group, I mean—obviously there will be a Bell curve, but it is where that Bell curve falls that determines success of failure. Here is a post from CNBC entitled, “Salesforce’s Marc Benioff: Face masks can end the U.S. coronavirus crisis within weeks.” Within, Benioff says: “If everyone in the United States wore a mask for 3 weeks — just 3 weeks — we would not have anymore coronavirus because there would be no more spread, but people do not want to wear masks.” One would think that Srecko would be cheerleading for Jehovah’s Witnesses. One would think he would be urging all to come under their umbrella—for there is to be found the end of Covid-19 within three weeks. “People do not want to wear masks,” Benioff says. Witnesses do not want to wear them, either, but they are ready to It is as though it is a dirty word. Consistently Srecko uses it this way—he and all his cohorts raging on about the ‘control’ and ‘manipulation’ of the GB. In this case, such obedience, which JWs by and large will render, and huge portions of his people will not, will serve to rescue the earth from the pandemic. In fact, the very position of the Governing Body makes clear that they do not attempt to control people. They set an example—and people will take note of their example because they are highly regarded—but they make clear that each family head is responsible for the course his own family. As states open up—they are all over the board on this, just as they are all over the board on CSA laws—“obedience to secular authority” translates differently to different places—some localities require masks and some don’t—and there are further variances as to the circumstances that masks ought be worn. Suffice it to say that, if governments universally mandated masks in public, Witnesses would comply. Vast swaths of the overall world would not. It may be human advice, but Witnesses will comply because of the Bible requirement to be obedient to secular authority. At least some of the CultExpert’s followers will use their #FreedomOfMind to tell the government where it can go with it’s regulations. That is why the GB must be credited—for presiding over a culture in which people will obey laws of Caesar, providing only that Caesar does not over reach into matters of God. And on mandating masks for a limited period, he does not.
  30. 3 points
    A lot of them a kind of stupid—I doubt that will happen.
  31. 3 points
    You mean the wife whom you said deserves sainthood for putting up with you? Give her a flower from me, also, will you? Maybe @Araunadid not—she’s sort of lazy—but I did. Eight and a half million of them, I asked every one of them, it took all afternoon—just so I would have an answer for you. You blasted idiot! Don’t sin! Put yourself somewhere that you will be aided not to sin. Put yourself somewhere that you can get your head around just how the ransom of God’s son works. Put yourself somewhere that you can appreciate how Paul can say ‘what I wish to do, I do not do,‘ and yet still say that he has run the race to the finish. Spurning God’s free gift, are you? Stop doing that! Life was horrible? I won’t challenge that. Yet, what does the Word say of God’s promise? “The former things will not be called to mind.” Where’s the faith?! Even the most horrible nightmare people do not retain in their conscous mind. God cannot do even more than that? If nothing else, your long-suffering wife deserves to see you healed up. You are a piece of work, 4Jah. You know you are. That does not mean that I am not, as with most others here, and everywhere else. It’s the human reality—a condition of the fallen flesh. Drop this ridiculous obsession against the GB and make peace with the earthly organization. Whatever it takes. It sure doesn’t appear that Witness’s FB page is helping you any, nor her upcoming project to quote the entire book of Jeremiah for the purpose of demonstrating that her rivals suck.
  32. 3 points
    Not exactly. Translation of ancient languages is an art. A lot of choices are based on context. I suppose we could get an online literal word for word translation that additionally has a pulldown menu when a specific word can mean 10 different things, and it could provide the thousands of choices for how to handle idioms and phrases that can change a bit based on context. And, as Arauna mentioned, the causative (or reflexive resultative) can be translated with "prove to be . . ." The NWT is not the only translation that used this, although most other translators use it much more cautiously, because it can imply something in modern English that is not implied in the actual causative construction. In fact, one of those things it can imply is "proof" and yet it has nothing to do with the word "proof." That is why I brought it up here. It is often appropriate in giving a certain importance to something that a person of power and prestige might say that is not so appropriate for the average person. And yet it is exactly the same verb construct for both, and consistency in a literal translation should acknowledge this. Also, there is always a certain amount of bias in any translation, and sometimes this bias is good, but even if the bias is in the right direction, it is still better to be as "neutral" as the original language was. If it's important to explain a certain bias in what it means, that can be done through teaching or commentaries. A person, like Jehovah, with a self-directed purpose, actually means "I will prove to be," in the fullest implication of the words, when He says "I shall be." As a kid, I was once in a convention drama where a character kept telling another character, in a Captain Picard fashion, "May it prove to be so!" It was all pre-recorded, of course, but it was clear that it was more often used for "authority" because it has a more profound sound to it. For Jehovah, and for prophets speaking in his name, it still seems appropriate. And, as Arauna said, it is appropriate for Jehovah's use of ehyeh because Jehovah makes/conducts/reveals himself to display his qualities. This is why the Zondervan NET Bible (Full Notes Edition) has the following for Psalm 18:25 (and 2 Samuel 22): Note E says:
  33. 3 points
    I thought the point I was making is that he could have chosen a different word and thus prevent this thread from coming into existence. Isn’t that your point as well?
  34. 3 points
    And if you look at the NWT for related words, you will see something of further interest. In the related words below, the first number is the frequency in the pre-2013 NWT, and the second number is the NWT (revised). prove 360/57, proved 273/30, proven 0/0, proves 23/1, proving 20/7 proof 21/8, proofs 2/1 for a total of 699 "proof" words, reduced to only 104. A drop of "7 times." Except for the word "proof(s)" itself, the vast majority of these terms are carryovers from a favorite verb construction credited to F.W.Franz, apparently because he wanted to translate Jehovah's use of "ehyeh" to Moses with "I will prove to be" rather than just "I am." So to be consistent, he sometimes even took mundane phrases similar to "I will speak" and translated them as "I will prove to be speaking." In other words, Jesus never says "prove yourselves cautious as serpents" he just said "be cautious as serpents." Jesus never said: "On this account, prove yourselves ready," he just said "On this account, be ready." And Jesus didn't say: ". . . prove yourselves my disciples," he just said ". . .you shall be my disciples." (Although in this last case the full construction is: "My Father is glorified in that you are bearing much fruit and [so that?] you shall be my disciples." So a translator might be justified in either adding the word "true" to disciples, or using "prove to be" because of the probable implication of the entire construction where the usual word for "and" can sometimes imply "so that.") Although 600 of the 700 verb constructions were dropped in 2013, there was no real reason to keep the other 100 as carryovers, either. It was mostly a quirk of the old NWT where it gave an important "sound" to the phrase, but with very few times when it translated the true meaning of the verse. That's why in current Bible reading, the revised NWT simply removes the following cases of "prove" or "prove to" and just leaves it as "be." (Exodus 10:7) . . . After that Pharʹaoh’s servants said to him: “How long will this man prove to be as a snare to us? . . . (Exodus 12:5) The sheep should prove to be sound, a male, a year old, for YOU. . . . (Exodus 16:5) . . .And it must occur on the sixth day that they must prepare what they will bring in, and it must prove double what they keep picking up day by day.”
  35. 3 points
    @TrueTomHarley I know what you are saying, and I understand why you are saying it. It's similar to being a literalist. But that quote " proof they have God's backing" says exactly what it means, and essentially boils down to this: In context Br. Glock was talking about apostate lies putting doubts into peoples minds about the GB. So, "In case you doubt the wisdom of the GB because they are imperfect and sometimes make mistakes and you want proof that they have God's backing, well here is proof". (Despite the fact that anyone can issue similar guidelines, and HAS issued similar guidelines). But sorry, all it proves is that the GB have been diligent in watching the world, are wise in applying the Bible's wisdom, wise in applying the authorities' advice and that they are concerned for us and want us to stay safe.. Really, the praise goes to all the hard working CO's, elders, and publishers who willing cooperate and actually make all this work! Without the co-operation of everyone in the organization, the GB can give wonderful advice till they're blue in the face and have Jehovah standing right behind them what would it prove? Come on Tom, just admit it, it was not the best argument to prove a point ( Br. Glocks) or choice of words. And you must admit that this is somewhat of a clumsy effort at reassurance that the GB do have God's backing and that we can trust them. I believe there has been some success on the part of opposers in bringing the friends away. It was confirmed by a trustworthy elder, as I already mentioned in one of my posts. Br. Glock's talk is what the opposers like to call damage control. I won't call it that, because I am not on the opposers side. But I can see how some could think that! Actually, to be honest, I find it rather exciting as it may indicate something drastic is going to have to happen soon (oh, you don't say!) By the way, apart from the "trust the GB because we have proof they have God's backing" bit I thought the talk was very good.
  36. 3 points
    I haven't really changed my mind on the original position either, but if more Glockentin-style utilization appears, I will think its use has evolved. NOT necessarily that it was the original intention. I fear that we are discussing a very narrow "improper" usage of the topic among a much larger and obvious "proper" usage of the example. If I don't respond fully, it's because I think some will just become more confused in thinking that this is a complete rejection of the usefulness of the excellent counsel and leadership of the GB and their response over Covid-19.
  37. 3 points
    Funny you should say that because after listening to the video for the 3rd time (!)(we had it as our local needs item on Tuesday) I was beginning to see why you used that explanation, and it started to make sense to me. I don't think you were wrong. The thing is, obviously br. Glockentin didn't just get up there and speak off the cuff. He had a script, and that script was obviously vetted by the GB. The point is, when members of the GB speak, they do not want to appear like they are praising themselves, they leave that up to the helpers or someone else (I thought it was funny when some months ago one of the GB read out a private letter addressed to them, where Br. Christensen is thanking them and praising them) Br. Glockentin's talk reminds me of a situation in the past where the GB begun to be worried they might be losing the trust of the flock. I think you know which period I am talking about. Just as a side point; I thought the talk had an irrelevant title, "do not lie" yet it had nothing to do with counsel about how we should avoid lying to oneanother but everything to do with how others lie, and how we should avoid them....
  38. 2 points
    When you see such shenanigans in the present human interactions of entirely different spheres, you don’t assume that you are seeing it for the first time ever. Rather, you figure that this is but the latest example of what humans will do in pushing their own point of view. Thus, everything you say is plausible. Exaggeration, over-promotion, running the other side off the road, muddying the waters so the other side will give up, outright denial, seeing only what one wants to see: these are the stock in trade tools of humans. Whether right or wrong, to have someone assert it has been put to work here, as well, in the analysis of Chinese communism, is not shocking. It doesn’t speak well of our ability to “know” anything. If we may go from your “lofty” example to one of pop trivia, if there is one fixed star in Dylanography, it is that Bob was booed at the Newport Festival of folk music snobs because he forsook acoustic for electric. Not so, says Pete Seeger, who was there, and who is usually thought the foremost critic. It was because the sound was so garbled nobody could understand him, but the producers refused to fix it, saying “young people like it this way.”
      Hello guest!
    This is another reason that I like the Bible—it doesn’t make nearly the attempt to appeal to the head that it does the heart. Try to appeal to the head and you must compete with liars, frauds, loonies, and zealots. Try to appeal to the heart and it is a straight shot. Those too “educated” for the Bible might reflect on Carl Jung, who not only acknowledged that there is a spiritual side of things, but maintained that the spiritual side is the more genuine, the more real, the more true. The “statements of the conscious mind,” he says, “may easily be snares and delusions, lies, or arbitrary opinions, but this is certainly not true of statements of the soul.” When it comes to government, I very much like the Bible analogy of ancient rulership being like the heavens over mankind that might rain on you one moment, bless you will sunshine the next, blow away in a windstorm all you own in yet another moment, and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. For all the material advances in both education and “political science,” the reality is not so different today, but participatory government better presents the illusion that “we” are in control. Communism makes no bones about saying we’re not. Someone else is. You are cogs in someone else’s machine. You have no say. If you are going to take over someone’s life, you’d better not screw it up. For all practical purposes, most people have no say in Western government either, but they do have some. Put in $1000 worth of effort and you may see a $10 return. That’s not a lot, but people like the idea of control. Even in situations where communism might produce a $20 return, it will be opposed by many, as it goes against human nature. I took a public speaking course in college in which the professor coincidentally happened to be a huge advocate of participatory government. With student elections coming up—you know, nothing important, just who will run the Student Council of campus affairs—he relentlessly pushed for getting out the vote, and I got fed up. When it was my turn to plan and present my speech, I chose the topic, “Why we shouldn’t vote.” (This was before I knew anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses) I developed three reasons not to vote: 1) candidates lie, saying whatever they must to get elected. 2) Candidates “grow”—they reassess their views afterward—maybe for good or maybe for ill, but independent of your wishes. 3) Candidates may earnestly try to deliver, but find themselves outmaneuvered by those of opposite view. The upshot the three points is that it is just not worth it sinking that much time into politics—there are plenty of other things that offer better payoff. The professor was fairly sporting about it, mumbling that he didn’t agree but that I had raised solid points. He didn’t flunk me. I doubt it shows that at all. The success is more likely due to the Chinese people better capturing the spirit of Proverbs 6:6: “Go to the ant, you lazy one, consider its ways, and become wise.” Substitute only “cooperative” for “lazy” and you have a perfect fit. China had an “industrial revolution” that precedes that of the West by almost 1000 years—Mao had nothing to do with it. “In the State of Wu of China, steel was first made, preceding the Europeans by over 1,000 years. The Song dynasty saw intensive industry in steel production, and coal mining. No other premodern state advanced nearly as close to starting an industrial revolution as the Southern Song,” says Wikipedia. Only lack of a middle class, Wiki speculates, prevented that early revolution from catching on, something that makes a hero of Henry Ford, for realizing that without someone to buy his products, he could only go so far.
      Hello guest!
    One author I came across raised the point of Chinese cooperation due to long-engrained Confucian value system that emphasizes responsibly and holds that the group is more important than the individual—and asks whether that isn’t the very antithesis of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, that holds as “self-evident” the individual’s right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. I think his point is well-taken. The only trouble with too much “group-think” is that it is easy for a scoundrel to insert himself at the head and direct the body per his will.
  39. 2 points
    There's a 1960's era joke about a family in their car just pulling out of their driveway in sweltering heat with the all the windows up. The kids ask why they can't roll down the windows to get some air, and the father says: "What? And let the neighbors know we don't have air conditioning?" This reminds me of one of the claimed blunders of Mao Zedung, who continued to export wheat during a famine so as not to appear weak to the rest of the world. (And Stalin similarly wouldn't import wheat when he needed to, for about the same reason.)
  40. 2 points
    His own disciples did not believe him when he fist uttered these words so how would worldly people react? Only after they saw and believed Jesus' resurrection would they remember these words and write it down so disciples could read it in the gospels. Other people may have heard rumors but definitely the MAJORITY did not take note - just as in the time of the flood. And that is exactly what Matthew indicates that most people would not listen and few would take note - just as in the flood. The gospels were a warning to the Christians to stay vigilant because the generation itself took no note and carried on with their rebellions against the Romans - it means they did not understand the significance of the times at all. When they understood the signs (the Romans in the city - fighting block to block to get control of it - it was already too late. They did not show faith in Jesus to begin with so why would they suddenly believe his words? Christians who did not flee when they were supposed to may have understood - but it was too late for them. They understood events when it was too late. Similarly today - most Christians do not even know that they must watch out for the disgusting thing..... they are carrying on over the mark of the beast (electronic tracking system on their arm or somewhere else) when they do not even understand the significance of Jesus' death of his soul. They do not know the name Jehovah and do not understand the disgusting thing...… and that it will turn against all religion - that which we already know and believe.
  41. 2 points
    Someone (not me, probably a moderator) moved the "PAROUSIA/ADVENT" portion of this topic to a new place. It was partly related to the 1,000 year reign topic, which will apparently stay here for now.
  42. 2 points
    I think the story of Abraham was written down for our instruction. what was the outcome? Jehovah could find not even 5 righteous people in the city. Their destruction was justified. It teaches us to NOT expect Jehovah t ever be unrighteous and unjust. It is a deviation to question Jehovah's justice. Next step is to deny that Jehovah is just and get some excuse for the wicked. In tonight's bible study Jehovah told job to study nature to learn more about Jehovah. we can end up asking too many questions of Jehovah before we even think of obeying - that is dangerous ground. who can stand before Jehovah - not one. It is Jehovah's mercy and the fact that he keeps in mind that we are mere flesh (and ransom) which allows us to come before him. what does Jehovah expect from us than to be without spot from the world, merciful and just and our clothes washed clean - righteous and in peace with the "mark" of a Christian personality.
  43. 2 points
  44. 2 points
    If I had been in that same congregation, (not a thousand miles away) I know that as a faithful elder's wife I would have not even conceived covering up the wrongdoing. Well, Arauna, believe what you want. I must tell you that I tend to agree with @4Jah2me that you are a very bitter person. I have my doubts about this statement of yours: "Sorry if I come across that way. I am the least bitter person you can ever meet. Sweet, friendly and open... no bitterness." But, I give you the benefit of the doubt, knowing you suffer from arthritis. One day can be good, the next, miserable. I know pain can be a barometer gauging one's attitude for the day. What kind of people? Repeat offenders? I've already covered that. I am sorry to say, you already mix with repeat offenders. It's quite obvious if you care to look. They are spiritual "harlots" who lead you in falsehoods. (Rev 13:11,12; 17:1-6) As I said earlier - Do you have the ability to read every heart? Does the elder body? Did Jesus shun sinners? "Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:15-17
  45. 2 points
    I've been getting similar. Mine says the website didn't renew its license or something like that, so it's not secure...
  46. 2 points
    It is a good example though..... I was making a point Is that not viewed as such in the bible? But that does not make you rethink your situation? I feel for you but you are doing it to yourself by your stubborn attitude. Instead you prefer to always rale against the organization that taught you the truth about the ransom sacrifice and god's name. Without them you would not have been in the privileged position you were in. But like an unthankful dog you still bite the hand that fed you. Think what you are doing to yourself. You seem to be all over the place! All it take is a little humility! There were anointed in first century that were shunned and came back! I am sure if they saw these persons in private they would definitely apologize (even though they personally were not the perpetrators)…… but you obviously do not understand the implications of legally apologizing..... that is totally a different matter. We JWs do NOT condone pedophilia ….or any form of porneia…... so why should we apologize in court or public for something we as an organization we do not condone? The organization has sinning individuals in it and in this world the entire system is imperfect - and to top this off one cannot expect 100% perfect way of dealing with every case. Expecting this would expect perfection, perfect judgment and seeing into everyone's heart! Ask your self - how would I have done if I had to judge this matter. Bring me any organization that has dealt with pedophilia perfectly a 100 percent of the time! Legal organizations cannot even do it - and they have child psychologists top advisors - the lot! This is why the Australian government had the inquiry in the first place because there were gaps in the laws they needed to close up! I think I know more than most about the Jews, the Muslims and some other religious denominations where pedophilia and child suffering is much worse than people can ever dream it to be...… but yet these ignorant people do not expect perfect case handling from them - if a case ever comes to the fore.... lol - because people are too afraid of the religious leaders. This is like expecting a fools dream in the real world. But they expect 100% perfect case handling from JWs. Pedophilia is everywhere is very prevalent an even covered up in courts of law (Epstein, gangs in UK). There is a case that went on for several years in Brooklyn USA in the ultra orthodox Jewish community. A Jewish school teacher fled to Israel (the school paid her flight because her husband was a Rabbi) and because she was prominent the accusers could not get her extradited for several years from Israel - the government and Rabbis covered it up in Israel..... Nothing much in newspapers. Not to speak of UK where the court system covers up big-time. So why should we apologize for not handling every case that comes up with perfection..? When courts themselves find it hard to find enough evidence to convict? DO you live under a rock or something when you expect 100 percent people in JWs to never have a secret sinner? …. And when we do get enough proof and shun a sinner then then you are the first guys to criticize this? Where is the sympathy for the shunned person you say? This kind of double speak or double tongue is often found in those who do not understand both sides of this issue. Yes - those are the very ones who have been disciplined by JW and turned to defaming.... but they do not tell the public that they were sinning or in which capacity.... One question: when are you going to get ready for the end? You think a world-wide lockdown is important? … similar to Jerusalem when the Romans came and surrounded the city the first time, you do not think it is significant at all? Putin himself is now president for life... and what did he do this week? started putting journalists in jail. He has a port in Syria now and now he is expanding into Africa working with Libya - to get access to the port. So what must all happen for you to realize the world is a little deeper in the cesspit than we realize.
  47. 2 points
    I think that is why there is so much injustice in many places. The court system is broken. I marvel at some of the decisions taken these days. I think we can refer to it in a modern word of our choice, which serves the purpose, as it embodies what the BIBLE tells us to do with rebellious people. We cannot use an old Greek word...... If you belong to a club you have to follow the rules of the club or you are shunned/disfellowshipped/ told not to come back. Just try it ...and behave badly at a golf club and see what happens to you. As video shows - disfellowshipped means spiritual contact lost and one can be re-instated. This very idea was tried in court a while back was it not? When a gay couple took a baker to court for refusing to bake their wedding cake. The baker was shunning them was he not? he did not even want to take their money. You see, legally we are on shaky ground here. When these kind of people start winning court cases then they can come for all religion... force you to accept LGBTQ and what else? And this is what our dear friend MR 4JAH does not understand... He is so blinded by being right (or finding fault) that he does not get the subtle nuances of these things. The autonomous decisions of different religions is being eroded...…(JWs included) .. in a big way at present. So when he gleefully publishes these clips..... I just shake my head. We know the system is coming for ALL religion soon and the world is heating up to it. Satan is busy getting ready to create a counterfeit world government to bring peace and security to the earth.....and Satan's moral rules will be forced onto all of us such as LGBTQ, pedophilia may be included, no rights to shun, no male elders (according to them it is a white supremacist, colonizer, patriarchal idea which comes from the patriarchal bible which has been the oppressor of humankind for a long time), vaccinations and blood forced on you...…...and replaced by atheism and the immorality and free sex and free whatever now already taught in most schools. (By the way I am not antivaccine but I read this morning how they are making it and I believe it has potential to harm DNA in the body - trials started in UK, brazil and South Africa and Oxford university is doing it - big money can come from it). Just like before the flood there is a horrible arrogance and a changing of human DNA. They are messing with things they should be leaving alone.) Depends on your inclination and the subject. Here on this forum you hold up well because there is only one view spewed by you.. a destructive one. I think I can make a good case for NOT watching videos against JWs. You are a good example of it ...... your hate-…... seems to be fueled by watching all these videos against JWs which are spinned and propagandized in a certain way.
  48. 2 points
    As i understand title of his speech was, "Protect yourself from lies". In JW world, lies are, exists only outside "spiritual borders". Well JW members are safe, they just need not to open TV or surfing web, and all "truths" will stay safe and sound. :)) Again: As described previously in the Newsroom section of jw.org, the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses was monitoring the situation and providing direction to all congregations in harmony with the recommendations from authorities.-
      Hello guest!
    This means, if world leaders failed in "planetary crisis", than GB failed with them too. :)) Nothing about motives. GB made simple copy paste of information about pandemic from secular sources and with or without some own colors forward instructions. Yes, GB leaders put in question ARC and Australian Government call for cooperation only. Or Courts in US by refusing product documents. Or victims of CSA. Or, own past doctrines they put in question too. Many other things they do not put in question. JW members, they not put in question how trustful GB are, and they not put donation money in question, selling KH is not reason to question ..., So many Sreckos in a single comment from you. Woo factor at work? :))
  49. 2 points
    Change ‘proof’ to ‘another indication’ and the whole problem goes away. This is much ado about nothing. As a result of the GB’s direction, we are all skewed to be COVID 19-cautious. I don’t know what it “proves” but it sure doesn’t prove that they don’t know what they’re doing. Their counsel gives reflects the wisest balance: ‘Each family head is responsible for his or her own family’ they say, ‘and what is good for one family may not be good for another’. So they are ‘not telling anyone what to do.’ Yet by their own 3-fold advice cord of 1) love of neighbor, 2) obey secular authorities, and 3) don’t be casual about this virus, they nudge all in the direction, without ‘telling anyone what they must do,’ for the greatest preservation of life. I don’t know how serious the virus is in the greater scheme of things, and it seems impossible to tell. Every source spins the data their own way to fit their own cause. I had my annual physical, and asked my doctor how he and his practice are holding up. “They should have never shut down,” he said, of New York State. “They didn’t follow the science.” ‘Following the science’ has now become a buzzword phrase that each side uses to lambaste the other. Only the GB can make an announcement about Covid without my saying: “I wonder what their real motive is.” The counsel becomes more important than the disease itself, for it gives uniform guidance to sail through a turbulent course. If Brother Glock want to say that ‘ewents’ prove God’s backing, I can say, “Well, ‘indicate’ might have been more scientifically precise,“ but otherwise I do not lose my cookies over it. It may prove increasing providential, or at least especially timely. Pressures from Covid spill over into ever-more areas of societal breakdown. Big businesses are saved, as the small fry is wiped out. The economic forces unleashed by Covid 19 will have more repercussions than Covid itself. Ditto for the chaotic unrest in the wake of BLM protests. No matter who is elected in November, the other side will not accept it. The world is a powder keg ready to blow—and those who think that Brother Glock’s use of ‘prove’ is the REAL issue will think it right down to when the earth swallows them up. It may just be that we are soon to experience another application of ‘Go, my people, enter your inner rooms, and shut your doors behind you...until the wrath has passed by.’ And should that be the case, I won’t be upset at anything that Brother Glock says it ‘proves.’ I’ll just be glad I took his counsel and canceled my subscriptions to the Srecko Times, The Witness Chronicle, and the Daily 4Jah Cryer.
  50. 2 points
    I will tell you why: because if I go out and commit immorality and I am found out, and I am not repentant I will be disfellowshipped. Thousands are disfelowshipped every year for unrepentant immorality. If you think you can stop people from being immoral then you are being very unrealistic. The only thing that can be done is revoke membership. Which is what is being done. What's your argument with that?

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