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Micah Ong

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  1. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    Well thanks for pointing this out as I hadn't read this properly to convey the point I was making. 
    But no other Angel has been described as being equal to God as Philippians 2:6 says and no Angel is the creator of all things as Jesus is Everything was created through him and for him and by him.  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
    The Son is an individualized portion of God who has attained a perfect oneness with God
     
     
  2. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    Any Interlinear bible goes off the earliest manuscripts.  That's why the Kingdom Interlinear as used by Jehovah's Witnesses doesn't have it because if there was proof that it was in there then you would find it in the Kingdom Interlinear.
    There is a difference between making mistakes and manipulating quotes from research articles and also lying and plagiarism.
    The Watchtower quotes the Gazette for support that in 1914 War War 1 changed the world for the worse. Taken in context the article says something quite different.
    Between these carefully chosen comments and the ellipses the Gazette includes the following paragraph.
     
     
  3. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    @bruceq Yes I know but I feel this is a loving warning to present factual information regarding the information this Governing Body is presenting to you.  This is not a debate about words but merely showing you the deception that is taking place.  I only hope that you put your complete trust in God and not a group of men.  Especially when they say they things like this:
    At that time, the lifesaving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (w13 11/15 p.20)
    Have any of theirdates been correct!
  4. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    All in all I don't think it matters because Jesus is not concerned with theology only love.  After all it was the theologians who killed Jesus(let's not be pedantic, we know he gave up his life but it was an act of execution on their part), who new God's name(YHWH). 
    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 
    "'Teacher," he asked, 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?' 
    "'What is written in the law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?' 
    "He answered: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself." 
    "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied, "Do this and you will live." (Luke 10:25-28)
    I'm not saying Theology or Theologians are bad as long as it's helping you are grow in love the way Jesus taught.  Being dogmatic seems to go against love from what I have experienced.  But there is nothing wrong with learning and being open minded as long as you don't miss the point of what Jesus said.
     
  5. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    It is what it is! @Anna.  What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?  You can't get away from that.  You can't add or take away from God's word no matter what your intention is.  It's his word!
    Deut 4:2 "You must not add to the word that I am commanding you, neither must you take away from it, so as to keep the commandments of Jehovah your God that I am commanding you."
    Deut 12:32 "Every word that I am commanding you is what you should be careful to do. You must not add to it nor take away from it."
    Rev 22:18,19 "“I am bearing witness to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things that are written about in this scroll.
    If God wanted YHWH there he would have made sure of it, like he did with the Hebrew Scriptures.  But he has reason for not using it.  Jesus is the saviour!  Acts 4:10-12
    Isaiah 43:11 "I-I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior."
    Titus 2:13-3:6 "manifestation of the great God and of [the] Savior of us, Christ Jesus, However, when the kindness and the love for man on the part of our Savior, God, was manifested, This [spirit] he poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior." (Note the New World Translation inclusion of [the] to change the meaning of this passage.)
    It is misrepresenting God if you add the name when it was not in the Christian Greek Scriptures because the New Testament clearly shows that Jesus is the new name under which people must get saved. 
    The Watchtower is deliberately misleading sincere honest hearted people.
    But we can be sure that God reads the heart and knows those who belong to him in all religions even though he does not have a religion. 
    As you are aware ALL religion will be done away with.
    I know how you feel as I would of defended the Watchtower in the past but the scriptures speak for themselves.  I would rather defend the scriptures than defend an organization.  And then encourage people to build up their faith and love built on truths found in the bible.  God blesses that!  Because then you can have a deeper relationship with him based on spirit and truth.
     
     
     
     
     
  6. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    @JW Insider I apologise for being blunt but I do think it is important for everyone to know how tainted the NWT is to suit doctrine which I think was clearly shown in that they took it upon themselves to insert Jehovah in the Christian Greek Scriptures under their own assumptions.  Therefore trust in the Governing Body is clearly misdirected and dangerous.  I just want to sound the warning.
    You are right in saying "it's a matter of what sort of persons ought we to be"
    Bible based principals are what shape us and coming to Jesus in spirit and 'truth' is part of our worship to the God of truth.
    Geofferr Jackson GB member admitted at the Royal Commission under oath, that it would be presumptuous to say they are being used by Jehovah, but that they are Guardians Of the Doctrine(G,O,D).  Not inspired by Holy Spirit presenting truths from the bible as they say they are in the publications.
  7. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    Yes it does matter @Arauna because God meant his word to be presented as he originally intended it.
    From 1385 A.D. onwards, the New Testament Greek manuscripts started to be translated into certain Hebrew versions with the inclusion of YHWH. It is essential to understand that these have no connection whatsoever with the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament manuscripts and were not translated until well over one thousand years after Jesus death.
    Jesus never quoted the Father as being Jehovah.  It was illegal to use the divine name and no one would of listened to him.
    Firstborn(Col 1:15) in the scriptures seems to indicate preeminent one(existing before all creation).  David is said to be the first born of Jesse even though he was the youngest.  And in Genesis Manasseh is said to be firstborn but then in Jer 31:9 Ephraim is called firstborn.  The reason of this is because he was to become Lord or Heir.  So in this sense we See that Jesus can aptly be called Lord of Creation.  This lines up with the rest of the scriptures.
    Rev 1:7,8 Jehovah as Alpha and Omega.  Remember though that earliest transcripts say Lord or kurios.  But this essentially means in the NWT no beginning and no end.  Jehovah has no beginning nor end right? 
    And now Jesus talking in Rev 1:17,18 "And he laid his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, 18 and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever..."  Jesus also has no beginning or end.
    Gen 18 talks about Jehovah walking on the earth in human form before he walked as Jesus born from Mary.  Not impossible for him to do so.  Abraham prepared and gave food to him(3 men altogether).  Chapter 19 verse one shows that the other two men were angels and had arrived in Sodom.
    John 8:58 Kingdom interlinear Before Abraham to become, I AM.  That our Lord by this expression asserted his divinity and eternal existence, as the great I AM, appears evident from the use of the present tense.
    Exodus 6:2,3 Then God said to Moses: “I am Jehovah. 3 And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but with regard to my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them
    You say the Hebrew Scriptures are key to understanding the whole bible and this I do not deny. 
    Isaiah 43:10-13 is key and you know it very well: “You are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One.  Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.  11 I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.”  12 “I am the One who declared and saved and made known
    When there was no foreign god among you.  So you are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “and I am God."
    First point regarding this passage is in Isaiah 62:2 He said they would be called by a new name talking about Zion/Jerusalem.  In Acts 11:19 here they are first called Christians.  Wouldn't you agree as Christs followers this would aptly be the new name.  Acts 1:8 "...and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem."  Witnesses of Jesus not Jehovah
    Secondly Isaiah says concerning Jehovah himslelf Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.  If Jesus was created as a god as John 1:1 states then how can God form a god, when he said: there has been none but would of created him at the time of Abraham.  He wasn't talking about foreign gods or false gods.  Yes Satan is the god of this system but he is only a false god or counterfeit god.  There is only one true God!  Angels aren't gods like Michael.  Arch angel is just a chief angel.
    But If Jesus is God then John 1:1 now makes sense being only one God. Not two.  Emmanual means God is with us so God existing in a man harmonizes with that name as well.
    Acts 4:10-12 - Jesus name alone is the means of salvation.
    It isn't impossible for God to exist in a hyper-static state being the Father in Heaven and being in a limited form as a human.  Yes Jesus was still God but limited as a human.  He can be rightly called the Son because he was born from himself into human form so in that state he can be called Gods son, remember the Jews wanted to stone him because they thought he was saying he was equal to God. 
    We also exist in three states.  Body, Soul(Mind, Emotions), Spirit (energy life force) but God is more dynamic.  Quantum physics demonstrates the rule of entanglement where one particle is entangled with another particle along way away.  So even though we aren't familiar with all his ways Quantum Physics demonstrates hyper-static states in particles.
    What if, just what if Jesus is God!?  Then how much more amazing is the price he paid for us and the agony he went through for us because he love us.  It is mind blowing and so humbling and awe inspiring and feels me with more love and appreciation for him.  1 Tim 3:16
    I was a Jehovah's Witness and left last month and am astounded at what I am learning from the scriptures now.  I do not regret all the education I received as a JW because it helped me to have good study habits and have a good general knowledge of the scriptures.  But believe please believe me the bible does not belong to the Governing Body.  Jesus promised a helper in the Holy Spirit to help under stand the Holy Scriptures.  The scriptures tell us to get baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (not a spirit directed organization).  Please let scripture interpret scripture.
    There are 7 names for God in the bible.  The link below describes them well with scriptural reference.

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  8. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    @Arauna the point is that the Watchtower Organisation as changed the bible to fit doctrine. Rev 22:18 "I am bearing witness to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll"
    Jehovah is not found in the New Testament!
    Evidence it did not Appear
    There is much evidence that YHWH never appeared in the New Testament. Most obvious is the absence of YHWH in any of the 5,000 discovered Greek New Testament manuscripts.
    Important evidence is also contained in the writings of the early Christians. These are referred to as the Apostolic Fathers and Ante Nicene Fathers who wrote from the times of the Apostles to the third century. This includes Polycarp, who studied with the Apostle John and Justin Martyr who lived from 110 to 165 A.D. Their extensive writings are a source of information on the early Church, including the formulation of the Trinity doctrine and the development of the Bible Canon. Yet in their writings there is no discussion about the removal of God's name from the Scriptures. If a global conspiracy existed to remove YHWH from the all New Testament manuscripts debate most certainly would have occurred between these writers.
    Furthermore, their works do not contain YHWH when quoting from New Testament Scriptures. For example, in Against Heresies, Irenaeus quotes Matthew 1:20; 4:10 and Romans 11:34, each time using the word Lord instead of Jehovah. Clement, mentioned at Philippians 4:3, wrote the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians between 75 and 110 A.D. and used Kyrios when quoting from the Old Testament. (See 1 Clement 13:5 which quotes Ezekiel 33:11.)
    Justin Martyr converted to Christianity around 150 A.D., a mere 50 years after the Bible was completed. He had access to early copies of the New Testament yet in The Second Apology, Chapter VI he wrote;
    Justin Martyr shows that Christians referred to the Father by appellations, but not a name such as Jehovah.
    That the Holy Name was not being uttered in Jesus day is attested to by first century historian Josephus:
    As we do not have the actual original copies that the Bible writers penned it is always possible to say that YHWH may have appeared in the original copy. However the weight of evidence shows that YHWH was not in the original copies. If the Watchtower claims God allowed men to edit out his name "YHWH" and that no proof has been found to its existence to this day, how can a person have confidence in any of the New Testament?
    The New Testament is one of the most attested ancient documents. The reason a person places trust in it is their conviction that God ensured the Bible has come down to us accurately. If use of the name Jehovah is so important one must wonder why the word never appears in any existing New Testament documents. If God inspired and protected the Bible, keeping the Bible accurate throughout all history why does his name not appear in the oldest Greek manuscripts or in the very first Bible, the 5th century Latin Vulgate?
    Conclusion
    The Watchtower presents the following paradox; Jehovah has not been found in the New Testament because it has been tampered with, but the Bible has been inspired and accurately preserved by Jehovah.
    The divine name appears over nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. By Jesus time, it had been removed from most Old Testament translations yet Jesus never mentioned or criticised the removal. As this indicates that Jesus did not feel this was an important omission whether Jehovah appears in modern translations of the Old Testament is up to the discretion of the translation. On the other hand, as Jehovah does not appear in the New Testament it so should not be added to by translations such as the NWT.
    As Jehovah was not used in the New Testament, use of the word Jehovah cannot be a necessary requirement for salvation. Rather, the New Testament shows that Jesus is the name through which salvation comes. Jesus words show that God is to be addressed as Lord or Father.
    By the time of Jesus, YHWH was not in regular use. The divine name does not appear in any known manuscripts of the New Testament, indicating that Jesus kept to the tradition and law on not using the Divine Name. To include Jehovah in the New Testament the Watchtower Society has taken liberties with God's Word. An assumption has been made in order to give weight to Watchtower doctrine. The effect is an inaccurate understanding of what Jesus taught. It affects a Jehovah's Witness ability to reason correctly on subjects such as the Trinity and to understand what the Bible says as to Jesus' role in salvation.
  9. Upvote
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
  10. Upvote
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    The Governing Body are responsible for the brutal rape, torture and murder of Jehovah’s witnesses, this is shocking and the people responsible cannot be excused for their actions, but this could have been prevented by purchasing a political card. The reasoning the Watchtower leaders used when setting their brothers up to come in line for such persecution was that Witnesses are to be “no part of the world”.
    Yet at the same time that Witnesses were forbidden to hold a card in Malawi a comparable situation arose in Mexico, with the Governing Body ruling in the opposite direction for Mexican brothers. In Mexico, military service was compulsory for young men. On completion of service young men would receive a “Cartilla” card, which similar to the card in Malawi, was required for a transactions such as obtaining a passport and drivers license. Young Witness brothers experienced persecution and imprisonment for refusing their obligation to attend military service.
    In order to relieve this suffering, the Governing Body ruled that it was acceptable for Mexican brothers to bribe officials to obtain a government Cartilla card that exempted them from military service. This is discussed in the following letter to Mexico Branch Committee dated June 2, 1960.
  11. Upvote
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Srecko Sostar in Watchtower Mis-Quotations   
    The Watchtower quotes the Gazette for support that in 1914 War War 1 changed the world for the worse. Taken in context the article says something quite different.
    Between these carefully chosen comments and the ellipses the Gazette includes the following paragraph.
     
     
    607 B.C.E.
    The year 607 B.C. is pivotal to Jehovah's Witnesses, as it is the foundation for calculating 1914 as the start of the Last Days. This topic is so detailed that it warrants its own discussion at
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Relevant to this article is that while the Watchtower says Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C., virtually every other source, including encyclopaedias, historians and scholars, state that Jerusalem fell in either 587 B.C. or 586 B.C. To arrive at the spurious date of 607 B.C., the Watchtower needs to re-work the dates for other significant events, also without any historical support. For this reason, the Watchtower has resorted to misrepresenting quotes to make it appear its date system is correct. For example, in the following quote the Insight Book inserts the year 624 B.C.E. as the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar. Though done correctly by use of [ ], the reader is left with the impression this date is supported by the original source.
    However, on checking Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Grayson does not use the date of 624 B.C., but rather on page 19 gives the accession date as 605 B.C.

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. In the 2010 book God's Word for Us Through Jeremiah, a statement is made regarding a find by Eilat Mazar, supporting two Characters mentioned in Jeremiah.
    The reader may get the impression that Eilat is supporting the year 607 B.C.E., whereas she presents that the destruction was in 587 B.C. (See articles at
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) There was no need to mention the date 607 B.C.E., as it was not relevant to the topic, and for the sake of accuracy the writer could have referred to "when Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon." The Watchtower inserts this date to deceitfully condition Jehovah's Witnesses that 607 B.C.E. is historically accurate.
  12. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Shiwiii in Jehovah's Witnesses and the United Nations   
    Sect accused of hypocrisy over association with organisation it has demonised.

    Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
    Oct 8, 2001 The Guardian

    "The United Nations is being asked to investigate why it has granted associate status to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the fundamentalist US-based Christian sect, which regards it as the scarlet beast predicted in the Book of Revelation. Disaffected members of the 6m-strong group, which has 130,000 followers in the UK, have accused the Witnesses' elderly governing body of hypocrisy in secretly accepting links with an organisation that they continue to denounce in apocalyptic terms. The UN itself admitted yesterday that it was surprised that the sect, whose formal name is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, had been accepted on its list of non-governmental organisations for the last 10 years."


    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. for the chain of email correspondence between the Watchtower and Bates following the Guardian article.
  13. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Shiwiii in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    You reference Matt 6:9,10 and I don't see YHWH.  You still don't have a scripture where he says YHWH directly.  If it was so important to Jesus to use that name, wouldn't he have at least one direct quote of YHWH?
    He didn't deny being equal to God.
    No where are Angels referred to as God.
    The bible seems to indicate 3 distinct persons in one as opposed to modalism.  Being able to exist together at the same time.
    "Then Yahweh [on earth in human form] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh [in spirit form in heaven] out of heaven. Genesis 19:24. In this text Abraham is visited by three individuals, one being Yahweh and the other two angels. Here we have God on the earth (Jesus) and God in heaven (father) sending down fire from heaven. This incident when Abraham met with Yahweh God, is what Jesus referred to when he said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." (John 8:56) The unanimous opinion of the apostolic Fathers was that Jesus visited Abraham in Genesis 18 and 19.
    Isaiah saw the glory of Yahweh, but John says that Isaiah really saw the glory of Christ. This proves Jesus is Yahweh. Combine this with the fact the Yahweh said, "Who will go for US" is a plural pronoun indicating more than one person in the Godhead.
    Isaiah 6:1,8-9
    John 12:41 " Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory."
     
     
  14. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Shiwiii in What gives them the right to insert YHWH so that the the scriptures are manipulated to suit the their doctrine?   
    @bruceq Yes I know but I feel this is a loving warning to present factual information regarding the information this Governing Body is presenting to you.  This is not a debate about words but merely showing you the deception that is taking place.  I only hope that you put your complete trust in God and not a group of men.  Especially when they say they things like this:
    At that time, the lifesaving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (w13 11/15 p.20)
    Have any of theirdates been correct!
  15. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to HollyW in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    Do you know of any JWs in Malawi who did view the matter [of buying a political card] as simply complying with what "Caesar” requires, since no acts or expressions of worship are involved?  This is information I was not aware of.  What is your source?
  16. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to James Thomas Rook Jr. in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    WHOAAAA!
    It seems everyone in the Brotherhood are equals ... but some ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.
    Obeying your own trained conscience, OR PubSpeak can BOTH get you killed, maimed, tortured, or just miss a bus or two.
    I have often thought about the Jews that wandered around in the same strip of desert for 40 years, would they have been any worse off if they had taken some notes, and drawn some maps as they marched around in circles, and individually headed North, instead of East, after several hundred spins in the sand.
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  17. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to HollyW in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    Perhaps the same view expressed in a letter sent to Chilean JWs regarding flying the national flag at Kingdom Halls could have been sent to Malawi JWs facing more than just fines for non-compliance?  This is from that letter: Some may view the matter as simply complying with what "Caesar” requires, since no acts or expressions of worship are involved. (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:7)    
     
  18. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to HollyW in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    We should be able to discuss these things honestly and not pretend JWs don't go by what the WTS tells them they can and can't do.  However, if that seems bothersome to you, ok.
  19. Haha
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Anna in Russell, The Egyptian Pyramids, Freemasons and Demonology   
    Stephen Lett gives the Freemason's the signal on the very first JW Broadcast
    Please see at 1:40
     
    Interesting too how Hosea 12:14 in the 1984 NWT had "grand Master" instead of Lord.  It has now been removed in the revised 2013 NWT.
  20. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to TrueTomHarley in Russell, The Egyptian Pyramids, Freemasons and Demonology   
    With a view toward reviewing her work, I am reading the most exhaustive and scholarly treatment of the Russell era that I am aware of (and it is only volume 1)

    Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. I have never seen such detail. It holds special interest for me as I live in Rochester, and was once  withing 100 yards (but also 100 years) of Nelson Barbour. There are frequent mention of towns around where I live - some have merged into Rochester, some have grown, some have disappeared.
    I follow the author on Twitter. She tweets excitedly with her coauthor about some tiny little mini-fact that she or he has confirmed. We have briefly corresponded. I tried (I think unsuccessfully) to get her to review my book and ended up volunteering to review hers. It deserves weeks of pondering and I just don't have that time, but no matter. Because I have the history I get the flavor of it quickly. Even so, those devoted enough to meaningfully contribute to this thread (which I am not) will get more out of it than me. 
    These days, plenty of people take a factoid or two and spin God only knows what out of it. You can't get away with it with these authors. Their research is exhaustive.
  21. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to JW Insider in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    The report was not true.
    (Numbers 13:31-33) 31 But the men who went up with him said: “We are not able to go up against the people, because they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they kept on giving the Israelites a bad report about the land that they had spied out, saying: “The land that we passed through to spy out is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of extraordinary size. 33 And there we saw the Nephʹi·lim, the sons of Aʹnak, who are from the Nephʹi·lim, and in comparison we seemed like grasshoppers, both to us and to them.”
    They were able to go up against the people, whether they were strong or not. They had just seen that with "Moses v. Pharoah."
    The land obviously does not devour its inhabitants. Many different tribes and people were seen to be living there:
    (Numbers 13:28, 29) 28 Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the fortified cities are very great. We also saw the Anʹa·kim there. 29 The A·malʹek·ites are dwelling in the land of the Negʹeb, and the Hitʹtites, the Jebʹu·sites, and the Amʹor·ites are dwelling in the mountainous region, and the Caʹnaan·ites are dwelling by the sea and along the Jordan.”
    It was not ALL the people who were men of extraordinary size. Only the Anakim were identified as being of larger size.
    These were not actually the Nephilim, either.
    The bad report included the exaggeration that the Israelites would have seemed like grasshoppers to the Anakim. If all of them were as tall as Goliath, it would still be a great exaggeration to speak of even a young David-sized Israelite as a grasshopper.
    What made it bad was the attitude of unwillingness to fight for a land that was already promised, and would have Jehovah's backing, if they had a little faith in the promise.
    (Proverbs 26:13) . . .The lazy one says: “There is a young lion in the road, A lion in the public square!”
     
  22. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to James Thomas Rook Jr. in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    .. and THAT is why we have a conscience ...... because the Governing Body, by their own recent admission forced by GB member Geoffery Jackson in the ARC hearings ... are neither inspired of God, or infallible.
    If WE are wrong we have to pay the price.
    If THEY are wrong ... we STILL have to pay the price.
    They pay NO PRICE WHATSOEVER FOR BEING WRONG ... EVER.
    Who knew?
  23. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to JW Insider in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    "PART 5 of 4" --  a.k.a. PART 5 of 6
    [Sorry for miscounting the number of PARTS. Looks like it will take 2 more, this one and a last one. Had to go back to the previous chapter of his book, Crisis of Conscience, to make sense of what R.Franz is saying about the REASONS for the Mexico/Malawi discrepancy. He presents multiple factors. When I read/skimmed the book 20+ years ago, I thought he was supporting the popular "real estate" theory. On a second read, it appears that he is giving weight to about 4 different factors.]
    p.161-2: R.Franz suggests that most of the Governing Body appeared not to have known about the policy in Mexico which had been set up nearly 20 years earlier by Brothers Knorr and Fred Franz. By 1978, the Governing Body had attempted to resolve the issue of alternative civilian service several times when R.Franz presented this information about Mexico to the rest of the Governing Body as part of a presentation on that issue of "alternative service."
    p. 162: R.Franz offers the conundrum, that if the leadership of the WTS really believed in their rigid stance taken in Malawi over a political party card then it would seem that at least some of the Governing Body might have been moved to reconsider whether they should also take a more rigid stance against bribery, lying and claiming to be a part of the military's first reserves in Mexico. On the other hand, if they really believed that the lenient policy stance taken in Mexico could rightly be based on conscience, then surely some of the members of the Governing Body might have been moved to reconsider whether the issue in Malawi, too, could be a matter of conscience.
    After all, brothers and sisters were being tortured, raped and killed for the rigid stance in one country while brothers were freely serving as Branch personnel, District Overseers, Circuit Overseers and elders if they illegally bribed and lied to indicate that they were part of the political war machine in another country.
    p.162: When R.Franz brought up the matter of Mexico in the discussions about "alternative civilian service" he was surprised that there was absolutely no word of disapproval about the situation in Mexico by the same Governing Body members who were so forceful and unyielding, and uncompromising when it came to alternative service. There were no expressions of dismay against the double standard applied to Mexico compared to Malawi, even though the third (1972) and fourth (1975) waves of persecution had hit Malawi Witnesses.
    p.162 R.Franz considered the reasons for the lack of change or concern after all of the Governing Body members were made aware, and the following is the first part of his conclusion, in his own words: [emphasis added in all quotations below]
    Once more, I do not think the matter simply resolves down to personalities, the individual members involved. I have come to the conclusion that this outlook is in reality a typical product of any authority structure that takes a legalistic approach to Christianity, enabling those sharing in the authority structure to see double standards exist without feeling strong qualms of conscience. To their credit, brothers in Mexico were disturbed in their consciences at learning of the intense suffering of Witnesses in Malawi who refused to pay a legal price in a lawful way for a party card of the government running the country, while in Mexico they themselves were illegally obtaining a military certificate through bribes. Those in Brooklyn, at the “top,” in the so-called “ivory tower,” however, seemed strangely detached from such feelings, insensitive to the consequences to people from such double standard. p. 163: The backdrop of the entire discussion in the context of attempting to resolve the issue of alternative civilian service in 1978, 1979 and 1980 is specifically referred to in a previous chapter in his book, and is referenced again here.
    [Note that there is an emphasis on the "individual members involved" which would seem to belie his claim above that it was NOT a matter that resolves down to the personalities involved. On this second reading, I realized that I had ignored the word "simply" which is subtle, but changes the meaning completely, especially in the context of the unusually high level of information about the individual members, and the specific points made about them.]
    All Governing Body members were fully aware of the policy in Mexico by the fall of 1978. Almost a year later, in September of 1979, the Governing Body again resumed discussion of the undecided issue of alternative service, this time brought to the fore by a letter from Poland. . . .  Ted Jaracz said that “our brothers are going to have problems and they look to Jehovah’s organization for direction,” that there was need to avoid diversity of opinions, that we should not give the brothers the idea that the Governing Body was saying, ‘go ahead and submit’ to alternative service orders. Carey Barber voiced the view that “there is no room here for exercising conscience, it is something where we just have to go right on through” without yielding. Fred Franz said our “conscience has to be Bible trained” and stated again his support for the traditional position against any acceptance of alternative service. By now, Ewart Chitty was no longer a member of the Body, having submitted his resignation in accord with the Governing Body’s wishes. Grant Suiter was absent from the session, both he and Chitty having voted for a change in policy at the November 15, 1978, meeting. But there were two new members on the Body, Jack Barr (from England) and Martin Poetzinger (from Germany), and they were present at the September 15, 1979, session.  When a motion was finally presented, the vote was split right down the middle, eight in favor of changing the policy, eight (including the two new members) against doing so . In 1980, on February 3, the subject was once more placed on the agenda. By this time more than a year had elapsed since my visit to Mexico and Albert Schroeder had made another annual visit there. The Mexico Branch Committee members again expressed to him their concern about the practice of bribing to obtain falsified documents of military service, and Schroeder related this continuing situation to the Body after his return. Remarks by the various members during the session made it evident that no two-thirds majority would be attained either way on the alternative service issue and there was not even a motion made. The matter was “shelved.” From . . .  November 1977, until February, 1980, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses had tried on six separate occasions to resolve the issue without success. What, though, of the people affected by the policy that continues in force, those of what the Watchtower had called “the rank and file”? Could they also “shelve” the issue? To the contrary, the inability of the Body to achieve that indispensable two-thirds majority meant that male Jehovah’s Witnesses in any country of the world who acted according to their conscience and accepted alternative service as a proper government requirement, could still do so only at the cost of being viewed as outside the organization, equivalent to expelled persons. It also meant that the Governing Body as a whole was willing for the twenty-year-old policy in effect in Mexico to continue in effect while a totally different policy in Malawi remained unchanged. [The previous chapter, on "alternative service," gives a better sense of the reasons for the frustrated tone of R.Franz' concerns in this chapter. It seems that the exact same Scriptural issues were brought up again and again from several sources, and usually resulted in a majority of the Governing Body voting to change the policy. But a simple majority, even multiple times, is not enough to overturn a current policy; it has to be more than 66.666%.]
    p.135:  After mentioning that R.Franz had presented 14 pages of historical, Scriptural and lexicographal evidence that would lead in favor of the change in policy, letters from various branches had been coming in with specific questions about various alternatives offered in the countries which those Branches served, and these letters often referred to the same lines of Scriptural reasoning. The significance of a two-thirds majority is highlighted in the previous chapter. If the "alternative service" vote was 9 in favor of changing and 4 not in favor, the change would still not be made because even though that's over two-thirds, three GB members were not present to vote. On November 15, 1978, 11 of 16 voted for the change, which WAS a two-thirds majority, but then one GB member changed his mind after an intermission. [Percentages added in the quote below.]
    At the October 11, 1978, meeting, of thirteen members present, nine voted in favor [69.23%] of changing the traditional policy so that the decision to accept or reject alternative service would be left to the conscience of the individual; four did not vote for this. The result? Since there were then sixteen members in the Body (though not all were present) and since nine was not two-thirds of sixteen, [56.25%] no change was made. On October 18 there was discussion on the subject but no vote taken. On November 15, all sixteen members were present and eleven voted for changing the policy [68.75%] so that the Witness who conscientiously felt he could accept such service would not be automatically categorized as unfaithful to God and disassociated from the congregation. This was a two-thirds majority. Was the change made? No, for after a brief intermission, Governing Body member Lloyd Barry, who had voted with the majority in favor of a change, announced that he had changed his mind and would vote for continuance of the traditional policy. That destroyed the two-thirds majority [62.5%]. A subsequent vote taken, with fifteen members present, showed nine favoring a change, five against and one abstention [60.0%]. Six sessions of the Governing Body had discussed the issue and, when votes were taken, in every case a majority of the Governing Body members had favored removal of the existing policy. The one vote with the two-thirds majority lasted less than one hour and the policy remained in force. As a result Witness men were still expected to risk imprisonment rather than accept alternative service—even though, as the letters coming in from the survey showed, they might conscientiously feel such acceptance was proper in God’s sight. Incredible as it may seem, this was the position taken, and most members of the Body appeared to accept it all as nothing to be disturbed about. They were, after all, simply following the rules in force. A year later, on September 15, 1979, another vote was taken and it was evenly divided, half for a change, half against. [50%] (p.135) [The further details about "alternative civilian service" are quite interesting, but an important point that relates the discussion of Mexico and Malawi is this point about whether matters of conscience really are based on conscience. The focus on the one changed vote of one single member of the Governing Body becomes representative of how nearly 100% of Jehovah's Witnesses would "follow their own conscience" in one direction, whereas, if that one member had not changed his vote, then nearly 100% of Jehovah's Witnesses would "follow their own conscience" in the opposite direction. Several of the Branch letters also admit, perhaps inadvertently, that it was never a matter of following their own conscience, but they always give assurances that they are only following the direction from the Society's headquarters. A survey of various Branches around the world had revealed that the majority understood that from a Scriptural viewpoint the evidence showed that "alternative service" was acceptable. Some "cognitive dissonance" is fairly obvious in Watch Tower Society's publications about alternative service and the purchase of the Malawi party card, where it was always emphasized that it was each individual's conscience. -- g72 12/8, yb99 p.175, w98 8/15 p.17 ]
    *** yb99 p. 176 Malawi ***
    It was obvious from the outset that these officials were hoping that Brother Vigo would tell them that the Watch Tower Society had clearly told its members that it was wrong to buy party cards. Instead, he stressed that the Society does not tell anyone what to do and that each person must make his own decision on the matter.
    *** w98 8/15 p. 17 Strengthening Our Confidence in God’s Righteousness ***
    Feelings of Having Suffered Needlessly
    6 In the past, some Witnesses have suffered for refusing to share in an activity that their conscience now might permit. For example, this might have been their choice years ago as to certain types of civilian service. A brother might now feel that he could conscientiously perform such without overstepping his Christian neutrality regarding the present system of things. 7 Was it unrighteous on Jehovah’s part to allow him to suffer for rejecting what he now might do without consequences?. . . 9 In modern times, there have been some Witnesses who were very strict in their view of what they would or would not do. For that reason they suffered more than others. Later, increased knowledge helped them to expand their view of matters. But they have no reason to regret having earlier acted in harmony with their conscience . . .
    (The 1998 Watchtower article above was also quoted by R.Franz in the chapter on alternative service.)
    p. 136:
    For another 16 years the policy remained in effect, until the May 1, 1996 Watchtower abruptly decreed that acceptance of alternative service was now a matter of conscience. During those 16 years, thousands of Witnesses, mainly young men, spent time in prison for refusing to accept assignments to perform various forms of community service as an alternative to military service. As late as 1988, a report by Amnesty International stated that in France, “More than 500 conscientious objectors to military service, the vast majority of them Jehovah’s Witnesses, were imprisoned during the year.” For the same year, in Italy, “Approximately 1,000 conscientious objectors, mostly Jehovah’s Witnesses, were reported to be imprisoned in 10 military prisons for refusing to perform military service or the alternative civilian service. That is just a partial picture. If that one Governing Body member had not changed his vote in 1978, virtually none of these men would have gone to prison—for the branch office committees’ reports give clear evidence that it was not the personal, individual consciences of these young men that produced the imprisonment. It was the compulsion to adhere to an organizationally imposed policy. The policy change is unquestionably welcome. Nonetheless, the fact that it took some 50 years for the organization’s to finally remove itself from this area of personal conscience surely has significance. One cannot but think of all the thousands of years collectively lost during half a century by Witness men as to their freedom to associate with family and friends, . . .  It represents an incredible waste of valuable years for the simple reason that it was unnecessary, being the result of an unscriptural position, imposed by organizational authority. Had there been a frank acknowledgment of error, not merely doctrinal error, but error in wrongfully invading the right of conscience of others, and of regret over the harmful consequences of that intrusion, one might find reason for sincere commendation, even reason for hope of some measure of fundamental reform. Regrettably, the May 1, 1996 Watchtower nowhere deals with these factors and contains not even a hint of regret for the effects of the wrong position enforced for over half a century. (p. 136)  p. 137: Highlighted below is the point that Scriptural evidence was not considered to be as important as maintaining traditional policy:
    In place of apology, the organization instead seems to feel it deserves applause for having made changes it should have had the good sense (and humility) to have made decades earlier, changes that were resisted in the face of ample evidence presented from the Scriptures, both from within the Body and from Branch Office committees. Some of these Branch committees presented not only all the Scriptural evidence found in the May 1, 1996 Watchtower, but even more extensive and more carefully reasoned Scriptural evidence. They did this back in 1978 but what they wrote was, in effect, shrugged off or discounted by those of the Governing Body who held out for maintaining the traditional policy then in place. (p.137) Summary of PART 5 of 6:
    To R.Franz, the basic issue was the problem of considering current policy to have the greatest value. He claims that this comes from creating a legalistic organizational arrangement that emphasizes rules instead of conscience, even where the Bible gives clear evidence that the rule is incorrect. The legalistic arrangement therefore produces an emphasis on those rules as opposed to a true interest in the feelings and well-being of the brothers and sisters. They become merely "rank and file" -- who must simply follow instructions -- in the view of detached persons in their "ivory tower."  While it is true that personalities played a part, it was not simply the individuals making up the Governing Body. R.Franz elsewhere gives evidence that there can be a level of manipulation to hold onto current policy instead of making changes, and this can come from the fact that any new persons on the Governing Body are likely to make sure their vote is in line with the vote of F.Franz, considered the "Oracle" of the Society. [An expression that many, myself included, heard at Brooklyn Bethel in the 70's and 80's.] Another factor is the idea that the free use of one's conscience was not even the guiding principle in Mexico, where they were told to continue with the policy in place. It was put in terms of "conscience" but the letters show that it is guided by strict adherence to the current policy. The explanation for this is the idea, that "Bible-trained conscience" was evidently seen by Fred Franz, as a euphemism for imposing policy as of much higher importance than using one's individual conscience. R.Franz implies that F.Franz uses the term "Bible-trained conscience" to mean current Watch Tower policy. R.Franz finds further evidence of this, especially spelled out in the previous chapter, showing how the Watchtower announces the change in policy as a change in the way an individual's conscience can now allow him to act.
    R.Franz finds further evidence of the "ivory tower" legalistic mentality in the way that individuals are told how they should feel about their previous suffering and, instead of a hint of apology, the same articles pointed out how a false understanding of Scripture is sometimes a more effective way to lead Jehovah's people than a true understanding of Scripture. This is seen from the end of p.137 to the middle of 138:
    Even error—if it is Watch Tower error—is presented as somehow beneficial. This same 1996 Watchtower discusses the organization’s earlier erroneous interpretation of the “higher powers” or “superior authorities” of Romans chapter 13, which interpretation rejected the clear evidence that these referred to human governmental authorities and insisted that the “higher powers” referred only to God and Christ. This wrong interpretation had replaced an even earlier, correct view and was taught from 1929 until 1962. The May 1, 1996 Watchtower (page 14) says of this wrong understanding:         Looking back, it must be said that this view of things, exalting as it did the supremacy of Jehovah and his Christ, helped God’s people to maintain an uncompromisingly neutral stand throughout this difficult period [that is, the period of World War II and of the Cold War]. This in effect says that to have had the right understanding, the understanding the apostle Paul intended when he wrote his counsel, would either not have been sufficient in guiding, or would not have been as effective in protecting against unchristian action, as was the erroneous view taught by the Watch Tower organization! (p.137-138)
  24. Upvote
    Micah Ong reacted to JW Insider in JW's in Malawi vs. Mexico: Why the Disparity?   
    PART 4 of 4:
    [Refer back to photocopies in PART 3 of 4]
    p. 156: In August 1969, just after the Malawi persecution, the Mexican Branch asked again for clarification, believing that they had perhaps left out an important point that the Society's HQ in Brooklyn had missed. They wanted to be very sure, so they emphasized the point that they previously had failed to mention:
    "However, it was not mentioned in the question that when this document is obtained it places the receiver in the first reserve subject to being called if and when an emergency should arise the army in uniform could not handle. So our question is this: Does this change the policy set out in your letter of June 2, 1960 Page Two which answered our letter mentioned above?" . . . What has been quoted from your letter is what has been followed but it seems that there would be some modification in this when it is considered that these brothers are in the first reserves. . . . [T]he majority of the circuit and district servants and those in the Bethel family have followed this procedure. . . . We will await your answer on the matter." (p. 156-7)
    p. 158: In September 1969, the answer to that "post-Malawi" request from Mexico merely repeated the same ideas and said basically that "nothing has changed." The Society wrote back from the Brooklyn HQ saying:
    “We have your letter of August 27 (182) in which you ask a question about brothers who had registered in Mexico and are now in the first reserves. The letter that you quoted of February 4, 1960 (120) covers the whole matter. There is nothing more to be said. . . . If their conscience allows them to do what they have done and they are not compromising in any way then you just lay the matter on the shelf. . . . If the consciences of these persons allowed them to do what they did and be registered in the reserves that is for them to worry about. It is not for the Society's office to be worried about it. . . .  If the individuals are not compromising in the sense of taking up arms . . . then the decision rests with them. So leave things stand as they are and have been since February of 1960 with no further comment." (p.158)
    [Note, I noticed a subtle point and perhaps trivial point not in the book and will comment about it in this bracketed section: When Fred Franz stopped answering almost all policy questions directly by himself and the Correspondence area of the Service Dept began handling them, Harley Miller began overriding some of the policies that Fred Franz had formulated. (Brothers Pruitt and Malone were friends of mine in the Brooklyn Heights congregation who handled much of the policy correspondence, and I know some of this from them.) Today, the Society will just say something like: "This letter takes the place of the previous letter dated {. . . .} Please destroy that previous letter and replace with this current one."  But in the past they didn't want to make it explicit that they were overriding Fred Franz, the Vice President of the WTS. So what happened from the mid-60's through the 80's is that the Society's previous letter is just completely ignored wherever possible. You just don't refer to it. There are several cases like this. You'll notice that this 1969 letter from the Society begins to sound a little more legalistic in the sense of actually putting some sense of wrongdoing on the individual JWs who entered into such an arrangement but making it clear that the Society is not going to worry about it, and not going to take any action or punish them.
    "The responsibility will be upon these individuals if they are ever called up . . . and that is soon enough to take any action. In the meantime these brothers who have registered and who have paid a fee are free to go ahead in the service. Not that we are giving our approval in this matter, but it is their conscience, not ours, that has allowed them to take the course of action they have taken. . . . . it is for them to worry about . . . . not for the Society to be worried about it."
    In the previous letter, unfortunately, the writer (most likely, Fred Franz) had used one phrase that could produce legal trouble in the answer the Society have given to the first inquiry back there in June of 1960:
    ". . . we have no objection."
    I gave this to my oldest son yesterday to see if he'd notice it. He's an attorney, and he caught it immediately. Therefore, there can be no reference to the 1960 letter that the Society sent to Mexico unless it explicitly admitted that this was a mistake. Legally, it is also problematic to admit a past mistake due to any potential legal cases that might have arisen between 1960 and 1969. If you look closely, you will see that the 1969 letter from the Society is very careful to refer to the 1960 correspondence only with reference to the original question from Mexico, and never refers to the letter made in response. This is to be expected under the circumstances.]
    From a policy perspective, the position taken in Mexico was quite different from the one taken in Malawi when we consider that the military is always considered to a political compromise. Raymond Franz makes this point:
    What makes all this so utterly incredible is that the organization’s position on membership in the military has always been identical to its position on membership in a “political” organization. In both cases any Witness who enters such membership is automatically viewed as “disassociated.” Yet the Mexico Branch Committee had made crystal clear that all these Witnesses who had obtained the completed certificate of military service (by means of a bribe) were now placed in the first reserve of the military. The Witnesses in Malawi risked life and limb, homes and lands, to adhere to the stance adopted by the organization for their country. In Mexico there was no such risk involved, yet a policy of the utmost leniency was applied. There, Witness men could be members of the first reserves of the army and yet be Circuit or District Overseers, members of the Bethel family! The report from the Branch Committee in response to the survey makes this clear (as well as showing how common the practice of bribing to get the certificate was among the Witnesses). [Note: In about 1974, I knew a brother in Missouri disfellowshipped for working for a local painting contractor who sent him with a crew to paint an abandoned barracks under threat of losing his job - a real threat, because the previous time he held his ground he did lose his job and managed to get it back. But a second offense was deemed to be the same as non-repentance and he remained DF'd for about 12 months. He was very well-liked and part of an extended family that made up at least 25% of our congregation. I pioneered with his wife who had to quit while her husband was out of work. I also remember the anxiety the congregation, and his wife, had about him being reinstated before 1975.]
    p.160-1: Raymond Franz emphasizes that the disparity is about whether or not similar matters, Mexican military cards, Malawi political/loyalty cards, and a more international question of "alternative military service" should be left to conscience or not. Lloyd Barry had quoted a Branch Overseer's memo saying: "I shudder to think of putting these men on their own choice." Yet the letter to Mexico said there is no reason to decide another man's conscience. Yet Branch representatives in Malawi had decided what all native Malawian Witnesses were required to do in their situation.
    [This is rather long, will have to add a "PART 5 of 4"]
  25. Like
    Micah Ong got a reaction from Shiwiii in Russian ban on JW in the light of prophecy   
    No because they are fundamentally flawed with the false prophecy of 1914.  They retain that as the time the end was meant to come then again in 1918 then 1925 then 1975.  The mansion Beth Sarim built for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob's return, which Rutherford spent time in was sold after he died.  No end of system and resurrection occurred. They are flawed from the outset as spokes persons for Jehovah.  
    Deut 18:22 "When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him."
    How is Jesus head of that congregation from 1919 when all these things were happening?
    John 14:26 "But the [ Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you."
    The Holy Spirit does not teach things and then flip flop and make adjustments, especially false prophecies.

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