b4ucuhear

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  1. "We are not ignorant of his designs."— 🔱😈

    BW Chapter 8 pg 44 par 52-53: "Help for Bearing Up Under Suffering." 52 Since Jehovah God allows his loyal servants to undergo severe treatment to refine them and for them to demonstrate their devotion, how could we imagine that the “ungodly man and the sinner” inside the Christian congregation or “house of God” could even “make a showing” before Him along with “the righteous man” inside the same congregation? The psalmist states: “The wicked ones will not stand up in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of righteous ones.” (Psalm 1:5) No, the wicked will not stand as approved but will be condemned. They may be found in the assembly of righteous ones, but they will never make a favorable “showing” before God. Because of what all believers must face in this world, their finally being saved for everlasting life takes real effort, love and faith in the way of righteousness. Hence, their salvation is “with difficulty.” Consequently it behooves all members of the Christian congregation (“house of God”) to avoid being “ungodly” and “sinners” in this “appointed time” of judgment.—1 Peter 4:17, 18; Proverbs 11:31. 53 Trials that we simply could not endure in our own strength may befall us. However, no matter how pathetic our situation may become, Jehovah God can sustain us and totally undo all the hurt that we may experience. When we commit ourselves fully to him, he can strengthen us by means of his spirit to bear up under suffering. Being, as Peter states, a “faithful Creator,” a God whom we can trust, he will not prove unfaithful to his promise to come to the aid of his servants. (1 Peter 4:19) This knowledge can help us to avoid reacting in a God-dishonoring way toward our persecutors. Instead of fighting against them, retaliating in kind, we will want to keep on doing good.—Luke 6:27, 28.
  2. "We are not ignorant of his designs."— 🔱😈

    One of Satan's cunning (and most successful) machinations is to attack our faith in a way we don't expect. We shouldn't be so focused on the obstacles outside, that we stumble over what may be right in front of us on the inside. And it's not that we don't have plenty of scriptural examples in the Hebrew scriptures or even warnings in the Greek scriptures (that some may feel uncomfortable to apply within the Christian congregation). Acts 20:29,30: "I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves." 2 Tim. 3:13: "But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled." There is NO level within our organization where such individuals have not been manifest. (Publishers; MSs; Elders; Bodies of Elders; Circuit Overseers; missionaries; branch overseers... even members of the Governing Body.) And it's not just apostates we are referring to here. There are other forms of corruption too, sometimes orchestrated by groups of individuals in authority to cover up wickedness. Sometimes because of the level of authority they have, they can get away with these things for years or decades... (1 Tim. 5:24) So what are we to do? Cast a suspicious eye towards our brothers and sisters - in authority or otherwise? That is certainly not what God's Word suggests when giving us these warnings. And in fact, we can't always recognize these men until they reveal themselves by their words or actions. Even when we do recognize something is very wrong, we may not be in a position to do much about it except to "blow the whistle." But even then, if you are exposing men who have authority (or even have "friends in high places"), you may experience threats or worse types of "blowback," even though you may feel - and in fact are - being obedient to Jehovah's divine direction and that of the Faithful and Discreet Slave. It is times like these, when you have done what Jehovah has asked of you, that you leave matters in his hands and continue in YOUR faithful course as a dedicated servant of Jehovah - regardless of the choices other people make. What we don't do is have a suspicious eye toward our brotherhood as a whole or even decisions we may not understand or agree with when we don't have all the facts. We need to have faith and trust that Jehovah is not only aware of the situation (and the suffering it may cause), but will at the right time deal with it, while he helps us to endure these "hard to understand" tests of our faith and even machinations of the Devil designed to destroy our relationship with Jehovah.
  3. The old *SHOE - BOX* ❤ ( listen )

    That's nice. What about the 95 grand...can I have it?
  4. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    With respect and hoping the best for you I likewise will post no counter argument. At this point it is clear we can respectfully agree to disagree. We also both recognize that having the last word doesn't make someone right anyway, so I won't include any parting disagreements (even though we both know I have them Just hope the best for both of us and that we will see a bright and happy future for each other as Gods promises are realized.
  5. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    Hey bro, you aren't making sense here. "non-sequitr" - it does not follow. Jude’s quote is not the only quote in the Bible from a non-biblical source. The Apostle Paul quotes Epimenides in Titus 1:12 but that does not mean we should give any additional authority to Epimenides’ writings. The same is true with Jude, verses 14-15. Jude quoting from the book of Enoch does not indicate the entire Book of Enoch is inspired, or even true. All it means is that particular verse is true. It is interesting to note that no (or at least very few) scholars believe the Book of Enoch to have truly been written by the Enoch in the Bible contrary to your assertion here. Once again, it's time to check your "facts" - however well-intentioned they may be. There is no indication whatsoever that "It is very likely that Jesus read the Book of Enoch and believed it to be scripture. It was considered scripture by many early Christians as well." (?) To quote Wikipedia: "It is regarded as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, but not by any other Christian groups." Nobody is suggesting any of what you are writing about in this last post. Of course, giving a literal interpretation of everything in the Bible doesn't make sense. Is there anyone who actually believes literal monsters are going to crawl out of the see with a giant harlot drinking wine riding them? Maybe the simple message of love Jesus taught doesn't need much to interpret it, even though many still seem to misunderstand it, and it is also fair to say that human "rules and traditions" shouldn't be come into play here, but that doesn't mean no interpretation of things pertaining to God's will and purposes hasn't played an important role in God's inspired word. The Bible is full of interpretations, many in the very book you often quote - the book of Daniel. Some interpretations were for immediate benefit, others for later. Now as for "unconditional love," it seems you have a romanticized ideal of what that should involve which has no basis in support either from the Bible or any other Holy Book. So you are on your own again on that one - a force of one. It is true, that Jehovah showed extraordinary love in offering the life of his son in behalf of mankind who were in effect enemies. But that didn't mean that "anything goes," or it didn't matter whether people accepted or rejected his son. It doesn't mean that God's love is so expansive that it doesn't matter how we use our freedom of choice as to good or bad, righteous or evil. With that freedom comes accountability, and even though God may show principled love to individuals even when they are imperfect, like every loving parent, there are boundaries that are for the benefit of all and are intrinsic to his standards and the outworking of his purposes. For, if, in extending "unconditional love," he tolerated wickedness without accountability, it wouldn't really be love - especially for those who may suffer because of the wickedness that this "unconditional love" might allow. "Unconditional love" is a myth that has no scriptural basis. It's not what real love is or should be. And the romantic notion that it doesn't matter what you believe or do is just that. A "pie-in-the sky" that has no solid support anywhere. Matthew 12:31-33 "...but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven...it will not be forgiven him , no, not in this system of things nor in that to come." 1 John 5 "For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments..." Deut. 30:19 "I take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live..." Genesis 2:17 "But as for the tree of the knowledge of god and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die." (If God's love was "unconditional," Adam would not have been sentenced to death and in the process, it would have made God appear to be a liar for not holding Adam accountable for his actions as he said he would. Who could ever really trust Him after something like that? Who could ever put faith in what he says?) Similarly, are we to believe without any scriptural basis whatsoever that God's "unconditional love" absolves Satan of any accountability for all the pain and suffering he has caused and would continue to cause if he were not held accountable? Even in the so-called Book of Enoch, God pronounces doom and judgments against fallen angels and the coming judgment of the wicked.(The Book of Parables). Don't fool yourself. Unconditional love is not really love at all. It is the toleration of wickedness with a nice sounding label.
  6. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    We both agree that love of God and neighbour is critical in not only fairly representing the God of love in true faith, but also in forgiveness. Question: How then, would that love be manifest in true faith? I would rephrase your statement above to read: "Love is also what many of the great religions 'talk about,' but could you say their fruits confirm that? Getting back to a previous illustration, could you really have any scriptural basis for saying religions that slaughter each other - innocent men women and children - are manifesting God-like love? Because that is the historical reality we are faced with. Many millions of lives have been and continue to be brutally shed in God's name - Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims...ALL of the world's "great religions" have misrepresented the God of love in order to kill even their fellow worshippers in other countries. Crusades, inquisitions, local wars, regional conflicts, two world wars - mostly fought in Christians countries; not to mention the bloody terrorist activity of other groups. In what stretch of logic could that be considered showing love? That is characteristic of Satan's work - "the god of this system of things." But "the great religions of the world" have tried to "impose" their religion on others by the edge of the sword. Often, people either converted or were killed. But that was not what Jesus did was it? What was it that motivated Jesus to preach the gospel with every fibre of his being? What motivated him to direct his apostles and disciples to carry on that same preaching work "to the most distant parts of the earth," and later preaching the good news of God's kingdom in all the inhabited earth as a witness to all the nations before the end comes? Was it not love? Love for his Father and human beings? He was known as "teacher" because the people were in ignorance and those who loved what he taught recognized that he had sayings of everlasting life. It mattered what they believed. It mattered a lot. He taught love by his example, but he did more than that. Out of love, he showed people what was necessary to please God and gain everlasting life. Yes, although he performed many loving miracles that brought practical and immediate benefits - curing, raising the dead, feeding the hungry...- he was not primarily known as "miracle worker" but "teacher" - both in word and in deed. And what was his message? God's kingdom! Over and over again he taught and spoke about it, even making it a central part of the "Lord's Prayer." Why? Because God's kingdom and the benefits it would bring as the only hope for mankind, brought refreshment, hope and an appreciation for God in not only sending his son to die for us, but an appreciation for what that sacrifice would make possible for mankind, including forgiveness of sins. People were in darkness, "alienated from God," like "sheep without a shepherd." It was not acceptable for them to remain in ignorance. Not to be technical, but you are misquoting the scripture in a way that reflects your bias. The scripture actually says: "...the harlots go into 'the kingdom' of God before you" KJ version (not 'heaven') and is similarly rendered in all other translations. That is an important distinction but would take too much time to consider in detail at this point. Anyway...you actually seem to be making the point that Jesus WAS concerned about a person's religious status and the their religious status mattered. Logic: The fact that prostitutes were going before hypocritical religious leaders suggests that one form of worship was acceptable and one was not (or at least more acceptable/better.) John 17:3 - "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you (taking in knowledge of you), the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ." 1 Tim. 2:4 - "whose will it is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth." Colossians 3:10 - "and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the one who created it." Ephesians 4:13 - "until we all attain to the oneness of the faith and of the accurate knowledge of the Son of God..." Colossians 1:9,10 - "...we have never stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, so as to walk worthily of Jehovah in order to please him fully as you go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God" Philippians 1:9 - "And this is what I continue praying, that our love may abound still more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment, that you may make sure of the more important things..." Hebrews 10:26 - "For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left..." Not to beleaguer the point since there are far too many other similar scriptures, but having "factual" or "accurate" knowledge does seem to be important. Why? Because although one may feel they are worshipping God, they may actually be or contaminating their worship with what God condemns. Baal worshippers and apostate Israelites worshipping phallic symbols or golden calves may have thought they were worshipping God, but was it according to "factual knowledge" of God? An accurate knowledge of God?
  7. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    We agree on that point (others too I see). Everything we see now in fulfilment in Bible prophecy shows we are reaching a climax. It is in relation to this I have a practical question I think is relevant here. At Ephesians 4:5 we are told that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism;" - as opposed to thousands of conflicting beliefs all claiming to be the true religion (I know, we are in that group too). I also notice (I think) in the course of our discussions and your posts, that while you seem to have views in common with other religions, since you don't subscribe to any one religion, you are kind of doing your own thing. (I'm not being sarcastic here and I apologize if it sounds that way). But let's say, you have a "unique" perspective - you are basically one guy in your views - although you share a commonality with others on certain points. So my question is: since we both agree world events (as described in Matthew 24 for instance), show we are reaching a climax, what about the most important part of Matthew 24? Sure it talks about earthquakes, food shortages. wars...before the end comes, but the most important part of that prophecy is in verse 14, the positive one: "And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." How do you expect to manage that obligation on your own at this admittedly late stage in the game? Or do you feel you are throwing your lot in with every other Christian organization that claims to be preaching the Good News of God's Kingdom even though they may radically differ in what they feel God's kingdom is? Personally, I feel the ones that are really doing that on a global scale are JWs. That is why we exist primarily as an organization. It's not for tea parties, bingo, garage sales or chicken dinners. We are organized to continue (what we believe) is the commission for all true Christians. I know others SAY they do that (to an extent). But the ONLY people who have EVER come to me to preach the the good news of God's Kingdom are JWs and I've been around for quite and have been all over the world. Mormons are the only other people who have called on me and out of respect for their taking the time to do that I have always have invited them in for a respectful discussion. But one thing is for sure. They aren't preaching the gospel. That's not to say, other religions don't have their missionaries and have success doing that though - credit where credit is due. But to do that work is a huge task involving billions of people and billions of hours preaching to them in hundreds of lands and hundreds of languages. Now to be fair, you may have your own perspective on this, but it is something I always consider when we have for instance, apostates from within our organization who try to draw disciples after themselves. I always wonder: If someone followed them, then what? That preaching work still has to be done - at least to the extend God determines, and it won't get done sitting in someone's living room listening to some solo act nit-pick on some detail he disagrees with us on. (Not referring to you here even though I know you disagree on certain points). The fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 is a tall order and not one someone could attempt on their own at this late stage of the game.
  8. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    Point taken and as I had mentioned before, we have neither a miraculous ability to read hearts (or predict the future) nor the authority to judge who is or is not a good hearted person (or even the potential to be so.) This is what we feel is part of our ministry: to be "God's fellow workers" in reaching as many good hearted people as God draws to him with the good news of God's kingdom as well as providing a warning of God's impending judgment. Of course, a mere profession/appearance of love of God is not always a true indication of the heart. "If anyone says 'I love God and yet is hating his bother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom her has not seen. And we have this commandment from him, that whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 Jon 4:20-21.) As you had astutely stated: "When you love others as yourself, you are in effect loving Jesus and God as well." We might add: "By this all will know that your are my disciples - if you have love among yourselves." (John 13:35) You notice this new commandment to love one another (that would identify Christ's true followers), isn't full of man-made creeds and formulas. It is a simple observable truth that would be evident to any who love the truth. No need to compare hundreds/thousands of differing/contradictory teachings. There are many religions/religious people that claim to worship God but would you have a scriptural basis for saying that people who pray to the same God to help kill their brothers - (even of the same religion) - on the other side of a political fence in warfare are demonstrating that identifying characteristic? Aren't we commanded to love even our enemies? As you correctly quoted "You must love your neighbour as yourself." Romans 10:2,3 says: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge. For because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God." I would both agree and disagree. I would agree there are good people in many if not all religions - those are the ones we look for. But looking at the Bible record, how would you answer: Is it a matter of how we want to worship God? Or is it a matter of how God wants/demands to be worshipped? Is it up to us to decide what God will accept as true worship? Or is it up to him to decide what is acceptable to him? Ironically, many of those you suspect of being true Christians would likely not agree with you that it's not important what organization you are with - (forgive me if I misunderstand you on this point). The fact that there are so many different organizations, all claiming to be the true one testifies to that. Again, looking at the Bible record, did it matter what organization/religion you belonged to? The Israelites were given the law that kept the contaminating influence of other religious ideas and forms of worship at bay/separate. In fact, those other forms of worship (including child sacrifice, temple prostitution, worship of false Gods...) was something "detestable" to God and it was a capital offence to participate in it. Later when the early Christian congregation was formed, was it acceptable to remain under law and not accept Christ? No. What about today then? Revelation describes false religion as a harlot for the immoral relationship she has with the kings of the earth. (Rev. 17). Rev. 18:4 says: "Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. for her sins have massed together clear up to have, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind..." See also 2 Cor. 16:17; Isa. 52:11; 2 Tim. 3:5. Matthew 7:13,14 "Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it: whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it."" So while I tacitly agree with you that true Christians aren't limited to a group of people or organization (for now), there will come a time when decisions will have to be made, based not on how WE want to worship God, but rather how HE wants to be worshipped.
  9. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    I just did a little fact checking on the "facts" you use to support your contention. Foxe as a historian The author's credibility was challenged as soon as the book first appeared. Detractors accused Foxe of dealing falsely with the evidence, of misusing documents, and of telling partial truths. In every case that he could clarify, Foxe corrected errors in the second edition and third and fourth, final version (for him). In the early nineteenth century the charges were taken up again by a number of authors, most importantly Samuel Roffey Maitland.[42]Subsequently Foxe was considered a poor historian, in mainstream reference works. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica accused Foxe of "wilful falsification of evidence"; two years later in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Francis Fortescue Urquhart wrote of the value of the documentary content and eyewitness reports, but claimed that Foxe "sometimes dishonestly mutilates his documents and is quite untrustworthy in his treatment of evidence"... Objectivity and advocacy Foxe's book is in no sense an impartial account of the period. He did not hold to later centuries' notions of neutrality or objectivity, but made unambiguous side glosses on his text, So, not all are convinced with the sources or even "facts" you put forward. In fact, I was surprised when looking to find how little I knew myself and how little agreement there is on the matter. The estimates range from zero deaths (suggesting it was all a hoax) to 500 million deaths. Of course I don't subscribe to either of these extremes, but one thing is for certain, there is no overall agreement as to the actual number, which varies from none to many. Naturally, I see, you selected ("cherry picked?") the one that supports your contention. Foxes' "Acts and Monuments" was written in the mid 15th century and was framed primarily as polemic against the Catholic church much later than the time we were discussing. Foxe in no way was "close to the action" so to speak and as a Protestant put it together because he had an "axe to grind" with the Catholic church at the time, well over a thousand years after the "fact." I respect that, and while I disagree with much (most actually) of what you are saying it seems to me you are sincere and have put much effort into being a student of God's Word. We should all be doing that. As a side note and not to get too much off topic, (since I don't plan to sit in front of my computer with Micah Ong for the rest of my life - although I may still challenge you on some of the stuff you have written - if I have time), I have a question: Matthew Chapter 24, describes events that would indicate a period of time indicating Christ's return and the end of the conclusion of system of things/final time/end of the world...) That period of time, as you are well aware, would be indicated/accompanied by obvious world events, (false Christians - no cheap shot here please; wars and reports of wars; food shortages; earthquakes in one place after another...true Christians being objects of hatred by all the nations. So my question to you is: Do you think that is happening now? Do you believe we are living in the last days according to the sign Jesus gave his disciples? (Let's keep 1914 out of it to keep things simple please and thank-you).
  10. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    Martyr: def 1) "a person who willingly suffers death rather than reduce his or her religion 2) a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice" The fact that someone is described (legitimately or not) as a martyr does not of itself qualify that one as being an anointed Christian, called to be one of the 144,000 described in Revelation. As Paul stated "...I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge..." (Rom. 10:2) You can look at it any way you choose to, but our understanding according to Jesus' description of true wheat-like Christians being oversown with counterfeit weeds soon after the death of the apostles may have some bearing here. Not only that but the explicit warnings that a wholesale apostasy would develop shortly after the early Christian congregation was established should indicate to the unbiased reader that there would be many false Christians and few true ones. Soon apostate Christianity was the order of the day. So does that fact that someone dies for their beliefs make them a true Christian? There are lots of different religions now that do not agree on how God should be worshipped and yet are willing to die for their beliefs. Does willing to die in man-made wars, crusades, inquisitions or even persecution, automatically qualify them as acceptable to God? If so, then the suicide bombings and terrorist activity of those wiling to die for their beliefs must also qualify them as acceptable to God, no? The fact is, I can't quantify all who are selected by God or not and neither can you.
  11. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    It is fair, (as you say) that miraculously inspired prophets in the Bible can and often do, predict future events. And of course, that is the definition that is applied by people who are not JW's and take issue with us. But that is not the definition we apply to ourselves. Why? Because that is not the only definition or attribute that can qualify one as a prophet in doing a prophetic work. JW's are not miraculously inspired and so WE ALREADY KNOW many of the expectations put forward have not taken place as expected. We can't even predict the weather tomorrow (I'm sure you're surprised to know that . We also acknowledge that while we often say "prophecy is best understood after it has been fulfilled," we even get that wrong at times. So why aren't we all throwing our arms in the air and rushing over to Micah Ong to save us from our folly? Because Micah Ong doesn't know what he is talking about and misapplying what millions of others already know. Here is a description of our view that is not from the "outside" - nose pressed against the glass - looking in: "The Greek 'prophetes' literally means "a speaker out (Gr., pro "before" or "in front of," and 'phemi,' "say") and thus describes a proclaimer, one who makes known messages attributed to a divine source. (Compare Titus 1:120. Though this includes the thought of a predictor of the future, the fundamental meaning of the word is not that of prediction. (Compare Judges 6:7-10). Nonetheless, living in harmony with God's will requires that the individual know what Jehovah's revealed purposes for the future are so that he may bring his ways, desires, and goals into line with the divine will. Hence, in the great majority of cased, the Biblical prophets did convey messages that free directly or indirectly related to the future." it-2 prophet. So in "making known messages attributed to a divine source (God - not the educated guesses regarding dates and whatnot - however well meaning - from the GB) we are in a sense doing a prophetic work. For instance, we can confidently say that Armageddon is going to come and therefore do a warning work of an event yet future - a message recorded in God's Word by miraculously inspired faithful servants. But even though we may try to make educated guesses as to the details of how it will happen, we really have no miraculous ability to predict these things. In fact, we also recognize that when elders are said to be "appointed by holy spirit," it is due to the fact (ideally) that they measure up to the qualifications inspired by holy spirit in God's word. No human on earth has a miraculous ability to read hearts, minds, motives... But there is a responsibility or onus that anyone who cares about others takes seriously. An illustration: Scientists may feel from the "signs" they see, there seems to be a strong indication an earthquake is about to take place. They have no miraculous ability to predict the future, but nevertheless, they give the order to evacuate because that, to the best of their knowledge, would be the prudent course of action. If it turns out no earthquake takes place, at least no lives were lost - although it would likely be inconvenient. If anyone believed they had good reason to take a certain course of action - even acknowledging they can't predict the future, why wouldn't they at least give a warning? On the other hand, what if it did happen? Now we know certain things for sure, because they are set out in God's Word. But regarding the details that are not specifically spelled out in God's Word, (i.e.. dates and related info), we can't claim miraculous inspiration to fill in those details. It's true there have been well meaning assertions that out of eagerness have tried to fill in the blanks. And when I see descriptions of how we are told things will take place with details that are not specifically set out in God's Word, I take it with a grain of salt because the case could be made that historically we have been often mistaken. Even things we have studied for years regarding "types and antitypes?" All out the window. Oh well, that's progress for you. I knew to expect that and I'm pretty sure there will be other stuff to fall by the wayside. But even recognizing an imperfect and incomplete picture of things yet to take place, it doesn't stop me from knocking. By-the-way, what religion are you that you feel is so much better? And don't try a clever dodge by saying "Christian."
  12. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    You are going beyond the scope of your reference here and that is not an assertion that fairly represents the belief of JW's- we are not in a position to judge. Never-the-less, I understand where you are coming from and your view represents the view of others as well. The prevailing opinion of others is that everyone goes to heaven, so it is understandable that you would view Revelation 7:15 from that perspective. JW's believe that those who will rule as Kings and priests will perform those services in behalf of someone else. Those "meek that shall inherit the earth" as God had originally planned for mankind. So it is natural that our interpretation would reflect that. If you believe that the ultimate destination of all Christians is to go to heaven, it is understandable why you view things the way you do. It is not the intention of most posters here to get into long and protracted debates and arguments that both know will not change either of their minds. Although some do.
  13. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    The quote you have chosen to support your argument is from an article that is almost 60 years old. I find it hard to believe that you are not aware of more recent articles. Here goes: Questions From Readers When John saw the “great crowd” rendering sacred service in Jehovah’s temple, in which part of the temple were they doing this?—Revelation 7:9-15. It is reasonable to say that the great crowd worships Jehovah in one of the earthly courtyards of his great spiritual temple, specifically the one that corresponds with the outer courtyard of Solomon’s temple. In times past, it has been said that the great crowd is in a spiritual equivalent, or an antitype, of the Court of the Gentiles that existed in Jesus’ day. However, further research has revealed at least five reasons why that is not so. First, not all features of Herod’s temple have an antitype in Jehovah’s great spiritual temple. For example, Herod’s temple had a Court of the Women and a Court of Israel. Both men and women could enter the Court of the Women, but only men were allowed into the Court of Israel. In the earthly courtyards of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, men and women are not separated in their worship. (Galatians 3:28, 29) Hence, there is no equivalent of the Court of the Women and the Court of Israel in the spiritual temple. Second, there was no Court of the Gentiles in the divinely provided architectural plans of Solomon’s temple or Ezekiel’s visionary temple; nor was there one in the temple rebuilt by Zerubbabel. Hence, there is no reason to suggest that a Court of the Gentiles needs to play a part in Jehovah’s great spiritual temple arrangement for worship, especially when the following point is considered. Third, the Court of the Gentiles was built by the Edomite King Herod to glorify himself and to curry favor with Rome. Herod set about renovating Zerubbabel’s temple perhaps in 18 or 17 B.C.E. The Anchor Bible Dictionary explains: “The classical tastes of the imperial power to the West [Rome] . . . mandated a temple larger than those of comparable eastern cities.” However, the dimensions of the temple proper were already established. The dictionary explains: “While the Temple itself would have to have the same dimensions as its predecessors [Solomon’s and Zerubbabel’s], the Temple Mount was not restricted in its potential size.” Hence, Herod expanded the temple area by adding on what in modern times has been called the Court of the Gentiles. Why would a construction with such a background have an antitype in Jehovah’s spiritual temple arrangement? Fourth, almost anyone—the blind, the lame, and uncircumcised Gentiles—could enter the Court of the Gentiles. (Matthew 21:14, 15) True, the court served a purpose for many uncircumcised Gentiles who wished to make offerings to God. And it was there that Jesus sometimes addressed the crowds and twice expelled the money changers and merchants, saying that they had dishonored the house of his Father. (Matthew 21:12, 13; John 2:14-16) Still, The Jewish Encyclopedia says: “This outer court was, strictly speaking, not a part of the Temple. Its soil was not sacred, and it might be entered by any one.” Fifth, the Greek word (hi·e·ron’) translated “temple” that is used with reference to the Court of the Gentiles “refers to the entire complex, rather than specifically to the Temple building itself,” says A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, by Barclay M. Newman and Philip C. Stine. In contrast, the Greek word (na·os’) translated “temple” in John’s vision of the great crowd is more specific. In the context of the Jerusalem temple, it usually refers to the Holy of Holies, the temple building, or the temple precincts. It is sometimes rendered “sanctuary.”—Matthew 27:5, 51; Luke 1:9, 21; John 2:20. Members of the great crowd exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They are spiritually clean, having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Hence, they are declared righteous with a view to becoming friends of God and of surviving the great tribulation. (James 2:23, 25) In many ways, they are like proselytes in Israel who submitted to the Law covenant and worshiped along with the Israelites. Of course, those proselytes did not serve in the inner courtyard, where the priests performed their duties. And members of the great crowd are not in the inner courtyard of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, which courtyard represents the condition of perfect, righteous human sonship of the members of Jehovah’s “holy priesthood” while they are on earth. (1 Peter 2:5) But as the heavenly elder said to John, the great crowd really is in the temple, not outside the temple area in a kind of spiritual Court of the Gentiles. What a privilege that is! And how it highlights the need for each one to maintain spiritual and moral purity at all times!
  14. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    The Watchtower states: To keep in relationship with "our Savior, God," the "great crowd" needs to remain united with the remnant of spiritual Israelites." Watchtower 1979 Nov 15 p.27 So in essence you have to be attached with the anointed class to have Jesus as your mediator and benefit from Jesus Salvation. The scriptures teach otherwise: Romans 3:21-30 "But now apart from law God's righteousness has been made manifest, as it is borne witness to by the Law and the Prophets; 22 yes, God's righteousness through the faith in Jesus Christ, for all those having faith. For there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom [paid] by Christ Jesus. ... 29 Or is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of people of the nations? Yes, of people of the nations also " Romans 6:23 "For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord." Hebrews 7:25 "Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them." You said: "The Jehovah's Witness Doctrine teaches that only the anointed have a covenanted relationship with Jesus. Therefore the New Testament only speaks to the anointed. The great crowd have to go through the anointed to benefit from the new covenant." Here is a more accurate explanation of our understanding with reference to that: BENEFICIARIES OF THE NEW COVENANT 14 Upon learning that the 144,000 are in the new covenant, some may have thought that only these benefit from it. Perhaps they thought so because only anointed ones are to partake of the emblems at the annual Memorial of Christ’s death, where the wine represents the “blood of the covenant.” (Mark 14:24) Recall, though, that those in the new covenant are to be associates with Jesus as the “seed” of Abraham, by means of which all nations will be blessed. (Gal. 3:8, 9, 29; Gen. 12:3) Somehow, through the new covenant, Jehovah will fulfill his promise to bless all mankind through Abraham’s “seed.” 15 Jesus Christ, the primary part of the seed of Abraham, serves as High Priest, and he provided the perfect sacrifice that makes possible forgiveness of error and sin. (Read Hebrews 2:17, 18.) Yet, God long ago pointed forward to “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Ex. 19:6) In natural Israel the priests were from one tribe, and the kings were from a different tribe. So how would this promised nation of king-priests come about? The apostle Peter directed his first letter to ones who were sanctified by the spirit. (1 Pet. 1:1, 2) He referred to such ones as “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession.” (1 Pet. 2:9) Anointed Christians in the new covenant will thus serve as underpriests. Think of what that means! We daily struggle under the influence of sin, which still ‘rules as king.’ Those serving as underpriests will have had a similar experience. (Rom. 5:21) They will be aware of how it feels to make mistakes and grapple with guilt. So along with Christ, they will be able to sympathize with us as we overcome sinful tendencies. 16 At Revelation 7:9, 14, the “great crowd” are seen “dressed in white robes,” which implies a clean standing with God. To be in line to survive “the great tribulation,” that great crowd is now being formed. Hence, even now these gain a certain righteous standing before God. They are being declared righteous as Jehovah’s friends. (Rom. 4:2, 3; Jas. 2:23) What a benefit that is! If you are part of the great crowd, you can be sure that God is willing to work with you as you strive to remain clean in his eyes. 17 What happens to the sins of those whom God favors? As noted earlier, Jehovah said through Jeremiah: “I shall forgive their error, and their sin I shall remember no more.” (Jer. 31:34) God does this for the anointed on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice. In a similar way, God can forgive the sins of the great crowd on the basis of the same “blood of the covenant.” Jeremiah’s saying that God would “remember” sins no more does not imply that He would have a memory lapse and simply not be able to recall the sins. Rather, it indicates that once Jehovah has administered any needed discipline and forgiven a repentant sinner, God throws that past sin behind Him. Think of the sins King David committed involving Bath-sheba and Uriah. David received discipline and felt the consequences of his sins. (2 Sam. 11:4, 15, 27; 12:9-14; Isa. 38:17) Yet, God did not keep holding David accountable for those sins. (Read 2 Chronicles 7:17, 18.) As indicated in the new covenant, once Jehovah has forgiven sins, based on Jesus’ sacrifice, He remembers them no more.—Ezek. 18:21, 22. 18 Accordingly, the new covenant highlights a wonderful aspect of Jehovah’s dealings with sinful humans, both the anointed, who are in the covenant, and those with an earthly hope. You can trust that once Jehovah has dealt with your sins, he will not bring them up again.
  15. Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus? Yes!

    You will notice you are not getting much response to your post. Be assured that it's not that you have made such a compelling argument that nobody can refute you. Rather, because of so much erroneous and dated information, it's more of a matter of "Where do I begin?" You may be confusing our understanding with respect to approach to God in general and Jesus' role as the mediator of the new covenant in behalf of anointed Christians. For a more current explanation you may want to read: w95 6/1 pg. 30 "Questions from readers" - although more current information is available according to which aspect of the arrangement of prayer you want to consider. You have also included references that go back as far as the 1800's - most of which isn't part of our beliefs now. As you likely already know, JW's view our understanding of the Bible as one that is not static, but changing according to "increased light." You may choose to disagree with that, but never-the-less, it is what we believe. Therefore, although information you have referred to may validly show that we have changed our view on certain things, it does not follow to assume we do not have the truth because of said changes. In fact, to many, it confirms we have the truth (or at least are on the right track, with the assumption there may be further revisions ahead). A simple unbiased view of the God's dealings and release of information in the Bible record from Gen. 3:15 onward shows a progressive, ongoing revelation or release of information of God's will to mankind. We're cool with that. And your point is...? Does "trinity" appear in the Bible? According to what appears to be your reasoning, since the word is not in the Bible, you should not believe in the Trinity. The absence of a word or expression cannot be used as a blanket assertion to confirm/deny it's validity. It may or may not - to be both honest and fair, more would need to be considered. It is nothing new in the Bible that God has had representatives who "claim special guidance" from him. Moses, Aaron, the Levitical priesthood, angels, Bible writers themselves, Jesus Christ, Governing Body, Faithful and Discreet Slave... And logically, what is the alternative? In our ministry, talking to literally hundreds or thousands of individuals, we come across people who feel they don't need something like a "governing body." They feel holy spirit teaches them. But if you talk to as many people as we do, you will find that if you ask a hundred different people who claim to understand God's Word because holy spirit teaches them, you will get a hundred different answers if you cover enough material. Sure, they may all believe in the "trinity," but ask them what a prophetic passage means and you will get answers all over the map. There is a reason, there are tens of thousands of Christian religions alone, all claiming guidance by holy spirit, but is beyond the scope of this response do a comparative study of them. It is true in any organization historically, even among Jehovah's chosen people at the time, the Israelites, that men in authority have made bad decisions without justification with bad results. The same is true with imperfect individuals today. Some have acted in good faith but imperfectly and some others have acted wickedly. That doesn't change what OUR relationship with God should be. "But I want YOU to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3 We sincerely believe that, although at times, some of our number may seem to lose sight of it.