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b4ucuhear

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  1. Anthropo (man/human) as in anthropology - a study of man and morphe/morpho (form or shape) is the basis for the idea of anthropomorphic expressions. It’s a fancy expression to describe a simple idea: that of imputing physical attributes to something that is not human. It’s easier to grasp for some people using cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse as an example. We know that mice don’t wear gloves, have fingers, talk, drive cars etc. But giving them human form, shape, (anthropomorphic) characteristics makes them appealing as cartoon characters. But in the context of a Biblical discussion, it is the attribution of human form or shape to God for instance. People who take these so-called anthropomorphic expressions literally refer to Genesis 1:26, 27 where it says “Let us create man in our image...” Therefore, when the Bible refers to “God’s finger “ or his “hand, arm” or that he “sees/hears/smells...” they take that to be a literal description. Of course, as we know, that is a very self-serving and arbitrary application - “cherry-picking” only those verses that support their point of view. Whereas with equal validity, the scriptures also refer to/describe God as a “shield...a burning fire...a sun...a rock...as having eagles’s wings...as being a spirit. Not to mention the logical absurdities to which their conclusions would lead if God was in fact like a human in the heavens. Simply put, the Bible uses anthropomorphic expressions to help us humans who live in a 3 dimensional physical world to understand spiritual realities we can’t see. Much like the temple and it’s sacrifices helped us to understand spiritual arrangements/realities using physical representations.
  2. "...all the nations have fallen victim...Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins and do not want to receive part of her plagues..." So you are saying that means: "Get out of New York?" What about everyone else on this planet who is affected that doesn't live in New York? Or am I not understanding your thinking here? I know you are convinced in your own mind about your interpretation, but if, after repeatedly writing the GB about your opinions to "correct" them and teach them (your) right interpretation and they didn't agree with you; the elders in your congregation didn't agree with you (although to be fair you said they weren't willing to entertain much that way); JWs in general don't agree with you; people on this website don't agree with you (and with good reasoning points); and even that other anti-JW posters have a different interpretation than you - you may want to humbly consider the possibility that you may need to rethink the direction you have taken over the last little while - and that you may be wrong. You are essentially asking us to believe that everyone else is wrong and you alone have a pipeline to the "real" truth from God. Most JW's have good reason for believing what they do and even when at times -as seen on this website - we may have questions about certain points we'd like to explore, we still respect the GB/JWs as being where we learned the basic truths we agree with and make JWs different from other religions. But for arguments' sake, even if someone accepted some or even all of what you (or other anti-JW posters) consider the truth, then what? What have you got to offer? Leave off being a JW - (which you and other posters here seem to despise and denigrate so much), to go where? To do what? Become part of what? It would be like a driver who picks up an unsuspecting hitchhiker who seems to be going the same way, and then drops them off in the middle of nowhere - with no food, no clothing or shelter.
  3. It's long, but worth repeating: (Re: Hebrews 11:6 "Whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him." From the comments in the Study Bible: "We love Jehovah "because he first loved us." (1 john 4:19) As one expression of his tender love, Jehovah has taken the initiative to bless his loyal servants. The more we love our God, the stronger our faith becomes, not only that he exists, but they he unfailingly rewards this whom he loves. (Heb. 11:6). Being a rewarder is an integral part of who Jehovah is and what he does. Our faith is not complete unless we are firmly convinced that God will reward those who earnestly seek him, for "faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for." (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith involves the certain expectation of God's promised blessings. How, though, does the hope of a reward benefit us? How has Jehovah rewarded his servants, both in the past and in the present? Let us see. Jehovah Promises to Bless His Servants Jehovah god has obligated himself to reward his faithful servants, so he invites us to reach our for his blessing. We read: "Test me out, please,...' Jehovah or arms says, 'to see whether I will not open to you the floodgates of the heavens and pour our on you a blessing until there is nothing lacking.'" (Mal. 3:10) We show our deep appreciation and gratitude when we accept Jehovah's generous offer. Jesus assured his disciples that if they would put the Kingdom first, God would support them. (Matt. 6:33) The certainty of Jesus' promises was based on Jehovah's perfect record of trustworthiness. Jesus knew that God's promises never fail. (Isa. 55:1) We, in turn, can be certain that if we manifest heartfelt faith in Jehovah, he will keep his promise: "I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you." (Heb. 13:5) We can link that inspired statement with what Jesus said about seeking first the Kingdom and God's righteousness. The apostle Peter once asked Jesus: "We have left all things and followed you; what, then, will there be for us?" (Matt. 19:27). Instead of rebuking Peter for asking that question, Jesus told his disciples that they would be rewarded for their sacrifices. The faithful apostles and others will rule with him in heaven. But even now there are rewards. Jesus said: "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children of lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit everlasting life." (Matt. 19:29) His disciples would gain blessings far in excess of any personal sacrifices they might make. An Anchor for the Soul By promising his worshippers a reward, Jehovah helps to sustain them during tests of integrity. Besides enjoying rich spiritual blessings now, Jehovah God's faithful servants eagerly look forward to even greater blessings in the future. (1 Tim. 4:8) Yes, our being firmly convinced that Jehovah "becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him" will help us to stand firm in the faith. (Heb. 11:6) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: "Rejoice and be overjoyed, since your reward is great in the heavens, for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you." (Matt. 5:12). Aside from those who will receive a reward in heaven, the prospect of everlasting live on a paradise earth is indeed reason to rejoice and be overjoyed. (Ps. 37:11; Luke 18:30) Whether heavenly or earthly our hope can serve as an "anchor for the soul, both sure and firm." (Heb. 6:17-20). Just as an anchor keeps a ship steady during a storm, the sure hope of a reward can help us to maintain our emotional, mental, and spiritual stability. It can help us to have the strength to endure hardships... Jehovah Was Their Rewarder The Bible was recorded for our benefit. It contains many accounts of how God did indeed rewarded faithful servants. (Rom. 15:4) Joseph was an outstanding example. As a result of a conspiracy by his brothers and the later treachery of his master's wife, he found himself in an Egyptian prison. Was he cut off from his God? Not at all! "Jehovah continued with Joseph and kept showing loyal love to him...Jehovah was with Joseph and Jehovah made whatever he did successful." (Gen. 39:21-23) Joseph, through those trialsome times, waited patiently on his God. Years later...Because Joseph remained loyal to God, he was rewarded with blessings that resulted in the preservation of life both for the Israelites and for the Egyptians. The point is, Jeosph recognized that it was Jehovah who had rewarded him and blessed him. (Gen. 45:5-9) Jesus Christ likewise remained obedient to God through various tests of his faith, and he was rewarded. What helped him to cope? God's Word explains: "For the joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame." (Heb. 12:2) Jesus certainly found joy in being able to sanctify God's name. Furthermore, he was rewarded with his Father's approval and many wonderful privileges. The Bible reports that he "has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." And elsewhere we read: "God exalted him to a superior position and kingly gave him the name that is above every other name." (Phil. 2:9) Jehovah Does Not Forget What We Do We can be sure that Jehovah appreciates every effort that we make to serve him...we can have full confidence in Jehovah's tender regard for what his servants do to stay faithful to him. (Heb. 6:10, 11) Rewards Now and Forever Spirit-anointed Christians are sustained by the prospect of receiving "the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give...as a reward in that day." (2 Tim. 4:7,8) ...Millions of Jesus' "other sheep" eagerly anticipate the future reward of everlasting life on a paradise earth. There "they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace." (John 10:16; Ps. 37:11)... (Jehovah) rewards every expression of sacred service that springs from a heart motivated by faith and love, no matter how insignificant it might seem to the giver of the sacrifice. (Mark 12:41-44) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Of course, our main reason for serving Jehovah is our love for him. (Mark 12:30). Still, we should look eagerly to the reward In fact, Jehovah expects us to do so! Hebrews 11:6 says: "..." Why does Jehovah want us to view him as a Rewarder? Because when we do, we show that we know our heavenly Father well. He is generous, and he loves his children...Moses had power, prestige and the wealth of Egypt at his disposal. Would he pursue these things, or would he serve Jehovah? Moses courageously chose the latter. Why? Because he "looked intently toward the payment of the reward." (Heb. 11:24-26). Yes, Moses was certainly not nonchalant about the hope that Jehovah set before him. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jehovah the Rewarder Of course, we serve Jehovah because we love hime - not just because he promises to reward us. Still, keeping close in our heart the hope of a reward is not improper or selfish. (Col. 3:23,24) Out of his love for them and the high value he places upon them, Jehovah takes the initiative and rewards those earnestly seeking him. ...this is already a lot and there are more comments that continue exploring the same subject. But this should give an idea...
  4. I can't claim to speak for anyone else here, but it appears to me you are going beyond the scope of your reference as to what people are trying to say here or maybe it's a misunderstanding. Let's use your example below as a starting point: So, let's say for example, your father asked you to go to bed early and get up early to walk the 2 miles to the box and get him the latest newspaper for tomorrow. Let's say he also promises that if you do that, he will give you a dollar. Great right? But is that dollar the only reason you would get the paper if you loved your father? No, you would do it out of love and respect for him. Still, since he also loves you, and recognizes that it may require no small measure of self-sacrifice, he offers to reward you with a dollar - even though he knows you love him and would probably do it for free. He sees that as both loving and fair on his part. In fact, he offers you that reward even before you actually perform the task. (He doesn't ask you to do it and say: "Maybe I'll give you something... we'll see." He offers it right up front.) So if you performed that task, it would be fair to "expect" he would give you a reward now, like he said he would, even though you might have done it for free. Jehovah does the same thing. He knows he asks a lot of us in facing the challenges of obedience in the face of Satan's vicious attacks and our own discouraging imperfections. He also knows that there will be individuals who would serve him out of love - and prove Satan a liar. We know he knew this even before he offered any rewards for obedience to such ones when he made the prophecy at Gen. 3:15 which assumed the obedience of his own Son as well as others. But Jehovah didn't leave it at that. He later made it clear that he would rightly show appreciation for obedience by rewarding such individuals. So it wouldn't be wrong to "expect" Jehovah to fulfill his promise of a reward, even if they would have done it for free. And Jehovah offers those rewards right up front. That however, does not support Satan's challenge that all humans only serve God for selfish gain or to save themselves. Jehovah knew Job was a faithful man and Jesus would be faithful under test as well - even before promising them anything. And he was right. He was also right to reward faithfulness of humans in the face of tests that they would not normally have expected (not part of the original deal) while perfect in the Garden of Eden. This was uncalled for. So obedience is an evidence of our love for God and reward is an evidence of God's love for us.
  5. Personally, I would without hesitation say more than the elders, organization and Governing Body - and I doubt you would get any JW disagreeing with that regardless of what you may think. Easy enough question to ask though. I'm just one JW. There are plenty of others you could ask. As for how much we should love Jesus compared to Jehovah God his Father and the Creator of all, I would say it would be best to adopt Jesus' own viewpoint on that. (I don't need to tell you what his answer would be). I would agree that it's very possible that some JW's give less attention and respect to Jesus than he deserves - although that could be said of individuals found in any Christian religion and I am not in a position to quantify percentages with polls to substantiate that. Well I don't need to tell you that most Christian religions "worship" Jesus. So the the love they should be showing Jehovah as God they direct to Jesus. Rom. 10:2 "For I bear witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge. 3) 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." It's also fair to say that some religions in particular, are very much based on emotion and hyperbole. John 4:22 "You worship who you do not know; we worship what we know..." It can be VERY difficult to carry on a Bible-based discussion with people who place their emotional feelings of being "special," to Jesus above what the Bible clearly states. That is why these "lovers of Jesus" are prepared to go to war and kill their fellow believers in Jesus' name. "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" was one well known song. Agreed. I would also mention however, that running around saying "I love Jesus," "praise Jesus" and "Hallelujah" (which most Christians don't even know the meaning of), is not in of itself an indication that they do in fact love Jesus. If they did love Jesus, they would be obedient to his commands as recorded in the Bible. This is one indication that JW's do in fact produce the fruitage showing they love Jesus as opposed to just emotional hot air. Ask yourself: Who would you rather be facing across the border in a time of war? A JW or any other so-called lover of Jesus?
  6. Is it wrong to serve God for a reward? It depends on what we consider to be a reward. If it is purely for selfish reasons, for what personal benefit we can get, regardless of how it affects others, yes it would be wrong. (That's why looking to dates can be a dangerous game - ((although it can serve as a net to catch pretenders who only serve God for personal benefit)). But consider please the example Jesus set as described at Hebrews 12:2: "as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus. For the joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." As the comments in the Study Bible correctly state: "What was 'the joy that was set before (Jesus)' for which he endured a torture stake"? It was the joy of seeing what his ministry would accomplish - including the sanctification of Jehovah's name, the vindication of God's sovereignty, and the ransoming of the human family from death." (That in itself was a reward to Jesus). BUT, "he also looked ahead to the reward of ruling as King and serving as High Priest to the benefit of mankind." Was that selfish of Jesus? No. Not when you consider that it was God himself who held out the hope Jesus had. So we can see that it is not necessarily a question of only one or the other. Even for those who love Jehovah and feel that obedience is it's own reward, Jehovah himself has always rewarded faithfulness and seen it proper to do so. In fact he often gave the the choice to reap the rewards of obedience or disobedience - whether "blessing or malediction." At 1 Cor. 15:32, under inspiration Paul stated: "If like other men, I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, of what good is it to me? If the dead are not to be raised up, 'let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die." So Paul was saying that if there was no reward for obedience in the form of a resurrection, why not live it up? If death ends it all, living for the present makes perfect sense." (comment from Study Bible). Again, we recall that Jehovah inspired Paul to write those words and it is historically true that Jehovah has always shown appreciation for and rewarded obedience. Even in the Garden of Eden, our first human parents had a wonderful prospect held out to them - everlasting life in perfection if they were obedient. Such obedience also shows we love God and respect him. 1 John 5:3 "for this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments..." Study Bible comments: "As described in the Bible, love for God is much more than a feeling In fact, although the feeling of love for Jehovah is essential, that feeling is just the beginning of real love for him. An apple seed is essential to the development of a fruit-bearing apple tree. If you wanted an apple, however, would you be content if someone merely handed you an apple seed? Hardly! Similarly, a feeling of love for Jehovah God is only a start. The bible teaches: "This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments;..." To be genuine, love for God must bear fine fruit. It must be expressed in actions." (Matt. 7:16-20) So a romanticized version of what it means to love God actually leaves God out of the picture. It leaves out how he views obedience and how he is ready, willing and able to reward obedience - and how it is proper for him to do so (as a God of love and justice). Heb. 11:6: "...without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him." The comments in the Study Bible for Hebrews 11:6 are of interest here - very pertinent.
  7. Sorry that I've been too busy to respond earlier. Does the WT really lead us into diminishing Jesus? I referenced the scriptures you had cited in the WT library and found that the number of "occurrences" referring to those scriptures was as follows: John 5:22 (166); Psalm 2:12 (238); Rev. 5:11-13 (414); Rev. 7:10 (1184); Phil. 2:8-11 (1561); Rev. 5:8 (167); Heb. 1:6 (156) for a total of three thousand, eight hundred and eighty-six times those 7 scriptures pertaining to Jesus were referred to. True, this included oblique references in that they didn't directly relate to the specific aspect of this conversation, but there were also many that were. Although I will include a partial quote from just one of those thousands of WT references, it should give us a better idea of what they actually teach. The question also worth asking is: When it comes to assigning honour, praise and glory, what example did Jesus himself set for all Christians? Anyway, below is just a smidgen of what WT readers know to expect: (I am putting this quote at the end so if you don't have the time to read it all you don't have to, and won't include the many scriptures ((most/all from the New Testament)) included to save space): "Now we come to the matter of honoring Jesus Christ. That his followers are obligated to honor him can be seen from his words at John 5:22, 23: 'For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honour the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honour the Father who sent him." Since Christ's resurrection, Jehovah has honored his Son to an even greater degree, 'crowning him with glory and honour for having suffered death.' Basically, we have reasons to honor Jesus both because of who he is and because of what he has done. Jesus Christ deserves our honor because he, as the Logos, or Word, is Jehovah's communicator pare excellence...he is the only one directly created by Jehovah. In addition, 'all things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.'...Surely, the fact that Jesus in his prehuman existence had the marvellous privilege of sharing with Jehovah God in creation makes him worthy of great honor... Jesus Christ further deserves honor because he is Jehovah's chief angel, or archangel...The archangel Michael fights in behalf of God's Kingdom, taking the lead in cleansing the heavens of Satan and his demonic hordes... Not only does Jesus Christ deserve to be honored because of who he is but he also deserves our honor because of what he has done...(He) remained 'loyal, guileless, separated from sinners' in spite of all that the Devil could bring upon him in the way of temptations or persecutions...And because of his keeping sinless integrity, Jesus vindicated his heavenly Father as the rightful universal Sovereign and proved the Devil to be a base and gross liar... Jesus Christ deserves our honor, not only because he lived a perfect, sinless life but also because he was a good man, an unselfish, self-sacrificing man. He tirelessly ministered to the spiritual and physical needs of the people...What suffering he was willing to undergo in doing his Father's will! Jesus also deserves our honor because of the king example he set for us in honouring his heavenly Father...by his words and deeds...Therefore, at the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus could rightly say in prayer to his heavenly Father: 'I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do.' What He Has Done for US How greatly Jesus Christ is deserving of our honor because of all he has accomplished for us! He died for our sins so that we can be reconciled to Jehovah God...Thus his death made possible all that the Kingdom will accomplish for us humans. Jesus Christ is also deserving of honor because, as the Great Teacher, he has perfectly revealed his Father's will and personality to us. ... The apostle Paul well summarized Jesus' honor-deserving course when he wrote: 'Although he was existing in God's form (he) gave no consideration to a seizure, namely that he should be equal to God... How Can We Honor the Son? We do so by exercising faith in his ransom sacrifice, and we prove that faith by taking the necessary steps of repentance, conversion , dedication, and baptism. By coming to Jehovah in prayer in Jesus' name, we honor Jesus. We further honor him when we heed his words: 'If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me. We honor Jesus Christ when we heed his instructions to keep seeking first God's Kingdom and his righteousness. and we honor him when we heed his command to share in the disciple-making work. Again, we honor Jesus when we manifest the brotherly love he said would identify all his true followers. Further, we bring honor to the Son by taking upon ourselves his name, calling ourselves Christians, and then by living up to that name by our fine conduct...And certainly, when we annually celebrate the Memorial of Christ's death, we accord him special honor..."
  8. A little bit of a stretch applying that to the GB don't you think? So we should all be listening to this stranger's voice? Because it seems pretty strange alright. (Can you say: "Not playing with a full deck?") According to her self-written profile, Pearl Doxsey, "Has been chosen to be a light in the world...called to be a prophet in the body of Christ..." That's not to say God can't and hasn't chosen or inspired humans to speak for him. But this isn't one of those...pretty sure
  9. Maybe you should take some time to read our publications to get a clearer understanding of what we officially believe. While I can't speak for the point of view of individuals such as yourself, I can highlight what we are officially taught and what I am aware of myself. This is from the "Insight Book volume 1 under "Good News" which is there for all to see. "GOOD NEWS This refers to the good news of the kingdom of God and of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. It is called in the Bible the 'good news of the kingdom' (Mt. 4:23), 'the good news of God' (Rom.15:16), 'the good news about Jesus Christ (Mr. 1:1), 'the good news of the undeserved kindness of God' (Ac. 20:24), 'the good news of peace' (Eph. 6:15), and the 'everlasting good news." (Re. 14:6)...It's Content An idea of the content and scope of the good news can be gained from the above designations. It includes all the truths about which Jesus spoke and the disciples wrote. While men of old hoped in God and had faith through knowledge of Him. God's purpose and underserved kindness were first 'made clearly evident throughout the manifestation of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death but has shed light upon life and incorruption through the good news. 2 Ti. 1:9, 10...Jesus' Earthly Ministry and His Return. It is noteworthy that, for about six months before Jesus came to him for baptism, John the Baptizer preached: 'Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near,' and when Jesus appeared, John pointed to Jesus as the 'Lamb of Go that takes away the sin of the world.' (Mt. 3:1 2. Joh 1;29). Thus he turned the people's attention toward the long-awaited Messianic King. (Ac. 19:4)...While Jesus was on earth, he and his disciples announced: "The kingdom of he heavens has drawn near." (Mt. 4:17, 10:7). Jesus, anointed as Christ, the King, said to the Pharisees, his enemies: 'The kingdom of God is in your midst.' (Lu 17:20, 21) This was the theme, or central point, of the good news during Jesus' earthly ministry. However, it is not reported that after Jesus' death the disciples proclaimed the Kingdom as having 'drawn near' or as being at hand. Rather, the good news they preached was that after Jesus had laid down his life as the ransom price for salvation, he ascended to heaven and was then sitting at God's right hand. They also preached about Jesus' return at a later time and his Kingdom to come. (Heb. 10:12, 13; 2 Tim. 4:1; Re. 11:15; 12:10; 22:20, compare Lu 19:12, 15)" - end of quote. So the "good news" involves more than one aspect. So to be fair, JW's always acknowledge Jesus' role as Saviour and King and Redeemer and we do that each and every day and several times a day. After all, when we pray, don't we acknowledge Jesus' office in our prayers - praying in his name? We pray that way in our personal prayers, at mealtimes, at congregation meetings, at assemblies, district conventions, memorial, meetings for field service and even when conducting Bible studies with interested ones. So if you are insinuating we are somehow diminishing Jesus in our preaching and daily lives, I would suggest you are not being very honest. Even in the GOOD NEWS brochure that we discuss with people in our ministry, a consideration of Jesus and his role and importance comes before a consideration on the kingdom and is true also of other publications. ( ie. What Does the Bible Really Teach?) So while we do in fact highlight what Jesus and God's Kingdom will accomplish in behalf of mankind, it's a judgment call as to what aspect we may highlight according to the householder. For instance, in North America and much of Europe, there are hundreds of millions of Christians within tens of thousands of denominations. What is one thing they almost all have in common with us today - centuries after Jesus? That we believe Jesus is the Messiah, that he is a king, that salvation is only possible through faith in him, that God's promises are 'Amen' through him, that there is 'not another name under heaven by which we can gain salvation...'" So if our ministry only focused on preaching a message we all already agree with, of what use is it? However, the message regarding God's Kingdom, what it will accomplish, who will benefit and what benefits there will be and the issue of universal sovereignty is largely lost or entirely missing to most people - Christian or otherwise. Jesus didn't put praying for 'God's Kingdom to come' near the top of the Lord's Prayer list for nothing. After all, how many Christians who pray for 'God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven...' know what that purpose is? Is it really to destroy the earth in a fireball? So if JW's highlight an aspect of the Good News (earthly paradise or more...) that is necessary for people to know about, and are unaware of already, what of it?
  10. Actually, God does not "hate that his people be counted." We have Bible precedents on that too. (Exodus 30:11-16; Numbers 1:1-3; Numbers 26:1-4...and how do we know how many volunteers served with judge Gideon if they weren't counted...?) The fact is that David's sin in taking a census was a sin on that one occasion (2 Sam. 24:1-10) but that wasn't usually the case. Why was this an exception or different? The Bible doesn't say even though there is speculation as to why this occasion was different, but I'm not sure we can be dogmatic on it either way. So you can't just "cherry-pick" isolated passages from the Bible and "shoehorn" them into a wrong context ("going beyond the scope of your reference" as they say) and then misapply them. That's what apostates often do, so you should be careful with that. The fact is, there are many good and practical reasons God's servants are/were counted - both then and now. I won't list all those reasons since they should be obvious already and I'm not going to do your homework/thinking for you. So with ample scriptural and modern-day evidence, suggesting that "...the WT Society should stop counting how many JW's there are worldwide," is simply (and I would have hoped, obviously) wrong. Re: "...especially about the 10 years..." That makes two of us. *\_(".)_/* (Actually a lot more than two...). Believe me, this wasn't my idea posted, but if you don't know what I am referring to, it's probably better we keep it that way. "Mum's the word"... shhhhh (finger to lips)
  11. I hope he doesn't get a sliver, or worse yet, athlete's lips
  12. "He just pulls it out of his hat..." I was thinking of another 3 letter word, but sure, "hat." Let's go with "hat"
  13. And who would you identify as being that group of people? Are there just two or three? Or two hundred and three? Two thousand or three? Who are they? After all, everyone claims to be part of Jesus' flock but Jesus clearly indicated that most who claim to serve him would not actually be approved. And how can you expect to "gather together in my name" with them if you don't even know who they are? Not really. With all due respect, I'm still waiting for you to answer my simple question whether many words or few. Take as long as you like. (Well, less than "10 years" anyway, cause you know what happens then...;) Oh, and while we are on the subject, do you also believe that the true anointed will be manifest within 10 years and make the date of the judgment known? And if not, why not? Please back up your answer with scriptural references - especially about the 10 years...
  14. ??? No. But that has already been dealt with. No point in rehashing old ground with people who don't want to listen. We don't have any clear examples of how you shouldn't drive a car recklessly over the speed limit either, do we? But we do, as has already been stated, have laws, principles... But you already know that, right? Let's turn that around for a change and give you a chance to explain which flock and congregation YOU think Jesus is head over and how he directs said individuals. It's not enough to snipe from the sidelines. If you've got something better to direct people to, let's have at it. And if the best you can come up with is an anarchy of individual perceptions, let me know so I can start laughing now.
  15. The problem with suggesting that the "elders are under Jesus' full control, power and direction," is that people can get a skewed idea. Imperfect, uninspired men can become "masters of our faith" rather than "good-for-nothing slaves that are doing what they should." Of course, we respect the "arrangement" God has in place for pure worship and give "double honour" to those taking the lead. But that is a far cry from handing all of our personal thinking, choices and decisions over to imperfect men, thinking they are "fully controlled" by Jesus and anything but is being disobedient to him. Jesus and Jehovah have provided direction in his Word as guidelines for how the congregation should be run. But sometimes men in authority go "beyond what is written" and we should use our "clear thinking faculties" to be able to discern the difference. The fact is, that if one is too lazy to study and read God's Word or are gullible, you can start acting like you are in a cult - even when you are not. Child molesters (yes some have been "elders") get away with their actions for decades - not because Jesus is controlling them to do that, but because children are confused or awed by the authority they have. Even otherwise, at times, men in authority in the organization have assumed too much authority and used that authority in a way they are not authorized scripturally to do. People need to know the difference. "Whole-souled devotion" to Jehovah does not mean whole-souled devotion to imperfect men - even when we respect what authority they have as part of Jehovah's arrangement and offer scriptural obedience. Why? One reason is that some of these men are not who they appear to be (whether they be "wolves in sheep's clothing," "wicked men and imposters," "rocks hidden below the surface..." There is no level of authority within the organization where such men have not been found.) Should we be obedient to them? We need to know the difference when such men (i.e.. apostates or immoral men) direct things not in harmony with Jesus' direction as recorded in the Bible. Also, that way we won't be stumbled when Jesus apparently gets dates and teachings wrong and has to back-track on what he directed/controlled before. No, the reality is that we still have to use our brains.

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