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JW Insider

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JW Insider last won the day on July 12

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  1. As soon as I saw this on the 21st, I wrote a response that disappeared just as I was about to "Submit Reply." I figured that it was probably a bad sign that my computer touchpad was jumping the cursor all over the place, but it was probably a good sign that I shouldn't keep writing 3 page responses to a simple question. So I didn't try to rewrite it, and went on to other things. To my surprise, I came back here today and see that @Witness gave nearly the exact response that I had written. I even gave that response of hers an upvote, and I even agree with much that is in the second response she gave right after it. (Luke 3:21, 22) . . .Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus too was baptized. As he was praying, the heaven was opened up, 22 and the holy spirit in bodily form like a dove came down upon him, and a voice came out of heaven: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.” (Luke 4:1) . . .Then Jesus, full of holy spirit, turned away from the Jordan, and he was led about by the spirit in the wilderness (Luke 4:17, 18) . . .So the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him, and he opened the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18 “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor.. . . Then I had added a few additional verses, starting with: (Acts 10:37, 38) . . .starting from Galʹi·lee after the baptism that John preached: 38 about Jesus who was from Nazʹa·reth, how God anointed him with holy spirit and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing . . . (Hebrews 1:5-9) . . .For example, to which one of the angels did God ever say: “You are my son; today I have become your father”? And again: “I will become his father, and he will become my son”? . . . 8 But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. 9 You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions.” Along with this, to help explain the context in Hebrews, I had added that the expression "You are my son, today I have become your father," was a formulaic expression for the anointing of kings like David and Solomon. This is clearly how Hebrews 1 is using it with the idea of the throne and scepter and the obeisance and "his Kingdom" -- "that is why . . . God anointed" him. @Witness had gone directly to Psalm 45:7 which Hebrews quotes from and then used some of the same additional scriptures about the anointing of kings. @Witness went a little further on this point and added the priests to the equation and therefore tied in later scriptures in Hebrews (and Revelation, etc.) about how the kingdom is also a priesthood, which I had not thought to mention. But Hebrews happens to tie the priestly appointing (anointing) as part of the same event when Jehovah said at Jesus' baptism: "You are my son, today..." (Hebrews 5:1-6) . . .For every high priest taken from among men is appointed in their behalf over the things relating to God, so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. . . . . 4 A man does not take this honor of his own accord, but he receives it only when he is called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So, too, the Christ did not glorify himself by becoming a high priest, but was glorified by the One who said to him: “You are my son; today I have become your father.” 6 As he also says in another place, “You are a priest forever in the manner of Mel·chizʹe·dek.” Also, you will notice that the article @Anna posted from the Aid book contains several of the same points that Witness made. The one point I take some exception too, @Patiently waiting for Truth, is that you have made more of the specific timing as if it is the most important thing to get out of this. And you may have "summoned" my take on this because you know that I will agree that it indicates the Kingdom did not start in 1914. I agree that it doesn't. But this doesn't mean we need to focus on exactly when Jesus was appointed as King or Priest, or when the Kingdom started, or when he was "King-Designate." Recall that David was anointed (by Samuel) before he became King, and that he was hailed as King by his early followers before he was officially made King after Saul's death. Specific timing of appointments and titles is not the importance of scripture to us today. It's the "fact" of Jesus' appointment to the "offices" of king and priest and mediator and his own sacrifice as a ransom payment for sin. Is it wrong to say Jesus was born king? Or what about the prophet Simeon? (Matthew 2:2) . . .“Where is the one born king of the Jews? . . . (Luke 2:25-32) . . .And look! there was a man in Jerusalem named Simʹe·on, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for Israel’s consolation, and holy spirit was upon him. 26 Furthermore, it had been divinely revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ of Jehovah. 27 Under the power of the spirit, he now came into the temple, and as the parents brought the young child Jesus in to do for him according to the customary practice of the Law, 28 he took the child into his arms and praised God and said: 29 “Now, Sovereign Lord, you are letting your slave go in peace according to your declaration, 30 because my eyes have seen your means of salvation 31 that you have prepared in the sight of all the peoples, 32 a light for removing the veil from the nations and a glory of your people Israel.” I'll fall back on the argument that even if Jesus wasn't yet officially "anointed" ("Christ") at birth, he was designated ("appointed") to this purpose and this meant it was as good as accomplished for those who have faith in the fulfillment of Jehovah's purpose.
  2. I agree with you 100% that it's possible to mix them up. In fact, "@Patiently. . ." was on the right track when he asked: Specifically, when Jesus said "the harvest is great" he seems to refer to the importance and urgency of the preaching work during any time in history. There was an urgency during the first century and there is an urgency now. However, when Jesus said, "the harvest is the synteleia of the age" (NWT: "the harvest is a conclusion of the system of the things" this was specifically using the term "harvest" in the sense of a final gathering up of those "chosen" (the wheat) from among the "weeds." As you said, separate illustrations don't have to be referring to the exact same aspect of an idea, just because the subject appears to be the same. I should have acknowledged @Patiently's original question more clearly rather than by just saying ". . . this 'harvest' (or perhaps, 'a harvest') . . . " To me, and you, there is no reason to mix the meanings of the general "preaching" harvest and the "end-times" gathering of the wheat and weeds (or the gathering/harvest of the chosen ones). But this doesn't mean there is no connection. In fact, even though we've had this conversation before where this separation between two harvests has already been made, I was still acknowledging that there is a logical connection, as the Watchtower publications have also claimed. In the God's Kingdom Rules book for example, chapter 9 contains the following discussion, which also ties together these same verses (which you might claim was like mixing up Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood). *** kr chap. 9 pp. 88-95 pars. 5-21 Results of Preaching—“The Fields . . . Are White for Harvesting” *** In a vision given to the apostle John, Jehovah reveals that he assigned Jesus to take the lead in a global harvest of people. (Read Revelation 14:14-16.) In this vision, Jesus is described as having a crown and a sickle. The “golden crown on [Jesus’] head” confirms his position as ruling King. The “sharp sickle in his hand” confirms his role as Harvester. By stating through an angel that “the harvest of the earth is fully ripe,” Jehovah emphasizes that the work is urgent. Indeed, “the hour has come to reap”—there is no time for delay! In response to God’s command “put your sickle in,” Jesus thrusts in his sickle, and the earth is reaped—that is, people of the earth are reaped. This exciting vision reminds us that again “the fields . . . are white for harvesting.” Does this vision help us to determine when this global harvest began? Yes! 6 Since John’s vision in Revelation chapter 14 shows Jesus, the Harvester, wearing a crown (verse 14), his appointment as King in 1914 had already taken place. (Dan. 7:13, 14) Sometime after that, Jesus is commanded to start the harvest (verse 15). The same order of events is seen in Jesus’ parable about the harvest of the wheat, where he states: “The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things.” Thus, the harvest season and the conclusion of this system of things began at the same time—in 1914. Later “in the harvest season,” the actual harvesting began. (Matt. 13:30, 39) [Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’” . . . and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, and the reapers are angels.] Looking back from our vantage point in time, we can see that the harvest began some years after Jesus started ruling as King. First, from 1914 until the early part of 1919, Jesus carried out a cleansing work among his anointed followers. . . . Then, in 1919, “the harvest of the earth” began. Without delay, Jesus used the newly appointed faithful slave to help our brothers see the urgency of the preaching work. . . . Since 1919, zealous harvest workers have been gathered into the restored Christian congregation. . . . 20 In the first century, Jesus helped his apostles to see that the harvest work was urgent. From 1919 onward, Jesus has helped his modern-day disciples to grasp the same truth. In response, God’s people have intensified their activities. In fact, the harvest work has proved to be unstoppable. As foretold by the prophet Malachi, the preaching work is being carried out today “from the rising of the sun to its setting.” (Mal. 1:11) Yes, from sunrise to sunset—from east to west, no matter where they are on earth—sowers and reapers work and rejoice together. And from sunrise to sunset—from morning till evening, or all day long—we work with a sense of urgency. 21 As we look back today over some 100 years and see how a small group of God’s servants has grown into “a mighty nation,” our heart does indeed “throb and overflow” with joy. (Isa. 60:5, 22) May that joy and our love for Jehovah, “the Master of the harvest,” impel each one of us to keep on doing our share in completing the greatest harvest of all time!—Luke 10:2. [Then he said to them: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.] The chapter in "kr" also tried to deal with the problem of timing in order to date the harvest of the conclusion of the system of things beginning after Jesus becomes king, and showing that the harvest would begin some time later. The article times these two events at 1914 and 1919, of course.
  3. I think you asked an excellent question here. Last year, I think, you were part of the conversation where the point was made that this verse seems like an exception to the more general idea in the Bible that the end, last day, his parousia, the synteleia, end of all things, his manifestation, his appearance, his revelation, the day of the Lord, Jehovah's day, the harvest, trumpet call, judgment day, resurrection, etc. all refer (generally) to a single, great future apocalyptic event of unknown duration. While that entire apocalyptic event is still future, Christians are told to keep it in mind, and expect that it can occur suddenly, at any time, as if without warning. Yet, this verse in Matthew definitely refers to the harvest as if it can cover a long period of time. The disciples themselves were part of this "harvesting" work. The analogy here was not wheat (sheaves), but sheep, who would be gathered into the fold. (Matthew 10:5-7) These 12 Jesus sent out, giving them these instructions: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Sa·marʹi·tan city; 6 but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’ (Matthew 10:23) . . .for truly I say to you, you will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives. It would not be time to begin gathering (or bringing in) other sheep until after Jesus died. (John 10) This is just an idea, but I think the solution is related to what I said before on the issue of the kingdom, the last day, the conclusion/end (synteleia), etc. I doubt that I made the made the point very well in the post on the previous page (from 3 days ago). I'll try to make it again. Keep in mind that it will be a similar point that the Watchtower articles have grappled with when speaking about why, if Jesus came into his Kingdom in 1914, we should still pray for that Kingdom to come: *** w07 9/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers *** When Jesus came into his Kingdom authority in 1914, *** ws14 1/15 p. 26 par. 2 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? *** As Bible students, we know that God’s Kingdom came in 1914 when Jesus was made King in heaven. *** w14 1/15 pp. 27-28 par. 2 “Let Your Kingdom Come”—But When? *** As Bible students, we know that in one sense God’s Kingdom came in 1914 when Jesus was installed as King in heaven. But we know that more is involved in response to the prayer “Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matt. 6:10) Clearly, that includes the end of the present wicked system. Only when that occurs can God’s will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven. In fact, with all the renewed "anniversary" emphasis on 1914 in the year 2014, the WTS decided to add a new song to the songbook, manually, that most Witnesses printed out on paper from jw.org and carried with them to the KH. The song was clearly meant to face the potential contradiction head on. As stated before, the problem is not just the "kingdom" or the "harvest." Note: The kingdom is coming, but Jesus also said it was already in their midst: (Luke 17:21) . . .For look! the Kingdom of God is in your midst.” The early Christians were awaiting the time to become kings and priests but were already made a kingdom of priests: (Revelation 1:6) 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father. . . (Ephesians 2:6) . . .Moreover, he raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus, We are awating Jesus' manifestation, yet Peter and Hebrews said he was already made manifest: (1 Peter 1:20) .20 True, he was foreknown before the founding of the world, but he was made manifest at the end of the times for the sake of YOU (Hebrews 9:26-27) . . .But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this a judgment, We expect that Satan is not completely cast down until the final battle in heaven is complete, yet: (John 12:31) . . .Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (Luke 10:18) At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven. . . The day of the Lord, the day of salvation was future, yet: (2 Corinthians 6:2) . . .Look! Now is the day of salvation. We are awaiting the last day, the last hour: (John 6:54) . . .and I will resurrect him on the last day; (John 12:48) . . .The word that I have spoken is what will judge him on the last day. Yet, the "last hour" was already here in the first century: (1 John 2:18) . . .Young children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared, from which fact we know that it is the last hour. Last days: (Acts 2:16, 17) . . .this is what was said through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I will pour out some of my spirit . . . Paul explained that it was because they were in the last days that Timothy was seeing critical times hard to deal with: (2 Timothy 3:1-14) . . .But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, . . . 8 Now in the way that Janʹnes and Jamʹbres opposed Moses, so these also go on opposing the truth. . . . as it was with those two men. 10 But you have closely followed my teaching,. . . 13 But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled. 14 You, however, continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from whom you learned them Hebrews 1:2, from the literal Greek, also says the same: (Hebrews 1:2) 2 Now [in the last days] he has spoken to us by means of a Son,. . . And it's similar with this harvest or gathering of the chosen ones, at the last trumpet: (Matthew 24:31) . . .And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity. (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) . . .we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds. . . Yet, this "harvest" (or perhaps, "a harvest") or gathering can also be spoken of as going on all along since the first century: (Matthew 9:37-10:1) . . .“Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” 10:1 So he summoned his 12 disciples and gave them authority . . . (2 Corinthians 9:10) . . .Now the One who abundantly supplies seed to the sower and bread for eating will supply and multiply the seed for you to sow and will increase the harvest of your righteousness.) The explanation, I think, although it might sound a bit strained, is simply that the word about the coming parousia, synteleia, kingdom, harvest, etc., is so sure that we see should see it as if being fulfilled now. It helps us to see --through faith-- and therefore we are better prepared for the potential troubles of this system, even those which may threaten and take our lives. We may die, yet still "happily" await the harvest, because the things we do (in faith) go right with us. (Revelation 14:13-16) And I heard a voice out of heaven say, “Write: Happy are the dead who die in union with the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the spirit, let them rest from their labors, for the things they did go right with them.” 14 Then I saw, and look! a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel emerged from the temple sanctuary, calling with a loud voice to the one seated on the cloud: “Put your sickle in and reap, because the hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” 16 And the one seated on the cloud thrust his sickle into the earth, and the earth was reaped. It's about the sureness of the promise, and therefore keeping that day "close in mind." (2 Peter 1:10-21) 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail. 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.. . .16 No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts. (2 Peter 3:12) as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah,. . .
  4. If you mean you are leaving the entire forum, I wish you weren't. I'll miss you, and so will several others, I'm sure. If you do mean the entire forum, then I hope all goes well. You've added a lot of important points over the last few years, in my opinion.
  5. I finished the entire interview. I would have had 100 questions. Then I was surprised that Barbara Anderson came on and actually asked her a lot of the questions I would have asked. I don't think this is so hard to figure out. She admits that her father probably gave her drugs, that her mother was a "weakling" who wouldn't have spoken up. She admits that her father made all the arrangements, and that it went on from the time she was about 3 until she was 15, but that this "activity" where she describes her demon as an entity that protected her, allowing her to become someone else, actually rarely happened again after she was 9. She also says that her relationship with her father deteriorated greatly at age 12. When she confronted her father, he said it was what it was. (Oddly, she also says that she must have fallen asleep right after these "sessions" and had no memory of it until waking up to go to school the next day.) The ability of a religious person to manipulate a victim often involves finding an analogy between light and darkness in scripture or "rationale" that makes them feel special or knowledgeable. In her case it was her father's "logic" about the sun and moon all being a part of the same good day. (Greater and lesser luminary, light and dark.) I don't want to judge her or her father but, unfortunately, almost every detail lends support to a theory that she was abused by her father, and needed to find a way to finally suppress the actuality of incest. Most abuse victims suppress it well enough never to feel a need to talk about it until 40 or more years later. When she was seeking out Bill Bowen and Barbara Anderson, which she had "forgotten," but Barbara remembered, this would have been around the year 2000, when she felt she was running for her life -- and admits that she began her involvement in the occult. Both of those ex-JWs specialized in sexual abuse. She remained in denial for 15 years by pioneering, but then appears to still be in denial of the purpose for which she would have sought out Bowen and Anderson. I believe that most all the details she needed to keep it suppressed under a different cover were just becoming available in 2000 when she says she was asked if she remembered this and that from other people who had been through similar experiences. She gives plenty of evidence that her "memories" are not from experience but from things she read, probably mixed them with just enough real memories. She was unaware that these tunnels hadn't been built yet, when she claimed to have seen them, and she had the tiling wrong, the color wrong, the lights wrong, etc. She claims she knew these persons well, and called them all by their names, but uses the pronunciation "Jaracks" for Jaracz (which is pronounced Jerrus). That's evidence of memories through reading. She got Sister Sydlik's description completely wrong, although I'd guess it might easily fit descriptions of her on jehovahs-witnesses.com. She finally admitted that her memory might have been based on an aunt of hers instead. I said above that, based on her timeline, she would likely have been cementing these "necessary memories" around 2000. This is also evidenced by her "memory" that Brother Swingle smelled like ink. Well, I've worked right next to him in his office, and he didn't smell like ink in 1976-1982. No one else I knew ever said they thought he did either, but curiously it was only in the year 2001, that the Watchtower first mentioned this (July 1, 2001): Lyman Swingle began his service at Jehovah’s Witnesses’ world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, on April 5, 1930. He served there for nearly 71 years. Lyman was first assigned to the bindery, then to the pressroom, and he also helped make ink. In fact, Brother Swingle spent about 25 years in the ink room. He also served for some 20 years as a member of the headquarters’ writing staff. For the final 17 years of his life, he worked in the Treasurer’s Office. -
      Hello guest!
    Except for the first couple years, he was actually an administrator/manager in the ink room. No one I knew ever thought he smelled like ink, because he didn't. Creating a "memory" out of something one reads during a time when one needs those memories for suppressive purposes is understandable. (For similar examples, watch "Professor T," a well-written series on PBS.
      Hello guest!
    ) [The first episode, "Anatomy of a Memory" is free on the pbs site.] There are many more items like this. The blue color of her robes, seems it could have come from Clayton Woodworth's description of the blue cloth related to his own demon possession. The problematic nature of the book "Angels and Women" is something you can read about, but she had absolutely no knowledge of the inside contents of the book, except for the summary phrases using the exact expressions from Golden Age comments "about" the book. Yet she says it was read to her every night as a bedtime book by her father. There is never anything definitive about these cases, but I have to say that everything can be seen to fit the patterns of sexual abuse cases perpetrated by the father. I feel terribly for the woman.
  6. I have a set of about two dozen children's books where each book includes a child's imaginary friend and the interactions with that friend. I would never read these to my children, but psychologists say it is extremely common. I realized when talking to my 5 year old granddaughter at age 2 she was already talking a lot about an imaginary friend. When she was three and four she also gave ages ranging from 5 to 25 to her dolls and stuffed animals and tells me stories about how each of them get along with each other. I don't recall anything so creative about myself or my own three children. We had a brother from Florida/Bahamas in our congregation, the brother who handled the literature counter, and he was always telling stories about ghosts and demon possession from back home. Sometimes a crowd of young sisters would gather around the literature counter and I could correctly guess that he was telling another ghost story. But I also recognized that some of his stories were just plain old superstitions, or stories that turned out to be false, but that many people believe, such as snakes that turn themselves in a hoop and roll down hills to attack, or eat their own tails until just a snake head remains, etc. I was nearby when an elder told him to stop telling these stories, and he was defensive about how everyone should know the machinations of the Devil. My wife and I studied with a couple who both claimed to hear demons in the house breaking dishes and whatnot. They always made a big deal about how they both heard it at the same time, and it wasn't boiler pipes, or rats, etc. (or ravens: Never Morse! Never Morse!) But it caught my attention that their attempts to call out Jehovah's name would sometimes work for only one of them, not the other, and which one was helped would sometimes be reversed. They both ended up being baptized and are still doing well, but they also told me later that at the time they were experimenting with sexual aberrations, wife-swapping, etc., and now they think it was their "guilt" talking, and maybe some drugs, too.
  7. Thanks for responding. As soon as I opened "6 screens" I knew I would have trust issues with the video, because I have known completely false information in the past to come from that site on the only other video I have watched from them so far. And then I noticed that this 'tl;dw' too long ; don't watch. But I might get to it another time. I did watch 5 minutes and lost interest after the kinds of admissions made in those first few minutes. An an early mistake caught my attention. It won't mean much unless there are other similar ones, which may or may not come up later. (It was the idea that the arrangement just before the elder arrangement was the "company servant." The actual sequence was "company servant" a very long time ago, before her birth, then for many years the "congregation servant," and then the "elder arrangement" (with the "presiding overseer" and more recently "chairman of the BOE"). It's possible evidence she's confused what she's read with what she's experienced.) The potential of this resulting from CSA trauma also fits a couple of her descriptions and even a potential Freudian slip or two: For example: When she accidentally uses the the word "insect" for "incense" (at 00:05:16) she just happens to use two words that could phonetically combine to "incest." And then she relates it to a "bunch of men" in the woods watching her in "her little blue robes" which might give away more than she thinks she is giving away. And her subsequent protest that this wasn't a CSA experience rings hollow. This Freudian theory sounds like a stretch, I'm sure, but I don't know if you are aware that this exact same Freudian slip was already made to be the key to a 1995 movie about CSA called "ANGELS and INSECTS." Spoiler alert: In the move, the problem with the girl is discovered when the solver rearranges the word INSECT to spell INCEST, and the entomological and etymological conflation finally explains all her obsessions. It's almost too much that she will then, you say, go on to make use of the title "ANGELS and WOMEN" in the same video. It smacks of being a test case for Bruno Bettelheim's famous 1976 book: "The Uses of Enchantment." Anyway, as interesting as it might be, there is also the area of demon possession which I know nothing about, and don't intend to learn about either. This may mean that no matter how much I think I could learn from it, I will never wish to wrap my head around this type of experience. It just becomes a matter of prayer and supplication, and I can say no more.
  8. I assume you already know that I don't have any power to ban people from this forum. And I wouldn't ban anyone anyway, because I don't believe it's a good or useful thing to do. I think everyone comes to these forums for their own reasons. Mine are different from yours obviously. But I don't think I have any more right to be here than you do. I don't know the owner of the forum, and I'm not always happy with the way things go all the time, but it's not my forum, and he or she or they can run it as wished. I'm tired of it at times, but I still like to share what I learn, and learn if what I have shared has been thought about in a different way by others. The most important thing for me is to share things in such a way that they might attract some others who are equally willing to discuss the same issues that have caused concern for me or other WItnesses, and who have found solutions or counterpoints to the specific issues raised. I understand where you are coming from. And based on things you have said, I would agree that the easiest way to handle issues I have brought up (when you disagree) is to simply think of me as an apostate, or think of me as dishonest, or badly motivated. It's not possible for you to think of me as a brother, and I admit that it stings a bit, but I understand that I have no reason to take it personally on a forum, where I am not here in person. And I would not be able to be so honest if I were here in person, anyway. But this in no way keeps me from thinking of you as a sister, and understanding the predicament. If an apostate said any of the things I am saying, you would not need to be the least bit concerned with giving any kind of answer or response. You could merely ignore it, or simply state that you disagree. And you might even want to spit a bit of venom my way. It's probably natural. I understand that it is my own fault if I create discomfort for some, in the same way that these questions once created discomfort for me. Some still do create a lot of discomfort for me, but I will still be honest about these issues, especially if I am going to find someone else who has found a solution that works for them, and might also work better for me. The way I have come to see it is this: that in order to provoke an honest response I sometimes need to state the issue as honestly as I think it's possible to state it. There are many examples right here under this same topic. In a previous post here, I could have said, for example: I don't think that Russell should be seen as having a special part in the fulfillment of Malachi 3 because I think it's possible he lied in court and it's possible he showed himself to be hypocritical and it's possible he was presumptuous and it's possible he was dishonest in other ways. That might be a bit provocative but it would not be likely to elicit a real thought-out defense of why Russell should have a part in fulfilling Malachi 3. It just makes it more likely that someone will simply respond: OK maybe Russell did some of those things, and maybe he didn't, so let's just give him the benefit of the doubt, and go with the WTS publications that involve Russell's work in the fulfillment of Malachi 3. It's not that claim would have been dishonest, because I do believe "it's possible" when I spoke about those things I believed were possible. But it would be more honest if I stated my more honest belief that it's not only possible, but very true that Russell lied in court, for example. This way, I might elicit a solution from someone who actually also knows that it is true. Or a responder might show that they are just as concerned with the Bible issue in Malachi by asking for the reference about Russell. And if If they don't believe it, but also don't show any interest in the evidence, then I already know that they probably don't really care about the Bible problem involved, and have probably misunderstood it to be a sly way to take a "dig" at Russell, or relay some embarrassing history. And this will tell me something right away about the level of seriousness the person has about the Biblical issue. And some will be expected to simply give a downvote to the very idea, or make a judgment about me that implies bringing up an issue (honestly) makes me apostate or demon-possessed. That's another way to handle the discomfort, and I can't judge them for it. It's the same way I tried to handle the same discomfort for a while. I can't take it personally for that reason. It's my own doing, since I am not trying to couch everything in easy terms here as I would do in my congregation. And perhaps it's merely that I am the wrong kind of person to ask about such issues. Using another more common example, we would allow, or even expect an apostate to ask about the "overlapping lifespans" making up the latest definition of the generation. But if a Witness herself asks, it is considered possible evidence of apostasy, depending on how seriously they feel they need to present the question. If someone were to say, "Hey, I don't really have much of a problem with it, and I can see it going either way, but I am still a bit concerned," then we give them a pass, and say that they are probably not apostate. But what if that same person, to be more honest with others, will say, "Hey, I can't see this at all! I've looked up the Scriptures, and I think the explanation is wrong!" Now, that Witness is suspected of being or becoming an apostate merely because they are being more honest, or want their faith in things unseen to be based on evidence. And I'm not saying that any Witness needs to respond to her question about the generation, even if they might find it necessary to down-vote her, or make a simple statement to say that it makes sense to them. For certain issues, that might even seem an appropriate response. It may be all we can do.
  9. Yes. The Bible says that Jesus was already bringing persons into that Kingdom, and that he made them to be a Kingdom. (Colossians 1:13) . . .He rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, (Revelation 1:6) . . .and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father. . . But not ALL things that are "bound" by humans on earth are eternally bound in heaven, yet. Some persons in the current earthly side of the Kingdom will need to be thrown out of the Kingdom when the harvest (the conclusion) begins. So there is also the promise, the covenant, that those remaining faithful to the end will be granted entrance into the everlasting Kingdom (the heavenly portion): (2 Peter 1:11) . . .In fact, in this way you will be richly granted entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Luke 22:28-30) 28 “However, you are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials; 29 and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the 12 tribes of Israel. And, yes, it should also be obvious that this can include those currently claiming to be JWs. This is why Christians who are partakers in that Kingdom are "no part of the world" as you said, and therefore even now treated as residents of that Kingdom and aliens and temporary residents of their current nations of residence. Soon they will be permanent residents, shining like the sun, in their everlasting abode: (1 Peter 2:4-11) . . .Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected, it is true, by men, but chosen, precious, with God, 5 YOU yourselves also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house for the purpose of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.. . . 9 But YOU are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that YOU should declare abroad the excellencies” of the one that called YOU out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 For YOU were once not a people, but are now God’s people; . . .11 Beloved, I exhort YOU as aliens and temporary residents . . . But it's not a simple matter of identifying "time." It's also the sureness of the promise, the covenant, that makes it possible to speak of the Kingdom --even the heavenly part of that Kingdom-- as already here, even though there will clearly be events in the future and final events of that Kingdom which will be outstanding, such as the time when the righteous ones shine forth. (Ephesians 2:6, 7) . . .Moreover, he raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming systems of things he might demonstrate the surpassing riches of his undeserved kindness in his graciousness toward us in union with Christ Jesus. When the "conclusion" [Gk: synteleia] begins, there are no more wheat and weeds growing together. This is how we know that we have not reached that "synteleia" yet. (This is not the WTS pov, of course.) Also, of course, we are still looking for fine soil, to be planted with good seed, and some are still planting, and some are still watering, and God is making good seeds (good hearts) grow. When the harvest (the conclusion) arrives, obviously there will be no more planting and watering and growing. The harvest IS the synteleia according to scripture: (Matthew 13:39) . . .The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things, . . . [The harvest is the synteleia (final end) of the system of things.] So this will be understood differently if one thinks that planting and growing continue even after the harvest begins, and then that would mean that one will also have to try to give a different meaning to the word "synteleia" so that it could mean, for example, a 100+ year conclusion rather than a final, destructive end, or "end of all things." But we can know the Biblical intent of the word, because there are times when the Bible switches telos (end) and syn-telos (end of all things together) interchangeably: (1 Peter 4:7) . . .But the end [telos] of all things has drawn close.. . . (1 Corinthians 10:11) . . .they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends [teloi] of the systems of things have come. But again, just as with trying to pin an exact time on when and where the Kingdom exists in heaven vs on earth, we have a similar (purposeful) reason to also say that the final end (joint end), "ending [of all things] together" had already begun back when the last days began. That's because of the power and incontrovertability of what Jesus has already done and the sureness of that covenant promise. (Hebrews 6:17-20) 17 In this same way, when God decided to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 in order that through two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to the refuge may have strong encouragement to take firm hold of the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, both sure and firm, and it enters in within the curtain, 20 where a forerunner has entered in our behalf, Jesus, . . . This may even be why Hebrews could also indicate that we were already in the time of that "joint end" when Hebrews was written: (Hebrews 9:26-28) . . .But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this a judgment, 28 so also the Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many; and the second time that he appears it will be apart from sin and to those earnestly looking for him for [their] salvation. (1 Peter 1:19, 20) . . .. 20 True, he was foreknown before the founding of the world, but he was made manifest at the end of the times for the sake of YOU (Galatians 4:3-5) . . .. 4 But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent forth his Son, who came to be out of a woman and who came to be under law, 5 that he might release by purchase those under law, that we, in turn, might receive the adoption as sons. (Hebrews 1:1, 2) . . .God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, 2 has at the end of these days [Gk, "has in the last days"] spoken to us by means of a Son. . .
  10. There are also accounts of little green men on Mars, and Yeti, and Sasquatch. Fred Franz' time covers the 1920's through the 1990's. No one here can pin this story down any closer? The rooms branching off the tunnels were the residence buildings themselves and the laundry room. And a couple of openings for outside utility workers which might have been caged off to keep civilians like Bethelites from turning handles, or switching off electricity. The commissary was also attached to one tunnel. Some say there was food preparation in the tunnels, but this was actually because one of the buildings, not use for foot traffic, was used to transfer items from one of the buildings via an elevator. It would not be a place for any private conversations, because constant passerby's could hear. It's these stories of rooms branching off that already tells me that the person telling the story is misremembering, lying, or might have been afraid of tunnels and let their claustrophobic imaginations run wild. I saw somewhere on the order of 0 little girls in 6 years, except on guided tours. Was the "first woman" also the "little girl?" Is it possible that the mental scars came first, which could also help to explain the story? Where do I find these reports?
  11. That might have been you that posted that. Notice this old post that was heretofore mostly ignored, as it should have been:
  12. You might think you remember, but the last (and only other time) the topic of these tunnels came up, I would have said pretty much the same thing about them that I'm saying now. I think I might have added that there were some pipes along the ceiling in places (but the floors and walls were perfectly clean and smooth). Even before the buildings were sold recently, the city decided that the rights for any such tunnels would not be granted as part of the building property and they would have to be closed up, so now someone can imagine any kind of thing they want to imply. Maybe even use their perverse imaginations to write a scary novel about them: "Brooklyn Depths" anyone? "The Tunnel Channel"?
  13. It was 4:45 am and I decided to watch this video. Very strange. It's the first I ever heard of such a "brother" at Walkill Bethel. While I was at Brooklyn Bethel I never had an opportunity to go to Walkill but once, and that was only to look at a piece of typesetting equipment being designed by some brothers up there. I couldn't believe anyone there had been given so much freedom to work on their own projects, and here was a group of several brothers doing just that, and that particular project (electronic typesetting) turned out to be a great success soon adopted by the WTS. If someone knew the Walkill Bethel family during the years in question, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out who this man with the notebooks was. If I heard the video narration accurately (at 2.5x speed) it sounds like he had a brother and a wife also at Walkill, and he implies perhaps even another relative. Even at Brooklyn, during the time I was there (1976 to 1982) the turnover rate was very high. A complaint in the Home Office was that Elders all around the country were quick to approve their "problem cases" from their local congregations in the hopes that Bethel would "fix" them. Even the group I came in with had a brother who kept asking me to join his new study group because he realized he was now anointed. I assume there were others. In fact, I knew several brothers who were involved in private Bible study groups usually in the room of a brother from the Writing Dept, or Service Dept, and who were very upset (myself included) that a "crazy" brother was going to ruin this wonderful opportunity to study with highly experienced brothers, because this one "crazy" one was spreading strange ideas that might end up getting all of the private study groups closed down because of "one bad apple." I knew about 10 brothers who had come from my home state in nearby circuits, and three of them returned with serious mental problems, which may not have been in evidence before they were approved to be accepted to Bethel. So I don't doubt that brothers who had strange ideas about themselves could have existed, and might have been protected to some degree by a close friend, roommate, wife or relative, who was there with them. But I think the video narration breaks down in accuracy when he talks about Brooklyn Bethel's tunnels as if they were something secret. I was on the tour guide list, so every week or so, I was called away from work to handle one of the tours. Fairly often, I would hear the visitors ask, "Are you really going to show us the secret tunnels???" Or, "Is it true that Bethel has secret tunnels?" And my response was that of course we are going to see them, we'll use them to get between 124, 107, and The Towers Hotel. The main reason for the tunnels was to avoid airing Bethel's dirty laundry. And to avoid airing the clean laundry, too. That's because the laundry room was connected to the tunnels between the buildings, and this way all deliveries of laundry to and from the residence rooms could be rolled through the tunnels and never have to go through the otherwise quiet and up-scale neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. The neighborhood thought it was bad enough that Bethel factory workers crossed back and forth after breakfast, at lunch and dinnertime. (No tunnels to the "117 Adams" factories or "25 and 30 CH Squibb bldgs.") Imagine 1,000 people all crossing the street level at once around 6:55am to be seated for 7:00am text and breakfast! There was absolutely nothing secret about the tunnels. No places for sinister meetings. They were at least 7 feet high, at least 10 feet wide, well-lit and constantly traversed. I don't know if or care if "Pearl" begins to respond to people without thinking what she is going to say in advance. That description might be something odd as @Thinking has said, or it might be a lot like the way some of the brothers in Writing or Correspondence (part of Service Dept at the time) answered questions. When a question came in by letter, they were expected to just start writing without referring to notes or any preparation, and I knew brothers who could write pages and pages with scripture references and never prepare for the question specifically. One brother in Writing, who had written large portions of the Aid Book also wrote Watchtower articles and convention material this way, even the study articles. He'd be given a theme to write about and often just started typing at about 70 wpm and ended up with the entire study article, scriptures and all, requiring no edits. The idea that there were "channelers" at Bethel who were given any credence at all, might be a conflation of mixed up information about the Seola book which the WTS rewrote as "Angels and Women" and actually promoted it as a "channeled" book. There were also the "Radio" therapy machines promoted by the WTS, which were NOT promoted as any kind of spiriitism, but non WTS versions of these machines sometimes were. Then there were opposers of JWs who made much of the admissions by the editor of the Golden Age magazine that he was once demon-possessed which he says caused him to disagree with Russell on an important matter. (It's in a WT-printed letter and a Convention Report.) And, it's a long shot, but some of the conflation could have come from Rutherford himself who had claimed that since 1918, Jehovah's holy spirit was removed from "his holy temple" and now "lightnings" were made to "flash and shine" through direct communication with angels. (That teaching didn't last for too many years.) And then there was one GB member from about 1974 to 2000+ who sometimes (but rarely) suffered from a kind of epilepsy apparently and would appear to be in a kind of trance, which affected his speech patterns. His wife would tell him, "Back to earth, [name removed], come on down back to earth." I could see how one or more of these things could be twisted into a rumor of the kind that results in stories.
  14. Basically, you are right. But I'm not apologizing for what I've written, but just the way some people would be expected to over-react to it. I can. Read about David, Moses, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Thomas, and James with John along with "Mrs." Zebedee. People are complicated. We can easily find fault but we need to balance the good they have done, too. That he was a normal, sinful man, yet probably still much better than most men. But he seems to have been smitten with self-righteousness, or even "sons of Zebedee" syndrome. We can't judge his faults and prejudices outside the times he lived in and we can't impugn his convictions and his faith, nor his love for Jehovah and Christ Jesus. We can't read his heart. When I read a most of his Biblical commentary, even the chronology commentary that I disagree with, I would guess that his heart was definitely in the right place. His motives seem generally commendable. Outside of the commentary and exegesis forced by his faulty chronology, his writing is still valid and valuable. When he used the Watchtower in such a petty way, to publicize only his side of a two-sided argument, and print supporting letters, he was doing the very thing he had complained that Barbour had done with the Herald. When Russell also began to use the Watch Tower funds as his means of support he was doing the same thing he had complained that Barbour had done. Did this make him a hypocrite? Or did Russell just change his view on such things? Russell actually ended up giving his one-sided view about 5 or 6 (read, "most") of his earliest editorial associates in the pages of the Watch Tower. (These were often in the "Harvest Siftings.") Rutherford used the magazine in the same way against all opposers to his 1917 presidency, denouncing the opposers the "evil slave." Similarly, for Salter, Moyle and a couple of others. I'm sure some also appreciate the fact that they both had the fortitude to stand for their convictions, and protect the editorial integrity of the Watch Tower. But we can look back now and see that that it wasn't even-handed. And we probably should never expect that it could have been even-handed. To explain more fully my view of Russell, I think it is possible to make him sound much worse than I did. But I fear, you might have been the only one interested in any of those details. And I might be over-reaching and too judgmental. I'll definitely be considered imbalanced by those who disagree with me. My point is not to denounce him, but to avoid looking back with so many rose-colored filters that we forget he was just a man, a lot like any other man. It's dangerous, in my opinion, to come so close to teaching that a specific man did so much that his work fulfilled a specific Bible prophecy. That's the only reason I speak up about him like this at all.
  15. Can only agree with that part. John Coleman died in 2018 after having moved to San Diego literally known for the most stable climate in the 48 contiguous United States. But he has every right to trounce CNN for being stupidly one-sided and only pretending to give the other side an airing. And this was one of CNN's worst "journalists" at that. On another note, anyone with the Weather App on their iPhone or Android Phone should type "North Pole" into the app. It's currently hotter in the North Pole than where I am in NY. On Monday and Tuesday the North Pole will be 79 or 80 degrees, while San Diego will be 73 and 73 (exactly the same for the entire week). I saw it was 82 degrees there at the North Pole last week. Also, at 3am this morning I decided not to go to bed but to watch "The Tomorrow War" (Amazon) which is on-screen proof of just how scary climate change really is. 😎
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