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  1. (John 10:34) . . .Jesus answered them: “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said: “You are gods”’? I hope you didn't get confused by that scripture. 😉
  2. I accept the lead of good examples. These "leaders" set a very good example in promoting international brotherhood, organizing efficient world wide preaching, designing an educational program that puts Bible examples in front of us constantly so we can learn from good and bad examples. Also, the level of morality that's promoted includes, not just the standard morality of fundamentalists, but also neutrality when it comes to participation in divisive politics and violent wars. I don't remain with my brothers and sisters because of a history of chronology doctrine, and I do my best to point out that this is a trap which could start rearing its ugly head again when the two-part generation starts running out. But as JTR said, find me another religion or association that I could join, and if it's better, I'll join it. Just make sure it has the same position on War, Trinity, Neutrality, Preaching, and New Heavens and New Earth.
  3. Similar, but not quite the same thing as picking a date and then saying, "well it wasn't 1975 let's see if it's going to be 1976 or 1977" etc. From the tied-in perspective of counting the number of years in a life-span or generation starting with someone old enough in 1914, then yes, it was part of a series of failed dates. But, interestingly, even though 1975 was just a part of an expectation for 'what the 1970's would bring,' that particular prophetic expectation for 1975 did not get stronger as the 1970's wore on after 1975. Instead it was dropped like a hot potato for a couple of years. No one talked about it in 1976, even though you'd think it would become even more important. Shows how much focus had actually been put on that one year even though technically it was about the decade of the 70's. But I was also referring to how Daniel says that the person who waits until the last chance "1335" would be happy, and how the Watchtower still identifies this time ending in 1925 and 1926 as "time of great happiness." Yet it was actually a sad time. *** [Daniel's Prophecy] dp chap. 17 p. 303 par. 24 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End *** at the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!” (Daniel 12:12) The angel gives no clues as to when this period begins or ends. History suggests that it simply follows on the heels of the preceding period. In that case it would run from the autumn of 1922 to the late spring of 1926 (Northern Hemisphere). Did the holy ones come to a state of happiness by the end of that period? Yes, in important spiritual ways. *** dp chap. 17 p. 304 par. 26 Identifying True Worshipers in the Time of the End *** The issue of March 1, 1925, carried the historic article “Birth of the Nation,” giving God’s people a full understanding of what had happened in the 1914-19 period. After 1925 passed, the holy ones no longer served God with an immediate, explicit deadline in view. Rather, the sanctification of Jehovah’s name was paramount. This vital truth was highlighted, as never before, in the January 1, 1926, . . . The period of 1335 is said to have ended in the late spring of 1926, but if we look at the literature, we see that 1925 was still being pushed right up to the last day of 1925. The expression '1925 is not over yet' was used in a publication, very similarly to how Millerites still thought the 1844 year would be correct even if the October date had passed. Different from 1975, the back-peddling began when 1925 arrived. But in this case the back-peddling wasn't a drop of the expectation, but a shift to include 1926 in the prediction. So that the pain and embarrassment and sadness was merely extended by giving false hope for another year. History proves that the ouster proceedings began promptly on time. Prophecy indicates that 1925-1926 will see the greater part of the ousting completed. All the world's statesmen are dreading the next few years." The Way to Paradise (1925) p.171 "The year 1926 would therefore begin about October first, 1925. ... We should, therefore, expect shortly after 1925 to see the awakening of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Melchisedec, Job, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John the Baptist, and others mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. The Way to Paradise (1925) p.224 It's so typical for persons to get their entire lives wrapped up in chronology. Once they get started, it becomes kind of a trap that they never give up on. And then Jesus warned against it, so that we know it's also unchristian and unloving. Russell was attracted to Adventist chronology from a very young age and kept at it until he died in 1916. Harold Camping (non-JW) in the United States was another case of someone who just kept predicting right up until he died, hurting thousands of people by doing so. I had a very sad conversation with one of his "flock" the day before the "end."
  4. I'm not at all suggesting that this is the true meaning of those final verses of Daniel, but they do rather eerily correspond to the experience of almost everyone who feels the frustration of pinning their hopes on chronology. Here is a quote from the actual verses again, followed by a paraphrase of what might be written between the lines. Let the reader use discernment, while keeping their tongue in cheek: ([ACTUAL] Daniel 12:6-13) . . .“How long will it be to the end of these marvelous things?” 7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was up above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left hand to the heavens and swore by the One who is alive forever: “It will be for an appointed time, appointed times, and half a time. . . . 8 Now as for me, I heard, but I could not understand; so I said: “O my lord, what will be the outcome of these things?” 9 Then he said: “Go, Daniel, because the words are to be kept secret and sealed up until the time of the end. 10 Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand. 11 . . . there will be 1,290 days. 12 “Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days! 13 “But as for you, go on to the end. You will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.” ([FAKE] Daniel 12:6-13) . . .“How long will it be to the end of these marvelous things?” 7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was up above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left hand to the heavens and swore by the One who is alive forever: [“IT'S GOING TO BE 1,260 DAYS"] . . . 8 Now as for me, I heard, but I could not understand; so I said: “O my lord, what will be the outcome of these things?” 9 Then he said: “Go, Daniel, because the words are to be kept secret and sealed up until the time of the end. 10 Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand. . . . [YOU WILL PROBABLY WONDER WHY NOTHING SEEMED TO HAPPEN AT THE END OF 1,260 DAYS AND RECALCULATE TO ANNOUNCE]. . . .there will be 1,290 days. [AND WHEN THAT DOESN'T WORK OUT YOU WILL PROBABLY THINK YOU CAN RECALCULATE AGAIN AND ANNOUNCE:] 12 “Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days! 13 “But as for you, go on to the end. [IN FACT, YOU MAY CONTINUE TO GO ON FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AND WONDER WHY YOU NEVER COULD FIGURE OUT WHY YOUR OWN EXPECTATION PROVED WRONG FOR 1,260, then 1290, THEN 1,335 DAYS. BUT DON'T WORRY AT ALL. THESE TIME PERIODS ARE GOD'S, NOT YOURS. YOU MAY LIVE OUT YOUR LIFE AND REST IN THE GROUND, BUT REST ASSURED] . . . You will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.” Although this FAKE ending of Daniel probably seems ludicrous to you, it has been the exact experience of thousands of persons who thought they could figure out just what is the meaning of the 1,260 days. Several times in the 1800's, for example, men tried to pinpoint the end. Some started announcing in 1840 that the end was about 3.5 years away, but when it didn't happen in 1843, they recalculated and picked new dates in 1844, and then when it didn't happen in October 1844, they waited right up to nearly the last cold day of 1844. Then again it happened in the 1860's, and then it happened again in the 1870's. (Barbour said it would be 1873, then changed it to 1874, then his group recalculated possible dates in 1874. Then, when 1874 failed, they decided it was 1874 all along but invisible.) Then it happened again around 1914, when the "END" of this system had been predicted, and then when it didn't happen, the end "of the Gentile Times" was moved to 1915. A few months after it didn't happen then, the Finished Mystery book, predicted the end of this system for 1918. When it didn't happen then, it was predicted again for 1925.** I think we should stop trying to go where angels should fear to tread, and trust that the end can come at any time. It is our lot to live our lives in expectation that it can happen at any time, yet, for all of us it will happen unexpectedly, in an instant, at the very end of our current lives, if not sooner. **Ironically, the expression in Daniel 12:12: "Happy is the one who keeps in expectation and who arrives at the 1,335 days" is interpreted in the Watchtower to mean the year 1925. This was probably the saddest and most embarrassing year in the history of the Watch Tower Society. Does this sound happy? *** yb75 p. 146 Part 2—United States of America *** So, as Anna MacDonald recalls: “1925 was a sad year for many brothers. Some of them were stumbled; their hopes were dashed. They had hoped to see some of the ‘ancient worthies’ [men of old like Abraham] resurrected. Instead of its being considered a ‘probability,’ they read into it that it was a ‘certainty,’ and some prepared for their own loved ones with expectancy of their resurrection. Imagine, being told that 1925 was a sure thing, even surer than 1914, with even more assurances than Noah had for believing God when God told him there would be a flood. The Watchtower said it was not just a probability but a certainty. Based on that certainty, some brothers even built houses and extra rooms for their resurrected loved ones. Imagine them thinking of Noah explaining to passersby why he was building an ark, when brothers in 1924 and 1925 were explaining to passersby why they were building additions onto their homes. Then imagine being told that it was their own fault for believing the Watchtower which had indicated that it was a certainty, and not just a probability. In fact, they should have never even considered 1925 to be any stronger of a probability than 1850 or 1935 or 1975 or 2034! Those who pin their hopes on any specific signs or dates will probably have those hopes dashed.
  5. Yes. I know of only a few other JWs who admit to believing this. Not that it should mean that much to us, but hundreds of thousands of Bible readers, and most Bible scholars and commentators have believed exactly this way through the centuries. This is true. Even those persons and translators who didn't have access to the first-century definition of "royal parade-like visitation" (discovered in the early 1900's from first-century papyri) had already understood the truth of the matter even from the original "basic" definition of parousia, which is related to being present. The parousia is accompanied by a spectacular judgment event, sometimes referred to in Jewish literature of that time period as a "synteleia" which can refer to a destructive "end of all things together." The "end of all things" judgment event is part of the parousia according to the Bible usage (Matthew 24:3). The parousia of a royal personage could include a judgment event even among the Roman emperors and their officials when they visited a province. But these other royal visitations were parade-like and therefore called parousia's, but not synteleia's. I think it's only a synteleia if it includes a destructive judgment event. It's this judgment, I think, that is referred to with the symbolism of stars falling and in other places, mountains falling, the sun and moon not giving light, etc. The separation of sheep from goats, the resurrection of righteous and unrighteous, the gathering of the anointed, etc. All these things happen at this time period. It does not matter how long it takes, or exactly what things happen just before or after the other things, at this point. It's too late to change divine judgment at this point, so it doesn't matter if the time periods are literal or not after judgment begins. Armageddon is probably NOT a place in Israel, so speculation based on this idea probably won't get us very far. Surely you do not actually think that 12,000 persons of the 144,000 are coming from the smallest tribe of Israel, and another 12,000 come from the largest tribe of Israel, do you? (Revelation 7:5-8) Is this literal when it says "out of the tribe of Zebʹu·lun 12,000"? Since there is no literal Har-Mageddon, afaik, it seems unlikely. Revelation does not describe a literal Jerusalem, and as I said before, I don't think there is a literal Har-Mageddon, so I think these are "virtual" locations. Much like the use of Jerusalem made in Hebrews and Galatians: (Hebrews 12:22, 23) . . .But you have approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels 23 in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens,. . . (Galatians 4:26) 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. Because, if Babylon represents the primary tangible "enemy" that Christians must conquer, then when Christians have survived, and have actually conquered, It deserves a recap/summary as part of the final bowl. (John 16:33) . . .. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world. (1 John 5:4, 5) . . .And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith. 5 Who can conquer the world? Is it not the one who has faith that Jesus is the Son of God?
  6. The GB teaches that all of Matthew 24 are signs that were especially prevalent around 1914. This is not misusing the sufferings of others to hype up their own agenda. It's an interpretation. And yes, it's an interpretation that is very easy to fall into. I'm sure that's why Jesus warned us about exactly that sort of thing. There is a danger in it, but it's not the danger of misusing others' suffering. I think the most likely dangers are the following: The danger of hubris and presumptuousness and pride in thinking that we can solve some chronology issues related to the parousia when these are things that not even the angels should try to do. It's not in our jurisdiction. It's in Jehovah's jurisdiction. But we think that we are special and it gives us bragging rights to think of ourselves as a kind of prophet. The danger of believing that we are fated to a certain set of developments in our lifetime and our therefore "immune" to true empathy and sympathy for the sighing and groaning of people without hope in this system. The danger of starting to think we know a date that is just far enough off so that it gives us more time to prepare. The danger of starting to think we know a date that is so close that we begin "serving with a date in mind." In other words, our motivation for our service to Jehovah becomes a works-based sprint to see how much we can do, rather than a focus on love as a response to His undeserved kindness. But the GB are not now hurting anyone with an identification of the parousia happening in 1914. What we define as a parousia is something else altogether from what the Bible defined it as, so we are really just saying that Christ is King and has been present since before any of us were born. Whether that was 33 or 1874 or 1914 makes no difference now. We're in the same situation, regardless. It was only a problem while we were watching for the number of years since 1914 that might be in a generation or a lifespan while awaiting the REAL manifestation of his presence on judgment day. But we no longer do that. I don't think it's a conscious decision, but the new definition of generation is really just a throw-away definition that effectively tosses out the idea of a generation or lifespan from 1914. So most of that problem is gone. 1914 itself is actually just kept as an artifact of pride. It's a way of protecting a tradition that 'saves face' since we already held onto it for so long and since it was once "predicted" by people related to us in the faith. I mean that it was "predicted" in the sense that it was associated with a phrase: "end of the Gentile Times." Everything else about that prediction failed, and in fact even the phrase "end of the Gentile Times" failed. The phrase back then had nothing to do with what we claim it means now. Still, 1914 is so long ago that it has no effect on our current conduct. We are really right back to the Biblically-supported situation where we need to take advantage of the UNKNOWN AMOUNT of remaining time to keep maturing and showing love and faith and responding to undeserved kindness with actual "good works." The context sounds better than just that one sentence. But yes, I think he fell into one of the common dangers of confirmation bias when you promote a specific eschatology. See danger #2 above, perhaps even a little of danger #1.
  7. That was an excellent set of related scriptures by the way. It also adds another dimension to the point they are making when we realize that "the day of Christ" is paralleled with "parousia" (presence) so many more times than most of us probably realize. It makes it even more clear that the parousia/presence is actually the revelation and manifestation of Jesus Christ, an event that suddenly shines like lightning from one end of the horizon immediately over to the opposite horizon. Making wise use of the remaining time is always a good idea, of course. So, adding to your list, there are probably dozens more and a close look at all of them together also shows why we cannot know the time of the parousia: (Romans 13:11) . . .And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers. (Ephesians 5:15, 16) . . .So keep strict watch that how YOU walk is not as unwise but as wise [persons], 16 buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. . . (1 Timothy 6:14, 15) . . .to observe the commandment in a spotless and irreprehensible way until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which the happy and only Potentate will show in its own appointed times. He is the King of those who rule as kings . . ." Note the full phrase "manifestation of his parousia/presence" in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. (Titus 2:12, 13) 12 It trains us to reject ungodliness and worldly desires and to live with soundness of mind and righteousness and godly devotion amid this present system of things, 13 while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Of course, I'm sure there is nothing wrong with the perspective of maturing and gaining more spirituality. But thinking that "for sure" we have a few more years to continue gaining maturity can still be a dangerous thing, especially if the end comes tonight. And during turbulent times, the end can come at any time. The "Day of Jesus Christ," the Parousia, is as close as a single lifetime for all of us. (Luke 12:20, 21) . . .But God said to him, ‘Unreasonable one, this night they are demanding your life from you. Who, then, is to have the things you stored up?’ 21 So it goes with the man who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”
  8. Yep. Pretty much the same everywhere I think. It's looks like a pretty good solution and keeps the whole meeting from being just watching another congregation, which can't keep sustained anyway, at least for a while. Many looking to get their own bread and wine emblems for Memorial and listening in for talks, song and prayer. The count will likely be off this year.
  9. In a nearly related topic, how many are using Zoom for their meetings this weekend? Are your meetings one-way, or can you participate with answers to questions, for example?
  10. I think you have just inadvertently admitted why Jesus was so dead-set against looking for signs indicating how close we were to the END. When people begin trying to use various ideas from world events or astrology or scriptural interpretations to figure out when the END should come, they begin to think it could easily take several years. This creates a tendency for imperfect humans to take advantage of the remaining time left. It's the reason why Jesus gave the parable of the unfaithful and indiscreet slaves in Matthew 24 and Luke 12: (Matthew 24:48-51) . . .But if ever that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ 49 and he starts to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, 50 the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, 51 and he will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his place with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be. (Luke 12:44-48) . . .. 45 But if ever that slave should say in his heart, ‘My master delays coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female servants and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting him and at an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones. 47 Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. 48 But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him. Surely, this is why Jesus made a point to say that the END could come at any time, as a surprise, during a time you think NOT to be it. How much warning did the city of Sodom get in the days of Lot? (Luke 17:28-30) . . .Likewise, just as it occurred in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. 29 But on the day that Lot went out of Sodʹom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be the same on that day when the Son of man is revealed. Also, note that the expression "that day when the Son of man is revealed" is parallel to the use of the word "parousia" in Matthew. So we know that the Parousia [revelation] must happen at a time when no one can predict the times and seasons, which are in the Father's jurisdiction. (Acts 1:6-8). Jesus emphasized that we cannot use current events like wars, earthquakes, pestilence as a way to figure out the parousia. He says we would see such things, and in that limited sense they were a kind of sign that the world would see both normal things and abnormal things right up until the end. (Pestilence in one place, but men saying everything is peaceful and secure in another place.) But they could NOT give us any knowledge about the timing of the parousia. (Luke 17:23, 24) . . .And people will say to you, ‘See there!’ or, ‘See here!’ Do not go out or chase after them. 24 For just as lightning flashes from one part of heaven to another part of heaven, so the Son of man will be in his day. [Note again that "the Son of man ... in his day" is the parallel to "parousia" in Matthew.] No one should be able to say, oh look at this war, "See here!" it is the greatest war ever seen, or "Look at this great earthquake, or famine, or pestilence, see there!" These things are going to happen, just like people going on with their lives: getting married, and eating and drinking and buying and selling is going to happen, too. But these are not "signs of the end." It's easy to get misled into believing such things, which is why Jesus had to warn us that this is not the Christian way to look at things. (Matthew 24:3-8) . . .“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence [parousia] and of the conclusion [destructive END] of the system of things?” 4 In answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads you, 5 for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for these things must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. 8 All these things are a beginning [not the end] of pangs of distress. We should expect that people will be saying "See Here!" and "See There!" about this or that pestilence or war or earthquake, etc. But this is no indication of the end. The end cannot be calculated, it could just as easily happen while people were acting as they generally have since the creation's beginning until now: eating, drinking, getting married: (Matthew 24:36-44) 36 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence [parousia] of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 41 Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 42 Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it. Note again, by the way, that the "day your Lord is coming" is paralleled with the "parousia of the Son of man." So we can't know when the parousia starts. The Parousia is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it. It's unchristian to try, and it's unchristian to use the mistake that the early disciples made as an excuse to make the same mistake today. (Acts 1:7) 7 He said to them: “It does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.
  11. I'm sure you meant Proverbs 31 but, interestingly, Ecclesiasticus 31 says the following: 1 Watching for riches consumeth the flesh, and the care thereof driveth away sleep. 2 Watching care will not let a man slumber, as a sore disease breaketh sleep, 3 The rich hath great labour in gathering riches together; and when he resteth, he is filled with his delicates. 4 The poor laboureth in his poor estate; and when he leaveth off, he is still needy. 5 He that loveth gold shall not be justified, and he that followeth corruption shall have enough thereof. 6 Gold hath been the ruin of many, and their destruction was present. 7 It is a stumblingblock unto them that sacrifice unto it, and every fool shall be taken therewith. 8 Blessed is the rich that is found without blemish, and hath not gone after gold. 9 Who is he? and we will call him blessed: for wonderful things hath he done among his people. 10 Who hath been tried thereby, and found perfect? then let him glory. Who might offend, and hath not offended? or done evil, and hath not done it? 11 His goods shall be established, and the congregation shall declare his alms. 12 If thou sit at a bountiful table, be not greedy upon it, and say not, There is much meat on it. 13 Remember that a wicked eye is an evil thing: and what is created more wicked than an eye? therefore it weepeth upon every occasion. 14 Stretch not thine hand whithersoever it looketh, and thrust it not with him into the dish. 15 Judge not thy neighbour by thyself: and be discreet in every point. 16 Eat as it becometh a man, those things which are set before thee; and devour note, lest thou be hated. 17 Leave off first for manners' sake; and be not unsatiable, lest thou offend. 18 When thou sittest among many, reach not thine hand out first of all. 19 A very little is sufficient for a man well nurtured, and he fetcheth not his wind short upon his bed. 20 Sound sleep cometh of moderate eating: he riseth early, and his wits are with him: but the pain of watching, and choler, and pangs of the belly, are with an unsatiable man. 21 And if thou hast been forced to eat, arise, go forth, vomit, and thou shalt have rest. 22 My son, hear me, and despise me not, and at the last thou shalt find as I told thee: in all thy works be quick, so shall there no sickness come unto thee. 23 Whoso is liberal of his meat, men shall speak well of him; and the report of his good housekeeping will be believed. 24 But against him that is a niggard of his meat the whole city shall murmur; and the testimonies of his niggardness shall not be doubted of. 25 Shew not thy valiantness in wine; for wine hath destroyed many. 26 The furnace proveth the edge by dipping: so doth wine the hearts of the proud by drunkeness. 27 Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad. 28 Wine measurably drunk and in season bringeth gladness of the heart, and cheerfulness of the mind: 29 But wine drunken with excess maketh bitterness of the mind, with brawling and quarrelling. 30 Drunkenness increaseth the rage of a fool till he offend: it diminisheth strength, and maketh wounds. 31 Rebuke not thy neighbour at the wine, and despise him not in his mirth: give him no despiteful words, and press not upon him with urging him to drink.
  12. The Watchtower taught it for about half a century. Starting in 1876 or so Russell accepted that the millennium had started in 1872/3, and therefore Jesus began his presence in 1874 and his rule as king in 1878. The chronology that made the millennium start in 1872 was pushed to 1873 and later made to sound like it coincided with his presence in 1874. The point was that the Millennium dawned already. The light of the Daystar was already shining, and the improvements and inventions that the world was seeing were proofs that the world was already on its way to earthly paradise for non-Christians, while the millions of Christians would all go to heaven. That was Russell's view until he died, and Rutherford's view until the late 1920's or early 1930's. Parts of this chronology remained in the WT until 1944, nearly 70 years after it was first promoted by Russell. There still is an even wider view among religions that the 1000 years had already started shortly after Jesus died, or at least in the first century CE. This is sometimes called Amillenialism, and is held in some form or another by most or many forms of the following: Roman Catholic Eastern Orthodox Lutheran Anglican Methodist Messianic Jewish Christian Restoration Movement Disciples of Christ Amish Mennonite
  13. That would be nice. But these books on this particular topic are rather expensive, and it's not really one of my topics. My three adult children have all taken a stronger interest, two of them were biochemistry majors, and one went on to law school instead of sticking with chem/med. Another was a physics major and he's currently trying to do some extra COVID research on the side. They still have good access to books on the topic, but I don't have the same access nor the time for this particular topic. I'm glad people like you are pointing out some interesting resources. By the way, where was that map from? The one with the line from Hubei to Hong Kong?
  14. As I recall, the words were on the subway walls and tenement halls. They were the ones tagged in spray paint: Neon-the-god.
  15. I remember this exact same claim from someone I corresponded with years ago who was a big proponent of "Bible Codes" in the Hebrew Text. By skipping and choosing consistent numbers of Hebrew letters, she could prove that Jesus was in the Hebrew Scriptures in expressions that could translate to "Jesus is God" "Jesus is Messiah" etc. Showing her how she was including the modern Hebrew text majuscules which were not in the original Hebrew text, but only in the Masoretic, was a worthless exercise. Showing her that, based on statistical letter frequencies, she was seeing what anyone would ordinarily expect statistically was also to no avail. (Among other arguments.) Most of the time you can't make any headway with persons who believe something ordinary is extraordinary. But I finally did the math and showed her that it was just as likely that we would find cases of "Jesus is Satan" "God is Satan" etc. She denied that this was even possible. Of course, if I had shown these examples to her instead of merely positing their existence mathematically, she would have still found a way to deny that they had any significance after being shown. But getting her to deny that such expressions could ever exist at all (using her same rules for "Bible Codes") was the key, as she had to admit it when it was proven later. I'm saying this because I never really expect to convince the person who promotes ordinary things as if extraordinary. But it can sometimes help others "on the fence" avoid the same trap. It was a very unusual and unexpected experience to actually have been able to convince a strong and vocal Bible-codes proponent, in that case. I see your view in almost exactly the same way.
  16. Of course. But I purposely avoided the sacrilegious implication that Jesus has sex with the Virgin which then produces Jupiter, a.k.a., Deus Pater, the Father God. But the child might play with the software and asks why it's not 12 stars of Leo, but only 9 stars in Leo and then 3 planets that happen to also land within the constellation Leo (as they do every few hundred years: 1827, 1483, 1293, and 1056). What if the child notices that Leo actually has 10 or 11 stars bright enough to have been included in its constellation outline? If you counted the 10 stars you would only need 2 non-stars (planets) to make up the difference, and this happens much more often. If you counted the 11 stars of Leo, you would only need to fake the number "12" with one additional non-star (planet), which happens every few years. If you knew that Leo is a constellation already made up of millions of stars, too dull to see without a telescope, you might wonder why they didn't include those millions of stars and forget about waiting for non-stars to make up a nonexistent difference. And don't say it has to be only be a few of the most visible stars of Leo and that you can't use the technology of a telescope. After all, you can't prove this occurrence anyway without the technology of a software product. None of these stars and planets are visible to anyone when the sun is beneath Virgo's feet. Since we know that the supposedly difficult setup of adding 3 planets to only 9 of Leo's 11 major stars is just an arbitrary choice to make it seem like a sign, we really need only look at the idea that Leo's stars are always there, and that the sun and moon are beneath the Virgo's feet. That happens every September. In the U.S. they celebrate Labor day in September. Perhaps that's the birth reference, since she is in labor. Also, the idea that Jupiter comes from Jesus' loins (more like the Lion's hindparts and skims the left side of the Virgin's "womb") is unrelated to any description in Revelation.
  17. Thanks for pointing out this book. I just looked at the 150+ pages available here:
      Hello guest!
    The cases included are presented as if complete, but appear to be selectively chosen for a Western audience. (The book appears to have been rushed to the publisher, as you can see from several typos, and inconsistent presentation of evidence, where historical cases can be considered unlikely based on lack of evidence just a paragraph or two before it is used a clear-cut example.) It's interesting that the book, though published in 2020, knows nothing of the COVID-19 coronavirus. I guess it was published very early in the year. It does have a section called: "Synthesis of SARS-like Coronavirus." The second book you referenced is previewed here:
      Hello guest!
    I didn't look through this one very closely yet, but flipping through the pages I found it much more comprehensive, at least up to 2009, where it ends. I have found some very curious data on the COVID-19. And more on Swine and Bird flu. I am going to try to grab some content before the old versions of the Wikipedia pages change, for example, which usually happens. I found this, which I think will become important later:
      Hello guest!
    It indicates that the family of the virus found in the Wuhan market, although named H1, is a "child" of H13 and H35, its ancestors. This is one of the reasons that many in China and Japan believe that "Trump" dropped this off in Wuhan. Background. The outbreak of COVID-19 started in mid-December 2019 in Wuhan, Central China. Up to February 18, 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 70,000 people in China, and another 25 countries across five continents. In this study, we used 93 complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from the GISAID EpiFluTM database to decode the evolution and human-to-human transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 in the recent two months. Methods. Alignment of coding-regions was conducted haplotype analyses using DnaSP. Substitution sites were analyzed in codon. Evolutionary analysis of haplotypes used NETWORK. Population size changes were estimated using both DnaSP and Arlequin. Expansion date of population size was calculated based on the expansion parameter tau (τ) using the formula t=τ/2u. Findings. Eight coding-regions have 120 substitution sites, including 79 non-synonymous and 40 synonymous substitutions. Forty-two non-synonymous substitutions changed the biochemical property of amino acids. No evident combination was found. Fifty-eight haplotypes were classified as five groups, and 31 haplotypes were found in samples from both China and other countries, respectively. The rooted network suggested H13 and H35 to be ancestral haplotypes, and H1 (and its descendent haplotypes including all samples from the Hua Nan market) was derived H3 haplotype. Population size of SARS-CoV-2 were estimated to have a recent expansion on 6 January 2020, and an early expansion on 8 December 2019. Interpretation. Genomic variations of SARS-CoV-2 are still low in comparisons with published genomes of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Phyloepidemiologic analyses indicated the SARS-CoV-2 source at the Hua Nan market should be imported from other places. The crowded market boosted SARS-CoV-2 rapid circulations in the market and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019. Furthermore, phyloepidemiologic approaches have recovered specific direction of human-to-human transmissions, and the import sources of international infectious cases. Also, a well-written general article on the topic is found in the Atlantic: "Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful" [SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19]
      Hello guest!
  18. This was a relatively recent change in CCJW doctrine. *** w15 3/15 p. 29 par. 18 Loyally Supporting Christ’s Brothers *** Before Armageddon breaks out, anointed ones will be taken to heaven. Prior to accepting the Biblical version of a "rapture" we taught that members of the anointed could continue to live out their lives on earth, either taken (raptured) at some time after Armageddon, or growing older and dying normally (of sickness?) while the rest of the world is growing younger and healthier, or being resurrected younger and healthier. That idea probably started to seem ludicrous. In 1990 the Watchtower became less dogmatic, but continued to build the doctrine around the now-obsolete traditions about types and antitypes: *** w90 8/15 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers *** Will some anointed Christians survive the “great tribulation” to live on earth in the new world before being taken to heaven? Pointedly, the Bible does not say. . . . The Bible does not say that this will occur, yet certain patterns and prophecies have been taken to indicate that it might. . . . As an example involving Bible prophecy, The Watch Tower of December 15, 1928, discussed Micah 5:2-15. The book of Micah dealt with ‘the Assyrian’s’ desolating of Samaria and the Jews’ return from exile in Babylon. (Micah 1:1, 5-7; 4:10) But it also pointed to later developments, such as the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) Micah prophesied that after their deliverance from “the Assyrian,” “the remaining ones of Jacob” would become “like dew from Jehovah” and “like a maned young lion among droves of sheep.” (Micah 5:6-8) The Watch Tower commented: “This may be taken as an indication that some of the remnant will be on earth even after Armageddon is fought and will then have some more work to do in the name of the Lord and to his praise and glory.” Notice the modest, reasonable language used to introduce this possibility: “This may be taken as an indication.” What of a Bible account that might parallel such survival on earth? One example that has been presented concerns Noah and his family. Noah has been viewed as typifying Jesus in this time of the end. (Genesis 6:8-10; Matthew 24:37) As Noah led his wife and their three sons and daughters-in-law through the end of that ancient system, Christ will provide leadership for the remnant of his bride class and those who become children of the “Eternal Father,” Jesus. Noah’s wife survived the Flood and shared in the renewing of true worship on a cleansed earth. A parallel might be the survival into the new world of a remnant of the bride class.—Isaiah 9:6, 7; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2, 9. Other Biblical accounts have also been viewed as suggesting that some of the anointed might live into the new world. For example, Jeremiah survived the destruction of Jerusalem; “the man” with the secretary’s inkhorn remained to see the executional work before he went back to give his report.—Ezekiel 9:4, 8, 11. Comments about the possibility that some of the anointed might survive into the new world are made with good intentions and in the light of Biblical precedents for trying to understand prophecies or patterns that could have later parallels. If it turns out that none of the anointed are left on earth, there will be no reason for dissatisfaction. We already have accepted that Biblical matters are understood better as time passes. For instance, The Watchtower of July 15, 1981, discussed Micah 5:6-9 again and explained that “the remnant of spiritual Israelites have not had to wait until after . . . Har–Magedon in order to be as a ‘dew’ of refreshment to people.” This discussion again offered the possibility that the remnant might survive God’s great war and for a while “continue to be as a refreshing ‘dew’ to the ‘great crowd’ of ‘other sheep.’” We can see, though, that the passing of time and the increase in spiritual light can broaden and alter our understanding of prophecy or of Bible dramas.—Proverbs 4:18. ... So it could be reasoned that some of the bride class will survive the great tribulation as evidence of Jehovah’s approval and protection. (Zephaniah 2:3; compare Matthew 24:22.) If they are thus preserved on earth, they could remain here until God chooses to take them to heaven. However, the presentation in Revelation is not in strict sequential order. And it is not as though the small remnant of anointed ones will be needed to get the new world underway, for they have already trained millions of loyal Christians who will live forever on earth. Accordingly, God could take his anointed ones to heaven immediately after the destruction of Babylon the Great, setting the stage for “the marriage of the Lamb” to occur. All the holy ones could thus share with Christ in ‘shepherding the nations with an iron rod’ in the remainder of the great tribulation. (Revelation 2:26, 27; 19:11-21) If that is how God handles things, all the 144,000 would be with Jesus to ‘rule as kings with the Christ for the entire one thousand years.’—Revelation 20:4. That article correctly noted that we could think about whether all of them are available for the marriage of the Lamb in heaven, and whether all of them could be available for sharing in shepherding the nations with an iron rod from heaven, or even whether all of them get to rule as kings for the entire thousand years. But all of these ideas would have required that we accept a kind of "rapture" even if shortly after Armageddon. So right up until that article in 1990, we still saw phrases like this: *** w90 7/15 p. 20 par. 17 Our Treasure, a Modern-Day Ministry of Glory *** The anointed know they must eventually finish their earthly course in death as Jesus did Even the article from 1981, although non-dogmatic, still concluded that the remnant would survive Armageddon, and watch the spectacle from their places on earth. *** w81 7/15 pp. 24-25 pars. 12-14 “Peoples Must Stream” to Life-giving Worship *** 13 How many of the anointed remnant of Christ’s joint heirs will survive with them through “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon we do not know, nor for how long thereafter. But for whatever time it is, they will continue to be as a refreshing “dew” to the “great crowd” of “other sheep.” ... 14 The remnant will take no military part in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon. Like the Israelites in the days of King Jehoshaphat, they will merely stand and see the salvation of Jehovah by means of “the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah,” Jesus Christ. . . . (Mic. 4:13) Whatever is left behind after their destruction will be for use by the Har–Magedon survivors. *** w83 10/1 p. 16 par. 13 Millions Get Ready for Uninterrupted Life on Earth *** This means that a remnant of them are to survive the tribulation and be eyewitnesses of Jehovah’s strange act by which he will vindicate his sovereignty over heaven and earth. *** w81 7/15 p. 23 par. 7 “Peoples Must Stream” to Life-giving Worship *** Referring to this, the article “Ruler out of Bethlehem,” in the Watch Tower issue of December 15, 1928, said: This may be taken as an indication that some of the remnant will be on earth even after Armageddon is fought and will then have some more work to do in the name of the Lord and to his praise and glory. *** w70 1/15 p. 52 par. 11 Peace with God amid the “Great Tribulation” *** This included quite a number of the remnant who experienced the “beginning of pangs of distress” during World War I. A number of these should survive still longer to see and go through the war of Armageddon, in harmony with Jesus’ words, at Matthew 24:33-35: *** w69 8/15 p. 500 par. 20 Jehovah God, the Hearer of Prayer *** all of the temple class are eventually united with Christ Jesus on his heavenly throne, after Armageddon? *** w67 4/15 pp. 237-238 par. 1 The Benefits of Mankind’s Millennium *** In answer the Holy Bible strongly indicates that a remnant of these heavenly Kingdom heirs will be preserved through the war of Armageddon for earthly service before their earthly demise and their resurrection and glorification in the heavens. Note the extra dogmatism here, below, of which we have many examples prior to 1967, but the dogmatism mostly disappears after this: *** w67 3/15 p. 185 A Political Union Doomed from Its Start *** Here we have added proof, assurance, that a remnant of Christ’s spiritual brothers will survive Armageddon in the flesh and will for a while be in the flesh on earth in the new order after the battle.
  19. This revelation to young children does not align with the type of simple biblical concepts and knowledge one would need to detect the kind of astrological and astronomical signs described in the Wikipedia site: The Apocalypse of John describes "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head." Proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign say that the woman represents the constellation Virgo and the crown of twelve stars represents the nine stars of the constellation Leo in conjunction with Mercury, Mars, and Venus. The moon appears to be under the "feet" of the constellation Virgo in September 2017 and the sun will be passing through the constellation, which proponents interpret as the woman being "clothed with the sun".[4] The second verse of the twelfth chapter of John's Apocalypse goes on to say that the woman "was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." Some people suggest this will be fulfilled because the planet Jupiter will be traversing the constellation after having undergone apparent retrograde motion after entering what they perceive to be Virgo's "womb" around November 20, 2016.[8] Jupiter exits the lower part of the "womb" 42 weeks later, which is the approximate length of a human gestation (normal gestation periods lasting from 37 to 42 weeks). The 42 week gestation of Jupiter It was also discovered that the apparent retrograde of Jupiter in the womb of Virgo was preceded by C/2017 E1 (Comet Borisov) which is being called the Conception Comet. This comet traveled from the loins of the constellation Leo to the womb of the constellation Virgo on November 17, 2016,[8] just before the entrance of Jupiter into the womb. Some proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign are suggesting that this comet represented the divine insemination of the woman, which subsequently produced the male child (Jupiter). This will be the comet's only trip through our solar system as it is not a solar orbital. The complete astronomical alignment occurred on September 23, 2017, over Jerusalem.[3][4] The Revelation 12 Sign may have coincided with the High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar, which is also called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the Fall Feasts and its timing is traditionally based on the visibility of the new moon,[9] which in 2017 is began on the evening of September 20 and ended on the evening of the 22nd .[10] Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year celebration, in this case marking the end of the year 5777 (sometimes abbreviated to the significant number 777) and the beginning of 5778. Interpretations of Revelation 12 vary, but the general consensus of those who promoted this theory was that the September 2017 alignment was the Great Sign which is described in this passage of Scripture: that the woman represents the nation of Israel, which they believe is about to enter into a multi-year period of Tribulation, and the male child represents the global Church, which might be raptured to Heaven before the Tribulation period begins according to Revelation 12:5.[11] Many proponents say that in order for people to escape before this impending judgment on the world and be "raptured", they must accept that the Christian Messiah Jesus Christ died for their sins, rose again, and is the only means of being reconciled to God. These views are shared by all of the major proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy.[4][3][12][13][14] This doesn't appear to be the kind of fulfillment of prophecy that a child would be able to test like the Beroeans. And who is this Leo and who is this Virgo? Is the Lion (Leo) the Devil. Is this Virgo the Virgin Mary? And if so, why does the Devil impregnate Mary? And why is Jupiter the child? Jupiter is "Jove" or "God the Father" in Roman/Greek mythology. Does this mean that Jehovah was the product of Satan and the Virgin Mary? How does a child test and verify that the sun actually traveled through this same set of constellations since you can't see the stars when the sun is out. How does a humble child verify that 3 planets should be counted as stars so that you can add the 9 stars of Leo to Mercury, Mars and Venus to reach for the 12 stars. And then how does the child test and verify that the constellation is supposed to give birth to a planet, so that a planet means a child here. Could all of this have been supported from other scripture? After all, it is all scripture that is inspired of God so that "so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work." Yet if we use scripture alone, we probably would avoid these fulfillments of scripture with astrological overtones: (Jeremiah 7:18) . . .to make sacrificial cakes to the Queen of Heaven, and they are pouring out drink offerings to other gods to offend me. (Job 31:26-28) 26 If I saw the sun shining Or the moon moving in its splendor; 27 And my heart was secretly enticed, And my mouth kissed my hand in worship of them; 28 Then that would be an error deserving punishment by the judges, For I would have denied the true God above. (Isaiah 47:13, 14) . . .You have grown weary with the multitude of your advisers. Let them stand up now and save you, Those who worship the heavens, who gaze at the stars, Those giving out knowledge at the new moons About the things that will come upon you. 14 Look! They are like stubble. A fire will burn them up.. . . Also, a Bible student might have noticed that there was already a picture in scripture made up of the sun, moon and twelve stars, and it referred to a situation in the early history of Israel, which showed that Jehovah still had all things under control, even as the "seed" was being protected through life-threatening dangers: (Genesis 37:9-11) . . .After that he had still another dream, and he related it to his brothers: “I have had another dream. This time the sun and the moon and 11 stars were bowing down to me.” 10 Then he related it to his father as well as his brothers, and his father rebuked him and said to him: “What is the meaning of this dream of yours? Am I as well as your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the earth to you?” 11 And his brothers grew jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
  20. Yes. I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm sure you already realized that you don't need faith in a chronology to understand that our basic "truth" comes from the perfect example of Christ Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. I'm sure you still feel a sense of comfort by reading the gospels, and how the Bible writers found good reasons to keep encouraging others based on the hope we share for a better future. And how the life we lead in response to our faith in that hope, is better for ourselves, those related to us in the faith, our neighbors, even our enemies. Everyone who reads the Bible and finds something encouraging or upbuilding is getting power from the holy spirit. It's exactly what we need to get through this life. Not everyone has to be correct in all aspects of knowledge for the spirit to do its work in any of us. A math teacher might not need to teach English to be a good math teacher, and vice versa. Each of us can have things we can teach, but we can keep our mouth shut on things that would cause confusion or stumbling. (That doesn't mean that we can't find a forum where discussing different ideas and opinions is possible, we just need to avoid publicly pushing our view against the conscience of others. We do need to keep testing that any Biblical view is backed up with scripture.) We have to remember that our own views, no matter how strongly held, and no matter how much evidence seems to support them, are only human views. The following applies to all of us -- including the governing body: (James 3:1, 2) . . .Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. 2 For we all stumble many times. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body.
  21. Yes, of course. (Matthew 11:11-15) . . .Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has not been raised up anyone greater than John the Baptist, but a lesser person in the Kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the heavens is the goal toward which men press, and those pressing forward are seizing it. 13 For all, the Prophets and the Law, prophesied until John; 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is ‘E·liʹjah who is to come.’ 15 Let the one who has ears listen. (Hebrews 1:1-8) 1 Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. 2 Now [in the last days] he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 ... 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. (Galatians 4:4) . . .But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent his Son. . . So do I. (Hebrews 2:14) . . .through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil, (Luke 10:18) 18 At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like lightning from heaven. (1 John 3:8) . . .For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, to break up the works of the Devil. (John 16:33) . . .In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.” (1 John 5:4) . . .because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith. Having been cleared from heaven, Satan's focus is on his struggle against Christians: (Ephesians 6:11, 12) 11 Put on the complete suit of armor from God so that you may be able to stand firm against the crafty acts of the Devil; 12 because we have a struggle, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places. (1 Timothy 3:6, 7) . . .and fall into the judgment passed on the Devil. 7 Moreover, he should also have a fine testimony from outsiders so that he does not fall into reproach and a snare of the Devil. (1 Peter 5:8, 9) . . .Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. 9 But take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world. (Revelation 12:12) . . .Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”
  22. I'll give the simple answers, but I will also add the scriptures below: The WTS teaches that the apostles and other anointed ones are most likely in heaven, but not yet reigning. I believe they are most likely still waiting in the grave. The WTS teaches that Jesus became king over a kingdom made up of the "congregation" in 33 CE, and King of God's Kingdom in 1914. I believe it was 33 CE on both counts. The WTS teaches that the horses began riding in 1914. I believe it was 33 CE. Yes and No. And not absolutely. The GB/CCJW do not teach that they are now reigning with Christ, even if they are already in heaven. Originally, they were considered to have been resurrected ("first resurrection") in 1878, and this was moved to 1918. Then, around the year 2000, the WTS began dropping 1918 from almost all Biblical fulfillments. The current thinking is that the "first resurrection" was most likely prior to 1935, but COULD potentially be as late as the "Great Tribulation," just before Armageddon. 1918 is now only considered "an interesting possibility." *** w07 1/1 p. 28 par. 12 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! *** Could it, then, be reasoned that since Jesus was enthroned in the fall of 1914, the resurrection of his faithful anointed followers began three and a half years later, in the spring of 1918? That is an interesting possibility. Although this cannot be directly confirmed in the Bible The WTS, in the same article, has indicated that it could happen as late as Armageddon: *** w07 1/1 p. 27 par. 9 “The First Resurrection”—Now Under Way! *** As this journal has often shown, that battle began in 1914. Notice, though, that none of Christ’s anointed followers are said to be with Jesus in that heavenly war. Now look at chapter 17 of Revelation. We read there that after the destruction of “Babylon the Great,” the Lamb will conquer the nations. Then it adds: “Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him will do so.” (Revelation 17:5, 14) “Called and chosen and faithful” ones must already have been resurrected if they are to be with Jesus for the final defeat of Satan’s world. Reasonably, then, anointed ones who die before Armageddon are resurrected sometime between 1914 and Armageddon. Yes. Paul made a few statements about how others would not already start ruling without them all ruling together. He also made statements about how those resurrected would be called at the last trumpet to be taken to heaven at the same time as those who would survive to the end. Also, note that Paul spoke out against those who were claiming that the resurrection had already occurred. You probably know the scriptures. They teach that Jesus became king of a "kingdom" with a small "k" in 33, but King of a "Kingdom" with a capital "K" in 1914. The only time God's Kingdom by Christ is ever spelled with a small "k" is in Colossians: (Colossians 1:13) . . .He rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. . . That's the only exception. All other mentions of God's Kingdom by Christ Jesus are spelled with a capital "K" in the NWT. Yes. The book of Hebrews is very clear that we already have a priest who is of the order of Melchizedek, who was both King and Priest simultaneously. Besides the fact that the Bible calls Jesus "King of Kings," Lord, Messiah, king, and the fact that Paul says that sitting at God's right hand (the right hand of the throne of Majesty) is the equivalent of "ruling as king." They were definitely still running at full pace in 1914, but Jesus said that they would be running in the first century, too. Starting in the generation prior to Jerusalem being surrounded by encamped armies: (Luke 21:9-20) . . .Furthermore, when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified. For these things must take place first, but the end will not occur immediately.” 10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs. ...19 By your endurance you will preserve your lives. 20 “However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near.
  23. I don't really know. My youngest son speaks and writes Chinese fairly well and has been writing to some friends in China. They are working under the assumption that some persons CAN get it again, but that it was extremely rare and probably based on getting a variant the second time. South Korea has also reported second infections. Japanese "experts" have been reporting on NHK (like a Japanese "BBC") that the United States already had 4 or 5 variants of the virus, during the time that China did not yet have a second variant. Of course, even though Japan "hates" China, and is politically allied with the US, many Japanese have accepted as a "given" that this is evidence that the United States was already carrying the "first" and up to four branches of the virus, while China started out with only 1 of the branches in Wuhan, Hubei. Therefore, their "experts" are saying it must have come from the United States. At any rate, if the United States is carrying more variants, then it's more likely to suffer second infections (on the variant theory). [I assume, but don't know enough about it, that if an infected "variant 2" coughs on an infected "variant 4" that this is one way that a "variant 5" might be produced.] It's not known how well the antibodies built up from one (survived) infection might help fight a second. Also, it's possible that before testing was widely available, that some who were counted among the infected, were actually coincidentally suffering from another type of flu during the "first" infection. Tentatively, these Chinese friends of his say that they have all been through weeks of self-quarantine, and several provinces are finally going back to work. But they know that the outbreaks could happen anytime, anywhere. Even if second infections were NOT possible, there are still over a billion Chinese people who never got it in the first place, and are just as susceptible as those who already got it earlier.

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