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JW Insider

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  1. How do you know the resurrection already took place? Remember that the scriptures say that all those who are part of the first resurrection will be resurrected together with those who are still alive on earth. (1 Thess 4:17). Notice that the NWT footnote indicates that the Greek word translated "together," actually has the meaning of "at the same time."
  2. As I said a few times, I believe Jesus received the crown when he was raised to God's right hand, at the time of his resurrection when he received ALL authority in heaven and on earth. I'm not sure why that verse is always sidestepped. It perfectly fits the scriptures that call Jesus a reigning king in the first century. I believe that Jesus' resurrection was around the year 33 C.E. If you find a scripture that contradicts the verses quoted, please add it to the list. You always give the impression that if two or more scriptures are consistent in their message, that they must have been clumped together. If you don't like the fact that two scriptures either say or imply the same thing, then just ignore the extra scriptures and pick just one of them. Then you won't need to react as if multiple scriptures have ganged up on you. For example, Isn't this one scripture speaking about Jesus when he was resurrected? (Philippians 2:8-11) . . .he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake. 9 For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, 10 so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground— 11 and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
  3. Yes. I believe the rider of the white horse is Jesus Christ. For several years, the WTS "Governing Body" promoted the doctrine that it was the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, "the personal representative of Satan." (FM, SIS Vol 7,p 106,107) This sounds crazy to most of us today. But it had supposedly solved the problem of who has been "conquering" with war, sword, and producing spiritual famine, etc., throughout Christendom's history. The reason I think it is Jesus Christ, is because he goes on conquering in the midst of his enemies, which fits a picture of Jesus riding on a royal horse in the midst of enemies all through Christian history. In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted that there would be wars, earthquakes, pestilence, famine, persecution, etc., beginning in the first century, but it would occur right along with faithful chosen ones who would continue preaching the good news and endure to the end: the synteleia/parousia. As king of his kingdom, the most visible conquering that Jesus does throughout all these centuries is choosing persons of true faith who do not spot themselves with the world, who follow in Jesus' footsteps closely, and whose faith helps them conquer even in the face of death: (Revelation 12:11) And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. The similarity even includes the "crown" to be given to those who conquer through faith in their King/Leader at the parousia/manifestation. (2 Timothy 4:8) 8 From this time on, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me as a reward in that day, yet not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his manifestation. (James 1:12) 12 Happy is the man who keeps on enduring trial, because on becoming approved he will receive the crown of life, which Jehovah promised to those who continue loving Him. (1 Peter 5:4) . . .And when the chief shepherd has been made manifest, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:18, 19) . . .. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of exultation before our Lord Jesus at his presence? . . . (Revelation 2:10, 11) . . .Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: The one who conquers will by no means be harmed by the second death.’
  4. It does seem odd, doesn't it? But part of the problem is that you are not really quoting the verse exactly: (Revelation 6:2) And I saw, and look! a white horse, and the one seated on it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went out conquering and to complete his conquest. In fact, in Greek, this doesn't say anything about "completing" his conquest. Literally it says: ". . . he went out conquering, and in order to conquer." See almost every other translation to see this: and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (NIV) and he came out conquering, and to conquer. (ESV) and (NASB) and (RSV) etc and he went out as a conqueror in order to conquer. (SCB) So, it sounds like he was already considered a conqueror at the time he began his ride, but that it could be a whole other phase when he actually completed his conquest. For all we know, that phase could have started in this last generation, even, dare I say it: 1914. But, it makes sense that he began his ride when he was given a crown. And Hebrews says he was given a crown (and a scepter) when he sat down at the right hand of the throne of Majesty. (Hebrews 2:9) . . .But we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than angels, now crowned with glory and honor. . . (Acts 2:30, 31) . . .God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one of his offspring on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ,. . . The idea that Jesus hasn't accomplished much is probably just our human perspective compared to the incomprehensible spiritual realm. After all, how long is this "season"? (Romans 3:26) . . .This was to demonstrate his own righteousness in this present season,. . . How long is this "day"? (2 Corinthians 6:2) . . .Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation. How long is this "season & hour"? (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. How long is this "hour"? (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. Revelation itself is "book-ended" like this: (Revelation 1:1) . . .A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. . . (Revelation 22:20) . . .The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’”. . . Perhaps the holy spirit allowed for what appears to be "human hyperbole" in scripture, in the same way that @Thinking has spoken about Jehovah being aware of (and therefore "permitting") false dates being thrown around in modern times. Perhaps such language is not just permitted, but even expected to work as a kind of "crutch" for us. As you and others have implied: Where might we have been without it?
  5. You're right. I didn't mean to impute wrong motives. I meant that it's a human weakness, not even thought about on a conscious level. If we look at all the other persons who have tried to do the same thing throughout history, it's easier to see that it's not done by bad people (usually). The overt motive is usually very good. But it keeps happening, and is happening again right now, even though there is a perfectly good solution to continue "on the watch" with humility and without dogmatism. The WTS publications are now much better, since the last prediction (two overlapping lifespans from 1914) is much looser than all others, but it's still out there. And it came up in a meeting for service this morning too. The motive was of course encouragement that we don't have to put up with this system much longer. But this thread was started with the idea that special "gnosis" is available on the topic, and I do think it smacks of the "old style" even to a much greater degree than was used around 1968-1973. That's because your illustration focuses on the term "keep on the watch" as if we are watching for signs or for a prophetic time fulfillment. I think that's not what any verse about keep on the watch ever meant. It means watching what sort of persons we ought to be, knowing that we are already in the "time and season" where the end could come at any moment, and that it might not come during our lifetime, or it might come at a time when our hearts are not prepared. (Ephesians 5:15-17) . . .So keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, 16 making the best use of your time, because the days are wicked. 17 On this account stop being unreasonable, but keep perceiving what the will of Jehovah is. (2 Peter 3:11, 12) 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, . . .
  6. For the sake of consistency, I thought it good to point out that only one of the verses you quoted is really about "signs" in the sense that we look for them to fulfill scripture today. The book of Revelation does, of course, use "signs" in the sense of "symbolic language" so that's the way it is translated in the NWT, in this particular verse. But the Greek word in this verse really just means "signified" or "indicated," so that it could have been translated like this: (Rev 1:1) And he sent his angel and presented it in signs through him indicated it to his slave John," In fact that's how the NWT translates the word in other places: (Acts 25:27) 27 For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not also to indicate the charges against him.” Matthew 16:3 is the way we use "signs" in the context under discussion: Matt 16:3: "the signs of the times you cannot interpret" You also presented verses that used the word "signs" in the sense of "miracles," "special powers" and "wonders." This could be translated from the same word in Matthew 16:3, but these are "signs" produced specifically through the Holy Spirit (or impostors) either to indicate Jehovah's power or blessing or, in the case of Satan, to produce a sensation or a following. Jesus didn't say we shouldn't be aware of signs, or signs of the times, or that we shouldn't be watchful of signs. He says not to think that these signs will give us any special knowledge of the time of his parousia. (Acts 1:7) . . .“It does not belong to YOU to get knowledge of the times or seasons . . . Such supposed "knowledge" would therefore be falsely called "knowledge." (1 Timothy 6:20, 21) . . .Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, turning away from the empty speeches that violate what is holy and from the contradictions of the falsely called “knowledge.” [gnosis] 21 By making a show of such knowledge, some have deviated from the faith.. . .
  7. By Thomas, do you mean Luke Timothy Johnson? If so, you seem to want to give him a name closer to your own. BTW, I think LTJ he is closer to many "truths" about early Christianity than Bart Ehrman. I think I've said before that Ehrman is really good at seeing what was going wrong with Christianity after the first century, based on a really good knowledge of the language and times. But he imputes too many of those problems back into the first century and therefore offers a very dim view of Christianity to begin with. Now I see that LTJ might also have gone further down the dimly lit path. Sad.
  8. No, do not trust me. Trust the scriptures. If you think they say something else, you can present reasons for that, too.
  9. This is actually the entire point! (1 Corinthians 2:14-16) . . .But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. 15 However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5) 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ; If we concern ourselves with "times and seasons" we are not being obedient to the Christ. The physical man wants signs. The physical man wants to be able to prove how discerning he is, and be able to predict dates like 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918, 1925, just a few more months in the 1940's, just a few more months not years in the 1970's, before the year 2000, within two sets of overlapping lifespans from 1914, etc. It's all about pride and presumptuousness. It's about "look at me" or "look at us" we have special knowledge, like gnostics. It should be enough to know that we are already in the season, the "day of salvation." And have been since the Bible told us so. Long before Jesus came, there were prophecies that pointed to time periods. Those were fulfilled. But Jesus appearance in the first century was the end of that type of prophecy. From then on we are in the last days: (Hebrews 1:1-3) 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 after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. *the literal Greek in Heb 1:2 is the same as when Paul called Timothy's days the "last days" in 2 Tim 3:1-5. (2 Corinthians 6:2) . . .Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation. (Romans 3:26) 26 This was to demonstrate his own righteousness in this present season. . . (Romans 13:11, 12) . . .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. 12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. . . . (1 Peter 1:10-12) . . .Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you made a diligent inquiry and a careful search. 11 They kept on investigating what particular time or what season the spirit within them was indicating concerning Christ as it testified beforehand about the sufferings meant for Christ and about the glory that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were ministering, not to themselves, but to you, regarding what has now been announced to you by those who declared the good news to you with holy spirit sent from heaven. . .
  10. And Jesus made the same point to his disciples, too, about the second manifestation of his Kingdom. They were looking for a sign to be able to know when the destructive end (synteleia) would come. But Jesus said that signs like wars, earthquakes, and famines could be misleading. It would come as a surprise. Just as it was for the people of Sodom on the day that Lot went out of the city. I would agree that there are two sides to this, but I'm looking for the one that is most consistent with the whole of the scriptures, not just a few verses picked out here and there.
  11. You make a good case here. Remember though, that those "facts on the ground" were obviously signs from the holy spirit itself. It was about how men like Paul and Barnabas were showing powerful works that could only be attributed to the holy spirit, which matched Joel 3, for example. And the evidence that those ones they were preaching to were also seeing manifestations of the holy spirit ("signs and wonders"), just as you mentioned happened with Cornelius. (Acts 15:4-8) . . .they related the many things God had done by means of them. . . . 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by giving them the holy spirit, just as he did to us also. Manifestations of the holy spirit should not be confused with the beginnings of a great war, however. For all we know, Satan could have influenced the timing of this war just to fool us into thinking it was a sign. And we know that Jesus said the parousia would come as a surprise, and that it would not be observed through signs. (Luke 17:20) 20 On being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, he answered them: “The Kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness; The new Study Bible shows how we have made a mistake in translating this verse: 17:20 with striking observableness: The Greek expression used here occurs only once in the Christian Greek Scriptures and is derived from a verb meaning “to watch closely; to observe.” According to some scholars, medical writers used this expression when they described watching the symptoms of disease. The way the word is used here seems to convey the idea that the Kingdom of God is not coming in a way that is obvious to all. If you think about it, it's just the opposite of the conclusion. The word actually means that the kingdom will not come with signs that can be observed. It really means the opposite of "striking" observableness. Medical writers used the term to mean "signs that can be observed." (Observations that were the opposite of striking.) Jesus said it would NOT come this way. Of course, Jesus also said people would be fooled by thinking that "wars" would be a sign of the end. (Matthew 24:4-6) . . .In answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads you, . . . 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. If Jesus was right, and I think he was, then people would be anxious to see signs, and be misled by things like wars and earthquakes. So he had to remind them that the parousia was actually coming unexpectedly, like a thief. You couldn't look for signs that it was coming, because the actual sign would shake the heavens, after it was too late.
  12. And there is also the problem of the "birth pains." The "Insight" book inadvertently admitted that this shouldn't have been in the book of Revelation if it was about spiritual Jerusalem. Also if the birth pains started in 1914, then when is the birth? Why do we say the birth of the kingdom is in 1914, but then the birth pangs start and go on for another 107+ years?
  13. Think about the timing, however. Revelation will have plenty to say about spiritual Israel. The grand fulfillment is only through spiritual Israel. A lot of "whiz-bang" action happened around 1914, as TTH has said. And the world saw many important historical changes. But in what way did the Jerusalem above give birth to the sons of the kingdom (the 144,000) in that year? Weren't people still being brought into that Kingdom after 1914 that had already begun being brought in well before 1914? (Colossians 1:13) . . .He rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. . . (Revelation 1:4-6) . . .May you have undeserved kindness and peace from. . . Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “the firstborn from the dead,” and “the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood— 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father. . . (Luke 22:29, 30) . . .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. The scriptures speak of a kingdom established in the first century, and humans being drawn into that kingdom as citizens of that kingdom starting in the first century. But when they inherit the kingdom it will be after the harvest, at a time when they "shine" and sit on thrones. (Matthew 13:41-43) . . .The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, . . . 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen. The kingdom can appear to have a slow beginning from a human perspective. Jesus gave many illustrations about the kingdom that show this.
  14. True. Jehovah was the "husband" of the physical nation of Israel, and this illustration pointed to the sure fulfillment of the eternal promises to physical Israel which could only be completely fulfilled through spiritual Israel. But the passage in Romans is where Paul showed how these promises were still being offered to physical Israel, too, and that the full number of physical Israel would come in due to spiritual Israel. Through one "seed" of Israel, physical Israel can be saved, but that is only possible due to the transformed spiritual nature of physical Israelites in following Jesus, the Seed born into physical Israel. (Isaiah 54:1-13) 54 “Cry out joyfully, you barren woman that did not give birth! Become cheerful with a joyful outcry and cry shrilly, you that had no childbirth pains, for the sons of the desolated one are more numerous than the sons of the woman with a husbandly owner,” Jehovah has said. . . . and your own offspring will take possession even of nations, and they will inhabit even the desolated cities. . . . 5 “For your Grand Maker is your husbandly owner, Jehovah . . .. 6 For Jehovah called you as if you were a wife* left entirely and hurt in spirit, and as a wife of the time of youth who was then rejected,” your God has said. 7 “For a little moment I left you entirely, but with great mercies I shall collect you together. . . . but my loving-kindness itself will not be removed from you, nor will my covenant of peace itself stagger,” Jehovah, the One having mercy upon you, has said. 11 “O woman afflicted, tempest-tossed, uncomforted, here I am laying with hard mortar your stones, and I will lay your foundation with sapphires. 12 And I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of fiery glowing stones, and all your boundaries of delightsome stones. 13 And all your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant. I agree that none of this can be completely fulfilled except upon spiritual Israel. By the way, the NWT 1984 has a footnote on the word "wife" in verse 6. It says that in Hebrew the word here is "woman." The same is true of the second appearance of "wife" in that same verse, but it doesn't have the footnote attached. That's the only reason I said the Israel is often called Jehovah's "woman." I could have also said "wife." The term "husbandly owner" is no longer in the NWT revised. The term is Ba'al and Ba'al-ot sometimes just "master" or "true master." But it's a word that can also be used for husband, although note Hosea 2:16 below, which is also a pun about no longer using the name of the god, Ba'al, which also means Master (Lord), of course. (Jeremiah 3:11-14) 11 And Jehovah went on to say to me: . . .say: “‘“Do return, O renegade Israel,” is the utterance of Jehovah.’. . .‘“I shall not stay resentful to time indefinite. 13 Only take note of your error, . . . 14 “Return, O YOU renegade sons,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For I myself have become the husbandly owner of YOU people; and I will take YOU,. . . (Ezekiel 16:8) 8 “‘When I was passing by and saw you, I noticed that you were old enough for expressions of love. So I spread my garment over you and covered your nakedness and made an oath and entered into a covenant with you,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘and you became mine. (Jeremiah 2:1, 2) . . .: 2 “Go, and you must call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “I well remember, on your part, the loving-kindness of your youth, the love during your being engaged to marry,. . . (Hosea 2:16,19) 16 And in that day,’ declares Jehovah, ‘You will call me My husband, and you will no longer call me My master.’ . . . . 19 And I will engage you to me for time indefinite, . . . ---- So while I agree that physical Israel is a perfect "type" leading into the fulfillment with spiritual Israel, this doesn't mean that Paul wasn't referring to physical Israel when he spoke of physical Israel in Romans, and it doesn't mean that Revelation 12 must only be focused on spiritual Israel. As you said:
  15. It's a good point. I thought about how that might apply when Jesus became the Messiah (Christ) at his baptism. It was at that point when Jehovah said, This is my Son (the approved heir). That would make him "king-designate" at this point and his actual enthronement would be when he sat at the Father's right hand. Of course, another possibility is that Jesus became king in the first century, and then when his kingdom removes all God's enemies from the earth at Armageddon, Jesus becomes king when his millennial reign begins. If there were Biblical evidence for a third point in time when Jesus becomes king again between those two events, then 1914 would be as good a place as any. (So would 70 C.E. 99 C.E. 315 C.E. 1412 C.E. 1798 C.E. or 2021 C.E., etc.) On the idea that Jesus may have been seen as king-designate at his baptism, before being enthroned, I think we have some pretty good scriptural evidence, too. For example, the expression in the Bible that was associated with Hebrew kings of the line of David was a statement from Jehovah: "I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his Father." We see it used of both David and Solomon and Jesus, because they were the rightful heir to the throne, each in their own time. (1 Chronicles 28:1-7) . . .And David proceeded to congregate all the princes of Israel,. . . 2 Then David the king rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. . . . 3 And the [true] God himself said to me, ‘You will not build a house to my name; for a man of wars you are, and blood you have spilled.’ . . . he then chose Solʹo·mon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingship of Jehovah over Israel. 6 “Further, he said to me, ‘Solʹo·mon your son is the one that will build my house and my courtyards; for I have chosen him as my son, and I myself shall become his father. 7 And I shall certainly establish his kingship firmly to time indefinite if he will be strongly resolved to do my commandments and my judicial decisions, as at this day.’ The expression was called the "decree of Jehovah." (Psalm 2:7-9) 7 Let me proclaim the decree of Jehovah; He said to me: “You are my son; Today I have become your father. 8 Ask of me, and I will give nations as your inheritance And the ends of the earth as your possession. 9 You will break them with an iron scepter, And you will smash them like a piece of pottery.” *** w06 5/15 p. 17 par. 6 Highlights From Book One of Psalms *** 2:7—What is “the decree of Jehovah”? This decree is the covenant for a Kingdom, which Jehovah has made with his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.—Luke 22:28, 29. But notice that this decree was applied both at Jesus' baptism and at his resurrection. *** it-2 p. 1001 Son(s) of God *** With regard to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, Paul applied part of Psalm 2 to that occasion, quoting God’s words, “You are my son, I have become your Father this day,” and he also applied words from God’s covenant with David, namely: “I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son.” (Ps 2:7; 2Sa 7:14; Ac 13:33; Heb 1:5; compare Heb 5:5.). . . *** it-2 p. 1001 Son(s) of God *** Thus, it is seen that, even as David as a grown man could ‘become God’s son’ in a special sense, so, too, Christ Jesus also ‘became God’s Son’ in a special way, at the time of his baptism and at his resurrection, and also, evidently, at the time of his entrance into full Kingdom glory. *** w04 7/15 pp. 18-19 pars. 13-17 “The Decree of Jehovah” Cannot Fail *** 13 The Messianic King now speaks. He says: “Let me refer to the decree of Jehovah [who has made with his Son a covenant for the Kingdom]; he [Jehovah God] has said to me: ‘You are my son; I, today, I have become your father.’” (Psalm 2:7) Christ referred to the Kingdom covenant when he told his apostles: “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom.”—Luke 22:28, 29. 14 As foretold at Psalm 2:7, Jehovah acknowledged Jesus as His Son at his baptism and by resurrecting him to spirit life. (Mark 1:9-11; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5) Yes, the King of the heavenly Kingdom is God’s only-begotten Son. (John 3:16) As the royal descendant of King David, Jesus holds incontestable title to kingship. (2 Samuel 7:4-17; Matthew 1:6, 16). . . 17 The scepters of kings of ancient times were symbols of royal authority. Some scepters were made of iron, like the one spoken of in this psalm. The imagery here used indicates the ease with which Christ the King will destroy the nations. A powerful blow with an iron scepter would shatter a potter’s earthenware vessel, smashing it beyond recovery. This appears to be exactly why Hebrews begins with the expression about Jesus being made heir of all things, already enthroned and already crowned and already holding a scepter. (Hebrews 1:1-2:9) . . .Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. 2 Now at the end of these 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.. . . he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. . . .5 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”? 6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.” . . .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. . . . 13 But about which of the angels has he ever said: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet”? . . . . . .9 But we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than angels, now crowned with glory and honor . . . .
  16. Revelation 12 is a beautiful account, in symbolic language, about how the favored nation of Israel fulfilled the promise of producing the heir, the Christ, who would inherit the Kingdom. (Revelation 12:1) . . .Then a great sign was seen in heaven: A woman . . . We know that the nation of Israel was often spoken of as Jehovah's "woman" because it was through this woman that the heir to the kingdom would be produced. (Revelation 12:1, 2) . . .A woman was arrayed with the sun, and the moon was beneath her feet, and on her head was a crown of 12 stars, 2 and she was pregnant.. . . Even the sun, moon and 12 stars were already associated with the nation of Israel. (Genesis 37:9) . . .After that he had still another dream, and he related it to his brothers and said: “Here I have had a dream once more, and here the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” The twelve stars represented the twelve tribes of Israel, through whom the heir would be born. (Isaiah 7:13, 14) . . .“Listen, please, O house of David. Is it not enough that you try the patience of men? Must you also try the patience of God? 14 Therefore, Jehovah himself will give you a sign: Look! The young woman will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and she will name him Im·manʹu·el. (Matthew 1:22, 23) . . .All of this actually came about to fulfill what was spoken by Jehovah through his prophet, saying: 23 “Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will name him Im·manʹu·el,” which means, when translated, “With Us Is God.” (Revelation 12:3, 4) . . .Another sign was seen in heaven. Look! A great fiery-colored dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems; 4 and its tail drags a third of the stars of heaven, and it hurled them down to the earth. And the dragon kept standing before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth, it might devour her child. We all know about the machinations that Satan went through to try to devour the child, the heir. This was not only the acts of Herod, but the fact that Satan would try to tempt the heir at the beginning of his ministry, and that Israel was motivated to continue killing the prophets, and would even have Jesus himself killed. (Revelation 12:5) . . .And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away to God and to his throne. Who else could this be but Jesus Christ? And Jesus was born in the first century, not in 1914! Interestingly, the Insight book gives us a reason to not apply this woman to the Jerusalem above, but to God's earthly woman: *** it-2 p. 187 Labor Pains *** God’s heavenly “woman” would, of course, be perfect, and the birth would be without literal pain. The labor pains would, therefore, symbolically indicate that the “woman” would realize that the birth was at hand; she would be in expectation of it shortly.—Re 12:2. In other words, the Insight book is admitting that there would not have been pain if this meant the Jerusalem above, so it was necessary to say that there wasn't any pain, even though the words of the book of Revelation says that there was pain. Even the murder of Jesus didn't destroy him because he was snatched away to God and to his throne. (Hebrews 1:3-14) . . .And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So he has become better than the angels to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs. . . . 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. (Revelation 12:6) 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God and where they would feed her for 1,260 days. Naturally, there is no scripture that tells us exactly what the 1,260 days means, so I'm ready for anyone's guess here. Instead of making these days into years as we do for the 2,520 days, we make Revelation's 1,260 days mean something very close to literal days. These are supposed to mean the spring of 1919 until autumn of 1922. But it seems just as likely that the faithful ones in the favored nation of Israel would still find some protection for a time as Paul indicates: (Romans 11:1-26) . . .I ask, then, God did not reject his people, did he? By no means! For I too am an Israelite, of the offspring of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. . . . 5 So in the same way, at the present time also, there is a remnant according to a choosing through undeserved kindness. . . . The very thing Israel is earnestly seeking he did not obtain, but the ones chosen obtained it . . .11 So I ask, They did not stumble and fall completely, did they? Certainly not! ...12 Now if their false step means riches to the world and their decrease means riches to people of the nations, how much more will their full number mean! . . .17 However, if some of the branches were broken off and you, although being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became a sharer of the richness of the olive’s root, . . . 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree that is wild by nature and were grafted contrary to nature into the garden olive tree, how much more will these who are natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree! ... A partial dulling of senses has come upon Israel until the full number of people of the nations has come in, 26 and in this manner all Israel will be saved. . . . I included what Paul said about the two olive trees, the natural olive and the wild olive, because Paul is clearly speaking about the nation of Israel, and how their blessing resulted in a much greater number "saved" from people of all nations, who then again will help to bring the full number of chosen Israelites to salvation. Paul appears to expect the much greater crowd from the nations to incite the remaining Israelites who hadn't yet responded to the Christian message. Revelation chapter 11 also speaks of the two olive trees, too, and Revelation 7 had just spoken of the full number from Israel compared to the much larger number from the nations who find salvation. These are all references to first century events which continue into our own day. It may also be of interest that our current doctrines put Jesus' death at the middle of the 7-year week (Daniel's 70th week of years). The ministry following Jesus death was still to the Israelites/Jews for 3 1/2 more years until Cornelius was baptized around the year 36 C.E. That would mean that Israel was fed for 1,260 days. I don't worry about the timing of the 1,260 days, here. But at least it doesn't contradict anything. The WTS versions of the 1,260 day periods do produce real contradictions which have been discussed previously on this forum. (Revelation 12:7-9) . . .And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. This is correct. It is one of the other reasons I don't believe that Jesus fully cast Satan out of heaven until Jesus himself was snatched up to heaven. The word "snatched" is also the word Paul used when he spoke of Christians being "snatched" to heaven explaining that change in the twinkling of an eye, when they are "caught away". (1 Thessalonians 4:17) 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with [the] Lord. Several of the scriptures that show how Satan was already being cast down in the first century have already been mentioned in previous posts. (Revelation 12:10-12) . . .“Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! 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.” This is why Jesus never claimed to have "all authority" until he was resurrected. This is why he would not take full power over the demons during his ministry. His time had not yet come. As you say he could only do this when he received full authority to do so. (Matthew 28:18) . . .Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.
  17. I'm saying that the Bible is correct and is very clear that Satan was thrown out of heaven when Jesus took office as king. The Bible is also very clear that Jesus was identified as "King of Kings" in the first century. It was the reason that the theme of the preaching by Jesus and then in Acts was the kingdom. (Acts 17:7) . . .All these men act in opposition to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus.. . . When Jesus was enthroned at the right hand of his Father, it was time for Christians to be especially wary, because Satan was roaring and roving about, seeking to devour someone, just as he is today. (1 Peter 5:8) 8 Keep your senses, be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. (2 Corinthians 6:2) . . .Look! Now is the especially acceptable time. Look! Now is the day of salvation. (Ephesians 2:1, 2) . . .Furthermore, God made you alive, though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Obviously, if anyone believes that the Bible teaches Jesus became king in the first century, then Revelation 12 must be referring to the first century. Either that or Jesus becomes king twice, because there are two (or three) kingdoms. Jesus' kingdom over his congregation, where the members of that congregation are also a direct part of that kingdom, beginning in the first century. (Colossians 1:13) A kingdom reign that begins between the first century and the beginning of the 1,000 year reign. (The WTS puts this in 1914, based on a "special" interpretation 7 times in Daniel 4.) The kingdom reign of 1,000 years beginning just after the Great Tribulation and Armageddon. (Revelation 20:2-7) So it shouldn't surprise you that Revelation 12 makes perfect sense as a reference to the first century. But I see only one kingdom, not two or three. The Bible speaks of "THE Kingdom" and never distinguishes between two or three different kingdoms. It's God's Kingdom which Jehovah hands over to Jesus, his beloved Son. Of course, the kingdom develops over time so that we can expect different aspects and events at various times during that kingdom reign. Some of those events happened in the first century, more developments will happen before Armageddon, and final events happen at the end of the thousand years. But you specifically asked about Revelation 12, so I'll give my opinion about how it fits the first century. It's just one possible option, and I'll put it in my next post.
  18. That's always a strong possibility that I'm misusing them. That's the reason, of course, that I'm on a discussion forum to get some feedback on these opinions. Also, I understand that when something is taught in basically the same way for about 70 out of the last 140 years of WTS history, that we are hesitant to think about alternatives because we are afraid that our entire "investment" in Truth might be wrong. So some of us kick and scream in a tantrum, some of us flail and grasp at straws, and some of us get haughty, and some of us get depressed, and some patiently wait for truth, and some jab at personalities. But just as I had hoped for, some like you will actually address the concerns and look for actual holes in the alternative presentation. Anna has done the same with the thoughtfulness into the 2,000 years of "conquering" being a failure. "Witness" said pretty much the same thing but with a different point in view. Something else I want to say again, even if I've said it often enough: The WTS presents its view as solid, unassailable fact. Period. Therefore, if we conscientiously believe we are trying to take a stand against strongly entrenched things (which in this case are based on long traditions we got from 18th and 19th century Christendom), then we need to present the alternative with as much solid scriptural basis as we can. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5) . . .For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ; (1 Peter 4:11) 11 If anyone speaks, [let him speak] as it were [the] sacred pronouncements of God; if anyone ministers, [let him minister] as dependent on the strength that God supplies; . . . If we have attempted to "make sure of the more important things" then we shouldn't hold back in our manner as if we are being tossed about like a ship without a rudder. Naturally, this doesn't mean that our conclusions are right. And we don't want to be creating divisions in the congregation, even if they do turn out to be right. There should be a nicer way to present alternatives to strongly entrenched things that overturn our traditional reasonings, and I can't think of any other way other than to present what it seems like the Bible is saying with the same level of sureness with which the WTS presents it. So instead of responding to your points right now, I want to give your points and everyone else's some more consideration.
  19. Neither Jehovah nor Jesus are ever literally "sitting on a throne." It's an expression that means to "rule as king." (Ps 110:1/1 Cor 10:25). When a king sits on his throne, it simply means he is ruling as king. But even if it were literal, he is still a king when he is sitting, and still a king when he stands, or when he rides a horse, or drives a chariot. In reality though, he is still the "sitting king" when he is standing. Another use of the expression "to sit on a throne" is to emphasize the acts of judgment that a king can perform when "sitting in judgment." If the king happens to be literally standing while judging, he is still "sitting in judgment." *** w72 3/1 p. 153 Does a Great Heavenly Organization Exist? *** We are not to assume that Jehovah sits on a literal throne or rides a literal chariot. To illustrate this fact, we find the psalmist using different symbols to portray the same thing: “Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, you have proved very great. With dignity and splendor you have clothed yourself, enwrapping yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent cloth, the One building his upper chambers with beams in the very waters, making the clouds his chariot, walking upon the wings of the wind, making his angels spirits, his ministers a devouring fire.”—Ps. 104:1-4. The symbolism here used throws light on Ezekiel’s chariot picture. Jehovah does not ride on literal clouds or walk upon the wind any more than he rides in a chariot. But he does use these natural phenomena at times as his agencies for doing certain things for mankind on earth. So the chariot represents something that Jehovah guides, directs and uses toward mankind. Just as the articles of furniture in the tabernacle and in Jehovah’s temple at Jerusalem were designed exactly according to his pattern to picture spiritual things of far greater importance, so with the chariot.—Heb. 8:5; 1 Chron. 28:11, 12, 19.
  20. I hope you don't mind if I include more information about the entire topic, not just the ride of the white horse. I believe that when Jesus was given all authority, he then had the authority to ride the white horse so that he could rule and go on conquering in the midst of his enemies. This would have been in the first century C.E. It's possible for the WTS to put up a fairly good fight against that idea, by using only two of the 20+ scriptures that indicate when Jesus began ruling as king. But that only works if these had been the only verses on the topic. And it requires that we also disregard the context of those two verses. But it doesn't seem possible to fight against at least 20 different scriptural statements that show that Jesus was already ruling as king since around 33 C.E. The WT publications have always focused only on those two verses that make it possible to fight against Jesus' reign beginning in the first century C.E. Those verses would include the one that shows that Jesus' kingdom in 33 CE included his ruling over the congregation (Colossians 1:13, 18). The second verse often focused upon is the verse in Hebrews 10:13 that says that Jesus would be waiting at God's right hand until death was done away with (the last enemy). Since death is not yet done away with, Jesus is obviously still waiting. (Hebrews 10:12, 13) . . .But this man offered one sacrifice for sins for all time and sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from then on waiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet. (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26) 25 For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing. According to the Watch Tower Publications Index, the WTS has never even quoted those words in 1 Cor 15:25 since 1986. Notice that the WTS cannot make use of 1 Cor 15:25 because there it says that Jesus is ruling while the enemy death had not yet been conquered. And since Jesus is waiting until his enemies should be conquered, he is therefore still waiting, and therefore ruling in the midst of his enemies. The contents of the verse also cannot be used because in it Paul replaces the words from Psalm 110:1: "sit at [God's] right hand" with "rule as king." It's obvious from several other scriptures that the two expressions are equivalent, but both of these points from the verse produce devastating blows to the claims surrounding WTS 1914 doctrine. It might also be of interest that although Colossians 1:13 and 1:18 get mentioned often enough, the Index shows that this portion of the context has not been mentioned for discussion in 50 years: (Colossians 2:10) 10 So you have acquired a fullness by means of him, the one who is the head of all government and authority. So, hopefully this finally leads to your question. It's the same point being made in Revelation 6 about the four horsemen. Jesus on the white horse goes on conquering in the midst of his enemies. And the most "deadly" of those enemies that were not yet fully conquered when Jesus began his reign included all the main causes and reasons for death: war, famine, plague, persecution -- and "death" in general. Death was not yet conquered in 33, nor in 70, nor in 1914, nor in 1941, nor in 2021, and we know that Jesus is still waiting until it is time for him to conquer death completely. But since he is sitting at Jehovah's right hand since 33 C.E., he has therefore been "ruling as king" since 33, and goes on conquering until the last enemy death is conquered, and he therefore completes his conquest. In some sense, of course, Jesus conquered death in 33 C.E., but death was not completely subdued and brought to nothing. It was not yet a "footstool" for his feet. In ancient times, ancient statues of kings depicted the enemies of a king under his feet as a literal footstool. (If you Google the term 'ancient sculpture depicts king's enemies as a footstool,' you will easily find at least 4 good examples. The one one the right shows an example of each of the major enemies of Egypt when you see a close-up.)
  21. I have been reading quite a bit about the Great Awakening in the early United States even reading some early 1800's debates between Episcopalians and Presbyterians, for example on several subjects. Among either them or the Methodists, Quakers, Baptists, Moravians, Disciples of Christ, etc., I have only seen hints of it. Episcopalians evidently are supposed to have spoken out against it in places but I have never seen that. From what I can see it's still most clearly spelled out in the Adventist doctrine in Ellen G White's book from 1858, "The Great Controversy." She was one of the early adopters of Millerite Second Adventism (and Miller himself was a Baptist preacher). I have not tried to trace it prior to Second Adventism, and now Seventh Day Adventists and Witnesses are the main teachers of this doctrine. You might find it curious that here
      Hello guest!
    an Adventist noticed that the Teaching Company has a series called the Philosophy of Religion by Dr. James Hall. I listened to one series on the Philosophy of Religion by Dr. James Hall, from the University of Richmond (I think). He describes himself as an "agnostic Episcopalian," or something like that. He's definitely not a fundy, and certainly not an Adventist one. Well, part of the series deals with theodicy, the justification of God in the face of evil. You know, How can God be all-good and all-powerful and all-loving and there be evil? That kind of stuff, and certainly a fair question. Anyway, he goes through these different theodicies, explains them and then, after each one, said why he believed each one didn't work. And, for the most part, I had to agree with him. Then, just as an aside, he said (and I'm paraphrasing him), "Oh, yes, there is one more theodicy. No one takes it seriously any more today but I thought I'd mention it." He called it the Cosmic Free Will Theodicy or something like that. The upshot is that for about three minutes he describes, basically, the great controversy scenario, pretty much how any traditional Adventist would. You know, an angel Lucifer with free will, falls into sin, leads a rebellion in heaven that takes hold on earth, a battle between good and evil, etc. I mean, it was our cosmic world view perfect expressed. What was fascinating, however, is that he ended it with these words. "This theodicy is the only one that works, the only that can explain the goodness of God in the face of evil." I should add that Ellen G White claimed to have seen these ideas in a vision from 10 years earlier (1848). Since claims of plagiarism surrounded White even from very early years, there might be another angle on earlier sources from those who accuse portions of "The Great Controversy" to have been plagiarized. At any rate, it's still the most rational explanation for why Jehovah has permitted wickedness and sin, imo.
  22. These points are not forgotten at all. The scriptures answer these questions very clearly. If we rely on scripture instead of our own understanding there is no confusion and no contradiction. And you would be able to accept those several scriptures which you have indicated you don't believe in. You didn't say you don't believe in them, but you have indicated it repeatedly. You can see this for yourself by simply reading Acts 2 and Acts 13. Also note the significance of the expression "for I have chosen him as my son, and I myself shall become his father." You can find discussions of this expression in the Insight book and various Watchtower articles. Tomorrow I might add more information. Again, this is easily answered with Scriptures you already know. Again, Paul makes it very clear in 1 Cor 15:25, already mentioned above. They are not forgotten. You are merely trying to make them contradict the verses above which you don't want to accept, such as Hebrews chapters 1 and 2. They don't contradict the others scriptures at all. Jesus took dominion, ruling as the Davidic king when he sat down at God's right hand. Just read the opening chapters of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. Read Acts chapter 2 again. It's the Bible's presentation that is superior. What you call dumping together of scriptures is your reaction to the fact that all the scriptures are consistent and not contradictory. You don't like them listed together, because they all give a unified, consistent timeline. You appear to wish that they weren't listed together to show the consistency, but wish to dump several of them into the garbage so that they don't interfere with the old chronology tradition handed down to us from Christendom (especially, John Aquila Brown, Christopher Bowen, E.B. Elliott, Robert Seeley, Joseph Seiss, and Nelson Barbour): *** jv chap. 10 p. 134 Growing in Accurate Knowledge of the Truth *** As early as 1823, John A. Brown, whose work was published in London, England, calculated the “seven times” of Daniel chapter 4 to be 2,520 years in length. . . . In 1844, E. B. Elliott, a British clergyman, drew attention to 1914 as a possible date for the end of the “seven times” of Daniel . . . . Robert Seeley, of London, in 1849, handled the matter in a similar manner. At least by 1870, a publication edited by Joseph Seiss and associates and printed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was setting out calculations that pointed to 1914 as a significant date. . . . Then, in the August, September, and October 1875 issues of Herald of the Morning, N. H. Barbour . . . . Using chronology compiled by Christopher Bowen, a clergyman in England, and published by E. B. Elliott . . . . .
  23. So you are saying that you actually don't believe the scriptures mentioned above in: (Matthew 28:18) (Ephesians 1:20, 21) (Hebrews 1:2-8) (1 Timothy 6:15) (Revelation 1:5) Now can you see how our tradition can make the word of God invalid?
  24. I think your bit of derisive laughter (the "lol") is based on the idea that we teach that Satan has been cast down for about 107 years, which is supposedly a "short time" while 1,988 years is not a "short time." Referring back to 2 Peter 3, we know that a day with Jehovah can be as 1,000 years. And Satan has been around since at least the laying of the foundations of the earth. (Job 38:7) . . .When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, And all the sons of God began shouting in applause? I believe you are concerned that our explanation of Revelation 12:1-15 only works if that short period of time is considered to be 107 years and counting. But there are obviously other explanations for Revelation 12, some of which do not create a contradictory explanation of what the "earth" is and what the "sea" is, for example. Or does not require an explanation that uses two contradictory sets of weights to explain the 3.5 times of Rev 12:14 (and 11:2-3) in combination with the "7 times" of Daniel 4, and the "times" of the trampling of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24/Revelation 11:2-3). There are explanations that fit the scriptures very well and need not rely on reasoning that would begin those examples of persecution only in the decades after 1914. I'm sure you can easily see an explanation that fits scriptures when you look at Luke 10:18-24/John 12:31 and Romans 16:19-20. (Hebrews 2:14, 15) . . ., that through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil; 15 and [that] he might emancipate all those who for fear of death were subject to slavery all through their lives. (1 Peter 5:8, 9) . . .Keep your senses, be watchful! 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. 10 But after you have suffered a little while [short time]. . .
  25. The Bible's reasoning is very clear. Jehovah waits until the most appropriate time to act. That doesn't mean that Jehovah is not King while he is waiting. The same goes for any other king. Just because some human king is "sitting" [on his throne] and waiting for the proper time to perform a specific act doesn't mean he is not a king just because he was "sitting" on a throne. Do you think Jehovah is sitting down on the job and no longer God just because he sits on a throne: (1 Samuel 4:4) . . .the covenant of Jehovah of armies, who sits enthroned above the cherubs... Jesus is not sitting down on the job either. As the king with all authority given him over all other kingdoms and lordships and governments and authorities, he keeps working just as his Father keeps working. (John 5:17). Some things are appropriate for the King Christ Jesus to do now and some things will wait until the right time. Conquering death, for example. (2 Peter 3:9, 10) . . .Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 10 But Jehovah’s day will come as a thief,. . . (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26) . . .For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.
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