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JW Insider

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Posts posted by JW Insider


  1. 18 hours ago, CrownRoyalAD said:

    Why shouldn’t true Christians use the word Disaster? Is that word any different from the word calamity?

    No reason true Christians shouldn't use "disaster." It's pretty much the same as "calamity" in meaning, but different in that the word "calamity" doesn't come from "dis + aster" implying a "wrong" or "bad" star. But of course it's lost any association with astrology. We still say "ominous" even if aren't concerned with omens. We say "martial law" even if we don't consider Mars to be a real war god. One could go on and on with dozens of words like this.  

    18 hours ago, CrownRoyalAD said:

    Unless people are willing to understand the Bible Student era form of meticulous calculations, it wasn’t meant to replace the Georgian calendar.

    Don't know if I can help you in any way, Allen, because I make a lot of writing mistakes myself. But one of the ways people can tell you are writing from an "Allen Smith" account is that so often you make statements that mean the opposite of what you intend to mean. For example, the sentence just quoted from you above actually means the same as saying:

    If people are willing to understand the Bible Student era calculations, then it was meant to replace the Georgian [Gregorian] calendar.

    In my opinion, I don't think this is what you meant to say. You probably meant that it was not meant to replace the Gregorian calendar. Of course, this idea is not clear from the article, which says that the Gregorian calendar should die "an ignomious death."

    18 hours ago, CrownRoyalAD said:

    Can it be, it’s just a matter of personal opinion?

    Yes, and I agree with Rutherford's opinion, as reported by persons who worked with Rutherford when he reportedly gave Woodworth a "vicious tongue lashing" over this calendar. In the Golden Age article (linked above) Woodworth says that the Gregorian calendar is from Satan.

    image.png

    Also, it was recommended that Witnesses begin making use of the calendar, which explains the way it handled the possible objection about writing the name "Jehovah" as a month name:

    image.png

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  2. 2 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    Interesting that from the first signs that the Romans were comming until the Christians fled, it took about 5 months. Maybe it was difficult to flee Jerusalem during those 5 months. 

    Evidently some people did flee Jerusalem before he arrived, but if we understand Luke correctly, the Christians were not to flee until AFTER armies reached Jerusalem. So the best window would have to be while the armies were fleeing. As Josephus says, even after this Jewish victory, the Jews knew the Roman army would soon come back even stronger.

    2 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    Our situation is now similar, we can not flee now because there are travel restrictions between countries. But those must be lifted so that we will be able to flee to the wilderness that Revelation 12 speaks about.

    Our situation is similar in the sense that we can "flee to God's kingdom" without leaving our home. From the perspective of the political boundaries of the world, we are alien residents in this world, as if in an unmarked wilderness. Yet, we can be spiritually fed amidst the spiritual drought offered by the world. A wilderness could be both a place of punishment and a place of protection and saving provisions:

    (Hosea 13:4-6) . . .But I am Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt; You knew no God except me, And besides me there is no savior.  5 I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought.

    Personally, I actually do believe that Revelation can be about the early protection of God's kingdom through Jesus Christ in spite of those attacks at its birth by Satan, even peremptory attacks at the time of Jesus' birth, at the time of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, his death in 33 CE, and the persecution of disciples and apostles in the first century, and their feeding by holy spirit that would result in the Greek Scriptures for us. So it would not bother me at all if the Revelation 11& 12 symbols also work for the situation in 70, as well as other parts of the first century.

    2 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    So I expect there will be a short window for flight when the Corona virus levels finaly drop in this first wave

    Fortunately for all of us, we don't have to look for signs that would warn us about the timing of the parousia. Jesus said it would come as a complete surprise and that none of us should worry about the times and seasons. Paul said there was no reason for anyone to write anything about the times and seasons related to the parousia. (I use parousia in the sense of the final royal manifestation that Jesus said would appear brightly like lightning, suddenly and without warning. Not in the sense of a long, silent, invisible visitation that could go on for somewhere between 100 and 200 years.)

    Jesus indicated that looking for signs was a mistake. They could easily lead to someone to believe that the end won't come as a surprise like a thief, but persons might start believing that more things have to happen between now and the end. You have made this exact claim about the signs you are looking for, which makes it very easy to hold that up to the light of the scriptures and be able to dismiss it as false.


  3. 19 minutes ago, Anna said:

    It seems that identifying the various features of Revelation (and the other prophetic books) is sometimes more if a guessing game than anything else...

    True. But we can't deny that it was written in such a way that it would intrigue people into making guesses. Daniel, too, for that matter. But sometimes I get the feeling that we are guessing now, yet the first audience did not have to guess, because it was so obvious, and they may have had John or his associates around to explain what John knew about the motivations for choosing specific words/symbols/images.


  4. 13 minutes ago, Kosonen said:

    The prophecies about 1260 days and what should happen during that time did not fit that period from November 66 to April 70.

    I have hinted at this idea before, because I also have never believed that it is the actual fulfillment of Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Revelation 11 &12. Although I have always avoided them, I know there are books on the topic that would claim something similar. As I read Josephus' "Wars" again last week, I came across some very intriguing points that are rarely talked about. While reading, I am Googling some of the details, like dates, people and various cities he mentions, and have been finding many other materials that I might read someday.

    Some of these materials do claim that what should have happened prophetically actually DID happen in the period from late 66 (or early 77)  to various dates within 70. Some even find periods of 1290 and 1335 days pointed to. I was surprised to see these books dating back to the mid-1800's or before. I just read a few pages of

      Hello guest!
    By Philip Charles Soulbieu DESPREZ (1861) on Google Books, and noticed that the author was intrigued by exactly the same points I had marked up in Josephus.

    29 minutes ago, Kosonen said:

    But it is interesting that we can find a couple of 3 and half year periods in the Bible. For example Jesus' ministry was 3 and half years also. 

    True, maybe. But we don't have any specific, consistent dates with respect to the ministry of Jesus. We don't even have any Biblical/secular evidence that it was 33 CE when he died, or if his ministry really was 3.5 years. We assume it was 3.5 years because of how we interpret the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy. If we rely on the actual Bible accounts we don't know if it was much more than one year of ministry. And we can't even say if it was 30 CE when Jesus died.

    Anyway, I'm sure you have already considered the 3.5 years of the time from when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies of Cestius Gallus up until the time that Josephus indicates that the sun and moon were darkened and a great sign was seen in heaven. There are obvious reasons for avoiding it, but there are also Biblical reasons to consider it. (And I don't think the book I linked in this post has it right.)


  5. 5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

    How they heard and collect such "classified" information?

    These are good points. Inside the walls of Jerusalem, they would have heard of the wars around the country, rumors of wars, and would have known to prepare for the Romans coming on their way. For some reason (per Luke) Jesus had not told them to flee at the rumors, but from the actual time when they actually saw encamped armies surrounding the city. As far as we can tell, this full siege didn't actually happen until 70, but there must have been some kind of "surrounding" by Gallus' armies before they tried to breach the city in 66. This would have been quite visible, and Jewish guerrilla forces were reported to be quite active drumming up support within the nation and the city to prepare. They would have spread the news of the most recent successes and defeats and therefore would have known what Gallus was up to when they saw his armies approaching Jerusalem in late October of 66. I think a lot of their "news" was direct word of mouth from eyewitnesses and their own ability to look out their windows (actually, from the top of the walls) and see for themselves.

    5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

    That would means, both of this Christians (in 1st century and JW's today) are not "able" to have, to get such kind of secular understanding of political movement and plans, because they are occupied exclusively with spiritual things and matters inside congregation.

    Except when these movements are obvious in front our eyes, from our own windows.

    5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

    Some sort of going into political examinations and understanding and to giving political picture, analyze about who is "King of the North", who is "Gog of Magog" and similar shows lack of real knowledge and understanding, because interpretations was changed through history.

    This is very true. In fact, I found it odd that there had been a shift in the doctrine such that all these former misinterpretations were turned into "correct" former understandings of who held the position of these Kings at previous times, even though it would change through time.

    Of course, some of these interpretations were clearly influenced by prior Adventist teachings, et al, about the Anglo-American world power, and totalitarian world powers. This, I think, has skewed the evidence away from realizing that the Anglo-American world power and various allies have usually been far more totalitarian than most of the others powers accused.

    5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

    Obviously, GB understanding of political moves in Russia didn't be of much use and "they didn't escape on time" from Russia territory to save life (from suffer and prison) and basic material things.

    Russia, right after their unfounded crackdown on JWs, was "low-hanging fruit" at the time it was identified as the "King of the North." It seemed obvious in light of the fact that it had previously been the USSR but was going unidentified for a while just in case Islam could qualify. (This idea was presented in some talks by senior members of the Writing Department after September 2001.)

    Of course, in the original context, Jehovah's people sometimes found protection with the King of the South (Egypt) and sometimes they were to find protection with the King of the North (Babylon). Jeremiah begged his countrymen to go into exile in Babylon for protection because fleeing to Egypt would not be safe at that time. These were symbols of the nations that appeared to be stronger than Jehovah's people, and therefore become the symbols of "temptation" for protection and flight, when God's people forget about His protection. Therefore, if these "kings of the earth" are revisited in Revelation, then the symbol is no longer necessary to identify with a particular nation. It doesn't matter who they are, they are part of a world (Satan's world) that Christians have conquered through the blood of the Lamb.


  6. 7 hours ago, Anna said:

    That's how the Catholics see it, as I'm sure you know. Hence the sacraments any time.

    The annual method makes the most sense, of course. And the evidence from the 2nd century shows this is how it was understood. I saw some Covid news about priests offering the sacraments (actually bread/wafer only; no wine) to people driving up in their cars. A drive through mass, as it were. I guess even in church they don't often offer the parishioners any wine, but the priest drinks it for them. Do you know if this is common?

    7 hours ago, Anna said:

    Sorry, could you explain what you mean, not sure I understand..

    I wasn't trying to be too clear. It was just a reference to one of the usual type questions we hear around this time of year. I could have also included: "What happened to 1935?" "What if the other sheep are (anointed) Gentiles?" "What about Nisan 15 instead of Nisan 14 for Passover?" "What about the apparent contradiction between John and the Synoptics on the date of Jesus' death?"

    We can bring this back up again for discussion tomorrow.


  7. I've noticed something about the timeline that surely wouldn't have escaped the notice of the escaped Christians. Notice that the above dates show that it was very late October to early November of 66 CE when the opportunity for escape would have been ideal. That's because Cestius Gallus fled Jerusalem close to November 1, 66 and finally fled the country around November 15, 66 when factional civil wars began in Jerusalem.

    And if the purpose of the escape for the Christians was to continue to be fed for 1,260 days, or 42 months, or three and one-half years, then where would that time period end up after, for example, November 10,  66 CE?

    If you put dates in Excel or Google [Spread]Sheets you can subtract one date from another and it will give you the number of days apart. Do that for November 10 of 66 CE and April 23 of 70 CE and the difference is exactly 1,260 days. The month Chislev often starts in November, so I pray that this is not in wintertime.

    Nov 10 66 Apr 23 70 1,260.00

     

    Below, I'm copying some more of the dates from the book quoted above to see if anything significant might have happened around April 23rd 70 CE:

    • AD70
    • 23 April: Titus commences siege of Jerusalem.
    • 7 May: Titus breaches the Third Wall.
    • Mid–May: Titus breaches the Second Wall.
    • Late May: Roman siege ramps against the Antonia Fortress destroyed by Jewish mines and sallies.
    • June: Romans construct wall of circumvallation and new siege ramps against the Antonia Fortress.
    • 5 July: Titus takes the Antonia Fortress.
    • 17 July: Roman assault on the Temple Mount commences.
    • 27 July: Jewish trap immolates the western colonnade of the Temple Mount.
    • 10 August: Destruction of the Temple.
    • 20 August: Siege of Herod’s Palace commences.
    • 7 September: Fall of Herod’s Palace.

    AD71: Vespasian and Titus celebrate joint Jewish War triumph; execution of Simon b. Gioras. Roman mopping up operations in Judea; fall of Herodium, Machaerus.

    AD73: Flavius Silva commences Siege of Masada.

    AD74: Fall of Masada; end of First Jewish War.

    My spreadsheet says that:

    April 23rd 70 MINUS November 10th 66 EQUALS 1,260 Days.

    Of course maybe this is a big coincidence, but I think we can be pretty sure that it crossed the minds of Christians reading Revelation 12 that the recent destruction of Jerusalem, and the escape from Jerusalem for a time period of 1,260 days might have been significant, especially because some of them lived it personally. To them, as they bore witness to Jesus, it had been the great escape of citizens of a new Kingdom of Israel, a heavenly Jerusalem, who followed Jesus command so that they were not otherwise swallowed up in the war that had broken out. It just makes me wonder how first century Christians understood Revelation 12 when they first saw it.


  8. On 4/5/2020 at 1:12 PM, Kosonen said:

    And are we not thrilled by the story, how the Christians left Jerusalem year 66CE after the Roman army unexplicably halted their attack on Jerusalem and left?

    We know about Rome's first attempt to take the city in 66, only because of Josephus. No other account tells us details about it. So it's also from Josephus that we know the Roman army did not inexplicably halt their attack and leave. In fact, Josephus tells us exactly why. The Roman attempts in 66 were not well planned, or well manned, and they tried to take many areas from all over the country first before Jerusalem. And they LOST many of these battles.  In fact, the Roman attack on Jerusalem was pushed back by Jewish fighters. Roman armies were driven back and went home, after suffering several losses all over Judea.

    This is ultimately from Josephus, but also clearly spelled out in a book you can find here:

      Hello guest!

    image.png

    Notice that number 13 through 19 show the following:

    • 13. Gallus is badly handled by a Jewish ambush north of Jerusalem and retires to Gabao.
    • 14. Simon b. Gioras hits the rearguard of the Roman column as it traverses the Beth Horon pass and plunders the baggage train.
    • 15. After regrouping for three days at Gabao, Gallus advances to Jerusalem.
    • 16. Unable to take Jerusalem, Gallus orders the retreat to Gabao. He is harassed en route by Jewish fighters.
    • 17. After two days under siege in Gabao, Gallus orders a breakout. His force is ambushed in the Beth Horon pass.
    • 18. Gallus slips away at night. The garrison left behind at Beth Horon Katotera is massacred at dawn.
    • 19. Gallus abandons what remains of his baggage train. The Jews finally call of their pursuit only when Gallus reaches Antipatris.

    It's pretty obvious why this would be a good time to flee Jerusalem. Jewish leaders and highly stationed Romans fled just immediately prior to this attack, and the fact that Gallus was temporarily defeated, and made to run, made it a perfect opportunity for Christians to flee, too. Note the timeline we can get from Josephus, as found on page 18 of the same linked book:

    AD 66

    • Mid–May: Anti-semitic riots in Caesarea. Florus enters Jerusalem in force; demands arrest of anti-Roman militants; defeat of Roman troops in street-fighting; Florus abandons Jerusalem to the rebels. Eleazar b. Ananias leads first aristocratic government.
    • Early August to early September: Factional conflict in Jerusalem; conservatives defeated; Ananias executed.
    • September–October: Sicarii driven out of Jerusalem; wave of communal violence and pogroms throughout Judea.
    • Mid–late October: Cestius Gallus advances into Judea; battle of Gabao; Roman attack on Jerusalem repulsed.
    • Early November: Battle of Beth Horon.
    • Mid–November: Ananus b. Ananus leads second aristocratic government; radicals and militias marginalized; Eleazar and Zealots confined to Temple Mount; Simon b. Gioras driven out; Josephus appointed military governor of Galilee.

    From 66 until 70 there is infighting among Jewish groups, Roman suppression and finally the devastating attack in 70 C.E.


  9. 29 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

    Why would a true Christian want to use the wrong name ?

    There is no evidence that Yahweh is the right way either. We use language to be understood, not to perfectly match historical pronunciations. No one who speaks English pronounces the name "Jesus" the way it was pronounced by Greeks and Judeans and Galileans in his own day.

    "Wrong" would be if it could not be easily understood who we were referring to.


  10. I'm sure most Witnesses here had the meeting yesterday, probably through Zoom, and the Special Talk (pre-Memorial). The talk was also already available on JW.ORG, and the Memorial talk(s) too.

    The announcement that all the summer conventions would be made available through JW.ORG didn't surprise me, because planning for these is a lot of work in Feb/Mar even where all conventions are at local assembly halls, and planning for other venues takes much longer, sometimes contracted nearly a year in advance. Because of the unknowns it is not possible, therefore, to just push these out a couple of months.


  11. 4 hours ago, Arauna said:

    He has collected more than a 1000 references in ancient hebrew manuscripts where the point system is present in Jehovahs name.  JWs use the pronunciation correctly.

    We should still remember that Watchtower publications have admitted for decades that we chose to continue to use the common pronunciation, Jehovah, even though we considered Yahweh to be a more accurate pronunciation. 

    From what I can tell, Nehemiah Gordon has found nothing new that was not already known by the Watchtower researchers (FWF) back in 1947 when they admitted that Yahweh was probably a more accurate Hebrew pronunciation than Jehovah. Remember that Gordon is almost exclusively looking at relatively RECENT manuscripts that have a Masoretic pointing system. He has found absolutely nothing new, but continues to hype up exactly what scholars and Hebrew Bible readers had already known to expect of all the manuscripts coming out of the relatively recent time period he focuses on. In fact, the vowel pointing that would support Yehovah/Yehowah, which he is finding, was long considered to be the solution to help readers AVOID pronouncing the name that way and to replace it with a word that better fit the vowels -- because it was so unlikely that God's name, as represented by YHVH would have had the same vowels as ah-doh-nay, or el-oh-him. If it was a purposeful diversion, as scholars have long thought, then what Gordon is pretending to "discover" could merely be evidence that Jehovah or Yahowah, Jehoveh are some of the specific pronunciations that would never have been used for the actual pronunciation.

    It bothers me that Gordon pretends to discover things that have been known for centuries. It makes me think he is hyping up something to get attention for himself. It can't be that he doesn't know that all these things he has "discovered" were not already discussed for centuries, unless he really was a clueless scholar. I don't believe he could have bee that clueless, which makes me think he is dishonest.

    And this has nothing to do with whether I think the name Jehovah is just as appropriate as Yahweh for current usage. I think it's just fine for the exact same reasons that the Watchtower publications (and NWT) have stated that Jehovah is fine for us today, even though the Watchtower also admitted that Yahweh was probably more accurate to the Hebrew. 


  12. 2 hours ago, Anna said:

    I am not sure what rules you are referring to with regard to the memorial. The only rules I know of, and they are pretty straightforward, is the wine should be unfortified and the bread unleavened and the anointed are the only ones who partake and the great crowd are observers.

    I put "rules" in quotes because I believe actual rules are too much like laws, and then it smacks of legalism, and we therefore miss the spirit of Jesus' instructions. Especially if they are always followed the exact same way so often that we aren't really paying much attention.

    But you hit upon a few of the "rules" to question already:

    Why does our wine need to be the same as a "Passover" wine? At one time, an elder would purchase the wine and no else one really thought much about whether it was "Kosher for Seder" or exactly what levels of sugar it had. Now that millions of Witnesses will think about going out to buy it on their own, they might wonder why we don't try for wine made from Israeli grapes/vineyards. What constitutes too much preservative to make it impure if it must represent the unblemished Lamb? And if it's too difficult to get your own wine, some will wonder (as you did) if you should get symbols at all! Or perhaps, since no one is partaking, would it be OK to take the closest matching wine from your own wine rack? After all, it's only called "the product of the vine" in the Scriptures, and we don't know much more about any Galilean variations for Passover.

    Also, what if someone has decided just before the Memorial that they now are of the anointed class and the symbol wasn't offered? And, even if no one is partaking, how important is to follow the words: "Take this and pass it from one to the other among yourselves" (Luke 22:17)

    The same kinds of questions could be asked about the bread. 

    (Also, the question might arise about whether a family needs to clear the food from the dinner table first, since the disciples seemed not have done so in Matt 26:

    (Matthew 26:20-26) . . .When, now, it had become evening, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 While they were eating, he said: “Truly I say to YOU, One of YOU will betray me.” ... “He that dips his hand with me in the bowl is the one that will betray me. 24 ... 26 As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf and, after saying a blessing, he broke it and, giving it to the disciples, he said: “TAKE, eat. This means my body.”

    (Usually it was a bowl of oil that a piece of bread was dipped into.)

    Other questions, like I mentioned, might be why it has to be on Nisan 14, if Jews could celebrate a month later? Or why do we even celebrate it once a year like Passover was celebrated, when Paul said "whenever" and Jesus sais "as often"? Or, is it proper to have this celebration at a house when Paul said that people should eat at their home instead of where they partake of the Memorial?

    (1 Corinthians 11:20-22) . . .When you come together in one place, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Evening Meal. 21 For when you eat it, each one takes his own evening meal beforehand, so that one is hungry but another is intoxicated. 22 Do you not have houses for eating and drinking? . . .

    And for some, they might be paying more than the usual attention to this particular Memorial and perhaps even deeper questions might arise about the doctrine itself. Perhaps questions some should NOT be asking. Whether partaking in a Biblical sense actually means sharing which some might say we should all be doing. Or even whether the particular part of the Kingdom hope we wish for ourselves personally should have anything to do with whether we are supposed to partake. 

    (1 Corinthians 10:16, 17) . . .The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ? The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body, for we are all partaking of that one loaf.

     


  13. 9 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    Anybody want to flee now?

    Not particularly. But especially not right now.

    9 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    Or have you ever thought how nice it would be if all Jehovah's witnesses were gathered in one place when the battle at Armageddon will occur?

    Not necessary for the time when Armageddon starts. Remember when Elijah thought he was all alone, and no other prophets had been spared?

    (Romans 11:2-5) . . .Do you not know what the scripture says in connection with E·liʹjah, as he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Jehovah, they have killed your prophets, they have dug up your altars, and I alone am left, and now they are trying to take my life.” 4 Yet, what does the divine pronouncement say to him? “I have left for myself 7,000 men who have not bent the knee to Baʹal.” 5 So in the same way, at the present time also, there is a remnant according to a choosing through undeserved kindness.

    Obviously Elijah was not at that time huddled together with them. Jehovah sees everywhere, and can choose to protect whom he chooses.

    9 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    And are we not thrilled by the story, how the Christians left Jerusalem year 66CE after the Roman army unexplicably halted their attack on Jerusalem and left?

    Yes, thrilling, but there is no evidence that they all fled to the same place.

    9 hours ago, Kosonen said:

    And what can we learn from all the other stories in the Bible that involved literal fleeing or journey to a new place?

    @Anna has already mentioned what happened at Passover. @paulus has already referred to a very appropriate scripture:

    (2 Chronicles 20:17) 17 You will not need to fight this battle. Take your position, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf. . . .

    And there are other principles that can well be applied to Armageddon:

    (Lamentations 3:24-26) 24 “Jehovah is my share,” I have said, “that is why I will show a waiting attitude for him.” ט [Teth] 25 Good is Jehovah to the one hoping in him, to the person who keeps seeking him. 26 Good it is to wait in silence for the salvation of Jehovah.

    Or the more "famous:"

    (Psalm 91:2-11) . . .I will say to Jehovah: “You are my refuge and my stronghold, My God in whom I trust.”  3 For he will rescue you from the trap of the birdcatcher, From the destructive pestilence.  4 With his pinions he will cover you, And under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness will be a large shield and a protective wall.  5 You will not fear the terrors of the night, Nor the arrow that flies by day,  6 Nor the pestilence that stalks in the gloom, Nor the destruction that ravages at midday.  7 A thousand will fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But to you it will not come near.  8 You will only see it with your eyes As you witness the punishment of the wicked.  9 Because you said: “Jehovah is my refuge,” You have made the Most High your dwelling; 10 No disaster will befall you, And no plague will come near your tent. 11 For he will give his angels a command concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.

    Perhaps it would be nice if many of us could take a long, expensive flight to Australia. Are you recommending a specific time to leave? Any particular airline or cruise line? And why this place in particular? Is it a wilderness that has some connection to the word wilderness in Revelation 12:6?

    If so, it appears to fly in the face of the very scriptures we often look to when thinking about the parousia/synteleia, the judgment on the world. About that Jesus warned:

    (Matthew 24:23-26) . . .“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. 25 Look! I have forewarned you. 26 Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; . . .

    It makes me wonder whether Jesus already knew there would be people thinking they could convince others to flee to a wilderness.


  14. 1 hour ago, paulus said:

    I am certain that a god who finds no pleasure in the suffering of humans would have him or her dispatched quickly. So it does make a difference both to the angel and the victim.

    I get it. Jehovah takes no pleasure in the suffering of humans and therefore would have him killed without much suffering.

    1 hour ago, paulus said:

    I would unfortunately take some pleasure in doing this.

    I get it. You would take pleasure in prolonging the suffering of a fellow human because they were apostate. You like the idea of prolonged torture against enemies.

    (Romans 12:16-21) . . .Do not become wise in your own eyes. 17 Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good.

    (Mark 7:20-23) 20 Further, he said: “That which comes out of a man is what defiles him. 21 For from inside, out of the heart of men, come injurious reasonings, sexual immorality, thefts, murders, 22 acts of adultery, greed, acts of wickedness, deceit, brazen conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, and unreasonableness. 23 All these wicked things come from within and defile a man.”

    (James 2:11-13) If, now, you do not commit adultery but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of law. 12 Keep on speaking and behaving in such a way as those do who are going to be judged by the law of a free people. 13 For the one who does not practice mercy will have his judgment without mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

    Food for thought.


  15. 4 hours ago, paulus said:

    just be glad that I am not the Angel of Death that finds you there, becouse I would enjoy the end of you life too much.

    Strange logic. If one had a choice between being killed by the Angel of Death or being killed by a deranged, murderous "JW" who enjoyed killing apostates, why does it make a difference? Do you think that after his death the apostate is going to be mad because the lunatic "JW" won't wipe that smile off his face?


  16. 1 hour ago, Arauna said:

    No- we think on those symbols and the life it presents for us. By the death of christ we receive opportunity to life everlasting - we think about the last hours of christ, his suffering and loyalty to jehovah.

    This is exactly the point!

    And I think that by shaking up the traditional environment by which we usually hear these talks and prayers, and by which see the symbols in front of us, that we now have a chance for a new, more focused perspective on these symbols.

    Often, in life, (or football games, or even when training animals, etc.) we don't focus on the "rules" until there are apparent exceptions to the rule. I think the exceptional nature of this particular Memorial will make it a time when everyone thinks more about the symbols, even if some of us cannot obtain the best physical version of the symbol. (In our area a brother is going around delivering wine and bread that his wife made.) Liquor stores are closed, although some grocery stores have wine that is "close enough to spec."

    I think everyone is going to question what parameters are OK, and what might not be appropriate. There will be differences of opinion about what was appropriate or not. There will be brothers wondering why we didn't put this off for one month, like the Jews did for Passover, and then follow "emergency" procedures if they are still necessary. (Even if we were already at the midpoint of Covid-19, however, we can still expect just as long a curve of suffering and death on the way back down in most places.)

    I'm thinking that the shakeup of this particular ritual (and the thinking it will motivate) is one "silver lining" of the Covid-19 cloud.


  17. Another thought you bring up is this next idea:

    1 hour ago, Anna said:

    Also, I don't know if anyone has listened to the memorial talk, the brother says that Jehovah's Witnesses would risk their lives to be at the memorial.

    I'm sure the thought has occurred to some that we Witnesses have always expected an opportunity to arise when religions are "banned" or effectively put under pressure not to meet. The idea is that we Witnesses would never give in, but would risk our lives to continue on as always no matter what the authorities threatened. 

    In the past, I have stated here that it seems quite unlikely that this scenario (up to that point at least) would really allow the Witnesses to stand very far apart from other religions, because I would expect that dozens of other religions have an apocalyptic view of themselves and are awaiting the same thing. Some of these non-JW groups actually expect this action to come from the UN, too. 

    Also, we strongly expect that our meetings under ban would be "underground" or based on much smaller groupings, and effectively invisible to authorities.

    And now, with Covid-19, we see a glimpse of how many other religions react to governmental bans and restrictions on meetings. Many have defied the orders of local authorities under threat of having their doors closed and large fines imposed. Mayors are being accused of being too harsh on these restrictions because such sanctions could end up keeping the doors closed on some churches and synagogues even after the crisis is over. Yet some of these religions appear to believe that God will protect them. 


  18. 3 minutes ago, Witness said:

    I have no intention of mocking Him, by using a hybrid name developed by men.

    But in many languages even calling God, "God" is using a hybrid name developed by men. For example, the word for "God" in Spanish is Dios, which comes from Zeus. In Greek the word was Theos. dZeu-pater (God the Father) is also pronounced Jupiter. 

    The word "holy" or "heile" in German is a not-so-thinly-veiled connection to the Sun's rays. The word Hades was the name of the Greek god of the underworld. Tartarus was a place in Greek mythology where the mythological giants were imprisoned. There are even several common Greek words that Paul used where the etymology traces directly back to the practices known from particular pagan cities.

    I think that a lot of people who won't use a pronunciation like "Jehovah" have no problem with people who used it outside the Watchtower publications, especially as it was used prior to say 1900. But we also have a lot of evidence that God's people pronounced the name Yaho in the century(ies) just leading up to Christianity, and therefore many likely used such a pronunciation in Jesus' day. This is probably different from its pronunciation 600 years earlier. But pronouncing the English transliterations of the Hebrew letters is also a human convention developed by man. I think it's the same principle we have to deal with in all language. Language changes over time and pronunciations will sometimes end up overlapping with mundane or pagan words, and sometimes mundane or pagan concepts will overlap with sacred words.

    Just my opinion, too, of course.


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