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  1. 1888 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the gentiles, i.e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914; and that the date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men. And be it observed, that if this is shown to be a fact firmly established by the Scriptures, it will prove; Firstly, that at that date the Kingdom of God, for which our Lord taught us to pray, saying, Thy Kingdom come, will obtain full, universal control, and that it will then be set up, or firmly established, in the earth, on the ruins of present institutions." (The Time Is At Hand, 1888, p. 76, 77) 1889 "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's word." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, The Time Is At Hand, 1889 Ed., p. 101. The 1915 Edition of this texts changed "A.D. 1914" to read 'A.D. 1915')
  2. Would a true prophet of God make false prophecies about World War II? ‘The Nazis will destroy the British.’ (Fifth Column, p 15) The new book titled Children will prove useful ‘in the remaining months before Armageddon’ (Watchtower, 15 September 1941, p 288) ‘The end of Nazi Fascist hierarchy will come and will mark the end forever of demon rule.’ (Watchtower, 15 December 1941, p 377)
  3. From 1940-43, the Watchtower made 44 predictions of the immanence of Armageddon. Why did they fail? Consider these examples: In September 1940 they said, ‘The kingdom is here, the king is enthroned. Armageddon is just ahead ...The great climax has been reached.’(The Messenger, September 1940,p 6) They said, ‘The Final End is Very Near’. (The Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941 p 276). ‘The remaining months before Armageddon . . .’ (p 288) They said, ‘The time is at hand for Jesus Christ to take possession of all things’. (The Watchtower, January 15, 1942 p 28) On May 1, 1942 they said, ‘Now, with Armageddon immediately before us . . .’ (p 139) On May 1, 1943 they said, ‘The final end of all things . . . is at hand’.’ (p139) On September 1, 1944 they said, ‘Armageddon is near at hand’. (p 264) In 1946, ‘The disaster of Armageddon . . . is at the door’. (Let God be True 1946, p 194) In 1950 they said, ‘The March is on! Where? To the field of Armageddon for the ‘war of the great day of God the Almighty’’. (This Means Everlasting Life, 1950, p 311) In 1953 they said, ‘Armageddon is so near at hand it will strike the generation now living’. (You May Survive Armageddon speech p 11) In 1955 they said, ‘It is becoming clear that the war of Armageddon is near its breaking out point’. (Ibid p 331) In 1958 they said, ‘When will Armageddon be fought? . . . It will be very soon’.’ (From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, 1958, p 205) JW leaders in Awake magazine, 8 October, 1968,. p 23 admitted that certain persons had falsely predicted the end of the world. They asked why these false prophecies were given. Here they admit that they themselves were false prophets, that they lacked God’s guidance, and were lying: ‘True, there have been those in times past who predicted an “end to the world”, even announcing a specific date. The “end” did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? . . . Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that He was guiding and using them.’(Awake, 8 Oct.,1968, p.23) Note: Deuteronomy 18:20-22 states that false prophets must die.
  4. 3- part Turning Points in History documentary on the period of persecution experienced by Jehovah's Witnesses in Quebec, Canada under the tenure of Maurice Duplessis. Part 1
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  5. John 14:28 - ‘The Father is greater than I’. Watchtower teaching: The JW book Let God be True, 1946, p.110 says that Jehovah is greater than Jesus in his office and person. Jehovah they say is intrinsically greater than Jesus, and hence Jesus cannot be God Almighty. The JW book Reasoning from the Scriptures, p.410, says, ‘The fact that Jesus is lesser than Jehovah proves that He cannot be God in the same sense that Jehovah is’. The Bible Teaching: In John 14:28 Jesus is not speaking about His nature or being (Christ had earlier said in John 10:30, ‘I and the Father are one’), but about His lowly position of incarnation as a man. The Athanasian Creed says that Christ is ‘equal to the Father as touching His Godhood, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood’. Christ was here contrasting His human humiliation, shame, suffering, rejection, opposition by enemies, and soon crucifixion, with the Father’s majesty, glory and worship by the angels in heaven. Key: Jesus said, ‘The Father is greater (Greek: meizon) than I’, not ‘The Father is better (Greek: kreitton) than I’. ‘Greater’ refers to the Father’s greater position (in heaven), not to a greater nature. If the word ‘better’ had been used, this would indicate that the Father had a better nature than Jesus. i) The distinction is made clear in Hebrews 1:4 where ‘better’ (Gk: kreitton) is used to teach Jesus’ superiority over the angels in His nature and position. ii) This difference between ‘greater’ and ‘better’ is seen in this example: ‘The President of a country is greater (Greek: meizon) in position than his people, but as a human being he is not better (Greek: kreitton) in nature than his people’. iii) Jesus in becoming a man, not only took on a lower position than the Father, but also took on a lower position than the angels. ‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death’. (Hebrews 2:9) QUESTION:‘Do you agree that a President is greater in position but not better in nature than his people?’ QUESTION: ‘In view of greater (meaning higher in position) and better (meaning higher in nature), is it not clear that in John 14:28 Jesus is speaking of the Father’s temporary higher position and not his higher nature than Jesus? QUESTION: How did Christ make Himself of no reputation when He became a man? (Phil. 2:6-9) 1. He veiled His preincarnate glory in order to dwell among men, but never surrendered His deity or divine glory. On the Mount Transfiguration He allowed His glory to shine briefly. If Christ had not veiled His glory, mankind would not have been able to look at Him. When John saw His glory on Patmos he said, ‘I fell at His feet as dead’. (Rev. 1:17). 2. He submitted to a voluntary non use of some of His divine attributes (on some occasions) in order to achieve His objectives. He never surrendered His attributes, but He did voluntarily cease using some of them on earth. Jesus showed His divine attributes of: i) omniscience (‘He knew all men’ John 2:24; 16:30;‘Lord thou knowest all things.’ 21:17 ii) omnipresence (John 3:13 ‘the Son of man which is in heaven’). As God He was everywhere at once, but as man He chose to walk there. iii) omnipotence (Matthew 28:18 ‘all power is given unto me’.) 3. He condescended to take on the likeness (form, appearance) of man and the form of a servant. (Phil 2:7). His becoming a man involved gaining human attributes (subject to weakness, pain, sorrow and temptation), but not giving up his divine attributes. Conclusion: ‘The Father is greater than I’ (John 14:28) said Jesus from the vantage point of His incarnation as a man. This verse relates to Christ’s voluntary subordination to the Father to accomplish His work on earth.‘Greater than’ refers to His greater position not His nature.
  6. Greek Scholars & The Watchtower: Julius Mantey Julius Mantey was arguably the greatest Greek scholar of the 20th century. He was co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, a Greek grammar that was in use for half a century to teach Greek in prominent schools. Along with other Greek grammar book authors A. T. Robertson and Daniel Wallace, Mantey disagreed with the Watchtower’s (Jehovah’s Witnesses’) book, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT). For several years, Mantey was quoted in a footnote to the NWT, with the Watchtower trying to use Mantey’s grammar book to support their view of the bible. Mantey took offense, and wrote the letter below. The significance of this letter is that it is from a respected author of a Greek grammar. We live in a free country, and Wathtower supporters have, and likely will continue, to disagree with any point they desire. I am not in a position to defend Mantey; a scholar of his caliber does not need a defense from me. I am not a language scholar, do not pretend to be one, nor will I hide my ignorance of the languages. Concerning grammar and translation, too many arguments are made from those who should have remained silent, and I do not wish to contribute to the problem by adding my words to the conversation. But I know enough to use the tools and quote the scholars. Of the three Greek grammars I mentioned, all specifically disagree with the NWT. The Watchtower can protest all they want, but their disagreement is with the unified opinion of all the language scholars. If the Watchtower ever publishes a Greek text that is used in accredited schools to teach Greek, or can find one that is in agreement with them, they will be taken seriously. Until then, they will not. Below is a top-tier scholar’s view of the Watchtower and their book. Anyone can write a book claiming to know what they are talking about, but this does not make them true. The only objective reference we have for language is the recognized grammars. If the Watchtower claims all of the grammars are wrong, they have made a self-refuting statement. Julius R. Mantey 414 Palmette Road New Port Richey, FL 33552 July 11, 1974 Watchtower Bible & Tract Society 117 Adams St. Brooklyn New York 11201 Dear Sirs: I have a copy of your letter addressed to Caris in Santa Ana, California, and I am writing to express my disagreement with statements made in that letter, as well as in quotations you have made from the Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar. (1) Your statement: “their work allows for the rendering found in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures at John 1:1.” There is no statement in our grammar that was ever meant to imply at “a god” was a permissible translation in John 1:1. A. We had no “rule” to argue in support of the trinity. B. Neither did we state that we did have such intention. We were simply delineating the facts inherent in Biblical language. C. Your quotation from p.148 (3) was in a paragraph under the heading: “With the Subject in a Copulative sentence.” Two examples occur there to illustrate that “the article points out the subject in these examples.” But we made no statement in the paragraph about the predicate except that , “as it stands the other persons of the trinity may be implied in theos.” And isn’t that the opposite of what your translation “a god” infers? You quoted me out of context. On pages 139 and 140 (VI) in our grammar we stated: “without the article theos signifies divine essence . . . theos en ho logos emphasizes Christ’s participation in the essence of the divine nature.” Our intepretation is in agreement with that in NEB and the TEV: “What God was, the Word was”; and with that of Barclay: “The nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God”, which you quoted in your letter to Caris. (2) Since Colwell’s and Harner’s articles in JBL, especially that of Harner, it is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 “The Word was a god”. Word-order has made obsolete and incorrect such a rendering. (3) Your quotation of Colwell’s rule is inadequate because it quotes only a part of the his findings. You did not quote this strong assertion: “A predicate nominative which precedes the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite or a ‘qualitative’ noun solely because of the absence of the article.” (4) Prof Harner, vol. 92:1 (1973) in JBL, has gone beyond Colwell’s research and has discovered that anarthrous predicate nouns preceding the verb function primarily to express the nature or character of the subject. He found this true in 53 passages in the Gospel of John and 8 in the Gospel of Mark. Both scholars wrote that when indefiniteness was intended the gospel writers regularly placed the predicate noun after the verb, and both Colwell and Harner have stated that theos in John 1:1 is not indefinite and should not be translated “a god”. Watchtower writers appear to be the only ones advocating such a translation now. The evidence appears to be 99% against them. (5) your statement in your letter that the sacred text itself should guide one and “not just someone’s rule book”. We agree with you. But our study proves that Jehovah’s Witnesses do the opposite of that whenever the “sacred text” differs with their heretical beliefs. For example the translation of kolasis as cutting off when punishment is the only meaning cited in the lexicons for it. The mistrnalstion of ego eimi as “I have been” in John 8:58. The addition of “for all time” in Heb. 9:27 when nothing in the Greek New Testament supports it. The attempt to belittle Christ by mistranslating arche tes ktiseos “beginning of the creation” when he is magnified as “the creator of all things” (John 1:2 and as “equal with God” (Phil. 2:6) before he humbled himself and lived in a human body here on earth. Your quotation of “The father is greater than I am” (John 14:28) to prove that Jesus was not equal to God overlooks the fact stated in Phil. 2:6-8. When Jesus said that, he was still in his voluntary state of humiliation. That state ended when he ascended to heaven. Why the attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after “today” in Luke 23:43 when in the Greek, Latin, German and all English translations except yours, even in the Greek in your KIT, the comma occurs after lego (I say) — “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” 2 Cor. 5:8, “to be out of the body and at home with the Lord.” These passages teach that the redeemed go immediately to heaven after death, which does not agree with your teachings that death ends all life until the resurrection. Cf. Ps. 23:6 and Heb. 1:10. The aforementioned are only a few examples of Watchtower mistranslations and perversions of God’s Word. In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context, I herewith request you not to quote from the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years. Also that you not quote it or me in any of your publications from this time on. Also that you publicly and immediately apologize in the Watchtower magazine, since my words had no relevance in the absence of the article before theos in John 1:1. And please write to Caris and state that you misused and misquoted my “rule”. On the page before the Preface in the grammar are these words: “All rights reserved — no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.” If you have such permission, please send me a photo-copy of it. If you do not heed these requests you will suffer the consequences. Respectfully yours, Julius R. Mantey
  7. CHRIST’S BODILY RESURRECTION ‘I have power to take it again’Jn 10:18 Watchtower Teaching: ‘Jesus was raised to life as an invisible spirit. He did not take up again that body in which he had been killed . . .’ ‘Let your Name be sanctified.’ (p.266). The Watchtower teaches that Jesus’ body was disposed of by God. The NWT mistranslates I Peter 3:18 as ‘being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit’ to teach merely a spiritual resurrection of Christ. Bible Teaching: I Peter 3:18 refers to when Christ died. His Spirit went and preached to spirits in prison (v. 19,20). After three days, Christ’s physical body was raised. I Peter 3:18 (KJV) correctly reads: ‘being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.’ Which Scriptures best teach Christ’s bodily resurrection? 1. ‘They were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.’ (v.37) He said unto them, ‘Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.’ (Luke 24:37, 39) Notice that the resurrected Christ says here that: (1) He is not a spirit; (2) His resurrection body has flesh and bones; (3) His physical hands and feet are proof of His physical resurrection; Jesus is trying to convince them that He, ‘I myself’ has a permanent physical body which still had the nail scars in His hands and feet. This is opposite to the WT teaching that Christ’s body was disposed of and that He became only a spirit. If the WT claim was correct, then Jesus would be deceiving the disciples here in showing them His body. 2. ‘Then saith he to Thomas, . . . reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ (John 20:27) Here Jesus says that He has a physical side that He challenges Thomas to touch. 3. ‘Neither did his flesh see corruption.’ - Acts 2:30,31 Notice the following: a) God promised David that ‘according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ’ to sit on his throne.’ (v.30). This is a bodily resurrection of Christ, not spiritual. The NWT omits this because of its corrupt Westcott-Hort Greek text. Well over 38 manuscripts have it. b) ‘neither did his flesh see corruption’ (v.31) means that Christ’s body did not decay. Why? Because Jesus was raised from the dead in a material, fleshly body. 4. ‘I will raise it up . . . he spake of the temple of his body.’ - John 2:19-21 ‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (v.19). But he spake of the temple of his body.’ (v.21) Jesus here promised that He Himself would raise up His own body after three days. Notice how Jesus uses the word ‘body’ meaning a bodily resurrection, not a spiritual resurrection. 5. Christ promises to eat of the fruit of the vine in the Kingdom. Only a body can eat. ‘I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come.’(Luke 22:18) Jesus here showed that his resurrected body would be able to eat and drink even in the Kingdom of God. Notice that a non-material spirit cannot eat and drink. Jesus promised the disciples in Luke 22:30 ‘that ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom.’ Question: If Jesus expected to become an immaterial spirit, why would He promise the disciples that they would eat and drink with Christ at His table in His Kingdom? 6. Christ ate a broiled fish and a honeycomb in front of them. Luke 24:41,42. 7. ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies’. Rom. 8:11 As Christ’s body was raised physically from the dead, so shall our mortal bodies be raised. 8. His resurrection body could ‘breathe on them’(John 20:22). A spirit cannot breathe, can it? 9. ‘His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives...’ Zechariah 14:4 A spirit does not have feet. Only a physical body has feet as Jesus has at His second coming. 10. ‘One shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Zechariah 13:6 Question: How can a non-material spirit have wounds in his hands which can be observed? 11. The resurrected, glorified Christ touched John, laying his right hand on him. Rev. 1:17 Watchtower Objection: JWs quote I Corinthians 15:44,50 to support their claim that Jesus was raised from the dead as a spirit creature: a) ‘It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.’ (v.44) b) ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.’ (v.50). JWs claim that Jesus must have had a spiritual resurrection, because flesh-and-blood bodies cannot exist in heaven. They claim that mortality and corruption belong to the fleshly body. Bible Teaching: a) The Greek word for body, ‘soma’ (4983), always means a material body, an organised whole made up of parts, when used of a person (Zodhiates, NT Word Study,p.1358). The spiritual body in I Cor.15:44 is not an immaterial body, but a supernatural, spirit-dominated body. It is a body directed by the spirit, as opposed to a body under the dominion of the flesh. There are no exceptions to Paul using ‘soma’ for a material body. Paul even refers to a believer as a ‘spiritual’ man who judges all things (I Cor. 2:15), yet Paul did not mean an immaterial invisible man with no physical body. He meant a spirit-controlled man with a flesh and blood body. QUESTION: In I Corinthians 2:15 (‘He that is spiritual judgeth all things’), is Paul discussing an invisible spirit creature or a material, flesh-and-blood human? Can you see that being ‘spiritual’ does not demand a non-material body? The same is true in I Corinthians 15:44. b) Key: In v.50 ‘flesh and blood’ is an idiom meaning that mortal, perishable, earth-bound humans, as we are now, cannot have a place in God’s glorious, heavenly Kingdom. c) ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’v.53 Nothing is taken away from us (materialness). Instead immortality is ‘put on’ or added to us. Question: Don’t the words ‘put on’ mean adding something to humanity (that is immortality), not taking away something from humanity (our material body)? Conclusion: Since Christ’s resurrected body could eat, drink, breathe (John 20:22), show His hands and feet with scars (Luke 24:40), be touched, and have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), it is certain that this body was a material body. This is especially true since Jesus corrected the disciples’ misconception that they had seen a spirit (Luke 24:37). For the JWs to say that a body is not a body, is their last resort of redefining common words.
  8. HOLY SPIRIT: Is He a PERSON or an ACTIVE FORCE? II Cor3:17 Watchtower Teaching: The WT claims that the HS is neither a person nor God, but an impersonal ‘active force’ to achieve God’s will, like electricity or radio waves. Bible Teaching: The Holy Spirit is fully God and has personality as He can be blasphemed. The Holy Spirit has the three attributes of personality, those being: mind, emotions and will. An ‘active force’ does not have personal attributes. The WT’s claim of the Holy Spirit being an active force is disproven if the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit has mind,emotions & will. 1. The Holy Spirit has a mind. (1) ‘He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit’. (Romans 8:27). The word ‘mind’ means ‘way of thinking’, something which is only true of a person. (2) ‘The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’ (I Corinthians 2:11). QUESTION: How can the Holy Spirit know the things of God if the Spirit does not have a mind? A force does not know things. To know requires a mind. (3) The Spirit searcheth all things’ (I Corinthians 2:10). The Greek word for ‘search’ means to thoroughly investigate a matter, something only a mind can do. 2) The Holy Spirit has emotions (4) The Holy Spirit loves: ‘I beseech you..through the love of the Spirit’.(Rom 15:30 NWT). (5) ‘Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God’. (Ephesians 4:30) The Holy Spirit is grieved (made sad) when believers sin. Grief is an emotion that one feels. A force can’t be grieved. 3) The Holy Spirit has a will. He performs personal acts. (6) The Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts ‘to every man severally as he will.’(I Cor.12:11) The phrase ‘he wills’ in Greek means ‘a decision of the will after previous deliberation’. The Holy Spirit chooses which gifts each believer receives. A force has no such will, nor ability to make decisions. (7) The Holy Spirit commands: ‘The Spirit bade me go with them’ (Acts 11:12) (8) The Holy Spirit forbids:‘forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia’.Acts 16:6 (9) The Holy Spirit speaks: ‘The Spirit said to Philip, Go near.’ (Acts 8:29) ‘The Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabus and Saul’. (Acts 13:2) ‘The Spirit speaketh expressly’. (I Timothy 4:1). QUESTION: How do you explain the WT view of the Holy Spirit being an impersonal force, with the Bible’s teaching that the Holy Spirit has a mind that can know, emotions that can feel love and grief, and a will to make decisions? (10) The Holy Spirit testifies: ‘He shall testify of me’. (John 15:26). The same Greek word for testify (or bear witness) used here, is also used of: a) The disciples testifying about Christ in John 15:27. b) John the Baptist bearing witness to the truth in John 5:33. c) God the Father bore witness to Cornelius’ (and Gentiles’) conversion by giving them the Holy Spirit. (Acts 15:8) Just as the disciples, John and God the Father (who are all persons) testified or bore witness, so the Holy Spirit bears witness about Christ. A force cannot bear witness, only a person can. (The Holy Spirit bears witness in heaven and on earth - I John 5:7,8) (11) The Holy Spirit intercedes or prays for believers.‘The Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings’. (Romans 8:26). Just as Jesus Christ (a person) intercedes for believers (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), so the Holy Spirit (as a person) intercedes (same Greek word) for believers. A force cannot pray for another; only a person can pray. (12) The Holy Spirit teaches believers. (‘he shall teach you all things’. John 14:26) (13) The Holy Spirit hears. ‘Whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak.’ (John 16:13) (14) The Holy Spirit shows us things. ‘he....shall show it unto you’. (John 16:15) (15) The Holy Spirit restrains sin. ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man’(Genesis 6:3) (16) The Holy Spirit can be blasphemed.‘he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost’.Mk3:29 People cannot be blasphemed. We can only be slandered. Only God can be blasphemed. By Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit being blasphemed means we’ve proved the Trinity. (a) God the Father can be blasphemed. (Revelation 13:6; 16:9) (b) God the Son can be blasphemed. (Luke 22:65) ‘And many other things blasphemously they spake against him’. (c) God the Holy Spirit can be blasphemed. (Matthew 12:31) ‘Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.’ (17) The Holy Spirit can be lied to (Acts 5:3). Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit. QUESTION: Have you ever lied to electricity and asked electricity to forgive you? (18) The Holy Spirit cries in our hearts, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6) (19) The Holy Spirit approves some decisions: ‘It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us’. (Acts 15:28) (20) The Holy Spirit invites people to be saved:‘The Spirit & the bride say Come’Rev 22:17 (21) The Holy Spirit fills us (Ephesians 5:18) just as God may fill us (Ephesians 3:19). (22) The Holy Spirit uses personal pronouns to describe Himself: John 15:26; 16:13;(he): ‘The Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabus. . .’ (Acts 13:2). The Holy Spirit considers Himself a person, not a personification. Watchtower Objection: The main reason the JWs say that the Holy Spirit is an ‘active force’ is because the Greek word for ‘spirit’ (pneuma) is neuter. Answer: This is faulty reasoning, because 1)the gender of a word relates to the grammatical form of the word, not to its sex or physical gender. Because a word is grammatically neuter does not mean that the object is an ‘it’ or of neuter sex. (Source: Elements of NT Greek, J W Wenham, 1979, p.8). For example, in Greek, ‘children’ is a neuter word, ‘desert’ is a feminine word, etc.and 2) In John 15:26 and 16:13, the neuter noun ‘pneuma’ is referred to by the masculine pronoun ‘ekeinos’ (1565=that one, masculine) recognising the Holy Spirit’s masculine personality. ‘He (ekeinos) shall testify of me’ (15:26); ‘when he (ekeinos), the Spirit of truth shall come’ (16:13). Note: ‘ekeine’ is feminine ‘that one’, and ‘ekeino’ is neuter). (23) The Holy Spirit comforts (Gk: parakletos) believers. John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7. This same Greek word ‘parakletos’ (3875) is used of Christ who has personality in John 14:16 and I John 2:1. ‘Another Comforter’ (Gk: allos parakletos, John 14:16) means ‘another of the same kind’ as Christ, in contrast to ‘heteros’ (2087) meaning ‘another of a different kind’. As Christ has Deity and Personality, so does the Holy Spirit. To comfort requires empathy, understanding, love, compassion and concern for another’s well-being, all being attributes of personality. Conclusion: Hence,the Holy Spirit is a person because 1) He has mind, emotions,& will. 2) Personal pronouns are used of Him. 3) He performs personal acts.4) He associates with the Father and Son in the Baptism formula, Apostolic benediction and as Church Administrator (I Cor. 12:4-6). 5) He can be personally mistreated (tempted, lied to, grieved, resisted, insulted and blasphemed). The New Testament clearly shows the Holy Spirit to have a personality and to be God. (‘Jehovah is the Spirit’ II Cor. 3:17 NWT).
  9. Part of a series on: Like many other highly religious Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to take conservative positions on social issues. For example, three-quarters (75%) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while similar shares oppose same-sex marriage and say homosexuality should be discouraged by society (76% each). Roughly three-quarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses (74%) also reject evolution, saying humans have always existed in their present form since the beginning of time. But Jehovah’s Witnesses do not commonly advocate for these beliefs in the political sphere. The denomination teaches that its members should remain politically neutral and abstain from voting or participating in “any action to change governments.” This is reflected in our polling. Three-quarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses (75%) say they are political independents who do not lean toward either major party. Half (50%) decline to answer a question about political ideology (i.e., whether they describe their political views as conservative, moderate or liberal). And most Jehovah’s Witnesses (64%), when asked if they are registered to vote, say they are not registered or decline to answer the question. Pew Research See also:
  10. SAN DIEGO (CN) — The national Jehovah's Witnesses organization must produce any documents in its possession relating to perpetrators of child sexual abuse, a California appeals court ruled. Jose Lopez sued Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York and the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in June of 2012 for the sexual abuse he allegedly suffered when he was seven years old at the hands of his Bible instructor Gonzales Campos. In 1986, Lopez's mother allowed Campos to give her son bible study lessons after an elder from her congregation recommended him because he was "good very good with children." According to the complaint, after Campos had given Lopez several lessons, he sexually molested him. The abuse was reported to an elder of the church after Lopez told his mother, but nothing was done after the elders spoke to Lopez about where he was touched. This was not the first time there had been allegations Campos had sexually abused young boys. Another boy from the same congregation accused Campos of sexually molesting him four years earlier. Campos admitted to acting inappropriately, but the elders continued to allow him to be around children, and even continued to recommend him as a Bible instructor. Lopez and his mother left the congregation shortly after the alleged abuse, but Campos continued to rise within the congregation over the next several years, eventually serving as an elder and being placed on the congregation's governing service committee. Yet, according to the Lopez's complaint, between 1982 and 1995, Campos sexually abused at least eight other children. Neither Watchtower nor the congregation ever reported the incidents to law enforcement officers, the complaint said. With more than 1.2 million members and 13,777 congregations across the United States, the Jehovah's Witness religion's practices, policies and administrative duties were supervised by Watchtower during the relevant time period, including congregation elders who served as its agents. Watchtower challenged two discovery orders -- one requesting the church produce documents concerning the sexual abuse of other victims; the other seeking to compel the disposition of an individual believed to be the managing agent of Watchtower at the time. The organization also requested that an order, compelling it to pay nearly $38,000 in monetary sanctions, be terminated. In addition to rejecting claims the document request was overly broad and violated attorney-client privilege, a three-judge panel with California's Fourth Appellate District also found that, although unusual, the 27-year post-incident request "is partly a function of the permissive limitations statutes governing child sexual abuse under which Lopez was seeking to recover for an alleged wrongful act committed almost three decades earlier." Watchtower's claim that the document request was overly oppressive because it would take years to comply was also rejected by the panel, which pointed out the church's computer system had a search function that could easily identify information within the scanned documents. The panel also shot down Watchtower's First Amendment objection by citing relevant cases, including a decade old case in which the court held it did not violate constitutional religious freedom when an archdiocese was order to product documents about priests who were indicted for sexually abusing children. While the three-judge panel upheld the discovery order, it found the disposition order was not supportable because there was no evidence that the named individual was a managing agent at the time Lopez was abused. Judge Judith Haller, writing for panel, concluded the ruling by finding the sanctions order needed to be vacated. "There was no question Watchtower willfully failed to comply with the document production order." Judge Haller wrote. "The fundamental flaw with the court's approach is there is no basis in the record showing the court could not have obtained Watchtowers' compliance with lesser sanctions." D066388.pdf
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  11. DOVER — With a precedent-setting determination regarding confidentiality among some church members last week, a Superior Court judge continued a lawsuit against a Sussex County congregation. Judge Mary M. Johnston did not dismiss a lawsuit filed by the state of Delaware against the Laurel Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding whether it should have reported child abuse allegations in 2013. The state is suing the congregation and two elders for allegedly not disclosing knowledge of a reported sexual relationship between an adult member and juvenile member, according to court documents. The complaint was filed on July 10, 2014, in New Castle County Superior Court. The congregation filed a motion for summary judgment on Nov. 9, 2015, which was denied on Jan. 26 by Judge Johnston. The motion centered around the application of the “priest-penitent in a sacramental confession privilege” and whether conversations among Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders and members were covered in Delaware Code. According to court papers, the state alleged two elders met with a juvenile and his mother, both congregation members, in January 2013 and a disclosure of a sexual relationship was made. Also, according to documents, the elders then spoke with the adult member in question, who confirmed the relationship had happened. Both the juvenile and adult member were excommunicated from the congregation in February 2013, papers indicated. Also named as defendants in the lawsuit were Joel Mulchansingh and William Perkins. In papers, the Department of Justice said it is seeking a civil penalty against each defendant not to exceed $10,000, costs, expenses and attorney’s fees incurred awarded to the state, and “such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.” With the civil action pending, the Department of Justice declined comment on the matter. From 2012 to 14, the Department of Justice said, other entities such as a charter school, public elementary school and medical practice were named as defendants in similar cases regarding all abuse and neglect and the matters “were settled and dismissed without trial, with settlements generally consisting of training on mandatory reporting and other penalties.” Officials said the mandatory statute regarding abuse and neglect has been active since at least 1971; before 1997, only attorney-client communication had privilege. The criminal case On Nov. 6, 2013, Katheryn L. Carmean pleaded guilty to third-degree rape, fourth-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Delaware Department of Justice. She was sentenced to six years in prison on Feb. 21, 2014, followed by six months at Level IV work release, followed by two years Level III probation. She is also registered as a Tier II sex offender, according to officials. According to the Delaware State Police at the time of her arrest, Ms. Carmean, of Berlin, Maryland, was 35 and the allegedly involved male was 14. The state police said investigation found encounters occurred over 10 months from November 2011 to August 2012 when the teen occasionally would stay at Ms. Carmean’s residence on Mount Zion Road near Laurel. She later moved to Maryland, authorities said. In court papers regarding the civil suit, the defendant in the criminal case was identified as Katheryn Harris Carmean White. The civil suit In the civil suit, the state responded to the motion by citing Delaware Code Sections 903 and 904 which required “Any person, agency, organization or entity who knows or in good faith suspects child abuse or neglect shall make a report …” and “Any report of child abuse or neglect required to be made under this chapter shall be made by contacting the Child Abuse and Neglect Report Line for the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families” as obligation to report suspected child abuse. According to papers, the court examined the constitutionality of whether the congregation was exempted by Delaware Code Section 909 to report privileged communications. Section 909 states “No legally recognized privilege, except that between attorney and client and that between priest and penitent in a sacramental confession, shall apply to situations involving known or suspected child abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by 903 of this title or to give or accept evidence in any judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.” According to court documents, the congregation maintained that all communications between elders, juvenile and adult members are covered by clergy/penitent privilege. Additionally, the congregation argued it had First Amendment coverage through the United States and Delaware, and were exempt from a reporting duty. Ultimately, the court ruled that since the congregation had called a meeting with the adult member to discuss the issue, the member could not be deemed a “penitent” and the meeting to investigate allegations not a “sacramental confession.” Also, the court found the juvenile’s subsequent excommunication indicated he might not have willingly met with the elders, and did not consider the meeting as a form of repentance as part of absolution and a “sacramental confession.” The elders’ beliefs The elders submitted signed affidavits, which included the premise that, “In accordance with the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, confidential information is kept confidential so as to uphold the elders’ role as spiritual shepherds of the congregation, to maintain respect for the position of elders and congregants, and to allow congregants to feel comfortable fully disclosing information to the elders …” The court noted no reference was made to why the General Assembly used the language in Delaware Code Section 909 “between priest and penitent in a sacramental confession” instead of more ecumenical religious terms. Thus, the court turned to Black’s Law Dictionary to define “priest-penitent privilege” and determined it to be “In evidence, the recognition of the seal of confession which bars testimony as to the contents of a communication from one to his confessor.” Also in Delaware Code, the court noted, “A person has a privilege to refuse and disclose to prevent another from disclosing a confidential communication by the person to a clergyman in his professional character as a spiritual adviser.” A clergyman was described as a “minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the person consulting him.” According to the court, a priest and penitent communication in a sacramental confession cited in Section 909 “is a narrow exception to the duty to report abuse or neglect. “The obvious purpose of these privileges is to balance free and candid communications with legal or religious advisers, with the public mandate to prevent and prosecute child abuse.” ‘Genuine issues exist’ In conclusion, the court ruled that a narrow interpretation of Section 909 “is unconstitutional on its face” and the terms “priest,” “penitent” and “sacramental confession” apply to only select denominations if taken literally. “The Delaware Constitution prohibits laws that give preference to any religion,” the court wrote. “However, Section 909 can potentially be read to apply to all religions. “Regardless of the constitutionality of Section 909, genuine issues of material fact exist that prevent summary judgment.” Delaware Code states that Section 903 violators “shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for the first violation, and not to exceed $50,000 for any subsequent violation.” Costs and attorneys’ fees may be awarded as well. Attorneys James Liguori and Francis McNamara represented the defendant congregation in the motion, along with the Watchtower Legal Department, the Jehovah’s Witnesses legal advisers. Deputy Attorneys General Janice Tigani and Valerie Farnan represented the state. Staff writer Craig Anderson can be reached at 741-8296 or canderson@newszap.com. Follow @DSNAnderson on Twitter. Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com Tags:Courts · Featured
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