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As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” Mark 13:1 I never realized just how massive and magnificent these stones were, until doing a bit of research. From their quarrying to their installation, the construction feat of Herod the Great’s temple in Jerusalem still marvels the world. Cut from a limestone quarry above the ancient Temple Mount, some stones of the temple wall and retaining wall weighed up to 160,000 pounds while many a mere, but still impressive, two tons. Each of these stones is the reversed image of a typical framed piece of art, with a raised flat center and embossed edges, a masonry technique called “ashlar”. The larger of the ashlars are cornerstones weighing up to 80 tons, 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 3 ½ feet tall. The temple building, fifteen stories tall, was made out of white marble, and embellished with gold. A hundred sixty-two pillars of grandeur formed from single blocks of white marble, lined the colonnade in the location of the “Royal Porch”. The historian Josephus remarked that the temple appeared as a shimmering “snowy mountain” in the sunlight. Within the inner court at the location of the altar of sacrifice, the stonework changed to unhewn stones following God’s decrees in Deut 27:4-8 and Exod 20:25 (Dan 2:34; 1 Pet 2:4,5). At its entrance to the inner court, a stone now housed in the museum in Istanbul has the following inscription concerning foreigners: "Let no foreigner enter within the parapet and the partition which surrounds the Temple precincts. Anyone caught [violating] will be held accountable for his ensuing death." (Ezek 44:6-9; 2 Chron 13:9)
What follows is my partial response to a letter, which accurately expressed and represented the tribulation now being experienced, by many. - - - - - - - My response: I am so very glad that you contacted me. Please read the scriptures as you come to them. The central body of learning which I offer you, is found within them. Regarding the links, I hope you will return to them in a second reading, to go into more depth about my statements and cited scriptures. I will go right to one comment you made, because if I don't address it first, all that follows may not have value to you. You said; "I wanted to ask is this; since you are in contact with other anointed Christians, are all of your anointed associates a product of the Watch Tower Society? That is, are there not others, outside of the Society, that have been called? Since I view many of the new and current views of the Society to be an apostatizing, I would tend to question the provenance of all anointed issuing forth from that source." The best way to address your concerns about anointed former members of the "WT", is to give you some facts for your own consideration... Satan has demanded to "sift" each Chosen one (Luke 22:31; 1Pet.4:12; James 5:10-11; Job 1:8,12; John15:20; Rev.12:10; 1John2:14) by using his "world" (1John5:19; John15:18) of the Jewish system (John8:22-23), against them... [to see the identity of that "world"/"system" of the scriptures that does the persecuting , (See: Greek- system/arrangement/adornment): The Chosen must be subjected to the same tests and trials which Jesus endured. They accomplish this by following closely, the exact pattern of his example, symbolized by his "path"... (John16:28; 14:28, 6, 4; Luke 9:23; Rev.14:4 B; Heb.13:13; 2Cor.1:5; Phil.3:10; Rom.6:5; 1Pet.2:21), ...up to the capacity which each one is able to endure them (1Cor.10:13). If they take the same full course of Christ, they can reach the Father (John14:6; Matt.11:27; 18:10; Eph.2:6; Rom.8:9; Matt.5:8). Traversing the full course of Christs example, means that like Christ, the Kingdom candidates must start out in subjection to the influential power of the leaders of God's genuine people/the "world" (Gal.4:4; John1:11; Matt.15:24; 1John4:9; John1:12,10; 8:23), and faithfully conquer their hatred and opposition, as Christ did (John16:33; 14:30; 1John2:14-15; John8:40; Mark 9:31; John19:6-7; 15:18; Matt.24:9; John16:2; Mark 13:13). A glaring contrast appears, between the genuine path presented by Christ, when compared to the counterfeit "Peace and security" and "spiritual paradise" that is offered to anointed, by the "WT" (1Cor.4:2,8-13; Rev.3:17-18). Accepting that false safe harbor, brings them under the "operation of error" -2Thess.2:9-12; Col.2:8; Rev.13:10; Luke 21:24 . The flimsy and vain protection they offer (Rev.6:15-16) is a lie... a snare, sourced with Satan (Matt.16:21-23; Luke12:19-20; 2Thess.2:9-11; 1Thess.5:3-4, 6; 1Pet.5:8) (Rev.16:13-15; 1Tim.4:1). This demonic delusion is designed to lull Gods Chosen into spiritual sleep, and prevent them from ever completing their gamut of faithfulness against that "safe harbor"/lie/apostate nation of God (Eze.13:10-14; Jer.23:16-17; 8:11; 6:13-15; Rev.16:21; Ps.18:13; 147:17; 1Thess.5:3) (Eph.5:6,11; 2Pet.3:10; Jer.13:26; Rev.17:16-17; Nahum 3:5; Jer.51:25; Rev.8:8; Zech.4:7) (Rev.11:3,5; Jer.5:14; Hosea 6:5; Rev.16:8; Jer.23:29; Matt.10:20) Satan's snare is camouflaged by a counterfeit Mount Zion (Rev.14:1). They claim that their "mountain-like organization" (Zech.4:7;Jer.51:25; Rev.8:8), is the fulfillment of Isa.2:1-2 ... even though the next verse reads (Isa.2:3); "The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.". Although they claim that the "governing body" are representatives of Zion; they also claim that those men are fallible. To ascribe fallibility and a lack of spirit-inspiration to Mount Zion (and, "the word of the Lord"), is blasphemy. Additionally, the Organization's heirarchy of "overseers" made up of spiritual Gentiles (Rom.2:28-29)), is an impersonation of the spirit-directed Body of Christ (Rev.13:15) (John20:22,21)... both due to be revealed and exposed in the time of the end (Isa.28:17;Nahum 3:5; 2Thess.2:8). Naturally, one could not complete the course of Christ, unless they were surrounded by the same circumstances and challenges, and offered the same "path". I submit to you on the basis of the collective experiences of all present and sober anointed ones, that the "WT" is the only place they can come under the dominion of apostate religious leaders, who authentically lead, represent, and are, "God's chosen people" (Isa.43:21; 1Pet.2:9-10) (Luke12:42,45-48), such as those who persecuted Christ (Matt.15:24; 20:18-19; John19:11; 1:11). The various erroneous doctrines sourced in "Christendom" cannot successfully subvert and take captive (Col.2:8), those who have been anointed by God's spirit (1John2:20,27). Only the "WT" has succeeded in misleading (Matt.24:24-25; Luke 21:24; Rev.13:10,7) and "killing" them (Rev.6:11; 11:7), and prophecy tells us why, and how. Therefore, those anointed who are waking up from the "WT", (Mark 13:34; John10:2-4; Isa.42:16; 49:9) (2Cor.6:17; Rev.18:4; Matt.24:15-16) should not so much be viewed as tainted, but rather, as being tested (1Cor.3:12-15) and refined (Zech.13:9; Mal.3:1-3). Yet I will tell you, that when I was anointed by God through Christ, it was just previous to my first contact by the "WT". I was not a "JW" at the time of my anointing. It has been made clear to me by Christ, that the immediate contact by, and joining the Organization which ensued after my anointing, was my initiation into my gamut of testing in the pattern of Christ. We are clearly told that God's genuine priesthood in the time of the end, require refining from defilement/wormwood. (Mal.3:1-3, Eze.22:30; Zech.3:1,3-4,8; Rev.3:17-18; 13:7; Dan.8:11-13; 11:36; 2Thess.2:4; Mark 13:14) (Rev.10:10; 8:10-11; Jer.23:15) That would not be necessary, if they were not coming from a place of spiritual and doctrinal defilement (Rev.2:20). Having addressed your question about the authenticity of anointed who are now regarded as "apostates" from the "WT", (Mark 13:13; John16:2; Matt.25:6; Heb.13:13; Rev.11:3,7-10; Luke 17:33,37) and their reliability as trustworthy priests (Mal.2:7)... ...It cannot be taken for granted (1John4:1; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:13-16), that all ex-"JW" chosen ones are sources of "the proper food at the proper time" (Luke12:42). Scripture exhorts and equips us, to discern this on an individual basis, determined through what is offered (Matt.7:20; Luke 6:43,45) (LINK). Of the number of anointed who have obeyed Christ (Matt.24:16; Rev.18:4), not all are being fully refined, nor offering "the proper food at the proper time". Yet a few, are. I hope you have at least determined that a period of unfaithful ignorance, is not equivalent to permanent uselessness (Zech.13:9; Rom.9:27-28; Isa.65:8; Jer.3:21-22; Isa.22:12; Rev.11:3). With this in mind, I will respond as best as I am able to various points you raise in your letter, and if there is one that I neglect, please let me know. Because of my responding before to others who have written to me, there will be some points for which I have and will, provide a *link*. The link will contain deeper and further scriptural information on the subject at hand. I hope you will not view such references as an impersonal response, because I will tailor such references as close as possible to my best appraisal of your need, and great care has gone into making the scriptural information contained at each *link*, thorough, relevant, and substantial. Parts of an article may seem irrelevant to you, but if the *link* is cited, there is something of import in the article, that does relate. I hope you can extend the needed patience in this regard. I can see from your comments, that you are relatively new to the writings at my Blog. For this reason, what follows is a Bible course of study, tailored to the individual needs expressed in your letter. Those needs are actually becoming more common among those who write to me, so my response to you will be helpful to many. I'm sure you will need to divide the material into segments. I hope you will take your time, and attend each section with as careful attention as was given to it's composition. Again, if any coverage of a topic is found lacking for you personally, I am eager to address the need. In addition to tending to you, it will also help supplement the overall resources offered at the Blog. - ONE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - First I will say that I relate to much of your expressed experiences, while within the "Watchtower". I was in from 1975, until my disfellowshipping in 2011 for "causing divisions" (Luke 12:51; John7:43; 10:19-20). According to prophecy, the distressing "cognitive dissonance" with "WT" doctrine which you mention, initially plagues the anointed who are capable of repentance, to be followed by it breaking out upon the "rest" [symbolized in Revelation, as "earth, sea, trees" (Rev.7:3; 8:7;Zech.13:9)]. This is a new thought to those coming out from the "WT"... specifically... that the Great Tribulation is spiritual, not physical. (Luke21:25; Isa.17:12; Joel 2:1-2; Rev.9:2-3; 13:1) (LINK). The Greek word for "tribulation" is G2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options") and carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is "no way of escape" (mentally "hemmed in"). Luke19:43; Hosea 2:6; Mark 15:17; Eze.28:23-24 You speak of the evident "confusion" (meaning of "Babylon") which is manifested by these vacillating doctrines of the "WT". Yes, this is also what the Bible refers to as "shifting sands", "churning sea casting up mire and mud" ("waters" that lack clarity -Eze.34:19), and "shifting shadows" (darkness that keeps changing), which the Bible indicates would identify the false prophet/wicked steward, who was due to arrive with dominion over the Chosen, in the time of the end. (Matt.24:24-25; 1Tim.4:1; Rev.13:13-16; 13:11,14-15; 19:20; 14:8; Jer.51:7) In contrast, those priests who faithfully represent Christ by teaching his truth (Matt.7:24; Rev.22:1; James 1:17), would have immovable consistency (John15:16; Rom.3:4 B). - TWO - - - - - - - - - - - You then speak of a job that took you away from "WT" indoctrination for a time, and upon your return, you perceived a discrepancy between past and present teachings. You cite the futility of learning tenets and teaching them, only to later be told that they are outdated and obsolete. What you are observing, is just what the Bible foretold about the teachings of this particular religious empire which holds captive, the anointed. I think you will recognize the connection with prophecy, if you understand the interpretation of the symbolic "three" "froglike expressions" of Rev.16:13. A frog goes through many changes as it develops from an egg to an adult. If we were to constantly observe it's development, we would not clearly notice it's transformation. If we were to remove ourselves from observing its development, only to return at a much later time, we may not even believe that it was the same creature. Gradual transformation from accepted truths, to accepted lies, is a tactic of Satan. - THREE - - - - - - - - - - - I am extremely sorry for the loss of your daughter. I can only imagine the heartache. Yet please know that you are not alone in experiencing loss of children. I understand that it is not the same as physical death... but it is now common for many to lose their children in other ways, due to the organization. I have lost two daughters. One is still captive and zealous in the organization, and I have not had contact with her, in years. The other was so damaged by the "elders", that she went off the deep end, into sin, drugs, and mental illness. She blames all of her problems, on my raising her in the Organization. She despises me for it. Our pain might cause us to lash out at God (Rev.16:11) (Job 1:22). But if we stop to consider that loss of children, cooling of love, family conflict, and many other distresses, were all a part of Christ's confiding to his disciples, what we must expect of these times in which we are. He gave such warnings, in the hope that we would not be overcome, but rather, would recognize the reality of our spiritual circumstances and our place in the time-line of prophecy. The "Great Tribulation", is just that. It is the greatest spiritual oppression, to ever arise upon Christians. If it's Satanic deceptive powers were not limited by God, even the Chosen could not be saved from it (Luke 18:26-27;Matt.24:22,13). Although it may seem like stale bread... the observing of such fulfillment **among the authentic Chosen, IS an indication of the approaching End (Luke 21:28-31; Mark 13:19-20,28-36; 1Cor.15:24-25; Ps.110:1-2; Rev.17:14). - FOUR - - - - - - - - - - - Ec.7:7 reads; "Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, And a bribe debases the heart." I deeply regret how all your oppression has impacted your wife. Even the wise can lose their sanity when tribulation becomes severe. I myself, was driven to an attempt of suicide. But I hope that you will not give up in your trying to understand the bigger picture of our present reality; Because with that understanding, comes a way out. Once your hold on truth is firm, you may be able to comfort and assist your wife to that same freedom. I am not saying that full healing from the loss of a child can come in this life. But I assure you that hope and peace are within reach, for those who do not give up (Matt.7:7; 24:13; John14:27). Regarding your comment about Christ's "return" and "invisible presence", please consider these scriptures... (Acts1:11; Rev.1:7; Heb.12:1; Matt.24:30; 16:4; Luke 17:20-21; Rev.3:3; 1Thess.5:2; 3:13; Jude 1:14; Rev.19:11,14; 17:14; 2Cor.10:3-5; 5:20; Matt.24:45; Rev.1:7; 6:9-11; 11:7) - FIVE - - - - - - - - - - - Lastly, you state; "I guess I lack an assured expectation of things hoped for. ". Please clarify for us, in your mind, what hopes we had, as well as the hopes to which "JW's" still cling. Were they not false hopes? These too, Bible prophecy, identified and foretold (2Thess.2:1-3; Luke 17:20-24) (Deut.18:20-22). What I am saying, is that it is not wrong for you to let go of the false hopes which we were previously given (Heb.13:14; Rom.8:25; 12:12)... as long as we replace them with authentic reason for hope. Regarding a premature expectation of Christ [and the reason why he seems to "delay" (Luke 12:45-46; Hosea 6:5; Hab.2:2-3)], these *links* may help. I hope I have covered all the points you raised, and have given you an ample start to learning and perceiving what God's Word has to say on those issues and subjects. As always, I am here for questions. I know my responses tend to be copious, but I must offer as much of what I have been given, as is possible, in my desire to be found faithful and diligent in feeding Christ's sheep... especially those who are in distress. In my own experience of regaining my spiritual sight, I remember the steps I had to go through, as I peeled away "WT" deception by means of spirit and truth, by the grace of God. I know that each puzzle piece is hard to fit into one's previous faith (Mark 2:22), unless the related concepts are also addressed. This is why I try to anticipate the same objections and questions which I myself went through during my process of being "set free". (John8:32) (Isa.49:9; Eze.34:14; Matt.24:16). Rather than leave such a problem to arise, I hope to smooth the path, by anticipating how a "WT" doctrine might cause one to stumble at a particular point. This is why I provide *links* to common objections or questions to the subject at hand. Yet each person is an individual, so if there is something not covered, just let me know. Thank you for your good questions. If you conclude that what is written here, is true; please heed it's guidance, and share it. If so, I hope you will also associate with our group, to afford yourself some comfort and support. Though we are few, we treasure our precious harmony of faith. (*links* can be found in this article on Pearl Doxsey’s blog) May God's spirit be with you, as you examine the wisdom of His guidance, found in His Word. Love in Christ, Pearl (Pearl Doxsey 4womaninthewilderness)