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  1. There is a revealing comment made on a recent organization’s video about trials JWs may face, that would test their faith and hope. The speaker referred to these times as “storms”, using the account of Peter walking toward Jesus on the water, and how he temporarily lost faith before taking hold of Jesus’ hand. (Matt 14:22-33) One example that he gave of someone’s ‘temporary, momentary weakness of faith’, was of a missionary couple who was sent home after many years in service. This was referred to as “adjustments that affect our privileges in service”. Apparently, this “privilege” to serve the organization in this capacity, came to an end. The person claimed to lose all sense of direction, and nothing in life seemed important. I can imagine how losing a “privilege” can be a demeaning experience. We are aware that hundreds of people have been let go from Bethel at a moment’s notice. Who was the source of this “storm” that these ousted ones now had to endure? Who granted, and also removed, the “privilege” that people had thought was toward serving God? The speaker admitted that leaving the ‘comfort zone of full-time service’ can cause a storm. It can produce fear in what is to come. It is interesting that even though the organization caused this upheaval, the speaker puts the burden on the victim, if they are at all affected by the storm and their ‘faith weakens’. This really puts the organization on a “god” pedestal, whose decisions cannot be questioned, and who is never guilty for the suffering of others. It aptly identifies the Beasts of Revelation that demand unwavering loyalty. (Rev 13:1,2,11,12) In the event of a Bethel purge, some individuals have come to realize their entire service was to men, and not to God. At this epiphany, they left the organization because of it. They recognized that no matter how much they gave and sacrificed of themselves, they were replaceable. This really is no different than factory workers dismissed from their job without reason. If we are faithful to God and Jesus, and obedient to His word, would we be replaceable? Is this how God and Jesus express their love to us? (John 3:16; John 14:21; Luke 12:7; 2 Cor 9:8) Well, it seems obvious that there is no love in an organization that terminates people without a second thought, or the reason why. (Matt 22:39; Rom 13:10; John 10:7-13; 1 John 4:9-11; 5:3) Can faith and hope flourish, without love? “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13 If love is missing, can truth flourish? "Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth" 1 Cor 13:6 Putting our faith in an earthly organization that is fully immersed in this world, is folly. (Prov 14:8; Isa 2:12,17,7,8) Putting our faith in men and their lusts for power and riches, is pure blindness. (Prov 26:4; Isa 2:8,9,22;Luke 16:15; John 12:40; 2 Cor 4:3,4;11:13-15; Rom 1:25) The leadership centralizes their faith and hope in what they have built and desire to keep building. Yes, they have a storyline to promote to their members and recruited new ones; but it is just that – a fabricated deceitful storyline, absent of God’s truth. (2 Thess 2:9-11) It promises salvation, a concept that is ‘bought’ with one’s full commitment to the organization and its leadership. (Luke 21:8; Rom 6:16; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Pet 2:1-3; 2 Tim 4:3,4; Rev 16:13-16) (John 7:18; 2 Cor 11:3,4,20; Rom 6:16; Col 2:8; Rev 13:1,4,7-10,11,16,17) The speaker used the illustration of Peter grasping the hand of Jesus as depicting a restoration of his faith. Jesus wants us to do the same today when we leave the drowning waters of Wormwood – the apostate “city”. (Rev 8:10,11; 13:11; 17:1,2; Luke 17:26-37; Rev 18:4) Turning back to the ‘beggarly things’ of the world, as in the case of the missionary rekindling his hope in the organization, will only cause terminal downfall. (Gal 4:9; Phil 3:19; Rev 13:4,8) Many who were associated with the "Watchtower" organization, have lost cherished things, due to being cast off as wicked by their local congregation. The spiritual path each one has chosen afterward, has varied. Which of those post-"Watchtower" paths, leads to eternal life? What follows, are excerpts from my reply to someone who asked such questions, after his rejection of the wicked steward's wormwood waters, and his exodus from the "City" of apostate Jerusalem. He wants to know how God views these decisions, and what reward he can expect for his discernment and decisive action to cease his association with God's rebellious and idolatrous nation. Pearl Doxsey 2 Cor 6:16-18; Eph 4:24,25; 5:11; Ps 26:4; Rev 18:4; Jer 51:6,9,45; Isa 48:20; Matt 24:14-16 I encourage any who have left the organization, to read her reply: https://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.com/2016/01/is-leaving-city-enough.html Am I being too harsh to say that the organization is an unrelenting, bloodsucking iron beast? Not in the least. (Rev 9:1-3,7-11; 13:5-7)
  2. (New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse April 12, 2018 On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients. In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs. Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution. The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018. The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis. ---------------------------------------------------------- A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy. Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
  3. NEW WORLD WARWICK CENTER, HEADQUARTERS, USA The beautiful entrance hall ❤
  4. I like the song video; ‘Why We Went to Bethel.” I like that it is all children. Adults are in the background for support. They clap, sway, play instruments. But the centerpiece is the kids. If you weren’t paying attention, you might miss that it is shot in different countries, with different choirs of kids. That’s how seamless it has been produced by really capable people. I like the child that pops up at the end, “Thank you, Jehovah.” The brother who I think I would like in person will not join in the singing. He just won’t do it. But he will watch the Sergei vignettes just before, which are just as good. In fact, they are better.
  5. Photo shared by @steentime Patterson Bethel. Photo shared by @steentime View the full article
  6. This is brother Cross, he has served 45 years at Bethel. He was going around giving Sophia and Caleb cards to children with information about them.
  7. Happy testing equipment for dubbing of videos in Tagalog at Philippines Bethel
  8. Guest

    Samson

    When we need help, who can help us? Samson gave the best example! "Samson now called out to Jehovah..." (Jud. 16:28-31). By @luizbera
  9. Guest

    Smile

    Sawyer recently visited the 3 branches with his family and a group of brothers and sisters in Michigan, here with Caleb!
  10. Residents to move into a 'green' facility this September WARWICK — The new Jehovah's Witnesses World Headquarters located in Sterling Forest will be completed in August, thanks to the help of more than 25,000 volunteers from across the country who contributed to its construction. Some of the volunteers have stayed at the site since ground breaking three years ago, such as spokesperson for Jehovah's Witnesses, Richard Devine, and his wife, while others have come for a week or a three-day weekend. With more than 1.2 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, many of which own construction businesses or work in construction, there is a high skill level working on the project. “As Jehovah's Witnesses,” Devine said, “we feel it's a real privilege to help with the building of the headquarters.” The entire campus, which borders Sterling Forest Lake (Blue Lake), consists of eight buildings, including four residence buildings and a large office building, where the 800 to 850 Witnesses will live and work. There are also two maintenance buildings and a parking garage. Those that will be living at the 1.6 million square-foot world headquarters will start moving in this September, with the entire Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society slowly moving out of Brooklyn, the organization's location since 1909. Residents all have taken a vow to be members of a religious order, according to Devine, and as they accomplish their ministerial work in connection with the headquarters, the order in turn provides housing, meals, health care, and a small allowance each month to cover incidental expenses, like toothpaste and socks. And as far as children, Devine said that even though Jehovah's Witnesses in general are very family-oriented, the world headquarters staff is made up of only single or married adults. If any couples decide to have children, they would leave and settle down to a more traditional home life elsewhere. There is no stigma attached to deciding to have children and no longer living at the headquarters, he said, and it is considered to be a personal decision. “It's a way of life that's different than most,” Devine said, “but it is very rewarding.” 'Going green' One of the goals for the world headquarters campus was to make it efficient, both for workers getting around and energy efficiency. The first was accomplished through connecting the buildings with covered walkways, some of which are above ground while others are below. Devine said this helps workers easily get around the campus, especially elderly residents in the winter. Being an energy efficient campus was created in a number of ways, one of which was through storm water control. “We're not allowed to release storm water at any faster rate than it was in it's natural setting,” Devine said, “so we've incorporated things like this permeable paving ... and there's a couple feet of gravel below this so as the rain comes, it will just immediately go back into groundwater and won't runoff into the streams.” There is also a large amount of underground water storage. Around the lake, there is a double row of black silt fencing, which keeps mud and dirt from flowing into the lake, and keeps the rattlesnakes out. As far as the landscaping around the campus, Devine said they were not allowed to use any plants that are not native to Sterling Forest. And one of the most “green” additions to the headquarters is the installation of a growing medium on all of the flat roofs, containing little succulents and other similar plants. “The whole idea is when it rains, the roof holds the moisture up here and then the plants can aspirate it over time,” Devine said. “By and large, we like to hold in as much water as we can and then that avoids having to discharge it into the streams or into our underground storage.” There's also a geothermal field on site. Using about 125 wells, each 500 feet deep, in the wintertime, the system pulls heat from the ground used to heat the buildings and make hot water, and in the summertime, heat is put into the ground. With just one plant providing heating and air conditioning to all eight buildings, it is more energy efficient and requires less personnel. With all of this green technology installed, according to the headquarters' engineers, the site will most likely receive four green globes, the highest rating given by the Green Building Initiative, an organization similar to LEED. Aspects like the use of recycled materials, construction practices, the use of green roofs, landscaping and storm water retention are all taken into account. Why Warwick? The main features that drew the Watch Tower Society to the Warwick property were its size and location, according to Devine. The property is 253 acres but only between 40 and 50 acres were used to build. It's not too far from the city, so there's easy access for intrastate and international visitors. It's also in a scenic location near a lake, creating an aspect of privacy, Devine said, with shopping for the residents still close by. Traffic to and from the site will be minimal, since residents work on site, except for visitors, which Devine said they expect to have quite a few. Another important component is that there's a lot of local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York. “All of our staff support local congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses,” Devine said. “So they'll travel quite a distance actually to worship with our neighbors. I go to a congregation up here in Monroe. But right here is kind of an ideal location because you have Northern Jersey with all the suburbs and we have many congregations nearby, so it just works out really well.” With the group beginning to move out of Brooklyn, the Jehovah's Witnesses sold their longest-held building in Brooklyn, 124 Columbia Heights, with its iconic tower atop the roof, for $105 million in April, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. And according to the New York Post, the 733,000-square-foot world headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights and the 1.1-million square-foot as-of-right development site at 85 Jay St. were sold for $700 million. These were among the 16 properties the organization owned in Brooklyn, which will all eventually be sold. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society also has a location in the Ulster County hamlet of Wallkill, where many of their printing services are located. This large complex includes residence buildings as well. Neighbors Even though the Watch Tower Society is a tax-exempt organization, Devine said, “We try to be good neighbors.” And the response from the community has been positive, Devine said. “I think everybody was wondering who are these people and how can you build something like this using volunteers,” Devine said. “And I think everyone, including the building department, was skeptical. But we've won them over and the quality of the work, I feel, is very, very high.” According to Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, the group has been exceptional throughout the whole planning and building process. “They did everything the planning board asked them to do, they have been exemplary really in their construction activities,” Sweeton said. “We've had a monitor on site pretty much the entire time and our building inspector also visits a couple times a week. And everything that we've ever asked or wanted, they've done.” The Witnesses have also helped with certain public facilities in town. When Warwick needed some material to build one of last sports fields out at Union Corners Park, Sweeton said he contacted the Watch Tower Society. The group responded by providing all of the material the town needed as well as hydroseeding the soil, which allowed the grass to come in very nicely and much more quickly than had the town done the work - all at no cost to taxpayers. Devine said that the group also has built a press box at the Little League field near the headquarters. There are also basketball courts and picnic pavilions being built on the property because part of the group's agreement with the town was to have on site recreation, helping to avoid overloading the town's' parks with additional residents. Currently, the Watch Tower Society is working with a Greenwood Lake Boy Scout Troop to refurbish the east shore of Greenwood Lake, offering their assistance in terms of material and volunteer trade help. As far as impact on the town economically, Sweeton said that because the site itself was tax-exempt already, tax-wise, the headquarters won't have a huge impact on the town. The Watch Tower Society also is providing some on site medical services and have made arrangements with the Greenwood Lake Fire District; it is also working with the Tuxedo Fire District. If any of the Headquarters residents decide to move off site to have children, they then would pay taxes and their children would likely go to the Tuxedo school district. “The town has been great to deal with,” Devine said. “They've been very open and honest with us, we've tried to be open and honest with them, and I think we've got a great relationship.” As soon as the facility is completely done and the bible museum, which will be part of the headquarters, is finished, Devine said they will begin giving free tours to visitors, probably next spring. The bible museum will feature a first edition King James Bible printed in 1611. “We look forward to inviting the whole community to come,” Devine said, “and probably have a big invitation campaign that will welcome everybody.” Who are the witnesses? About 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide 1.2 million Jehovah's Witnesses in United States The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is the nonprofit corporation formed in 1884 under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is used by Jehovah's Witnesses to support their worldwide work, which includes publishing bibles and bible-based literature. Basic beliefs: The Bible: All Scripture is inspired of God. The Creator: The true God has given himself a personal name—Jehovah—that distinguishes him from false gods Jesus Christ: He is the Savior, “the Son of God,” and “the firstborn of all creation.” God's Kingdom: There is a heavenly government with a King—Jesus Christ—and 144,000 corulers, who are “bought from the earth.” They will rule over the earth, which will be cleansed of all wickedness and will be inhabited by many millions of God-fearing humans. Bible prophecy: What God foretells always comes true, including the Bible prophecies concerning the end of the present world. Preaching: It is an honor to share “the good news of the kingdom.” Whether people listen or not is their own choice. Secular authorities: Obey the laws of the land when these do not conflict with God's laws. Source: jw.org Source: http://www.chroniclenewspaper.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20160609/NEWS01/160609944
  11. The Jehovah's Witnesses have just put onto the sale market a development site in the heart of DUMBO, 69 Adams St. The building that now occupies the site has a four-story recreational facility and an 84-space parking garage. Its rooftop is graced with an open-air tennis court — which is topped by a fence so cars and pedestrians down below don't accidentally get pelted with over-exuberantly hit balls. The Watchtower recently posted the sale offering online without alerting reporters. According to the posting, 69 Adams St. is “a 157,410-square-foot development opportunity adjacent to the iconic Manhattan Bridge.” The Jehovah's Witnesses did not offer any comment about their sale offering to the Brooklyn Eagle when asked about it. They did give the Eagle permission to publish their images of 69 Adams St. Zoned for as-of-right residential development The city Landmarks Preservation Commission doesn't have any control over what is built at 69 Adams St. because it is located outside the neighborhood's historic districts. Because of the site's zoning, “a new luxury residential tower with commercial, community facility and retail uses” can be built as-of-right, the Watchtower's online description of the site notes. The religious organization, which has had a major presence in the area for more than a century, is in the throes of selling off its once enormous property portfolio in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. That's because the Jehovah's Witnesses are relocating their headquarters to upstate Warwick, N.Y. The 69 Adams St. site has 103 feet of Front Street frontage. It's caddy-corner to upscale food market Foragers, and shares its block with a handsome residential tower, 85 Adams St. If a residential tower is built at 69 Adams St., it will have views of Lower Manhattan's skyscrapers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the East River and the Midtown Manhattan skyline. According to city Finance Department records, the site has belonged to the Watchtower since 1991, when the organization purchased it from LI Machine & Pattern Works Inc. Another Watchtower property recently sold for $105 Mil The Jehovah's Witnesses began a new round of property offerings this past December. Since then, the organization has closed on the $105 million sale of 124 Columbia Heights, a 10-story residential building on the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, to Florida Panthers hockey team owner Vincent Viola, Finance Department records indicate. Also, the Watchtower has made a handshake deal to sell its Brooklyn Heights headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights and a nearly 1 million-square-foot development site at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO for roughly $700 million, the New York Postpreviously reported. The buyer is Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. In addition to 69 Adams St., the other Watchtower property that's currently available for sale is 107 Columbia Heights, a 154,000-plus square-foot residential property in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. Several other Watchtower properties in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO have not yet been put up for sale. Source: http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2016/5/16/jehovahs-witnesses-put-69-adams-st-dumbo-sale
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