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Jack Ryan posted a topic in Jehovah's WitnessesGenesis: 15 Jehovah God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eʹden to cultivate it and to take care of it.n 16 Jehovah God also gave this command to the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction.o 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.” The teachings tell us that Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge is what unleashed evil all over the world. Evil such as war, child sexual abuse, genocide, and all kinds of horrors. But if God made the tree, then he created the bad that went into it as well, no? Update: New World Translation: Isaiah 45:7 7 I form light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, Jehovah, am doing all these things. King James Version 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. American Standard Version 7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.
"The angel who had been speaking with me came back and woke me up, as when waking someone from sleep. 2 Then he said to me: “What do you see?” So I said: “I see, and look! a lampstand entirely of gold,+ with a bowl on top of it. There are seven lamps on it,+ yes, seven, and the lamps, which are at the top of it, have seven pipes. 3 And next to it are two olive trees,+ one on the right of the bowl and one on the left.” - Zechariah 4:1-3 Will we recognize the "two olive trees" when they begin to preach? It was inevitable that Zaccaria's study would lead us to the focal point of Revelation. Revelation 11: 3, 4 says, "And I will prophesy my two witnesses for one thousand two hundred and sixty days clothed with sack". These are [symbolized by] the two olive trees and [from] the two candlesticks and stand before the Lord of the earth. " We, unlike Zechariah, have the whole Bible so it is very easy for us to connect the scriptures. Zechariah had not under his eyes the scroll of Revelation given to John, so it was only normal that he asked for clarifications - see Zechariah 4: 4, 11 The angel says "" These are the two anointed who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth "- Zechariah 4:14 Before asking specifically about the two olive trees, however, Zechariah asks what "these things" mean - see Zechariah 4: 4 What was Zaccaria referring to? What's in the vision besides the two olive trees? Well let's read ... "I saw, and behold, there is a candlestick, all of gold, with a cup on top of it. And its seven lamps are on it, just seven; and the lamps that are on top of it have seven pipes ". Asking the meaning of "these things" Zacharias was referring to the candlestick? Yes, because we understand it from the angel's answer. He then said to me: “This is the word of Jehovah to Ze·rubʹba·bel: ‘“Not by a military force, nor by power,+ but by my spirit,”+ says Jehovah of armies. 7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Ze·rubʹba·bel+ you will become a level land.*+ And he will bring out the top stone* amid shouts of: “How wonderful! How wonderful!”’” Zechariah 4:6, 7 If the two olive trees represent "the two anointed who stand next to the Lord of the whole earth", the candlestick, or the one next to him, represents the Lord and in particular the message of the Lord (Revelation also mentions two chandeliers indicating that each they are sustained by the Spirit of God) sustained by his spirit, which they are instructed to bring. That this is correct is also understood by the seven lamps (verse 2) and by the explanation of the angel who says, "These seven are the eyes of Jehovah: they run all over the earth" (verse 10). And this brings us back again and invariably to the last book of the Bible. In Revelation 3: 1 Jesus, speaking of himself, says he has "the seven spirits of God". Previously, addressing the congregation of Tiatira, Jesus said that he had "eyes like a flame of fire and whose feet are like copper to the brim" (Revelation 2:18) and then suggests that He sees everything, deep and everywhere - See also Revelation 1:14 Among other things, it is said that the Lamb has seven eyes and that these "mean the seven spirits of God that have been sent to all the earth" - Revelation 5: 6 Speaking of the conduct and also of the preaching work, Jesus said, turning to his disciples, "You are the light of the world. A city can not be hidden when it is located on a mountain. A lamp is not lit to put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it shines on all those in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your excellent works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven "- compare Revelation 11:13 What do we understand, therefore, by comparing these scriptures? The two witnesses dressed in sacks have an important task: to carry the message of the Lord. They will do this not with their strength but with the spirit of God - compare Revelation 10:11 What will be the message of these two "olive trees"? Will it be the "good news of the Kingdom"? In the article dedicated to chapter 11 of Revelation we saw that this would not have been consistent with their clothing - compare Genesis 37:34; 2 Samuel 3:31 What does Zaccaria tell us? Zechariah 4: 7 answers, "Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel [I will become] plain, and he will certainly bring forth the headstone, and cry out to it:" How attractive it is! The great mountain is obviously the "ruinous mountain" of which Jeremiah 51:25 speaks; the writing says that it "ruins the whole earth" - compare Revelation 18: 3 These scriptures have been officially applied to Christianity but Zechariah does nothing but reconfirm what we have already seen - see the article "A Name: A Mystery, Babylon the Great" So far we have spoken of Jerusalem (and therefore Israel in its natural extension) and expressions such as "rope to measure", "re-debated city" and others bring us back to the literal city / nation. Zaccaria adds fundamental elements to conclude that the ruinous mountain, that is, what will become "plain", can not be other than the current apostate Israel. Then it becomes consistent that the two witnesses preach "sack clothes" because the message is of severe condemnation. When Jesus came to the earth, He preached a message that was indeed a hope but also an ultimatum for that nation - compare Matthew 4:17; 21: 36-44 The scribes and the Pharisees, and in general the whole nation, did not take the opportunity to repent and therefore be saved. We have seen that the preaching of the two witnesses has much in common with the work and life of Christ. They preach a message of judgment and are authorized by God himself. They prove to have the spirit of God. Several times they try to kill them but without success - compare John 7:30; 8:20 They preach for exactly three and a half years and are eventually killed not directly by their people but by the "wild beast" or "disgusting thing" - compare Luke 21:20 They rise again after three and a half days, and from then on the preaching spreads throughout the inhabited earth - see Revelation 12:17; 14: 6, 13 Do the similarities seem random to you? The judgments that these two witnesses bring to that country "where even their Lord was put to the stake" is similar to the judgments that brought Moses and Elijah and therefore what we find written in Matthew 17: 1-3 It is not difficult to deduce, therefore, that as soon as these two witnesses make their appearance, they will preach a message of condemnation by announcing the destruction precisely by that God whom they claim to worship - John 8: 42-47; Luke 21:22 "And he will certainly bring out the headstone, and it will cry out to him:" How attractive he is! How attractive he is! "- 4: 7 The stone of the head, or angular, will be taken out and other people will cry "How attractive it is!", That is, other people (the true people of God currently scattered in the world) will enjoy those blessings that they let themselves escape forever. All those who do not take the opportunity to listen to the message of the two witnesses and urgently make the necessary changes will shatter on this stone - Matthew 21:44 This will certainly include those who over time have been called "Jehovah's Witnesses" but who will not take these people and their message into consideration after the suppression of the ongoing sacrifice. Let us therefore try to be awake not to despise "the day of little things" because they will have the Spirit and the approval of God. Zaccaria's study is also fundamental because it is not excluded that when their preaching begins, someone we value and trust we can tell us not to listen to them - Matthew 12:24; John 7:52; 11:45, 46 The next verse assures that Zerubbabel will complete the construction of the temple but he is also called the Sprout (see Zechariah 6:12) and we know that in modern fulfillment it is Christ Jesus. Again I looked up, and I saw a flying scroll. 2 He asked me: “What do you see?” I replied: “I see a flying scroll, which is 20 cubits* long and 10 cubits wide.” 3 Then he said to me: “This is the curse that is going out over the face of all the earth, because everyone who steals,+ as written on its one side, has gone unpunished; and everyone who makes a sworn oath,+ as written on its other side, has gone unpunished - Zechariah 5:1-3 The CEI translates Zechariah 5: 3 as follows "He added:" This is the curse that spreads over the whole earth: every thief will be cast out of here like that scroll, every perjury will be cast out of here like that scroll " that it is not because of what is written in the scroll to constitute the judgment (among other things, there is only talk of being expelled) but that this happens in a similar way to the roll. This translation, even if apparently it may seem logical, does not take into account the context and completely changes the sense of vision. The writing in fact speaks of "everyone who steals" and "everyone who makes an oath" and therefore the natural question we should ask ourselves is ... "Where was the theft and the false oath regulated?" The answer is: in the Ten Commandments and in the Mosaic Law - compare Exodus 20:15, 16; Leviticus 19:11; Jeremiah 7: 9, 10 So the vision is pointing out that the scroll is a curse because of what is written on both sides. Probably the most correct translation is that of the New Revised which makes the verse as follows: "This is the curse that spreads over the whole country; because every thief, according to it, will be eradicated from this place, and every perjury, according to it, will be eradicated from this place ". So the message is as simple as direct: the people who steal and swear falsely will be judged by the clear rules written in that roll. Should we therefore imagine that witnesses clothed in sacks will bring a new piece of inspiration inspired by them, a sort of list of additional rules to those we already know? Absolutely not. The scroll clearly echoes the Mosaic law and although it was for us only a shadow of things to come, it will not be for those who have never understood its meaning and purpose - Colossians 2:17, 18 This is the message that will become a curse for the whole country because none of the inhabitants of modern Babylon will be able to respect the precepts of the Law - Romans 7: 7-9 From what is understood, since they rejected Christ and did not embrace the undeserved kindness of God for the forgiveness of sins, Jehovah will apply the Law to those who say they respect it - Matthew 12:37 In this way no one can say that God has been unjust or too severe because the precepts written in the Law, something that many of them even know by heart, are clear. Not having accepted the "stone" that could have opened their way to God's undeserved kindness, all that remains is to apply the Law and see how many of them have followed his "norm". Evidently this is precisely what the Lord meant in Matthew 21:44 "And whoever falls on this stone will be shattered." As for whoever it falls on, it will pulverize it. " This adds an obvious reason to the anger of the listeners. They are shamed just according to the norms they say they respect and this also reminds us of Jesus' way of preaching - compare Matthew 15: 3-6; Galatians 4:21 ‘I have sent it out,’ declares Jehovah of armies, ‘and it will enter into the house of the thief and into the house of the one who makes a false oath in my name; and it will remain inside that house and consume it and its timbers and its stones.’” - Zechariah 5:4 The message will torment the listeners day and night and they will not be able to get rid of it because every time they read from the Law the words of these two annoying witnesses will come back to him. The torment will come to the point of devouring the timber and the stones and this well does understand the happiness that they will feel when they manage to get rid of them by killing them - Revelation 11:10 Obviously the time will come when the houses will be literally devoured along with all those who have not listened to God's message - Revelation 18: 4-8 Then the angel who was speaking with me came forward and said to me: “Look up, please, and see what is going out.” 6 So I asked: “What is it?” He replied: “This is the eʹphah container* that is going out.” He continued: “This is their appearance in all the earth.” 7 And I saw that the round lid of lead was lifted up, and there was a woman sitting inside the container. 8 So he said: “This is Wickedness.” Then he threw her back into the eʹphah container, after which he thrust the lead weight over its mouth. - Zechariah 5:5-8 This spectacular vision offers us other interesting details. Meanwhile, we must understand that "the efa that comes out" is evidently the container that was used for the efa. In fact, the efa is a unit of measure for arid (22 liters) while the writing speaks of the lead cover and a woman who sits "in the middle of the efa". We can deduce, therefore, that in the time of Zechariah a container of specific capacity was used for the measurement of an efa or multiples of an efa. The container was probably also called efa. Zechariah therefore sees this container coming out of the country but at a certain point the circular lead cover was raised ... What do you see, then, Zaccaria? "A certain woman" that the angel identifies as "Evil". Do you remember someone? Of course! A very wicked woman whom John describes as "dressed in purple and scarlet many years later ... adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls and holding a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication" - Revelation 17: 4 After having shown it to Zechariah, the angel closes it inside the container. Where will this wicked woman be brought? Who is the woman called Evil that ruins the whole earth and which is native to the country of Sinar? Then I looked up and saw two women coming forward, and they were soaring in the wind. They had wings like the wings of a stork. And they lifted up the container between the earth and heaven. 10 So I asked the angel who was speaking with me: “Where are they taking the eʹphah container?” 11 He replied: “To the land of Shiʹnar*+ to build her a house; and when it is prepared, she will be deposited there in her proper place.” - Zechariah 5:9-11 It seems clear that at this point in the vision the woman has already been eliminated from the curse of the scroll it is not by chance that it is within a measure for arid evidently indicating that it will become a pile of ruins - compare Revelation 18: 8 However, the spontaneous question is ... "Why is a place built in the village of Sinar?" We know that Babylon the Great will be destroyed forever so this writing can not mean it will be rebuilt - compare Revelation 18:21 The only reason why one can or should build a house to it can only be one: to be remembered forever - compare Revelation 19: 3 It's really incredible but also the destination of the efa is useful to identify this woman. The writing says that it will be deposited "on its own place" (ie it returns to its place of origin, where it must be) or "in the country of Sinar". Looking at the asterisk reported on Sinar we see ... "Sinar", M; lat. Shinar; LXX, "Babylon"; TSy, "Babel". Women with stork wings represent Jehovah's provision that after the destruction of Babylon the Great a warning is made of it, something to remember. Obviously, this woman, even if reduced to dust, must be taken away because she can not remain in the earth chosen by God, or the place where he has chosen to make his Name tame - compare 2 Chronicles 6: 6 It would not be appropriate for this monument (pedestal, house or whatever) to be found right in God's promised land. It will return to its place of origin, or Babylon, and this "monument" will be an eternal memory so that you will never come back to life. What can we say at the end of this article? We have seen in the previous article that the war that is coming will serve as a discipline for the people of God, especially towards those who take the directive - compare James 3: 1 At the end of this war, when by now the preaching seems completely suppressed, the two witnesses dressed in sacks will make their appearance. This is a crucial event because it will indicate the restoration of true worship. The preaching of these two people will constitute a severe judgment for the nation in which they will preach but also for all those who refuse to listen (the opportunity to listen to them, in fact, is addressed to all of us ... which is not at all obvious). As we have seen the message of judgment that they will bring thanks to the spirit of God will devour houses with their lumber and their stones, initially as a mental and emotional torment. Their words will come true when, seven years after the beginning of their preaching, Israel will be effectively destroyed by the wild beast which will act by God's will. Is it not extraordinary to see how Zaccaria completes the Revelation framework by adding interesting and truly significant details? May each of us be truly alert in recognizing those who, at the end of the period of discipline, will be commissioned by God to restore true worship - Daniel 11:34 We are already learning to ascertain the will of God for us. It is obvious to point out that the woman called Evil is Babylon the Great. It is not "the world empire of false religion" but the current nation of Israel. This evil entity will be destroyed to allow God's people to restore true worship. But someone has said that the meaning of all this is "that God will not allow wickedness to remain in His people". So we can be calm, no?