By Srecko Sostar
You have often come across terms, God's holy spirit and God's love.
You have also often prayed for the favor of God, among other things asking that God's holy spirit help you, guide you, to have a spirit. Some Bible passages say that God gives something to people.
We find expressions that say how God gives:
- his spirit without measure - John 3:34.
- a certain measure of faith - Rom 12: 3
- a measure of grace - Eph. 4: 7
- measure of authority - 2 Cor. 10:13
- a double measure of blessing - Isaiah 61: 7
- double measure of inheritance - Deut 21:17
- double measure for bad deeds - Rev. 18: 6
Also how a man seeks or receives from another man:
- double measure of spirit - 2 Cr. 2: 9
- double honor - 1 Tim. 5:17
There are also allegations relating to love. How love is given or received and under what circumstances:
And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. ”- John 14:21
For God loved the world, - John 3:16
I love those who love me - Prov 8:17
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens - Psalm 36: 5 -7
I have loved you with everlasting love; - Jer 31: 3
From these statements we can see that love also works under certain circumstances. Sometimes it's eternal, going to heaven. Sometimes it is conditioned because he says: I will love you if you love me", "if you obey, listen me".
Based on the paragraphs that speak of giving / receiving a spirit, I could conclude that God gives the holy spirit to those who seek it, and those whose hearts are pure receive that spirit from God. When GB claims that they make mistakes in word and deed because they are not perfect and because they are not "spirit-inspired," then that is just an excuse. When they claim that they are not "inspired by the spirit of God," that would mean that God does not give his spirit to anyone, not even to them. So, if they, as "God's elected," "anointed," cannot be "inspired," then they are actually sending the message that no one else can be "inspired." And then such a claim has the consequence, meaning, that God and his spirit are not able to be active. God works through his spirit, doesn't he? Well, he created the universe with his spirit ?! He wrote the Bible with his spirit ?! He uttered prophecies with his spirit ?! And today the spirit is unable to act on the few people sitting in Warwick?
Does God lie when he says, "... for God gives the Spirit without limit. - John. 3:34
Is the problem in the spirit of God? Or is it a problem in humans? :))
They are digging their own grave. This is not spiritual warfare. This is a lie.
By JOHN BUTLER
OK, I know some people will not like this and they will call it gossip but my wife and I are worried about it so it needs to aired out.
We have one daughter that is still a JW. i will call her H. She is married to a non JW. She has 4 children.
This daughter does not seem to recognise any dangers at all about her children. She invites anyone to her house without really knowing who they are or anything about their past.
3 of the children are girls and they attend ballet and tap dance lessons. They are only young, the oldest being around 8 years old.
Today they were in a performance /show in Exeter, a biggish show that their teacher was putting on for all parents, grandparents, etc.
I wasn't allowed to go of course as I'm a 'naughty boy' that left the Org.
My wife went to the show and was surprised to find two 'brothers' there.
One of the 'brothers' is a young single Elder and the other 'brother' is an old man that has recently been reinstated and moved into Honiton congregation.
This older man frequently visits H and her daughters at their home and the girls call him Uncle Phil. He seems very 'friendly' toward the girls.
H does not know where this 'brother' is from but he is now part of the Honiton Congregation which H and her children attend, here in Devon.
It seems strange to me that this man has just arrived at Honiton Congregation and just been reinstated. My wife says he has a London accent.
If I were still a JW I would ask him bluntly why he was disfellowshipped and where he is from, but of course I cannot do that now.
I have his full name, so is there any way i can run a check on him ?
Should i contact an Elder at Honiton Congregation and tell them of the concern my wife and I have ?
If this 'brother' had been involved in a child abuse accusation would they have told H about it so that she could be on her guard ?
Some on here may think I'm just trying to cause trouble, but my wife came home this evening and is looking very worried.
It seems that H had invited both 'brothers' to the meal afterward and my wife felt unhappy about the whole situation.
TTH will probably bring out the rule book again and say 'it never happens', but child abuse does happen and needs to be looked for all the time.
Our daughter H seems to have no idea about the situations that have taken place, and in honesty she doesn't want to know. So how can my wife warn her ?
By JOHN BUTLER
I was going to add this to another topic but remembered we are told to start new topics, so I've done that.
Hope this hasn't been added before but it would take me a month to go through all the topics to see if its on here.
It is about the baptism of children, but I also thing it involves making children go on the ministry.
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Isaiah 9:6 - Is Jesus ‘a Mighty God’ or ‘Jehovah God’?
‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God (410), the Everlasting
Father, the Prince of Peace’.
Watchtower teaching: JWs concede that Jesus is a ‘mighty God’, but they are adamant that
He is not Almighty God as Jehovah is. They think that Christ is one of lesser gods.
Bible teaching: The Bible shows that both Jesus and Jehovah are called ‘Mighty God’.
Jehovah is called ‘Mighty God’ in:
a) ‘The remnant of Israel . . . shall stay upon Jehovah, the remnant of Jacob shall return . .
unto the mighty God (410)’. (Isaiah 10:20,21).
b) ‘the Great, the Mighty God (410), Jehovah of hosts, is his name’. (Jeremiah 32:18).
Because Jehovah and Jesus are both called ‘Mighty God’, this proves Christ’s equality with
God the Father.
Ask: Since Jehovah is called ‘Mighty God’ (Isaiah 10:21) just as Jesus is called ‘Mighty
God’ (Isaiah 9:6), doesn’t this mean that the Watchtower is wrong in saying that ‘Mighty
God’ means a lesser deity?
Ask: If both Jesus and Jehovah are ‘Mighty God’, then what does this tell you about Jesus’
Ask: If both Jesus and Jehovah are equally ‘Mighty God’, then isn’t this two members of
Note: There is only one Mighty God in heaven:
a) ‘I am the first and I am the last; beside me there is no God (430)’. (Isaiah 44:6b)
b) ‘Is there a God (433) besides Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any’.(Isaiah 44:8b).
c) ‘I am the Lord (YHWH), and there is none else,there is no God beside me’(Isaiah 45:5a)
The NWT translates John 1:1 as ‘the word was a god’.
Isaiah 44:8b shows this to be false by denying the existence of ‘a god’ other than Jehovah.
The phrase ‘Mighty God’ is ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew, meaning ‘Fullness of power’, portraying
Christ as the ‘powerful Governor of the universe’.
Notice that ‘Elohim (430)’ is also used to describe Jehovah God as:
i) ‘The God (430) of the whole earth’. (Isaiah 54:5)
ii) ‘The God (430) of all flesh’. (Jeremiah 32:27)
iii) ‘I prayed to the God (430) of heaven’. (Nehemiah 2:4)
iv) ‘For the Lord (YHWH) your God (430) is God (430) of gods....a great God.’(Deut 10:17)
In Isaiah 40:3 Jesus is called both Jehovah (3068) and Elohim (430) in the same verse:
‘Prepare ye the way of the Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (430)’.
Mark 1:3 and John 1:23 apply Jehovah here to Jesus.
Question: What is meant by calling Jesus ‘Everlasting Father’?
Since Jesus is not the Father, why does Isaiah call Jesus ‘Everlasting Father’?
Answer: Jesus considers the Father as someone other than Himself over 200 times in the NT.
‘Everlasting Father’ in Isaiah 9:6 means ‘Father of eternity’.
JEHOVAH’S NAME or JESUS CHRIST’S NAME.
The Watchtower teaches that God’s true Name is Jehovah. They teach that:
‘Sometime during the second or third Century CE, the scribes removed the tetragrammaton (JHWH) from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with κυριος (Lord) or θεος (God)’. Reference Edition of NWT, 1984, p 1564.
The Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation (KIT) proves that Jesus is Jehovah God.
On page 10,11 of the 1985 KIT, under the heading ‘Restoring the Divine Name, Jehovah’ we read: ‘the evidence (what evidence?) is that the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures has been tampered with (no proof) . . . Sometime during the second or third centuries CE, the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) was eliminated from the Greek texts by copyists (no proof).
Instead of YHWH they substituted the words Kurios (‘Lord’) and Theos (‘God’).’
Note: This is a lie. There is no historical or manuscript evidence or evidence of protest to support this claim. Somebody would have protested such a change.No one did. It never happened.
The New World Translation (NWT) is the JW perversion of the Bible made to support their false doctrines. It inserts the name ‘Jehovah’ in the New Testament in the place of God (θεος=theos) or Lord (κυριος =kurios) on 237 occasions, where they believe it refers to God the
Father. They often refer to Hebrew translations of the NT to see where this has been done.
These are footnoted as J1 to J27. Their dishonesty and deceit is shown by their failure to translate these words as ‘Jehovah’ when it refers to Christ. (eg: Philippians 2:11; Hebrews 1:10).
JWs say that the proper use of God’s ‘correct’ name (Jehovah) is absolutely essential to one’s salvation. They quote from their NWT:
‘Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.’ Romans 10:13 (NWT).
‘People will have to know that I am Jehovah.’ Ezekiel 39:6 (NWT).
JWs believe that because they are the only group who refer to God by His ‘true’ name, Jehovah, they are the only true followers of God.
Their claim is false for these reasons:
1) Jehovah is not a Biblical term. It is a man-made term. The Old Testament has YHWH because the original Hebrew only had consonants. Jews feared taking God’s name in vain, so when they publicly read YHWH, they would pronounce it ‘Adonai’ (Lord).
Later they inserted the vowels from Adonai (a-o-a) into the consonants YHWH to give YAHOWAH, which became Jehovah. Hence, the word Jehovah comes from a consonantvowel
combination from YHWH and Adonai.
2) No-one knows for sure the original correct pronunciation of YHWH. Hence we cannot insist on ‘Jehovah’ as being correct.
3) Jesus never addressed the Father as Jehovah in the New Testament. If JWs are correct that God must be always called Jehovah, then Jesus was sinning by not calling God ‘Jehovah’. When the NWT puts Jehovah in Jesus’ mouth in the NT, it contradicts all the NT manuscripts which don’t have it.
QUESTION: Since Jesus never in the NT addressed the Father as Jehovah, why should we?
4) Jesus and the Apostle Paul tell us to address God as ‘Father’:
a) Jesus taught us to pray to God as ‘Our Father’, not ‘Our Jehovah’: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father.....’ (Matthew 6:9).
b) Jesus addressed God as Father in His own prayers:
‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth’. (Matthew 11:25).
‘O my Father, if it be possible.......’ (Matthew 26:39,42).
‘He said, Abba, Father.......’ (Mark 14:36).
‘ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven.......’ (Luke 10:21).
‘Saying, Father, if thou be willing.......’ (Luke 22:42).
‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them;.......’ (Luke 23:34).
‘Father, the hour is come......’ (John 17:1).
c) Paul said, ‘we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Romans 8:15).
d) The Holy Spirit through Paul said, ‘God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father’. (Galatians 4:6).
Here the Holy Spirit of God tells us to call God ‘Abba, Father’, not ‘Jehovah’
QUESTION: If Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Paul all address God as Father nine times (and never as Jehovah) then shouldn’t we call God ‘Father’?
5) No Ancient NT manuscripts contain the tetragram (YHWH) to translate as Jehovah.
The Church writers before 325 AD only mention Jehovah once in passing. JWs tell us that most Bible versions deceive people because they omit Jehovah as God’s Name, so
the JWs dishonestly add the word ‘Jehovah’ to the NT text, even though it is not in any NT Greek manuscript, ancient version, papyri or lectionary.
The WT’s claim that ‘Jehovah’ as God’s name was removed from the NT by superstitious scribes, is a total lie with no supporting historical or manuscript evidence.
6) Whose Name did the early Christians identify themselves with? Was it Jehovah or was it Jesus Christ? Always Jesus Christ, never Jehovah.
Who knows more, the Apostles or modern JWs? Consider these examples:
a) The Apostles never used the name ‘Jehovah’.
b) The Apostles and first century Christians were never called ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’. ‘The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.’ (Acts 11:26).
c) There is no proof that Jesus or his disciples ever pronounced the tetragram YHWH.
JWs claim that when Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me....’ as quoted in Luke 4:18,19, that Jesus pronounced the word ‘YHWH’.
This is most unlikely. JWs assume that the religious leaders endorsing Christ’s ‘gracious words’ in verse 22 was because He uttered the name YHWH?
Historical records in the Mishnah, from Josephus, and from other sources show the Jews were loathe to allow the name YHWH to be used. The Jews would not have tolerated it being used by anybody but the High Priest.Jesus would have read ‘Adonai’
7) 119 Bible passages referring to Jehovah, are quoted and applied to Christ in the New Testament (Proof Available)
QUESTION: In view of 119 Bible verses applying ‘Jehovah’ to Christ in the NT, what does this tell you about who Christ is?
? The New Testament tells us to name the name of Jesus Christ, not the name of Jehovah. Consider these examples:
1. ‘Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’(II Timothy 2:19)
2. ‘I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .’ (I Cor 1:10)
3. ‘Ye are washed,....sanctified,... justified in the name of the Lord Jesus ’ (I Cor 6:11)
4. ‘Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’ (Col 3:17)
5. ‘That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you....’ (II Thess 1:12)
6. ‘Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves.....’ (II Thess. 3:6)
7. ‘all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.’ (I Corinthians 1:2)
8. ‘Thou holdest fast my name....’ Jesus said to the Pergamos church. (Revelation 2:13).
JWs have not held fast Christ’s name, nor have they called upon Christ’s name, nor do they name the name of Christ, nor is Jesus Christ precious to them, because they do not have saving belief in Him. ‘Unto you . . . which believe He is precious’.(I Peter 2:7).
QUESTION: Where does the NT tell us to name the name of Jehovah?
9) The New Testament always lifts up Jesus Christ’s name, not Jehovah’s name. Why?
Because Jesus Christ is Jehovah God on earth. Christ is 100% God and 100% man.
Q1: In whose name should we meet together?
‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matthew 18:20)
Q2: Demons were cast out by the authority of whose name?
‘Paul.....said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ (Acts 16:18)
Q3: In whose name should we preach repentance and forgiveness of sins? ‘And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. And ye are witnesses of these things.’ (Luke 24:47,48)
Q4: In whose name are we to believe and receive forgiveness of sins? ‘....through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.’ (Acts 10:43, John 1:12)
Q5: By whose name, and no other, do we obtain salvation? Acts 4:10,12 says: ‘by the name of Jesus Christ ... Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’
Q6: In whose name should we pray? John 16:23,24; 14:13,14; 15:16 says: ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.’
Q7: In whose name is the Holy Spirit sent?
‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name......’ (John 14:26)
Q8: In whose name and authority did the disciples heal the sick?
‘His name through faith in his name hath made this man strong’ (Acts 3:16; 4:30)
Q9: Whose name did Paul say that we are to call upon?
‘ all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (I Cor 1:2)
Q10: Whose name is above every name?
‘God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name .... that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.’(Phil 2:9-11)
Paul’s quote about Christ is from Isaiah 45:22-24 where every knee will bow to Jehovah. What is true about Jehovah, is also true of Christ, the Lord of all mankind
Q11: According to Acts 1:8, of whom are we to be witnesses?
‘Ye shall be witnesses unto me (Jesus)’
Q12: In whose name were believers baptized?
‘they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus’. (Acts 8:16; 2:38)
Q13: In whose name were believers designated?
‘the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch’. (Acts 11:26)
Q14: In whose name did the apostles speak?
‘Commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus’ Acts 4:17,18
Q15: In whose name did early Christians suffer? Acts 15:26 says:
‘Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ ‘rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name’Acts 5:41;9:16
Q16: Whose name was Paul to carry?
‘Lord said: He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.’ (Acts 9:15)
Q17: In whose name did Paul deliver a man to Satan?
‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...to deliver such an one to Satan.’ I Cor 5:4,5
Q18: In whose name did the apostles teach? Acts 5:28; 8:12 says:
‘Did we not straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?’
10) Why does WT break their own rule (where the OT speaks of Jehovah), that they do not insert Jehovah in the NT, when the quote clearly refers to Christ?
Peter quotes from Joel 2:32 (spoken of Jehovah) and applies it to Jesus in Acts 2:21 and 38.
Calling on the name of Jehovah for salvation equals repenting and being baptised in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of sins.
Conclusion: Jesus shares the nature of His Father and His Name. The absence of YHWH in any NT manuscript demolishes the WT case of introducing the word ‘Jehovah’ into the NT.
Question: If God was so concerned about preserving His covenant name, why did the apostles not preserve it in their writings?
Question: To imply that the name ‘Jehovah’ is the main name of God that we are to use, contradicts the continued NT use of the name ‘Jesus’ on 900 occasions, while the tetragram YHWH is used nowhere in the NT.
QUESTION: Why does the WT not translate ‘Jehovah’ into Hebrews 1:10, I Peter 3:15 andPhilippians 2:11, when the OT passages from which these are quoted refer to YHWH?
We are to make the name of the Father known as Jesus emphasized (Matthew 6:9; John 17:26). How do we do it? By recognizing that Jesus Christ was chosen by the Father to embody all the glory and important reputation of that Name.
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.
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.
The watchower CLAIMS to be Gods Prophet.
In 1972, the Watchtower described itself as "the modern-day "prophet"".
"So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?
IDENTIFYING THE "PROPHET"
These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? ... This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. ... Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel's work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God's Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom." Watchtower 1972 Apr 1 pp.197-199 'They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them'
"commissioned to serve as the mouthpiece and active agent of Jehovah … commission to speak as a prophet in the name of Jehovah…" The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah" - How? pp.58,62
"… commission to speak as a "prophet" in His name…" Watchtower 1972 Mar 15 p.189
"The Watchtower is a magazine without equal in the earth …. This is not giving any credit to the magazine's publishers, but is due to the great Author of the Bible with it truths and prophecies, and who now interprets its prophecies." Watchtower 1943 Apr 15 p.127
"The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in The Watchtower. God feeds his own people, and surely God uses those who love and serve him according to his own will. Those who oppose The Watchtower are not capable of discerning the truth that God is giving to the children of his organization, and this is the very strongest proof that such opposers are not of God's organization." Watchtower 1931 Nov 1 p.327
So, let's look at some of these prophecies.
1889- In subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God has already begun...And that the "battle of the great day of God almighty [revelation 16:14], which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership, is already commenced. [The 1915 edition of this book changed "A.D. 1914" to "A.D. 1915."] *from the book "The Time is at Hand; 1889 1897 "Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874," (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, p. 621). 1899 "...the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Revelation 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced," (The Time Is at Hand, 1908 edition, p. 101). 1916 "The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873," (The Time Is at Hand, forward, p. ii). 1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection," (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89). 1922 "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914," (Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262). 1923 "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge," (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923, p. 106). 1925 "The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year," (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3). 1925 "It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated, the thought that 1925 should see an end to the work," (Watchtower, Sept., 1925, p. 262). 1926 "Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything," (Watchtower, p. 232). 1931 "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time...and they also learned to quit fixing dates," (Vindication, p. 338). 1941 "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon," (Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288). 1968 "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world', even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The 'end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing?.. Missing from such people were God's truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them," (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968). 1968 "Why are you looking forward to 1975?" (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494). 6,000 years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872. (Daily Heavenly Manna, inside cover page),6,000 years of human history ended in 1873.(The Time is at Hand, p.33),6,000 years of human history ended in 1972.(The Truth Shall Make You Free, p.152, 1943 edition),6,000 years of human history ended in 1975. (Awake!, October 8th, 1968, page 15).
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)
Note that just admitting you were false prophets does not make you no longer false prophets.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
Here is the entire document:
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
• Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
• Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
• Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
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By Guest Nicole
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — To those watching on TV, religion may seem absent from the Winter Olympic Games. Away from the spotlight, though, an estimated 3,000 missionaries are on hand.
About 2,000 missionaries — South Korean and international — are working in the city of Gangneung, where the indoor Olympic events are being held. The remaining 1,000 are working in Pyeongchang, site of ski, snowboard and other events.
There is no reliable count of missionaries at Olympics past. But the number of local missionaries here far exceeds previous games, said Marty Youngblood, leader of the Georgia Baptist Convention mission team, who is at his fifth Olympics this year.
South Korea, which is 29% Christian, and among whom Protestants predominate, enjoys high levels of religious tolerance. Buddha’s birthday and Christmas are both national holidays.
The Winter Games have attracted teams of Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons also abound, each group sharing the gospel in its own way. The United Christian Churches of Korea, a coalition of 144 local congregations, is helping foreign mission groups to arrange housing and ministry sites and learn about Korean culture.
Local churches are taking advantage of an Olympics at their doorstep. Many have set up welcome stations in parking lots, where they give away snacks, coffee and Christian literature.
In addition to its coffee and snack giveaway, Somang Presbyterian Church — located in the shadow of the Olympic venues — is showcasing a live orchestra and church members dressed in traditional costume. It’s just one of the 26 local churches in Gangneung with Olympic outreach ministries.
Then there’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Helping Hands Center, a two-story building on prime real estate across the street from the train station in Gangneung. Working there is Coloradan Chandler Petry, chosen by her church with a small group of other Mormon missionaries already in Korea to serve at the Olympics.
The center’s multilingual staff will give athletes, members of the media and any Olympic spectator a warm drink and a place to recharge their phones. But its main goal, according to the church’s website, “is for as many as possible to see the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the eyes of the members and missionaries.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have sent about 1,000 missionaries to the Winter Games, far more than to previous Olympics, said Steven Park, public information officer for the Jehovah’s Witness Korea branch. He says that the work they do in Gangneung and Pyeongchang is no different from the ministry they do elsewhere and that some missionaries will remain in the area after the Olympics.
One of the most popular tools of ministry for these Olympic missionaries is lapel pin trading.
Myungsu No, a campus minister in Seoul, says his students from the Baptist Student Union use pin trading — a pastime at this and previous Olympics — to spread the gospel. While athletes and spectators trade pins that typically depict a certain country, sport or team, mission groups give away a “More Than Gold” lapel pin, borrowing the slogan a consortium of missionary groups adopted in the 1990s to brand their Olympic outreach.
Psalm 119:127 declares that the commands of God are loved “more than gold.” The reference to gold at the Olympics, where athletes’ highest reward for their performance is a gold medal, is borrowed by the missionaries to suggest there is a higher reward to be sought through faith.
Veteran missionaries trained in the art of Olympic pin trading are passing down the skill to the new generation. The missionaries make an initial pin trade using a nonreligious pin they have collected — say, that of the USA ski jump team. This often prompts a conversation and a chance for the missionary to offer the trader the “More Than Gold” pin as a gift.
Some missionaries who work elsewhere in Asia have decided to take a break to focus on the Olympics.
American Kathryn Daniel, based in China, says she felt called to evangelize at the Winter Games because of her personal connection with Korea. She spent 12 years of her life in the country with her missionary parents.
Nine months ago, she heard her father was getting a group of other retired missionaries to go to the Olympics, and she thought, “I think this is God telling me to go, ‘Kathy, just go.’” Daniel is staying in Korea for a week, working with the group from the Georgia Baptist Convention.
The first weekend of the Olympics, mission groups passed out Christian literature in the Olympic park unimpeded.
Then Olympic park officials posted signs informing visitors that passing out religious material in the park was banned, and any materials found would be confiscated.
Youngblood, of the Georgia Baptist Convention, said he is not concerned. His missionaries are also using the pin trading and only give pamphlets to those who want to learn more.
And A-lim Jang, a recent university graduate and student leader with Baptist Student Union missionaries, said pin trading has allowed her and her colleagues to share the gospel “with many people that God puts in our path.”
Madeline C. Mulkey is a senior at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She is doing a special online documentary and a series of articles on “God at the Game.” Her project is funded in part by the Magellan Scholarship Program.
This article originally appeared on Religion News Service. Its content is created separately from USA TODAY.
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By Guest Nicole
A video has emerged apparently showing Libyan children enacting a mass execution, resembling those carried out by Islamic State, with one child shooting kneeling Â“prisonersÂ” in the head with a toy gun. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8ynr
By Guest Nicole
Children who eat fish tend to sleep better and score higher on IQ tests, a new study has found.
Using self-administered questionnaires, researchers collected information on fish consumption among 541 Chinese boys and girls ages 9 to 11. Parents reported their children’s sleep duration, how often they awoke at night, daytime sleepiness and other sleep patterns. At age 12, the children took IQ tests.
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By Guest Nicole
Schoolchildren who read and write at home with their parents may build not only their academic literacy skills, but also other important life and learning skills, a recent study found.
The project, a study by researchers at the University of Washington, followed children for five years, either grades one through five or three through seven. It looked at their reading and writing activities at home, their school progress and their skills, both according to their parents’ reports and according to annual assessments.
In the study, published in May in the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation by Nicole Alston-Abel and Virginia W. Berninger, parents were asked to rate their children’s ability to pay attention, set goals, control impulses and regulate their level of activity. Dr. Berninger, who is professor emerita of educational psychology at the University of Washington, said, “It’s not just the skills the parents teach at home, it’s also how they help their children’s self-regulation, sometimes called executive function.” Writing, she said, was just as important as reading, and the children in the study tended to struggle harder with writing, and to get more help with those assignments from their parents.
Well over 20 years ago, when we started using books at pediatric checkups, we called it literacy promotion. Then for a while, “school readiness” was the buzzword and the byword, so, not unreasonably, we talked about school readiness. And as more and more attention was drawn to early brain development, it seemed clear, as we talked about getting books into children’s hands and children’s homes, that what we were really trying to do was help foster the language-rich parent-child interactions that build children’s brains.
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10+ yrs polar bear.pdf
10+yrs bike by tree.pdf
5-10 yrs kids_Africa.pdf
5-10 yrs kids_Lorikeet.pdf
By Bible Speaks
Children have been compared to “arrows in the hand of a mighty man.”
An archer has the arrow in his bow for only a relatively short time. To hit the target, he must quickly let it go.
Likewise, parents have only a relatively short period of time to develop in their children heartfelt love for Jehovah.
After what seems to be just a few short years, the children grow up and leave home. Will they hit the target—that is, will the children continue to love and serve God after they leave home?
Numerous factors influence the answer. Much depends upon the skill of the parent, the environment in which the children are raised, and the way the ‘arrow,’ or child, responds to the training he or she receives. - Psalms 127:4.
1 GIF TAP ON FOR ACTION — Enjoy!
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For example if children are noisy during the meeting, parents may take them to the restroom or outside the Hall and hit them with a belt or hand?
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What is the difference between and oath and a vow?
By Jack Ryan
You read that right. There is a whole talk on the topic.
Outline: Safeguard Your Children From “What Is Evil”
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By The Librarian
Is Russia clamping down on Jehovah Witnesses? BBC News
Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organisation. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.
Forum to discuss in detail located HERE
GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*.
“This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said.
“The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed.
The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.
A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events.
A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’.
Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016. The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.
“We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded.
(*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. UN Human Rights, country page:
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Russia Moves to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘Extremist’
By Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. APRIL 4, 2017
Jehovah’s Witnesses gathered in a house in the village of Vorokhobino, north of Moscow, where they meet for services. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times VOROKHOBINO, Russia — A dedicated pacifist who has never even held a gun, Andrei Sivak discovered that his government considered him a dangerous extremist when he tried to change some money and the teller “suddenly looked up at me with a face full of fear.”
His name had popped up on the exchangalee bureau’s computer system, along with those of members of Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other militant groups responsible for shocking acts of violence.
The only group the 43-year-old father of three has ever belonged to, however, is Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination committed to the belief that the Bible must be taken literally, particularly its injunction “Thou shalt not kill.”
Yet, in a throwback to the days of the Soviet Union, when Jehovah’s Witnesses were hounded as spies and malcontents by the K.G.B., the denomination is at the center of an escalating campaign by the authorities to curtail religious groups that compete with the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and that challenge President Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to rally the country behind traditional and often militaristic patriotic values. The Justice Ministry on Thursday put the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , an office complex near St. Petersburg, on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of the bodies banned “in connection with the carrying out of extremist activities.” Last month, the ministry asked the Supreme Court to outlaw the religious organization and stop its more than 170,000 Russian members from spreading “extremist” texts. The court is scheduled to hear — and is likely to rule on — the case on Wednesday.
Extremism, as defined by a law passed in 2002 but amended and expanded several times since, has become a catchall charge that can be deployed against just about anybody, as it has been against some of those involved in recent anti-corruption protests in Moscow and scores of other cities.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses elders Vyacheslav Stepanov, 40, left, and Andrei Sivak, 43, are facing trial on charges of inciting division and hatred. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times Several students who took part in demonstrations in the Siberian city of Tomsk are now being investigated by a special anti-extremism unit while Leonid Volkov, the senior aide to the jailed protest leader Aleksei A. Navalny, said he had himself been detained last week under the extremism law.
In the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the putative extremism seems to derive mostly from the group’s absolute opposition to violence, a stand that infuriated Soviet and now Russian authorities whose legitimacy rests in large part on the celebration of martial triumphs, most notably over Nazi Germany in
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. but also over rebels in Syria. Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of a denomination founded in the United States in the 19th century and active in Russia for more than 100 years, refuse military service, do not vote and view God as the only true leader. They shun the patriotic festivals promoted with gusto by the Kremlin, like the annual celebration of victory in 1945 and recent events to celebrate the annexation of Crimea in March 2014.
Mr. Sivak, who says he lost his job as a physical education teacher because of his role as a Jehovah’s Witnesses elder, said he had voted for Mr. Putin in 2000, three years before joining the denomination. He added that while he has not voted since, nor has he supported anti-Kremlin activities of the sort that usually attract the attention of Russia’s post-Soviet version of the K.G.B., the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B.
“I have absolutely no interest in politics,” he said during a recent Jehovah’s Witnesses Friday service in a wooden country house in Vorokhobino, a snow-covered village north of Moscow. Around 100 worshipers crammed into a long, chilly room under fluorescent lights to listen to readings from the Bible, sing and watch a video advising them to dress for worship as they would for a meeting with the president.
“From the Russian state’s perspective, Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely separate,” said Geraldine Fagan, the author of “Believing in Russia — Religious Policy After Communism.” She added, “They don’t get involved in politics, but this is itself seen as a suspicious political deviation.”
“The idea of independent and public religious activity that is completely outside the control of — and also indifferent to — the state sets all sorts of alarm bells ringing in the Orthodox Church and the security services,” she said.
That the worldwide headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses is in the United States and that its publications are mostly prepared there, Ms. Fagan added, “all adds up to a big conspiracy theory” for the increasingly assertive F.S.B.
Photo Jehovah’s Witnesses arriving at a Friday evening service in Vorokhobino. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times For Mr. Sivak, it has added up to a long legal nightmare. His troubles began, he said, when undercover security officers posed as worshipers and secretly filmed a service where he was helping to officiate in 2010.
Accused of “inciting hatred and disparaging the human dignity of citizens,” he was put on trial for extremism along with a second elder, Vyacheslav Stepanov, 40. The prosecutor’s case, heard by a municipal court in Sergiyev Posad, a center of the Russian Orthodox Church, produced no evidence of extremism and focused instead on the insufficient patriotism of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Their disregard for the state,” a report prepared for the prosecution said, “erodes any sense of civic affiliation and promotes the destruction of national and state security.”
In a ruling last year, the court found the two men not guilty and their ordeal seemed over — until Mr. Sivak tried to change money and was told that he had been placed on a list of “terrorists and extremists.”
He and Mr. Stepanov now face new charges of extremism and are to appear before a regional court this month. “There is a big wave of repression breaking,” Mr. Stepanov said.
In response to written questions, the Justice Ministry in Moscow said a yearlong review of documents at the Jehovah’s Witnesses “administrative center” near St. Petersburg had uncovered violations of a Russian law banning extremism. As a result, it added, the center should be “liquidated,” along with nearly 400 locally registered branches of the group and other structures.
For the denomination’s leaders inside Russia, the sharp escalation in a long campaign of harassment, previously driven mostly by local officials, drew horrifying flashbacks to the Soviet era.
Vasily Kalin, the chairman of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Russian arm, recalled that his whole family had been deported to Siberia when he was a child. “It is sad and reprehensible that my children and grandchildren should be facing a similar fate,” he said. “Never did I expect that we would again face the threat of religious persecution in modern Russia.”
Mr. Stepanov led a Friday evening service. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times In Russia, as in many countries, the door-to-door proselytizing of Jehovah’s Witnesses often causes irritation, and their theological idiosyncrasies disturb many mainstream Christians. The group has also been widely criticized for saying that the Bible prohibits blood transfusions. But it has never promoted violent or even peaceful political resistance.
“I cannot imagine that anyone really thinks they are a threat,” said Alexander Verkhovsky, director of the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , which monitors extremism in Russia. “But they are seen as a good target. They are pacifists, so they cannot be radicalized, no matter what you do to them. They can be used to send a message.” That message, it would seem, is that everyone needs to get with the Putin program — or risk being branded as an extremist if they display indifference, never mind hostility, to the Kremlin’s drive to make Russia a great power again.
“A big reason they are being targeted is simply that they are an easy target,” Ms. Fagan said. “They don’t vote, so nobody is going to lose votes by attacking them.”
Attacking Jehovah’s Witnesses also sends a signal that even the mildest deviation from the norm, if proclaimed publicly and insistently, can be punished under the anti-extremism law, which was passed after Russia’s second war in Chechnya and the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.
Billed as a move by Russia to join a worldwide struggle against terrorism, the law prohibited “incitement of racial, national or religious strife, and social hatred associated with violence or calls for violence.”
But the reference to violence was later deleted, opening the way for the authorities to classify as extremist any group claiming to offer a unique, true path to religious or political salvation.
Even the Russian Orthodox Church has sometimes fallen afoul of the law: The slogan “Orthodoxy or Death!” — a rallying cry embraced by some hard-line believers — has been banned as an illegal extremist text.
The Cathedral of the Assumption in Sergiyev Posad. Jehovah’s Witnesses say that the local authorities have avoided giving them permission to build a Kingdom Hall in the town, and that they have to use a large house in a village 12 miles away for services. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times To help protect the Orthodox Church and other established religions, Parliament passed a law in 2015 to exempt the Bible and the Quran, as well as Jewish and Buddhist scripture, from charges of extremism based on their claims to offer the only true faith.
The main impetus for the current crackdown, however, appears to come from the security services, not the Orthodox Church. Roman Lunkin, director of the Institute of Religion and Law, a Moscow research group, described it as “part of a broad policy of suppressing all nongovernmental organizations” that has gained particular force because of the highly centralized structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses under a worldwide leadership based in the United States.
“They are controlled from outside Russia and this is very suspicious for our secret services,” he said. “They don’t like having an organization that they do not and cannot control.”
Artyom Grigoryan, a former Jehovah’s Witness who used to work at the group’s Russian headquarters but who now follows the Orthodox Church, said the organization had “many positive elements,” like its ban on excessive drinking, smoking and other unhealthy habits.
All the same, he said it deserved to be treated with suspicion. “Look at it from the view of the state,” he said. “Here is an organization that is run from America, that gets financing from abroad, and whose members don’t serve in the army and don’t vote.”
Estranged from his parents, who are still members and view his departure as sinful, he said Jehovah’s Witnesses broke up families and “in the logic of the state, it presents a threat.”
He added, “I am not saying this is real or not, but it needs to be checked by objective experts.”
Mr. Sivak, now preparing for yet another trial, said he had always tried to follow the law and he respected the state, but could not put its interests above the commands of his faith.
“They say I am a terrorist,” he said, “but all I ever wanted to do was to get people to pay attention to the Bible.”
Correction: April 4, 2017 An earlier version of this article misstated Andrei Sivak’s age. He is 43, not 42. The error was repeated in a picture caption, which also misstated the age of Vyacheslav Stepanov. He is 40, not 39. And because of an editing error, the article also misidentified the person who said he was detained last week under Russia’s extremism law. It was Leonid Volkov, not Aleksei A. Navalny.
NICE THAT THE EDITOR PUT A PICTURE OF ELDERLY WITNESSES THAT RUSSIA IS CALLING DANGEROUS EXTREMIST.
By Bible Speaks
Children Bring Praise to Jehovah! Lessons From the Bible Teach Us How to Raise Responsible Children Today! -
(Psalm 34:11) . . .Come, listen to me; The fear of Jehovah is what I shall teach YOU."
(Zechariah 8:5) . . .And the public squares of the city themselves will be filled with boys and girls playing in her public squares.’” Young children in Israel knew the joy of relaxation and amusements, sometimes playing in the marketplace, imitating things they had observed while watching grown-ups.—Mt 11:16, 17; Zec 8:5
The parents were the ones responsible for the education and training of their children, they themselves being the instructors and guides, both by word and by example.
The educational program was as follows:
(1) Fear of Jehovah was taught. (Ps 34:11; Pr 9:10)
(2) The child was admonished to honor his father and mother. (Ex 20:12; Le 19:3; De 27:16)
(3)Discipline or instruction in the Law, its commandments and teachings, and education in the activities and revealed truths of Jehovah were diligently inculcated in the impressionable minds of the young offspring.
(De 4:5, 9; 6:7-21; Ps 78:5)
(4) Respect for older persons was stressed. (Le 19:32)
(5) The importance of obedience was indelibly stamped on the youngster’s mind. (Pr 4:1; 19:20; 23:22-25)
(6) Stress was put on practical training for adult living, such as teaching girls to do things around the home, or teaching boys the trade of the father or some other trade.
(7) Education in reading and writing was given.
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