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26 "But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you." (John 14:26)

"Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

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According to the Jehovah's Witnesses only the "anointed" go to the Father through Jesus, the rest of the "great crowd" go through the anointed then Jesus then the Father so John 14:6 doesn't apply to you.  You pray personally to the Father through Jesus which is good but according to the doctrine you do not have a direct connection to Jesus and his Father.  Only the anointed do which is not based on scripture.

There are no anointed and non-anointed classes in scripture.  Christ means anointed and Jesus said there would be many Christ's(anointed plural).

Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will provide great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones).

The Bible has been provided for people to know God's requirements. Has the Watchtower enlightened people beyond the words of Jesus? Is it not more accurate to say that what the Watchtower has said beyond that contained in the Bible has regularly been wrong and later changed? Information such as:

By going beyond the guidelines given in the Scriptures on disfellowshipping, have not the Slave created a practice that has had a destructive effect on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, dividing families for decades?

When a group of men claim special guidance from God as his sole representatives, they risk controlling people without justification, leading to disastrous results for the followers. Christians do well to keep in mind Bible warnings about following humans, and remember who their head really is.

"Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs." Psalms 146:3
"But I want YOU to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3

 

 

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7 hours ago, Bible Speaks said:

26 "But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you." (John 14:26)

Yes the "Holy Spirit" not a "Spirit Directed Organization."

The word "Organization" does not appear in the Bible.

"Organization" and "Governing Body" are corporate titles.

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You will notice you are not getting much response to your post. Be assured that it's not that you have made such a compelling argument that nobody can refute you. Rather, because of so much erroneous and dated information, it's more of a matter of "Where do I begin?" 

11 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

 

According to the Jehovah's Witnesses only the "anointed" go to the Father through Jesus, the rest of the "great crowd" go through the anointed then Jesus then the Father so John 14:6 doesn't apply to you.  You pray personally to the Father through Jesus which is good but according to the doctrine you do not have a direct connection to Jesus and his Father.  Only the anointed do which is not based on scripture.

 

You may be confusing our understanding with respect to approach to God in general and Jesus' role as the mediator of the new covenant in behalf of anointed Christians. For a more current explanation you may want to read: w95 6/1 pg. 30 "Questions from readers" - although more current information is available according to which aspect of the arrangement of prayer you want to consider. 

You have also included references that go back as far as the 1800's - most of which isn't part of our beliefs now. As you likely already know, JW's view our understanding of the Bible as one that is not static, but changing according to "increased light." You may choose to disagree with that, but never-the-less, it is what we believe. Therefore, although information you have referred to may validly show that we have changed our view on certain things, it does not follow to assume we do not have the truth because of said changes. In fact, to many, it confirms we have the truth (or at least are on the right track, with the assumption there may be further revisions ahead). A simple unbiased view of the God's dealings and release of information in the Bible record from Gen. 3:15 onward shows a progressive, ongoing revelation or release of information of God's will to mankind. We're cool with that.

12 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

The word "Organization" does not appear in the Bible.

"Organization" and "Governing Body" are corporate titles.

And your point is...? Does "trinity" appear in the Bible? According to what appears to be your reasoning, since the word is not in the Bible, you should not believe in the Trinity. The absence of a word or expression cannot be used as a blanket assertion to confirm/deny it's validity. It may or may not - to be both honest and fair, more would need to be considered. 

 

12 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

When a group of men claim special guidance from God as his sole representatives, they risk controlling people without justification, leading to disastrous results for the followers. Christians do well to keep in mind Bible warnings about following humans, and remember who their head really is.

It is nothing new in the Bible that God has had representatives who "claim special guidance" from him. Moses, Aaron, the Levitical priesthood, angels, Bible writers themselves, Jesus Christ, Governing Body, Faithful and Discreet Slave... And logically, what is the alternative? In our ministry, talking to literally hundreds or thousands of individuals, we come across people who feel they don't need something like a "governing body." They feel holy spirit teaches them. But if you talk to as many people as we do, you will find that if you ask a hundred different people who claim to understand God's Word because holy spirit teaches them, you will get a hundred different answers if you cover enough material. Sure, they may all believe in the "trinity," but ask them what a prophetic passage means and you will get answers all over the map. There is a reason, there are tens of thousands of Christian religions alone, all claiming guidance by holy spirit, but is beyond the scope of this response do a comparative study of them. It is true in any organization historically, even among Jehovah's chosen people at the time, the Israelites, that men in authority have made bad decisions without justification with bad results. The same is true with imperfect individuals today. Some have acted in good faith but imperfectly and some others have acted wickedly. That doesn't change what OUR relationship with God should be. 

12 hours ago, Micah Ong said:
"Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs." Psalms 146:3
"But I want YOU to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3

We sincerely believe that, although at times, some of our number may seem to lose sight of it. 

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10 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

It is nothing new in the Bible that God has had representatives who "claim special guidance" from him. Moses, Aaron, the Levitical priesthood, angels, Bible writers themselves, Jesus Christ, Governing Body, Faithful and Discreet Slave... And logically, what is the alternative?

The representatives of God were intercessors to God in the old covenant, Jesus was to be the intercessor to God for everyone in the new covenant.

The Jehovah's Witness Doctrine teaches that only the anointed have a covenanted relationship with Jesus.  Therefore the New Testament only speaks to the anointed.  The great crowd have to go through the anointed to benefit from the new covenant.  Hence now you go back to the old covenant in having man or a group of men as the mediator to God.

The Bible states that Jesus is our mediator, and his ransom is for all.

"… one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all." 1 Timothy 2:5,6

The Watchtower states:

To keep in relationship with "our Savior, God," the "great crowd" needs to remain united with the remnant of spiritual Israelites." Watchtower 1979 Nov 15 p.27

So in essence you have to be attached with the anointed class to have Jesus as your mediator and benefit from Jesus Salvation.

The scriptures teach otherwise:

Romans 3:21-30 "But now apart from law God's righteousness has been made manifest, as it is borne witness to by the Law and the Prophets; 22 yes, God's righteousness through the faith in Jesus Christ, for all those having faith. For there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom [paid] by Christ Jesus. ... 29 Or is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of people of the nations? Yes, of people of the nations also "

Romans 6:23 "For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord."

Hebrews 7:25 "Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them."

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17 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

JW's view our understanding of the Bible as one that is not static, but changing according to "increased light.

Old Light

New Light

"Millions Now Living Will Never Die" Rutherford, 1920.

"You can survive the end of this system of things" Watchtower 6/15/89, p7

"Millions Now Dead Will Live Again" Watchtower, May l, 1990

Never Die

will DIE & live again!

 

Examples
Old light
Original prophecy
New light
More specific prophecy
(Adds to old light)
Black light
Failed prophecy
(contradicts old light)
We will give an answer the answer is yes the answer is now no!
It will be a colour It will be blue We were wrong about blue, it will now be red
It will rain It will rain today We were wrong about today, it will rain tomorrow
Armegaddon is in the Bible Armageddon in 1925 & 1975 We were wrong when we said 1975 & 1925

Will the men of Sodom be resurrected?

Yes

Watchtower 7/18/79 p. 8

No

Watchtower 6/1/52 p. 338

Yes

Watchtower78/1/65 p. 47g

No

Watchtower7 6/1/88 p. 31

Yes

Live Forever (old ed. ) p. 179

No

Live Foreverr (new ed. ) p. 179

Yes

Insight, vol. 2, p. 985

No

Revelation. book, p. 273

The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870. Of course, Jesus did not tell us that his faithful slave would produce perfect spiritual food.  Wt Feb Study E 2017 Who is Leading God's People? par 12

Moses, prophets and others were directed by Jehovah personally with direct inspiration.  Jehovah's direction was never wrong through the prophets.  They made mistakes of course because of there imperfections but when God spoke prophecy or direction through them they were fulfilled or took place.  Any flip flops in understanding belongs to man and not to "new light."

When an organisation claims to be God's only true representatives, it cannot afford to be wrong once, especially in prophecy! 

I thought Jesus was meant to of been head of the organization since 1919!

1922 '1914 ended the Gentile Times...The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures...by then the great crisis will be reached and probably passed' (Watchtower Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262)

1923 '1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures...the Christian has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had (so far as the Scriptures reveal) upon which to base his faith in the coming deluge' (Watchtower April 1, 1923, p. 106)

1924 "Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874." (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1924, p5)

1924 "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914. (Watchtower 1924, p. 211)

So Jesus as head of the congregation was leading in a false manner.  False light to be then adjusted later on to true understanding.

Human wisdom is fallacious but Jesus and God's Holy spirit are not. (see below)

1989 They have a modern Governing Body of older Christian men from various parts of the earth who give needed oversight to the worldwide activities of God's people. these men, like the apostles and older men in Jerusalem in the first century, are anointed members of the faithful and discreet slave class designated by Jesus to care for all of his Kingdom interests here upon earth. History has proved that they can be trusted to follow the direction of the holy spirit and that they do not rely on human wisdom in teaching the flock of God the ways of genuine peace. (The Watchtower; Dec. 15, 1989; p. 6)

Failed prophecy of the generation that will not pass away - Human wisdom and interpretation not directed by God. (see below)

1992 "Today, a small percentage of mankind can still recall the dramatic events of 1914. Will that elderly generation pass away before God saves the earth from ruin? Not according to Bible prophecy. 'When you see all these things,' Jesus PROMISED, 'know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that THIS generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.' - Matthew 24:33, 34." (Watchtower May 1, 1992 page 3: The Year That Shocked The World)

Jehovah's Witnesses say they have new light. But the old light is not light, it is failed prophecy and interpretation.  So the "increased light" e.g 'the generation that saw the generation that saw the events of 1914, would not pass away,' has it's basis on faulty light to begin with.  Would Jesus and the Holy Spirit be responsible for that?

Deuteronomy 18:22  When a prophet speaks in the name of JEHOVAH and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which Jehovah has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

 

Revelation 22:18  I testify and warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book [its predictions, consolations, and admonitions]: if anyone adds [anything] to them, God will add to him the plagues (afflictions, calamities) which are written in this book;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

The representatives of God were intercessors to God in the old covenant, Jesus was to be the intercessor to God for everyone in the new covenant.

The Jehovah's Witness Doctrine teaches that only the anointed have a covenanted relationship with Jesus.  Therefore the New Testament only speaks to the anointed.  The great crowd have to go through the anointed to benefit from the new covenant.  Hence now you go back to the old covenant in having man or a group of men as the mediator to God.

The Bible states that Jesus is our mediator, and his ransom is for all.

"… one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all." 1 Timothy 2:5,6

The Watchtower states:

To keep in relationship with "our Savior, God," the "great crowd" needs to remain united with the remnant of spiritual Israelites." Watchtower 1979 Nov 15 p.27

So in essence you have to be attached with the anointed class to have Jesus as your mediator and benefit from Jesus Salvation.

The scriptures teach otherwise:

Romans 3:21-30 "But now apart from law God's righteousness has been made manifest, as it is borne witness to by the Law and the Prophets; 22 yes, God's righteousness through the faith in Jesus Christ, for all those having faith. For there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom [paid] by Christ Jesus. ... 29 Or is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of people of the nations? Yes, of people of the nations also "

Romans 6:23 "For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord."

Hebrews 7:25 "Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them."

You said: "The Jehovah's Witness Doctrine teaches that only the anointed have a covenanted relationship with Jesus.  Therefore the New Testament only speaks to the anointed.  The great crowd have to go through the anointed to benefit from the new covenant."

Here is a more accurate explanation of our understanding with reference to that:

BENEFICIARIES OF THE NEW COVENANT
14 Upon learning that the 144,000 are in the new covenant, some may have thought that only these benefit from it. Perhaps they thought so because only anointed ones are to partake of the emblems at the annual Memorial of Christ’s death, where the wine represents the “blood of the covenant.” (Mark 14:24) Recall, though, that those in the new covenant are to be associates with Jesus as the “seed” of Abraham, by means of which all nations will be blessed. (Gal. 3:8, 9, 29; Gen. 12:3) Somehow, through the new covenant, Jehovah will fulfill his promise to bless all mankind through Abraham’s “seed.”
15 Jesus Christ, the primary part of the seed of Abraham, serves as High Priest, and he provided the perfect sacrifice that makes possible forgiveness of error and sin. (Read Hebrews 2:17, 18.) Yet, God long ago pointed forward to “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Ex. 19:6) In natural Israel the priests were from one tribe, and the kings were from a different tribe. So how would this promised nation of king-priests come about? The apostle Peter directed his first letter to ones who were sanctified by the spirit. (1 Pet. 1:1, 2) He referred to such ones as “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession.” (1 Pet. 2:9) Anointed Christians in the new covenant will thus serve as underpriests. Think of what that means! We daily struggle under the influence of sin, which still ‘rules as king.’ Those serving as underpriests will have had a similar experience. (Rom. 5:21) They will be aware of how it feels to make mistakes and grapple with guilt. So along with Christ, they will be able to sympathize with us as we overcome sinful tendencies.
16 At Revelation 7:9, 14, the “great crowd” are seen “dressed in white robes,” which implies a clean standing with God. To be in line to survive “the great tribulation,” that great crowd is now being formed. Hence, even now these gain a certain righteous standing before God. They are being declared righteous as Jehovah’s friends. (Rom. 4:2, 3; Jas. 2:23) What a benefit that is! If you are part of the great crowd, you can be sure that God is willing to work with you as you strive to remain clean in his eyes.
17 What happens to the sins of those whom God favors? As noted earlier, Jehovah said through Jeremiah: “I shall forgive their error, and their sin I shall remember no more.” (Jer. 31:34) God does this for the anointed on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice. In a similar way, God can forgive the sins of the great crowd on the basis of the same “blood of the covenant.” Jeremiah’s saying that God would “remember” sins no more does not imply that He would have a memory lapse and simply not be able to recall the sins. Rather, it indicates that once Jehovah has administered any needed discipline and forgiven a repentant sinner, God throws that past sin behind Him. Think of the sins King David committed involving Bath-sheba and Uriah. David received discipline and felt the consequences of his sins. (2 Sam. 11:4, 15, 27; 12:9-14; Isa. 38:17) Yet, God did not keep holding David accountable for those sins. (Read 2 Chronicles 7:17, 18.) As indicated in the new covenant, once Jehovah has forgiven sins, based on Jesus’ sacrifice, He remembers them no more.—Ezek. 18:21, 22.
18 Accordingly, the new covenant highlights a wonderful aspect of Jehovah’s dealings with sinful humans, both the anointed, who are in the covenant, and those with an earthly hope. You can trust that once Jehovah has dealt with your sins, he will not bring them up again.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

At Revelation 7:9, 14, the “great crowd” are seen “dressed in white robes,” which implies a clean standing with God.

A strong indication that the Great Crowd are in heaven is that when Revelation 7:15 states that the Great Crowd are "in his temple" it uses the Greek word naos. Naos refers to the inner temple or temple sanctuary. General worshippers were only allowed in the outer courtyard; hieron. The Great Crowd are not on earth, they are in naos, the centre of the temple, the temple sanctuary; that is, they are in heaven itself with the 144,000.

The Watchtower Society understands this distinction between naosnaos and hieron. In the Watchtower 1960 Aug 15 p.493 it explained;

"The fact is that this temple was not just one building but a series of structures of which the temple sanctuary was the center. In the original tongue this is made quite clear, the Scripture writers distinguishing between the two by the use of the words hieron and naos. Hieron referred to the entire temple grounds, whereas naos applied to the temple structure itself, the successor of the tabernacle in the wilderness. Thus John tells that Jesus found all this traffic in the hieron."

To say that the New Testament was written principally for the 144,000 and key Christian concepts are only applicable to this small number of people is untenable. It means we are to view the many millions of people that died for their Christian beliefs over the last 2000 years as false Christians.

The doctrine of a secondary class is inaccurate and alienates the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses from Jesus. It removes the average Jehovah's Witness from much of the wonder of being a Christian, a relationship with Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit and is reminiscent of words Jesus spoke to the Pharisees;

Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

 

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1 hour ago, Micah Ong said:

In the Watchtower 1960 Aug 15 p.493 it explained;

The quote you have chosen to support your argument is from an article that is almost 60 years old. I find it hard to believe that you are not aware of more recent articles. Here goes:

Questions From Readers
When John saw the “great crowd” rendering sacred service in Jehovah’s temple, in which part of the temple were they doing this?—Revelation 7:9-15.
It is reasonable to say that the great crowd worships Jehovah in one of the earthly courtyards of his great spiritual temple, specifically the one that corresponds with the outer courtyard of Solomon’s temple.
In times past, it has been said that the great crowd is in a spiritual equivalent, or an antitype, of the Court of the Gentiles that existed in Jesus’ day. However, further research has revealed at least five reasons why that is not so. First, not all features of Herod’s temple have an antitype in Jehovah’s great spiritual temple. For example, Herod’s temple had a Court of the Women and a Court of Israel. Both men and women could enter the Court of the Women, but only men were allowed into the Court of Israel. In the earthly courtyards of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, men and women are not separated in their worship. (Galatians 3:28, 29) Hence, there is no equivalent of the Court of the Women and the Court of Israel in the spiritual temple.
Second, there was no Court of the Gentiles in the divinely provided architectural plans of Solomon’s temple or Ezekiel’s visionary temple; nor was there one in the temple rebuilt by Zerubbabel. Hence, there is no reason to suggest that a Court of the Gentiles needs to play a part in Jehovah’s great spiritual temple arrangement for worship, especially when the following point is considered.
Third, the Court of the Gentiles was built by the Edomite King Herod to glorify himself and to curry favor with Rome. Herod set about renovating Zerubbabel’s temple perhaps in 18 or 17 B.C.E. The Anchor Bible Dictionary explains: “The classical tastes of the imperial power to the West [Rome] . . . mandated a temple larger than those of comparable eastern cities.” However, the dimensions of the temple proper were already established. The dictionary explains: “While the Temple itself would have to have the same dimensions as its predecessors [Solomon’s and Zerubbabel’s], the Temple Mount was not restricted in its potential size.” Hence, Herod expanded the temple area by adding on what in modern times has been called the Court of the Gentiles. Why would a construction with such a background have an antitype in Jehovah’s spiritual temple arrangement?
Fourth, almost anyone—the blind, the lame, and uncircumcised Gentiles—could enter the Court of the Gentiles. (Matthew 21:14, 15) True, the court served a purpose for many uncircumcised Gentiles who wished to make offerings to God. And it was there that Jesus sometimes addressed the crowds and twice expelled the money changers and merchants, saying that they had dishonored the house of his Father. (Matthew 21:12, 13; John 2:14-16) Still, The Jewish Encyclopedia says: “This outer court was, strictly speaking, not a part of the Temple. Its soil was not sacred, and it might be entered by any one.”
Fifth, the Greek word (hi·e·ron’) translated “temple” that is used with reference to the Court of the Gentiles “refers to the entire complex, rather than specifically to the Temple building itself,” says A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, by Barclay M. Newman and Philip C. Stine. In contrast, the Greek word (na·os’) translated “temple” in John’s vision of the great crowd is more specific. In the context of the Jerusalem temple, it usually refers to the Holy of Holies, the temple building, or the temple precincts. It is sometimes rendered “sanctuary.”—Matthew 27:5, 51; Luke 1:9, 21; John 2:20.
Members of the great crowd exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They are spiritually clean, having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Hence, they are declared righteous with a view to becoming friends of God and of surviving the great tribulation. (James 2:23, 25) In many ways, they are like proselytes in Israel who submitted to the Law covenant and worshiped along with the Israelites.
Of course, those proselytes did not serve in the inner courtyard, where the priests performed their duties. And members of the great crowd are not in the inner courtyard of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, which courtyard represents the condition of perfect, righteous human sonship of the members of Jehovah’s “holy priesthood” while they are on earth. (1 Peter 2:5) But as the heavenly elder said to John, the great crowd really is in the temple, not outside the temple area in a kind of spiritual Court of the Gentiles. What a privilege that is! And how it highlights the need for each one to maintain spiritual and moral purity at all times!
 

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2 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

It means we are to view the many millions of people that died for their Christian beliefs over the last 2000 years as false Christians.

You are going beyond the scope of your reference here and that is not an assertion that fairly represents the belief of JW's- we are not in a position to judge. Never-the-less, I understand where you are coming from and your view represents the view of others as well.

The prevailing opinion of others is that everyone goes to heaven, so it is understandable that you would view Revelation 7:15 from that perspective. JW's believe that those who will rule as Kings and priests will perform those services in behalf of someone else. Those "meek that shall inherit the earth" as God had originally planned for mankind. So it is natural that our interpretation would reflect that. If you believe that the ultimate destination of all Christians is to go to heaven, it is understandable why you view things the way you do.  It is not the intention of most posters here to get into long and protracted debates and arguments that both know will not change either of their minds. Although some do.

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@b4ucuhear

Everyone who became a Jehovah’s Witnesses before 1934 would go to Heaven (until Rutherford changed it). God stopped calling people to only a heavenly calling from that year. So he invented two classes, a heavenly class and earthly class. The “great crowd” class introduced by Judge Rutherford out of necessity. An earthly Great Crowd was created, a second- class of people that were subject to and dependent upon the heavenly class who alone would be part of the new covenant.   But Mark Sanderson and other's are said to be of the anointed.

Thus the Watchtower fulfilled exactly what Jesus scolded the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

The numbers for the 144000 do not add up

Watchtower has stated “by the latter years of the first century the second great persecution, under Emperor Domitian, flared up. It is said that in the year 95 alone some 40,000 suffered martyrdom (Watchtower Sept. 1, 1951 p.516)

Rev. 2:13: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” The fact that Foxes book of martyrs mentions hundreds of thousands of martyrs in the first few centuries does not intrude on the Watchtower way of counting. They ignore history and revise it. They have to for arrival of their exclusive numbering.

 

The Watchtower in its first report of partakers of the meal, are 36,372 (“Yearly Reports of International Preaching Activity” 1928 to 1958) a footnote which states: First record of partakers at Memorial kept for celebration on Wednesday, April 17, 1935 (Bulletin, March Extra, 1935, p.2)

Their other reports state in 1935 ...... they had in attendance 63,146 ... and of those 52,465 were participants” (Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p.717)

This is 85 years ago. Lest say for the sake of math that the 144,000 were being chosen since the beginning of the church we use the lesser number of 36,372.

Since the partakers of the Memorial must be considered by the Watchtower as part of the 144,000, accepting this idea would mean that there would be less than 144,000 to be chosen from 33 C.E. down to this period of time. The result would be

144,000
- 36,372
107,628 (source: Outnumbered – exploding the myth of the 144,000 by Russell Warren)

The Bible also states, Acts 2:41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

Acts 4:4 speaks of the number of men believing came to be about 5,000. That is 8,000 believers in Jesus in the first few weeks of the church. This would have to be an accepted number as the apostles were then the head of the church.

When we subtract from the number of:

107,628
- 8,000
99,628

As Russell Warren points out these, too, would be of the 144,000 were the 144,000 were the only calling at that time.

This leaves Jehovah to select 99,000 plus extending over almost 1900 years.

Foxes Book of Martyrs lists 254,502 martyrs. When we subtract this number from the 99,628 left at the first Jehovah’s Witness memorial meal … well you can see they have a problem with the numbers.

 99,628                                                                                                                                                                                                                -254,502

We now have 148,874 more than the 144,000 number. However let’s say it was only half the martyrs that Foxes book records, we are still 75,000 over the number. Oops. That is a big mistake

Lets round off the numbers and say there were 100,000. It’s obvious anyone who can do basic math and reflect on accurate history will conclude that their numbering, not just their doctrine is way off. So how do they deal with it? They come up with the teaching of apostates.

 

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3 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

The numbers for the 144000 do not add up

To who?  John Fox? Russell Warren? Micah Ong? ........... 

But .....who is inviting them? Who is selecting them? Who is assisting them in their earthy course? Who is blessing their activity in harmony with His will? Who is the Head of their congregation? Who is judging them to be faithful? Who resurrrects them to heavenly life? Who reveals their actual number? Who stands with them in vision when the number is revealed? Whose names are written on their foreheads at that time?

Well, I don't see the names John Fox, Russell Warren, Micah Ong, or indeed any other human name figuring in the answers to the questions above so...............adding up the numbers is best  left to those qualified to do so.

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4 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Well, I don't see the names John Fox, Russell Warren, Micah Ong, or indeed any other human name figuring in the answers to the questions above so...............adding up the numbers is best  left to those qualified to do so.

Well it's certainly not the Jehovah's Witnesses as Jesus can't be leading an organization that has so many failed prophecies and farcical statements since 1919 of when Jesus had taken reign of this chosen group!  They just make things up, and when things don't play as they say, they just change it and call it new light.

1915 The Gentile Times prove that the present governments must all be overturned about the close of A.D. 1915; and Parallelism above shows that this period corresponds exactly with the year A.D. 70, which witnessed the completion of the downfall of the Jewish polity. (The Time Is At Hand, 1915 edition, p. 242)

1924 "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914. (Watchtower 1924, p. 211)

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)

1927 "Twelve hundred and sixty years from 539 A.D. brings us to 1799, which is another proof that 1799 definitely marks the beginning of "the time of the end." this also shows that it is from the date 539 A.D. that the other prophetic days of Daniel must be counted." (Creation; 1927, p. 294)

1930 Judge Joseph Frederick Rutherford 60, lives in a ten room Spanish mansion, No 4440 Braeburn Rd, San Diego, Calif. Last week he deeded No 4440 Braeburn Road, and adjacent two car garage and a pair of automobiles to King David, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, Samuel and sundry other mighties of ancient Palestine. Positive is he that they are shortly to reappear on earth, Said he: 'I have purposely landscaped the place with palm and olive trees so that these princes of the universe will feel at home.. (Time Magazine, March 31, 1930)

1931 "God's faithful people on earth emphasized the importance of the dates 1914 and 1918 and 1925. They had much to say about these dates and what would come to pass, but all they predicted did not come to pass." (Vindication, vol. 1, 1931, p. 146)

1940 The prophecies of Almighty God, the fulfillment of which now clearly appears from the physical facts, show that the end of religion has come and with its end the complete downfall of Satan's entire organization." (Religion, J. F. Rutherford, p. 336, 1940)

1953 "After almost six thousand years of human sorrow, suffering and death, at last permanent relief is near at hand and will be realized within this generation." (New Heavens And A New Earth; 1953; p. 7)

1968 "Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of mans existence on earth is completed... The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then. So, now more than ever, it is vital not to ignore that spirit of wanting to do more." (Kingdom Ministry, March 1968, p. 4 [note: 1968 + 90 months = 1975])

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1969 "in view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous....Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarship or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first." (Kingdom Ministry, June 1969, p. 3)

1976 "It may be that some who have been serving God have planned their lives according to a mistaken view of just what was to happen on a certain date or in a certain year. They may have, for this reason, put off or neglected things that they otherwise would have cared for. But they have missed the point of the Bibles warnings concerning the end of this system of things, thinking that Bible chronology reveals the specific date." (Watchtower, July 15, 1976, p. 440)

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1971 "Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom." (The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah; 1971; 2nd ed.; p. 216)

1995 "Why Awake is Published" [before Nov 8th 1995] Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away." [After Nov. 8 1995 reference to '1914 generation' deleted] "Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator's promise of a peaceful and secure world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things."

I have heaps more but again I quote:

Deuteronomy 18:22 "When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.’"

Is this how Jehovah and Jesus guide a chosen group of people?

Does Jesus motivate, by Holy Spirit, his anointed chosen ones to announce false things?

The track record speaks for itself.

As @Queen Esther nicely points out from John 14:6 only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. 

No  man  can  come  to  me  unless  the  Father,  who  sent  me,  draws  him.  JOHN,  6, 44 

 

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7 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

Well it's certainly not the Jehovah's Witnesses

Well of course Jehovah's Witnesses do not calculate who finally qualify to rule with Christ. Nor any other imperfect human,     although their opinion abounds. I am glad we agree on that point.

7 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous

This was a warning in 1969. Probably not one that you were there to consider at the time?? Mind you. it doesn't seem to add much to what Paul said earlier does it?  1 Tim 6:9 (Ooh! Just had a funny feeling when I saw the numbers!!) "But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin."

But then, maybe you were one who did suffer from date spec? Did you miss an opportunity?

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9 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

Deuteronomy 18:22 "When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.’"

It is fair, (as you say) that miraculously inspired prophets in the Bible can and often do, predict future events. And of course, that is the definition that is applied by people who are not JW's and take issue with us. But that is not the definition we apply to ourselves. Why? Because that is not the only definition or attribute that can qualify one as a prophet in doing a prophetic work. JW's are not miraculously inspired and so WE ALREADY KNOW many of the expectations put forward have not taken place as expected. We can't even predict the weather tomorrow (I'm sure you're surprised to know that :). We also acknowledge that while we often say "prophecy is best understood after it has been fulfilled," we even get that wrong at times. So why aren't we all throwing our arms in the air and rushing over to Micah Ong to save us from our folly? Because Micah Ong doesn't know what he is talking about and misapplying what millions of others already know. Here is a description of our view that is not from the "outside" - nose pressed against the glass - looking in:

"The Greek 'prophetes' literally means "a speaker out (Gr., pro "before" or "in front of," and 'phemi,' "say") and thus describes a proclaimer, one who makes known messages attributed to a divine source. (Compare Titus 1:120. Though this includes the thought of a predictor of the future, the fundamental meaning of the word is not that of prediction. (Compare Judges 6:7-10). Nonetheless, living in harmony with God's will requires that the individual know what Jehovah's revealed purposes for the future are so that he may bring his ways, desires, and goals into line with the divine will. Hence, in the great majority of cased, the Biblical prophets did convey messages that free directly or indirectly related to the future." it-2 prophet.

So in "making known messages attributed to a divine source (God - not the educated guesses regarding dates and whatnot - however well meaning - from the GB) we are in a sense doing a prophetic work. For instance, we can confidently say that Armageddon is going to come and therefore do a warning work of an event yet future - a message recorded in God's Word by miraculously inspired faithful servants. But even though we may try to make educated guesses as to the details of how it will happen, we really have no miraculous ability to predict these things. In fact, we also recognize that when elders are said to be "appointed by holy spirit," it is due to the fact (ideally) that they measure up to the qualifications inspired by holy spirit in God's word. No human on earth has a miraculous ability to read hearts, minds, motives...

But there is a responsibility or onus that anyone who cares about others takes seriously. An illustration: Scientists may feel from the "signs" they see,  there seems to be a strong indication an earthquake is about to take place. They have no miraculous ability to predict the future, but nevertheless, they give the order to evacuate because that, to the best of their knowledge, would be the prudent course of action. If it turns out no earthquake takes place, at least no lives were lost - although it would likely be inconvenient. If anyone believed they had good reason to take a certain course of action - even acknowledging they can't predict the future, why wouldn't they at least give a warning? On the other hand, what if it did happen? Now we know certain things for sure, because they are set out in God's Word. But regarding the details that are not specifically spelled out in God's Word, (i.e.. dates and related info), we can't claim miraculous inspiration to fill in those details.

It's true there have been well meaning assertions that out of eagerness have tried to fill in the blanks. And when I see descriptions of how we are told things will take place with details that are not specifically set out in God's Word, I take it with a grain of salt because the case could be made that historically we have been often mistaken. Even things we have studied for years regarding "types and antitypes?" All out the window. Oh well, that's progress for you. I knew to expect that and I'm pretty sure there will be other stuff to fall by the wayside. But even recognizing an imperfect and incomplete picture of things yet to take place, it doesn't stop me from knocking.

By-the-way, what religion are you that you feel is so much better? And don't try a clever dodge by saying "Christian."

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18 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

The fact that Foxes book of martyrs mentions hundreds of thousands of martyrs in the first few centuries does not intrude on the Watchtower way of counting. They ignore history and revise it. They have to for arrival of their exclusive numbering.

Martyr: def 1) "a person who willingly suffers death rather than reduce his or her religion 2) a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice" 

The fact that someone is described (legitimately or not) as a martyr does not of itself qualify that one as being an anointed Christian, called to be one of the 144,000 described in Revelation. As Paul stated "...I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge..." (Rom. 10:2) You can look at it any way you choose to, but our understanding according to Jesus' description of true wheat-like Christians being oversown with counterfeit weeds soon after the death of the apostles may have some bearing here. Not only that but the explicit warnings that a wholesale apostasy would develop shortly after the early Christian congregation was established should indicate to the unbiased reader that there would be many false Christians and few true ones. Soon apostate Christianity was the order of the day. So does that fact that someone dies for their beliefs make them a true Christian? There are lots of different religions now that do not agree on how God should be worshipped and yet are willing to die for their beliefs. Does willing to die in man-made wars, crusades, inquisitions or even persecution, automatically qualify them as acceptable to God?  If so, then the suicide bombings and terrorist activity of those wiling to die for their beliefs must also qualify them as acceptable to God, no?  The fact is, I can't quantify all who are selected by God or not and neither can you. 

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2 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

By-the-way, what religion are you that you feel is so much better? And don't try a clever dodge by saying "Christian."

I never said come to me I am not your mediator to God, I'm not saying I have all the answers, no one on earth does!  As I pointed out Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  I do not ascribe to any religion and agree with the early statements of the Watchtower that "Religion is a Snare and a Racket!"  I do see the Watchtower as a very successful book publishing company that has cleverly grown through free labor.

It's clear that JW's elevate Jehovah's name over Jesus name when God has elevated Jesus name as the name above every other name - Philippians 2:9; also the person we are saved under - Acts 4:10.  The New Testament is God's final revelation in the Bible not the old Testament so why go back to Isaiah 43:10 and contradict Acts 1:8.  Jesus never said to call on YHWH for salvation and never said to address the Father as YHWH.

2 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

But even though we may try to make educated guesses as to the details of how it will happen, we really have no miraculous ability to predict these things.

But the Governing Body are meant to be God's channel!  "Mystical manipulation can take on a special quality in these cults because the leaders become mediators for God." "

"That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel." Watchtower 2013 Jul 15 p.20

      Identifying those used by Jehovah  
 
Bible Times
Watchtower Governing Body
Miracles Jehovah used miraculous works to identify those chosen to lead others. For example:
Noah - Gathering of the animals
Moses - Staff into a snake
Apostles - Gifts of the spirit, such as faith healing


   None
Prophecy When Jehovah used a person to make future predictions, the prophecies were always correct. For example, Daniel's prophecy for the fall of Babylon and the line of world powers 100% of Watchtower predictions have been false, such as that the end of the world would be in 1914, then 1925, then 1975. Furthermore, the generation teaching promoted prior to 1995 is proven to be false, as the last survivors born prior to 1914 die out.
Consistency Bible is harmonious, with Bible writers presenting a message without contradiction. Watchtower doctrine has been in constant flux. This cannot be explained as new light, as there have been numerous flip flops and contradictions, such as the generation teaching, organ transplants, and superior authorities.

 

Why would I trust the Watchtower to save me at Armageddon when their track record shows me that even their well meaning assertions were wrong.  I don't think I would take the so-called 'instructions that won't make sense from a human tactical point at Armageddon' when they do not have any reliable track record.  Compare this to Joshua addressing the Israelites - Joshua 23:14 "...not one word has failed."

All religions have elements of truth in them but no one religion has the absolute truth.  I know the Jehovah's Witnesses have the saying that we are in the "truth."  Well that's not true because it keeps changing.  Come on lets be honest here.

There a lot's of good things with Jehovah's Witnesses because of the teachings of bible based principles, but I see that with many other christian groups as well.  What I don't see are soup kitchens or other charitable ways of helping the unfortunate unless they happen to be in a disaster area close other Jehovah's Witnesses.

I believe your own sincere heartfelt personal relationship with God through his word, prayer and encouragement from fellow believers (true Bible believing Christians), and common sense is all that required.  You can share that with others at anytime as well.  I think religion has complicated things and created a lot of fear and a huge sense of obligation.  Life is a precious gift from our creator and the price for our sins has been paid.  Your not going to live a life against God if you sincerely accept that. 

 

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6 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

1 Tim 6:9 (Ooh! Just had a funny feeling when I saw the numbers!!) "But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin."

But then, maybe you were one who did suffer from date spec? Did you miss an opportunity?

Haha no I wasn't born then!  Surely that is overkill though.  There are plenty of well off JW's who have high qualifications like doctors and laywers and are they falling into snares and hurtful desires?  No!  So you are misapplying the scripture as the Leading Men at that time were. 

So are you laughing at people that did suffer then because of date speculation?

And this isn't date speculation?

1968 "Just think, brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of mans existence on earth is completed... The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then. So, now more than ever, it is vital not to ignore that spirit of wanting to do more." (Kingdom Ministry, March 1968, p. 4 [note: 1968 + 90 months = 1975])

I pray that your heart softens.

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In  some  things  I  agree  with  you,   @Micah Ong ...  so,  I  wanted  give  you  a  like ! :)  We  all  made  &  maybe  still  make  mistakes  about  the  Bible....   The  JW  and  also  our  WT  Org. JW  -    bec.  we  are  ALL   imperfect  here  on  Earth :(   ONLY  our  Creator  Jehovah  as  Almighty  GOD  &  HIS   Son  Jesus,  as  perfect  human,  NEVER  made  mistakes !   I  not  want  to  get  involved  by  so  many  Bible - discussions  here,  bec. first  my  German  language,  my  time - difference  and  bec. not  a  perfect  human...  Greetings  from  Germany  ;-)

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54 minutes ago, Bible Speaks said:

IMG_5164.JPG

Yes all in the Hebrew Scriptures with the nation of Israel - they used that name.  The New Testament is the final revelation by God in the Bible and YHWH is not in the New Testament.  You're going against Philippians 2:9 "God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name."

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8 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

There are plenty of well off JW's who have high qualifications like doctors and laywers

True. And many of those have grown up in JW families. Or have brought their wealth, education and position with them. This puts the lie to the claim that JW's experience "total control" or are in some way deprived of education and opportunity etc. But...Did you miss the point of Paul's counsel?

8 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

laughing at people that did suffer then because of date speculation?

Well I thought you would know better than that too. Why should other's suffering be a source of amusement?

8 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out,

And the majority (alive in 1968) were likely alive when Armageddon DID NOT break out as some expected....many probably still alive today.

The important thing is to be alive AFTER Armageddon has been accomplished is it not? And as no man knows the day and hour of that event..then it is no crime to strive to be ready for it surely? Peter advised us to "look forward to the day of God and speed (hasten) its coming." (2Pet.3:12) And therefore to "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."(2Pet.3:14). NIV quotes.

Now certainly, and in harmony with the original post, our correct estimation of and appreciation of the role Jesus Christ plays in our salvation is of paramount importance here. So, in answer to the question raised "Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus?"  A resounding "Yes!"

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On 5/16/2017 at 10:36 PM, Micah Ong said:

The fact that Foxes book of martyrs mentions hundreds of thousands of martyrs in the first few centuries does not intrude on the Watchtower way of counting.

I just did a little fact checking on the "facts" you use to support your contention. 

Foxe as a historian

The author's credibility was challenged as soon as the book first appeared. Detractors accused Foxe of dealing falsely with the evidence, of misusing documents, and of telling partial truths. In every case that he could clarify, Foxe corrected errors in the second edition and third and fourth, final version (for him). In the early nineteenth century the charges were taken up again by a number of authors, most importantly Samuel Roffey Maitland.[42]Subsequently Foxe was considered a poor historian, in mainstream reference works. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica accused Foxe of "wilful falsification of evidence"; two years later in the Catholic EncyclopediaFrancis Fortescue Urquhart wrote of the value of the documentary content and eyewitness reports, but claimed that Foxe "sometimes dishonestly mutilates his documents and is quite untrustworthy in his treatment of evidence"...

Objectivity and advocacy

Foxe's book is in no sense an impartial account of the period. He did not hold to later centuries' notions of neutrality or objectivity, but made unambiguous side glosses on his text,

So, not all are convinced with the sources or even "facts" you put forward. In fact, I was surprised when looking to find how little I knew myself and how little agreement there is on the matter. The estimates range from zero deaths (suggesting it was all a hoax) to 500 million deaths. Of course I don't subscribe to either of these extremes, but one thing is for certain, there is no overall agreement as to the actual number, which varies from none to many. Naturally, I see, you selected ("cherry picked?") the one that supports your contention. Foxes' "Acts and Monuments" was written in the mid 15th century and was framed primarily as polemic against the Catholic church much later than the time we were discussing. Foxe in no way was "close to the action" so to speak and as a Protestant put it together because he had an "axe to grind" with the Catholic church at the time, well over a thousand years after the "fact."

13 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

I do not ascribe to any religion and agree with the early statements of the Watchtower that "Religion is a Snare and a Racket!" 

I respect that, and while I disagree with much (most actually) of what you are saying it seems to me you are sincere and have put much effort into being a student of God's Word. We should all be doing that. As a side note and not to get too much off topic, (since I don't plan to sit in front of my computer with Micah Ong for the rest of my life - although I may still challenge you on some of the stuff you have written - if I have time), I have a question:

Matthew Chapter 24, describes events that would indicate a period of time indicating Christ's return and the end of the conclusion of system of things/final time/end of the world...) That period of time, as you are well aware, would be indicated/accompanied by obvious world events, (false Christians - no cheap shot here please; wars and reports of wars; food shortages; earthquakes in one place after another...true Christians being objects of hatred by all the nations. So my question to you is: Do you think that is happening now? Do you believe we are living in the last days according to the sign Jesus gave his disciples? (Let's keep 1914 out of it to keep things simple please and thank-you).

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16 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

Foxe as a historian

Good research I didn't know that!

16 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

since I don't plan to sit in front of my computer with Micah Ong for the rest of my life - although I may still challenge you on some of the stuff you have written - if I have time

Likewise bro. but I have learned a few things in the meantime.

16 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

Do you believe we are living in the last days according to the sign Jesus gave his disciples? (Let's keep 1914 out of it to keep things simple please and thank-you).

Yes I do the signs as you point out harmonize with Matt 24.  No time in history has the earth been so populated and in a globalized stated because of technology.

It seems to line up with Daniel 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."

There are many events happening each day showing that we are we are reaching a climax. 

There are Christians being killed for there faith in the middle-east and other places.  Even if you don't agree that they are true Christians they are in effect being killed because of Jesus name Matthew 24:9.   Certainly they would have to have love for Jesus and God.

Now I know this is a touchy subject involving Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia but I merely want to present this as a fact.  Jehovah's Witnesses weren't banned for being Christian's.  Christianity and the Bible aren't banned but it seems preaching is banned not just for Jehovah's Witnesses but Baptist Missionaries http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2017/january/exclusive-american-missionary-fights-to-pray-read-bible-in-putins-russia

and others are as well.

I don't think true Christians are limited to a group of people or an organization. 

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me,

As I said before no one on earth has the absolute truth and Jesus only asked that we try to follow him to the best of our ability.  He wants mercy not a sacrifice ect

Jesus sums in it up in Matthew 22:37-40 He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah* your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul* and with your whole mind.’ 38  This is the greatest and first commandment. 39  The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40  On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”

When you love others and yourself you are in effect loving Jesus and God as well - Matt 25:40.  You pray to him, you draw close to him and lean on him, and you read his inspired writings, then you have that relationship that is not limited to one group but a relationship that he as opened to all mankind.

If God is love to the fullest sense then any sincere person who practices love in it's truest form is closer to God.

James 4:8

Amazing things (blessings) happen when you are in that space, whether you are a Jehovah's Witness or not.

 

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18 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

There are Christians being killed for there faith in the middle-east and other places.  Even if you don't agree that they are true Christians they are in effect being killed because of Jesus name Matthew 24:9.   Certainly they would have to have love for Jesus and God.

Point taken and as I had mentioned before, we have neither a miraculous ability to read hearts (or predict the future) nor the authority to judge who is or is not a good hearted person (or even the potential to be so.) This is what we feel is part of our ministry: to be "God's fellow workers" in reaching as many good hearted people as God draws to him with the good news of God's kingdom as well as providing a warning of God's impending judgment. Of course, a mere profession/appearance of love of God is not always a true indication of the heart. "If anyone says 'I love God and yet is hating his bother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom her has not seen. And we have this commandment from him, that whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 Jon 4:20-21.) As you had astutely stated: "When you love others as yourself, you are in effect loving Jesus and God as well."  We might add: "By this all will know that your are my disciples - if you have love among yourselves." (John 13:35) You notice this new commandment to love one another  (that would identify Christ's true followers), isn't full of man-made creeds and formulas. It is a simple observable truth that would be evident to any who love the truth. No need to compare hundreds/thousands of differing/contradictory teachings. There are many religions/religious people that claim to worship God but would you have a scriptural basis for saying that people who pray to the same God to help kill their brothers - (even of the same religion) - on the other side of a political fence in warfare are demonstrating that identifying characteristic? Aren't we commanded to love even our enemies? As you correctly quoted "You must love your neighbour as yourself."  Romans 10:2,3 says: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge. For because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."    

 

19 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

I don't think true Christians are limited to a group of people or an organization.

I would both agree and disagree. I would agree there are good people in many if not all religions - those are the ones we look for. But looking at the Bible record, how would you answer: Is it a matter of how we want to worship God? Or is it a matter of how God wants/demands to be worshipped? Is it up to us to decide what God will accept as true worship? Or is it up to him to decide what is acceptable to him? Ironically, many of those you suspect of being true Christians would likely not agree with you that it's not important what organization you are with - (forgive me if I misunderstand you on this point). The fact that there are so many different organizations, all claiming to be the true one testifies to that. Again, looking at the Bible record, did it matter what organization/religion you belonged to? The Israelites were given the law that kept the contaminating influence of other religious ideas and forms of worship at bay/separate. In fact, those other forms of worship (including child sacrifice, temple prostitution, worship of false Gods...) was something "detestable" to God and it was a capital offence to participate in it. Later when the early Christian congregation was formed, was it acceptable to remain under law and not accept Christ? No. What about today then? Revelation describes false religion as a harlot for the immoral relationship she has with the kings of the earth. (Rev. 17).  Rev. 18:4 says: "Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. for her sins have massed together clear up to have, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind..."  See also 2 Cor. 16:17; Isa. 52:11; 2 Tim. 3:5.  Matthew 7:13,14 "Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it: whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.""

So while I tacitly agree with you that true Christians aren't limited to a group of people or organization (for now), there will come a time when decisions will have to be made, based not on how WE want to worship God, but rather how HE wants to be worshipped. 

 

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21 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

Yes I do the signs as you point out harmonize with Matt 24.  No time in history has the earth been so populated and in a globalized stated because of technology.

It seems to line up with Daniel 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."

There are many events happening each day showing that we are we are reaching a climax. 

We agree on that point (others too I see). Everything we see now in fulfilment in Bible prophecy shows we are reaching a climax. It is in relation to this I have a practical question I think is relevant here. At Ephesians 4:5 we are told that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism;" - as opposed to thousands of conflicting beliefs all claiming to be the true religion (I know, we are in that group too). I also notice (I think) in the course of our discussions and your posts, that while you seem to have views in common with other religions, since you don't subscribe to any one religion, you are kind of doing your own thing. (I'm not being sarcastic here and I apologize if it sounds that way). But let's say, you have a "unique" perspective - you are basically one guy in your views - although you share a commonality with others on certain points. So my question is: since we both agree world events (as described in Matthew 24 for instance), show we are reaching a climax, what about the most important part of Matthew 24? Sure it talks about earthquakes, food shortages. wars...before the end comes, but the most important part of that prophecy is in verse 14, the positive one: "And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." How do you expect to manage that obligation on your own at this admittedly late stage in the game? Or do you feel you are throwing your lot in with every other Christian organization that claims to be preaching the Good News of God's Kingdom even though they may radically differ in what they feel God's kingdom is?  Personally, I feel the ones that are really doing that on a global scale are JWs. That is why we exist primarily as an organization. It's not for tea parties, bingo, garage sales or chicken dinners. We are organized to continue (what we believe) is the commission for all true Christians. I know others SAY they do that (to an extent). But the ONLY people who have EVER come to me to preach the the good news of God's Kingdom are JWs and I've been around for quite and have been all over the world. Mormons are the only other people who have called on me and out of respect for their taking the time to do that I have always have invited them in for a respectful discussion. But one thing is for sure. They aren't preaching the gospel. That's not to say, other religions don't have their missionaries and have success doing that though - credit where credit is due. But to do that work is a huge task involving billions of people and billions of hours preaching to them in hundreds of lands and hundreds of languages. 

Now to be fair, you may have your own perspective on this, but it is something I always consider when we have for instance, apostates from within our organization who try to draw disciples after themselves. I always wonder: If someone followed them, then what? That preaching work still has to be done - at least to the extend God determines, and it won't get done sitting in someone's living room listening to some solo act nit-pick on some detail he disagrees with us on. (Not referring to you here even though I know you disagree on certain points). The fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 is a tall order and not one someone could attempt on their own at this late stage of the game. 

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6 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

I'm not being sarcastic here and I apologize if it sounds that way

I know that's cool and I appreciate that we can have discussions like this as it helps having differing point of view.

6 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

"And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?'

"'What is written in the law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?'

"He answered: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself.'

"'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied, 'Do this and you will live.'" (Luke 10:25-28)

In terms of logic, the verse above states: Loving others and God  IS THE WAY TO  eternal life.

When Jesus was on earth he stated that the kingdom was among them as he was demonstrating the way.

BIBLE: "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7)
LOGIC:  Loving others IS EQUAL TO being born of God AND knowing God.

BIBLE:  "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)

LOGIC:  Love forgives many sins AND God IS EQUAL TO love, THEREFORE God forgives many sins.

It is clear from the gospel accounts alone that Jesus is not concerned about a person's religious status. Jesus told the religious leaders who killed him that the prostitutes were going to enter heaven before they did (Matthew 21:31).

Religion is a cultural institution. On the other hand, love is universal and not limited to a particular culture. According to the Sermon on the Mount, love is the greatest religion there is. Love is also what many of the great world religions is all about. However not everyone practices this religion of love.

I try not to impose my Christianity on other people. If people have God-like characteristics, a feeling of compassion and living that out, then its ok. I respond more to behavior than philosophy. God really doesn't care about theology.  Theologians killed Jesus!

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?' 'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.' 'Well said, teacher,' the man replied. 'You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.'" (Mark 12:28-34)

This is sharing the kingdom of God not factual knowledge.

The teachings of Christ is not theology.  Jesus taught unconditional love - not theology. It was theologians who had Jesus crucified.  Jesus taught that love is the sign of a true disciple of Christ:

"All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." (John 13:35)

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33 minutes ago, Micah Ong said:

In terms of logic, the verse above states: Loving others and God  IS THE WAY TO  eternal life.

 

35 minutes ago, Micah Ong said:

Love is also what many of the great world religions is all about.

We both agree that love of God and neighbour is critical in not only fairly representing the God of love in true faith, but also in forgiveness.  Question: How then, would that love be manifest in true faith? I would rephrase your statement above to read: "Love is also what many of the great religions 'talk about,'  but could you say their fruits confirm that? Getting back to a previous illustration, could you really have any scriptural basis for saying religions that slaughter each other - innocent men women and children - are manifesting God-like love? Because that is the historical reality we are faced with. Many millions of lives have been and continue to be brutally shed in God's name - Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims...ALL of the world's "great religions" have misrepresented the God of love in order to kill even their fellow worshippers in other countries. Crusades, inquisitions, local wars, regional conflicts, two world wars - mostly fought in Christians countries; not to mention the bloody terrorist activity of other groups. In what stretch of logic could that be considered showing love? That is characteristic of Satan's work - "the god of this system of things." 

57 minutes ago, Micah Ong said:

I try not to impose my Christianity on other people.

But "the great religions of the world" have tried to "impose" their religion on others by the edge of the sword. Often, people either converted or were killed. But that was not what Jesus did was it? What was it that motivated Jesus to preach the gospel with every fibre of his being? What motivated him to direct his apostles and disciples to carry on that same preaching work "to the most distant parts of the earth," and later preaching the good news of God's kingdom in all the inhabited earth as a witness to all the nations before the end comes? Was it not love? Love for his Father and human beings? He was known as "teacher" because the people were in ignorance and those who loved what he taught recognized that he had sayings of everlasting life. It mattered what they believed. It mattered a lot. He taught love by his example, but he did more than that. Out of love, he showed people what was necessary to please God and gain everlasting life. Yes, although he performed many loving miracles that brought practical and immediate benefits - curing, raising the dead, feeding the hungry...- he was not primarily known as "miracle worker" but "teacher" - both in word and in deed. And what was his message? God's kingdom! Over and over again he taught and spoke about it, even making it a central part of the "Lord's Prayer." Why? Because God's kingdom and the benefits it would bring as the only hope for mankind, brought refreshment, hope and an appreciation for God in not only sending his son to die for us, but an appreciation for what that sacrifice would make possible for mankind, including forgiveness of sins. People were in darkness, "alienated from God," like "sheep without a shepherd." It was not acceptable for them to remain in ignorance.

1 hour ago, Micah Ong said:

It is clear from the gospel accounts alone that Jesus is not concerned about a person's religious status. Jesus told the religious leaders who killed him that the prostitutes were going to enter heaven before they did (Matthew 21:31).

Not to be technical, but you are misquoting the scripture in a way that reflects your bias. The scripture actually says: "...the harlots go into 'the kingdom' of God before you" KJ version (not 'heaven') and is similarly rendered in all other translations. That is an important distinction but would take too much time to consider in detail at this point. Anyway...you actually seem to be making the point that Jesus WAS concerned about a person's religious status and the their religious status mattered. Logic: The fact that prostitutes were going before hypocritical religious leaders suggests that one form of worship was acceptable and one was not (or at least more acceptable/better.) 

1 hour ago, Micah Ong said:

This is sharing the kingdom of God not factual knowledge.

John 17:3 - "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you (taking in knowledge of you), the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Tim. 2:4 - "whose will it is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth."                                             Colossians 3:10 - "and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the one who created it."                                                                                                                                                                                  Ephesians 4:13 - "until we all attain to the oneness of the faith and of the accurate knowledge of the Son of God..."                                         Colossians 1:9,10 - "...we have never stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, so as to walk worthily of Jehovah in order to please him fully as you go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God"                                                                                                                                                                                          Philippians 1:9 - "And this is what I continue praying, that our love may abound still more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment, that you may make sure of the more important things..."                                                                                                                                        Hebrews 10:26 - "For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left..."                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to beleaguer the point since there are far too many other similar scriptures, but having "factual" or "accurate" knowledge does seem to be important. Why? Because although one may feel they are worshipping God, they may actually be or contaminating their worship with what God condemns.  Baal worshippers and apostate Israelites worshipping phallic symbols or golden calves may have thought they were worshipping God, but was it according to "factual knowledge" of God? An accurate knowledge of God?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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Yes but we don't want to detract from the qualities of the heart and be too factual.  The scribes and the pharisees had very good knowledge but they didn't have the qualities of the heart. 

2 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

John 17:3 - "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you (taking in knowledge of you), the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."    

The interlinear says that "they should know you..."

We sometimes like to make scriptures fit our ideals....I know I do it too. 

You are correct with the accurate knowledge that the apostle Paul was speaking but remember too that the apostle Paul had arguments with the other Apostles whom he met some 14 years after his encounter with Jesus.  They had differing views.

The Bible as it exists today was put together by the Pope and a handful of bishops. The Pope had many writings cut out which were considered scripture in Jesus' day. For example, Jude - who was the brother of Jesus - quotes in the Book of Jude from a book that was part of Hebrew canon at the time of Jesus' ministry on Earth and for many years after by early Christians. I am referring to the Book of Enoch. Here is the quote in Jude 14-15 of 1 Enoch 1:9.

"In the seventh [generation] from Adam Enoch also prophesied these things, saying: 'Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners spoke against him'." (Jude 14-15)

Peter also references the Book of Enoch in 2 Peter 2:4 and 1 Peter 3:19-20. Now if the Bible quotes from the Book of Enoch then this means the Book of Enoch is divinely inspired and should be included in the Bible. The Book of Enoch existed centuries before the birth of Christ and is considered by many to be more Christian in its theology than Jewish. It is very likely  that Jesus read the Book of Enoch and believed it to be scripture. It was considered scripture by many early Christians as well.

If you want to have accurate knowledge well then you would have to include the book of Enoch as well.

The Word is not a book! If you think otherwise you are worshipping a book and not Jesus. Jesus himself is the Word - and the Word is God - and God is love. According to the Bible, the Word of God is the Logos, the Spirit of Jesus, the only one original Word of God (see Revelation 19:13).

Jesus taught a gospel that is love - a love that loves everyone, wills to save everyone and actually saves everyone.

No religion is the way to eternal life including Buddhism - Christianity - Hinduism etc., because the way to heaven is love [God]. Love is universal. It is not limited to only Christians. God does not love only Christians. God loves the whole world and it is dishonoring to God to think that God loves everyone but throws the vast majority of humanity into destruction for not believing or hearing about the name of Jesus.

 

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