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Is the UN preparing to attack Religion?

The Librarian

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

There have always been those persons who think they are doing a favor to fellow Witnesses, or perhaps also highlighting their own faith in the predicted scenario by watching out for any mention of "peace and security" by a Pope, a world leader, or a UN representative.

I hate when people do this.

Ford had just assumed the presidency and pardoned Nixon. At a NYC District Convention the next day, the speaker held aloft the NYDaily headlines - "Peace and Security!" and said: "Have you seen this headline??!!!"

It was irresistable. I would have done it, too.

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Discuss the question from the title of the topic? Now that's a novel idea. ? It is a reasonable solution to see the 10-horns and the wild beast as either representing, or some part of the domin

I hate when people do this. Ford had just assumed the presidency and pardoned Nixon. At a NYC District Convention the next day, the speaker held aloft the NYDaily headlines - "Peace and Security!

After having spent twenty five and more years discussing things like this with people who have strong ideas about such things ... but like myself, NOT HAVING THE SLIGHTEST CLUE, I have given up even c

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As the August 2018 Watchtower on page 3 points out a profound general principle that cuts on BOTH sides of the sword ... NOT JUST THE SOCIETY'S SIDE ....

"When anyone replies to a matter before he hears the facts, it is foolish and humiliating"  -  Proverbs 18:13

This assumes that the "hearer of facts" has the slightest bit of common sense, which may or may not be the case.


Gravity Electricity Wind .mp4
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1 hour ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

The cool thing about "bent light astronomy", or "lensing", is once you learn how, sometimes it is possible to see galaxies hidden behind foreground galaxies .... and get multiple snapshots in different epochs by calculating the difference in the timing of light ray paths.


I was born in a small town of a small country. I have a bit of school education and ordinary city life. But I'm becoming a peasant when I see how little I know and how much knowledge there is in this life - before, now and after today (yesterday, today, tomorrow) the past, the present, the future - in the eons of time. :))))

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6 hours ago, Gone Away said:

Which scenario do you refer to here as needing to be questioned?

  • the scriptural picture as portrayed in Rev. 17?

I don't question that Revelation 17 has an important meaning for us.

6 hours ago, Gone Away said:
  • the interpreted understanding and application that Jehovah's Witnesses currently hold in connection with Rev.17?

Yes. We should always pay attention to our teaching. 1 Tim 4:16: "Pay close attention to your life and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you." [Berean]

6 hours ago, Gone Away said:
  • the suggestion that UN preparation for an attack on religion cold be discerned from current political and ideological developments? 

If this Watchtower eschatological scenario could be absolutely known for sure to be correct then I would think that some hints could be discerned from political and ideological developments. Of course, I trust that Jesus' words preclude any human from knowing absolutely what the future scenario might look like. However, when the Bible says that God puts the idea in their hearts it likely means (as the Watchtower teaches) that Jehovah allows these entities to go ahead with intentions that already existed in some form. Therefore, such a future scenario could very well be discernible to some extent in advance. To the extent that anyone might feel it useful to look for such hints as a way of testing the validity of the teaching then there is a legitimate reason to "test the spirits." [1 John 4:1]. But I would think there are much more basic and important Bible principles to test against before we can get to that point.  

7 hours ago, Gone Away said:

However, why do you think that Jesus outlined detailed events in prophecy relating to end times?

I think Jesus told us why. He made it clear that the very topic of the end and the natural desire to get advance information about when it would occur would result in much confusion and persons who would end up misleading others, either on purpose or just human nature. So Jesus made it clear that there would be a lot of things happening that people would latch onto in order to claim that they KNEW more about the closeness of the end. So Jesus made it clear that wars would continue to happen, but that they shouldn't get all excited and think this was a sign that the end must be close. Jesus made the same point about earthquakes that might shake someone from their reason and make them think the due time had approached. Or pestilence, famine, persecution. All these things would go on happening, but there was no reason to become inordinately excited. In fact, Jesus added that during the period leading up to the final end [the synteleia/parousia] people would be marrying and being given in marriage, people would be eating and drinking, and the parousia would come upon most of them as if without any warning. In other words, these people would be crying out 'there is peace and security' before sudden destruction came upon them. Peter adds that scoffers could even say 'Where is this promised parousia [that will shine brightly like lightning from one part of the heavens all the way across to the other]? Things are still going on just as they always have.

So, yes, Jesus gave a lot of details about the prophecy related to the end times, but many of those details were to show that there would be NO specific details that could be seen as an advance sign of the end, but that Christians should remain active and endure patiently in spite of the lack of signs. But when the end finally came, THEN there would be an unmistakable sign that this parousia was upon us suddenly like bright visible lightning.

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

they shouldn't get all excited and think this was a sign that the end must be close.

I find this a bit difficult to rationalise against a statement that uses an apparent pregnancy metaphor: "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress."

A woman is pregnant for 9 months, but pangs of distress or contractions usually start occurring during the last 3months. The reaction to the pregnancy announcement is not quite the same as the reaction to the onset of contractions although the anticipated end result is the same.

Are we to understand Jesus's illustration differently? 

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"Whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape.” (1 Thess. 5:2, 3) 

"A woman is pregnant for 9 months, but pangs of distress or contractions usually start occurring during the last 3 months."  The scripture above is more true to life.

Pangs of distress usually come instantly and unexpectedly at the end of the last trimester - a day or two  before or a few hours before. 

The metaphor in Matthew 24:8 is still fitting as the conditions were distressful ever since the beginning of the last days since 1914. Distressing things would be happening concomitantly with happy things like celebrations, etc. We had a joyous, sumptuous wedding last weekend but we also had a shooting, an ongoing volcanic eruption, a  plane crash around the same time.

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On 5/23/2018 at 7:09 PM, Gone Away said:

A woman is pregnant for 9 months, but pangs of distress or contractions usually start occurring during the last 3months.

I used to think the same thing, until after my first, second, and third child. That's when I realized that my idea about pangs of pregnancy had actually been influenced by my (our) incorrect understanding of this very scripture. I had to think that the "pangs" would be a "generation" long, in some similar way to how up to 120 years of a generation compares to the 1,881 years from 33 CE to 1914 CE. In the long run, I could rationalize that the final generation was only about 5% of the full period, and this might be considered "instantly" in some sense.

But then I realized that my wife was able to work a full-time job (high school principal) right up until the day she went to the hospital and then she always had the baby within a matter of hours. The "5% solution" implies that the pangs of distress (labor pains) last at least half-a-month. With the new definition of the 'generation that never seems to pass away' the percentage rises to 10% or nearly a whole month.

So the expression about the labor pains is really a huge hint that Jesus actually meant what he said about something coming as a surprise, as if without warning. Just like the days of Sodom would have seemed to suddenly come to an end without warning.

Just an aside, but others have already pointed out that the labor pains analogy was appropriate for the birth of the kingdom. This hardly seems to fit a birth that starts in 1914 and then the labor pains only start AFTER the birth and last for 120 to 240 years. Labor pains usually start BEFORE a birth, not AFTER.

[moved out of order with next post . . . read that one first.]

On 5/23/2018 at 9:37 PM, Gone Away said:

Others indicate that these pangs of distress can indeed occur weeks before the birth, or days before. The difference seems to add weight to the metaphor.

Actually, all we have to do is look into the meaning of the original Greek word to understand that this is not about when contractions can start:

  • The original-language word rendered “pangs of distress” refers to the intense pain experienced during childbirth. [Source: Internet]
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1 hour ago, Melinda Mills said:

Pangs of distress usually come instantly and unexpectedly at the end of the last trimester - a day or two  before or a few hours before. 

 "the contractions in the uterus start sometime near the start of the final monthhttps://baby-pedia.com

1 Thess. 5:2, 3 appears to be applying a pregnancy metaphor differently to the way Jesus did at , for example Matt.24:8.

1 hour ago, Melinda Mills said:

The scripture above is more true to life.

I have only been present for 5 pregnancies and births, but the mother tells me that while the contractions certainly increased in intensity quite close to the delivery, they started much earlier in the final month, though at different times for each child. (not to be confused of course with the Braxton Hicks variety). Others indicate that these pangs of distress can indeed occur weeks before the birth, or days before. The difference seems to add weight to the metaphor.

From what I can glean then, both are true to life descriptions of the occurence of labor contractions. Jesus uses the aspect of their heralding the start of a period or stage leading to an inevitable conclusion. Paul uses the suddeness of their occurence to relate to the manner in which a prophesied event takes place.

In answer to @JWInsider who posted whilst I was writing, I would suggest that trying too hard see some sort of specific time element as having any significance here would be a mistake. ?

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5 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

intense pain

Let mother be the witness to intensity. Certainly, there is an escalation from intense to very intense, in my experience as an observer.

I think also that it is not about when they start, it is more about that they occur as an indicator of the start of a process that leads to an inevitable conclusion.

By the the way, Kingdom birth illustrations are another subject altogether.

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