By JW Insider
Note: An entire 30-page topic about "The disgusting thing that causes desolation" was recently deleted. The topic contained hundreds of posts, and they were from most of the usual participants here. I messaged the Librarian about it and he said he didn't know anything about how or why it got deleted, but would look into it. It's possible that the person who starts a thread has the ability to delete it, which is something else he'll look into.
In that topic there were several posts concerning Charles Taze Russell brought up initially by @BroRando and commented on by @Thinking, @Srecko Sostar, @Arauna, @TrueTomHarley, @Anna, KF, Pudgy, PWfT, and others.
There were several comments I wanted to respond to, especially the idea first brought up by @BroRando that C.T.Russell (early in 1914) spoke about some kind of fulfillment in 2034, which I believe is simply not true. And I will explain in this topic.
When @BroRando brought up Russell's date references, @Thinking responded to him that she remembered reading where Russell had apologized for trying to rush Jehovah's timetable with man's timetable, or words to that effect. To that I responded that I had not remembered an apology like that. @Thinking responded that I have made many false and misleading statements about Russell. If this is true, I would like to correct those errors. Since @Thinking has not yet offered any specifics about any of those statements of mine, and because I was asked by @Thinking to look through Russell's statements myself, I have agreed to follow up on this idea.
Another point was brought up by @TrueTomHarley which partially responds to @Thinking and her point about Russell's apology. It was one example of several times when Russell was refreshingly non-dogmatic about the chronology. It was from the January 1, 1908 Watch Tower where Russell says "We are not prophesying, we are merely giving our surmises." It also highlighted the statement: "We do not even aver that there are no mistakes in our interpretation of prophecy and our calculations of chronology." Of course, there were other times when Russell sounded much more sure and dogmatic, but there are enough statements on each side to give a much better picture of Russell's overall attitude toward dates, predictions, and his response when expectations failed. I believe we are able to "reconcile" both the dogmatic and the non-dogmatic in a fair way towards Russell himself. We have to consider both Russell's personal perspective, the historical perspective of the times, and Russell's own changes and growth and influences through the period. It may help us not to give too much weight to statements on either end of the spectrum.
In any case, I'm all for giving Russell the benefit of the doubt on the question of "dogmatism," but from what I remember, some of the Russell's statements which are sometimes utilized to defend Russell's supposedly apologetic nature are quite different from what I would call an apology. Again, I can explain the results of an exhaustive search. (By exhaustive, I wish I meant comprehensive, but I only mean that I'm exhausted from so much reading.)
@BroRando had commented about how Russell made some supposedly significant comments about chronology in the year 1914, even suggesting that Russell proposed we add 120 years to 1914 which would bring us to 2034. 2034 is a date considered very significant by @BroRando. It appears to me that too much significance is still being given to Russell's dates, and judging by other comments, too much focus on the overall continuing relevance of Russell, even claiming that his work prophetically fulfilled the work of Elijah and/or John the Baptist. However, I've done a lot more reviewing of Russell's views and I'll share much of what I found because I think it answers all three of the major points I wanted to respond to:
1. Did Russell really think anything prophetically significant might happen in 2014 or 2034? 2. DId Russell apologize for stepping ahead of God's timetable with his personal views? 3. Can we get a more balanced view of Russell's attitude and response toward dates and expectations?
By Patiently waiting for Truth
It is true that I no longer go door to door teaching others about God or about His Kingdom. However i do a bit of what might be classes as 'witnessing' on Facebook and at other opportunities. So I found this quote online and I thought, that it is probably better than I could write it myself. Quote : -
Anguish of Nations not knowing the way....Out ? Out of What?
“Anguish of nations, not knowing the way out . . . Men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.” (Luke 21:25, 26) Crime, violence, drug addiction, family breakups, economic instability, unemployment—the list is long and growing. One prominent scientist wrote: “We will eat fear, sleep fear, live in fear and die in fear.”
“In the last days critical times hard to deal with.” (2 Timothy 3:1) The apostle Paul spoke of people “having come to be past all moral sense.” (Ephesians 4:19) He elaborated, however, on the moral breakdown he foretold for “the last days.” It sounds like today’s newscasts: “Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.”—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
“In the last days there will come ridiculers.” (2 Peter 3:3) Newspapers, newscasts, magazines, books, and movies scornfully dismiss the Bible and replace it with their own freethinking propaganda, saying, as Peter foretold: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.”—2 Peter 3:4. " : End of quote.
But this quote was written a decade ago. TEN years ago. And things are much worse now.
I think I've mentioned earlier that I'm into reading all the 'word news' but i did get a topic come up on my FB, page from the Telegraph, about 'some big climate change meeting of top knobs', so I just tried to give it some balance from God's viewpoint. I will of course get a blasting from folks on FB but i can handle that.
It helped me also to gain a bit of balance. But then it also creates so many questions. God needs a true, faithful and clean collection of humans for when He decides to 'sort out the problems' down here on Earth. There is indeed much work to be done. Only time will tell how it all plays out, and who HE uses.
By Jack Ryan
International anthem of the United Nations
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
I realize there are many reasons to go to an Assembly, or Convention, and when my children were living at home they would go to others' conventions for a variety of reasons, as well as their own.
I would always ask them when they returned home "What did you learn that was new?" . This was important to me as I had to work long hours to afford to finance their explorations and socialization, which I thought was important ... but I still expected them to learn something new ... and since I was paying for their travels, to tell me what was going on.
Generally, attendance to an out of town Convention nearby would cost about $200 a day, times three days, so that would be $600.
Now that I am retired, and my income has been cut by about 80%, it's even MORE important to me to want to get good value for the time and money I would be spending for my wife and I to spend three days, traveling out of town, to learn something of lasting value .... something worth at least three days of our time, which is painfully obviously shorter, and the what is now considerable effort and considerable expense.
In Engineering it's important that the "Law of diminishing returns" be observed so that you do not go physically, mentally or emotionally bankrupt.
Perhaps I am just asking for some encouragement that the effort is worth the cost and effort, and that the benefit is worth it, so if I may ask ......
WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT WAS NEW AT THE 2019 "LOVE NEVER FAILS" REGIONAL CONVENTION ?
In 1889, the WT said " we present PROOFS that the setting up of the kingdom of God has already begun...and that 'the battle of the great day of God almighty' (Revelation16:14),which will end in AD1914 with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership, is already commenced.".
The watchtower presented "proofs".
These "proofs" were wrong, so what credibility do they have to "proclaim" anything?
How will the United Nations take control over the entire globe and finally the United States of America?By admin
It seems to be weaker than the USA in terms of might.
Interesting article and video.....
On 11 December most countries will sign the UN Compact in Morocco. It is part of the "Agenda 21" plan for the 21 st century started in 1992. Read up about Agenda 21, agenda 2030 and about this Compact for Migration which will criminalize anyone saying anything against the UN plan. Those countries who signed are obliged to assist migrants financially and basically all people have a right to migrate....(no more borders). About 20 nations are now fighting it and will be forced by fines for not complying. It is part of the UN plan for one world government... Is this real? Or a conspiracy.... ? Watch this little video and give comments of the implications. I have the original documents and on this Youtube link you can also download the UN document "agenda 21". NGOs have already been receiving funds to implement it for the past 20 years and both republican and democratic governments has been changing laws to implement is..... It has been going on under our noses and the general public does not know. My interest in this is the fulfillment of prophecy which indicates the UN or coalition of governments to rule for short period of time before Armageddon. There are huge implications to this .... but first watch this little video to begin the discussion.... here is the link.....
Climate change is undeniable Climate action is unstoppable Climate solutions provide opportunities...By TheWorldNewsOrg
via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
By JOHN BUTLER
"All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,"
2 Timothy 3 v 16
Was this in it's way a small prophecy ?
The 2nd book of Timothy was written 65 C.E. However 1,2,3, John and Revelation were written much later.
So we have two points, 1. The writings were not complete when Paul wrote that information. 2, The Bible had not been constructed so no idea would have been formed as to what the Bible would contain.
Were there other writings ? Would they be considered as Scripture?
It seems that Paul was inspired to write that "All scripture is inspired.... "
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
" When you see a cloud rising in western places, you immediately say: 'It is the time', and it happens. And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be a heat wave,' and it happens. Hypocrites, you know to examine the appearance of earth and sky, but why do not you know look at this particular time? "- Luke 12: 54-56 From the first article in this blog wanted to distance itself clearly from all those sites and polemical blogs created solely as a safety valve and cast a shadow on the governing body or the people of God as a whole. Many of these, though not all, are the expression of the frustration of some for losing certain positions, visibility and below. We do not reveal any mystery by asserting that some are puffed up with pride thinking of always being right and being invested supreme authority - 1 Timothy 3: 6 We do not even say nothing strange if we say that some people, seeing recognized their merits, real or perceived, on the job or elsewhere, have seen in the "theocratic assignments" a kind of redemption. One way to demonstrate the "worth something" - Psalm 18:27; Proverbs 6:16, 17 For this and other reasons, when some have seen the collapse of all their "dreams of glory," they thought to start a smear campaign against God's people and also have the pass to do anything - 2 Peter 2:22 Apart from these, you have to recognize or admit the possibility that there are people who have opened sites or blogs contentious because they suffered real injustice or clashing sincerely from a scriptural point of view - John 9:34; Revelation 2: 4, 20 If anyone re-discuss openly the "doctrine" of 1914, for example, would sooner or later expelled from the congregation if they did not fit immediately into the ranks. It would be presumptuous to think that the reflections made in this blog on the 1914, as well as on other subjects, are not already been done by others. Although humanly speaking the author of this blog is close to all those who have been expelled not for a repeated offense but because of his own conscience on biblical themes, none of us has the authority to denigrate, insult or alienate others by the people which, net of all faults and limitations , it is still God's people. That each of us to reflect seriously on the words of the Lord when he said what we find in Matthew 18: 6 So, as much as depends on us and as long as Jehovah will show us clearly something else, no one let the people of God because if within the His People there will be severe discipline (also because of those who were unjustly expelled - compares Giovanni 16: 2), outside of His People there will be something else. Of course, situations may arise in which we listen to our conscience - Romans 14: 5 To avoid this sad event, we are encouraged to be "cautious as serpents" also to our brothers - Matthew 10:16; 24:10 For the moment we can share many things with our brothers including the preaching work, attendance at meetings, etc., without necessarily having to collide on the 1914 or Babylon the Great. So, reiterating the concept, regardless of the GB and errors of God's people as a whole, a blog or website for purely polemical can not be considered a viable option for those who love God and sincerely studying His Word. We should also ask ourselves "What gave me" a site after reading an article that mentioned what is wrong and even make it a novel is the easiest thing in the world * (see footnote). This introduction was necessary to explain the following article because the reasons could be easily misunderstood. As we saw from the very first articles, though this blog is dedicated to the prophecy, it was not possible to treat the prophecy without touching some doctrines associated with them. The Word of God has such a strong internal consistency that is not reasonable to believe that he could explain the prophecies of Revelation (and other prophetic books) without touching the doctrine of the resurrection (which will happen at the end of the millennium and not during), the order chronological or not the book, the "doctrine" of 1914, the seven days of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and so on. For this reason you will find after not purely prophetic that was inevitable anyway to deal hope to understand something more about the prophecies. This highlights one of the reasons why some will never understand the prophecies in spite of the efforts: the inability or unwillingness to renegotiate certain doctrines that are upstream. On the same principle we must necessarily realize that you can not move forward in the understanding of the times in which we live and those who arrive without touching the sensitive topic of "governing body" or "quality of spiritual food." This has already been done, more or less soft, in several previous post (see for example the article entitled "Restoration of true worship. Dress clean for the High Priest"). At least with regard to the current understanding, the prophecies do understand that the "light" to lead the people of God (which is clearly not the Bible or it may not be less - Psalm 119: 105) will turn off for a certain period of time and this will serve to lay bare the depth of our relationship with Jehovah - compares Isaiah 28:16 So it does not be surprised if before then that the light begins to fade. Many of us have noticed that certain topics are not touched for years and that on certain issues it is more elusive than before. In return, all the paper work which involves legalism for appointments, discipline, legal protections and various committees have greatly strengthened - Psalm 127: 1, 2 So the following article is of course a critical and will be targeted to the specific material , but everything will be done remembering who we are (Romans 3:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 4: 7) with the sole purpose of reflecting as part of prophecy is already fulfilled before our eyes - 1 Corinthians 14: 8, 9 The reader is invited not necessarily share the article but at least compare the scriptures mentioned and to consider whether the arguments are brought forward with logic. Â The following article will cover part of the Watchtower in October 2017. The article is titled "Visions of Zechariah: because there concern?" Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. A vision does not understand something more of a command or a need? Â Â Since the beginning, we can focus on the questions listed in the first paragraph. Why Jehovah gave to the prophet visions so unusual? In what situation were the Israelites at that time? What do we learn today from those visions? Â The questions are certainly deep and detailed so that we isolate some notable points to see how we have tried to give an answer. After a brief explanation of the background and necessary (paragraph two), " Jehovah assured them that would help them restore the true worship" (paragraph three). Let us pause a moment and reflect on these words. He took for themselves, without knowing anything of Zechariah, the book and the time in which it was written, one would think that the theme that will be developed will focus precisely on how Jehovah will restore true worship. Doing disquisitions on whether past or future fulfillment of these words, should not talk about this? Among other things paragraph confirms that this will be the sixth and seventh vision and this would appear to suggest that these visions reveal details on how Jehovah will do this. Besides a vision should include something more of a command; the same ten commandments and all the Mosaic law did not need a vision that was dictated and that the Israelites understood the requirements of the Most Almighty and moral norms that should have respect. Instead the following paragraphs, although the steering wheel scroll vision written in front and behind is "very special", they say that "God will punish whoever steals and among Christians there is no place for any kind of theft." Zechariah really needed a vision to understand that God does not tolerate the theft? Apart from that, as we have said, it seems strange that a vision is limited to this, but the question we should ask is ... "Zacharias did not know that Jehovah does not tolerate the theft?" - Compare Exodus 20:15; Leviticus 19:11, 13; Proverbs 11: 1; 20:23 It 's unusual for a prophet of Jehovah but also the rest of the people had to remember a need so obvious, present even in the most primitive human legal systems.
It would not be sufficient to read "the book of the law" as in the past it was done and how the law itself provided? Until the end of paragraph seven, there is not the slightest indication that this vision can have a deeper explanation and that can be applied particularly in the future. The subsequent paragraphs remain the same "conservative" line. We should not swear falsely, and the promises made to Jehovah - compares Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30: 2; Ecclesiastes 5: 5, 6 The next vision is even more interesting. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Even the arrival city has no prophetic significance? Â From the subtitle "The evil is put in its proper place," we can see how the vision that perhaps leaves Zaccaria "horrified" with all its details, it "makes it clear that Jehovah will never tolerate any form of evil within his people and will ensure that it is eliminated quickly. " Then women with wings stork carrying away the mingled with evil in the land of Shinar, underline this aspect. Why they choose Sinar and not Nineveh, for example? Because "Israelites them have thought that Sinar was the place where relegate Evil. Zechariah and his contemporaries Jews, in fact, they could confirm that Babylon wickedness was widespread." Again the vision of the container, the evil woman, women with wings stork and the country of destination have no special meaning, much less prophetic. It must be said that if we had dealt with this issue even thirty years ago, maybe someone would begin to calculate the distance between Jerusalem and Sinar to find some correspondence with some meeting or resolution modern or past. This article is definitely more conservative than those of a few years ago ** (see note below) but it really is prudent that we see in this article, or something else? We try to be very objective without hiring a team cheer attitude. Do we really think that Zacharias had seven visions in such a special time, to learn that Jehovah does not tolerate theft, falsehood and evil? Do we really think that the restoration-of true worship has nothing to do with our days? If we had started from chapter four instead to section five, we would not perhaps have inevitably head towards Revelation? - compares Zechariah 4: 2, 3 and Revelation 11: 4 Zechariah chapter four he not also speaks of the restoration-of true worship, just as do the five chapters and six? If Zechariah and Revelation are connected, even if only in part, we would not have had to reflect on the identity of this "evil woman" which, incidentally, is transported in the most important city of Babylon that "to his own place"? Â We said that the article is not intended as a criticism for its own sake so that everyone will have to make their own assessments in the light of the scriptures. Certainly, as we have seen in the articles entitled "We are staggering like drunks?" and "Approaching Storm", we can understand "how far we are" the discipline of Jehovah, and also understand the reasons why he decides have to discipline there meditating on these aspects. If they make a reason all those who believe that the withdrawal of the books "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" and "The Revelation Its Grand Climax" was the prelude to a new version with "new light." Indeed, there is to be afraid to imagine the explanations that may be. However, those who really pay attention to the prophetic word, they have no reason to be discouraged or be upset. If the light of a certain guide goes out, we have a guide that will never disappoint - Isaiah 40: 8 It 'important and urgent than ever, particularly in view of what will happen, become independent in our research and sharpen our power of reason - Romans 12: 1 We must also realize the responsibility that entails some knowledge. We must help not those who have become critical for bias and with whom you can not think and even those who can not and do not intend to call into question every truth imposed from above - Matthew 15: 6 We must help those who can still asking questions that do not come from the organization or even close their eyes to what is going to happen. We do not know to what extent the people of God will reshaped , but up to the revelation of the two witnesses in sackcloth this will continue to be the people of God and in any case, whatever happens, let us cling tightly to the Word of God that is the only truth - John 17:17 Recalling the words of Jesus quoted at the beginning of this article, and keeping in mind that we are nobody and we have one thousandth of its authority , make sure not to become like those who were part of God's people and that they were recognized as authorities but at the same time, could not understand "their particular time." We do not seek excuses why everyone has a Bible and the basic knowledge to deepen the arguments. Let us not be too full of us, basking in our safety thinking that others will pay. We could wake up in a really unwanted. How would we feel if the Lord said, " You're a hypocrite" ? - compares Amos 3: 2 Â Â Footnotes. * This also applies to all those sites that say they are prophetic but are merely interpreting the past Jehovah's judgments to the people of God. This is also a fairly easy game. Â ** Just take a look at the book, no longer in publication "Pay Attention to Daniel's Prophecy" where virtually any number of days in the prophetic book were applied to assemblies, resolutions and publications.
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
Chapter 38 of Ezekiel: Who is Gog of Magog? If you've read the article entitled "What nations disappear at Armageddon?", Regardless of whether you've shared or not , you pretend not to have read it. Obviously at the end of this article, if you consider it useful, you can go and take it back. Although that article had to deal with, inevitably, the identity of Gog of Magog, I found it necessary to resume the topic being discussed among many brothers also because the last change of understanding. We all know what the officer says understanding, is not it? Gog of Magog is a coalition of nations (not Satan) who organize to attack the people of God. In reference to the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, Gog of Magog "check" again to attack the "healthy part" of God's people. That is to say that these people, before being identified as Gog of Magog, would our surviving brothers Armageddon (or their offspring) but, they decide to rebel against Jehovah God by attacking the party faithful after a thousand years of peace and prosperity, of His people. We must honestly admit that this case has puzzled some 'everyone from the beginning because it really seems absurd that after a thousand years of peace and happiness, someone should organize to recreate the same terrible conditions existing in the pre-Armageddon world. Incidentally Revelation speaks not just "someone" but says it will be "as the sand of the sea"! Now, whatever interpretation we wanted to give the expression "the sand of the sea", it can not give some idea of the four cats disorganized. They seem to be really great people. With this in mind, let's discuss chapter 38 of Ezekiel to see if it can give us interesting details about this subject and if there is the possibility of having to revise some of our beliefs. Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Who is Gog of Magog? Â " After many days you will pay attention to you. In the final part of the years you will come to the village [of people] brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, to the mountains of Israel, which have been continuously a devastated place; yes, [a country] which was taken from the peoples, [where] they have dwelt safely, all of them - Ezekiel 38: 8 Â Why Almighty God should say, to His own people, the people whom He considered worthy to survive Armageddon, "After many years you will pay attention"? The writing also says ... "Will you come to the village [of people] brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples" ... But if these are the inhabitants of the "new world", are not also the people who were "brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples"? So, speaking of this people the same verse adds, "have lived safely, everyone." Why is this distinction made if during the millennial reign there will be peace and security in every corner of the earth? During the Millennial Kingdom, well after Armageddon, they do not dwell all safe? Gog of Magog, perhaps, has not dwelt safe until then? Â And you will be forced to rise. You will be like a storm. You will be like clouds to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many peoples with you " '- Ezekiel 38: 9 Â The verse says that will rise "to cover the land." Again we have to ask ... " What country?" During the Millennial Reign of Christ the world will still be divided into nations and countries? By the way, talking of "legions", we see a people organized and military invoice ; certainly not a bunch of people disorganized and improvised. Â The Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: 'And it must occur in that day that things will go up in the heart, and certainly will devise a malicious design; and you say, "I shall go up against the land of open countryside. I will go to those who do not bother, that dwell safely, all dwelling without walls, and do not have even bar and doors "- Ezekiel 38:10, 11 Â "I shall go up against the land of open country". What is the land of the open country? There are other countries that do not qualify as open country, or helpless? And why any other "countries" should bother to defend himself during the Millennial Kingdom? "I will go to those who do not bother, that dwell safely, all dwelling without walls, and do not have even bar and doors." So these people, to make these considerations, not dwelled safe? He had a few walls? He had bars and doors? And why a country should have walls, bars and doors if there are no wars, nor weapons, nor thieves or other criminals? Why you should equip the bars and doors if everyone will love intensely, with sincere and loyal love as brothers under one Father? Â It will be to take great spoil and to do much prey, to turn your hand on inhabited places devastated again and on a people gathered from the nations, [a people] who accumulates wealth and property, [those] who dwell at the center of the earth - Ezekiel 38:12 Â Let us assume that at some point towards the end of the Millennial Kingdom, reborn greed, desire for conquest and pride after a thousand years of oblivion. Who would be the "little people gathered from the nations"? If Armageddon has destroyed all the nations of the world , all those who now find themselves living in the Millennial Kingdom and then survived, are they not all those "collected by the nations"? But the scripture says that there is a people who organize to prey upon another people: a people gathered from the nations. Â Therefore prophesy, son of man, and you must say to Gog: 'The Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: "In that day, when my people Israel shall dwell safely, not [it] you know? - Ezekiel 38:14 Â This writing could leave to guess why Gog of Magog, until yesterday, was identified as Satan. Here Jehovah clearly identifies himself as the God of Israel ... but in the Millennial Kingdom should not be all "Israel"? In writing this Gog is clearly seen in opposition to Israel and then identify it as Satan seemed the sensible thing. Obviously it is "sensible" if we take for granted that at Armageddon are destroyed all the nations of the world, so all unbelievers and rebels. Simply stated: If the post-Armageddon world we live only deserving persons, the one who can get in opposition to God's people is Satan. Obviously this understanding seemed to coincide things but, as he was also treated in a more or less recent Tower Guard, created some really absurd paradoxes as we shall see later. Â And certainly you will be from your place, from the remotest parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all mounted on horses, a great congregation, yes, a number of military forces - Ezekiel 38:15 Â "Several military forces"? Military improvise or made after a period of training? Previously, the verses 4:05, we read that these are all dressed "with perfect taste" and that "large shield and small shield". This leaves just understand that we are talking about a fully equipped and trained people for the war! Even assuming that these verses refer to the previous Gog Magog (what in life before Armageddon), describe this people, in verse 15, as a congregation of many military forces, suggests that they are not just newbies. So the logical question should be ... "Where you are trained, if they are all good of the Millennial Kingdom ? What weapons? For how long?" Â "And for sure will come up against My people Israel, like clouds to cover the land. It will happen in the final part of the days, and I will bring you against My land, that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes, or Gog "- Ezekiel 38:16 Â Again Jehovah identifies His people, Israel, making a contrast Gog of Magog. It also understands that this distinction is not born at a time when some of the people decide to attack another, but that Israel has existed for a number of years and lives with these other peoples or nations. Not only Jehovah himself says he will be sanctified among the nations. Which countries? Maybe the same ones that Satan will mislead when it comes out of the abyss? - Revelation 20: 2, 3 Â Reading Ezekiel 38: 17-20 we find other interesting details. In particular, we can isolate the point where it is said that "the mountains will actually be killed and the steep ways will have to fall, and even every wall will fall to the ground." We might ask what to depict these mountains and who, until the end of the Millennial Kingdom, still possess defensive walls that will fall to the ground. Â " ' And certainly I will call against him in all my mountainous region a sword,' it is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. 'The sword of each is against his own brother - Ezekiel 38:21 Â And even then we should ask where they took swords and where they forged these peaceful brothers, inhabitants of the New World. Â And certainly I will enter into judgment with him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain a downpour flood and hailstones, fire and brimstone upon him and upon his bands, and upon the many peoples that are with him. And certainly I magnify myself, and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will know that I am Jehovah '- Ezekiel 38:22, 23 Â The people taken from every nation at the end of the great tribulation, having seen, among other things, the destruction of any nation in opposition to Jehovah, they did not already know who is Jehovah? - Hebrews 8:11, 12 Reading just what it says, it does not seem that there is something that does not come back with our current understanding? In chapter 39 of Ezekiel you will find other interesting details. These details have forced the CD to revise the interpretation that Gog of Magog was Satan and is a fair reflection. How can, in fact, Satan, be given as food to the birds of prey? - Ezekiel 39: 4 How you can have a burial place on earth? - Ezekiel 39:11 Identify Gog of Magog as a "coalition of nations" is correct because you just simply read what is written without seeking hidden meanings - Ezekiel 38:15 However simply say that it is a coalition of nations opens up other questions, if you do not have the courage to review other fundamental interpretations. One of these is to understand that, while the wild beast, and all united in their fight against the Lamb will be destroyed at Armageddon, some nations will be allowed to continue to exist - Compare Daniel 7:11, 12 This means that after Armageddon , will remain something of the old world and there is a scriptural reason for this to happen. Â This makes it very easy to see how it is possible that during the Millennial Kingdom happen something like that. It makes us understand many other things such as when people will rush en mass, on their own initiative, to the mountain of Jehovah, "to the house of Jacob" - Isaiah 2: 2-4 It fully understand the meaning and order of the events described in 1 Corinthians 15:25 and many other things. Â From this brief examination we could see how it changes our visual horizon if only we strive to read the Scriptures without preconceptions. For understanding current attacking us are created forcer and really irreconcilable contradictions but allowing Scripture to flow freely will form a logical and coherent scenario. We can also see how, who has a prejudice, can not comprehend the obvious and we have seen many times in our preaching work. How many times we happened to listen to abstruse and philosophical arguments to say what the Scripture that says, maybe to prove doctrines such as the Trinity, hellfire, or things like that? Ahead of certain scriptural somersaults maybe we said ... "But how can you say such things! How can you not understand! Yet it is so clear!" The answer is often, prejudice and the inability to call into question their own beliefs. Obviously it is very easy to apply it to others. A little 'more difficult to apply it to ourselves. The possibility exists that we are becoming the modern Pharisees? And 'possible, pay for what we know, we have become the harder we get back on topic? Let's think about meditating on the history of Israel.
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
In the Bible there are hundreds of references relating to the destruction of Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
There are also many parallels between Isreal and Babylon (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel ...).
Being accustomed to making parallels with Christianity and the world empire of false religion, every time we read "Israel will be destroyed!" we read, in effect, "Christianity will be destroyed!" and every time we read "Babylon will be destroyed!" we read "The world empire of false religion will be destroyed!".
Now the question is ... "If in a specific passage the Bible meant that Israel would be destroyed by intending to own Israel ... what would we find written?"
Evidently we would find written "Israel will be destroyed!"
In the end it is a matter of understanding whether, whenever we speak of the destruction of Babylon and / or Israel after the Lord's day, there is at least the possibility of referring to Israel, that is, modern Israel which is a literal nation.
What is the greatest counterfeiting of the people of God today?
Christendom or the modern nation of Israel?
Before 1948 this hypothesis and these questions would have made no sense.
Any hypothesis would have excluded Israel a priori simply because Israel did not exist.
Since May 1948, however, Israel exists and it is basically a matter of understanding three things.
1) See if it is possible that Babylon the Great is a nation
2) If so, see if Israel matches the description that makes the Bible
3) Compare with the current understanding and see which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of personal desires or ideas, are more likely to be.
Babylon the Great can be a nation?
Meanwhile, let us remember that Babylon the Great, throughout history, has been "identified" with many nations and for the most disparate reasons.
Imperial Rome, Papal Rome, USA, UK, USSR etc.
Many different people and religious groups have given different explanations but none of them has ever resisted the test of fire and that is the scrutiny of the Scriptures - I Thessalonians 5:21
What about us?
One of the explanations given in the publications of the Slave according to which Babylon the Great can not be a literal nation is the fact that "he commits fornication with the kings of the earth".
A strengthening of this statement would be the fact that both kings and merchants mourn its destruction.
Finally, it would not be a nation because it is said to mislead the entire inhabited earth through its "spiritual practices".
In Isaiah 23: 15-17 we speak of Tire as a "forgotten prostitute" and therefore, as such, "commits prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth on the surface of the ground".
Tire was a nation, not a religion or a religious system - Romans 15.4
So a nation can be described, in the Bible, in the act of committing prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth and remaining a nation.
Prostitution may have to do with commercial trade or acts of injustice and bloodshed and not necessarily with religion. - Naum 3: 1-4
In particular, Tire's prostitution has nothing to do with false religion because, if that were so, Jehovah would not have considered Â“saintÂ” his reward - Isaiah 23:18
"Prostitution" can have to do with the covenant and trust placed in other nations, as reported many times in the Bible when Israel and Judah proved to be unfaithful by allying with pagan nations.
It is clear, therefore, if this nation is compared to a prostitute the loss of this prostitute would have caused pain to her lovers (the nations with which she committed prostitution and the merchants who have enriched herself with it) just like ancient Israel " joy " for Tire's prostitution and this not because Tire was a religion or for the religion of Tire.
A king can "cry" for the loss of a political ally (therefore for the fall of a nation) and a great merchant can cry for the fall of a commercial ally (which can be big or small but certainly rich nation).
So the reasons that "Babylon the Great" can not be a nation because kings and merchants mourn his departure are not valid.
What can we say, however, of the strongest affirmation in reference to Babylon La Grande, that is, that "all nations have been misled by its spiritual practice"?
This statement in particular has led many to think that it was a religious empire (for many sects of Christianity Babylon the Great is Catholicism and for some Catholics it is even the Second Vatican Council).
First of all we must realize that all the empires of the past have resorted to spiritualistic practices and this is also true of modern so-called atheist empires.
Pharaoh opposed his "magic practitioners" to Moses and Nebuchadnezzar was practically surrounded - Exodus 7:11 - Daniel 2: 2
The same can be said of Assyria, Syria, Media Persia etc.
So if the Bible, speaking of a literal nation, said that "uses magic" or "divination practice", it would not say anything exceptional.
We also know from the study of the Scriptures that nations are governed by demons that mislead the entire inhabited earth and that during the wars not only human beings are involved - Daniel 10:13
Can we hypothesize that the demons have given particular power to a nation and that this has, today, "the kingdom over the kings of the earth"? - Revelation 17:18 see also Luke 4: 5-7
By comparing the Scriptures without preconceptions, it is not possible to exclude "Babylon the Great" among the nations.
"Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?"
In Revelation 17: 1, 2 we read that Babylon the Great "sits on many waters".
We know that the waters mean "peoples and crowds and nations and languages"
Israel "sits on many waters" because it is surrounded by many peoples and nations that can not stand it ("to sit on" can also mean against the will of the neighboring peoples). In Isaiah 8: 5-8 one speaks of the powerful Assyrian army as "devastating waters"; therefore the "waters" are not always a symbol of protection - Isaiah 8: 5-8
It was put there by the UN against the will of the many neighboring nations.
It also sits "on many waters" because his position is due to the nations that make up the United Nations (Babylon the Great also sits on the wild beast of scarlet color) that, besides having settled it where it is still, protect it militarily.
The armies of Assyria are compared to "devastating waters", so we can say that they also sit on many armies? - Revelation 17: 3, 16
it is also noteworthy that the nation of Israel is right in the "crossroads" of three continents: Europe, Africa, Asia.
If I wanted to find a literal nation located above "many waters" (ie peoples and nations and tribes and languages) both geographically and politically, no other nation would correspond better than the modern nation of Israel.
The harlot rides a beast.
In Revelation 17: 3 we read "And the angel brought me into the power of the spirit in a wilderness." And I saw a woman seated on a wild scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. "
The nation of Israel is already in a desert today and rides on the wild beast of scarlet color which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations ascended from the abyss with the name U.N.
Israel exists, thanks to the push of the Anglo-American empire, thanks and through the United Nations, since 1948.
Historical events prior to and following the creation of the state of Israel confirm that the Jewish people have ridden the scarlet-colored wild beast even before returning to being a nation (I invite you to do a research on Balfour and all the historical background before 1948).
Mother of all prostitutes.
Revelation 17: 4-5: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and she was adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, and she had in her hand a golden cup full of disgusting things and the unclean things of her fornication. on his forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth' ".
If we accept the possibility that a nation is compared to a prostitute (just like Tire), then the nation of Israel is the "mother of all prostitutes" because it has committed greater fornication than any other nation in the world.
How can we say it?
If the prostitute rides the scarlet-colored wild beast, which, as we know, is the League or League of Nations, is supposed to have committed fornication with all the nations adhering to the United Nations.
Indeed, its very existence as a nation is due to his political lovers so, to continue to exist, must commit prostitution in excess and continuously.
No other nation can compare itself to her as acts of prostitution because no other nation has the urgent need to please the UN to continue to exist.
it is also possible that in the Bible it is described as a prostitute because it is not a real "queen" but a forcing. It is an empire carved out of art for a prostitute.
The woman is also "dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stone ..." so she is simply dressed like a queen but the purple and scarlet colors are still the colors of luxury and royal power and this would strengthen the idea that we are talking about a kingdom, a literal nation.
In the same way the beast that the prostitute rides is scarlet in color and the beast, as we know, is the League or Society of Nations (all members of the United Nations represent literal nations). The scarlet color, color of both the wild beast and the harlot, is significant.
Drunk with the blood of the saints.
The writing continues saying "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and of the witnesses of Jesus".
Israel has an enormous blood fault and Jesus referred to this very nation when he said: Â“so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel+ to the blood of ZechÂ·aÂ·ri?ah son of BarÂ·aÂ·chi?ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altarÂ” - Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50, 51
So Jesus himself identifies Israel, not another nation, as responsible for the payment of "all the right blood" (compare also the words of Stephen recorded in Acts 7: 51-53).
The book "Insight", under the heading "Babylon the Great", correctly points out that not all Christians were persecuted by the Pharisees and the Jews themselves have suffered, in turn, a great persecution.
However, even Abel was not killed by a Pharisee or even by any religious minister.
Moreover, the millions of deaths caused by the communist, atheist empire, could hardly be pointed to false religion.
Can we hypothesize that Jehovah and Jesus hold particularly responsible those who have "known God" and, despite this, commit unspeakable crimes?
The nation of Israel fits perfectly in this context. - Hosea 8: 2 - Amos 3: 2
It should also be said that the blood of "all those slaughtered on earth" is referring to the last war (which is yet to come) and therefore is saying that Israel will be the real behind-the-scenes cause of this war.
However, this last parat needs other explanations for which, for the moment, omit it.
Condolence for the end of Babylon.
Revelation 18: 9-14 says: Â“And the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality* with her and lived with her in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10Â Â They will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say: Â‘Too bad, too bad, you great city,+ Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!Â’ 11Â Â Â“Also, the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full cargo anymore, 12Â Â a full cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; and everything made from scented wood; and every sort of object made from ivory, and from precious wood, copper, iron, and marble; 13Â Â also cinnamon, Indian spice, incense, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.* 14Â Â Yes, the fine fruit that you* desired has left you, and all the delicacies and the splendid things have vanished from you, never to be found againÂ”.
As we saw at the beginning, both the kings of the earth and the travelers traders suffer for the demise of their lover.
Unlike any other nation, the destruction of Israel would bring desperation and "misfortune" between rulers and traders all over the world.
Because the Jewish people are owners of the world's largest banks, almost all of the gold, oil, the largest multinationals and everything that can be imagined.
The largest world powers (including the US, USSR and China) have benefited from copious loans to wage war on other nations and to build massive and colossal structures (such as the Suez Canal).
Just do some research to find out how and how many owners of the world's largest banks have been involved in almost every wars of the last two centuries and probably far back in time.
The words of Revelation 18: 11-14 that speak of 'full of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and each smelling wood and all sorts of ivory objects and all sorts of precious wood and copper and iron and marble, and cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and fragrant oil and olibanum and wine and olive oil and flour and wheat flour and cattle and sheep and horses and carriages and slaves and human souls' are significant.
Imagining the global economic consequences for the collapse of 80% of all the existing banks and therefore the immediate and simultaneous failure of thousands of companies spread all over the world ... one could conclude that a crisis of this size would not be reflected in all the history of man - Matthew 24:21
Really the kings of the earth and travelers traders around the world would be right to beat their chests, to mourn and cry, "Woe!"
"Get out of her, my people".
Revelation 18: 4 says:And I heard another voice out of heaven say: Â“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 plaguesÂ”.
If Babylon the Great is the modern nation of Israel then it is easy to understand to whom this urgent appeal is addressed: to our dear brothers present in the nation of Israel who are also "a remnant to be saved".
If they stayed there, they would receive part of his wounds as a result of the United Nations' furious attack.
This possibility is to be evaluated very seriously.
This would also mean that the destruction of Jerusalem, occurred in 537 a.E.V. and then in 70 E.V. would have a further and definitive fulfillment. The third (Revelation 4: 8; 8:13; 16:13, 19 - Ezekiel 21:14).
Question two asked: "Does the literal people of modern Israel match the description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great?
Whether we like it or not, and as much as it can constitute a "domino effect" on other interpretations, this is in harmony both with the secular history and with the Scriptures.
So the answer is yes.
Which of the two subjects, in the light of the Scriptures and not of desires or personal ideas, is more likely to be?
Honestly, the whole description that the Bible makes of Babylon the Great corresponds very well to false religion and so it is very difficult to understand if the Bible wants to point us to a literal nation or the false religion as a whole.
The shameless immorality, extreme violence, the desire for domination, spiritual prostitution, arrogance and presumption ... are all characteristics of the worldwide empire of false religion as well as of present-day Israel.
The clues, however, should be more than enough, if seen without preconceptions, to understand the subject.
As written at the beginning of this treatise, hundreds of parallels are found in the Bible between Babylon and unfaithful Israel.
Even the cup "full of disgusting things" from which the harlot gets inebriated recalls the utensils of Jehovah's temple.
The problem is to understand what we must understand when we read these parallels.
All of Jehovah's judgments, reported in the Scriptures, have fallen upon peoples and literal nations and even the wounds sent to the land of Egypt, which served to destroy / humiliate their false gods, however, had to fall upon a specific nation.
In the book "The prophecies of Isaiah" volume 1, page 202 paragraph 28 (Italian edition) reports Isaiah 19: 3 and we read ...
"Likewise, on the day of judgment, the false religion will be unable to save this corrupt system of things".
But if Egypt represents the world as a whole, we are already at Armageddon (in Isaiah 19: 2 Jehovah puts "Egyptian against Egyptian") and the world empire of false religion (if it is Babylon the Great) has already been destroyed .
Now, if the world empire of false religion has already been previously destroyed, in what sense will "people resort to worthless gods, to spellcasters and spirit mediums"?
Only a world still imbued with religion, after the destruction of Babylon the Great, could "resort to worthless gods".
The above could be in harmony with the writing of Zechariah 13: 4-6, which speaks of the "prophet" who will deny ever having been?
The Watchtower of 15 July 2015, under the heading "The beginning of the great tribulation", says ... "It seems therefore that even some members of the clergy will abandon their religious career and deny ever having been part of the false religion".
Yet if for the adherents of Babylon the Great enough to "change coat" to save their lives (which would make the majority of them, not having a true faith), one would not say that it was "torn and completely burned with fire". It is also difficult to imagine this "great mourning" since the majority of the clergy, especially that of Christianity, would still be alive after the destruction of Babylon the Great.
The book "Revelation", in chapter 19 paragraph 29 says ... "Neither the caverns of the literal mountains nor the political-commercial organizations comparable to the mountains will offer economic security or help of another kind".
However, even false worship in the Bible is related to "high places" for example in Ezekiel 6: 1-5 (high places that did not protect unfaithful Israelites from Jehovah's wrath).
Is it possible to hypothesize that on the day of Jehovah's wrath (hence after the Great Tribulation) human beings will seek protection in political, commercial and religious institutions?
If we accept the possibility that Babylon the Great is a literal place (and be modern Israel) we must consider that even the mountains, above which the woman sits, are literal mountains.
There is always talk of the seven world powers of biblical history but we never talk about the seven mountains.
We never talk about the seven mountains because the political powers, they say, are the seven mountains.
Yet the writing of Revelation 17 explains that there are seven kings ... and (joining, in my language, that is "and there are also") seven mountains and this conjunction could suggest that even though the mountains depict powers as we know , there are actually seven mountains as objects of similitude with the number of kings.
It would seem a literal clue useful for identifying Babylon the Great.
Now the question is ... Which and how many mountains are indicated in the Scriptures that were part of the Promised Land?
1) Mount Moria 2) Mount Zion 3) Mount of Olives 4) Gilboa 5) Gerizim 6) Ebal 7) Mount Tabor.
N.B. Mount Nebo and the others, also mentioned in the Scriptures, were part of the territory of Moab and Edom and are therefore excluded.
This parallel is simply impossible to do with the world empire of false religion.
Revelation 3:12 and other scriptures that are fulfilled after the Lord's day, which mention the New Jerusalem, seem to emphasize a distinction with Old Jerusalem.
In chap. 18 of Revelation, Babylon the Great is destroyed.
In chap 19: 7, 8 the marriage of the lamb is prepared, so ...
The prostitute dies as a bride and the marriage can finally begin.
Marriage takes place with the "New Jerusalem"; was the prostitute is maybe the "Old Jerusalem" that is the carnal, impure, disobedient, idolatrous? - I Corinthians 9: 6-8; 10:18 - Galatians 4: 26-29
I would like to point out to you that the book Revelation, besides having the symbols, also has contrasts.
For example you can see that the beast with two horns of lamb is set against the real Lamb.
The mark of the wild beast is set in contrast with the name engraved on the forehead that the 144,000 have - see Revelation 13:11, 16; 14: 1
Now in Revelation you will see that there is a pure woman who is the legitimate bride and then there is a woman who, on the contrary, is a prostitute.
So the question we should ask ourselves is: if Babylon the Great is a nation, which is the only nation in the whole world, that would have the qualifications to pass itself off as "legitimate bride" when, in reality, she prostitutes herself with other nations ? -
Babylon is also called "the great city" and the only biblical reference is Nineveh, the "city of bloodshed".
This seems to be in harmony with the fact that Babylon is drunk with the blood of saints, prophets and everyone.
However, in Jeremiah chap. 22 Jehovah condemns Judah, which is the city of Sallum and Ioiachim, and people call this city "the great city".
Thus, even the city that once belonged to Jehovah is called the "great city".
Of the two clothed witnesses described in chapter 11 of Revelation it is said that, once killed, "their corpses will be on the wide street of the great city which in spiritual sense is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was put to the stake "- Revelation 11: 8
In which "great city" did the Lord Jesus have been killed?
Finally we could ask ourselves why, the writer of Revelation, after having seen frightful wild beasts, incredible celestial visions both beautiful and terrifying, thundering declarations and many other things, only at the sight of the woman he is "marvels of great wonder" - Revelation 17: 6 , 7
Could it have "marveled of great wonder" for having seen its own people and its own nation (which at the time of the writing of Revelation no longer existed)?
When in 70 E.V. the first Christians received the command to "flee to the mountains" in view of the destruction that would have occurred through the "disgusting thing" (represented at the time by the Roman Empire) they understood it as "separating from Judaism" or this was a consequence natural of the Teacher's teachings? Did not they understand it as literally to get out of the city?
Jeremiah 25:10, 11 and Revelation 18:22, 23 are very similar to each other, yet Jeremiah speaks of Israel while Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great.
In Revelation 18: 5-8 it is said that "God has remembered his acts of injustice".
Why did God "remember"?
False religion has not always done evil, in 6,000 history, without stopping a moment since the days of Nimrod?
Or, if Babylon were "the world", did God forget the actions of the world?
Could it not be because "Babylon" has not existed for many years, as a nation, but appears again after the "Lord's Day" by another name?
In Revelation 16: 16-21 we are now in Armageddon, the great city is divided into three parts, the nations fall and Babylon "was remembered".
So Babylon is related to the fall of other nations as if it were a "special" nation, something to remember, but still a nation.
Which, among all the nations of the earth, could it be considered "special" by Jehovah God?
Could the golden cup full of "disgusting things" held in the hands of the great harlot remember the utensils of the temple of God? - Compare Daniel 5: 1-4
According to the explanation of the book "Revelation: its climax" it is appropriate that the great harlot sit on the wild beast of scarlet color because, the false religion, has always had power over the kings of the earth even coming to name and oust them.
We know that the League or League of Nations also has representatives as "old nations" mentioned in the bible as Rome, Media-Persia and others but it would not have been more logical to see the "great whore" ride the first wild beast and that which ascends from the sea, since the false religion exists since the days of Nimrod?
Instead the great harlot sits on that beast that "was, but is not, and is about to ascend from the abyss, and will go into destruction" - Revelation 17: 8a
What rode the world empire of false religion (or Rome, or the world) when the beast was not?
As has been pointed out, in the Bible Israel is compared to a wife and Jehovah to the marital owner.
When it showed itself unfaithful, allying itself with other nations and mixing with the false adoration, Israel became "infidel" and even "prostitute".
Christianity claims to serve God but, in reality, prostitutes itself with the nations and with every false doctrine of pagan origin.
However, if Babylon the Great is the world empire of false religion (and therefore also includes religions such as Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, tribal religions, etc.), why is it considered, as a whole, a prostitute?
Jehovah has never identified himself as the "marital owner" of nations like Ammon, Moab, Egypt, or others (not even in Rome or the world).
So if we applied the concept of prostitution exclusively in the spiritual-religious (or politic) sense, it would seem that this infamous prostitute is exclusively Christianity.
Throughout the entire Bible, what is the only nation that Jehovah considers responsible for his prostitution? - Amos 3: 1, 2
The United Nations Will Soon Act Against Russia, South Korea, Singapore and Eritrea for Human Rights Violations Against Jehovah's WitnessesBy The Librarian
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Jehovah's Witnesses have long been persecuted as a religious minority but the United Nations is telling Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Eritrea that time is up! Listen to investigative journalist Joseph Bonner break down the facts.
By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
"After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible and unusually strong. And it had teeth of iron, big ones. It devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped what was left with his feet. And it was something different from all the [other] beasts that were before it, and had ten horns "- Daniel 7: 7 Â "I beheld then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld till the beast was slain and his body was destroyed and it was given to the burning fire "- Daniel 7:11 Â Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Â This treatment has the objective to correctly identify not only the beast of Daniel's vision but also the period of prophecy in connection with his murder. This will be a fundamental prophecy. Err the reference period, as was the case within Christianity, inevitably leads to straining and inconsistencies. What some say about this beast and how it should interest us personally? Since the dreadful and terrible beast makes its appearance after the leopard-like beast (Daniel 7: 6), which we know to be the Macedonian o greco empire, it must be the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire, in fact, as we have seen in several previous articles, takes the place of Greece on the world stage. Since we do not see other animals that was, it concludes Roma to be "killed" and this creates a domino effect on many subsequent interpretations. The prophecy would end the fall of Rome (Roma whom?), The Son of man of whom we read in the following verses is vested with the authority in the first century (see footnotes) and the book of Revelation, written before 70 EV, actually speak of the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century and so on. As a result of the fact that everything would be fulfilled by the fall of the Roman Empire, the beasts that you give a "life extension" for a time and a season, would the nations of today. I have simplified: there would be many other things but this is enough to understand how such an interpretation can change much our view of things. Leaving aside the various contradictions and unanswered questions that this interpretation creates, we must see if there is really a credible supporting them with scriptures. As we have done so far, the only reliable modus operandi is the comparison of records and respect for the authority of God's Word. Let us first of all that the prophet's attention is captured by this beast and in particular by its horns - Daniel 7: 8 This is a key aspect of the vision. We have already discussed the meaning of the horns in a previous article but now we will see it from another point of view. We take as an example the Macedonian Empire because there is more than ever useful to acquire the right key to the vision. We know that this empire represented by the goat, when he was in command of Alessandro Magno, was depicted with a "notable horn" - Daniel 8: 5 After the death of Alessandro Magno, when the empire was divided among four of his generals, the same goat is described as having "four horns" - Daniel 8: 8 We can see immediately a strangeness . The original empire is actually divided into four smaller empires and yet there is always only one goat. Why? Why do not you see four different beasts? Let's keep in mind these questions to answer later. Now let's speculate. If the goat, described by Daniel had been shot down in the time that he had "the great horn", what period of time would refer the vision and what territory would understand? The answer is simple. If the goat was shot down at the time of the great horn, this would take place during the rule of Alessandro Magno (between 356 and 323 BCE) on the only his vast empire. If the goat in Daniel, however, was shot down in the time when he had four horns, what period and what territory would embrace? The answer becomes more interesting. In this case, the empire is divided into four and see the goat fall would mean the defeat of all four generals and their occupied territories. In the vision, however, he would fall one beast. From these considerations we understand that the beast represents an empire, but the horns are the powers that share or compete for the domain or the territory of that empire - Compare Revelation 17:12; Daniel 11:39 These horns can be allied, as in the case Medo-Persian empire, but they can also fight against each other as seen for example in Daniel 7: 8 When an empire is divided, because it is seen as other horns on the beast itself and not as the beasts? Evidently because they emphasize from original empire. The horns present in the same beast tells us that all those powers have arisen from the same original empire. Having all the same origin, we could say that are "unrelated" to each other. The Medes and the Persians, in fact, had many differences but also many things in common. With this in mind, we can begin to understand the meaning of the vision of the fourth and final beast seen by Daniel. As we explained in another article, previous empires are seen "hornless" because they do not have power or are not dominant in the vision of the reference time . Understanding the vision reference time is very important. This allows us to establish that at the time that Daniel has the vision, the dreadful and terrible beast is already divided into various powers. What does this mean? The empire is rising after the Macedonian Roma and on this there is very little to discuss as confirmed by the dream of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 2:39, 40 So the first part of the hypothesis is correct: the beast that Daniel sees is Rome. That said, however, we must focus on the horns as did Daniel himself. If the beast has ten horns, in harmony with what we have seen so far, it follows that the original Empire (Roma) is already divided into an unknown number of powers. This, by itself, drop the hypothesis that Rome has to be "killed" as well as the time in which it would fulfill the prophecy. From these ten horns, at some point in history, check yet another horn that is what speaks great things (Daniel 7:11); what is the time in which the animal is killed . In Rome there is only the origin. In simple words the prophecy is saying that the latter horn, whatever the time of fulfillment, is one of the many powers born of ancient Rome. This beast is the final, there are no other - Daniel 7:17 So, since we should not expect the appearance of other animals, it is clear that his killing is done in the end time. This king is the same which is discussed below and "grandiose words" that pronounces we can find in Daniel 11: 36-38 From the point of view of God, since this king will become an object of worship for many people, it pronunciation "grand words", that is exaggerated and completely out of place for a human being or human military power - Compare Revelation 13: 3-6 Intending to correct the vision we need not climb over backwards in an attempt to demonstrate that there is talk of two kings and two different times because the similarities are obvious. Obvious for those who read the scriptures without trying to defend, at all costs, his own idea. This means that what you read in the following verses, which the Son of man who is given dominion, authority and kingdom, is fulfilled in the end time. This also leads us to realize what it is actually killing the beast and the fact that being thrown "into the burning fire." This expression can only bring our minds to the "lake of fire" reported at Revelation 19:20 The lake of fire is a place from which there is no return and therefore you would expect, if this had happened in Rome, that there was no longer any trace of this empire. Instead Europe and much of Asia and Africa is full of Roman remains, aqueducts from the statues the ancient buildings. This does not give precisely the idea that was thrown into the "burning fire", is not it? Instead of the last dominant empire on earth, as described in Revelation, it says that the whole beast will be cast into the lake of fire. Besides, this is an action that can only make the Almighty God and His Son Christ, not an invading empire. Unless speculate that the fall of Rome intervened personally God, there is no way to "harmonize" this expression. Rome, in fact, never really died and was never really replaced. The social fabric is wore out, and this allowed many people simply "get" and divide it but was never really defeated in battle. He fell under his vices and under its own weight. The vision speaks of the beast that is not killed except in time when this remarkable horn appears. As we saw in the previous article, this horn is the last king of the north on the world stage, namely Russia. It goes without saying that this explanation, as we have already seen, a wonderful window opens in verse 12. The explanation that would apply all this to the fall of Rome, can not explain why, between kingdoms currently present (those to which a prolongation of life in our days) still exists Rome and even all the nations would be allowed that were exclusively owned by Rome. If Rome is burned in the blazing fire and the other allows himself a "life extension", should exist Iran (Persia), Iraq (Babylon) and Greece ... but should not exist Italy (the when Rome is still the capital), should not exist France nor Germany nor Spain and so on. Instead it appears that this extension of life a little 'at all is granted. If instead the beast is killed at Armageddon, it is clear that the other animals are given a life extension for "a time and a season" after the judgment of Armageddon. This allowed us to sensibly understand how he can "check" this Gog of Magog full Millennial Kingdom. We just carefully observe, then, that world events, without being distracted by explanations forced and unscriptural, as we await the fulfillment of the angel's following words recorded in Daniel 7:18: "But the saints of the Supreme receive the kingdom, and take possession of indefinitely kingdom, even indefinitely to times indefinite '- see also Revelation 20: 4 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Footnotes * This interpretation asserts that the Son of man receives the kingdom in the first century to the fact that Jerusalem was under Roman rule (cf. Matthew 28:18), but obviously does not explain why, according to the order written by Daniel, this does not happen the fall of Rome. Reading Daniel 7: 11-14 we understand that the enthronement of the Son of Man takes place after the killing of this beast and, therefore, the enthronement could not take place in the first century since, at that time, Rome was well far from being "killed." That if we do not play the usual chronological order is not in the book. However, it should be argued that when considering the order of the beasts as chronological (ie the order of the appearance of empires is chronologically Correctly or ) can not be determined in an arbitrary way that the next part is not written chronologically. What it is written in chronological order it is also evident from the words of Daniel that says, more than once, "I continued watching ..." - Daniel 7: 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 The writing of Matthew 28:18 does not prove that he began to reign in the first century (if not on the Christian congregation) because there is a difference between taking power legally and take it effectively. If Christ had taken power in effect in the first century, it would mean that the world would no longer be ruled by Satan since then. But sixty years after these words of the Lord, the apostolo Giovanni said "the whole world lies in the power of the wicked" - 1 John 5:19 ** You do not even understand the "what Rome" would be talking about the prophecy since this empire was split in two in 395 EV The beast can not be considered "killed" at the time of his division. The Eastern Empire fell in 476 EV while that of the West in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople. The beast can not be considered to be "killed" in 476 since a portion of it continued to exist and therefore in theory of Christ the enthronement event would occur after 1453. However even 1453 can be considered the date of the beast dsell'uccisione for the reasons spiegat the in this article. *** On the same line of this false interpretation of "Babylon the Great" Roma would be that would be killed (it is not clear by whom) to his downfall. To support this hypothesis is often referred to "the seven hills of Rome" and many flights of fancy to determine who would be the seven most important king of Rome - compares Revelation 17: 9 **** "Finally," but not really seen that the inconsistencies are many, you can not explain for what reason the writing says "there are four kings that will rise from the earth" (Daniel 7:17) meaning it clear that there would have been only the most four kings , not one more. The explanation would like the angel speaks to Daniel, the four powers, but that would not have all the powers that would arise on earth. The vision, in short, get to a certain point but not to the time of the end - Look instead Daniel 7:18 Â Â
'Mismanagement' keeps UN from reaching full potential, Trump says in debut speech
By The Librarian
Our Brother Bill Underwood wrote an interesting article in the newspaper:
If you had to choose between Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, which would you choose?Now, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have to choose, I already have both.’ Are you sure?Last August, the central district court of Tver – the oblast or ‘state’ in which Moscow resides, banned a religious website, jw.org. They did this secretly, not notifying the owners of the website until the day before the ban was to go into effect – January 22, 2014. Had they prevailed, their rationale would have been to claim, as they have in the past, that the ‘free speech’ on jw.org defames other religions. Jw.org won that battle in the court of appeals, but the foundation on which the attack was based still exists.In 1999, Pakistan brought a resolution to the UN calling for a ban on “Defamation of Islam.” Cooler heads prevailed and, after much discussion, the Commission on Human Rights passed instead a resolution banning “Defamation of Religion.”Over the years from 2000 to 2009 the resolution was added to, revised, strengthened, and re-worded, but it was consistently approved. Aside from the lack of elections, U.N. politicians are no different from any other type. It would have been politically incorrect to be seen as anti-Muslim, especially after 9/11, so passing a bill to protect them from defamation seemed like a good idea. Typical was the vote of the UN General Assembly in December, 2007: 108 for, 51 against, and 25 abstaining.In 2009, however, Pakistan pushed again. Their resolution that year stated that they were concerned that defamation of religion led to “the creation of a kind of Islamophobia in which Muslims were typecast as terrorists." They weren't opposed to freedom of expression, oh no. They merely wanted to ban "expression that led to incitement.”They said the hatred of Muslims was just like the hatred of Jews that Hitler had whipped up in pre-WWII Germany, and look what that led to. Has there been a Muslim “krystallnacht” that I didn’t hear about...the night of August 9, 1938 when Germans destroyed over 7,000 Jewish businesses and over 1,000 synagogues? Even in the days after 9/11 when there was enormous outrage against Muslims, the level of hatred never approached that.Pakistan’s proposed resolution said basically that freedom of speech sometimes has to yield in order to maintain peace. Governments such as Russia, Pakistan, and most of the middle east are quick to use this argument: some opinion or expression of yours is causing distress to others; therefore, instead of telling the ‘others’ to grow up and get over it, they tell you to stop expressing your opinion.In any case, this was a step too far, and the pendulum began to swing back. Pakistan’s argument was recognized for what it was, and over 200 civic groups, some Muslim, some Christian, some atheist, demanded that the UN push back.Over the preceding 10 years, the UN had assigned a “special rapporteur” to analyze the subject of defamation of religion and report back. The rapporteur’s report in 2009 included this telling statement:
“[We] encourage a shift away from the sociological concept of the defamation of religions towards the legal norm of non-incitement to national, racial or religious hatred." Three months later when the United States and Egypt introduced a resolution which condemned "racial and religious stereotyping," EU representative Jean-Baptiste Mattei said the European Union "rejected and would continue to reject the concept of defamation of religions." Significantly, he said:
"Human rights laws did not and should not protect belief systems." And the representative from Chile pointed out that,
"The concept of the defamation of religion took them in an area that could lead to the actual prohibition of opinions." A month later, at a human rights meeting in Geneva, the United States representative admitted that defamation of religion is “a fundamentally flawed concept.” The rep from Sweden repeated what the Frenchman had said earlier: international human rights law protects individuals, not institutions or religions.By 2011 the backlash was complete. The UNHRC declared that "Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with” the charter of the Human Rights Committee.In the years since then, any proposal in the UN attempting to ban ‘defamation of religion’ has been shot down. Freedom of speech has trumped freedom of religion.Last week, far from worrying about ‘defamation,’ the UN came out loudly and publicly chastising the Vatican.
This has never happened before. Their purported justification for doing so went like this: The Vatican is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 34 of which reads in part:
“Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.” The UN accused the Vatican not merely of failing to protect children, but of actively endangering children by their policy of moving pederasts to new parishes where they could continue their predations, and of obfuscating all attempts by law enforcement agencies to find and prosecute the offenders.Now, here’s where it gets really interesting: The UN went further. They also condemned the Church’s doctrines regarding homosexuality, abortion, and ‘reproductive rights.’Chastising a signatory of a contract for failing to abide by the contract is one thing; Attempting to dictate to a church what their doctrines should be is something else. Where is the UN’s authority to do that? Yet they did it anyway.If, as the UN says, religions and belief systems are not protected by human rights - and I agree, they clearly are not – what prevents them from taking the next step: deciding that religions and belief systems are nothing more than ancient superstitions that are doing more harm than good, and that it’s time to ban them?It’s too bad the UN doesn’t have any teeth. Do they? We'll Investigate that next.
The UN should create a set of international rules to help stop the pandemic of fake news and Cold war-style disinformation, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said during a session of the UN Committee on Information in New York.
By Micael Frost
How does the ban on JW in Russia fit into our current belief? Since many years WT have explained that the attack on Jehovahs people should occur AFTER 1. Proclamation of Peace and Security and 2. The fall of Babylon the Great.
Also in WT 2015 (May 15 p. 29-30) it says that "it seems to be in harmony with ...(Ezek 38: 6,15)...that this coalition will be led by the figurative “king of the north” (text sequence edited by me) .
Can we expect new light on this or does someone now a different explanation?
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Bolivian Ambassador Remembers The U.S. Saying Iraq Had Chemical Weapons!
By Guest Kurt
GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*.
“This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said.
“The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed.
The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.
A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events.
A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’.
Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016. The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.
“We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded.
(*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. UN Human Rights, country page:
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By The Librarian
United Nations Building, New York City
Photo Credit: Flash 90
For years, critics of the United Nations have been calling on the U.S. to defund and even quit the world body. Some have urged that a rival or successor organization be established. Now, the empty sheet of bitter discontent with the UN has been filled in with a new name and a new movement calling to “defund and replace” the troubled organization with the Covenant of Democratic Nations. This writer has been a participating witness to the birth of this movement.
Just days after the passage of UN Resolution 2334, which declared, among other things, that Israel’s Jewish connection to the Western Wall was effectively illegal, concrete replacement action began. It has started with a conversation of ideas proposing an official international conference that would carefully propound a multilaterally-signed diplomatic convention to be ratified by countries as a binding treaty that would juridically forge the covenant into operational reality.
The entire process would be limited to nations governed by democratic principles. Each member would or could defund the United Nations while it labored to construct a successor entity dedicated to world peace along democratic principles with equal respect for all people regardless of religion, gender, race, identity, or national origin, as well as formulating a mechanism to resolve disputes.
A prime mission of the new world body would be to re-ratify, amend, or nullify all acts and resolutions of the United Nations and its agencies such as UNESCO. Thus, the Covenant would create a new body of long-overdue, reformed, clarified, and updated international law. Sensibly, most CDN nations would remain as vestigial members of the UN overseeing its collapse from economic and bureaucratic processes as was done when the League of Nations was dissolved after World War II and replaced with the present UN.
Clearly, the history of world bodies, fluttering high-minded banners of peace on earth following wars that scorched the world and scarred all humankind, is not a good one. The League of Nations was born after World War I out of a quest for revenge by the victors, laced with a visionary desire to end colonialism and empower self-determination among nationally awakened peoples, so long as the whole business conquered the oil fields of the Mideast, lubricating the machinery of the post-Second Industrial Revolution West—and the multinational corporate palms that controlled it.
Countries were invented that had never existed, carved and chipped off the toppled Turkish and German empires, with handpicked kings and sovereigns put into place who could legally sign lucrative petroleum contracts. Backstage, oil companies got the oil. But the flaccid League of Nations – which never included the United States –proved its utter uselessness during the Hitler regime.
After World War II, the League was replaced by the United Nations. Although enshrined as a democratic enterprise, profoundly undemocratic and scheming governments penetrated the organization from its inception. Civil war-torn China and a tyrannical and hegemonic Soviet Union joined France, Great Britain, and the United States to create the Security Council. Expansion, inclusion, and extension eventually enrolled 193 nations, including such egalitarian democracies as North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia. The world body began as a sick organ and deteriorated from there.
The Covenant conversation launched in earnest on January 23 when a panel of like-minded voices assembled in a crowded Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ,) who currently supports a bill to defund the UN, opened the Covenant Launch proceedings by declaring, “This is a critically important issue. The United Nations started out with a noble charter…but the United Nations has not only failed their charter, they have distinctly moved in the opposite direction and done actual harm…. They have become an anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-democratic, anti-freedom mob…. We need some type of alternative – a Covenant of Democratic Nations…. We need to repeal and replace.”
Sarah Stern, founder of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), pinpointed America’s 22 percent share of the overall UN budget. Stern said America was not getting what it pays for when “despotic, ruthless, tyrannical regimes” such as Syria “could pass judgment on the one democracy in the Middle East.” The UN has, she said, proven to be “abysmal” and added, “It is now time to begin having this conversation about dissolving the United Nations and replacing with a Covenant of Democratic Nations that share our common values…of tolerance, human rights, and the rule of law.”
Famed constitutional attorney Nathan Lewin, who has worked on 28 Supreme Court cases, proclaimed to the room, “The United Nations deserves an obituary…because the United Nations committed suicide when it adopted Resolution 2334. It wrote its own death warrant…. Today I am happy to join a group that would spell the end of the United Nations, the end of its funding, it presence and significance in the world order.”
The Covenant launch in Washington was only the beginning. Additional panels and town hall meetings will convene in several locales in the coming weeks. The conversation has begun.
About the Author: Edwin Black is the author of several books including “ IBM and the Holocaust” and the initiator of the Covenant of the Democratic Nations effort. For his prior efforts, he has been awarded the Moral Courage Award, the Moral Compass Award, and the Justice for All Award.
By Bible Speaks
"God is guarding all the bones of that one; not one of them has been broken." (Ps. 34:20)
As prophesied, the Messiah would be pierced, but his bones would not be broken. Inhabitants of Jerusalem would “look to the One whom they pierced through,” says Zechariah 12:10.
Confirming these points, the apostle John wrote: “One of the soldiers jabbed his [Jesus’] side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he that has seen it [John] has borne witness, and his witness is true . . . These things took place in order for the scripture to be fulfilled: ‘Not a bone of his will be crushed.’ And, again, a different scripture says: ‘They will look to the One whom they pierced.’”—John 19:33-37.
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By The Librarian
Over the past year we have been celebrating 70 years of the United Nations and indeed, there is much to be proud of and grateful for. Over the past year alone, Member States adopted an ambitious development agenda – Agenda 2030 – as well as the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, a process in which I was honoured to play a role. These agreements demonstrate, once again, the power and the value of the UN when its Member States are united in purpose.
At the same time, the world is facing complex challenges that the UN’s founders could have scarcely imagined 70 years ago. As our societies have grown more interconnected, so have our problems. The global migration and refugee crisis has demonstrated that armed conflict, environmental degradation and human rights violations in one part of the world can have repercussions across the world. We are already witnessing the effects of climate change, the impacts of which are being felt most acutely by the poorest societies that are least able to cope. We have also been made painfully aware that terrorism knows no borders and that violent extremists are increasingly adept at exploiting power vacuums, instability and discontent to spread hatred and destruction.
Image: United Nations Working together to tackle the biggest challenges
It is evident that we can no longer afford to deal with such challenges in an isolated manner or ignore the full range of their impacts – social, political, environmental and economic. Doing so risks inflaming vicious cycles of conflict. The only way to take on these challenges is by working collectively; either we figure out ways of winning together, or we will all lose together.
In these complicated times, and in a fraught and shifting geopolitical environment, the United Nations remains the indispensable organization that can bring the world around the table to formulate collective responses to shared challenges. Even as these challenges grow increasingly complex, Member States continue to turn to the UN as the universal forum to build consensus and unity in the face of daunting obstacles. But in order to deliver on its crucial responsibilities in a fast-moving world, the UN as an institution has to evolve. This requires visionary leadership and creativity to adapt the way we think, the way we engage, and the way we work.
Four priorities for peace and security
For the UN to take on the global challenges of the 21st century, I believe the next secretary-general should focus on four broad priorities in the field of peace and security.
First, conflict prevention and strengthened political engagement must be brought to the forefront of the UN’s agenda. This is not a new idea –three major reviews of the UN’s peace and security architecture over the past year have reiterated this point. The UN secretariat needs to be more creative in presenting to the Security Council the full spectrum of instruments we have at our disposal to prevent and de-escalate conflicts, from special envoys, regional political offices and political missions, to peacebuilding support efforts and specialized, interdisciplinary teams that can provide host governments with focused support. The UN should also use its greatest assets – its convening power and legitimacy – to be more active at bringing together stakeholders to negotiate political settlements and resolve conflicts before violence erupts.
Additionally, we must remember that conflict prevention requires sowing the seeds of long-term peace through development and prosperity. Agenda 2030 highlights the old truth that there is no peace without sustainable development – and no sustainable development without peace.
A second priority should be promoting full integration of UN system-wide efforts. Too often the UN’s political, developmental and human rights efforts are functioning at cross-purposes. This must stop. The multi-dimensional challenges we face require multi-dimensional thinking and action. We must overcome institutional inertia and instil a culture of systemic collaboration and inter-disciplinary thinking appropriate for the interconnected world we live in. The new secretary-general and their team should find innovative ways of harnessing the full capacities of the UN system, including the agencies, funds and programmes to be able to tackle issues on all fronts. This also requires undertaking renewed efforts to promote better internal governance, transparency and accountability. And we must heed the call from both Member States and UN staff to adapt our bureaucratic processes to be more agile and effective, and better respond to evolving realities in the field.
Third, the UN must become a better partner. Regional and sub-regional organizations such as the African Union, European Union, Arab League, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and others play a critical role in conflict resolution and prevention. We must recognize that other actors are sometimes better placed to react more rapidly and effectively. In such cases, we should work together with these organizations to identify the ways the UN can best support and enable regional efforts. And our approach should be grounded in a spirit of mutual respect and recognition of comparative advantages.
Finally, the next secretary-general should redouble diplomatic engagement with Member States, particularly the Security Council, through closer and more regular interaction aimed at finding and expanding points of consensus. While the Council has been criticized for its handling of the Syrian crisis, we must recognize that it found common ground on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and on authorizing cross-border humanitarian access. Even in the most seemingly intractable conflicts, there is room for agreement on issues of common interest, and the secretary-general should use their diplomatic arsenal and creativity to facilitate consensus among Member States, even when consensus seems impossible.
Making the impossible a reality
Indeed, a universal agreement to combat climate change seemed impossible only a few years ago. But through persistent, hopeful leadership and old-fashioned multilateral diplomacy –the UN’s raison d’être and greatest strength – we were able to make the impossible possible. I am confident that together we can do the same for the multitude of challenges we face today. Billions of people around the world affected by conflict, poverty and hardship are counting on us. We cannot fail them.