And yes.... you did read that headline correctly.
I would still like to know what "Salt licks" are. 😉
“Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 22,23
“When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, 34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors. 33,34
When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
“When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.” 2 Chron 6:33,34,44,45,46-51
These verses are taken from Solomon’s dedication prayer at the finish of the first temple, early in his reign as king over Israel. They are inspired words, verified by the Spirit of God filling the temple Solomon had built, and fire from heaven consuming the burnt offerings. (2 Chron 7:1-3)
When I initially woke up to the sins and lies of the organization, I was learning that God’s heavenly House, His Temple today, is built on the Body of Christ; he, as the chief cornerstone with faithful anointed “living stones” of “Israel”, sealed into the Temple since the first century. (1 Pet 2:5,6,9; 1 Cor 3:16; 12:28; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:20-22; Rev 7:4)
It is not built with earthly riches, and men appointed by men as its priesthood; who began this endeavor a little over a hundred years ago. (Isa 2:22; James 3:15; Rom 1:25) It is a Temple and “holy city”, of truth. (John 4:23,24; 1 Tim 3:15; Rev 21:2,3)
It slowly sunk in, that I had been an idolater…for years! I had put full trust in an organization that operates like many other worldly organizations. I had been deceived into believing that this organization was the way of “truth”, instead of giving credit to Jesus Christ as “truth”, the Head of God’s anointed household of priests. (John 14:6; Rev 21:10,12,14,27)
When reading Solomon’s beautiful words, I realized my need to repent, turning to the Father and Christ in prayer. I had to submit to God’s refinement in the light of my disgraceful conduct. (Jer 46:48; Job 5:17; 1 Cor 6:11; Heb 10:22; 12:8-11)
I also had become aware of the nation that was at war with God’s holy people, seducing them into believing a lie. (2 Pet 2:1,2; 2 Thess 2:9-12)
There is an apparent foe that has come against the organization where most of God’s anointed priests presently dwell among millions of JWs. It is said that this foe, and the persecution it administers to JWs, is a sign of the last days that Jesus said his true followers would experience. (Matt 24:3,6,7) Although the organization has yet to announce that the “great tribulation” has arrived, its governing leaders explain that the “king of the north” during the time of the end, is this political foe that has imprisoned JWs for “extremism”. The consensus by JWs, is that they are not an “extreme” group; while the world sees families torn apart by the organization’s strict regulations on obedience to the governing leaders. (Isa 5:20-24) The world is also now aware that its epidemic of pedophilia has been left unchecked for years. For these things alone, God could remove His protection from His people. (Isa 1:4,15,21,23; Isa 59:9; Micah 6:8; Matt 7:12)
He has allowed the organization to maneuver its way through suffering at the hands of the nations for years, by leaving it to fight its own battles. It hypocritically plays on the empathy of others with worldly influence, rubbing shoulders with those in power, and very likely using a large amount of money at its disposal, as leverage to get its way.
The organization also relates “modern-day Assyrians” to the “king of the north”, whose said intention is to eradicate JWs during Armageddon. The identity of this “king” seems very flexible in the Wt. vocabulary. It appears that whatever government is causing the most suffering to JWs at the time, can be labeled as the king of the north.
The truth is, what JWs call persecution to “Jehovah’s people” is none other than a demonic-sourced ruse, enacted both in reality, and in the spirit world. (Matt 24:4,10,11; 2 Pet 2:1-3;2 Cor 10:3-5; Eph 6:12; 1 Pet 5:8 ; Col 2:8; Rev 13:1,2,10,11,12)
Effectively, it has misled God’s anointed ones of the true enemy that has come against His “saints”. Extremism is absolutely enforced by unfaithful leaders of “Israel” who have left their covenant with Christ. (Isa 28:15) Cunning and compelling tactics are used to subdue God’s priests, with the purpose of keeping them subservient to a wicked slave/false prophet, and its army of elders. (Matt 24:48,49; Rom 12:16; Phil 2:3; Col 2:20-22;1 John 4:1; Dan 11:21; Rev 13:5,6,11,12;16:13,14 )
For anyone to remain within the organization, they must adhere to the regulations of the established powers; both the governing leaders and their body of elders. They must uphold their dedication oath to the organization and the power it wields. (Hos 9:10) For failing to do this, shunning can result. For verbally exposing its lies and announcing one’s dedication is only to God and Christ, a disfellowshipping – “killing” – is the result. (Isa 65:5; 66:5; Matt 5:11,12; Luke 21:12; John 16:2,3; Rev 13:15,16)
Although it remains undetected by most, there are two primary “nations” at war; “Jews” of spiritual “Israel”, and spiritual “Gentiles” who rule over them. Harlots of “Israel” have sided with “Gentile”/elders, to dominate and conquer “her” fellow servants. (Matt 24:50,51; 1 John 3:12, 17:5) This is accomplished by deceit, lies, “empty philosophy”, or “empty seduction”, according to the Greek meaning in Col 2:8.
So, is it true that “modern day Assyrian army” is alive and active in the organization as I am suggesting? There are certain parallel traits of this northern army that spiritually mirror the elder body today. With eyes that see, its identity can be laid bare, while interpreting its purpose. (Joel 2:2,3; Rev 9:3,4,7,10; 13:2,7; 20:7-9)
After a vicious rampage on the country of Judah, the king of Assyria set his aim on Jerusalem. (2 Kings 18:13) In the well-known account of King Hezekiah confronting the Assyrians in their attack against Jerusalem, he worked to secure the city by reinforcing its walls. He built a remarkable tunnel that brought water into the city. (2 Chron 32:1-5,30,31; Isa 22:8-11) He may have been forced by his own officials to approach Epypt for aid. Hezekiah desperately tried to buy out King Sennacherib with tribute payments, to the extent of removing gold from the temple doors, and apologizing for not keeping his tribute oath, in exchange for Judah’s protection. (2 Kings 18:14-16 )
Yet, as Sennacherib wrote down on what is known as the “Taylor Cylinder”, he and all in Jerusalem, remained as caged birds. A portion translated reads,
“ I reckoned (them) as spoil. Hezekiah himself like a caged bird within Jerusalem,
his royal city I shut in ...”
Hezekiah had a reputation as faithful to God and worked diligently to clear his empire of idolatry - the refuse left over from his predecessors. (2 Kings 18:4) It wasn’t until he had exhausted every avenue he could think of to thwart the threat of Assyria, did he then call on the prophet Isaiah for advice, saying, “This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them” (2 Kings 19:2-4) (Matt 24:4-8; 1 Thess 5:3; Rev 12:4 )
Sennacherib’s officials had previously used “empty seduction” to coerce their listeners at the Jerusalem wall, with promises of peace and prosperity, if they submitted to Assyria.
“Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!” (2 Kings 18:31-32)
Once Hezekiah received the messages from both Isaiah and Sennacherib’s officials, he approached the temple of God and laid his burden fully before Him.
“Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They (the lands of Judah) have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.” . 2 Kings 19:16-19
God’s message through Isaiah against Assyria and its King, is quite incredible to read. (2 Kings 19:21-28) And, it was in that very night when 185,000 of Sennacherib’s troops died at the hands of God’s angel.
In his pride, Sennacherib never mentioned this defeat, the man who called Ninevah, “the Palace without a Rival”.
The authentic threat that God’s people today face, is the organization itself. It “makes war” against the saints through the use of deceit, conquering them with “empty philosophy…seduction”. (Rev 13:1,2,7,8,10) It has “surrounded the camp of the saints”, like caged birds. (Rev 20:7-9; 16:13-16)
Yet, JWs as a whole, believe they have rid themselves of idols, not realizing they are so steeped in the idolatry and false promises of the “Assyrian” way of life, that it will bring their downfall. (Rev 2:20; 13:11,14,16,17,8; 14:9,10) They submit to its blasphemous rules and lies, including lies about themselves; trusting that their dedication/oath to the organization will promise security now, in this life, and in the life to come.
A “tribute” can be defined as, “a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection.” What kind of payment must the priesthood of God and all within, “pay” in exchange for spiritual “security”, a life they believe comes with future peace and prosperity? (1 Thess 5:3) It is paid for, with their loyalty, devotion, veneration, obedience, and material riches. (Rev 13:15,16) Their life as they know it, hinges on obedience to those who rule over them. (Luke 22:25-27; Mark 8:35)
When everything let loose in Russia against the organization, one of the governing body members stated on a video, “We can say with confidence that all of these efforts that are being made to try to stop our worship of Jehovah, to wipe it out, are not going to have any success.”
Three years later, we see more severe persecution happening in that country and in other countries as well. This should prove to the organization that it is committing gross sins. It should prove that the holy priesthood is failing in upholding their oath to God. (Jonah 2:9) They have forsaken their duties to defend the sanctuary/Temple from the enemy among them, and allowed lies to fester, causing fear within their hearts. (Josh 7:12; Isa 51:23; Ezek 44:6-9; Matt 5:13; 1 Cor 3:16,17; 2 Cor 5:20; Heb 10:35-39; 1 Pet 3:14; Isa 10:24,25)
The powerful “King of the north”/ elder body/”man of lawlessness” has left not one “living stone” upon a stone, in the organization. (Dan 11:28,31,32; Matt 24:15; Mark 13:17; Luke 19:44; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 9:1-4;11:1,2; 13:7)
The organization’s leaders have turned to every avenue possible, to defeat its physical enemy, but because it supports a “spirit-directed mountain-like” idol, with its own priesthood, and refuses to acknowledge and turn to God’s dwelling/Temple of Holy Spirit, its defeat will be far greater than what it now experiences. Its finish will be through the Spirit of Truth in Christ. (Mal 3:1; Matt 10:20,40; Heb 4:12; Rev 1:16; 2 Thess 2:8; Rev 11:3-5; 12: 9-11; Zech 4:7; Rev 8:8; 20:10; Jer 23:29) (Zeph 2:13-15)
Through its arrogant pride, it holds confidence in the weakness of men, and not in the strength and power of God. (Prov16:18; Ps 10:4; Isa 28:15; 30:12-15; 1 John 2:15) (Zech 4:10,7,8,6)
1 Cor3:16,17 - Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
It was the Jewish leader themselves, who tore down their own house, by their rejection of the cornerstone, and New Jerusalem above... the mother of Wisdom.
It was those leaders whom Jesus was addressing, at John 2:19..
God would not have allowed the Temple of the faithful to be torn down by Gentiles (either then, or now), if they had sought out the true foundation, and had been loyal to it. God will have a Temple to praise Him, whether men choose to be faithful or not...
"Tear down this Temple, and I will raise it up in three days." (John 2:19)
We too have the choice before us, as do the leaders of the WT. Upon which foundation, do they choose to build their house?
If it is not based upon the cornerstone, the 12 foundation stones, and all the living stones of God's priesthood of saints (1 Pet 2:5,9)...
then it will collapse and be torn down, by their own doing.
Keeping in mind that “Jacob” is “Israel”, the symbolism of the “seven shepherds and eight dukes” that come against “Assyria”, cannot be the “Gentile” elders, since these scriptures speak about the resurgence of “Jacob” – God’s anointed House of “Israel”.
“Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
even eight commanders,
6 who willcrush the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod (“Babylon”) with drawn sword.
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
when they invade our land
and march across our borders.
7 The remnant of Jacob will be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
or depend on man.
8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles as it goes,
and no one can rescue.
9 Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
and all your foes will be destroyed.” Micah 5:3-9
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Eye Salve – Humility, Repentance
Who Are the Locusts? -
Gentile Times/Great Tribulation/Cleansed Priesthood
Who Destroys God’s Temple?
Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke....By TheWorldNewsOrg
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By Bible Speaks
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Hezekiah praying in front of the Temple
Approximately 20 x 30 inches
Oil on canvas
Patterson Educational Center
Hezekiah was greatly distressed by the Assyrian threat recorded in the letters sent him but he continued to trust in Jehovah and appealed to him at the temple, also sending some of the head ones of the people to the prophet Isaiah. IsaiahÂ’s reply, from Jehovah, was that Sennacherib would hear a report and would return to his own land, where eventually he would be slain. (2Ki 19:1-7; Isa 37:1-7)
During the night Jehovah sent his angel, who destroyed 185,000 of the cream of SennacheribÂ’s troops, Â“every valiant, mighty man and leader and chief in the camp of the king of Assyria, so that he went back with shame of face to his own land.Â”
WHAT AHAZ DID
· (2 Kings 16:8, 9) Ahaz then took the silver and the gold that was to be found at the house of Jehovah and in the treasuries of the king’s house and sent the king of Assyria a bribe. · (2 Chronicles 28:21) “For Ahaz had stripped the house of Jehovah and the house of the king and the houses of the princes and made a gift to the king of Assyria; but it was of no help to him” WHAT HEZEKIAH DID
· (2 Kings 18:13-16) “In the 14th year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib the king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I am at fault. Withdraw from against me, and I will give whatever you may impose on me.” The king of Assyria imposed on King Hezekiah of Judah a fine of 300 silver talents and 30 gold talents. 15 So Hezekiah gave all the silver that could be found at the house of Jehovah and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah removed the doors of the temple of Jehovah and the doorposts that King Hezekiah of Judah himself had overlaid, and he gave them to the king of Assyria”
It sounds quite similar, isn’t it?
COMPARING THE ACTIONS OF BOTH, FATHER AND SON
We find the following about the father, Ahaz:
*** it-1 p. 62 Ahaz ***
· Rather than put faith in Jehovah, however, Ahaz, out of fear of the Syro-Israelite conspiracy, chose the shortsighted policy of bribing Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria to come to his aid. (Isa 7:2-6; 8:12) … Meanwhile he mutilated much of the copper temple equipment and rearranged other features in the temple area all “because of the king of Assyria,” perhaps to pay the heavy tribute imposed on Judah In other words, he showed lack of faith and confidence, right?
But, regarding his son, Hezekiah, we think very different. With relation to the identical action he took against the temple, we, instead read:
*** w68 3/15 p. 170 par. 9 True Worship Under Challenge ***
· No doubt this was part of Hezekiah’s theocratic war strategy, a move to gain time, and to put him in a better position to grapple with the enemy. In a most recent publication, the 2000 book “Isaiah’s Prophecy-I”, we simply found a description of the facts, but without questioning the implications:
*** ip-1 chap. 29 p. 385 pars. 4-5 A King’s Faith Is Rewarded ***
· Perhaps hoping to protect Jerusalem from an immediate assault by the relentless Assyrian army, Hezekiah agrees to pay Sennacherib an enormous tribute of 300 silver talents and 30 gold talents.—2 Kings 18:14. Since there is not enough gold and silver in the royal treasury to pay the tribute, Hezekiah retrieves what precious metals he can from the temple. He also cuts down the temple doors, which have been overlaid with gold, and sends them to Sennacherib.
Recently, when I saw the clip about Hezekiah during our midweek meeting, I recalled one thought time ago I was wondering: Could it be possible that Hezekiah, in first instance, yielded at some degree with the Assyrians, then received punishment from God, recovered the faith and, finally, got the needed relief from Jehovah?
Not sure if this question would be filled under polemic questions, not my intention. After all, if the king stumbled a little then recovered completely. And his record also has another known error, (2 Chronicles 32:25) “…did not respond appreciatively to the good done to him, for his heart became haughty, bringing indignation against him…” But, also, showed repentance.
One factor may be easy to miss is the fact that: Assyrian invasion, Hezekiah’s illness, his recover, the deliverance, all these events happened AT THE SAME TIME approximately, and it perfectly fits with a different order of happenings.
· (2 Ki 18:2) “He was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 29 years…” · (2Ki 18:13) “In the 14th year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib the king of Assyria came…” · (2 Kings 20:5, 6) “Here I am healing you. On the third day you will go up to the house of Jehovah. I will add 15 years to your life” My maths are bad, but if he reigned by 29 years, and a period of 15 years was added when was healed. (29-15=14). His 14th year of reign, when the Sennacherib’s invasion, was the same year when he was sick.
And this leads to this important conclusion:
The three Bible records we have are open to another chronology of facts.
· (2 Kings 19:35-20:1) “On that very night the angel of Jehovah went out and struck down 185,000 men […] In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death.” Note IN THOSE DAYS, not AFTER THIS or equivalent expression. · (Isaiah 37:36-38:1) “And the angel of Jehovah went out and struck down 185,000 men […] In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death.” Again, note IN THOSE DAYS. · (2 Chronicles 32:23, 24) “And many brought gifts to Jehovah at Jerusalem and choice things to King Hezekiah of Judah, and he was greatly respected by all the nations after that. In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death.” The same, IN THOSE DAYS, not necessarily AFTER the deliverance. As we’ve stablished the invasion and the illness was at the same time, when all the records mention not after but those, the possibility arises that the order was different. The order the next graphic try to indicate.
THE ILLNESS REASON
Just let us read these words:
(Isaiah 38:1) “In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what Jehovah says: ‘Give instructions to your household, for you will die; you will not recover.’” If Isaiah had been a physician we could think he was diagnosing the king. But Isaiah was the God’s agent. It must have sounded like a sentence. Perhaps it explains this expression in the supplication of Hezekiah: (Isaiah 38:17) “You have thrown all my sins behind your back.”
THE POSSIBLE SECUENCE OF FACTS
· Assyria threats Judah. · Hezekiah despoils the temple of Jehovah to satisfy Sennacherib · Jehovah causes the illness of the kink, as punishment · The king repents and, as sign, a celestial phenomenon happens, observed by other nations · Jehovah releases his people from the Assyrians · Other nations give gifts to the King of Judah · Babylonians came to Jerusalem after seeing the signal · Hezekiah shows them the treasures THE REASON BEHIND THE (DES)ORDER
Not always the records in the Bible books are presented in sequential order. Let’s take Ezekiel, by example.
*** it-1 p. 793 Ezekiel, Book of ***
· For the most part, Ezekiel’s prophecies and visions are arranged chronologically as well as topically. The four verses of chapter 29:17-20 are placed out of their chronological order (compare Eze 29:1; 30:20), but topically they belong here with the prophecy against Egypt. So, we see that sometimes something is presented according its thematic or topic. In our case, as the Babylonians came to Jerusalem after the deliverance from the Assyrians, it could be the reason to group or link together the illness record AFTER the Assyrian defeat.
Well, if we were still living in our “good times” of types-antitypes we would have a nice type here. Nevertheless this sequence achieve this goal: it explains better these points
· Ahaz and Hezekiah did similar damage to the temple. They both deserved punishment. · The illness of Hezekiah seems to be a penalty from God
Well, at least, there is this possibility, I think.