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The Government Versus Jehovah's WItnesses


Jack Ryan
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Dammit man! The peace and security of this country is at stake!

 

The above picture from the new Ezekiel book is a representation of what Jehovah's WItnesses believe is "Gog" or Governments plotting against JW's "pure worship" looks like.

Gog and Magog in the Hebrew Bible may be individuals, peoples, or lands; a prophesied enemy nation of God's people according to the Book of Ezekiel, and according to Genesis, one of the nations descended from Japheth, son of Noah.

The government has televisions on the wall watching Sam Herd and the Warwick Watchtower while plotting against jw.org.

This evil plan looks to be directed by a politician and some military men.

The military man is reading a Watchtower brochure or so it appears.

 

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ohh dear god....you talking as some subversive element.....Bible say how secular authority is "god's public servant".  “Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear

Very interesting information which confirms another of my feelings. The GB are not the faithful slave class. I do love your use of the word 'clarifications', when in fact you mean, change of mean

Double honor?? For what "hard work of teaching" dear Insider? For repeated wrong interpretations? For new "clarifications" that will come to be called "previous errors", "wrong expectations" and other

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I think the real reason this pic was included is to show that Armageddon will definitely come soon. While Herd is still alive. This way they can say it’s going to happen soon without getting into a 1975 situation and locking in a deadline. This way it’s on the publishers for thinking it’s soon and they will take the blame.

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9 hours ago, Jack Ryan said:

I think the real reason this pic was included is to show that Armageddon will definitely come soon. While Herd is still alive. This way they can say it’s going to happen soon without getting into a 1975 situation and locking in a deadline.

You have touched upon a real danger in the very specific ways in which the prophecy is interpreted for imminent fulfillment. I blew up the picture to 400 percent, and agree that Brother Herd is definitely intended, but don't know how much most of us will read into it. But other statements do make the concern about chronology real. The "subtext" is to renew faith in 1914, 1919, the Organization, etc., and equate pure worship (sacred service) with doing things closely associated with the directives we get from the Organization. 

Although our current chronology is based on unsupported interpretations, this does not mean that the book is not useful. In fact, our situation is very much analogous to the points made in Ezekiel. And, in general, I think these important spiritual lessons from Ezekiel are highlighted in a very useful way. Ezekiel was concerned about restoration of pure worship in spite of the very problems and temptations that pulled God's people away from pure worship in the first place, internally and externally. And now, after the temptations of Babylon, and a desolation of both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judea, it could be even more difficult to imagine such a restoration without Jehovah's intervention.

Also, the clarifications move us into a place where we can get much more value from the book without using it to judge Christendom, or highlight the distinctions between the anointed remnant and the great crowd, for example. One of the clarifications even moves us further from the temptation to specifically apply everything to the beginnings of the Organization under Russell and especially Rutherford in 1917/1918. I think it's clear that all of the clarifications move us closer to truth. Here are just a few of those clarifications.

Note the elimination of dividing the other sheep from the anointed. Also, the earlier "man with the writer's inkhorn" was considered to be Russell himself, then a strong implication that it should be Rutherford himself. This is a welcome change:

  • Previous understanding: The man with the inkhorn represents the anointed remnant. By means of the preaching and disciple-making work, the anointed are now putting a symbolic mark on the foreheads of those who become part of the “great crowd.”—Rev. 7:9.
  • Clarification: The man with the secretary’s inkhorn pictures Jesus Christ. He will mark the great crowd when they are judged as sheep during the “great tribulation.”—Matt. 24:21.

The meaning of the "two sticks" could be interpreted as a reversion to the distinction, but recall that these two sticks are united.

And next we lose the self-righteous judgmental attitude toward "Christendom."

  • Previous understanding: Unfaithful Jerusalem is a prophetic type of Christendom. Hence, the destruction of Jerusalem prophetically foreshadowed that of Christendom.
  • Clarification: Conditions in unfaithful Jerusalem—such as idolatry and widespread corruption—remind us of Christendom, but we no longer refer to Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem.
  • Reasoning behind the change: There is no clear Scriptural basis for such a type-antitype approach.

And here is one way we have begun removing the specific emphases on 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922, etc., by moving the focus from this period back the 2,000-year period preceding the types of clarifications from about a hundred-year period beginning 1919 .

  • Previous understanding: In 1918 the persecuted anointed were brought into captivity to Babylon the Great, experiencing a deathlike condition of near inactivity. That short captivity ended in 1919 when Jehovah revived them as Kingdom proclaimers.
  • Clarification: The deathlike condition of spiritual captivity lasted a very long time and began much earlier than 1918. It started in the second century C.E. and ended in 1919 C.E. and basically parallels the long growing season in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the weeds.

We haven't completely removed the unsupported chronology, of course, and the book even references the God's Kingdom book for further support, but I appreciated all the changes nonetheless.

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

You have touched upon a real danger in the very specific ways in which the prophecy is interpreted for imminent fulfillment. I blew up the picture to 400 percent, and agree that Brother Herd is definitely intended, but don't know how much most of us will read into it. But other statements do make the concern about chronology real. The "subtext" is to renew faith in 1914, 1919, the Organization, etc., and equate pure worship (sacred service) with doing things closely associated with the directives we get from the Organization. 

Although our current chronology is based on unsupported interpretations, this does not mean that the book is not useful. In fact, our situation is very much analogous to the points made in Ezekiel. And, in general, I think these important spiritual lessons from Ezekiel are highlighted in a very useful way. Ezekiel was concerned about restoration of pure worship in spite of the very problems and temptations that pulled God's people away from pure worship in the first place, internally and externally. And now, after the temptations of Babylon, and a desolation of both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judea, it could be even more difficult to imagine such a restoration without Jehovah's intervention.

Also, the clarifications move us into a place where we can get much more value from the book without using it to judge Christendom, or highlight the distinctions between the anointed remnant and the great crowd, for example. One of the clarifications even moves us further from the temptation to specifically apply everything to the beginnings of the Organization under Russell and especially Rutherford in 1917/1918. I think it's clear that all of the clarifications move us closer to truth. Here are just a few of those clarifications.

Note the elimination of dividing the other sheep from the anointed. Also, the earlier "man with the writer's inkhorn" was considered to be Russell himself, then a strong implication that it should be Rutherford himself. This is a welcome change:

  • Previous understanding: The man with the inkhorn represents the anointed remnant. By means of the preaching and disciple-making work, the anointed are now putting a symbolic mark on the foreheads of those who become part of the “great crowd.”—Rev. 7:9.
  • Clarification: The man with the secretary’s inkhorn pictures Jesus Christ. He will mark the great crowd when they are judged as sheep during the “great tribulation.”—Matt. 24:21.

The meaning of the "two sticks" could be interpreted as a reversion to the distinction, but recall that these two sticks are united.

And next we lose the self-righteous judgmental attitude toward "Christendom."

  • Previous understanding: Unfaithful Jerusalem is a prophetic type of Christendom. Hence, the destruction of Jerusalem prophetically foreshadowed that of Christendom.
  • Clarification: Conditions in unfaithful Jerusalem—such as idolatry and widespread corruption—remind us of Christendom, but we no longer refer to Christendom as the antitypical Jerusalem.
  • Reasoning behind the change: There is no clear Scriptural basis for such a type-antitype approach.

And here is one way we have begun removing the specific emphases on 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922, etc., by moving the focus from this period back the 2,000-year period preceding the types of clarifications from about a hundred-year period beginning 1919 .

  • Previous understanding: In 1918 the persecuted anointed were brought into captivity to Babylon the Great, experiencing a deathlike condition of near inactivity. That short captivity ended in 1919 when Jehovah revived them as Kingdom proclaimers.
  • Clarification: The deathlike condition of spiritual captivity lasted a very long time and began much earlier than 1918. It started in the second century C.E. and ended in 1919 C.E. and basically parallels the long growing season in Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the weeds.

We haven't completely removed the unsupported chronology, of course, and the book even references the God's Kingdom book for further support, but I appreciated all the changes nonetheless.

Very interesting information which confirms another of my feelings. The GB are not the faithful slave class.

I do love your use of the word 'clarifications', when in fact you mean, change of meanings. 

And i will repeat my question here, If the GB are the 'Faithful and discreet slave' why do they not get it right first time ?

Surely God does not give them false information ?  

A faithful and discreet slave would make sure the food he fed the domestics was good pure food, otherwise the Master would not be happy if the slave fed poison to his domestics and killed them spiritually, or at least stumbled them in many cases.

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8 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

I do love your use of the word 'clarifications', when in fact you mean, change of meanings. 

It was the word used in the publication itself. I agree that it is one of a range of words we use so as not to highlight "previous error" or "former false teaching" etc. But, in my opinion, it really is a clarification, because the former false teaching was unclear ("muddy" as you say) or didn't fit the scriptures, which is often admitted in the "reason behind the change."

12 minutes ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

And i will repeat my question here, If the GB are the 'Faithful and discreet slave' why do they not get it right first time ? 

No one claims that God directly gives the GB the spiritual food they see fit to distribute. But it's also true that Christians should expect that some who devote themselves to the hard work of teaching are worthy of double honor. I have also expressed my personal opinion that Jesus did not intend for this illustration to be taken as a means to give authority to a few leaders in the congregation. He meant it for all Christians to think about how they would treat one another and how they would handle their own responsibilities if the end of the system seemed to be so long delayed that some would think they could get away with misconduct. Peter provides a commentary on this illustration and this same potential situation with respect to the parousia when he speaks of its apparent delay and adds "What sort of persons ought you to be?" (2 Peter 3:11-14)

So this illustration is for all of us. All of us should be faithful stewards. "In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful." (1 Cor 4:2) All of us should do our part in feeding Christ's sheep.

But this doesn't mean that some wouldn't lead in different ways, especially with respect to a worldwide teaching ministry, we would expect some attempts at doctrinal conformity and continued clarification as new things are learned.

But it also applies to all of us, even if some take the lead in teaching, and the illustration could have just as easily called us the "master of the house" not only a servant in the household. The specific household position in the illustration isn't as important as the conduct of the person in the illustration. In this next one we are likened just as easily to the "master." It doesn't mean that some of us should be called "leader" (or governors) for our leader is one.:

  • Matthew 13:52: Then he said to them: “That being the case, every public instructor who is taught about the Kingdom of the heavens is like a man, the master of the house, who brings out of his treasure store things both new and old.”

So the illustration wasn't about serving perfect food, just about the attitude and motives we should all have when we handle our Christian responsibilities.

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@JW Insider I don't know if you are are a Witness now, or past tense, and i don't know what side of the fence you are on.

You say, "It was the word used in the publication itself. I agree that it is one of a range of words we use so as not to highlight "previous error" or "former false teaching" etc." ..   Thank you. 

Quote : "No one claims that God directly gives the GB the spiritual food they see fit to distribute."   I'll have to look into that. 

But you seem to be saying that those 8 men, the GB, are no better than any other Witness. I don't even know if all 8 are 'of the Anointed'. I would presume they are or they think they are.

However then my next question would have to be, Why are the rest of the Anointed not seen as being as important ? And why did the GB actually have written in a W/T that some of those saying they are anointed have got mental issues ?  (I remember reading it but don't know if i could find it now)  

Two other points, yes i know i go on a bit. There were twelve tribes of Israel (well maybe 13 including the Levites) and there were twelve Apostles (once again maybe 13 including Paul ) so why only 8 men in the GB ?

I would have thought it would be twelve (maybe 13) members of the GB and that they would come from different lands around the Earth. 

It would make far more sense and show that Jehovah is the God over all the Earth not just America :) . 

 

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@Jack Ryan Truly, truly say to you, that you have no idea what is going on in the world, you have no idea what Babylon the Great is doing in Texas, you have no idea what the Superpowers and their allies are doing, mainly when it comes to the Bible and a list of other things.

AU is right, if one does not follow God ans his Christ and remain steadfast, this one will easily cross the road ways of the prostitute and will be subdued, but the one who is wise will avoid her, and not cross her roadways.

The Government is an enemy to all, regardless of who the person is. Those who do not know how their government operates, what they have done to Christians already, especially by means of their allies, the kurds, Jayish Al-Islam, etc, you have no idea what is taking place and I hope to God that one day you see as many have. Just so you know, that same government assassinated and gun down your own in order to cover up what took place in Las Vegas, even further back, the woman they killed to keep her mouth shut, ruling it out as a freak accident.

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

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4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

 I don't know if you are are a Witness now, or past tense, and i don't know what side of the fence you are on.

I am a Witness. I still associate and preach regularly and maintain my congregational privileges. To avoid specific conflicts and contentions I requested some time ago that I be allowed to step down from former congregational privileges.

I believe that what I said about the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" is true, and it's easy to support Biblically with the Scriptures. And it's very close to what we originally believed as Witnesses from the time of the very first Watch Tower publications. Of course, it's not the official belief now, so I would not say this in a congregational setting. In a congregational setting I treat others the way they way I assume they would want to be treated.  For those who come online where they already know that they must be prepared to deal with thousands of potential stumbling blocks, I think this is a more appropriate place to discuss items of controversy that cannot be discussed in the congregation. Here, everyone is welcome --and already well prepared-- to treat my opinion here with any appropriate level of disdain or approval that they see fit. 

4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

But you seem to be saying that those 8 men, the GB, are no better than any other Witness. I don't even know if all 8 are 'of the Anointed'. I would presume they are or they think they are.

The Biblical qualifications for elders in a congregation include age, experience, reputation, among several other things. But, as Witnesses, our preferred type of worship is not only informed by the elders of the local congregation but also by elders who are deemed qualified to look after the practical and spiritual interests of a world-wide congregation. I think "Governing Body" is a terrible name, and has no scriptural support. But the general idea of a body of elders for the overall congregation makes practical sense for the same reasons that a local congregation needs a body of elders.

It's not that I think they are supposed to come up with "new truths" or "new spiritual food recipes" but they are in a position to hear communication from all the congregations world-wide, and are therefore in a unique position to know what things might be useful, necessary, and timely. If a lot of difficult questions come in about a certain doctrine, then they are also in a unique position to request research in order to clarify doctrinal issues, too.

Based on the way they are chosen from among anointed elders in full-time service, they would typically be better teachers, have better abilities to direct, have more experience, etc., than most other Witnesses. This doesn't mean they are better in the sense of being more spiritual or having more holy spirit. They do not claim this for themselves, just as they don't claim to get spiritual food directly from Jehovah. But they often speak of realizing the seriousness of the responsibility to the overall congregation, as they should.

4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

However then my next question would have to be, Why are the rest of the Anointed not seen as being as important ? And why did the GB actually have written in a W/T that some of those saying they are anointed have got mental issues ?

Yes. This has been both stated and implied about 3 or 4 times. Some of those were due to the rise in the numbers of partakers at the Memorial that went against a teaching that a drop in the number of partakers was a sign of the closeness of the end. This is no longer considered to be a necessary sign of the end. It's probably true that some have mental issues. I think I've witnessed this phenomenon with an anointed sister in my previous congregation. Saying it in the publications has made it easier for others to begin questioning and judging the anointed status of many others and this is probably unfortunate. The point of the statement(s) you refer to seem to be tied to the idea that the Governing Body has (for decades) said that they "represent" the remaining members of the anointed, but without ever meeting with them or asking their opinions. It's probably meant as an explanation to those who consider themselves anointed as to why their opinion is not requested, nor would they ever expect it to be. For many decades the entire anointed remnant was considered to be the "faithful and discreet slave" and this probably raised the question about why they weren't ever involved in doctrinal issues unless they were already part of the Writing Department or Service Department at Bethel. Now, as of 2011, this has changed and the GB claims to be the equivalent of the FDS, which tends to remove the question about why the rest of the anointed are not involved.

4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

Two other points, yes i know i go on a bit. There were twelve tribes of Israel (well maybe 13 including the Levites) and there were twelve Apostles (once again maybe 13 including Paul ) so why only 8 men in the GB ?

The GB has had 12 members at one or two points in its official existence (since about 1971). It once had 18 members at the same time. But I think they have purposely avoided trying to keep it at 12 or 13 so that it is not seen as a kind of "apostolic succession" associated with a couple of other churches. People would surely complain that it would be a sign of haughtiness to present themselves as modern-day apostles.

4 hours ago, JOHN BUTLER said:

It would make far more sense and show that Jehovah is the God over all the Earth not just America :) . ?

Having members that better represent the entire world would be a good thing. Some have come from foreign branches, too. But they are usually chosen from among those who have proven themselves to be long-time, loyal office workers in the Branch offices, where the heads of those Branch offices usually came from the United States before their assignments in those foreign branches. There are currently a couple of members who are not originally from the United States.

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20 hours ago, Jack Ryan said:

The above picture from the new Ezekiel book is a representation of what Jehovah's WItnesses believe is "Gog" or Governments plotting against JW's "pure worship" looks like.

Gog and Magog in the Hebrew Bible may be individuals, peoples, or lands; a prophesied enemy nation of God's people according to the Book of Ezekiel, and according to Genesis, one of the nations descended from Japheth, son of Noah.

The government has televisions on the wall watching Sam Herd and the Warwick Watchtower while plotting against jw.org.

This evil plan looks to be directed by a politician and some military men.

I am 72 years old now, and I remember when my Mother took me to Assemblies that lasted 9 hours for two days, discussing "Gog of Magog" ... and it changed again, and again, and again over the following 63 years, until I no longer care ... and I strongly suspect that NO ONE has the slightest clue of who "Gog of Magog" is... although as a collective group of presumably influential people ... I DO HAVE my suspicions.

IF I KNEW ... it could not possibly affect my life in any way whatsoever.

Zero

Zip Nada.

GOG OF MAGOG PER THE EZEKIEL BOOK:

Gog of Magog per the Ezekial Book   300   .jpg

 

GOG OF MAGOG PER JTR:

Gog  of Magog per JTR      1200   .jpg

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19 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But it's also true that Christians should expect that some who devote themselves to the hard work of teaching are worthy of double honor.

Double honor?? For what "hard work of teaching" dear Insider? For repeated wrong interpretations? For new "clarifications" that will come to be called "previous errors", "wrong expectations" and other phrases in WT terminology?  :))  

Every, each time this "new clarification" make JW members to have, not new clarification, but NEW HOPE, because "this time this must be true" ..in mind (read fantasy) of person only. :))

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