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On 12/28/2019 at 7:58 PM, JW Insider said:
On 12/28/2019 at 5:17 PM, Anna said:

I can see that 1914 is decisive to our faith not so much because of it being the last days, but because the appointment of the FDS hinges on it

That comes across as too cynical. If there is an appointment of a special class to "feed his little sheep" why could it not just "pop up" inspirationally at any time or place that the need is great enough.

I am thinking the same, but I don't think they see it that way. It seems that specific dates are very important to them....

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Yes, and that according to Bible chronology, the FDS was appointed in 1919. So if 1914 was questioned, when were the FDS appointed? It would remove that whole aspect of what we have been taught, inclu

You are saying that they (GB) hang on to 1914 because if they get rid of it, they relinquish a Biblical base of authority. It's "nice" to have a Bible passage that talks about you and it's even "nicer

Quite so. And the understanding we have now, as proclaimed by the GB of Jehovah's Witnesses and supported by their application of Scripture, would appear to me to bear this out. The various persp

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13 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Interesting points, in that it made them witnesses of what they saw through the "eyes" of their faith. Faith is assured expectation of things not seen. They saw the resurrected Jesus, but he was in a different state, "materialized." In time, they all had faith that this was not a demon or just any angel materializing as Jesus, but Jesus himself, the one they had previously witnessed in person. Up to 500 persons saw him in this state. And through the outpouring of the holy spirit at Pentecost they realized what they were receiving, in faith, that this was what Jesus had promised after he would sit down at the right hand of the Father's heavenly throne. As a group, however, they witnessed this, too. Stephen had a vision of Jesus standing at God's right hand. (Makes no difference if you are sitting or standing when you are at the right hand of the throne of majesty.)

We raised issue on some other level. They witnessed to their faith and hope, and to some literal manifestations. But precisely said, they not witnessed in a way that we consider as word "witness" primatly means. It would be as someone today gave testimony as witness on Court about something, and he say to Judge: "I didn't saw what happened but I believe i know what happened because this was promised to me that will happen. And things that i saw are exactly that."   

Religious people today depending on testimonies made by people in the past who not witnessed to some events, to some they did. Also, people today put trust on people who wrote about this things and also to translators. And finally, people put their trust on spiritual mediators aka church leaders, who are strong force that drive faith and hope of people in particular direction. 

12 hours ago, César Chávez said:

Therefore, it doesn’t need to be repeated by Christ. It doesn’t matter if people in his day were witnesses to a supernatural event. No one in this lifetime is a witness to that event.

People in Jesus' days was under promise and expectations that day will SEE supernatural events as Proof how individual who doing this is Send By God. I think how WT Society take this position in their explanations. So, miracles are of important things that surrounding life and faith of people in Israel from the very beginning. Without miracles, many of events described in Bible, would never happened and history will be different and present will be different. No matter did such miracles really happened or not. Christian faith, before and today, would be in some other format without miracles. Christians in 1 century was totally in miracles of all kind. Today, things are different. 

12 hours ago, César Chávez said:

It is by faith that we accept those events to be true, just like faith gave a person insight to understand the end of the gentile times in 1914 way before the event of WW1 happened.

faith gave a person insight to understand the end of the gentile times in 1914 way before the event of WW1 happened.

If i understand what i read before about this correctly, faith he had (Russell) gave him wrong insight and understanding. Other people' faiths, around Russell, also accepted same things that made them to be in wrong expectations too.

It seems how "faith" (own or other' people) is not trustful. It is not what makes things come true. Faith of man, who is blind, who believe he will see, not makes him cured of blindness because of mere faith. Someone who has power to do miracle, have to cure him from blindness. Than, this man' faith have value and justification. Otherwise is superstition, empty hope. Faith (to believe something) not need knowledge. Because knowledge would say, miracles are not possible. Do we have some "special" knowledge? WT Society teaches how 1 century miracles are not possible today. 

Russell had some "special" knowledge and some "special "faith". And that ended in past. His legal heirs wants to make all that as progress on a way to "ultimate knowledge and faith".  

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@Srecko Sostar Fantastic comment. You are very deep thinking. But can you explain the last paragraph please. 

Indeed the first century Christians, and even the Jews around at that time, were given lots of 'signs' in ways of miracles, curing all sorts of disease, turning water into wine, producing food enough for 10.000 people or more (I think they only counted the men), raising the dead et al.  It was as much seen by the physical eye as it was faith.  But now it seems, no one expects miracles.. No one but me maybe. 

I loved the bit about Russell having 'faith'. gave him wrong insight and understanding. Other people' faiths, around Russell, also accepted same things that made them to be in wrong expectations too.

So it is today it seems with the GB and JWs. 

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@Outta Here   Quote " And the understanding we have now, as proclaimed by the GB of Jehovah's Witnesses and supported by their application of Scripture, would appear to me to bear this out."

More GB worshipping at it's best :) The blind leading the blind and wow, that is a massive pit they've fallen into. 

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17 hours ago, César Chávez said:

It is by faith that we accept those events to be true, just like faith gave a person insight to understand the end of the gentile times in 1914 way before the event of WW1 happened.

Russell was an excellent student of the Bible. He knew it well. He wrote about the Bible very capably. He preached it. He clearly had insights into many of its teachings and principles. He could use scripture to explain scripture. He could show excellent rational insight along with spiritual insight. He showed faith and he showed discretion and wisdom. And he was one of the most interesting men of his time, because was very aware of the world around him and used this knowledge to help explain some of these insights, but usually without getting too bogged down in the secular, political or scientific arguments of the day.

But, faith or no faith, he had absolutely no insight or understanding about the end of the gentile times. He made no prediction about a world war. He made absolutely no prediction about 1914 that came true. He made absolutely no prediction about the gentile times that came true.

Russell thought the "end of the gentile times" was the equivalent of the FULL ESTABLISHMENT of a Jewish government in PALESTINE, and the FINAL END of the United States government and economy, the FINAL END of the United Kingdom's government and economy, the FINAL END of the Turkish government and economy, the FINAL END of the Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Norwegian, and Mexican governments and economies, too. ALL HUMAN GOVERNMENTS would fall in 1914/1915 and it would be the FULL establishment of a divinely backed Jewish government in Jerusalem, with the re-establishment of Israel in Palestine.

We can only pretend that he got something right, because he predicted that the chaos of the complete fall of all these non-Jewish governments, along with the rise of Israel in Palestine, would result in a time of trouble that would END in 1914, and then around 1904, he changed it to BEGIN in 1914, and indicated that this chaos in the vacuum of any human political institutions would end in a matter of months after 1914, most likely ending in 1915.

Which part of his "insight" or "understanding" of this matter came true? Which part was correct?

It's true he started some backpeddling on his understanding in 1904 (mentioned above), then 1910, then 1913. That's because his view included some expectations that he considered unlikely in view of the time left. 

Russell didn't think Jesus' invisible presence would start in 1914. Russell didn't think that Jesus' kingship would start in 1914. Russell didn't think a great battle would be fought between Jesus and Satan in 1914. There's NOTHING that we NOW think happened around 1914, that Russell predicted, and he NEVER thought that any of those things (that we now believe about 1914) had happened even after he saw the events of 1914 for himself.

So where does anyone get the idea that Russell got even one thing right about 1914 prior to 1914?

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19 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

But it could still continue for ten or more years.

Several times I have heard this expression from you. I like to think that it could be ten or less years. It helps to keep on the watch.

On 12/30/2019 at 7:47 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

“And we are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit, which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.”

I even think that it is today’s emphasis on “critical thinking” that serves to downplay the above verse—as though obedience has nothing whatsoever to do with it—as though it is all a head matter that we ought to be able to figure out.

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3 hours ago, 4Jah2me said:

But can you explain the last paragraph please.

Do you mean this?

5 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Russell had some "special" knowledge and some "special "faith". And that ended in past. His legal heirs wants to make all that as progress on a way to "ultimate knowledge and faith". 

"Special knowledge", in sense it was different than that of main Christendom (Catholic church) but also similar or sourced in other smaller religious groups. And "special faith", in sense he want to believe he found "new and better" or even as he had been chosen for "mission". I wasn't studied about this things as i should. @JW Insider handled with more materials (and have better memory than me :))) to bring out so much or enough quotes (WT publications) to support discussion, to give corrective perception on issues like this, and to introduce reader into unknown possibility, reality.

WT Society and today successors of religious inheritance (all doctrines and methodologies used to find "the truth") aka GB carry a sort of "burden" of that past. Perhaps they are somehow "forced" to stay on  such track, path of the past, don' know. If they are aware of fact  how past doctrines are not bringing to the future but contrary, holds them in ambys of past spiritual wrongs, because they are afraid of making clear and painful cuts, it is understandable, but also makes whole situation hopeless. It can be, based on experience we see till today, how easiest way to escape from spiritual "errors" they found in idea of "progressive understanding". According to this, Bible Truth never changed, but human (GB) understanding does. To this idea one thing also remain not understandable: what is Bible truth? Because no one is able to say - where we are now standing, on what point in this progress?! How much steps exists from point A to B in this progressive understanding? Because they made a claims how human living at close end of this system they assured themselves, as many time before, how this  "present truth" must be good enough and supported by God. With this attitude you are on a good way to be deceived and self deceived.

 

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7 hours ago, Anna said:

I am thinking the same, but I don't think they see it that way. It seems that specific dates are very important to them....

You are saying that they (GB) hang on to 1914 because if they get rid of it, they relinquish a Biblical base of authority. It's "nice" to have a Bible passage that talks about you and it's even "nicer" when that particular passage mentions a measure of authority and trust in advance of even greater authority and trust.

I'm just saying that the reason they see the passage as speaking about themselves is because of 1914 first. Based on the importance given to that date, they expect to see certain actions that Jesus must have taken, or that it would seem reasonable for him to take. So it's kind of backwards to imply that they hang on to the date because of the authority. They hang onto the authority because of the date.

But I'm also saying that this authority would be there anyway. Sure, they lose a little if they give "FDS" back to all the anointed, or even if they spread that authority around to include all the elders, or all Witnesses who support [feed] other Witnesses in any way, materially or spiritually or emotionally. (Recall that the verse once meant the anointed feeding the anointed, because the domestics were the anointed, too.)

Common sense tells us that the purpose of elders in a congregation is to provide teaching and examples to follow and good judgment when it comes to dealing with difficult matters that might arise. We follow their lead. We listen. We copy their example. They persuade us to follow with good teaching and good examples.

How much more would we think that the ones we consider qualified as elders over the global congregation would be worthy of even more respect. And we would be just as willing or more to follow their lead, listen, copy their example, etc.

This is why it really came as no surprise to many Witnesses that the GB took upon themselves the entire role they interpreted to be the role of the FDS. To most Witnesses, the FDS always meant the GB anyway. The GB already represented the rest of the anointed in general, who had no say anyway. It was the GB, as head of the departments for Writing, Teaching, Service, Correspondence, etc., who were already considered the top of the "Bethel" headquarters hierarchy. It didn't matter if a certain thing was written by a member of the "other sheep," it was still considered to be under their direction. I actually asked a pioneer sister at the time if she had heard about the new GB=FDS doctrine right after that point from the Annual Meeting was announced on the website. She honestly thought that this was nothing new.

In other words, something like this same respect for their teaching and example would have happened naturally as a matter of course. It has probably happened in every religion known to man. There have even been other religions that speak of their leadership councils as governing bodies. The level of agreement by the "rank-and-file" Witnesses (as Anthony Morriss III calls us) is just like other religions: a function of the emphasis given on the importance of this level of agreement.

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4 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I even think that it is today’s emphasis on “critical thinking” that serves to downplay the above verse—as though obedience has nothing whatsoever to do with it—as though it is all a head matter that we ought to be able to figure out.

Of course, there's also an implication throughout the context of Acts, that God does not give that holy spirit to those who obey men. That's one of the reasons for this very topic of 1914, as uncomfortable as it might seem to even question it.

Of course, obeying God as ruler and not men, doesn't preclude us from "obeying" our congregation elders (Heb 13:17). But there is no contradiction here, because the word used for the word obey here has a range of meaning. And that range of meaning is pinned down in the very context of Hebrews 13 and elsewhere. 

In fact, we might as well deal with it because there will be some who think it is "disobedient" to even consider the questions about 1914. It's the same as questioning God's arrangement, some say. Just like questioning 1925, or the hourly quotas for publishers and pioneers, would have been the same as 'questioning the Lord himself' in Rutherford's day.

When Hebrews 13 says "Be obedient to those taking the lead among you" it's obvious that the term "among you" referred to congregation overseers/elders. We extend this to mean the elders who preside in a "headquarters" arrangement from the various Branches, especially the Governing Body residing in the United States Branch. But the word here does not mean "obey" in the sense of "you must obey God as ruler." In Acts 5:29 that term includes the idea of submission to a ruler or magistrate (i.e., God).

The definition of "obey" in the context of Hebrews 13:17 is perfectly summed up in this verse that doesn't even use the word obey:

(Hebrews 13:7) . . .Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith.

The root meaning of the term is actually "persuade." Hebrews 13 uses the verb "peitho" here, and Peitho was the goddess of persuasion. That's actually the first meaning in Thayer's Greek Lexicon:

1. Peitho, proper name of a goddess, literally, Persuasion; Latin Suada or Suadela.
2. persuasive power, persuasion: 1 Corinthians 2:4 ἐν πειθοι — accusative to certain inferior authorities.

Strong's NT Definition is:

πείθω peíthō, pi'-tho; a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):—agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.

Note that "obey" hardly makes the list.

Even the NWT doesn't say in Hebrews 6:9 that "in your case we are obedient to bettr things." Instead it says:

(Hebrews 6:9) 9 But in your case, beloved ones, we are convinced of better things. . .

In the very verse after Hebrews 13:17, the word "trust" is used, in these of being "persuaded" or "convinced" that we have a good conscience.

(Hebrews 13:18) . . .Carry on prayer for us, for we trust we have an honest conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.

I know you didn't say that this type of obedience contradicts our Christian duty to question and therefore to make sure of all things. But Hebrews 13 often comes up by some as a reason to deflect from that Christian duty.

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There is no need to believe anything GB or WT says or writes. The Bible is the authority. We should believe in Jesus and what he said. And we should believe the apostles who Jesus had appointed and their writings. And if anyone goes above that, then apostle Paul says:  

Galatians 1:8 "However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed." 

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2 minutes ago, Kosonen said:

There is no need to believe anything GB or WT says or writes. The Bible is the authority. We should believe in Jesus and what he said. And we should believe the apostles who Jesus had appointed and their writings. And if anyone goes above that, then apostle Paul says:  

Galatians 1:8 "However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed." 

Pretty much what Br. Jackson insinuated, but this was to worldly people. It has yet to be put in plain writing for the congregations because it seems that many do not see it. (unlike you).

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The WT has very few times touched Galatians 1:8 (I suspect the writing commitee understands that this can easily be turned against themselves, because many WT doctrines are not well founded in the Bible)

But I found a perfect application in JW online library from a WT from 1952

  • 9 Who can start a new religion, contrary to God’s written will and Word? “Even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed,” wrote the inspired apostle Paul. (Gal. 1:8, NW) If even a high and mighty angel from heaven cannot start a new gospel without being accursed, then certainly no man on earth can do so with immunity. Any who declare as gospel or good news something that is different from what is recorded in Jehovah’s Word is accursed in God’s sight, whether he is sincere in his declarations or not. Sincerity does not make a wrong thing right.

    SINCERITY NOT ENOUGH

    10. What proves sincerity and zeal alone are insufficient?

    10 Clearly indicating that sincerity or zeal in a religious organization that is not following God’s Word is insufficient, Romans 10:2, 3 (NW) declares: “I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge; for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” These persons had zeal and they must have been sincere, but they did not act in accord with accurate knowledge of God’s Word. They did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own. In their stubbornness and pride in thinking their own religious ideas right and zealously trying to prove them so, they failed to subject themselves to the righteousness of God and his Word.

    11. How does Romans 10:2, 3 fit false religions today, and to what extreme may they even go?

    11 That is the way it is with so many false religions today. They have their creeds and doctrinal beliefs, pluck texts from their setting to support them, and brush aside any scriptures that contradict them. They zealously press on to establish as righteous their own beliefs, not allowing God’s Word to have final say on the matter and not listening to that Word in its entirety, but selecting what suits their purpose and wresting what does not, rather than conforming their belief to the untwisted, unwrested, pure word of truth in the Bible. Such ones lack meekness and teachableness. They are proud, they are stubborn, they refuse to admit wrong. Clinging tenaciously to their self-will in religious belief, they make themselves idolaters according to the divine rule. .........

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