By Israeli Bar Avaddhon
Let's start with a logical assumption.
Satan is much smarter and more powerful and has much more experience than us.
He is our main adversary and his purpose is to "devour us" - 1 Peter 5: 8
To do this, as we all know, he uses every means at his disposal and one of his "favorite" weapons is lying, deception - Hebrews 2:14; John 8:44
It 'easy to expect that, as he nears the end of his activity, he intensifies his efforts to mislead us - Revelation 20: 2, 3
As we have seen from the previous articles which spoke of the false prophet, Satan is about to prepare his best weapon for his expulsion to the earth - Revelation 13:11
We know that religion will not disappear as many of us have imagined (as it is not Babylon the Great) but will undergo a remarkable "skin change" - compare 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15
If this is correct, we can hypothesize what could happen in the near future also by comparing what has already happened, in the past, that has diverted many of us.
Many of us fail to accept the change of identity of Babylon the Great mainly for two reasons.
To begin with it is one of the doctrines taught with more conviction by the WTS and then, let's face it, it is an almost romantic figure.
Knowing many details of what religion has done over the centuries, including torture and burnings, wars, the killing of many sincere scholars of the Bible, the immorality of its exponents, the bonfires of the translated Bibles ... in short, each of us wondered when Jehovah would ask for the bill.
To come to know that these organizations could be compared to a prostitute who would have been mauled and burned ... well ... this have filled our hearts with a just sense of righteous justice - Matthew 5: 6
In fact, the end that will make "the man of illegality", in the role of the false prophet, will not be very different even if the subject and the performer change drastically - Revelation 19:20
The point is that to break away now from this emblematic and strong figure is difficult because it touches our emotional part.
We pay attention to this.
If the scriptural references used to derive the identity of Babylon the Great are incorrect or their application is incorrect, then it is right to re-discuss and see if there is another possibility.
If anyone is able to disprove with logic and the Scriptures all the steps to identify Babylon as Great as the modern nation of Israel, let it be - Proverbs 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:21
It should interest us only the biblical message - compare Matthew 10:37
If, on the other hand, the scriptural references are clear and specific, they do not contradict each other and somehow disprove or cast a shadow over the old understanding, instead of doing somersaults to try and prove our preconceived ideas ( in practice, forcing the Scriptures) we should simply abandon our "affections" and embrace the Truth of God's Word - John 17:17
Let's do an honest self-examination and evaluate the Scriptural reasons that prevent us from accepting a change of vision (whatever it is).
Satan could exploit our desires, including our preconceived ideas, to completely mislead us - Genesis 3: 6
The apostle Paul said that Satan would use the man of lawlessness with every powerful work, signs and portents of lies and "every unjust deception" - 2 Thessalonians 2: 9. 10
Satan could use our preconceptions, not only our desires?
We have already seen how Satan could do this through the false prophet (ie the man of the illegality of the end time, after the expulsion of Satan on earth) but now we will see how he could do it before, leaving for a moment the portents and concentrating on the concept of "every unjust deception".
Obviously we can not know in detail what Satan will invent soon because of the assumptions made at the beginning.
The warnings of the Lord, in fact, are generic.
Although He has spoken of false Christs and false prophets and great signs, he does not specify what will actually combine our arch-enemy.
The point is that we must be ready and have the means to do so: the Bible, our mental faculties and the help of the Holy Spirit - 1 Peter 5: 9; Romans 12: 1; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Luke 11:13
1 Peter 5: 9 says that in order to resist Satan, we must be solid in faith, and how can we be solid in faith if we do not carefully study the Word of God?
Romans 12: 1 explains that our sacred service includes our faculty of reasoning and Ecclesiastes adds that knowledge is a protection that can keep us alive.
Thus we see that understanding the prophecies (like the rest of the Bible) is not a race between human beings; it's not something to be taken lightly and to be able to say "let's wait and see who's right" because it's about life.
Even the usual phrase, which often turns between brothers, who says that "the prophecies will understand them only when they are fulfilled" is superficial and dangerous.
Meanwhile, we debunk a common place: Daniel understood before their expiry the duration of the years of Babylonian exile by carefully studying the scriptures - Daniel 9: 1, 2 (see footnote *)
So the prophecy, to define itself as "prophecy", must be understood before its coming true otherwise it would make no sense; it would be a prophecy without the dignity of prophecy - Amos 3: 7
And besides, things "do not fall from above", we will not be stopped by an angel who will tell us what will happen if what happens is already written in the Bible.
Jehovah has already revealed His purpose; we must study the Word of God, in the likeness of the prophet Daniel, if we at least hope to understand something.
Having established this we try to make a series of hypotheses on what Satan could actually invent to mislead God's people.
In a previous article we discussed chapters 7 and 8 of Daniel and we saw how one might come to think that these are two completely different subjects, times and prophecies (the article is titled "Four armageddon or one only?").
To complicate the understanding of the prophecy we have thought "the secular history" because if we read the events related to Antiochus IV Epiphanes many details emerge that could make us think that the description made by Daniel applies to him and his period of action.
In this way even a good part of chapter 11 would be fulfilled with the Maccabees, "the people who know their God" and so on.
We know that these arguments are forced and absolutely false and we can say this in the light of the Scriptures that clearly identify the Prince of the army, also known as Prince of the Princes, as the one to whom sacrifices were made and made - Compare Daniel 8:25 with Daniel 8:11
There are also other reasons that lead us to reject in the strongest terms Judah Maccabee and Antiochus IV Epiphanes, as many details of the prophecy that would fall simply into thin air, but including those who had turned the sacrifices should be more than enough for a careful scholar of the Bible.
The question we should ask ourselves, however, is quite different.
Why have so many similar things happened in the past that have led many sincere Jews to believe that Daniel's words applied to them in the past?
Obviously we can not know if Satan was behind all this but we can not even exclude it.
Recall that Satan has existed for thousands of years so he can afford to make long-term plans.
The repercussions of this understanding come to us because they influence the time in which we are living and that we risk not recognizing.
Let's see if there is a prior or are simply outlandish hypothesis.
These articles have re-discussed, among others, the understanding related to 1914 and to do so we simply used the Scripture (one of these posts is titled "Chronology, interpretation, speculation").
Many sites and blogs, also of a polemical nature, have re-discussed 1914 as the date when Christ would have been crowned as King, but in general the arguments relate to secular dates, historical relics, etc.
These sites have emphasized that the date of departure from which to count these fateful "seven times" is wrong because it is not supported or just denied by history.
First of all, we must acknowledge that these discussions can have a certain value among historians, but between us, Christians, these things has a relative value.
To begin with, history is not an "exact science" as mathematics could be because it is based on findings that are often incomplete and to which we must also give an interpretation (just think of what the scholars say about the age of man) .
In fact, on the same "find" different scientists give different interpretations and it is certainly not the majority or the most "noble" to establish the truth.
For absurd, for how many tests can come to light proving that the date used as a starting point to calculate the seven times is wrong, the WTS could be right.
We can speak of a reasonable conclusion, of numerous proofs in favor of ... but not of certainty.
We take note of an inconvenient truth: we were not there.
We Christians, however, have something more than the historical findings or a team of scientists in tow: we have the Word of God.
So we can say that 1914 is wrong not because the date from which to start the calculation is wrong (which would simply move the question of twenty years or so) but because the Bible does not talk about that.
Having said this, however, here too we must take note that many things that have happened since 1914 onwards are very similar to the description that the Bible makes of the last days (meaning just the last few).
That year, the greatest war that humanity had known until then broke out - Matthew 24: 6
As a consequence of the war, hunger, disease and despair are spreading everywhere - Luke 9:11
Big bombs like the two atomic bombs, which were seen hundreds of kilometers away, are actually "scary visions from the sky and great signs".
Jehovah's Witnesses are being persecuted practically under all the Communist, Fascist and "democratic" regimes - Matthew 24: 9
Moral values suffer a sharp decline in all sectors of society - 2 Timothy 3: 1-5
Besides these things happens even more that almost "obliges" Christians to believe and to confirm 1914.
The League of Nations (1920) is born.
Let's stop for a moment.
If the League of Nations is the scarlet savage beast described in Revelation, then there is very little to discuss.
Since in Revelation this beast falls into the abyss only one time and then ascend, there is no other possibility than to apply and start the prophecies of Revelation from 1914 or from a date close to 1914.
The book of Revelation is clear: the scarlet beast falls into the abyss and then goes up again. There are no other falls before its final destruction - see Revelation 17: 8
Let us imagine living in that period and let us honestly ask ourselves how many of us would not have believed we were living in the "last days" and to receive the reward shortly thereafter.
This experiment is born, a political-military agglomeration as never had been tried in the history and the brothers observe.
It really looks like the scarlet beast of Revelation!
If it is that, however ... it must fall into the abyss after a certain period.
Among other things, it is understood that the reason why this beast falls into the abyss is precisely the outbreak of war.
Less than two decades after war breaks out such an extensive and violent to pass the 1914 absolutely secondary.
And the League of Nations, because of its nature, can be said to fall ** (see footnote).
What should we deduce from these reflections?
All these events do not seem a bit 'too much to be pointed to the case?
There are many, too many elements and they all seem to fit together.
What to say, then?
Are we still convinced that the 1914 date is wrong?
The only way to understand it is by studying the Word of God with dedication and without preconceptions.
By studying the Bible it is understood that if it is true that many things seemed to fit together, it is equally true that many others did not.
At the time of the resurrection of the scarlet colored beast there had to be only one dominant power (compare Revelation 13: 3, 4, Daniel 11:39, 40, 45) but after the Second World War there were still so many powers.
When would there have been this proclamation or a hint of "peace and security" if the cold war began immediately afterwards?
These and other details should have made the brothers of the time reflect that "something did not return" but, as mentioned, considering such remarkable events and apparently in harmony with the Scriptures, we would probably have fallen for all.
It is not difficult to imagine who has been behind all this or we can not exclude it.
If all these events have not been random, our ability to reason allows us to hypothesize what could happen in the near future.
In the article dedicated to the trumpets of Revelation (it is called "Jehovah's Wounds Against False Prophets and Trouble for the Earth") we have seen that Jehovah's judgment will be directed principally against His own people but could also include exponents and organizations of Christendom .
We pay attention to this.
Can Satan use this situation to implement his umpteenth "unjust deception"?
Absolutely, because this fits perfectly with the "style" of its past deceptions - compare 1 Corinthians 15:12
Let's think for a moment: what is the event that the vast majority of us are waiting with trepidation?
The destruction of "Babylon the Great" is not it?
For "Babylon the Great", obviously, the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses mean the worldwide empire of false religion.
Imagine that the United Nations (or the king of the north or Islamic extremists or anyone else) now initiates a targeted persecution of all religions by blowing up many famous places of worship *** (see footnote) ).
What would the majority of us think?
It's obvious. The great tribulation has begun!
We must not even make a big effort of imagination because this is exactly what happened during the first and then the Second World War.
The brothers imagined that these wars would "culminate" in Armageddon.
We pay close attention and try to understand the profound reasons why we believe in what we believe in - 2 Corinthians 13: 5; 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Let us not be caught up in events.
The war that is about to break out (because it is about to break out) will not lead to Armageddon and any generalized persecution of religions will have nothing to do with Babylon the Great.
Let us also ask ourselves this question: if we can not re-discuss the identity of Babylon the Great now, will we succeed in doing so when the scriptures seem to fulfill according to our preconceptions? - Jeremiah 23: 21-23
Let's make sure, then, of what we believe in because understanding prophecy is not a secondary question, it is of our life exactly as it was of the life of the first Christians.
Satan is certainly able to turn us around like socks and turn around as and when he wants but we have the Bible and the help of Jehovah himself - Proverbs 18:10
Let us not allow our emotionality or our desires to have the upper hand over our faculties of reasoning.
We must study the Bible! - compare Matthew 4: 5-7
The only possibility that Satan can use such a method to continue to mislead the majority of us should put us at attention and make us feel a serious responsibility.
All those, many or few, who have conscientiously shared the articles of "attentioelaprofezia", that is to say those who have passed the articles to the scrutiny of Scripture and have found them in harmony with it, have a moral obligation to make the possible to warn their brothers about what is going to happen and about what could happen.
What happened in the first and second world war can constitute a precedent to help each of us to be prepared and ready - Ephesians 6: 14-18; 2 Kings 6:16, 17
* Some, to show that the posthumous understanding of the prophecies is a scriptural evidence, point to the event that occurred to the early Christians at the time when the Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem.
Since they could not understand how to "escape the mountains", they reason, the prophecy must be understood only after its fulfillment.
Things are not like that and we see why.
When we talk about "understanding the prophecies" it is obvious that we refer to those prophecies written in signs.
Otherwise there would be nothing to understand, but only to obey.
It is evident that the Bible contains many prophecies (ie descriptions of future events) that were not written in signs.
When Jonah preaches to the ninevites saying that their city would be destroyed he mentions a prophecy.
If the ninevites had not repented, Jehovah's words spoken through Jonah would simply be fulfilled. The ninevites did not have to make any effort to understand those words. They did not have to study or meditate to understand. They simply had to take the warning to heart his words and, in fact, repent.
In the same way, the warning that Jesus gave his disciples were clear and strong instructions: “However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies,
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. then know that the desolating of her has drawn near.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Then let those in Ju·deʹa begin fleeing to the mountains,Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. let those in the midst of her leave, and let those in the countryside not enter into her" – Luke 21:20, 21 This is the prophecy and they understood it well.
The fact that, when it began to come true, Christians found themselves imprisoned and so they obviously asked "how they would have escaped to the mountains", this has nothing to do with understanding it.
Jehovah made sure that the armies withdrew, thus creating the opportunity for true Christians to escape.
On the contrary this prophecy should make us reflect on our commonplaces.
We hypothesize that the Lord's words had not been so clear, if he had actually used a symbolic language for which they would have to study and commit themselves to understand His words.
We also imagine that they were called "understand his words only after their fulfillment" what would have happened?
The answer is obvious: everyone would have died.
** Although we use to say that the League of Nations fell at the outbreak of the second war this is to be considered true only on the basis of the stated objectives.
If the League of Nations was born to prevent war, it is clear that failing to prevent the Axis powers' aggression this proved all its limitations and for this reason we can say that it "fell".
However, it did not fall literally because it was only dissolved in April 1946 and that is, it continued to exist until the end of the war.
Then League of Nations and United Nations (the latter established in October 1945) coexisted for almost six months and in fact it was decided to continue the activity of the League of Nations parallel to that of the United Nations, a project that obviously failed.
Moreover, the League of Nations was more sanctionary and political, but it did not have armies, and this too could have made one think that it could not have been the scarlet beast of Revelation.
*** Since we know that Satan is about to give life to the false prophet, or an evolution of the man of illegality, he may not have any interest in keeping old religions and old places of worship alive.
Let us not be amazed, then, if the world events should resemble those described by the scarlet-colored wild beast as it shatters, devours and burns completely in the fire.
By Bible Speaks
The Lie That Made God a Mystery!
WHAT MANY BELIEVE
The Christian religion “in its three classic forms of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism acknowledges one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. According to Christian theology, this acknowledgment is not a recognition of three gods but that these three persons are essentially one.”—The New Encyclopædia Britannica.
THE TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE
Jesus, the Son of God, never claimed to be equal to or of the same substance as his Father. Rather, he said: “I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) He also told one of his followers: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.”—John 20:17.
The holy spirit is not a person. Early Christians “became filled with holy spirit,” and Jehovah said: “I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh.” (Acts 2:1-4, 17) The holy spirit is not part of a Trinity. It is God’s active force.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Trinity, explain Catholic scholars Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler, “could not be known without revelation, and even after revelation cannot become wholly intelligible.” Can you really love someone who is impossible to know or understand? The doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, is a barrier to knowing and loving God.
Marco, quoted in an earlier article, saw the Trinity as a barrier. “I thought God was hiding his identity from me,” he says, “and that just made him even more distant, mysterious, and unapproachable.” However, “God is not a God of confusion.” (1 Corinthians 14:33, American Standard Version) He has not hidden his identity from us. He wants us to know him. Jesus said: “We worship what we know.”—John 4:22. “When I learned that God is not part of a Trinity,” says Marco, “I was finally able to establish a personal relationship with him.” If we view Jehovah as a distinct Person rather than a mysterious stranger, it is far easier to love him. “He that does not love has not come to know God,” says the Bible, “because God is love.”—1 John 4:8.
Read more at: #jw.org
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By Guest Nicole
Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future
October 24, 2016
University College London
Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new research.
Researchers have shown that self-serving lies gradually escalate, and they have revealed how this happens in our brains.
Credit: © pathdoc / Fotolia
Telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future, reveals new UCL research funded by Wellcome and the Center for Advanced Hindsight.
The research, published in Nature Neuroscience, provides the first empirical evidence that self-serving lies gradually escalate and reveals how this happens in our brains.
The team scanned volunteers' brains while they took part in tasks where they could lie for personal gain. They found that the amygdala, a part of the brain associated with emotion, was most active when people first lied for personal gain. The amygdala's response to lying declined with every lie while the magnitude of the lies escalated. Crucially, the researchers found that larger drops in amygdala activity predicted bigger lies in future.
"When we lie for personal gain, our amygdala produces a negative feeling that limits the extent to which we are prepared to lie," explains senior author Dr Tali Sharot (UCL Experimental Psychology). "However, this response fades as we continue to lie, and the more it falls the bigger our lies become. This may lead to a 'slippery slope' where small acts of dishonesty escalate into more significant lies."
The study included 80 volunteers who took part in a team estimation task that involved guessing the number of pennies in a jar and sending their estimates to unseen partners using a computer. This took place in several different scenarios. In the baseline scenario, participants were told that aiming for the most accurate estimate would benefit them and their partner. In various other scenarios, over- or under-estimating the amount would either benefit them at their partner's expense, benefit both of them, benefit their partner at their own expense, or only benefit one of them with no effect on the other.
When over-estimating the amount would benefit the volunteer at their partner's expense, people started by slightly exaggerating their estimates which elicited strong amygdala responses. Their exaggerations escalated as the experiment went on while their amygdala responses declined.
"It is likely the brain's blunted response to repeated acts of dishonesty reflects a reduced emotional response to these acts," says lead author Dr Neil Garrett (UCL Experimental Psychology). "This is in line with suggestions that our amygdala signals aversion to acts that we consider wrong or immoral. We only tested dishonesty in this experiment, but the same principle may also apply to escalations in other actions such as risk taking or violent behaviour."
Dr Raliza Stoyanova, Senior Portfolio Developer, in the Neuroscience and Mental Health team at Wellcome, said: "This is a very interesting first look at the brain's response to repeated and increasing acts of dishonesty. Future work would be needed to tease out more precisely whether these acts of dishonesty are indeed linked to a blunted emotional response, and whether escalations in other types of behaviour would have the same effect."
Materials provided by University College London. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Neil Garrett, Stephanie C Lazzaro, Dan Ariely, Tali Sharot. The brain adapts to dishonesty. Nature Neuroscience, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nn.4426
Cite This Page:
University College London. "How lying takes our brains down a 'slippery slope': Telling small lies desensitizes our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger lies in future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161024134012.htm>.
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