[From ws15/08 p. 19 for Oct. 12 -18]
“Tell them to work at good, to be rich in fine works,
to be generous, ready to share, 19 safely treasuring up
for themselves a fine foundation for the future, so that
they may get a firm hold on the real life.” (1Ti 6:18, 19)
This Watchtower study opens by linking the “real life” found at first Timothy 6:19 with the “everlasting life” that Paul refers to in verse 12 of the same chapter. However, it does not apply these words as Paul intended.
This real life/everlasting life was the hope that both Paul and Timothy shared. Neither was looking forward to living as imperfect sinners for 1,000 years on earth before reaching perfection. Paul told Timothy to get a hold on everlasting life then and there. One cannot grasp hold of something that is not present. Therefore, they were both able to get a hold on it 2,000 years ago. That life was granted to them by the declaration of God that they were righteous. (1Co 6:11) They both looked forward to everlasting life in the kingdom of the heavens with their Lord Jesus Christ.
To refer to that life as the real life implies that the life they then lived as sinners in imperfect bodies was not real. So hoping to live in the new world in the same state—imperfect and sinful and not yet declared righteous—could not be what Paul was talking about.
So why are we making this up in this week’s Watchtower study?
“And just think how much easier it will be to draw closer to Jehovah as we approach, and finally reach, perfection!— Ps. 73:28; Jas. 4:8.” – par. 2
The astute reader will look up the two verses referred to here and realize that neither says anything about finally reaching perfection after 1,000 more years of life. Do you not think that if there were a Scripture—even one, single Scripture—that supported the idea of Christians working toward perfection during the thousand year reign of Christ, that it would be quoted here? What makes a mockery of this doctrine is that it is presupposed that these still-imperfect Christians will be working alongside the millions or billions of unrighteous resurrected ones. Since they will both be in the same state of imperfection, how is it that the Christians have grasped hold of everlasting life?
How to Prepare
This entire study is based on a false premise. The assumption is that there is a group of Christians known as the other sheep who have an earthly hope. These will either survive Armageddon or be resurrected as part of the resurrection of the righteous, even though they are still imperfect and therefore still sinners.
What the Bible actually teaches is that all faithful Christians receive the reward to rule with Jesus as Kings and priests in the kingdom of the heavens. These are the ones who will shepherd, instruct, and heal the billions of unrighteous resurrected who will return to live during judgment day – the thousand year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are new to this forum and take exception to this assertion, we invite you in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15 to make a defense for the hope you have. Please give us the scriptural evidence to prove that the other sheep are a group of latter-day Christians who have an earthly hope, are friends—not sons—of God, are not in the new covenant, are prohibited from partaking of the emblems, and do not have Jesus as their mediator. Feel free to use the commenting section of this article to provide your proof.
Now back to the article. Paragraph six makes the statement: “Consistently, then, are we submitting to theocratic direction now?” This begs the question, how exactly does theocratic direction come to us?
The premise of the statement is laid out in the following paragraph.
“If we cooperate with those taking the lead today, perhaps finding contentment and joy in new assignments of service, we are likely to have the same attitude in the new world…Today, of course, we do not know where each one of us may be assigned to live in the new system of things.” – par. 7
This statement is based on the premise that humans will have to follow the Israelite model of apportioned land in the New World. This is pure speculation. Nevertheless, the real problem is the presumption that we can prepare for the New World by learning how to submit to the direction of men today. This is the key teaching point of the article. We prepare for submission to Jehovah’s rulership in the New World by learning how to submit to the instructions from men in the Organization. Allegedly, these men are merely following instructions they somehow receive from Jehovah God. This is in line with Anthony Morris III’s statement that this is a theocracy, an organization governed by heaven.
The article continues:
The privilege of living under Kingdom rule is well worth any effort we make to cooperate with Jehovah’s organization and care for theocratic assignments. Of course, our circumstances may change with the passing of time. For instance, some members of the Bethel family in the United States have been reassigned to the field and are now enjoying abundant blessings in other forms of the full-time ministry. Because of advancing age or other factors, others who were in the traveling work have now received special pioneer assignments. – par. 8
One of my closest friends was a circuit and then district overseer for many years. A traveling overseer’s needs are all cared for, housing, car, allowance, and generous gifts. He was also a special pioneer for many years prior to entering the traveling overseer work. That he found much more difficult. He had to live on a very small allowance, pay for his housing, food and transportation himself. It is hard to understand how advancing age is a factor for being reassigned from the traveling overseer work to become a special pioneer. This causes one to wonder about the “other factors” mentioned.
I know of many who have given their entire adult life to Bethel service. They have no pensions. They have few marketable skills and they are now senior citizens. They are not convinced they will be “enjoying abundant blessings in other forms of the full-time ministry.” They certainly didn’t ask for this.
We can also prepare for life in the new world by exercising patience regarding revealed truth. Are we studious and patient as our understanding of Bible truth is progressively clarified today? If so, we will likely have no difficulty showing patience in the new world as Jehovah makes known his requirements for mankind. – par. 10
We are not told how the truth is revealed, only that it is revealed. The assumption is that it is Jehovah who is doing the revealing, presumably to the Governing Body. However, if it is God who is revealing the truth, why does it keep changing?
The idea that Jehovah is revealing truth and that, as Anthony Morris III said, the Organization is governed from heaven, is being seriously questioned of late due to some surprising new developments.
A Startling Turn of Events
In late September, Bethel families around the world received a shocking announcement. The size of Bethel families everywhere is going to be reduced drastically. Some by 20% and others by as much as 60%. Brothers and sisters who have spent 20, 30, even 40 years faithfully serving in Bethel homes are suddenly facing the bleak prospect of fending for themselves. Older ones know they will be the first to go. Since the organization has made no provision for pensions,[i] and since the option to become special pioneers and receive a monthly stipend is not on the table, many are very anxious and worrying how they will provide for themselves.
Not surprisingly, brothers loyal to the organization are spinning this as a positive development. They argue that the most important thing is the field service work. Therefore by freeing up thousands of workers currently caring for mundane duties such as cleaning, laundry, and food preparation, the Governing Body is focusing on what really matters. They deny that this has anything to do with cost-cutting, stating that the organization has lots of money. If that is the case, then why are these Bethelites not being reassigned as special pioneers so they can devote even more time in the field service? Why are we hearing reports that special pioneers are being demoted to regular pioneer status? Special pioneers can devote 50 hours more than regular pioneers in the field ministry every month. If the issue is not money, why reduce our preaching force in this way?
Another fact not widely known is that those most likely to be targeted for “re-assignment” (Bethel-speak for “downsized”) are the older ones. I have a number of older friends still in Bethel who are very concerned as they have no means to provide for themselves and are sure they will be gone since that has been the pattern for the past while. A younger brother is brought in, trained, then the older one is given his walking papers. Some of these already-downsized Bethelites are having a hard time getting work since who wants to hire a senior citizen with no resume to speak of? Again, if it is not about the money, but about the preaching work, why send older ones into the field in the first place? Young people are healthier and stronger. They will be able to find work more easily. Many will enjoy the support of parents. They will be more able to travel with less concern about health costs and insurance. In short, they will be more effective preachers than older, infirm ones.
Worldly companies downsize by dumping older workers who are paid more and can’t work as hard. Their concern is not the welfare of the worker, but the bottom line on their balance sheet. However, when the Organization does it, we are expected to believe it is all about the preaching work.
Yet another argument being spun to defend this decision is that there is a significant amount of waste of resources in Bethel families. It costs millions of dollars to keep thousands of workers on staff to do menial tasks that each individual could do for themselves—cleaning their own rooms, doing their own laundry, cooking their own meals. Therefore, the reasoning goes, Jehovah is directing his organization to focus on the preaching work by cutting the fat.
Would this not imply that those claiming to be the “faithful and discreet slave” are not discreet at all? If they have been wasting resources for decades, they can hardly lay claim to the discretionary use of resources.
Only five months ago, this so-called faithful and discreet slave was asking for money to build 140 regional translation offices and thousands of new kingdom halls. Now we find that everything has been put on hold with the exception of the head office in Warwick where the Governing Body will reside. This is done allegedly because the most important thing is the field service work. This is not about money. This is not about getting rid of older workers who will soon become a burden on the system because of age and infirmity. This is about the preaching work.
If this isn’t about money, but the proper discretionary use of funds, we must conclude that Warwick is a wise use of dedicated funds, but every other project on the books is suspect. If so, how were these decisions made in the first place? Through videos, we have been led to believe that committees of qualified men have carefully reviewed the statistics to determine where a kingdom hall or a regional translation office is needed. These decisions were made only after thoroughly researching and reviewing the data. Before the final decision was made, these qualified and skilled men prayed for Jehovah’s guidance. Now suddenly everything is put on hold, but it’s not because we don’t have the money? Did Jehovah fail to answer every prayer except the one involving the Warwick construction?
The most egregious aspect of all this is that it does not reflect the spirit of the Christ.
The organization has often warned us about becoming desensitized. For example, we’ve all seen study articles that show how scenes on television that would have shocked us 30 years ago are now considered completely acceptable.
There was a time in the corporate world that an employee who was loyal to the company could count on a lifelong of employment. He could look forward to retirement with a good pension and a gold watch. However, that has all changed in recent years. There is no longer a presumption that if the employee is loyal to the company, the company will be loyal to the employee. Downsizing is now common. Nevertheless, we have built-in protections in most civilized nations. Dismissing an employee because it makes good fiscal sense still requires the company to put together a reasonable severance package.
If Jehovah were truly running the organization, it would set the example. God is love. He would not dismiss a Bethel worker in his late 60s saying, “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,” while not providing him with the necessities of life, would he? (Ja 2:16)
The evidence is that this is very much about money. If indeed the organization has lots of it, this is about making sure it doesn’t lose what it has. And if, as many suspect, the organization is really hurting for funds, then this is further evidence of an organization in decline. None of this demonstrates the loving care of our heavenly Father. Rather, what we are seeing mimics the decisions from the directors’ boardroom of worldly corporations. To say that Jehovah is behind this decision is to bring reproach on his good name.
I realize that this started out as a Watchtower review and has morphed into something else. Nevertheless, the subject matter did seem topical to the article’s main point, which is that if we are to get ready for the new world, we have to learn to obey the direction of the Governing Body now. Well, as Jesus said, “Wisdom is proved righteous by its children.” (Luke 7:35) The decisions that the Governing Body have made are its children, born of its wisdom. Are they proven righteous?
[i] When the Spanish government imposed a requirement for the WB&TS to pay into the government pension plan for all Spanish Bethel workers, the Governing Body closed the Spanish branch office down and sold the property which had been purchased with millions of dollars of donated funds.
Sitting here with my mouth hanging open. This is all so sad. I retired at 55 because of health issues and receive a reasonable retirement pension, you mean to tell me that someone in their late 60’s, early 70’s possibly older is just being turned away with nothing?!? Just horrible!
Sad to say, that has happened in Bethels and in the ranks of special pioneers across the world.
Hi everyone, In relation to the 144,000, whether this is a symbolic number or actual number I am still uncertain. However, I would lean more toward the fact it may be an actual number given the number of times it is mentioned in the book of Revelation. My own personal understanding which I have believed for many years now is this: 1. First and foremost, we are all children of God and therefore born again.(John 3:1-8) 2. There have been millions of Christians from the time of Christ, but that CERTAIN ones are ‘chosen’ or elected to rule as king… Read more »
In regards to the downsizing being done by the GB,so many have said how beneficial it is,how that can be for those who have been instutionalised in bethel, who now have been dismissed is beyond me ? As I think back over my years in the truth one thing that is evident is that the society has NEVER been good at giving,it very much is set up to take from its members,the individual brothers and sisters are the true support,but they are not the “organization”. It’s the generosity at an organisational level that’s non exsistant. This very much parallels the… Read more »
Think about this. First notice Bethel states crazy things like this, expecting JWs to “obey the lifesaving organization”, the REFUGE: Figuratively speaking, however, God’s people will flee to the refuge that Jehovah provides.”” (WT 07/15/2015, pg. 16, par. 7-8) WT quote (WT 11/15/2013, pg. 20, par. 17, #3): “”Elders who are reading this article can draw some useful conclusions from the account we have just considered:… [And sandwiched into the admonishment:] (3) At that time, the lifesaving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey… Read more »
Meleti, was the introduction of gentiles into the assembly of God first introduced with the establishment of the Christian congregation?
No. Gentiles were always welcome to convert to Judaism. When Jesus in John 10 said he had other sheep beside the fold he was already referring to he could not have meant gentiles who for centuries had already been accepted into that Jewish fold.
Perhaps there is room for further thought on whether in John 10 Jesus was referring to gentiles or to the sheep he spoke of in Matthew 25.
By the way, Meleti Vivlon,what does your screen name mean?
It’s derived from a phonetic translation of “bible study” into Greek. It came out as vivlon meleti, but I thought Meleti sounded more like a first name, and vivlon like a surname.
Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.
My screen name means Bee.
Hi Deborah, You need to look at the whole context. First, Jesus was speaking to the Jews, many of them his opposers. (John 10:19) What would they have understood by “this fold”? Proselytes (converted and circumcised gentiles) were considered as Jews. They would have been included in “this fold”, both in Jesus’ mind and that of his listeners. Jesus was only sent to the “lost sheep of Israel”, which would include all proselytes. (Mt 10:6) If he had stated that the other sheep he spoke of were gentiles, there would have surely been a riot. It was not lawful for… Read more »
” What would they have understood by “this fold”? Proselytes (converted and circumcised gentiles) were considered as Jews. They would have been included in “this fold”, both in Jesus’ mind and that of his listeners. Jesus was only sent to the “lost sheep of Israel”, which would include all proselytes.”
The Watchtower Real Estate Society strikes again !!!
Is the downsizing at the various Bethels worldwide real? Up to this point, I’ve been operating on it being a rumor as I haven’t seen any formal announcement anywhere that this is for real. I’ve read the forums and even given a comment or two on it, but it’s just a rumor, as far as I aware.
Very real. The US Bethel family will shrink by 1000. Up in Canada, they are expecting a 25% force reduction. Someone told me they have 600 in their family, though I don’t know if that last number is accurate.
You can safely accept this as the confirmed situation!
As a registered not for profit in New York State aren’t Watchtower finances available?? From N.Y.S.
That’s a very good question. I don’t even know where to begin to find the answer though.
Never mind the doctrine . Ive read the article and it seems to be an attempt to qoush feelings of resentment about the bethel lay offs these poor people they give thier whole lives to the service only to be chucked out on the street . What a tragedy .
Both in this and in the previous articles, we often come across the expressions “we”, “us”, “ours” (written by the FDS [who are responsible of providing this “spiritual food”]). My question is: since the members of the FDS claim to have the hope of going to heaven, how can they make statements like these:
“How might we prepare now for life in God’s new world?” and “Similarly, we can prepare for life in the new world by living now, to the extent possible, as we expect to live then”? (Paragraph 4) Are they misleading the Watchtower readers?
Zua, your question: Are they misleading the Watchtower readers
Let’s say, the WT writers apply a style of writing which is aimed at “leading” the reading, leading them into a thinking pattern, a pre-defined conclusion, an agreed assumption.
The use of we, us, our etc, is part of that style.
Is it misleading? I leave that to the reader to decide….but it smells like it.
The assumption that the FDS (aka Governing Body) writes these articles is incorrect. They rarely write WT articles. They read them and approve them for publication, but the vast majority are written by someone in the Writing Department who most likely is not a professed anointed one.
Even though not all Watchtower articles are written by the FDS but who is responsible for their contents? Are they the personnel of Writing Department or the FDS? In case a new explanation is given on a certain Bible matter, who is ascribed for such explanation? Are they the personnel of Writing Department or the FDS? Even JW’s publications state that the Watchtower magazine (and other JW’s publications) are the “food in the proper time” provided by the FDS (Matthew 24:45-47). The FDS is the one responsible for the content of all JW’s publications.
Yes, whatever happened to the saying, let your yes mean yes. They should care for these ones seeing that they have given the good part of their lives to the organisation . But what do I know anyway, unless you can see the full picture from within, it’s difficult to make that judgement . But what doesn’t help the GB’s decision to sell properties & lay off staff is buying properties as they did last year. Not just any property but luxury apts..Web Site: poughkeepsie journal article. In part it says”Jehovah’s Witnesses now owns a major apartment complex in the… Read more »
“Did Jehovah fail to answer every prayer except the one involving the Warwick construction?”
Apparently he also answered another prayer
Every comment here is reminding me in a strange way, of how the Apostles approached Christ looking for extra insights or hoping to out do one another. Therein lies the problem. None of us actually know. We can’t, we don’t have that much permission. The real issue is to attempt to live according to the things shown and explained to us through Christ. If I make it. I will not have any particular hope of being a prince, king or a damn page. Do the right thing by people “now”. Just do it. Christ commanded that. Wait until later and… Read more »
I agree with your sentiment regarding this Article I wish the WT organisation would adopt this view at times rather than riding on speculation, though they won’t being gods self proclaimed mouthpiece. There is nothing wrong in saying you don’t know, no one has all the answers, saying that I enjoy reading peoples Analysis on the deeper things contained in the bible it allows me to think.
More and more I come to the conclusion that actually none of us can really know what someone else must do and what is going to happen. Main reason: the bible does not tell it all. We do not have the original writings but only distant translations. Many translations. We only have a canon of considered holy writings that are approved by men.Are they all and are all selected true holy writings to be used by believers? What can one do if the writings cannot be proven to be fully accurate or cannot determine which parts are and which are… Read more »
Meleti. You say you went off topic. You didn’t, you extrapolated the real meaning and intentions hidden in a very crafty and confusing WT study article. Someone has to say it like it is.
This” culling” is indicative of much that is wrong. There is something awfully amiss with this religion. It seems to be shooting itself in the foot over and over again.
I’ve already made mention of the thousand year reign of Christ. But, I do have a question, meleti. Your words: “What the Bible actually teaches is that all faithful Christians receive the reward to rule with Jesus as Kings and priests in the kingdom of the heavens. These are the ones who will shepherd, instruct, and heal the billions of unrighteous resurrected who will return to live during judgment day – the thousand year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now, are you saying all Christians alive today are anointed ones? The early temple arrangement required priests, as well as… Read more »
>>Now, are you saying all Christians alive today are anointed ones?
No, I’m saying that all faithful Christians receive the reward to rule with Jesus.
>>This certainly cannot be done from heaven
Why are you arguing against a point I never made?
Dear Meleti, The comment – “this certainly cannot be done from heaven” – was not made to argue with you, but a general response to not only Chris’s concern (Can we officially say that we are preaching another gospel when we preach an earthly hope because the apostles didn’t preach an earthly hope for Christ’s followers?) of which I should have referenced; but yes, also your words, “receive the reward to rule with Jesus as Kings and priests in the kingdom of the heavens”. I admit it is a statement rather unclear to me as to where you feel kings… Read more »
I have no problem with you arguing with me. It’s how we learn and instruct. However, you seemed to be working on the assumption I was stating something which I was careful not to state. That was my point.
Perhaps you were working on the assumption I believe that Christians will rule from heaven because I used the phrase “in the kingdom of the heavens” which occurs 4 times in the NTW. The phrase “kingdom of the heavens” occurs 33 times.
However, “kingdom in the heavens” doesn’t occur at all.
Meleti. It doesn’t say Kingdom IN the heavens but it does say at Matthew 5:12
“12 for great is your reward in heaven.”
Agreed Chris. The whole subject needs a lot more investigating. I’m finding among friends that I speak to that a major roadblock to accepting that we are all God’s Children and that we should all partake of the emblems is that it means (in their minds) that we all go off to heaven never to return. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to go to heaven. They believe the anointed like the Governing Body will go to heaven and that’s okay. They feel no jealousy for being excluded. Quite the opposite. They want to be excluded. They want only to live… Read more »
No wonder I’ve had a hard time getting my comment to stick. You’ve been updating.
Yep, meleti, I was working on an assumption. Thank you for pointing it out.
The continued mockery of the Thousand Year doctrine is that it is still to come. Christ has been ruling within the heavens since he was resurrected. Scriptures support this fully. 2 Cor 10:4,5; Eph 6:12; Gen 3:15; Rom 13:12; Matt 10:34; Rev 17:14. If we don’t visually see this, does this mean we can’t read these scriptures and not rationalize on the battle of truth over lies at hand? We are in it and must chose our side carefully and decisively. Many have squeezed successfully, but barely, through a crack in the Watchtower walls – that alone should show us… Read more »
As Bible Students we don’t believe that Jesus is our mediator. We believe that if you read the definition of the word Mediator and Advocate then you will see that Jesus is the advocate for true Christians. (1 John 2:1) When we have an advocate we we have skmekne on our side pleading for us. An advocate is on our side reconciling us to the father like a lawyer. A mediator is between two parties at odd and is not on the side of mankind. And we know that mankind is not being mediated right now for many don’t believe… Read more »
1 Tim 2:5,6 If Jesus is not our mediator, then who is?
Eph 4:4-6 One hope, one faith, one baptism – to whom should this apply?
Rom 5:17-21 Could this ruling as kings merely refer to ruling as kings in life, having conquered death through having received the free gift of being declared righteous?
1 John 5:1-5 Who is born from God, and who can conquer the world?
In the book of Revelation, what things are given to the “one who conquers”?
We do not believe Jesus is the mediator for the church class. We believe that he is our advocate. Advocate is on our side like a lawyer. Jesus is not mediating the new covenant to mankind. Jesus is advocating for the church. He is not mediating for mankind yet. See my definition above for the difference between advocate and mediator. And their scriptures.
People believe what they want to believe I guess. But is it true? That is the question ultimately
Your scriptures cited for this Eph 4:4-6 does not mean that we are kings in this life. Jesus said that if we are faithful in this life we will be kings and priests. As you know we are neither right now.
Meleti, I take exception to the assertion about the true nature of the Bible’s hope for Christians as you have detailed it above. I disagree with the WT theology on this matter, but I also disagree with yours. Since you did ask your readers to explain their own views, I will try to do so, as briefly as I can. As I see it, both the WT position regarding the hope for Christians and yours are based on false premises. 1. We agree that the WT assumption about the “other sheep” is incorrect. When John 10:16 says, “And I have… Read more »
These objections fade away if you consider that we also believe that:
1) The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to rule on earth. Rev 21
2) The subjects to rule over are the nations, akin to what Christopher pointed out.
Christ said I am going to prepare a place for you. That where I am, you may be also.
Finally your point about man created for earth is invalid because Christians are to be born again as a new creation. New creation, new purpose.
Hi Alex, I thought I’d comment on your words that man created for earth is now invalid. Am I reading that right? If so, I feel we cannot forget that Christ replaced Adam, the first human to inherit the earth. Christ is the seed that Abraham was promised, a seed to inherit the earth, under the “Sarah” covenant. Gal 3:16; Roman 4:13 In Jesus, Ps 37:11; 2:8 was fulfilled – the “meek” shall inherit the earth. Heb.1:2; 1Cor.15:28; Col.1:16; Eph.1:10,20,21; Matt.28:18 The promise to Abraham that his seed would inherit the earth is also made to the “144,000”. This is… Read more »
If you want to take a book of symbology and make it literal and say that a literal city is coming out of heaven. Here’s my view on it and many would agree. “The holy city — Government of God. A “city” signifies a religious government backed by power and influence. In Scripture a city represents a government. For instance, symbolic
Babylon is denominated “that great city [government] which ruleth over the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 17:18).
It is not a literal city.
I don’t believe I have ever thought it was a literal city. As you say, Revelation is symbolic. Rev 11:2 speaks of this “city” as being trampled by Gentiles. Matt 24:15 confirms this as a “holy place”, Dan 11:31 as the “sanctuary fortress”, Dan 11:16 as the “Glorious Land”. So what is it? Jerusalem is measured in Zech 2:1-5 as well as Rev 11:1. There it is the “Temple” being measured. The Temple as we know it is “New Jerusalem”, the Body of Christ. 1 Cor 3:16 Rev 3:12 speaks of pillars in the Temple – faithful chosen ones…”and I… Read more »
Peely Totally incorrect. I never said that all things in the book of Revelation is symbolic. The heavenly Jerusalem is not literal. If that were so then God would be literally sitting on a throne because we all know her as a rump to sit with. This would mean God has literal eyes. The tabernacle is a copy of the reality. It shows heaven and earth. God does not literally live in a two roomed abode which he sits in the second room behind an incense altar. If you want believe it is a literal place then so be it.… Read more »
Here is an interesting article by the Bible Students on this.
“If you want believe it is a literal place then so be it. ” I think you are still misunderstanding me, Chris. My words were, “I don’t believe I have ever thought it was a literal city.”. The “city” is God’s inheritance in his faithful ,sealed chosen ones. They ARE the Temple and are PART of the Temple. How God transforms this for all to understand waits to be seen. When you are speaking of the kingdom coming with no outward display – this is Christ’s Kingdom of a thousand years. It began in the the first century when Christ… Read more »
Now that I agree with.
And also if this city is the kingdom then the bible is wrong to say that the kingdom is coming without outward observation.
Hi The Real Anonymous I was asking for a defense of the JW doctrine of the other sheep. Your argument seems to be against the understanding that some Christians will go to heaven. I don’t believe the JW Other Sheep doctrine is Scriptural. However, the exact nature of the reward that Christians do receive is not so easily defined. I will answer the points you make that need a response, but beyond that, if you wish to engage in further discussion, may I suggest you open a topic in Discuss the Truth. On 4, understand that I am not stating… Read more »
Meleti, Thank you for your even-handed response. If my initial comments have prompted yours and a number of other thoughtful responses, then my intentions have been met. I would not debate or discuss it further. By the way, I have found the general tone of the Discuss The Truth forum to be unpleasant, and the content to be disorganized and haphazard. IMHO we would all be better off if you discontinued DTT and focused solely on what transpires here. I assume that in most cases, when you suggest that someone to go DTT, it’s because you don’t want to hear… Read more »
Thank you for your thoughts as well. “…when you suggest that someone to go DTT, it’s because you don’t want to hear it any more, and you want to say so diplomatically…” Not really. I’m willing to continue the discussion there. Apollos started Discuss the Truth because we found that there were issues that our readers wanted to debate and lacking another venue, used the comment section of BP. So a topic on say, “1914”, could contain an extensive debate thread on say, “the nature of Christ”. It became hard to follow, especially when others wanted to weigh in. Discuss… Read more »
#8: “However, WHERE, I ask you, does the Bible say that ‘when a faithful Christian dies and is resurrected, he becomes a non-corporeal spirit person and lives out their life in heaven’? Try as you may, there is not a single verse in the Bible which contains this as a simple statement.” I think Meleti addressed this in his comment regarding #6, but it bears repeating. 1 Cor 15:42-49 (I would add verses 50-57). Vs 44: It is sown a physical body; it is raised up a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual… Read more »
Also in paragraph nine there is a suppose thinking ( I use thinking more like well I won’t say) that says there will be a time to exercise patience. For example ( oh no) we may hear may hear of relatives and friends been raised from the dead, we our selves may have to wait. So be patient, man there was sure a lot of Mays in that paragraph of course not one scripture that says this, but hey be Patient. It reminds be of this last week article and Habakkuk and in paragraph 13 where the organization makes a… Read more »
My good man you missed a perfect way to talk about Proverbs 4:18 being used as it always is by Organization, it has been a while since I seen the scripture used in a watchtower of course they add there own unique and New Light Slant to it, yup New Light for all in the Paradise, Pg and E bill ain’t got nothing on the New Light. 🙂
Ah yes, the path of the righteous. Or is it referring to doctrinal changes? 😉
Can we officially say that we are preaching another gospel when we preach an earthly hope because the apostles didn’t preach an earthly hope for Christ’s followers?
Hi Chris, This is a matter that greatly disturbed me when I first realised it. I fought long and hard against the notion that I was preaching a different gospel than the one expounded by the apostles. And yet, it is what it is. As much as it pained me to admit it, I had to accept that Paul’s injunction to the Galatians was inescapable (Gal. 1:8). Allow me to explain a little as to why: As far as I can tell, the only way to avoid the conclusion that you have drawn is to accept a theory of progressive… Read more »
Vox, it’s such a pleasure to have your contributions here. Thank you!!
Well it is such a pleasure to have ALL the contributions here Alex – even when they don’t resonate 100% with our own. At least here MV and the rest of you guys have created a place where we can engage and agree and disagree – lets ensure that it remains open, cordial and honest.
GB are taking followers after themselves something they accuse all apostates of doing.
Thank you, Alex. But I agree with Africaine. In my view, the real pleasure is found in the fruitage that you, Meleti, and the other authors here have cultivated in establishing an online community where contributors feel comfortable in coming together in Christ and in building up the harvest.
“Now, one might quibble with this and argue that although the apostles and the angels aren’t permitted to alter the good news, God and the Spirit can”
Galatians 1:8 precludes that, too. “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.” (capitalization mine)
No, I do not believe an earthly hope is preaching another Good News of God’s Kingdom. I do though believe that forcing or influencing a Christian to believe what their heart is not impelling them to believe IS preaching another Good News. If God is calling a Christian to be with Christ in the heavens they know it. They know they have been called and chosen. If a Christian has not been called they know this as well. It is not a matter of simply concluding we are anointed because all “Christians are anointed”. Watchtower has attempted to decide a… Read more »
Christians can hope to live forever on earth. They can hope anything they want. That really isn’t the issue. The issue is whether the Bible teaches that there is a hope for Christians to live forever on earth.
To date, no one has provided Scriptural proof for that assertion.
Meleti, you’re missing the point. God does the calling. There is nothing the Watchtower can do to interfere with God’s spirit calling an individual. Do you believe God allows a brother who is in line for the heavens to miss out merely because the leaders of his Christian religion are teaching he cannot be of the anointed? Or does Jesus by God’s spirit open his eyes as Christ did with his first century disciples and the brother “hears” his Father’s voice in his heart and follows through as best he can. We cannot MAKE anointed brothers and sisters of Christ… Read more »
I don’t think so, Deborah. Your point is only valid if it is based on the Bible. You rightly criticize the Organization for inserting ideas of men into the mix. They do that by making blanket statements about what the “other sheep” of John 10:16 refers to. They call the majority of Christians friends of God, but by their traditions, deny them the chance to be God’s children. The list goes on, but it is all possible because they do not base their teaching on the Bible but on the opinions of men. These opinions, passed off as doctrines, even… Read more »
Meleti, “So I really don’t think I’m missing the point when I ask you to provide the Scriptural foundation for what you believe.” What I believe is that each Christian’s relationship with God and Christ is just that- between him/her, God and Christ. The Roman Catholic Church itself believes in an eventual return to earth. Looking at the whole of scripture; considering that Jesus always attracted and sought the FEW not the MANY; that anointing, the receiving of God’s spirit, was either a direct action on God’s part or a laying of hands by men long dead; considering that God… Read more »
So that would be a “no” to the whole scriptural proof thing. 🙂
Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’m certainly not defending the Watchtower’s position on salvation, and I respect your right to view things the way you do.
Matthew 5:5 Jesus said : Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
“So that would be a “no” to the whole scriptural proof thing. :)”
Not really. 😉
My feeling on the matter is the Jesus sais that where he is going there are many abodes, and he told the two next to him on ” torture stakes” thate they would be in paradise with him. The apostle Paul said this person was taken to the third heaven to paradise. In Revelation it says the new earth is before the throne. My conclusion on this is that Paradise is in heaven but those in it may see it as a new earth because it is a different dimention. These ones will be resurrected as spirit creatures. Lastly all… Read more »
In so few words you have said it like it is. You show good perception, at least from my own point-of-view. It seems a number of men are not happy unless they urge us to their point of view. Male Ego may have something to do with this, I don’t know. Having been part of a religion that kept changing boundaries of belief and insisted that for me to be a faithful Christian I had to believe them – or else, made me feel more like I was part of a herd of cattle rather than part of a flock… Read more »
“Looking at the whole of scripture….”
Exact, beautiful words, Deborah.
A Question for Meleti and Co. Why have you taken away the provision of marking up a comment or reply. Are you showing a fear that too many users will mark-up an opinion expressed by others that contradict your own expressed viewpoint. I, for one, preferred it the way it was until now.
Good Question, Christian, though it troubles me that your first thought wasn’t to give us the benefit of the doubt. Our site was down for a good part of the day today. We’ve had problems with it for some time. The problem involves WordPress plugins consuming too many system resources. I thought we’d licked it a couple of months back, but it came back to haunt us today. The service provider blamed the comment plugin called wpDiscuz so I disabled it, though I think the issue goes beyond that. We have plans to move to a more robust server and… Read more »
Meleti, glad to see the site back up and running!
As for donations, I have tried a few times to donate ( my widows mite) but can’t get the darned thing to accept my details.
I’m giving my PayPal log in details but it rejects it.
Is the log in required actually a log in to this site?
Hi MM, Thanks, we’re walking a fine line to keep it up and running and fast–the latter being very much a matter of opinion. We also have to make some adjustments to the donation plug in to make it more intuitive. For now, when you donate (and thank you, by the way) use the Continue link since you don’t have a PayPal account. It will accept all major credit cards. I’ve pasted in a screen capture as it is not obvious. I had to search for 10 seconds to finally notice it. It’s like they’re really trying to hide it.… Read more »
You could have just asked why, instead of adding a comment that sounds rather cynical.
It didn’t leave a pleasant taste. 😉
If there WAS still a down marker I’m afraid you would have got one, Christian!