Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems –
Zechariah 14:3, 4 – Those outside Jehovah’s valley of protection will be destroyed (w13 2/15 p19 par. 10)
The reference claims that the division of the mountain of the olive trees “occurred when the Messianic Kingdom was established at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914”. Is that true? Let us read Zechariah 14:3, 4 again. “And Jehovah will certainly go forth and war against those nations as in the day of his warring, in the day of fight”. When did this happen? We cannot say for sure, but what we can say is that Jehovah definitely did not “go forth and war against those nations” in 1914. The time mostly likely indicated is Armageddon, when Jesus Christ, on Jehovah God’s behalf will “go forth and war against nations” (Revelation 16:14). It therefore cannot be until that time that Jehovah splits the figurative Mount of Olives to provide a valley of protection.
Zechariah 14: 5 (w13 2/15 p20 par. 13)
This reference then states “It is imperative that we remain in the valley of protection” referring to our present day. Based on our findings from vs. 3 and 4 this statement therefore also has to be incorrect.
Zechariah 14: 6, 7, 12, 15 (w13 2/15 p20 par. 15)
This third reference is fine until after citing these verses in Zechariah. Then it says: “No section of the earth will escape destruction”. However, on reading the context, the very next verse (vs. 16) says “and it must occur that, as regards everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that are coming against Jerusalem”. So the scriptures here indicate there will be survivors, ones not seeking the protection of Jehovah. Therefore, not all the unrighteous will be destroyed.
To continue living the same verse goes on to say that “they must also go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies and to celebrate the festival of booths.” In doing this they would be showing gratitude for their deliverance, just as the Jews celebrated their deliverance from Egypt. The following verse (17) shows that if they do not come up to celebrate the festival of booths then “even upon them no pouring rain will occur” indicating they would not get Jehovah’s blessing. (See also Isaiah 45:3)
At the end of the reference, it cites Jeremiah 25:32, 33, but a close examination of the context especially the early part of the chapter will enable the reader to understand that these verses referred to the Babylonian’s and nations surrounding Judah who would later be punished for their actions against Jehovah’s people. There is nothing here or elsewhere in the Bible to suggest that an anti-type exists and therefore could apply to the time of Armageddon. It had its one and only fulfillment in the fifth and sixth centuries before Christ.
Zechariah 12:3, 7 (w07 7/15 p22-23 par. 9; w07 7/15 p25 par. 13)
The context of these verses such as Zechariah 12:10 & Zechariah 13:7 refer clearly to events that befell Jesus the Messiah. That would indicate the surrounding verses likewise had a first-century fulfillment. Once again, there is no indication of a present-day (antitypical) fulfillment. The interpretation given in the two references is exactly that, a wishful interpretation made in an attempt to add weight to the claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses today are God’s chosen people.
Initial Call (g17/6 p14-15)
It is interesting to note that in this article no attempt is made to justify the inclusion of Jehovah’s name in the Greek Scriptures, unlike in recent weeks when the King James Bible capitalising ‘LORD’ in 4 scriptures (all quotes of Psalm 110:1) was used to partially justify replacing ‘Kyrios’ or Lord with Jehovah 237 times. (See Appendix 1d in the NWT Reference edition and Appendix A5 in the NWT 2013 edition for a flawed defence of their position.[i])
Bible Study (ji Lesson 5) – What will you experience at our Christian meetings?
“Many people have stopped attending religious services because they find no spiritual guidance or comfort” Never has a truer word been spoken in the literature! Have you stopped attending or missing the meetings because you find you get no proper spiritual guidance or comfort? If so, you are not alone.
Talking of the first century, “they held meetings to worship God, to study the Scriptures, and to encourage one another”. Yes, they met, but not on with rigid and structured formality as today. Yes, they studied the Scriptures, but not publications full of (disavowed) antitypes and dubious interpretations. Yes, they encouraged one another, but they had time to do that. Today after a long and tiring formal meeting full of prescribed content, how many feel like staying on to encourage their fellow brothers and sisters? Do not most go home almost immediately?
“The benefit of learning how to apply Bible principles.” When was the last time we had a meeting program dedicated to understanding a fruit of the spirit? What it is, and in what situations we particularly need to apply it, and how we can cultivate it?
On the basis of these points would you want to invite someone to a meeting at the Kingdom Hall?
Jesus, The Way (p. 6, 7) – The Way, the Truth, the Life
Nothing really to disagree with here except for the assertion that this book will be better than Tatian’s Diatessaron. That remains to be proven. For more information on the Diatessaron and the transmission of the Christian Greek Scriptures a very good, detailed summary is to be found here.
[i] The writer accepts some of their reasoning, but when reading the context of many of these ‘replacements’ it becomes clear they have gone overboard in their zeal to highlight Jehovah’s name. This has resulted in the replacement of “Lord” by “Jehovah” in a number of places where the context clearly indicates the writer intentionally used the Septuagint version containing Lord when quoting, and deliberately applied the Scripture to Jesus. Even today, do we not often quote a famous saying and remove the name of the original person (or a word) and substitute it with another name (or word) to make our point?
In the matter of JW statistics, now that they are only reporting global totals, that tactic will help them avoid reporting an overall loss of members, but if trends continue, that will only stave off the moment of embarrassment for a few years at most. Aside from outright lying about the numbers, another approach they could take is to divide the worldwide numbers into two classes, one for “regular” countries and a new category with some name like “total for countries where preaching is done under difficult conditions” where all the negative numbers appear in one subtotal. Then, all they… Read more »
If a corporation such as an auto part company etc. etc. can keep inventory of 100’s of millions of auto parts surely Jehovah’s Watchtower can keep inventory of a few million sheep. DEMAND THE YEARBOOK!! (Is 11:1,2,3,4) — (Is 1:11)– (Jn 18:9)
Quick STATS: 138? years in U.S.A, 1.2 mil. followers in U.S.A.= close to 8,700 gains per year on an average. 300 mil. people in U.S.A.= very low performance at the home level. Perhaps they should come back home where the “need is greatest” and quit trying to conquer the World. (2 Sam 23:5). I concur!!
I find the comment on Diatessaron interesting. For the current book to be more accurate there needs to be a guide. This publication is a updating of “the greatest man book…” Now if someone cares to checkout “the life and times of Jesus the Messiah” by Alfred Edersheim, published in the 19th century we could see the source wt drew upon. There is nothing wrong with this approach but Edersheim was of Jewish origin who converted and became a Presbyterian minister.
Can we take anything from Babylon the great? ???
Thank you Tadua for your write-up. Thank you Eleasar for the reference to the Edersheim’s book. I bought it and started reading. It’s quite a piece of a reading indeed, going to fill my free time in the coming weeks 🙂 Whether the WT’s book is based on this one I am not able to charge yet, but the WT book is not really comparable at all to the Edersheim’s one, which is a solid piece of scientific work. According to Amazon, it is: “… One of the best known and most important references on the life of Christ ever… Read more »
How we recognise Jesus and His role, using the new “study aid” does remain be be seen. Glad we are nearly up the the Christian Greek scriptures too. 2017 stats out on jw.org by the way, everyone!! 18500 plus partakers.
I see the stats are only global; there isn’t any breakdown by country. Will the detailed info come later, or is that what they are not going to publish due to the yearbook not being produced any more?
We will be surprised if they do publish the breakdown. They need to disguise the reduction in the western world countries for as long as they can.
I see the growth rate shown from 2016 to 2017 is 1.4% which is interesting, since world population grew at 1.12% in the same period. WT is barely keeping up with the general population; that is not a “great increase” by any means.
I doubt there will be any breakdown by country. These numbers may adversely affect the “spirituality” of the brothers.
BTW, I was at the meeting when the announcement about the reduction of publications and quitting the yearbook was made. At the end of the announcement there was an applause. Which perplexed me. Later it turned out the applause was not because everybody was happy with the changes or that nobody really liked the yearbook. It was to show support to the GB’s decisions, whatever they be.
The Flock should rebuke the decision not to print a yearbook and demand an accurately certified official copy for each and every year!! Jehovah doesn’t hide nor can anyone hide from him. (2 Tim 4:1)
Discontinuing the hardcopy wouldn’t be so bad if it were still available online, and the certification issue probably is not too important because It’s unlikely WT would actually “lie” about the numbers. The real problem is that they are not providing the numbers at all. While not quite the same as lying, in this case, hiding information is nearly as bad. Because reporting of grand totals only has the effect of covering up losses in some countries with gains in others, it portrays the organization as if doing well when in fact it is troubled in many areas. While not… Read more »