Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Where is this promised presence of his?

I would like to ask a question with regard to the presence of Christ, specifically about 2 Peter 3-10 which reads in part v 3 "For you know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule proceeding according to their own desires and saying "where is this promised presence of his? Why from the days our forefathers fell asleep in death all things are continuing exactly as from creation's beginning"

The watchtower applies this prophesy to Christendom but does it not seem that Peter is talking about persons who believed that they had received a promised presence and for whatever reasons have given up waiting for its occurrence or indeed believing in its existence.?

Is this related to the wise and foolish virgins? Even more notably Watchtower loyalists who maintain the authenticity of the 1914 doctrine could even attempt to apply this scripture to ourselves, under the guise of us having given up waiting for the presence/ revelation of Christ due to the time elapsed from 1914.

I feel this question needs to be approached because the answer may provide us with another time marker of events to come.

The question is, are these the last days? According to the letter of James the last days are the actual period of judgment referred to as "the day of slaughter." James 5:3-5 reads: "Your gold and silver are rusted away, and their rust will be as a witness against you and will eat your fleshy parts. Something like fire is what you have stored up in the last days. Look! The wages due the workers who harvested your fields but which are held up by YOU, keep crying out, and the calls for help on the part of the reapers have entered into the ears of Jehovah of armies. You have lived in luxury upon the earth and have gone in for sensual pleasure. You have fattened your hearts on the day of slaughter"

Needless to say "the day of slaughter" has not arrived. Nor has gold and silver, representing the monetary system, dissolved.

Also, Paul referred to the last days as being a "critical times hard to deal with." Do our times fit that description? Jehovah's Witnesses think so. Surely society is characterized by egotistical men and lovers of pleasures and all the other unsavory characteristics Paul said would prevail. However, we should not suppose that men will become such during the last days. The last days will be difficult to deal with, not because people will suddenly become corrupt but because people are already corrupted, so that when the last days begin civilization will come unraveled.

As regards the prophecy finding fulfillment in Jehovah's Witnesses, considering that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Christ's presence already began back in 1914, that prevailing assumption will undoubtedly prevent a sizable number from recognizing and accepting the sign of Christ's actual presence. For instance, in the event of another outbreak of global war, perhaps involving the use of nuclear weapons, accompanied by pandemics and food shortages, how many of Jehovah's Witnesses would have the spiritual insight to discern that such a development more precisely fulfills the prophecy of Christ's parousia? In that sense the ridiculers could very well be those who have come to believe that Christ's presence has already begun and the any future wars and pandemics are not out of the ordinary, hence the response -- "all things are continuing exactly the same as from creation's beginning."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What about the locust of Joel and Revelation?

The locusts of Joel seem strikingly parallel with those of John’s apocalyptic vision. Why does e-watchman on the one hand identify the locusts of Joel as the future 8th king that devastates God’s people, and the locusts of Revelation as the kings of God’s kingdom?

The prophecy of Joel and Revelation both use locusts to symbolize armies of men. However, that’s where the similarity ends.

Here are a few dissimilarities: The prophecy of Joel not only depicts the invading army as a plague of devouring locust, but also they are likened to caterpillars and cockroaches. The devouring insects could not possibly represent God’s people, as the Watchtower insists. The obvious reason being that God’s people are the victims of the insect onslaught. Not only that, but Joel indicates that Jehovah intervenes to save his people from the plundering pest by driving them into the sea. (For a detailed discussion of the prophecy of Joel see the essay: Day of the Locust Attack)

Elsewhere in the Hebrew prophecies locusts are used to symbolize enemy armies. For example, the prophecy of Nahum likens the Assyrian army to locusts: “As for the locust species, it actually strips off its skin; then it flies away. Your guardsmen are like the locust, and your recruiting officers like the locust swarm. They are camping in the stone pens in a cold day. The sun itself has but to shine forth, and away they certainly flee; and their place is really unknown where they are.”

On the other hand the locust-like men symbolized in the 9th chapter of Revelation are under orders to torment the people of the world who do not have the seal of God. This is the exact same work the “two witnesses” in the 11th chapter of Revelation do, which is to say they preach a message of doom that torments the world. In view of the fact that the locusts are wearing crowns it is evident that they are the sons of kingdom, who at that point will have been given the kingdom and so will have full authority to execute Jehovah’s judgments upon the earth.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What are the master's "belongings"?

In your detailed reply to the question "are you saying you are a prophet?" you seem to indicate that there are other "late bloomers" like yourself who are looked upon as "clowns " by elders. My questions are: Are there indeed others who now stand alongside you? Is this the grouping of the good slave in readiness for the judgment of God’s household? Also, as you have shown from scripture that there is actually two appointments, the second being the appointment of over "all his belongings," are we shortly to expect the emergence of "his belongings?”

As far as others standing alongside me, no, I don’t view it that way; least I be accused of forming a sect of some sort. However, does appear to have become an informal rallying point around which a few “late bloomers” have gathered. My essays seem to resonant more with some, since we have a shared experience. And I suppose, if anything, I have articulated that experience for others. (The more apt description, instead of “late bloomers, is “11th hour hires.” See essay:
“Many that are First Will be Last”)

The second appointment over all the master’s “belongings” has reference to their being appointed as kings over all the earth. How do we know? Please note that Jesus followed up the parable of the faithful and discreet slave and the evil slave with two other illustrations regarding two classes of faithful and unfaithful servants. In the illustration of the faithful and sluggish slaves who are entrusted with their master’s money, Jesus also referred to an appointment, saying: “You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”

Entering “into the joy of your master” relates to Christ’s anointed followers receiving their heavenly reward – of entering the kingdom of the heavens. That being the case, being appointed “over many things” must relate to their sharing in ruling over the earth during the reign of Christ’s kingdom. So, in that respect all of Jesus’ earthly “belongings,” over which the faithful slave and discreet slave is to be appointed, would appear to be not only the living who are destined to survive the great tribulation and live on the earth, but also the dead, who also belong to Jesus by virtue of the fact that his sacrificial death purchased all of mankind.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What about the 70 years of Tyre?

I've been reading with interest your application of Ezekiel 27 and 28 to the city of Tyre being London and the British Empire. You make a very convincing argument and it seems to fit. However I have an issue which I can't resolve. Isaiah 23 says of Tyre: “And it must occur in that day that Tyre must be forgotten seventy years, the same as the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of a prostitute: ‘Take a harp, go around the city, O forgotten prostitute. Do your best at playing on the strings; make your songs many, in order that you may be remembered. And it must occur at the end of seventy years that Jehovah will turn his attention to Tyre, and she must return to her hire and commit prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the surface of the ground. And her profit and her hire must become something holy to Jehovah. It will not be stored up, nor be laid up, because her hire will come to be for those dwelling before Jehovah, for eating to satisfaction and for elegant covering.”

My question is how was London forgotten for seventy years and then return to her prostitution? I've looked to see whether this applies to ancient Tyre, but apparently it doesn't. If we assume this has a future application, how does that fit with your assertion that there will only be a short period of tribulation at Christ's arrival?

Apparently, the 70 years was fulfilled in the past. It applied roughly to the period that Jerusalem was desolated. I say “roughly” because Tyre and Jerusalem were not destroyed simultaneously. Nebuchadnezzar razed Jerusalem first. Then he engaged in a laborious 13 year siege of Tyre. So, obviously the 70 years desolation of Tyre is not an exact time period. It seems more symbolic of a period of judgment.

The Insight book makes the point that 70 years being “the same as the days of one king” applied to the Babylonian kingdom, rather than an individual king. After the Babylonian kingdom fell to Cyrus, Tyre once again became a prominent mercantile center. That ended the 70 years of Jerusalem’s desolation as well as the period of Tyre being like a forgotten prostitute. “Her hire [came] to be for those dwelling before Jehovah” in the sense that after Jerusalem and Tyre were rebuilt the Tyrians once again began trading with the Jews. For example, Nehemiah 13:16 reports that the Tyrians violated the Sabbath while doing business in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem.

Still, though, it is apparent that the prophecy of Tyre is intended to apply in a much broader way then to the literal Phoenician city. That is apparent from the related and more extensive prophecy in Ezekiel, which connects the king of Tyre with the covering cherub of Eden – an obvious reference to Satan the Devil.
Ezekiel’s prophecy reveals that the fall of anti-typical Tyre coincides with Satan’s ouster from heaven at the coming of Christ.

Even though Tyre fell some time before Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt the prophecies speak of their fall as occurring simultaneously and resulting in all the nations of the earth being rocked by the stunning development. This indicates that the fall of ancient Tyre and Egypt typifies the death-stroke yet to be administered upon the Anglo-American dual world power, which is destined to occur concurrent with the Devil being evicted from Jehovah’s heavens.

Prophecies in Daniel and Revelation revel that there is an interval of 42 months, or three and a half years, following the earth shaking crash of Satan’s political beast. During that interval Jehovah’s earthly organization is also desolated. Since the typical desolation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians lasted 70 years and the desolation of Tyre also lasted 70 years, at least in a token way, (Jerusalem fell first) it would appear that the fall of the Tyre on the Thames and the three and one half years of desolation for the holy ones runs concurrently as well.

The prophecy of Isaiah says that after that 70 year period Tyre will return and “commit prostitution with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the surface of the ground.” As mentioned above, the fall of Tyre and Egypt seems to parallel the death-stroke administered upon the head of the seven-headed beast in the 13th chapter of Revelation. In view of the fact that death stroke gets healed and the beast is revived and morphs into the eighth king that rules a relatively short time of one hour, Tyre’s return to the hire of an international prostitute with the all the kingdoms of earth would seem to harmonize with this aspect of prophecy. Her prostitution leads to the revival of a system in direct opposition to Jehovah’s kingdom.
But the revival of the Devil’s system will be short lived. That is why the prophecy goes on to foretell that her spoils will go to God’s people, that’s because from their then-heavenly vantage point, Christ and all his holy ones will plunder the nations and the meek will inherit all the earth – including the symbolic treasures of Tyre.

See the essays
Doom of the Anglo-American Dyad and
Death of a God
Also, there is a revised and expanded version of the essay in the book
Jehovah Himself Has Become King in the chapter re-titled as London and the Devil’s Throne.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What about the locusts of the abyss?

Who do you interpret to be the locusts who come out of the smoke of the abyss in Rev: 9

The locusts of Revelation symbolize the kings of God’s kingdom going forth to war against the people of Satan’s world after the point at which the sealing of the holy ones has been accomplished. Their being released from the abyss also likely symbolizes the resurrection of the holy ones as well. They will at that point participate from the heavens in a military-like operation under their king, Abaddon, which means Destroyer. Christ is the Destroyer of Satan’s world and Satan himself.

The holy ones remaining on the earth at that time will have been sealed and revealed, meaning they will have been granted God’s irreversible approval. Their wearing “crowns like gold” indicates that they will have been given the kingdom at that time. Their having the teeth of lions represents their fearlessness and ferocity in denouncing the Devil’s world as a preliminary to its actual destruction.

Friday, April 14, 2006

When is the Devil thrown down from heaven?

I have always been of the impression that Satan and his demons would be forcefully ejected from the heavens at the beginning of the last days. Is this correct? If not, when does this occur? I have been reading and re-reading Revelation 7:1-17 and it appears that it is possible that this is actually the first piece of "business" once the kingdom has been established in the heavens following the "martyrdom" of the holy ones.

The reason I have drawn this conclusion is some wording in this chapter of God's Word. Chapter 12 verses 8-9 describe the battle and its outcome. Verse 10 announces the actual coming to power of the kingdom and verse 11 tells us who defeats the Devil and his demons. It says "And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. This seems to imply that this battle happens after Satan has dispatched of the remnant of the "holy ones" on earth and after they have been resurrected to the heavens. Is this correct? And if not, could you please explain?

If I am correct in my assumption above who are the "remaining ones of her seed" that the dragon goes off to wage war with in verse 17? I look forward to your answer.

The ouster of Satan and the demons takes place after Jesus is given his kingdom. However, the 12th chapter of Revelation reveals that there are actually two separate war campaigns that immediately follow the establishment of the kingdom. First, Satan and his demons wage a furious but losing battle against Michael and his angels and are subsequently thrown down from heaven to the lower regions of our earthly sphere. Once confined to the earthly realm the demons then go off to wage war with the remaining sons of the kingdom – that is the second phase of the war.

As for the duration of the war against the holy ones, the 11th and 12th chapters of Revelation, as well as the 7th chapter of Daniel, indicate that God allows a specific period of three and one half years for holy ones to be persecuted and eventually martyred. That period of time is designated as the “time of the end.”

Of course, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the war in heaven has taken place already; however, e-watchman presents numerous reasons why that cannot be the case.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

How does the king of the north prove to be sucessful?

E-watchman points out that the king of the north becomes a virtual squatter in the earthly realm of the land of decoration by dispatching the anointed remnant in death so that he has no rival. At this point in time, what is the position of the other sheep, which are also part of the one flock under the one shepherd, Christ Jesus? If they are on earth at this juncture and they will go on to inherit the earth, how does e-watchman explain that the king of the north becomes a virtual squatter of the land, having no more earthly rivals? So in the case of the other sheep, how does the king of the north proves to be successful?

The thing to keep in mind is that during the time of the end, when Christ Jesus moves to assert his kingship, something quite extraordinary is going to take place. What is that? The chosen ones who are destined to emerge from the refining and smelting furnace of Jehovah’s discipline during the time of the end will not be as they are now. When the holy ones are given the kingdom a fundamental and profound change will occur. What is that? They will become kings in the fullest sense. This is the phenomenon Paul wrote about in the 8th chapter of Romans regarding the "revealing of the sons of God."

Thus, in the context of the ongoing rivalry between the king of the north and the king of the south, Christ and the holy ones actually become a rival kingdom. And in the wake of the eventual subjugation of the king of the south, God’s kingdom will then present itself as an unanticipated impediment to the king of the north.

In terms of the great crowd, they will merely be subjects of Christ and the holy ones, whereas the real power will lie with Christ and his ruling body of chosen ones. And because the great crowd will be subservient to Christ’s brothers then, in their absence they will be as though subdued. Thus the king of the north is temporarily succesful in destroying his rival kingdom when he brings the holy ones to ruin, as Daniel says in regards to the king of fierce countenance.

The 27th chapter of Isaiah appears to speak of the situation, and which is the subject of the essay Will Christianity Survive the End of the World?

Friday, March 31, 2006

Should I partake at the Memorial?

I've never thought of myself as having the "heavenly" calling. However, recently I'm feeling that I should partake at the Memorial. Again, I have no feeling of being anointed whatsoever. However, the more I read from the Scripture; I find myself confused as to my position of partaking the emblems during Memorial. My thought process is, that, since we're 'all one body under one Shepherd', and to benefit from the "ransom provision" of Jesus - that I should be partaking by 'doing it in remembrance' of Him. Romans Chapter 8 shows us that we are no longer under the "law" since we are sanctified in union with Christ by putting faith in his ransom as 'children of God'. Please help me clear this confusion, whether I should partake or not? I really don't know.

As you know, the emblematic bread and wine are symbols of Christ’s flesh and blood. Christ specifically said at Luke 22:20 that the cup of wine represented his blood that was going to be poured out to validate the new covenant and the new covenant is between God and Israel. That is evident from the fact that Jeremiah 31:31 states: “Look! There are days coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I will conclude with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant…”

However, Christ did not mediate a new covenant with the 12 tribes, which descended from the 12 sons of Israel; but with the 12 apostles and other disciples. Fleshly Israel and the old covenant were merely the legal foundation for the new Israel that God began forming in the first century. In time it became more abundantly clear that the new covenant included non-Jews as well, so that what is called “Israel” pertains to Christ’s anointed congregation, where 'there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female.'

The new Israel is ultimately to be composed of 144,000 members, who are spoken of in Revelation as being symbolically taken out of the 12 tribes of old Israel.

The purpose of the creation of the Israel of God is in order to establish a kingdom so that all peoples of faith might ultimately inherit the blessing of everlasting life. Only those who are called to be part of that heavenly kingdom, though, are participants in the new covenant.

Keep in mind that it is Jehovah’s purpose to resurrect the vast majority of mankind; the most of which never knew God or Christ before their deaths. Nevertheless, Paul stated that he had hope toward God that there would be a resurrection of the unrighteous masses of mankind. Are they resurrected to heaven though? No, of course not. Only those who are anointed and adopted as spiritual sons are taken to heaven.

So, the point is, those who are destined to receive an earthly resurrection have done absolutely nothing to qualify for a resurrection. They are not even required to excercise faith beforehand. The earthly resurrection is most definitely not dependent upon their being in any sort of covenant with God – neither does survival through the great tribulation require the great crowd to be in a new covenant with God either.

However, while not direct participants, the resurrected dead, as well as the survivors of the great tribulation, will be beneficiaries of the new covenant that God has made with the seed of Abraham. As the original covenant with Abraham stated, all the nations will inherit a blessing through the seed of Abraham. And Paul pointed out to the Galatians the seed of Abraham is the true Israel of God.

In the 8th chapter of Romans Paul referred to the nations that are to receive a blessing by means of the new Israel as “all creation,” which he said is awaiting the revealing of the sons of God. Obviously, “all creation” and the soon to be revealed sons of God are two separate groups.

Keep in mind that the old covenant was with only one nation, old Israel. Likewise, the new covenant is with one nation, new Israel. The individual members of new Israel are the sons of God who are in the new covenant. The rest of mankind is not. Therefore, only those who have been adopted as sons of God are entitled and required to drink the cup of the new covenant.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Questions on the ransom and the final test

After having studied the WT lesson yesterday, Sunday, March 26, several questions arose in my mind.If the price of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus blood 'bought' the anointed, both in the initial sealing in 33 C.E. and now in the final sealing, then what 'price' is paid for the great crowd, who are also Christians? Are we 'grandfathered' in? Is our salvation through 'association' with the remnant?

Jesus’ sacrificial death bought all of Adam’s dying children. In a sense, Christ became the father of the human race by virtue of his purchase. He is the new Adam and empowered to give life to all of his offspring, provided that they have faith in him and obey him as Lord.

The vast majority of Adam’s offspring will be resurrected onto earth after the war of Armageddon sweeps this present evil system into oblivion. Their future life prospects will be determined by their course of life after their resurrection. However, Revelation reveals that a “great crowd” of people will survive Armageddon due to their washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb – meaning, of course, that they are counted worthy of salvation because of having faith in Christ and acting upon that faith.

As the study article brought out, though, there are two aspects to the ransom. It is Jehovah’s purpose to gather both a heavenly and earthly group. Since the ransom price that Christ paid bought the entire human race from sin and death, Jehovah also wills that a chosen few from among mankind should become spiritual sons in order to rule with Christ in heaven. In their case the ransom is applied in a different manner. Whereas, the surviving great crowd is considered righteous, they are not “declared righteous.” What's the difference? Being “declared righteous” means that God judges them to be sinless. God applies Christ’s sacrifice to them in a way that allows God to credit them with perfection – even though they are sinful. Being declared sinless allows God to transform sinful humans into immortal spirits upon their resurrection.

On a side note: The reason Jehovah made the provision for a select few of mankind to become a new creation of incorruptible and immortal spirit beings is undoubtedly for the purpose of providing an unequivocal answer to the charge that Satan brought against Jehovah in Eden; namely, that God was selfish and would not allow any creature to be like him. The fact that God bestows immortality upon the 144,000 of the new creation means that they become as much like God as is possible. Essentially, the new creation is unanswerable to God but completely devoted to him. Christ’s ransom makes that possible in their case.

So, while the salvation of the great crowd comes about because of their faith in Christ too, it is God’s purpose to use the anointed as ministers to his other sheep.

Does the great crowd experience two 'tests'? The first 'test' is surviving the G.T. and Armageddon and the second 'test' is at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ. Why?

Yes. There are two tests. The reason that is so is because at the end of the 1,000 year reign all traces of Adam’s sin will have been removed. Both the great crowd and the multitudes of resurrected persons, plus any children born during the millennium, will have been rehabilitated to the point of becoming sinless. They will attain to the human perfection that Adam and Eve briefly enjoyed.

However, in regards to the “things in the heavens” – the 144,000 kings and priests – Revelation 20:6 says that the second death has no authority over those who are privileged to experience “the first resurrection.”

“The rest of the dead,” referred to in the previous verse, is in reference to those resurrected onto earth during Christ’s reign. But even though they “come to life” at the end of the 1,000 years in the sense of coming out from under the condemnation of death due to Adam's sin, they are still subject to the second death. The second death is the penalty for willful sin – such as Adam and Eve committed.

Just as God tested Adam and Eve by prohibiting them from eating of a certain tree, so too, at the end of the 1,000 year reign, Satan is let loose from his dungeon for a brief period in order to test mankind in their perfect state. Those who fail that test experience the second death, which is permanent death from which there is no resurrection.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How many times does Jesus arrive?

Since Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ has come into his Kingdom, how can that be compatible with celebrating the memorial in view of 1st Corinthians 11:26: "For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.”

The Watchtower explains that by saying that Christ has numerous “arrivals.” The Watchtower teaches that Jesus arrived in 1914 and that he will also arrive again at Armageddon. However, their teaching does not stand up to scrutiny.

For example, consider the Watchtower’s teaching regarding the faithful slave. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that shortly after Christ arrived in 1914 he came to God’s spiritual house for judgment. It is believed that Jesus initiated the foretold judgment upon the house of God sometime in 1918 and that he thereafter appointed an approved slave class “over all of his belongings.”

But according to Jesus, the slaves who are ultimately judged to have been faithful to their original appointment to feed their fellow slaves are not appointed over all of their master’s belongings until the master arrives. Jesus spoke of the faithful slave on two separate occasions. The most frequently quoted is in the context of the sign of the conclusion in the 24th chapter of Matthew. However, Jesus also spoke of the faithful slave in the 12th chapter of Luke. He did so in explanation to Peter’s question in response to another parable Jesus had just uttered.

At Luke 12:37-40 Jesus urged his disciples to stay awake in anticipation of his unannounced arrival, saying: “Happy are those slaves whom the master on arriving finds watching! Truly I say to you, He will gird himself and make them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them. And if he arrives in the second watch, even if in the third, and finds them thus, happy are they! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would have kept watching and not have let his house be broken into. You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely the Son of man is coming.”

The Watchtower applies the parable above to the future arrival of Jesus, which is obviously correct. However, Jesus went on to explain who the illustration applied to, saying: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? Happy is that slave, if his master on arriving finds him doing so! I tell you truthfully, He will appoint him over all his belongings. But if ever that slave should say in his heart, ‘My master delays coming,’ and should start to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting him and in an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones.”

Please notice that Jesus again referred to his surprise arrival. Only in the enlarged explanation Jesus indicated that some of his slaves would not be expecting his sudden arrival and would consequently be adversely judged for their negligence. The Watchtower, though, insists that Jesus has already arrived to judge his slaves – way back in 1918. But how can that be? How reasonable is it that Jesus intended to teach his disciples to anticipate two separate arrivals? It is not reasonable at all! The fact that the master will arrive at a time the unfaithful slave is not expecting harmonizes with the previous illustration regarding Christ’s coming “at and hour you do not think likely.”

The truth is there are not two arrivals. There is only one. The fact that the Watchtower teaches that Christ has already arrived is surely the reason Christ will come at an hour his disciples do not think likely and at an hour the evil slave is not expecting.

Additional reading: When does Jesus Come?


Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Watchtower as a UN-approved NGO

Why has e-watchman devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to make a case against the Watchtower’s former registration as an NGO with the United Nations? In a circular letter dated November 1, 2001, the Watchtower stated the following concerning its disassociation with the U.N.:

“...the Criteria for Association of NGOs—at least in their latest version—contain language that we cannot subscribe to. When we realized this, we immediately withdrew our registration…”

It appears that they were not aware of the “latest” version for association of NGOs. After which, they withdrew their registration, being “grateful that this matter was brought to [their] attention.” In what way have “opposers” attempted to “discredit” the Watchtower in this regard as stated in this circular letter? Since the Watchtower operates under a cloak of theocracy, Jehovah’s Witnesses will likely leave this matter in God’s hand. Has this matter been satisfactorily resolved in the minds of Jehovah's Witnesses, so that they bear no community guilt before God?

The Watchtower is lying.

The Criteria of Association of NGOs has always been the same. Apparently there was some minor rewording of the application, but according to the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI) approved NGOs enter into a partnership with the United Nations. According to the UN the present working arrangement has been in place since 1968. Here is a quote from the DPI website addressing this point:

“In 1968, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), by resolution 1297 (XLIV) of 27 May, called on DPI to associate NGOs, bearing in mind the letter and spirit of its resolution 1296 (XLIV) of 23 May 1968, which stated that an NGO “...shall undertake to support the work of the UN and to promote knowledge of its principles and activities, in accordance with its own aims and purposes and the nature and scope of its competence and activities.”

When the story of the Watchtower’s involvement with the UN first broke in October of 2001, the UN headquarters was inundated with inquiries from Jehovah’s Witnesses. The DPI received so many emails and calls that they posted their official response on their website in which they clearly stated that the Watchtower agreed to support the United Nations in accord with the established criteria. (
Click here and navigate to the link that says Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. PDF file)

Interestingly, the letter also states that it is the UN’s policy to keep all correspondence between the UN and their associate NGOs confidential, which is a backhanded sort of way of stating that there was an ongoing interchange between the UN and the Watchtower.

Indeed, it is the obligation of all NGOs to keep the UN apprised of the progress of their particular information campaign in behalf of the DPI. Did the Watchtower comply with the DPI’s requirement to conduct an effective information campaign and to inform the UN of it? Undoubtedly it did, otherwise they probably would have been disqualified for serving as an NGO.

E-watchman has painstakingly documented the extent to which Bethel went to comply with the requirements of the DPI, which involved using the Watchtower and Awake magazines to inform the public and present in a positive light the UN's many agencies and programs. (See articles Strange Bedfellows, Plumbing the Depths of the Watchtower’s Prostitution, and The Watchtower and the UN: What is the Truth? )

UN’s human rights website even lists the November 22nd, 1998, Awake Magazine, which was written specifically to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. Evidently the Watchtower sent the UN a copy of that particular issue as proof of their compliance with the requirements for NGOs. (The Watchtower apparently was initially oblivious to the power of the Internet)

Does the mere fact that the Watchtower withdrew its NGO membership after it was exposed mean that all is well now? Take the case of a husband and wife relationship: What if one mate committed adultery over a long period of time and refused to admit it but merely secretly broke off the adulterous affair? Would that make everything right? Doesn’t the innocent mate deserve to know the truth?

In order to be resolved of guilt the Watchtower must first admit its guilt. It has not done so yet. The Watchtower's brief mention of their NGO affair in their letter to the branches merely blamed the UN for supposedly changing the wording of the NGO application -- leaving one the impression that all the Watchtower had to do to become an NGO was sign an application. The Watchtower’s response has actually added more guilt to their already considerable guilt of spiritual prostitution.

In fact, the Watchtower has never publicly admitted it was ever an NGO. It has only done so in private correspondence. To this day the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses have no inkling of the affair. The comparative few who have heard of it are duped into imagining that it was something entirely fabricated by boogiemen apostates and opposers. Millions of publishers and hundreds of thousands of pioneers have no idea they were betrayed by the Watchtower and used like dumb pack-mules to disseminate subtle UN propaganda to the public.

From Jehovah's standpoint, until the Watchtower comes clean and admits that it knowingly and willingly engaged in a collaborative partnership with the United Nations there can be no forgiveness.

Link to additional article



Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sheep and goats

In view of Jesus words at John 10:25-31, how can it be that 'sheep' can be found to be 'goats', if nothing can remove the sheep from Jesus' hand? Doesn't this imply eternal security for a true believer? Otherwise the terms 'sheep' and 'goats' are a contradiction in terms. If a sheep could be taken from Jesus' hand, what does the sheep become? A goat? It seems that Jesus was teaching 2 distinct groups: believers and unbelievers and that we can put great assurance that we can never lose our salvation by being plucked out of the hand of our Shepherd. Only 'sheep' can hear Jesus. The goats never CAN. John 8:43, 47 Otherwise, we must conclude that sheep can become goats by being unfaithful. Yet, that would mean that Jesus indeed can 'lose' his sheep and they can be 'plucked out of his hand'.

In the 10th chapter of John Jesus discussed his role as Jehovah’s good Shepherd. Contrasting himself to the hired men who do not really care for the sheep and fail to protect them, which results in the sheep being scattered and assaulted by wolves, Jesus stated the following: “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is something greater than all other things, and no one can snatch them out of the hand of the Father. I and the Father are one.”

In stating the above, Jesus indicated that he could never be overpowered or outsmarted by any sort of predator so that he might become an ineffectual shepherd -- like the hired men. However, that is not to say that Jesus’ followers cannot become unfaithful or allow themselves to be stumbled. Jesus himself says in Revelation that he will vomit lukewarm Christians out of his mouth as unpalatable. Numerous parables also indicate that Jesus will adversely judge those whom he deems to be wicked and sluggish slaves. It is not as though an enemy snatches them out of Christ’s hand though. Christ himself rejects those whom he judges to be unfaithful to their calling.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What about the king of the north and south?

What light can you shed on the WTBS explanation in the Pay attention book of Daniel 11:20; proving that the Anglo-American world power switched from being the King ofthe South to the king of the North?

I am not sure I understand your question. But the Watchtower does not teach that the Anglo-American king switched from being the king of the south to become the king of the north. The Society teaches that the Anglo-American dual world power has always been the king of the south and the modern king of the north has been Germany and the USSR. The Society offers no suggestions on who the king of the north might be at the present moment and they discourage Jehovah’s Witnesses from even thinking about it or discussing the issue.

E-watchman has presented the case for the British Empire filling the role of the king of the north with the United States as the king of the south. In order to understand how that works we should first
dispel the myth that the British Empire no longer exists, then we must come to appreciate that even though Great Britain and America are allies, they are also rivals. The intent of the imperial system is to befriend its enemies in order to beguile and subvert them, which is exactly what has happened. The goal of the London-centered financier oligarchy is to ultimately destroy the United States once and for all, at least the constitutional republic.

It is from that standpoint that e-watchman has interpreted the prophecy of the rivalry between the king of the north and south. (See essay:
The King of the North Conspires for World Domination)

Friday, March 10, 2006

What about tattoos?

I have been an active Jehovah’s Witness for over 20 years, and have seen more and more changing attitudes in the last few years. (Sex, underage drinking, divorce) It seems to me that a new age of Witnesses is appearing in the United Kingdom. What I mean by this is, for example: the issue of tattoos is now viewed in many halls as acceptable. Why, 4 elders in my own hall have them, as do many sisters and young ones. I have used many scriptures, like Leviticus 19:28 and Romans 12:12, and research on the origin of tattoos to show how God must feel about them; but have been told that because the Watchtower has not told us it is wrong to get them and is a conscience matter, to keep quiet. Now more and more young ones are getting them as those taking the lead wont speak out against them, but bizarrely enough, a local needs talk was given about how women wearing trousers offend Jehovah. Where do you stand on the issue of tattoos brother Watchman?

The Watchtower has written enough about tattoos to provide anyone who wishes sufficient guidance.

The fact that significant numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses are ignoring the Watchtower’s counsel and embracing a degrading worldly fashion such as tattooing is symptomatic of the coming “increasing of lawlessness.”

Interestingly, tattoos used to be a means of marking a slave, and even though modern men and women who may choose to get themselves tattooed typically feel that they are expressing thier freedom, in reality they are branding in their flesh an indelible mark that signifies they are mere slaves of fashion of this world.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Going back to meetings

Regardless of fault, how does being "disfellowshipped" from the WBTS position you in our stream of time?

It is unclear to me exactly what you are asking. But being disfellowshipped for telling the truth is something akin to be thrown from the synagogue in the first century. Jesus said that in the last days true Christians would be beaten in the synagogues. No doubt it is something that more and more of Jehovah’s Witnesses will experience going forward; especially when things go terribly wrong and the Watchtower has no answers.

I'm sure we have all been over this time and again but…what are your thoughts on returning to the meetings? I am disassociated and wondering what really is the right thing to do – stay away and wait on Jehovah, or begin attending again. I am having a hard time with the thought of re-attending as so much they are teaching is wrong. And I do not want them to get the impression that I thought I was wrong if I start attending again.

Being disassociated is a difficult situation to be in because basically you are considered to be in a disfellowshipped state, and going back would require you to be reinstated. And in order to be reinstated you would have to reassure the elders that you believe in everything the Watchtower teaches.

Of course, you can simply go to meetings and be shunned as a disfellowshipped person, and just sit and listen to the meeting and get up and leave. But in order to be viewed as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses again you would essentially have to pledge your allegiance to the Watchtower Society. If you are wiling to do that then you should go back. Either way though, waiting on Jehovah is the best course of action.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Why does e-watchman apply judgment prophecies to the anointed?

Since anointed members have already been declared righteous through the sin atoning sacrifice of Jesus, why does e-watchman apply prophecies of judgment against ancient Jerusalem to the holy spirit anointed priesthood that are currently serving in a spiritual sense in the holy compartment of the sanctuary while still on earth? --See Romans 4:24 through 5: 2, 9

It is not merely so-called Old Testament prophecies directed against ancient Judah and Jerusalem that have a bearing upon these matters. The very foundation of Christianity is based upon the principal of a future judgment day at the revelation of Christ. Not to be overlooked is the fact that the apostle Peter indicated that judgment begins first with the house of God. The Watchtower also recognizes that to be true. Unfortunately, though, the Society has convinced Jehovah’s Witnesses that God’s judgments have already occurred; having taken place back in 1918. That is why a large portion of the work presented on e-watchman is intended to overturn that strongly entrenched “operation of error.” For example, see the essay:
The Harvest

CLICK HERE for e-watchman mailbag archive


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Has the Governing Body always been this way?

My question is this, at Matthew 24:45-51, in the discussion about who the faithful and discrete slave will be ... and not be, was there a point in time prior to now when the Governing Body would "entertain" thoughts and ideas from other members of the "little flock" who were not on the GB or at Bethel that went contrary to the accepted "dogma" without them going berserk and disfellowshipping some and labeling them with the apostate tag? Is this a relatively new phenomenon?, or have they always shown this attitude, because it appears in the scripture mentioned above that there would be a line of delineation when they would no longer accept anything from outside their ranks and would treat other members of the "little flock" who dared question them with the severest of measures. Is the line of delineation 1975, or their adulterous relationship with the U.N. or some combination?

As individuals I am sure most members of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are of the finest sort of men. On a personal note: About 25 years ago I had the privilege of working in the field service on two different occasions with visiting members of the Governing Body. I was deeply impressed with their lowliness of mind and unpretentiousness. Also, in my experience more recently, I used to write to various members of the GB with numerous research papers. Although my research may not have been well received I did not experience any sort of reprimand or reprisals. (The more recent open letters accusing the GB of apostasy are another matter.)

We need to keep in mind that Jesus will judge everyone as individuals – including Governing Body brothers. After all, that’s the point of Jesus’ illustration concerning the faithful and evil slave. Both slaves have an appointment from the master of the house and both slaves will be judged as to their faithfulness in the discharge of their duties. Upon the master’s coming the faithful slave is appointed over all his masters’ belongings while the evil slave is put out of the house entirely.

On the other hand, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society Corporation are not individuals. They are institutions. And as such, organizations have a character and an accountability of their own that supersedes the individuals that comprise it. Perhaps there are individuals on the Governing Body who are inclined toward a more reasonable stance on some issues or they may favor discarding certain teachings, but if so, they would probably find themselves more or less powerless to affect the body as a whole.

In many respects the institutions of the GB and the WT are comparable to the Pharisees and the religious institutions of Judah during the time of Christ. But even though Jesus condemned the institutions and organization as a whole many individuals of the Pharisees and the temple priests actually became followers of Jesus.

So, we have to be careful not to condemn or judge individuals. We wisely leave all judging to Jehovah’s appointed Judge – Jesus. But, we know from the prophecies that the organization that presently bears the name of Jehovah will be destroyed. Afterwards a new organization comes into existence comprised of individuals who will have been judged faithful to God.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Will there be another world war?

E-watchman seems to advocate the view that there will be a third world war. However, the Watchtower does not seem to share that view. It reported that a third world war would render the earth uninhabitable. To support this idea, they quote Bible verses relating to the permanency of the earth, as found in Psalm 37:29, Ecclesiastes 1:4 and Revelation 11:18. Why then does e-watchman promote the view that there will be a third world war? If that is the case, how do we account for the great crowd that comes out of the great tribulation as shown in Revelation? Given the indiscriminate destructive power of nuclear armaments, wouldn’t the use of WMP preclude the survival of the great crowd?

Ironically, the Watchtower recognizes that the nuclear threat is very real. For example, the Society’s website has an article that was originally published in 1999, which describes the nuclear threat as a “Damoclean sword” hanging over mankind. It points out that during the Cold War the military doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) convinced the Superpowers that a nuclear war was un-winnable for either side because all would be destroyed. It also makes mention of the threat terrorists with WMD pose.

However, the whole concept of nuclear war has subtly changed in recent years. No longer is the use of nuclear weapons thought of in terms of mutual destruction. Under the Bush administration the United States has abandoned its long-held policy of using atomic weapons only in defense or retaliation and has adopted a new policy of
preemptive nuclear warfare. Why the change?

Three years ago
BBC reported that the United States was determined to build a new generation of nuclear weapons; a smaller, less destructive weapon designed to penetrate and destroy underground bunkers and which also could be used as a tactical weapon on the battlefield.

Apparently that new class of weaponry is now operational; evidenced by the fact that in recent weeks the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) has been readied for an
immediate nuclear strike against Iran. What is perhaps most unsettling is the fact that the new generation of mini-nukes have been classified by the military as conventional weaponry and do not have to have executive authorization before being deployed. Battlefield commanders have been empowered to use such weapons at their own discretion.

Nuclear war is no longer unthinkable because it is no longer even thought of as nuclear war!

Not only is a nuclear strike against Iran said to be imminent, as if to raise the stakes,
North Korea has stated: "Dark clouds of a nuclear war are hanging low over the Korean Peninsula."

So, it would appear that the scene of the world is rapidly changing – growing more ominous by the day.

Apparently the Watchtower is no longer watching.

The reason the Watchtower’s watchmen have fallen asleep at their posts is because they believe that most of the prophecies have already been fulfilled. They don’t know what to watch for! They are expecting the UN to suddenly destroy organized religion. That’s not going to happen given the world’s present political arrangement. Other things must come first.

Take the prophecy of Joel as an example of the Society’s intractable blindness. That vital prophecy foretells that the earth is going to be ravaged by an irresistible insect-like military force. As a result of the locust attack Joel foretells that the sun will turn dark and the moon will turn to blood, etc.

That foreboding apocalyptic terminology, which Jesus also invoked when he foretold that mankind would become faint with fright because of the roaring of the sea and fearful sights in the heavens, seems to be describing a large scale nuclear war and the effect it will have upon the world. It will cause such distress to God’s people that they will cry out to Jehovah for relief. God responds by destroying the invading military force.

Inexplicably, the Watchtower claims that Jehovah’s Witnesses are the symbolic locusts that are plaguing the world and afflicting God’s people! (For an alternative explanation of Joel see the essay:
Day of the Locust Attack)

Many other examples could be cited, but the Watchtower’s interpretation of Joel is one of Bethel’s most absurd teachings, and as such, it illustrates why they are blind and unable to discern the significance of present developments and what they portend for the future.

But, be assured that Jehovah will not allow men or demons to destroy the earth or make it uninhabitable. The meek will inherit the earth.
But in view of the fact that the prophecies indicate that a great calamity lies in the future, and it is also clearly evident that the nations are being manipulated towards a ruinous world war using the newly developed mini-nukes, perhaps we can better understand why Revelation promises that God will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth” and wipe the tears from the faces of those who ultimately do inherit the earth.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

An Islamic king of the north?

In watching the goings on of the world, the thought occurred to me that the King of the North may now just be the Nation of Muslim. I am not talking about a bordered nation or state, but just a population from wherever they may be. When observing them recently they seem to be gaining in their aggressive nature and it seems the Bible prophecy states that 'He' would rise up from the sunrise, which could just mean every where. I lack the clarity for this that I have seen from your writing, but could this thought be a possibility for our time, seems nothing else is fitting?

The “goings on of the world” are not always as they appear. What is taking place throughout the Muslim world is in reality a carefully orchestrated act of provocation in order to polarize peoples and nations against each other and incite war. Who is behind such a thing?

If you recall, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq a few years ago the nations of Europe did not support the Anglo-American military adventure. This time it seems that the powers-that-be are taking steps to ensure the support of otherwise reluctant nations for the next phase of war against Syria and Iran. This is being done by inciting Muslims to outrage by various means; likely employing agent provocateurs to
advance the neo-con agenda.

The goal is, of course, to ultimately establish
control over Iran’s massive oil fields. LaRouche’s EIR reports that the London-centered financier oligarchy is in the final stages of detonating the blow-out of the financial system; all the while preparing to scuttle the doomed financial markets themselves in order to seize control of raw materials; abolish the American republic and establish a fascist dictatorship over the world.

This is exactly in accord with what the prophecies foretold concerning the king of the north and king of fierce countenance; namely, that he will use deception and act with success in order to bring ruination upon the mighty ones and rule over the hidden treasures of gold, etc.

See essays on
king of the north and the king of fierce countenance

Here is a link sent in by a reader with additional information on tried and true subterfuge tactics that may possibly be employed now to ignite nuclear war.

See e-watchman Blog post on the Clash of Civilizations