The Masters and the Learners

//The Masters and the Learners

Commentary on the Watchtower’s Daily Text

Friday, October 6

This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.—Matt. 3:17.

Brothers who are learning to serve in the congregation should be taught to think in terms of Bible principles. For example, suppose an elder asks a brother to keep the entranceway to the Kingdom Hall clean in appearance and safe for walking. He could consider Titus 2:10 and explain how the brother’s work to enhance the Kingdom Hall will “adorn the teaching of our Savior, God.” He could also ask the learner to think of the elderly ones in the congregation and how carrying out his assignment will benefit them. Having such conversations with the learner as part of his training will help him to focus more on people than on rules. He will experience the joy that comes from seeing how brothers and sisters in the congregation benefit from the service he renders. Further, the elder should commend the learner for the effort he makes to apply the suggestions. Sincere commendation does for a learner what water does for a plant—it makes him thrive.

Besides the fact that the verse used in the Watchtower’s daily text has no relevance to their commentary, what utter arrogance the leadership of the Watchtower exudes. The “learner”? In case you overlooked it, four times the text refers to a “learner.” Are the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses now composed of the learned and the learners? What happened to brother and sister? Are we not all learners before Christ? Or is it just the exalted Governing Body and their helpers who are the Learned Masters?

For a fact the Governing Body has a lot to learn. Unfortunately, they are not teachable. They imagine they know it all. How like the scribes and pharisees of Jesus’ day!

But, we can learn something from the day’s text. It really highlights an extraordinary prophecy in the 28th chapter of Isaiah. Speaking to those who rule over God’s people in the run-up to the Second Coming of Christ, here is what Jehovah has said: “For their tables are full of filthy vomit —There is no place without it. To whom will one impart knowledge, and to whom will one explain the message? To those who have just been weaned from milk, those just taken away from the breasts? For it is “command after command, command after command, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there.”

The prophecy well describes the teaching method of the Watchtower —at least what it has become in recent years. Whereas, in bygone years the Society at least seemed to speak to Jehovah’s Witnesses as adults —as spiritually mature peers. Now, though, there is a definite master/pupil relationship. The Governing Body are the Learned Ones. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the child learners.

As Jehovah states in Isaiah, it is as though the masters are teaching children, those who have just been weaned from milk. The infantile Caleb/Sophia cartoons really epitomize the relationship. To be sure, though, it is not merely the cartoons. Since the Watchtower decided to go all-in on the Internet a few years ago it has become a virtual movie production company. While the kiddies are entertained with Pixar-like cartoons, teens and grown-ups are fed soap opera-style dramas intended to modify their behavior by means of entertainment.

The New International Version expresses it very clearly. It reads: “Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.”

Betraying themselves as those laying down rule upon rule —“do this, do that” —for the lowly learners, the day’s comment actually states:

“Having such conversations with the learner as part of his training will help him to focus more on people than on rules.”

As a process in their training, the learners are to be taught how to clean the entryway of the kingdom hall and other menial tasks, but since they are mere children and cannot think for themselves, they are to be taught not to think of it as rules, but as Bible principles; because, obviously, the learners would not have realized that on their own; what, with their having just been weaned and all. So, “a little here” —clean the walkway —and “a little there” —don’t think of it as a rule.

And this is what the Kingdom of Christ has become —a nursery school?

Jehovah, being the Supreme Learned One and the Grand Instructor, has the perfect lesson. He is going to school the masters. The next verse in context states: “So by means of those with stammering speech and a foreign language, he will speak to this people. He once told them: ‘This is the resting-place. Let the weary one rest; this is the place of refreshment,’ but they refused to listen.’”

In the ancient fulfillment Jehovah spoke to the spiritually drunken leaders of his people —the boastful rulers in Jerusalem —by means of the Babylonian hoards, who swept down from the north like an unstoppable juggernaut. Of course, the prophecy is only ostensibly set in ancient times.

While the prophecy is addressed to the “drunkards of Ephraim” —Ephraim having been the most prominent tribe of the 12, especially after the kingdom of Israel was divided —interestingly, Ephraim or Israel, had already gone into exile when God entered into judgment with the rulers of his people in Jerusalem, where the kings of the tribe of Judah were enthroned. So, Ephraim must symbolize the rulers of the “Israel of God” that came into existence in the first century when the anointing began. And since Jerusalem was where Jehovah caused his name to reside in ancient times, the modern-day equivalent of the “rulers of this people in Jerusalem” (vs 14) must correspond to the Bethel hierarchy that rules over Jehovah’s Witnesses.

For a certainty, the prophecy in Isaiah concerns the second coming of Jesus Christ. That is evident by what is stated in verses 16 and 17: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘Here I am laying as a foundation in Zion a tested stone, the precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. No one exercising faith will panic. And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling tool. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will flood out the hiding place.’”

Obviously the Kingdom stone was not laid in Zion when Nebuchadnezzar razed the holy city to the ground. Nor did Christ appear after the chastened Jews returned to rebuild Zion. For that matter, neither was the stone laid in the first century, at least not when Jesus was in the flesh. Notice, that the foundation stone is tested first. So, that is what Jesus underwent when he was on earth. As Paul said, he was tested in all respects and never sinned. After proving his loyalty then Jesus was resurrected. Since then all persons desirous of having God’s favor must have faith in Christ.

However, it is not until the Second Coming that the tried and tested stone is laid —in the sense that that is when the Kingdom is established. Needless to say, no symbolic flood of tyranny swept away the lies in 1914, when the masters claim the Kingdom was established. No, ironically, it is the coming of Christ in the near future that will initiate a Tsunami-like flood, a global holocaust, that will obliterate the Governing Body’s place of refuge —exposing their Kingdom-came hoax, and washing away their entire organizational edifice and their deluxe palace at Warwick.

No amount of letter writing will work. As stated, the Governing Body are unteachable and unreachable. Some exJW’s imagine they can organize protests and that will change certain policies. That is nonsense. The masters are beyond reasoning with. The Grand Instructor surely knows this. That is why God declares the only solution that will work in verse 19: “Only terror will make them understand what was heard.”

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2017-10-06T11:38:18+00:00 October 6th, 2017|Commentary|174 Comments
  • Isaac of Coimbatore

    It is really true and fitting that the GB is unreachable and unteachable. Brother Robert, is that not similar to Roman Catholic hierarchy?

    • trudy

      I thinking who is Babylon the great at the way things are going. I am waking up to so much .I use to feel so paranoid in the Kingdom prison halls .The loads on my shoulder where was the ” I will refresh you! ? Jesus was saying .,that’s funny I remember there were drinks served on Sundays but the refreshments it was so nice for the old lady’s who made cakes ,they felt they could bring something nice for us all to mix and gift from God and then it was stopped so there was nothing .I use to not like the changes or bit here bit there on Thursdays it was really here and there or was that just me ? Can any one else answer on that .

      • e.v.g

        The jews who lived prior to jesus time, experienced a feeling of bitterness because the pharisees were blind and stupid, if we are going to see jesus presence then it will be a privilege.

        • sally

          Yes they experienced bitterness at what they could clearly see, but they stuck it out until Jesus came.

  • Cathii D’Anthonii

    It makes one hurt to even read this daily text. What an insult!
    It appears to be a trend today in America, that they consider everyone little more intelligent than a rock..we are peppered with publuc service announcements Iike this all the time so the society is playing right into it..
    I miss the Watchtower studies when we really studied….

  • The Ancient Witness

    Keeping in line with Proverbs 10:19, I shall be brief.. LOL 🙂

    I agree Robert King! As you stated: That is why God declares the only solution that will work in verse 19: “Only terror will make them understand what was heard.”

    The Governing Body and most elders are self-absorbed, prideful and not open to any reasoning. They really are in a cultish nightmare that is playing out in the daily news…

    • Isaac of Coimbatore

      Remember they are corporate guys, so they are playing out in the daily news. LOL

    • Craig Knight

      Brief but trenchant and amen!!!

  • i was just thinking over that verse in Isaiah last night, thinking again just how stupid one of the yearbooks or magazines talked about a congragation that only had one tie, so they were passing it back and forth to wear before they would speak to the congregation. they used to be able to tell the truth but not anymore unless you wear one. must be magic cloth

    • The Raven

      That’s incredible! Part of the uniform I suppose.

    • KB

      Dressed up in appearance, but rotten on the inside. It’s all for show.

    • Craig Knight

      If I were Jesus I would have all ties and stiff white shirts outlawed for all eternity. I haven’t worn a tie since I ran out of the kingdom hall 30 years ago!!! Ha ha ha!!!

  • The Raven

    Wow! Treating grown folks like imbeciles is asking for it. I could have a lot of fun with a “teacher” like that. But I can’t guarantee he would!

  • Max

    Arrogance has became the norm in the organization this days. I noticed it started during the 90 or before perhaps. When I started the full time service in 88 as a regular pioneer I started noticing that I was placed in a special category I became very close to the circuit overseers. Even now I have very fond memories of some but the majority were very arrogant. I learned never to overshadow them with knowledge biblical or otherwise. At Bethel the brother’s arrogance was overwhelming. I didn’t noticed it much with the GB members but the Bethel’s elders which then the position was the equivalent of a CO. They were extremely difficult to deal with. I had troubles with two of them. The first one had his wife working under my supervision and he wanted special treatment for his wife. His wife came from a very wealthy family and he wanted me to follow his wife way of doing things. He used to tell me that his wife could have been the CEO of her family’s business but she decided for the full time service so she deserved to have better assignments than the rest of the sisters and she was not even a nurse she wanted to be supervising the nurses and no late shifts of course. The other one was a very high up brother worked under direct supervision from one of the GB members. He was the kind Bethel elder to whom you could never say no. What ever he wanted he got. One night he asked me to inject a maintenance brother who was working on a project in his bedroom. He wanted the brother to finish the project that same week. The brother got sick with the flue. He asked me to give the brother an injection of 4 millions units of penicillin. I asked him if he was crazy because the flue is a virus not treated by antibiotics. He even tried to convince the brother to have the injection anyway he even offered to inject the brother himself the maintenance brother refused. I sent a written complaint to his overseer who was the GB member. He hated me throughout my Bethel service. He would go after me for whatever stupid reason he could create. He thought he was really royalty. And he behaved as such.

    • Burt Reynolds

      The same attitude was shown by the nazis’ use of slave labour during the Second World War. People were used up in their strength and when too weak to work, disposed of. One might take this as an exaggeration, but in truth it is not. It is the mindset that is the sin against humanity, not the degree to which it is taken – just as it is with adultery which can be comitted simply by intent alone. We had a similar event with a mental health social worker who went round prescribing and administering medication without authority. He was struck off and his future pension taken away. Presumably your elder was just given another worker to abuse!

      • Max

        For me was just his arrogance what got me the most. For him to believe that he could do whatever he wanted even to prescribe to a sick maintenance brother for the simple reason that he needed his bedroom finished that specific week that was mind blowing to me. He acted that way because at bethel there is a huge divide between the office workers and the laborers. Because only the most “spiritual “ brothers are assigned to work in the offices helping sometimes as in his case a GB member. It’s a huge privilege to work in that capacity at Bethel. So that was why he felt he could do what ever he wanted because the other brother was very much way below him.

        • e.v.g

          There is a lack of consideration or even compassion on those who manage the belongings of the org. I have seen that kind of attitude in conventions, first century christians didn’t have assembly halls or kingdom halls. Even it was a challenge being a christian in the first century. When the hard times comes or the apostasy become clearly, then being a christian will be a challenge.

        • Burt Reynolds

          That is sad to hear. I’m sad too that it does not surprise me.

        • Beverly kenyon

          ‘There is neitherJew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. Galations3:28

          ‘For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on him’. Romans 10:12.

          He acted that way Max because first of all he could, also, that sort of behaviour is not out of place in any big corporation/business with everyone vying to be ‘top dog’ and outdoing others to please their bosses, as in his case he was working for someone who’s saying he’s going to be an ‘immortal King’ and his only proof of that claim is that he says so!! Seriously!

          It sickens me to read of religious exploitation of honest hearted people.

          ‘Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious Wolves’. Matthew7:15 NLT

    • Yuri Fisher

      Hello brother Max. Your commentary is very invormative for me. When I started to study Bible some 33 years ago with JW in Haifa Israel I was very happy and I was sure I Have found the true people that really teflect God qualities. And we really were very happy congregation. Brothers and sisters
      invited each other and were intetested in each other. We were like one big family. Elders were loving and very deep thinking. They knew Bible well and it was a pleasure to go to the meetings. Ee had much joy at the meetings and elders joked a lot from platform. They were very approchable. But after some time old elders were replaced by new one. The new one were arrogant and unpleasant. All the situation changed in Haifa congregation. It became terrible. Also in other congregations situation the same. All elders now are arrogant and not nice. New one come but they have no such knowledgedge of the Bible. Very shalow talks and stupid examples. And they cannot dig deep in Bible. They all became like popits on the strings. One elder told my wife that you must not have your own oppinion on any thing. Only oppinion of Jehovah. Even in small things. He said Jesus had no petsonal oppinion. Today elders are so loaded with rules that they affraid to have their oppinion about anJehovah.They think that any body who express himself freely is an enemy of Jehovah. What a terrible organization it became.

      Wirh Jehovah blessings
      Yuri

      • Richard Long

        So right, Yuri!

        “You may only have Jehovah’s opinion, and you may only take *our* word for just what Jehovah’s opinion (this year) is!

        Please tell us you are safe.

        • Yuri Fisher

          Hello Richard
          We are OK here.
          Thank you so much for your care. I wish I could talk to you and to others here on this site. Maybe we can contact each other sometime.

          May Jehovah bless you and save you from coming collapse of this system.

      • Burt Reynolds

        The fact that you still have faith and can see the truth is evidence of the right hearted person. So keep going.

      • Max

        Yes, that is exactly the way I feel. We used to be a great big family too. Now it changed so much. Everybody at the hall seems to me is afraid to connect with people and I see less and less fruits of the spirit among the friends. The elders in my hall are mostly in their early 30 except the president an older brother very kind and humble. And you are totally right! The young ones are shallow and not much knowledge there either. But they are very good at promoting the WT and the GB. They look to me very efficient almost like good administrators of a business their service looks mechanical to me even their prayers are very well prepared but not from the heart they sound even mechanical, I have friends in the missionary field in South America and they have made similar comments that the new generations of elders lack spirituality and that they are being anointed too young. Nice to hear from you brother! Much Christian love for you and the friends over there.

        • into the light

          They look to me very efficient almost like good administrators of a business their service looks mechanical […]

          A while ago I jokingly made a comment to brother who conducted the study that evening that his conducting the study was “nice moderation” 😁. He was kinda surprised but that’s how it really felt to me.

    • Cathii D’Anthonii

      That lofty place they evevate pioneers to, turned my stomach. That was when the time was 100 hours a month…So many very elderly would come to me and say they wished they could pioneer but couldn’t because of health reasons…we don’t celebrate birthdays but we label people and elevate them..What’s up with that?????However, every time I saw a Bad elder ,it’s seems that it wouldn’t take long for Jehovah to remove them. I do believe Jehovah removed them, sometimes right out of the congregatioN. Now, things are speeded up…The whole world is noticing…..

      • Burt Reynolds

        Lucky you that you should be envied and encouraged. When I, in my naive folly, hoped for a little recognition for the hours I put in, plus running a family of four and a job and pioneering, I was shown the scripture….’you, the slave, have done no more than you aught…’ Which of course was true! So I never opened my mouth again. All I had said was that it had ‘been a long day.’ I had never been so encouraged in my life and it made all the strain and poverty worth the while and increased my joy and sense of support no end. They never asked me to relate my encouraging experience from the platform. I can’t think why.

      • Richard Long

        The first time I turned up at the Hall of my own free will (wasn’t contacted from field ministry, attended meetings with parents as a youth), Sunday meeting if I recall correctly, and asked for a study, I was told I would be assigned to “Gary” an elder who happened to be PO. The next meeting I turned up to, I got the privilege of hearing the announcement that “Gary ********” has been disfellowshipped”. I was then given to another elder named “Gary” and NO, this was NOT rural Mississippi!

        • Isaac of Coimbatore

          Why PO was disfellowshipped? Child abuse?LOL

          • Richard Long

            Don’t know, none of my business, and frankly, I was afraid to ask. Was early 1990’s, and most df’s are for ….?

        • Burt Reynolds

          I didn’t think for one moment it would be rural Mississippi, Richard. I was certain it would be way down upon the Swanee river, far, far away. I was sure that is where your heart would be yearning ever, at the home where the old folks stay. Is that not where up and down the whole creation that you sadly roamed, still a-longing for the old plantation, and the ol folks at home? Maybe I’m mistaken. Anyway, I’m off to De Camptown races. I understand that the race track is five miles long…do-dah, do-dah…

    • Isaac of Coimbatore

      Are you a nurse?

    • Craig Knight

      There have always been the humble elders and the arrogant ones. Elders are supposed to serve and encourage God’s flock not beat them and pressure them. In the 70’s we had several elders who were on witch hunts in our congregation. They were more like the SS than humble servants. Most of them left the WT eventually. It’s amazing the damage one arrogant elder can do to people. That says a lot about you Max that you hung in there and didn’t let them destroy your faith.

      • Richard Long

        Actually, he removed himself from Bethel because of the stress, but that is his story to tell (again) if he wants to. IT is in his disqus log in case one wishes to save him the agony.

        • Craig Knight

          I would have removed myself too! So I don’t get your point!

          • Richard Long

            I read your comment to be an expression of your understanding that he had “hung n there” at HQ. Of course I read everyone’s words incorrectly, so the defect is mine. Again. As usual.

            • Craig Knight

              No, I was just saying that it’s good He didn’t let them take away his love for God. No worries my friend! You know I knew this wonderful family of 6 become JW’s and all of them loved what they considered to be the truth. All of them were pioneers often and of course everyone in the KH thought they were special. Four out of the 5 kids went to Bethel and were there when the Franz blowup occurred. Long story short they all left WTC for good! One of them was my surfing buddy, we were very close growing up. He is now an atheist. Pretty pathetic what happens in that religion. I for sure would have left Bethel if I had gone. It sounds like a military barracks and a miserable existence.

  • Burt Reynolds

    This article brings back difficult memories for me. Though I needed lessons in humility, I needed lessons in fellowship and inclusion more, to experience the gentle and light yoke of the Word and the genuine love of the brothers. My life in the congregation always felt like a punishment rather than a joy. There were dozens in our congregation that needed support, financial, mental and physical. I was taken on a ‘shepherding’ call once (to learn of course, how it was done), to a brother who was as poor as could be, both in life and financially. He was in his forties, looked as though he was in his seventies, and was dying of stomach cancer. I won’t relate more, but the horror of that interview remains with me to this day. The total incompetence and sheer lack of insight and empathy of the brother leading the visit was breathtaking in retrospect. Where just about every physical and loving care was required, nothing but admonishment to attend the Kingdom Hall was given as if that offered recompense for his health and poverty. And I was made part of that debacle by being there. If I recall correctly he died alone some weeks later and his wife became homeless as she could not keep up the rent. No one helped her. She was just forgotten. All our elders were well off financially and materially. I can’t figure out how or why that made a difference, but it did.

    It is true that the hierarchy will only respond to the terror that will make them open thier eyes. They have not yet had to come to deal with the realities of life, the hardships and the provision and sacrifice to be endured by those who put Jehovah first. Those ones are always nearer to death and hardship and are ready to endure more of the same for His name. But as for these ones in their golden towers, the shock of reality over what they have done to the sheep will be truely horrifying because they will know that they are without excuse and are blood guilty. In fact their behaviour is so shallow and reckless that it is truely difficult to feel anything but contempt for them, when perhaps we should be feeling sorry for them.

    • Craig Knight

      What a horrible sad story Burt – where is the love and compassion even when someone is dying. Truly a sad story! Contempt is a perfect word to describe them!!!

      • Burt Reynolds

        Their remoteness and mental isolation is difficult to grasp. It is a phenomenon that is nigh impossible to explain in any other group of people other than cults or in mind control….same thing….like the nazis employed against Jews and the media does today generally. I’ll illustrate it against my better judgement. My second wife died of breast cancer at the age of 37. Over the thirty months I nursed her for, I can only recall two acts of kindness from the congregation. The first offer was for ‘anything we can do, just ask’. So I asked for ‘money off’ void coupons found in women’s magazines. The cost of natural foods that would alleviate symptoms was very high. It wouldn’t cost anyone anything, but it was as though I had asked them for a cash handout. Anyway, I was given two or three on one occasion, grudgingly. We were all poor.
        The second offer, was to visit my wife…once, that offer was made and not by an elder but a sister. But by that time the cancer had spread to my wife’s brain, and she was rambling. I explained this and the reply was….I recall it vividly….’well I can humour her.’ I can vividly recall my reply to that person too, but it’s not for this site. There was a third incident that reflects the isolated thinking imposed upon the congregants and which is worth the mention, and that was, when my wife was in hospital, she got a high level visit from one of the ‘celebrities’ in the congregation. He asked how things were going, and I told him out right that she had about three months left. ‘Oh that will soon pass’ he said. He actually thought she had the prospect of a three month stay in hospital. They listen so attentively. Of course the most common ‘encouragement’ when my wife was in the terminal phase, was ‘don’t worry, there is always the resurrection …’ After she died, no one visited from the congregation at all. Not one.

        I don’t relate this for sympathy. This was thirty years ago, but I think it worth the telling to illustrate the mental remoteness of the influence upon the brotherhood. The context is not one of ignorance, or contempt, but of the watchtower’s controlling grip in the aspect of reasoning and consideration of the Word. The isolation and the extreem disability in empathy to the true cause….preaching the word out of love, out of understanding of Jehovah. It would be wonderful if we could break through this barrier to the right hearted ones….to all of them, to give them hope, but Jesus will do this if it’s possible. I wonder sometimes if they are truely responsible for their actions. I’m glad it’s not down to my judgement.

        • The Raven

          Man, that’s awful. It sounds familiar . I was told something a little different when I went through a very similar time with several family members. They point blank stated had I been a baptized witness they would have helped us out. That immediately reminded me of the Samaritan and I bit my tongue. I realized their primary goal was preaching but really? I find what you said extremely disappointing. I’m so sorry they put you , at the time one of their own, through that. Deaf, blind and often emotionless
          It seems.

        • Craig Knight

          It seems like elders are quickly brought on board to help other elders from getting burned out. If you have a pulse you qualify. There really seems to be no love in most elders, they are just company men. I can imagine how angry you must have been after dealing with the elders lack of compassion. When I walked out of WT not one person much less any elder ever came to ask me why I left not even my younger brother who was an elder at the time. My uncle was the only one to contact me thru the mail and He sent me a few WT magazines, But He didn’t ask why I left either. So much for Brotherly love huh?

          • Richard Long

            “It seems like elders are quickly brought on board to help other elders from getting burned out.

            Or possibly to make way for the quiet dismissal of those serving under protest of the child molester shelter policy. Or, alternatively, those under suspicion of child molestation themselves.

            • Craig Knight

              Exactlty so!!!

          • Burt Reynolds

            Ah yes! I forgot to mention the gift of a watchtower and awake when something goes wrong in life. Relative dead…..have a watchtower. Divorce? Have a watchtower. Lost your job? Have a watchtower! Leaving the watchtower? Have a watchtower! Your right Craig. I’ll send you a watchtower!

            • into the light

              You’re not you when you’re spiritually hungry, get some WT 🤣

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIVDxL2lgN4

            • Craig Knight

              Ha ha ha! Please don’t Burt I’d just toss them in the round file where trash belongs.

            • The Raven

              I didn’t get but a few years worth of them back in the 80s. I’m glad they put some online so I can at least find them when folks discuss issues with particular articles or studies. I still find them here and there and yes, I take them home to read once in a while. I’m glad I found this site it makes it easier to read between their lines.

            • Craig Knight

              I’m glad that you didn’t get too brain washed like me! I’m still under their influence to this day to a small extent. I think us ex JW’s never really recover 100% the mind control runs so deep.

            • The Raven

              Craig, I was never a baptized JW. I had about 6 months before I was let go for not agreeing with any of their prophecies especially the entire book of ( bible) revelation. But I have been associated with them for decades and had several friends I studied with privately. That’s mainly how I learned what I did without much of the superfluous stuff. It wasn’t until I began reading this site that the pieces of my learning and doubts finally began to fit. I have been at the “gates” for a very long time. lol!
              But does it really matter? Some folks take issue with this. I don’t. I see us as all the same.

        • sally

          That is an awful story Burt, and that stuff was happening 30 years ago even. I think the resurrection hope is in danger of almost cheapening life in a way. Like it doesn’t matter so much and for those left behind they don’t get the empathy of the grief and pain they are experiencing? I am asking this because in my congregation a family of 3 sisters who always sit together, hang out together, (parents I think are both dead but life long JW’s) had a huge loss. One of them died earlier this year, she was ill with cancer but fighting it hard and they actually thought she was going to pull through. I even spoke to her at the hall myself 1 week before she died, she told me she was “winning”. The annoucnement the following sunday was a terrible shock, she had collapsed and died at home the previous day. Of course her beloved sisters were not at the meeting, I had wandered where they all were until the announcement. I looked around but did not see any reactions. They then did the closing prayer. They didn’t even mention her, or her sisters who must of been at that point dribbling in a corner somewhere. Prayer ended, a sister sitting in front of me turned around and I said something like “I can’t believe so and so has died? I am in shock” she smiled kindly and said “yes its sad isnt’ it, anyway how have you been?” I left quite quickly very upset and sat in my car and prayed to Jehovah for this sister and the two she had left behind. If I didn’t know the real truth, that probably would have been the final straw for me that day. But I am blessed to know quite a lot more than most it seems, so I thank Jehovha for this everyday and keep trying.

          • The Raven

            ” I think the resurrection hope is in danger of almost cheapening life in a way. Like it doesn’t matter so much and for those left behind they don’t get the empathy of the grief and pain they are experiencing? ”

            That, my dear friend is a profound statement. I agree. Looks like many of us have had that said to us in the midst of our suffering with a perfunctory air and it was a way of shutting down discussion on the matter. In other words, they didn’t want to offer any help or support and just said, “oh well, they’ll be back” .

            I try not to think about those times but it also brings up something else…what are they going to do when Christ’s brothers are in dire need? If they think they can walk away after delivering a terse, ” there’s always the resurrection,” and that will suffice for salvation, they’re sadly mistaken. We will be judged for how we treat them when they are at their lowest.

          • into the light

            I think the resurrection hope is in danger of almost cheapening life in a way.

            This reminds me of “waiting for the real life” comments some brothers and sisters make on social media. As if this life that we have is not real. And they even make lists of things they want to do in paradise… 🙄

            • sally

              Its funny you should say that, my old study sister used to say that to me all the time. That this wasn’t the real life as far as she was concerned and after amageddon she is going to pick up all the litter!

            • Burt Reynolds

              They make lists of what they want to do in paradise?! I must admit I have made, a short list too, much to my disgrace. 1/ Live in it.

          • Burt Reynolds

            I think what you say accurately describes the situation within the congregation over the past 40/50 years and probably beyond. I think that there are cultural variations. From my experience of the American brotherhood, they are or were, a lot more demonstrative in their love and fellowship, at least as I saw them to be, but more materialistic than the English. I think the French had the balance right, and the Dutch, but the Germans……but if you wanted easy going, Italy was the place to be a witness. I honestly don’t think the English congregants can deal with death appropriately. They don’t know what to say or how to empathise. They are stripped by the watchtower of compassion and especially for unbelieving partners. No one can bring themselves to acknowledge that an unbelieving partner was loved and had good qualities outside of the truth. Thus they always fell back on, ‘well we have the resurrection!’ (That was the first thing my sister said to me when our mother died..’well at least mother will get a resurrection!’). At least? Isn’t that enough? What more did she expect? It’s looked upon as a right almost and the interim loss as nothing, even a sign of lack of faith were one to express their feelings of loss. It’s true, sadly. I’ve seen it. ‘Where is their faith?’ It’s warming that you prayed for our sister. Outside of the family, you may well have been the only other voice raised in anguish out of all those others.

            • sally

              Yes I agree Burt, part of it is very “english” we are not the best in expressions and feelings. I know I personally am terrible at it. However not to even be prayed for? not her sisters either? and everybody acting like nothing had happened right after the announcement? they took “englishess” to the 8th degree that day. As to the comments you make about peoples faith being questioned if they grieve to much. I can unfortunately believe it but it still astonishes me to hear that. It makes me imagine those who have lost loved ones having to somehow “conceal” the depth of their grief in case of an accusation of lack of faith. What a terrible position to be put in when you are at your lowest and most vulnerable.

            • The Raven

              Just an observation but you British have a marvelous way of making even an insult sound like a wonderful compliment. Lol! Must be the accent. Wait, us americans are the ones with the accent, right? Haha! Just kidding! How are you doing, Sally?

            • Burt Reynolds

              Raven! English, not British. If that were the case we would have to include Glaswegian and even Irish, which are both far worse than any American accent could ever aspire to! Y’all copy?

            • The Raven

              Lol!

            • sally

              Hi Brother Raven! I am doing fine thank you for asking. Baring up as we all are. Yes you americans are the ones with an accent. Mind you thinking about it, for such a little country as the UK is we have quite an array of different accents going on within it. If I had the time, I would research how that even happened. But I got far more important learning right now if you know what I mean.

            • The Raven

              Lol! Glad to hear you’re doing ok. I know what you mean. I’ve been looking through a lot of info past few weeks and trying to understand how it all fits. Some excellent articles lately with timely insight as well. No need to research accents, I was just joking. Besides, Burt already set me straight on “English ” 😁

        • into the light

          I admire your thinking about all this. And in general.
          May Jehovah bless your kind heart with his unsurpassed love forever thru his son! Amen!

    • Peaceful Waters

      That is truly “breathtaking” Burt, I’m so sorry. That poor couple :'(
      “By this all will know that you are my disciples – if you have love among yourselves.” – John 13:35
      LOVE! The anti-christ spirit is so disgustingly prevalent in the society today it’s nauseating. Everything is so contempable, infuriating and soul crushing that there is noting left to do but to beg Jehovah for His mercy and try to shower them with our compassion and prayers.
      May Jehovah have mercy on us all!

  • Michael J Hewitt

    Yes they know the game is up. They will have no doubt furnished a most affluent bunker under that lake at Warwick. Milking congregants to the very end and doing it in an arrogant style, mocking even designing a place of worship that gives a wink to ruler of the air. God bless the Internet, God bless this site. Without, I would still be blind.

    • Richard Long

      All actual evidence of the rumored bunker at warwick are welcome.

      • Michael J Hewitt

        If it’s not a bunker then it’s false identities and off shore bank acc’s. And a fast horse. If they’d picked another Name to trade under, they could have avoided this judgement.

        • Richard Long

          Well, Michael, my money would be on “all of the above plus a whole lot more than I can imagine”, but since the bunker is rumored to exist, I’d like proof. The point being that at least Jeff Bezos and the rest of the elite are happy to show theirs off. But then they paid full price for theirs with money they stole honestly.

          • Burt Reynolds

            I like it…..’stole honestly’. Who is Bezos, a politician?

            • Richard Long

              Founder of Amazon.com, reported to have done so with seed money provided by the CIA.

      • Burt Reynolds

        I have not heard any evidence to date Richard. I think it grew out of the bunker videos. I think people want to believe it, I know I do, because it points to their obvious lack of faith, but it’s the wrong way to look at it. Every day though there is some new self inflicted watchtower tragedy to read about and it’s difficult not to associate it with justice.

        • Richard Long

          I’m going to hold out hope some bethelite or volunteer construction worker has been down in there with a fully charged cell phone camera.

          • KB

            If there is a bunker I hope is floods, and the entire place sinks into that lake. That would be your sign.

          • Burt Reynolds

            What is hidden will be made open. You have the bible on your side. How can you fail?

            • Isaac of Coimbatore

              Just for joke. The WTS says if you read alone the Bible U won’t understand without WTS magazine. So according to WTS. You will fail if you have Bible alone on your side.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Ha ha! Yes that is very true. That is going to backfire on them now.

    • Burt Reynolds

      I have just read today that the watchtower is no longer publishing the year book. The reason given by detractors is that the numbers are not only conflicting with their teachings, but are impossibly contradictory. The watchtower claim it is a ‘loving provision’ and that all the info will be broadcast. That much is confirmed. What is not confirmed as yet is that they are reducing watchtower and awake to four publications a year. That last bit is something to chew on. They want people to ‘concentrate on study’ instead, but are taking away the very articles to study!? If that’s true, they have lost their reasoning. It’s nice to see your enthusiasm for this site. I feel the same.

      • The Raven

        Hmm. I suspected this could start going in reverse a while back after the Russian ban. I also wondered about the number of those who took emblems. Instead of the decrease they expected there was a substantial increase. With the studies they claim to have I’d say much of that is doubtful. I remember being told the angels were “killing” some of their studies in a form of judgment. I was one at about 6 months. I know now that wasn’t true. They were the ones who were actually blocking the entry to those who would not “pay” their cover charge.

        • Burt Reynolds

          Looking at the situation now, I’m not sure that having your study ‘killed’ off by and Angel was a bad thing. It’s amazing the witnesses believed that. I always remember the years when it was considered very ill advised to buy anything second hand in case it was inhabited by a demon. That was fine for the rich brothers who had a house full of angelically blessed new furniture, but all the poor brothers just had to put up with a house full of demons. I’m sure if we studied the statistics, we would fine that poor JW families suffered a higher incidence of disfellowshipping than the rich JW families. I don’t ever recall the wealthy JWs ever getting an unannounced shepherding interrogation…sorry….call, either.

          • The Raven

            I heard the same about 30 years ago but I was too poor to shop for anything new. Well except for shoes, socks and underwear. I decided that if objects could be inhabited, so could houses and most of them did not build new ones. I just asked jehovah to bless us all critters included and remove any evil and left it at that. Besides, how could they be assured someone on a factory production line didn’t curse the brand new couch they just bought? It always sounded hokey to me.

          • Craig Knight

            Hey Burt if you get demonized under wear at Goodwill you could always buy some Mormon underwear to protect you!!! Ha ha! Check out this scene from that movie Religulous I was telling everybody about!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM0toaRF1BQ

            • into the light

              Bill Maher is garbage and I wouldn’t consider anything from him worthy of watching.

            • The Raven

              I never liked him either.

            • Craig Knight

              I agree but this movie is hilarious in my opinion. It shows the madness of religion. Bill Maher has no respect for God.

            • Richard Long

              Kinda hard to poke fun at the Mormons, as a JW, without wearing a little poo blowback. Maher’s despicable behavior aside, those Mormons can teach the JW’s a thing or two about Christian love. I mean, it’s not like Jesus said love among ourselves is THE identifying mark of his followers. Oh wait… he did.😗

            • Burt Reynolds

              I would think all underwear at Goodwill would be demonised Craig.. One would have to have a streak of demonism to donate it in the first place!

      • Michael J Hewitt

        The book of Rev said “Happy is the one hearing & observing”……aint it the truth?

      • Michael J Hewitt

        Thanks for the update and also for your latest article. There is a lot of meat on that bone. It seems every time i log on something new has happened. That scripture the Isa11:12. “I will raise up a signal and gather the dispersed ones” Well Burt your signal strength is being broadcasted loud and clear. It’s a long time since I felt this way about the truth. I’m alive again Burt. Bless

      • Michael J Hewitt

        The Year
        Book, gone! The accounts in those books, the people’s lives, stories that would
        move you to tears. I remember the year book that gave the report from Ethiopia.
        The tragic deaths of those brothers, Their remains left on the main streets of
        Addis Ababa. The ‘Year Book’, a feature gone!

        • Burt Reynolds

          Yes they were quite something those stories. I’m wondering now if they were embellished given the example of the couple who ‘got rid of their tattoos’ to become witnesses. It’s not that easy! Or cheap!

          • Michael J Hewitt

            Ha! Ha! I stopped reading them in the mid nineties. I was just too bogged down with work back then 4 kids fitting it all in with field svc and servant duties. But the little books were always a colorful addition to your library. Wow! your last article though Burt…I cant help you with any clarification on points you raise. I am searching and searching listening and listening and my radar is right on this site. I want to be found watching of course and you guys have been on to this for an incredible length of time & vigilance. I passed on Br Kings Horus Vid to the few in the truth i can still communicate with. As a result one dropped of my friend list the other is in silent reply. All is good though cha! cha! for now.

    • Isaac of Coimbatore

      Just to add God bless Robert king

      • Michael J Hewitt

        Amen

  • KB

    Well, I’m not sure who or how many attended the annual meeting yesterday, but I did. They played a lot of videos. They showed all the new properties purchased and how they are being used. One building was converted from a pharmaceutical warehouse into a movie studio. They are diving into the movie and short video making business. They said they have no doubt Jehovah’s direction was on their move from Brooklyn to Warwick, and Jehovah will protect it during the upcoming great tribulation. Also only four public copies of the Watchtower and awake in 2018. No more yearbook after 2017. Tony said you are well feed from JW.org you no longer need the yearbook.

    • Richard Long

      And this from the same source telling us in previous decades that our TV’s were an obstacle to gaining everlasting life?

    • Isaac of Coimbatore

      Tell me more on annual meeting. No new light? Only building show off? What you r saying no year book. In India except few tracts no magazines are printed in any languages. They say you can put number of videos showed door to door in field report.

  • into the light

    Mt. 3:17 has been misapplied here. They are trying to convey that the reason Jesus was approved was his unconditional obedience to Jehovah. It is true that Jesus was (and still is) unconditionally obedient to father, just not in a way they would have us believe. Lately they have been reducing Jesus role to mere servant, who had much to learn, and the only reason he was shown mercy is because he listened and unquestioningly followed commands from father. What they overlook is that Jesus , unlike them, has an intimate knowledge of his father.
    In this way they put themselves in god’s position, and expect your complete obedience in order to be approved for their kingdom.
    On the other hand, what they are saying about serving others and rendering service are good principles and should be applied by all Christians. Indeed, it needs to be ingrained in us as part of our personality and not considered as some kind of doctrine which we need to follow.
    As regards the “learner” part, I guess English renders it that way. For example in French the word l’apprenant occurs 3 times. In Croatian none, as well as in Czech. I think wee need to focus on good things as well. We shouldn’t forget that we need to search for spiritual gems.

    Ephesians 4:14-32

  • into the light

    [REPOST, since someone flagged it as spam]

    Mt. 3:17 has been misapplied here.
    They are trying to convey that the reason Jesus was approved was his unconditional obedience to Jehovah. It is true that Jesus was (and still is) unconditionally obedient to father, just not in a way they would have us believe. Lately they have been reducing Jesus role to mere servant, who had much to learn, and the only reason he was shown mercy is because he listened and unquestioningly followed commands from father. What they overlook is that Jesus , unlike them, has an intimate knowledge of his father.

    In this way they put themselves in god’s position, and expect your complete obedience in order to be approved for their kingdom.

    On the other hand, what they are saying about serving others and rendering service are good principles and should be applied by all Christians. Indeed, it needs to be ingrained in us as part of our personality and not considered as some kind of doctrine which we need to follow.
    As regards the “learner” part, I guess English renders it that way. For example in French the word l’apprenant occurs 3 times. In Croatian none, as well as in Czech. I think wee need to focus on good things as well. We shouldn’t forget that we need to search for spiritual gems.
    Ephesians 4:14-32

    • The Raven

      Thanks, man! They missed the boat on quite a bit about the Christ. Just as the devil chose to do evil, this spirit son chose good not just for Jehovah’s principles but for the salvation of all humanity. It is a dangerous thing to diminish Christ’s sacrifice by relegating Him to a mere obedient servant. You’re right, He is also very close to the Father and knows Him like no one else can. I have always loved this chapter of Isaiah and it reminds me of what He did for us:

      Isaiah
      53 Who has put faith in the thing heard from us?*+
      And as for the arm of Jehovah,+ to whom has it been revealed?+
      2 He will come up like a twig+ before him,* like a root out of parched land.
      No stately form does he have, nor any splendor;+
      And when we see him, his appearance does not draw us to him.*
      3 He was despised and was avoided by men,+
      A man who was meant for* pains and was familiar with sickness.
      It was as if his face were hidden from us.*
      He was despised, and we held him as of no account.+
      4 Truly he himself carried our sicknesses,+
      And he bore our pains.+
      But we considered him as plagued, stricken by God and afflicted.
      5 But he was pierced+ for our transgression;+
      He was crushed for our errors.+
      He bore the punishment for our peace,+
      And because of his wounds we were healed.+
      6 Like sheep we have all wandered about,+
      Each has turned his own way,
      And Jehovah has caused the error of us all to meet up with him.+
      7 He was oppressed+ and he let himself be afflicted,+
      But he would not open his mouth.
      He was brought like a sheep to the slaughter,+
      Like a ewe that is silent before its shearers,
      And he would not open his mouth.+
      8 Because of restraint* and judgment he was taken away;
      And who will concern himself with the details of his generation?*
      For he was cut off from the land of the living;+
      Because of the transgression of my people he received the stroke.*+
      9 And he was given a burial place* with the wicked,+
      And with the rich* in his death,+
      Although he had done no wrong*
      And there was no deception in his mouth.+
      10 But it was Jehovah’s will* to crush him, and he let him become sick.
      If you will present his life* as a guilt offering,+
      He will see his offspring,* he will prolong his days,+
      And through him the delight* of Jehovah will have success.+
      11 Because of his anguish,* he will see and be satisfied.
      By means of his knowledge the righteous one, my servant,+
      Will bring a righteous standing to many people,+
      And their errors he will bear.+
      12 For that reason I will assign him a portion among the many,
      And he will apportion the spoil with the mighty,
      Because he poured out his life* even to death+
      And was counted among the transgressors;+
      He carried the sin of many people,+
      And he interceded for the transgressors.+

      • into the light

        I love how it shows Jehovah’s love and mercy. Thanks for this, it’s very comforting.
        We can be sure that, contrary to how men judge, Jesus will faithfully fulfill his role as a judge, and while doing it magnify Jehovah’s name.

        What I find interesting is that Jesus had no royal looks about him. He had nowhere to lay down his head. Also interesting is that he was offered all the kingdoms of the world for just one act of obeisance to Satan. But Jesus knew his kingdom wasn’t of this world.
        Now compare that to the kingdom the WT had made for themselves, all with the earthly arrangements. And to top it off they claim it’s a spiritual paradise.
        Now I don’t want to judge, or worse, to slander, but I am really confused as to whether this is a deliberate sabotage or ignorance on their part.
        It seems as if the “wheat” part in the org. is not letting the MOL influence completely take over, and thus we have this mixed message which we have to carefully “chew” in order to digest it properly.

        http://jwsurvey.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/heirarchy-watchtower-cathol.jpg

        • The Raven

          I think looking for those sorts of comparisons doesn’t do much for understanding the important issues. Any organization from religious to secular including governments and corporations has some sort of arrangement as long as they are trapped in this system. That is certainly not what defines them. The wheat is a retraint at present. But soon that restraint will be pushed aside. If you understand satans infiltration and the mol as well as the deluding influence then you know whats at work. The coming war and collapse of society will coincide with christs return. Those events will reveal the truth. Then He will mete out punishment and after refining whats left will come alongside the bride for the final witness.

          • into the light

            I’m not trying to compare. Sorry if it came across as that. My goal is not to equalize them with other religions. I just wanted to point out that they claim God’s kingdom while operating according to earthly system. they even released a book to commemorate 100 years of kingdom rule. I know we are trapped in satan’s system of things, and that alone should be a reason for us to be very careful when we claim things.

            • The Raven

              That same system was what also was utilized in preaching the good news and jehovahs name, so I can’t really find fault in that. It served a purpose. Crude and imperfect as it is. But soon, it will be no more and Christ himself will end it.

            • into the light

              It would not make sense for Christ to end God’s kingdom, no? Or to end the paradise? After all he is supposed to establish it. I agree that the org is being used as an instrument or as I like to say a framework, but to call itself paradise is going beyond what is written.

            • The Raven

              I do not consider what they are saying, since we know that to be predicated on the false parousia. I am stating what Christ will do when He returns to “set matters straight”. He establishes the kingdom. Not this illusion they claim at this time.
              Oh, btw did you click on that hyperklink in the article about the tsunami? Give that a read if you want a better understanding of the peculiar work Jehovah is doing. It’s a very good read. I learned a few things from it as well.

            • into the light

              I think I might have read that a while ago, but I will give it another pass.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Did they really release such a book!? This 1914 story really blinds and binds them does it not? Does not one of them have concerns over it? I could never reconcile what was going on in the world with any evidence whatsoever of Christ’s intervention, yet, they always had an answer to it. And I never questioned it further.

            • into the light

              Hey Burt, it’s the kingdom rule book. It was released during the convention back in 2014. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b887dc3ec30bafe8ad02a0440367ec61f94a21d0042c87f2a7690e61228e1927.jpg

            • into the light

              During my bible (org publication in reality) study I had so many questions, to have better understanding of what was being discussed, and the study conductor always tried to give me proof from another wt publication. Most of the time the answers were lacking in substance so I didn’t question further, but always had that empty feeling. Until I started researching for myself…

        • The Raven

          Btw, evertime I see depictions of Jesus as hollywood and the master artists have made him I chuckle. This chapter also makes me think of how the Pharisees and scribes viewed Him. Not to mention Pilate. He was probably confused by the Jews accusations that this man who stood before him claimed to be a king. It makes me wonder. The jews were expecting someone like David a warrior who would conquer all their enemies and release them from bondage. Instead the see a man who has nothing but words and despise him. Even when he spoke with wisdom they did not respect him. This is why the chapter resonates with me and I’m glad you liked it too.

          • into the light

            Even David was laughed at when he went to face Goliath. What can a young boy do? I also find it funny that most artistic renders of Jesus show him as a sickly, pale man. Yet they disregard the fact that he grew up as a carpenter. And carpentry back then was physically demanding. And on top of that he basically walked the whole country…

            They despised him because he could see through their man-made rules and twisting of the law. He had a really nice way of telling it to them and they couldn’t do a thing to him if they based their argument on scripture. So they had to resort to more twisting and deception in order to get to him.

            • The Raven

              I once remarked that he gave them not what they wanted but what they deserved. It still amazes me to read those conversations .

            • The Raven

              I’m speaking of David after he became their king. That’s what they thought they would get. Even those who claimed to be wise among them were blind to the scriptures describing the messiah. In very good detail, I might add. Relatively few had the right condition of heart and love of truth and God to want to learn more.

              Yep. They couldn’t twist anything far enough to make any sense or justify their errors and sins. They insisted on the law as the standard by which to judge and of course were themselves found wanting. In fact we would all be toast if that’s what we were measured by. Hence the Christ…and they rejected Him.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Ha! Carpentry today is physically demanding if you are creating with hand tools. Now, Most use planers and thicknessers, power saws and belt sanders and think they have turned out a masterpiece. Jesus would have had a saw and a chisel made of questionable steel, and a mallet and set square. Little else, not even screws and for sandpaper, a block of pumice. I often wondered if he turned out perfect pieces. But for certain they would have been beautifully balanced and with 20/20 vision, accuratly cut. I can not imagine a better way to spend ones time in those days. I can’t imagine him working in a shoe shop.

            • Richard Long

              Actually, given the workmanship of the Greeks and Romans, there’s plenty of reason to believe they were in possession of some pretty metallurgy.

        • Burt Reynolds

          If the wheat are restraining the man of lawlessness, then they are already near being conquered! ( in my opinion!)

          • into the light

            I’m not sure if the wheat are restraining. In 2. Thes. it says: True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work,+ but only until the one who is right now acting as a restraint is out of the way.

            This called to mind the conversation between an angel of god and Daniel in Daniel ch. 10, where the angel was held up by prince of Persia.
            So in my mind there could be a spiritual entity who acts as a restrainer. I believe there are some among you who have greater insight into what this is, so I won’t speculate further.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Yes. That’s a fact for sure. If I recall I was replying to Craig’s comment that the wheat, or shall we say the righteous hearted ones at bethel perhaps, still retained an influence on the machinations of those who seek to do harm. Regardless, what you say is true.

            • The Raven

              I found several items on this:

              https://e-watchman.com/apostasy-must-come-first/
              Excerpt:
              “To be sure, the apostasy was already at work in the 1st Century, even as the apostles fought to keep it at bay—as Paul further related: “True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work; but only till he who is right now acting as a restraint gets to be out of the way. Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”

              https://e-watchman.com/antichrist-coming/
              Excerpt:
              “History verifies that after the apostles gradually died off, the “oppressive wolves”did indeed take control of the flock of Christ’s remaining sheep. The restraint that the stalwart apostles had maintained was gone and the apostasy came to dominate the truth and pervert the worship of Jehovah.”

              Obviously the apostles are not presently acting as a restraint to the revealing of the man of lawlessness. Who is then? Quite likely it is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. If true, how might they be put “out of the way”?

              As it stands, since the year 2000 no members of the Governing Body are on the board of directors of the Watchtower Society. (See January 15, 2001 Watchtower Announcement.) Supposedly they still exercise influence over it by virtue of being the “faithful and discreet slave.” But legally they have no control over it. They have abdicated their control. ”

              On the one hand the Governing Body claims to exercise oversight over all that belongs to the Master, but on the other hand they have delegated authority to a non-anointed group of men. While using the Scriptures to justify their actions it is noteworthy that in the 44th chapter of Ezekiel, which pertains to God setting things aright in his spiritual temple, Jehovah speaks to the priests, saying to them: “You have not taken care of my holy things. Instead, you assign others to take care of the duties in my sanctuary.”

              Although it’s possible this can be an angel, it appears that it can also be modern day
              servants. If true, then it would explain how the MOL comes to completely overtake God’s people when the wheat will be silenced. That hasn’t happened yet as far as I know.

            • into the light

              Thanks a lot for this! I remember reading the antichrist coming article a while back. It does explain things nicely.
              But now that I think about it, maybe I am overly concerned over specifics and read too much into details that might not play a big role ultimately. I mean yeah, it would be nice to be able to know who the restrainer is, but I think it’s more important that we are actually aware of MOL presence and having trust in Christ who will reveal and destroy him.

            • The Raven

              You’re welcome. I agree. It’s interesting no doubt. I like digging in to a lot of different matters as well and sometimes hit a snag and leave it til later. Lol!

      • Burt Reynolds

        Surely Jesus was the only one qualified to present the ransom, and as Jehovah’s only son through whom all else was created, who else could be chosen to represent the Father? Goodness! If the watchtower cannot see that, then they are truely blind and at the very pinnacle of arrogance. It becomes more apparant to me just how they will have the gall to put themselves in place of Jesus. Good point you make.

    • Burt Reynolds

      Hello Light, do you have any examples of the watchtower reducing Christ’s understanding and role and of having much to learn? It does not surprise me but I would like to know if you do as I have family still in the watchtower.

      I agree with you in regard of focusing on good things as well, but it is the nature of the beast if you’ll pardon the pun. On the one hand, the heaviest hand, the issue rests on the corruption of the watchtower whilst at the same time, describing its role in prophesy as part of Jehovah’s arrangement and what in the way of good that accomplishes. However, the watchtower is sinking almost daily…look at the examples: the eye of Horus building, the Canadian class action, ineffective child care and protection changes and so on. It is so abhorrent to some, well many in fact, that they can no longer see any good principles left in the watchtower. And we don’t even know yet, what more is to come, only, sadly, that this is more than likely. It is human nature to prey on these issues and thus we have the issues that you rightly point out. And so it is timely that you do. Personally, I have long thought an article on such matters might be appropriate to maintain the balance because it certainly is becoming weighted. Yet, perhaps that is a necessary part to illustrate the issues clearly for what they are. There is no point in sugaring it.

      Like the watchtower are saying….perhaps the preaching is nearing the end of its useful life. They may be being provoked into saying these recent announcements. Maybe it is time to take the gloves off and rather than still attributing these Christian facets to the watchtower in an attempt to squeeze the last drop of decency from their blood guilt, we should instead be looking more to ourselves.

      As an indicator of the end and its timeliness, I am finding this more evidenced by the demise of the watchtower than by worldly events; though we see from what Trump is saying, that this present time may be the lull before the storm. The two meet at some point do they not?

      Unless the time be cut short, none will survive, so the scripture say. Well, if it is coming to near death we can expect our mental faculties to be tried to the limit. There is much merit in planning our responses in the time we have now so that our responses will be automatic rather than have to be reconsidered over and again. Choose now the path we will take. The emphasis now is on the end of the watchtower and there are many staying put inside these mouldering walls in the hope of finding the most precious of gems left; the people themselves. The watchtower cannot tell us anything new: these gems are surely (should be) within us now and if we use them, as you say, then maybe these gems in the shape of our brothers and sisters will see us as such. I am probably way off course to say it and showing my ignorance, but maybe the scripture applies to those in the fading congregation, and those with knowledge are the gems? Regardless, I agree with what you say.

      • Richard Long

        Burt, you have got to read Hannah’s forum article. Plenty for me to think on, might cause some moderation in my thinking.

        https://e-watchman.com/topic/the-kingdoms-of-israel-judah-whom-do-they-represent-in-prophecy/#post-40285

      • into the light

        Burt, there is plenty of evidence of “downgrading” Christ. Just read the WT study articles and watch the broadcasts. Most attention is on Jehovah and the governing body. Jesus does get the mention but not as much. For example in July 2017 broadcast, starting around 6 min. they go on to compare Jesus to a CEO of a company and proceed to say:

        Jehovah is universal sovereign, the king, directing the millions of angels making up his “heavenly organization”.

        But when it comes to directing the visible, earthly part of god’s organization, he has delegated that responsibility to Jesus, the head of congregation of god.

        See how they reduced Jesus to mere leader of the earthly org here?

        They don’t outright lie, but they use clever language to make it seem as if they speak the truth, when in reality those are half-truths and misrepresentations of facts. It always ends up somehow in emphasizing the role of governing body. Around the 7:40 min. mark in the broadcast they use the image which represents how the earthly org operates. Interestingly, the same image was used in April 15, 2013 issue of WT, which also includes the heavenly part of the org in it. Can you see who’s missing there? hint: if you have a physical copy of this publication you can actually recognize the faces of present governing body in the image

        Now I don’t mean to reduce the importance Jehovah has, he is a sovereign and creator after all, and no one can deny his supreme authority. But he himself said: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

        Jesus himself said he was given all authority both in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18)

        We know that Jesus does nothing out of his own will (John 5:19) But he does act on father’s behalf and on his authority, so that’s why we need to listen to him and treat him accordingly.

        When you read the Greek scriptures, you get the sense that the first century Christians considered Jesus already as king. (Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20,21; Acts 2:36; John 3:35; John 20:28)

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/779b561da700358cb77bb6aff8f6646aca7ba7e28d77d98df6b8becdf3db20f6.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32aa5225284e7ada3a7cebfe6c2310166df26f1a1a454813bbac124dc99df438.jpg

        • Burt Reynolds

          Hello Light, I went through the whole broadcast you pointed out and yes, you are right. Sadly, I doubt if I would have noticed the downsizing of Christ’s role, but what you say is true. It is very satanic in the manner the watchtower chooses its words with such slickness. They seem not to have noticed that ‘all else’ was created by Jehovah through his son. There was so much else hidden too, like the architect saying he ‘left school to study architecture but made the ministry his job’ or something like that. Thus justifying his further education…which of course the society made use of. Free architecture planning. One has to be looking for it to see it.

          It made me think quite a lot about you actually! I have only known you a few weeks and yet the insight and balance is so evident that I wonder how you found a pathway to tread in the congregation, and still do it seems. I like it that you are so fair to the remaining ones and it reminds me that though we tend to lump them all together, that we ourselves were once part of it, and still are….and more to the point perhaps, still should be. So too, I am thankful for Robert’s statement in his latest article where he makes a stand for his role, in faith and confidence in the word. The impartiality of statement….’this is what it is,’ take it or leave it….reminded me of the way early Christians viewed the truth with similar confidence.

          I mention this because is it not true that the watchtower attitude is similar? This is the truth. Live it or go, even when they are, by doing so, cutting off their nose to spite their face, or as Raven put it…I think it was him….committing financial suicide, because they are peddling lies, not truth. And that is the difference. By putting themselves first, they seek attention and adulation. Their ‘confidence’ is arrogance, whereas Robert offers this site from behind a curtain of independence from all else. But this is only my feeling, but for me, the truth bypasses this speaker from all else other than the speaking of it – just as a microphone is not part of what is said yet relays the word onward, making all hear. Just as it should. Someone must be speaking truth. We all expect people to listen to us as a speaker in our ministry. Yet we know it is the bible, Jehovah’s word that we speak. We should apply the same rules to ourselves…did we ever think the Word was our own? No. But people are used. Jehovah only sent one person who could speak His mind with infallibility….and it wasn’t the pope! It seems odd to me that the brothers can believe all parts of the bible, except the bit about there being teachers. Surely our part is to determine the validity of what they say, and in faith, who is the originator? And that is where so many of the congregants of the watchtower fall down.

          • into the light

            Hi Burt, yes it’s very slick. Recently I was reading an article about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming, interesting stuff…) and I can see some aspects of it have been applied throughout the literature and videos. I’ve been trying to be mindful of what I am reading and am trying to pay attention as much as I can. Sometimes it can be very consuming on my nerves… But what you said is true: “One has to be looking for it to see it.” That and asking god for his holy spirit to help us in discerning.

            As for the pathway, I haven’t been to congregation meeting for over a year, and actually never was a regular to begin with. I have been trying to work myself up to go back again but it’s kinda hard when you see thru the superficial… I have known the truth since my childhood and have come to love it, but was always drifting and then coming back. I was never the one to follow the rules and always had that nagging feeling that something was amiss but was never able to pinpoint what it was. But nevertheless, I have always been coming back to it. I always had Jehovah on my mind. I tasted his goodness and felt it in my heart. But this time though, I went into research mode and have been constantly roving about, digging, analyzing, comparing and thinking… and this website has helped me a lot. I would love to have the insight like some of you here naturally have, but that’s not the case. I think I am just good at researching and finding stuff out.

            Right now I have a WT study with a few brothers, where they are trying to convince me that god leads thru the magnificent seven 😁 but that regularly expands into much more than what the article is about. The brothers I study with are loving and willing to listen to my reasoning but they can’t accept that org can be in the wrong. I think that their attitude of “wait for Jehovah” also helps me put things into perspective. Nevertheless, I like to believe that when tribulation starts their faith in Jehovah will make them see. John 6:37

            Ultimately, I would like to build my relationship with our Father thru his son and not be judgmental, which is very hard to do when I see the ones who claim father portray him as they would like him to be and when I see how they idolize men and the org. And the GB are not helping at all.

            Someone I read on other forums summed it up nicely:

            When someone has divine insight, holds the power of life and death over others, accepts sacrifices and demands absolute loyalty and obedience, they are a god. Anyone who submits to that god is an idolater.

            In the end all I have left is to pray to Father to give me strength and courage to do his will.

            • The Raven

              Very nice way of looking at it. I do wonder how they will come out of this but I am certain a good number will.

            • into the light

              We need to win their hearts. Those who love the truth will recognize what we’re talking about.

            • The Raven

              I think after Robert’s letter writing and book there may be some who do know what’s up. He is of the opinion that there are. I tend to agree since scripture states that not all among them are evil.

            • into the light

              Please see John 10:14
              We need to trust in Jesus’ sense of Justice. Father didn’t choose him for nothing. Although we may be eager to point out the injustices and hope that people hear us, ultimately all we can do is show by example that Jesus is our shepherd.

            • The Raven

              I agree. But…it doesn’t hurt to show them how they actually fit into prophecy. They certainly have no idea collectively what’s to befall them. How do you know some of us aren’t also being awakened so that we can share that information with others to maybe help? There’s got to be a reason Robert has done this and now many more who truly love Jehovah, Jesus Christ and humanity. I don’t think we will be bystanders in this when it happens. I think everyone who professes Jehovah and the Christ will be drawn into this in some way or another.

            • into the light

              That’s the thing. Those who love the truth will recognize. They will see how they fit into prophecy. Those who don’t, well, Jesus is a perfect example of that. He was here, he did miracles, resurrected the dead, yet most didn’t see. It’s the same today unfortunately.

            • The Raven

              This is what I think accounts for the growing numbers of folks questioning but unfortunately, they are also being disfellowshipped for doing so. In my case, never baptized. I think you mentioned you weren’t either? Is that correct? I’ve been speaking about this issue for a long time with witnesses but the problem I had was knowing what they said was incorrect, but not knowing what WAS correct until just recently.
              Since then my whole family has learned and accepted it. I’m working on friends, slowly. Very…slowly. lol!

            • into the light

              They can DF them from the org. but they have no power over who Father chooses, so there’s that.
              That’s correct, I never got baptized and am in great distress over it. Because I cannot accept anyone inserting themselves between me and my savior. I will put my trust in Jehovah, and hope he will help me in resolving this matter.
              I am same as you when it comes to not knowing what was correct. I had an idea, although vague, based on how I perceived Jehovah. In the past couple of years I have devoted much time digging for truth and have been convinced that what I felt was correct, and much more. Psalm 34:8

            • The Raven

              Aha! A kindred soul! Lol! I think we who still pray to Jehovah in Christ’s name are all part of His house inside or “at the gates” of the city. If jehovah needs us to be baptized a way can be found. After all Jesus did say we should do this. It might come down to a rain barrel and a day off together for my family. I am of the opinion that since the society has effectively barred entry for many, in this time of the end it may not matter. I was also shown scripture by Brooklyn Kevin that confirms there will be folks outside the org who are saved by their faith. Many will not have been baptized. The exodus also gives an interesting account of a huge number of folks (mixed crowd, if I recall correctly) which went with Moses and became God’s people. But with that said, I would still seek baptism, if possible.

            • into the light

              I think seeking baptism is the way to go. The vast mixed company that went out of Egypt with Israelites was eventually circumcised.
              I have seen parts of that discussion and remember Kevin posting some scriptures in reply to revv’s question. But IMO they were out of context in that particular case. I think the criminal who Jesus said will be saved because of his faith would still be baptized if he wasn’t in the situation he was in.

            • The Raven

              I don’t think they were out of context because their going with them saved them. They too had to have been in the midst of that horror as the plagues were brought against Egypt. I don’t know if any of them also placed the blood of a lamb on their door frames. But that certainly would have been an act of obedience and faith if they did. To pick up and leave with a group who infuriated Pharaoh for parts unknown must have been harrowing as well. But they went. It is possible that a number among the nations will do the same thing. The thief however believed and for jesus to tell him what he did signifies that his faith alone had saved him. There is also this:

              https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/jesus/ministry-in-galilee/centurion-great-faith/

              I have always found that story intriguing for the way the centurion responded.

            • into the light

              I have just seen Kevin’s reply and it makes sense what you’re saying.

              The story about the centurion is really fitting in this case. It’s the faith that saves. Faith is the ark. Anyone who shows that kind of faith during our Lord’s presence has a chance. Now how do I build that kind of faith? You see the centurion actually exercised the faith. I have a feeling that I only talk about it but find myself constantly falling down… 😫

              As for italics I use HTML, pls refer to this link:
              https://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/466253-what-html-tags-are-allowed-within-comments-

            • Bklyn Kevin

              If you put fourth faith In Jehovah – Jehovah will help you with the rest.

              11 Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for,+ the evident demonstration* of realities that are not seen. 2 For by means of it, the men of ancient times* had witness borne to them.

              Examples of faith (3-40) Read more> https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/hebrews/11/#v58011003-v58011040

            • into the light

              Thanks for your encouragement! I like this scripture!

            • The Raven

              I can’t do better than Kevin’s comment below and we all know how you feel at times. We are all still in this struggle and we all need support. Thanks for that link. I’ll try out a few and hopefully I don’t wind up in the spam bin! Lol!

            • into the light

              Jehovah will help, I’m sure. It’s me that I need to work on.
              As for spam bin, yeah, i ended up there… I guess my restrainer had taken a break when it happened 😅

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Before the Day of Jehovah’s Anger

              Excerpt:
              QUESTION: We have been taught that only those baptized will be saved, using the example of the Jews all being “baptized through the Red Sea” (1 Cor 10:2). And the example of Noah, at 1 Pet 3:21 “Baptism, which corresponds to this, is also now saving you (not by the removing of the filth of the flesh, but by the request to God for a good conscience), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Interestingly, I have to take note that these two examples were spiritual baptisms, happening through their faith & obedience. As in those days, I can see many people coming in during the plagues, in the final hour, before the door is closed, just as a vast mixed company joined the Jews in Egypt. So wondering, will these also need to be physically baptized to be saved? Or will they too experience a spiritual baptism, through faith & obedience, as did those examples of old?

              With the above in focus, let’s refine the question to this: is it possible that some of those meek persons of the earth who will be harvested for life will be unbaptized when the hour of judgment arrives? And the answer to that is yes, since, obviously there will be many children and teens among those who will inherit the earth. And let’s leave open the possibility that there will be many others too who are presently seeking Jehovah, but who for whatever reason have not gotten to the point of baptism. Their going through the tribulation will be baptism in fire. Read more>https://e-watchman.com/day-jehovahs-anger/

            • into the light

              Thanks for this! I have read only the excerpt you posted and I see your point. You gave much to think about! As regards my reply to Raven where I said your replies to revv were out of context, I based my opinion on parts of discussion thus far. I will read up a bit more on this and would appreciate if you can give me any additional materials.

              is it possible that some of those meek persons of the earth who will be harvested for life will be unbaptized when the hour of judgment arrives?

              I do agree that it would be the case. What kind of god Jehovah would be if it was otherwise? What JWs are teaching regarding that is men’s teaching which I cannot agree with, because it doesn’t reflect god’s love which Jesus was example of. And he showed that example with the thief, while crucified, but he also showed mercy to a woman who sneakily touched him in order to get healed. If we have faith in him he will notice. Jesus always showed mercy. We can consider his conduct in his earthly life a preview of things to come.
              Having said that, I think that baptism is still a requirement, and we should strive to do it if the circumstances allow.

              Thanks again!

            • The Raven

              Thank’s again! 🙂

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Into the light said “That’s correct, I never got baptized and am in great distress over it. Because I cannot accept anyone inserting themselves between me and my savior.

              Please take note that Jesus did not let a technicality stop him self from getting baptized.

              Then Jesus came from Galʹi·lee to the Jordan to John, in order to be baptized by him.
              But then latter tried to prevent him, saying: “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me?” Jesus replied to him: “Let it be this time, for in that way it is suitable for us to carry out all that is righteous.” Then he quit preventing him. Matthew 3:13-15.
              Now If Jesus did not allow a technicality to prevent his baptism how much more should we follow his example.

              PODCAST 9> https://e-watchman.com/podcast-9/

              This program addresses the concerns of an individual who is studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses trying to come to terms with the dilemma of being baptized but not accepting the 1914 doctrine. Also, a consideration of old Mailbag questions from 2004. Click here for Mailbag archive

              Download program Podcast, episode #9 (Right click SAVE AS)

              Podcast 14> https://e-watchman.com/podcast-14/
              This program considers caller’s questions regarding how to go forward in the knowledge of the Watchtower Society’s errors. Also, email questions concerning various aspects of chronology.

              Download episode podcast episode #14 (Right click SAVE LINK AS)

              Podcast 10> https://e-watchman.com/podcast-10/
              Program considers comments from a listener. Also, questions pertaining to baptism vows to God’s “spirit directed organization” and Jehovah’s Witnesses view of Michael the archangel being the same person as Jesus Christ. See YouTube video on Is Jesus Michael the Archangel?

              Download file Watchman podcast, episode #10 (Right click SAVE AS)

            • into the light

              Thanks Kevin! You give me much homework to do 😁. I’ll listen to these but in the meantime, here are some of my thoughts.

              I’ve read some questions from the “Organized” book (you can get it in the JW library app) that you need to go thru in order to “qualify” for baptism. There are 100 questions that need to be answered before you can be considered for baptism. And some of questions led me to I understand that I have to make a public declaration of basically accepting the org as my master, because lot of those questions are doctrines of JW and some of them I do not agree with. They use Romans 10:9, 10 as a scriptural proof that answers to baptismal vow questions constitute “public declaration” which is clearly not true because that same scripture explains what the public declaration actually is. It is also implied by second question of baptismal vow that I agree to becoming a member of the org which is not what I want. Jesus never had to agree to things like these… I want to get baptized in order to repent, accept Christ’s ransom and dedicate myself to him.

              For example:
              Question #14 in part 3 – Jehovah’s Arrangement of Things

              14. How do members of the congregation demonstrate submission to Christ’s headship?

              “Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith.”​—Heb. 13:7.

              “Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over you as those who will render an account, so that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.”​—Heb. 13:17.

              Contemplate their conduct means obedience is not unconditional. If their conducts is faithful imitate it, if not, don’t follow in their steps. Yet I am expected to unconditionally obey everything they say or else I will be shunned and DF-ed.

              Or if you take a look at question 12 from Part 3, they are basically forcing a meaning onto Acts 15:1, 2, Acts 16:4, 5 and Matt. 24:45-47. They use it to prove they have been chosen as unquestionable authorities on everything concerning scriptures.

              Why are questions about marriage and such determining whether I qualify to be baptized. And why do I even have to qualify, according to standards of the org, to be baptized? I see it as a perversion of baptism. I’m having a really hard time reconciling these things. It’s a serious matter and I can’t take it lightly to answer affirmatively to something which is contrary to how I understand god’s word. That would make me a hypocrite. I guess I have to spend a lot of time in prayer and ask Jehovah for guidance.

            • Burt Reynolds

              I know I harp on about it a lot on this site, but the greatest stabiliser in my life is, and always has been, creation. The magnificence and depth of it, it’s cycles and recycling. Absolutely nothing is wasted in the entire process and in fact, it replenishes, cleans and refreshes as it turns. It even looks after itself! It does not need man’s intervention, and all man can do to it is beautify in his own eyes, what is already beautiful. It tells us really, all we need to know about Jehovah’s ‘organisation’. Not only that, but if we look around us, it is always there to give strength and courage. Admittedly one has to look harder in a city or suburb, but any good documentary about the Canadian Rockies, the Russian steppes and Siberia, the Amazon and Central African plains or the oceans will help put that to rights. As it says in St. Paul’s cathedral, if you want to see his works, look about you. Sometimes we strain and argue to see meaning in words, what is stunningly self evident in irrefutable fact right in front of us. As the Romans used to say: Ars longa, vita brevis! (Art is long, life is short).

            • Richard Long

              Creation rocks my world, too, Burt!

      • into the light

        [ another REPOST, flagged as spam again]

        Burt, there is plenty of evidence of “downgrading” Christ. Just read the WT study articles and watch the broadcasts. Most attention is on Jehovah and the governing body. Jesus does get the mention but not as much. For example in July 2017 broadcast, starting around 6 min. they go on to compare Jesus to a CEO of a company and proceed to say:
        Jehovah is universal sovereign, the king, directing the millions of angels making up his “heavenly organization”.

        But when it comes to directing the visible, earthly part of god’s organization, he has delegated that responsibility to Jesus, the head of congregation of god.
        See how they reduced Jesus to mere leader of the earthly org here?
        They don’t outright lie, but they use clever language to make it seem as if they speak the truth, when in reality those are half-truths and misrepresentations of facts. It always ends up somehow in emphasizing the role of governing body. Around the 7:40 min. mark in the broadcast they use the image which represents how the earthly org operates. Interestingly, the same image was used in April 15, 2013 issue of WT, which also includes the heavenly part of the org in it. Can you see who’s missing there? hint: if you have a physical copy of this publication you can actually recognize the faces of present governing body in the image
        Now I don’t mean to reduce the importance Jehovah has, he is a sovereign and creator after all, and no one can deny his supreme authority. But he himself said: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
        Jesus himself said he was given all authority both in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18)
        We know that Jesus does nothing out of his own will (John 5:19). But he does act on father’s behalf and on his authority, so that’s why we need to listen to him and treat him accordingly.
        When you read the Greek scriptures, you get the sense that the first century Christians considered Jesus already as king. (Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20,21; Acts 2:36; John 3:35; John 20:28)
        Edit:
        Here is the article that implies that Christ had to be born again to be accepted by god:
        What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/779b561da700358cb77bb6aff8f6646aca7ba7e28d77d98df6b8becdf3db20f6.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32aa5225284e7ada3a7cebfe6c2310166df26f1a1a454813bbac124dc99df438.jpg

      • into the light

        Burt, I have replied to this post and it was flagged as spam, so now it awaits moderation by brother @ewatchman:disqus . Anyway, here is my reply with formatting removed (as that might have been the issue, so you’ll need to manually look for the scriptures I posted):

        Burt, there is plenty of evidence of “downgrading” Christ. Just read the WT study articles and watch the broadcasts. Most attention is on Jehovah and the governing body. Jesus does get the mention but not as much. For example in July 2017 broadcast, starting around 6 min. they go on to compare Jesus to a CEO of a company and proceed to say:

        Jehovah is universal sovereign, the king, directing the millions of angels making up his “heavenly organization”. But when it comes to directing the visible, earthly part of god’s organization, he has delegated that responsibility to Jesus, the head of congregation of god.

        See how they reduced Jesus to mere leader of the earthly org here?

        They don’t outright lie, but they use clever language to make it seem as if they speak the truth, when in reality those are half-truths and misrepresentations of facts. It always ends up somehow in emphasizing the role of governing body. Around the 7:40 min. mark in the broadcast they use the image which represents how the earthly org operates. Interestingly, the same image was used in April 15, 2013 issue of WT, which also includes the heavenly part of the org in it. Can you see who’s missing there?
        hint: if you have a physical copy of this publication you can actually recognize the faces of present governing body in the image.

        Now I don’t mean to reduce the importance Jehovah has, he is a sovereign and creator after all, and no one can deny his supreme authority.
        But he himself said: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

        Jesus himself said he was given all authority both in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18)
        We know that Jesus does nothing out of his own will (John 5:19). But he does act on father’s behalf and on his authority, so that’s why we need to listen to him and treat him accordingly.

        When you read the Greek scriptures, you get the sense that the first century Christians considered Jesus already as king. (Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20,21; Acts 2:36; John 3:35; John 20:28)

        Edit:
        Here is the article that implies that Christ had to be born again to be accepted by god: https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-does-it-mean-to-be-born-again

      • into the light
      • into the light

        Here is something to think about. An interesting comment someone made which I had to save:

        Another good question would be, if I am a true Christian (which means a follower of Christ and really believe he is Jehovah’s son) and a JW, what does Jesus expect of me personally? By his own words in Matt. 28:18- “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” So, is it respectful to Jesus and our Father Jehovah to bypass the authority of Jesus and the means of our salvation by constant references to only Jehovah, even if we are well meaning? If one really contemplates and then believes Jesus own words, then it would actually be disrespecting both Jesus and the will of Jehovah by speaking the vast majority of the time about only Jehovah. Remember, every prayer and word spoken to Jehovah can only be heard by him through Jesus. Usually, that serious fact is only mentioned by JW’s in an almost template like manner at the end of a prayer.

        • Richard Long

          So true, and so often those same public prayers are so peppered with the divine name so as to reduce it to serving as “word whiskers”. Meanwhile, Jesus taught us to pray: “Father….”

          It is also interesting that although distinct individuals, Jehovah and Jesus are both, in reality, our ‘fathers’. Just saying.😉

          • into the light

            Yeah, “word whisker”. 😉

    • Richard Long

      Light, in case you haven’t noticed, Disqus sucks. It is truly one of the final tests of mankind preceeding the parousia. Got something really important to say? Write it on a doc first! We have ALL learned that the hard way.

      • into the light

        I actually did that today after my post was flagged as spam 3 times. I’m not sure if anything ever sucked as hard as disqus does. As regards the strikethru and other things I do, I just think it’s nice to have a netiquette and let people know when you change something, or post the source to your findings…

        • Richard Long

          Agree. No one has to edit their cack more than me. Usually I just add the edit on the end or insert it with brackets. Do your own thing. Just letting you know the netiquette is a little more relaxed here.😎

    • Richard Long

      You don’t have to strike your uncited point, just IMO it and we’ll take it!

  • into the light

    @ewatchman:disqus, my posts keep disappearing. For some reason my reply to Burt got flagged as spam within minutes from posting. Twice. Same thing happened yesterday. Could you please see the posts in question and decide for yourself?
    If the issue is posting hyperlinks, could you please whitelist them since I’m not posting any objectionable materials. Others have been posting sources from WOL library as well.
    Thanks!

    • Yes, that is the issue. Your post contains a hyperlink

      • into the light

        Do you think it can be resolved or is it something beyond your control? I like to post scriptures in my replies and as you can see I use HTML formatting a lot to make it more readable, as opposed to having the full link (some of those are pretty long).
        Whatever the case I would appreciate your reply!

        • It was in the spam bin, but I approved it. So, I have control over it. It is just not something that I check frequently

          • into the light

            Thanks a lot! I guess I need to restrain myself when posting. I apologize if I caused you any inconvenience.

  • into the light

    I just remembered watching these videos a while ago. Thought it was appropriate to post them as comments in this section, since it explains what kind of teachers WT are. Please watch carefully for crafty language and vague expressions since they are the key in understanding how the information is manipulated.

    Part 1:
    https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/VODMoviesBibleTimes/pub-lrc_1_VIDEO

    Part 2:
    https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/VODMoviesBibleTimes/pub-lrc_2_VIDEO

  • into the light

    I just happened upon a discussion Re: new understandings. I have copied it from another JW forum and the opinions expressed are not necessarily correct. I assume the person that posted it (seems like a respected member) had been on the annual meeting. Emphasis is mine.

    As of January, there will only be 3 Watchtowers to the public and 3 wake up a year. (it’s already official) every watchtower just treats a theme. A simplified and regular study will be merged. Material has already been prepared for public magazines for next year and the next. After two years, the management board will assess the effect of this adjustment, and if successful, there will be no more new magazines produced, magazines for 2018 and 2019 will be reprinted.
    This adjustment in the number of magazines is really just representative of a much greater adjustment to our preaching work as a whole. We are so used to suggesting offers of literature for every month and new magazines to give our calls every month that our focus in the ministry, for most of us, has become more about the literature than to seek and reach those who They’re willing to live forever. So it will not be a question that this publication should only be offered in particular at this particular moment of the year. We can offer any piece of literature for the ministry with which we feel comfortable at any time of the year. That means any magazine, book, brochure, whatever. In fact, since our focus must be on finding those who are well prepared, we don’t even have to offer a publication – just focus attention on Bible teaching and try to place literature with someone as a secondary part of our ministry.

    I find it interesting how the focus will be on searching those who are well prepared. What I’m trying to figure out is how are they going to achieve that with the cart ministry where they don’t really try to engage people but wait for them to come. And how do you discuss with well prepared ones if you’re encouraged to send them to jw.org website. So many questions…

  • Simpletruth

    I read and reread that commentary numerous times. “The learners????” Really?? I can’t believe the audacity they have. And to think that the friends just don’t see it!! I am so amazed at how much things have been dumbed down over the past several years. On another note…I spoke to a friend of mine who is still active and she was telling me about the topics discussed at the special talk this past weekend. Did anyone here go to the special talk or hear about it from any of your witness family/friends? I’d be anxious to know your thoughts on some of the topics discussed…

  • into the light

    There’s more to this! I’m just watching the October 2017 broadcast and starting around 32:45, the article on assembly halls maintenance, they are calling volunteers, not brothers but friends. Are we as children of god brothers or friends? Do we pray “Our friend in heaven…”?
    Are they trying to reinforce the notion that we can’t be god’s children but only friends and only the spirit anointed can be children? Did the good news Jesus preached ever carry the message of “friendship with God”? Romans 9:25,26

    I’m so confused and feel bad for pointing these things out as I feel like I am accusing god’s people and being a murmurer. Philippians 2:14-16

  • Sharon

    also let us not forget that the governing body has made sure not to leave the children out when it comes to casting their magic spells.the use of these magic siduals that brother Robert speaks of in his video.its hard to find one episode that is not full of butterflies,there everywhere.and now the children are at the meetings all of them sitting there with their butterfly pens,and pencils,and their activity book full of butterflies,and when their done they all fit nicely in their little pink service bags,with butterflies of course.its,very sad.

    • That is weird. I don’t actually watch cartoons of any kind. But I had no idea it had gotten down to that level. What ever happened to the Smurfs getting up and walking out of the kingdom hall? Those were the good ole days I guess.

    • trudy

      Little children are innocent ..I found when I was little I like to hear the bible that was it …after all the bible is of books and letters no images .. Little ones are hearing with ears right to the heart and reading when older ..

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