Does Thess 4:17 indicate a rapture?

//Does Thess 4:17 indicate a rapture?

QUESTION: In view of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, will there perhaps be some anointed in the end who will not be killed, but will simply be “raptured”? Would appreciate your thoughts on this.

The answer is no and yes. Allow me to explain.

In context the verse in question states: “For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord.”

Paul was explaining the order of the first resurrection. Those dead in Christ rise first at the sound of the archangel’s rousing trumpet. “Afterward we the living…”

Now, here is a question to consider: Since Revelation indicates that all those who are called to be kings and priests with Christ for the 1,000 years experience the first resurrection, how can that be harmonized with the notion that “we the living” do not experience death? Why would they need to be resurrected if they didn’t experience death? Indeed, how could a person be resurrected if they didn’t die first?

Paul explained this riddle in the 15th chapter of  I Corinthians. He wrote concerning the first resurrection: “But I tell you this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not all fall asleep in death, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality.”

Paul was explaining the nature of the heavenly resurrection because some unreasonable Corinthians demanded to know what sort of body they would have in the resurrection. Paul illustrated the nature of the heavenly resurrection by comparing the human body to a seed. In nature when a seed sprouts it essentially dies in order to give life to the plant. There is nothing left of the original seed in the new plant. In the same way, the human must die in order to be transformed into a spirit. This is the ultimate end for those who are successfully born again. And Paul reiterated that sacred truth when he said flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom.

That, of course, is not to imply or suggest that humans cannot also be spoken of as inheriting God’s Kingdom, but the apostle was speaking in terms of being with Christ in his heavenly Kingdom. The sheep in Christ illustration of the sheep and the goats are said to inherit the Kingdom, but that is different. The sacred secret Paul revealed to the Corinthians was that although all who are called to the heavenly kingdom have to die in order to be changed, not all will sleep in death. 

As he explained to the Thessalonians, those who died in Christ will come to life first. But, those holy ones who are living during the climatic parousia do not sleep in death as do their anointed predecessors. So, Paul was not contrasting those who die and those who will not. He was contrasting those who sleep in death with those who will not sleep. 

But they do die —indeed, they are killed. But, because at that point they will have already been sealed, meaning they will have been approved for entry into the Kingdom of the heavens, at the moment of their deaths they will be instantaneously changed —as Paul illustrated it, “in the twinkling of an eye.”

Since their change from flesh to spirit occurs instantaneously, with no interim of death whatsoever –no sleeping in death waiting to be awakened –Paul simply says “we the living who are surviving.”

But from the standpoint of a human observer there would be no visible evidence of any sort of change. To be sure, contrary to the fiction peddled by evangelical rapturists, there would be something “left behind”; namely –a corpse.

Like Paul stressed, flesh and blood cannot enter into the heavenly realm, any more than a human could live on the moon or Mars without taking along an earthly life support contraption. But from the personal viewpoint of the one who is changed, from their perspective there would be no death. One second they are living in the flesh on earth and a nano second later they are changed into a glorious, immortal spirit, where they will encounter the rest of their kind and the Lord Jesus himself, as if in the air. 

So, yes, they will die and yes they will be killed; but, no, they will not experience death as we know it. They will only experience a change. The greatest change that one could ever experience.

2017-08-26T12:38:27+00:00 August 26th, 2017|Mailbag|177 Comments
  • “Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters–their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred–had joined them.” ~ Rev 6:11

  • Revv_zone@gmail.com Please8834

    This post single handedly demonstrates the very essence of the last trumpet call!

  • Craig Knight

    That’s an amazing gift that those chosen will receive immortality in the blink of an eye. Satan will use the thugs of the King of fierce countenance to destroy the called ones. It has to be a real encouragement to the anointed to know they won’t sleep in death but be instantly changed. The first servant of God to be killed was Abel. He has been sleeping for thousands of years in death but since there is no consciousness in death it will seem like a quick nap to Abel and all the rest of mankind who are resurrected to the earth. 1 Cor 15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

  • Easach of Coimbatore

    Was what an article. Well let me do a family worship with Roberts article. Lot of things I learned from this article.

  • Huldah

    Concise and clear explanation. Thanks Br. King!

    This article made me recall a question I have.
    DA mentioned this scripture….
    Rev 6:
    9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar+ the souls*+ of those slaughtered because of the word of God and because of the witness they had given.+ 10 They shouted with a loud voice, saying: “Until when, Sovereign Lord, holy and true,+ are you refraining from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”+ 11 And a white robe was given to each of them,+ and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they had been.+

    I’d like to add this one….

    Romans 6
    5 If we have become united with him in the likeness of his death,+ we will certainly also be united with him in the likeness of his resurrection.+

    And…
    Philippians 3
    10 My aim is to know him and the power of his resurrection+ and to share in his sufferings,+ submitting myself to a death like his,+ 11 to see if at all possible I may attain to the earlier resurrection from the dead.+

    Why do all these texts seem to indicate that anyone who is anointed must die a martyr’s death to attain to the first resurrection?
    Paul’s writings as well as Revelation 6 seems to strongly infer that ALL truly anointed who attain to immortality must die a martyr’s death.
    I know Robert makes it clear that is the case with those who die during the GT.
    Why did Paul say that he was submitting himself to a martyr’s death to see if he could attain to the first resurrection?
    If so many anointed after him were able to die peaceful deaths, why was he required to die as a martyr?
    Why does Rev 6 say all the anointed”souls” died or would die the same sort of death, being “slaughtered”?

    • Richard Long

      Huldah said: “If so many anointed after him were able to die peaceful deaths”

      Do we really know this, or was there perhaps a generation or three of persons who fooled themselves waiting for the “second coming that never came because it had already come”?

      Maybe we have to rethink “anointed” to make sure we don’t understand it through our WT beer goggles? Expository study, not Topical study, remember?

      Robert has already said his invitation has cost him plenty and he expects it to cost him everything in the parousia. Maybe that’s what is meant by many are invited but few are chosen, and those not chosen are then what?

      I was thinking on a matter at work which seems to parallel this. We’ve all heard that everyone rises to their own level of incompetence and stays there, right. At my company this is proven true daily, and I got to considering the absolute travesty that my company has no mechanism to allow such ones to gracefully fall back to their highest level of competency and resume their course of adding value to the company’s effort. Instead, the perfectly valuable employee who’s only mistake was failing to recognize his/her own limitations is jettisoned as so much waste. Never-mind the leadership is SUPPOSED to be ADEPT at developing talent. Isn’t that what our WT thinking has us imagining happens to the unchosen invited?

      Should we really think so little of Christ that we imagine He will run his kingdom like a corporation – converting resources to cash without creating anything of intrinsic value?

      Alternatively, the WT would have us think every time our hat blew off when there was no wind, we had been “visited” by one of our dear anointed brothers of personal acquaintance that had fallen asleep in death and been instantaneously resurrected to the spirit realm since the first resurrection in 1914 – 1918. Clearly, Robert and others have debunked these fanciful notions for us.

      Before any Kingdom administration duties commence, don’t we expect a whole lot of “Angel of Death” business (that I can’t really imagine myself having the stomach for) to get done?. I think maybe only spiritual giants themselves martyred can be trusted to follow through as required, especially given the final number only get an instant to adjust. Then there is that whole immortality and incorruptibility component. Our heavenly talent development apparatus has to get that one right the first time with zero mistakes. Maybe actual martyrdom is the price of admission to the heavenly aspect of the kingdom and always has been? For a consolation prize in recognition of the life course of striving to please ones master… Paradise?

      Just thinking out loud, Huldah

      Blessings!

      • Huldah

        Your words
        “Then there is that whole immortality and incorruptibility component.
        Our heavenly talent development apparatus has to get that one right the
        first time with zero mistakes. ”

        EXAAACTLY

        ” Maybe actual martyrdom is the price of admission to the heavenly aspect
        of the kingdom and always has been? For a consolation prize in
        recognition of the life course of striving to please ones master…
        Paradise?”

        That’s the conclusion I drew from the scriptures I read. It removes a lot of people who have claimed to be anointed, though, especially in recent times. If that is, in fact, the requirement.

        It does explain the horror experienced by the early Christians in Rome, the concentration camps, the burnings at the stake.
        Paradise isn’t a bad consolation prize, after all that’s the carrot most of us have been salivating over all these years.

        Yeah, I don’t think the unchosen invited are thrown out, just demoted maybe.
        You know there’s actually a prophesy about the unchosen symbolic Aaronic priests (anointed ) being demoted to working outside in the courtyard and no longer being allowed to enter the most holy. I’d have to go back to my notes, but I posted on it to Hannah, I think, a long time ago. Guess they will lose their crowns and have to accept being part of the earthly class.That’s what I had concluded that prophecy meant.

        • Richard Long

          I’ll buy that, for working theory, if nothing else, but I think much more.

          PS…. don’t forget that whole lions in the arena thing!

          • The Raven

            We were discussing this a day ago as well. I asked what happens to those who do not make the final cut? Do they get death or is there simply the earthly reward, which isn’t bad considering.

            • Huldah

              Heb ,6:
              4 For as regards those who were once enlightened+ and who have tasted the heavenly free gift and who have become partakers of holy spirit 5 and who have tasted the fine word of God and powers of the coming system of things,* 6 but have fallen away,+ it is impossible to revive them again to repentance, because they nail the Son of God to the stake again for themselves and expose him to public shame.+ 7 For the ground receives a blessing from God when it drinks in the rain that frequently falls on it and then produces vegetation useful to those for whom it is cultivated. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected and is near to being cursed, and in the end it will be burned.

              But I think this applies to the MOL and Judas.
              Other’s are not active opposers just don’t live up to their calling. What would have happened to Paul had he fallen short, as he suggested was possible?

            • The Raven

              I’m not talking about those who fall away, I was talking about those who believed they had a calling but may not actually be chosen. Same as what we discussed earlier. Many are called few are chosen. Could those who thought they were that did not die a martyrs death and were not part of the MOL or Judas actually get an earthly reward?
              I am interested in what you found on the priests.

            • Huldah

              Ok I dug out my notes.
              Ezekiel 44
              10 “‘But the Levites who strayed far from me+ when Israel strayed from me to follow their disgusting idols* will bear the consequences of their error. 11 And they will become ministers in my sanctuary to oversee the gates of the temple+ and to minister at the temple. They will slaughter the whole burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand before the people to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their disgusting idols and became a stumbling block causing the house of Israel to sin,+ that is why I have raised my hand against them in an oath,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘and they will bear the consequences of their error. 13 They will not approach me to serve as my priests or approach any of my holy or most holy things, and they will bear their shame because of the detestable things that they did. 14 But I will make them caretakers of the responsibilities of the temple, to take care of its service and all the things that should be done in it.’+

              Essentially, they are demoted for putting a stumbling block before the people.

            • The Raven

              Thanks for posting that. But it implies wrongdoing on the part of those called. I don’t know if this would be the case. I guess my bottom line here is maybe they actually are even though they did not die a martyrs death. Does scripture state that all will or is it simply implied? I know many at first were and many at the last will be, but I cannot be certain those who were called in the interim had to be.

            • Huldah

              “I know many at first were and many at the last will be, but I cannot be certain those who were called in the interim had to be.”

              Good summary.
              My question is why would the requirement change in the interim?
              Why only guaranteed at the end?

              The scripture in Ezek. backs up the demotion point more than anything.

            • The Raven

              Maybe because the conditions were vastly different. Christianity was in its infancy and the devil hounded them from all ends until Rome made it official. Now in the final days, the devil and his demons will face off with this last group. What do they do in the meantime? I’m wondering if there is something we’ve missed. Is it necessary for all down through all time to be put to a violent death?

              This make me wonder of the story of Benjamin and Joseph could also be applied here and not just to those who are eleventh hour workers.

            • Huldah

              Richard made some good points in answer to my initial question, which is the same as your last one.
              All I have is the scriptures I originall posted and the fact that Jehovah is not arbitrary in his requirements.Maybe Robert wrote on this or there are other scriptures that apply.

            • The Raven

              Yes, I did and I found it intriguing. I think this topic requires more digging. I’m like you and Richard both in this as I believe that there is more to them than we understand. I’ll see what I can find. Maybe Kevin can too if he has time ( hint) since he knows his way around Robert’s work a lot better. 🙂
              Meanwhile I think we are all on the same track and you and Richard have done a great job of exploring this subject.

            • Huldah

              I second the “hint”
              Thanks
              You too

            • Burt Reynolds

              I don’t know the answer to this question but I would think heart condition has a part to play in it. Though ignorance may not be an excuse, one might think that this does not stifle completely the motivation of the person if it is genuinely felt. Don’t forget we have all been decieved and portrayed Jehovah and worshipped him in the corrupt temple that is the watchtower. We have taught from the platform too…that is a sacrifice of praise. We’re we, are we still, responsible for believing the lie and acting upon it? Surely it is what we do with the truth once we find it? Jehovah is more merciful than his people. It’s probably best to leave it to him.

            • The Raven

              This is why I mentioned Luke as well. The fact that many were deluded may not have anything to do with the calling and their work as slaves. Since I do not know the condition of their hearts I cannot doubt what they say they feel or how Jehovah has worked this out. This exploration of a matter is not so much to determine who is or isn’t but to understand maybe a portion of that outworking. It’s fascinating.

            • Cathii D’Anthonii

              Romans 10:13″ For everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved’. Joel 2:32 “And it must occur that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will get away safe, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will prove to be the escaped ones ” Acts2:21″ And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved”

            • Daisy d

              Speaking for God. Rutherford started a new religion and gave us the name Jehovah’s witnesses, perpetuated by the GB today.
              Jesus isn’t telling us to call ourselves Jehovah’s witnesses… Suntan is…cos most importantly Jesus himself commanded us to be witnesses of him “to the most distant part of the earth”.
              Revelation 1:9 says that john was ” imprisoned for bearing witness to Jesus “; and rev 17:6 talks about Christians being killed for being witnesses of Jesus; and Rev 19:10 says that ” bearing witness to Jesus inspires prophesying”
              Acts 19:17 “…this became known to all, both Jews and the Greeks that dwelt in Ephesus; and a fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus went on being magnified”

              In Acts 2:21 Paul is shedding “new light” when he says; “And it shall come to pass (that ) whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord (2962 Strong’s concordance) shall be saved” as Joel would only have known Jehovah and died without knowing Jesus. Jesus has left his words for us all to follow in John 8:54 “it is my Father that glorifies me” maybe we as individual should be doing the same thing as He is our salvation.

            • Brian

              Hi Daisy, well he isn’t referred to as being King for nothing, All things as in ALL have been handed to him as you know and everybody else should know. Good point with the imprisonment for bearing witness to Jesus, and bearing witness to Jesus by way of his connection as God,s son is in fact bearing witness to Jehovah. The Jews could even start re using “his name” even call themselves by it but they wouldn’t be bearing witness to God as they are not recognising the son.

            • Daisy

              Ssssshhhhh! Don’t mention the “j” word!:)

            • “Don’t mention the “j” word!”

              Jer 23:27

              humm

            • Richard Long

              Not THE “J” word, the “j” word the discussion of which caused so much disharmony this week.

            • humm, ok, my mistake.

              in that case Dazy can ignore my reference to that in my second comment to her.

              it seemed that to me given the feedback i had from Brian, Beverly, you and Dazy’s thoughts about Jehovah’s name and being in the Greek scriptures or NT and called by his name etc…

              i’ll just leave my second comment up for facts or mite just delete it.

              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cy9HeM8QQc

            • which is why they arent Jews, as Jehovah abandoned them unless they did.

              Psalms 2:12 ~ “Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities–for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!”

            • Brian

              Indeed, I still find it quite amazing that the Jews rejected him even though they had all of the scriptures that pointed to him and in the very time frame that they were looking for him also directed by those scriptures.

            • Daisy d

              Do not engage! Do not engage! Do not engage!
              Love you Doc 🙂

            • Burt Reynolds

              Yes, it’s a nice thought isn’t it, but it just came to mind when I wrote that, the scripture that says ‘did we not preach in your name…..’ Our intent really does need to be pure. Yet how can it be if we only think it is? We need to be Boreans. Sometimes I just don’t know. There are so many lies, so many alternatives, I don’t know if I’m coming or going. Probable Both!

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Food for thought

              Who Will Weep and Gnash Their Teeth?.

              Excerpt:
              Jesus used the expression “there is where their weeping and gnashing of their teeth will be” on numerous occasions. And it always was in reference to those who were originally servants of God, but who were rejected in the end. Here are a few verses in context with a brief commentary for each.
              https://e-watchman.com/who-will-weep/

              Read a lot more>Search results for: gnashing their teeth.
              https://e-watchman.com/?s=+gnashing+their+teeth

            • The Raven

              True, but that’s judgement day. I am speaking mainly of those who thought they were chosen ala the WTO but being misled really weren’t. Are they also judged adversely? Many of them have already passed also.

            • Huldah

              Misled or presumptuous? Two different types IMO

            • The Raven

              I can’t say for certain there. I met two many years ago. They were in their 80s. I don’t know what to make of that to be honest. I did not get to know them.

            • Huldah

              I would definitely not say presumptuous on those early brothers and sisters.
              Its hard for me to question their anointing even, except for the fact that the scriptures point to martyrdom.

              Presumptuous are more abundant these days, but I’m sure they existed back in the day too.

            • The Raven

              I can’t question anyone’s particular calling but some do make you go hmmmm!!!

            • Huldah

              The CO Ellwood Johnson said he did when he saw some of them causing ‘literal fights’ at the KH
              (In the cult classic talk “Are You Ready?”)
              Some behavior makes it painfully obvious.

            • The Raven

              LOL! You aren’t kidding!

            • Burt Reynolds

              I lie like to think that too. Yet given society what it is, I think you are also right to suspect others from long ago. You reminded me of a quote I saw somewhere long ago…it went something like this….’ There is nothing so arrogant as a young man discovering a great truth and thinking he is the first to come across it.’ Presumptuousness and arrogance, love and hate, are our perpetual bedfellows since time began.

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Supporting Christ’s Brothers During Their Humiliation.
              Excerpt:
              Those judged to have been faithful – in spite of their having blindly embraced the 1914 delusion and all of the hokum attached to it, will then be granted entry into the Kingdom .Read more> https://e-watchman.com/supporting-christs-brothers-humiliation/

            • The Raven

              Oh man, Kevin. I actually commented on that article but was looking at a different matter! lol! I can get behind that it makes sense. That would include those in the past as well as those future.
              Thanks, once again.

            • Burt Reynolds

              That’s a good article. On the other side of the coin, how can we make ourselves acceptable given our repetitive sinning? We clearly have to rely on the sacrifice of Christ, but sometimes, and I am sure many feel the same, it seems so impossible to make ones self acceptable.

            • Bklyn Kevin

              “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
              Then Peter said in reply: “Look! We have left all things and followed you; what, then, will there be for us?” Jesus said to them: “Truly I say to you, in the re-creation, when the Son of man sits down on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit everlasting life.
              Read more>

            • Burt Reynolds

              Good scripture. Thanks.

          • Huldah

            Do you think the GB realizes they signed on for that?

            • The Raven

              Don’t they believe that martyrdom is symbolic in some cases? Or am I mistaken?

            • Huldah

              I think you are right. But that’s my question. Is it, really? Or did Paul mean just what he said?

            • The Raven

              I think Paul meant it exactly. But… beings as they are deluded maybe they did not fully understand the ramifications of that calling and it’s potential for an actual brutal, physical martyrdom.

            • Huldah

              Right
              Or they had to conclude it was symbolic due to knowing for a fact that many of their “anointed” acquaintances fell asleep in death in a peaceful manner, never having to face the lion, as it were.
              But… isn’t that fitting the scriptures around what you believe to be true rather than exegesis? Did I use the right word, Richard?

            • The Raven

              It appears that may be what they did. How else to view their ideas that this was symbolic?

            • The Raven

              This is interesting on several levels. The past ones who claimed to be anointed and may not have been, the present ones and any future ones ( eleventh hour workers) and their fates. Add in those who are actually the hidden apostates, the MOL, evil slaves and it gets even more interesting.

            • Huldah

              Yes dizzying implications coming at you from all sides. But isn’t that what we like? Brainfood.

            • The Raven

              lol! Yep!

            • Richard Long

              I believe so.

            • Richard Long

              I cant say. How do they live and act? Like Paul or the superfine apostles? Just what WERE those guys saying that aggravated Paul so much?

            • The Raven

              Looks to me like Paul nailed them on a number of things. He actually suffered while they cruised. These called ones lately are very much like them. But there again, were they really called?

            • Richard Long

              That is the question, isn’t it. We could write a letter and ask them, except its none of our business. The more pertinent question is whether we should pay any attention to them at all, or not.

            • The Raven

              lol! That depends on a number of things IMO. Some certainly didn’t act the part. Others have and do. I also accept that there have to be some called and given a measure of wisdom through the HS to be able to understand these matters. In the past and present. I do not discount it and cannot challenge it, but choose to examine what they teach and keep in mind what scripture says about the conditions and times.

              I found this from their pages just for a base for their views. I thought they saw this as symbolic but wasn’t sure.

              Look at, Witness or Martyr
              https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2003723

              —————————————————————————–

              Dictionary

              They appear to be using the old greek definition.
              mar·tyr
              ˈmärdər/Submit
              noun
              noun: martyr; plural noun: martyrs
              1.
              a person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs.
              “saints, martyrs, and witnesses to the faith”
              a person who displays or exaggerates their discomfort or distress in order to obtain sympathy or admiration.
              “she wanted to play the martyr”
              a constant sufferer from (an ailment).
              “I’m a martyr to migraines!”
              verb
              verb: martyr; 3rd person present: martyrs; past tense: martyred; past participle: martyred; gerund or present participle: martyring
              1.
              kill (someone) because of their beliefs.
              “she was martyred for her faith”
              cause great pain or distress to.
              “there was no need to martyr themselves again”
              Origin

              Old English martir, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek martur ‘witness’ (in Christian use, ‘martyr’).

            • Richard Long

              I think the widows and orphans they were charged with seeking justice for would say this one:

              “a person who displays or exaggerates their discomfort or distress in order to obtain sympathy or admiration.”

              Edit: Remember Mr Snarky, Huldah? lol

            • The Raven

              Did you see the old greek word for it was witness? If you look at that paragraph you get an idea why they say that.

              Although technically correct I’m not exactly sold on it.

            • Richard Long

              If we’re looking for ways to put faith in the GB, we will find it. If we’re looking fro ways to abandon the GB, we will find it. My opinion is that if it is in fact the “so-called FDS”, ie, the GB, that we JW’s (obviously not you Raven) have come to idolize – and we can’t burn our dungy idol in the fire, what is left? Stop touching the unclean thing comes to mind.

            • The Raven

              I don’t think the org itself has anything to do with faith in Jehovah to be honest. It appears to me to have been an instrument and it will soon be done away with. I needn’t go into judgement as you already know what’s coming.
              How would you apply your last sentence? What would the “unclean thing” encompass?

            • Richard Long

              2 Corinthians 6:17
              “‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’”

            • The Raven

              Thanks. Just wondering.

            • Burt Reynolds

              I’m sure the unclean thing has a specific reference, yet I think it safe to say that uncleanliness encompasses the whole ethos of this system. Everything is contaminated. It seems as though we are being drawn to divest ourselves to the point of ‘ extinction’ our worldly mindset.

            • The Raven

              Yes it does, I agree. The ” air ” itself as well.

            • Huldah

              Yes I found the same article.
              Martyr meant witness, but Paul meant dying a death like Christ did as does the word “slaughtered” in Rev 6.
              The death they would die would be a martyrdom in the modern sense of the word, not just a witness. That’s at least what the scriptures say. It’s a slight of hand to focus on the word martyr to distract from the scriptural meaning.

            • The Raven

              I agree. That’s why I went looking to see just where that idea came from. I remembered hearing it years ago.

            • Huldah

              Me too.
              I’m surprised if that is their only basis for saying it is symbolic.

            • The Raven

              I haven’t dug into it any further since I had no real reason to until now.

            • Huldah

              That fits remarkably well, Lol.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Does a person get a hearing for dying for what they thought was the truth, but were mistaken, like the Catholics and Protestants et al? I suppose they must do, seeing as so much store is put on laying down ones life for his brother.

            • The Raven

              Good point.

            • The Raven

              I must admit my look into this matter comes more from the perspective of someone looking for examples of mercy even for those who were misled. I already know what judgement entails. Maybe I’m wrong about it but as I said before, I cannot doubt someone’s calling. I have no personal basis for understanding that and must accept what Jehovah says about it.

            • Richard Long

              Paul said they had already begun to rule as kings (in their own minds) without the other invitees. Do we recognize this phenomenon anywhere… say upstate NY?

            • The Raven

              Of course. Robert has written quite a bit about it.

            • Huldah

              They have Rutherford Syndrome. Having already approved themselves and begun building their paradise estate right here in Satan’s world.

            • The Raven

              I’m wondering if there weren’t more serious reasons for that move. Maybe they are practicing what they aren’t preaching? That cities will either explode in violence or be targeted for nukes. I get the strong impression that the move wasn’t just about money and luxury.

            • Huldah

              I agree but the opportunity was taken for luxury.

            • The Raven

              Sure, as in the past. They may be playing fast and loose with Christ’s belongings but stupid they ain’t. I think they are well aware of the potential here and sought to protect their assets by getting them out of range.

            • Huldah

              Yes that and perhaps even Jehovah directed the move. It is still Gods org and it may serve his purpose to have its headquarters far from crazytown when things get really crazy.

              No offense Brooklyn Kevin.

            • The Raven

              That’s true as well. Kevin moved out too if I am correct. I left New York in 78.

            • Huldah

              I was just thinking today “I wish it was the 70’s.”
              NY, can’t imagine it in the 70’s.
              At any rate, I digress.
              I can’t be taken seriously after midnight.
              I think I’m part Gremlin.

            • The Raven

              Hahaha! I’ll call you Gizmo after midnight! Me too. My eyes get tired as well. lol!

            • Burt Reynolds

              The seventies was just emptying the garbage of the 60s. No fun at at all. No one grooved anymore, or even got on down, let alone far out or spaced out. The early 60s were a little special because the class system was being dismantled in England. Not sure what they were dismantling in the states, and the effects of the war were finally overcome. The music died in the seventies too and gelled into repetitive advertisement jingles that plague the mind as they go round and round for days on end – and education was abandoned. If anything describes the sudden shift towards the final hours, it is, in retrospect, the decline of society over the last 70 years and the abandonment of critical thinking. The question now is, how much further can it decline before it collapses? I wonder sometimes if this is only the start of the nightmare and that society has a whole lot further to degrade before the tribulation begins.

            • The Raven

              I wasn’t a fan of that decade either. A lot changed and not for the better. I know many of those who fought the “man” wound up being the main part of the establishment once the smoke cleared.

            • Huldah

              Weren’t some of those just a bunch of spoiled college kids who pretended to take the moral high ground as an excuse to dodge the draft.
              Not coooool man.

              (Not that I’m for going to war I’m just more against selfish hypocrisy, probably because I’ve had too much experience with it.)

            • The Raven

              I recall there being a mix of draft dodgers, idealists, conscientious objectors and the well heeled who got deferments til the war was over. Since the original protesters were overshadowed by the hippies they lost credibility being associated with that bunch and the war dragged on. Anyone protesting at that point were seen as unpatriotic, communists, lazy etc.
              That was deliberate. The music of that day also had some very interesting starts and many were connected to the military industrial complex. Frank Zappa often mentioned it. Dave McGowan wrote a book about it detailing those beginnings and connections:
              Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation.

            • Jamie Mac

              Hi Raven, the 70’s were my teenage years and it was also my first contact with a JW. Unfortunately it wasn’t a good one for the JW knocking at my parents door. I told her in no uncertain terms to go away. I didn’t listen to the message then but I am glad I did years later when I met my wife sisters family who were all JW’s.

            • The Raven

              Mine too, but I was fascinated by what the brother had to say. Those were strange days. My life changed in many ways after that and I too was glad to have learned these things.

            • Huldah

              Good summary. I’m one who is always more fond of the nostalgia of the past and the mystery of the future than I am of the overfamiliarity and repetitiveness of the present. Personality flaw.

              On the degradation of society. I think the thinking toward homosexuality that has developed is clearly a sign we are close. There was an annual meeting talk on this. I agree that this moral shift is an indicator.
              Homosexuals are now the most protected species on the planet. That is significant.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Very true. A tweet Robert posted was talking about the normalisation of homosexuality and other leanings and how as a result, the moral standard has become extinct. No one has a grip on the meaning of truth any more. In fact, one of the participants in the conversation asked ‘What is truth’?’ Like Pilate, back then, even truth had been obscured as a tangible constant. So much more so today. Personally, I do not hold homosexuality as a primary indicator. It is a mere symptom of the causal root, which in itself, is the mindful abdication of truth and its standards so that moral constraint in so many areas has been abandoned that we face a domino effect of complete moral breakdown, in that the right to any choosing had been, will soon be, elevated above the innate moral senses we know are correct. Look at the beginnings of the ultimate sanction….murder. In the Philippines? It is now okay for anyone to kill a drug dealer or addict. What next crime will qualify for casual murder on assumption? As with homosexuality, the first step to make it acceptable and for denouncers to be ridiculed….or hounded….is to introduce the concept that it is a normality. When the chain of restraint breaks, it does so slowly, like a dam and then bursts forth in a flood. The watchtower think in small circles, homosexuality, tight trousers, dating, shunning anyone who questions as though they are somehow evil satanists just for asking a question, and that these things are the ultimate in evil. Straining at the gnat, swallowing the camel. I don’t think they have any idea of the precipice they stand on.

            • The Raven

              “It is a mere symptom of the causal root, which in itself, is the mindful abdication of truth and its standards so that moral constraint in so many areas has been abandoned ”

              I try to keep that in mind when I see these things. That’s hard to do when folks are bombarded by media, films and religious leaders who have done just that and condoned it.

            • Huldah

              What you say is true, but I look at the scriptural accounts of previous destructions carried out by God.
              Sexual perversions took front and center stage and led to swifter action by Jeh.
              Ex Sodom
              Ex Noah’s day
              It was always the obvious festering ulcer that rose up as clear evidence of the underlying latent infection. That you described so well.

            • Jamie Mac

              Hi Burt, your last sentence reminds me of a conversation we had recently about the seemingly endless delay until Christ’s second coming. How much more corrupt can the already corrupt get. How more evil can the already evil become. How much poorer can the already poor become. Ready or not, I wish it would come tomorrow.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Yes I know what you mean Jamie. How much worse can it get? I think it is safe to say that we have no idea, but can with certainty say that most of us cannot even imagine the terrors to come. A relevant example is war time Germany and the persecution of the Jews, but if you lift the veil still further, within that holocaust was yet another holocaust of betrayal between the Jews themselves, and of one person against another. The Warsaw ghetto was a prime example. If we strip away religion and just look at the natural cause for survival, in other words basic needs, then the higher thinking of rationale is stripped away also and there is nothing left other than what a person needs to do to survive regardless of faith, and which was also evidenced outside of the ghettos and amongst the general population of all countries. Ours too.

              Hence we have the scripture that there is no love greater than that a person will lay down his life for another. In other words, except for the comparative few who would lay down their life for another, it is safe to assume that the rest will not, and will do all and everything within their power to preserve it. Sadly that includes everything you may, or even cannot imagine. The scripture that points out that those seeking to save their lives will lose it; those who do not seek to save their lives, will gain it, meaning I presume, that where preserving life crosses the boundary of love, justice, self sacrifice, faith, we must choose the principles we would stand by and hope for in the new kingdom and rather than protect our own meagre lives, instead choose to embrace the principles alone, for it is better to die with them, than die having relinquished them, and thus die for nothing other than self greed. Why prepare for that physically, when we should prepare for that mentally, theocratically if you like, when we will inevitably have to make that choice. I would rather do that sooner than later, because until we lean on Jehovah, we lean on ourselves. We can only survive if he allows it. The sooner we have that allowance, it is reasonable to assume, the sooner the day will be cut short.

              Easier said than done, (far easier), If we quit worrying about ourselves, it frees us up to follow that course of action and take joy in the hoped for results of our faith, which will ultimately be a revelation beyond our understanding of the love and protection of Jehovah. It’s not all doom and gloom if we perhaps think that way.

            • Jamie Mac

              As usual Burt your take on things makes us think in a different way. Thank you for your comments they are always insightful.

              A good example of the scripture you mentioned ‘those seeking to save their lives will lose it; those who do not seek to save their lives, will gain it, ‘ would be those pledging their allegiance to the 8th king.

              No, it is not all doom and gloom if we ponder the blessings we will receive if we remain faithful until the end. I quote you again, ‘Easier said than done’, but possible as Jehovah alone know what we can bear.

            • The Raven

              Reminds me of the Sonderkommandos. It wasn’t just Jews however. Seems a few groups were represented, witnesses included. To this day the Sonderkommandos are hated by many. They had two choices; comply or commit suicide, as they told it. Some chose the latter. They also recounted how they came across family and friends among the bodies they were tasked with disposing. I think what happened there is a fitting example of future situations and reactions and I agree, the will to survive will probably outweigh the will to do what’s right for most.

            • Satan directed the move. Ez ch17

              Jehovah asks ‘will it not dry up?’.

              Song of Hannah taught me that

            • Huldah

              Vs 10
              10 Although it is transplanted, will it prosper? Will it not dry up completely when the east wind blows on it? It will dry up in the garden bed where it sprouted.”’”

              Boy that fits. Seems like Robert has written some on this. Is that pretty much what he gleaned from it too?

            • i don’t doubt Jehovah can select good people even for a heavenly calling who are outside those known by his name but i hardly believe other religious groups fit the fulfillment of specific prophecy who teach hell-fire, the trinity lies, idol worship or alternative gospel teachings from men & books that conflict with the Bible and etc..
              do they really come to know Jehovah if they believe he is any of that?
              but a person can come to know
              Jehovah and be in error on the timing of his day and the return of Jesus, no?

              also its true others besides those known & in union with Christ by God’s name have learned of Jesus and have applied his righteous example imitating him in their lives, even better examples in many cases then JW’s, but the scripture clearly says “name” in many passages which is something rejected and foreign to other evangelical groups.

              i doubt those who consist of what is to be “the temple of Jehovah” would refuse to accept God’s holy “name” within their “constant feature” presentation of the good news about his kingdom when in fact the scriptures clearly make note that they are “called” by his “name” and the nations will know who Jehovah is whereas before he wasnt much more then just a name that his Christian witnesses always used to make God known by out in the field.

              i also doubt that too when there is no other evangelical group that know what the good news of the kingdom even is. neither did Christians in the first century but they did after receving Jehovah’s spirit, no?

              i cant remember at the moment if Robert has ever written about Ezekiel ch17. seems right to me though im subject to make mistakes too. seems like hes used the dry up part in his articles

            • Proverbs 30:8

            • Huldah

              Like I said about Rutherford.
              A condo would have done nicely. But he used his health as an opportunity to build a mansion. Not much different today.

            • Richard Long

              I heard bunker rumors but cannot confirm or deny.

            • The Raven

              It wouldn’t surprise me.

            • Burt Reynolds

              They are not far enough away. I’m not sure of the district but today’s nuclear bombs will destroy a 20 radius and make uninhabitable a 50 mile radius with just one bomb. It probably was just about money and luxury, plus prestige. I don’t know if anywhere is safer in America, but my limited knowledge would suggest that if they wanted safety, maybe Big Sky country might be the place. If not, then at least they would see it coming, that’s for sure. But who would be worshipping at their doorstep out there?

            • The Raven

              Big sky country has a lot of missile bases. I think since things have gotten really dicey in big cities their main concern might have been riots and possibly civil war. Blackouts in a place like NYC are their own nightmare. Having been through one in the seventies I’m sure some of them remember that mayhem as well. I don’t believe this is a matter of keeping adherents, but more a matter of survival for the few. Just as corporations have moved their offices and headquarters overseas, they may have followed suit.

            • Bklyn Kevin

              perhaps they are being set up to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah .

              “I MUST LAY SIEGE TO YOU WITH A PALISADE”

              Consider, now, Isaiah 29:3: “And I must encamp on all sides against you, and I must lay siege to you with a palisade and raise up against you siegeworks.”

              The Perversity of You Men!
              Excerpt:
              A palisade is a fence of pointed stakes. This is exactly what Christ foretold in connection with Jerusalem at Luke 19:41-44. “And when he got nearby, he viewed the city and wept over it, saying: ‘If you, even you, had discerned in this day the things having to do with peace—but now they have been hid from your eyes. Because the days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in . Read more>
              https://e-watchman.com/the-perversity-of-you-men/

              Read a lot more>Search results for: Palisade.

              https://e-watchman.com/?s=Palisade

            • The Raven

              They may have done that to escape the collapse of the system but it won’t save them from judgement. I think it’s the same mindset most people and corporate powers have to prepare when it comes to the potential for catastrophe.
              They have the means to do it and given their acts concerning protecting their funds I would say that translates into trusting their own and not Jehovah. Then again, maybe some among actually know what’s coming in both respects. Most of humanity does not. Huldah also suggested Jehovah may have directed that move as well.
              It’s possible.

            • Bklyn Kevin

              Jehovah put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, until the words of God will have been accomplished. Just like he did in the past.

              A king’s heart is like streams of water in Jehovah’s hand.
              He directs it wherever He pleases.
              Proverbs 21:1 if

              Past Example.
              There was no city that made peace with the Israelites except the Hiʹvites inhabiting Gibʹe·on.
              They conquered all the others by war. It was Jehovah who allowed their hearts to become stubborn so that they waged war against Israel, in order for him to devote them to destruction without any favorable consideration. They were to be annihilated, just as Jehovah had commanded Moses.
              Joshua 11:19, 20

              Future example.
              For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, yes, to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished.
              Revelation.17:17.

            • The Raven

              That makes this clearer. Thanks, Kevin.

            • Cathii D’Anthonii

              The society believes they are going to slide right on through Armageddon and all these buildings and networking they established will be there to establish the new world..They truly believe they will be unharmed.just ask any JW…they are waiting for the fall of Babylon then armaggeddon

            • The Raven

              Oh yeah, I forget that sometimes! They are waiting for the fall of Babylon! Thanks, Cathii!

            • but at the same time they teach it fell already in 1919. https://e-watchman.com/myth-fall-of-babylon/

            • The Raven

              lol! yeah. It’s hard to keep up with. If it wasn’t for Robert’s articles I wouldn’t know what they’ve been claiming. And even then…????

            • Craig Knight

              Yeah the WT bugged out to the country where they will avoid the mob violence. That’s one of the first things I thought about Raven, Lol!

            • The Raven

              I read about the sale of the old buildings and thought , well the city is crumbling and after 9/11 a prime target for more “terrorism”. This may have been in the works for a very long time. Strategic relocation may have been the motivation but…we all know how this is going to go down. I can’t say for certain but I wonder if Kevin AND Huldah are both right about this.

            • Craig Knight

              I have to go back and look at Huldah and other’s comments. I have been travelling and out of touch for a few days. But when I saw that Gerber baby faced Lett asking for money saying they didn’t have enough income vs outgo. How embarrassing for them but apparently the GB boys won’t stop at begging to make money. I think the Washtowel has too many bills from all these various court cases. Especially the child molestation cases are costing them a ton. That’s one major factor and the other is getting out of dodge before the rioting starts.

            • Burt Reynolds

              That’s true. But I still like to generally give the benefit of the doubt when I think what I was like as a JW. I would have volunteered for building the palace.

            • Cathii D’Anthonii

              Trying to write this before the coffee kicks in.
              In the 60’s, the society didn’t have alot of money. If you remember,the Watchtower only had two colors,the cover was red or blue or green. Their presses at the time could only run one color ata time.They wrote to the congregations asking for loans from individuals to buy new presses.we started getting WTS with color pictures.I don’t think they are still burning plates and inkng runs anymore..The money seems to havestarted flowing after these lawyers floated in.iI seems everything started changing after that.They bought a seat on the NY exchange.
              I remember being at an assembly in Seattle when they announced their new “Legal” department and wondering why? Because Jehovah said to Moses that He would out the words in their mouth. There are hundreds of very humble Bros.that don’t have education or ability to read that Love Jehovah with all they’ve got…..I don’t think Jehovah is going to hold it against us, the few things the WTS hasn’t gotten right.

          • Huldah

            I’m finding it entertaining that Disqus has this comment positioned after my theory on Stepford Wives and Zombies. Poor people that stumble upon these conversations after the fact?

            • The Raven

              lol!

            • Huldah

              Heaven forbid I mention zombies to Burt. It becomes a Disqus version of a zombie APOCALYPSE!!

            • The Raven

              I don’t have a TV but in all the photos I’ve seen of those shows, I always wondered who cut the grass and washed the windows? I looked up that phrase and found all sorts of jokes about it!
              Your discussion with Burt about the Stepford wives made that even funnier!

        • Burt Reynolds

          I think that a few brothers have let their emotions do their reasoning for them in terms of anointing. Rather like Paul’s superfine apostles. I think black curtain has a point inasmuch that the facts are hidden from us because if we knew how all this was going to work out we would tear each other to pieces in the debate, as happened the other day over nothing. Sometimes I despair over the hope for unity.

          • Huldah

            I respect your desire for peace. “Unity” has taken on a bad connotation for me as it is the premise by which the Stepford Wives situation is promoted and persists in the congregation.
            Unity is thrown up in our faces whenever we question the abuses of the leadership. When we have questions about doctrine, we are told “we must all speak in agreement”. Essentially thats why Robert was disfellowshipped.
            I do prefer true knowledge as Jehovah prefers those who seek it and commends the Boreans.
            Humility is the other thing. Being willing to accept your need for the input of others and an understanding that you could possibly be wrong.
            Humility is a powerful contributor to increased knowledge peace and unity. It is the only effective unifier, which is why Jehovah loves the quality, one reason anyway.

            A lack of knowledge creates zombieism which is quite conducive to unity and like mindedness, but I’ve seen the cost to the congregations and I want no part of it.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Yes. You have reminded me of those times in the congregation. How prevalent that thinking was that we just accept without question. No one could be taught within the elders, they knew all already. Everyone was trying to gain points by being humble to those ‘taking the lead’ no matter where they led people. Taking the lead, never had to include being right by the way! Your comment puts a different angle on black curtains comment…..maybe we would not tear each other to pieces over issues if we could accommodate a differing insight. We can only relate our own experiences as they effect us, unless we have extraordinary empathy, and which sadly, few of us do. Your point on zombieism is likewise true; a lack of knowledge promotes fear of others, of being wrong, too afraid to question. Even more difficult for the elders with their pride. Actually, on the matter of zombieism, do you know why it is that all zombies have such difficulty in walking? What is it about being a zombie is it that makes them all limp? You would think that at least someone would give them a walking frame or offer hip surgery. It always fascinated me as well as to why Stepford wives were so obsessed with mowing their lawns. Any ideas?

            • Huldah

              Maybe the Stepford Wives were secretly having tea with the zombies ( seeing as they have so much in common). Of course. Being Stepford Wives, they aim to please and put forth great effort to keep the grass cut low so the zombies(with their gimpy legs) would not trip and fall.

              Just a theory.

            • Burt Reynolds

              Good enough explanation for me!

            • Huldah

              I am afraid the zombies are generally disappointed with Battenburg Cake, as they prefer brains. But seeing as the Stepford Wives have no brains, they cannot accomodate.

            • Anderiega

              Amen amen.

        • that would mean every single first century Christen to the end of “the last hour” would have been killed

          well i know Jehovah isnt going to invite too many then say ‘sorry all sets are full should have got here sooner’, but many are called and few chosen which in my mind are invided to the audition but during rehearsal their demonstration does or doesnt make the heavenly cut

          • Huldah

            I’ve enjoyed your comments lately DA.
            Insightful.

          • The Raven

            “but he will “have mercy on whomever” (Rom 9:16) and whomever must have faith in him by drawing close to him, no?”

            Of course. That’s an excellent point.

        • Craig Knight

          Most of the Apostle’s were martyred except John. He died of natural causes so some haven’t had to be tortured to death. So martyrdom is not always the case

          • Richard Long

            But certainly no lack of suffering for John, right? Persecution for sure and exile no paradise. One might consider being the last standing a torture in itself, having suffered the excruciating loss of Master and the other 11 and many beloved in the faith over his long life to violent death? Surely we can’t compare this with having to settle for putting up with those pesky lawsuits and some “mentally diseased apostate” detractors railing on about the UN Adultery, making long lunch with hedge fund managers slightly less comfortable? May we please see the publisher record cards of the GB?

            • Huldah

              You’re quite right here Richard.
              Are we really to assume that Jehovah required that his own son, die a martyr’s death to attain to immortality, and yet expect far less proof of loyalty from an imperfect human?
              None of the angels have immortality despite their thousands of years of sacrifice and work.
              Should someone like FW Franz be so bold to claim immorality and at the same time boast that.his service was no great sacrifice at all for him?
              A far cry from Paul’s, ” I am more ourstandingly one….”
              for reasons of subjecting himself to great abuse.

              Why is it important?
              Perhaps we can more easily decipher who to trust.
              Those who have truly given their all or those who lay claim to a great prize for minimal sacrifice?

            • Richard Long

              I don’t know if I’m right or not, but can only reason on what I observe. I am one who all too frequently projects personal opinion and expectation into a discussion, mainly because I don’t know, but have a compulsory reflex or need to feel like I understand, even if understanding is inaccurate. That’s why we explore, I guess.

            • The Raven

              Can you explain what you mean by expectation?

            • Richard Long

              Personal expectations regarding the outcome of events based on perception, experience, understanding, misunderstanding, reasoning, failure to reason etc.

            • The Raven

              “Should someone like FW Franz be so bold to claim immorality and at the same time boast that.his service was no great sacrifice at all for him?”

              Freudian slip? lol!

            • Richard Long

              Or, simple delusion.

            • Huldah

              Ha Ha Freudian spellcheck!
              Guess I’ll leave it like that.

            • The Raven

              At first read I actually thought it was deliberate and I wasn’t understanding it. When I realized it wasn’t it made me chuckle.

            • The Raven

              I don’t know if I can equate Christ’s death with the others. What he did set us all free and opened the door for his brothers to attain immortality. Maybe I have this wrong?

            • Huldah

              Two things I had in mind when I said that.
              First Paul said he had to sub to a death like Christ to see if he could attain to the first resurrection.
              Secondly, Robert had a podcast I believe it was….where he explained that Christ didn’t have to die on a torture stake to redeem mankind or I guess make way for immortality.
              He died on TS to answer the issue of integrity and sovereignty( as would perhaps be the reason all the anointed die a sacrificial death. Perhaps?)

            • The Raven

              But it is His blood that washes away our sins. Not the anointed’s. I need to dig up some more scripture on this. I’ll look for an article that might have this topic as well.

            • Huldah

              Yes true. My point is he just had to die not be tortured to death or die during persecution.
              Wrong word again as I meant the anointed die a sacrificial death in the sense that they sacrifice their life for their faith thus proving Satan a liar.

            • The Raven

              Ok. I see what you’re saying now. As far as I know, His blood had to be poured out for us. He is the Lamb of God. He also had to answer the issue of integrity and remain faithful as you said. Two things. The anointed must remain faithful no matter what til the end when they are all changed and become a new creation.
              Maybe we should be looking at this in the way Jehovah sees Christ, and how Christ sees His brothers. Not necessarily how we see them?

            • Huldah

              Good point.
              I tried and this is what I came up with. Would Jehovah have given Christ immortality if he had only been willing to die a simple death not a martyr’s death. The scriptures say that Jeh ‘took delight in crushing him’
              Why would Jeh delight in CRUSHING him ( like torture I mean, crushing)?
              Wouldnt it likely be because he proved his complete integrity which allowed Jeh to give him the ultimate reward, immortality?
              Would Christ delight in the same for.his brothers as he said’ he that loses his life for my sake will save it.’
              Ie loses it as a martyr for the sake of Christ.
              Matt10:39

            • The Raven

              Very good. This reminds me of John the Baptist. Had he died afterwards he may very well have been anointed. Yet John of Patmos did not suffer that death. Interesting. Not all who are martyred are anointed and not all anointed are martyred, apparently. We also know that some of us will also be killed even though we do not have a calling. What to make of that, I wonder?

            • Huldah

              Yes I was thinking of JTB.today.
              I do still believe that John of Patmos died a martyr.
              A good analogy might be if an older brother died of pneumonia in a concentration camp. Natural non violent death but still related to his stand for Christ. A martyr.
              Am I mistaken, didn’t John die a prisoner on Patmos? That’s martyr enough for me. I think of a martyr as one who dies as a result of the stand they take for their beliefs. Usually because someone is persecuting them due to their beliefs.

            • The Raven

              I agree with that assessment. Not necessarily a violent death but still under terrible conditions which facilitated their ends.
              I’ve read your post in the forum and I’ll think about it some tomorrow when I’m more awake and can give it the attention it deserves.
              It’s after midnight and I feel like Gizmo is calling me, or is that Gonzo?
              lol!

            • Huldah

              Lol
              Very worrisome Gonzo is the next stage. You do know not to eat after midnight don’t you?…especially Battenburg cake. It has something to do with the checkers.
              Burt knows all about it.

            • The Raven

              Lol!

            • Craig Knight

              Hey Richard! Rev 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will suffer tribulation for ten days. Be faithful even unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

              John did suffer as Christ said He would and as you say He had to be the last man standing not in any way similar to Bruce Willis’ movie of the same name:) That’s a good point knowing what his close friends had to endure. Prison isn’t some resort. I think all Jehovah’s servants should be ready for at least imprisonment when the nasty 8th king rolls into town. Raymond Franz’ book He wrote about the higher ups not having to go out on service. Bunch of hypocrites! I wonder if they had to eat Bethel food? Sorry for the delay getting back. I’m in Oregon on another vacation.

            • Richard Long

              By now it should be abundantly clear we’ve all been had by the WT. Robert is operating the first spur of the “underground railroad” the next *might* be found here:

              http://beroeans.net/

              Don’t forget to keep a presence here and help the freshly wounded when they pop up.

            • Daisy d

              Tip of the iceberg here Richard.
              A Springboard to better understandings, discernment and wisdom.

          • Huldah

            I thought about John. He was actually being persecuted. He likely died in exile on Patmos. For a 100 yr old man to be exiled to a remote island to fend for himself, may be considered torture. Or at least and episode of “Survivor”. At any rate, his death was likely sped up due to the exile. Borderline I guess.

            • The Raven

              I guess that puts to rest the idea that all had to suffer being slaughtered. Now as to the trials they faced…who knows?

            • Huldah

              Other translations use “slain, martyred, lives were sacrificed, cut off….”
              for Rev 6&20
              John still qualifies in my mind.
              I’m pretty solid in my belief there is something to this. Paul definitely believed he was required to sacrifice his life as a true martyr to gain entrance to heaven even after all the “witnessing” and abuse he had already endured.
              Or did Jehovah conveniently do away with that requirement for those that followed?
              Just Paul’s dumb “luck” I guess.
              Had to give up his career abd endure all manner of abuse for nothing. Poor guy. As he said,”a man most to be pitied” if he sacrificed his life for nothing.

            • The Raven

              I’m going to land in the middle on this one. Since John apparently wasn’t martyred in the way others were. Paul may have been speaking strictly about himself here and I agree what he went through was certainly awful.
              It remains to be seen but I lean more towards those first and last at this point anyway barring further knowledge. Who knows, maybe you’re right and there is more to this.

            • Huldah

              It’s probably just my OCD acting up, but I feel so driven to exhaust the possibilities on this nugget of truth.
              Thanks for your reply.
              Did you notice my forum post about the hypocritical ‘Shepherd the Flock of God ” book.
              Knowing this one thing completely negates the validity of disfellowshipping for me. Such a double standard.
              Would like to know what you think.

            • The Raven

              I can appreciate a bit of OCD. It comes in handy when attention to detail is necessary. No, I haven’t seen it but I will and I’ll reply.

            • The Raven

              I read the post and frankly, I would have asked if this was a criminal matter and if the person was ever arrested, charged or convicted right away. I think some of the questions are valid but some of it appears to be more geared towards CYA for them. Makes me wonder how this would apply to everything from immorality to apostasy. Having had zero experience in these matters I would be interested in what an actual elder ( who knows the truth now) had to say about this.

            • Huldah

              If you haven’t had much experience with disfellowshipping and such it’s probably hard to see the hypocrisy.
              I know lots of people who have been unjustly disfellowshipped after confessing to an offense.
              Then to find out that some elders and pioneers are let off the hook because they hid what they did for years and didn’t confess it til years later.
              People are committing suicide after being shunned. To think it all could have been avoided had they just waited a few years before confessing. The judicial process is completely arbitrary and not even based on scripture as Proverbs says the opposite of the elder’s book. Sad so many lives are destroyed for baseless rules.

            • The Raven

              I can see the hypocrisy in this and also know that these matters are often decided arbitrarily. I can recall only a few who were disfellowshipped due to blatant ongoing immorality but for the most part these things were not discussed with “new” ones. It was only much later that I began to get a sense of some of the judgments I thought were unjust but they were mainly for disagreements about prophecy or policy. You’re right, the consequences of this are terrible. I am never certain about internal issues like these, but from what I’ve read, I agree with you, it is not a fair process at all.

            • Craig Knight

              Yeah I kind of made it sound like He was off on a picnic. I just meant He was not beheaded but surely He suffered greatly.

          • The Raven

            Thanks, Craig! I wish I had seen this earlier. I agree.

      • black curtain

        Dear Richard, a little knowledge is dangerous I see:-). Where did the following come from?
        Alternatively, the WT would have us think every time our hat blew off
        when there was no wind, we had been “visited” by one of our dear
        anointed brothers of personal acquaintance that had fallen asleep in
        death and been instantaneously resurrected to the spirit realm since the
        first resurrection in 1914 – 1918.
        Forgive me for being humorously suspicious, I recall relating that experience to you. Your words “the WT would have us think”, wherever did that come from???
        I also take issue, but mildly that Robert “debunked” such an ugly word, and “these fanciful notions”, where do you get the idea that they are fanciful?
        I don’t think Robert debunked them at all. That was never his purpose or intent in his article. At best that is a putative conclusion that is not actually there. Nonetheless his article was accurate in what he proposed, from my point of view.
        After being a JW (for more years than I want to say, but no longer as such) I know enough to say that whatever the form of administration the Messianic Govt will take, it is fun to speculate, but wise not to take speculation it seriously. WE DON”T KNOW.
        The only things that I know, is that the anointed will have a ministry of public service on behalf of Jehovah’s universal sovereign Govt towards their once fellow humans. What form of contact and how that will be done is completely unknown.
        There are so many unanswered questions. My suspicion is that details have been deliberately withheld to stop us tearing each other apart as to how they will work.

        Notwithstanding, my experience was a personal one, absolutely, drop dead, nothing to do with WT. It was personal. And, I expect those others who likewise had that warm, humorous promise made to them will find, that sometime post Armageddon, should we be so honoured to survive, it will be carried out. Can you think of a reason why not? He was a great friend.
        My very best as always Richard
        bc

        • Richard Long

          First thing, BC, I know my betters when they stand in front of me so I yield to you.

          You are, in fact, the most recent source of that particular anecdote, but not the first, I myself heard that same essential anecdote personally over twenty years ago from one similarly professing invitation. And I both believed him and felt his own belief sincere at the time, as it was told in the context of pre-tribulation expectations. I am, sadly, much more skeptical today and also highly snarky, for which I apologize for subjecting (all of) you to.

          It is true to say “the WT would have us think…” is a projection of my own opinion connected to the WT assertion that the parousia had begun in 1914 with the first resurrection following shortly and the further implication all invited ones thereafter falling asleep in death at the end of a faithful course were immediately resurrected to the spirit realm. I believe there is a freighter full of “bunk” the WT has been and yet will have us believing if we let them.

          Robert’s dismantling of the false parousia delusion and 1914 hoax in general, as opposed to the article, is what I labeled “debunking”, or meant to anyway, and as the first resurrection is yet future, our friends from days gone by professing invitation expressing the anecdotal expectation, however sincere, would not have that exception realized. I had failed to note from memory your version of the anecdote specifying a post Armageddon context which simply begs me to again apologize to you and acknowledge I remain a two dimensional thinker while you, sir, think in four!

          Thank you for the mercifully gentle correction.

          • black curtain

            It is always a pleasure to hear from you Richard
            thank you
            bc

      • Burt Reynolds

        I’m not sure about the spiritual giants point you make as opposed to those who need to adjust immediately. All of them did/will die as humans, but in the case of those who are killed at the tribulation, there remains continuity of life. Also, what will be inherent in both classes would be ‘realisation’ of the natural spirit state. There must be a difference between the human state as we experience it, with its sinful lack of potential, and the same as it would be in perfection. Spirit life is likewise a complete whole, not a learning process. How could it be anything less? That is not to say a spirit is not unaware of its limitations as we are. Essentially, we skate across the surface outcomes presented to us by our unconscious being that informs our mode of choice. It is a mistake to think our conscious selves are our whole existence. In fact, the question that needs answering is the degree of autonomy we have in the process. I think it is probably minuscule. Have a look at levels of consciousness debate. It’s quite informative.

        • Richard Long

          As I have said to BC, I have obviously projected my own shortcomings and short-sightedness onto my consideration of the matter. Thank you also for the mercifully gentle correction.

          • Burt Reynolds

            Blimey Richard I’m not correcting you or anyone. It’s just not my place. All I’m doing is passing on info I studied during my career, and how these compare with the biblical references as shown now. I could be absolutely wrong and probably am. I take your reference though to the merciful bit! I’m thinking of getting ol’ whatshisname to ‘proof read’ my contributions! ( However, if you are interested in what research into the brain reveals about the manifest conclusion of the thought processes and unconscious reasoning processes of the brain of which we are not aware of in our decision making, you could read Antonio Damasio, ‘The Feeling Of What Happens…Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness.’ (2000). (Amazon sell it still). It discusses the construction of what we call Self, and by dint of such discussion, reveals some of the wonders of our brain function and thus insight into the scripture ‘…for we are wondrously made…’ If you would like a common example of autonomous unconscious thinking, and it’s control, (‘command’ might be a better word) over mental control, you only have to think of the last occasion you drove home and wondered how on earth you got there, with no recall of your journey home! And that is only the tip of the iceburg. In turn, that brings one to consider, to what portion do we have control in our choices,…..and the wonderful thing about that, is that such may only rest in our conscience, because the subconsciousness seems to refer mainly to conscience and conflict in choice. And if those two facets of our awareness are not biblical, then tell me what is!

  • Brian

    Robert, “The sheep in Christ illustration of the sheep and the goats are said to inherit the Kingdom, but that is different”, Why do you think this is different, it does state to those on his right I(sheep), “come inherit the Kingdom that was prepared for you from before the founding of the world” and as you rightly state here with a quote from the scriptures that “flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom”, I should imagine that there is a mighty gulf between inheriting the earth and inheriting the Kingdom!? It appears that these are indeed those that are the ones that are to be sealed with the anointing, “Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words:” On the left: “These will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.” They are referred to as being “righteous ones” and they attain everlasting life (first resurrection).

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