What will the Witnesses do at Armageddon?
They'll be looting what's left and arguing over who gets which house;- ''No, I've had dibs on number 17 Acacia Avenue since 1977''
MLE, I have often thought that if God can read hearts and needs to clear away the wicked, he could at least do it in a humane way. But, no, there has to be a mean, vengeful destruction. The witnesses actually use the old testament examples, as you mentioned, to solidify this understanding.
Of course, I no longer believe or wish that God will destroy anyone.
I never thought of the materialistic view of the witnesses coming from the fact that they have to give up so much now. It always seemed like most witnesses talk the talk, but do not walk the walk when it comes to not being materialistic. There are those that give up material things to do more, but they are far and few between. In most congos I attended, the elders were often the wealthiest ones. You're right, that is most likely part of the desire.
The witnesses are taught that heaven is unreachable for most of mankind, so they, by default, put all their hopes into living on earth and acquiring large houses and traveling the world. We have a limited time to do these things in our lifespan, so this is very appealing to have endless opportunities in the "new system".
The problem is that the Bible does not teach this. Jesus said to depend on spiritual riches, not material ones. The jws have replaced a spiritual message from the Bible into a material one.
The birds were supposed to dispose of the fleshy parts of people that die at Armageddon. However, I don't see how that is possible when there are not enough of them to do the job.
I also think they understate the Great Tribulation (of course, they keep putting it off--I doubt there is even going to be such a Grand Finale, because Jehovah wants to perennially dangle the "deliverance" stick). They are not letting people know that, if there is such a tribulation, it will make hardship for the witlesses. Even beyond the persecution, if services are cut off, the witlesses are going to have trouble. They will no longer be able to get foods or other goods that are shipped long distances. They will probably be without electricity, since no one will be able to run the power grid or deliver fuel. No more cars (the roads themselves will be clogged). In fact, we had a taste of what the witless version of the Great Tribulation would be like--with the tsunami, the earthquakes, Katrina. That is what any such tribulation would create for all mankind.
Not that I would want to be there after Armageddon (which is not supposed to touch the witlesses). Even after the bodies are disposed of, the worst tribulation is where everything I do is what someone else (God included) tells me to. Stagnation and misery will be the order of the eternity, and I do not wish to be there when that happens.
Well, i guess they will act like the Israelites in the promised land... after the walls of jericho fell, in they went...
And they went devoting all that was in the city, from man to woman, from young man to old man and to bull and sheep and ass, to destruction, by the edge of the sword.
I believe that there is no god, so, in harmony with my belief, believe that there will never be an Armageddon as some people believe is suggested in their holy book. However, natural disasters, often referred to as 'Armageddon' situations by the media, will sadly, always be with us - its just the way the natural world operates. Hopefully, advance warning systems will improve, and impending disasters may be curtailled, or even avoided. Regretably, this isn't likely to happen soon.
With such graphic detail of recent serious natural disasters, I think that more and more JW cult members will start to realize how 'crazy' the whole Armageddon concept is.
They can witness the frantic efforts of countless decent citizens acting tirelessly and selflessly in trying to do their best to rescue disaster victims, re-establish clean water supplies, bring in food, rebuild damaged structures, educate people to try and build safer homes, and allow the healing process from so many innocent fatalities to start.
Most JW's have not thought this through (i.e. no cell phones, no supermarkets, no fuel for cars). I would be willing to bet that they're counting on those "new scrolls" that are supposed to be opened up during the Millenium to tell them what to do next.
For a religion that is counting on 6 billion people to die, the WT does little to teach the R/F basic survival skills.