THE ALTERNATIVE DAILY TEXT by The Witchtower editor

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    Alternative Daily Text for Monday, January 20, 2014

    “I came to cause division.” (Matthew 10:35)

    Jesus pointed out why he came in no uncertain manner. He “came to cause division.” (Matthew 10:35) Political institutions and commercial enterprises support his goal. “Economic, political and national rivalries have divided men.” (The Watchtower, April 1, 1974, page 197) Most religious organizations follow Jesus’ example; a specialist journal reported: “Religions in general tend to divide humans.” – Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2001, page 1.

    One organization though has excelled in working in the opposite direction: “The global Bible educational program of Jehovah’s Witnesses has helped unite people.” (Awake!, May 22, 2002, page 13) Thus Jehovah’s Witnesses resist Christ’s purpose. While other organizations cause division according to Jesus’ will, “they are at unity, not divided.” – Awake!, October 8, 1974, page 22.

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    Today's text is mainly for the European and Australian readers ...

    Alternative Daily Text for Sunday, January 26, 2014

    “I heard a voice coming from heaven … It was like the sound of rushing water and of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like people playing music … This large group sang a new song. They sang … in front of the four living beings and the twentyfour leaders.” (Revelation 14:2, 3, NLV)

    Nearly 2000 years ago the apostle John saw in a vision the Eurovision Song Contest. He heard “people playing music” and drumbeats like “loud thunder,” since drums are playing a major role at this event. The musicians played “in front of the four living beings,” the usually two hosts and the cameramen. The “twentyfour leaders” depict the jurors who decide about the final score. Every participant sings “a new song” because according to the official rules the song “may not have been released publicly before 1 September of the year preceding.”

    John also saw an “angel flying in midheaven.” (Revelation 14:6). “Angel” means “messenger,” and obviously the angel symbolizes a modern communication satellite. The European Broadcasting Unionand its members use such satellites “to declare [the Eurovision Song Contest] as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 14:6, NWT 1984) But God’s Word says regarding the TV viewers: “Day and night they have no rest, whoever receives the [TV program].” (Revelation 14:11) God even adds, “Happy are the dead,” because they do not have to endure the TV program anymore. – Revelation 14:13.

    Fortunately, the whole event lasts only for a few days. Finally John “saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire” – obviously the stage that is equipped with modern LED technology. “Those who had won the victory … were standing on the glassy sea. They were … singing.” (Revelation 15:2, 3, GWT) So the Eurovision Song Contest ended in John’s vision; “and there came out of the … [concert hall] the seven … [musicians] who were bringing the seven plagues” and went home. (Revelation 15:6, WEY) And “the whole … [population of Europe] now rests, free of disturbance” – Isaiah 14:7.

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    Alternative Daily Text for Monday, January 27, 2014

    “If you continue walking in my statutes and keeping my commandments and you carry them out, I will give you showers of rain at their proper time.” (Leviticus 26:3, 4)

    As everyone knows, “meteorologists often face ridicule” because they “foretell planetary alignments years in advance, yet still fail to put together accurate weather forecasts.” (howstuffworks) Have we ever wondered why it is so difficult to predict the weather? It is obvious that these so-called scientists fail because they “trust in human wisdom and accomplishments.” – Our Kingdom Ministry, May 1987, page 3.

    Like the Pharisees they “interpret the appearance of the sky” to predict whether it will rain or not, but they ignore the fact that “only Jehovah God can foretell future events.” (Matthew 16:3; The Watchtower, August 1, 1956, page 460) The prophet Isaiah was way ahead of modern meteorologists, for he realized even 2500 years ago that “showers don’t fall by themselves. Only you control the rain … the LORD our God.” – Jeremiah 14:22, CEV.

    Jeremiah knew that Jehovah has “storehouses … where he keeps the rain” and that it is his responsibility to “send rain … at just the right times.” (Deuteronomy 28:12, CEV) Jesus Christ confirmed this when he explained that God “makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45) The apostle Paul too testified that it is “God [who] sends rain from heaven.” – Acts 14:17, CEV.

    What about other weather phenomena? Snow and hail are not emerging from chemical processes in the atmosphere like many scientists claim, rather God fetches them from “the storehouses of the snow” and “the storehouses of the hail” which he built long ago. (Job 38:22) Wind is also caused by Jehovah. (Numbers 11:31; Jonah 1:4) No wonder that humans fail to predict the weather!

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    Alternative Daily Text for Thursday, January 30, 2014

    “After they did everything that the king had commanded, God listened to their entreaties for the land.” (2 Samuel 1:14)

    What had happened in Israel? “There was a famine in the days of David for three consecutive years.” Only after three years, “David consulted Jehovah, and Jehovah said: ‘There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.’” (2 Samuel 21:1) So the famine had been sent by Jehovah to punish the people for Saul’s transgression. How was the problem finally sorted out?

    David approached the Gibeonites, and they proposed: “Let seven of … [Saul’s] male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah.” David “said, ‘I will give them to you.’ … He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord.” (2 Samuel 21:6, 9, NIV) Was this human sacrifice pleasing to God? Obviously, since “after they did … [this,] God listened to their entreaties for the land” and ended the famine. – 2 Samuel 1:14.

    When we have the feeling that Jehovah doesn’t bless us, maybe we have a similar issue like the Israelites. Unfortunately, “the law of the land … forbid[s] us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship,” so that we cannot kill them and their children and ‘expose them before the Lord.’ (The Watchtower, November 15, 1952, page 703) But perhaps we have let ourselves get carried away and got in touch with apostates, maybe because they are members of our family. We must never forget that we need to completely shun such persons until Jehovah will slaughter them in Armageddon!

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    Alternative Daily Text for Sunday, February 2, 2014

    “Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered!” (Jeremiah 12:3, NLT)

    ”Jesus had described his followers as sheep.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, page 212) He called himself “the fine shepherd.” (John 10:14) That is why Jehovah’s Witnesses are working hard to turn ever more people into “sheeplike persons.” – 1996 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, page 254.

    What fate awaits the “little flock” and the “other sheep?” (Luke 12:32; John 10:16) “More than 30 million sheep are slaughtered … each year in Australia … A single abattoir kills thousands of sheep and lambs every day. Their final moments are spent surrounded by … the screams of their companions.” (The Truth About Sheep Used For Food) Even the “mother ewes will be slaughtered … after they have been worn out mentally and physically.” – Sheep and Lambs.

    The butchering of sheep is absolutely in compliance with Jehovah’s purpose. “Sheep have from earliest times been offered in sacrifice.” (Insight on the Scriptures, volume II, page 916) They “are born to be caught and destroyed” like all animals. (2 Peter 2:12) In Biblical times, sheep were ‘singled out for slaughtering and set apart for the day of killing.’ (Jeremiah 12:3) King Solomon had “120,000 sheep” slaughtered on one day to provide food during the inauguration of the temple. (1 Kings 8:63) The same fate will befall the “’great crowd’ of ‘other sheep.’” – The Watchtower, May 15, 2008, page 26.

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    Alternative Daily Text for Monday, February 3, 2014

    “They were bowing down to the sun in the east.” (Ezekiel 8:16)

    In Ezekiel’s day there were some people “bowing down to the sun.” (Ezekiel 8:16) Jehovah God considered this “detestable,” and he sent “his executional forces” to put an end to their activities. (The Watchtower, September 15, 1988, page 13) He instructed them: “Old man, young man, virgin, little child, and women you should kill off completely … Fill the courtyards with the slain.” (Ezekiel 9:6, 7) So he clearly showed that he doesn’t take a joke when it comes to sun worship.

    How could we ‘bow down to the sun’ today? Bowing down to someone means acknowledging his power. In our day there are millions of people acknowledging the sun’s power by rubbing sunscreen into their skin. Others pay tribute to the sun by wearing sunglasses. People who sunbathe regularly are not for nothing called “sun worshippers.” Sunbathing as well as the use of sunscreen and sunglasses are definitely idolatry and hence “detestable things” to God. – Ezekiel 8:15.

    There are more ways to defile oneself with sun worshipping, though. A reference work says: “For instance, on July 20, 1969, when for the first time a human astronaut set foot upon the moon, who was glorified thereby, according to the way that the scientific group responsible for it named things that were involved? … The mythological sun-god. How so? Because the man-made spacecraft with which the successful moon-shot for putting Americans on our lunar satellite was made was named Apollo, Number Eleven. Phoebus Apollo was the sun-god of the ancient Greeks … namely, Nimrod … Since that first landing on the moon, further moon-shots have been made in spacecrafts of the ‘Apollo’ series. All a part of sun worship!” (“The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah” – How?, page 157, 158) By showing admiration for the Apollo missions we would be guilty of sun worship accordingly. Driving a Volkswagen Apollo or using a mobile phone with Windows Phone 8 (Codename Apollo) would be something detestable to God, too.

    The apostate Israelites “reintroduced sun worship and practiced it right inside the temple of Jehovah.” (“The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah” – How?, page 155) So they mixed the worship of the sun with the worship of Jehovah. Something similar is happening in our day, where many people hold “sacred gatherings” for Jehovah on Sunday of all days, “the venerable day of the Sun!” (The Watchtower, June 15, 1988, page 13; Corpus Juris Civilis) Jehovah will not watch these detestable things much longer. “Soon God’s executional forces will unceremoniously dump false religion” – including all people who wear sunglasses, use sunscreen or practice the worship of Jehovah on Sunday – “into the pit of eternal extinction.” (Awake!, December 22, 1989, page 16) Let us therefore avoid “bowing down to the sun” in a transferred sense!

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    Alternative Daily Text for Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    “Miserable man that I am!” (Romans 7:24)

    As Christians we ‘must love our neighbor as ourselves.’ (Matthew 22:39) That is why the question arises, how should we consider ourselves? The apostle Paul was without doubt “an outstanding model for us today.” (“All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial”, page 217) He said of himself: “Miserable man that I am!” (Romans 7:24) On another occasion he explained: “My life is worth nothing.” (Acts 20:24, NLT) Obviously, Paul hated himself.

    His attitude was in full compliance with Jesus’ words: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate … himself, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26, ABPE) Jesus considered himself “a worm.” (Psalm 22:6) We too must first learn to hate ourselves – a thorough study of the Bible can help us achieve that goal. (Job 25:6) Only then we can start hating our neighbors as ourselves. We need to consider them ‘miserable men’ and worthless ‘worms.’ This is the only way to gain God’s approval.

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    Alternative Daily Text for Thursday, February 6, 2014

    “The day of Jehovah … will not come.” (2 Thessalonians 2:2, 3)

    When will God’s judgment day come? Jesus Christ provided a definitive answer to this question when he said to his disciples: “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:44, NIV) Hence there is no doubt that Armageddon will come when Jesus’ true disciples do not expect it. But “Jesus’ true disciples are eagerly awaiting the end” and think “that the end may come at any time.” (The Watchtower, May 1, 1999, page 20; November 15, 1998, page 18) Thus it can never come; rather “all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.” – 2 Peter 3:4.

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    Alternative Daily Text for Saturday, February 8, 2014

    “You always have the poor with you.” (Matthew 26:11)

    “Former Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru stated: ‘The forces of a capitalist society … tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.’” (The Watchtower, May 1, 1995, page 4) Many people in our day share his opinion and take a stand for “a fair and righteous financial system.” ( Nursultan Nazarbayev at theAstana Economic Forum ) But true Christians want to know, what is God’s position on capitalism? Is “a fair and righteous financial system” for Christians?

    This must be denied. Jesus Christ summarized the essentials of Christian financial policy: “To everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26) In compliance with this principle, Jesus supported slavery – this proves that the so-called “modern slavery” is pleasing to God. (Luke 17:7) Exploitation of the poor must be maintained by all means, so that the prophecy is fulfilled: “You always have the poor with you.” – Matthew 26:11.

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    Alternative Daily Text for Sunday, February 9, 2014

    “If he also asks for an egg, will [you] hand him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:12)

    “Jehovah’s Witnesses write Easter off.” (Awake!, May 22, 1986, page 8) When their children are confronted with Easter eggs and Easter bunnies in shops and elsewhere, they basically claim that “anyone who eats their eggs would die.” (Isaiah 59:5) But can this strict position be justified with the Bible?

    Obviously not. Jesus said to his disciples: “Which father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion?” (Luke 11:11, 12) So there were Christians who were asked by their children “for a fish” and “an egg” – without doubt this happened during the Passion Week where they ate fish on Friday and hunted Easter eggs on Sunday. So it is certain that the first Christians celebrated Easter.

    Christians of today should also do that, especially if they have children. However, when purchasing Easter eggs, they must consider the advice given by the “faithful and discreet slave,” God’s channel of communication: “Whether the large, medium or small eggs are the best buy can be determined if you remember this: if the price of medium eggs is seven·eighths as much as large eggs, the cost is actually the same for both sizes.” (Awake!, November 22, 1969, page 23) Christian parents can utilize the Egg hunt to teach their children precious Bible truths, for example that the Easter bunny is a ruminant – Leviticus 11:6

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