This good news of the kingdom

by Rattigan350 19 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • smiddy3


    I appreciate you have your Christian belief ,I`m speaking from a JW`s perspective ,their message of the "Good News".

    Having said that ,I would still maintain that In Muslim countries the majority of Muslims have never of or understood the Christian message,previously nor do I see it ever happening in the future.

    Take care.

  • Foolednomore

    It is "good news" for Watchtower when they get their hands into someone's bank accounts and property . All looking at getting a hold on someone's assets always is good news to them.

  • ozziepost
    The Witnesses are preaching about the Kingdom when they should be preaching about the King.

    That’s why they are actually “preaching” salvation through an organisation. It’s not such a long stretch from “kingdom” to “organisation”.

  • BluesBrother

    The previous post , Ozzie, is quite right . They teach , unscripturally , that it is their organisation that counts, not your love of Christ.

    They also teach Jehovah’s kingdom, downgrading the appointed king Jesus.

  • Konagirl

    It seems pretty important to analyze the type of “worship” we practice, or practiced, as JWs.

    "For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, this you tolerate very well!" 2 Cor 11:4

    "Anyone who goes too far and does not remain in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who remains in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." 2 John 1:9-11

    "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, 7 which is not just another account; but there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

    For am I now seeking the favor of people, or of God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." Gal 1:6-10

  • punkofnice

    To be brutally honest, I think looking at the Bible as an inspired 'Holy Book from God' is a mistake.

    There are some good bits and bad bits. A lot seem more like metaphors than true stories.

    Anyway, or anyways, with an 's' on the end for my American cousins......

    If one must take this stuff seriously, how about Luke 10:7....although you could argue it's about hospitality more than door knocking.....but hey, why not interpret it how you want...every other bugger does

    Luke 10:7
    New International Version
    7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Is there any verifiable evidence that 'The Service Committee at JW Branches will automatically bin any anonymous letters which highlight "flaws" in a JW dogma'? It seems to me that probably is done to most such letters, but I'm not sure it is done to all of them.

    We know that the WT sometimes starts teaching ideas which they formerly considered apostate teachings (of JW's who became expelled for such teachings). We also know that the WT sometimes changes policies and sometimes revised the wording of the NWT due to caving into pressure by ex-JWs critics of the WT and by critics of those who never were JWs. We also know that the WT makes uses of theological scholarly books by that which the WT calls Christendom. However I release that most likely in all of the above examples, the critics of the WT probably didn't write anonymously.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    What the gospel of Matthew calls the "kingdom of heaven" and what the gospels of Mark and Luke call the "kingdom of god" might be very different than what the WT says it is and very different than what 99% of the rest of Christianity say it is. I think that because of what I read two days in H. G. Wells' history book called The Outline of History: The Whole Story of Man in the "New Edition Revised and Brought Up To The Present By Raymond Postgate and G. P. Wells". The subtitle mentioned above is what is written on the dust jacket, but the title page of the book (which consists of two volumes) has the subtitle (or description) of Being A Plain History Of Life And Mankind By H. G. Wells. The revised edition I am referring to is the one copyright 1971 and it appears to be the last revision of the book. [I might never would have bought the book if the WT hadn't quoted from an earlier edition of the book in their efforts to discredit Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. It my interest in looking up of the quotes of the book that drew me to editions of the book. My browsing editions of the book fascinated me with what the book said about biological evolution and of the history of Christianity.]

    H. G. Wells believed there was a historical Jesus of Nazareth and what Wells says about the teaching of the kingdom of heaven (that which is attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, the one called the Christ) is causing me to once again think that Jesus might really have existed. That is because the teaching of the kingdom of heaven as interpreted and explained by Wells is so radical (and would have been so very attractive to numerous oppressed poor people living in the first century CE) that it now seems likely to me that an actual historical person named Jesus/Joshua/Yeshua (perhaps even with a historical John the Baptist/Baptizer, slightly older than Jesus) must have started the idea and preached it, rather than the New Testament concept of Jesus starting out as mythological cosmic Christ instead of as a real living human. The teachings about the "kingdom of god' (also called the "kingdom of /heaven") now seem to me to be the core teachings of the early 1 century C.E. Christians than the teachings of Paul. I think this despite the fact the synoptic gospels were written down much later than the letters of Paul.

    Chapter 28 of Wells' book is called "The Rise of Christianity and the Fall of the Western Empire". Within that chapter page 445 says the following regarding Jesus and his teachings.

    "Much that is most characteristically Christian in worship and usage, he ignored. Skeptical writers have had the temerity to deny that Jesus can be called a Christian at all.

    ... As remarkable is the enormous prominence given by Jesus to the teaching of what he called the Kingdom of Heaven, and its comparative insignificance in the procedure and teaching f most of the Christian churches.

    This doctrine of the Kingdom Heaven, which was the main teaching of Jesus, and which plays so small a part in the Christian creeds, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that ever stirred and changed human thought. ... For the doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus seems to have preached it, was no less than a bold and uncompromising demand for a complete change and cleansing of the life of our struggling race, and utter cleansing without and within."

    Page 446 says the following.

    "The Jews were persuaded that God ... was a trading god who had made a bargain with their Father Abraham about them, a very good bargain indeed for them, to bring them at last to predominance in the earth. ... With dismay and anger they heard Jesus sweeping away their dear securities. God, he taught, was no bargainer; there were no chosen people and no favourites in the Kingdom in the Kindom of Heaven. God was the loving father of all life, as incapable of showing favours as the universal sun. And all men were brothers--sinners alike and beloved sons alike--of this divine father. ... All whom God takes into the kingom,he taught, God serves alike; there is no distinction in his treatment, because there is no measure to his bounty.

    ... But it was not only the intense tribal patriotism of the Jews that Jesus outraged. They were a people of intense family loyalty, and he would have swept away all the narrow and restrictive family affections in the great flood of the love of God. The whole Kingdom of Heaven was to be the family of his followers.

    ... And not only did Jesus strike at patriotism and the bonds of family loyalty in the name of God's universal fatherhood and the brotherhood of all mankind, but it clear that his teaching condemned all the gradations of the economic system, all private wealth and personal advantages. All men belonged to the kingdom; all their possession belonged to the kingdom; the righteous life for all men, the only righteous life, was the service of god's Will with all that we had, with all that we were. Again and again he denounced private riches and the reservation of any private life."

    Page 453 says the following.

    "The story of the early beginnings of Christianity is the story of the struggle between the real teachings and spirit of Jesus of Nazareth and the limitations, amplifications, and misunderstandings of the very inferior men had loved and followed him from Galilee, and who were now bearers and custodians of his message to mankind.

    ... The early Nazarenes ... continued for a time his [Jesus'] disciplines of the complete subjugation of self; they had their goods in common, they had no bond but love. Nevertheless, they built their faith upon stories that were told of his resurrection andmagical ascension,a nd the promised return. Few of them understood that the renunciation of self is its own reward, that it is itself the Kingdom of Heaven; they regarded it as a sacrifice that entitled them to compensation of power and dominion when presently the second coming occurred. They had now all identified jesus with the promised Christ, the Messiah so long expected by the Jewish people. They found out prophecies of the crucifixion in the prophets--the Gospel of Matthew is particularly insistent upon these prophecies. Revived by these hopes, enforced by the sweet and pure lives of many of the believers, the Nazarene doctrine began to spread very rapidly in Judea and Syria."

    The Kingdom of Heaven described above (which includes a form of a religious voluntary type of communism in regards to economics) is one which would appeal to a great many of oppressed poor people living in the Roman empire in the first century CE, but not to more than a minute percentage of people living comfortably in our time in Democratic Republics that have a form of a capitalistic prosperous economy.

    The very influential history book (from the Age of Enlightenment) by the English historian Edward Gibbon, called The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, said that the vast majority of the early Christians consisted of poor people, women, and slaves. The above described teaching of the Kingdom of Heaven would have strongly appealed to such people.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Correction: Where I typed "... the very inferior men had loved and followed ..." I should have typed "... the very inferior men who had loved and followed ...'.

    Additional content: The historical Jesus, if he existed, might very well have spoken and read in Koine Greek (also known as Alexandrian dialect) as well as in Aramaic (or Hebrew). After all, some of the Dead Sea manuscript scrolls were in Greek and some of their teachings are identical to the Christian teachings which the gospels ascribe to Jesus. Jesus might also have had some knowledge of Greek non-biblical literature, including Greek philosophy. Some of the teachings ascribed to him in the gospels agree with some Greek philosophy.

  • Dane88

    The good news of the kingdom was targeted at the poor.

    (Matthew 11:5) The blind are now seeing and the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed and the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised up and the poor are being told the good news.

    (Luke 4:18) “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away free,

    (Luke 7:22) In reply he said to them: “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind are now seeing, the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised up, and the poor are being told the good news.

    Why was that? Because status was a big part of life at that time. Everything they did revolved around their position in society, from a king down to a slave, with most holding the lower positions. Personal status permeated society and was deeply ingrained in each individual.

    The more wealth a man had, the more respect and honor he was deemed to have, both on earth and in heaven. That is why they were "greatly astounded" when Christ informed them otherwise. If it would be "easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye than for a rich man," who they considered to be the very best in their society, "to enter the Kingdom of God." It's no wonder they asked: "Who really can be saved?” (Mt 19:23-25)

    That is why "the good news" was not given with the middle and upper classes in mind, but was "good news" told to "the poor". (Mt 11:5; Lu 7:22) The "good news" they received was not about everlasting life or the end to sickness (though it included that), but was about a future where they would be lifted out of poverty and no longer be the lowest people in society and subservient to others.

    What will happen to wealth "in the coming system of things"? Money and riches will have no meaning in paradise.

    What will happen to poverty "in the coming system of things"? The poor will have the same reward as everyone else: Houses and brothers and sisters and mother and father and children and fields, and everlasting life. (Mr 10:30)

    The attitude that the Israelites displayed toward one another in their cultural structure was not very friendly. (Pr 18:23) An arrogant "I'm better than you are" attitude was a requirement to remain in a higher status. That is why Christ had to give them a "new commandment."

    (John 13:34, 35) I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves.”

    A loving attitude for all others would be so new and unique among the Israelites that it would be an identifying characteristic of Christians and make them stand out as different from everyone else.

    Knowing this mental attitude of people at that time also helps us better understand why the apostles reacted the way they did at Matthew 19:13 and Luke 18:15. They thought they were protecting Christ's status. And since he was their leader, theirs as well.

    Jesus promoted equality:

    (Matthew 10:24, 25) “A student is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to become as his teacher, and the slave as his master.

    "In the coming system of things" the rich and the poor will "be" as each other. All will have equal abundance in paradise. (Mr 10:31)

    "This good news of the Kingdom" was very "good news to the poor".


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