Hello ~ Like most everyone here I have a story to tell, I have wounds and I have anger. You'll notice from my posts I am PRO God and Bible Truth and ANTI Cult/Organization. I believe the Witnesses are God's people and have the primary truths about God and His purposes correct, but like the Israelites of Jesus day, the Witnesses, begining with the Governing Body, have left the loving true Christian faith and are 'lording it over His congregation.'I'm a divorcee and father of two. I was baptized in 75 faded in and out over the years then stopped attending the Hall completely in 2002 after wrongly being the subject of a Marking Talk. I still worship Jehovah but as an INDIVDUAL, as a Christian, NOT a disciple of Paul based on Old Testament Laws and Jewish Tradition. I live by the standards of God and His Son and not those of the elitist men who arrogantly believe they are the voice of God in all things. I am no longer a member of any religion, including the Witnesses. PM's welcome. (END)..............IMO - WHO IS THE EVIL SLAVE AND HOW WE CAN TELL?: Matthew 7: 15 ~ 23 'By their fruits you will recognise them.'~~~ It's apparent by their conduct, that after waiting 35 years and seeing 1914 fail to bring Armageddon, the Slave that WAS faithful turned Evil. And it has been this Evil Slave that has been 'lording it over' and 'beating' God's people ever since! Their conduct, those leaders, past and present of the Governing Body clearly show they are the Unfaithful/Evil Slave in that they have been consistantly 'beating' Jesus congregation. The beating the Evil Slave Class has been giving to both their 'fellow slaves' and the 'menservants and maidsevants' (since Russell's passing, perhaps earier) comes in the form of dealing with the congregation in an very oppressive, heavy handed way, conditioning everyone to be afraid, causing them to constantly gauge themselves against the 'Organizationally Correct' view thus making them restrained in their thinking, their speech and their behavior. The Unfaithul Slave is constantly manipulating and controling God's people with Guilt and Fear while deliberately confusing their thinking with Self Doubt, forcing them to live unnessasarily small lives purely based on the Governing Body's own pridefull reasoning. They also have taken the individuality of everyone away, leaving them only as empty shells of the persons they once were. They also see principles in the Bible that aren't there then teach and mandate them as Divine Truths and Commands. ~~~ Please consider these scriptures; Luke 12: 45 and 46, '[45] But if ever that slave should say in his heart, 'My master delays coming,' (no Armageddon in 1914) and should start to beat the menservants and the maidservants, (other sheep) and to eat and drink and get drunk, (UN-NGO and other wrong behavior) [46] the master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting [him] and in an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones.' (apostates) ~ Matthew 24: 48 ~ 51 describes the Evil Slave as beating '...his FELLOW SLAVES'(the other Anointed). ~ Jesus warned us multiple times through illustrations, His returning would MUCH LONGER than His apostles or we would think. ~ Mark 13: 35, 'Therefore keep on the watch, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing OR at EARLY IN THE MORNING.' ~ Matthew 24: 44, 'On this account you too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour YOU DO NOT THINK TO BE IT, the Son of man is coming.' ~ Matthew 25: 5, 'While the bridegroom was DELAYING, they all nodded and went to sleep. ~ Matthew 25: 19, 'After A LONG TIME the master of those slaves came and SETTLED ACCOUNTS with them.' When the Master arrives at Armageddon to settle accounts, it will not go well for those leading the Governing Body and to a lesser degree for those assisting them. Matthew 25: 28 and 30,[28]'Therefore take away the talent from him and give it to him that has the ten talents...[30] And throw the good-for-nothing slave out into darkness outside. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.' ~ Matthew 24: 50 and 51, [50]'the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, [51]and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.' ~ Notice the three catagories and the distinctions Jesus made with regards to punishing the Evil Slave and its supporters: Luke 12: 46 ~ 48 ~~~ THE EVIL SLAVE ~ 46 '...he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones.' THE UNDERSTANDING SLAVE ~ 47 'Then that slave that understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do in line with his will will be beaten with many strokes.'THE NOT UNDERSTANDING SLAVE ~ 48 'But the one that did not understand and so did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few...'~~~~ Question, when God completely destroys religion, WHO among us will be asking this??? Matthew 7: 21 ~ 23, [21]'Not everyone saying to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of the HEAVENS, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the the heavens will. [22]Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name? [23]And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me you workers of lawlessness!' SPECIAL NOTE: This guilt extends far beyond the Governing Body, it is shared by all those men,women AND children who imitate the their harsh and unloving example while unquestioningly advancing their views and policies. ~~~~ Please know that I am not saying every member of the GB is evil. I believe there are those slaves that do not understand their error as well as good people like Nicodemus mixed in. My personal opinion is, just as the Faithful Slave is a 'class' so is the Evil Slave...and even those like Nicodemus, I now believe are a class, and are probably the source of anything good coming from the WTS. ~~~~ As for the GB being 'Spirit Directed' the question is to what degree and how often?? AND why would Jesus repeatedly stress and WARN His followers about His return, His arrival, if they were ALWAYS being guided in the correct way they should go??? ~~~~ Related (Speculative) Question, What if the Three Slaves who were given the Talents of Silver represented Three Time Periods? (Matthew 25: 14 ~ 30) The First Slave representing the first century slave before the apostacy, the Second Slave representing those slaves active during the apostacy and the Third Slave representing those leading Christ's congregation during the Last Days? ...just a thought, it makes sense to me. Especialy when we consider the Organization's record of results!Think about it, after having their assignment for 131 years, less than 1/10th of 1% of the earth's 6.5 billion people have been convinced to accept Jehovah through His Son. With most of this time passing during the era of modern earthwide communication makes their results all the more disgraceful! The performance record for the job the so-called Faithful and Discreet Slave has done is so abysmally poor, they are truly 'returning to the Master what is His, WITHOUT INTEREST!!!(END) ____ IMO - THE BIBLE'S CONTENTS AND IT'S EFFECT ON WOMEN: Mark 13: 14 (let the reader use discernment) ~ Question: Is every expression contained in the bible the thought and command of God? Is the bible, in it's entirety, the 'Word of God?' Or does the bible 'contain' the word of God along with human reasoning? For instance, is Proverbs 31: 6 and 7 a 'Bible Principal' or is it just the 'opinion' of King Lemuel's mother? When reading Deuteronomy 24: 1 ~ 4 it appears to be God's law though Moses, does it not? Yet, when we read Matthew 19: 7 ~ 9 Jesus makes it clear that on the matter of divorce Moses took it upon himself to make law...it was not from Jehovah. Would any Israelite who disagreed with Moses law on divorce have been wrong? Or was Moses wrong in making his own law to begin with? Now, concerning the writtings of the apostle Paul, his personal opinions and imposed traditions are intertwined throughout his writtings. Here are some important examples: 1 Corinthians 11: 4 ~ 16 (pay special note to verses 14 and 16) also chapter 14: 34 and 35, 1 Timothy 2: 9 ~12, Remember, before he was a Christian, Paul was a Zealot for Judaism, a man raised in a life of Traditions and Rules. Galatians 1: 13 and 14. His writtings (more than those of Moses) shows he had no problem imposing his personal views and traditions on the congregation, especialy the women. Should we not use our discernment and be discriminating as to what we accept as from Christ through Paul or should we just ASSume it is ALL from Christ. Remember Pauls coversion? He went almost overnight from being and unbalanced zealot Jew to being a Christian...an unbalanced zealot Christian ( 2 Corinthians 11: 16 ~ 23 especialy note verses 17 and 23 ) who ultimately caused his own imprisionment and pre-mature death by ignoring TWO Divine Warnings about his going to Jerusalem. Acts 21: 4, 10 ~ 13. Anointed Women are and will be 'Ruling as Kings' in heaven, but today on earth, can only serve refreshments to 'hard working brothers.' ~~~ Does this mean Jehovah did not inspire/motivate the bible to be written and preserved? No. Does inspiration alone elevate ALL the contents of the bible to the level of Divine Law? No. As I hope I have just shown. Now, with the modern day Governing Body agreeing with Christendom, insisting that Paul's opinions and traditions are Divine Law our women have been unjustly oppressed in life and especialy within the congregation. Its not that way in heaven, it CANNOT stay this way on earth!(END) ____ IMO - 1914 AND THE 'LAST' GENERATION: [Oct. 15, 1995 Watchtower] ~ 1914, that's when Russell and his Bible Students were waiting for Armageddon to come. They waited 35 long years for 1914...and then, NO ARMAGEDDON. Then 81 years later the GB runs scared and changes a primary teaching of Christ, even though the sign was, and still is, in FULL BLOOM right in front of them (Luke 21: 29 ~ 32). It was clearly because Eighty ONE years had passed since 1914 and that they were applying Psalms 90: 10 LITERALY. When all they had to do was look around themselves at everyone older than eighty to know the scripture HAS to be a figuer of speech! The 'Age of Reason' teaching was purely human thinking NOT Divine. People born in 1914 right now are 92, old yes, but many people live well on into their ninety's. Even people 100+ are becoming more common now. So in the 'not to distant future' we can expect to see serious changes at the UN toward religion. (END) ____ IMO - THE U.N. AND THE WAR ON TERROR: I am convinced the WTS teaching is correct concerning the United Nations being the Beast with the 'death stroke healed' and that it will, in time, be 'Fully Empowered' to command all the earths governments, for the sake of 'Peace and Security' to destroy all organized religion everywhere...including the unfaithful WTS (Ezekiel 9: 6c, 9 and 10). I believe also that after the Worlds Governments crush religion it will declare the War On Terror 'OVER' and proclaim 'PEACE AND SECURITY!!! (END) ____ IMO - THE GREAT TRIBULATION: Occurs when Religion is attacked. It appears to be a destructive power apart from God but without His intervention 'no flesh would be saved' on earth (Matthew 24: 21 and 22). A close friend from many years ago once said when religion is attacked it will not go away quietly but be a very bloody, very violent event. I believe he is right. As we know, the zealots of religion are capable of anything since they believe they have God's favor. If they have Biological Weapons they will use them, if they get Nukes...they will use them. Add to that the power of Satan and his demonic army warring against ALL humanity in an attempt to thwart God's will for His faithful followers and His earth. In recent years we have seen new diseases popping up around the globe, many potentialy VERY DEADLY. Violent weather around the world is something common now that wasn't in the not-to-distant past. I do believe the present Ruler of this world, Satan is preparing for God's War in a way that will prove most calamitous to mankind. I am not convinced that everyone who dies during the GT will not be resurrected, but everyone who dies 'during Armageddon' definately will not. (END) ____ IMO - ARMAGEDDON: Is what Jehovah uses to end the Great Tribulation. I strongly suspect Armageddon will be like the Flood, a FORTY DAY event. (END)__GOD AND HEAVEN'S CULTURE: If intellectualy and emotionaly we're are made in God's image, He being a LARGER version of ourselves, we can use ourselves as a basis for comparison with a view of understanding God's limitations better. Although we can't hold to law perfectly we can make better or worse decisions, we can be more or less loving, caring, sensitive and fair. We can also be more or less proud or humble. IMO, God can too. Also, I've come to believe the culture that existed around Him in Heaven was built on un-questioning obediance. And became an oppressively narrow culture of 'YES' similar to what the Witnesses have with the Organization. Critical thinking strongly discouraged by the majority around God with anyone one lawfully challenging God's thinking or decisions or policies on anything ostracized and marked. IF this was the case, over time what would this do to Him? What would be the end result in His attitude and actions with everyone always saying 'yes' and few if any speaking their true thoughts and feelings of their disagreement about His positions? Perhaps, as we often have done with the WTO, many angels just continualy supressed their disagreements and unhappy feelings with God until walking out in lawless rebellion seemed better than staying and speaking up?