Today is going to be a short one. There was only three more paragraph to cover and the main elder who was normally here did not show. In his place with the the Witness who got upset when he actually had to read Philippians 2:5-11 in it’s context.
Here’s how everything went:
We came in and exchanged pleasantries. They asked how I was doing and told them and we had a fun chat pertaining to life with coworkers. The custodian’s husband was telling me how Friday was his first one off this entire year. The main elder’s wife normally works on Saturdays so he went out with her since she rarely goes with him for anything.
He had a list of accounts for the resurrection for me and he said, “well you probably know about these already” but we chatted a few minutes about them.
I then couldn’t let something sit. If you read the last meeting, we finished by talking about the spirit. I asked the other witness if within their Watchtower Library on CD-ROM if they have outside resources available to look at. He replied that they do “when it’s appropriate.” I didn’t think of it but I should have brought up Nave’s Topical Bible. I asked if they knew about it. They replied I did not. If you are not familiar with it, it has all Bible verses (100,000) listed out by topic 20,000+).
Here it is if you are interested: http://www.naves-topical-bible.com/
The portion pertaining to the spirit is here: http://www.naves-topical-bible.com/MAN.html
I was pretty much talking about the And yes there’s an app for it too.
However, I kind of figured it was going to be a light day and actually kind of requested it as such since this “substitute brother" from the local hall doesn’t have the relationship we have. While I was chatting about Nave’s, the custodian’s husband seemed express genuine interest as I showed him the online version.
We attempted to download the app to his iPad. He was unable to and we joked that we are slowly getting him acquainted with technology. What’s interesting is that only as of 2013 the Governing Body gave approval for the use of iPads in a Body of Elder’s letter, dated October 12, 2013. If you’d like to, you can obtain it here: http://avoidjw.org/letters/2013-letters/ (scroll down to number 16).
Interestingly, this organization which statistically has the majority of members being more likely to be economically challenged is encouraging them to go out and get iPads, they being more expensive than most other tablets available even at the base level. The majority of the time was spent looking at the various videos being promoted on the organization’s official app. This organization, which once despised the internet (refer to the July 22, 1997 Awake! article “The Internet-Why Be Cautious?) is embracing this whole heartedly as the internet has been used to cut costs and to include personnel as this article cites: http://meletivivlon.com/2016/01/29/bethel-layoffs-damage-control/.
We chatted about how the organization is being banned in Russia and the Society is possibly spinning the information in terms of literature was possibly “planted” by the Russian authorities. This story was seen along with Watchtower work in the Amazonian rainforest to bring the Society’s message. He finished by saying how “you can see how united we are because we preach the exact same thing.” I let this go. What he doesn’t realize is the Watchtower enforces uniformity.
Those who are in mainstream Christianity have unity. The mainstream Christian would most likely agree to this saying by German theologian, Rupertus Meldenius in the early 1600s with this, “In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty, everything else, charity.” This means there are few major things. They are what aberrant groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses oppose. A non-essential for the majority would be how often to perform communion (some groups weekly, others monthly, etc.).
With that in mind, we took a look at paragraphs 23-25.
This deals some with the 144,000. What’s interesting is paragraph 24 says, So those remaining ones of the 144,000 who die in our day are instantly resurrected to life in heaven. Let’s contrast that with p. 65 paragraph 19 starting at line 3: “For example, when you realize that people do not pass on to the spirit realm at death, the promise of everlasting life on a paradise earth takes on real meaning for you.” So I asked as it doesn’t “jive.” The sub witness said, “it’s an exception.” So essentially the Society (according to the witness) allows some folks to be exempted. Again, this is highly unusual as it’s contradictory. Regardless, I wasn’t intent on making it too much of an issue. I merely wanted to highlight the difference.
This lead to me questioning a little bit about the 144,000. Essentially, the Watchtower teaches only 144,000 people will be faithful enough to go to heaven. The number for years was supposed to be getting smaller and the Watchtower said as much. Allow me to demonstrate with the following quotes and numbers:
However, the time came when the number partaking began to decrease. What did this indicate? It indicated that the number of those called to the heavenly kingdom, namely 144,000, had come to completion and more were dying off than being added.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. June 15, 1966 p. 374
As the remnant of anointed Christians decrease in number and many of those who survive are limited by age, well-trained other sheep take up the slack, as it were.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. July 1, 1995 p. 23
Memorial Partakers by the Numbers 1992-2012
Yearbook. 1992 p. 33
Yearbook. 1993 p. 33
Yearbook. 1994 p.33
Yearbook. 1995 p. 33
Yearbook. 1996 p. 33
Yearbook. 1997 p. 33
Yearbook. 1998 p. 31
Yearbook. 1999 p. 31
Yearbook. 2000 p. 31
Yearbook. 2001 p. 31
Yearbook. 2002 p. 31
Yearbook. 2003 p. 31
Yearbook. 2004 p. 31
Yearbook. 2005 p. 31
Yearbook. 2006 p. 31
Yearbook. 2008 p. 31
Yearbook. 2009 p. 31
Yearbook. 2010 p. 31
Yearbook. 2011 p. 51
Yearbook. 2012 p. 55
Yearbook. 2013 p. 178
Although it’s not 100% up to date, you can see the number hit bottom in 2006 and has been steadily increasing ever since. The video here isn’t 100% up to date but is a good representation.
So I asked about this in relation to the Bible which had over 3,000 people at one gathering alone and early converts such as Cornelius in Acts 10. I coupled this with Foxe’s Book of Martyr’s. This is something that was also completely foreign to them as well as this number would have been well filled in the first century alone.
The response, “it’s entirely in Jehovah’s hands.” According to this Watchtower mindset, one can live and literally die for Jehovah yet in their direct service be unfaithful and get replaced.
With that we looked at the last paragraph.
To “get their time in,” the custodian’s husband wanted to talk a bit more about the JW Library App. I was fine with this as they were barely there 30 minutes at this point. He wanted to show me all of the videos that are now available on the website. He took me to the kids’ videos. He said, my grandkids don’t get to see this. I took it that his child left the organization and he is now being forced to shun her and his children as well. Continue to pray for him that with the last crack of openly admitting that Jesus rose physically, that perhaps this will be another one.