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The Following article has been re-posted by permission. It
was authored by an anonymous brother we will call "SIAM".
I thought you might find the parallels with our situation
interesting.
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Imagine boarding a bus with your family for a long anticipated vacation. The destination is a place that is promised to be beautiful warm and sunny. As you are boarding the bus you are given a ticket stub with several paragraph’s of fine print. Thinking nothing of it you stuff it in your pocket and find your seat on the bus. As you sit down you notice that all of the windows on the bus have been blacked out. The inside is lit with rows of florescent lights.

 

The bus is full of friendly excited people who are looking forward to the same vacation. There is a palpable sense of joy as the bus pulls away from the curb. Many people on the bus are pleasant people with their children, who are along for the holiday. Your wife and children join in an impromptu sing along to pass the time.

 

Reaching into the seat back pocket you find the on board magazine that the Corporation publishes. It contains articles about the resort and promotional material about the corporation.

 

The bus stops several times and picks up a few more excited families who are on their way to the vacation resort. Dinner time approaches and the crew delivers the meal consisting of a single slice of toasted white bread. Unusual you think, but you eat it anyway thinking of the buffet that awaits you at the resort.

Minutes stretch into hours and day turns to night. The bus continues on. You begin to hear mumblings from some of the passengers as to how long the bus had been on the road without a stop. The Driver ignores the mumblings and presses his way into the darkness.

 

Daylight breaks and it becomes clear that the bus is continuing to motor along with no sign of stopping. The drivers have changed sometime during the night. The passengers mood has changed from exuberance and anticipation to somberness and fearfulness. The crew delivers the morning meal which is again a slice of dry white toast.

 

You try to scratch against the window to see where you are, to no avail. You become alarmed because now this “short trip” has now become very long. Reaching into your pocket you find your ticket stub which has the following printed on it in very small type.

 

Welcome to Paradise Vacation Tours.

 

We are glad that you have chosen Paradise Vacation Tours as your transport to your unforgettable vacation. Paradise Vacation Tours is the only Tour company of its kind. You will not receive a better experience anywhere else. You will notice that the windows are darkened for your protection and security.

By purchasing your ticket and boarding the bus you hereby agree to the following terms:

 

No one is permitted to leave the bus at any time for any reason. The only way you will be permitted off of the bus is if the crew removes you for disorderly conduct which includes any of the following:

 

1.      Asking the bus driver questions about the route

2.      Questioning the length of the trip

3.      Speaking negatively to your fellow passengers

4.      Failing to speak positively about the Paradise Vacation Corporation or Staff

5.      Reading any other material other than is provided by the Corporation.

6.      Refusing the on board meals specially prepared for this trip

7.      Asking to leave the bus.

8.      We reserve the right to change course at any time for any reason. Due to our state of the art Navigation system the trip is for an unknown duration.

We appreciate your patience and consideration. Thank you for choosing the most trustworthy transportation company in the world.

 

 

Alarmed now, you lean over and whisper to the elderly man sitting next to you. “How long do you think the trip will be?”

 

The old man looks at you with sadness in his eyes and whispers back, “ I boarded the bus in 1974”. “I thought it was a short trip to the resort and have been here ever since. I am am afraid to leave because I wonder where will I go once I get off of the bus? for all I know we might be in the desert or in an inner city full of crime.  Plus, Paradise Resort has got to be close I keep thinking. I mean, I am at least a million miles closer than I was then”

 

Shocked, you turn to the window that is blacked out and look out at the world that you know is out there but hidden. The bus rolls on with yet another change of driver. The corporate magazine sneers at you as it displays a picture of a happy family in a mountain meadow.

 

The bus continues to roll on into the distance. The years pass and you become the old man.-

 

Questions

 

If you were in this situation, would you decide to leave the bus? Even if your family decided to stay on board?

How long would you ride before you decided to get off of the bus?

What does the fine print say about the corporation?

 

What type of corporation would advertise a trip to paradise and not deliver?

Many of us now realize that we are trapped within the “bus” of the Watchtower organization. We know that the promises that we have been given in the pages of the Watchtower and Awake have not materialized. We watch year after year, and mile after mile pass with no sign that we are close to our destination or that the drivers or leaders have any clue where they are going. The “spiritual food” that is served at each meeting and assembly is the same exact stuff that had been presented for years. It is as dry as white toast.

 

There are many that we see among our local congregations who have been patiently waiting for many years for something that will not happen. Just like the old man on the bus they feel that they have so much time invested that it makes no sense to leave at this point in time. They say “where else will I go?”

 

The actions of the Society have proved the “Corporation” to be corrupt. We are threatened with punishment if we question the direction of the Society. Simply put we are trapped. The bus will never stop. The passengers will change as time progresses but the destination to nowhere remains the same.

 

Which is better, to put faith in an organization that has NEVER delivered on its promises, or to take that chance and live your life in a moral way outside of the “protection” of the organization?

 

The Watchtower organization wants you to stay on the bus. They need your obedience, your effort, your time, and your life.

 

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33 Comments on Paradise Resort Bus

  1. Wakeupwitness says:

    This is exactly how I felt for 30 years. My wife and I got off the bus 7 years ago and never been happier. How content we feel now knowing that we don’t have to break our necks to get to the meetings anymore. Is there happiness away from the watchtower? You betcha!

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  2. serein says:

    i wasnt on the buss very long but even thoe they did promise the paradise its not that is it cos it is real it just isnt going to come when anyone says it is so waiting and hoping for it to come soon is something im still doing im just not doing it on a rout that that bus is taking me on im doing it on the one im wanting to be on and can see were im going and no ones telling me i cant do it if you no what i mean.

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  3. andrew says:

    Interesting illustration Siam.
    It it similar to our plight as JWs. You are right in my opinion that the quality of spiritual food served at the KH is about as appetizing as burnt white toast. Compared to what is available from other Christian sources the publications of the Society just don’t compare. With a few exceptions the assemblies now are excruciatingly repetitive.

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  4. JWB says:

    What a very apt and thought-provoking article this is! It got me to thinking about a recent encounter I had with a former CO who had in the early days of his life been the ‘congregation servant’ (before the elder arrangement came in to being in the ’70s).

    I remember first meeting the man when he was in his early forties. He was so energetic and a powerful speaker. He was also what we used to call a ‘spiritual policeman’ as he made it his business to keep the flock in order, which caused some resentment amongst the youth in particular.

    However, before me now stood a very old man, a shadow of his former self. After spending some while discussing a few topics and his not seeming to be able (or willing) to try to seriously counter the arguments I was putting forth, all he could say when he left was something like this: “What other religious organization is doing the work that Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing?”, as if this somehow was conclusive evidence for the organization’s doctrine of ‘the faithful and discreet slave’.

    However, something else he said gave me serious cause for concern. It was a simple statement about ‘how close we are to the end’, yes that wearisome worn-out phrase that seems to be the last resort to get people to ‘just hang on just a bit longer, because we’re almost there’. I came away from that encounter with his old, almost sad looking eyes, etched into my mind. I thought, and continue to think, how sad that this man has spent the majority of his life in spiritual/mental servitude to an organization, being driven along in that ‘Paradise Resort Bus’.

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  5. JWB says:

    I’d just like to add a thought that just came into my mind. It seems to me that this man like many others has truly become ‘institutionalised’, or so dependant upon the organization that life outside would become very difficult if not impossible.

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  6. siam says:

    Thank you for the comments on the illustration. It is terrifying when you realize that you are trapped in an organization.

    I find it tremendously ironic that the organization will celebrate Brother Russell’s search for truth as the quest of an honest hearted man who rejected the hypocrisy and contradictions in the religions around him, yet will demonize and vilify any active Witness who tries to do the same as Brother Russell.

    The Organization is desperate to convince the remaining brothers and sisters that they alone are the true religion selected by God. The problem they have is there are many people who have served the organization faithfully for many years, now time has has proven the Governing Body to be false prophets, the faithful are leaving.

    SIAM

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  7. Wakeupwitness says:

    I think alot of active witnesses are starting to “wake up”. The big alarm was the recent change in the meaning of the generation. I foresee within the next 5 years more and more witnesses will be leaving or drifting away. But, then again you have those who stay because in their minds….”there’s nowhere else to go, and it’s the closest thing to the truth”.
    I also foresee the clamp and hammer coming down on witnesses to avoid independent thinking and apostates.
    Not to change the subject, but has anyone notice that the society never mentions 1914 anymore?

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  8. Scepticalone says:

    Hello:

    When the “end” does arrive, that is, when our blessed Lord and Saviour arrives in glory and majesty(the real Sign that Jesus talked about at Matthew 24:30 “the sign of the Son of Man”) the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be just as surprised and caught off guard as everyone else.

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  9. Jon says:

    the end is decades and decades away. JWs will long be a thing of the past by then

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  10. Scepticalone says:

    Hello:

    How do you know that the end is decades and decades away. That is just as bad as saying that the end is very near. Matthew 24:44

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  11. Jon says:

    Now how could that be just as bad??? lol
    too many things need to happen according to the Bible that will take yrs to get done. You need to get out of the JW mindset of , just around the corner.

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  12. Jon says:

    http://www.musingsaboutgod.com/timeline.htm

    read this article and it may tell you how long and some of theings that need to take place which make it a far away thing.

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  13. Scepticalone says:

    Hello:

    You need to stop, Jon, LOL and think a little more of what I stated.

    I am not saying that I agree that it is around the corner nor am I saying that is it is decades away. The simple answer that Jesus gave at Matthew 24:44 is sufficient. No one knows!! We will just have to wait and see. It could be tomorrow and or it could be 100 years from now. I repeat, No one really knows. You don’t know and nobody else does. There is no prophetic significance to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:1-14. That is a colossal Bible interpretative error. Bible prophecy is a tricky business so stop trying to interpret it as if your particular view is the correct one.

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  14. jon says:

    Sorry , but you were the one with the jw mindset, just around the corner thing. how many countless innocent people does it take to commit suicide over their false hope does it take. you need to read the bible and follow the signs. sure no one knows the day or hr. never will. but quit giving false hope and lies. a dog returns to its own vomit

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  15. Mark M says:

    Hi Jon and Scepticalone,

    I agree that nobody knows the day or the hour, yet Jesus did give us composite signs to look for so as to know the “season” so-to-speak. However, may I submit that neither do we know when our time is up regarding our lives. I could die today or I could live another 40 – 50 years. So we should live our lives according to God’s will as if the end is close, because the end of our life may be nearer than we think. I was 9 years old when 1975 came and went and I remember asking my Dad why some of our close friends in the “truth” left shortly thereafter. He said evidently their focus wasn’t on truly serving Jehovah for eternity but only serving to make it to the end. He always told me to plan your life like you will die in this world but live your life like the end is coming tomorrow. As far as I’m concerned these are words of wisdom.

    Fortunately about 6 years ago I came to realize (and so have my Mom and Dad) that salvation is not through any organization but through a personal relationship with Jehovah and Jesus. I personally believe that the end will come in my lifetime, but if it doesn’t it’s no big deal. The promise that Jesus will come soon, even though it may not be in the time I think, motivates me to keep on living right and sharing the Gospel with as many as possible. My goal is not just to get to the Kingdom, but I look forward to spending an eternity with Jehovah and Jesus! Meeting them truly excites me. Also, thinking about the possibilities we have in eternity is an awesome thought. This keeps the promise fresh for me. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Mark M.

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  16. jon says:

    Your 2cents is probably worth a million dollars!

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  17. Scepticalone says:

    Hello Jon:

    Where in my initial statement did I say directly that the end was around the corner? You are misconstruing my words!

    I recommend to both of you gentlemen an interesting publication entitled: The Sign of the Last Days, When?” by Carl Olof Johnsson and Wolfgang Herbst. It brings some interesting facts of history which show or reveal regarding claimed evidence for our days. This book shows by much research that the Scriptures indicate that there is a “necessity of preparedness because of the suddenness and unexpectedness of Christ’s coming and the impossibility of knowing anything about the time of it in advance.”

    I think Mark M. you have the right thought about always being prepared no matter when the great event of Christ’s arrival will happen. If one wants to believe that it will come in their lifetime I have no quarrell with that as long as I or anyone can believe differently without being ridiculed or belittled. The only thing is that we all want to be sure that we have the best available reasons based on the best available evidence for believing certain things.

    Sincerely

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  18. Jon says:

    all we can do is speculate. no one knows the hr. or day. the signs have been going on since Jesus s time. your urgency said it was around the corner. a typical jw response

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    • Amos says:

      Greetings Brothers,

      Mark’s remarks are as close to the truth as we can get. While I see no wrong with discussing topics regarding “the end”, what I do see as wrong is speculating. This is exactly what our Lord was warning against.

      As Mark said, “So we should live our lives according to God’s will as if the end is close, because the end of our life may be nearer than we think.”

      The point about this is so true, OUR time of testing will end at either, “our death” OR “Christs return”, whichever comes first!! This is why we need to be ready at ALL times.

      Your brother in Christ,
      Amos

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  19. Jayme says:

    As JWs we have always been kept on the edge of our seats, “keeping on the watch”. In 2004 we recieved the “Keep on the Watch” brochure. On the cover it asks the question: “For what?” and then inside spends most of the pages highlighting end time prophecy, signs, proofs and such. But is this what Christ had in mind when he said:

    “Keep on the watch, therefore, because YOU do not know on what day YOUR Lord is coming.” Matt. 24:42

     “But what I say to YOU I say to all, Keep on the watch.” Mark 13:37

    Are we supposed to be primarily watching for the “day” or for signs? Or perhaps are we to be watching something else, keeping focused on it? Notice the parallel account in Luke.

     “But PAY ATTENTION TO YOURSELVES that YOUR hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon YOU 35 as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. 36 KEEP AWAKE, then, all the time MAKING SUPPLICATION that YOU may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34-36

    Could it be that our focus should be upon ourselves, watching what sort of persons we are? Always desiring to be found approved by our Master. This goes along very well with what Bro. Mark said about living as to be always prepared. I think this is what Jesus was saying when he said “keep on the watch”. Its not for us to know the times or seasons.

    To be fair I do give credit and recognize that the society does endevour to help us look at our lives and take serious our actions, to live as people claiming to follow God. But sadly they also have allowed and continue to focus too much attention on their personal interpretations of end times prophecy. In effect making many loose focus on what matters most and also causing these ones to become discouraged. It has become just as the proverb states:

    “Expectation postponed is making the heart sick…” Pro. 13:12

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  20. serein says:

    i totaly agree with jayme,its ourselfs we should pay attention to the most and wether or not the times are near dosnt matter if we dont pay attention to ourselfs first the signs of the times of the end have always seemed close so when the end comes it will come as a shock swift and no delays i think we will see the signs sudenly as in sudenly upon us not gradualy upon us as it has been claimed to be for years and years like with war famine and what ever else, yes al these things are one of the signs but i think something very magor and terrifying is going to happen that we never expected at all so i think the jws and anyone else whos saying its near is right in what they are saying as jesus also said it was near, the times of famin and wars and stuff have been around along time and that was near wasnt it and its been here and looks like its geting worse again also all the rioting and the show of youths in uk were i live disobediant to parents and all well its sooo so bad no becouse the culture of the youths is geting worse i know i live round it allways have and even thoe stuff like this has always bin around to i know its deff geting alot worse it used to be a minority but its now the majority thats like this no morels puffed up with pride no love no nothing,and all this is just a begining still, it is just around the corner and i dont care what anyone says back to me its deff close and not 100s of years away,our world has prooved now that it cant live with out the god who made us without the guidences he would have had for us from the beginings of time we have prooved that we are pathetic and so he dont need to let it go on much longer people in the ilustration of the bus should not be fooled by men telling them to go with them to be saved they should just follow the words of the bible and be faithful good and loving people and thats it,you follow with your own faith and hearts not rules of men but the rules of god,it is close at hand it is already here its just that the day we are in at the moment has started but not ended yet, we arnt waiting for the day the day is already here and its bin here since jesus left he has ruled since he went back to heaven we are waiting for the day to end not begin and all days eventualy end this will end soon.

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  21. John Stoutenburg says:

    Hello,friends;It’s good to see your all escaping from the W.T. mindset. I was anointed with Holy Spirit for the last few years of my tenure with Witnesses,but the treatment I received from nearly every single J.W.,especially my family members made me take up the Bible again and REALLY start reading it.I came to the conclusion that we are all supposed to strive to repent of wrongdoing,thinking;being,etc.,and receive the Spirit as Jesus promised.When we die,we await resurrection.If we’re alive at his return,we’re taken up.But the most important thing is to keep refilling the body with the Spirit.Live with it within us. If we do this,then we really start to understand the scriptures,and appreciate more about taking a broader view of even who are “The Anointed” on earth today. I started going out to other churches about 2 years before I resigned the W.T. When the elders brought me into a meeting and challenged my attendance at these, I said I was observing only.And what I found was in every church the people were just as sincere and earnest as Witnesses and many of the services were much more enjoyable than the sit still ,shut up, and listen K.H. meetings where a question or alternate view is as u know clobbered.Tho I don’t believe in everything that any of the organizations I’ve studied with believe,I still see all of them trying to get their ” lamps in order” to be ready to meet the bridegroom. Lastly,Jesus illustration of the harvest( written as part of the ‘sign’ reply to his disciples) states that the wheat would be found worldwide by the angels doing the collecting.I believe the misapplied “little flock:remnant” teaching is just that.He was speaking to his little flock of loyal followers.As is also the “other sheep”, a blatant misapplication of John 10:16, which all serious Bible students could clearly see is without a doubt referring to the Gentile conversion to the body of Christ.

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  22. JWB says:

    Concerning Matthew 24 verse 14:

    And he [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) About ten years before the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century, the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Colossae that ‘the good news’ they had heard had been preached to ‘all creation under the heaven’ (Colossians 1:23). Also, according to the book ‘Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will’ (second paragraph on page 84), “The early Christians had been obedient to the Word, and holy spirit had empowered them to accomplish a worldwide preaching work before the end of the Jewish system of things in 70 C.E. A seemingly impossible task had been completed.”

    Concerning prophecy and our modern times:

    Second/greater fulfillments of prophecy, prophetic dramas, types and antitypes have all been used by the society to try to make certain Bible passages refer to our modern times. Of course we could ask ourselves: By what scriptural authority does the society use these theological devices in forming doctrine? Let’s take the example of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the huge tree (Daniel chapter 4). The text is quite specific in that the dream was actually fulfilled in Nebuchadnezzar himself (ie madness for seven years). Yet this dream forms the backbone to the 1914 date (CT Russell arrived at that date via another route [1874 + 40 years of harvest work])! Take away the second supposed ‘fulfillment’ and support for that date in that way vanishes.

    I think it proper to add that not only did Jesus counsel about the ‘day’ and ‘hour’ but also indicated to the disciples not to concern themselves even with ‘times’ and ‘seasons’ (Acts 1:7) for certain events.

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    • andrew says:

      I agree with you JWB.

      One of the difficult things for me when I woke up spiritually was realizing I was probably going to grow old and die. As a JW the idea has always been put forth that we won’t have to experience death since the Great Trib. is only a couple yrs. away. Even my parents who are getting close to 70 yrs. old believe they won’t die in this system.

      Now I realize it isn’t the case and with all probability I’ll have to endure the hardships of old age and death.

      Usually when we give prophecies secondary or even tertiary fulfillments it is pure speculation.

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      • Amos says:

        I also agree with JWB & Andrew’s comments.
        This view can easily be understood when we understand the setting for the “Olivet Discourse”. This actually began in the 23rd chapter, culminating in verses 36-39.
        23:36; “Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
        37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” ESV

        Then chapter 24 begins with the following statements;
        1,2; Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

        These words of Jesus brought the obvious questions from the disciples, in verse 3; (1)“Tell us, when will these things be, and (2)what will be the sign of your coming (3)and of the close of the age?”

        Please notice the very first warning by the Lord in V’s 4,5;
        4 “And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.”

        Any thoughts about these verses & the events that closely followed them during the 1st century?

        Amos

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  23. JWB says:

    “He that is watching the wind will not sow seed; and he that is looking at the clouds will not reap.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

    Andrew, how true are your words concerning living out our lives to old age. I decided a long time ago that it was futile to live either in the past or in the future. All we can be sure of is the moment we are living in now. I don’t say that to discourage others, because I DO believe humankind can look forward to a better future under God’s kingdom. However, but none of us know how long our lives will be or what the near future will bring. So I think we should indeed enjoy the lives we have now while recognizing our spiritual needs and working for the good of others in whatever way we can according to our personal abilities and gifts. The rest we should confidently leave in trust to our Heavenly Father.

    I understand what some are saying concerning what may be considered an increasing of lawlessness and suffering, but is this a “second fulfillment” of prophecy? Of course the severity of suffering and lawlessness according to one’s own perspective is relative to each person’s experience or personal knowledge. How would we compare our times to the times under the domination of the Romans? It’s interesting to read what Josephus said concerning the awful times pertaining to Jerusalem of the first century.

    “Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand [97,000]; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand [1,100,000 or 1.1 million]; the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army which, at the very first, occasioned so great as traitness [sic] among them that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine, as destoyed them more suddenly … Now this vast multitude is indeed collected out of remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in a prison and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Accordingly the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world; for to speak only of what was publicly known …” (Josephus, The War of the Jews, chapter 6, from paragraphs 3 and 4.)

    Just a final point about 1874, which Charles Russell believed was the start of the invisible presence of Christ. This was based on calculating six thousand years from the creation of Adam. Basically he had miscalculated by 100 years and that is why we ended up much later with the autumn of 1974 (yes, not quite 1975!) as the completion of the six thousand years.

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  24. JWB says:

    Amos, here is another extract from first century Jewish historian Josephus concerning ‘false messiahs’ (false christs = false anointed ones).

    “These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God. And many that were prevailed on by them suffered the punishments of their folly; for Felix [procurator of Galilee – see The Wars of the Jews 2.12.8] brought them back, and then punished them. Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem, one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said farther, that he would show them from hence, how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen, from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.8.6)

    I highly recommend others to read Josephus’ account of events occuring in the first century from his ‘War of the Jews’. This really puts into perspective the words of Jesus in connection with his prophecy and the awful things that would precede the destruction of Jerusalem.

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    • Amos says:

      Thank’s for this quotation from Josephus, JWB. I have collected this volume plus the works of Philo & Eusebius, & as soon as time permits I intend to do some studies into the earliest know practices & teachings outside of Sacred Scripture.

      I also have the full 10 volume set of Ante-Nicene Fathers, & will link my studies to include some of the earliest writings of these men. At least three of these were disciples of John, Paul & Peter, so their writings should be reliable, unless they dissagree with the bible.

      I have recently obtained the book, “A Dictionary Of Early Christian Belief”, this is actually a concordance to the above 10 volume set, giving key bible verses followed by the writings of the early fathers (chronologically), to over 700 principle topics/doctrines. It then gives the reference to where you can read the entire articles in the volumes.

      With regard to Philo, I understand he was also a pharisee as was Josephus, this allowed both of them access to all temple records prior to 70AD. As I believe, these are the only writings pertaining to temple records that survived the temple destruction. I see this as the way our Father preserved these records for future reference, giving two sources (a biblical requirement) that were witnesses of Jewish history.

      Your brother in the Lord,
      Amos

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  25. JWB says:

    Brother Amos, I see you are somewhat of a scholar! Like me, you probably want to be able to do your own research without the continual fussing of “Mother” wanting to hold your hand.

    Of course, it’s okay for “Mother” to cite “ancient tradition” via people like Tertullian, Origen and Eusebius (to name but a few of the ‘Church Fathers’) when she wants some generally accepted historic witnesses relating to Christian belief, but she won’t like it if you use those same witnesses to question some of her interpretations of Scripture, such as the identity of the “faithful steward” (aka “faithful and discreet slave”).

    Maybe she fears you might become a trinitarian? Well, funny how my studies never led me to that conclusion. In fact my belief in “one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5) was strengthened even more by finding no such trinitarian beliefs among, particularly, the apostolic ‘Fathers’. Also, through research I discovered how the term ‘god’ was widely used in the ancient world, not just in reference to heavenly beings but also to human beings. I also discovered how important it is at times to understand the culture of various peoples of the past and the way they used words and phrases. My independent research has throughout the years helped to strengthen my faith, and allowed me to truly say that what I believe is my own and not a borrowed or ‘cloned’ faith.

    Certainly, it seems to me that “Mother” doesn’t want her “children” to follow her example when it comes to expansive study. The “children” have to accept food only in the form of “Mother”‘s prepacked meals, and you must not question what’s in it because, of course “Mother knows best” when it comes to providing nutritious meals. I wonder what she would think if she knew, you had a copy of, say, “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible”? Would she think that appropriate, even though she’s happily quoted many times from it and others (such as “Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament”)? How about a Hebrew and Greek interlinear, with maybe a copy of the Septuagint for good measure, and Strong’s Concordance, or maybe Vine’s Expository Dictionary? Or is the Scriptural advice not to remain babes (carried in “Mother”‘s arms) just for a select few?

    “And he gave *some* as apostles, *some* as prophets, *some* as evangelizers, *some* as shepherds and teachers, with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ, until we all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a FULL-GROWN MAN, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ; *in order that we should no longer be babes*, tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in contriving error.” [Ephesians 4:11-14]

    I don’t know why geniune seekers of truth would need to avoid close examination of their current beliefs. Truth will never flee from the light, only falsehood seeks to avoid exposure. This scripture seemed appropriate to this subject:

    “For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest, neither anything carefully concealed that will never become known and never come into the open. Therefore, pay attention to how you listen [listening was very important in those days as many folk were illiterate]; for whoever has, more will be given him, but whoever does not have, even what he IMAGINES he has will be taken away from him.” [Luke 8:17, 18]

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    • Amos says:

      Brother JWB, we certainly are on the same page. I began my investigative studies about the year 2000 & couldn’t believe the errors that I then found with “mothers stew”. After about 4/5 years I was dfd for something entirely different that I was not guilty of. About 2 years later, I did try to make a comeback in a different area after I relocated, but never did get to have that elders meeting that was promised to me. Consequently, I no longer partake of any “pre-packed meals”. I have found that at this time the Lord renewed my calling, & I’ve been enjoying an absolute banquet, instead of those tasteless “packaged take aways.”

      Yes, I actually have all of those reference works, plus many more including the complete “Calvin’s Commentaries”, plus many more. I also have several libraries on computer, but only use these as a backup, so to speak.

      I totally agree with your comments regarding 1 Tim.2:5. I have had a decent look at the trinity doctrine, as I do want to understand the truth, but can’t accept this as being a true doctrine. I can understand however, how & why it has been accepted as widely as it has.

      One thing that I’m looking at at present is, “the personality of the Holy Spirit.” I think that it may be possible that the HS is not as we have been taught by “mother”, that is just the “active force of God.” I must quickly state again that this would not then make up the third part of any trinity, or support a “Godhead” viewpoint, as I see this as being heretical.

      I do believe that the Father is over ALL, then the Son is over ALL except Father, & the HS is subject to both the Father & the Son.
      As Jesus said when on earth, that He does nothing without the Fathers direction, likewise the HS only does as instructed also. This dispells the basic trinity statement…”co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent.”

      There is a question that I’ve been pondering of late though, “when did Jesus become God’s firstborn?” I cannot believe that Jesus (THE Word) was born as a spirit creature, rather than being created. My thoughts at present are that He did not become the “Firstborn” until He was born as a human on this earth. This would then make the scripture “make sense”, that He was, “the firsborn of many brothers.”

      Does any one have any thoughts concerning this?

      Amos

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  26. JWB says:

    Brother Amos, just a few personal thoughts on what you said about the holy spirit. I don’t view it as BEING a personality, but I do think it BEARS a personality.

    To illustrate: Say you had a friend called Joe who sends you a handwritten letter. The ink and paper may well be the type that a lot of people use, but the shape and character and content of his script is a reflection of Joe’s personality. The letter communicates Joe’s personality without actually being his personality.

    I’ve also thought about the way sound waves as conduits can affect our emotions. Does the holy spirit take the form of ‘divine vibrations’ that interact in some way with our inner selves? Maybe I’m over-analyzing things! Of course, how the spirit of our Heavenly Father ‘works’ seems to me to be beyond human understanding.

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  27. susanna says:

    Would you please help me get in touch with the brother who wrote Paridise Resort Bus.
    I would very much like permission to post it on the board where I am posting.

    sincerely
    susanna

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