It’s All About Light

It’s All About Light

Maya Bohnhoff

“It’s all about light.”

This was a direct quote from Dr. Carey Murphy. Dr. Murphy led this past weekend’s Science and Religion session at Bosch Bahá’í School. And as I thought about it, she’s right on a number of different levels.

She meant that our exploration of the Universe is about light. It is because of light that we can study other planets, stars, galaxies and other structures in our universe. Radiant light allows us to see stars and nebulae; reflected light allows us to see bodies that are not, themselves, light sources.

And that got me to thinking about albedo (the reflective capacity of a surface) and a dialogue that started as the result of my last blog. The question was really: why do we suppose X exists? The original X in the question was God, who is often likened to the Sun in the scripture of the world’s revealed religion—that is, a source of light.

In the physical Universe, we can detect the presence of a light source and even know something about its power by observing its reflection on a non-light-emitting body such as a planet, moon or asteroid. It’s not immediately apparent when you look up at the moon at night that the source of the brilliant light that bathes it is from another source (the Sun) that cannot be seen. Historically, it took observation and reasoning to bring early scientists to the conclusion that the moon was bright because it was reflecting the light of the Sun hidden from sight by the Earth.

Human beings have a reflective capacity (aptly named) that differentiates them from other animals. This capacity allows human beings to wonder why the moon is bright when the sky around it is dark, and further to make the observations, do the reasoning, calculate the mathematics, and imagine, design and build the tools necessary to study the phenomenon of reflected light.

The question is: what “light source” is it that the human reflective capacity reflects?

Let’s approach this from a slightly different angle. Richard Dawkins states that

“Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. …neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous: indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose… The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we would except if there is, at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” (The God Delusion, 1995)

He’s right—nature is all of those things. And we see this reflected in the physical aspects of nature and natural entities—including humans. Which begs the question: If nature emanates only callous, pitiless indifference, whence the human capacity to reflect empathy, selflessness, curiosity sufficient to drive discovery, invention, imagination? What is the source of intellectual, spiritual and moral “light” that the human reflective capacity or intellect reflects when it insists on justice or mercy; when it conjures abstract concepts such as mathematics, poetry, music, philosophy; when it insists that its young learn to reflect those abstracts as well?

This source of light, according to the scriptures of the world’s revealed religions, is what we call God.

Just as different spatial bodies possess different capacities to reflect the light of their respective stars, human beings possess different “albedos”—different capacities to reflect the above-mentioned qualities. Which, to me, explains much about the state of the world. We—uniquely in nature—have a choice about whether we want to reflect “pitiless indifference” or something else—something not found in nature.

You may have noticed the quote from Lord Kelvin in our sidebar this month:

“Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all Religion. You will find science not antagonistic, but helpful to Religion.”

The scriptures of the Bahá’í Faith agree, taking the reflection metaphor further:

“Science is an effulgence of the Sun of Reality, the power of investigating and discovering the verities of the universe, the means by which man finds a pathway to God.” — Abdu’l-Bahá

At one time, we looked at the moon and believed that it generated its own light. As we came to know more about reality, we realized that was not the case—the moon was reflecting the light of the real source. Our knowledge about the physical universe evolved and we were able to move onward and upward in our journey of discovery.

I can’t help but think this is as true of intellectual and spiritual reality as well.

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Maya Bohnhoff is a science fiction writer and musician from San Jose.

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116 thoughts on “It’s All About Light

  1. What a mysterious thing light is – it crosses the universe and reveals subtle details – and yet itself experiences no time, no distance. It takes on characteristics of what it passes among, and yet trudges on across reaches beyond our experience.

  2. Very “reflective” comments, Maya. As I read this, interestingly, what came to my mind was two men I saw yesterday walking along the sidewalk next to a very busy street. Each man had in his hand a cane that they were swiping side to side in front of them. They were both blind, or visually impaired to a significant degree. As I drove by them at a speed of what must have been 80 kilometers per hour, a quick wave of concern passed over me. Were they not afraid of walking so close to the street? They couldn’t see, after all!
    So much of our experience we gain from our world is through vision, through light. As such, words like “light” and “sun” are powerful and pertinent metaphors. Yet to me “light” can also conduce to “a means by which something is made known to us.” So for those who are blind, I wondered if there is an equivalent auditory metaphor? The word “sound” is just not the same. Maybe it translates better to “warmth” or “heat.”

    “Science is an effulgence of the Warmth of Reality…”

    Or maybe “vibration” would work. (Replace “Warmth” above).
    I really don’t know where this is going. I was just pondering what other “lights” might reveal truth to those who do not experience light with material vision.

  3. Light is a curious subject. I can feel light, even when I am in physical darkness, just as I can feel darkness when I am in physical light. The light spiritual understanding is worth looking for and seeing and feeling. Thanks for the insights.

  4. I do hope that you will accept a view point from the bible as well.
    I my research to science and the bible and other religions, the only conclusion there is, is that creation and science is the same thing.
    Though, one does not need to know anything about science, to believe in a God. ( creator)
    And the scientists do not have to believe in a God ( creator ) to do science and still prove creation.

    The bottom line in all of this, is we are here, and are alive. So, there has to be absolute truth! There has to be a correct answer.
    Because we are beings that can think and reason things out. Why doesn’t everyone know what the absolute truth is? In other words, why don’t we all ‘see the light’.

    2 Corinthians 11: 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light.

    2 Corinthians 11:4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.

    So you are correct it is all about light.

    1. I completely agree that in doing science, we are studying creation and discovering the processes that God set in motion. One of my favorite Biblical quotes is the Psalm “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament displays his handiwork.” To me, this is an invitation to do science, to explore the physical creation.

      As a Baha’i, I view science as a divine gift—an engraved invitation to acquire knowledge, but not just about physics. There’s another side of this subject—exploring the spiritual creation—us. And though I didn’t touch on it in my blog, I believe that there is also a mechanism for that, as you suggest. When we look at the life and teachings of Christ, we see the image—the reflection—of God. It’s what Paul is talking about when he says that in Christ we “behold as in a mirror, the glory of God.”

      The Baha’i scriptures say of Christ that “…when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things.” In fact, Baha’u’llah uses that same metaphor of the Perfect Mirror reflecting the light of God so that we, humans, can see what the qualities of the divine light look like shining from a human being as the light of the sun shines from the face of the moon. The goal, of course, is that we reflect those qualities as well.

      We, then, are faced with a choice: we can place our own “mirrors” so that we reflect the Light of those qualities, or we can place them so that they reflect other things … other “gods”, if you will.

  5. There is nothing wrong with the study of science, and I agree also that God, wants us to explore, learn and see how really incredible all life and the universe is. The more we learn the more awe inspiring God becomes to us.
    From the bible we learn that, God wants us to test him out. Prove to ourselves that he exists , and what he stands for. That there is a future, for man and this earth, and it was not made for nothing.
    Also that the world we see now ( in poor condition, including man) is only temporary.
    That the original purpose for man to fill the earth , in perfect state will come to be. Man was created for the earth, and that’s where God says man will remain.

    Psalms 37:29 The righteous themselves will possess the earth,
    And they will reside forever upon it.

    I find this a very encouraging scripture.

    Though the God of the bible is more jealous of other ‘Gods’.

    1. Since I’m a science fiction writer by trade, I have kind of a sidewise take on the idea of what “man” is. Well, not terribly sidewise when you consider that Christ tells us God is Spirit. What this means to me is that, as we are created in His image, we are also spirit. And so I think it’s entirely possible that “man” is any being created in God’s spiritual image regardless of which of the millions of planets in the universe they were born to.

      Once we have “beat our swords into plowshares” on this world, we may find ourselves meeting men from other worlds. I find that idea exciting.

      Regarding what the Bible refers to as God’s jealousy—I think that’s something that’s stressed in all scripture. For example:

      “Those who love the gods go to the gods; but those who love me come unto me. The unwise think I am that form of my lower nature which is seen by mortal eyes; they know not my higher nature, imperishable and supreme. For my glory is not seen by all; I am hidden by my veil of mystery; and in its delusion the world knows me not, who was never born and forever I AM.”— Bhagavad Gita, 7:23-25

      Some centuries later, Buddha taught that there is one Truth, not two or three, and that it is “the common foundation of all truths.”

      “O SON OF DUST! All that is in heaven and earth I have ordained for thee, except the human heart, which I have made the habitation of My beauty and glory; yet thou didst give My home and dwelling to another than Me; and whenever the manifestation of My holiness sought His own abode, a stranger found He there, and, homeless, hastened unto the sanctuary of the Beloved.”

      This last is from the “Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah” which was penned in the late 1800’s, so as you can see, it’s a message that’s been repeated for many, many thousands of years to many millions of souls.

      There’s a passage in the Bhagavad Gita also where Krisnha talks about all the paths that go up the “mountain”, but notes that understanding that there is one Spirit Supreme (I AM) is the direct path. Or perhaps, given the original metaphor of the reflected Light of God, the brightest reflection.

  6. I hope you don’t mind a few comments on this.

    Actually I am an artist ( painter and now computer painter)

    My search for answers, had to fit, no contradictions and no mystery and had to be rational. I wanted real answers. Nice sayings are OK but what do they really mean?
    There is a spiritual side to humans, the reason is so we can understand a God.
    But we are like God that we can plan, create, explore and understand the world we see. We can have joy , laughter, love, all these things.
    As a human I like the earth, and it makes sense to me that man was created for the earth. It is our place. It does not make sense to me that man and the earth should be like it is now. So I wanted to know why it is like this. I also wanted to know, will it ever change.
    These types of questions are all answered. The future looks really good. ( after some really bad times first)
    Are you interested in learning more about that?

    1. I agree with you that the future looks really good. (Though I’m sure we still have some trials to go through to get to that bright future.) I have every confidence that we really will beat our swords into plowshares, for example. I don’t think those prophecies were made in vain. In fact, I think a great many of them have already seen fulfillment. I also think our “coming of age” and global unity (what I’ve always thought of as the Kingdom of God on Earth) is not only possible, but inevitable.

      So, you’re preaching to the choir :=).

      Like you, I had a lot of questions (Why were there different religions? Why did God stop talking to us after Christ? How was I to understand the relationship of Christ to Krishna, say, or Buddha? And what about science—did accepting evolution mean disbelieving in God? And more.) And I, too, went on a search—a quest, if you will—and found answers that took the jig saw puzzle of life and put it all together in a way that made sense, not only of my experience as a Christian, but what I had learned of other faiths, science, and history as well.

      I’m always interested in learning. That’s why I’m here—to learn. The scriptures say that “The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God.” I’ve found that to be true.

  7. OK
    I would like to ask you a few questions.
    Who is it that you serve? Name?
    Who is Jesus to you?
    What is the bible to you?
    Do you believe in Satan, as a person or as the bad in all of us.?

    I’m sorry for the questions, but I’m not sure where you are ‘coming from’, yet.

    1. I serve God. There’s only one that I know of, who has revealed Himself as I AM. That’s the “name” He gave to Moses, it’s the one Krishna gives, and the one that Christ refers to when He says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” I personally, most often refer to Him as “Beloved” or “Father” or just “Lord.”

      Jesus is, to me, exactly who and what He claims to be (the Prophet that Moses foretold, the Christ, the Son of God. And though He doesn’t refer to Himself in these terms He is also, to me, the “Word of God made flesh,” the reflection of God’s glory as seen in a mirror. To me He is both human and divine.

      The Bible is, to me, a collection of the teachings of God through various prophets and through Jesus Christ. It’s also, in part, history, and the philosophies of the Jewish Patriarchs. I’m aware, of course, that the many books of the Bible (66 to 81, depending) were written and collected over many centuries, but I think the Gospels accurately present the teachings of Christ—which, to me, are the teachings of God.

      I do not believe Satan is a “person” in the sense that we are people with a will and intelligence. I think it is, rather, a personification of the “dark side” or animal nature in us. A spiritual rather than material reality. (And no, by “spiritual” I do not mean unreal.) Baha’i scripture refers to Satan as “the Evil Whisperer in men’s breasts”. The dark voice of selfishness, fear, hatred, and division. Which is why I think Jesus said to Peter, “get behind me, Satan.” It’s very much, to me, like the spirit of anti-christ. It’s not a person, it’s an attitude toward God that anyone might have.

      I think Satan is what we make of it, and many people have come to think of it as an entity because all of the prophets have used that imagery: Krishna spoke of Yama, Buddha of Mara the Tempter who appeared to tempt Him in much the way that Satan is said to have tempted Christ in the wilderness. Of course, Buddha was about 600 years before Christ in India, but I think the intent is the same: that we not give in to that “voice.”

    2. That’s much better. I have a much clearer idea of what you think.
      As for the name. Did you know that God wants his name known.
      Psalm 83:18 (Darby Translation)

      18That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.

      Some people use the name Yahweh. No one really knows the correct pronunciation. But Jehovah in English has become the most used.

      Ex. 3:15: “God said . . . to Moses: ‘This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, “Jehovah the God of your forefathers . . . has sent me to you.” This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.’”

      Isa. 12:4: “Give thanks to Jehovah, you people! Call upon his name. Make known among the peoples his dealings. Make mention that his name is put on high.”

      Ezek. 38:17, 23: “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘ . . . And I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’”

      Mal. 3:16: “Those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name.”

      John 17:26: “[Jesus prayed to his Father:] I have made your name known to them [his followers] and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them.”

      Acts 15:14: “Symeon has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.”

      This name is used over 6,700 times in the OT, of the bible.

      It is very clear God wants us to know his name. It also personalizes him, so that it is much easier get to know him.

      As for Jesus. He had a life before coming to the earth. As a spirit creature. He is the first creation of God, so the bible calls him God’s Son.

      Col. 1:15-17, RS: “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation . . . All things were created through him and for him. He is before all things.”
      John 17:5, RS: “[In prayer Jesus said:] Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.”

      This is why the scriptures say ‘us’ in this verse. God is not alone in the creation.

      Genesis 1: 26 And God went on to say: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.

      I will leave this here to see what you think so far.

      1. I think we’re in agreement.

        Of course, God wants to be known. Scripture indicates it’s the reason He created us.

        Regarding the name of God, you said: “Some people use the name Yahweh. No one really knows the correct pronunciation. But Jehovah in English has become the most used.”

        “Jehovah” is not English. It is a Hebrew approximation for the word that means “I AM”. So, if we’re going to be really picky about it, an English speaker would call God “I AM”, a Hebrew would call Him Jehovah or Yahweh, a Frenchman would call Him “Je Suis” and in Sanskrit He would be called “Asmi.” (Sanskrit is the mother language of those the various books of the Bible were originally written in.)

        So, to be clear: Jehovah simply means I AM. Which is what I previously said I understood His name to be. If you read the quote I gave from Hindu scripture which ends: “and forever I AM” you’ll see that the Bible record is affirmed by Krishna though He appeared in India before God revealed Himself to Moses.

        I find that exciting, don’t you?

        When God says in the Torah: “This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.’” You can see that He revealed Himself through Krishna in the same way as He did through Moses—as “I AM”. Which makes sense, doesn’t it?

        To sum up: It looks to me as if we are in agreement—God revealed His “name” or primary quality as being “I AM” (absolute existence).

        Regarding Jesus (or Jehoshua, if we want to properly attribute HIS name, because “Jesus” is a Latinization of the Hebrew) as I said, I believe Him to be exactly what He claims to be. Whatever terms He uses to refer to Himself, I accept. I, personally, think of Him most as “the Word of God.”

        I’m not sure why you’re quoting back at me pretty much what I quoted previously—possibly to show that we are in agreement? As I indicated before, I see Jesus Christ as a Mirror reflecting the image (which I take to mean the spiritual qualities) of Jehovah.

        This is why the phrase “Word of God made flesh” resonates with me. The Word is that by which God created the Universe. I don’t understand the exact mechanism for that, but I DO understand it on a soul-deep emotional level because I, too, use words to create worlds.

        Can I ask a favor? Rather than have you just shoot a bunch of quotes at me, could you illustrate your understanding of them in your words as well so that we’re actually having a conversation?

        By the way, am I correct in assuming you’re a Jehovah’s Witness? I’m quite familiar with the doctrines of the Watchtower Society and have a large collection of WTS books in my library.

  8. Well OK.
    I thought I would give it a try.
    I’m sure you can find someone there, that could help you,if you were interested.
    And it looks like you already have to some degree.
    So I will not push it any further.
    If you have any questions , feel free to ask.
    epi

    1. Now, I’m confused. I feel as if we’re talking completely past each other.

      I’d like to continue a dialogue with you, not find someone here to “help me”. I ask that you continue to speak to me and share your ideas.

      I have indicated that we are in agreement on several points—that God has revealed Himself as “I AM,” and that Christ was His Emissary.

      To be clear, I am a Baha’i and have been for a very long time. I’ve studied the Witness point of view over a long period because I want to understand it in relation to my own beliefs.

      So my question to you is, what is your response to the quotes I shared with you? How did you react to knowing that Krishna, a Hindu Prophet, used the same terminology for God that Moses, a Hebrew Prophet did?

      I would like to continue to talk to you because what I would like help with is understanding how YOU relate to the Light that is God.

      What, for example, do you think of Krishna or Buddha? What do you think of the idea that the universe is billions of years old?

  9. Ok
    I didn’t want to push something on you that you may have looked into already.
    But If you would like to continue, that fine.

    (Je‧ho′vah) [the causative form, the imperfect state, of the Heb. verb ha‧wah′ (become); meaning “He Causes to Become”].

    . “Jehovah” is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although “Yahweh” is favored by most Hebrew scholars. The oldest Hebrew manuscripts present the name in the form of four consonants, commonly called the Tetragrammaton (from Greek te‧tra-, meaning “four,” and gram′ma, “letter”). These four letters (written from right to left) are יהוה and may be transliterated into English as YHWH (or, JHVH).

    God’s reply in Hebrew was: ʼEh‧yeh′ ʼAsher′ ʼEh‧yeh′. Some translations render this as “I AM THAT I AM.” However, it is to be noted that the Hebrew verb ha‧yah′, from which the word ʼEh‧yeh′ is drawn, does not mean simply “be.” Rather, it means “become,” or “prove to be.” The reference here is not to God’s self-existence but to what he has in mind to become toward others. Therefore, the New World Translation properly renders the above Hebrew expression as “I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE.” Jehovah thereafter added: “This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘I SHALL PROVE TO BE has sent me to you.’”—Ex 3:14, ftn.

    Why called “the Word.” The name (or, perhaps, title) “the Word” (Joh 1:1) apparently identifies the function that God’s firstborn Son performed after other intelligent creatures were formed. A similar expression is found at Exodus 4:16, where Jehovah says to Moses concerning his brother Aaron: “And he must speak for you to the people; and it must occur that he will serve as a mouth to you, and you will serve as God to him.” As spokesman for God’s chief representative on earth, Aaron served as “a mouth” for Moses. Likewise with the Word, or Logos, who became Jesus Christ. Jehovah evidently used his Son to convey information and instructions to others of his family of spirit sons, even as he used that Son to deliver his message to humans on earth. Showing that he was God’s Word, or Spokesman, Jesus said to his Jewish listeners: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him that sent me. If anyone desires to do His will, he will know concerning the teaching whether it is from God or I speak of my own originality.”—Joh 7:16, 17; compare Joh 12:50; 18:37.

    The bible is inspirited and is meant as the only way to Jehovah.

    2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

    Did you notice , it say “completely equipped”
    There really is only one way to God. this is very important.
    If you remember Noah, he and his family (8) survived out of appropriately 1 million people at that time.
    The bible always , has only one way to God. This also means many Christian religions, are going to be very surprised.

    1. I’m not sure why you’re telling me this about the “name” Jehovah. We’ve already established that God told Moses I AM or I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL PROVE TO BE sent Him.

      The phrase is pronounced differently in different languages. As I said, someone who spoke Hindi or Sanskrit would read their Bible and the word translated from Hebrew would be “Asni”. But God knows our hearts and souls, so He knows if we love Him whether we pronounce His name a certain way or not, don”t you agree?

      I completely agree that Christ is the Spokesman of God. Baha’i scripture refers to Christ as “One Whose voice is the voice of God Himself.” That is how I understand the reality of Christ. Is that how you understand it?

      (By the way, it seems you are quoting from the Watchtower books. I’d really like to know how YOU understand. In YOUR words from your reading of the Bible.)

      About the Bible being the only way to Jehovah: May I ask where, in any of the books of the Bible it says that that book (or any other) is the only way to God?

      You quote Paul’s letter to Timothy, in which he says that ALL scripture is inspired of God. Where is it limited to the books chosen to be in a particular collection or translation of the Bible? I also consider the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada, the Qur’an and the Baha’i scriptures as, well, Scripture because they, too, speak to us of Jehovah.

      Can you find a verse in the Bible that limits scripture to a particular set of books? (Remember, at the time Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, the Gospels did not exist. The books he regarded as scripture were limited to the Law and the Prophets (the Torah).

      Regarding there being one way to God, I believe, ultimately, that you are right: Christ says there is one way to God and it was so important that on the eve He went to the cross, he repeated it to his disciples THREE TIMES. In John 15, He says repeatedly words to this effect: “IF you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. … This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

      He could have listed doctrines for them to believe in, or even reminded them to call on God by a particular name. But He doesn’t. He states a simple, logical relationship of cause and effect: IF we wish to stay connected to Him and to God, THEN we must obey His commandment: To love each other.

      Would you be surprised to know that the other Scriptures of revealed religion, including the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu), the Dhammapada (Buddhist) and Bahá’í scriptures say the same thing—that it is through loving each other that we are able to connect with the One God of all?

      Consider this: if God loved His creation—and if He treats His children lovingly as Christ says He does (Matthew 7), would He not reveal Himself to every people, not just one? Read the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus tells us how God treats His children. Imagine a human parent who had several children, but who fed and clothed and taught only one. Would we consider that parent good?

      Jesus is clear: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11).

      Is this a God who would deny Himself to billions of souls because they perhaps pronounced His name differently? What do you think? In fact, let me ask you this: Which do you think would be more important to a just, loving, merciful God who wanted the salvation of all His children—the correct pronunciation of a name, or the love in the heart of the believer?

  10. We were also talking about Satan.
    Satan is a real spirit entity . Just the same as Jesus .

    Jesus Christ referred to him as being “the ruler of the world,” the one whom mankind in general obeys by heeding his urgings to ignore God’s requirements. (John 14:30; Eph. 2:2) The Bible also calls him “the god of this system of things,” who is honored by the religious practices of people who adhere to this system of things.—2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Cor. 10:20.

    John 14:30 I shall not speak much with YOU anymore, for the ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me,

    2 Corinthians 4: 4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through

    So the bible says the Jesus knew Satan as a real being, and that he is actually the ruler of this world. That means all governments and false religions.

    Satan is a real being. It also explains the world we see today.

    1. We’ll have to agree to disagree about Satan, but I would observe that we don’t need him to explain the world we have today.

      A Jehovah’s Witness I was studying the Bible with long ago told me that Satan was necessary because without Satan Adam would not have sinned—he was perfect, after all, so he couldn’t commit evil.

      But Lucifer (who became Satan) was also perfect, I observed. How did he become evil? My friend told me he had chosen to rebel. (Which made me wonder why God would keep him around, but that’s a different subject :=)

      My next question was: If the perfect Lucifer could fall by making the wrong choice (having free will), then why couldn’t Adam have made the same sort of wrong choice?

      I believe we have the world we do because we have choice—free will. We can do as Christ exhorts us to do and obey God, love each other and treat each other as we would like to be treated OR we can ignore His commandments and … have the sort of world we have now.

      I believe that when Jesus spoke of Satan, He was using the same sort of teaching method He used in the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, or the Ten Bridesmaids in order to help the people He was sent to over 2000 years ago understand that evil is destructive.

      Think about it. Whether you believe that Satan is a “real” being or our spiritual ignorance and willfulness (our evil whisperer), it is accurate to say that “Satan is the god of this system of things”. Some of us are ruled by our animal natures—our ignorance, selfishness and greed—an unfortunate amount of time. Wouldn’t you agree that that ignorance and selfishness is quite capable of blinding us to the Light?

      You mention false religions, and though you haven’t answered my questions directly, I’m going to assume (unless you tell me otherwise) that you refer to the faiths taught by Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad or Baha’u’llah.

      Jesus Himself tells us how to tell a true Prophet from a false one (also in Matthew 7). Do you recall what He says?

  11. Our posts are getting long. So I thought I could answer just a couple at a time. I hope that is OK with you.
    We were talking about God’s name and the pronunciation of that. There is more to this.
    We discussed that Jehovah means .. “He Causes to Become”..
    and that YHWH (or, JHVH) from the Tetragrammaton.(Greek te‧tra-, meaning “four,” and gram′ma, “letter)
    Now the pronunciation for centuries in English, has been Jehovah. In other languages, they pronounce it differently, depending on their language.
    Attitude comes in to this also, if the name bothers some, they might want to pronounce it differently, so as to escape the stigma. ( Satan as the ruler of the world, has made that name not very popular. ) Now that, to Jehovah , would be frowned upon. So you have to be careful of that. Also are some trying to get away from using God’s proper name?
    There is something else about this. In those days ( when the bible was written).
    Names had meanings attached to them.These meanings in those days were apparent right away. ( as part of their language.)
    Today names don’t really have meanings. Like they did then ( at least in English.)

    What this means is the the name of many would have to change depending on the pronunciation of Gods name

    Jesus for example
    Jesus=[ “Jehovah Is Salvation”].
    Jeremiah= [Jehovah Exalts]
    Joanan=[Jehovah Has Been Gracious]
    John=[Jehovah Has Shown Favour]
    Hallelujah=[Praise Jah, you people!] Jah is the shortened form of Jehovah
    etc etc

    So if you use the different pronunciations of the name like Yehwah′, Yehwih′, and Yeho‧wah′ in English. To be consistent, you would pronounce Jesus name like one of these: Ye‧shu′aʽ or Yehoh‧shu′aʽ. And there a lot of names that would be pronounced , very differently. So that also most no one would know who you are talking about.
    Now superstition over the centuries , had almost eliminated God’s name from the bible. JW”s in the last 100 or so years really brought it back . Many other bibles were substituting LORD, or Lord, for God’s proper name.
    This is Satan’s influence on man to hide who Jehovah was. Over time because Jesus is also called Lord, and the influence of pagan worship, Jesus became God ( not God’s Son) to Christianity.
    So this name is very important,

    Ezek. 38:17, 23: “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘ . . . And I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’”

    Acts 15:14: “Symeon has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.

    So this people would be a people for his name. That fits of what JW’s are doing.

    To go a little further with this.
    The bible is really one book . So the OT and NT is not correct.
    Jesus and his followers showed that, they quoted scriptures from the Hebrew writing’s. This also means that when they quoted these scriptures they would have used God’s name.

    1. You wrote: Now the pronunciation for centuries in English, has been Jehovah. In other languages, they pronounce it differently, depending on their language.

      Yes, that’s what I said earlier. But, in Scandinavian and Slavic languages—as in Hebrew—the letter J is pronounced like Y. So, someone from Holland might look at those letters and say “Yehovah”. The English pronunciation of this is a much later development.

      So when God gave his name to Moses, as you noted, it was “Eh-yeh asher Eh-yeh”. Why, I wonder, would God change the pronunciation to favor English-speakers?

      Given that we speak all these different languages and pronounce things differently, it’s a good thing that Jehovah can read our hearts and know when we call on Him.

      But you make an excellent point about the meaning of the name. Pronunciations differ, but the meaning doesn’t change (it is what it is :). Wouldn’t you agree that it’s the meaning of His name that is of importance, rather than the changeable set of syllables that no one pronounces the way He revealed it?

      I’ve never found any reference in the Bible to the importance of a particular set of syllables. But what IS repeated in the Bible again and again is the necessity for man to recognize that God IS. In other words, the name isn’t a set of syllables, it’s the recognition in our hearts that HE IS.

      Let me ask you this: If I was born in India 4,000 years ago and learned of God from the teachings of Krishna—who taught about a loving Creator and who said “forever I AM”—and I loved God and prayed to Him and strove to live a life guided by His teachings, are you saying that God would not hear me because I spoke Sanskrit and not Hebrew?

      Here’s the meat of the discussion: Do you believe God is just? Do believe He is loving and really wants all His children to know Him? Do you, in fact, believe He is the God revealed by Christ?

      The teachings of Christ indicate that God is just and loving, Jesus says outright that God would that all men be saved. As I noted earlier, when Jesus was on His way to the cross, He gave a lesson to His lovers that consisted of Him telling them over and over “IF you want to stay connected to God, THEN obey my commandment.” His commandment was “that you love one another.” Don’t you think, if the pronunciation of God’s name was of the utmost importance, Christ would have at least mentioned it at that critical hour?

      Bottom line: I believe in the God that Christ revealed. If He is the God Christ revealed, then He knows that I love Him whether I call him Jehovah (which I sometimes do), or Beloved, or Father, or Allah or Adonai. He knows which hearts are really turned to Him (and to each other) in love.

  12. To add some more to this.
    You mentioned the verse where God he says I AM.

    We use a phrase like that in English.

    You may talk to a person that needs a little personality adjustment.
    He may reply, I am what I am. in other words he isn’t changing , or feels he can’t.

    So like wise we can not change God to our ways. So when he says I AM, it is about what he has in mind to become toward others.

    Now about Satan , this is what the bible say about him.

    Job 1:6 Now it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them.
    7 Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Where do you come from?” At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.” 8 And Jehovah went on to say to Satan: “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad?” 9 At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God? 10 Have not you yourself put up a hedge about him and about his house and about everything that he has all around? The work of his hands you have blessed, and his livestock itself has spread abroad in the earth. 11 But, for a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch everything he has [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face.” 12 Accordingly Jehovah said to Satan: “Look! Everything that he has is in your hand. Only against him himself do not thrust out your hand!” So Satan went out away from the person of Jehovah.

    So Satan actually came into the presents of Jehovah, and had a conversion with him.
    So God thought of him as real entity .

    Luke 4:1 Now Jesus, full of holy spirit, turned away from the Jordan, and he was led about by the spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, while being tempted by the Devil. Furthermore, he ate nothing in those days, and so, when they were concluded, he felt hungry. 3 At this the Devil said to him: “If you are a son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 But Jesus replied to him: “It is written, ‘Man must not live by bread alone.’”
    5 So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; 6 and the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. 7 You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” 8 In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”
    9 Now he led him into Jerusalem and stationed him upon the battlement of the temple and said to him: “If you are a son of God, hurl yourself down from here; 10 for it is written, ‘He will give his angels a charge concerning you, to preserve you,’ 11 and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, that you may at no time strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 In answer Jesus said to him: “It is said, ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’” 13 So the Devil, having concluded all the temptation, retired from him until another convenient time.

    Jesus also talked with Satan , and Satan offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world. Satan must have had these kingdoms or he could not have offered these to Jesus. This supports Satan as the ruler of the world, and as a real entity.

    2 Corinthians 4:4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through

    Your writings mentions this ‘light’ But this verse says that the God of this system of things ( Satan) blocks that light from men. So it is a real struggle to stay in the ‘light’ that Jesus provides for us.

    1. So like wise we can not change God to our ways. So when he says I AM, it is about what he has in mind to become toward others.

      I understand the meaning of the name in much the same way you do. God is stating His primary quality: He is the absolute. He doesn’t change. But we do. Which is why—as Christ points out in Matthew 19: 7-9—God’s methods of teaching change.

      I’m not going to argue with you about Satan. I’ve studied the Bible exhaustively since I was a small child and the teachings about Satan didn’t make sense until I read what Bahá’u’lláh had to say, which was, essentially that he’s a symbol and personification of evil. Bible scholars with a far better grasp than I of this subject have noted that Satan changes with the intent of the story. If you look at Job, for example, it seems as if the relationship between God and Satan is downright chummy. I think if we take the Job story literally, we lose its meaning. So, as I said, I’m not going to argue the point. We just view that differently. And that’s fine.

      Jesus also talked with Satan , and Satan offer Jesus the kingdoms of the world. Satan must have had these kingdoms or he could not have offered these to Jesus. This supports Satan as the ruler of the world, and as a real entity

      This same story is told of Buddha (who came about 600 years before Christ in India). Before Bahá’u’lláh revealed Himself, He also went out into the wilds of Kurdistan just as Christ went out into the desert. As I said, I believe this “testing” is something all the Prophets of God go through. But here’s the thing, the story only supports Satan as a material, flesh and blood and spirit entity if you choose to take it materially, physically, literally and not for its spiritual significance—that a Prophet of God is still a human being. The things that Satan offered Christ, you might note, are things a human being would care about‚ not things a purely spiritual being would care about. What would a spirit being do with gold and kingdoms?

      Your writings mentions this ‘light’ But this verse says that the God of this system of things ( Satan) blocks that light from men. So it is a real struggle to stay in the ‘light’ that Jesus provides for us.

      To that, I can only reply with: Matthew 7: 15-20—Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

      So Jesus tells us that yes, there will be false prophets. And if there were not also to be true ones, would He have needed to tell us how to tell the difference?

      What does He mean by fruits? He mentions that, too. When the Pharisees accuse Him of casting out demons by Satan (Beelzebub, in this case) Jesus said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:24-28)

      I think that’s pretty clear. And that is the criteria that I used to judge the fruits of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. So, while things and people that are in shadow might seem at first glance to be shedding light, they aren’t really and Jesus says we can tell if they aren’t. If they incite hatred, for example, instead of love. If they encourage people to be ignorant, selfish, willful. If, in a word, they encourage people not to follow the Light.

      Clearly, Satan would not promote the teachings of Christ, testify of Him, or glorify Him.

  13. No one would be offended, if you are talking to someone in a different language, and they pronounce your name differently.
    The use of the name, is very important. Satan would like nothing better for people to forget to use it on a regular basis. It was the copyist and translators from superstition , that ended up, where some translations removed his name completely.
    In effect they removed God from the bible. In many Christian churches when they read Lord in the bible they think it is Jesus. But in reality, it is talking about Jehovah. So the name should be used all the times. I can’t stress enough about this.

    Jehovah always had one truth and one group of followers. Everything else was false religion. The lines for this distinction are very sharp. The example of this is Noah he and his family were the only ones of approximately 1 million.
    The Israelites, were the only correct ‘religion’ no others. When Jesus came, the only correct religion were the ones that followed Jesus.
    The Bible does not agree with the modern view that there are many acceptable ways to worship God. Ephesians 4:5 says there is “one Lord, one faith.” Jesus stated: “Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it. . . . 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 heavens will.”—Matt. 7:13, 14, 21; see also 1 Corinthians 1:10.

    Here’s the meat of the discussion: Do you believe God is just? Do believe He is loving and really wants all His children to know Him? Do you, in fact, believe He is the God revealed by Christ?

    Absolutely!! on all 3 statements.
    As long as you mean Jesus was God’s spokesperson, and not God himself. There is no such thing as a Trinity.

    1. I think I understand where you’re coming from. Let me see if I do. The reason the “name” is important is that people have begun to worship the Messenger instead of the One who sent Him, yes? That it’s important to remember that God IS and that it is this Absolute I AM (whom you call Jehovah) that is to be worshiped, not the One He sent.

      As a Baha’i, I do not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was God, Himself. The Bible uses the terminology that He is the Temple of God or the Tabernacle of God among men. Baha’u’llah, as I’ve noted, uses the same imagery that Paul does: Christ is the glorfy of God as reflected in a perfect Mirror.

      Now, I’d like to look at what you said above—that when Noah, or Moses or Jesus appeared, they had the true religion. I agree. But, if you apply Christ’s standard for judging, it seems clear to me that when Krishna came, He also brought the true faith, when Buddha came, He also brought a renewal of that true faith. Likewise with Zoroaster, Muhammad, Baha’u’llah, etc. Please note that none of these beings were here at the same time. They came to different places at different times (every 500 to 1000 years). They were not competing. They taught the same spiritual principles, though the social teachings were different for the reason that Christ states (the hardness of our hearts … and heads :=)

      So I have to ask you again: If I was born in India before the time of Moses and learned of God from the teachings of Krishna—who taught about a loving Creator by the same name “I AM”—and I loved God and prayed to Him and strove to live a life guided by His teachings, wouldn’t He hear my prayers? Wouldn’t He guide me if I begged for guidance?

      I guess what I’m asking is do you believe Krishna (for example) was a false prophet. And if so, why is it necessary for you to believe that?

      1. The reason the name is important is the God wants his name known. The reason the name became less known over time is that superstition ( not a Godly idea), ( and Satan’s influence to turn people away from Jehovah).

        The name Jehovah is something he says wants known, so it isn’t me saying that, it is what the bible says.
        The I AM you referred to, is not a name, but is about he will be to people. Like I mentioned, in the illustration I gave about a person saying I am what I am.

        Just like today, there were many religions in history. Babylon was is noted for it’s many pagan religions long before Jesus came. And it influenced many religions, even down to this day. The bible calls these false religions, and symbolised in the bible as Babylon the Great.

        If you think about it the reason Noah and Jesus came was because,there was no true worship on the earth at those times. Abraham was used as the start of a people that would be a chosen people, separate from, all the people on the earth.Moses came to try to get the ( chosen) people, back on track. All,other nations and religions were enemies , of God.

        So to answer you bluntly ( I mean is with the best of intentions). There were many times in the bible records where no one was following ,God. So the many religions at these times are false to the God of the bible. So to the religions you mentioned, they are not the same God as Jehovah.
        The reason is necessary to believe that, is that the bible plainly tells us, who and what group is part of God plans. And has done this right from Adam.

        1. epignosis, to answer you with equal bluntness, the god that would make our spiritual life dependent on His guidance, then intentionally withhold that guidance (fail to feed His children) is not a god I could worship. Nor is it the God that Jesus Christ revealed.

          The “name” Jehovah is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word that means I AM THAT I AM. The two languages do not even use the same alphabet or pronunciations. By the logic you’re using, if God was so particular about what name we call Him by no one on the planet is acceptable to Him because none of us knows how the phrase or word He spoke to Moses was pronounced or spelled.

          The only thing we can be relatively sure of is what it means.

          So, since none of us knows what name Moses actually heard or how to pronounce or spell it, we’re all in the same boat.

          Now that we’ve settled that, can we look at the actual teachings of Christ? He expected us to use the minds God gave us to tell truth from falsehood. There’s no arguing that. Christ promises that if we apply His criteria, we will know truth from falsehood.

          But you tell me that even if I obey Christ and judge these other Prophets by their fruits and determine that, yes, they DID teach the same things He taught and spoke of God in the same terms, that they are false because they didn’t use the literal word “Jehovah” spelled and pronounced the way English-speaking translators have rendered it (never mind that they didn’t even use the same alphabet as the original language).

          Perhaps you will pardon me if I choose to believe the clear words of Christ over the interpretations of human beings. The God Christ revealed would absolutely have guided ALL of His children, not just one small group in our millions of years of history. That’s clear just from a reading of the Sermon on the Mount.

          It may be that there are times in history when few, if any, are following God’s guidance, but that does not mean the guidance was not given. There is no verse in the Bible that excludes other revelations from the same God to other peoples. In fact, as I pointed out, Jesus says He has other sheep that must be brought to the fold.

  14. The teachings of Christ indicate that God is just and loving, Jesus says outright that God would that all men be saved. As I noted earlier, when Jesus was on His way to the cross, He gave a lesson to His lovers that consisted of Him telling them over and over “IF you want to stay connected to God, THEN obey my commandment.” His commandment was “that you love one another.” Don’t you think, if the pronunciation of God’s name was of the utmost importance, Christ would have at least mentioned it at that critical hour?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    A couple of things here. First Jesus was not nailed to a cross. That comes from pagan teachings of the sun God’s of the Romans. It was a stake or pole.

    The followers of Jesus knew exactly who Jehovah was , for centuries they only knew God as Jehovah. They were expecting Jehovah’s Son to come on the earth. All the Jews knew the correct pronunciation of God’s name. Jesus used the name of Jehovah all the time. This was before the correct pronunciation was lost.

    1. Please, let’s not get distracted by the method of execution. I’m not attached to believing He died on a cross. My point is He knew He was about to die and He surely must have chosen His last message carefully. He chose “obey and love each other” and repeated it in three different ways.

      Do you think that might indicate something about how important it was?

      Whether the disciples still knew the correct pronunciation of the name or not, IF it was of such importance that their souls would be lost if they didn’t continually use it, and the devotion and love of those they taught would be useless if they didn’t use it, wouldn’t Jesus tell them that? If it were that critical to our salvation, I would expect that somewhere among the words of Christ, He would have said, “Remember, if you don’t call my Father by this particular name, He will not hear you, will not accept your devotion—you will be dead to Him.”

      As you point out, the current English pronunciation is not “correct”. It’s not the pronunciation the disciples of Christ would have used. And theirs might have differed from the one Moses revealed. So if we don’t know the pronunciation that Moses used, aren’t we all condemned regardless of how deeply or truly we love God?

      I’m trying to understand what exactly the Jehovah’s Witness position on this is. Can you please explain which is important:

      1) The correct pronunciation of God’s name (Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh)
      2) The correct language used to say the name (whatever Moses spoke—Aramaic or Egyptian, since Hebrew as we know it today was a later development)
      3) The correct meaning of God’s name (I AM WHAT I AM PURPOSED TO BE)
      4) The correct understanding of what God is revealing about Himself when He says I AM.

  15. (Matthew 12:24-28) At hearing this, the Pharisees said: “This fellow does not expel the demons except by means of Be‧el′ze‧bub, the ruler of the demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself comes to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 In the same way, if Satan expels Satan, he has become divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?

    Did you notice here in talking about Be‧el′ze‧bub’s kingdom. His rulership.

    In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stated: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:13-16, Revised Standard Version) No, Jesus Christ did not say that true Christianity would become a broad, easy, universal, religion, suited to the “many.” It would be a hard, cramped road, found by only the “few.” These “few” were warned that seemingly harmless “false prophets” would try to sidetrack them onto the “easy” way “that leads to destruction.”

    This is what true Christians would be doing.
    Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come

    It is talking about good news of the kingdom ( this is the taking away Satan’s ruler ship of the earth) It will be given to Jesus to rule for the 1,000 years.

    The bible is about government. God’s government and how it will be restored, on earth.

  16. if Satan expels Satan, he has become divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?

    There’s an echo in here! :=) I did notice that he’s talking about Satan. And I asked previously if you noticed what He’s saying about the charge that He’s doing Satan’s work. He says that Satan will not do good works. It’s one of the criteria we can use to tell false prophets from true ones, yes?

    I’m glad you brought up the narrow gate. Here’s the quote in context: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    As I read this passage, the narrow gate connects to the commandment to treat others as we would be treated (the Golden Rule). Jesus emphasizes the importance of this commandment by saying that it sums up all the past Jewish scripture. It is a narrow gate that few pass through because as simple as treating others with love and respect sounds, it is very hard in practice. Just watch the news and it’s very obvious how hard that is.

    (I should note that Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad and Baha’u’llah also give the Golden Rule this same emphasis. Krishna refers to it as “the sum of duty” and Buddha as “an eternal commandment.” Muhammad says that one cannot be a true believer and disobey this commandment. Baha’u’llah says it is the essence of justice.)

    Jesus goes on to warn about false prophets and explains how to tell the difference between the false and the true. He says that “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Which raises the question: if the Prophets I mentioned above are false, how can They bear good fruit?)

    Then he adds, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” — Matthew 7:7-21 (inclusive of the above passages)

    As I read this, He’s saying that it’s not calling on a particular name that’s important to Him, but rather whether a believer obeys the will of God. What is God’s will? It’s revealed in Christ’s teachings again and again. And it’s not easy. It’s very hard to love even our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, to turn the other cheek.

    You’re right though, I think—that would be the behavior of true followers of Christ.

    About prophecy: I’m fascinated by it, personally, and it played a pivotal role in my becoming a Baha’i. I’d like to share something that struck me when I was studying the prophecies Christ made about His “second advent”. Taking the Gospel prophecies literally, I expected Christ to return in a roil of bright clouds with angels all around—physically coming down out of the visible heavens. But then someone pointed out to me that that prophecy is almost identical to the one in the book of Daniel that I believed was fulfilled by Christ’s first advent. Though there are clouds of glory in both prophecies, the first fulfillment was a spiritual reality, for Jesus was born to a human mother. That lowly reality was, in part why the Pharisees rejected Him. Yet, I expected that THIS TIME, there really would be angels and a physical descent on glowing clouds.

    I realized something about the images the prophecy used: clouds hide whatever is behind or within them. Jesus did indeed come in clouds of glory, even though He was born just like any other child. It made me wonder what that meant in terms of His “return in the glory of the Father.”

    In practice, it means that I believe the prophecies you refer to have already begun to be fulfilled.

    1. In Matthew 7:7-21, The first thing you would have to know is God’s name, Jesus promoted that. So if you think you are counted as a Christian, and follow the bible but don’t know or use or know the connection of that name. Jesus could say he did not know them.Of course there are other requirements also.

      You also have to bee on that ‘Ark’. Doing the work. That is the same today.
      There are ‘good’ people today and they are’ loving’ people.
      But are they doing the good that Jesus requires and are they loving in what Jehovah asks?
      So just being ‘good’ and ‘loving’, as we consider it and not being part of Gods people, is not acceptable to God.
      That is why Noah was acceptable with God,he did what was commanded of him. And he was a preacher of righteousness.

      1. The first thing you would have to know is God’s name,
        The Baha’i scriptures put it this way “The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God.” And if that was what you meant I’d agree. But you’re insisting that it’s the recognition of not just a particular name, a particular (a) pronounced a certain way or (b) spelled a certain way regardless of what the language or alphabet available.

        Jesus certainly promotes the knowledge of God, but He does not emphasize the use of a particular name. (Even in the Darby translation of the Bible, which you reference, the use of Jehovah stops at Malachi, so I have to wonder what word the Gospels use that the New World Translation renders as Jehovah.)

        But let’s look at the verse I referenced again. Christ portrays the believers as saying, in essence, “But didn’t don’t we do everything in your name?” His answer is, “You didn’t obey.” Back to John—obedience is not one of a bunch of “other requirements”. It’s the means of opening the connection.

        Of course in order for that obedience to mean anything, you must know who God is and why obedience to His word is important.

        The problem I’m having with your definitions is that you are kicking people off the “Ark” because they don’t spell or say God’s name in a particular way when that was never stated by Christ (or Moses, or the minor prophets) as being a criteria for acceptance. And as I’ve said, being certain of the spelling or pronunciation is impossible given that the name was originally spoken in a different language that doesn’t even share an alphabet with our own.

        Fortunately, the God Christ revealed (which is the God I believe in) set rational practicable means by which we can stay on the Ark: Love God, believe in the one He sent, love our fellow human beings and serve them as Christ served His disciples. (As you said: doing the work.)

        Not complicated, but oh, so hard.

        1. In the days of Jesus and his disciples the divine name very definitely appeared in copies of the Scriptures, both in Hebrew manuscripts and in Greek manuscripts.
          Did Jesus and his disciples use the divine name in speech and in writing? In view of Jesus’ condemnation of Pharisaic traditions (Mt 15:1-9), it would be highly unreasonable to conclude that Jesus and his disciples let Pharisaic ideas (such as are recorded in the Mishnah) govern them in this matter.
          Jesus’ own name means “Jehovah Is Salvation.”
          He stated: “I have come in the name of my Father” (Joh 5:43); he taught his followers to pray:
          “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified” (Mt 6:9);
          his works, he said, were done “in the name of my Father”

          (Joh 10:25); and, in prayer on the night of his death, he said he had made his Father’s name manifest to his disciples and asked,
          “Holy Father, watch over them on account of your own name” (Joh 17:6, 11, 12, 26).
          In view of all of this, when Jesus quoted the Hebrew Scriptures or read from them he certainly used the divine name, Jehovah. (Compare Mt 4:4, 7, 10 with De 8:3; 6:16; 6:13; also Mt 22:37 with De 6:5; and Mt 22:44 with Ps 110:1; as well as Lu 4:16-21 with Isa 61:1, 2.) Logically, Jesus’ disciples, including the inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures, would follow his example in this.

          Why, then, is the name absent from the extant manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures or so-called New Testament?
          Evidently because by the time those extant copies were made (from the third century C.E. onward) the original text of the writings of the apostles and disciples had been altered. Thus later copyists undoubtedly replaced the divine name in Tetragrammaton form with Ky′ri‧os and The‧os′.
          This is precisely what the facts show was done in later copies of the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

          1. In the days of Jesus and his disciples the divine name very definitely appeared in copies of the Scriptures, both in Hebrew manuscripts and in Greek manuscripts.

            I noted that, above, the scriptures that existed in the days of Jesus and His disciples used the name variously rendered at YHWH, Yahweh, and Jehovah. It’s quite possible that Jesus did use some form of this name, but with the exception of the New World Translation—which uses it everywhere—none of the translations I’ve surveyed use it in the writings of the disciples.

            Even the oldest copies of the manuscripts we have apparently do not use that name.

            But that’s really beside the point. My point above is that Jesus in no way links the use of that particular version of His Father’s name to salvation.

  17. As for the prophesies, yes there are being fulfilled now.
    As to a physical angles and Jesus, the bible uses the word ” pa‧rou‧si′a, or presence” for Jesus second coming.
    This also means that we don’t have to actually ‘see’ him but we know he is there by sign on the earth. We don’t see Satan but we do see the results of his rulership.
    The Scripturalness of an invisible presence is also borne out by Jehovah God’s saying to Moses regarding the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy of the tabernacle: “And I will present myself to you there and speak with you from above the cover.” (Ex 25:22)
    God’s presence was not in a visible form, since the Scriptures are clear that “no man has seen God at any time”—neither Moses nor the high priest who entered the Most Holy. (Joh 1:18; Ex 33:20)

    Since Jehovah’s resurrected Son Jesus Christ was granted ‘all authority in heaven and on the earth,’ and is “the exact representation of [God’s] very being,” it follows that he should also be able to be invisibly present in a similar manner. (Mt 28:18; Heb 1:2, 3) In this regard we may note that, even when on earth, Jesus Christ was able to effect healings of persons from a distance, just as though he were there personally present.—Mt 8:5-13; Joh 4:46-53.
    Conditions accompanying his presence. The book of Revelation presents in symbolic expression much information relating to Christ’s presence and his manifestation and revelation.
    The symbolic picture of the crowned rider on the white horse depicted in Revelation 6:1, 2 corresponds to that of the rider of Revelation 19:11-16, who is the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” Christ Jesus. Revelation chapter 6 shows that when Christ rides forth as conquering King he does not immediately bring about removal of wickedness from the earth, but rather, his ride is accompanied by war that takes “peace away from the earth,” as well as by food scarcity and deadly plague. (Re 6:3-8) This, in turn, parallels features found in Christ’s prophecy at Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. It therefore appears that Jesus’ prophecy found in the Gospel accounts, which clearly involves the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple (occurring in 70 C.E.), also has an application to the time of Christ’s presence, thereby supplying a “sign” that allows for determining when that presence is taking place and when “deliverance is getting near.”—Mt 24:3, 32, 33; Lu 21:28-31
    Jesus coming on the clouds, therefore is meaning that Jesus new government would be ruling from heavenly, not earth from the earth.

    Now if you like prophecies and fulfilment of them, and the last days. Then it is really astounding,what is known now.
    What we have been talking about has just been the basic teachings of the bible.

    1. I assume you’re aware of the history of the Watchtower Society—that it was begun during the millennial zeal of the Great Awakening when it seemed that all Bible prophecy pointed to the year 1844 (Daniel). It was also a time of great anticipation in other faiths, as well and it resulted in the formation of new sects of Christianity, Islam and other faiths.

      When 1844 came and went with no physical cleaving of the heavens, of course, the recalculations began and within the Watchtower Society, a series of new dates were arrived at.

      You may not be aware that on the evening of May 23, 1844 in Shiraz Persia, a young man invited a stranger into his home and announced that He was the fulfillment of the prophecies that had everyone so excited. In fact, the youth He made the announcement to had been sent out by his own spiritual master to search for just such a one because the prophecies in the Bible and the Muslim scriptures pointed to the same time period. The young man called Himself the Bab (meaning the Gate), proved to his guest that He was who He claimed to be, and said that another Prophet would arise within 19 years that would continue the fulfillment of prophecy.

      So, as far as the Baha’is of the world are concerned, there was no “Great Disappointment” and no reason to recalculate when the Apocalypse (Revelation) would occur because it had already happened. Your faith and mine were born at virtually the same time. Yours because some people in the US believed the prophecies had NOT been fulfilled and mine because some people in Persia believed they HAD been.

      Life’s funny that way.

      1. It is a historical fact worth noting that, on the basis of the points and evidence above presented, the March 1880 edition of the Watch Tower magazine identified the year 1914 as the time for the close of “the appointed times of the nations” (and the end of the lease of power granted the Gentile rulers).
        This was some 34 years before the arrival of that year and the momentous events it initiated. In the August 30, 1914, edition of The World, a leading New York newspaper at that time, a feature article in the paper’s Sunday magazine section commented on this as follows: “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy. For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students’ . . . have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914.”

        This was the time when Michael battled with Satan and Satan was ousted from the heavens. This was out break of World War 1. Our brother preached this for 34 years before it happened. They were correct.

        Rev 12:7 And war broke out in heaven: Mi′cha‧el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.

        Rev 12:12 On this account be glad, YOU heavens and YOU who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to YOU, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”

        So our brothers back then , knew it was going to be the end. They were correct. The part they didn’t understand was that it was the beginning of the end. This the time when the preaching work was to be done.

        Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

        In this verse it talks about a kingdom, that is the message. God’s government will be established. ( taken away from Satan.)

        1. I don’t know how long you’ve been a Jehovah’s Witness, but the calculations go much further back than 1880. Charles Taze Russell was part of a millennial movement that included William Miller and others who were convinced the year 1844 was THE year. They had good reason to think that.

          All in all, they saw:

          – The timebound prophecies in Daniel
          – The prophecies of Christ that echoed those of Daniel
          – The gospel message preached to the world (The Bible Society figured this had occurred by the early 1800s)
          – The Jews returning to the Holy Land (1844)

          There was more, but these were the most highly visible points of prophecy.

          It was only AFTER 1844 passed without (seemingly) fulfillment of the prophecies that the recalculations began … and continued.

          There were similar prophecies in the scriptures of other faiths, of course. Which was why Mullah Husayn (a Muslim and the Bab’s first disciple) was out wandering the countryside expectantly.

          As I said, from my point of view, the original calculations (which required only straightforward counting from the edict of Artaxerxes in 457 BC) worked. They coincided with the advent of a new revelation (apocalypse).

          In other words, I believe Charles Taze Russell was right. The end was near—nearer than he later came to believe. It just didn’t come quite the way he might have expected.

          “The time foreordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.” — Baha’u’llah

          1. About the year 1868, Charles Taze Russell began a careful examination of long-accepted doctrines of Christendom’s churches and found misinterpretations of the Scriptures.
            In 1870 he and a few other truth-seekers formed a class for Bible study. (Russell was 18 at this time) .In 1872 they examined the subject of restitution.
            So Russell was born in 1852. And it wasn’t until 1872 that they even started discussing the prophecies of the time of the end.

            And it wasn’t until 1880 until, anything of that was published.

    2. Actually replying to: About the year 1868, Charles Taze Russell began a careful examination of long-accepted doctrines of Christendom’s churches and found misinterpretations of the Scriptures.

      I stand corrected. I had misread the sequence of events with regard to Russell’s personal involvement with the Bible Students. It was his early associate Jonas Wendell, who had been involved in the millennial movement earlier in the century and who later worked with Russell on recalculating the prophecies.

      I did not misspeak about the 1874 date, though—Russell accepted the recalculations of Jonas Wendell that 1874 was the date of the return or at least the date upon which Christ was “present.” JF Rutherford speaks of this date in his booklet “Prophecy” when he notes that: “the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D.” It’s also stated in other WTS works.

      I didn’t mean to get hung up on the specific recalculations. My point, really, was that 1844, depending on a person’s expectations of how those prophecies would be fulfilled, was either a year of fulfillment or a year of disappointment. And that every year since then that has been offered as THE year of Christ’s literal return has passed and resulted in renewed calculations that, from my point of view, didn’t need to be done because the prophecies were fulfilled in 1844.

  18. I don’t want to get into the calculations either , but here is a reason for that seemly an error.
    The above chronology followed the suggestion that was made in Wilson’s The Emphatic Diaglott, in its footnote on Acts 13:20, which verse read: “And after these things, he gave Judges about four hundred and fifty years, till Samuel the prophet.”

    The footnote on this reading of the verse said:

    A difficulty occurs here which has very much puzzled Biblical chronologists. The date given here is at variance with the statement found in 1 Kings 6:1. There have been many solutions offered, but only one which seems entirely satisfactory, i.e., that the text in 1 Kings 6:1 has been corrupted, by substituting the Hebrew character daleth for hay which is very similar in form.The Hebrew character “daleth” very much resembles the character “hay” , and it is supposed that in this way the error has occurred, the mistake of a transcriber.
    .

    1. I’m not sure I understand your point about the statement in Kings.

      The 1844 date is the result, as I noted, of the Daniel prophecies, the end of the times of the Gentiles, and the preaching of the Gospel worldwide. Various other theologians gave credence to certain physical events that may not have actually had anything to do with the prophecies. There was a twinned comet that year, I believe, but these things are always a bit subjective.

      Again, all “daleths” and “hays” notwithstanding, 1844 still seems to meet all the criteria. The only problem, as the adventists saw it was that the clouds did not open and Christ did not descend. So, to their minds, nothing happened. If you spoke to young Mullah Husayn on the morning of May 24, 1844. he would tell you that everything had changed and that it changed the moment He met the Bab.

      1. What was mentioned about Jesus arrival, our brothers knew back then 1880’s that Jesus coming would be invisible. They were not expecting Jesus to physically come to the earth.
        It was only the clergy class of Christendom that expected Jesus to come physically. But the purpose of the coming on the clouds, is that it is a heavenly kingdom , with Jesus ruling, in the heavens( he cast out Satan to the earth.) That happened in 1914.

        OCTOBER 22, 1844, was a day of great anticipation for some 50,000 people on the East Coast of the United States. Their spiritual leader, William Miller, had said that Jesus Christ would return on that very day. The Millerites, as they were called, waited in their meeting places until darkness fell. Then the next day dawned, but the Lord had not come. Disillusioned, they returned home and thereafter recalled that day as the “Great Disappointment.”
        Yet, disappointment soon gave way to hope. A young woman named Ellen Harmon convinced a small band of Millerites that God had revealed in visions that their time calculation was right. She held that a momentous event had taken place on that day—Christ had then entered “the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.”
        More than a decade later, Adventist preacher James White (who had married Ellen Harmon) coined a phrase to describe the nature of Christ’s work since October 1844. In the Review and Herald of January 29, 1857, White said that Jesus had begun an “investigative judgment.” And this has remained a fundamental belief among some seven million who call themselves Seventh-Day Adventists.

        1. I’m not going to argue with you, epignosis.

          Suffice it to say that the millennial expectation was not limited to William Miller and not everyone was disappointed.

  19. The bible has this message of the millennium and the second coming of Jesus. So it not surprising that many religions have tried to understand when this will happen, the apostles asked Jesus when will it be.
    The problem is that Satan as ruler of the earth, has really tried to hide anything he can , about the things of Jehovah.
    My purpose is not to argue, but to let you know what I have learned, then share that. It is up to each individual , what they do with it.

    Matthew 24:3 While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?”……………………….
    37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; 39 and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken along and the other be abandoned; 41 two women will be grinding at the hand mill: one will be taken along and the other be abandoned. 42 Keep on the watch, therefore, because YOU do not know on what day YOUR Lord is coming.

    Jesus compares his second coming to the days of Noah. ( not a flood this time)
    The scriptures say very few find it. Just like in Noah’s time only 8 survived.
    Did you notice what error was, they took no note. They just were not, aware.
    Just be sure on what you decide.

    1. The bible has this message of the millennium and the second coming of Jesus. So it not surprising that many religions have tried to understand when this will happen….

      You misunderstand. I didn’t mean that the “other” faiths got their ideas about the “end times” prophecies or that they were “trying to understand” the Bible. They got these prophecies from their own scriptures and traditions.

      For example, Krishna (who preceded Moses by some centuries) said that God sent a Teacher whenever the world declined in virtue and that in due time He would send a world uniting Avatar who would “come to this world over-crowded with creatures and contradictory in its laws” and who would be “the destroyer of all things and the maker of a new spiritual union.” Buddha (who came about 600 years before Christ) said that He was not the first Buddha nor the last and that in due time a Buddha called Maitreye (He whose name is “kindness”) would arise. The Zoroastrian scriptures (which foretold Christ’s first advent) also contained prophecies about the Shah Bahram (Lord of Glory). Indeed, American Indian traditions also contained prophecies about this time.

      Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken along and the other be abandoned; Jesus indicated that His disciples had already entered the Kingdom of Heaven. It was, He told them “within” them (some translations read “among” them). I think that’s what He meant when He said one person would be taken (into the Kingdom) and another would be left behind. Baha’u’llah confirms this idea—interestingly, given your comments about Noah, He likens it to “entering the Ark of Salvation.”

      Jesus compares his second coming to the days of Noah. ( not a flood this time) The scriptures say very few find it.

      You’ve lumped a couple of ideas together there. Let’s see if I can sort them out. Jesus is clear that His second advent will be like the days of Noah in that people will be going about their business doing what people do, oblivious to what their behavior and attitudes are causing. As you say, not aware. That’s certainly been borne out. BUT what the scriptures say very few find is that “narrow gate” which, if you read the passage (Matthew 7) in context, is the extent to which we mirror the quality of Jehovah revealed in this commandment: “So, in all things, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

      So, you’re right—if we were aware, we’d obey that commandment and enter that narrow gate.

      And that’s really what the Baha’i Faith is about: being aware of the needs of the age we live in and focusing on those needs. Baha’u’llah has said “It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action…” or as Jesus Christ put it: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

      How important is it to act? Jesus says: “I am come into the world as light, that every one that believes on me may not abide in darkness; and if any one hears my words and does not keep them, I judge him not, for I am not come that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world. He that rejects me and does not receive my words, has him who judges him: the word which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day. John 12:46-48

      So, here we are in the “last day”. If I understand what Christ is saying, keeping His word if of great importance for we are judged by how we keep it. That is, by how we “translate what hath been written into reality in action.”

      Baha’u’llah wrote that we should “Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age you live in” and center our thoughts on its requirements. That is, in essence, the Baha’i mandate—to be aware of the importance of the age in which we live (we have the capacity to unite the world or destroy it), and to strive to translate the divine principles into reality and action.

      That’s what I want to do with my life. I’m sure. :=)

  20. The bible has this message of the millennium and the second coming of Jesus. So it not surprising that many religions have tried to understand when this will happen….

    You misunderstand. I didn’t mean that the “other” faiths got their ideas about the “end times” prophecies or that they were “trying to understand” the Bible. They got these prophecies from their own scriptures and traditions.

    For example, Krishna (who preceded Moses by some centuries) said that God sent a Teacher whenever the world declined in virtue and that in due time He would send a world uniting Avatar who would “come to this world over-crowded with creatures and contradictory in its laws” and who would be “the destroyer of all things and the maker of a new spiritual union.” Buddha (who came about 600 years before Christ) said that He was not the first Buddha nor the last and that in due time a Buddha called Maitreye (He whose name is “kindness”) would arise. The Zoroastrian scriptures (which foretold Christ’s first advent) also contained prophecies about the Shah Bahram (Lord of Glory). Indeed, American Indian traditions also contained prophecies about this time.
    —————————————————————————————————————
    God is not divided with himself.

    Rev 22:18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.

    There is one bible. God warned us about adding or taking way, from it.
    Noah and his family , were the only ones following God, so the there was a flood.
    So all religions were false, except for Noah. Then there was Abraham, all other religions or understanding of God were wrong. So God’s chosen people were only that ones through Abraham. It does not matter how early or or how similar some religions are, there is only one way. When Jesus came, even the Jewish religion was cast aside, then is only Christianity. Because the bible is prophetic, and pictures events in our time, Jesus second coming would be like the first. In that he will start with a new group, and cast away Christendom, just like he cast a way the Jewish religion ,, when he came in the flesh.And the bible says it will be a people for his name. And since Jesus always gave credit to his Father Jehovah, that is why we are called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    There can only be one group.

    ———————————————————————————————————-
    You’ve lumped a couple of ideas together there. Let’s see if I can sort them out. Jesus is clear that His second advent will be like the days of Noah in that people will be going about their business doing what people do, oblivious to what their behavior and attitudes are causing. As you say, not aware. That’s certainly been borne out. BUT what the scriptures say very few find is that “narrow gate” which, if you read the passage (Matthew 7) in context, is the extent to which we mirror the quality of Jehovah revealed in this commandment: “So, in all things, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    So, you’re right—if we were aware, we’d obey that commandment and enter that narrow gate.
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    Jesus by example told us what we should be doing, to be his followers.

    Jesus foretold for our day this work: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” He also instructed his followers: “Go . . . and make disciples of people of all the nations.”—Matt. 24:14; 28:19.
    When Jesus sent out his early disciples, he directed them to go to the homes of the people. (Matt. 10:7, 11-13) The apostle Paul said regarding his ministry: “I did not hold back from telling you any of the things that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house.”—Acts 20:20, 21; see also Acts 5:42.

    The message should be about Jehovah’s kingdom. Which includes the ousting of Satan as ruler of the earth. That is what our message is about.
    Not just publicly, but from house to house.
    2 Tim. 4 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and [art of] teaching. 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories. 5 You, though, keep your senses in all things, suffer evil, do [the] work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.

    (Matthew 24:14) And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come

    Persevere in preaching the word, evangelizing, fully accomplishing your ministry—even though times are coming when men will not want to listen to healthful doctrine but will prefer having their ears tickled by teachers of their own choosing

    So this preaching work and Jehovah’s organization is the “ARK” . Just like in Noah’s day, he was known as a preacher of righteousness.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are known world wide for that.

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken along and the other be abandoned; Jesus indicated that His disciples had already entered the Kingdom of Heaven. It was, He told them “within” them (some translations read “among” them). I think that’s what He meant when He said one person would be taken (into the Kingdom) and another would be left behind. Baha’u’llah confirms this idea—interestingly, given your comments about Noah, He likens it to “entering the Ark of Salvation.”
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Jesus was the first one ever to be resurrected to heaven. But the number that go to heaven is small ( 144,000). God’s purpose for the earth was for man to live on it in a paradise state. So man’s future is the earth. Not heaven. So there are ones at Armageddon , that will that survive that time and continue on the earth. So these ones are on the “Ark” .

    1. God is not divided with himself.
      Agreed. Jesus makes this point when He speaks to the Pharisees. Look at the example He gives: He couldn’t be working for Satan, He says, because He is producing good fruit. He is doing God’s work and Satan would not do that.

      He also says that everyone must also do what He has called on the Pharisees to do: judge whether something is of God by its fruits. So, by Christ’s criteria, if we look at the teachings of Krishna or Buddha, say, we can judge if they teach the same divine principles that Christ taught and are doing the work of God.

      Krishna clearly teaches that God is I AM, the absolute existence. So does Buddha. Krishna teaches that God is reached by an ever-living love and love for all creatures. Buddha teaches “Hatred does not cease by hatred; hatred ceases by love. This is an eternal commandment.” Both taught the same principles that Christ taught. And, Christ clearly says they couldn’t do that if they were of Beeelzebub.

      Rev 22:18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.
      There is one bible. God warned us about adding or taking way, from it.

      epignosis, the passage above is from as specific scroll of prophecy (the Revelation of St. John)—”this scroll” as John says. In it, John is warning against adding to or subtracting from ”words of the scroll of this prophecy” and nothing more. At the time John wrote his prophecies down and gave this warning, the Bible as we know it did not exist. Not even one of the books of the Gospel had been codified. It would be 300 years before the Nicene Council decided which books were scripture and they did not all agree with other Councils. Some Bibles have 66 books, others have 81. Who added and who subtracted?

      The Bible, itself, is proof of the idea that God reveals Himself to us progressively according to our capacity. As you note, He sent Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus. Jesus speaks to this when He explains why He gives a different law of divorce.

      Every people believes they are the Chosen, but Jesus makes it clear in the Sermon on the Mount that God will feed ALL of His children. So, who do I believe? The Jewish patriarchs or Christ? I choose Christ.

      Now, if, as you believe, the people living in India were also descendants of Noah, then what could be more natural than for God to guide them just as He guided Noah’s other descendants?

      Also, the Arabs are children of Abraham through Ishmael with whom God also made a covenant according to the Torah. Do you then accept Muhammad as a Prophet?

      So all religions were false, except for Noah.
      Does this mean that when Abraham came, Noah’s faith became false? Or that when Christ came Moses became a false prophet? I think you would agree that is not the case. Why then, should God teaching the Indian people though a succession of Prophets that included Krishna and Buddha be made false by the appearance of Christ? It could be argued that the Hindu or Buddhist or Jew who embraced Christianity was not really leaving his old faith, but merely fulfilling it, it doesn’t make the old faith false.

      When Jesus came, even the Jewish religion was cast aside, then is only Christianity.
      Jesus says He came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. He did not reject Moses or His teachings, but rather re-affirmed and renewed them. This is clear. And I agree, at His future advent He would do the same thing—re-affirm, renew and fulfill.

      And the bible says it will be a people for his name. … There can only be one group.
      John, whom you quote above, recorded the Alpha and Omega as saying that when He returned, He would have a new name. And I agree that His faith would logically bear that Name. But the idea that there has been only one guided community in all of history runs counter to the clear teachings of Christ. So, I have to regard it as a manmade doctrine born out of misunderstanding.

      The message should be about Jehovah’s kingdom. Which includes the ousting of Satan as ruler of the earth. That is what our message is about.
      “The vitality of men’s belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it? … Perplexing and difficult as this may appear, the still greater task of converting satanic strength into heavenly power is one that We have been empowered to accomplish. …The Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change. — Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh page 200 (XCIX)


      You talk about teaching from house to house. Certainly, this is part of the work. Going from house to house and neighborhood to neighborhood. As I said, putting it into action. The Bahá’í Writings say we should be “unrestrained as the wind” in spreading the teachings of God.

      I understand that you take the prophecies regarding what some churches call “the Rapture” physically. I don’t. For one thing, the verse you quote has been conflated with other verses about the dead coming back to life and people being lifted up to heaven. (Which accurately describes the spiritual transformation of rebirth.)

      Also, God has spent thousands of years trying to teach humanity some fairly simple lessons about obedience and love. Does it make sense that He would suddenly just end our physical existence and fix everything before we’ve learned the lesson? That is, before Christ’s sacrifice and teachings have born all their fruit?

      Then there’s this, Christ spends much time trying to get His disciples to understand the weakness of physical miracles and the relative worthlessness of physical life: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. — John 6:63

      A question I asked myself long ago was: if the spirit is life, and (as Paul says) flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, then why ever would we understand resurrection as a physical process?

  21. A few thing here.

    The bible.

    2 Tim. 3:16, 17: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”

    Notice it said completely equipped.

    Sixty-six individual books from Genesis to Revelation make up the Bible canon. The choice of these particular books, and the rejection of many others, is evidence that the Divine Author not only inspired their writing but also carefully guarded their collection and preservation within the sacred catalog. Thirty-nine of the 66 books, making up three quarters of the Bible’s contents, are known as the Hebrew Scriptures, all having been initially written in that language with the exception of a few small sections written in Aramaic. (Ezr 4:8–6:18; 7:12-26; Jer 10:11; Da 2:4b–7:28) By combining some of these books, the Jews had a total of only 22 or 24 books, yet these embraced the same material. It also appears to have been their custom to subdivide the Scriptures into three parts—‘the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.’ (Lu 24:44; ) The last quarter of the Bible is known as the Christian Greek Scriptures, so designated because the 27 books comprising this section were written in Greek. The writing, collecting, and arrangement of these books within the Bible’s canon also demonstrate Jehovah’s supervision from start to finish.

    Now this writing was under inspiration, which means can God inspire the different scrolls, but not control, how they were put together? Also Jesus and the apostles quoted from the Hebrew scriptures. The whole bible is harmonious with all of it, and there are no quotes from other writings. And right at the end of the bible in Revelation , we are asked as the reader of it not to add or subtract from it.

    Revelation 22:18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.

    As, to think that the bible as God’s word, and is inspired, you have to say God could also but the scrolls together. So is Revelation correct? Or was it that God didn’t know how to put it together?

    Satan copies God all the time. The bible says he turns himself into angel of light. You could really say that all religions, in the world, except the ones that are mentioned in the bible, are false. The term used in the world is counterfeit.

    the Jewish nation fell out of favour with God many times, So Jehovah sent prophets to them as a nation. Not anywhere else. When Jesus came he preached to the Jews first, then to spread out over the world. But there was always only one way. If it wasn’t like that then , how would God stand, if he was divided against himself.

    Eph 4:; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all

    The reason for going door to door is obvious, the bible tells to do that , Jesus and the apostle did that, and to really help and encourage ones, sometimes to change their whole life around.
    But the bottom line is , if you ask anyone around the world who goes door to door and talks about God’s government, and use’s his name, it is Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    There can be only true religion. And as you brought out ” is the one as you by their fruits you will know them.”

    You mention the rapture.

    1 Cor. 15:50, RS: “I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

    Definition: The belief that faithful Christians will be bodily caught up from the earth, suddenly taken out of the world, to be united with the Lord “in the air.” The word “rapture” is understood by some persons, but not by all, to be the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
    The word “rapture” does not occur in the inspired Scriptures.

    Rom. 6:3-5, RS: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? . . . For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
    (What occurred in the case of Jesus set the pattern. His disciples as well as others knew he had died. He was not restored to heavenly life until after his death and resurrection.)

    1 Cor. 15:35, 36, 44, RS: “Some one will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
    (So death comes before one receives that spiritual body, does it not?)

    So your last paragraph you mentioned is a correct conclusion.

    1. 2 Tim. 3:16, 17: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching,… that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”
      You quoted that earlier and in another thread another Christian fellow (not a Witness) quoted the same thing to prove the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. This raises several issue:

      1. What is all scripture? 
To me it obviously means something different than it does to you, but we know what it meant to Paul—it meant the Torah. Before the segment you quote, he says: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 3:15)

      Note that he says these scriptures will make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ. He is echoing Jesus: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:38-40) Christ and Paul both say the Torah speaks of Christ, but the Jewish scholars certainly didn’t see it that way. Understanding why they didn’t is something I found beneficial.

      2) 

If “all scripture” is to include something other than the Torah (if it’s to include the Gospels, for example), then the question arises: who decides what is scripture?

      3) What does the passage tell us about Scripture? It tells us it is inspired of God (God-breathed), and beneficial (or profitable (NIV, Darby, KJV). It tells us it can make us wise and completely equipped for good works. 

This does not say it is infallible or inerrant.

      But please note: The scripture that Paul says will completely equip a man for teaching is the Torah, because the Gospels do not yet exist yet he says this scripture is one they have studied since childhood. I am not arguing that the Gospels are not Scripture. I believe they are. I am arguing that if you apply the verse as Paul is giving it, you would also exclude books you now consider scripture.

      What I’m saying is that the Bible doesn’t come with a list of approved books authorized by Christ. We know scripture because it consistently tells us the same, eternal spiritual principles regardless of where or when it was revealed. Social teachings might vary, but the essence of what God wants us to know doesn’t change.

      Sixty-six individual books from Genesis to Revelation make up the Bible canon. This is true of the Protestant versions, but the Catholic Bible has 73 books and the Orthodox even more. Moreover what the Jews consider canon for the Torah is different from Christian versions. So one would have to know which selection process was guided. So, if the Books included in the Bible are the only Scripture ever given, we have a problem, because even within that 66+ books, verses have existed for hundreds of years in “authorized” translations that were later discovered—in the light of better scholarship—not to have been in the earliest manuscripts known.

      My question to my ministers, was always “Why would God stop revealing Himself to us for over 2000 years?” I never got a satisfactory answer from any minister, but the answer I ultimately got from Bahá’u’lláh was that He didn’t stop. Some of us stopped listening because we believed we’d heard everything. As a Christian, I believed Christ’s message was final—even though He told His disciples “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:12-13)

      I’d been taught that prophecy was fulfilled at Pentecost when the disciples spoke in foreign tongues. I believed in spite of the fact that after that event, Paul said, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (Corinthians I 13:8)

      there are no quotes from other writings. And right at the end of the bible in Revelation , we are asked as the reader of it not to add or subtract from it. Whether there are quotes from other writings depends on what you consider “other.” There are Shumerian stories in Genesis. In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet refers to the Zoroastrian king Cyrus as God’s anointed. In fact, in Isaiah, we have God speaking to the Jews through the Zoroastrian kings. Does this indicate that perhaps God doesn’t consider the Zoroastrians “other?”

      Revelation 22:18 reads: “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: I… if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll
      Three times in the passage you quote, John emphasizes that he’s talking about “this scroll of prophecy”. As I said, the Bible we have today did not exist at the time of John. The Gospels did not exist as books when John wrote this passage. He’s not talking about “the Bible”. He’s talking about “this scroll of prophecy.”

      None of the Prophets I’ve mentioned, including Baha’u’llah, have added to or subtracted from the Book of Revelation.

      Satan copies God all the time. The bible says he turns himself into angel of light. Paul says this. And if you read the words of Christ, they clarify what Paul means—a false prophet might perform “signs and wonders” but he cannot show good fruits. If you believe that Satan could seem Christlike in all ways, even to doing good, doesn’t that make a lie of Christ’s words? He clearly says that 1) Satan will not do God’s work and 2) “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18)

      You could really say that all religions, in the world, except the ones that are mentioned in the bible, are false. The term used in the world is counterfeit. No, I couldn’t say that, because in so doing I would be calling Christ a liar.

      Two points here though: 1) Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity are mentioned in the Bible directly, and it could be argued that Islam and the Bahá’í Faith are both mentioned in prophecy. 2) If you were born to Indian parents in India, you would have grown up believing the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads were Scripture and might argue that only the prophets mentioned in those books are true and the others false.

      Stop and think for a moment about why you believe the Bible is holy but not, say, the Bhagavad Gita. I’ve had Witnesses tell me before when I shared Krishna’s teachings with them that they were like Christ’s because Krishna was a counterfeit Christ. That’s a neat trick considering that Krishna came to India several thousand years before Christ appeared in Israel.

      I stared this idea in the face before I became a Bahá’í. And it presented an untenable situation. If I believed that Krishna and Buddha were counterfeit, then I was saying Christ lied. Because He says, in the voice of authority, that if a soul asks God for bread (here, the Bread of Life) God will not give him a stone and if he asks for fish, God will not give him a snake (a deceiver). “If you who are evil,” Christ says, “know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your Father in heaven know how to give good gifts to those who ask Him.?” (Matthew 7, again)

      I don’t know if you have kids. I have three. Even I, a flawed human parent, know that it’s wrong to feed, clothe and educate one child and let the rest fend for themselves—to allow them to be mislead by false guidance in the complete absence of any guidance from me. Even if I fed them scraps from my favorite child’s plate, communicated with them through my favored child, and let them wear his hand-me-downs, I would be considered a wretched parent. This is what Christ is telling you about God, epignosis. Even we imperfect humans know better than to treat our children in this manner. Can we imagine God would? The only conclusion possible for me is that the God Christ revealed would, by His own word, NOT do this.

      God is not divided. As a Bahá’í I believe that He continually sends His Teachers to the darkest most benighted part of the earth. And the Light (what started this series of comments) spreads out from there. The new Light does not invalidate the previous one any more than the sun rising on Tuesday invalidates the sun that rose on Monday. It’s the same Sun, the same Light, just a different day of the week.

      Bahá’u’lláh uses the image of the mirror (as does Paul). He refers to this Being (the Word) as a Primal Mirror that reflects God’s names and attributes in a way that we can comprehend because we see the Light shining from a human mirror. The Sun never descends into the Mirror, it remains in “heaven”, and casts its image into the Mirror through the ray of Light (the Glory of God, Shekinah, or Holy Spirit). So, when Christ speaks of the Spirit of Truth, He says: “All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known unto you.” (John 16: 15) Both Mirrors show the Father’s reflection.

      But the bottom line is , if you ask anyone around the world who goes door to door and talks about God’s government, and use’s his name, it is Jehovah’s Witnesses. Well, Bahá’ís also go door to door, house to house, visiting people in their homes and opening their own homes to people. As part of teaching their Faith Bahá’ís also tell people about the administrative order designed by Bahá’u’lláh Himself. The governing body for the Bahá’ís of the world is located on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. There are also similar consultative bodies that function at the national and local level. They are not a priesthood, nor ecclesiastics, and they are freely elected in an attitude of prayer. (As Bahá’u’lláh wrote, “Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God…”)


  22. Maya , I hope I don’t come across too hard or anything like that.
    It is hard sometimes to be able to read someone, this way.
    I say things matter of fact. Just what I know to be true.
    epi

    1. Sweetie, I’ve had people scream obscenities in my face and tell me I was going to hell.

      You’re a pussy cat.

  23. Actually there is no place as hell. So it was kind of a mute threat. 🙂
    But I’m glad that I am not too hard on you,though.
    I will answer your last post tomorrow . ( too late now) You have a miss understanding of (John 5:38-40). So I see why you are confused here.

    1. Actually, I think it was academic. Telling them I didn’t believe in hell as a fiery place of eternal torment only inflamed the issue. (Snarf. Humor.)

  24. Ha Ha it was late last night . When I said ‘mute’ threat. I meant ‘moot’. though I guess mute is good also.

    John 5:38-40 is about attitude, of studying the scriptures. Are you studying them to get your own agenda, or are you studying to learn Gods ways. He was talking to the Pharisees.
    So it kind of make me wonder why you look into the bible at all? What is your purpose?
    When we first started to talk, you said Satan was just the evil in all of us. Yet the bible says something completely different. You use some scriptures then not others? You talk about some God who’s name is I AM.
    The bible says not to add or take away, but you wand to add and take away .
    Jesus bought back the perfect life lost in Adam, and gave man a hope which he do have until then. He taught us how to follow God, but you say we need more than what Jesus did and said.
    So I AM wondering , why do you use the bible at all?

    1. John 5:38-40 is about attitude, of studying the scriptures. Are you studying them to get your own agenda, or are you studying to learn Gods ways. He was talking to the Pharisees.

      I agree that it’s about attitude. But it’s about more than that. You can see this most clearly in context with verses 46 and 47 where He tells the Pharisees “If you had believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how can you believe my words?” Here, Christ is telling the Pharisees that if they really understood their own scriptures, they’d see that Moses was talking about Him (“God will raise up a prophet like me from among your brethren”—Deut. 18:15).

      That was the meaning I was attaching to: the Pharisees missed the advent of Christ because of the way they understood their scriptures. In context with my life, I was ready to reject Bahá’u’lláh for the same reason the Pharisees rejected Christ.

      So it kind of make me wonder why you look into the bible at all? What is your purpose?
      I believe the Bible—especially the teachings of Christ—are part of God’s revelation to mankind. I studied when I was a child the way my parents and ministers taught me to. I memorized passages and listened to sermons. When I was confronted with Bahá’u’lláh, I studied it again in an attempt to disprove Him. As my quest progressed, I began to understand the Bible as part of the scriptural record of the entire human race, not all of it.

      I study it now because it illuminates and is illuminated by other scriptures. I study it because, in it, I find evidences of an eternal, loving God who has fed, clothed and educated (spiritually) mankind in every age. I study it because it speaks of Christ and Moses and, through Them, Jehovah, whom I love.

      But I think part of your question is HOW I read scripture that I have come to the conclusions I have. In every scripture, there are key passages that illuminate the rest of scripture. These passages, I believe, are “touchstones” that should be referred back to whenever a question about meaning or application comes up.

      In the Gospel, these passages are the following:

      Matthew 7: 7-13 In which Jesus reveals what we call the Golden Rule, says that it sums up the Law and the Prophets and which He later restates as the second of the two greatest commandments.
      Matthew 22:37-40 In which He states the two greatest commandments—which He says sum up the Law and the Prophets: Love God and love others as we love ourselves.
      John 15 In which He reminds His disciples that they cannot bear fruit unless they abide in His love and the only way to do that is to obey His commandment to love one another as He has loved them.

      Because of the way Jesus Christ repeats and emphasizes these particular teachings AND because He chose these teachings to emphasize the night He faced death, I have no recourse but to recognize their supreme importance. They are a touchstone: all other scripture should be read in light of these. If there seems to be conflict between differing verses, these words of Christ will tell me how those verses ought to be understood. AND if a human interpretation of a verse of scripture violates these teachings, then it can’t be correct.

      So, let’s look at the idea that God has left billions of souls in ignorance—and worse, let them be misled by false prophets (Krishna, for example) who came with the same essential teachings that Christ brought. (“This Spirit Supreme, Arjuna, is attained by an ever-living love. In Him all things have their life, and from Him all things have come.” — Bhagavad Gita 8:22)

      When Jesus teaches how we should behave toward others, He’s using God’s behavior as a mirror and a model. Matthew 7 says clearly that if someone asks for bread, God will not give him a stone. Clearly, He’s not talking about physical bread here, but rather spiritual sustenance, which is far more important. After stating these things, Jesus says, “If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so does your Father in Heaven know how to give good gifts to those who ask Him.”

      Back to my touchstone: If a human parent fed, clothed and educated one child and let the others go hungry, naked and ignorant, we would consider that criminal behavior. No loving parent would treat their children that way.

      I ask again: How can we believe that the God Christ revealed would do this?

      Yet, you tell me that this is exactly what God has done: He has chosen a favorite child to feed, clothe and educate, and neglected the others, allowing them to be the victims of clever deceivers.

      I once believed that, myself, I admit it. But I came to realize that my beliefs were in conflict with what Christ taught of God. Either Christ lied or I (and a great many others) had misinterpreted the scriptural record. The answer to my dilemma was suggested by Bahá’u’lláh, but it lay in the words of Christ, Himself, as brilliant as the sun. When I read the Bible in light of those teachings which Christ, Himself, clearly emphasized, the conflict is resolved.

      I try to read all scripture in context with those key teachings—the ones given special importance by Christ, not by human beings.

      The bible says not to add or take away, but you wand to add and take away .
      First, as I think I pointed out—John forbids anyone to add to or subtract from his book of prophecy. The Bible as such didn’t exist.

      Second, I’m not adding or subtracting to anything myself. Only God has the authority to add to scripture. When Jesus came, “scripture” was the Torah. Jesus’ words were added to scripture by people who believed them to have the authority of God. Of course, more than that was added—along with His words and deeds we also have the words and deeds of some of His disciples. In any event, I think you’d agree that Christ’s words DID have that authority and were appropriately added to what we consider Scripture, yes?

      As a Bahá’í, I believe that Bahá’u’lláh also has the authority to reveal the Word of God. I believe in Bahá’u’lláh for the same reasons that I believe in Christ—His Words, His deeds, the testimony of scripture, and the application of reason and faith.

      If I failed to answer one of your questions, by all means, whack me upside the head (in a loving way) and I’ll try to answer.

  25. Jesus as the one that fulfilled the prophecies about him.

    Christ Jesus was that Promised One.
    He fulfilled the prophecies that identify that One. He was born of the tribe of Judah, as foretold by Jacob. He was born in Bethlehem, as foretold by Micah. He was born of a virgin, as foretold by Isaiah. He spoke in parables, as foretold by the psalmist Asaph. He was betrayed by a follower, as foretold by David. His betrayal was for thirty pieces of silver, as foretold by Zechariah. Lots were cast for his garments, and he was given vinegar and gall, as was foretold by David. He died a sacrificial death and was buried with the rich, as was foretold by Isaiah. These are only a few of the more than three hundred prophecies he fulfilled.

    Satan wanted to confuse people to who the real Messiah was.There were impostors who appeared before the days of Christ were thought by many to be the Promised One who is mentioned in numerous legends. The legends about him resulted from what the Flood survivors told their descendants about the One promised in Eden. As people multiplied and emigrated to various parts of the earth, the story went with them and was then passed down from generation to generation. This explains why promises of such a person are found in many pagan religions today.

    Christ was well acquainted with Satan’s plot. He knew that after he finished his work on earth many more impostors would rise up to confuse and delude future generations.
    He warned of this when he said: “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them.” “Look out that nobody misleads you; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying: ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”
    And so they have.—Matt. 7:15, 16; 24:4, 5.

    Many people have followed the counterfeits as guiding lights, even though none fulfilled the prophecies that identified the true light.

    One appeared in the second century under the name of Bar Kokba (Cocheba). This is what The Jewish Encyclopedia says about him and his influence on the Jewish nation: “Although some . . . doubted his Messiahship, he seems to have carried the nation with him for his undertaking. After stirring up a war that taxed the power of Rome, he at last met his death on the walls of Bethar. His Messianic movement ended in defeat and misery for the survivors.”

    Another counterfeit appeared between 720 and 723 by the name of Serene. Upon his promise that the Mohammedans would be driven from Palestine, multitudes followed him. They too were disappointed.

    During the twelfth century the Jews went from one counterfeit messiah to another. Here is what McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia says regarding this: “The 12th century was particularly fruitful in producing Messiahs. About 1137 there appeared one in France, who was put to death, and numbers of those who followed him.

    In A.D. 1138 the Persians were disturbed with a Jew who called himself the Messiah. He collected a vast army; but he, too, was put to death, and his followers were treated with great inhumanity. A false Messiah stirred up the Jews at Cordova, in Spain, A.D. 1157.
    The wiser and better part looked upon him as a madman, but the great body of the Jewish nation believed him. On this occasion nearly all the Jews in Spain were destroyed.

    Another false Messiah who arose in the kingdom of Fez, A.D. 1167, under the name of David Alrui (Alroy), brought great troubles and persecutions upon the Jews that were scattered throughout the country.”

    One more might be mentioned. He was Shabbethai Zebi, who proclaimed himself the Messiah in 1665. He gathered a large following of Jews in many countries. His movement lasted in some places for over a century, even though he turned Mohammedan.

    One of these impostors who successfully trapped Mohammedans as well as professed Christians was a man who assumed the name of Bahá’u’lláh. He proclaimed himself the manifestation of God in 1863, and was hailed by professed Christians as the returned Christ. By thinking this member of the Mohammedan faith was a divine light in a darkened world, they became victims of Satan’s age-old plot

    A man today who is using the same method to beguile the gullible is Francis H. Pencovic. He parades about with long hair, a beard and a toga, and has been claiming to be Christ since 1948. He goes under the name of Krishna Venta. The word Krishna is the name of the Hindu counterfeit of God’s Promised One. In view of that his use of the name fits his pretentions.For the uninformed, Krishna Venta was a self-proclaimed messiah who oversaw the WKFL Fountain of the World cult (the term used in newspapers during his lifetime) in the 1940s and 1950s. (The “WKFL,” by the way, stood for Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith and Love.) He was born Francis Herman Pencovic in San Francisco, California in 1911 and – prior to declaring he was “Krishna Venta” (which he claimed meant “the Christ Everlasting”) – had been a con man, a convict, and a soldier and gambling ventures have brought him publicity.

    And there were many others.

    Jesus was the only one that fulfilled the hundreds of prophecies . and the bible warns us that there would be ones that would try to take the glory for themselves ( like Satan did).

  26. One of these impostors who successfully trapped Mohammedans as well as professed Christians was a man who assumed the name of Bahá’u’lláh. He proclaimed himself the manifestation of God in 1863, and was hailed by professed Christians as the returned Christ. By thinking this member of the Mohammedan faith was a divine light in a darkened world, they became victims of Satan’s age-old plot

    Surely you can’t think I don’t know about this sort of thing. I’ve read worse. I have a collection of “cult-bashing” books in my library, a number of which I read during my study of the Bahá’í Faith and others which I’ve collected since.

    Are you acquainted with what Greek, Roman and Jewish scholars said about Jesus and “the cult of the Nazarene”? Emperor Marc Antony wrote: “You should ask concerning Jesus of Nazareth from his own people, the Jews, and not from these poor Romans, none of whom have seen him, but whom baseness and indolence have caused to follow him.” Volumes were written by philosophers, historians and others to prove that Christ and His followers were the enemies of humanity. Tacitus, the Roman philosopher, wrote that “The Christian religion is among the destructive superstitions.”

    Is any of that proof that Christ is not who He claimed to be? Would you recommend that someone seeking to know the truth about Christ read one of these books?

    Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah also fulfills hundreds of Biblical (and other) prophecies. If you want to understand why they believe this, there are many books about the Biblical prophecies He fulfilled, such as “He Cometh With Clouds” by Gary Matthews or “Thief in the Night” by William Sears. Baha’u’llah also answers questions about specific prophecies in a book called the Kitab-i-Iqan (Book of Certitude).

    About Bahá’u’lláh seeking His own glory—this is one of the criteria that Christ suggests in the Gospel, that a true prophet does not seek His own glory, but rather the glory of God (which is what the title Bahá’u’lláh means). Baha’u’llah never glorifies Himself and you need look no further than His own words to see that. He spent most of His adult life in exile and in prison, gave up wealth most human beings would die for, and suffered horribly to deliver His message. He writes: “I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And he bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven, and for this there befell Me what hath caused the tears of every man of understanding to flow…. This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of Thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred…. His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to speak His praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one dead when His behest was uttered. The hand of the will of Thy Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful, transformed Me.” (Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p 57)

    Referring back to my previous post, about the touchstone, here is the essential teaching of Baha’u’llah: “The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.”

    So, again, it comes down to: “You shall know them by their fruits.”

  27. Yes I figured you had run across these things.
    You also have to live up what you preach. Jesus was the only man that did that. Also the second coming of Jesus , was not as a physical man.

    But I was wondering why you use a book ,the bible for instance and only use parts of it and not others?

    So, again, it comes down to: “You shall know them by their fruits.”
    It is not just what you say but what you do.

    1. If you figured I’d seen them, then why bother to post? It was good, though, to see the notes about Bar Kochba and other claimants to Messiahship. It makes an important point: in all ages in which a Messenger of God is expected to appear, there are false claimants. Jesus warns about them and tells how to spot them. This assures us that 1) there will be both true and false prophets in the future and 2) we can tell the difference if we apply the criteria.

      If we assume that all Prophets will be false, we run the risk of missing the true ones.

      I disagree that Jesus was the only man to live up to what He preached and have to ask what historical records you’re relying on to indicate that this is so.

      You ask why I only “use” parts of the Bible. (I explained pretty fully in an earlier response how I study the Bible, so I won’t answer that again here, but I will ask in return: Why do you only use parts of the Bible?

      Why don’t you preach, for example, that instead of turning the other cheek when someone insults or hurts you, you hurt them back, using “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” as your guideline? Do you eat port or shell fish? Do you believe people who do any sort of work on the sabbath should be executed? Do you believe that a man should be able to divorce his wife “for any reason?”

      I think Jesus explains this (I’ve said this before). He changes the law of divorcement, and when asked why, He explains that “because of the hardness of your hearts Moses gave you this law, but from the beginning it was not so.” God’s ideas about marriage didn’t change, but our ability to understand them apparently did. Moses gave a law men back then could keep and Jesus changed the law.

      I use all of the Bible. But I use it for different purposes, just as you do. If you wanted to know God’s teaching on divorce you’d go to Christ’s words on the subject, rather than the law of Moses, right? If you wanted to know how one should observe the Sabbath, likewise, you’d go to Christ’s words, not Moses’. Does that mean you’re cherry-picking? Or that you’re not using the Bible “properly?” Or (heaven forbid) that you’re rejecting Moses?

      I explained how and why I use the Bible in some detail in an earlier response to your questions about that. I’m sorry it was so long, but these aren’t simplistic things and can’t be boiled down to a slogan or a sound bite. I tried to be as clear as possible and if you could read that carefully and think about it, it would be helpful to our discussion.

      Re: fruits. I believe I mentioned that one of the things I looked at when investigating the Baha’i Faith was the life of Baha’u’llah. So yes, I agree: fruits includes the life and teachings of the claimant to revelation.

  28. . In his prophecies on the conclusion of the system of things, Christ warned his followers:
    “Look out that nobody misleads you; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. For false Christ’s and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” (Mt 24:4, 5, 24)
    Such wicked persons who falsely lay claim to the title and office of the Lord Jesus Christ are included in the antichrist—1Jo 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2Jo 7;

    1 Jo 2:18 Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as YOU have heard that antichrist is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour.

    So if you use the bible, why is it that you ignore these scriptures?

  29. I don’t ignore those scriptures at all. I studied them right along with all the other scriptures. And I read them in context with the other scriptures.

    Yes, false prophets do arise and mislead people with “signs and wonders.” I remember reading about a number of people who made claims of being the return of Christ. Do you know how I knew they weren’t the real deal? I went back to the touchstone verses and I applied the criteria. One of these claimants to revelation surrounded himself with bodyguards carrying machine guns. Another had a stable full of Rolls Royces. Many of them took their followers’ money to buy luxuries for themselves.

    Do you know what Baha’u’llah had? A prison cell in Akka where He was assigned a grave with the wicked. When someone gave Him a gift, He gave it away, in turn to the poorest among His companions. When the governor of Akka begged to know what he could do for Baha’u’llah to ameliorate His suffering, Baha’u’llah told him to repair the aqueduct so all the citizens of Akka could have fresh water.

    The spirit of anti-christ is any spirit that denies Jesus came in the flesh. Baha’u’llah doesn’t just testify of the truth of Christ, He glorifies Him again and again.

    “The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced … are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive and resplendent Spirit. “We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified.” — Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, XXXVI

  30. Yes there are many that are obvious, and Satan is cleaver.
    But the bible is very clear on this, and I do hope you consider it carefully.
    I can only suggest, you look at that scripture again. (Mt 24:4, 5, 24)
    If you really do believe what the bible says is correct.

    1. epignosis, Satan may be clever, but Christ assures us that we have the rational faculties and the resources to see through him. When I take all of the things Christ said about … well, everything—the nature of God, His own station, the future, no matter how many times I look at the scriptures and heed the warnings (and trust me, I trotted out every one of the scriptures you did when first confronted with Baha’u’llah), I come to the same conclusion.

      But I’ve asked you a question several times that you’ve yet to answer. In a broad sense, I’m asking why you ignore certain passages of scripture that Christ lays special emphasis on.

      In two different comments, I walked through the Sermon on the Mount, specifically where Christ reveals the nature of God as a loving Parent. I asked, in essence, how you could read that passage and take it to heart and yet suppose that God would behave toward His children in ways that even frail human beings think is criminal.

      Matthew 7 says clearly that if someone asks for bread, God will not give him a stone. After stating these things, Jesus says, “If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so does your Father in Heaven know how to give good gifts to those who ask Him.”

      So: If a human parent fed, clothed and educated one child and let the others go hungry, naked and ignorant, we would consider that criminal behavior, right?

      Why do you, epignosis, believe that the God Christ revealed has done exactly that: chosen a favorite child to feed, clothe and educate, and neglected the others, allowing them to be the victims of clever deceivers?

      Whether Satan is a physical or spirit being or the gestalt negativity of human vices is irrelevant to this subject, but let’s assume for a moment that he’s “real”. Wouldn’t a great victory for him be to get even the “elect” to abandon the clear moral and spiritual teachings of God in favor of haggling over doctrine—such as whether Satan was real or how God’s name should be pronounced?

      Jesus says that His word is what gives life, that His word is what cleanses, feeds, and judges the soul. I’m going to trust that word.

  31. So: If a human parent fed, clothed and educated one child and let the others go hungry, naked and ignorant, we would consider that criminal behavior, right?

    Why do you, epignosis, believe that the God Christ revealed has done exactly that: chosen a favorite child to feed, clothe and educate, and neglected the others, allowing them to be the victims of clever deceivers?

    Whether Satan is a physical or spirit being or the gestalt negativity of human vices is irrelevant to this subject, but let’s assume for a moment that he’s “real”. Wouldn’t a great victory for him be to get even the “elect” to abandon the clear moral and spiritual teachings of God in favor of haggling over doctrine—such as whether Satan was real or how God’s name should be pronounced?

    Jesus says that His word is what gives life, that His word is what cleanses, feeds, and judges the soul. I’m going to trust that word.
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    Sorry I didn’t comment on this before.

    The reason Jehovah, chose the nation from Abraham, was because Abraham was the only one doing what was right in God’s eyes. Everyone else in the world was not. The bible is written about the people of that time, but is for the people of our time. So the nation of the Jews, were Gods chosen people.It is from this Jewish nation,…that the bible was written,…. and Jesus would come. It is from the Jewish nation of experiences, Jehovah shows how he deals with people. So when the Jews were obedient to God, they prospered, when they didn’t they suffered. Through all of these accounts , we today know what to expect from God.

    This also means that anyone that wanted to follow God in those times , could follow the Jewish nation. A man living in the land of Uz, in what is now Arabia. (Job 1:1) God said concerning Job: “There is no one like him in the earth, a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad.” (Job 1:8)
    This would indicate that Job lived in Uz at about the time that his distant cousins, the 12 tribes of Israel, were in slavery down in the land of Egypt. By then Joseph the son of Jacob (Israel) had died (1657 B.C.E.) after he had endured much unjust suffering but had kept his blamelessness toward Jehovah God. Moses had not yet risen up as Jehovah’s prophet to lead the 12 tribes of Israel out of Egyptian slavery. Between Joseph’s death and the time when Moses by his conduct showed himself to be blameless and upright, there was no human with integrity like Job’s.

    The suffering that Job went through ( even though he was favoured in God’s eyes,) was caused by Satan.
    Because Adam chose Satan rather than Jehovah, we are all under this influence of Satan.
    Even the people that follow God can have hard times in this world.
    And in may cases this ‘feeding’ is talking about spiritual food.

    So when you talk about Jesus, ( he had no children) He is talking about spiritual food, not physical.
    So a wealthy man, can be starving spiritually.

    If you notice in Matthew 7 that you quoted:

    Matthew 7 says clearly that if someone asks for bread, God will not give him a stone. After stating these things, Jesus says, “If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so does your Father in Heaven know how to give good gifts to those who ask Him.”

    You notice here is said “who ask him”?
    This is talking about spiritual gifts. And this asking, involves , work on our part.

    James 2:18 Nevertheless, a certain one will say: “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from the works, and I shall show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder. 20 But do you care to know, O empty man, that faith apart from works is inactive? 21 Was not Abraham our father declared righteous by works after he had offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 You behold that [his] faith worked along with his works and by [his] works [his] faith was perfected, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says: “Abraham put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” and he came to be called “Jehovah’s friend.”
    24 YOU see that a man is to be declared righteous by works, and not by faith alone. 25 In the same manner was not also Ra′hab the harlot declared righteous by works, after she had received the messengers hospitably and sent them out by another way? 26 Indeed, as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

    Jehovah does not choose people as friends unless they earn that. The bible even says the Demons have ‘faith’ in God. But because of what they know, they shudder.

    Satan’s tactics, he has used since Adams time. The bible was written so that we can know what and how he uses those.
    One way is God’s name.Satan effectively took it out of the bible. And it was hardly used by allot of Christian religions, and really made Jesus God, in Jehovah’s place. So people know that it is important, to use Jesus name. How much more so Jehovah’s name. If we went around pronouncing Jesus name any way we liked, who would know what we are talking about. And why would you do that? I could be showing disrespect for Jesus or Jehovah. In English the known pronunciation is Jesus.and God’s name is Jehovah.
    The rational of Satan is to use anything he can to misdirect people from worshipping God. But is that rational , in that Satan knows he can only lose. So why he uses certain tactics on us is that one idea may get that person, another idea gets someone else.

    It’s OK to trust Jesus words, but you also have to do something about it. And that does not mean what we want to do. Jehovah has given people something to do at this time period.

    Matt 24:9 “Then people will deliver YOU up to tribulation and will kill YOU, and YOU will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name. 10 Then, also, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. 13 But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come

    Did you notice that there will be preachers of God’s kingdom at that time. And Jesus showed us how to do that preaching work. They went door to door, and publicly. So the bible is clear on this, but many do not want to do things God’s. Even though they may have done other things in his name.

    Matt. 7:13, 14, RS: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

    Matt 7:21 “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 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.

    1. You notice here is said “who ask him”? This is talking about spiritual gifts. And this asking, involves , work on our part.
      Amen. Yes! Exactly. As I’ve said before, I completely agree that when Jesus speaks of bread in Matthew 7, He is not speaking of physical bread. BUT I’ve had more than one correspondent insist that Jesus was saying God provided literal food for all and that this was what the verses meant.

      And therein lies part of the problem with human interpretation—especially when it results in dogma that one group of people decides everyone must follow. To some believers this verse is a “throwaway”. It’s “yeah, that’s nice”. To me, it’s a summary statement of the very nature of Jehovah.

      So let me ask, can you imagine that only Jews and people born after the time of Christ asked God to guide them? That no one else in all of history has sincerely prayed for God’s grace? I once believed that—without realizing that was what my beliefs lead to. I was told the scriptures of other peoples were lies, superstition, false. When I took the time to look at them I realized that those scriptures were eloquent with the longing for God’s guidance and that His response was equally eloquent. You have only to read the Vedas or Upanishads to feel the depth of that longing to know God.

      You may respond “Ah, but they weren’t calling Him by the right name!” How might they have known it if God didn’t reveal it to them?
      The followers of Krishna lived in India before the time of Moses. The followers of Buddha before the time of Christ. Krishna gave the Name in the language of His own people. Are all these souls condemned to neglect because they didn’t speak Hebrew or weren’t born in Israel? Is it the fruit of a just, merciful and rational God?

      Yet, you’re telling me that God punished billions of souls for being ignorant by keeping them ignorant. By refusing to educate them. Is that the God Christ revealed? No, it’s not. Christ’s God is the Father who welcomed back the prodigal son, the Shepherd who goes looking for the lost sheep. That does not tally with a God who will simply deny huge populations even a scrap of His love.

      Back to the touchstone: If you’re walking down a darkened street and you hear an anonymous child call out for help, will you ignore their pleas because they don’t call you by name? Do you check to make sure its your own child or at least a child you know before you help? I think not. If you, a flawed human, know how to behave toward a child (or soul) in peril, how much more so does your Father in heaven?
      This is the dilemma: how could the God that Christ (and the other Prophets) revealed punish souls for not knowing His name when He has never revealed it to them?

      James 2:18 Nevertheless, a certain one will say: “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from the works, and I shall show you my faith by my works.” … Indeed, as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

      Amen, again. Christ’s statements are clear—Jewishness, or belief in scriptures or calling Him Lord isn’t the criteria—it’s keeping the Word. Did you know that many, many centuries before Christ in India, the Bhagavad Gita records God as saying the same thing?

      “Not by the Vedas (Scriptures), or an austere life, or gifts to the poor, or ritual offerings can I be seen as thou hast seen Me. Only by love can men see Me, and know Me, and come unto Me. He who works for Me, who loves Me, whose end Supreme I am, free from attachment to all things, and with love for all creation, he in truth comes unto Me.” — Bhagavad Gita 11:53, 54

      Did you notice that there will be preachers of God’s kingdom at that time. And Jesus showed us how to do that preaching work. They went door to door, and publicly.

      You brought this up several times before and I believe I’ve already spoken to it. I’m not sure why you’re repeating it, unless you didn’t see my response. Certainly, spreading the news of God’s kingdom is one of the ways of putting the Word into action and demonstrating faith. We are in agreement on that, I think.

  32. The reason Jehovah, chose the nation from Abraham, was because Abraham was the only one doing what was right in God’s eyes. Everyone else in the world was not.

    You miss the nature of the dilemma posed by the Sermon on the Mount. What valid “reason” can God have for violating His own nature and His express spiritual teachings? If God is a neglectful parent, as you have tried to prove to me, why would He have Christ lie and say that He is not?

    After He reveals God’s nature as a more loving and perfect Parent than any human, He speaks of how to tell truth from falsehood. The yardstick He uses: “you will know them by their fruits”. If this is true of human beings, how much more so must it be of the One who gave that guidance? Are you prepared to believe that a fruit of Jehovah’s behavior is deceit and hypocrisy? I’m not.

    Yet, these are the untenable choices before us:

    1. God is an abusive parent and Christ lied about His essential qualities, or

    2. God is the loving Parent Christ revealed Him to be and human beings have misinterpreted scripture and built their doctrine on those misinterpretations.

    Which is it? Those are the only two choices that I can see and all the quotes you can cite will not change that. When I first confronted this dilemma 36 years ago, I eliminated the possibility that God was a hypocrite and Christ a liar. That left human fallibility.

    Please understand that I am not rejecting the Bible. I am rejecting a particular human interpretation of it. And I am suggesting that, if the words of Christ are true, then we humans have to understand the story of Abraham and the concept of “chosenness” (and a good many other concepts) in a different way.

    You say that all these millions—no, billions—of souls were suffered to live in spiritual darkness. They were ignorant of God’s will, but instead of teaching them His will, He chose to punish them for their ignorance by keeping them ignorant. Does that seem right to you? Would a human parent treat an ignorant child in such a fashion? Especially if the child asked for knowledge? Wouldn’t they give the child a Teacher?

    So again, I say—using Christ’s Word as the measure—if God is who Christ reveals Him to be, He would not leave those people without guidance. It would not be just or merciful, for one thing. But it would also contradict Christ’s revelation.

    (I’d like to speak to a couple of your other points, but separately,)

  33. 1. God is an abusive parent and Christ lied about His essential qualities, or

    2. God is the loving Parent Christ revealed Him to be and human beings have misinterpreted scripture and built their doctrine on those misinterpretations.
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    Jehovah’s purpose for the earth and man was for man to be perfect, and live on a paradise earth. This has not changed, this is what God wants for all. This has not changed, this is the future for man.

    John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent forth his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him. 18 He that exercises faith in him is not to be judged. He that does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. 19 Now this is the basis for judgment, that the light has come into the world but men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. 20 For he that practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, in order that his works may not be reproved. 21 But he that does what is true comes to the light, in order that his works may be made manifest as having been worked in harmony with God.”
    Proverbs 27:11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me

    Ok so I think you understand this, God says he loves mankind, and he wants all of them to listen too him. And he wants the best for man.
    But man was disloyal to God, all through Adam, all man were born into this sin.

    Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace,” Jehovah has said, “for the wicked ones.”

    The bibles definition of ‘wicked” are those that do not serve Jehovah.
    Even if they are of the chosen people, ‘ like the Jews, and in our time the ‘Christians’. And all other people and religions, throughout history.
    Now ,many people through the ages, have not had the chance to know Jehovah. Maybe they were not part of the Jewish nation, or there was no knowledge, of God anywhere.
    So what about them?

    1 Peter 3:18 Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous [person] for unrighteous ones, that he might lead YOU to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit

    This scripture is saying Jesus died for all people the righteous and unrighteous.( so that means everyone, including all the people that never knew Jehovah.)

    The bible says the wages that sin pays is death. So when a person dies , they have paid that price. ( there is no punishment in death, death is the punishment)

    That is why in Acts, it says

    Acts 24:15 and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.

    The ones that are righteous, are ones that got to know Jehovah, and did follow him.
    These ones that were before Jesus like ( Abraham, Moses, Job, etc. and ones from Jesus on word like the apostles, the ones that followed Jesus during his life time etc. down to our day )
    But of course many people were of other nations , that did not know Jesus or Jehovah. These are the unrighteous. They lived and died, but at death they paid the price, so their sin is nullified.

    But the resurrection is for both the righteous and the unrighteous , which means all people will be resurrected. Not just the ones that followed God .( but there are a few exceptions ,)

    So Jehovah has not forgotten all these people, that really have had no opportunity to know him.
    They may have even served other God’s during their lives. ( most probably did) Like you mentioned in India etc.

    But there is a difference, at the times of God’s judgements. The people that were alive at these times have to make a choice.

    Noah and flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Armageddon.

    All died except Noah and his family. ( Noah would have had relatives, for example, his wife’s father and mother, her brothers and sisters, and their children. The same with Noah’s son’s wives would have had parents and brother and sisters) But none of these were saved.
    Sodom and Gommorrah, Lot asked that if even 10 were worth saving, but Jehovah found none.
    Armageddon, is to be like Noah’s time. Only the ones helping in the preaching work and in God organization that the time will be saved. That is today’s ‘ARK’ .

    So Jehovah has not forgotten all the people, through out all the ages, that didn’t have real chance to get to know him.

    I don’t know your situation but if your parents have died or grand parents have died etc.. They have paid the price for sin. So they will be resurrected to the earth , along side ones that have followed God. ( just a few resurrected to heaven to rule with Jesus) That is why the verse says , both the righteous and unrighteous, will get a resurrection.
    I hope this answers your question?

    1. Jehovah’s purpose for the earth and man was for man to be perfect

      “Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him–a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation…” — Bahá’u’lláh

      I think you would agree that our love for God is essential in this relationship. So many Biblical passages link that love for God to our love for each other. Imagine, if we actually obeyed that commandment. It would pretty much make Earth a paradise, wouldn’t it?

      But I’d like to consider the part obedience plays in this covenant. After all, what was the sin for which Genesis says Adam and Eve were exiled from paradise? Disobedience, right?

      So I have to observe (again) that if we never learn to obey (by loving each other, for example) God’s purpose is not obtained. We do not become perfected as human beings, we do not beat our swords into plowshares, the earth never becomes a paradise. If He simply ends it all, comes to earth, punishes the sinners and puts everything to rights man is never called upon to let the words of Christ cleanse the very dusty mirror of his soul so he can reflect the Light.

      I could go back to the example Christ uses of a human parent. If I don’t instruct and guide my children to obedience, they do not acquire human perfections.
      Proverbs 27:11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me
      I hope you don’t think I’m taunting you or God—I am NOT. I am trying to get you to think through the implications (fruits) of some of the doctrines you’ve proposed. I wish you would respond with your own words and thoughts rather than citing scriptural passages that don’t really apply.

      Ok so I think you understand this, God says he loves mankind, and he wants all of them to listen too him. And he wants the best for man. But man was disloyal to God, all through Adam, all man were born into this sin.
      epignosis, if God wanted all of us to listen to Him, then wouldn’t He speak to ALL of us?

      36 years ago, when I first encountered the Bahá’í Faith, I had just engaged in an intense study of the Bible and realized that what my church taught about salvation was in conflict with what the Bible said God wanted. I was taught that, as you have said, God loves mankind and wants all to listen to Him. Yet, church doctrine said that He didn’t speak to most of mankind at all. Worse than that, He allowed them to be deceived. (In Biblical terms, He gave them a snake—a deceiver).
      This is where the conflict in this doctrine lies, for me. God loves all and wants all to listen, BUT He didn’t speak to all. That is a contradiction. Therefore, either He DID speak to all (through Prophets that the Bible doesn’t mention) or He doesn’t love all mankind.

      The bibles definition of ‘wicked” are those that do not serve Jehovah.
      To me that seems circular: God neglects to tell some people they should serve Him, then He punishes them for not serving Him. Why don’t they serve Him? Because He never told them they should. Does that seem like something a loving Parent would do?

      This wouldn’t be an issue if Christ had never spoken about God’s nature. If He had never revealed God as the Perfect Parent. But He DID reveal God’s nature by asking us to look at our own BEST behavior. If we wouldn’t treat our children that way, how can we imagine God would?

      And that’s my question to you, which I really wish you would answer in your own words, after looking at the verses I’ve been referring to. The Greatest Commandment, the Golden Rule.

      Let me see if I can sum up my thought process simply: First, He says that we must treat each other with love BECAUSE this is the way God would behave. He says that this commandment is (or sums up) the Law and the Prophets. (The New World Translation says this is what the Law and the Prophets mean. The “Law and the Prophets” refers to the entirety of Jewish scripture. That’s pretty important.)

      Later in the Book of Matthew, Christ says that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love each other. He not only says these are the greatest commandments. He repeats (in case we didn’t catch it the first time) that upon these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (The New World Translation reads: “On these two commandments the whole Law hangs,, and the Prophets.”)

      Do the words “depend” and “hangs” suggest the relationship between these verses and the rest of scripture? The great Rabbinical scholar Hillel put it this way: “This is the entire law; all the rest is commentary.”

      My realization upon praying and thinking deeply about these passages was this: the reason that we have 31,000 sects of Christianity and inter-religious hatred, violence and warfare is because we have elevated the “commentary” part of scripture above what every Prophet, including Moses and Christ, have told us repeatedly and with emphasis are the primary teachings by whose light all others must be understood.

      I’m sure you would not suggest that all verses in the Bible are equal in importance or applicability. So, I’d like to set all the other verses aside for just a moment, and deal with these: Matthew 7:7-27, Matthew 22: 37-4, all of John 15.

      Using as a measuring stick Christ’s revelation that His God is a God who gives spiritual food to all His children, does the doctrine that only Jews and Christians have been guided make sense?

  34. I think you would agree that our love for God is essential in this relationship. So many Biblical passages link that love for God to our love for each other. Imagine, if we actually obeyed that commandment. It would pretty much make Earth a paradise, wouldn’t it?
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    We would also need perfection in body and mind. But that is not the purpose of a following God today. This is Satan’s system, you can not fix Satan’s system.
    So the only way is to get rid of Satan, and have people on the earth that want to follow God,( that also means willing to do what he requires.) and that is what is going to happen. So the purpose of following God today is not to make this world a better place.

    But I’d like to consider the part obedience plays in this covenant. After all, what was the sin for which Genesis says Adam and Eve were exiled from paradise? Disobedience, right?
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    No. It was loyalty.
    Jehovah had many dealing with Adam, over a considerable amount of time. After naming many animals that Jehovah created that why Adam said finally bone of my bones….etc.
    Adam knew what death was. He saw animals that died. There is nothing in the bible that says that the tree he was not to eat of , was any different than any of the others. Adam and Eve lacked nothing.
    So the sin Adam did was choose Eve and Satan over Jehovah. It was disloyalty.

    I could go back to the example Christ uses of a human parent. If I don’t instruct and guide my children to obedience, they do not acquire human perfections.
    
Proverbs 27:11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me
    I hope you don’t think I’m taunting you or God—I am NOT. I am trying to get you to think through the implications (fruits) of some of the doctrines you’ve proposed. I wish you would respond with your own words and thoughts rather than citing scriptural passages that don’t really apply.
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    Actually these are my thoughts. You wouldn’t want just my opinion, what good is that? There billions of opinions, all meaningless unless they are Jehovah’s thoughts.
    I used this scripture in Proverbs , because Jehovah really wants people to listen to him, because he know the best way for us.This includes children.

    Don’t worry about testing out Jehovah’s sayings he wants us to test him out. Just make sure your doing it for the right reasons.

    Ok so I think you understand this, God says he loves mankind, and he wants all of them to listen too him. And he wants the best for man. But man was disloyal to God, all through Adam, all man were born into this sin.
    epignosis, if God wanted all of us to listen to Him, then wouldn’t He speak to ALL of us?

    36 years ago, when I first encountered the Bahá’í Faith, I had just engaged in an intense study of the Bible and realized that what my church taught about salvation was in conflict with what the Bible said God wanted. I was taught that, as you have said, God loves mankind and wants all to listen to Him. Yet, church doctrine said that He didn’t speak to most of mankind at all. Worse than that, He allowed them to be deceived. (In Biblical terms, He gave them a snake—a deceiver).
    This is where the conflict in this doctrine lies, for me. God loves all and wants all to listen, BUT He didn’t speak to all. That is a contradiction. Therefore, either He DID speak to all (through Prophets that the Bible doesn’t mention) or He doesn’t love all mankind.
    —————————————————————————————————————

    He does speak to all of us. It really comes down to , what is our interest in God?
    For example God chose the Jewish people because of Abraham. They had God with them, he helped them many times and let be punished when they needed it.
    And yet in the end the Jews killed Jehovah’s Son, Jesus. They had everything going for them. So it is not that Jehovah holds, back it is the people themselves.

    I’m going give you a fulfilment of a prophecy in the bible. I’m not sure you will get this yet, but you might.
    This is about Christianity. And I will try to keep this a compact as possible.
    Jehovah chose Abraham, and Abraham was the father to the Jewish people. Over time the Jews really became apostate in their beliefs. The Pharisees, made themselves Priests, and they set themselves up as the administrators of the Law. ( they added allot of their own laws as well.) (and it was known that they didn’t live up to these laws themselves. ) They were hypocritical. To the point that God cast them off altogether. When they killed his Son.
    An apostate is one who knew the truth,but over time teaches against it, by using their own understanding.
    The point of this is, that the bible is about the people of that time but is for the people of our time.
    So today we have a ‘chosen nation’ ..Christianity. The same thing happened the clergy class set themselves up as the leaders of the law of Christ. But just as the Pharisees and the Jewish nation they are apostate. And are part of the antichrist.

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god.

    Did you notice the ‘man of lawlessness’

    So what this means is you learned from apostate religion and no wonder , you could see through that.
    Jehovah holds out special condemnation of the clergy of Christendom.

    Now about Jehovah letting people know about him.

    Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. 13 But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

    He had the bible written , it has the largest publication of any other book.
    He said that this good news would be preached in all the world , this is also true.
    JW’s are doing this right now. Jehovah will direct right hearted people to find this information.
    So there is no excuse, for anyone not knowing. It’s just most people do not want it.
    Just like in Noah’s day.

    1. We would also need perfection in body and mind.
      Why? Why would our bodies need to be “perfect?” (whatever that might mean) “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)

      The Bible suggests that Satan’s system becomes God’s system by virtue of us “doing the will of God.” As I said, God’s purpose is not served if He does everything for us.

      Consider the verses in Isaiah 2: 2-4 that predict the future of human society: “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths. For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.”

      It does not say that God will beat our swords into plowshares, but that WE will. It also suggests that we will do this because “many peoples” will willingly say, in essence, “Let’s listen to God.”

      You said that the sin for which Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden was not disobedience, but disloyalty. You may want to check the official Watchtower website. In answer to a question about Adam and Eve’s sin, it says they were expelled for “willful disobedience.” That is also what was stated in the Watchtower book I studied with Witness friends years ago. It’s also what I was taught in my “apostate” church. Of course loyalty is related to obedience—one obeys a parent or leader out of loyalty. But the cause of the sufferings of the world—according to your own sources—was disobedience to God’s command.

      Actually these are my thoughts. You wouldn’t want just my opinion, what good is that? There billions of opinions, all meaningless unless they are Jehovah’s thoughts.
      This is true, and it’s why I quote scripture as well, but I also find it helpful if you can articulate how you understand the quote you use applies to what we’re discussing. That’s what’s missing sometimes.

      I agree with you that Jehovah wants what’s best for ALL of us, and that is why I have come to believe He has guided all mankind by sending Teachers from age to age. The way a patient, loving, wise parent would guide a human child.

      In raising all these issues, I’m not testing out Jehovah, but rather your understanding of Him. I’m doing it because what I see in scripture is that God’s purpose is for us to do just what Isaiah says above—walk willingly in His light and achieve the sort of unity and peace that Christ tried to instill in His disciples when He explained how they should love each other.

      Alas, as I said, I think that If we put the verses that God has chosen to elevate to primacy FIRST (in other words, if we obey the Word we’ve been given) then we stand a better chance of staying connected to the True Vine and creating the unity that the Bible tells us God desires for us.

      He does speak to all of us. It really comes down to , what is our interest in God? For example God chose the Jewish people because of Abraham. …
      Now, you see, that seems contradictory to me. In the same breath you say “God spoke to all of us” and “God chose the Jews because of Abraham.” If you accept that the Jews were the only people to whom God spoke in the entire world (not just in their immediate vicinity)—then you’ve accepted that God did not speak to all people. He spoke only to the Jews up until the point that Christ came. The folks living in India between Abraham’s and Moses’ revelations, for example, got left out. As I’ve said several times, the doctrine you’re describing to me says they were worse than left out—they were deceived. They prayed for fish and God gave them a snake.

      (Here’s a question for you to think about: Do you suppose if God had chosen the Persians because of Zooaster or the Indians because of Krishna, we’d read about it in a Hebrew book? If you were Indian or Persian, you had your own scriptures that testified to the specialness of your people because God had spoken to them.)

      People DO hold themselves back from hearing the message. I’m not saying they don’t. But in order to hold themselves back from it, they have to HEAR it. In order to be able to choose to walk with God, they first have to be invited to take the walk. You’ve said repeatedly that God chose the Hebrews to take the walk, not anyone else. I’m not sure you understand the full implications of that.

      Between the times Abraham and Moses came to the Hebrews, Krishna appeared in India teaching about the Supreme Spirit who is, forever, I AM. He taught the same spiritual teachings that Christ taught, really, but somehow by your reckoning, the Indians deserve punishment for listening to Him, when they’d been sent no one else to listen to. They didn’t know Abraham or Moses. They knew Krishna.

      Let me be clear: I believe that the same God sent Krishna to the Indian peoples that sent Abraham and Moses to the people living in the Middle East. I believe He also sent Zoroaster, Buddha and others.

      I’ve studied scriptural prophecy over decades. Not just Biblical prophecy, but the prophecies in other scriptures as well. I’ve studied prophecy with Jehovah’s Witnesses, not just “apostate” Christians. So, I’m familiar with the prophecies you went over. In fact, I have several Watchtower books that deal with prophecy on my bookshelf and, I’ve studied those as well. All I can say is that after all that, I believe that the prophecies about the apocalypse (which means “revelation”) have been fulfilled.

      “This Day all the signs have appeared. A great City hath descended from heaven, and Zion trembleth and exulteth with joy at the Revelation of God, for it hath heard the Voice of God on every side.”

      He also wrote this in a tablet He wrote to Christians: “O CONCOURSE of Christians! We have, on a previous occasion, revealed Ourself unto you, and ye recognized Me not. This is yet another occasion vouchsafed unto you. This is the Day of God; turn ye unto Him… The Beloved One loveth not that ye be consumed with the fire of your desires. Were ye to be shut out as by a veil from Him, this would be for no other reason than your own waywardness and ignorance. Ye make mention of Me, and know Me not. Ye call upon Me, and are heedless of My Revelation…. O people of the Gospel! They who were not in the Kingdom have now entered it, whilst We behold you, in this day, tarrying at the gate. Rend the veils asunder by the power of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bounteous, and enter, then, in My name My Kingdom. Thus biddeth you He Who desireth for you everlasting life… “

  35. Using as a measuring stick Christ’s revelation that His God is a God who gives spiritual food to all His children, does the doctrine that only Jews and Christians have been guided make sense?
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    Yes absolutely . There is one God one faith.
    What would be the point of having all sorts of religions, saying different things?

    The only way to have unity in the world is there was only one way. How would God stand if he was divided against himself?
    When Jesus came to the earth, he showed us one way to do things. The preaching work he set up was to bring people to know God and what Jehovah expects of us.

    It is really Satan’s way is to divide and confuse, and create as many religions as he can, to fool people. Many fall for that. Many people want to do their own thing. That is why Satan, sends out his own Christ’s, to mislead ones that want to be mislead.

    1. There is one God one faith. What would be the point of having all sorts of religions, saying different things?
      What is the point of giving a child more than one teacher during their lifetime? Would you think they learn everything they need to know from their first grade teacher and need never go beyond a first grade understanding of the world?

      Rather, a parent sends a child to school where they have a teacher who gives them the foundation for everything else they will learn and then continues to send them to school year after year so that other teachers refine and focus the knowledge. The teachers are all working for the same school administration, they’re not in competition. As I said the reason the various religions in the world are in competition is the way we have elevated doctrine above the simple teaching to love God and love each other that forms the basis of all revealed religion.

      Look at the way God has educated the Hebrew people in the Bible record—through a succession of major Prophets and minor ones. From Abraham to Moses to Christ. Even Jesus says that He has many things to tell His disciples that they can’t bear but must wait to learn. And Paul, bearing testimony to this, says that he sees “in a mirror dimly”, knows “in part”, but looks forward to a time when revelation will be more complete.

      Were Moses and Jesus in competition? Did the Jewish prophets divide the faith? If not, why should Buddha and Christ be in competition?

      I agree with you that when Jesus came, He showed us how to do things—how to love, live and work together. But so did these other Messengers. They do not divide God’s message but amplify it just as the prophets recorded in the Bible did. You’re familiar with this verse:

      So in all things, whatever you would have men do to you, do also to them, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Christ, The Gospel of Matthew)

      There are others like it:
      This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain. (Krishna, The Bhagavad Gita)

      What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. (Hillel, The Talmud)

      Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others. (Zoroaster, Shayast-na-Shayast)

      Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire. (Kung-fu-tse, Analects)

      Hatred does not cease by hatred; hatred ceases by love. This is an eternal Law. (Buddha Dhammapada 1:15) …a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another? Buddha, Samyutta NIkaya v. 353

      No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. (Muhammad, Hadith)

      O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee, and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf)

      A wise man once said that truth is a single point, but men have multiplied it.

      It is really Satan’s way is to divide and confuse…
      Yes, that is, indeed, Satan’s way. But with 31,000 sects of Christianity (all persuaded that they have the truth), he didn’t need multiple religions to do it. Just people who were willing to fight over points of doctrine—often about concepts they don’t even understand, such as the nature of Christ or His relationship to God. I work on an interfaith council and I can tell you that the Buddhists and Muslims and Christians and Jews working together there do so with love and accord. There is more unity among those people from supposedly competing religions than I have observed between Christians attending the same church.

      What causes disunity, epignosis, is not that this or that soul got his spiritual education from Krishna instead of Christ (or in addition to Christ) but what we choose to focus on. If we focus on the things that divide us—then we will be divided … and “Satan” will have won.

    2. An additional comment on the idea that Satan sends out his own “Christs”.

      If he did, Jesus says we can recognize them by their fruits. We have but to apply His criteria for “good” to these false prophets and they will be exposed as false, will they not? Christ, Himself, has promised this, after all.

      These false prophets won’t teach what Christ taught, but rather its opposite. They will teach division instead of unity, violence instead of peace, hatred instead of love.

      I think if you look at history, you can see those people clearly. But you can also see the Light of Truth shining wherever it arises. One of my favorite passages of scripture says: “Let each one of God’s loved ones centre his attention on this: to be the Lord’s mercy to man; to be the Lord’s grace. Let him do some good to every person whose path he crosseth, and be of some benefit to him. Let him improve the character of each and all, and reorient the minds of men. In this way, the light of divine guidance will shine forth, and the blessings of God will cradle all mankind: for love is light, no matter in what abode it dwelleth; and hate is darkness, no matter where it may make its nest.”

  36. Perfection in our bodies and mind, need to be restored. Adam and Eve could have lived on indefinitely. Today we can’t, we get old and die. So even in a physical way we need perfection.
    And your correct God doesn’t do everything for us. He offers all people the opportunity but only a few will take him up on it.
    The hammering their swords into plowshares, is already fulfilled amongst Jehovah’s people. We neither get involved in the worlds governments or will be support their wars.

    John 15:17 “These things I command YOU, that YOU love one another. 18 If the world hates YOU, YOU know that it has hated me before it hated YOU. 19 If YOU were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because YOU are no part of the world, but I have chosen YOU out of the world, on this account the world hates YOU.

    John 17:15 “I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one. 16 They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.

    So this is already fulfilled. These are some of the fruits of the followers of God.

    Now the sin of Adam was disloyalty. Which was shown by their disobedience.

    There are many counterfeit and false religions in the world. Most people by far are part of that.
    That has always been the case. That is why Noah, Abraham, Job, and then finally Jesus.
    So people deviated from Jehovah all through out history.
    That is why his love for man is outstanding, because even though man is like this, he gives all men that have died a resurrection, so that they have a real opportunity to get to know him. ( this happens in the 1,000 reign of Jesus)

  37. What causes disunity, epignosis, is not that this or that soul got his spiritual education from Krishna instead of Christ (or in addition to Christ) but what we choose to focus on. If we focus on the things that divide us—then we will be divided … and “Satan” will have won.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    2 Timothy 2:23 Further, turn down foolish and ignorant questionings, knowing they produce fights. 24 But a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, keeping himself restrained under evil, 25 instructing with mildness those not favorably disposed; as perhaps God may give them repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth, 26 and they may come back to their proper senses out from the snare of the Devil, seeing that they have been caught alive by him for the will of that one.

    Psalms 1:7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge. Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised.

    Proverbs 2: 4 if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, 5 in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. 6 For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment. 7 And for the upright ones he will treasure up practical wisdom; for those walking in integrity he is a shield

    Maya, did you notice here is says accurate knowledge of truth. This knowledge comes from Jehovah and his word , nowhere else.
    So what you said Maya, is really against what Jehovah, tells us. That is what apostasy is about.

    2 Timothy 3: 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

    Do you see that we may be fully competent, completely equipped .

    Other writings are from Satan.

    1. 2 Timothy 2:23 Further, turn down foolish and ignorant questionings, knowing they produce fights. 24 But a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, keeping himself restrained under evil, 25 instructing with mildness those not favorably disposed; as perhaps God may give them repentance leading to an accurate knowledge of truth, 26 and they may come back to their proper senses out from the snare of the Devil, seeing that they have been caught alive by him for the will of that one.
      “Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and goodwill. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.” Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

      Psalms 1:7 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge. Wisdom and discipline are what mere fools have despised.
      The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God, and the end of all things is strict observance of whatsoever hath been sent down from the empyrean of the Divine Will that pervadeth all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings

      Proverbs 2: 4 if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, 5 in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. 6 For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment. 7 And for the upright ones he will treasure up practical wisdom; for those walking in integrity he is a shield
      O My brother! When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this Day how most of the people, because of such love and hate, are bereft of the immortal Face, have strayed far from the Embodiments of the Divine mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of oblivion and error. Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings

      Maya, did you notice here is says accurate knowledge of truth. This knowledge comes from Jehovah and his word , nowhere else. So what you said Maya, is really against what Jehovah, tells us. That is what apostasy is about.
      I believe there is always accurate knowledge of truth and that it’s up to us to grasp it when we see it. I also agree that this knowledge comes from Jehovah and His word. Where we differ in our understanding is that I believe Jehovah has spoken to other nations/children through other Prophets that were just as much a part of His plan as Moses or Jesus. Whether my understanding of that word is correct, I leave to Jehovah to decide. I do know that I am striving to follow His commandments and abide in His law and I also know that you are making the same effort. I pray God will bless those efforts.

      Other writings are from Satan.
      This is your opinion, and is not in the Bible. It is a human doctrine, not a divine one. Jesus gave us a true way to determine truth from falsehood. I’m sorry you don’t trust in Him enough to employ it.

  38. An additional comment on the idea that Satan sends out his own “Christs”.

    If he did, Jesus says we can recognize them by their fruits. We have but to apply His criteria for “good” to these false prophets and they will be exposed as false, will they not? Christ, Himself, has promised this, after all.

    These false prophets won’t teach what Christ taught, but rather its opposite. They will teach division instead of unity, violence instead of peace, hatred instead of love.

    I think if you look at history, you can see those people clearly. But you can also see the Light of Truth shining wherever it arises. One of my favorite passages of scripture says: “Let each one of God’s loved ones centre his attention on this: to be the Lord’s mercy to man; to be the Lord’s grace. Let him do some good to every person whose path he crosseth, and be of some benefit to him. Let him improve the character of each and all, and reorient the minds of men. In this way, the light of divine guidance will shine forth, and the blessings of God will cradle all mankind: for love is light, no matter in what abode it dwelleth; and hate is darkness, no matter where it may make its nest.”
    —————————————————————————————————————
    Satan uses anything he can .The bible says he turns himself into an angel of light. In other words he makes the false prophets look good to man’s eyes. But in the end are useless.
    There are many people that are ‘good’ people . In that they help others, are generous, and loving people. But that is not following God. Those fruits we all should cultivate. But those are not the ones that provide our salvation. It is doing the will of Jehovah, that counts.

    1. So, then what you’re saying is that you reject, or at least doubt Christ’s assertion that we can judge truth or falsehood of a prophet (or idea) by its spiritual fruits.

      Well, that’s your choice. I’m going to stick with Christ on this one.

      There are many people that are ‘good’ people . In that they help others, are generous, and loving people. But that is not following God. Those fruits we all should cultivate. But those are not the ones that provide our salvation. It is doing the will of Jehovah, that counts.

      Epignosis, doing all of those things IS doing the will of Jehovah.

      Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

      “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:23

      If ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. …This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.< .i> John 15: 10-12

  39. Perfection in our bodies and mind, need to be restored. Adam and Eve could have lived on indefinitely. Today we can’t, we get old and die. So even in a physical way we need perfection.
    Why? Where does scripture say this? Yes, this is a human dream—to live forever in a body than never gets tired or needs food or sleep or whatever. But that’s the nature of the human body. Indeed, what is perfect for a human body? They come in all shapes and sizes—is there a perfect weight, height, age, hair color, eye color?

    It’s the spirit in man that requires perfecting—as Christ points out, the flesh is nothing, the spirit is life. Even the Apostle Paul’s description of resurrection doesn’t include perfect physical bodies, but a “spiritual body”. “So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” 1 Cor. 15:44-45

    The hammering their swords into plowshares, is already fulfilled amongst Jehovah’s people. We neither get involved in the worlds governments or will be support their wars.
    Let’s look at the verse again: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us his ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their swords into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

    First of all, while Bahá’ís also refrain from political involvement and war, I think Isaiah’s talking about more than just one or two groups of people pulling out of contentious situations. He says that NATION shall not lift up sword against NATION, not “some faith groups will refuse to fight”. I agree that it’s already begun to be fulfilled, for more and more people—including Jehovah’s Witnesses and Bahá’ís—are calling for an end to war. Our temporal leaders also see this as a pressing issue.

    But if you’re going to take the above verse even somewhat literally, then these people need to be going up to the mountain of the Lord to be taught God’s way, yes? To walk in His paths.

    Mount Carmel, which sits above the plain of Megiddo, has been called the Mountain of the Lord. The world center of the Bahá’í Faith is on that mountain and the Law of the Faith is administered literally from Zion. You can literally walk the path up to the seat of the Universal House of Justice. Just sayin’. ;=)

    Now the sin of Adam was disloyalty. Which was shown by their disobedience.
    Page 49 of the Watchtower book What Has Religion Done for Mankind reads: “How then was it possible for a false kind (of religion) to get started? The answer now appears simple, By disobedience.” The text goes on to say that this disobedience was the result of, not disloyalty, but selfishness. Specifically, putting our own desires ahead of the will of God. I can go with that.

    But here’s a novel idea: what if we stop splitting scriptural hairs and say that we’re both right? Their sin was disobedience, through which they showed disloyalty. The root cause of both was selfishness. Why should we be divided over this?

    Does it matter how we dice the words? The point is that unless and until mankind learns to put God’s will ahead of our own selfish desires and obey the commandment to love, we will have disunity, war, turmoil and evil rather than the kingdom of God among us.

    There are many counterfeit and false religions in the world.
    And we shall know them by their fruits.

    What Has Religion Done for Mankind was one of the books my Witness friend gave me years ago. After reading it, I observed to my friend that the accounts of other religions were all based, not on the teachings of the Prophets (Buddha, for example), but on what different sects of Buddhism do now (their priesthoods, rituals, etc).

    I asked him, “Would it be fair to judge Christ and His teachings by what Catholics or Mormons or Pentecostals believe and do today?”

    He was horrified at the idea. “No!” he said, emphatically.

    “Don’t you want people to judge Christ’s faith by His teachings and the fruits of those teachings?”

    He agreed that was the case.

    “So,” I asked, “don’t you think it would be just for you to judge Buddhism by the teachings and life of Buddha instead of what Buddhist sects believe and do today?”

    “You’re right,” he said. “We should judge these faiths as we would like our own faith to be judged.”

    I’d encourage you to do just that.

  40. Perfection in our bodies and mind, need to be restored. Adam and Eve could have lived on indefinitely. Today we can’t, we get old and die. So even in a physical way we need perfection.
    Why? Where does scripture say this? Yes, this is a human dream—to live forever in a body than never gets tired or needs food or sleep or whatever. But that’s the nature of the human body. Indeed, what is perfect for a human body? They come in all shapes and sizes—is there a perfect weight, height, age, hair color, eye color?
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    The punishment for Adams disloyalty was death. So before that judgement, Adam would never had died. He could have lived forever.
    The reason Jesus was able to be a corresponding ransom. Was because Jesus was perfect. In mind and body, just like Adam.

    Rom. 5:12, 17, 19: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned—. . . . By the trespass of the one man death ruled as king . . . Through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners.”

    So this scriptures shows that it was because of Adam’s sin that we inherited death.

    John 3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life

    psalm 37:29 The righteous themselves will possess the earth,
    And they will reside forever upon it.

    Revelation 21: 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

    Isaiah 33: 24 And no resident will say: “I am sick.” The people that are dwelling in [the land] will be those pardoned for their error.

    This the reason that Jesus died, for us. To be able for us to live forever ( not immortality) on the earth.
    That was Jehovah’s purpose for man , and that has not changed.

    Isaiah 11:6 And the wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. 7 And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull. 8 And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. 9 They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.

    When the bible uses the term holy mountain, it means God government.

    This is the future of mankind. Everlasting life on the earth , where there will be no more fear of sickness or death. And at peace with all of the creatures.

    That is why Jesus did the miracles , when he was on this earth, he showed that God was able to do this. And the restoration of life on the earth.

    1. I think we shall have to agree to disagree. All verses cited do not say that we must have perfect bodies, even if we wanted them, and you’ve run a lot of verses together that don’t necessarily apply (either literally or spiritually) to the same thing.

      Why would you expect a physical fulfillment of those prophecies about animals ceasing to eat each other? In fact, that’s something I’ve never seen addressed in any of the literature—do these people and animals still need to eat? To sleep? Will they still have children? If so, will the children grow to a certain age then stop growing or will they always be children? Will your parents be your parents on paradise earth, or will they be children in their own parents family?

      And if everyone is producing young, where will all those people and animals go (and what will they eat) when they’ve overrun the planet?

      Expecting the physical fulfillment of these prophecies (I realized long ago) only results in a raft of unanswerable questions that are irrelevant, really. Baha’u’llah says that we can’t imagine the spiritual state of the soul in the next world of God and that it’s not important that we do. It’s important to write His word on our hearts, and work toward beating our swords into plowshares by obeying those two greatest commandments. If we can do that, I believe, everything else will fall into place.

      So, I believe what Christ said: That the spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing. (Or as the Apostle put it, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”

  41. But if you’re going to take the above verse even somewhat literally, then these people need to be going up to the mountain of the Lord to be taught God’s way, yes? To walk in His paths.
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    The ‘mountain’ means God’s government. Jesus already has ousted Satan from heaven. This is the time when Jesus is gathering the people that want to follow him ( last days). So this has already started and his people are fulfilling that prophecy. Right now on the earth.

  42. Now the sin of Adam was disloyalty. Which was shown by their disobedience.
    Page 49 of the Watchtower book What Has Religion Done for Mankind reads: “How then was it possible for a false kind (of religion) to get started? The answer now appears simple, By disobedience.” The text goes on to say that this disobedience was the result of, not disloyalty, but selfishness. Specifically, putting our own desires ahead of the will of God. I can go with that.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Adam was a perfect individual, he chose to follow Satan in his mind, then ate of the fruit. So he first became disloyal and then acted, by eating the fruit, that was the disobedience.
    So he could have just thought about it, should I or shouldn’t I. But at this point he could still choose, not to do the act.

    The Consequences of Disloyalty

    The outcome of our first father’s disloyalty to God was the plunging of the human family into sin and imperfection. The inescapable rule set out in God’s Word is that “God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap; because he who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but he who is sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.” (Gal. 6:7, 8) Mankind’s forefather, Adam, put fleshly desire above spiritual interests, just as today a global wave of materialism has practically drowned people’s concern for spiritual matters and God’s guidance. Adam reaped imperfection and corruption and could not avoid passing these on to his offspring as an inheritance. As God’s inspired Word states at Romans 5:12: “That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.”

    1. Sweetie, is it really that important that we reduce Adam’s sin to an exact formula? (Disloyalty + selfishness = disobedience) I’ve had uncounted Jehovah’s Witnesses tell me that the sin of Adam and Eve was disobedience. I’m sure you aren’t telling me they were wrong.

      So, I’m going to call this one and say we’re in agreement. Especially about that wave of materialism. It’s one of the most dire causes of suffering in the world.

      What is the remedy for that? Obedience to the will of God which will demonstrate loyalty and inspire selflessness. There, you see, you can have it all. 🙂

      1. I understand your thinking that you don’t think there is much difference.
        But one thing I have learned over the years , is the bible was written very carefully. There are other scriptures that are based on this principle, that is why it is important .

        As for Adam he lived 930 years. It wasn’t until after the flood that man’s life span was cut to 70 or 80 years.
        Before Adam sinned he would never have died. Death was the punishment that he was given.
        That is why no other man other than Jesus could atone for Adam.
        As a perfect, sinless human, Jesus was the sin offering for all of Adam’s descendants who eventually are delivered from inherited sin and death. (2Co 5:21)

  43. So, I believe what Christ said: That the spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing. (Or as the Apostle put it, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    This is talking about the ones that go to heaven to rule with Jesus. They can not take their fleshly bodies to heaven.

    Matthew 6:9 “YOU must pray, then, this way:
    “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.

    Did you notice here it says also on earth. So there is also God kingdom on the earth.

    1. Yes! Precisely—right here on earth. After we’ve beaten our swords into plowshares and decided not to study war anymore.

      “The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.”

  44. Yes! Precisely—right here on earth. After we’ve beaten our swords into plowshares and decided not to study war anymore.

    “The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.”
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    What’s the point of this, if some group says they are not going to war any more, but don’t follow Jehovah.? I mean even the hippies did that for awhile. They even proclaimed peace and love. But they lived a life style that was against what Jehovah stood for.

    1. I’m not talking about “hippies”, Epi. I’m talking about people who love God, who, in some cases have sacrificed everything in His path and who have as their life goal, service to humanity. They pray, they love God, they love each other. These are people who are striving to bring their lives into accordance with God’s will. They worship the same God taught by the Torah and the Gospels and the other scriptures.

      These people exist all over the world today. They’ve existed since human life began. There were people all over the world at the time Moses came who had never heard of Abraham but the good news is, Jehovah guided them, too.

      1. Hi Maya

        Abraham, was born 352 years, after the flood. Noah’s son, Shem over lapped Abraham by 150 years. So Abraham, would have learned the accurate knowledge of Jehovah from him. So it was directly handed down. So that also means that people round about these ones, in the world at that time would have some accurate knowledge of God. But they were not living up to it. They lived fairly close to Babylon, which was known for false religion. Which Jehovah uses to symbolise Satan’s world of false religion. ( Babylon the Great.)
        So Jehovah , chose Abraham to start a nation of Jehovah’s people.
        So all other religions at that time were false. Even though the accurate knowledge at that time was known to some, but not fully followed by most people. The bible only mentions Abraham’s line, as his people no one else. Even though the knowledge of God was known by some, then.
        One of Satan’s ways of misleading people is to merge false with truth. Sort of a hybrid religion.
        But the bible says God does not support that.

        But like I mentioned before, there is a resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous, so these people that really had no chance of knowing Jehovah, will get that chance.
        They will be resurrected during the 1,000 years, to the earth, when there will be only one religion. One way, that is correct.
        All of these people will then have the opportunity, to accept it or not. During this period of time all humans will become perfect like Adam was. We will have the same choice of loyalty, with a perfect body and mind , just like Adam.
        Jehovah has given all man the opportunity, to choose, not from our imperfection , which we inherited ( we had no choice, for that) .But from the same situation Adam had, perfection.

        1. At the time that Moses appeared, there was an entire civilization of people living in the Indus valley who were not children of Abraham. They did not know God through Abraham, yet they still needed to be guided, didn’t they?

          Christ says that God would have guided them. Therefore, I believe He did.

          The Bible does not tell of every tribe or every people who lived on earth at that time. Its scope is limited to the people in a particular region—indeed of a particular genealogy. And of the people the Bible does tell us about, it gives an incomplete record. We know that God forged a covenant with Ishmael, but after he goes into the desert the Bible doesn’t tell us what He does until he returns to help Isaac bury their father, Abraham. The Bible is a record of the Hebrew people and doesn’t really keep close tabs on anyone else—even people living in the same region.

          You seem to think (correct me if I’m wrong, please) that if the Bible didn’t talk about people living in India at the time of Moses or Christ, they simply didn’t exist. But they DID exist and they needed spiritual food as much as the Hebrews did.

          I submit that it is not in conflict with anything Christ teaches to believe that God sent those people their own Teachers.

          There is one way that is correct: Love one another as God loves us.

  45. Maya from the bible point of view, there can only be one way.

    Ephesians 4: 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.

    2 Peter 2:1 However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among YOU. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. 2 Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. 3 Also, with covetousness they will exploit YOU with counterfeit words. But as for them, the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering.

    Mark 13:21 “Then, too, if anyone says to YOU, ‘See! Here is the Christ,’ ‘See! There he is,’ do not believe [it]. 22 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen ones. 23 YOU, then, watch out; I have told YOU all things beforehand

    So we are warned about others posing as Christ, and we are told they are false.
    Jesus gave us the perfect example, to follow. He set up the preaching work,he told what to say , he set up the congregations, and he told us that many false Christ’s will come.
    Also by reading the bible we can become completely equipped.

    So Jehovah has made every effort to inform people. It’s just that most don’t want it.

    Anyway I was wondering if you want to continue on with this discussion?
    I don’t want to become, too over bearing to you. And I will not water down what the bible says. I just say it plainly.

    1. Ephesians 4: 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.

      This is what I’m saying. There is one God who has taught His children throughout time and throughout the world. He’s sent the same spiritual principles from the beginning, speaking to us according to our understanding and the capacity of our hearts and intellects.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that Jehovah made “every effort” to inform people. That is precisely why I believe that He revealed Himself to people who were not living in ancient Israel. You don’t seem to realize how many people existed on the planet at the time that Moses came, for example, that were not living where they would ever hear of Him. But they heard of Krishna and Buddha.

      The Bible says that God would that all men be saved. It also says that He will feed (spiritually) His children.

      “The good pleasure of God is love for His creatures. The will and plan of God is that each individual member of humankind shall become illumined like unto a lamp, radiant with all the destined virtues of humanity, leading his fellow creatures out of natural darkness into the heavenly light.” — Promulgation of Universal Peace

      You’re not overbearing, epi. I’ve had people scream Bible verses in my face and tell me I was going to hell and refuse to do business with me because of my faith. But I question the value of the dialogue when it appears you’re not really reading what I offer, or thinking about how the scriptures I cite apply, but just pulling out Bible verses you’ve been told support a certain doctrine.

      I read your replies, but more and more, they don’t speak to the subject we’re discussing. Least of all do they make the conflict go away between the two images of God you seem to have: God, the kind, loving Father of all who holds us responsible only for how well we keep His word and God the grudge-bearing, vindictive and neglectful Parent, who favors one child over another and purposefully keeps billions of souls in darkness.

      I believe in that first God because that is the God revealed by Christ (and the other Prophets) I agree that Christ gave us an example to follow. And that example, too, shows us what Jehovah is like. Christ says: “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” This same Christ said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold.” Please note what He says: They are of other folds, but they are still HIS sheep.

      Christ did more than give us an example to follow. He made promises about future guidance. I believe those promises have been fulfilled. Whether you do or not is between you and God.

      I do have a question for you though: Do you believe Christ taught that the Kingdom of God is a place, an event, or a process? (Now’s the time for a quote from scripture 🙂

  46. You’re not overbearing, epi. I’ve had people scream Bible verses in my face and tell me I was going to hell and refuse to do business with me because of my faith. But I question the value of the dialogue when it appears you’re not really reading what I offer, or thinking about how the scriptures I cite apply, but just pulling out Bible verses you’ve been told support a certain doctrine.

    I read your replies, but more and more, they don’t speak to the subject we’re discussing. Least of all do they make the conflict go away between the two images of God you seem to have: God, the kind, loving Father of all who holds us responsible only for how well we keep His word and God the grudge-bearing, vindictive and neglectful Parent, who favors one child over another and purposefully keeps billions of souls in darkness.

    I believe in that first God because that is the God revealed by Christ (and the other Prophets) I agree that Christ gave us an example to follow. And that example, too, shows us what Jehovah is like. Christ says: “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” This same Christ said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold.” Please note what He says: They are of other folds, but they are still HIS sheep.

    Christ did more than give us an example to follow. He made promises about future guidance. I believe those promises have been fulfilled. Whether you do or not is between you and God.

    I do have a question for you though: Do you believe Christ taught that the Kingdom of God is a place, an event, or a process? (Now’s the time for a quote from scripture
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    OK , about not being over bearing. I did not want to over that way.
    From my end I am just giving you the info I know to be true. And reasoning on that.

    Actually on the scriptures, the bible tells us that all the scriptures are inspired. and beneficial. So that means they all go together. If there were other scriptures that were supposed to be there , from your point of view, then you would have to take that up with Jehovah. Or other prophets the same thing. The bible told us and warned us about this. So you are on your own with that, as it it is a contradiction of the bible itself.

    You say God is a vindictive parent. But that is not so. He only wants the best for all of us. Though he does discipline ones that don’t want to follow. But actually he has the right. Any of the ones he chose along the way from Adam , was because they were doing the right thing, and had the right attitude. Even the ones he chose, messed up at time. But their attitude, and remorse justified their continuing favour with God.
    The shows this. Only Noah and his family survived. So to Noah , Jehovah was a great Father. But to the rest of mankind , he would not have been. ( in their eyes) But of course they were in the wrong and deserved what they got.
    Most people think Jehovah will just accept any old thing but he doesn’t.
    It is a very difficult thing to even try to meet his standards. And it is only the ones that endures to the end. That will be saved.

    Matthew 24:12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. 13 But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

    You say he keeps people in the dark. But the bible says

    Jehovah knows that rightly inclined people will be drawn to him and that knowledge of his beautiful qualities will warm their heart. Hence, Jehovah wants us to get to know him and to become acquainted with his wonderful personality. How do we do so? By studying his Word and by experiencing his blessing in our lives.—Prov. 10:22; John 14:9. So it comes to, if we are rightly inclined, towards Jehovah. We will find him.But it is just that many people are not rightly inclined. Just like the flood.
    But God is responsible to find his sheep, and direct them. All we can do is be available, and be doing this preaching work in this time of the end.

    ————————————————————————————————————-
    ” This same Christ said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold.” Please note what He says: They are of other folds, but they are still HIS sheep.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    Now this is an interesting understanding from the bible.

    4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel:
    5 Out of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand sealed;………………………
    …………………………………………………………
    out of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand sealed.
    9 After these things I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. 10 And they keep on crying with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation [we owe] to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

    Do you see that in verse 4 there are 144,000 “sealed” This is an absolute number and these are the ones that go to heaven, to rule with Jesus.
    Who are they going to rule?
    So in verse 9 the bible says a “great crowd” this is a different group than the 144,000. These are the ones that live on the earth, and can live for ever. ( as humans) This great crowd survive Armageddon, and many of them will never die. Also after Armageddon , the resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous, will happen. So all people will get an opportunity , to get to know God.
    So both groups are God’s sheep, but there is two different rewards the sealed number go to heaven, and the great crowd remain on the earth. ( Just like Noah survived the flood. )

    ————————————————————————————————————
    Christ did more than give us an example to follow. He made promises about future guidance. I believe those promises have been fulfilled. Whether you do or not is between you and God.

    I do have a question for you though: Do you believe Christ taught that the Kingdom of God is a place, an event, or a process? (Now’s the time for a quote from scripture
    —————————————————————————————————–

    You are correct almost all prophecies have been fulfilled. Just a few remaining.
    —————————————————————————————————

    I do have a question for you though: Do you believe Christ taught that the Kingdom of God is a place, an event, or a process? (Now’s the time for a quote from scripture
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    Psalm 103:19 Jehovah himself has firmly established his throne in the very heavens;
    And over everything his own kingship has held domination.

    It is a real government. With many entities. It is a process, in that this government makes decisions, and is able to carry them out. (if that is what you mean?)

    John tells us: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

    When you say place , the bible says Satan is hurled to the earth. Jehovah and Satan had conversations, ( communicated).

    Job 2:1 Afterward it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and Satan also proceeded to enter right among them to take his station before Jehovah.2 Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Just where do you come from?” At that Satan answered Jehovah and said: “From roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.” 3 And Jehovah went on to say to Satan: “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad? Even yet he is holding fast his integrity, although you incite me against him to swallow him up without cause.” 4 But Satan answered Jehovah and said: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. 5 For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face.”

    1. Actually on the scriptures, the bible tells us that all the scriptures are inspired. and beneficial.  So that means they all go together.
      We’ve discussed the idea that “all scripture is inspired and beneficial” before and I agree that it is. I just consider the revelation of God to other peoples as being part of the scriptural record. Yes, Christ warns about “false prophets” and tells us how to tell them from true ones. Reason with me, here: do you think He would have bothered to tell us how to tell the difference if we weren’t going to need to do it?

      You say God is a vindictive parent. But that is not so. He only wants the best for all of us. Though he does discipline ones that don’t want to follow.
      No. you say He’s a vindictive parent. I believe He is the loving, but just God revealed by Christ. You describe neglectful, vindictive behavior, and say God behaves this way, then tell me He’s loving—do you see the conflict there? What you say God IS and what you say He DOES don’t match—not by my criteria, but by His own.

      I’m not talking about people who heard the words of Christ or Moses and refused to heed them, I’m talking about the billions of people to whom YOU say Jehovah never revealed Himself. Answer me this: How can He punish them for not knowing Him, if He never revealed Himself? Is that the behavior of a just and loving God?

      Please try to understand this: By your own reckoning, these people were never given a chance or a choice to follow Jehovah, because you believe He denied them His revelation.

      This, despite the longing of those people to know Him. In the Bhagavad Gita, the young prince Arjuna cries out, “As a Father to his son, as a Lover to his beloved, as a Friend to his friend, be merciful to me, O God!”

      This is what I’m trying to convey to you: The people living in the Indus Valley at the same time Abraham appeared in Palestine did not know Abraham, but they still needed to be guided. The verses you keep quoting don’t apply to their situation. Either God guided them, too, or He is not the God revealed by Christ.

      The commandments of scripture are hierarchical—some are more important than others. That’s not my opinion—that’s what Moses and Christ have both revealed. God’s nature is to be just and loving and to guide His children. Christ says so. Therefore, if we see a hundred verses that seem to suggest He is unjust (punishing the ignorant for their ignorance) then either God is neither just nor loving OR human beings have misinterpreted scripture.

      As I’ve said before, I trust the authority of God, but not the authority of man. Therefore, I believe what Christ said.

      You say he keeps people in the dark
      Again, no. I said the doctrine you are teaching me says that. I agree that people are drawn to God—from every nation, every language group, every tribe all over the world. And because they are drawn to Him, He reveals Himself. He sheds His Light on them.

      If you restrict “His word” to being just what’s contained in the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels that were placed in canon by the Nicene council, then billions of people—entire civilizations—never got to know God, never got to study His word, never got to experience His blessings.

      But God is responsible to find his sheep, and direct them.
      Yes! This is what I’m saying. He has found his “sheep” throughout history. In every land BECAUSE He is the God that Christ revealed and not the God that some of us imagine Him to be.

      Re: prophecy: I’m familiar with the Watchtower interpretation of the book of Revelation. I’m not going to argue it, but only observe that the only one with the authority to interpret this is the One appointed by God to do it. In other words, another Prophet of the stature of Moses or Christ (Christ returned with a new Name).

      Re the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven: It is a real government. With many entities.  It is a process, in that this government makes decisions, and is able to carry them out. (if that is what you mean?)

      I had always thought of the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven as an establishment. A literal kingdom that would come “in the twinkling of an eye”, suddenly when Christ returned. Until I read carefully, Christ’s answer when someone asked Him about it: He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[ of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:31-35

      What Christ describes is not only a process, it’s a slow process, and I believe that some of the fruits it will yield are an administrative order capable of embodying justice and mercy (which I also believe is already happening)

      With regard to His own appearance, though, He talks about coming as a thief in the night and tells the parable of the ten maidens who missed the coming of the Bridegroom because they failed to be prepared. The Bridegroom, He says, goes into the house with the maidens who were ready, while those who were not don’t realize He’s come until He’s already gone. The idea that He might come and go again, and that the establishment of God’s kingdom was a slow, steady process of growth rather changed the way I looked at prophecy and the Lord’s return.

      That, and remembering, that the Jewish divines looked right at Jesus Christ and didn’t recognize Him because they were sure they’d interpreted their scriptures correctly and He couldn’t possibly be the Messiah. I imagine rejecting Him seemed the safest thing to do under the circumstances. Do you ever wonder if you would have recognized Him if you’d been a Jew, faced with a Man who fulfilled none of your prophecies the way you expected?

  47. No. you say He’s a vindictive parent. I believe He is the loving, but just God revealed by Christ. You describe neglectful, vindictive behavior, and say God behaves this way, then tell me He’s loving—do you see the conflict there? What you say God IS and what you say He DOES don’t match—not by my criteria, but by His own.

    I’m not talking about people who heard the words of Christ or Moses and refused to heed them, I’m talking about the billions of people to whom YOU say Jehovah never revealed Himself. Answer me this: How can He punish them for not knowing Him, if He never revealed Himself? Is that the behavior of a just and loving God?

    Please try to understand this: By your own reckoning, these people were never given a chance or a choice to follow Jehovah, because you believe He denied them His revelation.

    This, despite the longing of those people to know Him. In the Bhagavad Gita, the young prince Arjuna cries out, “As a Father to his son, as a Lover to his beloved, as a Friend to his friend, be merciful to me, O God!”

    This is what I’m trying to convey to you: The people living in the Indus Valley at the same time Abraham appeared in Palestine did not know Abraham, but they still needed to be guided. The verses you keep quoting don’t apply to their situation. Either God guided them, too, or He is not the God revealed by Christ.
    ————————————————————————————————————

    Historians say that over 3,500 years ago, a wave of migration brought a pale-skinned, Aryan people down from the northwest into the Indus Valley, now located mainly in Pakistan and India. From there they spread into the Ganges River plains and across India. Some experts say that the religious ideas of the migrants were based on ancient Iranian and Babylonian teachings. These religious ideas, then, became the roots of Hinduism.
    Abraham lived near Babylon. So at that time he took on a nation, that would be an example to the world the difference between the nation of the Jews. Jehovah supported them, in battles and as a people when they followed him, and they received discipline, when they didn’t.
    Egypt is an example. There was no reason for the Egyptian people to not to follow God. They were for told about the plagues,they came true. Even in the end when Pharaoh, let the Jews go, he decided to still go after them. The knowledge and works were there and yet people don’t take God’s side.
    That is no different then the people that spread into the Indus Valley. It’s not that Jehovah doesn’t want people learn about him, it’s just that most don’t want it. Abraham was specially in that he did want to follow God,and he backed that up. Jehovah could have picked anyone he wanted, or chose a group, for example. But he he chose Abraham.
    Even so Jehovah has given all men the opportunity, with none of Satan’s influence, in the 1,000 years of Gods government. So those people , are not forgotten nor neglected.

    It is not just accurate knowledge , it also about people having the right heart condition.

    James 4:4 Adulteresses, do YOU not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God. 5 Or does it seem to YOU that the scripture says to no purpose: “It is with a tendency to envy that the spirit which has taken up residence within us keeps longing”? 6 However, the undeserved kindness which he gives is greater. Hence it says: “God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.”
    7 Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from YOU. 8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to YOU. Cleanse YOUR hands, YOU sinners, and purify YOUR hearts, YOU indecisive ones. 9 Give way to misery and mourn and weep. Let YOUR laughter be turned into mourning, and [YOUR] joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves in the eyes of Jehovah, and he will exalt YOU.

    Satan’s rulership, does, anything thing he can to make God’s true unattractive to people as possible.
    If you look at the world today. Gods knowledge is out there, there is no cost , and people are willing to help ones. But most people do not want it. Even in India, or other countries.

    I believe God’s word is complete. God had the bible written and collected into one book. It is harmonious with itself, and it’s prophecies come true. I doesn’t need to use other books or writings. And specifically tells not to. And it warns us of false Christ’s, and false religions.
    And yet it gives all men the same opportunity to follow Jehovah or not, when there will be , no Satanic influence. Even though most followed other Gods.
    The rewards Jehovah offers, are immeasurable , but most people do not want it.
    The bible has nothing to do with other religions, it is one God one faith.

    1. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” — Matthew 7:7-12

      The people of the Indus Valley (who were not pale), whenever or however they got there, were, according to you, cut off from God’s revelation. Even if they migrated from the Middle East after the time of Noah or of Abraham, they still were left unaccountably on their own. Though He continued to send prophets to the “hard-hearted,” wayward children of Abraham, God did not send them to any of His other children, no matter how needy they were. You have assured me of this. They did not find what they sought. God gave them no bread, only a stone; no fish, only a snake.

      It’s so easy to say “Oh, they wouldn’t have listened if God spoke to them.” I once thought it was that simple, myself. But the fact that they accepted the teachings of Krishna that there is one Supreme Spirit, all-loving and just, who is “forever I AM”, and who wished to guide them through His Word shows that they were open to such teaching.

      Here is what the prophet Ezekiel (18:14-17) says of God’s justice. He speaks of a man who has turned back from God and broken His commandments then says:

      But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things: “He does not eat at the mountain shrines  or look to the idols of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife. He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. He withholds his hand from mistreating the poor and takes no interest or profit from them. He keeps my laws and follows my decrees. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live.”

      I believe God’s word is complete.
      Even though Christ says it was not? He says He has many things to say to his disciples, but even those closest to Him cannot “bear them”. He foretells another Counselor who will bring God’s word. (“All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”)

      The Apostle Paul did not believe that God’s revelation was complete, either. He says that even he knows only in part and prophesies only in part.

      Tomorrow night (May 23), Bahá’ís all over the world will celebrate the anniversary of the Apocalypse and the fulfillment of prophecies found not only in the Bible, but in the scriptures of “other” faiths as well. They’ve been celebrating it for 167 years.

      “The Best-Beloved is come. In His right hand is the sealed Wine of His name. Happy is the man that turneth unto Him, and drinketh his fill, and exclaimeth: “Praise be to Thee, O Revealer of the signs of God!” By the righteousness of the Almighty! Every hidden thing hath been manifested through the power of truth. All the favors of God have been sent down, as a token of His grace. The waters of everlasting life have, in their fullness, been proffered unto men. Every single cup hath been borne round by the hand of the Well-Beloved. Draw near, and tarry not, though it be for one short moment.”

      Happy Apocalypse! :=)

  48. With regard to His own appearance, though, He talks about coming as a thief in the night and tells the parable of the ten maidens who missed the coming of the Bridegroom because they failed to be prepared. The Bridegroom, He says, goes into the house with the maidens who were ready, while those who were not don’t realize He’s come until He’s already gone. The idea that He might come and go again, and that the establishment of God’s kingdom was a slow, steady process of growth rather changed the way I looked at prophecy and the Lord’s return.

    That, and remembering, that the Jewish divines looked right at Jesus Christ and didn’t recognize Him because they were sure they’d interpreted their scriptures correctly and He couldn’t possibly be the Messiah. I imagine rejecting Him seemed the safest thing to do under the circumstances. Do you ever wonder if you would have recognized Him if you’d been a Jew, faced with a Man who fulfilled none of your prophecies the way you expected?
    ————————————————————————————————————
    I am not sure what you mean ‘Jewish divines’. If you mean the Pharisees. They did exactly what the Christian clergy are doing today. They made up their own laws, and were hypocritical in following them.
    They both set themselves up and teaching people ‘Gods” laws. And held traditions of man, rather than the teachings of Jehovah. They had their own agenda, and because they thought highly of themselves, they didn’t take it kindly that Jesus, condemned them. Jesus went to the ordinary people.( for them it was based on heart condition, not accurate knowledge because Jews by this time were teaching man’s traditions)
    Both of these group get what is called in the bible the ‘second death’. Which means no resurrection. When they die that is it for them.
    They also teach in the Trinity ( which is not in the bible) that humans have an immortal, soul. Both are which are from pagan origins.

    Now as for recognizing Jesus at that time. The only answer I can give I wasn’t there so I can’t comment at that.
    But I do believe that if you have the right heart condition, Jehovah allows you to ‘see the light’. But I did notice Jesus second coming.

    I have to say I was never interested in religion, I looked at the world, as all hypocritical. I guess you could say I was an idealist. I could see how things could be , if people would only try.
    But I was also a realist, in that if there was a God I didn’t want mystery , and I wanted something that I could prove. Not a blind faith.
    If I was born 150 year earlier , I would not be interested in any God. Because there really was very little ‘truth’ around then. But this is the time of the end and the knowledge of God would be come abundant.

    Daniel 12:4 “And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.”

    Do you see in this scripture, it is talking about the words used in the bible for centuries, but not understood. But at the time of the end this knowledge would be abundant.
    So that means you don’t have to have other prophets, or other writings. The knowledge was always in the bible , but Jehovah open up the understanding, at the correct time. That is why people of other ages, are not accountable for their error, of not knowing God.
    These people will be resurrected, and have the same choice as Adam had. They will all know who Jehovah is, but will they choose correctly?
    So Maya. you don’t have to worry about people in history not really getting to know Jehovah, because they will have that chance.
    Jehovah cares about every single person.

    1. Do you see in this scripture, it is talking about the words used in the bible for centuries, but not understood. But at the time of the end this knowledge would be abundant.

      Bingo.

      Jehovah cares about every single person.

      Amen.

  49. So the basic teachings of the bible were known through out the centuries.But information about the time of the end would only be known in those ‘last days’. That is when it is needed. It would not benefit the ones that are alive before that.
    The other thing is that most Christian religions don’t teach that Jehovah, is going to give all men a chance to get to know him. ( during the 1,000 year rulership of Jesus.)

    This in a time everyone will know Jehovah, and there will be no Satanic influence.
    But at the end of the 1,000 years , Satan will be let out of prison and for a short time, and many people will follow him. So this comes down to exactly what Adam choice was, and that was loyalty.

    Rev. 20:7 Now as soon as the thousand years have been ended, Satan will be let loose out of his prison, 8 and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Ma′gog, to gather them together for the war. The number of these is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they advanced over the breadth of the earth and encircled the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down out of heaven and devoured them. 10 And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet [already were]; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    I was wondering, did you know that all these people in history no matter what God they served would have this chance to get to know God?

    Most Christian religions I have talked to did not know this.
    Is this something you knew? Does that make sense to you?

    1. I was wondering, did you know that all these people in history no matter what God they served would have this chance to get to know God? Most Christian religions I have talked to did not know this.
      Is this something you knew? Does that make sense to you?

      I have heard that put forth by Jehovah’s Witnesses and some of the fundamentalist Christians I’ve talked to. It does not make sense because it still assumes that God as violated His own revealed nature.

      Let’s look at it through the lens that Christ gives us: Imagine a human parent cut himself off from his children for their entire lives and then returned when they were on their death bed and said, “I’ve always loved you. Now you have a chance to love me, too.” The child would be justified in saying, “I never knew you. You never showed me that love.”

      The very thought of doing that to one of my own children fills me with such anguish, I can’t’ even contain it. So, no, it doesn’t make sense to me—not rationally, emotionally, spiritually or scripturally.

  50. The people of the Indus Valley (who were not pale), whenever or however they got there, were, according to you, cut off from God’s revelation. Even if they migrated from the Middle East after the time of Noah or of Abraham, they still were left unaccountably on their own. Though He continued to send prophets to the “hard-hearted,” wayward children of Abraham, God did not send them to any of His other children, no matter how needy they were. You have assured me of this. They did not find what they sought. God gave them no bread, only a stone; no fish, only a snake.

    It’s so easy to say “Oh, they wouldn’t have listened if God spoke to them.” I once thought it was that simple, myself. But the fact that they accepted the teachings of Krishna that there is one Supreme Spirit, all-loving and just, who is “forever I AM”, and who wished to guide them through His Word shows that they were open to such teaching.
    —————————————————————————————————————
    At the time of the flood , there was only Noah. He built the ark and preached to people. To the world he was crazy. But people knew of him, none helped him, not even his relatives.
    When you say ones followed other Gods, they were following false Gods. And that is the point. Jehovah says he would draw out the ones that really wanted to follow him. But throughout history, very few ever did. Abraham as one person, Noah was the same ,Job also. When Jesus came he started by hand picking individuals.
    Most people have always turned to false worship.
    We know that Satan is the ruler of this world and that includes false religions.
    It will be the same in the last days. The knowledge is abundant but most people don’t want it.
    Just because people ask , doesn’t mean they are asking for the correct thing.
    That is no different than most people.
    I am trying to tell you the things from Jehovah, but you resist that. How is that different than Noah’s time or Abraham time?
    I wonder if you trust God, in what he does? We as humans can not read the heart. But God can. So you have to trust that Jehovah, knows what he is doing, and chooses the ones he wants. Because you believe he missed some, then you have ask Jehovah about that . But since you follow someone that is not part of Jehovah’s plans, then why would he answer that.?
    Do you understand what I mean?

    As humans at this time period, our obligation is to do what God asks and stand up for him. All Satan has to do is prevent you from doing that. It doesn’t matter why. Whatever the excuse, it doesn’t matter.

    1. I believe Noah was God’s Prophet. But then came Abraham, yes? Do you believe Abraham to be a false Prophet because he came AFTER Noah? Jews believe Jesus a false messiah because He failed (in their eyes) to fulfill prophecy and claimed the same authority as Moses. If Noah was the only true Prophet, then, by the logic you’re using both Moses and Jesus are false.

      You don’t believe that, so obviously you understand the concept that God progressively reveals Himself. So after Moses, He sent Abraham, then Moses.

      I’m asking you to accept the possibility that in between, He sent first Krishna then Buddha to His children elsewhere. This does not require that you disbelieve in the Bible. In fact, from my point of view, it requires that you DO believe in the clear words of Christ.

      Sweetie, I’m not resisting “the things from Jehovah”, I’m rejecting things that do NOT come from Jehovah, but from human interpretation of scripture that requires ignoring His most important teachings.

      If one of my children cries out to me for help, I do not withhold help until he or she calls me “Mother”. I’ll answer to Mom, Mommy, Matushka, or just “Help!” If I, who am a frail human, knows how to answer the cries of my children, how much more so does my Father in heaven?

      You say the Hindus were not asking for the correct thing—how would they know what that correct thing was if they were cut off from the Hebrews after Noah?

      Still, that’s irrelevant, if Christ is to be trusted. If a child of God cries for food, the food will be offered. It’s up to them if they eat or not. But the food will be offered.

      I completely agree that our obligation is to do what God asks. For example, He asks that we be “anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in.” This recent doomsday teaching (which happened first during the Apostle Paul’s lifetime) has certainly prevented some people from doing that. There is no need, they tell themselves, because through faith, they will escape.

      I personally don’t want to escape. I want to do what God requires me to do.

  51. Even though Christ says it was not? He says He has many things to say to his disciples, but even those closest to Him cannot “bear them”. He foretells another Counselor who will bring God’s word. (“All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”)

    The Apostle Paul did not believe that God’s revelation was complete, either. He says that even he knows only in part and prophesies only in part.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Their understanding was not complete. But the bible is what God wrote for us. And no new writings, would not happen , until the 1,000 years would be at and end.
    And the bible we are completely equipped for every good work.

    2 Timothy 3:. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

    1. But the bible is what God wrote for us. And no new writings, would not happen , until the 1,000 years would be at and end.
      God didn’t write the Bible. It was written by sometimes anonymous believers who recorded what they were inspired to write for the people of their time. This is why the Bible contains contradictions and the opinions of some of the writers. Even Paul sometimes distinguishes between what the Lord has said and what he thinks, yet both are part of books you refer to as scripture.

      And, it is nowhere stated that there will be no new writings.

      Please bear in mind that the scripture that Paul says is beneficial did not include the Gospel or even his own letters. At that time even the Torah came in two flavors—Hebrew and Greek—and the two versions did not contain the same books.

      “Every scripture inspired of God”, Paul says, is beneficial for specific purposes, for the people he is writing to. Does that mean God’s “hands” are tied or that His “pen” is stilled? How could it, when Christ Himself says another Counselor will come to reveal what He does not? When Paul expects that someday we will not know “in part.”

      At the time Paul wrote the letter to Timothy, the believers had the scriptures revealed through Moses and the prophets. They added to that the Gospels and Epistles.

      Would you argue that they did not need write the Gospels or Epistles because the scriptures they already had “completely equipped [them] for every good work?” I don’t think so.

      Consider this, too, when the Counselor Christ foretold came, would He not add to scripture whatever God wanted us to know?

  52. But the bible is what God wrote for us. And no new writings, would not happen , until the 1,000 years would be at and end.
    God didn’t write the Bible. It was written by sometimes anonymous believers who recorded what they were inspired to write for the people of their time. This is why the Bible contains contradictions and the opinions of some of the writers. Even Paul sometimes distinguishes between what the Lord has said and what he thinks, yet both are part of books you refer to as scripture.
    —————————————————————————————————————
    Actually all scripture is inspired of God. That is why all the scriptures are in harmony with each other.

    2 Timothy 3:. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

    Which means that God wrote the bible, and approved what is in it.. Men just wrote it down.

    2 Peter 1: 20 For YOU know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. 21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.

    The bible is in harmony with itself. So if you think there are contradictions, could it be the understanding you have about what the bible says. Could that be where the contradictions are?
    So you are really in contradiction , of what the scriptures say.
    ******************************************************************************************

    And, it is nowhere stated that there will be no new writings.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    Rev. 22:18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.

    This is very plain about new writings or not using all of the bible. The writings from Genesis to Revelation, are included in one book the Bible.

    So you are also in contradiction, in this also.
    *****************************************************************************************

    At the time Paul wrote the letter to Timothy, the believers had the scriptures revealed through Moses and the prophets. They added to that the Gospels and Epistles.

    Would you argue that they did not need write the Gospels or Epistles because the scriptures they already had “completely equipped [them] for every good work?” I don’t think so.

    Consider this, too, when the Counselor Christ foretold came, would He not add to scripture whatever God wanted us to know?
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    The in the early writings ( before Jesus came). Many of the scriptures, pointed to Jesus. When Jesus came , he taught the readers of the bible ( from all nations now) how to set up the congregations, how to view the world as Satan is the ruler of it, and about his second coming. These writings are inspired of God and are in the bible. Some of the writings of were not understood by the writers themselves. But would be understood in the last days.

    Daniel 12:4 “And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.

    This is telling us that this secret would be known in the last days. These are not new writings but understandings of scriptures that already in the bible.
    So nothing is to be added.
    The bible from Genesis to Revelation is one book, made up of many little books.And the mention of this is in the last verses of the bible. Which is appropriate. As this finishes the bible.
    When you say that you think this is incorrect, that is a contradiction of the what the bible says.

    1. Actually all scripture is inspired of God. That is why all the scriptures are in harmony with each other.

      🙂 I agree wholeheartedly! All the scriptures are in harmony—from the Bhagavad Gita to the Dhammapada to the Torah to the Gospels to the Qur’an to the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.

      2 Timothy 3:. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
      Which means that God wrote the bible, and approved what is in it.. Men just wrote it down.

      First of all the translation of that verse is in question. Some translations read “All scripture that is inspired of God is beneficial…” Second, can you explain how you get from “beneficial for teaching” to saying that God wrote the Bible? Bible scholars have long been aware of the contradictions in the Bible (for example the different genealogies for Jesus, the different stories about how Judas died or, contradictions in the legislation attributed to Moses, or the two differing accounts of how Beersheba was named and by whom.) It’s a bit more than a different point of view.

      One account about Beersheba, for example, says that Abraham named the place and explains why. Another account says Isaac named it some 90 years later and gives a different reason. In one account of Judas’ death (Matthew 27), a repentant and sorrowing Judas hangs himself after throwing the money back at the priests, who buy a potter’s field with the money (hence the place is called Akeldama “field of blood” because it was bought with blood money). In another (Acts 1:17-19) an unrepentant Judas buys some land and dies by falling as he goes out to survey it (thus it’s called Akeldama “field of blood” because Judas’ body split open and his blood and guts spilled out). In both cases, the Bible says what it says; the stories simply do not match. The second story is so unlikely that I, personally, believe the first.

      Read both accounts: Do you think this detracts from the spiritual message of the Bible? Or that it means Christ wasn’t who He claimed to be? I don’t.

      Rev. 22:18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes an addition to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this scroll; 19 and if anyone takes anything away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take his portion away from the trees of life and out of the holy city, things which are written about in this scroll.
      This is very plain about new writings or not using all of the bible. The writings from Genesis to Revelation, are included in one book the Bible.

      I’m sorry, epi, but what’s plain is that John is talking about just what he says: “the words of the prophecy of this scroll”—the scroll he is writing. Can you show me where he says he means something else? Are you suggesting we shouldn’t take John at his word?

      These writings are inspired of God and are in the bible. Some of the writings of were not understood by the writers themselves. But would be understood in the last days.

      Yes. And I believe these are “the last days”. The Apocalypse (Revelation) has come. Jesus talks about the Spirit of Truth testifying of Him, and glorifying Him. He says this Counselor would “take what is mine and show it to you. All things the Father has are mine, therefore I said, the Spirit will take from what is mine and show it to you.” What do you think Christ means by “what is mine?” I think He means the Spirit would take His teachings, His words and show us what they mean.

      As a Bahá’í I believe that is what Bahá’u’lláh has done.

      Daniel 12:4 “And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.
      Amen.

  53. Maya, There is something else about the bible.
    In Genesis at 3:15 it says “And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”

    This was spoken by Jehovah, just after Adam , failed God. This is the first prophecy in the bible and the theme of the bible. The fulfilment of this , comes from the rest of the scriptures, right down to Revelation. So the bible was already, planned out by Jehovah, but was written down by man, over time. There were no other writings needed. It was complete when Jehovah, uttered this prophecy.
    So that means all the writers of the bible, had to have Gods direction, in the writing of it. They did not know the understanding of the prophesies, they were writing down.

    1. So the bible was already, planned out by Jehovah, but was written down by man, over time. There were no other writings needed. It was complete when Jehovah, uttered this prophecy.

      Again, there may have been no other writings needed by the people to whom the books of the Bible were given, but other peoples, far separated from them, would also need scriptures, guidance, writings and God—being the sort of God Christ revealed—would make sure that they had them.

  54. Hi Maya
    I haven’t heard from you in a few days. So I’m thinking you may not want to continue this discussion, or you’ve been away.
    That’s OK
    Feel free to do what you like with all the posts here.
    It was just a discussion between you and me anyway.

    1. Sorry, epi, I’ve been out of town and extra busy for the last week or so. I hope to get back in the swing of things later this week.

        1. I answered a few more of your posts a while back—just wondering if you’ve decided not to check back…

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