Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The End of Suffering Is at Hand!


Imagine living in a world free of suffering—a world without crime, warfare, sickness, and natural disasters. Imagine waking up every morning without having to worry about discrimination, oppression, or economic uncertainty. Does all of this sound too good to be true? Granted, no human or man-made organization can bring about such conditions. But God has promised to do away with all causes of human suffering, including those discussed in the preceding article. Note the following promises from God’s Word, the Bible:

THE RULE OF GOOD GOVERNMENT

“The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”Daniel 2:44.
The Kingdom of God is a heavenly government. Its chosen Ruler, Jesus Christ, will take the place of all human rulership and will ensure that God’s will is done not only in heaven but also here on earth. (Matthew 6:9, 10) This government will not be replaced by any human government because it is “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Lasting peace will be assured.2 Peter 1:11.

NO MORE FALSE RELIGION

“Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works.”2 Corinthians 11:14, 15.
False religion will be exposed as the work of the Devil and will be eliminated from the earth. Gone will be all religious bigotry and bloodshed. This will allow all lovers of the “living and true God” to worship him in “one faith” and “with spirit and truth.” What peace and unity!1 Thessalonians 1:9; Ephesians 4:5; John 4:23.

HUMAN IMPERFECTION WILL BE NO MORE

“God himself will be with them. 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.”Revelation 21:3, 4.
Jehovah God makes this possible by means of his Son, Jesus, who gave his life for the world of mankind. (John 3:16) Under Jesus’ direction, humankind will be brought to perfection. There will  no longer be any suffering because “God himself will be with them” and will erase “every tear from their eyes.” Human imperfection and suffering will soon be a thing of the past; “the righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”Psalm 37:29.

WICKED SPIRITS WILL BE GONE

“He [Jesus Christ] seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore.”Revelation 20:2, 3.
All satanic influence will be gone when Satan and the demons are bound and hurled into “the abyss,” a state of total inactivity. They will no longer exercise their evil control over human affairs. What a relief it will be to live in a world free from the influence of Satan and the wicked spirits!

“THE LAST DAYS” WILL BE OVER

“The last days” will end with what Jesus called the “great tribulation.” He said: “Then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.”Matthew 24:21.
The tribulation will be great in the sense that unprecedented calamities will occur. These will climax at “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” better known as “Armageddon.”Revelation 16:14, 16, footnote.
People everywhere who love what is right look forward to the end of this wicked system of things. Consider just a few of the blessings that await them under God’s Kingdom.

GOD WILL DO EVEN MORE!

“A great crowd” will be preserved into a peaceful new world: God’s Word says that an unnumbered “great crowd” of people will “come out of the great tribulation” and be preserved alive into a righteous new world. (Revelation 7:9, 10, 14; 2 Peter 3:13) They will attribute their salvation to Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”John 1:29.
Great benefits will come from divine education: In the new world, “the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah.” (Isaiah 11:9) This divine education will include instruction on how to live in peace with all people and in harmony with the environment. God promises: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk.”Isaiah 48:17.
Dead loved ones will be raised from the grave: While on earth, Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:1, 5, 38-44) Thus he demonstrated what he will do on a much larger scale under God’s Kingdom arrangement.John 5:28, 29.
Peace and righteousness will prevail forever: Under Christ’s rulership, lawlessness will be a thing of the past. How do we know that? Because Jesus is able to read hearts, and he will use that ability to judge between the righteous and the wicked. Those who refuse to change their wicked ways will not be allowed to live in God’s new world.Psalm 37:9, 10; Isaiah 11:3, 4; 65:20; Matthew 9:4.
We have considered just a few of the many Bible prophecies that point to the wonderful time to come. When God’s Kingdom exercises rulership over the earth, an “abundance of peace” will prevail forever. (Psalm 37:11, 29) All the causes of pain and suffering that have plagued mankind will be undone. We have God’s own word on it: “Look! I am making all things new. . . . These words are faithful and true.”Revelation 21:5.
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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Does Science Agree With the Bible?


The Bible’s answer

Yes, for although the Bible is not a science textbook, it is accurate when it mentions matters of science. Consider some examples showing that science and the Bible agree and that the Bible contains scientific facts that differed greatly from the beliefs of many people living at the time it was written.
  • The universe had a beginning. (Genesis 1:1) In contrast, many ancient myths describe the universe, not as being created, but as being organized from existing chaos. The Babylonians believed that the gods that gave birth to the universe came from two oceans. Other legends say that the universe came from a giant egg.
  • The universe is governed day-to-day by rational natural laws, not by the whims of deities. (Job 38:33; Jeremiah 33:25) Myths from around the world teach that humans are helpless before the unpredictable and sometimes merciless acts of the gods.
  • The earth is suspended in empty space. (Job 26:7) Many ancient peoples believed that the world was a flat disk supported by a giant or an animal, such as a buffalo or a turtle.
  • Rivers and springs are fed by water that has evaporated from the oceans and other sources and then has fallen back to earth as rain, snow, or hail. (Job 36:27, 28;Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10; Amos 9:6) The ancient Greeks thought that rivers were fed by underground ocean water, and this idea persisted into the 18th century.
  • The mountains rise and fall, and today’s mountains were once under the ocean. (Psalm 104:6, 8) In contrast, several myths say that the mountains were created in their current form by the gods.
  • Sanitary practices protect health. The Law given to the nation of Israel included regulations for washing after touching a dead body, quarantining those with infectious disease, and disposing of human waste safely. (Leviticus 11:28; 13:1-5; Deuteronomy 23:13) By contrast, one of the Egyptian remedies in use when these commands were given called for applying to an open wound a mixture that included human excrement.

Are there scientific errors in the Bible?

A reasonable examination of the Bible shows the answer to be no. Here are some common misconceptions about the scientific accuracy of the Bible:
Myth: The Bible says that the universe was created in six 24-hour days.
Fact: According to the Bible, God created the universe in the indefinite past. (Genesis 1:1) Also, the days of creation described in chapter 1 of Genesis were epochs whose length is not specified. In fact, the entire period during which earth and heaven were made is also called a “day.”Genesis 2:4.
Myth: The Bible says that vegetation was created before the sun existed to support photosynthesis.Genesis 1:11, 16.
Fact: The Bible shows that the sun, one of the stars that make up “the heavens,” was created before vegetation. (Genesis 1:1) Diffused light from the sun reached the earth’s surface during the first “day,” or epoch, of creation. As the atmosphere cleared, by the third “day” of creation, the light was strong enough to support photosynthesis. (Genesis 1:3-5, 12, 13) Only later did the sun become distinctly visible from the surface of the earth.Genesis 1:16.
Myth: The Bible says that the sun revolves around the earth.
Fact: Ecclesiastes 1:5 says: “The sun rises, and the sun sets; then it hurries back to the place where it rises again.” However, this statement merely describes the apparent motion of the sun as viewed from the earth. Even today, a person can use the words “sunrise” and “sunset,” yet he knows that the earth revolves around the sun.
Myth: The Bible says that the earth is flat.
Fact: The Bible uses the phrase “the ends of the earth” to mean “the most distant part of the earth”; this does not imply that the earth is flat or that it has an edge. (Acts 1:8; footnote) Likewise, the expression “the four corners of the earth” is a figure of speech referring to the entire surface of the earth; today a person might use the four points of the compass as a similar metaphor.Isaiah 11:12; Luke 13:29.
Myth: The Bible says that the circumference of a circle is exactly three times its diameter, but the correct value is pi (π), or about 3.1416.
Fact: The measurements of “the Sea of cast metal” given at 1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chronicles 4:2 indicate that it had a diameter of 10 cubits and that “it took a measuring line 30 cubits long to encircle it.” These dimensions might have been merely the nearest round numbers. It is also possible that the circumference and diameter represented inner and outer measurements of the basin respectively.

Friday, 26 January 2018

What Will God’s Kingdom Accomplish?

The Bible’s answer



God’s Kingdom will replace all human governments and rule over the entire earth. (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 16:14) Once that happens, God’s Kingdom will . . .
  • Remove the wicked, whose selfishness harms us all. “As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth.”—Proverbs 2:22.
  • End all wars. “[God] is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”—Psalm 46:9.
  • Bring prosperity and security to the earth. “Everyone will live in peace among their own vineyards and fig trees, and no one will make them afraid.”—Micah 4:4Good News Translation.
  • Make the earth into a paradise. “Thirsty deserts will be glad; barren lands will celebrate and blossom with flowers.”—Isaiah 35:1Contemporary English Version.
  • Provide everyone with meaningful, enjoyable work. “The work of their own hands [God’s] chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing.”—Isaiah 65:21-23.
  • Eliminate disease. “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Isaiah 33:24.
  • Set us free from the aging process. “Let his flesh become fresher than in youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor.”—Job 33:25.
  • Bring the dead back to life. “All those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out.”—John 5:28, 29
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Sunday, 24 December 2017

WHAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR MY LIFE?

   

The Bible’s answer

God’s will is that you come to know him as a Person, draw close to him, and then love and serve him with your whole heart. (Matthew 22:37, 38; James 4:8) You can learn how to do God’s will from the life and teachings of Jesus. (John 7:16, 17) Jesus didn’t just talk about the will of God—he lived it. In fact, Jesus said that his purpose in life was “to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.”—John 6:38.

Do I need a special sign, vision, or calling to know what the will of God is for me?

No, because the Bible contains God’s message to mankind. It has what you need to be “completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) God wants you to use the Bible along with your “power of reason” to learn his will for you.—Romans 12:1, 2; Ephesians 5:17.

Can I really do God’s will?

Yes, you can, for the Bible says: “God’s commands are not too hard for us.” (1 John 5:3Easy-to-Read Version) That’s not to say that obeying God’s commands is always easy. But the benefits you will gain far outweigh the effort you must put forth. Jesus himself said: “How happy are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”—Luke 11:28Good News Translation.

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT CHRISTMAS?

The Bible’s answer

The Bible does not give the date of Jesus’ birth, nor does it say that we should celebrate his birthday. As McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.
Instead, an examination of the history of Christmas exposes its roots in pagan religious rites. The Bible shows that we offend God if we try to worship him in a way that he does not approve of.—Exodus 32:5-7.

History of Christmas customs


  1. Celebrating Jesus’ birthday: The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus’] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.”—The World Book Encyclopedia.
  2. December 25: There is no proof that Jesus was born on that date. Church leaders likely chose this date to coincide with pagan festivals held on or around the winter solstice.
  3. Gift-giving, feasting, partying: The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that “all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.
  4. Christmas lights: According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, Europeans decorated their homes “with lights and evergreens of all kinds” to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits.
  5. Mistletoe, holly: The Druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe in particular. The evergreen holly was worshiped as a promise of the sun’s return.”—The Encyclopedia Americana.
  6. Christmas tree: Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.Encyclopædia Britannica.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Coping With Natural Disasters



Coping With Natural Disasters

In view of the increase in both the frequency and the destructiveness of natural disasters, what can a person do to cope? Let us take a look at several practical steps that can be taken

Keep out of the path of calamity.

“Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty,” says the Bible. (Proverbs 22:3) This is wise counsel that can apply to disasters. If a warning is given about an impending volcanic eruption, probable flooding, or an approaching hurricane or typhoon, wisdom dictates that those in the affected area evacuate and get to safer ground. Life is more valuable than a house or other material things.
For some, it might be possible to choose not to live in an area of high risk. One authority says: “Disaster risk is geographically highly concentrated. A very small portion of the Earth’s surface contains most of the risk and most future large-scale disasters will occur in these areas.” This may be true, for example, in low-lying coastal regions or in areas near fault lines in the earth. If you can avoid living in such high-risk areas or can move to a safer location, you may greatly reduce your risk of suffering from disasters.

Have a plan of action.

In spite of all precautions taken, you may still find yourself a victim of an unexpected tragedy. Coping with it will be much easier if you have planned in advance. This is also in harmony with the advice at Proverbs 22:3, quoted earlier. Do you have an emergency kit prepared and ready to go? The publication 1-2-3 of Disaster Education recommends including the following items: First-aid supplies, bottled water, nonperishable food, and important documents. It would also be wise to review with your family the types of disasters that could take place and what could be done in each case.



A family preparing an emergency kit



Do you have an emergency kit prepared and ready to go?

Maintain a close relationship with God.

This can help in any circumstance. The Bible speaks of God as “the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.” Another verse describes him as the God “who comforts those laid low.”2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; 7:6.
Yes, God is keenly aware of the circumstances coming upon those who put faith in him. He is a God of love and provides uplifting encouragement in various ways. (1 John 4:8) Prayers, not for miracles but for God’s powerful holy spirit, can provide help in any situation. The holy spirit can bring to mind Bible  passages that can be comforting and soothing to those experiencing adversities. Truly, God’s faithful servants can feel as did David, a king of ancient Israel, who said: “Even though I walk in the valley of deep shadow, I fear nothing bad, for you are with me; your rod and your staff are the things that comfort me.”Psalm 23:4.
Prayer, not for miracles but for powerful holy spirit, can provide help in any situation

Fellow Christians help one another.

In the first century, a Christian prophet named Agabus indicated that “a great famine was about to come upon the entire inhabited earth; which, for that matter, did take place in the time of Claudius.” The famine severely affected many of Jesus’ disciples in Judea. What did the disciples elsewhere do when they heard of their fellow Christians’ plight? The account states: “Those of the disciples determined, each of them according as anyone could afford it, to send a relief ministration to the brothers dwelling in Judea.” (Acts 11:28, 29) They lovingly responded by providing relief supplies.



Karla



“I felt loved and protected”
When severe calamities occur today, God’s servants respond similarly. Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for helping fellow believers. For example, when a strong earthquake struck Chile on February 27, 2010, Jehovah’s Witnesses quickly responded to help those affected. Karla, whose home was swept away by a tsunami, related: “It was comforting and encouraging to see that the very next day [fellow Witnesses] arrived from other areas to help us. Without a doubt, Jehovah comforted us through the goodness of those volunteers. I felt loved and protected.” Her grandfather, who is not a Witness, observed the help being given. He said: “This is completely different from what I have seen for years in my church.” What he saw moved him to ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to study the Bible with him.
Fellow Christians help one another to deal with the effects of disasters
Being in association with those who love God can be a great aid during times of adversity. Even so, will there ever be a time when the earth will be rid of the curse of disasters? Let us see what the Bible has to say on this subject.

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20111201/coping-with-natural-disasters/

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

How Many Names Does God Have?

The Bible’s answer

God has just one personal name. It is written יהוה in Hebrew and is usually rendered “Jehovah” in English. * Through his prophet Isaiah, God stated: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isaiah 42:8) This name appears about 7,000 times in ancient Bible manuscripts​—far more frequently than any other term for God or, indeed, anyone else’s personal name. *

Are there other names for God?

Although the Bible refers to God by only one personal name, it uses many titles and descriptions for him. The following list of some of those titles and descriptions shows how each one reveals an aspect of Jehovah’s nature or his personality.
Title
Reference
Meaning
Allah
(None)
Derived from Arabic, the word “Allah” is not a personal name but a title meaning “God.” Bible translations in Arabic and other languages use “Allah” as an equivalent for “God.”
Almighty
Has irresistible power. The Hebrew expression ʼEl Shad·daiʹ, “God Almighty,” occurs seven times in the Bible.
The Alpha and the Omega
“The first and the last,” or “the beginning and the end,” meaning that there was no Almighty God before Jehovah and there will be none after him. (Isaiah 43:10) Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
Ancient of Days
Had no beginning; existed for an eternity before anyone or anything else came into being.​—Psalm 90:2.
Creator
Brought all things into existence.
Father
Life-giver.
God
An object of worship; a strong One. The Hebrew word ʼElo·himʹ is plural, indicating Jehovah’s majesty, dignity, or excellence.
God of gods
The supreme God, in contrast with the “worthless gods” worshipped by some.​—Isaiah 2:8.
Grand Instructor
Gives beneficial teaching and direction.​—Isaiah 48:17, 18.
Grand Maker
Brought all things into existence.​—Revelation 4:​11.
Happy God
Characterized by joy and happiness.​—Psalm 104:31.
Hearer of prayer
Personally listens to each prayer offered to him in faith.
I Am That I Am
Exodus 3:​14King James Version
Becomes whatever is needed to fulfill his purpose. This phrase has also been translated “I Will Become whatsoever I please” or “I Will Become What I Choose to Become.” (The Emphasised Bible, by J. B. Rotherham; New World Translation) This description helps to explain the personal name, Jehovah, given in the next verse.​—Exodus 3:​15.
Jealous
Exodus 34:14King James Version
Tolerates no rivalry in worship. This term has also been translated “does not tolerate rivals” and “known for requiring exclusive devotion.”​—God’s Word Bible; New World Translation.
King of eternity
His rulership has no beginning or end.
Lord
Owner or master; Hebrew ʼA·dhohnʹ and ʼAdho·nimʹ.
Lord of hosts, Lord of Sabaoth
Isaiah 1:9King James VersionRomans 9:​29King James Version
Commander of vast forces of angels. The title “Lord of Sabaoth” can also be rendered “Jehovah of armies” and “Lord of the [heavenly] armies.”​—Romans 9:​29New World Translation; NET Bible, footnote.
Most High
Occupies the supreme position.
Most Holy One
More holy (morally clean and pure) than any other being.
Potter
Has authority over individuals and nations, just as a potter has authority over clay.​—Romans 9:​20, 21.
Redeemer, Repurchaser
Isaiah 41:14King James Version
Recovers or buys back mankind from sin and death through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ.​—John 3:​16.
Rock
A secure refuge and source of salvation.
Savior
Delivers from danger or destruction.
Shepherd
Cares for his worshippers.
Sovereign Lord
Has supreme authority; Hebrew ʼAdho·naiʹ.
Supreme One
The highest sovereign.

Place names in the Hebrew Scriptures

Some place names in the Bible include God’s personal name, but these are not alternate names for God.
Place name
Reference
Meaning
Jehovah-jireh
“Jehovah Will Provide.”
Jehovah-nissi
“Jehovah Is My Signal Pole,” or “my Banner.” (Today’s New International Version) Jehovah is a God around whom his people can rally for protection and help.​—Exodus 17:13-​16.
Jehovah-shalom
“Jehovah Is Peace.”
Jehovah-shammah
Ezekiel 48:35, footnote, American Standard Version
“Jehovah Is There.”

Reasons to know and use God’s name

  • God must feel that his personal name, Jehovah, is important, because he included it thousands of times in the Bible.​—Malachi 1:​11.
  • God’s Son, Jesus, repeatedly stressed the importance of God’s name. For instance, he prayed to Jehovah: “Let your name be sanctified.”​—Matthew 6:9; John 17:6.
  • Those who come to know and use God’s name take the first steps in building a friendship with Jehovah. (Psalm 9:​10; Malachi 3:​16) Such a relationship enables them to benefit from God’s promise: “Because he has affection for me, I will rescue him. I will protect him because he knows my name.”​Psalm 91:14.
  • The Bible acknowledges: “There are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords.’” (1 Corinthians 8:​5, 6) Yet it clearly identifies the one true God by his name, Jehovah.​—Psalm 83:18.