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$1 billion in real estate assets of Jehovah’s Witnesses frozen until sexual abuse case is solved?

watchtower-billion-dollarOn June 20th 2012 Judge Robert D. McGuinnes ruled that the $1 billion in real estate assets of the Watch Tower Society are to be frozen pending the outcome of the Watchtower Society’s appeal against the judgment of $21 million in punitive damages in the Candace Conti case. The outcome of the appeal is estimated to take up two years.

Our first reaction was: “This has huge consequences for the financial freedom and clout of the legal entity of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, because for the next two years, they cannot buy, sell or exchange property without first seeking the permission of the Alameda County Superior Court.”

Silentlambs brought this to our attention:

There have been many comments and some articles written about the freezing of one billion dollars of Watchtower assets following the loss of the Candace Conti court case. Those that have commented on this are technically true in part but in the typical court proceedings this is just a matter of the regular filing of documents to protect the settlement for the plaintiff.

It is considered a typical move in a court proceeding to freeze the assets when the defendant had yet to obtain a bond to cover the settlement. It was apparent WT did not expect to lose and simply were not prepared for this. So the Judge doing his job made the ruling contingent upon WT obtaining a bond to protect the settlement for Ms Conti. The minute the Watchtower obtains the bond the all assets are free and clear to be used any way they wish. So this looks like more of a procedural matter. WT will obtain a bond in a week or so and the order will in a matter of typical court procedure be removed. [...]

So the real estate assets of the Watch Tower Society are only frozen for only a week or so and this ruling will not have huge consequences for the financial freedom and clout of the Watchtower Society.

In a press release on jw-media.org, the Watchtower Society states the following:

Jehovah’s Witnesses will appeal the decision of a California jury in a court case involving alleged acts of child abuse.
The jury rendered a multimillion-dollar damage award to a woman who claimed that she was molested as a child by a member of a local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At trial, the plaintiff claimed that the policies of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society contributed to the alleged abuse. “We respectfully disagree with the jury’s decision. This is the first time that an organization was found responsible for the alleged misdeeds of a member who held no position of leadership or authority,” states James McCabe, an attorney representing Watchtower in the case. “We are very sorry for whatever harm this young lady may have suffered. However, the organization is not responsible. We now look to the Court of Appeals for a thorough review of this case.

Here are the court-documents:

Filed on June 19, 2012, DEFENDANTS WATCHTOWER AND NORTH FREMONT CONGREGATION’S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT;

Defendants Watchtower applied for an Order temporarily staying enforcement of any judgment that may in the future be entered in this matter on the verdicts returned by the jury on June 13 and 14, 2012, until ten (10) days after the last day on which a notice of appeal may be filed, and (2) extinguishing any existing liens, levies or attachments and preventing the creation of any new liens, levies or attachments during the pendency of the temporary stay.

Defendants claimed that this matter is necessary because: (1) the Church Defendants intend to file post-trial motions and, therefore, the final judgment may be eliminated, reduced, modified, or otherwise affected; (2) the Church Defendants presently intend to file an appeal should their post-trial motions be denied in whole or in part and, therefore, they will need time to obtain the requisite bond, …

Also filed on June 19, 2012, PLAINTIFF JANE DOE’S LIMITED OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC. AND NORTH FREMONT CONGREGATION’S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT.

Plaintiff has no objection to an Order preventing the creation of any new liens, levies, or attachments, provided she is protected from a distribution of assets in avoidance of the judgment.

There are no existing liens, levies, or attachments to extinguish, as a result of which, that part of the Ex Parte request is moot. However, Plaintiff’s willingness to agree to a stay of execution of the judgment to be filed shortly is conditional. To avoid a massive transfer of real estate assets worth, at present, approximately $1 Billion, from Watchtower to another corporate entity of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which would leave Plaintiff with no enforcement right for the Judgment, Plaintiff requests that any stay be subject to the condition that defendant Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. not transfer, convey, or change title to any of its real property prior to the filing of a bond or undertaking required as a condition of appeal.

Defendant filed on June 19, 2012 a REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT stating:

Plaintiff’s opposition states a willingness to agree to a stay of execution of the judgment on the condition that Defendant Watchtower “not transfer, convey, or change title to any of its real property prior to the filing of a bond or undertaking required as a condition of appeal.” This condition puts the proverbial cart before the horse.

As explained in the ex parte application, a temporary stay of enforcement of the judgment is necessary to protect the Church Defendants because of the uncertainty of the judgment, …

Temporary stays like the one the Church Defendants are requesting here are routinely granted to protect the parties when a judgment is uncertain. While Defendant Watchtower has absolutely no intent to make any fraudulent transfers of real property now or in the future, to the extent any such transfers of real property should occur during the stay to prevent Plaintiff from collecting on any ultimate judgment that may survive the post-trial motions and appeals, remedies would plainly be available to Plaintiff. That said, again, Plaintiff’s claimed concern is premature, plus the Church Defendants have no intention of defrauding Plaintiff out of any judgment that ultimately may be owed to her once all post–trial motions and appeals have run their course. …

Filed June 20, 2012 (Decision of Hon. Robert D. McGuinnes, Judge of the Superior Court) BY THE COURT, ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS WATCHTOWER AND NORTH FREMONT CONGREGATION’S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY ENFORCEMENT OF THE JUDGMENT.

After considering the submitted papers, including any response or opposition filed on behalf of Plaintiff, the Court grants the Church Defendants’ application as follows:

GOOD CAUSE APPEARING, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

(1) Enforcement of the judgment to be entered on the jury’s special verdicts of June 13 and 14, 2012 shall be temporarily and completely stayed and, pending another order of court [The last five words were handwritten in by the judge]

(2) Any existing liens, levies or attachments pertaining to the forthcoming judgment referenced in (1) above are here by extinguished RDM [RDM handwritten in by the judge]

Then the judge included in his own handwriting a number 3:

(3) The foregoing stay is expressly conditioned upon D’s The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc’s not transferring, conveying or changing title to any real property in its name today pending further order of court

Categories: (Sexual) Child Abuse
  1. Markus
    April 28th, 2013 at 02:31 | #1

    @Mike

    Hey Mike,

    So you have a Watchtower CD. Thanks for sharing it. I would limit the amount of nonesense you copy and paste as the longer it gets the more disinterested the audience becomes. Try using some of your own thoughts, if you have any.

    You religion known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses is a big money making scam. We do not ask for contributions. We do point fingers when a local church raised funds by having a bingo evening, oh yes we are quick on that one. What we do however is to get gullible folk such as yourself, together with your loving family to do Field Service. You sell what, only maybe 4 or 5 mags a week? Don’t worry we have another 6000 000 publishers selling this amount and it all goes to Bethel New York, no tax, and of course we are a non profit organization. Of course this is why we have have assets worth billions today. Thank you Mike and family much appreciated. Heck some of our elder folk who have no family, are so taken in by the concvincing things we preach, they leave everything and I mean everything to us, could be a small farm. A small saving account of only $100 will be snapped up in the name of Jehovah.

    Did you ever investigate the origins of your cult?

    It started as you know with Charles T Russel. His intensive but rather inaccurate studies which divined the end of the world as we know it, to be Armageddon which would come about in the year 1874. However Christ did not come and the date was revised to 1914. Still no arrival. No worries, we will say he DID arrive but did so INVISIBLY. To this day we still have the good Jehovah’s Witness folk listening and believing this nonsense. The date was later revised to 1918, 1918, 1935 and 1985. Many other citations will have the date 1936 and 1948 included.

    Mike let me tell you a little secret. When you die, and I hope it is not for a long time, you will rot, your brain will rot, you will have no thought patterns. You unlike any creature which has inhabitated this planet since it’s inception will die out. You are NOT special there is NO God never was never will be, it is all fantasy which can only be formed by a human mind.

    Cheers,

    Markus

  2. Brother John Fleck
    April 19th, 2013 at 03:00 | #2

    WHAT AN ABSOLUTE SAD BUNCH OF BOGUS GOD FEARING
    INDIVIDUALS !

    SUIT CHRISTIANS AND WOLVES MEN PLEASERS BEFORE JEHOVAH

    TO PUT WT SOCIETY BEFORE YOUNG CHILDREN …SUFFER YOUNG CHILDREN AND COME UNTO ME…MY OH MY!

    SO OUTSPOKEN OF THE CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND THE POPE,YET PERMIT THIS VILE PRACTISE INSIDE THEIR OWN ORGANISATION…ANY WITNESS EXPOSING THIS WILL BE BRAANDED AN APOSTATE AND HELD BACK FROM FEAR OF MEN…

    MEN PLEASERS AND SUIT CHRISTIANS…OFFSPRING OF VIPERS
    … COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE …JEHOVAH IS GOING TO EXPOSE YOU

    EXPOSE EXPOSE EXPOSE THE WATCTOWER AND ITS VILE UNCLEAN PRACTISE…HEDGE FUNDS AND PAEDOPHILE RINGS…WHAT A DISGRACE ! UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATES …DISGRACEFUL FRIENDSHIP WIT THE WORLD.

  3. Mike
    March 25th, 2013 at 01:20 | #3

    Yes, back to heaven to be with his Father. (John 17:4, 5) So Jesus promises his apostles and other followers that he will resurrect them so that they can be with him in heaven. What will they do there with Jesus?— The Bible says that his disciples who have a part in “the first resurrection” will live in heaven and rule over the earth “as kings with him for the thousand years.”—Revelation 5:10; 20:6; 2 Timothy 2:12.

    How many will share in “the first resurrection” and rule with Jesus as kings?— Jesus told his disciples: “Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) This “little flock,” who are resurrected to be with Jesus in his heavenly Kingdom, are an exact number. The Bible shows that “a hundred and forty-four thousand” are resurrected from the earth.—Revelation 14:1, 3.
    How many will live in Paradise on earth?— The Bible does not say. But God had told Adam and Eve while they were in the garden of Eden to have children and fill the earth. True, they failed to do that. But God will see to it that his purpose to have the earth filled with good people is carried out.—Genesis 1:28; Isaiah 45:18; 55:11.
    Just think how wonderful it will be to live in Paradise! The whole earth will become like a park. It will be alive with birds and animals and beautiful with trees and flowers of every kind. No one will have pain because he is sick, nor will anyone have to die. Everyone will be a friend of everyone else. If we want to live forever in Paradise, now is the time to prepare for it.

    DISTRESSED by environmental and social conditions on earth, many would love to see our planet transformed into a paradise. Yet, this aspiration is not just a 21st-century dream. Long ago, the Bible promised the restoration of Paradise on earth. Jesus’ declarations “the meek . . . shall inherit the earth” and “thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” are among the most well-known passages in Scripture. (Matthew 5:5; 6:10, Revised Standard Version) Today, however, not many share a belief in an earthly paradise inhabited by the meek. For most who claim to be Christians, Paradise has been lost.
    The French weekly magazine La Vie explains why belief in a paradise—whether on earth or in heaven—has been abandoned, at least in the Catholic Church: “After dominating Catholic pastoral teachings for at least 19 centuries, [the notion of a] paradise has disappeared from spiritual retreats, Sunday sermons, theology courses, and catechism classes.” The very word is said to be shrouded in a “heavy fog” of “mystery and confusion.” Some preachers deliberately avoid it because it “conveys too many images of earthly happiness.”
    For Frédéric Lenoir, a sociologist who specializes in religion, the notions of a paradise have become “stereotyped images.” Likewise, Jean Delumeau, historian and author of several books on the subject, thinks that the fulfillment of Bible promises is primarily symbolic. He writes: “To the question, ‘What is left of Paradise?’ Christian faith continues to reply: Thanks to the resurrection of the Savior, one day we shall all join hands and our eyes shall see happiness.”

    Death

    Where Are the Dead?
    What happens to us when we die?
    Why do we die?

    Would it be comforting to know the truth about death?

    THESE are questions that people have thought about for thousands of years. They are important questions. No matter who we are or where we live, the answers concern each one of us.

    “death will be no more.” (Revelation 21:4)
    Meanwhile, we all die. “The living are conscious that they will die,” said wise King Solomon. (Ecclesiastes 9:5) We try to live as long as possible. Still, we wonder what will happen to us when we die.

    When our loved ones die, we mourn. And we may ask: ‘What has happened to them? Are they suffering? Are they watching over us? Can we help them? Will we ever see them again?’ The world’s religions offer differing answers to these questions. Some teach that if you live a good life, you will go to heaven but if you live a bad life, you will burn in a place of torment. Other religions teach that at death, people pass on to the spirit realm to be with their ancestors. Still other religions teach that the dead go to an underworld to be judged and are then reincarnated, or reborn in another body.

    Such religious teachings all share one basic idea—that some part of us survives the death of the physical body. According to almost every religion, past and present, we somehow live on forever with the ability to see, hear, and think. Yet, how can that be? Our senses, along with our thoughts, are all linked to the workings of our brain. At death, the brain stops working. Our memories, feelings, and senses do not continue to function independently in some mysterious way. They do not survive the destruction of our brain.

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENS AT DEATH?

    What happens at death is no mystery to Jehovah, the Creator of the brain. He knows the truth, and in his Word, the Bible, he explains the condition of the dead. Its clear teaching is this: When a person dies, he ceases to exist. Death is the opposite of life. The dead do not see or hear or think. Not even one part of us survives the death of the body. We do not possess an immortal soul or spirit.*

    After Solomon observed that the living know that they will die, he wrote: “As for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” He then enlarged on that basic truth by saying that the dead can neither love nor hate and that “there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in [the grave].” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10) Similarly, Psalm 146:4 says that when a man dies, “his thoughts do perish.” We are mortal and do not survive the death of our body. The life we enjoy is like the flame of a candle. When the flame is put out, it does not go anywhere. It is simply gone.

    WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT DEATH

    Jesus Christ spoke about the condition of the dead. He did so with regard to Lazarus, a man whom he knew well and who had died. Jesus told his disciples: “Lazarus our friend has gone to rest.” The disciples thought that Jesus meant that Lazarus was resting in sleep, recovering from an illness. They were wrong. Jesus explained: “Lazarus has died.” (John 11:11-14) Notice that Jesus compared death to rest and sleep. Lazarus was neither in heaven nor in a burning hell. He was not meeting angels or ancestors. Lazarus was not being reborn as another human. He was at rest in death, as though in a deep sleep without dreams. Other scriptures also compare death to sleep. For example, when the disciple Stephen was stoned to death, the Bible says that he “fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60) Similarly, the apostle Paul wrote about some in his day who had “fallen asleep” in death.—1 Corinthians 15:6.

    Was it God’s original purpose for people to die? Not at all! Jehovah made man to live forever on earth. As we learned earlier in this book, God placed the first human couple in a delightful paradise. He blessed them with perfect health. Jehovah wanted only good for them. Does any loving parent want his children to suffer the pain of old age and death? Of course not! Jehovah loved his children and wanted them to enjoy endless happiness on earth. Concerning humans, the Bible says: “Time indefinite [Jehovah] has put in their heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) God created us with the desire to live forever. And he has opened the way for that desire to be fulfilled.

    WHY HUMANS DIE

    Why, then, do humans die? To find the answer, we must consider what happened when there was only one man and one woman on earth. The Bible explains: “Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food.” (Genesis 2:9) However, there was one restriction. Jehovah told Adam: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.” (Genesis 2:16, 17) This command was not difficult to obey. There were many other trees from which Adam and Eve could eat. But they now received a special opportunity to show their gratitude to the One who had given them everything, including perfect life. Their obedience would also show that they respected the authority of their heavenly Father and that they wanted his loving direction.
    Sadly, the first human couple chose to disobey Jehovah. Speaking through a serpent, Satan asked Eve: “Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” Eve replied: “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. But as for eating of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it that you do not die.’”—Genesis 3:1-3.

    “You positively will not die,” said Satan. “God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.” (Genesis 3:4, 5) Satan wanted Eve to believe that she would benefit by eating the forbidden fruit. According to him, she could decide for herself what was right and what was wrong; she could do what she wanted. Satan also charged that Jehovah had lied about the consequences of eating the fruit. Eve believed Satan. So she picked some of the fruit and ate it. She then gave some to her husband, and he too ate some of it. They did not act in ignorance. They knew that they were doing exactly what God had told them not to do. By eating the fruit, they deliberately disobeyed a simple and reasonable command. They showed contempt for their heavenly Father and his authority. Such disrespect for their loving Creator was inexcusable!

    To illustrate: How would you feel if you raised and cared for a son or a daughter who then disobeyed you in a way that showed that he or she had no respect or love for you? That would cause you much heartache. Imagine, then, how hurt Jehovah must have felt when both Adam and Eve took a course of opposition to him.

    Jehovah had no reason to sustain disobedient Adam and Eve forever. They died, just as he had said they would. Adam and Eve ceased to exist. They did not pass on to the spirit realm. We know this because of what Jehovah said to Adam after confronting him with his disobedience. God said: “You [will] return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19) God had made Adam from the dust of the ground. (Genesis 2:7) Before that, Adam did not exist. Therefore, when Jehovah said that Adam would return to the dust, He meant that Adam would return to a state of nonexistence. Adam would be as lifeless as the dust from which he was made.

    Adam and Eve could have been alive today, but they died because they chose to disobey God and thus sinned. The reason we die is that Adam’s sinful condition as well as death was passed on to all of his descendants. (Romans 5:12) That sin is like a terrible inherited disease from which no one can escape. Its consequence, death, is a curse. Death is an enemy, not a friend. (1 Corinthians 15:26) How grateful we can be that Jehovah provided the ransom to rescue us from this dreadful enemy!

    KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT DEATH IS BENEFICIAL
    What the Bible teaches about the condition of the dead is comforting. As we have seen, the dead do not suffer pain or heartache. There is no reason to be afraid of them, for they cannot harm us. They do not need our help, and they cannot help us. We cannot speak with them, and they cannot speak with us. Many religious leaders falsely claim that they can help those who have died, and people who believe such leaders give them money. But knowing the truth protects us from being deceived by those who teach such lies.

    Does your religion agree with what the Bible teaches about the dead? Most do not. Why? Because their teachings have been influenced by Satan. He uses false religion to get people to believe that after their body dies, they will continue to live in the spirit realm. This is a lie that Satan combines with other lies to turn people away from Jehovah God. How so?
    Most religions teach that if a person lives a bad life, after death he will go to a place of fiery torment to suffer forever. This teaching dishonors God. Jehovah is a God of love and would never make people suffer in this way. (1 John 4:8) How would you feel about a man who punished a disobedient child by holding his hands in a fire? Would you respect such a man? In fact, would you even want to get to know him? Definitely not! You would likely think that he was very cruel. Yet, Satan wants us to believe that Jehovah tortures people in fire forever—for countless billions of years! Satan also uses some religions to teach that after death people become spirits who must be respected and honored by the living. According to this teaching, the spirits of the dead can become powerful friends or terrible enemies. Many people believe this lie. They fear the dead and give them honor and worship. In contrast, the Bible teaches that the dead are sleeping and that we should worship only the true God, Jehovah, our Creator and Provider.—Revelation 4:11.

    Knowing the truth about the dead protects you from being misled by religious lies. It also helps you to understand other Bible teachings. For example, when you realize that people do not pass on to the spirit realm at death, the promise of everlasting life on a paradise earth takes on real meaning for you.
    20 Long ago, the righteous man Job raised this question: “If an able-bodied man dies can he live again?” (Job 14:14) Can a lifeless person who is sleeping in death be brought back to life? What the Bible teaches about this is deeply comforting.

    WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES
    - The dead do not see or hear or think.—Ecclesiastes 9:5.
    - The dead are at rest; they do not suffer.—John 11:11.
    - We die because we inherited sin from Adam.—Romans 5:12.

    Jehovah made humans to live forever on earth.
    Adam came from the dust, and he returned to the dust

  4. Mike
    March 25th, 2013 at 01:14 | #4

    The Challenge of Knowing God by Name

    THERE is someone who wants to prevent you from knowing Jehovah’s name and enjoying a close relationship with Him. Who is this evil foe? The Bible explains: “The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” The god of this present ungodly world is Satan the Devil. He wants to keep you in darkness so that your heart will not be illuminated with “the glorious knowledge of God.” Satan does not want you to know Jehovah by name. How, though, does Satan blind people’s minds?—2 Corinthians 4:4-6.
    Satan has used false religion to hinder people from coming to know God by name. For example, in ancient times some Jews chose to ignore the inspired Scriptures in favor of tradition that called for avoiding the use of God’s name. By the first centuries of our Common Era, Jewish public readers had evidently been instructed, not to read God’s name as it appeared in their Holy Scriptures, but to substitute the word ʼAdho·nai′, meaning “Lord.” Doubtless, this practice contributed to a tragic decline in spirituality. Many lost out on the benefits of a close personal relationship with God. What, though, about Jesus? What was his attitude toward Jehovah’s name?
    Jesus and His Followers Made God’s Name Known
    Jesus declared in prayer to his Father: “I have made your name known . . . and will make it known.” (John 17:26) Jesus would undoubtedly have pronounced God’s name on numerous occasions when he read, quoted, or explained portions of the Hebrew Scriptures containing that important name. Jesus would thus have used God’s name just as freely as all the prophets did before him. If any Jews were already avoiding the use of God’s name during the time of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus would certainly not have followed their tradition. He strongly criticized the religious leaders when he said to them: “You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition.”—Matthew 15:6.
    Faithful followers of Jesus continued to make God’s name known after Jesus’ death and resurrection. At Pentecost 33 C.E., the very day the Christian congregation was formed, the apostle Peter, quoting from a prophecy of Joel, said to a multitude of Jews and proselytes: “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32) Early Christians helped people from many nations to come to know Jehovah by name. Thus, in a meeting of the apostles and older men in Jerusalem, the disciple James said: “God . . . turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.”—Acts 15:14.
    Nevertheless, the enemy of God’s name did not give up. Once the apostles were dead, Satan wasted no time in sowing apostasy. (Matthew 13:38, 39; 2 Peter 2:1) For example, the nominal Christian writer Justin Martyr was born about the time John, the last of the apostles, died. Yet, Justin repeatedly insisted in his writings that the Provider of all things is “a God who is called by no proper name.”
    When apostate Christians made copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures, they evidently took Jehovah’s personal name out of the text and substituted Ky′ri·os, the Greek word for “Lord.” The Hebrew Scriptures did not fare any better. No longer reading God’s name aloud, apostate Jewish scribes replaced the divine name in their Scriptures with ʼAdho·nai′ more than 130 times. The influential translation of the Bible into Latin that was completed by Jerome in 405 C.E. and that came to be called the Latin Vulgate similarly omitted the personal name of God.

    Modern Attempts to Efface God’s Name

    Today, scholars are aware that Jehovah’s personal name appears some 7,000 times in the Bible. Thus, some widely used translations, such as the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, the Catholic La Biblia Latinoamérica in Spanish, and the popular Reina-Valera version, also in Spanish, freely use God’s personal name. Some translations render God’s name “Yahweh.”
    Sadly, many churches that sponsor Bible translations pressure scholars into omitting God’s name from their translations of the Bible. For example, in a letter dated June 29, 2008, to presidents of Catholic bishops’ conferences, the Vatican stated: “In recent years the practice has crept in of pronouncing the God of Israel’s proper name.” The letter gives this pointed direction: “The name of God . . . is neither to be used or pronounced.” Furthermore, “for the translation of the Biblical text in modern languages, . . . the divine tetragrammaton is to be rendered by the equivalent of Adonai/Kyrios: ‘Lord.’” Clearly, this Vatican directive is aimed at eliminating the use of God’s name.
    Protestants have been no less disrespectful in their treatment of Jehovah’s name. A spokesman for the Protestant-sponsored New International Version, published in English in 1978, wrote: “Jehovah is a distinctive name for God and ideally we should have used it. But we put $2.3million dollars into this translation and a sure way of throwing that down the drain is to translate, for example, Psalm 23 as, ‘Yahweh is my shepherd.’”
    In addition, churches have hindered Latin Americans from knowing God by name. Steven Voth, a translation consultant for the United Bible Societies (UBS), writes: “One of the ongoing debates in Latin American Protestant circles revolves around the use of the name Jehová . . . Interestingly enough, a very large and growing neo-pentecostal church . . . said they wanted a Reina-Valera 1960 edition, but without the name Jehová. Instead, they wanted the word Señor [Lord].” According to Voth, the UBS rejected this request at first but later gave in and published an edition of the Reina-Valera Bible “without the word Jehová.”

    Deleting God’s name from his written Word and replacing it with “Lord” hinders readers from truly knowing who God is. Such a substitution creates confusion. For example, a reader may not be able to discern whether the term “Lord” refers to Jehovah or to his Son, Jesus. Thus, in the scripture in which the apostle Peter quotes David as saying: “Jehovah said to my Lord [the resurrected Jesus]: ‘Sit at my right hand,’” many Bible translations read: “The Lord said to my Lord.” (Acts 2:34, NIV) In addition, David Clines, in his essay “Yahweh and the God of Christian Theology,” points out: “One result of the absence of Yahweh from Christian consciousness has been the tendency to focus on the person of Christ.” Thus, many churchgoers are hardly aware that the true God to whom Jesus directed his prayers is a Person with a name—Jehovah.
    Satan has worked hard at blinding people’s minds about God. Even so, you can become intimately acquainted with Jehovah.

    You Can Know Jehovah by Name

    To be sure, Satan has waged war on the divine name, and he has cleverly used false religion in the process. However, the reality is that no power in heaven or on earth can stop the Sovereign Lord Jehovah from making his name known to those who want to know the truth about him and his glorious purpose for faithful humans.
    Follow the example of Jesus, who said to God: “I have made your name known to them.” (John 17:26) As you contemplate the scriptures that reveal the various roles that Jehovah has occupied for the blessing of mankind, you will come to know the many beautiful facets of his exalted personality.
    The faithful patriarch Job enjoyed “intimacy with God,” and so can you. (Job 29:4) With knowledge of God’s Word, you can know Jehovah by name. Such knowledge will give you confidence that Jehovah will act in harmony with what he said was the meaning of his name—‘I Will Become whatsoever I please.’ (Exodus 3:14, footnote) Thus, he will surely fulfill all his good promises to mankind.

    Did the First Christians Use God’s Name?
    During the days of Jesus’ apostles in the first century C.E., Christian congregations were formed in many lands. The members of those congregations regularly met together to study the Scriptures. Did those early Christians find Jehovah’s name in their copies of the Scriptures?

    Since Greek had become the international language, many congregations used the Greek Septuagint, a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures completed in the second century B.C.E. Some scholars claim that from the time it was originally translated, the Septuagint had always replaced God’s name with the title Ky′ri·os, the Greek word for “Lord.” But the facts show otherwise.
    The fragments illustrated here are portions of the Greek Septuagint that date from the first century B.C.E. They clearly show Jehovah’s name, represented in the Greek text by the four Hebrew letters יהוה (YHWH), or the Tetragrammaton. Professor George Howard wrote: “We have three separate pre-Christian copies of the Greek Septuagint Bible and in not a single instance is the Tetragrammaton translated kyrios or for that matter translated at all. We can now say with near certainty that it was a Jewish practice before, during, and after the New Testament period to write the divine name . . . right into the Greek text of Scripture.”—Biblical Archaeology Review.

    Did Jesus’ apostles and disciples use God’s name in their inspired writings? Professor Howard notes: “When the Septuagint which the New Testament church used and quoted contained the Hebrew form of the divine name, the New Testament writers no doubt included the Tetragrammaton in their quotations.”

    Therefore, we may safely conclude that the first Christians could read God’s name both in their translations of the Hebrew Scriptures and in their copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    Churches have suppressed God’s name in the Bible because of Jewish tradition or even for the sake of profit

    Jesus set the example in making known God’s name

    GREAT CROWD

    An expression that, in itself, is quite common in the Christian Greek Scriptures. “Great crowd(s)” is sometimes used with regard to the large groups of persons who heard Jesus Christ’s public teaching. (Mt 14:14; 19:2; 20:29) After the vision of the destruction of the symbolic Babylon the Great, the apostle John heard “what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.” (Re 19:1) At Revelation 7:9, however, “a great crowd” is mentioned whose identification has particularly been a matter of keen interest.
    In this chapter, the apostle John first refers to the sealing of 144,000 slaves of God “out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.” (Re 7:2-8) After this, he saw in a vision “a great crowd” out of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. These ascribe their salvation to God and to the Lamb as they stand before God’s throne. They have come out of “the great tribulation,” they serve God in his temple, and he spreads his tent over them. All their hunger and thirst are to be ended and every tear is to be wiped from their eyes as his Son (the Lamb; Joh 1:29) guides them to the waters of life.—Re 7:9-17.
    Popular Views. Various views have been advanced as to the significance and identification of this “great crowd.” Many commentators view the 144,000 sealed ones, first mentioned, as members of “spiritual Israel” and believe that they symbolize the Christian congregation while on earth. They feel that the “great crowd” represents that same Christian congregation in heaven, after the individuals have died in faith and have been resurrected. Others hold that the 144,000 are literally from “every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Re 7:4), that is, fleshly Jews who become Christians, and they consider the “great crowd” to represent all the Gentile Christians. A consideration of Revelation chapter 7 and other related texts, however, reveals serious inconsistencies in these views, at the same time pointing to a different conclusion.
    To hold that the 144,000 sealed ones are the members of the Christian congregation while on earth whereas the “great crowd” are the resurrected Christians in heaven does not harmonize with the other mention of the 144,000, in Revelation chapter 14. There the 144,000 are stationed with the Lamb on “Mount Zion.” At Hebrews 12:18-24 the apostle Paul contrasts the experience of the Israelites at the earthly Mount Sinai with that of the Christians who have “approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels, in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.” Obviously, then, although Revelation 14:3 says that the 144,000 have been “bought from the earth,” the context depicts them as being, not on earth, but in heaven with the heavenly Lamb, Christ Jesus. (Re 14:3, 4) This renders invalid the view that the 144,000 represent the Christian congregation while on earth in contrast with their being the “great crowd” in heaven.

    Additionally, the way in which the apostle John introduces his vision of the “great crowd” indicates a clear distinction of identity between them and the 144,000 sealed ones. He states: “After these things [the account of the 144,000 sealed ones] I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number.” (Re 7:9) He thus presents the “great crowd” as a separate entity and makes a definite contrast between the specific number of the 144,000 and the unnumbered “great crowd.” They are also distinguished by their being, not “of the sons of Israel,” but out of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. They are not seen standing ‘with the Lamb’ as are the 144,000, at Revelation 14:1, but are “before the Lamb.” These several factors all argue that the “great crowd” is separate and distinct from the 144,000 sealed ones.
    On the other hand, the view that here Christians of Jewish stock are being distinguished from Gentile Christians runs counter to the apostle Paul’s inspired statement that fleshly distinctions are of no consideration in the Christian congregation, its members being all one in union with Christ Jesus. (Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28) Jehovah, having ‘fully reconciled both peoples [Jews and non-Jews] to himself in one body’ through Christ, could hardly be expected to make a division between the two groups now by separating fleshly Jews from Gentiles in the vision given to John. (Eph 2:11-21; Ac 15:7-9) This is particularly evident when the divine principle stated by Paul is taken into account. The apostle wrote: “He is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit.” (Ro 2:28, 29) Why, too, would there be no mention of any ‘sealing’ of the Gentile Christians in this divine vision? And why would not the Gentile Christians be able to master the new song sung by the 144,000? (Re 14:3) It thus seems clear that the 144,000 sealed ones are of spiritual Israel, not fleshly Israel—hence include both Jewish and Gentile Christians.—Ga 6:16.
    Their Identification. The key to the identification of the “great crowd” is found within the description of them in Revelation chapter 7 and in obviously parallel passages. Revelation 7:15-17 speaks of God as ‘spreading his tent over them,’ of their being guided to “fountains of waters of life,” and of God’s wiping “every tear from their eyes.” At Revelation 21:2-4 we find parallel expressions: ‘God’s tent being with mankind,’ his ‘wiping every tear from their eyes,’ and ‘death being no more.’ The vision there presented is concerning persons not in heaven, from where the ‘New Jerusalem comes down,’ but on earth, among mankind.

    This poses the question: If the “great crowd” are persons who gain salvation and remain on earth, how could they be said to be ‘standing before God’s throne and before the Lamb’? (Re 7:9) The position of ‘standing’ is sometimes used in the Bible to indicate the holding of a favored or approved position in the eyes of the one in whose presence the individual or group stands. (Ps 1:5; 5:5; Pr 22:29, AT; Lu 1:19) In fact, in the previous chapter of Revelation, “the kings of the earth and the top-ranking ones and the military commanders and the rich and the strong ones and every slave and every free person” are depicted as seeking to hide themselves “from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Re 6:15-17; compare Lu 21:36.) It thus appears that the “great crowd” is formed of those persons who have been preserved during that time of wrath and who have been able to “stand” as approved by God and the Lamb.
    The Lamb’s guiding them to “fountains of waters of life” finds a parallel at Revelation 22:17, which says: “The spirit and the bride keep on saying: ‘Come!’ And let anyone hearing say: ‘Come!’ and let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.” The “bride” is clearly identified in the Scriptures as the anointed Christian congregation, espoused to the heavenly Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. (Eph 5:25-27; 2Co 11:2; Re 19:7-9; 21:9-11) The invitation to “take life’s water free” presented by the heavenly “bride” class is obviously open to an unlimited number of persons, “anyone that wishes.” Likewise unnumbered are the “great crowd,” the vision at Revelation 7:9 thereby harmonizing with that at Revelation 22:17.
    The sum of the evidence, therefore, points to the “great crowd” as representing all those persons who are not of the heavenly “bride” class, or 144,000 sealed ones, but who stand approved at the time of the “great tribulation” and are preserved alive on earth.

    Dates

    Definition: Dates mark the time at which events occur. The Bible expresses dates in relation to the lifetime of individuals, the period during which certain rulers were in office, or other notable events. It contains the only complete chronology reaching back to the time of Adam’s creation. Bible chronology also pinpointed in advance the time when certain important events in the fulfillment of God’s purpose would take place. The Gregorian calendar, which is now popular in much of the world, did not come into use until 1582. In secular sources there is disagreement on dates given for events in ancient history. However, certain key dates, such as 539 B.C.E. for the fall of Babylon, and hence 537 B.C.E. for the Jews’ return from captivity, are well established. (Ezra 1:1-3) Using such dates as starting points, it is possible to express in terms of current calendars the dates for ancient Biblical events.

    Have scientists proved that humans have been on earth for millions of years, not merely some thousands of years as the Bible indicates?
    The dating methods used by scientists are built on assumptions that can be useful but that often lead to very contradictory results. So, dates given by them are constantly being revised.
    A report in New Scientist of March 18, 1982, reads: “‘I am staggered to believe that as little as a year ago I made the statements that I made.’ So said Richard Leakey, before the elegant audience of a Royal Institution evening discourse last Friday. He had come to reveal that the conventional wisdom, which he had so recently espoused in his BBC television series The Making of Mankind, was ‘probably wrong in a number of crucial areas.’ In particular, he now sees man’s oldest ancestor as being considerably younger than the 15-20 million years he plumped for on television.”—P. 695.
    From time to time, new methods of dating are developed. How reliable are these? Regarding one known as thermoluminescence, The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1976, Macropædia, Vol. 5, p. 509) says: “Hope rather than accomplishment mainly characterizes the status of thermoluminescence dating at the present time.” Also, Science (August 28, 1981, p. 1003) reports that a skeleton showing an age of 70,000 years by amino acid racemization gave only 8,300 or 9,000 years by radioactive dating.
    Popular Science (November 1979, p. 81) reports that physicist Robert Gentry “believes that all of the dates determined by radioactive decay may be off—not only by a few years, but by orders of magnitude.” The article points out that his findings would lead to the conclusion that “man, instead of having walked the earth for 3.6 million years, may have been around for only a few thousand.”
    It should be noted, however, that scientists believe that the age of the earth itself is much greater than the age of man. The Bible does not disagree with that.
    Were the ages of people before the Flood, as stated in the Bible, measured according to the same kind of years that we use?
    If it was reasoned that the “years” must be equivalent to our months, then Enosh became a father when he was seven years of age, and Kenan was only five years old when he fathered a son. (Gen. 5:9, 12) That is, clearly, impossible.
    Detailed chronology provided in connection with the Flood indicates the length of months and years used at that time. Comparison of Genesis 7:11, 24 and Ge 8:3, 4 shows that five months (from the 17th of the 2nd month to the 17th of the 7th month) was equal to 150 days, or five 30-day months. Specific reference is made to a “tenth month” and to further periods beyond that before coming to the next year. (Gen. 8:5, 6, 8, 10, 12-14) Evidently, their years were made up of twelve 30-day months. At a very early time, the strictly lunar calendar was adjusted periodically to the length of the solar year, as indicated by Israel’s holding seasonal festivals of ingathering on specified dates. In that way the festivals continued to fall in the appropriate seasons.—Lev. 23:39.
    Keep in mind that God made humans to live forever. It was Adam’s sin that led to death. (Gen. 2:17; 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12) Those who lived before the Flood were closer to perfection than we are today, so they lived much longer. But each one died within a thousand years.

    Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses say that God’s Kingdom was established in 1914?
    Two lines of evidence point to that year: (1) Bible chronology and (2) the events since 1914 in fulfillment of prophecy. Here we will consider the chronology.
    Read Daniel 4:1-17. Da 4 Verses 20-37 show that this prophecy had a fulfillment upon Nebuchadnezzar. But it also has a larger fulfillment. How do we know that? Da 4 Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the Kingdom of God and God’s promise to give it “to the one whom he wants to . . . even the lowliest one of mankind.” The entire Bible shows that Jehovah’s purpose is for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to rule as His representative over mankind. (Ps. 2:1-8; Dan. 7:13, 14; 1 Cor. 15:23-25; Rev. 11:15; 12:10) The Bible’s description of Jesus shows that he was indeed “the lowliest one of mankind.” (Phil. 2:7, 8; Matt. 11:28-30) The prophetic dream, then, points to the time when Jehovah would give rulership over mankind to his own Son.
    What was to happen in the meantime? Rulership over mankind, as represented by the tree and its rootstock, would have “the heart of a beast.” (Dan. 4:16) The history of mankind would be dominated by governments that displayed the characteristics of wild beasts. In modern times, the bear is commonly used to represent Russia; the eagle, the United States; the lion, Britain; the dragon, China. The Bible also uses wild beasts as symbols of world governments and of the entire global system of human rulership under the influence of Satan. (Dan. 7:2-8, 17, 23; 8:20-22; Rev. 13:1, 2) As Jesus showed in his prophecy pointing to the conclusion of the system of things, Jerusalem would be “trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations” were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24) “Jerusalem” represented the Kingdom of God because its kings were said to sit on “the throne of the kingship of Jehovah.” (1 Chron. 28:4, 5; Matt. 5:34, 35) So, the Gentile governments, represented by wild beasts, would ‘trample’ on the right of God’s Kingdom to direct human affairs and would themselves hold sway under Satan’s control.—Compare Luke 4:5, 6.

    For how long would such governments be permitted to exercise this control before Jehovah gave the Kingdom to Jesus Christ? Daniel 4:16 says “seven times” (“seven years,” AT and Mo, also JB footnote on Da 4 verse 13). The Bible shows that in calculating prophetic time, a day is counted as a year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34) How many “days,” then, are involved? Revelation 11:2, 3 clearly states that 42 months (3 1/2 years) in that prophecy are counted as 1,260 days. Seven years would be twice that, or 2,520 days. Applying the “day for a year” rule would result in 2,520 years.
    When did the counting of the “seven times” begin? After Zedekiah, the last king in the typical Kingdom of God, was removed from the throne in Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Ezek. 21:25-27) Finally, by early October of 607 B.C.E. the last vestige of Jewish sovereignty was gone. By that time the Jewish governor, Gedaliah, who had been left in charge by the Babylonians, had been assassinated, and the remaining Jews had fled to Egypt. (Jeremiah, chapters 40-43) Reliable Bible chronology indicates that this took place 70 years before 537 B.C.E., the year in which the Jews returned from captivity; that is, it took place by early October of 607 B.C.E. (Jer. 29:10; Dan. 9:2)

    How, then, is the time calculated down to 1914? Counting 2,520 years from early October of 607 B.C.E. brings us to early October of 1914 C.E., as shown on the chart.
    CALCULATING THE “SEVEN TIMES”
    “Seven times” = 7 X 360 = 2,520 years
    A Biblical “time,” or year = 12 X 30 days = 360. (Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14)
    In the fulfillment of the “seven times” each day equals one year. (Ezek. 4:6; Num. 14:34)
    Early October, 607 B.C.E., to December 31, 607 B.C.E.= 1/4 year
    January 1, 606 B.C.E., to December 31, 1 B.C.E. = 606 years
    January 1, 1 C.E., to December 31, 1913 = 1,913 years
    January 1, 1914, to early October, 1914 = 3/4 year
    Total: 2,520 years
    What happened at that time? Jehovah entrusted rulership over mankind to his own Son, Jesus Christ, glorified in the heavens.—Dan. 7:13, 14.

    Then why is there still so much wickedness on earth? After Christ was enthroned, Satan and his demons were hurled out of heaven and down to the earth. (Rev. 12:12) Christ as King did not immediately proceed to destroy all who refused to acknowledge Jehovah’s sovereignty and himself as the Messiah. Instead, as he had foretold, a global preaching work was to be done. (Matt. 24:14) As King he would direct a dividing of peoples of all nations, those proving to be righteous being granted the prospect of everlasting life, and the wicked being consigned to everlasting cutting-off in death. (Matt. 25:31-46) In the meantime, the very difficult conditions foretold for “the last days” would prevail. As shown under the heading “Last Days,” those events have been clearly in evidence since 1914. Before the last members of the generation that was alive in 1914 will have passed off the scene, all the things foretold will occur, including the “great tribulation” in which the present wicked world will end.—Matt. 24:21, 22, 34.
    When will the end of this wicked world come?
    Jesus answered: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” However, he also stated: “Truly I say to you that this generation [that was alive when “the sign” of “the last days” began its fulfillment] will by no means pass away until all these things occur.”—Matt. 24:36, 34.
    Also, after telling of events that would follow the establishment of the Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ in 1914, Revelation 12:12 adds: “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.”

    THROUGHOUT history, millions of people have believed that they would eventually leave the earth and go to heaven. Some have felt that our Creator never intended that the earth should be our permanent dwelling place. Ascetics have gone even further. To many of them, the earth and all material things are evil—a barrier to real spiritual fulfillment and closeness to God.
    Those who developed the foregoing ideas were either unaware of what God said on the matter of a paradise earth or chose to ignore it. Today, in fact, many show no interest in examining what God inspired men to record on this subject in his Word, the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) But is it not wise to trust God’s Word instead of adopting theories of men? (Romans 3:4) It is, in fact, vital that we do so, since the Bible warns us that a powerful but invisible evil creature has blinded people spiritually and is now “misleading the entire inhabited earth.”—Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4.

    Why the Confusion?
    Conflicting ideas about the soul have caused people to be confused about God’s purpose for the earth. Many believe that we have an immortal soul—something that is separate from the human body and that survives death. Others believe that the soul existed before the human body was created. According to one reference work, the Greek philosopher Plato felt that the soul “is incarcerated in the body as a punishment for the sins which it committed in its heavenly state.” Similarly, the third-century theologian Origen said that “souls sinned [in heaven] before they were united with a body” and were “imprisoned [in that body on earth] as a punishment for their sins.” And millions believe that the earth is simply some kind of testing ground on man’s journey to heaven.
    There are also various ideas about what happens to the soul when a person dies. According to the book History of Western Philosophy, the Egyptians developed the view that “the souls of the dead descend into the underworld.” Philosophers later argued that the souls of the dead did not descend into a dark underworld but actually ascended to a higher spirit realm. The Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have held that at death the soul “departs into [an] invisible region . . . and spends the rest of its existence with the gods.”

    What Does the Bible Say?

    Nowhere does God’s inspired Word, the Bible, say that humans have an immortal soul. Read the account at Genesis 2:7 for yourself. It says: “Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” That is clear and unambiguous. When God created the first man, Adam, He did not put some kind of immaterial principle into him. No, for the Bible says that “the man came to be a living soul.” The man did not house a soul. He was a soul.
    In creating the earth and the human family, Jehovah never intended that man should die.

    SOUL

    The original-language terms (Hebrew) ne′phesh [ׁנֶפֶש]; (Greek) psy·khe′ [ψυχή]) as used in the Scriptures show “soul” to be a person, an animal, or the life that a person or an animal enjoys.
    The connotations that the English “soul” commonly carries in the minds of most persons are not in agreement with the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words as used by the inspired Bible writers. This fact has steadily gained wider acknowledgment. Back in 1897, in the Journal of Biblical Literature (Vol. XVI, p. 30), Professor C. A. Briggs, as a result of detailed analysis of the use of ne′phesh, observed: “Soul in English usage at the present time conveys usually a very different meaning from נפש [ne′phesh] in Hebrew, and it is easy for the incautious reader to misinterpret.”
    More recently, when The Jewish Publication Society of America issued a new translation of the Torah, or first five books of the Bible, the editor-in-chief, H. M. Orlinsky of Hebrew Union College, stated that the word “soul” had been virtually eliminated from this translation because, “the Hebrew word in question here is ‘Nefesh.’” He added: “Other translators have interpreted it to mean ‘soul,’ which is completely inaccurate. The Bible does not say we have a soul. ‘Nefesh’ is the person himself, his need for food, the very blood in his veins, his being.”—The New York Times, October 12, 1962.

    What is the origin of the teaching that the human soul is invisible and immortal?
    The difficulty lies in the fact that the meanings popularly attached to the English word “soul” stem primarily, not from the Hebrew or Christian Greek Scriptures, but from ancient Greek philosophy, actually pagan religious thought. Greek philosopher Plato, for example, quotes Socrates as saying: “The soul, . . . if it departs pure, dragging with it nothing of the body, . . . goes away into that which is like itself, into the invisible, divine, immortal, and wise, and when it arrives there it is happy, freed from error and folly and fear . . . and all the other human ills, and . . . lives in truth through all after time with the gods.”—Phaedo, 80, D, E; 81, A.

    In direct contrast with the Greek teaching of the psy·khe′ (soul) as being immaterial, intangible, invisible, and immortal, the Scriptures show that both psy·khe′ and ne′phesh, as used with reference to earthly creatures, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal.
    The New Catholic Encyclopedia says: “Nepes [ne′phesh] is a term of far greater extension than our ‘soul,’ signifying life (Ex 21.23; Dt 19.21) and its various vital manifestations: breathing (Gn 35.18; Jb 41.13[21]), blood [Gn 9.4; Dt 12.23; Ps 140(141).8 Ps 141:8], desire (2 Sm 3.21; Prv 23.2). The soul in the Old Testament means not a part of man, but the whole man—man as a living being. Similarly, in the New Testament it signifies human life: the life of an individual, conscious subject (Mt 2.20; 6.25; Lk 12.22-23; 14.26; Jn 10.11, 15, 17; 13.37).”—1967, Vol. XIII, p. 467.

    The Roman Catholic translation, The New American Bible, in its “Glossary of Biblical Theology Terms” (pp. 27, 28), says: “In the New Testament, to ‘save one’s soul’ (Mk 8:35) does not mean to save some ‘spiritual’ part of man, as opposed to his ‘body’ (in the Platonic sense) but the whole person with emphasis on the fact that the person is living, desiring, loving and willing, etc., in addition to being concrete and physical”.

    Ne′phesh evidently comes from a root meaning “breathe” and in a literal sense ne′phesh could be rendered as “a breather.” Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (Leiden, 1958, p. 627) defines it as: “the breathing substance, making man a[nd] animal living beings Gn 1, 20, Ge 1:20 the soul (strictly distinct from the greek notion of soul) the seat of which is the blood Gn 9, 4f Lv 17, 11 Dt 12, 23: Ge 9:4; Le 17:11; De 12:23 (249 X) . . . soul = living being, individual, person.”

    As for the Greek word psy·khe′, Greek-English lexicons give such definitions as “life,” and “the conscious self or personality as centre of emotions, desires, and affections,” “a living being,” and they show that even in non-Biblical Greek works the term was used “of animals.” Of course, such sources, treating as they do primarily of classical Greek writings, include all the meanings that the pagan Greek philosophers gave to the word, including that of “departed spirit,” “the immaterial and immortal soul,” “the spirit of the universe,” and “the immaterial principle of movement and life.” Evidently because some of the pagan philosophers taught that the soul emerged from the body at death, the term psy·khe′ was also applied to the “butterfly or moth,” which creatures go through a metamorphosis, changing from caterpillar to winged creature.—Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, revised by H. Jones, 1968, pp. 2026, 2027; Donnegan’s New Greek and English Lexicon, 1836, p. 1404.

    The ancient Greek writers applied psy·khe′ in various ways and were not consistent, their personal and religious philosophies influencing their use of the term. Of Plato, to whose philosophy the common ideas about the English “soul” may be attributed (as is generally acknowledged), it is stated: “While he sometimes speaks of one of [the alleged] three parts of the soul, the ‘intelligible,’ as necessarily immortal, while the other two parts are mortal, he also speaks as if there were two souls in one body, one immortal and divine, the other mortal.”—The Evangelical Quarterly, London, 1931, Vol. III, p. 121, “Thoughts on the Tripartite Theory of Human Nature,” by A. McCaig.

    In view of such inconsistency in non-Biblical writings, it is essential to let the Scriptures speak for themselves, showing what the inspired writers meant by their use of the term psy·khe′, as well as by ne′phesh. Ne′phesh occurs 754 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Scriptures, while psy·khe′ appears by itself 102 times in the Westcott and Hort text of the Christian Greek Scriptures, giving a total of 856 occurrences. (See NW appendix, p. 1573.) This frequency of occurrence makes possible a clear concept of the sense that these terms conveyed to the minds of the inspired Bible writers and the sense their writings should convey to our mind. An examination shows that, while the sense of these terms is broad, with different shades of meaning, among the Bible writers there was no inconsistency, confusion, or disharmony as to man’s nature, as existed among the Grecian philosophers of the so-called Classical Period.

    Earth’s First Souls. The initial occurrences of ne′phesh are found at Genesis 1:20-23. On the fifth creative “day” God said: “‘Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls [ne′phesh] and let flying creatures fly over the earth . . . ’ And God proceeded to create the great sea monsters and every living soul [ne′phesh] that moves about, which the waters swarmed forth according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to its kind.” Similarly on the sixth creative “day” ne′phesh is applied to the “domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth” as “living souls.”—Ge 1:24.
    After man’s creation, God’s instruction to him again used the term ne′phesh with regard to the animal creation, “everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul [literally, in which there is living soul (ne′phesh)].” (Ge 1:30) Other examples of animals being so designated are found at Genesis 2:19; 9:10-16; Leviticus 11:10, 46; 24:18; Numbers 31:28; Ezekiel 47:9.

    Notably, the Christian Greek Scriptures coincide in applying the Greek psy·khe′ to animals, as at Revelation 8:9; 16:3, where it is used of creatures in the sea.
    Thus, the Scriptures clearly show that ne′phesh and psy·khe′ are used to designate the animal creation lower than man. The same terms apply to man. The Human Soul. Precisely the same Hebrew phrase used of the animal creation, namely, ne′phesh chai·yah′ (living soul), is applied to Adam, when, after God formed man out of dust from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, “the man came to be a living soul.” (Ge 2:7) Man was distinct from the animal creation, but that distinction was not because he was a ne′phesh (soul) and they were not. Rather, the record shows that it was because man alone was created “in God’s image.” (Ge 1:26, 27) He was created with moral qualities like those of God, with power and wisdom far superior to the animals; hence he could have in subjection all the lower forms of creature life. (Ge 1:26, 28) Man’s organism was more complex, as well as more versatile, than that of the animals. (Compare 1Co 15:39.) Likewise, Adam had, but lost, the prospect of eternal life; this is never stated with regard to the creatures lower than man.—Ge 2:15-17; 3:22-24.

    It is true that the account says that ‘God proceeded to blow into the man’s nostrils the breath [form of nesha·mah′] of life,’ whereas this is not stated in the account of the animal creation. Clearly, however, the account of the creation of man is much more detailed than that of the creation of animals. Moreover, Genesis 7:21-23, in describing the Flood’s destruction of “all flesh” outside the ark, lists the animal creatures along with mankind and says: “Everything in which the breath [form of nesha·mah′] of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died.” Obviously, the breath of life of the animal creatures also originally came from the Creator, Jehovah God.
    So, too, the “spirit” (Hebrew), ru′ach; Greek word (pneu′ma), or life-force, of man is not distinct from the life-force in animals, as is shown by Ecclesiastes 3:19-21, which states that “they all have but one spirit [u·ru′ach].”

    Soul—A Living Creature. As stated, man “came to be a living soul”; hence man was a soul, he did not have a soul as something immaterial, invisible, and intangible residing inside him. The apostle Paul shows that the Christian teaching did not differ from the earlier Hebrew teaching, for he quotes Genesis 2:7 in saying: “It is even so written: ‘The first man Adam became a living soul [psy·khen′ zo′san].’ . . . The first man is out of the earth and made of dust.”—1Co 15:45-47.
    The Genesis account shows that a living soul results from the combination of the earthly body with the breath of life. The expression “breath of the force of life [literally, breath of the spirit, or active force (ru′ach), of life]” (Ge 7:22) indicates that it is by breathing air (with its oxygen) that the life-force, or “spirit,” in all creatures, man and animals, is sustained. This life-force is found in every cell of the creature’s body.

    Since the term ne′phesh refers to the creature itself, we should expect to find the normal physical functions or characteristics of fleshly creatures attributed to it. This is exactly the case. Ne′phesh (soul) is spoken of as eating flesh, fat, blood, or similar material things (Le 7:18, 20, 25, 27; 17:10, 12, 15; De 23:24); being hungry for or craving food and drink (De 12:15, 20, 21; Ps 107:9; Pr 19:15; 27:7; Isa 29:8; 32:6; Mic 7:1); being made fat (Pr 11:25); fasting (Ps 35:13); touching unclean things, such as a dead body (Le 5:2; 7:21; 17:15; 22:6; Nu 19:13); being ‘seized as a pledge’ or being ‘kidnapped’ (De 24:6, 7); doing work (Le 23:30); being refreshed by cold water when tired (Pr 25:25); being purchased (Le 22:11; Eze 27:13); being given as a vow offering (Le 27:2); being put in irons (Ps 105:18); being sleepless (Ps 119:28); and struggling for breath (Jer 15:9).

    It may be noted that in many texts reference is made to “my soul,” “his [or her] soul,” “your soul,” and so forth. This is because ne′phesh and psy·khe′ can mean one’s own self as a soul. The sense of the term can therefore often be expressed in English by use of personal pronouns. Thus Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros (p. 627) shows that “my ne′phesh” means “I” (Ge 27:4, 25; Isa 1:14); “your [singular] ne′phesh” means “thou” or “you” (Ge 27:19, 31; Isa 43:4; 51:23); “his ne′phesh” means “he, himself” (Nu 30:2; Isa 53:10); “her ne′phesh” means “she, herself” (Nu 30:5-12), and so forth.

    The Greek term psy·khe′ is used similarly. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (1981, Vol. 4, p. 54) says it may be used as “the equivalent of the personal pronoun, used for emphasis and effect:—1st person, John 10:24 (‘us’); Heb. 10:38; cp. [compare] Gen. 12:13; Num. 23:10; Jud. 16:30; Ps. 120:2 (‘me’); 2nd person, 2 Cor. 12:15; Heb. 13:17,” and so forth.
    Represents life as a creature. Both ne′phesh and psy·khe′ are also used to mean life—not merely as an abstract force or principle—but life as a creature, human or animal.
    Thus when Rachel was giving birth to Benjamin, her ne′phesh (“soul,” or life as a creature) went out from her and she died. (Ge 35:16-19) She ceased to be a living creature. Similarly, when the prophet Elijah performed a miracle regarding the dead son of the widow of Zarephath, the child’s ne′phesh (“soul,” or life as a creature) came back into him and “he came to life,” was again a living creature.—1Ki 17:17-23.

    Because the creature’s life is so inseparably connected with and dependent on blood (shed blood standing for the life of the person or creature [Ge 4:10; 2Ki 9:26; Ps 9:12; Isa 26:21]), the Scriptures speak of the ne′phesh (soul) as being “in the blood.” (Ge 9:4; Le 17:11, 14; De 12:23) This is, obviously, not meant literally, inasmuch as the Scriptures also speak of the “blood of your souls” (Ge 9:5; compare Jer 2:34) and the many references already considered could not reasonably be applied solely to the blood or its life-supporting qualities.
    Ne′phesh (soul) is not used with reference to the creation of vegetable life on the third creative “day” (Ge 1:11-13) or thereafter, since vegetation is bloodless.
    Examples of the use of the Greek psy·khe′ to mean “life as a creature” may be found at Matthew 6:25; 10:39; 16:25, 26; Luke 12:20; John 10:11, 15; 13:37, 38; 15:13; Acts 20:10.

    Since God’s servants have the hope of a resurrection in the event of death, they have the hope of living again as “souls,” or living creatures. For that reason Jesus could say that “whoever loses his soul [his life as a creature] for the sake of me and the good news will save it. Really, of what benefit is it for a man to gain the whole world and to forfeit his soul? What, really, would a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mr 8:35-37) Similarly, he stated: “He that is fond of his soul destroys it, but he that hates his soul in this world will safeguard it for everlasting life.” (Joh 12:25)

    These texts, and others like them, show the correct understanding of Jesus’ words at Matthew 10:28: “Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” While men can kill the body, they cannot kill the person for all time, inasmuch as he lives in God’s purpose (compare Lu 20:37, 38) and God can and will restore such faithful one to life as a creature by means of a resurrection. For God’s servants, the loss of their “soul,” or life as a creature, is only temporary, not permanent.—Compare Re 12:11.
    Mortal and destructible. On the other hand, Matthew 10:28 states that God “can destroy both soul [psy·khen′] and body in Gehenna.”

    This shows that psy·khe′ does not refer to something immortal or indestructible. There is, in fact, not one case in the entire Scriptures, Hebrew and Greek, in which the words ne′phesh or psy·khe′ are modified by terms such as immortal, indestructible, imperishable, deathless. On the other hand, there are scores of texts in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures that speak of the ne′phesh or psy·khe′ (soul) as mortal and subject to death (Ge 19:19, 20; Nu 23:10; Jos 2:13, 14; Jg 5:18; 16:16, 30; 1Ki 20:31, 32; Ps 22:29; Eze 18:4, 20; Mt 2:20; 26:38; Mr 3:4; Heb 10:39; Jas 5:20); as dying, being “cut off” or destroyed (Ge 17:14; Ex 12:15; Le 7:20; 23:29; Jos 10:28-39; Ps 78:50; Eze 13:19; 22:27; Ac 3:23; Re 8:9; 16:3), whether by sword (Jos 10:37; Eze 33:6) or by suffocation (Job 7:15), or being in danger of death due to drowning (Jon 2:5); and also as going down into the pit or into Sheol (Job 33:22; Ps 89:48) or being delivered therefrom (Ps 16:10; 30:3; 49:15; Pr 23:14).

    Dead soul. The expression ‘deceased or dead soul’ also appears a number of times, meaning simply “a dead person.”—Le 19:28; 21:1, 11; 22:4; Nu 5:2; 6:6; Hag 2:13; compare Nu 19:11, 13.
    Desire. At times the word ne′phesh is used to express the desire of the individual, one that fills him and then occupies him in achieving its goal. Proverbs 13:2, for example, says of those dealing treacherously that ‘their very soul is violence,’ that is, that they are ‘all out’ for violence, in effect, become violence personified. (Compare Ge 34:3, ftn; Ps 27:12; 35:25; 41:2.) Israel’s false shepherds are called “dogs strong in soul[ful desire],” who have known no satisfaction.—Isa 56:11, 12; compare Pr 23:1-3; Hab 2:5.
    Serving With One’s Whole Soul. The “soul” basically means the entire person, as has been shown. Yet certain texts exhort us to seek for, love, and serve God with ‘all our heart and all our soul’ (De 4:29; 11:13, 18), while Deuteronomy 6:5 says: “You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.” Jesus said it was necessary to serve with one’s whole soul and strength and, additionally, “with your whole mind.” (Mr 12:30; Lu 10:27)

    The question arises as to why these other things are mentioned with the soul, since it embraces them all. To illustrate the probable meaning: A person might sell himself (his soul) into slavery to another, thereby becoming the possession of his owner and master. Yet he might not serve his master wholeheartedly, with full motivation and desire to please him, and thus he might not use his full strength or his full mental capacity to advance his master’s interests. (Compare Eph 6:5; Col 3:22.) Hence these other facets are evidently mentioned to focus attention on them so that we do not fail to remember and consider them in our service to God, to whom we belong, and to his Son, whose life was the ransom price that bought us. “Whole-souled” service to God involves the entire person, no bodily part, function, capacity, or desire being left out.—Compare Mt 5:28-30; Lu 21:34-36; Eph 6:6-9; Php 3:19; Col 3:23, 24.

    Soul and Spirit Are Distinct. The “spirit” (Heb., ru′ach; Gr., pneu′ma) should not be confused with the “soul” (Heb., ne′phesh; Gr., psy·khe′), for they refer to different things. Thus, Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the Word of God as ‘piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their marrow.’ (Compare also Php 1:27; 1Th 5:23.) As has been shown, the soul (ne′phesh; psy·khe′) is the creature itself. The spirit (ru′ach; pneu′ma) generally refers to the life-force of the living creature or soul, though the original-language terms may also have other meanings.

    Illustrating further the distinction between the Greek psykhe and pneuma is the apostle Paul’s discussion, in his first letter to the Corinthians, of the resurrection of Christians to spirit life. Here he contrasts “that which is physical [psykhikon, literally, soulical]” with “that which is spiritual pneumatikon. Thus he shows that Christians until the time of their death have a “soulical” body, even as did the first man Adam; whereas, in their resurrection such anointed Christians receive a spiritual body like that of the glorified Jesus Christ. (1Co 15:42-49) Jude makes a somewhat similar comparison in speaking of “animalistic men psykhikoi, literally, soulical (men)
    not having spirituality (literally, not having spirit (pneu′ma)”—Jude 19.

    God as Having Soul. In view of the foregoing, it appears that the scriptures in which God speaks of “my soul” (Le 26:11, 30; Ps 24:4; Isa 42:1) are yet another instance of an anthropomorphic usage, that is, the attributing of physical and human characteristics to God to facilitate understanding, as when God is spoken of as having eyes, hands, and so forth. By speaking of ‘my ne′phesh,’ Jehovah clearly means “myself” or “my person.” “God is a Spirit (Pneuma).”—Joh 4:24

    God’s purpose was that humans would live on earth forever amid Paradise conditions. Adam died only because he disobeyed God’s law. (Genesis 2:8, 15-17; 3:1-6; Isaiah 45:18) When the first man died, did he go to some spirit realm? No! He—the soul Adam—returned to the inanimate dust from which he was created.—Genesis 3:17-19.
    All of us have inherited sin and death from our forefather Adam. (Romans 5:12) This death is a cessation of existence, just as it was for Adam. (Psalm 146:3, 4) In fact, in all its 66 books, the Bible never links the terms “immortal” or “everlasting” with the word “soul.” On the contrary, the Scriptures clearly state that the soul—the person—is mortal. The soul dies.—Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; Ezekiel 18:4.

    Are Material Things Inherently Evil?
    What about the idea that material things, including the earth, are evil? Such a view was held by adherents of Manichaeism, a religious movement founded in Persia during the third century C.E. by an individual named Mani. Says The New Encyclopædia Britannica: “Manichaeism arose out of the anguish inherent in the human condition.” Mani believed that being human was “alien, unbearable, and radically evil.” He also held that the only way to get out of this “anguish” was for the soul to escape the body, leave the earth, and attain to spiritual existence in a spirit world.
    In contrast, the Bible tells us that in God’s view “everything he had made” when creating the earth and humankind was “very good.” (Genesis 1:31) At that time, there was no barrier between humans and God. Adam and Eve enjoyed close communion with Jehovah, even as the perfect man Jesus Christ enjoyed an intimate relationship with his heavenly Father.—Matthew 3:17.

    If our first parents, Adam and Eve, had not pursued a course of sin, they would have had a close relationship with Jehovah God eternally on a paradise earth. They started life in Paradise, for the Scriptures tell us: “Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Genesis 2:8) It was in that paradisaic garden that Eve was brought into existence. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, they and their perfect offspring could have worked together happily until the entire earth became a paradise. (Genesis 2:21; 3:23, 24) The earthly Paradise would have been mankind’s home eternally.

    Why Do Some Go to Heaven?
    ‘But,’ you may say, ‘the Bible does speak about people going to heaven, doesn’t it?’ Yes. After Adam sinned, Jehovah purposed to set up a heavenly Kingdom in which some of Adam’s descendants would “rule as kings over the earth” alongside Jesus Christ. (Revelation 5:10; Romans 8:17) They were to be resurrected to immortal life in heaven. Their final number is 144,000, and the first ones among them were Jesus’ faithful first-century disciples.—Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; Revelation 14:1-5. However, it was not God’s original purpose for upright humans to leave the earth and go to heaven. In fact, when Jesus was on earth, he stated: “No man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man.” (John 3:13) Through “the Son of man,” Jesus Christ, God provided a ransom that makes everlasting life possible for those exercising faith in Jesus’ sacrifice. (Romans 5:8)

    But where will millions of such humans live eternally?
    God’s Original Purpose Will Be Fulfilled. Though God purposed to take some from the human family to serve as corulers with Jesus Christ in the heavenly Kingdom, that does not mean that all good people go to heaven. Jehovah created the earth to be the Paradise home of the human family. Very soon now, God will have that original purpose fulfilled.—Matthew 6:9, 10.
    Under the rule of Jesus Christ and his heavenly corulers, peace and happiness will prevail in all the earth. (Psalm 37:9-11) Those in God’s memory will be resurrected and will enjoy perfect health. (Acts 24:15) By their faithfulness to God, obedient mankind will be granted what our original parents lost—everlasting life in human perfection on a paradise earth.—Revelation 21:3, 4.

    Jehovah God never fails to accomplish what he purposes to do. Through his prophet Isaiah, he declared: “Just as the pouring rain descends, and the snow, from the heavens and does not return to that place, unless it actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout, and seed is actually given to the sower and bread to the eater, so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.”—Isaiah 55:10, 11.
    In the Bible book of Isaiah, we get a preview of what life will be like in the Paradise earth. No inhabitant of Paradise will say, “I am sick.” (Isaiah 33:24) Animals will pose no danger to man. (Isaiah 11:6-9) People will build beautiful homes and inhabit them and will plant crops and eat to satisfaction. (Isaiah 65:21-25)

    Moreover, God “will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.”—Isaiah 25:8.
    Soon, obedient mankind will live under such blessed conditions. They “will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21) How wonderful it will be to live forever in the promised earthly Paradise! (Luke 23:43) You can be there if you act upon accurate knowledge of the Scriptures and exercise faith in Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. And you can have confidence that it does make sense to believe in a paradise earth.

    Jesus promised a dying man who courageously expressed faith in him: “You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Where would the man be? Would Paradise be located in heaven, on earth, or at some intermediate location where humans await judgment?
    Our ancestors once lived in Paradise. The Bible tells us: “Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. . . . And Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it.” (Genesis 2:8, 15) When those words were translated into Greek, the word “garden” was rendered pa·ra′dei·sos, from which came the English word “paradise.”
    Just as a couple would enlarge their home when they have more children, so our first parents were expected to expand Paradise beyond the borders of Eden as the human family grew. God told them: “Fill the earth and subdue it.”—Genesis 1:28.
    Our Creator’s purpose, then, was for humans to live and bear children in Paradise here on earth. They would live forever in an earthly garden with no need for any cemeteries. The earth was to become the permanent home for all mankind. No wonder the natural features of our planet bring us so much delight! We were created to live on a beautiful earth.

    Has God’s purpose changed? No. For Jehovah assures us: “So my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted.” (Isaiah 55:11) Over 3,000 years after man’s creation, the Bible stated regarding “the Former of the earth and the Maker of it” that he “did not create it simply for nothing,” but he “formed it even to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18) God’s will has not changed. The earth will yet be a paradise.
    Interestingly, many Bible passages about Paradise are simply descriptions of life on earth. For example, a prophecy of Isaiah states: “They will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage.” (Isaiah 65:21) Where are houses built and vineyards planted? Where is fruit eaten? On the earth. Proverbs 2:21 explicitly states: “The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth.”

    Jesus too spoke about an earthly paradise. True, he also promised a heavenly paradise, but that was for a select few. (Luke 12:32) After death, these are resurrected to the heavenly Paradise and join Christ to rule over the earthly Paradise. (Revelation 5:10; 14:1-3) These heavenly corulers will ensure that Paradise on earth will be properly governed and maintained according to God’s standards.
    Jesus knew that this was God’s will for the earth. After all, he was in heaven with his Father when the garden of Eden was created. Life in a future earthly paradise is open to all people who exercise faith today. (John 3:16) To such ones, Jesus promises: “You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:43.

    Who Will Be Resurrected? Where Will They Live?

    Well, it shows that God loves young people. But he will resurrect many others too. Will God resurrect only those who did what is good?— We might think so. Yet, many people never learned the truth about Jehovah God and his Son. So they did what was bad because they were taught wrong things. Do you think that Jehovah will resurrect people like that?—The Bible says: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Why will those who were not righteous, or who did not do what was right, be resurrected?— It is because they never had a chance to learn about Jehovah and what he wants people to do.

    When do you think people will be resurrected?— Think back to when Lazarus died and Jesus promised his sister Martha: “Your brother will rise.” Martha replied: “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.” (John 11:23, 24) What did Martha mean when she said that Lazarus would rise on “the last day”?— Well, Martha had heard about Jesus’ promise: ‘All those in the memorial tombs will come out.’ (John 5:28, 29) So “the last day” is when all those in God’s memory will be brought back to life. This last day is not a 24-hour day. It will be a thousand years long. On this day, the Bible says, ‘God will judge the people of the earth.’ The ones he judges will include those who have been resurrected.—Acts 17:31; 2 Peter 3:8.

    Think about what a wonderful day this will be! During this thousand-year-long day, many millions of people who have died will be brought back to life. Jesus calls the place where they are brought back to live Paradise. Let’s see where Paradise will be and what it will be like there.
    About three hours before Jesus dies he talks about Paradise to a man next to him. The man is being put to death for crimes he has committed. But as this criminal watches Jesus and hears what is said about Him, he begins to believe in Jesus. So the criminal says: “Remember me when you get into your kingdom.” Jesus answers: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:42, 43.
    What does Jesus mean when he says this? Where is Paradise?— Think about it. Where was Paradise to begin with?— Remember, God gave the first man, Adam, and his wife a paradise to live in right here on this earth. It was called the garden of Eden. There were animals in that garden, but they didn’t hurt anyone. And there were trees with lots of delicious fruit on them, as well as a big river. It was a wonderful place to live!—Genesis 2:8-10.

    So when we read of that criminal being in Paradise, we should picture in our minds this earth made into a beautiful place to live. Will Jesus be right here on earth with the former criminal in Paradise?— No. Do you know why he won’t be here?—
    It is because Jesus will be in heaven ruling as King over the Paradise on earth. So Jesus will be with that man in the sense that Jesus will raise him from the dead and care for his needs. But why will Jesus let a former criminal live in Paradise?— Let’s see if we can figure that out.
    Before the criminal talked to Jesus, did he know about God’s purposes?— No, he didn’t. He did bad things because he didn’t know the truth about God. In Paradise he will be taught about God’s purposes. Then he will have the opportunity to prove that he really does love God by doing His will.

    Will everyone who is resurrected live in Paradise on earth?— No, they won’t. Do you know why not?— Because some will be resurrected to live with Jesus in heaven. They will rule with him as kings over the Paradise earth. Let’s see how we know this. The night before Jesus dies, he tells his apostles: ‘In the house of my Father in heaven, there are many places to live, and I am going my way to prepare a place for you.’ Then Jesus promises them: “I am coming again and will receive you home to myself, that where I am you also may be.”—John 14:2, 3.
    Where does Jesus go after he is resurrected?— Yes, back to heaven to be with his Father. (John 17:4, 5) So Jesus promises his apostles a

  5. Geoffrey amadi
    January 7th, 2013 at 08:33 | #5

    Am a christian,24years old male, having impressed on your way of preaching,I would like to work with you kindly accept my request and if posible inform me through my e mail above Godbless you from Kenya.

  6. Deborah
    September 29th, 2012 at 19:57 | #6

    @kathryn
    You must be one of them you no sinner that why your so upset my nephew was almost rape by a male Jehovah Witness he had to jump from a moving car broke his collar or shoulder bone and his mom cover it up with the elder

  7. Janet
    July 3rd, 2012 at 05:06 | #7

    maybe because it was individuals in the Catholic church acting in what they thought were the best interests of the church , where in this case it would seem that the actual structure of the Watchtower rules and regs lends itself to covering up paedophile behavior i.e. the coverup in essence came from the top of the tree with individuals only “following orders “

  8. kathryn
    June 22nd, 2012 at 14:56 | #8

    I agree, but how come the Catholic church wasn’t found responsible for the same type of thing?

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