Back story: I am currently 19 years old and over the years of being brought up in a 'free thinking' family, in which I was allowed to find my own way. I obviously had taken to science and reason over being a theist. Also, along the years I have 'adopted' a few theist friends, or I work with a few. Not so long ago I had got into a discussion with one of my friends about religion (their faith is Jehovah's witnesses), and it had gotten to a point when that friend had pointed out that the bible had predicted many, if not all, of it's prophecies, I.e. The devil gets thrown out of heaven in 1914 - WW1 starting (biggest war of it's magnitude up to the time). I was wonder, what are your views on this matter? If I get into the discussion again, how should I respond?
Thank you ~ Adam
P.s. This is my first post, So I'm quite unsure If I'm doing it right.
Once you learn what Jehova's Witnesses REALLY believe it won't be difficult to dismiss them as insane - for instance, they think that all the dead people will come back to life PHYSICALLY when Jesus returns, that means all our grandparents and aunts and uncles who are dead, their bones will return to life ... it makes for fun zombie science fiction but not at all believable.
As for prophecies, they really are conspiracies.
In other words the Bible was written by Jews to ensure their survival and their thriving in a future age. If you read the so called prophecies (not to mention their daring assertion that they are God's chosen) you will find all kinds of conspiracies. For instance, Isaiah 60 mentions that when the Messiah comes the nations of all the Earth will have to pay a tribute, a tax, to Israel and that any nation that refuses to honor Israel with a tribute or tax will perish.
This is a blueprint for a plan to take over the world via a global theocratic state. I have to sound like a nazi or like someone who believes in the 'protocols of sion' but this is what the authors of Isaiah 60 intended, and this is what the messianic jews were expecting 2,000 years ago when christianity was born and many still are expecting.
It's quite dangerous: I guess their fantasies of grandeur led them to think that they would replace Rome, and that this would be a good thing: what it means is that they would have to create an army as big as the Roman Army, which is 1 of the largest armies the Earth has seen still up to this day, and that they would hve to force all the nations into colonialism in all the continents. It's a completely unimaginable, antisocial and violent idea to fathom, particularly if we factor in the premise that this will all be done using religion as an excuse to justify the takeover of all the planet.
If the takeover of Palestine to create the modern state of Israel has generated for 60 years so much hostility, hatred and violence, imagine taking that to a global level.
The hostility between ancient Jews and 'Philistinians' is no different from the modern one. In fact, Joshua describes in his Bible book the takeover of Canaan and in Joshua 12 there is mention of 31 cities where 'no one was left breathing' according to Joshua and the king was left hanging from a high tree to terrorize all the neighbors into fearing god's fierce warriors. Similar acts of genocide were carried out through the Old Testament against numerous tribes and nations (read 1 Samuel 15:3, it will bring chills down your spine).
In the USA we almost had a state of Israel, by the way. The Mormons tried to settle in Missouri and create a theocratic state there, profoundly confused by the false teachings of their polygamy ranch cult leader Joseph Smith. They believed that Missouri was Eden (Joseph Smith claimed that Eden was in the United States) and that their new Sion would be in Missouri (they ended up settling for the deserts in Utah - much more Bible like scenery).
Immediately the people of Missouri began to feel intimidated by the religious ideas they were hearing and the size of the movement and there was an uprising. If the people of Missouri hadn't risen up against the Mormons (who to this day make themselves out to be victims of an attack on their religious liberties), we would probably have a state of Israel in the heart of the US.
Prophecies, particularly ones as self servicing as these ones, are dangerous consipiracies that are created to ensure the survival of the groups that promote them, often to the detriment of others.
Quite frankly, many a theist will try to twist anything into remotely resembling a prophecy. Old Testament predictions showing up in the New Testament? Okay... the NT was written AFTER the OT. All that proves is that the author read or knew the other stories. But there are many prophecies that ended up being wrong or just didn't happen at all. In Genesis, God promised that Abraham's descendants would be 'as numerous as the stars'. This prediction fell well short. There are at LEAST 10 sextillian stars. Also, Jesus said that he would return within his disciples' lifetimes. Of course he was a no show in their lifetimes and still unto this day. So that one fails as well. That's just two, but there is much more where those came from.
The devil gets thrown out of heaven in 1914 - WW1 starting (biggest war of it's magnitude up to the time).
Just from this I see what you mean. I've only had a few JWs come to my door knocking and I always turn them away. One group came under the guise of a charity, they left pamphlets, I opened them and found bible verses on every page. They can be very deceptive.
Concerning prophecies, they never make clear perdictions or are never clear that they are supposed to be prohecies until someone claims that some perdicted event has passed and they are always bias.
Hello Adam and welcome. The Jehovah's are brainwashed. They have a standard answer for any particular question you may have for them. Nowhere in the Bible will you find even a remote reference to the devil be tossed out of heaven in 1914; that is nothing more than a warped interpretation of Revelations. If you lookup the history of the JW's you'll find they were invented by a nut. As Thomas Jefferson once said "all religion is founded on fear and ignorance" .
If you want to see your friend's head burst, ask him if we are made in god's image. He'll naturally say yes, then ask him "does that mean god has a penis? And if so, what does he do with it? " While it may seem somewhat flippant (and surely it is) it is directly to the point of taking one very simple declaration in the Bible that the JW's believe to their core and asking them to question it; something they obviously don't do much of.
JW's are truly misinformed and don't be drawn in by their sophist arguments. Look up John Allen Paulos' Irreligion for a primer on how to approach each of the typical arguments you'll hear used to support the belief in god.
Many excellent prophecies have been neglected because they had no religion-money relationship. Morgan Robertson wrote a short story called Futility about an unsinkable ship sinking, he even guessed the name, he called it Titan. But the reason why this man wrote this story before Titanic is because an earlier ship has sunk a year before under similar reason.
So, it's not that people can see the future, it's actually that history repeats it's self and this happens because people never change ;D