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  1. Usually takes some time for these reports to filter through from the russian jw.org site. (Compare Pro.29:20). Bro Barmakin's experience could be as a result of the Supreme Court direction. We have to wait and see how well this decision is reflected locally as prosecutors have often appeared to have their own agenda. It is an answer to many prayers, and also confirms the wisdom in following scriptural principles when handling opposition.
  2. The canopy idea was confined to speculation in the Insight article from 1988. Everything pre-deluge apart from detail specifically revealed in Scripture is speculation.
  3. Well, the specific notion of a "canopy" appears to have been confined to the realm of speculation in The Floodwaters section under Deluge in Vol 1 of our Insight On the Scriptures. However, the Scriptural references of Gen.6:17; Gen.7:11; Gen.1:6-8 and 2Pet.3:5-6 are still sequenced there in relation to a vast amount of water being retained in the upper atmosphere by means unknown. And this same "reservoir" is cited as a source of the Deluge waters which constitute the first specific mention of rain in God's word. As for the appearance of the sky in pre-Flood times, there will be many eye-witness accounts in due time, including those of how the sky looked immediately prior to the Flood (which I believe is the time depicted on the cover of the Oct 2021 WT). 🙂
  4. Bro. Vladimir Kochnev "The fact is that persecution does not automatically make a person better or worse. Rather, it shows who a person really is on the inside."
  5. In answer to your two questions: 1. These type of mags have a very limited use in territory locally, probably only restaurant workers/owners, and then too likely only in mother language, if available. 2. It is great to see these articles available. In fact the ease of obtaining this literature where I live means that those with international Zoom ministries can obtain and supply literature quicker than local branch arrangements.
  6. Zoom is weird, whatever we make of it. We are just trying to make the best of an unnatural form of association thrust upon us due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not long ago and, for many of us, within memory, we would have had nothing at all like this. We would be likely trying to devise methods of meeting at distance within whatever legal constraints existed in our various locations. For me, the whole process illustrates how much we have to learn about applying Christian principles under difficulty. In one part of the world, we read about our brothers and sisters who are forced to share prison cells with random, tobacco-addicted criminals, and who endure these conditions at great personal cost including their physical health, undimmed in their faith, still endeavouring to share the good news with those they come in contact with. That is before we consider those who endure forced solitary confinement and sleep deprivation for no crime other than doing what we are able to do freely, albeit under the "Zoom regime". On the other hand, we learn about those who are "forced" from the comfort of their homes to use video conferencing facilities for Bible education and association. Who are "compelled" to suffer the indignities of sharing a screen with some one they call a brother or sister, but who they feel they have "little in common with". Who want to limit their association to those they feel "comfortable" with. Who want to sit through Christian meetings with their cameras switched off so as to not be observed by "strangers" (do they leave their own view of others dark?). I can't help wondering how such groups would get on "trading places"? Be that as it may, I love the facility provided by video-conference. My preference is for random breakouts without permissions before and after meetings; some element of control to ensure guests are placed in a room with those who invited them until comfortable otherwise; a duration on the room time to ensure at least 2 sessions after meetings where possible; a limit on numbers per room to avoid necessity for screen scrolling where devices differ; a main screen return for one minute silence prior to meetings. Remember, there is no compulsion to join rooms, you can leave the meeting or room at any time if you wish. Some of the benefits I have experienced: I have now been in a breakout room with every member of the congregation who shares in this facility. I have got to know everyone who participates, better than prior, also on a very different level, as I was relatively new to the congregation. The shared experience is a great "ice-breaker", and will likely provide a platform for closer association in the future. I have been able to interact with those a little shy, and learned how to draw them out tactfully to enjoy association with them. We have been able to discuss and share our "Covid challenges" with others on a regular basis. We share ministry experiences, whether interactions or innovative methods. Particularly with children who participate with their parents present. We get to know visitors, increasing awareness of the experiences of others, widening out in our love for others. Despite our rural location, we have been able to interact with our fellow Christians in different locations and countries as they visit via Zoom. We have had visitors from all over UK; France; Germany, USA, Mexico, Peru to name a few. This would have been a rare event in normal circumstances. We have got to know and interact with the many in our congregation formally limited to telephone links for various reasons, who can now participate visually and actively in meetings and field service. Some of these are now putting face-to-voice with fellow Christians they formerly did not actually know despite being congregation members, (where such ones participate themselves as they feel "comfortable"). Family members, not associating for years, have started attending the meetings regularly, on the road to spiritual recovery. Zoom facilitates their attendance without embarrassment. (In these situations, the optional privacy controls are a welcome function). Jehovah is continuing to "finish our training" even by means of Zoom! 1 Peter.5:9-10.
  7. There is an excellent version of a .pdf of the 1902 edition available on line? Or are you only wanting one from jw.org?
  8. There are websites that have a more direct link to our organisation https://jw-avcenter.org/ https://1951deport.org/en/ https://www.jw-russia.org/ https://www.jwevent.org/ Do you know of others?
  9. Great illustration. I remember when I read that first in the Aid Book in 1971. Did it precede that? I wonder if it really fits the definition of speculation: "the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence". I would hazard that there is firm evidence for everything suggested apart from the numerical sequence and even that has some basis in Ezekiel's prophecy, Ez.47:1-5.
  10. With respect, I feel we need to go a bit further than this. When does speculation become hypothesis become theory become fact? It has a lot to do with evidence. Could it be argued that speculation is a legitimate tool in the quest for knowledge? Speculation is defined as "the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence." The problem with speculation is not its label. It is more to do with the effect it has on both the originator and the listener. In the context of media manipulation, it is not just about the motive of the originators of misinformation, it is also about the willingness of the consumer to accept sensationalised assertion. The recent sale of the National Enquirer for a reported $100 million dollars underlines that tendency. The widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution is another example to show how preference is a major factor over evidence. Other examples could be cited, such as the mass acceptance of Christmas as a Christian festival, despite the proliferation of evidence to the contrary. Extreme examples include the activities of late 19th Century lynch mobs in the US. It is necessary to qualify what the speculation is about before we determine it being "ok". There is a big difference between a child imagining what is inside the colorful wrapping on a surprise present, and the elaborate arguments of those who assert the 9/11 disaster was not carried out by "terrorists". Notwithstanding, the child's speculation has the potential of leading to disappointment. As for the realm of speculation on Biblical topics, which is likely the idea that @carlos was responding to, we have long had good counsel on the matter. *** w62 6/15 pp. 380-383 Avoid Unprofitable Questions *** A Christian who indulges in speculation from the platform or in group Bible study tends to attract undue attention to himself. Personal theories can cause division of thought and even lead to disputes about trifles. Ones newly associated with Jehovah’s congregation might be stumbled by what would appear to be a lack of love and unity. By setting up hypothetical situations and then speculating on the answers to problems posed thereby, are we not in fact adding to Jehovah’s words? In matters that involve our everlasting life it is not prudent to judge or conclude from slight indications or merely probable grounds. We cannot worship Jehovah in spirit and in truth if our worship is based on speculation. Truth and theory are not synonymous. Wisely, Paul’s inspired counsel is: “If any man teaches other doctrine and does not assent to healthful words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor to the teaching that accords with godly devotion, he is puffed up with pride, not understanding anything, but being mentally diseased over questionings and debates about words. From these things spring envy, strife, abusive speeches, wicked suspicions, violent disputes about trifles on the part of men corrupted in mind and despoiled of the truth.”—1 Tim. 6:3-5.
  11. One reason is that the regime in Russia is still aware of public opinion to some extent in this media age. As the recent 70 year conference demonstrates, there are many influential Russian academics and authorities who do not approve of the unreasonable and repressive behaviour shown by some. They recognise it to be a violation of human rights and also the Russian constitution. They also see that toleration of this behaviour is to erode the hard won rights of all in Russia. There is still process and procedure to be followed, even if it is corrupted in the courts with suppression and falsification of evidence. And also, never underestimate the power Jehovah has to ensure that every avenue of encouragement and support is utilised by the whole association of brothers. Additionally, even parts of Satan's system are mobilised on behalf of brothers who are being persecuted. Compare Revelation 12:15,16 and the many explanatory references found at: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/s/r1/lp-e?q=Revelation 12%3A16&p=par&r=occ

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