JWitness-Non Official Web Site Blogger—By ideacreamanuela
Will the Earth Come to an End?
Some believed that the earth would end on October 21, 2011. It did not.
The earth, will never come to an end. Earth’s Creator will not allow it. His Word states: “You have solidly fixed the earth, that it may keep standing.”—Psalm 119:90.
Some Bible readers may object, however, that this planet will be destroyed by fire. They point to 2 Peter 3:7, 10 to support that view: “By the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men… .
A literal view of those texts would mean that the heavens, or universe—billions upon billions of stars and other matter—will be consumed by fire because just one speck in its vastness contains wicked humans.
Would you destroy miles of shoreline of sand because one grain is not to your liking? That would not make sense! So neither would Jehovah destroy all of his created universe because rebellion erupted on just one of his creative works.
Besides, such a view is in direct conflict with the words of Jesus Christ, who said: “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:29) Would a loving father handicraft a comfortable house for his family only to burn it down? (Psalm 115:16) That would be unthinkable! Jehovah is not only the Creator but also a loving Father.—Psalm 103:13; 1 John 4:8.
Peter uses the term “earth” in a figurative sense, referring to human society—in this case wicked human society. Note that Peter draws a parallel with the Flood of Noah’s day. (2 Peter 3:5, 6) On that occasion, only wicked mankind was destroyed; the earth itself and righteous Noah and his family survived.
Peter’s use of “heavens” would also be symbolic. In this case, “heavens” refers to human rulership over the ungodly.—Daniel 2:44.
What will end is the symbolic earth, or wicked human society. The earth itself and the future godly human society will last forever.—Proverbs 2:21, 22.
THE WATCHTOWER 2012 2/1 p. 25
Did Our Languages Come From the “Tower of Babel”?
“Jehovah scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. That is why its name was called Babel, because there Jehovah had confused the language of all the earth.”—Genesis 11:8, 9.
DID that event recorded in the Bible really happen? Did people start speaking different languages all at once, as described? Some scoff at the Bible’s account of how human languages began and spread. One author claims: “The Tower of Babel myth is definitely one of the most absurd stories ever told.” Even a Jewish rabbi called it “a naive attempt to explain the origin of nations.”
Why do people reject the Babel account? Simply put, it contradicts certain theories regarding the origin of language. For example, some scholars suggest that language groups did not appear suddenly but evolved gradually from one “mother tongue.” Others believe that several original languages developed independently, advancing from simple grunts to complex speech.
WHERE AND WHEN DID IT HAPPEN?
The Bible states that the confusion of language and dispersion of the people took place “in the land of Shinar,” later called Babylonia. (Genesis 11:2)
Encyclopædia Britannica explains: “The earliest records of written language, the only linguistic fossils man can hope to have, go back no more than about 4,000 or 5,000 years.” Where did archaeologists discover these “linguistic fossils,” or “records of written language”? In lower Mesopotamia—the site of ancient Shinar.
Archaeologists have unearthed several pyramidlike, stepped temple-towers in the vicinity of Shinar. The Bible says that the tower builders at Babel laid bricks, not stone, and used bitumen as mortar. (Genesis 11:3, 4) In Mesopotamia, stone was “rare or even entirely absent,” says The New Encyclopædia Britannica, while bitumen was plentiful.
DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, DIFFERENT THINKING
The Bible account says that at Babel, God acted to “confuse their language that they may not listen to [“understand,” footnote] one another’s language.” (Genesis 11:7) As a result, the workers “left off building the city” of Babel and were scattered “over all the surface of the earth.” (Genesis 11:8, 9)
Thus, the Bible does not say that all modern languages can be traced to a single “mother tongue.” Rather, it describes the sudden appearance of several apparently fully developed new languages, each capable of expressing the range of human feeling and thought and each different and distinct from the others.
Although tongues and dialects of one language family, such as Cantonese and Hakka in southern China, may be similar to one another, they are fundamentally different from those of another language family, say West Catalan or Valencian in Spain.
The confusion of languages at Babel hindered mankind’s ability to combine their intellectual and physical powers. Within a few centuries, men built bustling cities, assembled powerful armies, and engaged in international trade. (Genesis 13:12; 14:1-11; 37:25)
Could they have made such progress without the use of an extensive vocabulary and grammar? According to the Bible, the original human tongue and the tongues introduced at Babel were, not primitive grunts and growls, but complex languages.
Modern research supports this conclusion. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language states: “Every culture which has been investigated, no matter how ‘primitive’ it may be in cultural terms, turns out to have a fully developed language, with a complexity comparable to those of the so-called ‘civilized’ nations.”
What reasonable conclusion could we draw? Many conclude that the Bible’s account of what took place at Babel is a fully credible explanation.
THE WATCHTOWER 2013 9/1 pp. 10-12
Does the Bible Foretell the Future?
Are Bible prophecies specific?
Only Almighty God can foresee the future in detail. (Amos 3:7) For example, since early times, he foretold the arrival of someone called the Messiah, or Christ.
He would be a ruler who would make it possible for obedient humans to regain the blessing of perfect life free of disease. (Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 53:4, 5)
Over seven centuries in advance, the Bible foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin and would be despised. He would give his life for the sins of many.
Does God predict dates?
Over five centuries in advance, the Bible prophesied the exact year of the Messiah’s appearance. (Nehemiah 2:1-5; Daniel 9:25)
Are Bible prophecies coming true now?
Jesus prophesied momentous events for our time. His prophecy mentions the good news of God’s Kingdom, which will bring worldwide relief to people who love God. The Kingdom will bring an end to the entire wicked system of things in which we live.—Read Matthew 24:14, 21, 22.
Bible prophecies describe in detail the concluding period of the present system of things. The Bible revealed that in contrast with what might be expected in an age of progress, people would be ruining the earth. Distress caused by wars, food shortages, earthquakes, and disease epidemics would increase. (Luke 21:11; Revelation 11:18)
Moral standards would collapse. In these difficult times, Jesus’ followers would preach the good news of God’s Kingdom in all nations.—Read Matthew 24:3, 7, 8; 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
What will be mankind’s future?
Almighty God has good things in store for faithful mankind. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, along with his chosen ones, will rule over the earth from heaven. They make up the Kingdom government, which will rule for a thousand years.
The dead will be raised and will have the opportunity of being judged worthy of everlasting life. Furthermore, the Kingdom will cure everyone then living. Sickness and death will be no more. —Read Revelation 5:10; 20:6, 12; 21:4, 5.
For more information, see pages 23-25 and 197-201 of the book, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, edited by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
THE WATCHTOWER 2012 1/1 pp. 16-17
The Moose—Peculiar Giant of the Forest
Its comical appearance and the rarity of sightings of this solitary creature in the wild have fueled speculation that the moose is clumsy and slow-witted.
No one denies that the moose is a giant. Although this “monarch of the forest” has long legs that make it seem ungainly, those legs can fend off an entire pack of wolves.
Moose learn to swim within days of birth, and they have been observed swimming for miles and diving to a depth of nearly 20 feet (6 m) to feed on water plants!
A moose can move its eyes and detect motion almost directly behind it without turning its head. Its nose is also an effective tool. Researchers suggest that because the moose’s nostrils are far apart, they may give it the unusual ability to pinpoint the location of objects on a three-dimensional scale.
Its ears can pivot in all directions, and they can pick up sounds from other moose as far as two miles (3 km) away!
A word of caution, though: The moose is a very strong and powerful wild animal. If you happen to see one in the wild, be respectful and give it plenty of space. Keeping your distance is especially vital when there are young calves nearby.
AWAKE! 3/13 pp. 8-9
The Emperor Penguin’s Feather Coat
THE emperor penguin can jet through the water and leap onto an ice shelf at an amazing speed. How?
Consider: The emperor penguin traps air in its feathers. Not only does this insulate the bird against extreme cold but it also enables it to move two or three times faster than it otherwise could. How? Marine biologists have suggested that it does so by releasing tiny air bubbles from between its feathers.
Interestingly, engineers have been studying ways to make ships go faster by using bubbles to reduce friction against their hulls.
However, researchers acknowledge that further investigation is challenging because “the complexity of penguin plumage would be difficult to replicate in a man-made porous membrane or mesh.”
AWAKE! 9/13 p. 16
How to Forgive
When you and your spouse argue, you often bring up the past, rehashing a list of old grievances that should have been settled long ago. The problem? One or both of you may not know how to forgive.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Understand what forgiveness involves. In the Bible, at times the word “forgive” means “let go.” So forgiveness does not always require that you forget what happened or minimize the wrong. Sometimes it means that you simply need to let go of a matter, for your own well-being and that of your marriage.
Recognize the consequences of not forgiving. Some experts say that holding on to resentment can put you at greater risk for a wide range of physical and emotional problems, including depression and high blood pressure—not to mention the damage it does to your marriage. For good reason, the Bible says: “Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another.”—Ephesians 4:32.
Recognize the benefits of forgiving. A spirit of forgiveness allows you and your mate to give each other the benefit of the doubt rather than to “keep score” of wrongs. That, in turn, helps you to create an environment that keeps resentment in check and allows love to grow.—Bible principle: Colossians 3:13.
“Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another.”—Colossians 3:13.
“We all stumble many times.”—James 3:2.
“Love covers a multitude of sins.”—1 Peter 4:8.
AWAKE! 9/13 pp. 10-11
The Truth About Halloween
Is Halloween celebrated where you live? In the United States and Canada, Halloween is widely known and celebrated every year on October 31. Halloween customs, though, can be found in many other parts of the globe. In some places holidays are celebrated that, although named differently, share similar themes: contact with the spirit world involving the spirits of the dead, fairies, witches, and even the devil and demon angels.
Halloween,” explains the Encyclopedia of American Folklore, “is integrally related to the prospect of contact with spiritual forces, many of which threaten or frighten.”
Likewise, many celebrations like Halloween have pagan origins and are deeply rooted in ancestor worship. Even today, people around the world use these days to make contact with supposed spirits of the dead.
Although Halloween has been viewed mainly as an American holiday, each year people in more and more countries have been adopting it. Many newcomers to the celebration, however, are unaware of the pagan origins of Halloween symbols, decorations, and customs, most of which are related to supernatural beings and occult forces.
Thousands of Wiccans, who follow ancient Celtic rituals, still call Halloween by the ancient name Samhain and consider it to be the most sacred night of the year. “Christians ‘don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us… . We like it,’” stated the newspaper USA Today when quoting a professed witch.
Celebrations like Halloween are in conflict with Bible teachings. The Bible warns: “There must never be anyone among you who … practices divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, who uses charms, consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.”—Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, The Jerusalem Bible; see also Leviticus 19:31; Galatians 5:19-21.
The Origin of Some Halloween Customs and Symbols VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, WITCHES, ZOMBIES: These creatures have long been associated with the evil spirit world.
CANDY: The ancient Celts tried to appease wicked spirits with sweets. The church later encouraged celebrants to go from house to house on All Hallows’ Eve, asking for food in return for a prayer for the dead. This custom eventually became Halloween’s trick or treat.
COSTUMES: The Celts wore frightening masks so that evil spirits would mistakenly think the wearers were spirits and would leave them alone. The church gradually amalgamated pagan customs with the feasts of All Souls and All Saints. Later, celebrants went from house to house wearing costumes of saints, angels, and devils.
PUMPKINS: Carved, candlelit turnips were displayed to repel evil spirits. To some, the candle in the turnip represented a soul trapped in purgatory. Later, carved pumpkins were more commonly used.
AWAKE! 9/13 pp. 6-9
WAS IT DESIGNED?
The Bar-Tailed Godwit’s Navigational System
THE bar-tailed godwit makes one of the most amazing migrations known to man. The bird’s 7,000-mile (11,000 km) journey can take more than eight days.
Consider: Researchers speculate that some types of birds use the earth’s magnetic field for navigation, as if they had a compass built into their brain. It is possible that the godwit additionally navigates by means of the sun by day and the stars by night. It seems that the godwit can also sense upcoming storm systems that could allow it to benefit from tailwinds.
. “I’ve been studying them 20 years,” says biologist Bob Gill, “and it’s still jaw-dropping to me.”
What Do You Think? Did the navigational system of the bar-tailed godwit come about by evolution? Or was it designed?
AWAKE! 2013-g 1/13 p. 16
Walk straight in the way of understanding.’”—Proverbs 9:1-6.
Listening to the godly wisdom contained in the inspired proverbs and accepting its discipline result only in good. The wise sayings recorded at Proverbs 15:16-33 are no exception. * Heeding the advice of these concise sayings can help us to be content with less, to be progressive, and to experience joy in living. Doing so can also help us to make good decisions and can enable us to stay on the path to life.
“Better is a little in the fear of Jehovah than an abundant supply and confusion along with it,” says King Solomon of ancient Israel. (Proverbs 15:16) To ignore the Creator and to make the pursuit of material possessions one’s chief goal in life is foolish. Such a life is full of tiresome striving and a great deal of anxiety. What a shame it would be to realize in old age that one’s whole life course has been empty and meaningless!
Emphasizing that a good relationship with others is of greater value than material plenty, Solomon says: “Better is a dish of vegetables where there is love than a manger-fed bull and hatred along with it.” (Proverbs 15:17) Yes, a loving atmosphere in a household is more desirable than an abundance of rich foods.
A person can easily use a limited education, a lack of good reading ability, or a poor memory as an excuse for not applying himself to diligent personal study of the Bible.
Even with limited abilities, we can put forth the effort to improve our reading skills and our comprehension of what we read, perhaps making use of a dictionary wxhen necessary. A positive attitude helps us to gain knowledge and make spiritual progress.
THE WATCHTOWER-w06 8/1 pp. 16-20
The Death’s Head Hawk Moth Mimic The Scent of the Bees
Acherontia atropos is the most widely known of the three species of Death’s-head Hawk moth. Acherontia species are notorious mainly for a vaguely skull-shaped pattern on the thorax.
It is a large hawk moth with a wingspan of 90–130 mm (about 3.5 to 5 inches), being the largest moth in some of the regions in which it occurs. The adult has the typical streamlined wings and body of the hawk moth family.
The moth also has numerous other unusual features. It has the ability to emit a loud squeak if irritated. The sound is produced by expelling air from its proboscis. It often accompanies this sound with flashing its brightly marked abdomen in a further attempt to deter its predators. It is commonly observed raiding beehives for honey at night.
Unlike the other species of Acherontia, it only attacks colonies of the well-known Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is attacked by guard bees at the entrance, but the thick cuticle and resistance to venom allow it to enter the hive. It is able to move about in hives unmolested because it mimics the scent of the bees.(Chemical camouflage of the death’s head hawk moth, 3Acherontia atropos L., in honeybee colonies, Moritz, RFA, WH Kirchner and RM Crewe, 1991) -Wikipedia
What do you think? Did an insect with a brain roughly the size of two grains of sand mimics the scent of the bees by itself? Or are its chemical skills evidence of design?
You Can Believe in a Paradise Earth
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
THE WATCHTOWER NOVEMBER 2013
Why All The Suffering? (by Manuela Ideacrea)
¿Está bien orar a los santos? (by Manuela Ideacrea)
Ahora bien, ¿respalda la Biblia la costumbre de orar a los santos? ¿Escucha Dios estas oraciones? ¿Qué piensa él de que se ore a los santos? Puesto que nuestro objetivo final es que Dios nos oiga, su opinión debería interesarnos.