A Waiting Attitude helps us to Endure

Introduction to Lamentations (video)

The video claims the book of Lamentations was written after the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 BCE. It is true that it was likely written after the destruction of Jerusalem and death of rebellious Zedekiah, but not in 607 BCE. [1]

Lamentations 3:26,27 – Enduring Tests of faith will help us to deal with future challenges (w07 6/1 11 para 4,5)

The reference talks about enduring even intense suffering. It is true that Jehovah is abundant in acts of loving kindness and that many are his mercies. However, if we are ever under trial we should ask ourselves, is the trial because of following what Jehovah and Jesus Christ ask us to do in the Scriptures or because we are doing what the Organization asks us to do? (They are not always the same thing.)

A case in point. One of the videos from the regional convention last year showed a brother being made redundant. Why? Because he did not want to accept a transfer to another office that would require more travelling and hence would be unable to attend the evening meetings in his own congregation. He then suffers financially for some months before being able to get a new job.  Now, is that suffering due to obeying Jehovah or because of obeying “suggestions” (which are treated like rules) from the Organization? What would be wrong in the brother accepting the job transfer, and then while still in a job, look for a job that better suited his needs? So as not to miss a meeting, why could he not attend the evening meeting at the congregation nearest to the other office while he was searching for a new job? That would have alleviated the suffering and trials for him and his family and ensured he did not forsake gathering together. Where in the Scriptures does it say you must only attend your home congregation on a regular basis? In this real-life case, was not the suffering and trial self-inflicted?

Is it a test of faith not to get a university degree because we follow the strongly worded advice from the Governing Body in the publications? Yes, it may be a test of faith in the Organization, but not a test of our faith to Jehovah and Jesus. There is nowhere in the Bible that teaches what kind of education we should choose for our needs. Indeed the Apostle Paul was used for the missionary tours to the Gentiles in part because of his education. Without it, he would likely have been far less effective, because he would not have known how the Gentiles thought and acted based on their beliefs and lifestyle. Nor would the educated Gentiles who did listen to his message have paid much heed to him if he had been approaching them as a Jewish fisherman.

Letter from the Governing Body

Read Ezekiel 1:1-27. Do you see a chariot mentioned? Do you see any mention of an Organization?  As has been discussed many times on this site, the word Organization is not found in the Bible nor is Jehovah ever depicted riding in a chariot. The letter leaps from the concept of Jehovah’s heavenly organization (also not depicted in Scripture) to what claims to be His earthly organization. To prove that he is moving His ersatz earthly organization ‘at an amazing pace as well’, building projects are cited referring to Warwick, and likely Chelmsford in the UK. But just stop and think for a moment. If someone is moving at an amazing pace, one can also be running away from somewhere, not just going to some place. Are these moves into bigger facilities to cope with the claimed expansion worldwide? No, they are a considerable downsizing in both the examples mentioned. Many Bethel members (a 25% reduction) have been sent back to their congregations as surplus to requirements.

‘Many are responding to the message’ says the letter. How many? The Yearbooks give the following figures of peak publishers. The percentage increase is calculated and compared with the World population increase for the same period. So the massive forward moving increase of the Organization is not even keeping pace with the world population increase, at least for the last couple of years.[2] It appears we are seeing another example of a term recently introduced into the mainstream: “Alternative facts!”

2014 Peak Publishers      8,201,545[3]

2015 Peak Publishers      8,220,105[4]           Increase = 0.226%            World Population increase = 1.13%

2016 Peak Publishers      8,340,847[5]           Increase = 1.468%            World Population increase = 1.11%[6]

Total Peak Publishers Increase = 1.694%                                                   Total World Increase = 2.24%

‘It is’ definitely NOT easy to see that Jehovah’s mighty hand of blessing has been on the‘ preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Yes, the concluding paragraph is accurate that it is “fitting that our year text for 2017 is “Trust in Jehovah and do what is good”! (Ps. 37:3)”. We should indeed follow this advice and ‘trust in Jehovah and do what is good’; but we should also follow this advice: ‘Do not put your trust in the son of earthling man to whom no salvation belongs.’ (Psalm 146:3)

God’s Kingdom Rules (kr chap 13 para 33-34 + boxes)

Paragraph 33 starts with the claim that Jesus has lived up to his promise made in Luke 21:12-15 in modern times by ensuring legal battles waged by the Organization have succeeded. There are at least three flaws in this argument. (1) Jesus’ promise was made to the disciples of the first century and fulfilled then, as the book of Acts shows. (2) Again they are applying an antitypical fulfillment without scriptural basis which, by they claim to have stopped doing. (3) It also presupposes that the Organization is Jehovah’s organization and is therefore worthy of Jesus’ support.

Click here for an example of the type of legal battle the Organization has been winning in recent years. Read some of it for yourself and see if you think Jesus would want to even be associated with it, let alone giving his backing to the Organization to help them win it.

In brief summary, the Organization won on technical grounds after having thrown massive legal resources against the former coordinator of the body of elders who was suing them for reinstatement after being removed as an elder. His removal (and that of his fellow elders) was basically for refusing to play his part in signing over the Menlo Park Congregation Kingdom Hall to the Watchtower Society. One of the most eye opening documents is this one.

Excerpts include (Page 5) “I am general counsel for the National Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses out of Brooklyn, New York. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be here, but this is one of our 13,000 congregations in the United States. We are a hierarchal religion structured just like the Catholic Church.”

Really? Maybe in reality that is true, but that is not what is claimed in the literature, and not what the vast majority of witnesses are led to believe.

Another excerpt from Page 54:

“(ex-COBE) MR. COBB: Q. There is a statement here from January 15th, 2001 Watch Tower.[7] It says, “Jehovah’s Witnesses do not decide for themselves the form of spiritual government under which they operate the sincere Christian endeavour to stick to Jehovah’s standards. Overseers among them are not put into office by some congregational, hierarchal or Presbyterian form of church government.” Is that statement taken from the Watch Tower, which is the flagship publication for the organization known as Jehovah’s Witnesses?

(WT Society Counsel) MR. SMITH: Object. Calling for hearsay.

THE COURT: Sustained.

(WT Society Counsel) MR. SMITH: Lack of foundation.

THE COURT: Sustained.”

So the legal counsel for the organization objects to a Watchtower being entered into evidence on a technicality, as hearsay!! When the former COBE tried to prove the Watchtower Society’s claims were wrong and differed from the organization’s literature, they moved to have the literature he referred to, ruled as inadmissible evidence, because of technical reasons to do with declaring evidence to be used, rather than using the literature to disprove the former COBE’s point. Basically he was out manoeuvred legally by an organization with unlimited financial and legal resources. Little or no attempt was made to provide actual proof that the claims of the former COBE were in error.

For an organization that teaches us through its literature to be honest in all things (Hebrews 13:18) is not their conduct in this trial unchristian? Judge it for yourself.

This does not deal with the issue as to whether the accusation brought against them had substantial truth in its claim.

Paragraph 34 contains the claim that “Our legal victories prove that we walk “in the sight of God and in company with Christ.” (2 Cor. 2:17)” but it proves nothing of the sort. The full context of this verse (NWT Reference) says “for we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but as out of sincerity, yes, as sent from God, under God’s view, in company with Christ, we are speaking”. Are such legal victories the same as preaching the word of God? No. Are they being sincere in the way they conduct many of these legal cases? Not based on what we can read in court transcripts.

The Church of Scientology has won many legal victories against their own opponents; In fact, they have gained a reputation for vigorously pursuing their detractors through the courts. They would undoubtedly make the same claims as that in paragraph 34, but in reality, they too are a Goliath-like organization with large financial and legal resources.

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[1] See numerous articles on this subject on the site.

[2] Statistics can be manipulated to prove what the writer wants. However this was a simple, honest look at the most recent data to match the recent text being examined (i.e. in context of time).

[3] 2015 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses

[4] 2016 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses

[5] 2017 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses

[6] http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/#growthrate

[7] Page 13 paragraph 7 , January 15th 2001 Watchtower – Article “Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed”