Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems

Hosea 1:7 – When was the House of Judah shown mercy and saved? (w07 9/15 14 para 7)

The only error in this reference is the date given for its fulfillment, that of 732 B.C.E. which should be 712 B.C.E. For those interested in a detailed historical investigation of this date rather than 732 B.C.E., while supporting the Bible record, you may wish to read Assyrian and Biblical Chronologies, Are They Reliable.

Hosea 2:18 – What are the past and future fulfillment’s of this verse? (w05 11/15 20 para 16; g05 9/8 12 para 2)

While it is true that the Jewish remnant received the fulfillment of this verse on their return from Babylon, we find ourselves in yet another type/antitype where there is no indication in the Bible of any such. Furthermore, while the claim is made that the ‘prophecy also had a fulfillment in 1919 C.E., when the remnant of spiritual Israel was freed from “Babylon the Great”’, this is patently untrue as shown by earlier chapters of the Kingdom Rules book, where it showed that pagan practices still continued well after this date of 1919 C.E.[1] Additionally, in light of revelations in recent years of the cover-up of treatment of paedophiles within the organization, when the final sentence of the paragraph says: ‘Animalistic traits do not exist among these true Christians’, it now has a hollow ring to it. Certainly, true Christians do not have these animalistic traits, but we then have to ask, if such ones are found among the brothers and sisters in the organization and they are effectively protected in most instances because of a dogmatic stance and refusal to change policy based on misinterpretation and misapplication of a couple of scriptures, then how can the organization be the true organization, specially chosen by Jesus and freed from Babylon the Great in 1919? They must still be in Babylon the Great, given they have many similar characteristics to the Catholic Church.

Return Visit – ‘Teach the Truth. Direct attention to jw.org.’ These are the main points to be highlighted.

What happened to ‘Read God’s Word the Bible Daily’? It has been replaced by ‘Go to JW.Org’.

What happened to ‘Direct attention to Jesus Christ our Mediator and Redeemer’?

After this poor start we are then encouraged to ‘build anticipation for our next visit by leaving a publication or by showing a video from jw.org’.

What happened to reading a scripture and leaving them a question to think about the meaning of that scripture and returning to discuss that?

How can we improve in ‘handling the word of the truth aright’ if we never handle God’s word at all? If we only use a publication or a video from jw.org, where the meaning of truth changes by the day, yesterday’s truth will be today’s lies if we use the organization’s publications or videos. We cannot and should not ignore God’s word, as it itself says in Hebrews 4:12 ‘For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit…and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart’.

Local Needs

Local Needs is for local use, yet here the material is all provided. It contains a three-line whip, to try to enforce compliance.

  1. First, a talk based on the November 15, 2015 Watchtower with an article entitled ‘Show appreciation for Jehovah’s generosity’. This is absolutely accurate for the first five paragraphs, by reminding us of Jehovah’s generosity. It builds one up to be prepared to do more for Jehovah, then it slips in ‘One way is by being generous in the giving of our time, energy, and resources to advance the pure worship of Jehovah’. For the ‘worship of Jehovah’, they want you to substitute in your mind what they claim is Jehovah’s organization. A man-made organization with man-made desires and goals.
  2. This is followed up by a video on how to make donations electronically.
  3. To round up, we are directed to a jw.org page, where every means of donation is available. Particularly insidious is the charitable planning section, encouraging a bequest at death. In more detailed information about this type of giving there is no mention of ensuring that any immediate family members are cared for in line with scriptural principles. Mark 7:9-13 comes to mind, where Jews gifted their property to God, (while retaining personal use as required) and then excused themselves from their scriptural obligations with the excuse that they couldn’t use their money or property because it had been given to God.

Donations, donations, donations. This item follows closely on this year’s Watchtower article extolling  generosity for so-called kingdom pursuits, and the ‘Why Donate’ portion of the kr book. Is the organization short of money? What about the promise of Br. Russell not to prod the Bible Students for donations. This is much, much more than a gentle reminder. This is solicitation in a big way. This is also without taking into account the subtle and not so subtle hints in a number of the JW Broadcasts and videos.

Congregation Book Study (kr chap. 20 para 1-6)

In paragraph 4, there is a totally unnecessary sentence to enable reinforcement of the unscriptural teaching of two groups of Christians—anointed vs. other sheep—which does more to separate them into two distinct flocks than to make them into one.[2]

We then come to what may be a shock for many witnesses. According to the organization all true Christians actually have more than one ministry.

  1. The ministry of the reconciliation.’ 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
  2. A relief ministry.’ 2 Corinthians 8:4.

They then appeal to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11 to show that correctly these ministries are performed by the same Holy Spirit.  Now every month witnesses are expected to fill in a Field Service Report (used to be a Field Ministry Report) to report time spent in their ministry. So why is there no provision for reporting the time spent in ‘relief ministry’?

An even bigger shock maybe, is that when we read the Bible carefully in 1 Corinthians 12:5 it talks about ‘there are varieties of ministries’. That means there are many more than 2 ministries. What are some of these other ministries? A clue is in the cross reference Ephesians 4:11,12 which states that ‘he [Jesus Christ] gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds, and teachers, with a view to the readjustment [perfecting] of the holy ones, for ministerial [serving] work, for the building up of the body of the Christ’ . So shepherding and teaching should also be added to the monthly report as well, if we are to be coerced into filling in a monthly report. Whether we should be required to fill in one is another matter, discussed before on these sites.

One of the biggest mental conflicts elders have is how to use their limited time. They have to work secularly to support themselves and any family. Most have families, whether just a wife or wife and children which require personal time. Meeting preparation and meeting assignments need time. Some have ageing parents that demand extra time due to failing health. Then there is (still) the expectation of 10 hours per month in field service, going from door to door. That is without forgetting that there is a need for shepherding and caring for congregation responsibilities.

Trying to juggle all these responsibilities, some imposed by the organization which come on top of their scriptural obligations, most are unable to complete them all. Because of the pressure to fulfill the expectation of field service hours, many prioritize this form of ministry above all others, often to the extent that little or no time is spent in the other vital ministries to the detriment of all including themselves.

Why the obsession with reporting of hours going from door to door, to the exclusion of shepherding, to the almost total exclusion of assisting ‘widows and orphans in their tribulation’[3], and caring for aged relatives and aged fellow Christians?  Of interest is that some publishers or elders can be a regular pioneer, but spend less time actually going out in the field ministry because they get a large ‘hours credit’ for working on increasing the organization’s real estate portfolio, but they get nothing for shepherding which would benefit the members of the congregation in a much larger way.

The last sentence states that Paul ‘felt it was appropriate to give part of his time to minister to the holy ones’ based on Romans 15:25,26. That is an understatement. To travel from Corinth to Jerusalem, stay a while and travel back would have taken him months, not minutes or hours or even days. He gave a lot of his time to minister to the holy ones and support himself so he was no burden to his fellow Christians.

Romans 12:4-9 informs us that ‘Since, then we have gifts differing according to the undeserved kindness given us, whether prophecy or a ministry or teaching or exhorting or in giving…do it in real earnest…Let your love be without hypocrisy.’ So each true Christian has different gifts and should use that gift to the full, not been forced into a single mould, that of evangelise, evangelise, evangelise. Do Christians today have these gifts? For the most part, yes. Prophecy may not be present, but evangelizing, shepherding, encouraging, kindness and caring, generosity, self-control, faith, etc., these are all fruits of the Holy Spirit according to Galatians 5:22,23.

Paragraph 6 reiterates that relief work was part of the first century Christian’s ministry and worship. So why is ‘relief ministry’ rarely discussed? The Watchtower reference of December 1975 is correct when it states ‘Jehovah and Jesus Christ give real importance to this kind of ministry.’ It is such a shame the organisation really only pays lip service to this vital ministry.

Although the organization prefers to play down all the other ministries other than evangelizing, as Hebrews 13:16 reminds us, ‘do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others’.

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[1] Gods Kingdom Rules p102-105 and Clam Review http://beroeans.net/2017/02/27/2017-feb-7-mar-5-our-christian-life-and-ministry/ amongst others.

[2] “And I have other sheep [Greeks or Gentiles], which are not of this fold [Jews]; those too I must bring in [3 1/2 years later], and they will listen to my voice [become Christians], and they will become one flock [all are Christians], one shepherd [under Jesus].” (John 10:16)

 

[3] James 1:27