[From ws2/18 p. 8 – April 9 – April 15]

“Evil men cannot understand justice, but those who seek Jehovah can understand everything” Proverbs 28:5

[mentions of Jehovah: 30, Jesus: 3]

Do you ‘understand everything’ necessary to please Jehovah? The key is to have accurate knowledge of him.”

This is the question raised in paragraph 3 of this week’s article, so as we examine the article let us see what accurate knowledge we are provided with and what inaccurate knowledge we are provided with.

  • “While Noah may not have grasped the details of the prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15, he no doubt saw in it the hope of deliverance.” (Paragraph 7)
    • So did Noah have accurate knowledge of Jehovah, understanding everything necessary to please Jehovah? The answer is no. Noah did have accurate knowledge of what was required to please Jehovah at that time, but only at that time. If Noah were resurrected today he would have to be taught additional accurate knowledge. Acts 16:31 records a big part of the accurate knowledge required since Jesus’ death and ransom, when it says ”Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved”.
    • Knowledge provided by the article is misleading and inaccurate. Noah had great faith and obedience, but not all the accurate knowledge as revealed by Jesus Christ.
  • “the message proclaimed by Enoch, who also foretold God’s judgment of the wicked. (Jude 1:14-15) Enoch’s message, which will have its final fulfillment at Armageddon, surely reinforced Noah’s faith and hope.” (Paragraph 7)
    • According to the Bible Teach book page 213-215 in the appendix section under “Judgement Day – What is it?” says the following: “The book of Revelation shows that Judgement Day begins after the war of Armageddon…Judgement Day…lasts a thousand years. During that thousand-year period, Jesus Christ will ‘judge the living and the dead’ (2 Timothy 4:1).
    • Jude 1:3 states “put up a hard fight for the faith that was once for all time delivered to the holy ones.” This would imply that there is no need for additional “accurate knowledge” from any other persons or organizations because all we need was delivered once for all time in the first century. Additionally, it implies that when we read the Bible we need to try to understand it as they would have understood it.
    • Knowledge provided by the article is misleading and inaccurate. It even contradicts its own primary teaching book.
  • “Accurate knowledge gave Noah faith and godly wisdom, which protected him from harm, especially spiritual harm.” (Paragraph 8)
    • Yes, accurate knowledge is the key. Its application can protect us from harm, especially spiritual harm.
    • Actually obtaining the accurate knowledge of the Scriptures is of vital importance. Spiritual harm can quickly result by taking in and following inaccurate knowledge.
    • However as mentioned above, Noah only had limited accurate knowledge. The full accurate knowledge only became possible with Jesus Christ according to Colossians 2:2,3.
    • Knowledge provided by the article is misleading and inaccurate.
  • “It may even move the spiritually weak to ignore the evidence of the closeness of God’s great day.” (Paragraph 9)
    • The article writers have the audacity to cite Matthew 24:36-39 in support of this statement. As we all know it says: “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son”. Maybe the organization and in particular the Governing Body don’t think of themselves as “nobody” but rather ‘somebody special’ that the Father should indicate to them “the closeness of God’s great day”, something that even his Son was not privy too?
    • We cannot ignore that the Lord’s day (Matthew 24:42) is coming, but only the spiritually weak would dare to think they know better than Jesus Christ, our Lord.
    • Knowledge provided is inaccurate, in fact grossly misleading and misapplied; contradicting scripture.
  • “Note that when Jesus compared our time with Noah’s, he focused, not on violence nor immorality, but on the dangers of spiritual apathy.” (Paragraph 9)
    • While it is true Jesus did not focus on violence nor immortality, verses 32 and 42-44 all focus on the fact that the Son of Man would come when no one expected it and hence we should stay awake so we are not found asleep.
    • Knowledge provided is inaccurate and contradicts scripture.
    • Also not to forget that Matthew 24:39 has been subtly mistranslated to support the requirement to preach and the claim of death for those that don’t heed the organization’s message. The world of Noah’s day did not have any signs as to how close they were to the Flood until it started raining nonstop. By then it was too late. “They knew nothing [not: “took no note”] until the flood came and swept them away” said Jesus.
    • The world of Noah’s day were ignorant of the facts, not apathetic.
    • Knowledge provided is inaccurate and contradicts scripture.
  • Daniel’s intimate knowledge of God, including God’s dealings with Israel, is beautifully reflected in the prophet’s heartfelt and contrite prayer recorded at Daniel 9:3-19” (Paragraph 11)
    • This prayer is certainly heartfelt. As to contrite, contrite is defined as “feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that one has done wrong.” Now of course Daniel was imperfect, but he was expressing remorse at the recognition that the Nation of Israel had been doing wrong too long. He was not expressing remorse at what he had done wrong as he had not joined in with Israel’s wicked practices.
    • Why did Daniel do that? Firstly he had accurate knowledge. That led him to discern according to Daniel 9:1-2 that the time was up for the devastations of Jerusalem. (Note the plural indicating multiple events of devastation) There was also likely another reason. This is found in Solomon’s prayer at the inauguration of the Temple in 1 Kings 8:44-54. You notice there that Jehovah acting on behalf of his people to release them from exile required a prayer of repentance. Having accurate knowledge Daniel knew of this requirement, and so this is what Daniel prayed for, and Jehovah heard and accepted his prayer.
    • Knowledge provided is inaccurate.
  • “Godly wisdom helped him to grasp the principle of relative subjection to secular authorities. Centuries later, Jesus taught the very same principle. Luke 20:25” (Paragraph 12)
    • Knowledge provided is accurate but sadly the organization’s example in following this principle is very poor. We only have to look at the website of the Australian Royal High Commission into Child Abuse to find how poor their example is.
    • While Daniel “refused to let a royal edict override his Scriptural obligations”, Christians are not under any scriptural obligation to avoid informing secular authorities about serious criminal practices among fellow Christians. In fact quite the opposite. They have a legal and scriptural obligation to cooperate with secular authorities and also a strong moral one too.
    • Knowledge provided to elders and victims is inaccurate, misleading and damaging.
  • Consider what Daniel did when an official decree forbade prayer to any god or man other than the King for 30 days. (Daniel 6:7-10) …he refused to let a royal edit override his Scriptural obligations.” (Paragraph 13)
    • Knowledge provided is accurate but sadly the organization’s example in allowing the brothers to follow this principle is very poor.
    • If an elder disagrees on scriptural grounds with a decision of the body of elders he is expected to co-operate. The “Shepherd the Flock of God” Elders handbook on p 14 states “During the discussion, [talking about an Elders meeting] no one should insist on his personal viewpoint. If a decision is not unanimous, the minority should give willing support to the final decision. If in the opinion of the minority a Bible-based decision still has not been reached, the minority should continue to cooperate with the rest of the body and bring the matter to the attention of the circuit overseer during his regular visit. If the matter is urgent, write to the branch office.”
    • From personal experience having been in this position, you are expected to show a united front to the congregation against your conscience, and any speaking to the Circuit overseer or writing a letter to the Branch is considered treachery by the other elders. How different an attitude and course one is expected to take to that of the Biblical example of Daniel.
    • The same with any congregation members who realise the teaching of 1914 or that the interpretation of who is the faithful and discreet slave is wrong, or who disagree with the unscriptural JW implementation of shunning, or recognize that their application of the two-witness rule is incorrect. They are not allowed to voice it nor follow their conscience without hindrance. Rather, the organization acts like Daniel’s opposers in persecuting such ones who follow their scriptural obligations and their Bible trained conscience by sticking to God’s word rather than the interpretations of men.
  • “The key to strong faith is not simply to read God’s Word but to ‘get the sense’ of it. (Matt. 13:23)” (Paragraph 15)
    • Indeed we need to get the sense of God’s Word. Whenever reading a scripture we need to read the context to help us get the sense of it. We should never read a scripture in isolation, but sadly reading and explaining a scripture in isolation is the organization’s de facto standard. Think of how such scriptures as Proverbs 4:18, James 5:14, Deuteronomy 17:16, and Matthew 24:45 (to name but a few) are quoted and interpreted out of context all the time.
    • Knowledge provided here is accurate but sadly the organization’s example in following this principle is very poor.
  • “We want Jehovah’s mind on matters, which includes grasping Bible principles” (Paragraph 15)
    • Matthew 23:23-26 comes to mind here. The Mosaic Law was a law to help a nation, but the Bible principles behind those laws were “justice, mercy and faithfulness”. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day had missed the point and in trying to be super righteous had added hundreds of extra “biblical” laws by trying to interpret the Mosaic law and in doing so had missed the point of the law.
    • Is it any different today in the organization? They have taken such scriptures as Deuteronomy 17:16 and strictly applied them out of context, and in doing so have missed the point of justice for those young and disadvantaged ones who cannot stand up for themselves easily.
    • The same has happened with 2 John 1:9-11. The organization knows full well what Apostle John meant by “never… say a greeting” (according to the IT-1 greetings including voicing a blessing on the other person) but they ignore the principle and what the Apostle John meant, and turn it into a congregation law. Even worse than that, they then meet out the same punishment for any who break their extra-Biblical law, and on top of that the organization gives itself justification for treating these ones in the same unchristian manner as they treat those who have sinned.
    • The Greek word ‘chairo’ here translated “greeting” comes from xaírō (from the root xar-,”favorably disposed, leaning towards” and cognate with 5485 /xáris, “grace”) – properly, to delight in God’s grace (“rejoice”) – literally, to experience God’s grace (favor), be conscious (glad) for His grace. It is translated ‘telling him to rejoice’ , a very different proposition to saying hello to acknowledge someone. Obviously one would not wish God’s blessing on someone who now opposes his former brothers, but that is far from refusing to speak or having anything to do with them. So the organization is misleading at best when it states this  (w88 4/15 p. 27 Discipline That Can Yield Peaceable Fruit)  “John here used khaiʹro, which was a greeting like “good day” or “hello.” (Acts 15:23; Matthew 28:9) He did not use a·spaʹzo·mai (as in verse 13), which means “to enfold in the arms, thus to greet, to welcome” and may have implied a very warm greeting, even with an embrace. (Luke 10:4; 11:43; Acts 20:1, 37; 1 Thessalonians 5:26) So the direction at 2 John 11 could well mean not to say even “hello” to such ones.—See The Watchtower of July 15, 1985, page 31.”
    • Even more hypocritical, even in the recent past they have derided other religious organizations (e.g. the Catholics) for doing exactly the same things, that is, hiding and not dealing with their paedophile priests and excommunication of those who don’t agree with them.
    • Knowledge provided here is accurate but sadly the organization’s example in following this principle is very poor.
  • “He [Job] did not elevate himself above others but showed brotherly concern for all, rich and poor” (Paragraph 18)
    • How does this statement reconcile with the use of such terms as “Governing Body Member”, “Circuit Overseer”, “Bethel Member”, and “Elder” when introducing a Brother as the speaker at any convention and on Web Broadcasts? If the rebuttal by the organization is that ‘we are all brothers and treat each other as such’ then why is no effort made to dispel the idolising of such ones? Contrast this with the attitude in Matthew 23:1-11 particularly verse 7 “whereas all you are brothers.”
    • How does the wearing of expensive watches, suits and jewellery by the Governing Body and others (as seen in any Web broadcast) reconcile with showing concern for the poor brothers and sisters maybe in Africa or Asia, struggling to feed their families and unable to even dream of owning such expensive items?
    • Knowledge provided here is accurate but sadly the organization’s example in following this principle is very poor.
  • “In fact, thanks to increased spiritual light, you can know him [Jehovah] even more fully! Proverbs 4:18” (Paragraph 21)
    • The Watchtower article writer just couldn’t resist trotting out this old chestnut. One of the most frequently quoted misapplications of scripture. Why not refresh your knowledge of how out of context this scripture is taken and misapplied. (Proverbs 4:1-27) It is a plea to children to listen to the discipline of the parents, to acquire wisdom and walk with the righteous ones, rather than the wicked ones. Why? It is because to walk with wicked ones leads down a dangerous path to more and more wickedness, whereas walking with righteous ones leads one to improve in ones practice of righteousness.
    • Nowhere, but nowhere does it indicate it is referring to spiritual light. Moreover, increasing spiritual light presupposes that (a) someone is providing the increase in light, (for which there is no scriptural support) and (b) the increase in spiritual light is due to more accurate knowledge. The track record of this article alone shows that the knowledge provided is poor and inaccurate at best and outright misleading at worst.
    • Knowledge provided here is inaccurate.

 So returning to the initial question “Do you ‘understand everything’ necessary to please Jehovah? The key is to have accurate knowledge of him.”.

Surely the humble and truthful answer is No, we don’t know everything necessary to please Jehovah. Even on this one article alone there is enough evidence for the reader to make up his own mind as to how much the Organization understands what is necessary to please Jehovah and how much accurate knowledge they have.

We do need accurate knowledge of Jehovah, but we also vitally need knowledge of Jesus Christ as Acts 4:8-12 makes clear. “Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.” Psalm 2:12 confirms this when it says “Kiss the son, that He [Jehovah] may not become incensed And YOU may not perish [from] the way.”

 

Tadua