Congregation Book Study
This is our final study in JW 101. Our next book will provide a little more substance thankfully. We conclude with a review of what is rapidly becoming our brand name, jw.org.
The brochure leaves the reader with the firm conviction that the publishers feel Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing Jehovah’s will today.
Theocratic Ministry School
The best part of the entire meeting, the all-too-brief review of the week’s Bible highlights is followed by the TMS review.
My favorite passages from this week’s Bible reading are Rev. 21:8; 22:15; and 22:20.
In light of our conclusion drawn from this week’s CBS that Jehovah’s Witnesses alone are doing God’s will, I wonder how “all the liars” and “everyone who loves and practices lying” factors in? After all, Jehovah’s “will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” If we claim to be the only one’s doing God’s will, and yet continue teaching failed prophecy like 1914, and a different good news that leads millions to believe they are not God’s children, and the man-honoring doctrine that a small committee of men are God’s voice to the world, can we truly say we are imparting “accurate knowledge of truth”. Or are we “liking and carrying on a lie”? (Rev. 22:15 NWT Reference Bible)
As for Rev. 22:20, do I really need to explain why it is one of my all-time favorite Bible verses? 😉
Help them be ‘Stabilized in the Faith’
The first talk refers to the “over a quarter of a million people baptized each year.” Last year’s number was 268,777. However, if you subtract the average publishers in 2011 from the 2012 number, you get a figure of 170,742. That’s 100,000 fewer than the number baptised. Obviously, there were deaths. Based on the world mortality rate, that number is likely to be around 45,000. So that means that 55,000 are no longer engaging the preaching work. That’s a 20% loss in just one year! We are losing 1 out of 5 every year!
Help Your Child to Become a Publisher
This part in conjunction with the previous one caused me to wonder just how many of those ‘quarter million’ baptisms were the result of our field ministry and how many came from internal growth, i.e., children of witness parents reaching baptismal age. It’s an easy calculation. The world birth rate in 2012 was 19.15 births per thousand. That gives us a rounded-down figure of 144,000. So about half of all baptisms do not come from the field. If you subtract those lost from disfellowshipping or just plain drifting away, and then factor in the world population growth rate, you find that we are not really growing at all. We are just keeping pace with the world population growth. Since we tie so much to numbers and growth rates, using them to ‘prove’ God’s blessing upon us, this must give sincere worshippers pause to consider.
We Are Never Alone
I grant that true Christians serving the Lord are never alone. That is well established in Scripture. However, the odd thing about the account from page 48 of our Yearbook is that nothing is expressed to support that. The faithful brother in question got relief from persecution by appealing to the secular authorities. We can only infer that Jehovah was supporting him because he was all alone but persevered.
Sargon- Do you have difficulty in finding the words of Jehovah in this section of the conclusion to Revelation: (Revelation 22:16-21) 16 “‘I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to YOU people of these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.’” 17 And the spirit and the bride keep on saying: “Come!” And let anyone hearing say: “Come!” And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free. 18 “I am bearing witness to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone makes… Read more »
Yes. To me it’s obvious that this is Jesus speaking in chapter 22 of Revelation. At Revelation 22:13 we see Alpha and Omega together along with the “First and Last” and “beginning and end” used for added emphasis. In the oral review we admit that Jesus and Jehovah can both be called the First and the Last (Isaiah 48), yet we say that Jesus cannot be the Alpha and Omega. I believe we are so “Trinity Phobic” that we have begun twisting God’s Word. Accepting that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega does not mean we believe that Jesus is… Read more »
“Trinity phobic” is an awesome way to describe the extreme lengths the WTBS will go to to prove that Jesus and Jehovah are not the same person. According to the scriptures Jesus and Jehovah share many of the same titles God, Father, First and Last (or Alpha and Omega ) etc. It’s unscriptural and unnecessary .We can explain that Jehovah and Jesus are not the same person without denying the Jesus these titles based on scripture.
This is true, although it should be noted that the Trinity doctrine does not claim that Jesus and his Father are the same person either.
I think you probably knew that GodsWordIsTruth, but I thought it was worth clarification since many do not.
(By the way, just to avoid any possible confusion, I am not a Trinitarian.)
You are correct Apollos I did 🙂 Still clarfication is necessary for the benefit of those who do not.
I would love to see a discussion of the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. My research in our publications was unsatisfactory.
Sargon – I think you will find such a discussion emerges as part of the planned exchange between Meleti and myself on the nature of Jesus Christ.
I am strongly anticipating that discussion ! It’s coming soon I hope 🙂
I think we’ve agreed to have something ready for the end of January. Meleti can correct me if I’m wrong on that.
So am I, GWIT. If there’s a place where it’s hard to keep track of who’s who, it’s in Revelation.
Bible Highlights Quiz: (Revelation 15:2) Those who come off victorious from the wild beast are singing whose song? 1. Moses 2. The Lamb 3. Other (Revelation 16:13) The unclean inspired expressions [that looked] like frogs come from: 1. the dragon 2. the wild beast 3. the false prophet These expressions have the purpose of: 1. pouring out the bowls of God’s anger 2. gathering together the kings of the earth 3. scorching the earth with fire (Revelation 17:5-6) .The woman whose name is “Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth” is… Read more »
Thanks. I wasn’t so sure about this weekly feature at first. It was done at the behest of one of our esteemed members. 🙂 I’m happy that it has turned out to be a benefit. The ironic thing about it is that it is getting me to do meeting preparation, something I’ve never really done in all my years as a Witness.
Hi gogetter60, For the past 5 years I only use the Bible in service. I do not place books, magazines or tracts etc. I use scriptures that are being featured in the suggested presentations every month as a guide for a topic for the sake of “unity”. I offer the bible studies but not in the traditional JW format. I usually offer the chance to come by weekly for 5-10 minutes (doorstep studies) to only share an encouraging scripture or the bible to expound on a topic. As a result, I have many bible studies and RV’s but no placements… Read more »
I am so excited reading your notes /takeaways from the meeting this week. It is very encouraging to be able to express our thoughts where they differ from the organization’s view week by week. This forum makes it so much easier to attend the meetings and make the comments that I really want to make at the Hall but would never make. You really have no idea thanks for this avenue it is really a blessing.
Question 9 of the written review asks about the two stages of the anointed being sealed. (Two evidently in accord with the new light of the 2012 Annual Meeting.) The W07 1/1 page 31 par.1 answer outlines three distinct stages by number. Isn’t it intrinsic to the process of sealing that it only happens once and finally to “seal” the content. Think of fruit (not a bad analog.) First one grows or finds suitable fruit. Then one selects individual fruit pieces for washing and other preparation – perhaps a blanch of hot water or an addition of sweetness. At last… Read more »
Excellent analogy CLJ. Again, we are redefining terms to fit our theology. So many round holes, and nothing but square pegs.
This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually on Christmas Eve for the past 64 years. Dec. 23, 2013 5:40 p.m. ET When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar. Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was… Read more »
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I do see that we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, are again falling into the snare of rendering to men what is only God’s to receive.
Thanks for your post. Your comments regarding the actual number of increase is thought-provoking. For many years in the congregation that I attend, I have not seen very many new ones come in from the field. I have seen some growth but mostly from internal growth from children of JW. I wonder if we keep statistics showing the origin of the growth we experience.
Even so your comments have helped me to see something that was actually in plain sight
From my time as secretary I can tell you that nobody is keeping statistics as to where our growth is coming from. For an organization that now wants us to report how many tracts we place you’d think we’d be more interested in such things.
Yes I also was a secretary for a time. I also found the fact that we are asked to track tracts very puzzling. As if we are keeping track of market research. What works, what doesn’t.
The amount of information easily available to the organization now is enormous. The fact that so little is used is telling. There is an awful lot the GB does not want to know.
What I find helpful for the ministry is to simply use the bible. I talk about the kingdom, the resurrection hope, peaceful conditions and how Jehovah will bring this to completion. Those are all things I can prove using the bible. People seem much more relaxed and uplifted when I do that
In the end the scriptures always say it better than any human can.
Sometime ago I was in a restaurant that I frequent, and reading from the Bible.I felt this urge to read a certain scripture to the waiter, and was praying as to how I would do this. Shortly after he came to me and said, “I notice you are reading the Bible… are you a pastor” I told him I considered myself more as a minister of God. He said,” I’ve been having great difficulty in my life, will you pray for me?” I told him I would, and would like to read a scripture to him. After I read it… Read more »
I enjoy this blog and your commentaries, this is a place for “thinking” witnesses,
I respectfully ask how you (or others here) perform your door to door ministry when you do not agree with the message we are taught to use at the KMS.
I find myself struggling with this and would appreciate how you handle this.
.I at one time loved the service but it has become very difficult for me to reconcile the GB doctrines with what I really believe and actually fear someone may want to study.