There is something from this week’s School Review that I just couldn’t let slip by.
Question 3: How do we enter into God’s rest? (Heb. 4:9-11) [w11 7/15 p. 28 pars. 16, 17]
If after reading Hebrews 4:9-11 you answered that we can enter into God’s rest by being obedient to him, you would be wrong.
You see, we enter into God’s rest by…well, why don’t I just let The Watchtower say it.
What, then, does it mean for Christians to enter into God’s rest? Jehovah set aside the seventh day—his rest day—in order to bring his purpose respecting the earth to a glorious fulfillment. We can enter into Jehovah’s rest—or join him in his rest—by obediently working in harmony with his advancing purpose as it is revealed to us through his organization. (w11 7/15 p. 28 par. 16 God’s Rest—What Is It?)
I should point out that those are not my italics. They come right from the WT article.
The article continues:
On the other hand, if we minimized the Bible-based counsel that we receive through the faithful and discreet slave class, choosing to follow an independent course, we would be placing ourselves at odds with God’s unfolding purpose. (w11 7/15 p. 28 par. 16 God’s Rest—What Is It?)
Those last italics are mine.
So we enter into God’s rest by working in harmony with his organization which reveals his unfolding purpose to us through the faithful and discreet slave class, which are the eight men of the Governing Body. If however we fail to do this, but follow a course of action which is independent of the Governing Body, we will not enter into God’s rest, but die in the metaphorical wilderness like the rebellious Israelites of Moses’ day. (Okay, their wilderness was not metaphorical, but you get my drift.)
I agree that we should never be independent from Jehovah. We depend on our God and Father for all things.
Question: What if the Governing Body is the one following a course of independence? This is the question few of us ever ask, because we assume that the Governing Body is never independent of God, but is always working with him and that his purpose is therefore revealed through them. This is certainly the point they are making in this article. We must obey them because Jehovah is revealing his unfolding purpose through them. The irony of this position is brought home in the following article, “God’s Rest—Have You Entered Into It?”, for which this one is merely the setup. That article is trying to get us to accept two vital points on which strict obedience it required, otherwise we’ll die. (Isn’t that what “not enter into God’s rest” means?)
The points are: Don’t doubt the Governing Body just because just because God hasn’t revealed everything to them up front, and make sure you always support their position on disfellowshipping.
The failed revelations and predictions of the organization are explained away as mere “refinements in our understanding of certain Bible teachings”.
There is a certain audacity that one has to admire[i] about a group of men who will publish a statement like that to be distributed to the world in a many dozens of languages and in tens of millions of copies. It is widely known that we said the great tribulation would begin in 1914, would culminate in 1925, then later, that it would likely come in 1975. All failures—to name only a few. We redefined “this generation” multiple times to help in our lawless[ii] time calculations, and we’re still redefining it as per our February 2014 Watchtower. This is only a sprinkling of some of the more egregious failures, which we blithely label “refinements” and then charge the rank and file to accept unquestioningly or else be cut off from God’s rest.
Of course, if we don’t wholeheartedly accept such failures as mere refinements, we are in danger of getting cut off long before God’s rest comes. Disfellowshipping is the punishment for independent thinking (independent from the GB that is). Of course, this stick would have no force to quell contrary thinking if it were not carried by all in the rank and file. Therefore, we are told convincingly that if we don’t help them to enforce the punitive extent to which the process of disfellowshipping is put as a means to control those who would presume to follow a course of independence from them (not from God mind you, but from men) we also are being disobedient and will die in the wilderness.
Fear is a powerful motivator.
Again, the audacity of such printed declarations is mind boggling.
I get the feeling that willful blindness is not going to look good on anybody’s resumé on Judgment Day. But I also think having enough love of God and neighbor to be willing to repudiate one’s self and carry one’s torture stake – even if it’s not quite the shape and size it should be – will cover a multitude of sins. In any case, I’ve got my own rafter to whittle.
Nice comment. Well put.
The great equalizer is coming. That’s my theory anyway. Everyone who thought they knew everything they needed to know will be humiliated by what they didn’t know. And those who knew they didn’t know and even thought themselves stupid for not knowing will be exalted for being so humble as to confess that they couldn’t understood the blessing given them as in Jesus words in Matthew 25:37-39: “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe… Read more »
Recorded at Acts 1:7 Jesus tells his disciples “It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction”. He also told Christians to keep awake and be ready ” because at an hour you do not think it to be , the son of man is coming”. Matt 24:44. Jesus words recorded at Luke 21:8 are very specific, “Lookout that you are not misled, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he’ and ,’The due time has approached’, Do not go… Read more »
“We can enter into Jehovah’s rest—or join him in his rest—by obediently working in harmony with his advancing purpose as it is revealed to us through his organization.” Not through his word the bible, no. Through his organization. Because, as Jesus said: “Sanctify them by means of the truth, your organization is truth.” And in the Psalms it is written: “Your organization is a lamp to my foot and a light to my roadway”. And Paul wrote to Timothy: “and that from infancy you have known the organization’s publications, which are able to make you wise for salvation through the… Read more »
For some reason this Proverb comes to mind:
“Under three things the earth has been agitated, and under four it is not able to endure: under a slave when he rules as king, . . . a maidservant when she dispossesses her mistress.” (Proverbs 30:21-23)
A slave [faithful and discreet slave] acting as a king and a maidservant [earthly organization] who dispossesses her mistress [heavenly organization].
You are on fire today, Jude.
Why don’t we just call the so called FDS what it really is?
Why do we pretend this is Gods Organisation?
Why don’t we say who this organisation really belongs to?
To be fair on all the above, we are no worse than all the other churches in so called Christendom; if not worse, because we’ve hijacked the name of God and constantly finger point at everyone else.
In Revelation, when we are instructed to get out of BTG, do you think developments like this make it time for us to vote with our feet?
The GB are men like us. They exact obedience and faith from us….I’m not sure if it is for a self serving purpose or they truly believe that God is guiding them as they pen these “truths”. If it is latter… do they actually put faith in their own words? Who are they obedient to? Their teachings change so much… do they put as much faith and stock in their own words as much as they require us to? I know they say as clarifications/ adjustments to be their former thinking are revealed to them by God we should loyal… Read more »
Good comment GodsWordIsTruth. I keep trying to take stock of this myself. Until such time that we face the judgement seat, we are all brothers and sisters, and we should “speak injuriously of no one” (Titus 3:2). If this applies to secular authorities and governments then how much more so to our brothers and sisters, even if they assume authority that may or may not be theirs to take. But really that’s not our business. It doesn’t mean we have to do or believe things that are anti-scriptural or against our consciences, but it is necessary to separate the issues.… Read more »
Good point and I completely agree that we should not speak injuriously of others. The word itself signifies not speaking so as to cause injury. Love always seeks the best interests of its object. We do unmask a number of false doctrines on this site, and some have taken that negatively, accusing us of causing injury–of speaking injuriously of glorious ones–but since truth ultimately results in freedom, such accusations are unfounded. I don’t want to disagree with my esteemed brother Apollos. I know him to be a man who does not like to pass judgment on others, and I admire… Read more »
Great thoughts brothers…. If you put Jehovah’s Witnesses in a search engine, I guarantee that you find blogs, sites, articles etc. devoted to the demise of the GB and the WTBS . The inability to share our faith with other JW’s (iron sharpening iron), the false doctrines and restrictive practices are at the root. JW’s are limited to sharing the collective “faith” and “truths” of the organization as written by the GB with others in the field ministry and with each other. These eight men have taken on the sole responsibility of teaching millions of people and since they feed… Read more »
“On the other hand, if we minimized the Bible-based counsel that we receive through the faithful and discreet slave class, choosing to follow an independent course, we would be placing ourselves at odds with God’s unfolding purpose.” So given that the faithful and discreet slave was appointed in 1919 and there was no faithful and discreet slave in existence when the book of Hebrews was written, those early 1st century Christians did not follow Bible-based counsel from the faithful and discreet slave. They followed a course independent of the faithful and discreet slave and placed themselves at odds with God’s… Read more »
I just realized something very disturbing! According to the organization’s current understanding of the identity and time of appointment of the F&DS, Jesus left the earth without appointing a faithful and discreet slave to feed his disciples . . . for almost 2000 years!
Or, he appointed the slave in 1919, then departed, though how he could depart while remaining present is a mind-bender.
Good point. Sound reasoning.
1914 is the entire basis for the perceived authority of the GB. If 1914 is gone, then any reasoning person would see that they have no real authority.
Excellent article Meleti !!! The “generation” of Matthew 24:34 —————————————————— 1969 Version: (All Persons old enough to remember) “After drawing attention to the many things that mark the period from 1914 onward as the “time of the end,” Jesus said: “This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur.” (Matt. 24:34) Which generation did he mean? Jesus had just referred to persons who would “see all these things.” “These things” are the events that have taken place since 1914 and those yet to occur down to the end of this wicked system. (Matt. 24:33) Persons born… Read more »
It wasn’t just the 60s and early 70s. After the dust of the 75 fiasco settled, the “generation” card was still being unapologetically played. *** g88 4/8 pp. 13-14 The Last Days—What’s Next? *** “…These definitions allow for all those who were born around the time of a historic event and all those who were alive at that time…. Likewise today, most of the generation of 1914 has passed away. However, there are still millions on earth who were born in that year or prior to it. And although their numbers are dwindling, Jesus’ words will come true, “this generation… Read more »
Ah, but brothers, you are being much too hard on them. They did finally get it right in 1997. *** w97 6/1 p. 28 Questions From Readers *** What did Jesus mean by “generation,” both in his day and in ours? Many scriptures confirm that Jesus did not use “generation” with regard to some small or distinct group, meaning…only his loyal disciples…. In that statement, Peter was clearly not being precise as to any fixed age or length of time, nor was he tying the “generation” to any certain date. It must be acknowledged that we have not always taken… Read more »
I know that this has been said many times before…. but it becomes more apparent with each passing day that the 1914 doctrine is such an anchor. It weighs down every other teaching of the WTBS. I thought that 1914 being wrong was not a “big deal” previously before discussing the WTBS teachings in the open on this site . I could not have been more wrong.
I completely agree. I felt as you did when I first realized it was wrong. At first it was just one more thing, like 1975. No big deal. Doesn’t affect me much. However, like you, I’ve come to see that it affects almost everything to do with the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses.