Congregation Book Study:
Chapter 1, par. 18-23
Par. 18 – “Ezekiel was given a vision of Jehovah’s heavenly organization, which he saw was as a vast celestial chariot.” We’ve already dealt with this topic extensively in this forum as the foregoing links will testify. However, notice who subtly we have slipped in three erroneous teachings in a single sentence, providing not one iota of scriptural support for them. 1) Jehovah has a heavenly organization; 2) Ezekiel’s vision is of the organization; 3) the vision depicts Jehovah atop a celestial chariot.
The term “celestial chariot” does not occur anywhere in the Bible. The word “chariot” does not occur anywhere in this vision. In fact, Ezekiel doesn’t even use it for another 22 chapters, and then only in reference to those coming against Israel. (Eze. 23:24) As for the vision depicting Jehovah’s organization, which we view as the heavenly counterpart to his earthly organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is just conjecture. Fact is, the word “organization” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible. Not once. Odd, for such an important feature of JW theology, don’t you think?
This week, millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world will believe that Ezekiel saw Jehovah atop a celestial chariot representing his heavenly organization because we have been taught to believe what our leaders without the need for scriptural support. Sadly, in that, we have become like virtually every other sect in Christendom.
Par. 21 – “Have you ever seen a small child point out his father to his friends and then say…”That’s my daddy”? God’s worshippers have every reason to feel similarly about Jehovah.” The problem with this teaching is it contradicts what we have been recently re-taught—specifically, that we are not God’s children but his friends. If we are not God’s children, then by what right to we call him “daddy”?
Theocratic Ministry School
Bible Reading: Genesis 11—16
No. 1: Genesis 14:17—15:11
No. 2: If Someone Says, ‘What Makes You Think There Is Only One Religion That Is Right?’ – rs p. 332 par. 3
No. 3: Abaddon—The Angel of the Abyss—Who Is He?—it-1 p. 12
10 min: What Do We Learn?
10 min: Show Respect for Those Who Are Working Hard Among You.
10 min: “Be More Than a Silent Partner.”
anderestimme This is a really interesting comment. First of all I agree that the generations here have a temporal aspect. This is consistent with Ex 1:6 also (which is the scripture used to “support” the overlapping generations idea). I’m not sure about the four generations being the same things as the 400 years in the Gen 15 passage though. I haven’t researched it so I could be wrong, but in v13 he says that the Israelites will serve as slaves in Egypt for 400 years. But the ending of the fourth generation of v16 coincides with the error of the… Read more »
I remember something going way back about the 400 or was it 450 years counting from the mistreatment of Isaac at the hands of his older half-brother. So the Israelites didn’t reside in Egypt for 400. I don’t know if that impacts on the 4 generations.
You’re right. And it is arguably 4 generations for the complete period. Please mostly discount my earlier objection. As long as you count after Isaac it’s Jacob -> Judah -> Perez -> Hezron (Matt 1:2,3; Luke 3:33,34). So Hezron would have come out of slavery, and his son Ram was born in the wilderness presumably. I say “arguably” because you have to not include Isaac, and then Ram would technically be the fifth generation. But perhaps Hezron counts just for being in the wilderness on his way to the promised land. I hadn’t realized that Israel’s slavery in Egypt was… Read more »
Here’s another interesting verse for it’s use of the word “generation”. (Genesis 15:13, 16) And he began to say to A′bram: “You may know for sure that your seed will become an alien resident in a land not theirs, and they will have to serve them, and these will certainly afflict them for four hundred years….But in the fourth generation they will return here, because the error of the Am′or·ites has not yet come to completion.” The word used in the Septuagint is “genea”, the same one used it Matthew 24:34. Here it definitely seems to have a temporal aspect.… Read more »
My comment is from the Bible reading this week. So far we have read 3 instances in Genesis where there is reference to “calling upon” God. (Gen 4:26 ,Gen 13:4, Gen12:8) The lively comments under Apollos’ post regarding “calling upon” the Lord vs. praying came to mind during my Bible reading this week . I believe that the context of Romans 10:14 in verses 13 provides much clarification for me . Paul’s words help me to understand that it is not the action of “calling upon” that saves me, but rather it is my faith in the One upon whom… Read more »
Thank you, GodsWordIsTruth, for giving a thoughtful counter argument to further this discussion.
Whilst I don’t have a fixed opinion of exactly what “calling upon” means, it does seem to imply an action of some sort. So whilst it may be true that the faith is what saves, there still remains the question of what “calling upon” actually is, even if it is not synonymous with prayer.
(I agree with you that there seems no particular reason to read Gen 4:26 in a negative context.)
I am in agreement with you Apollos that I too ” don’t have a fixed opinion of exactly what “calling upon” means”. My opinion is taking shape based on the scriptural reasoning on this site 🙂
Here’s another instance:
(Genesis 16:13) Then she began to call the name of Jehovah, who was speaking to her: “You are a God of sight,” for she said: “Have I here actually looked upon him who sees me?”
This comes right after Hagar has a lengthy conversation with the angel of Jehovah. It does not, in this instance, appear to refer to prayer, though it’s not entirely ruled out. It’s also interesting that she viewed having seen Jehovah’s angel as equivalent to having seen Jehovah himself.
Oops, just realized that it says “call the name of”, not ‘call upon’. The Greek word used here is related to that used in 12:8 and 13:4, but it’s not quite the same. In any case, it’s the Hebrew that would really matter. So this example may not be relevant.
Yes, I misread that first time through too.
Ah, but that’s because the RNWT does indeed say “called on the name of Jehovah”. I subsequently read it in the reference Bible where it just says “call the name of Jehovah”. At first inspection it seems that the old version might be right though. Looking at the masoretic text on http://www.blueletterbible.org/ in Gen 12:8 and 13:4 there appears to be some sort of modifier on the word שֵׁם (shem) which is the “call” bit of the text, so that it becomes בְּשֵׁם. But that modifier doesn’t appear in Gen 16:13. I’ve no knowledge of Hebrew so all I can… Read more »
In my Bible reading this morning…. I came across another instance of “calling upon the Lord” at Genesis 26:25 … (ESV) New International Version Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well. New Living Translation Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well. Calling upon the Lord in this instance is again connected with building an altar in the book of Genesis. I stated originally that there… Read more »
It seems to me that this uncertainty about the meaning of “calling upon” is unfounded. It really does seem that it is an invocation showing faith in God. Did we see any proof to the contrary that such an act was NOT a form of prayer? If not then I think the burden of proof must be upon the one who insists that it is something different. Note Psalm 148:18,19: Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, To all those who call upon him in trueness. The desire of those fearing him he will perform, And their cry… Read more »
I am beginning to agree. I came across New International Version 1 Samuel 12:18 this morning as well
“Then Samuel called on the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.”
I just read the verses you quoted. It’s hard to say that in “calling upon the Lord” prayer is not inclusive.
“Appreciating Jehovah’s Organization,” #10 on the old series of 88 public talks. Don’t know how many times I gave that 55 minute talk (mostly on Ezekiel), but my wife almost had it memorized 🙂
If only we had known then what we know now, right?
Kev C I believe as you do .Why are we basing doctrine on symbolic filled prophecies that are difficult to interpret ?( e.g Revelation 7:4 means that only 144,000 Christians are adopted sons of God) We are hardly given scriptural support for these interpretations, we are usually just told that “A” means this or “B” represents this. Those statements are usually the set up to go on this wild journey with GB to interpret any prophecy. In order to buy into interpretation in the first place we are told since we (JW’s) are the only people who are truly faithful… Read more »
About ezekiels vision meleti who knows what it really means erich von daniken thought it was a spaceship its easy for anyone to pick on these vague visions and prophecies and come up with a meaning no one can really refute it because no one for sure really understands it my attitude has always been with the likes of this is it may be right or it may be wrong but dont base a core doctrine on it and definatly dont try and force me to believe it .kev c