Congregation Book Study:
Chapter 3, par. 1-10
The theme this week is the holiness of Jehovah. God is not insecure nor does he need the celestial equivalent of Yes Men chanting up his holiness. Like the parallel vision in Revelation 4:8, this vision is for human consumption, making a point to which humans of the time could relate.
Theocratic Ministry School
Bible Reading: Genesis 29-31
At first reading, one gets the impression that women were little more than chattel in those days. Clearly their sense of security came in good part from their ability to bear children. However, a deeper examination reveals that they had considerable power within the patriarchal community. I got a kick out of what we would nowadays refer to as Rachel’s pimping out Jacob to Leah for the mandrakes.
No. 1: Genesis 29:21-35
No. 2: What the Resurrection Will Mean for Mankind in General – rs p. 337 par. 3
No. 3: Abiathar—An Act of Disloyalty Can Nullify Years of Faithful Service—it-1 p. 18-19
10 min: Preach with Warmth
SSDD: There was a 10-minute part in the Kingdom Ministry of January 2011 titled: “Express Warmth as You Preach.” It appears we have an orbit with a three-year frequency. Please forgive the flippancy, but I despair what so much valuable time is being wasted with such repetitive superficiality.
5 min: Are You Using jw.org in Your Ministry?
I must answer “No”. I do use the Bible however.
15 min: “Make This Memorial Season a Joyful One!”
Jehovah is referenced four times in this short article, but Jesus—for whom we are holding the memorial—is not mentioned at all. If you handed this to a non-JW, it is questionable whether he would have any idea whatsoever that we were commemorating the sacrificial death of our redeemer.
This is the annual push for more auxiliary pioneers. Sadly, the main focus of our memorial commemoration these days seems to be as a recruitment and reenlistment tool. Perhaps there is joy to be found in the blissful state of ignorance most JWs have been kept in all these years. For those of us who are only now realizing what we have missed out on our whole lives, there is bound to be some level of resentment, even anger. The great “if-only” is on our mind. Still, there is nothing much to be gained by dwelling in the past. Let us press ahead to better things and with our newfound awareness of our rightful role as Christians, let us enjoy this memorial as we were meant to.
With regard to alex comment about the contents of the meetings and magazines thats what drove me mad in the end .i found it mystifying the way that the brothers just lapped up what was clearly wrong .one brother insisted that the society follow the bible to the letter another said the watchtower was the word of god . What are you supposed to do just stand there and agree. Its tough when we are supposed to be someone who bears witness to the truth .
So I just realized the new WT for May is up. Now here’s the deal: we’ve had spiritually empty, 100% propaganda watchtower study articles for months now. Think of obedience, help financially, more obedience, shun people who are not obedient, do more in service, a prophecy invention about dukes to prove you have to be obedient, ETC A single reading of a chapter in the bible has taught and refreshed me more than a half year worth of WT studies. But with good hope I open the PDF and look at the study titles in the latest edition. Surely they… Read more »
Want some real fun with numbers? We have in order of numerical priority: May 2014 Watchtower issue Jehovah = 129 God = 120 Organization = 55 Jesus = 47 Christ = 33 Lord = 1 Compare that now with this: Bible Book of Acts God = 197 Jehovah = 78 (conjectural emendations by WT Translation committee) Jesus = 71 Lord = 63 Christ = 27 Jehovah = 0 (going by ancient manuscripts) Organization = 0 I chose Acts, because it is a good all-round account being that it is the record of the preaching work over years and in many… Read more »
I am so happy to have found this website and this post in particular. I, too, had the exact same experience with the May 2014 WT. Ever since the July 2013 WT with the ‘new light’ was posted, I have been eagerly awaiting follow ups to explain how our new understanding impacts cross references and parallel scriptures. 10 months later, we still have nothing. Yet, we know how to care for our elderly parents. Funny that you mention the term “organization” being completely absent from Scripture. I actually just did this same check a week or two ago! I typed… Read more »
Alex what is “brute-force SEO”?
Alex is referring to a process called Search Engine Optimization. For example, if you type “jehovah’s witnesses” (sans quotes) into google.com you may find, as I just did, that jw.org is the first link found. However when I typed “jehovah’s witnesses salvation”, the jw.org site was at the bottom of the second page page. The GB would love it if their site was always the first one found on any search involving Jehovah’s Witnesses. For example, if you type “jehovah’s witnesses child abuse”, the jw.org site FAQ on the subject doesn’t appear until the middle of the second pages. A… Read more »
Thanks for the explanation Meleti . It’s amazing to me how corporate Jehovah’s “earthly organization” is becoming …….
It is interesting to note that typing the words, “seven shepherds eight dukes” puts jw.org at the top, but our humble little site occupies positions 3 through 5.
You can open a locked door to which you lost the key in two ways: you can stomp it in with all your force, or a refined hand can work its way in by circumventing the lock. Typically it takes a lot of time and resources to make it to the front page of Google, let alone the top three results. Some words are easier than others, of course. But our website is new. The content is new. And not many christian websites like to link to us because .. (ill let you fill in the blank yourself). Anyway in… Read more »
I used the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on Genesis during my Bible Highlights part from Genisis 29-31, referring to it as my favorite Bible study aid.
Ooh! Be careful about using commentaries. Bible knowledge lately seems to be the work of the Devil.
Makes me feel bad about a letter from a Governing Body member I received, thanking me for my contribution of Bible commentaries books to the Gilead library.
Of course, current Gilead students would not be encouraged to consult those works.
Interestingly enough, i received some very positive comments from some of the friends after the meeting. We talked about Laban, Rachel, Leah’s “dull eyes’, and the way the commentary explained it. funny, nobody mentioned anything from the service meeting.
That’s the beauty of this “safe” site.
Yes, it is a beautiful site, my Anonymous twin contributor. However, I still feel as if I’m all alone in the congregation; attempting to keep the Bible and The Master Jesus in the forefront. After my spirited Bible Highlights part covering Genesis 29-31,I started dozing off during the Service meeting. Why?
Thank you Meliti, now I understand SEO. It seems I remember reading that not everyone’s google searches turn up the same results. Google is spying on us. I know, what a shocker! The search it shows is individualized based on your past searches so they can then tailor their advertising to you for sites they believe you will be inclined to make purchases from. The problem with this is over time it restricts your results, based on what you’ve searched for in the past, sort of locking you into the same results each time, not giving you fresh sites with… Read more »
So, District Conventions are now going to be called Regional Conventions. Does that make a District Overseer a Regional Overseer?
And if I heard well, the Zone (or district) Overseer will be called HEADOFFICE REPRESENTATIVE. Seems more and more the organisation is becoming a global corporation (like the multinational I work for), where people reporting to local branch office are becoming ’employees’ of the headoffice. A bit strange as a branch office cannot be called headoffice. Unless these ‘jobs’ are now manage from the core headoffice. Unclear to me at this point why these changes………. Anyway, a decade (or two) ago, we criticized the Catholic Church about their ‘wordly’ structure but this organisation is not far off anymore. Jesus had… Read more »
As for memorial, I have ceased from partaking of false Christs. What is a false Christ? One who directs men to say one day what such men must confess was a mistake when unfulfilled. When this happens repeatedly and men call their correction old light while demanding trust and obedience to a new light, this is from a false Christ. Those who confess that the direction they uttered was in error must also confess that they proclaimed a false Christ if they want those from whom they demand obedience to trust that the true Christ is shining through.
Meleti, I agree with the “if-only” game we all play, especially those who have been “in the truth” for most of their lives. I believe I have heard an expression about how regret affects us…”It’s like swallowing poison, and waiting on someone else to die”. That seems like it could equally apply to other situations as well. I choose to hold onto the positive things, I know how to speak in public, how to modulate and project my voice, etc and I am not afraid to speak up in public. I have a good foundation of morality, which has not… Read more »
Although not a country gil 🙂 I share your feelings. I just read the program for tonight (which is discuss here already), and indeed, peculiar ponts. I find it more and more difficult or even disturbing that even in related to the memorial, Jesus is not even mentioned. I am in the same situation: re-learning the Truth. There are so many things I now see being slightly wrong to being a complete lie. But it is most difficult not being able to share these observations and pure facts with people close around me. well. this forum at least is one… Read more »
I want to share these interesting finds with the group:
The Bible reading reminded me of Meleti’s comment last week of how local customs governed the affairs of everyday life during this time . It also impressed upon me why the Law covenant and judges was needed to govern the matters of everyday life for God’s people. The account in Genesis does not paint Laban to be an honest or fair man. He violated the local custom and his agreement with Jacob for his daughter Rachel. He made Jacob work an additional seven years for Rachel. (Gen 29:13-28.) Laban’s deceit caused Jacob many problems ( there is a fierce competition… Read more »
“but Jesus—for whom we are holding the memorial—is not mentioned at all”. Jesus is also not mentioned once in the recently leaked Elder’s training video’s dealing with judicial committee handling of fornication and a shepherding visit to a sister having suicidal thoughts. No mention of Jesus invitation at Matt 11:28-30 of course as she is not allowed to communicate with him. “Matthew 10:32,33 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” With regard to our memorial meeting the following article… Read more »
No offense intended, but I have removed the link you left because, while some of the things this group teaches are not objectionable, it has come to our attention that they seem to be promoting themselves in a sectarian way, so in line with Scriptural injunction, we prefer not to be linked in any way with them. You may not have realized this yourself and in fact we only came to this realization recently.
No problem Meleti. However I do think we all have to seriously consider Jesus words at John 6:53-58 with regard to the memorial meeting.
Absolutely. In fact, we have a post planned on that theme prior to the memorial this year.
Our focus seems to be on the jw.org website. Participating in the tract work isn’t to draw individuals to the Christ, but to sway them toward the organization. pioneeringn just gets the GB more tract distributors, not preachers.i feel the message in the tracts, (not the tracts themselves), cheapens our ministry.
The tract campaigns for jw.org are brute-force SEO. Just like wachtower magazine is the most read in the world, they want jw.org to be #1 on google, ahead of wikipedia. I know there are now SEO bethelites, so the objective is pretty transparent.
“Let us press ahead to better things and with our newfound awareness of our rightful role as Christians, let us enjoy this memorial as we were meant to.” I’m happy to have helped at least 2 JW friends in the past year embrace their calling. I for sure will stand up for Christ this memorial, and it may be a testament to my Heavenly Father that it is all I desire, to serve him wholly until my dying breath. Matthew 10:32,33 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before… Read more »
Amen Alex! I have also made the same decision prayerfully. I am not sure if I will partake at the JW memorial or privately to respect the strong views of others. I strongly believe that my age will stumble others if I partake at the Hall . Whatever decision God leads me to make on where to partake , I pray that in the end I don’t shrink back from partaking in public or in private because I am being cowardly.(or I extremely uncomfortable in doing so) It is a commandment of Christ. I would rather obey His command than… Read more »
(or I extremely uncomfortable in doing so)
that should read…
(or because I am extremely uncomfortable in doing so)
This is personal, but perhaps of some use. I prepare my heart for the memorial. (I have a vague idea catholics do something like this, and I never been catholic, but somehow came to this similar feeling.) From jan 1 onward, but especially 40 days prior to the memorial I try extra triple hard to rid myself of anything jehovah wouldn’t like. This is in line with the scripture to not take the symbols unworthily. Just because I want to approach this with the greatest dignity possible. In the weeks before the memorial I prepare my heart, mind, body and… Read more »
Alex- Thanks for your advice 🙂 Based on your comment do you believe that moral uncleanness =taking the emblems unworthily? If you commit a serious sin…apparently the GB can remove your anointing. According to the GB if you commit a “serious sin” and partake of the emblems you are doing so unworthily until you confess to the elders. After you produce “fruits” that the Elder’s deem befit repentance then you can partake of the emblems again. Otherwise you are partaking from the table of demons and the table of Jehovah. “Paul compared the Memorial to a communion meal in ancient… Read more »
If you knowingly violate Jehovah’s commandments or live in sin, then stop practicing sin and repent before going to the Memorial. You don’t want to take it lightly. Elders can’t give you absolution of sin, but in some cases they can help you heal.
Let me clarify,
Do you think that is what this scripture means? That we could be partaking unworthily if we are not cleansed from sins? We are all sinners.
I am not speaking of what the GB refers to as “gross sins”.
“knowingly violating” and “living in sin” and “practicing sin” is what i described, you may call this “gross sin” if you like, but even knowingly and continually practicing small sins without repentance stains you. if you are anointed your body is a holy temple and you are yourself part of a holy body, the body of Christ. You are looking forward to be married to Christ, as a bride pure and white and holy to her husband. Thus you WANT TO partake worthily. I am saying this as something that even the biggest sinner can attain to for this special… Read more »
That is a weighty line of reasoning .Thank you for responding. I am going to prayerfully meditate on those thoughts.
An example is an anointed who lives in adultery. His conscience will accuse him if he partakes from the symbols at the memorial. But instead of this, he will “go and sin no more” knowing his sins are forgiven, and partake of the memorial worthily.