[This week’s Midweek Meeting Comments is little more than a place holder for forum membership commenting. I hope that others will be able to contribute where I have not. It is a heavy week for me, what with the launch of the discussion forum, a particularly target-rich Watchtower article, and the belated release of the third and final installment on the disfellowshipping issue (due Tuesday).]
Congregation Book Study:
Chapter 4, par. 1-9
All about Jehovah’s power. The fact that he used a bull to symbolize it at a time when the most powerful creature known to his people was the auroch or wild bull is noteworthy. Now we can see moving images of the sun throwing off solar flares that dwarf the earth, but back then they had no such things.
Theocratic Ministry School
Bible Reading: Genesis 40-42
Two points about this fascinating account of Joseph.
The first is that Joseph asked, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Gen 40:8) We engage in interpretations all the time, both scriptural and otherwise. Jesus recognized that his audience could interpret weather signs to foretell what was to come. Obviously, the interpretations that belong to God are prophetic in nature. God’s interpretations are always true. When we have tried to take codified Bible prophecy and interpret it ourselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses we often (or always) failed. That should cause us to treat with extreme caution any outstanding symbolic interpretations we have pending.
The second point is the fact that Jehovah left Joseph languishing in prison an additional two years after giving him the interpretation of the dreams of the baker and cupbearer. All in all, Joseph spent many years as a slave and then a prisoner. Jehovah never left him during all this time, but he did not free him either. Moses also had to wait an additional 40 years before he was ready to be used.
Apparently, this time led Joseph to become what he needed to be. He had carelessly bragged to his brothers about how they would all bow down to him. No such vanity is evident when he confronts the Pharaoh. He speaks with faith and courage, but self-effacingly declares, “I need not be considered! God will speak concerning Pharaoh’s welfare.” (Gen. 41:16)
We tend to think in the short term, because our lifespan is so finite. We can forget that our life in this system of things is not the real life. (1 Tim. 6:19) Jehovah is preparing the remaining ones of the seed to serve with his Son in the heavens, so that through them the salvation of mankind can be effected during the 1,000 year reign of Christ. It may appear that we have wasted much of our life believing and teaching falsehoods, supporting an organization that is falling short of the righteous standard it claims to uphold. But if by this period of time we have been refined, have learned humility, and have built up a knowledge upon which to build further and more deeply, then we are where we need to be.
The same can be said of anyone in any Christian sect who realizes there is more and seeks it and finds it.
15 min: Family Worship that Refreshes
The key point is that the kind of ‘worship that refreshes’ is based not on the bible, but on studying the publications of the organization.
15 min: “Improving Our Skills in the ministry—Responding to Potential Conversation Stoppers”
Considering the amount of time we spend on this and related “sales techniques”, one has to wonder about the complete lack of similar instruction from God’s word. Can we really imagine Jesus instructing the 70 on how to overcome objections?
Jesus instructions as to how to “overcome objections:” Matt. 10: 5 These 12 Jesus sent out, giving them these instructions: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Sa·mar′i·tan city; 6 but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise up the dead, make lepers clean, expel demons. You received free, give free. 9 Do not acquire gold or silver or copper for your money belts, 10 or a food pouch for the trip, or… Read more »
I’m very interested in how this talk from the reasoning book will be developed. We have reviewed this information dozens of times throughout my life in the “truth”. However, it is the first time we have reviewed this topic since my “awakening”: “Who, then, are “the rest of the dead”? They are all those of mankind who died as a result of Adamic sin and those who, though survivors of the great tribulation or those who may be born during the Millennium, need to be relieved of the death-dealing effects of such sin.—Compare Ephesians 2:1. In what sense do they… Read more »
Indeed interesting topic. My wife did last week’s topic and as you can imagine, I disagreed with the information / statements she used (she ad to use Insight / reasoning book). Anyway, let’s have a look at the verses mentioned, rev. 20:4-6 (NET): 4 Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his… Read more »
It just occurred to me that John uses a rather strange word for the second group: SOULS. I presume that John means spiritual, not physical, as flesh and blood cannot inherit the heavenly kingdom. Any views?
I believe he was referring to both . I currently believe “the souls” are those who are executed by the wild beast during the Great tribulation. ( There will be survivors .John sees a “great crowd” of people coming out of the tribulation)
Do you believe these SOULS are the annointed ones? Or all christians for which that given description fits?
In short I believe the 144,000 and the Great crowd are the heavenly group .(all Christians)
They are both depicted in heaven.
I am not sure if the 144,000 are a subset of the GC, or they are the GC from different point of view or temporal view.( or vice versa). John doesn’t say.
My thoughts regarding them are here http://meletivivlon.com/2014/02/09/midweek-meeting-comments-feb-10-2014/#comment-8494 and can be found throughout this thread.
I especially appreciated your comments about our lifespan being finite. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the “urgency” of the times and how “close” we are to the end of this system of things, that we really don’t give enough attention to ourselves, how we act and the things we say; the way we interact with our fellow man every day. If God’s Precious Son Jesus does not even know the day nor hour of our Lord’s coming, how can we possibly think we have a clue? Why do we spend so much time obsessing over it?… Read more »
IAACG2, (haha, nice acronym now…), I agree with your views. Although James 2 might be referring to the brothers and sisters in the congregation, Jesus showed that compassion and to love your neighbour goes beyond the congregation. It is about the people that live around us. For years I did not really had an appreciation for all these charity organisations and people that go door to door to collect money for health research for example (in the Netherlands). To my surprise, some of the JW’s believed that you should not gve money as it is a “wordly” organisation and soon… Read more »
Thank you for sharing this with us, imacountrygirl2. For years we’ve been subtly discouraged from contributing our time and energy to charities. For example this point from the Kingdom Ministry: *** km 12/03 p. 5 Theocratic Ministry School Review *** How does Paul’s letter to Philemon show that a Christian’s commission is to help individuals become Christians, not to promote social reform? (Philem. 12) The idea being promoted is that if we do charitable works we are trying to fix things ourselves and running ahead of Jehovah’s heavenly organization since he will fix all things in his own time and his… Read more »
I find this whole topic sickening. It doesn’t sound like the good Samaritan to me my son was sending money to help a child in South America and i was told he was misguided .Really if so why did Jesus bothering healing people was it just because he wanted to prove he was the messiah or was it because he had compassion for people .Could you imagine the good Samaritan saying to the injured Jew oh don’t worry god’s kingdoms coming you know It wont make much difference if i help now . Well it does it matters to that… Read more »
It is so interesting how we are JW’s from all over the world and understand the implications or “principles” that the GB are trying to get across in articles such as the one you have cited. (we read between the lines)If we were to volunteer in any capacity other than FS that is exactly how it would be viewed by others. I have been told that repeatedly by others over the years whenever Ive mentioned it. Our Lord did not have that view. He was very charitable, healing the sick and feeding the hungry. Yet, he was primarily known as… Read more »
It’s funny how true this is.. The truth about some things is really clear, and it gets really hard to explain things away. In my old hall we had this girl who wanted to go to Africa to help orphans. I’m sure many didn’t think it wise.. But I was very impressed with what she did. I remember being really annoyed when talks were giving laughing w other Christian denominations for doing charity or explaining us that our commission is to preach and not a social charity because the end is so close. Where do we get the right to… Read more »
I do caution about giving money to charities…unless you vet them thoroughly. Some charities use too much of the money on “overhead” expenses and not enough on actually helping people. There are many scams being used to bilk people out of money. As for me, I’d rather give money to a person I know who is in financial need, as my funds allow. Or buy a few groceries for them. Or share some of my groceries. That way I know 100% of the money will be used by the actual person who needs it. I am not advocating sending money… Read more »
I wrestled with irritation and sadness today thinking about “the things behind” . My prayer is to to gain Paul’s attitude “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. I’m sure Paul had alot of regrets regarding his misplaced zeal for the Sect of the Jewish faith he belonged to (Pharisee) Meleti your thoughts( concerning looking forward) are… Read more »