Congregation Book Study:
Chapter 5, par. 1-8
This provides just a glimpse of Jehovah’s awesome power. Imagine how big a tennis ball appears to the naked eye when seen across the length of a football field. Now imagine a piece of the sky that small. A 24-millionth of the observable sky. Now imagine peering into what appears to be the empty space of that tiny segment of sky and seeing this picture? Except for a few foreground stars, every dot in it is a galaxy!
Here’s a video explaining the various Hubble Deep Field projects. I think we should rename the telescope. I think we should call it “The Humbling Telescope”.
Theocratic Ministry School
Bible Reading: Exodus 1-6
No. 1 Exodus 2:1-14
No. 2 Christ’s Return Is Invisible—rs p. 341 par. 3-p. 342 par. 2
Obviously we have a strong vested interest in preserving the idea of an invisible return because we believe it already happened, 100 years ago this coming October in point of fact. The title of this talk is misleading, because the source material doesn’t really argue against a visible return, only against Christ becoming human again. The title should be “Christ will not return as a human being”, because that is the only point we are making.
We cannot argue that he can’t come back looking like a human being, because he’s already done that. His disciples saw him in human form on various occasions after his resurrection. If he chooses to return in a fleshly body in the future, who’s to say he can’t? There is nothing in the cited “proof texts” from the talk’s reference material showing this to be unscriptural.
Assuming a body to appear to humans doesn’t mean becoming a human. The angels that appeared to Abraham in the days of Sodom’s destruction didn’t become humans, but merely assumed a temporary fleshly body.
So why doesn’t the Reasoning book make that point. Why doesn’t it quote these additional scriptures and then state that while Christ will never take on human life again, he may, if he wishes, manifest himself in human form for a time? The reason it ignores those inconvenient texts is that this week’s talk is to prepare the way for next week’s topic where we try to show that Christ comes back invisibly in every sense of the word.
No. 3 Abiram—Opposing God-Appointed Authority Is Tantamount to Opposing Jehovah—it-1 p. 25, Abiram No. 1
How can we argue that “opposing God-appointed authority is tantamount to opposing Jehovah”? We can’t. The operable phrase is “God-appointed”. Moses, against whom Abiram rebelled, was definitely God-appointed. I’ll tell you all here and now that if a man, or even a committee of seven men, appears on the scene, takes a staff, and divides the waters of the Hudson River, or better yet, turns it to blood, well, I’d be mighty inclined to treat him or them as “God-appointed”.
However, if these same individuals just claim to be God-appointed, well, I think I would deserve a little more to go on, don’t you? After all, doesn’t the Pope claim to be God-appointed? How would we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, go about proving to a devout Catholic that the Pope isn’t appointed by God? We’d probably start with the Bible and show that many of the teachings of the Catholic Church are not Scriptural. Then we’d argue that no one can be appointed (or anointed—same difference) by God if he teaches lies. We’d show our Catholic friend that 1 John 2:20 talks about “an anointing from the holy one” and that vs. 21 shows that “no lie originates with the truth.” Then we’d read verse 27 which says “the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie….”
I think we’d all agree that as Witnesses we’d use that line of reasoning to convince anyone, Catholic, Protestant, or Mormon that their leaders are not God-appointed. The problem is that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. What would we say if they turned that around on us and showed us from scripture that some of our core doctrines are not scriptural?
10 min: “Make Good Use of Older Magazines”
10 min: Local Needs
10 min: What Do We Learn?
We are to consider how Matthew 28:20 and 2 Timothy 4:17 are to help us in the ministry. Here’s a little project for everyone—myself included. When the speaker gets to 2 Timothy 4:17 and reads “But the Lord stood near me…”, take note of how he applies this. This verse and the next (“The Lord will rescue me from every wicked word and will save me for his heavenly Kingdom.”) are very clearly speaking about Jesus. However, how many of those taking this part, or commenting as part of the discussion, will refer to Jesus instead of Jehovah when applying this to our day. I would be very surprised if Jesus is even mentioned. So please, take note and then comment your findings below.
Reporting from my congregation on 2 Tim 4:17:
The conductor leading the discussion was accurate in identifying the “Lord” as Jesus Christ, nicely tying in Jesus promise in the scripture considered in Matthew. I did notice however, all comments only mentioned Jehovah.
While certainly Jehovah is the ultimate source of all power, he has entrusted to his Son ‘all authority’. It is unfortunate that we continue to brush that authority aside by rarely speaking of it in the congregation.
We have or C.O visit this week and what he said was far more ludicrious than the schedule for this meeting. I go to a upper middle class congregation and there are times when people miss becuase of work or school. The first part of his talk was a sales pitch that would make a time-share scam seem like a girl scout selling cookies. So meeting attendance is down midweek and he used Hebrews 10:24,25 to counsel the congregation.He also indicated that it is the responsibility of all in the congregattion to “encourage ” those who miss because ” we… Read more »
I can’t go to the meetings any longer.
They disgust me.
I have literally felt physically sick and have nearly thrown up, after leaving. That is the honest truth.
I just can’t take it any longer.
While I haven’t been on the verge of “losing my lunch” at meeting, I do often find myself with either a reaction of puzzlement, laugher and sometimes frustration with what I hear and see. If I had experienced what Samartian Woman desribed above I think my reaction would have moved closer to anger, as I feel that we are moving away from the overall message of having love for one another as we try to browbeat everyone into submission. On a positive note, I’m grateful that the people at my hall are generally all very pleasant and nobody beats me… Read more »
This hardline only surfaces when the circuit overseer visits. Thank goodness for small miracles.
Hello Meleti, Three comments where made concerning 2nd Tim: 4: 17 . And except for mine that was the second, the other two felt the lord in that context is Jehovah. No qualms really because Jehovah is the head of Jesus Christ. But in a case like this the mention of our lord Jesus Christ would have given credit to the one that the Almighty God bestowed all authority in heaven and on earth. Received the latest study article of the WT. The fist study article was about Jesus Christ. Looking forward to it. Please keep up the constructive criticism… Read more »
It seems that praising gb for the hard work they do is increasingly prevailing among Jw, contrary to the word of Jesus. In the same way, when you have done everything required of you, you should say, ‘We servants deserve no special praise. We have only done our duty.'”
Search4Truth: The context of Luke 17:10 is really relevant: (Luke 17:1-10) . . .Then he said to his disciples: . . . 5 Now the apostles said to the Lord: “Give us more faith.” 6 Then the Lord said: . . . 10 Likewise, when you have done all the things assigned to you, say: ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves. What we have done is what we ought to have done.’” Verse 10 in context was specifically spoken to the apostles. Imagine what happen if you started referring to the GB as “the good-for-nothing slave” class! It would be about as scriptural as saying “faithful slave”… Read more »
I never had a problem with people taking the lead. We need someone taking the lead. If the FDS was leading us quietly helping and providing for us but never taking credit or honor, I would praise them for their hard work. I started getting serious issues with them when the personal glorification started. Every meeting there is someone praying to thank them, someone commenting about them, some articles are about them, etc etc. If they are a proverbial Moses, they are in BIG danger of being like him in that he said: “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring… Read more »
Very well put. I agree with you on every level. The songs are painful to sing. The self-glorification is too much. In all my decades as a Witness, I’ve never heard the “faithful and discreet slave” and the “governing body” mentioned so often in prayer and in comments.
No. 3 Abiram—Opposing God-Appointed Authority Is Tantamount to Opposing Jehovah—it-1 p. 25, Abiram No. 1 The title for this is a little . . . misleading. That might not be the word I’m looking for. Consider these situations: Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:1-4) Would she have been ‘opposing Jehovah’ if she had resisted the God appointed David? In fact, that is a possibility. The account does not say how she reacted to David’s immoral overture. Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband, 2 Sam. 11:5-11) Refused to follow David’s order to go back to his own house. Uriah had the Law on his side, but… Read more »
Very good points Bobcat!
It’s unfortunate that those balanced points will not be discussed in the talk this week. I am grateful that we can discuss the meeting here before the cracking off the spiritual whip at the meeting. God has given authority in the absolute sense to His Son. (Matthew 28:18) Whenever God appoints imperfect men with authority it is always relative. .
I am always surprised to read or hear statements like “We are appointed by Jehovah to be His channels” etc bla bla.. If already the verses in Mt 24:45-47 are to be taken as a prophecy , then it is Jesus (the master) who appoints and that slave remains as slave under Jesus. Why would God need another channel when He already has His Son, the WORD, that has already proven His reliability and about whom God has already expressed many times that His Son has been approved and that we should listen to Him. I always take much comfort… Read more »
Am I right in saying that the only guy in the NT that throws people out of the congregation is Diotrephes? If so, that certainly is food for thought.
I get your point meleti and again agree with you .Can i really be compared to abiram for rejecting the authority of these men .When ive seen no supernatural evidence that god is backing them .especially when some things they say seem to run against gods words in the bible. Although i do believe that many in the future will be deceived by supernatural events .So it would be no guarantee of gods backing but then we would have to test the spirit to see wether it originated with god .But to make a claim like we are gods spokesman… Read more »
No doubt (aside from the regular habit that has been nurtured in ignoring Christ) the congregations being confused as the the identity of the Lord in 2 Tim 4:17 will be caused by inconsistent references they find when doing research on the subject: w11 1/15 pp. 26-30 (Lord = Jehovah) 15 The apostle Paul endured many life-threatening adversities for the sake of his faith. (2 Cor. 11:23-28) How did he maintain balance and emotional stability under those trying circumstances? By prayerful reliance on Jehovah. During the time of testing that apparently culminated in his martyrdom, Paul wrote: “The Lord stood… Read more »
wt chap. 19 pp. 167-174 (Worship the Only True God – Book) (Lord=Unclear) Paul found the insolent—even violent—treatment by opposers unpleasant, he “mustered up boldness by means of our God” to keep on preaching. He said: “The Lord stood near me and infused power into me, that through me the preaching might be fully accomplished.” (1 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Timothy 4:17) The Head of the Christian congregation, Jesus, continues to provide the power we need to do the work he foretold for our day.—Mark 13:10. Actually this reference is unclear as 2 Tim 4:17 is piggybacked onto 1 Thessalonians 2:2… Read more »
Re: refer to Jesus instead of Jehovah – I think Meleti’s point is the same whichever way you read it. My thought was whether, if a man, or even a committee of seven men, appears on the scene, takes a staff, and divides the waters of the Hudson River, or turns it to blood, should we be inclined to treat him or them as “God-appointed”? (Revelation 13:13, 14) “And it performs great signs, even making fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the sight of mankind. It misleads those who dwell on the earth, because of the… Read more »
Okay, fire from heaven is out. Besides, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we’ve been there and done that. But come on, splitting the Hudson river with just a wooden staff would be, like, way cool man.
Seriously, I’ve often wondered about the reality of Mat. 24:24 in this context.
I guess what it boils down to is not just the “great signs” themselves, but how we respond to them. To take a simple example consider the Warwick project. Those taking the lead have asked the faithful to view it as “a great sign”. They have drawn attention in their promotional material to the theory that such a project could not be taking place without Jehovah’s spirit. That is a big claim, but is that a reasonable conclusion to draw from a simple building project, even if it is grand in scale? Any rational person would look at this and… Read more »
Your comment is spot on in view of the video that was released a few days ago.
If they are saying that about the warwick project then all common sense has gone out of the window .if we say that we would have to say that the pyramids were an even greater sign that they had gods backing but who would admit that ..kev
will refer to Jesus instead of Jehovah when applying this to our day. I would be very surprised if Jesus is even mentioned
I guess you mean : ….refer to Jehovah instead of Jesus.
Actually, it works both ways, but I see your point. 🙂