2017, March 20-26 – Our Christian Life and Ministry

– posted by Tadua

Treasures from God’s Word

Theme: “Humans can have success only with Jehovah’s guidance”.

Jeremiah 10:2-5, 14, 15

This is what Jehovah says: “Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, because the nations are terrified by them.”

What was “the way of the nations”?

The Babylonians viewed the heavens this way:

“According to the holistic world view of the ancient Mesopotamians, everything in the universe had its firm place according to divine will. According to the incipit of the celestial omen series Enuma Anu Enlil, the gods Anu, Enlil and Ea themselves designed the constellations and measured the year thereby establishing the heavenly signs. Thus, the Mesopotamian divination was an all-embracing semantic system designed to interpret the universe (Koch-Westenholz 1995: 13-19).”[i]

The Babylonians in particular practised astrology, looking for and interpreting signs from the heavens, but they were by no means alone.

How could we today “learn the way of the nations”?

Could it be by continually speculating trying to interpret events in the world around us? By constantly trying to assess every world event as the immediate prelude to Armageddon?  How often do you hear a comment such as “nation X is threatening to attack nation Y. Could this lead to Armageddon?” or “The end must be very close because look at the problems with climate change.”

What does the Bible say about such events?

You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not terrified.” (Matthew 26:6)

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look Here is the Christ’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it”. (Matthew 24:23)

How would the presence of the Son of Man be? Jesus made it clear it would be undeniable, it would be seen everywhere. We would not have to speculate endlessly, worrying about every small turn in world events. Jesus said:

For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, [lighting up the whole of the sky], so the presence of the Son of Man will be.” (Matthew 24:27)

Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)

Keep on the watch” but “do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens” is Jesus’ wise counsel.  We should follow it.

Digging for Spiritual Gems

Jeremiah 9:24

What type of boasting and pride is good?

The reference we are guided to is the January 1, 2013 Watchtower (p. 20) “Keep Drawing Close to Jehovah”.  In that article, paragraph 16 makes the claim “For example, we should always feel proud to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Jer 9:24)”.

While that may have been the case in the past, new revelations thanks to the wide availability of information via the internet have uncovered some shameful facts.  Are we proud to be part of an organization that hypocritically disobeyed one of its most sacred precepts—separation from the World and its beast-like political entities—by becoming a secret member of the United Nations for 10 years until they were discovered?  Are we proud that the stigma of hiding paedophiles from the secular authorities that we condemned the Catholic Church for is now something we are known for internationally?

Perhaps then, we should rather stick to applying the scripture itself which says “But let the one bragging about himself brag about himself because of this very thing, the having of insight  and the having of knowledge of me, that I am Jehovah, the One exercising loving-kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth”.

Anyone can claim to be one of Jehovah’s Witness, but to truly bear witness about the Almighty God of the universe, we need the type of insight and knowledge that comes only from Him.  Being called a Witness of Jehovah and bearing witness about Jehovah are two entirely different things in most cases.  The fact is, the way to bear witness about Jehovah in the Christian era is to bear witness about Jesus. That is Jehovah’s way. (See WT Study: “You Will Be Witnesses of Me”)

Living as Christians

Once again the “Living as Christians” portion of the midweek meeting starts with how to place organisation literature. Surely, there is much more to living as a Christian than placing religious literature? ‘Nuf said.

The God’s Kingdom Rules

(Chapter 10 para 1-7 pp.100-101)

The Theme: “The King Refines his People Spiritually”

The introduction to Section 3 is entitled “Kingdom Standards – Seeking God’s Righteousness”

The 1st paragraph raises the fictitious scenario where your neighbour asks you, “What is it that makes you people so different?”

This is the self-congratulatory portion of the study.  But does giving an outward appearance of morality really count for much? The Pharisees could and did make the same claim.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Mt 23:27, 28)

As a former elder I can testify that it is shocking just how many cases of various types of immorality and unchristian conduct come to the elders’ attention, to not even speak of spousal abuse. Are Witnesses really that different from Christians in other denominations?  The unscriptural confidentiality afforded the sinner who reaches stage three of Christ’s judicial process (Mt 18:15-17) serves to protect the name of the Organization and keep up the façade that we are ‘a cut above the rest.’

The study then gives us the pat-on-the-back by asking, “What is it that makes you people so different in so many ways?”  The reply is that “We live under the rulership of God’s Kingdom. As King, Jesus is ever refining us.”

Just stop and think for a moment about those two statements. Assume just for one moment we are actually living under God’s Kingdom since 1914.

Firstly, does living under the rulership of a particular Kingdom make you a particular type person?

If you live under a good government, does that make you good?  Does living under a cruel dictatorship mean you are a bad person?  In fact, Christians have been living under the Kingdom of our Lord since the first century and those who obey our Lord are going to be different, and have been down through the ages. (Col 1:13) What this paragraph really means is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are different because they are living under the rulership of JW.org.

That leads us into the second claim: “As King, Jesus is ever refining us”.

Jesus, through the holy spirit, does refine us individually.  (Eph 4:20-24)  But that is not what is being referred to here.  No, this refinement is organizational.

Is there evidence that Jesus has been refining JW.org?

Paragraph 1-3 deals with Matthew 21:12, 13 which records the account where Jesus cleansed the Temple, throwing out the money changers and the buyers and sellers in the Temple.

At the end of paragraph 3 comes (predictably) the claim that Jesus cleansed a temple centuries later after the incident in Matthew, one that involves us today.

Paragraph 4 refers us to Chapter 2 of the God’s Kingdom Rules book for its support of this bold claim. Is it valid?  Rather than cover old material here, please see the Clam Review for Oct 3-9, 2016 for a review of Chapter 2 para 1-12 and the Clam Review of Oct 10-16, 2016 for a review of Chapter 2 para 13-22.

The first area to be examined is spiritual cleanness.

The first error is the statement “that Jehovah spoke to Jewish exiles as they were about to leave Babylon in the 6th century B.C.E.” and points us to Isaiah 52. Unless there has been a very recent change, the Table of Bible books from the New World Translation shows Isaiah was completed around 732 B.C.E., and was therefore written nearly 200 years before they returned from exile. But then what is a 200 year time shift when you want to make a point? It should be qualified at least as “Jehovah spoke prophetically in advance to Jewish exiles”.

The second error is in quoting Isaiah 52:11 as applying to spiritual cleanness to support their conclusion, when the verse and context clearly makes the point prophetically that the returning exiles were not to touch unclean things, to leave Babylon to return to Judah and keep themselves clean as per the Mosaic Law. There is no evidence in Isaiah to indicate that spiritual cleanness was what was meant. For the priests to handle the utensils they had to be clean physically and clean from other things that Jehovah proscribed, such as touching dead bodies and unclean foods, something that they may have been doing in Babylon as they were not serving as priests there. If they were to serve again as priests they had to refrain from these things again, and leave Babylon and return with the other exiles.

The third error is to then apply the false conclusion. Of course the principle can be applied, but then why not simply state that. It is misleading to say otherwise. All that was needed was to say something along the lines of, “Of course, Jehovah prophetically commanded them to be physically and ceremonially clean according to the requirement of the Mosaic Law, but the principle would surely also have applied to spiritual cleanness, and likewise, we today would want to be both physically and spiritually clean”.

The statement that “spiritual cleanness involves keeping free of the teachings and practices of false religion” is accurate, but that has nothing to do with the points being made at Isaiah 52.  Engaging in misapplication and loose logic only undermines their narrative.

(Most of our readers will not fail to notice the irony of an organization whose unique doctrines have all been shown to be false, making such a self-condemnatory statement.)

Paragraph 7 makes the unsubstantiated claim we are all too familiar with, that “Jesus put in place a clearly recognisable channel.”  The claim is that that channel is the faithful and discreet slave, which Christ allegedly appointed in 1919.  The falsehood of this claim was covered in the 2016, Oct 24-30 – Clam Review.

A careful read of Matthew 24:45-47 and Luke 12:41-48 shows that Jesus appointed a slave before he left. That slave was unidentified.  That slave had the option to perform well or badly.  The slave that was to be appointed over all his belonging was judged as faithful and discreet, but only at the time of the Lord’s return which has yet to happen.

The slave is not judged on whether it feeds the Lord’s domestics, but on whether it does so in faith and wisdom.  Constantly reinterpreting the same Bible prophecies only leads to disillusionment and disappointment among the domestics.  That can hardly be described as wise or discreet.  Promoting false doctrine and persecuting those who point out your error is hardly the course of faith.


[i] Quoted from The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago under fair use policy, from the summary of a seminar themed “Science and Superstition: Interpretation of Signs in the Ancient World” 2009.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by anonymous on 2017-03-21 18:47:38

    Matthew 24 is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the conclusion of the Jewish age, not the end of the world. For Jesus himself said that this generation (the wicked generation he was living with) would not pass away until ALL THESE THINGS occur. If you read the Bible in context it makes sense, and you can get on with life, instead of wasting it trying to work out when Jesus is going to return on a cloud and rapture you away. Learn from the Millerites. I know many would disagree with all this but that's ok, it's just my personal view

    • Reply by John S on 2017-03-23 08:33:03

      Well brother I agree with you.

      We should not look for every little blurp of evil as if the end was "right upon us brothers!!!"

      I have been out voluntarily for 10 years or so, so I don't have to bear the propaganda machine anymore, and enjoy my worship, and ministry immensely.I do feel sorry for those still exposed to the hypocrisy and self-righteous/exclusionary-stance JW's had us all eager to adopt.

      Hard fact: 'We all are sinners ;deserving of death'

      No one will survive on merit, only the blood of the Son....and his mercy.

      But I do see you might consider how many times Jesus points to wicked cities as prophetic of God's Judgment Day for Armageddon; Sodom, The FLood, especially. These are prophetic tableaus of greater events.

      Matthew 24, and into 25 concerns the entire period of the Christian wheat field from plowing to harvesting (taking the wheat into heaven). The Revelation does exactly the same; showing us; "what must shortly take place"

      It just wouldn't do for Christ to infer it would take millenia to unfold, as he knows human nature (he is our Creator Col. 1:15-17), and this scenario would do the opposite; putting us to sleep as to our need to preach, and look ahead to deliverance.

      All the while during the 2000 years past, he has filled his faithful followers with the holy spirit as promised, and they have been nurtured and protected just as surely as I have all my life. Sure, there were periods of inactivity, but he put them asleep so to speak, and then later, he restored the word and translators and then printing woke up the sleepers to renewed planting, and cultivating.

      Now, the whole world has been preached as a witness to Jesus, and God, and over a billion Christian believers exist, plenty in there to be harvested at the end.

      This is also a WT false prophecy; that they are the only wheat; yet how many of them are Jesus' brothers? the wheat...sons of the kingdom? less than 20,000?

      This is no harvest, but a sad machination of Satan , who has been fooling millions of JW truth-seekers since 1935.

      "Unless you eat my flesh, and drink my blood, you have no part with me." (John 6) Jesus says plainly.

      All here...before the Memorial, even this week, why not read Gospel of John...and read it in a better , unbiased Bible as far as Jesus' words go, as Franz plagiarized John's gospel. (more on that another time)

      If you read it front to back (takes about 1 1/2 hours), you will see immediately what is true, and please...pray several times through for the Spirit of Truth to teach you as you go, opening your eyes to Jesus' message.

      I guarantee, if you are a lover of truth, and appreciate Jesus, and his Father wanting you to be 'One' with them....

      You WILL go out and buy a little bottle of wine and some whole wheat crackers and you will enjoy the Memorial at home with God and Christ right there with you as you are praying. The tears will be flowing brothers and sisters; you will be born again .

      You'll have the time of your life;unforgettable....you are going to receive the blessing you've been missing as a JW all your life, but something that you really wanted all your life; the witness of the spirit. Real, powerful, life-restoring, and fulfilling.

      You will feel like you have died, and now...come back to life. Rom. 6:11

      This is what the spirit does, brings you back to life, and you will feel its power welling up into your heart, and you will KNOW your sins are totally forgiven, and you will be free, never threatened or worried about this or that, because you will soar with the spirit.

      Trust me on this.

      Read this: John 3:1-8...and 4:14

      Enjoy your worshipful thoughts and prayers today all.

      The memorial brings out the best in those born of the spirit; so special...the anticipation of the communion meal, and a special night of prayer to God and his Son, and communication (both ways) as they empower us, and encourage us to continue the witness, and be joyful as we see others now among JW ranks begin to sprout up out of hearts holding fertile, faith-filled soil. (Matt. 13:23)

      Your heart will, too...cry out, "Abba!", and you may begin to do as I did after I received the spirit years ago, I began to call God , 'Father'...instead of Jehovah, all the time. (Rom.8) But that's ok, too.

      Oneness, intimacy. (John 17:1-5)

      • Reply by John S on 2017-03-25 09:19:06

        There actually are many more prophetic realizations which must occur before Jesus returns are there not? So, there is no way the GB is being truthful:

        "The end can come any day now brothers!!!"

        But consider the following prophecies from Revelation:

        Satan's return (and his allies) at his defeat in the Heaven War

        Babylon's judgment

        Two Witnesses (huge witness to scriptural truth and Christ's reality which appears to enlighten all Christians befuddled as to what is Bible truth)

        8th King

        Wild Beast worship;

        Compulsion to take the mark of the Beast

        Round-up and persecution of all Christians

        Who knows how long all these major prophesies will take to fulfill?

        We haven't seen anything of the above yet occurring.

        The 'faithful slave' of the GB is trying to pull the wool blanket over their followers' eyes..."Sleep now children....we'll take good care of you....just leave your wallets and your brains with us...."

        (Sorry , can't help being bitter about their crimes against Christ and mankind.)

  • Comment by John S on 2017-03-22 08:23:08

    It is important to keep our faith in Jesus' return, and the signs that would herald that coming. This popular trend among JW's that see the GB as toothless dogs that have indeed returned to the vomit of materialism and Pharisaical conduct, but now start to doubt God's interest in the present plight of the world and the need to end it.....by saying, "all things will continue on as they have been..." and that Christ is now very far off, and actually just playing tricks on us all....

    Doubt. Doubt has seized their hearts. Be careful.

    The great prophecies of Matt. 24,25, and Luke 21, Mark 13, Rev. 5-22

    "Keep looking, keep awake, for you do not know when the appointed time is." Mark 13:33

    I have listened and argued this point (above, that all these prophesies were fulfilled in the 1st century) for years until I see it's obvious that God's spirit is needed for hope, faith, and love to water our hearts for the spirit to reside in us.

    Bitterness, envy, dissatisfaction over destroyed hopes (WT 'food') has caused many JW's to stop believing in God at all, and his Son as coming to stop evil and human suffering/ignorance/self-destruction.

    Take care to weed the heart of these doubts, brothers and sisters, and read your Bibles to see we are at the end, and are seeing wickedness bloom, and mature. Ps. 92:7

    WTBTS included.

    This is not the time to throw out the Bible prophecies as wrong, as Matthew, Luke , Mark, and The Revelation speak aplenty about world-wide events, not a tiny purge of rebellious Judaism.

    "Great Tribulation such has not occurred since the world's beginning"

    "Take peace away from the earth

    "Good news will be preached in all the earth for a witness to all the nations, (All Christianity was needed to accomplish this for the past 2000 years; not just JW's false gospel)...and then the end will come."

    "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds, and his angels with him..."

    "Put your sickle in and reap, because the hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is thoroughly ripe." Rev. 14:15

    Anyone can see we are at the end, just look at the 6 o'clock news

    Human misery world-wide, and the failure of earth's ability to overcome pollution, demolition of resources, extinction of plant and animal species, oceans poisoned and dying, ozone-layer destroyed over Northern hemisphere(nuclear atmospheric testing surely), and just keep the cameras rolling....

    Undeniable ..."anguish of nations, not knowing the way out.."

    If we visit third world countries, personally or by remote tv viewing and see reality.....

    Only a heart case-hardened in doubt will try to destroy other's faith in God's promises to and concern for the down-trodden.

    No, Jesus is coming...believe it, and WT and ALL churches will have to give their personal accounting for the 'mina' Jesus gives them. (Luke 19:24-27)

    So will each one of us.

    If our faith has become weak, pray for God to 'give us more faith', and each of us must do more Bible-reading and praying...or we all will fall.

    "Keep awake!" the Lord has repeatedly commanded his followers.

    Get away from WT, and their faith-destroying, 'spiritual food'....which has made their members spiritually anemic, and full of doubt....to the point many are now avowed atheists.(Luke 19:24)

    Pray for each other here, that we do not fall in this dark time of faith-destroying machinations of Satan. (Jas 1:5-8)

    Please accept this not as personal criticism, but a warning to all about this terrible trend amomg the JW ranks these past few years. I saw it started right after 1975 crashed, and it is an avalanche now of Christians falling to faith-destroying constructs and false-prophets of Satan, who have come from the ranks of JW's too, maybe even more so than even other churches.

    Shocking; as at one time it appeared the JW's was the last hope for truth to be revealed. Yet now that religion has been over-reached by Satan.

    But not all the individuals in it. Many have outgrown and survived WT and are now climbing up to be re-born into the sons of the kingdom, and are shining as illuminators in the world- fulfilling the true role as Christ's brothers are foretold to do.

    Matt. 24:45-47

    Pray for one another, that we do not fall under these tests foretold to refine the brothers of Christ.

    • Reply by Rufus on 2017-03-22 08:47:38

      Thank you for laying out your concerns and appeal for prayer, John S.

      Your comments go to the heart of the dilemma: what can I do to maintain my faith in God's promises and his Kingdom, while not falling victim to Satan's wiles in having turned the organization into an ecclesiastical hierarchy, whose sins mount up and up to the point that God's people must "Get out of her." (Rev.18:4) ?

      While listening to the CLAM meeting last night, I glanced over the summer convention program "DO NOT QUIT", with its air of desperation. And the 2017 Yearbook, wondering if this will be the Memorial where partakers exceed 0.1% of the attendees, as in less than 20 million passive observers with more than 20 thousand partakers. Seems likely.

      And I considered the campaign brochure so devoid of the reason to celebrate the memorial in the first place.

      Your appeal to keep faith in God's promises comes at a critical time, hard to deal with.

    • Reply by Tadua on 2017-03-22 09:06:54

      Hi John S
      I couldn't agree more with your comment 'It is important to keep our faith in Jesus’ return'. The message the review was trying to convey was that Jesus return is coming. We need to stay awake even as Jesus counselled, but by the same token we should not be pulled here and there jumping on every little event otherwise we would become 'professional foreteller's of events' something which the Bible condemns. Rather we should keep alert and patiently wait on Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ, and keep working on our christian qualities and actions. When they bring about Armageddon, just as those alive in Noah's day knew when the Flood came, we will know.
      As you say 'Doubt, doubt has seized their hearts'. It is due in large part to trying live a life while constantly having expectations built up by false predictions only to have them dashed in a repeating cycle. Crying wolf so often according to the tale ends up sadly with many no longer willing to heed the cry of wolf. Jesus warned us against being taken in by this kind of hype, but its so easy to be taken along by the emotional euphoria, and focus on these things, instead of "shining as illuminators" as Jesus instructed us.
      I guess at the end of the day it comes down to the heart motivation. Do we want to serve God regardless or will we tire out and fail to endure to the end. There are many witnesses who are such for selfish reasons. There are many who have lost their faith and often their christian qualities as a result but are trapped. There are many righteous hearted ones who are blind like we were to the sins of the organisation, and there are a growing number who are sighing and groaning over the detestable things being done. If we are sighing and groaning we have to speak out.

  • Comment by Leonardo Josephus on 2017-03-22 10:16:17

    Thanks for the review Tadua. Personally I find the content of the study book so far from real truth that I look forward to studying Jesus the way, the truth,the life, whenever that is. Sadly I have already picked up some strange changes in that publication compared to version 1 (the Greatest Man book).
    Do the brothers really believe all the things being presented in the Kingdom book ? What you point out looks so obvious, so what is going on in the mind of the writer (s) when it comes to parts such as you have commented on in Isaiah 52.
    Keep up the fine comments everybody.

  • Comment by eve04 on 2017-03-22 11:01:18

    I agree with all the comments because I see me in them all. I too believe we are in the last days. Yes, things may not be as bad as they were 100s of years ago, but they are bad. Even when we watch the News, everything is historic level, never were the massacres of children in schools or genocides after genocides in some countries they will not call it a genocide even though it is because other nations do not want to get involved that was according to a documentary I watched. The moral decay and on and on. Jesus did say in Luke 17:28 there would be a sense of normalcy, so we do want to keep on the watch but as mention not look for every little thing as a sign (as I use to do) That being said if we are truly trying to follow the Christ it doesn’t matter when he comes because hopefully we will be living a life the is reflective of a true Christian.
    Digging for what Gems-telling us the gems
    Jesus again cleansed a temple a temple where is the scriptural reference to that?

    The whole scenario of the neighbor watching is ridiculous. I remember when I lived with a sister and we were pioneering are neighbors thought just because they never seen men come in and out we were lesbians. Also, if the neighbor does not KNOW you just watching you doesn’t mean your moral or if they have not had a conversation with you doesn’t mean you don’t get involved in politics, why because I don’t have a sign in the yard, most people don’t ok enough it just a ridiculous scenario and like Tadua said self-congratulatory. And as far as living under Kingdom rule nobody ever believes that when you tell them that at the door, that is truly something ONLY we believe, ok not me :) If they really believed it why is more much more credit given in our publications about Jesus. In the whole 33 years I have been in the organization we have only had 1 drama about Jesus or am I wrong?
    Thanks, and keep the articles coming its truly where I get my good studying in. Without it who knows…….

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