[From ws4/17 June 12-18]
“The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice.” – De 32:4.
What Christian would disagree with the thoughts expressed in the title and theme text of this article? These are true thoughts expressed in God’s Word.
The title comes from Genesis 18:25, Abraham’s words when negotiating with Jehovah God over the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Reading through the entire article and its continuation in next week’s study, we could hardly be blamed for continuing to think that Jehovah is still the “judge of all the earth” just as he was in Abraham’s day.
We would be wrong, however.
Things have changed.
“. . .For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, 23 in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” (Joh 5:22, 23)
Some, not wanting to let go of the thought conveyed in this article, would argue that Jehovah continues to be the judge, but that he judges through Jesus. A judge by proxy as it were.
This is not what John is saying.
To illustrate: There is a man who owns and runs a company. He has the final word on all decisions. He alone decides who gets hired and who gets fired. Then one day, this man decides to retire. He still owns the company, but has decided to appoint his only son to take his place running it. All employees are directed to take all matters to the son. The son now has the final word on all decisions. He alone will decide who gets hired and who gets fired. He is no middle manager who must consult with upper management on major decisions. The buck stops with him.
How would the owner of the company feel if the employees failed to show the same respect, loyalty, and obedience to the son that they showed to him previously? How would the son, who now has full power to fire, treat employees who failed to show him the honor that is his due?
This is the position that Jesus has held for 2,000 years. (Mt 28:18) Yet, in this Watchtower article, the Son is not honored as the judge of all the earth. His name is not even mentioned—not even once! There is nothing to tell the reader that the situation in Abraham’s time has changed; nothing to say that the present “judge of all the earth” is Jesus Christ. The second article in this series does nothing to correct this situation either.
According to the apostles inspired words at John 5:22, 23, the reason that Jehovah has decided not to judge anyone at all, but to leave all the judging in the hands of the Son, is so that we may honor the Son. By honoring the Son, we continue to honor the Father, but if we think we can honor the Father without giving due honor to the Son, we are sure to be—to understate the matter exceedingly—disappointed.
In the Congregation
Under this subtitle, we get to the crux of these two study articles. The Governing Body is concerned that problems within the congregation not result in a loss of membership. This is dressed up as being loyal to Jehovah, and those who are stumbled by the actions of others are urged not to abandon Jehovah. However, from the context it is patently evident that by “Jehovah” they mean the Organization.
Take the experience of brother Willi Diehl as a case in point. (See pars. 6, 7.) He was unjustly treated, yet he continued to remain a part of the Organization and as paragraph 7 concludes: “His loyalty to Jehovah was rewarded” by getting back his privileges within the organization. With this type of indoctrination, it is inconceivable for the average Witness to imagine a scenario where a brother like Diehl could abandon the Organization while remaining loyal to Jehovah. My daughter, while trying to comfort a sister who is dying of cancer, was asked if she still went to meetings. When the sister learned that she was not, she told her flat out that she wasn’t going to make it through Armageddon and broke off all further communication. To her, not going to the meetings of JW.org was tantamount to abandoning God. Such scare tactics are intended to reinforce loyalty to men.
Joseph—Victim of Injustice
Under this subheading, the article tries to draw a parallel between gossip in the congregation and the possibility that Joseph never spoke ill of his brothers. The article sugar-coats the eventual exchange between Joseph and his errant siblings, when in fact he put them through a most difficult, though thoroughly justified trial by fire.
While Joseph’s life can provide many fine object lessons for Christians today, it seems a bit of a stretch to use it to discourage gossip. However, the counsel not to engage in slanderous gossip is fine. Unfortunately, it appears that if the subject of the gossip is someone who is drawing away from the Organization, then all these rules go right out the window. And if that someone is then labelled an apostate, it’s open season for gossip.
A case in point happened to me just this past weekend when I was revealing to an older friend who has served in the foreign field and labored as a circuit overseer for many years—ergo, an exceptionally experienced brother—that the Organization was affiliated with the United Nations as an NGO for a 10-year period until caught out by a newspaper article in the UK Guardian. He refused to believe this and suggested that it was the work of apostates. He actually wondered if Raymond Franz was behind it. I marveled at how ready he was to slander the name of another human being without any evidence whatsoever against him.
Any one of us who’s stopped going to meetings knows just how powerful the rumor mill is, and the powers that be do nothing to squelch such easy and widespread slander, since it only serves to hamper those whom they see as a dangerous threat. This is nothing new, of course. Slanderous gossip was effective at covering great distances long before the days of Facebook and Twitter. For instance, when Paul arrived at Rome, the Jews he met with said:
“But we think it proper to hear from you what your thoughts are, for truly as regards this sect it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against.”” (Ac 28:22)
Remember Your Most Important Relationship
What is your most important relationship? Would you answer in line with what the article teaches?
“we must cherish and guard our relationship with Jehovah. Never should we allow the imperfections of our brothers to separate us from the God we love and worship. (Rom. 8:38, 39)” – par. 16
Of course, our relationship with our father is vital. However, the article is obscuring a key element to that all important relationship, without which there can be no relationship. The context of the cited reference holds the answer. Let’s go back three verses in Romans.
“Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 Just as it is written: “For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we have been accounted as sheep for slaughtering.” 37 On the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through the one who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers 39 nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:35-39)
The reference The Watchtower cites to speak of not losing a relationship with Jehovah is actually speaking about a relationship with Jesus, something rarely mentioned in the publications of JW.org. Yet, without it, a relationship with Jehovah is impossible, for the Bible clearly teaches that “no one comes to the Father except through [Jesus]”. (John 14:6)
This is yet another in a long line of articles whose main purpose is to cement loyalty to the Organization. By equating the Organization with Jehovah and sidelining the Greater Moses, men are attempting to lead us astray from the teachings of the Christ, substituting their own brand of Christianity.
“However, brothers, concerning the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you 2 not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either by an inspired statement or by a spoken message or by a letter appearing to be from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. 3 Let no one lead you astray in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I used to tell you these things?” (2Th 2:1-5)
We must bear in mind that a common definition of “god” is someone who demands unconditional obedience and who punishes those who disobey.
Sometimes, I can’t help myself but to conclude that the WT Organization is an expert in resurrecting the religion of the old Israel/Judah, making it so relevant in the present to the extent that it even overshadows the teachings of the Christ. Dear me.
Paul even said at Heb8:13 that the former was obsolete,indeed knowing that why always harp on old covenant ways and teachings? Unless you don’t actually believe in jesus?
Yes, wild olive. Nothing wrong with WT sharing biblical accounts that make up the old covenant since we can learn from them (Rom 15:4). But if there’s already an instruction from our Master that would run contrary to the Law including its application then BY ALL MEANS they have the obligation to show the updated ones. Emphasizing the obsolete would not make up the “truth”. Problem with the WT is they are so meticulous in pointing out the WT new light which supersedes their old light while mum when it comes to new teachings of the Christ. Consider the scriptures… Read more »
God’s consecrated people do well to refrain from marriage unless they find themselves continually tormented with desire for sexual intercourse, in which case they should marry. For those of the younger or older who have need to marry on this score, let them dispose of the matter in candor and honesty shunning the blight, the delusions and illusions of ‘love’ so called and courtship, which bring reproach on the holy name of Jehovah. The Golden Age 1937 January 27 edition Today’s Governing Body conveniently omits the fact that the organization itself was responsible for the treatment of Willi Diehl by… Read more »
They omitted that reference on purpose and made it appear that it was the fault of some of the brothers who shunned them and not the GB/WT. What a shrewd way to change the impression!
As usual, you bring out very good and valid points that our Watchtower kinda leaves out in order to support its point or agenda. I’m becoming a regular visitor to Beroeans Pickets site. Thank you
I must ask though, when you say:
“We must bear in mind that a common definition of “god” is someone who demands unconditional obedience and who punishes those who disobey.”
Where do you find this common definition? I find it no where.
Has anyone noticed a portion of Paragraph 14 that reads: “Loyalty to Jehovah and to our brothers will protect us from making such a mistake?” The paragraph did not show any scriptural proof to support such claim on loyalty. How about loyalty to Jesus Christ? Likewise, there could be some conflict between loyalty to God and the brothers in certain situations. Joseph’s not mentioning about his brothers crime against him does not necessarily mean he was just being loyal to them, isn’t it? It could be that he was just secretive or perhaps he had already forgiven them one way… Read more »
A valid point, Mailman.
What is worrisome is that the brothers in the congregation don’t take pains in validating the the points in the article. Could it be more of laziness to do more research on their part? Accepting everything hook line and sinker feels more comfortable for them.
What is even more worrisome is the mindset of not checking and blindly following without question,is the same mindset as ISIS. They follow blindly what their leaders say,without question,don’t get me wrong,I don’t accuse the brotherhood of what ISIS does,but eerily the mindset is the same,probly one reason why “extremism ” was levelled at the org by the russian government?
I now know why I did not raise my hand for once in the meeting to participate in the WT Study: I was not able to read this article before going to the meetings earlier. 🙂
You said, ” I like your teaching by example style ?”
I’ve adopted this style as a way to drive the point home, a wooden stake through the heart if you will. As I have expressed before, there is no reasoning doctrine or organizational behavior with active Witnesses.
Soooooo, i just feed it back (doctrine) to them in spades which inevitably leads to major heartburn!
Good day to you!
Regarding W Dielh life experiences, in para 6,7. The watchtower failed to include an important sentence which is related in his life experience article of watchtower November 1991. “We knew, however, that getting married was not unscriptural, so we took refuge in prayer and put our trust in Jehovah.” This next sentence from his life experience of Nov 1991, is not included in the watchtower Study. “Actually, this treatment did not reflect the Society’s view. It was simply a result of the misapplication of organizational guidelines.” Note also Melba’s Barry’s experience ” In 1940, Lloyd’s mother visited Australia, and Lloyd… Read more »
You said, “They just seem blindly adamant at sidelineing Jesus,I can’t help but wonder where this is all going?”
Have a gander at chapter two of II Thessalonians in the KJV and then key in on verse 11 and see what you think. Then for grins and giggles, look it up on JW.org
Yeah it would be a giggle but the warning is clear,believe lies and that’s what’s going to reap judgement,I wonder how many dead JWS there is going to be when Jesus arrives??
At the KH, it was amazing to hear outpouring of support and sympathy from the audience for Brother Diehl when he was finally vindicated. Every Jdub agreed Brother Diehl was right and headquarters mistaken. It was refreshing to hear audience alive and kicking wt butt. But all this may have been because they felt they were given permission by wt admission of a mistaken view. However, I note something missing – there was no mention of apologies from “headquarters” or the “Many [who] no longer greeted us, treating us like disfellowshipped persons.” To close the case and show sincerity in… Read more »
Quite right. Apologies are never forthcoming from them. Their concern is only with their position, status, and privileges. That is evident from next week’s study which I’ve just finished reviewing and which will be going up on the site by 6 PM EDT today.
I put this question to an elder that I have been wrangling with for a year thru email and his answer was, wait for it, yes, the leadership has apologized before. “For example, [Rutherford] once made some dogmatic statements as to what Christians could expect in 1925. When events failed to support his expectations, he humbly told the Brooklyn Bethel family that he had made a fool of himself” *** w93 12/1 p. 18 par. 17 Examples of Humility to Imitate *** My reply was – Rutherford may have apologized but the GB does not seem to have followed his… Read more »
Since when did the WT apologize for incorrect, faulty interpretations, let alone wrong judicial decisions on brothers?
If our Lord Jesus Christ asked for forgiveness for those who judged him to death, the Governing Body had done nothing to express remorse for wrongly crafted doctrines that have caused damaged to obedient members of the organization.
Oh Really, many in our Hall spoke of the injustice. It was an unusual choice of the GB to include this experience. He equated his treatment to being disfellowshipped. When you think of his timeline of events, disfellowshipping wasn’t being practiced in the watchtower society until 1951. Yet to describe his treatment he uses that expression.
Don’t hold your breath to get an apology, they will say their were rogue individuals, who acted independently even at the highest levels. You can read about it , I think in the 1975 yearbook.
Yes. He committed all judgement to Jesus. And we will judge with Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:2 NLT  Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? And thank. goodness for this. Each person that will judge has been through the experiences, trails and temptations that all of mankind has which is perfect for allowing them to know what it was like to experience what they did. Today we have people who make decisions for things they know nothing about.… Read more »
“Amen, Amen, and….Amen!
Nice one watchtower , good article , and brings comfort to the many thousands of brothers and sisters , who have been slandered , accused , shunned , and disfellowshipped , for standing up for real bible truth and real faith in god and his son , you’ve cast us off just like Joseph s brothers did to him , however as you said we will never allow the imperfections of others to separate us from gods love ” that is in Christ jesus our Lord ” ps italics mine ,
By the way , it’s jesus Christ that identifies the faithful slave and that’s at his coming in judgement ,
You mean the slave doesn’t bear witness about itself? Now there’s a revelation. 🙂
That’s right meleti , not even Paul did that , 1 corinthians 4 :2 to 5 ,
The governing body is the faithful and discreet slave!
How do you know that?
The governing body said so!
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!”
Wished I’d said that…
Another on point article, thank you meleti.
2 Timothy 4:1- I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
Going by the previous comments and their tone,I just wonder why we all here even bother considering anything dished up by the GB as truth? They just seem blindly adamant at sidelineing Jesus,I can’t help but wonder where this is all going? We live in the most enlightened time ever,information of all types is easily accessed,more bible study and commentary materiel is available than ever before,a person can carry an entire library in their mobile phone,and the stubborn refusal to use any of it ,or use it in a very narrow way ,to expand spiritual insight can only be the… Read more »
Wild Olive, if you consider that the official teaching of the GB for 70 some odd years was that the number of spirit anointed Christians was full, the result is that they attempted to close a door/invitation that Christ was holding open. I consider that none other than a direct operation of Satan to stall things and work in direct opposition to Christ. Thankfully what our Lord wants, he always gets. So, despite the Witnesses grand failure, Jesus calls and chooses any who he desires. But that one teaching convinced me that some of the Witnesses’ teachings are in fact… Read more »
Hi Yehorakam Yes I believe you are right when you say that there is a demonic influence at work in the teachings of the org. My awakening started in 2008,it took me 3 yrs to accept the fact that just because the name Jehovah is used doesn’t mean that satan can’t drive a wedge in somewhere,as I put it in writing I can’t believe how stupid and blind I was! So my question in line with my previous comment,by discussing these wrong beliefs that demonstrate to serve satans interests,are we still under a “deceiving spirit”? Are we truly in Christ… Read more »
Hi Wild Olive. Your questions to a large extent enter into the area of personal decisions and how those decisions affect your conscience. So, my thoughts should not be what influences your decision. Rather, what is written in Scripture and how you see that affecting your relationship with God and Christ is. Paul said: “we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ.” I don’t think Paul was “clinging” to what was wrong by bringing up certain false ideas… Read more »
You said, “Going by the previous comments and their tone,I just wonder why we all here even bother considering anything dished up by the GB as truth?”
Because some of it is *truth!
*let the reader use discernment
Great article Meleti. Any WT article that removes Jesus from his rightful, God-given position should be shot down as you have done. I’m glad I don’t read that garbage anymore. Sorry for the strong word, but I’m sensitive of those that would reduce the glory of our groom, King, Judge, master and father on such a regular basis. Keep up the good work!
Also, awhile ago I remember posting that I was going to start addressing my dad by his first name.
Belated update –
He didn’t take it well.
Asked me ( in a kind of huff ) why after all these years I am now calling him by his first name.
I asked, “why does it bother you?”
He replied, “it doesn’t feel right”
I said, ” wonder if Jehovah feels the same way?”
Coulda heard a pin drop…
Wow! There’s a great Nathanesque element to that.
Lately ( over the past 6 mos. or so ) I’ve been telling my wife that I expect her loyalty and that she needs to obey me, …even if she doesn’t understand why.
Need I say more?
I like your teaching by example style 🙂
Thanks Meleti nice review, enjoyed the opening use of John 5:22,23. Great verses to remember. At John 5: 21 For just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them alive, so the Son also makes alive whomever he wants to.” Notice it says” the son makes alive whomever he wants to” he does have a will of his own, and the Father authorizes Jesus to act according to that will. Think of Lazarus, his words when he says” his the resurrection and life” his choice to raise whoever he wants not Gods. And yet it’s how Jehovah wants… Read more »
Such a powerful article. I often wonder how did I miss these scriptures. Even when I would do my personal bible reading, it was still with what I was learning form WT. Now that I read apart from the publications and live on this site, things are so much clearer to me. I did not see how the example of Joseph had anything to do with gossip. Like in times past even if I didn’t quite understand something I would somehow make it fit according to the publications, but deep down it would never make sense to me. I would… Read more »
Thank you, eve04.
Some powerful scriptures, Meliti. I will be doing my best to bring them out at the meeting.
Martha, well said at the end. we are all dependent on Jesus mercy. But there is no choice. Truth is one of the most valuable things we can cling onto. Justice goes wrong because people cannot get at the truth. Corruption happens because people do not care about truth. If we do not stand for truth, then what do we stand for ?
! Timothy 2:4 encourages us all to reflect God’s will and help others come to an accurate knowledge of truth.
Powerful words, Meleti, and backed up by scripture. There’s no higher authority. It comes to something when saying that “Jesus is our judge” in conversation causes suspicious looks. It’s happened to me recently. It reminds me of Jesus’ words when he said that his sheep would hear his voice and recognise him, but they would not recognise the voice of a stranger. While we are recognising Jesus’ voice and accepting his true role, others react to that role as a stranger’s voice. Whose sheep are they, then? What makes me sad is that potentially, those who are so intent on… Read more »
“All authority has been given to Christ.” Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Phill 2:20 …9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at… Read more »
Nice comment Martha. There might be repeated but brief moments of doubt, largely due to the human tendency to feel confident when there are many others that share your beliefs. If you have awaken, you’re largely on your own, so it’s normal that doubts surge from time to time. For that reason our Father has given us the recorded words of his son. He even commanded from the heavens: : “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved. Listen to him.” Listening to him (not well intentioned Witnesses) will remove doubts as to whether or not you’re on… Read more »
Hi Yehorakam. You said: “Oh, and my personal belief is that we sometimes worry too much about those we call our “brothers and sisters” that have been misguided.” Exactly my understanding. Let’s be rational about it. Those “other sheep” witnesses have all their thoughts and expectations towards getting to the paradise earth. I believe they will most probably make it when the 1000 years are over. Together with many others who are now atheists, Muslims etc. Most of them do not miss the gift from God they are currently rejecting in their voluntary blindness. I have heard witnesses saying: “Huh,… Read more »