Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems – ‘Learn from Your Mistakes’
Jonah 3:1-3 – Jonah learned from his mistakes (ia 114 par. 22-23)
“Medice, cur ate ipsum” (Latin),
“Latre, therapeuson seauton” (Greek),
“Physician, cure (heal) thyself” (English), Luke 4:23.
This is a Latin proverb quoted by Jesus. Why a proverb in three languages (for emphasis!).
Because to the writers and authorisers of this meeting and its material, (the Governing Body a.k.a the Faithful and Discreet Slave) we say the same: “Physician, cure thyself”.
The error of the calculation of using the type/antitype of the Seven Times from 607 BC to 1914 AD has been known to be in error since at least the early 1980’s. Yet it is still promulgated as truth, despite overwhelming evidence from the Bible itself that this is an inaccurate understanding. There is no antitype of the Seven Times that befell Nebuchadnezzar. Even if there was, Jerusalem did not fall in 607 BCE, but rather 587 BCE.[I] Armageddon did not come as foretold by the Organization in 1914, 1925, or 1975. Yet we are told Armageddon is just round the corner. It is imminent. We are even given a new interpretation of the fulfillment of Matthew 24:34—the “overlapping generations” doctrine—to provide us with a fuzzy new deadline. (As an aside, have you found either (a) any witness that is prepared to defend their belief in this teaching, and/or (b) any witness that can explain how it works?)
What about the Organization’s failure to deal with the growing scandal of child sexual abuse. Like the proverbial ostrich, we seem to be sticking our collective head in the sand, hoping the problem will just go away.[ii]
We therefore implore the Governing Body “learn from your mistakes and turn to a course of obedient service to God” by only teaching clearly accurate truths from the Bible. (ia 114 par. 23)
We also encourage all the many good-hearted Witnesses who are real lovers of God and truth to take personal responsibility for their own salvation. In doing so, you will avoid perpetuating the mistake made by hundreds of millions of other fellow Christians around the world who also abdicate their responsibility to the leaders of their religion by following the dictates of imperfect men, many of whom have agendas of their own rather than the agenda of our King Christ Jesus.
Obadiah 12 – What lesson can we learn from God’s condemnation of Edom (jd112 par. 4-5)
In the reference in paragraph 5 it says: ”imagine that a Christian offended you or had a problem with one of your relatives”. Why only a Christian? Why not a Muslim or an Atheist or a Buddhist, etc.? Because earlier the reference says: “the way I deal with my brothers” thereby implying that only witnesses are Christians! There are many non-JWs who are acts like real Christians while sadly, there are many Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not reflect the nature of the Christ by their deeds and interactions with others.
Yes, indeed, try to “”imagine that a Christian offended you or had a problem with one of your relatives” because he had doubts and expressed them to you, or offended you by questioning whether the Governing Body truly has the backing of Jehovah and Jesus Christ?
“Will you harbor resentment, not putting the matter behind you or not attempting to settle it?” or rather perhaps by personally researching God’s Word yourself, you could see why the fellow brother has such views and even if you still disagree, you agree not to make an issue out of it.
Would it be Christian to “act coolly, avoiding his company, or speaking negatively about him” perhaps to others saying that he or she is “mentally diseased”?[iii]
Would it really be Christian for “you to reflect the Edomite’s spirit and rejoice over the brother’s difficulty” because such a one may be unjustly removed from the congregation and no longer be able to fellowship with those he has counted as lifelong friends?
“How would God want you to act?” How would Jesus expect you to act? With love, or with Pharisaic obedience to a scripture that is misapplied out of context in an effort to maintain control?
Kingdom Rules (chapter 21 par. 8-14)
Re: Paragraphs 8 & 9
In Matthew 24:29-31 “Was Jesus also referring to a supernatural manifestation in the heavens? Perhaps he was.” Both cited references (Isaiah 13:9-11, Joel 2:1,30,31) appear to be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC and 70 AD respectively, but Jesus is not referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in those three verses in Matthew, but to the single (not composite) sign occurring at his presence and events relating to it.
What though can we learn from a closer examination of the scriptures?
The first point from Matthew 24:29 is to note that when it mentions “tribulation” it does not appear to be referring to the tribulation from Matthew 24:21, but rather the immediately preceding verses Matthew 24:23-28. Here Jesus warned the early Christians not to be persuaded to believe that Jesus’ presence had occurred without clear undisputed evidence visible to all. The word translated “tribulation” is thlipsis in Greek; it carries the sense of feeling internally or mentally pressured, or the feeling of being hemmed in with no escape. Does this refer to the pressure to believe in false Christ’s, which would “mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones”? Or is it the tribulation or trials that Christians undergo as part of the refining process to make them worthy which Jesus spoke of at Matthew 10:38? Or is it something else?
Adding to this is Matthew 24:30, where Jesus possibly quoted the words of Daniel 7:13 when he said, “they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven”. In that verse though he first speaks of “the sign of the Son of man” appearing in heaven. What exactly this “sign” will be, is not stated in the scriptures, but it is interesting to note that the word translated “sign” (Greek: sémeion) means typically a miraculous sign, or one that clearly distinguishes the person or event from all others. This would therefore need to be supernatural given that all natural signs could be confused with other causes. Jesus uses two words to emphasize he is not speaking metaphorically: “And then will appear” (Greek: phainó, “to shine, become visible, show“) and “they will see” (Greek: horaó, “See, look upon, experience”). While both can be used metaphorically, the context doesn’t support that understanding since “all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief” when this sign appears and when they see Jesus coming in the clouds.
Matthew 24:31 shows that it is not until this time, when Jesus has indisputably arrived, “coming on the clouds of heaven [sky]” and is visible to mankind, that he “will gather his chosen ones” from all over the earth. This indicates the gathering is done at one time, rather than over a long period of time. Further, why would “all the tribes of the earth beat themselves in lamentation” over things they have not seen and are unaware of. Thus, the teaching of the organization that Jesus has been invisibly present since 1914 cannot be accurate. The Organization acknowledges that Matthew 24:30 is a future event, separate from the 1914 presence, yet they claim that the chosen have been gathered since 1919. So they create two “presences” of Jesus: an invisible one in 1914 and a visible one in the future, yet tie the gathering to first one. This thoroughly confuses the Scriptural account.
Mark 13:23-27 contains additional information. In verse 23 we are exhorted to “watch out” the Greek term for which is to be observant, and take heed. Why? Because Jesus has “told you all things beforehand.” [Greek: warned, foretold].
Luke 21:25-28 conveys many of the points already mentioned above about Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In addition, verse 26 talks about “men become faint from fear and expectation” and it is these ones who “will see the son of man coming” (vs. 27). Verse 28 then makes a contrast that it is the chosen ones (Jesus disciples) who will “lift [their] heads up, because [their] deliverance is getting near.” The Greek word translated as “deliverance” (Greek: apolytrosis) means “redemption – release effected by payment of a ransom”. So, Christ’s faithful followers can lift their heads up, not for deliverance from tribulation, or the anguish of the nations, but because the time for the application of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice is about to take place for them.
Gog of Magog (paragraph 12)
How would you answer? Is Gog of Magog
- Prince of Demon Origin[v]
- 8th Demon Prince[vi]
- Satan the Devil[vii]
- A coalition of nations[viii]
Gog of Magog has been all of the above at different times according to the organization.
Does Jehovah change his mind so drastically and communicate it so frequently? Titus 1:2 states “God, who cannot lie”. So how can these teachings be from God?
Magog was a place in central Turkey in ancient times. When we examine the passage in Ezekiel 38 we find the following interesting points. For a considerable time after the death of Alexander the Great, the Seleucid dynasty ruled this area of Turkey, and were a number of the Kings of the North foretold in Daniel. Antiochus IV came in 168 BC and ransacked Judea and the Temple.
Ezekiel 38:10-12 talks about “Is it to get a big spoil that you are coming in?” Antiochus IV offered pigs on the Temple altar and forbade Jewish worship. This provoked the Maccabean revolt. In it the Maccabean’s turned on the Hellenized Jews as part of their attempt to restore what they viewed as true worship. They also used guerrilla tactics against the army of Antiochus in the mountainous region of Judea to great effect.
Ezekiel 38:18 talks of the “ground of Israel”. Ezekiel 38:21 says “and I will call forth against him throughout all my mountainous region a sword.” (See also Ezekiel 39:4) It then goes on to say “Against his own brother the sword of each one will come to be”. Was this the fulfillment of the prophecy? We cannot and should not say so. However, also by the same token, we cannot use it as an antitype to apply to today, just because we desire it to be so, as the organization and other apocalyptic Christian groups do. In this case, it certainly is best to wait for Jehovah to make clear its fufillment and not guess, or make false prophetic interpretations.
[ii] Just an interesting side point. Ostriches have had this bad reputation since Roman times. However, in reality they do not hide their heads, they run at the sign of danger. It seems the reputation has come about because of their habit of eating sand and pebbles to help their food digestion.
[iii] WT 2011 7/15 p16 par. 6 “Well, apostates are ‘mentally diseased,’”
[iv] WT 1880 June p107
[v] WT 1932 6/15 p179 par. 7
[vi] WT 1953 10/1 par. 6
[vii] WT 1954 12/1 p733 par. 22
[viii] WT 2015 5/15 pp29-30