Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems – “Seek Jehovah before the day of his anger?”
Zephaniah 2:2,3 (w01 2/15 pg 18-19 para 5-7)
In paragraph 5 it make the claim that seeking Jehovah today involves being “in association with his earthly organization”. There is no scriptural backing cited nor to be found in the Bible for this claim. All we are encouraged to do is to gather together with fellow-minded Christians to incite one another to love and fine works. (Heb 10:24, 25)
Haggai 2:9 – In what ways was the glory of Zerubbabel’s temple greater than that of Solomon’s Temple? (w07 12/1 p9 para 3)
A better question would be the actual question given in the reference: “In what ways could the glory of the later house become greater than that of the former?”
Zerubbabel’s temple was shorter than that of Solomon because of a decree by King Darius. However this temple was reconstructed by Herod the Great, starting in 19 BC and in doing so was greatly enlarged and made more beautiful.[i] Its beauty and size is remarked upon by Josephus[ii].
Zephaniah wrote his book about 30 years before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in Zedekiah’s 11th year (587 BC). As the context to this verse shows, this was “the day of Jehovah” that was “near”. There was to be a day of reckoning with those continuing to worship Baal, those trading with deception, those worshiping Jehovah and Baal and so forth.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem were going to be examined and those who were complacent about whether anything was going to happen (“Jehovah will not do good, and he will not do bad”) were due for a shock as they lost everything. Learning from this historical event: Just because there have been false prophets today, while we should not look for signs, neither should we fall asleep with the attitude “Jehovah will not do good, and he will not do bad”. Jesus said “Keep on the watch”! Let us help one another to do just that. (Matthew 24:42)
Haggai 1:1,15 & Haggai 2:2,3
The second year of Darius the King was in 520 BC according to scholars. The temple had yet to be rebuilt. The question was asked in Haggai 2:2,3: “Who is there among you that is remaining over who saw this house in its former glory?”
If Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 BC, then that was 87 years before the writing of this passage. Additionally, it is rare for anyone to remember anything before they were at least 5 years old. So we have to add a minimum of 5 years to the 87 years, a total of 92 years. How many plus-92-year-olds were there left at that time, and how many of them would remember the temple? While not impossible, it would have been highly unlikely to find one of this age with a clear memory. However, if the destruction of Jerusalem was in 587 BC as scholars suggest then that would lower the requirement to plus-72-year-olds; well within the realms of possibility, and sufficient for Haggai to expect a few answers to his question.
Kingdom Rules (chapter 22 para 8-16)
Paragraph 10 – Did they mean “Christ is patiently [slowly] using his faithful and discreet slave to teach all true Christians to be peaceable, loving and gentle” or “Christ is patently [obviously] using his faithful and discreet slave…”.
If they meant “patently”, then it definitely is not clear that Christ is using the faithful and discreet slave. On the other hand, Christ would have to be extremely ‘patient’ with the faithful and discreet slave as they barely mention him at all in the publications. (See recent Watchtower study reviews which have been highlighting the discrepancy in the mentions of Jesus Christ, compared with Jehovah.)
Paragraph 11 – Do you find yourself spiritually satisfied after congregation meetings? If not, then you are not alone. Many of those still within the Organization feel spiritually hungry. Many have left the Organization or are in the process of doing so for this very reason. If this is the case, then how can the Organization be Jehovah’s people? The only way to avoid spiritual starvation is to search, plant and water ourselves by studying God’s word for ourselves.
Paragraph 12 – The so-called “Ongoing flood” appears to be drying up, in light of the cutbacks and dumbing down of the magazines and books announced at the Annual General Meeting in October 2017.
Paragraph 13 – Given the multiple errors of interpretation and understanding of the scriptures constantly highlighted on this site, the claim made that by joining the Organization, people have “come to an accurate knowledge of the truth of God’s word, letting go of the religious lies that once made them blind and deaf to the truth” rings rather hollow.
Paragraph 14 – As a result, the Organization has lead all of us into a spiritual wilderness rather than a “spiritual paradise”. The high aims and study methodology practiced by C.T Russell and his associates has been discarded and replaced by the authoritarian dictates of an out-of-touch Governing Body, who sadly seem to do little real Bible Study themselves. If many visitors to this site have realised that what is taught by the Organization has deviated from Bible truth, then why cannot the Governing Body?
[i] Extract from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: “Visible also are the Western Wall and the Second Temple, built by the returnees from Babylon under Zerubabel (sixth century BCE). Similar to the Temple of Solomon but less ornate, it was enlarged by King Herod and made into the magnificent edifice shown in the model. The important sections of the Temple included separate courts for men, women and priests, as well as the Holy of Holies. The Beautiful Gate led to the Women’s Court, beyond which women were not permitted. The Gate of Nicanor (named after a rich Jew from Alexandria who donated the door), distinguished by its copper color, leads from the Women’s Court to the innermost court; it is approached by fifteen curved steps upon which the Levites stood singing and playing music.“
[ii] The Wars of the Jews by Josephus. (Book 1, Chapter 21 para 1, p49 pdf copy)