Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems
Lessons learned from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 4-5)
Matthew 5:5 (mild-tempered)
The definition given in this marginal note is “willingly submit to God’s will and guidance, and who do not try to dominate others.”
In full, it says “The inward quality of those who willingly submit to God’s will and guidance and who do not try to dominate others. The term does not imply cowardice or weakness. In the Septuagint, the word was used as an equivalent for a Hebrew word that can be translated “meek” or “humble.” It was used with reference to Moses (Numbers 12:3), those who are teachable (Psalms 25:9), those who will possess the earth (Psalms 37:11), and the Messiah (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5). Jesus described himself as a mild-tempered, or meek person.—Matthew 11:29”
Let us briefly examine these points in reverse order.
- Jesus was mild-tempered. The Bible record clearly shows he willingly submitted God’s will in being prepared to die on a torture stake in order to provide a ransom sacrifice for sinful mankind. He never tried to dominate others whether for good or bad.
- Those not mild-tempered are not guaranteed to possess the earth.
- Those not mild-tempered are not teachable by Jehovah and cannot therefore learn additional qualities such as meekness, nor dispense justice in accord with Jehovah’s justice.
- Moses was the meekest man in all the earth in his time. He was mild-tempered, did not dominate, nor control the nation of Israel. He acted as a mediator between the whole nation of Israel (including the priests) and God, foreshadowing Jesus as the mediator of all, even though he will choose some to act as priests.
- The definition of “dominate” is to have ‘power and influence over others’, ‘to control’, ‘to rule’, ‘to govern’, ‘to preside over’.
- Those chosen to serve with Christ as associate priests and kings would therefore also need to be mild-tempered.
So how do some of those claiming to be chosen ones match up to the requirements laid out in the Scriptures as briefly discussed above from the NWT Study edition marginal notes?
Does the Governing Body try to dominate others rather than willingly submit to God’s will as found in his Word?
- Are they meek? Would you say someone is meek if in 2013 they made the claim that retrospectively they (and those who had previously held the same office during the period from 1919, some 94 years) were appointed by Jesus as the Faithful and Discreet Slave? Jesus appointed his apostles where and when others would know clearly he had appointed them. How can anyone verify the claim made by the Governing Body? None of us were around in 1919, and it even took them 94 years to realise it. Does this not imply that Jesus was not clear in appointing them? That doesn’t make sense, which leads us to conclude there could not have been such an appointment.
- Do they govern? Of course, hence the name “Governing Body”.
- Do they control? They control a large publishing corporation. They control people’s lives in a very detailed way, even down to specifying approved dress and grooming, such as the prohibition against beards, or business pantsuits for women. They also prohibit higher education, require people to report their preaching activity, and rule on medical procedures.
- What about power and influence? When they mention that Armageddon is just round the corner on a monthly broadcast, you hear it repeated regularly in the congregation, without any thought as to what backing they have for that claim. How many couples today are childless because talks at assemblies told the audience not to have children because of the nearness of Armageddon in the early 1970’s? How many faded ones have been shunned since the video at the Regional assembly in 2016 showed the parents ignoring a phone call from their disfellowshipped daughter? How about the way that the statement made that “we should be prepared to obey any instruction that comes from the Governing Body in the future, no matter how strange it may seem” (December 2017 Monthly Broadcast) is repeated in the congregations often verbatim without any thought as to the implications. So if the Governing Body requested in the monthly broadcast that we all sell our homes and donate the money to the organization, how many would obey without a moment’s thought?
- Finally, how do you feel when they teach that they (who dominate others) will be Kings and Priests for a thousand years, while Moses the meekest man on the earth will not be one of those Kings? They even claim they will rule from heaven, when Revelation 5:10 in most translations correctly state that the chosen ones “are to rule as kings on the earth.” (NWT misleadingly translates ‘epi’ as ‘over’ instead of ‘upon’.)
Matthew 5:16 (Father)
If Jehovah is referred to as the Father of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:6, Psalm 32:6, Isaiah 63:16) and Jesus used the term over 160 times in the Gospels, why are the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses (classified as the ‘Great Crowd’) continually called Jehovah’s friends in the literature instead of His sons.
As the reference states “Jesus’ use of the term shows that his listeners already understood its meaning in relation to God by its usage in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Deuteronomy 32:6, Psalm 32:6, Isaiah 63:16) Earlier servants of God used many lofty titles to describe and address Jehovah, including the “Almighty,” “the Most High,” and the “Grand Creator,” but Jesus’ frequent use of the simple, common term “Father” highlights God’s intimacy with his worshippers.—Genesis 17:1; Deuteronomy 32:8; Ecclesiastes 12:1.” (bold ours)
This surely highlights God’s intimacy with all his worshippers as Jesus does not divide them into separate classes but rather joins them all together as one flock.
Matthew 5:47 (greet)
“Greeting others included expressing good wishes for their welfare and prosperity.” (See 2 John 1:9,10) Those who do not remain in the teaching of the Christ (as opposed to an organization’s interpretation of Christ’s teachings) were not to be invited into their homes (i.e shown hospitality) nor given a greeting (i.e. wishing them well). This instruction does not apply to sinners, but to apostates who actively oppose the Christ.
Jesus, The Way (jy Chapter 3) – Someone to Prepare the Way is Born.
Another refreshingly accurate summary.
If you’re gonna be a Witness that’s what you should strive to be, if you choose another path, more power to you and Christ be with you always. Just don’t be false and self righteous. If you think you know the Bible well, think again. It’s for all of us not just the one’s that think they know it best. (Ro 5:12).
How did I miss this all my life. And, I’m not talking a short length of time here, I was baptized 55 years ago. All this time I believed the 144,000 were to rule as Kings and Princes from the heavens, but today Tadua taught me, by referring to Rev.5:10 that in fact they will rule on the Earth. Which of course makes total practical sense in managing Earth’s affairs as it is much more hands-on that way. On a practical note, we are never too old to learn anything, I love it.
Hello dear brother, I liked your comment very much; I think we all had strange looks at the many teachings of the WT. But please sit down, because personally, because chapter 5 of revelation does not speak of the 144,000, speaks of people of all nations, languages and tongues. If we compare with chapter 7 of revelation, I can only draw one conclusion: it is not the 144000
Reminds me of a line from Back To The Future: “You’re not thinking fourth-dimensionally Marty!”
Thanks for your analysis Tadua. Calling the non-anointed (I cannot call them other sheep as that is not correct, either) friends of God is just plain unscriptural. Abraham was not referred to as Jehovah’s friend while he was alive, but only by later writers. Besides, children of God is the only relationship we can say we are entitled to, if we call Jehovah our father. It is down to him to determine whether we are friends, a much higher honour. I can always call my son my son, and he can always call me father, but he might not always… Read more »
Excellent coverage, as well as the side by side comparisons!