Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems
Keep on Seeking First the Kingdom (Matthew 6-7)
Matthew 6:33 (righteousness)
“Those who seek God’s righteousness readily do his will and conform to his standards of right and wrong. This teaching stood in stark contrast with that of the Pharisees, who sought to establish their own righteousness.—Matthew 5:20” (See w90 10/1 10-15 based on this scripture)
Does the situation described in this reference sound familiar when updated to the current day? (Original wording struck through, [current day replacement in brackets])
“Jesus sharply contrasted two classes: the scribes and Pharisees [the elders and the governing body aka the organization] and the common people they oppressed. He spoke of two kinds of righteousness, the hypocritical righteousness of the [organization] Pharisees and the true righteousness of God. (Matthew 5:6, 20) [Organizational] Pharisaic self-righteousness was rooted in oral [and written] traditions. These had been initiated in the [twentieth century] second century B.C.E. as “a fence around the Law [of Christ]” to protect it from the inroads of [worldly influence] Hellenism (Greek culture). They had come to be viewed as a part of the Law [of Christ]. In fact, the [governing body] scribes even rated the oral [and written] traditions above the written Law [of Christ]. The Mishnah [Watchtower] says: “Greater stringency applies to the observance of the words of the [Governing Body] Scribes [their oral [& written] traditions] than to the observance of the words of the written Law [of Christ].” Hence, instead of being “a fence around the Law” to protect it, their traditions weakened the Law and made it void, just as Jesus said: “Adroitly you set aside the commandment of God in order to retain your tradition.”—Mark 7:5-9; Matthew 15:1-9.”
A couple of examples:
Organization Law (‘Shepherd the Flock of God’ Chapter 5 page 71)
“There must be two or three eyewitnesses, not just people repeating hearsay; no action can be taken if there is only one witness.—Deut. 19:15; John 8:17. 
Proverbs 21:15 “It is a rejoicing for the righteous one to do justice, but there is something terrible for those practicing what is hurtful”
Matthew 23:23,24 “Woe to You, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely justice and mercy and faithfulness. ….Blind guides who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel!”
John 8:17 states (quoting the Mosaic Law) “The witness of two men is true”. Does it say that the witness of one man is not true? NO! Just that two witnesses are better, more reliable.
In Deuteronomy 19:15 the cross–references refer to Numbers 35:30 and Deuteronomy 17:6 both of which are referring to the death penalty, not to avoiding taking any action at all. Reading on the context to Deuteronomy 19:17-18, if there was only one witness the accusation was taken to the judges and the judges had to search thoroughly to establish the truth of the matter. It was not an excuse to take no action.
“our survival of coming events will depend on our obedience to Jehovah’s instructions. Such instructions come to us through the congregation arrangement. Therefore, we want to develop heartfelt obedience to the guidance we are receiving.” (Gods Kingdom Rules Chapter 21 para 20)
“(3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” (Watchtower November 15, 2013 page 20 para 17)
Galatians 1:8 : “However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.” – This indicates there is no need of new instructions, we already have what we need in the scriptures.
Acts 17:8 : “carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” – Blind obedience is not expected. We should not blindly follow ‘strange instructions’.
Matthew 7:12 – How can we apply this verse when preparing introductions for the ministry? (w14 5/15)
Did Jesus have in mind primarily the preaching work when he spoke the words recorded in Matthew 7:12? No, these words are part of what is commonly known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ The vast majority of people he was talking to were the Jewish audience not his disciples. He was encouraging them to:
- Stop judging others.
- Give good gifts to others
The Law and the Prophets was about how to treat (or not treat) others, nothing to do with preaching.
Jesus’ audience would have understood this to be a guide on how to treat others in all walks and ways of life.
Matthew 7:28,29 – How were the crowds affected by Jesus teaching and why? (not as their scribes)
“Rather than quote revered rabbis as an authority, as was the scribes’ custom, Jesus speaks as Jehovah’s representative, as a person having authority, basing his teachings on God’s Word.—Joh 7:16.”
So today we should always quote the Bible as our authority, not a Watchtower or another reference to the Organization’s literature.
Jesus, The Way (jy Chapter 4) – Mary – Pregnant but not Married.
Another refreshingly accurate summary.
 See ‘Shepherd the Flock of God’ Chapter 5 page 71
In the spiritual gems shouldn’t it say “What has this weeks Bible reading taught you about” Jesus. After all Jehovah had stated “This is my Son listen to him” and has given Jesus all authority to rule as King at this time?
“Joseph does not want her to be stoned to death or to be disgraced publicly; hence, he makes up his mind to divorce her secretly”- Jesus, the way. Had Joseph been a JW, this would have been like :Mary, I believed what you said, even an angel said so. However, you still need to see the elders, I give you one week, if you don’t , I will tell the elders myself. If they believe you, well and good,if they don’t, I will abide by their decision, since they represent the Guardians of Doctrine ( GOD) in the congregation. Despite… Read more »
And if she appealed the disfellowshipping and took the angel as a witness, the appeal would still have been refused, because she wasn’t repentant at the time of the initial hearing. (Just ignoring the fact that someone cannot be repentant if they are innocent in the first place). Of course we all know they only hold judicial committees when there is ‘proof’ of wrongdoing don’t we. (Choke, choke) Also, There would be clearly two human witnesses to her alleged wrongdoing. (Heavy hint of sarcasm) Oh, we’ll just ignore that requirement as in this case she was clearly pregnant. But we… Read more »
Chapter 4 of the study book is fine. Just one query for students out there. Do you think Joseph learned of the events described in Matthew 1 18-25 before Mary went to visit Elizabeth or after. Note that Luke 1:56 refers to her returning, after the 3 months, to her own home. Which home, as Matthew I:24 says that he took her home. My present understanding is that it would have been allowable (but did not happen) for Joseph and Mary to have consummated their marriage once the basic contracts had been signed. Mary would have been at her parent’s… Read more »