[Jehovah] well knows how we are formed, remembering that we are dust.”—Psalms 103:14.
[From ws 9/18 p. 23 – November 19 – November 25]
Paragraph 1 opens with a reminder: “POWERFUL and influential people often “lord it over” others, even dominating them. (Matthew 20:25; Ecclesiastes 8:9)”.
In Matthew 20:25-27, Jesus said, “YOU know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. This is not the way among YOU; but whoever wants to become great among YOU must be YOUR minister, and whoever wants to be first among YOU must be YOUR slave.”
Today, the publications and broadcasts talk about a ‘Governing Body’, while the use of the phrase ‘faithful and discreet slave’ is now rarely used. Do slaves govern or do they serve? Does one obey a slave? Does the Governing Body act like your minister, your servant, or do they behave as those who lord it over others and “wield authority” over the flock?
If you are unsure how to answer, why not try questioning the teachings of the Governing Body? But do not do so with your own speculation. Rather, use the Bible and only the Bible to make your case. Will they act as your minister, or your ruler? As one who serves or one who wields authority over you? Are you afraid to do so? Are you afraid to write in to them to voice your doubts, or share your research? If so, that speaks volumes, does it not?
Paragraphs 3-6 go on to discuss how Jehovah dealt considerately with Samuel and Eli.
Paragraphs 7-10 discuss how considerate Jehovah was in his dealings with Moses.
Paragraphs 11-15 remind us how Jehovah handled the Israelites while leaving Egypt.
These sections all contain good material for consideration.
However, paragraph 16 is a different matter. We will break it into points which we will then discuss.
- “Today, too, Jehovah cares for his people as a group—spiritually and physically.”
- “He will continue to do so during the fast-approaching great tribulation. (Revelation 7:9, 10) “
- “Hence, whether young or old, sound in body or disabled, God’s people will not panic or cower in fear during the tribulation. In fact, they will do the very opposite! They will bear in mind these words of Jesus Christ: “Stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28)”
- “They will maintain that confidence even in the face of the attack by Gog—a coalition of nations that will wield far more power than did ancient Pharaoh. (Ezekiel 38:2, 14-16)”
- “Why will God’s people remain confident? They know that Jehovah does not change. He will again prove to be a caring and considerate Savior.—Isaiah 26:3, 20.”
Let us now think about these claims.
1. “Today, too, Jehovah cares for his people as a group—spiritually and physically.”
Does Jehovah have an identifiable people today? What did Jesus say about this? John 13:35 records his words as saying “By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves”. Yes, people would know who were true Christians by their actions as individuals, not as an Organization. Being known for preaching was not what would identify true Christians. Anyone can preach, and indeed many religions do this in a wide variety of ways—how else can one explain their growth? Many claim to be Christians and point their organization’s or church’s growth as proof, but the touchstone Jesus gave us was to display the same type of love he showed.
Jehovah has provided all we need spiritually in his Word. What need is there for additional provisions? Surely, to say there is a need for spiritual provisions today is to imply that Jehovah didn’t do a good enough job through those he inspired, and as a result he now needs to use those who by their own admission are not inspired.[I]
2. “He will continue to do so during the fast-approaching great tribulation. (Revelation 7:9, 10) “
Witnesses have an interpretation that claims the “great tribulation” is phase one of Armageddon. However, Revelation 7:14 does not define the term. Until 1969, Witnesses were taught that it began in 1914. How are we to trust this interpretation is the right one. However, even if we grant them this doctrinal view, what evidence is there that said tribulation is “fast approaching”. In fact, the teaching of the imminence of the end goes back over 100 years.
3. “Hence, whether young or old, sound in body or disabled, God’s people will not panic or cower in fear during the tribulation. In fact, they will do the very opposite! They will bear in mind these words of Jesus Christ: “Stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28)”
Luke 21:26 the verse prior potentially suggests the opposite to this claim. It says “while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken”. It will be a fearful time for all. Only when they “see the son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” will it be possible to “lift YOUR heads up, because YOUR deliverance is getting near.”
4. “They will maintain that confidence even in the face of the attack by Gog—a coalition of nations that will wield far more power than did ancient Pharaoh. (Ezekiel 38:2, 14-16)”
Outside of Ezekiel, the only reference to Gog and Magog is found in the book of Revelation at chapter 20 verses 7 to 10. The organization ignores this and opts instead for its own unfounded interpretation which helps them to maintain a state of fear among Jehovah’s Witnesses which is intended to keep the flock obedient to those who, as Jesus warned, ‘Lord it over you.’ We should bear in mind that they have said the same things many times before and each time their prognostications have failed. Should we fear them? The Bible answers:
“When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word is not fulfilled or does not come true, then Jehovah did not speak that word. The prophet spoke it presumptuously. You should not fear him.” (De 18:22)
5. “Why will God’s people remain confident? They know that Jehovah does not change. He will again prove to be a caring and considerate Savior.—Isaiah 26:3, 20.”
While it is true that Jehovah will be a saviour, he has already shown himself to be caring. As 1 John 4:14-15 reminds us:
“In addition, we ourselves have beheld and are bearing witness that the Father has sent forth his Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever makes the confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God remains in union with such one and he in union with God”.
Jehovah is our savior in that he made the provision of Jesus Christ to be our savior on God’s behalf. It is therefore wrong for the Organization to continually ignore or minimise the role of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, in the outworking of his purpose.
The final paragraph whets our appetite for next week’s article (or dampens it depending on your point of view) as it says, “The next article will look at ways that we can imitate Jehovah in showing consideration for others. We will focus on the family, the Christian congregation, and the field ministry.”
Jehovah sent us the Christ so that we might have a man made in his image as his perfect representation to follow. If you wish to imitate Jehovah, then you must first imitate the Christ. The article bypasses this important truth as it again minimizes the role of God’s Son. Let us see what next week’s study brings to the table.