Teaching the Truth

– posted by Tadua

“O Jehovah, . . . the very essence of your word is truth.”​—Psalm 119:159-160

 [From ws 10/18 p.11 December 10 – December 16]

The contents page has the following summary relevant to this article:” How can we use our Teaching Toolbox to teach the truth in our ministry?”

Paragraph 2 states “To that end, we keep honing our skills in using the Bible, the principal tool that we use to teach the truth about Jehovah, Jesus, and the Kingdom”

Therefore, given that the Bible is (and should be) the principle tool that we use then one would naturally expect that to teach the truth of the Bible and following 2 Timothy 2:15 and handling the word of truth aright, then we would find the article discussing how to use the Bible better.

But do we? No. Rather than sticking to God’s inspired word, we get the following statement. “To help us succeed in our ministry, Jehovah’s organization has designated other basic tools that we need to be very familiar with. We refer to them as being in our Teaching Toolbox.”

Are they trying to infer we cannot succeed in teaching  “the truth about Jehovah, Jesus and the kingdom” without the Organization’s designated tools? We would agree, certainly we cannot ‘teach the truth’ as taught by the Organization without their tools. Perhaps, that is the real problem. For example, would you understand just from reading the book of Daniel that the kingdom was established invisibly in heaven in 1914? Most Witnesses struggle to explain 607 to 1914 with the Organization’s literature, let alone without it.

If the ‘truth’ is so difficult to teach without the Organization’s tools then how did thousands of first century Jews and Gentiles become Christians? Was it not because they had the spirit of God to guide them to all the truth? (John 16:13)

Did Jesus not tell us at Acts 1:7 that "It does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction”?  Jesus did not say in answering their question, "Just read the prophecy of the great tree of Nebuchadnezzar's dream as related by the prophet Daniel and understand that it has a secondary fulfillment. This secondary fulfillment will allow you to know the times and seasons that God has placed in his own jurisdiction.  Oh and the measurement for the seasons I will give you in about 60 years from now.  Oh, and by the way, even though I said "every eye will see me, actually, I'll be invisible."

How about briefly examining what Jesus really taught about the Kingdom?

In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father”.

He also said in Matthew 24:26-27 “Therefore, if people say to YOU, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe it.  27 For just as the lightning comes out of eastern parts and shines over to western parts, so the presence of the Son of man will be.

In far less words Jesus taught, you will see me [I will not be invisible] and no one except God knows when that time will be. So simple. No tools or interpretation needed.

Paragraph 3 then starts to discuss the “Teaching toolbox”. It says “During the remaining time that we have to witness, our focus must be on starting Bible studies and teaching people the truth”.

There are at least 3 issues with this statement.

The first issue is that the Bible gives no way of knowing when the day of judgement will come. So we could have a matter of days, weeks, months, years or decades.

The second is that the Organization is mandating our focus should be on Bible studies. Yet Jesus' emphasis to his disciples in the last 24 hours or so before his arrest and death was to show love to one another, mentioning love nearly 30 times.

The third issue is the problem of truth. The Organization is convinced they have the truth and seem to have stopped following the counsel “Keep testing whether YOU are in the faith, keep proving what YOU yourselves are.” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Paragraph 6 discusses contact cards and makes the assertion “Thus far, over 400,000 online Bible study requests have been received on jw.org, and hundreds more are requested every day”. Now, in the past perhaps we would have accepted without question the implication that the contact card generates many Bible study requests.

Now we should raise the following questions:

  • How many Bible studies did this result in?

  • Is the amount of Bible studies increased compared to before the contact card?

  • How long has it taken for the 400,000 requests to amass?

  • Only with this information can one make a proper judgement of the success of the contact card. The fact that these vital facts are not supplied would tend to indicate they are putting the usual positive spin on a problem they want to hide.

Businesses have been using contact cards for years, and contact cards have been already used by other religions, such as the Mormons. Yet, the Organization makes it out to be some fantastic new ‘provision or tool from Jehovah’.

Paragraph 8 is encouraging us to to invite people to the meetings as “they will see a sharp contrast between the spiritually rich environment at our meetings and the spiritually devastated condition within Babylon the Great.”.

Certainly many Churches may be in a spiritual desert, but is that truly much different from the dumbed-down provisions that Witnesses receive these days?

Even the unverifiable  (as usual) experience doesn’t discuss how well the invitations we are being asked to make actually work in practice, as this was a chance walk-in. Furthermore, this was “some years ago”. One has to ask, would they have the same reaction today, with the Theocratic Ministry school dumbed-down to a shadow of its former self? Or with the Watchtower Study only effectively allowing the brothers to regurgitate the material in the paragraph.

Paragraphs 9 & 10 promote the tracts which contain very little of substance.

In paragraphs 11-13 the magazines are highlighted. Yes, the ones that have been reduced from 32 pages every two weeks to 16 pages every 4 months (Awake), or 32 pages per month to 16 pages every 4 months (public edition Watchtower).

We then have two more unverifiable experiences to promote the suggestions.

This is followed by two more paragraphs promoting brochures and then books published by the Organization.

The final paragraph claims “But our objective is not just to distribute literature; nor should we leave literature with people who show no interest in our message”. This however, belies the whole thrust of this article which is to make more use of the literature produced either on paper or in electronic format by the Organization.  Actual use of the Bible is not mentioned.

Let's, for a change, give the last word to the Scriptures. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.”

Simply put, Why do we need any other tools when we have such a mighty all-purpose tool?

We should scrap the man-made tools and use the God-given tool if we wish to have success in helping others to understand truth from God's word.









Archived Comments

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  • Comment by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-12-09 12:15:09

    Thanks once again Tadua. You were quick to get this week's item up and running today, but you have covered all the main points. I am still recovering from the previous article, and the line (among others) in paragraph 9 "people lie to cover up their mistakes or gain economic and personal advantages".

    Someone has the idea that if enough advertising is done then enough of it will stick. JW advertising is now contact cards, assorted literature, on line Bible study requests, videos. and come along to the kingdom Hall. Some of those those things have worked in the past. Did doorstep studies ever bring anyone in ? Only the videos really add anything to the position 30 or more years ago, although maybe one could say that the shorter magazines are better presented.

    So what are the results of all these new tools ? Clearly not good enough, judging by the results (wherever the 2018 results are). Why not ? I surmise as follows:-

    1. Is it that the Internet helps many people to find out the truth about Jehovah's Witnesses ? Perhaps they do not like what they find. Solution : Do something about the things people do not like - make sure what is taught is what is in the Bible. Change.

    2. Many JWs are not really bothered about what real truth is. More time available has not resulted in more study - BP members excepted. How many pioneers are cart witnessing, or involved in builds. How many can really reason from the Bible ? If a born again Christian raises an awkward question, how many know hoe to deal with it ?If the Organisation avoids tackling the hard subjects (1914) and promotes teachings which just do not make sense any more - shunning, blood for example (the same teachings we just used to accept once upon a time), then it is hardly surprising that publishers lack conviction.

    The one product JWs had, and as they would have said was in stark contrast to other religions, was that they had the truth. But they do not have that any more. So who wants to buy in to it, apart from the children of existing Witness parents, who probably make up a very high proportion of those who get baptised each year.

    Attracting people to the truth seems of more recent times - be convinced that man got here by creation, and be forgiving . Nothing wrong with those, but this is not enough to convince people JWs have the truth. Also, even appointed men are being told that JWs have the best Bible translation. So the result is that they cannot even reason properly and defend their own corner with those who present different views. They may have a teaching toolbox, but what sort of job can those tools do ?

    love to all Picketers

  • Comment by Amitafal on 2018-12-09 15:16:42

    Thank you Tadua for yet another well researched article. Spot on! The Witnesses are spiritually undernourished. It’s run like a business with the logos and business cards!

  • Comment by jamesbrown on 2018-12-09 17:25:18

    Good one Tadua

    It just goes to show what I have written below and all the GB is interested in, is promote website and videos very little God's word:

    Last weekend I attended the assembly and the Theme was being BOLD you have different scenarios that the speakers put before us, and stated, whether we are showing boldness or we are fearful, and what must we do about it. Hebrews 10:35-39

    First demonstration centred around a brother going back to work on Monday, was asked what did you do on the weekend, if he didn’t say that he went to the assembly as a witness then he is fearful and needs to cultivate love for Jehovah.

    Second demonstration centred around a young brother doing very well at high school and and he’s approached by his teacher and the teacher asks him since he is doing so well which university has he chosen to attend.

    If he does not stand up for his faith and rejects higher education then he is fearful, what must he do in order to be bold to preach to the teacher about Jehovah.

    Demonstration number three this is a scene taking place in the workplace where two work mates are discussing, how dare a witness knocks on their doors and how intrusive they were, so then they turned around and asked one of their work colleague, you’re a Jehovah’s Witness why do you annoy people, and going from door-to-door.

    If the witness does not stand up and talk about Jehovah, then he’s fearful, what must he do in order to speak with boldness.

    And for the last verse of the Hebrews Verse 39 let’s not forget the elderly and those who have been waiting for Armageddon to come for decades as the speaker puts it remember what the Bible says, it’s just around the corner and you don’t want to lose it now otherwise you will miss out on everlasting life.

    All the speakers have one thing in common this is Jehovah’s work he is the one who is leading his people we don’t want to be ashamed of Jehovah our God so be bold and preach.

    Also Jehovah is the one who is directing the slave class so let’s not forget who is bringing Armageddon, also those who shrink back and those who are ashamed of who they are they will be destroyed you don’t want to be among them, do you?

    Fear and guilt is what motivates governing body Not the love of God and Christ. Let’s, for a change, give the last word to the Scriptures. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.”

    Sorry I missed one important aspect of the assembly, three times in a span of few hours we get to be told we need money because God loves a cheerful giver, so in other words are you stingy, Or are you a cheerful giver.

    Love to all

    • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-12-10 04:05:15

      Hi JB. That was about the same as the assembly I attended in November. Opening speaker started with "It's a horrible world". Young publisher explained how he was helped to be firmly convinced in the Bible's explanations over creation vs evolution, as if that is enough. CO's wife was asked "what convinces you that Jehovah is directing us (she had been over to the US) - her reply was "The volunteer spirit". Where was the faith building material in that? Having said that , the visiting speaker's final talk did contain some encouraging points, as it focused much more on the Bible.
      A person will stand up for anything, in this case his faith, if he believes in what he is doing and why he is doing it.
      Faith follows (comes after) the thing heard(Romans 10:17). It is not the other way round.
      You have stirred us up this week, Tadua.

  • Comment by Bernardbooks on 2018-12-10 09:33:39

    Thanks Tadua very nice review.

    Paragraph 2 says,

    “we are called “God’s fellow workers.”
    (1 Corinthians 3:9)

    They forgot to add that the majority of the members are only “God’s fellow workers” and “God’s field under cultivation” and “God’s building” “in principle” according to their teachings.

    w88 3/15 p.15 paragraph 1
    “We are God’s fellow workers.” (1 Corinthians 3:9) Both of these statements were made by and about anointed followers of Jesus Christ. But IN PRINCIPLE they apply to all true servants of God.

    The way the organization splits up and classifies followers of Christ reminds me of what Rutherford wrote about the Catholic Church. There’s quite a few other matches though when making the comparison.
    One organization could have said to the other, “go look in the mirror”.

    Riches - 1936 p.30 paragraph 2
    “The Roman Catholic Hierarchy is made up of a few men, who assume authority to rule and govern, and that Hierarchy rules and controls millions of persons who are submissive to the Hierarchy. Such persons are not counted as members of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy or of “the church”, but are designated by that organization as “the Catholic population”; meaning that they are the ones who bear up, support and furnish the money for such organization.”

    • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-12-12 03:17:43

      Reminds me. BB, of Matthew 23:13 "You shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men:for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in". The Scribes and Pharisees were convinced they were on the right side but made it hard for most people to accept Jesus'.

      • Reply by Bernardbooks on 2018-12-12 09:47:37

        That is very true Leonardo.

        I’m surprised the governing body has never claimed to be a composite “doorkeeper” slave like the one Jesus mentioned in Mark 13:34.

        They have acted as one telling millions of people during the last century that they will not be “in the kingdom” but only hopeful subjects of a kingdom that is forever invisible to them and will only “come” in the sense of directing its attention and rulership towards the earth. Of course, they didn’t stop there but also shut the door on early faithful persons such as Abraham and John the baptist, saying they won’t be
        “in the kingdom” either even though that goes completely contrary to what Jesus said.

        After waking up I started to realize not only the nwt translation errors like I know you have mentioned you’re keeping a record of but also the many scriptures which have been virtually ignored or at least spoken of very sparsely.

        One is Romans 4:13 which has no references since the 1940’s. Thought I’d share what the last watchtower article to mention it stated.

        (Romans 4:13)
        For it was not through law that Abraham or his offspring had the promise that he should be heir of a world, but it was through righteousness by faith.

        The Watchtower May 15, 1940
        p.158 paragraph 2
        “There is no Scriptural reason to conclude that the man Abraham and his fleshly descendants will inherit the earth. God’s promise to Abraham was long ago fulfilled in miniature and in a typical manner, but the greater fulfillment in completion is to those of Jehovah’s capital organization, of which Christ Jesus is the Head. (Romans 4:13) Christ Jesus is Jehovah’s heir of all things, and those of Jehovah’s royal house of sons are joint heirs with Christ Jesus. When God said to Abraham, ‘I will give unto thee and unto thy seed after thee the land,’ clearly the meaning thereof is that Abraham in type was given the land and that the Seed of Abraham, “which is Christ,” will possess it for ever.”

  • Comment by jamesbrown on 2018-12-13 20:30:05

    Hi Eric & everyone who has been writing articles on this site, I would like to say thank you very much for helping me & others to reason with JW's.

    A while ago I mentioned about my conversation with an older elder & his outlook about the "truth" according to GB, well I invited him for a coffee, reason being I read one of the articles that was written by Eric regarding slave class.

    “Do you believe the Governing Body is the faithful and discreet slave chosen by Christ?” I asked him, he said YES, so I asked him what makes you so sure, he said Jesus testifies to the fact that in the last days, he will appoint slave class & that will feed us in the last days.

    So I began to reason from the bible:

    John 5: 31"If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I can assure you that everything he says about me is true. 34 But the best testimony about me is not from a man, though I have reminded you about John's testimony so you
    might be saved. 36 But I have a greater witness than John--my teachings and my miracles. They have been assigned to me by the Father, and they testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father himself has also testified about me. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face.
    44 No wonder you can't believe! For you gladly honour each other, but you don't care about the honour that comes from God alone.

    So I asked him, Jesus proved he came from Jehovah by his teachings & miracles, so I asked again, do you believe the Governing Body is the faithful and discreet slave? and chosen by Christ?

    I was surprised with his "answer". Are you reading apostate literature, you do know that is poison.

    I said did I read to you from apostate literature or from Gods word the bible? He said I read to much and over think to much.

    His final words, dont go around and disturb the peace of the congregation, just be happy with what GB is giving you food at the appointed time.

    Again thank you for the helping me to reason from Scriptures.

    I can just see Leonardo jumping up and down wanting to teach this elder a few lessons.

    Take care everyone and keep your reasoning coming especially you Eric.

    • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-12-14 08:47:10

      James, well done for standing up for the scriptures and truth. So much is down to accepting the F & Ds as God's channel, something that was not a requirement when I was baptised. A far as the F & Ds goes, I would add :-
      The Organisation made the claim in 2009 (W 2/15) that Jehovah trusts the Faithful Slave and Jesus trusts the Faithful Slave and therefore the rest of us should trust them. Hum !
      On what basis ? Basically it comes down to the blessing as evidenced by the increased numbers. That of course could be said by any religious group as some point in time, although none of them pick out a parable and make it into a prophecy, which is what I personally pointed out when challenged about my trust in the Faithful Slave.
      This circular reasoning adds that Jesus has appointed them over all his earthly belongings - kingdom interests on Earth, that he has granted them immortality . Their (actual - according to them, not me) appointment in 1919 CE was unseen, unlike other momentous events recorded in the Bible, as there was no clear sign after WW1 that this happened,.
      Jesus making a covenant with his Apostles in the 1st century is given as evidence that he trusted them then, and would not have made a covenant if he did not trust them then. So for this reason he trusts them ? What sort of line of argument is that ?
      So there is nothing presented to support their appointment.

      If I have missed a point or a more recent article, I apologise.

      PS - I am glad you can see me jumping - made me smile.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2018-12-16 19:40:22

      Thank you for sharing this experience. It really shows where the heart of most JWs is.

  • Comment by if ever on 2018-12-14 08:02:39

    Hello Tadua, Thank you for your review of the Watchtower Article "Teaching the Truth".

    I want to share some following points from the study that for me were notable.

    The opening of this Watchtower article is constructed in such a way as to convey a level of authority, by the use of the Bible to leverage the Governing Body's teaching. Whilst I am not trained in psychology I feel the reader is psychologically manipulated. At the end of paragraph 2, the stage is set as follows:

    1. The second last sentence discusses an undeniable truth when calling upon a golden standard that people agree on. The benchmark in this case the Bible;
    2. Then the next sentence introduces a secondary powerful, thought by clever wording using Jehovah's name in saying "Jehovah's Organization".
    3. Next the Governing Body uses a word that can be defined as "officially give a specified status or name to" is this case the word is "designated" ( Definition of designated given by Google).
    4. Finally using the words "other" and "primary" have been thoughtfully used in place of more correct words such as "provided secondary teaching aids".

    I say "more correct words" because there are no "basic tools" other than the Bible. The word of God, the Bible is the "basic tool", all others are secondary, if any place at all.

    In the 4 points above, points 1 and 2 use authoritative language that a reader would agree with, the Bible and Jehovah. Then in point 3 the false information is introduced by the powerful word designated. Next in point 4 equality is inferred by purposely avoiding words that convey a second tier or rank. Using other, and primary.

    Now for me paragraph 4 was humorous. In the 3rd sentence of it says: " Thus, we need to do just as Jesus instructed: “Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving.” ", then Matthew 10:11 is given. But if the Governing Body were doing "just as Jesus instructed" they need to apply Matthew 10:5 - 6, and not to mention Matthew 10:8.

    However, as we know they are not doing just as Jesus instructed.

  • Comment by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-12-18 06:37:00

    Hi Tadua; just a late thought on Paragraph 4 where the article says "we are looking for people who are honest, humble, and hungry for the truth". I think that third one should read "happy to be told what truth is" as it is fairly obvious that those who are "hungry for the truth" are unlikely to be satisfied.
    One does wonder if the GB want JWs to reach the point mentioned by Paul at Hebrews 5:14, where he says that solid food belongs to mature people.

  • Comment by jamesbrown on 2018-12-18 19:15:30

    Good morning Tadua & Leonardo & all Beroean Picketers

    Its interesting Leonardo that you should mention Hebrews 5:14 solid food belongs to mature people.

    We were asked to comment on the Tool Box and how GB is helping us in the field. I read Heb 5:14, and made the statement that GB has turned us into full grown spiritual babies, spoon feeding us all these literature's, but not knowing how to use the bible skilfully, then I followed with a knock out punch " If Jesus was preaching with a member of GB would he be flashing his contact card to draw attention to the website or the bible?".

    Well you could have herd a pin drop on the carpet, needless to say I was NOT picked to comment any more, and the mode of the brothers changed toward me even after the meeting, as I was talking with a couple of brothers I turned around and saw 2 elders eves dropping on my conversation, so I asked if they want to join in they said no its OK, and walked away. Afterwords I walked away and saw 2 elders talking with the 2 brothers i spoke with.

    Talk about freedom of speech - Watch what you say, to whom you say it, and your intention of saying it- and thats what GB calls LOVE among us as JW's.

    I wonder what are the JW's in Russia using now? No GB to guide them no literature's.

    Love you all.

    • Reply by Leonardo Josephus on 2018-12-19 11:13:59

      You are a bold brave bunny, JB. But you hit the nail on the head. Be careful, however (cautious as serpents, etc). My asking awkward questions (and they really were not very awkward) resulted in accusations of "bordering on apostasy", as well as a withdrawal of privileges. Not that I am bothered about the latter, as I do not want to be identified as happy to do all I can without question.
      HP (Happy Picketing)

  • Comment by jamesbrown on 2018-12-19 21:18:25

    Leonardo, I cannot believe it I just got a call from a "concerned" elder in our congregation about my comment and how it was perceived by others.

    I answered with a question, what do you personally think that was so WRONG with my comment?

    It was said in the wrong place and at the wrong time and I was UNDERMINING GB, suggestions and if I had any concerns about anything, to approach him and not going public.

    My next question hit a very, very delicate nerve, so I asked him if I have major concerns about GB in general, can my conversation, be and stay, private between us ONLY. He said no, I will have to inform the body of the elders, and they will decide what action to take.

    Being on this website has made me think very quick in recalling bible situations, because i was asked point blank question " Are you questioning all the GB and the helpers, do you think you know more than them, just believe in what they say".

    I posed a second question, and I related the case of " Doubting Thomas" and I read to him John 18: 24 But Thomas, one of the Twelve, who was called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
    25 So the other disciples were telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will never believe it.”

    26 Well, eight days later his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: “May you have peace.” 27 Next he said to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting but believe.”
    28 In answer Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him: “Because you have seen me, have you believed? Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

    He was so kind to listen and i asked him, do you think in the majority rules policy? Who corrected Thomas? was it the apostles or Jesus?

    He said Jesus, but NOW we have GB to direct us in all our faith and matters relating to faith.

    Well say no more I cut the conversation short and changed the subject.

    1Peter 3: 15 But sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defence before everyone who demands of you a reason for the hope you have, but doing so with a mild temper and deep respect.

    Cautious as serpents and innocent as doves. I think we should adopt this verse as we talk to others.

    Love to you all

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