“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.
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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)
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.
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Thank you for sharing this experience. It really shows where the heart of most JWs is.
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… Read more »
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’.
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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!
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.… Read more »