“I am … under great stress.” – 1 Samuel 1:15
[From ws 6/19 p.8 Study Article 25: Aug 19-25, 2019]
“Jehovah, understands how stress affects us. And he wants to help us deal with the challenges we face. (Read Philippians 4:6, 7)”
So states paragraph 3. This is probably the most helpful and important Scripture mentioned in the WT article, yet, sadly, they do not expand upon it. Is the WT study article writer unfamiliar with “the peace of God that excels all thought”. This “peace of God” is very important as it is practical and does work.
Philippians says “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let YOUR petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard YOUR hearts and YOUR mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”
Supplication means “to ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly”. We supplicate God, and he uses Christ Jesus to effectively administer that peace of mind. This is not an empty promise. While God and Jesus may not intervene on a person’s behalf and make the problem disappear, they do give a peace of mind unlike anything else. This peace enables one to cope with whatever stress or problem he or she might be undergoing.
Until one experiences this peace of God, it is difficult to fully appreciate the refuge that it is. Speaking for myself, these were just nice sounding, encouraging words until I came to experience firsthand a time of great stress. Then this promise was put to the test. The result was an experience which is difficult to describe. It certainly has no explanation in human terms.
Paragraphs 4-6 discuss the example of Elijah, a man with feelings like ours. I am not sure of the point of this section. Yes, it is true that Elijah has feelings like ours, but he was also appointed with Holy Spirit to be a prophet. He had clear evidence of Jehovah’s blessing and protection in his life. On one occasion, he even had an angel help him regain strength. But none of that will happen to us today. None of us have been appointed as prophets to his people. None of us will get angelic help in the way Elijah did. Jehovah specifically assisted Elijah as God had chosen him to accomplish a certain purpose. He has not done that with anyone living on earth today.
The reason for including this seems to be to build up ones hope that God will intervene on our behalf today. However as paragraph 8 says. “He invites you to share your concerns with him and he will answer your cries for help….He [Jehovah] will not speak directly to you as he did to Elijah, but he will speak to you through his word The Bible, and through his Organization.”
As discussed many times, there is ample evidence the Organization is not Jehovah’s Organization but a man-made one. Therefore, he will not speak to us through that Organization, although many Witnesses will claim he does, because of coincidences. If one regularly attends meetings and reads all the literature, the mathematical probability that the literature will cover some problem someone is facing is high. But Jehovah is not specifically targeting help to that one, despite what they might feel. The main way God can help us is that when we ask for help in prayer thereby indicating our willingness to accept guidance he could use Holy Spirit to bring to our minds what we have previously learnt in his word. As for being encouraged by brothers and sisters, they would have to be willing to work along with Holy Spirit as it does not force anyone to do something against their will.
Paragraphs 11-15 discuss briefly the examples of Hannah, David and an unknown psalmist. Paragraph 14 states: “The three true worshippers just mentioned all relied on Jehovah for help. They shared their anxiety with him through fervent prayer. They spoke freely to him about the reasons why they were so stressed. And they continued to go to Jehovah’s place of worship.—1 Sam. 1:9, 10; Ps. 55:22; 73:17; 122:1.”
However, none of them went twice a week to a meeting with a prescribed format. Hannah went once a year to Shiloh, while for David and the psalmist the frequency is not mentioned. There was also clear evidence Jehovah had chosen the Israelites as his special people unlike today where there is no evidence that Jehovah and Jesus have chosen any particular religious Organization. Indeed, Jesus have a parable that indicates true Christians would be like individual stalks of wheat among weeds (Matthew 13:24-31).
Paragraph 16 highlights that “things changed when Nancy looked for ways to help others who were experiencing problems”. It is a well known fact that if we avoid being too introspective and put ourselves out to help others, physiologically our negative view of our own problems lessens. In part, this is because we often come into contact with others worse off than ourselves, which then helps put our own stress and problems in perspective. As Nancy said “I listened as others explained their struggles. I noticed that when I felt more empathy for them, I felt less pity for myself”.
Paragraph 17 gives Sophia’s view, which is the view the Organization wants us to follow.
“I have found that the more involved I am in the ministry and my congregation, the better I am able to deal with stress and worry.”
This is just a personal point of view the Organization is promoting because it suits them.
However, my personal experience is that it is often exactly this which causes stress and problems for many Witnesses as they try to bury their stress and problems under more and more ministry in the belief that by doing this, Jehovah will solve all their problems for them, which actually increases the stress rather than reducing it. This promoted view of Sophia’s is dangerous as it has become the stock answer given by elders to Witnesses with all sorts of problems. Whether marriage problems, loss of loved ones, financial difficulties, the answer given is the same: Do more in Jehovah’s service—by which they mean serve the Organization—and no attempt is made to tackle the cause of the problems.
The concluding paragraph (19) gives Romans 8:37-39 as the read scripture, but does not discuss it. It reads “On the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through the one who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The verses immediately prior to this state: “Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword? Just as it is written: “For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we have been accounted as sheep for slaughtering.”
As the context shows, these verses were written specifically about and for the early Christians undergoing vicious persecution because of their acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. It was not talking about everyday stress and trials of life, although of course the principle can be extended to that. These verses reassure us that nothing has the power to stop us as Christians ultimately receiving Christ’s love, except ourselves. Yet, bear in mind that these verses are addressing spirit anointed Christians.
This scripture can actually reassure us that the fear, obligation and guilt that the Organization tries to instill in all Witnesses will fail, as compliance with it is not what will determine our future under Christ’s Kingdom. Rather it will be Christ’s merciful, unconditional love, and on our part simply doing our best to be true Christians.
Thanks for your reply
From what I am getting from your comments, do you mean there is a difference between being “created” and being the “only begotten son of God”?
Many thanks again
Hi Jamesbrown Yes, according to my actual knowledge (IMHO) and based on texts mentioned before, please look particularly at this one: “For unto which of the ANGELS said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Heb 1:5, KJV). In this text are two things in contrast, using the verb BEGET – Jesus and angles. Our beloved brother Paul here said that Jesus has been begotten, citing Psalm 2:7 and 2 Sam 7:14. This action obviously took place in heaven, because Paul mentioned angles, not men. We know, that through Jesus has been created… Read more »
Am I correct in saying that you are saying that Jehovah and Jesus “could be” the same?
Hello James. Yes in a way I raised that possibility, but not in the way most people probably understand your question. My statement was, I am not sure if that name Jehovah as written in scripture represents only the Father, or if it represents instead the Father and Son together while sometimes representing either of them individually. The same could be true of the pronouns which only denote a singular individual, such as “he” or “I” while representing the name Jehovah. In the same way the beast of Revelation is called “he,” (singular). Though scriptures claim the beast of Revelation… Read more »
Compare the statement made in Joel 2:32, which uses the tetragrammaton, to statements made in 1 Corinthians 1:2-3 and Matthew 28:19, and you might understand my point that the tetragrammaton might denote the Father and Son working together in places while possibly describing them individually in other places. Because in every instance the Father or Son is mentioned in scripture they are working for the same purposes, as God. Hence Christ’s statement that if you have seen him you have also seen the Father would be a logical conclusion, if this possibility is fact. Although not enough to prove the… Read more »
I agree with Frankie that to Christians and angels Christ is God. My belief is that the point is logically undeniably, because of scriptures like Isaiah 9:6 and John 1:1 that title Christ God, as well as the scripture Frankie shared about Christ sharing the very nature of the Father, and scriptures relating to the creation and ownership of the universe. I believe WT was so successful in getting us to believe that to be untrue, because when teaching it is untrue WT focused on the relationship between the Father and Son, instead of those relationships between each of them,… Read more »
Good morning Frankie
Food for thought of what you have come up with and I will pray and for Jehovah to help me understand what you said.
Many thanks my brother.
Dear brother, my comment may be a bit complex, but please try to follow scriptures I cited, as well as their cross-references in your Bible. Please, note the parable about the nature of the human father and his son and of God Jehovah and his Son Jesus Christ (or Word) and their relations. If you would have any question about my comment, please contact me via e-mail (Eric knows my address).
God bless you. Frankie.
Good morning Frankie
I really appreciate your suggestions and will act on them.
Hi dear brother Jamesbrown. If I may, I would like to depict you another interpretation of words “only begotten Son”, which captures (IMHO) relation between God and His Son and which would resolve issues of usage of definite and indefinite articles, or lower-case and upper-case letters (God/god), as well as why Jesus is called either Son of man or Son of God. Divine substance of our Lord can hardly be explained by birth with participation of man (Mary). Jesus, when on Earth called himself the Son of Man. God begot Him of a woman as perfect man, but He could… Read more »
Hello Frankie, I am writing you to let you know that in my comment, the one that is a few comments above this one, I did not mean that I disagree with your statement that Christ was, in essence, born of the Father in heaven. I have always leaned towards that belief myself, and I still do. In the comment above I am, instead, saying that I am just not sure if that is the case, because of other possible alternative interpretations of Christ’s titles. But whether born from the Father in heaven, or always existing alongside the Father, scriptures… Read more »
OK dear brother, we have the same view. As you wrote: ” …. they are the same type of being”. Yes, divine being. Similarly, as I wrote before in parable, my beloved late father and me were also the same type of being – human being.
And yes, the glorified Jesus sits next to his Father, who is greater than Jesus ” … on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (KJV) and He is waiting for “action” (Dan 2:44), and we are waiting patiently for Him (James 5:8).
Good afternoon to all of you, and Eric I hope you are settling in well and many thanks to the family that has been kind to you and to all of us for helping you set up. The public speaker and myself got into an unusual discussion about creation, especially in line of Colossians 1: 16 because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for… Read more »
Hello James, The word “other”, in “all other things were created,” written at Colossians 1:16 in the NWT, is a misapplication of that scripture in your Bible. This is how that scripture was actually written: “For by him (Christ) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him (Christ).” The actual apostolic scripture, without that WT addition (other) in the NWT, claims Christ created all things, not that he created “all other things.” WT inserted the word “other” to promote their… Read more »
Messenger my brother You come up with some beauties of scriptures, I will look into “only begotten” and its meaning. Again an elder in our congregation who thinks he is a Greek scholar , gave me a lecture about John 1:1, definite article and indefinite article (the & a) in front of the word God or god, and he said Theo and Theon are always dealing with Jehovah and his worship, and Theos are dealing with a lessor god. Revelation 4:8,11 John is using definite article in our kingdom interlinear – the god – Theos and not Theon or Theo,… Read more »
Hello James, That’s what happens when lay people attempt to act as experts, especially when they have bought into a belief system that true experts don’t support. The translators of the NWT were not Greek scholars. Neither is your elder friend a Greek expert. One of my friends was in on writing the NWT’s appendix article on the reason that translation translates John 1:1 as “a god” and not God, when referring to Christ. I can assure you my friend was no Greek scholar. The elder you spoke to misled you by teaching you a couple errors. First, he said,… Read more »
Right James Theos is used at Revelation 4:8 and Rev 4:11. In my comment below I shared another scripture in which Theos applies to the Father, along with some other points.
Much appreciated and I will have to be careful who I share this information with.
Again thanks and take care
You are very welcome James.
As to your final question – reading the Bible will be never enough! This is one of several ways through which our heavenly Father acts. But I think your discussions with men in responsible positions within your cong will not be useful, unless they would be PIMO and your real friends.
If I may give some advise, please try to find open-minded brothers/sisters and start with less controversial questions to gradually find out anointed ones (if any).
Good morning Frankie You are right about the elders and being cautious, because awhile ago I said reading the bible is ALL there is for me to know the father and the son and future purposes. The elder laughed and said we need the GB to help us understand the bible. It was pointless for me to argue with a physical man who looks to man for guidance. In our congregation everyone is in fear of man, and more than happy to dob in someone who is NOT going according to GB teaching. Frankie my brother if you come across… Read more »
Hi brother Jamesbrown. Your position in your cong is not easy. But our Lord is with you and this is crucial. As for scriptures you would use in discussions with brothers/sisters – I would try to use topic concerning how our heavenly Father acts using His Holy Spirit. Bible was written under inspiration, so if I read Bible, Holy Spirit influences me directly, not only through GB. Useful may be the Messenger’s analysis of Acts 2: 17,18 below. In this connection (Holy Spirit acting) you can place the issue of ministry on the basis of 1 Cor 12:4-31. Did Paul… Read more »
Acts 2: 17,18: 17“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” All who are chosen to be part of Christ’s church receive the gift of Holy Spirit. And Christ’s church members are sealed right up to the time of that “great tribulation” Christ said… Read more »
Much appreciated that you continue to review the study articles objectively and thoroughly Tadua.
Would take much time and review and then the write up as well. Lost -in-Space, myself and no doubt many others read and reflect on your worthy commentary.
Fine article. Today as an exjw, I wonder about the meaning of talking of the expression: spirit annointed. In this area there is, I think, so much falsehood as can be. You should be one of God’s children following Romans 8:16, what else?You should be a spirit in accordance to 1 Corinthians 2:11, what else? You should be spiritual letting your spirit be harmonized with God’s and Christ’s spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:13-16, what else? By mercy, some have God’s spirit and some haven’t (Romans 9:18, or better read the hole chapter). The one without the likeliness of God are not… Read more »