“All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12.
[From ws 7/19 p.2 Study Article 27: Sept 2 – Sept 8, 2019]
Paragraph 1 tells us: “As the end of this system of things draws closer, we expect our enemies to oppose us even more. – Matthew 24:9.”
True, the end of this system of things draws closer, one day at a time, just as it has in the nearly 2,000 years since Jesus mentioned the end of a system of things. But, the verse in Matthew referred to is describing the end of the Jewish System of things that would come in the lifetime of the majority of Jesus audiences. However, Jesus’ presence would come as a shock to all. Does not Matthew 24:42 remind us, we “do not know on what day our Lord is coming.” Therefore, there is no basis for stating that enemies would oppose the Organization now more than any other time in history. That also presupposes that the Organization practices true Christianity in the same manner as first Century Christians. This is something which regular readers will know has repeatedly been shown to be an errant conclusion.
There are also reasons why authorities and others would take it upon themselves to oppose the Organization.
- One is the stubborn refusal to come clean about the systemic failure to get to grips with child abusers within their ranks and to make changes to minimize the chances of its occurrence at least on repeated offences.
- Another is the shunning policy of weak, lapsed and disfellowshipped Witnesses which is against Christian principles and basic human rights.
Having raised the specter of persecution without scriptural basis and introduced “fear” into the readers mind, the next paragraph then tries to encourage us not to worry! Far better that they write with accuracy in the first place.
The following paragraphs go on to give these good points:
“Be convinced that Jehovah loves you and that he will never abandon you. (Read Hebrews 13:5, 6.)” (Paragraph 4) This is very good advice. We would never want to lose our faith in God and Christ, certainly not just because we were fooled by men who were telling lies for their own gain.
“Read the Bible daily with the goal of drawing closer to Jehovah. (James 4:8)” – Paragraph 5.
Again, very good advice, with a caveat, to make sure we use a number of Bible translations so we can be able to distinguish which translators have twisted the translation to support their own agenda and views. The Organization does not own the copyright on this type of corruption of God’s Word, it is widespread. For example, many translations replace the Tetragrammaton (God’s name) with “Lord”, while the NWT goes the opposite way and in many places in the Greek scriptures, replaces “Lord” where according to the context either refers to Jesus, or is likely referring to Jesus rather than Jehovah. Both groups are incorrect.
“Pray regularly. (Psalm 94:17-19)” – Paragraph 6.
Of course building up a relationship with our Heavenly Father and also our Saviour is vital. An important way we can do this apart from study of God’s Word is by prayer.
“Be convinced that the blessings of God’s Kingdom will come true. (Numbers 23:19)…Make it a study project to examine God’s promises about his Kingdom and the reasons why you can be certain that they will come true – Paragraph 7.
We would echo this fine suggestion with one caveat: A study of the Bible should surely only use Bibles and Bible Dictionaries. It should not ordinarily use any publications that contain interpretations of the Bible, including the Organization’s publications, so as not to cloud our understanding of the Bible. However, the Organization wants you to view their publications as a vital guide to the Bible. You may be surprised at what you find or cannot find. For instance, attempt to find what the chosen ones do after their resurrection (which the Organization teaches has occurred from 1914 onwards) from the Bible alone.
“Regularly attend Christian meetings. Meetings help us to draw closer to Jehovah. Our attitude toward attending meetings is a good indicator of how successful we will be at dealing with persecution in the future. (Hebrews 10:24, 25)” – Paragraph 8.
Subtext: Fear, Obligation and Guilt in large doses. If you do not attend every meeting, you will not be able to withstand persecution and will fail to gain everlasting life. A far better phrase would be the correct understanding of Hebrews which is to “Regularly associate with like-minded Christians”.
“Memorize your favorite scriptures. (Matthew 13:52)”. – Paragraph 9.
This is a good suggestion. It makes an accurate statement when it says: “Your memory may not be perfect, but Jehovah can use his powerful holy spirit to bring those scriptures back to your mind. (John 14:26)”
“Memorize and sing songs that praise Jehovah” – Paragraph 10.
This too is a good suggestion, provided those songs are solely words from God’s Word such as the Psalms. The Psalms were and still are used in Judaism.
Paragraphs 13-16 are suggesting that preaching now will give us courage in the future. As the officials persecuting a sister suggested by their comments, it would be more likely stubbornness rather than courage. Courage means to face dangers without fear, rather than stubbornly refusing to comply.
Paragraph 19 really highlights the constant contradictions contained in such articles. It says, “Yet, every day they continued to go to the temple and publicly identify themselves as disciples of Jesus. (Acts 5:42) They refused to cower in fear. We too can defeat our own fear of man by regularly and publicly identifying ourselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses—at work, at school, and in our neighborhood.—Acts 4:29; Romans 1:16”.
The question this raises is, Should we be identifying ourselves as Disciples of Christ or Witnesses of Jehovah? According to Acts 10:39-43, if we wish to imitate first century Christians we should be witnesses to Jesus, even as the prophets were. (See also Acts 13:31, Revelation 17:6)
Paragraph 21 attempts to raise the fear factor when it says, “We do not know when a wave of persecution or even an outright ban will affect our worship of Jehovah.”
The Subtext: We don’t know when persecution will come, but it definitely will come. The idea is likely that the Organization knows it is and will continue to be called on the mat for its mishandling of child sexual abuse cases as well as its human rights abuses, and so wants to reframe the impending storm as ‘persecution from Satan’s wicked world.’
The theme scripture states: “In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted”. However, the Bible also says, “Therefore, whoever opposes the [governmental] authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves.” (Ro 13:2) It also says, “For what merit is there in it if, when YOU are sinning and being slapped, YOU endure it? But if, when YOU are doing good and YOU suffer, YOU endure it, this is a thing agreeable with God.” (1Pe 2:20)
What question is, Will their attempt to relabel their impending tribulation for past sins as ‘persecution due to godly devotion’ work? Surely, there will be some Witnesses, perhaps a majority, who will buy into the fantasy. But surely there will be a significant number who will see through the facade.
The truth is that the only way to the Father is through the son, and if someone tries another route, he will lose out on the spirit of truth and will flounder. Yet again, Christ Jesus is merely mentioned 7 times in this article, while Jehovah was named four times as often—29 times, excluding use of the name in “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
In conclusion, an article of mixed benefit. Some good suggestions mixed with a healthy dose of FOG. (Fear mongering, Obligation, Guilt tripping)
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I noticed how the Organization weaves a subtle web of deceit and fear-mongering among witnesses. Things like come to the meetings to be able to stand strong when persecution comes, the use of Fear, Obligation and Guilt, or F.O.G. to make witnesses identify themselves as J.W.’s rather than Witnesses of Jesus. The Organization knows that it is facing many more major lawsuits concerning the abuse and/or violation of children, so now they are going to scream “Persecution! Persecution!” I remember a co-worker who used every lunch break, every staff meeting, every morning or evening… Read more »
Agreed, the org is constantly promoting itself as God’s channel of salvation and playing as an innocent victim to persecutions that arise as a result of it’s own failures and sins.
Hello Gogetter and all readers. Your quote: ” the real threat to the organization are those who are labeled as PIMO’s (physically in mentally out) Who can effect real change from within by waking friends up to the real situation in our so called “spiritual paradise. “ The WT organization CANNOT be changed. Maybe you can help some individual Christians understand Christianity better, but not the organization. One explanation that I have heard as to to why that cannot be done is summed up in one of Ray Franz’s books, as he stated Jehovah’s Witnesses are “captive to a concept.”… Read more »
Yes, Messenger, every religious organization is unreformable as to its basic doctrines. A stubborn attempt to reform leads to a new denomination. Martin Luther did not want to establish a new denomination – he just wanted to reform his own. And this effort eventually led to the formation of dozens of new “reformed” denominations and, as a “by-product”, it led then to the Thirty Years War. And this splitting continues to this day.
Love to you and all. Frankie
By far, the greatest persecution I have ever experienced and on going for some 20 years, was right there from the jw congregation sadly misled by it’s drunkards of Ephraim elder body. The insistent teaching of the commands of men as doctrine puts a crushing burden on all lovers of truth. Now to Our Heavenly Father Jehovah (Yehovah) and as a witness of Christ Jesus (Yeshua through whom all things have become yes!), my load is light. So “get out of her, my people” if you do not want to share with her in her sins because the judgment of… Read more »
Hi to all, Tadua, really a great article I enjoyed it very much. If only I had this review last Sunday meeting, I would have been better equipped. Let me tell you what happened after Sunday meeting. I walked in and greeted an elder, and as we were talking a young boy came running and greeted us by name, the elder was offended and insisted that the young boy rephrase his greeting, by saying brother so and so, I for one didn’t see what was all the fuse, but he turned and said, if you like to be disrespected, that’s… Read more »
Rock on, JB. I hope we get to hear what they have to say when they visit you. It is not easy to think on the spot, so well done !
James maybe you should start using the name Fearless James or Son of Thunder.
Good work James, the way you handled the elder and his wife proves Jehovah is backing us because he wants all to have the truth as stated in the Bible and not a sectarian interplatation of the good news.
Absolutely brilliant JB. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall watching and listening to that exchange.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your encouraging comments. It makes it all worthwhile.
Not in the slightest.
Loved this experience. I hope I can be half as articulate if challenged.
We must get prepared for more and more articles like this one! The GB have been preparing for not Christ return ( core belief ,He came in 1914) but for the hammer that is about to fall for their apostasy with a ten year union as a United Nations NGO (well documented) and the abhorrent institutional mishandling and outright coverup of worldwide child abuse within the organization! These are two main reasons why Jehovah is bringing judgement upon his people who carry his name among the many other unscriptural things that are frequently discussed here. One only needs to follow… Read more »
I agree wholeheartedly with your comments Gogetter. I too am PIMO and whenever I have questioned how Holy Spirit is involved in appointing Elders (and others) who have been guilty of committing crimes against children, i am always faced with the reply, “Well Jesus chose Judas Iscariot under guidance of Holy Spirit and look at what he did!”
My response usually tries to point out that Judas was, in effect, used to fulfil prophecies made about the Messiah. Then comes the typical, “Well let’s just wait on Jehovah” answer that we hear all too often.
Yes, Torso Boy, the reply “Well Jesus chose Judas Iscariot under guidance of Holy Spirit and look at what he did!” is terrible. This can say only someone with closed indoctrinated mind. Jesus knew very well who He chose because He knew everything about everyone (John 2:25). You would tell him you don’t have to wait anymore, because Jehovah already told you and try to make him read the verse John 13:18, where our Lord explained, why He chose Judas: ” … I KNOW whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled … “. Love to you and… Read more »
Hi Frankie. Thanks for the references to Jesus’ words in John’s gospel. I will remember to use them the next time this topic comes up in conversation. Unfortunately, I think that it will be a case of bashing my head against a brick wall (or offering pearls to swine?). But as long as I remain in I will not give up trying, especially where my family is concerned. This site has been a real blessing to me and an answer to my prayers. I appreciate all the upbuilding comments and the wealth of knowledge and experience from all the contributors.… Read more »
Hi Torso Boy. Thank you for sharing your not easy situation with us. As to “bashing your head against a brick wall” – I think it is a part of good fight for faith. And I also understand that you have to consider your dear ones. Our Lord Jesus will help you through prayers, just as He is helping me (John 16:23). I am also very happy to find this website. After some searching I found fresh water in the desert. I consider the site beroeans.net as my “virtual congregation”, with open-minded brothers and sisters in Christ all over the… Read more »
Hello Torso Boy,
Since many readers commenting here have WT believing relatives, it might be a good idea for all of us to share some comments about what caused us to view WT differently. There might be some commonalities that we can use to influence others.
True, God woke us up, but the ways he shook us, while doing so, might have some things in common.
Hi messenger. One of the many things I love about this site is the diversity of brothers and sisters that have awoken to “the truth about the truth”. I was baptised 22 years ago and admittedly fell for how easy the “truth” seemed to be and couldn’t understand how no one else understood these teachings. Being raised in a non-religious household and also being a victim of abuse as a child, I was wary of churches and organisations that had a reputation of covering over those types of offences. So I was curious when I heard that JW’s were to… Read more »
Great point. The next time someone says this to me, I’m going to have to ask them about this.
Totally agree with your assessment of the Governing BodyI want to copy and paste this, so I can ask my sister (She is a staunch J.W.) these questions. Maybe she will “wake up”
“All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12. This quotation of scripture, that opens the Watchtower article, shows that receiving persecution is a constant feature of Christianity, until Christ rules the earth. Paul’s scripture defines a time period that lasts until Christ comes. With regard to scriptures in Romans chapter 13. Those scriptures claim there are more authorities placed over humans by God, than just himself. There are parents and public teachers over minors; and police, governments, and employers over adult citizens. Romans 13 claims God has… Read more »
On this point about WT’s lax child protection policies. Occasionally it is possible to catch WT in an obvious lie. I tend to give all Christians the benefit of the doubt about the sincerity of their thought while teaching Bible scriptures. I personally attribute most wrong statements by Christian teachers to their ignorance, rather than ill intent. However, occasionally it is possible to know a Christian teacher chooses to spread a lie. Some time back Stephen Lett was recorded by WT on a video telling Jehovah’s Witnesses that the rumors about WT having a problem with its child protection policies… Read more »
Thank you Tadua for your review. One question I want to throw out there for discussion occurs in paragraph 1 – it uses three nouns, “Christian Witnesses of Jehovah”. The name “Christian” was given to those disciples of Christ. – Acts 11:26. That part is clear, then why is the WT article using a group of nouns (as above) in a collective manner? Jesus said “You will be witnesses of me…” he did not say witnesses of Jehovah. The only time I can recall where Jehovah confers a title is in reference to Israel. Isaiah 43:9 -10. I have added… Read more »
The citation from Romans 13:2 should be without the government in brackets. All authority mentioned here is God’s authority. Thanks anyway.
Were not the governmental authorities put in place by God as the first verse of Romans 13 tells us? And the point being made is we are told we should honor those put into those positions. So why wouldn’t the organization follow scripture or is that just for us scum like other sheep?
In Greek there is no mention of superior authority in vers one, only authority which we are told is from God. This kind of authority must be authority to do good and never evil. Vers 2 tells us not to oppose God’s authority or we will be judged. In vers 3 the leaders are mentioned and should be feared if we do evil. Vers 5 gives you the reason why you never should do evil, either fearing the sword or your conscience. My main point is that Romans 13 can never give you any right to follow kings, presidents, societies… Read more »
Hi brother River. I think that the Tadua’s brackets with word “government” is OK. There is only one word “authorities” (exousia, Strong 1849) everywhere in Romans 13:1-3 in interlinear translations, neither “government”, nor “superior”. The word “government” is in brackets only as specification of type of authorities. And yes, I agree with your words: “Romans 13 can never give you any right to follow kings, presidents, societies or others in doing wrong”. Governments are established by God to do good things (Romans 13:4), but unfortunately they act too often in wrong way. If the government is established by God, and… Read more »
The rhetoric of how much the world hates us, which is used to justify the dubious fact they are the one true religion rings through. It’s couldn’t possibly be the fact the organization flaunts laws and feels above everyone. No amount of justification is there for harbouring child sex abusers and for not reporting to the proper authorities. This is not persecution because the world hates you, its because you are harming children and have such a self centered unloving opinion of the “other sheep” that the only ones that matter in the GB eyes are themselves and the annointed.… Read more »