“We love, because he first loved us.”—1 John 4:19
[From ws 2/20 p.8 April 13 – April 19]
In the box entitled “Does Jehovah notice me?” it says:
“Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Of all the billions of people alive on earth, why would Jehovah take notice of me?’ If so, you are in good company. King David wrote: “O Jehovah, what is man that you should notice him, the son of mortal man that you should pay attention to him?” (Ps. 144:3) David was confident that Jehovah knew him well. (1 Chron. 17:16-18) And through his Word and his organization, Jehovah reassures you that he notices the love you show for him. Consider some statements in God’s Word that can help you be certain of that fact:
- Jehovah noticed you even before you were born. —Ps. 139:16.
- Jehovah knows what is in your heart, and he knows what you are thinking. —1 Chron. 28:9.
- Jehovah personally listens to each one of your prayers. —Ps. 65:2.
- Your actions affect Jehovah’s feelings. —Prov. 27:11.
- Jehovah has personally drawn you to him. —John 6:44.
- If you die, Jehovah knows you so well that he will be able to resurrect you. He will reconstruct your body and restore your mind along with your memories and other unique aspects of your personality. —John 11:21-26, 39-44; Acts 24:15”.
They are all good scriptural points, with one exception. That is exception is that we need to mentally strip out the unsubstantiated, and unsubstantiatable insertion of “and his Organization” which we highlighted in bold to draw attention to its insertion.
Paragraph 4 suggests “We also listen to him by paying close attention at Christian meetings”. Think about this question. Would you go to someone other than your father to get your fathers instructions? Not usually. You would go direct to him if at all possible, then to any written instructions he left you. Only as a last resort would you go to someone who claims to have his instructions, and surely it would be only sensible to be sceptical if any instructions which you never heard from him and never saw in his written instructions.
The meetings suggested in Hebrews 10:24-25 were always about “And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another”. Is there any mention here of being expected to listen to instructions from another person claiming to represent God? No, it was always about what we as an individual could do to encourage others. It was never about passively listening to a limited number is self-appointed men.
Paragraph 5 mentions that “We do well to ask ourselves this question: ‘Do my prayers tend to be like superficial, reprinted messages, or are they like heartfelt, handwritten letters?”.
They could easily become superficial if we end up striving and, in the process, struggling, to fulfill the artificial demands put upon us by the Organization. What we do want to ensure is that we take time to do is what is suggested in paragraph 6. Although, quite how the Organization expects most Witnesses to find time for it I do not know. The suggestion is “To stay close to our heavenly Father, we must maintain a grateful attitude. We agree with the psalmist who wrote: “How many things you have done, O Jehovah my God, your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us. None can compare to you; if I were to try to tell and speak of them, they would be too numerous to recount!” (Ps. 40:5)”.
Yes, we need to take time to enjoy watching, and growing our appreciation for the creation Jehovah made for our enjoyment. For instance:
- Have you stroked a bumble bee?
- Have you watched dragonflies darting around a pond or garden ridding the area of mosquitos and other small insects?
- Or the ants scurrying around with their huge loads and all co-ordinated?
- Or a butterfly or bee going from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen?
Doing these things will help build our appreciation for what God has done for us and show that care for what he has done.
The words of paragraph 7 are accurate when it says “How pleasant it is to be part of a family of brothers and sisters who are “kind to one another, tenderly compassionate”! —Ephesians 4:32”. But ask yourself this question, are most Witnesses that you know like that? If not, why not? Ponder over the following points for a moment.
- How many of the meetings in the last year really encouraged you to, and taught you how to, manifest a fruit of the spirit in a better way to anyone you come in contact with?
- Reflect for a moment on what Jesus said would identify true Christians. Was it not “love among yourselves”? (John 13:35). Do you really see this in your congregation as a whole or just on the part of a handful of individuals?
- Most families want to spend time together, but do you find that most Witnesses just want to leave the meetings asap and rarely socialise?
True, some congregations may still be loving, but these are very rare today. The one we attend was loving to some extent at one time but has not been so for some time. Other local congregations we know well have not been like that for many, many years now.
Paragraphs 8-11 are under the heading “Show your Love by being Obedient”.
While this statement is true, we do show are love of God by being obedient to his instructions, we need to ensure we are being obedient to Jehovah’s instructions, not those claiming to be passing on God’s instructions.
For example, would you obey the following?
“our survival of coming events will depend on our obedience to Jehovah’s instructions. (Isaiah 30:21) Such instructions come to us through the congregation arrangement. Therefore, we want to develop heartfelt obedience to the guidance we are receiving.(1 John 5:3)” (Gods Kingdom Rules Chapter 21 para 20)
“(3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” (Watchtower November 15, 2013 page 20 para 17).
Are these God’s instructions?
No, there is no scripture in the entire Bible that tells us that God would appoint an Organization to relay his instructions, normal or strange. These statements are based on interpretation of little-known Bible prophecies which the Organization applies to Armageddon and to themselves without any justification whatsoever.
The instructions given to the Christians in the first century, while they may have sounded strange, were given long in advance by Jesus himself. They were not given at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction by the apostles. There is therefore no precedence for such instructions being required or provided, now or when Armageddon does come.
Paragraph 12-14 has the heading “Help Others to Love Our Father”. This is the usual plug for the preaching work as defined by the Organization. But if you are proud of your father and want others to love and respect him, what is the best thing you can do? Is it not to be like your father? To be kind and loving and respectful to others? Then, when others see us, they will automatically think what a good father you have. If you just tell others you have a good father, will they just believe you, because you said so? Highly unlikely.
John 14:9 records Jesus saying, “He that has seen me has seen the Father also”. Later, in John 14:21, Jesus told his listeners “He that has my commandments and observes them, that one is he who loves me. In turn he that loves me will be loved by my Father”.
On balance, a beneficial Watchtower Study, provided we watch out for the subtle propaganda of the Organization.