Comments You Will Not Hear at the 12-11-05 WT Study (November 1, 2005 issue)
Review comments will be in redWT material from today's WT will be in black
Quotes from other sources will be in quotes boxesw = Watchtower
g = Awake www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible
http://www.randytv.com/secret/unitednations.htm WILL YOU WALK WITH GOD? "Be modest in walking with your God." -MICAH 6:8. Opening Comments When a Christian thinks of walking, what scriptures might come to mind? OT Scriptures?
(1 Peter 2:21) In fact, to this [course] YOU were called, because even Christ suffered for YOU, leaving YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely.
(Matthew 11:29) . . .. 29 Take my yoke upon YOU and learn from me, . . Or, "Get under my yoke with me."
(Colossians 2:6) 6 Therefore, as YOU have accepted Christ Jesus the Lord, go on walking in union with him,
Try to keep these thoughts in mind as you read the following.
START OF ARTICLE
A BABY, standing on wobbly legs, reaches toward a parent's outstretched arms and
takes its first few steps. It may seem a small thing, but to the mother and
father, it is a milestone, a moment full of promise for the future. The parents
eagerly look forward to walking with their child, hand in hand, in the months
and years to come. In many ways, they hope to provide the child with guidance
and support far into the future. Walking with their child--Most JW men are so busy with congregation duties, they never have time to walk with their children. How many JW men take their child with them even in door to door or do they dash off to do congregational chores leaving mom with the kids? 2 Jehovah God has similar feelings toward his earthly children. He once said
regarding his people Israel, or Ephraim: "I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them
upon my arms ... With the ropes of earthling man I kept drawing them, with the
cords of love." (Hosea 11:3, 4) Jehovah here describes himself as a loving
parent who is patiently teaching a child to walk, perhaps taking him into His
arms when he falls. Jehovah, the ultimate Parent, is eager to teach us how to
walk. He also delights in accompanying us as we continue to make progress. As
our theme text shows, we can walk with God! (Micah 6:8) But what does it mean to
walk with God? Why do we need to do so? How is it possible? And what blessings
come from walking with God? Let us consider these four questions one at a time. Jehovah God--Where's Jesus? Father--Christ or God? *** w59 10/1 p. 583 Have You Been Baptized for Life? ***
What about Noah's sons and daughters-in-law? These picture, quite fittingly, the "great crowd" of "other sheep," who as children of Jesus Christ, the "Father for eternity," will live in the earthly Paradise.
Walking with God--but no one wants to walk with you at the KH, in field service, or socially.
What Does It Mean to Walk With God?
3 Of course, a flesh and-blood human cannot literally take a walk with Jehovah,
a spirit being. (Exodus 33:20; John 4:24) So when the Bible speaks of humans
walking with God, it uses figurative language. It paints a remarkable word
picture, one that rises above national and cultural boundaries and that even
transcends time. After all, in what place or era would people be unable to grasp
the concept of one person walking in company with another? This word picture
conveys warmth and closeness, does it not? Such feelings give us some insight
into what it means to walk with God. Let us be more specific, though. Of course...after all--insulting the reader. Spirit being--did you know that the WTS makes a big deal of the "fact" that only God is a being. That is why many oldtimers will correct you if you say "human being." *** w58 12/15 p. 764 Questions from Readers ***
I have been told that it is improper to speak of a human being. Yet being is defined in this way in the dictionary. What is the proper viewpoint on this matter?-J. P., United States.
According to modern dictionaries every human creature is a human being because he has being or exists. Dr. Joseph B. Rotherham in the foreword of The Emphasised Bible discusses the meaning of God's name, Jehovah. Because this name means, according to Dr. Rotherham, that Jehovah God manifests himself as always alive in one capacity or the other, Rotherham, too, argues that Jehovah is the only being and that all other intelligent existing things are merely creatures. For some years now the Watch Tower publications have ascribed the quality of being only to Jehovah God, in view of the basic significance of his name. So it has reserved the word "being" as a sort of title of Jehovah out of respect for the significance of his name and has referred to humans as mere creatures. So the Watch Tower publications have refrained from applying the term "being" to humans in order to enhance the inherent quality of self-perpetuating existence that persists in Jehovah God. However, as you say, according to the definition of modern dictionaries human creatures are human beings. If anyone wants to use the modern dictionary meaning he is free to do so, but in the light of what is above said we trust you will understand why our publications have restricted the expression to Jehovah God.
4 Remember the faithful men Enoch and Noah. Why are they described as walking
with God? (Genesis 5:24; 6:9) In the Bible, the term "to walk" often means to
follow a certain course of action. Enoch and Noah chose a course in life that
was in harmony with the will of Jehovah God. Unlike those in the world around
them, they looked to Jehovah for guidance and obeyed his direction. They trusted
in him. Does this mean that Jehovah made their decisions for them? No. Jehovah
has given humans free will, and he wants us to use that gift along with our own
"power of reason." (Romans 12:1) As we make decisions, however, we humbly allow
our power of reason to be guided by Jehovah's infinitely superior mind.
(Proverbs 3: 5, 6; Isaiah 55:8, 9) In effect, as we walk through life, we take
that journey in close company with Jehovah. Faithful men Enoch and Noah--OT examples, where are the women? Did you notice that very few women are named in the Bible? What was the name of Noah's wife? Will of Jehovah God--really the will of the WTS as they interpret the will of God [God] made their decisions for them...free will--does the WTS give its members free will? Can men choose to wear beards--only if they want all their "privileges" taken away? Can they choose to have a blood transfusion--only if they want the WTS to say they have disassociated themselves and no JW will talk to them. 5 The Bible often likens life to a journey or a walk. In some cases, that
comparison is direct, but in other cases, it is implied. For instance, Jesus
said: "Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?" (Matthew
6:27) Something about those words may strike you as puzzling. Why would Jesus
speak of adding "one cubit," which is a measure of distance, to a person's "life
span," which is measured in terms of time?* (Footnote: * Some Bible translations
change the "cubit" in this verse to a measurement of time, as in "one moment"
(The Emphatic Diaglott) or "a single minute" (A Translation in the Language of
the People, by Charles B. Williams). However, the word used in the original text
definitely means a cubit, which was about 18 inches in length.Jesus was
evidently picturing life as a journey. In effect, he taught that worrying will
not help you to add even a small step to the walk of your life. Should we
conclude, though, that there is nothing we can do about the length of that walk?
Far from it! That brings us to our second question, Why do we need to walk with
God? Now the WTS tries to impress us with Bible knowledge. Evidently...in effect--the Bible doesn't say. Notice that the WTS actually names the author and title of a source. Why Do We Need to Walk With God? 6 One reason why we need to walk with Jehovah God is explained at Jeremiah
10:23: "I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong.
It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step." So we humans
have neither the ability nor the right to direct our own life course. We are in
desperate need of guidance. Those who insist on going their own way, independent
of God, make the same mistake that Adam and Eve made. The first pair assumed the
right to determine for themselves what is good and what is bad. (Genesis 3:1-6)
That right simply "does not belong" to us. We humans--includes the FDS/GB/WTS--have neither the ability nor the right to direct our own life course--or the life course of another. Desperate need of guidance--and not from other humans *** w02 10/15 p. 18 Jehovah Cares for You ***
We also need the guidance of "the faithful and discreet slave" to feed our minds with spiritual food given "at the proper time." (Matthew 24:45)
*** w99 1/1 p. 17 "Make Your Hearts Firm" ***
Further, in these last days, "the faithful and discreet slave" is providing spiritual "food at the proper time," guidance in applying Bible principles and understanding Bible prophecy. (Matthew 24:45-47)
Independent of God--independent of the WTS *** w85 6/1 p. 19 Walk With Confidence in Jehovah's Leadership ***
Like earlier servants of God, then, we should shun an independent spirit, joyfully cooperate with God's theocratic organization, and walk with complete confidence in Jehovah's leadership.
Adam and Eve--sidepoint: does the WTS teach that human sin descended through Adam and Eve or just Adam?
Assumed the right to determine for themselves what is good and what is bad...that right "does not belong" to us--or the the WTS.
7 Do you not feel the need for guidance on life's journey? Every day, we face
decisions small and great. Some of these are difficult and can affect our
future-as well as that of our loved ones. Just think, though, that someone
infinitely older and wiser than we are is happy to give us loving guidance in
making those decisions! Sadly, most people today prefer to trust their own
judgment and guide their own steps. They ignore the truth stated at Proverbs
28:26: "He that is trusting in his own heart is stupid, but he that is walking
in wisdom is the one that will escape." Jehovah wants us to escape the disasters
that result from trusting the treacherous human heart. (Jeremiah 17:9) He wants
us to walk in wisdom, to trust in him as our wise Guide and Instructor. When we
do, our walk in life is secure, satisfying, and fulfilling. Decisions small and great--and there is a WT article on every one. Guidance--from God or the WTS? Trust their own judgment--or trust the WTS. 1874, 1878, 1881, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1940's, 1975.....did the WTS trust their own judgment? Did the trust in their own heart? Were they led by their own treacherous hearts? Trust in God = trusting the WTS *** w04 9/1 pp. 17-18 Beware of "the Voice of Strangers" ***
What does Jesus, the Fine Shepherd, tell us to do? He teaches us to make disciples and to trust "the faithful and discreet slave." (Matthew 24:45; 28:18-20) Obeying his voice means our eternal life.-Acts 3:23.
8 Another reason why we need to walk with God involves the length of the walk we
want to take. The Bible states a grim truth. In a sense, all imperfect humans
are walking toward the same destination. In describing the trials that come with
old age, Ecclesiastes 12:5 says: "Man is walking to his long-lasting house and
the wailers have marched around in the street." What is this "long-lasting
house"? The grave, where sin and imperfection naturally take us. (Romans 6:23)
However, Jehovah wants more for us than a short, troubled walk from cradle to
grave. (Job 14:1) Only by walking with God can we hope to walk for as long as we
were meant to walk -forever. Is that not what you want? Clearly, then, you need
to walk with your Father. Length of walk--CARROT! Forever--CARROT! How Can We Walk With God? 9 The third question in our consideration deserves our most careful attention.
It is, How can we walk with God? We find the answer at Isaiah 30:20, 21: "Your
Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself, and your eyes must become eyes
seeing your Grand Instructor. And your own ears will hear a word behind you
saying: `This is the way. Walk in it, you people,' in case you people should go
to the right or in case you should go to the left." In this encouraging passage,
Jehovah's words recorded in verse 20 may have reminded his people that when they
rebelled against him, he was, in effect, hidden from them. (Isaiah 1:15; 59:2)
Here, though, Jehovah is represented, not as hiding, but as standing openly
before his faithful people. We might think of an instructor standing before his
students, demonstrating what he wants them to learn. Careful attention...encouraging passage--the WTS makes careful use of adjectives. Rebelled against him = rebelled against the WTS *** w85 6/1 p. 18 Walk With Confidence in Jehovah's Leadership ***
Often coupled with 'disregard for lordship' is an independent and rebellious spirit that ignores the fact that Jehovah is directing his organization. This spirit had dire consequences for Korah and others who challenged the God-given authority of Moses and Aaron.
His faithful people--only JWs.
10 In verse 21, a different word picture is painted. Jehovah is depicted as
walking behind his people, issuing directions on the right way to walk. Bible
scholars have noted that this expression might be based on the way a shepherd
sometimes follows his sheep, calling out to guide them and to keep them from
going the wrong way. How does this word picture apply to us? Well, when we turn
to God's Word for guidance, we are reading words that were recorded thousands of
years ago. They are coming from behind us, as it were, in the stream of time.
Yet, they are just as relevant today as they were the day they were written.
Bible counsel can guide us in our day-to-day decisions, and it can help us to
map out the course of our life over the years to come. (Psalm 119:105) When we
earnestly seek out such counsel and apply it, then Jehovah is our Guide. We are
walking with God. Bible scholars--which ones? God's Word for guidance--WTS publications *** w85 1/15 p. 31 The Bible-A Book to Be Read ***
By all means, avail yourself fully of the spiritual guidance provided in true Christian publications provided by God through "the faithful and discreet slave." (Matthew 24:45-47)
Blurb on page 23: Through the pages of the Bible, we hear Jehovah's voice behind
us say, "This is the way" 11 Are we really allowing God's Word to guide us that closely? It is worthwhile
to pause at times and examine ourselves honestly. Consider a verse that will
help us to do so: "This is what Jehovah has said: `Stand still in the ways, you
people, and see, and ask for the roadways of long ago, where, now, the good way
is; and walk in it, and find ease for your souls."' (Jeremiah 6:16) These words
might remind us of a traveler who pauses at a crossroads to ask for directions.
In a spiritual sense, Jehovah's rebellious people in Israel needed to do
something similar. They needed to find their way back to "the roadways of long
ago." That "good way" was the way in which their faithful forefathers had
walked, the way from which the nation had foolishly strayed. Sadly, Israel
responded stubbornly to this loving reminder from Jehovah. The same verse
continues: "But they kept saying: `We are not going to walk."' In modern times,
though, God's people have responded differently to such counsel. Are we really allowing God's Word to guide us that closely? Where in the Bible does it say Christian men cannot wear beards? Where in the Bible does it say that a Christian cannot accept a blood transfusion or a organ transplant (1967-1980)? Where in the Bible does it say that Christians must turn in a time slip? God's people--only JWs. 12 Since late in the 19th century, Christ's anointed followers have applied the
counsel of Jeremiah 6:16 to themselves. As a class, they have led the way in a
wholehearted return to "the roadways of long ago." Unlike apostate Christendom,
they have faithfully adhered to "the pattern of healthful words" that was
established by Jesus Christ and up held by his faithful followers back in the
first century C.E. (2 Timothy 1:13) To this day, the anointed help one another
as well as their "other sheep" companions to pursue the healthful, happy way of
life that Christendom has abandoned. John 10:16. Christ's anointed followers--only Bible Students and since 1931 only JWs. Apostate Christendom--can you imagine telling people at the door that their religion is apostate or a have a new student sitting in the auudience? Pattern of healthful words--only what the WTS teaches *** w03 1/1 p. 29 What Can Help Us to Handle the Word of the Truth Aright? ***
What are the "healthful words" of which Paul spoke? He uses that expression to refer to true Christian doctrine. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul explained that "healthful words" are basically "those of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Timothy 6:3)
*** w02 9/15 p. 16 Keep Practicing the Things You Have Learned ***
In the first century, such individuals as Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus were advocating ideas that did not fit "the pattern of healthful words." (1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:16, 17) How could the early Christians avoid being led astray by apostates?
13 By providing spiritual food at the proper time, the faithful slave class has
helped millions to find "the roadways of long ago" and to walk with God.
(Matthew 24:45-47) Are you among those millions? If so, what can you do to avoid
drifting away, turning to follow your own course? It is wise to stop
periodically and examine the way you are walking in life. If you faithfully read
the Bible and Bible-based publications and attend the programs of instruction
sponsored by the anointed today, then you are being trained to walk with God.
And when you humbly apply the counsel you are given, you are indeed walking with
God, following "the roadways of long ago." By providing spiritual food at the proper time, the faithful slave class has
helped millions to find "the roadways of long ago" and to walk with God.
(Matthew 24:45-47) If you faithfully read the Bible and Bible-based publications and attend the programs of instruction sponsored by the anointed today Even here they show that no one can walk with God without going through the FDS. Millions--only JWs Indeed walking with God--if "you humbly apply the counsel you are given" not by God but the FDS. Walk as Though "Seeing the One Who Is Invisible" 14 For us to walk with Jehovah, he must be real to us. Remember, Jehovah assured
faithful ones in ancient Israel that he was not hidden from them. Today, he
likewise reveals himself to his people as the Grand Instructor. Is Jehovah that
real to you, as though he were standing before you to instruct you? That is the
kind of faith we need if we are to walk with God. Moses had such faith, "for he
continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27) If
Jehovah is real to us, then we will take his feelings into account when we make
decisions. For example, we would not even consider engaging in wrongdoing and
then try to hide our sins from Christian elders or family members. Rather, we
endeavor to walk with God even when no fellow human can see us. Like King David
of old, we resolve: "I shall walk about in the integrity of my heart inside my
house."-Psalm 101:2. Real to us...standing before us--with the FDS standing in between. Take his feelings into account--his feelings as the WTS explains them and the feelings of the WTS/FDS Try to hide our sins from Christian elders or family members--but JWs do that all the time, especially the elders. They are unchristian behind the eyes of the rank and file and never think that God sees them. David-- an OT example of someone who committed adultery and murder and tried to hide it.
(Ezekiel 8:12) 12 And he proceeded to say to me: "Have you seen, O son of man, what the elderly ones of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each one in the inner rooms of his showpiece? For they are saying, 'Jehovah is not seeing us. Jehovah has left the land.'"
Blurb on page 25: At meetings, we receive spiritual food at the proper time
15 Jehovah understands that we are imperfect, fleshly creatures and that we may
at times find it a challenge to believe in what we cannot see. (Psalm 103:14) He
does much to help us overcome such weakness. For example, he has gathered
together "a people for his name" from all the nations of the earth. (Acts 15:14)
As we unitedly serve together, we draw strength from one another. Hearing how
Jehovah has helped a spiritual brother or sister overcome some weakness or pass
some difficult test makes our God even more real to us.-1 Peter 5:9. Belief in God is hard or belief in the WTS authority? People for his name--only JWs and not for Christ's name, Christians Unitedly serve together--obviously this writer has never attended the average JW congregation. Draw strength from one another-- only if you are "mature" and don't need help. "Weak" ones are kicked aside and even cast out and ignored. Jehovah has helped--definitely not helped by the elders who find shepherding a distasteful chore. 16 Above all, Jehovah has given us the example of his Son. Jesus said: "I am the
way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
(John 14:6) Studying Jesus' life course on earth is one of the best ways to make
Jehovah more real to us. Everything that Jesus said or did was a perfect
reflection of his heavenly Father's personality and ways. (John 14:9) As we make
decisions, we need to think carefully about how Jesus would handle matters. When
our decisions reflect such careful and prayerful thought, then we are following
in Christ's footsteps. (1 Peter 2:21) As a result, we are walking with God. Studying Jesus' life course--how when 99% of the WTS publications push Jehovah and OT examples? We need to think carefully about how Jesus would handle matters And who did Jesus disfellowship? WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? WWJD What would the elders do? Is the WTS teaching the Trinity--then we are following in Christ's footsteps...as a result we are walking with God. What Blessings Result? 17 To walk with Jehovah God is to lead a blessed life. Remember what Jehovah
promised his people about seeking out "the good way." He said: "Walk in it, and
find ease for your souls." (Jeremiah 6:16) What does that "ease" mean? An easy
life that is filled with pleasures and luxuries? No. Jehovah provides something
far better, something that the wealthiest among mankind rarely find. To find
ease for your soul is to find inner peace, joy, satisfaction, and spiritual
fulfillment. Such ease means that you can be confident that you have chosen the
best path in life. Such peace of mind is a rare blessing in this hard world! Life filled with pleasures and luxuries? No Does that mean JWs don't have lives filled with pleasures and luxuries? No Inner peace, joy, satisfaction, and spiritual fulfillment--not with the guilt and shame table served up by the WTS. Is any JW allowed to be confident about their choice? *** w01 2/15 p. 19 Seek Jehovah Before the Day of His Anger *** Why "Probably" Concealed?
Notice that Zephaniah 2:3 says: "Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah's anger." Why is the word "probably" used when addressing the "meek ones of the earth"? Well, those meek ones had taken positive steps, but there was no room for self-confidence. They had not come to the end of their life course in faithfulness. It was conceivable that some of them might fall into sin. The same is true of us. Jesus said: "He that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved." (Matthew 24:13) Yes, salvation in the day of Jehovah's anger depends upon our continuing to do what is right in his eyes. Is that your firm resolve?
18 Of course, life itself is a great blessing. Even a short walk is better than
no walk at all. However, Jehovah never meant for your walk to consist of merely
a brief trip from the vigor of youth to the pain of old age. No, Jehovah wants
you to have the greatest blessing of all. He wants you to walk with him forever!
This is well-expressed at Micah 4:5: "All the peoples, for their part, will walk
each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of
Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever." Will you take hold of that
blessing? Will you live what Jehovah invitingly calls "the real life"? (1
Timothy 6:19) By all means, then, make it your resolve to walk with Jehovah
today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter on into eternity! Of course --insulting Even a short walk is better than no walk at all--Huh?! CARROT--Walk with him forever CARROT--Today, tomorrow....eternity WHERE'S JESUS? Concluding Comments The bottom line--the rank and file are not walking with the WTS. Too many are walking out the door. Too many are not consistent in attendance. Thus the message is, if you aren't walking with the WTS, you aren't walking with God. And if you aren't walking with God, you are going to die, die, die at Armageddon, and your little ones too. Well, is it freezing where you are? It's cold here, brrrrrrrr. But not cold enough to cancel the meeting on Sunday. But then I'm not going anyway. Love, Blondie Questions 1, 2. How might Jehovah's feelings toward us be compared to those of a parent
teaching a child to walk?
3, 4. (a) What is remarkable about the word picture of walking with God? (b)
What does it mean to walk with God?
5. Why did Jesus speak of adding a cubit to one's life span?
6, 7. Imperfect humans have what desperate need, and why do we do well to turn
to Jehovah to fill that need?
8. Sin and imperfection naturally lead humans to what destination, yet what does
Jehovah want for us?
9. Why was Jehovah at times hidden from his people, yet what assurance did he
provide according to Isaiah 30:20?
10. In what sense may you "hear a word behind you" from your Grand Instructor?
11. According to Jeremiah 6:16, Jehovah painted what inviting word picture for
his people, but how did they respond?
12, 13. (a) How have Christ's anointed followers responded to the counsel of
Jeremiah 6:16? (b) How might we examine ourselves regarding the way we are
14. If Jehovah is real to us, how will that be reflected in the personal
decisions that we make?
15. How will associating with our Christian brothers and sisters help us to see
Jehovah as real?
16. How will learning about Jesus help us to walk with God?
17. If we walk in Jehovah's way, what "ease" will we find for our souls?
18. What blessing does Jehovah want to bestow upon you, and what is your
resolve? How Would You Answer? - What does it mean to walk with God?
- Why do you feel a need to walk with God?
- What will help you to walk with God?
- What blessings come to those who walk with God?