Comments You Will Not Hear at the 12-25-05 WT Study (November 15, 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
WALK WITH GOD, AND REAP WHAT IS GOOD (Watchtower 11/15/05 pages 22-26)
"It is wind that they keep sowing, and a storm wind is what they will reap.
This is the second installment of 3 articles on the OT book of Hosea. I think better lessons about walking with God could be found in the NT. Isn't Jesus the best example? Aren't JWs supposed to be footstep followers of Christ not Israelites?
The WTS teaches that Hosea represents faithful spiritual Israelites, the 144,000 only. Where is the great crowd of other sheep in this picture; they are spiritual Gentiles. Who does the ten-tribe kingdom represent, the Protestant religions of Christendom.
The WTS tries to point to the non-Israelites that left Egypt with the Israelites as representing the GC, but they did no preaching. By using OT examples, the WTS keeps emphasizing that if faithful Israelites represent only the 144,000, that there is no place for the Gentile-based great crowd in the doctrine of the WTS.
w88 9/15 p. 21 Jehovah Unsheathes His Sword! ***
For pursuing a more sinful course than her sister, Oholibah (Judah) suffered national calamity at Babylonian hands in 607 B.C.E. Her children fell by the sword or were led away captive, and she was disgraced among the nations. Like Oholah (Israel/10-tribe kingdom) and Oholibah, Christendom commits spiritual adultery, a sin in the sight of the God she claims to worship. Protestantism, with her many denominations, has defiled herself with the commercial and political powers of the world even more than her elder sister, Roman Catholicism. Thus, Jehovah will see to it that all of Christendom is destroyed. Then people will know that he is the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. It will strengthen our determination to shun improper worldly ties if we remember that Christendom's associates will soon turn on her and execute God's sentence upon her as a principal part of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion.-Ezekiel 23:8-49; Revelation 17:1-6, 15-18.
START OF ARTICLE
A TRIP through a dangerous region would be safer if an experienced guide led the
way. It would be wise to walk with such a guide rather than heading off on our
own. In some respects, this illustrates the situation that we are in. Jehovah
has, in effect, offered to guide us through the vast desert of the present
wicked world. We are wise to walk with him rather than trying to direct our own
steps. How can we walk with God? By following the guidance he provides in his
Experienced guide--the WTS or the Bible or the Bible as explained only by the WTS?
*** Happiness book chap. 4 p. 40 Learning About What You Cannot See ***
Trying to be independent of him and his Word, the Bible, may be compared to a person's trying to find his way through an unknown wilderness without a good map.
*** w81 2/15 p. 19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? ***
We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the "faithful and discreet slave" organization.
Present wicked world--all non-JWs
On our own--without the WTS, not with the Bible only
Trying to direct our own steps--without the WTS, not with the Bible only
*** w94 10/1 p. 8 The Bible-A Book Meant to Be Understood ***
Even as Bible prophecy pointed forward to the Messiah, it also directs us to the close-knit body of anointed Christian Witnesses that now serve as the faithful and discreet slave. It helps us to understand the Word of God. All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.-John 6:68.
2 The preceding article discussed the symbolic drama found in Hosea chapters 1
to 5. As we have seen, that drama contains lessons that can help us to walk with
God. Let us now discuss some highlights of chapters 6 through 9. It would be
helpful to begin with an overview of these four chapters.
Hosea...lessons that can help us to walk with God--lessons for spiritual Israelites only
A Brief Overview
3 Jehovah sent Hosea to prophesy primarily to the northern ten-tribe kingdom of
Israel. That nation, also known as Ephraim after the name of its dominant tribe,
had turned away from God. Hosea chapters 6 through 9 show that the people
displayed disloyalty by overstepping Jehovah's covenant and practicing
wickedness. (Hosea 6:7) They trusted in worldly alliances rather than returning
to Jehovah. Because they kept sowing what was bad, they would reap what was bad.
In other words, adverse judgment was coming. But Hosea's prophecy also contains
a heartwarming message. The people were assured that they could return to
Jehovah and would be shown mercy if they gave evidence of heartfelt repentance.
Disloyalty--not disloyalty to the religious leaders; Hosea was going up against the religious teachers in his organization!
Trusted in worldly alliances--examine the 10-year association the WTS had with the UN as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporting the UN charter.
Return to Jehovah--in today's world, return to the WTS
Shown mercy if they gave evidence of heartfelt repentance--what is evidence of repentance in the WT organization? Who decides that one is repentant--God or the WTS representatives? Who forgives, God or the elders? Is prayer to God for forgiveness enough?
*** w95 1/1 p. 30 Determining Weakness, Wickedness, and Repentance ***
These few guidelines are not intended to set rules. They do, however, give an idea of some things that Jehovah views as truly wicked. Is there a refusal to accept responsibility for the wrong committed? Has the one who sinned brazenly ignored previous counsel on this very matter? Is there an entrenched practice of serious wrongdoing? Does the wrongdoer manifest a blatant disregard for Jehovah's law? Has he made calculating efforts to conceal the wrong, perhaps corrupting others at the same time? (Jude 4) Do such efforts only intensify when the wrong comes to light? Does the wrongdoer show total disregard for the harm he has done to others and to Jehovah's name? What about his attitude? After kindly Scriptural counsel is given, is he haughty or arrogant? Does he lack a heartfelt desire to avoid repeating the wrong? If the elders perceive such things, which strongly indicate a lack of repentance, they may conclude that the sins committed give evidence of wickedness rather than merely weakness of the flesh.
*** w96 1/15 p. 18 Jehovah's Sheep Need Tender Care ***
Even though our new brother has prayed for God's forgiveness, he should seek the help of an elder so that the sin does not become habitual.
*** w96 4/15 p. 28 Questions From Readers ***
There is no Scriptural basis for concluding that Christians in general, or even appointed elders in the congregations, have divine authority to forgive sins.
4 From these four chapters of Hosea's prophecy, we can obtain further guidance
that will help us to walk with God. Let us consider four practical lessons: (1)
True repentance is manifested by deeds, not just words; (2) sacrifices alone do
not please God; (3) Jehovah feels hurt when his worshippers turn away from him;
and (4) to reap what is good, we must sow what is good.
true repentance--who decides what is true repentance, God or elders, WTS representatives?
sacrifices alone do not please God--yet JWs are judged by their works; who receives more "mercy" those with high hour numbers or those with low?
turn away from him--or turn away from the WTS
sow what is good--sow what is truthful, what about WT lies?
How True Repentance Is Manifested
5 Hosea's prophecy teaches us much about repentance and mercy. At Hosea 6:1-3,
we read: "Come, you people, and do let us return to Jehovah, for he himself has
torn in pieces but he will heal us. He kept striking, but he will bind us up. He
will make us alive after two days. On the third day he will make us get up, and
we shall live before him. And we will know, we will pursue to know Jehovah. Like
dawn, his going forth is firmly established. And he will come in like a pouring
rain to us; like a spring rain that saturates the earth."
teaches us much about repentance and mercy--how many years does it take to reinstate someone, 6 months for an unrepentant pedophile (kept denying he did anything), 6 years for an adulterous wife (never denied affair but left husband to marry the other man, attending meetings 5 times a week during that 6 years, elders wouldn't even meet with her to discuss reinstatement the first 4 years).
6 Who spoke the words recorded in these verses? Some ascribe these statements to
the unfaithful Israelites and say that the disobedient people were feigning
repentance and presuming upon God's mercy. Others, however, say that the prophet
Hosea was speaking, begging the people to come back to Jehovah. Regardless of
who made these statements, the crucial question is, Did the people of the
ten-tribe kingdom of Israel in general return to Jehovah, manifesting genuine
repentance? The answer is no. Jehovah says through Hosea: "What shall I do to
you, O Ephraim? What shall I do to you, 0 Judah, when the loving-kindness of you
people is like the morning clouds and like the dew that early goes away?" (Hosea
6:4) What a testimony to the deplorable spiritual condition of God's people!
Loving-kindness, or loyal love, had almost disappeared-like the morning mist
that quickly vanishes with the rising of the sun. Although the people apparently
pretended to repent, Jehovah found no basis for extending mercy. What was the
Some ascribe these statements...regardless of who made these statements--WHO? Does anyone know where this is from?
Disobedient people were feigning repentance--how many ex-JWs feign repentance to be reinstated to have association with JW family members?
Did the people of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel in general return to Jehovah...no
Apparently--the WTS will now add to the Bible account
7 Israel's repentance was not truly from the heart. Hosea 7:14 says this about
Jehovah's displeasure with his people: "They did not call to me for aid with
their heart, although they kept howling on their beds." Verse 16 adds: "They
proceeded to return, not to any thing higher"-that is, "not to an elevated form
of worship." (Footnote) The people were not willing to return to Jehovah's
exalted worship by making the changes that were needed to restore their
relationship with him. Indeed, they did not really want to walk with God.
Was not truly from the heart--judged by God not Hosea; in today's WT world, the judging is done by the Hosea class, the anointed.
Not willing to return...by making changes...did not really want to walk with God--walk with the WTS, return to the organization, making the "adjustments" and "clarifications" they put forth. Remember those of the 1914 generation that would never die before the end came? 1995, adjustments were necessary. Did you make yours?
Blurb on page 23: Like morning clouds, Israel's loyal love vanished; Israel's
evil desires burned like a furnace
8 There was another problem with Israel's repentance. The people were continuing
to practice sin--actually, a great variety of sins, including fraud, murder,
stealing, idolatry, and forming unwise alliances with other nations. At Hosea
7:4, the people are likened to "a furnace," or baker's oven, evidently because
evil desires were burning within them. In view of such a deplorable spiritual
condition, did the people deserve mercy? Certainly not! Hosea tells the
rebellious people that Jehovah will "remember their error" and "give attention
to their sins." (Hosea 9:9) No mercy for them!
Practice sin...fraud, murder, stealing, idolatry, forming unwise alliances with other nations
*** w93 1/15 p. 5 'Caught Away to Meet the Lord'-How? ***
The Watchtower has consistently presented evidence to honesthearted students of Bible prophecy that Jesus' presence in heavenly Kingdom power began in 1914.
*** Proclaimers book chap. 28 p. 632 Testing and Sifting From Within ***
Based on the premise that events of the first century might find parallels in related events later, they also concluded that if Jesus' baptism and anointing in the autumn of 29 C.E. paralleled the beginning of an invisible presence in 1874, then his riding into Jerusalem as King in the spring of 33 C.E. would point to the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King.
Murder--Organ transplants okay until 1967; organ transplants forbidden between 1967-1980; after 1980, conscience matter; all JWs who obeyed the WTS directive between 1967-1980, murdered.
Can you find parallels in the WTS with the other sins?
Deserve mercy--undeserved kindness?
9 As we read Hosea's words, what do we learn about repentance and mercy? The
warning example of the faithless Israelites teaches us that in order to benefit
from Jehovah's mercy, we must demonstrate heartfelt repentance. How is such
repentance manifested? Jehovah is not deceived by tears or mere words. Genuine
repentance is made apparent by actions. In order to receive mercy, a wrongdoer
must completely abandon his sinful course and bring his life into harmony with
the high standards of Jehovah's elevated worship.
Demonstrate heartfelt repentance--WTS requires attendance at 5 meetings weekly, being sure not to come too early and stay too long, not to talk to anyone, in some cases, sit in a separate area, at least not sit next to anyone, not participate, not visit any JWs in their homes or in public settings. Time length--the elders will decide when you are holy enough to be readmitted.
Not deceived tears--WTS swings both ways on this one.
*** w81 9/1 p. 25 Repentance Leading Back to God ***
Though Esau shed tears over the loss of his birthright, Jehovah knew that Esau was not truly repentant at heart. So, if a person guilty of grave sin gives way to tears, the elders must try to determine whether this is out of 'godly sadness.' It may be. In Ezra's day the people "wept profusely" after hearing his earnest prayer regarding their sin, and Peter cried bitterly over having denied Jesus.
genuine repentance...completely abandon his sinful course...standards of Jehovah--repentance, sin, and standards all defined only by the WTS.
Homosexuality grounds for divorce--no, now yes.
*** w72 1/1 p. 32 Questions from Readers ***
While both homosexuality and bestiality are disgusting perversions, in the case of neither one is the marriage tie broken. It is broken only by acts that make an individual "one flesh" with a person of the opposite sex other than his or her legal marriage mate.
Two years later,
*** w74 3/1 p. 160 Questions from Readers ***
But it was not as serious as the gross sexual immorality designated by the Greek word por·nei´a. For example, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality (different forms of por·nei´a) were capital offenses under the Law and therefore paved the way for the surviving mate to remarry. (Lev. 20:10, 13, 15, 16)
*** w83 3/15 p. 30 Honor Godly Marriage! ***
Porneia involves the grossly immoral use of the genital organ(s) of at least one human (whether in a natural or a perverted way); also, there must have been another party to the immorality-a human of either sex, or a beast.
Sacrifices Alone Do Not Please Jehovah
10 Now let us discuss a second lesson that can help us to walk with Jehovah. It
is this: Sacrifices alone do not please God. Hosea 6:6 says: "In loving-kindness
I [Jehovah] have taken delight, and not in sacrifice; and in the knowledge of
God rather than in whole burnt offerings." Notice that Jehovah takes delight in
loving-kindness, or loyal love-a quality of the heart-and in knowledge about
him. But you may be wondering: `Why does this verse say that Jehovah does not
take delight in "sacrifice" and in "whole burnt offerings"? Were those not
required under the Mosaic Law?'
Required under the Mosaic Law--but not under Christ's law, not "required" at all
Sacrifices Alone Do Not Please the WTS
11 Sacrifices and offerings were required under the Law, but there was a serious
problem with Hosea's contemporaries. Evidently, there were Israelites who
dutifully made such offerings in a showy display of devotion. At the same time,
they were practicing sin. By their sinfulness they indicated that their hearts
were devoid of loyal love. They also showed that they had rejected knowledge of
God, for they were not living in harmony with it. If the people did not have the
proper heart condition and were not pursuing the right way of life, of what
value were their sacrifices? Their sacrifices were offensive to Jehovah God.
Showy display of devotion--turning in phantom hours, going out when the CO comes, but invisible the rest of the month, giving large sums of cash to the CO, showin at quick builds to be seen but not seen with a tool in your hand...
rejected the knowledge of God--rejected the knowledge of the WTS
not pursuing the right way of life--not JWs
Of what value were their sacrifices--anything good non-JWs do is worthless because they aren't JWs
12 Hosea's words contain a warning for many churchgoers today. They make
offerings to God in the form of religious practices. But their worship has
little, if any, real influence on their daily conduct. Are such people really
pleasing to God if their hearts do not motivate them to take in accurate
knowledge of him and to apply that knowledge by turning away from sinful
practices? Let no one imagine that religious works alone please God. Jehovah
finds no delight in humans who try to earn his favor by a mere form of worship
instead of truly living by his Word. -2 Timothy 3:5.
Warning for many churchgoers--all churchgoers that aren't JWs, that is
Their worship has little, if any, real influence on their daily conduct--that's right demonize everyone who isn't a JW, the only kind, loving, giving, decent people on earth today, not.
Let no one imagine religious works alone please God--like meeting attendance, 10 hours monthly going door to door.
truly living by his Word--as interpreted by the WTS only.
Blurb on page 24: Why did Jehovah reject the sacrifices of his people?
13 As true Christians, we bear in mind that sacrifices alone do not please God.
It is true that we do not offer animal sacrifices to Jehovah. Nevertheless, we
do "offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make
public declaration to his name." (Hebrews 13:15) It is vital that we do not
become like the sinful Israelites of Hosea's day, thinking that we can
compensate for wrongdoing by offering such spiritual sacrifices to God. Consider
the example of one youth who secretly engaged in sexual immorality. She later
admitted: "I increased my field ministry, thinking that this would somehow cover
up the wrong." That was similar to what the wayward Israelites tried to do.
However, our sacrifice of praise is acceptable to Jehovah only if it is
accompanied by the proper heart motivation and godly conduct.
true Christians--only JWs
compensate for wrongdoing by offering such spiritual sacrifices...sexual immorality...increased field ministry
Sounds like a lot of JWs must be doing this; the WTS would never mention it if only a few JWs compensating.
Blurb on page 25: To reap what is good, we must sow what is good
Jehovah Is Hurt When His Worshippers Leave Him
14 A third lesson we learn from Hosea chapters 6 to 9 is regarding how Jehovah
feels when his worshippers turn away from him. God has both strong and tender
feelings. He has tender feelings of joy and compassion toward those who repent
of their sins. When his people are unrepentant, though, he takes strong,
decisive action. Because God has deep concern for our welfare, he rejoices when
we faithfully walk with him. "Jehovah is taking pleasure in his people," says
Psalm 149:4. Yet, how does God feel when his servants are unfaithful?
His people--only JWs
Unrepentant...he takes strong, decisive action--who decides repentance, who really takes action, the WTS representatives, the elders. Have the elders taken such strong, decisive action in regard to pedophiles?
His servants--only JWs
15 Referring to the unfaithful Israelites, Jehovah says: "They themselves, like
earthling man, have overstepped the covenant. There is where they have dealt
treacherously with me." (Hosea 6:7) The Hebrew word rendered `deal
treacherously' also means "deal deceitfully, (deal) unfaithfully." At Malachi
2:10-16, the same Hebrew word is used to describe the disloyal conduct of those
Israelites who were unfaithful to their marriage partner. Regarding the use of
this term at Hosea 6:7, one reference work says that it is "a marriage metaphor
that infuses personal qualities into the relationship ... The situation is a
personal one in which love has been violated."
Disloyal conduct...unfaithful to their marriage partner--did you realize that married men could have more than one wife; the only way they could be disloyal is to have sex with someone else's wife. Women could only have one husband, so sex with only one man (or no man) was the only way to avoid execution for adultery (no divorce allowed for women either, after all she was only a piece of property and had no legal rights).
One reference--which one? WHO? (Google was no help to me this time)
16 Jehovah viewed Israel as his figurative wife by reason of his covenant with
the nation. So when his people violated the terms of that covenant, it was as if
they were committing adultery. God was like a faithful husband, but his people
Jehovah viewed Israel as his figurative wife--the WTS/FDS views themselves as Christ's figurative wife, the bride of Christ yet they associated themselves adulterously with the UN.
17 What about us? God cares about whether we walk with him or not. We do well to
remember that "God is love" and that our actions affect him. (1 John 4:16) If we
pursue a wrong course, we may cause Jehovah pain and will certainly displease
him. Our keeping this in mind can be a powerful deterrent to yielding to
What about us?--yes, what about JWs, will they wait for the next adulterous association before they leave the WTS.
Displease him--or displease the WTS? If the WTS would never know, only God, would you do it; are you doing it?
How We Can Reap What Is Good
18 Let us consider a fourth lesson from Hosea's prophecy--how we can reap what
is good. Regarding the Israelites and the folly and vanity of their faithless
course, Hosea writes: "It is wind that they keep sowing, and a storm wind is
what they will reap." (Hosea 8:7) Here we find a principle that we do well to
keep in mind: There is a direct relationship between what we do now and what
happens to us later. How did this principle prove true in the case of the
Folly...vanity...faithless--who have presented the folly of 1914, 1925, 1975 as the end; who were to vain to take responsibility, and who put faith in a group of men and not the Bible?
What we do now = what happens to us later; unless it is based on the blinking light of WT doctrine.
19 By practicing sin, those Israelites were sowing what was bad. Would they be
able to continue doing so without reaping bad consequences? They surely would
not escape adverse judgment. Hosea 8:13 states: "He [Jehovah] will remember
their error and hold an accounting for their sins." And at Hosea 9:17, we read:
"My God will reject them, for they have not listened to him, and they will be
come fugitives among the nations." Jehovah would hold the Israelites accountable
for their sins. Because they sowed what was bad, they would reap what was bad.
God's judgment against them was carried out in 740 B.C.E., when the Assyrians
overthrew the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel and led its inhabitants into
Practicing sin--what lies do the WTS still continue to tell; 1874 or 1914 consistently, e.g.
What has the WTS sowed; will God hold them responsible for their sins?
20 The experience of those Israelites teaches us a basic truth: We reap what we
sow. God's Word warns us: "Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For
whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7) If we sow
what is bad, we will reap what is bad. For example, those who pursue an immoral
way of life will reap bitter consequences. There will be an unhappy outcome for
an unrepentant wrongdoer.
We reap what we sow--is the WT reaping what it has sown? Falling donations, membership?
Even repentant wrongdoers will have an unhappy outcome--look what happened to King David, his infant son died, 2 adult sons died, a daughter was raped by her half-brother, David's wives were raped publicly by his one son, but David kept living, was allowed to stay married to Bathsheba and have another son who became King of Israel. That's what happens when you use OT examples, people under the Mosaic Law and not the Law of Christ.
21 How, then, can we reap what is good? That question can be answered with a
simple illustration. If a farmer wants to harvest wheat, would he plant barley?
Of course not! He must plant what he wants to reap. Similarly, if we want to
reap what is good, we must sow what is good. Do you want to continue reaping
what is good-a satisfying life now with the prospect of everlasting life in
God's new world? If so, you must continue to sow what is good by walking with
God and living in harmony with his righteous standards.
Are you planting what you want to reap? Sowing time in the WTS will that get you
CARROT--the prospect of everlasting life in God's new world?
22 From Hosea chapters 6 through 9, we have learned four lessons that can help
us to walk with God: (1) True repentance is manifested by actions; (2)
sacrifices alone do not please God; (3) Jehovah feels hurt when his worshippers
turn away from him; and (4) to reap what is good, we must sow what is good. How
can the final five chapters of this Bible book help us to walk with God?
True repentance is determined by the elders, admitted imperfect men, not God.
Field service is not enough. DO MORE.
Turning away from the WTS is turning away from God
To reap what is good you must sow in the WT field.
Well, depending on our situation, many of us will be celebrating in various ways today. I've mentioned elsewhere of a congregation where the BOE holds the annual meeting with the regular pioneers on Christmas or Christmas Eve having a nice meal with that exclusive little group. How many of you have seen the inside of an elder's home let alone been invited for dinner? How many years now has it been, 5, 10, 15, 20, more?
Remember this though, God's servants did celebrate his birth.
(Luke 2:8-14) 8 There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. 9 And suddenly Jehovah's angel stood by them, and Jehovah's glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful. 10 But the angel said to them: "Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to YOU good news of a great joy that all the people will have, 11 because there was born to YOU today a Savior, who is Christ [the] Lord, in David's city. 12 And this is a sign for YOU: YOU will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: 14 "Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill."
How Would You Answer?
- How is genuine repentance manifested?
- Why do sacrifices alone not please our heavenly Father?
- How does God feel when his worshippers leave him?
- What must we sow if we are to reap what is good?
1. How can we walk with Jehovah?
2. What will be discussed in this article?
3. Briefly relate the contents of Hosea chapters 6 through 9.
4. What practical lessons from Hosea's prophecy will we consider?
5. Give the essence of what is said at Hosea 6:1-3.
6-8. What was wrong with Israel's repentance?
9. Hosea's words teach us what about repentance and mercy?
10, 11. As illustrated in the case of Israel, why do sacrifices alone not please
12. Hosea 6:6 contains what warning for people living today?
13. What kind of sacrifices do we offer, but what should be borne in mind about
14. Hosea's prophecy reveals what about God's feelings?
15. According to Hosea 6:7, how were some Israelites acting?
16, 17. (a) How did Israel act with respect to God's covenant with that nation?
(b) What should we remember regarding our actions?
18, 19. What principle do we find at Hosea 8:7, and how did that principle work
out for the Israelites?
20. The experience of the Israelites teaches us what?
21. How can we reap what is good?
22. What lessons have we learned from Hosea chapters 6 through 9?