Comments You Will Not Hear at the 12-10-06 WT Study (November 1, 2006 issue, pages 22-26)(SACRED THINGS)
Review comments will be in red
WT material from today's WT will be in black
Quotes from other sources will be in quotes boxes
w = Watchtower
g = Awake
jv = Proclaimers book
www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible (various Bible translations online)
www.reexamine.org (WT publications online)
www.silentlambs.org (child abuse)
www.ajwrb.org (blood issue)
http://www.randytv.com/secret/unitednations.htm (United Nations issue)
DO YOU SHARE JEHOVAH'S VIEW OF SACRED THINGS?
'Carefully watching ... that there may be no fornicator nor anyone not appreciating sacred things.'-HEBREWS 12:15, 16.
So based on this scripture and the way the WTS has "adjusted" it with the ellipsis (…) we might surmise that this is about fornication. Or that even the next article is, but not so. What is the complete scripture and how has the WTS applied it in past articles? We see that while this is an NT scripture, the example is really an OT one, Esau.
This is really a one-two set of articles focusing on meeting attendance which has been dropping significantly. In the 12 congregations I have surveyed, only 60 out of 100 people are attending on Sunday, historically with the highest attendance. Except for the memorial, meeting attendance figures are not listed in the annual report. Does the CO include the meeting attendance averages in his report to the congregation?
(Hebrews 12:14-17)14 Pursue peace with all people, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, 15 carefully watching that no one may be deprived of the undeserved kindness of God; that no poisonous root may spring up and cause trouble and that many may not be defiled by it;16 that there may be no fornicator nor anyone not appreciating sacred things, like E´sau, who in exchange for one meal gave away his rights as firstborn. 17 For YOU know that afterward also when he wanted to inherit the blessing he was rejected, for, although he earnestly sought a change of mind with tears, he found no place for it.
*** w04 4/1 pp. 22-23 Are You Focusing on the Reward? ***
Applying Bible principles can be a challenge. At times, an unscriptural solution may seem to promise immediate relief in a trying situation. During times of financial difficulty, for example, it may be tempting to relegate Kingdom interests to second place. However, those who act in faith and maintain their spiritual focus are assured that in the end "it will turn out well with those fearing the true God." (Ecclesiastes 8:12) A Christian may have to work overtime on occasion, but never will he become like Esau, who despised spiritual things, dismissing them as of no importance.—Genesis 25:34; Hebrews 12:16.
*** w02 5/15 p. 27 Integrity Leads the Upright Ones ***
Jehovah blesses the congregation, and it prospers spiritually. Here and there, the few who may be disgruntled and dissatisfied, who find fault and speak bitterly about the way things are done, are like a "poisonous root" that can spread and poison others who initially were unaffected. (Hebrews 12:15) Such ones often want more authority and prominence. They stir up rumors that there is injustice, ethnic prejudice, or the like, in the congregation or on the part of the elders. Their mouth, indeed, can cause a division in the congregation. Should we not turn a deaf ear to their talk and strive to be spiritual people who contribute to peace and unity in the congregation?
*** w02 8/15 p. 29 Do You Remember? ***
Why does Hebrews 12:16 put Esau in the same category as a fornicator?
The Bible account shows that Esau displayed a mentality focused on immediate rewards and a disregard for sacred things. If someone today allows that type of mentality to develop, it could lead to serious sin, such as fornication.—5/1, pages 10-11.
START OF ARTICLE
Q1) What current attitude is not shared by Jehovah's servants?
- The world in general pays less and less attention to sacred things. French sociologist Edgar Morin stated: "All the foundations upon which morals are based-God, nature, homeland, history, reason-have lost their unquestionable nature.... People pick and choose their values." This reflects "the spirit of the world," or "the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience." (1 Corinthians 2:12; Ephesians 2:2) That irreverent spirit is not shared by those who have dedicated themselves to Jehovah and who willingly submit to his rightful sovereignty. (Romans 12:1, 2) Rather, God's servants realize the vital place that sacredness, or holiness, has in their worship of Jehovah. What things in our life should be sacred? This article will consider five things that are holy to all of God's servants. The next article will focus on the sacredness of our Christian meetings. But what does the word "holy" really mean?
Dedicated themselves to Jehovah— only JWs--where’s Jesus?
God’s servants (2)…Christian— only JWs
willingly submit to his rightful sovereignty— as administered only through the WTS/GB/FDS
Is this the first time the WTS has quoted Edgar Morin? Notice that this is basically the same concept and 15 years ago it was quoted (hard to say how long ago Edgar actually said it). Notice how the WTS picks and chooses quotes from secular sources that support its views but not a word about the many who do not. Why should the rank and file believe this man—one person, one view, and more importantly not a JW?
*** w91 12/1 p. 5 Is Religion Really Necessary? ***
Speaking of both Communist and capitalist worlds, the French sociologist and philosopher Edgar Morin admitted: "Not only have we seen the collapse of the brilliant future held out to the proletariat but we have also seen the collapse of the automatic and natural progress of secular society, wherein science, reason, and democracy were supposed to advance automatically. . . . No progress is now assured. The future we had hoped for has collapsed." Such is the empty feeling of many who put their faith in man’s efforts to create a better world without God.
Q2, 3) (a) How do the Scriptures highlight Jehovah's holiness? (b) How do we hold Jehovah's name as something holy?
2) In Biblical Hebrew, the word "holy" conveys the thought of separateness. In worship, "holy" applies to that which is separated from common use, or held sacred. Jehovah is holy in the absolute sense. He is called "the Most Holy One." (Proverbs 9:10; 30:3) In ancient Israel, the high priest wore fastened to his turban a gold plate engraved with the words "Holiness belongs to Jehovah." (Exodus 28:36, 37) Heavenly cherubs and seraphs stationed about Jehovah's throne are depicted in the Scriptures as proclaiming: "Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah." (Isaiah 6:2, 3; Revelation 4:6-8) This repetition emphasizes that Jehovah is holy, clean, and pure to the superlative degree. He is, in fact, the Source of all holiness.
Does the word in non-Biblical Hebrew "convey" a different thought?
OT—in ancient Israel, the high priest
3) Jehovah's name is sacred, or holy. The psalmist exclaimed: "Let them laud your name. Great and fear-inspiring, holy it is." (Psalm 99:3) Jesus taught us to pray: "Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified [or, "be held sacred; be treated as holy," footnote]." (Matthew 6:9) Jesus' earthly mother, Mary, proclaimed: "My soul magnifies Jehovah ... the powerful One has done great deeds for me, and holy is his name." (Luke 1:46, 49) As servants of Jehovah, we hold his name as something holy and avoid doing anything that might bring reproach upon that holy name. Furthermore, we share Jehovah's view of sacredness, that is, we consider sacred the things that he holds sacred. -Amos 5:14, 15.
Jehovah’s name—his name or the reputation attached to that name is sacred?
Jesus taught us to pray…let your name be sanctified—Yet not once in the Lord’s prayer does Jesus mention the name "Jehovah."
Jesus’ earthly mother, Mary— who was Jesus’ heavenly mother then?
Servants of Jehovah— only JWs—where’s Jesus?
Bring reproach upon that holy name— or the JW congregation? Which is mentioned more to the "erring" JW?
The immoral man spoils his own family’s right to a clean moral record. If he is a member of a Christian congregation, he brings reproach on it, hurting its reputation.—1 Corinthians 5:1.
Jehovah’s the WT/GB/FDS view of sacredness
Why We Have Deep Respect for Jesus
Q4) Why does the Bible describe Jesus as "the Holy One"?
4) As the "only-begotten son" of the holy God, Jehovah, Jesus was created holy. (John 1:14; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:1-3) He is therefore called "the Holy One of God." (John 6:69) He retained his holiness when his life was transferred from heaven to earth, for it was under the power of the holy spirit that Mary gave birth to Jesus. An angel had told her: "Holy spirit will come upon you ... what is born will be called holy, God's Son." (Luke 1:35) In prayer to Jehovah, Christians in Jerusalem twice referred to God's Son as "your holy servant Jesus." -Acts 4:27, 30.
When his life was transferred from heaven to earth
- I was reading in an older WT publication that stated December 25 was when Jesus life was transferred into Mary’s womb by the holy spirit………..
The Time is at Hand, Vol. 2 of the Studies in the Scriptures on page 61
"...we could not be certain that the exact day might not be in September about the 27 th , but October 1 st , B.C. is about correct. Nine months back of that date would bring us to about Christmas time, 3 B.C., as the date at which our Lord laid aside the glory which he had with the Father before the world was made and the taking of or changing to human nature began. It seems probable that this was the origin of the celebration of December 25 th as Christmas Day. Some writers on Church history claim, even, that Christmas Day was originally celebrated as the date of the annunciation by Gabriel to the virgin Mary."
The Watchtower Reprints, December 1, 1904, p. 3468
"Even though Christmas day is not the real anniversary of our Lord's birth, but more properly the annunciation day or the date of his human begetting (Luke 1:28), nevertheless, since the celebration of our Lord's birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction, but merely a tribute of respect to him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate - 'Christmas day'."
Do you agree with the WTS explanation?
*** it-2 p. 56 Jesus Christ *** (see 2002 QFR at end of review)
Prior to this, Jehovah’s angelic messenger had informed the virgin girl Mary that she would ‘conceive in her womb’ as the result of God’s holy spirit coming upon her and His power overshadowing her. (Lu 1:30, 31, 34, 35) Since actual conception took place, it appears that Jehovah God caused an ovum, or egg cell, in Mary’s womb to become fertile, accomplishing this by the transferal of the life of his firstborn Son from the spirit realm to earth. (Ga 4:4) Only in this way could the child eventually born have retained identity as the same person who had resided in heaven as the Word, and only in this way could he have been an actual son of Mary and hence a genuine descendant of her forefathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and King David and legitimate heir of the divine promises made to them. (Ge 22:15-18; 26:24; 28:10-14; 49:10; 2Sa 7:8, 11-16; Lu 3:23-34; see GENEALOGY OF JESUS CHRIST.) It is likely, therefore, that the child born resembled its Jewish mother in certain physical characteristics.
. While modern geneticists have learned much about laws of heredity and about dominant and recessive characteristics, they have had no experience in learning the results of uniting perfection with imperfection , as was the case with Jesus’ conception. From the results revealed in the Bible, it would appear that the perfect male life-force (causing the conception) canceled out any imperfection existent in Mary’s ovum, thereby producing a genetic pattern (and embryonic development) that was perfect from its start. Whatever the case, the operation of God’s holy spirit at the time guaranteed the success of God’s purpose. As the angel Gabriel explained to Mary, "power of the Most High" overshadowed her so that what was born was holy, God’s Son. God’s holy spirit formed, as it were, a protective wall so that no imperfection or hurtful force could damage, or blemish, the developing embryo, from conception on.—Lu 1:35. And all this appears in the Insight book as if it had "scriptural" basis.
Mary was a descendant of the sinner Adam, hence herself imperfect and sinful. The question therefore is raised as to how Jesus, Mary’s "firstborn" (Lu 2:7), could be perfect and free from sin in his physical organism
Q5) What sacred mission did Jesus fulfill on earth, and why is his blood precious?
5) Jesus had a sacred mission to fulfill while on earth. At his baptism in 29 C.E., Jesus was anointed as High Priest of Jehovah's great spiritual temple. (Luke 3:21, 22; Hebrews 7: 26; 8:1, 2) In addition, he was to die a sacrificial death. His shed blood would provide the ransom through which human sinners could be saved. (Matthew 20:28; Hebrews 9: 14) We therefore hold Jesus' blood as something sacred, "precious."-1 Peter 1:19.
Was Jesus anointed as King in 29 CE?
*** w66 6/15 p. 374 Harvest, a Time of Happiness ***
Jesus came to John at the Jordan River in 29 C.E. and was baptized and anointed by God’s holy spirit as the Messiah, the King, and three and a half years later visited the temple in Jerusalem and looked around upon all things.
While Jesus blood is sacred, it only applies directly to the anointed per the WTS, and only indirectly through the anointed to the other sheep.
*** w05 5/1 p. 10 par. 11 The Resurrection—A Teaching That Affects You ***
The resurrection of Jesus and his anointed brothers provides them with a spirit body fit for service in heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-53) Together they will serve as rulers of the Messianic Kingdom, which will bring Paradise conditions to the earth. Under Jesus as High Priest, the anointed constitute a royal priesthood. They will apply the benefits of Christ’s ransom sacrifice to mankind in the new world of righteousness. (Hebrews 7:25, 26; 9:24; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 22:1, 2)
Q6) What is our attitude toward Christ Jesus, and why?
6) Showing that we hold our King and High Priest, Christ Jesus, in deep respect, the apostle Paul wrote: "God exalted [his Son] to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11) We demonstrate that we share Jehovah's view of sacred things by joyfully submitting ourselves to our Leader and reigning King, Christ Jesus, the Head of the Christian congregation. -Matthew 23:10; Colossians 1:18.
Does the WTS hold Jesus in deep respect……..or do they say that people have to come through the FDS to get to Christ?
*** w05 9/15 p. 23 par. 11 Go On Walking as Jesus Christ Walked ***
Yes, Jesus Christ leads his followers today through the holy spirit, "the faithful and discreet slave," and the congregation elders.
*** w01 8/1 p. 14 par. 8 Make Your Advancement Manifest ***
Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave."
*** w90 10/1 p. 30 Do You Follow Instructions? ***
We should follow the instructions that the Head of the Christian congregation, Jesus Christ, gives through "the faithful and discreet slave," the appointed channel of God’s organization here on earth. (Matthew 24:45-47; Ephesians 5:23)
*** w97 3/15 p. 15 par. 16 Incline Your Heart to Discernment ***
Only spiritual discernment, developed by a study of God’s Word with the help of publications provided through "the faithful and discreet slave," will help us to pursue a proper course in life. (Matthew 24:45-47)
*** w94 10/1 p. 8 The Bible—A Book Meant to Be Understood ***
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.
*** w60 7/15 p. 443 par. 14 Staying Awake with the "Faithful and Discreet Slave" ***
The divine will flows to us only theocratically through God’s provided leadership of the "faithful and discreet slave."
Q7) How do we show our submission to Christ?
7) Submission to Christ also involves our showing proper respect for the men used by him to take the lead in the work he is now directing. The role of the spirit-anointed ones who make up the Governing Body and of the overseers appointed by them in the branches, districts, circuits, and congregations should be recognized as a sacred responsibility. This arrangement therefore commands our deep respect and submission.-Hebrews 13:7,17.
*** w98 3/15 p. 20 par. 9 Living Up to Christian Dedication in Freedom ***
This faithful slave class has been appointed to provide God’s people with spiritual "food at the proper time." In this time of the end, Christ has appointed this slave "over all his belongings." Its position therefore merits the respect of anyone claiming to be a Christian.
Yes, only men are to be given respect.
Where is the proof that Governing Body are being used by Christ?
The appointment comes from the GB not the holy spirit.
Submission to Christ =submission to the WTS/FDS/GB and its representatives
Christ = WTS/FDS/GB
[Picture on page 23] In ancient Israel, the priesthood, the tabernacle, and its furnishings were to be held sacred
A Holy People
Q8, 9. (a) In what way were the Israelites a holy people? (b) How did Jehovah impress on the Israelites the principle of sacredness?
8) Jehovah made a covenant with Israel. This relationship conferred upon that new nation a special status. They were sanctified, or set apart. Jehovah himself told them: "You must prove yourselves holy to me, because I Jehovah am holy; and I am proceeding to divide you off from the peoples to become mine."-Leviticus 19:2; 20:26.
OT example— with Israel
Must prove yourselves— remember last week’s article?
9) At the very founding of the nation of Israel, Jehovah impressed upon the Israelites the principle of sacredness. Under pain of death, they were not even to touch the mountain where the Ten Commandments were given. Mount Sinai was then in a sense considered sacred. (Exodus 19:12, 23) The priesthood, the tabernacle, and its furnishings were also to be held sacred. (Exodus 30: 26-30) What is the situation in the Christian congregation?
Yes, what is it that you can "touch" at the KH that leads to death?
Uzzah touched the ark of the covenant trying to prevent it from falling from the cart. What is the "ark of the covenant" and "Noah’s ark" today and what happens to JWs who try to adjust it? Who say that they and they only are God’s representatives on earth, the spiritual temple?
Ark = WT organization
*** w50 6/1 p. 176 Letter ***
The ark of salvation that we enter is not a literal ark but is God’s organization;
Q10, 11) Why can it be said that the Christian congregation of anointed ones is sacred, and what effect does this have on the "other sheep"?
10) The Christian congregation of anointed ones is sacred in Jehovah's eyes. (1 Corinthians 1:2) In fact, the entire group of anointed Christians on earth at any one time is likened to a holy temple, although they do not constitute Jehovah's great spiritual temple. Jehovah inhabits that temple by means of his holy spirit. The apostle Paul wrote: "In union with [Christ Jesus] the whole building, being harmoniously joined together, is growing into a holy temple for Jehovah. In union with him you, too, are being built up together into a place for God to inhabit by spirit."-Ephesians 2:21, 22; 1 Peter 2:5, 9.
Actually, only the anointed are considered the Christian congregation. Try looking up 144,000 in the WT Index and you will be referred to the "Christian congregation." Does God select the individual members of the "great crowd" or only the "anointed"?
*** it-1 p. 498 Congregation ***
The members of the Christian congregation of God are selected by Jehovah. (Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:13)
Ephesians 2:21,22— was "Jehovah" in the original Greek manuscript?
11) Paul further wrote to anointed Christians: "Do you not know that you people are God's temple, and that the spirit of God dwells in you? ... The temple of God is holy, which temple you people are." (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17) By means of his spirit, Jehovah `resides' among the anointed and `walks among them.' (2 Corinthians 6:16) He continually guides his faithful "slave." (Matthew 24:45-47) The "other sheep" cherish their privilege of being associated with the "temple" class. John 10:16; Matthew 25: 37-40.
Does that mean that God does not reside among the great crowd by means of the holy spirit?***(QFR at end of review)
Does that mean that the great crowd only have access to the holy spirit indirectly through association with the "anointed"? (taking Christ’s place)
*** w96 6/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
The Lord’s spirit is available in equal portions to both classes, and knowledge and understanding are offered equally to both, with equal opportunities for absorbing it."
[Picture on page 24} Anointed Christians on earth form a holy temple
Sacred Things in Our Christian Lives
Q12) What things are sacred in our lives, and why?
12 Not surprisingly, many things related to the lives of anointed members of the Christian congregation and their companions are held sacred. Our relationship with Jehovah is something sacred. (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 36:7) It is so precious to us that we allow nothing and no one to come between us and our God, Jehovah. (2 Chronicles 15:2; James 4:7, 8) Prayer plays an important part in our maintaining a close relationship with Jehovah. Prayer was so sacred to the prophet Daniel that even at the risk of his life, he continued faithful in his custom of praying to Jehovah. (Daniel 6:7-11) "The prayers of the holy ones," or anointed Christians, are likened to incense used in temple worship. (Revelation 5:8; 8:3, 4; Leviticus 16:12, 13) This symbolism underscores the sacredness of prayer. What a privilege it is to be able to communicate with the Sovereign of the universe! No wonder prayer is held sacred in our lives!
Their companions— notice no mention of the "other sheep" being "members" of the Christian congregation
Relationship with Jehovah…close relationship with Jehovah— Where’s Jesus?
No one to come between us and our God—not even the WTS/FDS/GB
OT--Daniel…at the risk of his life— I always wondered why Daniel had to make a public spectacle of his prayer?
OT--Likened to incense used in the temple worship— some JWs prayers do smell but not like incense as they use it as a platform to review the points from the assembly/convention, chastise erring members of the congregation, impress the visiting CO with the spirituality, etc.
A privilege…to communicate with [God]— a privilege that the WTS/FDS/GB takes it upon itself to deny to non-JWs and ex-JWs.
For example, if the husband is disfellowshiped, his wife and children will not be comfortable with him conducting a family Bible study or leading in Bible reading and prayer. If he wants to say a prayer, such as at mealtime, he has a right to do so in his own home. But they can silently offer their own prayers to God.
[Picture on page 25] Prayer and our public ministry are sacred privileges
Q13) What force is holy, and how should we allow it to operate in our lives?
13) There is a force in the lives of anointed Christians and their companions that they by all means hold sacred--holy spirit. That spirit is Jehovah's active force, and since it always acts in harmony with the will of the holy God, it is properly called "holy spirit," or "the spirit of holiness." (John 14:26; Romans 1:4) By means of holy spirit, Jehovah provides his servants the power to preach the good news. (Acts 1:8; 4:31) Jehovah gives his spirit to "those obeying him as ruler," to those who "keep walking by spirit," not according to fleshly desires. (Acts 5:32; Galatians 5:16, 25; Romans 8:5-8) This powerful force enables Christians to produce "the fruitage of the spirit"--fine qualities--and "holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion." (Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Peter 3: 11) If the holy spirit is something sacred to us, we will avoid doing anything that might grieve that spirit, or obstruct its action in our lives.-Ephesians 4:30.
Their companions— effectively shuts them out of being part of the Christian congregation, being Christians.
Acts in harmony with the will of the holy God
So did the WTS have holy spirit when they said:
Watchtower. 1922 November 1
We understand that the jubilee type began to count in 1575 B.C.; and the 3,500 year period embracing the type must end in 1925.. It follows, then, that the year 1925 will mark the beginning of the restoration of all things lost by Adam's disobedience.
It must have been an invisible restoration.
Anything that might grieve that spirit…obstruct its action in our lives
Choosing to go to college or pursuing a full-time secular career instead of full-time pioneering is grieving that spirit.
Choosing to marry a non-JW is grieving the spirit, marrying a corpse as one CO put it.
Pointing out the scriptural errors of the elders or the FDS……….
Even your thoughts…………
any Christian who begins to ignore the counsel of
Jehovah’s spirit-inspired WordWT publications may start to develop attitudes or traits that could result in willful sin and the loss of divine favor. Though he might not be practicing sin at the moment, he could be heading in that direction.
Q14) What privilege do the anointed hold as sacred, and how is this privilege shared by the other sheep?
14) The privilege we have of bearing the name o f the holy God, Jehovah, and of being his Witnesses is something else that we hold sacred. (Isaiah 43:10-12, 15) Anointed Christians have been qualified by Jehovah "to be ministers of a new covenant." (2 Corinthians 3: 5, 6) As such, they are commissioned to preach "this good news of the kingdom" and to "make disciples of people of all the nations." (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) They are faithfully carrying out this commission, and millions of sheeplike people are responding, symbolically saying to the anointed: "We will go with you people, for we have heard that God is with you people." (Zechariah 8:23) These joyfully serve in a spiritual sense as "farmers" and "vinedressers" for the anointed "ministers of our God." In that way, the other sheep greatly assist the anointed ones in accomplishing their ministry on a worldwide scale.-Isaiah 61:5, 6.
In the OT, Isaiah 43:10-12 referred only to the Israelites; thus, if the WTS makes application to themselves, it can only refer to the "spiritual" Israelites, the anointed (144,000). Then the "other sheep" cannot be JWs since they are not spiritual Israelites.
The "commission" and "qualifying" is only of the anointed; the other sheep only by association with the anointed…second class citizens even to the point of being considered to "joyfully serve" the anointed, acting only as assistants.
Q15) What activity did the apostle Paul hold sacred, and why do we have the same view?
15) The apostle Paul, for one, considered his public ministry (italics WTS) to be something sacred, or holy. He spoke of himself as "a public servant of Christ Jesus to the nations, engaging in the holy work of the good news of God." (Romans 15:16) Writing to Christians in Corinth, Paul referred to his ministry as a "treasure." (2 Corinthians 4:1, 7) Through our public ministry, we make known "the sacred pronouncements of God." (1 Peter 4: 11) Therefore, whether of the anointed or of the other sheep, we consider it a sacred privilege to share in the work of bearing witness.
So the real focus of this article comes forth…the d2d work. Why the emphasis on "public"? What is the private ministry.
Do JWs view the ministry as a "treasure"? Yes, in the sense that they know they must stay "active" (1 hour/month unless ill/disabled then 15 minutes/month) to qualify to everlasting life in the paradise earth. But whether it be 1 hour or 120 hours a month, they see the reward as the same. Do they think of the parable of the workers in the field, the ones who came in at the 11 th hour and received the same pay as those who worked the full 12 hours?
"Perfecting Holiness in God's Fear"
Q16) What will help us to avoid becoming people "not appreciating sacred things"?
16) The apostle Paul warned his fellow Christians against becoming people "not appreciating sacred things." Rather, he counseled them to `pursue sanctification,' "carefully watching ... that no poisonous root may spring up and cause trouble and that many may not be defiled by it." (Hebrews 12:14-16) The expression "poisonous root" refers to those few in the Christian congregation who may find fault with the way things are done. For instance, they might disagree with Jehovah's views on the sacredness of marriage or the need for moral cleanness. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; Hebrews 13:4) Or they might share in apostate talk, "empty speeches that violate what is holy," proffered by those who "have deviated from the truth."-2 Timothy 2:16-18.
Few…find fault with the way things are done
Like the gradually changing blood doctrine, where life and death is determined by when your medical emergency occurred, before or after the doctrinal change.
Disagree with [God’s] views on the sacredness of marriage or the need for moral cleanness
Moral cleannes such as the required 2 eyewitness rule before elders will go to the secular authorities regarding a case of child molestingwww.silentlambs.org
share in apostate talk
Such as showing people the letter from the UN NGO office that the WTS was associated from 1991 to 2001 with the UN as an NGO (non-governmental organization) with the WTS having full knowledge of what that required, supporting the preamble of the UN.
Such as showing people that until 1943, the WTS was still teaching that Christ’s presence began in 1874 not 1914 and thus was not "consistently" teaching that Christ’s presence began in 1914.
In doing such things, people are deviating from the LIES of the WTS and ceasing the "empty speeches" based on those LIES.
Q17) Why is constant effort required on the part of the anointed to reflect Jehovah's view of holiness?
17) To his anointed brothers, Paul wrote: "Beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God's fear." (2 Corinthians 7:1) This statement shows that anointed Christians, "partakers of the heavenly calling," must put forth constant effort to prove that they reflect Jehovah's view of holiness in every aspect of their lives. (Hebrews 3:1) Similarly, the apostle Peter exhorted his spirit-begotten brothers: "As obedient children, quit being fashioned according to the desires you formerly had in your ignorance, but, in accord with the Holy One who called you, do you also become holy yourselves in all your conduct."-1 Peter 1:14,15.
Notice how the WTS separates out the "other sheep" from this "counsel" and rightly so, since there were no other sheep in the congregation.Constant effort to prove— remember last week’s article? Holy in all your conduct— I wonder how holy it was for the WTS to associate itself with the "scarlet-colored wild beast" the UN?
Q18, 19) (a) How do the members of the "great crowd" show that they share Jehovah's view of sacred things? (b) What other sacred feature of our Christian lives will be considered in the following article?
18) What of the members of the "great crowd," who will survive "the great tribulation"?They too must prove that they share Jehovah's view of sacred things. In the book of Revelation, they are represented as rendering Jehovah "sacred service" in the earthly courtyard of his spiritual temple. They have put faith in Christ's ransom sacrifice, symbolically `washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb.' (Revelation 7:9, 14, 15) This gives them a clean standing before Jehovah and places them under obligation to "cleanse [themselves] of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God's fear."
They too must prove— again last week’s article Sacred service— a doctrine that changed with 2 WT articles in 1976 and changed back in 1981 during the "cleansing" of the Great Apostasy. ***w7610/1p.598par.9RenderingSacredServiceNightandDay***
"Sacred service," then, is not something that occupies only a portion of our lives. It is not limited to just one activity or a certain number of activities but it takes in every aspect of our daily living. It can be summed up by these words: ‘Keep doing all things as unto Jehovah, whether eating or drinking or doing any other thing.’ (1 Cor. 10:31) Showing how all-embracing this service should be, the apostle says at Romans 12:1, 2: "I entreat you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. And quit being fashioned after this system of things."
Part, in fact, alargepart, of your "sacred service" to God involves your children.
Husbands and wives can render "sacred service" by making their marriage successful and an honor to God’s institution of marriage.
Housewives have a fine opportunity to perform acceptable "sacred service" to God. Their fine works that others can see would certainly include keeping a neat, clean house, taking care of the cooking and the clothing needs of the family.If children in the household are concerned with rendering "sacred service" to Jehovah they can show respect for their father and help their mother in bringing honor to God by helping them to keep the house in good, clean order.
Christian eldersare also called on to serve night and day. Part of your "sacred service" is on behalf of your brothers, caring for their spiritual needs.
And in 1977
*** w77 8/1 p. 465 par. 6 Rendering Sacred Service Whole-souled ***
Sacred service means more than talking about God’s Word to others. True, that is a part of the example that Jesus set for his followers, but sacred service also includes doing good to others, sharing things—how we live our lives each day. Our conduct at work, for example, reflects on our worship of God. As Colossians 3:23, 24
But in 1981
*** w80 8/15 p. 24 Sacred Service in This "Time of the End" ***
Yet now when we eat, drink, sleep under the religious name of Christian witnesses of Jehovah, the same as all other humans do under their religious names, does this of itself transform these basic, essential acts of human living into "sacred service"? No;But our now acting in this way under the name of Christian witnesses of Jehovah does not automatically change our proper conduct into the Scriptural "sacred service." All other law-abiding citizens do the same things, even without the same motivations that we have.
*** w80 8/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
Does this "sacred service" mean simply ‘living a good life,’ being a fine examplein raising and providing for one’s family, keeping the house clean, applying oneself at school, and so forth? Hardly, for the Israelites did such things over and above the sacred service that Jehovah commanded them to perform.
Outstandingly, in this time preceding the "great tribulation" our "sacred service" requires obedience to Jesus’ commands to preach and to teach "this good news of the kingdom," warning the people and making disciples.
Do you have to readjust your viewpoint on "sacred service"? If so, may you do so in the spirit expressed at Second Corinthians 13:11: "Finally, brothers, continue to rejoice, to be readjusted, to be comforted, to think in agreement, to live peaceably; and the God of love and of peace will be with you."
*** w80 12/15 p. 29 Do You Remember? ***
Does "sacred service" include everyday activities of life, such as caring for our families, maintaining good morals and the like?
No. "Sacred service" applies to that which directly involves our worship of God.It includes formal and informal witnessing, sharing in worship at Kingdom Halls, caring for our meeting places, all activity related to providing Bibles and Bible literature, as well as sacrifices that we may make in encouraging and aiding our brothers, spiritually and materially, to keep active in Jehovah’s work.—8/15, pp. 30, 31.Earthly courtyard of his spiritual temple—a WTS doctrine that could take an article of its own to "prove" to non-JWs.
19) An important feature in the lives of anointed Christians and their companions is that of regularly meeting to worship Jehovah and study his Word. Jehovah considers gatherings of his people as something sacred. How and why we should share Jehovah's view of sacred things in this vital area will be considered in the following article.
Their companions— aces out all non-anointed JWs as being Christians Regularly meeting— next week’s point to "encourage" the rank and file who are not only slowing down in the "public" preaching but in being present "publicly" at the meetings.
Remember how Israelites could be put to death for working on the Sabbath; do you think some JWs think that not attending all the meetings should carry a death penalty? The WTS lives in the OT world.
By Way of Review
- What worldly view is not shared by Jehovah's servants?
- Why is Jehovah the Source of all that is holy?
- How do we show that we respect Christ's holiness?
- What things should we hold sacred in our lives?
It willl take more than this to get the missing rank and file to go in the d2d and to the meetings. I predict that even this recent flurry of activity with the tract will quickly die down and people will go back to their same old patterns.
I can remember from 1966 to 1975 when the Stay Alive in 75 crowd was busily "preaching," convincing others the end was near. A lot happened historically then that could have been convincing. There was the 6-month study program too that implied the "end" was near.
Vietnam War—from mid-50’s to 1973
Military coup in Ghana 1966
Cultural revolution in China 1966
Six-Day War (Israel) 1967
Nigeria/Biafra War 1967
First heart transplant 1967 (dfing offense)
Czechoslovakia invaded 1968
Assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy—1968
Riots at the 1968 Chicago convention
Men land on moon 1969
Pakistan civil war 1971
Munich massacre 1972
Last US soldiers leave Vietnam 1973
Yom Kippur War 1973
Nixon resigns 1974
I’m getting better. This took a little longer. I have been resting. I enjoy reading all your posts. It has been cold but is warming up. It is said about this area, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will change.
I love this season because it is the only time the dairies make eggnog. Love that stuff..nonalcoholic though.
*** w02 3/15 p. 19 Questions From Readers ***
Did the imperfection of the virgin girl Mary have a negative effect on the conception of Jesus?
Concerning "the birth of Jesus," the inspired record says: "During the time his mother Mary was promised in marriage to Joseph, she was found to be pregnant by holy spirit before they were united." (Matthew 1:18) Indeed, God’s holy spirit played a pivotal role in Mary’s pregnancy.
What, though, about Mary? Did her egg cell, or ovum, contribute at all toward her pregnancy? In view of God’s promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and King David—Mary’s forefathers—the child born would have to be their genuine descendant. (Genesis 22:18; 26:24; 28:10-14; 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:16) How else could the child born to Mary be a rightful heir of those divine promises? He would have to be her actual son.—Luke 3:23-34.
Jehovah’s angel had appeared to the virgin girl Mary, saying: "Have no fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God; and, look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus." (Luke 1:30, 31) Conception requires that an egg become fertile. Apparently, Jehovah God caused an ovum in Mary’s womb to become fertile, accomplishing this by the transferal of the life of his only-begotten Son from the spirit realm to earth.—Galatians 4:4.
Could a child conceived in this way by an imperfect woman be perfect and free from sin in his physical organism? How do the laws of heredity work when there is a union of perfection with imperfection? Remember that holy spirit was employed in transferring the perfect life force of God’s Son and causing the conception. This canceled out any imperfection existing in Mary’s ovum, thereby producing a genetic pattern that was perfect from its start.
In any case, we can be certain that the operation of God’s holy spirit at that time guaranteed the success of God’s purpose. The angel Gabriel had explained to Mary: "Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son." (Luke 1:35) Yes, God’s holy spirit formed, as it were, a protective wall so that no imperfection or hurtful force could blemish the developing embryo from conception on.
Clearly, Jesus owed his perfect human life to his heavenly Father, not to any man. Jehovah "prepared a body" for him, and Jesus—from conception onward—was truly "undefiled, separated from the sinners."—Hebrews 7:26; 10:5.
"You will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son"
*** w96 6/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
Can we say that God’s servants today who have the earthly hope have as much of God’s spirit as do spirit-anointed Christians?
This question is not a new one. This same matter was addressed in "Questions From Readers" in TheWatchtower of April 15, 1952. Many have become Witnesses since then, so we can consider the question and in the process review what that earlier material said.
Fundamentally, the answer is, yes, faithful brothers and sisters of the other sheep class can share equally with anointed ones in receiving God’s holy spirit.—John 10:16.
This, of course, does not mean that the spirit operates in the same way on all individuals. Think back to faithful servants in pre-Christian times, who certainly received God’s spirit. With power from the spirit, some of them slew ferocious beasts, cured the sick, even raised the dead. And they needed the spirit to write inspired books of the Bible. (Judges 13:24, 25; 14:5, 6; 1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:17-37; 5:1-14) TheWatchtower said: "Though not of the anointed class, they were filled with holy spirit."
From another angle, consider men and women in the first century who were anointed with holy spirit, becoming spiritual sons of God with the heavenly hope. All had been anointed, but that does not mean that the spirit thereafter operated in the same way on all of them. That is clear from 1 Corinthians chapter 12. There the apostle Paul discussed gifts of the spirit. We read in verses 8, 9, and 11: "To one there is given through the spirit speech of wisdom, to another speech of knowledge according to the same spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healings by that one spirit. . . . But all these operations the one and the same spirit performs, making a distribution to each one respectively just as it wills."
Significantly, not all anointed ones back then had miraculous gifts of the spirit. In 1 Corinthians chapter 14, Paul mentioned a congregation meeting in which one had the gift of tongues, but no one present had the gift of translation. Nonetheless, at some earlier point, each one of them had experienced anointing with spirit. Would it be reasonable to say that the brother having the gift of tongues had more of the spirit than others present? No. Those other anointed ones were not disadvantaged, as if unable to understand the Bible as well as that one or unable to face trials as well. The spirit operated in a special way on the brother who could speak in tongues. Still, he and they needed to stay close to Jehovah and to "keep getting filled with spirit," as Paul wrote.—Ephesians 5:18.
Regarding those of the remnant today, they certainly have received God’s spirit. At one point it operated on them in a special way—at the time when they were anointed and adopted as spiritual sons. Thereafter they "keep getting filled with spirit," having its help when they seek to understand the Bible more clearly, take the lead in the preaching work, or face tests—personal or organizational.
Members of the "other sheep," though not having had the experience of being anointed, in other respects do receive holy spirit. TheWatchtower of April 15, 1952, observed:
"The ‘other sheep’ today perform the same preaching work as the remnant, under the same trying conditions, and manifest the same faithfulness and integrity. They feed at the same spiritual table, eating the same food, absorbing the same truths. Being of the earthly class, with earthly hopes and a keen interest in earthly things, they might interest themselves more in scriptures relating to earthly conditions in the new world; whereas the anointed remnant, with heavenly hopes and strong personal interest in the things of the spirit, might study more diligently those things in God’s Word. . . . Yet the fact remains that the same truths and the same understanding are available to both classes, and it is just how the individuals apply themselves in study that determines the comprehension of heavenly and earthly things they acquire. The Lord’s spirit is available in equal portions to both classes, and knowledge and understanding are offered equally to both, with equal opportunities for absorbing it."