*** lv chap. 5 pp. 58-61 How to Keep Separate From the World ***
KEEPING OUR EYE “SIMPLE”
Q16. How does the spirit of the world run contrary to Jesus’ teaching, and what questions should we ask ourselves?
16 The spirit of the world is deceptive and impels millions to look to money and material things for happiness. However, Jesus said: “Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) While not endorsing asceticism, or extreme self-denial, Jesus taught that life and genuine happiness come to those who are “conscious of their spiritual need” and those who maintain a “simple” eye, one that is sincere and in sharp focus spiritually. (Matthew 5:3; 6:22, 23) Ask yourself: ‘Do I truly believe what Jesus taught, or am I being influenced by “the father of the lie”? (John 8:44) What do my words, my goals, my priorities, and my way of life reveal?’—Luke 6:45; 21:34-36; 2 John 6.
“The spirit of the world is deceptive…” – means don’t be deceived and loose out by not following what the WT$ prescribes as God’s channel on the earth today
Why is the WT$ so focused on “money and material things” – do they “truly believe what Jesus taught, or” are they “being influenced by ‘the father of the lie’? (John 8:44)” Didn’t Jesus tell that man that wanted everlasting life to give money his money to the poor and then come and follow him?
“…those who are conscious of their spiritual need” – only JW’s?
“…sincere and in sharp focus spiritually” – only JW’s?
How has “happiness come to those who” have kept a “simple” eye per what the WT$ prescribes when they are needing to work long hours at a menial job just to make ends meet because they didn’t go to university, have no retirement savings and are facing the fact that they might die in this system?
Didn’t Jesus say that there is more happiness in giving than receiving – where is encouragement to be involved in works of charity?
“What do my words, my goals, my priorities, and my way of life reveal?” means do you talk about that great holiday you went on or you are saving toward or that great restaurant you ate at or are you thinking about simplifying your life, working part time and going pioneering, serving where the need is greater, etc etc
Q17. Name some benefits enjoyed by those who maintain a simple eye
17 “Wisdom is proved righteous by its works,” said Jesus. (Matthew 11:19) Consider just some of the benefits enjoyed by those who maintain a simple eye. They find true refreshment in Kingdom service. (Matthew 11:29, 30) They avoid undue anxieties and thus spare themselves much mental and emotional pain. (1 Timothy 6:9, 10) Content with having life’s necessities, they have more time for their family and Christian companions. They may sleep better as a result. (Ecclesiastes 5:12) They experience the greater joy of giving, doing so in whatever way they can. (Acts 20:35) And they “abound in hope” and have inner peace and contentment. (Romans 15:13; Matthew 6:31, 32) These blessings are truly priceless!
“They find true refreshment in Kingdom service” – Really? How was it that the service Jesus was talking about was refreshing to others but the service the WT$ prescribes is a burden to JW’s?
“They avoid undue anxieties” What about those who have dedicated their lives to serving at Bethel and have now been told to leave?
By just doing what they are told, JW’s end up living in a bubble and generally avoid “much mental and emotional pain” until such time as they begin to investigate the WT$ and its interpretations unless a pedophile gets to their child in the meantime or the suffer some other injustice and are told to wait on Jah to sort out…
“more time for their family and Christian companions” – How many JW’s do you know that feel that being a witness gives them more time to spend with the family – or do they feel the treadmill of WT$ works leaves them with very little time?
“Christian companions” – only JW’s?
“…may sleep better” – speculating again…
“…greater joy of giving, doing so in whatever way they can. (Acts 20:35)” – Why does the WT$ emphasize the ministry so much then?
TAKING UP “THE COMPLETE SUIT OF ARMOR”
Q18. How does the Bible describe our enemy, his methods, and the nature of our struggle?
18 Those who keep themselves in God’s love also enjoy spiritual protection from Satan , who wants to deprive Christians, not just of happiness, but of everlasting life. (1 Peter 5:8) “We have a wrestling,” said Paul, “not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) The word “wrestling” suggests that our fight is not long-distance—from the safety of a hidden bunker, so to speak—but hand-to-hand. Furthermore, the terms “governments,” “authorities,” and “world rulers” indicate that attacks from the spirit realm are highly organized and deliberate.
“those who keep themselves in God’s love also enjoy spiritual protection from Satan” – means that the WT$ program of organized worship affords one Gods protection.
“suggests” and “indicate” – more speculation
Q19. Describe the Christian’s spiritual suit of armor
19 Despite human frailties and limitations, however, we can gain the victory. How? By taking up “the complete suit of armor from God.” (Ephesians 6:13) Describing that armor, Ephesians 6:14-18 reads: “Stand firm, therefore, with your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and with your feet shod with the equipment of the good news of peace. Above all things, take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles. Also, accept the helmet [or, hope] of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word, while with every form of prayer and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit.”
Q20. How does our situation differ from that of a literal soldier?
20 Since it is a provision of God, that spiritual suit of armor will not fail us, provided that we wear it at all times. Unlike literal soldiers, who may have long breaks from fighting, Christians are in a relentless life-and-death struggle that will not stop until God has destroyed Satan’s world and abyssed all wicked spirits. (Revelation 12:17; 20:1-3) So do not give up if you are struggling with weaknesses or wrong desires, for we all have to “pummel” ourselves in order to stay faithful to Jehovah. (1 Corinthians 9:27) Indeed, it is when we are not wrestling that we should be concerned!
“relentless life-and-death struggle” - means if you stop doing your family worship night, going to meetings twice a week or having a minimum of 8h field service a month then you are doomed
“do not give up” - means keep up with all the works Brooklyn prescribes as that is what Jah requires
“Indeed, it is when we are not wrestling that we should be concerned!” - means you will be destroyed if you don’t listen to WT$
Q21. How only can we come off victorious in our spiritual warfare?
21 Moreover, we cannot win this fight in our own strength. Hence, Paul reminds us of the need to pray to Jehovah “on every occasion in spirit.” At the same time, we should listen to Jehovah by studying his Word and associating with fellow “soldiers” at every opportunity, for we are not in this fight alone! (Philemon 2; Hebrews 10:24, 25) Those who are faithful in all these areas will not only come off victorious but will also be able to make a strong defense for their faith when it is challenged.
Was Paul in Hebrews 10:24, 25 talking about the JW congregation, controlled by a Brooklyn hierarchy or can that apply to any sincere group of Christians
“Those who are faithful in all these areas” means JW’s need to do everything prescribed by the WT$ as this is the way they show faith in Jah
BE READY TO DEFEND YOUR FAITH
Q22, 23. (a) Why must we be ready at all times to defend our faith, and what questions should we ask ourselves? (b) What subject will be considered in the next chapter?
22 “Because you are no part of the world,” said Jesus, “the world hates you.” (John 15:19) Christians, therefore, must always be ready to defend their faith and to do so in a respectful, mild manner. (1 Peter 3:15) Ask yourself: ‘Do I understand why Jehovah’s Witnesses sometimes take a stand that is contrary to popular opinion? When facing the challenge of taking such a stand, am I thoroughly convinced that what the Bible and the faithful slave class say is right? (Matthew 24:45; John 17:17) And when it comes to doing what is right in Jehovah’s eyes, am I not only prepared to be different but also proud to be different?’—Psalm 34:2; Matthew 10:32, 33.
How many JW’s actually understand the truth behind “why Jehovah’s Witnesses sometimes take a stand that is contrary to popular opinion?” How many knew why they took a stand against alternative service and went to jail? How many in Malawi understood why a political card would earn them Jas disfavor? How many know which blood fractions to take and which ones the Bible does not approve of and why? How many can explain how the solar and lunar calendar is used to arrive at 1914?
How many are “thoroughly convinced that what the Bible and the faithful slave class say is right” is the same and not contradictory or incorrectly interpreted? How can the
“doing what is right in Jehovah’s eyes” – means following all WT$ interpretations and prescribed theocratic law.
23 Often, though, our desire to keep separate from the world is put to the test in more subtle ways. For example, as mentioned earlier, the Devil tries to lure Jehovah’s servants into the world by means of worldly entertainment. How can we choose wholesome entertainment that will leave us refreshed and with a clean conscience? That subject will be considered in the next chapter.
“Jehovah’s servants” – only JW’s?