Comments You Will Not Hear at the 07-12-09 WT Study (May 15, 2009, pages 9-13)(DAY NEAR)
PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM TRYING A NEW FORMATTING
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PRESS ON TO MATURITY--"THE GREAT DAY OF JEHOVAH IS NEAR" "Let us press on to maturity."--HEB. 6:1
Brackets are used several times to insert words in scriptures....why? Many bible snippets today. Is the WTS afraid to have their members look up a whole scripture? Again Matthew 24:45-47 is cited...to shore up the authority of the WTS but without any explanation of its interpretation. (and Luke 12:42)
START OF ARTICLE
Q 1, 2. What opportunity to 'flee to the mountains' opened up for first-century Christians in Jerusalem and Judea?
WHEN Jesus was on earth, his disciples approached him and asked: "What will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?" The initial fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus gave them in answer to their question took place in the first century. Jesus spoke of an unusual development that would signal that the end was imminent. Upon observing that development, "those in Judea [were to] begin fleeing to the mountains." (Matt. 24:1-3, 15-22) Would Jesus' disciples recognize the sign and act on his instructions?
Why can we assume that there is more than one fulfillment and that this was not all fulfilled in the first century?
Preterist--(Theol.) One who believes the prophecies of the Apocalypse to have been already fulfilled.
Ask yourself, are jws expected to go to one phyiscal place of safety? What would many jws say?
2. Nearly three decades later, in 61 C.E., the apostle Paul penned a strong, sobering message to Hebrew Christians living in Jerusalem and its surroundings. Unknown to both Paul and his fellow believers, the signal marking the opening stage of a "great tribulation" was only about five years away. (Matt. 24:21) In 66 C.E., Cestius Gallus led Roman troops in a nearly successful attack on Jerusalem. But then he suddenly withdrew, leaving open a window of opportunity for endangered ones to escape to safety.
So how long have jws (or bible students) been waiting since the signal year was identified by the WTS? 1914, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1940's, 1975, (1984), (1994) to have the 1914 generation doctrine dissolved and no date but SOON in sight? 95, 94, 89, 84, 69, 34, 25, 15 years.
Here's a chart of the various dates:
WTS publication quotes:
Q 3. What exhortation did Paul give to Hebrew Christians, and why?
3. Those Christians needed keen discernment and spiritual perception to recognize the turn of events and flee. However, some had become "dull in [their] hearing." They were like spiritual babes needing "milk" (Read Hebrews 5:11-13.) Even some of those who had walked in the way of the truth for decades were showing signs of "drawing away from the living God." (Heb. 3:12) Some had "the custom" of missing Christian meetings at a time when this calamitous "day [was] drawing near," (Heb. 10:24, 25) Paul gave them timely exhortation, saying: "Now that we have left the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity." --Heb. 6:1.
"walked in the way of the truth for decades"--at the most (70-29 = 41 years). How many decades have WT members been walking--waiting? 2009-1874 = 135 years.
"drawing away from the living God" = drawing away from the WTS
"missing Christian meetings" - how many meetings did they have in the first century--five?
Q 4. Why is it important to remain spiritually alert, and what will help us to do so?
4. We are living during the time of the final fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy. "The great day of Jehovah" --the day that will bring the end of Satan's entire system--"is near," (Zeph. 1:14) As never before, we must remain spiritually keen and alert. (1 Pet. 5:8) Are we really doing that? Christian maturity will help us to stay focused on where we are in the stream of time.
Where is the proof that we are living in the time of the FINAL fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy?
"bring an end of Satan's entire system" = all 7 billion non-jws, including men, women, and children
IS NEAR = only 135 years on the WTS timeline which makes it difficult for anyone to stay focused
What Christian Maturity Is
Q 5. 6. (a) What does spiritual maturity involve? (b) Pressing on to maturity requires effort in what two areas?
5. Paul not only encouraged the first century Hebrew Christians to press on to maturity but also told them what spiritual maturity involves. (Read Hebrews 5:14.) "Mature people" are not content to partake only of "milk" They take in "solid food." Therefore, they know both "the elementary things" and "the deep things" of the truth. (1 Cor. 2:10) Moreover, their perceptive powers are trained through use--through application of what they know--helping them to distinguish right from wrong. When they are faced with a decision, this training enables them to discern what Scriptural principles are involved and how to apply them.
"mature people" = only people who go to all five meetings, put in a minimum of ten hours a month, and follow all the directives from the WTS and the elders no matter how petty.
deep things--how many jws realize that the generation is now only anointed jws? How many even know that the generation of 1914 doctrine was dropped in 1995?
jws can only distinguish between right and wrong using WTS publications, not just the Bible; even more so they should check with the elders and let them tell them what to do.
6. "It is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things heard by us," wrote Paul, "that we may never drift away." (Heb. 2:1) Such drifting away from the faith can happen before we realize it. We can avoid having this experience by paying "more than the usual attention" during our consideration of spiritual truths. Therefore, each of us needs to ask: 'Am I still considering just elementary things? Could I merely be going through the motions and floating along, as it were, without my heart being fully involved with the truth? How can I make genuine spiritual progress?'
Pressing on to maturity calls for our putting forth effort in at least two areas. We must get well acquainted with the Word of God. And we need to learn obedience.
drifting away from the faith = drifting away from the WTS
spiritual truths--WTS teachings that change and then change back such as "superior authorities" until 1929, secular authorities, from 1929 to 1962, God and Jesus, then back to the secular authorities in 1962
Scream--rape; don't scream
Sodom and Gormorrah--resurrected, not resurrected, resurrected, not resurrected.....
Become Well-Acquainted With the Word
Q 7. How can we benefit from becoming better acquainted with the Word of God?
7. "Everyone that partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness," wrote Paul, "for he is a babe." (Heb. 5:13) To attain maturity, we must become well acquainted with God's word, his message to us. Since this message is contained in his Word, the Bible, we should be good students of the Scriptures and the publications of "the faithful and discreet slave." (Matt. 24:45-47) Absorbing God's thinking in this way can help us to train our perceptive powers. Consider the example of a Christian named Orchid. * She says: "The reminder that has had the biggest effect on my life is the one about regular Bible reading. It took me about two years to finish the whole Bible, but it seemed that I was meeting my Creator for the first time. I learned about his ways, his likes and his dislikes, the degree of his power, and the depth of his wisdom. Reading the Bible daily has sustained me through some of the darkest moments of my life."
*Some names have been changed.
well-acquainted with God's word = only through WT publications
Master scripture giving WTS supreme authority, appears in each article almost at least once = Matthew 24:45-47
a Christian named Orchid = only jws are Christians
If some names are changed why pick "Orchid"?
The 8/1/09 WT has an article showing how jws can read the entire Bible in ONE YEAR.
Gilead students and new Bethelites are required to read the bible in less than one year.
The only way most jws can say they "read the Bible daily" is by reading the day's text, but don't bet they look up the scripture, after all it is quoted in toto in the publication anyway.
Q 8. What power can the Word of God exert on us?
8. Regularly reading a portion of God's Word allows its message to 'exert power' on us. (Read Hebrews 4:12.) Such reading can mold our inner person and make us more pleasing to Jehovah. Do you have a personal need to schedule more time to read the Bible and meditate on what it says?
If jws don't even read the day's text every day, or the bible reading assignment in the school, why think they will find any time to do more?
pleasing to Jehovah = not pleasing to Jesus?
Q 9, 10. What does becoming acquainted with God's Word involve? Illustrate.
9. Becoming acquainted with the Bible involves more than being familiar with what it says. Spiritual babes of Paul's day were not necessarily completely unfamiliar with God's inspired Word. However, they did not personally use it and test its value by actual practice. They did not acquaint themselves with the message by allowing it to guide them in making wise decisions in their lives.
I was at several parties where the bible game was to write down all 66 books of the bible and in order....you guessed it, I was the only one able to do so, and I was told it was because I was a single sister and had the time to do it. You'd think after 30 years of being a jw that at least some of them would know all 66 books of the bible, 30 years of bible reading?
Why personally use it and use it as a guide when jws are told to go to the publications to find their answers?
*** w07 5/1 p. 23 par. 18 Do Not Put Apart What God Has Yoked Together ***
When problems arise, research what the Bible says about Jehovah’s thinking on matters, using Bible-based publications.
*** w06 3/1 p. 25 par. 12 “Keep Your Senses Completely” ***
“The shrewd one considers his steps” by doing research in the Bible and Christian publications.
*** w05 1/1 p. 26 How to Protect Your Children by Means of Godly Wisdom ***
By doing research in Scriptural publications, I learned to make the Bible characters come to life.
*** w05 5/15 p. 24 par. 16 Coming to Know Jehovah’s Ways ***
If you have the reference work Insight on the Scriptures, why not read what it says under “Mercy”? Or do research on that subject with the use of the Watch Tower Publications Index or the computer program Watchtower Library (CD-ROM).
*** w01 8/1 pp. 11-12 par. 18 Can You “Distinguish Both Right and Wrong”? ***
Bear in mind that it is “through use” that we can have our perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong. In other words, every time we are faced with a decision, we should learn to use our mental powers to discern what Bible principles are involved and how they can be applied. Develop the habit of doing research in Bible publications provided through “the faithful and discreet slave.”
10. To become acquainted with the Word of God means to know what it says and to put that knowledge into practice. The experience of a Christian sister named Kyle shows how this can be done. Kyle had an altercation with one of her workmates. What did she do to heal the breach? She explains: "The scripture that readily came to my mind was Romans 12:18, which says: 'As far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men.' So I made an appointment to meet this workmate after work." The meeting was very successful, and the fellow employee was impressed that Kyle had taken that step. "I learned that we can never go wrong if we apply Bible principles," says Kyle.
Christian sister = only jw
So did the elders who fought with each other on another thread on JWN, follow this principle? Not a chance.
Q 11. What shows that obedience under difficult circumstances can be a challenge?
11. Applying what we have learned from the Scriptures can be a challenge, particularly when circumstances are difficult. For example, shortly after Jehovah liberated the sons of Israel from Egyptian bondage, they "fell to quarrelling with Moses" and kept "putting Jehovah to the test." Why? Because of a lack of water to drink. (Ex. 17:1-4) Less than two months after entering into a divine covenant and agreeing to do "all the words that Jehovah [had] spoken," they violated his law on idolatry. (Ex. 24:3, 12-18; 32:1, 2, 7-9) Was this because the prolonged absence of Moses while he was being instructed on Mount Horeb made them fearful? Did they perhaps think that the Amalekites would strike again and that the Israelites would be helpless without Moses, whose upheld hands had brought them victory earlier? (Ex. 17:8-16) That is possible, but whatever the case, the Israelites "refused to become obedient." (Acts 7:39-41) Paul urged Christians to 'do their utmost' to avoid 'falling into the same pattern of disobedience' that the Israelites showed when they were afraid to enter the Promised Land.--Heb. 4:3,11.
So what scriptures does the WTS think that the rank and file are finding a challenge applying?
Was this because...perhaps = adding to the bible?
disobedient to God or disobedient to the WTS/FDS/GB?
*** w97 11/15 p. 18 par. 20 Faith Moves Us to Action! ***
Wisdom from above is “ready to obey,” promoting obedience to divine teaching and cooperation with Jehovah’s organization.
*** w94 9/15 pp. 17-18 par. 9 Take as a Pattern the Prophets of God ***
In carrying out our ministry in association with Jehovah’s organization, let us remember Moses’ obedience and apply the apostle Paul’s counsel to ‘be obedient to those taking the lead among us.’—Hebrews 13:17.
*** w91 9/15 p. 17 par. 12 “Help Me Out Where I Need Faith!” ***
During the great tribulation, it will be just as imperative that we follow the leadings of the holy spirit and obey Jehovah’s instructions through his organization.
Q 12. How did Jesus learn obedience, and with what benefit?
12. Pressing on to maturity requires that we do our utmost to obey Jehovah. As exemplified by Jesus Christ, obedience is often learned from the things suffered. (Read Hebrews 5:81 9.) Before coming to earth, Jesus was obedient to his Father. However, doing his Father's will on earth involved physical and mental suffering. Through obedience under extreme adversity, Jesus was "made perfect" for the new position God had in mind for him, that of being King and High Priest.
So is the WTS saying that every jw must suffer in order to learn obedience? That every jw must experience physical and mental suffering and if they do, it is from God?
Q 13. What shows whether we have learned obedience?
13. What about us? Are we determined to obey Jehovah even when we are faced with distressful problems? (Read 1 Peter 1:61 7.) God's counsel regarding morals, honesty, proper use of the tongue, personal reading and study of the Scriptures, attendance at Christian meetings, and participation in the preaching work is clear. (Josh. 1:8; Matt. 28: 19, 20; Eph. 4:25, 28, 29; 5:3-5; Heb. 10:24, 25) Are we obedient to Jehovah in these matters even under adversity? Our obedience is an indication that we have progressed toward maturity.
What does the WTS consider distressful problems? What is adversity?
Christian meetings = only jw meetings
obedient to Jehovah = obedient to the WTS organization
Christian Maturity--Why Beneficial?
Q 14. Illustrate how pressing on to maturity can be a protection.
14. It is a real protection for a Christian to have perceptive powers that are properly trained to distinguish right from wrong in a world that is "past all moral sense." (Eph. 4: 19) For example, a brother named James, who regularly read and deeply appreciated Scriptural publications, accepted a job where all his coworkers were women. "While many of these clearly showed a lack "of moral sense," says James, "one employee seemed to be of good character and showed interest in Bible truth. When we were alone in a production room, though, she began making sexual advances. I thought it was a joke but found it very hard to stop her. Right then I recalled an experience related in The Watchtower regarding a brother who faced a similar temptation on his job. The article used the example of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. I promptly pushed the girl away, and she ran out." (Gen. 39:7-12) James was thankful that nothing further happened and that he maintained a good conscience.--1 Tim. 1:5.
a Christian = only a jw
So what was James doing being alone in a room with a worldly (all of them are sex-mad per the WTS and James) woman when the WTS counsels brothers not to be alone with a jw woman? Why was he trying to witness a woman on his own. The WTS clearly counsels against that.
Wow, after 40 years of working with non-jws, I guess I was lucky not to have one make a sexual advance. Ask me out, but nothing forceful. I'm surprised he didn't get a new job.
Q 15. How can pressing on to maturity strengthen our figurative heart?
15. Maturity is also beneficial in that it strengthens our figurative heart and keeps us from being "carried away with various and strange teachings." (Read Hebrews 13:9.) When we strive to make spiritual progress, our mind stays focused on "the more important things." (Phil. 1:9, 10) We thus grow in our appreciation for God and for all the provisions he has made for our benefit. (Rom. 3: 24) A Christian who is "full-grown in powers of understanding" develops such gratitude and enjoys intimacy with Jehovah.--1 Cor. 14:20.
So what is a "strange teaching"?
So what are "the more important things"?
No appreciation for Jesus? No intimacy with Jesus?
A Christian = only jws are Christians
Q 16. What helped one sister to develop 'firmness of heart'?
16. A sister named Louise admitted that for some time after baptism, her main concern was the impression she gave to others. "I was not doing anything wrong," she said, "but my heart was not ablaze with the desire to serve Jehovah. I realized that I had to make some changes if I was going to feel that I was giving everything I could to Jehovah. The biggest change was to throw my whole heart into his worship." By putting forth such effort, Louise developed 'firmness of heart,' and it proved to be vital when she faced a distressing health problem. (Jas. 5:8) Louise said, "I struggled greatly, but I really drew close to Jehovah."
"her main concern was the impression she gave to others" = that is what drives jws...what humans see; so many if not all do things behind the scenes without any concern about what God sees.
(Ezekiel 8:12) 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.’”
"she faced a distressing healthy problem" and being told she should be at all five meetings like Job was...that's right, Job wasn't associating with anyone at that time.
'Become Obedient From the Heart'
Q 17. Why was obedience especially vital in the first century?
17. Paul's counsel to "press on to maturity" proved to be life saving to the first-century Christians living in Jerusalem and Judea. Those who heeded it had the keen spiritual discernment needed to recognize the signal Jesus had given for them to "begin fleeing to the mountains." When they saw "the disgusting thing that causes desolation . . . standing in a holy place," that is, the armies of Rome surrounding and penetrating Jerusalem, they knew that it was time to flee. (Matt. 24:15, 16) Heeding Jesus' prophetic warning, Christians fled the city of Jerusalem prior to its destruction and, according to ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, settled in the city of Pella in the mountainous region of Gilead. They thereby avoided the worst disaster for Jerusalem in recorded history.
Can jws do further research on Eusebius?
*** w03 7/15 p. 31 Eusebius—“The Father of Church History”? ***Eusebius was concerned about the unsettled issue of how the Father and the Son were related. Did the Father exist before the Son, as Eusebius believed? Or did the Father and Son coexist? “If they co-exist,” he asked, “how will the Father be Father and the Son be Son?” He even supported his belief with Scriptural references, citing John 14:28, which says that ‘the Father is greater than Jesus,’ and John 17:3, where Jesus is referred to as the one “sent forth” by the only true God. Alluding to Colossians 1:15 and John 1:1, Eusebius argued that the Logos, or the Word, is “the image of the invisible God”—God’s Son. Amazingly, though, at the closing of the Council of Nicaea, Eusebius gave his support to the opposing view. Contrary to his Scriptural stand that God and Christ were not coexisting equals, he went along with the emperor.
The WTS is trying to set the scene that soon jws will have to flee for safety...but where? Is there anyplace on earth that the "great tribulation" is not going to reach per the WTS? What application does the WTS want to infer here? "interior rooms"? "likely have to do with the tens of thousands of congregations of Jehovah's people"? Do jws then interpret that the KHs are the safe places to flee to?
*** w01 3/1 p. 21 pars. 16-17 Salvation for Those Who Choose the Light ***Regarding that dangerous time, Jehovah warns us: “Go, my people, enter into your interior rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for but a moment until the denunciation passes over. For, look! Jehovah is coming forth from his place to call to account the error of the inhabitant of the land against him, and the land will certainly expose her bloodshed and will no longer cover over her killed ones.” (Isaiah 26:20, 21; Zephaniah 1:14) This warning showed the Jews how to survive the fall of Babylon in 539 B.C.E. Those who heeded it would have stayed in their houses, safe from the conquering soldiers out in the streets. Today, the “interior rooms” of the prophecy likely have to do with the tens of thousands of congregations of Jehovah’s people around the world. Such congregations are a protection even now, a place where Christians find safety among their brothers, under the loving care of the elders. (Isaiah 32:1, 2; Hebrews 10:24, 25) This is especially true in view of the nearness of the end of this system of things when survival will depend on obedience.—Zephaniah 2:3.
Q 18, 19. (a) Why is obedience vital in our day? (b) What will be considered in the next article?
18. Obedience that comes from pressing on to maturity will prove to be no less lifesaving when we face the major fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy that "there will be great tribulation" of unequalled magnitude. (Matt. 24:21) Will we prove to be obedient to whatever future urgent direction we may receive from "the faithful steward"? (Luke 12:42) How important it is that we learn to 'become obedient from the heart'!--Rom. 6:17.
Obedience to whom? God or the WTS or is that the same thing?
WILL WE PROVED TO BE OBEDIENT TO WHATEVER FUTURE URGENT DIRECTION WE MAY RECEIVE FROM "THE FAITHFUL STEWARD"?
That the end was coming in 1914, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1975, VERY SOON NOW (see WT-CD) starting in 1951
*** w51 11/1 p. 647 Comfort for Men Who Sigh and Cry ***Those who long to live under a just and righteous rule in peace and contentment will have their prayers answered, and that very soon now. The great Theocrat, Jehovah the Almighty, has already begun to rule as King upon his glorious throne in the heavens and, now speedily, he purposes to clean out all rebellion and iniquity, destroy those who now wreck and ruin the earth, and establish a new world wherein will dwell righteousness.
Q 19. Our attaining maturity requires that we train our perceptive powers. We do this by putting forth effort to get better acquainted with God's Word and by learning obedience. Growing to Christian maturity brings special challenges to youths. The following article considers how such challenges can be met successfully.
Learning obedience--to the WTS organization
What Did You learn? • What is spiritual maturity, and how do we attain it?
• What part does becoming acquainted with the Word of God play in our pressing on to maturity?
• How do we learn obedience?
• In what ways does maturity benefit us?
I found this statement the most compelling in this whole article, "Will we prove to be obedient to whatever future urgent direction we way receive from "the faithful steward"?" I do believe that the rank and file and getting more and more disobedient behind the scenes. They certainly aren't donating as in the past. My husband calls that voting with your pocketbook. As to the busy work preaching activities, it is more for the elders than the rank and file. After all, if you don't see the elders out, why should you be?
Next week, "Youths--Make Your Advancement Manifest." It has been reported on JWD that from 60 to 100 percent of jw children are leaving the organization, never to return. I will be meeting one this week from my old congregation. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say.