Comments You Will Not Hear at the 01-17-10 WT Study (November 15, 2009, pages 13-17)(YOUR PLACE IN CONG)
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TREASURE YOUR PLACE IN THE CONGREGATION "God has set the members in the body, each one of them, just as he pleased."--1 COR 12:18
The WTS applies 1 Corinthians 12:12,18 only to the anointed not the other sheep. The body is only the 144,000 and the head is Christ. How then does this have any application to the other sheep?
*** w98 9/1 p. 9 par. 4 Keep Safe as Part of God’s Organization ***
He compared the anointed Christian fellowship to the human body, which has many parts, each fulfilling its assigned role so that the body can function properly. (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)
*** Paradise Restored--pm chap. 6 p. 101 par. 22 Calling a Nation to Return to Jehovah ***
The spiritual Israel is thus the true Christian congregation made up of the dedicated, baptized, spirit-anointed disciples of the Messiah Jesus. Like the human body, it is highly organized, the many members of it having each one his individual part to perform. (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-28; Ephesians 4:15, 16; Colossians 2:19)
(1 Corinthians 12:12) . . .For just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
*** w07 6/15 p. 20 Are You Imitating Jehovah in Caring for Others? ***
The apostle Paul likened the congregation of anointed Christians to the human body: “God compounded the body . . . so that there should be no division in the body, but that its members should have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 24-26)
*** w02 2/1 p. 20 par. 6 Have You Received “the Spirit of the Truth”? ***
This “heavenly calling” began at Pentecost 33 C.E. and, in the main, appears to have ended in the mid-1930’s. (Hebrews 3:1) The number of those sealed by the holy spirit to be part of spiritual Israel is 144,000, “bought from among mankind.” (Revelation 7:4; 14:1-4) These were baptized into the spiritual body of Christ, into his congregation, and into his death. (Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13, 27; Ephesians 1:22, 23)
*** w95 7/1 p. 11 par. 9 Christian Witnesses With Heavenly Citizenship ***
The worldwide body of anointed Christians is “the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.” (Hebrews 12:23) They are the first to benefit from Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They are also “Christ’s body,” which shows their intimate relationship with one another and with Jesus. (1 Corinthians 12:27) Paul wrote: “Just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ. For truly by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink one spirit.”—1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:22, 23; 3:6.
*** w83 8/15 p. 21 par. 8 United Fruit Bearers ***
Paul drew another practical lesson from the wonderful manner in which Jehovah enables the Abrahamic-covenant tree to produce the full number of 144,000 Jewish and Gentile “branches.” He goes on to say to both kinds of “branches”: “I tell everyone there among you not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think; but to think so as to have a sound mind, each one as God has distributed to him a measure of faith. For just as we have in one body many members, but the members do not all have the same function, so we, although many, are one body in union with Christ.” (Romans 12:3-5)
*** w74 6/15 p. 376 par. 8 Serve with Eternity in View ***
Also, it is to the spirit-anointed Christians who will rule in that kingdom that most of the Christian Greek Scriptures is directed, including the promises of everlasting life.
*** United Worship--uw chap. 14 p. 111 par. 4 ‘I Make a Covenant With You for a Kingdom’ ***
Special attention was being given to making up the government that would rule mankind for 1,000 years, and nearly all the inspired letters in the Christian Greek Scriptures are primarily directed to this group of Kingdom heirs—“the holy ones,” “partakers of the heavenly calling.”
START OF ARTICLE
Q1,2 (a) What shows that everyone in the congregation can have a place he can cherish? (b) What questions will be considered in this article?
1. Since the days of ancient Israel, the congregation has been Jehovah's arrangement for nourishing his people spiritually and giving them direction. After the Israelites overthrew the city of Ai, for example, Joshua "read aloud all the words of the law, the blessing and the malediction, according to all that is written in the book of the law...in front of all the congregation of Israel."--Josh. 8:34,35.
So there was no congregation (organization) before this. Neither Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Job, Isaac, Jacob, Judah (and his brothers), had a congregation they worshipped in. Even when Abraham encounted Melchizedek, he did not remain and worship in a congregation headed him.
Notice that Joshua read aloud only the scriptures not an article written by the priests with some snippets of scriptures.
2. In the first century C.E., the apostle Paul told the Christian elder Timothy that the Christian congregation was "God's household" and "a pillar and support of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15) God's "household" today is the worldwide brotherhood of true Christians. In chapter 12 of his first inspired letter to the Corinthians, Paul likens the congregation to a human body. He says even though each member serves a different function, all are necessary. "God has set the members in the body," writes Paul, "each one of them, just as he pleased." He even points out that "the parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, these we surround with more abundant honor." (1 Cor. 12:18,23) Hence the role of one upright person in God's household is neither better nor worse than that of another faithful Christian. It is simply different. How, then, can we find our place within God's arrangement and treasure, or cherish, it? What factors may affect the place that we occupy? And how can we make 'our advancement manifest to all persons'?--1 Tim. 4:15.
COMMENTSWhat does the WTS really consider "God's household" and "a pillar and support of the truth"? Note how the good-will companions (other sheep/great crowd) are not included in the household.
What are the parts "we think" are less honorable? So they are not better but different??????? jws are always judging/assigning spiritual status to people. When anointed women are resurrected to heaven will their status still be secondary to the male anointed? Will the Jewish born ones be better than the Gentile ones? Will those who were not human slaves be better than those who were slaves on earth?
(Galatians 3:26-28) 26 YOU are all, in fact, sons of God through YOUR faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of YOU who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for YOU are all one [person] in union with Christ Jesus.
*** w59 7/15 p. 430 par. 24 How Is Your Spiritual Appetite? ***
Today he is letting his “faithful and discreet slave” wait on all the domestics of God’s household and their good-will companions, “to give them their food at the proper time.”
*** w58 1/15 p. 58 par. 26 Overseers in the Right Hand of Christ ***
When he accompanied Jehovah God to the spiritual temple in 1918 he began judgment at God’s household. He found the “faithful and discreet slave” class.
*** w06 1/1 p. 29 par. 17 Seeking Righteousness Will Protect Us ***
The congregation of the anointed is “a pillar and support of the truth.” Jehovah has provided it to protect and guide us. (1 Timothy 3:15)
*** w06 7/1 p. 18 They Delight to Do God’s Will ***
Gilead instructor Lawrence Bowen considered the theme “Know How You Ought to Conduct Yourself.” He reminded the students that Jehovah miraculously guided and protected the Israelites through the wilderness. (Exodus 13:21, 22) He guides and protects us today, in part by means of the anointed Christian congregation, “a pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:14, 15)
*** w84 11/1 p. 18 par. 17 Direct New Ones to God’s Organization ***
Jehovah’s worldwide congregation of anointed ones is “a pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)
Cherish Our Place-How?
Q3. What is one way to find our place in the congregation and show that we treasure it?
3. One way to find our place in the congregation and give evidence that we treasure it is to cooperate fully with "the faithful and discreet slave" and its representative Governing Body. (Read Matthew 24:45-47.) We need to examine our response to the direction we receive from the slave class. Over the years, for example, we have received pointed direction on dress and grooming, entertainment, and improper use of the Internet. Do we carefully heed this good counsel so that we are spiritually protected? What about the admonition to establish a regular routine of family worship? Have we taken the advice to heart and set aside an evening for that purpose? If we are single, are we making time for personal study of the Scriptures? Jehovah will bless us individually and as families if we follow the guidance of the slave class.
COMMENTSDid you know that the WTS did not start capitalizing the "Governing Body" until 1971?
Do we find our place in the congregation or do others such as the elders put us in our place? Did Paul cooperate fully regarding the issue of circumcision by "waiting on God" or did he bring up the issue with the elders in Jerusalem? Note how the GB directs the FDS. While the WT focuses on small issues like dress and grooming, entertainment, and improper use of the internet (notice how the WTS capitalizes that) and avoids the change in doctrines regarding, organ transplants, alternative service, etc.
So does the direction come from the FDS, GB, or "slave class"?
Q4. What should we take into consideration when making personal choices?
4. Some might reason that areas such as entertainment and dress and grooming are personal matters. For the dedicated Christian who cherishes his place in the congregation, though, personal preferences should not be the sole determining factor when making decisions. Consideration must especially be given to Jehovah's viewpoint as revealed through his Word, the Bible. Its message should prove to be 'a lamp to our foot, and a light to our roadway.' (Ps. 119:105) We are wise also to consider how the choices we make in personal matters affect our ministry and other people, both inside and outside the congregation.--Read 2 Corinthians 6:3, 4.
COMMENTSdedicated Christian--only jws--notice how baptism is left out, the GB controls unbaptized jws as well.
Is it God's viewpoint or the viewpoint of the local elder body; why is it that some BOEs would not let MS or elders have mustaches, others required white shirts on public speakers (btw, in this area white shirts are required for all convention/assembly speakers)
Where in the bible does it say that Christian (jw) men cannot wear beards?
Q5. Why should we guard against the spirit of independence?
5. "The spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience" is so widespread that it is like the air we breathe. (Eph. 2:2) That spirit can cause us to think that we do not need guidance from Jehovah's organization. Surely we do not want to be like Diotrephes, who would not 'receive anything from the apostle John with respect.' (3 John 9, 10) We need to guard against developing a spirit of independence. By word or action, may we never challenge the channel of communication that Jehovah is using today. (Num. 16: 1-3) On the contrary, we should cherish our privilege to cooperate with the slave class. And should we not strive to be obedient and submissive to those taking the lead in our local congregation?--Read Hebrews 13:7, 17.
COMMENTSIs a spirit of independence wrong? What about the Israelites during the time the nation was sacrificing their children to false gods by tossing them into a fire? Should an Israelite have been independent recognizing that this was not God's way and have refused to sacrifice their child? Should they have "waited on Jehovah" thinking that God would resurrect their child? What about the Israelites who danced around the golden calf with the support of Aaron? Would you have been short a spirit of independence if you had not gone along with that?
What about the apostle Paul, did he send word to Christian men in Jerusalem before he said this to Peter, one of the original 12? Wasn't Paul challenging the channel of communication?
QUOTE(Galatians 2:11-14) . . .However, when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him face to face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before the arrival of certain men from James, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he went withdrawing and separating himself, in fear of those of the circumcised class. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Barnabas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw they were not walking straight according to the truth of the good news, I said to Cephas before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do, and not as Jews do, how is it that you are compelling people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?”
COMMENTSWhat about these 3 scriptures? Acts 17:10,11 and 1 John 4:1 and Gal. 1:8? In every case but one, the WTS encourages people to examine their religion; just that jws should not examine their own. Paul said that even if an angel from heaven declared something not supported by the scriptures, you were not to listen. Who has more authority at this point per the WTS doctrine the anointed on earth or the angels in heaven? So if the anointed on earth teach what is not in harmony with the bible and you should not listen even to an angel..............
QUOTES(1 John 4:1) . . .Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.
(Acts 17:10-11) . . .Immediately by night the brothers sent both Paul and Silas out to Beroea, and these, upon arriving, went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.
(Galatians 1:8-9) . . .However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to YOU as good news something beyond what we declared to YOU as good news, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said above, I also now say again, Whoever it is that is declaring to YOU as good news something beyond what YOU accepted, let him be accursed.
Q6. Why should we examine our personal circumstances?
6. Another way to show that we cherish our place in the congregation is by closely examining our personal circumstances and doing all we can to 'glorify our ministry' and bring honor to Jehovah. (Rom. 11:13) Some are able to be regular pioneers. Others serve in such special forms of full-time service as missionaries, traveling overseers, and members of Bethel families throughout the world. Many brothers and sisters assist with Kingdom Hall construction. The great majority of Jehovah's people are doing their best to care for the spiritual needs of their families and have a full share in the ministry each week. (Read Colossians 3:23, 24.) We can be confident that when we offer ourselves willingly in God's service and do our best to serve him whole-souled, there is always a place for us in his arrangement.
COMMENTS Are jws examining themselves personally or are they subject to the close examination of the elders and other jws in their congregation?
Who decides who is not part of "the great majority of Jehovah's people" who are not doing their best?
What does the phrase "full share" mean? Back in the 60's and 70's there was a quota set for each jw publisher of 10 hours a month, 12 magazines a month, 5 return visits and 1 bible study a month. There was even a large chart post at the front of the congregation. That is why "the national average" still centers around 10 hours. MS and elder appointments are determined by whether these men are maintaining the "national average." So was is their "best" and what does "full share" mean?
QUOTE*** w61 6/1 p. 328 Your Time or Your Money? ***
Each congregation has its hour quota and each Witness strives to meet or exceed it. The average minister in a congregation spends some ten hours monthly in such evangelizing.
Factors That Make a Difference
Q7. Explain how our circumstances can affect the place we occupy in the congregation.
7. It is important to scrutinize our circumstances because, to some extent, our place in the congregation depends on what we are able to do or are in a position to do. For example, the place a brother occupies in the congregation differs in some respects from that of a sister. Age, health, and other factors also influence what we are able to do in Jehovah's service. "The beauty of young men is their power," states Proverbs 20:29, 11 and the splendor of old men is their grayheadedness." Younger members of the congregation may be able to do more physically because of their youthful energy, whereas older ones benefit the congregation greatly because of their wisdom and experience. We also need to bear in mind that anything we are able to do in Jehovah's organization depends on God's undeserved kindness.--Acts 14:26; Rom. 12:6-8.
COMMENTSDo jws scrutinize themselves or rather the elders and others "help" you with that.
Jehovah's organization--the WTS/FDS/GB
I wonder what the pioneering stats are in Japan now?
QUOTES*** w87 2/1 p. 15 par. 1 Doing Our Utmost to Declare the Good News ***
“A FEW years ago, many of us thought that only those with special circumstances could pioneer,” wrote a pioneer, or full-time minister, in Japan. “It seems we were wrong. We are learning that only those with special circumstances cannot pioneer.”
Q8. What bearing does desire have on what we do in the congregation?
8. An illustration of two young fleshly sisters highlights another factor that comes into play in determining the place we will occupy in the congregation. Both graduate from high school. They have the same circumstances. Their parents have done their best to encourage both of them to reach out for the regular pioneer service after graduation. After graduating, one enters the pioneer service, whereas the other begins working secularly full-time. What made the difference? It was desire. In the end, each did what she wanted to do. Is that not true with most of us? We need to think seriously about what we would like to do in God's service. Can we increase the share we are having in it, even if that means adjusting our circumstances?--2 Cor. 9:7.
COMMENTSSo the WTS tries to draw 2 examples from the same immediate family. I wonder though when it came time to help out the older parents financially, which daughter was there? How many elders are pioneering? How many of them chose to get married and have children tying themselves down financially. I understand that young male jws no longer have to regular pioneer to get into Bethel. How many jws seem to have the same "circumstances" and other jws judge them as lacking spirituality? Who really knows the circumstances of anyone but themselves?
Q9, 10. What should we do if we lack the motivation to do more in Jehovah’s service?
9. What if we simply lack motivation to do more in Jehovah's service and are inclined to coast along in the congregation? In his letter to the Philippians, Paul states: "God is the one that, for the sake of his good pleasure, is acting within you in order for you both to will and to act." Yes, Jehovah can act within us and affect our will, or desires.--Phil. 2:13; 4:13.
COMMENTSCOAST ALONG???? So judges who is coasting?
10. Should we not, then, ask Jehovah to make us want to do his will? King David of ancient Israel did just that. He prayed: "Make me know your own ways, O Jehovah; teach me your own paths. Make me walk in your truth and teach me, for you are my God of salvation. In you I have hoped all day long." (Ps. 25:4, 5) We can do the same by praying that Jehovah will make us want to do what pleases him. When we reflect upon how Jehovah God and his Son feel about what we do in serving their interests, our hearts are filled with appreciation for them. (Matt. 26: 6-10; Luke 21:1-4) That feeling of gratitude can move us to beg Jehovah to make us want to make spiritual advancement. The prophet Isaiah has provided an example of the attitude that we should cultivate. When he heard the voice of Jehovah ask: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" the prophet responded: "Here I am! Send me."--Isa.6:8.
COMMENTSSo was David (OT) doing God's will when he had Uriah killed and committed adultery with Uriah's wife? David prayed for the life of his adulterous son by Bathsheba, but no prayers for Uriah. Did David think murder and adultery were pleasing to God.Finally Jesus gets a mention in this paragraph...but then a quick return to "Jehovah." Try searching the CD to find how often the WTS mentions serving Jesus Christ.
PAGE 16 PICTURE--Please note that he has highlighted the publication and that these jw men seem not to have suitcoats on at the meeting.
Q11. (a) What need is there for brothers to reach out for responsibilities in the organization? (b) How can a brother reach out for service privileges?
11. With 289,678 individuals baptized worldwide during the 2008 service year, there is clearly a great need for brothers to take the lead. How should a brother respond to this need? Simply put, by striving to meet the qualifications for ministerial servants and elders set out in the Scriptures. (1 Tim. 3:1-10, 12, 13; Titus 1:5-9) How can a brother strive to meet such Scriptural requirements? By having an active share in the ministry, by diligently caring for his congregation assignments, by working hard to improve the quality of his comments at Christian meetings, and by taking a personal interest in fellow believers. He thus shows that he treasures his place in the congregation.
COMMENTSSo how many were baptized in 2007...298,304 (-8,626)
What was the increase in partakers? You can be sure the WTS won't mention that.
And it what scripture does it say that MS and elders have to meet the national average (10 hours) to qualify spiritually? Is being on time a requirement? So many elders and MS in this area breeze in at 7:30 (and Sunday start time). How can it be determined that their commnets are improved if jws are restricted only to material in the publication, not adding anything from the Insight book or a personal experience.
Q12. How can youths demonstrate their zeal for the truth?
12. What can young brothers, especially those in their teens, do to make advancement in the congregation? They can put forth effort to grow in "wisdom and spiritual comprehension" by taking in knowledge of the Scriptures. (Col. 1:9) Being diligent students of God's Word and having an active share in congregation meetings will certainly contribute to that end. Young men can also reach out by working to qualify to enter the "large door that leads to activity" in various features of fulltime service. (1 Cor. 16:9) Pursuing a career in Jehovah's service is a truly satisfying way of life and a course that results in rich blessings.--Read Ecclesiastes 12:1.
COMMENTSYouths = young men...where is there any mention of young women? See below...'only' the ministry which is considered secondary to the finer "privileges" offered only to males.
active share--so is this the same as "full share"?
God's service = serving WTS/FDS/GB
Q13, 14. In what ways can sisters demonstrate that they cherish their role in the congregation?
13. Sisters too can demonstrate that they treasure their privilege of personally participating in the fulfillment of Psalm 68:11. There we read: "Jehovah himself gives the saying; the women telling the good news are a large army." One of the most notable ways by which sisters can show their gratitude for their place in the congregation is by participating in the disciple-making work. (Matt. 28:19, 20) Hence, by having a full share in the ministry and by willingly making sacrifices for that work, sisters prove that they treasure their role in the congregation.
COMMENTSIn the jw congregations that vast majority of the time spent talking to non-jws about jw beliefs is by women. First, most members are women and secondly, the men get the out of supporting their family, doing chores at the KH, etc.
14. In writing to Titus, Paul stated: "Let the aged women be reverent in behavior, ... teachers of what is good; that they may recall the young women to their senses to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sound in mind, chaste, workers at home, good, subjecting themselves to their own husbands, so that the word of God may not be spoken of abusively." (Titus 2:3-5) What a force for good the mature sisters in the congregation can be! By respecting the brothers who take the lead and by making wise decisions in such areas of life as dress and grooming and entertainment, they set a fine example for others and show a high regard for their own place in the congregation.
COMMENTSNotice that women are qualified to be teachers of what is good...but only other women and their children? Include that most women are conducting studies with non-jws.
If a woman subjects herself to an abusive husband, will God be spoken of abusively. Are married jw women supposed to follow the lead of the elders or their husbands?
I remember one congregation where the elders were very strict about makeup and nail polish on all the sisters. The old CO was on his way and the new one arrived with his wife in tow: completed with darkly dyed hair, heavy makeup, lipstick that glowed, and dark nail polish, with 3 inch heels and a skirt that just grazed the middle of her knee.
Q15. What might a single sister do to cope with loneliness?
15 At times, it may be difficult for an unmarried sister to find her place in the congregation. One sister who has experienced this stated: "A life of singleness can occasionally be a lonely one." When asked how she copes with the situation, she said: "Prayer and study help me to find my place again. I study about how Jehovah views me. Then I reach out to try to be helpful to others in the congregation. This helps me to get my mind off myself." According to Psalm 32:8, Jehovah told David: "I will give advice with my eye upon you." Yes, Jehovah takes a personal interest in all of his servants, including single sisters, and he will help all to find their place in the congregation.
COMMENTSUnmarried women have no status in the congregation. Married sisters only want to hang out with other married sisters. Married sisters are afraid that this lonely single sisters will make a grab for their husbands.
Where are the WT comments that people in the congregation invite these single sisters over for a meal or to study the WT? Why can't she invite people over? See the comment above--include that the elders are nervous when a group of single people of both sexes socialize.
Keep Your Place!
Q16, 17. (a) Why is accepting Jehovah's invitation to be part of his organization the best decision we can make? (b) How can we keep our place in Jehovah's organization?
16. Jehovah has lovingly drawn each of his servants into a relationship with him. Jesus said: "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him." (John 6:44) Out of all the billions of people on the earth, Jehovah has extended a personal invitation to us to be a part of his congregation today. Accepting this invitation was the best decision we ever made. It has given our life purpose and meaning. And what joy and satisfaction we experience because we have a place in the congregation!
COMMENTSNote that the WTS says that the billions on earth today have not received a personal invitation to be part of the congregation.
Why no relationship with Jesus?
17. "Jehovah, I have loved the dwelling of your house," said the psalmist. He also sang: "My own foot will certainly stand on a level place; among the congregated throngs I shall bless Jehovah." (Ps. 26:8, 12) The true God has a place for each of us in his organization. By continuing to follow theocratic direction and by staying busy in God's service, we can keep our precious place in Jehovah's arrangement.
COMMENTSRemember the word "organization" does not occur in the bible.
*** w98 9/1 p. 8 par. 2 Keep Safe as Part of God’s Organization ***
The word “organization” does not appear in the Bible, and back in the 1920’s, “God’s organization” was a new expression.
*** w84 8/15 p. 27 One God in Three? ***
In its article “Trinity,” a Protestant work (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary) states: “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century . . . Although Scripture does not give us a formulated doctrine of the Trinity, it contains all the elements out of which theology has constructed the doctrine.”
Do You Remember?
• Why is it reasonable to conclude that all Christians have a place in the congregation?
• How do we show that we cherish our place in God’s organization?
• What factors can affect our place in the congregation?
• How can Christian youths and adults demonstrate that they treasure their place in God’s arrangement?
Next week, Keep Growing in Brotherly Love. (barf)