Comments You Will Not Hear at the 08-28-11 WT Study (JUNE 15, 2011, pages 24-28)(REGARD)
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“HAVE REGARD FOR
THOSE WHO ARE WORKING
HARD AMONG YOU”
“Have regard for those who are working hard among you
and presiding over you in the Lord and admonishing you.”—1 THESS. 5:12.
Why is “presiding” appropriate here when the rank and file are involved. Yes, elders cannot preside over each other, only the lowly sheep.
Is it all right for elders to yell their admonishment if it is “correct”?
START OF ARTICLE
1, 2. (a) What was the situation of the Thessalonian
congregation when Paul wrote his first letter to
them? (b) What did Paul encourage the Thessalonians
IMAGINE yourself as a member of the first
century Thessalonian congregation, one
of the earliest to be established in Europe.
The apostle Paul had spent considerable
time building up the brothers there. He
may have appointed older men to take the
lead, as was the case in other congregations.
(Acts 14:23) But after the congregation was
formed, the Jews organized a mob to rid the
city of Paul and Silas. The Christians who remained
might have felt deserted, perhaps even fearful.
So what does the average jw know about first century Christian history. Information from an organization that shows Christians going door to door with scrolls? What experience can a jw draw from where a CO stays weeks or months with a congregation? Rather the WTS has them visit from Tuesday night through Sunday afternoon. COs aren’t even scheduled to go out Wednesday evening or Sunday after the meetings. Where COs are transferred after 3 years so that they and the local jws do not get too attached to each other.
2 Understandably, after leaving Thessalonica,
Paul was concerned about the fledgling
congregation. He tried to return, but “Satan
cut across” his path. So he sent Timothy to
encourage the congregation. (1 Thess. 2:18;
3:2) When Timothy brought back a good report,
Paul was moved to write the Thessalonians
a letter. Among other things, Paul encouraged
them to ‘have regard for those who
were presiding over them.’—Read 1 Thessalonians
So do the COs who leave after 3 years, keep in touch with but a select few elders, usually those with a few bucks.
Are COs encouraged to keep in touch with the congregations from 3, 6, 9 years before?
3. What reasons did Thessalonian Christians have
for giving extraordinary consideration to the older
3 The brothers who were taking the lead
among the Thessalonian Christians were
not as experienced as Paul and his traveling
companions; nor did they have the rich spiritual
heritage of the elders in Jerusalem. After
all, the congregation had existed for less
than a year! Still, those in the congregation
had reason to be grateful for their older
men, who were “working hard” and “presiding
over” the congregation and “admonishing”
the brothers. Indeed, they had good
reason to “give [the elders] more than extraordinary
consideration in love.” This request
was followed by Paul’s counsel to “be
peaceable with one another.” If you had
been there in Thessalonica, would you have
shown deep appreciation for the elders’
work? How do you view the “gifts in men”
whom God through Christ has provided in
your congregation?—Eph. 4:8.
“brothers who were taking the lead” but not LEADERS
How many congregations today have existed for less than a year but for the most part have split off from a long existing congregation?
“working hard” means what?
“presiding over” means what…above or superior to the rank and file?
“admonishing” means what
What extraordinary consideration have the elders show the sheep?
“gifts in men” – are all elders gifts from God or Satan?
God---Christ---WTS/FDS/GB---yes all things must come through the WTS even Christ and God, no direct contact without the organization
4, 5. Why was it hard work for the older men in
Paul’s day to teach the congregation, and why is it
that way today?
4 After sending Paul and Silas to Beroea,
how were the older men in Thessalonica
“working hard”? Imitating Paul, they no
doubt taught the congregation, using the
Scriptures. ‘Did the Thessalonian Christians
have appreciation for God’s Word?’ you may
wonder. After all, the Bible says that the
Beroeans were “more noble-minded than
those in Thessalonica, . . . carefully examining
the Scriptures daily.” (Acts 17:11) The
comparison, however, was with the Thessalonian
Jews in general, not with the Christians.
Those who became believers ‘accepted
God’s word, not as the word of men, but as
the word of God.’ (1 Thess. 2:13) The older
men must have worked hard to feed such
*** w81 2/15 18-19
How shall we view the spiritual food provided by this "faithful and discreet slave"? Should it be viewed critically. Oh, well, it might be true but then again it might not be and so we have to scrutinize it very critically? Some apparently have felt that way about it. To support their way of thinking they have quoted Acts 17:11, which says of newly interested persons at Beroea : "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."
But does this mean that those Beroeans were looking for flaws in the message they were hearing, or that their attitude was one of doubting? Does this set a precedent for regarding critically the publications brought forth by the "faithful and discreet slave," with a view to finding fault? Not at all!
First of all, let us note the setting of the statement about the noble-minded Beroeans. Paul, accompanied by Silas, was on his second missionary tour. Due to persecution that arose, the brothers at Thessalonica sent them on to Beroea. In Beroea they met sincere Jews who had strong faith in Gods Word. These were not Christians yet. They were simply interested persons who had to satisfy themselves that what Paul was telling them had the support of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Up to this time, these devout Jews in Beroea may never have heard of Jesus Christ. What Paul was telling them was entirely new. So those noble-minded Jews in Beroea searched the Scriptures daily to make certain that the references that Paul gave were really part of Gods Word. And with what mental attitude did they pursue their studies? With a skeptical attitude, trying to prove Paul wrong? No, they were altogether unlike Paul’s critics on Mars Hill, for we read that they heard Paul’s testimony with "the greatest eagerness of mind." Acts 17:11, 32.
These Beroeans listened with a readiness, yes, an eagerness, to believe. Thus not only were they open-minded, but they were wanting to have this "good news" proved true. In fact, for a person to acquire faith he must have "the will to believe." If he is determined not to believe, then no amount of evidence will convince him; for if a person looks for them he can always find excuses, plausible reasons for not accepting the accountability that belief will bring upon him. As the apostle Paul well said: "Faith is not a possession of all people." (2 Thess. 3:2) But the Beroeans had the will to believe. They considered what they heard with a receptive frame of mind. As a result, "many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the reputable Greek women and of the men." Acts 17:12.
Jesus disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in "the way of the truth." (2 Pet. 2:2) But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about.
Yet here the WTS says:
***w81 2/15 27***
11 Who, then, are the modern-day Philips that are safe guides? Those who believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God; who take it as a lamp to their feet and a light to their path; who neither add to it nor take away from it; who let God and his Word be true though they make every man a liar; and who expend themselves in publicly preaching this good news of the kingdom in all the earth as a witness. (2 Tim. 3:16; Ps. 119:105; Deut. 4:2; Rom. 3:4; Matt. 24:14) They use the Bible as their authority, and encourage their hearers to check up on them, not taking their word for it, but taking only Gods Word for it. (Acts 17:11) For you to make a name with God, you should aim to be such a faithful guide, "always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect." Or, as Paul said: "Know how you ought to give an answer to each one."1 Pet. 3:15; Col. 4:6.
5 Today, the faithful and discreet slave
class is providing God’s flock with “food at
the proper time.” (Matt. 24:45) Under the
slave’s direction, the local elders work hard
to feed their brothers spiritually. Those in
the congregation may have Bible-based literature
in abundance, and in some languages
such tools as the Watch Tower Publications
Index and Watchtower Library on CD-ROM
are available. To satisfy the congregation’s
spiritual needs, the elders spend hours preparing
meeting parts so that they can present
the assigned information in a meaningful
way. Have you thought about how much
time the elders spend preparing their parts
for meetings, assemblies, and conventions?
But how does the FDS (rather the GB) know it is the proper time? How does God reveal it to them? Was it the proper time in 1929 to change the doctrine about the “superior authorities” from being the secular governments to God and Jesus because it helped them stay neutral, but in 1962 to change it back to secular governments? Was it the “proper time” in 1929 to tell members of the Watchtower information that was incorrect?
What do/did the elders do when they say that the scriptures did not support this doctrine?
Do elders spend hours preparing meeting parts? In my 45 years I saw elders do the preparation on the wing, in the car on the way to the meeting, or being told as they walked in the door that they had a part, spending time in the back room preparing while the school was being conducted? I knew of several elders that conducted book studies that had never even read the material, a week after week pattern.
Why has the WTS provided questions for the parts in the service meeting when the elders in the past prepared their own…lack of preparation by those elders?
The CO and DO put the elders on the line, making them rehearse for assemblies/conventions. But who makes sure the elders prepared for the meetings. How about the elder that told everyone that they were dressed well—a signal he had not prepared.
6, 7. (a) What example did the older men in Thessalonica
have in Paul? (b)Why might it be challenging
for elders today to imitate Paul?
6 The older men in Thessalonica remembered
the fine example that Paul set in shepherding
the flock. It was not a matter of his
making calls in a mechanical or perfunctory
way. As discussed in the preceding article,
Paul “became gentle . . . , as when a nursing
mother cherishes her own children.” (Read
1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8.) He was even willing
‘to impart his own soul’! When shepherding,
the older men were to be like him.
“not a matter of his making calls in a mechanical or perfunctory way”—so did the elders make calls, did they make appointments or just drop by when it was convenient for them? Did they prepare or just drop a photocopy of an article on the table telling the sheep to read it.
So does a mother only talk to or feed her child once a week, month, year? I knew elders that always called us to get the phone number and/or address of someone they had to contact, each and every time; were they too lazy to develop a list?
Do you think if Jesus had appeared to today’s elders as he did Paul, they might be different—nah!
7 Christian shepherds today imitate Paul
by cherishing the flock. By nature, some
sheep may not be warm and companionable.
Still, the elders try to show insight and
“find good” in them. (Prov. 16:20) True, being
imperfect, an elder may struggle to have
a positive view of each one. Yet, as he tries
his best to be gentle toward all, should he
not be commended for his effort to be a
good shepherd under Christ?
Should “imitate” but do they? Maybe a rare individual.
Do they “find good” in the members? A positive view? Do the elders excuse the flaws of the sheep as they do their own?
But when he is not gentle, positive, should he be commended? Excused as being imperfect though not excusing the rank and file the same way.
8, 9. What are some ways that present-day elders
‘keep watch over our souls’?
8 We all have reason to “be submissive” to
the elders. As Paul wrote, ‘they are keeping
watch over our souls.’ (Heb. 13:17) That expression
reminds us of the literal shepherd
who forgoes sleep in order to protect his
flock. Likewise, the elders today may sacrifice
some sleep while tending to the needs of
those who have poor health or emotional or
spiritual problems. For example, brothers
on Hospital Liaison Committees have been
awakened from sleep to respond to a medical
crisis. Yet, when we face such a situation,
how appreciative we are of their service!
If they are keeping watch then be submissive, but if not keeping watch….
MAY sacrifice sleep—remember the elders that when studying this kind of article would tell you not to call except at a convenient time for them…how many make appointments or just drop by unannounced, dressed in suits so you know it was not just unplanned?
Do these same elders then complain to other elders about the nutcase that called them, or the ones that wake them up for things the elders figure could have waited?
9 Elders on Regional Building Committees
and relief committees work hard to help the
brothers. They deserve our wholehearted
support! Consider the relief effort after Cyclone
Nargis hit Myanmar in 2008. To reach
the Bothingone Congregation in the hard hit
Irrawaddy Delta region, the relief team
traveled through devastated terrain strewn
with corpses. When the local brothers saw
that the first relief team to reach Bothingone
included their former circuit overseer, they
cried out: “Look! It’s our circuit overseer! Jehovah
has saved us!” Do you appreciate the
hard work that the elders render day and
night? Some elders are appointed to serve
on special committees to handle difficult judicial
problems. These elders do not brag
about what they have accomplished; yet
those who benefit from their service are really
Do the efforts of a few caring jws equal caring by all jws?
I realized that maybe one, maybe two elders out of a body of seven actually did any work, preparation, caring. The others just took credit for the efforts of these few. Isn’t it “bragging” to take credit for the work of others, making it seem to be your own?
10. What lesser-known work do elders do?
10 Many elders today also have paperwork
to do. For example, the coordinator of
the body of elders prepares the schedules
for weekly meetings. The congregation secretary
compiles the monthly and annual
field service reports. The school overseer
gives careful thought to the school schedule.
Every three months, congregation account
records are audited. The elders read letters
from the branch office and apply the direction
that helps maintain “the oneness in the
faith.” (Eph. 4:3, 13) Through the efforts of
such hardworking elders, “all things take
place decently and by arrangement.”—1Cor.
Actually, the schedules for the meetings are prepared by the WTS in the Kingdom Ministry for the congregation “bible” study (the paragraphs to be studied from a WTS BOOK); the themes of the school talks, the questions for the oral review, the talks for the service meeting (now even the questions are provided); and the weekly schedule for the WT in the WT itself. The COBOE (PO) only makes assignments of the brothers to handle those parts.
Did you see how carefully the school overseer did not schedule the school? Teenagers scheduled for talks on marriage and masturbation? Sisters scheduled as householders with people they haven’t talked to for years? Sisters who had been put in the school by their elder husbands who don’t prepare or show up because they never wanted to be in the school (evidently the CO had said they should be and their husbands never consulted their wives or told the school overseer that their wives didn’t want to be in the school). The school overseer who knew someone went on vacation a certain time each year but still scheduled them and/or their family. The school overseer who personally felt someone should not be in the school and never scheduled them?
The congregation secretary who knows someone has not been at the meetings for 3 months, has not contacted them about missing them at the meetings until they realize they have not turned in their time. How many jws knew that they would hear from the elders once a month to get their time, but no real concern. Jws are just numbers on a report to save the secretary’s **** when the CO came around. So what reports did Jesus prepare for God? What reports did the apostles prepare?
The elders only read parts of the branch letters to the congregation and in some cases none of them. A non-letter from the branch was read to the elders about how taking a blood transfusion was no longer a disfellowshipping offense, but an act of disassociation.
“Presiding Over You”
11, 12. Who preside over the congregation, and
what does doing so involve?
11 Paul described the hardworking older
men of Thessalonica as “presiding over”
the congregation. The word in the original
language implies “standing before” and
can be rendered “directing; taking the lead
among.” (1 Thess. 5:12; ftn.) Paul referred to
the same elders as “working hard.” He was
talking, not about one “presiding overseer,”
but about all the older men in the congregation.
Today, most elders stand before the
congregation and conduct meetings. The recent
adjustment to employ the designation
“coordinator of the body of elders” helps us
to view all the elders as members of a unified
Notice that the WTS brings in the word “preside” because it is in the Bible. But the WTS said recently that the term “presiding overseer” had been changed to “coordinator of the body of elders” because presiding implied that the PO was over the other elders.
So are the elders OVER the other jws? Are they superior in God’s eyes? Down below the WTS words are correct, but do they apply them, are the elders taught this and do they really believe it or do they see themselves as the “mighty men” worthy of “double honor” that others should be submissive to even when they are wrong? What about when elders are told by the CO that they have more holy spirit than the rank and file? Can you imagine anyone brother let alone sister saying the words in the December 15, 2000, WT?
(Philippians 2:3) . . .doing nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with lowliness of mind considering that the others are superior to YOU,
*** w99 1/15 pp. 23-24***
Lowliness of mind will prevent you from adopting a superior attitude or tone. None of us have a basis for feeling superior to fellow believers. Every one of us falls short from time to time. Since you cannot read the heart, it is especially important not to judge the motives of the one you counsel. He may be innocent of any bad motive and unaware of any wrong attitude or actions.
*** w00 12/15 p. 21 par. 7***
Now, more so than before, are we able to see—even look for—ways in which others are superior? ‘I must admit that this sister is superior to me in being patient.’ ‘That one reflects a more optimistic faith.’ ‘Frankly, he is a better teacher than I am.’ ‘She is superior in controlling her temper.’
12 “Presiding over” the congregation involves more
than just teaching. The same expression
is used at 1 Timothy 3:4. Paul said
that an overseer should be “a man presiding
over his own household in a fine manner,
having children in subjection with all seriousness.”
Here the expression “presiding
over” obviously includes not only teaching
his children but also taking the lead in the
family and “having children in subjection.”
Yes, elders take the lead in the congregation,
helping all to be in subjection to Jehovah.
—1 Tim. 3:5.
Do the rank and file jws see “presiding” as “teaching.” Don’t elders see themselves as those who direct and control in the congregation? Doesn’t the WTS apply this “presiding” as having his household in control or being disqualified as an elder? So was “teaching” the application in 1 Timothy 3:4?
*** w96 10/15 pp. 20-21 pars. 3-4***
It would appear that in the first century C.E., the majority of Christian elders were married men with children. When Paul set out the qualifications required of a man “reaching out for an office of overseer,” he stated that such a Christian should be “a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having children in subjection with all seriousness.”—1 Timothy 3:1, 4.
As we have seen, an overseer was not obliged to have children, or even be married. But if married, to qualify as an elder or a ministerial servant, a Christian had to exercise proper and loving headship over his wife and show himself capable of keeping his children in proper submission. (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 3:12, 13) Any serious weakness in managing his household would disqualify a brother for special privileges in the congregation. Why? Paul explains: “If indeed any man does not know how to preside over his own household, how will he take care of God’s congregation?” (1 Timothy 3:5) If those of his own flesh were unwilling to submit to his oversight, how would others react?
13. Why might it take time to reach a decision at an
13 In order to preside well over the flock,
the elders discuss among themselves how to
address the needs of the congregation. It
might be more efficient if one elder made all
the decisions. Yet, following the example of
the first-century governing body, modern day
bodies of elders discuss matters freely,
seeking guidance from the Scriptures. Their
goal is to apply Scriptural principles to the
needs of the local congregation. This is most
effective when each elder prepares for the elders’
meetings, considering the Scriptures
and the guidelines from the faithful and discreet
slave class. Of course, this takes time.
When there is a difference of opinion, as
occurred when the first-century governing
body considered the matter of circumcision,
extra time and research might be needed to
reach a consensus based on the Scriptures.
—Acts 15:2, 6, 7, 12-14, 28.
“modern day bodies of elders discuss matters freely, seeking guidance from the Scriptures”
Is that how it really happens? Or do the elders use the elder’s manual and disregard brothers who want to use the Bible? Has that manual replaced the bible in the minds of many jw elders? I know it has from their own mouth. And in a similar incident, the WT conductor who asked the audience, “What do we base our beliefs on?” as he held up the Watchtower. The COBOE nearly choked as he thrust his hand in the air and grabbed the microphone to say, “the Bible.”
Or the COBOE (PO) who told the elder body that, “It’s my way or the highway.” And the other elders sat there quietly without disagreeing.
Consensus of opinion = majority vote, the minority then has to go along with the majority. This is what the WTS calls a unanimous agreement. (Acts 15:25)
*** w06 5/1 pp. 19-20 par. 11***
Once a Scripturally sound decision has been made by the body of elders, each elder yields to the direction of holy spirit by supporting that decision even if his personal opinion was not endorsed by the majority.
14. Do you appreciate that the body of elders work
together in unity? Why do you feel that way?
14 What might happen if one elder insists
on having his way or tries to promote his
own ideas? Or what if someone—like Diotrephes
in the first century—sows seeds of discord? (3 John 9, 10)
The whole congregation will surely suffer.
If Satan tried to upset the first-century
congregation, we can be sure
that he wants to disrupt the peace of the
congregation today. He might appeal to selfish
human tendencies, such as the desire for
prominence. Thus, elders need to cultivate
humility and work together as a unified
body. How we appreciate the humility of the
elders who do cooperate as a body!
What about Paul and Peter and association with the Gentile Christians? Did Paul insist on having his way? Should Paul have “waited on Jehovah” or consulted the “governing body” (a phrase that is not in the Bible)?
(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?”
What scripture does the WTS connect to “stood condemned”?
(Leviticus 19:17) “‘You must not hate your brother in your heart. You should by all means reprove your associate, that you may not bear sin along with him.
Do you appreciate the many ways in which the elders shepherd the congregation?
15. What motive do elders have when admonishing
a brother or a sister?
15 Paul then highlighted a difficult yet important
task of the older men: admonishing
the flock. In the Christian Greek Scriptures,
only Paul used the Greek term translated
“admonish.” It can refer to strong counsel
but does not indicate hostility. (Acts 20:31;
2 Thess. 3:15) For instance, Paul wrote to the
Corinthians: “I am writing these things, not
to shame you, but to admonish you as my
beloved children.” (1 Cor. 4:14) His motive
behind the admonition was loving concern
So when an elder counsels on hairdos, dress, car models, nail polish, hair dye, denim skirts, black shoes on the platform only, is that what Paul was talking about? What about the elders that only talk to the rank and file when the elder perceives they have done something “wrong”?
*** w94 7/1 p. 26 par. 10***
Traveling overseers and congregation elders will likewise endeavor to imitate Christ in the way he treated the sheep. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus did not impose a lot of rules that were hard to follow.
Actually the question should read, “what motive SHOULD elders have.” The WTS cannot have it both ways, elders that are imperfect yet ALL elders having good motives, even the anointed jws cannot read hearts, only God and Jesus per the WTS.
16. Elders do well to keep what in mind when admonishing
16 The elders bear in mind the importance
of the manner in which they admonish others.
They strive to imitate Paul by being
kind, loving, and helpful. (Read 1 Thessalonians
2:11, 12.) Of course, the elders ‘hold
firmly to the faithful word so that they may
be able to exhort by teaching that is healthful.’—
I can’t even begin to tell all the times elders jumped to conclusions and approached me and people I knew about “sins” they committed, only to find out that with a little more research, they were mistaken. But no apologies….and certainly no attempt to correct the wrong information that had already been spread by wives and children, damaging reputations permanently.
17, 18. What should you keep in mind if you receive
admonition from an elder?
17 Of course, elders are imperfect and may
say things that they later regret. (1 Ki. 8:46;
Jas. 3:8) Also, elders know that for spiritual
brothers and sisters, receiving counsel is normally
not ‘joyous but grievous.’ (Heb. 12:11)
So when an elder approaches someone with
words of admonition, he likely does so after
giving the matter much consideration and
praying over it. If you have been admonished,
do you appreciate that elder’s loving
Oh yes, “elders are imperfect and may say things that they later regret.”
Where is the admonition to the elders that the sheep belong to Jesus and they have to answer to him for hurting them?
Didn’t Jesus say that a Christian’s survival depended on how they treated his sheep? If elders do not treat the flock with tenderness, they are “oppressive wolves.”
(Acts 20:29) I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness,
18 Suppose you had a health problem that
seemed medically inexplicable. Then a physician
correctly identified the problem, but
the diagnosis was rather hard to accept.
Would you hold a grudge against that doctor?
No! Even if he recommended an operation,
You would likely agree to the treatment,
believing it to be for your benefit. The way
the doctor conveyed the information may
have a bearing on your feelings, but would
you let that determine your decision? Probably
not. Likewise, do not allow the way you
are admonished to prevent you from listening
to those whom Jehovah and Jesus may be
using to let you know how you can help or
protect yourself spiritually.
So this means it is the rank and file’s fault if the elder gives the “right” information but yells, demeans, and insults the sheep? Jesus said that the sheep would come to him willingly because they loved him, not because they feared him.
MAY BE USING = first they attribute the right motive to all elders, now it’s MAY BE?
And yes, if a doctor yelled at me, demeaned me, insulted my intelligence, why should I respect or believe in his skill and knowledge as a doctor?
Did Jesus excuse the religious shepherds of his time for giving the “right” information in the “wrong” way?
(Matthew 9:36) . . .On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.
(Matthew 23:1-4) . . .Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore all the things they tell YOU, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but do not perform. 4 They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger.
Appreciate Jehovah’s Provision of the Elders
19, 20. How may you show appreciation for the
“gifts in men”?
19 What would you do if you received a
gift especially made for you? Would you
show your appreciation by using it? The
“gifts in men” are what Jehovah through Jesus
Christ has provided for you. One way
you can show your gratitude for these gifts is
by listening intently to talks given by the elders
and by trying to apply the points they
bring out. You can also show your appreciation
by making meaningful comments at
meetings. Support the work in which the elders
are taking the lead, such as the field
ministry. If you have benefited from counsel
you received from a certain elder, why not
tell him so? In addition, why not show your
appreciation for the elders’ families? Remember,
for an elder to work hard in the
congregation, his family is sacrificing time
spent with him.
What about the elders that cover up the sins of other elders? Or the ones that cover up the sins of pedophiles in the congregation and the others that sit by and allow it? Or the elders who know their wives gossip and slander others reputations? Or the ones that associate with their disfellowshipped adult children under the guise of “necessary family business”? Or the ones that wait till the moment they walk out the door to do their parts thinking that their superior ability makes it special? Or the elders that lie to protect themselves or their buddies? Or the ones that stalk “suspected” sinning jws? Or the ones that say “it’s my way or the highway”? Or say that the WT is the basis of jw belief?
Listening intently to talks—that show no skill, or preparation, for the 50 th time
Making meaningful comments—that know elder will remember after he steps off the stage but certainly helps him look good because he did not prepare
But if the counsel was not applicable………..
What about the elder that does not want to be with his family, loves the adoration of some jws,
Remember if elders say I never did those things, I’m willing to bet you knew someone or many who did and never said anything.
20 Yes, we have ample reason to show gratitude
for the elders, who are working hard
among us, presiding over us, and admonishing
us. These “gifts in men” are truly a loving
provision from Jehovah!
There may be a few who despite the examples they see on the body, are working hard, not trying to control us, waiting for serious things to help us with knowing that they too need help, but the shepherds trained by the WTS don’t begin to know the Jesus of the Bible.
Do You Recall?
What reasons did the Thessalonian
Christians have to appreciate those
taking the lead among them?
How do the elders in your congregation
work hard for you?
How do you benefit from the elders’
presiding over you?
If given admonition by an elder, what
should you keep in mind?
Naughty jws, from this article it is apparent that they are not obeying the elders; and the elders are not obeying the WTS. What humans don’t see doesn’t count. And if God sees it, well, “he has left the land.”
Next week, WILL YOU FOLLOW JEHOVAH’S LOVING GUIDANCE.
Are jws told lovingly or threatened with shunning and eternal death if they disobey the GB/FDS/WTS? Are they guided or told there is only one way to go?