Comments You Will Not Hear at the 09-04-11 WT Study (JULY 15, 2011, pages 10-14 )(GUIDANCE)
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WILL YOU FOLLOW JEHOVAH’S
“Every false path I have hated.”—PS. 119:128.
“Unrealities” now that’s a new theocratic term. Idols and images, something or someone that is worshipped. How many jws “worship” the anointed, but more specifically the governing body. Aren’t jws told to put the elders on high, assigning them “double honor”? Behind closed doors, the CO tells the elders that they are mighty men who receive more holy spirit than the rank and file.
START OF ARTICLE
1, 2. (a) In seeking guidance to reach a destination,
what kind of warning might you appreciate,
and why? (b) What kinds of warnings does Jehovah
offer those who serve him, and why?
IMAGINE this: You need to travel to a certain
destination. For guidance, you turn
to a trusted friend who knows the way. As he
gives you thorough directions, he might say
something like this: “Be careful about that
next turn. The sign is misleading. A lot of
people follow it and wind up getting lost.”
Would you appreciate his concern and heed
the warning? In some ways, Jehovah is like
that friend. He gives us careful directions
about how to reach our destination of everlasting
life, but he also warns us about bad
influences that could cause us to go the
wrong way.—Deut. 5:32; Isa. 30:21.
Giving directions the same as making life decisions…only one way? Or all roads lead to Rome—different paths can take one to the same goal, different ways to complete a task?
Does God give the “careful” directions or the self-appointed WTS? Who interprets or rather explains the scriptures.
The WTS has said the way would lead to 1914, 1920, 1925, 1940’s, 1975, (1984—70 yr generation), (1994—80 yr generation)
CARROT ON THE STICK: our destination of everlasting life
2 In this and the following article, we will
discuss some influences about which our
Friend, Jehovah God, warns us. Let us keep
in mind that Jehovah gives such warnings
out of concern and love. He wants us to
reach our destination. It pains him to see
people giving in to bad influences and losing
their way. (Ezek. 33:11) In this article, we
will discuss three negative influences. The
first is an external force, the second an internal
one. The third is not even real; nonetheless,
it is very dangerous. We need to know
what these influences are and how our heavenly
Father teaches us to resist them. One inspired
psalmist said to Jehovah: “Every false
path I have hated.” (Ps. 119:128) Do you feel
the same way? Let us see how we can intensify
such feelings and act on them.
So God is not our Father? The WTS teaches that the “other sheep” will not have that honor until the end of the 1,000 year reign and they pass the final test by Satan. Whereas the anointed on earth, are already spiritual sons.
The WTS teaches that God gives those warnings only through their organization, in their publications, talks, etc. It is not possible to read the Bible without them and understand it.
Have jws hated every false path the WTS has presented, 1914, 1920, 1925, 1940’s, 1975…?
Do Not Follow “After the Crowd”
3. (a) Why might it be dangerous to follow other
travelers when we are unsure about which way to
go? (b) What important principle do we find at Exodus
3 In taking a long journey, what would
you do if you felt unsure about which way to
go? You might feel tempted to follow other
travelers—especially if you saw a great many
making the same choice. Such a course is
risky. After all, those travelers may not be
heading toward your destination, or they
too may be lost. In this connection, consider
a principle that underlies one of the laws
given to ancient Israel. Those who served as
judges or as witnesses in judicial matters
were warned of the danger of ‘following after
the crowd.’ (Read Exodus 23:2.) Without
doubt, it is all too easy for imperfect humans
to bow to peer pressure, perverting
justice. However, is the principle about not
following the crowd restricted to judicial
matters? Not at all.
Don’t jws following each other, 7 million plus strong just like lemmings? Today an older sister died; she had been told for 56 years that she would never die, would surivive without dying into the new system and she is not alone. How many of that generation are dying with the next generation their children wonder if that is their future?
Don’t you wonder what the judges in Israelite times used in their public hearings? The scriptures or a man-made book explaining it? Did they use the Torah or the Talmud?
What did Jesus have to say about the Talmud, man-made rules?
(Matthew15:1-11) Then there came to Jesus from Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes, saying: 2 “Why is it your disciples overstep the tradition of the men of former times? For example, they do not wash their hands when about to eat a meal.” 3 In reply he said to them: “Why is it YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of YOUR tradition? 4 For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Let him that reviles father or mother end up in death.’ 5 But YOU say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have by which you might get benefit from me is a gift dedicated to God,” 6 he must not honor his father at all.’ And so YOU have made the word of God invalid because of YOUR tradition. 7 YOU hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU, when he said,8 ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” 10 With that he called the crowd near and said to them: “Listen and get the sense of it: 11 Not what enters into [his] mouth defiles a man; but it is what proceeds out of [his] mouth that defiles a man.”
4, 5. How were Joshua and Caleb pressured to follow
the crowd, but what enabled them to resist?
4 In truth, the pressure to “follow after the
crowd” can affect us at almost any time. It
may arise suddenly, and it can be very difficult
to resist. Think, for example, of the
peer pressure that Joshua and Caleb once
faced. They were part of a group of 12 men
who went into the Promised Land to spy it
out. Upon their return, ten of those men
gave a very negative and discouraging report.
They even claimed that some of the
land’s inhabitants were giants descended
from the Nephilim, the offspring of rebel
angels and women. (Gen. 6:4) Now, that
claim was absurd. Those wicked hybrids had
been wiped out in the Deluge many centuries
earlier, leaving not a single descendant
behind. But even the most baseless ideas can
exert power over those weak in faith. The
negative reports from those ten spies quickly
spread fear and panic among the people. Before
long, most were sure that it would be a
mistake to enter the Promised Land as Jehovah
had directed. In that volatile situation,
what did Joshua and Caleb do?—Num.
So if following after the crowd, even the crowd of 7 million plus jws, is wrong, why does the WTS discourage independent or critical thinking by its members. Should they just follow their religious “leaders” as the Jews did leading the vast majority to reject Jesus as Messiah?
Whose expressions was John saying that Christians should test, people inside or outside the Christian congregation?
(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.
Were Gentiles influencing Joshua and Caleb (OT example) or fellow worshippers?
Were the Nephilim any different from Rutherford’s statement that the “ancient worthies” (Abel, Noah, Abraham, Job, David, John the Baptist, etc) would be resurrected on earth in 1925, to take up rulership in Jerusalem?
Millions now living will never die brochure (pages 89, 90) J.R. Rutherford 1920
As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized. The Apostle Paul in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews names a long list of faithful men who died before the crucifixion of the Lord and before the beginning of the selection of the church. These can never be a part of the heavenly class; they had no heavenly hopes; but God has in store something good for them. They are to be resurrected as perfect men and constitute the princes or rulers in the earth, according to his promise. (Psalm 45:16; Isaiah 32:1; Matthew 8:11) Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection.
5 They did not go following after the
crowd. Although the crowd hated to hear it,
those two men told the truth and stuck to it
—even when threatened with death by stoning!
Where did they get the courage? No
doubt, a good part of it came from their
faith. People with faith see clearly the difference
between the baseless claims of men
and the sacred promises of Jehovah God.
Both men later expressed how they felt
about Jehovah’s record in fulfilling his every
promise. (Read Joshua 14:6, 8; 23:2, 14.)
Joshua and Caleb were attached to their
faithful God, and they could not imagine
hurting him for the sake of following a faithless
crowd. So they stood firm, setting a sterling
example for us today.—Num.14:1-10.
Did the WTS tell the truth? Or do they teach that there are not required to tell the truth to people who are not entitled to it?
Court case in 1954
6. In what ways might we feel pressured to follow
6 Do you ever feel pressured to follow after
the crowd? People who are alienated from
Jehovah and who scoff at his moral standards
certainly form a vast crowd today.
When it comes to entertainment and recreation,
that crowd often promote baseless
ideas. They may insist that the immorality,
violence, and spiritism so prevalent
in television programs, movies, and video
games are harmless. (2 Tim. 3:1-5) When
you choose entertainment and recreation
for yourself or your family, do you allow the
lax consciences of others to influence your
decisions and to mold your conscience?
Would that not, in effect, amount to following
after the crowd?
Pressured to follow what crowd; the WTS crowd?
Is the elder with the season tickets to the university basketball games, what baseless ideas is he promoting?
Or the elder who gets R-rated movies and zips through the “bad” parts at the parties he gives at home? Are the people who come letting his lax conscience mold theirs?
Are you ever tempted to follow the crowd?
7, 8. (a) How are our “perceptive powers” trained,
and why is such training more useful than following
a host of rigid rules? (b)Why do you find the example
of many Christian youths heartwarming?
7 Jehovah has given us a precious gift
to help us make decisions—our “perceptive
powers.” However, these powers need
to be trained “through use.” (Heb. 5:14)
Following the crowd would not train our
perceptive powers; nor, on the other hand,
would a host of rigid rules in matters of conscience.
That is why, for example, Jehovah’s
people are not given a list of films, books,
and Internet sites to avoid. Because this
world changes so fast, such a list would be
outdated soon after it was made. (1 Cor. 7:
31) Worse, it would deprive us of the vital
work of weighing Bible principles carefully
and prayerfully and then making decisions
on the basis of those principles.—Eph. 5:10.
Do jws make their own decisions or do they let the elders do that so they do the “right” thing and retain their “privileges”? Are they “using” their power of decision or are the elders?
Are there a host of “rigid” rules or flexible rules that the WTS can apply to any specific situation? Yes don’t say Facebook but do say “all social network sites.”
No matter what principle a jw may use, the overriding principle is that some unnamed jw will have told the elder that they would be stumbled if you do what you have so carefully “reasoned” out using “bible” principles.
8 Of course, our Bible-based decisions
may at times make us unpopular. Christian
youths in school may face strong pressure
from the crowd to see and do what everyone
else is seeing and doing. (1 Pet. 4:4) Therefore,
it is beautiful to see Christians young
and old imitating the faith of Joshua and Caleb,
refusing to follow after the crowd.
Yes, “bible” based decisions can make you unpopular with other jws. What would have happened if mentioned Brother Zip’s watching R-rated movies? Or what if you decide you can’t go out d2d with time-wasting pioneers because your conscience is troubled?
Yes, not following the crowd of 7 million plus jws can make you unpopular.
Do Not Follow “Your Hearts and Your Eyes”
9. (a) In the course of a journey, why might it be
dangerous simply to follow our urges and impulses?
(b)Why was the law found at Numbers 15:37-39 relevant
to God’s ancient people?
9 The second dangerous influence we will
discuss is an internal one. We might illustrate
it this way: If you were taking a journey
to a particular destination, can you imagine
deciding to cast aside your map and simply
follow your impulses—perhaps turning onto
every road that seemed to offer pretty views?
Clearly, giving in to such impulses would
keep you from reaching your goal. In this regard,
consider another of Jehovah’s laws to
ancient Israel. Many today might find a law
about putting fringes and blue threads on
their garments hard to understand. (Read
Numbers 15:37-39.) Do you see the relevance,
though? Obeying such a law helped
God’s people to keep themselves distinct
and separate from the pagan nations around
them. That was vital if they were to gain and
maintain Jehovah’s approval. (Lev. 18:24,
25) However, that law also reveals a dangerous
internal influence that might lead us
away from our destination of everlasting life.
So what map would a jw be casting aside, the bible or the WT publication? As one elder said from the platform as he held up the WT, “And what do we base on beliefs on?”
What if your road was blocked by a landslide? Wouldn’t it be prudent to go back and take a safer side road?
So what represents the fringes and blue threads for jws today? Is there any dress or grooming that singles out only jws? Especially from many evangelical groups?
CARROT: DESTINATION OF EVERLASTING LIFE
10. How has Jehovah shown insight into human
10 Note what Jehovah gave his people as a
reason behind this law: “You must not go
about following your hearts and your eyes,
which you are following in immoral intercourse.”
Jehovah has profound insight into
human nature. He well knows how easily
our heart, or inner self, is seduced by what
we take in through our eyes. The Bible thus
warns us: “The heart is more treacherous
than anything else and is desperate. Who
can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) Do you see, then,
just how fitting was Jehovah’s warning to
the Israelites? He well knew that they would
be inclined to look at the pagan peoples
around them and be seduced by what they
saw. They might be tempted to look like
those unbelievers and then to think, feel,
and act like them.—Prov.13:20.
So will jws be safe if they avoid being around non-jws? What about the jws with large homes, big cars, fancy trips, lavish meals, abundant alcoholic beverages, expensive jewelry, clothes, etc. So how would they look the “unbelievers.” Not every body looks like a tattooed geek, Lady Gagaesque,; or with black nail polish, bright red lipstick, 3 inch heel. I remember the PO who had his bible student cut his hair in one of those spiky up dos…
11. In what way might we be seduced by our physical
11 In our own day, it is even easier for our
treacherous heart to be seduced by our physical
senses. We live in a world that is geared
toward appealing to fleshly inclinations. So
how can we apply the principle behind
Numbers 15:39? Consider: If those around
you at school, at the workplace, or in your
community are dressing more and more
provocatively, might you be affected? Might
you be tempted to ‘follow your heart and
eyes’ and be seduced by what you see? Then
might you be tempted to lower your own
standards by dressing in a similar manner?
More provocatively in the congregation is more like it. I remember one congregation had a special needs talk about how the sisters were dressing, long nails, red or black, bright lipstick, tall heels, skirts too tight, and dyed hair. Then the new CO came next week and his wife walked in and you guessed it, obviously black dyed hair, long red nails, bright red lipstick, 3 inch spike heels and a skirt a little too tight.
12, 13. (a) What should we do if our eyes tend to
wander where they should not? (b) What can move
us to avoid becoming a source of temptation to others?
12 We urgently need to cultivate self control.
If our eyes tend to wander where
they should not, let us recall the firm resolve
of faithful Job, who made a formal agreement
with his own eyes—a firm decision not
to give romantic attention to a woman not
his own wife. (Job 31:1) Similarly, King David
resolved: “I shall not set in front of
my eyes any good-for-nothing thing.” (Ps.
101:3) Whatever might damage our clean
conscience and our relationship with Jehovah
is for us a “good-for-nothing thing.”
That would include any temptation that appeals
to our eyes and threatens to seduce our
heart into wrongdoing.
Job—OT—remember that Job had no barrier to having more than one wife, to have sex with a single woman; he had no obligation under any law of God.
I’m hoping that King David said “I will not set in front of my eyes any good-for-nothing” after he took another man’s wife and had her husband killed.
13 On the other hand, we certainly would
never want to become, in a sense, a “good-for-
nothing thing” to others by tempting
them to contemplate wrongdoing. We
therefore take seriously the Bible’s inspired
counsel to wear well-arranged and modest
clothing. (1 Tim. 2:9) Modesty is not
something we can simply define in a way
that suits us. We need to take into account
the consciences and sensitivities of those
around us, putting their peace of mind
and welfare ahead of our own preferences.
(Rom.15:1, 2) The Christian congregation is
blessed with many thousands of young people
who set sterling examples in this regard.
How proud they make us as they refuse to
‘follow their hearts and their eyes,’ choosing
instead to please Jehovah in all that they do
—even in the way they dress!
Oh yes, poor men, they can’t see the glimpse of an ankle or a bare arm and not get sexually excited. It was Bathsheba’s fault that David saw her bathing….yup, yup.
So no slits even just below the knee, all shirts or dresses or sweaters must button under the chin, skirts around the ankles, no heels higher than one inch, do you get the idea that it is not the males the are exciting the sensitivities of the women.
Jws think modesty has to do with dress, but more importantly is not gossiping and spreading false stories.
Do Not Follow “Unrealities”
14. What warning about pursuing
“unrealities” did Samuel deliver?
14 Imagine that your journey took you
across a vast desert. What would happen if
you veered off the road to pursue a mirage?
Pursuing that illusion could cost you
your life! Jehovah well knows that danger.
Consider an example. The Israelites wanted
to be like the nations around them, who
were ruled by human kings. That desire was,
in fact, a grave sin, for it amounted
to a rejection of Jehovah as their King.
Although Jehovah allowed them to have a human
king, he had his prophet Samuel deliver a
pointed warning about pursuing “unrealities.”—
Read 1 Samuel 12:21.
What is a WTS mirage? That we are close to the “end.” The WTS says it has been close in 1914, 1920, 1925, 1940’s, 1975, 1984, 1994, being on the threshold all that time. As soon as you get close to a date it evaporates.
The Israelites were wrong to want a human king, yet jws are told they cannot go directly to God but have to go through Jesus and they cannot go through Jesus without going through the WTS organization, basically a human ruler on earth.
Why is it dangerous to follow an impulse?
15. In what ways did the Israelites
15 Did those people think that a human king would
somehow be more real, more dependable,
than Jehovah? If so, they were truly pursuing
an unreality! And they were in danger of
pursuing many other satanic illusions. Human
kings would easily lead them into idolatry.
Idolaters make the mistake of thinking
that physical objects—gods made of wood
or stone—are somehow more real, more reliable,
than the invisible God, Jehovah, who
created all things. But as the apostle Paul
noted, idols are “nothing.” (1 Cor. 8:4) They
cannot see, hear, speak, or act. You might be
able to see them and touch them, but if you
were to worship one, you would, indeed,
be pursuing an unreality—an empty illusion
that would bring only disaster.—Ps.
What is an “unreality”? An illusion, a mirage…see paragraph 14 for some of the WTS illusions.
16. (a) How does Satan lure many today into pursuing
unrealities? (b) Why can we say that material
things are unrealities, especially in comparison with
16 Satan is still adept at convincing people
to pursue unrealities. For instance, he has
seduced innumerable people into looking
to material things to provide security. Money,
possessions, and high-paying jobs may
seem to deliver advantages. What do
material things deliver, though, when health fails,
when the economy crumbles, or when a
natural disaster strikes? What do they deliver
when people feel empty inside, in need of
purpose, direction, and answers to life’s
deeper questions? What relief can they deliver
in the face of death? If we look to material
things to fill spiritual needs, we will be
disappointed. Material possessions do not
deliver; they are unrealities. In the long run,
they cannot even provide physical security,
for they have no lasting effect on the present
brevity of human life or the likelihood of
sickness and death. (Prov. 23:4, 5) How
much more real, then, is our God, Jehovah!
Only in a strong relationship with him can
we find genuine security. What a precious
blessing that is! Let us never forsake him in
the pursuit of unrealities.
Why does the WTS tar every non-jw with the same brush? Why do they assume that jws get infected by people outside the congregation? Who do they spend most of their time with, other jws? What is a high-paying job…one that pays your bills or must jws seek to live in poverty? If material things are empty, why did Jesus teach his disciples to ask God for food?
17. What is your resolve regarding the negative influences
we have discussed?
17 Are we not blessed to have Jehovah as
our Friend and Guide on life’s journey? If
we continue to heed his loving warnings
against three bad influences—the crowd,
our own hearts, and unrealities—we will be
much more likely to reach our destination
of everlasting life. In the following article,
let us consider three more warnings that Jehovah
provides to help us hate and avoid
the false paths that lead so many astray.—Ps.
CARROT—DESTINATION OF EVERLASTING LIFE
Are you pursuing any unrealities?
What Do You Think?
How can you make personal application
of the principles revealed in the following
1 Samuel 12:21
Next week, WILL YOU HEED JEHOVAH’S CLEAR WARNINGS?
False teachers—what false teachings are found in the WTS doctrines?
Sorry this is late. I had a close family member die this weekend as well as a serious personal medical emergency.