Comments You Will Not Hear at the 12-23-2012 WT Study (OCTOBER 15, 2012, pages 27-31)(YES MEAN YES)
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LET YOUR YES MEAN YES
“Just let your word Yes
mean Yes, your No,
No .”—MATT. 5:37.
If jws are now allowed to use tablets or laptops in the audience, having loaded up the NWT, the WT study article, the songbook, at a minimum, is looking up a scripture online the same technique/skill as looking it up in a hardcopy of any bible? Jws are using tablets from door to door; at conventions/assemblies.
Few if any scriptures are quoted in study articles nowadays, merely citations and “snippets.”
How many jws when asked a question can find one scripture to explain it, without using the Reasoning book or the index of the NWT? Will they reach for their bible or a WTS publication? Jesus said the sheep would hear his voice, and where is the best place to find his words, the bible or a man-made publication?
SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER:
What did Jesus say about sworn
Why was Jesus such a fine example
in proving true to his word?
In what areas of life should our
Yes mean Yes?
1. What did Jesus say about the swearing of oaths, and why?
GENERALLY, true Christians do not have to
make sworn oaths. This is because they
obey Jesus, who said: “Just let your word
Yes mean Yes.” He meant that a person should keep
his word. Jesus prefaced that command by saying:
“Do not swear at all.” He said this in condemnation
of the casual habit that many people have in their
daily conversation of repeatedly swearing to this or
to that, without ever intending to do what they say.
By going “in excess” of a simple Yes or No to state
their intentions, such people may reveal that they
are really untrustworthy and thus under the influence
of “the wicked one.”—Read Matthew 5:33-37.
True Christians = only jws
*** w90 1/1 p. 12 par. 8 “Not Ashamed of the Good News” ***
While it is true that Jehovah’s Witnesses are hated and opposed in all the nations of the earth, this is in fulfillment of what was foretold to be an identifying mark of genuine worshipers of the one living and true God. (John 15:20, 21; 2 Timothy 3:12)
Are jws the only religion that are persecuted? Read this site and find many religions that are also persecuted. Does that mean that they too are genuine worshipers?
I remember the statements from the platform that I could depend on my fellow jws to help me in a bad situation, that only jws showed true love. After 45 years of looking for it, I realized they were only words without actions….without intending to do what they as individuals are saying.
2. Explain why it is not always wrong to make sworn oaths.
2 Do Jesus’ words mean that all making of oaths
is bad? How could that be? As we learned in the
preceding article, Jehovah God and his righteous
servant Abraham made sworn oaths on important
occasions. Also, God’s Law required the taking of
a sworn oath to settle certain disputes. (Ex. 22:10,
11; Num. 5:21, 22) Thus, it may be necessary for a
Christian to swear to tell the truth when testifying
in a court of law. Or, on a rare occasion, a Christian
might find it necessary to make a sworn oath to assure
others of his intentions or to help settle a matter.
In fact, when Jesus himself was put under oath
by the high priest, he did not object to it but responded
truthfully to the Jewish Sanhedrin. (Matt. 26:63, 64)
Jesus, however, did not need to swear to
anyone. Even so, to emphasize the reliability of his
message, he often introduced what he said in this
unique way: “Most truly [literally, “Truly, truly,” ftn.]
I say to you.” (John 1:51; 13:16, 20, 21,
38) Let us see what else we can learn
from the examples of Jesus, Paul, and
others whose Yes meant Yes.
Jws can take oaths to get a passport or become a citizen, but not say the pledge of allegiance or get a political card in Malawi. This following discussion might expand your knowledge of how the WTS speaks out of both sides of their mouth.
JESUS—THE FINEST EXAMPLE
3. What did Jesus promise God in prayer, and
how did his heavenly Father respond?
3 “Look! I am come . . . to do your will,
O God.” (Heb. 10:7) With these meaningful
words, Jesus presented himself
to God to carry out all that was foretold
about the promised Seed, including
his being ‘bruised in the heel’ by
Satan. (Gen. 3:15) No other human
has ever volunteered to shoulder such a
heavy responsibility. From heaven, Jehovah
voiced his complete trust in his Son,
though not requiring that Jesus swear to
be true to his word.—Luke 3:21, 22.
Yes, Jesus was ready to do god’s will, not the will of the religious leaders of his time.
Jesus was a perfect man, but Adam and Eve quickly lied in Eden. But then Jesus had spent millions of years with God, not just 30 as the WTS says about Adam.
Humans being imperfect, I wonder that jws don’t have to sign an oath of baptism based on WTS reasoning.
4. To what extent did Jesus let his Yes mean
4 Jesus always practiced what he
preached by letting his Yes mean Yes.
He allowed nothing to sidetrack him
from the commission he received from
his Father to preach the good news of
God’s Kingdom and to make disciples
of all whom God drew to Jesus. (John 6:44)
The Bible describes the extent of
Jesus’ truthfulness in these well-known
words: “No matter how many the promises
of God are, they have become Yes
by means of him.” (2 Cor. 1:20) Indeed,
Jesus is the finest example of one who
proved true to what he promised his Father.
Next, consider one who did his
best to imitate Jesus.
So do many jws not practice what they preach? Do they get baptized and do the bare minimum to assure they will get everlasting life on a paradise earth? Do they forget they preach that God sees everything, but then practice what the Israelites did, “Jehovah has left the land and he is not seeing.”
Do you think the WTS believes jws are not “practicing what they preach”?
PAUL—A MAN OF HIS WORD
5. What example did the apostle Paul set
5 “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10)
With these sincere words, Paul, then
known as Saul, responded to the direction
of the glorified Lord Jesus, who had
appeared to him in a vision to stop him
from persecuting Christ’s disciples. As
a result of this encounter, Saul humbly
repented of his past course, got baptized,
and accepted the special assignment
given to him to bear witness about
Jesus to the nations. From that time
onward, Paul continued to address Jesus
as his “Lord,” acting in harmony
with that expression until the end of
his earthly life. (Acts 22:6-16; 2 Cor. 4:5;
2 Tim. 4:8) Paul was not like others of
whom Jesus said: “Why, then, do you
call me ‘Lord! Lord!’ but do not do the
things I say?” (Luke 6:46) Yes, Jesus expects
all who accept him as their Lord
to be true to their word, as was the
So Paul bore witness to Jesus not Jehovah. In line with what Jesus said at Acts 1:8. How many jws say that they are the only true Christians but then show love only to a few of their members, if judged deserving. They accept the “free” gift of undeserved kindness of God but withhold it from other jws and especially from non-jws.
When many jws hear the word “Lord” do they think Jesus or God?
PICTURE: From baptism to death, Jesus proved true to what he promised his Father
6, 7. (a) Why did Paul change his plan to revisit
Corinth, and why were his critics not
justified in questioning his trustworthiness?
(b) How should we view those appointed to
take the lead among us?
6 Paul zealously spread the Kingdom
message throughout Asia Minor and
into Europe, establishing and revisiting
many congregations. On occasion,
he found it necessary to swear to the
truthfulness of what he wrote. (Gal. 1:20)
When some in Corinth accused Paul
of being untrustworthy, he wrote in his
defense: “God can be relied upon that
our speech addressed to you is not Yes
and yet No.” (2 Cor. 1:18) At the time of
writing that, Paul had left Ephesus and
was traveling through Macedonia on
his way to Corinth. Originally, he had
planned to revisit Corinth before going
into Macedonia. (2 Cor. 1:15, 16) But,
as with traveling overseers today, sometimes
routings have to be changed. Such
changes are not made for trivial, selfish
reasons but because of some emergency.
In Paul’s case, the reason he delayed
his planned visit to Corinth was for the
congregation’s own good. How so?
In my younger days, the CO and his wife were regular pioneers, with 100 hour/mo quotas. Plus 20 congregations, 2x a year, 2 2.5 day circuit assemblies, and 4 to 8 day conventions, rooming work and other convention work for several weeks. When I was leaving we had substitute Cos often. There were 2 week pioneer schools, 2 week CO schools, Elder/MS schools. Why did first century Christians feel Paul was untrustworthy…well Paul pulled no punches, he counseled Peter in front of the congregation. But I can remember Cos who were afraid to say anything about pedophiles, and others that counseled others for going over time and went over time 45 minutes 3x a week and ignored the comments from the elders about it…practicing what he preached?
7 Some time after making his original
plans, Paul received disturbing news
that disunity and immorality were being
tolerated in Corinth. (1 Cor. 1:11; 5:1)
To correct the situation, he wrote strong
counsel in his first letter to the Corinthians.
Then, instead of sailing directly
from Ephesus to Corinth, Paul decided
to give his brothers time to apply his
counsel so that when he eventually arrived,
his visit could be more encouraging.
Assuring them of the truthfulness
of the reason for his change in plans,
Paul wrote in his second letter: “I call
upon God as a witness against my own
soul that it is to spare you that I have not
yet come to Corinth.” (2 Cor. 1:23) May
we never be like Paul’s critics; rather, let
us show our deep respect for those appointed
to take the lead among us. The
truth is that we do well to imitate Paul,
just as he imitated Christ.—1 Cor. 11:1;
Do those who are appointed practice what they preach for showing respect for sheep?
OTHER FINE EXAMPLES
8. What example did Rebekah set for us?
8 “I am willing to go.” (Gen. 24:58)
With these simple words, Rebekah answered
her mother and her brother respecting
her willingness to leave home
that very day and travel with a stranger
over 500 miles (800 km) to become
the wife of Abraham’s son Isaac.
(Gen. 24:50-58) Rebekah’s Yes meant Yes, and
she proved to be a faithful God-fearing
wife to Isaac. For the rest of her life, she
dwelled in tents as an alien in the Promised
Land. She was rewarded for her
faithfulness by becoming one of the ancestresses
of the promised Seed, Jesus
Christ.—Heb. 11:9, 13.
But remember that Rebekah helped Jacob lie to his father to get the inheritance rather than tell his father that Esau had sold the birthright.
Remember Rebekah lied about being Isaac’s sister, not trusting God to protect them.
9. How was Ruth true to her word?
9 “No, but with you we shall return
to your people.” (Ruth 1:10) The Moabite
widows Ruth and Orpah kept saying
this to their widowed mother-in-law,
Naomi, who was returning from Moab
to Bethlehem. Finally, at Naomi’s urging,
Orpah returned to her homeland.
But Ruth’s No meant No. (Read Ruth 1:
16, 17.) She loyally stuck to Naomi,
abandoning forever her family and the
false religion of Moab. She endured as a
faithful worshipper of Jehovah and was
rewarded by being one of only five women
mentioned by Matthew in Christ’s
genealogy.—Matt. 1:1, 3, 5, 6, 16.
But were Naomi and her husband true to their word not to have their sons marry Moabite women?
(Deuteronomy 23:3) 3 “No Am′mon·ite or Mo′ab·ite may come into the congregation of Jehovah. Even to the tenth generation none of theirs may come into the congregation of Jehovah to time indefinite,
10. Why was Isaiah a good example for us?
10 “Here I am! Send me.” (Isa. 6:8) Before
saying this, Isaiah saw a glorious
vision of Jehovah sitting on His throne
above Israel’s temple. While gazing
upon this glorious sight, Isaiah heard
Jehovah say: “Whom shall I send, and
who will go for us?” This was an invitation
to be Jehovah’s spokesman to
deliver God’s message to His wayward
people. Isaiah proved true to his word
—his Yes meant Yes. For over 46 years,
he faithfully served as a prophet, delivering
strong messages of denunciation
as well as wonderful promises about the
restoration of true worship.
Do you think Isaiah went to the temple when false worship was being held there? He did not shut up and wait on God. If Isaiah could deliver a message to wayward Israelites, why can’t jws do the same for wayward jws? Weren’t the Israelites just imperfect humans?
11. (a) Why is being true to our word so important?
(b) What warning examples are there
of some who were not truthful?
11 Why has Jehovah had the above examples
recorded for us in his Word?
And how serious is the matter of letting
our Yes mean Yes? The Bible clearly
warns that a person who is “false to
agreements” is among those who are
“deserving of death.” (Rom. 1:31, 32)
Pharaoh of Egypt, Judean King Zedekiah,
and Ananias and Sapphira are
among the bad examples highlighted in
the Bible of individuals whose Yes did
not mean Yes. They all fared badly and
stand as warning examples for us.—Ex.
9:27, 28, 34, 35; Ezek. 17:13-15, 19, 20;
So will jws be put to death for not fulfilling their baptism? But Pharaoh and Zedekiah will be resurrected. Will Ananias and Sapphira?
12. What will help us to be true to our word?
12 Living “in the last days, “we are surrounded
by people who are “disloyal,”
people “having a form of godly devotion
but proving false to its power.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5)
As much as possible, we must
avoid such bad association. Instead, we
should regularly gather with those who
strive always to let their Yes mean Yes.
—Heb. 10:24, 25.
All non-jws—disloyal people with a form of godly devotion
All non-jws—bad association
All non-jws—people whose Yes does not mean Yes?
YOUR MOST IMPORTANT YES
13. What is the most important Yes spoken by
a follower of Jesus Christ?
13 The most important promise that
a person can make concerns his or
her dedication to God. On three specific
occasions, those who want to disown
themselves as disciples of Jesus
have the opportunity to say Yes to inquiries
about their intentions. (Matt. 16:24)
When two elders interview a person
who would like to become an unbaptized
publisher, the person is asked,
“Do you really want to be one of Jehovah’s
Witnesses?” Later, when the individual
has made further spiritual
progress and wishes to be approved
for baptism, the elders will meet with
him or her and ask, “Have you made
your personal dedication to Jehovah in
prayer?” Finally, on the day of baptism,
each candidate is asked, “On the basis
of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have
you repented of your sins and dedicated
yourself to Jehovah to do his will?”
Most important yet 6 year olds can make it in the WTS but not get married.
Can you imagine 2 elders interviewing a six-year-old about baptism (and tell non-jws that they don’t baptize babies. Remember in the OT 5 year olds were still nursing).
Did first century followers of Jesus get baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or were they known as Christians per the bible?
(Acts 11:26) . . .It thus came about that for a whole year they gathered together with them in the congregation and taught quite a crowd, and it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.
Were first century Christians asked baptism questions? Did they have an organization; is the word “organization” even in the Bible? Where is the holy spirit in the second question; it is replaced by an organization.
*** w06 4/1 p. 22 ‘Go and Make Disciples, Baptizing Them’ ***
The Two Baptismal Questions
On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?
PICTURE: Are you being true to your most important Yes?
Thus, in front of witnesses, these new ones say Yes respecting their promise to
serve God forever.
14. What self-examination should we periodically
14 Whether you are newly baptized
or have been serving God for decades,
you need to examine yourself periodically
and ask questions like these: ‘In
imitation of Jesus Christ, am I continuing
to be true to my most important Yes?
Am I continuing to obey Jesus by making
the preaching and disciple-making
work the main focus of my life?’—Read
2 Corinthians 13:5.
So are jws allowed to examine themselves or are other jws constantly watching and judging and “counseling” them according to the personal beliefs? Do they practice the following or only preach it.
(2 Corinthians 10:12) 12 For we do not dare to class ourselves among some or compare ourselves with some who recommend themselves. Certainly they in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves have no understanding.
15. In what areas of life is it important to let
our Yes mean Yes?
15 Proving true to our dedication vow
means that we must also be faithful in
other important matters. For example:
Are you married? Then continue to honor
the precious vow you made to love
and cherish your marriage mate. Have
you signed a business contract or filled
out an application form for theocratic
privileges? Then be true to your commitments
and to what you have promised.
Have you accepted an invitation to
a meal by someone of humble means?
Then do not cancel it if a seemingly better
invitation is made by someone else.
Or have you promised someone you met
in the house-to-house ministry that you
would call again to give that person further
spiritual help? Then by all means
let your Yes mean Yes, and Jehovah will
bless your ministry.—Read Luke 16:10.
Did you ever have someone cancel a dinner invitation to find out they did something else socially afterwards the same day? I knew a couple who kept saying “We have to have you over some day” only to always be busy even when you picked a 6 week period and said any day was open for you. After six years, I told the husband why did he say it was possibility when he had no intention of ever having someone outside his cliché over to his house…he didn’t deny it but said I was the wrong one to point it out.
How many jws did you know that came back? I knew one brother who never kept track of RVs because the territory would be worked again and those people would be home then. The WTS knows this and knows that is part of why there is no increase in many areas.
Did you know immediately after this paragraph that the scripture says he that is faithful in least is faithful in much?
Do elders that don’t make shepherding calls prove to be not faithful in what is least and then not faithful in much?
*** w92 7/1 p. 16 par. 9 Elders, Judge With Righteousness ***
Speaking to the elders of the Ephesus congregation, the apostle Paul put the emphasis where it belongs: “Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.” (Acts 20:28) Paul highlights shepherding, not punishing. Some elders might do well to ponder over the following question: ‘Could we save the considerable amount of time needed to investigate and handle judicial cases if we devoted more time and effort to shepherding?’
BENEFITING FROM OUR HIGH PRIEST AND KING
16. If we have failed to keep our word, what
should we do?
16 The Bible states that as imperfect
humans, “we all stumble many times,”
especially in the use of our tongue. (Jas. 3:2)
What should we do upon realizing
that we have failed to keep our word? In
God’s Law to Israel, there was a merciful
provision for someone who was
guilty of “speaking thoughtlessly with
his lips.” (Lev. 5:4-7, 11) There is also
a loving provision for Christians who
commit such a sin. If we confess the
specific sin to Jehovah, he will mercifully
forgive us through the office of our
High Priest, Jesus Christ. (1 John 2:1, 2)
To remain in God’s favor, however, we
must show fruits that befit repentance
by not making a practice of such sins
and by doing our best to make amends
for any harm done by our thoughtless
speech. (Prov. 6:2, 3) Of course, it is far
better to think carefully before making
promises that we are unable to fulfill.
—Read Ecclesiastes 5:2.
Is the WTS talking about inactive jws when they talk about people who fail to keep their word? Did Jesus say that his followers would be known by the hours they turned in or by the love they showed in practical ways.
Do jws confess to God or the elders? Does God forgive us or the elders and congregation? How can imperfect men judge others? Did men judge David when he committed adultery and murder? Was it in the public square or hidden from others?
*** w10 9/1 p. 24 Is Confession of Sins Required by God? ***
Turning once again to the book of James, we find these encouraging words: “Is there anyone [spiritually] sick among you? Let him call the older men of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.”—James 5:14, 15.
Here again, the older men, or elders, are called upon to respond to the needs of the flock. How? Not by merely hearing a confession.
(James 5:16) . . .Therefore openly confess YOUR sins to one another and pray for one another, that YOU may get healed. A righteous man’s supplication, when it is at work, has much force.
Does this mean that people should not be baptized as jws unless they know for a certainly they can fulfill it? Should the “hold back”?
Fruits or works of repentance
Luke 3:8 or Acts 26:20?
17, 18. What glorious future awaits all who
strive to let their Yes mean Yes?
17 What a wonderful future awaits all
worshippers of Jehovah who keep striving
to let their Yes mean Yes! For the
144,000 anointed ones, it will mean immortal
life in heaven, where they will
share with Jesus in his Kingdom “and
will rule as kings with him for the thousand
years.” (Rev. 20:6) For countless
millions more, it will mean benefiting
from Christ’s Kingdom rule in an earthly
paradise. There they will be helped to
grow to physical and mental perfection.
Have you noticed that the WTS keeps emphasizing the “two hopes,” immortal life in heaven for a few and everlasting life on earth for millions (not billions).
That means most of the 7 plus billion non-jws are doomed, men, women and children, eternally dead.
18 By proving faithful in the final test
at the end of Jesus’ Millennial Reign, we
will never again have reason to doubt
anyone’s word. (Rev. 20:7-10) Every Yes
will mean Yes, and every No, No. For
everyone then living will be a perfect
imitator of our loving heavenly Father,
Jehovah, “the God of truth.”—Ps. 31:5.
The WTS zooms forward 1,000 years where all the remaining people who are judged not to be trusted will die eternally.
A perfect imitator of Jesus or God?
(1 Corinthians 2:16) . . .For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.
So other than df’ing sins, and humans being imperfect, how will the WTS judge members not meaning Yes? Whose principles/laws, theirs of God’s?
Are they making the word of God invalid?
Next Sunday, TEACH ME TO DO YOUR WILL (God’s or the WTS?)