Comments You Will Not Hear at the 09-28-2014 WT Study (JULY 15, 2014, pages (28-32) NEW TESTAMENT JesusWitnesseS
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As I come back to this part after going through the article, I come back to my long-time questions. Why have Jehovah’s witnesses added “Christian” to their designation.
And as they say, only the Israelites were a dedicated nation of witnesses of Jehovah and per Galatians 6:16 “Israel of God” that only the 144,000 anointed Christians are spiritual Israelites. How then can the other sheep be considered “Jehovah’s witnesses” since the WTS teaches they are not spiritual Israelites.
They were not invited to the Memorial until 1938, 3 years after the WTS identified the great crowd. Why the gap, because many jws (1931) felt they should not be since they were not anointed.
Even by 1950, the WTS used this phrase which suspiciously seems to leave non-anointed members out of the term “Jehovah’s witnesses.”
*** w50 3/1 p. 70 par. 12 A Call to Praise ***
In a very practical way, with much hard work in tramping from door to door, repeatedly visiting the people with the Kingdom message, Jehovah’s witnesses and their companions testify to the people concerning the Kingdom and its blessings.
“You Will Be Witnesses of Me”
“[Jesus] said to them: ‘. . . You will be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.’”—ACTS 1:7, 8.
CAN YOU ANSWER?
- How did Jesus live up to the meaning of his name?
- Why did Jesus say: “You will be witnesses of me”?
- Why can we be confident that we will succeed in our witnessing work?
1, 2. (a) Who is the most outstanding witness of Jehovah? (b) What does the name Jesus mean, and how did God’s Son live up to his name?
“FOR this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” (Read John 18:33-37.) When on trial for his life, Jesus Christ said those words to the Roman governor of Judea. Jesus had just identified himself as a king. Years later, the apostle Paul referred to this courageous example of Jesus, “who as a witness made the fine public declaration before Pontius Pilate.” (1 Tim. 6:13) Indeed, it sometimes requires great courage to be a “faithful and true witness” in Satan’s hate-filled world!—Rev. 3:14.
What does Revelation 3:14 say? Does it say it’s Jesus? Is there any mention of “Jehovah”? Whose name is mentioned?
1 Timothy was written after Acts where Jesus’ followers were called Christians by “divine providence.” Is the WTS implying here that Paul, a human, was renaming the Christian community?
It doesn’t change the bible facts that Jesus said his followers would be witnesses of Jesus and that all the other references in the NT say the same. If Jesus felt his followers should be witnesses of “Jehovah” why did he not say that in Acts 1:8?
2 As a member of the Jewish nation, Jesus was a witness of Jehovah by birth. (Isa. 43:10) Indeed, he turned out to be the greatest witness God has ever raised up in behalf of His name. Jesus took seriously the meaning of his own God-given name. When an angel told Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph, that what had been conceived in Mary was by holy spirit, the angel added: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:20, 21; ftn.) Bible scholars in general agree that the name Jesus comes from a Hebrew name, Jeshua, and contains a shortened form of the divine name; it means “Jehovah Is Salvation.” In harmony with the meaning of his name, Jesus helped “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” to repent of their sins in order for them to regain Jehovah’s approval. (Matt. 10:6; 15:24; Luke 19:10) To this end, Jesus zealously witnessed about God’s Kingdom. The Gospel writer Mark reported: “Jesus went into Galilee, preaching the good news of God and saying: ‘The appointed time has been fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent, and have faith in the good news.’” (Mark 1:14, 15) Jesus also courageously denounced the Jewish religious leaders, which contributed to their having him executed on a stake.—Mark 11:17, 18; 15:1-15.
The point is who are Jehovah’s witnesses: Jesus, Israelites, but what about non-Israelites? According to the WTS, Gentile Christians were spiritual Israelites like the Jewish Christians, both destined to rule in heaven with Christ. But what about the jws who are not spiritual Israelites?
Who are the “Bible scholars in general”? Why does the WTS have to support this seeming benign statement?
Do individual jws zealously witness about the kingdom? If we look at the sample presentations in the WT Kingdom Ministry. Out of 36 presentations in 2012, none use the word “Jehovah” or “kingdom” > How is it that jws are shown to use “Jesus” in their presentations but “God” instead of “Jehovah”…..
“THE MAGNIFICENT THINGS OF GOD”
3. What happened on the third day after Jesus’ death?
3 But wonder of wonders! On the third day after Jesus’ cruel death, Jehovah resurrected him, not as a human, but as an immortal spirit creature. (1 Pet. 3:18) In proof of this, the Lord Jesus materialized in human form and gave evidence that he had come back to life. On the very day of his resurrection, he made at least five appearances to different disciples.—Matt. 28:8-10; Luke 24:13-16, 30-36; John 20:11-18
COMMENT---Lot of statements without proof..
4. What resurrection-day meeting did Jesus preside over, and what responsibility did he make clear to his disciples?
4 The fifth time Jesus appeared was to present himself to his apostles and others who were gathered with them. On that memorable occasion, he conducted, as it were, a study of God’s Word. “He opened up their minds fully to grasp the meaning of the Scriptures.” Thus they came to understand that his death at the hands of God’s enemies and his miraculous resurrection had been foretold in the Scriptures. At the conclusion of that resurrection-day meeting, Jesus made clear to his audience what their responsibility was. He told them that “on the basis of his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins would be preached in all the nations—starting out from Jerusalem.” He added: “You are to be witnesses of these things.”—Luke 24:44-48.
(John 14:26) 26 But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach YOU all things and bring back to YOUR minds all the things I told YOU.
So if the majority of jws have not even read the bible once or say that reading the publications is the equivalent of reading the bible, what can the spirit bring back?
So is the WTS saying that jws today ore witnesses of the things these people in the first century saw?
5, 6. (a) Why did Jesus say: “You will be witnesses of me”? (b) What new feature of Jehovah’s purpose would Jesus’ disciples have to make known?
5 Thus, 40 days later, during Jesus’ final appearance, his apostles would have understood what he meant by the simply yet powerfully worded command: “You will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Why did Jesus say: “You will be witnesses of me,” not of Jehovah? Jesus could have said the latter, but the ones whom he addressed were Israelites and as such were already witnesses of Jehovah.
But then why were Gentile Christians told in Revelation that they would be witnesses of Jesus if they had never been jws under the Isaiah 43:10-12 WT concept? Where is the scripture supporting their “guess”?
(Revelation 17:5, 6) . . .” 6 And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.. . .
As Jesus’ disciples, we keep making known Jehovah’s purpose for the future (See paragraphs 5, 6)
PICTURES: BOOK BAGS!!!!! THE I-PAD REPLACES THE TESTIMONY CARD AND RECORD PLAYER…THE JW NEED NOT TALK, THE MACHINE AND CARD WILL DO IT FOR THEM
6 Now Jesus’ disciples would have to make known a new feature of Jehovah’s purpose—something far grander than Israel’s deliverances from slavery in Egypt and later from captivity in Babylon. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provided the basis for freedom from the worst form of captivity, namely, slavery to sin and death. At Pentecost 33 C.E., Jesus’ newly anointed disciples made known to the people “the magnificent things of God,” and many who heard responded. Thus, from his Father’s right hand in heaven, Jesus began to see his name take on greater meaning as thousands repented and put faith in him as Jehovah’s means of salvation.—Acts 2:5, 11, 37-41.
And here Jesus is made a TOOL again not a person who gave his life willing for others…”means of salvation.”
“A RANSOM IN EXCHANGE FOR MANY”
7. What did the events on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E. prove?
7 Events on the day of Pentecost in 33 C.E. proved that Jehovah had graciously accepted the value of Jesus’ perfect human sacrifice as an atonement, or a covering, for sin. (Heb. 9:11, 12, 24) As Jesus explained, he came, “not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matt. 20:28) The “many” who would benefit from Jesus’ ransom were not to be limited to repentant Jews. Rather, it is God’s will that “all sorts of people should be saved,” since the ransom “takes away the sin of the world!”—1 Tim. 2:4-6; John 1:29.
No “gracious” giving by Jesus per the WTS. But if only literal and spiritual Jews could be “Jehovah’s witnesses” per the WTS, where do today’s non-anointed jws fit in?
8. To what extent did Jesus’ disciples witness, and how was this possible?
8 Did those early disciples of Jesus have the needed courage to keep on witnessing about him? Indeed they did, but they did not do it in their own strength. Jehovah’s powerful holy spirit motivated and energized them to keep on witnessing. (Read Acts 5:30-32.) Some 27 years after Pentecost 33 C.E., it could be said that “the message of truth of the good news” had reached Jews and Gentiles “in all creation under heaven.”—Col. 1:5, 23.
Do you know how the WTS interprets Col. 1:23? They use it to show not everyone has to have a personal witness. And use Matthew 10:23.
*** w09 1/1 p. 20 How Far East Could Missionaries Go? ***
LESS than 30 years after Jesus’ death, the apostle Paul wrote that the good news was being preached in “all creation” under heaven. (Colossians 1:23) His statement is not to be taken literally, as if meaning that every person alive at that time had heard the good news. Even so, Paul’s point is clear: Christian missionaries were preaching extensively in the then-known world.
*** w00 1/15 p. 13 par. 17 “Keep on the Watch” ***
Fifth, we see a global preaching work being accomplished, which Jesus said would take place just before the end of this system. Jesus stated: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Today, that prophecy is in the course of fulfillment on an unprecedented scale. True, untouched territories still exist, and it may be that in Jehovah’s due time, a large door leading to greater activity will open. (1 Corinthians 16:9) Nevertheless, the Bible does not state that Jehovah will wait until every individual on earth has received a personal witness. Rather, the good news must be preached to Jehovah’s satisfaction. Then the end will come.—Compare Matthew 10:23.
9. As foretold, what happened to the original Christian congregation?
9 Sadly, however, the original Christian congregation gradually became corrupted. (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Pet. 2:2, 3; Jude 3, 4) As indicated by Jesus, such apostasy, promoted by “the wicked one,” Satan, would grow and obscure true Christianity until “the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 13:37-43) Then Jehovah would enthrone Jesus as King over the world of mankind. That happened in October 1914, marking the beginning of “the last days” of Satan’s wicked system.—2 Tim. 3:1.
Many more statements without proof or support. Just scriptures saying there would be opposers, but not who they will be today as individuals, no definition of what they teach specifically, people opposed to the bible or to the WTS, self-appointed as the only representative of God on earth.
10. (a) What important date did modern-day anointed Christians point to? (b) What happened in October 1914, and how has that become clearly evident?
10 Modern-day anointed Christians pointed in advance to October 1914 as a significant date. They based this on Daniel’s prophecy about a large tree that was cut down and would grow again after “seven times.” (Dan. 4:16) Jesus referred to this same period as “the appointed times of the nations” in his prophecy about his future presence and “the conclusion of the system of things.” Ever since that marked year of 1914, “the sign of [Christ’s] presence” as earth’s new King has become clear for all to see. (Matt. 24:3, 7, 14; Luke 21:24) So since then “the magnificent things of God” have included Jehovah’s enthronement of Jesus as King over the world of mankind.
“Modern-day anointed Christians” only Bible Students pre-1931 and jws post 1931
October 1914 was a significant date but is it the one the WTS promotes today?
One of the most misleading statements in Watchtower publications is that they accurately foretold 1914 to be the “start” of the conclusion of this system of things. Rather, 1914 was predicted to be the “end” of the system of things, the conclusion of Armageddon and the start of the earthly paradise.
The contradictory statements above help identify two critical facts:
11, 12. (a) What did earth’s new King start to do in the postwar year of 1919? (b) What further development became evident from the mid-1930’s onward? (See opening image.)
11 As earth’s new King, Jesus Christ soon began to deliver his anointed followers from captivity to “Babylon the Great.” (Rev. 18:2, 4) The postwar year of 1919 opened up the possibility for a worldwide witness to be given about God’s means of salvation and the good news of the established Kingdom. Anointed Christians seized this opportunity to witness, resulting in thousands more anointed ones being gathered to become Christ’s joint heirs.
What the WTS does not say is there was no desire for a worldwide witness prior to 1914 for a search for the remaining ones on earth of the 144,000. When the end did not come in 1914 or 1915, they had to try to re-invent their message. But when there were 90,000 plus out 144,000 partaking as anointed at the memorial by 1925, they had to re-invent
12 From the mid-1930’s onward, it became evident that Christ had started to gather millions of his “other sheep,” who would make up a multinational “great crowd.” Under the direction of anointed Christians, this great crowd also follow the courageous example of Jesus and publicly make known that they owe their salvation to God and Christ. By enduring in this witness work and continuing to exercise faith in Christ’s ransom, these ones will be privileged to survive “the great tribulation,” which will bring an end to Satan’s world.—John 10:16; Rev. 7:9, 10, 14.
So in 1935, the WTS shutdown the call to heaven but then reopened in 2007 to explain the constant increase in partakers rather than the decrease they predicted.
‘MUSTER UP BOLDNESS TO TELL THE GOOD NEWS’
13. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, what are we determined to do, and how can we be sure of success?
13 May we continue to treasure our privilege of being Witnesses of “the magnificent things” that Jehovah God has done and of his promises for the future. True, such witnessing is not always easy. Many of our brothers work in territories where there is a lot of apathy, ridicule, or outright persecution. We can do just as the apostle Paul and his companions did. Paul said: “We mustered up boldness by means of our God to tell you the good news of God in the face of much opposition.” (1 Thess. 2:2) So let us never give up. Rather, may we be determined to be true to our dedication as Satan’s system crashes in ruins. (Isa. 6:11) We cannot do this in our own strength, but following the example of the early Christians, we must pray that Jehovah by means of his spirit will give us “the power beyond what is normal.”—Read 2 Corinthians 4:1, 7; Luke 11:13.
Jehovah’s or Jesus’ witnesses? Only witnesses of Jesus in the NT. Are members of the WTS ever called witnesses of Jesus.
When some local jws changed their KH signs to include Jesus, what did the WTS say? Is it a coincidence that the WTS stopped using the phrase “Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses” in their publications by 1980 the same time frame as this directive? “encourages”? What would have happened if these congregations had not?
*** km 4/79 p. 4 Announcements ***
Is it appropriate to have a Kingdom Hall sign saying: “Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses”? So there will be uniformity, the Society encourages all to make their signs read: “Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
And now the WTS is adding bright blue squares with white lettering on the outside of KHs, assembly halls, and headquarter buildings; with Jesus on it or even Jehovah? No, JW.ORG, removing even Jehovah from their identifying sign…how does that make their God’s name Jehovah known?
“brothers”! work in difficult territories; where is the large army of jws that do the real work?
Early “Christians” or early Jehovah’s witnesses?
14, 15. (a) How were Christians viewed in the first century C.E., and what did the apostle Peter say about them? (b) How should we feel if we are mistreated for being Jehovah’s Witnesses?
14 Today, millions may claim to be Christians, “but they disown [God] by their works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort.” (Titus 1:16) It is good for us to remember that in the first century, genuine Christians were hated by many—if not the majority—of their contemporaries. That is why the apostle Peter wrote: “If you are being reproached for the name of Christ, you are happy, because . . . the spirit of God . . . is resting upon you.”—1 Pet. 4:14.
“claim to be Christians” so-called, professed are two other terms. Only jws are considered “genuine” Christians. Why…because they are hated? “reproached for the name of Christ” not the name of “Jehovah.”
(2 Timothy 3:12) . . .In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. . .
How does the WTS interpret Paul’s words above?
*** w12 10/15 pp. 8-9 par. 10 Meeting Today’s Adversities With Courage ***
It is also good to keep in mind that we cannot remove all problems. In fact, we can expect to experience them. (2 Tim. 3:12) Acts 14:22 tells us: “We must enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations.”
*** g 7/09 p. 27 Why Am I Afraid to Share My Faith? ***
But instead of running away, accept such challenges as a normal part of your life as a Christian. (2 Timothy 3:12) “Jesus said his followers would be persecuted,” says 13-year-old Matthew, “so we can’t expect everyone to like us or our beliefs.”—John 15:20.
I would recommend looking at this news site that chronicles current happenings regarding persecution of Christian groups. www.forum18.org
15 Can those inspired words be applied to Jehovah’s Witnesses today? Yes, indeed, because we bear witness to Jesus’ kingship. Thus, being hated for bearing Jehovah’s name is the same as “being reproached for the name of [Jesus] Christ,” who said to his opposers: “I have come in the name of my Father, but you do not receive me.” (John 5:43) So the next time you experience opposition in your witnessing work, take courage. Such mistreatment is proof that you have God’s smile of approval and that his spirit “is resting upon you.”
In fact, the WTS teaches that if you have not experienced persecution, you are truly a jw.
Hated for bearing “Jehovah’s name” or as the scripture says “reproached for the name of Christ”?
16, 17. (a) What do Jehovah’s people experience in many parts of the world? (b) What is your determination?
16 At the same time, remember that fine increases are being enjoyed in many parts of the world. Even in well-worked territories, we still find people who are willing to listen and with whom we can share our wonderful message of salvation. May we be diligent to call back on interested ones and, if possible, conduct Bible studies with them, helping them to progress toward dedication and baptism. Likely, you feel as does Sarie in South Africa, who has been active in the witnessing work for more than 60 years. She says, “I am deeply thankful that through Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, I can enjoy a good relationship with Jehovah, the Sovereign of the universe, and I am happy that I can make known his glorious name.” She and her husband, Martinus, have helped many, including their three children, to become worshippers of Jehovah. “No other activity,” adds Sarie, “brings greater satisfaction, and by means of his holy spirit, Jehovah gives all of us the needed power to continue with this lifesaving work.”
Have you noticed that in the Kingdom Ministry so-called increases are in the same small island areas? Those are increases? How many people stopped coming that year?
Jws are no longer diligent calling back; 1) incomplete records, unreadable addresses and names or no names, coming back on the first try 2 weeks or longer; calling back at the same time each attempt, losing slips, handing them over to another jw, imagine handing your child over to another person to raise. I knew jws that would turn over an rv immediately to a pioneer saying they were too busy to call back, too busy with recreation on Saturday and Sunday.
You can bet Martinus and Sarie are not going home to watch the football game on tv, or going shopping at the mall. Do they have children?
17 Whether we are baptized Christians or we are working toward that goal, we have every reason to be thankful for the privilege of associating with the worldwide congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Therefore, continue to bear thorough witness while you strive to keep yourself clean from Satan’s unholy world. By doing so, you will bring honor to our loving heavenly Father, whose glorious name we are privileged to bear.
Baptized “Christians” or “Jehovah’s witnesses” or “Jesus’ witnesses”? I have had some jws point out the “new” name Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses that shows up on the signs outside a non-jw convention center or on their letterhead…but why not on the signs outside their KHs?
We went by a few kingdom halls in this area, no blue signs yet but new signs in general…preparing for the blue square?
So many jws when asked at the door what religion they are, quickly say “Jehovah’s witness.” My companion one day was countered by the person at the door, are you a Christian and was dumbfounded. In that congregation we were told to distance ourselves from born again Christians and left that word out instead…. Of course some jws dance around identifying themselves as jws.