I will not be near a computer for awhile so am posting this a week early. I know jgnat will keep it going with her wonderful postings as well as everyone el'se comments. I am looking forward to reading what everyone has to say when I get near a computer.
COMMENTS YOU WILL NOT HEAR AT THE 2-16-03 WT STUDY
January 1, 2002 Page 17
"KEEP ON THE WATCH"!
Mark 13 (NLT)
37 What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for his return!"
Mark 13 (ESV)
37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake."
Mark 13 (NASB)
37 "What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"
The WTS starts out giving an inappropriate illustration of a man who kept his valuables at home under his bed. While he and his wife are sleeping, a thief sneaks in and takes his valuables. The painful lesson according to the WTS is "A sleeping man cannot guard his possessions."
The moral of the story really is dont keep your valuables under your bed. Any wise person keeps them locked up. Then sleep is not the issue.
Just before the oft-quoted verse about the "faithful and discreet slave," Jesus used an illustration of a thief saying that a thief does not send a formal announcement to the householder of his arrival time but comes "at an hour that you do not think it to be." (Matthew 24:42-44)Matthew 24
Be Ready for His Coming
42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
43 "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
44 "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
Jesus said that is the way "the Son of man is coming." Yet the WTS has on numerous occasion said it knows when that time is 1874, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1975. These were times "at an hour" the WTS did "think it to be" and was mistaken."STAY AWAKE, STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH"
At the mouth of two witnesses, a matter is established according to the WTS. Who is the second witness to the statement in Matthew 24:42-44? Luke at chapter 12, verse 40, "At an hour that you do not think likely the Son of man is coming."Luke 12 (AMP)
40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour and a moment when you do not anticipate it.
Some who have served Jehovah over many years may (have) lost their sense of urgency. They may (have) even come to the conclusion that the end could yet be a long way off.
And the real culprit?Turn our attention away from spiritual (religious) things and toward material goals, distractions that can make us spiritually drowsy.
Thus MATERIALISM raises its ugly head again as the cause of the lost sense of urgency. Could it be the boy crying wolf too often with dates (1874, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1975)?
Another lesson can be "derived" from Jesus illustration that is quite unique. Nowhere else in my 50 years experience have I seen this point.Although the slaves did not know the hour when their master would arrive, APPARENTLY (one of the WTS buzzwords that lets you know there is no scriptural basis for what follows), they knew the night.
That reminds of a sister who said the following after I pointed out the scripture that we would not know the day or the hour.
"But it doesnt mean we couldnt know the YEAR." (in reference to 1975)
The WTS reasoning:It would have been difficult to keep awake all that night if they thought that their master might come some other night. But, no, they knew which night he was coming.
Why couldnt they just sleep during the day? Nothing was said about staying awake 24/7. I have stayed up and awake for 48 hours at a stretch. If it wasnt that night, then just sleep during the day to be refreshed for the following night. Night workers have been doing it for years.
So we are living in the "night" of mans history, the "time of the end"?
How can we stay awake, the WTS asks.Deeper knowledge of Gods Word (translation WTS publications), good personal study habits, regular meeting attendance (all five), reviewing from time to time the Scriptural proof that we are living close to the time of the end, take note of unfolding world events (911, Iraq, North Korea) that fulfill Bible prophecy. "Every time I watch the news, the wars, the earthquakes**, the violence, and the contamination of our planet, it drives home the nearness of the end."
**(The Watchtower backpedals on earthquakes by Alan Feuerbacher)Many times during his ministry and after his resurrection, Jesus urged vigilance.
Why, if the early Christians would never see the end of this system, that it really was 2,000 years in the future?We all need these warnings?
Even the false ones of the WTS (1874, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1975)?THREE APOSTLES WHO COULD NOT KEEP AWAKE Keeping awake requires more than good intentions.
Ill stop for a moment to discuss the phrase "good intentions" or "well-intentioned." If I had a dollar for every time an elder said that some elders or other brother or sisters efforts were "good intentions" or "well-intentioned" but had caused emotional pain for me or my friends, I could have retired to Maui 10 years ago. Arggh!
Peter, James and John kept falling asleep instead of keeping Jesus company and giving him support. Now did Jesus say, "I can stay awake why cant you. Do you think my father will support you if you cant support me. I may have to find 3 other men if you can make the national quota of hours supporting me."Rather Jesus said, "The spirit, of course, is eager, but the fresh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) Matthew 26 (WB)
41 Watch and talk with God, so that you will not do wrong. A person's heart can want to do it, but his body is weak.'
As was true of the apostles, our flesh (WTS) is also weak, and there are things that we do not yet know (when the end is although they have tried to pin it down to 1874, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1975).
THREE VITAL QUALITIESNot lose sight of the urgency; maintain our sense of urgency
How?Unshakable faith which has already weathered the false dates of the WTS (1874, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1975). Yes it will not be late. Just dont ask the WTS when it is and it is likely to be on time.
A spirit-anointed sister was hoping the end would come quickly after her husband died. She is so glad now that the preaching work "would expand all over the world) except for China, India, the Muslim countries.Christians in Thessalonica had to be remind that Jesus presence was some time in the future (1874 or 1914 or 1915). Still, false alarms about the day of Jehovah did not make those early followers of Jesus abandon the path leading off into life.
Of course, they didnt keep the records they do today. Who knows how many left after the end of the Jewish system in 70 C.E. did not mean being whisked instantly to heaven.Christian love is an outstanding quality because it is the underlying motive for everything we do.
Love of self perhaps, but not the self-sacrificing love of Jesus. Only "deserving" or "worthy" ones get aid materially. Only Christians that are nice new quarters are valued and a penny Christian is tossed aside as a comparison a CO recently made.We love Jehovah irrespective of his timetable (what if it is the WTS timetable? Do we blame God for 1874, 1914, 1915, 1925, 1975?)"KEEP ON HOLDING FAST WHAT YOU HAVE" World events (911, Iraq, North Korea) constantly remind us that we are in the final part of the last days. Not the time to slacken the hand. Keep busy in deeds. Show a waiting attitude (waiting for the WTS to get the date right). How short, though, this waiting period when compared with the eternity ahead? (So it wont take eternity for the WTS to get the date right?) Wait for Jehovahs due time (so check your Bible kiddies and skip the WTS publications for the date).
And at last, the real motive for most JWs to serve God:And as we faithfully stay alert, may we keep a firm hold on the hope of EVERLASTING LIFE." These prophetic promises will surely apply in our case:(pretty arrogant) Psalm 37:34 (NLT)
Don't be impatient for the LORD to act!
Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you, giving you the land.
You will see the wicked destroyed. (all 6 billion plus become bird food)END OF ARTICLEConcluding Comments
The sense of urgency is fading amongst many JWs. The pioneer shuffle and other slowing techniques are practiced by many in the ministry. I doubt that materialism is the cause but more likely the big bad INTERNET and sites like this one. It certainly crystallized my feelings and research. I have laid out some goals and will be meeting some of them in the next few weeks.
We do not know the day, the hour, the year or the night. But like Abraham, it does not matter in becoming and growing as spiritual individuals.
Edited by - Blondie on 7 February 2003 7:53:43