COMMENTS YOU WILL NOT HEAR AT THE 8-10-03 WT STUDY
Reviewer comments are in black and parentheses ()
WT quotes are in
red or quotes """LOOK! THIS IS OUR GOD" "Look! This is our God. We have hoped in him, and he will save us.
This is Jehovah."-ISAIAH 25:9.
Isaiah 25 (CEV)
9 At that time, people will say,
"The LORD has saved us!
We waited and hoped--
now our God is here."
I’ve always wondered why the WTS spends so much time in the Old Testament rather than the New Testament. Aren’t JWs supposed to be Christians, not Jews? How many JWs who might be reading this review realize that except for the word "Hallelujah" in Revelation, that Jehovah never appears in the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament?
Yes, "This is OUR God," most JWs proudly say. All the others are worshiping a false God, they say. "Only we worship the right God, so we (JWs) are the only ones he will save."
Doesn’t the Bible say,
16 "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
Did God only love the "world of JWs"?
Let’s see how the WTS develops this theme of having a friendship with God and their unique "privilege" of being his "friend." Without looking can you guess what the first point will be? A discussion of Abraham again as a "friend" of God. Do you remember that this is not as good as the anointed who are "sons of God"? The great crowd can only aspire to friendship. But that is another doctrine and another WT article. (see WT 12/15/85 p. 13 Declared Righteous as a Friend of God.) Summary statement of the "new light"
2/1/98 WT p 20 The Other Sheep and the New Covenant
Finally, Jehovah forgives the error of the other sheep on the basis of Jesus’ shed "blood of the covenant." (Matthew 26:28; 1 John 1:9; 2:2) God does not adopt them as spiritual sons, as he does the 144,000. But he does declare the other sheep righteous, in the sense that Abraham was declared righteous as God’s friend.—Matthew 25:46; Romans 4:2, 3; James 2:23.
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MY FRIEND." That is how Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and earth, referred to the patriarch Abraham. (Isaiah 41:8) Just imagine--a mere human.
Notice how a "mere human" one not covered by the ransom since it had not been offered, not even a human under the Law code, was a friend of the Most High God.
You may wonder, 'Is it possible for me to be that close to God?'
Translation: "Do the elders/WTS think it is possible for me to be that close to God" since I must go through the proper channel?"
10/1/90 WTp. 30 Do You Follow Instructions?
We should follow the instructions that the Head of the Christian congregation, Jesus Christ, gives through "the faithful and discreet slave," the appointed channel of God’s organization here on earth.
Abraham was granted such closeness because he "put faith in Jehovah."
Yes, Abraham did not put faith in an organization or go through an organization, but in God.
But do these inspired words mean that we--sinful, imperfect humans--take the first step? Not at all. Intimacy with Jehovah is possible only because our loving God has taken two important steps.
And what are those steps?
First, Jehovah arranged for Jesus "to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many." (Matthew 20:28) That ransom sacrifice makes it possible for us to be close to God.
But there was no ransom when Abraham became God’s friend. How was that possible?
If Jehovah were a hidden, unknowable God, we could never be close to him…In his Word, the Bible, he reveals himself in terms we can comprehend.
A poster here on JWD had the elders visit him and say the following:
He said the bible is a very complicated book and it’s clear I cannot understand it on my own.http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/10/56444/1.ashx
Does this sound like weasel words and doubletalk to you? It does to me.
The more insight we gain into Jehovah's qualities, the more we will feel that we have the best Father and the closest Friend imaginable. Yes, grasping Jehovah's qualities gives us many reasons for drawing closer to him. So let us examine how the Bible reveals Jehovah's cardinal attributes--power, justice, wisdom, and love.
Yes, once again, for the umpteenth time, it is an article about power, justice, wisdom (love will be covered next week)."Exalted in Power" Jehovah has unlimited power.
Which he uses to create, to destroy, to protect, and to restore.
And then it is the "sun" illustration for the umpteenth time.Every second, the sun emits energy equivalent to the explosion of many hundreds of millions of nuclear bombs.Jehovah also uses his vast power to protect his servants and to care for them.
But not to protect them individually, only "as a group" (put that phrase though the WT-CD).As a group, these "come out of the great tribulation" alive.As a group, their salvation is sure.
Jehovah guarantees divine protection of these representatives as a group during the time of the end.
But we are assured by the Revelation prophecy that as a group the great crowd will come out of the great tribulation as the nucleus of "a new earth" society.As a group, Jehovah’s Witnesses will safely pass through "the great tribulation" brought upon the wicked.
Jehovah is the Great Shepherd and elders are supposed to imitate him. Does this sound like the elders in your congregation?Like a shepherd he will shepherd his own drove. With his arm he will collect together the lambs; and in his bosom he will carry them. Those giving suck he will conduct with care." Can you visualize what is described in that verse?
Can you see the elders carrying you in their bosom? Can you imagine the elders picking anyone up for the meetings, to take them to the doctor, or out in service? Don’t they delegate this someone else, their wives, the pioneers, Brother Joe Blow trying to prove his qualifications as an MS. The elders are too busy with important administrative things.But there were times when protecting and caring for the sheep called for tenderness .
Can you feel the tenderness when an elder is screaming in your face that once again you have failed to meet his high standards for Christian living?He would carry it, perhaps for days, "in his bosom."
The only thing I have seen elders carry for days in their bosom is a grudge against some individual or family in the congregation. Twenty years later I know of one brother who will never be appointed an elder. Why? Because he is a "repentant" pedophile? No, because one elder has a personal peeve with him and the other elders are afraid to go against him.The lamb might approach the shepherd and even nudge his leg. It is the shepherd, however, who would have to bend over, reach out and pick up the lamb, and place it in the security of his bosom. What a tender picture of the willingness of our Great Shepherd to protect and care for his servants!
(Does anyone remember the article in 2002 about a sheep with its lamb stuck on a ledge? Yes, the shepherd did not have to go looking; it was the sheep’s responsibility to call out)Jehovah has done more than just promise protection.
And here is the qualifying statement.We know that he does not use his power to protect us from all calamity now.
provide something more important -spiritual protectionJehovah thus works to preserve our life, not just for a few short years, but for eternity.
So when the robber is pointing the gun at you, just hope in the resurrection.'Jehovah Is a Lover of Justice"Jehovah does what is right and fair, and he does so consistently, without partiality. Divine justice is not a cold, harsh quality that repels us.
The JW version of divine justice is repelling. Imagine 6 billion people dying most of them who have never met a JW. But according to the WTS, only dedicated, baptized JWs will survive the coming execution by God and everyone does not need to get a personal witness.July 1997 Kingdom Ministry p. 3 Baptism is essential for a person to survive Jehovah’s day. (1 Pet. 3:21)
And loyalty is required but is it really loyalty to God?Jehovah is a lover of justice, and he will not leave his loyal ones. To time indefinite they will certainly be guarded." (Psalm 37:28) What comforting assurance! Our God will never for one moment abandon those who are loyal to him.10/1/01 WT 22 What Does It Mean to Be Loyal?
Loyalty to God also includes loyalty to his organization.
Then the WTS says that God isSensitive to the needs of the afflicted
Pointing out that:The Law made provisions to ensure that orphans and widows were cared for (Deuteronomy 24:17-21) Recognizing how difficult life could be for such families, Jehovah himself became their fatherly Judge and Protector (Deuteronomy 10:14 18) He warned the Israelites that if they victimized defenseless women and children, he would hear the outcry of such ones .
Does he hear the outcries of such ones in this example of how the elders do not imitate God.
God may not be swayed by material wealth and outward appearance, but the elders at the KH are. The brother who greases their palms gets the special privileges, the appointments, and the talks at the assemblies. His son gets appointed as a MS/elder although he barely gets in 5 hours a month in the ministry.Jehovah "treats none with partiality nor accepts a bribe." Unlike many humans with power or influence, Jehovah is not swayed by material wealth or outward appearance. He is free from bias or favoritism. A truly remarkable evidence of his impartiality is this: The opportunity of becoming his true worshipers, with endless life in view, is not restricted to an elite few.
"Not restricted to an elite few?" But isn’t that what the anointed, the 144,000, the remnant, the "faithful and discreet slave" are? Elite and few with a better reward that the great crowd, considered "sons of God’ when the rest of us are only "friends"?This prospect is open to all regardless of their social standing, the color of their skin, or the country in which they live (unless they happen to live in China, India, or a Muslim country where JWs cannot get in to make personal visits or find their ministry restricted). "O the Depth of God's... Wisdom!" Wisdom brings knowledge, discernment, and understanding together and puts them to work. Drawing upon his breadth of knowledge and his depth of understanding, Jehovah always makes the best decisions possible.
Unfortunately, his faithful followers don’t. They made the decision to make organ transplants a disfellowshipping offense from 1967 to 1980. Fortunately, they finally figured out what God’s decision was. Not before many JWs died when refusing transplants between 1967 and 1980. Those readers who had their transplants after 1980, aren’t you glad?We learn about the things Jehovah has made, the more we find ourselves awed by his wisdom. Why, scientists have learned much from studying Jehovah's creations!
Unfortunately, JWs are discouraged from taking any science classes because their faith may be eroded. They will just have to read the articles in the Awake written by non-scientists. The WTS says that the periodic table of elements proves there is a creator, but few JWs know what it is, and its layout, unless they became JWs as adults.In his wisdom, Jehovah chose to use humans (men) to record his Word. If he had used angels to write the inspired Word, would the Bible have the same appeal?
But would we really have been able to identify with the perspective of perfect spirit creatures (how do women identify with the male perspective?) , Its writers were men with feelings like ours (but not women’s) .
What foolishness, God loves humans because he used men (not women or angels) to write the Bible?!The most endearing and beautiful of all of Jehovah's qualifies is love. How Jehovah has shown love will be discussed in the next article. Concluding Observations
This article was a total cut-and-paste job. Using the WT-CD I found where all these things have been discussed and discussed, sometimes using the exact same paragraphs.
But how close do JWs get to God? They have to go through the elders, the CO, the DO, the WTS, to get to Jesus and then to God. In this article and the next, Jesus is an afterthought. The focus is totally on God. No mention is made of Jesus’ role and his love for us. If you want to understand God and know what he is like, study the Gospel accounts. Jesus explained "the Father."Matthew 11:27 (NWT)All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.
Does being God’s friend thrill you as much as being "sons of God"? Unless you are anointed, in the JW world, you are second best, second class, with a second class reward.Blondie