COMMENTS YOU WILL NOT HEAR AT THE 8-31-03 WT STUDYReviewer comments are in black and parentheses () WT article quotes are in red and quotes "" Quotes from other WT publications are in dark blue HOW SHOULD WE VIEW PEOPLE AS JEHOVAH'S DAY APPROACHES?
"Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise, (as some people consider slowness) ... but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. --2 PETER 3:9. (NWT) The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.—2 PETER 3:9 (NLT) Introductory Comments
Is the JW God giving people more time for everyone to repent? Does the WTS feel that the vast majority of people will survive Jehovah’s day? Do they expect to reach every person with the Kingdom message giving them a fair chance to respond?
2/1/62 WT p 95-6 Questions from Readers
What is the meaning of the following statement, recorded at Matthew 10:23: "You will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives"?
Accordingly, by means of his instructions to his twelve apostles Jesus was prophetically telling us today that his anointed disciples or the remnant of spiritual Israel would not complete the circuit of the entire inhabited earth with the preaching of the message of God’s established kingdom before the glorified heavenly King Jesus Christ would arrive as Jehovah’s executional officer in the battle of Armageddon. This means that Jehovah’s witnesses today, who now include hundreds of thousands of the "other sheep" or earthly companions of the spiritual remnant, will not be able to reach personally all parts of the earth with the Kingdom message before the battle of Armageddon breaks out.
8/15/97 WT p 14
True, untouched territories still exist, and perhaps in Jehovah’s due time, a door of opportunity will open. (1 Corinthians 16:9) Still, Jesus’ words recorded at Matthew 10:23 are sobering: "You will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives." While the good news will surely be announced throughout the earth, we will not in person reach all parts of the earth with the Kingdom message before Jesus "arrives" as Executioner.
In researching past comments on 2 Peter 3:9, I found these comments in a 1982 WT.
4/1/82 WT p. 28 Survival or Destruction at the "Great Tribulation"Naturally, as dignified witnesses of our God Jehovah, we do not go around threatening people with destruction. We share Jehovah’s viewpoint on things. Of him, it is said that he is "patient," because "he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance."
Yet, later in the same article:While Jehovah has shown himself to be wonderfully "patient" because he "desires all to attain to repentance," he knows that not all humans will repent. That is why Jesus warned us to "be in fear of him that can destroy both soul [life] and body in Gehenna."
I really don’t think the WTS proofreads for content.
This article will be discussing the account of Abraham and Lot and his family in Sodom and Gomorrah (many issues here but I will just make note of some), Jonah and the Ninevites, and how the WTS thinks this applies to JWs today as they "preach" the good news.
Questions for further thought/research:
Why are those destroyed at Sodom and Gomorrah spoken of as not being resurrected by the WTS but those at Nineveh are even though they eventually returned to their bad ways?
Did S&G commit the unforgivable sin but the Ninevites did not? What is the unforgivable sin according to the WTS?
Are we talking about "judgment periods"—a space of time where a group of people are given to repent or die forever: pre-flood times, S&G, 33-70 CE and Israel, 1914—the end—execution during means no resurrection?
Was the 40 years Jeremiah preached before "607 BCE" or the 37 years until 70 CE a judgment period? If so, why were not all the Israelites destroyed but many taken captive? The ones who died, are they without a resurrection hope?
4/1/55 WT p. 199 Judgment Day—Just a Joke?
How serious is a judgment period? Divine condemnation always results in everlasting destruction.
6/1/52 WT p. 340That execution of judgment against nations and individuals will be just as final as were the executions at the end of the typical judgment periods of times past, such as the Noachian flood, the rain of fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, and the destruction wrought on natural Israel A.D. 70.
6/1/52 WT p. 348 Fixing Destinies in This Judgment PeriodThis baptism of fire was foreshadowed by an ancient one, when upon "Sodom it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all". Later Jehovah "burned up Jacob like a flaming fire" and "poured out his wrath like fire" and "kindled a fire in Zion", when in 607 B.C. he used Nebuchadnezzar to immerse Jerusalem and Judah in a fiery baptism because of their gross sins. START OF ARTICLE God views humans as individuals with the potential of attaining to repentance.
If that is true, why does the WTS put a disclaimer on the scripture above saying not every individual will be contacted?Like him, do we consider individuals of every race and nation to be potential "sheep of his pasturage"?
Do most JWs see individuals who might listen behind the doors they approach or "goats" who will most likely die at Armageddon? Why not when the hear the following:
11/15/99 WT p. 29 What Can Be Done About Discouragement?Having clearly in mind the goals set by Jesus will help us not to become discouraged in the face of indifference in the ministry. Christ wanted his disciples to search out deserving ones, not to perform mass conversions. On several occasions he pointed out that the vast majority would not accept the good news, just as most Israelites did not listen to the prophets of old
2/1/96 WT p. 19But if we compare the number of disciples with earth’s 5.6 billion inhabitants, it is evident that as in Jesus’ day, the vast majority of mankind do not "get the sense of" the Kingdom.
3/15/87 WT p. 22While it is true that the vast majority of people will not respond favorably, those who do so bring us much joy.
Kingdom Ministry 1/01 p. 4Jesus said that during his presence, the vast majority would ‘take no note,’ just as in Noah’s day. (Matt. 24:37-39) It is expected, then, that many individuals will not listen to the Kingdom good news. In both cases, destruction was imminent, and Jehovah's servants were given advance knowledge of this fact.
Shall we compare the few months it took Jonah to get to Nineveh and the day given S&G to the 124 years from 1879 to 2003 and onward?
Abraham Had Jehovah's View
Was the sin of Sodom lack of hospitality?
Evidently that was more important than Lot’s daughters being gang raped.
If homosexuality is wrong scripturally, why destroy one small group forever for it and allow others who died in another time to be resurrected?
There was no written or verbal law against homosexuality?
That there was no written law has been a reason to excuse Abraham for marrying his sister, to excuse Judah for having sex with a temple prostitute, to excuse polygamy in the case of Jacob.
Where does it show that Lot or Abraham came as a prophet with a message from God and told the cities of S&G?
Only 10 men needed to respond…that’s right women and children did not count.
When Jehovah heard "the cry of complaint about Sodom and Gomorrah," he did not immediately destroy those cities and all their inhabitants. He first made an investigation.
Now come on, here he is God Almighty, sees all things, and he has to check it out!?
Not like the elders, who only see and hear what fits their pre-determined judgment.On the night of the angels' arrival, "the men of the city…surrounded the house, from boy to old man, all the people in one mob," desiring to have homosexual intercourse with the angels. Clearly, the debased condition of the city's inhabitants proved that it deserved to be destroyed.
No women or children mentioned being in the mob yet they are destroyed too."Son-in-law and your sons and your daughters and all who are yours in the city, bring out of the place!" Jehovah opened the way to save some residents of that city, but in the end, only Lot and his two daughters escaped destruction.
Except for Lot, his wife, his 2 daughters, and their 2 fiancées, no one received a warning outside of the mob.Abraham progressively reduced the number until it reached only ten.
Was Abraham thinking of all in S&G or only his relatives…do JWs today think that way?Would Jehovah have listened to Abraham's pleas if they were out of harmony with his own view? Obviously not. As 'Jehovah's friend," Abraham apparently knew and shared His viewpoint.
Remember though that Abraham had contact with God without going through a faithful and discreet slave class.
Jonah's View of People -A Stark ContrastThe prophet Jonah was told to proclaim that the badness (evidently not homosexuality) of that city had 'come up before Jehovah.' "Only forty days more (how many days did S&G get?) , and Nineveh will be overthrown." At that, "the men of Nineveh began to put faith in God, and they proceeded to proclaim a fast and to put on sackcloth." Even the king of Nineveh repented.-Jonah 3:1-6. That was quite a contrast to the response in Sodom! How did Jehovah view the repentant Ninevites? Jonah 3:10 says: "The true God felt regret over the calamity that he had spoken of causing to them; and he did not cause it." Jehovah "felt regret" in the sense that he altered his dealings with the Ninevites because they changed their ways. The divine standards did not change, but Jehovah changed his decision upon seeing that the Ninevites were repentant.
But were the Ninevites living in a judgment period? Would they have been destroyed forever if they had not listened? By comparing this situation with S&G, apples and oranges are being compared.When Jonah realized that Nineveh would not be destroyed, did he see things from Jehovah's viewpoint? No. "You, for your part, felt sorry for the bottle-gourd plant... And, for my part, ought I not to feel sorry for Nineveh the great city, in which there exist more than one hundred and twenty thou-sand men who do not at all know the difference between their right hand and their left, besides many domestic animals?" Jonah's response to God's statement about feeling sorry for the people of Nineveh is not recorded. Yet, it is evident that the prophet adjusted his view of the repentant Ninevites. We draw that conclusion from the fact that Jehovah used him to record this inspired account.
And how many times does the WTS draw conclusions regarding things that are not recorded because it is "evident"? Is that adding to the Scriptures?
Which Attitude Do You Have?How would Abraham view the people living in this world that is soon to be destroyed? He most likely would be concerned about those who have not yet heard the "good news of the kingdom (yes all 6 billion of them). Abraham repeatedly pleaded with God regarding possible righteous ones in Sodom. Are we personally concerned about people who would reject the ways of this world under Satan's control if given the opportunity to repent and serve God?
Non-JWs are just a large, doomed faceless group to the JWs in the door to door work. And we already know that they know they don’t have to contact everyone to please God or is that the WTS and guarantee their personal salvation.It is proper to yearn for the end of wickedness (but not the wicked, right!) (Habakkuk 1:2, 3) Yet, it is so easy to develop a Jonah like attitude, being unconcerned about the welfare of people who might repent. (and whose fault is this?) This is especially true if we keep meeting individuals who are apathetic, antagonistic, or even belligerent when we call at their homes with the Kingdom message. We may lose sight of those Jehovah will yet gather out of this wicked system of things.Moreover; Jehovah will fulfill all his promises and purposes in his own time. Translation: after 124 years plus
Another disclaimer: Until this wicked system of things is removed during the great day of Jehovah, will we be patiently waiting, busily involved in doing his will? We do not know the details about the extent of the preaching work yet to be accomplished before the arrival of Jehovah's day, but we do know that the good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth to God's satisfaction.
Our View Made Evident by Our ActionsPerhaps we live in a community where the preaching work is not well received and we are not in a position to move to where there is a greater need for Kingdom proclaimers. Suppose ten can be found in our territory before the end comes. Do we feel that those ten are worth searching for?
Think of this, if a JW had lost their car keys how hard would they look compared to those ten?By studying the Bible and carefully reading articles in The Watchtower and Awake!, we can gain greater insight into this world's plight. In turn, this can heighten our appreciation for the need to preach the good news. Moreover, appreciative use of the Bible-based material provided through "the faithful and discreet slave" can add to our persuasiveness in frequently worked territory.
Notice that the Bible is not to be read carefully, only the WTS publications. And yes, push those publications in the territory. Leave that Bible in your book bag.Our concern for those who may yet respond to the life-giving Bible message moves us to consider various times and ways to approach householders in our ministry. Do we find that many are not at home when we call? If so, we may be able to increase the effectiveness of our ministry by varying the times and places of our witnessing activity. Fishermen go fishing when they can catch fish. Can we do something similar in our spiritual fishing work?
Yes, even the WTS is getting the drift that the rank and file aren’t trying very hard. Why should they? Whether they bring in one, two or none, they will have everlasting life in paradise.Why not try evening witnessing and telephone witnessing, where that is legal? Some have found that parking lots, truck stops, gas stations, and stores are productive 'fishing grounds.'
Can you imagine suggesting the above? You’d get laughed out of the KH. I knew one brother who tried to get evening witnessing off the ground. Week after week no one showed up, including elders and pioneers.Millions (billions is more accurate) have not yet heard the Kingdom message.
Vomit alert************In addition to our preaching, can we show concern for such people even without leaving home? Well, do we know missionaries or full-time ministers who are serving abroad? If so, we might well write them letters that show our appreciation for their work. How could that show concern for people in general? Our letters of encouragement and commendation could strengthen the missionaries to stay in their assignment, thus helping many more people to come to a knowledge of the truth.
But more importantly, send in the cash to the WTS, another way to show concern without leaving home.Another way to show concern is by making monetary donations to the worldwide work of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Would You Be Able to Move?Those who have moved to places where the need for Kingdom proclaimers is greater have been blessed for their self-sacrificing efforts.
This implies that the ones who stay are not self-sacrificing.While remaining in their own homeland, however, other Witnesses of Jehovah have learned another language so as to be of spiritual help to immigrants.For example, seven Witnesses helping Chinese people in a city in Texas, U.S.A., welcomed 114 individuals to the observance of the Lord's Evening Meal in 2001.
This must be a best case scenario. I know of some who live in a larger city with a large Asian and Hispanic population. Yet there is no Asian congregation (only 2 baptized in the last 15 years) and only 1 congregation where statistics say there should be 3 (per the CO).Perhaps you and your family feel that you are in a position to move to a place where the need for Kingdom preachers is greater.
And where is that? Mostly in countries where the work is proscribed: China, Muslim countries. Most places don’t need preachers but need "qualified" men to take on the administrative duties outlined by the WTS for congregations. Single sisters are not desired…only single brothers, Ministerial Training School, e.g.'Would I be able to support my family? Can I get an appropriate visa? Do I already speak the language of the country, or am I willing to learn it? Have I thought about the climate and the culture? Could I really be "a strengthening aid" and not a burden to fellow believers in that land?'
Yes, don’t expect the "WTS" to take care of you. I know of a family that moved to a foreign clime and one child contract a disease that left them permanently disabled. Did the WTS reach out the hand of Christian kindness? What do you think?One Christian who has been involved in the construction of Kingdom Halls in Japan learned that there was a need for skilled workers to build a place of worship in Paraguay. Being single and having youthful vigor, he moved to that country and worked for eight months as the sole full-time worker on the project. During his stay, he learned Spanish and conducted home Bible studies . He could see the need for Kingdom proclaimers in the country. Although he returned to Japan, he soon went back to Paraguay and helped to gather people into that very Kingdom Hall. (I’m willing to bet he met a beautiful senorita that proved to be the real attraction.) God will see to it that the preaching work is carried out fully, in harmony with his will. Today, he is speeding up the final spiritual harvest. (Isaiah 60:22) As we await Jehovah's day, then, let us zealously share in the harvest work and view people as our loving God views them.
Are you doing your zealous share? Do you see the work speeding up?
So the WTS is chastising the publishers for not being willing to put forth the same effort to look for the deserving compared to their car keys.
9/15/94 WT p. 18
To ‘search out deserving ones,’ we need to persevere and to view matters positively. (Matthew 10:11) For example, if we were to misplace our keys, we might retrace our steps and search in the various places where we had been. We might find them only after doing this repeatedly. Let us similarly persevere in searching out sheeplike ones.
My illustration: If you threw a million dollar diamond into a pile of manure how hard would you look?
Look for the fish where and WHEN they can be found.
Fishermen go fishing when they can catch fish. Can we do something similar in our spiritual fishing work?
But WHY when salvation does not depend on how many or if a fish is even caught.
A fisher of fish knows every day that their food and livelihood depends on finding fish. Do JWs?
Next week is an introductory article on the importance of being truthful. Now I wonder why that topic is coming up?