Comments You Will Not Hear at the 8-21-05 WT Study (July 15, 2005 magazine issue date)
Review comments will be in redWT material from today's WT will be in black
Quotes from other sources will be in quotes boxes
"KEEP PROVING WHAT YOU YOURSELVES ARE"
"Keep testing whether you are in the faith, keep proving what you yourselves
are."-2 CORINTHIANS 13:5.
Did you notice that the first study article in this issue does not begin until page 20? In the July 15 issue it is page 13 and last week the second article started on page 21? Why so many articles before this week?
True Teachings: When Can You Find Them? (designed for non-JWs, notice how attributions are more carefully documented in this and the next article except for unknown university professor on page 7)
True Teachings That Please God? (carrot on page 6--everlasting life)
"My Help is From Jehovah"--Single and Contented in Jehovah's Service--"we are standing firm. We don't even want to be in the company of unbelieving men or women." Makes employment difficult, eh?
"Clear Light" on the Bible from Russia's Oldest Library--Yehwah, Yehwih, and Yehowah--then WTS segues into Jehovah without any connection. So are they JWs or Yehwah's witnesses?
"Jehovah's Sword and Gideon's"--We cannot expect such miracles today. And being imperfect, however, Gideon does not always exercise good judgment. (Judges 8:27) Yet he has not become rank idolator, for the Scriptures reckon him a man with fiath in Jehovah (Hebrews 11:32-34)
"The Shrewd One Considers His Steps"--In spiritual matters, a prudent person does not just accept the word of religious leaders. He 'tests' the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.'--1 John 4:1.
For those who have access to a complete WT for this week, can you see how these articles prepare the WT mind for what lies in the WT study article, "Keep Proving What You Yourselves Are"?
START OF ARTICLE
A MAN traveling through the countryside comes to a fork in the road.
Uncertain about which way will lead him to his destination, he asks
passersby for directions but receives conflicting information. Confused, he
is unable to go on. Having doubts about our beliefs can have a similar
effect on us. Such uncertainty can interfere with our ability to make
decisions, causing us to be unsure of the way in which to walk.
Asks passersby for directions but receives conflicting information
Sounds like the KH. Have you done/did that? Talked to 2 or more elders separately and received conflicting information as to: Should you go to a church for a funeral of a non-JW parent, to the secular wedding of a JW to a non-JW, etc.., only to find out later that your decision has led to your losing your 'privileges' in the congregation?
Unable to go on; interfere with our ability to make decisions, unsure of the way in which to walk
Do you find JWs cannot move without asking elders about every step of the 'way in which to walk'?
2 A situation arose that could have had such an effect on some people in the
Christian congregation in first-century Corinth, Greece. "Superfine
apostles" were challenging the authority of the apostle Paul, saying: "His
letters are weighty and forceful, but his presence in person is weak and his
speech contemptible." (2 Corinthians 10:7-12; 11:5, 6) Such a viewpoint may
have caused some in the Corinthian congregation to be unsure of how to walk.
Superfine apostles--how many apostles were there in the Bible? The remaining original 11, Matthias selected by lots to replace Judas, and Paul who seemed to be the real replacement selected by Jesus. Who were these men? People already in the congregation thus organization, also referred to as 'false apostles.' Did David find it unthinkable to murder the man whose wife he had stolen?
w00 6/15 p. 13 Honor the Ones Given Authority Over You (VOMIT ALERT)
There are many examples in the Bible of those who honored individuals in authority, even when these misused or abused their authority. David was one such fine example. King Saul, under whom he served, became jealous of David's achievements and sought to kill him. (1 Samuel 18:8-12; 19:9-11; 23:26) Still, though having opportunities to kill Saul, David said: "It is unthinkable, on my part, from Jehovah's standpoint, to thrust my hand out against the anointed of Jehovah!
Even if something is not handled just the way it should be, should we not have faith in Jesus Christ as the living Head of the Christian congregation? Is he not aware of what is happening in his own worldwide congregation? Should we not respect his way of handling the situation and recognize his ability to control matters? Really, 'who are we to be judging our neighbor?' (James 4:12; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18) Why not bring your concerns before Jehovah in your prayers?
Because of human imperfection, difficulties or problems may arise. There may even be times when an elder errs, causing some to be disturbed. Our acting hastily under such circumstances will not change the situation. It may only serve to aggravate the problem. Those having spiritual discernment will wait on Jehovah to set things straight and administer whatever discipline may be needed in his own time and way.-2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 12:7-11.
Is that how Paul was handling it, these superfine apostles? Was he just letting Jehovah take care of it or was he writing to the congregations and stirring people up against these men, appointed too by holy spirit, but imperfect???
Challenging the authority of the apostle Paul--challenging the authority of the WTS is causing some in the organization to be unsure how to walk?
3 Paul founded the congregation in Corinth during his visit there in 50 C.E.
He stayed in Corinth "a year and six months, teaching among them the word of
God." Indeed, "many of the Corinthians that heard began to believe and be
baptized." (Acts 18:5-11) Paul was keenly interested in
the spiritual welfare of his fellow believers in Corinth. Moreover, the
Corinthians had written Paul for advice on certain matters. (1 Corinthians
7:1) So he gave them very fine admonition.
The Corinthians had written Paul for advice on certain matters--proof positive that it is all right to write to the CO when a problem in the congregation is not being addressed.
*** w96 6/15 pp. 28-29 "Recognize Men of That Sort" ***
No doubt worried about the welfare of their brothers in such a troubled spiritual climate, Achaicus, Fortunatus, and Stephanas undertook a journey to visit the apostle Paul in Ephesus. In addition to such disturbing news, it is possible that they were carrying to Paul a letter from the congregation containing questions on these issues. (1 Corinthians 7:1; 16:17) Evidently, these three brothers were not the only ones who were concerned about the situation. Paul, in fact, had already received news from "those of the house of Chloe" that dissensions existed among congregation members. (1 Corinthians 1:11) Doubtless, the report of the messengers helped Paul to obtain a clearer understanding of the situation, to decide what counsel to offer, and how to answer the questions raised.
Try doing this today!
4 "Keep testing whether you are in the faith," Paul wrote, "keep proving
what you yourselves are." (2 Corinthians 13:5) Applying this counsel would
have protected those brothers in Corinth from being uncertain about the way
in which to walk. It can do the same for us today. How, then, can we follow
Paul's advice? How can we test whether we are in the faith? And what is
involved in proving what we ourselves are?
Protected this brothers--from being uncertain how to walk--Who tests whether we are in the faith? We ourselves or the elders and others? What is "the faith"?
"Keep Testing Whether You Are in the Faith"
5 In a test, usually a subject or an object is tested, and there is a
measure or a standard according to which the test is performed. In this
case, the test subject is not the faith--the body of beliefs we have
embraced. We as individuals are the subject. To perform the test, we have a
perfect standard. A melody composed by the psalmist David states: "The law
of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul. The reminder of Jehovah is
trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise. The orders from Jehovah are
upright, causing the heart to rejoice; the commandment of Jehovah is clean,
making the eyes shine." (Psalm 19:7, 8) The Bible contains Jehovah's perfect
laws and upright orders, his trustworthy reminders and clean commandments.
The message found therein is the ideal standard for testing.
Measure or standard--body of beliefs--law of Jehovah--orders from Jehovah--commandment from Jehovah--the Bible
Not the WT publications! No matter how "Bible-based" they claim to be, the message can only be found, read, understood in the Bible, and through the use of several Bibles.
6 Concerning that God-inspired message, the apostle Paul says: "The word of
God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and
pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their
marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart."
(Hebrews 4:12) Yes, God's word can test our heart-what we really are on the
inside. How can we make this sharp and powerful message come to life for us?
The psalmist leaves no doubt as to what this entails. He sang: "Happy is the
man ...[whose] delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in
an undertone day and night." (Psalm 1:1, 2) "The law of Jehovah" is found in
God's written Word, the Bible. We must take pleasure in reading Jehovah's
Word. Indeed, we must take time to read in it in an undertone, or to
meditate on it. As we do this, we need to expose ourselves -the test
subjects-to what is written there.
The word of God is alive and exerts power...able to discern thoughs and intentions of the heart
Test our heart--not the hearts of others.
Law of Jehovah is found in God's written Word, the Bible--not in the WTS which they admit is written by infallible humans
We must take time--to read in it--meditate on it--expose ourselves--I wonder how much time JWs spend in purely Bible reading, not snippets or verses here and there, but chunks of it in context?
7 The foremost way of testing whether we are in the faith, then, is to read
and meditate on God's Word and examine how our conduct measures up to what
we learn. We can be glad that we have much help to understand God's Word.
THE FOREMOST WAY OF TESTING WHETHER WE ARE IN THE FAITH, THEN, IS TO READ AND MEDITATE ON GOD'S WORD
WE CAN BE GLAD TO WE HAVE MUCH HELP TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S WORD
*** w94 10/1 p. 8 The Bible-A Book Meant to Be Understood ***
Even as Bible prophecy pointed forward to the Messiah, it also directs us to the close-knit body of anointed Christian Witnesses that now serve as the faithful and discreet slave. It helps us to understand the Word of God. All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.-John 6:68.
8 Jehovah has provided teachings and instruction through the publications of
"the faithful and discreet slave," which explain the Scriptures. (Matthew
24:45) For example, consider the box entitled "Questions for Meditation" at
the end of most chapters in the book Draw Close to Jehovah.* (* Published by
Jehovah's Witnesses.) What fine opportunities for personal reflection this
feature of the book provides! Numerous subjects discussed in our journals,
The Watchtower and Awake!, also help us to test whether we are in the faith.
Regarding the articles on the book of Proverbs in recent issues of The
Watchtower, one Christian woman said: "I find these articles very practical.
They help me examine whether my speech, conduct, and attitude really measure
up to Jehovah's righteous standards."
JEHOVAH HAS PROVIDED TEACHINGS AND INSTRUCTION THROUGH THE PUBLICATIONS OF "THE FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE," WHICH EXPLAINS THE SCRIPTURES (MATTHEW 24:45)
Published by Jehovah's Witnesses
*** w64 8/1 pp. 465-466 Loyalty to Jehovah's Organization ***
For over eighty years the "faithful and discreet slave" has published the Watchtower magazine, now in 66 languages and with over 4,250,000 copies printed each issue.
*** g91 10/8 p. 13 Why Study the Bible? ***
Those answers come to us through the channel of 'the faithful and discreet anointed slave' class, which uses the Watchtower Society as its publishing agency.-Matthew 24:45-47; 2 Peter 1:19.
*** w96 1/15 p. 23 Comfort and Encouragement-Gems of Many Facets ***
. The Watchtower and Awake! magazines as well as the books, brochures, and tracts that the Watch Tower Society publishes have brought comfort to countless readers.
Numerous subjects discussed in our journals, The Watchtower and Awake, also help us to test whether we are in the faith--Not the Bible?!
9 We also receive abundant direction and encouragement at congregation
meetings, assemblies, and conventions. These are among the spiritual
provisions that God has made for those concerning whom Isaiah prophesied:
"It must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house
of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains,
and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it all the
nations must stream. And many peoples will certainly go and say: `Come, you
people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, . . . and he will
instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths."' (Isaiah 2:2, 3)
It certainly is a blessing to have such instruction about Jehovah's ways.
Direction at congregation meetings, assemblies and conventions--but is the 'mountain of Jehovah' found there?
Jehovah's ways--Where's Jesus
10 Not to be overlooked is the counsel from those who have spiritual
qualifications, including Christian elders. Concerning them, the Bible says:
"Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he is aware of it,
you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit
of mildness, as you each keep an eye on yourself, for fear you also may be
tempted." (Galatians 6:1) How grateful we can be for this provision for our
Those who have spiritual qualfications, including Christian elders--and who are the others having spiritual qualifications?
Grateful for readjustment--a euphemism for a judcial hearing alone before 3 men
11 Our publications, Christian meetings, appointed men-these are wonderful
provisions from Jehovah. Testing whether we are in the faith, though,
requires self-examination. So when we are reading our publications or
listening to Scriptural admonition, we need to ask ourselves: `Does this
describe me? Do I do this? Am I adhering to the body of Christian beliefs?'
Our attitude toward the information we receive by means of these provisions
also has a bearing on our spiritual condition. "A physical man does not
receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him,"
says the Bible. "However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things." (1
Corinthians 2:14, 15) Should we not strive to maintain a positive, spiritual
view of what we read in our books, magazines, and other publications and of
what we hear at our meetings and from the elders?
Provisions from Jehovah--Where's Jesus.
Requires self-examination--with the help of WTS publications, meetings and elders though
We need to ask ourselves--does this describe me--don't worry an elder will let you know, or his wife behind your back.
Am I adhering to the body of Christian beliefs--JW beliefs only as interpreted by the FDS/GB/WTS.
*** w82 6/15 p. 9 Keep Pursuing Spiritual Goals ***
What about Christian maturity-genuinely accepting the whole range of Christian truth, no longer doubting, questioning, challenging every new thought?
*** w86 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
Approved association with Jehovah's Witnesses requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah's Witnesses.
"Keep Proving What You Yourselves Are"
12 Proving what we ourselves are involves self-evaluation. Yes, we can be in
the truth, but what is the level of our spirituality? Proving what we are
involves giving proof of maturity and of genuine appreciation for spiritual
Self-evaluation or evaluation by the elders, the CO, and others in the congregation?
In the truth--only JWs
What is the level of our spirituality?--spirituality of MS and elders is measure by how close they are to the national average of hours.
Proving what we are involves giving proof of ...genuine appreciation for spiritual provisions.
*** w95 1/15 p. 27 Assembling With Those Who Fear God ***
Our presence at meetings demonstrates our respect for God and his spiritual provisions.
13 What proof of Christian maturity can we look for in ourselves? The
apostle Paul wrote: "Solid food belongs to mature people, to those who
through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right
and wrong." (Hebrews 5:14) We give proof of maturity by training our
perceptive powers. Just as certain muscles in the body of an athlete need to
be trained through repeated use before he can excel at his sport, our
perceptive powers have to be trained through use in applying Bible
Blurb on page 23: Do you know the foremost way of testing whether you are in
Training our perceptive powers--doesn't that imply making your own decision.
Applying Bible principles--as interpreted by the WTS.
*** w96 9/1 p. 22 Living by the Law of the Christ ***
For example, a Christian may wish to consult with an elder about an important matter that is not covered by some direct Scriptural reference or that calls for balancing different Christian principles. Perhaps he has been offered a promotion at work that has a larger salary but greater responsibility. Or the unbelieving father of a young Christian may be making demands on his son that could affect his ministry. In such situations the elder refrains from giving a personal opinion. Rather, he will likely open the Bible and help the individual to reason on the relevant principles. He may use the Watch Tower Publications Index, if available, to locate what "the faithful and discreet slave" has said on the subject in the pages of The Watchtower and other publications. (Matthew 24:45) What if the Christian thereafter makes a decision that does not seem wise to the elder? If the decision does not directly transgress Bible principles or laws, the Christian will find that the elder recognizes the individual's right to make such a decision, knowing that "each one will carry his own load." The Christian should remember, however, that "whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap."-Galatians 6:5, 7.
14 Before we can train our perceptive powers, though, we must acquire
knowledge. For this, diligent personal study is essential. When we regularly
engage in personal study-especially of the deeper things of God's Word-our
perceptive powers are improved. Over the years, many deep subjects have been
discussed in The Watchtower. How do we respond when we come across articles
that discuss deeper truths? Do we tend to shy away from them just because
they contain "some things hard to understand"? (2 Peter 3:16) On the
contrary, we put forth extra effort to understand what is being
Hard to understand--hard to understand the WTS explanation that keeps changing
Sodom and Gomorrah resurrected?
Christ's presence, 1874 or 1914?
GT started in 1914 and put on hold in 1918 or future?
Separating of sheep and goats, currently going on or future?
People alive in 1914 will live to see the end or will they?
Transplants okay or not?
Blurb on page 24: We give proof of our Christian maturity by exercising our
15 What if personal study is difficult for us? It is vital that we endeavor
to acquire or cultivate a taste for it.* (* For helpful suggestions on how
to study, see pages 27-32 of the book Benefit From Theocratic Ministry
School Education, published by Jehovah's Witnesses.) (1 Peter 2:2) Growing
to maturity requires that we learn to draw nourishment from solid food, the
deeper truths of God's Word. Otherwise, our perceptive powers will
necessarily remain limited. Giving proof of maturity, however, involves more
than acquiring perceptive powers. In daily life we must put to use the
knowledge that we gain through diligent personal study.
Acquire or cultivate a taste for it
*** w98 6/1 p. 11 'Go On Walking in Union With Christ' ***
Reading the entire Bible might be our first goal in this regard. Then there are more specific topics of study, such as the ransom sacrifice of Christ, the various covenants that Jehovah made with his people, or some of the prophetic messages in the Bible.
16 The proof of what we ourselves are is also found in our expressions of
appreciation for the truth-our works of faith. Using a powerful illustration
to describe this area of self-evaluation, the disciple James says: "Become
doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false
reasoning. For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, this one
is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at
himself, and off he goes and immediately forgets what sort of man he is. But
he who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and who persists
in it, this man, because he has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer
of the work, will be happy in his doing it." James 1:22-25.
Proof--our appreciation for the truth (the organization)--our works of faith
*** w02 10/1 p. 22 Cultivate Obedience as the End Draws Near ***
So let us continue to appreciate Jehovah's wonderful theocratic organization and what it provides. In this way, we demonstrate our submission to Shiloh, who will reward all his obedient subjects with everlasting life.
*** w98 9/1 p. 11 Keep Safe as Part of God's Organization ***
A person who is free to attend such meetings but neglects to do so lacks appreciation for his place in God's organization.-
17 James is saying: `Peer into the mirror of God's word, and evaluate
yourself. Persist in doing this, and scrutinize yourself in the light of
what you find in God's word. Then, do not quickly forget what you have seen.
Make the needed corrections.' Following this advice may at times present a
Evalute yourself--or run to the elders?
God's word--WTS 'Bible-based' publications?
Make the needed corrections--as the elders nitpick your length of your skirt or the length of your sideburns.
18 Take, for example, the requirement to share in the Kingdom-preaching
work. "With the heart one exercises faith for righteousness," wrote Paul,
"but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation." (Romans
10:10) Making public declaration for salvation with our mouth requires a
number of adjustments. Participating in the preaching work does not come
naturally to most of us. Being zealous at it and giving the work the place
that it deserves in our lives requires even more changes and sacrifices.
(Matthew 6:33) But once we become doers of this God-given work, we are happy
because of the praise that it brings to Jehovah. Are we, then, zealous
Requirement to share in Kingdom-preaching--requires adjustments--which JWs have slowed down in making.
Does not come naturally to most of us--most of us, that what is the motivation?
Giving the work the place it deserves in our lives--and who evaluates that you or the elders? Sister, you're single and have few responsibilities, we think you could pioneer.
*** w87 2/1 p. 15 Doing Our Utmost to Declare the Good News ***
"A FEW years ago, many of us thought that only those with special circumstances could pioneer," wrote a pioneer, or full-time minister, in Japan. "It seems we were wrong. We are learning that only those with special circumstances cannot pioneer."
And where is Japan now? 0 percent increasing and combining congregations.
19 How inclusive should our works of faith be? Paul states: "The things that
you learned as well as accepted and heard and saw in connection with me,
practice these; and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9)
Proof of what we are is given by our practicing what we have learned,
accepted, heard, and seen-the full scope of Christian dedication and
discipleship. "This is the way. Walk in it," instructs Jehovah through the
prophet Isaiah.-Isaiah 30:21.
Blurb on page 25: We prove what we are by becoming 'not forgetful hearers,
but doers of the word'
Proof of what we are is given by our practicing what we have learned--learned from the WTS publications, only through the WTS, only the Bible as interpreted by the WTS.
20 Men and women who are diligent students of God's Word, who are zealous
preachers of the good news, who are flawless in their integrity, and who are
loyal supporters of the Kingdom are a great blessing to the congregation.
Their presence adds stability to the congregation they associate with. They
prove to be very helpful, especially because there are so many new ones to
care for. When we take to heart Paul's advice to `keep testing whether we
are in the faith, keep proving what we ourselves are,' we too become a good
influence on others.
Men and women--there was a time when it would say only brothers and had to mentally read in "sisters."
diligent, zealous, flawless, loyal, great, stability, helpful--evidently too many JWs don't fit these adjectives.
Many new ones--ha!
Become a good influence on others--teach them to turn in phantom hours too. Quickly highlight the paragraphs in the WT as the ride to the meeting.
Take Delight in Doing God's Will
21 "To do your will, 0 my God, I have delighted," sang King David of ancient
Israel, "and your law is within my inward parts." (Psalm 40:8) David took
pleasure in doing God's will. Why? Because Jehovah's law was in David's
heart. David was not uncertain about the way in which to walk.
David took pleasure in doing God's will--except when he wanted to have sex with another man's wife.
David was not uncertain about the way in which to walk--except when he had that woman's husband killed to cover up his adultery. Except when he took a census against God's wishes and 70,000 people died, but David lived.
22 When God's law is within our inward parts, we are not unsure of the way
in which to walk. We take delight in doing God's will. By all means, then,
let us 'exert ourselves vigorously' as we serve Jehovah from the heart.-Luke
Serve Jehovah--Where's Jesus.
This is the introductory article and there are quite a few 'two' punches next week.
Yes, money is a subject again, giving more to the WTS which is tied into eternal life.
They bring in mentioning the donation arrangement at the door.
Paying our debts--and we owe a debt to the Society.
Use WTS canned presentations to be more productive--see that is why things are slowing down, the rank and file are using the tired old presentations.
Follow up on the interest--and promptly--what a novel idea!
Learn how our dress shows our faith.
Do You Recall?
- How can we test whether we are in the faith?
- What is involved in proving what we ourselves are?
- What proof can we give of Christian maturity?
- How do our works of faith help us to evaluate what we are?
1, 2. (a) How can uncertainty about our beliefs affect us? (b) What
situation in first-century Corinth may have caused some to be unsure of the
which to walk?
3, 4. Why should Paul's admonition to the Corinthians be of interest to us?
5, 6. What standard do we have for testing whether we are in the faith, and
why is that the ideal standard?
7. What is the foremost way of testing whether we are in the faith?
8. How can the publications of "the faithful and discreet slave" help us to
test whether we are in the faith?
9, 10. What provisions of Jehovah help us to keep testing whether we are in
11. Testing whether we are in the faith calls for what?
12. What does proving what we ourselves are involve?
13. According to Hebrews 5:14, what serves as proof of our maturity?
14, 15. Why should we put forth diligent effort to study the deeper things
of God's Word?
16, 17. What admonition does the disciple James give about becoming "doers
of the word"?
18. Why does following James' counsel present a challenge?
19. What should our works of faith include?
20. What type of individuals are a great blessing to the congregation?
21, 22. How can we take delight in doing God's will?