How Well Do You Know Jehovah? – Study 2019/51
“Those knowing your name will trust in you; you will never abandon those seeking you, O Jehovah.” – Psalm 9:10
[From ws 12/19 p.16 Study Article 51: February 17 – February 23, 2020]
To give you food for thought as to whether the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s people on earth, we would like to suggest you read this article from the archives of the site below which discusses highly pertinent information regarding this topic.
This is highlighted because there are a couple of places where the claim is made by word and context that the members of the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses are God’s people. Is this true? The paragraphs are 4 & 6.
There is good advice in paragraph 3 when it says, “We need to spend time learning about Jehovah and his wonderful qualities. Only then can we begin to understand what motivates him to speak and to act. That will help us to discern whether he approves of our opinions, decisions, and actions”.
However, the incompetence or deliberate mistake of the writer of the Watchtower article comes shortly thereafter in Paragraph 5, which states “When he was about 40 years old, Moses chose to associate with God’s people, the Hebrews, rather than to be known as “the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”. This appears to be a deliberate misstatement to try to make the point the Organization desires, that of suggesting we should join or stay with the Organization which claims to be God’s modern-day people.
What is wrong? Jehovah had made a covenant with Abraham. Genesis 17:8 shows that it was “And I will carry out my covenant between me and you and your seed after you according to their generations for a covenant to time indefinite, to prove myself God to you and to your seed after you”.
God had decided he wanted Abraham’s offspring to be his people, but Abraham’s offspring had not yet agreed to be his people. This did not happen until the nation of Israel was at Mount Sinai. Exodus 19:5-6 confirms this when it relates “And now if YOU will strictly obey my voice and will indeed keep my covenant, then YOU will certainly become my special property out of all [other] peoples, because the whole earth belongs to me. 6 And YOU yourselves will become to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the sons of Israel.””. Notice, that at this point, Israel becoming God’s special property was still future.
It is Exodus 24:3 that shows when they accepted to be his people. “Then Moses came and related to the people all the words of Jehovah and all the judicial decisions, and all the people answered with one voice and said: “All the words that Jehovah has spoken we are willing to do”.
Now these events of accepting to be God’s nation took place some 40 years after the time claimed in paragraph 5. However, not only is the timing incorrect. The only information the cited scripture of Hebrews 11:24 tells us is that he refused to be called Pharaoh’s daughter. It says nothing about association. Furthermore, neither does the account of Exodus 2:11-14. It was not until his return as God’s appointed leader at 80 years of age, did he have the opportunity to associate with the Hebrews.
Paragraphs 7-9 reminds us that “Moses continued to learn about Jehovah’s qualities and to do His will”. He saw God’s compassion, power, patience, and humility.
Paragraph 10 tells us “To know Jehovah well, we not only have to learn about his qualities but also have to do his will. Jehovah’s will today is that “all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3, 4) One way we do God’s will is by teaching others about Jehovah”.
What needs emphasizing is that to teach others accurate knowledge we have to take serious steps and research properly to ensure we are teaching accurate truth. Acts 17:11 reminds us of the key, “carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so”. We must also always be “ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU, but doing so together with a mild temper and deep respect.” (1 Peter 3:15). We simply cannot defend the indefendable.
Paragraph 11 claims “we see direct evidence of Jehovah’s compassion when he guides us to those who have the right heart condition. (John 6:44; Acts 13:48)”. This claim is not unique. All Christian religions will be able to and many do, recount events where they claim God guided people to their faith. Either, all these accounts are true, in which case God does not seem bothered as to which Christian religion someone joins, or none of them are true. There is nothing special or unique about the claims of the Organization that sets them apart from other religions in this way.
However, we would not deny Jehovah shows compassion, after all Romans 5:8 reminds us “But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.
Paragraph 11 also claims “We see the power of God’s Word at work as we watch those with whom we study break free from bad habits and begin to put on the new personality. (Col. 3:9, 10)”. Sadly, for the majority, the new personality appears to be a veneer of one, rather than any real change. How many fellow Witnesses do you know are working regularly on one or more of the fruits of the spirit? That seems to be forgotten once baptism takes place. We also need to pause and think about ourselves, rather than just pointing the finger. Are we working on these vital aspects of our Christian lives, or are we also victims of the constant propaganda that preaching is the most important thing and Christian qualities get put in second place and then quietly forgotten?
The same paragraph also claims “And we see proof of God’s patience as he gives many in our territory numerous opportunities to learn about him and be saved.—Rom. 10:13-15”. 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us the reason God is patient is because “he is patient with YOU because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance”. This also means those Witnesses who truly love God and endeavour to practice true Christian principles also have the time and opportunity to wake up to the lies and manipulation of the Organization.
Even in this otherwise encouraging paragraph (13), which says “What is the lesson for us? No matter how long we have been serving Jehovah, we should never take our relationship with him for granted. One of the most obvious ways we can prove that we value our friendship with God is by talking to him in prayer”, can you spot the subtle misinformation? As we have pointed out many times, the Organization hides the real hope from its followers. What did Jesus say in Matthew 5:9 in the Sermon on the Mount? “Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called ‘sons of God”.
Jesus warned against stopping others from entering into the Kingdom and becoming children of God, in Matthew 23:13 when he said “Woe to YOU, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because YOU shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for YOU yourselves do not go in, neither do YOU permit those on their way in to go in”.
Paragraph 16 is beneficial without any errors. It correctly says: “David was moved to write: “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; the skies above proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps. 19:1, 2) When David reflected on the way humans were made, he saw Jehovah’s wonderful wisdom at work. (Ps. 139:14) As David tried to comprehend Jehovah’s works, he felt humbled.—Ps. 139:6”
To endeavour to share with our readers some of these wonderful faith inspiring facts about the amazing universe we live in, we will be publishing a series of articles highlighting scientific discoveries which declare the glory of God.
Paragraph 18 is all about how David believed that Jehovah had helped him on many occasions. This is then taken as a precedent that Jehovah will help us in the same way today. What is not thought about and pointed out is that David had been chosen by God to be the future King of Israel, and in many aspects to be a shadow of Jesus Christ, as well as an ancestor of Jesus thereby giving him the legal right to be king.
We therefore cannot just expect Jehovah to support us in the same way, as in general the outworking of his grand purpose for the earth is not anywhere as dependent upon us, (if at all), compared with David.
He may do, and if so, we should be grateful, but we should not expect it.
Finally, having made the point a number of times that we can friends of God, it then confuses the issue by giving a mixed message. In paragraph 16 it says “Then each new day will be full of lessons about your loving Father. (Rom. 1:20)”. Then in paragraph 21 it concludes the article by stating “When we model our personality after his, we prove that we are his children.—Read Ephesians 4:24; 5:1.”.
Is this to try to confound reviewers of the Watchtower articles, or is it to confuse the rank and file witnesses, by trying to have it both ways? For whatever reason, it is a contradictory message. The Organization cannot sit on the fence and claim it both ways.
In terms of a relationship we can only be one or the other, we are either sons (children of God) or friends. Even if they try to argue that you can be best friends with your father, the reality is that the closest relationship and the one that would and should take first place is the familial relationship, that of being a son or daughter, which have the permanent relationship. You can stop being friends with someone, but you are forever the son or daughter of your father.
In conclusion a very mixed study article this week. Some good points, some confusing points, and some clearly wrong points.