Young Men – How Can You Gain the Trust of Others? – Study 2021/09
“You have your company of young men just like dewdrops.” Psalm 110:3
[Study 9 from ws 3/21 p.2, May 3 – May 9, 2021]
Write Lie, Repeat. Write Lie, Repeat. Write Lie, Repeat.
That seems to be a theme running through this Watchtower Study article. Its aim appears to be trying to keep young men on the pyramid scheme treadmill, trying to gain supposed privileges. Will young men really be able to gain the trust of others by following the advice offered in the study article? However, there are three common false teachings perpetuated through this study article. We need to take a close look at each so that we will not be seriously misled by them. Let us review each in turn.
Repeated Lie 1: The implication that we should settle for being friends of God, instead of being accepted as sons and daughters.
Paragraph 5 states “Jehovah was not only David’s God but also his Friend—his close Friend. (Read Psalm 25:14.)”. This is intended to bolster the teaching that the great crowd can only be friends of God, rather than sons and daughters. In the 2013 NWT (silver sword edition) Psalm 25:14 reads “Close friendship with Jehovah belongs to those who fear him.”.
However, on Biblehub only 8 of 38 English translations available use the word “friendship”. The majority use the term “the secret of the Lord” or “the secret counsel”. The 1983 NWT Reference Bible uses the word“intimacy”. The Hebrew word in question “sod” carries the meaning of “council, counsel”, and the Brown-Driver Briggs, 2c (on Biblehub) gives the meaning “familiar converse with God, intimacy”.[i] “Familiar” carries the meaning of “a member of the household of a high official” (in this scripture context – Jehovah God), or “an intimate associate”.
A friend is not necessarily an intimate associate or a member of the household of God. But a son or a daughter would normally be an intimate associate of their father (and mother). As Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5:9 “Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called “sons of God””. The Apostle Paul further commented in Galatians 3:26 that “You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus.”.
It was only Abraham whom the Bible calls “Jehovah’s friend” (James 2:23) and the Greek word used there, “Philos”, conveys the meaning of someone dearly loved in a personal, intimate way, not just a friend. (The root phil- conveys personal affection).
Conclusion: Do not accept that we can only be God’s friends. We can all become God’s children.
Repeated Lie 2: “Jehovah trusts these appointed men”.
Paragraph 11 tells us: “You can also get good advice by talking to experienced elders. Jehovah trusts these appointed men, and you can too. Jehovah views them as “gifts” to the congregation. (Ephesian 4:8)”
The writer cannot find or remember even one scripture, not one, that states that “Jehovah trusts these appointed men”. Why not challenge yourself, and also challenge any Witnesses you know, to try and find one? However, there are many scriptures that tell us to do the exact opposite. For example:
- Psalm 118:8 “It is better to take refuge in Jehovah, than to trust in earthling man”.
- Psalm 118:9 “It is better to take refuge in Jehovah, than to trust in nobles.”.
- Psalm 146:3 “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs”.
- Jeremiah 7:4 “Do not put your trust in fallacious words, saying ‘The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!”.
- Jeremiah 17:5 “This is what Jehovah has said: “Cursed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in earthling man …”
Conclusion: There is no evidence in the Bible that Jehovah trusts these appointed men. To the contrary he warns us not to put our trust in men, any men, whatever they claim.
Repeated Lie 3: “Jehovah views them as “gifts” to the congregation. (Ephesian 4:8)
The result of the investigation of Lie 2 leads to the question: Does Jehovah view the elders as “gifts” to the congregation? Is this what Ephesians 4:8 is telling us or is the study article perpetuating a deliberate misinterpretation and mistranslation of Ephesians 4:8. How so? A review of an Interlinear Greek text shows that gifts were given “to his people”, “to men” as in, plural mankind. A look at Biblehub will show that in the English Language, in 46 out of the 46 translations available there, they all read “to”, “unto”. Not one translation has the NWT reading of “in”. Are all these translations wrong and the NWT right? Categorically not on this occasion! Why? Because the context of Ephesians 4:8 shows the following points:
- Paul was discussing how the gifts of holy spirit worked.
- Ephesians 4:11 shows that these gifts included Christians being “apostles, prophets, evangelizers, shepherds, teachers”.
- These gifts were given to all Christians, not just to appointed men. See 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, regarding the gifts of the spirit.
- See also Acts 21:8-9 where we find the gift of prophesying was given to the daughters of Philip the evangeliser. This shows these gifts were given to men and women, not just elders.
Conclusion: Appointed men in the congregation are not the “gifts” spoken of in Ephesians 4:8. The gifts were the gifts of the holy spirit given to all Christians, both male and female.