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Queen Esther

IS THERE PREPARING THE THIRD WORLD WAR?......

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I think the best criteria is mentioned in Zeph. 2:3 :" Before the decree takes effect,Before the day passes by like chaff,Before the burning anger of Jehovah comes upon you,+Before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes upon you,  Seek Jehovah,+ all you meek ones* of the earth,Who observe his righteous decrees.*Seek righteousness, seek meekness.*Probably* you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger.+

Even if we are not with one another and we are alone we must be faithful and loyal to Jehovah. As to uncertainties I really like Bro. Jacksons talk at the annual meeting "Expect the Unexpected".

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1 hour ago, bruceq said:

I am "devoted" to my wife that does not make me an idolater Acts 2:42..

Quite true. At first, I wondered if I should have started out with this same point about what it means to be "devoted" to something. In the original verse, the idea of devotion is just as well translated without even using the word "devotion." It could also have been properly translated: "And they continued steadfastly [proskarteréō] with the instructions of the apostles."  (Acts 2:42) or perhaps, "And they persevered  [proskarteréō] in the instructions of the apostles..."

In fact, the New World Translation does not usually use the word "devoted" when translating this word:

(Acts 1:14) With one purpose all of these were persisting [proskarteréō] in prayer, together with some women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.

(Acts 2:46) 46 And day after day they were in constant [proskarteréō] attendance in the temple with a united purpose,. . .

(Acts 8:13) 13 Simon himself also became a believer, and after being baptized, he continued [proskarteréō] with Philip; and he was amazed at seeing the signs and great powerful works taking place.

(Colossians 4:2) 2 Persevere [proskarteréō] in prayer, remaining awake in it with thanksgiving.

But this is still a very useful point about being "devoted" to your wife, and a wife being "devoted" to her husband. You could even argue that slaves should be devoted to their masters, and children be devoted to their parents. In Acts 2:46 these same brothers we have been talking about were also "devoted" to their attendance at the temple. And in Acts 8:13, Simon, the former magician, was "devoted" to Philip. But the point about "devotion" to one's spouse is especially useful here, specifically because of the immediate context of Ephesians 5 & 6:

(Ephesians 5:21-6:5) 21 Be in subjection to one another in fear of Christ.22 Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord, 23 because a husband is head of his wife just as the Christ is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body. 24 In fact, as the congregation is in subjection to the Christ, wives should also be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for it, . . .  28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself, 29 for no man ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cherishes it, just as the Christ does the congregation, 30 because we are members of his body. . . .  33 Nevertheless, each one of you must love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband. 6 Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord, for this is righteous. . . .  5 Slaves, be obedient to your human masters,. . .

It's very true that this sense of devotion does include a kind of "subjection to the lead" of another person, just as you imply that we should be in a kind of devoted subjection and obedience to imperfect men. But notice one more verse in that same passage that I didn't highlight yet:

(Ephesians 5:21) 21 Be in subjection to one another . . .

In other words, the way in which you should be in subjection to the Governing Body and other elders, for example, is in the same way that each member of the Governing Body should be in subjection to you. That's the way it is with all fellow members of the congregation. We are in subjection to each other.

This is why, even among Jehovah's Witnesses, it should not be possible for us to think of a certain group as if they make up a group of human leaders.

(Luke 22:25-27) 25 But he said to them: “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. 26 You, though, are not to be that way. But let the one who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one taking the lead as the one ministering. 27 For which one is greater, the one dining or the one serving? Is it not the one dining? But I am among you as the one serving.

Our "food" -- our spiritual nourishment -- is doing Jehovah's will with respect to each other; it's especially the encouragement, comfort and support we all give to one another. (John 4:34; Hebrews 10:24,25) This encouragement and spiritual food can include instruction and guidance and counsel and information from the elders, and therefore also from the Governing Body. We respect all that counsel deeply.  But we don't devote ourselves to the Governing Body, except in the same sense that the Governing Body members also devote themselves to you. There is no separate Body within the Body. They are not in the position of a husband over the congregation, and we are not in the position of a wife in the congregation. We are all a part of the body of the whole congregation. But Jesus Christ is the Leader and Head (and Husband) and the rest of us are slaves serving each other. Some are shepherds and stewards, but this does not make those ones our Leader, in any sense.

In fact, as a shepherd, every elder takes on the responsibility of being "God's steward:"

(Titus 1:7)  For as God’s steward, an overseer must be free from accusation. . .

And it is every steward's responsibility to be faithful and discreet:

(1 Corinthians 4:2) In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful.

(Ephesians 5:15-17) 15 So keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons . . . keep perceiving what the will of Jehovah is.

 

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I feel like I rather rudely steered this conversation to one that kept veering back to a problem I had with the words "devotion to imperfect men" which was tied to "devotion to the Governing Body." That wasn't the real gist of the original thread, so I'm thinking all that part of the discussion could be moved to a new thread. If that happens, perhaps the entire February 2017 study article that was referenced could be discussed. But I won't be adding more to that particular subject here.

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4 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

 

Matt.24:34,40 is also applicable, and even Rom.10:13. As for the exact logistics of how exactly this will occur, I'll (hopefully) discuss it with you a little later. :)

Yes, good scriptures, and I cited others in my posts on this thread. My point is that all of us are NOW facing tests of faith, and loyalty to Jehovah's standards, when the GT comes it will be too late then for the leopard to change his spots and we are going to do as we have done so far. The implication of this post is that somehow without the FDS we will not be able to survive the GT. In what way would the FDS play a role in our salvation? Some have likened the FDS to Moses, leading the Israelites through the red sea. Or that we will get some special direction from the FDS which might not make sense. Is this really a correct view? And can it be supported by scripture?  Hence my question HOW will the FDS lead us to survive the GT, because if we are loyal, and approved by Jehovah, isn't that the criterion for salvation? Anyway, if you read my other posts to bruceq you will get the general idea of what I am trying to say....

3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

perhaps the entire February 2017 study article that was referenced could be discussed

Good idea :)

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20 hours ago, Anna said:

Hence my question HOW will the FDS lead us to survive the GT, because if we are loyal, and approved by Jehovah, isn't that the criterion for salvation?

We could spend a great deal of time speculating on scenarios on how we will (if we are there) survive the GT as you term it and what role the FDS will play in leading us during that time. And yet you have highlighted the most important aspect already in saying "if we ARE loyal, and approved by Jehovah..."

In the light of Habbakuk's words at Hab.3:16-17, we need to be prepared for any eventuality during the "great tribulation" that will exceed all others in history. In the 1984 NWT, the rendering of verse 17, in connection with the "day of distress" (v16), contained the phrase "[the] flock may actually be severed from [the] pen.." What does that suggest as a possibility? And yet the WT 15/7/1977 stated in commenting on that verse "And never allow your vision to become dim as regards angelic backing of those holding to their dedication to Jehovah".

Habbakuk goes on to exemplify what our resolve should be in verse 18: "Yet, as for me, I will exult in Jehovah; I will be joyful in the God of my salvation" and indicates Jehovah's response in v19: "The Sovereign Lord Jehovah is my strength; He will make my feet like those of a deer and cause me to tread on high places."

I agree with your statement that we now need to maintain our loyalty, along with Jehovah's approval. And the FDS has had no meagre role in assisting and encouraging us to do this successfully so far. So there is no need to fear that this will cease, or that somehow, the loyalty and approval by Jehovah that we now experience (if genuine) should some how wear off if we find ourselves seemingly "severed from the pen". This regardless of where the anointed are located say, during the time of Gog's attack. 

And neither is there any doubt that Jehovah can and will provide the means for His people to escape at that time, because "Jehovah knows how to rescue people of godly devotion out of trial" 2Pet.2:9.

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Thanks @Eoin Joyce.  Your comment is pretty much my thoughts too. Why I pushed that point about the FDS was because some have the attitude (and opposers love pointing this out) that we believe that we are somehow dependent on the FSD for surviving the great tribulation, i.e. that they play a direct role or special role in our outcome, and that without them we would not be able to make it. This is why I kept harping on about WHAT is the REAL criterion for us surviving. It's not the FDS obviously, although as you have rightly pointed out, their role in helping us to maintain our loyalty to Jehovah has not been small by any means. And as you say, yes, we could spend a lot of time speculating on how the actual scenarios will play out, because we just don't know. But that wasn't really my concern. My concern was that readers don't get the impression that we are putting the FDS above the place they were given by Jesus, or on par with Jesus, because each of them individually are also the domestics, like everyone else in the Christian congregation.

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5 hours ago, Anna said:

each of them individually are also the domestics, like everyone else in the Christian congregation.

As they have stated themselves recently.

In discussing the functioning of the Governing Body, the February 2017 study issue WT says::

"And each member of that body views himself, not as the leader of his fellow brothers, but as one of the “domestics,” fed by the faithful slave and subject to its oversight." P29 para 11.

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9 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

As they have stated themselves recently.

In discussing the functioning of the Governing Body, the February 2017 study issue WT says::

"And each member of that body views himself, not as the leader of his fellow brothers, but as one of the “domestics,” fed by the faithful slave and subject to its oversight." P29 para 11.

They have stated this even earlier than this WT.  Notice concluding paragraph in the letter from the GB in the 'God's Kingdom Rules' book, and also there were a couple more WT articles (I can't remember when) and a talk, which I can't remember either, I just remember noting the reference to the GB as being domestics. Then there was a convention or assembly talk about not imitating men but their fine deeds or something like that. Of course we should know all this anyway, since from the inception of the modern day Christian congregation this has always been the case (although some did put Russell on a pedestal, but he never put himself there). I am not sure when it is that a form of a kind of reverential adoration of the GB started (I am not saying that everyone of us was this way, but many were). Was it with Rutherford? I don't know. But in any case, it is very much part of human nature to "worship" what we see (adoration of the Pope etc. ) and this must be why Jehovah had to make sure that this was correctly directed towards him only (warning regarding idols etc.) I was reading recently a secular article about 'Jehovah' to whom this particular author referred to as a "Hebrew god of war" (Jehovah of armies), but what he found noteworthy was that as opposed to surrounding nations, the Jews had no statue or physical symbol of, as he terms it," this deity". We know why that is.

In any case, it seems that the GB/FDS saw it necessary to remind us that they too are domestics because perhaps of this human tendency to focus more on those we can see, rather than Jesus and Jehovah whom we cannot see.

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On 4/18/2017 at 6:07 PM, Anna said:

GB/FDS saw it necessary to remind us that they too are domestic

I have had the privilege of meeting a few governing body members (or ex) over the years. Bros Schroeder, Franz, Barber, Chitty, Barr I can remember.

One, who gave the public talk in our Kingdom Hall when I was chairman, pulled me aside and asked "Please don't introduce me as a member of the Governiong Body will you?. Just say I am a visiting brother OK?

Bro.Barr I remember particularly. When I was studying first (1972), I visited Bethel UK. He was working on one of those lead type-setting machines in the factory. He pulled me out of the group and spent about 45 minutes explaining and demonstrating the whole process to me. It was really interesting. At lunch, he introduced me to his wife Mildred. Some years later, (1980), I visited Brooklyn Bethel and attended the WT study. At the end, tap tap on my shoulder. Who was it ? Jack Barr just sitting in the row behind. "Hi" he said using my first name. " Which congregation are you in now?". And we carried on the conversation as if no years or service privilege had separated us.

I found these experiences pretty meaningfiul and formative.

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3 hours ago, Gone Fishing said:

Bro.Barr I remember particularly. When I was studying first (1972), I visited Bethel UK. He was working on one of those lead type-setting machines in the factory. He pulled me out of the group and spent about 45 minutes explaining and demonstrating the whole process to me. It was really interesting. At lunch, he introduced me to his wife Mildred. Some years later, (1980), I visited Brooklyn Bethel and attended the WT study. At the end, tap tap on my shoulder. Who was it ? Jack Barr just sitting in the row behind. "Hi" he said using my first name. " Which congregation are you in now?". And we carried on the conversation as if no years or service privilege had separated us.

There was another in Bethel with same first and last name. I know him. He married at Bethel. We later sent him an anniversary card and the GB Barr answered! He wrote a few chatty paragraphs saying where he had been lately. 'Boy he sure gets around for being just a year at Bethel,' I said to my wife. The wives names didn't match, but I figured maybe the name I knew was a nickname. It took a few minutes to figure it out.

Imagine - a GB member writing a few chatty paragraphs to someone he does not know but doesn't want to ignore. These are not proud brothers.

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