By The Librarian
Glass Ulysses - The Tested Quality of Faith Works Out Endurance.mp3
By Jack Ryan
A message to young people in this weeks Watchtower Study paragraph 12:
How to use the website jw.org to guide you answering a peer asking “Why do you believe in god?”
The answer to that question can and should not be guided. If the question was about the flood or the end of the world then yes, use a textbook answer that can be “researched” on the website.
But a personal question like that shouldn’t need to be guided from any outside source. If you have a real faith or belief in a higher power then you wouldn’t need an outside source to help you explain that.
The Kishon River, which winds through the Jezreel Valley in Israel, has not only witnessed, but contributed to epic battle accounts in the Bible. It was at its shore that Elijah had 450 prophets brought down from heights of Mount Carmel, to have them executed for serving the “Baals” – “Masters”. He had gathered all the “children of Israel” and asked, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21 He challenged the prophets’ abilities to summon their gods and consume the sacrificial offering they had prepared, according to Elijah’s instructions. The Baals never appeared, despite a long period of 450 individuals pleading and dancing around their altar.
After an amazing display of power, God consumed Elijah’s sacrifice on the symbolic 12-stoned altar, causing the people to cry out, ““The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”. Shortly afterward, the false prophets met their death at the water’s edge of the River Kishon. 1 Kings 18:22-40
The infamous river played an even greater part in Israel’s history when Deborah the prophetess, wife and mother, acted as judge. This was not a time of peace for Israel, as it had been for a previous eighty-year time period, since …..
“the children of Israel AGAIN did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of IRON, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.” Judges 4:1-3
How is it that God “sold” his people into the hands of Jabin? The Hebrew word figuratively denotes “surrender”. God surrendered his people over to their idolatrous desires and pleasures, removing His divine protection. Yet, always when the pressure was intense, they “cried out to the Lord” to save them from the result of their actions, which manifested through ruthless, invading armies.
Our forgiving and merciful God responded to the cry of Israel by revealing His plan to Deborah, drawing her attention to the tyrannical power Israel faced. She alluded to this awakening in her victory song sung with Barak:
“Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, sing a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead your captives away,
O son of Abinoam! Judges 5:12
Apparently, Barak was initially hesitant in obeying God’s command, only promising to go if Deborah accompanied him. In fact, only half of Israel’s twelve tribes came to fight for the Lord, causing Deborah to question their intentions.
“There was great searching of heart
among the clans of Reuben.
Why did you sit among the sheep pens
listening to the playing of pipes for the flocks?
There was great searching of heart
among the clans of Reuben.
17 Gilead remained beyond the Jordan.
Dan, why did you linger at the ships?
Asher remained at the seashore
and stayed in his harbors.
The people of Zebulun defied death,
Naphtali also, on the heights of the battlefield.” Judges 5:15b-18
The supposed city of Meroz was especially damned:
“Curse Meroz,” says the angel of the Lord,
“Bitterly curse her inhabitants,
for they did not come to help the Lord,
to help the Lord with the warriors.” Judges 5:23
Under the leadership of the Lord and by the mouth of a woman, Jabin’s vast army under Sisera was defeated. Because of Barak’s indecisiveness, it was also at the hands of a woman that Sisera met his end. Still, the book of Hebrews enlightens us that Barak’s faith was reinforced when battling under the Lord’s direction. Judges 4:14; Jer 1:9; Heb 11:32-34 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4%3A14%3B+Jer+1%3A9%3B+Heb+11%3A32-34&version=NKJV
With only a sword, Barak and the armies of Israel brought Sisera’s 900 chariots of iron to a complete halt. At flood stage, the Kishon River finished off the battle by sweeping all evidence of the massive army off the landscape. It lived up to the meaning of its name – “tortuous”, and “a place of catch, of ensnarement”.
“The kings came and fought,
Then the kings of Canaan fought
In Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
They took no spoils of silver.
They fought from the heavens;
The stars from their courses fought against Sisera.
The torrent of Kishon swept them away,
That ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon." Judges 5:19-21
The early Bible accounts can play out symbolically today, helping us discern the powerful, yet covert foe that has come against Gods chosen people, present in the Watchtower. Although JWs “cry out to the Lord” concerning persecution they face; for instance, in Russia, God does not listen to prayers given on behalf of an idol – on behalf of “Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization”. Rev 13:1,2,4-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+13%3A1%2C2%2C4-8+++&version=NKJV
No, this great foe, disguised as a blessing from God, wears “breastplates of IRON”… Rev 9:9
“Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.
With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.” Joel 2:4,5
While it is true God has surrendered His people to this army for their acts of idolatry and acceptance of lies, He has again…
alerted a “woman” – Gal 4:22,23; Rev 12:6,14; 11:3,4
who is both a “wife” – 2 Cor 11:2;Rev 21:9;22:17
and a “mother” – Gal 4:26; Rev 12:2,5
…to sound the alarm and gather an army to “fight” for the Lord. This prophet has awoken to the atrocious condition of God’s Temple priesthood. Just as in Deborah’s day when “the highways were deserted, and “village life ceased in Israel”, the modern day invading army has left God’s Temple of “living stones” a “desolate wilderness”. 2 Cor 6:14-18; Mal 3:1; Ezek 2:7,5; Matt 25:6; Matt 17:11; 24:15; Rev 12:17; Joel 2:3; Lev 26:22; Zech 7:14 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=”.+2+Cor+6%3A14-18%3B+Mal+3%3A1%3B+Ezek+2%3A7%2C5%3B+Matt+25%3A6%3B+Matt+17%3A11%3B+24%3A15%3B+Rev+12%3A17%3B+Joel+2%3A3%3B+Lev+26%3A22%3B+Zech+7%3A14&version=NKJV
Those of the “woman” covenant who were once under siege, are the prophetic “two witnesses”, making the determining trumpet call for God’s chosen ones to leave their captivity, join forces with Christ, and stand on the side of Truth. They are the “stars” battling “from the heavens” in this war of Armageddon. Ezek 14:22; Matt 24:31; Rev.9:13,14; 12:6; 11:3; John 8:32,36; 1 Cor 7:23;Rev 12:7; Dan 12:3; Rev 1:20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezek+14%3A22%3B+Matt+24%3A31%3B+Rev.9%3A13%2C14%3B+12%3A6%3B+11%3A3%3B+John+8%3A32%2C36%3B+1+Cor+7%3A23%3BRev+12%3A7%3B+Dan+12%3A3%3B+Rev+1%3A20&version=NKJV
How many members of the symbolic “12 tribes of Israel” will respond to the call? Sadly, the majority of the anointed ones appear accepting of their plight. With senses dulled to the danger that surrounds them, they have not called out to the Lord asking for His help. The army of ELDERS holds tight reigns on God’s people, influenced by Satan’s sorcery. Rev 16:13; 18:23 The anointed and all are held captive under his grand deception. Are they taking their side in this battle of truth against lies by remaining mute and hidden, in like manner as Meroz, the city that did not take up arms with Barak and received a curse from an angel of God? Rom.9:27; Rev.13:7,8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+16%3A13%3B+18%3A23%3B+Rom.9%3A27%3B+Rev.13%3A7%2C8&version=NKJV
I am awestruck at the depth of God’s word and meanings. This elusive city has many connotations behind its name and at its roots – the “Place of Cedars”, a “place of withdrawing”, a large number, and “is not too far removed from the Greek verb μυριζω (murizo), meaning to anoint or sprinkle with μυρον (muron), which denotes a costly ointment”. All of these characteristics aptly describe the anointed “trees” who are purposefully withdrawn from view by a wicked/”king”/slave and his army of “scorpion/locusts”. Meroz can symbolize today’s “apostate city” under God’s curse. Luke 6:43-45; Luke 21:21,22; Matt.24:15,16; Rev.18:4 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A43-45%3B+Luke+21%3A21%2C22%3B+Matt.24%3A15%2C16%3B+Rev.18%3A4&version=NKJV
God’s people remain under siege with all JWs who are pressed into a spiritual state of famine. Mark 13:8;Luke 21:20-22 Satan uses his invading army and kings to disperse his river of lies; a torrential, invasive flood (by definition, the “waters of MEGIDDO”) which has ensnared God’s people with death-dealing falsehoods. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A43-45%3B+Luke+21%3A21%2C22%3B+Matt.24%3A15%2C16%3B+Rev.18%3A4&version=NKJV
From Pearl Doxsey’s article “EARTH SWALLOWS SATAN’S RIVER”
Rev 12:15,16 – “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.“
“In the time of the end, Satan forcefully "spews" this fluid from his mouth. Because this water is aimed with force and direction, it is said to be "like a river"/"flood".
What is Jesus telling us, when it says that this "water" comes from Satan's "mouth"?
Jesus also said,
"The devil....does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of the lie." (John8:44; Matt.15:11) Satan's "resources" are told to us... (Rev.16:13; 13:2;2Chron.18:21). He is using the "false prophet" and the "Wild Beast", empowering that Beast and prophet with every worldly resource he possesses (Rev.13:2,11,13,7; Rev.9:1,10; Eze.14:15; Rev.13:17)."https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John8%3A44%3B+Matt.15%3A11%3BRev.16%3A13%3B+13%3A2%3B2Chron.18%3A21%3BRev.13%3A2%2C11%2C13%2C7%3B+Rev.9%3A1%2C10%3B+Eze.14%3A15%3B+Rev.13%3A17&version=NKJV
These spiritual "waters" that Satan spews at the "woman" (Through the Beast and false prophet), can not be the "living water" of Truth. No. This river from Satan's mouth (Matt.12:34; Num.21:6; Rev.9:2,3), are powerful lying signs and portents (2Thess.2:9) and the messengers that carry them (Dan.9:26-27; 11:10; Joel 2:2)...intended to destroy the "woman"/promise/New Covenant.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt.12%3A34%3B+Num.21%3A6%3B+Rev.9%3A2%2C3%3B+2+Thess+2%3A9%3B+Dan.9%3A26-27%3B+11%3A10%3B+Joel+2%3A2&version=NKJV
This symbolic river, a “place of ensnarement” will not only take the lives of the invading army, but also those who fail to stand up and fight on the side of Truth for the Lord. Rev 19:19
JWS! Who is your Master? Do you serve the “Baals” – an elder body who shows outward piety, but expects your full obedience to the organization? Prophets of God are sent to warn of impending danger resulting from His people’s sins – the fall into idolatry, spiritual immorality, and the gulping down of lies. 2Cor11:12,13,20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+19%3A19%3B+2+Cor+11%3A12%2C13%2C20+&version=NKJV
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with ALL YOUR HEART and with ALL YOUR SOUL and with ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the LAW AND THE PROPHETS hang on these two commandments.”
Is this what the Watchtower EXPECTS you to do? NO.
Wt 11/7/15 - “Why are we so determined to avoid them? (“false” teachers) FIRST OF ALL, it is because we love “the God of truth.” So we do not want to listen to false teachings that go against the truth in God’s Word. (Psalm 31:5; John 17:17) WE ALSO LOVE THE ORGANIZATION that Jehovah uses to teach his wonderful truths.
God has no connection with any earthly entity in Satan’s domain. The organization and God are NOT on a level plain, as the Watchtower has convinced you believe. They are not one and the same.
“The Lord, He is God!” Isa 40:25; Deut 4:39 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+40%3A25%3B+Deut+4%3A39&version=NKJV
“For this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Don’t let your prophets who are among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t listen to the dreams you elicit from them, for they are prophesying falsely to you in my name. I have not sent them.” This is the Lord’s declaration.
For this is what the Lord says: “When seventy years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes[c] and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place from which I deported you.”
15 You have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon!” 16 But this is what the Lord says concerning the king sitting on David’s throne and concerning all the people living in this city—that is, concerning your brothers who did not go with you into exile. 17 This is what the Lord of Armies says: “I am about to send sword, famine, and plague against them, and I will make them like rotten figs that are inedible because they are so bad. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and plague. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth—a curse and a desolation, an object of scorn and a disgrace among all the nations where I have banished them. 19 I will do this because they have not listened to my words”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the words that I sent to them with my servants the prophets time and time again. And you too have not listened.” This is the Lord’s declaration.
JWs! Gird your sword, take a stand for TRUTH, and escape the certain covenant of death – “Babylon”
Isa 28:15,18; Re 17:15; Matt 24:6; Heb 4:12; Eph 6:10-17; 2Thess.2:8;Rev.2:16; 19:11,15 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+28%3A15%2C18%3B+Re+17%3A15%3B+Matt+24%3A6%3B+Heb+4%3A12%3B+Eph+6%3A10-17%3B+2Thess.2%3A8%3BRev.2%3A16%3B+19%3A11%2C15).+&version=NKJV
“When considering your cited verses in Jer.29:10-19, it reminded me of two scripture references about our abandonment to Satanic trial and the result of our faithfulness. Those two scripture references, are connected to Jer.29 as well.....
Isa.54: "6 The Lord will call you back
as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,
only to be rejected,” says your God.
**7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back.**
8 In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace." (Isa.54)
16 Jesus went on to say, **“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”**
19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."
I also think about Jer.29:10, where it says that "when 70 years are finished for Babylon". I recently hit upon God's interpretation for 70 years. It was at Isa.23:15.
"At that time Tyre will be forgotten for ***seventy years, the span of a king’s life.*** But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute"
(see also, Jer.25:12) So our symbolic 70 years, is how long we are to be dominated by the Gentiles, the "man of lawlessness", Satan, and the false prophet... Satan's "short period of time" (Luke21:24)
By a statement in the Jan.18 Watchtower magazine; ......
"In the days leading up to the Memorial, we can set aside time to examine prayerfully and carefully our personal relationship with Jehovah. How can we do that? By ‘testing whether we are in the faith.’ To do that, we do well to ask ourselves: ‘Do I really believe that I am part of the only organization that Jehovah has approved to accomplish his will?".......
In effect, does not this statement equate being an obedient slave of the "Watchtower", with being "in the faith"? (1Cor.7:23;Rom.6:16; Gal.1:10)
The "faith" being spoken of in the scripture they quote (2Cor.13:5), is according to the Bible, the faith provided by the teaching of Jesus Christ (Rom.3:22; 8:1; Phil.3:8-9; Matt.7:24-27; Eph.2:20)
... *not a faith rooted in the vacillating doctrine of the Organization. Our "testing" properly occurs, when we are building our faith on the words of Christ.... not the present releases or bound volumes of the doctrines of men.
I hope all will intensely consider, that this statement by the WT,
is crystallized in the symbolic meaning of Rev.13:16.
Deut.11:18 conveys the interpretation of that verse. There it tells us, that we receive a symbolic mark on our forehead, by the spiritual master of our faith (Rev.7:3). We are either slaves of God's truths, or slaves of the doctrines of men (666), which is idolatry. Making that choice (Joel 3:14; 2:32; Luke17:30-32; Rev.18:4), means a decision between life, or death (Rom.6:16).
- - - - - - -
By JOHN DAVIS
WHAT SCRIPTURES CAN WE LOOK AT AT THIS POINT IN TIME TO STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH?
By Guest Nicole
Cultivate Godly Qualities—Faith.pdf
By Guest Nicole
FAITH - A new album by a Witness band from Australia
With so much worldly music with questionable themes out there, you'll find this a refreshing change! This music will help you to remember many Bible stories, such as Daniel, Esther, the precious wife of Proverbs 31, the four horsemen, Hannah and more! Great for family worship evening with your teenagers, the whole family will enjoy this faith-building music. Best of all, they are all biblically-accurate!
By Bible Speaks
THE apostle Peter and some other disciples are struggling to row their boat across the Sea of Galilee during a nighttime windstorm.
Suddenly, they see Jesus walking on the sea. Peter calls out to Jesus, asking if he could walk across the water to his Master. When Jesus tells him to come, Peter gets out of the boat and miraculously walks toward Jesus on the choppy surface.
Moments later, though, Peter starts to sink. Why? He looked at the windstorm and became afraid. Peter cries out to Jesus, who quickly catches hold of him and says: “You with little faith, why did you give way to doubt?”—Matt. 14:24-32.
When Peter climbed out of the boat to walk on the water, he did so in faith. Jesus had called him, and Peter trusted that God’s power would support him just as it was supporting Jesus.
Similarly, when we dedicated ourselves to Jehovah and got baptized, we did so because of our faith. Jesus called us to be his followers, to walk in his footsteps. We had to exercise faith in both Jesus and God, trusting that they would support us in various ways.—John 14:1; read 1 Peter 2:21.
Faith is truly a precious possession. Just as Peter’s faith enabled him to walk on water, our faith enables us to do things that from a human standpoint may seem impossible. (Matt. 21:21, 22)
For instance, many of us have changed our attitudes and practices so drastically that we are almost unrecognizable to those who knew us before. Jehovah supported our efforts because we took these steps based on our faith in him. (Read Colossians 3:5-10.)
Once our faith moved us to dedicate ourselves to Jehovah, we became his friends, something we could never have done in our own power.—Eph. 2:8.
Our faith continues to empower us. In faith we are able to resist the attacks of our superhuman adversary, the Devil. (Eph. 6:16)
In addition, trust in Jehovah helps us to minimize our anxiety during challenging times. Jehovah says that when our faith moves us to put Kingdom interests first, he will provide for our material needs. (Matt. 6:30-34)
More than that, because of our faith, we will receive a gift no human could ever obtain by his own efforts—everlasting life.—John 3:16.
By Bible Speaks
"Walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)
- People thought Jesus was a fool, preaching door-to-door warning about a destruction that hadn't come.
- People thought Noah was a fool, preaching door-to-door warning about a destruction that hadn't come.
- People thought Jeremiah was a fool, preaching and warning about a destruction that hadn't come.
- People think Jehovah's Witnesses are fools, preaching door-to-door warning about a destruction that hasn't come yet.
Let it be faith that motivates everything that you do.
By Bible Speaks
14 "Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah."
15 "And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."
By Bible Speaks
The one with faith sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.
20 He said to them: “Because of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
By Bible Speaks
11 "However, you, O man of God, flee from these things. But pursue righteousness, godly devotion, faith, love, endurance, and mildness.
12 Fight the fine fight of the faith; get a firm hold on the everlasting life for which you were called and you offered the fine public declaration in front of many witnesses."
(1 Timothy 6:11,12)
2 Corinthians 13: 5 "Keep testing whether you are in the faith; keep proving what you yourselves are. Or do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in union with you? Unless you are disapproved".
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