There is something from this week’s School Review that I just couldn’t let slip by.
Question 3: How do we enter into God’s rest? (Heb. 4:9-11) [w11 7/15 p. 28 pars. 16, 17]
If after reading Hebrews 4:9-11 you answered that we can enter into God’s rest by being obedient to him, you would be wrong.
You see, we enter into God’s rest by…well, why don’t I just let The Watchtower say it.
What, then, does it mean for Christians to enter into God’s rest? Jehovah set aside the seventh day—his rest day—in order to bring his purpose respecting the earth to a glorious fulfillment. We can enter into Jehovah’s rest—or join him in his rest—by obediently working in harmony with his advancing purpose as it is revealed to us through his organization. (w11 7/15 p. 28 par. 16 God’s Rest—What Is It?)
I should point out that those are not my italics. They come right from the WT article.
The article continues:
On the other hand, if we minimized the Bible-based counsel that we receive through the faithful and discreet slave class, choosing to follow an independent course, we would be placing ourselves at odds with God’s unfolding purpose. (w11 7/15 p. 28 par. 16 God’s Rest—What Is It?)
Those last italics are mine.
So we enter into God’s rest by working in harmony with his organization which reveals his unfolding purpose to us through the faithful and discreet slave class, which are the eight men of the Governing Body. If however we fail to do this, but follow a course of action which is independent of the Governing Body, we will not enter into God’s rest, but die in the metaphorical wilderness like the rebellious Israelites of Moses’ day. (Okay, their wilderness was not metaphorical, but you get my drift.)
I agree that we should never be independent from Jehovah. We depend on our God and Father for all things.
Question: What if the Governing Body is the one following a course of independence? This is the question few of us ever ask, because we assume that the Governing Body is never independent of God, but is always working with him and that his purpose is therefore revealed through them. This is certainly the point they are making in this article. We must obey them because Jehovah is revealing his unfolding purpose through them. The irony of this position is brought home in the following article, “God’s Rest—Have You Entered Into It?”, for which this one is merely the setup. That article is trying to get us to accept two vital points on which strict obedience it required, otherwise we’ll die. (Isn’t that what “not enter into God’s rest” means?)
The points are: Don’t doubt the Governing Body just because just because God hasn’t revealed everything to them up front, and make sure you always support their position on disfellowshipping.
The failed revelations and predictions of the organization are explained away as mere “refinements in our understanding of certain Bible teachings”.
There is a certain audacity that one has to admire[i] about a group of men who will publish a statement like that to be distributed to the world in a many dozens of languages and in tens of millions of copies. It is widely known that we said the great tribulation would begin in 1914, would culminate in 1925, then later, that it would likely come in 1975. All failures—to name only a few. We redefined “this generation” multiple times to help in our lawless[ii] time calculations, and we’re still redefining it as per our February 2014 Watchtower. This is only a sprinkling of some of the more egregious failures, which we blithely label “refinements” and then charge the rank and file to accept unquestioningly or else be cut off from God’s rest.
Of course, if we don’t wholeheartedly accept such failures as mere refinements, we are in danger of getting cut off long before God’s rest comes. Disfellowshipping is the punishment for independent thinking (independent from the GB that is). Of course, this stick would have no force to quell contrary thinking if it were not carried by all in the rank and file. Therefore, we are told convincingly that if we don’t help them to enforce the punitive extent to which the process of disfellowshipping is put as a means to control those who would presume to follow a course of independence from them (not from God mind you, but from men) we also are being disobedient and will die in the wilderness.
Fear is a powerful motivator.
Again, the audacity of such printed declarations is mind boggling.