Congregation Book Study:

Chapter 4, par. 19-23, box on p. 45
From paragraph 21: “Jehovah simply has no interest in service performed out of coercion or out of morbid fear of his awesome power. He seeks those who will serve him willingly, out of love.”  Would that our publications follow Jehovah’s example of motivating through love.  Alas, a frequent complaint we hear from the rank and file, particularly after district conventions, is that many come away burdened with feelings of guilt; like no one is doing quite enough to gain God’s full favor.  I have often heard similar sentiments expressed by elders following the visit of the circuit overseer.  ‘We could be doing more.  We should be doing more.’  Our methods for getting brothers and sisters to engage in the house to house ministry have little to do with love, but much to do with coercion.  For this year’s August tract campaign to promote the new jw.org web site, the elders are being pressured to submit auxiliary pioneer applications so as to “set the example” for the rank and file.

How can we truly be faithful to Jehovah’s sovereignty when we disregard its very foundation: Love?

Paragraph 22 states: “He delegates considerable authority to others, such as his Son. (Matthew 28:18)”  Considerable?  Does Matthew 28:18 read: ‘Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “Considerable authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth”’?  Why can we not take Jesus at his word?  Why do we misquote him?

The fact is we are uncomfortable with the true role Jesus has.  To give him the honor he is due would mean sounding too much like the other Christian denominations, and above all else, that is to be avoided.  Better to deny our Lord and King some of his honor and status than to sound like some fundamentalist Christian group.  Jesus will understand, won’t he?

Actually, the statement made in paragraph 22 is wrong on two counts.  1) Jehovah grants all , not considerable, authority to his son, and 2) it is Jesus, not Jehovah, who then grants authority to others.

So Jehovah isn’t running things.  This is the point we miss as Jehovah’s Witnesses.  He has such complete trust in his Son, and He knows that he will never go off on his own; that he has no personal agenda, but only wishes to do his Father’s will, which he understands fully. (John 8:28)  Therefore, Jehovah can and has given him all authority, and it is Jesus who now rules.  When he has accomplished all that his Father set for him to do with regards to the earth and the heavens, then he will hand back this authority so that God can be all things to everyone, just as 1 Corinthians 15:28 prophecies will happen.  That is Jehovah’s timetable, but we Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to be running ahead of it.  We want Jehovah to be “all things to everyone” right now.

Theocratic Ministry School

Bible Reading: Genesis 47-50
Genesis 47:24 shows how income tax first came upon the Egyptians.  It may sound like a lot, their having to part with one-fifth of their produce to pay the tax to Pharaoh. However, we should not grieve for them. Rather, we should envy them.  When you add up all the tax you pay, federal, state, sales, etc. a mere 20% will start to look pretty good.

No. 1 Genesis 48:17-49:7

No. 2 The Events Associated With Christ’s Presence Take Place Over a Period of Years—rs p. 341 par. 1,2
Rather than argue this point anew, please refer to Apollos’ article, “Parousia” and the Days of Noah, and if you want even more information proving from Scripture and history that we are not currently living in the presence of Christ, please examine the various articles found under this link.

No. 3 Abimelech—Presumptuousness Ends in Personal Disaster—it-1 p. 24, Abimelech No. 4
“Abimelech  with presumptuous impudence sought to make himself king.”  (No. 4, par. 1)  Hmm…a valuable lesson, what?  If we presume to make ourselves king, or ruler, or leader, or governor, supplanting the king or leader that Jehovah has appointed, we could end up like Abimelech.

Service Meeting

10 min: Imitate the Example of Nehemiah

10 min: Use Questions to Teach Effectively—Part 1

10 min: Jehovah’s ears Listen to the Supplication of the Righteous
There is really no reason to doubt the veracity of these accounts, nor think that Jehovah doesn’t answer such prayers and help hungry ones to a fuller understanding of truth.  We have to remember that the path of the righteous ones is like a light that gets brighter.  (Pr 4:18) Often misapplied to explain the frequent changes to the Organization’s prophetic interpretations, this verse really explains who each individual—the righteous one—grows in understanding and spiritual maturity.  A religious entity cannot pray to God. Only humans can pray to God.  And it is the prayers of individuals, both faithful servants and sincere truth seekers, that he answers.