Congregation Book Study:

Chapter 5, par. 1-8
This provides just a glimpse of Jehovah’s awesome power. Imagine how big a tennis ball appears to the naked eye when seen across the length of a football field. Now imagine a piece of the sky that small. A 24-millionth of the observable sky. Now imagine peering into what appears to be the empty space of that tiny segment of sky and seeing this picture? Except for a few foreground stars, every dot in it is a galaxy!

Here’s a video explaining the various Hubble Deep Field projects. I think we should rename the telescope. I think we should call it “The Humbling Telescope”.

Theocratic Ministry School

Bible Reading: Exodus 1-6

No. 1 Exodus 2:1-14

No. 2 Christ’s Return Is Invisible—rs p. 341 par. 3-p. 342 par. 2
Obviously we have a strong vested interest in preserving the idea of an invisible return because we believe it already happened, 100 years ago this coming October in point of fact. The title of this talk is misleading, because the source material doesn’t really argue against a visible return, only against Christ becoming human again. The title should be “Christ will not return as a human being”, because that is the only point we are making.

We cannot argue that he can’t come back looking like a human being, because he’s already done that. His disciples saw him in human form on various occasions after his resurrection. If he chooses to return in a fleshly body in the future, who’s to say he can’t? There is nothing in the cited “proof texts” from the talk’s reference material showing this to be unscriptural.
Assuming a body to appear to humans doesn’t mean becoming a human. The angels that appeared to Abraham in the days of Sodom’s destruction didn’t become humans, but merely assumed a temporary fleshly body.

So why doesn’t the Reasoning book make that point. Why doesn’t it quote these additional scriptures and then state that while Christ will never take on human life again, he may, if he wishes, manifest himself in human form for a time? The reason it ignores those inconvenient texts is that this week’s talk is to prepare the way for next week’s topic where we try to show that Christ comes back invisibly in every sense of the word.

Stay tuned.

No. 3 Abiram—Opposing God-Appointed Authority Is Tantamount to Opposing Jehovah—it-1 p. 25, Abiram No. 1
How can we argue that “opposing God-appointed authority is tantamount to opposing Jehovah”? We can’t. The operable phrase is “God-appointed”. Moses, against whom Abiram rebelled, was definitely God-appointed. I’ll tell you all here and now that if a man, or even a committee of seven men, appears on the scene, takes a staff, and divides the waters of the Hudson River, or better yet, turns it to blood, well, I’d be mighty inclined to treat him or them as “God-appointed”.

However, if these same individuals just claim to be God-appointed, well, I think I would deserve a little more to go on, don’t you? After all, doesn’t the Pope claim to be God-appointed? How would we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, go about proving to a devout Catholic that the Pope isn’t appointed by God? We’d probably start with the Bible and show that many of the teachings of the Catholic Church are not Scriptural. Then we’d argue that no one can be appointed (or anointed—same difference) by God if he teaches lies. We’d show our Catholic friend that 1 John 2:20 talks about “an anointing from the holy one” and that vs. 21 shows that “no lie originates with the truth.” Then we’d read verse 27 which says “the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie….”

I think we’d all agree that as Witnesses we’d use that line of reasoning to convince anyone, Catholic, Protestant, or Mormon that their leaders are not God-appointed. The problem is that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. What would we say if they turned that around on us and showed us from scripture that some of our core doctrines are not scriptural?

Service Meeting

10 min: “Make Good Use of Older Magazines”

10 min: Local Needs

10 min: What Do We Learn?
We are to consider how Matthew 28:20 and 2 Timothy 4:17 are to help us in the ministry. Here’s a little project for everyone—myself included. When the speaker gets to 2 Timothy 4:17 and reads “But the Lord stood near me…”, take note of how he applies this. This verse and the next (“The Lord will rescue me from every wicked word and will save me for his heavenly Kingdom.”) are very clearly speaking about Jesus. However, how many of those taking this part, or commenting as part of the discussion, will refer to Jesus instead of Jehovah when applying this to our day. I would be very surprised if Jesus is even mentioned. So please, take note and then comment your findings below.