Psychology, Religion

Christian = Love

America's Most Wanted Pedophile former Watchtower's Jehovah's Witness Frederick McLean

America’s Most Wanted Pedophile former Watchtower’s Jehovah’s Witness Frederick McLean

A Pedophile’s Paradise Fredrick McLean, a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, is wanted for sexual assaults on multiple children entrusted to his care over a 20 year period.

Frederick McLean, 57, was charged in San Diego Superior Court in January of 2005 of four counts of child molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. Investigations into the assaults found that McLean lures his victims into trusting him, and then uses that trust to molest and manipulate his victims. Investigators have identi ed numerous victims and believe McLean may be seeking new victims. McLean has been described as being very intelligent and methodical; planning everything he does to the smallest detail. He may have over $100,000 in cash at his disposal. McLean may have changed his appearance to aid in his  ight from justice. Investigators say McLean is considered armed and dangerous.

Is Frederick McLean hiding in your spiritual paradise?
Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

Study Buddies? Watchtower says, “No”

Does ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?— Matt. 24:45, 47.

No, it does not.

Thus, “the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight. Continue reading

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Religion

2 Thessalonians 2 and The Watchtower Quotes

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ

Evidence establishes that his foretold return, the beginning of his “presence,” occurred in 1914.

and our being gathered together to him,

In the 1930’s, it became evident that the “other sheep” were being gathered in.

we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us,

Just as anointed Christians do, alert members of the great crowd are sticking close to God’s appointed channel for dispensing spiritual food.

to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

As evidenced by the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, since 1914 we have been in “the Lord’s day.”

Let no one deceive you in any way.

True Christians today try to help individuals in the apostate organization of Christendom. Since 1919, couriers from “the Israel of God” have gone through Christendom, inviting people to share in pure worship.

For that day will not come, unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

“One True Christian Faith—A Reality: “The Man of Lawlessness Gets Revealed” This “man of lawlessness” is none other than the clergy class that exalted itself into a ruling position over the “Christian” congregation.”

who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship,

By his lying teachings contrary to or superseding, as it were, the law of God, “the man of lawlessness” sets himself up over Jehovah God and other ‘gods,’ mighty ones of the earth, and also against God’s holy ones, true spiritual brothers of Jesus Christ.

so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Since he is a hypocrite, a false teacher claiming to be Christian, he “sits down in the temple of The God,” that is, what such false teachers claim to be that temple.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

This “man of lawlessness” is an apostate, a false teacher, so he actually seats himself only in what he falsely claims to be that temple.

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

Being “the spirit of the truth,” God’s holy spirit could never be the source of error but would protect Christ’s followers from doctrinal falsehoods.” (Compare 1Jo 2:27; 4:1-6.)

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

His identity would continue to be mysterious to most persons because his wickedness would be practiced under the guise and in the name of godly devotion. It would, in fact, be an apostasy from true godly devotion.

And then the lawless one will be revealed,

The destruction of “the man of lawlessness,” the clergy of Christendom, will be an unmistakable “manifestation of his presence.”

whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth

The one authorized to declare God’s judgments against the wicked and to give orders to execute them is “the Word”—God’s Chief Spokesman, Jesus Christ.

and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

In past cases clouds represented invisible presence; but observers could “see” the meaning with their mental “eyes.” In this case the physical occurrences that are visible would cause the one looking to “see” or realize that Christ is invisibly present.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

The portents would be lying ones, however, either fraudulent on their face or deceptive as to the conclusions to which they would lead.

and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing,

Appearing to manifest God’s benevolence and blessing, they would in reality divert persons from the source and path of life.

because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

TRUTH
those raised in the truth: w02 3/1 12
remaining in the truth: w02 3/1 16

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

Jehovah allowed a spirit creature to become “a deceptive spirit” in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets. That is to say, this spirit creature exercised his power upon them so that they spoke, not truth, but what they themselves wanted to say and what Ahab wanted to hear from them. Though forewarned, Ahab preferred to be fooled by their lies and paid for it with his life.

in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The reasons why people have not yet accepted the truth vary.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

“Your word is truth.” How can you convince a person that what you proclaim from God’s Word is the truth?

To this he called you through our good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good deed and word.

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Religion, Truth

My Life in Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization

“…Later, at the suggestion of a friend of the family and with the approval of the school principal, the parents decided to put the youth in a clinic for the mentally ill, thinking that psychiatric treatment would make him abandon his faith.

The clinic personnel took the boy 60 miles [100 km] away in a car and injected him with huge doses of insulin and other drugs until he lost consciousness.

Upon awakening, he was completely disoriented, did not know anyone, and suffered partial amnesia. After many studies the doctors could not find any mental disorder in him. But the clinic went ahead with the treatment.

When conscious, the boy prayed continually to Jehovah not to abandon him and begged him for the strength to endure. Jehovah did protect him, and eventually he was released from the clinic.” — Watchtower March 1, 1992

Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization

Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?

The phrase “spirit directed” occurs as many time in the scriptures as the phrase holy spirit-directed organization” occurs in the Watchtower’s literature—not once.

While the Watchtower never claims to be a “holy spirit directed organization” the literature shows 23 references to their being a “spirit-directed organization”, and the references to “God’s spirit-directed organization” are only found in the baptismal candidate questions (quoted above) used as of the 1980’s.

“Only if the individual answers in the affirmative and also understands that his dedication and baptism identify him as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization can he acceptably undergo water immersion. — What Prevents You From Getting Baptized? w89 1/15 p. 13 par. 18

So we know that the Watchtower claims to be a spirit-directed organization, but has never claimed that it was “holy spirit-directed”. 

It claims that it is God’s spirit-directed organization, yet Paul acknowledged that there are many gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship these god’s.

“There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.” — 1 Corinthians 8:5,6

Since we cannot be certain that this is an organization which is directed by holy spirit, as the Watchtower themselves has never claim to be holy spirit-directed, then we must wonder which god does this spirit-directed organization belong to?

The Watchtower is clear that it is Jehovah’s Spirit-Directed Organization. To make this point clear, the conclusion is simply that the Watchtower is not directed by holy spirit, it is directed by Jehovah’s spirit.

Serving God vs. Jehovah’s Organized People

Regarding “God’s Channel”: “Jehovah is using only one organization to accomplish his will.” Where is the scripture to back up the last assertion in the paragraph?

 

Jehovah has a people on this earth, and he expects us to serve him along with them. This brings us to the fourth requirement: We must serve Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization.

How, though, can God’s organized people be identified?

According to the standards set out in the Scriptures,

  • they have real love among themselves,
  • they have deep respect for the Bible,
  • they honor God’s name,
  • they preach about his Kingdom,
  • and they are no part of this wicked world.

(Matthew 6:9; 24:14; John 13:34, 35; 17:16, 17)

There is only one religious organization on this earth that has all these marks of true Christianity—Jehovah’s Witnesses!”

—What Does God Require of Us?
The Watchtower 1997 1/15 p. 22

 

The Watchtower sets up Jehovah with his spirit-directed organization above all other religious organizations on this earth, claiming that only Jehovah’s Witnesses have the marks of true Christianity. They claim that all other religious organizations and Christendom are  “Babylon the Great” as depicted in the book of Revelation.

Paul warned that the man of lawlessness “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” — 2 Thessalonians 2:4

 

Certainly if Jehovah’s Witnesses feel superior to all other Christian organizations on earth, it follows Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization openly “opposes and exalts itself over everything that is called God or is worshiped”.

The Watchtower’s world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, have been referred to as “Brooklyn Bethel” more than 500 times in the Watchtower literature (see WT DVDROM).

According to the Insight on the Scriptures book, “Beth’el” means “House of God”, and defines temple as “A divine habitation, sacred place or sanctuary, either physical or spiritual, that is employed for worship.”

Thus, in as many words, The Watchtower has defined itself as Jehovah’s spirit-directed organization openly “opposes and exalts itself over everything that is called God or is worshiped” and has set itself up as Bethel (God’s House or temple, his divine habitation), proclaiming itself to be God.

The Insight on the Scriptures book continues regarding the temple, “This “man of lawlessness” is an apostate, a false teacher, so he actually seats himself only in what he falsely claims to be that temple.”

The Insight on the Scriptures book concludes regarding “the man of lawlessness”, “by his lying teachings contrary to or superseding, as it were, the law of God, … he is a hypocrite, a false teacher claiming to be Christian, he “sits down in the temple of The God,” that is, what such false teachers claim to be that temple.”

The Bible pointed to the rise of Christendom’s clergy, describing them collectively as “the man of lawlessness” and “the son of destruction . . . whom the Lord Jesus will do away with . . . and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”—2 Thess. 2:3, 6-8.

According to the Watchtower, “True Christians have been separated out from the “weeds” of Christendom.” — Jehovah’s Witnesses do not consider themselves part of Christendom, but “invite others to “go up” to the exalted worship of Jehovah God.

“Apostates can present yet another threat to our spirituality.

The apostle Paul foretold that apostasy would arise among professed Christians. (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3)

In fulfillment of his words, after the death of the apostles, a great apostasy led to the development of Christendom.

Today, there is no great apostasy taking place among God’s people [Jehovah’s Witnesses]. Still, a few individuals have left our ranks, and some among them are bent on defaming Jehovah’s Witnesses by spreading lies and misinformation. A few work with other groups in organized resistance to pure worship. In doing so, they side with the very first apostate, Satan.

Some apostates are increasingly using various forms of mass communication, including the Internet, to spread false information about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

As a result, when sincere individuals do research on our beliefs, they may stumble across apostate propaganda.

Even some Witnesses have unwittingly exposed themselves to this harmful material.” — Watchtower 2000 5/1 pp. 8-12

The Watchtower itself warns, “If anyone who professes to serve God relies on his own ideas instead of adhering to the Bible… he becomes “mentally diseased.”

It’s about to be 100 years from 1914.

What was 1914? As far as anyone can see, literally, it was nothing.

The Watchtower—today—claims that it was the year Christ returned, invisibly, to earth and inspected Christendom finding the Watchtower as the sole ‘faithful and discreet slave’ (Matthew 24).

[Editor’s note: this teaching has changed again. They are now just “the slave” appointed and claim that they are faithful, though Christ has not returned to say so, and reward them.]

It gets complicated though, because in 1914, we believed he came invisibly in 1874, and that 1914 was to be the end of the last days.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the Watchtower’s new Jehovah’s Witnesses started teaching that he came in 1914 instead of 1874, although obviously he still came invisibly since no one knew he had come and gone—which begs the question, how did the appoint the faithful and discreet slave?

“It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.”— The Watchtower June 15, 1957 p.370

The Faithful Slave

Apparently there was much confusion there too, as Russell was believed to the be one and only faithful and discreet slave even after he died. But we don’t believe Russell was the slave, otherwise he’s dead and then what? It shifted over time to become a corporation under Rutherford into the form it’s taken as a “governing body” today.

Now, what about that ‘faithful and discreet slave’ versus the ‘evil slave’ parable? Well, the governing body is made up of imperfect men and that’s why we have to be ‘patient with the organization’ ‘waiting on Jehovah’.

In the 70’s while my dad was serving at Beth’el (meaning literally, ‘house of god’, in this case Jehovah) there were two relatives on the governing body, Raymond Franz and his uncle Fred Franz.

The Evil Slave

Raymond studied the scriptures while Fred ran the place. Raymond was assigned responsibility for producing “Studies in the Scriptures” and loved every minute preparing the material for publication.

However, what he learned from the scriptures disagreed with what the Watchtower taught, and still teaches today. His decision to stay true to the word of God, rather than Jehovah’s organization deemed him “the evil slave”.

Here’s where you have to stop and reason.

If none of these men were alive and present to be appointed ‘faithful’ in 1914, then how can the governing body be the faithful slave?

And if you can’t take it on a case-by-case basis man for man over time, then how can you remove one man from the body and call him evil, but the rest ‘the faithful’?

Wasn’t it Christ who was to appoint and reward his faithful slaves, and to judge the evil?

My dad is an ‘organization man’.

My dad vehemently defends the Watchtower as God’s organization.

I tried to ask him what if the Watchtower and the holy scriptures disagreed, but that didn’t end well.

Suffice to say he reflects Rutherford’s attitude when asked about correcting the name of God, since it’s not “Jehovah” as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach:

“At the Yankee Stadium, when giving his speech introducing the New World Translation, the Society’s president said: “…the translation committee has used the form ‘Jehovah’ because of its familiarity and because it preserves the four original letters [YHWH] of the Hebrew name. In God’s own time when He reveals the correct pronunciation of his holy name, we will gladly make the accurate correction.”—See The Watchtower, September 15, 1950, page 317 ¶ 14.

When I first tried to talk to my parents about Matthew 24 — its such a simple and easy to understand chapter! — my mother said she could ‘see me being an apostate‘.

I countered with my only hope—”please, explain to me when I’ll see my daddy again?”

You see, I was raised with a Catch 22. I had to be good enough as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to obtain to eternal life in God’s kingdom on the paradise earth, where then I could see my daddy again, as he would be resurrected since he ‘died faithful’. (Never mind that we would both have to survive the attack by Satan at the end of the thousand years, where despite having died faithful, and been resurrected as a faithful one, my daddy or I might still succumb to Satan and die twice, three times if you include the ‘spiritual death’. Compare Hebrews 9:27)

I recalled growing up that he would come back some time during the thousand year reign based on “the last will be first, and the first will be last”. However, I had just finished reading the scriptures through for the very first time on my own, reading The Message version (read free on www.bible.com).

I had read Revelation 20:5 and it seemed simple, succinct, and it covered everything.

“And the rest of the dead don’t come to life until the thousand years have ended.”

My parents argued their “Reasoning from the Scriptures“, but the short of it is they do not believe the scriptures as written, they use man’s reasoning instead. (Mark 7:8)

Yet, this prophecy, the only book of scripture inspired by Christ himself, comes with a very explicit warning:

I give fair warning to all who hear
the words of the prophecy of this book:

If you add to the words of this prophecy,
God will add to your life
the disasters written in this book;

if you subtract from the words
of the book of this prophecy
,
God will subtract your part
from the Tree of Life
and the Holy City
that are written in this book.

He who testifies to all these things says it again:
“I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon!”
I shifted back to Matthew 24.

I was begging them to explain to me how it is that we contradict what Matthew 24 says so simply—all will see him!

How is it that we believed he came invisibly then???

I also pointed out that if the appointing of the slave happened in 1914, then the judging and rewarding hasn’t happened yet — thus, the slave was appointed to feed, but had not been found faithful, discreet,—or evil!

What was ‘the faithful and discreet slave’ doing calling themselves ‘faithful’ if Christ himself had not judged them so?!

Matthew 24 parallels the same events in Revelation of the four horsemen — so isn’t the first horse that looks like Christ, but is clearly depicted as different than Christ (later in Revelation) actually the anti-Christ?

Doesn’t he ride out and conquer Christians enslaving them into his kingdom, the kingdom of the false Christ: Christendom?

Isn’t that what Matthew 24 says happens, which is also attested to by the second letter to the Thessalonians who were commended for their learning, but warned not to listen to the teachings of men over that of God’s own word, or his son, the Word?

At the Watchtower’s Annual Meeting 2012 they changed the teaching.

I remind my mother that to turn “apostate” doesn’t mean to turn your back on religion or the Watchtower, it means to turn your back on God, and the one whom he sent forth: the way, the truth, the life.

“Veritas Via Vitae.”

Please know that it took great courage for me to finally find my voice: Having been silenced for years from speaking to those I thought were my ‘true’ friends and family I turned to writing.

However, living in an atheist society and surrounded by dogmatic “IRL” friends, I kept my faith to myself.

Having been taught that “there is no where else to go” because all other religions are false religions, I no longer had any spiritual association.

It never occurred to me to find out who, among my “IRL friends” were Christian. After all, back then if someone were to ask me if I were a Christian, I’d reply that I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (And what is that but another denomination of nominal Christians in Christendom? Ah how we love our divisive sects!)

Jessica, Lindsey, Ashley, et al, it’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since I’ve had a hug from one of my ‘friends’.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

It’s been eight years, we were friends before Facebook came along.

However, my family members ‘unfriend’ me as if somehow that can change the fact that we are family. Now, you get to make the choice. You guys are it. The only ones who know me of all the people listed as my ‘friends’ on Facebook. You get to choose to love me, or ‘unfriend’ me.

I do not believe the Watchtower organization is directed by holy spirit any more than any other organization on the planet. “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one”, the scriptures say, and no where does it say that He (neither God, nor his Son) would come down and appoint any organization. Even still all that slave was to do was to feed faithfully and discreetly while waiting for the master to return.

He doesn’t urge “come out of her my people” just so you can hurry into the Kingdom Hall instead.

As far as I can tell, God’s Kingdom, nor Christ’s has come to earth yet.

So just whose Kingdom are you meeting in?

The Last Supper, Seattle, December 1, 2004

The Last Supper, Seattle, December 1, 2004

 

I woke up.

There’s a story there, it’s the reason I chose the specific example at the outset… But I can’t write everything from the past 33 years of my life in one blog post. 🙂

However, I’m going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, with the help of my Father, his Son, and the holy spirit.

It’s going to be fun.

You know the best part? You can unfriend me, and you can still come read the stories, on my Facebook or on my blog.

I have set everything up to be public.

Thanks for reading this far if you have.

That night of the ‘Last Supper’ happened also to be my 25th birthday.

We were there to ‘celebrate’ our last night out together before my getting disfellowshipped, not to celebrate my birthday.

I’m 33 now.

“Oh, sweet thing
Zion doesn’t love you
And Babylon don’t love you
But you love everything
Oh, you saint”

When I was 30 I went to Burning Man, a week long art festival. As I stood among all those people in the desert it was hard not to think of the Israelites in the desert dancing before the burning calf.

Outside the tents, on the festival grounds
As the air began to cool, and the sun went down
My soul swooned, as I faintly heard the sound
Of you spinning “Israelites”
Into “19th Nervous Breakdown”

“Babel” by Mumford and Sons

‘Cause I know that time has numbered my days
And I’ll go along with everything you say
But I’ll ride home laughing, look at me now
The walls of my town, they come crumbling down

And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons
And I know their choices color all I’ve done
But I’ll explain it all to the watchman’s son,
I ain’t ever lived a year better spent in love

‘Cause I’ll know my weakness, know my voice
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I’ll be born without a mask

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,
I stretched my arms into the sky
I cry Babel! Babel! Look at me now
Then the walls of my town, they come crumbling down

You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl,
As all we see will slip into the cloud
So come down from your mountain and stand where we’ve been,
You know our breath is weak and our body thin

Press my nose up, to the glass around your heart
I should’ve known I was weaker from the start,
You’ll build your walls and I will play my bloody part
To tear, tear them down,
Well I’m gonna tear, tear them down

‘Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I’ll be born without a mask

“O’ Sister” by City and Color

Oh sister
What’s wrong with your mind?
You used to be so strong and stable
My sister
What made you fall from grace?
I’m sorry that I was not there to catch you

What have the demons done?
What have the demons done?
With the luminous light that once shined from your eyes
What makes you feel so alone
Is it the whispering ghosts
That you feared the most
But the blackness in your heart
Won’t last forever
I know it’s tearing you apart
But it’s a storm you can weather

Oh sister
Those lines etched in your hands
They’re hardened and rough like a road map of sorrow
My sister
There is a sadness on your face
You’re like a motherless child who’s longing for comfort
What’s running through your veins
That’s causing you such pain?
Does it have something to do with the pills they gave to you?
What is eating at your soul?
Was it the whispering ghosts that left you out in the cold?

But the blackness in your heart
Won’t last forever
I know it’s tearing you apart
But it’s a storm you can weather

Oh sister
My sister

“Demons” by Imagine Dragon

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save that light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

I’m letting the demons out.

I’ve held the truth inside for too long.

And you know, “the truth shall set you free”.

Too bad we grew up thinking “the truth” was our religion, eh?

“God is love.”

What is Jehovah?

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Culture, Documentation, Ethics, Religion

Watchtower Documentation: “Thanks to ANONs”

700MB of documents RE the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses

We like to thank all ANONS who helped to collect, evaluate and sort this material.

Browse all files · Full Archive (bzip2, 700mb) · Added January 18, 2013

  • An interesting, mainly credible, account of an insider’s view of congregation workings over the past several decades. JW’s Brooklyn and Manhattan real estate holdings, possible fraud, Watchtower history, and their policies toward child sex abuse cases, beginning in the 1980s, are detailed. A good place to start for someone with limited knowledge of Witnesses. (PDF, 460kb)
  • Folder of documents on the “Chimera” lawsuit, a current pro se action brought in San Mateo, California involving alleged congregation fraud, money laundering, and a wide ranging RICO scheme involving bank, city, and public employees, to divest older members of the congregation from their spiritual leadership positions, and control over congregation cash. The case itself may not offer much insight, but does gives clues as to how the congregation is structured, and details some of their inner workings on maintaining bank accounts, fundraising, et cetera.
  • Some of this information about building fund schemes, touched upon here and in other Chimera case docs, may be of interest to those who are studying Scientology’s real estate transactions and fundraising schemes, as described in Lawrence Wright’s new book “Going Clear”. (PDF, 105kb)
  • Collection of material about child sex abuse allegations within the JW. Witness testimony, a large volume of info on William Bowen, who founded a Jehovah’s Witnesses survivors support group, SilentLambs, Inc, corporate docs, and lawsuit material between the congregation and Bowen, included.

There is lots of more data in the archive, including video testimony and various other court documents. Use the links  to access the full data. We like to thank all ANONS who helped to collect, evaluate and sort this material.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Disfellowshipped

a repost from the ChannelC forum

I realize that I tease you and that in writing perhaps it doesn’t come off as such. I imagine myself to be your little sister. You might not be in need of a little sister, and I can stop treating you as such. I just loved the image of the folks in the neighborhood and popcorn and such.

Anyway, since JVB opened up, I will too.

I don’t think that I’ve ever been an agnostic truly, I imagine I more simply lost my faith, and drew close to it as it goes hand-in-hand. I’ve mentioned previously having used the phrase “if, given god, then…” in my conversations.

Here’s my story… Continue reading

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Ancestry, Cannabis

Bubby

Randy at Hell's Point, Pokagon, Labor Day 2012

I am proud of my mother.

She challenged the authority when they told her that my uncle had six months to live.

In her heart, she knew better. In six weeks he was dead.

My mother didn’t fight the authority, there was no point. Either way, he’d be dead. Yet, my mother took her belief seriously. She rearranged her priorities, so that she could be with him not wanting to miss spending time with him while he still breathed.

My mother shared her belief with those of the family who would listen, and some believed what she, in faith, said. Because my mom is something of a natural nut, some chose to believe the word of the medical authority over what she so strongly believed.

My mother called us together, asking the family to gather, to spend time with him. The doctors had decreed his six months in July, my mom come and see him Memorial Day. I questioned my mother, asked her, is it Labor Day you mean? More than her words, I knew what she meant, what her belief would mean.

Schaadt's in Hell

Those of who believed, who took the health nut my momma seriously, took heed. The family all gathered, and the other side of the family hosted, the ones who take my mom seriously. Amid music and singing, children playing and sunflowers, my aunt and uncle (of that side of the family) offered Uncle Randy relief in the form of a weed. Though it’s not an appropriate natural remedy in my mother’s belief, it was thanks to God’s creation that he was able to join in the merriment, raising a guitar to his knee. Before that day, I never he knew that he could really play.

Uncle Randy

Later I confessed to my mother that she must know that the pleasure thanks to the leaves of a weed. I urged her to urge his caregiver to implore his doctor to prescribe him the prescription, mans form of God’s gift by the hand of their own authority. My aunt, the caregiver, and my mother agreed, though the need was plain to see, relief shouldn’t be obtained in the form of what they’d call “weed“, they apparently don’t approve whether relief is by a pill form prescription or by what he’d breath, or eat. I’d never make it home fast enough to see about sending him cookies.

That was the last day I’d really see him, that day watching the last of his life—more so than any other day I’d ever seen—as he laughed and he played and he drank and even sang. That night, still relieved, apparently was the last and only he’d really sleep. Later I here he spent hours dead to the world, but even a caregiver, I imagine if I am bold, will note the difference between succumbing to death and breathing easy in sleep.

All this is to say, that I’m proud of my mother and that though they’d say that he’d have six months in this life to remain. My mother, though others would think her insane, ignored the authority and in her campaign we thus would win the last few days we’d never get back again. Those who’d doubt totally missed out, but my mother made sure we had all the time with him that we could spend.

I think of my mother happy that she’d challenge authority. What they said she simply couldn’t believe. They say that ‘faith is the assured expectation of things not yet beheld’, and it takes faith to believe.

Had my mother held to her faith, and urged us to believe, I wouldn’t have seen my uncle and get to say goodbye, in not so many words, before he’d leave.

My dear parents, my sisters and my brother, I’m glad we all listened to our mother, listened to her, trusted, had faith and believed—even though we weren’t raised to question authority.

Momma didn’t try to fight the authority, and neither will I.

Momma at the Lake, Labor Day 2012

I believe that we’ll all obtain life, given the lives we live, when we die. The difference is simply the reward you’ll obtain, by what words we heed while in this life we remain. I think of Nikki, who momma’s words didn’t heed, she heard but didn’t listen, and by doubt missed out because it was the doctor’s she chose to believe. She said she’d see him later, and though in this life she was wrong, I imagine that one day the band will get back together, and we all will be there to sing along.

Grandpa, Me, and Uncle Randy

I hope that you’ll respect me, as I take my leave from believing what I was taught is the authority. I asked them questions they couldn’t answer, so I’ll believe what I read. The Word became flesh so that we could believe, and God left us a written record for us to read. He planted faith among us, a tiny little seed. Buried like our uncle and father, all it takes now to raise from up under is to read and believe! I will not try to uproot you from the soil you know, recalling God’s creation: seed, sun and water—we reap what we sow; a man planted, a man watered, but it was God that kept making it grow.

Then God said,

“I’ve given you every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth And every kind of fruit-bearing tree, given them to you for food. To all animals and all birds, everything that moves and breathes, I give whatever grows out of the ground for food.”

And there it was.

God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!

It was evening, it was morning—Day Six. — Genesis 1

 

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

We fly away…

I am emotional. I feel betrayed. I was raised in faith that the Watchtower was God’s organization. I believed that my mom and dad knew the answers that one day I’d come to learn. I just felt slow and stupid and that eventually I’d get it. I trusted. I had faith. I believed. I knew my parents were smarter than me. I had read it in the poem that hang on his bedroom wall.

I now learn that while they can’t answer me from the scriptures when will my father live again they will deny the scriptures as they are written as truth.

“And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.” — Revelation 20:5

Despite that verse, and the one which precedes it which clearly defines who will partake in the first resurrection (which is immediately followed by this verse—”And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.”) she’d say that “apparently” my father, and all other loved ones, such as my uncles and my best friend, will come to life again during the thousand year reign.

“But who will they rule over?”, she asked.

I attempt to offer the answer, it lies therein, in the next verse—
“the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog” the ones who Satan’d deceive, let alone the man on earth who would yet thus believe and come to reside, as the scriptures say, in the holy city.

My parents tell me there will be only 144,000 in heaven, you see.

And thus on the earth the great crowd should be.

I wonder and am confused, what mystery she believes? (Revelation 17:5)

The 144,000 are in heaven, yes, we agree.

The great crowd, regardless—where is it?!—where will Gog and Magog be?

My parents won’t answer, and a answer will not be.

They offer confusing theories, the efforts or effects of their personal theology.

“The dead are not dead”, he says, “don’t you see?”

Or is it that he says that they are dead, but only spiritually?

And ‘the Son of Man which every man will see’, well not, every man will “see” he’d have me believe?

The man who says he was the Son of God would ask me to believe, and he asked in the first century, “what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?” apparently now the truth that we should seek is “what if you would see the Son of Man descending to where he was before he was where it is that he still is or would still be?”

Oh, I sigh, I ask and cry, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?”

My parents would say that though they dropped their jaws, and gave good pause so the Lord would sent his angels to mark the day, that it not matter, despite the manner, they not believe “This man, who was received up into the sky will come back in the same way as he was seen going into the sky.”

No, we’d not see, it’d be seen, no not all all.

It is not green eggs, no, it is not green eggs and ham, at all.

It was not for us but for the few he’d call, those men that they’d say of that long since past long ago day, some day once before no, never, not seen, it was one day when some one said he say him, somewhere near 1919. He came invisibly, known only once he came though their inner chamber doors; yet we shouldn’t worry, as though it were a desert, no not in desert no wilderness, nor should we go seek him, no it was in Brooklyn that as a thief he broke in.

My heart is like a child’s, like a king’s it’s been broken.
I have no throne, my crown is sore and of my ego there’s not much left to be worn,
But a princess I’d be—in the kingdom of heaven—my heart still plays make believe.

I give it all, I swear I would. I understand, I’d dare I could, Paul he’d be a man after that which is me—My Dad, my mother, my sisters and my brother, my family—please take them, take them before me?! My life, my life, I’ll give it, pray, I pray, please, oh please, not them but me! My body you’ve beaten, battered and abused, my mouth you smote and my faith you moved. My fear was shattered and my soul I cared not, who knows what I know, and who needs what I’ve got?

My father, my Father, before both I bend my knee. I beseech you I pray in my scattered soul, that thing which I not know if man need, my heart has been thrashed, and my heart thus does beat. Take my shame, give me blame, or lift from below?—I can’t breath. My eyes lay but for a moment on your son, and my heart stirred, ashamed I chastised myself, for your son I am beneath.

Why make me wonder I already know. You know my mother told you so. I look good in red, that’s what she said. And you know I’ve always wished to be worthy of wearing white. Your woman of revelation, adorned in skies diamonds, my mother think I’d be better off in colored jewels. You both tease thus, it seems I must, admit the scriptures are my muse?

But in seriousness, somberness, in undertone day and night. You know it is, from child’s breath, to adult fright, I’ve read you in delight. I had faith though life not make me believe. My spirit broke, then I found myself on bended knees. I lay my head to the ground, where once long ago I was found. It against that flesh that I find myself, the dust of which I am, the dust which I deserve.

Why make me dream, drowning me in stars? Why test my heart, and send my mind so far? I have no family in heaven, my father beneath my feet sleeps. My mother’d not believe me if I told her it’s me you’d seek. She thinks its the devil, and thus shame has won, how it is that I’d tell her, it is the best that I’ve done?

What shall you do to make them believe? What is it that shall come to make the world see? I care not for my life, but he that gave his for me. How is it that you lived without him? A perfect man, your child, your seed? My father knows not of the pain of which we call my life, he never came to know that a man called me his wife. As I stood before that man, for your mother and father you must leave, that man told me that I must forget—for him you must not grieve. How jarring it is this moment to try to say where all the other words thus in poetry lay—he said it he said it he said it callously, he said ‘get over it’, and that he said it I still can’t believe.

I’m done. I’m done. I’ve said all I can say. You’ve empty my heart, and I’ll hit send and pray.

I think of my father, and then you sent Muppets and clowns my way. I adore my childhood, and my life I wouldn’t trade.

I imagine another live would be one less boring than mine. I still can’t said I would trade it to live next to the divine. The roses smell sweet when not genetically altered, and you know it is not less than often that before earth’s herbs I’ve faltered. Rosemary I rub in my palms to breath its fragrance given next to the busy street, basil I adore and roses maybe more, though my scent I still seek. Do you have smells where you dwell, or could I have herbal retreats? Is it true, I heard once you drew a vision a man knew not to seek… upon a stone he struck his head and in slumber he did sleep. Though his eyes were closed his spirit rose, in wonder it did peak. He saw the stairs, or a ladder who cares, it was heaven it did seek. Angels came and went and the night was spent and of it the scriptures do speak. I laugh and wonder, could it be a man should go asunder so he might find on the other side an elevator ride, one like no other? (Genesis 28:10-19) I know, I know, in case she should read, yes the man who first before him must proceed. That death he gave and wine we drink, in life will live and death in we will breath.

Ecclesiastes “The Teacher”

In anguish, Solomon says in his heart,

“Who knows the spirit of man,
whether it goes upward,
and the spirit of the animal,
whether it goes downward to the earth?”

Why? Why had it entered Solomon’s heart that might might “go upward” as opposed to the “downward to the earth” that he knew of the death of animals?

A Prayer by Moses, the man of God.

Why is the prayer of Moses in the psalm referring to “flying away“?

Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.
Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
You turn man to destruction, saying,
“Return, you children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are just like yesterday when it is past,
like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as they sleep.
In the morning they sprout like new grass.
In the morning it sprouts and springs up.
By evening, it is withered and dry.
For we are consumed in your anger.
We are troubled in your wrath.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days have passed away in your wrath.
We bring our years to an end as a sigh.
The days of our years are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty years;
yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,
for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

Why is it, by the way, that you’d believe that a generation can be anything other than what the scriptures define? There are so many little studies I did in child like curiosity and learned so many little things. Check every single reference to lifetime and you’ll see, a generation is forty if a life for the mighty would eighty be. Christ died and prophesied that a generation would see, and then thus it was that less than that it came to pass and thus they came to see. Why should I though all I know who believed have thus died believed what was not taught? Is it not man who over whom man it is that injury is wrought?

I apologize. While there might be some meter or rhyme, I haven’t the slight clue how to communicate it in writ. I offer you thus what you might imagine is puss, but I hope instead you see wit.

I am a gift from God, think no more of myself from sod, of where a seed dost thus lay. However this wheat should be no more neat than in thus death it stray. For in that if it be true then thus it is that I do a seed a harvest display. I long ago since died, and each time I think it the last that I’ve cried, but as your child I’d lied, and thus I lay my heart humbly before you this day.

I, Angela Marie Niblick Benson Baxley, and of all other aliases both present and formerly, am of sound mind and judgement of body.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7

I seek love and self-discipline, and the power to overcome weakness in speech.

But first, I shower.

Good night.

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Psychology, Religion

Pedophilia: A Letter to my Mother in Support of Candace Conti

I compiled all this because my heart ached realizing how you’d judged Candace, and her mother—whose name is Kathleen Conti—”it was her mother’s responsibility”. You judged but you did not know the facts.

Candace Conti

Candace Conti

You raised me to think of Candace as my sister. My heart goes out to my sister. Looking at her face she even reminds me of my own sisters.

I don’t know if Candace is in association with the Watchtower any more. I imagine not. It doesn’t matter, to me she is my sister. I pray for her, in hopes that her belief in our heavenly father was not tied to the Watchtower as mine was. I hope she knows that the actions of those “imperfect men” do not represent that of her Father. I hope that if they disfellowshipped her, like others I know have been for going to the authorities and/or media, that she knows that this is not her Father rebuking her, but a corporation who is protecting their ass—er—assets. Short sighted, they are concerned with man, rather than God. Continue reading

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Papers, Religion

In Fame Only: A Historical Record of the Divine Name

Reprinted Translation from Gérard Gertoux, Un Nome eccellente

Paradox of the Anonymous Name

God’s name, which one finds about 7000 times in the Bible under the form YHWH, possesses the unique and remarkable circumstance of not having been vocalized by nearly all translators. With this name being unpronounceable under its written form YHWH, some overconfidant (or overzealous?) translators refused to confirm this paradox and preferred to vocalize it with an approximated form. Obviously, in every case the proposed vocalizations were very rigorously criticized. A review of the past twenty centuries will allow us to appreciate the reasonings which favored or opposed the vocalization of God’s name, and to understand the origin of the controversy and the paradox of a name which can be written without being able to read it aloud. Continue reading

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Satan and the demons continue to mislead people
Doctrines, Religion

Heaven is Full—The Hope of the Great Crowd

The Watchtower has always taught that the 144,000 are the ones to go to heaven—but most Jehovah’s Witnesses today don’t realize that Russell taught that they were all part of the “anointed” “remnant” going to heaven.

The remnant are a small portion of all the anointed followers of Christ who are pictured in heaven in Revelation.

Indeed, until 1935 when the teaching changed, the Watchtower presented the urgency for all to become one of the limited  144,000 who would go to heaven. With the message that of the doors of heaven would soon be closed, membership swelled… Continue reading

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Beulah
Doctrines, Religion

Beulah, and the name designated by the very mouth of Jehovah

Beulah There was a sister I knew named Beulah growing up. I thought it a strange name, not being acquainted with it’s meaning.

Today I crossed a street I often cross—Beulah—and wondered what my parents think of when they see the name.

Nowadays I know the significance of the name. You see, this past year I started studying the bible—not “studying the bible” like Jehovah’s Witnesses do, studying the Watchtower’s publications and their interpretation of the bible, but actually reading and studying the bible.

I found it hard to just read the bible, as in read without interpretation, the scriptures. I was raised in the Watchtower Society, and reading the New World Translation meant walking down familiar pathways where I couldn’t see the forest for the trees of interpretation.

Thus, I took to reading a different version—and then multiple versions—and when I came to something that surprised me, I’d search out to see if these words in these versions were indeed true. Continue reading

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Praise, Religion

Watchtower History of The Name Jehovah

The Divine Name in Later Times

THAT the divine name was used in early history is beyond question. But what about later times? Why have certain Bible translations omitted the name? And what is its meaning and significance to us?

THE NAME “JEHOVAH” BECOMES WIDELY KNOWN
Interestingly, Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk of the Dominican order, first rendered the divine name as “Jehova.” This form appeared in his book Pugeo Fidei, published in 1270 C.E.—over 700 years ago.

In time, as reform movements developed both inside and outside the Catholic Church, the Bible was made available to the people in general, and the name “Jehovah” became more widely known. In 1611 C.E. the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible was published. It uses the name Jehovah four times. (Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4) Since then, the Bible has been translated many, many times. Some translations follow the example of the Authorized Version and include the divine name only a few times.

In this category is An American Translation (by Smith and Goodspeed) with a slight variation of using “Yahweh” instead of “Jehovah.” Yet, one may ask: “Why have the translators done this? If using ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’ is wrong, why put it in at all? If right, why not be consistent and use it every time it appears in the Bible text?”

[w80 2/1 p. 11 The Divine Name in Later Times]

An Open Letter to the Catholic Monsignor

from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

Oct. 11, 1950.

To Matthew Smith, Monsignor of the Roman Catholic Church in America,
c/o The Register, Catholic Press Soc., Inc. Denver, Colo.

Before us is a copy of The Catholic Telegraph-Register, Section Two, dated Friday, August 18, 1950, containing an article signed by you. It occupies parts of three columns in the lower left-hand corner of page one and continues on page four for two full-column lengths, and is entitled: “Listening In,” with the subheading, “Sect Rewrites Parts of Bible to Fit Beliefs.” Also before us is a copy of the identical article by you appearing in The St. Louis Register of the same date, from which fact is to be gathered that your article was published quite generally in the 32 Diocesan editions of The Register published in as many cities. Your article therefore gained nation-wide publicity.

You open and close your article with a reference to the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, released at Yankee Stadium, Wednesday, August 2, the fourth day of the International Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses there. During the remaining four days of which Assembly 85,850 copies of this new translation were placed with the conventioners. We being the printers who have come into possession of the publication rights of this translation, we feel the obligation of making some answer to your article. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the general public who read your adverse article is expecting a published reply from us, and we do not want either to disappoint these or to fail in our obligation to the Most High God and his recorded Word.

Your article appears to be based entirely on what the news reporters had to say about the speeches and releases offered at the Yankee Stadium Assembly, and not upon a personal examination of the literature that was released. For instance, your remark (¶ 17): “All this will be wholly different from the perpetual earthly happiness promised by the Witnesses. Their idea, if the newspapers are correctly quoting their leaders, is closer to a Mohammedan idea than to a Christian one.”

Hearsay (“Listening In”) is a very unreliable foundation on which to make such an assertion in the public press in criticism of a group of Christians, who, though a minority, have circulated their literature around the earth in more than 90 languages in excess of half a billion copies of bound books and booklets, besides hundreds of millions of free tracts and magazines.

Your article admits that in his public address of August 6 on “Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?” the Watch Tower Society’s president N. H. Knorr answered the question in the affirmative. Following his lecture 250,000 copies of his speech, in a 32-page booklet, were distributed free to all in attendance, numbers taking many copies each, so that what Mr. Knorr said was freely available in print. You, with your Catholic means of obtaining information, could easily have procured a copy of this booklet. Those who heard or read this speech know that it has no resemblance to Mohammedanism but is based wholly upon the inspired Scriptures and the modern-day fulfillments of prophecy.

You say, “The idea of a perpetual reign of the saints on earth is repulsive to the majority of Christians,” “Heaven will not be a glorified earth,” and, “It is to be hoped, therefore, that Jehovah’s Witnesses will not place all their faith in the absurdity of an earthly kingdom that will never die.” (¶¶ 15, 16, 22) In none of their speeches or publications have Jehovah’s witnesses taught that ‘heaven will be a glorified earth’; but it is you, Monsignor, and your religious system that teach that people of your faith will take their earthly bodies to heaven.
Jehovah’s witnesses, however, adhere strictly to the inspired Scriptures and believe what the apostle John says about those of the “little flock” of Christians who will go to the heavenly kingdom: “Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him: because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2, Douay Version) We believe with the apostle John in a distinction between heaven and earth, and we accept his vision of the future in which he says: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more.” (Apocalypse 21:1, Douay) Certainly that new earth is to be populated with creatures of the earth, earthy, for Isaias 45:18 declares that the Lord God did not create the earth in vain: “he formed it to be inhabited.”

It is useless for you to counter with the argument that the apostle John saw only an apocalyptic vision. Not only the prophet Isaias speaks also of a new heavens and new earth (65:17; 66:22), but so does the apostle Peter. He describes the destruction of the present heavens and earth in which injustice dwells and then says: “But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth.”—2 Peter 3:13, Douay.

In harmony with the infallible Scriptures, Jehovah’s witnesses teach that Christ’s footstep followers who overcome this world will reign with him, not in the “new earth”, but in the “new heavens”; and obedient mankind on the “new earth” will be blessed by the invisible, heavenly reign of Jesus Christ and his glorified followers, his bride. (Apocalypse 2:26-28; 3:21; 20:4-6) If this is “repulsive”, it is repulsive to the majority of professed Christians who do not accept God’s Word but who have been indoctrinated with religious traditions of men contrary to God’s Word. (Matthew 15:1-9, Douay) Your hopes, therefore, that we will not place our faith “in the absurdity of an earthly kingdom that will never die” are ill-founded and are needless. We do not hope for such a thing, but preach “the kingdom of HEAVEN” as the rightful government for all the universe. Modern events fulfilling sacred prophecy prove that this heavenly kingdom is at hand and will remove the Devil’s rule of earth; and because of this fact we can assure people of good will that they can live forever in happiness on earth under the heavenly kingdom of Christ and his glorified congregation. Then, in answer to the Lord’s prayer, God’s name will be hallowed and his will will forever be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

NO REWRITING OF PARTS OF THE BIBLE

Your article (¶ 2) states: “Newspaper accounts indicated that the ‘translation’ changed the texts to fit Witnesses’ doctrines.” Then, to make it appear that Jehovah’s witnesses are mutilating the Christian Greek Scriptures, you quote the New York Times’ report as saying: “Rejecting the idea of the Holy Trinity, the Bible society translation replaces the phrase ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,’ used frequently throughout the King James version with ‘the spirit and the water and the blood’ (1 John v. 7).”

First of all, the newspaper report errs in saying that the phrase “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” is used frequently throughout the King James Version. It is not so used even in the Catholic Douay Version. The one place in the Scriptures where the phrase does occur, namely, at Matthew 28:19, the New World Translation renders the verse: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.” In a corresponding passage, namely, 2 Corinthians 13:14, this translation reads: “The undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the sharing in the holy spirit be with all of you.”

No parts of the Bible have been rewritten in this New World Translation to fit the beliefs of Jehovah’s witnesses, as you blatantly assert. The Translation Committee did not construct its own Greek text of the Christian Scriptures. No; but on page 8 of the Foreword it notifies us that the Committee used the 1948 Macmillan Company edition of the Westcott and Hort text of 1881, besides S. C. E. Legg’s editions of Matthew and Mark, and that it also took into consideration “other texts, including that prepared by D. Eberhard Nestle and that compiled by the Spanish Jesuit scholar José María Bover and that by the other Jesuit scholar A. Merk”. Concerning the same Greek text mainly used by the Committee, E. J. Goodspeed says in his Preface in “An American Translation” (1939): “I have closely followed the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, now generally accepted. Every scholar knows its great superiority to the late and faulty Greek texts from which the early English translations from Tyndale to the Authorized Version were made.”

So the New World Translation has rewritten no part of the Greek text, not even 1 John 5:7 which is cited in your article as a place where Jehovah’s witnesses clash with the trinitarian doctrine. Does the New World Translation here replace the phrase “the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” with the phrase “the spirit and the water and the blood”? No! How could the latter phrase be used as a replacement when it is already there in the Greek text? But it is the former phrase that is not there.

The New World Translation of 1 John 5:7, 8 reads: “For there are three witness bearers, the spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement [margin: are for the one thing].” This is a literal translation of the Greek text by the above-named Augustinus Merk, S.J., in his Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine; it is also a literal translation of the Greek text by the other Roman Catholic scholar, Joseph M. Bover, S.J., in his Novi Testamenti Biblia Graeca et Latina; as well as of Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece and of the Westcott and Hort Greek text. So you see that even those Jesuit scholars do not include in their Greek texts the words, “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth.” (Douay) Those words are now recognized by all genuine scholars as spurious to the authentic Greek text. Your own precious Vatican Manuscript No. 1209 of the early 4th century does not contain the words, but brands them spurious.

The French Catholic Bible by Canon A. Crampon puts those words in brackets and says in the footnote: “The words put in brackets are not found in any Greek manuscript prior to the 15th century, nor in any manuscript of the Vulgate prior to the 8th.” The Catholic German translation by P. Johann Perk of 1947 puts the words in parentheses and explains in a footnote. It is true that the Jesuit scholars Merk and Bover show the words in their parallel Latin text, but, please, note this: Bover and Cantera do not include the words in their Spanish translation of 1947. Also, the words do not appear in the Latin text of the Novum Testamentum Latine by J. Wordsworth and H. J. White of 1911, and which is rendered according to St. Jerome’s edition. Their footnote says they print the Latin text without the disputed words, in harmony with the Latin manuscripts Amiatinus, Armachanus, Fuldensis, Sangermanensis, and the original Vallicellanus, these manuscripts being of the 6th to the 9th centuries. The footnote adds that the words appear in the Latin manuscripts Cavensis, the revised Vallicellanus, of the 9th century, and the Sixtine and Clementine editions of the Vulgate of the 16th century.

Please note other Roman Catholic translations that omit the words: The Spanish translation of 1948 by Nácar and Colunga; the French translation by Canon E. Osty, of 1949, and the French Catholic Bible of 1949 by the Monks of Maredsous; and the Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures by Rev. Cuthbert Lattey, S.J., of 1948. These read like the 1950 New World Translation.

Thus on the main text that is cited for charging Jehovah’s witnesses with rewriting parts of the Bible to fit their beliefs you are proved false. The New World Translation stands vindicated, and it will remain so against any future attacks from any quarter.

THE DIVINE NAME

The last four paragraphs of your article are grouped under the heading “Jehovah Not Correct as God’s Name”. Here you open by saying: “Something of the shallow scholarship in the sect in adopting the word Jehovah as part of its title is shown by the Catholic Biblical Encyclopedia’s treatment of this word: . . . .” And your closing paragraph says: “We fear that all the other scholarship of the Witnesses, including what they have done in their translation of the New Testament, is on the same basis as their use of the word Jehovah.”

Thank you for this opportunity to present some facts to you and to the public. We do not say that “Jehovah” is the correct pronunciation of God’s name. For that matter, neither is “Jesus” the correct pronunciation of Christ’s name. But according to the Aramaic language which Christ and his apostles spoke, his name was pronounced “Yeshu?a” (the a representing a gutteral ending). But “Jesus” is only our colloquial way of pronouncing his name, and we do not find fault with you for using it instead of Yeshu?a. However, if you call it shallow scholarship for the Committee to use the word Jehovah in the New World Translation, then you will have to admit that it is due to the shallow scholarship of the Roman Catholic clergy of the thirteenth century, for in that century the word historically appears among them.

Your quotation from the Catholic Biblical Encyclopedia says Jehovah was the incorrect pronunciation given to the Hebrew tetragrammaton JHVH in the 14th century by Porchetus de Salvaticis (1303). But let us say: The origin of the word Jehovah used to be attributed to Petrus Galatinus, a Franciscan friar, the confessor of Pope Leo X, in his De Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis, published in 1518. But the latest scholarship has proved he was not the one to introduce the pronunciation Jehovah, and neither was your aforementioned Porchetus de Salvaticis. As shown by Joseph Voisin, the learned editor of the Pugio Fidei (The Poniard of Faith) by Raymundus Martini, Jehovah had been used long before Galatinus. Even a generation before Porchetus de Salvaticis wrote his Victoria contra Judaeos (1303), the Spanish Dominican friar Raymundus Martini wrote his Pugio, about 1278, and used the name Jehovah. In fact, Porchetus took the contents of his Victoria largely from Martini’s Pugio. And Scaliger proves that Galatinus took his De Arcanis bodily from Martini’s Pugio. Galatinus did not introduce the pronunciation Jehovah, but merely defended it against those who pronounced the Hebrew tetragrammaton Jova.

In 1557 Jehovah became established in John Forster’s New Hebrew Dictionary, and Marcus Marinus admitted Jehova in his Lexicon Arca Noae of 1593. Sebastian Muenster uses the name Jehova in his text of his Latin translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (1534), and in his notes on Exodus 3:15 and 6:3 he uses the name as though it were well known. Also in 1557, in bringing out Pagninus’ Latin version of the Hebrew Scriptures, Robert Stephanus used Jehova uniformly for the Hebrew tetragrammaton. In a note on Psalm 2:1 he remarked that substituting Adonai for it was to be rejected as a Jewish superstition.

Cardinal Thomas de Vio Cajetanus in his Commentary on the Pentateuch, of 1531, regularly used Jehova. In his translation of Genesis 2:4 he has “Jehova Elohim”; and in his note on Exodus 6:3 he says: “Jehovah the God of your fathers appeared to me (Iehova Elohe patrum vestrorum visus est mihi).” To be consistent, you should call that “shallow scholarship” on the part of your cardinal, what?

But that such “shallow scholarship” is not limited to Roman Catholic clergy of the 13th to the 16th centuries, please be apprised that in an edition of the French Catholic Bible by Abbé A. Crampon of 1905 he used Jehovah in his text; this has since been amended to read “Yahweh” according to our copy of the 1939 edition. But note also the following.

You are also doubtless acquainted with the magazine The Grail, published in St. Meinrad, Indiana. Well, in the February, 1949, issue of this magazine appeared the article “Jona, God’s Problem Prophet” by Philip Dan Stack. In it we read: “Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jona the son of Amittay* [Footnote*: ‘All quotations from Sacred Scripture in this essay are from The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scripture, edited by The Rev. Cuthbert Lattey, S.J.; this accounts for the unusual spelling of certain proper names.’], saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and denounce it; for their wickedness is come up before me.’ (Jona 1:1-2) . . . A fine chance he, an insignificant prophet from Gath-hefer, would stand in forcing penance upon the fabulous Ninevites, who did not even know his own God’s name.” From page 54 to page 58 the name Jehovah is used 30 times, twice being spelled Jahve, and the version from which it is quoting is, mind you, the Westminster Version by a Jesuit Reverend! Was that not quite “shallow scholarship” to set before Catholic readers? Does it not make you blush to be confronted with such “shallow scholarship” on the part of Roman Catholic publications and authors in this twentieth century?

The pronunciation Jahweh, usually credited to John L. Ewald of the 18th century, goes back farther, to the 16th century. Ten years before Ewald was born (1747), Jahveh was found in Eichhorn’s Simonis, the Lexicon in most general use in Germany. F. H. Gesenius adopted the pronunciation Jahveh when Ewald was still defending Jehovah.

Why, then, does the New World Translation use the name Jehovah 237 times in its main text? Is it due to “shallow scholarship”, as you insinuate? No. In the Foreword, from page 10 to page 25, the Translation Committee explains its basis for using this name so many times. In addition to the 19 Hebrew versions, it cites versions of the “New Testament” in 38 languages besides English and Hebrew where the translators use a vernacular form of the Hebrew tetragrammaton. But in its 2nd last paragraph the Translation Committee says: “While inclining to view the pronunciation ‘Yah?weh?’ as the more correct way, we have retained the form ‘Jehovah’ because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH.” And in its footnotea of page 36, on Matthew 1:20 where “Jehovah’s angel” appears, it says: “Jehovah’s, or, Yahweh’s.”

At the Yankee Stadium, when giving his speech introducing the New World Translation, the Society’s president said: “But, while recognizing the merits of the pronunciation ‘Yah?weh?’, the translation committee has used the form ‘Jehovah’ because of its familiarity and because it preserves the four original letters of the Hebrew name. In God’s own time when He reveals the correct pronunciation of his holy name, we will gladly make the accurate correction.”—See The Watchtower, September 15, 1950, page 317 ¶ 14.

The true scholarship behind the New World Translation will make itself known, not by the disclosure of the names of the translating committee, but by the faithfulness of the translation to the Greek text and by the reliable help it gives toward understanding God’s written revelation to men. We are not troubled, therefore, by your thrust: “Albeit the identity of the translators is being withheld at their own request—they are not likely to make much impression on either Catholic or Protestant scholars. It is no wonder that the translators wish to remain unknown.” (¶ 7)

Not praise from the scholarship of this fading world, but the true service of God and the education of the people in his Word, is what we are after. The honesty, courage and firm foundations of this translation will commend it to honest seeking hearts. Already the fact that the universally known Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society publishes this New World Translation has been more of a recommendation to lovers of God’s Word than the mere scholarship of Christendom.

We are releasing this letter for publication in The Register, in fair play, as our answer to your article. Regardless of whether any of the affiliates of The Register publish this answer in whole or not, the Watchtower magazine will gladly publish it and thus it will reach its way to the public to whom it is due.

Sincerely,
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every kind of wicked thing against you for my sake. Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.—Matt. 5:11, 12, NW.

[w50 12/1 pp. 469-474 An Open Letter to the Catholic Monsignor]

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Religion,

this block of wood

Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent.
— Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

I couldn’t invent the story of my life if I tried, it’s hard enough figuring out how to write it. Life has been non-stop and I just can’t seem to figure out how I’d ever explain it all — I imagine with the tools now I can basically rig up a wedding photo montage with music introducing the couple style experience if I could just compile all the images (curate them) and add the details like the music, atmospheric settings, etc, and if technology could only get as good as the ideal—it being fully recorded for full sensorial experience upon playback, upon editing.

Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools.” — Mr. Magorium

Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

The Irony

DAILY TEXT FROM THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Sunday, August 26

Do not put your trust in fallacious words.—Jer. 7:4.

Some Israelites viewed the temple as a talisman that would protect them from enemies. (Jer. 7:1-4) Earlier, Israelites viewed the ark of the covenant as a charm that would protect them in battle. (1 Sam. 4:3, 10, 11) Constantine the Great painted the Greek letters khi and rho, the first two letters of the title “Christ” in Greek, on his soldiers’ shields in hopes of protecting his soldiers in battle. And King Gustav Adolph II of Sweden, who fought in the Thirty Years’ War, is thought to have worn armor that had the name Iehova featured prominently on the collar. Some of God’s people who have been attacked by demons have found refuge in Jehovah by calling his name out loud. Still, an object that features God’s name should not be considered a talisman or used as a charm in everyday life as if it had some magical power of protection. This is not what it means to take refuge in the name of Jehovah. w11 1/15 1:14, 15

First, it’s interesting to see today’s scripture in context. It’s a warning:

Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words,*+
saying, ‘The temple* of Jehovahthe temple of Jehovah,
the temple of Jehovah they are!’” — Jeremiah 7:4

Then there’s the irony of the name—the name “Jehovah” first arrived on the scene from Christendom in the 13th century.

Taking refuge in the name of God, or in the name of the Lord is not about the use of a name, but a statement about God’s attributes and activities. When Jesus made his father’s name manifest to his disciples, it wasn’t by use of a proper name, but it was by perfectly representing his father, doing the will and works of his father and speaking not of his own accord, but his father’s words.

Another way of putting it, is that he was “the spit and image of his father”.

Similar to how people will tell a young man that he must make a name for himself, they’re not referring to what he is called, but rather how he is known.

Do not put YOUR trust in fallacious words,*+ saying,
‘The temple* of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah,
the temple of Jehovah they are!’” — Jeremiah 7:4

The True God

This means everlasting life—that they might know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. — John 17:3, New American Standard Version

It’s not about a “name”, it’s about knowing the only true God.

I Never Knew You

Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing+ the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.+ 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,+ did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works* in your name?’+23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!+ Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.+

The Workers of Lawlessness 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

However, brothers, respecting the presence*+ of our* Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him,+ we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression*+ or through a verbal message+ or through a letter+ as though from us, to the effect that the day+ of Jehovah* is here.

3 Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy*+ comes first and the man of lawlessness*+ gets revealed,+ the son of destruction.*+ 4 He is set in opposition+ and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple* of The God,* publicly showing himself to be a god.+ 5 Do YOU not remember that, while I was yet with YOU, I used to tell+ YOU these things?

6 And so now YOU know the thing+ that acts as a restraint,+ with a view to his being revealed in his own due time.+ 7 True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work;+ but only till he who is right now acting as a restraint* gets to be out of the way.+ 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus* will do away with by the spirit of his mouth+ and bring to nothing by the manifestation+ of his presence.+ 9 But the lawless one’s presence* is according to the operation*+ of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents+ 10 and with every unrighteous deception*+ for those who are perishing,+ as a retribution because they did not accept the love+ of the truth that they might be saved.+11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie,+ 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth+ but took pleasure* in unrighteousness.+

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Religion

ChannelC OneApart

Association

Baptized at 12 years old coming from multiple generations on my [step] dad’s sideMelvin George Baxley—and my mom and [deceased] father came in [to the truth] together, baptized at the same time arm-in-arm, literally.

Now I am a Silent Lamb. Sacrifice me.

Family all still are “JW”, but I’ve been disfellowshipped twice.

I got back “in” this year to be able to speak with family but my parents pretty much shun me because my intent was to share and research the information I had learned of late about the religion.

Left

I’ve faded, immediately after reinstatement.

I live on the west coast and the timing went well as I moved for a job right after reinstatement.

So I am a ghost now. My family is east coast.

Perspective

I believe in God—even more so than before when it was a religious thing.

I am trying to learn what the bible really says.

Dealing with shunning

Nothing makes you crazier than being ignored and feeling as though you don’t belong.

My family wasn’t strict about it near the end this time around, but our relationships will never be the same after more than 5 years of shunning.

What is your objective for the Channel C panel?

To find association among like-minded people.

Somewhat more private and probably more intellectual than the posts I’ve read on the other public forums.

I’m not into bashing as a past time—Looking for a place that’s more mature [than www.jehovahs-witness.net].

Any other information you think is pertinent or interesting?

I recently started a site (I’m in technology as a profession) : seekjehovah.org.

It’s a work in progress with the intent to be found by witnesses, not immediately repel them, and instead perhaps reach people with information I wish I would have had sooner in life.

Thank you!

On Aug 12, 2012, from “cc-questions@channelc.org”

Angela:

Based on your responses and candor (below), I think you would be an excellent contributor to the Channel C forum.

I looked at your seekjehovah.org Website and it appears excellent as well. What a genuinely Christian endeavor, appropriate for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

What would you like for a user name and a password? I will register you and look forward to your participation in the discussions.Thanks for your interest in Channel C.

Blessings,
Channel C Admin

Angela M. Baxley <abaxley@gmail.com> 8/12/12 to cc-questions

thank you. How about “oneapart”.

Rosalie the Channel C admin, and friend of Franz.

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Doctrines, Religion

The Body of Christ

DAILY TEXT FROM THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY

Just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.—1 Cor. 12:12.

Jehovah created mankind to be interdependent. The human race exhibits a wide variety of looks, personalities, and skills. Additionally, he endowed the first humans with godly qualities that would enable them to cooperate with each other and to depend on each other. (Gen. 1:27; 2:18) Nevertheless, the world of mankind in general is now alienated from God and has never, as a whole, been able to act in unity. (1 John 5:19) Therefore, considering that the first-century Christian congregation was composed of people as diverse as Ephesian slaves, prominent Greek women, educated Jewish men, and former idol worshippers, their unity must have seemed miraculous. (Acts 13:1; 17:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 6:1) True worship enables people to cooperate as harmoniously as the members of our own body.—1 Cor. 12:13w10 9/15 2:2, 3

When I read today’s daily text I wondered how many members of the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide realize that the Watchtower defines the members of the congregation they refer to as limited to only the anointed.

The Watchtower teaches that Christ is the head of the congregation—but that this congregation is only comprised of 144,000 people who are anointed to go to heaven. While the bible teaches there is a special ruling class of anointed in heaven who rule the Kingdom with Christ, no where does it teach these are the only anointed or only ones in heaven. Actually Revelation tells us that the Great Crowd that no man is able to number is in heaven rendering rendering him sacred service day and night in the temple at Revelation 7:9-17.

The Watchtower elaborates on the Great Crowd in heaven.

“The Greek word (na·os’) translated “temple” in John’s vision of the great crowd is more specific. In the context of the Jerusalem temple, it usually refers to the Holy of Holies, the temple building, or the temple precincts. It is sometimes rendered “sanctuary.”—Matthew 27:5, 51; Luke 1:9, 21; John 2:20.

Members of the great crowd exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They are spiritually clean, having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Hence, they are declared righteous with a view to becoming friends of God and of surviving the great tribulation. (James 2:23, 25) In many ways, they are like proselytes in Israel who submitted to the Law covenant and worshiped along with the Israelites.

Of course, those proselytes did not serve in the inner courtyard, where the priests performed their duties. And members of the great crowd are not in the inner courtyard of Jehovah’s great spiritual temple, which courtyard represents the condition of perfect, righteous human sonship of the members of Jehovah’s “holy priesthood” while they are on earth. (1 Peter 2:5) But as the heavenly elder said to John, the great crowd really is in the temple, not outside the temple area in a kind of spiritual Court of the Gentiles. What a privilege that is! And how it highlights the need for each one to maintain spiritual and moral purity at all times!” — w02 5/1 pp. 30-31

The Watchtower tells us, “Those with an earthly hope discern that they themselves are not anointed members of the body of Christ, nor are they in the new covenant that Jehovah made with those who will rule with Jesus Christ. Since “the cup” represents the new covenant, only those in the new covenant partake of the emblems. Those looking forward to everlasting life in human perfection on earth under the Kingdom are neither baptized into Jesus’ death nor called to rule with him in heaven. Were they to partake of the emblems, it would signify something that is not true with respect to them. Thus, they do not partake, though they do attend the Memorial as respectful observers. They are thankful for all that Jehovah has done for them by means of his Son, including the extending of forgiveness on the basis of Christ’s shed blood.

The final sealing of the relatively small number of Christians called to reign with Christ in heaven is nearing completion. Until the end of their life of sacrifice on earth, the anointed are spiritually strengthened by partaking of the Memorial emblems. They feel a bond of unity with their brothers and sisters as members of Christ’s body. Their partaking of the emblematic bread and wine reminds them of their responsibility to remain faithful until death.—2 Peter 1:10, 11.”

The Insight on the Scriptures book talks about this symbolic body of Christ.

Symbolic Usage. Jesus Christ is spoken of as the Head of “the congregation, which is his body.” (Eph 1:22, 23; Col 1:18) This Christian body of people has no divisions racially, nationally, or otherwise, Jews and people of all nations being represented in it. (Ga 3:28; Eph 2:16; 4:4) All are baptized by holy spirit into Christ and into his death. They are, therefore, all baptized into one body. (1Co 12:13) Thus all the body follows the head, dying his kind of death and receiving his kind of resurrection.—Ro 6:3-5; see BAPTISM (Baptism Into Christ Jesus, Into His Death).

The apostle Paul uses the functioning of the human body to illustrate the operation of the Christian congregation, likening the members living on earth at any particular time to a body, with Christ as the invisible Head. (Ro 12:4, 5; 1Co 12) He emphasizes the importance of the place each member occupies, the interdependency, the mutual love and care, and the accomplishment of work. God has set each one in his position in the body, and through the various operations of the holy spirit the body performs what is necessary. The Head, Jesus Christ, as liaison member, supplies the members of the body the things they need through the “joints and ligaments,” the means and arrangements for supplying spiritual nourishment as well as communication and coordination, so that “the body” is spiritually well fed and each part is informed of the task to perform.—Col 2:19; Eph 4:16.

One who is an anointed member of the Christian congregation, the body of Christ, … the temple organization, … One who is a member of the body of Christ, as well as other dedicated persons who are associated with these spiritually begotten body members…”

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

An Apology to My Mother

Mom, I know that I’m scaring you. And I’m sorry for that.

I don’t know how to explain with words what I’m going through.

I can however share with you what I’m fascinated by, and perhaps you can judge whether or not I’m “okay”.

I’ve been studying the Bible for months now, and I’ve perservered despite the fear that what I would learn might mean that I would separated from my family. I miss you guys so much. You seem nearly as a conceptual thing to me as “daddy” is. I understand what that relationship is supposed to mean, but it’s not something I’ve experienced. Likewise, I don’t really know how to be a sister or to be a daughter, it seems so long ago that I was a part of a family. I’m not sure I ever knew how to interact like I belonged.

Here’s a night in the most recent nights of Angela:

I’m an experience designer, so know that it’s an “experience”. I’m giving you my recipe as it were. I could send you the “Notability” file for instance which recorded me and the background (music in this case) while I studied the Watchtower. You can go along as I highlight and respond, and can hear the music that I was listening to and how I interacted in my study with God.

So. First, it starts with Faith. Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

The Power of Holy Spirit

Daily Text from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

You will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you.—Acts 1:8.

Jesus knew that his disciples in their own strength were not capable of observing all that he had commanded. Considering the scope of their preaching commission, the strength of their opponents, and the frailty of the human flesh, it was clear that they needed superhuman power. Thus, just before his ascension to heaven, Jesus assured his disciples that they would receive divine power and added: “You will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the most distant part of the earth.” That promise began to have its fulfillment at Pentecost 33 C.E. when holy spirit empowered the followers of Jesus Christ to fill Jerusalem with their preaching. No opposition was able to halt it. (Acts 4:20) “All the days until the conclusion of the system of things,” Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength.—Matt. 28:20w11 1/15 4:1, 2

From referenced Watchtower — w11 1/15 4:1, 2

Jesus promised his disciples that ‘they would receive power when the holy spirit arrived upon them.’ The terms “power” and “spirit” are distinct in their meaning. God’s spirit, his active force, describes energy that is projected and exerted on people or things to accomplish God’s will. Power, however, can be defined as the “ability to act or produce an effect.” It can lie dormant in someone or something until it is needed to produce a given result. Thus, holy spirit might be likened to the electric current that energizes a rechargeable battery, whereas power is more like the latent energy that is then stored in the battery. The power that Jehovah grants to his servants by means of holy spirit gives each one of us the ability to fulfill our Christian dedication and, when necessary, to resist negative forces that are exerted upon us.—Read Micah 3:8; Colossians 1:29.

Are you led by spirit?

Today’s text tells us “Jesus’ faithful followers, including us, would be in urgent need of that same God-given strength” as the “holy spirit that empowered the followers of Jesus Christ” at Pentecost 33 C.E.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father” for all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: joint heirs with Christ. (Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:14,17)

For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.+ For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear+ again, but you received a spirit+ of adoption+ as sons, by which spirit we cry out:“Abba,+ Father!” The spirit+ itself bears witness+ with our spirit+ that we are God’s children.+ If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs+ with Christ, provided we suffer+ together that we may also be glorified together.+ Consequently I reckon that the sufferings+ of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory+ that is going to be revealed in us. — Romans 8:14-18

Anti-Christ

Anti-Christ is translated literally “anti-anointed one”. As Christ is the Greek from the Hebrew word meaning Messiah, or “Anointed One”.

“Young children, it is the last hour,+ and, just as you have heard that antichrist is coming,+ even now there have come to be many antichrists;+ from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of our sort;+ for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us.+ But [they went out] that it might be shown up that not all are of our sort.+ And you have an anointing from the holy one;+ all of you have knowledge.+ I write you, not because you do not know the truth,+ but because you know it,+ and because no lie originates with the truth.+ “Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ?+ This is the antichrist,+ the one that denies the Father and the Son.+ Everyone that denies the Son does not have the Father either.+ He that confesses+ the Son has the Father also.+ As for you, let that which you have heard from [the] beginning remain in you.+ If that which you have heard from [the] beginning remains in you, you will also abide in union+ with the Son and in union with the Father.+ Furthermore, this is the promised thing that he himself promised us, the life everlasting.”+ — 1 John 2:18-25

“These things I write you about those who are trying to mislead you.+ And as for you, the anointing+ that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you;+ but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things,+ and is true+ and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union+ with him. So now, little children,+ remain in union+ with him, that when he is made manifest+ we may have freeness of speech+ and not be shamed away from him at his presence.*+ If you know that he is righteous,+ you gain the knowledge that everyone who practices righteousness has been born from him.”+ — 1 John 2:18-29

“Everyone that pushes ahead*+ and does not remain+ in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.+He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has both the Father and the Son.+” — 2 John 9 :9

Insight into the Anti-Christ

The Insight book defines Anti-Christ as “against (or instead of) Christ.”

We know we are living in the last days—so then, who is “anti-anointed ones” or places themselves “‘instead’ of Christ”?

Anti-Anointed Ones

For whom has God reserved the privilege of partaking at the Lord’s Evening Meal? (Matthew 25:31-40; Revelation 14:1) God has reserved that privilege for individuals he has anointed with holy spirit to be “joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-18; 1 John 2:20) What, then, is the position of those who hope to live forever in a global paradise under Kingdom rule? (Luke 23:43; Revelation 21:3, 4Since they are not Jesus’ joint heirs with a heavenly hope, they attend the Memorial as respectful observers.—Romans 6:3-5. — Watchtower 2003 2/15 pp. 17-22

One Mediator, One Ransom

For there is one God,+ and one mediator+ between God+ and men,+ a man, Christ Jesus,+ who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all+ — 1 Timothy 2:5, 6

Instead of Christ—or God

Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.” —  Worldwide Security, p10 (1986)

“Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor. … It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision.” — “Overseers of Jehovah’s People”, The Watchtower 1957 6/15 p. 370 par. 7

“Therefore Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to you, I am the door+ of the sheep. All those that have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers;+ but the sheep have not listened to them.+ I am the door;+ whoever enters through me will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasturage.”+ — John 10:7-9

“And I have other sheep,+ which are not of this fold;+ those also I must bring,* and they will listen to my voice,+ and they will become one flock, one shepherd.+ This is why the Father loves me,+ because I surrender my soul,+ in order that I may receive it again.” — John 10:16, 17

“Jesus said to him: “I am the way+ and the truth+ and the life.+ No one comes to the Father except through me.+ If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.”+ — John 14:6, 7

One body+ there is, and one spirit,+ even as you were called in the one hope+ to which you were called; one Lord,+ one faith,+ one baptism;+ one God+ and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all. Now to each one of us undeserved kindness+ was given according to how the Christ measured out the free gift.”+ — Ephesians 4:4-7

For where there are two or three gathered together in my name,+ there I am in their midst.”+ — Matthew 18:20

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Candace Conti
Documentation, Religion

Anonymous : Candace Conti won against the Watchtower

On June 13 and 14, 2012, for the first time in its history, the Watchtower society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) lost a court battle about its implication in a child sex abuse case. The Californian Justice System of Alameda found the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society legally responsible and has been ordered to pay up to 2.8 million dollars in compensatory damages and as much as 21 million dollars in punitive damages to the victim, Candace Conti.

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Religion

Perspective (2012)

Angela M. Baxley
Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 3:54 PM
To: Darryl Glass

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Angela M. Baxley
Date: Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Subject: my essay
To: Arlene Baxley

It took me nearly all night to write this. I hope that it makes sense. Please, will you read it? I’m best able to express myself in writing.

Really, though, it’s easiest to read the whole portions directly from the bible, and then come and read what I wrote.
Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

The Watchtower’s Christian Channel of Communication

TWELVE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHRISTIAN CHANNEL TODAY

What of Jehovah’s Christian channel of communication today? Which of the hundreds of sects and denominations of those who claim to be Christian is Jehovah’s spokesman today in the earth as his divinely appointed and organized channel of communication? The Bible indicates many specifications, all of which have to exist together to mark, beyond a shadow of doubt, the one divinely authorized channel. Following is a list of requirements to be met by such a true congregation of Christ to fit her as God’s channel today. Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Documentation, Ethics, Religion

A wise man once said…

“This day YHWH will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

David and Goliath

Date: October 28, 2011 2:17 PM
To: Bryan Hertz <bryan.hertz@telcentris.com>

From the words of which I was raised, I learned the art of warDavid versus his Goliath. In truth I took comfort, and I read the bible day and night, in an undertone.

Singing, I sang Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah“, Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl“, and “Forward, You Witnesses” by the Watchtower, among selections of Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. Riddle you that.

My family went down in history fighting for First Amendment rights, and my grandfather and his friends were not only unjustly imprisoned, but also tarred and feathered for their beliefs. Baxley v. United States is my heritage and in it I revel.

I am proud of my family’s name, and that which they bestowed upon me—spiritual riches beyond any wealth found on earth.

I suppose in your calculations for settlement you likely missed a few key points. I know the value of a name, and know of truest wealth. I have no fear of man, I was raised without it.

I believe in justice and seek it through truth.

In every move, I imbue my own name while striking at yours. Every attack or move you make against me does the same. You are in a game you cannot win, you are unwitting and unwise.

Perhaps it’s unfair, the attention that I grant to this particular instance of injustice in life… Who could have known it was to be your wrong that would be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back? But did you know, “it is easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God“?

I imagine that’s not a concern for you, and since I have no money, it’s not of much concern to me either. 🙂

Today I am enjoying breaking my polite silence. I acquiesced to your request of almost a year ago. You wished to be friendly, you said. I waited and spent my time in thought, making plans and planning ahead.

One day, when I’m done with it, I’m willing to sell the domain name I’ve acquired, for the right price. With any luck—or whatever you’d call it—perhaps you can outwit the Google historian’s account of our brief history together. Currently the mad strategy is an amusement for me. It doesn’t take much to push “publish” on what constitutes a years worth of thought. It amuses me that it doesn’t have to make much sense, it’s riddles for others to follow when searching or researching your name.

I have to say, I do feel a tinge of regret when it comes to the damage to [redacted, VP of Stuff at Telcentris] I know that he truly (believed he) loved me, and emotional damage he endured before he entered the scene dictated much of his irrational actions. However, one night he took what wasn’t his and in a less than gentlemanly manner. Confronted with his actions he acted as a coward, denying the deed. What an uncomfortable position to be in before my boss—being held to whether or not I should report it as rape or willing—I get the feeling you knew then as I know, that however it is that I ended up beyond consent that night, by it’s very definition “it” didn’t need defined.

Your lawyer informed me, as I already knew, that in California the statue of limitations has already passed for me to make an EEOC claim. I wonder how it is you’re still confused. I’m not after your money—money can’t buy you comfort. If you ever question why it is that I have seemingly endless energy to put towards my intent, recall that day where you forced me against the wall with your words, and I tried to walk. Remember that—once—I tried to protect you.

You wouldn’t let me walk away; I imagine you regret that decision now.

Oh, and I bet you regret not giving me something to sign when I asked for it. Again, I was looking out for you and the company’s best interests above that of my own.

Silly girl.

Money can’t buy me love. It is the root of all sorts of injurious things. Yes, perhaps it can quell my wrath, but you weren’t willing to even willing to offer what is legally mine, and expected for me to sign away my right to free speech for the pittance?

It’s not in what I have to gain; it’s in everything you lose.

I don’t know if you read the Bible, but at least you might recognize the lyric “let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late“…

Continue reading

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

The Pear Tree Notebook (1995-2000)

Could it be true? Do you really mean it when you say ‘I love you’? It all seems so natural… it was meant to be. Together we are, yet so far apart, is it too far to touch your heart? I never wanted to leave your arms, so close to your heart I had finally found where I belong. You held me so close I could feel your need, I could touch your fears—I could feel your pain. But, together, these fade away—I forget a time when heaven wasn’t a placve I could live, and the stars I could not reach. Could it be true by some cruel twist of life, we could never have met… Two lives meant to be together forever separated by mere chance?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/16468572026/in/album-72157650338122478/

You kept me warm—did you feel my fingertip kisses on your soft skin? Curled up nxt to you I could stay forever, warm and safe in your arms. My heart was melting away—did you hear my silent whisper to be yours? Where are the words to describe how it felt to lean close to you—to breath your air of contentment? How do you describe how it feels to be so close to you no longer feel contained by anything? Everything felt so right, it was meant to be, god showered us with his blessings. Not ashamed for him to look down on our embrace, not afraid of his diapproval on our kiss. He sees everything so clear, and now he’s given that gift to me. No longer commanded by body, but thought. In control of myself so I can let go.

Do you think this will wear off? Do you think we’ll forget how it felt to be together? One minute I’m so sure you really do love me, the next my confidence shakes. But I close my eyes and I see us together. I don’t want to surrender myheart to pain. Are you sure, my love, we belong togehtrer, forever and always? I want someon to hold me close and understand, to love me endlessly.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/16308646397/in/album-72157650338122478/

==

Empty : 12/5/1995 [was this Mikey to me?]

As I sit here in my empty room, I feel the tug of longing in my chest. As I lie here in my empty bed, I think of all the wrods left unspoken, and the chances I may yet have to speak them.

As I live here in my empty life, I realize it’s empty because you’re not in it.

I need your smile to keep me happy. I need your laught to keep me whole, I need your embrace to keep me warm. I need your love to keep me sane.When you are not near me I feel a void begin to form inside me. It starts as a peculiar emptiness near my heart; then it quickly swells and grows, threating to engulf me. I fight it back with thoughts of you; but it keeps returning, keeps stalking me like a lunatic bent on my destruction.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/16492834261/in/album-72157650338122478/

Mikey, I want to do this right. I want to take things by the book, to make sure nothing goes wrong.I’ve never felt so confident about anything, so sure that it was meant to be. I feel like you have been sent to me from Jehovah, and you seem to think the same of me. I want to marry you, althought I’m not surethat would be good to that in the next year. It’s amazing to think that Jehovah has made a provision for us to be together and feel so complete, ofrever. Even though I feel like it’s so right it wouldn’t be smart to trust that feeling from just one day. It would be like living a dream if I was engaged to you in a year. But if we think about that now we may be disillusioning ourselves. It’s a life time decision, and if you’re right for me then I’m not scared to make it.

I guess you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this right now. I don’t really know—maybe its just waht’s on my mind. Could I wake each morning next to yo? Mikey, I’m content like I am. I have you, you ahve me and as long as you know how I feel about you then I’m okay. I love you Mikey, but we have to be careful. The Watchtower suggest setting limits, that sounds like a good idea to me. We need to find out what we each are really like. Are you ready to love out and support yourself—and someone else? I’m gonna talk to my parents about this weekend. We need to spend some time togehtrr talking, and hanging out. I’d like to sit with you through the assembly, too.

What are you goals? What do you want to do? Where do you want to live? Do you want to have kids? Are you thikning about marriage? When? I can see myself engaged at 17, and married thereafter.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spunkygidget/15872027214/in/album-72157650338122478/

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Religion,

Vic on Jobs

Just a blurb about one of our ‘brothers’ in the valley; Vic is an elder at his local Kingdom Hall, this is the “religious services” referred to in the article (below).

Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”.

I used to work near him, and directly with someone he deeply respects at Microsoft… and I always wondered if he knew who I was. I’m pretty sure I was just someone’s girlfriend, if he knew I existed at all. “This little light of mine…” Sometimes the person you stand next to shines brighter than you do!

In any case, I saw this post and was moved to find out that whether Jobs believe in heaven or hell—or thinks he’s just dead—at least, he took respect for worship and faith with him to the grave. Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

Keep Pace With Jehovah’s Organization

How do you feel when the faithful and discreet slave makes a change in the way we understand something in the Bible?

Sometimes the Governing Body, who represents the faithful and discreet slave, reviews how we understand certain truths. If these brothers decide that changes are necessary, they are not afraid to correct the way they explained some teachings in the past or to make their explanations clearer. They know that some will say bad things about the faithful and discreet slave because of these changes, but that is not the most important thing to them. The most important thing to them is that they cooperate with God’s purpose. How do you feel when the faithful and discreet slave makes a change in the way we understand something in the Bible?—Read Luke 5:39Watchtower July 15,2011 Simplified English Edition

“We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval”

In modern times, there have been refinements in our understanding of certain Bible teachings. This should not trouble us; it should bolster our confidence in the faithful and discreet slave class. When representative members of the “slave” discern that our viewpoint on some point of truth needs to be clarified or corrected, they do not hold back from making the adjustment. The slave class is more interested in cooperating with God’s unfolding purpose than in shielding itself from criticism over an adjusted understanding. How do you react when an adjustment in our understanding of the Scriptures is presented?—Read Luke 5:39Watchtower July 15,2011 English

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Raw

My mother-in-law contacted me again the other day. I don’t call her “ex” because you divorce the husband, right? Well, I was married for four years to her son, and divorced him seven years ago.

One of his friends found me last week and sent a friend request on Facebook. I honestly couldn’t recall who he was or my connection to him, and being I pretty much just add peeps I actually know, I ignored the request.

A few days later he requested again, with a note: “Are you the Angela that was married to —?”

Continue reading

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State of Affairs

What’s been up lately? Work sucks. It’s been a literal nightmare for several months now. I won’t even address it, except to say that it’s causing me to have an ulcer.

My best friend has left his wife, and was removed as a servant on Tuesday. He decided that he doesn’t like being married and doesn’t want to be anymore… That he’s happier living a single life. His wife is devastated, and confused. I think back and wish I would have stopped the wedding… which the time seemed overly dramatic, though in hindsight seems fairly reasonable. I adore him, and hope for the best, but only fear the worst. He didn’t sound himself at all.

I talked to an old friend from back home, and she told me that pretty much everyone I grew up with is either disfellowshipped, sleeping with an elder’s wife, doing drugs or marrying a stripper or something. No, I’m not kidding. She studies for meetings, but rarely attends.

My sister and her husband don’t go to meetings at all. Haven’t for quite a while. My brother and his new wife are disfellowshipped, but I’m pretty sure they’re all right.

My little sister is terrorized by the small minded small town folk in their Kingdom Hall. She’s a pioneer who is shunned by the other pioneers in the congregation. Although she’s pioneer for a couple of years now this is the first time she’s old enough to go to Pioneer School. She was going to quit this year because she didn’t get her time (apparently the other pioneers in the congregation don’t really support her or go out with her in service) but I encouraged her to keep it up. I told her Pioneer School is supposed to come at the end of the first year for a reason… because you need it so bad. I told her how amazing it is she’s survived this long without getting to attend, and to keep it up and go. Apparently, she’s going!

My mom is flipping out. I guess she’s going of the list again. I don’t think she drinks any water, and I understand that she eats very little. I worry about her, and ave no idea what to do, or really what’s going on. It seems as though ever since I had problems with demons when I still lived at home that she’s never quite been the same. Since then it really seems as though all the trouble has just transferred to her. I don’t know what to do for her, I don’t know how to help. I feel helpless.

My newest friend here seems to be shunning me. He explained that he’s not sure whether I really want to be the pioneer I talk about doing or the party girl everyone thinks I am. Apparently I don’t fit into the spiritual progress he’s outlined for himself.

So everything is pretty much rough, but I’m alive, kicking and screaming.

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Religion, Technology

Boston, Mass, and other places…

I had a great weekend… Hanging out with old friends and new. I was well taken care of, and I come home with my contentment renewed and my hug-o-meter on full.
It was so nice hanging out wiith Phil and Julie, a blast from the past, and evidence that not all friends pass as the time goes by.
It was awesome seeing Jamie give his talk, to the all of 20 people at the hall, and oh, read the Watchtower too. A reminder that there are still people out there with real personalities and spirituality.
Yes, I am one happy girl.
Thanks JC.   🙂

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Religion,

Lately

Hectic and crazy life has been lately. Running around, Dido in Atlanta, leaving the same night for the twelve hour road trip to Indiana. Leaving this weekend for Nebraska for more than a week, and finally, then, I’ll be able to relax. I’m missing an interesting Watchtower study on sunday. I wonder if anyone thinks I will on purpose. (Not the case.)

Heard Ryan’s getting married. I hope he knows what he’s doing.

Indiana reminds me that not everyone runs around crazy and hectic all the time. Ah, the nice life, a simple one. The weather is kind of soothing lately.

That’s all.

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Religion,

Obviously, really.

I’m up again. So many nights in a row. When am I going to sleep like a normal human being? Well since I’m up, and creativeless (at least when it comes to my personal site) I’ll turn my focus to a mental dump.

Work is interesting. Some people think I’m so awesome. Pulling off awesome designs in record breaking time. I put a design together in a couple of minutes, then turned that into a fuctioning site within the preceeding hour. On the other hand, I can’t get any respect from other people. Time to kick butt.

My shoulder hurts.

Ryan had said that he wanted us to be good friends. “And not just the kind that say ‘hi’ at the conventions”… hmmm… I think that’s what we are. Can’t say much more than I tried.
This weekend is the last softball game of the season. Part of me is relieved. No more worrying about hurrying off after the meeting on sunday to get there. The other part wonders what kind of interesting thing will I find to amuse myself with now?

I like structure way too much. I like having a routine, a pattern… knowing where I need to be and when. I even like doing the same thing over and over again. I miss going to a movie and dinner on Sunday. I miss my own little ritual of brunch before the meeting, and the time to study my Watchtower. Now I never get it studied. And I never eat breakfast. Ah, I am the creature of habit.

Life is going pretty well I must say. I feel happy and content. Not worrying, and waiting. Not anxious. I’m almost to the point where I’m rid of all the debt from my marriage, and I can start on building my own independant financial life again.

I love my new computer. I can finally work at home. Monday I get my new cable modem installed and I know I’m going to love that. Only thing is it’s pretty harsh when I realize I’m going to pay $600/yr. for internet access! Yikes!

I’ve been listening to my music more lately. Interesting thing – realizing that i’m listening to all women artists. Ani DiFranco, Natalie Umbruglia, Tori Amos, Dido, Fiona Apple and Faith Hill. The new Tori is awesome. “To Venus and Back”.

Tobey and I are going up to Indiana next weekend. We’re taking Danielle (my puppy) up to live with my cousin at his new house. Melissa, his wife, should be having a baby any day now.
OK I’m done. Now all I need is to design a decent, worthy site.

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Religion,

Yikes!

Day One of living back home at Mom and Dad’s house. I don’t know what to think. I guess the hardest time to adjust would be the weekend, seeing’s how that’s when you don’t know what to do with yourself. But, I would be at home this weekend anyway’s just not knowing what to do too – so what’s the difference? smile

I look forward to have a pattern or structure for my life again. I guess whoever said “humans are creatures of habit” was correct, at least in my case. Continue reading

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Doctrines, Religion

Watchtower Questions for those Desiring to be Baptized (1983-2004)

Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry, P.175-218, 1983 ed

Part I – Elementary Bible Teachings

During your study of the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses you have become acquainted with the pattern of truth and very likely find it is quite different from what you formerly believed. What you have learned has brought you great spiritual refreshment and has no doubt set before you the hope of future life and blessings on a Paradise earth under God’s Kingdom. Your faith in his Word has been strengthened, and through association with his organized people you have come to appreciate how Jehovah is dealing with his chosen people today.

Now, as you prepare for water baptism in symbol of your personal dedication to Jehovah God, you will benefit from a review of elementary Bible teachings conducted by the congregation elders. If you do not understand some things so as to be able to give a reasonable answer to those who may ask or to persons you will approach in field service, the elders will kindly help you to improve your understanding.

Your desire should be in harmony with the words of the apostle Paul that we read at Hebrews 6:1-3: “For this reason, now that we have left the primary doctrine about Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, … the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment. And this we will do, if God indeed permits.”

May Jehovah continue to bless all your endeavors to take in knowledge of him, and may he grant you the promised reward.

The True God

(1) Who is the true God?
(2) What are some of Jehovah’s outstanding qualities?
(3) What does it mean to give Jehovah exclusive devotion?
(4) Why is he alone deserving?
(5) Why is it important for us to use God’s personal name in worship?
(6) How will Jehovah God sanctify his name?
(7) How can we have a share in it?
(8) Why would it be wrong for us to make an image of God or attempt to worship him through the use of images?
(9) Why should we endeavor to continue learning all we can about Jehovah?
(10) How can we do so?

Optional questions

(11) Has your study of the Bible caused you to reject certain teachings about God?
(12) What are they?
(13) Has the knowledge you now have about God moved you to want to serve him?
(14) What are you now doing to demonstrate your desire to serve Jehovah?
(15) What will you need to do in order to continue building your appreciation for Jehovah?

Jesus Christ and the Ransom

(16) Who is Jesus Christ?
(17) What is his position in relations to Jehovah God?
(18) Why did Jesus come to earth and die a sacrificial death?
(19) Why do we need the ransom?
(20) How does it affect you personally?
(21) How does Christ return and for what purpose?

Optional questions

(22) How is the ransom an expression of God’s love for mankind?
(23) In what way can you show appreciation for the ransom?

The Operation of the Holy Spirit

(24) What is the holy spirit and what has it accomplished as indicated by the following Bible texts?
(25) How does the holy spirit operate for our benefit today?
(26) Whose ideas are recorded in the Bible?
(27) Why should you regularly study God’s Word?

Optional questions

(28) Have you endeavored to read the entire Bible?
(29) Why would it be good for you to do so?
(30) When you have asked Jehovah to help you and direct you by holy spirit, why should you then endeavor to pay close attention to Bible-based counsel?

Prayer

(31) To whom should our prayers be directed?
(32) Does Jehovah listen to all prayers?
(33) Why do you so answer?
(34) What are some of the things you can pray about?

Optional questions

(35) When do you find time to pray?
(36) How can you keep your prayers from becoming routine?
(37) In your study of the Bible, what did you learn about prayer that you did not know previously?
(38) How has this affected your personal prayers to God?

The Kingdom of God

(39) By what right is Jehovah the Universal Sovereign?
(40) With whom has he shared rulership over his creation?
(41) Is the Kingdom of God a condition or a government?
(42) What blessings will Kingdom rule bring for the earth and for mankind?
(43) What does it mean to seek first the Kingdom?
(44) How do we know that we have entered into the time of the end and that God’s Kingdom is ruling?

Optional questions

(45) How do you personally endeavor to put God’s Kingdom first in your life?
(46) In what practical way can you demonstrate that you are a loyal advocate of God’s Kingdom?
(47) As a loyal advocate of God’s Kingdom, what is your attitude toward involvement in the political affairs of the nations?

Satan and the Demons

(48) Who is the Devil?
(49) Where did he and his demons come from?
(50) What warnings do we have in the Bible to help us avoid spiritistic practices?
(51) How can we protect ourselves from the influence of Satan and the Demons?
(52) What do God’s words to Pharaoh indicate as to His reason for allowing Satan and his demons to continue living until now?
(53) What will become of Satan and his demons according to Jehovah’s judgment against them?

Optional questions

(54) What influence does Satan have on people today?
(55) What are some of the spiritistic practices of people today, and why should we avoid these?

The Soul, Sin, and Death

(56) What is the human soul?
(57) Can it die?
(58) What is sin?
(59) How did we all become sinners?
(60) What should you do if you commit a sin?
(61) What should be our attitude toward committing sins?
(62) What is death?
(63) Why do people die?

Optional questions

(64) How have you benefited from learning what the Bible teaches about the soul, sin and death?
(65) What are some of the false religious doctrines that are disproved by what you have learned?
(66) In what way do false religious teachings about the soul dishonor God?

Resurrection

(67) What hope is there for one who dies?
(68) How many from among mankind will be raised to heavenly life with Jesus Christ?
(69) What will they do there?
(70) What is the hope for the rest of mankind that will also be resurrected?
(71) Who will not be resurrected, and why?
(72) Why should we hold firmly to our hope in the resurrection of the dead?

Optional questions

(73) Has learning about the resurrection hope enhanced your appreciation for Jehovah’s love?
(74) How so?
(75) Why should you want to tell others about the resurrection hope?

Marriage and Divorce

(76) What is the Christian standard for marriage?
(77) What is the only scriptural basis for divorce that frees one to remarry?
(78) What does the Bible say about married persons separating from each other?
(79) Why should persons living together as husband and wife be properly married?
Optional questions

(80) What benefits are derived from adhering to Jehovah’s standard for marriage as regards the husbands?
(81) The wife?
(82) The children?
(83) The community?
(84) If you are a married person, are you sure that your marriage has been properly registered with the civil authorities?

Sanctity of Life

(85) Why is all life to be viewed as sacred?
(86) How does Jehovah view the unlawful shedding of human blood?
(87) Abortion?
(88) Suicide?
(89) How do the following scriptures show that Jehovah considers blood as something sacred?
(90) What do the following scriptures reveal as to different ways a person culd become bloodguilty?

Optional questions

(91) How has the scriptural view of blood affected your thinking on this matter?
(92) As a Christian, what local foods or medical practices will you henceforth avoid?
(93) How does the Bible teaching concerning the sanctity of life affected your view of certain dangerous sports or types of recreation?
(94) Does God’s view of life and blood seem reasonable to you?
(95) What stand should a Christian take if he is told that in order to save his own life or the life of a loved one a blood transfusion would be needed?

PART II – JEHOVAH’S RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS

In your study of the Bible you have learned the importance of bringing your life into harmony with Jehovah’s righteous standards, Responding to what you learned may have entailed a number of adjustments in your attitude toward life itself and in your personal conduct. Making such changes, however, is not what is referred to in the Bible as sacred service. Rather, Jehovah God accepts sacred service only from those whose lives have been made to reflect his righteousness.

Now that you have brought your life into harmony with Jehovah’s standard of righteousness, you are in a position to render sacred service as a minister of the good news. Reviewing the following questions along with the quoted and cited Scripture references will help you fix clearly in mind Jehovah’s righteous requirements and will remind you of some of the things you can do in order to become one of Jehovah’s approved servants. This information will impress upon you the importance of doing all things with a good conscience and to Jehovah’s honor.

Christian Law

(96) According to Jesus, what are the two greatest commandments of the Mosaic Law?
(97) Are Christians under the Mosaic Law covenant with its requirements of Sabbath-keeping and sacrifices?

Optional questions

(98) In what way do you demonstrate that you love Jehovah with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength?
(99) In what practical ways do you show that you love your neighbor as yourself?

Personal Relationships With Others

(100) What Christian quality should outstandingly characterize our relationship with our spiritual brothers and sisters?
(101) What Christian principles should govern our dealings with persons who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses?
(102) How should Christians view the shortcomings of fellow believers?
(103) If your brother sins against you personally and you find it difficult merely to overlook the transgression, or if his sin against you is of a serious nature and should not be covered over, what should you do?
(104) What is the fruitage of the spirit and how will cultivating it help us to maintain a fine relationship with others?

Optional questions No optional questions on this part

Elevated Christian Morals

(105) Why is moral cleanness of all individuals among Jehovah’s people important to every one of us?
(106) Why must lying be avoided?
(107) What is the Christian view of stealing?
(108) Does the Bible prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in moderation?
(109) What is the Christian view of drunkenness?
(110) Why should Christians abstain from the nonmedical use of addictive or mind-altering drugs?
(111) What additional reasons are there for not using tobacco, betel nut or other similar addictive substances that are known to be harmful to physical and mental health?
(112) What does the Bible say about fornication, adultery, sexual relations with another person of the same sex (homosexuality) and other unlawful sexual conduct?
(113) By adhering to what the Bible counsel will you be able to ward off temptations and pressures that would induce you to engage in any form of sexual immorality, including sexual perversions?
(114) What is gambling?
(115) Why would a Christian avoid becoming involved in any form of gambling?
(116) If a person in weakness commits a serious sin but he wants help to be restored to Jehovah’s favor, what actions should he take immediately?
(117) In addition to confessing one’s own sins, what personal responsibility rests upon each Christian with regard to reporting serious wrongdoing by others that could threaten the spiritual or moral cleanness of the congregation?
(118) What is the proper viewpoint to have when one is Scripturally reproved?
(119) What action does the congregation take when a person in its midst proves to be a persistent and unrepentant violator of God’s commandments?

Optional questions

(120) Do you think that Jehovah’s moral standards and requirements for his servants are reasonable?
(121) How have you personally benefited from what you have learned about elevated Christian morals?
(122) Why would a person have to conform his way of life to Jehovah’s standards before he could be accepted for Christian baptism?

Idolatry

(123) What is idolatry?
(124) What warnings does the Bible give concerning idolatry?
(125) What are various forms of idolatry that Christians must guard against in this world?

[Optional questions No optional questions on this part

Separate From the World

(126) According to the Bible, who is “the ruler of the world” and “the god of this system of things.”?
(127) What is the position of Christians as to this world alienated from God?
(128) What was Jesus’ attitude toward participation in the political affairs of the world?
(129) When a person separates himself from the world and becomes a Christian, what treatment might he expect from those remaining in the world?
(130) How does being separate from the world affect the secular employment of a Christian?
(131) Adhering to what additional Bible principles will help a Christian to remain separate from the world with regard to his choice of entertainment and recreation?

Optional questions

(132) How has your study of the Bible helped you to keep yourself separate from the world?
(133) What pressures or enticements have you had to resist in order to come to a good relationship with Jehovah and maintain it?
(134) What Bible counsel have you found to be particularly helpful in maintaining separateness from the world?

Interfaith

(135) Would it be proper for true Christians to share in worship with other religious groups?

Optional questions

(136) What are some examples of interfaith activity that true Christians should avoid?
(137) Why would a person have to make sure that he has cut off all association with false religious before presenting himself for baptism as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
(138) What would this include?

Holidays and Celebrations

(139) Are Christians under obligation to observe certain days as holidays? Notice how this one is worded.
(140) What is the only religious celebration that Christians are commended to observe?
(141) What are some of the Bible principles that will help you to determine whether or not you should observe or participate in celebrations that are popular in your community?
(142) What mention is made in the Bible of birthday celebrations?
(143) How does this affect your view of birthday celebrations?

Optional questions

(144) What are some of the holidays or celebrations popular in your community that true Christians avoid?
(145) What do you need to do to keep from getting involved in worldly holidays or celebrations that run counter to Christian principles?
(146) If you have minor children, how can you help them avoid unchristian practices related to worldly holidays?

Baptism

(147) Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses baptize in water those who embrace the Christian faith?
(148) Who should be baptized?
(149) When?
(150) What does it mean to be baptized in the name of the Father?
(151) The Son?
(152) The holy spirit?

Optional questions

(153) Why do you want to be baptized?
(154) Have you already brought your life into harmony with Jehovah’s righteous requirements according to what you have learned from your study of the Bible?
(155) Are you at present sharing the good news of the Kingdom with others, demonstrating that you understand that this is Jehovah’s will for you at this time?
(156) Have you expressed to Jehovah in prayer your desire to be one of his dedicated Witnesses and to serve him in unity with his organized people?

PART III – SUBNISSION TO JEHOVAH’S ARRANGEMENT OF THINGS

While still in Eden the first man and woman joined the rebellion led by “the original serpent,” Satan the Devil. They ceased being submissive to Jehovah’s arrangement of things. Having been introduced to a course of independence from God, they set out on their own. From that time forward the course taken by mankind has only served to confirm the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s words recorded at Jeremiah 10:23, where we read: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”

Through your study of the Bible you have learned about Jehovah’s purpose to bring all things back into subjection to himself, just as they were in the beginning. Having reached this point in your study you are also desirous of finding your place in Jehovah’s arrangement of things and of being submissive to his rule. The following questions and related Scripture references will help you to examine your own understanding of submission to Jehovah’s arrangements as regards congregation organization, Christian family life and the political rulers of the day.

Submission in the Congregation Arrangement

(157) What is the basic principle underlying Jehovah’s arrangement of things within the Christian congregation?
(158) Why is there a particular need for submitting to Jehovah’s arrangement of things in the Christian congregation?
(159) What are some of the examples of Jesus’ disciples submitting to his instructions in order to carry out their ministry in an orderly way?
(160) How does Jesus exercise headship over the Christian congregation today?
(161) By what visible means is Christ’s headship represented in the congregation?
(162) How do members of the congregation demonstrate submission to the headship of Christ in the congregation?

Optional questions

(163) Are you able to identify “the faithful and discreet slave” today?
(164) How?
(165) What is the Governing Body of the Christian congregation?
(166) What purpose does it serve?
(167) What legal agencies are used by the Governing Body today to accomplish the publishing of the good news worldwide?
(168) Why would submitting to Jehovah’s arrangement in the congregation include giving material support to the work of the congregation to the extent of your ability?

Submission in Christian Family Life

(169) In God’s arrangement of things, who is the head of the married woman?
(170) How should a husband exercise headship over his wife?
(171) Whose example does he have to follow as a pattern?
(172) If the wife whose husband is not a believer freed from his headship?
(173) Who is responsible before God for the training and the disciplining of children?
(174) What responsibility do children have in the family arrangement?

Optional questions

(175) If you are a married woman, in what way can you demonstrate your submission to your husband?
(176) Does this seem to be righteous and just to you?
(177) If your husband does not appreciate your cooperation in this regard, how do you still benefit?
(178) If you are a man with family responsibilities, what worldly attitudes must you avoid if you are to exercise your headship in a Christlike manner?
(179) If you are a minor child, what benefits will come to you and your family as a result of your being submissive to your parents?
(180) What factors may make it difficult for you to be submissive at times?

Submission to Civil Authorities

(181) What is the proper attitude for Christians to maintain toward worldly rulers?
(182) Must a Christian pay all taxes and assessments demanded by law?
(183) Are there any circumstances under which a Christian would refuse to obey the worldly rulers?
(184) Should Christians comply with legal requirements such as the registering of marriages and births, respond to census inquiries or obtain required licenses and permits that do not conflict with God’s laws?

Optional questions

(185) Why is it important for you to be submissive to the civil authorities even when their rule may seem oppressive?
(186) How can you be submissive to the political rulers without violating Christian neutrality?

PART IV – WORKS THAT DEMONSTRATE CHRISTIAN FAITH

[There is some discussion, but I will add it in later]

Relationship Between Works and Faith

(187) Why must approved works accompany our Christian faith?

Optional questions

(188) In what way are Christian works different from works of the Law?
(189) Why would it not be proper for us to compare our works of faith with those of fellow believers?

Christian Meetings

(190) Why is it beneficial to attend the meetings arranged by the congregation?
(191) What is the proper attitude for us to have toward opportunities to meet together with our spiritual brothers and sisters?
(192) What information beneficial to Jehovah’s people is considered at congregation meetings?
(193) Whose teaching and instruction is given at the congregation meetings?
(194) Why should you endeavor to participate in congregation meetings by commenting and otherwise, as you have opportunity?
(195) Who should attend the congregation meetings in order to be instructed in righteousness?

Optional questions

(196) What effort have you personally put forth in order to be in regular attendance at congregation meetings?
(197) How have you benefited from regular association with Jehovah’s Witnesses at congregation meetings?
(198) Why is it beneficial for you to prepare well for each congregation meeting?
(199) How do you find time to do so?

Our Kingdom Ministry

(200) What urgent work does the Bible set out for all Christians as this time?
(201) According to the following scriptures, what are some of the various ways in which our ministry may be accomplished?
(202) Is this work done in our own strength?
(203) Why should you be willing to preach the good news to all kinds people in your assigned territory?
(204) Why should you take most seriously your responsibility to share the good news with others?

Optional questions

(205) Are you at present having a regular share each month in Kingdom service, preaching the good news to others?
(206) Is someone helping you and training you to be effective in the field ministry?
(207) Why is working from house to house in the field ministry so important?
(208) When you find a person who manifests genuine interest in the good news, what further assistance should you endeavor to give that person?
(209) While exerting yourself in the field ministry, why would it be wrong for you to make comparisons between your ministry and that of others?

Honoring Jehovah With Your Valuable Things?

(210) What pattern set in ancient Israel serves as a model for giving material support to the Kingdom work today?
(211) What lesson did Jesus teach about generous giving?
(212) What example of giving in support of the congregation was set by first-century Christians?
(213) Why must we be concerned about our brothers and sisters who come to be in need of material assistance?
(214) In addition to any material contributions to advance the good news, what should we offer that is even more important?
(215) What should be our attitude toward giving of ourselves and of our material possessions in Jehovah’s service?

Optional questions

(216) What are some of the needs of the local congregation that are taken care of by the voluntary contributions of the members of the congregation?
(217) How do contributions made directly to the nearest branch office of the Watch Tower Bible and tract Society assist in the advancement of the good news?
(218) Why should all contributions be made on a voluntary basis and not solicited or assessed?

Dedication and Baptism

(219) What should always be our attitude toward the doing of Jehovah’s will?
(220) Why should this joyful and willing attitude prevail even when we are persecuted or undergoing any form of trial?
(221) What does it mean for a person to dedicate himself to Jehovah?
(222) When a person has sincerely repented, turned around and made a decision to follow Christ, why should he be baptized?
(223) Why is it appropriate for dedicated and baptized Christians to be called Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Optional questions None for this part

CONCLUDING QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

(224) Following your baptism in water, why will it be vital for you to maintain a good schedule for personal study and to share regularly in the ministry?
(225) How will staying in close association with the congregation help you to carry out your dedication to Jehovah?
(226) How will you go about proving to Jehovah that your dedication has been made in sincerity and from your heart?
(227) Are you now thoroughly convinced that you should be baptized at the first opportunity?

PART I

ELEMENTARY BIBLE TEACHINGS – Heb. 5: 11-6:3

During your study of the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses you have become acquainted with the pattern of truth and very likely find it is quite different from what you formerly believed. What you have learned has brought you great spiritual refreshment and has no doubt set before you the hope of future life and blessings on a Paradise earth under God’s Kingdom. Your faith in his Word has been strengthened, and through association with his organized people you have already experienced many blessings. You have come to appreciate how Jehovah is dealing with his chosen people today. -Zech. 8:23.

Now, as you prepare for water baptism in symbol of your personal dedication to Jehovah God, you will benefit from a review of elementary Bible teachings conducted by the congregation elders. If you do not understand some things so as to be able to give a reasonable answer to those who may ask or to persons you will approach in field service, the elders will kindly help you to improve Your understanding- I Pet. 3:15.

Your desire should be in harmony with the words of the apostle Paul that we read at Hebrews 6:1-3: “For this reason, now that we have left the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works, and faith toward God. . . . the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment. And this we will do, if God indeed permits.”

May Jehovah continue to bless all your endeavors to take in knowledge of him, and may he grant you the promised reward.-John 17:3.

The True God

(1) Who is the true God?

You well know today, and you must call back to your heart that Jehovah is the true God in the heavens and on the earth beneath. There is no other.—Deut. 4: 39.

Jesus spoke these things, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he said: “Father…. this means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God.”-John 17: 1-3.

This is what the true God, Jehovah, has said, “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”–Isa. 42:5, 8.

For even though there are those who are called “gods” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are “gods” and many “lords,” there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all are, and we through him-1 Cor. 8:5, 6.

Additional references: Deuteronomy 4:35; Psalm 8:1, Isaiah 43:10-12.

(2) What are some of Jehovah’s outstanding qualities?

God is love.-I John 4:8. The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he.-Deut. 32:4. 0 the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!–Rom. 11:33. Alas, 0 Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here you yourself made the heavens and the earth by your great power by your outstretched arm. The whole matter is not too wonderful for you yourselfJer. 32:17. Additional references: Exodus 34: 6; 2 Peter 3:9;3:12; Psalm 90:2 (3) What does it mean to give Jehovah exclusive devotion? Why is he alone deserving? Jesus said to him, [Satan]: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’ “-Luke 4:8, No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the ono and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches. -Matt. 6:24. You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.-Rev. 4:11. Additional references: Exodus 20:4, 5; Isaiah 33:22; 42:8; Acts 17:28. (4) Why is it important for us to use God’s personal name in worship? Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved. -Rom. 10:13. For all the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever.-Mic. 4:5. Additional references: Exodus 20:7; Psalm 91:14; Isaiah 12:4, 5; Joel 2:32; Acts 15:14. (5) How will Jehovah God sanctify his name? How can we have a share in it? I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.–Ezek. 38:23. 0 may they be ashamed and be disturbed for all times, and may they become abashed and perish; that people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.-Ps. 83:17, 18. Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.-Prov. 27:11. Additional references: Exodus 5:2; Psalm 2.2, 9; Ezekiel36:16-24; 1 Peter 2:12. (6) Why would it be wrong for us to make an image Of God or attempt to worship him through the use of images? You must not make for yourself a carved image, any form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth unde rneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or be led to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.-Deut. 5:8, 9. You did not see any form on the day of Jehovah’s speaking to you in Horeb.-Deut. 4:15. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.-John 4:24. We are walking by faith, not by sight-2 Cor. 5: 7.. Additional references: Psalm 115:4-8; Isaiah 42:8; Acts 17:29. (7) Why should we endeavor to continue learning all we can about Jehovah? How can we do so? Become imitators of God, as beloved children.-Eph. 5: 1 God proceeded to create the man in his image, in his image he created him.-Gen. 1:27. If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him. . . . He that has seen me has seen the Father also.-John 14:7-9. His invisible qualities are clearly . . . perceived by the things made -Rom.1:20. Additional references: John 1:18; Exodus 33:13; Jereimiah 22:15, 16; 1 John 4:8; compare I John 2:3-6. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Has your stud the Bible caused you to reject certain false teachings about God? What are they? (b) Has the knowledge you now have about God moved you to want to serve him? What are you now doing to demonstrate your desire to serve Jehovah? (c) What will you need to do in order to continue building your appreciation for Jehovah? Jesus Christ and the Ransom (1) Who is Jesus Christ? Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”-Matt. 16:16. In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was God, and the Word was a god. This one was in the beginning with God. So the Word became flesh and resided among us and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father-John 1:1, 2, 14. Additional references: Luke 1:30-33; Colossians 1:1, Acts 2:36; 3:15; 5:31. (2) What is his position in relation to Jehovah God? I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.-John 14:28. There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.-I Tim. 2:5. Additional references: Philippians 2:5-11; John 14:10, 11;1 Corinthians 11:3. (3) Why did Jesus come to earth and die a sacrificial death? The Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.-Matt. 20:28. He beheld Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” -John 1:29. Additional references: Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15; John 3:16;18:37. (4) Why do we need the ransom? How does it affect you personally? Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.-Rom. 5:12. By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of our trespasses.-Eph. 1:7. Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive -1 Cor. 15:22. For the love the Christ has compels us, because this is what we have judged, that one man died for all; so, then, all had died; and he died for all that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up-2 Cor. 5:14, 15. Additional references: Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5; Galatians 1:4; 1 John 4:11. (5) How does Christ return and for what purpose? The Son of man is destined to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will recompense each one according to his behavior.-Matt. 16:27. When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne.-Matt. 25:31. The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: “Sit at mv right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for you-r feet.” The rod of your strength Jehovah will send oul Zion, saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemi, -Ps. 110:1, 2. Additional references: I Peter 3:18; Daniel 7:13, 14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Luke 23:42, 43.Optional questions for discussion: (a) How is the ransom an expression of God’s love for mankind? (b) In what can you show your appreciation for the ransom? The Operation of Holy Spirit (1) What is the holy spirit and what has it ac@ complished as indicated by the following Bible texts? God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.-Gen. 1:2; compare Psalm 33:6 and 104:11 The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and word was upon my tongue-2 Sam. 23:2; compare 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20, 21. But if it is by means of God’s spirit that I expel the demons, the kingdom of God has really overtaken you.-Matt. 12:28. They all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance.-Acts 2:4. Additional references: Isaiah 61:1, 2; Acts 1:8; Revelation 1.10. (2) How does holy spirit operate for our benefit today? If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!-Luke 11: 1 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your spirit is good; may it lead me in the land of uprightness. -Ps. 143:10. All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness. – 2 Tim. 3:16. Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God.-Acts 20:28. Additional references: John 14:26; Matthew 10:19, 20 Philippians 4:13; Joel 2:28, 29. (3) Whose ideas are recorded in the Bible? Why should you regularly study God’s Word? That is why we also thank God incessantly, because when you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers.-I Thess. 2:13. Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.-Acts 17:11. Additional references: Psalm 1:1-3; 119:105; 1 Timothy 4:13-16; John 17:17. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Have you endeavored to read the entire Bible? Why would it be good for you to do so? (b) When you have asked Jehovah to help you and direct you by holy spirit, why should you then endeavor to pay close attention to Bible-based counsel? Prayer (1) To whom should our prayers be directed? You must pray, then, this way: “Our Father in the heavens . . . “-Matt. 6:9. In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving le t your petitions be made known to God. -Phil. 4:6. Additional references: Psalm 5:1, 2; 65:1, 2; 69:13. (2) Does Jehovah listen to all prayers? Why do you so answer? If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name.-John 16:23. When you pray, you must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray … to be visible to men.-Matt. 6:5. The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their supplication.- I Pet. 3:12. Additional references: Acts 10:30, 34, 35; Micah 3:4; Proverbs 28:9; Matthew 6:6-8. (3) What are some of the things you can pray about? Let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.- Matt. 6:9-13 No matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us.-I John 5:14. Additional references: Philippians 1:9; Acts 12:5; James 5:16. Optional questions for discussion: (a) When do you find time to pray? (b) How can you keep your prayers from becoming routine? (c) In your study of the Bible, what did learn about prayer that you did not know previously? has this affected your personal prayers to God? The Kingdom of God (1) By what right is Jehovah the Universal Sovereign? Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voice to God and said: “Sovereign Lord, you are the One who made the he aven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.”- Acts 4:24. You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.-Rev. 4:11.Additional references: Psalm 90:2; 100:3; Hebrews 3: 4. (2) With whom has he shared rulership over his creation? Someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. And to him there was given rulership and dignity and kingdom.-Dan. 7:13, 1 1 The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.” The rod of your strength Jehovah will send out of Zion, saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies. -Ps. 110:1, 2. However, you are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.-Luke 22:28-30. Additional references: Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1. (3) Is the Kingdom of God a condition or a government? In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdorn that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms; and it itself will stand to times indefinite. -Dan. 2:44. The very One itting in the heavens will laugh; Jehovah hirnself will hold them in derision. At that time he will speak to them in his anger and in his hot displeasure he will disturb them, saying: “I, even 1, have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain.”-Ps. 2:4-6. My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.-John 18:36. Additional references: Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32, 33; Revelation 20:6. (4) What blessings will Kingdom rule bring for the earth and for mankind? And he will wipe out every tear from their eves, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. -Rev. 21:4. The sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain. -Isa. 11:8, 9. Additional references: Isaiah 26:9; 65:21, 22; Luke 23:43. (5) What does it mean to seek first the Kingdom? Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth . . .Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . No one can slave for two masters . . . You cannot slave for God and for Riches…. So never be anxious and say, “What are we to eat?” or, “What are we to drink?” or, “What are we to put on?” For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing.-Matt. 6:19-32. Let us also put off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus.-Heb. 12:1, 2. Additional references: Matthew 1-3:44-46; 16:24; 19:27-29. (6) How do we know that we have entered into the time of the end and that God’s Kingdom is ruling? While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciPpes approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things? “–Matt. 24:3. Now learn from the fig tree as an illustration this point: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. Liikewise, also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur- Matt. 24:32-34. The rod of your strength Jehovah will send out of saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.” Ps.110:2. Additional references: Revelation 6:1-6; 12:1-12; Matt.24:1-25:46; 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Optional questions for discussion: (a) How do you personally endeavor to put God’s Kingdom first in your life? (b) In what practical ways can you demonstrate that you are a loyal advocate of God’s Kingdom? (c) As a loyal advocate of God’s Kingdom, what is your attitude toward involvement in the political affairs of the nations? Satan and the Demons (1) Who is Satan the Devil? Where did he and demons come from? So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.-Rev. 12:9; compare Genesis :3: 1-5. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie -John 8:44. And the angels that did not keep their original position, but forsook their own proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgement of the great day.-Jude 6. Additional references: Job 1:6; 2:1; James 1:14, 15; Ephesians 6:11, 12; compare Ezekiel 28:12-15. (2) What warnings do we have in the Bible to help us avoid spiritistic practices?There should not be found in you anyone who … employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of them. – Deut. 18:10, 11. But as for . . . those practicing spiritism …, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and tsulphur. This means the second death.-Rev. 21:8. Additional references: Acts 16:16-18; Galatians 5:19, 20. (3) How can we protect ourselves against the influences of Satan and the demons? Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.-Jas, 4:7. Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil.-Eph. 6:11. Additional references: Matthew 6:13; Proverbs 18:10; Acts19:19, 20. (4) What do God’s words to Pharaoh indicate as to His reason for allowing Satan and his demons to continue living until now? For by now I could have thrust my hand out that I might strike you and your people with pestilence and that you might be effaced from the earth. But, in fact, for this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth-Ex. 9:15, 16. Additional references: Romans 9:14-18; Job 1:9-12; 2:4-6; 2 Peter 3:9, 15. (5) What will become of Satan and his demons according to Jehovah’s judgment against them? I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.-Gen. 3:15. Therefore, since the “young children” are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly partook of the same things, that through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil.-Heb. 2:14. And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet already were.-Rev. 20:10. Additional references: Romans 16:20; Revelation 12:7-9; 20:1-3, 7-10. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What influence does Satan have on people today? (b) What are some of the spiritistic practices of people today, and why should we avoid these? The Soul, Sin and Death (1) What is the human soul? Can it die? Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.-Gen. 2:7. Look! All the souls-to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likekvise the soul of the son-to me they belong. The soul that is sinning-it itself will die.-Ezek. 18: 4, 20. Additional references: I Corinthians 15:45; Acts. 3: 23; Matthew 10:28. (2) What is sin? How did we all become sinners? Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness,and so sin is lawlessness-1 John 3:1. Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men becausethey had all sinned.-Rom. 5:12. Additional references: Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8; 1 Kings 8:46; Psalm 51:5. (3) What should you do if you commit a sin? My sin I finally confessed to you, and my error I did not cover. I said: “I shall make confession over my transgressions to Jehovah.”-Ps. 32:5. Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the older men of the congregation to him, and let them pray him, greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him. Therefore openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may get healed. A righteous man’s supplication, when it is at work, has much force. -Jas. 5:11-16. He that is covering over his transgressions will not succeed, but he that is confessing and leaving them will shown mercy. -Prov. 28:13. Additional references: Daniel 9:20; 1 John 1:9. (4) What should be our attitude toward committing sins? Do not let sin continue to rule as king in your mortal bodies that you should obey their desires. Neither go on presenting your members to sin as weapons of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, also your members to God as weapons of righteousness. For sin must not be master ove r you, seeing that you are not under law but under undeserved kindness. -Rom. 6:12-14. Additional reference: Romans 7:11-25. (5) What is death? The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten-Eccl. 9:5, 10.He said to them: “Lazarus our friend has gone to rest, but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep.” Therefore the disciples said to him: “Lord, if he has gone to rest, he will get well.” Jesus had spoken, however, about his death. But they imagined he was speaking about taking rest in sleep. At that time, therefore, Jesus said to them outspokenly: “Lazarus has died.”-John 11:11-14. Additional references: Genesis 3:19; Psalm 6:5); 146:1; Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20; Isaiah 38:18. (6) Why do people die? The wages sin pays is death.-Rom. 6:23. In Adam all are dying.-I Cor. 15:22. Additional references: Romans 5:12, 17, 19; Job 14:1, 4. Optional questions for discussion: (a) How have you benefited from learning what the Bible teaches about the soul, sin and death? (b) What are some of the false religious doctrines that are disproved by what you have learned? (c) In what way do false religious teachings about the soul dishonor God? Resurrection (1) What hope is there for one who dies? I have hope toward God, which hope these men themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. -Acts 24:15. Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.-John 5:28, 29. Additional references: Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:13; Isaiah 25:8. (2) How many from among mankind will be raised to heavenly life with Jesus Christ? I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one was able to master that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from earth.-Rev. 14:1, 3. Additional references: Revelation 7:1-8; compare 12:32. (3) What will they do there? You made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.-Rev. I saw thrones, and there were those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them . . . . . and they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years. Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.-Rev. 20:4, 6. Additional reference: I Corinthians 6:3. (4) What is the hope for the rest of mankind that will also be resurrected? And he went on to say: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.” And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”- Luke 23:42, 43. I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. And the sea gave up those dead in it, and de ath and Hades gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds.-Rev. 20:12, 13. Additional references: Isaiah 65:17, 20; Revelation 21 (5) Who will not be resurrected, and why? Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one you make him a subject for Gehenna twice as much so ass yourselves. Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna?-Matt. 23:15, 33. When the Son of man arrives in his glory. . . . Separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left . . . . . Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, “Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” . . . And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off. -Matt. 25:31-46. Additional references: 2 Peter 3:5-7; Jude 8-13. (6) Why should we hold firmly to our hope, in the resurrection of the dead? If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. If, like men, I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, of what good is it to me? If the dead are not to be raised up, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.”-1 Cor. 15:19, 32. And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.-Matt. 10:28. Additional references: Hebrews 2:14, 15; 11:17-19. optional questions for discussion: (a) Has learning about the resurrection hope enhanced your appreciation for Jehovah’s love? How so? (b) Why should you want to tell others about the resurrection hope? Marriage and Divorce (1) What is the Christian standard for marriage? In reply he said: “Did you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.”-Matt. 19:4-6. Additional references: 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 7:2. (2) What is the only Scriptural basis for divorce that frees one to remarry? I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery.-Matt. 19:9. Additional refe rences: Mark 10:11, 12; Matthew 5:32; Luke 16:18. (3) What does the Bible say about married persons separating from each other? Therefore what God yoked together let no man put apart. -Mark 10:9. To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord, that a wife should not depart from her husband and a husband should not leave his wife.-I Cor. 7:10, 11, Additional references: I Corinthians 7:4, 5, 12-16. (4) Why should persons living together as husband and wife be properly married? Continue reminding them to be be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers. Titus 3: 1. Additional references: Matthew 22:21; Luke 2:1; Hebrews 13:4. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What benetits are derived from adhering to Jehovah’s standard for marriage as regards the husband? the wife? the children? the commmunity? (b) If you are a married person, are you sure that your marriage has been properly registered with the civil authorities? Sanctity of Life (1) Why is all life to be viewed as sacred? The God that made the world . . . gives to all persons life and breath and all things. For by him we have life and move and exist.-Acts 17:24, 25, 28, Christ Jesus . . . gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.-I Tim. 2:5, 6. Additional reference: Psalm 36:9. (2) How does Jehovah view (a) the unlawful shedding of human blood? (b) abortion? (c) suicide? Anyone shedding man’s blood, by man will his own blood be shed.-Gen. 9:6.But as for the … murderers…, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the second death.-Rev. 21:8. And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed…. But if a fatal accident should occuur, you must give soul for soul.-Ex. 21:22, 23. Look! All the souls-to me they belong. As the the father so likewise the soul of the son-to me they belong. – Ezek. 18: 4. Additional references: Numbers 35:31; 2 Samuel Matthew 27:3-5. 3) How do the following scriptures show that Jehovah considers blood as something sacred? Only flesh with its soul-its blood-you must not eat. -Gen. 9:4. Whenever your soul craves it you may slaughter, and you must eat meat according to the blessing of Jehovah your God . . . Only the blood you must not eat. On the earth you should pour it out as water.-Deut. 12:15, 16. Any soul who eats any blood, that soul must be cut off from his people.-Lev. 7:27, Keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled. — Acts 15:29, Additional references: Leviticus 17:11; 1 Chronicles 11:18,19; 1 Samuel 14:31-34; Romans 5:9. (4) What do the following scriptures reveal as to different ways a person could become bloodguilty? When I say to someone wicked, “You will positively die,” and you do not actually warn him . . . , his blood I shall ask back from your own hand.-Ezek. 3:18, 19. In case you build a new house, you must also make a parapet for your roof, that you may not place bloodguilt upon your house because someone falling might fall from it.-Deut. 22:8. Additional references: Acts 20:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 9:16. Optional questios for discussion: (a) How has the Scriptural view of blood affected your thinking on this matter? (b) As a Christian, what local foods or medical practices will you henceforth avoid? (c) How does the Bible teaching concerning the sanctity of life affect your view of certain dangerous sports or types of recreation? (d) Does God’s view of life and blood seem reasonable to you? (e) What stand should a Christian take if he is told that in order to save his own life or the life of a loved one a blood transfusion would be needed? PART 11 JEHOVAH’S RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS-Mic. 6:8 In your study of the Bible you have learned the importance of bringing your life into harmony with Jehovah’s righteous standards. Responding to what you learned may have entailed a number of adjustments in your attitude toward life itself and in your personal conduct. Making such changes, however, is not what is referred to in the Bible as sacred service. Rather, Jehovah God accepts sacred service only from those whose lives have been made to reflect his righteousness. — 1 P(,I 14-16; Isa. 52:11. Now that you have brought your life into harmony with Jehovah’s standard of righteousness, you are in a position to render acceptable sacred service as a minister of the good news. Reviewing the following questions along with the quoted and cited Scripture references will help you fix clearly in mind Jehovah’s righteous requirements and will remind you of some of the things you can do in order to become one of Jehovah’s approved servants. This information will impress upon you the importance of doing all things with a good conscience and to Jehovah’s honor-2 Cor. I: 12; 1 Tim. 1:19; 1 Pet. 3:16, 21. Christian Law (1) According to Jesus, what are the two greatest commandments of the Mosaic Law? “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”- Matt. 22: 37-39. (2) Are Christians under the Mosaic Law covenant with its requirements of Sabbathkeeping and sacrifices? Christ is the end of the Law, so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness.-Rom. 10:4. Let no man judge you in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; for those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ.-Col. 2:16, 17. Additional references: Galatians 3:24, 25; Colossions 14; Hebrews 8:6, 13. 0ptional questions for discussion: (a) In what way do you demonstrate that you love Jehovah with your whole mind, soul and strength? (b) In what practical ways do you show that you love your neighbor as yourself? Personal Relationships With Others (1) What Christian quality should outstandingly characterize our relationship with our spiritual brothers and sisters?I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves. -John 13:34, 35. Clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.-Col. 3:14. Additional references: James 2:8; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. (2) What Christian principles should govern our dealings with persons who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses? Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.-Luke 6:31. As long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all.-Gal. 6:10. Additional references: Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:17,18; Luke 10:29-37. (3) How should Christians view the shortcomings of fellow believers? Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also.-Col. 3:13. Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins-1 Pet. 4:8. Additional references: Matthew 7:1-5; Proverbs 17:9; 19:11; Matthew 6:12. (4) If your brother sins against you personally and you find it difficult merely to overlook the transgression, or if his sin against you is of a serious nature and should not be covered over, what should you do? Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth Of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector. -Matt. 18:15-17. Additional references: Matthew 5:23, 24; Ephesians 4:25. 5) What is the fruitage of the spirit and how will cultivating it help us to maintain a fine relationship with others? The fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. –Gal 5: 22, 23. Additional reference: James 3:17, 18. Elevated Christian Morals (1) Why is moral cleanness of all individuals among Jehovah’s people important to every one of us?Many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively-2 Pet. 2:2. Beloved ones, though I was making every effort to write you about the salvation we hold in common, I found it necessary to write you to exhort you to put up a hard fight for the faith that was once for all time delivered to the holy ones. My reason is that certain men have slipped in who have long ago been appointed by the Scriptures to this judgment, ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.-Jude 3, 4. Additional references: Romans 1:32; 1 Peter 1:16; Joshua 7:1-26. (2) Why must lying be avoided? The Devil … did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.- John 8:44. As for … all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur.-Rev. 21:8. Additional references: Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 6: 12-19; 2 Corinthians 6:4, 7. (3) What is the Christian view of stealing? Let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief. I Peter 4:15. Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he have something to distribute to someone in need.—Eph. 4: 28. 4) Does the Bible prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in moderation? Go, eat your food with rejoicing and drink your wine with a good heart, because already the true God has found pleasure in your works.-Ececl. 9:7. Additional references: Psalm 104:15; 1 Timothy 5:23. (5) What is the Christian view of drunkenness? What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. . . . nor greedy persons, nor drunkards … will inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9, 10. Ministerial servants should likewise be serious. . . . not giving themselves to a lot of wine.-1 Tim. 3:8. Additional references: 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Peter 4:3;1 Timothy 3:2, 3. (6) Why should Christians abstain from the nonmedical use of addictive or mind-altering drugs?Consequently I entreat you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.-Rom. 12:1, 2. Additional references: Revelation 21:8, Int; 1 Corinthians16:13; Proverbs 3:21-23; 5:1, 2; 1 Peter 4:7. (7) What additional reasons are there for not using tobacco, betel nut or other similar addictive substances that are known to be harmful to physical and mental health? Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.-2 Cor. 7:1. Additional references: James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:16. (8) What does the Bible say about fornication, adultery, sexual relations with another person of the same sex (homosexuality) and other unlawful sexual conduct? Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct … Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.-Gal. 5:19-21. What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men … will inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9-11. God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of thernselves one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.-Rom. 1:26, 27. Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. -Heb. 13:4. Additional references: Ephesians 5:5; 1 Peter 4:3; Mark 7:20-23; Revelation 21:8. (9) By adhering to what Bible counsel will you be able to ward off temptations and pressures that would induce you to engage in any form of sexual immorality, including sexual perversions? Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on things upon the earth. Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.-Col. 3:2, 5. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.-Phil. 4:8. Additional references: Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-2 Colossians 3:9, 10.(10) What is gambling? Why would a Christian avoid becoming involved in any form of gambling? But you men are those leaving Jehovah, those forgetting my holy mountain, those setting in order a table for the god of Good Luck and those filling up mixed wine for the god Destiny.-Isa. 65:11. Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither … thieves, nor greedy persons . . . will inherit God’s kingdorn.-l Cor. 9, 10. Additional references: I Corinthians 5:11; 15:33. (11) If a person in weakness commits a serious sin but he wants help to be restored to Jehovah’s favor, what action should he take immediately? My sin I finally confessed to you, and my error I did not cover. I said: “I shall make confession over my transgressions to Jehovah.”-Ps. 32:5. Is there anyone suffering evil among you? Let him carry on prayer. Is there anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms. Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the olde r men of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.-Jas. 5:13-15. Additional references: Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 2:1, 2; Galatians 6: 1. (12) in addition to confessing one’s own sins, what personal responsibility rests upon each Christian with regard to reporting serious wrongdoing by others that could threaten the spiritual or moral cleanness of the congregation? Now in case a soul sins in that he has heard public cursing and he is a witness or he has seen it or has come to know of it, if he does not report it, then he must answer for his error.- Lev. 5:1. He that is partner with a thief is hating his own soul. An oath involving a curse he may hear, but he reports nothing. -Prov. 29:24. Additional references: Deuteronomy 13:6-8; 1 Corinthians1:11; 5:1. (13) What is the proper viewpoint to have when one is Scripturally reproved? The discipline of Jehovah, 0 my son, do not reject; and do not abhor his reproof-Prov. 3:11. For the commandment is a lamp, and a light the law is, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.-Prov. 6:23. Additional references: Proverbs 15:32; Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:5-11. (14) What action does the congregation take when a person in its midst proves to be a persistent and unrepentant violator of God’s commandments? In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators, not meaning entirely with the fornicators of this world or the greedy persons and extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, you would actually have to get out of the world. But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked one from among yourselves.”-1 Cor. 5:9-13. As for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after first and a second admonition; knowing that such a man has been turned out of the way and is sinning, he being self-condemned. – Titus 3:10, 11. Additional references: I Corinthians 5:5, 6; Joshua Optional questions for discussion: (a) Do you think that Jehovah’s moral standards and requirements for his servants are reasonable? (b) How have you personally benefited from what you have learned about elevated Christian morals? (c) Why would a person have to conform his way of life to Jehovah’s standards before he could be accepted for Christian baptism? Idolatry (1) What is idolatry? What warnings does the Bible give concerning idolatry? Guard yourselves from idols.-I John 5:21. You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.-Ex. 20:4, 5. Additional references: Jeremiah 10:14, 15; Psalm 115: Isaiah 42:8; 48:11. (2) What are various forms of idolatry that Christians must guard against in this modern world? Now while Saul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit within him came to be irritated at beholding that the city was full of idols. Paul now stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens, I behold that in all things you seem to be more given to the fear of the deities than others are.”-Acts 17:16, 22. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold . . . the herald was crying out loudly: “To you it is being said,…O peoples…. that…you fall down and worship the image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.” -Dan.3: 1-5. On a set day Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down upon the judgment seat and began giving them a public address. In turn the assembled people began shouting “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he became eaten up with worms and expired. -Acts 12:21-23. If anyone worships the wild beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he will also drink of the wine of the anger of God.-Rev. 14:9, 10. Additional references: I Samuel 15:22, 23; Colossians 3:5.Separate From the World (1) According to the Bible, who is “the ruler of the world” and the god of this system of things”? I shall not speak much with you anymore, for the ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me [Jesus Christ].-John 14:30. The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through-2 Cor. 4:4. Additional references: I John 5:19; Revelation 12:9. (2) What is the position of Christians as to this world alienated from God? They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.-John 17:16. Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.-Jas. 4:4. Additional reference: John 15:19-21. (3) What was Jesus’ attitude toward participation in the political affairs of the world? The Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred servi ce.’ “-Matt. 4:8-10. Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone. -John 6:15. Additional reference: John 18:36. (4) When a person separates himself from tbe world and becomes a Christian, what treatment might he expect from those remaining in the world? All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted-2 Tim. 3:12. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond what is its own. Now because you are no part of the but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you…. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.-John 15:19-21. Additional reference: Luke 21:12, 13. (5) How does being separate from the world affect the secular employment of a Christian? Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he have something to distribute to someone in need-Eph. -1 The Devil … is a liar and the father of the lie.-John 8: What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9, 10. He will certainly render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore. -Mic. 4:2, 3. Write them to abstain … from blood.-Acts 15:20. Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone. -John 6:15. I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her [Babylon the Great], my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.”-Rev. 18:4. Additional references: Isaiah 2:2-4; John 17:16; Romans13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 7:23. (6) Adhering to what additional Bible principles will help a Christian to remain separate from the world with regard to his choice of entertainment and recreation? Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.- Cor. 15:33. Do Dot be loving either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; because everything in the world-the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life -does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever-1 John 2:15-17. So keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is. Also, do not be getting drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but keep getting filled with spirit, speaking to yourselves with psalms and praises to God and spiritual songs, singing and accompanying yourselves with music in your hearts to Jehovah, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks always for all things to our God and Father.-Eph. 5:15-20. Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people.-Eph. 5:3. Additional references: Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 3:5, 6; Proverbs 26:18, 19.Optional questions for discussion: (a) How has your study of the Bible helped you to keep yourself separate from the world? (b) What pressures or enticements have you had to resist in order to come into a good relationship with Jehovah and maintain it? (c) What Bible counsel have you found to be particularly helpful in maintaining separateness from the world? Interfaith Would it be proper for true Christians to share in worship with other religious groups? I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind.”– Rev. 18:4, 5. Additional references: I Corinthians 10:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Matthew 7:13, 14, 21-23; 2 Timothy 3:2, 5; Numbers 25-.1, 2. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What are some examples of interfaith activity that true Christians should avoid? (b) Why would a person have to make sure that he has cut off all association with false religious organizations before presenting himself for baptism as one of Jehovah’s es? (c) What would this include? Holidays and Celebrations (1) Are Christians under obligation to observe certain days as holidays? Now that you have come to know God, or rather now that you have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again? You are scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years. I fe ar for you, that somehow I have toiled to no purpose respecting you.- Gal. 4:9-11. Additional reference: Colossians 2:16, 17. (2) What is the only religious celebration that Christians are commanded to observe? Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave to them, saying: “This means my body which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me” -Luke 22:19. Additional reference: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. (3) What are some of the Bible principles that will help you to determine whether or not you should observe or participate in celebrations that are popular in your community? They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.-John 17:16. Do not be loving either the world or the things in world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father not in him; because everything in the world-the desirc the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life -does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.-I John 2:15-17. The time that has passed by is sufficient for you to worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct, lusts, excesses with wine, revelries, drinking matches, and illegal idolatries-1 Pet. 4:3. Additional references: 1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corininthians 6:14-17; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 13:13. 4) What mention is made in the Bible of birthday celebrations? How does this affect your view of birthday celebrations? But when Herod’s birthday was being celebrated the daughter of Herodias danced at it and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Then she, unde r her mother’s coaching, said: “Give me here upon a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Grieved though he was, the king out of regard for his oaths and for those reclining with him commanded it to be given; and he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the maiden, and she brought it to her mother.-Matt. 14:6-11. Additional references: Genesis 40:20-22; Ecclesiastes 7:1,8. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What are some of the holidays or celebrations popular in your community that true Christians avoid? (b) What do you need to do to keep from getting involved in worldly holidays or celebrations that run counter to Christian principles? (c) If you have minor children, how can you help them avoid unchristian practices related to worldly holidays? Baptism (1) Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses baptize in water those who embrace the Christian faith? Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Fathe r and of the Son and of the holy spirit.-Matt. 28:19. He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.-Acts 10:48. Additional references: Matthew 3:13-17; 1 Peter 2:21; Acts 8:12, 35-38. (2) Who should be baptized? When? Those who embraced his word heartily were baptized. -Acts 2:41. When they believed Philip, who was declaring the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be baptized.-Acts 8: 12. Repent, and lot each one of you be baptized in the name Of Jesus Christ.-Acts 2:38. Additional references: Hebrews 10:5-7; Luke 3:21, 23; 1 Peter 3:21. 3) What does it mean to be baptized in the name of (a) the Father? (b) the Son? (c) the holy spirit? You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most over all the earth.-Ps. 83:18. God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.-Phil. 2:9-11. I will request the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth.-John 14:16, 17. Additional references: Revelation 1:5; Joel 2:28, 29. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Why do you want to be baptized? (b) Have you already brought your life harmony with Jehovah’s righteous requirements according to what you have learned from your study of the Bible? (c) Are you at present sharing the good news of the Kingdom with others, demonstrating that you understand that this is Jehovah’s will for you at this time? (d) Have you expressed to Jehovah in prayer your desire to be one of his dedicated witnesses and to serve him in unity with his organized people? PART III SUBMISSION TO JEHOVAH’S ARRANGEMENT OF THINGS While still in Eden the first man and woman joined the rebellion led by “the original serpent,” Satan the Devil. (Rev. 12:9) They ceased being submissive to Jehovah’s arrangement of things. Having been introduced to a course of independance from God, they set out on their own. From that time forward the course taken by man has only served to confirm the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s words recorded at Jeremiah 10:23, where we read: “I well know, 0 Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his steps.’ Through your study of the Bible you learned about Jehovah’s purpose to bring all things back into subjection to himself, just as they were in the beginning. (Eph. 1:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:24- 28) Having reached this point in your study you are also desirous of finding your place in Jehovah’s arrangement of things and of being submissive to his rule. The following questions and related Scripture references will help you to examine your own understanding of submission to Jehovah’s arrangements as regards congregation organization, Christian family life and the political rulers of the day. Submission in the Congregation Arrangement (1) What is the basic principle underlying Jehovah’s arrangement Of things within the Christian congregation? But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God-1 Cor. 11:3. He (Jesus Christ] is the head of the body, the congregation-Col. 1:18. Additional references: Ephesians 1:22, 23; Hebrews 12:9; James 4:7. (2) Why is there a particular need for submitting to Jehovah’s arrangement of things in the Christian congregation today? For God is a God, not of disorder, but of peace. . . . But let all things take place decently and by arrangement. -1 Cor. 14:33, 40. You, though, keep your senses in all things,…do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry. -2 Tim. 4:5. Additional references: Ephesians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 12:18,28. (3) What are some examples of Jesus’ disciples submitting to his instructions in order to carry out their ministry in an orderly way? Now he summoned the twelve, and he initiated sending them out two by two, and he began to give them authority over the unclean spirits. And the apostles gathered together before Jesus and reported to him all the things they done and taught.-Mark 6:7, 30. After these things the Lord designated seventy others, and sent them forth by twos in advance of him into every city and place to which he himself was going to come.-Luke 10: 1. Additional references: Luke 9:14-17; Matthew 10:1-23. (4) How does Jesus exercise headship over the Christian congregation today? Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them them food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings. -Matt. 24:45-47. But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.-John 14:26 Additional references: Luke 12:42-44; John 16:12-14. (5) By what visible means is Christ’s headship represented in the congregation? However, from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the older men of the congregation. When they got to him he said to them: . . . “Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God.”-Acts 20:17, 18, 28. Therefore, to the older men among you I give this exhortation…. Shepherd the flock of God in your care, not compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain but eagerly; neither as lording it over those who are God’s heritance, but becoming examples to the flock-1 Pet. 5:13 Additional references: Titus 1:5; Isaiah 32:1, 2. (6) How do members of the congregation demonstrate submission to the headship of Christ in the congregation? Remember those who are taking the lead among you, have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out imitate their faith.-Heb. 13: 7 Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.-Heb. 13:17. Additional references: 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 16:16. optional questions for discussion: (a) Are you able to identify “the faithful and discreet slave” today? How? (b) What is the Governing Body of the Christian congregation? What purpose does it serve? (See Acts 6:1-6; 8:14; 15:1-29; 16:4, 5.) (c) What legal agencies are used by the Governing Body today to accomplish the publishing of the good news worldwide? (d) Why would submitting to Jehovah’s arrangement in the congregation include giving material support to the work of the congregation to the extent of your ability? Submission in Christian Family Life (1) In God’s arrangement of things, who is the head of the married woman? You wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it is becoming in the Lord.-Col. 3:18. Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord, because a husband is head of his wife as the Christ also is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body.-Eph. 5:22, 23. Additional reference: Titus 2:4, 5. (2) How should a husband exercise headship over his wife? Whose example does he have to follow as a pattern? In this way husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it, as the Christ also does the congregation. -Eph. 5:28, 29. You husbands, keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry with them.-Col. 3:19. Additional reference: 1 Peter 3:7. (3) Is the wife whose husband is not a believer freed from his headship? In like manner, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, in order that, if any are not obedient to the word, they may be won without a word through the conduct of their wives, because of having been eyewitnesses of your chaste conduct together with deep respect-1 Pet. 3:1, 2. Additional references: Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10. 4) Who is responsible before God for the training and disciplining of children? And you, fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.-Eph. 6:4.Additional references: Colossians 3:21; Proverbs 13:24;29: 15; Deuteronomy 6:6, 7. (5) What responsibility do children have in the family arrangement? Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord, for this is righteous: “Honor your father and your mother”; which is the first command with a promise, “That it may go well with you and you may endure a long time the earth.”-Eph. 6:1-3. You children, be obedient to your parents in everything for this is well-pleasing in the Lord.- Col. 3:20. Additional references: Deuteronomy 5:16; Proverbs I4:1; 6:20; 23:22. Optional questions for discussion: (a) If you are a married woman, in what way can you demonstrate your submission to your husband? (b) Does this seem to be righteous and just to you? (c) If your husband does not appreciate your cooperation in this regard, how do you still benefit? (d)If you are a man with family responsibilities, what worldly attitudes must you avoid if you are to exercise your headship in a Christlike manner? (e) If you are a minor child, what benefits will come to you and to the family as a result of your being submissive to your parents? (f) What factors may it make it difficult for you to be submissive at times? Submission to the Civil Authorities (1) What is the proper attitude for Christians to maintain toward worldly rulers? Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. -Rom. 13:1. Continue reminding them to be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers.-Titus 3: 1. Additional references: 1 Peter 2:13, 14; Daniel 6:5;26:2, 3; 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (2) Must a Christian pay all taxes and assessments demanded by law? Render to all their dues, to him who calls for the tax, the tax; to him who calls for the tribute, the tribute; to him who calls for fear, such fear; to him who calls for honor, such honor -Rom. 13:7. Additional reference: Luke 20:21-25. (3) Are there any circumstances under which a Christian would refuse to obey the worldly rulers? With that they called them and charged them, nowhere to make any utterance or to teach upon the basis of the name of Jesus. But in reply Peter and John said to them: “Whether it is righteous in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves. But as for us, we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.” -Acts 4:18-20. In answer Peter and the other apostles said: ‘Ve must obey God as ruler rather than men.”- Acts 5:29. Additional references: Isaiah 2:4; Daniel 3:16-18; 6:4-24; Exodus 1:15-20. (4) Should Christians comply with legal requirements such as the registering of marriages and births, respond to census inquiries or obtain required licenses and permits that do not conflict with God’s laws? Now in those days a decree went forth . . . for all the inhabited earth to be registered … Of course, Joseph also went up from Galilee … to get registered with Mary, who had been given him in marriage.-Luke 2:1-5. Continue reminding them to be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers.-Titus 3:1. Additional references: 1 Timothy 3:2, 9; compare Acts 18:1-3; Hebrews 13:4. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Why is it important for you to be submissive to the civil authorities even when their rule may seem to be oppressive? (b) How can you be submissive to the political rulers without violating Christian neutrality? PART IV WORKS THAT DEMONSTRATE CHRISTIAN FAITH-Jas. 2:18 You have already observed in your association with Jehovah’s Witnesses that they are a busy people, “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58) The very fact that you have been able to take in accurate knowledge about Jehovah and his purposes is an evidence of the diligent efforts of Jehovah’s dedicated people in your behalf. By the time you have come to consider this portion of the book Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry with the overseers of the local congregation, you should already be giving clear evidence of your heart appreciation for what you have learned. You show this appreciation by attending and participating in all the congregation meetings to the extent of your ability. Also, you should already be having a regular share in the Kingdom-preaching work, helping others to come to know Jehovah and what he is doing for mankind. (Matt. 24:128:19, 20) It is not sufficient for a person merely to know what is right and be able to answer specific questions in harmony with what is true.Having knowledge is really of little value unless it is applied in a practical way, and this for the benefit of others as well as for oneself.-John17; 1 John 5:3. Addressing his words to sincere inquirers Jehovah’s prophet Micah wrote: “With what shall I confront Jehovah? With what shall I bow myself to God on high? Shall I confront him with whole burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of torrents of oil? Shall I give my firstborn son for my revolt, the fruitage of my belly for the sin of my soul? He has told you, earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah sking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?” (Mic. 6:6-8) Yes, Jehovah wants you to walk with him in modesty, give him your heart and take pleasure in doing his will.-Prov. 23:26. This section of questions will help you to identify clearly and fix in mind Jehovah’s requirements as to Christian works. It will help you to be sure that you have made a proper dedication of your life to Jehovah God before submitting to water baptism. You can be sure that Jehovah appreciates your sincere response to his undeserved kindness expressed in your behalf. Relationship Between Works and Faith Why must approved works accompany our Christian faith? Faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself. Nevertheless, a certain one will say: “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from the works, and I shall show you my faith by my works.” Indeed, as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. -Jas. 2:17, 18, 26. The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man. For the true God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.-Ecel. 12:13, 14. Additional references: John 6:27-29; 13:17; James 1:27; 4:17; compare Matthew 7:15-27. Optional questions for discussion: (a) In what way are Christian works different from works of the Law? (b) Why would it not be proper for us to compare our works of faith with those of fellow believers? Christian Meetings (1) Why is it beneficial to attend the meetings arranged by the congregation? Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.-Heb. 10:24, 25. Additional references: Proverbs 18:1; Romans 1:11, 12. (2) What is the proper attitude for us to have toward opportunities to meet together with our spiritual brothers and sisters? I rejoiced when they were saying to me: “To the house Jehovah let us go.”-Ps. 122:1. Additional references: I Corinthians 16:19, 20; Romans 16:16; 1:11. (3) What information beneficial to Jehovah’s people is considered at congregation meetings?And when this letter has been read among you, arrange that it also be read in the congregation of the Laodiceans, and that you also read the one from Laodicea.-Col. 4:16. Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time?-Luke 12:42. Additional references: Revelation 2:1; 3:1; Acts 13: 1; 1 Timothy 5:17. (4) Whose teaching and instruction is given at the congregation meetings? And all your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, the peace of your sons will be abundant.-Isa. 54:13. Additional references: Job 36:22; Isaiah 30:20; Romans 15:4. (5) Why should you endeavor to participate in congregation meetings by commenting and otherwise as you have opportunity? I will declare your name to my brothers; in the middle of the congregation I shall praise you.- Ps. 22:22. Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works.-Heb. 10:24. Additional reference: Romans 10:9, 10. (6) Who should attend the congregation meetings order to be instructed in righteousness? Congregate the people, the men and the women and little ones . . . , in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah God and take care to carry out all the words of this law. -Deut. 31:12. Additional references: Nehemiah 8:1-3; compare Acts 16:1, 2 with 2 Timothy 3:14, 15. optional questions for discussion: (a) What effort have you personally put forth in order to be in regular attendance at congregation meetings? (b) How have you benefited from regular association with Jehovah’s Witnesses at congregation nieetings? (c) Why is it beneficial for you to prepare well for each congregation meeting? How do you find time to do so? Our Kingdom Ministry (1) What urgent work does the Bible set out for all Christians at this time? This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.-Matt. 24:14. Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.-Matt. 28:19, 20. Additional references: Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8; 2:17, 18. (2) According to the following scriptures, what are some of the various ways in which our ministry may be accomplished? He went journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.-Luke 8:1. A certain woman named Martha received him as guest into the house. This woman also had a sister called Mary, who, however, sat down at the feet of the Lord and kept listening to his word.-Luke 10:38, 39. Now Jesus, tired out from the journey, was sitting at the fountain just as he was. . . . A woman of Samaria came to draw water. . . . Jesus said to her: “Everyone drinking from this water will get thirsty again. Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all.” -John 4:6-14. Consequently he began to reason in the synagogue with the Jews and the other people who worshiped God and every day in the marketplace with those who happened to be on hand.-Acts 17:17. I did not hold back from telling you any of the that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house.-Acts 20:20. Additional references: Matthew 10:11-14; Acts 5:42; 1 Proverbs 1:20, 21. (3) Is this work done in our own strength? We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not that out ourselves-2 Cor. 4:7. Additional references: 2 Timothy 4:17; Revelation 14: 6; Matthew 10:19, 20; Philippians 4:13. (4) Why should you be willing to preach the good news to all kinds of people in your assigned territory? At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable him.”-Acts 10:34, 35. Additional references: Matthew 24:14; Revelation 14: 6; Psalm 49:1, 2. (5) Why should you take most seriously your responsibility to share the good news with others? I call you to witness this very day that I am clean from the blood of all men, for I have not held back from telling you all the counsel of God.-Acts 20:26, 27.Additional references: I Corinthians 9:16; Ezekiel 33: 8; 1 Timothy 4:16. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Are you at present, having a regular share each month in Kingdom service, preaching the good news to others? (b) Is someone helping you and training you to be effective in the field ministry? (c) Why is working from house to house in the field ministry so important? (d) When you find a person who manifests genuine interest in the good news, what further assistance should you endeavor to give that person? (e) While exerting yourself in the field ministry, why would it be wrong you to make comparisons between your ministry and that of others? Honoring Jehovah With Your Valuable Things (1) What pattern set in ancient Israel serves as a model for giving material support to the Kingdom work today? And the people gave way to rejoicing over their making voluntary offerings, for it was with a complete heart that they made voluntary offerings to Jehovah; and even David the king himself rejoiced with great joy-1 Chron. 29:9. Additional references: Exodus 35:21, 22, 29; Proverbs 3:9, 10; Malachi 3:10. (2) (2) What lesson did Jesus teach about generous giving? And he sat down with the treasury chests in view and began observing how the crowd was dropping money into the treasury chests; and many rich people were dropping in many coins. Now a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins, which have very little value. So he called his disciples to him and said to them: “Truly I say to you that this poor widow dropped in more than all those dropping money into the treasury chests; for they all dropped in out of their surplus, but she, out of her want, dropped in all of what she had, her whole living.”-Mark 12:41-44. I have exhibited to you in all things that by thus laboring you must assist those who are weak, and must bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” –Acts 20:35. Additional reference: Luke 6:38. (3) What example of giving in support of the congregation was set by first-century Christians? In everything you are being enriched for every sort of generosity, which produces through us an expression of thanks to God; because the ministry of this public service is not only to supply abundantly the wants of the holy ones but also to be rich with many expressions of thanks to God. Through the proof that this ministry gives, they glorify God because you are submissive to the good news about the Christ, as you publicly declare you are, and because you are generous in your contribution to them and to all; and with supplication for you they long for you because of the surpassing undeserved kindness of God upon you-2 Cor. 9:11-14. Additional references: Philippians 4:14-16; Romans 15:26. (4) Why must we be concerned about our brothers and sisters who come to be in need of material assistance? If a brother or a sister is in a naked state and lacking the food sufficient for the day, yet a certain one of you says to them: “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,” but you do not give them the nece ssities for their body, of what benefit is it?-Jas. 2:15, 16. Additional references: James 1:27; 2 Corinthians 9:1, 2; Proverbs 11:25. (5) In addition to any material contributions to advance the good news, what should we offer that is even more important? Consequently I entreat you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. -Rom. 12: 1. Through him let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.-Heb. 13:15. Additional references: Mark 12:30, 31; Matthew 28:19, 20. (6) What should be our attitude toward giving of ourselves and of our material possessions in Jehovah’s service? And yet, who am I and who are my people, that we should retain power to make voluntary offerings like this? For everything is from you, and out of your own hand we have given to you- 1 Chron. 29:14. Additional references: 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7; Luke 17: 10. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What are some of the needs of the local congregation that are taken care of by the voluntary contributions of the members of the congregation? (b) How do contributions made directly to the nearest branch office of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society assist in the advancement of the good news? (c) Why should all contributions be made on a voluntary basis and not solicited or assessed? Dedication and Baptism (1) What should always be our attitude toward the doing of Jehovah’s will? To do your will, 0 my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts.-Ps. 40:8. Happy is the man in fear of Jehovah, in whose commandinents he has taken very much delight.-Ps. 112:1. My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.-John 4:34. Additional references: Hebrews 10:9; Luke 10:27. (2) Why should this joyful and willing attitude prevail even when we are persecuted or undergoing any form of trial?Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith works out endurance.-Jas. 1:2, 3. These, therefore, went their way from before the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name.-Acts 5:41. Additional references: Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Peter 2:20; 4:14. (3) What does it mean for a person to dedicate himself to Jehovah? Look! I am come (in the roll of the book it is written about me) to do your will, 0 God…. Look! I am come to do your will.-Heb. 10:7, 9. Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me.”-Matt. 16:24. Additional references: Psalm 143:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13; compare 1 Kings 18:21 and Hosea 9:10. (4) When a person has sincerely repented, turned around and made a decision to follow Christ, why should he be baptized? Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.-Matt. 28:19. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, in order to be baptized by him.-Matt. 3:13. In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.-I Pet. 2:21. Additional references: Acts 8:12, 35, 36; 19:5; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21. (5) Why is it appropriate for dedicated and baptized Christians to be called Jehovah’s Witnesses? “You are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and have faith in me, and that you may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I-I am Jehovah, an(i besides me there is no savior. I myself have told forth and have saved and have caused it to be heard, when there was among you no strange god. So you are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I am God.”-Isa. 43:10-12. And from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “The firstborn from the dead,” and “The Ruler of the kings of the earth.”-Rev. 1:5. Additional references: John 18:37; Revelation 3:14; 1 Peter 2:9, 21. CONCLUDING QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: (a) Following your baptism in water, why will it be vital for you to maintain a good schedule for personal study and to share regularly in the ministry? (b) How will staying in close association with the congregation help you to carry out your dedication to Jehovah? (c) How will you go about proving to Jehovah that your dedication has been made in sincerity and from your heart? (d) Are you now thoroughly convinced that you should be baptized at the first opportunity?

PART I

ELEMENTARY BIBLE TEACHINGS – Heb. 5: 11-6:3

During your study of the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses you have become acquainted with the pattern of truth and very likely find it is quite different from what you formerly believed. What you have learned has brought you great spiritual refreshment and has no doubt set before you the hope of future life and blessings on a Paradise earth under God’s Kingdom. Your faith in his Word has been strengthened, and through association with his organized people you have already experienced many blessings. You have come to appreciate how Jehovah is dealing with his chosen people today. -Zech. 8:23.

Now, as you prepare for water baptism in symbol of your personal dedication to Jehovah God, you will benefit from a review of elementary Bible teachings conducted by the congregation elders. If you do not understand some things so as to be able to give a reasonable answer to those who may ask or to persons you will approach in field service, the elders will kindly help you to improve Your understanding- I Pet. 3:15.

Your desire should be in harmony with the words of the apostle Paul that we read at Hebrews 6:1-3: “For this reason, now that we have left the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works, and faith toward God. . . . the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment. And this we will do, if God indeed permits.”

May Jehovah continue to bless all your endeavors to take in knowledge of him, and may he grant you the promised reward.-John 17:3.

The True God

(1) Who is the true God?

You well know today, and you must call back to your heart that Jehovah is the true God in the heavens and on the earth beneath. There is no other.—Deut. 4: 39.

Jesus spoke these things, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he said: “Father…. this means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God.”-John 17: 1-3.

This is what the true God, Jehovah, has said, “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”–Isa. 42:5, 8.

For even though there are those who are called “gods” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are “gods” and many “lords,” there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all are, and we through him-1 Cor. 8:5, 6.

Additional references: Deuteronomy 4:35; Psalm 8:1, Isaiah 43:10-12.

(2) What are some of Jehovah’s outstanding qualities?

God is love.-I John 4:8. The Rock, perfect is his activity, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he.-Deut. 32:4. 0 the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!–Rom. 11:33. Alas, 0 Sovereign Lord Jehovah! Here you yourself made the heavens and the earth by your great power by your outstretched arm. The whole matter is not too wonderful for you yourselfJer. 32:17. Additional references: Exodus 34: 6; 2 Peter 3:9;3:12; Psalm 90:2 (3) What does it mean to give Jehovah exclusive devotion? Why is he alone deserving? Jesus said to him, [Satan]: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’ “-Luke 4:8, No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the ono and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches. -Matt. 6:24. You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.-Rev. 4:11. Additional references: Exodus 20:4, 5; Isaiah 33:22; 42:8; Acts 17:28. (4) Why is it important for us to use God’s personal name in worship? Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved. -Rom. 10:13. For all the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever.-Mic. 4:5. Additional references: Exodus 20:7; Psalm 91:14; Isaiah 12:4, 5; Joel 2:32; Acts 15:14. (5) How will Jehovah God sanctify his name? How can we have a share in it? I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.–Ezek. 38:23. 0 may they be ashamed and be disturbed for all times, and may they become abashed and perish; that people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.-Ps. 83:17, 18. Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me.-Prov. 27:11. Additional references: Exodus 5:2; Psalm 2.2, 9; Ezekiel36:16-24; 1 Peter 2:12. (6) Why would it be wrong for us to make an image Of God or attempt to worship him through the use of images? You must not make for yourself a carved image, any form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth unde rneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or be led to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.-Deut. 5:8, 9. You did not see any form on the day of Jehovah’s speaking to you in Horeb.-Deut. 4:15. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.-John 4:24. We are walking by faith, not by sight-2 Cor. 5: 7.. Additional references: Psalm 115:4-8; Isaiah 42:8; Acts 17:29. (7) Why should we endeavor to continue learning all we can about Jehovah? How can we do so? Become imitators of God, as beloved children.-Eph. 5: 1 God proceeded to create the man in his image, in his image he created him.-Gen. 1:27. If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him. . . . He that has seen me has seen the Father also.-John 14:7-9. His invisible qualities are clearly . . . perceived by the things made -Rom.1:20. Additional references: John 1:18; Exodus 33:13; Jereimiah 22:15, 16; 1 John 4:8; compare I John 2:3-6. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Has your stud the Bible caused you to reject certain false teachings about God? What are they? (b) Has the knowledge you now have about God moved you to want to serve him? What are you now doing to demonstrate your desire to serve Jehovah? (c) What will you need to do in order to continue building your appreciation for Jehovah? Jesus Christ and the Ransom (1) Who is Jesus Christ? Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”-Matt. 16:16. In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was God, and the Word was a god. This one was in the beginning with God. So the Word became flesh and resided among us and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father-John 1:1, 2, 14. Additional references: Luke 1:30-33; Colossians 1:1, Acts 2:36; 3:15; 5:31. (2) What is his position in relation to Jehovah God? I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.-John 14:28. There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.-I Tim. 2:5. Additional references: Philippians 2:5-11; John 14:10, 11;1 Corinthians 11:3. (3) Why did Jesus come to earth and die a sacrificial death? The Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.-Matt. 20:28. He beheld Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” -John 1:29. Additional references: Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15; John 3:16;18:37. (4) Why do we need the ransom? How does it affect you personally? Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.-Rom. 5:12. By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of our trespasses.-Eph. 1:7. Just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive -1 Cor. 15:22. For the love the Christ has compels us, because this is what we have judged, that one man died for all; so, then, all had died; and he died for all that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up-2 Cor. 5:14, 15. Additional references: Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5; Galatians 1:4; 1 John 4:11. (5) How does Christ return and for what purpose? The Son of man is destined to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will recompense each one according to his behavior.-Matt. 16:27. When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne.-Matt. 25:31. The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: “Sit at mv right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for you-r feet.” The rod of your strength Jehovah will send oul Zion, saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemi, -Ps. 110:1, 2. Additional references: I Peter 3:18; Daniel 7:13, 14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Luke 23:42, 43.Optional questions for discussion: (a) How is the ransom an expression of God’s love for mankind? (b) In what can you show your appreciation for the ransom? The Operation of Holy Spirit (1) What is the holy spirit and what has it ac@ complished as indicated by the following Bible texts? God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.-Gen. 1:2; compare Psalm 33:6 and 104:11 The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and word was upon my tongue-2 Sam. 23:2; compare 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20, 21. But if it is by means of God’s spirit that I expel the demons, the kingdom of God has really overtaken you.-Matt. 12:28. They all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance.-Acts 2:4. Additional references: Isaiah 61:1, 2; Acts 1:8; Revelation 1.10. (2) How does holy spirit operate for our benefit today? If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!-Luke 11: 1 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your spirit is good; may it lead me in the land of uprightness. -Ps. 143:10. All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness. – 2 Tim. 3:16. Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God.-Acts 20:28. Additional references: John 14:26; Matthew 10:19, 20 Philippians 4:13; Joel 2:28, 29. (3) Whose ideas are recorded in the Bible? Why should you regularly study God’s Word? That is why we also thank God incessantly, because when you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers.-I Thess. 2:13. Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.-Acts 17:11. Additional references: Psalm 1:1-3; 119:105; 1 Timothy 4:13-16; John 17:17. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Have you endeavored to read the entire Bible? Why would it be good for you to do so? (b) When you have asked Jehovah to help you and direct you by holy spirit, why should you then endeavor to pay close attention to Bible-based counsel? Prayer (1) To whom should our prayers be directed? You must pray, then, this way: “Our Father in the heavens . . . “-Matt. 6:9. In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving le t your petitions be made known to God. -Phil. 4:6. Additional references: Psalm 5:1, 2; 65:1, 2; 69:13. (2) Does Jehovah listen to all prayers? Why do you so answer? If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name.-John 16:23. When you pray, you must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray … to be visible to men.-Matt. 6:5. The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their supplication.- I Pet. 3:12. Additional references: Acts 10:30, 34, 35; Micah 3:4; Proverbs 28:9; Matthew 6:6-8. (3) What are some of the things you can pray about? Let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.- Matt. 6:9-13 No matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us.-I John 5:14. Additional references: Philippians 1:9; Acts 12:5; James 5:16. Optional questions for discussion: (a) When do you find time to pray? (b) How can you keep your prayers from becoming routine? (c) In your study of the Bible, what did learn about prayer that you did not know previously? has this affected your personal prayers to God? The Kingdom of God (1) By what right is Jehovah the Universal Sovereign? Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voice to God and said: “Sovereign Lord, you are the One who made the he aven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.”- Acts 4:24. You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.-Rev. 4:11.Additional references: Psalm 90:2; 100:3; Hebrews 3: 4. (2) With whom has he shared rulership over his creation? Someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. And to him there was given rulership and dignity and kingdom.-Dan. 7:13, 1 1 The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.” The rod of your strength Jehovah will send out of Zion, saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies. -Ps. 110:1, 2. However, you are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.-Luke 22:28-30. Additional references: Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1. (3) Is the Kingdom of God a condition or a government? In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdorn that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms; and it itself will stand to times indefinite. -Dan. 2:44. The very One itting in the heavens will laugh; Jehovah hirnself will hold them in derision. At that time he will speak to them in his anger and in his hot displeasure he will disturb them, saying: “I, even 1, have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain.”-Ps. 2:4-6. My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.-John 18:36. Additional references: Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32, 33; Revelation 20:6. (4) What blessings will Kingdom rule bring for the earth and for mankind? And he will wipe out every tear from their eves, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. -Rev. 21:4. The sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand. They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain. -Isa. 11:8, 9. Additional references: Isaiah 26:9; 65:21, 22; Luke 23:43. (5) What does it mean to seek first the Kingdom? Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth . . .Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . No one can slave for two masters . . . You cannot slave for God and for Riches…. So never be anxious and say, “What are we to eat?” or, “What are we to drink?” or, “What are we to put on?” For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing.-Matt. 6:19-32. Let us also put off every weight and the sin that easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus.-Heb. 12:1, 2. Additional references: Matthew 1-3:44-46; 16:24; 19:27-29. (6) How do we know that we have entered into the time of the end and that God’s Kingdom is ruling? While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciPpes approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things? “–Matt. 24:3. Now learn from the fig tree as an illustration this point: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. Liikewise, also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur- Matt. 24:32-34. The rod of your strength Jehovah will send out of saying: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies.” Ps.110:2. Additional references: Revelation 6:1-6; 12:1-12; Matt.24:1-25:46; 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Optional questions for discussion: (a) How do you personally endeavor to put God’s Kingdom first in your life? (b) In what practical ways can you demonstrate that you are a loyal advocate of God’s Kingdom? (c) As a loyal advocate of God’s Kingdom, what is your attitude toward involvement in the political affairs of the nations? Satan and the Demons (1) Who is Satan the Devil? Where did he and demons come from? So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.-Rev. 12:9; compare Genesis :3: 1-5. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie -John 8:44. And the angels that did not keep their original position, but forsook their own proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgement of the great day.-Jude 6. Additional references: Job 1:6; 2:1; James 1:14, 15; Ephesians 6:11, 12; compare Ezekiel 28:12-15. (2) What warnings do we have in the Bible to help us avoid spiritistic practices?There should not be found in you anyone who … employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of them. – Deut. 18:10, 11. But as for . . . those practicing spiritism …, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and tsulphur. This means the second death.-Rev. 21:8. Additional references: Acts 16:16-18; Galatians 5:19, 20. (3) How can we protect ourselves against the influences of Satan and the demons? Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.-Jas, 4:7. Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil.-Eph. 6:11. Additional references: Matthew 6:13; Proverbs 18:10; Acts19:19, 20. (4) What do God’s words to Pharaoh indicate as to His reason for allowing Satan and his demons to continue living until now? For by now I could have thrust my hand out that I might strike you and your people with pestilence and that you might be effaced from the earth. But, in fact, for this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth-Ex. 9:15, 16. Additional references: Romans 9:14-18; Job 1:9-12; 2:4-6; 2 Peter 3:9, 15. (5) What will become of Satan and his demons according to Jehovah’s judgment against them? I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.-Gen. 3:15. Therefore, since the “young children” are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly partook of the same things, that through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil.-Heb. 2:14. And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet already were.-Rev. 20:10. Additional references: Romans 16:20; Revelation 12:7-9; 20:1-3, 7-10. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What influence does Satan have on people today? (b) What are some of the spiritistic practices of people today, and why should we avoid these? The Soul, Sin and Death (1) What is the human soul? Can it die? Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.-Gen. 2:7. Look! All the souls-to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likekvise the soul of the son-to me they belong. The soul that is sinning-it itself will die.-Ezek. 18: 4, 20. Additional references: I Corinthians 15:45; Acts. 3: 23; Matthew 10:28. (2) What is sin? How did we all become sinners? Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness,and so sin is lawlessness-1 John 3:1. Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men becausethey had all sinned.-Rom. 5:12. Additional references: Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8; 1 Kings 8:46; Psalm 51:5. (3) What should you do if you commit a sin? My sin I finally confessed to you, and my error I did not cover. I said: “I shall make confession over my transgressions to Jehovah.”-Ps. 32:5. Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the older men of the congregation to him, and let them pray him, greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him. Therefore openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may get healed. A righteous man’s supplication, when it is at work, has much force. -Jas. 5:11-16. He that is covering over his transgressions will not succeed, but he that is confessing and leaving them will shown mercy. -Prov. 28:13. Additional references: Daniel 9:20; 1 John 1:9. (4) What should be our attitude toward committing sins? Do not let sin continue to rule as king in your mortal bodies that you should obey their desires. Neither go on presenting your members to sin as weapons of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, also your members to God as weapons of righteousness. For sin must not be master ove r you, seeing that you are not under law but under undeserved kindness. -Rom. 6:12-14. Additional reference: Romans 7:11-25. (5) What is death? The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten-Eccl. 9:5, 10.He said to them: “Lazarus our friend has gone to rest, but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep.” Therefore the disciples said to him: “Lord, if he has gone to rest, he will get well.” Jesus had spoken, however, about his death. But they imagined he was speaking about taking rest in sleep. At that time, therefore, Jesus said to them outspokenly: “Lazarus has died.”-John 11:11-14. Additional references: Genesis 3:19; Psalm 6:5); 146:1; Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20; Isaiah 38:18. (6) Why do people die? The wages sin pays is death.-Rom. 6:23. In Adam all are dying.-I Cor. 15:22. Additional references: Romans 5:12, 17, 19; Job 14:1, 4. Optional questions for discussion: (a) How have you benefited from learning what the Bible teaches about the soul, sin and death? (b) What are some of the false religious doctrines that are disproved by what you have learned? (c) In what way do false religious teachings about the soul dishonor God? Resurrection (1) What hope is there for one who dies? I have hope toward God, which hope these men themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. -Acts 24:15. Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.-John 5:28, 29. Additional references: Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:13; Isaiah 25:8. (2) How many from among mankind will be raised to heavenly life with Jesus Christ? I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one was able to master that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from earth.-Rev. 14:1, 3. Additional references: Revelation 7:1-8; compare 12:32. (3) What will they do there? You made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.-Rev. I saw thrones, and there were those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them . . . . . and they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years. Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.-Rev. 20:4, 6. Additional reference: I Corinthians 6:3. (4) What is the hope for the rest of mankind that will also be resurrected? And he went on to say: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.” And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”- Luke 23:42, 43. I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. And the sea gave up those dead in it, and de ath and Hades gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds.-Rev. 20:12, 13. Additional references: Isaiah 65:17, 20; Revelation 21 (5) Who will not be resurrected, and why? Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one you make him a subject for Gehenna twice as much so ass yourselves. Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Gehenna?-Matt. 23:15, 33. When the Son of man arrives in his glory. . . . Separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left . . . . . Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, “Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” . . . And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off. -Matt. 25:31-46. Additional references: 2 Peter 3:5-7; Jude 8-13. (6) Why should we hold firmly to our hope, in the resurrection of the dead? If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. If, like men, I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, of what good is it to me? If the dead are not to be raised up, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.”-1 Cor. 15:19, 32. And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.-Matt. 10:28. Additional references: Hebrews 2:14, 15; 11:17-19. optional questions for discussion: (a) Has learning about the resurrection hope enhanced your appreciation for Jehovah’s love? How so? (b) Why should you want to tell others about the resurrection hope? Marriage and Divorce (1) What is the Christian standard for marriage? In reply he said: “Did you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.”-Matt. 19:4-6. Additional references: 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 7:2. (2) What is the only Scriptural basis for divorce that frees one to remarry? I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery.-Matt. 19:9. Additional refe rences: Mark 10:11, 12; Matthew 5:32; Luke 16:18. (3) What does the Bible say about married persons separating from each other? Therefore what God yoked together let no man put apart. -Mark 10:9. To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord, that a wife should not depart from her husband and a husband should not leave his wife.-I Cor. 7:10, 11, Additional references: I Corinthians 7:4, 5, 12-16. (4) Why should persons living together as husband and wife be properly married? Continue reminding them to be be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers. Titus 3: 1. Additional references: Matthew 22:21; Luke 2:1; Hebrews 13:4. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What benetits are derived from adhering to Jehovah’s standard for marriage as regards the husband? the wife? the children? the commmunity? (b) If you are a married person, are you sure that your marriage has been properly registered with the civil authorities? Sanctity of Life (1) Why is all life to be viewed as sacred? The God that made the world . . . gives to all persons life and breath and all things. For by him we have life and move and exist.-Acts 17:24, 25, 28, Christ Jesus . . . gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.-I Tim. 2:5, 6. Additional reference: Psalm 36:9. (2) How does Jehovah view (a) the unlawful shedding of human blood? (b) abortion? (c) suicide? Anyone shedding man’s blood, by man will his own blood be shed.-Gen. 9:6.But as for the … murderers…, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the second death.-Rev. 21:8. And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed…. But if a fatal accident should occuur, you must give soul for soul.-Ex. 21:22, 23. Look! All the souls-to me they belong. As the the father so likewise the soul of the son-to me they belong. – Ezek. 18: 4. Additional references: Numbers 35:31; 2 Samuel Matthew 27:3-5. 3) How do the following scriptures show that Jehovah considers blood as something sacred? Only flesh with its soul-its blood-you must not eat. -Gen. 9:4. Whenever your soul craves it you may slaughter, and you must eat meat according to the blessing of Jehovah your God . . . Only the blood you must not eat. On the earth you should pour it out as water.-Deut. 12:15, 16. Any soul who eats any blood, that soul must be cut off from his people.-Lev. 7:27, Keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled. — Acts 15:29, Additional references: Leviticus 17:11; 1 Chronicles 11:18,19; 1 Samuel 14:31-34; Romans 5:9. (4) What do the following scriptures reveal as to different ways a person could become bloodguilty? When I say to someone wicked, “You will positively die,” and you do not actually warn him . . . , his blood I shall ask back from your own hand.-Ezek. 3:18, 19. In case you build a new house, you must also make a parapet for your roof, that you may not place bloodguilt upon your house because someone falling might fall from it.-Deut. 22:8. Additional references: Acts 20:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 9:16. Optional questios for discussion: (a) How has the Scriptural view of blood affected your thinking on this matter? (b) As a Christian, what local foods or medical practices will you henceforth avoid? (c) How does the Bible teaching concerning the sanctity of life affect your view of certain dangerous sports or types of recreation? (d) Does God’s view of life and blood seem reasonable to you? (e) What stand should a Christian take if he is told that in order to save his own life or the life of a loved one a blood transfusion would be needed? PART 11 JEHOVAH’S RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS-Mic. 6:8 In your study of the Bible you have learned the importance of bringing your life into harmony with Jehovah’s righteous standards. Responding to what you learned may have entailed a number of adjustments in your attitude toward life itself and in your personal conduct. Making such changes, however, is not what is referred to in the Bible as sacred service. Rather, Jehovah God accepts sacred service only from those whose lives have been made to reflect his righteousness. — 1 P(,I 14-16; Isa. 52:11. Now that you have brought your life into harmony with Jehovah’s standard of righteousness, you are in a position to render acceptable sacred service as a minister of the good news. Reviewing the following questions along with the quoted and cited Scripture references will help you fix clearly in mind Jehovah’s righteous requirements and will remind you of some of the things you can do in order to become one of Jehovah’s approved servants. This information will impress upon you the importance of doing all things with a good conscience and to Jehovah’s honor-2 Cor. I: 12; 1 Tim. 1:19; 1 Pet. 3:16, 21. Christian Law (1) According to Jesus, what are the two greatest commandments of the Mosaic Law? “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”- Matt. 22: 37-39. (2) Are Christians under the Mosaic Law covenant with its requirements of Sabbathkeeping and sacrifices? Christ is the end of the Law, so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness.-Rom. 10:4. Let no man judge you in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; for those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ.-Col. 2:16, 17. Additional references: Galatians 3:24, 25; Colossions 14; Hebrews 8:6, 13. 0ptional questions for discussion: (a) In what way do you demonstrate that you love Jehovah with your whole mind, soul and strength? (b) In what practical ways do you show that you love your neighbor as yourself? Personal Relationships With Others (1) What Christian quality should outstandingly characterize our relationship with our spiritual brothers and sisters?I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves. -John 13:34, 35. Clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.-Col. 3:14. Additional references: James 2:8; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. (2) What Christian principles should govern our dealings with persons who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses? Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.-Luke 6:31. As long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all.-Gal. 6:10. Additional references: Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:17,18; Luke 10:29-37. (3) How should Christians view the shortcomings of fellow believers? Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also.-Col. 3:13. Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins-1 Pet. 4:8. Additional references: Matthew 7:1-5; Proverbs 17:9; 19:11; Matthew 6:12. (4) If your brother sins against you personally and you find it difficult merely to overlook the transgression, or if his sin against you is of a serious nature and should not be covered over, what should you do? Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go lay bare his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, in order that at the mouth Of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector. -Matt. 18:15-17. Additional references: Matthew 5:23, 24; Ephesians 4:25. 5) What is the fruitage of the spirit and how will cultivating it help us to maintain a fine relationship with others? The fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. –Gal 5: 22, 23. Additional reference: James 3:17, 18. Elevated Christian Morals (1) Why is moral cleanness of all individuals among Jehovah’s people important to every one of us?Many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively-2 Pet. 2:2. Beloved ones, though I was making every effort to write you about the salvation we hold in common, I found it necessary to write you to exhort you to put up a hard fight for the faith that was once for all time delivered to the holy ones. My reason is that certain men have slipped in who have long ago been appointed by the Scriptures to this judgment, ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.-Jude 3, 4. Additional references: Romans 1:32; 1 Peter 1:16; Joshua 7:1-26. (2) Why must lying be avoided? The Devil … did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.- John 8:44. As for … all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur.-Rev. 21:8. Additional references: Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 6: 12-19; 2 Corinthians 6:4, 7. (3) What is the Christian view of stealing? Let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief. I Peter 4:15. Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he have something to distribute to someone in need.—Eph. 4: 28. 4) Does the Bible prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in moderation? Go, eat your food with rejoicing and drink your wine with a good heart, because already the true God has found pleasure in your works.-Ececl. 9:7. Additional references: Psalm 104:15; 1 Timothy 5:23. (5) What is the Christian view of drunkenness? What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. . . . nor greedy persons, nor drunkards … will inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9, 10. Ministerial servants should likewise be serious. . . . not giving themselves to a lot of wine.-1 Tim. 3:8. Additional references: 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Peter 4:3;1 Timothy 3:2, 3. (6) Why should Christians abstain from the nonmedical use of addictive or mind-altering drugs?Consequently I entreat you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.-Rom. 12:1, 2. Additional references: Revelation 21:8, Int; 1 Corinthians16:13; Proverbs 3:21-23; 5:1, 2; 1 Peter 4:7. (7) What additional reasons are there for not using tobacco, betel nut or other similar addictive substances that are known to be harmful to physical and mental health? Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God’s fear.-2 Cor. 7:1. Additional references: James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:16. (8) What does the Bible say about fornication, adultery, sexual relations with another person of the same sex (homosexuality) and other unlawful sexual conduct? Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct … Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom.-Gal. 5:19-21. What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men … will inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9-11. God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of thernselves one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.-Rom. 1:26, 27. Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. -Heb. 13:4. Additional references: Ephesians 5:5; 1 Peter 4:3; Mark 7:20-23; Revelation 21:8. (9) By adhering to what Bible counsel will you be able to ward off temptations and pressures that would induce you to engage in any form of sexual immorality, including sexual perversions? Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on things upon the earth. Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.-Col. 3:2, 5. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.-Phil. 4:8. Additional references: Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-2 Colossians 3:9, 10.(10) What is gambling? Why would a Christian avoid becoming involved in any form of gambling? But you men are those leaving Jehovah, those forgetting my holy mountain, those setting in order a table for the god of Good Luck and those filling up mixed wine for the god Destiny.-Isa. 65:11. Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither … thieves, nor greedy persons . . . will inherit God’s kingdorn.-l Cor. 9, 10. Additional references: I Corinthians 5:11; 15:33. (11) If a person in weakness commits a serious sin but he wants help to be restored to Jehovah’s favor, what action should he take immediately? My sin I finally confessed to you, and my error I did not cover. I said: “I shall make confession over my transgressions to Jehovah.”-Ps. 32:5. Is there anyone suffering evil among you? Let him carry on prayer. Is there anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms. Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the olde r men of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, greasing him with oil in the name of Jehovah. And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.-Jas. 5:13-15. Additional references: Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 2:1, 2; Galatians 6: 1. (12) in addition to confessing one’s own sins, what personal responsibility rests upon each Christian with regard to reporting serious wrongdoing by others that could threaten the spiritual or moral cleanness of the congregation? Now in case a soul sins in that he has heard public cursing and he is a witness or he has seen it or has come to know of it, if he does not report it, then he must answer for his error.- Lev. 5:1. He that is partner with a thief is hating his own soul. An oath involving a curse he may hear, but he reports nothing. -Prov. 29:24. Additional references: Deuteronomy 13:6-8; 1 Corinthians1:11; 5:1. (13) What is the proper viewpoint to have when one is Scripturally reproved? The discipline of Jehovah, 0 my son, do not reject; and do not abhor his reproof-Prov. 3:11. For the commandment is a lamp, and a light the law is, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.-Prov. 6:23. Additional references: Proverbs 15:32; Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:5-11. (14) What action does the congregation take when a person in its midst proves to be a persistent and unrepentant violator of God’s commandments? In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators, not meaning entirely with the fornicators of this world or the greedy persons and extortioners or idolaters. Otherwise, you would actually have to get out of the world. But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do you not judge those while God judges those outside? “Remove the wicked one from among yourselves.”-1 Cor. 5:9-13. As for a man that promotes a sect, reject him after first and a second admonition; knowing that such a man has been turned out of the way and is sinning, he being self-condemned. – Titus 3:10, 11. Additional references: I Corinthians 5:5, 6; Joshua Optional questions for discussion: (a) Do you think that Jehovah’s moral standards and requirements for his servants are reasonable? (b) How have you personally benefited from what you have learned about elevated Christian morals? (c) Why would a person have to conform his way of life to Jehovah’s standards before he could be accepted for Christian baptism? Idolatry (1) What is idolatry? What warnings does the Bible give concerning idolatry? Guard yourselves from idols.-I John 5:21. You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.-Ex. 20:4, 5. Additional references: Jeremiah 10:14, 15; Psalm 115: Isaiah 42:8; 48:11. (2) What are various forms of idolatry that Christians must guard against in this modern world? Now while Saul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit within him came to be irritated at beholding that the city was full of idols. Paul now stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens, I behold that in all things you seem to be more given to the fear of the deities than others are.”-Acts 17:16, 22. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold . . . the herald was crying out loudly: “To you it is being said,…O peoples…. that…you fall down and worship the image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.” -Dan.3: 1-5. On a set day Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down upon the judgment seat and began giving them a public address. In turn the assembled people began shouting “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he became eaten up with worms and expired. -Acts 12:21-23. If anyone worships the wild beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he will also drink of the wine of the anger of God.-Rev. 14:9, 10. Additional references: I Samuel 15:22, 23; Colossians 3:5.Separate From the World (1) According to the Bible, who is “the ruler of the world” and the god of this system of things”? I shall not speak much with you anymore, for the ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me [Jesus Christ].-John 14:30. The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through-2 Cor. 4:4. Additional references: I John 5:19; Revelation 12:9. (2) What is the position of Christians as to this world alienated from God? They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.-John 17:16. Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.-Jas. 4:4. Additional reference: John 15:19-21. (3) What was Jesus’ attitude toward participation in the political affairs of the world? The Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred servi ce.’ “-Matt. 4:8-10. Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone. -John 6:15. Additional reference: John 18:36. (4) When a person separates himself from tbe world and becomes a Christian, what treatment might he expect from those remaining in the world? All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted-2 Tim. 3:12. If you were part of the world, the world would be fond what is its own. Now because you are no part of the but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you…. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also.-John 15:19-21. Additional reference: Luke 21:12, 13. (5) How does being separate from the world affect the secular employment of a Christian? Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he have something to distribute to someone in need-Eph. -1 The Devil … is a liar and the father of the lie.-John 8: What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom-1 Cor. 6:9, 10. He will certainly render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore. -Mic. 4:2, 3. Write them to abstain … from blood.-Acts 15:20. Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone. -John 6:15. I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her [Babylon the Great], my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.”-Rev. 18:4. Additional references: Isaiah 2:2-4; John 17:16; Romans13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 7:23. (6) Adhering to what additional Bible principles will help a Christian to remain separate from the world with regard to his choice of entertainment and recreation? Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.- Cor. 15:33. Do Dot be loving either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; because everything in the world-the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life -does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever-1 John 2:15-17. So keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is. Also, do not be getting drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but keep getting filled with spirit, speaking to yourselves with psalms and praises to God and spiritual songs, singing and accompanying yourselves with music in your hearts to Jehovah, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks always for all things to our God and Father.-Eph. 5:15-20. Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you, just as it befits holy people.-Eph. 5:3. Additional references: Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 3:5, 6; Proverbs 26:18, 19.Optional questions for discussion: (a) How has your study of the Bible helped you to keep yourself separate from the world? (b) What pressures or enticements have you had to resist in order to come into a good relationship with Jehovah and maintain it? (c) What Bible counsel have you found to be particularly helpful in maintaining separateness from the world? Interfaith Would it be proper for true Christians to share in worship with other religious groups? I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind.”– Rev. 18:4, 5. Additional references: I Corinthians 10:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Matthew 7:13, 14, 21-23; 2 Timothy 3:2, 5; Numbers 25-.1, 2. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What are some examples of interfaith activity that true Christians should avoid? (b) Why would a person have to make sure that he has cut off all association with false religious organizations before presenting himself for baptism as one of Jehovah’s es? (c) What would this include? Holidays and Celebrations (1) Are Christians under obligation to observe certain days as holidays? Now that you have come to know God, or rather now that you have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again? You are scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years. I fe ar for you, that somehow I have toiled to no purpose respecting you.- Gal. 4:9-11. Additional reference: Colossians 2:16, 17. (2) What is the only religious celebration that Christians are commanded to observe? Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave to them, saying: “This means my body which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me” -Luke 22:19. Additional reference: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. (3) What are some of the Bible principles that will help you to determine whether or not you should observe or participate in celebrations that are popular in your community? They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.-John 17:16. Do not be loving either the world or the things in world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father not in him; because everything in the world-the desirc the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life -does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.-I John 2:15-17. The time that has passed by is sufficient for you to worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct, lusts, excesses with wine, revelries, drinking matches, and illegal idolatries-1 Pet. 4:3. Additional references: 1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corininthians 6:14-17; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 13:13. 4) What mention is made in the Bible of birthday celebrations? How does this affect your view of birthday celebrations? But when Herod’s birthday was being celebrated the daughter of Herodias danced at it and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Then she, unde r her mother’s coaching, said: “Give me here upon a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Grieved though he was, the king out of regard for his oaths and for those reclining with him commanded it to be given; and he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the maiden, and she brought it to her mother.-Matt. 14:6-11. Additional references: Genesis 40:20-22; Ecclesiastes 7:1,8. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What are some of the holidays or celebrations popular in your community that true Christians avoid? (b) What do you need to do to keep from getting involved in worldly holidays or celebrations that run counter to Christian principles? (c) If you have minor children, how can you help them avoid unchristian practices related to worldly holidays? Baptism (1) Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses baptize in water those who embrace the Christian faith? Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Fathe r and of the Son and of the holy spirit.-Matt. 28:19. He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.-Acts 10:48. Additional references: Matthew 3:13-17; 1 Peter 2:21; Acts 8:12, 35-38. (2) Who should be baptized? When? Those who embraced his word heartily were baptized. -Acts 2:41. When they believed Philip, who was declaring the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be baptized.-Acts 8: 12. Repent, and lot each one of you be baptized in the name Of Jesus Christ.-Acts 2:38. Additional references: Hebrews 10:5-7; Luke 3:21, 23; 1 Peter 3:21. 3) What does it mean to be baptized in the name of (a) the Father? (b) the Son? (c) the holy spirit? You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most over all the earth.-Ps. 83:18. God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.-Phil. 2:9-11. I will request the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth.-John 14:16, 17. Additional references: Revelation 1:5; Joel 2:28, 29. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Why do you want to be baptized? (b) Have you already brought your life harmony with Jehovah’s righteous requirements according to what you have learned from your study of the Bible? (c) Are you at present sharing the good news of the Kingdom with others, demonstrating that you understand that this is Jehovah’s will for you at this time? (d) Have you expressed to Jehovah in prayer your desire to be one of his dedicated witnesses and to serve him in unity with his organized people? PART III SUBMISSION TO JEHOVAH’S ARRANGEMENT OF THINGS While still in Eden the first man and woman joined the rebellion led by “the original serpent,” Satan the Devil. (Rev. 12:9) They ceased being submissive to Jehovah’s arrangement of things. Having been introduced to a course of independance from God, they set out on their own. From that time forward the course taken by man has only served to confirm the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s words recorded at Jeremiah 10:23, where we read: “I well know, 0 Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his steps.’ Through your study of the Bible you learned about Jehovah’s purpose to bring all things back into subjection to himself, just as they were in the beginning. (Eph. 1:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:24- 28) Having reached this point in your study you are also desirous of finding your place in Jehovah’s arrangement of things and of being submissive to his rule. The following questions and related Scripture references will help you to examine your own understanding of submission to Jehovah’s arrangements as regards congregation organization, Christian family life and the political rulers of the day. Submission in the Congregation Arrangement (1) What is the basic principle underlying Jehovah’s arrangement Of things within the Christian congregation? But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God-1 Cor. 11:3. He (Jesus Christ] is the head of the body, the congregation-Col. 1:18. Additional references: Ephesians 1:22, 23; Hebrews 12:9; James 4:7. (2) Why is there a particular need for submitting to Jehovah’s arrangement of things in the Christian congregation today? For God is a God, not of disorder, but of peace. . . . But let all things take place decently and by arrangement. -1 Cor. 14:33, 40. You, though, keep your senses in all things,…do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry. -2 Tim. 4:5. Additional references: Ephesians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 12:18,28. (3) What are some examples of Jesus’ disciples submitting to his instructions in order to carry out their ministry in an orderly way? Now he summoned the twelve, and he initiated sending them out two by two, and he began to give them authority over the unclean spirits. And the apostles gathered together before Jesus and reported to him all the things they done and taught.-Mark 6:7, 30. After these things the Lord designated seventy others, and sent them forth by twos in advance of him into every city and place to which he himself was going to come.-Luke 10: 1. Additional references: Luke 9:14-17; Matthew 10:1-23. (4) How does Jesus exercise headship over the Christian congregation today? Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them them food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings. -Matt. 24:45-47. But the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.-John 14:26 Additional references: Luke 12:42-44; John 16:12-14. (5) By what visible means is Christ’s headship represented in the congregation? However, from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the older men of the congregation. When they got to him he said to them: . . . “Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God.”-Acts 20:17, 18, 28. Therefore, to the older men among you I give this exhortation…. Shepherd the flock of God in your care, not compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain but eagerly; neither as lording it over those who are God’s heritance, but becoming examples to the flock-1 Pet. 5:13 Additional references: Titus 1:5; Isaiah 32:1, 2. (6) How do members of the congregation demonstrate submission to the headship of Christ in the congregation? Remember those who are taking the lead among you, have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out imitate their faith.-Heb. 13: 7 Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.-Heb. 13:17. Additional references: 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 16:16. optional questions for discussion: (a) Are you able to identify “the faithful and discreet slave” today? How? (b) What is the Governing Body of the Christian congregation? What purpose does it serve? (See Acts 6:1-6; 8:14; 15:1-29; 16:4, 5.) (c) What legal agencies are used by the Governing Body today to accomplish the publishing of the good news worldwide? (d) Why would submitting to Jehovah’s arrangement in the congregation include giving material support to the work of the congregation to the extent of your ability? Submission in Christian Family Life (1) In God’s arrangement of things, who is the head of the married woman? You wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it is becoming in the Lord.-Col. 3:18. Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord, because a husband is head of his wife as the Christ also is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body.-Eph. 5:22, 23. Additional reference: Titus 2:4, 5. (2) How should a husband exercise headship over his wife? Whose example does he have to follow as a pattern? In this way husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it, as the Christ also does the congregation. -Eph. 5:28, 29. You husbands, keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry with them.-Col. 3:19. Additional reference: 1 Peter 3:7. (3) Is the wife whose husband is not a believer freed from his headship? In like manner, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, in order that, if any are not obedient to the word, they may be won without a word through the conduct of their wives, because of having been eyewitnesses of your chaste conduct together with deep respect-1 Pet. 3:1, 2. Additional references: Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10. 4) Who is responsible before God for the training and disciplining of children? And you, fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah.-Eph. 6:4.Additional references: Colossians 3:21; Proverbs 13:24;29: 15; Deuteronomy 6:6, 7. (5) What responsibility do children have in the family arrangement? Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord, for this is righteous: “Honor your father and your mother”; which is the first command with a promise, “That it may go well with you and you may endure a long time the earth.”-Eph. 6:1-3. You children, be obedient to your parents in everything for this is well-pleasing in the Lord.- Col. 3:20. Additional references: Deuteronomy 5:16; Proverbs I4:1; 6:20; 23:22. Optional questions for discussion: (a) If you are a married woman, in what way can you demonstrate your submission to your husband? (b) Does this seem to be righteous and just to you? (c) If your husband does not appreciate your cooperation in this regard, how do you still benefit? (d)If you are a man with family responsibilities, what worldly attitudes must you avoid if you are to exercise your headship in a Christlike manner? (e) If you are a minor child, what benefits will come to you and to the family as a result of your being submissive to your parents? (f) What factors may it make it difficult for you to be submissive at times? Submission to the Civil Authorities (1) What is the proper attitude for Christians to maintain toward worldly rulers? Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. -Rom. 13:1. Continue reminding them to be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers.-Titus 3: 1. Additional references: 1 Peter 2:13, 14; Daniel 6:5;26:2, 3; 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (2) Must a Christian pay all taxes and assessments demanded by law? Render to all their dues, to him who calls for the tax, the tax; to him who calls for the tribute, the tribute; to him who calls for fear, such fear; to him who calls for honor, such honor -Rom. 13:7. Additional reference: Luke 20:21-25. (3) Are there any circumstances under which a Christian would refuse to obey the worldly rulers? With that they called them and charged them, nowhere to make any utterance or to teach upon the basis of the name of Jesus. But in reply Peter and John said to them: “Whether it is righteous in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves. But as for us, we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.” -Acts 4:18-20. In answer Peter and the other apostles said: ‘Ve must obey God as ruler rather than men.”- Acts 5:29. Additional references: Isaiah 2:4; Daniel 3:16-18; 6:4-24; Exodus 1:15-20. (4) Should Christians comply with legal requirements such as the registering of marriages and births, respond to census inquiries or obtain required licenses and permits that do not conflict with God’s laws? Now in those days a decree went forth . . . for all the inhabited earth to be registered … Of course, Joseph also went up from Galilee … to get registered with Mary, who had been given him in marriage.-Luke 2:1-5. Continue reminding them to be in subjection and be obedient to governments and authorities as rulers.-Titus 3:1. Additional references: 1 Timothy 3:2, 9; compare Acts 18:1-3; Hebrews 13:4. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Why is it important for you to be submissive to the civil authorities even when their rule may seem to be oppressive? (b) How can you be submissive to the political rulers without violating Christian neutrality? PART IV WORKS THAT DEMONSTRATE CHRISTIAN FAITH-Jas. 2:18 You have already observed in your association with Jehovah’s Witnesses that they are a busy people, “always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58) The very fact that you have been able to take in accurate knowledge about Jehovah and his purposes is an evidence of the diligent efforts of Jehovah’s dedicated people in your behalf. By the time you have come to consider this portion of the book Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry with the overseers of the local congregation, you should already be giving clear evidence of your heart appreciation for what you have learned. You show this appreciation by attending and participating in all the congregation meetings to the extent of your ability. Also, you should already be having a regular share in the Kingdom-preaching work, helping others to come to know Jehovah and what he is doing for mankind. (Matt. 24:128:19, 20) It is not sufficient for a person merely to know what is right and be able to answer specific questions in harmony with what is true.Having knowledge is really of little value unless it is applied in a practical way, and this for the benefit of others as well as for oneself.-John17; 1 John 5:3. Addressing his words to sincere inquirers Jehovah’s prophet Micah wrote: “With what shall I confront Jehovah? With what shall I bow myself to God on high? Shall I confront him with whole burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of torrents of oil? Shall I give my firstborn son for my revolt, the fruitage of my belly for the sin of my soul? He has told you, earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah sking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?” (Mic. 6:6-8) Yes, Jehovah wants you to walk with him in modesty, give him your heart and take pleasure in doing his will.-Prov. 23:26. This section of questions will help you to identify clearly and fix in mind Jehovah’s requirements as to Christian works. It will help you to be sure that you have made a proper dedication of your life to Jehovah God before submitting to water baptism. You can be sure that Jehovah appreciates your sincere response to his undeserved kindness expressed in your behalf. Relationship Between Works and Faith Why must approved works accompany our Christian faith? Faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself. Nevertheless, a certain one will say: “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from the works, and I shall show you my faith by my works.” Indeed, as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. -Jas. 2:17, 18, 26. The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man. For the true God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.-Ecel. 12:13, 14. Additional references: John 6:27-29; 13:17; James 1:27; 4:17; compare Matthew 7:15-27. Optional questions for discussion: (a) In what way are Christian works different from works of the Law? (b) Why would it not be proper for us to compare our works of faith with those of fellow believers? Christian Meetings (1) Why is it beneficial to attend the meetings arranged by the congregation? Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.-Heb. 10:24, 25. Additional references: Proverbs 18:1; Romans 1:11, 12. (2) What is the proper attitude for us to have toward opportunities to meet together with our spiritual brothers and sisters? I rejoiced when they were saying to me: “To the house Jehovah let us go.”-Ps. 122:1. Additional references: I Corinthians 16:19, 20; Romans 16:16; 1:11. (3) What information beneficial to Jehovah’s people is considered at congregation meetings?And when this letter has been read among you, arrange that it also be read in the congregation of the Laodiceans, and that you also read the one from Laodicea.-Col. 4:16. Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time?-Luke 12:42. Additional references: Revelation 2:1; 3:1; Acts 13: 1; 1 Timothy 5:17. (4) Whose teaching and instruction is given at the congregation meetings? And all your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, the peace of your sons will be abundant.-Isa. 54:13. Additional references: Job 36:22; Isaiah 30:20; Romans 15:4. (5) Why should you endeavor to participate in congregation meetings by commenting and otherwise as you have opportunity? I will declare your name to my brothers; in the middle of the congregation I shall praise you.- Ps. 22:22. Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works.-Heb. 10:24. Additional reference: Romans 10:9, 10. (6) Who should attend the congregation meetings order to be instructed in righteousness? Congregate the people, the men and the women and little ones . . . , in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah God and take care to carry out all the words of this law. -Deut. 31:12. Additional references: Nehemiah 8:1-3; compare Acts 16:1, 2 with 2 Timothy 3:14, 15. optional questions for discussion: (a) What effort have you personally put forth in order to be in regular attendance at congregation meetings? (b) How have you benefited from regular association with Jehovah’s Witnesses at congregation nieetings? (c) Why is it beneficial for you to prepare well for each congregation meeting? How do you find time to do so? Our Kingdom Ministry (1) What urgent work does the Bible set out for all Christians at this time? This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.-Matt. 24:14. Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.-Matt. 28:19, 20. Additional references: Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8; 2:17, 18. (2) According to the following scriptures, what are some of the various ways in which our ministry may be accomplished? He went journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.-Luke 8:1. A certain woman named Martha received him as guest into the house. This woman also had a sister called Mary, who, however, sat down at the feet of the Lord and kept listening to his word.-Luke 10:38, 39. Now Jesus, tired out from the journey, was sitting at the fountain just as he was. . . . A woman of Samaria came to draw water. . . . Jesus said to her: “Everyone drinking from this water will get thirsty again. Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all.” -John 4:6-14. Consequently he began to reason in the synagogue with the Jews and the other people who worshiped God and every day in the marketplace with those who happened to be on hand.-Acts 17:17. I did not hold back from telling you any of the that were profitable nor from teaching you publicly and from house to house.-Acts 20:20. Additional references: Matthew 10:11-14; Acts 5:42; 1 Proverbs 1:20, 21. (3) Is this work done in our own strength? We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not that out ourselves-2 Cor. 4:7. Additional references: 2 Timothy 4:17; Revelation 14: 6; Matthew 10:19, 20; Philippians 4:13. (4) Why should you be willing to preach the good news to all kinds of people in your assigned territory? At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable him.”-Acts 10:34, 35. Additional references: Matthew 24:14; Revelation 14: 6; Psalm 49:1, 2. (5) Why should you take most seriously your responsibility to share the good news with others? I call you to witness this very day that I am clean from the blood of all men, for I have not held back from telling you all the counsel of God.-Acts 20:26, 27.Additional references: I Corinthians 9:16; Ezekiel 33: 8; 1 Timothy 4:16. Optional questions for discussion: (a) Are you at present, having a regular share each month in Kingdom service, preaching the good news to others? (b) Is someone helping you and training you to be effective in the field ministry? (c) Why is working from house to house in the field ministry so important? (d) When you find a person who manifests genuine interest in the good news, what further assistance should you endeavor to give that person? (e) While exerting yourself in the field ministry, why would it be wrong you to make comparisons between your ministry and that of others? Honoring Jehovah With Your Valuable Things (1) What pattern set in ancient Israel serves as a model for giving material support to the Kingdom work today? And the people gave way to rejoicing over their making voluntary offerings, for it was with a complete heart that they made voluntary offerings to Jehovah; and even David the king himself rejoiced with great joy-1 Chron. 29:9. Additional references: Exodus 35:21, 22, 29; Proverbs 3:9, 10; Malachi 3:10. (2) (2) What lesson did Jesus teach about generous giving? And he sat down with the treasury chests in view and began observing how the crowd was dropping money into the treasury chests; and many rich people were dropping in many coins. Now a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins, which have very little value. So he called his disciples to him and said to them: “Truly I say to you that this poor widow dropped in more than all those dropping money into the treasury chests; for they all dropped in out of their surplus, but she, out of her want, dropped in all of what she had, her whole living.”-Mark 12:41-44. I have exhibited to you in all things that by thus laboring you must assist those who are weak, and must bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, when he himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” –Acts 20:35. Additional reference: Luke 6:38. (3) What example of giving in support of the congregation was set by first-century Christians? In everything you are being enriched for every sort of generosity, which produces through us an expression of thanks to God; because the ministry of this public service is not only to supply abundantly the wants of the holy ones but also to be rich with many expressions of thanks to God. Through the proof that this ministry gives, they glorify God because you are submissive to the good news about the Christ, as you publicly declare you are, and because you are generous in your contribution to them and to all; and with supplication for you they long for you because of the surpassing undeserved kindness of God upon you-2 Cor. 9:11-14. Additional references: Philippians 4:14-16; Romans 15:26. (4) Why must we be concerned about our brothers and sisters who come to be in need of material assistance? If a brother or a sister is in a naked state and lacking the food sufficient for the day, yet a certain one of you says to them: “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,” but you do not give them the nece ssities for their body, of what benefit is it?-Jas. 2:15, 16. Additional references: James 1:27; 2 Corinthians 9:1, 2; Proverbs 11:25. (5) In addition to any material contributions to advance the good news, what should we offer that is even more important? Consequently I entreat you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. -Rom. 12: 1. Through him let us always offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name.-Heb. 13:15. Additional references: Mark 12:30, 31; Matthew 28:19, 20. (6) What should be our attitude toward giving of ourselves and of our material possessions in Jehovah’s service? And yet, who am I and who are my people, that we should retain power to make voluntary offerings like this? For everything is from you, and out of your own hand we have given to you- 1 Chron. 29:14. Additional references: 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7; Luke 17: 10. Optional questions for discussion: (a) What are some of the needs of the local congregation that are taken care of by the voluntary contributions of the members of the congregation? (b) How do contributions made directly to the nearest branch office of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society assist in the advancement of the good news? (c) Why should all contributions be made on a voluntary basis and not solicited or assessed? Dedication and Baptism (1) What should always be our attitude toward the doing of Jehovah’s will? To do your will, 0 my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts.-Ps. 40:8. Happy is the man in fear of Jehovah, in whose commandinents he has taken very much delight.-Ps. 112:1. My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.-John 4:34. Additional references: Hebrews 10:9; Luke 10:27. (2) Why should this joyful and willing attitude prevail even when we are persecuted or undergoing any form of trial?Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith works out endurance.-Jas. 1:2, 3. These, therefore, went their way from before the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name.-Acts 5:41. Additional references: Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Peter 2:20; 4:14. (3) What does it mean for a person to dedicate himself to Jehovah? Look! I am come (in the roll of the book it is written about me) to do your will, 0 God…. Look! I am come to do your will.-Heb. 10:7, 9. Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me.”-Matt. 16:24. Additional references: Psalm 143:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13; compare 1 Kings 18:21 and Hosea 9:10. (4) When a person has sincerely repented, turned around and made a decision to follow Christ, why should he be baptized? Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.-Matt. 28:19. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, in order to be baptized by him.-Matt. 3:13. In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.-I Pet. 2:21. Additional references: Acts 8:12, 35, 36; 19:5; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21. (5) Why is it appropriate for dedicated and baptized Christians to be called Jehovah’s Witnesses? “You are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and have faith in me, and that you may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I-I am Jehovah, an(i besides me there is no savior. I myself have told forth and have saved and have caused it to be heard, when there was among you no strange god. So you are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I am God.”-Isa. 43:10-12. And from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “The firstborn from the dead,” and “The Ruler of the kings of the earth.”-Rev. 1:5. Additional references: John 18:37; Revelation 3:14; 1 Peter 2:9, 21. CONCLUDING QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: (a) Following your baptism in water, why will it be vital for you to maintain a good schedule for personal study and to share regularly in the ministry? (b) How will staying in close association with the congregation help you to carry out your dedication to Jehovah? (c) How will you go about proving to Jehovah that your dedication has been made in sincerity and from your heart? (d) Are you now thoroughly convinced that you should be baptized at the first opportunity?

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