Thursday, January 14

Solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.Heb. 5:14.

Discernment is good judgment—the ability to tell right from wrong and then choose the wise course. It has been defined as “the ability to make sound judgements in spiritual matters.” A discerning worshipper speaks and acts in ways that please God. Such a person chooses words that help others rather than hurt them.  He is “slow to anger.”  He “walks straight ahead,” sticking to the right course on his journey through life. How can we acquire discernment? We must study God’s Word and apply what we learn.  It is especially helpful to consider the example of Jesus, the most discerning man who ever lived.

COMMENTARY

Discernment is also called for when it comes to examining God’s word. For example, Jesus exhorted his followers to let the reader use discernment in regards to the prophecy of Daniel and how it relates to the disgusting thing destined to cause desolation to a holy place. 

The apostle John exhorted Christians to “not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”

Although the individuals making up the Governing Body do not claim to be inspired in the same sense as were the prophets, as far as Jehovah’s Witnesses are concerned the Watchtower is the source of “inspired expressions.” They are God’s earthly mouthpiece — Jehovah’s exclusive channel for dispensing truth.

And while Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged to critically examine the Bible they are never allowed to seriously question anything the Watchtower teaches. To do so is considered blasphemous and an act of apostasy.

But we do well to consider the writings the apostles of Christ. According to the 2nd letter of Peter Christians will be victimized by false teachers. Here is what the inspired apostle wrote: “However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These will quietly bring in destructive sects, and they will even disown the owner who bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves.”

Seeing that the apostles of Christ, as well as Jesus himself, forewarned Christians that there will be false teachers among us and that we must test their seemingly “inspired expressions” for authenticity, not only is it acceptable to God to question the teachings of even his earthly channel — it is our duty.

Interestingly, in the context of Peter’s warning about false teachers who will quietly bring in destructive sects, the apostle had recounted his personal experience in seeing the transfiguration of Jesus and he reminded the brothers that it was not by means of artfully contrived false stories that he had acquainted them with the power and presence (parousia) of Christ, but it was by his actually witnessing Jesus’ magnificence.

Consequently, Peter explained that the transfiguration confirmed prophecy, and he urged believers to keep “paying attention to it (prophecy) as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts.”

man with lantern at nightPeter’s exhortation to keep paying attention to the inspired word of prophecy, as if it were a lamp shining in a dark place has an expiration date.   When once Christ arrives like a day star at dawn, then it will no longer be necessary to use the light of the figurative lamp. In other words, the dawn of the day star will over-shine God’s word itself. That is something!

But according to the Watchtower the daystar rose in 1914. Here is what the April 1, 2000, Watchtower says:

The Daystar has already risen! We can be sure of that by paying attention to Jesus’ great prophecy regarding his presence. Today, we are experiencing its fulfillment in such events as unprecedented wars, famines, earthquakes, and the worldwide preaching of the good news. (Matthew 24:3-14) Though the difficult conditions that Jesus foretold also affect us as Christians, we are able to endure with peace and joy of heart. Why? Because we pay attention to God’s prophetic word and have faith in what he promises for the future. We know that we are on the threshold of the best of times because we are very deep into “the time of the end”!

Did you notice the Watchtower’s trickery? If not read it again. Why are Jehovah’s Witnesses happy? “Because we pay attention to God’s prophetic word and have faith in what he promises for the future…”

Now re-read what the inspired apostle wrote. Peter exhorts us to ‘keep paying attention UNTIL day dawns.’

The Watchtower, on the other hand, claims that day dawned in 1914, but that Jehovah’s Witnesses are still paying attention to God’s word in expectation of another dawning. Obviously the Watchtower is in error. 

Surely, Peter was inspired to intimate that Christians living prior to the actual dawning of the parousia will be under the influence of false teachers with their artfully contrived false stories of how the invisible parousia has already begun.

The destructive sects that have until now been “quietly” brought in will become manifest when once the parousia begins. Then the Watchtower will collapse and no doubt splinter groups will appear in the aftermath. But as Peter said of those false teachers, that they will bring “speedy destruction upon themselves,” it is apparent that the leadership of the Watchtower are the modern counterpart of the Jews, of whom Jesus said: “You did not discern the time of your being inspected.”

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