Wednesday, December 23
The twelve were with him.
Taking the lead in field service is an area in which overseers set a fine example for their fellow Christians. In this regard, Jesus set the example for overseers. Preaching the good news of the Kingdom was an important part of Jesus’ earthly activity. He showed his disciples how this work was to be done. In our day, how encouraging it is for publishers to preach side by side with elders, to witness the elders’ zeal for this lifesaving work, and to learn from their teaching methods! The overseers’ zealous determination to devote time and effort to preaching the good news despite their busy schedule encourages the whole congregation to display similar zeal. Elders can also set a good example for their brothers by preparing for and participating in congregation meetings and other activities, such as cleaning and maintaining the Kingdom Hall.
It takes faith to go out into the public and speak about God. One must be convinced that they know the truth. And be determined not to let the apathy, disinterest, opposition or outright ridicule of those to whom the preach deter them.
The worldwide work that Jehovah’s Witnesses are accomplishing surely must have Jehovah’s blessing. When we consider the unpopularity of the message and the obstacles and burdens individual ministers face in their personal lives, it is only with the impelling force of God’s dynamic spirit that such a feat could be accomplished.
Some people, however, might point to the Mormons and claim that they do a similar work — implying that either God is behind their work or both Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of the Latter Day Saints are simply doing a human work. But such is not the case. There is a big difference. Mormon youth are required to spend two years in what they call missionary work — but after that, they are done. Have you ever seen an adult Mormon out canvasing? Whereas, Jehovah’s Witnesses make a lifetime commitment to preach the good news.
Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses, though, suppose that the unfaithfulness of certain leading men among the Bethel hierarchy is evidence that God has left the building, so to speak. Is that true? Is there any way to determine if God has abandoned Jehovah’s Witnesses? Is it really every man for himself now?
Consider the prophecy of Zephaniah. The literal city Jerusalem was once the place where Jehovah caused his name to reside. But because of the unfaithfulness of those who inhabited the city, Jehovah was determined to set matters straight. Because of the faithlessness on the part of some leading men Jehovah initiated a thorough search, lighting lamps, as it were, to shine into the darkest recesses to flush out the faithless. Zephaniah 1:2 states: “At that time I will carefully search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will call to account the complacent ones, who say in their heart, ‘Jehovah will not do good, and he will not do bad.’”
Up until the purge, however, God states that he has been faithful to them. After describing how her prophets are insolent men and her priests defile what is holy and do violence to the law, God states in the third chapter: “Jehovah is righteous in her midst; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he makes known his judgments, as unfailing as the daylight. But the unrighteous one knows no shame.”
While the organizational prophets and priests imagine they can deceive Jehovah’s Witnesses and crush abused children with impunity, God declares that he “will call to account the complacent ones.”
But does the prophecy of Zephaniah really apply to the Christian “Jerusalem”? According to the Watchtower, yes, it does.
While her deceitful prophets have off-shifted the main of the denunciation to Christendom, they have applied to themselves the fulfillment of Zephaniah 3:9, which foretells that the people of God will be given a change to a pure language. However, any careful reading of the prophecy reveals that the change to the pure language takes place after the purge. Here is what the prophecy says in context: “So keep yourselves in expectation of me,’ declares Jehovah, ‘Until the day when I rise up to take plunder, for my judicial decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them my indignation, all my burning anger; for by the fire of my zeal the whole earth will be consumed. For then I will change the language of the peoples to a pure language, so that all of them may call on the name of Jehovah…”
Has Jehovah risen up to plunder the nations and execute his judicial decisions? Has he expressed his indignation and burning anger? Of course not. That being the case, neither has he given the change to a pure language. All the more reason to keep in expectation, as Jehovah exhorts.
Because the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses has clearly perpetrated a fraud in this regard, boasting that they are the source of the pure language, it is they to whom the following words must aptly apply: “On that day you will not be put to shame because of all your deeds with which you rebelled against me, for then I will remove the haughty boasters from among you; and you will never again be haughty in my holy mountain. I will allow a humble and lowly people to remain in your midst, and they will take refuge in the name of Jehovah. Those remaining of Israel will practice no unrighteousness; they will not speak a lie, nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths…”
Clearly, the prophecy is in harmony with what Jesus foretold will be accomplished during the harvest, when the angels uproot lawless persons from his Kingdom. The forcible removal of the haughty boasters and those who use deceit are those who are in God’s Kingdom, as is symbolized by “my holy mountain.”
No, Jehovah has not “left the building.” However, others will be leaving, soon!