Sunday, August 30
He that is walking with wise persons will become wise.
Working alongside good associates in the ministry builds us up spiritually. For example, most pioneers spend considerable time in the ministry with fellow evangelizers. This provides more opportunities for “an interchange of encouragement.” A pioneer named Lisa observes: “In the workplace, there is often a spirit of competition and jealousy. Daily you are subjected to gossip and vulgar language. It’s all about getting ahead at any cost. At times, you are ridiculed or mocked because of your Christian conduct. However, working in the ministry with fellow Christians is truly upbuilding. At the end of the day, I come home refreshed, no matter how tired I am.” Yes, pioneers have often found that as they expend themselves in Jehovah’s service and pursue intimacy with him, they are ‘overtaken’ by a seemingly endless stream of blessings.
As one who pioneered off and on during my formal ministry, as my circumstance would allow, I can testify that it is a most rewarding pursuit. And there is no doubt that Jesus has used the Watchtower Society to train and direct the million-some active pioneers. And since God provides his spirit to those who do his will, pioneers have the fullest measure of it.
But my assignment now is to prepare Jehovah’s Witnesses for the next phase in God’s unfolding purpose. Although the vast majority are not inclined to hear of such things presently, as Jesus said: “Let the one who has ears listen.”
Take the matter of walking with wise ones. What about the wise and foolish virgins? Both groups might be said to be “in the truth.” That is evident because both the wise and foolish virgins are waiting for the return of the bridegroom. And they are in association up until the moment that the bridegroom arrives, at which point the foolish virgins realize they did not bring along enough illuminating oil for their lamps.
According to the Watchtower’s most recent revision of their interpretation of Jesus’ illustration, the parting of the ways of the wise and foolish virgins is in the future. This is a radical departure from their previous teaching. And it is correct. However, in their readjustment Bethel has watered down the meaning of the illustration. Now the foolish virgins do not represent anointed persons who are rejected by Christ. Instead, they merely represent a hypothetical outcome – a “what if” scenario.
Ironically, the Watchtower’s erroneous teachings on such matters relevant to the coming of Christ and the judgment of the house of God must be considered as the primary contributing factor that will result in not only both the wise and foolish being found in a somnolent condition when the call rings out – “Here is the bridegroom! Go out to meet him.” – but also, the reason the figurative foolish virgins will not possess enough oil of truth to navigate through the darkness to come at that critical hour.