Friday, June 26
The hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he has offered a sacred service to God. —John 16:2.
That warning was true of those who murdered the disciple Stephen, and it has been true of others like them. (Acts 6:8, 12; 7:54-60) How ironic that in committing such evil crimes as murder, religious fanatics violate the very laws of the One whom they claim to worship! (Ex. 20:13) Clearly, their consciences are treacherous guides! How can we prevent our conscience from becoming ineffective? The laws and principles contained in God’s Word are “beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16) Therefore, by diligently studying the Bible, meditating on what it says, and applying it in our lives, we can train our conscience to be more sensitive to God’s thinking, and it can thus serve as a reliable guide. w18.06 16-17 ¶3-4
When is the hour about which Jesus spoke? Did the hour come in the first century and that was it? There is ample record to testify to the truthfulness of Jesus’ words. We know that Stephen and the apostle James were murdered by fanatical Jews. Before his conversion Saul was a zealous persecutor of Christians, imagining it was his sacred duty to stamp out the followers of Jesus.
In modern times Jehovah’s Witnesses have been persecuted in various ways. Hitler vowed to stomp out the “Bible worms,” as he called them. The Nazis rounded up thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses and dispersed them to concentration camps where some died of starvation and disease and some were executed. (Jehovah’s Witnesses Holocaust Museum)
But Jesus foretold more than just persecution by government authorities. Jesus warned: “As for you, look out for yourselves. People will hand you over to local courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues and be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. Also, in all the nations, the good news has to be preached first. And when they are taking you to hand you over, do not be anxious beforehand about what to say; but whatever is given you in that hour, say this, for you are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is. Furthermore, brother will deliver brother over to death, and a father a child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all people on account of my name. But the one who has endured to the end will be saved.” — Mark 13:9-13
Please notice an oft-overlooked comment Jesus made. He said, “the good news has to be preached first.” “First”— first before what? Before the chosen ones are handed over to courts and beaten in synagogues. First, before Christ’s brothers are made to stand before governors and kings. First, before brothers deliver their brothers over to the killers. First, before parents hand their children over and before children hand their parents over to be put to death. Ultimately, first, before the world explodes in warfare.
I believe Jehovah’s Witnesses are accomplishing the foretold preaching work— at least they were before the Corona lockdown. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has achieved the extraordinary feat of publishing information in over 1,000 languages. It has trained and motivated an army of 8 million ministers. Some 10 million Bible studies are being conducted. Although communistic and Islamic lands have suppressed the work the good news has been thoroughly preached in all of Christendom.
In Matthew’s account, Jesus said the good news will be preached and then the end will come. What is the end? As we know, there is a great tribulation that is destined to come upon the world in the future. The tribulation, however, is not the end. God is going to cut the tribulation short. The war of Armageddon is the end of the world. It should be apparent, though, that Christians will not be going about their ministry during the world’s great tribulation. The ministry will have ended by then. So, what is the end? Clearly, it is not the end of the world at Armageddon. (See article: When is “Then”?) The end is the end of Christianity— otherwise known as the time of the end, the final part of the days, and the conclusion.
Contrary to the long-held teaching of the Watchtower the time of the end did not begin in 1914. Neither has it begun at any time since then. There will be no preaching and teaching during the time of the end. That is when Christians will be persecuted in the synagogues and handed over to courts and be put to death.
Although it is beyond the ability of Jehovah’s Witnesses to comprehend, the organization touted as the ark of salvation, the very essence of pure worship and a spiritual paradise, is not going to survive. It is not going to be a reliable guide. When the heat of persecution is turned up many are going to wilt. When God removes his restraint Satan will have full sway. The hour that is coming will coincide with the hour of test Jesus said was coming upon the entire inhabited earth. It is the same hour that the last king will reign— the eighth king. (See article: When Is the Hour of Test?)
Just as Satan entered into Judas when Christ handed him the morsel, those who are not fully committed to Jehovah will be empty vessels waiting for the demons to enter. So, while it is unthinkable now, during the hour of darkness the demons will use brothers to kill brothers, parents will kill their children and children will kill their parents. It is even so written.
Thursday, June 25
How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! —Ps. 133:1.
Why not be resolved to have a positive influence, promoting unity among your brothers and sisters? If you are already doing so, that is commendable. Could you “widen out,” that is, do it to a greater extent and more consistently? (2 Cor. 6:11-13, ftn.) What about increasing your efforts to let the light of Bible truth shine in your neighborhood? Your kind words and deeds may well attract a neighbor to the truth. Ask yourself: ‘How do my neighbors view me? Do I keep my home and property tidy, thus reflecting well on the neighborhood? Do I take the initiative to be helpful to others?’ When you are in conversation with other Witnesses, why not draw them out on how their kindness and good conduct have affected relatives, neighbors, workmates, or schoolmates? It is quite likely that you will hear positive experiences. —Eph. 5:9. w18.06 24 ¶13-14
Obviously, the Watchtower article upon which today’s Daily Text was derived was published before the Coronavirus pandemic erupted. As it stands presently, throughout the world the routine of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been unexpectedly disrupted. There is no door-to-door ministry. No witnessing carts on public streets. Certainly no uninvited home visitations. And no meeting together at the local kingdom hall. As the apostle Paul noted: “The scene of this world is changing.”
Not only has the pandemic brought a wide-sweeping change to the ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the sudden, mandatory lockdown has also had a devastating impact on many businesses and millions of wage earners. The full extent of the economic disaster is not even fully apparent yet. In the USA the government quickly stepped in and issued several trillion dollars in relief to households and businesses. (Wall Street was the biggest recipient of government largess) It also passed laws allowing deferment for debt payments on mortgages, car loans, student loans, etc. However, over the course of the next few months, those deferments will expire and the loan defaults will sky-rocket. Then what?
The US Treasury may simply borrow more money at zero interest and shower the nation in trillions of dollars. But there is a risk. History reminds us of the calamity that befell Weimar Germany after WWI when the government printed Reichsmarks by the trillions and ignited a phenomenon known as hyperinflation. The money Germans were holding rapidly lost value and in six months became completely worthless. The crash of the German economy is what made Hitler and the Nazis possible.
In view of the present realities and looming uncertainties, might Jehovah’s Witnesses be better served if the Governing Body dispensed with the babytalk about keeping a tidy home and instead begin preparing Jehovah’s people for the inevitable, catastrophic collapse of the global financial system? Instead of living as though nothing has changed in recent months, Christians ought to think seriously about how they might better prepare so as to help neighbors and brothers when the governments of Satan’s world suddenly cease to function.
In the post-crash world instead of letting our light shine by preaching and teaching God will require something else of his people. What is that? Jehovah explains what he will require: “It is to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe someone naked when you see him, and not to turn your back on your own flesh. Then your light will shine through like the dawn, and your healing will spring up quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of Jehovah will be your rear guard.” — Isaiah 58:7-8
Widen out, indeed!
Wednesday, June 24
Moses was by far the meekest of all the men. —Num. 12:3.
When Moses was 80 years old, Jehovah assigned him to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt. (Ex. 3:10) Several times, Moses tried to excuse himself. But Jehovah remained patient and even empowered Moses to perform miracles. (Ex. 4:2-9, 21) He could have frightened Moses into speedy submission. Instead, Jehovah was patient and kind, making an effort to reassure his modest and humble servant. Did this considerate approach work? Absolutely! Moses became an outstanding leader who tried to deal with others in the same mild and considerate way that Jehovah dealt with him. If you have a measure of authority, how important it is that you imitate Jehovah by being considerate, kind, and patient when dealing with those under your care! (Col. 3:19-21; 1 Pet. 5:1-3) When you strive to imitate Jehovah and the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, you will be both approachable and refreshing to others. —Matt. 11:28, 29. w18.09 24-25 ¶7-10
Back around 1980, I had the privilege of meeting and working out in service with two members of the Governing Body who visited our congregation over the span of a few months. I was the only pioneer in my congregation so I guess that is why I worked with them. One was Brother Booth and the other was Brother Barr. Both of those men impressed me with their humility and lowliness of mind. Jack Barr was a very distinguished English gentleman who didn’t hesitate to get into my junk Pinto wagon. You might remember some of the Ford Pintos back then had bumper stickers that warned: CAUTION— THIS CAR EXPLODES ON IMPACT!
I also knew Mark Sanderson before he became a member of the Governing Body. He was very zealous. A collector of Watchtower memorabilia, as I recall. I am pretty sure that other individuals who have served as Governing Body members were of like mind.
Be that as it may, the collective of men who comprise the leadership of the Watchtower Society and who project a public image do not seem to retain the same humility and meekness. There is something about power.
You have heard the expression “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Men especially want power over others. We see that in the world in politics and business. Men are men. Even during the so-called Last Supper the apostles were arguing among themselves over which one of them was the greatest. For some men being an elder satisfies that lust for power over others.
Among the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is something else at work. It is so subtle, yet in your face. It is idolatry. No, it is not the sort of cult of personality that developed around Charles Taze Russell. It is more subtle than that. The spiritual illness afflicting Jehovah’s Witnesses is the idolization of the Organization.
Speaking of Moses, when he was up on the mountain for 40 days communing with Jehovah God, the people demanded a leader. They pressured Aaron, Jehovah’s appointed priest and Moses’ spokesman, to make a golden calf for them, an idol— not to replace Jehovah, but to represent Him.
Over the decades the Watchtower— Jehovah’s earthly organization and mouthpiece— has gradually been elevated and placed upon a burnished pedestal and become the centerpiece of the worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses. One of Bethel’s latest publications says it all: Pure Worship— Restored at Last!
In order to keep the organizational idol in gleaming, mint condition, the otherwise meek and humble priests of God have resorted to all manner of evils. For example, the reason that support for victims of child abuse has been suppressed is supposedly to protect God from reproach. In reality, the Watchtower’s callous disregard for child abuse victims is in order to protect the image of the Watchtower. As a result, the name of God has been reproached far worse by the Watchtower’s policies than by the actual crimes of pedophiles.
And, of course, the Watchtower has gone to great lengths to prop up 1914. Truly, there is no lie they will not tell in order to glorify the organization idol. (See article: The Watchtower Idol)
Although subtle, the idolatry of the Watchtower can be demonstrated. If, for example, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses expresses doubt about the Bible or even the existence of God, they will likely be dealt with kindly. Perhaps the elders will patiently study the Bible with the doubter. But if that same person rejects the Watchtower’s 1914 sacred cow or perhaps even expresses disgust over the Watchtower’s hypocrisy, even though they may still believe the Bible, they will be dealt with much more sternly. You may doubt God or His word, but you may not doubt the Watchtower.
Interestingly— the Israelites demanded an idol because they said they didn’t know what happened to Moses. Here it is more than a century since the greater Moses, Jesus, supposedly began ruling in Kingdom power up in heaven and there still is no sign of him anywhere. Hence, the organization’s golden calf has been fabricated to lead us to paradise in Christ’s absence. The idol will provide life-saving instruction.
Whereas, God did not have to use his power to bring Moses around, the gentle approach will not work now. The idolatry is too ingrained. As the scripture says: “Only terror will make them understand what was heard.”
Tuesday, June 23
Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits. —1 Cor. 15:33.
Most people have some good qualities, and many outside the congregation do not engage in blatant misconduct. If that is true of your acquaintances, can you assume that they are good associations? Ask yourself what effect their companionship will have on your relationship with Jehovah. Will they improve it? What is in their heart? For example, are their conversations almost exclusively about fashion, money, gadgets, entertainment, or other material pursuits? Does their speech often include disparaging comments about others or obscene jesting? Jesus aptly warned: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34) If you realize that your associates pose a threat to your good standing with Jehovah, act decisively by limiting and if necessary ending such friendships. —Prov. 13:20. w18.07 19 ¶11
The apostle was right. God is right. Back when I was a young man most of the time I got into trouble it was because of the people I was running with. It is just the way it is. People influence us— for good or bad.
When the Israelites came into the Promised Land Jehovah ordered them to wipe out the indigenous people— the Canaanites. That might seem brutal and harsh; in fact, people today accuse God of being cruel and unloving. But God explained the reason for such a harsh order. If they allowed the Canaanites to stay in the land in time they would seduce and corrupt the Hebrews into worshipping their demons. And that is exactly what happened. After Joshua died the conquest of Canaan faltered and just as Jehovah had warned the Israelites began to intermarry and intermingle and eventually became more wicked than the Canaanites. Bad association, indeed! The 106th Psalm tells the sad story.
They did not annihilate the peoples,
As Jehovah had commanded them.
But they mingled with the nations
And adopted their ways.
They kept serving their idols,
And these became a snare to them.
They would sacrifice their sons
And their daughters to demons.
They kept spilling innocent blood,
The blood of their own sons and daughters
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with bloodshed.
They became unclean by their works;
They committed spiritual prostitution by their deeds.
So the anger of Jehovah blazed against his people,
And he grew to detest his inheritance.
We should never lose sight of the fact that we are in a spiritual war. The same demons that corrupted the Canaanites and Hebrews back then are still at it. They seemingly have more effective weapons at their disposal now, like television, movies, music, and the Internet.
I have decided to restart the Daily Commentary. But instead of posting individual articles every day, I thought I would post one article per week and simply add to it daily throughout the week.
Monday, June 22
[Turn] away from . . . the falsely called “knowledge.” —1 Tim. 6:20.
To make good decisions, we need solid facts. Therefore, we need to be highly selective and to choose carefully what information we will read. (Phil. 4:8, 9) We should not waste our time viewing questionable Internet news sites or reading unsubstantiated reports circulated via e-mail. It is especially important to avoid websites promoted by apostates. Their whole purpose is to tear down God’s people and to distort the truth. Poor quality information will lead to poor decisions. Never underestimate the powerful effect that misleading information can have on your mind and heart. Consider what happened in Moses’ time when 10 of the 12 spies who were sent to explore the Promised Land brought back a bad report. (Num. 13:25-33) Their exaggerated and outrageous account completely disheartened Jehovah’s people. (Num. 14:1-4, 6-10) Instead of getting the facts and showing confidence in Jehovah, they chose to believe the bad report. w18.08 4 ¶4-5
What exactly are “questionable news sites”? Is the Watchtower implying that only the so-called mainstream media is reliable? If that is what they are implying does that mean that numerous reports concerning the Watchtower and their child abuse coverup are accurate? When the very media the Watchtower considers to be reliable publishes negative reports about Jehovah’s Witnesses, then the media is cast as agents of Satan. What hypocrisy!
The insinuation that some Internet news sites are questionable seems to be an endorsement of the mainstream media. That means the Watchtower regards fake news as legitimate. For example, for three years the mainstream media went on and on and on about how Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Of course, it was all made up. There wasn’t an ounce of truth to it. It was the opposition party that concocted the whole thing. It was intended to poison any cooperation between Russia and the USA and bring about eventual nuclear war. Obviously, there is a demonic spirit behind the whole operation.
If there were an actual justice system in America the coup plotters would already have been executed for treason and all of the mainstream media would be charged as un-indicted co-conspirators. And the Watchtower wants us to rely on the mainstream news? The Governing Body has truly lost its way.
For about 30 years I have read and been a subscriber to Executive Intelligence Review. They have their particular point of view, as do we all. LaRouche was a secular humanist. But as far as providing accurate information not stewed in Anglo propaganda and misinformation, there is nothing like it. I doubt if anyone at Bethel has ever read it. It is taboo, not approved by the British mind controllers. That is because it is by far the most in-depth and factual news service available. Because the mainstream media oppose all truth no doubt the Governing Body would consider EIR to be “questionable news.”
And then there are apostate websites. In my view, the plethora of exJW’s are not apostates. Many of them see the Watchtower as a false religion and they are compelled to expose it. You can’t really blame them. They feel they have been deceived. And, of course, they have.
Then there is e-Watchman. According to the Watchtower definition of apostates, e-Watchman does not match the criteria. This article lays it out: Is e-Watchman an Apostate?
No, apostates are not out on the street with a bull horn. According to the Bible, apostates are within Christ’s congregation and they are the most honored men. At least they will be up until the time Christ comes and turns up the heat. The 32nd chapter of Isaiah speaks to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. For example, the first verse foretells the coming of a king who will rule for righteousness. As a result of his asserting his authority verses 3-4 state: “Then the eyes of those seeing will no longer be pasted shut, and the ears of those hearing will pay attention. The heart of those who are impetuous will ponder over knowledge, and the stammering tongue will speak fluently and clearly.”
Although Jehovah’s Witnesses imagine they are fully enlightened at the present moment, in reality, they are laboring under a deluding influence— deluded in believing that the king of righteousness is already ruling and that his associate princes are elders. So, the actual coming of Christ will be an eye-opening experience. We are reminded of Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus that resulted in the Pharisee-turned-apostle being blinded for three days, afterward what appeared as scales fell off of his eyes.
Who is responsible for their eyes being pasted shut? The prophecy goes on: “The senseless one will no longer be called generous, and the unprincipled man will not be called noble; for the senseless one will speak nonsense, and his heart will devise harmful things, to promote apostasy and to speak what is wayward against Jehovah, to cause the hungry one to go unfed and to deprive the thirsty one of something to drink. The devices of the unprincipled man are bad; he promotes shameful conduct to ruin the afflicted one with lies, even when the poor speaks what is right.”
According to the book of truth those who promote apostasy and who speak nonsense are considered to be noble and principled men, perhaps faithful and discreet; at least up until the righteous king comes. Just look at what the Watchtower has done to prophecy in the last few years. They have essentially dissolved it— turning God’s hard-hitting denunciations into goody-goody behavioral lessons.
Take the instance of the Watchtower’s recent “new insight” on Joel. While finally coming to admit that the locust does not represent Christians the Watchtower has placed the locust attack to the distant past with no modern-day fulfillment at all. When it all comes down we may be certain the Watchtower will leave the sheep dazed and confused, unfed and with nothing to drink. Does not Joel foretell this very thing too? “O how the domestic animal has sighed! How the droves of cattle have wandered in confusion! For there is no pasturage for them. Also, the droves of the sheep have been the ones made to bear guilt.” — Joel 1:18
As the Watchtower stated above: “Poor quality information will lead to poor decisions.” Tragically, the Watchtower has set the stage for virtually all of Jehovah’s Witnesses to be stumbled in the days ahead.