This is a review of Watchtower study article #37 2022, entitled: You Can Trust Your Brothers
1. PEOPLE in Satan’s world do not know whom they can trust. They are constantly disappointed by the conduct of commercial, political, and religious leaders. That feeling extends to friends, neighbors, and even family members. This should not surprise us. The Bible foretold: “In the last days . . . , men will be . . . disloyal, . . . slanderers, . . . betrayers.” In other words, people would reflect the personality of the god of this system of things, who is far from trustworthy.
Satan’s world is not “out there.” Satan exerts a very powerful influence even over those who consider themselves to be true Christians. Jehovah, in fact, allows for an operation of Satan and for a so-called man of lawlessness to exert a deluding influence over all. More on this further on.
Note: Although the Watchtower repeats it ad nauseam, we are not living in the last days. Yes, people are becoming more and more ungodly, but the critical times hard to deal with have not begun yet. Obviously, when the time of the end begins the ungodliness of civilization will make for critical times hard to deal with.
2 As Christians, however, we know that we can put our full trust in Jehovah. We are convinced that he loves us and that he “will never abandon” his friends. We can also trust in Christ Jesus because he gave his life for us. And we have learned from personal experience that the Bible provides reliable guidance. We are confident that we can trust in Jehovah, Jesus, and the Bible. But some may wonder whether they can always trust the brothers and sisters in the congregation. If the answer is yes, why can we trust them?
We can have faith that God will never abandon His purpose. However, in order to fully accomplish the divine purpose God will engage in an unusual work, described thusly in Isaiah: “That he may do his deed—his strange deed—And that he may carry out his work—his unusual work.” — Isaiah 28:21
What is the strange deed and unusual work that Jehovah will carry out? Please read the entire 28th and 29th chapters of the book of Isaiah. God’s unusual work involves wrecking the organization that is symbolized by “Jerusalem.” Since, as the Watchtower notes, the entire world is under the Devil’s evil influence and we pray for God’s Kingdom to come and for His will to be done, that means we pray for God to annihilate the entire wicked world alienated from God. Nothing unusual about that. God has destroyed an entire world before. But why would God destroy Christ’s congregation? That would indeed be very strange and unusual!
The reason, of course, is because the leaders in “Jerusalem” have worked a great falsehood upon God’s trusting people. To them, Jehovah declares: “So hear the word of Jehovah, you boasters, you rulers of this people in Jerusalem, for you men say: “We have made a covenant with Death, and with the Grave we have made an agreement. When the raging flash flood passes through, It will not reach us, for we have made a lie our refuge and we have hidden ourselves in falsehood.””— Isaiah 28:14-15
The raging flash flood is a result of the coming of Christ, which provokes the enraged dragon to disgorge a flood of tyranny to sweep away all of the offspring of God. The flood serves God’s purpose to sweep away the falsehoods which are the foundation of the Watchtower Society; namely, the fiction that Christ has come, that the great tribulation will be manifest against false religion; that Jehovah’s organization will be a refuge and many similar falsehoods to numerous to mention. Yes, God’s word is reliable. It is a pity the drunkards of Ephraim do not understand the judgments of Jehovah.
5 Some, however, find it difficult to trust their brothers and sisters, possibly because a fellow believer betrayed a confidence or failed to keep a promise. Or perhaps someone in the congregation said or did something that hurt them deeply. Such experiences may make it difficult to trust others. What, then, can help us to build our trust in our fellow worshippers?
As is the custom of the writers for the Watchtower, they address minor issues and ignore the big thing. For example, when discussing things that might cause Jehovah’s Witnesses to stumble the Watchtower will bring up all sorts of problems that may negatively affect witnesses in their local congregations and ignore the fact that the doings of the Governing Body of the Watchtower are the greatest cause of stumbling, by far.
So too, when it comes to trusting the brothers, the real question is should we unquestioningly trust the brothers in responsible positions; specifically—should we trust the men running the organization? As paragraph eight notes: “Trust, like respect, needs to be earned, and that takes time. How can you develop trust in your brothers?”
Trust has to be earned—very true. And once earned, trust must be maintained, because, needless to say, trust can be broken; those whom we trust might betray our trust. For instance, when we see a member of the Governing Body lying under oath, denying that they have claimed to be the sole channel of divine truth, we feel dismayed. When we see a member of the Governing Body angrily boasting that nobody protects children from sexual predators like “Jehovah’s organization,” we are rightly disgusted by such brazen dishonesty. When we see a video of members of the Watchtower being greeted at an airport like touring rock stars, we are alarmed. When we see a video of a member of the Governing Body sneaking around on Sunday morning with a shopping cart full of top-shelve whiskey, our trust in the “slave” might be shaken. When the Governing Body implies through their Updates that Jehovah has provided salvation through Pfizer’s experimental gene-altering elixir and that injecting ourselves with a substance that has killed and is injuring millions is the only way to stay in the land of the living and survive an infection that has a 99.8% survivability factor, we know we are being bamboozled. Trust has been broken.
12 Jesus trusted his disciples despite their failings. When James and John asked Jesus for a special position in the Kingdom, Jesus did not question their motives for serving Jehovah or remove them as apostles.
Did Jesus trust Judas? In a sense, he did. When at the Passover table Jesus dipped the morsel and passed it to his betrayer and at that moment Satan entered into him, Jesus trusted that Judas would do his wicked deed and betray him to the Jews and thereby fulfill prophecy. From the standpoint of his disciples, it may have seemed strange and unusual that God would allow men to execute His only-begotten Son.
Search as you may, you will not find a single passage in the entire Bible that exhorts us to “trust your brothers.” Joseph trusted his brothers and he innocently related his dreams to them. They wanted to kill him but ended up selling their youngest brother into slavery.
On the other hand, the Scriptures are replete with many exhortations to trust in Jehovah. Although many may find it difficult to accept—even impossible to believe—trusting Jehovah and trusting in men or an organization—are mutually exclusive. In other words, we cannot fully trust Jehovah if we trust men—period. The reason that is so is because these men claim to be reliable guides who are authorized to lead us to paradise.
Regarding Judas, who sat at the table of the covenant with Christ—in prayer Jesus referred to him as the “son of destruction.” That designation has profound prophetic significance. The prophet Paul foretold that a son of destruction—otherwise known as a man of lawlessness—will be on hand when Christ returns to inspect His Father’s house, where the man of lawlessness resides like a god. Paul sternly warned the brothers not to put their trust in proclamations by those who pass themselves off as apostles, who claim the parousia has begun and the day of the Lord is here. The apostle goes on to reveal that the parousia proclamations are part of Satan’s “operation of error” to promote the son of destruction as the spokesman of Jehovah. He possesses the uncanny ability to divine the precise year that Jesus takes up kingdom power and evicts the Devil and his angels from heaven. Very impressive.
17 Trust is rare in Satan’s world, but trust based on love permeates our worldwide brotherhood. Such trust contributes to our joy and unity now and will be a protection as we face difficult times ahead. What if you have suffered the pain of a broken trust? Try to look at matters from Jehovah’s perspective, apply Bible principles, cultivate deep love for your brothers, and learn from Bible examples.
We do indeed face difficult times ahead. Jesus referred to the hour of test that is coming upon the world. Jehovah’s Witnesses will especially be put to the test. That is because it will become evident to all that the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine is a complete and utter falsehood. How will it become apparent? When all the things the Watchtower claims have been fulfilled since 1914 begin to happen for real; namely world war, widespread food shortages—even in the affluent nations, along with even more deadly plagues released from the dozens of bio-weapons labs in the world. Along with all of these distressing things Jesus forewarned: “Then, too, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and mislead many; and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.”
Since none of the things Jesus foretold have been fulfilled yet—with perhaps the exception being we are now hearing of wars and rumors of wars—this means we are yet to experience the breakdown of Christianity implied in the verse cited above; when trusted brothers betray one another; when false prophets who speak for Jehovah falsely claim that Christ is in the inner chambers, when everyone is bewildered and perplexed, then the situation arises in which trust in Jehovah will be the only hope. An hour of test indeed!
Just as many prophecies were fulfilled when Jesus became a man, so too, many prophecies will be fulfilled when the Lord returns. Two prophecies come to mind. “Everyone, be on guard against your neighbor, and do not trust even your brother. For every brother is a betrayer, and every neighbor is a slanderer.” — Jeremiah 9:4
“Their best one is like thorns, their most upright one is worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen and of your reckoning will come. Now they will panic. Do not put faith in your companion or trust a close friend. Guard what you say to the one who lies in your embrace. For a son despises his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his household.” — Micah 7:5-6
Bible students will recognize that Jesus quoted from the prophecy in Micah in different settings. He stated generally that a man’s enemies will be persons in their own household. And Jesus alluded to the prophecy when speaking of the conclusion, when brothers betray brothers and children hand their parents over to be put to death and vice-versa. The next verse in Micah speaks for those who will not be stumbled: “But as for me, I will keep on the lookout for Jehovah. I will show a waiting attitude for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
As stated already, trust in Jehovah and trusting in our brothers are mutually exclusive. Either we trust exclusively in Jehovah and Christ during the hour of test, or we trust men. Which will you choose?