Friday, January 29
Pay attention to what you are hearing.
The world is so saturated with conflicting religious teachings and doctrines that many people feel that searching for the true religion is futile. However, Jehovah has made his guidance abundantly clear for those who are willing to take advantage of it. We have to decide whom we will listen to. Since it is practically impossible to listen to two voices simultaneously, we need to ‘know the voice’ of Jesus and listen to him. He is the one whom Jehovah appointed over His sheep. Jehovah’s counsel is clear and right, but we must pay attention and listen to it by preparing our heart to receive it. If we are not careful, we could give ear to Satan’s wicked advice instead of God’s loving counsel. Never allow worldly music, videos, TV shows, books, associates, educators, or so-called experts to control your life.
Michael the archangel is described in the book of Daniel as the great prince who is standing in behalf of Daniel’s people during the great tribulation.
Originally, though, Daniel’s people were the Israelites. In fact, Michael stood in behalf of God’s people in Persia. But in his human appearance and especially after his return to the spirit realm, Jesus led Daniel’s people into a new reality. Ultimately, those Jews who paid attention to Jesus, who listened to him, were brought into the Kingdom of God.
But at the time the transition began it was quite tumultuous. The religious leaders of the Jews in the first century simply could not fathom their not wielding control over the religious life of all the Jews. Hence, not only did they persecute and kill Jesus, they also persecuted his followers.
Jehovah’s Witnesses presently are in a similar position relative to God as were the Jews prior to Jesus appearing as the Messiah. The Watchtower wields total control over the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses and is the absolute decider of what is true, just like the Pharisees were back then.
Interestingly, Jesus counseled his followers to do whatever the Pharisees told them. However, after Jesus returned to heaven and poured out the holy spirit upon them they no longer obeyed the Jewish religious leaders. That was demonstrated when Peter boldly announced that they were not going to stop preaching, that they were obligated to obey God as their ruler —not mere men.
That change establishes a pattern of things to come. Jesus’ post-resurrection manifestation to his followers foreshadows Christ’s future parousia. His presence among his disciples after his resurrection had a profound transformative effect —coupled with their anointing on Pentecost.
To underscore the point, the article upon which the day’s text is based cites the prophecy of Isaiah. In the second paragraph we read:
The guidance that we receive from him is so clear that it is as if ‘our own ears hear a word behind us saying: “This is the way. Walk in it.”’ (Isa. 30:21) In effect, Jesus also conveys Jehovah’s voice to us as he directs the congregation through “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45) We need to take this guidance and direction seriously, for our everlasting life depends on our obedience.
We might imagine Jesus today advising Jehovah’s Witnesses to obey the Governing Body. However, our everlasting life will ultimately depend upon breaking ranks with the Society, just as the Jews who wished to follow Jesus had to leave off following the Jewish leaders. According to the prophet of Isaiah the wisdom of the wise men will conceal itself. That means the faithful and wise slave will not be a factor. The transition will take place when Jesus comes. That is when those who have ears attuned to the shepherd’s voice will hear a word, as if emanating from behind them, beckoning them to turn around and walk in a new direction.