January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

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Humiliore
Posts: 30
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January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#1 Post by Humiliore » 5 years ago

Upon reviewing this article, two paragraphs in particular caught my eye.
12 In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of those partaking at the Memorial of Christ’s death. That trend contrasts with the decrease in the number of partakers that we saw for many decades. Should this increase trouble us? No. Let us consider some key factors to keep in mind.

13 “Jehovah knows those who belong to him.” (2 Tim. 2:19) Those taking the count at the Memorial cannot judge who truly have the heavenly hope. The number of partakers includes those who mistakenly think that they are anointed. Some who at one point started to partake of the emblems later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that lead them to believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven. Therefore, the number of partakers does not accurately indicate the number of anointed ones left on earth.

I really feel the need to point out that the decrease in partakers over the last several decades was (only a few short years ago!) presented as evidence that we were close to the end, as per the January 1st Watchtower article "Keep on the Watch".

18 Sixth, the number of genuine anointed disciples of Christ is dwindling, though some will evidently still be on earth when the great tribulation begins. Most of the remnant are quite elderly, and over the years the number of those who are truly anointed has been getting smaller. Yet, referring to the great tribulation, Jesus stated: “Unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.” (Matthew 24:21, 22) Evidently, then, some of Christ’s “chosen ones” will still be on earth when the great tribulation begins.

Of note, this was presented as one of six "convincing lines of evidence" that we were in the last days.

I'm sure the more gifted writers on this forum are writing up an article far superior to my offering, but this really irked me. The fact that now we're using "emotional problems" to stall our made-up timeline makes it look like we're really grasping at straws.

Of course, if they immediately retracted the entire teaching, the argument could be make that we're just dropping erroneous teachings if they don't suit us anymore. Sort of one of those "darned if you do, darned if you don't" scenarios.

What ever happened to "no one knows the day or the hour"? I think I read that somewhere...

(Bold text added by me)
But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. -Luke 14:10

Marina
Posts: 2140
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#2 Post by Marina » 5 years ago

Hi Humiliore

Thanks for drawing attention to this. I tend not to bother reading the Watchtower too closely but your words encourage me to do so.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of those partaking at the Memorial of Christ’s death. That trend contrasts with the decrease in the number of partakers that we saw for many decades. Should this increase trouble us? No…

The number of partakers includes those who mistakenly think that they are anointed…

Others may have mental or emotional problems
The Society have always had this attitude for as long as I have been a Jehovah’s Witness. In our area we have had plenty of evidence of people claiming to be anointed and having mental health problems. For that reason as soon as some of us hear someone say ‘I’m anointed’ our first thought is ‘you must have mental health problems’.

But as you say
the decrease in partakers over the last several decades was (only a few short years ago!) presented as evidence that we were close to the end
Yes they could retract the teaching but maybe they don’t because there is a collective mental health problem somewhere. Perhaps it has been there for a long time.

As potential evidence of this look at what was written in the Harp of God p 239
In 1844 the telegraph was invented and later the telephone. These instruments were first used with wires, and by electricity messages were conveyed throughout the earth; but now by later invention wires are dispensed with and messages are flashed through the air by the use of instruments all over the earth…

These physical facts cannot be disputed and are sufficient to convince any reasonable mind that we have been in “the time of the end” since 1799.[\quote]

P 240
The labouring classes have always been down-trodden and kept I subjection to the financial, ecclesiastical, and political princes. It was in the year 1874, the date of our Lord’s second presence, that the first labor organization in the world was created. From that time forward there has been a marvellous increase of light, and the inventions and discoveries have been too numerous for us to mention all of them here, but mention is made of some of those that have come to light since 1874, as further evidence of the Lord’s presence since that date as follows: Adding machines, aeroplanes, aluminium, antiseptic surgery, artificial dyes, automatic couplers, automobiles, barbed wire, bicycles, carborundrum, cash registers, celluloid, correspondence schools, cream separators, Darkest Africa, disk plows, Divine Plan of the Ages, dynamite, electric railways, electric welding, escalators, fireless cookers, gas machines, harvesting machines, illuminated gas, induction motors, linotypes, match machines, monotypes, motion pictures, North Pole, Panama Canal, pasteurization, radium, railway signals, Roentgen rays, shoe-sewing machines, skyscrapers, smokeless powder, telephones, television, typewriters, vacuum cleaners, and wireless telegraphy.
Marina
Marina

Vox Ratio
Posts: 235
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Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#3 Post by Vox Ratio » 5 years ago

Hi Humiliore,

Thank you for bringing this out; and, I must say, you’ve done a fine job in analysing the issue.

In the first century, the considerations of some church elders worked to increase the number of believers in the heavenly hope (cf. Act 16:5). In the twenty first century, the considerations of some church elders work to decrease the number of believers in the heavenly hope. The former labours obviously produced faith, while the latter labours ostensibly produce doubt.

Unfortunately, if the grievances of mental instability can justly be used to ward off prospective partakers, what does that say about those with mental and emotional problems in the first century? Naturally, if we grant that those with mental problems in the first century could rightfully entertain the heavenly hope, then the argument that they cannot or should not today becomes a moot point. After all, did not Christ give anyone who exercised faith in him the authority to become a child of God (cf. Joh. 1:12)? Really, if Christ did not require an examination of one’s sanity before a profession of faith, then neither should we.

Let’s not forget that even a great luminary such as the apostle Paul was accused of going mad (Act. 26:24).

peely
Posts: 343
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#4 Post by peely » 5 years ago

Hi Humiliore,

Everything is counted within the organization – from partakers, to attendance at meetings and conventions, to service hours, to pioneer numbers, to placements. It is incredible. And, if one looks into the scriptures to just how detestible this practice is; and which shows an independant attitude toward our Father, we see this practice reveals a true sign of an earthly organization run by man. Not by Christ. Not by the Father.

If God had told these leaders to count partakers, it would be a different story.

Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to take a census of Israel. 2 David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know how many there are.”

3 Joab said, “May Yahweh make his people a hundred times as many as they are. But, my lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt to Israel?”

4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, then came to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave up the sum of the census of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew a sword; and in Judah were four hundred seventy thousand men who drew a sword. 6 But he didn’t count Levi and Benjamin among them; for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.

7 God was displeased with this thing; therefore he struck Israel. 8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.”

9 Yahweh spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Yahweh says, “I offer you three things. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.”’”
11 So Gad came to David, and said to him, “Yahweh says, ‘Take your choice:12 either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of Yahweh, even pestilence in the land, and Yahweh’s angel destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.’”

13 David said to Gad, “I am in distress. Let me fall, I pray, into Yahweh’s hand; for his mercies are very great. Don’t let me fall into man’s hand.”

14 So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was about to destroy, Yahweh saw, and he relented of the disaster, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough. Now withdraw your hand.” Yahweh’s angel was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 David lifted up his eyes, and saw Yahweh’s angel standing between earth and the sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem.

Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to God, “Isn’t it I who commanded the people to be counted? It is even I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Yahweh my God, be against me, and against my father’s house; but not against your people, that they should be plagued.” 1 Chron 21:1-17


Can you imagine, after all these years of nonstop counting, that the GB as well as those that run the organization would approach our Father in such a repentful attitude?

If I read 2 Tim 2:19 again, the meaning of it becomes quite clear:

However God’s firm foundation stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness.

Satan's seed by harlots/Spirit and Truth/Wicked Steward http://4womaninthewilderness.blogspot.c ... truth.html

love,
peely

Bobcat
Posts: 3305
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Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#5 Post by Bobcat » 5 years ago

If you notice in the WT commentary quoted above (and in past examples of the same thing), the one thing the WT NEVER mentions is the possibility that some of these partakers are partaking simply because they believe that that is what Jesus wants all of his disciples to do.

And, in fact, it is as simple as that. There was nothing in the Lord's Evening Meal 'ceremony' (if you will) other than, 'Keep doing this in remembrance of me (i.e. Jesus).' (As 1Co 11:25, 26 shows, 'keep doing this' has reference to eating the bread and drinking the wine, not simply attending.)

The WT obfuscates things by imposing their own dogma onto the subject. But being the true propagandists that they are, they know to never mention the one thing they don't want people to start thinking. This is a form of debate called, "framing the Issue." (See here and look at the segment entitled "Step 5 Avoid Using Opponents' Frames, Even to Dispute Them."

It is quite obvious from the fact that they NEVER mention this possibility, that they are in fact specifically avoiding the mention of it. Their power base is at stake in this matter.


Bobcat

apollos0fAlexandria
Posts: 3333
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Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#6 Post by apollos0fAlexandria » 5 years ago

Hi Bobcat

That is a very good point that hadn't crossed my mind before.

It seems impossible to imagine that they are unaware of this being one of the primary reasons for new partakers (if not THE primary reason) - that more people are coming to this understanding and just doing what they should do, without making too much fuss about it. From networking with like minded people we know it to be the case, and some are undoubtedly giving that reason to family, friends and elders in at least some cases.

Therefore what you would expect is a move to correct this "faulty thinking" (from their point of view) by writing a solid rebuttal to any who would accept God's Word at face value. But this is not what they are doing, so one must assume that there is some motive for holding back.

If truth was on their side then they would not hesitate, but as it is they must know that trying to argue the case scripturally is going to hold no water with those who have already seen through the existing dogma.

In addition it might serve to prompt others to actually consider the truth of the matter for the first time. Better to let sleeping dogs lie (no puns intended).

Apollos

DeborahsTree
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Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#7 Post by DeborahsTree » 5 years ago

Others may have mental or emotional problems that lead them to believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven.
A most unkind cut.

This is nothing new, it's been printed before and continues to give evidence of the lack of simple human kindness in the Watchtower leadership.

Among us in congregations are the many who need special care, special attention and love, included among them are: the fatherless children, the widows and widowers, the physically sick, the elderly, the depressed and those in delicate emotional states, and those who are bearing up under the burden of various mental illnesses.

I cannot fully express my deep pity and sadness after reading what men, they hold so dear, have said about and to our dear brothers and sisters who, while suffering from the most difficult of problems such as depression and mental illness, sincerely partake.

The Watchtower has in effect thrown verbal acid into the faces of such vulnerable friends and not only that they have left them exposed to further ridicule from the many immature publishers in the organization. What of their children who will also suffer from the put down directed at a father or mother who struggles with mental illness yet continues to trust in Jehovah and partakes.

In their strenuous effort to defend an indefensible teaching they trample the hurting and vulnerable.

O' where is Elijah who surely by God's spirit would have called down the affliction of mental illness on such men who would trample their vulnerable brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters who have caused them no harm.

Vox Ratio
Posts: 235
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#8 Post by Vox Ratio » 5 years ago

Bobcat,

Very insightful. Thanks for bringing this out.

Deborah,

I share your sorrow.

It seems the leadership wants to blame some of the increase on Christians’ thinking, "I want to be a ruler", when for the most part these ones are just thinking, "I want to be a slave" (cf. Luk. 17:10).

And you’re right, this isn’t anything new. It's the ol' replay the downplay of the uptake in the partake trick.

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Bruno
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Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#9 Post by Bruno » 5 years ago

I wonder if the fact that 33% of all baptisms come from 3 very christian countries has anything to do with it? There were 29,870 baptized in Brazil and 27,701 baptized in Mexico. I would think that most of these baptisms were not atheist becoming christian, but christian's who already have a heavenly hope becoming JW's. It may not be easy for some of these people to accept that they are no longer going to heaven but will have to stay here on earth. If you are currently living in poverty the idea of a paradise earth may be difficult to imagine and so may not be very appealing.
Karl

Bobcat
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Re: January 2016 Study Watchtower, "We Want to Go With You"

#10 Post by Bobcat » 11 months ago

These two threads also discuss Zechariah 8:23, although, in more general terms: Here and here.


Bobcat

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