QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
04/26/13 What do I teach my young children ages 1 to 3?
04/11/13 What do you think about the July 15, 2013 Watchtower explaining the new light?
04/09/13 If the Christian congregation represents the priesthood, then wouldn’t the nations represent the earthly class with an earthly hope?
On April 26, 2013, we received the following comment:
“I have a question. I want to do some "family study" a little every night and I wonder....would you have any suggestions on reading and engaging in study with my children? My oldest is 3 and will get the most out of it, but my youngest is 1. I don't really want to use the Bible Story book or the Great Teacher because I'm afraid there are many organizational biases in the literature. Any thoughts?”
To the author, thank you for your email. We intend to publish something this year with regard to our young people. However, your inquiry allows us to share a few brief comments that form the basis of our view of teaching children.
First, do not underestimate the spiritual capacities of even your very young ones. Jesus said the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them, too.
“Now people began bringing him young children for him to touch these; but the disciples reprimanded them. At seeing this Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to suchlike ones. Truly I say to you, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.” And he took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands upon them.”
– Mark 10:13-16
Up until the age of about 5, the most important lesson you can teach your children is the value of a healthy parent/child relationship. That will lay the foundation for their growing understanding of a Heavenly Father. Let them know that you are their earthly father, but they have a Heavenly Father, too. Teach them about the God that Jesus revealed, and refrain from teaching them the old Jewish concepts of an angry, jealous, wrathful God.
Encourage them to use their imaginations to envision what heaven is like, and what God and Jesus are like. Make heaven live in the minds of your children. Teach them the beauty and goodness of our world – in music, art, and culture. And refrain from inculcating separatism, superiority, intolerance, condemnation, or fear of a cataclysmic end. They should be taught that the Father will faithfully carry us through whatever befalls us.
And above all, make sure you as a father properly represent the Heavenly Father. This will have a more profound and lasting effect than any teaching.
As you can tell, the counsel we have for teaching children is much the same as we have for adults. That is because the purity and innocence of children is what adults should strive for as Jesus said in the above scripture.
We also are reminded of Paul’s counsel:
“If, however, you were raised up with the Christ, go on seeking the things above, where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things upon the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with the Christ in union with God. When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then you also will be made manifest with him in glory.”
– Colossians 3:1-4
And his words to the Philippians:
“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.”
– Philippians 4:8
We should all focus on love of the Father and Jesus Christ, and the beauty and goodness in our world and in the heavenly kingdom in our future. This is the path to life.
These are our thoughts. We wish you the very best.
On April 11, 2013, we received the following comment:
“Ok you 2 have been crying disrespectfully to the Faithful And Discreet Slave ever sine about the new understanding of the F&DS, well now it ready to read in great detail. Turn away from your apostate like attitudes and get right with Jehovah’s Organization. Its on line now at Jw.org, the July issue. Now lets see what NEW murmuring you 2 come up with after reading it. Im expecting it already from you both!”
To the author, thank you for your email. We are glad you are still visiting our site. First, we want you to know that we love all of our brothers and sisters in the organization. And we have no animosity toward the Governing Body, though we are deeply troubled at their stubbornness and/or reluctance to teach the plain and open teachings of Jesus.
Neither are we apostates nor murmurers. (See Question and Response 10/26/12, Question and Response 11/2/12, Question and Response 12/18/13 and Question and Response 12/23/13.) We are faithfully carrying out our Christian responsibilities of trying to readjust our brothers who we see are taking a false step.
“Brothers, even though a man takes some false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness, as you each keep an eye on yourself, for fear you also may be tempted.”
– Galatians 6:1
That is the path of brotherly love. It is not loving to close our eyes or turn our backs to our brothers who are clearly heading down a false path. When the blind lead the blind that is a tragedy. But when the blind lead the seeing, that is reprehensible. We hope you grasp that.
Now, to your comments. Yes, we know about the July 15, 2013 Watchtower; we have read it in detail already. Yesterday, we posted an article that addresses the more important issues raised in the magazine. The article is entitled Lastly He Sent His Son. Please read it if you want to know our view.
And since you must have also read the July Watchtower, we would like to pose a few questions to you.
1. The first study article, “Tell Us, When Will These Things Be?” refers to the parable of the sheep and the goat at Matthew 25:31-46. It says that Jesus will separate the sheep from the goat when he comes during the great tribulation (paragraph 13). According to the parable, Jesus says to the sheep “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.” And to goat, Jesus says they “have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” So if the sheep inherit the kingdom (the heavenly hope) and the goats are destroyed, what happens to those with the earthly hope? We know they do not go to heaven, so do they go into the everlasting fire?
2. In the second study article, “Look! I am With You All The Days” refers to the parable of the wheat and the weeds at Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43. It identifies the wheat as “anointed Christians who will rule with him in his Kingdom” (paragraph 2), and it identifies the weeds as “imitation Christians” (paragraph 3). The wheat are taken to heaven (paragraph 12), and the weeds are completely destroyed (paragraph 15). So where are those with the earthly hope? We know they do not go to heaven. So, do they get destroyed as imitation Christians and weeds? Why did Jesus completely ignore this supposed third class of Christians?
3. Please note that the third study article, “Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few”, has already been addressed in our article Feeding the Many. Feel free to take a look at that article.
4. In the fourth study article, “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” the Governing Body uses the word “channel” about 17 times and says at paragraph 3:
“That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end. It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.”
Then in the box on page 22, it says:
“The faithful and discreet slave: A small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Today, these brothers make up the Governing Body.”
So if the Governing Body is the channel Jesus is using, what is the role of the Spirit of Truth? And what is Jesus doing now?
Remember Jesus said:
“And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
- Matthew 28:20
And he said:
“I have many things yet to say to you, but you are not able to bear them at present. However, when that one arrives, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things coming. That one will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you. All the things that the Father has are mine. That is why I said he receives from what is mine and declares [it] to you.”
– John 16:12-15
And the Apostle John said:
“And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.”
– 1 John 2:27
So, Jesus is with us now, and the Spirit of Truth is actively guiding us into all truth. And, of course, all of us have the Bible which contains Jesus’ teachings. So what do we need a ‘governing body’ for? Do you think Jesus has ‘handed us off’ to the Governing Body because the Spirit of Truth is not competent enough to teach and lead God’s people?
Really brother, isn’t it more likely that the only choice we have is life in heaven or eternal death, and that the Governing Body is not a ‘channel of Jesus,’ but rather mere administrators of an organization of preachers and teachers?
We appreciate your faith, but we are saddened at your misplaced loyalty. You are offended that we dare to reveal the errors of the Governing Body. But you are not at all offended that the Governing Body puts Jesus in the background and ignores the Spirit of Truth? A self-examination is in order. Do you belong to Christ or to the Governing Body?
Please let us know your thoughts.
On April 9, 2013, we received following comment and inquiries:
“I first want to say that thanks to your articles, I have grown tremendously in the past few months. I do however have one question that you might have possibly answered in a previous article that I might have missed or failed to grasp the point. If the nation of Israel (foreshadowing the Christian congregation) was to be an entire nation of priests and it was by means of them that the rest of the nations would bless themselves, then who are we priests over if every Christian is a part of this priesthood? Would not the rest of the nations represent the earthly class needing the reconciliation through that priesthood? One of your articles stated that the purpose of the priest was to reconcile man to God. If we are all priests, who are we reconciling? Would it not be the other nations, the earthly class? As I'm typing this, I think I might understand the answer but I eagerly await your response. Thank you very much!!"
To the author, thank you for your email. It seems that as you drafted your question, the answer appeared to you. That’s the Spirit of Truth at work! Many times when we articulate our concerns and meditate on them, we are led to conclusions that harmonize with what we already know to be true. And we gain a certain conviction of the truthfulness of our conclusions. They ‘ring true,’ so to speak. Perhaps this is your experience. Nevertheless, we will answer your question here.
First we want to clarify that the ‘Christian congregation’ refers to the entire body of Christ – the sons of God and brothers of Christ – and not a particular church, denomination or religious association. In the scenario, the Christian congregation is foreshadowed by the priesthood. All others – the nations – would correspond to those who have not accepted their sonship with God, and who therefore do have an earthly ‘hope.’ But their earthly ‘hope’ is not a real hope, it is their ‘reality.’ They live life on earth for as long as their physical bodies allow. Then they are no more. However, when a person of the ‘nations’ is reconciled to God, they, too, become sons of God and brothers of Christ who have the heavenly hope.
What happens by way of the ministry of reconciliation is that the brotherhood of Christ – the Kingdom of God on earth – increases, and the ‘nations’ decrease. (John 3:30) The objective is to reconcile ALL people to God and bring ALL mankind into the brotherhood of Christ.
“Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
So, you see, the ‘earthly hope’ is a dead hope – it leads to eventual death. And you see, the goal is for death to be ‘no more.’ That would be a total emptying of the dead hope. Whereas the hope leading to everlasting life is the heavenly one, as we have published many times in many articles on our site.
We hope that answers your question and we wonder if that is the conclusion you were led to. Please let us know."
Response from Author:
“Yes, thank you! That was exactly the answer that I understood to be the case! Amazing!”