Make Sure of All Things, Hold Fast to
What is Fine.
"Don't let it bother you
when all goes well for those
who do sinful things."
―Psalms 37:7 CEV
Many among Jehovah's people have become upset, perhaps even stumbled,
over recent developments and revelations of wrongdoing and
errors in the conduct and teachings of those who have been looked up
to as leaders in the organization. Because of their "righteous
indignation," some of them feel that these sins and errors should be exposed. In
this they believe they have Jesus as an example. What do you think?
Do we have an obligation to publicize "the sins" of God's people?
Or, even more importantly, should we leave?
What matters to Jehovah most is our
faith and obedience.
16:26; Heb. 11:6;
1 John 5:3)
He gives us the opportunity to demonstrate both. Time and again he has
led his people into situations where they were able to
exhibit to him what they were truly like at heart. For example, he allowed
his people, whom he had delivered out of Egypt, to go hungry,
thirsty, and suffer in order to humble them and put their faith and
obedience to the test:
"And you shall [earnestly] remember all
the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the
wilderness, to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your
[mind and] heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. .
. that He might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end."
―Deuteronomy 8:2, 16, Amplified Bible
The ordeal that they endured while
wandering in the wilderness was to follow in blessings for them,
after they had learned from it. But did they? The apostle
Paul tells us that their suffering caused the majority of them to
rebel and disobey, even wanting to return to Egypt, due to their
lack of faith:
"Who were those people that heard God's voice and rebelled? Weren't
they the same ones that came out of Egypt with Moses?
Who were the people that made God angry for forty years? Weren't
they the ones that sinned and died in the desert?
And who did God say would never enter his place of rest? Weren't
they the ones that disobeyed him?
We see that those people did not enter the place of rest because
they did not have faith."
―Hebrews 3:16-19, CEV
Jehovah had good reason for allowing
his people to experience hardship before leading them into the
promised land, for he is "searching the heart." Only by fully
trusting in him and being obedient to his commands, especially under
trying conditions, could they prove successful and worthy of taking
possession of the land. Thus, his people had to be shown what they
were truly like at heart, and be given the opportunity to make any
necessary adjustments to their faith and obedience. That is why the
Scriptures speak of "the tested quality of [our] faith." Did they
discern that? What about us? Are we suffering today? Is it not
always easier to trust in Jehovah when times are good?
James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:7, NWT)
In Jeremiah’s time Jehovah again put his people’s faith and obedience to
the test. It became a matter of life and death for them. For that
reason he made Jeremiah “a metal tester” among his people, that is,
the people were tested by how they responded to Jeremiah's message.
6:27-30, NWT) Jeremiah was commissioned by God to
“rise up and speak to them everything that I myself command you.”
(Jeremiah 1:17) Jehovah did not command others to join the
prophets he himself had chosen in exposing the wickedness of his people. He
did not commission others to "test" his people. For someone to prove
obedient and be spared the coming adverse judgment, God's message by
means of Jeremiah was
simple: “Serve the king of Babylon and
We can well imagine how the message that Jehovah wanted proclaimed by
means of his appointed prophet would have been corrupted
or contradicted, and could
well have turned into total confusion, if everyone were to join in
and add their own opinions and pronouncements. At the very least, it would
have detracted from God’s own message. Yet, there were those who
felt compelled to speak out, and they took it upon themselves to
"prophesy" in God’s name.
"These unfaithful prophets claim I give them
their dreams, but it isn't true. I didn't choose them to be my
prophets, and yet they babble on and on, speaking in my name, while
stealing words from each other. And when my people hear these liars,
they are led astray instead of being helped. So I warn you that I am
now the enemy of these prophets. I, the LORD, have spoken." ―Jeremiah 23:30-32,
Instead of helping the people,
encouraging them to obey and listen to the message Jehovah was declaring, these self-appointed prophets were
God's people astray by contradicting God's instructions. Since Jehovah had not personally given them any
message, they were "stealing words from each other." It was not his
message they were preaching. Therefore, they made themselves liars,
becoming a danger to anyone who inquired of them. Jehovah
became the enemy, not only of the false prophets, but also of those
who went to these prophets.
"If a prophet is
deceived and tells these idolaters the lies they want to hear, I,
God, get blamed for those lies. He won't get by with it. I'll grab
him by the scruff of the neck and get him out of there. They'll be
equally guilty, the prophet and the one who goes to the prophet." ―Ezekiel
14:9-10, The Message Bible
Today, for the most part,
Jehovah has not given us details regarding his time schedule, what he is
doing and why he is doing things a certain way, many times so
different from the way we
would do it. We may be upset and feel indignant and hurt at all the
injustice and wrongdoings we see around us, especially when we are
personally affected. But that does not
guarantee that we accurately reflect Jehovah's view on matters. So,
Jehovah tells us to leave all concerns in his hands, to patiently wait on him. This
gives us the opportunity to exercise faith in him, in his promises, and
in his way of fulfilling them. Often, just waiting without being
able to do anything is the hardest
thing. Yet, for good reason, that is what Jehovah is telling
us, while at the same time keeping us busy in the preaching of
the "good news" of the kingdom, the means by which he will bring an
end to all suffering.
the Good News because God tested us and trusted us to do it. When we
speak, we are not trying to please people, but God, who tests our
hearts." ―1 Thessalonians 2:4, New Century Version
Having been influenced by the various "prophets" that are supposing to
speak in Jehovah's name, many formerly zealous Witnesses today feel that they can no longer conscientiously participate in
preaching "the good news about the kingdom," arguing we have gotten some details,
such as dates, wrong. But not understanding everything there is to
know about the kingdom did not prevent Jesus from sending his
disciples forth to preach the reality of the kingdom.
Also, many don’t know whether they should still attend meetings because of
concerns over the errors we have been taught. Yet, it's good to ask
ourselves: Is what Jehovah has told us
not to do―talking against
our brothers, judging them, biting and devouring one another, engage
fits of anger, contentions, divisions―are such things keeping us
from doing what we have been encouraged to do, namely, "the
gathering of ourselves together," and building up of one another "to
love and fine works," persevering under trials and helping each
other to endure and stand firm?
"Love one another with brotherly
affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing
honor to one another. Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be
aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoice and
exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and
tribulation; be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of God's
people; pursue the practice of hospitality. Bless those who
persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless
and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing
others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief]." ―Romans
We demonstrate Christ-like love for
our brothers and for God by our own example, by our continuing to
be steadfast and rejoicing in our hope, in good or bad times, while
patiently waiting for Jehovah to fulfill his promises. (John
13:34-35) Jesus shows that he is not only aware of, but will
also bless any faithful disciple of his who has kept his integrity in
the midst of a congregation that, as a whole, has come under his
Do you feel compelled
that we should follow Jesus' example when it comes to righteous
indignation, and be moved to take action in exposing those we
consider to be at fault? Do we have all the facts? Jesus is the one
who has been appointed as judge,
we haven't. Many stumbled at times over what Jesus said or did. (Matthew
John 6:60-61, 64;
9:1-7, 13-16) Is it alright for us to stumble others by what
say or do? (Matthew
18:6) How many of his disciples took a whip and drove out the
money changers from the temple, in imitation of Jesus? How many of
his disciples confronted the religious leaders? Was it not rather
the other way around? Rather than jumping to conclusions with our
judgments concerning the errors of our brothers, and be moved to do
something about it, why not share Paul's attitude and wait for the
one Jehovah has appointed to do the judging:
"I'm not aware of anything that
would disqualify me from being a good guide for you, but that
doesn't mean much. The Master makes that judgment.
So don't get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions
with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he
will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things
we never even dreamed of--inner motives and purposes and prayers.
Only then will any one of us get to hear the 'Well done!' of God."
The Scriptures tell us that, as a whole,
Jehovah’s people have always been rebellious, lacking in faith,
testing his patience to the limit. For that reason he got to despise his
people very much. (Psalms 78:59) We can learn from
their bad examples by not imitating their lack of faith and their
disobedience. Don’t let anyone beguile you with their many empty words as
to why it is wrong to wait on Jehovah in your time of trouble and despair.
are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me
and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for
Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad]
countenance, and my God." ―Psalm 43:5,
Jehovah will fulfill
all his promises just as he has foretold, and that without any intervention
or meddling on our part. He has not explained why he has not
commissioned any of us to take action against the shepherds who have
become guilty of scattering his sheep. Perhaps it is because none of
us are blameless and without sin. (Rom. 3:23) Waiting on Jehovah to act in his own due time is certainly
a test of our faith and
obedience. We cannot please
him if we are not obedient:
"Does the LORD
really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn't want your
sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. Rebelling against God or
disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshiping
idols or asking them for advice."
―1 Samuel 15:22-23, CEV
Obedience to Jehovah has always been the
main issue since the time of Adam, who rebelled against God. We can
be assured that Jehovah himself will lay bare the sins and errors of
his people, because "nothing in all creation is hidden from God.
Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one
to whom we are accountable." (Heb.
4:13, NLT) Our God promises that
"just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more."
Could the wicked, mentioned in Psalms
chapter 37, refer especially to the wicked among God's own people
rather than those in the world? (Psalms 37:10;
Matthew 13:41) Concerning them we have this encouraging
Don't be annoyed by anyone
who does wrong,
and don't envy them.
They will soon disappear
like grass without rain.
Trust the LORD and live right!
The land will be yours,
and you will be safe.
Do what the LORD wants,
and he will give you
your heart's desire.
Let the LORD lead you
and trust him to help.
Then it will be as clear
as the noonday sun
that you were right.
Be patient and trust the LORD.
Don't let it bother you
when all goes well for those
who do sinful things.
Yes, "be patient and
trust" Jehovah! "Don't let it bother you when all goes well for
those who do sinful things." The time will soon be here when "it will be as
clear as the noonday sun that you were right." Then you will hear
the Well done! from Jehovah, your heavenly Father, for your faith and obedience. "The
legal case is before [God], and so you should wait anxiously for
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A Letter to our beloved Brothers and Sisters:
We all know what great love Jehovah has for his people. He did not provide the
ransom at such great cost to himself by sending his son to die for us, just to
leave us to ourselves when we meet up with immense problems and crisis in our
lives that would prevent us from continuing on the narrow road to life. Jehovah
cares for each one of us and is very tender in his affection. (Matt. 7:13-14; James 5:11; 1
Have you ever considered that what you have learned in the way of “new
understanding” was provided for your own benefit and personal
encouragement from Jehovah? Likely you learned these things at a critical time
in your life and needed to know and understand that all the problems we are
having in our personal lives, or within the congregations, is not due to doing
things Jehovah’s way. Neither is it because we are not his people.
One sister, who was besieged with problems within her congregation, wrote: “In prayer I had told
Jehovah how I was falling away from his organization and I was feeling so alone
and begged Jehovah to not let go of me.” It was then that she came to understand
the reasons behind the present conditions within the organization, and it gave her
a new zeal. She continued to say, “Jehovah, once again answered my prayer... he
didn't let go of me.” (Luke 12:45-46; 2 Thess. 2:3-12)
If you have found a renewed joy in worshiping Jehovah because of the new
understanding you have acquired, thank Jehovah for it. It is his way of caring for
you! But it is meant for your own personal encouragement, in order for you not to give
up. As Jehovah continues to expose the waywardness of his people there will be many
others in the days to come who will likewise need this
encouragement, and Jehovah will help them too. (Isaiah 32:5-7; 33:1-2) Perhaps he may even use you to
assist such ones. But those who are content with the way things are
in serving Jehovah under present conditions, they are not going to benefit from this.
It is medicine they don’t need, at least not yet. As Jesus said, “Persons in
health do not need a physician, but the ailing do.” (Matt. 9:12)
There are many who still find joy in attending the meetings and sharing in the
preaching work. Don't you remember the happiness you had in participating in
those things? Joy is a fruitage of the spirit and Jehovah has build joy into
our doing his will. We can lose some of that joy because of personal problems that
may plague us
making us perhaps feel useless, but that doesn’t mean we no longer have God’s spirit.
Jehovah may not remove our problems immediately, but we can be certain
that he will help us to endure, even with joy. Even if we can no longer do all the
things we once did, he blesses us now with a calmness, and the joy of having a preview of
what everyone else is also bound to learn soon. Then, at that time, we
will be able to assist and comfort those who will likewise need help,
just as we needed it. (Ezek. 14:23) Can you imagine the joy you will
experience when you will be able to talk about these things freely, with
Jehovah's blessing, and bring the same joy and hope to others?
Please keep in mind that the present
troubles that we are experiencing within God's household, including the
testing of our faith, must occur for Jehovah foretold it; otherwise, "how would the Scriptures be fulfilled
that it must take place this way?" (Matt. 26:54; Luke 21:22) "You
know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested." May Jehovah
therefore help you to endure, as he does all who continue loyal to him,
being patient and trusting in him, not growing weary; but with full
confidence that you will receive all that he
has promised. (James 1:3, CEV; Rev. 2:2-3)
"People do not hope for something they already have. But we are
hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it
patiently." (Rom. 8:24-25; New Century Version)
Your brother and fellow servant,
(Perimeno = Greek: "I
keep waiting [περιμένω] for what the Father has promised."―Acts
Who is Perimeno?