Friday, 30 October 2015

The Circuit Overseer's First Talk

Our new C.O. gave his first talk on Tuesday night.  I had to listen on the phone line, but he said a hello to all of us listening in. Which was very nice.   I did take notes (or possibly a drunken spider got into some ink and staggered across the pages of my notebook),  so thought I would try to make a bit of sense of them and remind myself of some of the key point

His theme was:   BELIEVE INSPIRED TRUTH, NOT INSPIRED ERROR    and I guess the key Scriptures were  1 John 4:6 and Revelation 16:13, 14, both of which are quoted below.

The point being that the world is being filled with Satanic propaganda. It will lead us to destruction if we let it.  So take care.

The Speaker read 1 John 4:6:  "We originate with God. Whoever comes to know God listens to us; whoever does not originate with God does not listen to us. By this we distinguish the inspired statement of truth from the inspired statement of error."

And then he read John 17:3:   "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."

Because, clearly, the more we come to know both Jehovah and Jesus, the easier we will find it to distinguish "the inspired statement of truth from the inspired statement of error".  We will come to understand how Jehovah feels about things, what his standards are.

The Speaker then used the illustration of blue-screen technology - the way film makers can use the blue screen to create the most amazing and convincing illusions - such as a high speed car chase through the busy streets of rush hour New York.    But it is an illusion.

And the world is full of dangerous effects and illusions. And he read these words from Revelation 16:13,14:    "And I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and they perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty."

He pointed out that the expression "like frogs" should remind us of one of the plagues that Jehovah brought on the Egyptians.  They made the land stink, it became unclean.

Demonic propaganda is clever and it's everywhere.    And Satan controls all the world's governments. So that even though, hopefully, many of those ruling want to provide peace, prosperity and security for their people, they can't. They are driven by the demonic program.

The Speaker then asked us to consider some of the ways that Satan uses.


How powerful is it today?   The internet has reached every corner of the earth, promoting attitudes completely contrary to Jehovah's standards.


Satan controls them.

3. BABYLON THE GREAT  (The world Empire of false religion)

 What comfort do they give their people?  A sister reported that a grieving parent was told "God doesn't just want old people with him in heaven."   And he reminded us of the words at John 4:6:   "We originate with God. Whoever comes to know God listens to us; whoever does not originate with God does not listen to us. By this we distinguish the inspired statement of truth from the inspired statement of error."

The Speaker then spoke of some catchphrases the world will use to mislead.

For example, there is:    "You will have to accept me as I am".   I am not going to change, and I can't change."

We then read Ezekiel 18:25:    “‘But you will say: “The way of Jehovah is unjust.” Please listen, O house of Israel! Is it my way that is unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?"

We can change our ways if we listen to Jehovah and want to please him.  We can follow the example of Jesus who always wanted to please his Father.  So we should be willing to do everything we can to change whatever in us is not pleasing to God.

In matters of Sexual Morality, the world says: "Do what you want."

But we note the words at 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5:  " For this is the will of God, that you should be holy and abstain from sexual immorality.  Each one of you should know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,  not with greedy, uncontrolled sexual passion like the nations have that do not know God."

The Speaker then directed us to 1 John 4:6 again - one of the key Scriptures of the talk.    "We originate with God. Whoever comes to know God listens to us; whoever does not originate with God does not listen to us. By this we distinguish the inspired statement of truth from the inspired statement of error."

We need to pay attention to Jehovah - and wait on him for understanding of his word.    The Speaker used the illustration of a beautiful present someone had all wrapped for us. We would wait for the moment they wanted to give it to us- the right moment.

We then read 2 Timothy 6:9:   "But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin."

Satan is promoting the lie of materialism, telling us that the more we have, the happier we are.  And the Speaker pointed out that we can be poor, and still fall into this trap, if our lives are geared towards trying to get rich,

He then reminded us that Jehovah has given us free will.  He wants us to choose to obey him because we have come to love him and to love his law.

The Speaker then reminded us of the warning at 1 Timothy 4:1:  "However, the inspired word clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired statements and teachings of demons,"

Jehovah is trying to get our attention and protect us.  The Speaker reminded us of  Demas, who started out a faithful brother in the first century, but who then turned away from Jehovah.  He forsook the truth and followed the lie.

Another slogan of "the world" is that "Higher Education is the only way to establish a career".   Our young ones are under pressure if they do well at school, as they often do, as they are part of a congregation being taught by Jehovah, who is the Source of all wisdom.   

We then looked at what Paul said at Philippians 3:7,8:  "Yet, the things that were gains to me, I have considered loss on account of the Christ.  What is more, I do indeed also consider all things to be loss on account of the excelling value of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have taken the loss of all things and I consider them as a lot of refuse, that I may gain Christ."

Paul was a man who had had the highest education of his day - he had been taught by Gamaliel, which was I suppose the equivalent of having an Oxbridge degree.  A great career in "the world" lay before him, but it was nothing to him - just "a lot of refuse" - compared to the knowledge of the Christ.

He walked away from all the world offered him and followed in Jesus' footsteps.  How do we feel?

Another catchphrase to be wary of is:"Armageddon will come, but not in MY lifetime."

We need to pay close attention to Jesus' words at Matthew 24:44, when he said:   "On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it."

Be ready. It will take even those expecting it by surprise when it comes!    And the Speaker gave us the example of a brother called Emanuel who has 6 daughters.  He wanted all his daughters to be spiritually ready, to prove themselves ready, so he organised his family to get together once every day to do the Daily Text and to study the Bible together.  He has found it has made such a difference to his family.

Another way Satan can demoralise us and stop us serving Jehovah by using this thought:  "Jehovah can never forgive me after what I have done."

That is the lie.  But here is the truth, in Isaiah 1:18:   “Come, now, and let us set matters straight between us,” says Jehovah. “Though your sins are like scarlet, They will be made as white as snow; Though they are as red as crimson cloth, They will become like wool."

Jehovah is on our side in this. He wants to forgive us and get us to safety.And he has provided the wonderful ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ to provide that forgiveness.  We need to exercise faith in the ransom, and not in ourselves.

Another wrong viewpoint the world is putting forward is that "Pornography is harmless fun".

No.  We must be like Job, and make a convenant with our eyes that we will not look on or dwell on anything Jehovah considers worthless.  

The Speaker concluded with reminders about the dangers of bad association, especially on the internet.

I don't think he concluded quite as abruptly as that - I think my arthritic writing hand gave out just then (or the drunken spider passed out).

I hope I have the gist of it down though.   If I had to summarise it, I would say its a timely reminder that the world is full of dangerous lies. We need to keep very close to Jehovah, and his word, and his congregation - or we will certainly be misled.

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