When quoting Genesis 2:2 concerning God’s rest, Paul wrote under inspiration the words of today’s text. (Heb. 4:4, 6, 9) So the seventh day was ongoing in Paul’s day. How much longer was that day of rest to continue? In order to answer that question, we must remember the purpose of the seventh day. Genesis 2:3 explains what it is: “God proceeded to bless the seventh day and make it sacred.” That day was ‘made sacred’—sanctified, or set apart, by Jehovah—in order to bring his purpose to completion. That purpose is for the earth to be inhabited by obedient men and women who will take care of it and all life upon it. (Gen. 1:28) It is toward the realization of that purpose that both Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, the “Lord of the sabbath,” have “kept working until now.” (Matt. 12:8; John 5:17) God’s rest day will continue until his purpose in connection with it has been fully realized at the end of Christ’s Thousand Year Reign. w11 7/15 3:4, 5
Being peaceable is secondary to chasteness, that is, upholding God’s clean moral standards and meeting his righteous requirements. One account involving Jehu shows that God’s righteousness takes priority over peaceableness. God sent Jehu to execute His judgment on the house of King Ahab. Wicked King Jehoram, the son of Ahab and Jezebel, rode in his chariot to meet Jehu and said: “Is there peace, Jehu?” Jehu replied: “What peace could there be as long as there are the fornications of Jezebel your mother and her many sorceries?” (2 Ki. 9:22) With that, Jehu drew his bow and shot Jehoram through the heart. Just as Jehu took action, elders must not compromise with willful, unrepentant practicers of sin for the sake of keeping peace. They expel unrepentant sinners so that the congregation can continue to enjoy peace with God.—1 Cor. 5:1, 2, 11-13. w11 8/15 4:15, 16
What would you do if you received a gift especially made for you? Would you show your appreciation by using it? The “gifts in men” are what Jehovah through Jesus Christ has provided for you. One way you can show your gratitude for these gifts is by listening intently to talks given by the elders and by trying to apply the points they bring out. You can also show your appreciation by making meaningful comments at meetings. Support the work in which the elders are taking the lead, such as the field ministry. If you have benefited from counsel you received from a certain elder, why not tell him so? In addition, why not show your appreciation for the elders’ families? Remember, for an elder to work hard in the congregation, his family is sacrificing time spent with him. Yes, we have ample reason to show gratitude for the elders, who are working hard among us. w11 6/15 4:3, 19, 20
A fundamental standard concerning any animal that was to be sacrificed to Jehovah was that it be “sound” in all respects—not blind, injured, deformed, or sick. (Lev. 22:21, 22) When the Israelites offered fruits or grains to Jehovah, they needed to be “the very best” of their harvests. (Num. 18:12, 29) A second-rate offering was not acceptable to Jehovah. The important requirement regarding animal sacrifices pictured that Jesus’ sacrifice would be spotless and unblemished and that Jehovah would sacrifice what was best and dearest to him in order to redeem mankind. (1 Pet. 1:18, 19) The person making a sacrifice knew that God would not be pleased with a defective offering because that would indicate that the man considered the sacrifice a mere formality, even a burden. (Mal. 1:6-8, 13) This should make us reflect on our service to God: ‘Might it be appropriate for me to review the quality of my service and my motives for serving him?’ w12 1/15 3:6, 7
Persevering in prayer is essential to keeping on the watch. Recall that in the garden of Gethsemane just before his arrest, Jesus told three of his apostles: “Keep on the watch and pray continually.” (Matt. 26:41) Peter, who was present on that occasion, later experienced firsthand the power of fervent prayers. (Acts 12:1-6) After being arrested by Herod, Peter was chained between 2 guards, with 16 guards working in shifts day and night to make sure that this apostle did not escape. Herod’s intention was to present Peter to the people after the Passover, his death sentence a gift to delight the crowds. Verse 5 reads: “Consequently Peter was being kept in the prison; but prayer to God for him was being carried on intensely by the congregation.” How did things turn out for Peter? During his final night in the prison while he was fast asleep between his two guards, an angel set Peter free.—Acts 12:7-11. w12 1/15 2:10-13, 15
Jehovah has equipped us to resist the spirit of the world. By means of his spirit, Jehovah fortifies us to withstand Satan’s efforts to mislead us. (Rev. 12:9) The spirit of the world is strong, and we cannot avoid it altogether. However, we do not have to be corrupted by it. Holy spirit is even stronger, and it will help us! Of those who forsook Christianity in the first century, the apostle Peter said: “Abandoning the straight path, they have been misled.” (2 Pet. 2:15) How very thankful we can be that we have received, “not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God”! (1 Cor. 2:12) With the help of its influence and by taking full advantage of all of Jehovah’s provisions to keep us on the right path spiritually, we can succeed in resisting the satanic spirit of this wicked world.—Gal. 5:16.w11 12/15 2:14, 15
Here the flesh is not necessarily the physical body. In the Bible, the word “flesh” is sometimes used to denote the sinful and imperfect nature of the fallen flesh. This nature is what causes the conflict between the flesh and the mind that Paul mentioned earlier. (Rom. 7:21-23) Unlike him, however, those who “are in accord with the flesh” do not even put up a fight. Instead of considering what God requires of them and accepting the help he has provided, they are inclined to “set their minds on the things of the flesh.” They often focus on the satisfying of their bodily comforts and physical desires. In contrast, the inclination of those who are “in accord with the spirit” is to set their minds on “the things of the spirit”—spiritual provisions and activity. w11 11/15 2:14
Jehovah’s worshippers are precious to him. Jesus made this clear when he said: “Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them goes forgotten before God. But even the hairs of your heads are all numbered. Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6, 7) Trusting in Jehovah and in the fulfillment of his promises can bring us comfort in times of distress. Our heavenly Father is not limited by anything or anyone and therefore has at his disposal whatever means are needed to provide comfort for those who love him. In turn, we are able to comfort fellow believers “in any sort of tribulation.” We can do so “through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3, 4) How well this expresses Jehovah’s unmatched ability to comfort despairing ones! w11 10/15 3:3-5
(Thought I’d post this considering the reading this week)
Does John 1:1 prove that Jesus is God?
John 1:1, RS: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [also KJ, JB, Dy, Kx, NAB].” NE reads “what God was, the Word was.” Mo says “the Logos was divine.” AT and Sd tell us “the Word was divine.” The interlinear rendering of ED is “a god was the Word.” NW reads “the Word was a god”; NTIV uses the same wording.
What is it that these translators are seeing in the Greek text that moves some of them to refrain from saying “the Word was God”? The definite article (the) appears before the first occurrence of the·os′ (God) but not before the second. The articular (when the article appears) construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular anarthrous (without the article) predicate noun before the verb (as the sentence is constructed in Greek) points to a quality about someone. So the text is not saying that the Word (Jesus) was the same as the God with whom he was but, rather, that the Word was godlike, divine, a god. (See1984 Reference edition of NW, p. 1579.)
What did the apostle John mean when he wrote John 1:1? Did he mean that Jesus is himself God or perhaps that Jesus is one God with the Father? In the same chapter, Joh 1 verse 18, John wrote: “No one [“no man,” KJ, Dy] has ever seen God; the only Son [“the only-begotten god,” NW], who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (RS) Had any human seen Jesus Christ, the Son? Of course! So, then, was John saying that Jesus was God? Obviously not. Toward the end of his Gospel, John summarized matters, saying: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, [not God, but] the Son of God.”—John 20:31, RS.
Think about the first time you had a meaningful discussion with one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. What do you remember about it? Many would reply, ‘I was impressed by the fact that the Witness used the Bible to answer all my questions.’ How delighted we were to discover God’s purpose for the earth, what happens when we die, and what the future holds for our dead loved ones! As we studied further, however, we realized that the Bible does much more than answer our questions about life, death, and the future. We came to appreciate that the Bible is the most practical book in the world. Its counsel is timeless, and those who carefully follow it will lead successful and happy lives. (Ps. 1:1-3) Genuine Christians have always accepted the Bible, “not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.”—1 Thess. 2:13.w12 1/15 1:1, 2