We attended meeting last night for the second time this week. Generally, Thursday's and Sunday's are our only meeting days but things shift around a bit when the Circuit Overseer visits. Last night we had the Congregation Bible Study then had a wonderful talk by Brother Bicht. Meeting let out about 8:50 pm and we had 141 in attendance. It still amazes me how our little congregation continues to grow.
It was a rainy night and still is quite rainy and cool this morning. In a couple of weeks I want to get some plants to put out for spring but they will have to wait as we are still under freeze warnings for a couple days over the weekend.
As I did on Wednesday I will share my notes from last nights talk.
The talk was entitled "Hear What the Spirit Has to Say"
First Brother Bicht began with a detailed explanation of how the physical side of hearing works. He gave us all the medical terms which I skipped writing down. It did show that our physical hearing is truly a blessing and a gift from Jehovah God.
Why did he give us this ability?
Check out scriptures at Revelation 2:11, 17, 29 etc. They all begin with "Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit has to say to the congregation" This appears seven times in the book of Revelation
Here Jehovah is not referring to literal "hearing". (hearing: a corridor into the mind)
There are only THREE instances in the entire Bible where Jehovah's God's personal voice is heard by people here on earth.
1. @ Jesus Baptism
2. @ the transfiguration
3. Just before the last passover Jehovah said "i both glorified it and will glorify it again"
He brought out that in Insight on the Scriptures (published by Jehovah's Witnesses) it brings out that some texts refer to the spirit as speaking while others say it has no voice of it's own. It speaks THROUGH others. The spirit works through others.
2 Peter 1:21 shows "For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit." (new world translation of the holy scriptures)
1 Peter 2:2 tells us
[and,] as newborn infants, form a longing for the unadulterated milk belonging to the word, that through it YOU may grow to salvation,
He brought out that babies are born with a natural longing for mother's milk. Peter recognized that for us forming a longing for Bible reading and study may not be natural. The brother stated the Bible says we have to do it, it doesn't say we have to like it. :) It may take us time to learn to enjoy our daily study and reading.
We have to do MORE than just read the Bible. There are over 4 Billion copies of the Bible world wide. Many in the world have read the Bible and many can quote scripture. But do they UNDERSTAND the Bible? Do the KNOW God's name? When they quote the prayer "hallowed be thy name" do they know the name they are supposed to hold holy?
Today Jehovah's spirit speaks to us through the writings and teaching of our Faithful and Discreet slave class. They publish articles through our magazines and books to help us understand the Bible. We should be grateful for what we are provided . He told of several years ago, when the watchtower was still delivered by mail and Brother Hugo Reemer from Bethel was visiting an elderly couple. The magazine came in the mail and the elderly man explained to Brother Reemer that before they even remove the wrapper him and his wife pray to Jehovah that they are worthy of the information Jehovah is about to give them. I thought this point was wonderful. We need to show appreciation for the information we are blessed with. We need to read ALL the information we are given, all articles, this shows we appreciate Jehovah, his spirit and all the hours the brothers and sisters spend helping to provide this for us.
He used a quote from Mark Twain that I hadn't heard before but really liked
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
(side note: this quote really makes a lot of sense. Many of us have the ability to read but if we do not use it we are no better off than an illiterate man)
Reading the Bible, Bible based articles and books, personal Bible Study, meeting attendance can help us to train our conscious. Everyone has a conscious but many choose to stop listening to it. Our conscious can become numb but we can train out conscious to work for us based on what God wants. It can remind us of the way the spirit wants us to walk.
Isaiah 30: 21 And your own ears will hear a word behind you saying: “This is the way. Walk in it, YOU people,” in case YOU people should go to the right or in case YOU should go to the left.
Our conscious can be the "word behind you"
When the spirit talks are we listening? How loud does the spirit have to talk in order for us to listen?
We need to learn how to control our thoughts and actions. When bad thoughts may come to mind we need to learn to turn our thoughts to upbuilding spiritual things. Memorize Bible books, apostles etc.
We then went over how our congregation has improved since the last visit of the Circuit Overseer:
Magazine placements, Bible studies, service are all up.
We have had 5 new baptized ones over the last two years (including me :) )
We have three new pioneers (full time ministers that put in at least 70 hours a month in the ministry)
I look forward to our Sunday meeting and to the last talks from Brother Bicht for this visit.