Friday, May 26 2023Let the one who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one taking the lead as the one ministering.—Luke 22:26.
We conduct ourselves as “the youngest” when we “consider others superior” to us. (Phil. 2:3) The more we cultivate that attitude, the less likely we are to stumble others. All our brothers and sisters are superior to us in one way or another. It is not hard to see this when we focus on their positive qualities. We should take to heart the counsel that the apostle Paul gave to the Corinthians: “Who makes you different from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it?” (1 Cor. 4:7) We should beware of any temptation to draw attention to ourselves or to think of ourselves as superior to others. If a brother gives stimulating talks or a sister is gifted at starting Bible studies, he or she should be quick to give the credit to Jehovah. w21.06 22 ¶9-10
Examining the Scriptures Daily—2023
Dear E-watchman, what is your understanding of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13? Paul indicates that the miraculous gifts would stop but that t...
|Dear E-watchman, what is your understanding of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13? Paul indicates that the miraculous gifts would stop but that they would stop only when that which is "complete" arrives, a time which he defines with statements about seeing Christ "face to face" and knowing Him "accurately even as I am accurately known". This "seeing" and "knowing" is realized only when the anointed are glorified, is it not? How can it be said that this was accomplished when the "complete" Bible arrived? If this is the case then why are the gifts not still in evidence among the anointed today? Is it perhaps because they have been disapproved by God ever since the close of the 1st century?|
|The apostles initially believed and taught that Christ would return before the last apostle died. For example, when discussing the heavenly resurrection, Paul included himself among the "we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord." Obviously, though, neither Paul nor any other 1st Century disciple survived until the expected "presence of the Lord."|
Please recall that as a result of their misunderstanding Jesus' parting words to them, the apostles spread a rumor among the brothers to the affect that John would survive until Christ returned. Years later John set the record straight in the last chapter of John. Ironically, however, as the last surviving apostle, John did see the return of Christ—at least in vision. That's because John was privileged to experience the rapturous revelation vision; which capped the apostolic era, in which the aged apostle interacted with Christ during the Lord's Day.
But, the point is, that, the prophecies seamlessly link the apostolic era with the harvest period of the Lord's Day. So, from Paul's perspective he expected "that which is complete," meaning the full-grown body of Christ, to arrive during his lifetime. And, as pointed out, Christ did arrive, symbolically at least, when he gave the apocalypse to John. Apparently, by that time the gifts of the spirit were already being phased out.
It is worth taking note of the fact that Paul did not specifically say that tongues would continue all the way until anointed Christians have a face-to-face meeting with Jesus Christ. He merely said that until such time as we meet him we only have "partial knowledge and we prophecy partially."
Obviously, the speaking in tongues and other gifts of the spirit were characteristics of the infant-like Christian congregation. But, even without those gifts the congregation still only had partial knowledge of Christ. That is the point: With or without the gifts of the spirit, Christ's anointed congregation still has not grown up into the full stature of Christ.
So, even though speaking in tongues and the gifts of prophesying are no longer in evidence today among true Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses ought to be acutely aware of the fact that our knowledge of the truth and understanding of prophecy is partial and will remain so until Jesus finally arrives and receives his disciples home to himself.