Watchtower 1/15/1969, pages 50-51
"Are you ready for the responsibilities of a baptized witness?"
"Jesus foretold that among his people there would be a "faithful and discreet slave" class who would be providing the spiritual food to God's family of devoted servants on earth, acting as his channel of communication and overseeing the carrying out of the Kingdom interests world wide. (Matt. 24:45-47) These anointed overseers serve as though being guided in their activities by the right hand of Christ," (Watchtower, Jan. 15, 1969, p. 51).
Comment: Compare this quote to a contradictory quote where it is declared that Charles Taze Russell is the faithful and discreet slave: "Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of "that faithful and wise servant," and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation," (Watchtower, Dec. 1, 1916, p. 357).
(continued) . . .
Baptism brings responsibilities and privileges, but also opposition. Jesus showed that this dedication of one's self to Jehovah must take precedence in one's life, even over family or relatives if they are opposed. Only by one's faithfulness will one be found pleasing to Jehovah and perhaps impress on one's family the importance of their also taking up the same faithful course that leads to life. (Rom. 10:13) As Jesus said, "Whoever is not carrying his torture stake and coming after me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26, 27) Are you willing to do that? The goal toward which one strives is a great one-everlasting life. Since the reward is great, it is only reasonable that achieving it is not easy, but with Jehovah's help it can be gained. Jesus described access to this reward as a narrow gate and a cramped road that few find, but, once found, it is the road to stick to regardless of the problems along the way. (Matt. 7:14) Since Jehovah has shown such love for us through the sacrifice of his Son, to make this prospect of life possible, we want to show unswerving love also for Him in living up to our dedication.--1 John 4:9.
Once one is baptized, one does not lean back and rest on one's laurels, feeling that now one has done what God requires. It is not the end of the road, but the beginning just as Jesus' life showed. It was after his baptism that he commenced his public ministry, throwing himself into the preaching work, despite the opposition and hatred manifested by the religious class in his day, which hatred was appeased finally only by his death. So, recognizing the work ahead, one who dedicates oneself to Jehovah wants to be sure one keeps well equipped for it. This means study. Not just congregational study, but personal Bible study so that when we need convincing Bible answer to help someone appreciate the truth, we will be able to give it. (1 Tim. 4:16) As Proverbs 18:15 says, "The heart of the understanding one acquires knowledge, and the ear of wise ones seeks to find knowledge." Peter urged: "Go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord." (2 Pet. 3:18) Paul counseled, "Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright." (2 Tim. 2:15) Finally, Hebrews 6:1 encourages, "Let us press on to maturity." So the baptized Witness does not slow down or stop his studying of the Scriptures just because he is now baptized or perhaps because the one who previously studied with him discontinues giving this assistance. Rather he sees the need to continue growing in knowledge and under standing himself and so plans a definite schedule for continued personal study and asks Jehovah through prayer to help him by means of his spirit to understand his Word even more as time goes on. (Prov. 2:4-6; Jas. 1:5) He recognizes this as one of the responsibilities of a baptized Witness in order to keep spiritually strong.
His study as well as his association
with Jehovah's people helps him to understand that Jehovah has, not only a heavenly, but also an earthly, visible organization of people doing his will. Jesus foretold that among his people there would be a "faithful and discreet slave" class who would be providing the spiritual food to God's family of devoted servants on earth, acting as his channel of communication and overseeing the carrying out of the Kingdom interests world wide. (Matt. 24:45-47) These anointed overseers serve as though being guided in their activities by the right hand of Christ. They take the same viewpoint as Jesus had when he said to Jehovah, "Let, not my will, but yours take place," (Luke 22:42) To illustrate the harmony that would prevail in Jehovah's organization, Jesus likened it, in John 15:1-10, to a vine with branches. Jehovah is the Great Cultivator, Jesus is the vine and those coming into spiritual union with him are the branches. Clearly this necessitates a recognition of Jehovah's organization in the earth today. This vine is a productive one bearing fruit that will last through Armageddon.--Heb. 13:7, 17.
What kind of fruit is it that those attached to the vine must bear in order to have God's favor and to avoid being pruned off as unproductive sprouts? Actually the Scriptures mention two kinds of fruitage that a Christian would endeavor to cultivate. One is the fruitage of the spirit, including love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness and self-control (Gal. 5:22, 23). To stay in harmony with Christ and to be pleasing to Jehovah, these qualities must be produced. But we want to see such fruitage, not only in ourselves, but also in others. Those who are disciples of Christ understand that it is Jehovah's will that they make disciples of others also. As Proverbs 11:30 says, "The fruitage of the righteous one is a tree of life, and he that is winning souls is wise." This was the work to which Paul and the early Christians devoted themselves. Paul wrote to the Romans (1:13) that he hoped to come to minister among them that he 'might acquire some fruitage also among them even as among the rest of the nations.' By this he referred to Kingdom fruitage or Christian disciples. Each one who dedicates himself to Jehovah has a responsibility in this regard to endeavor to acquire fruitage by discipling people of the nations.
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