“I Am With You”
“Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.”—DANIEL 12:4.
WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?
In our time, how have people been able to find “the true knowledge”?
How have those who accepted the truth become “many”?
In what ways has accurate knowledge become “abundant”?
1, 2. (a) How do we know that Jesus is with us now and will be with us in the future? (b) According to Daniel 12:4, what would happen when some carefully studied the Scriptures?
IMAGINE that you are in Paradise. Each morning, you wake up feeling good and excited to start a new day. You have no aches or pains. You have no more health problems. You can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste perfectly. You have a lot of energy, you enjoy your work, you have many friends, and you have nothing to worry about. These are blessings you can have when God’s Kingdom rules the earth. Our King, Jesus Christ, will give humans these blessings and make sure that everyone on earth learns about Jehovah.
2 At that time, God and his Son will help loyal ones to teach others about Jehovah. In fact, Jehovah and Jesus have always helped loyal Christians to teach others. Before he went to heaven, Jesus told his disciples: “I am with you.” So he would continue to help them. (Read Matthew 28:19, 20.) To strengthen our faith in Jesus’ promise, we will now discuss a prophecy that Daniel wrote in Babylon more than 2,500 years ago. He wrote about our time: “Many will rove about, and the true knowledge will become abundant.” (Daniel 12:4) We now understand that in this verse, to “rove about” means to study carefully. The prophecy shows that those who carefully study the Scriptures would have the marvelous blessing of finding the true, or accurate, knowledge of God’s Word. The prophecy also says that “the true knowledge will become abundant.” Those who find this knowledge would accept it and teach these truths to others. Also, people everywhere would be able to learn these truths. We will now see how this prophecy has come true. This will strengthen our faith that Jesus is with his disciples today and that Jehovah will fulfill all his promises for the future.
SINCERE CHRISTIANS FIND “THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE”
3. What happened after the death of the apostles?
3 The apostasy foretold by the apostle Paul started after the death of the apostles and spread as quickly as fire. (Acts 20:28-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) For hundreds of years, even those who called themselves Christians did not have “the true knowledge.” Religious leaders said that they believed in the Scriptures but taught people “teachings of demons,” lies that dishonored God. (1 Timothy 4:1) As a result, most people did not know the truth about God. Instead, they were taught such lies as God is a Trinity, the soul does not die, and some souls burn in hell forever.
4. How did a group of Christians in the 1870’s begin to search for Bible truth?
4 But things changed in the 1870’s, about 40 years before “the last days” began. A small group of sincere Christians in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., met together to study the Bible carefully and to search for true knowledge. (2 Timothy 3:1) They called themselves Bible Students. They were humble people who sincerely wanted to do God’s will. They were not “the wise and intellectual ones” Jesus said would not be able to find “the true knowledge.” (Matthew 11:25) The Bible Students carefully read, discussed, and meditated on the Scriptures, and they prayed for God’s direction. They compared different verses in the Bible and studied the writings of others who had searched for Bible truth. Little by little, the Bible Students learned truths that many people had not known for hundreds of years.
5. Why did the Bible Students print tracts called The Old Theology?
5 The Bible Students were very happy about what they were learning, but they did not become proud. They understood that these truths had always been in the Bible. So they did not tell others that they had found something new. (1 Corinthians 8:1) Instead, they printed tracts called The Old Theology to help others learn Bible truths. The first tracts helped people study the Bible so that they could reject “all false traditions of men” and accept the true teachings of Jesus and the apostles, or “the old theology.”—The Old Theology, No. 1, April 1889, page 32.
6, 7. (a) What truths have Jehovah’s Witnesses learned since the 1870’s? (b) What truths were you especially happy to learn?
6 Since the 1870’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses have learned many marvelous truths. * (See footnote.) When we study these truths, we are not just learning facts. We are learning exciting things that improve our lives. These truths make us happy and give us hope for the future. They help us to get to know our loving God, Jehovah, and understand his will. They explain who Jesus is, why he came to earth and died, and what he is doing now. These precious truths help us to understand why God allows evil things to happen, why we die, how we should pray, and how we can be truly happy.
7 We can now understand prophecies that were a “secret” for a very long time but are being fulfilled in the time of the end. (Daniel 12:9) Many of these prophecies are in the Gospels and in the book of Revelation. For example, Jehovah has helped us to know about things that happened in heaven that no human could see. We know that Jesus has become King, that there was a war in heaven, and that Satan was thrown down to the earth. (Revelation 12:7-12) God has also helped us understand the meaning of things that we can see. We understand why there are wars, earthquakes, sicknesses, and food shortages, and why people do the bad things that make our times “hard to deal with.”—2 Timothy 3:1-5; Luke 21:10, 11.
8. Who is the One who has made it possible for us to understand the truth?
8 Jesus told his disciples: “Happy are the eyes that behold the things you are beholding. For I say to you, Many prophets and kings desired to see the things you are beholding but did not see them, and to hear the things you are hearing but did not hear them.” (Luke 10:23, 24) That is how we feel today. Jehovah God is the one who has made it possible for us to “see” and “hear,” or understand, the truth. We are so grateful that he uses his holy spirit, “the helper,” to help us fully understand the truth! (Read John 16:7, 13.) We should never forget that the truth is precious and that we need to help others to learn it.
“MANY” ACCEPT “THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE”
9. What invitation was in the Watch Tower of April 1881?
9 In the Watch Tower of April 1881, less than two years after the magazine began to be printed, there was an article called “Wanted 1,000 Preachers.” The article invited those who could give half or more of their time to the preaching work to become colporteurs, or pioneers. They were asked to go everywhere they could to search for sincere Christians who loved God but did not have accurate knowledge and to teach them the truth about God and the Bible.
10. What did many want to do after reading the invitation for 1,000 preachers?
10 The Bible Students invited others to preach because they realized that true Christians must preach the good news. At that time, there were only a few hundred people who attended the meetings of the Bible Students, so not as many as they had hoped for accepted that invitation. But many people who read a tract or a magazine realized they had found the truth, and they wanted to help others. For example, in 1882, a person from London, England, who had read a Watch Tower magazine and a booklet of the Bible Students wrote: “Please instruct me how and what to preach so as to accomplish the blessed work God wishes done.”
11, 12. (a) What was the goal of the colporteurs? (b) How did the colporteurs form new congregations?
11 In 1885, there were about 300 colporteurs. They had the same goal as we do today. They wanted to make disciples of Jesus Christ. But the way they did this was different from how we do this today. We usually study the Bible with one person at a time. We then invite the Bible student to attend meetings with the congregation. But in the past, the colporteurs studied with groups of people. They placed books and then invited interested ones to meet together to study the Bible. In this way, the colporteurs formed new congregations, which they called classes.
12 For example, in 1907, a group of colporteurs searched through a city to find those who already had copies of Millennial Dawn (books also called Studies in the Scriptures). Then the colporteurs invited them to a Sunday meeting in the home of one of the interested ones. On that Sunday, a colporteur gave a talk about the Divine Plan of the Ages for the whole day. On the next Sunday, he encouraged those who attended to continue meeting together regularly. In 1911, the brothers tried another way of making disciples. Fifty-eight brothers traveled to different parts of the United States and Canada to give public talks. They would write down the names and addresses of interested people who attended those meetings. Then they would organize these interested ones into groups that met in private homes. In this way, they formed new congregations. In 1914, there were 1,200 congregations of Bible Students around the world.
13. What do you find amazing about the preaching work?
13 Today, there are about 109,400 congregations all over the world, and about 895,800 brothers and sisters are pioneers. Almost eight million people now accept “the true knowledge” and use it in their lives. (Read Isaiah 60:22.) * (See footnote.) This increase is amazing, since Jesus foretold that many people would hate his disciples. He said that people would persecute them, put them in prison, and even kill them. (Luke 21:12-17) Although Satan, his demons, and many humans have tried to stop the preaching work, Jehovah’s people continue to make disciples and are having wonderful results. They are now preaching in “all the inhabited earth,” from the hottest parts to the coldest, in mountains, in deserts, in cities, and in places where few people live. (Matthew 24:14) Only with Jehovah’s help could they do all this work.
TRUE KNOWLEDGE BECOMES “ABUNDANT”
14. How has true knowledge become abundant through our publications?
14 True knowledge has become abundant because many are preaching the good news. It has also become abundant through publications, such as books and magazines. In July 1879, the Bible Students published the first Watchtower magazine. At that time, it was called Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. The Bible Students hired a company to print 6,000 copies of that first magazine in English. Charles Taze Russell, who was then 27 years old, was chosen to be the editor, and five other mature brothers regularly wrote articles for the magazine. Today, 42,182,000 copies of each issue of The Watchtower are printed in 195 languages. It is the most widely distributed magazine on earth. The second most widely distributed magazine is Awake! We print 41,042,000 copies of each issue of Awake! in 84 languages. Also, about 100 million books and Bibles are printed each year.
15. Where do we get the money to print our publications?
15 The money for this work comes from voluntary donations. (Read Matthew 10:8.) Those in the printing business are impressed by this because they know that machines, paper, ink, and other materials are very expensive. A brother who buys materials for Bethel printeries says that when business people visit Bethel, they are amazed at what we can do with voluntary donations. They are surprised that we can afford such modern printing presses that can produce so many publications. They are also surprised at how young and happy the workers at Bethel are.
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD WILL FILL THE EARTH
16. Why has Jehovah made “the true knowledge” abundant?
16 Jehovah has made “the true knowledge” abundant because his will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) Jehovah wants people to know the truth so that they can worship him properly and receive his blessing. Through the preaching work, he has gathered a faithful group of anointed Christians. He is also gathering “a great crowd” out of “all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues,” who have the hope of living forever on earth.—Revelation 7:9.
17. What does the increase in the number of true worshippers show?
17 The number of true worshippers everywhere on earth has really grown over the past 130 years. This increase clearly shows that God and his appointed King, Jesus Christ, have been with Jehovah’s servants on earth by directing, protecting, organizing, and teaching them. Jehovah has kept his promise to help many find the truth in our time, and we can be sure that he will fulfill his promises for the future. “The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) Just think of the wonderful blessings humans will have at that time!
^ par. 6 You can learn more by watching the DVDs Jehovah’s Witnesses—Faith in Action, Part 1: Out of Darkness and Jehovah’s Witnesses—Faith in Action, Part 2: Let the Light Shine.
^ par. 13 See Isaiah’s Prophecy—Light for All Mankind II, page 320.
SOME EXPRESSIONS EXPLAINED
“The true knowledge”: Accurate knowledge of God’s Word
Colporteurs: Pioneers were called colporteurs before 1931
[Blurb on page 4]
With God’s help, the Bible Students learned truths that many people had not known for hundreds of years
[Blurb on page 6]
The Bible Students realized that true Christians must preach the good news
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Jehovah and Jesus have been with us by directing, protecting, organizing, and teaching us
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The Bible Students were humble people who sincerely wanted to do God’s will
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Jehovah values your efforts in spreading “the true knowledge” of God