Are You Receiving “Food at the Proper Time”?
WE LIVE in the most difficult time of all human history. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Each day, our love for Jehovah and our obedience to his righteous standards are tested. Jesus knew that these times would be difficult, so he promised his followers that he would give them the encouragement they would need to endure to the end. (Matthew 24:3, 13; 28:20) To provide this help, Jesus appointed a faithful slave to give spiritual “food at the proper time.”—Matthew 24:45, 46.
The faithful slave was appointed in 1919. Since then, the slave has provided spiritual food in many languages for God’s people. (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 22:17) However, the same amount of Bible literature is not available in all languages. Not everyone has access to our publications in electronic forms. For example, many are not able to view videos or articles published only on jw.org. Does this mean that some Christians do not have all the spiritual food they need? To find the answer, let us discuss four important questions.
1. What is the main ingredient in the food that Jehovah provides?
When Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, Jesus said: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matthew 4:3, 4) Jehovah’s words are in the Bible. (2 Peter 1:20, 21) So the main ingredient in our spiritual food is the Bible.—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
Jehovah’s organization has provided the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This translation is available in whole or in part in over 120 languages, and each year more languages are added. Besides the New World Translation, billions of copies of other Bible translations are available in thousands of languages. This accomplishment is in harmony with God’s will that “all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) And because Jehovah knows the hearts of all people, we can be sure that he will draw those who are “conscious of their spiritual need” to his organization and provide spiritual food for them.—Matthew 5:3, 6; John 6:44; 10:14; Hebrews 4:13.
2. In what way are our publications a vital part of our spiritual food?
In order to have strong faith, a person must not only read the Bible but also understand it and apply what he learns. (James 1:22-25) This is what an Ethiopian man in the first century needed to do. When Philip the evangelizer saw this man reading God’s Word, Philip asked him: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” The man said: “Really, how could I ever do so unless someone guided me?” (Acts 8:26-31) Philip then helped the man to understand what he was reading. The man was so moved by what he learned that he decided to get baptized. (Acts 8:32-38) Similarly, our publications have helped us to understand the truth found in God’s Word. What we read affects our emotions and moves us to apply what we learn.—Colossians 1:9, 10.
Our publications provide us as Jehovah’s servants with plenty of good things to “eat” and “drink.” (Isaiah 65:13) For example, The Watchtower is available in over 210 languages. It explains prophecy, helps us to understand important truths, and motivates us to live by God’s principles. The Awake! magazine is available in about 100 languages. It helps us to learn more about Jehovah’s beautiful creation and teaches us how to apply the useful advice found in the Bible. (Proverbs 3:21-23; Romans 1:20) The faithful slave provides publications based on God’s Word in more than 680 languages! Do you take the time to read the Bible each day? Do you read each new magazine and all the new publications available in your language?
Jehovah’s organization also provides outlines for talks that are given at our meetings, assemblies, and conventions. Do you enjoy the talks, dramas, demonstrations, and interviews that are presented there? Yes, Jehovah provides us with an abundant supply of spiritual food!—Isaiah 25:6.
3. If you do not have access in your language to all the publications, does this mean that you do not have enough spiritual food?
The answer is no! We should not be surprised if some Christians receive more spiritual food than others. Why not? Take, for example, the apostles. In Jesus’ time, they received more instruction than other disciples in the first century. (Mark 4:10; 9:35-37) Still, the other disciples received the spiritual food they needed.—Ephesians 4:20-24; 1 Peter 1:8.
It is good to remember that most of what Jesus said and did while on earth is not written in the Bible. The apostle John wrote: “There are also, in fact, many other things that Jesus did, which if ever they were written in full detail, I suppose the world itself could not contain the scrolls written.” (John 21:25) Christians in the first century had more information about Jesus than we do. Still, we are not deprived. Why? Because Jehovah has made sure that we know enough about our Master, Jesus, so that we can follow his example.—1 Peter 2:21.
Think, too, of the letters sent by the apostles to congregations in the first century. At least one letter written by Paul was not included in the Bible. (Colossians 4:16) Does this mean that we do not have enough spiritual food because we do not have this letter? No. Jehovah knows what we need and has given us enough in order to keep us spiritually strong.—Matthew 6:8.
Jehovah knows what we need and has given us enough in order to keep us spiritually strong
Some of Jehovah’s people have an abundance of spiritual food. But perhaps you speak a language in which only a few publications are available. If that is the case, know that Jehovah cares for you. Study the publications you do have, and attend the meetings in a language that you understand. In this way, your relationship with Jehovah will remain strong.—Psalm 1:2; Hebrews 10:24, 25.
4. If you are not able to get information that is published on jw.org, will your faith weaken?
Copies of our magazines and other publications are published on our Web site. This site also contains information that helps married couples, parents, teenagers, and young children. Families benefit by using this information for their family worship. Our Web site contains reports about special programs, such as Gilead graduations and the annual meeting, and provides updates about natural disasters and legal cases that affect Jehovah’s people. (1 Peter 5:8, 9) Also, the Web site is a very useful tool for our preaching work. It allows the good news to reach lands where our work is restricted or banned.
However, you can remain strong in the truth whether you have access to our Web site or not. The slave has provided enough printed material so that all Christians receive the spiritual food they need. Thus, there is no reason to feel that you must buy an electronic device just to go on jw.org. Some have made arrangements to print a limited amount of information found on the Web site for those they know personally who do not have Internet access. But congregations are not required to do this.
We are grateful to Jesus for keeping his promise to give us what we need to remain spiritually strong. We can be confident that Jehovah will continue to provide spiritual “food at the proper time” until the end of this wicked world.