No. 3: Jehovah’s Witnesses Identified by Fruits Produced (rs p. 135 ¶3–p. 137 ¶1)
Matt. 7:15-20: “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. . . . Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit . . . Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.”
What characterizes their way of life? “The works of the flesh are . . . fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these. . . . Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. On the other hand, the fruitage of [God’s] spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.”—Gal. 5:19-23; see also 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Notice the sections that are in bold, which of course, were highlighted by the Watchtower. I find it interesting that in light of the heading below, the "false prophet" section wasn't in bold. Coincidence? Or purposeful in order that JW's reading will skim past the "false prophet" part in order that they not see the reason for mentioning the "rotten fruit" part? In other words, false prophets will produce bad fruit which includes...you guessed it...false prophecies.
If you are a Jehovah's Witness, have you ever asked yourself what a false prophet is? If so, would the Watchtower qualify in that example? If not, why not? As one who is not a JW, why should I not "beware" of the Watchtower if they have produced this "rotten fruit" in the form of false prophecies?
Have not Jehovah’s Witnesses made errors in their teachings?
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations.—Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6.
Makes the Watchtower sound kinda innocent doesn't it? Let's see if past Watchtower "mistakes" fall into the same category of the apostle's "mistakes." In fact, i'm not even going to answer this. I'll let the quotes speak for themselves:
"While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately." (Luke 19:11)
"So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom of Israel?" (Acts 1:6)
"We see no reason for changing the figures; nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. We see no reason for changing from our opinion expressed in the View presented in the Watch Tower of Jan. 15, '92. (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, p. 226)
Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, to the condition of human perfection. (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 90)
The Scriptures provide time elements related to Christ’s presence, and Jehovah’s Witnesses have studied these with keen interest. (Luke 21:24; Dan. 4:10-17)
Keen interest? These weren't simply speculations. The Watchtower is self-proclaimed as "God's mouthpiece," "Jehovah's one channel of communication on earth today," etc. And they expressed complete certainty in their prophecies. Thus, by their own admissions, those who disagreed with these topics of so-called "keen interest" would be in disagreement with Jehovah Himself.
Jesus also described a many-featured sign that would tie in with the fulfillment of time prophecies to identify the generation that would live to see the end of Satan’s wicked system of things. (Luke 21:7-36)
Are they referring to "Millions now living will never die?" The whole "generation" issue is so complicated, shady, and quite honestly, messy, that I can't see how they can muster up the nerve to even mention it. Even so, the Watchtower continues to publish magazines affirming their "end is near" hysteria in spite of their history of total failure in this area.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have pointed to evidence in fulfillment of this sign. It is true that the Witnesses have made mistakes in their understanding of what would occur at the end of certain time periods, but they have not made the mistake of losing faith or ceasing to be watchful as to fulfillment of Jehovah’s purposes. They have continued to keep to the fore in their thinking the counsel given by Jesus: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”—Matt. 24:42.
Its too bad that JW's didn't obey Matthew 7:15 in response these "mistakes."
Matters on which corrections of viewpoint have been needed have been relatively minor when compared with the vital Bible truths that they have discerned and publicized.
When you claim to be "God's mouthpiece" and "Jehovah's one channel of communication" on earth today, no dogmatic declaration is a "relatively minor" matter. Why? Because any deviation from these "minor" issues will result in disfellowshipping. Wanna try taking a stand for your disagreement of Christ's invisible presence in 1914? I'd be willing to bet that those who do will be excommunicated from not only the organization, but from their friends and family as well. What's worse, you will have forfeited your hope for eternal life by rejecting an issue of "gospel" importance (yes, the Watchtower declares 1914 as "gospel").
Among these are the following: Jehovah is the only true God. Jesus Christ is not part of a Trinitarian godhead but is the only-begotten Son of God. Redemption from sin is possible only through faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice. The holy spirit is not a person but is Jehovah’s active force, and its fruitage must be evident in the lives of true worshipers. The human soul is not immortal, as the ancient pagans claimed; it dies, and the hope for future life is in the resurrection. God’s permission of wickedness has been because of the issue of universal sovereignty. God’s Kingdom is the only hope for mankind. Since 1914 we have been living in the last days of the global wicked system of things. Only 144,000 faithful Christians will be kings and priests with Christ in heaven, whereas the rest of obedient mankind will receive eternal life on a paradise earth.
And what guarantee do you have as a JW that these teachings won't be regarded as "truth" in the future? If the Watchtower decides to abandon 1914, will you oppose them at the expense of your being disfellowshipped?
Another factor to consider regarding the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses is this: Have these truly uplifted people morally? Are those who adhere to these teachings outstanding in their communities because of their honesty? Is their family life beneficially influenced by applying these teachings? Jesus said that his disciples would be readily identified because of having love among themselves. (John 13:35) Is this quality outstanding among Jehovah’s Witnesses? We let the facts speak for themselves.
I'm sorry, but I can't see anything but arrogance here. "Look at how good we are!" The facts do speak for themselves, but not in the Watchtower's favor. Though Paul offered stern exhortations to his fellow believers to model Christ's life, he still considered himself "the least of the apostles" and "unworthy" (1 Cor. 15:9), "the least of all saints" (Eph. 3:8), and the "worst of sinners." (Titus 1:15) The Watchtower would be wise in implementing Paul's admissions rather than boasting of all their righteous deeds.