This issue of the Watchtower study edition may prove to contain some of the most authoritative and controlling statements ever made by the organization. If there is ever an issue that you'll want to get your hands on, this would be the one. Because this is a "members only" magazine, it may be difficult to obtain. Fortunately, you can download a PDF of the full issue HERE. To anyone who is unfamiliar in how to witness to JW's, this would be a great place to start. When a JW comes to your door, have this issue handy and point out the things that I talk about in this blog. And remember, the key is to get them to think for themselves. That is, ask more questions and make less statements!
The first flaw to be noted is the faulty assumption that there is a second class of Jehovah's Witnesses called "The Anointed." According to Watchtower theology (as opposed to the Bible), the "anointed" represent a literal group of 144,000 who will rule in reign with Christ in heaven while the rest live on paradise earth. Apparently, these JW's are an elitist group who, conveniently, are able to understand the Scriptures apart from a higher authority of men (unlike the rank-and-file). That is, is it not interesting that non-anointed JW's must have guidance from the "faithful slave" in order to understand what the Bible says, whereas the anointed don't require this? What do the anointed have that the rank-and-file don't? Wouldn't their logic require that the anointed have leaders above them so that they can understand the Scriptures?Jesus Christ proved to be the primary part of Abraham’s “seed.” Anointed Christians form the secondary part of that foretold “seed.” They have been commissioned to “declare abroad the excellencies of the one that called [them] out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (Gal. 3:7-9, 14, 16, 26- 29; 1 Pet. 2:9) We cannot hope to acquire a good relationship with Jehovah if we ignore those whom Jesus has appointed to care for his belongings. Without the assistance of “the faithful and discreet slave,” we would neither understand the full import of what we read in God’s Word nor know how to apply it. (Matt. 24:45-47) By putting into practice the things we are learning from the Scriptures, we can secure ourselves God’s blessing. (p. 8 paragraph 7)
- Do any of the cited Scriptures prove that Christians need this elitist group to understand Scripture?
- Can I understand Romans 5:1 simply by reading it? What knowledge would the anointed provide that I couldn't gain by careful Bible study of this verse?
- If the anointed are wrong in their interpretation, how can I know?
Like Jacob, we do not know all the details of the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose. Yet, by studying God’s Word, we perceive a general outline of what to expect concerning “Jehovah’s day.” (2 Pet. 3:10, 17) (p. 9 paragraph 11)Of course, it is one thing to claim "Bible study," but another to actually do it. Rarely, if ever, will you see a picture of a JW doing Bible study using the Bible alone. The reason being, the Watchtower knows that the following will occur:
This is truly an amazing statement and a complete lack of confidence on the Watchtower's part. If you believe your doctrine to be biblical, then why not encourage more Bible study as opposed to Watchtower literature study?*** w81 8/15 pp. 28-29 par. 14 Serving Jehovah “Shoulder to Shoulder” ***They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,’ they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago.
So pour your heart into every assign- ment. Always look to Jehovah for success. (Mark 11:23, 24) As you do, be assured that “everyone seeking finds.” (Matt. 7:8) Spirit- anointed ones will be blessed with “the crown of life” in the heavens. (Jas. 1:12) Christ’s “other sheep,” who are striving to receive a blessing for themselves by means of Abraham’s seed, will delight to hear Him say: “Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.” (John 10:16; Matt. 25:34) Yes, “those being blessed by [God] will themselves possess the earth, . . . and they will reside forever upon it.”—Ps. 37:22, 29. (p. 11 paragraph 18)Matthew 25:34 is a big problem for the Watchtower's two-class salvation system. The reason being, according to the Watchtower (as opposed to the Bible), the "anointed" 144,000 are the only ones who are born again, and thus the only ones who will see the kingdom (John 3:3). But here, the Watchtower is claiming that most JW's will "inherit the kingdom," but will not go to heaven. The following questions may help a JW to see the faulty reasoning of the Watchtower:
- Will you see the Kingdom of God?
- What does it mean to inherit something? (Maybe do a Bible study on the word) If "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom" (1 Cor. 15:50), then how can those living on earth inherit the kingdom?
- If you inherit the kingdom of God, will you then see the kingdom of God?
- According to John 3:3, what must happen before you can see the kingdom?
A careful reading of the book of Acts will paint a very different picture than that of the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, whereby a small group of men dogmatically declare anything and everything that the seven million JW's worldwide will believe and practice; from how they dress, to how often they will attend meetings, and to what each and every JW should believe on practically any issue. Do we find this type of activity in the book of Acts? Or did the "governing body" meet when there were serious problems arising in the church? Furthermore, was the governing body in the first century distributing man-made "bible literature," or the Word of God itself? More of this is discussed HERE.First-century Christians enjoyed unity because they all received encouragement from the same source. They recognized that Jesus was teaching and directing the congregation through a governing body, composed of the apostles and older men in Je- rusalem. These devoted men based their decisions on God’s Word and had traveling overseers communicate their instructions to the congregations in many lands. Concerning some such overseers, the Bible says: “As they traveled on through the cities they would deliver to those there for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Je- rusalem.”—Acts 15:6, 19-22; 16:4. (p. 13 paragraph 7)
First, where does Isaiah 54:13 or its context even hint at a group of men who, thousands of years later, will have the capacity to utter words "not from men?" Its amazing how such statements can be made without Scriptural support!Similarly today, a Governing Body composed of spirit-anointed Christians contributes to the unity of the worldwide con- gregation. The Governing Body publishes spiritually encouraging literature in many languages. This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah.—Isa. 54:13. (p. 13 paragraph 8)
Does the Watchtower teach what is from men or what is from Jehovah? If you are a Christian, imagine your pastor this sunday saying, "What is preached behind this pulpit is not from men, but from God himself!" Any semi-discerning Christian would run for the hills. This is simply a statement made to control the minds of JW's. Anyone who is remotely familiar with Watchtower history knows full well that they have taught falsehoods (and continue to do so!).
- Has the Watchtower always taught what is from Jehovah?
- When the Watchtower was promoting satanic practices, like pyramidology, were they teaching what was from men, or Jehovah?
- With this mindset, how could anyone know when the Watchtower is teaching something false, since any JW will admit they "make mistakes?"
Jehovah's Witnesses have no human leaders but yet they are required to believe anything and everything that men (a.k.a. the governing body) tell them? It is truly amazing to make such a claim when the reality is, if a Jehovah's Witness wants to know the truth about something, they can't go to the Bible first. Why? Because according to the earlier quote, they can't understand the Bible! That is, they must go to what the "faithful slave" says about the Bible.CHRISTENDOM’S churches have human leaders, such as the pope of Rome, the patriarchs and metropolitans of the EasternOrthodox churches, and the heads of other religions. Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize no human as their leader. They are not disciples or followers of any man. (p. 21 paragraph 1)
This is complete and utter blasphemy. For any man to say, "By following me, you are following Christ" is just about as anti-Christ as one could get. There is no statement anywhere in the Bible which would even hint at the fact that Christians are to follow their leaders as if they were Christ!Also by means of holy spirit, Christ gave “gifts in men,” some “as shepherds and teachers” in the congregation. (Eph. 4:8, 11) The apostle Paul urged Christian overseers: “Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God.” (Acts 20:28) When the Christian congregation began, all these overseers were spirit-anointed men. The apostles and the elders of the Jerusalem congregation acted as a governing body. Christ used this instrument to lead the entire group of his anointed “brothers” on earth. (Heb. 2:11; Acts 16:4, 5) In this time of the end, Christ has committed “all his belongings”—all the earthly interests of the Kingdom—to his “faithful and discreet slave” and its representative Governing Body, a group of anointed Christian men. (Matt. 24:45-47) The anointed and their other sheep companions recognize that by following the lead of the modern-day Governing Body, they are in fact following their Leader, Christ. (p. 23 paragraph 8)
- If your leaders, the governing body, teach something that is false; does that mean that Jesus Christ is teaching something that is false?
- What Scriptures can you provide which suggests that true Christians should follow their leaders as if they are following Christ?
The Watchtower is shooting themselves in the foot like never before. Are they forgetting about their history and what they were teaching before 1919; the year that they were supposedly selected by Jesus Christ Himself? Was it a "Bible truth" that in 1914 the end would come? Was it a "Bible truth" that organ transplants were forbidden? Was it a "Bible truth" that pyramids are a testimony to Jehovah? But an even larger problem arises: there will be no room for "that was then, this is now" excuses by Jehovah's Witnesses who are quick to dismiss their history.Still, Christ found these same faithful anointed Christians doing their utmost to provide timely spiritual food for the house- hold of faith. From 1879 onward, through thick and thin, they had been publishing Biblical truths about God’s Kingdom in the pages of this magazine. Jesus had prophesied that “on arriving” to inspect his domestics during “the conclusion of the system of things,” he would find a slave providing them “food at the proper time.” He would pronounce that slave happy and would “appoint him over all his belongings” on earth. (Matt. 24:3, 45-47) As Head of the Christian congregation, Christ has used this “faithful and discreet slave” to administer His Kingdom interests on earth. He has provided direction for the anointed “domestics” and their “other sheep” companions by means of a Governing Body.—John 10:16. (p. 26 paragraph 4)
In our day, as reigning King invested with “all authority . . . in heaven and on the earth,” Christ our Leader exercises active headship over the congregations worldwide and their overseers. (Matt. 28:18; Col. 1:18) (p. 27 paragraph 8)The Watchtower teaches that Jesus was not king and was not ruling and reigning until 1914. But yet, Matt. 28:18 and Col. 1:18 are used to substantiate Christ's rulership. But notice the time tense that is used with regards to Matthew 28:18:
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”(Matthew 28:18)
Would this not indicate that Christ had "all authority" at the time in which he was making the statement? If so, then how can the Watchtower use this text in support of Christ supposedly being enthroned 2,000 years later?
Talk about importing your theology into the text! Is there anything in the text whereby the "sheep" are a separate group of Christians from the "anointed?" But then again, this is not a problem for Jehovah's Witnesses, as they are not capable of understanding the text on its own anyway. This needs to be pointed out regularly. Whenever a JW man-handles a text in this way, you need to point out that their ultimate authority is not the Bible, but the governing body.“When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.” (Matt. 25:31-33) This refers to Christ’s coming as Judge to separate people of “all the nations” into two categories: “the sheep,” those who will have actively supported his spiritual brothers (anointed Christians on earth) and “the goats,” those “who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.” (2 Thess. 1:7, 8) The sheep, described as “righteous ones,” will receive “everlasting life” on earth, but the goats “will depart into everlasting cutting-off,” or destruction.—Matt. 25:34, 40, 41, 45, 46. (p. 29 paragraph 15)
- Where in the text is there a differentiation between "the sheep" and the "anointed?"
- According to the text, what two types of people are there?
- Where in the text does it speak of "supporting anointed Christians?"
I want to stress again how important it is to be prepared to "give a defense" (1 Peter 3:15) when you are confronted by a Jehovah's Witness. Though you may feel ill-equipped in not knowing what JW's to believe, this issue is the perfect one to have handy. Get your highlighter out and mark up the relevant portions. And when a JW knocks on your door, ask them, "Would you mind going through an issue of the Watchtower with me? I have some questions that I would like to ask you about it." Even though you may be ignorant about their theology, you can still ask questions and get the thinking process started. And once this begins, you'll have the perfect opportunity to present the gospel.
I pray that this review was helpful for you all, JW and non-JW alike!