Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review of the September 15, 2010 Watchtower Study Edition


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!

 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)
 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?
  1. Do any of the cited Scriptures prove that Christians need this elitist group to understand Scripture?
  2. 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?
  3. 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:
*** 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.
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?  
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:
  1. Will you see the Kingdom of God?
  2. 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?
  3. If you inherit the kingdom of God, will you then see the kingdom of God?
  4. According to John 3:3, what must happen before you can see the kingdom?
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)
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.
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)
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!  


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!).  
  1. Has the Watchtower always taught what is from Jehovah?
  2. When the Watchtower was promoting satanic practices, like pyramidology, were they teaching what was from men, or Jehovah?
  3. With this mindset, how could anyone know when the Watchtower is teaching something false, since any JW will admit they "make mistakes?"
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)
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.  
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)
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!  
  1. If your leaders, the governing body, teach something that is false; does that mean that Jesus Christ is teaching something that is false?
  2. What Scriptures can you provide which suggests that true Christians should follow their leaders as if they are following Christ?
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)
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.  
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?
“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)
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.  
  1. Where in the text is there a differentiation between "the sheep" and the "anointed?"
  2. According to the text, what two types of people are there?
  3. 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!

40 comments:

李哲維 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。.................................................................                           

Mark Hunter said...

Where are the JW apologists? I really want to see this Watchtower magazine defended as it's the most blatant piece of self-serving, self-promoting, self-worshiping propaganda I've ever seen coming out of the Watch Tower Society.

Anonymous said...

Kind of a long, boring discussion here. But I will do my best to explain this you (Mark Hunter).

First, the reason this isn't distributed to the public is because they use a language most who aren't JW's won't understand. And to, they don't to explain every issue or comment with a scripture if it is recognized as a doctrinal fact.

So, Mike's first three questions:

1.Do any of the cited Scriptures prove that Christians need this elitist group to understand Scripture?

They don't need to cite scriputres to prove such as we believe they are Christ's brothers.

2.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?

No, you can't.

3.If the anointed are wrong in their interpretation, how can I know?

Why would someone trust a stranger over the a group on Anointed Broter's who taught them Jah's good ways. Why would a people look elsewhere when the Anointed teach Christian's to live honest and moral lives beyond what anyone else teaches?

Next batch of Q's:

1.Will you see the Kingdom of God?

We will se benefits. (2 Peter 3:13)


2.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?

Explained by 2 Peter 3:13, Rev 21:1, Isa 65:17, Isa 66:22.


3.If you inherit the kingdom of God, will you then see the kingdom of God?

If you are a co-ruler with Christ. If you are of the 'Other Sheep', we will see blessings of Kingdom. I think you asked this already.

4.According to John 3:3, what must happen before you can see the kingdom?

There you go. So the anointed, co-rulers will see the literal Kingdom. Very good Mike.

Next fews questions...

1.Has the Watchtower always taught what is from Jehovah?

They have done their best and continue to correct themselves where they fall short. Took some time to get rid of those pagan teachings that still are in all of Christendom.

2.When the Watchtower was promoting satanic practices, like pyramidology, were they teaching what was from men, or Jehovah?

They had some dirt on their hands, but they were washing. They were still treating Jesus with some of Jah's glory too, but that ended before the 30's. What about today?

3.With this mindset, how could anyone know when the Watchtower is teaching something false, since any JW will admit they "make mistakes?"

Good question. I think John 15:18,19 helps answer nicely. With mistakes and now doing things pretty well, we are still hated, yet we have love for all.

Mike Felker said...

Anonymous, I was actually pretty excited to see a JW take a stab at these questions. Then when I realized what you offered were not answers but "responses," I was pretty disappointed. But then again, you are trying to defend the indefensible; a man-made, fallible human organization that seeks to elevate itself to the level of Christ.

Mark Hunter said...

Anonymous, quick question;

How do you understand John 5:22,23?

I'm curious in light of this statement you made;
"They had some dirt on their hands, but they were washing. They were still treating Jesus with some of Jah's glory too, but that ended before the 30's. What about today?"

I'm asking as you seem to imply that giving glory to Jesus would be tantamount to "having dirt" on your hands.

Mark Hunter said...

"First, the reason this isn't distributed to the public is because they use a language most who aren't JW's won't understand. And to, they don't to explain every issue or comment with a scripture if it is recognized as a doctrinal fact."

I didn't ask why the Watch Tower Society publishes a "private" magazine. I asked a Jehovah's Witness to defend their Governing Body promoting themselves in such a worshipful way.

Mark Hunter said...

Ignore (email follow-up only)

Anonymous said...

Mike, I answered your questions. Infact, you asked a good question,
"Will you see the Kingdom of God?" and I gave the answer. Now just because you don't like the answer doesn't mean it isn't an answer.

Mark Hunter, let me answer, or respond to your comment about "giving glory to Jesus would be tantamount to "having dirt" on your hands."


That would be Christmas. Just about as pagan as it gets. Worship one sun and replace it with another. Though we did celebrate Christmas, I still believe they are the truth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

As the WT says themself that they annointed have no additional Holy Spirit over anyone else, how exactly is God using them in a way different than anyone else. If they have what everyone else does, how is their interpretation any more valid than mine, assuming I also have the Holy Spirit?

Also, you state we will see the benefits of the kingdom, yet how do you justify limiting yourself to this when Matthew 25 says that the sheep will inherit the kingdom and the WT applies this text to the other sheep?

Mormons teach people to live honest, moral lives. They claim that their president is not simply annointed, but an actual prophet of God. Does claiming authority and position mean one possesses it, or should we not test everything we are given? If we test their interpretation against the inspired writings and they fail, should we accept the error and teach that ourselves, or would we be better to reject it for what is true?

Mark Hunter said...

"That would be Christmas. Just about as pagan as it gets. Worship one sun and replace it with another. Though we did celebrate Christmas, I still believe they are the truth."

I'm not convinced that Christmas is an "official" Christian doctrine, unlike receiving the word of the Governing Body as being the word God Himself, such is the official doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses.

However, I'm still intrigued as to your Jehovah's Witness understanding of John 5:22,23. Any Jehovah's Witness I've asked about it has completely ducked it.

Steven said...

Mark Hunter,

I believe the question has been asked and answered. You disagree. Do you really want to know the answer?

Do I really believe we are in the last days?

This question is critical in light of the time we live in. The Great Tribulation will be horrendous and Armageddon will be the final executing of all people not found to be sheep.

If you really believe we are in the last days, it would be prudent to ensure that you are doing what is required by God. That is what’s really critical for all at this point.

God has used imperfect men to sound the alarms through many centuries. Just think about it! What bible character was perfect except for Gods son, Jesus? And yet, if it was about who was always right and never wrong, Jesus would stand out at the top. And yet people wanted him dead which eventually happened.

So, when Gods was sounding the warnings through imperfect men (Prophets), imperfect man (Jews) did not listen and lost their lives in 740 and 607 B.C.E. When God used a perfect man (Jesus), imperfect man (Jews) did not listen and lost their lives in 67-70 C.E. So, it is clear that the focus is not so much on the messenger but the message.

So here we are today, the last days. The last days of what? What does it mean for mankind? What does it mean for you? Who you survive? If so, how? How much time is left? Is knowing just enough? Is doing just enough? What is required? Where can you get accurate information on how to survive? Is there a warning? If so, what and who has been sounding it and why? What will happen to the earth? THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS AND ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!

Who ever can accurately answers to these questions using God’s word is the one you should be putting your confidence. And make no mistake about it, they will be imperfect and make mistakes!!!!!

Mark Hunter said...

@ Steven;

"I believe the question has been asked and answered. You disagree. Do you really want to know the answer?"

I'm sorry, but I don't see any of my questions about Jehovah's Witnesses and John 5:22,23. Perhaps you could direct me to them.

"If you really believe we are in the last days, it would be prudent to ensure that you are doing what is required by God. That is what’s really critical for all at this point."

I agree. Finding out what God requires is important, and the Bible doesn't make it complicated. All who confess Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that he was raised will be saved. (Romans 10:9)


"So, it is clear that the focus is not so much on the messenger but the message."

Interesting. What if the messenger keeps getting the message wrong? What if the messenger proclaims certain years as being important, such as 1874, 1878, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975 etc? What if those proclamation prove to be baseless? Should we keep paying attention to the message of this messenger?

Further to that, what if the messenger proclaims to understand what Jesus evidently meant when he used the word 'generation'? What if each one of the messengers claims of what Jesus "evidently" meant by 'generation' are thrown out. By the messenger.

How much stock would we be expected to place in this imperfect, uninspired messenger who keeps getting important parts of the message completely wrong?

"Who ever can accurately answers to these questions using God’s word is the one you should be putting your confidence. And make no mistake about it, they will be imperfect and make mistakes!!!!!"

This is a very telling statement and it's one that could only come from a person steeped in Watch Tower Society rhetoric, that somehow mankind needs to find an imperfect, uninspired group of people with a track record of making mistakes, and in some way place it's confidence in them for salvation.

However, if this was Jehovah's plan all along (i.e. rely entirely on a mistake-prone, imperfect, uninspired group of men using the Watch Tower Society as a publishing corporation) then why did he bother sending Jesus to an agonising death?

Further to that, your position of directing confidence towards a group of imperfect, flawed (i.e. getting the message, at times, completely wrong and have to totally reverse the content of the message several times, such as in the 'generation') men, is not supported in any way by scripture.

Yes, you can cite Old Testament/Old Covenant prophets. But Christians are told that God's law is written on our hearts.

Here's where, scripturally, you run into trouble with your position of having to trust imperfect men for salvation;
Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast."

I really hope you'll see the need to get to know Jesus and simply trust him for your salvation. He alone is the way, the truth and the life. He alone is the way to salvation, dying for our sins so that we can be given his righteousness and be reconciled to God through him (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Mark Hunter said...

Edit;
"I'm sorry, but I don't see any of my questions about Jehovah's Witnesses and John 5:22,23. Perhaps you could direct me to them."

Should be;
I'm sorry, but I don't see any of my questions about Jehovah's Witnesses and John 5:22,23 ANSWERED. Perhaps you could direct me to them.

Steve said...

Mark,

Not sure about all of those dates or if you even know the story behind them. What is important is you are at a jucntion where you do not trust anyone or anything that you read or hear.

Regardless of how you want to slice this issue, God, just like in the past is using imperfect man to deliver his warning of judgement. The only exception was Jesus and he was not believed or respected by the masses. Millions lost their lives as a result.

Again I suggest very strongly to you, if you are truely sincere:

Who ever can accurately answers the questions concerning the last days using God’s word is the one you should be putting your confidence. And make no mistake about it, they will be imperfect and make mistakes!!!!!

Mike Felker said...

Actually, Steven, if we are going with Jesus, we should not follow those who are proclaiming "the end is near." (Luke 21:8) Especially if they have a history of false alarms made in God's name! What did Jesus say to do with such ones in this text as well as Matt. 7:15?

Mark Hunter said...

Steve said;
"What is important is you are at a jucntion where you do not trust anyone or anything that you read or hear."

Actually you're dead wrong. I trust Jesus.

"Who ever can accurately answers the questions concerning the last days using God’s word is the one you should be putting your confidence. And make no mistake about it, they will be imperfect and make mistakes!!!!!"

You use a worryingly few number of scriptures, Steve, to back up your assertion.

So, what you're telling me is this;

- Jesus isn't enough for my salvation
- I need an imperfect mistake prone group of men for my salvation
- understanding the last days is needed for salvation and I can't do that by reading the Bible and asking for God's help through the Holy Spirit

Hopefully you'll understand where I'm coming from when I respond with "I'll take my chances with Jesus, thanks".

I have a question though. If you need to trust these men, put your confidence in them, so to speak, that they will accurately answer questions about the last days from the Bible, how do you know their answers are accurate if it's a dead cert that they'll make mistakes?

Steve said...

Mark,
You are correct except for the second item.

It is not that you need an imperfect organization to assist you in salvation. Unfortunately, any organization or person that assists you will be imperfect including you. There will be things that you read that will not be fully understand until later if God allows it to be revealed to you.

Such as was the case with Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. The eunuch was trying to understand the scripture. It took Philip (an imperfect mistake prone man) to point him in the right direction of understanding. As a result, the Eunuch got baptized. This is in the book of ACTS.

Another such case was with Apollos (an imperfect mistake prone man). As a Christian, his understanding of the scripture was off a little. This person was an eloquent speaker. Think of all the persons he taught and preach with outdated information. It took Aquila and Priscilla (imperfect mistake prone man and woman) to bring him up to speed. This, too, is in the book of ACTS.

Infallibility is not granted to earthly man by God.

Think about it!!!
Jesus had followers he depended on for spreading the good news of the Kingdom. While on earth, he did not do all of the preaching and teaching by himself. Through observation, conversation, and illustration Jesus taught his followers and sent them out by twos. However, his followers were imperfect. One of his followers (Peter) denied him three times. And later, it was Peter that was counseled by the Apostle Paul on being impartial. Still, it was Peter whom Jesus gave the keys of the Kingdom!!! Often times, his followers would argue among themselves as to who was the greatest among them despite Jesus’ teaching of humility and lowliness of mind. Yes, one of his followers betrayed him for the price of a slave (he eventually died).

Additionally, the book of Acts provides the activity of Jesus’ followers after his departure as a physical man from the earth. It describes and shows the how and where the good news was being preached and taught and by whom. There was an organization back then. The headquarters was located in Jerusalem (for a time). From Jerusalem, imperfect men like Paul and Banabas were dispatched to different regions to preach and teach. As a result, Christian Congregations were formed, strengthened, and encouraged by imperfect mistake prone men. The apostle Paul was an Apostle to the nations with many faults that he wrestled with throughout his ministry. He describes this confrontation with himself in the book of ACTS.

We are all “mistake prone”. The Jews were in ancient times (they had Jehovah and his law), the early Christians were (they had Jehovah and Jesus), and we are today. And yes, there is an organization that Jesus and Jehovah are using today to continue the work Jesus started, an organization that has God’s Holy Spirit guiding imperfect men that are sounding the alarm.

Just because a person has God’s spirit assisting them does not in itself guarantee that no mistakes would be made by imperfect and mistake prone man. God’s word is perfect. Our ability to understand right off the bat is not. Consider that Solomon got his wisdom from God. Clearly, God’s spirit was operating upon Solomon, but he still made mistakes and sinned.

Maybe, after this tread, you still think it is not the Watchtower. That is fine. But it is going to be some organization God is using and you need to locate quickly to ensure you are doing what the bible teaches and what God requires. Time is running out!!

Steve said...

Mark,
You are correct except for the second item.

It is not that you need an imperfect organization to assist you in salvation. Unfortunately, any organization or person that assists you will be imperfect including you. There will be things that you read that will not be fully understand until later if God allows it to be revealed to you.

Such as was the case with Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. The eunuch was trying to understand the scripture. It took Philip (an imperfect mistake prone man) to point him in the right direction of understanding. As a result, the Eunuch got baptized. This is in the book of ACTS.

Another such case was with Apollos (an imperfect mistake prone man). As a Christian, his understanding of the scripture was off a little. This person was an eloquent speaker. Think of all the persons he taught and preach with outdated information. It took Aquila and Priscilla (imperfect mistake prone man and woman) to bring him up to speed. This, too, is in the book of ACTS.

Infallibility is not granted to earthly man by God.

Think about it!!!
Jesus had followers he depended on for spreading the good news of the Kingdom. While on earth, he did not do all of the preaching and teaching by himself. Through observation, conversation, and illustration Jesus taught his followers and sent them out by twos. However, his followers were imperfect. One of his followers (Peter) denied him three times. And later, it was Peter that was counseled by the Apostle Paul on being impartial. Still, it was Peter whom Jesus gave the keys of the Kingdom!!! Often times, his followers would argue among themselves as to who was the greatest among them despite Jesus’ teaching of humility and lowliness of mind. Yes, one of his followers betrayed him for the price of a slave (he eventually died).

Additionally, the book of Acts provides the activity of Jesus’ followers after his departure as a physical man from the earth. It describes and shows the how and where the good news was being preached and taught and by whom. There was an organization back then. The headquarters was located in Jerusalem (for a time). From Jerusalem, imperfect men like Paul and Banabas were dispatched to different regions to preach and teach. As a result, Christian Congregations were formed, strengthened, and encouraged by imperfect mistake prone men. The apostle Paul was an Apostle to the nations with many faults that he wrestled with throughout his ministry. He describes this confrontation with himself in the book of ACTS.

We are all “mistake prone”. The Jews were in ancient times (they had Jehovah and his law), the early Christians were (they had Jehovah and Jesus), and we are today. And yes, there is an organization that Jesus and Jehovah are using today to continue the work Jesus started, an organization that has God’s Holy Spirit guiding imperfect men that are sounding the alarm.

Just because a person has God’s spirit assisting them does not in itself guarantee that no mistakes would be made by imperfect and mistake prone man. God’s word is perfect. Our ability to understand right off the bat is not. Consider that Solomon got his wisdom from God. Clearly, God’s spirit was operating upon Solomon, but he still made mistakes and sinned.

Maybe, after this tread, you still think it is not the Watchtower. That is fine. But it is going to be some organization God is using and you need to locate quickly to ensure you are doing what the bible teaches and what God requires. Time is running out!!

Mark Hunter said...

With all due respect, Steven, when you state that Jesus isn't enough for salvation, you completely lose me and confirm my suspicions that the Watch Tower Society is a destructive non-Christian religious cult.

Where you get the idea from the examples you cited in Acts that an ORGANISATION is needed is baffling and hints at you approaching the text with the presupposition that Jesus Christ alone - and faith in him alone - are insufficient for salvation. Which organisation did the Ethiopian eunuch become baptised into?

I hope you one day repent of your religious views and decide trust fully in God's mercy and grace as embodied in the person and atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. May God's spirit open the eyes of your heart and lift the veil that prevents the glorious truth of Jesus Christ from reaching you.

Steve said...

Mark,

You have completely missed the point.

Jesus did not preach and teach by himself. He chose 12. Eventually, that 12 grew to 120.
After Jesus death, the preaching and teaching work did not stop. That is why the book is call “Acts of the Apostles”. Many people came to an accurate understanding after Jesus left the earth. You were undoubtedly were persuaded or convinced that the bible was the word of God by an imperfect mistake prone human. This is how most people come to know God and his Son.

But this does not minimize Jesus’role in God purpose for mankind. Jesus is still actively involved and so are any that follow him. Those that follow him listen to his voice and follow his command. Read for yourself in Matt 28:19-20. Are you doing this?

Jehovah’s Witnesses preach and teach more than 1.5 billion hours a year. As result, on average, 757 people a day from all walks of life, around the world, from more than 235 lands come to an accurate knowledge of the bible and symbolize their dedication through baptism. Tell me who is doing this!!! This is being done in direct obedience to Jesus’ words at Matt 28:19-20. This magnitude of preaching and teaching has to be organized or it would be done in confusion. All of these people are imperfect mistake prone.

But so was Jesus’ Apostles, Paul, Jude, James, Timothy, etc. You do not have a problem reading any of the books Paul wrote or Peter do you? They are in the bible. They were written by imperfect mistake prone men under Holy Spirit direction.

Just about ever religious order has an organization especially if they are operating in other countries. Jehovah’s Witnesses are no different.

So, again, if you still think it is not the Watchtower. That is fine. But it is going to be some organization God is using and you need to locate quickly to ensure you are doing what the bible teaches and what God requires. Time is running out!!

Mark Hunter said...

Steve, your point is abundantly clear to me. You need to justify your position of believing that Jesus Christ alone is not sufficient for your personal salvation.

To that end, you're having to re-write the history of Christianity support your presupposition that an imperfect, uninspired, mistake-ridden organisation are needed for salvation. However, you cannot support such a claim from the Bible.

Here are a couple of problems in addition to your denial that faith alone in Christ alone is sufficient for salvation;

Jehovah’s Witnesses preach and teach more than 1.5 billion hours a year. As result, on average, 757 people a day from all walks of life, around the world, from more than 235 lands come to an accurate knowledge of the bible and symbolize their dedication through baptism. Tell me who is doing this!!! This is being done in direct obedience to Jesus’ words at Matt 28:19-20.

Jehovah's Witnesses spend all of that time preaching a gospel that is completely different from that which Paul preached - see this article.

You twice refer to Matt 28:19,20. But Jehovah's Witnesses aren't baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, are they? They're baptised in the name of Jehovah and his "spirit directed" organisation. Therefore, such baptisms add no one to the body of Christ, but rather add members to the Watch Tower Society.

But so was Jesus’ Apostles, Paul, Jude, James, Timothy, etc. You do not have a problem reading any of the books Paul wrote or Peter do you? They are in the bible. They were written by imperfect mistake prone men under Holy Spirit direction.

How does this in any way, shape or form co-relate to the Governing Body? They themselves admit that they have no more of the Holy Spirit than anyone else and are not inspired by God through his Spirit.

To compare the Governing Body or the publications of the Watch Tower Society to the first century faithful men who were used by God to write the New Testament, and to the very word of God itself is just mental and untenable scripturally.

Please show me one scripture in the Bible that dictates that God is looking for people to be associated with an organisation before he'll justify them and grant them salvation, and that that organisation is the Watch Tower Society, and I'll be convinced and humbly return to the Kingdom Hall.

Anonymous said...

Steve said

God has used imperfect men to sound the alarms through many centuries. Just think about it! What bible character was perfect except for Gods son, Jesus? And yet, if it was about who was always right and never wrong, Jesus would stand out at the top. And yet people wanted him dead which eventually happened.

The real point is that these imperfect men were inspired through Holy Spirit so that all they WROTE was and is true. This cannot be said of the Watchtower writings as their own history has demonstrated despite claiming to be a "spirit directed" organization.

With reference to the 1.5 billion hours a year teaching and preaching in reality in many countries the majority of this time is spent not witnessing to anyone and knocking on the doors of empty houses. As regards numbers getting baptised so what, the seventh day adventists have baptised just over 1 million per year for the last 6 years.

Steve said...

So Anonymous,

You have made the point. What persons do you know on earth today that is inspired through Holy Spirit, that is infallible?

Mark Hunter said...

Steven, the answer is obviously "no one".

However, I'm able to point to the following;

1) a group of mistake-ridden men, who are imperfect and have no more of the Holy Spirit than anyone else, but who claim to be the only ones on the planet a) approved by God, and b) who speak for God.
2) a person without sin, who became sin and loved me so much that he gave me his righteousness so that I can be reconciled with my Heavenly Father.

You, as a Jehovah's Witness, choose to rely on #1.

I as a Christian, choose to reply on #2. #2 promises me salvation because I trust him. #1 promises you a life of jumping through mistaken hoops, hoping that maybe you'll find favour with God if you work hard enough.

As I keep trying to tell you, if God needed any imperfect person or persons to make us right with him, why did he send Jesus?

Steve said...

Okay Mark.

We agree to disagree.

Mark Hunter said...

Fair enough, Steve.

However, I notice you haven't taken me up on my challenge;

Please show me one scripture in the Bible that dictates that God is looking for people to be associated with an organisation before he'll justify them and grant them salvation, and that that organisation is the Watch Tower Society, and I'll be convinced and humbly return to the Kingdom Hall.

Should be fairly simply if it's obvious from the Bible that an organisation is needed for salvation, particularly an organisation that wasn't formed until the 1800s.

If you're able to convince me from the Bible, I'll go back to the Kingdom Hall.

Steve said...

Okay Mark.

Let’s start with Jehovah’s invisible organization. Jehovah created cherubs, seraphs and many other angels to do his will in the heavens. (Genesis 3:24; Isaiah 6:2, 3; Psalm 103:20) Jesus Christ is the Archangel over and above all of these. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7) The Bible describes the angels as being organized into “thrones or lordships or governments or authorities.”

Why can we be certain that God has a visible organization? One reason is that he has an invisible organization, just describe above.

Moreover, the Bible shows that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. For example, men of faith such as Abraham led their families and servants in worshiping Jehovah. Jehovah made known his will for Abraham by speaking with him. (Genesis 12:1) And God instructed him to pass this information on to others, saying: “I have become acquainted with [Abraham] in order that he may command his sons and his household after him so that they shall keep Jehovah’s way.” (Genesis 18:19) Here was an orderly arrangement for a group of people to worship Jehovah properly.
Later, when the Israelites increased in numbers and became millions, Jehovah did not let each one worship in his own way, separate from any organized arrangement. No, the Israelites were formed into a nation of organized worshipers. The nation of Israel was called “Jehovah’s congregation.” (Numbers 20:4; 1 Chronicles 28:8) If you were a true worshiper of Jehovah back then, you had to be part of that congregation of worshipers, not separate from it.—Psalm 147:19, 20.
What was the situation in the first century? The Bible shows that Jehovah’s favor was upon the followers of his Son Jesus Christ. Jehovah poured out his holy spirit upon them. To show that he was now using this Christian organization rather than the nation of Israel, he gave certain early Christians power to heal the sick, raise the dead and to perform other miracles. You cannot read the Christian Greek Scriptures without being impressed by the fact that Christians were organized for worship. In fact, they were commanded to meet together for this purpose. (Hebrews 10:24, 25) So if you were a true worshiper of Jehovah in the first century, you had to be a part of his Christian organization.
Did Jehovah ever use more than one organization during any period of time? In Noah’s day only Noah and those with him inside the ark had God’s protection and survived the floodwaters. (1 Peter 3:20) Also, in the first century there were not two or more Christian organizations. God dealt with just the one. There was just the “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5) Likewise in our day Jesus Christ foretold that there would be only one source of spiritual instruction for God’s people.

When telling of his presence in Kingdom power, Jesus said: “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.” (Matthew 24:45-47)

Mark, the evidence is abundantly clear. While there are many within Christianity worshiping many different ways, there is only one way that God is accepting. Those that are worshiping in this manner do in an organized manner, thus YOU ORGANIZATION. As it was with the Israelite, as it was with the first century Christians, so it is today; “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”.

Mark Hunter said...

Steve,

Thanks for your considered response. However, if you remember my challenge was;

Please show me one scripture in the Bible that dictates that God is looking for people to be associated with an organisation before he'll justify them and grant them salvation, and that that organisation is the Watch Tower Society, and I'll be convinced and humbly return to the Kingdom Hall.

I'm looking for evidence from the Bible that an organisation is needed for salvation. What you've done is show that God organised the nation of Israel and that the Holy Spirit was poured out on Christians. Both of these are scriptural proofs and I, of course, agree with them.

But it does not follow that God is using an organisation to justify sinners for salvation. And that's my point. Yes, once upon a time being associated with the nation (not organisation) of Israel was essential. But wasn't the Holy Spirit poured out on Jew and Gentile after Christ's ascension?

However, even if Jehovah was relying, not on the shed blood of Christ for justification for salvation (as the Bible actually teaches and was/is the bedrock of the Gospel message), but a man-made, mistake-prone (1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, multiple/frequent flip-flops on the generation, shady/dangerous/life-threatening teachings on organ transplants, incoherent teachings on blood fractions, etc etc), uninspired organisation, where is the evidence that it's the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society?

You state that the evidence is abundantly clear. As I've asked many times for sight of this evidence. Quoting Matthew 24:45-47 does not count as evidence! Have you actually taken a deep breath and read what Jesus said? Try doing so without filtering his words through Watchtower doctrine.

Notice that Jesus is asking a rhetorical question. He is no way, shape or form identifying the Watch Tower Society - or the men who make up the Governing Body, or Charles T Russell - as the faithful and discreet slave. Where on earth do you get the idea that Matthew 24:45-47 is proof that Jehovah God has appointed the Watch Tower Society as the organisation he's using to justify and sanctify sinful mankind? C'mon....

You also say;
"Mark, the evidence is abundantly clear. While there are many within Christianity worshiping many different ways, there is only one way that God is accepting. Those that are worshiping in this manner do in an organized manner, thus YOU ORGANIZATION. As it was with the Israelite, as it was with the first century Christians, so it is today; “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”."

Again, how does this lead to the Watch Tower Society? And where is the evidence that the Watch Tower Society is needed for salvation?

Jesus said "I am the way,the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." Surely this is proof that Jesus Christ is the way to approval with God, not through association with the Watch Tower Society? And replying to this by stating "but Jesus is using the Watch Tower Society today" is circular reasoning.

You finish with Ephesians 4:5. Why didn't you cite the context?
4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

You see, these verses prove to be a huge problem to your Jehovah's Witnesses exegesis;
- one hope
But you, Steve, believe in two hopes.

So, inclusion, I'm still waiting on the proof that the Watch Tower Society is being used by God as an organization needed for justification and salvation.

Remember, if such an organisation is needed, why send Jesus to die?

Steven said...

Mark

There is no scriptural text stating what you are asking. Moreover, there is no scriptural text stating that there would be an organization to carry on the preaching and teaching work that Jesus commanded his disciples to continue (Matt 28:19, 20)

The point that the bible makes is that those that worshiped Jehovah did so in a organize manner. Those that obeyed Jesus while on earth and followed the command at Matt 28:19 and 20 did so in an organized manner. There has always been a theocratic arrangement for worshiping Jehovah.

If you remember, the preaching work that Jesus started was to continue. The Apostles were left with the task of accomplishing this work. In order to accomplish their ministry, they had to be organized. Everybody doing their own thing would have been chaotic.

The preaching and teaching work was organized out of Jerusalem. Acts 8:1-9 shows that after Philip had success in Samaria, the Apostles in Jerusalem dispatched Peter and John to the area to assist in the work. The Apostle Paul and Barnabas got their instructions from the brothers in Jerusalem when a dispute arose over circumcision (Acts 15:1, 2).

As Paul and his companion traveled about through the cities that had believers, they would deliver to those there for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Jerusalem. The effect of this was that, instead of the congregations’ continuing shaky and divided in opinion, the congregations continued to be made firm in the faith and to increase in number from day to day (Acts 15:3 to 16:5).

In summary, there was a theocratic arrangement blessed by Jehovah to accomplish the preaching and teaching work Jesus commanded his Apostle to continue. Recognition of that theocratic arrangement or organization was unifying and strengthening to the congregations which lead to the Christian congregation increase. Working backwards, it was Jehovah through his servant Moses who set up the organization of worship. Those that worshiped Jehovah, Jew and non-Jew, did so under the guidelines of that organization arrangement.

Matt 24:45-47 asked the question as to who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Some Bibles refer to them as the faithful and wise servant.
Jesus is undoubtedly is the master and the domestics are the sheep like people of the earth. This slave is responsible for the spiritual feeding for salvation.

You may not agree that the faithful and discreet slave is the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. However, it is going to one organization or one way of worship that Jehovah supports based on based on Eph 4:5 and 6. Just as it has always been one way to worship Jehovah that he approves, it is the same today. God’s word lays out the guidelines for worship he approves. The congregation or organization of congregations that is following these guidelines without compromise is where Jehovah’s spirit will be.

I am convinced that God’s spirit and approval is with the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Mark Hunter said...

Steve, I agree with the points you're making. However, where we will differ is that you believe the Watch Tower Society (or an organisation) is needed for salvation.

By extension you do not believe that Jesus Christ's propitiation is no enough for your salvation, even though that is what the Bible actually teaches and makes up the sole content of the Gospel.

So, you are quite correct, there are no scriptures stating that God is using, or planned to use, or even needs, an organisation to sanctify and justify sinful humans. And that is the point. Jesus Christ and faith in him are sufficient. And that is the point. The Law was difficult and continually condemned man as sinful. Jesus nailed the Law to the cross and said "it is finished".

He, Jesus, replaced the Law, fulfilling it in every way, and then imputes the righteousness that he alone has to those who trust in him.

That's it! How beautifully and awe inspiringly simple. No wonder Paul talks of God's amazing grace towards us sinners.

However, the Watch Tower Society (and the Catholic Church) build on top of that beautifully simple grace of God a whole set of additional factors, including the need to recognise their role in God's salvation plan for mankind!

But Paul explained to the Galatians that to go back to having to keep laws (or rules) is to trample of Christ's crucifixion.

However, however, however, the Watch Tower Society teaches the exact opposite. Why?

So, while I agree with you that there has always been a unifying aspect to true Christianity, I have to disagree that 1) an organisation is the unifying factor (faith in Jesus Christ is) and 2) that this organisation is needed for salvation.

As for Matthew 24:45-47, you say;
"Matt 24:45-47 asked the question as to who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Some Bibles refer to them as the faithful and wise servant.
Jesus is undoubtedly is the master and the domestics are the sheep like people of the earth. This slave is responsible for the spiritual feeding for salvation."


You completely miss my point. Jesus is asking a rhetorical question. Where, exactly, in those verse does he 1) identify who the faithful slave is and 2) give us any indication that he's choose the Watch Tower Society in 1919? Huge eschatological leaps need to be made to come to the conclusion the Governing Body want us to.

However, let's imagine that the Watch Tower Society's exegesis of Matthew 24:45-47 is correct. I have a question; who was/were the faithful and discreet slave class before Charles T Russell?

Steven said...

Mark,

I have never stated that the Watchtower is needed for our salvation. Salvation is by mean of Jehovah through his Son Jesus.

The Watchtower is an organization whose sole purpose is to dispense spiritual food. In that respect, it is no different than the Vatican, Mormon Church, Baptist or the congregation/organizations you belong, just to name a few.

I have provided you much during this conversation. Undoubtedly, you have a position that you wish to stand on. But as for me, I am quite satisfied with what I have been taught and where it has come from.

From the start of the conversation, I have done what the Apostle Peter stated we should do at 1 Peter 3:15. What people think of us varies a great deal, depending on their motives and what they have heard about us. We are praised and honored by some, reviled and hated by others. As long as we are being guided by Bible principles, however, we have every reason to be happy and at peace. We gain the favor of Jehovah God and of his Son, Jesus Christ, by gratefully accepting God’s Word as our guide in all things. In the end, the opinions that matter the most are those of Jehovah and his Son. What they think of us reflects our true worth. Ultimately, our life depends on their approval (John 5:27; James 1:12).

Mark Hunter said...

But Steve, didn't you earlier state that Jesus is not enough for our salvation and that we need to find the group who can explain the meaning of the last days to us, even though they will make mistakes? Read back through what you've written.

If you've now reconsidered this position and are deciding to place your faith squarely upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation - as is taught by scripture (see, again, 2 Cor 5:17-21 for one example), then I say praise God!

However (and you knew there would be a however), the Governing Body teaches through the literature of the Watch Tower Society that Jesus is not enough and that their organisation is needed. For example;

""During the final period of the “ancient world” that perished in the Flood, Noah was a faithful “preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) In these last days of the present system of things, Jehovah’s people are making known God’s righteous standards and are declaring good news about the possibility of surviving into the new world. (2 Peter 3:9-13) Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization." Watchtower 2006 May 15 p.22 "Are You Prepared for Survival?" Paragraph 8"

and

""And while now the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation, the time no doubt will come when the message takes on a harder tone, like a “great war cry.” " Watchtower 1981 Nov. 15 p.21"

and

""But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do." Watchtower 1981 Nov. 15 p.27"

Now, you may feel that these references aren't new enough, and that perhaps the Governing Body has released "new light" on the subject. Yet, the September 15th 2010 Study Edition Watchtower says;

"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)"

[cont....]

Mark Hunter said...

[...cont]

Remember, scripturally it is having a "good relationship" with God that Christ died to buy us. The sin that separates us from our heavenly Father, preventing that good relationship, is taken away (atoned for) by the value of Christ's blood.

Clearly, it is Christ that's needed for that good relationship, a relationship that results in eternal life for the believer.

Yet, the Governing Body have inserted themselves (and by extension their organization, according to the other quotes provided) in the salvation process.

You may believe, Steve, that Jehovah God is using the Watch Tower Society alone on earth today. I've asked you for proof and you haven't been able to provide any. I believe this insertion into the salvation process by the Governing Body is just one reason why God would never use such a group on earth today. Yes, for me it's conclusive proof of the Governing Body's (or Watch Tower Society's) non-approval by God.

Again I'll ask, according to these quotations from Watch Tower publications, if God needed an organisation to be involved with mankind's salvation, why send Jesus to die? Why not just wait until CT Russell was born and use him to teach people to come to his organisation for divine approval and salvation and to be taught what the alst days mean? Why allow his Son to suffer and shed his blood if it could be done bloodlessly and painlessly through the Watch Tower Society?

And remember, we don't need someone to lead us to God or to mediate for us. We have Christ for this!

Our trust shouldn't be in publications, Bethels or Head Quarters, Circuit Overseers or Conventions, "new light" or field ministry statistics.

Our trust be in Christ alone for it's through him alone that we are justified.

Steve, I'd ask you to carefully, and indeed prayerfully, consider where your trust is placed.

n2truth said...

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him [Jesus], and given Him a name which is ABOVE EVERY NAME: That at the NAME OF JESUS E-V-E-R-Y knee should bow, ..." (Phil. 2:9-10a)
The name of JESUS is exalted and above: Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah's Witness, Charles Taze Russell, Don A. Adams, "Annointed", (ALL knees should bow at the name of JESUS.)
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME under heaven given among men, WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED." (Acts 4:12)
God's Word (the Bible) has made this crystal clear.

Anonymous said...

Some scriptures for you to consider as you bash Jehovah's Witnesses. We must see what clues are given to us in the Bible as to the "nation" not paling in shame:

Sym´e•on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 ‘After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again, 17 in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, ******people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things, ******18 known from of old.’
Acts 15:14 -18
----------
The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.
Proverbs 18:10
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Happy is the nation whose God is Jehovah,
The people whom he has chosen as his inheritance.
Psalms 33:12
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And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and ******to it all the nations must stream. 3 And many peoples will certainly go and say: “Come, YOU people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”****** For out of Zion law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. 4 And he will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.
Isaiah 2:2-4
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Open the gates, YOU men, that the righteous nation that is keeping faithful conduct may enter. 3 The inclination that is well supported you will safeguard in continuous peace, because it is in you that one is made to trust.
Isaiah 26:2-3
----------
that there might be fulfilled what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, who said:
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. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36 naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 ******And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’ ******
Matthew 25:32-40
--- Who sends out people that are called “brothers” who walk from door to door about as strangers, offering spiritual food and drink to the people? ---

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED with more scriptures to consider as you bash Jehovah's Witnesses:

--------------------------------------
“Then people will deliver YOU up to tribulation and will kill YOU, and YOU will be objects of hatred by all the nations ******on account of my name.****** 10 Then, also, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. 13 But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. 14 And ******this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.******
Matthew 24:9-14
-- Looking at the previous scriptures, what “nation” sends out people promoting God’s Kingdom, promoting Jesus as the King of God’s Kingdom, who walk from door to door about as strangers, offering spiritual food and drink to the people? Jesus heavily promoted God’s Kingdom as the solution, not governments of men. -
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For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” 14 However, how will they call on him in whom they have not put faith? How, in turn, will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? 15 How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent forth? Just as it is written: “How comely are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”
16 Nevertheless, they did not all obey the good news. For Isaiah says: “Jehovah, who put faith in the thing heard from us?” 17 So faith follows the thing heard. In turn the thing heard is through the word about Christ. 18 Nevertheless I ask, They did not fail to hear, did they? Why, in fact, “into all the earth their sound went out, and to the extremities of the inhabited earth their utterances.”
Romans 10:13-18
---- Who “nation” calls out to Jehovah and goes out to preach good news of good things from door to door? What name do they go by?
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They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. 17 Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me forth into the world, I also sent them forth into the world.
John 17:16-18
-- What “nation” studies the Bible every day and is sent forth door to door promoting God’s Kingdom?
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But as respects Israel he says: “All day long I have spread out my hands toward a people that is disobedient and talks back.”
Romans 10:21
** If you can not read all these scriptures and see a clear indication of a “nation” who promotes Jehovah’s name and continues the preaching and teaching as Jesus taught the apostles to do...... I encourage you to re-read the scriptures and pray for understanding.
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There’s another scripture, I cannot find right now, but it says something about a nation that was not one previously and it blesses itself every time it says its name. Do you think Jehovah’s Witnesses would bless themselves every time they say their name?
I am just a Bible student and I’ve been seeking for years to find a “nation” of God’s people who actually live and preach and teach the Bible in the way that Jesus taught it. The Jehovah’s Witnesses as I see them today are the only ones I can find no flaw with. Have they flaws in the past, absolutely, there’s some crazy beginnings at work in the organization. But, I can not judge them by the errors of their past, I am to judge them today, by their fruits. And, this is how you are to judge them as well.

Anonymous said...

Scriptures to consider what the Bible teaches as you consider your hatred of Jehovah's Witnesses:

Sym´e•on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 ‘After these things I shall return and rebuild the booth of David that is fallen down; and I shall rebuild its ruins and erect it again, 17 in order that those who remain of the men may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, ******people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things, ******18 known from of old.’
Acts 15:14 -18
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******The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection. ******
Proverbs 18:10
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****** Happy is the nation whose God is Jehovah,******
The people whom he has chosen as his inheritance.
Psalms 33:12
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And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and ******to it all the nations must stream. 3 And many peoples will certainly go and say: “Come, YOU people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”****** For out of Zion law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. 4 And he will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.
Isaiah 2:2-4
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Open the gates, YOU men, that the righteous nation that is keeping faithful conduct may enter. 3 The inclination that is well supported you will safeguard in continuous peace, because it is in you that one is made to trust.
Isaiah 26:2-3
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that there might be fulfilled what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, who said:
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. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36 naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 ******And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’ ******
Matthew 25:32-40
--- Who sends out people that are called “brothers” who walk from door to door about as strangers, offering spiritual food and drink to the people? ---

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous, please leave comments relative to the blog post. If you'd like to discuss other issues, feel free to contact me personally.

Mark Hunter said...

"Scriptures to consider what the Bible teaches as you consider your hatred of Jehovah's Witnesses"

I'm a Christian and I can't help but notice that the Governing Body write many, many articles in books and magazines published by the Watch Tower Society that call people like me "false", "so-called", "of the devil", "part of 'Babylon the Great'", etc etc.

Jehovah's Witnesses then take those books and magazine and call on the doors of Christians like me, trying to convince them that they've been misled by the devil himself.

Yet, people like Mike have a blog that looks at the teachings of the Governing Body, teachings that Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden to question or doubt, in public and private, and people like 'anonymous' come along and claim that JWs are being hated and attacked. Blog versus multi-billion dollar, global publishing corporation.

How's that persecution complex working out for you?

Anonymous said...

In June, a report was sent to the Governing Body presenting them with questions concerning the Elijah who comes before God's day (Mal 3:1 and 4:5) and the two witnesses in revelation 11:2-12. According to the Bible, that Elijah is simply being depicted as an individual, contrary to the Governing body's claim that they are that Elijah. The same case applies to the two witnesses who are simply depicted as two individuals according to the Bible, contrary to the Governing body's claim that they are the two witnesses. The Elijah who comes before God's day should also be the one Jesus spoke of in Matt 17:10,11: "And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things;" John the Baptist who was Elijah was dead by then. Simply, Jesus was speaking of an end-time Elijah. To get an overview of what the report brought forward, check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv9DHdFZxSk You will then understand where the teachings concerning the false teacher in the congregation came from. You will also notice the image in the last study article of September Watch tower (Study Edition) is somehow based on emotions (anger or fear) and not a peaceful mind.