Monday, 26 August 2013

SPIRIT DIRECTED - What  does it mean”

The people that advocate that JWS are under destructive mind control will often quote portions of articles from various watchtowers such as

"We will also increase our joy if we prayerfully and diligently study God's spirit - inspired Word and Christian publications prepared under the spirit's guidance." Watchtower 1992 Mar 15 pp.21-22

Opposer may site portions from articles that tell readers that all elders in congregations are appointed by holy spirit such as

A third way that all of us prove that we are friends of Christ is by cooperating with the direction provided by congregation elders. These men are appointed by holy spirit under Christ’s direction.” Watchtower 2009 October 15 pp 16

It is also true that one will find many references to the “Organisation” being “spirit directed” in our publications. They will point out that the wording “spirit directed” does not appear in the Bible. That is true it does not. However the principle is there. The question that must be asked is “How do Jehovah's Witnesses understand that statement?” That is what I am looking at here.

From selected quotes like that , some opponents of JWs are trying to get across or imply that the WTBTS (or member’s thereof) are inspired or have some direct link to God that enables them to produce the material that gets published as “new light” that all JWs must believe and follow or get disfellowshiped from the group. Others will just question the idea of being “spirit directed”. Why? They will argue that if JWs (The WTBTS) was inspired or spirit directed then there would never be any mistakes or changes in thought.

Is that the case? A good example to look at is the 1st century Christians and how they had to make adjustments in understanding (see related article under the heading Organisation – In the 1st Century)

First, no member of modern day “the organisation” has ever claimed to be inspired. Some will see no difference in the two ideas, and will come to the conclusion that to be “spirit directed” is the same as being “inspired by spirit”

Let me try to answer it in one sentence first. ….. To be “inspired” it to go into new areas or new direction, to be “spirit directed” would be directed into what already is, spiritual speaking of course.


The inspired Bible writers went into new directions. Mosses was give laws for the nation to follow that were far more beneficial to any nation and beyond anything that existed at that time. That was a new direction in organising a nation. The prophets went into new areas regarding things that were to take place in the future. The Christian writers went into a whole new direction that the law code mediated by Moses.

Today the Watchtower Society does not go into new directions, but use the directions already provided to navigate the world as it now stands in light of Gods requirements. The scene of this world is always changing, so the navigation to a destination must be adjusted.

To start with I looked up the meaning of the words “inspired” and “directed” using the online Webster's Dictionary http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/inspire Definition 11 is the one that relates to this discussion

inspire 11. To infuse into the mind; to communicate to the spirit; to convey, as by a divine or supernatural influence; to disclose preternaturally; to produce in, as by inspiration.



inspiration by the same dictionary

The infusion of ideas into the mind by the Holy Spirit; the conveying into the minds of men, ideas, notices or monitions by extraordinary or supernatural influence; or the communication of the divine will to the understanding by suggestions or impressions on the mind, which leave no room to doubt the reality of their supernatural origin



Looking up the word direction there are many meanings. The ones relating to this article are

direction

1 A line leading to a place or point;

4. Something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action.


6. A message describing how something is to be done;


7. The act of setting and holding a course;


Putting the above meanings to use.

INSPIRATION……..

Looking carefully at the definitions above, the Bible writers were guided, motivated and influenced to put into writing thoughts originated by God. Sometimes this was in a dream, direct communication through Angels or as a recollection of events. God did not directly take them by the hand and force them to write word for word the information we now have.

When the Bible writers were inspired to write the Bible they went into a new area of relationship between God and man, and at times went into a new direction. They laid down the information for us to follow. Sometimes the information is very clear, other times we must look very carefully for signs as to which direction we have to go in.

“Men were born along” to write the Bible, in contrast to men over the years- recording random disjointed events. “Your Word is truth” – is a positive definitive statement regarding the Bible – Jehovah made sure the accuracy of the Bible. All the contents are specifically needed to compliment the common theme carried throughout the Bible. Since the “spirit” is reference to the invisible force that “actuates” human minds, -or- the same force creating a new star galaxy in this universe, etc., the spirit is not operating indiscriminately. If it is not PUT into operation to cause there to be a result, it would not be “operating” because it can not operate – its not a person. The definition of the term Jehovah makes it clear, “ I am that I am.”


Laws and dealings between God and man are very clear and decisive. Most humans can pick up on those. The meaning of prophecy is sometimes easy to see and at other times a very close scrutiny is needed. Some “doctrines” (“truths”) are also easy to see and others have to be carefully examined.

By being very studious and observant we can be directed by the signs as to which way to go.

Now let me try to illustrate the matter in modern day words and situations that we can hopefully relate too..

DIRECTED…….

A skilled tracker, tracking an animal, will look very carefully for things the average person will miss. A bent blade of grass, a broken twig, a slight imprint in the earth etc.   So the tracker looks for what is already there and is directed by what he sees. At times he will build on the knowledge he already has on the type of animal being tracked to ascertain which direction to go in. Sometimes even the most skilled tracker can misread the signs and have to backtrack and pick up from the last known good sign.

A spirit directed organisation: is an organisation that is being directed to accomplishing or assure specific results. (The skilled tracker with the goal of finding the prized animal) The accomplishment and specific results that are the aim and focus of JW’s is the preaching of the Good News of Gods Kingdom in all the earth to show a vindication of Jehovah’s name and to prove Satan a liar to taunt that no man would serve God out of love for him. (Job 2:4,5 “4 But Satan answered Jehovah and said: “Skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul. 5 For a change, thrust out your hand, please, and touch as far as his bone and his flesh [and see] whether he will not curse you to your very face.” )

One may realise through knowledge and experience or he may hear other plans that seem plausible., thereby making decisions. One purpose the Bible is to serves as a “blue print” of Jehovah’s building plan for the earth (and each individual). It is up to us to follow those plans carefully.

In the above, the skilled tracker can be likened to our “governing Body” that was the responsibility of finding the prize. We follow along with them to enjoy seeing the prize. The Governing Body” has the skills, experience, and background knowledge to lead the way. At times they may lose the track and back track slightly to pick it up again but the ultimate goal is always the same.

Lets try to illustrate all of this

Back in the 1800s train tracks were being laid across vast areas of America and Australia. A commission, and instructions, were given to put the tracks between point A and point B.

Spiritually speaking those instructions are in the Bible, inspired by the one giving the commission. The goal that we seek to reach (point B) is life.

The engineers set out to accomplish that task. They are headed into unknown and at times hostile territory. Along the way they encounter obstacles that they have to overcome. The instructions provide guidelines as to how to do that. The engineers have to use their knowledge and principles as laid out in the instructions as to know how to keep the objective of the goal in mind. Now lets say they encounter a mighty canyon, the size of which they have never uncounted before. They have 4 options. 1) end the line here and not complete the task. 2) decide to go to another destination 3) work out how to build a bridge across the canyon. 4) back track a little and find a way around it. Option 3 and 4 are feasible and preferred. Building a bridge will mean that the work does not seem to progress for a while as materials and strategies are work out as to how to accomplish the task. If they have to back tracked a little and find a new way around the canyon (or other obstacle), can they be said to not be carrying out the prime directive? It may take them slightly of course for a while but they are still headed to the end goal.

When the railway lines were being put down there were helpers besides the engineers that did a vast majority of the work. They followed the direction of the engineers who were following the directions given by the one that commissioned the work.

That is the way we see things. The Bible is the inspired instructions for us to go on the journey to life. The way ahead is not easy or simple ( compare Matt 10:22 “he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved” ; Luke 13:22,23He said to them: 24 “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door, because many, I tell YOU, will seek to get in but will not be able”)

We must follow the engineers and help them to reach the prime objective. Together we become one organisation.

Why is it said that the “organisation is “spirit directed”?

The instruction manual that we have been given to use is inspired through the holy spirit. By carefully following the instructions there in, we are being led by holy spirit, even when it means that our “outlook, or expectations, of what to expect, or direction we might have to take” at times has to change because of details we could not foresee. Now as long as we keep using the instructions given, (the Bible), as our guide (instead of human reasoning’s) by carefully tracking the signs, making needed adjustments, then we are being guided by spirit.



I want to go back to the first quote that I mentioned from the 1992 Watchtower, this time I will quote the whole paragraph instead of the portion that opponents of JWs used, and note how the wording is a very very brief summary of the above


Another cause for joy is our God-given freedom to approach Jehovah in prayer with the assurance that we will be heard. Yes, our prayers are answered because we have the reverential “fear of Jehovah.” (Proverbs 1:7) Moreover, we are helped to keep ourselves in God’s love by “praying with holy spirit.” (Jude 20, 21) This we do by manifesting a heart condition acceptable to Jehovah and by praying under the spirit’s influence for things in harmony with his will and his Word, which shows us how to pray and what to ask for in prayer. (1 John 5:13-15) If we are sorely tried and do not know what to pray for, ‘the spirit joins in with help for our weakness, pleading for us with groanings unuttered.’ God answers such prayers. (Romans 8:26, 27) Let us pray for holy spirit and allow it to produce in us those of its fruits particularly needed to face a certain trial. (Luke 11:13) We will also increase our joy if we prayerfully and diligently study God’s spirit-inspired Word and Christian publications prepared under the spirit’s guidance.

By following the outline and instructions of Gods inspired word we are praying in harmony with Gods holy spirit, Gods will and his word.

So how can it be said that elders are appointed by holy spirit under Christ’s direction.” Again we need to look at how Jehovah's Witnesses understand that. That particular quote does not answer the question, so I will provide one that does. This come from the January 1 2001 Watchtower, pages 13,14 paragraphs 9-12 under the subheading

Overseers and Ministerial Servants Theocratically Appointed

9 Paul reminded overseers living in Ephesus that they had been appointed by God through holy spirit. He said: “Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.” (Acts 20:28) Those Christian overseers needed to continue to be led by holy spirit as they carried out their duties as shepherds of the flock of God. If a man who occupied an appointed office no longer met the divine standard, in time holy spirit would operate to remove him from his position.

10 How is it that the holy spirit plays a pivotal role? First of all, the record that sets out requirements for spiritual oversight was inspired by holy spirit. In his letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul outlined the standards to be met by overseers and ministerial servants. Altogether, he mentioned some 16 different requirements. For instance, overseers were to be irreprehensible, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach, and exemplary as family heads. They were to be balanced in the use of alcoholic beverages, were not to be lovers of money, and were to exercise self-control. Similarly, high standards were set for men reaching out for appointment as ministerial servants.—1 Timothy 3:1-10, 12, 13; Titus 1:5-9.

11 A review of these qualifications shows that those who take the lead in Jehovah’s worship must be exemplary in Christian conduct. Men who reach out for congregational responsibility must give evidence that holy spirit is operating on them. (2 Timothy 1:14) It must be evident that God’s spirit is producing in these men the fruitage of “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23) Such fruitage would be manifested in their dealings with fellow believers and others. Of course, some may excel in displaying certain fruits of the spirit, while others may meet other qualifications for overseers to a superior degree. In their overall pattern of life, however, all who hope to be appointed as overseers or ministerial servants should demonstrate that they are spiritual men, measuring up to the requirements of God’s Word.

12 When Paul exhorted others to become imitators of him, he could do so with freeness of speech because he himself was imitating Jesus Christ, who ‘left us a model for us to follow his steps closely.’ (1Peter 2:21; 1 Corinthians 11:1) Those meeting the Scriptural requirements at the time of their appointment as overseers or ministerial servants may thus be said to have been appointed by holy spirit.
__________________________

So how are elders and the organisation lead by (directed by) the holy spirit. By applying the standards and requirements out lined in Gods word the Bible that was inspired (God breathed).

OK Then what about all the other religions that follow the Bible, can it not be said that they are spirit directed?

No doubt they could claim that as well. However God has always worked thorough an organisation. At one time it was the Nation of Israel were Gods people/\. As a nation they were rejected. The followers of Christ became Gods chosen people. The question, now, is, are the religions of Christendom like the Nation of Israel that have “a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). We Jehovah's Witness believe so. Why do we have that view?

First, no doubt you remember the occasion when Jesus was talking to a Samaritan women at a well.  I will present a portion of it  from the NWT and highlight some point in it 
 

John 4:16 -26 “16 He said to her: “Go, call your husband and come to this place.” 17 In answer the woman said: “I do not have a husband.” Jesus said to her: “You said well, ‘A husband I do not have.’ 18 For you have had five husbands, and the [man] you now have is not your husband. This you have said truthfully.” 19 The woman said to him: “Sir, I perceive you are a prophet. 20 Our forefathers worshiped in this mountain; but YOU people say that in Jerusalem is the place where persons ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her: “Believe me, woman, The hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will YOU people worship the Father. 22 YOU worship what YOU do not know; we worship what we know , because salvation originates with the Jews. 23 Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshiperswill worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him: “I know that Messiah is coming, who is called Christ. Whenever that one arrives, he will declare all things to us openly.” 26 Jesus said to her: “I who am speaking to you am he.”

Point 1  Gods wants his worshippers to do so in truth.

Now the Bible tells us that the nation of Israel were once Gods chosen people. Would we not expect the  the Jewish religious leaders to set the example of worship that was acceptable to God? Can we have a read of what Jesus said about  some of theses religious teachers (leaders), again in the book of John (as per the NWT) 

John 8:42-47  “42 Jesus said to them: “If God were YOUR Father, YOU would love me, for from God I came forth and am here. Neither have I come of my own initiative at all, but that One sent me forth. 43 Why is it YOU do not know what I am speaking? Because YOU cannot listen to my word. 44 YOU are from YOUR father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of YOUR father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of [the lie]. 45 Because I, on the other hand, tell the truth, YOU do not believe me. 46 Who of YOU convicts me of sin? If I speak truth, why is it YOU do not believe me?  47 He that is from God listens to the sayings of God. This is why YOU do not listen, because YOU are not from God.”

Point 2 If we do not listen to God then we are following a lie and the lie originates with Satan.

There is a distinct difference then between what God accepts and will not accept. If a group of people (religion) are not teaching the basic truths of God, how can they be letting the inspired writings direct them or lead them

Just as JWs will say that we teach the truth, most religions will say that we do not, however one is correct and one is not.  It is the choice of each of us to decide.  There are many differences between JWs and what people call the “main stream religions”  The most important differences are as follows (at this stage no scriptural discussion is involved. If you want to know bout any of the, please feel free to ask individual questions.)  This list is not necessarily in  order of importance.

God is NOT a trinity 

Gods (the Fathers) personal name is in English Jehovah

Jesus was the first and only direct creation of God

Through Jesus as Gods agent or master worker all things were made  

the holy spirit is not a person 

Man was made to live forever on the earth

there is immortal soul

there is no fiery hell fire

Gods purpose is to restore the earth to it original condition

God has allowed Satan time to try to prove the point that we  God does not know what is best for mankind.

All followers of Christ should have an evangelising spirit

The good news (the gospel) that Jesus taught his followers about was a government (kingdom)that is to bring changes to the earth, and do away with Satan

God does not work individually but works though an organised arrangement

I suppose those are the main areas where we different form the majority. If we are correct, and we believe we are, then those that do not believe those things are not worshipping God in a way he proves, with truth, and, thus are following the lie of Satan.

There is truth and there is lie. We believe that the above is truth and to believe otherwise is lie

Of course it can be said the other way round as well. So it is up to each person to examine those basic points for themselves to determine who is worshipping God the way he wants to be served. Getting the basics correct allows for the growing in accurate knowledge (2 Peter 3:18; "
No, but go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him [be] the glory both now and to the day of eternity." Philippians
 1:9 "And this is what I continue praying, that YOUR love may abound yet more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment,")


Some people complain about the NWT rendering of Philippians 1:9 which uses the wording “accurate knowledge. See the article under NWT Romans 1:28 – Accurate Knowledge.

Colossians 1:15,16,17,18

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things." (NWT)

These verses have caused a good deal of controversy because most people fell quite strongly that the NWT committee have insisted on their own theology by inserting [other] into the textSuch people conclude that Jesus is God, (or equal to God) because, they feel that these verses (without the word [other]) are teaching us the following:

1. Jesus is the one who created all things. Yet the NWT inserts the word [other] into the text Trinitarians say that by doing so, this detracts from Paul's claim that Jesus is the creator of ALL things, which ultimately detracts from Jesus' glory and puts Jesus into the class of created beings!

2. Jesus is called the firstborn, meaning that he is the "pre-eminent one" who is over all creation, but not a member of creation

Is Jesus Jehovah? Are the above thoughts correct?

First, we do well to look at the context of Paul's words in order to arrive at a proper understanding. Starting from Colossians 1:12-15, we read: "12 thanking the Father who rendered YOU suitable for YOUR participation in the inheritance of the holy ones in the light. 13 He (The Father) delivered us (The disciples) from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his (The Fathers) love, 14 by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins. 15 He (The Son, hence Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." (NWT) (Bracketed words mine)

Is it reasonable to conclude from these verses, that it is the Father who is responsible for the disciples coming under the rulership or kingdom of Jesus, the "Son of his [the Father's] love."? So, is the context here speaking about theFather, and his accomplishments toward the disciples of the first century (or the anointed congregation.)? I feel that is a reasonable assumption to make especially since Paul goes on tell us something about this "Son of his [the Father's] love." He tells us in verse 15 that Jesus is the image (Greek: eikon) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all (Greek: prototokos pasescreation (Greek: ktiseos). Let's look at each of these two descriptions of Jesus, before we move to verse 16. (The GNo = Strongs Greek index Number) 

Jesus is the image (eikon) of the invisible God. The Greek word eikon acording to Strong's means (GNo.. 1504): "a likeness, i.e. (lit.statue, profile, or (fig.)  representationresemblance:- image." This word eikon is derived fromeiko (GNo. 1503) " appear, a prim. Verb [perh. Akin to 1502 through the idea of faintness as a copy]; to resemble:- be like" (Bold mine)


Please note another description of Jesus at Heb 1:3 where he is said to be "the express image" (KJV) of God. The word for "express image" is the word charakter, (GNo. 5481 of Hebrews 1:3 which means "… a graver (the tool or the person) i.e. (by impl.) engraving (["character"], the figure stamped, i.e. an exact copy or [fig.] representation):- express image." To follow that thought through, take the imprint of the stamp. It is NOT the stamp, but rather the "vessel," or "seal of clay" which bears the imprint (the figure stamped). When done carefully the imprint would be an exact copy or representation, would it not?

Vines Complete Expository Dictionary in its rendering of the word Image, links eikon and charakter as being closely related.. (Just think of the English words we use that are derived from these two, iconand characterand the way we understand them in our language.) I think, though, Vines makes a bold statement and assumption when it says "In the NT it is used metaphorically in Heb. 1:3, of the Son of God as 'the very image (marg., the impress) of His substance' RV. The phrase expresses the fact that the Son is both personally distinct from, and yet literally equal to, Him of whose essence He is the adequate imprint (Liddon)." From my point of view, that kind of idea (as is common with those that believe that Jesus is God) is putting ones own "theology" or "doctrine" into the Scriptures as it is assumed that the NWT does. The comments sited do not give the reader any textual comments to support their idea, but the reader would get the impression as fact as to what the writer was saying.

The NWT is accused of inserting words and ideas into the text to conform to what the Translation Committee believed, but I see the NWT being honest and imputing no personal idea from these words. What do you see?

I see Paul is bringing to our attention, that Jesus is NOT the original, but rather a copy, reflection, or likeness, of the invisible God. He is NOT the Almighty invisible God, he is the Almighty invisible God's reflection. We might liken it to looking into a mirror. When you look into a mirror, you see your reflection or a copy of yourself. No one in their right mind would say that the actual reflection in the mirror is "literally" you, would they? No, because you are the one looking into the mirror. What is coming from the mirror is your reflection. The same is true with Jesus. He is NOT the invisible God, but he is the reflection, or copy of, the invisible God. Jesus, then, is the reflection or image, NOT the Source. Thus Jesus is NOT God. 

Jesus is the "firstborn of" creation. Now some say, that if Paul here meant first-created, he would have use the term "protoktistos", which in Greek means first-created. Greg Stafford (in his book Jehovah's Witnesses Defended page 92) reports that this expression was not in popular use until the second or early third century CE. He gives quite a lot of detail as to the use of that term and where to find it in early Greek writings. So did Paul really mean to use First-created"? Consider the following.


Some will argue that "the word firstborn, as used in the Bible, does not always literally mean the first one that was born or created," and this is true, we go along with that. David was called "my firstborn" by Jehovah at Psalms 89:27. Yet David was not literally the firstborn of Jesse's family; he actually was the last one born. So in what sense could he be called Jehovah's firstborn? The term firstborn here refers to the pre-eminent position of rulership and the covenant for a kingdom that he would be given, to sit on Jehovah's throne, as the firstborn of those that would come from his family line. This scripture was fulfilled prophetically in Jesus, who would be from royal line of David as John 7:42 explains: "Has not the Scripture said that the Christ is coming from the offspring of David, and from Beth'lehem the village where David used to be?"

Now because of this, some conclude that the word "firstborn," as translated here in Colossians 1:15, shows the role of "pre-eminence" that Jesus would have over creation. Does this line of reasoning apply to what Paul said here about Jesus at Colossians 1:15? The answer I come to is NO! 

The term that Paul used of Jesus here was not the word "firstborn" by itself, like at Psalms 89:27. It was the words "firstborn of." Now, with this being said, what is the import? The term "firstborn of" , according to Strongs Concordance, occurs in the Bible in 34 different texts (not including Colossians 1:15 which was the only place in the JKV NT). And every single instance of its use, shows that the one being spoken of (the subject) is in the class or group of those mentioned. Let us look at a few examples of this. At Exodus 11:5 we read: "...from the firstborn of Phar'aoh who is sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the maidservant who is at the hand mill and every firstborn ofbeast."
Here we see that those called "firstborn" are members of the class, or group next mentioned, ie: "the firstborn of Phar'aoh,"....was of the house of Pharaoh....."the firstborn of the maidservant,"......was a slave, or of the maidservant....."the "firstborn of beast,".....was a beast. Thus all of these referred to as "firstborn of" were all members of the class or group mentioned in the text.

Does this then mean, as some have said, that Jesus should have been called the firstborn of Jehovah? For if he is the "firstborn of every creature"(JKV), are we to conclude then, that "creation parented Jesus," because Pharaoh "parented his firstborn? 

Well what did Paul say? He called Jesus "prototokos pases ktiseos," "the firstborn of all creation." (NWT) Paul wrote these inspired words in the grammatical case which is called the partitive genitive. A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament on page 79, indicates "a noun [in the case of Colossians 1:15, this would be prototokos or firstborn] may be defined, by indicating in the genitive [in Colossians 1:15, this would be pases ktiseos or of all creation] the whole [creation] of which it [firstborn] is a part." Thus, according to Thayer's Greek Lexicon on page 555, " [Jesus]....came into being through God prior to the entire universe of created things."

Thus this term, "firstborn of," is not speaking about the parent of the subject, but rather, it is pointing to the group or class to which the subject belongs! 

Yes, Jesus indeed is in the group of those that were created.(Proverbs 8:22; John 3:16) However, his creation is very unique as is evident by the expression Paul used, the "firstborn of all creation." What exactly does this tell us? 

Let us look to Colossians 1:18, which reads: "and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things.

Notice here that Jesus is called the "firstborn from the dead." How can this be true, for did not Jesus and other prophets of God raise persons from the dead? Yes they did! Thus this phrase, as applied to Jesus, tells of the type of resurrection Jesus had. His resurrection had to be unique in order for the term "firstborn from the dead" to be applied to him. But in what way? The Bible tells of two ways Jesus earns the title the "firstborn from the dead." 

First: Galatians 1:1 says: "Paul, an apostle, neither from men nor through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him up from the dead" Peter said also at Acts 5:30: "The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom YOU slew, hanging him upon a stake." (NWT) 

Yes, it was God the Father himself who resurrected Jesus directly. Remember Jesus' words at John 5:28,29: "Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out." 

Yes, when the dead are raised in the future, they will be raised because they hear Jesus' voice. (see 1Thess. 4:16 below) Thus all other resurrections in the future, from the time of Jesus' death on, will be through Jesus Christ. However, the resurrection of Jesus was done directly by the Father. Thus, Jesus rightfully is called the firstborn from the dead in this sense. But let us look at another way Jesus earns the title firstborn from the dead.
Second: Jesus told his disciples that where he would be, they would be also. John 14:3 reads: "Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for YOU, I am coming again and will receive YOU home to myself, that where I am YOU also may be." Yes, just as Jesus was resurrected to heaven, his disciples were to be raised with him. Notice that Jesus said "I am coming again and will receive YOU home." Yes, Jesus was the one who would resurrect those that would be with him in heaven. This is brought out clearer in 1Thessalonians 4:16, which says: "because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice and with God's trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.

Yes Jesus was the firstborn from the dead to go to heaven. Others would follow. Jesus, as seen by Paul's words above, will descend and the dead will hear his voice, and those that are in union with Jesus (Romans 8:15,16) will be resurrected to heaven. Others, as John 5:28 says, will also be raised by Jesus to a glorious new earth. (Psalms 37:11,29; Matthew 5:5; 2Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:3,4) 

Now in order to fully understand what the apostle Paul meant by the term "firstborn of all creation," we must turn our discussion to Colossians 1:16. Is Jesus the creator of all things and is the insertion of the word [other] proper? First, let us notice the end of verse 16. There we read: "All [other] things have been created through him and for him." Notice here that Jesus is the one "through whom all [other] things were created." The Greek word translated "through" is dia. In this verse, dia means: "denoting the channel of an act, agency, means." Yes, Jesus was the "means through which" creation took place. Notice also that this creation was done "for" him. Who did this "for him?" Paul tell us in Hebrews 1:1,2 : "God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things."
Yes it was Jesus' own God and Father, Jehovah (Micah 5:4) who made the system of things through his Son, who was with him in heaven! (Proverbs 30:4; 8:22,30; Genesis 1:26) 

But is it proper to insert the word [other] into the text at Colossians 1:16,17? Well, as we have established, it was the Father, Jehovah, that was the author of creation. Jesus was the Father's means or instrument or channel by which His creation was accomplished. Also, as we have established above, it was the Father who was responsible for the disciples coming under the rulership or kingdom of Jesus, the "Son of his [the Father's] love." So the context leading up to Colossians 1:15,16 is dealing with the Father.

Now if we do NOT add the word [other] into the text, what would this mean? Well, if Jesus created ALL THINGS THAT WERE IN HEAVEN" then we would be under obligation to say that Jesus created his Father! For the Father most certainly is in heaven! And the context is dealing with the Father sending his Son. Also, the Father most certainly is a "thing." Webster's defines the word "thing" as: "that which is referred to as existing as an individual, an entity, a tangible object, a person." Yes, all things in heaven include the Father, who according to trinitarians IS a person. So then, are we to imagine that Jesus created God the Father? Well, the Bible teaches that the Father is the King of eternity at 1Tim.1:17. So one in this position hardly could be a created being! So you ABSOLUTELY NEED to insert the word [other] into the text, so as to avoid any confusion on this matter. But this is not the only reason the insertion of the word [other] is appropriate as we will see. 

Pausing for a moment, let us consider what some mistakenly have stated. Some say that Paul could have used another word in this text, if he wanted to say that Jesus was "just a created being." Well, very simply, this is NOT what Paul wanted to say! This is NOT the point of the verse. For the thought that Paul was conveying was NOT that Jesus was "just a created being." Thus, those that make this statement do not even understand the verse in the first place. As Paul revealed in verse 15, Jesus' creation was unique. Paul's thought was that Jehovah directly created his Son Jesus, hence the title "the firstborn of all creation." We see this by John's use of the phrase the "only begotten Son" as in John 3:16. Jesus creation was a distinct type of creation, in that there was NO "channel," or "means by which," the creation of Jesus was accomplished. It was Jehovah's only direct creation. All [other] creations were different types of creations, as they were all done through Jesus as the "channel," or "means by which" these different creations came into being. Yes, these [other] things were all different in that they were creations made THROUGH Jesus.This is why Jesus is called the "prototokos" [firstborn] of all creation, or God's 'monogenes,' his "only begotten." 

Thus, concerning these [other] things, Jesus is the means by which they came into being from the Father. It is NOT, as again some have mistakenly said, that God created Jesus, and then Jesus created all other things! Let us continue with our discussion. 

To translate the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into the English (or any language for that matter) is an awesome task. Bible translation committees have to struggle with the all important task of translating words from one language into another in a way that reflects the full impact, feeling, and flavour, of the original text. They must do this, while being conscience of doing so in a way that would not include any "overly biased views" that ultimately distort the translation. Words written in the original languages often are written in specific grammatical cases, or are placed in determined locations in the sentence, all of which indicate the full meaning of the word in the text. However, when you translate them into another language that does not use these different devices to indicate the same meaning, you need to insert words that impart the full flavour and understanding of the original word into the new language you are translating into. 

Consider Acts 5:29, where we read: "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (KJV) Notice the word “other” is in italics. That is how the KJV shows added words The NWT puts them in [ ]


Why is “other” added to the text here and no one complains. Could it be that there is no theological implication? Is it seen as OK to add words when the context demand when no theology is involved.

So what is the reason for adding “other”? The context suggests it. The surrounding verses read from the KJV

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”


Now we all know that Peter was one of the 12 apostles. If the word “other” was not inserted, the reading would make Peter distinct from the apostles. The literal word for word reading of that verse is Yet the Peter and the apostles said to be yeilding is binding God rather or humans”  or in English gramma ...Then Peter and the apostles said...” this literally makes Peter not a member of the 12, yet we know from other texts that he is.


We know from the context of Colossians and from other txts that Jesus is a different person to the Father, and is inferior to the Father. The only reasonable conclusion we can come to is to add the word “other

The  argument  against


The JWs say that they alone have accurate knowledge. The NWT adds the word “accurate” to knowledge in several texts to give the impression that knowledge is something special. Here is a comparison of some of those texts


Romans 1:28 "And just as they did not approve of holding God in accurate knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mental state, to do the things not fitting" (NWT)


Romans  1:28  "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient"  King James Version (italics original – it shows the word has been added by the translators of the KJV)


Ephesians 1:17 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give YOU a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him;"  (NWT)


Ephesians 1:17 "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: " (KJV)


EXPLANATION

It is true that we can have knowledge of someone one but, do we  have accurate knowledge. Just think of all the commercial magazines that print "knowledge" of say a politician, a royal family member, a sports person, an actor. How much of what is printed is accurate about that person? A lot of information that is presented to us in various forms of the media is not accurate at all. The only way to know for a certainty, is,  if we were close friends with the person being spoken of.


The Bible presents us with “accurate" information about God. The problem is, it was written in a language very few people understand. We rely on translators to get it correct.  When translators miss finer points of the original information, that means we do not get the full importance of what was intended.


Bellow is a list of all the places where the NWT uses the wording “accurate knowledge”


Romans 1:28; 3:20 ;10:2
Ephesians 1:17; 4:13
Philippians  1:9
Colossians  1:9 ; 1:10 ; 2:2 ; 3:10
1 Timothy 2:4
2 Timothy 2:25 ; 3:7
Titus 1:1
Philemon 1:6
Hebrews 10:26
2 Peter 1:2 ; 1:3 ; 1:8 2:20


In each case the Greek word is the same “epignosis”.  The above are all the places I could   find where this word appears. So in every case, the NWT uses the expression "accurate knowledge"   If you want to look it up in Strongs Greek Lexicon, the  word number is 1922. Here is the meaning from 3 different Greek Lexicons.


Thayer Greek Lexicon
precise and correct knowledge; used in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine:  absolutely,

Liddell and Scots Greek Lexicon
full knowledge


Strongs Greek Lexicon
recognition, i.e. (by impl.) full discernment, acknowledgment

(italics original in all quotes)


The NWT rendering of “accurate knowledge” is correct and gives more insight and depth to the meaning instead of just “knowledge” as in the KJV. It implies the need to not just know about God and Jesus but to know them fully, absolutely. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Are Jehovah's Witness under destructive or dangerous “mind control” (though reform)


The answer to the above question should be of interest to ANYONE that claims to follow the Bible. 

The basic answer to that question is both NO and YES


How can the be? You can not have it both ways. The answer is Yes or No.


The NO has to do with the destructive or dangerous mind control ideas that many apposers try to tell people about.  JWs do not fall into that category. The criteria that are supposed to determine a dangerous mind controlling cult will be discusses one at a time in their separate essays


So, in what way can you say that JWs have “thought control” and not be a destructive cult?


This is where every one that claims to be a Christian should agree with.


What has Christianity got to do with thought reform?


Actually, everything.


A Christian is a footstep follower of the Christ. Notice these definition from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Christian


adjective


1.  Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2.  Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
3.  Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
4.  Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
5.  Showing a loving concern for others; humane.


Noun


1.  One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2.  One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

The Bible tells us at 1 Peter 2:21 In fact, to this [course] YOU were called, because even Christ suffered for YOU, leaving YOU a model for YOU to follow his steps closely.


If any readers do not like the NWT I will give the KJV rendering “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps


If we want to call our selves Christian than we must follow the direction of Jesus. Notice what the KJV says (John 10:27) “ My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:(John 12: 26) “ If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour..”

Jesus entrusted his heritage to his apostles as they set about carrying out the commission he set for them Matthew 28:19,20 “19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Notice they apostles had to teach those that were baptised “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” and hat includes the commission in Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel [good news] of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” and just before he ascended to heaven he told them ,


What do we know about how people become followers of Christ? Evidently Paul, by use of reasoning was very good at persuading people. Acts 18:4 “And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”


Ac 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.


Ac 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:


Paul was very convincing in his reasoning’s that King Agrippa said to Paul “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Acts 26:28


The Greek word rendered persuade has several meanings including “persuade 22, trust 8, obey 7, have confidence 6, believe 3, be confident 2,” In the above examples the Greek word here is “peitho” in the active voice giving the meaning of persuade.


So, when we, without cohesion, decide to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses, it is because we have been persuaded by reason to do so. It is not an emotional choice, but a carefully thought out decision.  


That is not all many JWs that have chosen to become JWs have made a lot of changes in their lives,not because the WTBTS has had any control over us it is because of what the Bible says. Notice the sort of changes that were made in the first century by individuals that become Christians recorded by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians “ 9 What! Do YOU not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of YOU were. But YOU have been washed clean, but YOU have been sanctified, but YOU have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)


In order to make those changes, an individual must put on a “new personality”

Ephesians 4:20-24 20 But YOU did not learn the Christ to be so, 21 provided, indeed, that YOU heard him and were taught by means of him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that YOU should put away the old personality which conforms to YOUR former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his deceptive desires; 23 but that YOU should be made new in the force actuating YOUR mind, 24 and should put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.”

Colossians 3:5-115 Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. 7 In those very things YOU, too, once walked when YOU used to live in them. 8 But now really put them all away from YOU, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of YOUR mouth. 9 Do not be lying to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new [personality], which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all things and in all.”


So, yes, Jehovah's Witness are under the influence of “thought reform”. When we decide to come to, and follow the Christ, we learn to strip away the old way of life and put on a new personality, one that conforms to what our creator requires.


But what about the accusations put forward by the conspiracy theorist about the various destructive (thought reform) mind control techniques that are the WTBTS and JWs are supposed to use? They will be dealt with one at a time in articles of their own.





Friday, 23 August 2013

A PROPHET IS AMONG US

 I hope that this section has illustrated the need to really see for yourself what was published and to put statements into context of what the WBTS taught.

"But wait!" I hear opponents of JWs say, "your own magazine the Watchtower says that they are a prophet". To support their claim they will pull out a quote that someone has printed from the Watchtower April 1 1972 page 197 and it says :-

"So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?
IDENTIFYING THE "PROPHET"
These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet?….. This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses."

"There you see, they do claim to be a prophet"

Yes, on the surface, just reading that it is understandable why they come to that conclusion. But to the opponents that spread this quote, I would say it is very unfair and uncharitable of them to do so. Why do I say that? They fail to tell their readers the CONTEXT of that statement. This is probably because they do not understand the context. If, on the other hand, they do understand the context, then they are just wanting to cause waves, which again is very unfair. What they should also consider is, How do the Witnesses understand that statement? That is important because they are the ones that this statement affects.

To answer the second part of that first. Jehovah's Witnesses DO NOT view any one or group of persons as "inspired prophets", in the sense of the prophets from the Bible. So how do we view this modern day "prophet". We view this group as acting in the roll of a "prophet" in the sense of giving divine warning according to what is already written in the Bible in relation to events that are happening in the world today. How do we explain that? Lets see by examining the CONTEXT of the quote.

First, we need to look at a custom that most Witnesses would be aware off. When ever a major book is released, the following year a series of articles will appear in the Watchtower highlighting, in brief, some of the aspects of that book. During the year of 1971, a book was released entitled "The Nations Shall Know THAT I AM JEHOVAH - How?". This book was a commentary on the Bible Book of Ezekiel. That is the case here, the Watchtower is discussing material relating to that book and the JWs were aware of the significance of what the Watchtower was saying. They read nothing into this other than what was meant.
That Watchtower says (emphasis like this are mine)

QUOTE

"A third way of coming to know Jehovah God is through his representatives. In ancient times he sent prophets as his special messengers. While these men foretold things to come, they also served the people by telling them of God’s will for them at that time, often also warning them of dangers andcalamities. People today can view the creative works. They have at hand the Bible, but it is little read or understood. So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?

IDENTIFYING THE "PROPHET"

These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? The clergy of the so-called "Christian" nations hold themselves before the people as being the ones commissioned to speak for God. But, as pointed out in the previous issue of this magazine, they have failed God and failed as proclaimers of his kingdom by approving a man-made political organization, the League of Nations (now the United Nations), as "the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth."

However, Jehovah did not let the people of Christendom, as led by the clergy, go without being warned that the League was a counterfeit substitute for the real kingdom of God. He had a "prophet" to warn them. This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. They are still proclaiming a warning, and have been joined and assisted in their commissioned work by hundreds of thousands of persons who have listened to their message with belief.

Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. What does it show?

During the World War I period this group, the International Bible Students, was very active in preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, as their Leader Jesus Christ had set this work before them in his prophecy at Matthew 24:14. They took literally Jesus’ words to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is no part of this world." (John 18:36) They also took to heart Jesus’ words to his followers: "You are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world." They expected to suffer for living according to that rule, just as Jesus went on to say, "on this account the world hates you." (John 15:19) Hatred toward them grew into violence during World War I.

These Bible Students had long been concerned with Ezekiel and his prophecy. In 1917 they published a book entitled "The Finished Mystery," explaining the book of Ezekiel as well as that of Revelation. This book criticized the clergy as false to the Word of Jehovah. Within nine months a ban was put on its circulation in the United States and Canada. Then eight members of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, including its president and secretary-treasurer, were sentenced to prison in the Federal penitentiary, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Though the work of these Christians was crippled for a while, after only nine months the eight men were freed from prison, in March 1919. They accepted this as an answer from God to their prayers. Their work was revived, much to the consternation of the clergy, who had been behind the banning.

Accordingly, their magazine The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, in its issues of August 1 and 15, 1919, encouraged vigorous resumption of the work of preaching the good news free from the fear of men. Under the subject "Blessed Are the Fearless," the following statements were made: 

"There is a fear which is very proper, and which everyone must have who is pleasing to God, and this is known as ‘Godly fear’. It means a holy reverence for Jehovah and a fear lest we should displease him and come short of the blessings he has promised us. . . . The Scriptures abound with testimony that those whom God approves do not fear man nor any other creature, but have a holy, reverential fear of Jehovah. In times of old Jehovah justified some men to friendship with him, and the record of his dealing with them was written for the benefit of the church."

Ezekiel was one of these men so used by God, and not only his prophecies, but also Ezekiel himself and his acts were pictorial of things to come." 

"The League of Nations came into being in 1919 and began really to function when it was ratified by the signatory powers at Paris on January 10, 1920. But Jehovah’s servants continued to proclaim the Messianic kingdom of God. When the ban on The Finished Mystery was lifted, they resumed its circulation and, with it as a textbook, they continued to study the book of Ezekiel. As time went on and further developments fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel, a three-volume set of books titled "Vindication" provided an up-to-date understanding, showing more fully the application of the prophecy.

Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel’s work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God’s Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom. It is significant that, in 1931, after twelve years of faithful service despite the opposition of Christendom’s clergy, these followers of Christ embraced the name "Jehovah’s witnesses" at the same convention at which the book Vindication was released.—Isa. 43:10-12, American Standard Version."

END QUOTE 



What is the point of this? The information here is showing that they believed that were acting like a "prophet" in the same vain as Ezekiel had to.

Ezekiel was sent to the JEWS (his own people, the ones claiming to be Gods representatives) to warn them because they had turned away from their God, and in effect, at that time, did not represent God.
The parallel with that is as mentioned above the religions of Christendom supported man rule in the form of the League of Nations and not Gods Kingdom as the Bible students were doing. (That is another subject not to be discussed here due to limitation in space).

They only act as a "prophet" in that they do not claim to be inspiredbut interpret what they see in inspired Bible prophecy and from world events.

Note also Ezekiel 3:17-21 (NWT) "Son of man, a watchman is what I have made you to the house of Israel, and you must hear from my mouth speech and you must warn them from me. 18 When I say to someone wicked, ‘You will positively die,’ and you do not actually warn him and speak in order to warn the wicked one from his wicked way to preserve him alive, he being wicked, in his error he will die, but his blood I shall ask back from your own hand. 19 But as for you, in case you have warned someone wicked and he does not actually turn back from his wickedness and from his wicked way, he himself for his error will die; but as for you, you will have delivered your own soul. 20 And when someone righteous turns back from his righteousness and actually does injustice and I must put a stumbling block before him, he himself will die because you did not warn him. For his sin he will die, and his righteous acts that he did will not be remembered, but his blood I shall ask back from your own hand. 21 And as for you, in case you have warned someone righteous that the righteous one should not sin, and he himself does not actually sin, he will without fail keep on living because he had been warned, and you yourself will have delivered your own soul."

Ezekiel was appointed to watch (just as a sentry on a watchtower has to be alert to danger and warn of what he sees) and warn the breakers of the law of Gods covenant and of the consequences of their actions as per the words from Jehovah. Just as the soldier on sentry duty would be put to death if he fell asleep or failed to give warning, so Ezekiel would lose his life if he failed to pronounce Jehovah's warning. Jehovah's Witnesses, are announcing the warning words from Jehovah as found in his inspired book, the Bible. Also, they feel that they would be held accountable to their God if they did not give the warning that is needed today.

 So the CONTEXT of that article is NOT talking about "predicting" or "prophesying" about something new, but "prophesying " or sounding the WARNING of coming destruction upon false religion and those that listen too her just as Ezekiel did to apostate Israel.

 The opening words of chapter 5 of "The Nations Shall Know THAT I AM JEHOVAH - How?" says "A Watchman should be specially appreciated in time of danger. His service by day and night, if appreciated and acted upon, results in protection and life for those over whom he acts as watchman. The people of Christendom have been in great danger ever since the "time of the end " began.."

WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO WARN OF THINGS THAT HAVE NOT HAPPENED ?

A watchman on a WATCHTOWER, has the job of interpreting the events that he sees, (in a sense that makes him a prophet) and letting others know about them. If he were to wait until the enemy was knocking at the gates, it would probably be too late. So, the modern day watchman, continues to give warning according to his interpretation of events and Bible prophecy.

We can make a personal decision to listen to or ignore that watchman.


If people want to view portions of WTBTS literature as being "prophecy", that is their privilege. I personally (along with all JWs that I know) see NO prophecy in any of those words, and JWs DO NOT VIEW the WTBTS as prophets. But I do see them taking the responsibility to "keep on the watch" very seriously (just as the watchman on a Watchtower).


Matthew 24:24
Keep on the watch, therefore, because YOU do not know on what day YOUR Lord is coming

Matthew 25:13
Keep on the watch, therefore, because YOU know neither the day nor the hour.


Mark 13:33-35
Keep looking; keep awake, for YOU do not know when the appointed time is. 34 It is like a man travelling abroad that left his house and gave the

authority to his slaves, to each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to keep on the watch. 35 Therefore keep on the watch, for YOU do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing or early in the morning


Luke 12:37
Happy are those slaves whom the master on arriving finds watching!


Luke 12:40
YOU also, keep ready, because at an hour that YOU do not think likely the

Son of man is coming


Ephesians 5:15-16
So keep strict watch that how YOU walk is not as unwise but as wise [persons], 16 buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked
YES the organisation known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and the people that are attached to the group known as Jehovah's Witnesses are made up of imperfect humans with all of our failings. These ones are keeping on the watch, looking and warning.
YES there has been mistakes made, both in teaching and in the conduct of individuals. They do not stand still, they continue to progress.
    YES they can answer what is Gods purpose for the earth, why all the suffering, why Jesus came to earth, the future of all mankind.
YES they honour the God of the Bible by not mixing old pagan ideas, teachings and philosophies with the Bible. eg Easter, Christmas, Hell, Immortality of the Soul, God dishonouring Trinity to mention a few.

YES they have made what some call false predictions (interpretation). For me there is a difference between the prophecies of True and False Prophets as in the Bible, and the "prophecies" (interpretation) of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The prophets of old were coming up with original ideas relating to the future. Some of these come from Jehovah (true prophets) others from Satan (false prophets). The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society DO NOT come up with their own new prophecies. As they examine closely the Bible, they interpret what they see. Just like Moses, they sometime rush ahead, and just like Peter, they sometimes miss understand the information they see.

 YES they are striving to do the will of God by proclaiming his Kingdom by his son, Jesus.

 YES they strive to stay separate from this world (James 4:4 NWT  "4 Adulteresses, do YOU not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God") and ALL of its affairs e.g. politics, wars, social reform.

YES they are known through out the world for the good, peaceful, law-abiding results they bring to communities Note Matthew 7:16-20 NWT "By their fruits YOU will recognise them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognise those [men]."

YES, on the international stage they are known for the Love among themselves just as John 13:35 says: "By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves." As an international brotherhood this is particularly true. But note that, even in the days of the apostles, not all congregations showed the same degree of concern. That is why they had to be counselled to take care of orphans and widows (James 1:27). In the book of Revelation we read about one of the seven Congregations that had trouble with showing Love (Rev 2:4).

Also notice what Paul said to the Philippian congregation at Philippians 4:14-16 "14 Nevertheless, YOU acted well in becoming sharers with me in my tribulation. 15 In fact, YOU Phi·lip'pi·ans, also know that at [the] start of declaring the good news, when I departed from Mac·e·do'ni·a, not a congregation took a share with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except YOU alone; 16 because, even in Thes·sa·lo·ni'ca, YOUsent something to me both once and a second time for my need." NWT (italics mine) The apostle Paul even had to reprimand Peter for causing racial divisions as recorded for us in Galatians 2:11-13"However, when Ce'phas came to Antioch, I resisted him face to face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before the arrival of certain men from James, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he went withdrawing and separating himself, in fear of those of the circumcised class. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense" If these kind of things happened in the first century while the apostles of Jesus were still alive, and involving some of them, should we not expect to see similar things today?

For me, these are just some of the reasons why I an confident that the organisation known as The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society as well as the religion that this society represents Jehovah's Witnesses, are doing what is right in the eyes of our creator.


REMEMBER this was only a starting point in doing your own research. I am sure that if you do you will be able to come to the right conclusion