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 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


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.


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..


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.

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