QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
On July 8, 2012, we received the following inquiry:
“What also bothers me is that as witnesses we are not to question, we must always take anything told us and never doubt. But if you look into the past of our organization there have been falsehoods and errors. That has shaken my confidence in our leadership. That Christ is our leader and mediator is without any doubt. But how can we be sure that the governing body is indeed acting with Christ's and essentially Jehovah's backing? All I want is to have confidence and know that I am serving God and following Christ the way I should. At the moment that seems impossible. I wonder how when you also see the need for changes in teachings you can still be confident in the organizational structure and especially the governing body?”
Thank you for your inquiry. You are not alone in your sentiments. We are hearing from many among our association who are wavering and unsure. So we are glad that you elected to pose the question to us. We are pleased to answer.
We think that a better word to describe our view of the organization and the Governing Body would not be confident, but hopeful. We are hopeful that the Governing Body is made up of men who are honest of heart, truly desirous of serving the Father, and determined to teach only what is true. If they prove to be men of this sort, then the adjustment in the teachings will be made, which will have a domino effect of purging the Society’s teachings of all primitive religious error.
Every religious organization is run by humans; therefore they are each quite fallible. In a more advanced society, religion would not be an organization where a handful of men oversee all the faithful. Instead, religion would be associative where the various groups would be self-governing, yet respectful of other groups, with all looking to the Father and the Christ as their head, rather than to men. Unfortunately, the spiritual state of our planet has not been ready for associative spiritual religion. But we hope by way of this site to plant such a seed.
Perhaps we can persuade you to be hopeful as well, and not give up yet. The word of God can have unexpected results:
“For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart. And there is not a creation that is not manifest to his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.”
– Hebrews 4:12-13
As the word of God works on our leadership and our association, true intentions will become manifest. When that occurs, we will all have a clearer path ahead of us and we will all know what to do.
In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to reach the hearts of the Governing Body, and our brothers worldwide, all to the praise and glory of the Father and his Christ.
On July 9, 2012, we received the following inquiry:
“Rev 14:4 says the anointed is virgin men. How can woman also have the hope?"
To the author, thank you for your question. Here is our response:
The scripture you refer to says:
“These are the ones that did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones that keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.”
– Revelation 14:4
First, please remember that Revelation is a symbolic book. The visions John saw were signs and symbols of other things.
“A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent forth his angel and presented [it] in signs through him to his slave John.”
– Revelation 1:1
So it is not to be taken literally.
One reason we know it is not literal in this instance is because God is not partial. He does not favor men over women.
“At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”
– Acts 10:34-35
“You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one [person] in union with Christ Jesus. Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with reference to a promise.”
– Galatians 3:26-2
Further, how can being with a woman defile a man? Lawful marriage was among the blessings of God.
“Did you not read that he who created them from [the] beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’? So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has yoked together let no man put apart.”
– Matthew 19:4-7
“You wives, be in subjection to [your] husbands, as it is becoming in [the] Lord. You husbands, keep on loving [your] wives and do not be bitterly angry with them.”
– Colossians 3:18-19
And if we are to assume they are all literal virgins, that means that most of the apostles would not be among the 144,000. Historical records tell us the majority were married with children, so they were surely not virgins.
Remember also the account of the outpouring of the holy spirit at Pentecost. The spirit was poured out on women as well as men. Both were anointed.
“‘And in the last days,’ God says, ‘I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams; and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
– Acts 2:17-18
In fact, we are not even sure the number 144,000 is to be taken literally. Since these portions of the vision are not to be taken literally, we can assume that the entire vision is symbolic, including the number 144,000.
We encourage you to look at the plain and open teachings of Jesus when it comes to our hope, instead of the symbolic messages in Revelation. We believe that there would be no conflict in the two since they appear to be from the same source – Jesus. And since we can understand the plain and open teachings, it would be wiser to give interpretations to the signs and symbols in the Revelation that are consistent with the plain and open teachings.
Overall, we must be careful in assigning unequivocal meanings to the signs in the Revelation. Such interpretations are nothing more than speculation and if we take the speculations too seriously, we may be leading ourselves to disappointment. We suggest you rest your faith on the plain teachings of Jesus and the apostles in the books of Matthew through Jude.
On July 7, 2012, we received the following comment:
“You probably know why Jehovah God created man? People would live on earth with eternal life. But Satan got people to listen to him.
“Jehovah God has promised that he will make all things new, people will live on earth with eternal life. Revelation 21:1-5. But the rebellion in Eden, Jehovah God had to come up with a prophecy. 1 Genesis 3:15. “Who was it who would crush Satan's head, it was the Christ. Galatians 3:16. But there are several with Christ crushing Satan's head. Romans 16:20.
“In Revelation we read the number 144000 with Christ. Revelation 14:1. These 144,000 to be with Christ crushing Satan's head, and reign over the earth for a thousand years with Christ. Revelation 20:6.
“Many people will survive the great tribulation, they have supported those of the 144,000 who are still living on earth today, and many people will be a resurrection of the earth in the New World. Christ and the 144,000 will reign over them for a thousand years and help them to perfection, like Adam and Eve were.
“Then after the thousand years Satan will let loose and try them. Those who listen to Satan will be destroyed with Satan, Satan's head will be crushed. Revelation 20:7-10.”
This represents the “current understanding” that is promoted by the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Please notice that the teachings of the Christ are omitted, with the exception of these two scriptures:
“Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It says, not: “And to seeds,” as in the case of many such, but as in the case of one: “And to your seed,” who is Christ.”
– Galatians 3:16
“For his part, the God who gives peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. May the undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
– Romans 16:20
These scriptures do not support the teaching that only 144,000 go to heaven and the rest of faithful mankind lives on earth forever. Rather, Galatians 3:16 tells us that all who belong to Christ are the seed of Abraham – thus we are all brothers. We encourage the author to read the scripture in context. We published an article that discusses the entire book of Galatians that may also be of assistance: “Moving Forward in Faith.”
As for Romans 16:20, we believe the author is reading into that scripture what it does not say in order to support an “interpretation” or “current understanding.” It does not say that a 144,000 and the Christ will crush Satan.
The “current understanding” assumes that Jesus did not have a message for mankind; but that he was only here to gather 144,000 so he can go to war. The author of the above comment has missed the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:18-19); missed that we are all, in fact, sons of God through our faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26); that we are all brothers with one Father (Matthew 23:8-9); that no one comes to the Father except through Christ (John 14:6); that if we are not seeking the prize of the upward call, our mental attitude needs adjusting (Philippians 3:14-15).
To the author, we encourage you to read the Christian Greek Scriptures in their entirety and include them in your belief system. You may also appreciate the article “The Cherished Earthly Hope.” It has been very helpful in clarifying the earthly hope.
We wish you peace.