QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
01/23/13 Are you sure Daniel will be resurrected to the heaven? I don’t believe I am anointed.
01/22/13 Another request for clarification of the Governing Body’s “new light.”
01/19/13 Request for Clarification of the Governing Body’s “new Light.”
01/13/13 Follow up to Question and Response, January 9, 2013
01/09/13 On what specific date did Jesus institute the Memorial supper?
On January 27, 2013, we received the following comment:
Once again it seems you're another TV god channel after making money.
To the author, it appears you visited our site, saw the Donations page, and misjudged our motives and intent. We believe if you look at the contents of the site, you may form a different opinion. We believe the sincerity of our message and our intent is revealed in the content of the site. The Donations page is there simply to provide an opportunity for others, who are so inclined, to share in our ministry. We do not solicit donations.
Since you are not the first person to challenge our motives, we thought it would be beneficial to make a public response. By so doing, we hope to inform our visitors of our intent, and to let them know that while we welcome donations, we engage in this ministry for the purpose of uplifting the spiritual conversation worldwide, and directing all persons, including our brothers and sisters among Jehovah=s Witnesses, to the Kingdom of the Heavens.
This website began as a labor of love of two individuals and continues to be such. We had no idea that the website and the interest in the website would grow as rapidly as it has. What began as a part-time prospect has now become a full time endeavor which requires the operators of this website to significantly cut back on secular work in order to maintain the site and continue to do this work.
Recently, one of us was diagnosed with cancer and is currently unable to contribute financially while he is undergoing treatment, although his illness has not stopped him from carrying on the ministry face to face with everyone he meets in the hospitals, doctor's offices, even the ambulances. You can see the effect his personal ministry is having on other cancer patients by reading General Emails and Emails from our Association in support of our work. We are assured by faith of his recovery, so in the meantime, the work continues.
No, we are not independently wealthy either. In fact, we live from month to month. A few of our friends know our financial condition and choose to help us make ends meet. And some of our visitors have likewise made small contributions, however, those contributions do not cover even 2% of our expenses.
Nevertheless, we will do this work whether we receive contributions or not. Money is not the goal. Never has been. Our goal is to uplift the spiritual conversation worldwide and uplift the association of Jehovah=s Witnesses. Our reward is in the heavens.
We know that our work has significantly changed thousands of lives for the better. We deem it a wonderful privilege to serve the Christ by reviving his original teachings. When others chose to help us carry out this work and lighten our load by making financial contributions, we readily and appreciatively accept it. And we firmly believe the Father is on our side, as has been proven to us time and time again in ways that are not altogether comprehensible or explicable. These matters we do not make public because we are not trying to draw attention to ourselves individually.
The reason we provide a way for visitors to make voluntary contributions is because they asked us to. In fact, the first link that allows visitors to make a contribution was not put on the site until 6 months after we began, and only then in response to visitor requests. A couple of our contributors explained that they want to share in our ministry and a monetary contribution is the only way they know how. And because we are struggling to keep this site going, we gladly accept their assistance.
Thus, this endeavor is far from a money making scheme. You have wrongly judged us. However, if you do not appreciate what we are doing, you are under no obligation to contribute. You can take whatever benefits you gain here and go on your way. Contributions should come from the heart.
As for us, this website will continue to operate for as long as the Father wills, with or without third party financial support. Our purpose is not being accomplished by the might or wealth of men, but by the spirit of the Father. Amen.
On January 23, 2013, we received the following comment and inquiry (some of which we reworded for clarification):
“A previous visitor asked as question [on September 28, 2012], ‘What would you say about the promise made to Daniel, in Daniel 12:13? And as for you yourself, go toward the end; and you will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days? Daniel was personally assured of his future resurrection. Where to?’ You answered: ‘Daniel was a faithful servant of God, so we fully expect that he will be resurrected to the heavens.’ WHAT DOES THAT MEANS ?? MAY I ASK WHAT YOU MEAN THAT HE WILL BE IN HEAVEN. Please answer my question on your website. And not to forget, I want to thank you all for the making of this website. I'm not one of the anointed, but I enjoy knowing what your current focus is. But my younger brother is. He accepted his calling last year and I just turned 19 this year. This website has helped him a lot. I know you are indeed helping out your brothers so thanks a lot. Your sister in the truth. Thanks again, indeed God is with you.”
Dear Sister, thank you for visiting our site and posing your question. We are pleased to know that our site is helping your brother.
We understand why the answer we provided asserting that Daniel would be resurrected in the heavens is news to many Jehovah’s Witnesses, and possibly even confusing. But it really is not that complicated. The only reason there is confusion is because the leadership in our organization has convinced the vast majority of us that only 144,000 will be resurrected to heaven and the remaining billions will be resurrected to earth. They feel that since Daniel died before Jesus, he could only have a resurrection to the earth. We strongly disagree with that reasoning.
We find nothing in all of Jesus’ teachings, or in the teachings of any of the Christian Bible writers that the resurrection of mankind would be on earth. Many, including our leadership, have attempted to interpret certain verses in the symbolic book of Revelation and have concluded that they must refer to an earthly resurrection. Such interpretations are shortsighted, presumptuous, and, in direct opposition to what Jesus taught. It might be helpful if we provide an indepth discussion of the concept of resurrection.
To that end, today we published an article entitled The Promised Resurrection which addresses this matter in detail. You also might want to read the articles What Hope is There for the Dead? and What is God’s Purpose for the Earth? After you have had an opportunity to read the article, if you still have questions, please feel free to write us again.
One other interesting thing you wrote was that you do not believe you are among the anointed who will be going to heaven. We think you are mistaken. Every person who is a follower of Christ, will be following him into the heavens. There is no salvation in any other way as is evident from Jesus’ conversation about the eternal destinies of mankind. He explained that there were only two destinies:
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. . . . Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, ‘Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. . . And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.”
– Matthew 25:34, 41, 46
Either one will inherit the kingdom, or be destroyed. There is no middle ground – no other destiny. Also, ask yourself these questions: Do I belong to the Christ? When I pray, do I refer to God as my Father? When I pray for direction, am I led by spirit? If you answer yes to these questions, you are a child of God with the heavenly hope. Notice these scriptures:
“But he who guarantees that you and we belong to Christ and he who has anointed us is God. He has also put his seal upon us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.”
– 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer together that we may also be glorified together.”
– Romans 8:14-17
We challenge you to find one teaching in the Bible that tells followers of Jesus to pursue everlasting life on earth, or that speaks favorably of anyone who fails to pursue the heavenly hope. We have not been able to find any such teachings. Although it is generally accepted in our organization that the majority of us have an ‘earthly hope,’ that teaching is not found anywhere in the Christian writings.
Take a look at the numerous articles on this site that show the true hope for all Christians, including Who Are Led by Spirit, Moving Forward in Faith, Holding Fast to the Sacred Secret, and Foreordained from the Founding of the World. Again, if you continue to have questions after you have read these articles, please feel free to write us again.
We know this information is not in harmony with what the Governing Body currently teaches. It is our hope and prayer that soon they, too, will see the true light of the good news of the kingdom and correct their course as has often been required of those who seek to please the Father.
And we wish you and your brother the very best.
We received the following comment and inquiry (some of which we reworded for clarification) on January 22, 2013:
“First off I appreciate all your efforts. Here is my question. According to the Governing Body, in 1919, Jesus appointed the Governing Body as the Faithful and Discreet Slave (FDS) and gave them authority over the ‘domestics' to give them their food at the proper time. According to the "new light," there have only been about 30 men who have served as part of the FDS since 1919 because this was not an appointment for all anointed Christians, just the small group serving at headquarters.
The reward for properly feeding the domestics is that they would be appointed over all of the Master's belongings. They also say that "this is the same reward promised to all faithful anointed Christians." But why are all faithful anointed Christians given the reward when only a handful of them serving on the Governing Body actually did the faithful and discreet work? And since the Governing Body does not seek the input of the remaining anointed Christians, and since the remaining anointed ones have no say in what food is served, how can they be included in that promise and be rewarded for doing something they did not and could not do? Why are they rewarded for the work of others? How can anyone be rewarded as a FDS and yet not be one?”
To the author, you pose very interesting and valid questions. Another visitor posed other valid questions in Question and Response, January 19, 2013. Of course, we cannot answer such questions since the “new light” originates with the Governing Body. Only they can offer a clear explanation.
From our perspective, the Governing Body has quite a few hurdles to overcome to try to explain this “new light.” They are clearly having difficulty. It has been three months since they announced the “new light,” yet there have been no talks or special announcements clarifying it. And the current Watchtowers, which cover study materials through June 24, 2013, contains no explanation either.
Perhaps, the Governing Body is choosing to back off of this so-called “new light.” Or maybe they are hoping that if they ignore it, it will just silently go away. It has certainly caused a great deal of confusion in the organization. Yet, Paul wrote:
“For God is [a God], not of disorder, but of peace.”
– 1 Corinthians 14:33
So if the “new light” is truly from God, we expect the Governing Body to resolve this matter very soon. We will stay tuned and we suggest you do the same.
On January 19, 2013, we received the following comment:
“I have just finished the article concerning The Other Sheep...and decided to reference the whole article on the jw.org website, for context.... Under the heading, "When does Christ appoint the slave over all His belongings?" They say that Christ appoints the slave over all His belongings during the great tribulation!? I see that they differentiate between, "The Domestics", and, "All His belongings", but the context of the parable clearly shows that there are multiple slaves left in charge when the master goes away, and it's only on his return that He makes any, "Appointment"! Am I being picky? I don't mean to be, but it just doesn't sit right, or maybe I am out of line? I suppose I just get so frustrated at their apparent inability to just admit straight out that, "Judge" Rutherford got it wrong, in so MANY different ways!? Blessings dear brothers.”
To the author, thank you for your email. We agree with your reasoning. If one uses the Governing Body’s interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47, one would have to conclude that in 1919, Christ gave authority over the ‘domestics’ to several slaves, i.e., several different Christian groups. And when he returns during the Great Tribulation (according to the Governing Body’s understanding), Christ will see which group is faithful and discreet, and appoint that group over ‘all his belongings.’ Therefore, during this time (in 2013), the Governing Body is still vying with other Christian groups for the appointment! By their own reckoning, they are not the sole channel just yet!
This certainly poses a problem for the Governing Body. Perhaps this is another reason why they have not yet published a sober and scriptural explanation of this ‘new light.’ Perhaps in their attempt to write a logical and reasonable explanation, they have come up against problems like this and have no found a way out.
Of course, we do not believe Matthew 24:45-47 is a prophecy at all, but rather a parable encouraging all Christians to be faithful and discreet in their ministry and worship, and if they are, they will be rewarded. It is a personal challenge for each of us, as Jesus said in a parallel scripture:
“But what I say to you, I say to all, Keep on the watch.”
– Mark 13:37
The type of chaotic reasoning the Governing Body is experiencing is to be expected when one ‘goes beyond the things written.’ (1 Corinthians 4:6) They have put themselves, and those who follow them, in a terrible position that only humility and retreat can resolve. We have not yet given up hope that the Governing Body will make the needed adjustment. We will continue to pray for them and encourage them in this regard.
On January 13, 2013, we received a follow-up comment in response to Question and Response dated January 9, 2013:
“Let me address some points about your answer to my treatise: [Author references The Insight Book 2 p. 626.] So Jesus did celebrate the Lord's Meal after celebrating Passover. As second line of proof that the time reckoning that Jesus used was according to the Pharisee's view and then celebrating the Passover and later Lord's meal on the evening ending Nisan 14th is that the outpouring of spirit in Pentecost only works using the Pharisees' reckoning of the Pentecost which count 50 days from Passover unlike the Saducce' and Kararites' point of view counting 50 days from the first Sunday after Passover. The time line in the Books of Acts proves this point. It would be unreasonable to think that Jesus follow a different method from ALL the existing Jews for calculating Passover and later appear on the Pentecost date according to the Pharisees.
“About how often the memorial should be celebrated, I want to point out that in the Memorial we commemorate Jesus' death and no the Lord's meal at least from the JW point of view as the invitations say: " The Memorial of Jesus Christ's Death". The early church commemorated Jesus' death and resurrection on the same day of the Jewish Passover. It was later when the Roman church wanted not to rely in Jewish calculations that they switched to the Friday of the week in which the Jewish Passover was. Then was when the church from Asia Minor followers of the John Gospel's chronology protested. This is a well-attested historical fact.
“About your quotation of 1 Cor 11:25,26 there is a Question from our readers 2003 1/1 p. 31 that in truth answers: [Cite to the article.] This connection with the annual Jewish Passover is further evidence that the Memorial of Jesus' death should be observed just once a year.
“Note: Compare the account at 1 Samuel 1:3, 7. There, "as often as" (in the modern translation of the Hebrew) refers to events that happened "from year to year," or once a year, when Elkanah and his two wives went to the tabernacle at Shiloh."
“Let us face the truth of facts and dwell not, please, in pre-conceive ideas. No matter the changes that this might bring about as you rightly encourage as well to the Governing Body to let go their bias and men-made traditions held by the leaders of our community.”
To the author, in practically all of our emails to you, we have tried to point you to the ‘spirit of the law’ and not the ‘letter of the law.’
“Now through the Christ we have this sort of confidence toward God. Not that we of ourselves are adequately qualified to reckon anything as issuing from ourselves, but our being adequately qualified issues from God, who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of a written code, but of spirit; for the written code condemns to death, but the spirit makes alive.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
“But now we have been discharged from the Law, because we have died to that by which we were being held fast, that we might be slaves in a new sense by the spirit, and not in the old sense by the written code.”
– Romans 7:6
Yet, in your responses, you always return to the letter. We fear we are not reaching you at all in our responses.
When you read the gospel accounts, surely you see that Jesus was not a strictly-observing Jew. He was a respectful Jew. He was not a slave to their traditions, and he was not ashamed to demonstrate that when necessary. Thus, it would not be out of step for Jesus to celebrate his evening meal a day earlier – on the Day of Preparation as Matthew reported. (Matthew 27:62) But the point is that the actual date is not the important thing. We are counseled against “scrupulously observing days and months and seasons and years.” As Paul wrote, we “fear for you, that somehow we have toiled to no purpose respecting you.” (Galatians 4:10-11)
Yet you seem determined to “give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23) In this instance, the more weightier matters is that we do celebrate the meal, and as often as we do it, however often we decide, we ‘keep proclaiming the death of our Lord until he arrives.’ (1 Corinthians 11:26) Really what harm do you suppose would occur if we commemorated the meal more often than once a year? Would it provoke God's anger? Hardly!
Do you not perceive that the actual date is not of real significance to a Christian who was freed from legal bounds? Can you not discern in Jesus’ teachings a true and lasting message of freedom from tradition? What does it mean to you that Jesus came to “preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release”? (Luke 4:18) Is that not a promise of unfettered worship of the Father?
We certainly respect your Jewish heritage. But to a Christian, it is religious history. We all have differing racial backgrounds and histories. But in the Kingdom, we have a new spiritual genealogy that takes precedence:
“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 3:26-29
It is who you were; not who you are now that you have accepted the discipleship of the Christ. We encourage you not to follow the folly of trying to fit the new wine of Jesus’ teachings into the old wineskins of the Jewish system. As Jesus explained, such a joining will not end well. (Mark 2:22)
Dear Brother, take Jesus’ advice and ‘sell everything you own’ and purchase the field and the pearl of high value – the actual, original, plain and open teachings of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 13:44-46) This is the only path to salvation. The path you are on will lead you to several facts for sure, but it will not lead you to truth and eternal life. Nor will you gain the “peace of God that excels all thought.” (Philippians 4:7)
On January 9, 2013, we received the following comment:
“I have a scriptural question that I would like to have answered, if at all possible. The question arises regarding the time of the Passover and which calendar Jesus used to celebrate the last supper. In Exodus 12:6 appears a controversial phrase . . . which means "between the two evenings." I have addressed this question to different Branches in several occasions and the answer I received was none or direct me to a WT article that I have read and is refuted by the information presented in this script. I turn to you as I know and I appreciate the utmost importance that you give to the Memorial as anointed brothers. Let us start: [Then the author sets forth a lengthy treatise on the Passover as set forth in the books of Moses, the historical record of the Essene Calendar, and the practices of the Samaritans, the Sadducees, and the Karaites.]
To the author, thank you for your email. We can imagine the difficulty your treatise posed to the branch offices of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. Aside from a devoted historian such as you appear to be, we wonder who else would have sufficient interest in the details of the matter to afford them the ability to adequately respond. We must confess that neither are we of that number.
Please know that while we do place the utmost importance on the Memorial, we do not concern ourselves at all with the Passover. As the Christian writings repeatedly explain, the Law and the customs under the Law are not binding on Jewish Christians, and certainly not binding on those who were never a part of the Law Covenant:
“Furthermore, though you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcised state of your flesh, [God] made you alive together with him. He kindly forgave us all our trespasses and blotted out the handwritten document against us, which consisted of decrees and which was in opposition to us; and He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.”
– Colossians 2:13-14
Furthermore, we can answer your question without the resorting to historical treatises on the Passover and how it has been, and/or is being, celebrated by various Jewish sects.
To us, it appears that Jesus instituted his supper and laid down his life the day before the Passover, on the Day of Preparation (Matthew 27:62), since it is unlikely that so much of the strict-observing Jewish nation would be involved in a trial and execution during the actual Passover night, rather than in solemn commemoration in their homes.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate this day annually according to Jewish custom of annual celebrations, there are no specific instructions in the Christian writings that the Memorial of Christ’s death be celebrated only annually. According to Paul’s words, it appears that the day can be celebrated “as often as” one wants to.
“For as often as you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives.”
– 1 Corinthians 11:26
Therefore, we see no need to be overly concerned about which specific date in history Jesus instituted the meal. Our obligation is to ‘keep doing this.’ (Luke 22:19) And so we do.