TRANSITIONING TO THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS
MOVING BEYOND THE PRIMARY DOCTRINE
April 18, 2017
As more and more Jehovah’s Witnesses awaken from their spiritual slumber, and realize that they, too, are sons of God (Galatians 3:26) and heirs to the heavenly kingdom (Romans 8:16-17), they are asking “Now what?” or “What do I do now?” They find themselves in the same position as 1st century Christians who accepted the invitation of Jesus to become sons of God (John 1:12) and who were baptized by spirit into his death (Romans 3:6), but who were in need of more information to advance along the heavenly path.
The Apostle Paul wrote a “short letter” (Hebrews 13:22) to the “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1) to encourage them to continue growing in knowledge and in faith:
“Therefore, now that we have moved beyond the primary doctrine about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying a foundation again, namely, repentance from dead works and faith in God, the teaching on baptisms and the laying on of the hands, the resurrection of the dead and everlasting judgment. And this we will do, if God indeed permits.”
– Hebrews 6:1-3
Enough time had passed for them to comprehend the “primary doctrine about the Christ.” The time had come for them to “press on to maturity.” What does that mean for the modern day anointed Christian?
In the 1st century, it meant to move beyond the old covenant and the elementary doctrines of the flesh. In his “short letter,” Paul spent a significant amount of time walking the Hebrew Christians through the “primary doctrines” starting with the Abrahamic covenant and the insufficient animal sacrifices under the law, and culminating with the “new covenant” with witness borne by holy spirit that provides “entry into the holy place.” (Hebrew 10:15-19) Today, the meanings basically the same. Jehovah’s Witnesses that have the witness of the spirit must move beyond the elementary teachings associated with a so-called “earthly hope,” and feed on the more mature doctrines about our heavenly future and the meaning of the “new covenant.”
Unfortunately, the writers in the Watchtower organization know very little about the “heavenly hope” or the “new covenant,” and even less about the Spirit of Truth that bears witness to these matters. All the Watchtower organization is able to produce is the same old stale food from the “obsolete” Jewish system (Hebrews 8:13), along with their microwave concoctions of their own grandiosity. Virtually no information on the “new covenant” or the “heavenly hope” is provided.
A stark example of how little they understand the heavenly hope is demonstrated in their response to this well-know and frequently quoted scripture:
“Let us hold firmly the public declaration of our hope without wavering, for the one who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.”
– Hebrews 10:23-25
Rather than encouraging anointed Christians to ‘publicly declare their hope’ and ‘not forsake the gathering together’ of these “partakers of the heavenly hope” (Hebrews 3:1), just the opposite is demanded of them. They were recently told, in the January 2016 Study Edition of the Watchtower article, “We Want to Go With You,” that they should not speak of their hope openly or meet together. Here are the pertinent parts of paragraphs 7 and 8:
“7. ... For the most part, they would not even mention this personal experience to others, so as to avoid drawing attention to themselves; neither would they want to boast about their future reward.
“8. ... They do not seek out others who claim to have the same calling, hoping to bond with them or endeavoring to form private groups for Bible study. (Gal. 1:15-17) Such efforts would cause divisions within the congregation and work against the holy spirit, which promotes peace and unity.
So how are these new sons to fulfill their scriptural duties and remain in good standing in the organization when they are told that obeying scripture “would cause divisions?” It actually may not be possible. If they obey the scriptures, they will surely be at odds with the Governing Body.
Under these circumstances, the counsel from Elders is to ‘obey the slave’ and ‘wait on Jehovah.’ The November 15, 2013 Study Edition of the Watchtower tells Jehovah’s Witnesses that they must follow the directions of the Governing Body “whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” (Page 20, paragraph 17.) Yet the February 2017 Watchtower states, at page 26, paragraph 12:
“The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact, the Watch Tower Publications Index includes the heading “Beliefs Clarified,” which lists adjustments in our Scriptural understanding since 1870.”
A review of that Index reveals about 200 beliefs have changed since 1870, with 5 to 10 beliefs that have changed per year for the past 5 years! The clearly uninspired and fallible Governing Body does not have a good track record that would warrant an anointed Christian obeying them rather than scripture!
And while the Governing Body has changed nearly 200 beliefs, the most egregious error, and one that effects salvation, has not changed. Jesus told his followers what they must do, symbolically, in order to gain life:
“So Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day.”
– John 6:53-54
Yet, as demonstrated at each year’s Memorial commemoration of Christ’s Death, the Governing Body continues to stand with their backs to the doors of the Kingdom of the Heavens fighting all those who attempt to enter. (Matthew 23:13)
The fact is, the Governing Body has a vested interest in remaining in this particular error because they know that they cannot manipulate or control the faith of a son of God, even as Paul explained:
“Now I say that as long as the heir is a young child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the lord of all things, but he is under supervisors and stewards until the day set ahead of time by his father. Likewise, we too, when we were children, were enslaved by the elementary things of the world. But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent his Son, who was born of a woman and who was under law, that he might release by purchase those under law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons. Now because you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, and it cries out: "Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a son; and if a son, then you are also an heir through God.”
– Galatians 4:1-7
Thus, the Governing Body is fearful of anointed Christians just as were the Pharisees who were afraid they would lose “their place and their nation” if they allowed the people to put their faith in Jesus. (John 11:48) The Governing Body knows that they would lose the blind allegiance they demand of nearly 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses if all of them understood that they are the free sons of God who belong to Christ and must “obey God as ruler rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
So what are the sons of the Kingdom to do? How can they obey scripture and “move beyond the primary doctrine” when these elementary and obsolete matters are the only things being taught? How can lovers of truth continue to grow in knowledge and in faith if they are feeding at a self-described fallible and uninspired table?
We suggest you look to what Jesus said to his disciples:
“Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you; for everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened.”
- Matthew 7:7-8
Yes, those who follow Jesus are required to continually search for knowledge and a better understanding. Then, at the end of his ministry, on the night of the Last Supper with his apostles, Jesus told them:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come.”
- John 16:12-13
After everything Jesus had taught them, there was still more information they needed to know. But that additional information would have to come to them by means of the Spirit of Truth that would guide them. Thus, we see the import of the counsel to “keep on” seeking, asking and knocking. There is more information – more truth – beyond what Jesus was able to give to his apostles at that time. And it explains why the Apostle John later wrote this:
“I write you these things about those who are trying to mislead you. And as for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to be teaching you; but the anointing from him is teaching you about all things and is true and is no lie. Just as it has taught you, remain in union with him.”
– 1 John 2:26-27
This is a scary proposition for those who have been led by men their entire spiritual life. They have grown so comfortable being fed by men that they cannot fathom how they could be fed truth merely by means of spirit. To all those, we share this insight on how the Spirit of Truth guides us to truth.
The Spirit of Truth is not the letter or law of truth, neither does it function as the form or expression of truth. The Spirit of Truth is the conviction of truth, the consciousness and assurance of true meanings. It causes us to look for the living truth in every wise saying and to listen for the “ring of truth” in all knowledge. This is what the scriptures mean when they repeatedly say, “Let him that has ears listen.” (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9; Revelation 2:29; 3:22)
As you “keep on” seeking, asking and knocking, you will discover new and unusual ideas about God, the Christ, the spirit, the heavens, etc. Some of the information will ring true, some of it will not. This is the work of the Spirit of Truth. This is how faith and wisdom is exercised. This is how you develop the ‘powers of discernment of mature people.’ (Hebrews 5:14) You will become like the wise fishermen who caught all kinds of fish, but knew to discard the unsuitable ones:
“Again the Kingdom of the heavens is like a dragnet let down into the sea and gathering fish of every kind. When it was full, they hauled it up onto the beach, and sitting down, they collected the fine ones into containers, but the unsuitable they threw away.”
– Matthew 13:47-48
Keep in mind, too, that just because something does not ring true at the moment does not mean it is not true. In some cases, it simply means you do not yet have the capacity to understand. Think of how many times you may have read scriptures about the heavenly hope, but failed to understand that it was referring to you and to your hope. But as your knowledge and understanding grew, your capacity for truth expanded, and now when you read those same scriptures, they ring true for you! It was simply a matter of time.
So we ask: Do you currently have the capacity for greater spiritual understanding? Do you have enough faith to trust the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of the anointing, to guide you? Are you willing to cast in your net to discover gems of truth? Not all sons are. Some are more comfortable relying on men to feed them, even if what is being fed is stale and infested with manmade chemicals.
But if you are one who is willing to move beyond the primary doctrine and trust the Spirit to lead you, we recommend you view the video linked below and decide for yourself whether it rings true. Thousands of your brothers and sisters among Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken the leap of faith and been richly rewarded, as have the authors of this site.
After you view the video, please write us with your thoughts – good or bad. Here is the link, A New Revelation? And may the Father and Christ Jesus bless your faith.
Back to "Transitioning to the Kingdom" Introduction