WHO'S AWAKE AT THE WATCHTOWER?
WATCHTOWER MAY 15, 2014
COMMENTS FROM VISITORS
Article: Are You Moving Ahead With Jehovah’s Organization
August 7, 2014 - Phillipines
Dear brothers, the Governing Body equates all spiritual understanding upgrade to the Organization moving ahead. Our WT Conductor said it is either you ride and get along with the Org or you shrink back.
Now let me expound on the Prov. 4: 18, “light becomes brighter”, the famous biblical verse presented by the Organization to justify its endless adjustments in understanding.
Illustration #1: Assuming there’s a group of 5 men at the tower surveying the area around the castle. One day, while doing their usual duty, they see creatures approaching from afar. At first, they could not see nor identify which kind of animal is coming as they are too far to be seen by the naked eye. But as the creatures head towards the castle, the watchmen began to see and describe their features. They see brown, hairy animals running as if they are very hungry for food. Few more meters down the road, the watchmen can now clearly see the entire company of wild wolves with sharp teeth, not the typical ones, perhaps coming from unfamiliar mountains. And as they move even closer, they now see not only wolves but an army of unidentified men belonging to another rival kingdom. They then realized that they are under attack by hostile forces and that the wolves are just used as decoy.
Now, imagine the 5 Watchmen blowing their horns and declaring a state of emergency, signalling that the castle is under attack. Everybody begins to panic, all thrown into a state of confusion. Yet the people believed the signal from the Watchmen so they followed the instructions set out for them. Many have been frightened, depressed and could not think clearly but they were thought to just follow. Meantime, the looters are taking advantage of the situation. Scores were hurt because of the chaos.
However, things have suddenly changed. The wild wolves have changed direction and are no longer headed to the castle. And when the army, thought to be hostile at first, arrived, they are not there to attack and takeover their kingdom but bring gifts to their King. Meanwhile, many were hurt because of the panic and unexpected events that came from the signal of the 5 Watchmen. These Watchmen are now singing a different tune to calm the citizens. They started justifying the correctness of their first signal.
Dear brothers and friends, if you are the King, who’s to blame here and be held accountable? The residents of the castle for acting irrationally? for overreacting to the events about to happen? or the 5 Watchmen who gave the WRONG signals and declared inaccurate information that served as the basis of ensuing tragic events?
The answer is yours. May the reader use discernment.
Response From AnointedJW:
Dear reader: Thank you for your response. The illustration in many ways is quite accurate regarding the situation that currently exist between the Watchtower organization and its publishers. We are happy to see you are training your powers of reason to distinguish between right and wrong.
However, your concluding comments leave the impression the Watchtower Society is completely to blame for the outcome of what happens to persons who follow their erroneous counsel. We cannot elude personal responsibility before the Lord. Do not the scriptures tell us at 1 John 4 "Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."
It is for this reason we have instituted this new section to our website. To teach our brothers to start taking personal responsibility for their spiritual growth by putting to the test what they are being taught. Once they learn to do this by following the Christ and his plain and unambiguous teachings no longer will they suffer the consequences of blindly listening to men.
August 5, 2014 - USA
My first comment is regards to the title itself. The organization constantly calls itself, "Jehovah's Organization". While I mean no disrespect at all toward the Father, this title itself is disrespectful of the arrangement the Father set up.
Regarding Christ, Paul wrote: "He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation." (Eph 1:22)
In continually calling it "Jehovah's Organization" and saying that 'Jehovah is directing it' is going against this simple truth, that the Father has given control and direction of the congregation, his body, to his son. It would more aptly be called "Christ's organization". We belong to Christ.
"So let no one boast in men; for all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things now here or things to come, all things belong to you; in turn you belong to Christ; Christ, in turn, belongs to God."
Next, in paragraph 5, Jeremiah 25:31-33 was cited. In context, this was a prophecy specifically "concerning all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem", according to Jeremiah 25:2. In this passage, it is stated of Jehovah, "He will personally pass judgment on all humans." This may have been true in Jeremiah's time. However, today, that judgement is not personally made by Jehovah. This is an error in teaching.
John 5:22: "For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son"
This is reiterated at Revelation 19:11: "I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness."
Some have already commented on the boasting in paragraph 7, but I wanted to add to this. The appearance in this paragraph is that there is a large growth of Jehovah's Witnesses based on the number of baptisms. However, this is only one number. According to the 2003 report and the 2012 report in the Yearbooks:
2003 Peak Publishers: 6,429,351
2012 Peak Publishers: 7,782,346
What happened here? This falls far short of the 2,707,000 baptisms cited. The difference in these numbers is 1,354,005. This is the number of people who are no longer counted as publishers among Jehovah's Witnesses. Either they died, were disfellowshipped, disassociated themselves, or otherwise left. In stating that there's a large growth based on just the number baptized is misleading. The growth can only be measured in the number who are retained in that same ten-year period of time.
In addition, to this, other religious organizations have had similar growth. In 2012, for example, Jehovah's Witnesses had 268,777 baptized. According to the official statistics for 2012 for the Mormons, they had 272,330 baptisms for the same year.
(http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/2012-statistical-report-2013-april-general-conference) If God is responsible for the growth among Jehovah's Witnesses, who is responsible for even more growth among Mormons? Or any other religious organization for that matter?
August 4, 2014 - Rennes, France
[Translated from French]
Hello to you,
I would add to the email that appeared yesterday on the percentage of growth mentioned in the May 15, 2014 Watchtower. Congratulations to the brother for having the wisdom to calculate. I would like to add to his thoughts, but unfortunately it is not positive. Let me explain:
If indeed the Witnesses spent 1,841,180,235 hours in service last year, that is truly remarkable. But if you divide all those hours by the number persons baptized: 1,841,180,235 divided by 277,344, that means that it took 6638.61 hours to baptize one person!
And since it is said that a reasonable publisher would average about 12 hours per month, it would take 553 months or 46 years to make one baptized disciple!
Ah, how much better to rather rely on the Master of the Congregation, Jesus, rather than on a handful of men. The growth would certainly be so much greater!
Hello to all from France.
August 4, 2014 - Southeast Asia
I would like to add to the posted email from a former elder about the study article: “Are You Moving Ahead With Jehovah’s Organization” which was taken up last Sunday, August 3, 2014.
After reading and re-reading, I experienced goosebumps and found myself shaking my head on several direct assertions and bold admissions by the Watchtower. Following are the 2 paragraphs that really caught my attention:
3 After false religion is destroyed, Jehovah’s Witnesses will be the only religious organization left on earth. Then Satan and his world will attack God’s servants. (WT Study Article, Simplified Edition).
Comment: This is very direct and bold statement though it did not appear on the same WT English Study version. It is self-explanatory: Only JWs are to survive Armaggedon. Interestingly, we can find from JW.ORG the following answer to this question:
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Feel That They Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?
No. Many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. The Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “"there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous."” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands.—John 5:22, 27.
Any reader would find it confusing to see this official response from Jw.org and relate to what the WT has declared. If Jesus will be the sole judge, then how come the Governing Body is already declaring only Jehovah's Witnesses will survive the Judgement Day?
In Paragraph 15 we also read: If we are to have Jehovah’s favor and blessing as individuals, we must support his organization and accept adjustments in our understanding of the Scriptures...Consider this: After Jesus’ death, there were thousands of Jewish Christians who were zealous for the Law and found it hard to break free from it. (Acts 21:17-20) With the help of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, however, they accepted the fact that they had been sanctified, not by means of sacrifices “offered according to the Law,” but “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time.” (Heb. 10:5-10) Undoubtedly, most of those Christians of Jewish descent adjusted their thinking and moved ahead spiritually. . We too need to study diligently and be open-minded when there are adjustments in the understanding of God’s Word or in our preaching work.
In addition, WT Simplified Edition on page 25 prints in bold: The only way to have Jehovah's favor is ALWAYS to follow the direction of his organization.
Here are some of our questions: Where is the scriptural support for this assertion? Or is this solely a Governing Body statement? Where is the role of Lord Jesus Christ now for a person to find favor from God?
On the other hand, following key scriptures would guide us on how to get to Jehovah, gain His approval and blessings:
“Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.’” – John 14:6-7
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 7: 21-22 (Did our Master add "who does the will of His Organization?")
1My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. -Prov. 3:1, 2
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. - Prov. 3: 3-4
9Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. - Prov. 3: 9, 10
For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. 33The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. 34He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. - Prov. 3: 32-34
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.- Prov. 19: 17
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. - Luke 6: 35
To find an excuse or justify changes in understanding/new light, Paragraph 15 mentioned about Paul's letter. Let us point out however that Paul's teachings about the superiority of Christ's ransom sacrifice over the Mosaic Law practices is much different from merely understanding and interpreting the scriptures as being done by the Governing Body. Paul was not certainly explaining a new understanding from the Scriptures but complementing, reinforcing and justifying Jesus Christ's teachings, specifically the impact of his ransom sacrifice on the Jews who were still solid believers of the Law at that time. That it is not necessary for Christians to offer burnt sacrifices was emphasized. Hence, Paul is not interpreting nor reinterpreting (as if a new light has come upon him) what has already been written. Furthermore, Paul's letter is part of the Scriptures, hence, inspired.
Oh God please help us discern misleading logic and a "contaminated" spiritual food.
Ministerial Servant, Southeast Asia
August 3, 2014 - Boston, Massachusetts USA
Today the Watchtower considered the study article: Are You Moving Ahead With Jehovah’s Organization.
I would like to point your attention to paragraph 8. It ask the question What accounts for the remarkable growth in Jehovah’s modern-day organization. So during the study I pulled out my calculator just to compare the numbers as set forth in the 2014 yearbook. They are as follows:
Total Hours: 1,841,180,235
Memorial Attendees: 19,241,252
Avg. Bible Studies 9,252,963
2013 Baptized 277,340
If you take the total number of memorial attendees and subtract the avg. number of publishers you have a net attendance of 11,702,258 memorial attendees. Out of this number there is a whopping approximately 80% who agree to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet a meager .0299% get baptized. Do you get this??!!!! Less than three percent join the ranks of Jehovah’s Witness. This is pathetic. And yet paragraph 8 says We do not boast in numbers. Well there is absolutely no reason to boast! As a matter of fact it would have been less embarrassing if this statement were not even made. And then to attribute this meager growth to our heavenly Father is an insult to his Greatness and Majesty.
The question to ponder is why, year after year we have millions attend the memorial but in spite of the best efforts put forward with all of these billions of hours in field activity there is only this meager number who get baptized. The answer is quite plain. There is nothing wrong with these children of our Father, they are simply not hearing the call of the Masters Voice.
The apostle John put it succinctly in (John 10:1-42)
“Most truly I say to YOU, He that does not enter into the sheepfold through the door but climbs up some other place, that one is a thief and a plunderer. 2 But he that enters through the door is shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens to this one, and the sheep listen to his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has got all his own out, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will by no means follow but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus spoke this comparison to them; but they did not know what the things meant that he was speaking to them. 7 Therefore Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to YOU, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All those that have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasturage. 10 The thief does not come unless it is to steal and slay and destroy. I have come that they might have life and might have it in abundance. 11 I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep. 12 The hired man, who is no shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong as his own, beholds the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them— 13 because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my soul in behalf of the sheep.”
The ORGANIZATION is not the door, the FAITHFUL & DISCREET SLAVE, is not the door, the GOVERNING BODY, is not the door. The sheep are not hearing the masters voice they recognize the door which is the Christ has been supplanted by imperfect mortal men.
When the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses wake up to the plain and open teachings of the Master then they will truly be able to boast of a true increase. Until then I wish they would just keep quiet about these embarrassing statistics.
A former elder from Boston, MA.