WHO'S AWAKE AT THE WATCHTOWER?
WATCHTOWER - NOVEMBER 2016
COMMENTS FROM VISITORS
Article 1: Keep on Encouraging One Another Each Day [Submit Comment]
Article 2: Organized in Harmony With God’s Own Book [Submit Comment]
Article 3: Do You Highly Esteem Jehovah’s Own Book? [Submit Comment]
Article 4: Called Out of Darkness [Submit Comment]
Article 5: They Broke Free From False Religion [Submit Comment]
Article 3: Do You Highly Esteem Jehovah's Own Book?
(Studied Week of January 9-15)
January 20, 2017
Paragraph 9: This paragraph suggests that individuals cannot interpret the Bible on their own. It says that since 1919, Jesus appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Evidently not all members of the governing body agree with this statement. Geoffrey Jackson, while under oath in the Australian Royal Commission hearings, when asked: “And do you see yourselves as Jehovah’s spokespeople on earth?” His response was: “That I think would be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.” In this instance, Jackson actually spoke the truth, perhaps unintentionally. Nevertheless his words are on record.
The last sentence in the paragraph ask the question: “Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?” Jesus identified himself as the channel leading his followers. “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) At John 16:13-15, he said: “The spirit of truth will guide you into all truth. He receives of what is mine and declares it to you.” The question remains: Am I loyal to the authentic and legitimate channel Jesus identified he is using to lead honest hearted truth seekers? An individual who allows himself to be led the Christ way does not need an imperfect human channel to lead them or make interpretations for them. The many discarded former beliefs, unfulfilled end times prophecies and harmful policies in regards to protecting children from sexual abuse would seem to indicate that the individual can certainly do no worse in attempting to interpret the Bible for themselves.
Paragraph 10: This paragraph indicates that the Ezekiel vision of Jehovah’s chariot is still on the move today and is influencing the earthly part of ‘God’s organization.’ If indeed this visionary chariot would be having such a profound influence on Christ Jesus earthly interest, why did the Master make absolutely no mention of it? Actually in all four gospel accounts Jesus never made reference to either Ezekiel or the book he penned. Why is this supposed Chariot direction not mentioned in any of Paul’s letters or Peter and James writings? These are the types of unfounded conclusions the writing department will continue to blindly fall into until they lift the veil from their eyes and do as the apostle Paul directed, to turn fully to the Christ, instead of the shadows and tutor leading to the Christ.
January 20, 2017 - Los Angeles, California
Paragraph 9 says that the ‘faithful slave’ is the channel Jesus is using today. This is problematic for 3 reasons:
1. In order to be a ‘channel’ Jesus is using, then the faithful slave must be channeling Jesus. Yet, no Watchtower publication have ever stated that the Governing Body is channeling anything from Jesus. In fact, the publications reject the practice of channeling as a form of spiritism or demonism. So how can the ‘faithful slave’ be the channel Jesus is using if they are not channeling information from Jesus.
2. The Bible says that Jesus is the spokesperson for God:
“Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things."
– Hebrews 1:1-2
that Jesus is still alive and so he has no need for a successor:
“Furthermore, many had to become priests in succession because death prevented them from continuing as such, but because he continues alive forever, his priesthood has no successors. So he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them.”
– Hebrews 7:23-25
and that his disciples would be guided into all truth, including understanding the Bible, by the Spirit of Truth.
“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
So in order for the ‘faithful slave’ to now be the channel Jesus is using, the Governing Body must have replaced the Spirit of Truth. If they are not claiming to have replaced the Spirit of Truth, then they are NOT the channel Jesus is using today.
3. If we must be loyal to the ‘faithful slave’ as the channel Jesus is using today, then the ‘faithful slave’ has become a mediator between the congregations and Jesus. But the Bible says that Jesus is the only mediator:
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.”
– 1 Timothy 2:5
Nothing in the Bible indicates that Christians must go through any man or organization, whether slave or freeman, in order to have a relationship with Jesus or Jehovah.
Therefore, the question for paragraph 9 asks: “What is the only channel that is being used to help us understand God’s Word?” The only correct answer is “The Spirit of Truth,” according to Jesus himself. (John 16:13)
Paragraph 10 shows that the Revised New World Translation contains an error. The paragraph says that Jehovah rides on the chariot referred to at Ezekiel 1:4-28. According to the description, the rider could not be Jehovah. Notice what verses 26-28 say:
“Sitting on the throne up above was someone whose appearance resembled that of a human. I saw something glowing like electrum that was like a fire radiating from what appeared to be his waist and upward; and from his waist down, I saw something that resembled fire. There was a brilliance all around him like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. That was how the surrounding brilliant light appeared. It was like the appearance of the glory of Jehovah. When I saw it, I fell face down and began to hear the voice of someone speaking.”
– Ezekiel 1:26-28
This must be an error. When is Jehovah described as resembling a human? This is more like the descriptions of Jesus at Revelation 1:12-18 who does have the appearance of a human and in fact was a human when on earth. Other Bibles say “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” That seems like a more accurate translation.
Article 4: Called Out of Darkness
January 22, 2017
In view of last week’s study article it is shocking that this follow up article would contain the information it does. As a recap, paragraph 9 stated: “Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives.”
The subheading “The Light Begins To Appear” describes that many individuals not only translated the Bible but felt no objection in studying it with other individuals apart from an organized governing group to oversee them.
Paragraph 13 says; “Many translators undertook this work at the risk of their-lives. The church was horrified. A Bible in the hands of a God-fearing man or woman could be a dangerous weapon—or so the church feared.”
And so it is, even today the Watchtower organization manifest the same fear of independent study and interpretation as the churches of the 16th century. The Governing Body like the 16th century church has set themselves up as the “sole channel for dispensing spiritual food.” Any who question the Governing Gody’s interpretation of scripture will bring the same swift retribution that they have accused the 16th century church of. As paragraph 13 says; “From the point of view of the church, this was an outrage. How dare the multitudes question church leaders. Men and women were condemned for heresy because they rejected teachings of the church, some of which were based on the pagan philosophies of Aristotle and Plato—men who lived before Jesus Christ was born.”
It is a matter of record what has happened to brothers and sisters over the decades who have questioned Watchtower’s ever changing interpretation regarding “This Generation.” Or challenging the doctrine that only 144,000 persons out of all history with a heavenly destiny to be with Christ, just as he so plainly indicated at John 6:48-59. Or questioning the application of the parable of “faithful and discreet slave.” Many find it hard to believe that when Jesus spoke this parable he had in mind the seven men occupying offices in Brooklyn, New York (soon to be Warwick, NY) and it is only through these seven mortal men, Samuel Herd, Geoffrey Jackson, Stephen Lett, Gerrit Losch, Anthony Morris, Mark Sanderson and David Splane, that spiritual food flows.
And yet if one does not swallow these changing interpretations hook, line and sinker, this organization just like the 16th century church “handed down the death sentence.” Yes, disfellowshipping as apostates! Cut off from all family and friends. And for what reason does the Watchtower organization react like this? From their own mouths paragraph 13 gives the answer… “The goal was to discourage people from reading the Bible and questioning the church.”
Paragraph 14 says: “Many who thirsted for Bible truth fled to countries where the influence of the church was less pervasive. They wanted to read and study and converse with one another without being told what to think.” There are many among Jehovah’s Witnesses that would love to have this same freedom today. Yet the Watchtower organization looks down upon and discourages anyone from meeting together privately to study the bible outside of their sanctioned programs. Watchtower literature has led to suspicion being cast on even those who confess to being anointed brothers from getting together to build one another up in their heavenly hope.
After reading this article one wonders if the Writing Department and Governing Body members who approved this article for publication have ever really taken a cold hard look at themselves in the mirror? There are many reflections of the 16th century church mirrored in the Watchtower Society.
January 24, 2017
This article offers guidance to anointed Christians and those who want to escape from false religion.
Paragraph 9 - In 313 C.E., apostate Christianity was granted legal recognition and apostasy flourished. But “a small number of anointed wheatlike Christians were doing their best to worship God, but their voices were being drowned out.” That situation is similar to how anointed ones of today find themselves. The similarities are startling.
Paragraph 10 - Because many people could read the Bible in either Greek or Latin, they “were in a position to compare the teachings of God’s Word with the dogmas of the church. On the basis of what they read in the Bible, some among them rejected the unscriptural creeds of the church, bit it was dangerous – even fatal – to express such opinions openly.” The message here is that it is wise for Jehovah’s Witnesses today to compare the teachings in the Bible with what the Watchtower organization teaches, but keep in mind that if you discover unscriptural teachings, you should be careful because openly expressing your opinions could result in disfellowshiping.
Paragraph 11 - Just like the apostate Catholic Church in the 3rd century, today, “faithful anointed servants of God had to meet together in discreet groups – if they could meet at all. As was the case in the earlier Babylonian exile, the anointed ‘royal priesthood’ could not function in an organized way. Babylon the Great held the people in a viselike grip!” That is a clear statement of the condition of anointed Christians in the Watchtower organization today.
Paragraph 12/13 - “Glimmers of spiritual light began to penetrate the darkness, thanks to two important factors” – the invention of the printing press and the decision by a few courageous men to translate the Bible into languages spoken by the common people. Similarly, two things are aiding anointed Christians today to penetrate the darkness in the Watchtower organization – the invention of the internet and the decision by a few courageous men and women to reveal the plain and open teachings of Jesus. And look at these similarities, paraphrased like this: ‘How dare the publishers question the governing body! The governing body fought back. Men and women among Jehovah’s Witnesses were condemned for apostasy because they rejected the false teachings of the organization. Nevertheless a few brave souls refused to be cowed by the organization. They now had a taste of the freedom of the children of God and they wanted more!’
Paragraph 14 - Paraphrased: ‘The awakened anointed among Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing the organization and meeting with people where the influence of the organization was less pervasive. They want to read and study and converse with one another without being told what to think.’ And like Brother Russell discovered in the late 1800's, anointed Christians in the today are discovering that ‘there can be no partnership with those determined to hold onto false religion.’
Paragraph 15 – Anointed Christians should look forward to the next article where they will receive direction on how to get free from the Watchtower organization.