Cults

Jehovah's Witnesses

Lovers of Truth?


'LOVERS OF THE TRUTH...NOTHING TO FEAR FROM EXAMINATION.'


At first  glance the 'Watchtower  Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania'
(hereafter WBTS), as they are known in their publications, appears to encourage  the  examination  of their teachings for, in their  book 'The  Truth That Leads To Eternal Life,' 1968, p.13-14, they state:

1. 'WE NEED TO EXAMINE, NOT ONLY WHAT WE PERSONALLY BELIEVE, BUT ALSO WHAT IS TAUGHT BY ANY RELIGIOUS ORGANISATION WITH WHICH WE MAY BE ASSOCIATED.' Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? IF WE ARE LOVERS OF THE TRUTH, THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR FROM SUCH AN EXAMINATION.' It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God's will is for us, and then to do it.' John 8:32. The mere fact that church members may have the Bible or that it is occasionally read to them from the pulpit does not of itself prove that all the things they are taught are in the Bible. It is good to have the Bible; each and every person should have one. But we must also know what it says and believe it. IF A RELIGION REALLY ACCEPTS THE BIBLE AS GOD'S WORD, IT IS NOT GOING TO USE CERTAIN PARTS OF IT AND REJECT OTHER PARTS.'  'All scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching,  for reproving, for setting things straight.' (2 Timothy 3:16) SINCE THIS IS SO, THE RELIGION THAT IS APPROVED BY GOD MUST AGREE IN ALL ITS DETAILS WITH THE BIBLE. The man who wants to please God must be sincere. But SINCERITY ALONE DOES NOT MAKE ONE'S  RELIGION APPROVED IN GOD'S EYES. The apostle Paul was moved by  God's spirit to write concerning certain ones in his day: 'I  bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not  according to accurate knowledge; for, because of not knowing the  righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they  did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.' (Romans  10:2,3)  As a result their sincerity was mis-directed....WHAT,  THEN, OF THE RELIGIONS THAT TAKE THE NAME OF CHRIST AND PROFESS TO ACCEPT HIM AS THEIR LORD? DOES THEIR PREACHING IN HIS NAME GUARANTEE THAT THEY MEET WITH GOD'S APPROVAL?'

2. From these statements it would appear that the WBTS are encouraging:

a. THE EXAMINATION OF THEIR TEACHINGS, AS WELL AS THE TEACHINGS OF OTHER RELIGIONS;

b. THE USE OF THE BIBLE ALONE AS THE STANDARD BY WHICH WE ARE TO JUDGE RELIGION -AND TO BEWARE THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.

c. IF WE ARE LOVERS OF THE TRUTH, THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR FROM SUCH AN EXAMINATION.

d. SINCERITY ALONE DOES NOT MAKE ONE'S RELIGION APPROVED IN GOD'S EYES.

e. the questioning  of  the  validity  of 'THE RELIGIONS THAT TAKE THE NAME OF CHRIST AND PROFESS TO ACCEPT HIM AS THEIR LORD.'

3. Again, in 
'The  Watchtower'  magazine  (15th November, 1963, p.688) the WBTS encourages the exposure of false religions:

'Can there be false religion? 
IT IS NOT A FORM OF RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION FOR ANYONE TO SAY AND TO SHOW THAT ANOTHER RELIGION IS FALSE. IT IS NOT RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION FOR AN INFORMED PERSON TO EXPOSE PUBLICLY A CERTAIN RELIGION AS BEING FALSE, THUS ALLOWING PERSONS TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FALSE RELIGION AND TRUE RELIGION.'

'WHO FORM THE BODY OF TRUE WORSHIPERS TODAY?'


4. It seems that the WBTS invites us to investigate their organisation and all others -which we will now begin to do. In
'The Truth That Leads  To  Eternal  Life,' WBTS, 1968, p.130, we read: 'Who, then, are the ones  who form THE BODY OF TRUE WORSHIPERS today? On the basis of the evidence, which is known or available to persons in all parts of the earth, we do not hesitate to say that they are the Christian witnesses of Jehovah....Since God assures us that practicing true religion brings great contentment now and opens up the way for eternal life in his new  system of things, it surely will be WORTH YOUR  WHILE TO MAKE SUCH AN INVESTIGATION. (Deuteronomy 30:19,20) You have our warm invitation to do so. WHY NOT INVESTIGATE NOW?'

Since we are told that Jehovah's Witnesses are the
'true worshipers' and advised that it will be 'WORTH YOUR WHILE TO MAKE SUCH AN INVESTIGATION' - to 'INVESTIGATE NOW' - we will look carefully at the evidence.

'MEEKLY GO ALONG WITH THE LORD'S THEOCRATIC ORGANISATION...'


5. In
'The Watchtower,' 1st October, 1967, p.590) we read: 'After cleansing those belonging to this house who were alive on earth, Jehovah poured out his spirit upon them and assigned them the responsibility of  serving  as  HIS SOLE VISIBLE CHANNEL, THROUGH WHOM ALONE SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTION WAS TO COME. Those who recognise Jehovah's theocratic organisation, therefore, must recognise and  accept this appointment of the 'faithful and discreet slave' and BE SUBMISSIVE TO IT.'

This is consistent  with 
'The  Watchtower,'  1st February, 1952, p.80), which stated: 'We  should MEEKLY  GO  ALONG  WITH  THE  LORD'S  THEOCRATIC ORGANISATION and wait for  further clarification, rather than balk at the first mention of a thought unpalatable to us and proceed to quibble  and  mouth  our  criticisms  and opinions as though they  were  worth  more  than  the  slave's  provision of spiritual food. THEOCRATIC  ONES  WILL  APPRECIATE THE LORD'S VISIBLE ORGANISATION AND NOT  BE  SO  FOOLISH  AS TO PIT AGAINST JEHOVAH'S CHANNEL THEIR OWN HUMAN REASONING and sentiment and personal  feelings....After  being  nourished  to  our  present spiritual strength and maturity, do we suddenly become smarter than our former provider  and  forsake the enlightening guidance of THE ORGANISATION THAT MOTHERED US?'

Notice that the WBTS  claims  that  there  is nothing to fear by examining both what we  believe  and  the teachings of religious organisations -
UNLESS WE ARE A JEHOVAH'S WITNESS - THEN WE SHOULD MEEKLY GO ALONG WITH THE THEOCRATIC ORGANISATION.

6.
'The Watchtower,' 1st November, 1984, p.18, had this to say about the  WBTS  view  of  the  spiritual  position of Jehovah's Witnesses: 'Jehovah's worldwide congregation of  anointed ones is a 'pillar and support of the truth.' (1 Timothy 3:15) For newly interested ones to benefit from that 'support,' they HAVE TO JOIN the hundreds  and  thousands  of  meek  ones  who  are  flocking  to associate with these anointed ones. (Zechariah 8:23) Today those meek ones make up an international brotherhood more than two and a half  million  strong,  and ACCEPTING  THE TRUTH INCLUDES ASSOCIATING WITH THAT INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD.'

So the  WBTS  claims  that  'accepting  the  truth' must include 'ASSOCIATING  WITH  THAT  INTERNATIONAL  BROTHERHOOD'  (of Jehovah's Witnesses).

'COME TO JEHOVAH'S ORGANISATION FOR SALVATION...'


7.  The  importance  of  the  claims  of  'Jehovah's  theocratic organisation' was made clear in 'The Watchtower,' 15th November, 1981, pp. 16-17: 'Any person who wants to  survive into God's righteous new order urgently NEEDS TO COME INTO A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH JEHOVAH AND HIS EARTHLY ORGANISATION NOW.'

'And while now the witness yet includes the  invitation to COME TO JEHOVAH'S ORGANISATION FOR SALVATION, the time  no doubt will come when the message takes on  a  harder  tone,  like a 'great war cry.''
(p.21)

HERE IS THE UN-MISTAKEABLE CLAIM THAT WE HAVE TO COME TO THE WBTS FOR SALVATION.

But what does the Bible - which the WBTS claims to take as its guide - teach?:

SALVATION IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE! (John 10v1-16).

8. In their 
'Awake'  magazine,  22nd  August,  1984, p.28, they stated: 'The Catholic Church occupies a very significant position in the world and claims to  be  the  way  of  salvation for hundreds of millions  of  people. ANY  ORGANISATION  THAT  ASSUMES THAT POSITION SHOULD BE WILLING TO SUBMIT TO SCRUTINY  AND CRITICISM.'

As Orthodox Christians we observe that the WBTS makes no distinctions between Rome and Bible-believing 'born again' Christians.  We will never defend the errors of the Papal cult, but we have observed that the WBTS claim:

a. to  be  Jehovah  God's  sole  visible  channel  for spiritual instruction;
b. that it is right to submissively and meekly go along with the organisations spiritual food;
c. that accepting  the  truth  means  associating  with the WBTS organisation;
d. that we should come to Jehovah's organisation for salvation;


WE ACCEPT THEIR CHALLENGE TO INVESTIGATE THEM.


The orthodox Christian reading the Bible alone will be surprised to  find  any  organisation  claiming  that  we  should  come to THEM for salvation.  Scripture  informs  us  that the name that has been  given  is 
NOT  'The  Watchtower  Bible and Tract Society' but 'that BY THE  NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THE NAZARENE, whom you crucified, whom God  raised  from the dead....He is the stone which was rejected by  you, the builders, but which became the head of the corner (the cornerstone). AND THERE IS SALVATION IN NO ONE ELSE; FOR THERE IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN THAT HAS BEEN  GIVEN  AMONG  MEN,  BY  WHICH  WE  MUST  BE  SAVED'  (Acts 4v10-12).

9. Reading
Acts 1v8 we discover that we are not to be 'Jehovah's Witnesses' but that Jesus  told  His  disciples 'you shall be MY WITNESSES both in Jerusalem, and  in  all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.'

In
Acts 2v21 we discover that 'EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'  At  least, this is what even 'The Kingdom Interlinear  Translation  of  the Greek Scriptures' (copyright 1985 by  the  WBTS  of Pennsylvania and International Bible Students  Association, v20-21)  tells  us. However, their translation has smuggled  'Jehovah'  into the text instead of 'Lord.'

We will  discuss elsewhere the way in which they have replaced  the  Greek word 'kyrios' (which should be  literally  translated  'Lord')  by  their  selective  use of 'Jehovah' no less than 237 times in the New Testament.


'ONLY ORGANISATION...THAT UNDERSTANDS THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD'


10. The WBTS have made many statements of the following kind:
'JEHOVAH'S ORGANISATION ALONE, IN  ALL THE EARTH, IS DIRECTED BY GOD'S  HOLY  SPIRIT....ONLY  THIS  ORGANISATION FUNCTIONS FOR JEHOVAH'S PURPOSES  AND  TO  HIS  PRAISE.  TO  IT ALONE God's Sacred Word, the Bible,  is  not  a  sealed book....THE ONLY ORGANISATION  ON  EARTH  THAT  UNDERSTANDS  THE  DEEP  THINGS OF GOD'....THIS ORGANISATION ALONE is  supplied  with 'gifts in men', such as evangelisers,  shepherds and teachers....THERE IS NO  OTHER  ORGANISATION  THAT  IS  DOING  THE  DIVINE WILL or educating   people   for   life   everlasting....THE  ONLY ORGANISATION on earth that  is  serving Jehovah God under his Messianic  King....enthusiastically DIRECT  OTHERS  TO GOD'S ORGANISATION. ('The  Watchtower,'  1st  July, 1973, pp.402-406)


'A FAILURE TO RESPOND TO HIS ORGANISATION REALLY INDICATES A
REJECTION OF DIVINE RULERSHIP'


11. This  next  statement  reveals  the  way  in  which the WBTS organisation has replaced the  leading  of  the Holy Spirit, for the Jehovah's Witness, with the 'organisational' thinking of the WBTS:

'We must take  seriously  what  his  Word  says  and WHAT HIS ORGANISATION REVEALS TO US....WOULD NOT  A FAILURE TO RESPOND TO DIRECTION FROM GOD  THROUGH  HIS  ORGANISATION REALLY INDICATE A REJECTION  OF  DIVINE  RULERSHIP?' ('The  Watchtower,'  15th February, 1976, p.124)

This attitude by the WBTS  reaches  the  point where they are in fact practically demanding the WORSHIP of their adherents:

'If one renders obedient service to someone or some ORGANISATION, whether willingly or under compulsion, LOOKING UP TO SUCH AS POSSESSING A POSITION OF SUPERIOR RULERSHIP AND GREAT AUTHORITY, THEN THAT ONE CAN SCRIPTURALLY BE SAID TO BE A  WORSHIPER.' ('The Watchtower,'
1st September 1961, p.525)

It is ironic that their book 'Revelation - Its Grand Climax At Hand,' (1988, p.35-36) should state  of their 'John class' (more of these in a later edition): 'They resisted those who tried to introduce sectarianism through PRACTICALLY IDOLIZING the first president of the Watchtower Society, founder, Charles Taze Russell, following his death in 1916.'

Ironic, because Russell's successor, 'Judge' Joseph  F.  Rutherford,  did  not prevent the following from appearing in
'The  Watch Tower,' (Dec. 1st, 1916, pp. 376-377): 'Charles  Taze  Russell, thou hast, by the Lord, been crowned a king; and  through the everlasting ages thy name shall be known amongst  the  people, AND THY ENEMIES SHALL COME AND WORSHIP AT THY FEET.'

We 
contrast  this  with   the   clear  Scriptural  teaching  to WORSHIP GOD ALONE (cf. Acts  10v25 & 14v11-18; Rev 19v10 & 22v8-9  where men and angels refused WORSHIP).

Interestingly, an honest translation of the Bible shows that the same angels who refused  worship  are commanded by God to WORSHIP the Lord Jesus Christ in
Hebrews 1v6 & Rev 5v13.

'THE BIBLE CANNOT BE PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT JEHOVAH'S
VISIBLE ORGANISATION'


12. Do the WBTS really want us to examine their teachings?

In
'The Watchtower,' 15th May, 1984, (p.17), we read:

'Those who despise  Jehovah's  teaching  include individuals who criticize and complain  about  Jehovah's  CLEAN ORGANISATION and its rules for maintaining peace and  good order. There is only a fine line of demarcation between such and those who are outright rebels.'


The WBTS invited  us  to  examine  their organisation and stated that 'ANY ORGANISATION CLAIMING TO BE THE WAY OF SALVATION SHOULD SUBMIT TO  CRITICISM.'  We have found that the WBTS claims that we should 'COME TO JEHOVAH'S ORGANISATION FOR SALVATION' and  they are, therefore, such an organisation.

HOWEVER, THIS IS WHERE WE FIND A CONTRADICTION.

WHAT THE WBTS MEANS IS THIS: SCRUTINISE AND CRITICISE OTHER RELIGIONS AND ORGANISATIONS  -BUT NEVER CRITICIZE THEM OR USE  HUMAN REASONING AGAINST THEM. WE HAVE ONLY EXAMINED THE WBTS HERE BY LOOKING AT THE STANDARDS THAT THEY CLAIM TO BE CORRECT.

We will not use human reasoning to examine the WBTS but apply the Scriptural tests which abound:

For example
1 Thessalonians 5v19-22  teaches us: 'Do not put out the fire of the spirit. Do not treat prophesyings with contempt. MAKE SURE  OF  ALL  THINGS; hold fast to what is fine. Abstain from every form of wickedness.'

In
Acts 17v11 we find the Beroeans, upon hearing the teachings of Paul and Silas, setting a fine example for Christians by 'examining the Scriptures daily as  to whether these things were so.'

Obviously, if it was  wise  to examine the teachings of men like Paul and Silas, then it must still be equally important for us to examine the teachings of any who claim to bring the Word of God.  This  must  include  the  WBTS  for  we  find  that the congregations of Galatia were  advised
(Galatians 1v8): 'even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.'

It is  noteworthy  that 
'The  Watchtower,'  1st  February, 1952, p.80, which was quoted above  ('We should go meekly along with the  Lord's  theocratic  organisation....')  should  attempt  to deflect the believer from checking out the WBTS because it goes on to say:

'Even the Beroeans first received Paul's preaching 'with the greatest readiness of mind,' and then went 'carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so'. (Acts17:11, NW) This was the first real contact the Beroeans had with Paul's preaching, yet they received it readily and then studied the Scriptural support for themselves. HOW MUCH MORE READILY WE CAN RECEIVE THE SLAVE'S PROVISIONS WITH CONFIDENCE, SINCE, UNLIKE THE BEROEANS, WE HAVE MUCH PAST EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRECIOUS PROVISIONS FROM THE  SLAVE. After receiving these food supplies we  prove  their  Scripturalness  for ourselves to make the message our own, in a spirit of meekness and trustfulness and NOT COMBATIVENESS.'

What are the WBTS saying?
DO NOT CHECK US OUT - YOU CAN TRUST US - HAVEN'T WE PROVED OURSELVES TRUSTWORTHY IN THE PAST? DON'T ARGUE ABOUT THIS.

It is clearly Scriptural  for  the  congregations of God to test the teachings they are receiving -and the only measure by which this can be done is  by  the  Word  of God -the Bible. However, when a Jehovah's  Witness  believes  that  he  can 'prove their Scriptural accuracy'  he has  a  problem.  The only books, Bibles and reasoning he is expected to use are those of the WBTS and these will usually bear  out  the  teaching - for reasons we will go into later. But this is not always the case and we shall be looking at the way  in  which  the WBTS deals with this other problem in a future  news-letter.  NOTE: Where annotated in brackets (NWT) the  Scriptural  quotes  above  are  from the New World Translation of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  revised 1984.  We shall  be  looking  at the accuracy of this translation.

13. Can we actually check  out  the  WBTS on our own? Apparently not, according to their writings:

'Thus the Bible is an  organizational book and BELONGS TO THE CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION AS  AN  ORGANISATION, NOT TO INDIVIDUALS, REGARDLESS OF  HOW  SINCERELY  THEY  MAY  BELIEVE  THAT THEY CAN INTERPRET  THE  BIBLE.  FOR  THIS  REASON  THE  BIBLE  CANNOT BE PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD  WITHOUT  JEHOVAH'S  VISIBLE ORGANISATION IN MIND.' (WT, 1st October, 1967, p.587)

So they are saying that we  cannot  check out the WBTS using the Bible because ONLY the WBTS  can  tell you what the Bible means.  Would you send a fox into the chicken run to check out a fox?

IF WE ARE UNABLE TO DEFEND  OUR RELIGIOUS VIEWS, WE MAY FIND OURSELVES LASHING OUT...WITH SLURS AND INNUENDOS...'


In their 'Awake!' magazine  of  November 22nd, 1984 (p.3-4), the WBTS included an article  entitled:  'An  Open  or Closed Mind -Which Do You Have?' Here are some quotes:  'A necessary part of life  is  that we make decisions and reach judgements. BUT DECISIONS MADE 'WITHOUT DUE EXAMINATION' OR JUDGEMENTS REACHED 'ON OTHER GROUNDS THAN REASON OR JUSTICE' ARE EVIDENCES OF A CLOSED MIND.  'A closed mind may betray a lack of interest in the subject or a reluctance to look into the matter. IN FACT, IT COULD EVEN BE A SIGN OF UNCERTAINTY OR DOUBT. FOR EXAMPLE, IF WE ARE UNABLE TO DEFEND OUR RELIGIOUS VIEWS,  WE  MAY  FIND OURSELVES LASHING OUT AGAINST  THOSE  WHO  CHALLENGE  OUR  BELIEFS,  NOT  WITH LOGICAL ARGUMENTS,  BUT  WITH  SLURS   AND  INNUENDOS.  THIS  SMACKS  OF PREJUDICE AND A CLOSED MIND.'

'Are you open-minded enough to  consider the possibility that you may not be? IT WILL PAY  TO FIND OUT. Whereas an open mind can serve to your advantage,  a closed one will almost certainly serve to your detriment.'

14. The 'Watchtower' (15th  Dec.,1989,  pp.6-7)  had this to say about their appointed leaders:

'They (WBTS) have a modern Governing Body....THESE MEN, LIKE THE APOSTLES...ARE ANOINTED MEMBERS... HISTORY HAS PROVED THAT THEY CAN BE TRUSTED TO  FOLLOW  THE DIRECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THAT THEY DO NOT RELY ON HUMAN WISDOM....'  We will  examine  what history has
really shown about the WBTS Governing Body!

15. Finally, of the many  quotes  which show the attitude of the WBTS towards  orthodox  historical  Christianity,  we quote from their book 'Revelation  - Its  Grand  Climax  At Hand,' (1988):  'Jesus  has  long  since   rejected  the  clergy,  judging  them adversely and throwing them  away,  just as a fisherman disposes of unsuitable fish caught  in  his dragnet. The miserable plight of Christendom's churches today  testifies  to that judgement of her. May her eventual fate  serve  as  a warning to us - Matthew13:47-50 (p.72)...The evidence is all around us that Christendom is cold as far as love is concerned. In contrast, may we as true Christians respond fervently  to Jesus' message (p.73)...divided into sects or  denominations...they  shout  confused or mutually contradictory messages...they leave it  to a professional clergy class to do  their  praising  for  them...cry  out that they owe salvation to the  holy  spirit...servants  of  a  trinitarian god (p.123)...Her religion is the  fruit  of the great apostasy from true Christianity...their doctrines  are  far removed from Bible truth,   and   they   continually    bring   God's   name   into disrepute...(p.133).

This  is  a  book  which  finds  time  to  attack 'Christendom' (
any group they consider to be 'orthodox' Christianity) throughout its  pages  and we find these views represent similar attitudes to those of the Mormon church.  Are these the views of a humble and loving spirit, boasting only of what God has done and seeking that He will receive the glory?(Matthew 18v4;  Philipp  2v3-8;  1  Corinthians  1v31; Galatians6v14)

CONCLUSION?


We gladly accept the challenge of the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses. We will also find it worthwhile to examine other statements and their leaders' historical records as  'prophets  of God.'  Allowing the facts of history and  the  Bible  record to speak will determine whether these beliefs are 'orthodox' or 'heretical'.  It was the latter that Paul warned about when he wrote:

'I am amazed that you  are  so  quickly deserting Him who called you  by   the   grace   of   Christ   for  a  different  (Greek 'heteros')  gospel' 
(Galatians  1v6;  cf.  2  Corinthians11v4,13-15)


Charles Taze Russell -  deceived follower of the Arian heresy - and founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses!

It is ironic that their book - 'Revelation - Its Grand Climax At Hand,' (1988, p.35-36) should state  of their 'John class' ...: 'They resisted those who tried to introduce sectarianism through PRACTICALLY IDOLIZING the first president of the Watchtower Society, founder, Charles Taze Russell, following his death in 1916.'

Ironic, because Russell's successor, 'Judge' Joseph  F.  Rutherford,  did  not prevent the following from appearing in 'The  Watch Tower,' (Dec. 1st, 1916, pp. 376-377): 'Charles  Taze  Russell, thou hast, by the Lord, been crowned a king; and  through the everlasting ages thy name shall be known amongst  the  people, AND THY ENEMIES SHALL COME AND WORSHIP AT THY FEET.'

Who is to be worshipped? (Deut. 17:3;  1 Kings 9:9;  2 Kings 21:21) 

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