Treasures from God’s Word

Ezekiel 9:1,2 – Ezekiel’s vision has meaning for us

(w16/06 p. 16-17)

Here we have yet another example of the folly of continuing to stick to using sections of the Hebrew Scriptures as types of future anti-types without scriptural backing. There has to be frequent changes of ‘truth’ and adjusted understandings as a result. There is nothing in Ezekiel or elsewhere in the Scriptures to indicate that the vision of Ezekiel was to have a second fulfillment. However assuming that we can learn from parallels, is this latest pronouncement correct?

As usual they stick to the organization’s incorrect dates for when the prophecy was given and had its fulfillment at Babylon’s destruction of Jerusalem.

If there is a parallel to be drawn—a big IF!—then it makes more sense that the secretary pictures Jesus rather than a special class of anointed ones.

Lessons learned:

[1] The misinterpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 has been discussed many times on this site. As shown even in recent CLAM and Watchtower Study reviews, the self-proclaimed ‘Faithful and Wise (Discreet) Slave’ shows neither true faith nor wisdom nor discretion in many of their pronouncements and actions.

[2] Why is the literature from that ‘slave class’ so generally devoid of assistance to help readers put on the Christian personality. Why do the baptism vows tie one to an organization? What encouragement do we receive to put into practice Matthew 25:35-40 to show charity and hospitality to those in need through no fault of their own? Instead, we are only encouraged to show charity and hospitality to those amongst our ranks who deliberately impoverish themselves to pioneer. Yet the example of the Apostle Paul was that he avoided making himself a burden to his fellow Christians, (2 Thessalonians 3:8) despite having been directly appointed by Christ to preach to the Gentiles, something no one can rightly claim today.

[3] Who will make up the great crowd? They will be ones who ‘are sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done’ (Ezekiel 9:4). Who in the organization today is sighing and groaning over the detestable cover up of pedophiles within the organization? Most of the time all we get is silence but when we do hear from the governing body about this problem, we only get denials and excuses, rather than action. The elders around the world meekly follow their lead and thereby become culpable and blood guilty. Why? Because they are not prepared to exercise their God-given conscience and not only avoid giving extra trauma to the victims, but also properly protect their flock from these demonic perpetrators. If the Governing Body really cared about such ones then they would have a talk at the regional conventions or circuit assemblies dealing with how to teach your children to safeguard themselves.  Additionally, elders would get specific instruction to always report any credible suspicion of child sexual abuse to the authorities who are commissioned by God to handle crimes.  (Ro 13:1-7) After all pedophilia is not only immorality, and not just  a serious abuse of trust—it is a heinous crime against the most vulnerable ones in our midst.

Finally, why do anointed ones not need to receive this mark for survival? In the literal fulfillment, all needed the mark, both priests and princes, and the Israelites in general. Therefore, in the alleged anti-type likewise all would need the symbolic mark. Is not a sealing, a kind of marking?

Gods Kingdom Rules

(kr chap 14 para 8-14)

While this section is a potted history of the organization and its attitude to military service and the experiences of certain brothers, it leaves out certain pertinent facts that would affect ones viewpoint on the course followed by witnesses.

For instance during World War One, civilian and non-combatant service was up to one’s conscience. However, this stance changed under the presidency of Rutherford.

“The official position of the Watch Tower Society, developed in the early 1940s during the Second World War, was that if one of Jehovah’s Witnesses accepted such alternative service he had “compromised,” had broken integrity with God. The reasoning behind this was that because this service was a “substitute” it therefore took the place of what it substituted for and (so the reasoning apparently went) came to stand for the same thing.12 Since it was offered in place of military service and since military service involved (potentially at least) the shedding of blood, then anyone accepting the substitute became “bloodguilty.”  [1]

“An examination of the historical facts shows that not only have Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to put on military uniforms and take up arms but, during the past half century and more, they have also declined to do non-combatant service or to accept other work assignments as a substitute for military service. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been imprisoned because they would not violate their Christian neutrality.” [2]

This most likely put many brothers in prison who suffered needlessly, as they rejected even civilian service alternatives. Imagine how many of these felt when the position was once again changed by being reversed in 1996?

“What, though, if the Christian lives in a land where exemption [from military service] is not granted to ministers of religion? Then he will have to make a personal decision following his Bible-trained conscience. What, though, if the State requires a Christian for a period of time to perform civilian service that is a part of national service under a civilian administration? That is his decision before Jehovah.” [3]

Yes, civilian service was now acceptable again. This highlights once again the folly of the organization laying down rules, going beyond what is written, instead of allowing a Christian’s Bible-trained consciences to decide.

Finally, why does the kr book use the organization’s interpretations of Revelation, from the Revelation Climax book? This book is out of print and not available online for download. Many of the teachings of this book are out of date from ‘current truth’. It seems the only reason is to justify the cause of opposition to the witnesses stand on neutrality and try and imply that only Jehovah’s Witnesses were the target. From our review last week we know that there are conscientious objectors from other religions, though that fact was likely lost on last week’s attendees of the midweek Bible Study.

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[1] Crisis of Conscience, R Franz, 2004 4th edition, p.124

[2] United in Worship of the Only True God (1983) p.167

[3] Watchtower 1996 May 1 pp.19-20