John speaking under inspiration says:
(1 John 4:1) . . .Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.
This isn’t a suggestion, is it? It is a command from Jehovah God. Now, if we are commanded to test expressions where the speaker claims to be talking under inspiration, should we not do likewise where the speaker is claiming to interpret God’s word without benefit of divine inspiration? Surely the command applies in both instances.
Yet we have been told not to question what we are taught by the Governing Body, but to accept it as equivalent to God’s word.
“…we cannot harbor ideas contrary to God’s Word or our publications.” (2013 Circuit Assembly part, “Keep this Mental Attitude—Oneness of Mind”)
We could still be testing Jehovah in our heart by secretly doubting the organization’s position on higher education. (Avoid Testing God in Your Heart, 2012 District Convention part, Friday afternoon sessions)
To cloud matters further, we are told that the Governing Body is Jehovah’s Appointed Channel of Communication. How can anyone be God’s channel of communication without being inspired?
(James 3:11, 12) . . .A fountain does not cause the sweet and the bitter to bubble out of the same opening, does it? 12 My brothers, a fig tree cannot produce olives or a vine figs, can it? Neither can salt water produce sweet water.
If a fountain sometimes produces sweet, life-sustaining water, but at other times, bitter or salty water, would it not be prudent to test the water each time before drinking? What fool would just guzzle down water from what has been proven to be an unreliable source.
We are told that when the members of the Governing Body speak as one, they are Jehovah’s Appointed Channel of Communication. They produce must wisdom and fine instruction in this way. However, it is a matter of record that they have also made many interpretive mistakes and misled Jehovah’s people doctrinally from time to time. So both sweet and bitter water has flowed from what they claim is Jehovah’s Appointed Channel of Communication.
Inspired or not, the apostle John still relays the command from God to test every inspired expression. So why would the Governing Body condemn us for wanting to obey Jehovah’s command?
Actually, it doesn’t matter what they think on the subject, because Jehovah has commanded us to test every teaching and that’s the end of the matter. After all, we must obey God as ruler rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
If our understanding of 1914 is correct here and that date is with out merit then can it be said that we are still in the time of the apostacy???
Hmm, good question. The time of the apostasy began with the demise of the apostles. There is evidence it began even before they were all gone. And it continues down to our day.
Good day All, Actually we are not in the time of the apostasy. Brace yourselves: The apostasy can only exist when there are spirit anointed persons around that can become apostates. As there are currently not spirit anointed persons on earth, there can be no apostates on earth – at this time. In the future – as prophesied, Jehovah will again pour out his spirit upon select individuals, some of whom will in time fall away and become apostate. Then once again, and for a brief while there will be the return of the apostasy spoken about in the scriptures.… Read more »
If the Governing Body began teaching apostate ideas, how could one obey the publications and do anything other than follow them? This may seem ridiculous to some. But if it happened in the early church, then what’s stopping it from happening now? And didn’t Paul say that at least some would?
While I totally agree with what you’ve written Meleti, I would appreciate getting some specific examples of how we might test the inspired expression without seeming to be fault-finding and negative. Many times when I have expressed doubts about certain “explanations” of Scriptures, I have been met with cold stares and unspoken “how dare you?” Thank you for any suggestions.
I understand your frustration completely. There are few with whom we can discuss these things. The indoctrination that causes us to avoid questioning anything sounded down from “on high” and to label anyone who does as flirting dangerously with apostasy is strongly entrenched. I find that it is best to do this on one’s own, or with trusted friends who share one’s desire to examine all teachings from a scriptural perspective. Jehovah will provide you with such friends with whom you can enjoy upbuilding, non-judgmental fellowship. They may be few and far between, but the rarity of gems is what… Read more »
Yes Dorcas I understand your fear. We have been conditioned to believe without questioning. Often I have noticed that when I have asked a question about a statement made or some teaching I have been made to feel that I am somehow disloyal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. What I have done is ask ones who make statements that seem off to please show me from scripture what they base this on. I tell people that the reason we come together is that we all value Jehovah’s opinion on matters. Since that is the case why can’t we… Read more »
Thanks for asking that question since many more have wondered that as well.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NASB
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.