2014 District Convention: “Sacred Secrets of the Kingdom Progressively Revealed”

– posted by meleti

(Luke 8:10) . . .He said: “To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the Kingdom of God, but for the rest it is in illustrations so that, though looking, they may look in vain, and though hearing, they may not get the sense.

How about a little Q&A about this verse just for fun.

    1. Who is Jesus speaking to?

    2. To whom are the sacred secrets revealed?

    3. When are they revealed?

    4. From whom are they hidden?

    5. How are they hidden?

    6. Are they revealed progressively?

You get a passing grade if you answered:

    1. His disciples.

    2. His disciples.

    3. At that time 2,000 years ago.

    4. Those who rejected Jesus.

    5. By using illustrations.

    6. Yes, if you mean he didn’t give them all the answers at once. No, if you mean that he answered them incorrectly, then again incorrectly, then again incorrectly, then finally correctly (maybe).

(Incidentally, as trivial as this test may sound, getting a passing grade is really important.)
At our district convention[i] during the Friday afternoon session we were treated to a 20-minute discourse titled, “Sacred Secrets of the Kingdom Progressively Revealed.”
It quotes Mat. 10:27 wherein Jesus exhorts his disciples: “What I tell you in the darkness…preach from the housetops.”   Of course, the things Jesus told us are in the Bible for all to read. The sacred secrets were revealed 2,000 years ago to all his disciples.
Apparently, however, another undocumented process has been going on. There have been refinements regarding the Kingdom of God which Jehovah has revealed in a progressive manner. The talk then goes on to explain five of these which we are to “preach from the housetops”.

Refinement #1: Jehovah’s Name and His Universal Sovereignty

The speaker stipulates that while the ransom is a key belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses, God’s name and sovereignty came to take first place among us. He stated, ‘that it is only proper that Jehovah’s name be held separate from and higher than all others.” While this is axiomatic, the question is: Should this replace our focus on the ransom? Is the sovereignty issue more important than the ransom? Is the Bible’s message about God’s sovereignty or about mankind’s salvation?  Certainly, if it is about sovereignty, one would expect the theme to have been the focus of Jesus’ preaching. The word should be sprinkled throughout the Christian Scriptures.  Yet, it does not occur even once.[ii] However, certainly Jehovah’s name, being the focus for Christians as we claim, would appear in the Christian Scriptures. Again, not once—unless you use the NWT where men have arbitrarily inserted it.
There is nothing wrong with using Jehovah’s name. The efforts of other religions to remove it from the Bible are nothing short of reprehensible. But we are talking about the focus of our preaching here. Who set that up? Did we or did God?
Surely we can discern the focus of our preaching by examining the focus of the preaching of the apostles and first century Christians. What message from Jesus were they “preaching from the housetops”? Click on these scripture references and you be the judge. (Acts 2:38; 3:6, 16; 4:7-12, 30; 5:41; 8:12, 16; 9:14-16, 27, 28; 10:43, 48; 15:28; 16:18)

Refinement #2: Being Called Jehovah’s Witnesses

This is a truly remarkable assertion. We are claiming that when Rutherford chose the name Jehovah’s Witnesses back in 1931, it was the result of a revelation from God—albeit an uninspired one. The basis for the “secret” being revealed was Rutherford’s understanding of Isaiah 43:10. The speaker calls this a “Scriptural name”. That might be going a little far, don’t you think? After all, if you are bearing witness for me in a court case, and I say, “You are my witness”, does that mean I’ve given you a new name? Nonsense. I’ve merely described a role you are playing.
Nevertheless, let us grant them this in the spirit of Proverbs 26:5. If saying this to the Israelites gave them a “Scriptural name”, then what “Scriptural name” did Jehovah inspire Jesus to confer on Christians? Again, you be the judge: (Mat. 10:18; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 1:6; Rev. 1:9; 12:17; 17:6; 19:10; 20:4)
Given the overwhelming Scriptural evidence, our position on these first two refinements disqualifies them from being secrets, sacred or otherwise.  They are the unscriptural assertions of men.  The question is: Why are we being asked to believe that these teachings come as secret revelations from God?
Jesus criticized the Pharisees for ‘enlarging the fringes of the garments.’ (Mt 23:5) These fringes were mandated by the Mosaic law as a visible means of identification to keep the Israelites separate from the corrupting influence of the nations surrounding them. (Nu 15:38; De 22:12) Christians should be separate from the world, but that separateness is not based on false teaching. Our leadership isn’t as concerned about separateness from the world as they are about separateness from all other Christian religious sects. They have achieved that by deemphasizing Jesus’ pivotal role and over-emphasizing Jehovah’s name beyond anything he directed us in Scripture to do.
God’s sovereignty is the key issue, but it is not the Bible’s theme. We either obey God or we obey man, whether other men or one’s self. It is that easy. That’s the issue upon which everything is based. It is a simple and self-evident issue. The complexity derives from how that issue is to be resolved. The resolution of that issue became a sacred secret which was only revealed some 4,000 years after the events that put everything in motion.
Redefining that as we have changes the very nature of the good news we are to declare and changing the good news is a sin. (Ga 1:8)

Refinement #3: The Kingdom of God Was Established in 1914

Based on what the speaker explains, we must conclude that the revelation to Russell that the Kingdom of God was established in 1914 was a sacred secret progressively revealed. We say ‘progressively’ because Russell got it wrong, placing the presence in 1874 while the coming of the Christ in the great tribulation was to be in 1914. In 1929, a progressive revelation was made to Rutherford fixing 1914 as the start of Christ’s presence. If you believe that the current understanding is a revelation from God, perhaps you would like to examine what God’s word truly has to say about the importance of this year. Click here for a more detailed examination, or click the “1914” category on the left of this page for a complete listing of every post dealing with this topic.

Refinement #4: That There Are 144,000 Kingdom Heirs in Heaven

We used to think that the “other sheep” were also going to heaven as some sort of secondary class, ones who didn’t quite measure up because of being guilty of negligence in serving God. This wrong view was corrected by Rutherford in a talk in 1935. This is the fourth sacred secret which Jehovah has revealed to us through the Governing Body.
Unfortunately, Rutherford—as the then sole-member of the Governing Body having disbanded the editorial committee in 1931—“corrected” this wrong view with another wrong view that has held sway till this day. (Based on the historical evidence, “progressive” in JW vernacular means, “getting a teaching wrong repeatedly, but always accepting the latest definition as absolute truth”.)
Again, we have written extensively on this subject, so we will not repeat those arguments here. (For even more information, click the category “The Anointed”)

Refinement #5: Kingdom Illustrations.

Apparently, two illustrations were refined or clarified as part of the progressive revelation of sacred secrets, that of the Mustard Grain and that of the leaven. Prior to 2008, we believed these, and virtually all the Kingdom-of-God-is-like illustrations, related to Christendom. Now we apply them to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Here is where the ‘reader must use discernment’. According to the convention discourse’s theme scripture of Luke 8:10, Jesus spoke in illustrations to hide the truth from those unworthy of it.
The fact that we, as Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been fed multiple re-interpretations of virtually all of Jesus’ illustrations should serve a warning to true Christians.
The Watchtower Index 1986-2013 has a section titled “Beliefs Clarified”.  This is very misleading. When you clarify a liquid, you remove substances that cloud its transparency, but throughout the process, the core liquid remains the same. When you refine something, like sugar, you remove impurities and other elements, but again the core substance remains the same. However, in the case of these illustrations, we have changed the very substance of our understanding completely, and have done so several times, even reversing our interpretation several times, returning to previous understanding only to abandon them again.
How presumptuous of us to classify our bumbling attempts at interpretation as the progressive revelation of sacred secrets from Jehovah.
So there you have it. As you listen to this discourse for yourself, remember that Jesus revealed his sacred secrets 2,000 years ago to his true disciples. Remember also Paul’s exhortation for us not to be quickly shaken from our reason “by an inspired statement”, which is what the revelation from God of a sacred secret is. – 2 Th 2:2
[i] We don’t start calling them “regional conventions” until 2015.
[ii] It also does not occur in the Hebrew Scriptures in the NWT except in two footnotes.

Archived Comments

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  • Comment by maxwellsmartjw on 2014-06-26 10:18:14

    To my knowledge there is only one "sacred secret" in the scriptures. It centers on the identification and role Jesus Christ plays in the outworking of God's purpose (Rom 16:25,26; Col 2:2). This secret was completely revealed through the scriptures and has been available in its entirety to Christians AND the nations since the latter half of the first century.
    The word "revelation" (ἀποκάλυψις εως,ἡ - apokalupsis) used in Rom 16:25 literally means unveiling, uncovering, revealing, disclosing. The uncovering carries the thought of someone removing their clothing, laying themselves bare, standing naked. It does not carry the thought of a "progressive" removal of one's garments. It's a strip search, not a teasing stripper show (with feathers LOL).
    For a position that the sacred secret was revealed gradually to hold water, Jehovah must not have removed ALL of the garment covering the sacred secret. Does this not contradict Rom 16:26 where it says that the secret had then been made manifest and made known among all the nations?
    Clearly Jehovah removed the garment covering the sacred secret in the first century, so what was there left to reveal? When you step out of the shower..... well..... I won't go there.
    IMO we are standing very shaky sand if we claim the revealing of the secret was gradual, and in particular, that it was revealed during the last century.
    Meleti thanks for taking the time to comment on this. I'll be listening intently at my convention.

  • Comment by peter on 2014-06-26 11:12:14

    Good points brother...but one area I think you need to correct. It is on your statement I quote : These fringes were mandated by the Mosaic law as a visible means of identification to keep the Israelite separate from the corrupting influence of the nations surrounding them. (Nu 15:38; De 22:12) Actually brother the Tzitzit that the people of Israel wore, where not any visible identifications, Instead they where to be ONLY visual REMINDERS to keep God's teachings or Instructions. It was the Pharisee's who through there later traditions changed what God Originally intended them for..This is why Jesus criticized the Pharisees because they where ‘enlarging the fringes or tassels of the garments.’ as a means to visually display there Religious distinction and piety... Sort of like a badge of honor to display there supposed holiness to the people. Much like what the clergy men do in there form of dress. To high light there position and rank...just a thought my brother I thought you needed...Shalom.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-06-26 11:48:58

      Thanks for clearing that up, Peter. Another legacy of my JW upbringing. :)

    • Reply by MM on 2015-04-19 23:34:19

      Shalom brother. Thanks for that

  • Comment by bobcat3 on 2014-06-26 11:12:41

    What is interesting about the Kingdom illustrations that the speaker referred to:
    The old WT understanding that the illustrations of the mustard and leaven referred to apostate Christendom - This was an explanation championed by W. E. Vine dating back to at least 1940.
    See Leaven and Mustard.
    It would be interesting to see if the idea dates farther back, both from the WT perspective and as a non-WT idea.
    When we studied the so-called "new light" on these parables a few years ago, I was struck by how closely the new WT explanation followed what was already taught in main-line academic commentaries of 'Christendom.' Not surprisingly, this fact was not mentioned in the WT study articles dealing with this "new light."
    Some history of the parable of the Leaven here.
    Some history of the parable of the Mustard Seed here.
    Meleti, enjoyed the writeup as usual.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-06-26 12:01:09

      You mean the light wasn't really new and it wasn't even from us!? I'm shocked, brother. Shocked! :)
      Seriously, thanks for that insight. I was reading Luke 12:1, 2 today and something struck me that had escaped my notice before. The leaven of the Pharisees was their hypocrisy. So what corrupted them and corrupts any like them is hypocrisy. Appearing to be one thing, while being another; putting up a false front, and all that goes with that. Right after pointing that out, he states that "there is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and nothing secret that will not become known." I take great comfort in those words, since they cannot fail to come true. I see in our Organization the glimmering of light that will result in exposing things carefully concealed. I think we are close to an awakening of the many of good heart. This revelation is not confined to our Organization, of course, but it concerns me more personally due to my vested interest after a lifetime of devotion to our "cause".

  • Comment by Katrina on 2014-06-26 11:56:54

    the sacred secret according to WT as I was taught was the 1.4000 the seed would go to heaven, as before Christ no one know about heaven as a destination, only an earthly hope.

  • Comment by miken on 2014-06-26 15:09:17

    "Rutherford—as the then sole-member of the Governing Body having disbanded the editorial committee in 1934"
    Just a small point Meliti, Rutherford disbanded the editorial committee in 1931. The October 1st issue of the Watchtower 1931 was the last to list the editorial committee as J F Ruherford, W E Van Amburgh, J Hemery, R H Barber and E J Coward. Subsequently no committee was listed just two officers F Rutherford President and W E Van Amburgh Secretary,

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-06-26 22:34:03

      Thanks miken. I was going from memory. I've corrected that statement.

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-06-26 15:38:36

    Thank you for this article, Meleti. All the cited scriptures backed everything up and the information will prove very helpful for anyone who starts asking questions about the Society - it's good to have this at our fingertips. I'm afraid I didn't get question F right though - but never mind - no one knows everything!

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-06-26 16:20:28

    This secret that they are talking of is the greek word mysterion isnt it strongs 3466 meaning to shut the mouth and its a secret thats imposed by initiation into religious rites . I did some research on this word a while back and it seems that its carries the thought of knowledge thats known only by a select few . In other words to know the secret you have to be in the club .Ephesians 3 v5 in other generations this secret was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by spirit .So whats really left to tell about the secret that paul didnt know of then .To my mind its just another tacticto keep peoples interest and keep them on the edge of their seats a sort of religious soap opera with the brothers tuning in to find out whats going to happen this week . I do think our own understanding of the bible is progressive though .perhaps more than new things that god reveals at this time . Kev

  • Comment by smolderingwick1 on 2014-06-26 16:25:12

    So we Have been shouting "correctable" truth issued by Father and Son from housetops? Amazing!
    And re: 'The basis for the “secret” being revealed was Rutherford’s understanding of Isaiah 43:10. The speaker calls this a “Scriptural name,”'
    How strange that the new DF'ing rules state that so-and-so is no longer one of JW's by the decision of 3 men. When Jesus said what God has yoked together let no man put apart, does that mean marriage is more sacred than one's dedication to God?
    Is it my uniformed brain or someone else's twisted thinking that a scriptural name can so easily taken away and reattached by men?

    • Reply by on 2014-06-26 19:00:56

      Very good point Sw

  • Comment by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-06-27 08:53:36

    This is hands down one of my favorite articles on this site so far! This article provides a sound and scripturally based response to the GB’s claim to represent Jehovah as “prophets” .
    "For an answer, people should listen to the plain preaching by the remnant prefigured by Jeremiah, for these preach to men the present-day fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecies. Who made them a prophet to speak with the authority that they claim? Well, who made Jeremiah a prophet?" Watchtower 1959 Jan 15 pp.39-41
    "So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?
    These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? ... This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. ... Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel's work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God's Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom." Watchtower 1972 Apr 1 pp.197-199 "Those who do not read can hear, for God has on earth today a prophetlike organization, just as he did in the days of the early Christian congregation." Watchtower 1964 Oct 1 p.601
    As you repeatedly state in your articles the REAL test of a prophet is found in the Bible : "However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: "How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?" when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it." (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
    “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” (Deuteronomy 18:22-23)
    Jesus warned that “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matt 24:11).
    Peter said that "there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping” (2 Pet 2:1-3)
    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this talk!

  • Comment by Jannai40 on 2014-06-27 09:54:51

    GodsWordIsTruth, another scripture from one of Meleti's articles which comes to mind is Matthew 7:15,16 "Be on the watch from false prophets who come to you in sheep's covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By there fruits you will recognise them....." They are producing their fruit now and they are showing their true wolf like characteristics. We know why people have been so mislead by them - because of their sheep's covering, but surely now things are being revealed and more and more faithful brothers and sisters will be set free.

  • Comment by iclone2691 on 2014-06-27 17:29:10

    “progressive” in JW vernacular means, “getting a teaching wrong repeatedly, but always accepting the latest definition as absolute truth”...What an absolutely brilliant summation-Love It!

  • Comment by smolderingwick1 on 2014-06-27 20:13:20

    When X-JWs wear placards outside of our conventions shouting contentious words over the flaws of our religion, how often have I heard my fellow attendees say: "How sad that their entire religion is built on targeting us."
    Yet what have we done? Have we not built our entire religion on exposing the lies of false religion? And when we are exposed, what do we do? The same as Christendom. We excommunicate. What did Jesus call anyone who attempts to remove the straw from the eye of his fellow? "Hypocrite! First remove the rafter (log, plank) from your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to extract the straw from your brother’s eye."
    The finger we point is from the same hand with three fingers pointing back. Sorry for repeating myself out of frustration!

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-06-28 14:21:57

    To be honest with the governing body i always had the idea that they werent claiming to be gods spokesman as i understood that they beleived gifts of prophesy were already done away .. I could and did accept the claim that they were perhaps a or even the faithful slave of matthew 24 . I didnt think that that carried the same weight as gods spokesman .I knew they had got things wrong in the past . I just thoght they were honest hearted individuals who were doing their best to serve god and give an honest interpretaion of the bible for us to follow .I honestly didnt think we as brothers had to beleive everything they said and absolutely conform that was a real shocker to me . Over the years there have been lots of things that didnt ring true for me and didnt make sense .I didnt make a fuss i knew in my own mind what i beleived and shared those things with others . I thought we were all volunteers not slaves to the organisation .its one thing to read the bible wirh the help of the holy spirit and see things in a clearer light than we did before but come on new light thats no different than a prophetic revelation .god hasnt added to the bible yet has he . Kev

    • Reply by maxwellsmartjw on 2014-06-29 09:59:00

      I think we all have given the FADS/GB the benefit of the doubt. Not that many years ago, it would have been at best, next to impossible for you and I to conduct our own personal research on a given topic, accessing original language word definition and "outside the box" theological commentary.
      In years past, only a handful within the organization were privileged with such resources. Speaking for myself, growing up acquainted with several thousand witnesses, I don't recall knowing or hearing of any that studied the original languages, nor any who studied outside the box theological commentary.
      I recall mature brothers telling us Jehovah assigned this work to privileged brothers on the editorial staff, who had access a very comprehensive library. And of course, they had Jehovah's holy spirit and plenty of time on their hands to do the research for us. Growing up, I found most of our teachings had just enough scriptural "sizzle" to keep us mesmerized, proudly beating our chests, confident telling the world the JW version of "truth" was pure truth.
      But now, the scene of the world has changed. Anyone, even one with limited education such as myself, can readily research and conduct their own comprehensive study in the privacy of their home. We don't have to travel to access libraries. We don't have to devote years to learning in theological college courses. Information is within the click of a mouse.
      I go back to my analogy of comparing pure truth to pure gold. So long as the R&F had limited (if any) access to a testing method, we had no option but to trust the "mark" etched on the products (teachings) we required to sell. The mark was always 24 carat. Even the 7,000 year creative day, 1975, the generation of 1914, though in reality "fools" gold (no gold content whatsoever) were all marked 24 carat at the time they were featured front page in the catalog.
      When the shelf life on these front page products expired, over the years some began questioning the ethics of leadership, one who requires the sales staff to push the product offering as 24 carat. Clearly, given the history of misreads in the past, do we not have an ethical responsibility to personally verify the validity of the mark on each product, before conscientiously offering it? If we don't, and in a year, 5 years, 10 years, leadership decides to dump the product from the offering (because it turned out to be fools gold), does the sales staff not share some culpability for misrepresentation?
      Fully aware the testing method has rendered many misreads over the years, leadership insists that their reading on 607, 1914, the blood ban, two-witness rule applied to a crime, 99.9% of the world's population will experience second death destruction at Armageddon (the list could go on) and of late, the GB as exclusive FDS, the "overlappers"....... leadership insists the reading on these products is reliable and correct. Thus the R&F are required to continue to feature these as front page 24 carat products.
      The challenge for leadership going forward is that average folk now have access to independent state of the art testing equipment. Some of us have been busy testing longer than others and are sharing their findings, which is very helpful. In any case, given the long history of an organization that has repeatedly featured mis-marked (inferior ) products, should they not expect the sales staff to be a bit wary of the marks etched on the current offering?
      The jury is still out for me on which of the two following scenarios more closely fits the situation:
      1. Is our leadership culpability mostly the fact they refuse to upgrade the testing
      method? Do they in good faith trust the mark they etch on each product is
      reliable? Are they reluctant to retest with the modern method because they
      fear the results? Do they fear the possibility that long standing featured
      products may have to be pulled from the shelf, melted down and scrapped?
      2. Does leadership possess new equipment, and have they retested every
      product in the offering using improved methods? Here's the crux of the matter
      for me: Is leadership deliberately holding fast to the old reading, fully aware
      that the old reading is most assuredly flawed? Are they fearful that accepting t
      the more reliable reading will unquestionably result in fallout, perhaps severe
      legal consequences that might necessitate bankruptcy protection?
      Either way, there is culpability. If the first scenario is closer to reality, leadership better get to upgrading the equipment pretty soon because more and more R&F are going to learn to conduct their own private testing. The results will undermine confidence in the integrity of the product line. Leadership needs to be courageous and do the honest thing and let the chips fall where they may. IMO Jehovah would bless this.
      If the second scenario is closer to reality, shame on them. There is no way Jehovah will bless their future. Big problems will be brewing on the horizon.

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-06-29 10:19:04

        Well said, Maxwell. I'm in complete agreement with your take on this.

      • Reply by anderestimme on 2014-06-29 13:51:50

        This was masterfully said, MSJW.
        One totally off-topic question I have is this: I keep hearing people taking issue with the two witness rule. Since I certainly don't want to be tried and convicted on the evidence of just one witness, what am I missing? (Or should I start a topic for this on discussthetruth.com?)

        • Reply by kev c on 2014-06-29 16:15:10

          Anderstimme i personaly feel that the two witness rule is scriptural and legal 1 timothy 5v 19 do not admit an accusation against an older man accept on the evidence of two or three witnesses. I did lots of research the other night about all the different greek words that are translated as judge judgement accusation ect .the one at this verse is Katagoria g2724 a complaint a criminal charge based on katagoros complainant at law .We can understand the danger of banding around these accusations when its just one persons word against anothers . Of course this has been called into question because of the serious nature of child abuse . Of course i do not think that this word rules out the possiblity of investigating a matter based on the evidence of one witness but to bring a criminal charge on a person based on nothing else at all apart from one persons word is a dangerous precident .interestingly my son got in touch with the police the other day over a matter of harrasment from a young brother and they also qouted the two witness rule . I think the point is to condemn someone on the evidence of one person with no other evidence means a person could be open to a serious miscarraige of justice .which in itself could bring guilt . Of course the witnesses have been out of order in that they have got involved in cases which should be handled by the superior authorities of romans 13 .. again it seems they have perverted the course of justice by their own application of the 2 wirness rule sorry im not on discuss the truth yet thats my view kev

          • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-06-30 07:21:22

            After researching what the Bible teaches us about handling judicial matters that come up in the congregation, I have arrived at the conclusion that we are obliged to report criminal activities that occur within the congregation, whether or not we can act on them ourselves. They are "God's minister" for justice and we should respect that divine appointment. This is more fully discussed under the topic "Disfellowshipping--Handling Sins of a Criminal Nature".
            I personally know of two friends who were falsely accused of child abuse by adolescent children. One was a step-daughter who wanted to live with her biological father because he gave her the freedom to do what she wanted that her Witness mother denied her. The other was a daughter put up to it by her drug-addicted mother to pressure the father to give her money for the drug habit. Both men were arrested and put through a very difficult time before all charges were dropped. In the second case, the daughter (now an adult) apologized to her father for what she did, but relations will never be quite the same.
            I have a close friend in Canada who had a Bible study (we're going back about 10 years) who would get drunk periodically and beat his step-daughter. He followed protocol and reported it to the Branch legal desk which immediately directed him to call the authorities. When he hesitated, the desk pressure him twice to follow thorough. Canada has a federal law apparently requiring any allegation of child abuse, no matter how minor, to be reported.
            I do not say this to defend the WT Society's past actions and policies. I just think that fairness requires us to look at all sides of the issue. The two-witness rule is Biblical as is the requirement to submit to the "superior authorities". Obedience to both these divine instructions brings blessings. Trying to get around one or the other will bring God's condemnation.

        • Reply by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-06-30 11:54:09

          "The two-witness rule is Biblical as is the requirement to submit to the “superior authorities”
          You have balanced those two scriptures nicely. I am in full agreement.

  • Comment by maxwellsmartjw on 2014-06-29 10:06:12

    Oops, let's try the 2 scenarios again:
    1. Is our leadership culpability mostly the fact they refuse to upgrade the testing method? Do they in good faith trust the mark they etch on each product is reliable? Are they reluctant to retest with the modern method because they fear the results? Do they fear the possibility that long standing featured products may have to be pulled from the shelf, melted down and scrapped? Or,
    2. Does leadership possess new equipment, and have they retested every product in the offering using improved methods? Here's the crux of the matter for me: Is leadership deliberately holding fast to the old reading, fully aware that the old reading is most assuredly flawed? Are they fearful that accepting the more reliable reading will unquestionably result in fallout, perhaps severe legal consequences that might necessitate the need for bankruptcy protection?

    • Reply by maxwellsmartjw on 2014-06-29 10:21:15

      I realize I went off topic, but my comments are related to the premise of the talk and discussion by Meleti. In that the 24 carat "mark" on the sacred secrets progressively revealed was a reading from the old tester, which one (if any) of these truths can we hang our hats on?

      • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-06-29 11:57:44

        Not at all. Your comment was timely for me as I'm preparing an article on the man of lawlessness for release on Wednesday and your comment made me realize I was not taking something important into consideration. So you helped me avoid a public faux pas.

      • Reply by kev c on 2014-06-29 13:43:30

        Thanks for your comments maxwell.always find them interesting . Ive got a feeling it could be scenario 2 but who can say for certain apart from jesus ..Luke 12 is interesting verse 47 onward .that slave that understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do in line with his will will be beaten with many strokes but the one that did not understand and so did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few indeed everyone to whom much was given much will be demanded of him and the one whom people put in charge of much they will demand more than usual of him .The fact is if anyone wants to be the big boss and make all the decisions then they have to accept the responsibility for their mistakes . Regardless of the consequences that may bring . All that happens when one tries to cover things over they dig themselves into an even bigger hole . They have to come clean before its to late . People can start off with good motives but unless theres the humility there to admit our mistakes then it all turns sour .we all make mistakes we are all human .we have to accept that . Whats the big deal in admitting it . 1 john 1 v 8 9 and 10 . I fear for these people because if a simple person with a secondary education like me can see where they are going wrong .then what does that say . Kev

        • Reply by maxwellsmartjw on 2014-06-29 17:17:53

          At this point, I say it's much about PRIDE. They are afraid if they own up to the mistakes of the past and present, they lose face and the confidence of the R&F. They fear loss of support for their self appointed position of authority.
          The problem with this thinking is, if they don't admit their error, and if they continue to repeat the mistakes of the past, they lose even more credibility each day. I believe thinking R&F are waking up and smelling the coffee.
          They're danged if the do, and danged if they don't. But the lesser of the "dangs" is to do the honest thing and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-06-29 16:20:09

    anderestimme, The two witness rule is regarding child abuse. If a child claims to have been abused sexually by a brother, it is not considered reliable unless there was a second person who witnessed the abuse. This is absurd, since most sexual acts take place in privacy, so there would be no witness. Since the child cannot prove the brother abused them, they are often made out to be a liar and are ostracized by the congregation for trying to make trouble for a brother.
    This two witness policy makes a mockery of child abuse, which often takes place at the hands of elders. This policy protects brothers and allows pedophiles to hide in plain sight right within the congregation, giving them access to more victims. The Watchtower has tried over the years to keep all information about child abuse hidden from the congregation so many are not even aware of all the abuse that takes place.
    The elders don't recommend going to the proper legal authorities to handle the matter, since it is against the law; rather, they consider it a moral crime and want to handle child abuse allegations in a judiciary committee.
    There was a recent case that brought much publicity onto the Governing Bodies child abuse policy. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/calif-jury-awards-28m-in-_n_1602997.html
    There is a discussion on child abuse taking place on the discussion board on this thread:
    This is enough information to get you started researching the matter for yourself.
    Just google Jehovah's Witnesses child abuse.

  • Comment by kev c on 2014-06-29 18:35:59

    That sounds about right to me as well maxwell kev

  • Comment by Urbanus on 2014-06-29 19:34:19

    The "new light" of the convention relates to the third heavens Paul saw in vision - evidently in reference to a future paradise:
    *** it-2 p. 576 Paradise ***
    A Spiritual Paradise. Throughout many of the prophetic books of the Bible, divine promises are found regarding the restoration of Israel from the lands of its exile to its desolated homeland. God would cause that abandoned land to be tilled and sown, to produce richly, and to abound with humankind and animalkind; the cities would be rebuilt and inhabited, and people would say: “That land yonder which was laid desolate has become like the garden of Eden.” (Eze 36:6-11, 29, 30, 33-35; compare Isa 51:3; Jer 31:10-12; Eze 34:25-27.) However, these prophecies also show that paradise conditions related to the people themselves, who, by faithfulness to God, could now “sprout” and flourish as “trees of righteousness,” enjoying beautiful spiritual prosperity like a “well-watered garden,” showered by bounteous blessings from God because of having his favor. (Isa 58:11; 61:3, 11; Jer 31:12; 32:41; compare Ps 1:3; 72:3, 6-8, 16; 85:10-13; Isa 44:3, 4.) The people of Israel had been God’s vineyard, his planting, but their badness and apostasy from true worship had caused a figurative ‘withering away’ of their spiritual field, even before the literal desolation of their land took place.—Compare Ex 15:17; Isa 5:1-8; Jer 2:21.
    This undoubtedly provides the key for understanding Paul’s description of the vision (evidently had by him, since it forms part of his defense of his own apostleship) referred to at 2 Corinthians 12:1-7. Caught away to “the third heaven” (see HEAVEN [Third Heaven]), the vision viewer entered “paradise” and heard unutterable words. That this paradise envisioned could refer to a spiritual state among God’s people, as in the case of fleshly Israel, can be seen from the fact that the Christian congregation was also God’s “field under cultivation,” his spiritual vineyard, rooted in Christ Jesus and bearing fruit to God’s praise. (1Co 3:9; Joh 15:1-8) As such it had replaced the nation of Israel in God’s favor. (Compare Mt 21:33-43.) Paul’s vision, nevertheless, must logically have applied to some future time, so as to constitute a ‘revelation.’ (2Co 12:1) An apostasy was due to set in among the Christian congregation and was already working in Paul’s day; it would result in a condition like that of a field oversown with weeds. (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43; Ac 20:29; 2Th 2:3, 7; compare Heb 6:7, 8.) So, Paul’s paradise vision would not reasonably apply while such was the case but would evidently relate to the time of “the harvest season” when the genuine Christians would be gathered by the angelic reapers and would enjoy rich blessings and spiritual prosperity from God.
    It is evident, however, that the restoration prophecies recorded by the Hebrew prophets include elements that will also find a physical fulfillment in the restored earthly Paradise.

  • Comment by imacountrygirl2 on 2014-06-30 19:18:26

    For more discussion on the "two witness rule", imjustasking said this:
    "The two witness rule is an absolute non starter.
    It is so simple.
    They are quoting the old Mosiac Law - which was ABOLISHED, even as Paul stated - this is a point the Society have made many, many times in the publications!!"
    For his more detailed comment, and to get the organization's own teaching about the Mosiac Law.....and also to put that question in the right discussion, go here:

    • Reply by on 2014-07-01 18:24:54

      I dont get that sister if the 2 witness rule is abolished then why did paul recommend ir at 1 timothy 5 v 19 also why did jesus restate it at Matthew 18 v 16 im not saying your wrong im just asking a question about it thanks kev

    • Reply by miken on 2014-07-02 11:50:35

      Jesus reiterated the two witness principle at John:17 & 18 and Paul at 1 Tim 5:19. This should not prohibit elders reporting allegations or confessions of criminal activity to the appropriate authorities Rom 13:1.

  • Comment by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-07-01 18:46:07

    The two-witness rule has a foundation in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. However, it is but one law. In the Organization, we quote it when it suits us, but overlook other legal practices under the Mosaic law code what would prove inconvenient. Consequently, our application of divine law demonstrates an evident hypocrisy.
    For example, what is described in Leviticus 5:1 and explained in the w87 9/1 p. 13 Watchtower article "A Time to Speak”—When?" is given no place in our judicial process.

      w87 9/1 p. 13 “A Time to Speak”—When?

    Another Bible guideline appears at Leviticus 5:1: “Now in case a soul sins in that he has heard public cursing and he is a witness or he has seen it or has come to know of it, if he does not report it, then he must answer for his error.” This “public cursing” was not profanity or blasphemy. Rather, it often occurred when someone who had been wronged demanded that any potential witnesses help him to get justice, while calling down curses—likely from Jehovah—on the one, perhaps not yet identified, who had wronged him. It was a form of putting others under oath. Any witnesses of the wrong would know who had suffered an injustice and would have a responsibility to come forward to establish guilt. Otherwise, they would have to ‘answer for their error’ before Jehovah.

    In cases involving Leviticus 5:1, there were not two witnesses. Yet the Israelite had a legal right to make a public spectacle, proclaiming to all the wrong done him or a family member, denouncing the wrongdoer and calling for witnesses to come forth. However, we will not tolerate that in the congregation. Were a child to be molested and no witnesses other than the victim, we require the parents of the child to remain silent and for there to be complete secrecy, though we euphemistically call it "confidentiality", so as to protect (allegedly) the good name of Jehovah's Organization. Yet Jehovah's own law to the Israelites (something we are fond of quoting when it suits us) gives us license to make such sins public. Such openness would likely encourage others to speak up, knowing they would be supported and not subjected to more abuse.
    Jehovah's law is perfect, but perfection means completeness. If we cherry-pick which laws we follow and which we will not, then what we end up with is very incomplete and therefore, very imperfect.

    • Reply by kev c on 2014-07-02 16:22:18

      I agree with your evaluation meleti .so the problem yet again is not with gods laws but with the blatent misapplication of it . Its obvious that the 2 witness rule does not require a person to remain silent about what they have seen or experienced . Infact this could be illustrated in the scenario described in the law at dueteronomy 22 v 25 to 27 about the young girl who was raped in the field with no one there to deliver her . Isnt it really a very similar case to the many acts of child abuse done in secret with no other witnesses . And yet its obvious looking at verse 25 that these cases had to be brought to justice .how could that be possible if for the lack of another witness a person had to keep quiet . I find it sickening was gods holy spirit directing them to their application of the 2 witness rule there not chance romans 3 v 4 kev

  • Comment by CJ on 2014-07-04 20:29:36

    At this day one of convention Jesus was mentioned more than Jehovah. I was shocked.

    • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-06 05:10:55

      Just finished day 2 at the convention. The ressurection clip on day was was attributed to what Jesus would do. Everything was Jesus during the first 2 days. Has the society had a change. I felt like a christian and not a
      Jehovah-ite this weekend. Totally changed my view. Good by friends.

      • Reply by miken on 2014-07-06 10:16:47

        JW's do not have a personal relationship with Jesus because since 1954 they have been directed by the WT organization not to pray to him. They maintain that they sustain a personal relationship with Jehovah by taking in knowledge of him and praying to him. On the same basis by not communicating with Jesus they deny themselves a personal relationship with him. Jesus invited Christians to pray to him recorded at John 14:14 where in the JW Greek interlinear the Greek says "if ever anything you should ask ME in the name of me this I shall do".
        The New World translation omits ME in verse 14. It is true that Jesus also endorsed praying to the Father in his name.
        The scriptures clearly show that the early Christians prayed to Jesus see Acts 7:59, 9:14, 9:21; 1 Cor 1:2. Recorded at 2 Cor 12:8-10 the Lord that Paul is entreating is clearly the Lord Jesus, and his personal relationship with Jesus is also indicated at 2 Tim 4:17 and Acts 23;11.
        The vast majority of JW's deny being in a covenant relationship with Jesus and he being their mediator ( 1 Tim 2:5-6) particularly at their annual memorial meeting of his death when they do not partake of the bread and wine despite his command to do so. (John 6: 48-58). JW's know a lot about Jesus but do not know him through having a close active intimate relationship with him as well as the Father indicated by the Greek word "ginosko" (know) at John 17:3. This means that Christ cannot dwell in their hearts (Eph 3:17) and nor can his spirit (Gal 4:6). It is little wonder then they do not honour Jesus the way they should (John 5:23) and in reality the vast majority deny him ( Matt 10:32, 33) by not taking the emblems at their annual memorial meeting of his death believing by being observers and not participants they are honouring him. Jesus is "the truth" the way and the life and no one can come to the Father except through him and not in association with any organization of men. (John 14:6). However the Father draws individuals to come to Christ ( John 5:40; 6:35,37,44,45,65) and gives them to him (John 6:37) and he will not loose them or drive them away (John 10:27-29, 6:37-40). What is meant in "coming" to Christ Jesus? The Greek word translated "come" is Erchomai and Thayer in his Greek/English lexicon comments with reference to its use in John 5:40; 6:35,37,44,45,65 "to commit oneself to the instruction of Jesus (which JW's do) and enter into fellowship with him which JW's cannot do for reasons previously stated above. So in effect JW's are similar to those Jesus mentions at John 5:39, 40 considering scriptures about Jesus and what he taught but not "coming" to him to gain life. Jesus invites us to "come to him " (Matt 11:28-30) which requires us to surrender our life to him and for him (John13:37,38) and love him (Eph 6:24). Through Jesus we can come to the Father so that they then can make their home with and in us (John 14:23 ; 17:20,21). We must be "born again" from "water and spirit" (John3:3-7, no limitation on numbers indicated) and remember Jesus sacrifice by partaking in his memorial meal as he instructed us. (John 6:51-58; Luke 22:19,20; 1Cor 11:24-26). JW's believe only those who have been spiritually anointed should partake at their annual memorial meal, however the scriptures indicate that the first eleven participants with Jesus were not at that time anointed with the holy spirit but would be later. (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4). We must be baptized in accordance with Matt 28:19 and not in "association" with any earthly organization and into Christ (Rom 6:3; Gal 3:26, 27) becoming sons of the Father rather than just his friends. Having done these things we are then in a position to be witnesses of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8) and make known the gospel (good news) about him and the hope of a resurrection through him to a new life whether that be in a new heaven or on a new earth(1 Cor 15; Rev 21:1-4). When we get the opportunity may we help JW's "come " to Christ Jesus.

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-06 10:58:52

          But you yourself are doing what those in Christendom are doing you say "JW don't have a relationship with Christ." All JW's? Are you saying you know how Christ is going to judge us? How do you know what any JW's relationship to Christ is? In Jesus Model prayer he prayed to God. So that's what we should do. I partook and I am not anointed. Youncant clump anyone's salvation into your view. Acts 9:14 isn't a prayer to Christ. Acts 9:21 isn't a prayer. We call on Christ. Just not pray to him. The others you stated are not prayers. To call on can mean to put trust and believe in him. Not necessarily a prayer. Jehovah gave Christ authority on earth but he DID NOT give worship to him.

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-06 11:03:20

          Here are Jesus' own words about prayer.
          “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathens do.For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
          Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:6-13)
          Where is my instruction to pray to Jesus. Don't assume because people call upon the name of someone is a prayer.

          • Reply by miken on 2014-07-06 18:11:04

            "Don’t assume because people call upon the name of someone is a prayer"
            I would offer the following to support that to call on Jesus includes praying to him.
            Hebrew Qara “Call”.
            To “Call” on God’s name is to summon His aid; calling in this sense constitutes a prayer prompted by a recognised need and directed to one who is able and willing to respond.
            An example of this is recorded at 1 Kings 18:24, 36, 37. Elijah says he will call on the name of Jehovah in verse 24. He does this in prayer to Jehovah in verses 36 and 37.
            Joel 2:32 repeats the same phrase “ call on the name of Jehovah” again using the same Hebrew word for “call” Qara.
            In both Acts 2:21 and Rom 10:13 Joel 2:32 is quoted “calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved”. In Acts 2:21 and Rom 10:13 the Greek word used for “calls on” is Epikaleomai (appeal to) which is the same word used at 1 Cor 1:2 with regard to those who are “calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” The same Greek word is also used with reference to “calling upon” Jesus name at Acts 9:14,21.
            So if Jehovah is prayed to when his name is “called on” so too Jesus is prayed to by those “calling upon” his name.

          • Reply by miken on 2014-07-06 18:17:49

            " Don’t assume because people call upon the name of someone is a prayer"
            I would offer the following to support that to call on Jesus includes praying to him.
            Hebrew Qara “Call”.
            To “Call” on God’s name is to summon His aid; calling in this sense constitutes a prayer prompted by a recognised need and directed to one who is able and willing to respond.
            An example of this is recorded at 1 Kings 18:24, 36, 37. Elijah says he will call on the name of Jehovah in verse 24. He does this in prayer to Jehovah in verses 36 and 37.
            Joel 2:32 repeats the same phrase “ call on the name of Jehovah” again using the same Hebrew word for “call” Qara.
            In both Acts 2:21 and Rom 10:13 Joel 2:32 is quoted “calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved”. In Acts 2:21 and Rom 10:13 the Greek word used for “calls on” is Epikaleomai (appeal to) which is the same word used at 1 Cor 1:2 with regard to those who are “calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” The same Greek word is also used with reference to “calling upon” Jesus name at Acts 9:14,21.
            So if Jehovah is prayed to when his name is “called on” so too Jesus is prayed to by those “calling upon” his name.

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-06 11:04:43

          “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God …” (Philippians 4:6)
          “Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; and to You the vow shall be performed. O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.” (Psalm 65:1-2)
          “… Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24)
          “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
          All are said to be to God. Not Jesus

          • Reply by miken on 2014-07-06 18:01:17

            Absolutely so we can ask both Christ and the Father. Paul was clearly entreating the Lord Jesus as recorded at 2 Cor 12: 7-10 from whom he received a reply. At John 14:14 you are quoting the NWT, however in the Greek verse 14 it says "if ever anything you should ask me in the name of me this I shall do". Check your Kingdom Interlinear.

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-07 06:47:03

          I'm not going to argue with you. And I didn't quote the NWT. I can out du you in a bible debate. However, I've been in battles with Mormons and baptists quoting sharps rule of Greek grammar explaining all of this to people. Because I love to debate. However, it's ineffective. And if we can call on both in prayer because they are one then why are you do concerned with not praying to jesus. I pray to god as Jesus said to do. I dint care what you think a Greek word can mean when it doesn't tell me to pray. You've made an assumption by thinking that just because this is called on is offering a prayer to him. Bible says there were only to pray to God I'm not going to pray his son. Jehovah says that he gives his glory and honor to no one

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-07 07:07:14

          John 14:14 and the New World Translation
          Robert Bowman in his Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baker Book House, 1991:
          "John 14:14 should also be mentioned. In the NWT this reads: “If YOU ask anything in my name, I will do it.” The Greek text in the KIT [Kingdom Interlinear Translation], however, has me after ask, so that it should be translated: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” It is true that some later Greek manuscripts omitted this word, but most of the earlier ones included it, and most modern editions of the Greek New Testament include it. At the very least, the NWT ought to have mentioned this reading in a note." - pp. 67-68.
          But at John 14:14 'me' is omitted after 'ask' in the following trinitarian Bibles: KJV; NKJV; ASV; RSV; JB; NEB; REB; MLB; LB; AB; CBW; NLV; MKJV (Green); Darby; Webster’s; and Young’s.
          Many of them do not mention an alternate reading of 'me' in a note! And, likewise, many of the Bibles which do translate ‘ask me’ in this verse do not mention an alternate reading without ‘me’!!
          This is a disputed text. There exists manuscript evidence that ‘me’ may not have been used by the original writer. (Also see http://sahidicinsight.blogspot.com/ - Nov. 2, 2010 - where ‘Memra’ explains the importance of the ancient Coptic translation of this verse.)
          However, there is no such dispute about John 16:23 where John wrote: “... whatever you ask the Father for, he will give you in my name.” We should ask the Father (not the Son) in Jesus’ name. Therefore 'me' at John 14:14 is even more in doubt.
          Bowman has access to a copy of (and is quite familiar with) the 1984 NWT Reference Bible. He repeatedly quotes from it and refers to notes in it in both this 1991 publication (Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses) and his 1989 publication, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John.
          Yes, the 1984 NWT Reference Bible (which does have notes, of course) says in a footnote for John 14:14:
          14* “Ask,” ADIt and in agreement with 15:16 and 16:23; P66 [Aleph]BWVgSy(h,p), “ask me.”
          So for Bowman to pretend here that the NWT does not even mention that some Greek manuscripts have the word ‘me’ in this verse is simply inexcusable!

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-07 07:08:24

          I think you mean John 14:14. Read this.

        • Reply by GodsWordIsTruth on 2014-07-07 10:39:44

          Miken ,
          I am beginning to share the view that they may be worthy of the same status based on my personal reading of the scriptures .
          Whoever calls on Jesus or Jehovah will be saved Joel 2:32 , Acts 2:21
          They are both saviors/only savior Isaiah 43 :11 Luke 2:11 John 4:42
          We have to put faith in both Jehovah and Jesus John 14:1 (a) John 14(b)
          Both are worshipped by angels Revelation 7:11 Hebrews 1:4-6
          Both are worshipped Revelation 5:13-14 Revelation 11:15-17 ( Jehovah’s name is inserted in the NWT)
          I am undecided on prayer however. I tend to think that if I pray how Christ instructed me to pray saying Father instead of Jesus or Jehovah .. my prayer will get to the right place ;)

          • Reply by miken on 2014-07-07 11:17:09

            Well as God and the Lamb share the same throne your prayers should get to the right place. Rev 22:1, 3.

        • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-07-07 11:08:13

          I concur Miken. Praying to Jesus requires me to engage in scriptural interpretation as justification, while praying to Jehovah only requires me to be obedient to Jesus.

          • Reply by miken on 2014-07-07 17:16:30

            ▪ I thought it might be useful to post the society interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 from the Questions From Readers in the Watchtower November 15, 1987, page 29
            ▪ Was Paul referring to Jehovah or to Jesus when he wrote: ‘The Lord said to me: “My power is being made perfect in weakness”’?
            It seems that the apostle Paul was referring to the Lord Jehovah. By noting Paul’s words in context, not only can we see why this is so but we can also deepen our appreciation for the relationship between God and his Son. Paul wrote:
            “That I might not feel overly exalted, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan, to keep slapping me, that I might not be overly exalted. In this behalf I three times entreated the Lord that it might depart from me; and yet he really said to me: ‘My undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for my power is being made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast as respects my weaknesses, that the power of the Christ may like a tent remain over me.”—2 Corinthians 12:7-9.
            The thorn in Paul’s flesh may have been either some eye affliction or false apostles who challenged his apostleship. (Galatians 4:15; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 11:5, 12-15) Whichever it was, it tended to discourage Paul or keep him from exulting over his ministry. So he thrice asked that it be removed. But whom did he ask, and who responded by speaking of “my power”?
            Since the passage mentions “the power of the Christ,” it might seem that Paul had asked the Lord Jesus. Unquestionably, he has power and can impart it to his disciples. (Mark 5:30; 13:26; 1 Timothy 1:12) In fact, the Son of God “sustains all things by the word of his power.”—Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17, 29.
            However, the Lord God is the ultimate source of power, which he can and does supply to his worshipers. (Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:26, 29-31) Such power from God enabled Jesus to perform miracles and will yet enable him to act. (Luke 5:17; Acts 10:38) Similarly, Jesus’ apostles and other disciples received power from Jehovah. (Luke 24:49; Ephesians 3:14-16; 2 Timothy 1:7, 8) This included Paul, who ministered “according to the free gift of the undeserved kindness of God that was given [the apostle] according to the way his power operates.”—Ephesians 3:7.
            Since Paul asked for the removal of the ‘thorn in his flesh, an angel of Satan,’ it is logical that he looked to the Lord God to do this, Jehovah being the one to whom prayers are directed. (Philippians 4:6; Psalm 145:18) Furthermore, Jehovah’s somehow encouraging Paul with the words, “My power is being made perfect in weakness,” does not leave out Christ. Power from the Lord God could be described as “the power of the Christ [that was] like a tent” over Paul, for ‘Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.’ (1 Corinthians 1:24) Thus, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 helps us to appreciate better the pivotal way in which Jehovah uses his Son in the outworking of the divine will.
            The great majority of other references to 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 in the society publications refer to Paul praying to God or the Lord (Jehovah) and receiving a reply and being strengthened by Jehovah or God.
            I believe the overwhelming scriptural evidence is that Paul was praying to Jesus. Of the 191 references in Paul's writings he links the word Lord specifically to Jesus Christ 80 times. The other 111 uses of Lord in context also refer to Christ, he never uses the designation Lord God. Just to quote a few examples with reference to the use of Lord at Gal 1:19 he refers to James as "the brother of the Lord" and at Phil 3:8 he refers to Christ Jesus as "my Lord".
            Paul in his discussion of Christ's memorial meal at 1 Cor 11:23-27 refers to the Lord Jesus and the Lord. In 12:3 Jesus is again referred to as Lord.
            I did find two examples from previous publications that appear to be less dogmatic in the interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.. Make of them what you will.
            At 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul mentioned his own experience with “a thorn in the flesh,” possibly referring to some difficulty with his eyes. He prayed that it might depart from him, but his request was not granted. Nevertheless, having his goal in mind helped Paul to keep pursuing it despite any physical ailments. Though having weaknesses, he found a way with the help of Christ Jesus.—2 Corinthians 12:9
            Watchtower December 15, 1984, page 14, para 17
            The apostle Paul had a troublesome “thorn in the flesh.” But the Lord’s encouragement enabled Paul to feel powerful in spite of his weakness.—2 Cor. 12:7-10.
            Watchtower June 15, 1971, page 375

        • Reply by on 2014-07-07 21:41:39

          I'm going to go by what Jesus said. He says pray to the father. I'm not going to dig in Greek to make am assumption about what I may or may not think is correct. It seems to me that over the years if I don't see black and white then I'm not going to try to make what I want of if. You've heard "when in doubt leave it out". If I have to say "I think" or "I believe" then more thank likely it's not black and white. Jesus said directly to pray to the father. I'm not going to assume because someone called on Jesus name that I need to pray to Jesus.

        • Reply by CJ on 2014-07-07 21:48:23

          There is no question that, according to the Bible, Jesus occupies the highest position in heaven next to God. Does that, however, mean that we should pray to Him? Many people, because of their love for Jesus, direct prayers to him, but what does Jesus himself think about such prayers directed to him?
          Why would such a question arise? Because, for one thing, the Bible at Psalm 65:2 refers to Jehovah God as the “Hearer of prayer” and at Ps. 5:1-3 the psalmist David said: “To my sayings do give ear, O Jehovah; Do understand my sighing. Do pay attention to the sound of my cry for help, O my King and my God, because to you I pray. O Jehovah, in the morning you will hear my voice; In the morning I shall address myself to you…” For people who believe that Jehovah is part of a triune God, along with Jesus and the nameless holy spirit—Why didn’t David at times pray to Jesus, or to the Son as the Logos, as well as to the holy spirit if the three are all considered eternal together as God? This triune concept of God, of course, was completely foreign to David, and for all worshippers of Jehovah God prior and during Jesus’ coming to earth as a human. And, as well, this concept was completely foreign to Jesus’ apostles and early Christians. In fact, this triune concept of God was totally foreign to all Christians until its final formulation in the 4th century of our Common Era when “Christians” were forced to accept this doctrine with the sword of execution if they didn’t.
          Since Jehovah is the “Hearer of prayer” it is easy to understand why servants of God in ancient times, such as the Israelites, prayed only to Jehovah God, the Almighty. Did things change when Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to deliver mankind from sin and death? No, prayers were still directed to Jehovah. When on earth Jesus himself prayed frequently to his heavenly Father, and he taught others to do the same. In the Lord’s Prayer he did not teach us to pray to him, but instead gave us this model: “OUR FATHER…” (Matt. 6:6,9).
          Prayer is a form of worship. Even The World Book Encyclopedia acknowledges that, stating: “Prayer is a form of worship in which a person may offer devotion, thanks, confession, or supplication to God.”
          On one occasion Jesus said: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’ ” Jesus adhered to this fundamental truth that worship—hence also prayers—is to be addressed only to his Father, Jehovah God. In fact, praying to Jesus is in direct conflict with how Jesus taught us to pray. In fact it could even be considered disobedience to the method of prayer that Jesus outlined for Christians! And, praying to the holy spirit has no more foundation or Biblical example than does praying to Jesus, and would also be considered to be in direct conflict to Jesus’ instructions on how to pray.
          At Phil. 2:9-11, Paul said: “For this very reason also God exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.” Do the words “in the name of Jesus every knee should bend” mean that we are to pray to Jesus? No. For a prayer to be acceptable, it must be presented “in the name of Jesus,” but it is, nevertheless, according to Jesus’ instructions, addressed to Jehovah God and serves to His glorification. For this reason, Paul says: “In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.” Notice, clearly, Paul did not include Jesus or the holy spirit as recipients of “petitions [to] be made known to God”, which distinction Jesus himself makes when referencing his Father as “God” or “my God”. (John 4:24; 6:27,46; 10:36; 17:3; 20:17,31; Rev. 3:2,12).
          Just as a path leads to a goal, or destination, so Jesus is the “way” that leads to God the Almighty. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). These words of Jesus help us to see that we should present our prayers to God through Jesus, and not directly to Jesus himself. The fact that Jesus himself on numerous occasions prayed to God, his Father shows that he himself worshipped Jehovah as well. Remember how he stated at John 20:17 (cited above): “…For I have not yet ascended to the Father. But be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.’ ”
          Some may have in mind Paul’s words at 1 Cor. 1:2 where he mentioned “all who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” In Greek the expression “to call upon” can mean things other than prayer. How was the name of Christ “called upon” everywhere? One way was that the followers of Jesus openly acknowledged him to be the Messiah and “Savior of the world,” performing many miraculous acts in his name. (1 Jn 4:14). Acts 3:6; and Acts 19:5). In fact, The Interpreter’s Bible states that the phrase “to call on the name of our Lord…means to confess his lordship rather than to pray to him.”
          Accepting Christ and exercising faith in his shed blood, which make the forgiveness of sins possible, also constitute a “calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Acts 10:43 states: “To him [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name.” Note too Acts 22: 16: “And now why are you delaying? Rise, get baptized and wash your sins away by calling upon his [Jesus’] name.” And we literally say Jesus’ name whenever we pray to God through him. This is in harmony with John 15:16b which states: “…In order that no matter what you ask the Father in my name he might give it to you.” And John 16:23 which states: “In that day [after his death] you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (NIV). These verses are clear that Jesus said to ask the Father, but doing so in Jesus’ name. Jesus never said to ask, or pray, to Jesus himself, or to the holy spirit, but always to pray to the Father, but doing so by “calling upon the name of Jesus Christ.” So, while showing that we can call upon the name of Jesus, the Bible does not indicate that we should pray to him!
          By not directing prayers to Jesus personally, we are not degrading his position, but instead we give all the glory to God, just as Jesus did, and showed so often that giving glory to God was exactly what Jesus wanted his followers to do. John 14:13 states: “And whatever it is that you ask, I will do this in order that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son!” Phillips Modern English translation states it this way: “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do—that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” And NIV puts it this way: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” All of these translations make it clear that we should ask God (in prayer) but we should call upon Jesus’ name, or ask in Jesus’ name.”
          What about the account of Stephen appealing to Jesus: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”? Doesn’t this prove that it is proper to pray to Jesus? Actually, there are two accounts of what appear to be prayers, or at least conversations with the glorified Jesus Christ. This one of Stephen at Acts 7:54-60 and the other is at Rev. 22:20 where John says: “…Come, Lord Jesus.”
          At Acts 7:59,60 we read: “And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: ‘Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.’ And after saying this he fell asleep [in death].”
          Some translations say that Stephen prayed to God, saying “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”, which is not correct in two ways. First, the Greek does not say that Stephen “Prayed to God” but simply as translated into English: “called upon and saying: ‘Lord Jesus’…” (Kingdom Interlinear, translated from Westcott and Hort); and “calling upon and saying: ‘O Lord Jesus”…” (Emphatic Diaglott translated from the Vatican 1209 manuscripts). Stephen’s appeal to Jesus in Acts 7:59 is just that, an appeal, not a prayer. The Greek word used is “epikaleo”, the very same word Paul used in reference to Caesar as recorded at Acts 25: 11,12, 21: “ ‘…I APPEAL to Caesar!’ Then Festus, after speaking with the assembly of counselors, replied: ‘To Caesar you have APPEALED; to Caesar you shall go.’ ”…But when Paul APPEALED…” This same Greek word “epikaleo” is used as in Stephen’s case. Would you say that Paul “prayed” to Caesar? No! and neither was Stephen “praying” to Jesus. All the different translations I have say “appealed” at Acts 25, yet the same word is used in Stephen’s case. Translators are inconsistent there. Some say “prayed”, the KJV says “called”, others “invoked” and still others say “appealed”.
          Looking closely at the account (Acts 7: 54-60) we see that Stephen “caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand.” Stephen “saw” Jesus in a vision and, evidently reacting as if he were in Jesus’ personal presence, he felt free to speak this plea to the one whom he recognized as the Lord Jesus Christ, and he appealed to him. There is nothing to indicate that this was a prayer, but instead, a conversation. Mere speech to Jesus does not constitute “prayer” anymore than mere speech to God is necessarily prayer, as is seen in the judgment in Eden and in the case of Cain. (See: Gen. 3:8-13 and Gen. 4:9-14). After this the account at Acts 7:60 says that “on bended knee” then Stephen cried out, this time, no doubt in prayer: “Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.”
          Many translations in verse 60 say “Lord” which is confusing as to whom he is praying. The NWT says: “Jehovah”. On what basis do they show a difference when Stephen is appealing to Jesus in verse 59 and actually praying to Jehovah on bended knee in verse 60? Please consider the following: Stephen was following the example here of Jesus, who prayed similarly, to the Father (Luke 23:34): “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Interestingly, the MacArthur Study Bible (no connection whatsoever with JWs) says: “As had Jesus before him (Luke 23:34), Stephen prayed to God to forgive his killers.” The NWT Reference Edition references the Greek Scriptures in Hebrew by Franz Delitzsch, 1937, for the British and Foreign Bible Society; Greek Scriptures in Hebrew by Isaac Salkinson and Christian David Ginsburg, Pub. 1891 by the Trinitarian Bible Society; Christian Greek Scriptures in Hebrew by the United Bible Societies, Jerusalem, 1979; and The Christian Greek Scriptures, Hebrew by J. Bouchet, Rome, 1975, as authorities that show that “Lord” in verse 60 is referring to Jehovah, or God, rather than Lord Jesus Christ.
          We have a similar account with the apostle John, at the conclusion of the Revelation, when he says: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20). But again the context shows that, in a vision (Rev. 1:10; 4:11,2), John had been hearing Jesus speak of his future coming and thus John responded with the above expression of his desire for that coming. In both of these cases, the situation does not differ much from that of the conversation John had with a heavenly person at Rev. 7:13,14: “And in response one of the elders said to me: ‘These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?’ So right away I said to him: ‘My lord, you are the one that knows.’ And he said to me: ‘These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation, …’.”
          There is no indication that any of the apostles or disciples ever “prayed” or even spoke in conversation to the glorified Jesus Christ in heaven, under any other circumstances aside from these two accounts related to visions that Stephen and John saw—and then, in the case of both accounts, prayer was not involved. So, the Apostle Paul rightfully states at Phil. 4:6: “In everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.” And Jesus rightfully and clearly stated at John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” So, following Jesus’ instructions as shown in this paper, we should direct our prayers to the Father, but through the name of Jesus Christ.

      • Reply by on 2014-07-07 21:43:05

        Obviously you haven't read what was stated about John 14:14 I posted. Can't argue with illogical people.

        • Reply by smolderingwick1 on 2014-07-11 01:49:24

          Re John 14:14:
          There is a difference in our use of "name" and the ancient Hebrew use. We use names as labels, so that when someone of western Greco-Roman descent uses a "name" it has so little reference to the person, his personality or character. We simply attach the name "Jesus" to the end of our prayers presuming that our prayers will be answered for mechanically tacking it onto the end.
          The problem with this western culture is attitude. We have the attitude that our "will" precedes the "will of Jesus and God" and then we wonder why our prayers are not answered for using the required name. So we have a problem here. We are presuming that "name" doesn't include the character of the one so named which is why the Jewish people could care less about pronunciations since they have nothing to do with WHO the PERSON is, what he thinks, what he does or doesn't do.
          Learn a little ancient Hebrew. It helps to get closer to the way God thinks.

  • Comment by on 2014-07-14 11:34:02

    Meleti, or anyone else who has heard this talk at a convention:
    Do you recall what example of "new light" was given in the interview towards the end of the part? I have only heard this talk through the stream of the NJ international, where the brother related how encouraged he was by the clarification of the FDS being solely the GB.
    I am curious if this was a suggested point, or if it there is a wide variety of things across the different conventions.

    • Reply by Meleti Vivlon on 2014-07-14 11:58:17

      I recall the brother was referring to the "new light" involving the new "overlapping generations" teaching.

      • Reply by on 2014-07-14 22:10:06

        The New Jersey international that can be found online had a brother who mentioned the redefining of the FDS as solely the GB. This touched his heart because it gave him confidence that he can trust anything they say (paraphrasing).

  • Comment by WT Study: You Must Love Jehovah Your God. | Beroean Pickets on 2014-08-03 08:01:28

    […] two parts from the Friday sessions of this year’s convention are but one case in point. (See “Sacred Secrets of the Kingdom Progressively Revealed” and “How Babylon the Great Has ‘Shut Up the […]

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