Theme Text: “’You are my witnesses,’ declares Jehovah” – Isa. 43:10”
This is the first of a two-part study intended apparently to reinforce our belief in the divine origin of our name, Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Paragraph 2 states: “By giving this witness work our priority, we prove true to our God-given name, as stated at Isaiah 43:10: “’You are my witnesses,’ declares Jehovah, ‘yes, my servant whom I have chosen.’”” The next paragraph tells us that the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was adopted in 1931.
It is bold for any group to make the assertion that God himself has named them. To name someone is to claim great authority over that person. Parents name their children. Jehovah changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Jacob’s name to Israel, for they were his servants and it was his right to do so. (Ge 17:5; 32:28) This raises the valid question, How do we know that it was God who gave us this name?
In Isaiah chapter 43, Jehovah is addressing the nation of Israel. The account depicts a figurative courtroom in which Israel is called to bear witness about Jehovah before the nations of the earth. They are to play the role of his witnesses because they are his servant. Is he conferring on them the name of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”? Is he naming them, perchance, “Jehovah’s Servant”? He addresses them as both in this account, but the Israelites were never called by either name. While they did perform the role of witnesses in this figurative drama, they continued to be known down through the centuries as Israelites, not Jehovah’s Witnesses.
By what right do we cherry-pick a scripture directed to the nation of Israel over 2,500 years ago and claim it applies to us—not to Christians in general, but exclusively to us? A child doesn’t name himself. His parents name him. If he changes his name later in life, would that not usually be seen as an insult to his parents? Has our Father named us? Or are we changing our name all on our own?
Let us see what the Bible has to say on the subject.
For a while, the congregation was referred to as “The Way”. (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23) However, this doesn’t appear to have been a name so much as a designation; such as when we used to call ourselves Bible Students. The first time we are actually given a name by God was in Antioch.
“…it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.” (Ac 11:26)
Granted, the phrase “by divine providence” is an interpretive emendation unique to the NWT, but the fact that “Christian” is used elsewhere in the inspired word of God indicates that the name is a divinely approved one.
Given this, why don’t we just call ourselves Christians? Why not, the Christian Congregation of South Bronx, NY or the Christian Congregation of Greenwich, London? Why did we receive a name to distinguish ourselves from all other Christian denominations?
What does it mean to be Jehovah’s Witness?
The indefinite article is missing from the subtitle on purpose, because the question doesn’t pertain to being a member of the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the quality itself of being a witness—in this case, for Jehovah. Ask the average JW what it means to be a Witness and he will answer that it means preaching the good news of the kingdom. He will likely quote Matthew 24:14 as proof.
This week’s study will do little to disabuse him of that notion, for it opens with these words:
What does it mean to be a witness? One dictionary gives this definition: “Someone who sees an event and reports what happened.”
To the mind of a Jehovah’s Witness, the things we have “seen” and about which we bear witness to the world are the 1914 invisible enthronement of Jesus as King and the events “marking” his presence and the start of the last days such as wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. (For an examination as to whether such beliefs are Biblical, check out the category “1914” on this site.)
Since we claim this name to be divinely ordained especially for us, shouldn’t we look at what it means in the Bible?
What the Watchtower gives as the definition of a witness is demonstrated at Luke 1:2:
“. . .just as these were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and attendants of the message. . .” (Lu 1:2)
Someone who “sees an event and reports” on it is an eyewitness. The Greek word used here is autoptes. However, the word at Matthew 24:14 rendered “witness” is marturion. At Acts 1:22, a replacement for Judas is being sought, “a witness” of Jesus’ resurrection. The word there is martyra, from which we get the English word, “martyr”. Marturion means “witness, evidence, testimony, proof” and is always used in a judicial sense. An eyewitness (autoptes) can become a martyra if what he reports to have seen constitutes testimony in a judicial case. Otherwise, he’s just a spectator.
Some Jehovah’s Witnesses, old-timers who remember the days when the Watchtower study wasn’t superficial as it usually is these days, will answer the question differently. They will say that we bear testimony in the great court case raised by Satan in which he challenged God’s rulership. We provide proof by our conduct that Satan is wrong.
Still, if a witness in a court case is caught lying, it subverts all of his testimony. Even if the bulk of his testimony may be true, it is suspect: the reasoning being, if he could lie once, he could lie again; and how can we know where the lie stops and the truth begins. Therefore, we do well to examine the basis upon which we make the bold claim that God himself gave us this name. If it is based on a lie, it taints all our testimony on Jehovah’s behalf.
What is the Origin of Our Name?
Before continuing, it should be stated that the act of bearing witness for God is a noble one. What is in question is only whether we have a divine right to call ourselves by the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
There are four possible origins of this name:
- It is expressly stated in Scripture, much as the name “Christian” is.
- It was revealed to us directly by God.
- It is a human invention.
- It was revealed by demons.
We have already seen that the only scriptural justification given—Isaiah 43:10—cannot be applied to the Christian congregation. Neither specifically nor implicitly is this possible.
That takes us to the second point. Did Jehovah give Judge Rutherford an inspired revelation? The Judge thought so. Here are the historical facts:
(Before proceeding, you might want to review an insightful article written by Apollos titled “Spirit Communication”)
Jesus told us that understanding of truth would come by means of the holy spirit. (John 14:26; 16:13-14) However, Rutherford disagreed. In 1930 he claimed that the advocacy of the holy spirit had ceased. (w30 9/1 “Holy Spirit” par. 24)
With Jesus now present, angels—not holy spirit—were used to reveal divine truth.
“If the holy spirit as a helper were directing the work, then there would be no good reason for employing the angels … the Scriptures seem clearly to teach that the Lord directs his angels what to do and they act under the supervision of the Lord in directing the remnant on earth concerning the course of action to take.” (w30 9/1 p. 263)
How was it that these angels were used to reveal divine truth? The article continues:
“It would seem there would be no necessity for the ‘servant’ to have an advocate such as the holy spirit because the ‘servant’ is in direct communication with Jehovah and as Jehovah’s instrument, and Christ Jesus acts for the entire body.” (w30 9/1 p. 263)
The “servant” he is referring to is the faithful and discreet slave. Who was this servant in Rutherford’s day?
According to some new truth recently revealed through the Watchtower, the faithful and discreet slave was appointed in 1919 and consists of “a small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence.” (w13 7/15 p. 22 par. 10) The same article declared that this group currently consists of the men making up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In Rutherford’s day, he wrote most of what went into the Watchtower, however there was an editorial committee of five who could arguably be included in that “small group of anointed brothers”, or as Rutherford terms it, “the servant”. At least, it could be argued that way until 1931, for in that year—the year we got our new name—Judge Rutherford used his executive powers to disband the editorial committee. After that he was no longer simply the editor-in-chief, but the sole editor of everything published. As the only one “directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food”, he became, by the new definition, the servant or faithful steward.
If this is hard for you as a Witness to agree with, you must remember that “Jehovah wants us to support his organization and accept adjustments in the way we understand Bible truth…” (w14 5/15 p.25 Simplified Edition)
This means that Rutherford—by his own written word and “the refined truth” revealed through the Governing Body in the pages of the Watchtower just last year—was the ‘servant’ in direct communication with Jehovah.
Rutherford believed ‘the Servant’ was in direct communication with God.
This was the climate in 1931 when Rutherford read out the resolution to the crowd depicted in the photo at the start of this week’s Watchtower study article. At that point in time, the role of the holy spirit in the revelation of truth from God’s word had been dismissed; the control of the anointed brothers making up the editorial committee that governed what Rutherford published had been done away with; the servant, now embodied in Judge Rutherford according to our new truth, was claiming to be in direct communication with God.
Therefore, we have three options left to us: 1) We can believe that Jehovah actually did inspire Rutherford to give us this name; or 2) we can believe that Rutherford came up with it himself; or 3) we can believe that it came from demonic sources.
Did God inspire Rutherford? Was he actually in direct communication with God? Given that in that very time period Rutherford had dismissed as no longer applicable the clear Bible teaching that the holy spirit is the means through which Bible truth is revealed to Christians, it is hard to believe in divine inspiration. After all, if Jehovah inspired Rutherford to adopt the name Jehovah’s Witnesses, would he not also inspire him to write the truth about the role of the holy spirit—a truth we now adhere to in our publications? Additionally, just six years earlier, Rutherford predicted the resurrection of faithful men of old to occur in 1925, the same year he said the Great Tribulation would come. Why would he say that if he were speaking with God? “A fountain does not cause the sweet and the bitter to bubble out of the same opening, does it?” (James 3:11)
This leaves us with two options for the origin of the name.
It might seem charitable to say that this was merely human invention; the act of a man who wanted to separate his people from the other Christian denominations and form a unique organization under his leadership. We cannot know for sure at this point in history whether that’s all it amounted to. However, it would be unwise to dismiss the other possibility out of hand, for the Bible warns:
“. . .However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons,” (1Ti 4:1)
We are quick to apply this verse and the next one to the Catholic religion specifically and to all Christian denominations by association. We have no problem believing their teachings are demon inspired. Why? Because they are false. God doesn’t inspire men to teach falsehood. Quite true. But if we are willing to take that position, then we have to be fair and acknowledge the well documented fact that many of Rutherford’s teachings were also false. In fact, very few survive to this day as part of the “pattern of healthful words”, as we like to call our particular doctrinal structure.
As we saw from the excerpt from that 1930 Watchtower article, Rutherford believed angels were being used to deliver God’s messages. Rutherford taught that Christ’s presence had already occurred. He taught that the anointed who had died were already gathered with Christ in heaven. He taught (and we still do) that the Lord’s day began in 1914.
“However, brothers, concerning the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be alarmed either by an inspired statement or by a spoken message or by a letter appearing to be from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah [actually, “the Lord” in the original] is here.” (2Th 2:1, 2)
If the shoe fits….
Rutherford claimed that our name came directly from God and that he was in direct communication with God. We know this cannot be true. We also know that from that point forward, the heavenly hope was de-emphasized to the point where it has now been stripped from 99.9% of all Jehovah’s Witnesses. Hand-in-hand with that, the role of our Lord Jesus was slowly but steadily diminished. Everything now is about Jehovah. The average Jehovah’s Witness will have no problem with that realization. He will reason that Jehovah is more important that Jesus, so we should be making his name known. He will get visibly uncomfortable if too much emphasis is put on God’s son even in casual conversation. (This I have witnessed personally.) But if a child is so willful as to reject the name given him by his father, would he stop there? Would he not then be more likely to reject his father’s will for him as well, presuming he knows better and thus pursue a course of self-will?
God’s will is clearly expressed in the Christian Scriptures and it is all about Jesus. That is why Jesus’ name is repeated throughout the Christian record, while Jehovah’s is absent. That is God’s will. Who are we to contest that?
The Father is of supreme importance, of course. No one is denying that, least of all Jesus. But the way to the Father is through the Son. We are therefore called Jesus’ witnesses in Scripture, not Jehovah’s. (Acts 1:7; 1 Co 1:4; Re 1:9; 12:17) Even Jehovah bore witness about Jesus. (John 8:18) We should not be attempting an end run around our Lord. He is the doorway. If we try to enter by another route, then what does the Bible say we are? (John 10:1)
Rutherford believed angels were now carrying God’s communication to him. Whether our name comes from human invention or from demonic inspiration, the proof is in the pudding. It has sidetracked us from our true mission and the true meaning of the good news. The Bible carries this warning for us all:
“However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed.” (Ga 1:8)
Good day All, Loved reading this essay. Its been quite a while since I’ve given thought to this topic. Was nice to be reminded of it again. Don’t know if the question of “who are Jehovah’s witnesses” was ever addressed in the comments, but if not- here goes: Isaiah 43:10 is prophetic, it’s talking about spirit anointed persons/Christians after having been resurrected into heaven where the Faithful Witness is already present. These become Jehovah’s Witnesses only after having been resurrected into heaven and are seated in the great court spoken of by Daniel. There and then these are called to… Read more »
[…] [ii] See: http://meletivivlon.com/2014/03/19/do-jehovahs-witnesses-believe-in-jesus/ and http://meletivivlon.com/2014/09/14/wt-study-you-are-my-witnesses/ […]
[…] go out to Katrina for compiling this list for […]
ZIONS Watch Tower AND HERALD OF CHRISTS PRESENCE. PITTSBURGH, PA., OCTOBER, 1883. NO. 3. OUR SECT. Webster defines sect to mean “A part cut off,” “Hence a body of persons who have separated from others by virtue of some special doctrine, or set of doctrines, which they hold in common.” Since we hold to a set of doctrines delivered to the saints by Jesus and the Apostles, and since we separate and cut ourselves off from all other religious jurisdiction and control, therefore it follows that we are a SECT. We “separate from sinners” and “have no fellowship with the… Read more »
…and I always like what Judge Judy says……”If it doesn’t make sense then it probably isn’t true.” I encourage brothers to think outside the limited spiritual box of the GB. Think things through to their logical conclusion using critical thinking until it makes sense to you. The only problem with that is they end up going to the WT Library and then it becomes the sense of nonsense.
Which is why what I dread most in the ministry is trying to explain to a householder things such as-the “other sheep” being an eartly class; the “generation” of Matt. 24:34; Jesus being Michael the archangel; 1914; appointment of the FDS in 1919; not partaking of the emblems; where the “great crowd” is………you know what I mean, Meleti. It’s a ministry of opinions and speculation.
It is indeed. I now go to the door with my tablet and nothing else. No mags, not tracts. If a person is interested in learning Bible truth, I figure the Bible should suffice.
I’m with you there, Meleti; Bible only. I mentioned at a meeting for service that our field service report, (which I detest), should have a space for “Scriptures read to householder”. That would probably be the lowest count on the slip.
I share the same sentiment and approach – the Bible is the greatest source and reference for the preaching work. All the other publications would just be second fiddle. After learning the truth about the truth, there were times I even would not want to hand magazines, would rather just give tracts if householder is way too busy. I use discernment in disposing of WT publications to the householder. After all, the one we are preaching to should realize we are sharing the good news from the Bible and not from the Watchtower.
The GB refuse to believe 2 Tim. 3:16,17, stating that “All scripture is inspired of God…..that the man, (or woman) of God, may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”
That is an excellent Scripture to bring up when confronted with the question, “Do you think you know more than the Governing Body?” I shall remember it.
Sadly, it will rarely be accepted. I’m not sure who said it, but the truism stands: “You cannot reason a man out of a position he hasn’t been reasoned into.”
The brothers quote 2 timothy 3 v16 but they dont really believe it . Because if the scriptures can make someone completely equipped for every good work . Then we have no need for the watchtower study or the so called faithful slave giving out its food at the proper time . The brothers quote this verse often but havent really grasped its meaning its always used to try to prove the authenticity of the bible .but when reading the whole of 2 tim 3 paul is actually warning us of false teachers who claim to be christian but are… Read more »
Yes, and Jesus witnesses are being persecuted even now because of their faith in what he had taught and the spiritual battle lines in the JW organization are being drawn as we speak.
Read that very revealing article from that site. I was also invited to a meeting which I thought would just be friendly. But it turned out to be judicial in nature. After a brother squealed about my thoughts on the Memorial (John 6), the elders confronted me about the report. One of the elders asked me to do a research about the Governing Body’s authority – if absolute or relative. Ironically, this is the question which I asked for them to answer. He returned the question to me. I did a research, sincerely hoping the next meeting would be a… Read more »
I can completely relate. The question is always the same: “Do you think you know more than the Governing Body.” You can give your reasoning. You can back it up with numerous scriptures and even references to our own publications. I have. You can use hard logic to make your point. I have done that as well. All to no avail. Once the dust clears and you have had a day or two to distance yourself a little from the mental haze raised by emotions, you’ll realize that they never gave you a single scripture to support their view. They… Read more »
Not only Elders but many normal JWs believe that only the GB can explain the bible. For instance, I said to my wife, what if Jehovah selected me to explain the bible, would that be possible? What would you need as proof to believe me?
*** w94 10/1 p. 8 The Bible—A Book Meant to Be Understood ***
“All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the “greatly diversified wisdom of God” can become known only through Jehovah’s channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave.—John 6:68.”
Yikes! I’ve read that before, but never though to look up the support text. John 6:68 says, “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.” No mention of a slave, faithful or otherwise. Only Jesus, our Lord. So if that text is being used to support the idea that the sayings of everlasting life can now only be known through the FADS aka Governing Body, then they are “the Lord”. They have seated themselves in the seat of the Greater Moses. How’s Korah now?!
I guess that makes them the “Vicar of Christ”.
And we have come full circle. We are not aware of the fact, because when you come full circle, you end up where you started, but now you’re looking at the back side of it.
Sorry to hear that mailman its the same old story. Do you believe that the GB are gods channel of communication . Would you do whatever they ask . If not your out .they are just bullies .and they are proving that it cant be the real truth by their actions . What happened to love of the brothers .how awful to uphold the tradition of the spanish inquisition . Kev
I realized now some elders are just bullies. GB may be a channel of spiritual food to the JW community but I believe they are not the sole channel of God’s message. They are no prophets, their pronouncements are far from being inspired for only the Bible is inspired. Who says I am just doing whatever the GB asks of me? I wouldn’t be in this site if I am always just a YES man. 🙂
Yes, if there’s a “little flock” then there must be a “big flock”. Doesn’t make scriptural sense, does it? Thank you, brothers, for the excellent references on Ephesians.
Unless the little flock did not always remain that little? In the natural world sheep grow, flocks expand, and a little one may one day become great… Now isn’t that a biblical thought?
I think you also have to understand the expression “the little flock” as being at that moment Jesus was speaking or in that time frame. And yes he spoke of ‘the flock’, pointing to one flock or a one-of-a-kind flock (check an interlinear).
To all who have commented, and especially to Anderestimme’s quote of Eph. 2:
Thank you so very much for these enlightening contributions.
Anderstimme, it is like I am reading Eph. 2 for the very first time in my life, and I am 52!, born and bred in “the truth”. How could I have missed this simple truth all my life?
To Meleti and other friends, thank you for running this website. May our God and Jesus bless you all.
That’s not too surprising Anonymous. When you have been equipped and trained to read the bible a certain way, it’s hard to let that go 😉 The JW question and answer format very much makes it hard to see other viewpoints, and from the formation years to the end you will always be in a situation where there are more yea sayers then nay sayers. Think about it… bible study? 2v1. Field Service when you are ready to go door to door? 2v1. When you conduct a bible study? 2v1. You wind up thinking, WOW it’s so clear, how can… Read more »
Sounds like we’re in the same demographic cross-section, Anonymous. I noticed some problems over the years with the two-tiered salvation scheme, but never thought to question the whole doctrine until reading something about it on this site. But I still wondered about the ’10 men grabbing the skirt of a Jew’ and ‘foreigners will plow your fields’ scriptures. So I started ‘examining the scriptures to see if it was so’ by simply reading the epistles and when I came across Ephesians 2, I felt the same way you did. Simple, clear – how did I miss that before?
Menrov, I wish for you a safe trip!! Bobcat’s other part of that comment acknowledges that Paul was speaking to both the Holy ones and to all who everywhere are calling upon the name of the Lord. Of those two audiences, only one group survives until today, namely all who everywhere are calling upon the name of the Lord. That does not support the GBs claim of two groups of JWs on the earth today, the anointed and the friends of Christ. I’m sorry if I caused confusion by only quoting his final statement. Here is his post in its… Read more »
I have expanded my sphere of biblical references to include books that are not WT publications. I’ve come to the conclusion that other people seem to be so much closer to Jesus than I. I happened to come across a book by Kahlil Gibran entitled “Jesus the Son of Man”, and I thought to myself, upon reading the first few chapters, “This is so beautifully written. How could I have gone this long without reading this wonderful book? It gave me a different perspective on how we don’t have an exclusive hold on a relationship with the Father or the… Read more »
Hi, you might like to read this reference regarding Eph. 1-3 (3 chapters) here. I believe it explains it quite nicely:
Bobcat, you said : “1 Co 1:2, by itself, is somewhat of a repudiation of the WT two class system.”
Thank you for bringing that scripture out. It will be a great one to write down on my list of scriptural nuggets, which I’m starting right now, to prove there is only one class of JWs.
Just the way you phrased it is enough to make me realize the importance of keeping my own list of scriptures for my easy referral.
May grace and peace be granted to you.
1 Cor. 1:2 does speak about two groups but not in the way the society appliea it. Bases on various commentators I see that Paul is both talking to the group for which Jesus originally came, the lost sheep AND to the group (gentiles I guess) who call on the name of Jesus (probably as result of preaching work) . But the message from Paul in this epistle is valid fot both groups (verse 3, their Lord and ours) . Fully in line with Jesus words in John 10 where he indicates to be the one shepherd for the one… Read more »
And then there’s Eph 2: 11 Therefore, remember that at one time you, people of the nations by fleshly descent, were the ones called “uncircumcision” by those called “circumcision,” which is made in the flesh by human hands. 12 At that time you were without Christ, alienated from the state of Israel, strangers to the covenants of the promise;+ you had no hope and were without God in the world.+ 13 But now in union with Christ Jesus, you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ. 14 For he is our… Read more »
Well, if that doesn’t put the lid on the pot roast, I don’t know what will. How could there be any doubt left that the little flock/this fold and the other sheep are Jews and Gentiles brought under into one flock?
Dear brothers, I also came to a clear conclusion months ago that little flock = Jews and the other sheep = Gentiles or people of the nations, the non-Jews. Remember that at the time Jesus was speaking about this, there were no bible students, let alone Jehovah’s Witnesses or JW.Org members. How can Christ refer to us JWs when they were non-existent? The evolution of the Christian era from the letters of the apostles had proven this view.
I honestly believe not calling ourselves “Christians” may have hindered, and perhaps, obscured, our message of the “good news. After all, doesn’t the Watchower say, “Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom”? Where is the Christ in all this?. Where is the wonderful opportunity for people to become reconciled to God through him? I still have householders ask me, “Are you Christian?”
Scriptures which clearly show show that Christians are to be witnesses for Christ. (Matthew 10:18) ….before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations. (Mark 13:9) …….be put on the stand before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them. (Acts 1:8) ………..you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Ju·de′a and Sa·mar′i·a….. (John 1:15) John bore witness about him,. . . (John 5:37) And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me.. . . (John 8:18) ………and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” (John… Read more »
Thank you for compiling this comprehensive list, Katrina. I will make good use of it in preparing the post on next week’s Watchtower study, “You Will Be Witnesses of Me”.
Thank you trynhard for suggesting we research it for ourselves. I had no idea. Meleti, Are you suggesting we turn a blind eye to all the many images out there on the net that can be found with a Google search of “Jehovah’s Witnesses and subliminal messages”? Are you implying that the images do not contain hidden or encrypted messages? Have you looked at them yourself? http://watchtowerartsat.blogspot.com/ They are only pages from the magazines and literature you no doubt have in your own home right now, which makes them very easy to verify. You will need a magnifying glass to… Read more »
I don’t want to belabor the point and this is not the place to debate what to me is a very minor issue, but I see things in clouds, in dust on my furniture, rock formations, etc. Does this mean some malevolent person or thing placed them there to deceive me or do I have a very active imagination?
It is not my place to suggest anyone turn a blind eye to a subject I know so little about. Likewise, it is not my place to suggest they look into it either. Therefore, it would be wrong for me to imply that the images do not contain hidden messages. It would also be wrong for me to imply that they do. What little I do know about subliminal messages comes from having read the now-discredited book by James Vicary that got it all going back in the 1970s. In answer to your question, “Can my own eyes lie to… Read more »
I just looked at the site and can’t decide whether they’re joking or not. Watchtower “art” has been pathetically bad over the years, but I can’t buy the crypto-Satanist stuff. I just don’t see it.
Sorry to follow on again from one of your comments Anderestimme but I agree.
If we could be bothered, we could find so called “satanic art” in most things, especially if we pulled out our ever present Swiss Army Mirror.
The whole thing smacks of delusion and run away minds, and is somewhat akin to the Bible warning about the dangers of looking for omens.
This is a very interesting article. I am not sure if I want to go as far as to ascribe demonic influences to Rutherford, as I did not know the man and I think it’s easy to take some passages in the huge corpus of work he wrote as to mean something he might not have meant that way. That being said, to the core, I fully agree, the name is really used as a marketing tool to differentiate ourselves from our other Christian brothers. JW teaching deceives in that it draws away the focus from our Lord, and forgetting… Read more »
It may be that, in a broad sense, all teachings that are not in harmony with God’s Will and Word are “demonic”. That Rutherford was knowingly having conversations with the spirit world seems extremely hard to believe. Chances are he got is ‘demonic’ ideas the way we all get them: they’re floating in the air of this world, and we are duped by our weaknesses and limitations into thinking they are the wisdom from above. Of course, when we deign to instruct others, we incur greater scrutiny and accountability.
It does seem hard to imagine I agree.
Yet I don’t think there is a shred of doubt that the man was an alcoholic and his propensity to reach for the ‘spirit’ would have reinforced his delusions and his writings.
I’m with you on this point Christian. There’s much evidence on this site in my view that Rutherford and even Russell had no problem dabbling in demonic inspired things. The endorsement of Angels and Women, the pyramidology etc. If Rutherford claims tothat angels communicated God’s will to him during that time… we can’t argue with the man. Regarding Revelation 7:13-14, “suggests that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in communicating of divine truths today” (Revelation – Its Grand Climax At Hand, p. 125).. We still believe that angels or dead persons may be communicating “truths”. But they… Read more »
Your 4th point on the origin of the name for this organization, was interesting. Demon influenced, well just go online and look at subliminal messages in their pictures. It’s been going on for years. Check it out for yourself.
On page 52 in the Revelation Book, look closely at all the hands. I wonder how that got there!
We want to keep our focus on Scriptural teachings. Whether or not intent is behind what some see in these pictures is difficult to prove, but we can prove whether what we are taught is from God’s word or not. A false prophet doesn’t mind insults and accusations and invective. In fact, he relishes these things because they validate his self-image of righteous and humble servant of God. The anti-JW sites out there play right into the hand of the Governing Body by their vicious attacks. What the false prophet cannot stand is truth. Plain, simple Bible reasoning. He has… Read more »
Meleti, Yes, of course you are quite right and I thank you for your advice and I apologise.
Christian said “It does seem that the WTS reasoning will eventually call only those in the congregations with a heavenly calling “Christians”. Everyone else by default is either a friend or and enemy.”
They are already doing this in an underhanded way, the GC in Rev 7:9 are standing before the throne, have washed their robes in the blood of the lamb, making them white, ” Salvation we owe to God and the Lamb” yet these ones have to go through another 1,000 of testing to prove they are real Christians. That’s just my thought.
No wonder the GB sacked Russell as part of their FDS. But Rutherford is safe he is part of the FDS, all hail the founder of the organization Rutherford.
So where did Russell and Rutherford get their information from, and where does the GB get their information/instructions from today – where do the Mormons get their information from – what’s the difference? If you’re going to be in one, you might as well be in the other.
Thank you Meleti for this very insightful article, the following is from a previous quotations from the Watch Tower magazine. by whatsoever names men may call us, it matters not to us; we acknowledge none other name than “the only name given under heaven and among men”—Jesus Christ. We call ourselves simply CHRISTIANS and we raise no fence to separate from us any who believe in the foundation stone of our building mentioned by Paul: “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”; and those for whom this is not broad enough have no right to the name… Read more »
All of this information about C. T. Russell has been in existence the whole time. I cannot help but wonder how so many of us never bothered to read it for ourselves.
We were the Blind being led by the Blind. Matthew 15:14 “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
It wasn’t always as readily available as it is now. And even now that it’s only a few clicks away, anyone on the treadmill will be hard-pressed to find time to read it.
I always thought it was funny how most JWs never wanted to talk about Rutherford; they knew there was something funny about the guy, but it was as though they had decided to blank him out – all they seemed to be interested in was “now”. I think that tells you something, doesn’t it.
I honestly dont think there is such a thing as a non anointed christian i dont think that concept is found in the NT .If anyone knows different please enlighten me .kev .also ive just over the last few weeks been studying hebrews and im convinced that to be a christian and receive forgiveness a person has to be in the new covenant kev .
Kev: I think this text might possibly be construed as describing a “non-anointed Christian,” considering the fact that the writer was writing to professed Christians (Rom 1:7). However, the implications of being a “non-anointed Christian,” based upon what the context says, does not appear to be very good: (Romans 8:9-11) . . .However, YOU are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in YOU. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this one does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in union with YOU, the body indeed is dead on account… Read more »
Thanks bobcat yeah actually i have been pondering over these terms holy ones or saints that are very often found in the introductions to the letters. Romans 1 v7 is stretching it though i reckon . However 1 corinthians 1 v2 is possible its to those sanctified in jesus and called to be holy together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our lord jesus christ .. I have a feeling though that paul is just extending his message here though to other christians who may read it who were not perhaps connected to the corinthian congregation… Read more »
In connection with 1 Co 1:2, syn pasin (“together with”) links “the congregation of God that is in Corinth” who were “called to be holy ones,” together with “all who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord.”
That is, “all who everywhere are calling upon the name of the Lord” are also “called to be holy ones” (or “saints”), a Greek term used throughout the LXX to refer to God’s people (in the LXX meaning the nation of Israel).
1 Co 1:2, by itself, is somewhat of a repudiation of the WT two class system.
Since all followers were anointed and Christ means anointed, doesn’t Christian therefore mean “anointed.”
Where did the concept of “non-anointed Christian” originate?
Its first appearance in history came from the fact that Rutherford’s followers did not all express a heavenly hope? So on May 31st, 1935, he fixed the Jehu/Johonadab distinction (2 Ki 10:23) by seeing past the Great Tribulation to link the “great crowd” [giving worship to God in the spiritual Temple] to the “other sheep” and putting them in an Earthly setting, instead of the heavenly one seen by the angel at Rev 7:15.
What does that demonstrate?
It does seem that the WTS reasoning will eventually call only those in the congregations with a heavenly calling “Christians”. Everyone else by default is either a friend or and enemy.
Their increasing boldness in declaring the GB as the FDS exclusively will only increase, along with their opposition to those who reject their claims. The next step must logically be to openly declare themselves as the only Christians on Earth, and as Christ’s brothers we must treat them accordingly to receive God’s approval.
Where else can they go with their reasoning?
Scary times for those in the congregations
In fact, they already declare that JW’s are the only Christians. All other denominations and its members are not real CHristians although most of these members most likely have been baptized the correct way. If Rutherford was “selected” from all the Christian denominations around the world in 1919, one must assume that it was correct not to (over)use Gods name as at that time the focus was far more on Jesus and that all followers were one group, as that was still the doctrine at the time. The organisation at that time still celebrated / accepted celebrating birthdays, use /… Read more »
You misread me Menrov 🙂 I realize that they currently consider JWs to be the only Christians but the next step must logically be to directly apply Matt.25:40 to themselves and declare ONLY the anointed and especially the GB as ‘Christians’ and everyone else in the congregations as ‘friends of Christ’s brothers’ or ‘Christian Helpers’ They are becoming bolder and even more self righteous, but for ‘true Christians’ to recognize this and take refuge in Christ they need to have their relationship with him directly threatened. It will be a rude awakening for those who don’t yet see these men… Read more »
So saying “I am a Christian” is equivalent to “I am a Messiah”?
Thanks meleti again .im not sure about the history of the organisation and what rutherford did and where he got his ideas from . I know this though as an avid reader of the new testament . The good news preached by the witnesses is something different than the good news preached by jesus and the apostles ..just as you said and quoted galatians 1 v 8. Ive just read the 2 articles in question and to me they seem to quote the OT more than the NT .I just dont get this so called spiritual food .why do they… Read more »
Thank you again Meletti for clearly reasoned insight into scripture with logic and common sense. Nevertheless, your analysis by-passes the most obvious of questions: “Is ‘Jehovah’ the divine name by which the true God wishes us address him in prayer and preach to the ends of the Earth?” Watchtower publications give this summary of the history of the name: *** na pp. 17-18 God’s Name and Bible Translators *** In time, God’s name came back into use. In 1278 it appeared in Latin in the work Pugio fidei (Dagger of Faith), by Raymundus Martini, a Spanish monk. Raymundus Martini used… Read more »
Does “Christian” mean “anointed” or ‘followers of the anointed one’?
I think it depends on who’s speaking. 😉
Why don’t you join the Bible Students? They have the same feelings toward JWs. Contrary to popular belief they don’t follow CT Russell as much as you’d think.
I have come to the conclusion that the problem is organized religion. By organized, I mean religious denominations with an ecclesiastical hierarchy. To put this more simply, I could not see myself joining any group that puts men in charge of my life or my beliefs. My views on this were nicely expressed by C.T. Russell. (See: “C.T. Russell Hits Too Close to Home“) The key passage from his article is copied below: (Extract from Studies in Scriptures, Volume 3, pages 181 to 187) Surely all know that whenever they join any of these human organizations, accepting its Confession of… Read more »
Well said i think exactly the same and theres no way im subjecting myself to those sort of things either .it always ends up with someone trying to lord it over others and make up their own rules they can forget it well said meleti kev
It is almost shocking that Russell knew of this in-evitable human tendency. He therefore left the Watchtower Society by his will under the editorial direction of a committee of faithful brothers. The lawyer, Rutherford, dismissed them on technicalities, and drew power to himself. Using the invention of an English language translation of the divine name, Rutherford as the sole editor of the Watchtower (but the writing assistance of Fred Franz) began a diminishment of the ruling authority of Jesus (Matt 28:18 “all authority has been given me in heaven and upon earth…”) and put human leadership to the fore. With… Read more »
They are autonomous. They disagree with organized religion and they have Christian freedom. I agree with their position on that the Great Crowd are in heaven. The earth was for those who didn’t live in the Gospel Age. Psalms 45:14-15 “14 She will be brought to the king in richly woven garments. The virgin companions following her are brought in before you. 15 They will be brought with rejoicing and joy; They will enter into the king’s palace.” The 144,000 are the bride of Christ. We are the Virgin companions. We didn’t make the 144,000. There is no evidence that the great… Read more »
Among the central doctrines listed on the IBS website is:
“Jesus returned and has been invisibly present on earth since the early days of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.”
I can see the attraction to joining a lower-control group with a Rutherford-free history, but it seems to me that switching over would just be going from one frying pan to another one with the flame turned down lower. But why fry at all?