To me, one of the greatest sins of the leadership of the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the doctrine of the Other Sheep. The reason I believe this is that they are instructing millions of Christ’s followers to disobey their Lord. Jesus said:
“Also, he took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body, which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 20 Also, he did the same with the cup after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:19, 20)
“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body, which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” 25 He did the same with the cup also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood. Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
The evidence is clear. The partaking of the emblems is something we do by command of the Lord. He did not command us to watch or observe while others partake. We drink the wine and we eat the bread in remembrance of our Lord, thus proclaiming his death until he returns.
So why do millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses publicly disobey their Lord?
Could it be that instead of listening to the voice of their Master, they have turned the ears toward men?
What else could it be? Or did they come up with this blatant disobedience on their own. Hardly! Those claiming the mantle of leader or governor of Jehovah’s Witnesses have sought to undo the Lord’s words by employing wild speculation. This has been going on since before the vast majority of Witnesses alive today were born..
“So, you see that you have to be saved in a certain hope. Now God deals with you and he must by his dealings with you and his revelations of truth to you cultivate in you some hope. If he cultivates in you the hope of going to heaven, that becomes a firm confidence of yours, and you are just swallowed up in that hope, so that you are talking as one who has the hope of going to heaven, you are counting on that, you are thinking that, you offer prayers to God in expression of that hope. You are setting that as your goal. It permeates your whole being. You cannot get it out of your system. It is the hope that engrosses you. Then it must be that God has aroused that hope and caused it to come to life in you, for it is not a natural hope for earthly man to entertain.
If you are one of the Jonadabs or one of the “great crowd” of good-will persons you will not be consumed by this heavenly hope. Some of the Jonadabs are very prominent in the Lord’s work and have an important part in it, but they do not have that hope when you talk to them. Their desires and hopes gravitate to the earthly things. They talk about the beautiful forests, how they would love to be a forester at the present time and have that as their continual surroundings, and they like to mingle with the animals and have dominion over them, and also the birds of the air and fish of the sea and everything that creeps over the face of the earth.”
(w52 1/15 pp. 63-64 Questions From Readers)
You might notice that no scriptures are provided to support this fanciful speculation. Indeed, the only verse ever used requires the reader to ignore the context and accept the personal interpretation of JW leaders.
“The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16)
What does that mean? How does the spirit bear witness? It is a rule we should always follow that when we cannot understand the meaning of a text on its own, that we look to the context. Does the context of Romans 8:16 support the interpretation of JW teachers? Read Romans 8 for yourself and make your own determination.
Jesus is telling us to partake. That is very clear. There is no room for interpretation. He also does not tell us anything about deciding whether or not to partake based on what kind of hope we have, or where we want to live, or what reward we desire. (Actually, he doesn’t even preach two hopes and two rewards.) All that is “made-up stuff”.
So as you approach the annual JW commemoration, ask yourself, “Am I willing to disobey a direct command from my Lord Jesus based on the speculation and interpretation of men?” Well, are you?
For more information on this subject, see the series: Approaching the 2015 Memorial as well as Satan’s Great Coup!
Thanks Meleti for another thought provoking article. Sorry hadn’t realised you were unwell. Hoping you are recovering well. I do feel the JW doctrines have confused the message in the Bible. I have read several passages in the book of John and am still researching them. I have always believed in everlasting life on earth, but certain verses in the book of John make me wonder about a Heavenly hope and who if any is that for. John 12:26, 13:36, 14:2-4 all seem to say that Jesus told his faithful followers that they would eventually follow him – follow him… Read more »
Hi Amitafal, You raise an excellent question when considering who the intended subjects of Christ’s commemorative words were. For me, it was also important to come to terms with whether Jesus was inaugurating a practice that only his direct listeners should preserve, or rather if it was a custom that ought to properly be expanded to include others. If I may, I’d like to share with you what helped me to realise that the answer is actually very simple. Firstly, consider that Christ’s instruction to eat, drink, and remember his death represented a “command” to those that were present with… Read more »
Thank you Vox Ratio
I too always come back to the scriptures you mention and then ask if I should be partaking. I suppose years of not doing so is deeply ingrained in me and I struggle to come to terms with it all.
Jesus was indeed referring to those who stuck with him in his trials, Amitafal. However, Paul’s words to the Corinthians show that they applied beyond that tiny group. Indeed, all true followers of Christ are those who stick with him in his trials. For instance: “. . .Then he went on to say to all: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake day after day and follow me continually.” (Lu 9:23) Witnesses have turned the act of partaking into some sort of “ticket to heaven”, a validation of the upward calling, a… Read more »
Thanks Meleti I agree that the Witnesses have turned it into a ritualistic event with 2 classes and 2 hopes. As I said before, years of following them and their ways has left me re-examining the scriptures and questioning my beliefs. I do see what you are saying about partaking, it just doesn’t feel right at the moment . Romans 10:9 keeps coming back to me and yes I agree with 1 Corinthians11. I need to break away from their indoctrinations, bearing in mind I have only just stopped going to meetings. Bit more time is needed for me I… Read more »
I would like to remind all who are enjoying the truths the brothers and sister writers here are researching and writing for our benefit…that ‘getting out’ of the Org. , or partaking or not at the Hall…and they are feeling pressure from their consciences,…. That’s good. This means you are taking to heart Jesus’ teachings, and his positive control of the outpouring of the truth in the last days via the holy spirit. Be assured, “I am with you all the days, until the conclusion of the system of things”… and “Where two or three are gathered together in my… Read more »
I do not wish to discourage comments of any reasonable length, Jonh S, but remember that that commenting feature are intended to reference the topic at hand, not as an alternative to articles. You are free to write articles on your own site, and if you like, even include a link in your comment on this site to them. That way when you engage in speculation, any discussion challenging your findings will ensue on your own site and not here.
Thank you Meleti,
Hello john S, you started your comment stating “I would like to remind…”. Toward the end of your comment you said “Well, this is a lot of wording..”. Your comment didn’t seem to be a comment. (I would like to add more, however I am working on self control). I found it to be trite and demeaning. It sort of had an insincere tone compared to what I’m used to reading here. Yes, we are all people and we all get out there, as you say. You have had a lot of experience. So has Meleti. Please remember, john S,… Read more »
Thank you Dajo I am sorry to have demeaned some here. I am a large-hearted man, but was given a large mouth, too. Like you, I need to work on self control. As a Witness all my life until 52 years old, I was ‘forbidden’ to attend churches, but I started going anyway, just to see what the situation really was in them. I did this for two years as a JW. Elders called me into a committee meeting to ask me if it was true, and I admitted I was examining the state, to see for myself, and what… Read more »
thanks for that, I’ve enjoyed reading your comments in Tadua’s reviews. So much to be encouraged by both here and discussthetruth.com
Hi.. I believe the ‘ONE HOPE of our calling’ (Ephesians 4:4) has nothing to do with a ‘destination’. Leave it to the Watchtower to confuse us all. I took the advice to read through the book of John. I’m starting to see ‘the hope’ is the ‘right to become a child of God’. (John 1:12) Also, one of the perks of becoming a child of God is the hope of everlasting life. “Yet to ALL who did receive him, to those who BELIEVED in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 “Very truly I… Read more »
Hi SeasonsOfGrace, As my husband and I woke up, we said to each other : Our Heavenly Father and His Son, our Lord showed their love for us in a way, nobody else could ever copy. We in return say yes please can we be your adopted son and daughter. Those Two are the ones we should follow, wherever they want us to be. They will have the best in store for us, not to worry. They will forfil our dreams in the most gorgeous ways. As your last verse 1 Cor. 2:9 states. And let nobody or anything come… Read more »
Thank-you! Yes, I agree… my hope is to be wherever He is. I just thought if we could look beyond the destination, that whatever it is, it will be beyond our ‘wildest dreams’. Ive seen the ‘calling’ to become a Child of God in a ‘new light’. (No Watchtower pun intended) 🙂
The important thing is to just have faith. Believe that we all are invited to become a child of God and follow through by actions.
I agree, SeasonsOfGrace. There is a case to be made for life in heaven and a case to be made for life on earth. I think the truth lies somewhere in between. However, this is a bigger issue for some than it should be. Perhaps due to natural human longing for one particular reward. However, we should not worry about it since that is up to God.
Nevertheless, I think the topic deserves exploration as long as we understand that we cannot–I believe–speak definitively on the subject.
I completely agree with all the above. The important thing for myself was not trying to figure out the details (because I too see both views) and rest my confidence on faith. Whatever God wants, I want! 🙂
Hi Robert-6512, Your comment came across as something of an attack on character. I’m not saying you meant it that way, but that is how it was perceived. You will find our commenting guidelines here: https://beroeans.net/frequently-asked-questions/ I could’ve left your comment up, and gone down it point by point listing the reasons I disagree. However it would be unfair to do so publicly, and there’s always the risk of offending someone unnecessarily. Additionally, I have attempted to do this in the past, only to find that in most cases it does not end well and tends to adversely affect the… Read more »
I didn’t just show up on your forum last week. Our correspondence goes back several years, as you well know. You should have consulted me privately before taking this needless and regrettable action. I don’t approve of what you have done, nor do I agree with your reasons for doing so.
Robert-6512, you have just made my point for me. I do not wish to offend you, nor should we engage in a public polemic. If you wish to know the grounds on which my statement rests, I’d be willing to take the time to go through our lengthy comment over the next few days in a private e-mail exchange. Nevertheless, if you still wish to leave, then fair well my brother. No hard feelings.
Well said, SOG.
It is stated in Revelation, the Kingdom sons will return to earth, and rule for mankind’s benefit. (R21,22) So, all them will return to enjoy earth again, and be with relatives, friends, and loved ones too.
After Jesus was resurrected, he visited his followers for 40 days, encouraging, teaching, eating, etc.
The John 10:16 scripture about other sheep is such a troublesome one because JW insists that the other sheep are those who Jesus extends the invitation to become his followers. They are one flock under his care as a whole but not the same class of sheep or he wouldn’t have called them ‘other’. And in the end if we ‘listen to his voice’ we will be brought together anyway. What is 1000 or how many actual years it is compared to eternity? Then of course when we try to tie this in with scriptures like Romans 8:16 it literally… Read more »
Hello Candace, Your intuition about this is serving you well. The scriptures are not a mess. It is the doctrines and interpretations of men that are causing the problem. 1. Regarding the other sheep, Jesus does in fact extend the invitation to them to become his followers. They are the Gentiles, a group that the Jews always treated as “others”. That’s why Jesus used the word “other” to describe them, not because they have a different destiny than the “non-other” group (if you will allow such an awkward term). 2. As for Romans, consider the context: “12 So, then, brothers,… Read more »
Your last paragraph about not going to heaven intrigued me. Can you please elaborate on this more? I have been struggling in my reconciliation of which destiny heaven or earth and have not seen much on this topic, but from what is written in the Bible, earthly life seems to be what is referenced not heaven for all. Thank you!
A full accounting about why we don’t go to heaven would be lengthy. I am hopeful that Meleti is going to cover this in an article soon, and that would be a better venue for me to discuss it than here, which is supposed to be about the spirit, the lord’s evening meal, etc.
If you like, you can ask Meliti to forward your email address to me and I can send you a document I have that discusses this in more detail.
I agree with the essay, Meleti; “Amen!” We don’t need ithers to tell us either whether we are spirit-adopted/born again. I agree with the comment of anyone who has been born again, JW or not, and I’ve met many, many non-JW’s that are . They simply believe the holy spirit dwells inside them, just as I do, and are in a personal relationship with the Son and the Father. The spirit makes them have this hope, and it is what makes them cry out, “Abba!”. Jesus said being born of the spirit is like the wind. No one knows where… Read more »
Thank you Meleti for this. I hope you are recovering well from your surgery. This is a deeply disturbing subject for me. I see no scriptural support for two groups of Christians today. I am certain that the other sheep Jesus spoke about were the Gentiles. Hence we no longer speak in terms of nationality. We are all brothers in Christ. However, having been baptized long after this teaching became prominently taught, my mind has always been conditioned towards earthly life. I can completely identify with simplyme and kyaeker that to partake at this point in the kingdom hall would… Read more »
We are not holding our online memorial at the same time and day as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Therefore, you might be able to join with us if you wish. Let me know.
humm , I would like to know when you are doing that , yes yes , could you email me either from the DTT site or FB email or the one you have one file here .
Yes. I would be interested
Thank you Meleti for another fine article, how will you be holding the memorial on line?
Hi Meleti, thanks for this article. The online memorial sounds very interesting! If possible I would like to find out how to join.
hi Meleti, we would (family of 3) love to be there too. could we please join?
I’d be interested also.
Thank you again for such a fine article and I sure hope you’re recovering well. These days I read different passages in the Bible such as Romans chapter 8 and I think “why didn’t I see that earlier?”. Now we look back and see just how much our thinking was controlled. We very rarely if ever read whole passages and discussed them, it was usually just a few verses here tied in with a few verses there. For me, being raised as one of the “great crowd”, my hope was always living forever on the paradise earth. I had no… Read more »
Great thoughts to ponder.
Don’t know if I would have the courage to partake at the hall though. People who have known you for years suddenly would look at you very differently. Most likley putting you down among other members. I’ve heard that before about other partakers over the years. Can you imagine the gossip if all the doubters in the congregations began partaking. It would be behavior unbecoming a Witness.
If we would not partake of communion in a Catholic church or any other one, presumably on the grounds that they teach false doctrines, how is a KH any different? WT is teaching false doctrines too. Would Jews desire to observe their Passover at the nearest encampment of idolatrous Baal worshipers, just to “fit in”? Would first century Christians observe the remembrance of the last supper in the temple of Artimus of the Ephesians, because that is where everyone else in the neighborhood was going? If not, why should anyone feel compelled to remember Christ’s death amongst people who have… Read more »
Yes, we know what men say. What does Jesus say? “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16) If one group has a so-called heavenly hope and leaves this earth, while another group remains, are there not in fact two groups? To suggest otherwise would be a case of employing “trinity-like” arithmetic, except instead of being 1+1+1=1, it’s 1+1=1. It doesn’t add up either way. If the sole determining factor about a person’s destiny is… Read more »
After rereading my words above, I realize there is no reason to keep secret the identity of the man I mentioned above (now deceased) who thought he was anointed and then changed his mind. He was Clayton Ball, who lived in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
This very wrong teaching of the GB was what convinced me it was not the truth God’s org as they claim. Its actually a satanic teaching.Join the discussion
I would have to agree that the “heavenly hope”, as held out by many religions in one form or another, is a teaching of demons. We need only look at what the serpent said to Eve: ‘you will be immortal and have characteristics like God has’. How is that any different that having one’s ‘soul’ taken to heaven, or becoming another ‘angel’, or being resurrected to supposedly rule with Christ in heaven in a spiritual temple, or being transported to Nirvana? They are all sides of the same coin, just dressed up a little differently. Our Father said man and… Read more »