“We have a struggle … against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12.
[From ws 4/19 p.20 Study Article 17: June 24-30, 2019]
“We see abundant evidence that Jehovah protects his people today. Consider: We are preaching and teaching the truth in all parts of the earth. (Matthew 28:19, 20) As a result, we expose the evil works of the Devil.” (Par.15)
This is a fallacious statement.
Firstly, as shown scripturally in numerous articles on this site, Jehovah’s Witnesses as an Organization are teaching and preaching a lot of untruth. Therefore, why would Jehovah protect those claiming to be his people when they are worshipping and teaching falsehood? When the nation of Israel were worshipping in falsehood, what happened to them? Notice what Jeremiah said about the Israelites back in the years leading up to Jerusalem’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE:
“And Jehovah went on to say to me: “Falsehood is what the prophets are prophesying in my name. I have not sent them, nor have I commanded them or spoken to them. A false vision and divination and a valueless thing and the trickiness of their heart they are speaking prophetically to YOU people”. (Jer 14:14)
Students of the Bible will know that Jehovah did not protect his people from destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, because they would not repent, despite numerous warnings to do so.
In addition, this so-called abundant evidence is not provided nor referenced, instead we are expected to take the Organization’s word that it exists. Just like the claim that Jesus appointed the Governing Body as the Faithful and Discreet Slave in 1919. Any attempt to find scriptural or factual information to confirm this claim in the Organization’s literature is doomed to failure. Is Jehovah protecting the Organization from numerous lawsuits by victims of Child sexual abuse, where obedience to scripture and secular authorities would have minimized or eliminated their exposure to such lawsuits, which threaten to bankrupt them? Obviously not, otherwise why the sale of 100’s of Kingdom Halls, which only 5-10 years ago were needed to hold the existing Witnesses and to be able to cope with the expected rapid expansion before Armageddon—a teaching that obviously has now been discreetly dropped.
Jesus warned against those claiming to be the anointed one and claiming to speak in his name. For example, Matthew 24:3-5 says, “While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” 4 And in answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads YOU; 5 for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ [or literally ‘I am the anointed one’] and will mislead many”.
For examples of what the Bible really teaches, please look at articles on this site about Resurrection, Mankind’s hope for the future, shunning and the judicial committee system, and the two witness rule, and 1914 not being the time of Christ’s enthronement, nor 607 BCE being the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, and so on.[i]
Secondly, they claim to “expose the evil works of the Devil”. For many years now, Satan and the demons have only been mentioned in passing. This can hardly be described as exposing them. The apparent main reason for this is a misguided interpretation of Jesus example (not command) as shown in the heading of paragraph 13 which is to “Avoid telling stories about the demons”. It goes on to say “But he did not relate stories about what those wicked spirits had done. Jesus wanted to be a witness of Jehovah, not a publicity agent for Satan.” This is disingenuous at best. Of course, one would not go preaching about the demons, just as Jesus did not. However, Jesus openly acknowledged the problems the demons caused. (See Matthew 9:32-33, Matthew 17:14-20, Mark 1:32-33, Mark 6:12-13, Mark 7:25-30, Luke 4:33-37,41, Luke 8:26-39, Luke 9:37-43, Luke 11:14-15, Luke 13:32, Acts 16:16-21) Being honest in acknowledging a problem is not being a publicity agent for Satan.
He also went further and cured those afflicted by demons. Surely it is important that we (a) protect others where we can from coming under demonic influence, which may involve warning them with examples as to how demons are able to possess and influence others. It may also involve (b) telling others personal experiences as to how one was attacked and how it was possible to finally gain relief.
A code of silence, as pursued by the Organization today, plays into the hands of the demons, as people become ashamed to openly seek help. Elders, have now, certainly in first world countries, also become very blasé and dismissive if publishers approach them with such problems or suggestions that some problems / illnesses may be exacerbated by demonic influence / attack.
The second part of paragraph 13 continues, “Surely, if Satan were able to, he would stop all our activity, but he cannot. So we do not need to be terrified of wicked spirits.”
This is an assumption based on another assumption. Under scrutiny it collapses like a tower of cards. There is another highly plausible explanation, albeit one which will not very palatable to Witnesses. Maybe Satan has not tried to stop all the activity of the Organization, simply because he does not want to. The reason being that the Organization is just another one of his false religious organisations. We need to remember the words of the Apostle Paul when he said, “for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. 15 It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Hiding in plain sight and claiming to be Jehovah’s Organization attracts many genuine, goodhearted people who have a love of God and Christ. However, when these ones wake up to the lies they have been taught, the vast majority are stumbled and lose all faith in God. What could be better for Satan than that particular outcome?
The following may seem to be a sudden change of topic, but please bear with me, it is relevant to the article.
What is the attitude of Jehovah and Christ Jesus to wicked opposers?
2 Peter 3:9 states:
“Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with YOU because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.”. In a similar vein Ezekiel 33:11 says “Say to them, ‘“As I am alive,” is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “I take delight, not in the death of the wicked one, but in that someone wicked turns back from his way and actually keeps living. Turn back, turn back from YOUR bad ways, for why is it that YOU should die, O house of Israel?”
These and other scriptures portray a kind, loving, and patient God, rather than an angry, destructive One.
The picture relating to paragraphs 10-12 seems strange. No one in the picture has a happy face about getting free of spiritistic influence. Admittedly, some of the things burnt were valuable in a superstitious and spiritistic environment, but they surely would have been filled with joy to be set free. In fact, the body language of one person (second from the right) on the right seems to indicate he did it under protest and is upset at what he has given up. Is the Organization really against the demonic forces as they claim or are they hiding behind a veneer, when really trying to destroy one’s confidence in God and Jesus Christ?
Another interesting point is that it appears 1914 is being quietly dropped. Not for the first time in recent Watchtower publications events claimed to have happened in 1914 are still being mentioned as facts but without the date being mentioned. An example in this article is in Paragraph 14 which says “Empowered by Jehovah, the glorified Jesus showed his power over Satan and the demons when they were cast down from heaven to the earth” with no reference to any date.
We should conclude by referring to the word of the disciple James: “Subject yourselves to God, but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”—James 4:7, 8. This is far better advice than that proffered in general throughout this Watchtower study article.
[i]This site makes no claim to have all the truth. What we are is a group of honest hearted Christians endeavouring to check in a Beroean like way all that is taught in God’s word, to discover truth and share this with others in the hope it will also benefit them. It is incumbent on all to check God’s word for themselves and not delegate it to others as sadly we all did to varying extents.
Hi all I just would like to take this opportunity to thank Truth_Seeker for his comments You have summed up my feelings about SOME of the good that I learnt over the years of being in the org. 1 Kings 14: 13 All Israel will mourn him and bury him, for he alone of Jer·o·boʹam’s family will be laid in a grave, because he is the only one of the house of Jer·o·boʹam in whom Jehovah the God of Israel has found something good. Has the org, got me on the road to everlasting life? Yes. Has the org taught… Read more »
It is always fine to be positive, James. As you say, the org has taught us a lot. It is just that it is hard to be positive when what you are fed is the “curate’s egg” (only good in parts). There was some good among the religious leaders of Jesus day too (Matthew 23:3).
I enjoy these discussions because they are open and frank, with no ‘know it all’ attitude. I always suggest that we ‘not throw the kid out with the bathwater’. We studied the Bible as Jehovah’s Witnesses, even though with Watchtower-colored glasses. That doesn’t make some of the good points we learned invalid. None of us have seen the invisible realm so, whatever theology we subscribe to, we have to prepare for the eventuality that we may have to throw cherished ideas overboard ‘when the Lord comes’. This awareness helps us to respect other’s ideas that at least should be heard.… Read more »
The only Jehovah’s Witnesses that are in grave danger of being judged adversely by Christ are the hypocrites who know the truth about certain scriptural matters but deny those truths by how they live their lives. Especially the bullies who attack others who refuse to follow their own path of denial. Inside the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses that especially might include some elders and WT associates in rank above elders, who know the real truth about certain matters they deny publicly . Because Christians are saved by faith, because these deny faith in Christ, while doing that, they live in… Read more »
Hi Messenger. No, you’re not right. Why you extract one or two sentences from my comment and then you build around that your speculations. Answers to your questions are contained in my comment to brother Truth_seeker. Please, try to read it more carefully and as a whole. As to „absolute truth“. Your teaching of any of the Bible topics may not be absolutely correct. Or everything you teach is correct? If so, you own absolute Biblical truth. Do you think you have that absolute truth? I hope not, otherwise you can continue in writing scriptures, perhaps 1st Messenger right after… Read more »
Frankie, You skated around my question, and instead you zeroed in on your opinion of my ability. Why? That was not a clear answer to my question. So I ask again, are you teaching there are Bible scriptures that cannot be correctly interpreted by CHRISTIANS, or are you teaching Christians cannot know everything God knows? And included in what God knows are things named in scripture that don’t have their identities specified in scripture, like the identity of the King of the North and King of the South for instance? I didn’t see my question answered in your response above,… Read more »
Hi Truth_seeker Let me respond to your thoughts and share my opinion. You wrote ” … we have to prepare for the eventuality that we may have to throw cherished ideas overboard ‘when the Lord comes’.” This is also exactly my view. My extensive Bible study may result in conclusion that either I will be in Heaven or I will be on Earth (for example), but in the end with joy I will accept EVERYTHING my heavenly Father will give me, because He loves me and He wants the best for me. Often I am able to understand certain things… Read more »
Hi Frankie, I am not sure exactly how you want us to interpret your words here, “None of the people owns absolute truth.” Do you mean no one on Earth today, or in the past, accurately interprets(ed) Bible scriptures in their totality, or do you mean that no one knows everything God knows? Those are different ideas. I saw in your post that you used an example about a Bible teaching that is thoroughly covered in scripture. Your thoughts about that here, “My extensive Bible study may result in conclusion that either I will be in Heaven or I will… Read more »
As already mentioned Jesus routinely cured people of demonic influence and it was an integral as it was a considerable part of his ministry. Jesus enabled his followers, when he sent out the 70 with the ability to do the same thing. On one occasion there was consternation amongst the disciples as they could not expel a demon as it was a powerful one. Jesus used the occasion to talk about faith and what could be accomplished by it, having rebuked and expelled the demon from the person. When the 70 disciples returned to Jesus they excitedly reported to Jesus… Read more »
Everything written by the JW organization is predicated on the notion that they alone are true Christians and could not possibly be wrong about spiritual and scriptural matters. Without self examination, they fall victim to deceit. It’s a pity.
Chet WT doesn’t claim it cannot be wrong about spiritual matters. Note its quote from a February 2017 WT, p 26, par 12: “The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction. In fact the Watch Tower Publications Index, ‘Beliefs Clarified,’ which lists adjustment in our Scriptural understanding since 1870.” The hypocrisy of WT is the fact that it admits it is not inspired, it claims it has no direct contact with God, and it admits it misinterprets scriptures at times; and yet it preaches every other Christian not a… Read more »
When WT is wrong, it wriggles, gives evasive answers, and its appointed men lean on “Do you think you know more than the faithful slave”. The May Watchtower contains excellent examples of wriggling, but no admission of wrongdoing or the reasons behind the discussion of love and justice. Geoffrey Jackson, the ARC, was asked “Do you see yourselves as Jehovah God’s spokespeople on earth”. He replied that it would be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using. In clarifying that answer, Bro Jackson made no attempt to answer the question but simply stated… Read more »
Jackson did more than wiggle when answering those two questions that he received at the ARC which you cited Leonardo. He lied. Since the early 20th century, at least since 1919 if not before, WT has written in multiple published works that no one can come to an accurate knowledge of the Bible without WT’s help, and accepting WT’s interpretation of it. It also claims to be the ONLY organization appointed by Christ in modern history to preach his message. As a matter of fact WT teaches all other Christians are worshiping the Devil in ignorance. So when Jackson denied… Read more »
It looks like the organization has been busy providing some food from the table of demons themselves.
“Satan uses spiritism to promote lies —including the lie that the dead are alive in some other realm.”
w16 October p.24 paragraph 12
“Sometime after the Kingdom’s birth in 1914, all such faithful anointed ones, who were sleeping in death, were raised to spirit life in heaven to share with Jesus in his rulership over mankind.”
Very interesting application of scripture Bernardbooks. I rarely get the “gotcha” smile anymore as the obvious truths continue to be uncovered, but I have one now. ? Well done!!
Tadua, well researched and supported commentary. Thank you.