“Be steadfast, immovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
[From ws 10/19 p.8 Study Article 40: December 2 – December 8, 2019]
Do you know anyone who is 105 years old or older? The reviewer does not and most likely nor do you, our dear reader. Worldwide there is probably a handful who are that old, and probably none of them are Jehovah’s Witnesses. That is what makes it such a ridiculous opening question in this study article.
“WERE you born after the year 1914?” The answer is, of course, we all were. However, it is setting up the reader to identify themselves with the lie that follows the question. “If so, you have lived your entire life during “the last days” of the present system of things. (2 Timothy 3:1)”.
The rest of the paragraph is used to reiterate the Organization’s teaching that the world is worse today than ever before.
Just take a moment to reflect on the following questions. For the majority of the world population would a women prefer to be alive today or in centuries past?
In the past most cultures treated women like possessions. As a result, in many places and times they could not own anything, they could not decide who or whether to marry. The chance of dying in childbirth was dramatically higher. Men, women and children were often enslaved either as actual slaves or as serfs and were treated badly and lived in poverty. While hidden slavery still exists today, worldwide slavery is illegal, and legally women can own property and legally have a choice whether to marry. Asking most people what century they would like to live in, most would reply today.
Paragraph 2 claims “Because so much time has passed since 1914, we must now be living in the last of “the last days.” Since the end is so near, we need to know the answers to some important questions:”
It would therefore be true to say that the whole of this article is predicated on 1914 being a special year according to the scriptures. We also know that with a stack of cards, when you take the foundation card away, everything on top collapses. The evidence for 1914 does not stack up (pun intended).[i] Hence the supposition that “we must now be living in the last of “the last days.”” fails to be true. Furthermore, we therefore do not need “to know the answers” to questions the article goes on to ask. Why? Because Jesus told us in Matthew 24:36 that only Jehovah knows.
What are the questions that require answers according to the study article? They are: “What events will occur at the end of “the last days”? And what does Jehovah expect us to do while we wait for those events?”
Jesus answers the first question when he says: “On this account, you too prove yourselves ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it” (Matthew 24:44).”
Reasoning on Jesus answer, if Jesus is coming when we do not think it to be, then how can we identify it by events? After all, then we would be expecting it because of the events. Therefore, it is highly unlikely we are living in the last of the last days. It also stands to reason that if we cannot know when the end is coming, then there are no events to look for. Both the articles’ question and Jesus warning cannot be true. They contradict each other. Personally, the reviewer will stick with Jesus statement and encourages all readers to do the same.
What does Jesus expect us to do? “Prove yourselves ready”. Clearly, that means we need to concentrate on what sort of person we are as a Christian rather than looking for signs. Matthew 16:4, Matthew 12:39, and Luke 11:29 remind us about those searching for signs: “A wicked and adulterous generation keeps seeking a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Joʹnah”.
What will happen at the end of the last days?
Paragraph 3 claims “Just before that “day” begins, the nations will be proclaiming “Peace and security!”“.
Just exactly what does 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 say? It says: ”Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, YOU need nothing to be written to YOU.” In context therefore, the first point to note is that the Apostle Paul believed that what Jesus had taught was clear enough. There was no need for additional signs.
Why was that? Paul continues “2 For YOU yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day [the Lord’s day] is coming exactly as a thief in the night.” The early Christians knew Jesus words and believed that. How many thieves announce their arrival? How many give signs? A thief comes unannounced otherwise he will not succeed! So why would Paul then go on and give a sign? Quite simply he would not write what the NWT translates which is “Whenever it is that they are saying: “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman; and they will by no means escape.”.
An examination of both the Kingdom Interlinear and Biblehub Interlinear Bibles shows the correct translation to be “For when they might say [may say, KI], peace and security then suddenly comes upon them destruction, even as to the women having labour pains in the womb and they will not escape”.
There is no clear advance sign or statement of “Peace and security” that will be made by the world’s nations. Rather, it is referring to those who do not stay alert and are lulled into peaceful spiritual sleep, perhaps losing their faith in Christ’s promise. It is these ones who by letting down their guard by looking to men instead, who will be shocked when Christ comes. Christ’s followers keeping alert will not be caught out. That is why Paul commended the Thessalonian Christians that they needed no reminders to stay awake.
The Beroean Literal Bible reads “For when they might say, “Peace and security,” then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as the labor pains to her having in womb; and they shall not escape”.
The picture caption reads “Do not be fooled by the nations’ false claim of “peace and security” (See paragraphs 3-6)”. Rather, do not be fooled by the Organization’s false claim that there will be a claim of Peace and Security. Do not look for a sign, Jesus (and Paul) did not give us a sign that too look for, only a warning not to be complacent, but rather: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” Matthew 24:42.
There is some honesty at last in paragraph 4 where the Organization admits,” However, other things we do not know. We do not know what will lead up to it or how the declaration will be made. And we do not know whether it will involve just one proclamation or a series of announcements”. This shows the reality, which is they do not know anything, as they are just speculating. If they read Jesus words quoted above from Matthew without a prior agenda they would see that Jesus told his disciples there would be no sign until “the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30). This one sign will not need any speculation or any interpretation. It will be clear and undeniable to all the world. We have been warned by Jesus not to heed any speculation as to whether Jesus is here or there. When Jesus comes/returns in glory we will know it without any doubt (Matthew 24:23-28).
Paragraph 5 continues with 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6. This highly important passage which confirms the need to stay awake rather than looking for signs. Yet this scripture passage is glossed over rapidly, otherwise it would highlight how wrong the Organization’s teachings are.
True Christians would concentrate on practicing true Christianity, not looking for signs. Only sons of darkness look for signs and wrongly teach that they have peace and security within a spiritual paradise, when they have no peace nor security nor a paradise of nutritional spiritual food.
- Are children safe from abuse within the Organization? No!
- Are we taught how to be true Christians? No.
- Instead we are taught teachings that contradict Christs warnings.
The next paragraphs are spent in the usual trumpet blowing. E.g. exaggerating the minuscule increase in the number of Witnesses over decades. The importance of the preaching work, above all else. The so-called fantastic tools to help us make disciples when we already have the best tool, the Bible, according to Hebrews 4:12.
According to Paragraph 15 “there is very little time between now and the end of this system of things. For this reason, we cannot afford to keep studying the Bible with people who have no clear intention of becoming Christ’s disciples. (1 Cor. 9:26)”. This has echoes of the 1970’s and 1990’s all over again.
The instructions made on the back of this claim are laughable. Especially in the Western World there is a queue, but not for Bible studies, but rather to leave! If obedient Witnesses blindly follow this instruction in our area, they will be left with maybe no studies in the entire congregation. Furthermore, many are leaving or have left because they want to become Christ’s disciples instead of the Organization’s disciples.
One point with which we wholeheartedly agree is in paragraph 16 which says: “All true Christians must maintain a clear distinction between themselves and Babylon the Great”. However, how does the article suggest we do that?
“He may have attended its religious services and shared in its activities.Or he may have contributed money to such an organization”. …. “Before a Bible student can be approved as an unbaptized publisher, he must break all ties with false religion. He should submit a letter of resignation or otherwise completely sever his membership in his former church”.
Once again, the Organization lays down the law instead of the actions being down to the person’s conscience.
For instance, “attending its religious services”. What principles can we find in the scriptures?
- 2 Kings 5:18-19 records how Elijah responded to Naaman the Syrian Army Chief “But may Jehovah forgive your servant for this one thing: When my lord goes into the house of Rimʹmon to bow down there, he supports himself on my arm, so I have to bow down at the house of Rimʹmon. When I bow down at the house of Rimʹmon, may Jehovah, please, forgive your servant for this.” 19 At this he said to him: “Go in peace.”.
- Acts 21:26 records the Apostle Paul going to the Temple, ceremonially cleansing himself and supporting financially other Jewish Christians who did the same.
- Acts 13,17,18,19 all record the Apostle Paul and other Christians going into the synagogues on a regular basis.
By examining these scriptures, we can see that Naaman, and the Apostle Paul and many first century Christians who clearly had God’s blessing unlike the Organization today, would be considered unsuitable for baptism as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses today. Makes one pause to think does it not.
What about “he may have contributed money to such an organization”?
- Acts 17:24-25 reminds us “The God who made the world and all the things in it, being, as he is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples; 25 nor is he served by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all people life and breath and all things”. Clearly God neither requires a Kingdom Hall for us to worship him in nor anything, including money. Anyone who tries to persuade you differently is contradicting scripture.
- John 4:24 records Jesus words “God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.”
- Indeed, if the religion we belong to expects donations (as the Organization does) then it cannot be from God as he does not need money.
As for the requirement “He should submit a letter of resignation or otherwise completely sever his membership in his former church” this is pharisaic extrapolation. There is no record of any Jew writing a letter of resignation to the synagogue before being allowed to get baptized or Holy Spirit come upon them. Neither is there a record of Cornelius and his household writing a letter of resignation to the temple of Jupiter or wherever he worshipped before the Apostle Peter agreed to baptized them. In fact, Cornelius and his household received Holy Spirit before they were baptized in water. (Acts 10:47-48) Under current Organization rules, Cornelius would not be allowed to get baptized! He had no Bible Study, did not participate in field service or attend meetings before he was baptized by Holy Spirit. How can this Organization be what it claims to be ‘God’s Organization’ with rigidly applies rules that would exclude such Cornelius-like persons?
Paragraphs 17 and 18 discuss doing secular work for buildings belonging to other religions. Jesus had a word for such an Organization. Matthew 23:25-28 records him saying “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of greediness and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may also become clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”. A bit strong or vitriolic some might say. Perhaps not. What is worse? Taking money in exchange for services as part of one’s employment to make a living or selling a dedicated building to the Organization’s opposition so to speak!
Now most Witnesses would say this is another apostate lie. But for any doubters please check this link for a New Zealand newspaper article recording the fact that the New Zealand Bethel was sold to the Elim Church back in 2013. Especially note this quote from the newspaper article from the buyers: “There were a few groups interested in it. We had favour with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They wanted to give it to a faith-based organisation”. Even the reviewer was shocked on reading this and it takes something extraordinary from the Organization to shock me these days.
What have we learned?
Those attending the meeting when this Watchtower study article is discussed will learn lies and untruths and be misled by the Organization.
Readers here on this site will now be aware of these lies, if they were not already aware.
Readers here will be reminded of what the Bible really teaches. They will also be reminded of the blatant hypocrisy of the Organization which seems to know no bounds.
Do not look out for the sign of peace and security. It is a figment of the Organization’s vivid imagination. Rather, as the Apostle Paul encouraged us in 1 Thessalonians 5:6 “So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do, but let us stay awake and keep our senses.”
Let us also do our best to gently awaken our fellow brothers and sisters who have been lulled into sleep by an Organization teaching false dreams instead of the reality in God’s word the Bible.
Finally, just as Jesus warned us in Luke 21:7-8 “Then they questioned him, saying: “Teacher, when will these things actually be, and what will be the sign when these things are to occur?” 8 He said: “Look out that you are not misled, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The due time is near.’ Do not go after them”. (NWT 2013).
[i] See the series of articles “A Journey Through Time” on this site, and the recent series of videos discussing Matthew 24, amongst others for proof that 1914 is not a year significant in Bible Prophecy.