“We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.” – Zechariah 8:23
[From ws 1/20 p.26 Study Article 5: March 30 – April 5, 2020]
This is the second study article for preparing the brothers and sisters mentally for the upcoming annual memorial celebration. It appears to be aimed at putting many on the spot and coercing the attendees into not partaking at the memorial. In recent years, an article of this sort has been published every year just prior to the memorial, seemingly in an attempt to reinforce the two-class doctrine of 144,000 adopted Sons with a heavenly hope and a great crowd of other sheep on earth as Friends of God.
Indeed, if you do a comparison you will notice that this study article is almost completely word for word just a reprint of the January 2016, Study Watchtower article “We want To Go With You” (p.22). Rather than attempt to refute the same unscriptural points that have already been established by the previous review, it would be good to get a good background before continuing. Please see the review here 20 March 2016, Watchtower Study Articles Review.
This study article and the previous study article (along with the memorial talk) appear designed to guilt many PIMO[i] witnesses into NOT partaking of the emblems. Yet, many PIMO’s have come to realise the fact that, just as in ancient times all Israelites had to partake in the Passover meal to survive, likewise today, just as Christ instructed, all have to partake when observing the memorial of Christ’s death (Luke 22:19).
That many are realising this fact is probably evidenced by the annual report of 2019 where we see the number of partakers is still growing and now over 20,000 with approximately a 1,000 partaker increase over the previous year. Could we not assume this increase includes many of the ever-growing PIMO group within the Organization, especially when considering the annual worldwide growth rate from the preaching work is negligible?
Although in this Watchtower article the Governing Body dismisses this increase as of little concern, this growing trend must be threatening to the long-standing doctrines of just a limited number of 144,000 anointed brothers of Christ, who, according to their doctrine, are the only ones who should be partaking at the memorial. From the 1930’s until late in the 20th century, the teaching was that the total number of anointed had been sealed and the number of partakers steadily decreasing in number every year was part of their proof and the nearness of the end of the system of things.
A Paradox is a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.
Throughout the Watchtower Study article, we can find many paradoxical statements. We will highlight them as follows:
… leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable,
Par. 1 The “Jew” here represents those whom God has anointed by Holy Spirit. They are also called “the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16) The “ten men” Represent those who have the hope of living forever on earth. They know that Jehovah has blessed this group of anointed ones and feel that it is an honor to worship him.”
Notice that from the very first paragraph, the “new light adjustment” on discontinuing the teachings of types and anti-types as per David Splane’s JW Broadcast announcement and March 15, 2015 Watchtower, “Questions from Readers” on page 17[ii], continues to be totally ignored by the writers of this and other Watchtower articles!
As you may have noticed the teaching department has complied with the Governing Body’s new policy at least in part, in the latest book release on Ezekiel, “Pure Worship of Jehovah Restored at Last!”, with the major adjustment being that Jerusalem no longer typifies Christendom (Chapter 16). There is also the recent adjustment that the Locust swarm in Joel no longer typifies Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide preaching work. (See also forthcoming Watchtower Study article entitled “An attack coming from the North” in the April 2020 Study Watchtower).
Therefore, the question we might ask is, why have they not upheld the “no types /antitypes” mandate from 2015 in this Watchtower study of Zechariah 2:8? Could it be because it conveniently fits their overall agenda of maintaining the Governing Body/FADS[iii] elite status that has increased over the decades?
Was this just an oversight by the writers? Or did they find that this type/antitype application of Zechariah qualified under the exception “unless they are explicitly declared in the Bible?”
Simply put, there is no Bible based evidence that proves the “Jew” in Zechariah typifies the modern-day anointed ones. In fact, it is far more likely the fulfilment was in the 1st Century and was referring to the Gentiles joining the Jewish Christians in the early Christian congregation.
It would be hard to believe that keeping this type/antitype was a mistake, because although a member of the Governing Body may not have penned this article, they have absolute final approval on everything that is produced in the teaching department. In fact, there are a number of members of the Governing Body on the teaching committee, so it is not likely they missed this contradiction of scriptural application protocols broadcast by one of their own Governing Body members and put in print in the Watchtower.
Could we therefore reasonably conclude that on this occasion they discarded their own scripture interpretation policy when it comes to anti-types on this subject? Why? Could it be because it fits their narrative when it comes to promoting the two-class doctrine and the superior status it affords them?
Let us continue on to see what other points of paradox have been produced in this study article.
HOW SHOULD ANOINTED ONES VIEW THEMSELVES?
….. despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless,
Par.4 “Anointed ones should think seriously about the warning found at 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. (Read) … might an anointed one partake “unworthily” at the Memorial? He would do so if he ate and drank the emblems but was not living up to Jehovah’s righteous standards”.
Could we inquire if the Governing Body have applied this paragraph based on 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 to themselves? Are they living up to Jehovah’s Standards?
For the benefit of first-time readers, just briefly examine two major examples that, by their own statements above, would disqualify them from partaking!
- The 10-year apostate affiliation with the United Nations as an NGO. (here)
- The shameful mishandling of child abuse cases within the Organization worldwide. (here)
Par. 5 “Jehovah’s holy spirit helps his servants to be humble, not proud”.
Has the Governing Body ever displayed humility, a repentant attitude, or even given an apology for any of the serious mistakes that have affected the lives of thousands of Witnesses over the decades? You would have to admit to the mistakes, before you could apologize. When has that ever happened in Watchtower history?
One well-known example is with the “Stay Alive Till 75” debacle in which they blamed the rank and file members for “running ahead” of the Organization, even in the face of their own published literature that proves they were the undeniable source of false expectations.
Would not this be a sign of a lack of Holy Spirit or the Spirit direction they claim to have?
In truth the facts from their own publications and actions plainly show they have placed themselves into a unique elevated class over everyone. They even have inserted themselves between humans and Jesus and the rest of the “anointed class”.
DO WE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE NUMBER OF THOSE PARTAKING?
…. leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable
Par.12 “Brothers who count the number of those partaking at the Memorial do not know who truly is anointed. So, the number includes those who think that they are anointed but are not. For example, some who used to partake later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that make them believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven. Clearly, we do not know exactly how many anointed ones are left on earth”.
Par.12 “Brothers who count the number of those partaking at the Memorial do not know who truly is anointed ……” (but we are watching you! See the picture on pg.30). Surely even to attempt to count those claiming to be “anointed” in this manner, without knowing if they really are “anointed”, is an exercise in futility is it not?
The paragraph continues to try to sow doubt in the minds of the brothers and sisters claiming, “the number includes those who think that they are anointed but are not”. [Bold ours] On what basis can they make this claim? This may or may not be true. It is also equally possible that there might be some Witnesses who think they are but are intimidated from partaking. Is the Organization able to read the minds of those who partake?
“some who used to partake later stopped” Did they come to believe they were mistaken, or were they intimidated by the Organization or by the reaction of the local congregation, or did they decide to partake privately or did they come around to the view that to partake openly in the Kingdom Hall is giving support to the incorrect teaching of two classes of the anointed and the great crowd? Maybe because of all the pressure on preaching by the Organization they no longer feel worthy? Again, this casting doubt on the genuineness on the part of some partakers is very poor as what they draw attention too could have any number of reasons, most of which do not disqualify them from partaking.
And the most powerful statement of all,
“Others may have mental or emotional problems that make them believe that they will rule with Christ”. [Bold ours] Perhaps this is the Organization’s shorthand for those they view as “mentally diseased”, because they would never want to admit openly that those they view as apostate are in their very midst.
…. Sound reasoning from acceptable premises?
Par-14 “Jehovah decides when he will choose anointed ones. (Rom. 8:28-30) Jehovah began choosing anointed ones after Jesus was resurrected. It seems that in the ﬁrst century, all true Christians were anointed ………. In the centuries that followed, most of those who claimed that they were Christians did not really follow Christ. Even so, during those years, Jehovah anointed the few who were true Christians. They were like the wheat that Jesus said would grow among the weeds. (Matt. 13:24-30)
So, if God decides to choose some of these just before the end, surely we should not question his wisdom. (Read Romans 9:11, 16.) We must be careful not to react like the workers whom Jesus described in one of his illustrations. They complained about the way their master treated those who started working in the last hour. Matthew 20:8-15”. [bold ours]
However, even this reasoning is flawed, because it uses assumptions, such as “It seems that in the 1st century”. Also, “most who claimed they were Christians did not really follow Christ”. How do they know? On what evidence do they base this claim? It has to all be conjecture and speculation, otherwise they would support their argument with verifiable facts either in the paragraph or as a footnote.
Furthermore, after trying to insinuate that many should not be partaking for a variety of reasons they then have the gall to say, “if God decides to choose some of these just before the end, surely we should not question his wisdom”. Is this not of the greatest hypocrisy? What are they doing if they are not questioning whether God has chosen these ones?
… is a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.
Para-15 “Matthew 20:8-15. Not all who have the hope of living in heaven are part of “the faithful and discreet slave” (Read Matthew 24:45-47).”
Really, this part is just a paragraph of unfounded assumptions requiring the reader to accept their eisegesis interpretation of the parable Jesus gave in Matt. 24 which really encompasses the entire definition of a paradox! How do either of these scriptures prove either a hope of living in heaven or that either the faithful and discreet slave alone or others have been given that hope by Jesus?
HOW SHOULD THE ANOINTED BE TREATED? (Note: this subheading is out of order, but it fits better here!)
…a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.)
In Par. 8-10 let us look at some of the glaring “self-contradictory” points.
In addition to study articles like this that promote class distinctions, it should not be surprising to any reasonable person, that the Governing Body are treated as “special.” We can only conclude despite what they are saying in these statements below, is that this is entirely by design, with the apparent aim of having a measure of passive control by creating in people a passive dependent personality.[iv]
- “The other sheep should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth.” (WT Dec. 3/13 p. 20)
- “At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s Organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.” (w13 11/15 p. 20)
- Governing Body member Gerrit Losch on a recent JW Broadcast made the request “Do you trust Jehovah and Jesus? Then trust the Governing Body like they do.”
In this well-known picture from the WT 4/15 2015 note where the Governing Body are. Immediately under Jehovah, but can you find Jesus the head of the Christian congregation in this picture? (Colossians 1:18).
When viewing this picture, it is good to be reminded that in John 14:6 Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [Bold ours]
When pointing this picture out to a spiritually awake anointed brother of many years, he was so shocked he called Bethel. He was basically told “it was no mistake” and gave him in essence the standard line “Do you think you know more than the Governing Body?” (It is not surprising that he is now a fellow PIMO).
Why is the Governing Body so surprised when the brothers and sisters treat them as spiritual celebrities? Does not releasing Kingdom songs that glorify themselves reinforce their self-appointed position of authority?[v] What Jehovah and Jesus think of this we can only speculate, but we can be confident that this attitude of self-glorification will not go unnoticed.
Finally, the most egregious part of their agenda has been to deny millions from partaking of the emblems of Christ sacrifice! In doing so they have effectively created a celebrity status for themselves. Having created the problem in the first place, they then turn around and in this article blame the other sheep even for treating them as such!
Whether you personally decide to partake or not of the emblems is something between you, Jehovah, and his Son Jesus. It is a personal decision, best made after much prayer and research of the scriptures. There is also no scriptural mandate for other humans to monitor or count or question this personal decision.
In preventing millions from obeying the Christ who said, “keep doing this in remembrance of me” we are reminded of Matthew 23:13 “you shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in”.
What have these actions by the Governing Body resulted in? (Matthew 7:16 “By their fruits you will recognize them”)
- The increasing exodus of many, long serving, faithful Witnesses.
- The dismal annual growth rate after billions of hours of worldwide preaching.
- The establishment of an awakened group inside the congregation.
However, we should not expect these results to bring on repentance and make them alter their course.
Aptly applicable in principle for our day, Jeremiah said, “Even the stork in the sky knows its seasons; the turtledove and the swift and the thrush keep to the time of their return. But my own people do not understand the judgment of Jehovah. How can you say: ‘We are wise, and we have the law of Jehovah’? For in fact, the lying stylus of the scribes has been used only for falsehood.” (Jeremiah 8:7-8)
[i] PIMO = Physically In Mentally Out
[ii] That reference (and David Splane) stated: “In recent times, the trend in our publications has been to look for the practical application of events and not for types where the Scriptures themselves do not clearly identify them as such. We simply cannot go beyond what is written.” and “So, we are no longer going to teach antitypes unless they are explicitly declared in the Bible.”
[iii] FADS = Faithful and Discreet Slave
[iv] Passive Dependent Personality: Definition – People with DPD tend to display needy, passive, and clinging behavior, and have a fear of separation. Other common characteristics of this personality disorder include: Inability to make decisions, even everyday decisions like what to wear, without the advice and reassurance of others. WebMD
[v] #27 “The Revealing of The Sons of God”, #26 “You Did It for Me”, #25 “A Special Possession”