No greater joy do I have than this: that I should hear that my children go on walking in the truth.” – 3 John 4
[Study 30 from ws 7/20 p.20 September 21 – September 27]
Before considering this follow up article, it would be helpful to read the review of “Be convinced you have the Truth” in the same July Watchtower. Let us review only the key portions of the paragraphs that expose the ongoing agenda of the organization that those spiritually awake often see intertwined with a measure of Bible truth in almost every WT study article. Note bold text throughout the article by the reviewer.
Paragraphs 1-3 Contain some good points that all Christians would agree with.
- “we feel happy when our children, whether natural or spiritual, dedicate themselves to Jehovah and persevere in serving him”. 3 John 3-4
- “The purpose of those letters was to motivate loyal Christians to maintain their faith in Jesus and to keep on walking in the truth.
- “John was the last living apostle, and he was concerned about the effect that false teachers were having on the congregations. (1 John 2:18-19, 26) Those apostates claimed to know God, but they did not obey Jehovah’s commands.”
The Background to John’s Letters
“When the apostle John wrote his letters, he was concerned about false teachers who had come into the congregations and were trying to mislead Christ’s followers. Both the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter had warned that this would happen. (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-3) These false teachers may have been influenced by Greek philosophy. Some apparently claimed to have received a special, mystical knowledge from God. But their teaching contradicted Jesus’ message and encouraged selfishness and a lack of love. So, John calls these teachers antichrists, or those who teach against Christ. —1 John 2:18.
This paragraph from the December 1st, 2006 Watchtower outlined exactly what the first-century young congregation (without a completed Bible) faced with apostate influence within the congregation from “false apostles,” in other words the older men & elders. (please read cited scriptures in the linked paragraph). We should consider if this Biblical record correlates with how the FDS/GB identify Apostates today, are there false teachers against the Christ active within the congregation today? We can confidently say no, as we are aware that the teachings and teachers are highly controlled and scripted and if ever a brother uttered one out of line teaching from the platform or privately to a publisher, he would be exposed immediately and dealt with swiftly.
These then for the most part today, only apply to what are labeled by our community as PIMO’s [i] of whom only the FDS/GB are cognizant of their existence within the congregation. They could likely also include the majority who leave the congregation today for scriptural reasons. But are these really against the Christ? The facts prove the opposite, it is because of the true teachings of the Christ that they challenge the manmade doctrines of the self-appointed FDS/GB and these have either remained silent due to threats of shunning, faded away, or in many cases are removed from the congregation and labeled with the pejorative “mentally diseased Apostate,” or antichrist.
The Christ-centered discussions on this and other forums proves to the contrary, that we are far from antichrist! So, how should we apply John’s warnings in today’s Christian Congregation?
Here is a clue, interestingly it is found in the same linked article “The Antichrist Exposed” . Let us focus on two identifiers. (See December 1st, 2006 Watchtower)
“Antichrist” means “against (or instead of) Christ.” So, in its broadest sense, the term refers to all who oppose or lyingly claim to be the Christ or his representatives. Jesus himself said: “He that is not on my side is against me [or is antichrist], and he that does not gather with me scatters.”—Luke 11:23.
It has been pointed out on numerous occasions the plethora of evidence that the FDS/GB have supplanted or “instead of” the Christ as the head of the congregation and claiming to be the only channel of communication with God, and if you are still attending meetings you know this to be true. Just think with this one “teaching” alone of how many sincere Christians have in fact been ‘scattered’ instead of gathered due to their manmade doctrines, some being severely harsh claiming they are by spirit direction.
“These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:16-18)
The same FDS/GB have put forth many false prophetic dates, having “deviated from the truth” claiming Christ has already returned in Kingly power (invisibly) in 1914 which would mean that when Christ returns during the tribulation, it would be return number three! Wouldn’t these two points from this article accurately apply to John’s concerns about antichrist from within the congregation today? (1 John 2:18- 19, 26)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK IN THE TRUTH?
“4 To walk in the truth, we need to know the truth found in God’s Word, the Bible. In addition, we must “observe [Jehovah’s] commandments,” that is, we need to obey them. (Read 1 John 2:3-6; 2 John 4, 6.) Jesus set the perfect example of obeying Jehovah. So, one important way that we obey Jehovah is by following Jesus’ steps as closely as possible. —John 8:29; 1 Peter 2:21.”
This not often seen type of paragraph really contains simple solid truth but unfortunately NOT what the Guardians Of Doctrine really want us to follow as in most cases they add the caveat “bible based literature and direction of the faithful and discrete slave.” How many problems throughout the organization’s history could have been avoided if they had just let the Bible interpret itself and not “go beyond what is written”? (exegesis)
WHAT OBSTACLES DO WE FACE?
Paragraphs 7-10 Contains good counsel (with one exception para.10) for all and especially for young ones today!
Para.7 “must resist the pressure to live a double life. John pointed out that we cannot be walking in the truth and at the same time be living an immoral life.” 1 John 1:6
“there is no such thing as a secret sin because everything we do is visible to Jehovah.” Hebrews 4:13
Para. 8 “We have to reject the world’s view of sin.”
” Many claim to believe in God, but they do not agree with Jehovah’s view of sin, especially when it involves the subject of sex. What Jehovah views as sinful conduct they call a personal preference, or an alternative lifestyle.”
Para. 9 “Remember, too, that this world’s twisted view of sex originates with Satan. So, when you refuse to compromise, you ‘conquer the wicked one.’ —1 John 2:14
Para. 10 “But when we do sin, we confess our wrongdoing to Jehovah in prayer. 1 John 1:9.
“And if we commit a serious sin, we seek the help of the elders, whom Jehovah has appointed to care for us. (James 5:14-16) (misapplied scripture) Why not? Because our loving Father provided the ransom sacrifice of his Son so that our sins can be forgiven. When Jehovah says that he will forgive repentant sinners, he means what he says. So, there is nothing to stop us from serving Jehovah with a clean conscience.” 1 John 2:1-2, 12; 3:19-20.
Paragraph 11 “We must reject apostate teachings. Since the beginning of the Christian congregation, the Devil has been using many deceivers to plant doubts in the minds of God’s faithful servants. As a result, we need to know how to discern the difference between facts and lies.* Our enemies may use the Internet or social media to try to undermine our trust in Jehovah and our love for our brothers. Remember who is behind such propaganda and reject it!” —1 John 4:1, 6; Revelation 12:9.
This is the review of the noted WT article in paragraph 11 and would be good to read as it helps to explain where the organization is heading as regards to “apostate propaganda”. * Do You Have The Facts? Aug. 8/18 WT Review
Paragraph 12 “To resist Satan’s attacks, we need to deepen our trust in Jesus, and in the role he plays in God’s purpose. We also need to trust in the only channel that Jehovah is using today. (Matthew 24:45-47)
Paragraphs 11-12 display the ongoing concerns the FDS/GB has and probably keeps them up at night. The reality of now living during the information age and that “fact-checking” is at the fingertips of practically every witness on the planet, and that the organization has been forced to embrace its usage (JW.org) that has become a dual-edge sword for them. Thus, the last option that controls this pandora’s box at their disposal is to classify everything negative about Jehovah’s Witnesses and label what is found there as Satan’s propaganda, and apostate lies! The article “Do you have all the Facts” is as close as they could get to outright banning the internet other than JW Broadcasting. Just give them time and that will be forthcoming, if you think that is an exaggeration, check out YouTube on any given day! This alone is devastating to the FDS/GB’s version of “The Truth.”
The question continues to be asked by this reviewer, why not have the mindset of Saint Augustine?
“The Truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself”
In this article it was pointed out from the books of John how he identified exactly what the antichrist teaching was in the first century, equipping the congregation to defend itself, yet the FDS/GB refuse to follow that Holy Spirit inspired pattern, yes why not help the flock know, define, understand, and defend the truth from said apostates and antichrist? We can be confident that this is a question on the minds of most Jehovah’s Witness today who are exposed to these continuous ambiguous warnings.
Naivety aside. we know the real reason why that will never happen.
HELP ONE ANOTHER TO REMAIN IN THE TRUTH
Para. 17- Study his Word and put your trust in it. Build strong faith in Jesus. Reject human philosophies and apostate teachings.
[i] PIMO- physically in mentally out