Jehovah’s Witnesses have a pat way of dismissing anyone who disagrees with them. They employ a “poisoning the well” ad hominem attack, claiming the person is like Korah who rebelled against Moses, God channel of communication with the Israelites. They have been taught to think this way from the publications and platform. For example, in two articles in the 2014 Study edition of The Watchtower on pages 7 and 13 of that issue, the Organization makes a clear link between Korah and those they call rebellious apostates. This comparison reached the minds of the rank and file and affects their thinking. I’ve experienced this attack myself. On a number of occasions, I get called a Korah in comments on this channel. For instance, this one from John Tingle:
And his name was Korah….he and others felt they were as holy as Moses. So they challenged Moses for leadership….Not God. So they tested out who Jehovah was using as a channel to lead God’s covenant people. It was not Korah or those with him. Jehovah showed that he was using Moses. So the people for Jehovah separated themselves from the rebellious ones and the earth opened up and swallowed those in opposition and closed back over them and their households. It is a serious matter to challenge the one whom Jehovah is using to guide his people on the earth. Moses was imperfect. He made mistakes. The people murmurred against him often. Yet Jehovah was able to use this man to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised Land. Up until Moses having led the people for 40 years of wandering through the wilderness he made a serious mistake. It cost him from entering into the promised Land. He got right up to the border, so to speak, and he could see it from afar. But God did not allow Moses to go in.
Interesting paralellel [sic]. This guy served Jehovah for 40 years as an elder. One who guided others toward the new system of things (the promised new world). Is this imperfect human going to let a mistake keep him from entering in to the metaphorical Promised Land? If it could happen to Moses, it could happen to any of us.
Goodbye Korah! And all you rebellious ones! You have reaped what you have sown.
I find it interesting that in this comment I am compared to Korah at first, then to Moses, and at the end, back to Korah. But the main point is that Witnesses make this connection automatically, because they have been taught to do so, and they do so without thinking about it. They do not see the fundamental flaw in this reasoning coming from the Governing Body down to them.
So, I would ask any who think this way, what was Korah trying to accomplish? Was he not trying to replace Moses? He wasn’t trying to get the Israelites to abandon Jehovah and his laws. All he wanted was to assume the role which Jehovah had given to Moses, the role of God’s channel of communication.
Now, who is the greater Moses today? According to the Organization’s publications, the Greater Moses is Jesus Christ.
Do you see the problem now? Moses’ prophecies never failed. He never went before the Israelites with adjustments, nor did he speak of new light to explain why he had to change a prophetic proclamation. Likewise, the Greater Moses has never misled his people with failed predictions and faulty interpretations. Korah wanted to replace Moses, sit in his seat as it were.
In the time of the Greater Moses, there were other men who, like Korah, wanted to sit in the place of Moses as God’s appointed channel. These men were the Governing Body of the nation of Israel. Jesus spoke of them when he said, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses.” (Matthew 23:2) These were the ones who killed the Greater Moses, by crucifying Jesus.
So today, if we are looking for a modern-day Korah, we need to identify a man or group of men who are trying to replace Jesus Christ as God’s channel of communication. Those who accuse me of being like Korah, should ask themselves if they see me trying to replace Jesus? Do I claim to be God’s channel of communication? Teaching God’s word doesn’t convert a person into his channel any more than you reading a book to someone would convert you into the author of that book. However, should you start to tell the listener what the author meant, you are now presuming to know the mind of the author. Even then, there is nothing wrong with offering your opinion if that is all it is, but if you go further and intimidate your listener with threats; if you go so far as to punish your listener who disagrees with your interpretation of the authors words; well, you have crossed a line. You have put yourself into the author’s shoes.
So, to identify a modern-day Korah, we need to look for someone who will intimidate his or their listeners or readers with threats should they doubt their interpretation of the author’s book. In this case, the author is God and the book is the Bible or the word of God. But the word of God is more than what’s on the printed page. Jesus is called the word of God, and he is Jehovah’s channel of communication. Jesus is the Greater Moses, and anyone who replaces his words with their own is the modern-day Korah, seeking to replace Jesus Christ in the minds and hearts of the flock of God.
Is there a group who claim to have exclusive possession of the spirit of truth? Is there a group who contradicts Jesus’ words? Is there a group that claims to be the Guardians of Doctrine? Is there a group who imposes their own interpretation on Scripture? Does this group excommunicate, expel, or disfellowship anyone who disagrees with their interpretation? Does this group justifying…sorry…does this group justify punishing anyone who disagrees with them by claiming they are God’s channel?
I think we can find parallels to Korah in many religions today. I’m most familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I know that eight men at the top of their ecclesiastical hierarchy claim to have been appointed as God’s channel.
Some may feel that they can interpret the Bible on their own. However, Jesus has appointed the ‘faithful slave’ to be the only channel for dispensing spiritual food. Since 1919, the glorified Jesus Christ has been using that slave to help his followers understand God’s own Book and heed its directives. By obeying the instructions found in the Bible, we promote cleanness, peace, and unity in the congregation. Each one of us does well to ask himself, ‘Am I loyal to the channel that Jesus is using today?’
(w16 November p. 16 par. 9)
No slave is called “faithful and discreet” until Jesus returns, which he has yet to do. At that time, some slaves will be found faithful, but others will be punished for doing evil. But if Moses was God’s channel of Israel and if Jesus, the Greater Moses, God’s channel to Christians, there is no place for another channel. Any such claim would be an attempt to usurp the authority of the Greater Moses, Jesus. Only a modern-day Korah would attempt to do so. No matter what lip service they pay to being submissive to the Christ, it is what they do that shows their true nature. Jesus said that the evil slave would “beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards”.
Is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the modern-day Korah? Do they “beat [their] fellow slaves”? Consider this direction from the Governing Body back in September 1, 1980 letter to all Circuit and District Overseers (I’ll put a link to the letter in the description of this video).
“Keep in mind that to be disfellowshipped, an apostate does not have to be a promoter of apostate views. As mentioned in paragraph two, page 17 of the August 1, 1980, Watchtower, “The word ‘apostasy’ comes from a Greek term that means ‘a standing away from,’ ‘a falling away, defection,’ ‘rebellion, abandonment. Therefore, if a baptized Christian abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave [which means the Governing Body] and persists in believing other doctrine despite Scriptural reproof, then he is apostatizing. Extended, kindly efforts should be put forth to adjust his thinking. However, if, after such extended efforts have been put forth to adjust his thinking, he continues to believe the apostate ideas and rejects what he has been provided through the ‘slave class’, the appropriate judicial action should be taken.
Simply believing things that are contrary to what the Governing Body teaches will result in one’s being disfellowshipped and therefore shunned by family and friends. Since they consider themselves to be God’s channel, disagreeing with them is really disagreeing with Jehovah God himself, in their minds.
They have replaced Jesus Christ, the Greater Moses, in the minds and hearts of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Consider this excerpt from the 2012 September 15 Watchtower page 26, paragraph 14:
Just as anointed Christians do, alert members of the great crowd are sticking close to God’s appointed channel for dispensing spiritual food. (w12 9/15 p. 26 par. 14)
We are to stick close to Jesus, not to a Governing Body of men.
Surely there is ample evidence to show that you can trust the channel that Jehovah has used for nearly a hundred years now to lead us in the way of the truth. (w17 July p. 30)
Ample evidence over the last hundred years that we can trust them? Please!? The Bible tells us not to trust princes in whom no salvation belongs, and for a hundred years we’ve seen how wise those words are.
Do not put your trust in princes Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. (Psalm 146:3)
Instead, we only to trust in our Lord Jesus.
We trust to get saved through the undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus in the same way as those people also. (Acts 15:11)
They have taken the words of men and made them superior to the teachings of Christ. They punish anyone who disagrees with them. They have gone beyond what is written and not remained in the teachings of Jesus.
Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him. For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works. (2 John 9-11)
It must come as a shock to realize that these words apply to the Governing Body and that the Governing Body is, like Korah of old, seeking to sit in the seat of the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ. The question is, what are you going to do about it?