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?
Dear Eric, thank you for your great interpretation of Korah’s rebellion. GB assumes that attack is the best defense. Every tire and critic JW calls a rebel and likens him to Korah. I have known this translation for many years. GB twistically refers Jesus Christ to Moses and, between the lines and beyond the text, Moses is represented today by GB. This thought is so deeply embedded in the awareness of the members of the organization that it is obvious. When an insightful person realizes this doctrinal deception, he experiences an incredible shock. Erik, your great thought is that Korah… Read more »
A friend recently told me that thr governing body is Moses of our days. So even if it can be denied “they have never exactly said that” it is what they have made the brothers believe
Good morning Eric
A little birdie from Bethel told me something very interesting about kingdom halls worldwide that they are released from the organisation since the organisation owns every Kingdom Hall and assembly hall and branches.
How true that is I cannot really verify but it is interesting in Australia $32 million the organisation made just last year.
What is meant by “they are released from the organization”?
Leased … From the organisation
tonight A program on Australian television will be featuring Jehovah’s Witnesses and their lack of protection of children it’s a very significant blow to the organisation here in Australia.
here is the link: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-13/jehovah-witnesses-child-abuse-four-corners-investigations/100444320
Hope this helps everybody
Good morning Eric, Watchtower 1/5/2005: Who will be resurrected. Paragraph 10: So whether by the earth opening and swallowing them or by fire consuming them as in the case of Korah and the 250 Levites who sided with him, all these rebels ended up in Sheol, or Hades.—Numbers 26:10. paragraph 17 this is what it says concerning the ringleaders—Korah, Dathan, and Abiram: Many who read this will wonder about the situation of those who die during this “time of the end.” (Daniel 8:19) Revelation chapter 6 describes the ride of four horsemen during that time. Interestingly, the last of these… Read more »
Thanks just wondering
That sounds reasonable it made me think of King Nebuchadnezzar if he would’ve continued the way that he thought and did many things then he would not have acknowledged The most high, and now he will be given a chance to see everybody his equal.
Many thanks again
Excellent article as always, Eric. Lots of good lines which I hope I can remember.
By the way, isn’t it interesting that the 1980 letter on dealing with apostates came at just about the same time that Ray Franz and Ed Dunlap were being kicked out of the Organisation ? Also, the current stand on disfellowshipping was being revised for publication on the 1981 Watchtower.
Yes, there are some coincidences which just aren’t
Quand le GB commence par ne plus croire à ce qu’il a écrit lui-même et change de point de vue, il apostasie selon sa propre définition.
Hi Eric, I’m not sure in what year the organization put it out but they have a drama titled, “Respect Jehovah’s Authority” that is based on the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, Abiram. The video has an introduction and post commentary by Samuel Herd in which he equates respecting God’s authority with being loyal, obedient, and submissive to the leadership and direction of the organization. It is a prime example of the repetitive use of the Korah account by the organization to drill into the hearts and minds of witnesses that they are to get in line, sit down, shut up,… Read more »
Hébreux 1:1-2 Après avoir autrefois, à plusieurs reprises et de plusieurs manières, parlé à nos pères par les prophètes, Dieu, dans ces DERNIERS TEMPS NOUS A PARLE PAR LE FILS, qu`il a établi héritier de toutes choses, par lequel il a aussi créé le monde,” Paul n’a jamais prétendu faire partie d’un canal entre Dieu et les hommes. Ce verset ne mentionne même pas l’assemblée chrétienne du 1er siècle comme le canal de Dieu. Depuis le 1er siècle Dieu nous parle par un seul intermédiaire SON FILS. Oui, nous sommes tenus, comme les apôtres, à seulement rapporter les Paroles du… Read more »
Very well said, although it’s doubtful that Paul wrote the Letter to the Hebrews.
Malheureusement, le martelage du GB s’établissant comme canal de Dieu, a raison de raisonnements les plus simples et honnêtes, et empêche les JW de se poser les bonnes questions.
Oui, dans « leur astuce à machiner l’erreur », le GB a pris la place de Christ, en disant :
TG 15 sept 2010
…Les chrétiens, qu’ils soient oints de l’esprit ou non, sont convaincus qu’en suivant les directives du Collège central ILS SUIVENT EN RÉALITÉ CHRIST, LEUR CONDUCTEUR.
Suivre le GB dans ses fluctuations d’enseignement n’est pas la même chose que suivre Christ, « le chemin, la vérité et la vie ».
This “essay” is far too powerful for the average JayDub to accept instantly – It should carry a warning- “This material could lead to Cognitive Dissonance Overload”. Brilliant and so to the point.
Moses was called to serve, by an Angel The greater Moses was sent from his Father in the heavens Supernatural forces at work So may I ask who appointed the Governing body as the latter day Moses ?!? Some other false prophets play that tune – Muhammad – Joseph Smith – David koresh The organisation of Jehovah’s Witnesses steer away from divine intervention How on earth can they be Gods Shepherd of the flock then ? Where’s the Authority ? They use a language of fear and intimidation wrapped up in false doctrine to entrap and abuse their servants Ephesians… Read more »
We’ll be publishing a book before year end (God willing) called “Rutherford’s Coup: The Watch Tower Succession Crisis of 1917 and its Aftermath which proves with an abundance of historical documentation that Rutherford used legal machinations, intimidate, strong arm tactics and slander to cease control of the Organization. So in answer to the question, were supernatural forces at work in the appointment of the Governing Body AKA the Faithful Slave? I can answer in the affirmative. It’s just not the supernatural forces that Witnesses believe were behind it. It as the “other team”.
It has happened just that way, without exception, every time a man or group of men thought they could place themselves above one or more local congregations to give them some sort of direction with any pressure to follow it up, as you mentioned. I did find a good example, despite their belief in the Trinity doctrine. This is a major obstacle as not believing the doctrine, which they also consider a core belief. In it’s constitution, it limits itself as follows (full text is at https://www.firefellowship.org/constitution ): Article 7: Limitations of the Association1. The Association may not interfere with the… Read more »
I’d never heard of this group, thanks for sharing. On your concluding sentence, are you suggesting the IBSA had Jehovah’s backing in the first place? I personally do not believe Jehovah could have backed or supported Russell in any way shape or form given what we know about him.
I’ve only heard rumours, and those involved in the subject matter tend to have their ways of discrediting people.
As far as I’m concerned, I wasn’t there and I cannot judge either way. As far as I know the “official” story, something good was started that got ruined, like it always does when one man starts exercising authority over another.
On the Faith in Action DVD 1, you will actually find a statement to the point that Russell did not want to be known as a leader, maybe as a reason to take the name JW, rather than remaining Bible Students. I don’t fully remember. So irony wills that while they expect the rank and file to have the same thoughts (a twist on 1 Cor 1:10), they cannot keep to the same thought themselves, it seems.
Even before reading the article/watching the video: Yes. In fact, I pointed that out in a very clear manner to the Judicial Committee, and didn’t go back on my words at the appeal hearing. No wonder I was DFed. What else could the outcome be, unless the elders had done what they are actually there for? If you pay close attention to Moses’ response to Korah, you’ll see the problem on Korah’s side: he wanted to have an equal share with Moses in being the one Jehovah spoke through. The GB does the same, but takes it a step further.… Read more »