I don’t have time to comment on all the mistakes the Watchtower Society makes in its publications, but every now and then something catches my eye and I cannot, in good conscience, overlook it. People are trapped in this organization believing that it is God who runs it. So, if there is anything that shows that not to be the case, I feel we need to speak up.
The organization often uses Proverbs 4:18 to refer to itself as a way to explain the various errors, false predictions, and misinterpretations they have made. It reads:
“But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.” (Proverbs 4:18 NWT)
Well, they’ve been walking that path for almost 150 years, so the light should be blinding by now. Yet, by the time we are finished with this video, I think you’re going to see that it isn’t verse 18 that applies, but rather the following verse:
“The way of the wicked is like the darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19 NWT)
Yes, by the end of this video, you’ll see evidence that the organization has lost its grasp on one of the fundamental aspects of Christianity.
Let’s begin by examining the Watchtower Study article 38 titled “Draw Close to Your Spiritual Family” from the September 2021 study edition of The Watchtower, which was studied in the congregation during the week of November 22 to 28, 2021.
Let’s start with the title. When the Bible speaks about a Christian family, it isn’t being metaphorical, but literal. Christians are literally children of God and Jehovah is literally their Father. He gives them life, and not just life, but everlasting life. So, Christians can rightly refer to each other as brothers and sisters, because they all share the same Father, and that is the point of this article, and by and large, I have to agree with some of the valid Scriptural points that the article makes.
The article also states in paragraph 5 that, “like an older brother, Jesus teaches us how to respect and obey our Father, how to avoid displeasing Him, and how to gain His approval.”
If this were the first ever article of the Watchtower you ever read, you would draw the conclusion that Jehovah’s Witnesses, the rank and file, that is, consider Jehovah God to be their Father. Having God as their Father makes all of them brothers and sisters, part of one big, happy family. They also view Jesus Christ as an older brother.
Most Witnesses would agree with that assessment of their status with God. Yet, that is not what they have been taught by the Organization. They are taught that instead of being children of God, they are at best, friends of God. Therefore, they cannot legitimately call him Father.
If you ask your average Jehovah’s Witness, he will state that he is a child of God, but at the same time will agree with the Watchtower teaching that the other sheep—a group making up almost 99.7% of all Jehovah’s Witnesses—are only God’s friends, Jehovah’s friends. How can they hold two such contradictory ideas in their mind?
I’m not making this up. This is what the Insight book has to say about the other sheep:
it-1 p. 606 Declare Righteous
In one of Jesus’ illustrations, or parables, relating to the time of his coming in Kingdom glory, persons likened to sheep are designated as “righteous ones.” (Mt 25:31-46) It is notable, however, that in this illustration these “righteous ones” are presented as separate and distinct from those whom Christ calls “my brothers.” (Mt 25:34, 37, 40, 46; compare Heb 2:10, 11.) Because these sheeplike ones render assistance to Christ’s spiritual “brothers,” thus demonstrating faith in Christ himself, they are blessed by God and are called “righteous ones.” Like Abraham, they are accounted, or declared, righteous as friends of God. (Jas 2:23)
So, they are all friends of God. Just one big, happy group of friends. That means God can’t be their Father and Jesus can’t be their brother. You’re all just friends
Some will counter, but can’t they be both children of God and friends of God? Not according to Watchtower doctrine.
“…Jehovah has declared his anointed ones righteous as sons and the other sheep righteous as friends…” (w12 7/15 p. 28 par. 7)
To explain, if you are a child of God—whether God also considers you his friend or not, is irrelevant—if you are a child of God, you get the inheritance which is your due. The fact that according to Watchtower doctrine, Jehovah does not declare the other sheep righteous as his children means they are not his children. Only children get the inheritance.
Remember the parable of the prodigal son? He asked his Father to give him his inheritance which he then took and squandered. If he had only been that man’s friend, there would have been no inheritance to ask for. You see, if the other sheep were both friends and children, then the Father would declare them righteous as his children. (By the way, there is no place in Scripture where we find God declaring Christians righteous as his friends. The Governing Body has just made that up, created a teaching out of thin air, much like they did with the overlapping generation.
There is one scripture at James 2:23 where we see Abraham being declared righteous as God’s friend, but that was before Jesus Christ gave his life to bring us back into God’s family. That is why you never read of Abraham calling Jehovah “Abba Father.” Jesus came and opened the way for us to become adopted children.
“However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith in his name. 13 And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.” (John 1:12, 13)
Notice it says, “to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children”. It doesn’t say to the first 144,000 who received him, does it? This isn’t a first- come-first-served sale. The first 144,000 shoppers will get a coupon for one free eternal life.
Now why would the organization teach something that contradicts its own doctrine? Just a year ago, there was another Watchtower Study article contradicting the whole idea of family. In the April 2020 issue, Study Article 17, we are treated to this title: “I Have Called You Friends”. That’s Jesus speaking to his disciples. That isn’t Jehovah speaking to us. Then we get this box titled: “Friendship With Jesus Leads to Friendship With Jehovah”. Really? Where does the Bible say that? It doesn’t. They’ve made it up. If you compare the two articles, you’ll notice that the current one from September of this year is full of Scriptural references to back up the teaching that Christians are God’s children and so it should, because they are. However, the April 2020 makes a lot of assumptions, but provides no Scriptures to support the idea that Christians are God’s friends.
At the beginning of this video, I told you that we’d see evidence that the organization has lost its grasp on one of the fundamental aspects of Christianity. We’re going to see that now.
In the April 2020 article about friendship with God, they actually make this stunning statement: “We must attach neither too much nor too little importance to our love for Jesus.—John 16:27.”
In typical fashion, they have attached a Bible reference to this statement hoping the reader will assume it provides scriptural support for what they claim and in typical fashion, it does not. Not even close.
“For the Father himself has affection for you, because you have had affection for me and have believed that I came as God’s representative.” (John 16:27)
Nothing there cautioning the Christian about having too much love for Jesus.
Why do I say this is a stunning statement? Because I’m stunned by how far they have fallen from the truth. Because I cannot believe they have so lost touch with the basic foundation of Christianity, which is love, so as to think that it should be regulated, limited, restricted in any way. The Bible tells us quite the opposite:
“On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, 23)
What does it mean to say that against such things there is no law? It means there are no restrictions, no limits, no rules governing these things. Since love is the first one mentioned, it means we can’t put a limit on it. This love is Christian love, agape love. There are four words for love in Greek. One for the love that is defined by passion. Another for the instinctive love one has for family. Yet another for the love of friendship. Those all have a limit. Too much of any of those could be a bad thing. But for the love we have for Jesus, agape love, there is no limit. To state otherwise, as the article in the April 2020 Watchtower does, is to contradict the law of God. To go beyond what is written. To impose a rule where God says there is to be none.
The identifying mark of true Christianity is love. Jesus himself tells us that at John 13:34, 35, a scripture we all know well. This statement from a Watchtower reviewed by all the Governing Body members—because they tell us they review all the study articles—indicates they’ve lost their sense of what Christian love is. Truly, they are walking in darkness and stumbling over things they cannot see.
Just to show the dismal level of Bible understanding present in those who presume to be God’s channel, have a look at this illustration from paragraph 6 of article 38 from the September 2021 Watchtower.
Do you see the problem? The angel has wings! What? Does their Bible research extend to mythology? Are they studying renaissance art for their illustrations? Angels don’t have wings. Not literally. The cherubs on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant had wings, but that was a carving. There are living creatures that appear in some visions with wings, but those use highly symbolic imagery to convey ideas. They aren’t meant to be taken literally. If you run a search on the word angel in the Bible and scan through all the references, you will not find one where an angel wearing a pair of wings physically visited a human. When angels appeared to Abraham and Lot, they were called “men.” There was no mention of wings. When Daniel was visited by Gabriel and others, he describes them as men. When Mary was told she would conceive a son, she saw a man. In none of the angelic visitations that faithful men and women received are we told the messengers were winged. Why would they be? Like Jesus who appeared inside a locked room, these messengers can slip in and out of our reality.
This winged angel illustration is so silly that it is an embarrassment. It misrepresents the Bible and provides more grist for the mill of those who only seek to discredit God’s word. What are we to think? That the angel came swooping down from the sky to make a landing near our Lord? You’d think the flapping of those enormous wings would have woken up the disciples sleeping nearby. You know they claim to be faithful and discreet. Another word for discreet is wise. Wisdom is the practical application of knowledge, but if you don’t have real Bible knowledge, it’s hard to be wise.
You’ve heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you want to understand the abysmal level of scholarship at JW headquarters, I give you this.
Now, what can we take away from all this? Jesus said, “A student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” (Luke 6:40 NIV). In other words, a student is no better than his teacher. If you read the Bible, then your teacher is God and your Lord Jesus, and you will be rising forever in knowledge. However, if your teacher is the Watchtower and the other publications of the organization. Hmm, that reminds me of something Jesus said:
“For whoever has, more will be given him, and he will be made to abound; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” (Matthew 13:12)
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