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Hello, the title of this video is “Jehovah’s Witnesses Say it is wrong to Worship Jesus, but Are Happy to Worship Men”. I’m sure that I’m going to get comments from disgruntled Jehovah’s Witnesses accusing me of misrepresenting them. They will claim they do not worship men; they will claim that they are the only ones on earth who worship the true God, Jehovah. Next, they will criticize me for suggesting that worshiping Jesus is a scripturally correct part of true worship. They might even quote Matthew 4:10 which shows Jesus telling the devil, “Go away, Satan! For it is written, “It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” New World Translation

Fine, I have made the accusation and I have done so publicly. So now I need to back it up with Scripture.

Let’s start by clearing away some potential misunderstandings. If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, what do you understand the word “worship” to mean? Think about that for a moment. You claim to worship Jehovah God, but how exactly do you do that? If someone were to come up to you on the street and ask, what do I have to do to worship God, how would you answer?

I have found that to be a very challenging question to ask, not only of a Jehovah’s Witness, but of any member of any other religious faith. Everybody thinks they know what it means to worship God, but when you ask them to explain it, to put it into words, there is often a long silence.

Of course, what you and I think worship to mean is irrelevant. What counts is what God means when he says that we must worship only him. The best way to find out what God thinks on the question of worship is to read His inspired word. Would it surprise you to learn that there are four Greek words that are translated “worship” in the Bible? Four words to translate the one English word. It seems like our English word, worship, is carrying a heavy load.

Now this is going to get a little technical, but I’m going to ask you to bear with me because the subject is not academic. If I am right in saying that Jehovah’s Witnesses are worshiping men, then we are talking about an action that could bring about the condemnation of God. In other words, we’re talking about a subject that is a matter of life and death. So, it deserves our fullest attention.

By the way, even though I’m focusing on Jehovah’s Witnesses, I think that by the end of this video you’ll come to see that they’re not the only religious people who are worshiping men. Let us begin:

The first Greek word used for “worship” that we are going to consider is Thréskeia.

Strong’s Concordance gives the short definition of this term as “ritual worship, religion”. The fuller definition it provides is: “(underlying sense: reverence or worship of the gods), worship as expressed in ritual acts, religion.” NAS Exhaustive Concordance simply defines it as “religion”. This Greek word Thréskeia occurs only four times in Scripture. The New American Standard Bible only renders it as “worship” once, and the other three times as “religion”. However, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible of Jehovah’s Witnesses, renders it as “worship” or “form of worship” in each instance. Here are the texts where it appears in the NWT:

“who were previously acquainted with me, if they would be willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our form of worship [thréskeia], I lived as a Pharisee.” (Acts 26:5)

“Let no man deprive you of the prize who takes delight in a false humility and a form of worship [thréskeia] of the angels, “taking his stand on” the things he has seen.” (Col 2:18)

“If any man thinks he is a worshipper [thréskos] of God but does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he is deceiving his own heart, and his worship [thréskeia] is futile. The form of worship [thréskeia] that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.” (James 1:26, 27)

By rendering thréskeia as “form of worship”, the Witnesses’ Bible conveys the idea of formalized or ritualistic worship; i.e., worship prescribed by following a set of rules and/or traditions. This is the form of worship or religion practiced in houses of worship, like Kingdom halls, temples, mosques, synagogues and traditional churches. It is noteworthy that each time this word is used in the Bible, it carries a strongly negative connotation. Therefore…

If you are a Catholic, your worship is thréskeia.

If you are a Protestant, your worship is thréskeia.

If you are a Seventh Day Adventist, your worship is thréskeia.

If you are a Mormon, your worship is thréskeia.

If you are a Jew, your worship is thréskeia.

If you are a Moslem, your worship is thréskeia.

and yes, most definitely,

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your worship is thréskeia.

Why does the Bible cast thréskeia in a negative light? Could it be because this is paint-by-numbers worship? Worship that obeys the rules of men rather than the guiding principles of our Lord the Christ? To illustrate, if you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and you go to all the meetings regularly and go out in field service weekly, putting in at least 10 hours a month in the preaching work, and if you donate your money to support the worldwide work, then you are “worshipping Jehovah God” in an acceptable manner, according to the rules of the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society—thréskeia.

This is nonsense, of course. When James says that the thréskeia which is “clean and undefiled from God’s viewpoint is to take care of orphans and widows,” he’s being ironic. There is no ritualism involved in that. Just love. Essentially, he is saying mockingly, “Oh, you think your religion is acceptable to God, do you? If there were a religion that God accepts, it would be one that cares for the needy and doesn’t follow the way of the world.”

Thréskeia (adjective): Religion, ritualized and formal

So, we can say that thréskeia is the word of Formalized or Ritualized Worship, or to put it another way, Organized Religion. To me, organized religion is a tautology, like saying “evening sunset”, “frozen ice” or “tuna fish.” All religion is organized. The problem with religion is that it is always men who do the organizing, so you end up doing things the way men tell you to do then or else you’ll suffer some punishment.

The next Greek word we’ll look at is:

Sebó (verb): reverence and devotion

 It appears ten times in the Christian Scriptures—once in Matthew, once in Mark, and the remaining eight times in the book of Acts. It is the second of four distinct Greek words which modern Bible translations render “worship”. According to Strong’s Concordance, sebó can be used for reverence, adoration, or worship. Here are some examples of its usage:

“It is in vain that they keep worshipping [sebó] me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’”” (Matthew 15:9 NWT)

“One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper [sebó] of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” (Acts 16:14 ESV)

“This man is persuading people to worship [sebó] God contrary to the law.” (Acts 18:13 ESV)

For your convenience, I’m providing all these references in the description field of the video you’re watching should you wish to paste them into a Bible search engine, like biblegateway.com so as to see how other translations render sebó. [References to sebó in Greek: Mt 15:9; Mark 7:7; Acts 13:43,50; 16:14; 17:4,17; 18:7,13; 29:27]

While sebó is a verb, it doesn’t really depict any action. In fact, in none of the ten occurrences of the use of sebó is it possible to deduce exactly how the individuals mentioned are engaging in sebó, in reverential worship or adoration of God. Remember, this term is not describing a ritualistic or formalistic process of worship. The definition from Strong’s does not indicate action either. To reverence God and to adore God both speak about a feeling or an attitude about God or towards God. I can sit in my living room and adore God without actually doing anything. Of course, it can be argued that true adoration of God, or of anyone for that matter, must eventually manifest itself in some form of action, but what form that action should take is not specified in any of these verses.

A number of Bible translations render sebó as “devout”. Again, that speaks of a mental disposition more than any specific action and this is an important distinction to keep it mind.

A person who is devout, who reveres God, whose love of God reaches the level of adoration, is a person who is recognizable as godly. His worship characterizes his life. He talks the talk and walks the walk. His fervent desire is to be like his God. So, everything he does in life is guided by the self-examining thought, “Would this please my God?”

In short, his worship isn’t about performing a ritual of any kind as prescribed by men in methodical worship. His worship is his very way of life.

Nevertheless, the capacity for self-delusion that is part of the fallen flesh requires us to be careful. In past centuries, when devout (sebó) Christians burned a fellow worshipper at the stake, they thought they were rendering sacred service or reverential service to God. Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses think they are worshipping God (sebó) when they shun a fellow believer because he or she speaks out against some transgression committed by the Governing Body, like their hypocritical 10-year affiliation with the United Nations Organization or their mishandling of thousands of child sexual abuse cases.

Likewise, it is possible to render sebó (reverent, adoring devotion or worship) to the wrong God. Jesus condemned the sebó of the scribes, Pharisees and priests, because they taught commands of men as coming from God. Jesus said, “They worship [sebó] me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.” Matthew (15:9 BSB) Thus, they misrepresented God and failed to imitate him. The God they were imitating was Satan and Jesus told them so:

”You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, refusing to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44, BSB)

Now we come to the third Greek word rendered “worship” in the Bible.

Thréskeia (adjective): Religion, ritualized and formal

Sebó (verb): reverence and devotion

Latreuó (verb): sacred service

Strong’s Concordance gives us:

Latreuó

Definition: to serve

Usage: I serve, especially God, perhaps simply: I worship.

Some translations will render it “worship”. For instance:

“But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship [latreuó] me in this place.’” (Acts 7:7 NIV)

“But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship [latreuó] of the sun, moon and stars. (Acts 7:42 NIV)

However, the New World translation prefers to render latreuó as “sacred service” which brings us back to Jesus’ encounter with the Devil that we discussed at the beginning of this video:

“Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service [latreuó].’” (Mt 4:10 NWT)

Jesus links worship of God with service to God.

But what about the first part of that rebuke when Jesus said, “It is Jehovah your God you must worship” (Matthew 4:10 NWT)?

That word isn’t Thréskeia, nor sebó, nor latreuó.  This is the fourth Greek word translated as worship in English Bibles and it is the one upon which the title of this video is based.  This is the worship that we should render to Jesus, and it is the worship that Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to render. This is the worship that Witnesses render to men. Ironically, most other religions in Christendom while claiming to render this worship to Jesus also fail to do so and instead worship men.  This word in Greek is proskuneó.

According to Strong’s Concordance:

Proskuneó means:

Definition: to do reverence to

Usage: I go down on my knees to do obeisance to, worship.

Proskuneó is a compound word.

HELPS Word-studies states that it comes from “prós, “towards” and kyneo, “to kiss“. It refers to the action of kissing the ground when prostrating before a superior; to worship, ready “to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one’s knees” (DNTT); to “do obeisance” (BAGD)”

Sometimes the New World Translation renders it as “worship” and sometimes as “obeisance”. This is really a distinction without a difference. For example, when Peter entered the home of Cornelius, the first Gentile Christian, we read: “As Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet and did obeisance [proskuneó] to him. But Peter lifted him up, saying: “Rise; I myself am also a man.” (Acts 10:25, 26)

Most Bibles render this as “worshipped him”. For instance, the New American Standard Bible gives us: “As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.”

It is worthy of note for the serious Bible student that a very similar circumstance and wording occurs in Revelation where the apostle John says:

“At that I fell down before his feet to worship [proskuneó] him. But he tells me: “Be careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who have the work of witnessing to Jesus. Worship [proskuneó] God; for the bearing witness to Jesus is what inspires prophesying.”” (Revelation 19:10, NWT)

Here, the New World Translation uses “worship” instead of “do obeisance” for the same word, proskuneó. Why is Cornelius shown as doing obeisance, while John is shown as worshipping when the same Greek word is used in both places and the circumstances are virtually identical.

At Hebrews 1:6 we read in the New World Translation:

“But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.”” (Hebrews 1:6)

Yet in virtually every other Bible translation we read that the angels worship him.

Why does the New World translation use “obeisance” instead of “worship” in these instances? As a former elder in the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I can state without any doubt that this is to create an artificial distinction based on religious bias. To Jehovah’s Witnesses, you can worship God, but you can’t worship Jesus. Perhaps they did this originally to counter the influence of trinitarianism. They have even gone so far as to demote Jesus to the status of an angel, albeit the archangel Michael. Now to be clear, I don’t believe in the Trinity. Nevertheless, worshipping Jesus, as we shall see, does not require us to accept that God is a Trinity.

Religious bias is a very powerful impediment to accurate Bible understanding, so before proceeding further, let us get a good grasp of what the word proskuneó really means.

You will remember the account of the windstorm when Jesus came to his disciples in their fishing boat walking on water, and Peter asked to do the same, but then began to doubt and sink. The account reads:

“Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?” And when they had climbed back into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him (proskuneó,) saying, “Truly You are the Son of God!”” (Matthew 14:31-33 BSB)

Why does the New World Translation choose to render, proskuneó, in this account as “do obeisance” when in other places it renders it as worship? Why do almost all translations follow the Berean Study Bible in saying that the disciples worshipped Jesus in this instance? To answer that, we need to realize what the word proskuneó meant to Greek speakers in the ancient world.

Proskuneó literally means to “bow down and kiss the earth.” Given that, what image comes to your mind as you read this passage. Did the disciples just give the Lord a hearty thumbs up? “That was pretty nifty Lord, what you did back there, walking on water and calming the storm. Cool. Koodos to you!”

No! They were so overawed by this awesome display of power, seeing that the elements themselves were subject to Jesus—the storm abating, the water supporting him—that they fell to their knees and bowed before him. They kissed the ground, so to speak. This was an act of total submission. Proskuneó is a word that implies total submission. Total submission implies total obedience. Yet, when Cornelius did the same thing before Peter, the apostle told him not to do that. He was just a man like Cornelius. And when John bowed down to kiss the earth before the angel, the angel told him not to do that. Even though he was a righteous angel, he was just a fellow servant. He didn’t deserve John’s obedience. Yet, when the disciples bowed down and kissed the earth before Jesus, Jesus didn’t rebuke them and didn’t  tell them not to do that. Hebrews 1:6 tells us that the angels will also bow down and kiss the earth before Jesus, and again, they do that correctly at the decree of God.

Now if I were to tell you to do something, would you obey me unquestioningly without reservation? You better not. Why not? Because I’m just a human like you. But what if an angel were to appear and tell you to do something? Would you obey the angel unconditionally and without question? Again, you had better not. Paul told the Galatians that even if “an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8 NWT)

Now ask yourself, when Jesus returns, will you willingly obey everything he tells you to do without question nor reservation? Do you see the difference?

When Jesus was resurrected, he told his disciples that “all authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” (Matthew 28:18 NWT)

Who gave him all authority? Our Heavenly Father, obviously. So, if Jesus tells us to do something, it is as if our Heavenly Father himself were telling us. There is no difference, right? But if a man tells you to do something claiming that God told him to tell you, that is different, then you would still have to check with God, wouldn’t you?

“If anyone desires to do His will, he will know concerning the teaching whether it is from God or I speak of my own originality. He that speaks of his own originality is seeking his own glory; but he that seeks the glory of him that sent him, this one is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” (John 7:17, 18 NWT)

Jesus also tells us:

“Most truly I say to YOU, The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NWT)

So, would you worship Jesus? Would you proskuneó Jesus? That is to say, would you give your full submission to him? Remember, proskuneó is the Greek word for worship that implies full submission. If Jesus appeared before you in this instant, what would you do? Slap him on the back and say, “Welcome back, Lord. Good to see you. What took you so long?” No! The first thing we must do is to fall to our knees, bow to the earth to show that we are willing to totally submit to him. That is what it means to truly worship Jesus. By worshiping Jesus, we worship Jehovah, the Father, because we are submitting to his arrangement. He has put the Son in charge and he told us, three times no less, “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5 NWT)

Remember when you were a child and were acting disobediently? Your parent would say, “You’re not listening to me. Listen to me!” And then they’d tell you to do something and you knew you had better do it.

Our Heavenly Father, the only true God has told us: “This is my Son…listen to him!”

We had better listen. We had better submit. We had better proskuneó, worship our Lord, Jesus.

This is where people get mixed up.  They can’t resolve how it can be possible to worship both Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. The Bible says you cannot serve two masters, so wouldn’t worshipping Jesus and Jehovah be like trying to serve two masters?  Jesus told the Devil to only worship [proskuneó] God, so how could he accept worship himself.  A Trinitarian will get around this by saying that it works because Jesus is God. Really? Then why doesn’t the Bible tell us to worship the holy spirit as well?  No, there is a much simpler explanation. When God tells us not to worship any other gods except him, who decides what it means to worship God?  The worshipper?  No, God decides how he is to be worshipped.  What the Father expects from us is total submission.  Now, if I agree to totally submit to my Heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and he then tells me to totally submit to his Son, Jesus Christ, am I going to say, “Sorry, God. Can’t do that.  I’m only going to submit to you?”  Can we see how ridiculous such a stance would be?  Jehovah is saying, “I want you to submit to me through my Son. To obey him is to obey me.”

And we are saying, “Sorry, Jehovah, I can only obey commands you give me directly.  I accept no mediator between you and me.”

Remember that Jesus does nothing of his own initiative, so to obey Jesus is to obey the Father.  That is why Jesus is called “the Word of God”. You may recall Hebrews 1:6 that we read twice so far. Where it says the Father will bring his first born and all the angels will worship him. So who is bringing who? The Father is bringing the son. Who is telling the angels to worship the Son? The Father. And there you have it.

People will still ask, “But then to whom do I pray?”  First of all, prayer isn’t proskuneó.  Prayer is where you get to talk to God.  Now Jesus came to make it possible for you to call Jehovah your Father.  Before him, that was not possible. Before him, we were orphans. Given that you are now an adopted child of God, why wouldn’t you want to talk to your father?  “Abba, Father.” You want to talk to Jesus too. Okay, no one is stopping you.  Why make it into an either/or thing?

Now that we’ve established what it means to worship God and Christ, let’s deal with the other part of the video title; the part where I said that Jehovah’s Witnesses are actually worshipping men.  They think they are worshipping Jehovah God, but in fact, they are not. They are worshipping men.  But let’s not restrict that to just Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most members of organized religion will claim to be worshipping Jesus, but are also, in fact, worshipping men.

Remember the man of God who was deceived by an old prophet in 1 Kings 13:18, 19? The old prophet lied to the man of God who came from Judah and who was told by God not to eat or drink with anyone and go home by another route. The false prophet said:

“At this he said to him: “I too am a prophet like you, and an angel told me by the word of Jehovah, ‘Have him come back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He deceived him.) So he went back with him to eat bread and drink water in his house.” (1 Kings 13:18, 19 NWT)

Jehovah God punished him for his disobedience.  He obeyed or submitted to a man rather than to God.  In that instance, he worshipped [proskuneó] a man because that is what the word means.  He suffered the consequences.

Jehovah God doesn’t speak to us as he did to the prophet in 1 Kings. Instead, Jehovah speaks to us through the Bible. He speaks to us through his Son, Jesus, whose words and teachings are recorded in Scripture. We are like that “man of God” in 1 Kings. God tells us which path to follow. He does this through his word the Bible which we all have and can all read for ourselves.

So, if a man claims to be a prophet—be he a member of the Governing Body, or a TV evangelist, or the Pope in Rome—if that man tells us that God speaks to him and he then tells us to take a different path home, a path different than the one laid out by God in Scripture, then we must disobey that man. If we don’t , if we obey that man, we are worshipping him. We are bowing down and kissing the earth before him because we are submitting to him rather than submitting to Jehovah God. This is very dangerous.

Men lie. Men speak of their own originality, seeking their own glory, not the glory of God.

Sadly, my former associates in the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not obedient to this commandment. If you disagree, try a little experiment. Ask them if there was something in the Bible telling them to do one thing, but the Governing Body told them to do something else, which would they obey? You’ll be surprised at the answer.

An elder from another country who had served for over 20 years told me about an elders’ school he had attended where one of the instructors had come down from Brooklyn. This prominent man held up a Bible with a black cover and told the class, “If the Governing Body were to tell me that the cover of this Bible is blue, then it is blue.”  I have had similar experiences myself.

I understand that it can be hard to comprehend some Bible passages and so the average Jehovah’s Witness will trust the men in charge, but there are some things that are not hard to understand. Something happened in 2012 that should have shocked all Jehovah’s Witnesses, because they claim to be in the truth and they claim to worship [proskuneó, submit to] Jehovah God.

It was in that year that the Governing Body presumptuously took upon itself the designation of the “faithful and discreet slave,” and demanded all Jehovah’s Witnesses to submit to their interpretation of Scripture. They have referred to themselves publicly as the “Guardians of Doctrine.” (Google it if you doubt me.) Who appointed them Guardians of Doctrine. Jesus said that he that “speaks of his own originality is seeking his own glory…” (John 7:18, NWT)

Throughout the history of the Organization, the “anointed” were considered to be the faithful and discreet slave, but when, in 2012, the Governing Body took that mantle upon themselves, there was hardly a whisper of protest from the flock. Amazing!

Those men now claim to be God’s channel of communication. They audaciously claim to be substitutes for Christ as we see in their 2017 version of the NWT at 2 Cor 2: 20.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us. As substitutes for Christ, we beg: “Become reconciled to God.””

The word “substituting” does not occur in the original text. It has been inserted by the New World Translation committee.

As acting substitutes for Jesus Christ, they expect Jehovah’s Witnesses to obey them unconditionally. For example, listen to this excerpt from The Watchtower:

“When “the Assyrian” attacks…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 par. 17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today)

They view themselves as a collective Moses. When anyone disagrees with them, they consider that person to be a modern-day Korah, who opposed Moses. But these men are not the modern equivalent to Moses. Jesus is the greater Moses and anyone who expects men to follow them instead of following Jesus is sitting in the seat of Moses.

Jehovah’s Witnesses now believe that these men of the Governing Body are the key to their salvation.

These men claim to be kings and priests whom Jesus has chosen and remind Jehovah’s Witnesses that they “should never forget that their salvation depends on their active support of Christ’s anointed “brothers” still on earth. (w12 3/15 p. 20 par. 2)

But Jehovah God tells us:

“Put not your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.” (Psalm 146:3 BSB)

No man, no group of men, no Pope, no Cardinal, no Arch Bishop, no TV Evangelist, nor Governing Body serves as the cornerstone of our salvation. Only Jesus Christ fills that role.

“This is ‘the stone that was treated by you builders as of no account that has become the chief cornerstone.’  Furthermore, there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.”” (Acts 4:11, 12)

Frankly, I’m shocked that my former Jehovah’s Witness friends have so easily slipped into the worship of men. I’m talking men and women whom I have known for decades. Mature and intelligent individuals. Yet, they are no different from the Corinthians that Paul rebuked when he wrote:

“For YOU gladly put up with the unreasonable persons, seeing YOU are reasonable. In fact, YOU put up with whoever enslaves YOU, whoever devours [what YOU have], whoever grabs [what YOU have], whoever exalts himself over [YOU], whoever strikes YOU in the face.” (2 Corinthians 11:19, 20, NWT)

Where did the sound reasoning of my former friends go?

Let me paraphrase Paul’s words to the Corinthians, speaking to my dear friends:

Why do you gladly put up with unreasonable people?  Why do you put up with a Governing Body that enslaves you by demanding strict obedience to every dictate of theirs, telling you what holidays you can and cannot celebrate, what medical treatments you can and cannot accept, what entertainment you can and cannot listen to? Why do you put up with a Governing Body that devours what you have by selling your hard won kingdom hall property right out from under your feet? Why do you put up with a Governing Body that grabs what you have, by taking all the excess funds from your congregation account?  Why do you adore men who exalt themselves over you? Why do you put up with men who strike you in the face, by demanding you turn your back on your own children who decide they no longer want to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses? Men who use the threat of disfellowshipping as a weapon to get you to bow down to them and submit.

The Governing Body claims to be the faithful and discreet slave, but what makes that slave faithful and discreet?  The slave cannot be faithful if he teaches falsehoods.  He cannot be discreet if he arrogantly proclaims himself to be faithful and discreet instead of waiting for his master to do so upon his return. From what you know of the historical and current actions of the Governing Body, do you think that Matthew 24:45-47 is an accurate description of them, the faithful and discreet slave, or would the next verses fit better?

“But if ever that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and he starts to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his place with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.” (Matthew 24:48-51 NWT)

The Governing Body is quick to label anyone who disagrees with them as a poisonous apostate. Like a magician who distracts you with a hand movement here, while his other hand is doing the trick, they say, “Watch out for opposers and apostates. Don’t even listen to them for fear they will seduce you with smooth words.”

But just who is doing the actual seducing? The Bible says:

“Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. He is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god. Do YOU not remember that, while I was yet with YOU, I used to tell YOU these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-5) NWT

Now if you think I’m targeting only Jehovah’s Witnesses, you are wrong. If you’re a Catholic, or Mormon, or an evangelist, or any other Christian faith, and you are content in the belief that you are worshiping Jesus, I ask you to take a hard look at your form of worship. Do you pray to Jesus? Do you praise Jesus? Do you preach Jesus? That is all well and good, but that’s not worship. Remember what the word means. To bow down and kiss the earth; in other words, to fully submit to Jesus. If your church tells you it’s okay to bow down before a statute and pray to that statute, that idol, do you obey your church? Because the Bible tells us to flee from idolatry in all its forms. That’s Jesus talking. Does your church tell you to get fully involved in politics? Because Jesus tells us to be no part of the world. Does your church tell you it’s okay to take up arms and kill fellow Christians who happen to be on the other side of the border? Because Jesus tells us to love our brothers and sisters and those living by the sword will die by the sword.

Worshiping Jesus, unconditional obedience to him, is hard, because it puts us at odds with the world, even the world that calls itself Christian.

The Bible tells us that there will soon come a time in which the crimes of the church will be judged by God. Just like he destroyed his former nation, Israel in the time of Christ, because of their apostasy, he will likewise destroy religion. I don’t say false religion because that would be a tautology. Religion is a formalized or ritualized form of worship imposed by men and therefore is by its nature false. And it’s different from worship. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman that neither in Jerusalem at the temple, nor on the mountain where the Samaritans worshipped would God accept worship. Instead, he was looking for individuals, not an organization, a place, a church, or any other ecclesiastical arrangement. He was looking for people who would worship him in spirit and truth.

That is why Jesus tells us through John in  Revelation to get out of her my people if you do not want to share with her in her sins. (Revelation 18:4,5). Again, like ancient Jerusalem, religion will be destroyed by God for her sins. It’s best for us not to be inside of Babylon the Great when the time comes.

In conclusion, you will recall that proskuneó, worship, in Greek means to kiss the earth before the feet of someone. Will we kiss the earth before Jesus by fully and unconditionally submitting to him no matter the personal cost?

I will leave you with this final thought from Psalm 2:12.

“Kiss the son, that He may not become incensed And YOU may not perish [from] the way, For his anger flares up easily. Happy are all those taking refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:12)

Thank you for your time and your attention.

Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.
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