Hello everyone and welcome to the Beroean Pickets channel!

I’m going to show you a picture from the April 2013 Watchtower Study article. Something is missing from the image. Something very important. See if you can pick it out.

Do you see it? Where’s Jesus? Our Lord is missing from the picture. At the top, we see Jehovah God, represented from Ezekiel’s vision, what the Organization wrongly refers to as Jehovah’s chariot. We also see winged angels. Directly under Jehovah God, we see the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But where is Jesus Christ? Where is the head of the Christian Congregation? Why isn’t he depicted here?

This picture appeared on page 29 in the final study article of the April 2013 Watchtower. Millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world saw it while studying that article. Was a cry of protest raised? Did Witnesses even notice or realize that the Governing Body replaced Jesus in this picture? Apparently not. How was that possible? How did the Governing Body manage to replace Jesus Christ without so much as a whisper of concern from even the common congregation publisher?

This was not always the case. Back in the early 1970s when the Governing Body, as we now know it, was first formed, this was the organizational chart that was published in the Watchtower:

Jesus is clearly depicted in this chart as the head of the Christian congregation. So, what happened in the next thirty years to blind the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses to such a point that they’d allow men to replace Jesus Christ as their ruler?

If you are familiar with the technique known as gaslighting, you know that it has to be done slowly and incrementally. One element that the leaders of the Organization use is to convince Witnesses that they alone have unearthed the “hidden treasures of God’s word”. They are therefore indoctrinated to believe they need look nowhere else for Bible knowledge. For instance, take this excerpt from the December 15, 2002, Watchtower:

“Many scholars in Christendom have produced extensive commentaries on the Bible. Such reference works may explain historical background, the meaning of Hebrew and Greek words, and more. With all of their learning, have such scholars really found “the very knowledge of God”? Well, do they clearly understand the theme of the Bible—the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty by means of his heavenly Kingdom? Do they know that Jehovah God is not part of a Trinity? We do have an accurate understanding of such matters. Why? Jehovah has blessed us with insight into spiritual truths that escapes many “wise and intellectual ones.” (w02 12/15 p. 14 par. 7)

The writers of the article claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses have an accurate understanding of the Bible and give two examples: 1) God is not a Trinity, and 2) the Bible’s theme is the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty. We know 1 is true. There is no Trinity. So, 2 must also be true. The Bible’s theme is the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty.

But number 2 is not true, as we’ll see in a moment. Still, what does it matter? How can the men of the Governing Body turn what seems like a purely academic concept into the means to control the lives of millions of Christians and get them to trust in men over our Lord Jesus?

Full disclaimer here: I was an elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses for some 40 years, and I believed that the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty was the theme of the Bible. It just seemed logical to me. After all, isn’t God’s sovereignty important? Shouldn’t his right to rule be vindicated?

But here’s the thing: Just because something seems logical to you and me doesn’t make it true, does it? I never stopped to think about that. More important, I never checked the Bible to see if the Watchtower’s claim was true. And so, I never realized the danger in naively accepting what they were teaching as true. But I do now, and you’ll see just why JW leaders promote this false doctrine and how they’ve used it to exploit their flock.

The purpose of this video is to expose in detail how the leaders of the Organization have used a made-up Bible theme to gaslight Jehovah’s Witnesses into obeying and being loyal to men instead of God.

Let’s start with the one thing I should have done way back when I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Check the Bible for proof!

But where do we start? How can we disprove the Watchtower’s claim that the Bible is all about the vindication of God’s sovereignty. Do we have to read the entire Bible to figure that out? No, we don’t. In fact, the Watch Tower Society has provided us with a marvelous tool that makes our job very easy. It’s a great little app called the Watchtower Library program.

And just how is that program going to help? Well, think about this. If I wrote a book called, How to Improve Your Tennis Game, wouldn’t you expect to find the word “tennis” repeated many times in the book? I mean, wouldn’t it be bizarre to read a book about tennis that never used the word “tennis” anywhere in its pages? So, if the theme of the Bible is all about the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty, you’d naturally expect the word “sovereignty” to be found throughout its pages, right?

So, let’s check that out. Using the superb search engine that comes with the Watchtower Library app, we’ll search for the key words that the Watch Tower alleges is the Bible’s core theme. To do that, we’ll use the wildcard character (*) to catch all verb tenses of “to vindicate” plus the noun “vindication” as well as the word “sovereignty”. Here are the results:

As you can see, there are about a thousand hits in Watch Tower publications. We would expect that to be the case since the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty is a theme that is central to the Organization’s dogma. But if it were truly the Bible’s theme, we’d expect to find many occurrences of those words in the Holy Scriptures themselves. Yet, you’ll notice that the Bible does not appear in the list of publications, meaning that there is not a single occurrence of that key phrase in the Bible. Not a single mention!

What happens if we do a search on just the word “sovereignty”? That should appear, right?

Here are the results of another search based only on the word “sovereignty” in the New World Translation.

Obviously, sovereignty is a major doctrine in the publications of the Watch Tower Society. The search engine has found over three thousand occurrences of the word. Three thousand!

It also found 18 occurrences in the three Bible versions of the New World Translation that the Organization has included in the Watchtower library.

Expanding the Bible section, we see only 5 occurrences in the NWT Reference Bible, but upon drilling down to each of them, we find that they all occur only in footnotes. The actual Bible text does not contain the word!

I say again, the actual Bible text does not contain the word “sovereignty.” How very odd and disconcerting that it is missing given that it is supposedly the Bible’s theme.

What about the word “vindication”? Again, using the wildcard character we find about two thousand hits in Watch Tower publications, but only 21 in the NWT Bibles, but just as was the case with the word “sovereignty”, every occurrence of the word “vindication” or “vindicate” in the Reference Bible is found in a footnote, not the Bible text.

How remarkable to claim that the Bible’s theme is the vindication of God’s sovereignty when neither of those two words appears in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures even once!

Okay, now you might hear an avid defender of Watch Tower doctrine make the claim that the words don’t have to appear as long as the concept is expressed in Scripture. But let’s think about that for a moment. Isn’t that the very argument that Witnesses dismiss when hearing it from the lips of Trinitarians about the word “trinity” not appearing in the Bible?

So, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is teaching a lie. Why does a person lie? Why did the Devil lie to Eve? Was it not to grasp hold of something to which he had no right? He wanted to be worshipped. He wanted to become a god, and in fact, he is called “the god of this world.” But he is an imposter god.

A lie is more than a simple untruth. A lie is a sin. It means missing the mark of righteousness. A lie causes harm. A liar always has an agenda, something that benefits them.

What is the Governing Body’s agenda? From what we’ve already seen in the opening graphic of this video from the April 2013 Watchtower, it is to replace Jesus Christ as the head of the congregation. It would appear they’ve accomplished their goal, but how did they manage to do it?

In great part, it was done by getting their readers to believe in a false Bible theme, and then to exploit its implications. For instance, they make this astonishing claim from the June 2017 Watchtower article “Keep Your Eyes on the Big Issue”:


6 As stated, the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty is a vital issue involving mankind. It is more important than the personal happiness of any individual. Does that fact undermine the value of our salvation or imply that Jehovah does not really care for us? Not at all. Why not?

(w17 June p. 23 “ Keep Your Eyes on the Big Issue” )

A human ruler, particularly one suffering from pathological narcissism, would put his sovereignty, his rulership, above the welfare of his people, but is that how we are to think of Jehovah God? Such a view does not evoke the image of a loving father doing all he can to save his children, does it?

The type of reasoning we’re seeing from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is fleshly. This is the spirit of the world talking. The apostle John tells us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) John was not only writing under inspiration, but writing from firsthand experience, because he knew God’s Son personally. Of that experience with Jesus, John wrote:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have observed and our hands have felt, concerning the word of life, (yes, the life was made manifest, and we have seen and are bearing witness and reporting to you the everlasting life that was with the Father and was made manifest to us.)” (1 John 1:1, 2)

Jesus is described as “the image of the invisible God,” and “the exact reflection of [the Father’s] glory.” (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3) He was granted all authority in heaven and on earth according to Matthew 28:18. That means he was granted all sovereignty or rulership in heaven and on earth. Yet do we see this perfect reflection of God putting the vindication of his sovereignty above your salvation or mine? Did he die a painful death to vindicate his sovereignty or to save you and me from death?

But Jehovah’s Witnesses are not taught to think that way. Instead, they are indoctrinated into believing that vindicating God’s sovereignty trumps everything else in life, even their personal salvation. This lays the foundation for a works-based religion. Consider these excerpts from the publications, typical of this mindset:

“All members of that organization in heaven and on the earth will exultantly praise Jehovah and will loyally and lovingly work with him for the eternal vindication of his universal sovereignty…” (w85 3/15 p. 20 par. 21 At Unity With the Creator of the Universal Organization)

“The Governing Body appreciates the self-sacrificing spirit of all who make themselves available in ministering to the needs of our worldwide brotherhood.” (km 6/01 p. 5 par. 17 Can You Make Yourself Available?)

To a Jehovah’s Witness, “self-sacrifice” is seen as a desirable quality, one all Christians should have. Yet, like “sovereignty” and “vindication”, it is a term that is completely missing from God’s Holy Word. It does appear, however, over a thousand times in Watch Tower publications.

It’s all part of the plan, you see? Remember, the agenda is to replace Jesus Christ as head of the congregation. Jesus told his followers:

“Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for yourselves. For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Is that what the average Jehovah’s Witness feels? Refreshment in life due to a light, kindly load?

No. Witnesses are taught that by giving self-sacrificing devotion to the work of the Organization they can be saved. To that end, they are led to believe that they are never doing enough. Guilt, rather than love, becomes the driving force in their lives.

“You must work to vindicate Jehovah’s sovereignty. You must sacrifice yourself to do so. That is the way to achieve your salvation.”

Jesus tells us that his load is light and that following him will refresh our souls. But he warned us about men who would not provide light loads and refreshment. These are leaders who would indulge themselves at the expense of others.

“But if ever that slave should say in his heart, ‘My master delays coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female servants and to eat and drink and get drunk…” (Luke 12:45)

How is that beating accomplished in our modern world? Psychologically. When people are downtrodden, made to feel unworthy, they are easier to control. Again, specific terms are pressed into service, repeated over and over. Notice how the New World Translation renders the Greek word charis from which is derived the English word “charity”.

“So the Word became flesh and resided among us, and we had a view of his glory, a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father; and he was full of undeserved kindness and truth…For we all received from out of his fullness, even undeserved kindness upon undeserved kindness.” (John 1:14, 16 NWT)

Now read the same verses from the Berean Standard Bible:

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” (John 1:14, 16 BSB)

How can we illustrate the meaning of charis, God’s grace? And why do we claim that the NWT rendering is exploitive?

Take as an example a poor family on the brink of starvation. You see them in need and moved out of love, you buy them a month’s supply of food. Upon arriving at their door with boxes of supplies, you say, “This is a free gift, and I expect nothing back from you, but just be aware that you don’t deserve my kindness!”

Do you see the point?

A defender of Watch Tower doctrine might counter, “But we don’t deserve God’s love!” Correct, we are sinners and have no right to demand that God love us, but that’s not the point of grace. Our heavenly Father isn’t asking us to focus on what we deserve or don’t deserve, but rather on the fact that he loves us in spite of ourselves and our failings and weaknesses. Remember, “We love, because he first loved us.” (John 4:19)

God’s love doesn’t push us down. It builds us up. Jesus is the perfect image of God. When Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, he described him this way:

“Look! My servant, on whom I keep fast hold! My chosen one, [whom] my soul has approved! I have put my spirit in him. Justice to the nations is what he will bring forth. He will not cry out or raise [his voice], and in the street he will not let his voice be heard. No crushed reed will he break; and as for a dim flaxen wick, he will not extinguish it.” (Isaiah 42:1-3)

God, through Christ, isn’t telling us, “You don’t deserve my love, you don’t deserve my kindness.” Many of us are already crushed by life’s afflictions, our flame is about to go out due to life’s oppressions. Our Father, through Christ, raises us up. He will not crush the broken reed nor extinguish the dim flame of the flaxen wick.

But that doesn’t work for men seeking to exploit their fellow humans. No. Instead, they make their followers feel unworthy and then tell them that by obeying them and doing what they’re told, and working really hard in their service, then Jehovah God will reward their self-sacrificing servitude by giving them a chance at life if they continue to work at it in the New World for the next thousand years.

And now comes the final phase of the plan, the final goal of all this gaslighting. This is how the leadership gets Witnesses to obey men rather than God.

All that’s left is to fully shift the focus from Jehovah God to the Watch Tower Organization. How do you vindicate Jehovah’s sovereignty? By working for the Watch Tower Organization.

Have you noticed in the talks delivered on JW.org how often you hear the phrase “Jehovah and His Organization”? If you doubt how well implanted into the mind of the average witness this phrase has become, ask one of them to fill in the blank: “We should never abandon Jehovah and His ______”. “Son” would be the scripturally correct word to fill in the blank, but I’d wager that they would all reply, “Organization.”

Let’s review their plan:

First, convince people that the issue facing all of humanity as revealed in the Bible is the need to vindicate Jehovah’s sovereignty. This is, as the June 2017 Watchtower expressed, “the Big Issue” (p. 23). Next, get them to feel this is more important to God than their own salvation and make them feel unworthy of God’s love. Then, convince them that they can gain salvation by means of self-sacrifice, working obediently to advance kingdom interests as defined by the Watch Tower publications. This last phase leads seamlessly into putting Jehovah God on the same level with the Governing Body as his one and only channel.

As the New Yorkers say, Badda Bing, Badda Boom, and you have yourself millions of faithful slaves obeying your every command. Am I being unfair to the Governing Body?

Let’s reason on this for a moment by looking back at another governing body of Jesus’ day who presumed to speak for Jehovah to his people. Jesus said, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses.” (Mt 23:2)

What does that mean? According to the Organization: “God’s prophet and channel of communication to the nation of Israel was Moses.” (w3 2/1 p. 15 par. 6)

And today, who sits in the seat of Moses? Peter preached that Jesus was a greater prophet than Moses, one whom Moses himself foretold would come. (Acts 3:11, 22, 23) Jesus was and is the Word of God, so he continues to be God’s only prophet and channel of communication.

So based on the organization’s own criteria, anyone claiming to be God’s channel of communication, like Moses was, would be sitting in the seat of Moses and as such would be usurping the authority of the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ. Such ones would qualify for comparison with Korah who rebelled against the authority of Moses, seeking to replace him as God’s channel of communication.

Who declares themselves today to be both prophet and channel of communication between God and men in the manner of Moses?

“Most appropriately, that faithful and discreet slave has also been called God’s channel of communication” (w91 9/1 p. 19 par. 15)

“Those who do not read can hear, for God has on earth today a prophetlike organization, just as he did in the days of the early Christian congregation.” (Watchtower 1964 Oct 1 p.601)

Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of “the faithful steward.” (Pay Attention to Yourself and to All The Flock p.13)

“…commissioned to serve as the mouthpiece and active agent of Jehovah…commission to speak as a prophet in the name of Jehovah…” (The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah” – How? pp.58, 62)

“…commission to speak as a “prophet” in His name…” (Watchtower 1972 March 15 p.189)

And who now claims to be the “faithful and discreet slave”? As of 2012, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has laid claim to that title retroactively. So, while the above quotes initially applied to all anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses, their “new light” flashed forth in 2012 to reveal that from 1919 onward, the faithful and discreet slave has been comprised of “selected brothers at headquarters who today are known as the Governing Body”. So, by their own words, they’ve seated themselves in the seat of Moses just as the ancient scribes and Pharisees did.

Moses interceded between God and men. Jesus, the Greater Moses, is now our only leader and he intercedes for us. He is the head between the Father and the Children of God. (Hebrews 11:3) However, the men of the Governing Body managed to slyly insert themselves into that role.

The June 2017 Watchtower under the article titled, “Uphold Jehovah’s Sovereignty!” states:

What is our response to divinely authorized headship? By our respectful cooperation, we show our support for Jehovah’s sovereignty. Even if we do not fully understand or agree with a decision, we will still want to support theocratic order. That is quite different from the way of the world, but it is the way of life under Jehovah’s rulership. (Eph. 5:22, 23; 6:1-3; Heb. 13:17) We benefit from doing so, for God has our interests at heart. (pp. 30-31 par. 15)

What is it talking about here when it states, “divinely authorized headship” and “support theocratic order”? Is it talking about the headship of the Christ over the congregation? No, clearly not, as we’ve just seen.

The Watch Tower publications speak thousands of times about the sovereignty of Jehovah, but how is that exercised? Who leads on earth as Moses did under God’s rule over Israel? Jesus? Hardly. It is the Governing Body AKA the faithful and discreet slave that, like the scribes and Pharisees, presumes to sit in the seat of Moses and replace Jesus Christ.

After all this, you might be wondering what the Bible’s theme really is? You might also be asking yourself about what other Bible truths have been perverted by the Governing Body in order to advance their own interests. For example, is the baptism practiced by Jehovah’s Witnesses valid? Stay tuned.

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Meleti Vivlon

Articles by Meleti Vivlon.
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