Periodically over the past eight years these so-called open letters and bulletins have been mailed to thousands of kingdom halls, assembly halls in the United States and Canada and to branch offices of Jehovah's Witnesses around the world, as well as to numerous individuals and departments at Brooklyn Bethel, Wallkill and Patterson.
JUDGMENT OF THE HOUSE OF GOD - WHEN DOES IT BEGIN?
TO THE ELDERS
You have probably heard the news that has come out of the Watchtower Society’s 2012 annual meeting by now regarding the new understanding in connection with the faithful and discreet slave. If not, the highlights of the meeting have been published in a video along with supplementary printed information on the Watchtower’s new website. (jw.org)
There are several aspects of this new understanding. First, the Governing Body itself is now to be considered the faithful and discreet slave – instead of all the anointed. Secondly, the “domestics” are believed to include the prospective members of the great crowd. Admittedly, these two revisions are comparatively trifling and hardly warrant sounding the sentry’s trumpet. However, the Governing Body has also declared that the appointment of the slave over all of the master’s belongings has not occurred yet. This change has far-reaching implications and is the reason for this massive mailing campaign and Internet open letter.
The Governing Body rightly points out that there are two appointments of the slave. The first appointment takes place before the master arrives to inspect his slaves as to their faithfulness in attending to their assigned duties to feed the domestics. The second appointment takes place when the master unexpectedly arrives like a thief in the night.
As teachers in the congregation you are undoubtedly aware that for many decades Jehovah’s Witnesses were taught that “the slave” was originally appointed back in the 1st century, and that in 1919 the master arrived and appointed him over all of his belongings. And as you are also surely aware, there are numerous other features of God’s prophetic word that are inextricably tied in with the coming of Christ to judge the temple. Now, though, the Governing Body has shifted the original appointment to 1919 and the second appointment is yet to occur. Although there was little explanation or elaboration at the annual meeting, this new understanding is indeed profound, as shall be set forward in this letter.
To underscore the profundity of this change affecting the entire prophetic foundation, upon which the faith of millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been built, please consider an article published by the Watchtower less than a decade ago, entitled: “A Faithful Slave Passes the Test.” Here is a condensed excerpt from paragraphs 2-4 in the March, 1st 2004 Watchtower:
The expression “that evil slave” draws our attention to Jesus’ preceding words about the faithful and discreet slave. Yes, the “evil slave” came from the ranks of the faithful slave. How? Before 1914, many members of the faithful slave class had high hopes of meeting with the Bridegroom in heaven that year, but their hopes were not fulfilled. As a result of this and other developments, many were disappointed and a few became embittered. Some of these turned to ‘beating’ their former brothers verbally and consorting with “confirmed drunkards,” religious groups of Christendom. These former Christians came to be identified as the “evil slave,” and Jesus punished them with “the greatest severity.” How? He rejected them, and they lost out on their heavenly hope.”
As is evident from Jesus’ illustration, not all of the appointed slaves will prove to be faithful. There is an evil slave as well as a faithful slave, but they both dwell within the same “household” and share the same appointment to feed the domestics. According to the illustration the faithful and the unfaithful slaves will only be distinguished when the master finally comes, at an hour they do not think to be it. Jehovah’s Witnesses, of course, understand this. But since the Watchtower has now come to the realization that the master has not yet come, meaning the temple inspection has not occurred yet, what about the evil slave?
Obviously, if the faithful slave is yet to be distinguished, neither has the evil slave been judged and put out of the master’s house into the outer darkness. Do you brothers grasp the significance of this? (Has the Governing Body even grasped the implications of this revision?) Unavoidably, if sound reasoning is to prevail, it means that there is an evil slave faction ensconced within the highest level of the Society at this present moment – at least according to what is implied by a deeper consideration of the Watchtower’s “new light.”
But that is not all. In the same 2004 Watchtower Magazine article cited above the Society also interpreted Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins as being fulfilled during that same time period. They explained that the anointed virgins all nodded off during the Great War, they having concluded that the bridegroom was delaying. The article goes on to state:
“Then in 1919 something unexpected happened. We read: “Right in the middle of the night there arose a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Be on your way out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and put their lamps in order.” Just when things seemed darkest, there was a call to get active! In 1918, Jesus, “the messenger of the covenant,” had come to Jehovah’s spiritual temple to inspect and cleanse God’s congregation…But wait! In the parable, some of the young women had a problem. Jesus continued: “The foolish said to the discreet, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are about to go out.’”
Since Jesus spoke the illustration of the faithful and unfaithful slave and the wise and the foolish virgins in nearly the same breath, it is apparent that the coming of the master and the arrival of the bridegroom are the same event. And the article certainly acknowledges that fact. But, by the same reasoning already presented, if the master of the house has not yet come to inspect his slaves – as is now the official teaching of the Watchtower Society – then surely the rousing proclamation that awakens the slumbering virgins –“here is the bridegroom!” – has not been heralded either.
Again, by implication this means there are those who are yet to be distinguished as the wise virgins – separated by the judgment of the coming of Christ from the foolish virgins, who neglect to acquire sufficient oil for their lamps. And if all of the chosen ones are within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses at this present time – as we surely believe – well, I ask again: Do you grasp the significance of this newly presented truth?
According to the 2004 Watchtower article the faithful slave and the wise virgins were distinguished because they passed the test. But since the second appointment has not occurred does this mean that a great test looms ahead? That is certainly what is implied, though perhaps inadvertently. Might we expect the Governing Body to provide some clarification on this issue? That is unlikely since it is the Society’s very teaching regarding the bridegroom having arrived long ago that is most assuredly the primary contributing factor in all the betrothed virgins nodding off before the bridegroom arrives in the near future and the lack of lamp oil on the part of the foolish virgins!
No wonder when Jesus spoke of his coming judgments he often concluded his remarks by saying: ‘Let he who has an ear hear what the spirit says.’ Well, do you have an ear? Or should we imagine that our only obligation to listen to the spirit of God is to unthinkingly accept without question everything that comes from the Governing Body? What about the apostolic exhortation to “make sure of all things”? Should not making “sure of all things” also include what is presented from Bethel as the truth?
And did not our spiritual grandfather, the apostle John, exhort the children of God not to believe every inspired expression, but to test the expressions to see if they originate with God? The Watchtower will be the first to admit that their expressions are not inspired. Is that not all the more reason to hold their teachings up to close scrutiny? After all, for many decades the Watchtower had taught that Christ’s judgment came in 1919. Any of Jehovah’s Witnesses who did not embrace that teaching unreservedly were likely considered to be spiritually weak. Now, though, Bethel has unceremoniously jettisoned that which was previously held as sacrosanct. But ought the truth be changed as casually as reshuffling and dealing a fresh hand of playing cards?
Be assured that as teachers in the congregation you will receive a heavier judgment. It is unavoidable. Is it not written in the letter of James? That being the case, like the noble-minded Bereans, is it not more especially your obligation to give this matter your utmost attention, to determine whether these things are so? This is not to suggest that the latest revision is an error; on the contrary, only that it calls into question many, many other things.
It is true the apostle advised Christians not to go beyond the things written, but in this case it is what has not been written that has to be considered. Why not pass this letter on to your fellow elders and discuss it among yourselves or with your circuit overseer upon his next visit? But there is more. According to the Society’s latest adjustment Jesus comes to judge his slaves during the great tribulation. Here is a direct quote copied from the jw.org website:
“Jesus said that the “master on arriving” (literally, “having come”) will appoint the slave “over all his belongings.” When does the Master, Jesus, arrive? The expression translated “on arriving” is a form of the Greek word er′kho·mai. Verses 42 and 44 of chapter 24 translate a form of er′kho·mai as “coming.” In those verses, Jesus is referring to his coming as Judge during the great tribulation. —Matthew 24:30; 25:31, 32. Jesus’ appointment of the “slave” over his “belongings,” then, must also be a future event. He will make that appointment during the great tribulation.”
For your convenience, below are the cited verses in Matthew:
“And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” – Matthew 24:30
“When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” – Matthew 25:31-32
“Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” – Matthew 24:42
“On this account you too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.” – Matthew 24:44
The first two instances of Christ “coming” pertain to his judging the nations. The latter two verses are in reference to Jesus “coming” as a thief to judge his appointed slaves. What the Society is now saying is that the “coming” of the Son of man to judge the nations is also when he will “come” to judge the slaves of his household – that there is virtually no distinction now. This is perhaps the most radical, unintended, aspect of the Society’s new teaching.
Up until now Jehovah’s Witnesses have believed that the judgment begins with the house of God prior to Christ’s coming to judge the nations. It is unquestionably a biblical precept. Although the Watchtower has not explicitly stated otherwise, certainly their latest revision implies that is no longer what Jehovah’s Witnesses are to believe.
But what about the prophecy in the third chapter of Malachi regarding the coming of the messenger of the covenant? In the 2004 Watchtower, quoted above, the Society tied in the prophecy of Malachi with the faithful slave passing the test. Is the coming of the messenger of the covenant now considered to be a future event too? And if so, does this not basically do away with 1914 altogether and reset the parousia for the future as well? Consider the wording of Malachi’s prophecy: Malachi 3:1-2 says this: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me. And suddenly there will come to His temple the true Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come, Jehovah of armies has said. “But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen.”
As is apparent, Malachi also uses the exact same word translated as “coming,” as in “the day of his coming” to God’s temple. Since it seems indisputable that the coming of the messenger to the temple is the same as Christ’s coming as a thief to judge the slaves assigned to the house of God, even as the Society has taught for these past decades, there is now an obvious and gaping discrepancy in the Watchtower’s parousia exegesis. Either the Society is wrong in the notion that the second appointment has not occurred yet, or the coming of the messenger of the covenant is also a future event. And if the latter, what is implied by a future coming of Christ with the “fire of a refiner” and “the lye of laundrymen?”
Now consider the 12th chapter of Luke, which is where Jesus spoke in more detail concerning his coming as a thief to judge his household and to appoint the ones found faithful over all of his belongings. At Luke 12:37 Jesus said: “Happy are those slaves whom the master on arriving finds watching! Truly I say to you, He will gird himself and make them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them.”
As the Watchtower has taught us, the Greek word “parousia” literally means a coming alongside. In the verse quoted, Jesus said that if he finds his slaves to be watchful at the time of his return he “will come alongside and minister to them.” What does this “coming alongside” signify if not the intimate parousia of the Lord concurrent with the second appointment? So, if the second appointment of the slave is in the future, and by the words of Christ himself his appointment of his watchful slaves over all of his belongings takes place when he comes alongside them, then the parousia is also future. (It is also noteworthy, that, in the same 12th chapter of Luke, Christ indicated that even the slave who is judged to be “faithful” will be beaten with a few strokes in punishment of his disobedience caused by his ignorance. In view of the Governing Body’s “new light” might we anticipate what aspect of the Lord’s will they are in a state of ignorance?)
It is, of course, unthinkable for Jehovah’s Witnesses to conceive of a future parousia of Christ. Indoctrination is a powerful thing. But ask yourself, when Jesus was on the Mount of Olives answering his disciples’ questions as to when these things would be regarding his previous pronouncement concerning the coming destruction of the temple, would the apostles ever have imagined that when Jesus spoke of Jerusalem being trampled upon by the Gentiles for an appointed time that he was referring to the destruction that had already been wrought by Nebuchadnezzar five centuries before? Of course not. Yet, Jehovah’s Witnesses do!
Consider, too, the fact that the 11th chapter of Revelation, which, of course, was written long after Jerusalem was crushed by the Romans in 70 C.E., foretells that the “holy city” will be trampled on by the nations for an appointed time of 42 months. Reasonably, that 42-month period is the appointed time Jesus had in mind. The Watchtower has long taught that the 1,260-day interval was fulfilled during the First World War in connection with the hardships that came upon Rutherford and company. Yet, the persecution of the two witnesses has always been tied to the appointment of the faithful slave over all of the Lord’s belongings. Are you beginning to get an inkling of the significance of the Society’s recent “adjustment”?
In truth, though, the Governing Body’s new understanding is not new for many of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In fact, this “new light” did not even originate with Bethel. In 2005 I published a book entitled: Jehovah Himself Has Become King. In the 4th chapter called, The Judgment, these matters concerning the future appointment of the faithful slave and the coming of the messenger of the covenant were presented. The material has been available online in various formats, including audio, for the past seven years. (A second edition was published in 2010) I also personally mailed the 500-plus-page hard copy to all members of the Governing Body and various departmental heads, branch offices and select congregations in the New York City area, as well as to dozens of kingdom halls in my own Detroit area. Tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses and interested persons have read it online.
The fact of the matter is the Society’s change, of itself, may not seem so earthshaking. But taken in the context of prophecy, wherein the Society once recognized it belonged, it is significant. The upshot is, the entire 1914 invisible parousia doctrine is nothing but an artfully contrived false story, to quote the apostle; and in fact, it serves as the foretold “operation of error” that God allows to emanate from a man of lawlessness (evil slave) who resides within the temple of The God – the very temple to where the messenger of the covenant is “coming.”
Although the Watchtower has assured Jehovah’s Witnesses that the sign of Christ’s presence cannot be duplicated in the future, and that there cannot be another world war because it would involve nuclear weapons, that reasoning is not sound. Even at this moment the nations are choosing up sides for global war – a war that is certain to dwarf both world wars. Did not Jesus intimate that the world will be confronted with extinction, and if God did not cut short the tribulation no flesh would survive? What can account for that if not nuclear war? And in the face of global financial collapse, food shortages and pandemics are inevitable.
Surely, this message will offend many elders and confuse Jehovah’s Witnesses, who consider the Governing Body to be an infallible mouthpiece of Jehovah. But were not the apostles originally appointed over all in the congregation of Christ? And yet after his resurrection Jesus sternly rebuked them as being ‘senseless and slow to believe all the things the prophets spoke’! Is the Governing Body more exalted than the apostles of Christ?
Rest assured that the reality of a future parousia does not call into question the main body of truth we hold dear, nor God’s promise of a new world. It simply means that a great test of faith lies ahead for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses when the judgment begins with the house of God. No wonder Malachi poses the somewhat unsettling question: “But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears?”
This letter is being distributed to hundreds of congregations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as to those in Australia and New Zealand. It has also been translated into French for distribution in France and other French-speaking lands. Other translations may be forthcoming. Due to the constraints of postage this letter is limited to three pages. For more information go to: The Watchman’s Post. http://e-watchman.com
To online readers: Please feel free to distribute this message to your online contacts. Also, since recent mailing campaigns targeted kingdom halls in the eastern and southern US, I am primarily focusing this particlular bulletin on the Western United States. So, if you feel inclined to assit me in distributing this message please consider congregations east of the Mississippi River. Also, if anyone is capable and duly inclined to translate this message into other languages, other than French, that would be much appreciated too.If you are not inclined to help in the distribution but would like to get this information before your elders, please just email your congregation name and address to me and I will mail them a copy.
French: Le Bulletin du Royaume #7 (PDF)
Spanish: El Boletin del Reino #7 (PDF)
Korean: 언제 하나님의 집의 판단은 언제 시작 하죠?
Portuguese: QUANDO O JULGAMENTO DA CASA DE DEUS COMEÇAR?
We are now witnessing a massive military buildup in the Middle East and Asia. With the conquest of Iraq and Afghanistan dozens of military bases and staging areas have been set up in those devastated countries, as well as in compliant Arab states of the Persian Gulf region, for the express purpose of encircling Iran.
The United States has made no secret of the fact it has ordered the construction of monster, earth-penetrating, bunker-buster ordinance, intended to destroy underground nuclear facilities in Iran. It has shipped dozens of these to Israel as well. Even more disconcerting, if conventional bombs cannot accomplish the task at hand the US has not ruled out using low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons.
Accompanying the buildup to attack Iran the US is also deploying an anti-missile shield in Eastern Europe, ostensibly to protect Europe from non-existent Iranian ballistic missiles.
Russia, of course, knows that the missile shield is really intended to neutralize the formidable continental ballistic missile arsenal Russia possesses. The present strategic situation has driven Russia and China to cooperate in preparation for what they perceive as World War Three.
A few days ago Russia issued a statement saying if the US goes through with the AMD system they are prepared to launch a preemptive strike upon those batteries. The Cold War is back with a vengeance and at a stage reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to a hairsbreadth of nuclear catastrophe.
The relentless preparations for nuclear war are the result of the impending collapse of the Anglo-American-centered monetary and financial system. Many are expecting the Euro Zone to collapse in the coming months. And, of course, a crash of the Euro debt bubble would have a knock-on effect for the global financial system, since it would surely trigger trillions in debt default swaps and other derivatives.
The collapse of the financial system has the potential to bring down with it the governments of Europe and America. In recognition of that grim reality the United States is preparing for rule by martial law.
Draconian executive orders, such as the recently signed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allows for indefinite detention of American citizens without trial. With the stroke of a pen the signing of NDAA has virtually nullified the constitutional protections guaranteed all Americans.
This recent development may have a far-reaching impact upon Jehovah’s Witnesses personally, as well as the Watchtower Society itself.
As is well known, although Jehovah’s Witnesses are not patriots, in times past the Watchtower has championed the freedoms guaranteed in the American Bill of Rights. Numerous Supreme Court decisions have been handed down in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But in times of crisis, during the hysteria and panic of war, those legal victories may be a thing of the past.
So, we have come to a point where sober observers are anticipating nothing less than the sudden, earth-shaking crash of the Anglo-American-European political and financial institutions.
Ironically, this is exactly what is depicted in the 13th chapter of Revelation with the sword-stroke upon the head of the beast.
Although the Watchtower long ago identified the mortally wounded head as the Anglo-American duo, inexplicably the Society has led Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe that the vision was realized during the First World War – this in spite of the fact that Great Britain and America were victorious!
Concurrent with the ongoing drive for global war is the talk of peace. This is typical. When President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize he declared it to be a mandate for him to bring peace to the world. There is increasing political pressure to achieve some sort of peace in the Middle East before the end of 2012. If accomplished this may be the long-awaited fulfillment of their saying “peace and security.”
But instead of being the precursor to the war of Armageddon, the context of Paul’s prophecy indicates that it will initiate the thief-like arrival of the day of Jehovah.
Jesus similarly warned that he was coming as a thief in the night for the purpose of judging his appointed slaves as to their faithfulness.
That obvious connection between the day of Jehovah and the inspection of the household of the master presents Jehovah’s Witnesses with a dilemma though.
On the one hand the Watchtower unequivocally teaches that Jesus’ thief-like coming took place in 1918. Supposedly that is when he judged his slaves and appointed the Watchtower over all of his belongings.
On the other hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses see no connection between the thief-like coming of Christ and the thief-like beginning of the day of Jehovah.
Obviously, there is no expectation among Jehovah’s Witnesses for Jesus to arrive unexpectedly, just like a thief in the night, in order to judge the house of God. But is that not exactly what Jesus foretold; namely, that he was coming at a time his disciples did not think likely?
Although the Watchtower has convinced Jehovah’s Witnesses that there cannot be a Third World War, the nations do not seem to have gotten that message.
The stage is now set for the day of Jehovah to erupt in all its ferocity. Look for some sort of Middle East peace accord in the months ahead.
That development will surely precede the sudden outbreak of war and financial collapse – bringing “sudden destruction” upon the Anglo-American system, which will signal the beginning of the parousia and the day of Jehovah.
From the ashes of their destruction shall arise the eighth king – likely in the form of the United Nations Organization. But gone will be the democratic, nation-state system. Instead, humanity will be subjected to a tyrannical world government.
For more than a century the British Empire has had a policy of population reduction. During the reign of the last king the remnants of the British system will implement a policy of global genocide. This is what is foretold in the prophecy of Habakkuk.
Whether the Watchtower survives for a time even as an institution is irrelevant. The future parousia of Christ will discredit the Watchtower Society beyond repair. What a test of faith for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses the day of Jehovah will prove to be!
This kingdom bulletin #6 is being distributed to congregations in the southern United States and Texas.
KINGDOM BULLETIN #5
The 2012 Special Talk posed an interesting question for all to ponder: Is it later than you think?
The irony, though, is that the question is particularly relevant for the Governing Body and Bethel leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses to consider themselves.
Indeed, although most of Jehovah’s Witnesses will dismiss such a suggestion without any consideration, it is nonetheless incumbent upon me to at least try to unsettle those who stand settled in their opinion, by slightly rephrasing the question: Is it later than Bethel thinks?
It is one thing to announce that the end is near. The Watchtower has been doing that for nearly a century and a half – going back to the heady days of Charles Russell.
But what exactly have Jehovah’s Witnesses been led to expect the future will bring? The great tribulation? Certainly. Armageddon? Absolutely. A new system of things? Yes, of course. But is that it? Basically, yes. According to the Watchtower Society, other than the destruction of the great religious harlot, supposedly all prophecy has already been fulfilled. And anyone cognizant of present trends knows that with each passing year Bethel has less and less to say on matters of prophecy – as if to imply that nothing more need be said.
But history – both ancient and recent –teaches an important lesson: namely, details matter.
Consider the apostles. Jesus revealed to them on numerous occasions that he was going to be handed over to the older men in Jerusalem and killed and that he would rise on the third day. However, the disciples could not accept or comprehend what Jesus was saying. Peter even tried to correct Jesus, only to be sternly rebuked by his Lord. And, of course, events turned out exactly as Jesus had foretold. But the unfounded expectations of the apostles resulted in their being stumbled and temporarily scattered – as Jesus also foretold they would be. How humbling for them!
In our own era a similar thing has occurred. The original Bible Students certainly were in expectation of a great upheaval beginning in 1914; but they actually expected the war of Armageddon to swiftly ensue, did they not? Then when C.T. Russell unexpectedly passed away in 1916 a great schism subsequently erupted in Bethel, and the Great War ended without culminating at Armageddon. And what was the result? Many were stumbled – a sizable percentage, in fact, refused to continue with the Society under the leadership of J.F. Rutherford.
Then there was the 1975 fiasco, which stumbled untold numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses and interested persons.
Unfortunately the stumbling continues to this day over the fact that the 1914-generation has entirely passed away, extinguishing the flickering hope and expectation of many more.
(Bethel’s attachment to 1914 has brought about a situation, whereby, the rulers of God’s people are in an unenviable predicament that discernably resembles the man in Isaiah’s prophetic illustration, who vainly tries to find his repose upon a couch that is too short to stretch out upon and a sheet that is too narrow for covering. As an example: the ridiculous spectacle of Bethel’s ongoing redefining of what a generation is.)
But the point is, expectations based upon an assumed understanding of prophecy matters. And the seemingly inviolable trust that millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses have in the leadership of the organization today can easily be shattered tomorrow if events do not unfold along the lines they have been led to expect.
Now, consider the situation Jehovah’s Witnesses find themselves in at this present moment – in the spring of 2012 – and the cogent question: is it later than you think?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are thoroughly convinced that the conclusion of the system of things and the time of the end began in 1914. Dozens of prophecies have been interpreted by the Watchtower as having been fulfilled during and shortly after the First World War.
Foremost, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus judged the house of God almost a century ago and appointed a faithful slave over all of his belongings way back then.
But according to Jesus he is coming as a thief in the night, at a time his disciples do not think to be it. Particularly, in the 12th chapter of Luke Jesus exhorted his little flock to keep their loins girded and their lamps burning and to keep in expectation of the master’s arrival.
Jesus went on to tell them that if they were ready the master would come alongside them and make them recline at the table and minister to them. As Jehovah’s Witnesses know, the Greek word “parousia” literally means a coming alongside. So, Jesus is clearly talking about the parousia. But Jesus went on to say: “And if he arrives in the second watch, even if in the third, and finds them thus, happy are they! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would have kept watching and not have let his house be broken into. You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely the Son of man is coming.”
When Peter asked if the illustration applied to them or to all, Jesus responded with his own question, saying: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? Happy is that slave, if his master on arriving finds him doing so! I tell you truthfully, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”
Continuing, Jesus went on to explain in more detail how his unexpected arrival would result in the dismissal of an unfaithful slave and his being punished with the greatest severity; whereas, the slave that did not know his master’s will and so did not do in line with it would only be lashed with a few strokes.
Since there are only two types of slaves – the willfully disobedient and the erring but ignorant – presumably, the slave that is ultimately appointed over all of the master’s belongings is also the ignorant slave that is disciplined, albeit with a few strokes.
An important distinction that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not fully appreciate is that there are two appointments of the slave. The first appointment from the master is to feed the domestics with their food at the proper time. That is what the Watchtower claims it is doing presently, even though it also claims to have received the second appointment too.
But, it is not at all reasonable that once the erring slave is punished and then rewarded by being appointed over all his master’s belongings that he would then go back to the same task assigned to him prior to his master’s coming. But this is exactly what the slave class associated with the Watchtower has seemingly done.
Expressed differently: If those associated with the Watchtower prior to 1918 were giving out food supplies at the proper time, why is it that the Watchtower Society is still involved in the very same assignment long after the master has supposedly appointed them over all things?
Furthermore, if Christ has already come as a thief in the night with his reward in hand, why does the Watchtower also exhort Jehovah’s Witnesses to keep on the watch for the coming of the master? Is there any basis in scripture to justify the notion that Christ comes as a thief in the night on more than one occasion?
Another glaring discrepancy is this: Christ foretold that he would come to inspect his slaves at an hour they did not think to be it. Yet, the Watchtower claims that the early Bible Students were able to calculate the exact time that Christ’s parousia commenced.
However, that simply cannot be harmonized with what Christ foretold would be the nature of his coming; namely, as a thief – at an hour his slaves thought unlikely.
Since it is obviously the case that the Watchtower is still involved in the feeding program that the master has appointed his slaves to oversee, a work that would precede Christ coming at an hour they do not think to be it, and there is no basis for believing that Christ comes as a thief on multiple occasions, it is evident that Christ has not yet come.
Paradoxically, the Watchtower’s 1914 doctrine has been instrumental in bringing about the situation, whereby, Christ will come to inspect his slaves at an hour they do not think to be it.
So, in answer to the question posed at the onset: Yes, Bethel: It is much, much later than you think!
This bulletin is being distributed to hundreds of congregations in the USA.
THE COMING COLLAPSE OF THE WATCH TOWER SOCIETY
As Jesus viewed Jerusalem for the very last time he wept, saying: “If you, even you, had discerned in this day the things having to do with peace—but now they have been hid from your eyes. Because the days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.”
Later the astonished apostles asked Jesus what would be the sign of his presence and the conclusion of the system of things. Among other things, Jesus alerted his disciples that when they saw a disgusting thing standing in the holy place they should flee the holy city and Judea without delay.
And, of course, after the Romans inexplicably withdrew, later they returned, and exactly as Christ foretold the Roman army hastily denuded the countryside of trees and erected a fortification of pointed stakes around Jerusalem, entrapping those who failed to escape when the opportunity to do so existed.
When foretelling that the disgusting thing that causes desolation would stand in a holy place, Jesus referred to the prophecy of Daniel, saying: “let the reader use discernment.”
Since this is one of the few aspects of prophecy that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe has not been fulfilled yet, what ought readers discern as regards the prophecy of Daniel?
Apparently, very little – at least according to what the Watchtower has published to date as regards the disgusting thing standing in a holy place. According to Bethel the disgusting thing was first set up in 1919 as the League, and then again in 1945 as the UN.
Yet, in recent years the Society has admitted that the disgusting thing has not begun to stand in a holy place yet.
Regardless, Daniel 12:11 indicates that the removal of the “constant feature” of Jehovah’s worship and the “placing of the disgusting thing that is causing desolation” is the same event. This is verified at Daniel 8:13, which reads: “And I got to hear a certain holy one speaking, and another holy one proceeded to say to the particular one who was speaking: ‘How long will the vision be of the constant feature and of the transgression causing desolation, to make both the holy place and the army things to trample on?’”
Of course, the Watchtower has numerous contradictory interpretations of parallel prophecies; evidenced by the fact the Governing Body insists that the holy place that is destined for desolation, about which Christ spoke, will find its fulfillment in the fiery destruction of Christendom in the near future; whereas, the very prophecies of Daniel that foretell the desolation of the holy place, to which Jesus directed the reader to have discernment, are applied to the Watch Tower Society of decades past. Clearly, the Watchtower has not followed Jesus advice to use discernment.
The visionaries of Bethel have even claimed that the “constant feature” was removed on two separate occasions – once in 1918 and then again during WWII – this in spite of the fact that Bethel contradictorily boasts that the Watchtower has never failed to go to print, even during the hardships of both world wars. Even under the brutal persecution of the Nazis the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses did not stop. In fact, it thrived.
So, in what way was the “constant feature” removed? In truth, it was not.
The 29th chapter of Isaiah sheds light upon what the holy place is that comes under siege during the conclusion of the system of things. Just as Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would encircled by a fortification of pointed stakes, so too Isaiah: “And I must encamp on all sides against you, and I must lay siege to you with a palisade and raise up against you siegeworks.”
Naturally, the seers on Bethel’s rampart see no connection between Isaiah’s prophecy and Christ’s prophecy regarding the desolation of the holy place, even though the imagery is identical.
(For those who may not be familiar with the word “palisade,” which is apparently unique to the New World Translation, it means a fence of pointed stakes set firmly into the ground as a defensive fortification or as an enclosure.)
What accounts for the blindness on the part of the men who claim to be the voice of a watchman class? Jehovah provides the answer in the very same chapter of Isaiah, saying: “For upon you men Jehovah has poured a spirit of deep sleep; and he closes your eyes, the prophets, and he has covered even your heads, the visionaries. And for you men the vision of everything becomes like the words of the book that has been sealed up…”
There is no indication in the context that those blind visionaries and prophets merely presumptuously claim to be visionaries and prophets, as the Watchtower says of the clergy of Christendom. On the contrary, the context indicates that those who hold positions as spokesmen for Jehovah’s earthly organization will themselves be unable to discern the meaning of the prophecies.
For certain, anyone making a thorough examination of the prophecies in comparison to the Watchtower’s interpretations of them, as e-watchman has done over the course of the years, ought to discern that “the vision of everything” is sealed up to them!
Jehovah’s Witnesses unquestioningly believe that Jesus Christ inspected all of Christendom in 1918 and appointed the Watch Tower Society over all of his belongings. There is no allowance within Bethel’s prophetic exegesis for any future inspection. But is that not exactly what Jesus foretold; namely, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem did not discern the time of their being inspected?
The Watchtower claims to be the “channel” of divine truth – God’s mouthpiece in behalf of all true Christians. That claim is not being called into question merely because God has manifestly concealed his judgments from them. On the contrary, the 29th chapter of Isaiah reveals Heaven’s judgment upon God’s earthly mouthpiece: “And you must become low so that you will speak from the very earth, and as from the dust your saying will sound low. And like a spirit medium your voice must become even from the earth, and from the dust your own saying will chirp.”
What is betokened by such strange symbolism? It would certainly be an odd way of depicting the utter destruction of Christendom. If God’s servant, Ariel, is made low, reduced to a state as if speaking from the dust, even from the grave, given a voice by a spirit medium, it ought to invoke a before-and-after contrast in our minds. Before Ariel is besieged and trampled into the dust he must have had a high position and spoken with authority.
The context shows that the wisdom and understanding of the discreet men leading God’s people will conceal itself. Does not the Watchtower claim to be the voice of the wise and discreet slave of God? Indeed it does!
Not only that, but the prophecy indicates that the deaf and blind ones will come to their senses and the meek will rejoice in Jehovah when Ariel goes down. The Watchtower claims that the spiritually deaf and blind have already been enlightened since 1914. But if that is the case, in what way did the tyrants and braggarts come to their end back then?
As the prophecy indicates, the Watchtower has gone deep in concealing counsel from Jehovah. And they have done so by assigning the judgment of the house of God to nearly a century ago. And although Jehovah’s Witnesses honor Jehovah with their lips, their fear of him is dominated by the commands of men. Who can deny that the Watchtower organization dictates virtually every aspect of the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
The stage is now set for world war to herald the authentic parousia of Christ, which will result in the utter discrediting and complete collapse of the Watch Tower Society.
With the bragging slave silenced in the dust, then Jehovah “will act wonderfully again with this people, in a wonderful manner and with something wonderful…”
This tract is being mailed to hundreds of congregations in the USA
The May 15, 2012, study article of the Watchtower states on page 26: “For instance, we need to guard against succumbing to apostasy, a sin that would make us unfit to glorify God. (Deut. 13:6:9) Let us therefore have nothing to do with apostates or anyone who claims to be a brother but who is dishonoring God. This should be the case even if he is a family member. We are not benefited by trying to refute the arguments of apostates or those who are critical of Jehovah’s organization. In fact, it is spiritually dangerous and improper to peruse their information, whether it appears in written form or it is found on the Internet.”
To be sure, there is a growing number of ex Jehovah’s Witnesses who believe it is their duty to assist Jehovah’s Witnesses to leave their faith. Many of them claim to now know “Jesus” and to have found the real “truth.” They have returned to the vomitus teachings of the churches. The cited verse in the paragraph above – a warning to the Israelites not to allow others to allure them to worship other gods – is certainly a valid principle for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But the Writing Committee equates any criticism of the organization with apostasy. Is that really honest though?
For example, in October of 2001 the London Guardian exposed the Watchtower’s secret 10-year NGO partnership with the United Nations. Bethel’s explanation was that “opposers” were making false accusations. However, whether or not those who exposed the Watchtower are opposers is not the issue. The fact is the accusations were not false.
(The publisher of this Kingdom Bulletin initiated the first of many mailing campaigns in 2004, which reached every kingdom hall in America and Canada, with an eight-page letter detailing the Watchtower’s NGO caper.)
The Watchtower cunningly deceived Jehovah’s Witnesses and committed an act of apostasy. The facts have been thoroughly documented by e-watchman and placed before the public and all of Jehovah’s Witnesses who dare to know the truth.
Rather than honestly deal with the massive stumbling block the Governing Body had rolled onto the Path of life, thereby spiritually injuring and stumbling untold numbers of Jehovah’s sheep, Bethel brushed it off as the work of “opposers.”
But does it really dishonor God to expose such double-dealing treachery on the part of the leaders of God’s people? Should not all God-fearing Christians oppose such brazen hypocrisy on the part of those who presumptuously wrap themselves in the prophet’s mantle?
Another criticism of “Jehovah’s organization” has come from long-time Jehovah Witnesses who became horrified and appalled over the Watchtower Society’s reckless and treacherous dealings in response to thousands of cases of child abuse within the organization. Yet, the Watchtower callously considers any who dare expose the evils perpetrated against children as apostates.
The organization really has two faces. In its public face Bethel claims to “abhor” child abuse. It boasts of disfellowshipping pedophiles and preventing known pedophiles from positions of responsibility.
The secret face, though, is hideously ugly. Many who have had experience with the Watchtower’s Legal Department know that in the past Bethel has strong-armed elders and abuse victims – disallowing them from contacting the police or discouraging cooperation with them. While publicly declaring the organization to be a spiritual paradise, the Watchtower maintains a secret database of over 20,000 pedophiles that menacingly lurk within the congregations, often unbeknownst to parents.
Bethel has even threatened sexually abused children and their parents with ostracism if they make known within the congregation the identities of pedophiles.
While publicly the Watchtower charges elders to look after their congregational flocks, behind closed chamber doors lawyers working for the Watchtower argue that elders have no fiduciary duty to protect children from the crimes of a congregant. And in order to prevent exposure of their two-faced dealings to the public in open court, the Watchtower has made low-key out of court settlements with victims, while denying any responsibility, and legally binding the victims with gag orders to prevent them from disclosing the nature of the crimes committed against them and the Society’s culpability.
These are “the arguments of apostates” the Watchtower wishes that Jehovah’s Witnesses will not encounter or consider. Obviously, though, the Watchtower is correct in warning Jehovah’s Witnesses that they have nothing to “benefit by trying to refute” such things – the reason being, the facts cannot be refuted!
In demonizing any “who are critical of Jehovah’s organization,” the implication is that the leadership of the organization is above reproach – that no criticism of their teachings or exposure of their secret doings is valid.
In taking this approach the Governing Body have inauspiciously seated themselves on the very throne of God – just as Paul forewarned Christians that the man of lawlessness would do as an immediate prelude to the manifestation of Christ.
THE RESURRECTION HAS ALREADY OCCURRED
Interestingly, in the first century certain men had deviated from the truth – in other words, they became apostate. Paul even named two of them by name; namely, Hymenaeus and Philetus, and he warned the brothers that they were subverting the faith of some by claiming that the resurrection had already occurred. So, the bold apostle cited the arguments of the apostates. In other letters Paul taught that the first resurrection would occur during the parousia; hence, the apostle refuted the arguments of those apostates, for the benefit of the brothers back then.
In a strange irony, the Watchtower teaches the very same thing as those first century apostates. It claims the first resurrection has already occurred, supposedly in 1918. Of course, the Society backs up that assertion by claiming that the parousia began in 1914 and that the day of Jehovah is here.
In other words, the Society teaches that all the chosen ones who have died in Christ have already been gathered to him.
This, though, is exactly what Paul warned the brothers about at 2 Thessalonians 2:1:2 regarding the operation of error emanating from the man of lawlessness, where he wrote: “However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here.”
There is only one source in modern times that makes public statements regarding the presence of Christ having begun and “the day of Jehovah is here.” It is the Watchtower. For the past century (even longer considering that the C.T. Russell originally claimed the presence began in 1874) the Watchtower has been declaring that the presence has begun, that the chosen ones have been gathered together to him, that the day of Jehovah is here. And no one can honestly deny that Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Bible Student forerunners have periodically been shaken from their reason by such claims.
Poor brother Macmillan was so shaken by the hysteria over 1914 that he sold his winter coat that summer, imagining he would be gathered to Jesus before winter.
More recently hundreds of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses were shaken from their reason by “verbal messages” and written apostolic‐like letters in the form of Watchtower literature that intimated Armageddon would occur and the thousand-year reign would begin in 1975.
In harmony with Paul’s warning, Jesus himself forewarned that as a prelude to his actual presence many would falsely announce: “the due time has approached.”
As an example of the Watchtower’s practice of what Jehovah calls “double-faced divination,” the Society claims the master appointed them over all of his belongings in 1918. That is when the Son of man is believed to have arrived to inspect his Father’s spiritual house.
But in the context of the illustration in the 12th chapter of Luke regarding the faithful slave’s second appointment, Jesus warned all his disciples, especially those who had been appointed to feed the domestics with food at the proper time, that they had better keep their loins girded and their lamps lit because their master was coming at a time they did not think to be it.
Indeed, Jesus forewarned his appointed slaves that he was coming as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. But if that has already occurred, why does the Watchtower contradictorily exhort all to stay on the watch for the coming of the Son of man?
At this moment Jehovah’s great military force is mustering for World War Three – a war the Bethel prophet class has assured Jehovah’s Witnesses could not take place. The days of Bethel’s hypocrisy and double-faced divination are coming to an end. The coming mighty flood of tyranny will sweep away the Watchtower’s refuge in a lie. Indeed, the master of the house is coming as unexpectedly as a thief in the night!
This Kingdom Bulletin is being mailed to numerous congregations in New York City.
It has now been almost a century since Charles Taze Russell stood before his fellow Bethelites and declared the Gentile times to have ended. Ever since then the Watchtower Society has interpreted nearly all prophecy as having some sort of fulfillment in the 1914-1919 period, with a few exceptions.
As the situation stands presently, millions of trusting Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe that virtually all prophecy has been fulfilled and that all that remains to occur is the destruction of the symbolic harlot, Babylon the Great, and, of course, the war of Armageddon. There is little room for error.
Jesus has already rewarded his faithful slave with oversight over all of his belongings – at least, according to those who claim to have already received the Master’s irrevocable approval. The coming of the Refiner has been relegated to the past. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been liberated from Babylon. Jehovah’s Witnesses are now luxuriating in spiritual paradise. The Watchtower Society has already received the disciplining outlined in prophecy and all is well between Jehovah and his people.
But let he that has an ear hear the echo of the words of the “stupid prophets” who reside in the intimate group of God’s people declaring: “There is peace!”
“The stupid prophets” described in the 13th chapter of Ezekiel were condemned by God for publishing an untrue vision in the name of Jehovah. They claimed to have “seen” something when God had not shown them anything.
Ezekiel 13:6 states: “They have visioned what is untrue and a lying divination, those who are saying, ‘The utterance of Jehovah is,’ when Jehovah himself has not sent them, and they have waited to have a word come true.”
God went on to describe the work of the false prophets as “one that is building a partition wall, but in vain there are those plastering it with whitewash.”
This extraordinary prophecy accurately describes the Watchtower’s 1914 dogma. It stands as a towering wall – declared over and over again to be God’s truth, and yet as the years go by, the constructors of the wall have waited in vain to have “a word come true.”
Since 1914 the prophets of Bethel have been forced to slap coat after coat of whitewash upon their “wall” to keep up appearances. For example, the Watchtower has been obliged to periodically redefine what a generation is, for the obvious reason that the 1914 generation has long since passed away.
And although the Watchtower insists that we presently see all the things occurring that Jesus foretold, it also contradictorily admits that many of the things that Jesus foretold would occur within the generation are really not in evidence now; such as: Jesus said that men will be faint with fear. The Watchtower used to say that aspect of the sign was clearly on display. Now, though, Bethel says it will be fulfilled in the future; hence, the Governing Body plasters on another coat of whitewash.
The Watchtower used to teach that Jesus sat down upon his throne in 1914 and began separating the sheep from the goats. Now the Society says that is not true. The separating is in the future. And although Jesus sat down on his kingdom throne in 1914, he apparently has another throne upon which he will sit to judge the nations as to whether they are sheep or goats. Splat! Another coat of whitewash is plastered on the wall!
The Watchtower used to teach that the great tribulation began back during the First World War, but that God intervened to cut it short. No longer. That error was plastered over about 40 years ago. The Watchtower used to teach that the disgusting thing was already standing where it ought not. That error has been plastered over with whitewash too.
While the prophecies clearly portray spiritual paradise as a condition completely devoid of animalistic individuals, within the Watchtower’s spiritual paradise lurk predatory pedophiles, con men and various other sorts of evils.
How will it turn out for the Watchtower Society? Will the Governing Body eventually get it right? Will Jehovah reveal new light to them so that they may enlighten all of Jehovah’s Witnesses who look to them for the truth?
“THE WALL MUST FALL”
It is not going to turn out well for those who speak and teach in the name of Jehovah but who promote a lying and untrue vision.
Jehovah’s ancient watchman was commanded: “Say to those plastering with whitewash that it will fall. A flooding downpour will certainly occur, and you, O hailstones, will fall, and a blast of windstorms itself will cause a splitting. And, look! the wall must fall. Will it not be said to you men, ‘Where is the coating with which you did the plastering?’”
The Watchtower Society has made the invisible return of Christ in 1914 the very cornerstone of the organization. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not fully accept that Christ was enthroned in heaven in 1914, and all that goes with that doctrine, are judged by the elders to be apostates and summarily disfellowshipped from the congregation. (See Questions from Readers. Watchtower, April 1st, 1986)
What that means is this: The Watchtower Society has made their lying vision a mandatory article of faith for all those desirous of serving God and Christ. There is a heavy price to be paid for misleading and stumbling Jehovah’s sheep.
In accord with the pattern established by Ezekiel let the Watchtower Society, with her Governing Body, her board of directors and numerous departmental heads and committees of prominent men, hear the word of Jehovah:‘“And I will tear down the wall that you men have plastered with whitewash and bring it into contact with the earth, and its foundation must be exposed. And she will certainly fall, and you must come to an end in the midst of her; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah.’”
The “blast of windstorms” and hail that God unleashed in Ezekiel’s day came in the form of the Babylonian war machine that devastated Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was once the place where Jehovah caused his name to reside and the temple was the center of worship for Jehovah’s visible organization.
But God’s judgments, as contained in prophecy, are ultimately reserved to be unveiled in the final part of the days. As in the original fulfillment, we may expect God’s judgment against the place where Jehovah has caused his name to reside in modern times – Bethel and Jehovah’s Witnesses!
The 28th chapter of Isaiah relates a similar judgment against the leaders of God’s people at the revelation of Christ. It is when God lays the messianic foundation stone that a torrential flood and hail storm is unleashed against the rulers of God’s people in order to wash away their place of concealment.
The leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses has unquestionably made a lie their refuge. They have declared themselves righteous by creating a false messiah who came in 1914 and bestowed his blessing upon all they say and do.
But the days of your petty tyranny over God’s people are rapidly coming to an end.
The now onrushing day of Jehovah will be like an overwhelming storm. The soon unfolding reality of nuclear war, global food shortages, searing pestilences and massive earthquakes will pulverize the Watchtower’s myth that Christ became king in 1914. Indeed, the wall must fall!
As for those “stupid prophets” who knowingly promote a lie, Jehovah’s judgment against you is as follows: “‘For the reason that you men have spoken untruth and you have visioned a lie, therefore here I am against you,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.’ And my hand has come to be against the prophets that are visioning untruth and that are divining a lie. In the intimate group of my people they will not continue on, and in the register of the house of Israel they will not be written, and to the soil of Israel they will not come; and you people will have to know that I am the Sovereign Lord Jehovah…’”
This Kingdom Bulletin is being distributed to the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses globally. Please feel free to print a copy from the PDF below and distribute it with discretion. (If mailed within the USA a return address is not mandatory)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
15 februari 2012
Van de redactie van e-Watchman.com
Het is bijna een eeuw geleden dat Charles Taze Russell in aanwezigheid van zijn mede-Bethelieten de aankondiging deed dat de tijden der heidenen geëindigd waren. Van die tijd af heeft het Wachttorengenootschap nagenoeg alle profetieën uitgelegd als kenden ze een of andere vervulling in de periode van 1914-1919, enkele uitzonderingen daargelaten.
Thans geloven miljoenen Getuigen van Jehovah op grond van deze uitleggingen dat zo goed als alle profetieën reeds zijn vervuld en dat het enige wat nog staat te gebeuren de vernietiging is van de symbolische hoer, Babylon de Grote, en natuurlijk ook de oorlog van Armageddon. Het lijkt uitgesloten dat men zich hierin zou vergissen.
Jezus heeft zijn getrouwe slaaf reeds beloond met de supervisie over al zijn bezittingen – tenminste, volgens hen die er aanspraak op maken dat zij de onherroepelijke goedkeuring van de Meester reeds hebben ontvangen. De komst van de Louteraar is naar het verleden verwezen. Jehovah's Getuigen zijn al bevrijd uit Babylon. Jehovah's Getuigen leven nu in de weelde van een geestelijk paradijs. Het Wachttorengenootschap heeft het geprofeteerde strenge onderricht reeds in het verleden ontvangen en alles gaat prima tussen Jehovah en zijn volk.
Maar laat wie een oor heeft de echo opmerken van de woorden van de „verstandeloze profeten” die in de intieme groep van Gods volk verblijven en die verklaren: „Er is vrede!”
„De verstandeloze profeten” die worden beschreven in het 13de hoofdstuk van Ezechiël werden door God veroordeeld omdat ze een onwaar visioen verkondigden in de naam van Jehovah. Zij beweerden dat zij iets „gezien” hadden terwijl God hen helemaal niets had laten zien.
Ezechiël 13:6 zegt: „Zij hebben iets wat onwaar is en een leugenachtige waarzegging geschouwd, zij die zeggen: ‘De uitspraak van Jehovah is’, terwijl Jehovah zelf hen niet heeft gezonden, en zij hebben gewacht op het uitkomen van een woord.”
God beschrijft het werk van de valse profeten verder als „iemand die een scheidsmuur bouwt, maar tevergeefs zijn er die hem met witkalk bepleisteren.”
Deze opmerkelijke profetie beschrijft nauwkeurig de leerstelling van de Wachttoren over 1914. Dit dogma is als een hoog oprijzende muur – keer op keer wordt het bestempeld als zijnde Gods waarheid, maar met het verstrijken van de jaren hebben de bouwlieden van de muur tevergeefs gewacht „op het uitkomen van een woord.”
Sedert 1914 zagen de profeten van Bethel zich genoodzaakt om de ene laag witkalk na de andere op hun „muur” te kwakken teneinde de schone schijn te redden. Zo zag de Wachttoren zich verplicht om het begrip ‘geslacht’ regelmatig te herdefiniëren, simpelweg omdat het geslacht van 1914 allang is voorbijgegaan.
En terwijl de Wachttoren volhoudt dat wij heden ten dage alle dingen zien gebeuren die Jezus heeft voorzegd, geeft het in tegenspraak hiermee ook toe dat vele van de dingen die volgens Jezus' voorzegging binnen het geslacht zouden gebeuren, zich in werkelijkheid niet op dit moment manifesteren. Bijvoorbeeld: Jezus zei dat de mensen mat zouden worden van vrees. Vroeger zei de Wachttoren dat dit onderdeel van het teken duidelijk waarneembaar was. Maar nu zegt Bethel dat de vervulling nog in de toekomst ligt; op deze manier pleistert het Besturende Lichaam er nog een laag witkalk bovenop.
Vroeger leerde de Wachttoren dat Jezus in 1914 op zijn troon is gaan zitten en toen is begonnen met het scheiden van de schapen en de bokken. Nu zegt het Genootschap dat dit niet waar is. De scheiding ligt nog in de toekomst. En hoewel Jezus in 1914 op zijn koninklijke troon is gaan zitten, heeft hij blijkbaar nog een andere troon waar hij zal op plaatsnemen om de natiën te oordelen en te bepalen wie schapen en wie bokken zijn. Klets! Nog een laag witkalk wordt op de muur gepleisterd!
Vroeger leerde de Wachttoren dat de grote verdrukking was begonnen ten tijde van de Eerste Wereldoorlog, maar dat God tussenbeide was gekomen om het te verkorten. Maar niet meer. Die fout werd zo'n 40 jaar geleden weggepleisterd. De Wachttoren leerde vroeger dat het walgelijke ding reeds stond waar het niet behoorde te staan. Ook die fout is met witkalk weggepleisterd.
De profetieën omschrijven het geestelijke paradijs ondubbelzinnig als een toestand die volledig vrij is van individuen met een dierlijke gezindheid. Niettegenstaande dat liggen er in het geestelijke paradijs van de Wachttoren roofdierachtige pedofielen, oplichters en andere vormen van boosaardigheid op de loer.
Hoe zal het aflopen met het Wachttorengenootschap? Zal het Besturende Lichaam alles uiteindelijk wel in orde brengen? Zal Jehovah nieuw licht aan hen openbaren zodat alle Getuigen van Jehovah die naar hen opzien om de waarheid geleerd te worden, door hen verlicht kunnen worden?
„DE MUUR MOET VALLEN”
Het zal niet goed aflopen met hen die spreken en onderwijzen in de naam van Jehovah maar een leugenachtig en onwaar visioen propageren.
Jehovah's wachter in de oudheid kreeg het bevel: „Zeg tot degenen die met witkalk pleisteren, dat hij zal vallen. Een overstromende stortregen zal stellig plaatsvinden en gij, o hagelstenen, zult vallen, en zelfs het geblaas van stormwinden zal hem doen splijten. En zie! de muur moet vallen. Zal niet tot ulieden worden gezegd: ‘Waar is de pleisterlaag waarmee gij gepleisterd hebt?’”
Het Wachttorengenootschap heeft de onzichtbare wederkomst van Christus in 1914 tot de hoeksteen van de hele organisatie gemaakt. Het is in feite zo dat Getuigen van Jehovah die niet ten volle aanvaarden dat Christus in de hemel op de troon is geplaatst in 1914, en alles wat met die leerstelling samenhangt, door de ouderlingen worden veroordeeld als afvalligen en op staande voet uit de gemeente worden gesloten. (Zie Vragen van lezers, De Wachttoren 1 april 1986.)
Wat dat betekent is het volgende: Het Wachttorengenootschap heeft van haar leugenachtige visioen een verplicht geloofsartikel gemaakt voor allen die de wens hebben God en Christus te dienen. Er zal een hoge prijs betaald moeten worden voor het misleiden en doen struikelen van Jehovah's schapen.
Naar het voorbeeld dat gesteld werd door Ezechiël dient het Wachttorengenootschap en het Besturende Lichaam, met haar bestuursleden en talrijke afdelingshoofden en comités bestaande uit vooraanstaande mannen, het woord van Jehovah te horen: „En ik wil de muur die gijlieden met witkalk hebt bepleisterd, omverhalen en hem in aanraking brengen met de aarde, en zijn fundament moet blootgelegd worden. En ze zal stellig vallen en gij moet midden in haar uw einde vinden; en gij zult moeten weten dat ik Jehovah ben.”
„Het geblaas van stormwinden” en hagel dat God ontketende in de tijd van Ezechiël kwam in de gedaante van de Babylonische oorlogsmachine die Jeruzalem verwoestte.
Jeruzalem was eens de plaats waar Jehovah zijn naam deed verblijven en de tempel was het centrum van aanbidding voor Jehovah's zichtbare organisatie.
Maar Gods oordelen, waar de profetieën over spreken, zijn uiteindelijk bestemd om onthuld te worden in het laatst der dagen. Zoals het geval was in de eerste vervulling, mogen we verwachten dat Gods oordeel gericht zal zijn tegen de plaats waar Jehovah in onze tijd zijn naam heeft doen verblijven – Bethel en Jehovah's Getuigen!
Het 28ste hoofdstuk van Jesaja gaat over een soortgelijke oordeelsaankondiging tegen de leiders van Gods volk bij de openbaring van Christus. In de tijd dat God de messiaanse steen als fundament legt, barst er een geweldige vloedgolf en hagelstorm los tegen de heersers van Gods volk teneinde de schuilplaats waarin ze zich hebben verborgen, weg te spoelen.
Zij die de leiding hebben onder Jehovah's Getuigen hebben ontegensprekelijk een leugen tot hun toevlucht gemaakt. Zij hebben zichzelf rechtvaardig verklaard door een valse messias in het leven te roepen die in 1914 kwam en zijn zegen gaf aan alles wat ze zeggen en doen.
Maar de dagen van uw verachtelijke tirannie over Gods volk naderen snel hun einde.
De dag van Jehovah die nu komt aansnellen zal als een overweldigende storm zijn. De gebeurtenissen die zich spoedig zullen ontvouwen en de werkelijkheid van een kernoorlog, wereldwijde voedseltekorten, verschroeiende pestilenties en grote aardbevingen zullen de Wachttoren-mythe dat Christus in 1914 koning is geworden met de grond gelijk maken. Ja, de muur moet vallen!
Wat betreft die „verstandeloze profeten” die willens en wetens een leugen propageren, Jehovah's oordeel tegen u luidt als volgt: „‘Omdat gijlieden onwaarheid hebt gesproken en gij een leugen hebt geschouwd, daarom, ziet, ben ik tegen U’, is de uitspraak van de Soevereine Heer Jehovah. ‘En mijn hand is gekomen tegen de profeten die onwaarheid schouwen en die een leugen waarzeggen. In de intieme groep van mijn volk zullen zij niet blijven, en in het register van het huis van Israël zullen zij niet geschreven worden, en op Israëls bodem zullen zij niet komen; en gijlieden zult moeten weten dat ik de Soevereine Heer Jehovah ben …’”
Dit Koninkrijksbulletin wordt verspreid aan de leiding van Jehovah's Getuigen over heel de wereld. Je mag gerust zelf een kopie afdrukken en discreet bezorgen.
A “perfect storm” scenario of apocalyptic proportions is brewing – soon to spawn the greatest catastrophe in human history. That most people are oblivious to the looming calamity or that some may ridicule the prophecies that foretell it, or even the mere suggestion that all is not as it seems, is by no means a contra-indication of its nearness, but is in itself a characteristic commonly exhibited by a doomed civilization.
The most immediate threat facing the world is not over-population, the depletion of the ozone layer, the destruction of the rain forests, or the gradual thaw of the polar ice caps, or even terrorism – as some politicians and the corporate media would have us believe; but rather, it is the age-old menace of war – except now, the evils of war are no longer laboriously inflicted with muscle-powered spears, slings and bow and arrow, as in ancient times; or even with cannon and machinegun, as in more recent wars. Modern wars are being waged with the most sophisticated and destructive weapons imaginable – weapons so powerful that the potential exists of extinguishing the human race.
According to Jesus Christ, there is to occur a time of unprecedented trouble, a virtual meltdown of the entire global system of things, a calamity of such severity that the continued existence of mankind will require divine intervention to halt the tribulation. Clearly, though, if God cuts short the oncoming great tribulation, as Christ foretold, it should be evident that the tribulation itself is not a direct act of God, as will be ‘the war to end all wars’ – Armageddon.
What is more, it is also apparent that the great tribulation that is to suddenly engulf “the entire inhabited earth,” causing men to literally faint with fright and perplexity, is not merely the destruction of Christendom, as Jehovah’s Witnesses presently imagine. The tribulation is destined to bring distress to the entire world of mankind, not just those who worship the harlot of Babylon.
The 9-11 terrorist attack on New York and Washington D.C. – now more than a decade in the past – served as a pretext for the United States to launch ongoing wars, first in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now through covert means Libya, Syria and Iran. And it is no coincidence that these nations sit upon vast oil and mineral wealth and were/are not compliant puppet states, as are other Middle East nations. With the massive military buildup in the Persian Gulf region now taking place and the threatened intervention of Russia and China, the looming attack upon Iran will most likely trigger global war – nuclear war! It is part of the grand plan to destroy the nation-state system and establish a totalitarian world government – signified in Revelation as an eighth king.
This presents a massive stumbling block for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses due to the fact that the Watchtower Society has insisted that there can be no nuclear war or that the sign of Christ’s presence cannot manifest itself in a more profound way so as to surpass in severity the events that transpired during the 1914-1918 interval. The “artfully contrived” story that Jesus is invisibly present and has already judged the house of God has set the stage for Christ to come as unexpectedly as a thief in the night, at an hour Jehovah’s Witnesses do not think likely! How foolish to suppose that the day and year of the commencement of the reign of Jehovah’s kingdom can be humanly “calculated.”
It should be apparent that mass deaths due to food storages and global pandemics are certain to be an inevitable consequence of international war and economic collapse. Global genocide is a very real possibility and, in fact, is what the prophecies foretell. International war, food shortages and pestilences are, of course, the primary features of the sign of Christ’s presence – along with developments that will directly impact true Christians, such as intense persecutions, the stumbling of many and betrayal by former brothers and the desolation of Jehovah God’s holy place. Although the present world system is inherently, terminally flawed, the future unveiling of the judgments of Jehovah, beginning with the violent debasing of the god of this world – Satan, along with his demons – will serve as the actual detonator for the meltdown of the present system of things. In other words, all indications are that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are about to commence their deadly gallop across the face of the earth!
The crisis brought on by global war, resulting in the devastating mortal wound upon the presently-ruling Anglo-American dyad, will serve as the unmistakable signal that “the presence of the day of Jehovah” has finally begun and that Satan has lost the initial phase of the war and been hurled down from heaven, where he is certain to make his last stand against the then-ascending kingdom of God.
While at the present moment Jehovah’s Witnesses are thoroughly convinced that the world-shattering war in heaven between Michael the archangel and Satan the Devil took place nearly a century ago, and that the Devil and his angels have already been cast down to the earth and have since then gone forth in a great rage, the seismic shocks certain to shake the world to its foundation in the near future, and the unprecedented tyranny that will envelope Jehovah’s Witnesses around the earth, will most certainly sweep away the Watchtower Society’s 1914 delusion and amplify the chilling declaration of the Apocalypse: “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”
12 februari 2012
Van de redactie van e-Watchman.com
Een scenario van apocalyptische proporties is als een „volmaakte storm” op komst – een die binnenkort de grootste catastrofe in de menselijke geschiedenis zal veroorzaken. Dat de meeste mensen zich niet bewust zijn van het dreigende onheil of dat sommigen misschien de spot drijven met de profetieën die dit voorzeggen, of met de gedachte dat de zaken er niet zo rooskleurig voorstaan als ze worden afgeschilderd, doet helemaal niets af aan het feit dat het nabij is, maar is veeleer een kenmerk eigen aan een ten ondergang gedoemde beschaving.
Het meest acute gevaar voor deze wereld is niet overbevolking, de dunner wordende ozonlaag, de vernietiging van de regenwouden of het afsmelten van de poolijskappen, en ook niet het terrorisme – zoals sommige politici en de grote media ons willen doen geloven; neen, het is de eeuwenoude dreiging van oorlog. Het verschil is dat de oorlogen van nu niet meer worden uitgevochten met het moeizame inzetten van man- en spierkracht, met speer en slinger en met pijl en boog zoals in de oudheid; en zelfs niet meer met kanonnen en machinegeweren, zoals in recentere oorlogen. De moderne oorlogen worden gevoerd met de meest gesofisticeerde en vernietigende wapens die we ons kunnen voorstellen – wapens die zo krachtig zijn dat de uitroeiing van het menselijke ras een mogelijkheid is geworden.
Volgens Jezus Christus moet er een tijd komen van nooit eerder voorgekomen moeilijkheden, een virtuele meltdown van het gehele wereldstelsel, een rampspoed die zo ernstig zal zijn dat het voortbestaan van de mensheid een goddelijk ingrijpen noodzakelijk zal maken om een eind te maken aan die verdrukking. Het is evenwel duidelijk dat als God de komende grote verdrukking zal verkorten, zoals Christus heeft voorzegd, die verdrukking zelf geen rechtstreekse daad van God kan zijn. Dat zal wel het geval zijn met ‘de oorlog die alle oorlogen zal doen ophouden’, namelijk Armageddon.
Het zal bovendien ook duidelijk zijn dat de grote verdrukking die plotseling „de gehele bewoonde aarde”zal verzwelgen en waardoor mensen letterlijk zullen bezwijmen van angst en radeloosheid, niet enkel kan bestaan uit de vernietiging van de christenheid, zoals Jehovah's Getuigen op dit moment denken. De voorzegde verdrukking zal de gehele mensheid overal op aarde benauwen, niet enkel hen die de hoer van Babylon aanbidden.
De terroristische aanslagen van 11 september op New York en Washington D.C. – nu meer dan tien jaar geleden – waren voor de Verenigde Staten een voorwendsel om oorlogen te beginnen die nog steeds voortduren, eerst in Afghanistan en Irak, en nu van achter de schermen in Libië, Syrië en Iran. Het is geen toeval dat deze landen over een enorme rijkdom aan olie- en mineralenreserves beschikken en geen volgzame stromanregimes waren/zijn zoals andere staten in het Midden-Oosten. Met de grootschalige versterking van militaire troepen in de Perzische Golf die nu aan de gang is en Rusland en China die zich in het conflict dreigen te mengen, zal de aanval op Iran die nu dreigt te gebeuren heel waarschijnlijk een mondiale oorlog ontketenen – een kernoorlog! Dat maakt deel uit van het grote plan om het stelsel van nationale staten te ontbinden en een totalitaire wereldregering in te stellen – in de Openbaring aangeduid als een achtste koning.
Dit vormt een heel groot struikelblok voor alle Getuigen van Jehovah aangezien het Wachttorengenootschap heeft verzekerd dat een kernoorlog zich niet kan voordoen en dat het teken van Christus' tegenwoordigheid zich niet in een nog vollediger mate kan vertonen, met een hevigheid die de gebeurtenissen in de periode van 1914-1918 nog overtreft. Het „kunstig verzonnen” verhaal dat Jezus onzichtbaar tegenwoordig is en het huis van God reeds heeft geoordeeld, heeft voor Christus de weg bereid om net zo onverwacht te komen als een dief in de nacht, op een uur dat Jehovah's Getuigen het niet waarschijnlijk achten! Hoe dwaas is het te menen dat de dag en het jaar van het aanbreken van de heerschappij van Jehovah's koninkrijk menselijkerwijs „berekend” kan worden.
We kunnen er zeker van zijn dat massale sterfte tengevolge van voedseltekorten en wereldomvattende pandemieën een onontkoombaar gevolg zal zijn van internationale oorlog en economische ineenstorting. Een wereldomvattende genocide is een heel reële mogelijkheid, en is in feite wat de profetieën voorzeggen. Internationale oorlogen, voedseltekorten en pestilenties zijn uiteraard de voornaamste kenmerken van het teken van Christus' tegenwoordigheid – gepaard gaande met ontwikkelingen waar ware christenen rechtstreeks mee te maken zullen krijgen, zoals: hevige vervolgingen, velen die tot struikelen worden gebracht en verraden worden door voormalige broeders, en de verwoesting van de heilige plaats van Jehovah God. Hoewel deze huidige wereld door en door, terminaal ziek is, zal de toekomstige onthulling van Jehovah's oordelen, te beginnen met de gewelddadige vernedering van de god van deze wereld, Satan, samen met zijn demonen, de lont in het kruitvat zijn die de meltdown van het huidige samenstel van dingen op gang trekt. Anders gezegd, alles wijst erop dat de vier ruiters van de Apocalyps binnenkort hun moordende rit over het aardoppervlak aanvangen!
De crisis die een mondiale oorlog zal veroorzaken, zal het nu heersende Anglo-Amerikaanse tweetal een verschrikkelijke slag toebrengen en dodelijk verwonden, en dit zal het onmiskenbare sein vormen dat „de tegenwoordigheid van de dag van Jehovah” eindelijk is begonnen en er tevens op duiden dat Satan de eerste fase van de oorlog heeft verloren en uit de hemel is geworpen, waarna hij zijn laatste stelling moet innemen tegen het dan opkomende koninkrijk van God.
Hoewel Jehovah's Getuigen er op dit moment stellig van overtuigd zijn dat de wereldschokkende oorlog in de hemel tussen de aartsengel Michaël en Satan de Duivel bijna een eeuw geleden heeft plaatsgevonden, en dat de Duivel en zijn engelen reeds naar de aarde zijn geworpen en sindsdien in grote woede eropuit zijn getrokken, zullen de aardschokken die de wereld binnenkort op zijn grondvesten zal doen daveren, alsook de ongekende tirannie die over Jehovah's Getuigen over heel de aarde zal komen, vast en zeker de verkeerde voorstelling van 1914 door het Wachttorengenootschap wegvagen en de angstaanjagende bekendmaking van de Apocalyps kracht bijzetten: „Wee de aarde en de zee, want de Duivel is tot U neergedaald, en hij heeft grote toorn, daar hij weet dat hij slechts een korte tijdsperiode heeft.”
As of May the 10th the mainstream media is beginning to cover the Silentlambs’ press release publicizing the Watchtower’s recent million-dollar payout to 16 victims of child sexual abuse.
Evidently the legal department felt that they did not have a very strong case going into court, and so as shrewd lawyers often do they advised their client – in this case, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society – to cut their losses and settle the cases out of court and thus avoid the public spectacle of numerous protracted trials and the potential of massive damages being awarded by outraged juries.
The exact amount of the payoff is undisclosed, however. That is because Bethel exploited the legal technique often used in out-of-court settlements by big corporations of legally silencing the plaintiffs with what is called a gag order (In this case politely called “a confidential agreement"). A gag order not only prevents the plaintiffs from disclosing the exact sum they received but, most noteworthy, it disallows them from further discussing the crimes committed against them or the negligence on the part of their adversary at law. This legal silencing of the victims serves as a striking, even sobering, reminder of the insidious dichotomy between what the Watchtower says (in publications) and what it does (in reality). By way of example, note the following published statements made in the Watchtower's admitted full recognition of a victim's need to be able to speak about what they suffer through:
It is often helpful for victims to talk about their experiences. “Some 20 years ago,” says a presentation sheet from the IRCT, “torture victims were often victims in a double sense. First by being exposed to the physical/psychological act of torture, and then second by not being able to talk about it.” (Awake, January 8, 2000, page 24)
Recovery doesn’t usually begin until you talk to others. A trusted friend can help you to see that what happened to you was indeed rape and was not your fault. An old proverb states: “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.” (Proverbs 17:17) Also, spiritual shepherds can “prove to be like a hiding place from the wind and a place of concealment from the rainstorm.” (Isaiah 32:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14) For some victims, contacting a rape-crisis center or a professional counselor may be needed to help them sort out their feelings. (Awake, March 8, 1993, pp 8-9)
What a startling contrast to the reality evidenced by the legal wranglings of the Watchtower to securely muzzle victims through the legalistic maneuvering and installation of gag orders as a condition for settlement, a settlement that consequently allows the Watchtower to avoid actually accepting responsibility. Basically, the Watchtower has taken the approach: ‘Okay, here’s a few million dollars, but mind you, we have never done anything wrong.’ What unabashed boldness to not only evade any responsibility and accountability, but also pass along even the monetary burden to Jehovah's Witnesses who regularly give monies for use as part of the Kingdom funds, by then redirecting those funds to the unconscionable handiwork of silencing victims under the pretense of justice--a point that will be readdressed later in this commentary!
After years of legal wrangling and filing motions to have the cases dismissed, no doubt one of the determining factors that caused the Watchtower’s legal team to suddenly get "righteous" was the recent Napa Valley court ruling that raised the possibility that the Society’s secret database of thousands of pedophiles, as well as confidential congregation records, could be brought to light during trial. Naturally the Governing Body would prefer to keep Jehovah’s Witnesses and the general public in the dark as regards the true extent of the prevalence of pedophiles in the organization. Purportedly the Watchtower has the names of over 23,000 pedophilic Jehovah’s Witnesses on file.
Bethel frequently says that they “abhor child abuse.” Predictably a Watchtower spokesman issued a brief statement to the press saying: "Our loving heavenly Father makes it clear in his Word, the Bible, that he abhors child abuse.”
Actually, the Bible does not specifically mention child abuse – except in the case of the horrific practice of child sacrifice. However, our loving heavenly Father does make it abundantly clear that he hates injustice – especially on the part of those who are in positions of authority. As the leadership of the Watchtower Society knows, Jehovah specifically charges all Christians, but especially those who serve as elders and shepherds of his people, “to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation.” And not only that, but God also requires that his shepherds go so far as to plead the legal case of the afflicted and downtrodden.
Now, the question thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to ask is why – after the Watchtower dismissed these cases for years – yes, why it took the threat of massive payouts and the fear-inspiring prospect of further public exposure in court for the Watchtower to finally decide to do recognize the legitimacy of the plaintiffs’ legal cases.
Is it really a cause for boasting in view of the fact that Bethel had to be forced to make a boardroom decision to cut their losses and save themselves from public exposure by preventing the victims from having their day in court? Where is the righteousness in that?
If the Watchtower Society abhors child abuse as they claim, why do they silence the victims with confidential attorney’s agreements; thereby preventing others from knowing the details of the victim’s ordeal and thereby possibly raising awareness of the nature of sexual crimes against children? Are truth and righteousness served by concealing the fact that a crime has been committed against a child? Are potential victims best served by the Watchtower’s ongoing conspiracy of silence?
It is common knowledge that those who prey upon children cunningly use the child’s own sense of shame and guilt against them, and possibly even threats, in order to trick them into keeping the abuse secret. The Society’s so-called child abuse policy merely perpetuates the pedophiles’ agenda.
If the Watchtower Society were really intent on doing what is righteous in the eyes of Jehovah why didn’t they simply compensate the victims on their own, years ago? Why did they force the downtrodden and abused to seek legal redress from the courts? No doubt the victims would have settled for far less had representatives of the Society genuinely ministered to them years ago and offered some monetary compensation for their injury.
As Paul said to the Corinthian Christians who were dragging each other before non-Christian judges: “Really, then, it means altogether a defeat for you that you are having lawsuits with one another. Why do you not rather let yourselves be wronged? Why do you not rather let yourselves be defrauded? To the contrary, you wrong and defraud, and your brothers at that.”
It is altogether a defeat for the Watchtower that they had to be forced by the plaintiff’s lawyers to do what is right – not that the use of a gag order is the right thing.
The Society’s spokesman went on to hypocritically and lyingly state: "As an organization, we will continually strive to educate families and congregations with sound Scriptural teachings that they can use to protect their children from child molesters. And we will continue to do our utmost to protect children from this horrible crime and sin."
In saying “we will continue to do our utmost to protect children” is to deny any fault in the many cases of abuse that have occurred in the past. But if the leadership of the Watchtower Society has always done their “utmost to protect children,” then why the million-dollar payout?
The sleazy confidentiality agreements aside, the fact that the Watchtower has paid damages is in itself an admission of guilt. If the Watchtower is not at fault then why are they letting themselves be shaken down by a bunch of ‘worldly lawyers’? Why are they allowing kingdom funds to be extorted in such a way? Why not go to court and fight for righteousness and let Jehovah defend them from the false accusations?
Furthermore, is the Society’s spokesman being truthful when he states that the organization has educated “families and congregations” so that they can best protect their children from child molesters? It is true, the Watchtower has published a number of articles on the topic of child abuse, but in all of their writing on the subject they have never once cautioned parents not to entrust their children to any man, even if he is an elder or ministerial servant or whatever. After all, many of the abusers have been Watchtower appointed elders and ministerial servants.
As reported by Silentlambs, some of the 16 recently-compensated victims were abused by a slime-ball by the name of Fredrick “Rick” McLean, who is still at large and presently listed on America’s Most Wanted fugitives. Now the question: If the Watchtower were really concerned about justice why have they never alerted Jehovah’s Witnesses to the activities of this former ministerial servant? Bethel publishes the most widely-read religious journal in the world, why haven’t they plastered a picture of “Ricky” McLean in the Awake Magazine and offered a reward to anyone who can help the police nap this pervert? Why does the Watchtower do nothing while public funds are being used by law enforcement agencies to track this guy down? The Society has done absolutely nothing, yet all the while Bethel bellows on about how they “abhor child abuse.”
Perhaps the most disgusting aspect of the Society’s latest legal maneuverings, as was mentioned earlier in this commentary, is the fact that their multi-million dollar settlement was paid out of funds donated to the Society for the advancement of the “World Wide Work” without notifying the donors of how their funds are being used. The Society even boasts of the fact that oftentimes children from around the world donate small amounts of money to the Watchtower from their allowances and elderly widows living on limited means donate from their meager funds or even leave the Watchtower Society large sums in their wills. If Jehovah’s Witnesses only knew that their gifts were used to gag persons who were sexually abused from speaking out they might think twice before dropping their money into the contribution box at the kingdom hall.
Of course, the Watchtower Society will never disclose their backroom double dealings to Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a result of this supreme arrogance, the publishers, whose donations also support the entire Bethel headquarters staff, are not entitled to know what the Governing Body does with their money. In all of their literature we may be sure no mention will ever be made of the fact that kingdom funds were used to buy the silence of abuse victims.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are pathetically ignorant of the Watchtower’s treacherous doings. Up to this very moment the rank-and-file Jehovah’s Witness has been deluded into thinking that the Watchtower is being unfairly accused of covering up child abuse by disgruntled ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses and “opposers.”
Of course, Jehovah knows the truth. He sees all. He sees through Bethel’s phony pretense of righteousness.
In October of 2006, e-watchman sponsored the distribution of an open letter to the Watchtower Society entitled: A Conspiracy of Silence Soon to End. It was distributed to several thousand congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, for the purpose of informing the elders of the oncoming judgments of God contained in the prophetic Scriptures.
As in the days of Jeremiah, Jehovah gave the leadership of the Jewish nation many opportunities to make their dealings good so as to retain Jehovah’s blessing and continue residing in their land. However, Jehovah specifically warned the Jews not to presume to have his blessing merely because Jerusalem was home to God’s magnificent temple. Through Jeremiah, Jehovah said: “Do not put your trust in fallacious words, saying, ‘The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!’”
God went on to say that the way his people could retain his blessing was by carrying out justice and by doing what is right and not defrauding the alien resident, fatherless boy or widow. The Jews failed miserably to meet God’s standards of righteousness and so God caused the ruthless Babylonian army to sack Jerusalem and completely destroy Solomon’s temple.
God’s standards do not change. Just because Jehovah’s Witnesses may have enjoyed God’s good favor in the past does not mean that they always will. The Society has made it abundantly clear that they have no intention of doing what is right in behalf of the downtrodden. Their most recent settlement was obviously motivated by mere expediency. If the Society really cared about the lives of those that have been crushed by the cruel crimes of pedophilic Jehovah’s Witnesses wouldn’t we expect to see some formal apology to the victims? Would that be too much to ask of those who claim to be the lowly and humble footstep followers of the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Watchtower Society claims to be the “temple class.” That is to say, the Governing Body present themselves as the earthly leadership of the spiritual temple of God. For that reason all of Jehovah’s Witnesses assume that Bethel will always bask in the light of divine favor.
But in light of the general assumptions of Jehovah’s Witnesses buttressed by Bethel’s latest official utterance, it is clear that the leadership is essentially promoting our trusting in the very same self-dooming, fallacious words of Jeremiah’s prophecy; namely: ‘The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah they are!’
Just as Jehovah once used the Assyrians and Chaldeans as his forge hammer for smashing Israel and then Judea and “all the earth,” so too, Jehovah also has a modern-day avenger, soon to emerge as the foretold last king. (SeeA King of Fierce Countenance, The Watchtower: A Unique Calamity)
In the opening verses of the 10th chapter of Isaiah Jehovah pronounces “Woe to those who are enacting harmful regulations and those who, constantly writing, have written out sheer trouble, in order to push away the lowly ones from a legal case and to wrest away justice from the afflicted ones of my people, for the widows to become their spoil, and that they may plunder even the fatherless boys!”
The Watchtower Society has indeed “enacted harmful regulations” in the form of their “child abuse policy” that protects the abuser and which has “pushed away the lowly ones from a legal case” and wrested “away justice from the afflicted ones” of Jehovah’s people – all to the greater glory of Jehovah’s untarnished visible organization.
However, Bethel’s billion-dollar nest egg is due to be pillaged by Jehovah himself, even as Jehovah’s decree at Isaiah 10:12-14 sates: “With the power of my hand I shall certainly act, and with my wisdom, for I do have understanding; and I shall remove the boundaries of peoples, and their things stored up I shall certainly pillage, and I shall bring down the inhabitants just like a powerful one. And just as if a nest, my hand will reach the resources of the peoples; and just as when one gathers eggs that have been left, I myself will gather up even all the earth, and there will certainly be no one fluttering his wings or opening his mouth or chirping.”
No wonder the letter of James pronounces woe upon Christians who have fattened their hearts for the day of slaughter. Those who live like kings and princes in the ivory towers of Patterson and Brooklyn should give heed. Yes, indeed, let those who imagine that Jesus judged Jehovah’s house back in 1918, and that Christ supposedly appointed the Watchtower over all the master’s belongings already, wake up to the judgment to come. Let those who live off the nickels and dimes cajoled from the orphans and widows, but who deny the afflicted the wage of true justice, pay attention to the most relevant and timely message of the letter of James:
“Come, now, you rich men, weep, howling over your miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your outer garments have become moth-eaten.Your gold and silver are rusted away, and their rust will be as a witness against you and will eat your fleshy parts. Something like fire is what you have stored up in the last days. Look! The wages due the workers who harvested your fields but which are held up by you, keep crying out, and the calls for help on the part of the reapers have entered into the ears of Jehovah of armies. You have lived in luxury upon the earth and have gone in for sensual pleasure. You have fattened your hearts on the day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. Is he not opposing you?” (James 5:1-6)
This is an open letter to Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. It was originally published in May, 2006, and mailed directly to thousands of congregations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
It was a senseless and brutal crime. A young bride was viciously gang-raped and left to die – murdered. An entire nation was shocked by the outrage and quickly mobilized in response to the bizarre publicizing campaign of the grieving husband in order to see that the perpetrators were brought to justice. Incredibly, though, the leading men in the city where the crime took place stubbornly refused to hand over the guilty party, and instead of cooperating with those intent on bringing the depraved abusers to justice, they fought against them to protect the guilty from being punished. There was much needless bloodshed as a result. (The details of the matter are recorded in the concluding chapters of the Bible book of Judges.)
While this atrocity took place more than 3,000 years ago in the land of Israel, in a city called Gibeah, it has prophetic significance. That is apparent from the Hebrew book of Hosea, which was written 400 years after the incident in Gibeah, in which the prophet wrote of God’s future judgment: “The watchman of Ephraim was with my God. As regards a prophet, there is the trap of a birdcatcher on all his ways; there is an animosity in the house of his God. They have gone down deep in bringing ruin, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their error; he will give attention to their sins.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are, of course, not the first people to bear the name of God before the world. Long ago before the Christian era, the peoples of Israel and Judah exclusively represented Jehovah before the nations. They were the chosen people of God. Because of their covenanted relationship they bore a weighty responsibility before God. Amos 3:2 establishes the basis for their accountability, where Jehovah says to them: “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins." (NIV)
But Jehovah’s Witnesses have an accounting before God too – especially so, the Governing Body and secondary leadership of the organization. Christ himself stressed the principle of accountability in connection with his faithful slave, when he said: “Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him; and the one whom people put in charge of much, they will demand more than usual of him.” – Luke 12:48
Jehovah is a lover of righteousness, justice and mercy; therefore, he has made these precious qualities the very foundation of his throne. Everyone desirous of worshipping God acceptably must also become a lover and practicer of righteousness and justice. God especially expects those empowered as leaders of his people to be outspoken advocates and exemplars of his divine standards.
Because evil is so rampant in this world Jehovah has charged his servants to look after the disadvantaged, downtrodden and afflicted. God’s law to the Israelites particularly stressed the necessity of protecting the widows and fatherless boys from being exploited or otherwise abused. Sadly, though, as the prophets testify, the leaders of God’s nation fell far short of those divine requirements. For example, denouncing the princes of the famed city of Jerusalem, God said of them: “Your princes are stubborn and partners with thieves. Every one of them is a lover of a bribe and a chaser after gifts. For a fatherless boy they do not render judgment; and even the legal case of a widow does not get admittance to them.” – Isaiah 1:23
With the advent of Christianity the underlying principles of the Mosaic Law became the very foundation of the new form of worship Jesus instituted some 2,000 years ago. Summing up the essential requirements of the only acceptable form of worship in God’s sight, the letter of James succinctly states: “The form of worship 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.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have had the unique privilege of participating in what might be termed a religious revival. It has involved reviving long-lost biblical truths. Up until the last 100 years, or so, there had been little trace of the vital form of Christianity practiced by the apostles and early disciples. Over the centuries the truth of Scripture had been effectively obscured by the false teachings of Christendom.
Then, in the late 1800’s, Charles Russell and the early Bible Students were privileged to rediscover the basic doctrinal foundation of Christianity and they were fired with the same sort of evangelizing zeal to publish their discoveries as were the apostles, on a scale never before seen since the original Pentecost. There are sound reasons to believe that Jehovah is responsible for the phenomenal success of the worldwide preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses up until now.
But bearing the name of Jehovah before the world brings with it an enormous responsibility and it ought to be understood that a Christian’s obligation before God is not limited to merely preaching and teaching, but as already stated, Jehovah expects, yes, he demands, that we practice justice and mercy in the form of looking after the proverbial orphans and widows in their tribulation.
Just as was the case with the ancient Jews who bore God’s name and covenant, any negligence or gross failure on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses to uphold the foundational principles of true worship will have dire consequences. God does not change. Unfortunately, human nature does not change either. Sadly, tragically, the truth is the leadership of the Watchtower Society has followed the same degenerate path of the Israelite leaders in their failing to plead the legal case of the oppressed; in this instance the oppressed are the many sexually abused children of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As a consequence of the Society’s failure in this regard many have been stumbled from the truth and the name of Jehovah has been dishonored.
These are not the baseless accusations of “opposers” of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as some may imagine. It is a matter of public record. Undeniably, there have been literally thousands of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, both boys and girls, who have been sexually molested and raped by men who are or were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In recent years some have courageously decided not to remain silent any longer and have told their stories on television, in the mainstream press as well as on websites, such as Silentlambs. As of 2004, more than 2,000 of Jehovah’s Witnesses abuse victims had contacted the law office of Love and Norris and more than 6,000 had contacted Silentlambs. No doubt many more have chosen to remain silent. Shockingly, a Bethel insider has revealed that the Society maintains a secret database with the names of over 23,000 pedophiles. Bethel insists the number is far fewer. However, a recent court ruling in California may force the Watchtower to open congregation judicial files, as well as Bethel’s database of abusers, to examination. (The Wt has since secretly settled out of court to avoid opening their files to the courts.)
But the mere fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses have a pedophile problem, as serious as it is, is not the real problem. More problematic is the Society’s response to it. If you are an elder reading this open letter, chances are you know firsthand of incidents of sexual abuse within your own congregation or circuit. But have these crimes against children been handled properly? Think about it. Were the police or child protection agencies notified promptly? If not, why not? More importantly, were the victims satisfied with the outcome? Were they ministered to and comforted in the knowledge that justice had been served? And were steps taken to insure the safety of other children of the congregation who might be potential victims?
Realistically, of all the reported cases of child abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses, how many accused sexual predators are ever actually disfellowshipped? Given that the Society requires two eye witnesses to substantiate any accusation of sexual misconduct, in the lack of an outright confession of guilt very few abusers are ever put out of the organization. And even if they are, they may be quickly reinstated and the congregation most likely will never know the reason for the disfellowshipping in the first place. But given the fact that pedophiles are notorious recidivists does the Watchtower’s policy of silence protect or endanger your children?
It should be noted that Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, which required two or more witnesses to certain crimes. Christians are under the law of Christ. However, Jesus’ statement on the subject should not be understood to mean that Christian law requires two witnesses to an actual offense before the congregation can take action. Rather he merely established a procedure for setting matters straight after an offense had been committed. Note that Jesus said: “But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more.”
Is it reasonable to expect children to take along one or two to serve as witnesses to the crimes committed against them? Obviously, the independent witnesses are to bear witness to the fact that the offended party had tried to make peace with the offender. Also, Paul’s injunction not to accuse an older man without multiple witnesses should not be rigidly applied in instances where the accusers are children and the accused are not older men. Would not such cases be occasions for elders to plead the legal case of the afflicted by giving their accusations more then a perfunctory consideration?
The truth is the vast majority of accused child molesters are never disfellowshipped. Without a collaborating witness to the secret crimes of pedophiles, the perpetrators typically go unpunished and unexposed, while the victims are consoled with empty platitudes of “wait on Jehovah.” In all of this the congregations are usually never alerted that a suspected child predator is in their midst. For that matter, the Watchtower has never published anything specifically warning parents to be on guard against the tactics of pedophilic predators that may be lurking from within the congregations.
Again, given the scope of child abuse, which the Society’s own spokesman admits is “a scourge of our time,” does the Watchtower’s silence on this matter contribute to the protection of your children; does it raise awareness among parents, alerting them to the very real dangers posed by pedophilic “brothers,” or does it conceal the true nature and extent of the problem and provide cover for the many child predators among Jehovah’s Witnesses who operate in secrecy?
The Watchtower considers it a gross act of disloyalty to God for any of Jehovah’s Witnesses to speak out about their own abuse or to warn others of a pedophile in the congregation. Indeed, Bethel’s code of silence is enforced with a vengeance upon those who dare to speak out. Purportedly, there have been instances when victims have spoken to others of their abuse, or concerned friends have warned unsuspecting parents of the presence of a child predator in the congregation, only to be disfellowshipped or rebuked for slander or otherwise intimidated into silence with the threat with judicial action.
Child protection advocates are dealt with ruthlessly. Most notably, former Bethelite, Barbara Anderson, and long-time elder, Bill Bowen, were summarily disfellowshipped for speaking to the media and exposing the Watchtower’s child-endangering conspiracy of silence.
The Society’s code of silence extends to the general public as well. How so? The Watchtower’s public relations spokesman admits that the organization permits even known child predators to go out in field service, knocking on doors in the community. True, Bethel dictates that the pedophile must be chaperoned by another minister; but at a time when communities are demanding notification when convicted sexual predators move into an area, should we suppose the householders in the territory will feel secure in the knowledge that perhaps only one of a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses at their door is a pedophile? Is Bethel being socially responsible in allowing known child abusers to knock on the doors of unsuspecting householders, who often send their young children to answer the door for them? After all, Bethel encourages shut-in Witnesses who may be unable go door-to-door, to witness to their neighbors via letter writing and the telephone. Why, though, are pedophiles allowed to make face-to-face ministerial visits in the community? Should not love of neighbor be the guiding principle rather than the assumed ministerial rights of child abusers?
The Watchtower insists that their child abuse policy has adequately protected our children. But the sheer numbers of abuse victims alone should cause us to question that claim. Sadly, because of the Watchtower’s refusal to acknowledge that their policies may have contributed to the problem the courts of the land are now being called upon to decide these issues. What a reproach on Jehovah!
It is not a question of whether Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse, as the Society’s spokesman assures the public. No doubt the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are disgusted by the sin of pedophilia. Most people are for that matter. But that is not the issue. From Jehovah’s standpoint, the crucial question is whether his shepherds have taken up the legal cause of the oppressed. So, the question is: Has the leadership of the organization fulfilled their sacred duty to protect and comfort the most vulnerable? The Watchtower insists in the affirmative. But if Bethel has really pleaded the legal case of the sufferers, why would the plaintiffs seek legal redress for their anguish in secular courts? True to Hosea 10:4, the leaders of God’s people “make many promises, take false oaths and make agreements; therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.” (NIV)
Take the case of Vicki Boer, in Toronto: The unpleasant particulars of the case aside, the Watchtower admitted that the appointed elders were negligent. The judge agreed. It turns out, though, before the actual trial Bethel’s lawyers had offered Vicki Boer an out-of-court settlement of $50,000 dollars, which she declined. But why? Because the money came with a so-called gag order – hush money, which would have legally silenced Mrs. Boer and “gagged” her from speaking about her abuse publicly. Commenting on her decision, Mrs. Boer is quoted as saying: "It has never been about money. If it were, I would have taken the offers. It is about a victim’s right to tell their story and to let people know how the Jehovah’s Witnesses treat victims of sexual abuse.”
As a Watchtower article on pedophilia even acknowledges, pedophilia thrives in the silence of the abused, and victims are psychologically harmed by the silence and secrecy. Part of the healing process may involve speaking about the crimes that have been committed against them. In view of the fact that the Watchtower made the offer to Mrs. Boer, it is an admission of guilt on their part. Basically, Bethel has said, ‘Yes, our elders were negligent, and we will compensate you, but you must not speak about this publicly.’
Although gag orders are common in the legal world, essentially they amount to a bribe paid to the plaintiff – albeit a legal one.
But here are a few questions to consider: Is it an honorable thing for the Watchtower’s Legal Department to offer hush money to an abuse victim in order to keep them from speaking out? Is justice served by such a course? Why not simply compensate the victim for their pain and suffering and leave it at that? Where is the integrity in this kind of backroom lawyering? Is this not indicative of an ongoing conspiracy on the part of the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses to impose their code of silence upon the abused? Moreover, although Vicki Boer is not an actual orphan or widow, has the Society honestly honored the spirit and principle embodied in the scriptural mandate to “look after orphans and widows in their tribulation”?
Ask any elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses if they are responsible to protect the brothers and sisters in their congregation from being abused or otherwise preyed upon by animalistic individuals and they will unhesitatingly affirm that to be true.
Commendably, Bethel has endeavored to instill a deep sense of personal responsibility into each congregational shepherd. For example, here is a quote from the Watchtower magazine:
“Jehovah’s sheep need to be protected from other dangers as well. The ancient shepherd David fearlessly protected his father’s flock from predators. Today, too, occasions may arise when concerned Christian shepherds have to show courage in order to protect the flock from any who might mistreat or oppress Jehovah’s sheep, particularly the more vulnerable ones. Elders will be quick to remove from the congregation willful sinners who deliberately use trickery, deceit, and scheming in order to perpetrate wickedness.” – Watchtower, June 1st, 1999
Now consider what the Watchtower’s legal team says as regards an elder’s responsibility to protect the flock. In a recent civil court case in New Hampshire, Holly Berry vs the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Society’s lawyers claimed that congregation overseers bore no “fiduciary duty to protect the plaintiffs from abuse.”
According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, “fiduciary duty is a legal relationship between two or more parties.” A fiduciary is a trustee. It doesn’t matter that the majority of judges of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire happened to agree with the Watchtower’s defense, and the legal jargon notwithstanding, do Christian elders have a duty – a sacred trust – to do everything in their power to protect children from abuse? All of Jehovah’s Witnesses know the answer to that question.
Of course, Jehovah makes allowance for mistakes, but is it really a mistake or a result of mere negligence for lawyers representing the Watchtower Society before the court to deny that elders have a duty to protect our children or assert that there is not a special relationship between the shepherds and the sheep of the flock?
Incidentally, the judge and jury found Paul Berry’s crimes so heinous that he was sentenced to over 50 years in prison. Nevertheless, Paul Berry was evidently not even disfellowshipped. The Watchtower reportedly even paid for his defense and fellow congregation members were urged to take the stand as “character witnesses.”
Sadly, the Society’s legal maneuverings in New Hampshire are by no means an anomaly. In an ongoing case in Texas of Amy B. vs Watchtower Inc., as reported on by the plaintiff’s attorney, Kimberlee Norris, in Law.com, (now only viewable with paid subscription) the Society’s hired lawyer “wrote in a motion for summary judgment that his clients owed no duty to protect Amy B. from the crime of a congregant.”
In the case of Amy B., the elders knew that Larry Kelly was an admitted abuser. However, they placed him in a position of responsibility anyway; assigning him to take the lead in conducting daily “field service arrangements.” As a result of the trust the elders placed in Brother Kelly, he won little Amy’s trust too and eventually he sexually abused her. As an elder, what is your opinion as to the Society’s claim that elders are not duty-bound to protect little ones from exposure to those whom they know have committed crimes against children? More importantly, what is Jehovah’s opinion? (Amy was a recipient of the Watchtower’s 2009 million-dollar out-of-court settlement.)
Again, the guilt or innocence of the local elders is not the issue here. As tragic as their negligence was, the local elders are excusable. Men do make mistakes. Everyone suffers an occasional lapse of judgment from time to time. No doubt the elders deeply regret they ever trusted Larry Kelly. The Society, on the other hand, bears a much heavier guilt. Their petitions to the courts are not a one-time mistake by inexperienced overseers; but rather, their course is unquestionably the product of boardroom policy. And by their behind-closed-doors declarations that elders have no duty or responsibility to protect Jehovah’s sheep, they have calculatingly repudiated Christianity itself.
It is as if Bethel has two mouths. With one mouth they publicly instruct the elders of their scriptural duty to protect the flock. With the other mouth, which few of Jehovah’s Witnesses have ever heard, they quietly whisper in the courts that elders have no such duty. There is only one word to describe Bethel’s behavior – hypocritical! Presciently, Hosea 10:2 says of Jehovah’s organization: “Their heart has become hypocritical; now they will be found guilty.”
Now, let us consider the import of the prophecy of Hosea, where the prophet wrote: “They have gone down deep in bringing ruin, as in the days of Gibeah.” The sin and ruination “in the days of Gibeah” was not in reference to the actual sex crime that took place, as bad as it was. The Benjaminites brought ruin to their tribe by their own foolish refusal to allow justice to be done. Jehovah actually sanctioned their ruination. Later, in the days of the prophets, the Israelites “went down deep in bringing ruin” upon themselves too, by their unfaithfulness.
More significantly, Jehovah’s judicial decisions contained in the prophecy of Hosea are most relevant for God’s people in this era, evidenced by the fact that Hosea 3:4 places the ultimate outworking of the judgments upon the spiritual house of God as taking place in the prophetically designated period of “the final part of the days” – that is when Jehovah “will remember their error” and “will give attention to their sins” – and when a chastened remnant “come quivering to Jehovah and to his goodness.”
It should be obvious that no such judgment took place upon the house of God in 1918, or any time since then; nor is the prophecy applicable to Christendom. They do not constitute a spiritual house of God. Jehovah is yet to give attention to our sins – individually, as well as the sins of the nation-like organization under the direction of the Watchtower Society.
The Society’s guilt and the necessity of God’s discipline are evident: Instead of cooperating with the victims and vigorously prosecuting child predators; instead of warning parents of the true extent to which pedophiles lurk within the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower has engaged in a conspiracy of silence and has gone to great lengths to pervert justice – “as in the days of Gibeah.”
Instead of protecting and ministering to the tender lambs in the flock, the Organization has opened its considerable war-chest and is obviously prepared to spend millions of dollars of donated funds to crush the legal cases of the afflicted. By their stubborn refusal to acknowledge any duty to protect, or any obligation to justly compensate the children who were raped under their neglectful watch, the leadership of the Watchtower Society has indeed “gone deep in bringing ruin.”
The 82nd Psalm is addressed to the “sons of the Most High,” who are referred to by the Psalmist as “gods” because of the godlike authority to judge, which Jehovah has graciously conferred upon them. Did not Paul remind the holy ones in Corinth that they were destined to judge angels, as well as matters of this life? At John 10:34, Jesus Christ quoted the Psalm and applied it to the Pharisees; but the Pharisees were not “sons of the Most High”; no, as Jesus said, their real father was the Devil. In reality the 82nd Psalm is a rebuke of the anointed sons of God living at the time immediately before the kingdom of God takes possession of the nations. That is why the concluding verse of the Psalm says: “Do rise up, O God, do judge the earth; for you yourself should take possession of all the nations.”
Jehovah is the ultimate judge, even of the anointed sons of God. Hence, the Psalm says: “God is stationing himself in the assembly of the Divine One; In the middle of the gods he judges.”
And why does the Divine One rebuke his own sons? Jehovah answers in verses 2-5: “How long will you keep on judging with injustice and showing partiality to the wicked themselves? Be judges for the lowly one and the fatherless boy. To the afflicted one and the one of little means do justice. Provide escape for the lowly one and the poor one; out of the hand of the wicked ones deliver them.”
Anointed Christians constitute a spiritual house of God – “the assembly of the Divine One.” True to the Psalm, those who are recognized as representing the anointed on the earth today promote policies for handling cases of child abuse that are unjust and show “partiality to the wicked” abusers. The Society has simply refused to be judges in behalf of “the fatherless boy.” Inarguably, they have failed to “provided escape for the lowly one and the poor one,” out from the clutches of the wicked one. That is why the Psalm goes on to say: “They have not known, and they do not understand; in darkness they keep walking about; all the foundations of the earth are made to totter.”
“All the foundations of the earth are made to totter” in the sense that the very foundational principles of Christianity, namely justice, righteousness and mercy, have not been practiced by those whom Jehovah has adopted as his own sons. Jehovah himself is now obligated to set matters straight.
Up until this very moment Jehovah has kept silent. But his keeping quiet should not be construed as an endorsement of the Society’s conspiracy of silence. Isaiah 42:14, the context of which is God’s reprimand of those whom he designates as witnesses of Jehovah, says: “I have kept quiet for a long time. I continued silent. I kept exercising self-control. Like a woman giving birth I am going to groan, pant, and gasp at the same time.”
Ironically, when Jehovah speaks he will put the organizational oracle and institutional mother of his people to silence, as Hosea 4:5-6 foretells: “And you will certainly stumble in the daytime, and even a prophet must stumble with you, as at night. And I will put your mother to silence. My people will certainly be silenced, because there is no knowledge.”
The wise congregator once wrote, “There is a time to keep quiet and a time to speak.” Given his deep concern for the lowly and afflicted and the zeal he has for his own name and reputation, and the great damage and reproach the Watchtower’s conspiracy of silence has wrought, if there ever was a time for Jehovah to speak, it is now!
This is an open letter to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. Please print a copy and sent it to any number of departments at Brooklyn Bethel or any of the other 100 branch offices of the Watchtower Society around the world. Most of the branch overseers read English.
Bethel has occasionally produced articles counseling Jehovah’s Witnesses on the need for them to be quick to apologize when they may cause offense. But what about the Watchtower? Has it ever apologized? Personally, I’m fairly familiar with everything the Watchtower has published over the years and I am not aware of any instance in which the Society has ever apologized for anything.
Of course, the Watchtower Society is comprised of many men. And no doubt, as individuals you likely have apologized to others on occasion. But as for the individuals who write and speak for the Watchtower organization itself, that is another matter entirely. And this is truly unfortunate, because from God’s standpoint, Jehovah judges his organization as if it were a single person. Does not Jehovah refer to his nation as "Jacob" and "Israel"? Does not Christ have a congregation, his body? Is not the Watchtower viewed by Jehovah’s Witnesses as the very manifestation of the faithful and discreet slave? (singular) And more than that, the Watchtower expects Jehovah’s Witnesses to show unwavering loyalty and obedience to everything the so-called slave class utters.
So, while the Watchtower frequently counsels Jehovah’s Witnesses on the need for them to be quick about apologizing to others, in order to keep the peace; sadly, the Slave of Christ has never followed his own counsel.
When one does not practice what they preach – be they individuals or an institution like the Watchtower – that is called hypocrisy.
You men who write and speak for the Watchtower Society; likely you may feel there is nothing over which Bethel ought to apologize. But what about the thousands of children who have been sexually abused and molested by men who were themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses?
(It is here acknowledged that a Watchtower spokesman once expressed regret for the victims, and he declared that Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor the scourge of child abuse, but that is not good enough. The reason it is not good enough is because the Watchtower has never publicly acknowledged that it has played any part or has been negligent in any way in regards to the many children who have been harmed.)
And yet privately the Watchtower has paid out millions of dollars in recent months to abuse victims in order to keep the plaintiffs out of court. Of course, the payment of an out-of-court settlement is not the same as an admission of guilt, not legally anyway; but everyone knows that it is a tacit admission. If the Watchtower was not at fault, if the abused plaintiffs had no case against the Society, why would Bethel allow itself to be shaken down that way? Why would the Watchtower’s attorneys timidly hand over millions of dollars of donated funds from hard-working Jehovah’s Witnesses if the lawyers of the plaintiffs had no case and were merely extorting money from the Society? Why not go to court and depend on Jehovah for victory? The answer is obvious. The plaintiffs had a winnable case. Like any corporation, the Watchtower took the most expedient path to dismiss the cases against it.
So, why not sincerely and publicly apologize to the victims of abuse and the entire brotherhood under your domain? The Governing Body and the Legal Department well know their guilt. And thousands of elders who have sat in on judicial cases and had dealings with the Watchtower’s legal team in times past also know quite well that in many instances Bethel gave direct orders to elders forbidding them to contact the police in order to report that a crime had been committed against a child in their congregation. Children and their parents were at times even threatened with judicial action if they even attempted to expose pedophiles in the congregations.
Jehovah and Christ liken their people to sheep. They are precious to them. Jesus gave his life for his Father’s sheep. Jesus said it is not a desirable thing with his Father for even one of the sheep to be lost. But how many tender, lamblike child abuse victims have been skinned and lost because of the way the elders and Bethel have mishandled their cases?
If even one child has been stumbled and turned their back on God because of mistreatment at the hands of abusers and lack of support and protection on the part of their elders and the Governing Body, would that not be one child too many?
WHY THE WATCHTOWER OUGHT TO APOLOGIZE
The Watchtower Society published an article in 2002, which has also been published on your website entitled: Why Should I Apologize? Here is an excerpt of the article:
When we find out that someone was offended by what we said or did, we may feel that the person is being unreasonable or too sensitive. Yet, Jesus Christ advised his disciples: "If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and you there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away; first make your peace with your brother, and then, when you have come back, offer up your gift."—Matthew 5:23, 24.
For example, a brother may feel that you have sinned against him. In such a situation, Jesus says that you are to go and "make your peace with your brother," whether you feel you have done him wrong or not. According to the Greek text, the word Jesus here used 'denotes mutual concession after mutual hostility.' (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words) Indeed, when two humans are at odds, there may be a measure of blame on both sides, since both are imperfect and prone to err. This usually calls for mutual concessions.
According to the Watchtower’s own advice, even if the accused is innocent the Christian thing to do is to apologize – for the sake of the offended. Certainly, there are many who accuse the Watchtower of many evil things. It seems that a "concession" on your part could go a long way towards making peace. But an apology can do more than merely make peace. An apology coming from the Watchtower could potentially be life saving to untold thousands among the stumbled. There is no question about it, if the Watchtower’s spokesmen were to come clean, so to speak, and humbly and sincerely make a confession of their double-dealings and hypocrisy, it could be like a breath of fresh air for many who have been sickened by your dealings.
Commendably, the Society has expressed interest in those who have been disfellowshipped; and some years back Bethel initiated a program, whereby, once a year the elders are to call upon those in their territories who may be disfellowshipped, to see if perhaps they could be assisted to take steps to come back to the congregation. As an elder back in the late 80’s, I participated in that program and called on a disfellowshipped man in our territory and made a few follow-up visits; he began coming back to meetings and was eventually reinstated. That was very gratifying for me personally.
The Watchtower has the opportunity to extend their healing hand to many thousands of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who have left in disgust or who have been disfellowshipped for disagreeing with the Organization on various things, and many others who have simply left off studying because of so many stumbling blocks. If a simple article expressing the faithful slave’s deepest apology for having stumbled so many could restore the faith of at least a few who have fallen away, would it not be unconscionable for the Watchtower not to offer a few words of sincere regret and apology?
Assuredly, Jehovah will judge you accordingly.
Dear Brothers and Friends of the truth:
This open letter is directed to Jehovah’s Witnesses and interested persons on the World Wide Web. Over the coming months it will be mailed directly to elder bodies in thousands of congregations across the United States; as well as to all assembly halls in the U.S. and 100 branch offices of the Watchtower Society around the world and to departmental heads among the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Brooklyn Bethel and the Patterson Educational facilities in New York. Admittedly, it is a challenge to present the deep things of prophecy in a few pages, but due to the limitations imposed by postage and handling of a mass mailing of this scope, this essay should be considered as merely an introduction to a much larger body of work published on the Internet over the past five years at e-watchman.com and more recently in the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King.
Nearly all of the Hebrew prophets vividly foretold it – namely: Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Micah, Amos, Hosea, Joel and Zephaniah. God was determined to punish his own chosen people –Israel first, and then Judah – sending them into exile in far away lands.
Even more distressing from the standpoint of the true worshippers of God, the very city upon which Jehovah had placed his sacred name – Jerusalem – was going to be razed to the ground by the demon-worshipping Chaldeans. Also slated for destruction – the kingdom of David, with whom God had made a covenant for a kingdom; as well the magnificent temple David’s son had built for Jehovah. The very priests of God were going to be treated with contempt by men of the nations. And what was once the center of true worship in all the earth would become a mere heap of ruins – a desolate waste.
So it was, that, immediately prior to the siege of Jerusalem the command was given to have the message of the imminent end of Jehovah’s earthly organization declared: “Tell it in Judah, you men, and publish it even in Jerusalem, and say it out, and blow a horn throughout the land. Call out loudly and say: ‘Gather yourselves together, and let us enter into the fortified cities. Raise a signal toward Zion. Make provision for shelter. Do not stand still.’ For there is a calamity that I am bringing in from the north, even a great crash. He has gone up as a lion out of his thicket, and the one who is bringing the nations to ruin has pulled away; he has gone forth from his place in order to render your land as an object of astonishment. Your own cities will fall in ruins so that there will be no inhabitant.” – Jer.4:5-7
Jehovah’s Witnesses may recognize the similarity of the description of the fall of Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day and the desolation of the holy place and the city of Jerusalem in the first century, which Christ indicated would have global ramifications during the conclusion of the present system of things.
For example, in both instances decisive, life-saving action had to be taken. And on both occasions the desolator came from the symbolic north. (In the first century Rome was the prophetic king of the north.)
The crucial question, though, is this: What is typified by the judgments of Jehovah against Jerusalem?
According to the teachings of the Watchtower Society, the desolation of Jerusalem, both in Jeremiah’s day and in the first century, foreshadows the coming destruction of the churches of Christendom. The reasoning behind such an interpretation is that both Jerusalems had become apostate, and hence cannot represent Jehovah’s modern organization, which is presumed to be faithful.
But is that reasoning sound? Moreover, does that interpretation agree with the inherent harmony of Bible prophecy? And is there any way to definitively determine the truth?
The answer to these questions is more then merely academic, as there is much more at stake than just the credibility of the Watchtower Society. Millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses have unreservedly put their trust in the Society’s prophetic interpretations. But, if the future does not unfold in the way that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to expect by the Governing Body there will inevitably be many who will be stumbled. Did not Jesus himself foretell that this very thing would occur during the conclusion; namely, that “many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another”?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are under the impression that simply being a member of the Watchtower Society-directed organization places them in the symbolic Ark of salvation. Even more disturbing, Bethel has subtly fostered the unfounded belief that the judgment and cleansing of the house of God began decades ago and that Jehovah’s Witnesses will be mere passive observers of the judgments to come.
However, according to Jesus Christ, the salvation of Christians will ultimately hinge upon their taking decisive action in fleeing out of the doomed antitypical Jerusalem and its holy place, when once the prophetic “disgusting thing” takes up a position where it ought not. Not only that, but Jesus foretold that the angels will, afterwards, gather God’s chosen ones from the four corners of the earth. Obviously, if there is yet to be a final gathering together of all of Jehovah’s chosen ones after the tribulation upon Jerusalem is cut short, even if it is ultimately a gathering to heaven, then, is that not suggestive of a future scattering of those very chosen ones in connection with the desolation of the holy place?
Because of such obvious discrepancies, and many others besides, it behooves us to re-examine the relevant prophecies at hand. Especially so in view of the lateness of the hour, made more urgent by the ominously gathering storm clouds of yet another world war, likely involving nuclear weapons, and the foreboding rumblings of an unprecedented global financial crash; as well as the specter of food shortages due to hyperinflation or economic collapse; also, a potential global pandemic brought on by a relentlessly mutating, virulent Avian virus. Equally disconcerting, the American republic is poised to descend into martial law or even totalitarianism at the earliest outbreak of these looming calamities.
In short, we are facing the catastrophic death-stroke upon the Anglo-American beast and the persecution of the holy ones on a scale never before seen or imagined. Most sobering of all, the stage is now set for the horsemen of the Apocalypse to burst on the scene in full gallop; signaling the sudden, thief-like visitation of Christ as the Inspector of God’s spiritual temple.
As in Jeremiah’s day, a great crash is in store for God’s self-confident people. Indeed, Jehovah’s appointed, imperial executioner is stirring – like a lion leaving his lair!
In view of Bethel’s seeming disinterest in revising their teachings, the intent of this open letter is to lay bare the Watchtower Society’s unsatisfactory interpretations of these vital prophecies and pull back the curtain upon Jehovah’s future judgments against that which is recognized as the house of God, to the end that our trust may be in God’s prophetic word and not in the staid interpretations of corporate-appointed committees of men, no matter their assumed authority and spiritual qualifications. “Make sure of all things, hold fast to what is fine” is surely timely admonition for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“LET THE READER USE DISCERNMENT”
Since Christians would be required to make a life-and- death decision shortly after the disgusting thing begins “standing where it ought not,” Jesus kindly advised his followers to consult the prophecy of Daniel for additional insight, saying: “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place, (let the reader use discernment,) then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.”
What feature of Daniel’s prophecy may Jesus have had in mind? No doubt Christ intended 1st century readers to discern that the 9th chapter of Daniel had relevance for them. That is where we read: “And upon the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the one lying desolate." But what may Jesus have intended for us to discern from Daniel’s prophecy – those alive during “the conclusion of the system of things”? No doubt Jesus was familiar with the passage of Daniel, where we are told: "And he will actually go back and hurl denunciations against the holy covenant and act effectively; and he will have to go back and will give consideration to those leaving the holy covenant. And there will be arms that will stand up, proceeding from him; and they will actually profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant feature. And they will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation.” – Daniel 11:30-31
Disregarding the identity of the king of the north for the moment, “the sanctuary, the fortress” and “the constant feature” have reference to that which belongs to God – being the principal features of the worship of Jehovah in the Christian era. In other words, “the sanctuary and the fortress” are a holy place to Jehovah. As the Watchtower has recognized, “the constant feature” has to do with the regular sacrifices of praise offered to God in his sanctuary. This is collaborated by Daniel 8:13 – a disclosure of developments during “the time of the end,” which refers to a king fierce in countenance “causing desolation” to the "holy place" and removing "the constant feature." Daniel 8:13 reads: “How long will the vision be of the constant feature and of the transgression causing desolation, to make both the holy place and the army things to trample on?”
The "putting in place the disgusting thing that causes desolation" is in reference to the sanctuary of Jehovah, of which Christ is both the cornerstone and High priest. Given the similar content and wording of the prophecies of Daniel it should be evident to the discerning reader that the holy place that is destined to come to desolation and be trampled underfoot by the nations for an appointed time is the spiritual domain of the holy ones – Christ’s true congregation. And that is, of course, exactly what the Watchtower teaches. However, inexplicably, the Watchtower teaches that the king of the north profaned the spiritual sanctuary and removed the constant feature of praise when Adolf Hitler and the Fascists persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses. But not only that, the Watchtower also teaches that the king of fierce countenance profaned the same sanctuary and somehow brought the holy ones to ruin when the Anglo-American king persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Second World War. Furthermore, the 12th chapter of Daniel also refers to the putting in place of the disgusting thing and the removal of the constant feature, which the Society applies to 1918 and the creation of the League of Nations.
So, three prophecies that essentially foretell the exact same thing are interpreted by the Watchtower to have been fulfilled in three different ways – all in the past! And yet, in spite of applying the prophecies of Daniel regarding the desolation and trampling of the holy place to the persecutions of the International Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses – albeit on three different occasions – Bethel steadfastly insists that the holy place Jesus referred to, which is destined to be desolated by the disgusting thing of Daniel’s prophecy, represents Christendom! No wonder Jesus advised the reader to use discernment. Could the Watchtower be any less discerning in these vital matters?
“UNTIL THE APPOINTED TIMES OF THE NATIONS ARE FULFILLED”
The primary foundation for the Watchtower’s teaching regarding the presence of the Lord beginning in 1914 is based upon the seven times chronology that the Watchtower has connected to “the appointed times of the nations,” which Christ mentioned in relation to the desolation of the holy place.
In the context of his prophecy of the conclusion, Jesus went on to say: “Woe to the pregnant women and the ones suckling a baby in those days! For there will be great necessity upon the land and wrath on this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.” – Luke 21:23-24
A simple and straightforward reading of Christ’s words in their context ought to be understood to have application to the then-existing temple and city of Jerusalem and the generation of Jews then living. Surely the disciples understood Jesus to be foretelling that Jerusalem and the temple were going to be destroyed and that their fellow Jews would “fall by the edge of the sword” at a future time. After all, Jesus’ entire discussion was initiated when he told the apostles that ‘a stone would not be left standing upon a stone’ at the site of Herod’s temple. That prompted Christ’s disciples to ask him when the destruction of the temple would come about. They were not at all concerned about Solomon’s temple that had long since been destroyed, but the temple that was then standing. And Jesus answered their questions accordingly. For example, in pronouncing woe upon the pregnant and nursing women of that generation, Jesus said – “in those days” – meaning, obviously, in the days when the disgusting thing would bring desolation. Then, in the very same breath, Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would – after its desolation by the disgusting thing – continue to be trampled underfoot by the nations for a pre-determined interval; hence, “until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled.”
There should be no question but that Jesus was speaking of a future trampling of Jerusalem that would commence when the disgusting thing appeared. There is absolutely nothing in the context of the 21st chapter of Luke, or in any other gospel account for that matter, which would suggest that “the appointed times of the nations” was an ongoing period that began five centuries earlier when Babylon laid waste to Jerusalem. Neither is there any justification in applying the seven times of Daniel’s prophecy to “the appointed times of the nations.”
Although the Watchtower has devised a crude algebraic formula that purportedly divines all but the precise hour of the commencement of Jesus’ parousia, and millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses have unquestioningly accepted such chronology as an authentic interpretation of divine prophecy, we ought to be reminded of the fact “that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation” – meaning, that interpretation of prophecy is not determined by private individuals or by committee. Prophecy can only be understood as it relates to the over all harmony of all other prophecy. In other words – prophecy interprets itself.
Hence, as regards the appointed time for the nations to trample God’s holy city the key to unlocking the meaning of Christ’s prophecy is found in the 11th chapter of Revelation, which reads as follows: “And a reed like a rod was given me as he said: ‘Get up and measure the temple sanctuary of God and the altar and those worshiping in it. But as for the courtyard that is outside the temple sanctuary, cast it clear out and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”
Keeping in mind that Revelation was written over two decades after Jerusalem and the temple were leveled by the Romans, the prophecy undeniably pertains to the aforementioned spiritual sanctuary. The holy city that is destined to be trampled on by the nations must be the antitypical Jerusalem. Therefore, the so-called Gentile times are plainly revealed in prophecy to be forty-two months and not 2,520 years, as Jehovah’s Witnesses have been led to believe. The forty-two months, expressed variously in Revelation and Daniel as 1,260 days and a time, times and half a time, is the short period of time following Satan’s ouster from heaven and the subsequent death stroke administered to the leading head of Satan’s seven-headed political beast, during which time the holy ones, who are the prospective residents of the New Jerusalem, are trampled underfoot by the tyrannical last king. (Daniel 8:14 explains that the holy place will be brought into its right condition after an interval of 2,300 “evenings and mornings.” Since each day has one evening and one morning, 2,300 evenings and mornings may simply be a cryptic way of expressing 1,150 days.)
Interestingly, the Proclaimers book even acknowledges that C.T. Russell borrowed the seven times chronology from 19th century British clergymen, such as John Brown, E.B. Elliott and Robert Seeley. Perhaps not coincidently, these men were also the progenitors of the doctrine of British Israelism and Zionism, which has served as the religious justification for Anglo-American imperialism in the Middle East to this very day and may serve as a detonator for nuclear war.
Of course, the Watchtower teaches that the 11th chapter of Revelation was fulfilled back in 1918, when a few paragraphs of the long-since discarded Finished Mystery book were censored and eight Watchtower officials were incarcerated for several months in the Atlanta penitentiary on charges of sedition. But realistically, the relatively minor travails of a handful of Bible Students back then can hardly compare to the tribulation that befell earthly Jerusalem, which, according to the teachings of Christ, establishes a pattern for what is to befall the chosen ones during the Lord’s day. However, the Watchtower’s erroneous application, while off on the timing, at least establishes the concept of “Jerusalem” (the holy city) representing something other than Christendom in prophecy.
The Society reasons that the first century destruction of Jerusalem must typify Christendom’s fiery end, for the reason that Jerusalem was rejected and condemned by Christ. However, it is also true that the apostles continued to honor the temple arrangement and the Mosaic Law as something holy long after Christ’s resurrection and the inauguration of the new covenant. That is evident from the account in the 21st chapter of Acts, where the apostles instructed Paul to ceremonially cleanse himself and appear in the temple in order to quell the rumors that he had been preaching an apostasy from Moses.
And even though the first century Christians were said to have approached “the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,” earthly Jerusalem evidently remained the unofficial headquarters for the apostles up until the disgusting thing appeared. In that respect earthly Jerusalem typifies the Watchtower Society, which has similarly served as a tutor leading to Christ and as a rallying point for those who are destined to become part of the New Jerusalem. But just as Paul had to remind the Hebrew Christians of earthly Jerusalem’s impermanence, so too, Jehovah’s Witnesses, especially those who are anointed, should consider the import of the apostles words at Hebrews 13:14 – “for we do not have here a city that continues, but we are earnestly seeking the one to come.”
“YOU BRAGGARTS, YOU RULERS OF THIS PEOPLE WHO ARE IN JERUSALEM”
The 28th chapter of Isaiah contains perhaps the most profound, yet least understood revelations of the future judgments of Jehovah in all of the prophetic Scriptures. Although cast in the primitive setting of God’s judgments against Israel and Jerusalem, the prophecy actually casts light directly upon the spiritual condition of the leadership of God’s spiritual nation at the very time of Christ’s stealth-like inspection. How so?
First, in the open verses of the 28th chapter of Isaiah the land of Ephraim is described as “the fading blossom of its decoration of beauty.” Elsewhere in prophecy, namely Daniel, the spiritual domain of Christianity is described as “the land of the Decoration.” A “fading blossom,” then, is actually a fitting designation for the Watchtower Society.
Sadly, the Society is now like a wilted flower compared to its glory in decades past. For example, gone are the days when Jehovah’s Witnesses were in the public eye because of their staunch refusal to salute the flag or their refusal to be pressured to take up arms. Gone, too, are the days when Bethel’s lawyers argued for the constitutional rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses before the Supreme Court. Now the Watchtower Society is more likely to be in the news because of some sort of internal scandal or the criminal behavior of its members. And Bethel’s lawyers are more apt to be arguing against the legal case of sexually abused plaintiffs in an effort to protect the Society’s substantial assets.
Jehovah’s Witnesses should take note of the fact that God, through Jeremiah, commanded the Jews to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar – that is, if they wanted to continue living. They were not to fight, but were to fall away to the Chaldeans. God’s instructions were as follows: “Here I am putting before you people the way of life and the way of death. The one sitting still in this city will die by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence; but the one who is going out and who actually falls away to the Chaldeans who are laying siege against you will keep living, and his soul will certainly come to be his as a spoil.” – Jeremiah 21:8-9
Now the point: In contrast with God’s instructions at Jeremiah 21:8-9, consider what Isaiah 28:5-6 says: “In that day Jehovah of armies will become as a crown of decoration and as a garland of beauty to the ones remaining over of his people, and as a spirit of justice to the one sitting in the judgment, and as mightiness to those turning away the battle from the gate.”
Reasoning on the verses above, it becomes apparent that Isaiah’s prophecy does not strictly apply to the Assyrian siege of Israel or the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. That is evident by reason of the fact that God did not become a “crown of decoration” to the rebellious Jews who might have tried to resist the invaders and turn “away the battle from the gate.” Furthermore, the prophecy could not apply to modern Christendom; unless Bethel is willing to concede that “the ones remaining over of his people” are to be the survivors of Christendom’s future destruction.
Not only that, but the denunciation is directed specifically against both Ephraim and the “rulers of this people who are in Jerusalem.” As Jehovah’s Witnesses are aware, Israel and Jerusalem were destroyed on separate occasions, yet the prophecy speaks as if Israel and Jerusalem were destroyed at the same time. That is because the prophecy has a broader application to Jehovah’s spiritual nation.
Also noteworthy, the rulers of Jerusalem did not merely claim to have authority over God’s people, they actually had God-given authority conferred upon them by means of the Law, as in the case of the officiating priests, and by virtue of God’s covenant with David for an everlasting kingdom, in the case of the kings and princes. So, in that respect Jerusalem could hardly typify the hundreds of different sects of Christendom and their ruling clergy who falsely claim to be Christian.
“Braggarts” is an apt description of the spirit of the Bethel establishment, who claim to have already passed the test of loyalty. (See March, 1st, 2004, issue of the Watchtower) In fact, the Governing Body boasts of having already been appointed over not just the domestics, to feed them at the proper time, but over all of the master’s kingdom belongings – a reward that is only to be given when Christ finally settles accounts with all of his slaves. Could anything be more presumptuous than boasting of having already attained the ultimate reward?
Even those who are depicted as having God’s favor are nevertheless also in a spiritually drunken state, as Isaiah 28:7-8 states: “And these also—because of wine they have gone astray and because of intoxicating liquor they have wandered about. Priest and prophet—they have gone astray because of intoxicating liquor, they have become confused as a result of the wine, they have wandered about as a result of the intoxicating liquor; they have gone astray in their seeing, they have reeled as to decision. For the tables themselves have all become full of filthy vomit—there is no place without it.”
As the Watchtower Society is well aware, the verses above pertain to spiritual drunkenness and not literal intoxication. However, is it possible that the modern “priest and prophet” class of Jehovah “have gone astray because of intoxicating liquor”? Well, consider a few more examples of how the leadership of the organization “have become confused.” Take for instance the fact that the Watchtower insists that Jehovah’s Witnesses are presently living the fulfillment of the prophecies that foretell of the creation of what is called a “spiritual paradise.” According to what is written at Isaiah 35:8-9, though, not one foolish or animalistic person will be found in the company of Jehovah’s blessed people. Does that describe the condition of Jehovah’s Witnesses presently? No, it does not. By the Society’s own admission tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses are disfellowshipped every year for practicing all manner of immorality and wickedness. Many more live double lives and are never found out. Worse, thousands of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been victimized by rapacious sexual predators, some of them even serving as trusted elders and ministerial servants. The Watchtower’s legal department recently has even admitted to paying out millions of dollars of funds donated to the advancement of the kingdom to silence abuse victims with legally binding gag orders. Even though Bethel is well aware of these facts they continue to teach the lie that the organization is a verdant spiritual paradise. It is as if their reasoning faculties have been impaired by too much organizational wine! “They have reeled as to decision.” Their spiritual tables have indeed “become full of filthy vomit.”
As another example of the vomitous offerings of Bethel’s spiritual inebriates, consider what the Society teaches regarding the conclusion of the system of things. In the 13th chapter of Matthew Jesus explained the parable of the wheat and the weeds and likened the harvest to a conclusion of a system of things, during which time the angels are given the command to “collect out from his kingdom all things that cause stumbling and persons who are doing lawlessness,” and then pitch them into the fiery furnace. According to the Society the harvest commenced shortly after 1914. The angels have supposedly harvested the wheat class out of Christendom. But since Jesus’ explanation indicates that the angels first remove out from Christ’s “kingdom all things that cause stumbling and persons doing lawlessness,” the Society’s interpretation simply cannot be true. Just as the Society is not really a spiritual paradise, so too, no sober person would dare claim that the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is devoid of stumbling blocks and persons doing lawlessness. Over the years many tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been tripped up by Bethel’s numerous stumbling blocks, such as the 1975 debacle and the Society’s NGO affair more recently. Clearly, the harvest has not begun yet, but when the angels have been dispatched to root the weeds out from Christ’s kingdom the drunkards of Ephraim are going to be roused from their spiritual stupor by the rudest of awakenings.
Fittingly, the 28th chapter of Isaiah depicts the leaders of God’s people as having “concluded a covenant with Death.” True to God’s word the Governing Body actually imagines that the coming tribulation that will desolate “Jerusalem” will not affect them at all. Hence at Isaiah 28:15,18-19 Jehovah addresses the braggarts, saying: “Because you men have said: ‘We have concluded a covenant with Death; and with Sheol we have effected a vision; the overflowing flash flood, in case it should pass through, will not come to us, for we have made a lie our refuge and in falsehood we have concealed ourselves…’ therefore… your covenant with Death will certainly be dissolved, and that vision of yours with Sheol will not stand. The overflowing flash flood, when it passes through—you must also become for it a trampling place. As often as it passes through, it will take you men away, because morning by morning it will pass through, during the day and during the night; and it must become nothing but a reason for quaking to make others understand what has been heard.”
By means of their self-soothing interpretations of the prophetic visions regarding the presence of Christ supposedly having already become a reality and their having already gained the master’s irreversible approval, it is as if the Governing Body have attempted to strike a deal with Death and have taken refuge in a lie and have vainly tried to conceal themselves in falsehood. For a certainty, the entire 1914 doctrine and all that goes with it are what the apostle termed “artfully contrived false stories.”
Isaiah also presents another fitting illustration that vividly portrays the predicament in which the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses presently find themselves. As already stated, the Society has woven an elaborate covering for itself based upon the lie that Christ’s presence commenced in 1914. But as that date recedes further and further into the past, Bethel is forced to fabricate and publish more and more illogic to justify retaining the 1914 doctrine; such as the preposterous notion that the generation that will not pass away does not refer to the actual generation of persons who will be alive when the sign of Christ’s presence first becomes manifest.
Hence, it is as if they are trying to find their repose upon a couch that is too short for stretching out comfortably and vainly trying to cover themselves with a sheet that is too narrow, even as Isaiah 28:20 describes. The Bethel princes assigned the impossible task of trying to make the 1914 doctrine fit would do well not to scoff at God’s judgments, such as is contained in Isaiah: “For Jehovah will rise up just as at Mount Perazim, he will be agitated just as in the low plain near Gibeon, that he may do his deed—his deed is strange—and that he may work his work—his work is unusual. And now do not show yourselves scoffers, in order that your bands may not grow strong, for there is an extermination, even something decided upon, that I have heard of from the Sovereign Lord, Jehovah of armies, for all the land.”
Jehovah’s work is strange and unusual from the standpoint of his people, since it is against them that God acts. God’s strange deed will be manifest in the future as an onrushing storm in the form of a world-thrashing punisher, a genocidal tyrant of the nations, who will sweep away the Society’s covenant with Death and cause them to become “a trampling place”— just as Jesus said Jerusalem would be trampled on by the nations during the great tribulation.
It is evident the prophecy in the 28th chapter of Isaiah is intended to apply to spiritual Israel due to the fact that at the very time the flashflood of tyranny is unleashed against his people Jehovah lays down the messianic cornerstone for the salvation of those with faith. As verse 16 and 17 say: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: ‘Here I am laying as a foundation in Zion a stone, a tried stone, the precious corner of a sure foundation. No one exercising faith will get panicky. And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling instrument; and the hail must sweep away the refuge of a lie, and the waters themselves will flood out the very place of concealment.’”
Again, obviously no such thing occurred during Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem, nor in the first century. The Society, of course, claims that the messianic kingdom was established in heaven in 1914. But if that were actually the case why did not the accompanying symbolic tsunami sweep away Christendom’s supposed refuge of falsehood back then?
No, Jehovah’s coming downpour of indignation is directed at the teachers who hold authority over Jehovah’s people. That is evident due to the fact that Messiah’s kingdom “will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the leveling instrument.” This is in contrast to the “command upon command…and measuring line upon measuring line, here a little there a little” method of behavioral control the Society exercises over Jehovah’s Witnesses now. For example, take note of the pictures that proliferate in any issue of the Watchtower magazine. They depict smartly groomed models posing reading the Bible, praying, sitting in a kingdom hall or out in field service, and so forth; in short the Society is attempting to use behavioral modification techniques as a method to control Jehovah’s Witnesses. But shouldn’t the teachers of God’s word attempt to appeal to our reason and our love of God and neighbor as motivation, rather than using pictures to make suggestions that might work on a subconscious level? This is merely an example of how the teachers of God’s people use their own measuring lines and commands to control their subjects.
Truly, the instructors of God’s people treat them as infants, even as Isaiah 28:9 indicates, where it says: “Whom will one instruct in knowledge, and whom will one make understand what has been heard? Those who have been weaned from the milk, those moved away from the breasts?”
But as the letter of James forewarns, teachers will receive a heavier judgment, and according to Jesus’ words at Luke 12:47-48, even the faithful slave, who, through his own ignorance fails in his assignment, shall not escape the lash of the master’s whip.
So it is, that the coming storm will simply sweep away the Society’s 1914 refuge of a lie, it will flush out those who have concealed themselves in falsehood. But those who have accepted the love of God and who remain true under test will not panic when the organization is dissolved. Then Christ Jesus will take complete control of his kingdom. That is when the spiritual paradise will become a reality.
According to the illustration Isaiah recorded in the concluding span of verses of the 28th chapter, the divine purpose is accomplished through Jehovah’s ability to correct his wayward people using precise measures of punishment and discipline. Isaiah 28:26-29 reads: “And one corrects him according to what is right. His own God instructs him. For it is not with a threshing instrument that black cumin is given a treading; and upon cumin no wheel of a wagon is turned. For it is with a rod that black cumin is generally beaten out, and cumin with a staff. Is breadstuff itself generally crushed? For never does one incessantly keep treading it out. And he must set the roller of his wagon in motion, and his own steeds, but he will not crush it. This also is what has come forth from Jehovah of armies himself, who has been wonderful in counsel, who has done greatly in effectual working.”
It is understood that just as farmers use various methods to harvest and process different crops, so too, Jehovah knows how to apply just the right measure of discipline, in whatever situation, in order to correct his erring people. As the Scriptures say, Jehovah and Jesus discipline those whom they love. However, the Watchtower’s commentary on Isaiah states that the prophecy applies to individuals that leave Christendom. But that simply makes no sense. The context makes clear that the discipline is intended to correct the entire nation – at least those that survive the expression of Jehovah’s indignation.
What we are facing then, brothers, is the complete collapse of the Watchtower Society. Exactly how it will come about is unknowable, but one thing is clear: Large scale war and a financial crash would make it virtually impossible for the Society to carry on their printing operations. Not only that, under wartime conditions the U.S. and other so-called free nations will likely tumble into military dictatorships and Jehovah’s Witnesses may well find themselves to be declared enemies of the state without any legal recourse.
But it is in that setting that the prophecies have foretold there will be greatest outpouring of spirit ever. Consider the import of Isaiah 32:14-19, which reads: “For the dwelling tower itself has been forsaken, the very hubbub of the city has been abandoned; Ophel and the watchtower themselves have become bare fields, for time indefinite the exultation of zebras, the pasture of droves; until upon us the spirit is poured out from on high, and the wilderness will have become an orchard, and the orchard itself is accounted as a real forest.”
The abandoned city on the hill – Ophel – is otherwise known as Jerusalem. But the context of the prophecy has to do with Messiah’s parousia. That is made plain in the 1st verse, which foretells of the coming king of righteousness along with his princes. (The princes are the sons of the kingdom, not elders as is presently taught) The prophecy harmonizes with the events of Christ’s presence regarding the complete desolation of “Jerusalem.” The Society, of course, teaches that the king began ruling in 1914 and the city that is due to become abased is Christendom. However, a sober reading of the prophecy reveals that “the spirit is poured out from on high” only after the city on the hill goes down.
Jehovah’s Witnesses can be grateful to have benefited from the Watchtower’s basic Bible education program, and to the extent that we individually have taken responsibility for our own spirituality and have applied what we have learned, we have been empowered to have a meaningful personal relationship with Jehovah and his son, Jesus. Jehovah’s Witnesses should also appreciate that the Watchtower has provided them with the means and direction to have a successful public ministry. But the time is coming, soon, when, as the apostle Peter said, Jehovah himself will finish your training.
To be sure, the times ahead will present difficult tests. Jehovah’s discipline is never pleasant at the time it is administered; but should we be required to abandon the Society and forsake our symbolic dwelling tower, we must not view that as an act of disloyalty, but rather, as an act of faith. Indeed, by our faith and endurance and true insight into God’s prophetic word, we may have the full assurance of our hope and ultimately attain to true salvation – after the Watchtower.
It is a weighty thing to speak and teach in the name of Jehovah, which is why the inspired letter of James cautions Christian men that not many should become teachers... "knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment."
But the sobering question posed here is: If teachers within the congregations will unavoidably receive a heavier judgment for even inadvertently stumbling others, what about the teachers of the teachers; those who serve as organizational prophets; who interpret the prophecies for the entire congregation; but who mislead God's people by concealing Jehovah's judgments from them?
Their judgment shall be heavy indeed!
The 13th chapter of Ezekiel contains the judicial decisions of Jehovah scheduled to be levied against those who are called the "stupid prophets." That the prophecy has relevance in the Christian era is evident from the fact that the judgment occurs during "the day of Jehovah." (Verse 5) But just who may be foreshadowed by the "stupid prophets" and why are they judged adversely? According to the Watchtower the "stupid prophets" of Ezekiel's day typify the clergy of Christendom today. However, if that is true how is it that the "stupid prophets" are condemned for misleading Jehovah's people? For instance, at Ezekiel 13:10 Jehovah states the reason for his denunciation: "For the reason, yes, for the reason that they have led my people astray." More than that, the prophecy goes on to say: "In the intimate group of my people they will not continue on..." But how is it possible for the clergy of Christendom to reside in the "intimate group of my (Jehovah's) people", up until the day of Jehovah—when God's judgment is unveiled against them?
Obviously, they cannot.
In order to mislead Jehovah's people it is necessary for the false visionaries to have authority directly over the organization.
Besides that, the clergy do not speak in the name of Jehovah. Yet, the "stupid prophets" do. According to the prophecy they preface their lying visions by invoking the name of Jehovah, saying: "The utterance of Jehovah is..."
The "stupid prophets" of Ezekiel's prophecy can only prefigure Bethel's own securely ensconced institutional visionaries; those who speak in the name of Jehovah and who presently enjoy a monopoly on biblical interpretation in God's household. It is they who are misleading Jehovah's Witnesses into believing that '"there is peace' when there is no peace"—as the prophecy accurately describes.
This is most apparent as regards the oft-repeated notion that the Watchtower Society is a verdant "spiritual paradise"—supposedly completely devoid of animalistic predators—as foretold in prophecy. (This in spite of the fact that thousands of children of Jehovah's Witness parents have been raped, seduced, or otherwise sexually molested and a few even murdered by Jehovah's Witnesses.)
Another aspect of how Bethel has falsely prophesied peace in the name of Jehovah has to do with the teaching that the judgment upon the house of God commenced in 1918 and that a faithful slave class has already been appointed over all of Christ's belongings since 1919. By situating the judgment upon the house of God in the distant past the Watchtower has deluded Jehovah's Witnesses into believing that there is no future day of reckoning for the organization. In this way "the prophets of [spiritual] Israel...are prophesying to Jerusalem and...are visioning for her a vision of peace, when there is no peace..."
Unquestionably, the teaching that Jehovah's kingdom came to power in 1914 is the central doctrine of the Watchtower Society. In that respect 1914 is the foundation of what has come to resemble a whitewashed, plastered wall. Ever since 1914 "they have waited to have a word come true"—as the prophecy of Ezekiel astutely foretells—but in vain. In order to conceal Bethel's failure to divine the day and hour of Christ's arrival, year after year the "stupid prophets" have resorted to plastering more prophetic whitewash on their organizational wall. (For example: redefining "this generation.")
The book Jehovah Himself Has Become King tests the Watchtower's "inspired expressions" that Jehovah became king in 1914 and again in 1919; exposing "the prophets that are visioning untruth and that are divining a lie"; while announcing Jehovah's oncoming judgments, part of which are expressed at Ezekiel 13:14:"And I will tear down the wall that you men have plastered with whitewash and bring it into contact with the earth, and its foundation must be exposed. And she will certainly fall, and you must come to an end in the midst of her; and you will have to know that I am Jehovah." (See chapter "Collapse of the Watchtower")
Just as Ezekiel, Jehovah's original watchman to the ancient house of Israel, put the "stupid prophets" on notice that their whitewashed wall was going to come crashing down, this campaign is intended to serve notice upon Bethel and the Watchtower Society that their whitewash-plastered organizational wall is doomed to collapse at the earliest outbreak of the now onrushing day of Jehovah.
This open letter, along with a copy of the book Jehovah Himself Has Become King—Announcing Jehovah's Judgments, has been sent to various brothers and departments at Brooklyn Bethel, Patterson, Wallkill; as well as English speaking branch offices of the Watchtower Society around the world and dozens of assembly halls and randomly selected congregations in the United States. It is also available for free on the world-wide-web at http://jehovah-has-become-king.com
The July 1st, 2004, Watchtower magazine expresses the Governing Body's sadness and concern for the many of our brothers and sisters who have become "spiritually weak" and inactive in recent years. The 11th paragraph on page 17 states: "It saddens us, however, to notice that some of our fellow believers have grown spiritually weak and, as a result, have slowed down or stopped carrying out Christ's command to make disciples."
The 13th paragraph comments further, asking what we may do to express our concern for discouraged brothers and sisters, saying: "We should have deep concern for those who have slowed down or stopped sharing in the ministry…How, though, may we express our concern for them?"
No doubt the Governing Body is deeply concerned over the growing numbers of spiritually sickened and straying sheep. But, the question that caring shepherds ought to ask themselves is why have so many of Jehovah's Witnesses now becoming "spiritually weak" and inactive? Surely, there are underlying reasons for the developing trend?
The article enumerates several contributing factors; citing grief, old age, depression and severe economic hardships. And no doubt many of Jehovah's Witnesses are weighed down and struggling under the burden of these things, and more. But, is that all there is to it? Are those the only problems afflicting Jehovah's sheep that have caused so many to become discouraged in recent years? What about stumbling blocks? Is it possible that many of the friends who have slowed down or lost their faith have been stumbled? No doubt that is the case of many. But stumbled by what?
Could it be that more than a few of our now inactive brothers and sisters have been stumbled by what they perceive as hypocrisy on the part of the Watchtower, as well as unloving and un-Christian attitudes in the local congregations? Realistically, brothers, until the Watchtower is ready to honestly address these criticisms, we should not expect any reversal of the prevailing trends.
The Watchtower has always striven to point out the world's many social and moral ills. For instance, one of the common evils of our day is the fact that corporations and governments typically refuse to take any responsibility for wrongdoing on their part. But what kind of example has the Watchtower set in this regard? Has the Watchtower ever made a public apology? If not, why not?
Could it be that the Watchtower's lack of candor and forthrightness is one of the major reasons why many of Jehovah's Witnesses have been stumbled outrightly and growing numbers are not as supportive of the Society as they used to be? Perhaps the dwindling numbers of new disciples and the growing numbers of inactive brothers is indicative that Jehovah is even withdrawing his blessing.
The July 1st, Watchtower used an illustration of the uselessness of shouting instructions to a drowning man from the safety of the seashore because we are afraid to get wet. But isn't that exactly what the Watchtower is doing by telling those whose faith is shipwrecked and those drowning in doubt, to simply snap out of it and go back to meetings and out in service? Because the eternal lives of our dear brothers and sisters hang in the balance, surely you do not want to be guilty of glossing over any responsibility on your part for their plight. Especially so since every single word from the Watchtower carries such weight with Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Watchtower article cited above goes on to offer some helpful suggestions as to how we might imitate Jesus in his merciful dealings with his apostles. But, there is one aspect of our Christian course where Jesus cannot serve as our exemplar, and that has to do with the act of apologizing to those whom we have wronged. Jesus, of course, never needed to apologize for the simple reason that he never wronged anyone. However, can the Watchtower Society and its leading men honestly make the same claim?
Let us consider a few examples of why the Watchtower should seriously consider offering a sincere and candid apology for its errors, not only to offended Jehovah's Witnesses, but more importantly, to Jehovah God himself.
As you brothers well know, recently many inquiries from Jehovah's Witnesses were directed to Bethel headquarters and numerous branches around the world regarding the Watchtower's ten-year membership as a UN-affiliated NGO. We presented detailed documentation as to the depth of the Watchtower's involvement and we requested Bethel to straightforwardly make an accounting to the brothers for having secretly made a political alliance with the United Nations.
What was the response?
Sadly, the Watchtower has flatly refused to admit any wrongdoing. In fact, the Watchtower's carefully-crafted responses appear to blame the United Nations for changing the wording of the NGO application—this in spite of the fact that the United Nations has stated on their website that the Watchtower had to meet the same criteria as all other political NGOs!
How disappointing that those who represent the anointed of Jehovah seem to exhibit such callous disregard for the truth! No doubt many thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses have been stumbled by the Watchtower's hypocrisy in the NGO affair.
And what about the many thousands of children who have been sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses? Is it possible that the Watchtower bears any measure of responsibility for this heartbreaking tragedy?
As you also well know, the mass media has widely publicized the issue of child abuse in the organization. If there ever was an occasion when the Watchtower needed to step up and take responsibility, now would be an appropriate time. But, how has the Watchtower responded to the public accusations that its policies are harmful? In the wake of the original stinging public exposes, the Society's public relations spokesman was quick to blame a few inept elders for their mishandling of several cases. So far, though, the Watchtower has still refused to admit any guilt on its own part.
Instead of any meaningful admission of responsibility, the Watchtower's public relations department appears to have embarked on a glitzy Madison Avenue-style media campaign to air-brush the Watchtower's public appearance. But realistically, those who have been stumbled and hurt over the many child abuse atrocities in our congregations need more than 30-second public relations infomercials. They need to hear the truth!
Many of Jehovah's Witnesses know the truth regarding the way the Watchtower has handled abuse cases. They know through personal experience that over the years the Society has brought subtle pressures to bear against elders and families to discourage them from reporting sexual abusers to the legal authorities. Thousands of victims and their families have been hushed by empty platitudes of "wait on Jehovah" and the Society's oft-repeated counsel not to bring reproach on Jehovah by reporting such crimes to the police or press.
Surely, many of those who are now considered to be "spiritually weak" have, in reality, been sickened by the Watchtower's refusal to accept any responsibility in these matters. Again, how very disappointing for the faithful slave of Christ to show such a heartless and prideful spirit!
Evidently, the Governing Body and other responsible brothers at Bethel do not feel there is any need for a confession and apology of any sort. However, the September 15th, 1996, Watchtower carries an article you may want to review. It is entitled: "Do We Really Need to Apologize?" In the concluding paragraphs of that article we read:
"If we make it a practice to apologize when necessary, we are likely to find that people will respond favorably. And perhaps they will even apologize themselves. When we suspect that we have upset someone, why not make it a custom to apologize rather than go to great lengths to avoid admitting any fault? The world may feel that an apology is a sign of weakness, but it really gives evidence of Christian maturity. Of course, we would not want to be like those who acknowledge some wrong yet minimize their responsibility.
So, then, do we really need to apologize? Yes, we do. We owe it to ourselves and others to do so. An apology can help to ease the pain caused by imperfection, and it can heal strained relationships. Each apology we make is a lesson in humility and trains us to become more sensitive to the feelings of others. As a result, fellow believers, marriage mates, and others will view us as those who deserve their affection and trust. We will have peace of mind, and Jehovah God will bless us."
What fine counsel the Watchtower magazine offers on why we need to apologize. Oh, if only the Watchtower would follow its own timely advice!
Surely it has not escaped your notice that untold numbers of Jehovah's Witnesses and interested persons are upset with the Watchtower Society. Why not, then, be more sensitive to the feelings of those who have been offended and grieved? Many of them are long-time faithful servants of Jehovah and loyal defenders of the Watchtower Society. Don't you think they deserve better?
Instead of going to such great lengths to deflect blame, you brothers may be sure that a candid and frank admission and request for forgiveness on the part of the Watchtower would be like a healing balm for many wounded and disaffected brothers and sisters. Instead of being perceived as a sign of weakness on your part, it would give evidence of true Christ-like humility. Your truthfulness and humility at this critical stage could possibly even infuse an entirely new spirit into the whole organization.
If you are truly "deeply concerned" about the spiritual welfare of all of Jehovah's dear sheep, including the "spiritually weak," you will be quick to do whatever is necessary to restore their trust in your leadership. And you may also be assured that you will have Jehovah's blessing for following your own counsel. I am confident that Jehovah's Witnesses are more than ready to forgive should you decide to do the right thing.
In view of the hurt and discouragement that so many of Jehovah's Witnesses are suffering, certainly the time has come for the Governing Body of the Watchtower Society to give prayerful thought to the question: Is it time to say: 'We are sorry'?
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
25 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483
Dear Brothers (To all Governing Body members and various Watchtower officers):
Over the past few weeks numerous brothers and sisters have presented documentation to Bethel branches around the world exposing the Watchtower's involvement with the United Nations as an NGO. Now, over 6,000 congregations in North America have also been contacted. This letter is to serve notice that a formal charge of apostasy is being brought against unnamed officers of the Watchtower Society. A request is also being made for a full-scale judicial investigation into the Watchtower's illicit NGO relationship with the United Nations from 1992-2001.
Specifically, outside investigative committees should be convened to first establish the identities of the brothers who knowingly, annually, registered the Watchtower as an NGO and who regularly wrote and edited pro-UN propaganda for the Watchtower and Awake! magazines and submitted such articles to the UN, so as to comply with their agreement with the DPI. (UN Department of Public Information) Once their identities are established, those brothers should be made to answer charges of leading Jehovah's organization into apostasy. (Jeremiah 23:15: "For from the prophets of Jerusalem apostasy has gone forth to all the land.") Furthermore, any brothers who may have attended official functions at the UN or elsewhere, representing the Watchtower as an NGO, should also be made to stand before investigative committees for their complicity in this matter.
Since the branches were assured by the Watchtower that the NGO application documents they have on file do not conflict with our faith, investigative committees should therefore be given free access to all documentation on file at Bethel.
Our research into this matter and the United Nations' own response to numerous inquiries, contradict the Watchtower's public and private statements as to the nature of their NGO relationship with the UN. But perhaps, if necessary, the United Nations may be called upon to provide additional documentation in order to establish the truth of the matter.
In order to restore the trust of the brothers, and because all of Jehovah's Witnesses share some community guilt before Jehovah in this matter—since we all were unwittingly employed to disseminate UN propaganda to the public—the results of the investigation should be published by the Society. Those who have committed this act of treachery (See Malachi 2:10-11) should be reproved before all onlookers, which is to say the public should be informed.
Let us not presume to have Jehovah's unconditional favor. But, we are assured by Jehovah that if we make our way and dealings good, then we can secure his blessing. Remember, please, even though the righteous prophet Daniel was not part of the corrupt Jewish system, he still included himself in his beautiful confessional prayer in the 9th chapter. Therefore, a formal confession and apology, issued through the pages of the Watchtower, would also appear to be in order.
Please be reminded that no one is above counsel. For example, when the apostle Peter took a false step that resulted in his throwing down a potential stumbling block before all non-Jewish Christians in the 1st Century, Paul rebuked him before all of the brothers. We should not suppose that anyone at Bethel occupies an office higher than the apostle Peter, should we? Nor should we imagine that this NGO matter is a mere false step—as the Watchtower would have us believe.
Of course, God's house is very large and filled with both desirable and undesirable vessels—as Paul worded it. No doubt most brothers at Bethel are innocent in this matter and unaware of the depth and seriousness of the Watchtower's involvement with the United Nations. Nevertheless, someone has to responsible.
But, even ignorance is no excuse for men in charge. Even Jesus said in the 12th chapter of Luke, that the otherwise faithful and discreet slave "that did not understand and so did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few." Christ went on in that same verse to establish the principle of responsibility, saying: "Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him; and the one whom people put in charge of much, they will demand more than usual of him."
So, according to no less an authority than Jesus Christ, the faithful slave of God's congregation is more responsible before God than other brothers. For that reason, we too must hold brothers responsible before the congregations for their words and deeds. If members of the Governing Body knowingly cooperated with the United Nations DPI, for whatever reason they may have felt justified in their doing so, then they, too, should answer to a judicial committee, the same as any publisher who might join or support a political organization.
Frankly, though, we are not dealing with the sins of a faithful slave—but rather, an evil slave!
If Paul felt the need to expose the "false apostles" and "deceitful workers" who were masquerading as "ministers of righteousness" right within the Corinthian congregation, why do we naively assume that Jehovah's modern organization is immune to infiltration by false apostles?
In Revelation, Jesus commended the brothers in Ephesus, and by extension the anointed in our day, saying to them: "I know your deeds, and your labor and endurance, and that you cannot bear bad men, and thatyou put those to the test who say they are apostles, but they are not, and you found them liars." Perhaps the time has come to stop putting up with phony superfine apostles in our midst and put those to the test who may be merely pretending to be part of the faithful and discreet slave class! Why should we continue any longer to allow place for the Devil?
Please, realize, too, that your own standing before Jehovah and Christ Jesus may well be affected based upon the way you brothers handle this serious matter. God charges all of his judges not to show partiality in their judgment. I, therefore, urge you to summon the courage to make a complete and thorough investigation of this matter and use your God-assigned office to oppose the evil in our midst.
Eight Mile Congregation, Detroit, Michigan
In 2004 variations of this letter were sent to 101 branch offices of the Watchtower and to over 6,000 congregations in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. I also handed a copy to my local elders, informing them I was publicly accusing the Watchtower Society of apostasy.
Dear Reader: Due to the passgage of time since this article was first published many of the hyperlinks are no longer active. For a more up-to-date article with active links see the article Strange Bedfellows.
As Jehovah's Witnesses and ministers of Christ, our foremost concern is honoring God's name; as well as keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. To that end the Watchtower has always exhorted us to boldly expose Christendom's error and hypocrisy and stand up for the truth. But, what are we to do if the Watchtower itself becomes guilty of gross hypocrisy? What if some of our own leading brothers are the ones who faithlessly dishonor the name of God? Then what are Jehovah's Witnesses supposed to do? Do we still expose religious hypocrisy wherever it exists, or do we remain silent? These are not hypothetical questions, my brothers. It is a situation with which we are now squarely confronted. As one of Jehovah's anointed witnesses, I have chosen to speak out at this particular time, regardless of the consequences for doing so.
Briefly, here are the facts: The Watchtower originally submitted an application in 1991 and was accepted by the United Nations as an NGO in 1992. But exactly what is an NGO anyway? An NGO is an officially-recognized non-governmental organization that uses its influence to promote the United Nations and its goals. For nearly ten years the Watchtower secretly served as an international NGO.
But, when the London Guardian newspaper published the story in October of 2001, (Enclosed) the Watchtower quickly withdrew its membership. After a flood of inquiries from the field, the Watchtower issued a statement to the Guardian and the branch offices around the world; stating that the only reason for becoming an NGO was to gain access to the UN's library resources.
However, it is simply not true that the Watchtower had to become an NGO to gain access to the UN's library facilities. According to the head librarian's office at the Dag Hammarskjöld library, prior to 9-11 any qualified researcher or scholar could acquire a temporary ground's pass to the UN facility. Only after the terror attack of September 11th, 2001, was security restricted to UN personnel and pre-approved NGO representatives. Moreover, the UN maintains approximately 400 off-site depository libraries around the world, where information about the UN's many agencies and programs is available to the public. The Watchtower's claim simply does not stand up to investigation.
The Watchtower's letter to the branches also states: "Registration papers filed with the UN that we have on file contain no statements that conflict with our Christian beliefs."
That also appears to be deceptive. According to the UN's DPI (Department of Public Information), NGO candidates are carefully screened and must meet the established criteria in order to be approved. According to the DPI response to inquiries by Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower was accepted as an NGO because they willingly agreed to support the United Nations. Here is what they said in part: "By accepting association with DPI, the organization agreed to meet criteria for association, including support and respect of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes with its constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities."
Also, NGOs are required to annually send the DPI proof that they are actually informing the public about the UN's many programs. Did the Watchtower do that? Yes, they did. In fact, the Society specifically wrote articles for that very purpose.
For example, the November 22, 1998, Awake! Magazine was devoted to praising the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights on the 50th anniversary of its signing. The UN even lists that particular magazine on its website.
Another example is the October 1st, 1995, Watchtower, which ran an article praising the UN on the 50th anniversary of its establishment in 1945. One more example for your reference is the December 8th 2000, Awake!, which flatters the UN agency called UNICEF. Checking the Watchtower CD-ROM reveals that during the NGO period from 1992-2001, there are more references in the Awake! Magazine to the United Nations then there are to God's kingdom. Granted, many references are innocuous, but the Watchtower's primary obligation as an official NGO merely required it to disseminate information—no matter how bland.
So, it is evident that the Watchtower made a subtle, but deliberate effort to "conduct an effective information program... to a broader audience about UN activities," as is required of all recognized NGOs. Had they not done so, no doubt the Society would have been disqualified from retaining its NGO status.
What is more, the Watchtower knew full well that other institutions recognized it as a functioning NGO. How do we know? In October 2000, the Watchtower participated in what is called the Vilnius International Forum on the Holocaust. The Watchtower is listed on the program along with numerous other international NGOs. Brother James Pellechia represented the Watchtower before the forum.
Also, it appears that in October, 1999, the Australian government held an inquiry for the purpose of fostering better cooperation between the government and NGOs. Two officials from the Watchtower were present before the Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, along with NGO representatives of Jewish, Muslim, and Orthodox faiths.
However, the Watchtower's letter to the branches says: "Still, the Criteria for Association of NGOs - at least in their latest version-contain some language that we cannot subscribe to. When we realized this, we immediately withdrew our registration. We are grateful that this matter was brought to our attention."
But, since the Watchtower attended both the Vilnius Holocaust forum and the Australian inquiry as an International NGO, and the brothers also annually re-registered and submitted samples of their work to the UN'S DPI long before this "matter was brought to [their] attention," there is no other conclusion to draw but that Bethel's statement to the branches is an outright lie.
Responsible brothers had to have known all along what was required of NGOs and they were diligent to comply with the UN. Obviously, they only withdrew their registration and made up these lies when exposed by the Guardian article; and even though the NGO relationship was dissolved—the lies remain.
Some brothers might be inclined to lightly dismiss the Watchtower's NGO affair as of little consequence. However, we do well to reflect upon the course of integrity that Jehovah's Witnesses in Malawi took back in the 1970's. As you may recall, the Malawian government required all of its citizens to purchase a 25-cent political card. However, Jehovah's Witnesses steadfastly refused because they saw it as a compromise of their political neutrality. As a result President Banda basically suspended their civil rights and the brothers and sisters were subjected to vicious attacks and many lost their lives. Brothers lost their jobs, businesses and homes. Our sisters were raped by gangs. Most of the friends were forced to flee the country and live in refugee camps. Yet, their uncompromising stand for Jehovah's kingdom is an inspiration to all of Jehovah's Witnesses to this day.
The Watchtower, on the other hand, has betrayed Jehovah and all of Jehovah's Witnesses. They were not even threatened, as were our Malawian brothers, yet they went out of their way to sign an agreement with the United Nations; pledging their support and cooperation to an agency that we ought to recognize as a mere counterfeit of God's kingdom. Not only that, but Bethel has deceived millions of unsuspecting publishers and pioneers into disseminating pro-UN propaganda to the public. As a result the entire organization has been compromised in God's eyes. This is no mere frivolous accusation by opposers as the Watchtower claims.
The question is, since Jehovah considered it an act of apostasy when ancient Israel and Judah made compromising alliances with the surrounding nations, what must God think of the present situation? Does not the Watchtower even teach us that Jehovah disciplined the organization back in 1918-19 for a few indiscretions and compromises? Yet, the Watchtower's NGO affair and their lying cover up of it is much more grievous than the relatively trivial compromises of the past. Why should we suppose that Jehovah will simply overlook our unfaithfulness now? We know that Jehovah is merciful and gracious but the rule of law is that "but by no means will he give exemption from punishment."
Perhaps Jehovah's words through Jeremiah accurately depict our present spiritual state: "Even the stork in the heavens—it well knows its appointed times; and the turtledove and the swift and the bulbul—they observe well the time of each one's coming in. But as for my people, they have not come to know the judgment of Jehovah."
The real problem is that we wrongly suppose that Christ initiated judgment upon the house of God way back in 1918. As a consequence of that error, we have no valid scriptural basis for anticipating any future temple inspection. However, look at our year text for 2004. Christ told his anointed slaves to "keep on the watch" for the Master's sudden thief-like arrival; obviously, that is when the judgment takes place upon God's household of anointed slaves. Reasonably, too, that is when "he will appoint him over all his belongings."
That being the case, it means that an evil slave still has authority alongside the faithful slave inside the anointed household of God. Surely, the influence of an unfaithful slave within the Bethel establishment is the only sensible explanation for the Watchtower's abject unfaithfulness in the NGO affair. In view of the above, we ought to consider the application of Jeremiah 5:26 to our present situation. It reads: "For among my people there have been found wicked men. They keep peering, as when birdcatchers crouch down. They have set a ruinous trap. It is men that they catch."
We have been blind. No wonder Jehovah poses the somewhat discomforting question in the 42nd chapter of Isaiah, saying to his witnesses: "Who is blind, if not my servant, and who is deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as the one rewarded, or blind as the servant of Jehovah? It was a case of seeing many things, but you did not keep watching. It was a case of opening the ears, but you did not keep listening."
Jehovah commands his watchman: "Call out full-throated; do not hold back. Raise your voice just like a horn, and tell my people their revolt, and the house of Jacob their sins." (Isaiah 58:1)
Ironically, the WT's Isaiah commentary on that verse says: "What a fine example of endurance Isaiah is to the modern-day Witnesses of Jehovah, who also are commissioned to preach God's Word and expose religious hypocrisy!" But, when Jehovah commissioned Isaiah to expose the sins of those whom God called "my people," why do we suppose that that applies to Christendom and not to our own house?
If we zealously point the finger at Christendom's hypocrisy, should we not be even more zealous to expose religious hypocrisy among Jehovah's Witnesses; seeing that we represent Jehovah God? To do anything less is sheer hypocrisy on our part.
Many of Jehovah's Witnesses have already been stumbled by the Watchtower's hypocrisy in this matter. Some elders who became aware of the NGO situation have already stepped down in disgust. Publishers who are disturbed over the matter and who happen to speak about the scandal to other brothers and sisters in the congregation are finding themselves accused of apostasy by incredulous elders. The Watchtower has put the elders in the unenviable position of possibly wrongly disfellowshipping Jehovah's Witnesses from the congregation for merely speaking the truth about the Watchtower's hypocrisy. How tragic!
In view of this disturbing situation and the reproach it has undoubtedly already brought upon the name of Jehovah, I urge you to give this matter your immediate consideration. Be assured that the truth will come out eventually anyway; one way or the other. (Eccl. 12:14) Therefore, I urge you as overseers and fellow witnesses to individually stand up for truth and righteousness. I trust you will do the right thing and discuss this issue with your local body of elders, circuit and district overseers.
Sincerely, one of Jehovah's Witnesses
Signed: Robert King
This is part of a global campaign. For more information go to www.e-watchman.com
Addendum not part of the hard copy letter:
The persecutions of Jehovah's Witnesses in the former Soviet nation of Georgia are well known. In an effort to alleviate the situation and gain legal recognition; in 1998 the Watchtower registered two associations in Georgia. One was called the Union of Jehovah's Witnesses and the other the representation of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (USA). Apparently, however, the Georgian government does not register any religious organizations. So, as an end-around, the Watchtower registered both associations as NGOs.
Then, in February, 2001, the Georgian Supreme Court revoked the NGO registration of the Union of Jehovah's Witnesses and the representation of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The following is a quote taken from the ecoi.net website.
"Recently, tension in the religious sphere has been mounting mainly because part of the Christian Orthodox believers is set against the Jehovah's Witnesses. On 22 February, 2001, after long examination in district and regional courts, the Supreme Court of Georgia finally satisfied the claim of deputy of the Georgian parliament Guram Sharadze by annulling registration of two NGOs set up by the Jehovah's Witnesses (the Union of the Jehovah's Witnesses and a representation of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Pennsylvania. They were registered in 1998 by the Isan district court of Tbilisi. It should be said that they were registered as NGOs because in the absence of a law on religious organizations this was the only possibility left for them to become a legal person. Deputy Sharadze is convinced that the religious communities should not be registered as NGOs.
Here's where it gets a little murky: In appealing the court's decision, the Watchtower is also on record as not registering as an NGO on principle. Here is a quote taken from the OSCE website reporting on the situation in Georgia: "The restriction to religious freedom is underlying the decision of the Georgian Supreme Court on 22 February 2001 to revoke the registration of the Union of Jehovah's Witnesses as well as of the Representation of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, USA. In the absence of a law on registration of religious groups, JW could not be officially registered. As a matter of principle, the JW have then refused to be registered as an NGO."
Apparently, the Watchtower originally registered as an NGO and then later during the appeal process declined to re-register—"as a matter of principle."
Interestingly, in the Watchtower's legal appeal; in the third paragraph under the 2nd point, the Watchtower states: "Further, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, besides being officially recognized by the Coordination Department for International Humanitarian Aid..."
Let it be noted that the Coordination Department for International Humanitarian Aid is one of many United Nations agencies. No doubt the Watchtower's being "officially recognized" by the OCHA was due in large measure to their being registered as a human rights NGO.
One thing ought to be clear though: The Watchtower was much more involved as an NGO than merely using the UN's library facilities.
Ongoing research in the United Nations document archives has uncovered other Watchtower NGOs, which were apparently established under the umbrella of the main Watchtower Society NGO. In May, 1999, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights held their annual conference in Geneva. Among the many governmental and non-governmental organizations present are three NGOs representing Jehovah’s Witnesses. One NGO was called Association of Jehovah's Witnesses; the other was called European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses for the Protection of Religious Freedom; and a third NGO was called simply: Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. Below is the context in which the Watchtower’s NGOs are listed. This information may be verified by clicking on this link. (Scroll down to the 10th article that lists the non-governmental organizations represented by observers)
10. The following other non-governmental organizations were represented by observers: Adalah-Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, African Americans in the United States of America, African Bureau of Educational Sciences, African Indigenous and Minority Peoples Organization, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, American Friends Service Committee, Arab Association for Human Rights, Association culturelle berbere, Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, Association of Western Thrace Minority Graduates, Assyrian Universal Alliance, Bahrain Human Rights Organization, Black Reparations Commission, Canadian-Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Centre for the Advancement of Women, Centre for the Coordination of Non-Governmental Tribal Development Organizations, Centre for Documentation and Information in Europe, Centre for Human, Civil and Autonomous Rights, Centre for International and Comparative Law, Centre for the Protection of Minorities and Against Racism and Discrimination in Bhutan, Centro de Derechos Humanos, Ciudadanos y Autonómicos, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Delhi Forum-Banjara People, Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Droit des minorités indigènes au Cameroon, Espacio Afroamericano, European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses for the Protection of Religious Freedom, European Centre for Minority Issues, Fafan Development Organization, Ford Foundation, High Commissioner Consultant for Minority Groups in San Andreas, Human Rights Alliance, Human Rights Commission of Northern Ireland, Human Rights Committee-World Wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Human Rights Defence Group, Indo–American Kashmir Forum, Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum, Indo-European Kashmir Forum, Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, Kurdish Human Rights Project, Kurdish Reconstruction Organization, Legal Centre for Arab Minority in Israel, Legal Information Centre for Human Rights, Ligua Pro Europa, Macedonian Human Rights Movement in Greece, Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada, Mécs Laszlo Association, Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Million Youth March Organisation, Minelres, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Reparations, N'COBRA-The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, National Movement for the Human Rights of the Afro-Colombian Communities-Cimarron, National Society for Human Rights of Namibia, Pan African International Nationalist Movement, Proceso de Comunidades Negras de Colombia, Rescue Ethiopian Pastoralists, Research and Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Crimea Foundation, Romani Centre for Social Intervention and Study, Romanian Institute for Human Rights, Sikh Human Rights Group, Solai Program, Southern Cameroon Peoples' Conference, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Swiss Federal Commission against Racism, Uganda Land Alliance, Universal Defender of Democracy, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation, Vedika-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, Western Thrace Turkish Muslim Minority in Greece, World Federation of Hungarians and Zentralrat Deutscher Roma und Sinti.
To indicate the degree of the Watchtower’s blindness and rank hypocrisy, below is an excerpt taken from a Watchtower article written back in 1991 entitled: “Their refuge a Lie.” Sadly, in roundly condemning Christendom of the very thing Jehovah’s Witnesses are now guilty of, the Watchtower has inadvertently pronounced Jehovah’s condemnatory judgment upon the entire organization. We are, in fact, even more liable before God, because as the article points out, Christendom does not use God’s name. However, we do! And because we are associated with the sacred Name of Jehovah, the Watchtower has brought tremendous reproach upon Jehovah. We may therefore expect Jehovah’s onrushing flood of indignation to wash away the self-righteous delusions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
8 Is there a parallel situation today? Yes, there is. The clergy of Christendom also feel that no calamity will overtake them. In effect, they say as Isaiah foretold: “We have concluded a covenant with Death; and with Sheol we have effected a vision; the overflowing flash flood, in case it should pass through, will not come to us, for we have made a lie our refuge and in falsehood we have concealed ourselves.” (Isaiah 28:15) Like ancient Jerusalem, Christendom looks to worldly alliances for security, and her clergy refuse to take refuge in Jehovah. Why, they do not even use his name, and they mock and persecute those who do honor that name. Christendom’s clergy have done just what the Jewish chief priests in the first century did when they rejected Christ. They have said, in effect, “We have no king but Caesar.”—John 19:15.
9 Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses warn that a flood of executional armies will soon sweep over Christendom. Moreover, they point to the true place of refuge from that flood. They quote Isaiah 28:16, which says: “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: ‘Here I am laying as a foundation in Zion a stone, a tried stone, the precious corner of a sure foundation. No one exercising faith will get panicky.’” Who is this ‘precious cornerstone’? The apostle Peter quoted these words and applied them to Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:6) If Christendom had sought peace with Jehovah’s King, Jesus Christ, then she would have avoided the coming flash flood.—Compare Luke 19:42-44.
10 However, she has not done so. Instead, in her quest for peace and security, she insinuates herself into the favor of the political leaders of the nations—this despite the Bible’s warning that friendship with the world is enmity with God. (James 4:4) Moreover, in 1919 she strongly advocated the League of Nations as man’s best hope for peace. Since 1945 she has put her hope in the United Nations. (Compare Revelation 17:3, 11.) How extensive is her involvement with this organization?
11 A recent book gives an idea when it states: “No less than twenty-four Catholic organizations are represented at the UN. Several of the world’s religious leaders have visited the international organization. Most memorable were the visits of His Holiness Pope Paul VI during the General Assembly in 1965 and of Pope John Paul II in 1979. Many religions have special invocations, prayers, hymns and services for the United Nations. The most important examples are those of the Catholic, the Unitarian-Universalist, the Baptist and the Bahai faiths.”
In the 11th paragraph the Watchtower condemns the Catholic Church for having “no less than twenty-four Catholic organizations represented at the UN.” (No doubt registered as NGOs) However, less than 10 years after that article was written the Watchtower had at least six organizations registered with the UN as NGOs! Who knows how many others are yet to come to light?