At the 2013 District conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses a discourse was presented, entitled: Beware of Human Apostates. The talk ended up on YouTube, from where I downloaded it in order to scrutinize the message. The talk is here presented in audio segments with my comments in text. This article will be presented in installments.
There are two figurative “tables,” as the apostle Paul indicated. But the table of Jehovah is served by both faithful and unfaithful slaves. And now, even according to the Watchtower, the faithful slave has not been appointed over all of his master’s belongings yet, which means an evil slave is yet to be distinguished as well.
The 28th chapter of Isaiah refers to a symbolic serving table, which is full of filthy vomit as a result of the spiritually inebriated condition of the leaders of God’s people, the setting of which is the period of time immediately before the coming of Christ.
This illustration aptly describes the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the present time. As the prophecy says: “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…”
The Governing Body and their elders have wandered about. They are confused as to why the end of the system has not come about, even after a century of Christ’s supposed presence in kingly power. The Watchtower’s prophets have gone astray. They have concocted all manner of absurd interpretations of prophecy and all the while boast about their spiritual prescience. They have wobbled and reeled and now have virtually left off even trying to present a coherent message from prophecy.
And at this late date, with the world poised to plunge into the chaos of war and financial collapse, the Watchtower Society is embarking on a massive building project to construct a luxurious new headquarters complex in the New York countryside.
Ultimately, it is not for man to declare whether or not something is good or bad. Is it not presumptuous for the leadership of the Watchtower Society to declare what they serve on Jehovah’s table to be good? Isn’t that for God to determine?
As was the case of the Jews in Jesus day, the keepers of the spiritual temple today have not discerned the time of their being inspected.
Satan is a mimic, to be sure. Paul explained that Satan keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. And what prompted the apostle to say that was the fact that the ones whom Paul dubbed “the superfine apostles” had transformed themselves into “ministers of righteousness” right within the very congregation of the Corinthians. So, if Jehovah allowed human apostates to infiltrate Christ’s congregation back then, to the extent that the very men presiding over the anointed congregation were false apostles and deceitful workers, how can the Watchtower Society’s portrayal of itself as the incorruptible city on the hill possibly be true?
The talk outline went on to cite 1 John, that describes those who went out from among the true Christians “because they were not of our sort.” And no doubt that has been the case with many. But obviously the “superfine apostles” did not go out from among the brothers and sisters back then. Again, the Watchtower is not being straightforward.
As an example of the inebriated disorientation of the Governing Body and their boastfulness, consider their misapplication of the prophecy in Isaiah chapter 26, which states: “And Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow, of wine kept on the dregs, filtered. And in this mountain he will certainly swallow up the face of the envelopment that is enveloping over all the peoples, and the woven work that is interwoven upon all the nations. He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.”
Any spiritually sober reader who is not reeling from imbibing of the Watchtower’s brew ought to be able to discern that the prophecy is fulfilled when the kingdom comes. The Watchtower makes the preposterous claim that the “envelopment” that is enmeshing all the nations is the death that began in the Garden of Eden. But the context clearly indicates that the envelopment is related to the relentless persecution of the tyrannical ones – certain to relate to the terror the wild beast will impose upon the peoples of the world during the time of the end.
The banquet of well-oiled dishes and wine is what God will provide for the survivors of the end of the world – for the great crowd who come out of the great tribulation. As the 21st chapter of Revelation also relates, that is when God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.
The fact that the Watchtower applies the fulfillment of this post-Armageddon prophecy to their own publications and pronouncements is in itself a manifestation of the vomit that covers the serving tables of Jehovah.
Long before Jesus came to earth and for centuries afterwards, oriental societies were known for their hospitality to strangers. When Jesus sent out the 70 he gave them instructions to eat whatever their hosts provided and not to be moving around from host to host, perhaps to get better accommodations. So, back then visiting people in the homes was an extremely effective way to make disciples. And such was the case even in the modern era up until recently.
Ironically, canvasing door-to-door is now probably one of the least effective ways of reaching people – primarily, because the society in which we live has changed. It used to be the women stayed at home and took care of children and ran the household. And it was often the women of a family who were first contacted by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now, though, a growing percentage of women are in the work force and as Jehovah’s Witnesses well know, it is rare to find someone at home when calling.
The Governing Body has been aware of this trend for many years and has tried to redirect Jehovah’s Witnesses to alternative means of contacting people, such as on the street or in shopping malls. The Watchtower itself is piloting programs to open storefronts and information booths in public places. In Mexico Jehovah’s Witnesses has even gone mobile. And the Watchtower has even reluctantly embraced the Internet to provided information to the public.
In that respect e-Watchman also uses the Internet, not only to announce Jehovah’s coming day, but to provide basic information to truth-seekers.
When warranted I direct persons to Watchtower articles online. In the past I provided questioners with information pasted from the Society’s CD ROM. Although I personally no longer go house-to-house as in the past, over the past decade the door of opportunity has been opened to me to reach many more people via the Internet than otherwise would have been possible. In that respect the word of Jesus applies in my case: “I know your deeds—look! I have set before you an opened door, which no one can shut.”
But the Watchtower’s criteria for identifying apostates is not really sound. As already pointed out, the “superfine apostles” who apparently presided over the Corinthians congregation(s), also preached to the public. That is why Paul said they were “deceitful workers” who had, as the new NWT words it at 2 Corinthians 11:13, merely “disguised themselves as apostles of Christ.” Obviously, for the disguise to work they had to make at least a pretense of obeying Christ’s command to preach.
By portraying apostates as individuals who do not go door-to-door the Watchtower helps to disguise the real apostates who lurk within the organization at the highest level.
Interestingly, when Christ comes and judges the slaves whom he assigned to feed the domestics their food at the proper time one class of servants are condemned as evil because they knew their master’s will but did not obey. Obviously, more is involved in obeying Christ then knocking on doors that no one answers.
Satan has always coveted what belongs to God. Especially is that the case when it comes to those whom God recognizes as his people.
There are two primary ways that Satan seeks to mislead God’s people. One – he uses those on the outside to appeal to Jehovah’s Witnesses to save themselves by fleeing from the “cult.” These may be churchgoers who claim to know the real Jesus, or they may be ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who offer enchained witnesses “freedom.”
But secondly – and by far the most effective – he plants his agents within the organization who go undetected. And using his agents within the Devil becomes an angel of light – portraying the organization as an incorruptible, ever-shining beacon of light. In his cunning the original demon casts anyone who may expose his wicked scheme as a “human apostate.” So, Jehovah’s Witnesses are made to feel secure in believing all they are taught by the Society – unaware of the “deluding influence” that they are under. It is the man of lawlessness who preys upon trusting Christians to the extent that they have been induced to whole-heartedly embrace a counterfeit parousia and are under compulsion to preach it from the rooftops.
Consider, for example, the clever way in which the speaker referred to a passage at 2 Peter 2:1, only partially quoting the passage, he neglected to expound upon the fact that the apostle foretold that false teachers would exist among Christians and that they would exploit them with counterfeit words. The apostle Peter did not indicate that the false teachers would exist on the outside or even on the periphery of the congregation. No, he said: “However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These will quietly bring in destructive sects, and they will even disown the owner who bought them…”
Although presently there is not a divisive sectarian influence among Jehovah’s Witnesses, what will happen when the authentic parousia of Christ commences, as it surely must in the near future? What then? That is when the organization will splinter into destructive sects and the false teachers “will even disown the owner who bought them” when they refuse to accept Christ upon his return. They will bring “speedy destruction upon themselves” during the conclusion, when the angels are dispatched by Christ to uproot the weeds that had been planted by the Devil.
e-Watchman has been tasked with announcing the coming of Christ in the capacity of a refiner and harvester.
By the best estimate, over the past few decades several tens of thousands of children have been molested by Jehovah’s Witnesses. About a decade ago it was revealed by a Bethel insider that the Watchtower maintained a database of some 23,000 known sexual offenders. That number has surely grown since then. And there is no doubt that many of those offenders preyed upon multiple victims.
But besides the actual perpetrators of crimes against children, the Society has been held liable by the courts of the land for policies that either contributed to the abuse, or shielded the abuser from exposure. Understandably there is considerable outrage among the many victims and their families and the few advocates who have stood up for them against the Watchtower’s legal apparatus.
So, here is a question for honest-reasoning Jehovah’s Witnesses to ponder: Is it honest for the Watchtower to cast victim’s advocates as “human apostates”?
Bill Bowen is one who has had television exposure. He surely is not seeking disciples. His motive is to force the Society to do a better job protecting children from the thousands of sexual predators within the organization.
As it stands, the Watchtower considers truth-tellers to be enemies of God. In fact, it is a matter of public record that it is official Watchtower policy that any of Jehovah’s Witnesses who may publicly disagree with it – even if they are in the right – is subject to be ostracized and branded as an apostate. It is undeniable that the Governing Body values organizational uniformity more than the truth.
(As regards the public record, in the chapter on Micah is a reproduction of a court transcript from 1954, in which the Society’s lead attorney was put under oath and made to concede to the truthfulness of the above-stated policy.)
But as regards my work, my aim is not to create divisions or recruit followers. My primary purpose is to announce Jehovah’s judgments, as contained in prophecy. The Internet has been the main way in which I have broadcasted God’s judgments. And let’s be clear about something – whereas, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deluded into supposing that anyone who speaks a word of criticism against the policies, practices or teachings of the organization is bringing reproach upon the name of Jehovah and is incontrovertibly an enemy of God, the truth is, Jehovah actually commanded his ancient prophets to make public the sins and revolts of his people.
For example, in the 3rd chapter of Amos God declared the reason for his judging Israel was because, among all the nations, they alone were his exclusive property. God then went on to say that he would not do a single thing, though, until he had first notified his servants, the prophets. Then, in verse nine he commands his prophet: “Proclaim it on the fortified towers of Ashdod and on the fortified towers in the land of Egypt. Say: ‘Gather together against the mountains of Samaria; see the turmoil in her midst and the defrauding within her.’”
Other prophets acted similarly. Again, for example, although Ezekiel was not part of the inner circle of priests in Jerusalem – being at that time in exile in Babylon – nonetheless, by means of visions Jehovah caused Ezekiel to see behind the temple walls and the disgusting things that were being carried on in Jehovah’s temple. Ezekiel then published God’s judgments in the Bible book that bears his name and he served as a watchman to the older men in Babylon.
In like manner, I have publicized the secret doings of Bethel, such as their NGO partnership with the UN; the backroom payout of hush money to silence sexually abused victims and the cunning way in which the Society has interpreted prophecy to glorify itself and deflect God’s rebuke.
Whereas, the Watchtower considers it a shameful thing that those whom they cast out as wicked human apostates under Satan’s control, would endeavor to contact “loyal witnesses of Jehovah” by means of written letters, in reality the Watchtower itself has sanctioned such a thing. Consider the following quote taken from the January 15, 1975 Watchtower:
What results when a lie is let go unchallenged? Does not silence help the lie to pass as truth, to have freer sway to influence many, perhaps to their serious harm? What happens when misconduct and immorality are allowed to go unexposed and uncondemned? Is this not like covering over an infection without any effort to cure it and keep it from spreading?
When persons are in great danger from a source that they do not suspect or are being misled by those they consider their friends, is it an unkindness to warn them? They may prefer not to believe the warning. They may even resent it. But does that free one from the moral responsibility to give that warning?
If you are among those seeking to be faithful to God, the issues these questions raise are vital for you today. Why? Because God’s servants in every period of history have had to face up to the challenge these issues present. They have had to expose falsehood and wrongdoing and warn people of dangers and deception—not just in a general way, but in a specific way, in the interest of pure worship. It would have been far easier to keep silent or say only what people wanted to hear. But faithfulness to God and love of neighbor moved them to speak. They realized that “better is a revealed reproof than a concealed love.”—Prov. 27:5.
Yes, I have availed myself of the Internet and also mailed tens of thousands of letters to loyal Society elders throughout the English-speaking world. I have not let the Watchtower’s lies go unchallenged. I have exposed their deception. Sure, they resent it. They are obviously wincing under the exposure and are becoming more and more shrill in demanding that Jehovah’s Witnesses pay no heed to whatever they may read. But I cannot allow their deafness to deter me from my moral obligation.
Yes, it would have been far easier for me to keep silent. I have sacrificed a lifetime of friendships and been made to suffer the stigma of being branded by the Society as a “human apostate.” Nevertheless, I have been moved by faithfulness to God and love of neighbor to expend myself to sound the warning. And Jehovah willing, I will continue to do so “until the cities actually crash in ruins.”
e-Watchman does not reject the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses as being representatives of Jehovah. On the contrary, I recognize the organization as belonging to God. But Israel and later Judah served in the same capacity in order to fulfill God’s purpose towards them. And because God recognized them as being bound by a covenant with him God used various men as prophets to issue warnings and denunciations.
The leadership of the Watchtower has fallen into the same pattern of arrogance and faithlessness as the kings and priests before Christ.
For example, the Jews in Jeremiah’s day imagined that because Jerusalem was home to God’s temple that they would never be visited with the disaster Jeremiah prophesied against them. They disregarded the prophet’s message – king Jehoiakim even cut up Jeremiah’s scroll and burned it in the fire. But did Jeremiah reject the Jews as being God’s representatives? No, of course not.
The Watchtower’s rejection of my message is similar to the manner in which the Jews rejected Jeremiah and the other prophets. In reality, it is they who receive nothing from any Bethel-outsider with respect. They much prefer to embrace the “deluding influence” they are under than to reconsider Jehovah’s prophetic word in any other light than what their institutional prophets have declared to them.
But in the end Jeremiah’s words came true. All the prophets’ words were fulfilled. And I am certain of a similar outcome in my case, even as Jehovah assured his appointed watchman, Ezekiel: “I am sending you to sons who are defiant and hardhearted, and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says.’ As for them, whether they listen or refuse to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will certainly know that a prophet was among them.”