- rlong9000ParticipantJuly 11, 2017 at 3:23 amPost count: 9
Beautiful article Nigel! It has long been an internal conflict for many, this balancing act of loving good/ hating bad, loving neighbor and enemy, doing good to all, especially those related in the faith, determining just which spiritual gift(s) one is in possession of, all the while making a decent living for ones family in this paradoxically beautiful and fetid world.
Were we Christ, we would know just how to proceed, but as it is, the knowledge that whatever we do, even if right, will be done so poorly, the fear of causing offense to Jehovah is itself immobilizing for many (me).
I’ve stated before the myriad of occasions I’ve found myself thinking, “Surely, this person is more agreeable to Jehovah’s heart than I”, and this applied primarily to persons not associated with the congregations. If one thing is clear, it is that I should certainly not attempt to place limitations on Jehovah’s mercy. Rather, my sincere desire is for Jehovah to extend His mercy as liberally as His justice may allow Him to.
For ones of such fledgling understanding as I, it is not difficult to fathom Jehovah extending mercy to the misled of Christendom, or of the world’s other “great” religions. The Resurrection is a feature of that mercy, I believe. I have to wonder about those misleading or perpetuating the lies.
If nothing else, (but of course there is so much more) Robert’s work has helped me to view myself as a “hanger-on” one not a party to any covenant, just a hopeful beneficiary of the Kingdom. If all first century Christains were annointed, likely Jesus mention of the “other sheep” went right over their heads as many other articles of faith did not register. The point is, if I remove my expectations from the equation and reckon all scripture to, for and about the annointed heirs of the Kingdom, it is not hard to imagine that there may be a number of the annointed “out there”, as in not recognized by the WTS, but should we imagine they are amongst the Eastern religions or Islam? I want to be as generous as possible, too, but for one to appropriately fear God, must one not first know God? Robert has exhaustively demonstrated the adherents of the Babylonish religions cannot possibly know God, while their leaderships are intentional and ardent avowed enemies of Jehovah. Do we really imagine the true annointed among these leaderships?
I think it clarifies, or at least matriculates, things to remove from the equation all things yet future, like parousia and paradise and evaluate the happenings and conditions of the conclusion of the system of things of the Christains Era in the context of it’s beginning, where it’s all about the annointed and the establishment of the Kingdom. If the type was Israel and the Anti-type the Israel of God can we really see evidence of these true annointed amonst the Babylonish religions? What gifts should we be expecting to seen demonstrated there, what fruitage of the Spirit?
Again, I am not challengeing, just exploring and asking you to expand on your premise specifically where an amateur “researcher” might look for empirical evidence that true annointed remain active in the Babylonish religions. It just doesn’t seem reasonable that such ones would tolerate the filthy idolatry and outright heresy day after day, year after year, decade after decade, does it? We suppose the idolatry and apostasy of the WT can only exist because the true annointed have been marginalized by the MOL, don’t we? Wouldn’t that be true in Christendom too? Would the Holy One’s really stay there and stick it out? And to what end? If we do not now or for the foreseeable future have an identified singular Israel of God complete with apostate MOL, aren’t we then putting off the parousia by another generation?
Lots to consider (thoroughly and repeatedly) in what you have presented, and I sincerely hope you can make time to apply your highly respected intellect to my quandries.
Thanks and Jehovah bless,
Richard.disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantJuly 11, 2017 at 5:19 amPost count: 10
” I have to wonder about those misleading or perpetuating the lies.”
That would be wicked leadership, false prophets and various antichrists that Jehovah targets in His denunciations and the very ones Brother King rails & prophesies against.
“but should we imagine they are amongst the Eastern religions or Islam? I want to be as generous as possible, too, but for one to appropriately fear God, must one not first know God?”
There may be some good-hearted ones from among the Eastern religions and Islam who may eventually turn to the Truth when presented with it, but ultimately:
“there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.” Acts 4:12
“Robert has exhaustively demonstrated the adherents of the Babylonish religions cannot possibly know God, while their leaderships are intentional and ardent avowed enemies of Jehovah. Do we really imagine the true annointed among these leaderships?”
We can’t examine the doctrine of every denomination & sect of Christianity here & now but I can assure you that there are many groups teaching the basic truths and some that even get quite “meaty”. I don’t want to have to provide an example but if I must I will. For instance, I recently came across a youtube video of a sermon from a church named “Church of YHWH”. And the sermon was brilliant!!!! So there are groups out there; maybe not many, maybe not big, but they exist.
The Pharisees, as a whole, were ardent enemies of Christ, yet Nicodemus was a believer. Acts 15:5 speaks of “some of those of the sect of the Pharisees who had become believers”, so there are believers even in the midst of Christ’s enemies.
It bears quoting:
“Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.” Matt 7:13
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt 16:24,25
Discipleship is very personal and:
“we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10
“What gifts should we be expecting to seen demonstrated there, what fruitage of the Spirit?”
All of it! Note that in Gal 5:22 it is not “fruits”, it is “fruit” or “fruitage” (one type of fruit: the fruit of the Spirit!). The fruit of the Spirit includes ALL of the things Paul wrote in Gal 5:22,23, not just certain qualities without others. (Naturally, we’re all learning to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and we’re going to make mistakes along the way; that’s why the Blood of Jesus is so precious: it provides forgiveness as we’re trying to obey as best we can. Hallellujah! And that’s also why Jesus said we shouldn’t judge one another (Matt 7:1-5).) Love is the overarching quality. It is the hallmark of a true Christian and only a true Christian with the Holy Spirit can truly love since true love is a result of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot be received by the world (John 14:17). (Does that make sense!? lol)
“It just doesn’t seem reasonable that such ones would tolerate the filthy idolatry and outright heresy day after day, year after year, decade after decade, does it?”
Agreed. I can’t speak for others. I think all anointed Christians who wholeheartedly love Jehovah are indeed “sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the city.” (Ez 9:4) In my personal experience, once the 1914 thing came to my understanding (that would have been 12 years ago or so now; I came across e-watchman site shortly after questioning 1914 and have never left) I felt like I couldn’t remain with the Witnesses. To be fair, I would like to think that I have grown in spiritual maturity since then (all praise to Jehovah) and maybe I wouldn’t have left knowing what I know now. The reason being is that we all “see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face.” (1 Cor 13:12.) Thankfully for me, I was led to a tiny group of about 15 anointed Christians where Jehovah has nurtured me ever since. If/when I’m led to leave that group I will, because I was baptised “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and the covenant I am in is with my Heavenly Father Jehovah and not with men.
In this, I agree with Brother King that maybe a JW should remain where he/she is until the angel gives the cry “Get out of her my people” (Rev 18:4).
After all, did not Jesus say:
“The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. Therefore, all the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but they do not practice what they say.” Matt 23:2,3
Nigel.disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantJuly 11, 2017 at 10:50 amPost count: 10
Hello again Richard.
There was something you wrote that I didn’t address…
“If we do not now or for the foreseeable future have an identified singular Israel of God complete with apostate MOL, aren’t we then putting off the parousia by another generation?”
There’s two things you mentioned that I’d like to address:
1. “a singular Israel of God”
2. “apostate MOL”
“a singular Israel of God”
It’s my understanding that the Israel of God will only become truly “singular” (unified) when Jesus returns.
“And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.And then he will send out the angels and will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from earth’s extremity to heaven’s extremity.” Mark 13:26,27
“Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.” Matt 24:30,31
“For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s* word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord.” 1 Thess 4:15-17
Until then we are somewhat “scattered” (compare James 1:1).
As you likely know, and as Brother King has thoroughly explained, the Man of Lawlessness is also known as The Antichrist.
“Young children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared, from which fact we know that it is the last hour.”
So, there is the ultimate antichrist (“the antichrist”) and there are other antichrists (“many antichrists”).
The following scriptures plainly prove that Christ has been appointed Head of the ecclesia: Ps 118:22, 1 Pet 2:7, Matt 28:18, Eph 1:22, 5:23, Col 1:18.
Any Christian group (denominational, non-denominational, small, big, whatever) that places man as the head of the church has an antichrist structure. It is “against Christ” because Christ alone is the head of the church, the ecclesia. The Governing Body of The Watchtower Society is a good example of this but it is hardly the only one; I would guess that most organised Christian religions have placed man at the head of the their church.
It’s among such antichrist structures that Satan can enter as he entered Judas and, thus, antichrists appear. Since “the lawless one’s presence is by the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and wonders” (2 Thess 2:9) it must be assumed that those of the “many antichrists” must also be by the operation of Satan and may also have “powerful work and lying signs and wonders”. As such, there can be multiple antichrists spread throughout all of the Christian groups & denominations throughout the world at any one time.
Thus it’s my understanding that the “evil slave” within the WTS leadership is AN antichrist, but may not necessarily be “THE Antichrist” and thus we may not need wait another generation to see the “ultimate” Antichrist appear.
Interestingly, having “many antichrists” scattered throughout all of Christendom means that each & every parishioner in all of those churches will have to contend with much the same crisis of faith that will occur when their “idols”, their doctrines, their leadership and their organisations suddenly come crashing down. THEN, the decision will have to be made by all professing Christians: Antichrist, or Christ? Will they love the truth or will they cling to falsehood? It will truly be personal then and only those strong & resolute in faith in Jesus & Jehovah will survive.disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 11:38 amPost count: 10
Since first posting this topic I’ve had some further thoughts that I’d like to share.
The first one, as I’ve mentioned in the comments section of the Brother King’s article, seems to be yet another fundamental incongruity in Brother King’s assertion that the surviving remnant shall come exclusively from the ranks of those who are currently Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This incongruity has to do with the “idols” that Jehovah charges His people with worshipping:
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will become clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your disgusting idols.” Ezekiel 36:25
Notice that “idols” is plural, i.e. “more than one”, yet it is undeniable that Jehovah’s Witnesses have but one “idol”: “the faithful & discreet slave”.
That Jehovah is speaking about the entire congregation and not merely the leadership is evident from verses 17 & 18 where He speaks of “the house of Israel”:
“Son of man, when the house of Israel was dwelling in their land, they made it unclean by their ways and their dealings. Their ways were like the uncleanness of menstruation to me. So I poured out my rage on them because of the blood that they had shed upon the land and because they made the land unclean with their disgusting idols.”
That leads to the obvious question: How can “one idol” be “many idols”? Clearly it can’t. It is only when one factors in other denominations that the statement “all your disgusting idols” makes sense.
Brother King asserts that only Jehovah’s Witnesses are capable of “profaning” God’s name by reason of the fact that they have named themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
I certainly agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses have, indeed, brought reproach upon the name of Jehovah because of their various iniquities and doing so whilst named “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, yet a closer look at the definition of “profane” brings to light a very interesting fact.
“חָלַל châlal; a primitive root; also denominative properly, to bore, i.e. (by implication) to wound, to dissolve”
When one puts soluble aspirin in water it “dissolves”; it seems to disappear. It’s there, but it doesn’t seem to be there.
Can it not be said that Christendom, as a whole, has “dissolved” the name of Jehovah by removing it from their bibles, their pulpits & their vernacular? Can it not be said that in doing so, they have “wounded” Jehovah’s name?
Can it not also be said that Christendom has also “wounded” Jehovah’s name by melding Him into a triune God, thereby changing His very nature?
Also, Paul, speaking about blaspheming God’s name, writes:
“You [Jews] who take pride in law, do you dishonor God by your transgressing of the Law? For “the name of God is being blasphemed among the nations because of you,” just as it is written.” (Rom 2:23,24)
Paul connects the transgression of the Law by Jews to the blaspheming of God’s name. But, as I mentioned in my initial post, the name “Jehovah” is not found in the name “Israel”. And it’s worth noting, now, that neither is it found in the name “Judah”, from which the name “Jew” is derived.
Additionally, the Jews had stopped speaking & writing the name of Jehovah some 350 years earlier, so it’s debatable that the personal name of Israel’s God was even well-known amongst “the nations” at that time:
“At least as early as the third century B.C. the name seems to have been regarded by the Jews as a ‘nomen ineffabile'”
“After the death of the high priest Simeon the Righteous, forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple, the priests ceased to pronounce the Name (Yoma39b). From that time the pronunciation of the Name was prohibited. “Whoever pronounces the Name forfeits his portion in the future world” (Sanh. xi. 1)”
(Certainly Jesus may have used God’s personal name, although there is no hard evidence of that, but Jesus did a lot of things that upset the sensibilities of the Jews in disregarding their traditions.)
On the topic of “being called by Jehovah’s Name”, consider, also, the following:
“For too long we have become like those you never ruled over, Like those never called by your name.” Isaiah 63:19
This scripture implies that those who are “ruled over” by Jehovah are those “called by [His] name”.
Since the time of Jesus, Jehovah has appointed Christ to “rule over” His people:
“But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God.” 1 Cor 11:3
“Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying: “This is my Son, the one who has been chosen. Listen to him.”” Luke 9:35
“Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” John 14:6,23
“All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” Matt 28:18
It follows, then, that it is (wholesouled) “Christians” who are “called by Jehovah’s name” since they are “ruled over” by Christ, obeying God’s command that we believe in, listen to & obey His Son. And especially so since:
“He is the image of the invisible God” Col 1:15 (I also highly recommend reading Col 1:9-20)
“I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you on the way and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Pay attention to him, and obey his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgressions, because my name is in him. “ Exodus 23:20,21
Notice, also, Paul, when giving his defense to King Agrippa in Caeserea:
“But A·gripʹpa said to Paul: “In a short time you would persuade me to become a Christian.” At this Paul said: “I wish to God that whether in a short time or in a long time, not only you but also all those who hear me today would become men such as I am, with the exception of these prison bonds.” Acts 26:28,29
I believe this scripture speaks for itself.
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Sosʹthe·nes our brother, to the congregation of God that is in Corinth, to you who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones, together with all those everywhere who are calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours” 1 Cor 1:1,2
Notice that the “congregation of God” includes “all those everywhere who are calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. That would include wholesouled Christians in Christendom who are doing just that.
On the related subject of servitude/faith to Christ equating to servitude/faith to Jehovah, consider:
“As you come to [Jesus], a living stone rejected by men but chosen, precious to God.” 1 Peter 2:4
“For it says in Scripture: “Look! I am laying in Zion a chosen stone, a precious foundation cornerstone, and no one exercising faith in it [Jesus] will ever be disappointed. It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers”” 1 Pet 2:6,7
“For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd [Jesus] and overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:4,25
“As a fine soldier of Christ Jesus, take your part in suffering adversity.” 2 Tim 2:3
“May the undeserved kindness be with all those loving our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptness.” Eph 6:24
The five scriptures above are but a small sample of what is taught time & again throughout the New Testament: that believers have faith in Christ and are to serve/obey Him.
Returning to the subject of evangelism and the WTS’ assertion that all individual Christians must personally be engaged in evangelism, and both their & Brother King’s assertion that Jehovah’s Witnesses alone are “God’s people” because all JWs evangelise and in doing so they are emulating the first-century church, consider:
“The next day we left and came to Caes·a·reʹa, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelizer, who was one of the seven men, and we stayed with him.” Acts 21:8
If all first-century Christians were individually, personally engaged in evangelism, why is Philip called “Philip the evangelizer”? As an identifying appellation that term would be as useful as saying “Nigel, the man who breathes air”. It’s clear that not all were evangelists, only “some” (Eph 4:11). Certainly, the charge to evangelise was given, but it appears to be given to the church as a whole, with the expectation that specific ones would be “sent” (Rom 10:15) and others would support them whilst engaging in the other ministries essential to the building up of the church until it attains “the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ.” (Eph 4:13)
Like Brother King states in his article: “When you think about it, the truth is very simple.” And I couldn’t agree more.
Adam & Eve were given one simple command in order to live:
“as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen 2:17
Doubtlessly, Jehovah was going to expand on that & add to it because:
“both of them continued to be naked, the man and his wife; yet they were not ashamed.” Gen 2:25
We know that nakedness, figuratively and literally, is shameful (e.g Gen 9:21-25, Ex 20:26, Isa 47:3, Nahum 3:5, Rev 3:18). So we know that, at some point, Jehovah was going to explain that principle to Adam & Eve and command that they be clothed. But like newborn babies who aren’t condemned for their nakedness by their parents, Jehovah did not condemn Adam & Eve because of their ignorance regarding their nakedness; He overlooked it at that time and required nothing from them but that they refrain from eating from the tree of knowledge of good & bad.
In the same way, Jehovah has given mankind a simple command in order to live:
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will get saved” Acts 16:31
“if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Is there more to knowing & pleasing God? Of course! But, if nothing else, obeying this simple command guarantees one will be “saved”.
Take, for example, the thief on the stake next to Jesus. He had nothing but the simplest belief in Jesus, yet Jesus said to him:
“Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
Since “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb 13:8) we may be assured that even those with but the simplest, child-like faith in Jesus will be saved.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom 10:13 KJV
Did not the apostles & elders at Jerusalem write to the Gentile believers, on the subject of adherence to the Mosaic Law & being saved:
“For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!” Acts 15:28,29
In view of all this, I believe it would be wise to consider the principle Jesus taught at Mark 9:38-42:
“John said to him: “Teacher, we saw someone expelling demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said: “Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one who will do a powerful work on the basis of my name who will quickly be able to say anything bad about me. For whoever is not against us is for us. And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, I tell you truly, he will by no means lose his reward. But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who have faith, it would be better for him if a millstone that is turned by a donkey were put around his neck and he were pitched into the sea.”
Finally, I want to conclude this post by saying – most definitively – that I am not opposed to or against Brother King or his work. Rather, I love & respect Brother King and truly appreciate his work on this site, recognising both that I have learnt a great deal through his writings and that he has been “sent” to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their leadership.
My posts here are done in the spirit of:
“Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God” 1 John 4:1
“these [Jews] were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·niʹca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11
All the very best, brothers & sisters. May our Lord bless you all abundantly.rlong9000ParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 12:35 pmPost count: 9
I also would like to inject that I think far too many of us might be inadvertently placing more pressure than we ought to on Robert to supply to us insight, even to the point of appointing him judge, on all matters scriptural. Clearly he is not seeking such status, and this inclination is likely borne from our pitiable condition of starvation and even desperation. He is one member of a body, the remnant, who individually sees in great detail many things, but not all things, some things maybe not at all. Let us not unlovingly paint him into corners as the masses of Jehovah’s Witnesses have historically done our leadership, looking to men for convenient “packaged” salvation rather than to God directly for the one requiring cultivation by strenuous exertion.disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 12:48 pmPost count: 10rlong9000ParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 1:06 pmPost count: 9
“I was led to a tiny group of about 15 anointed Christians where Jehovah has nurtured me ever since. If/when I’m led to leave that group I will, because I was baptised [<—Ha! my American English spell checker choked on that, but I’m leaving it!] “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and the covenant I am in is with my Heavenly Father Jehovah and not with men.”
One of the things on my mind a lot lately is not knowing whether Robert is “alone” out there on the wall. I should hate to think he is isolated completely from all other anointed ones in his private life, but imagine or at least hope there is peer association for him, albeit none of my business.disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 1:24 pmPost count: 10
Are we ever truly alone, though?
“Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid or struck with terror before them, for Jehovah your God is the one marching with you. He will neither desert you nor abandon you.” Deut 31:6
“To this he said: ‘I have been absolutely zealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, and I am the only one left. Now they are seeking to take my life away.’ [Jehovah said to him] ‘I still have left 7,000 in Israel, all whose knees have not bent down to Baʹal and whose mouths have not kissed him.’” 1 Kings 19:14,18
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 KJV
“And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” Matt 28:20
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Ps 46:1 KJV
“The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous, And his ears listen to their cry for help.” Ps 34:15rlong9000ParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 1:47 pmPost count: 9
One gets the sense that I, like many, run ahead of the word of God as we’ve become prone to emulate the myriad examples in doing so the WT has so prolifically shown us. Perhaps we demand of Jehovah that there be an exclusivity for us to partake in that simply doesn’t exist yet, as you so rightly point out the Israel of God technically does not exist yet, and I know Robert has written his acknowledgement of this fact also.
Conversely, I have great difficulty overlaying any other body into the grave of Jehovah’s denunciations as Robert has explained the prophets to us, where Jehovah’s Witnesses appear to fit on all points. Can it be this is simply prejudicial on my part? Or am I attempting to compare something I see now to a prophetic image more rightly viewed as a future state? Is it right to at least consider the possibility that since the call to get out of BTG has not yet occurred, everything is BTG, we JW’s just another sect of Christendom?rlong9000ParticipantJuly 16, 2017 at 1:54 pmPost count: 9disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantSeptember 14, 2017 at 10:26 amPost count: 10
Once again, I’ve had a comment inexplicably removed from the comments section of Brother King’s site, so I’ve decided to repost my comment here (albeit, somewhat expanded now) – since it pertains to the subject of whether the Watchtower Society’s “Jehovah’s Witnesses” are the sole body being used by Jehovah in these times.
This particular point has to do with preaching, which the WTS, Brother King and other JW apologists argue is conclusive proof that it is the JWs alone that can possibly obtain God’s approval, while all other Christian denominations/groups/individuals, regardless of how honest-hearted, faithful, sincere & loving they may be, are destined for the dustbin of destruction.
The New Testatment clearly teaches that the preaching of the good news will be accompanied by “signs & wonders”.
“For if the word spoken through angels proved to be sure, and every transgression and disobedient act received a punishment in harmony with justice, how will we escape if we have neglected so great a salvation? For it began to be spoken through our Lord and was verified for us by those who heard him, while God joined in bearing witness with signs and wonders and various powerful works and with the holy spirit distributed according to his will.” Heb 2:2-4
“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Mark 16:20 KJV
“Now Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began to preach the Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were paying attention to what Philip said while they listened and observed the signs he was performing. For many had unclean spirits, and these would cry out with a loud voice and come out. Moreover, many who were paralyzed and lame were cured. So there came to be a great deal of joy in that city.” Acts 8:5-8 (Philip was not an apostle, by the way…)
“and my speech and what I preached were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might be, not in men’s wisdom, but in God’s power.” 1 Cor 2:4
“because the good news we preach did not come to you with speech alone but also with power and with holy spirit and with strong conviction, just as you know what sort of men we became among you for your sakes.” 1 Thes 1:5
The Apostle Paul gives the Biblical standard of what it means to “fully (thoroughly) preach the good news”:
“For I will not presume to speak about anything except what Christ has done through me in order for the nations to be obedient, by my word and deed, with the power of signs and wonders, with the power of God’s spirit, so that from Jerusalem and in a circuit as far as Illyricum I have thoroughly preached the good news about the Christ.” Romans 15:18,19
Notice that Paul considered the good news preached “thoroughly” (Gk.: πληρόω, meaning “fulfil, full, complete”) by means of “words, deeds, signs & wonders”. Thus, the biblical standard for “thoroughly preaching the good news” is only met if there are “words, deeds, signs & wonders”; if there are only “words & deeds” then the preaching work simply cannot be considered done “fully” or “thoroughly”.
JWs have “words” (largely from the WTS) and many have godly “deeds” (as far as any imperfect human can), but how many JWs are displaying “signs & wonders with the power of God’s Spirit” in their preaching work?
The answer is nil. (Could this have something to do with their “words”, i.e. that they are not altogether approved by Jah?)
If there were “signs & wonders” we could rightly expect the very same reaction that was recorded in the scriptures when Jesus & others performed such signs through the power of the Holy Spirit:
“Then he went throughout the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity among the people. And the report about him spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all those who were suffering with various diseases and torments, those who were demon-possessed and epileptic and paralyzed, and he cured them. Consequently, large crowds followed him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from the other side of the Jordan.” Matt 4:23-25
“And they went into Capernaum. As soon as the Sabbath began, he went into the synagogue and started to teach. … But Jesus rebuked [the unclean spirit], saying: “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into a convulsion and yelling at the top of its voice, came out of him. Well, the people were all so astonished that they began to discuss it among themselves, saying: “What is this? A new teaching! He authoritatively orders even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” So the report about him spread quickly in all directions throughout the entire region of Galilee. … After evening had fallen, when the sun had set, the people began bringing to him all who were ill and demon possessed; and the whole city was gathered right at the door.” Mark 1:21,25-28,32-33
“Then they set out and preached that people should repent, and they expelled many demons and greased many sick people with oil and cured them.” Mark 6:12,13
“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:17
Acts 2:1-41 gives the account of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the believers at Pentecost and how a crowd of people gathered at this location because of the subsequent miracle of speaking in tongues. Peter, seizing the opportunity afforded to him by the miracle, spoke to the gathered crowd with the result that 3000 (!!) people were baptised that day alone.
Acts 3 & 4 gives a similarly-themed account. 3:1-10 speaks of the miraculous healing of a lame man. 3:11-26 record the words given by Peter to the crowd that had gathered as a result of this miracle. 4:1-22 recounts Peter & John’s detainment by, and witness to, the “rulers of the people and elders” after which they were released & returned “to their own people”. Notice 4:29-30, where Peter, John & the gathered believers prayed:
“And now, Jehovah, give attention to their threats, and grant to your slaves to keep speaking your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand for healing and while signs and wonders occur through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29,30
“Look! Jehovah’s hand is upon you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sunlight for a time.” Instantly a thick mist and darkness fell on him, and he went around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul, on seeing what had happened, became a believer, for he was astounded at the teaching of Jehovah.” Acts 13:11,12 (Notice that the proconsul was astounded at “the teaching of Jehovah”. Why didn’t Luke write “the miracle of Jehovah”? Because the gospel is preached “fully” by “words, deeds, signs & wonders”.)
“So they spent considerable time speaking with boldness by the authority of Jehovah, who bore witness to the word of his undeserved kindness by allowing signs and wonders to be performed through them.” Acts 14:3
“At that the entire group became silent, and they began to listen to Barnabas and Paul relate the many signs and wonders that God had done through them among the nations.” Acts 15:12 (Incidentally, Barnabas, like Philip, was not an apostle.)
(The examples above can also give us great hope that many doors-of-opportunity may open in countries/areas in the future that are currently closed to Christian preaching (e.g. North Korea, Islamic countries, etc.); miracles of healing and other undeniable signs & wonders will most certainly arrest the attention of everyone there and give an ample opportunity for the gospel to be preached. Indeed, the people will be clamouring for it…)
In the example given above from Acts 2, the miracle of speaking in tongues is reported. And on that note, I’d like to give another proof that it is not exclusively the WTS’ “Jehovah’s Witnesses” that are doing God’s work.
(I have avoided making mention of this proof up until now because I was concerned that it would offend just about everyone who visits this site – but I pray that sincere truth-seekers (compare 2 Thess 2:10) will understand the point I’m about to make and neither be offended nor dismiss it out-of-hand.)
In Isaiah 28 Jehovah says:
“Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose” — but they would not listen.” Isa 28:11,12
(I’ll admit that I’m not sure exactly who “this people” are. It might be referring solely to the leadership, since the chapter is largely directed at them. But it might also be “the remnant of Jehovah’s people” (vs 5). One thing’s for certain: He’s speaking to a group of Israelites, His people.)
Now, it would seem that the “foreign lips and strange tongues” in Isa 28 is referring to the Assyrians – and that may have been the case in Isaiah’s time – but notice the interpretation of this passage by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament:
“In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers.” 1 Cor 14:21,22
Paul, under inspiration from the Holy Spirit, seems to be saying that these people of “other tongues and through the lips of foreigners” whom Jehovah is using to speak to “this people” (His people) refers to those who speak in tongues.
Of course, that categorically rules out the JWs, since they “forbid tongues” (1 Cor 14:39), but it does include those denominations/groups/individuals who do teach speaking-in-tongues.
(For those who may recoil at the idea of Christians speaking-in-tongues, saying that “tongues have ceased” on the basis of 1 Cor 13:8, please note that they will only cease once “that which is perfect is come” (1 Cor 13:10 KJV))
Anyway, that is all for now. I do have many more scriptures to cite & comment upon regarding the topics discussed on this thread but I’ll wait for another occasion to write again…
May our wonderful God Jehovah will bless each of you (and me!) with increased fruitage of the Holy Spirit and knowledge, understanding & wisdom of Him & our Lord Jesus.
NigelSongofHannahKeymasterSeptember 15, 2017 at 7:02 amPost count: 67
Thank you Nigel! I got kinda lost when you discussed the tounges, but I will ponder further on it. But you’ve put together a big piece of the puzzle that was missing for me regarding the Samaritans and the repentant “Watchmen of Ephraim”, that I have been wanting to share but am still trying to build out in my mind. (Jer 31)
And for that I thank you incessantly. ??disqus_WLkvBH7kBJParticipantDecember 24, 2017 at 11:31 pmPost count: 10
THE FALSE PAROUSIA
One of the pillars of the argument that the JWs are the only Christians used & approved by Jehovah – who alone have any hope of surviving into Christ’s Millennial Reign – is that they uniquely fulfill the prophecy of 2 Thess 2 by believing & teaching “the lie” that Christ’s parousia has already begun.
But whilst that is factually incorrect since Preterists, for example, have taught since the late 1500s that ALL prophecy has been fulfilled and Rastafarians have taught since the mid-1930s that Christ came again in the form of Emperor Haile Selassie I, there is actually a far more compelling reason to question that teaching; that being: Jesus clearly foretold that there will actually be a “false parousia” during the Great Tribulation.
“[F]or then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you. Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” Matt 24:21-27 NWT
“[F]or those days will be days of a tribulation such as has not occurred from the beginning of the creation that God created until that time, and will not occur again. In fact, unless Jehovah had cut short the days, no flesh would be saved. But on account of the chosen ones whom he has chosen, he has cut short the days. Then, too, if anyone says to you, ‘See! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘See! There he is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen ones. You, then, watch out. I have told you all things beforehand. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling out of heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from earth’s extremity to heaven’s extremity.” Mark 13:19-27 NWT
(Note that the word translated “then” (τότε) in Matt 24:23 and Mark 13:21 can also be translated as “at that time”; compare NIV.)
In the scriptures above, Jesus indicates that the Great Tribulation will begin and then, “at that time” (τότε), some will declare “Look! Here is the Christ”, or “See! There he is”. Or, in other words: “Christ is here; Christ is present; Christ’s parousia has begun”.
Notice, also, that he said there would be multiple “false Christs and false prophets”. This is in keeping with the fact that there are multiple Christian denominations.
Ultimately, it seems that we may expect every professing Christian, regardless of denomination, to be tested by a false parousia foisted upon them by (some of) the trusted, respected and seemingly holy leadership of their own organisations/congregations (2 Thess 2:2) – and that this will occur during the Great Tribulation, at a crucial time when they will be desperately seeking a “saviour” from their distress.
(Ironically, this places readers of e-watchman in a peculiar situation: many here believe that the “false parousia” is an historic (past) event that is “localised” to JWs, which means they may in fact be caught unaware/unprepared when the “great false parousia” occurs.)
I believe it’s also worth mentioning that genuine Christians ought to be able to identify these antichrists and false prophets:
“Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know that the inspired statement is from God: Every inspired statement that acknowledges Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God. But every inspired statement that does not acknowledge Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, this is the antichrist’s inspired statement that you have heard was coming, and now it is already in the world. You originate with God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in union with you is greater than the one who is in union with the world. They originate with the world; that is why they speak what originates with the world and the world listens to them.” 1 John 4:1-5 NWT
“My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 NWTseekerforgodskingdomParticipantDecember 25, 2017 at 1:57 pmPost count: 16
Check it and see if it offers some answers …
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