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JW Do Jehovah's Witnesses consider The Watchtower a holy book?

Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by ChristianForCats, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats In memory of my cat Daisy, who God loves

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    I used to work with a JW. She told me at Kingdom Hall the preacher and congregation read not only the Bible, but also a book titled The Watchtower. In Google searches for "Bible," I see that title on the first results page. It appears they believe Watchtower supplements the Bible as the religion's sacred text. Am I wrong about this? What exactly is the connection between JWs and The Watchtower?
     
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  2. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a JW but I can help you with that. The Watchtower is a publication of the JWs. It's more or less a newsletter of sorts.
     
  3. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    From what I've read, probably unofficial "no", but in terms of its authoritative value yes. Because that writing and other JW sources is a document that interprets scripture for church doctrine, not only that they tend to use it for their devotions etc. I hear speakers have pretty much read it from the pulpit etc. in their services and so on.
     
  4. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    The Watchtower is like their periodical magazine, which due to its content is also one of the primary means by which members of the sect, and potential converts, are indoctrinated with core Jehovah's Witness beliefs, many of which are woefully nefarious and therefor potentially causing great harm, because they are flat out lies -- damnable heresies.

    I know from personal experience and from others I've personally met and conversed with about this.
     
  5. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    It's their official Magistereum aka Teaching Authority. They look to it like Catholics look to papal decrees, their Catechism etc., Lutherans read Luther's works, Calvinists read "the Institutes of Christian Religion" and whatever else he wrote etc.
     
  6. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  7. DW1980

    DW1980 Don Supporter

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    They certainly wouldn't see it that way. They do however treat it like that, but allow for changes in theology over time.
     
  8. Peter1000

    Peter1000 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, my mistake.
     
  9. KingdomLeast

    KingdomLeast Member

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    The Watchtower is a magazine. The Jehovah's Witnesses every Sunday have a public discourse (sermon) by one of their elders, then during the second meeting, they go over an article that appears in the Watchtower magazine. The Watchtower magazine contains teachings from their leadership, the Governing Body. Everything they need to know about the Scriptures comes in the Watchtower magazine and other Jehovah's Witness literature!
     
  10. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Watchtower 1919 April 1 p.6414

    …Is not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually since the beginning of the harvest period?

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower April 1, 1920, pp.100, 101



    We would not refuse to treat one as a brother because he did not believe the Society is the Lord's channel. If others see it in a different way, that is their privilege. There should be full liberty of conscience.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1922 September 15 p.279

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [The loyalty test: God gave CT Russell to the church as a mouthpiece for him. Those who claim to have learned the truth apart from CT Russell are deceivers. Satan will cause people to think Russell was not the channel.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1927 March 15 p.87

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [From time to time flashes of light, reflected from the temple class; and these are permitted to see and understand the precious promises that specifically apply to the church at this time.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1930 September 1 p.203

    But it seems certain that when Jesus came to his temple and began his work of judgment he would direct his holy angels to take the necessary action to cause the separation of the disapproved from the approved ones, and would use his angels to bear messages to them to direct the approved ones as to what to do.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1930 August 1 p.239

    The Watchtower is the channel which Jehovah, our God, is using at this time to in the faithful remnant who are keeping the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1931 June 1 p.160



    Jehovah God has made known to his anointed ones in advance what these scriptures mean.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1931 November 1 p.327

    The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or any set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in the Watchtower.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1932 April 1 p.101

    To the whole series of messages of truth which he gave and which he continues to give ever since the lighting have been flashing from the temple and upon the record of his word. The expression "the word", therefore includes every revelation of truth down to and including the book Vindication and whatsoever shall be revealed and published, by the Lord's grace, as long as the remnant is on earth.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 April 1 p.99

    The Lord makes clear in his due time. And he usually reveals the same to his people by having them performing something in fulfillment of the prophecy and then discloses to his faithful the meaning thereof.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 May 15 pp.154-155

    Surely Jehovah has an organization on earth, because everything with him is done orderly. For many years he has used the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. There is but one class of people that are doing his work on earth today and these we call "the Society", acting under the direction of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and putting forth the Watchtower publications.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 August 15 p.247

    Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings peace and consolation to them.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 ?/?? p.276

    It has pleased the lord to use The Watchtower as a means of conveying his message to his covenant people.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 November 1 p.296

    As surely as Jehovah has an organization on the earth, just so surely he is feeding the members of that organization by the hand of Christ Jesus. The facts prove that he uses the Watchtower publications to bring these truth to attention of his remnant

    [Emphasis Added]

    VINDICATION, Volume 3 250

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [Angels hear the instructions and then pass it on to the remnant; they have been doing so since 1919.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Yearbook 1939 p.85

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [Angels hear the instructions and then pass it on to the remnant; they have been doing so since 1919.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1944 May 1 p.138

    His remnant of faithful followers catch the glory light from the unfolding of the Holy Scriptures, which were written for our day and which Jehovah's appointed interpreter Christ Jesus explains to us.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1952 April 15 p.253 Aids for Understanding Prophecy

    19 When may prophecies be understood? The Lord said to Daniel, "O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." (Dan. 12:4, AS) This indicates that the further fulfillments of the prophecies are sealed until the physical facts appear that begin to fulfill them. So the rule seems to be reasonable and certain that prophecies cannot be understood until they are in the course of fulfillment or until they have been fulfilled. Jehovah as the great Interpreter makes known the meaning of his revelations in his due time, and speculation by men cannot bring to light the true meaning of prophecy before time. Jehovah has provided a channel, the "faithful and discreet slave" class, who are given spiritual "food at the proper time", and this spiritual food includes among other things the understandings of the prophecies in the course of their fulfillments. (Matt. 24:45, NW) Jehovah's witnesses themselves are not nor can they be interpreters of prophecies. But as fast as the "superior authorities" Jehovah and Christ Jesus reveal the interpretations through their provided channel that fast do God's people publish them the world over to strengthen the faith of all lovers of righteousness.
     
  11. Dale

    Dale Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Some say that the Jehovah's Witnesses grant "prophet status" to their publications, the Watchtower being the most well known. The JW's teach that whoever reads the Watchtower and acts accordingly must be on the road to heaven, or if there isn't room there, to the New Earth.

    It makes an interesting contrast to the LDS. The Mormons claim that the President of the Church is always a prophet. The JW's don't claim that they have a living prophet, but they seem to claim prophet status for the magazines and newsletters put out by the organization.
     
  12. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Watchtower 1919 April 1 p.6414

    …Is not the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually since the beginning of the harvest period?

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower April 1, 1920, pp.100, 101



    We would not refuse to treat one as a brother because he did not believe the Society is the Lord's channel. If others see it in a different way, that is their privilege. There should be full liberty of conscience.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1922 September 15 p.279

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [The loyalty test: God gave CT Russell to the church as a mouthpiece for him. Those who claim to have learned the truth apart from CT Russell are deceivers. Satan will cause people to think Russell was not the channel.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1927 March 15 p.87

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [From time to time flashes of light, reflected from the temple class; and these are permitted to see and understand the precious promises that specifically apply to the church at this time.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1930 September 1 p.203

    But it seems certain that when Jesus came to his temple and began his work of judgment he would direct his holy angels to take the necessary action to cause the separation of the disapproved from the approved ones, and would use his angels to bear messages to them to direct the approved ones as to what to do.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1930 August 1 p.239

    The Watchtower is the channel which Jehovah, our God, is using at this time to in the faithful remnant who are keeping the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1931 June 1 p.160



    Jehovah God has made known to his anointed ones in advance what these scriptures mean.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1931 November 1 p.327

    The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or any set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in the Watchtower.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1932 April 1 p.101

    To the whole series of messages of truth which he gave and which he continues to give ever since the lighting have been flashing from the temple and upon the record of his word. The expression "the word", therefore includes every revelation of truth down to and including the book Vindication and whatsoever shall be revealed and published, by the Lord's grace, as long as the remnant is on earth.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 April 1 p.99

    The Lord makes clear in his due time. And he usually reveals the same to his people by having them performing something in fulfillment of the prophecy and then discloses to his faithful the meaning thereof.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 May 15 pp.154-155

    Surely Jehovah has an organization on earth, because everything with him is done orderly. For many years he has used the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. There is but one class of people that are doing his work on earth today and these we call "the Society", acting under the direction of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and putting forth the Watchtower publications.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 August 15 p.247

    Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings peace and consolation to them.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 ?/?? p.276

    It has pleased the lord to use The Watchtower as a means of conveying his message to his covenant people.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1933 November 1 p.296

    As surely as Jehovah has an organization on the earth, just so surely he is feeding the members of that organization by the hand of Christ Jesus. The facts prove that he uses the Watchtower publications to bring these truth to attention of his remnant

    [Emphasis Added]

    VINDICATION, Volume 3 250

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [Angels hear the instructions and then pass it on to the remnant; they have been doing so since 1919.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Yearbook 1939 p.85

    [This is a summary, not a quote]

    [Angels hear the instructions and then pass it on to the remnant; they have been doing so since 1919.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1944 May 1 p.138

    His remnant of faithful followers catch the glory light from the unfolding of the Holy Scriptures, which were written for our day and which Jehovah's appointed interpreter Christ Jesus explains to us.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1952 April 15 p.253 Aids for Understanding Prophecy

    19 When may prophecies be understood? The Lord said to Daniel, "O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." (Dan. 12:4, AS) This indicates that the further fulfillments of the prophecies are sealed until the physical facts appear that begin to fulfill them. So the rule seems to be reasonable and certain that prophecies cannot be understood until they are in the course of fulfillment or until they have been fulfilled. Jehovah as the great Interpreter makes known the meaning of his revelations in his due time, and speculation by men cannot bring to light the true meaning of prophecy before time. Jehovah has provided a channel, the "faithful and discreet slave" class, who are given spiritual "food at the proper time", and this spiritual food includes among other things the understandings of the prophecies in the course of their fulfillments. (Matt. 24:45, NW) Jehovah's witnesses themselves are not nor can they be interpreters of prophecies. But as fast as the "superior authorities" Jehovah and Christ Jesus reveal the interpretations through their provided channel that fast do God's people publish them the world over to strengthen the faith of all lovers of righteousness.

    PROPHESYING TODAY

    20 Since Joel 2:28, which has its complete fulfillment after 1919, foretells that God will pour out his spirit upon people of all kinds and "your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions", in what sense then do Jehovah's witnesses prophesy today? Jehovah's people confess no powers of inspiration today. However, they do pray continually for more of God's holy spirit to understand the many prophecies already uttered and preserved for the final preaching work which Jehovah's witnesses are now undertaking. They know that the inspired infallible Scriptures of prophecy will be fulfilled toward them correctly. They diligently study the visions and dreams of God's faithful men of old. They can quote and copy the Scriptures of God's inspired men and can apply them according to the facts. They can observe how God interprets them by Christ Jesus through the events and facts that he causes to appear. They are then faithful in publishing and preaching the revealed prophecies to the utter ends of the earth. The twentieth-century preaching prophets of Jehovah are the ones who are running to and fro over the Bible to gain knowledge of the divine pronouncements which is on the increase.-Dan. 12:4.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1955 June 1 p.333 Part 11: Restoration of Theocratic Organization

    Similarly today the power of appointment of all servants in congregations rightfully rests with the governing body of the "faithful and discreet slave" class, which is under the direct supervision of Christ Jesus at the temple.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1956 November 1 p.666 Turn to the New World Society

    11 Who controls the organization, who directs it? Who is at the head? A man? A group of men? A clergy class? A pope? A hierarchy? A council? No, none of these. How is that possible? In any organization is it not necessary that there be a directing head or policy-making part that controls or guides the organization? Yes. Is the living God, Jehovah, the Director of the theocratic Christian organization? Yes!

    12 Because of the vital fact that the law that governs the operation of the theocratic New World society is the Word of Jehovah God, and because of the fact that the heaven-enthroned Christ Jesus is Jehovah's Executive Officer carrying on his work in the earth, and because of the further fact that the spirit of God by Christ Jesus is operating through his Word and upon the hearts and minds of his dedicated servants, the New World society is theocratic, meaning "God-ruled."

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1957 May 1 p.284 Trust Your Proved, Faithful Brothers

    RELYING ON JEHOVAH'S DIRECTIVE POWER

    14 Showing respect for Jehovah's organization really resolves itself down to our attitude toward God's visible channel and the trust that we place in our proved, faithful brothers. If we have become thoroughly convinced that this is Jehovah's organization, that he is guiding and directing his people, then we shall not be unsettled by anything that happens.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1960 July 15 pp.438-9 Staying Awake with the "Faithful and Discreet Slave"

    2 How is this divine will to be made known and brought to the attention of the worthy multitudes of men of good will toward Jehovah? Again the awake world-watchman, the "slave" class, must undertake another world educational campaign following their restoration as witnesses after 1919. Such a global work has now been under way for more than forty years and is reaching its fruitful culmination. The facts show that during this time and up to the present hour the "slave" class has served as God's sole collective channel for the flow of Biblical truth to men on earth. Just as the early Christian congregation collectively served as the channel of communication from heaven to earth, so in our time. (Eph. 3:10) Abundant spiritual food and amazing details as to the doing of God's will have been flowing through this unique channel actually as a miraculous evidence of the operation of holy spirit. The present stature of the New World society of Jehovah's witnesses, numbering nearly a million ministers in 175 lands, gives eloquent testimony that it is not the product of human ingenuity. Rather, it is the product of holy spirit operating theocratically through a tested channel, influencing the lives of dedicated men and women in all walks of life.-Zech. 4:6.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1961 July 15 pp.431-2 Become Activated by the Spirit of Jehovah

    6 From a study of God's Word one appreciates that Jehovah does not dispense his dynamic energy through just any organization that chooses to label itself religious. Neither does God deal with individuals independently of his own wifely organization, the "mother" of all those dedicated to God. (Gal. 4:26) He has always had His channel of communication on earth through which his spirit operates. Remember how Miriam and Aaron tried to bypass this channel and almost lost their lives as a result? Only after Jesus had been baptized by Jehovah's representative did he receive holy spirit and strength to enable him to do his powerful works. (Num. 12:1-16; Matt. 3:16; Acts 10:38) By and through this holy spirit Jesus aided those associated with him so they could understand the truth, and so they too could receive power to "cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons." Thus is emphasized the importance of association with Jehovah's organization.-Matt. 10:8; Luke 24:45; 1 Cor. 2:10.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1964 May 1 p.277-8 Building a Firm Foundation in Christ

    8 God's Word is the basis of our faith. As we pore over its pages our mind is communing with God's. Our faith is established and strengthened. We are "always ready to make a defense" by offering "a reason for the hope" that we hold, and we are thereby equipped to teach others the way of life. (1 Pet. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:2) Why, though, is such emphasis placed on "accurate" knowledge? Why should such care be exercised in our study of the columns of The Watchtower, and of our application of the Scripture texts to the material under consideration? It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division. "Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought." (1 Cor. 1:10) If all who are associated in the Christian organization have the mind of God and of Christ there will be unity and all will be built up in maturity of understanding.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1965 June 1 p.351 Questions from Readers

    First of all, we must recognize what is meant when we say God's visible organization was made strictly or fully theocratic. The term "theocracy" means "God rule" or "rule by God."

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1965 June 1 p.352 Questions from Readers

    This strengthening of theocratic controls continued over a period of twenty years, from 1918 to 1938, and corresponds to the twenty-year building program of Solomon, in which time he completed Jehovah's temple, his own house, the porch of judgment and the House of the Forest of Lebanon or the armory. In 1938 Jehovah revealed this correspondency to his servants and it was published in The Watchtower in a two-part article entitled "Organization." This appeared in the issues of June 1 and 15 and proved conclusively that Jehovah's organization must henceforth be guided and directed by Jehovah's spirit through the visible governing body made up of those servants whom Jehovah himself would appoint. The concluding paragraph in this series stated: "Jehovah's theocratic government is now in full control of the people of God."

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1965 June 1 p.352 Questions from Readers

    New features of the work have required new methods, which has meant revisions and changes from time to time in organization instructions, but it is all a part of the advancement of Jehovah's theocratically controlled organization under the immediate direction of Jehovah God himself. Therefore, these revisions and changes are themselves fully theocratic, so they do not alter in any way the fully theocratic structure of the organization.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1967 October 1 p.590 Finding Freedom with Jehovah's Visible Organization

    Jehovah poured out his spirit upon them and assigned them the responsibility of serving as his sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come. Those who recognize Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, therefore, must recognize and accept this appointment of the "faithful and discreet slave" and be submissive to it.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1967 October 1 p.590 Finding Freedom with Jehovah's Visible Organization

    Since 1879 the Watch Tower magazine has been used by this collective group to dispense spiritual food regularly to those of this "little flock" of true Christians.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1969 January 15 pp.50-1 Are You Ready for the Responsibilities of a Baptized Witness?

    14 His study as well as his association with Jehovah's people helps him to understand that Jehovah has, not only a heavenly, but also an earthly, visible organization of people doing his will. Jesus foretold that among his people there would be a "faithful and discreet slave" class who would be providing the spiritual food to God's family of devoted servants on earth, acting as his channel of communication and overseeing the carrying out of the Kingdom interests world wide. (Matt. 24:45-47)

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1971 December 15 p.749 Theocratic Organization with Which to Move Forward Now

    [Organizational chart, shows Jehovah is in direct control of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, just above the Governing Body, in position normally held by corporate president.]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1972 August 1 p.458 Loving Oversight of the Congregation of God
     
  13. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Watchtower 1972 August 1 p.460 Loving Oversight of the Congregation of God

    18 Each week the principal Bible study aid published by Jehovah's witnesses, the Watchtower magazine, is studied by the congregation as a whole. This is done in the form of a question-and-answer discussion. For this meeting the entire congregation usually meets in one place. Through the columns of The Watchtower comes increased light on God's Word as Jehovah makes it known. Because of the vital nature of these discussions, the Watchtower study is the most important meeting for all of Jehovah's Christian witnesses and interested persons. Therefore, the Watchtower study conductor, who presides over this meeting, has an important responsibility. This study enables all to be united in the same line of thought.-1 Cor. 1:10.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1973 August 1 p.460 Cultivating Friendship with God

    14 Yes, we should be deeply appreciative of all the fine spiritual food that "the faithful and discreet slave" class has been providing through The Watchtower, now for ninety-four years. [i.e. since 1879]

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1981 February 15 pp.17-19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?

    Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?

    […]

    A HUMAN CHANNEL

    From such experiences it can be seen that Jehovah God caused the Bible to be written in such a way that one needs to come in touch with His human channel before one can fully and accurately understand it. True, we need the help of God's holy spirit, but its help also comes to us primarily by association with the channel Jehovah God sees fit to use.—1 Cor. 2:6-10.

    Showing that God would have an organized congregation through which instruction would come, the Bible says: "He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ, until we all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ; in order that we should no longer be babes."—Eph. 4:11-14.

    In the first century, such congregational arrangement was looked to for direction. This is noted, for example, when the question came up as to whether Gentile converts should be circumcised. On that occasion, did the apostle Paul say something like this: 'Look here, Jesus Christ appeared to me personally, he has caused me to see supernatural visions, he has given me the gift of prophecy and inspiration and has enabled me to perform mighty works; so let me tell you just what is what on this question of circumcision'? Not at all!

    The apostle Paul and his companions went up to Jerusalem to consult the Christian congregation's governing body, made up of the apostles and older men. And the one who made known the verdict on circumcision was not the apostle Paul but James, Jesus' half brother, who, at the time, was evidently the presiding overseer of the Jerusalem congregation. After that, Paul, Silas and others delivered these decisions to the brothers.—Acts 15:1-35.

    What about Paul's missionary travels? Did he act independently of Jehovah's assignment of him as an apostle to a certain group? No, but he obediently accepted his assignment, and this was later recognized by "pillars" of the governing body at Jerusalem, as Galatians 2:9 says: "When they came to know the undeserved kindness that was given me, James and Cephas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of sharing together, that we should go to the nations, but they to those who are circumcised."—Acts 9:15; 13:1-4; 22:17-21.

    Later, when Paul came to Jerusalem for the last time, the Jews there had received misleading reports about him. So the "older men" in Jerusalem advised Paul what to do in an effort to put to rest these reports. And Paul readily accepted their direction.—Acts 21:17-36.

    To help us to understand God's Word in these "last days," Jehovah God has lovingly provided a visible organization under Christ-the "faithful and discreet slave." The way Jehovah God has prospered the activities carried on under its direction can leave no doubt in the minds of dedicated Christians as to Jehovah God's approval being upon it.—Matt. 24:45-47.

    A NOBLE-MINDED VIEW

    How shall we view the spiritual food provided by this "faithful and discreet slave"? Should it be viewed critically—'Oh, well, it might be true but then again it might not be and so we have to scrutinize it very critically'? Some apparently have felt that way about it. To support their way of thinking they have quoted Acts 17:11, which says of newly interested persons at Beroea: "Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so."

    But does this mean that those Beroeans were looking for flaws in the message they were hearing, or that their attitude was one of doubting? Does this set a precedent for regarding critically the publications brought forth by the "faithful and discreet slave," with a view to finding fault? Not at all!

    First of all, let us note the setting of the statement about the noble-minded Beroeans. Paul, accompanied by Silas, was on his second missionary tour. Due to persecution that arose, the brothers at Thessalonica sent them on to Beroea. In Beroea they met sincere Jews who had strong faith in God's Word. These were not Christians yet. They were simply interested persons who had to satisfy themselves that what Paul was telling them had the support of the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Up to this time, these devout Jews in Beroea may never have heard of Jesus Christ. What Paul was telling them was entirely new. So those noble-minded Jews in Beroea searched the Scriptures daily to make certain that the references that Paul gave were really part of God's Word. And with what mental attitude did they pursue their studies? With a skeptical attitude, trying to prove Paul wrong? No, they were altogether unlike Paul's critics on Mars Hill, for we read that they heard Paul's testimony with "the greatest eagerness of mind."—Acts 17:11, 32.

    These Beroeans listened with a readiness, yes, an eagerness, to believe. Thus not only were they open-minded, but they were wanting to have this "good news" proved true. In fact, for a person to acquire faith he must have "the will to believe." If he is determined not to believe, then no amount of evidence will convince him; for if a person looks for them he can always find excuses, plausible reasons for not accepting the accountability that belief will bring upon him. As the apostle Paul well said: "Faith is not a possession of all people." (2 Thess. 3:2) But the Beroeans had the will to believe. They considered what they heard with a receptive frame of mind. As a result, "many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the reputable Greek women and of the men."—Acts 17:12.

    Jesus' disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in "the way of the truth." (2 Pet. 2:2) But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about.

    OUR VIEW OF THE "SLAVE"

    We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his "slave" to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using. At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah's Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christian elders, both of the "remnant" and of the "other sheep," than anywhere else upon earth.

    True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18) However, this has resulted in a continual refining of the body of Bible-based truth to which Jehovah's Witnesses subscribe. Over the years, as adjustments have been made to that body of truth, it has become ever more wonderful and applicable to our lives in these "last days." Bible commentators of Christendom are not inspired either. Despite their claims to great knowledge, they have failed to highlight even basic Bible truths—such as the coming Paradise earth, the importance of God's name, and the condition of the dead.

    Rather, the record that the "faithful and discreet slave" organization has made for the past more than 100 years forces us to the conclusion that Peter expressed when Jesus asked if his apostles also wanted to leave him, namely, "Whom shall we go away to?" (John 6:66-69) No question about it. We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the "faithful and discreet slave" organization.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1981 December 1 p.27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter

    Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his "faithful and discreet slave," made up of spirit-anointed ones ... Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 1983 February 15 p.12 You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth-But How?

    A third requirement is that we be associated with God's channel, his organization. … Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Revelation -- It's Grand Climax At Hand (book) 1988 pp.54 chap.10 Abhorring the "Deep Things of Satan"

    22 Finally, Jesus declares: "Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations." (Revelation 2:29) For the fourth time, Jesus here repeats this rousing refrain, and it will conclude all three messages yet to come. Do you have that responsive ear? Then keep listening intently as God, by his spirit, continues to provide counsel through his channel.

    [Emphasis Added]

    Watchtower 2001 August 1 How to Make Your Advancement Manifest

    8 First, since "oneness" is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave."

    [Emphasis Added]

    Our Kingdom Ministry September 2002 (For Britain) p. 8

    5 God's Appointed Channel: Bear in mind that our heavenly Father has an appointed channel of communication, "the faithful and discreet slave." That "slave" has the responsibility to determine what information is made available to the household of faith, as well as "the proper time" for it to be dispensed. This spiritual food is available only through the theocratic organization. We should always look to God's appointed channel for reliable information, not to a network of Internet users. — Matt.24:45.

    [Emphasis Added]
     
  14. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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  15. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    Search — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

    • Praise Jehovah for His Great Deeds! (‎1 occurrence)
      • A progressive theocratic organization with loving oversight is administering Kingdom activity through 110 branch offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      • w01 5/15 pp. 9-13 - The Watchtower—2001
    • The King and His Princes (‎1 occurrence)
      • Today, Jehovah’s people use printing equipment, electronic tools, modern buildings and transport and, above all, a united, theocratic organization to print and distribute billions of Bible publications.

      • ip-1 chap. 25 pp. 329-341 - Isaiah’s Prophecy I (ip-1)
    • Highlights of the Past Year (‎1 occurrence)
      • Now, in fulfillment of Revelation 7:9, millions who eagerly look forward to life on earth under the Messianic Kingdom are coming into association with thetheocratic organization.

      • yb99 pp. 6-30 - Yearbook—1999
    • Malawi (‎1 occurrence)
      • A solid theocratic organization was finally being established.

      • yb99 pp. 148-223 - Yearbook—1999
    • Gladly Accepting Jehovah’s Direction (‎1 occurrence)
      • Theocratic history was, of course, part of the Gilead course, but now various projects were undertaken to acquaint more of Jehovah’s people with details of that history of the modern-day theocratic organization and to make this available to the public too.

      • w99 8/1 pp. 26-31 - The Watchtower—1999
    • Jehovah’s Witnesses—1997 Yearbook Report (‎1 occurrence)
      • The second class of the school expressed their resolve as follows: “We are determined to apply what we have learned by word and by example in order to maintain a smoothly functioning international theocratic organization, all to the praise of Jehovah God and to the spiritual advancement of his people.”

      • yb97 pp. 3-32 - Yearbook—1997
    • Messengers of Godly Peace Assemble (‎1 occurrence)
      • We are equipped with what we need—God’s message, his holy spirit, and numerous provisions that come from his loving theocratic organization.

      • w97 1/15 pp. 5-9 - The Watchtower—1997
    • Do You Remember? (‎1 occurrence)
      • He must completely separate himself from false religious organizations and also from their customs and the spirit they engender, and then he should find safety within Jehovah’s theocratic organization. (Ephesians 5:7-11)—6/1, page 18.

      • w96 8/15 p. 21 - The Watchtower—1996
    • Mexico (‎1 occurrence)
      • The material is especially designed to equip elders and ministerial servants to fill urgent needs in the theocratic organization.

      • yb95 pp. 168-252 - Yearbook—1995
    • Watch Tower Publications (‎1 occurrence)
      • 1949, Counsel on Theocratic Organization for Jehovah’s Witnesses: jp 272

      • dx30-85 - Index 1930-1985

    • Doing Jehovah’s Work in Jehovah’s Way (‎1 occurrence)
      • But in order for us to cooperate fully with the visible channel Jehovah God is using, we must also work along with the ones that the theocratic organizationhas placed in positions of oversight in our own congregations.

      • yb91 pp. 253-255 - Yearbook—1991

    • Do You Follow Instructions? (‎1 occurrence)
      • Therefore, elders should not hesitate to apply any directions they receive from God’s theocratic organization.

      • w90 10/1 pp. 30-31 - The Watchtower—1990
     
  16. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    It appears that they are told they cannot understand the Bible unless they are "guided" and instructed by the Watchtower as to what to think. Which means they think non-JWS are not "capable" of using the Acts 17:11 sola scriptura methods to know IF JW teaching is true or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  18. Woke

    Woke Member Supporter

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    I read a few comments by people who were never Jehovah's Witness. And they provided you with inaccurate info. I used to be a JW for about 40 years, and I am very familiar with WT's position and historical teachings on what you want to know.

    No publication produced by the WT Bible and Tract Society, except it's translation of the Bible, was ever considered a sacred text by WT or Jehovah's Witnesses. None were ever considered inspired from God, like the Bible.

    Jehovah's Witnesses from their beginning, going back to at least 1919, have also believed only a select group of their members can accurately interpret the Bible. All of the interpretations, by this select group, is what is taught in all of their literature, not just their WT magazine. WT claims this group is, by their own words, "Spirit directed, " but that it's teachings are not actually inspired of God. Because WT teaches God does not contact any people today like he did in biblical times.

    Because WT teaches its writings are not inspired by God, like the Bible was, then it claims its interpretations of scriptures and Christian directions to its flock are sometimes wrong, due to human fallibility. Even though this group claims to be fallible in its teachings, it also claims that in order to acceptably follow God all TRUE Christians MUST follow WT's teachings. WT also teaches all people who do not follow its teaches are knowingly or unwittingly following the Devil and his demons. Why? WT claims by way of the demons' deception over all other religions and so-called Christian denominations who are not Jehovah's Witnesses.

    WT bases this on its interpretation of Matthew 24:25 which was a parable Christ gave amongst other parables to show the consequences of living in faith towards him as compared to consequences of not living in faith towards him. WT took this one parable among that group and claims instead it teaches Christ appointed a small group to rule over all other acceptable Christians. And if you don't follow that group you don't follow Christ. Now WT will not actually claim it rules over all acceptable Christians. But is it not in fact claiming rulership when it teaches if you do not believe in its teachings you cannot follow God, even when it admits many of its teachings have been wrong, and admits it is not inspired by God? Also if WT finds out a member does not accept some of its teachings that member will be excommunicated and considered an apostate against God, even if they still believe in God and live their life to follow him. Other Jehovah's Witnesses will be ordered to shun such an individual, and if they refuse to they will be excommunicated and shunned by all other members, with the exception of family members living in the same house.

    So although WT claims its writings are not sacred it wields its teachings with an iron fist against all baptised members in its church while claiming all other beliefs are Satanic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  19. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats In memory of my cat Daisy, who God loves

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    That is pathetic. They might as well not believe in God if He does not contact them in any way. The truth, of course, is God contacts us through the Bible itself, not just by answering prayers.

    How does God choose a "select group" of people, according to Witnesses?
     
  20. Woke

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    I believe you misunderstood my comment. WT teaches that God actually contacted people through dreams and visions, as well as other means in biblical days. WT teaches some of those accounts are recorded in scripture. What I previously wrote is that WT believes God does not contact any people in that way today. I take exception to that teaching as I am a witness to such personal contacts by God.

    According to WT God chose the group known today as Jehovah's Witnesses in 1919 as his exclusive group of true Christians, thereby separating these from false or apostate Christianity. WT always has taught this group is led by who they claim are God's "faithful and discreet slave, " as its interpretation of Matthew 24:45 teaches. However, the interpretation about which members of their congregation is that Slave has greatly changed since the beginning of this church. It started out teaching that slave was its founding member, Charles Taze Russell. Later the interpretation became the faithful slave class consisted of all Jehovah's Witness members that were born again, which only consists of a minority of their rank and file membership. Then in about 2013 the WT began interpreting the Slave as only members of its governing body. The Governing Body is a designation describing a ruling body inside WT, as the presidency is a ruling body inside governments.

    Governing Body members are selected from among other Jehovah's Witnesses who claim to be born again. They are selected by whichever Governing Body members are serving at the time of their selection. Selected members previously held high ranking positions of service inside this organization, usually holding such positions for multiple years, and usually serving in various capacities or positions of leadership. Although Governing Body members are selected by the body itself, because WT claims those members are directed by Holy Spirit WT claims God elects them through the actions of the men in the current body.

    It should be noted that the majority of Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim to be born again (anointed with a heavenly hope). Today I believe there are about 15,000 that do claim that. The number shrunk to about 8,000 many years ago, and remained around that range for as long as I associated with the group (40 years). That number just began rising about 5 or 6 years ago. There are over 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses, and WT teaches the majority will have no heavenly access at all. Thus they do not claim to be born again.

    So in short. The members are picked by men, who claim they are influenced, but not inspired, by God's Spirit. WT teaches God used to contact people, but no longer does.

    Now here is an interesting point. All JWs who claim they are born again (the term WT uses for this is anointed) profess God's Spirit bore witness with their spirit-per the scriptures in Romans. And yet WT teaches God no longer contacts people today. My point is, how can God's Spirit bear any sort of personal witness without contacting those persons personally? It could only in the sense you mentioned by informing them through his word. And yet WT claims that applies to all JWs, and WT claims God's Spirit can and should direct ALL JWs. Therefore there is a contradiction in this WT teaching. Without God actually contacting people in a personal way, just like he did the biblical prophets, then those who claim to be born again JWs could not be, but are similar to all rank and file JWs before Christ. And that would also apply to all Governing Body members.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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