The JWs will right away turn to Isaiah 43:10 and say there is the explanation:
"But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the Lord. "And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God."
However there is no validity in using this verse because:
1 It is directed to Jews and not Christians
2 The Jews or even a group of Jews were never called Jehovah's witnesses which is because,
3 What God is telling them there is not to be called witnesses of Jehovah but they were to be his witnesses. When seen within context by reading the previous verse it means that the Jews were to witness things such as prophecies come true which prove that jehovah is a real god as opposed to the nations that can not offer such a witnessing about their own gods:
"Gather the nations together! Which of their idols has ever foretold such things? Can any of them predict something even a single day in advance? Where are the witnesses of such predictions? Who can verify that they spoke the truth?"
Once more the JWs ripped a verse out of context to totally twist and misinterpret it.
Why witnesses of Jehovah?
The JWs will right away turn to Isaiah 43:10 and say there is the explanation:
And since the Society limits "spiritual Israel" to only the 144,000, does that mean that the millions of "great crowd" are not really Jehovah's Witnesses?
Interesting concept, and it makes perfect sense to me, but I get the funny feeling that JWs would find something else to write off that argument, even if it was something as lame as, "Well, the GB/FDS say that we are Jehovah's witnesses, so that is what we call ourselves."
It seems to me that there are a few Biblical commands that JWs follow that are directed at Jews and not Christians, like the whole "don't consume blood" thing, but JWs are more like Jews than Christians, anyway. I'd consider them more of a radical/ultra-conservative Jewish sect than a Christian denomination.
Leolaia that's an idea, the so called non annointed of the JWs are in a strange sort of predictment since they are not spiritual Israelites and they are not part of the New Covenent one wondres what they really are, they are a lot without any real status.
Super Becka, as you realised the context is clear, it is a case of the worshippers being able to verify that their god can perform wondrous works having already witnessed them. And the JWs certainly didn't witness anything wondrous happening from jehovah for the 120 years of their existence, even all the prophecies of their FDS proved false. What kind of witnesses are they?
And they do indeed have a strange judaic mindset since Christ is not their Messiah, except for a tiny fraction of them, and they had him relegated to the margins of their religion, plus they overemphasize salvation through works which means they come under curse.
A. Those people who go to the Kingdom Hall every week aren't members of the WATCHTOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, because that is a legal entity and only stockholders are really members of the WTB&TS. Who are these stockholders? I have no idea, and neither do the vast majority of people who go to the Kingdom Hall every week.
B. Those people who go to the Kingdom Hall every week aren't "Jehovah's Witnesses" because Jehovah was speaking to either typical or antitypical Israel. If you are not an ancient Israelite or one of the anointed, Jehovah is not addressing you.
C. Jesus is the mediator only for the anointed. Who is the mediator for the hoi-polloi? The answer is either "nobody" or "the 144,000 members comprised by Christ's Bride," depending on when you ask.
D. In light of the above, I think it is only fitting that people who go to the Kingdom Hall every week should be called THE PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE KINGDOM HALL EVERY WEEK. It's not real snappy, but it's better that calling them no one or nothing.
Let's try that out: (suggested sermon)
"Hi, my companion and I are PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE KINGDOM HALL EVERY WEEK. Perhaps you have heard of us. Have you wondered why we are called PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE KINGDOM HALL EVERY WEEK? It's not without good reason that we are called PEOPLE WHO GO TO THE KINGDOM HALL EVERY WEEK, you know. It's because we go to the kingdom hall every week to learn yet another way that Almighty God doesn't give a rat's patootey about us. Once a year we get together at the Kingdom Hall to even the score a little by en-masse rejecting the communion emblems.
Wouldn't you like to join us?..."
The so called other sheep are indeed a very grey and nondescript lot, and who the shareholders are and who gets the profits from the corporation's commercial activities which includes door to door preaching no outsider knows. The R&F are unpaid employees of the company that will immediately be fired if they criticise it's policies or senior leaders. There is a discilpinary procedure but no complaints procedure from the employees against the company.
I think Super Becka is on the right track here, a perception, by the way, that I feel is so charming in one so young, when she describes the WTS as a Jewish offshoot - because this has been my observation as well - having studied, and followed, their pattern of beliefs for many years. In fact I feel pretty certain that we can trace a Jewish origin to this group all the way back to the 1 cent of the Church
I am reminded of the Council of Jerusalem and the issue of circumcision that had arisen at that time. Acts 15:5 identifies a group who were in attendance at that gathering [they were, it seems the main trouble makers] Luke describes these as being "Of the sect of the Pharisees who believed" Evidently this group, who may have been among the first converts to Christianity ever since the day of Pentecost some 20 years previously, had their "headquaters" in Jerusalem and thus were not far from the Apostles who were also located at that city. By describing these people as "Pharisees" even after being Christian for at least 20years, I feel certain that Luke is telling us that the baleful influence of the original group had not been blunted by conversion and the more moderating freedom that came from accepting the Holy Spirit's guidance. The quivering self-rigteousness that characterized these ones, their almost total preoccupation with the minutiae of legalism, and their total fascination with the mechanics of belief rather than its results, were the well-spring of their piety. The supreme arrogance of their belief was their uncompromising exclusivism, the rationale that they, and they Alone,were the Only Right Ones around.
It appears that they, rather than yeild up all the impedimenta of their Legalistic Judaism, merely grafted the belief in Jesus being the Jewish Messiah onto their existing pattern and carried on from there.
The current WTS has obviously been influenced by this ancient pattern. However it must also be said that there were other influences that modified this - I can cite other ancient formulas such as Gnosticism and Greek Rationalism etc that als have played their part in influencing WTS thought, but the original premise remains.
The lamentable result of all this is that the followers of the WTS cause continue to popagate, with a zeal worthy of a greater cause, their thoroughly unbiblical doctrines, and to disseminate a deadly hatred against all other Christians and what they stand for.
I think Super Becka is on the right track here, a perception, by the way, that I feel is so charming in one so young, when she describes the WTS as a Jewish offshoot - because this has been my observation as well - having studied, and followed, their pattern of beliefs for many years.
Thanks, moggy lover, I'm glad you appreciate my point-of-view here. I think I see it that way because I'm not a JW, nor have I ever been (and never will be, either, thanks), so I can look at the WTS and its teachings objectively without the brainwashing that so many JWs have been subjected to. I'm sure that many of them would come to the same conclusion if they could see things from the outside.
Super_Becka, I also believe you nailed it!!! In my brainwashed JW childhood the tentacles of reasoning would at times try to grasp at the different nonsensical beliefs thrown at me by my completely braindead JW mom, and at those times I would ask "but why if those rules were given to the Israelites do we have to follow them? we're not Jews" to which she would always reply "well, you see we being Jehovah's present chosen people have to abide by the same rules he gave his original chosen people yadayadayada" then I would just give up trying to understand and just push it in the back of my mind thinking that when I was grown I would eventually understand, but you know? I got used to doing that so much, that even when I became a grown up, if I didn't understand something, I just figured that these people (the GB) were so much more theocratic and were after all Jehovah's Chosen few, that they knew what they were talking about, so I didn't have to question or think about it, this is the typical JW also.
Sad really, how many people have given up their thinking and reasoning ability to these A**H***'s!!
I also agree with you that the JWs are in effect judaism thinly disguised as christianity, the judaic mindset is certainly there, the stubborn refusal to aknowledge the Christ as the central figure in Christian religion, their almost total emphasis on jehovah, their refusal to accept that they are part of the New Covenent.
In a nutshell they are the organisation of jehovah and not the church of Christ.