Our “Bible Study” with the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Part 2)

by garyneal 19 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • garyneal

    Well, my wife and I returned to the JW elder’s house for another “Bible Study” continuing the series in marriage. That study went pretty well, poking fun at each other concerning our marital issues and all. Nothing in that particular study would seem to be bad or anything for after all, one cannot argue against the virtues of being faithful to your spouse and the marriage arrangement (at least for Christians that is). However, as readers of my last post will recall, the subject of the baptismal questions asked of all Jehovah’s Witnesses came up and of course I addressed my concerns (see the

    thread ). The elder made good on his promise and did his research and this was what he presented me with.

    He presented me with an excerpt from the Watchtower April 1 st , 2006 in the article entitled ‘Go and Make Disciples, Baptizing Them.’ This article goes into the need for ‘accurate knowledge’ of the requirements for baptism and (in paragraph 4) indicated how “Jesus intended for his disciples to have a solid foundation for their faith before they would get baptized.” Paragraph 4 goes on to state that “those who qualify for baptism have usually studied the Bible for months or even a year or two, so that their decision is neither hasty or ill-informed.” He then gives me an brief history lesson concerning how some people would get baptized, then become a publisher and ’side with the people at the door with whom they were witnessing to’ regarding the doctrine of Hell-fire or how they would spend months studying with an individual, baptize them, and never see that person again.

    I read through the parts of the text that he printed in red (I'm guessing he did this though it could've been highlighted in red from the Watchtower on CD). I was particularly interested in paragraphs 11 - 15 since it addresses the reasons for the second baptismal question. I'll take some excerpts and discuss my views on them.

    Paragraph 11:

    "...he becomes an ordained minister who bears Jehovah's name." "It also puts the one baptized in line for eternal salvation provided he remains faithful to Jehovah" An ordained minister who bears Jehovah's name? I guess this is to ensure that no baptized publisher 'erroneously' (according to the Watchtower) believes in Hell-fire and other 'false' doctrines of Christendom. It also puts him inline for eternal salvation provided he remains faithful to Jehovah? The wording here seems to prove that Jehovah's Witnesses do not have the assurance of their salvation and explains why they must work so hard in their ministry. It quotes Matthew 24:13 to justify that statement.

    Paragraph 14:

    "The second question also reminds the candidate of his responsibility to work with Jehovah's spirit-directed organization." "Like a mother who makes sure that her child is well-fed and cared for, 'the faithful and discreet slave' provides an abundance of timely spiritual food for our spiritual advancement." They reference the parable in Matthew 24:45-47 and Paul's Ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2:7,8 to apply the labels of 'mother' and 'faithful and discreet slave' to the governing body.

    What is interesting here is that they continue to omit the importance of the Holy Spirit spoken of by Jesus Christ that is provided to 'teach us of all matters of truth,' to comfort us, and intervene for us. I've reread the Watchtower article that the elder presented to me again to ensure that the Holy Spirit was not mentioned, and sure enough it makes no mention of the importance of the Holy Spirit for believers. It only mentions the 'spirit-directed organization' as if the Holy Spirit speaks only to the governing body. This is evident in paragraph 15 where the article states "Both at our meetings and through our personal study of Bible publications, we can see Jehovah's spirit at work, directing his organization." (italics mine) Notice it did not say 'our personal study of the Bible.' Since only the governing body directs the organization the conclusion I made about the Holy Spirit speaking only to them seems valid. Any Jehovah's Witness reading this is free to refute this conclusion provided you can actually back it up.

    I did not actually get a chance to read over the article until after my family and I returned home, so I did not get to present my 'findings' written above to them. I did, however, get to ask some questions of them concerning manners of whether or not Jesus is 'a god.' Of course, Jesus is 'a god' according to them and that He was created by Jehovah, a Might God, but not the Almighty. I presented Isaiah 44:6 and asked them to explain the contradiction. The elder's wife asks me, "Isn't Satan a god?" My response, "Not a true god." They did not seem to like it when I made the distinction between god and true God. The subject matter was somehow dropped (or got changed, not really sure now). Their point however seems to be that since Satan is a god and Jesus is 'a god' then that harmonizes with Isaiah 44:6 but even if you believe that because the word god is spelled with a small 'g' to refer to Jesus and Satan (making then gods but not God) then how do you reconcile Isaiah 9:6 where the word God (big 'G') is used to reference Jesus?

    As I was leaving, I asked the elder if he could research 1914. He stated that 1914 has both biblical and physical proofs of it. I'd be interested to see what he comes up with.

  • garyneal

    Also during this 'study' my wife indicated how hard it is for her to 'ignore the Holidays' this year since this will be her first year doing so since she and I have been together. The elder's wife said that the 'temptation is hard to fight' and that many of her studies grapple with this issue. The elder's wife says, "But you know where this is coming from don't you? It's the devil." This was not the first time she played the 'devil' card. After we left, we went shopping and while we were there and I told my wife that the elder's wife sure seems to think so many things are from the devil. She reminds me of the mother in Waterboy. My wife and I had a good laugh.


  • garyneal

    We also spoke of the 144,000 annointed ones. I asked how does anyone know that an individual is of the annointed? The elder's wife said, "We don't." I replied, "You do at the memorial for only they partake of the emblems." She replied, "Yeah, but I don't look around to see who is partaking." Obviously someone is keeping a head count because they publish the numbers every year. They finally said, "That it was between the individual and Jehovah."

    So I posed this scenario:

    If it is between that individual and Jehovah and no one has any way to prove it, couldn't someone falsely believe that they are of the annointed? Since only annointed individuals can be appointed to the governing body, what if someone was under the false impression they were of the annointed winds up on the governing body? Worse, what if Satan was giving him or her that impression and was also providing direction for that individual? Since the elder's wife already stated that churches in Christendom where the people are speaking in unknown tongues are not of God but are being misled by the devil, could it be that since the annointing is also unknown to everyone except Jehovah and that individual, what if it was not of God but the devil?

    Worse, what if that person was able to climb the ranks of the Watchtower and wind up on the governing body? Would Satan then be influencing or even directing the organization? The response, "That's not possible because that individual would not be acting in harmony with scripture." I let the conversation end there but I should've at least asked them to consider 2 Corinthians 11:14.

    Jehovah's Witnesses, don't view this as my attempt to refute your beliefs. Even though I disagree with the teachings, have you truly considered these things for yourself? Are you not even the least bit concerned about this?

  • passwordprotected

    Another great thread, Gary.

  • lancelink

    I truly enjoy your posts, very logical way of looking at the JW belief system.

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Months or years to be baptized? Not in the NT. Three thousand in one day (Acts 2:37-41). That night (Acts 16:28-33).

    And if they argue that those verses apply only to the 144,000 (like they do for most of the NT) you can easily prove that there is no such thing as a literal 144,000 annointed JWs and use the information here:

    Don't fall into their trap in believing there is such a thing as the literal 144,000. That is a fundamental false teaching that supports most of their interpretation of Scripture. Without that their theories collapse like a house of cards.

    JD II

  • Perry

    Excellent engagement. Jw's have the best poker faces in the world, you may never know that anything you say is having an effect. But, never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to "sprout" one of those seeds you are planting.

    God Bless

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough
    "...he becomes an ordained minister who bears Jehovah's name."

    I don't know where they get this from as there are many parts to the one body, some prophecy, some minister, some teach (Romans 12:4-8).

    "Are all prophets? Are all apostles? Are all teachers?" (1 Cor 12:27-31). Also Eph 4:11.

    Not all should become teachers.

  • Heaven

    Well, as I've stated before, JWs are not really Christians, they're 'Jehovans'. They are not being baptized as 'Christians', they are being baptized as 'Jehovah's Witnesses'. The 2 are NOT the same. As jonathan dough pointed out, there's no 'studying' or timeframe in the Bible. Also, what's with baptizing children? My mother told me that no one should be baptized until they are adults, as Christ did, so they are making a mature decision. This is just one more indication that they are a cult. garyneal, you have made some similar observations to the ones Ray Franz made in his book 'Crisis of Conscience' regarding baptism.

    They do have a high focus on Satan and demons as well as the end of the world. They are focusing on the wrong things... their ladder is against the wrong wall.

    What is interesting here is that they continue to omit the importance of the Holy Spirit spoken of by Jesus Christ that is provided to 'teach us of all matters of truth,' to comfort us, and intervene for us.

    The Governing Body/Faithful and Discreet Slave is/are the ones teaching the JWs 'of all matter of truth' within this organization. The GB are the ones receiving the Holy Spirit. All JWs MUST go thru their GB/FDS to get to Christ. How does your wife feel about that?

  • logic

    jonathan, I like your remark about those scriptures being for the anointed. If the society believes that is true, then why doesnt

    all of the new testament only apply to the anointed , for instance the preaching work, etc. If you want to shut a jws mouth

    then ask them that question.

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