Feb. 15, 2010 WT 'The Spirit and the Bride'
February 15, 2010 WT: The Spirit and the Bride Keep On Saying "Come!"
Paragraph 7: "The members of the bride class--the spirit-anointed Christians--are the first to extend the invitation to come. To whom? Well, the bride is not saying "Come!" to herself."
Apart from the potential for less than appropriate humor that this statement invites, it directly undercuts the very notion of a "faithful slave" class. The Society has routinely stated that the Governing Body only "represents the slave". That the members of the slave class feed/teach each other. Logically, that would first require them to say "Come!" to each other, then individually submit to the teachings of the GB. This statement here implies that the entire bride class just showed up all at once, not requiring any instruction whatsoever from those who came before, and then invited the great crowd to "Come!" Bad logic, very bad, as evidenced even further in paragraph 8:
"The anointed followers of Christ have been extending this invitation since 1918."
Whoa, there! Supposedly, EVERYONE was anointed back then, right? The 'earthly calling' didn't clearly show up until 17 years later. The great crowd was considered a secondary heavenly class--this is well established fact, it's right in the Proclaimers book. So, who were the anointed extending this invitation to? Had to be themselves--they had no clear understanding that there was another group to invite anywhere. Except that that contradicts paragraph 7. No matter. Everyone's gonna be knocked out when this lesson is studied anyway, so they won't notice. It gets worse:
"In that year, the public talk entitled 'Millions Now Living May Never Die' offered hope that many will gain life in a paradise earth after the battle of Armageddon."
Now it's true that the book with a slightly different title (replace 'May' with 'Will') talks about the return of ancient patriarchs to earth. So maybe I should cut 'em some slack. Except that that description of the talk--and the book based on that theme--is a lie. If they accessed this news article, then they could look at the talk itself and see that. Someone knows that. It was a hope that would be realized in 1925, not some vague, uncertain matter. How can the 'bride' invite people to "Come!" using false predictions? Anyone who reads the book itself would know that this was not a case of individuals reading into its statements something that was not there.
"How is God's holy spirit involved in extending the invitation to humans in our day?...He [Jehovah] uses the spirit to open the hearts and minds of the bride class to understand his Word, the [Watchtower--ahem--uh, I mean...]Bible. The spirit impels them to extend the invitation and explain Scriptural truths to those who have the prospect of living forever."
Okay. If this is true, then inevitably it means one thing: anyone who is not on the Governing Body does not need to pray for God's holy spirit to help them understand the Bible. That has already been done by the 'bride class', after all, since they're the ones who 'understand' the Bible. All the rest of us need to do is just read the Watchtower publications and believe whatever they say. I mean, just say it like it is! By the way, if holy spirit leads men to the kinds of errors strewn throughout the Society's history, I don't think I want to "Come!" to their conclusions.
This notion of 'you can't understand the Bible without us', couched in creative terminology, reeks of the very thing the Society rails against--the Catholic Church keeping the people from having the Bible during the Middle Ages! It's identical. In this case, the people have the Bible, but are not allowed to believe a word in it save what the Governing Body says they should believe. You may as well take the Bible out of people's hands. You've created MORE ignorance about God and the Bible, if anything, by making us all scripturally illiterate and painting God as self-centered and heartless.
I guess it's condensing the Revelation book down into one article, right? Pretty much. I'm done.
reeks of the very thing the Society rails against--the Catholic Church keeping the people from having the Bible during the Middle Ages!
The other similarities are eerie, as well:
Pope = GB
Cardinals = Branch committees & DOs
Bishops = COs
Priests = elders
Confession = must confess "serious" sins to elders
Catechism = "What Does the Bible Really Teach?"
Infant baptism ~ Baptism of 8 / 9 / 10 year olds
Child abuse coverups, Asset rich / cash flow poor, Biggest growth in 3rd world countries, Hidden political ties....
Isn't there a saying about "you begin to resemble that which you despise the most?"
Nice analysis. I have made notes on my copy. Might leave it on a seat in the KH.
I guess we can give them a pass since there really was such a talk as "may never die", but it is very underhanded that they chose this since there were only a handful of these before it was changed to "WILL" and got published in many advertisements and literature. Very few people even know that there was ever a talk by this title.
I think it is very interesting that the picture right next to the the paragraph that quotes the public talk "millions now living MAY nerver die", has the advertisment (photograph) for the convention talk that "Millions now living WILL never die".
Oddly enough the timeline on the side of the page says for 1932 the invitation was extended beyond the anointed, and in 1935 the great crowd was identified.
So to ask your question again who was this invitation to between 1918 and 1935?
If they thought that everyone was anointed then, were thousands of people suddenly declared to no longer have a heavenly hope?
Who made that decision for them?
Good post, and well researched, sd7. One wonders if the guys who write this bunk actually believe what they write.
The exposition presented in that Wt study article, taken from Rev 22:17 is without doubt one of the worst explanations of this portion of Scripture that it has been my misfortune to read, and I have read some doozies, believe me.
The "translators" of the NW "T" were, according to the foreword of the original edition of the NW"T", especially conscious of "rendering" the various Greek verbs in the Sacred Text according to their grammatical syntax. If this is true, then the expositors who attempt to interpret what the NW"T" are certainly unaware of this need.
The verb "say" in Rev 22:17 is the plural, thus "The Spirit + the Bride SAY...." This means that two groups of persons are actually articulating the words that follow. According to the text these two groups are: 1 The Spirit + 2 The Bride. The real order must be kept in mind. It is the Spirit who is in control, not the Bride. Thus it is the Spirit, along with the Bride who throw out the invitation to everlasting life.
But in the exposition, so kindly provided by these writers of the Watchtower, only one group is doing the talking, the secondary one at that, the Bride.
First these writers reverse the order: The Bride + The Spirit SAY, then they make the verb singular: The Bride THROUGH the spirit SAYS
Then they have the gall to ask a thoroughly unnecessary question: "How does this deity of theirs, "jehoober" USE the holy spirit? Evidently this god uses this spirit to "open the hearts and minds of this "bride class" to understand his word.
Thus they would like the rank and file followers of the Watchtower to read this text as if it says: "The Bride class, having its collective mind and heart opened by the spirit says:....." thus the invitation to everlasting life, and its consequences, are an exclusive prerogative of this "bride class"
A greater degree of arrogance is hardly capable of being imagined.
But then one can hardly expect anything better from writer[s] who can't tell an indicative from a subjunctive. Anyone who can so casually misread "Will" for "may" as in "Millions now living MAY never die" is suspect.
And you are quite right, and this is something I missed. The invitation "since 1918" was only to life in heaven, if the writers wanted to get their facts right, they should have said that this invitation to life on earth forevever has been in operation only from 1936.
Therefore, it appears that, prior to 1936, no fulfillment of Rev 22:17 was in operation, this despite all the efforts of Russell and his generation. Russell might as well have continued selling mens jocks and socks, since he was of no theological use.
Pity that such nonsense could be taken so seriously by so many for so long.