I'm not sure what the point of this thread is except that there are many groups who consider themselves exclusive. But there's a statement in the Declaration of Independence that states that established governments derive their power from the consent of those being governed. That is an absolute. People who feel that there is some benefit to their governance continue to go along with the abuses and hypocrisy until it reaches a point where they rebel. And there's not a dub who doesn't see it. But since organized opposition within jwland is impossible, that in itself is the defining evidence of its control and cult status as any opposition to official positions, stated or not, is ruthlessly eliminated. So thinking of some kind of reform is wishful thinking. It has to be destroyed in order to break the mental control of the "trojan horse" virus. But as long as they keep their numbers up - I agree that engaging them in Biblical issues is futile, because their understanding imposed by the trojan horse trumps reality. The only thing that can change it is a reboot of the individual's brain. But it's impossible at a group level any more than prison riots meet with long term success. Once someone has escaped, or if they want to be like a runaway slave they can be helped via the internet underground railroad. Just my two cents.
Con... The first part of your names says it all. You have done a complete whitewash of truth in this thread. Bible Students came up with 1914 because of Miller, so to criticize him is to undermine your religion.
"The faithful and discreet slave identified in Matthew 24:45-47 doesn't claim a special relationship with God that is inaccessible to any and all members or claim its means of teaching is limited to a select few."
That is a complete and utter lie and you would know so if you know even the most basic of Watchtower doctrine. The GB even have the audacity to claim the Greek Scriptures were written predominantly for the Anointed.
Your 08 quote that all JW's can receive help of Holy Spirit ignores the relevant teaching that only the Governing Body receive it to come up with doctrine. The Watchtower recently is regularly saying that the followers must not question what comes from the Slave. i.e.
"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." By regularly taking in the spiritual food provided "at the proper time"-through Christian publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions-we can be sure that we maintain "oneness" with fellow Christians in faith and knowledge.-Matthew 24:45. Watchtower 2001 August 1 p.14
You go on to say:
"... the conclusion so far is there is no true association between any of these groups and Jehovah's Witnesses are not a cult or “high-control group” as some love to think of them as."
The conclusion from the information you present is completely unrelated to whether JWs are a cult. Nothing written above is to prove whether they are cults, but simply whether they have similar roots.
So Consfearacy is Alice in Wonderland reborn? So all that hoopla and drama about leaving and whining was all a show as usual.
I see your cut and paste skills haven't improved.
WELCOME BACK! May the bashings recommence.
Essan said, “Why, because God couldn't function in his purpose otherwise? Because His 'sheep' have to be scammed with bombastic and bold claims and predictions that can't be delivered upon? I think you underestimate Him. You are using human reasoning. Speaking with certainty that is not warranted in God's name is "False Prophesy". In any case, speaking with certainty about predictions which then fail - repeatedly - proves that no one should take them seriously.”
I've noted that you and others tend to exaggerate predictions you claim have "failed." There were two predictions about Jesus' invisible presence and the conclusion of this system of things: 1914 and 1925. Just because other dates outside of these two have no meaning to you doesn't mean they failed.
While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying: “Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?” And in answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads you; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. you are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet. “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress. Matthew 24:3-8
How would they mislead? By adulterating the word of God and teaching uninspired messages.
Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. 1 John 4:1
So what you're saying is everything they teach harmonizes with the Bible and thus originates with God, but because of a prior viewpoint, what the Bible says should be rejected or the organization should be rejected. Had I done that I would have never known what I know now. Others may claim they would, even though no one else teaches Bible truth.
Essan said, “And of course they "distinguished themselves" from TRUE Prophets in the Bible, because they are "False Prophets".
The original Bible cannon was sealed in the first century C.E. They distinguished themselves from inspired Bible writers, some of who were prophets. The term "prophet" when used in the Bible clearly has more than one meaning. Opponents of Jehovah's Witnesses are narrow mindedly preoccupied with only one while ignoring key points in Deuteronomy 18:20-22 because it furthers their erroneous agenda.
‘However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.’
How should this prophet receive capital punishment and upheld by what court? Extrajudicial execution? The principle of this scripture has some application, but we're not under the Mosaic law covenant nor are we living in the Dark Ages. Advocates for the separation of church and state aren't particularly thrilled when Bible literalists use scriptures in the Old Testament as self-serving weapons. When Deuteronomy was written, all the surrounding regions were ritualistic pagan (occult) civilizations, physical threats, that's why there were harsh indictments issued for this sort of thing. The situation wasn't much different in the first century (Constantine I overshadowed polytheistic religions in the third century C.E.), but Christians were not to react violently to others for religious differences.
Essan said, “In fact, your criteria is not Scriptural but is invented to try to get the Society off the hook. I challenged Debator to find verses where false prophets were condemned in the Bible where they specifically claimed "Direct communication from God through supernatural means" or "Inspiration" etc. because she, like you, falsely claimed that this was the crucial identifying mark of a "False Prophet" and had to be explicitly stated by the False Prophet. She couldn't provide a single verse where these false prophets made such specific claims.”
All examples of false prophets in the Bible were not associated with simply the fortelling of future events and were often associated with paganism, the occult.
Throughout the New Testament, there are warnings of both false prophets and false Messiahs, and believers are adjured to be vigilant. The following verses (Matthew 7:15–23) are from the Sermon on the Mount:
- "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus brought out an ethical application for his disciples using the analogy of false prophets in the Old Testament:
- "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets" (Luke 6:26 NIV ).
- "They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 'You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.'
- "Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord" ( Acts of the Apostles 13:6–12, NIV ).
This particular story likewise best matches the model found in Deuteronomy 13:1–5. The claim here is that Elymas is trying to turn Sergius Paulus from the "true faith", just like the false prophet described in the preceding verses (although Jews may legitimately argue that to worship Jesus is a form of idolatry in and of itself and likewise departing from the "true faith" -- in this article, the concern is not so much with differences between beliefs as it is with the similarities between the models). This demonstrates further evolution of this model between early Judaism and Christianity. [In these verses, we do not see Elymas prophesying as the term is popularly understood, so the Deuteronomy 13:1–5 model seems to fit this scenario best.]
Would you feel comfortable stating the early Bible students were not false prophets because they were not sorcerers? The New Testament that has direct application to Christians is quite clear about the identifying marks of a false prophet because of the foretold apostasy, the rise of Christendom that followed the death of the last apostle.
Under Constantine's rule, Bar-Jesus would be subject to capital punishment even though he had no scriptural right to do so. After his rule, wicked men continued to advance from bad to worse.
But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled. 2 Timothy 3:13
That's what made these men false prophets as I pointed earlier.
Fruit in brief means actions and motives, not just a mistaken viewpoint. Even wikipedia acknowledges this but it is conveniently ignored by opponents of Jehovah's Witnesses. Your superficial use of prophecy to suppress what the Bible teaches is not based in scripture.
it-2 pp. 690-691 Prophecy
An inspired message; a revelation of divine will and purpose or the proclamation thereof. Prophecy may be an inspired moral teaching, an expression of a divine command or judgment, or a declaration of something to come. As shown under PROPHET, prediction, or foretelling, is not the basic thought conveyed by the root verbs in the original languages (Heb., na·va'′; Gr., pro·phe·teu′o); yet it forms an outstanding feature of Bible prophecy.
Consfearacy said: "I've noted that you and others tend to exaggerate predictions you claim have "failed." There were two predictions about Jesus' invisible presence and the conclusion of this system of things: 1914 and 1925. Just becasue other dates outside of these two have no meaning to you doesn't mean they failed"
No, you underestimate. There were many other dates on which either predictions were made or to which events were linked.
All of them have failed. All of them have been abandoned. Even 1914 has a completely different meaning for JW's now than it had for them then. It is the only one of the Society's dates that has survived - with a different interpretation. You may think some of these dates still have meaning - but the Society and JW's don't. Perhaps they have meaning in your Theosophist philosophy? I have no idea.
You said: "So what you're saying is everything they teach harmnizes with the Bible and thus originates with God..."
Erm, no. That's absolutely not what I'm saying. Very little of what they teach is Scripturally sound. But that is another discussion.
You continue: "...but because of a prior viewpoint, what the Bible says should be rejected or the organization should be rejected"
It's not a "prior viewpoint" it's a career of false prophesy and failed prediction throughout their 100+ year history, with the last being the "Creator's Promise" that the generation that "saw" the events of 1914 would not pass away before Armageddon and that the end would come "in our 20th century" (Matt 24:14) . And why should what the Bible says be rejected because of an Organization? There is no connection between the two. You can reject the Society and retain the Bible - in fact if you actually understood and valued the Bible, you'd feel compelled to reject the Society! But you value the Society more. The Organization should be rejected because the Bible very clearly states that any who falsely predict and proclaim the arrival of Christ are "False Prophets" to be avoided by true Christians. (Matt 24:23-28).
You said: "Would you feel comfortable stating the early Bible students were not false prophets because they were not sorcerers?"
I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Sorcery is not in any way a defining characteristic for all false prophets, so why would the Society not engaging in sorcery have any bearing whatsoever? We've been through this before. Lying = Liar, Sorcery = Sorcerer, False Prophesy = False Prophet, and False Prophesy is proclaiming or predicting anything in God's name, claiming Divine authority, and proving false in the proclamation or prediction. It's really very simple. Sure, some False Prophets could be deliberate liars and sorcerers too - but they don't have to be those things to be classed as "False Prophets" according to the Bible. They just have to be presumptuous in speaking in God's name - which, as you've been shown in this thread and others, the Society has done repeatedly. (Deut. 18:20-22)
You said: "The New Testament that has direct application to Christians is quite clear about the identifying marks of a false prophet..."
Indeed it is!
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together." (Matt 24:23-28)
This has fulfillment in the JW's case with statements such as:
"Satan's empire is falling; millions now living will never die. Do you believe it? Do you believe that the King of glory is present, and has been since 1874? Do you believe that during that time he has conducted his harvest work? Do you believe that he has had during that time a faithful and wise servant through whom he directed his work and the feeding of the household of faith? Do you believe that the Lord is not in his temple, judging the nations of earth? Do you believe that the King of glory has begun his reign?" - The Watchtower, November 1, 1922, pp.332-337
"Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874" - The Watchtower, January 1, 1924, p. 5
I could go on, but what's the point? Clearly they are "false prophets" according to Matt 24:23-28. Or did Jesus arrive in 1874?
You said: "But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled. 2 Timothy 3:13 That's what made these men false prophets as I pointed earlier"
I don't really care what YOU say false prophets have to do to be identified, seeing as we have just dealt with Jesus clear words on the matter. However, the Society perfectly fits this description also. Or did they not "mislead" their followers regarding the arrival of Christ in 1874? Did they not "mislead" them by stating that Armageddon would come in 1914? Or are you going to now claim that it has to be only certain things - things you conveniently decide - which they had to "mislead" about to be false prophets? Please.
You said: "Your superficial use of prophecy to suppress what the Bible teaches is not based in scripture."
Nice soundbite, yet you've done nothing to back this claim up Scripturally. And the definition you quote of Prophesy is totally damning to the Society, in case you hadn't noticed, seeing as it's already been demonstrated in my last post they did claim inspiration and infallibility for their doctrine, chronology and predictions.
t-2 pp. 690-691 Prophecy
"An inspired message; a revelation of divine will and purpose or the proclamation thereof . Prophecy may be an inspired moral teaching, an expression of a divine command or judgment, or a declaration of something to come . As shown under PROPHET, prediction, or foretelling, is not the basic thought conveyed by the root verbs in the original languages (Heb., na·va'′; Gr., pro·phe·teu′o); yet it forms an outstanding feature of Bible prophecy.
And this definition you quote is double damning for the Society and for your argument (a well as that of Debator) because it shows that the Society can be condemned as a "False Prophet", not only on the basis of it's false predictions - it's "declarations of something to come" - but also on false proclamations regarding the "divine will and purpose". So much so that I'm surprised you risked posting it - surprised by pleased. So, according to this definition, simply proclaiming false doctrine while claiming authority as "God's Mouthpiece" etc. would also condemn them as "False Prophets".
So, shall we also discuss what they now consider to be false doctrine that was preached by the Society? What a about their worship of Jesus until 1954?
Whichever way you cut it - and you have cut it several ways, flip flopping like the Society itself - whichever way, the Society meets the criteria for a "False Prophet" better than the vast majority of Christian denominations.
High control groups? Like the Unification Church or Scientology?
High control group: such as a religion that often relies on peer pressure to get members to die for the transfusion issue? which is why they have 'visitation' groups to make sure such sick Witnesses can be monitored in the hospital?
High control group: such as a group that encourages the near abandonment of family members if they drift away from the 'truth'? a religion that encourages the practical disowning of children who drift away from the "truth"?
High control group: you mean a religion with the lowest educational attainment in the US because of the pressure they put on kids not to attend college?
reniaa / Alice / assorted other monikers:
Essan said, “Erm, no. That's absolutely not what I'm saying. Very little of what they teach is Scripturally sound. But that is another discussion.”
This here says it all and it is not for another discussion.
You said in this forum:
"Sorry to break it to you, but you are still part of 'Christendom'. The Apostasy set in during the 1st century and it is still going. No religion has 'come out'."
By saying we're still under the umbrella of global apostasy (no one has it right) and by labeling all religions false prophets, you can ignore Hebrews 10:24-25, read the Bible and think whatever you want about it.
And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
You don't have to associate with God's people because there are none. This isn't Christian freedom, this is utter disbelief in one way or another. If you can't attest to the existence of God outside what you observe in the natural world alone, this is deism. Unless all humans are corrupt, a book truly inspired of God will lead to the formation of a visible organization in a country where we enjoy religious freedom, a group that does not operate with ulterior motives or are victims of groupthink. Jehovah's Witnesses are neither.
Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive in-group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. It is a second potential negative consequence of group cohesion.
Umm... Confearacy, you do realize that Chuck Russel founded his religion on the occult? Don't you? Please tell us how he came up with the date 1914 in the first place. Hint: something to do with pyramids.
Lovely job on the cut-and-paste, as always!