Two Bible Beliefs of Jehovah`s Witnesses ,Do They Align with each other ?

by smiddy3 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • smiddy3

    1.The first is 2 cor.4:4 that Satan is "the God of this system of things" to blind the minds of the unbelievers etc.

    So logically this "system of things" would mean the Governments ,Politicians, Armed Forces and law enforcement agency`s such as the police would it not?

    So satan is in control of all of these under the banner of being the god of this system of things.?

    2. Rom.13: 1-7 " Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities for their is no authority except by God"

    " He who opposers the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of god.....and will receive judgement to themselves .""

    " It is not without purpose that it bears the sword for it is Gods minister to you for your good,"

    And these same Superior Authorities that God has said Christians are to be in subjection to are the Governments ,Politicians ,Armed forces,Law enforcement agency`s and police.

    On the one hand the Bible infers that Satan is the God of this system of things and is misleading people ,yet on the other hand the Bible claims that this system of things is an arrangement from God that christians are under obligation to obey or suffer the consequences .?

    Your thoughts please.

  • nowwhat?

    One thing I couldn't understand is if one part of Satan's system was "persecuting" jw's , they would appeal and often get relief from another part of Satan's system!

  • Bobcat

    Hi Smiddy,

    My thoughts . . . ? Well, first, the thread title. To be fair, what you are asking is more of a Bible proposition or problem rather than a JW one.

    But, beyond that, the problem, as you stated it is, 'How can the governments of the world be both an arrangement of God and under the rulership of the devil?'

    Have you considered the possibility that both are true? If the writer of Romans is the same as the writer of Corinthians (both writings claim to be written by Paul) then, this one writer believed that both propositions were true. As you pointed out, Rom 13 describes national governments to be "an arrangement of God. And he believed that, "the things the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God." (1Co 10:20) So, how could Paul think that both conditions were true?

    When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, one of the temptations involved showing Jesus all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth. The devil then tells Jesus, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. (Lu 4:5-6 ESV)

    The devil is claiming that authority over the nations was "delivered" (or "handed over," or "relinquished") to him. The passive verb suggests that it was God who did this 'handing over.' (What is known as a "divine passive"; same verb used to describe Jesus being "handed over" for execution.) And Satan knew who Jesus was and where he came from. Logically, there must be some truth in the statement for it to be a temptation for Jesus. Satan is saying that he got the authority from a source that Jesus would view as legitimate, his own Father.

    Rev 13:2 describes the devil (the "dragon") as giving the 'beast out of the sea' "power and a throne and great authority." This order, the 'beast' coming into existence first, and then the devil giving it "great authority," this ordering would place the tower of Babel incident as the point in time in which the newly forming human kingdom was "handed over" to Satan, A sort of 'divide and conquer' event. It is only after that that the great empires of the Bible begin to appear.

    Of course, that does not explain why God would want such an arrangement. Anyways, you asked for thoughts. . .

  • eyeuse2badub

    James 4:7  "Therefore, subject yourselves to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you"

    So Christians are to oppose the devil but be in subjection to his minions?

    Sorta like "God is love"------------but he's going to annihilate nearly 9 billion humans soooooooooon!

    just saying!

  • peacefulpete

    The Marcionites who were the sect that collected and preserved the Pauline works (at least initially) believed the "god of this system" was in fact a demiurge a misshapen god call Yahweh and not the True loving God of Jesus. Marcion had real moral issue with the OT and this passage at 4:4 dovetailed with that. The 'god of this system' was the god of the Jews. The Paulines have a murky provenance. Marcion appears to be the first to embrace 10 Pauline works. He also had his own gospel, which shows literary connection with an early form of Luke but without what he claimed were Jewish additions.

    My point is simply that the story is never as simple as we might want. The more we learn the less we know. How can we know the intent of an author whose words have been shown to have been heavily edited and appended, whose identity we can't be certain of ,whose theology we have to believe was evolving? .

  • StephaneLaliberte

    From what I can see here, the problem lies in that the JWs believe in a book that contradict itself. That's why there are so many flavors of christiens, some choose one verse and twist the meening of the other verses that contradict.

  • iwantoutnow


    Do you think the bible should make sense :)

  • EverApostate

    There are many verses in the Bible that contradict each other. Leave alone the christian sects beleifs

  • blondie

    From 1879 to 1929 the WTS taught that the superior authorities were the secular governments

    From 1929 to 1962 the WTS taught that the superior authorities were Jehovah and Jesus

    From 1962 to the present the WTS has taught that the superior authorities are the secular governments.

    How did they handle that 360 degree change?

    I remember when this came in the WT, my jw family spent the whole day together discussing this and that it disturbed them that so many people died between 1929 and 1962, thinking that Jehovah and Jesus were the superior authorities.

    By saying that today it is "relative" subjection.

    The WTS always has a work or dance around for such changes. The WTS says while they were wrong between 1929 to 1962, it protected the WTS and its members from giving into nationalism.

    re 1928 change

    ut in Pastor Niemoeller’s confession reported above he mentioned the Bibelforscher or Jehovah’s witnesses in Germany and the Christian course of action they took even under stress of dictatorship and World War II. Up till 1928 they, too, had held to the ecclesiastical interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 concerning the “higher powers”. But that year this scripture was taken under re-examination, especially in view of the fact that the “times of the Gentiles” had ended A.D. 1914 and God’s kingdom by Christ had then been established in the heavens to bring in a new world with eternal blessings for obedient men of good will. The conclusions arrived at were published in the June 1 and 15, 1929, issues of The Watchtower in the article, in two parts, entitled “The Higher Powers”. Holding to these conclusions ever since has cost many of Jehovah’s witnesses their personal liberty and even their lives. But persecution, imprisonment, exile, and violent death were also the price which Jesus’ faithful apostles paid for paying back to God God’s things and to Caesar only Caesar’s things and for rendering proper subjection to the true “higher powers”. But such sufferings are not to be compared with the everlasting reward they have received. So, because of the pertinence of the subject, now that totalitarian ideas and practices and the idolatry of the political state and its emblems are spreading, we here take up a discussion of the crucial text, Romans 13:1-7.


    But rather than being instructions by the apostle to render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, Romans 13:1-7 has since 1929 been taken by Jehovah’s witnesses to be instructions on rendering to God what belongs to God. Why? Because the expression “the higher powers” is now understood to mean primarily the Most High God and his reigning Son Jesus Christ. Surely there are no powers or authorities higher than these. As rendered by the recently issued New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures Romans 13:1 reads: “Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.”

    It cannot be said of the other political powers and authorities of this world that they were types of Christ as God’s Chief Servant and that therefore God gave such political powers their authority. Certainly Caesar’s government in killing the Son of God and thereafter persecuting his faithful followers was not a type of Christ’s government authorized by God.

    The political powers of this world are, therefore, not the “superior authorities” to whom Christian souls are to be subject in every demand they make. Every law and statute that is in harmony with righteousness the true Christians will obey in an exemplary fashion. But any law and demand made in conflict with the superior laws and commandments of God they will not obey, for that would mean to render to “Caesar” what belongs to God.


    How does the WTS dig themselves out of this hole? By putting "relative" in front of subjection, and not saying directly, the "superior authorities" were never Jehovah and Jesus, but were the secular authorites, but only in relative way. So just a so-called "clarification."

    By God’s permission during his time allowance for it we have had the so-called Higher Powers or “superior authorities” in political control of the earth till today. These have been established by God’s permission according to his arrangement of man’s affairs.

    When God displaces the present Higher Powers with his own kingdom over mankind, God will directly appoint and put in office the Ruling Authorities of his righteous new world.

    Then, right afterward, Paul passes on to his discussion of the “superior authorities,” and thus has his sights focused on, not what is inside the congregation, but what is outside it. So the “superior authorities” have their setting logically in the world outside the congregation.* Certainly we cannot close our eyes to the fact that there are authorities outside the Christian congregation.

    Here on earth there are many limited areas of subjection that Christians must observe according to God’s written Word. Even Jesus as a boy in Nazareth “continued subject” to his earthly caretakers, Joseph and Mary. (Luke 2:51, 52; Gal. 4:1-5) So the subjection of children to Christian parents is commanded, in 1 Timothy 3:4; Ephesians 6:1-4; younger Christians are to be in subjection to older ones (1 Pet. 5:5); slaves or servants to owners or masters (Titus 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:18; Eph. 6:5-8); wives to husbands (Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5;1 Pet. 3:1, 5; Eph. 5:22-24); women to the brothers in the congregation (1 Cor. 14:33, 34); and congregation members to brothers who faithfully minister to them. (1 Cor. 16:16) All these are cases of relative subjection, having limitations; for, above all, we must do as James 4:7 tells Christians: “Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.”

    15. Accordingly, what kind of subjection is that which must be rendered to “superior authorities,” and why?

    15 In the same way the subjection that Christians must render to the “superior authorities” of this old world is merely relative, for it does not leave God and conscience out of consideration. For instance, the apostle Paul says that one reason why every soul ought to be subject is that “there is no authority except by God.”

    when Christians subject themselves to Gentile “superior authorities” with their different systems of government and law, they conform themselves to those laws that show the work of conscience according to what God originally wrote in man’s heart. Since the Christians’ subjection to worldly “superior authorities” is only relative, it does not obligate them to obey any worldly laws that go contrary to the laws of the Supreme Lawgiver, Jehovah God.

    Since the Christians’ subjection to worldly “superior authorities” is only relative, it does not obligate them to obey any worldly laws that go contrary to the laws of the Supreme Lawgiver, Jehovah God. Even during the Gentile Times the prophet Daniel refused to obey the Medo-Persian law that forbade him to pray regularly each day to Jehovah. The miraculous deliverance of Daniel from the lions’ den proved that he had done right in not subjecting himself to King Darius to the point of breaking God’s law.—Dan. 6:1-23.

  • stillin

    As Blondie has explained, you have to do some pretty fancy tap dancing around that question!

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