New Book: Pure Worship of Jehovah—Restored At Last!

by Afterburn 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Afterburn

    It is a new book, now available on their Website in PDF, and it is basically an update to Survival—Into a New Earth! (1984), the book that convinced me to get baptized at age 12.

    I'm not going to review the entire book here.

    Because Matthew 28:18-20 specifies baptizing as part of the Great Commission, and because Hebrews 6:1-2 lists the teaching on baptisms as among the primary doctrine about the Christ, I intend to focus on the portion of the new publication that deals with baptism.

    In chapter 16, on pages 178 and 179, paragraph 17 states:

    17 To survive the coming destruction, individuals need to prove their faith now. As we saw earlier, those who survived Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. demonstrated beforehand their heartfelt rejection of wickedness and their devotion to pure worship. It is similar today. Before the destruction comes, individuals need to be “sighing and groaning”—deeply grieved at heart—over the wickedness of this world. And rather than hide their feelings, they must demonstrate by words and actions their devotion to pure worship. How can they do so? They need to react favorably to the preaching work that is being done today, to continue putting on a Christlike personality, to get baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah, and to support Christ’s brothers loyally. (Ezek. 9:4; Matt. 25:34-40; Eph. 4:22-24; 1 Pet. 3:21) Only those who pursue such a course now—and who enter the great tribulation as pure worshippers—will be in a position to be marked for survival.

    The question for the paragraph can, predictably, be answered by dutifully "studying" the paragraph to find the verbatim answer, and somehow indicating that you have found the pre-approved appropriate words ... think Word Search puzzles.

    The Scriptures provided in support are very odd, though.

    The verse from Ezekiel invites the reader to infer a second fulfillment never discussed in the Bible and to impose this as Scriptural fact, rather than as mere interpretive opinion from a group of men. The verse from Matthew can be fulfilled by literally anyone; Jesus is quoted as saying as much, explicitly. The verse from Ephesians is written to an established congregation of First Century Christians who were already long since baptized, and is no part of what Christians were ever told to preach to anyone.

    That brings us to the verse from 1 Peter 3:21. It's the only one that mentions baptism, but it doesn't mention "dedication." It is impossible to read the dictionary definition of the word "dedication" and twist baptism, as discussed at 1 Peter 3:18-22, into meaning that.

    If what I am saying is new to you, or you have been one of Jehovah's Witnesses for a long time, please consider carefully whether you have ever seen a Scripture that states baptism is in symbol of dedication to Jehovah.

    According to the Bible, Christian baptism is in symbol of reconciliation, not in symbol of dedication. Christians have been given no ministry of dedication (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2), the Great Commission at Matthew 28:18-20 does not mention collecting dedications from anyone.

    Reconciliation and dedication are two vastly different concepts.

    From within the JW mindset, it makes sense that there would have to be lots of requirements before baptism, because one has so much to learn before they would be qualified to make a vow of dedication ... a vow the Bible nowhere establishes as a requisite for Christian baptism and one that is a custom invented by men.

    When one adopts the concept of "reconciliation" as the capsule of Christian ministry, as Paul encourages (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2), that is, as the summation in one word of the Great Commission Jesus gave to his followers, it become easy to understand how 3,000 were baptized in one day, and 5,000 were baptized another day, how the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized after a short chariot ride, and Cornelius along with all his assembled pagan guests and family were baptized after hearing fewer than 200 Greek words of preaching from Peter, how Lydia and the Philippian jailer were baptized without delay after very brief preaching ... because, Christian baptism is not a symbol of dedication. (Acts ... yeah, you can read the entire book, it won't kill you)

    Matthew 11:27-30 depicts Jesus teaching that only those to whom the Son is willing to reveal the Father can ever come to know the Father, then immediately, Jesus commands, "Come to me ... I will refresh you. Take my yoke ... learn from me ... my yoke is kindly and my load is light."

    2 Corinthians 5 also shows Jesus as the starting point for reconciliation to God.

    Nowhere in the Bible is anyone ever required to make a specific declaration of dedication to God prior to their Christian baptism, that is, prior to baptism that is a request made to God for a good conscience. (1 Peter 3:18-22) Nowhere in the Bible is publicly confessing loyalty to any religion used as a test of one's fitness for baptism.

    These fundamental ideas are simply not found in the Bible.

    Hebrews 6:1-2 says the teaching on baptisms is among the primary doctrine about the Christ and calls this primary doctrine "a foundation." Jehovah's Witnesses have the basics wrong, the very foundation of Christianity.

    Is it any wonder then, that they cannot get past their allegiance to a religion, when their entire concept of Christianity is founded upon that idolatrous basis?

    And that's without even getting into the fact that no one can find qualifications set forth in the Bible by which any person can become "qualified" as an "unbaptized publisher" of the good news. "Unbaptized publisher" is a concept that is completely man-made and is one not found in First Century Christianity.

  • mikeflood

    Double punch, whack and knock out.

  • Bobcat

    Very good analysis, Afterburn!

  • Slidin Fast
    Slidin Fast

    Never under estimate the power of critical thinking. To simply examine unquestioned doctrines and subject them to a little reason and logic is so refreshing. Well done!

  • Finkelstein

    There is nothing pure and honest about the WTS.

    Its a commercialized false prophet and has been for over 100 years.

    Therefore the WTS/JWorg is an enemy to Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ.

    Jesus instructed his faithful followers to not listen to men (Prophets) that he did not give them to say.

    He also admonished his true followers to not set a time on god's own sacred time.

    But then again who listens and obeys Jesus, the leaders of the WTS never did.

  • Afterburn

    Thanks, mikeflood, Bobcat, and Slidin Fast.

    Finkelstein, your post reminds me of Ezekiel 13, with a splash of 1 John 4:1, for good measure.

  • Tenacious

    For once, I agree with Finkelstein. Love you bro.

  • Finkelstein

    I once had great love and respect for god and his son , that's why I left the JWS

  • nowwhat?

    Bravo excellent post!

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Great piece of writing! These scriptures among others are what helped me to wake up a few years ago!

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