Visit From Jehovah's Witnesses
We had meeting number 3 today with Stephen and Ruth. We discussed Matthew 24 again. The tribulation leading to Armageddon; The Faithful Slave etc. They went away very discouraged. But they will be back next week to discuss (I asked Stephen to present) the two hope theory. My son Matthew (a college English teacher) joined in this time at their invitation. Stephen couldn't get away with any obfuscation strategies this time around. It was a fabulous meeting from my perspective.
Great. Keep us up to date with it. In a way I feel sorry for them, but the truth is, to each his own. Stay your ground and bring forth the good arguments.
Thanks LTPF Here was my initial agenda
Last week we discussed Matthew 24. But I still need clarification on a few points we discussed last week...before we move on.
Re: The Tribulation culminating in Armageddon
Would you agree that....
"The Scriptures strongly support the conclusion that at Armageddon Jehovah will destroy the peoples of the earth, saving only those who obey his commandments to stand by his organization." (Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, p. 170)
"Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the "great crowd," as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." (Watchtower, September 1, 1989 p. 19)
Questions on Matthew 24:
1. Tribulation:Jehovah will destroy billions who are alive at Armageddon, including all those associated with Satan's visible organization, Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion, and they will have no chance to be resurrected; but if they died a week or two before the tribulation begins, these same people would be granted a resurrection. That doesn't seem to make sense to me. Can you explain that?
2. Generation: Can you clarify how the 1914 generation can be the terminal generation when babies born in 1914 are 102 years old today? How is that possible?
Do you know how many takes your organization has had on “this generation”?
3. Faithful Slave:
In answer to the question: Who is the Faithful Slave of Matthew 24, Zion's Watchtower up till 1916 identified the FDS as “all anointed since AD 33”. In 1917 the WT identified Charles Russell himself as the Faithful Servant. In the 1930s, the Faithful slave was again, “all anointed since AD 33”. Finally in 2012, the Faithful and wise servant became the leaders at headquarters in Brooklyn NY since 1919.
How do you know that the WTS leaders in NY were appointed in 1919?
Names? Who was aware of their appointment? Basis of Christ's appointment?Did their appointment carry over to replacements?
I like the way you think Mr Vanderhoven. What point was the most successful in getting them to think?
We only had time to deal with questions 1 and 3 this time Listener. Regarding the tribulation and the big A, they (Stephen with Ruth just nodding agreement) claimed that many destroyed at Armageddon would be raised and given a chance at life...and that the brothers (GB/FDS) made some mistakes previously (This is what I call Theocratic Warfare) trying to soft-pedal the hardline of century-old Armageddon teaching. I called him on this and read some of the WT quotations on the subject. I reminded them of the six 180 degree reversals in the channel of the possibility of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah coming back
Stephen constantly tried to change the subject, (eg helfire) moralize on how good a job the "brothers" are doing despite past errors. But essentially he and Ruth had no answers to the questions...and began hinting that we, like Paul on the way to Damascus were persecuting JWs. They wanted to know why I was against JWs (I'm not) and cautioned that I could destroy the faith of new JWs and that I had no right to dismantle the faith of anyone. I asked him if he would try to dismantle the faith Mormons had in their leaders so they could become JWs. No answer was forthcoming.
He cautioned me not to judge people. I reminded him that his organization has judged all other churches and their leaders and consigned them to perdition at Armageddon.
He asked me about the date of one of the quotations (2005) and he said that was old and out of date. Apparently, only they are allowed to quote and make hay out of anything earlier than last month. ;)
The main thing is that they are coming back. One thing is very clear, and that is that neither Ruth nor Stephen can demonstrate their organizations' unique teachings from the Bible.
The main thing is that they are coming back.
I hope that is the case, but I doubt it. Frankly, I'm surprised they've returned this many times already. Perhaps (one can only hope) that you really have created some doubt and he/she/both are curious to hear more.
Good luck with it... Keep us informed!.....................DOC
Apparently, only they are allowed to quote and make hay out of anything earlier than last month.
They don't seem to be very clear about their own teachings. It seems like it is becoming more common these days that they are personally rejecting ideas in older articles if they cannot reconcile with them. Maybe a better position would be to have them back up any views that they express by asking for a scripture to support it. As you point out, they can't do this.
I wonder if this is a new problem that is arising amongst the Witnesses but it seems that instead of being fully aware that they cannot answer a question, they immediately deal with this CD by feeling they are being persecuted or that Satan is just trying to shake their faith. You become the problem, not them.
A few decades ago, JWs had complete confidence that they had the truth, that they could answer any question put to them and they were right. The difference is, back then, it was very rare for JWs to be confronted with difficult questions. Most of the questions they would be confronted with were dealt with in their publications and could be researched if they could not recall something instantly but not the ones that we are asking today.
The organization has left them high and dry. They are expected to deal with the issues on their own. This is evident when Splane came up with a scripture that he thought supported the 'generation' teaching and told his sheep to meditate and come up with their own scripture to support it. Maybe the real persecution is coming from their leaders by way of undefendable doctrines.
It's amazing that they find themselves in such a difficult position when they have a huge resource available to them, one that they never had a few decades ago - JW org.
It becomes more and more evident why the message these days is one of obedience.
"many destroyed at Armageddon will will be raised and given a chance of life!" This is compete madness, this guy is either a terrible liar, has a very vivid imagination or not in control of his mental faculties, the insanity of the resurrection is bad enough billions upon billions in times past to be resurrected to a paradise Earth, but a second resurrection!! Never heard anything like that before and I've heard some garbage spewed from them.
I know he could not find a current quote that saying any executed at Armageddon will have a resurrection but many that say they will not per the WTS. Armageddon is considered a judgment period like the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah are considered such and why no one will be resurrected from the 3 events.
Who does the Watchtower say will be Resurrected?
The Watchtower claims that teaching incorrect details about the resurrection amounts to apostasy. Yet there have been ongoing changes, and hence untruths, in Watchtower doctrine regarding the resurrection.
Is the doctrine of the Resurrection important? Apparently so. According to the Watchtower, Hymenaeus and Philetus were classed as apostates solely on the basis of making inaccurate statements about the timing of the resurrection.
"Why have Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for apostasy some who still profess belief in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ?
Do we have Scriptural precedent for taking such a strict position? Indeed we do! Paul wrote about some in his day: "Their word will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of that number. These very men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some." (2 Timothy 2:17, 18; see also Matthew 18:6.) There is nothing to indicate that these men did not believe in God, in the Bible, in Jesus' sacrifice. Yet, on this one basic point, what they were teaching as to the time of the resurrection, Paul rightly branded them as apostates, with whom faithful Christians would not fellowship." Watchtower 1986 Apr 1 pp.30-31
This is a surprising assertion considering the number of Watchtower interpretive oscillations in regards to this very doctrine of the Resurrection.
Russell viewed Jesus and Jehovah as fair and loving; quite different to the Jehovah described by Rutherford and preached about to this day. Russell believed that virtually all mankind would survive Armageddon to be given a probationary chance in paradise. There they would learn about God in order to make an educated choice as to whether they wish to follow him. Only those that actively and knowingly fight against God during Armageddon would not be given that chance. Russell also believed that everyone will be resurrected, including Adam and those from the days of Noah, in line with Scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 15:22;
"As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
Over time, the Watchtower has made God more demanding, describing times such as Noah's Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and Jesus' day as judgment periods, with no resurrection hope.
"That they might be really accountable at such times, he caused testimony to be given that they might know the issue and make their decision, by which they would determine their destiny, independent of any inherited condemnation from Adam. One of such judgment periods was the flood of Noah's day, prior to which Noah preached righteousness. Another was the fiery end of Sodom and Gomorrah, which cities saw warning miracles by angels and heard testimony from Lot before the rain of fire fell. In Jesus' day it was a time of judgment and he warned certain Jewish cities of a fate like that upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and judged certain scribes and Pharisees fit for the eternal destruction of Gehenna." Watchtower 1952 Jun 1 pp.334
Those that do not agree with the Watchtower Society, and die between 1914 and Armageddon, likewise lose any hope of a resurrection.
"Similarly, unrepentant apostates go, at death, not to Sheol, or Hades, but to Gehenna. (Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Peter 2:1) The same is true of dedicated Christians who persist in willful sin or those who "shrink back." They will, therefore, not be resurrected." Watchtower 1982 Apr 1 p.27
All those destroyed at Armageddon also lose any hope of a resurrection.
"Yes, the destruction of the gross sinners in those cities was eternal, as will be the destruction of the wicked at the end of the present system of things." Watchtower 1990 Apr 15 p.20
What an unreasonable concept, inspired by Rutherford, that God would condemn imperfect people to everlasting destruction, in most cases with no knowledge of the Watchtower God or his requirements. The ongoing changes to this teaching are indication that God's spirit did not direct the Watchtower to conclude that Jehovah judges imperfect humans to everlasting destruction.
Was God directing your organization when this article was written?
Right... and if he wasn't, then how do you know he is today? And when did he start? In fact, is so many things said a few years ago are not longer correct, how do you know any of what you believe is correct today, since it susceptible to be changed at any time?