Jehovah`s Witness/Other Jehovah's witnesses
QUESTION: Hello Sister T, May the Lords blessings rest upon you. I have been a Christian for many years and have studied the Scriptures from all angles.My question is- Do you believe that those Jehovah's witnesses throughout the world ( True Faith, Amir ro, etc)
who believe over 90% of what you do ( Ransom, 1914 etc etc ) but
do not accept your current governing body or the 'new light' since 1964 are true Jehovah's witnesses ? After all they have the faith that your 2 main presidents ( Pastor Russell and Judge Rutherford had ). Because if you do not believe that these other Jehovah's witnesses are in the 'truth' but are apostate, would that not also mean that your founders were also apostate and not real J,W's. For without a doubt they would be thrown out today for their views.
In His service, philip
ANSWER: Hello Philip and thank you for writing,
If there are JW's who do not accept the current governing body, then those same ones would not accept Brother Russell or Brother Rutherford either because they were considered the governing body at that time. They didn't consider themselves as apostates, so how could we have the view that you are claiming? Plus their views changed as they learned from and applied what the Bible said. So they would make adjustments to any views that did not line up with the Bible, which they in fact did!
The first century Christians who were Jews that believed Jesus was the messiah, had to stop practicing the Mosaic law which was a written code and listen to Jesus as God's means for salvation for mankind. (compare Gal. 5:2-6)
The first century Christians had to be taught these things, they had to learn the law of the Christ, thus you see the many letters that Paul wrote to those Congregations, not only letters but visits as well. Now if it was not believed that there is a governing body then God would not have put that in the Bible. Not only did Paul write to the congregations telling them how they should behave, but they also were times when they went to a governing body for clarification on matters. To say different is calling God a liar.
If you read the entire chapter of Acts 15, it's undeniable of the fact that they had a governing body, that they had men who took the lead, the same as we have today. So if someone does not agree with that concept, it's not us they are going against it's God Himself! And it's God Himself that they will have to answer to. Now I'm going to break down the scriptures in Acts chapter 15.
First off, Some men came down from Judea telling the brothers that they needed to get circumcised.
Acts 15:1 "Now some men came down from Ju·de′a and began to teach the brothers: “Unless you get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
So Paul and Barnabas disputed this with those men, since it was quite a bit of dissension and disputing going on, it was arranged for Paul, Barnabas and some others to travel to Jerusalem and speak to the apostles and elders regarding that issue. Now if they had no governing body why on earth would they travel to Jerusalem to speak to anyone else? Why not just disagree with those men and remain where they were, why did they go to others? Paul himself knew that Jesus was the end of the law, (Romans 10:4) he taught it over and over again. So there is no denying that they had men who took the lead, and that there was a governing body...let's read on:
Acts. 15:2 "But after quite a bit of dissension and disputing by Paul and Bar′na·bas with them, it was arranged for Paul, Bar′na·bas, and some of the others to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem regarding this issue."
Once they arrived in Jerusalem, Paul and the others were kindly received by the congregation, and the apostles, and the elders.
Acts 15:4 "On arriving in Jerusalem, they were kindly received by the congregation and the apostles and the elders, and they related the many things God had done by means of them."
So after relaying the matters of dispute, the apostles and the elders gathered together to look into this matter, if they had no governing body or men who took the lead, why are these apostles and elders gathering together to discuss this matter? Why didn't they say, why are you coming to us? Why didn't they tell Paul, who was in fact one taking the lead himself, why are you coming to us with those matters? Who are we to say or to tell you anything at all? Did they say that? No they didn't, here's what happened:
Acts. 15:6,7 "So the apostles and the elders gathered together to look into this matter. 7 After much intense discussion had taken place, Peter rose and said to them:....."
After much discussion on the matter a decision was made by the apostles and elders, we see a governing body here! To govern means to preside over, this is exactly what we see happening here in Acts.
Acts 15:19,20 "Therefore, my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.”
After the presiding decision was made, the governing body decided to send men from them to go back with Paul and Barnabas and the others with a letter from them, the governing body, to give to the brothers.
Acts 15:22,23 "Then the apostles and the elders, together with the whole congregation, decided to send chosen men from among them to Antioch, along with Paul and Bar′na·bas; they sent Judas who was called Bar′sab·bas and Silas, who were leading men among the brothers. 23 They wrote this and sent it through them:..."
Now in that letter that the governing body sent through those men taking the lead, they said something very important, they said that some men were trying to subvert them, but they (governing body) did not give them any instructions to do so. So if there was no governing body why would they even make that statement, that they were not instructed from them to say that? Let's read some of the letter that was sent by the governing body:
Acts 15:23-25 "“The apostles and the elders, your brothers, to those brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Ci·li′cia who are from the nations: Greetings! 24 Since we have heard that some went out from among us and caused you trouble with what they have said, trying to subvert you, although we did not give them any instructions, 25 we have come to a unanimous decision to choose men to send to you together with our beloved Bar′na·bas and Paul,"
After Judas and Silas read the letter from the governing body to those brothers, they went to Antioch and gave them the letter as well, once the letter was read, did the disputing continue about circumcision or were they willing to listen to the governing body? Did they say, why are you giving us this letter, we have no governing body and who are they to tell us what to do, who are they to wield their power over us? Did they say we are not going to make adjustments, we are not going to listen to this new light? No, they didn't, let's read:
Acts 15:30,31 "So when these men were dismissed, they went down to Antioch, and they gathered the whole group together and handed them the letter. 31 After reading it, they rejoiced over the encouragement."
Judas and Silas remained for some time and encouraged them with many talks, then they went back to the brothers who had sent them, (the governing body).
Acts 15:32,33 "And Judas and Silas, since they were also prophets, encouraged the brothers with many talks and strengthened them. 33 After they had spent some time there, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them."
Now you have Bible proof of a governing body, and of men taking the lead....whether you accept what the Bible says or not is between you and the god you serve.
Also God had these scriptures penned for men who desire to be used by God in taking the lead, why give requirements if it wasn't supposed to be that way? Ahhh but they are right there in the Bible for all to read for themselves...
1 Tim 3:1-7 "This statement is trustworthy: If a man is reaching out to be an overseer, he is desirous of a fine work. 2 The overseer should therefore be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent, but reasonable, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, 4 a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having his children in subjection with all seriousness 5 (for if any man does not know how to preside over his own household, how will he care for the congregation of God?), 6 not a newly converted man, for fear that he might get puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment passed on the Devil. 7 Moreover, he should also have a fine testimony from outsiders so that he does not fall into reproach and a snare of the Devil."
If men taking the lead was not how Jehovah meant things to be, then why is these scriptures in the Bible period?
Hebrews 13:17 "Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over you as those who will render an account, so that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you."
James 5:14,15 "Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the elders of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him, applying oil to him in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."
Acts 20:28 "Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son."
1 Peter 5:1-4 "Therefore, as a fellow elder, a witness of the sufferings of the Christ and a sharer of the glory that is to be revealed, I make this appeal to the elders among you: 2 Shepherd the flock of God under your care, serving as overseers, not under compulsion, but willingly before God; not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock."
Why have a scripture that speaks of a faithful steward giving (spiritual) food at the proper time if that isn't how God arranged things?
Luke 12:42-44 "“Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? 43 Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so! 44 I tell you truthfully, he will appoint him over all his belongings."
It's right there in the bible, Jehovah used men throughout Bible history to take the lead regarding his true servants, but taking the lead didn't mean they made the laws, it meant they followed what God laid out for them, after Jesus came here and died for us, Jehovah made him the head of the congregation. That's how it is today with our GB, they follow their master Jesus from what is laid out in the Bible.
Eph. 1:22 "He also subjected all things under his feet and made him head over all things with regard to the congregation,"
Eph 5:23 "....the Christ is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body."
1 Cor. 11:3 "But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God."
God also made sure that it was known what to expect as time went on....that there would be apostasy, false Christians, antichrists. (Matt 24:11; 1 John 2:18; 2 John 7)
The Bible also made it crystal clear that the ones who were true servants would all be in agreement, would speak and believe the same things and be of the same mind, and in union. And any who deviated from this course were not of our sort. The Bible is clear on the matter.
1 Cor. 1:10 "Now I urge you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you should all speak in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you may be completely united in the same mind and in the same line of thought."
1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us. But they went out so that it might be shown that not all are of our sort."
John 17:21-23 "so that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one. 23 I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one, so that the world may know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me. "
An important note, Jehovah's Witnesses is actually the only true religion that is backed by the only true and living God Jehovah. If you love Jehovah then you will have no problem with doing things the way it's outlined in the Bible. Jesus said, whoever is not on my side is against me...(Luke 11:23) it's black and white, there's no shades of gray, no inbetween. This is shown by what Jesus said about there are only two roads...every person in this world is on either of those two roads, one leads to destruction and it's broad and many are on it. But the other leads to life, and it's narrow and few are finding it. (Matt 7:13,14)
So if you are against what Jehovah has put into place then how can you be a true servant? You can not be, period!
Also, Jehovah isn't sitting still, he's moving forward with his purpose for this earth, we are not in a time of stand still, no we are continually moving forward, keeping up with Jehovah's celestial chariot. (Ezekiel 1:20,21) Times are rushing on and will continue rushing on until the end, it won't be late. (Habakkuk 2:3) Jesus said, "My Father has kept working until now, and I keep working.” (John 5:17)
That means the beliefs that needed adjustments or refinements from back when the Bible students were still learning are necessary, just like it was necessary for anyone who wanted to worship Jehovah to get circumcised during Abraham's time, moving forward that was no longer the case, getting baptized in the name of Jesus was now the case. Why? Because Jehovah is moving forward with bringing his purposes to fruition. That's why you can't go back to 1964, etc and say well do you consider them apostates? No. Why not? because we are moving forward with Jehovah, they gave what they knew at that time, when adjustments are needed then Jehovah will make it known, or do you feel he can't bring about his purposes, do you feel that God can't make his will known to man? Does God work on any person's time table? Is he supposed to do things the way people think he should? People need to get on board rather than fight against God.
They (Bro. Russell & Rutherford and others) themselves moved forward and we continue to move forward now. The churches are still stuck in the same lies, even when the Bible is clear, do they humble themselves and let the Bible guide them? No! Not only do they not humble themselves to the word of God but they persecute any who want to. They go so far as to remove God's name from the Bible, they go so far as to add spurious texts to the Bible as to continue in their wrong beliefs rather then concede to do the will of God that's laid out in the Bible. (Matt 23:13) The common people are fed these lies, but Jehovah has real servants who are going from house to house teaching and preaching the good news about the Kingdom (Matt 24:14; Acts 20:20) so that honest hearted ones can have a chance to survive the coming destruction which is nearer than you think.
Things are not and have not been going on the same, we are living in the last of the last days, (2 Tim 3:1-5) and very soon the Great Tribulation will come upon the ones who refuse to keep moving and stay stuck instead of moving forward with Jehovah and his organization and keeping on the watch. (Zephaniah 3:8)
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your in depth reply sister but I can not agree with some parts of it. You see the current true faith Jehovah's witnesses do accept Pastor Russell and Brother Rutherford but not your current governing body. They feel that your governing body are apostate for several reasons. 1- the beast the united nations, having been a ngo member for many years when found out they beat a hasty retreat. 2- many of them were tortured and underwent several trials of their faith during the communist period when they were cut off by the regime. They remained true JW's only to find that when the iron curtain had fell ' new light' had been introduced which made their sacrifices null and void ( ref higher authorities ' 3 - Brother Russell was always thought of as that ' servant'
It would have to be a mighty change of heart and mind ( read his teachings they are available on the internet ) to follow the current teachings. No name was needed other than Christian he stated and each congregation was autonomous he was 'that servant' not the government. 4- a careful reading read of your texts / verses shows that you are using them well out of context.
I have known / worked / and spoken to many Jehovah's witnesses. I have been to Bible student meetings where one of the brothers was around in the time of Pastor Russell. The modern day Jehovah's witnesses ( in general ) seem to have a far different spirit than the earlier ones say of the 70's. It seems the talk now is more about The GB rather than Jehovah God and His Son. Anyway my follow up question-
As Bible students ( Dawn, LHMM etc etc ) True faith Jehovah's witness etc etc pray to Jehovah through His Anointed Son the Lord Jesus, witness to their faith etc just as you do, my question id ' do you seriously think that God does not both listen to their prayers just as He does to yours and love them just as He does you . Are you just because going to be saved and not them ? If you think that, if you state that, are you not just putting yourself in His place. The ransom is for all.
May He who is love open your eyes to His truth and love.
God Bless You Sister.
I misunderstood your first question....my answers still stand, but now I more clearly see what you were referring to when you say "other Jehovah's Witnesses"
You have broken away or branched off from us. That is your choice. You feel we are apostates and we feel you are.
What I think is unimportant, what you should be worried about is what Jehovah thinks.
What I know is that Jehovah God is backing us....without a doubt!
My eyes are completely open and they will stay exactly that way.