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Actually, there is no denominational church today that is structured like the Early Church.  The Early Watchtower actually was structured like the Early Church, but Rutherford changed that after Russell’s death.  Bible Students today still structure their congregations in this Biblical manner.

According to the Bible, the election of elders by Holy Spirit anointed congregational members was practiced in the Early Church.  The eventual elimination of this practice gradually led to Elders becoming the Lord’s of the Church, rather than its servants and it opened the way for the development of the Papal system which suppressed Christian liberty.

Paul and Barnabas went around to all the churches and conducted the election of Elders.  Acts 14: 23 (Weymouth) says, ”And in every Church, after prayer and fasting, they selected Elders by show of hands, and commended them to the Lord on whom their faith rested.  Other translations, like Rotherham and Young’s Literal translation say, “appointed to them by vote elders in every assembly.”    RVIC Revised Version Improved and Corrected says, “elected elders.”

Most translators confuse the reader by mis-translating the Greek word (Strong’s 5500) as”ordain.”  Yet the real meaning of the word cannot be hidden in 2 Corinthians  where Paul speaks of a brother who was elected by the churches to travel with him:  2 Cor 8:19 (Weymouth ) “… he is the one who was chosen by the vote of the Churches to travel with us…

In another example, we recall that the Apostles asked the Jerusalem Church to select seven deacons.  Acts 6:3 Weymouth says, “Therefore, brethren, pick out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them to undertake this duty.”  Certainly, no one would have challenged the Apostles had they exerted their influence to appoint deacons themselves.  Yet instead they humbly asked the Congregation to make this selection.

The Apostles never attempted to assert authoritative rule over the Congregations, even though Freedom and Christian Liberty in the Churches was so strong that it created great problems for the Apostles.

In 3 John 1 (Phillips), the Apostle John said, “9 I did write a letter to the church, but Diotrephes, who wants to be head of everything, does not recognise us!  10  If I do come to you, I shall not forget his actions nor the slanderous things he has said in spite against us. And it doesn’t stop there, for he refuses to welcome the brothers himself, and stops those who would like to do so—he even excommunicates them!

Is the JW Governing Body more like the Apostle John or Diotrephes?

Paul’s humility is very evident in his plea to the Corinthian brethren in 2 Cor10:1 (NKJV) where he says, ”Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ — who in presence am lowly among you…“

Paul did not try to force his will upon the Church.  He did not lord it over the Church, but in their presence was humble and lowly.

In 1 Thess 2 (NASV), Paul says, ”6 nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. 7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. 8 Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

Speaking of himself and the other Apostles, Paul says in 1 Cor 4 (NKJV) ”11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world….”  Does the JW Governing Body live like Kings or like the Apostles?

Considering the humble condition and circumstance faced daily by the Apostles, we should feel privileged with even the lowliest of services for the Lord, the Truth and the brethren.

Paul lamented, 2 Tim 1:15 (NIV), ”You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes…”

2 Tim 4:16 (NAS), ”At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me...”

The Apostles suffered much in order to lead the Early Church by example, gentleness and love, even though they could have made things easy for themselves by implementing an iron rule.

The early church was able to resist the encroachments of power hungry leaders.  Rev 2:6 says of the first (Early) Church, “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”    The word Nicolans means “A conqueror or lord of the people.”  These are those who lord it over the Lord’s heritage. (1 Pet. 5:3)

Yet by the third Church period (Approx 311 to 700 AD), this oppressive influence began to take over the Church.  Rev 2:14, 15 (NKJV) “ But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam…  you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”  Yes, “while men [the apostles] slept [in death], the enemy [Satan] sowed tares [imitation Christians] amount the wheat [true Christians].” (Matt 13:25)

You can read more about how the Early Watchtower was structured like the early church from C.T. Russell’s own words here: 

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WHAT DO COMMENTARIES SAY?

Since Ordaining ministers is common practice in denominational churches, it would be amazing to find any of their authorities conceding that Strongs 5500 can be translated to “vote” or ”elect,” yet the historical definition of the word in early literature is so clear that it cannot be ignored.  The following commentators concede the meaning, yet some try to maneuver out of the concession by rationalizing that the meaning of the word was changed by the apostles.

BARNES NOTES
er. 23. And when they had ordained. ceirotonhsantev. The word ordain we now use in an ecclesiastical sense, to denote a setting apart to an office by the imposition of hands.  But it is evident that the word here is not employed in that sense.  That imposition of hands might have occurred in setting apart afterwards to this office is certainly possible, but it is not implied in the word employed here, and did not take place in the transaction to which this word refers. The word occurs but in one other place in the New Testament, {#2Co 8:19} where it is applied to Luke, and translated, “who was also chosen of the church, (i.e. appointed or elected by suffrage by the churches,) to travel with us,” etc. The verb properly denotes to stretch out the hand; and as it was customary to elect to office, or to vote, by stretching out or elevating the hand, so the word simply means to elect, appoint, or designate to any office. The word here refers simply to an election or appointment of the elders.  It is said, indeed, that Paul and Barnabas did this. But probably all that is meant by it is, that they presided in the assembly when the choice was made.  It does not mean that they appointed them without consulting the church; but it evidently means that they appointed them in the usual way of appointing officers, by the suffrages of the people. See Schleusner, and the notes of Doddridge and Calvin.

JFP – JAMIESON, FAUSSET & BROWN
Acts 14:23, 24. when they had ordained them elders—literally, “chosen by showof hands.” But as that would imply that this was done by the apostles’ own hands, many render the word, as in our version, “ordained.” Still, as there is no evidence in the New Testament that the word had then lost its proper meaning, as this is beyond doubt its meaning in #2Co 8:19, and as there is indisputable evidence that the concurrence of the people was required in all elections to sacred office in the earliest ages of the Church, it is perhaps better to understand the words to mean, “when they had made a choice of elders,” that is, superintended such choice on the part of the disciples.

THE PULPIT COMMENTARY
Appointed for them for ordained them, A.V.
(ceirotonhsantev); had believed for believed, A.V. The original meaning of ceirotonew is “to stretch out the hand,” and the substantive ceirotonia is used in the LXX of #Isa 58:9 for “the putting forth of the finger” of the A.V.  But the common meaning of the verb is “to vote by stretching out the hand” and hence “to elect” by a show of hands, {#2Co 8:19} or simply “to appoint,” without any reference to voting.  In the choice of an apostle the election was by lot, {#Ac 1:26} in the appointment of deacons the choice was by the people, how indicated we are not told; {#Ac 6:5} the question here, on which commentators disagree, is whether the use of the word ceirotonew indicates voting by the people, selection by the apostles, or simple creation or appointment. As ceirotonhsantev is predicated of Paul and Barnabas, it cannot possibly refer to voting by the people, who are included in the able, as those on whose behalf the ceirotonia was made. It seems simplest and most in accordance with the classical use of the word and its use (innoiv), #Ac 10:41 (prokeceirotonhme) to take it in the sense of creation or appointment (see Steph., ‘Thesaur.’).  There is no reference to the laying on of hands.  Elders. see #Ac 11:30, note; #Ac 20:17; and especiallyterov #Tit 1:5,7, where we see that presbu was synonymous with ejpiskopov.  From presbuterov is formed prestos, priest, in French prestre, pretre. Comp. #Ac 13:3, for fasting and prayer as accompaniments of ordination.  Hence in the Church ordinations are preceded by the Ember days. They commended them to the Lord. {comp. #Ac 20:32}  In ver. 26 the word used is paradedomenoi.

CALVIN’S COMMENTARIES
Had ordained by election. The Greek word ceirotonein doth signify to decree, or ordain a thing, by lifting up the hands, as they used to do in the assemblies of the people. Notwithstanding, the ecclesiastical writers do often use the word ceirotoneia, in another sense; to wit, for their [the] solemn rite of ordaining, which is called in Scripture laying on of hands. Furthermore, by this manner of speech is very excellently expressed the right way to ordain pastors. Paul and Barnabas are said to choose {2} elders. Do they this alone by their private office? {3} Nay, rather they suffer the matter to be decided by the consent of them all. {4} Therefore, in ordaining pastors the people had their free election, but lest there should any tumult arise, Paul and Barnabas sit as chief moderators. Thus must the decree of the council of Laodicea be understood, which forbiddeth that the people have liberty granted them to elect. {5}

J. A. ALEXANDER COMMENTARY
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord on whom they believed.  Besides these exhortations of instructions, they gave their converts a distinct organization as societies or churches. The meaning of the word ordained has been the subject of protracted and vehement dispute between Presbyterian and Episcopal interpreters. The latter grant that the original etymological import of the Greek word is to vote by stretching out the hand, but they contend that usage had so modified its meaning as to generate the secondary sense of choosing or appointing, without any reference to votes or popular election; and this they insist upon as the unquestionable use of the word here, where the act is predicated, not of the people but of Paul and Barnabas, who cannot be supposed to have voted for these elders with the outstretched hand.  Some go further and adopt the patristical usage of the word to denote imposition of hands, as the ordaining act; but this is commonly agreed to be an ecclesiastical usage of the word long posterior in date to the times of the Apostles. The opposite extreme is that of making the word here denote, directly and exclusively, the act of suffrage or election by the people.  To meet the objection, which has been already stated, that the act described is not that of the people, but of Paul and Barnabas, some modify this explanation of the term, so as to make it mean that Paul and Barnabas appointed or ordained the elders chosen by the people. The philological objection to this modification, that the same verb cannot denote both these processes at once, can only be removed by taking one step further and thus reaching the true mean between the opposite extremes. This middle ground is, that the verb itself, expressing as it clearly does the act of Paul and Barnabas, can only mean that they appointed or ordained these elders, without determining the mode of election or the form of ordination; but that the use of this particular expression, which originally signified the vote of an assembly, does suffice to justify us in supposing that the method of selection was the same as that recorded (not in #Ac 1:26, where the election was by lot and by direct divine authority, but) in #Ac 6:5,6, where it is explicitly recorded that the people chose the seven and the twelve ordained them.

JOHN GILL’S EXPOSITOR
Ver. 23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, &c.] As soon as ever any number of disciples were made, or souls were converted to Christ in any place, they were at once formed, by the apostles, into a church state; and as the gifts, as well as the grace of the Holy Ghost, attended the ministry of the word, so among those that were converted, there were some that were honoured with ministerial gifts, qualifying them to preach the Gospel, and take upon them the care of the churches: these the apostles directed the churches to look out from among themselves, as in the case of deacons, an inferior office, who by joint suffrages declared their choice of them by the stretching out, or lifting up of their hands, as the word here used signifies, and not the imposition of them; and the apostles presiding in this affair, they were installed into the office of bishops, elders, or pastors over them; which expresses the great regard the apostles had to the order, as well as to the doctrine of the Gospel, and the concern they had for the welfare of souls converted under their ministry, by making a provision for them when they were gone.

CLARK’S COMMENTARY
Anciently, the choice or suffrage was called cheirotonia; for, when it was lawful for the multitude in their cities to choose their priests or bishops, they met together, and some chose one man, some another; but, that it might appear whose suffrage won, they say the electors did use ekteinein tav ceirav, to stretch forth their hands, and by their hands so stretched forth, or up, they were numbered who chose the one, and who the other; and him who was elected by the most suffrages they placed in the high priesthood. And from hence was the name cheirotonia taken, which the fathers of the councils are found to have used, calling their suffrage cheirotonia.’ St. Paul, {#2Co 8:19}, intimates that St. Luke was thus appointed to travel with him ceirotonhyeiv upo twn ekklhsiwn, who was chosen of the Churches.  Ignatius, in his epistle to the Philadelphians, uses the same term, prepon estin umin, wv ekklhsia yeou, ceirotonhsai episkopon, ye ought, as a Church of God, to choose your bishop.” Much more on this subject may be seen in Sir Norton Knatchbull, who contends that cheirotonia implies simply appointment or election, but not what he calls ordination by the imposition of hands. I believe the simple truth to be this, that in ancient times the people chose by the cheirotonia (lifting up of hands) their spiritual pastor; and the rulers of the Church, whether apostles or others, appointed that person to his office by the cheirothesia, or imposition of hands; and perhaps each of these was thought to be equally necessary: the Church agreeing in the election of the person; and the rulers of the Church appointing, by imposition of hands, the person thus elected. See note on “Ac 6:6″.

MATHIEW POOLE’S COMMENTARY
Acts 14:23. Ordained;  the word properly signifies a stretching out of the hand, such as was used when they gave their suffrages in the election of their magistrates, whereby was showed for whom they gave their voice; and afterwards it was commonly used for to constitute or appoint, or, as here, to ordain to any office or place; which might the rather be done by stretching out or laying on of the hands of the apostles, because by that means the Holy Ghost (or a power of working miracles) was frequently bestowed, #Ac 8:17,18, which in those times was necessary to authorize their doctrine to the infidel world.

PNT PEOPLE NEW TESTAMENT NOTES
And when they had ordained them elders. Observe (1) that elders were not appointed as soon as the churches were planted; time must be taken so as to know what men were fitted for the office; (2) that elders were not appointed to preside over a district, but “in every church”; (3) that there was a plurality; (4) that they were set apart with fasting, prayer, and imposition of hands. It is not here stated who selected the men, but from #Ac 6:6 we would infer that they were chosen by the church under the advice of the apostles.

COFFMAN’S COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE
Appointed…
Arguments based on this word which would require elders to be voted upon are not valid. As MacGreggor noted: The word ‘appointed’ means literally ‘chose by show of hands’ and, strictly speaking, should imply some form of popular voting.  But it had come to be used of choice in general without reference to the means.

WEYMOUTH:   selected elders by show of hands

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Christian greetings.

Below is the resignation letter I wrote to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, various congregations and individual Jehovah’s Witnesses on May 27, 1993

Watchtower Bible & Tract Society Brooklyn, New York

My Dear Brethren,

Grace and Peace be with you in His name.

It pains me greatly to have to write you this letter, but, I feel that I must in light of my present circumstances.  My life has changed for the better within the past year despite rumors to the contrary.   My sincere love for you impels me to tell you about it.  It is not a short story, but one I feel needs to be told.

As you well know, it has been over ten years that I have served Jehovah, our Great God, alongside you. I look back on the occasion of my baptism with no regrets.  I did what I believed was the right thing to do based on the knowledge that I had at the time.   I was willing to become an “apostate” to the faith that my parents raised me in.

My reasons for becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was a result of taking in knowledge.  I thank God I never lost my thirst for knowledge.  As many who associated with me know, I have a great love for books.   I have one of the largest collections of Watchtower literature dating back to the 1800s.

Do you know why I made a hobby of collecting this literature?  It was because I wanted to know.  To know, after all, is the root of knowledge.  I also appreciated the heritage that this literature has recorded and represents.  I do not say any of this to boast, but to present my library as a testimony to the fact that I love knowledge.

My faith as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses made me want to share it with everyone.   Occasionally I would meet persons in the field ministry who would offer objections based on what opposers claimed about the organization.  I wanted to be able to refute these claims,  and what better way is there to do so but to examine them and look for the answers in an unbiased way?  The ‘Truth’ book which I studied before my baptism says on page 13, paragraph 5:

    “We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organizations with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God’s Word, or are they based on the traditions of men?  If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination.  It should be the sincere desire of every one of us to learn what God’s will is for us, and then do it. John 8:32.”

The “Awake!” magazine of October 22, 1973, says on page 6:

“If you were on trial in a court of law, would it be fair if only your opponent was allowed to present evidence?  No, you would surely want the court to hear your side of the matter …  Reasonable persons agree that the only fair method is to examine the evidence on both sides, both for and against a disputed theory.  That is how one arrives at the truth.”

Finally, the “Watchtower” of August 1, 1978, says on page 12:

“Over the years, representatives of different churches have published many books and brochures for the purpose of “exposing” Jehovah’s Witnesses as heretics … Naturally, we are not afraid of this kind of publicity, because we know that it serves to awaken the curiosity of many honest persons.”

Because of my own experience and having gained my new found faith as a result of impartial investigation, I quickly saw the wisdom in the above statements.  My curiosity was awakened because I am an honest person.  If the Watchtower was not afraid of honest investigation, why in the world should I be?

Some of what I read made my blood boil, because a few of the opposers spoke of Jehovah’s Witnesses as if they were evil, willing tools of the devil.  No amount of convincing could persuade me to believe such thoughts. I knew that I wasn’t like that and that the overwhelming majority of the Witnesses were not like that either.

My research did lead me to one conclusion, and that is that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is not all that they claimed to be.  Since 1919 onward, supposedly when the Lord came to inspect his “Church” and approved of the “Anointed Remnant,” the Society has made false predictions for Armageddon (1925, 1945, 1975, 1999, Prior to 1919, it was 1914, 1918 just to name a few).  They’ve twisted the Scriptures in support of doctrines that are not in harmony with God’s plans and purpose.  They’ve lied and have flip flopped their doctrines.  They’ve ruined lives, separated families, caused divisions, divorces and mental breakdowns.  All under the guise of “new light.”

Do you remember how the “Watchtower” illustrated its progress towards ultimate truth?  In the December 1, 1981 issue of the Watchtower magazine, on page 27 it states:

    “…it may have seemed to some as though that path has not always gone straight forward.  At times explanations given by Jehovah’s visible organization have shown adjustments, seemingly to previous points of view. But this has not actually been the case.  This might be compared to what is known in navigational circles as “tacking”.  By maneuvering the sails the sailors can cause a ship to go from right to left, back and forth, (zigzag?) but all the time making progress toward their destination…”

It most certainly has too have been the case!  How does that illustration hold through in the light of a more recent “Watchtower”, the August 1, 1992 issue?  On page 17, it reads this way:

   “Hence, to run ‘not certainly’ means that to every observer it should be very evident where the runner is heading.  The Anchor Bible renders it, ‘not on a zigzag course.’  If you saw a set of footprints that meanders up and down the beach, circles around now and then, and even goes backward at times, you would hardly think the person was running at all, let alone that he had any idea where he was heading.”

I could not agree more.  I do not think that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society know where they are going and I am not going to risk my precious relationship with God and Christ by following them wherever it is they think their going.  I am not trying to be sarcastic, I’m just stating my feelings as plainly as I can.

What I have shared with you in this letter is merely the shallowest scratch on the surface of the huge number of problems I found with the form of worship I have pursued for over ten years.  There are many, many more and they are not petty complaints.  They are in fact enough to cause me to determine never to “…be confined again in a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Some will wonder where I will go now for spiritual enlightenment without the organization.  The “Watchtower” of November 15, 1992 says on page 21:

   “We will be impelled to serve Jehovah loyally with his organization if we remember that there is nowhere else to go for life eternal.”

The apostle Peter is then quoted.   Please note that he asked Jesus not, “Lord, to where shall we go away to?”  but, “Lord, to whom shall we go away to?” I have gone to Jesus, there is nowhere else to go.

I thank Almighty God for loving me, for allowing His son to make his unique sacrifice on my behalf and for my wonderful wife.   I thank God for true friends who are “sticking closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)  I thank God that I am free.

I have tearfully debated this subject and I feel that in all honesty to you and myself the only remedy is to disassociate myself from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses at this time.  To remain would be to misrepresent your views and to have you misrepresent my views.  This action, therefore, is not to be understood as a withdrawal from the Church of Christ, whose “names are written in heaven,” but merely a withdrawal from our unauthorized human organization whose names are written on earth.  I will joyfully remember the many happy years we have spent together.

My brothers, I regret to have to say “good-bye”.  Perhaps we will meet again.  If we do, I’m sure that it will be in the Messianic Kingdom.

Faithfully, Yours in Christ,

Rolando Rodriguez

December 25 is being called in question by many as the date of Jesus’ birth. As far as can be learned this date was first mentioned during the third century. Many believe that the existence of heathen festivals celebrated on or about December 25 had great influence on its being accepted by the Roman church for special religious services, including ultimately the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

While the exact day on which Jesus was born cannot be determined, it is certain we think, that it was not in December, but rather about the first of October. When Jesus was born the shepherds of Judea were watching their sheep through the night in open pastures. Palestine does not have extremely cold weather in winter, but it would be too cold near the end of December for shepherds to be spending their nights in the open fields.
The Prophecy of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27) reveals that Jesus’ ministry was to last for three and one-half years. It is a prophecy of sixty-nine symbolic weeks to the coming of the Messiah. Then another “week” is mentioned, the seventieth, in the midst, or middle, of which the Messiah would be “cut off,” this being a reference to Jesus’ death.
A week has seven days, and in prophecy each day represents a year. The rule is set forth in Ezekiel 4:6. This means that each prophetic week is seven years in length. The middle of such a week would therefore mark off a period of three and one-half years. It is very generally agreed that this was the length of Jesus’ ministry.
It is definitely known that Jesus was crucified in the spring of the year, at a date corresponding approximately to the early part of our month of April. This means that his ministry must have begun in the Fall, about the first of October. We are informed in Luke 3:23 that Jesus began his ministry when he was thirty years of age – perhaps even on his thirtieth birthday. Since three and one half years from that date terminated in early April it means that his birthday was about October 1, and not December 25.
Is it proper, then, to celebrate Christmas on the wrong date? Well, in the first place, there is nothing in the Scriptures enjoining Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus at all. Naturally, however, those who appreciate what his birth means both to the church and to the world will always desire to praise the Lord for this evidence of his great love for mankind. Surely it is proper to acknowledge the goodness of God at any time of the year.
The word “Christmas” is not, of course, of biblical origin. It is a contraction of the words, “Christ’s mass,” which naturally associates it with the Roman church. The majority of those who know this still feel that they can enter into the spirit of the occasion, and give thanks to God for the gift of his Son. To what extent an enlightened Christian should enter into the festivities of the day is a question for individual decision.
If sincerity and zeal alone determined what is Truth, then the “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” would have an argument almost second to none, in favor of its teaching. Its publishing organization has flooded the world with a succession of leaflets, pamphlets and books proclaiming its doctrines; its members are untiring in their proselytising zeal, supplementing these public appeals by voluntary donations and goodwill.
All this would be very commendable if the things preached were in accordance with Divine Truth, but if not, the words of the Master apply:
“If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matt. 6: 23). Something more than sincerity, and zeal, and proselytizing fervor is required in the things of God and that is a mind disciplined to seek and accept the truths of His Word. Paul shows, in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that it is possible to be found “false witnesses of God.” He spoke of some who had – “a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10: 2).
These “compassed sea and land to make one prosleyte” only to lead him into greater error (Matt. 23:15). Unfortunately, as we shall show, the energy of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” has been harnessed to error, and not truth.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” have never hesitated to hold up the failings of others for all the world to see, and to classify the world’s denominations as part of “Satan’s organization.” A group that so roughly handles the opinions and teachings of others must, itself, be prepared to have its own ideas ruthlessly examined. If they are firmly based upon the Rock of Truth, it has nothing to fear; but if not, its members are well advised to do what they of Berea are reported to have done when the Apostles preached to them the truth in Christ Jesus: “They searched the Scriptures, whether those things were so” (Acts 17: 11). To quote the Watchtower itself: “The Watchtower… invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures.” – Watchtower August 15, 1950 p. 263
Yet, sad to say, this very journal reveals that Jehovah’s Witnesses are exempt from such examination. That questioning their beliefs and practices is akin to treason, independent thinking, and a subtle design of the Devil. [See Watchtower “Exposing the Devil’s Subtle Designs” 01/15/83 p. 22] Why? Because many passages from the Bible are quoted therein, but many are either quoted out of context, or are misapplied in order to conform to their teachings. A faulty use of Scripture must result in instability of doctrine, and though Truth does not vary with time, it is significant that the doctrines of the “Watchtower” have been constantly revised. An example of this is found in the subject of the restoration of the Jews to Israel. C. T. Russell the founder and first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, taught that the Jews must return in fulfilment of prophecy. His teaching was followed by J.F. Rutherford for some time, but later, changed his mind upon this subject, and today the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” repudiate the very ideas they then set forth before millions of people as truth! Meanwhile, the Jews have and still are returning to the land in fulfilment of prophecy, as the Bible from the very beginning maintained they must (Jer. 31: 10, Ezek. 36: 22-24; 37: 21-22). Yet this truth, now vindicated by events, is vigorously opposed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. We believe that if members of this organization were to carefully examine their teachings, without bias, in the light of Scripture, they would see the need to considerably amend many of their doctrines.
Among the tenets promulgated by the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” are some that are true, false, peculiar to them alone, and some that have been borrowed from other religious systems. They are most outspoken against Roman Catholicism, and yet they cling to some of the teaching of that system.
The reader will understand that it is impossible for us to thoroughly examine all the beliefs propagated by the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” through their various legal entities [e.g. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society] within the compass of this short article. We propose to comment upon a few of those peculiar to them, as our space permits, recognising that much more could be said upon those we touch upon, as well as other matters, if we had more space at our disposal.
We ask the reader to bear with us in this, and (particularly if they are a member of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” to give the evidence we submit thier candid and unbiased consideration. We pray this site and its contents may be, not only an “eye-opener”, but a blessing, in revealing to you God Plan of the Ages. A Plan that will involve every man, women and child … a Plan that involves YOU!