There’s a part in this week’s Service Meeting based on Reasoning from the Scriptures, page 136, paragraph 2. Under the “If Someone Says—“ section we are encouraged to say, “May I show you how the Bible describes false prophets?” Then we are to use the points outlined on pages 132 to 136. That’s five pages of points to show the householder how the Bible describes false prophets!
That’s a lot of points. With that, we should just about cover everything the Bible has to say about the subject, wouldn’t you agree?
Here’s how the Bible describes false prophets:
(Deuteronomy 18:21, 22) And in case you should say in your heart: “How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?” 22 when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him.’
Now I ask you, in the whole of Scripture can you honestly come up with a better, more concise, more succinct explanation on how to identify a false prophet? If you can, I’d love to read it.
So in our five pages of points outlining “how the Bible describes false prophets”, do we refer to these two verses?
WE DO NOT!
Personally, I find the absence of these verses to be most telling. It can’t be that we merely overlooked them. After all, we refer to Deut. 18:18-20 in our discussion. Surely the writers of this topic didn’t stop short at verse 20 in their research.
I can see only one reason for not including these verses in our extensive treatment of this topic. Simply put, they condemn us. We have no defense against them. So we ignore them, pretend they are not there, and hope that they are not raised in any doorstep discussion. Most of all, we hope the average Witness doesn’t become aware of them in this context. Fortunately, we rarely meet anyone at the door who knows the Bible well enough to raise these verses. Otherwise, we might find ourselves, for once, on the receiving end of the “two-edged sword”. For it must be admitted honestly that there have been times when we have ‘spoken in the name of Jehovah’ (as his appointed channel of communication) and the ‘word did not occur or come true’. So “Jehovah did not speak” it. Therefore, it was with ‘presumptuousness that we spoke it’.
If we expect candor and honesty from those in other religions, we have to display it ourselves. However, it appears we have failed to do so in dealing with this topic in the Reasoning book, and elsewhere, for that matter.