This week in the Service Meeting (I can still call it that, at least for the next couple of weeks.) we are being asked to comment on the hour-long video Walking by Faith, Not by Sight. The production values are quite respectable and the acting is not bad either. It depicts an event in graphic detail that we are being told will apply to all Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It is true that we will all have to face serious tests of faith. Jesus told us that unless we are willing to abandon all things for his name, we cannot be worthy of him. That was the meaning behind his words regarding the need for Christians to take up their torture stake (or cross). (Mt 10:37-38) Those who were hung on a stake were stripped of all things including their outer garments. They had to be willing to give up the love of family and friends, their position and status in the community, their good name (not as God viewed it but as the community did) and to be held by others as beneath contempt. All that and their life too. (De 21:22-23)
How each of us will be tested individually is not something we can predict with any accuracy. Indeed, if we attempt to do so, we can get into trouble and this is where this week’s review of the video is likely to lead.
The organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses would have us believe that a similar event will occur in our day. They’re looking for an anti-typical fulfillment in which the nations will surround Jehovah’s Witnesses in an all-out attack. Our teaching is that after all other religions are destroyed, we will be – organizationally speaking – “the last man standing.” Then the nations will notice us and turn on us.
This is based on their particular application of the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel concerning the attack of Gog of Magog. Of course, this application could well be to another time. The only parallel account is found at Revelation 20:8-10 and that is clearly speaking of a time after the 1,000 year reign of Christ has ended. Whatever the case, it is not analogous to the siege of Jerusalem in 66 C.E., because in both Ezekiel and Revelation God’s people do not have to do anything to be saved. This was not the case in the first century. Jesus gave his disciples very clear and precise instructions on what to do. He did not leave them in doubt or guessing.
What about us as Christians? Has Jesus told us what to do prior to Armageddon to be saved? The only thing he tells us to do is to endure. (Mt 24:13) He does say not to be misled by false prophets and false Christs (anointed ones). He also says that the angels will gather his chosen ones, giving the distinct impression that our salvation is not in our hands. (Mt 24:23-28, 31)
However, faithful reliance on Christ and endurance is not good enough for many. We cannot fully trust in our Lord to handle matters. We feel we have to do something ourselves as well. We need some specific instruction, a plan of action.
Enter the Governing Body. Though there is nothing in the Bible telling us to be on the watch for specific instructions for our salvation coming from a group of men, this is what we have come to believe.
It is true that the Bible says: “For the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) However, the foremost prophet, Jesus Christ, has foretold what will happen. We have no need of more instruction. So why should we think that there is something more not stated in Scripture? Who is telling us that what the Scriptures say is not enough? Who is making an antitypical application…again? Who would have us believe that more scrolls are to be opened before Armageddon?
(w13 11/15 p. 20 par. 17 Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today)
“At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not.”
This revelation is coming from the same Organization that thought Armageddon was coming in 1914, then again in 1925 and then again in 1975. The same Organization that has reinterpreted Matthew 24:34 more times then there are fingers on both your hands, and has now given us the remarkable “overlapping generations doctrine”. We are now expected to believe that our loving Father would choose such a discredited source as the sole means by which we can be saved?
Would that not be contradicting his own warning to us not to “put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs”? (Ps 146:3)
The Governing Body would have us believe that specific instructions will be forthcoming from Jehovah God, and they will be acting as his spokesman – despite Geoffrey Jackson’s sworn testimony to the contrary – directing us to salvation. Our very survival will depend on our unquestioning obedience to their directives.
“Let the reader use discernment.” (Mark 13:14)
If you go to the meeting this week please share with us the comments you hear from the audience to help us understand how the brotherhood is thinking and how widespread the problem really is.
I fear that the Governing Body is setting the flock up for a colossal disappointment, and possibly much more, possibly a great tragedy.