Salvation outside the Watchtower

The Watchtower teaches that there is no salvation outside of “Jehovah’s Organization.”  But this statement is somewhat vague, as we can both agree and disagree.  So, let’s start with the agreement.

If Jehovah Himself has established something and commanded His followers to be a part of it without qualification, then obviously, we should do so.  To that extent, we can find some agreement with the Watchtower.  But where the Christian may part ways is whether the Bible teaches this.  And if it teaches it, are there exceptions?

According to the Watchtower, its much more black and white.  I’m willing to be corrected on this, but i’ve yet to see anything from the Watchtower stating something along the lines of, “All true Christians should worship Jehovah and remain in faithful association with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses…unless…”  Instead, we get very clear and often unqualified instructions with no exceptions:

***w93 9/15 p.22 They Compassionately Shepherd the Little Sheep***

If we were to draw away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation and true joy.

***km 11/90 p.par.Directing Bible Students to Jehovah’s Organization***

Bible students need to get acquainted with the organization of the “one flock” Jesus spoke about at John 10:16. They must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation. (Rev. 7:9, 10, 15) Therefore, we should start directing our Bible students to the organization as soon as a Bible study is established.

What is meant by “Jehovah’s organization?”  Clearly, it is the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are in association with the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.  Therefore, if you do not worship with them, regardless of the reasonthen you cannot have eternal life.  In light of this, I have a few thoughts and questions.

What if the Watchtower leadership goes into apostasy (which would require “independent thinking” to even begin to determine and is expressly forbidden)?

According to the Watchtower,

***w80 8/1 p.18 par. Remain “Solid in the Faith”***

The apostasy that was “already at work” while some of Christ’s apostles were still alive became prolific “in later periods of time,” that is, after their death. The five telltale signs became increasingly apparent from the second century on and reached a climax in the fourth century. This mass apostasy was due to occur before the “presence of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “the day of Jehovah.”—2 Thess. 2:1-12.

Since its supposed climax in the fourth century, how would the faithful Christian during this time have known which organization to belong to, lest they forfeit their salvation?  In addition, the faithful Christian would certainly have had to manifest “independent thinking” (again, which is expressly forbidden to faithful Christians) to even consider which organization to belong to in the midst of such a mass apostasy.

Is it possible that in the midst of such rampant apostasy and plurality of beliefs (which is certainly with us today), that some faithful Christians may feel obliged to worship Jehovah individually and with a small gathering of believers in their homes?  The “faithful” part must be emphasized, because the Watchtower would certainly not refer to them as “faithful” since they are not worshipping within “Jehovah’s Organization.”

This is an issue that Christians like myself have to work through and is not as black and white as Jehovah’s Witnesses might believe.  But then again, to think otherwise would be “independent thinking.”  However, I would challenge Jehovah’s Witnesses to think through this and realize that faithful Christians come to Christ for salvation and not an organization (John 14:6).  While being organized and having some type of organization is something Christians should strive for, its not always possible or easy.

17 thoughts on “Salvation outside the Watchtower

  1. Danny Haszard says:

    Their Watchtower society message,in 180 languages, is the same: God is soon going to execute every living person on the planet, except Jehovah’s Witnesses. They also actively encourage people to reject life-saving medical treatment involving some common blood products such as plasma and red cells.
    The origin of all Watchtower teachings that makes them unique over all other religions is their creed of Jesus second coming ‘invisibly’ in the year 1914.

    For background critical information on Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs and practices browse my blog.
    Danny Haszard FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

  2. rotherham2 says:

    Your difficulty is in not seeing that the “organization” IS Christianity, they are synonymous. Christianity IS an organization.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      Clearly, we have differing positions on what Christianity is or isn’t. But consider this:

      If the Jehovah’s Witnesses go into apostasy, then are we abandoning “Christianity” if we choose to abandon them?

      Or let’s get more specific; if the Watchtower Society becomes apostate, then would you be abandoning Christianity if you chose to abandon the WT?

  3. rotherham2 says:

    It would likely depend on your definition of apostasy, but If the WT went into apostasy they would be rejected by God as “Christianity”, therefore, any Christian who would follow suite in rejecting an apostate organization would surely not be rejecting true Christianity.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      Let’s just use the WT’s definition of apostasy or the sake of argument. Hopefully, in doing so you can better understand my questions in this post.

      But if the WT were to go apostate, then wouldn’t you have to use independent thinking to come to that conclusion; something they expressly forbid?

  4. rotherham2 says:

    Your confusion lies in thinking that ALL independent thinking is forbidden. All have independent thinking. The problem lies when ones independent thinking begins to usurp the arrangement of God. That is where one should check their autonomous desires. If the WT went apostate, then they would no longer be representing the arrangement of God. But your question is a contrived notion anyway.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      I’m not seeing how your explanation makes sense. Consider the simplicity of the situation:

      Watchtower = arranged by God

      Challenging the Watchtower = challenging God

      Challenging Watchtower teaching XYZ = challenging God

      If the Watchtower began teaching apostate idea X, then you would be challenging God if the above is true. But the Watchtower claims that you should not challenge idea X, because you would be challenging God. See the dilemma?

      As for independent thinking, please show me where the Watchtower has qualified this in the way in which you have stated? My point is to show that all thinking must be done within the doctrinal parameters as expressed in the publications. Therefore, the parameters should not be challenged; thus, concluding that apostate teachings could not be challenged.

  5. rotherham2 says:

    The Watchtower has never addressed the idea as to what would happen if they apostatized because the notion is considered ridiculous. From what I know of them, I would agree.

    The Bible takes precedent in any teaching within the JW congregations. If there were clear and unquestionable deviation from an established Biblical teaching, if that were maintained and not expeditiously corrected, they would lose God’s favor and be rejected as his earthly organization and God would establish another. Those who appreciate the Bible as the final word would follow as it would naturally result in a schism..

    The WT is considered to be like the eyeglass that helps one understand the true teachings from God’s word. It is however, recognized as fallible. The scriptures, as far as they are translated properly, reflect the perfect word of God and the Bible is well known to be our primary textbook. It is infallible and takes full precedent in any understanding, teaching or practice. Therefore, with the Bible at the helm, your above contrived scenario is not an issue.

    Although the organization is considered God’s arrangement, that would only be as long as they were devoted to the teachings of the Bible. Just as Israel was rejected for corruption, so could the WT. Israel was God’s nation but became corrupt to the point that God rejected them as a nation. Not individually but as a nation. Jesus told them that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to nation producing its fruits.

    Those who adhere first to God’s Word would clearly see the reason for their rejection, but as I said, the notion is a purposeful contrivance on your part. The WT has proven faithful in changing as they discern error, as they should. They are lovers of truth and will change as the revelation and clarification of truth continues.This would be in harmony with the idea presented in the parable of the wheat and the weeds.

    Besides, one can question what they will. The problem is not questions or doubts, it is the promoting of teachings against what has been accepted by the governing body. In the first century, that was the Apostles as all congregation adhered to the teachings of the Apostles. In the harvest it would be the FDS as mentioned in Matthew or the wheat as mentioned in the prophecy about the wheat and the weeds. Ephesians 4:11-17 would be in full support of that type of arrangement.

  6. Octavio says:

    One of the apostate teachings of the Watchtower is the false teaching of the earhtly hope of the Great Crowd seen in Revelation chapter 7. In Revelation 7:15 John sees the Great Crowd in the “sanctuary of the temple” (the greek word NAOS). The sanctuary, was a place only for priests. This happened in both, the Salomon’s Temple, and in the Herod’s Temple. The Society knew that, however, in the book “Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand!”, published by the Watchtower Society, it is said that NAOS may also be used for the courtyard of the temple. This is a big lie. They are teaching that the Great Crowd will be on earth but Revelation 7:15 says the contrary. They had to distort a greek word to support this false teaching.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Octavio-

      I actually completely disagree with this, even though I’d otherwise agree with your opposition to the WT in some other cases to be sure.

      If Jesus and God will eschatalogically dwell on earth with Christians, then wouldn’t this lead to 7:15 to refer to a location on earth?

      1. Octavio says:

        Fisrtly, the Watchtower Society affirms that the Great Crowd is a group of faithful ones who will serve in the courtyard of the antitypical temple. Where is the Great Crowd according to Revelation 7:15?. They are the sanctuary of God ( EN TW NAW TOU QEOU ). Did the sanctuary include a courtyard in the Herod’s Temple or in the Salomon’s Temple? . No. Secondly, the Watchtower Society affirms that the Great Crowd was identified in 1935 as an earthly secondary class who does not belong to the body of Christ because they are not “priest”, because they serve in the courtyard. So, they can’t partake in the Lord’s supper. However, the fact that the Great Crowd is seen in the NAOS of God means that they are not a secondary class of believers, they are in the most sacred place, not in a courtyard. You know that only priests could enter in the NAOS, not gentile ones. So, the Great Crowd is composed of spiritual Jews in the same sense as the 144000. So, it is dishonest to affirm that the word NAOS may include a courtyard. You may read Revelation 11:1-2 to clearly see that the courtyard is outside of the NAOS. Of course, in these verses NAOS is not necessarily a heavenly place, it may be seen as a spiritual condition. However, in most places of Revelation, the sanctuary (NAOS) is in heaven.

  7. Octavio says:

    This is what the Watchtower Society said :

    True, it is later described at Revelation 7:15 as serving God “in his temple.” But this temple does not refer to the inner sanctuary, the Most Holy. Rather, it is the earthly courtyard of God’s spiritual temple. The Greek word naos, here translated “temple,” often conveys the broad sense of the entire edifice erected for Jehovah’s worship. Today, this is a spiritual structure that embraces both heaven and earth. (Revelation its Grand climax at hand, page 124, 2006 edition)

    So, when the Society says that NAOS (sanctuary) “often conveys the broad sense of the entire edifice”, this is a dishonest satement on this word, because the word which coveys the broad sense is the greek word HIERON. They know that because the Society has published about this difference in a Watchtower article in the 60s. There is no support in the Bible to overlapp the sanctuary with the courtyard. Now the question , does Revelation 7:15 suggest that the Great Crowd will serve on Earth?, Was this a new light given to Rutherford in 1935?

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