Is the Watchtower the “Right Kind of Messenger?”

***w97 5/1 p.Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger***

Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger

“I am . . . the One making the word of his servant come true, and the One that carries out completely the counsel of his own messengers.”—ISAIAH 44:25, 26.

JEHOVAH GOD is the Grand Identifier of his true messengers. He identifies them by making the messages he delivers through them come true. Jehovah is also the Great Exposer of false messengers. How does he expose them? He frustrates their signs and predictions. In this way he shows that they are self-appointed prognosticators, whose messages really spring from their own false reasoning—yes, their foolish, fleshly thinking!

Whether the Watchtower is a false prophet or not isn’t the issue here.  Instead, we are looking for identifiers to substantiate whether they are the “right kind of messenger” or to the contrary.  In order to determine this, we must first determine whether the Watchtower or, more specifically, the Governing Body, are in the same category of “messengers” to which the quote above speaks.

Does the Governing Body claim that Jehovah delivers messages through them?

***w58 8/15 p. 488 The Watch Tower Society in God’s Purpose***

In all such ways the Watch Tower Society is serving God’s purpose as an efficient legal instrument of his dedicated and anointed servants who are the true channel of communication of Jehovah God today.

***w00 5/1 pp. 15-16 pars. 10-11 Hear What the Spirit Has to Say***

10Another avenue that Jehovah uses to speak to us today is identified by Jesus at Matthew 24:45-47. There he spoke of the spirit-anointed Christian congregation—“the faithful and discreet slave” appointed to provide spiritual “food at the proper time.” As individuals, the members of this class are Jesus’ “domestics.” These, along with “a great crowd” of “other sheep,” receive encouragement and guidance. (Revelation 7:9; John 10:16) Much of this food at the proper time comes in the form of printed publications, such as TheWatchtower, the Awake!, and other publications. Additional spiritual food is dispensed in the form of talks and demonstrations at conventions, assemblies, and congregation meetings.

11 The information provided by “the faithful and discreet slave” is designed to strengthen our faith and train our perceptive powers. (Hebrews 5:14) Such counsel may be general in nature so as to allow each one to make a personal application. From time to time, we also receive counsel that deals with specific aspects of our conduct. What attitude should we have if we are really listening to what the spirit says through the slave class? The apostle Paul answers: “Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive.” (Hebrews 13:17) True, all involved in this process are imperfect men. Still, Jehovah takes delight in using his human servants, though imperfect, to guide us in this time of the end.

A plethora of quotes can be offered in providing little doubt as to whether the Governing Body considers themselves to be the ones through which Jehovah communicates to His followers today.  But how can we know if this is true or false?  The quotation provides us with a very specific criteria by which to judge: Jehovah “frustrates their signs and predictions” and shows that their “messages spring from their own false reasoning.”  Therefore, we have the criteria set forth in very specific terms:

1. You claim to be a messenger through which Jehovah delivers messages (or more specifically, predictions).

2. Your predictions turn out not to be true and are instead, your own false reasonings.

Unfortunately, Watchtower apologists complicate the issue by positing that no claims of inspiration or infallibility are made.  The Society has similarly said as much,

***w62 12/15 p. 762 We Need Jehovah’s Organization***

The men in Jehovah’s organization who prepare spiritual instruction for the Lord’s “sheep” diligently study the Scriptures to learn what God has put there for the instruction and guidance of his people. They make no claim of inspiration—only that they are Bible students. Since their comments on the Scriptures are not inspired, they can at times make mistakes. Does this make them false prophets? Not at all! A false prophet does not correct himself. He persists in proclaiming a wrong view even when he knows that it is wrong. But these students of God’s Word correct misunderstandings when they discover them. They are interested in the truth, not in self-justification. Their mistakes do not mean God’s spirit does not operate upon them; it does, just as it did upon Peter despite his mistakes.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Governing Body has never claimed inspiration (though this is arguable); how does this change the fact that they have claimed to be the one’s through whom Jehovah communicates in addition to making predictions that have failed?  It doesn’t.  If an apologist chooses to raise this objection, it turns out to be little more than a red herring.

Therefore, let’s bring this back to the original question: is the Watchtower the right kind of messenger or the wrong kind of messenger?  The following claims made by the Watchtower should speak for themselves:

*** kj chap. 12 pp. 216-217 pars. 9-11 “Until He Comes Who Has the Legal Right” ***

Shortly, within our twentieth century, the “battle in the day of Jehovah” will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom.

*** km 10/93 p. 8 par. 1 Using Our Magazines From House to House ***

The purpose of Awake! is stated clearly on page 4 of each issue: “This magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.” Certainly such a magazine deserves as wide a distribution as possible in our house-to-house ministry!

6 thoughts on “Is the Watchtower the “Right Kind of Messenger?”

  1. rotherham2 says:

    The perception of a prophet and what that entails is greatly misunderstood. A prophet is one who has given the responsibility and commission of delivering God’s inspired messages. Where do these inspired messages come from? From the Bible, no where else. Not every Joe that picks up a Bible and starts putting forth his teachings has been commissioned by God to do so. It is the commission that makes one the prophet, and the inspired words that he is declaring are coming from the Bible, not from himself.

    Of course even Biblically inspired prophets have been known to misspeak when not experiencing direct inspiration and had to correct themselves. Nathan the prophet was one when he told David to go ahead and build the temple because God was with him.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      Thank you for the thoughts, but i’m not sure how this answers the issue at hand; namely, whether the Watchtower’s false predictions render them, “self-appointed prognosticators, whose messages really spring from their own false reasoning—yes, their foolish, fleshly thinking!”

  2. rotherham2 says:

    Well, as mentioned before, JWs have always expected the right thing, but have sometimes expected them at the wrong time, prematurely. This is no different than what was experienced by Moses, Nathan, and the disciples of Christ. They all expected the right things, but expected them prematurely. They were not rejected by God as being motivated by fleshly thinking. Their thinking was clearly Bible based, it was simply off as to the timeline when things were supposed to happen. This is no different then what has been experienced by God’s people in modern times.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

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