Did the Watchtower’s “Faithful Slave” claim the Holy Spirit’s functions ceased?

While this issue has a complex history and much can be written, I want to keep this as simple as possible.  Let’s first cover what the Watchtower has stated regarding the work of the Holy Spirit since 1919:

*** ip-1 chap. 25 p. 340 par. 20 The King and His Princes ***

Happily, since 1919, Jehovah’s spirit has been poured out in abundance upon his people, restoring, as it were, a fruit-bearing orchard of anointed Witnesses, to be followed by an expanding forest of other sheep.

*** kj chap. 11 p. 208 par. 34 Disappointment in Store for Overconfident Ones ***

These anointed spiritual Israelites Jehovah has purified still more since their deliverance from Babylonish bondage in 1919 C.E. Under the guidance of his holy spirit these restored ones have done just as he foretold: “They will certainly come there and remove all its disgusting things and all its detestable things out of it.”

*** w63 11/1 p. 658 par. 12 How All Scripture Inspired of God is Beneficial ***

Since the close of World War I in 1918 we students of God’s Word have needed the assistance of God’s spirit just as much as those first Christians did on that day of Pentecost of A.D. 33. Otherwise we could not have discerned the marvelous fulfillment of the Bible prophecies giving proof to our eyes, minds and hearts that God’s Messianic kingdom was established in heaven A.D. 1914 to put down all God’s enemies and to give mankind a perfect government of righteousness.

What’s interesting is the manner in which Judge Rutherford, who is now considered to be or part of the Governing Body during his time of leadership, speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Please consider:

“But when the Lord Jesus comes to his temple and gathers his approved ones into the temple, is there any further need for the office of the holy spirit as a helper and advocate?  If not, then the advocacy of the holy spirit would there cease.  Jesus, being in the temple and with his chosen ones, would act for them directly.” (Watchtower, September 1, 1930 p. 263)

“It would seem that there would be no necessity for the ‘servant’ to have an advocate such as the holy spirit, because the ‘servant’ to have an advocate is in direct communication with Jehovah and as Jehovah’s instrument, and Christ Jesus acts for the entire body.” (p. 263)

“‘The servant’ is anointed to do a specific work.  ‘The servant’ is made up of Christ Jesus the Head, the resurrected saints, and the called and chosen ones on the earth who have been brought into the temple and who have entered into the joy of the Lord.  Individually those of the remnant on earth must have their standing before God in the beloved One Christ Jesus, and the beloved One is their advocate.  Being in the temple, however, there would seem to be no good reason why there should be an advocacy in their behalf by the holy spirit, since the Lord is now with them.” (p. 263)

“When the temple class is gathered the administration of the holy spirit as an advocate, it seems, would be at an end.” (p. 263)

The holy spirit that had been the guide of God’s people, having performed its functions, was taken away, and the Lord Jesus himself, being present, represented his people and advocated in their behalf before Jehovah God, that is, in behalf of those who had fallen into distress because of their failure to properly use their lips in proclaiming the truth.” (Salvation, 1939 p. 217)

As the above quotes consider the work of the Holy Spirit or lack thereof, below will speak to the work of angels:

“But it seems certain that when Jesus came to his temple and began his work of judgment he would direct his holy angels to take the necessary action to cause the separation of the disapproved ones from the approved ones, and would use his angels to bear messages to them to direct the approved ones as to what to do…the angels are there for this purpose, and it is not the demonstration of the parakletos or holy spirit as a helper that directs men to do the separating work.  If the holy spirit as a helper were directing the work, then there would be no good reason for employing the angels.” (p. 263)

“Instead of the ‘servant’s’ being moved into action by the operation of the holy spirit as a helper, the Scriptures seem clearly to teach that the Lord directs his angels what to do and that they act under the supervision of the Lord in directing the remnant on earth concerning the course of action to take. -Rev. 8:1-7″ (p. 263)

“It was the holy spirit that operated upon the minds of men in the early church to take certain action; but now the Lord Jesus himself has returned, is in his temple, and, acting by and through his holy angels, puts it into the mind and heart of the remnant class to take positive action to do a certain work; and this work has been going on, especially since 1922.” (p. 263)

“After the holy spirit as an advocate or paraclete ceased to function in behalf of the consecrated, then the angels are employed in behalf of those who are being made ready for the kingdom. ‘For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all they ways’ -Ps. 91:11″ (Preservation, 1932 p. 51-52)

“By his spirit, the holy spirit, Jehovah God guides or leads his people up to a certain point of time, and thus he did until the time when ‘the comforter’ was taken away, which would necessarily occur when Jesus, the Head of his organization, came to the temple and gathered unto himself those whom he found faithful when he, as the great Judge, began his judgment, in 1918.” (p. 193-194)

It seems undoubtedly clear that the angels replaced or took over the work of the holy spirit; the same work that took place in the early church.  Therefore, it could be said that the holy spirit would no longer direct as he once did, and this would be given over to angels.

In light of these claims, it seems very difficult to justify the Watchtower’s current claims of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing the Governing Body when they argued in the 1930’s that this work had ceased.  Therefore, let us consider a few questions:

1. Was the holy spirit directing the work of Judge Rutherford even though he denied it?

2. How could you be directed by the Holy Spirit and not know it?

3. Would Jesus Christ have chosen the Faithful Slave in 1918-1919, knowing full well that they would deny the directing work of the holy spirit?

4. When did the Governing Body abandon the false teaching of the holy spirit’s ceasing work in 1918?  Did they make this abandonment clear?

5.  Did the Watchtower ever make a sincere apology for their false teaching and leading other astray?

6. What about those faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses who died believing that the Holy Spirit’s role had ceased?  Was their salvation lost as a result of believing such an absurdly false doctrine?

7.  If the Watchtower can teach something so detrimental and false, what guarantee do you have that they can’t teach such falsities today?

If i’ve somehow misinterpreted or taken out of context Rutherford’s view of the holy spirit’s cessation, then i’m happy to be corrected.  I’d welcome anyone to check the contexts of the quotes above and see for themselves what Rutherford was teaching.  Therefore, i’ve posted the scans of the relevant pages in the links below:

Watchtower September 1, 1930 p. 262-264

Preservation 1932 p. 51-52 and 193-194

Salvation 1939 p. 216-217

117 thoughts on “Did the Watchtower’s “Faithful Slave” claim the Holy Spirit’s functions ceased?

  1. Octavio says:

    Mike: As I see, the things are clearly shown in the above quotes. The Holy Spirit was an obstacle for Rutherford’s leadership. ……The Holy Spirit can be the helper for any sincere christian, the Holy Spirit can give many to the Truth. So, if you remove this helper, and you claim that since 1918 the “temple class” or “the servant class” is receiving angelical messages from God, no one, except you and your closer friends in the Writing Department, can claim divine authority to establish new teachings. This was specially written to minimize the christian freedom of those early Bible Student who were opposed to the new teachings of Rutherford. This was an ad hoc “new light”, used to increase the “divine authority” of Rutherford’s leadership. It shows how evil was this man.

  2. Octavio says:

    …..think about it, the Christian age was established by the distribution of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost in 33 AD. However, Rutherford closed this age by removing the Helper since 1918. This evil and heretical view was ignored by Fred Franz and Nathan Knorr after Rutherford’s death.

  3. Mike Felker says:

    Hi Octavio-

    What’s interesting to me is that every JW during that time could have rightfully opposed Rutherford on this doctrine, as such a teaching is so blatantly absurd on every level. Yet, Rotherham would argue that the JW’s during this time should be commended for keeping any disagreements to themselves or just believing whatever Rutherford taught, no matter how absurd it was.

    I think we have a clear parallel as to how a JW must believe what the Watchtower teaches, no matter how blatantly contradictory it is to what the Bible teaches.

  4. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike,

    This is another interesting quote:

    “These angels are invisible to human eyes and are there to carry out the orders of the Lord. No doubt they first hear the instruction which the Lord issues to his remnant and then these invisible messengers pass such instruction on to the remnant. The facts show that the angels of the Lord with him at his temple have been thus rendering sacred service unto the remnant since 1919.” (Vindication, 1932, vol.3, p.250)

    Now, we know that the Holy Spirit was not helping this “remmant” led by Rutherford. So I wonder, what kind of angels were helping him when he organized the campaign which pointed to the year 1925 as the year when the ancient worthies would resurrect?. I suspect they were not the angels of God.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      I’ve become quite the expert in the “honey-do” list, so I understand! Take your time as i’m sure you’ll need to research this.

      Also, I added an additional quote thanks to Octavio from a 1939 publication, showing this particular doctrine lasted for at least a decade, which is completely appalling. It’s hard to imagine that the spirit was guiding Rutherford when he was explicitly denying the spirit’s involvement. Yet, if the JW is to be consistent, those living in the 1930’s should be commended for believing this doctrine, all for the sake of “unity.” Again, if i’m incorrect in my interpretation on this issue, i’ll look forward to the correction.

      1. Love4Truth says:

        Hello I don’t know if this would be of help but you asked three questions and this comment does not answer it; but maybe it can help just a little regarding the first three questions.

        1. Was the holy spirit directing the work of Judge Rutherford even though he denied it?

        2. How could you be directed by the Holy Spirit and not know it?

        3. Would Jesus Christ have chosen the Faithful Slave in 1918-1919, knowing full well that they would deny the directing work of the holy spirit?

        It was propheciesed that John the Baptist was Elijah; but despite being the God fearing man that he was, he denied being Elijah.

      2. Christopher says:

        This was a long time but I ran across something that reminded me of your post. I went by a different name back then, love4truth. My original comment is still hear, thanx.
        So here is a c&p of my original comment,

        ” Hello I don’t know if this would be of help but you asked three questions and this comment does not answer it; but maybe it can help just a little regarding the first three questions.

        1. Was the holy spirit directing the work of Judge Rutherford even though he denied it?

        2. How could you be directed by the Holy Spirit and not know it?

        3. Would Jesus Christ have chosen the Faithful Slave in 1918-1919, knowing full well that they would deny the directing work of the holy spirit?

        It was propheciesed that John the Baptist was Elijah; but despite being the God fearing man that he was, he denied being Elijah. ”

        You asked where in the bible does John the baptized deny he’s Elijah.
        (John.19-21)

        19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

        21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

        He said, “I am not.”

      3. John Denied being Elijah says:

        (JOHN.1:19-21) Answers (3) of you questions.
        1. Was the holy spirit directing the work of Judge Rutherford even though he denied it?

        2. How could you be directed by the Holy Spirit and not know it?

        3. Would Jesus Christ have chosen the Faithful Slave in 1918-1919, knowing full well that they would deny the directing work of the holy spirit?

        It was propheciesed that John the Baptist was Elijah; but despite being the God fearing man that he was, he denied being Elijah. ”

        You asked where in the bible does John the baptized deny he’s Elijah.
        (John.19-21)

        19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
        21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.”

  5. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    In quickly reading through this, my preliminary thought is this: Rutherford appears to me to be making an unnecessary distinction without a real difference and our critics appar to be making an unnecessary mountain out of a molehill.

    I am just wondering, of what real difference would it make if direction was coming from Christ and not the holy spirit? Not that I believe that is the case, or ever was, but I am wondering what’s the big issue here? Am I mising something? It’s not like they were denying divine guidance, right?

    Regards,
    Rotherhm

    1. Mike Felker says:

      Rotherham-

      I’m quite surprised you don’t think it’s a big deal as to where the guidance was coming from. Do you not find it odd that Rutherford was being guided by the spirit and didn’t know it? Apparently, neither the spirit, angels, or Jehovah was guiding Rutherford when he taught for at least a decade that the spirit’s functions had ceased in 1918.

      Also, it’s troubling that you don’t think it was a big deal when apparently Rutherford did, as he spent a decent amount of space covering the topic. I think the Bible can speak for itself in showing how big of a deal and essential the spirit’s role is for anyone who calls themselves a Christian. Also, the Watchtower also views the role of the spirit as quite necessary and I see no indication that they ever thought something like, “Does it really matter where this guidance comes from whether Jesus, angels, Jehovah, or the spirit?”

      Also, consider the whole issue of angelic communication in the place of the spirit. Is that a big issue or is it not?

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        You said:
        I’m quite surprised you don’t think it’s a big deal as to where the guidance was coming from. Do you not find it odd that Rutherford was being guided by the spirit and didn’t know it? Apparently, neither the spirit, angels, or Jehovah was guiding Rutherford when he taught for at least a decade that the spirit’s functions had ceased in 1918.

        #############################
        Being guided by the angels, the Son, or the holy spirit are all tantamount to the same thing,that’s why I don’t see why Ritherford had to make a distinction. They are all ultimately from the same divine source, coming from the Father.
        ##############################

        Also, it’s troubling that you don’t think it was a big deal when apparently Rutherford did, as he spent a decent amount of space covering the topic. I think the Bible can speak for itself in showing how big of a deal and essential the spirit’s role is for anyone who calls themselves a Christian.

        ################################
        The comments were made in regard to the anointed of Christ who were collectively viewed as the FDS at that time, not all Christians.
        ################################

        Also, the Watchtower also views the role of the spirit as quite necessary and I see no indication that they ever thought something like, “Does it really matter where this guidance comes from whether Jesus, angels, Jehovah, or the spirit?”

        ###################################
        What is necessary is divine guidance. If the Father chooses that to come via angels, the spirit or the Son, what of it?
        ###################################

        Also, consider the whole issue of angelic communication in the place of the spirit. Is that a big issue or is it not?

        ###################################
        Once again, if that is the manner that God chose to relate a message, what of it? When angels delivered messages to men from God, was the message somehow inferior or corrupt or second-rate because it didn’t come directly from the holy spirit? Of course not, it was viewed as ultimately coming from GOd, no matter who or what directly delivered it.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

  6. Octavio says:

    Rotherham’s answer shows that the Watchtower leaders may publish theological rubbish, and the witnesses must accept it no matter how absurd it is. Jesus said “how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:13). Nevertheless, for more than 10 years, a slave who claims divine authority since 1919, contradicted his owner, by telling to his readers that the Holy Spirit was no longer useful. Of course, if you say that, how could you hope the aid of the Holy Spirit?. This means that no holy spirit was involved in 1935, when “the great crowd” (Rev. 7:15) was identified as a secondary group of christians who can’t partake in the Lord’s Supper, because, according to Rutherford, these ones do not belong to the body of Christ.
    If the Pope or some prominent Protestant leader would have published such a teaching, The Watchtower would accuse him of apostate.

  7. Octavio says:

    As Rutherford pointed out, no holy spirit helped his anointed group. Indeed that was the case, because no prophecy of the Watchtower Society came to happen in Rutherford’s years. Rutherford claimed that his anointed elite was receiving divine instructions through the angels. So, they could not be the angels of God, because faithful angels do not transmit false messages. For instance, in the first year of Rutheford’s precidency, in 1917, the Watchtower Society was distributing (by a monetary price), the Finished Msytery. This book has traces of spiritism. One of the authors of this book was Clayton Woodworth, who declared to be under demonical control some years before he was accepted as a Watchtower interpreter of the book of Revelation. The following was a Woodworth portion of his declaration in a Bible Student Convention:

    “There was a time for five consecutive nights when I never slept a wink; then came a time when the strain was too much; my mind became unbalanced, and I came directly under the influence of evil spirits, so much so that for three days I was as completely under demonical control … ” (“The Vow”, Thirteenth Souvenir Report , 1913, pages 274-275.)

    This explains why the prophecies of the Watchtower Society never happen. Let us read one of them, published in The Finished Mystery:

    “It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion’s travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918. (See Rev. 3:14.) That will be 7 years prior to 1925. At that time there is every reason to believe the fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Nominal Church people, driving them to exceedingly unwise conduct and leading to their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses, who will later be dragged to the same fate.”(The Finished Mystery, page 128, 1918 edition)

    As you read, the Watchtower prophesied against protestants and catholics. But, no enraged crowd destroyed demonized people of the Christendom in 1918. Instead, were not the fallen angels who invaded the minds of the anointed elite of the Watchtower Society???
    As you may note, the Finished Mystery was one of the most absurd works published during Rutherford’d precidency. However, What the modern Watchtower’s justification for this book?, let us read:

    “Flashes of Light — Great and Small (Part 2)
    The Bible book of Revelation has intrigued Christians from early times. It provides a fine example of how the light of truth grows ever brighter. In 1917, Jehovah’s people published an explanation of Revelation in the book The Finished Mystery. It fearlessly exposed Christendom’s religious and political leaders, but many of its explanations were borrowed from various sources. Still, The Finished Mystery served to test the Bible Students’ loyalty to the visible channel Jehovah was using.” (The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, p. 21)

    So, according to the Watchtower leaders, God used a demonized book as a test of loyalty for the members of the Watchtower Society.

  8. Mike Felker says:

    Rotherham,

    What Octavio said. I would also add that this is much more than Rutherford being wrong about the source (even though it was absolutely NOT from Jehovah, the spirit, or angels). It has to do with his claim that the spirit’s work had ceased in 1918. This is a big deal, contrary to what you think. And I think your leaders would agree that it’s a big deal.

  9. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    I haven’t read Octavio’s comments. Why don’t you just address point for point what I said in my last post. Please don’t defer me to Octavio as I will not read his comments.

    You seemed to have missed what I said about the fact that this claim was just in relation to the anointed, not the other sheep. Surely, the work of the holy spirit continued for them as well as it would for anyone else in the world seeking God from a pure heart and motivation. There was no change with that.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      I deferred to Octavio because he answered your claims. If you refuse to read what I deferred to (it’s not like I’m sending you to an ex-JW website), then I can’t help you. Honestly, I find this to be childish because I could just copy and paste his comments as my own and you’d probably address them. But why would I play that game?

  10. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike :

    The readers of this site may notice how fanatic are the Watchtower apologists….., however, Rotherham has declared an interesting view:

    “…the holy spirit continued for them as well as it would for anyone else in the world seeking God from a pure heart and motivation….”

    If so, why would God destroy in Armageddon those sincere trinitarian christians with pure heart motivations?,.. . Could not the holy spirit help them in their christian work?…Let us read some claims of the Watchtower Magazine:

    “Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.” (Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19 )

    “Is it presumptuous of Jehovah’s Witnesses to point out that they alone have God’s backing? Actually, no more so than when the Israelites in Egypt claimed to have God’s backing in spite of the Egyptians’ belief, or when the first-century Christians claimed to have God’s backing to the exclusion of Jewish religionists.”( Watchtower 2001 Jun 1 p.16)

    Nevertheless, if, according to Rotherham, the Holy Spirit can help those who sincerely seek God, why should God destroy them for not being associated with the Watchtower Organization? Why only those in the Watchtower organization have God’s backing?

  11. rotherham2 says:

    It’s amatter of principle, Mike. I’m sure you can understand that if you try. Besides, what did he bring up that my comments don’t cover? Just tell me and I’ll answer, but please, could you just go back and cover the post that I made earlier and comment point for point? I am sure everything will be covered that needs covered via that process.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. Mike Felker says:

      Rotherham,

      “As Rutherford pointed out, no holy spirit helped his anointed group. Indeed that was the case, because no prophecy of the Watchtower Society came to happen in Rutherford’s years. Rutherford claimed that his anointed elite was receiving divine instructions through the angels. So, they could not be the angels of God, because faithful angels do not transmit false messages. For instance, in the first year of Rutheford’s precidency, in 1917, the Watchtower Society was distributing (by a monetary price), the Finished Msytery. This book has traces of spiritism. One of the authors of this book was Clayton Woodworth, who declared to be under demonical control some years before he was accepted as a Watchtower interpreter of the book of Revelation. The following was a Woodworth portion of his declaration in a Bible Student Convention:

      “There was a time for five consecutive nights when I never slept a wink; then came a time when the strain was too much; my mind became unbalanced, and I came directly under the influence of evil spirits, so much so that for three days I was as completely under demonical control … ” (“The Vow”, Thirteenth Souvenir Report , 1913, pages 274-275.)

      This explains why the prophecies of the Watchtower Society never happen. Let us read one of them, published in The Finished Mystery:

      “It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion’s travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918. (See Rev. 3:14.) That will be 7 years prior to 1925. At that time there is every reason to believe the fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Nominal Church people, driving them to exceedingly unwise conduct and leading to their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses, who will later be dragged to the same fate.”(The Finished Mystery, page 128, 1918 edition)

      As you read, the Watchtower prophesied against protestants and catholics. But, no enraged crowd destroyed demonized people of the Christendom in 1918. Instead, were not the fallen angels who invaded the minds of the anointed elite of the Watchtower Society???
      As you may note, the Finished Mystery was one of the most absurd works published during Rutherford’d precidency. However, What the modern Watchtower’s justification for this book?, let us read:

      “Flashes of Light — Great and Small (Part 2)
      The Bible book of Revelation has intrigued Christians from early times. It provides a fine example of how the light of truth grows ever brighter. In 1917, Jehovah’s people published an explanation of Revelation in the book The Finished Mystery. It fearlessly exposed Christendom’s religious and political leaders, but many of its explanations were borrowed from various sources. Still, The Finished Mystery served to test the Bible Students’ loyalty to the visible channel Jehovah was using.” (The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, p. 21)

      So, according to the Watchtower leaders, God used a demonized book as a test of loyalty for the members of the Watchtower Society.”

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        I am not deeply familiar with all the claims made here as to their accuracy and intent, but let’s take an overall view of things and see if we can’t resolve the problem.

        These kinds of errors and misdirections were a result of imperfect men not properly processing whatever proddings they were receiving from God. It was a mix of truth and falsehood that was allowed to pass at that time and they were clearly in need of a cleansing, which is what we perceive was performed by Christ soon after the establishment of his kingdom circa 1914. This should remind you of our earlier discussions about the separation of the wheat from the weeds and Malachi chapter 3.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

    2. Mike Felker says:

      Rotherham,

      It’s all a matter of principle, yes. And I have principles too, which includes everyone in this forum having a voice as long as they do so respecftully. As you know, my time is very limited and that may involve others carrying on the conversation when I can’t. If you just want to ignore them, that’s fine. I do this pimarily for the viewers anyway and they should see quite clearly what’s going on here.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        I agree. The readers definitely need to see what is going on here.

        Regards

  12. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    I am not deeply familiar with all the claims made here as to their accuracy and intent, but let’s take an overall view of things and see if we can’t resolve the problem.

    These kinds of errors and misdirections were a result of imperfect men not properly processing whatever proddings they were receiving from God. It was a mix of truth and falsehood that was allowed to pass at that time and they were clearly in need of a cleansing, which is what we perceive was performed by Christ soon after the establishment of his kingdom circa 1914. This should remind you of our earlier discussions about the separation of the wheat from the weeds and Malachi chapter 3.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      I find it interesting that you conveniently give past Watchtower leaders a free pass on these mistakes. In other words, aside from their positions as leaders (with apparently more spiritual insight), they’re just fallible men like anyone else. After all, we all make mistakes, right? Yet, the GB would not advocate anyone taking such an attitude towards them. After all, your salvation depends on believing everything the WT teaches, right?

      Once again, we come to the issue: was “the Finished Mystery” and every other WT publication spirit guided or wasn’t it? If it wasn’t spirit guided, then who was guiding it?

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        The WT freely admits that they have made mistakes. That’s the problem when you dont have inspiration and you are dealing with imperfect men. The truth can become mixed with the false for a time, but as the light gets brighter, the truth will prevail and grow and the falsehoods will diminish and eventually disappear. Its a process recognized by the FDS and the “rank and file” alike.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

  13. rotherham2 says:

    HI Mike,

    I notice that Mr. Woodworth’s confession of having demon trouble was confessed back in 1913, and yet the Finished Mystery was not printed unti 1917. So, what’s up here? Is it a claim of “Once harrassed by demons, always harrased by demons?”

    Regards

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham,

      What did you expect…for the demonic activity to have happened after the publication? What difference does that make? The point is, the man was clearly unstable and probably holds a great deal of responsibility in the many absurd things that were taught in the Finished Mystery. Either way, consider a GB member or someone in the writing department claiming such things today. No problem, right?

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hello Mike,

        It makes a big difference if someone’s demon trouble was in the past. Are you saying a person can never get past that and become an integral part of Christianity?

        Regards

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Certainly different in detail but the same in principle. It can happen and it does nothing to forever disqualify you if you escape from it and allow God’s spirit to cleanse you from such things.

        Regards

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        From what I can gather through our discussion this far, it seems that it really doesn’t matter how bad or how many mistakes there were in the WT’s leadership. What matters is that everyone believed the same thing, even if those beliefs were false.

        This says to me that truth really, at the end of the day, doesn’t really matter to JW’s. As long as you agree with whatever the GB puts in print, you’re ok.

        At least that’s my take on this.

  14. Octavio says:

    ….The Watchtower Society claims that Christ appointed the leaders of this organization as his sole channel in 1919. The quotations I have shown above, may let the reader realize if the Watchtower’s claim can be true. As we see, the history of the Watchtower Society can’t help itself to prove this. No christian in his sound mind can tell that the Holy Spirit was taken away.

  15. Octavio says:

    ….Another problem is that the Watchtower Society did not remove those crazy guys who wrote those absurd interpretations. So, why should believe that Christ chose such unstable leaders who misled many times his readers?? . For instance, Clayton Woodworth was appointed in 1919 as the main Editor of the Golden Age Magazine, in which he wrote that vaccination was a violation of God’s Law. Many followers of the Watchtower Society were in courts for refusing obey the Law of the United States on the issue of vaccination.

  16. Octavio says:

    The anointed elite, which was self-styled “the temple class”, “The Servant”, etc, consisting of Rutherford, Woodworth, and other friends, did not wait to be cleansed and appointed by Christ in 1919. They, presumptuously claimed to be already the Channel of God, The Chosen Ones, before the year 1919:

    “The WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organization until now the Lord has used it as His channel through which to make known the Glad Tidings” (The Finished Msytery, page 144, 1918 edition.)

    “Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of “Christianity””(The Finished Msytery, page 485, 1918 edition.).

    As these quotations show, this “faithful and discreet slave” was very proud and challeging, knowing that Jesus would choose him in 1919. This is why Rutherford said that no holy spirit was necessary for them. Christ even ignored their false prophecies and their arrogant attitude.

  17. theapologeticfront says:

    Love4Truth-

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. Where in the Bible does it state that John the Baptist *is* Elijah?

    What we have here in the case of the Watchtower is “God’s channel” or the “Faithful slave” denying what could not possibly be denied by any Christian: that the work of the holy spirit ceased in 1918. It’s beyond me how they could make a mistake this bad, in addition to all the other crazy things that are mentioned in “The Finished Mystery.” And I don’t mean to be insulting here. That book really is that bad. If you’d like a copy to read, i’d be happy to send you a PDF scan of it.

  18. theapologeticfront says:

    Rotherham-

    I owe you a response to your initial point-by-point. Sorry about my delay as I was pretty busy.

    “Being guided by the angels, the Son, or the holy spirit are all tantamount to the same thing,that’s why I don’t see why Ritherford had to make a distinction. They are all ultimately from the same divine source, coming from the Father.”

    But Rutherford did make a distinction: the holy spirit’s functions ceased and angels took on the role of communicating. However, from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like angels were communicating anything to Rutherford due to the absurdities that were taught.

    “The comments were made in regard to the anointed of Christ who were collectively viewed as the FDS at that time, not all Christians.”

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but there were only anointed Christians at the time right? So i’m not sure how this really changes anything.

    “What is necessary is divine guidance. If the Father chooses that to come via angels, the spirit or the Son, what of it?”

    Is that really what you believe? Are you saying that it really doesn’t matter if one believes that the holy spirit ceased and now the angels are taking up that role? I’m wondering how the GB would feel about that, but unfortunately we can’t ask.

    “Once again, if that is the manner that God chose to relate a message, what of it? When angels delivered messages to men from God, was the message somehow inferior or corrupt or second-rate because it didn’t come directly from the holy spirit? Of course not, it was viewed as ultimately coming from GOd, no matter who or what directly delivered it.”

    This is much more than sheer communication. The Spirit has bigger role than that. But it’s not that the message is inferior, it’s just how the “faithful slave” can make such a bad blunder and do it for at least a decade as “God’s channel.” For this reason and many others, I have very good reasons for challenging your organization’s leaders and their claims.

  19. Octavio says:

    There is no problem with Woodworth being troubled by demons. He declared it in 1913. The problem is that he was chosen in 1917 to write interpretations of the book of Revelation to be published in the Finished Mystery. This book anounced the destruction of most part of the members of the Christendom in 1918, as well as other crackpot statements. Of course, no one of these predictions happened, nevertheless, Woodworth was then appointed as the Editor of the Golden Magazine in 1919. Woodworth had this position until the end of the 40s. If you read some of the absurdities published in the Golden Age Magazine, you will realize that Woodworth was not a balanced person. The same can be said of Rutherford’s personality, who was accused of alcoholism, after his false predictions failed.
    The Watchtower Apologists are not concerned when the Watchtower Society publishes false predictions.

  20. Octavio says:

    Some elders associated with Watchtower Society were opposed to distribute The Finished Mystery (also called The Seventh Volume), on account of its falsehood. What was Rutherford’s reaction?, let us read what he published in the Watchtower Magazine:

    “A teacher that is opposed to the Seventh Volume, therefore, would be opposed to the SOCIETY’S work, out of harmony with the SOCIETY; and, as a leader, such an one would breed discontent and trouble, rather than establish harmony and peace and development among those of the Lord’s people who had already expressed themselves as being in harmony with such Seventh Volume. Hence such an one should not stand for election to the position of elder. “(The Watchtower, March 1, 1918, article: “Qualifications of Elders”)

    So, the Finished Mystery was used as a condition to be qualified as an Elder.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Octavio-

      I definitely need to add this quote to my post. Thank you for sharing! It’s amazing to me that opposing Rutherford’s abhorrent teachings would disqualify you as an elder.

      Once again, truth is sacrificed at the alter of conformity.

  21. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    You said:

    But Rutherford did make a distinction: the holy spirit’s functions ceased and angels took on the role of communicating. However, from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like angels were communicating anything to Rutherford due to the absurdities that were taught.

    ########################################
    The distinction was made but it amounts to nothing more than identifying the one who delivered the message. Again, it’s all the same ultimate source, from God, regardless as to who would deliver it. It would be the same message regardless.
    ########################################

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but there were only anointed Christians at the time right? So i’m not sure how this really changes anything.

    ##########################################
    No, there were those who were known as Jonadabs clear back around 1918 who were recognized to have an earthly hope. Plus, the identity of the “great crowd” was clarified in 1935.
    ###########################################

    Is that really what you believe? Are you saying that it really doesn’t matter if one believes that the holy spirit ceased and now the angels are taking up that role? I’m wondering how the GB would feel about that, but unfortunately we can’t ask.

    ############################################
    If they thopught they were then being dealt with by Christ as the comminique, that doers not mean that they believed the entire function of the holy spirit ceased. As I said, there were those recognized and living during those times who had earthly hopes, not heavenly.
    ##########################################

    This is much more than sheer communication. The Spirit has bigger role than that. But it’s not that the message is inferior, it’s just how the “faithful slave” can make such a bad blunder and do it for at least a decade as “God’s channel.” For this reason and many others, I have very good reasons for challenging your organization’s leaders and their claims.

    ###########################################
    I think you can make more of it than what you need to. Like I said, the holy spirit was still there. Just because you now think you are dealing with Christ instead of the holy spirit, that is hardly a significant difference. AS I said to begin with, I think Rutherford made an unnecessary distinction without a difference and our critics are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    And beside, you are welcome to examine and test their claims for as long as you need to.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      I’m sorry that you think that one being troubled by someone claiming the cessation of the spirit is making a mountain out of a molehill. I’m certain that Jesus would differ.

  22. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike,

    you have to read what were Woodworth’s words in court explaining how he wrote his portion of that book. Also, Rutherford admitted in court that he approved the manuscript after reading it. So, the main leaders of this anointed group were responsible for propagating this rubbish.

    Note that the Finished Mystery, based on the book of Revelation, predicted that the World War would finish in 1917. So, in the 1918 edition the book continued to lie.

  23. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mike,

    God well knew that early on in the harvest, there would be much error to cleanse. However, he also knew who had the right attitude toward truth and they’re willingness to follow it no matter where it took them. Russell had paved the way and prepared many right-hearted individuals for the parousia of Christ. Him and his colleagues had discerned and collected together a great many truths by the early 20th century, but things were far from perfect, but then again, at that time, they weren’t expected to be.

    When Christ made his inspection, he would see who truly loved truth and was willing to follow it regardless of what would have to be changed or let go of. It was as much about having the right attitude toward truth as it was about anything. Christendom and its many daughters remain in darkness to this day.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      In the JW system, it’s follow the *leaders* wherever it may lead. If they followed the truth, they would have rightly rejected the rubbish that was published in books like the Finished Mystery. I’m sure many saw how absurd the idea of the spirits role ceasing for the anointed was when Rutherford declared it, but like JW’s today, they chose to conform instead of take a stand.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Well likely, it didn’t sound like a hurricane to them, more like a tempest in a teacup, if anything at all at the time, and as it stands, those ideas were rejected in time as was to be expected when things are wrong.

        Regards

  24. rotherham2 says:

    Once again, Mike, the comforter was taken away in the sense that they believed Christ was now dealing with them in his presence rather than the spirit. They reasoned if Christ was now dealing with them, there was no longer any need for the spirit to do it. It didn’t include everybody, just the anointed.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        So you are absolutely sure you are right about everything you have put on your blog?

  25. rotherham2 says:

    I am pretty sure that if you were take to the time, I could prove to you that the Trinity is not a Biblical doctrine and actually lies in contradcition to it. Interested? I can’t imagine too many teachings more important than the true identity of God and his Son.

  26. rotherham2 says:

    I ma glad you said no, so why then should I use your blog as a criteria for taking a stand against the WT?

  27. rotherham2 says:

    In order to rebel against those I have come to trust as representative of the body of Christ? Certainly. If I can’t be sure I’m right, how do I know they aren’t?

      1. rotherham2 says:

        What could be more importnat than the identity of God and Christ and heir proper role in our lives?

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        I agree, but I’ve spent countless hours in online debates on the Trinity and found it to be extremely unproductive. As important of an issue as it is, I don’t think it’s a good starting point.

  28. Octavio says:

    I hope the readers can see by themselves, through the above arguments, if Christ actually chose the Watchtower leaders as his sole Channel in 1919.

  29. rotherham2 says:

    Then what is a good starting point? Name one other thing that you are certain we are wrong about, something that you are certain that the scriptures are unambiguous about, something that you are certain that you are right about. What woud that be?

    Regards

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      A good starting point is challenging the authority of your leaders. But what does my psychological confidence have to do with anything we are discussing here?

      What we are discussing here is whether the FDS’s claims are consistent and whether they are who they claim to be. I really don’t understand why you’d want to shift the discussion to something completely different, like the Trinity, especially when I have written practically nothing on the subject on this website. So why challenge me as opposed to something who has written extensively on the subject?

    2. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      Just to supply an example of what I mean: how psychologically certain do I need to be in order to try to convince you that the so-called “problem of evil” should not dissuade you from believing that God exists? If my reasons are valid, true, and convincing to you, my psychosocial state really shouldn’t matter.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        I am merely trying to ascertain what it is that you think I should take exception to when it comes to Jehovah’s Witnesses. But surely, the true body of Christ would certainly know who the true God is and who is Son is, right? I would think that it would be every Christian’s desire to be associated the the true body of Christ and not some counterfeit, right?

        I don’t think you are ever goping to prove to me that the way we have set up our organization is unscriptural because I clearly see it as a reasonable facsimile of what was set up in the first century. We’ve been over that.

        Also, we fully acknowledge that there were things wrong especially in the early days when we were climbing our way out of the age old errors of Christendom. Again, prophetically, we see that as something to be expected. So if you have something unambiguous to offer in this area please do so because I have not seen it yet.

        I would think in order to properly nidentify the true representatives of the body of Chrost, you would start by examining their fundamental teachings, the ones laid it in the Bible itself, such as at Hebrews 6:1,2. If they don;t have those right, then there is surely no reason to go any further. However, if they do have those right, then they certainly need to be considered, providing there is no glaring and obvious truth that they are ignoring or refusing to change.

        One of the very things listed in those fundamentals at Hebrews 6:1,2 is “faith toward God” If you don’t even know who the true God is, your fundamentals are wacked from the start, and I posit that your concept of God is not correct and can be proven to be so.

        In your discussions you have probably realized that there is actually no scripture in the Bible that can be used to support the Trinity in an unambiguous manner. They can all be shown to mean something else when compared with Biblical precedent.

        However, it is not just a toss-up as I firmly believe that the opposite is not true. I believe that the Father, one person, as the sole Almighty God can be shown unambiguously and there are things about Jesus Christ which unambiguously disqualify him as possessing the necessary attributes of Almighty God.

        Identifiying God is the very first fundamental of Christian belief. If you don’t have that right, how many other things are off when it comes to your fundamentals, such as the nature of the resurrection and everlasting judgment? These are CORE issues and are the ones that are most relevant to finding the true body of Christ amidst the counterfeits.

        Starting where you have chosen to start will never work with Jehovah’s Witnesses. You should probably know that by now after all we have been through with this. You have to start with the fundamentals. That’s the only hope there is of ever convincing Jehovah’s Witnesses that they should abandon the organization they are associated with. Anything else will be an endless quagmire of back and forth with no clear cut direction.

        REgards,
        Rotherham

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        I probably entertained this shifting of the topic more than I should. Let’s deal with the issues that are directly relevant to this post.

        If what you want to do is debate the Trinity, I’m sure there are a plethora of folks who’d be happy to do so.

        When there becomes a dire need to write and debate on the Trinity, as if I’d have something new and profound to say, then I’ll do so. So far, my inbox has been quite empty in regards to requests for me to write on and debate the Trinity. Instead, the requests are for the topics I write on.

        Since you won’t listen to an Ex-JW, I could otherwise have them post their testimonies as to why they left the org, and most of the time it didn’t involve the Trinity.

  30. Octavio says:

    After being exposed the Watchtower’s rubbish about its “old light” about the Holy Spirit, now Rotherham needs to save the Watchtower theology by trying to ridicule the Trinitarian view of the Christendom. Jehovah’s Witnesses think that their governing body has God’s backing, just because they are not trinitarians and do not believe that the soul survives the body after the body’s death. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a black and white view of life.

  31. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    Well, you didn’t really address the intent of what I said. It doesn’t have to be the Trinity, but it should surely be something fundamental. We’ve been through the rightfulness or the wrongness of having an ecclesiastical authority and where we ended up was agreeing that there was one, only you went with local and I went with worldwide.

    You’re objective seems to be to point out the errors that we have made along the way but we are already aware of those errors and we see them as exactly that, errors that were made, but certainly nothing more than the errors that were made by God’s people in the past and recorded right within the pages of the Bible, yet they were tolerated by God at times for a reason, so I don’t really know where you think this goong to get you. It is a dead end road as far as any fruitage is concerned.

    But I suppose you will do what you will do. But for me, unless I see someone have the fundamentals correct, I can hardly imagine giving serious credence to the things they say about other things. Seriously flawed fundamentals is an indication of serious flaws in the rest of their thinking and teachings.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      If you see this as a mere “pointing out mistakes in the past,” then I’m afraid you have completely missed the bigger picture, or perhaps I’ve done a poor job of explaining it.

      I will continue writing on the topics that I do as more JW’s have left the org due to these issues over almost everything else. This is why Ray Franz’ book has been so effective, even though it doesn’t have a lick of information on these “fundamental” issues.

      Also, the fact that books like “The Finished Mystery” is theological rubbish has nothing to do with whether I’m wrong on other unrelated “fundamentals.”

      If you choose not to listen to what I have to say in my blog posts, then that’s your prerogative.

  32. rotherham2 says:

    Oh, I’m listening and I’m commenting, no problem there, but if you want to continue to beat the wind and spin your wheels then that’s your choice. Most people do not leave Jehovah’s Witnesses over the issues that you have written about, far from it. Immorality takes far more than having problems with teachings, and most of those return. Those that pay heed to the type of issues you highlight are usually disgruntled over something else and are looking for a door in the first place and that often seems to be a convenient one to use.

    Regards

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      I thought it was obvious that I was referring to those who left due to intellectual issues of some kind, not those who left because they wanted to fornicate. So if we’re talking about real issues unrelated to moral rebellion, then I think issues like these and what Ray Franz wrote about are at the top of the list. But since you ignore anything and ex-JW would say, then I don’t know how you could challenge this.

  33. rotherham2 says:

    If you could actually prove that we are wong about a fundamental Biblical teaching, such as those mentioned in Hebrews, they would leave in droves, me included.

  34. Octavio says:

    The Watchtower says:

    “Persons who make themselves “not of our sort” by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshiped for wrongdoing.” (The Watchtower , 1981 Sept 15 p.20-26 Disfellowshiping , paragraph 16)

    In other words, if you don’t believe what the Watchtower’s leaders believe, you have to be treated as a wrongdoing. So, we have to accept that Rutherford and friends were chosen by God in 1919, otherwise we will be destroyed in Armagedon.

  35. rotherham2 says:

    Ex-Jws have no special insigtht. Besides, we hear it all eventually through the mouths of others, such as yourself. Nothing is being ignored that has any real value to consider because believe me, someone always brings it up and then it gets handled. I can’t imagine anything you have herd about us that I have not heard myself from one direction or another.

    Regards

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      I’m not talking about the merits of their reasons, but the reasons themselves. In my experience, the leaving was due to the issues I discuss in my blog. If you’d like to prove otherwise, then please send some ex-JW’s my way to share their testimony 🙂

  36. Octavio says:

    Rotherham is telling that ex-witnesses are lying about the Watchtower Society. Note, I am showing true portions of its literature. The literature itself is exposing the absurdities of this religion. This religion demands loyalty, no matter how wrong their leaders may be:

    “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”. (The Watchtower, Study Edition, November 15, 2013, pp. 16-20, paragraph 17)

    This is why witnesses continue to die for rejecting blood transfusions. This is not what Christ demands for us.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Octavio-

      You hit the nail on the head. When the authority is basically saying, “Believe us even if you think we’re probably wrong,” then that authority is what needs to be questioned and whether any non-inspired man can say such things.

  37. rotherham2 says:

    As I said, those who used that kind of information to leave were generally disgruntled over something to begin with. They were desperate for something to give themselves some kind of self affirmation. That’s why they try so hard to now prove us wrong. Me thinks they proteseth too much. My experience with those who have been bothered by those things are saved from the fire when they talk about it first before just using it as an excuse to get out and swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

    Regards

  38. Octavio says:

    For instance, Rotherham states that it was not an issue the stuff about the Holy Spirit being taken away. However, let us read another quote from a book published by the Watchtower Society in 1934:

    “In times past the holy spirit was the comforter and helper of God’s people, and those brethren supposed to have the spirit of the Lord acted as teachers of the consecrated; but now, since the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple, Jehovah God and his Great Prophet, Christ Jesus, are the Teachers, and these are no longer pushed into the corner, but are clearly discerned by the faithful, and the faithful ones receive knowledge and understanding from the Word of God revealed to them through the Head of the temple organization.” — (Jehovah, page 311,1934 edition)

    These words are clearly addressed to those who think that they may receive the help of the Holy Spirit without the insight of Rutherford’s elite. So, it was a devious and idolatrous teaching !!!. However, for the Watchtower Apologists it’s OK, just a little error. However, they continue to teach that God chose him as his anointed on earth.

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Quite right, it’s only a big deal when you oppose a teaching of the leaders. But once the leaders abandon that teaching, “Oh, that was just a little mistake. No big deal.” I’m sure Rutherford would have differed quite strongly with Rotherham that his views were indeed a big deal.

  39. Octavio says:

    Rotherham says “They were desperate for something to give themselves some kind of self affirmation.”…..I am deseperate for those children who could die, and are yearly dying for rejecting red cells coming from human donors, while the governing body let them “albumin” also coming from human donors. Is it not a contradiction???, the governing body is a gang of fanatic murders !!, because they can’t leave the blood ban enterily, just for avoiding trials .

  40. rotherham2 says:

    Let’s look at it this way once and see where it brings us.

    Let’s say there is a group that clearly has an unambiguous grasp on the fundamental, foundational teachings of Christianity, something that any reasoning person could come to appreciate if they can get past the disinformation that is spawned by false religion. Let’s say that after examination and scrutiny is given a person becomes convinced of this groups fundamental perceptions and they believe that this group is representative then of the body of Christ, so they join that group believeing they have found true Christianity.

    Then let’s say that someone convinces them that some “peripheral” issue promoted by this group is incorrect or that they have mad errors based upon human misunderstandings. What then? If they decide to leave where would they go to find the same fundamental issues they are convinced of to be true? What if there is simply no other religion that has the same grasp upon those same fundamental issues?

    And if they realize the fact that the Christian church would be in darkness for centuries and then come into the light, they would also realize that some things are still in somewhat of a state of flux. So do they abandon the only religion who has the right grasp of the fundamental doctrines or do they patiently wait upon God to correct their error? If it is not a fundamental error, and is one that is freely admitted can happen, why abandon the very religion that has the fundamentals intact? Especially when they know that God tolerated religious error and gross sin at times for a specific reason.

    Regards

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Rotherham-

      Did I give the impression that Christians should leave their churches just because they disagree with peripheral issues? I would have left my church a long time ago if that were the case.

  41. rotherham2 says:

    OK then, what is the fundamental issue at stake that Jehovah’s Witnesses should leave their religion for?

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Commending JW’s back in Rutherford’s day for believing what Rutherford taught in the Finished Mystery. Any organization who thinks a Christian was right in believing falsehoods is an organization that should be abandoned. More importantly though, any organization who thinks that the cessation of the work of the spirit isn’t a big deal, then that organization should be abandoned.

      Overall, I think THE fundamental issue is the authority of the GB. And I’d make the same type of argument if I were speaking with a Catholic, even in light of their abhorrent beliefs like praying to Mary.

      1. rotherham2 says:

        Hi Mike,

        Once again, your view is skewed. Here’s why. As we know, we today do not know everything and we also know that according to Eph 4:11-17, gifts in men will continue to adjust the holy ones until everything is accurately known, maintaining the unity all along. This is clearly a process that God has ordained.

        Now, up until the time that the readjustment comes, was not GOd content to have them in error until such time came for them to be corrected? Did you read the post above about the churches in the book of Revelation?

        Plus, you keep setting up a straw man by stating that we claim the spirit completely ceased all operation. That is not the case. I have asked you questions about that situation and you often don’t answer them, impeding progress. You mostly just try and think of another objection or a different question. This discussion should be a two way street.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

      2. theapologeticfront says:

        Rotherham-

        Too much for me to respond to here. I didn’t make a strawmen. Even if it was for a select group, the anointed, the functions of the spirit ceased. To me, that’s just as problematic as saying it ceased for everyone. So I don’t see a need to qualify this every time I state it.

        I apologize if I seemed to be ignoring you. I can assure you that it wasn’t intentional. Typing everything on my phone will inevitably lead to me missing something at some points.

      3. rotherham2 says:

        It’s not the same as saying it stopped for everyone. That’s a jump to a conclusion that is not warranted. Let me ask you this: If you thought you were communicating with Christ is some fashion, would you need the holy spirit to do the same thing?

      4. rotherham2 says:

        That really wasn’t the question, Mike. So if you thought Christ was communicating with you in some fashion, you think he would have to use the holy spirit in order to accomplish it?

      5. rotherham2 says:

        Som if Christ was communicating with you, he wouldn’t need the holy spirit to do it. That’s nearly the whole point.

  42. rotherham2 says:

    Hi Mike,

    Here is something that I have stored in some of my personal files which directly addresses this issue and I wanted to share it with you and those reading along.

    “But the claim is further made by opposers that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot be Jehovah’s organization directed by His holy spirit and His son because they have in the past made interpretations, pointed to certain dates, and taught teachings that were proven to be wrong or were later corrected. Jehovah’s spirit is never wrong. Jesus is never wrong. Then how can it be that Jehovah’s Witnesses are directed by Jehovah and Jesus? ‘Impossible!’ opposers say.

    But would anybody make the same argument about the seven congregations that John wrote letters to in the book of Revelation? Take a look at all their problems stated in the letters:

    “you have left the love you had at first….

    you have there those holding fast the teaching of Ba´laam, … to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication….

    you, also, have those holding fast the teaching of the sect of Nic·o·la´us likewise…

    you tolerate that woman Jez´e·bel, … and she teaches and misleads my slaves to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols….

    I know your deeds, that you have the name that you are alive, but you are dead….

    I have not found your deeds fully performed before my God….

    I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or else hot. So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.

    you say: “I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,” but you do not know you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire that you may become rich, and white outer garments that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not become manifested, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes that you may see.”

    Someone could very well say of those seven congregations: ‘Can you believe that this is God’s organization? They certainly can’t be spirit directed. They certainly do not have Jesus as their leader. There is no way that these congregations make up God’s organization.’

    But they would be dead wrong. Why? Take note of these verses which show who is in the midst of the congregations directing them:

    Revelation 1:12 “And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me, and, having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands someone like a son of man, …20 As for the sacred secret of the seven stars that you saw upon my right hand, and [of] the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars mean [the] angels of the seven congregations, and the seven lampstands mean seven congregations.”

    And take note that to each congregation it is said: “Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.”

    Obviously the seven congregations which were composed of God’s people, yes, His organization, were directed by Jesus and God’s holy spirit and yet they had many problems. How can this be? Jesus and the holy spirit can’t make mistakes.

    Just because a person or a group of persons are directed by God’s spirit does not mean that they will always follow the leadings of God’s spirit. Moses didn’t. David didn’t. The Israelites didn’t. The apostles didn’t. At times they failed to follow the guidance of God’s spirit which led to incorrect thinking or actions. And so there is a difference in being spirit directed and spirit inspired. Persons who were inspired by holy spirit to write the Bible did not make mistakes in those writings. However, these same persons, who were spirit directed, did not always follow exactly the leadings of God’s spirit and so they did make mistakes.

    The Watchtower publications have not been written under inspiration of the holy spirit and so at times the things written may have to be corrected. By no means does this prove that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not spirit directed. The very fact that they have made the changes and corrected wrong teachings or ideas is proof that they are directed by holy spirit. Other religions simply have not followed this example. They continue to teach the same old Babylonish falsehoods and follow the same old pagan practices. Not so Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just look at the changes JWs have made! We can only conclude then that out of all the religious organizations on earth today, it is only Jehovah’s Witnesses who are truly directed by Jehovah’s holy spirit.”

  43. Octavio says:

    The Watchtower religion is lying to his followers by telling them that God chose their leaders as his sole channel in 1919, after a Christ’s inspection during the years 1914-1919. This has proven to be a lie. For this sole reason a sincere christian should leave this organization. On the other hand, on health issues, like vaccination, organ transplant, and the current stand on the use of blood for medical purposes, the Watchtower has misled thousands of people. Many Jehovah’s witnesses have died for thinking that they were loyal to God, but they did not realize that they died for obeying men’s policies that have been changing in time. In other issues, the Watchtower leaders also uses an unsound mind control to maintaing their leadership. That is an unscriptural behavior. However, Watchtower Apologists, think that their organization has the only true interpretation about the nature of God and the nature of the soul. For this reason, they think they have God’s backing, no matter how wrong they are in other aspects. They also think that they have God’s backing because they use the name Jehovah more than other organizations. They did not want to understand that the early christians did not regarded the use of the Tetragramaton as an issue. They even are wrong in fundamental issues. The Watchtower states that only 144000 christians can rightly partake of the wine and the bread in the Lord’s Supper. This teaching is against the doctrine of Jesus’ salvation (read the chapter 6 of the Gospel of John)…..So, ex-witnesses are right in leaving this APOSTATE religion.

  44. rotherham2 says:

    Kind of like the Coyote and the Sheepdog episode on Bugs Bunny. I always hope we remain friends at the end of the day. 🙂

  45. Octavio says:

    Hi Mike,

    may be you could invite other christian apologists to analyse this stuff about the Holy Spirit in Rutherford’s theology. I can’t understand how a person can defend the indefensible. It’s too much for me in this topic.

    Regards,
    Octavio

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      I think they’d be flabbergasted to even attempt to defend such a thing. I can “try” to defend a lot of doctrines that I disagree with (as devil’s advocate), but Rutherford’s view on the spirit…I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin.

  46. Mark A says:

    Just so the two of you know. There are others following your discussion with interest. I would like to commend both of you for the manner in which you address each other. If all Christians could be more like this the world would be a better place.

    Rohterham – I don’t know if you are reading this or not. I am a baptised witness who has not had any problems at all with the elders. I would say I am in good standing in the hall, however to be honest I do not report time. Even when I was still going door to door I did not report time. Anyway, I am saying that I am not DF’d if that allows you to read this post. If I understand correctly you won’t read anything by someone you feel is apostate. The problem I see with that is that it seems like if you have the truth, you won’t be worried about anyone changing your mind.

    As an example. I have read Origin of a Species, I have listend to many athiests on the “Unbelievable” podcast, I have studied claims of bible contradictions and so forth. I have done this for years. I still believe in Jehovah and the ransom value of his son Jesus. The truth holds up to scrutiny. However the way the governing body tries to keep us off all other sites that disagree with them smells fishy to me. What do they have to hide?

    If my someone was considering becoming a Catholic or a Mormon would it not make sense to read articles by former Catholics and Mormons in addition to what the church itself was telling them? Of course it would. Why would not the same be true when it comes to us?

    Anyway, Rotherham, I do want to commend you very much for having the courage to stand up for your beliefs, especially when it seems you are standing alone on forums such as this. This brings to mind what Paul did when he spoke about the unknown god. He engaged the greeks on their territory and did not hid from public debate. That is how it should be.

    Mike – Your blog posts are very interesting and well thought out. I have to say that I agree with you on many many points. I think you would have a pretty hard time convincing me of the trinity, however I have to agree with you on most points. You are a real rarity because you speak with real knowledge about the organization and it’s believes, but you never were a baptised witness. This puts you in the unique position of being able to talk with those in the organization about what the bible really teaches and to help give them the other side of the story without them putting up the normal wall they would if you were an ex-witness.

    Anyhow to both of you as said previously. I may not comment much but I am watching and enjoying.

    1. rotherham2 says:

      Hello Mark A,

      Sorry I didn’t see this before. I have no problem discussing things with those who are still Jehovah’s Witnesses even if they have problems and reservations. However, rather than doing that here in public, I would suggest a private spot for us to do so. If you are interested, let me know here and I will set something up for us.

      Your Brother,
      Rotherham

  47. Mike Felker says:

    Hi Mark-

    Thank you so much for leaving these kind words. It’s always encouraging to know that there are people out there like you watching. I’m sure Rotherham would agree that these discussions we have aren’t simply between us; it’s for the benefit of everyone.

    While I don’t necessarily want to answer for Rotherham, I wouldn’t expect anything in terms of an actual response to your points. I find this utterly perplexing since you are in good standing with your congregation. But this would prove to me that “non-divisive” disagreements really can’t happen under the WT authority system. If it could, why not wrestle these issues out with you on this forum? Surely, it wouldn’t be dividing anyone as long as it’s done in a respectful manner?

    I definitely don’t expect to convince you of the Trinity, nor do I intend to (at least not just yet). This is why you’ll see almost nothing on my site defending it. I deal with ex-JW’s quite often in helping them through their doctrinal struggles. The nature of God is last on my list, unless the ex-JW just has to get it out of the way first. I do this not because it isn’t extremely important (because it is!), but because it’s the most difficult area for an ex-JW to get past.

    But even then, there are a plethora of sites and books devoted to Trinitarian theology. And especially with counter-JW apologetics, this is often the area of attention and these other issues rarely get discussed, such as the authority of the WT, the two-class theology, the identity of the FDS, 1914, 1919, etc. I’ve found that when these issues are dealt with, then it creates a domino effect that i’ve seen happen time and time again…often ending in the accepting of the deity of Christ. I’m not saying this will be you someday, but i’m just speaking from my experience and many others.

    Also, feel free to shoot me an email if there’s ever a subject or question you’d like to see dealt with.

  48. Mark A says:

    “I definitely don’t expect to convince you of the Trinity, nor do I intend to (at least not just yet). ”

    Laugh out loud. : )

    As I said I do agree with you on many many points, however the trinity is one I don’t think I will change on. My first public talk was on the Trinity, it is always something have felt strongly about. Since then I have learned that many of the quotes in the trinity brochure were taken out of context and that is unfortunate. Again it comes down to if you have the truth you don’t need to take things out of context. However, I do still not believe the trinity. Whoever wrote (and whoever authorized) all the quotes taken out of context in that brochure was wrong, there is no doubt about that, however I do not think the argument stands or falls on those quotes.

    I have read many books on the trinity, I have listened to many debates by James White, podcasts on Unbelievable and so forth. While I do feel the society does diminish Christs place in the average witnesses life, I still feel (on this particular point) that they are closer to right than wrong.

    I read somewhere that all these debates about the nature of God is like some tribe in the jungle that has never seen civilization having a debate about the music of Beethovan. We both think we are right and we are all so dogmatic about it but the truth is probably something that we just can’t comprehend.

    I can’t believe that Jehovah woudl kill someone who honestly believes the trinity is correct because of this beleif even if it is wrong. He is supposed to be a God of love. He knows that man is imperfect, he can read hearts, so he can tell the truth of the matter. It is up to him (and Jesus) to decide ultimately.

    In my opinion any man that makes agreement with thier viewpoint a matter of life an death is overstepping any authority God ever gave to mankind.

    BTW: Please overlook spelling errors and mistyping. I am in a hurry this morning and don’t have time to check. : )

    1. theapologeticfront says:

      Mark-

      For the reasons you mentioned, that’s why I’d prefer to cover different topics of disagreement with you. Unless it’s a public moderated debate or something, I usually don’t discuss the nature of God unless clarification is needed or someone is on the fence.

  49. rotherham2 says:

    Hello Mark A,

    Sorry I didn’t see this before. I have no problem discussing things with those who are still Jehovah’s Witnesses even if they have problems and reservations. However, rather than doing that here in public, I would suggest a private spot for us to do so. If you are interested, let me know here and I will set something up for us.

    Your Brother,
    Rotherham

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