Jehovah Witness - Source of Authority

Matthew 24:45-47 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? {46} It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. {47} I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

They believe that the Watchtower is the faithful and discreet servant. Yet in their view, there was no such slave for nineteen centuries. The implication is that God had no true representatives on earth and did not intend for people to understand the Bible until Russel and his friends came along.

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Ephesians 4:11-16 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, {12} to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up {13} until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. {14} Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. {15} Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. {16} From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Jude 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

They believe the organization completely because it is God's channel of communication. However, they do not regard the organization as infallible. They will admit those errors that the organization itself admits.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

This verse talks about the way the righteous live, not about progressive revelations. Even if it does refer to that, it would not imply error, simply less information.

Matthew 24:45-47 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? {46} It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. {47} I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

They believe that the Watchtower is the faithful and discreet servant. Yet in their view, there was no such slave for nineteen centuries. The implication is that God had no true representatives on earth and did not intend for people to understand the Bible until Russel and his friends came along.

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Ephesians 4:11-16 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, {12} to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up {13} until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. {14} Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. {15} Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. {16} From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Jude 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

They believe the organization completely because it is God's channel of communication. However, they do not regard the organization as infallible. They will admit those errors that the organization itself admits.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

This verse talks about the way the righteous live, not about progressive revelations. Even if it does refer to that, it would not imply error, simply less information.

It is alright to make mistakes since the prophets themselves make mistakes in their predictions.

Daniel 12:9 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.

1 Peter 1:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, {11} trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

These verses show that the prophets may not understand fully what they prophesy, not that their prophesy is in error.

1 Corinthians 13:9-10 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, {10} but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

Although knowledge is imperfect, it is entirely true.

Luke 19:11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

John 21:22-23 Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." {23} Because of this, the rumour spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

Acts 1:6-7 So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" {7} He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

These texts say that the apostles had false notions about what was taught to them but nowhere was it mentioned that they taught these false notions.

Jonah 3:4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."

Although Nineveh was not subsequently overturned, it is because this prophesy is conditional.

Jonah 3:5-9 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. {6} When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. {7} Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. {8} But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. {9} Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

Jonah 4:1-2 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. {2} He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

They believe that the Bible is written for the anointed and the great crowd must gain their understanding from the anointed. Why trust the organization totally if it is not infallible?

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Even the early disciples examined Paul's message and crosschecked it with Scripture.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." {21} You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" {22} If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

JW predicted that Christ will come in 1914 after spending fifty years telling people that he will come in 1874. They went on to predict the resurrection to be in the year 1925. More recently, they predicted that the end would come in 1975. Did the bible teach all these things? The bible warns against extra-biblical teachings.

Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! {9} As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Matthew 24:34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Their organization has told them specifically that the evidence points to the 1914 generation and everything will come to pass before they die. At first, they teach that it would only refer to those who are at least 15 years of age in 1914. They later correct this to mean babies who are born around 1914.

Acts 8:30-31 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. {31} "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Of course guidance is necessary in understanding the Scriptures, but it does not prove that there should be an organization whose teaching may not be challenged.

2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. {21} For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

These verses do not speak against private interpretation, it merely tells us that the Bible came from God and not men.

2 Peter 3:15-16 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. {16} He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

This talks about the abuse of Scripture by those who did not study the Bible thoroughly.

Acts 15 is given as an example of the first century governing body.

Acts 15:1-2,6,19-20,22 1 Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." {2} This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 19 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. {20} Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.

Indeed there was some governing body but not one where authority may not be questioned. Instead we are told to test the apostles teaching.

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 do not treat prophecies with contempt. {21} Test everything. Hold on to the good.

 

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