Waiting On Jehovah

Note: This blog entry is meant solely to counter opposition, not as spiritual food. If you are seeking spiritual enlightenment and nourishment, seek out a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses or go to JW.org.

Many will claim that Jehovah's Witnesses are "false prophets" because the Faithful and Discreet Slave (now identified as the governing body, See WT July 15, 2013) "claims to be a prophet" and has given dates about when the world would end. In fact, the majority of our opposers are often obsessed with this issue to a seemingly unhealthy degree. Did the organization actually provide these improper dates? Yes. Is the organization a "false prophet"? No.

Were the first century disciples false prophets because they said that the disciple John would not die as a misinterpretation of Jesus words, "If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you"? (John 21:21-23) A similar thing occurred among Jehovah's Witnesses when it was said that many of those living at a certain time would never die, because of incorrect understanding. Clearly such things do not make them false prophets.

Was the prophet Nathan a false prophet because he told King David to go ahead and build the house to Jehovah, and then Jehovah turns around and tells him otherwise? (1 Chronicles 17:1-4) Such things have occurred where the organization believed one way at one time, and then their understanding of Scripture was clarified so that they changed their view. Clearly such things do not make them false prophets.

The faithful slave class has been careful to admit that at times they, or certain individuals among them, have run ahead and given specific dates, and the faithful slave has accepted their responsibility in the matter as a body. (It is admirable that they admit their mistakes and repent. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10) However, they have never claimed to be an actual prophet, but a "composite prophet" whose job is to interpret modern events through the lens of Biblical prophecy and warn people appropriately, and most importantly to help draw them to Jehovah. (1 Peter 1:10-11; WT October 1, 1982) In fact, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that prophesying has been done away with because we are in the conclusion of the times prophesied. (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)

But what many fail to understand is that the entire organization is not responsible for this. Only those members of the governing body at that time are responsible. Many individuals at those times still clung properly to the scriptures that warn us not to run ahead and not to be disturbed by claims that the end is here. (1 Samuel 15:22-23; Matthew 24:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)

"Fallible Men"

Who were responsible? Men. Or as the Watchtower mentioned in the outset says, "fallible men". Yes, they want us to understand that the faithful slave makes mistakes like the rest of us. But they have the additional weight that each of them has an accounting with Jehovah regarding what they permit to be printed by the organization. So they try to be very careful. But sometimes they err. And these errors will continue to be remembered among Jehovah's people, not as a punishment to the ones who committed the error, but as a lesson of the effect that such errors have on many. (Romans 15:4) These errors have been faithfully admitted in various publications. Yes, we all know about these mistakes, but surprise! We remain faithful, but for good reason.

Yes, many were led astray because of those errors and suffered shipwreck. Some in the world who looked on may have been turned off of the truth because of it. The toll is still being felt today, and those responsible have had to live with that, and most have finished their earthly course. In fact every governing body member shown in the publication Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom (p.116) has died. Thus everyone who has ever been a part of those improper dates has passed away, and those on the governing body now cannot be held responsible for the errors of those who came before them, but they have learned their lessons.

The Watchtower mentioned at the outset also points out that the appointment of the faithful slave "over all [the master's] belongings" has not happened yet. In fact, the sole responsibility of the faithful slave is to provide "food at the proper time". (Matthew 24:45) The question is not whether they have made mistakes in the past in doing this. The question will be if they are providing the "food at the proper time" when Jesus arrives. Then, when Jesus arrives, he will draft into the heavens those anointed who he deems worthy of the appointment. He already resurrects any anointed to heaven whom he deems worthy of the appointment. It is not our job to judge who should or should not be deemed worthy. So the question is not whether the organization has made mistakes. The question is whether the organization is making improvements and repented for past mistakes. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Showing a Waiting Attitude

But why do many of us remain faithful? Is it because of some credulity on our part? Are we stupid? Are we blind? No, no and no. I am able to address the matter of improper dates to you because I have faced the subject head on, not rushing ahead without information. I make no move without first investigating a matter fully from Jehovah's viewpoint. I do this in all matters in which I encounter contrary ideas. Indeed, it is important to wait for the answer through diligent study and consulting those with knowledge. (Proverbs 13:10) This is known as "waiting on Jehovah". (Lamentations 3:22-24; Micah 7:7)

This is a concept foreign to those belonging to the opposition because they have no idea what it means to wait on Jehovah. They trust more in their own ideas than on the Scriptures. Their idea of waiting on Jehovah is to run away and then wait for Jehovah to find them, meantime drawing others after themselves with every kind of conniving. Well, they'll be waiting an awful long time because they are rejecting the very shepherds Jehovah sends to find them and thereby reject the channel through which Jehovah's spirit operates.

When you compare Jehovah's Witnesses to other organizations, you realize that this is truly Jehovah's Organization. Comparing them to others is a part of "waiting on Jehovah". When the disciples were shocked at Jesus' speech concerning eating his flesh and drinking his blood, Jesus asked those that remained, "You all do not want to go also, do you?" But Peter said, "Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life." Yes, being faithful is about remembering who we learned the truth from. (2 Timothy 3:14) When we realize this, then it becomes unthinkable for faithful individuals to go away. Besides, where are we to go away to? To Trinitarians? To idol-worshipers? To hellfire preachers? To followers of men? To the faithless? If we were to go away, we would have no hope, just as those belonging to the opposition have no hope. But because we remain, we not only have hope, we have certainty, faith, love and truth. Those leaving Jehovah's people do not have any of those things.

How to Identify Actual False Prophets

But now, what are the signs of an actual false prophet? The Law gave us the sign for a false prophet whose signs come true. Yes, a false prophet can actually have signs that come true. Who is the false prophet of this type? It is the one who says "Let us walk after other gods, whom you have not known, and let us serve them." Yes, this would be those teaching the false Trinity, spiritism and idolatry. But not just these. It is any prophet that provides a teaching as a "revolt against Jehovah your God." (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) This includes such teachings as hellfire and the immortality of the soul, which originate with the worship of false gods.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says, "the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak...when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him." So, first, the prophet must claim to "speak in the name of Jehovah". That is, they must actually say, "This is what Jehovah has said". (Yes, as a comparison, it is very much like the game, "Simon Says".) So unless they say those words, they are not acting as a prophet as demonstrated by Nathan. (1 Chronicles 17:1-2) And if anyone quotes Scripture that says, "this is what Jehovah has said", then they are acting as a type of "prophet", because they claim to be relating the message of God. But if they say "this is what Jehovah has said", and it is not found in Scripture and Jehovah did not command them to speak it, then they are a false prophet.

Moses never makes mention of one who makes mistakes of interpretation. In fact, the false prophets who spoke against Jehovah's prophets, whose prophecies did not come true, were not simply making a mistake. They were purposefully speaking contrary to Jehovah's prophets for the purpose of maintaining their status. (Jeremiah 6:13-15)

So a false prophet isn't one who simply makes a mistake of interpretation with the end result of an incorrect date for the end. But is one whose intent is to mislead or draw people away from Jehovah. Sound familiar? Yes, the very ones calling Jehovah's people "false prophets" are themselves the actual false prophets, because their intent is to turn people away from Jehovah and his true people.


Anonymous said…
Thank you. Very good reasoning. I would like to use some of your points with those I come in contact with. Will you allow that?

Bob Weyer
Anonymous said…
Nicely put. ... [Apostes] have nothing better to offer. They spend all their time and resources hating and looking for errors from a long time ago. Like John 6 says, "Who would we go away to?" ... [I have not] met anyone who had something better to go to ... But can [they] replace it with something better? No.
Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed them.

[EDITED. I'm sorry, brother. I had to edit information I could not verify and statements that might be misunderstood.—C.J.]
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this most reasonable article. I read easily half of your posts to "see" who you are, and appreciate your candor and penchant for accuracy. T.C.W.
Anonymous said…
I commented in May, appreciating your blog. For background, I'm married to a person who has decided he no longer wants to be a JW. I however, still "belong to Jehovah" (Romans 14:8) and am doing my best to be the best dust I can - Psalm 103:14 :-) Relevant to his many questions I've told him that everything comes down to perspective and motive. I know his disappointments and don't think his motives are wicked but refuse to look at any site where motives are in question. That led me to your blog. One question that is persistently troubling to him is the membership in the UN NGO. Do you have any insights into that subject? Thanks, TCW
Dismythed said…
I could not possibly do the subject better justice than thirdwitness did, here:

Robert said…
CJ, I'd like to comment further after thinking more on this: I too have faced the wrong dates head-on, but admittedly, this wasn't easy.

I used to irrationally expect our brothers, those taking the lead, to never be wrong. I used to think that Jehovah's Organization should never be wrong, so I was a bit reluctant to face the past errors. But doing that only causes mental anguish and cognitive dissonance. It sits in the back of your mind, and when you're faced with it (generally by apostates), they can easily poison your mind and manipulate your thinking because you have no defense to the issue, because you've never faced it.

I first made peace with the past wrong dates by looking in the Proclaimers book, and the fact that the Governing Body never hid this issue was encouraging. They WANT us to know, because they are comfortable with the fact that Jehovah said he would reveal truth during the time of the end (Dan 12:4).

Hence, waiting on Jehovah really means being patient as well, because Jesus essentially told his Apostles to be patient, as he would reveal things that currently would not understand.

To any brother or sister reading this blog who may have doubts about whether or not God is with this organization because of wrong conclusions in the past, consider whether or not you will find perfection anywhere outside the organization. Other religions who have claimed to be God's representatives have sordid histories of violence and murder, even the Mormons.

Also consider why people trust science. Science generally changes its conclusions when new or better evidence comes to light, which gets them closer to truth. Jehovah's Witness take a scientific-like approach to the Bible, as they will change (and out right abandon) beliefs that have been understood as unscriptural.

By extension, they're humbly admitting that they were wrong, and since NO ONE has complete knowledge of the past, we are bound to be wrong anyway...its just a matter of time.

Investigate the wrong dates and more importantly, WHY they were wrong and WHAT was done about it.

I'm sure you'll come away satisfied!

Dismythed said…
Yes, unanswered questions are the real poison. By seeking out the answer to the questions honestly, it stops nagging at us. It's the nagging that can cause us to drift away. Face them head on without the assumptions that apostates would like us to make as when Satan implanted thoughts into Eve's mind, but dealing with the subject of mistakes fairly as a human, rather than a spiritual issue, will always help. (Genesis 3:1-5; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 13:9-12) The organization is not "the Truth". God's word is the Truth. (John 17:17) Jehovah's organization is merely the organization that is honest enough to admit when they got it wrong which is why they come to greater and greater understanding (dawning) of the Truth (light) all the time. (2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 2:26-28)
Robert Murphey said…
"Jehovah's organization is merely the organization that is honest enough to admit when they got it wrong which is why they come to greater and greater understanding (dawning) of the Truth (light) all the time."

My wife and I talk about this very thing you said all the time. And...what helps me appreciate where we are is examining the dogmas of Christendom, and how they're more concerned with numbers than truth. Why are they still teaching that they're celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th? Why do they still teach that God is part of a "godhead"?

Because rejecting these teaching are sure to result in empty Churches, which is their biggest fear.

But the Bible says God is looking for honest-hearted ones, and these are the ones who will shake off false beliefs. The flip-side to that is, it will be only a relative minority who does that.
Dismythed said…
You don't need permission to use any statement in your normal speech. Also, reasoning has no copyright.
Dismythed said…

That is not correct. The prophet in Deuteronomy 18 is presumptuous, not because he speaks out of turn, but because he is claiming that Jehovah has given him a message to deliver that he has not, in fact, given that one.

Jehovah's true prophets know when Jehovah has spoken and therefore know when he has not and would therefore never claim that Jehovah has spoken a word that he has not spoken.

Deuteronomy 18 is referring to those pathetic people who get strong feelings about thoughts that cross their mind and narcissistically think they are being spoken to by God. Christendom is full of such people.

That is not the case regarding the faithful and discreet slave. They have drawn bad conclusions, but have never claimed that their speculations and conclusions were given to them by Jehovah to speak. It is simply that these were lessons in how to apply discretion.