This must be one of the boldest chapters in the book, the Watchtower is actually going to inform its members on how to identify false prophets and at the same time try to protect itself from stopping you putting them in the same category.
This is the definition according to the reasoning book…
Definition: Individuals and organizations proclaiming messages that they attribute to a superhuman source but that do not originate with the true God and are not in harmony with his revealed will.
I think that’s reasonable. But lets look at what they say under the subheading question…
How can true prophets and false ones be identified?
This is their response..
True prophets make known their faith in Jesus, but more is required than claiming to preach in his name
They then quote these 2 verses..
1 John 4:1-3: “Test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. You gain the knowledge of the inspired expression from God by this: Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God, but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God.”
Ok lets just look at that one in 1 John 4:1-3. It says “every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God, but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God.”
Let me lay out some things that may help you compare the Watchtower teaching with that scripture.
Watchtower deny the physical fleshy resurrection of Christ. – You Can Live Forever on Paradise Earth, pp. 143-44
Watchtower deny Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. – 1 Timothy 3:16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Do Jehovah’s witnesses confess Christ? To confess Christ means to confess all your sins to Christ and to nail them to the cross with him, and accepting and confessing your complete un-worthiness as a sinner and only Jesus is the way to salvation.This is contrary to Watchtower teaching…
“We need to obey the faithful and discreet slave to have Jehovah’s approval.” Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.24 Simplified English Edition
Also lets look at the other verse they quote …
Matt. 7:21-23: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name . . . ?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
The Lord does not know the Watchtower because they don’t know the son…
John 14:7 – “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Next sub title..
True prophets speak in the name of God, but merely claiming to represent him is not enough.
They then quote Deut 18:18-20
A prophet I shall raise up for them from the midst of their brothers, like you [like Moses]; and I shall indeed put my words in his mouth, and he will certainly speak to them all that I shall command him. And it must occur that the man who will not listen to my words that he will speak in my name, I shall myself require an account from him. However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.”
They then say..
If any individuals or organizations claim to represent God but decline to use Gods personal name, and make it a practice to express their own opinions on matters, are they measuring up to this important qualification of a true prophet?
If a Jehovah’s Witness says this to you I would point out that Jehovah is not Gods personal name. The name Jehovah came from a Catholic priest in the 1500 hundreds who took the name YHVH which means … Then took the vowels from adonai and push the 2 words together which made the name Yahovah , translated into English is of course Jehovah. Jehovah’s Witnesses then do not use Gods personal name. They continue…
Ability to perform great signs or miracles is not necessarily proof of a true prophet.
I agree…the Egyptians had the ability to turn their staffs to snakes, just because someone can perform “miracles” does not mean you don’t test them against the scriptures. They continue…
What true prophets foretell comes to pass, but they may not understand just when or how it will be?
Now we see how the Watchtower are cleverly going to try and put their false prophecies down to “not understanding how it will work”.
To unpack all of this would take forever, but lets just focus on this one paragraph.
The apostles and other early Christian disciples had certain wrong expectations, but the Bible does not classify them with the “false prophets.
Ok, there is a huge difference between saying something will happen and not understanding something.
The disciples did not know when Jesus was going to return equally they likely did not understand initially the fullest fulfilment of old testament prophesy. How NEVER did they prophesy in Gods name and the prophesy not come true. Has the Watchtower ever done this? I would encourage you to read the articles under the category false prophets, a number of articles have been written by UK Partnerships for Christ to help you see whether or not these things regarding 1914, 1925, 1975 where “mistake” or where false prophecies. Your Jehovah’s witnesses friend may well say..
“We never claimed to be prophets”
I would point out these quotes..
“Those who do not read can hear, for God has on earth today a prophet like organization, just as he did in the days of the early Christian congregation.”Watchtower 1964 Oct 1 p.601
“Today, Jehovah provides instruction by means of “the faithful steward.” Pay Attention to Yourself and to All The Flock p.13
The next subtitle is entitled…
The pronouncements of a true prophet promote true worship and are in harmony with God’s revealed will.
Once again the emphasis is put on the issue of using the name “Jehovah” even though this is not Gods name. They also talk about not get involved in political affairs. They quote James 4:4…
Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.
Hold on one second Watchtower…did you not for 10 years join the united nations? Click the link to the Guardian article that exposed this..
Interesting then they would quote this. Should you vote as a Christian? I believe this is something only you can decide. Personally if our government is going to promote gay marriage I certainly will vote against them! Ultimately someone is only in power because God allows them to.
They then quote Matthew 7:15-20 in the next section…
“Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. . . . Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit . . . Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.”
Let me highlight 3 facts that I believe show this verse is actually warning people against Jehovah’s Witnesses.
1. Be on the watch for false prophets…Watchtower have shown time and time again, they set dates for Armageddon and it does not come to pass.
2. That will come in sheep covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. Jehovah’s Witnesses dress in sharp suits, clean-shaven and armed with things like the reasoning book to try and get people in their organization. They promise “everlasting life” , but in reality never give you the guarantee. They don’t tell you to abandon your family members and shun ones who leave, they don’t tell you once you join you no longer are allowed a life saving blood transfusion..Wolves in sheep clothing, I think so.
3. Every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit… It might be they claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses have grown in number over the years. True but so have Muslims! The key is what sort of fruit. You only need to watch the BBC documentary on how Jehovah’s Witnesses deal with paedophiles, to see what fruit they are producing..click the link if you want to see it.
And the final subheading..
Have not Jehovah’s Witnesses made errors in their teachings?
This section is incredible! Where to start!! This is what they say in book.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations.
Notice that the blame is with the rank in file Jehovah’s Witness, not with writings of the Watchtower society. Once I can I encourage to read the other articles under “false prophecies” the link below. See whether or not you think Jehovah’s Witnesses made the mistake of reading the wrong thing in to the teaching.
The Watchtower then tries to defend themselves, there is so much in here I am going to quote everything and then comment as we go through it.
Matters on which corrections of viewpoint have been needed have been relatively minor when compared with the vital Bible truths that they have discerned and publicized.
Have their “corrections” ever been well publicized? In 23 years of being a Jehovah’s Witness never did any “changes” in doctrine get made known public? The only time when things changed where when the “Revelation – At Climax” changed and the Watchtower HQ sent us the changes and we had to cut them out the kingdom ministry and stick them in our books!! Did a memo go out to world-wide public in a Watchtower to highlight these “changes” NO! They change the doctrine, but try to do it subtitle. They continue…
Among these are the following: Jehovah is the only true God. Jesus Christ is not part of a Trinitarian godhead but is the only-begotten Son of God. Redemption from sin is possible only through faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice. The holy spirit is not a person but is Jehovah’s active force, and its fruitage must be evident in the lives of true worshipers.
What Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t realise is that “Son of God” is actually a title on a literal son. Jesus was “Son of God” and “Son of Man” because he was fully God and fully Man.
The holy spirit is not a person but rather Gods “active” force. Consider the following things if you share Watchtower teachings…
1) If this is Gods “force” – how does free will work?
2) Why does the bible say the holy spirit is a “he”?
3) Why does the bible say the holy spirit has a personality?
4) The bible says you can sin against the holy spirit? How can you sin against a force?
5) Why would be told to baptise in the name of The Father, The Son, and The active force?…This isn’t Star Wars!!!
Do I pretend to understand exactly how the trinity works? Of course not! But how can I as a mortal man understand God in his fullest manor this side of eternity??!! The bible is clear we have one God that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If the bible says it, that is good enough for me.
The final paragraph concludes..
Another factor to consider regarding the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses is this: Have these truly uplifted people morally? Are those who adhere to these teachings outstanding in their communities because of their honesty? Is their family life beneficially influenced by applying these teachings? Jesus said that his disciples would be readily identified because of having love among themselves. (John 13:35) Is this quality outstanding among Jehovah’s Witnesses? We let the facts speak for themselves.
I would actually concede that for the most part this is true..just like the Pharisees up held the law! But with power of the internet now, we can see the following..
1) The Watchtower is guilty of using hedge funds. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr2Jn0NtMjY&feature
2) The Watchtower is guilty of covering up child abusers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFx85HlleUw
3) The Watchtower shunning policy has been responsible for many suicides.
4) The Watchtowers rule on no blood has resulted in the death of many children. – http://www.cftf.com/comments/kidsdied.html
5) The Watchtowers treatment of former members has resulted in the mental illnesses of many ex Jehovah’s witnesses.
- People of the Watchtower you are the wolves in sheep clothing.
- Your leaders are false prophets.
- The fruit you produce is rotten.
Come out of this organization…run to Jesus..he will give you rest in him and guarantee every lasting life.
John 3:18 – Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.