The July 15 2013 Watchtower, which has been leaked weeks in advance of its scheduled release, offers more questions than answers regarding the Governing Body’s “new light”

Three weeks ahead of its expected release date in mid-April, a scanned copy of the July 15 2013 “Study Edition” of the Watchtower was leaked to the office of JWsurvey by a conscientious active Witness within the organization. I have spent the last two days analyzing its contents.

The magazine in question details the “new light” unveiled at the October 5th 2012 Annual Meeting, at which it was announced that the Governing Body is now considered the “faithful and discreet slave” – the spiritual overlords of the nearly 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.

By the time the magazine is finally released, ordinary Witnesses will have waited six months since the Annual Meeting for a written explanation of the new understanding. However, such ones will be disappointed to discover that this key Watchtower (which Bethelites have been instructed by their superiors to study in detail) offers more questions than answers. As many expected, the magazine writers give explanations for key doctrinal understandings that are unsupported and speculative at best.

Here follows a brief overview of the four main study articles…

  • Tell Us, When Will These Things Be? (September 2-8) – This article first whets the appetite of the reader by discussing bible prophecy related to the “Great Tribulation,” which will commence with an attack on religion by the “disgusting thing” (the United Nations) and climax with Armageddon. The article then provides a re-cap of the understanding, held since 1995, that the separation of the sheep and the goats will happen during the Great Tribulation. The writers expand on this to provide “new light” on Christ’s “arrival” as bridegroom. Whereas this was once thought to have occurred in 1918, the arrival of Christ as “master” or “bridegroom” is now scheduled to happen at some point during the Great Tribulation.
  • Look! I Am With You All the Days (September 9-15) – Christ’s parable of the “wheat and the weeds” is applied directly to the long period between 33 CE and Armageddon. The separating work is said to have commenced in 1914, when Christ undertook a period of “inspection and cleansing” of the organization that lasted until 1919, when the Bible Students were approved as being “true Christian wheat.”
  • Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few (September 16-22) – Christ’s miracle of the loaves and fishes is held aloft as a foregleam of his intentions to appoint only a small group of men over the spiritual feeding work. The article discusses the “apostles and older men” as being forerunners to the Governing Body arrangement. Russell and his associates (pre-1914) are precluded from representing the appointed channel through which Christ would feed his sheep.
  • “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” (September 23-29) – The article begins by sweeping aside the previous understanding that the faithful slave was appointed in 33 CE, and goes on to explain how the words of the “prophecy” began to be fulfilled only after 1914. The faithful slave is identified specifically as being “a small group of anointed brothers” currently comprising the Governing Body as a “composite slave.” The article concludes by boldly insisting that Christ WILL appoint the Governing Body, along with other anointed Christians, “over all his belongings” when he comes in judgment during the Great Tribulation.

The “disgusting” United Nations – a former partner

The UN has come under fire from Watchtower publications repeatedly over the decades, but rarely has the denunciation been so forthright as in this latest magazine. On page 4 in the first study article, Witnesses are reminded that the United Nations, which is declared to be the modern-day “disgusting thing,” WILL attack Christendom and the rest of “false religion” to signal the outbreak of the Great Tribulation.

Witnesses will be familiar with Watchtower labelling the UN as the “disgusting thing” of Matthew 24:15, but rarely has the assertion been made with such forthrightness that the UN (and not merely its “members”) will be solely responsible for an attack on all religion. Over the last few decades, Watchtower publications have described the UN’s involvement as executioner of false religion in a variety of ways, some more obscure than others…

Question: Who will destroy Babylon The Great?

Answer…

  • 1975 – “the United Nations” (w75 5/1 pp. 274-275 par. 11)
  • 1976 – “beastlike radical powers from within the United Nations” (gh chap. 16 p. 147 par. 12)
  • 1977 – “The members of the U.N. and other nations not members of it…” (go chap. 11 p. 177 par. 7)
  • 1980 – “the political backers of the United Nations” (w80 7/1 p. 17 par. 23)
  • 1982 – “The ‘ten horns’ of the United Nations ‘beast'” (w82 5/1 p. 18 par. 9)
  • 1985 – “political elements, represented in the United Nations” (g85 4/8 p. 13)
  • 1985 – “antireligious elements within the United Nations” (w85 6/15 p. 18 par. 19)
  • 1987 – “The ten horns [governmental powers within the United Nations organization] that you saw, and the wild beast [United Nations]…” (w87 11/1 p. 28)
  • 1988 – “the nations will use the scarlet-colored wild beast, the United Nations…” (re chap. 35 p. 258 par. 21)
  • 1989 – “the political powers associated with the United Nations” (w89 5/15 p. 6)
  • 1993 – “political elements, including the United Nations” (g93 1/8 p. 12)
  • 1994 – “militarized members of the United Nations” (w94 3/1 p. 20 par. 11)
  • 1994 – “members of the United Nations” (w94 11/1 p. 17 par. 5)
  • 1997 – “the United Nations… will have a principal role” (w97 9/15 p. 19 par. 14)
  • 2005 – “militarized powers within the United Nations” (w05 9/15 p. 19 par. 13)
  • 2013 – “the United Nations” (w13 7/15 p.4 par. 6)

And so the declaration last heard with such conviction in the 70s and 80s is now voiced again in 2013 – namely that the United Nations organization directly (and not necessarily its “members”) WILL attack and destroy false religion.

The Watchtower has once again labelled the UN a “disgusting thing” despite being affiliated with it for nine years as an NGO

This should raise eyebrows among personnel within the UN, whose own Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the “freedom of religion” – a fact noted by the Society in past publications. (g86 10/22 p. 31)

It will also be a source of unending bewilderment to those within the Ex-JW community that Watchtower continues to slam the UN as being a “disgusting thing” despite having enjoyed a formal relationship with it as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) between 1992 and 2001. Watchtower only ended its illicit association when it received unwanted exposure from the UK’s Guardian newspaper. (For more information, click here.)

This latest brief foray into attacking the United Nations in the first few pages of the July magazine sets the stage for what is to follow, as the reader is dragged deeper into the murky madness of the doctrinal maze that Watchtower has created, along with its heavily revised organizational history.

An overview of the changes

Before I begin my rundown of the “new light” regarding the faithful slave, I feel it’s important to avoid potential confusion by clarifying elements of the verse in Matthew 24:45-47 and summarizing what the Society claims to be its fulfilment. Here is what the scripture in question says in the New World Translation:

“Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to YOU, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”

As you can see, the above verse effectively has two elements to it. First, Christ appoints his faithful slave to watch over his “domestics.” Then, only later, does Christ “arrive” and appoint the slave over all his “belongings.” Clearly, both of these things cannot happen at the same time. One part of the verse is described in the present tense, and the other in the future tense. Therefore, a period of time is implied between these two events. The question, at least as far as Watchtower is concerned, is “when was this time period?”

In an effort to make all of this as simple as possible, I have produced the following table. It shows the new understanding of the “faithful slave” teaching side-by-side with the old one. Feel free to refer to it when reading this article if things get a little too complicated to take in.

Please bear in mind that if you are expecting explanations in this article that do not appear, this is not my fault. Any such frustration should be directed at the Watchtower writers, who have ignored a number of key questions arising from this “new light.” I will do my best to highlight all pertinent parts of the Watchtower that I feel are of interest using selected quotes. However, for reasons of copyright and personal trust, I cannot and will not reproduce the entire article. Readers are reminded that the full article will be available online in PDF format on (or around) April 15th. (Update: the article is now available for download on this link.)

Christ’s “arrival” in 1918 scrapped

It has long been proclaimed by the Society that the references to Christ’s “arriving” as “master” and “bridegroom” in Matthew 24 and 25 occurred in 1918 when he came to inspect his faithful and discreet slave. It was said that the following year, 1919, Christ completed his inspection and decided to appoint the early Bible Students as his faithful slave over all of this belongings.

Under this new understanding, however, 1914 is now earmarked as being the year that Christ began to inspect and cleanse the organization – with this “inspection period” ending in 1919 when Christ supposedly approved the directors of the Watch Tower Society as his faithful slave by appointing them over his domestics.

1918 has therefore fallen by the wayside and lost any real significance – at least as far as the “end time” prophecies in Matthew are concerned. This is made clear on pages 7 and 8 of the new magazine, where we are informed that all eight references to Christ’s “coming” or “arrival” between Matthew 24:29 and the end of chapter 25 refer to the “future time of judgment during the great tribulation.”

An eventful “inspection and cleansing” period

In the minds of many, one of the most intriguing aspects of this new understanding is the fact that Charles Taze Russell, once considered part of the Slave Class, has been effectively written out of having any real biblical significance in Witness history. This is confirmed on page 19, where it says:

“Were the Bible Students in the years that lead up to 1914 the appointed channel through which Christ would feed his sheep? No. They were still in the growing season, and the arrangement for a channel to provide spiritual food was taking shape. The time had not yet come for the weedlike imitation Christians to be separated from the true Christian wheat.” (w13 7/15 p.19)

Christ’s parable of the wheat and weeds (Matt 13:24-30, 37-43) forms the basis of the second study article, entitled “Look! I Am With You All the Days,” and is referenced throughout the magazine, as above. The scripture and its “fulfilment” is explained by means of an illustrative timeline that stretches from pages 10 to 11. Key elements of the timeline are as follows:

  • 33CE – Sowing begins
  • Sower: Jesus
  • Fine seed is sown: Anointing with holy spirit
  • The field: The world of mankind
  • Enemy: The devil
  • Men were sleeping: death of the apostles
  • Wheat: Anointed Christians
  • Weeds: Imitation Christians
  • 1914 – Harvest begins
  • Slaves/reapers: Angels
  • Weedlike Christians are separated from the anointed “sons of the kingdom”
  • 1919 – Gathering into the storehouse, Anointed Christians are gathered into the restored congregation
  • Shining brightly: Shortly before Armageddon, the remaining faithful anointed ones are gathered to the heavens
  • Armageddon: At Armageddon, the weeds are pitched into the fire

It seems the Society is using the wheat and the weeds parable in this magazine as a useful replacement to fill the vacuum left by the previous understanding of the faithful slave “prophecy.” The illustration has been drafted in to build a makeshift scriptural bridge between the organization’s history and the outset of the Christian congregation in 33CE.

Another scripture that is referenced is Malachi 3:1-4, already associated in the minds of Witnesses as discussing Christ’s visit to his “spiritual temple” at the end of the First World War. The second study article adjusts this understanding by explaining that Christ visited the organization (invisibly, of course) in 1914 after the weeds (imitation Christians) had been allowed to grow for centuries among the wheat (anointed Christians). So, what position, if any, did Russell occupy when Christ visited in 1914?

“During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times.” (w13 7/15 p.11)

Having been stripped of any meaningful role in God’s purpose, C.T. Russell has received the consolation of being likened to John the Baptizer

Thus, Russell is awarded the peculiar role of “John the Baptizer” in Watchtower’s new convoluted melodrama – forging the path ahead of Christ’s inspection of the organization in 1914. However, Russell and his early organization is stripped of having any meaningful role in God’s purpose. One is left wondering, if Russell’s death in 1916 happened during the “cleansing” period, does this mean that his demise was all part of God’s plan?! Regardless, only after the 1914-1919 “inspection and cleansing period” was the organization recognized as God’s organized channel, as explained on page 19…

“From 1914 to the early part of 1919, Jesus accompanied his Father to the spiritual temple to do a much-needed inspection and cleansing work. (Mal. 3:1-4) Then, starting in 1919, it was time to begin gathering the wheat. Was it finally the time for Christ to appoint one organized channel to dispense spiritual food? Yes, indeed!” (w13 7/15 p.19)

The tumultuous period in the organization’s history between 1914 and 1919 thus becomes the focus of doctrine perhaps more than ever before. There is no longer a “seamless” transition from the time of the apostles through to today. Prior to 1914, there was NO “organized channel” on the Earth. By 1919, one had been suddenly and miraculously formed – by none other than Christ himself.

A Questionable Character

There is just one small problem with hanging so much doctrinally on this murky period in Watchtower’s history. The more we delve into historical documents, the more we realise that Watchtower cannot be proud of its activities during that time – not to mention the literature that was produced. To compensate for this, the Society must reach for its eraser and smudge out some of the less savoury details of its past. This it does with reckless abandon on page 12…

“In late 1914, some Bible Students were disheartened because they had not gone to heaven. During 1915 and 1916, opposition from outside the organization slowed down the preaching work. Worse, after Russell’s death in October 1916, opposition arose from inside the organization. Four of the seven directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society rebelled against the decision to have Brother Rutherford take the lead. They tried to cause division among the brothers, but in August 1917, they left bethel – a cleansing indeed! Also, some Bible Students gave in to fear of man. Still, as a whole they willingly responded to Jesus’ cleansing work and made the needed changes. Hence, Jesus judged them to be true Christian wheat, but he rejected all imitation Christians, including all those found within the churches of Christendom. (Mal. 3:5; 2 Tim. 2:19)” (w13 7/15 p.12 par.8)

To those who are even remotely familiar with organizational events between 1914 and 1919, the above depiction of the Society’s exploits during that period is flattering at best and heavily revisionist at worst. For example, there is more to the story of the “four directors” than is told above. Note the following words from page 9 of the booklet “Light After Darkness” published by opponents of Brother Rutherford in September 1917…

The account of the four directors concerning their ousting from Bethel in 1917, from page 9 of the booklet “Light After Darkness”

As you can see, simply saying that the four directors left bethel does not tell the full story of what happened. The directors were threatened with forcible ejection by Rutherford, and finally left after it was negotiated for them to receive $300 dollars each rather than be turned out onto the street without a dime to their name. What crime had led to four directors of the Watch Tower Society being treated in this way? They had dared to object to Rutherford effectively tearing up C.T. Russell’s will, which stipulated that power should be shared evenly between Watchtower’s board of directors.

Writer and Watchtower historian, Rud Persson

In a spectacular grab for power following Russell’s death in late 1916, Rutherford used his legal knowledge to enact bylaws in early 1917 that would give him total control over the Society, and render the role of Society director all but meaningless. This was what the “four directors” spoke out against, and they were effectively evicted from their home, Brooklyn Bethel, for their troubles. You can read more about what really happened during those dark days in the above-quoted booklet “Light After Darkness,” which is available in PDF form by clicking here.

Rud Persson is a Swedish Watchtower historian who has copiously analyzed all available documents from this very episode in the organization’s history, and is compiling a book to summarize his research. I approached him by email with the above paragraph from this new Watchtower, and he made this comment…

“It is certainly true that four Directors opposed ‘the decision to have Brother Rutherford take the lead.’ They should do that, for it meant a complete departure from the way Russell, the then recognized ‘faithful and wise servant’, had arranged for matters after his death. It is not true that they ‘tried to cause division among the brothers’. That was not their purpose which was to rectify what was wrong. If spreading information was necessary to do this, then of course they felt that wisdom from above is first of all clean, thereafter peaceful. It was Rutherford with the aid of his yes-men who went public first, publicly blackening the four Directors and then Paul S.L. Johnson. It is true that the four directors left Bethel in August 1917, on August 8 to be specific, but that was not the end of the story.” – Rud Persson

I for one cannot wait for Rud’s book to come out, because I am sure it will shed much light on these events, and further undermine Watchtower’s astonishingly misplaced trust and confidence in the character of “Judge” Rutherford, not to mention this highly questionable and well-documented period in the organization’s early history.

Documented evidence shows Rutherford to have been a ruthless bigoted bully rather than a clean-cut figurehead for the fledgling Watch Tower Society

As previously mentioned on this website, during his presidency Rutherford distinguished himself as a bully and a tyrant. He allowed an atmosphere of alcoholism to permeate Bethel, and used abusive and demeaning language to intimidate and belittle any who fell short of his standards. He also lived in luxury at a time of national austerity, while many of his co-workers at Bethel lived in squalid conditions.

All of this was documented during the Olin Moyle libel lawsuit in the early 1940s, which Rutherford lost. A copy of Moyle’s resignation letter which sparked the lawsuit is available to read on this link. It gives an astonishing glimpse into what life was like in Bethel under Rutherford’s presidency, and casts serious doubt over whether Christ could really have supported such a man as custodian over his organization.

It may be that you, the reader, are so determined to think of Rutherford as a good man that you will not accept information unless it is within the Society’s own literature – even if it is documented information from a lawsuit. If that is the case, I would urge you to read my article on racism in Watchtower literature during both Russell and Rutherford’s presidency. Some of the bigoted statements made by Rutherford and his writers in the Society’s own publications defy belief, and should leave you beyond any doubt of Rutherford’s questionable character.

Despite all this, the Watch Tower Society of the 21st Century insists on ascribing Rutherford with a prominent role in the fulfilment of bible prophecy – one of the very first members of the faithful and discreet slave! Even so, it is perhaps noteworthy that Rutherford’s name is only mentioned once in all of the four study articles – and that is in the quote reproduced above. I feel this may be telling. Watchtower wants you, the reader, to focus on the date, 1919, rather than the bigoted bully behind it.

A tenuous link

Witnesses will be familiar with the Governing Body‘s constant attempts to draw parallels between themselves and Christ’s First Century apostles. The third study article, “Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few” represents yet another example of this.

The magazine suggests that Christ’s miraculous feeding of the five thousand supports the Governing Body arrangement

The opening paragraphs remind the reader of Christ’s miracle where he fed the five thousand using just a few loaves and fishes, with his disciples distributing the miraculously produced food. (Matt 14:14-21) The writer then expands on this by explaining that spiritual feeding was of more importance to Christ than providing physical food, and it was for this reason that Christ chose his apostles.

We are then reminded in paragraph 9 of an incident in the book of Acts where a physical food shortage arose among the early Christians. The apostles sprung into action to appoint responsible brothers to ensure that food was being distributed evenly. So far the reader is thinking “Yes, but these were Christ’s apostles. There is no mention in Acts of a Governing Body.” But it doesn’t take long (paragraph 10, in fact) for the writer to make the connection…

“By 49 CE, the surviving apostles had been joined by certain other qualified elders. (Read Acts 15:1,2.) ‘The apostles and older men in Jerusalem’ served as a governing body. As the Head of the congregation, Christ used this small group of qualified men to settle doctrinal issues and to oversee and direct the preaching and teaching of the Kingdom good news.-Acts 15:6-29; 21:17-19; Col. 1:18.” (w13 7/15 p.17)

The above statement makes an unfounded assumption. It implies that, once the circumcision issue arose, the apostles were permanently “joined” by the “older men” in the making of any and all subsequent decisions related to the early congregation. There is absolutely no evidence of this. In the entire Bible, the phrase “apostles and older men” appears only six times – and all six times are in chapters 15 and 16 of Acts. It therefore seems that the involvement of the “older men” in this matter was a one-off “ad hoc” event that was borne from necessity and the uniqueness of the situation. To suggest that the apostles were unable to reach decisions without the older men from that point onwards is making an assertion that simply isn’t contained in the scriptures.

Once again the Governing Body holds aloft the account of the “apostles and older men” in Acts 15 and 16 as their mandate to rule unopposed

The next paragraph goes on to imply that, from this point onwards, the Apostle Paul was tasked with carrying out the orders of this newly formed “governing body.” It cites Acts 16:4,5 where Paul is described as delivering “for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Jerusalem.”

Only when the reader looks up the scripture and notes its proximity to the circumcision issue in the previous chapter does he realise that, rather than being a permanent arrangement, Paul was merely passing on the instructions related to this particular matter. But the way the Society quotes the scriptures suggests to the reader that this was an ongoing permanent “arrangement,” and that Paul was subservient to the “apostles and older men” from then on – which, again, is asserting something that is simply not supported by scripture. Paragraph 11 then draws the reader to the following conclusion…

“Notice that those congregations prospered as a result of their loyal cooperation with the governing body in Jerusalem. Is that not proof of Jehovah’s blessing on the arrangement by means of which his Son fed the congregations? Let us remember that spiritual prosperity is possible only with Jehovah’s rich blessing.-Prov. 10:22; 1 Cro. 3:6,7.” (w13 7/15 p.18 par.11)

And so, like an accomplished magician, the writer succeeds in duping the reader into drawing two false assumptions: (1) that there was a first century governing body, which there wasn’t (and bible writers were perfectly capable of coming up with their own term in Greek to describe such an arrangement if it existed without the Watchtower adding to the scriptures), and (2) that it was a permanent ongoing arrangement rather than a one-off way of dealing with a particular problem that arose, namely circumcision.

The next paragraph is one of the most intriguing in the magazine, but it serves a very deliberate purpose. It states…

“Thus far we have seen that Jesus followed a pattern when feeding his followers: He fed many through the hands of a few. The channel he used for spiritual feeding was clearly recognizable. After all, the apostles – the original members of the governing body – could provide visible proof of heavenly backing. ‘Through the hands of the apostles many signs and portents continued to occur among the people,’ states Acts 5:12. Hence, there was no reason for those who became Christian to wonder, ‘Who really are the ones through whom Christ is feeding his sheep?’ But by the end of the first century, the situation changed.” (w13 7/15 p.18 par.12)

The paragraphs that follow go on to describe Christianity’s slide into apostasy following the death of the apostles, but rather than allowing ourselves to be swept along by the rhetoric, the true purpose of the above paragraph must be fully recognized. The Society is now trying to make the point, which it repeats more clearly on page 21, that the faithful slave scripture COULD NOT have applied to the apostles because their authority was unmistakable due to their “signs and portents.”

The magazine twice tries to argue that the “faithful slave” could not have applied to the apostles because it was mentioned in the form of a question

Simply put, the Society now argues that, because Matthew 24:45 is written in the form of a question (i.e. “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave…?”), Jesus could not have been referring to his apostles. They say that, because it was so obvious that the apostles were in charge, such a question would be irrelevant. However, as I will argue later in this article, this reasoning is so flawed it is almost laughable.

In reality, all the Society achieves with the above paragraph is to inadvertently remind thinking Witnesses that the Governing Body really has no “visible proof” of their appointment by Christ. Sure, they have an organization that is expanding at an underwhelming annual growth rate of 1.9% (as of 2012), but it is also an organization that imposes the torturous shunning of family members and is increasingly making itself the subject of legal pressure on account of its damaging child abuse policies. The idea that the individual Governing Body members are somehow invisibly hand-picked by Christ is therefore unthinkable – so unthinkable that even the Society evades articulating this idea in print. So where does the Governing Body get its mandate from?

I wish I could answer that question by quoting a series of paragraphs in this magazine through which the Society coherently justifies the Governing Body’s new Pope-like status. Sadly, however, there is no such material to draw from. Nowhere in these study articles is it described how Governing Body members are selected, or how it can be proven that Christ has any role in this process whatsoever. Rather, the mandate for the Governing Body to rule unquestioned over nearly 8 million people apparently hinges on three scriptures:

  1. Christ’s miracle of the loaves and the fishes in Matthew 14
  2. Two chapters in Acts, namely chapters 15 and 16 (a historical narrative about the handling of the circumcision issue by the “apostles and older men”)
  3. The verses in Matthew 24 about the faithful slave – which many argue were intended purely as a parable.

Having established such a shaky foundation for justifying the present Governing Body arrangement in the first three articles, the fourth and final article is left to drive home the message that the Governing Body is to be loyally obeyed without question, because its future approval by Christ is already set in stone. This is underlined by the final words of the second paragraph, which states:

“It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.” – Matthew 4:4; John 17:3.

I looked up both scriptures. As you would expect, neither was remotely connected with the faithful and discreet slave.

Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?

It doesn’t take long for the final article to answer the above question, which forms its title. A box is provided at the top of page 22 that spells out the answer succinctly, as follows:

“‘The faithful and discreet slave’: A small group of brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Today, these anointed brothers make up the Governing Body.” (w13 7/15 p.22 box)

This answer is elaborated on in the text beneath, in paragraph 10…

“Who then is the faithful and discreet slave? In keeping with Jesus’ pattern of feeding many through the hands of a few, that slave is made up of a small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Throughout the last days, the anointed brothers who make up the faithful slave have served together at headquarters. In recent decades, that slave has been closely associated with the Governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Note, however, that the word “slave” in Jesus’ illustration is singular, indicating that this is a composite slave. The decisions of the Governing Body are thus made collectively.” (w13 7/15 p.22, par.10)

Having unequivocally assumed such a lofty title, the Governing Body members probably felt that they needed to make some token show of humility. It was noted during the Annual Meeting that, in his talk, David Splane went to great lengths to “sell” the new teaching to the audience by pushing the new understanding of the domestics – now considered to be both anointed christians, and those of the great crowd.

David Splane extols the teaching of the domestics during the Annual Meeting

“And brothers, we LOVE this teaching.” Splane enthused, adding, “We LOVE this idea, because it really truly does dignify the members of the Great Crowd.” Many of us who watched those words being spoken on the slick JW.org promotional video have been left unconvinced. It seems obvious that the “faithful slave” has far more to “love” about this new teaching than the domestics do.

The issue of the domestics is given similar prominence in a section entitled “Who are the domestics?” on pages 22 and 23. A picture is shown at the top of page 23 in which Gerrit Lösch and his wife are seated at a congregation meeting. Gerrit glances inquisitively as a young child answers into the outstretched microphone. The message is unmistakeable. “We are normal, everyday brothers – just like anyone else!” Not everyone will be buying it.

A selection that has already been made

A key reason why the previous teaching regarding the faithful and discreet slave almost served its purpose (to some extent) was that it referred to events in the murky past that nobody could remember, and made assertions that few could authoritatively argue with unless they were prepared to do some research. For example, the Society argued that Jesus selected a Slave in 1919 that had already existed for centuries, and appointed it over all his “belongings.” Therefore, no matter what flaws the organization may now have, the argument could be made that the Slave Class had ALREADY received final approval from Christ – so any perceived flaws were irrelevant.

But now, the teaching is that Christ has YET to finally approve the Governing Body in its role as the composite slave. With this in mind, you would expect the Governing Body members to exercise a bit of humility, and not try to second guess the decision that Christ is due to make in the future during the Great Tribulation when he finally arrives to inspect his slave class. Instead, the Governing Body boldly makes Christ’s decision for him in advance. Note what is said on page 25…

“In view of the foregoing, what can we conclude? When Jesus comes for judgment during the great tribulation, he will find that the faithful slave has been loyally dispensing timely spiritual food to the domestics. Jesus will then delight in making the second appointment – over all his belongings.” (w13 7/15 p.25 par.18, bold mine)

I was amazed at the arrogance when reading the above words. One would think that, if they have any true Christ-like humility about them, the Governing Body would say words to the effect of “we will do our best to provide spiritual food, and if Christ is pleased with our efforts when he comes, he promises to appoint us over all his belongings.” Instead, as mentioned, the decision has evidently already been made by the Governing Body on Christ’s behalf that he WILL choose them when he comes.

The scriptures themselves indicate that the appointment over the belongings is not to be considered a foregone conclusion. One is reminded of the very next words in Matthew 24:48-51 (New World Translation)…

“But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.”

Ironically, the Society addresses this scripture by means of a box on page 24, on the page just before it makes the bold assertion that it WILL be selected. The box begins by discussing the “evil slave” and makes the following statement…

“Was Jesus foretelling that there would be an evil slave class in the last days? No. Granted, some individuals have manifested a spirit similar to that of the evil slave described by Jesus. We would call them apostates, whether they were of the anointed or of the “great crowd.” (Rev. 7:9) But such ones do not make up an evil slave class. Jesus did not say that he would appoint an evil slave. His words here are actually a warning directed to the faithful and discreet slave.” (w13 7/15 p.24 box)

And so a warning directed at the faithful and discreet slave is cunningly turned into an opportunity to lampoon apostates for “beating their fellow slaves.” Even though the box acknowledges that apostates are not the evil slave, it still leaps on the opportunity to misrepresent and stigmatize those who are guilty of nothing more than disagreeing with the teachings and practices of the Governing Body.

Meanwhile, the Governing Body neatly sidesteps Christ’s warning about the “evil slave.” An unnamed “scholar” makes a brief cameo, and is quoted as saying: “for all practical purposes [the evil slave warning] is a hypothetical condition.” (bold and brackets mine) The writer thus dismisses the entire portion of scripture, declaring further on in the box that the Governing Body “has continued to keep on the watch and to provide nourishing spiritual food.” This part of the discussion is summed up as follows…

“The anointed brothers who together serve as the faithful slave recognize that they are accountable to the Master for the way they care for his domestics. The hearfelt desire of these anointed brothers is to fulfill their responsibility loyally so that they might hear a ‘well done’ from the Master when he finally arrives.” (w13 7/15 p.24 box)

Whatever the Governing Body may profess their “heartfelt desire” to be, they cannot escape the fact that their actions and decisions have caused misery and heartache to countless thousands through their cruel insistence on unscriptural policies such as the shunning of family members.

Jesus said that his followers would be identified by the love they have among themselves (John 13:35), and yet the breaking up of families purely because somebody decides to leave his or her former religion is anything but loving. Those labelled “apostates” and slandered with hate speech merely for daring to disagree with the Governing Body have every reason to think of these men as an “evil slave,” whether such ones still consider themselves Christians or not. It is therefore difficult to fathom how the Governing Body can boldly consider Christ’s approval of their methods to be a foregone conclusion. (Matt. 7:21-23)

The 2013 Governing Body, as they appear on page 26 of the July 15th Watchtower

More questions than answers

In total there are 23 pages in the four study articles combined. And yet, for all the sleek illustrations, carefully worded paragraphs and prophetic timelines, the magazine leaves key questions regarding the organization’s new doctrines unanswered. Here are just a few…

  • What scripture supports the fact that the “inspection and cleansing work” would take Christ four and a half years (from late 1914 to early 1919)?” (p.11) – Repeatedly the magazine insists that the four and a half years between late 1914 and early 1919 was a period of “inspection and cleansing” by Christ. However, nowhere is any scripture provided to explain why Christ would need this specific length of time to achieve this purpose. Rather, it seems that events in the organization’s history have been taken as the “evidence” – and the scriptures just have to fit around them.
  • The early Bible Students were said to commit an “organizational sin” by ripping out fiercely political pages of this book

    What were the circumstances under which the early Bible Students “gave in to the fear of man?” (p.12) – This statement is found on page 12, but not elaborated on. If you have the time, I would encourage you to do research on this if you haven’t already done so. In a previous article, I explored the events surrounding the publication of the Finished Mystery, and how the Bible Students were ordered by the authorities to tear out pages 247 to 253 of the book – pages that were fiercly political and critical of America’s war effort. This compromise was deemed an “organizational sin.” However, the more you research the ludicrous statements contained in the Finished Mystery, the more you reach the conclusion that Christ would actually have praised the Bible Students for ripping out its pages rather than chastising them for it.

  • If Russell and his associates were not part of God’s channel (or even the “slave class”) then why did Christ choose only to inspect them in 1914 and not any other Christian denominations? (p.19) – To put this question another way – why would Christ “inspect” one Christian denomination rather than several, or even all of them? If there was nothing special about Russell or his associates, then why did Christ effectively set up camp at Watchtower HQ for four and a half years and “inspect” them over this period? “Cleansing” is one thing, but “inspection” is something altogether different. Inspection is something you do BEFORE you are satisfied of the nature of something. Would it not have made more sense to “inspect” multiple denominations first, choose one of them, and then “cleanse” it accordingly?
  • There is no scriptural support for the notion that authority can somehow be passed on from one generation to the next

    If all of the original 1919 members of the slave chosen by Christ are now dead, how can it be said that subsequent members of the slave were chosen? – As mentioned in a previous article, a key problem with the “new light” is the question of succession. Previously, the Governing Body claimed that they were merely the representatives of a cloud-like mass of “anointed” ones that has always existed since the time of the apostles. Now, however, they have effectively evaporated this “cloud” and insisted that their appointment came directly from Christ in 1919. But all of the 1919 board of directors are now dead and buried, so how can it be assumed that their position as “faithful slave” was passed on to their successors? The Society has roundly condemned the catholic principle of apostolic succession in their literature – including the Reasoning Book. It is one thing to suggest that Christ came and selected Rutherford and his associates in 1919 (despite the connotations of this, once you look at Rutherford’s character and what they were printing at the time). It is another thing entirely to assume that this status of “the faithful and discreet slave” was somehow passed like a baton to successive generations down through the decades since 1919 based purely on the necessity caused by people dying. No explanation is given as to how this was achieved, other than the suggestion that it “just did” – which is essentially Watchtower’s version of apostolic succession. With this new teaching, Watchtower has become more like the catholic church than it would care to admit.

  • Why can it be said with certainty that Christ’s original apostles were not at least part of the faithful and discreet slave? (p.21) – This question is posed on page 21 of the magazine, but nowhere is it satisfactorily answered. The only explanation offered is that the “faithful and discreet slave” statement by Jesus was posed in the form of a question, and therefore it couldn’t possibly have applied to the apostles since there was no doubt at all that these ones had Christ’s authority. However, the asking of a question does not necessarily imply doubt. For example, what about “rhetorical questions” where the answer is known before the question is asked? And if it was such a foregone conclusion that the apostles would live up to Christ’s expectations, then why did Jesus go to such lengths to tell Peter to “feed my little sheep” after his resurrection? (John 21:15-19) The article insists that there was “hardly a reason to ask such a question” regarding the apostles, yet recognizing the authority of the apostles as the “faithful slave” was as much a choice for early Christians as it is for Witnesses regarding the Governing Body today. This is highlighted by the fact that some early Christians deviated from the apostles’ leadership. (2 Tim 2:16-18) The Society’s reasoning is thus SO flawed that the question is effectively left unanswered.
  • It seems that working at World Headquarters in New York is a key criterion for being considered part of the Faithful Slave, even though there is no scriptural basis for this assertion

    Just what is so special about headquarters? (p.22) – According to the new explanation of the faithful slave, it seems that a key identifying feature of a composite slave member is not WHO he is, or even whether he has a heavenly hope or not. What apparently matters is WHERE he happens to work. Nowhere in Christ’s discussion of the slave does it hint that “location, location, location” would be at all important in identifying who the faithful slave is, so how can the organization be so dogmatic in insisting that “headquarters” in New York carries such relevance in making this biblical determination?

  • How can the Governing Body justify insisting that they WILL be appointed by Christ over “all of this belongings” in advance of this event? (p.25) – As discussed above, many sincere Witnesses will be left scratching their heads at the brazenness of the Governing Body in insisting they WILL be appointed by Christ over his belongings before he has even come in judgment. The decision has been effectively snatched out of Christ’s hands, and made for him.

An organization as porous as its teachings

By now you have probably reached the conclusion that most of what is discussed in the four articles of this new magazine either makes no sense at all, or was already covered at the Annual Meeting nearly six months ago – an event at which some 15,000 privileged Witnesses were treated to a glimpse of the “new light” before millions of their brothers around the world.

The Governing Body preferred to receive applause and fanfare at their Annual Meeting than go to any efforts to make sure their “new light” reached the global brotherhood simultaneously

As discussed in a previous article, it took more than a month following the Annual Meeting for news of the “new light” to be finally confirmed on the Society’s official web pages, and nearly two months for this information to be made available in languages other than English. Finally, six months after the information was divulged from a New Jersey platform, the worldwide brotherhood are finally getting to hear about this doctrine in print – a doctrine that carries profound implications regarding the authority of the Governing Body.

No longer are the Governing Body self-appointed representatives of a some obscure cloud of anointed Witnesses that has always existed in some form stretching back to the time of the apostles. They are now self-appointed representatives, not of heaven-bound Christians, but of Christ himself. They answer to no one, not even Christ whom they represent! After all, they have made his decision to appoint them over “all his belongings” for him in advance. Any meaningful evidence to support their claims is deemed irrelevant.

True, it may be that even before this announcement a good number of Witnesses considered the Governing Body to be the faithful and discreet slave, but this would only realistically have been for one (or both) of two reasons: (1) ignorance on the part of individuals regarding Watchtower doctrine, or (2) confusion as a result of the way in which the Governing Body increasingly presented themselves over many years as being synonymous with the Slave Class. The fact that the rhetoric coming down from the Society led many to predict the announcement in advance does not lessen the fact that the new teaching carries profound implications. It consolidates the authority of the Governing Body, and effectively elevates them to Pope-like status.

The leaking of this magazine and other documents proves that more thinking Witnesses are finding the courage to take action

With all this considered, perhaps we learn more from the fact that this magazine has been leaked weeks ahead of its release than from anything contained in its pages. The Watch Tower Society now seems unable to hold water both in terms of its doctrines and in keeping information confidential, as more and more information is leaked by conscientious individuals within the growing ranks of thinking Witnesses.

It is exhilarating to think that so many within the organization are waking from their indoctrination and finding the courage to take risks by getting information like this article into the hands of those who will make use of it. I only hope that this pattern continues, so that more and more true light can shine down on this quirky organization with its dubious history, shady practices and tangled teachings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article has been translated into: Russian | Hungarian | Italian | Romanian

A four-page PDF of unknown authorship showing “adjustments in understanding” is available on this link.

152 thoughts on ““New light” Watchtower magazine leaked from organization weeks ahead of general release

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:27 am
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    Using your logic, there is no reason for the existence of any organization at all. Why be a member of an unnecessary and unbiblical organization? Why settle for just a “light beating” when you can disassociate and receive no beating at all? We all know about “bad associations,” of which I consider membership to the Watchtower as being one of them. If you don’t want to be viewed by others in light of your membership, then disassociate and you will no longer have that “bad association.”

    On a side note, looks like John was actually serious with his comment about Cedars being the “evil slave.” That is just absurd and demonstrates just how ridiculous some members can be. I certainly would not want to be associated with any group that entertains such fanciful notions.

    • April 30, 2013 at 11:56 am
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      That is a common factor of all public forum. In fact, only JWtalk.net is free from this bias.

      • April 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm
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        Okay, you’ve made your point and you are not amusing anymore, now go about your business…

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:29 am
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    For a man who just misspelled “Congretations” and claims to be a Jehovah’s Witness?
    I wouldn’t make many claims right now…

    Why aren’t you out in service instead of hanging out on an apostate site and abusing people whom you can’t refute?

    I don’t have the benefit of a spell check since I was forced to shut down my home Internet due to the very real threat of being hacked by your Watchtower Society operatives which was all reported to the authorities.

    Here, read this whole thread wise guy:

    http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/jehovahs-witness/TM4T00T3SK4VAC3HH

    I do the best I can by just winging it on a public computer so what’s your excuse?

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:35 am
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    “Using your logic, there is no reason for the existence of any organization at all. Why be a member of an unnecessary and unbiblical organization? Why settle for just a “light beating” when you can disassociate and receive no beating at all? We all know about “bad associations,” of which I consider membership to the Watchtower as being one of them. If you don’t want to be viewed by others in light of your membership, then disassociate and you will no longer have that “bad association.”

    My logic? Where are there my quotes in there? I told you what the scriptural basis was for the existing circumstances and I told you that I would not have learned the basic Bible Truths if it had not been for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:39 am
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    Konrad,

    Sorry, you misunderstand. My comment was for Elizheva not you. For some reason, my ipad does not post comments as a reply but a whole new comment, don’t know why. I will have to refrain from posting unless on my desktop to prevent miscommunications like this one. Your comments are very informative and I enjoy reading them.

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:42 am
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    “Sorry, you misunderstand”

    Okay, sorry as well…It’s an inherent flaw of this site as well that replies don’t always designate who they are supposed to go to!

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm
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    John April 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

    “Apologies, I meant congregations, and at least I’m big enough to admit my bias, whereas you are evidently from some other denomination and are not disclosing which one, although your “DieHards” reference would appear to indicate you are a Scientologist and worship Bruce Willis. I am in service right now, attempting to help you find your way back to the Truth, which can only be found in the meat in due season served by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Konrad you are employing a variety of excuses, your reason for nonsensical drivel appears to be “I don’t have a computer, I am a victim, ad honimen attack on me, and an attempt to send me to a website laden with tracing cookies dressed up as being anti-hacking defence”. When your quotes of other people (including books) are longer than what you have to say, you have nothing worth saying.”

    ????
    Whatever it is…that you have said here…(and I can only hope that you at least know what that is)…will be given the due consideration it deserves! (- :

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm
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    In essence, don’t blame me that you have so little knowledge that your job apparently involves quoting the Bible on an internet forum.

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm
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    John April 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    “In essence, don’t blame me that you have so little knowledge that your job apparently involves quoting the Bible on an internet forum”

    In essence, if you keep coming back here and attacking people, especially Cedars after you’ve been asked by more than one person to quit? Don’t be surprised if you are banned and your posts deleted. It’s happened before.

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm
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    I was just trying to re-educate you in the ways of Truth (I notice you didn’t answer my question. Threatening to have Cedars ban me is the equivalent of threatening to tell your mummy or taking your ball home. I have merely been trying to clarify what we are being taught by the article.

  • May 1, 2013 at 3:14 am
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    Everyone who believes this words about Rutherford should read the minutes of Moyle’s hearing in presence and with Rutherford and what he had to say about alcohol, his “luxury” and bad speech. Then judge again on your own.

  • May 1, 2013 at 7:27 am
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    It is also for today…everything in the bible is a foreshadow of today. And I hardly expect those who follow earthling man to their death would understand.

  • May 1, 2013 at 7:41 am
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    You learned THEIR doctrines from a Satanist transcribed bible. Look up Johannes Greber and his spirit medium wife. It’s in the Aid book, but not the insight book. New light? yeah right!

  • May 1, 2013 at 10:22 am
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    “Threaten?”
    I can’t threaten you with anything…This is Cedars’ site and he has the authority to do as he pleases. I would and did advise you that when you are invited into someone’s private website, that they paid and labored to setup for people to use, just as when you are invited into their home that you observe the same courtesy and not get butt kicked out the door as I have seen others who act as you have done!
    I think I have been rather polite and patient in taking your abuse and watching you dish it out to others so “Threatening” is hardly how I would view it. I thought it was a kind gesture on my part but you apparently have very little appreciation for that…or much!

    • May 2, 2013 at 4:29 am
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      Johannes Greber was a truth seeking Christian in the tradition of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I apologise for seeming threatening, it was not intended. @Elizheva You know you’re on an American forum when you get a reply consisting entirely of Bible quotes.

  • May 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm
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    Yes, bible verses are sufficient because God’s word doesn’t require personal commentary.

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

  • May 6, 2013 at 11:59 am
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    “but then again with so many other such crazy theological ideas being disseminated from the Watchtower, who knows what the JWs are capable of believing. In other words, JWs are so crazy that it becomes hard to tell if someone is making a joke or if they are a Watchtower zealot. Lol” ~ Quite right musicman and John’s statement taht anyone who attempts to supplant the Governing Body is “The Evil Slave” is pure Watchtower propaganda when the scripture clearly states this:

    45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
    46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
    47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
    48 But and if “THAT” evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

    It is clearly the same entity who has a changed condition in God’s eyes.

    • May 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm
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      THAT’s what I always thought about that scripture too, Konrad.

  • May 13, 2013 at 6:23 am
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    Something about their financial machinations. On page jw.org are encouraged to give contributions because they are needed for the construction of halls in poor countries. And as post-war Bosnia when they should build the hall said that the Society is to build, but we owe it to repay the monthly installments. Then carried out a survey at the time of the meeting, to write down on paper and put it in an envelope how much money you are willing to separate the month for a new hall. Of course the exhilaration brothers have written and what I can and what can not. Today this same hall they want to sell because they were from Zagreb (leaders) bought land outside the city for a new hall. You can imagine again asking for money at the meeting and they say if you do not have, to sell something valuable from the house (local elders encouraged) eg necklace jewelry, etc. to give a contribution to Jehovah’s house. The ultimate arrogance. And so the Watchtower Society earning three times in one hall. How do first time on page jw.org us to make contributions because the money used to build the hall in poor countries. Other times when the immediate need to make room, encouraging members as they prepared to separate the month for the hall. And the third time this hall sale that supposedly do not have enough money for the new that is complete. What fraudsters. Is this the Faithful and Discreet Slave.

  • May 31, 2013 at 9:32 am
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    The WT-study article version dated July 2013 has not reached us in our local congregation. However, July 2013 issues of WT and Awake for public consumption are already available for distribution. I am wondering why there is a delay in shipment. It makes me speculate so more.

  • June 15, 2013 at 8:31 am
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    Truly one of the most nonsensical statements ever made by the WTS:

    “Note, however, that the word “slave” in Jesus’ illustration is singular, indicating that this is a composite slave.”

    In other words:

    ‘Note the word is SINGULAR, indicating MULTIPLE people.’

    How do people swallow this garbage??

  • June 20, 2013 at 2:39 am
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    Indeed, this shows that light gets brighter and explains why Bible Students initially thought Russell was the slave. I’m sure the faithful and discreet slave know more about the nuances of Ancient Greek grammar than you, they did translate the Bible after all.

  • June 20, 2013 at 9:41 am
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    One thing is for sure. The 1st Governing body never knew they were being selected by Jesus itself, otherwise they (1st GB) would have documented it in there writings. Only after so much of revisions (present) jw came to know this truth. Amazing.

  • June 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm
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    The “disgusting” United Nations – a former partner

    The UN has come under fire from Watchtower publications repeatedly over the decades, but rarely has the denunciation been so forthright as in this latest magazine. On page 4 in the first study article, Witnesses are reminded that the United Nations, which is declared to be the modern-day “disgusting thing,” WILL attack Christendom and the rest of “false religion” to signal the outbreak of the Great Tribulation.

    The poor U.N. trying and often failing but trying non the less.
    But I do NOT reason it to be the ‘Disgusting Thing’ of Daniel 11 v 31b. The ‘Disgusting Thing’ here is I think the ‘Trinity dogma’ in Christendom, compare Daniel 11 v 32-34 to the Middle Ages.
    I got this on finding the Ships of Kittim as being the ‘Battle of the Masts’ followed by ‘greek fire’ [Arms], then the ‘Third Council of Constantinople : 680-681 A. D’ fully installed the trinity and quashed dispute.
    So they were/are ok as an NGO.
    More detail: put “Daniel Eleven Hyperlinked” into Google.

  • July 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm
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    Cedars,вопрос о главном:
    уже в начале статьи вы пишите:”…авторы статей дают ключевым доктринальным моментам объяснения,которые в лучшем случае можно назвать безосновательными и голословными…”,но ведь считается,что Руководящий Совет даёт те или иные разъяснения и дополнения под руководством святого духа Иеговы.
    Каким “духом” вам, лично, открыта ваша позиция противоположная духу Руководящего Совета?
    Не приведёт ли это к противодействию с вашей стороны воле Иеговы Бога,а в дальнейшем к уничтожению как служителя сатаны,дьявола?!
    Спасибо за ответ,если он прозвучит.

  • July 25, 2013 at 11:25 am
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    I have already been banned from this website so why comment on such an old post pretending that you allow debate while simultaneously stifling it. I think Konrad is admitting apostates are the evil slave in his statement, thereby agreeing with me. The EU has already begun to attack Christianity, you should get out more Reader, the time of the end has begun! May you be spared the passing of this system of things.

  • July 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm
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    “I think Konrad is admitting apostates are the evil slave in his statement, thereby agreeing with me”

    You think? No, That is the question in itself, You…Think?

  • July 26, 2013 at 4:55 am
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    I think you are missing an auxiliary verb in your question and the capitalisation of the verb you have used is superfluous. Next time read a dictionary before going back to the flawed Sola Scriptura system. You may learn something.

  • July 26, 2013 at 5:52 am
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    john July 26, 2013 at 4:55 am

    “I think you are missing an auxiliary verb in your question and the capitalisation of the verb you have used is superfluous. Next time read a dictionary before going back to the flawed Sola Scriptura system. You may learn something”

    Either that or I’m simply trying to emphasize the word in absence of italics or other ability to highlight features…
    As someone who actually has a measure of post-secondary education and was forced to sit every night at the dinner table with a father who was a school teacher, I recommend that you don’t even head off in that direction. It’s a losing wager!
    You seem to have this “win at all cost” attitude, in spite of the facts that is not going to serve you well…It may do okay in that organization in the short term, very short term but not in life. Any sensible person would be able to see the road signs and the impending cliff ahead. If anybody needs to do some reading, I would say those signs would be a good place to start.

  • July 29, 2013 at 11:57 am
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    He was the teacher of lawlessness and you are the priest of a lie.

  • August 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm
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    It is sad to see all the comments people are making to attack each other. I am so grateful to have found this website! Thank you for your efforts.

    I have been led away from the watchtower, after several years of dedicated study. I was and still am, actively seeking the truth about Jehovah and His true desires for us. The WTS exposed itself to us as a false prophet, right at a pivotal time in our spiritual growth. I had to stop lying to our friends at the KH. We stopped going to meetings, but unfortunately, my parents and my sister (and her family) are still in the organization. My mother is not yet baptized, but the rest are. My sister has decided to shun me, but my father still talks to me. My parents still hope we will return.

    While I have been effectively silenced for about two years, I am now feeling a strong desire to witness to them. My new life in Christ has transformed me, and I was looking for tools or info I could use to start planting seeds of doubt for my parents. After searching apostate websites for help, I decided one day to go to the JW.org website and see what was being taught today. (I know they won’t take anything but WT approved publications… Let them speak for themselves!) …

    Well… I felt like I hit the jackpot, when I went to the JW.org website and saw that this magazine was their most recent teaching. I’m assuming the average JW is too busy to study ahead, and it’s unlikely that my parents have taken the time to read this magazine yet. I had a local JW friend deliver an original copy to me, so I could see how a well-trained, born and raised JW was programmed to respond to this new light. I was stunned, when she was so happy about it. “Isn’t it exciting?? I love it when the light gets brighter!!”

    Please God, let my intelligent, grown adult parents see the falsehoods in this horrible twisting of your words. Help me rescue them from this powerful organization. We are so thankful for your mercy and forgiveness. Our mistakes and sins are many, and we do not deserve salvation. Thank you for the sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ, so that we may live and serve you forever.
    The watchtower has demonstrated for them, that it is okay to admit you are wrong and to change course. Help them please, Jehovah! They are trying to serve you, but are being deceived. Faithful followers of Christ can see these errors in prophecy, and we see the evil slave revealing itself blatantly to its followers. Guide me in my dealings with my parents, that I might say something to help them become aware of the spell to which they have succumbed. I stand here now, ready to serve your will. Direct me with your Holy Spirit, that I may make a difference and help those who are still lost.

    Cedars: thank you for this wonderful, timely analysis of this pivotal magazine. I think it may have come at the perfect time to reach my family and friends, even if only with a small doubt, as they continue to strive to be better JW’s. (my dad publicly declared this to our family, as his main focus in life: the be a good JW. … To which I replied, “Did you mean to say, ‘to serve Jehovah, or the JW’s?'”

  • August 16, 2013 at 6:55 am
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    I am sorry to hear you may been mislead…because this new light merely clarifies a long held doctrine of JWs (the infallibility of the Governing Body). I am glad you read ahead on the blessed website jw.org, but be warned on gourging on manna as the Israelites did. Instead, wait on Jehovah to provide meat in due season and you will not go wrong. May God bless you.

  • August 31, 2013 at 10:34 am
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    Great article. The arrogance of the Governing body is well noted. “They are now self-appointed representatives, not of heaven-bound Christians, but of Christ himself. They answer to no one, not even Christ whom they represent! After all, they have made his decision to appoint them over “all his belongings” for him in advance.”

  • September 2, 2013 at 2:05 am
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    Really? I had heard he made the decision when he appointed Rutherford in 1919.

  • September 9, 2013 at 7:38 am
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    I come back to comment on this article even though it was written months ago, because we studied it in the congregations this weekend.

    I agree with Irene, I really like following the point you made……………..

    How can the Governing Body justify insisting that they WILL be appointed by Christ over “all of this belongings” in advance of this event? (p.25) – As discussed above, many sincere Witnesses will be left scratching their heads at the brazenness of the Governing Body in insisting they WILL be appointed by Christ over his belongings before he has even come in judgment. The decision has been effectively snatched out of Christ’s hands, and made for him.

    Thanks to this article and specifically this point, I was able to get my precious 11yr old to critically think on this doctrine and the contradiction between the watchtower articles in the magazine. It was great fun, we laughed we pondered and we questioned the GB.

    Cedars, you really are making progress. Since Feb 2013 there are three in our family who are coming to a better knowledge of TTATT. There must be many more also!!

    We just posed the questions…..
    1. So has Christ appointed the governing body or is he yet to appoint them?
    2. Who really is the faithful discreet slave?

  • September 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm
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    john says:

    May 2, 2013 at 4:29 am

    “Johannes Greber was a truth seeking Christian in the tradition of Jehovah’s Witnesses”

    The one and only post that (J) or little (j) john (depending on his mood) ever made on which I can wholeheartedly concur!

    Here is an independent source but I strongly recommend further and deeper research into the topic of that very “tradition”:

    [Link removed – see posting guidelines]

  • October 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm
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    [This comment was deleted along with a silly comment about Obama being the AntiChrist. Please don’t spam our site. Thank you. – Cedars]

  • October 5, 2013 at 12:23 am
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    you must be a very studious person.for that I envy you.you have not stated who the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ should be.second the leaked magazine was eventually sent out to members without changes not because it wanted to be kept secret but because there were other materials already prepared prior to this ‘leaked magazine to be digested so it must just take some reasonable amount of time.third,(as an advice)to make people hate the the governing body,you must work harder than this,i mean putting more of your money,time,preaching from house to house,organising local and international conventions around the globe about your views.I bet you mere thinking about this will land you in the grave.put your talent to good use because the time left is reduced.

  • October 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm
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    Great reasoning. The “wheat” throughout those 19 centuries somehow had God’s approval without the “slave” (Watchtower) interpreting Bible truths. Reminds me of Job who was not part of the nation of Israel yet was the most upright man on earth at one time.

  • October 13, 2013 at 4:26 am
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    I shocked and completely confused
    Extremely disappointed
    I need help in controling my emotions
    My step father died because he didnt take a diayellss cleansing of his blood because the elders in middletown ny 10940 mount hope rd did not tell him it was not a sin/
    My mom is stranded in assited living/
    My family can not, will not speak to me
    I didnt finish college because i pioneered instead.
    I am completely cash poor
    Almost 50 lonely
    And dont know if the lady that raised me is my birth mother or not or who my dad was/is
    Why lie to people who are confused?
    Why not just close them down and payback ceasers things to ceaser
    Like we all do
    375Million$ is and insullt to all the voulenteers who worked on 90sands for free.
    They never even told me why they didnt call me to bethel.
    Anyhow thanks for the information
    It hurst so much i am sad for those still in that mess like 99%of my “family” as i know it.
    If you like to help me..i must warn you i am hurting inside disasscotiated since 2004/2005 and i am completely gay.
    I never had sex with a woman
    No sex before marriage so i didnt
    Never a servant. Too timate or shy i was told too slow…etc.. not manly enough???? To late
    The only affection i understand now to eternity is sodnomy sex with adult mature men only i am a bottom /vers. I am at peace now.
    I have a gurdian. He watches me closely
    They put me in the metal hospital in1991/1992 becaise i asked. The elders questions i should have known the answers to.
    Like what is the evil slave class/how do you know you are one of 144000 /what are appostates/are we livingbin pardise or the last days/ did i greve the holy sprit/ ehat does the index finger mean when some one points it in the air? Etc,.. many more question like that….
    I was a JW since i was about two
    Or birth ??? But all my.life only the kingdom hall.
    She was baptized in1968 (“mother”)
    Its sad she 89and all alone? Kind of mean when i asked her about the time we are living in she sounds as confused as i do……
    Sad she never got disfelliship once
    Nothing
    But i cant be with her as it can cause her to greive the holy sprit do not be mislead bad associtaion spoils useful habitts…..,
    Scary
    I think i will just listen to my guardian only Jehovah wittness abadoned me in the.metal hospital told.me to take meds and that basically was all i got for being loyal shame and diponment no support system at all.
    My gaudisn is gay and owns a porn company he protects me from lirs at humilation of prejudusiou negleful lieing hypocrits.
    We have the exact same birth date born teo different years
    I trust him/have to legally
    I hope all the best to all
    But for me i know i am in pardise
    I have peace and foucsed and calm
    I have a real God who loves me for me just as i am a gay man.
    Peace
    John.
    @#845-321-9118
    Ps i sing very good…….
    :-)

  • November 15, 2013 at 2:03 am
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    Weren’t a bunch of Bethelites disfellowshipped in the 80’s for saying that the anointed worldwide were not consulted by the Society for “new light” so how could the anointed be the “slave”? So the “apostates” had it right thirty-something years ago? We’re expected to believe Jehovah provided this new light nearly 100 years after Jesus’ enthronement?

  • December 26, 2013 at 7:06 am
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    PLEASE
    PROTECT YOUR FAMILY

    [Edit: Link removed. Sorry, but I’m not a believer in subliminal images in Watchtower publications, and this site won’t be used to attract attention to links furthering that argument.]

  • December 26, 2013 at 10:03 am
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    I know why it took Jesus four and a half years from 1914 to 1919 to appoint the Slave. He was examining all the pedophilia files page by page at Headquarters. (Sarcasm noted).

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