Page 4: Not all secret groups are secret to the same degree. But those that have "secrets within secrets," as the Encyclopedia Britannica expresses it, pose a particular danger. It explains that "by the use of special names, ordeals or revelations," members of the top ranks manage to "set themselves apart," thereby stimulating "the lower ranks to the effort necessary to reach the exalted degrees."
Note: The Watchtower organization just described itself.
May 15, 1997 Watchtower, page 17: Since 1975 a number of these 18 individuals have finished their earthly course. They have conquered the world and have 'sat down with Jesus on his heavenly throne.' (Revelation 3:21) For this and other reasons, the Governing Body now has ten members, including one who was added in 1994. Most are quite advanced in age. However, these anointed brothers are given fine support as they fulfill their weighty duties.
Page 6: Their book Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom correctly notes: "Jehovah's Witnesses are in no sense a secret society. Their Bible-based beliefs are fully explained in publications that are available to anyone. Additionally, they put forth special effort to invite the public to attend meetings to see and hear for themselves what takes place."
Note: They do not know what happens at Governing Body meetings since the minutes are secret.
In one Governing Body session, this issue came up in a rather indirect way, much as had the president's remark about it being 'preferable to have one of the Society's publications rather than to have just the Bible alone.' In this particular session, Karl Klein rather precipitously began criticizing Ed Dunlap, a member of the Writing Department and former Registar of Gilead School, for having used the expression "central body of elders" in place of the title "Governing Body" in some material Ed had written. (Ed, not being a Governing Body member, was, of course, not present to respond to the criticism made against him.) About two years had elapsed since the time of Dunlap's writing the material and Klein had already brought the matter up in two previous sessions. He now spoke with strong feeling (even excusing himself for becoming quite loud and vehement and reminding his fellow members that 'his father had been a preacher during whose sermons no one ever slept'), and he expressed great concern over what he stated to be a subtle effort to eliminate the term "Governing Body." IN SEARCH OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM, page 41.
Page 6: True religion in no way practices secretiveness. Worshipers of the true God have been instructed not to hide their identity or to obscure their purpose as Jehovah's Witnesses.
Note: The Jehovah's Witnesses will never tell you about the rules that must be kept.
Just how devastatingly disruptive of family relationships the organization's rigid policy can be is demonstrated in the case of Richard Guimond and his family. A Witness for 30 years, Guimond had come to have serious questions about certain Watch Tower doctrines and this led to "investigative" meetings with elders. He found he had to suggest to the elders that the Scripture might be brought into the picture to resolve his questions. He writes, "The answer was always the same: 'We have to recognize God's channel of communication.' " In 1982 the Wilmot Flat, New Hampshire, elders disfellowshipped Guimond for having such doubts. Some of his family members supported the excommunication action, others did not. IN SEARCH OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM, page 348.
Page 7: A 1994 survey of over 145,000 Witnesses in one European country revealed that, on an average, each of them personally investigated the teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses for three years before choosing to become a Witness. They made the choice according to their own free will without coercion.
Correction: True acknowledgment of God does not need to take three years.
Acts 2:40-41 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Page 8: The meaning of the name Jehovah, "He Causes to Become," indicates his ability to become whatever he needs to become in order to accomplish his purpose.
Correction: God will become to a person their helper in their time of need.
Psalm 20:5 We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
Page 9: Since God's Kingdom was invisibly established in 1914, Revelation 12:12 has applied: "On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time."
Correction: This has not taken place yet since there is still green grass around.
Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
Page 10: Jehovah's greatest prophet to serve on earth was Jesus. (Acts 3:19-24) Paul explained: "God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things." - Hebrews 1:1, 2.
Correction: Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe not just a prophet.
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Page 10: Today, anointed Christians continue to serve as such, making up a faithful and discreet slave class that through its Governing Body provides spiritual food at the proper time.
Correction: The Holy Spirit is the teacher of true Christians not a organization.
1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Page 12: This balanced approach helps to identify true Christians. They do not hide God's identity behind a mask of namelessness or behind a mysterious, unexplainable Trinity doctrine.
Correction: Personal pronouns overwhelmingly denote real persons in the Holy Bible.
John 15:26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
Page 13: It is not simply the identification of Jesus as being the promised Seed or Messiah; it includes the role he is assigned to play in God's purpose. It involves a heavenly government, God's Messianic Kingdom, as Jesus clearly explained when he told his disciples: "To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted." - Matthew 13:11.
Correction: The parables are spiritual in nature and are not to be taken literal.
Matthew 13:13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."
Page 13: A long period time of time was to expire between the first mention of God's purpose to provide a basis for the Messianic Kingdom and the bringing of "the sacred secret...to a finish."
Correction: It was just a short period of time until the death of Jesus for the sins of the world.
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Page 13: In fact, some 4,000 years elapsed from the giving of the first Kingdom promise in Eden to the appearance of the King-Designate in 29 C.E. Another 1,885 years elapsed before the Kingdom was established in the heavens in 1914. Thus the "sacred secret" was progressively revealed over a period of almost 6,000 years.
Correction: The "sacred secret" is Jesus Christ.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
Page 13: Paul was indeed correct in speaking about "the revelation of the sacred secret which has been kept in silence for long-lasting times but has now been made manifest and has been made known." - Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 3:4-11.
Correction: The "mystery of Christ" is the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles to God.
Ephesians 3:1-7 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles; if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. (John 10:16)
Page 14: Modesty on the part of the faithful and discreet slave class, commissioned to provide the Christian household with food at the proper time, prevents it from presumptuously running ahead and wildly speculating about things that are still unclear. The slave class strives to avoid being dogmatic.
Page 14: Never should we become impatient with Jehovah's arrangement, indiscreetly trying to rush ahead of the Revealer of secrets. How reassuring it is to know that the channel Jehovah is using today does not do so! It is both faithful and discreet. - Matthew 24:45; 1 Corinthians 4:6.
Correction: The faithful and discreet slave class has made numerous false speculations.
That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest, since the deliverance of fleshly Israel, as we shall see, is appointed to take place at that time, and the angry nations will then be authoritatively commanded to be still, and will be made to recognize the power of Jehovah's Anointed. Thy Kingdom Come Studies, 1909 edition, page 228.
It was in the year 1874, the date of our Lord's second presence, that the first labor organization in the world was created. The Harp of God, 1928 edition, page 240.
That period of time beginning 1575 before A.D. 1 of necessity would end in the fall of the year 1925, at which time the type ends and the great antitype must begin. Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920 edition, page 88.
Their interest has been kindled by the belief that 1975 will mark the end of 6,000 years of human history since Adam's creation. WT, 8/15/68, page 494.
It means that only a few years, at most, remain before the corrupt system of things dominating the earth is destroyed by God. Awake, 10/8/68, page 13.
The publications of Jehovah's witnesses have shown that, according to Bible chronology, it appears that 6,000 years of man's existence will be completed in the mid-1970's. WT, 10/15/74.
Page 15: In view of this precedent, what God-fearing person would presume to keep secret what God has declared must be made public? Who would dare hide "the key of knowledge" that leads to eternal life? Doing so, would make him like the religious hypocrites of the first century.
Note: Jesus Christ is the key to eternal life.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Page 15: May no one ever be able to say that we as Jehovah's Witnesses have kept God's Kingdom message secret! Whether the message is accepted or rejected, people must know that it has been preached.
Correction: Jesus Christ is to be preached.
1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
Page 17: The message of Jehovah's established Kingdom and of the spiritual paradise enjoyed by God's people is a "sacred secret" simply too grand to keep. As Jesus himself so clearly stated, his followers must, with the help of the holy spirit, be witnesses "to the most distant part of the earth" concerning his key place in Jehovah's eternal purpose. (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:8-12)
Correction: True Christians will be Jesus Witnesses.
Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Page 30: What rewards come from enduring in the missionary work or in any theocratic assignment? "Above all, our endurance makes Jehovah's heart rejoice...There is great satisfaction to be found in keeping integrity under test...Make missionary service your life's vocation...Your reward will be a heartwarming 'well done.' " (Matthew 25:21; Proverbs 27:11)
Correction: The work of God is sincere faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
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