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The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” ?

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The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword”
Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword.”—MATT. 10:34.

Above is the title and theme text of an article beginning on page 12 of the Watchtower Study Articles for November 27-December 24, 2017 which you can view here: w_E_201710.  In recent times more Jehovah’s Witnesses have been distancing themselves from the tight control of the JW Organization.  In response the Empire Strikes Back against brothers and sisters breaking free!  Yet as Princess Leia said in the original Star Wars movie, “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

On page 12, the article states, “… the greatest threat to our peace may come from unbelieving relatives.  Some might ridicule our beliefs, accuse us of dividing the family or threaten to disown us unless we give up our faith.”  Really?  Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black?  Criticizing someone for a fault you yourself possess?  If a thinking brother claims to place more faith in the scriptures themselves than in the organization’s interpretation today, then isn’t the JW Organization asking them to give up their faith?  As a matter of fact, let’s say that hypothetically a JW embraced the Watchtower views exactly as believed in 1919 when, as they say, Jesus inspected and chose the organization.  If Jesus accepted them with those doctrinal views in 1919, do you believe Jesus rejects people with those same views today as apostates?  Oh, you say that the light grows brighter?  Do you really believe that means that yesterdays truth is today’s error?

Reports are flooding in now of the persecution of former or inactive JWs.  In many cases their JW family members, loyal to the organization, are cutting off all communication and family relations, even with those who have quietly left without any bad words against the JW Organization.  The JW Organization is incorrectly applying Jesus words.  

Matthew 10:34 (NWT) “Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword.”

accuse 2

Jesus did not mean that were were to persecute or cast off our relatives and friends, but rather he meant that we would be the ones persecuted.  The same was true in the Dark Ages when the true followers of Christ were labeled as heretics and therefore excommunicated, tortured, imprisoned and/or executed.   Today’s laws limit the power and reach of church organizations, however, one wonders how far they would go if all restraints were removed as in centuries past.

Luke 21:16 (NKJV) “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.”

Here we see that it is the unbelievers who do the persecuting, not the believers.  Notice how in the context, Jesus tells his disciples how they should respond to the persecution.

Luke 21:12-15 (NKJV) “12 “…they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons.  You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.  14 “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;  15 “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.”

Mark also agrees…

Mark 13:10-12 (NKJV) “10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.  11 “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak.  But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  12 “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.”

Jesus explains what our response should be.  We should present the clear testimony of scriptures.  We should be so well studied that the holy spirit will help us to recall what we have learned and present the Gospel message of a clarity and logic that will confound those who oppose, because they cannot come up with answers that makes sense.  This is how the Christian defeats the enemy with the armor of God.  Our only offensive weapon is the Sword of Truth (Hebrews 4:12), not persecution.

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This is in line with the scriptural admonitions to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39).  Is not going on the offensive and cutting off family members evidence of insecurity on our part and on the part of the organization?  Can’t the Truth stand for itself?  Should we punish those who reject the Truth?

Romans 14:4 (NWT) “Who are you to judge the house servant of another?  To his own master he stands or falls.  Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.”

2 Corinthians 3:17 (NWT) “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Ephesians 6:2 says to “Honor your father and mother.”  How can we do this if we have cut off communication with them?  If they become sick and in need of care, have we turned our back on them?  Is this how we set an example of Christian love and become a light to the world (Matthew 5:16)?

In John 9, after Jesus healed the blind man the the religious rulers were furious because this gave Jesus influence with the people and they were not willing to share their control.  Notice how the blind man reasoned with the religious leaders and how theses leaders could not logically answer him.  Rather they just called him a sinner and cast him out.  Read below and tell us how this is different from the JW Organiztion (and so many other church organizations)?

jesus-heals-blind-man_4John 9:26-34 (NKJV)  “26 Then they [the religious rulers] said to him again [the man who had been blind], “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”  27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”  28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.  29 “We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”  30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!  31 “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.  32 “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.  33 “If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”  34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.”

34 comments to The Truth Brings, “Not Peace, But a Sword” ?

  • Anon CJ

    I absolutely hate that photo. It makes those who have a cross and Christmas tree look like mean apostates and the JW look righteous. Seriously!!

    • Just say sweet and good

      JW’s can’t call the Bible Students the Evil Stave class anymore because its “hate talk”, so all they do is infer spiritual uncleanness with the Cross and Christmas. The cross/torture stake controversy has been settled. Now, if the Bible Students would just observe the birth of Christ at either the Festival of Trumpets (Rosh Hosanna) or the Russian Christmas (January 8th) they would avoid stumbling people on the issue of the winter solstice. Easter is no problem because the Bible Students observe Resurrection Day which will vary from year to year just as the Passover/Memorial celebration varies. Still I hold to freedom on conscience in all things. Anyone who is a sincere footstep follower of Jesus the Savior of “ALL” is my brother. (2 John 2:7-9) We all are beggars before the throne of grace.

  • Peter K. (admin)

    Can anyone find a quote from the JW Organization for the following?

    “In order to restrain bad-tempered minds, the governing body has decided that in matters of faith and morals, and whatever relates to the maintenance of Christian doctrine, no one, confiding in his own judgment, shall dare to wrest the sacred Scriptures to his own sense of them, contrary to that which hath been held, and still is held, by the Watchtower organization, whose right it is to judge of the true meaning.”

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Br. Peter, The wording suggests this statement has to be from the era of Br. Rutherford and I have to keep looking but here is a few of the quotes.

      1990 We have the opportunity to show love for our brothers who take the lead in the congregation or in connection with Jehovah’s visible organization worldwide. This includes being loyal to “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45-47) Let us face the fact that no matter how much Bible reading we have done, we would never have learned the truth on our own. (Watchtower; Dec. 1, 1990; p. 19)
      1990 Confident of the loyalty of his faithful creatures, Jehovah delegates authority. So does his Son. From among his anointed followers, “the faithful and discreet slave,” he has chosen a few to serve as a visible governing body. (Matthew 24:45) In the first century, this group was composed of the apostles and several older men in Jerusalem. (Watchtower; Jan. 15, 1990; p. 26)
      *** w81 12/1 27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter ***But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.—Compare Acts 8:30-40.
      Of course Jehovah had to “choose” an organization who use the least effective means possible to get his “vital” information out to mankind. As history show us this organization has made a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing. Modesty and humility seem to be in extremely short supply in Brooklyn when it comes to claims of authority:
      *** w67 10/1 587 Finding Freedom with Jehovah’s Visible Organization ***Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.
      Mankind is in a mess and only “Mother” can sort it all out:
      *** w57 5/1 274 Show Respect for Jehovah’s Organization ***The world is full of Bibles, which Book contains the commandments of God. Why, then, do the people not know which way to go? Because they do not also have the teaching or law of the mother, which is light. Jehovah God has provided his holy written Word for all mankind and it contains all the information that is needed for men in taking a course leading to life. But God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. His Word says: “Light is sown for the righteous.” (Ps. 97:11) It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother.

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Sister Jacqueline,

        As Greg revealed, this was a quote from the Papal/Catholic Council of Trent, in its session A.D. 1546 which is quoted in Volume 2 page 321: “321:1 “In order to restrain petulant [bad-tempered] minds, the council decrees that in matters of faith and morals, and whatever relates to the maintenance of Christian doctrine, no one, confiding in his own judgment, shall dare to wrest the sacred Scriptures to his own sense of them, contrary to that which hath been held, and still is held, by the holy mother church, whose right it is to judge of the true meaning.”

        I changed a couple of words as Greg noted to apply to the Watchtower organization. The point I wanted to get across, which you (Sr. Jacqueline) demonstrated with your quotes, is that the authority claimed by the Watchtower Organization sounds very much like quotes out of the Vatican archives from their various counsels describing their authority. This type of authority over the people (sheeple) comes from organized religions, not from God. True Christianity includes the confidence and faith to allow Christian liberty. Crushing free interchange is evidence of insecurity in an organization. If you are really right, why be afraid of others contradicting you. The facts and evidence support the Truth, whatever that is, so in a fair interchange, the truth (or what is expressed closest to the truth) is most likely to prevail.

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          You got us Br. Peter. We were looking indeed but found only similar present day statements. Satan uses the same methods of sex, money and fame over thousands of years because it works and is successful.
          The so called “Jehovah” witnesses uses the formula of the catholic church because it worked for nearly a thousand years. It is exact, in fact in it’s set up of circuit, district and zone overseers and a layered clergy, laity class like the catholic church. It also uses the slave model to have you snitch on your peers and obey the slave owner even when not watched.They used extreme punishment tactics to make their adherents submissive and subservient (synonyms:submissive, deferential, compliant, obedient, dutiful, biddable, docile, passive, unassertive, subdued, downtrodden; informal under someone’s thumb.
          Because it works! I call them the great copyists. LOL
          .

          • Peter K. (admin)

            Sr. Jacqueline – Unfortunately, Christians can misunderstand what love is. If it is based on obedience to an organization and adherence to it’s rules, with consequences for those who desire honest investigation, then this is not love. Some words that come to mind are oppression, tyranny, coercion and intimidation.

            Love “…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Cor 13:7

            • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

              Br Peter it is also a misconception that God has always had an earthly organization. They say “Israel”. That is a “nation” not organization. It is a model or witness for mankind to see what is required if you deal directly with Him. It shows us that we need Jesus to cover in between us and God because God exacts obedience and we can’t fully obey now.
              They say he had prophets, judges etc. But that wasn’t an organization. King of Salem was around when Abraham was forming his nation but Melchizedek didnt have to go over to that nation.
              Once I understood that Nation, prophets and judges before Christ can’t be used to prove their organization theory, I began to understand Christ. The organization was a disgusting thing standing where it should not in the lives of witnesses and we didn’t have Christ. I enjoyed trying to find the phrase, made me dig deep but Greg nailed it.

              • Just say sweet and good

                Jacqueline The Kingdom of Israel was a concession that Jehovah God made to the children of Israel when they asked for a King. Jehovah said “you won’t like it”. He said he was their King but they wanted a visible King like the nations/pagans around them. Before. then they had the Judges they were doing quite well. If we make Jehovahs designed King our leader we can cooperate with any “organization” be it government, philanthropic, social, ect. as long as they do not insist we violate are Bible trained conscience. No organization can insist we violate our conscience.

                • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

                  Hi just stay sweet, I know why they got a king but this is about some saying that this nation (whether with a king, judges) proves God had an organization and that this was the “Way” at that time and always he has an organization that he approves and you must attach yourself to it..
                  This does not support that theory because King of Salem, Melchizedek had a city and they were worshipers of Jehovah. The nations round about were not ordered or required to connect themselves to the Jews for God’s approval. In fact he basically ignored huge world governments.
                  My posting is a continuation of a conversation on testimonial meeting where we were exploring the different reasons why witnesses say the bible shows that there is always an organization in place for humans to look to when in reality the “Nation” of Israel (not an organization) was not a way of salvation during that time nor now.
                  Since Christ, He is the “Way” truth and the light to mankind. Christians must absolutely look to him for the present choosing that is going on for heaven. Even all Christian must look to Christ, there is not particular organization set up that you must attach yourself to it with the “Nation” of Israel as proof.
                  That is the aspect I was dealing with. There are many facets to Israel but this is just the one we were considering, that you don’t have to attach yourself to an organization to get to God. We were looking for any scriptural support even before Christ for an organization. Take Care

                  • just say sweet and good

                    Jacqueline….I agree with what you stated wholeheartedly. The rest of mankind outside of the nation of Israel was still judged by the rainbow covenant (Gen 9:6) that was demanded of all of Noah’s decedents which we all are. This is so the whole world will be accountable to the great Jehovah God. That covenant was unilateral not bilateral like the Mosaic covenant and the covenant for the Kingdom that both parties had to ratify.. It was a unconditional covenant that that was enforced by Jehovah God himself and the conscience of man.

    • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

      Would this be newer or older? I have read similar things but all from Wt articles dating from the 50’s n 60’s usually.

    • greg (Bible Student)

      I cannot possibly know if this helps any. Perhaps this isn’t new information? Perhaps I only add to further mystery and confusion with this comment?

      From: The Papacy – Book 2
      Chapter II
      Scripture and Tradition.

      Source: http://www.freepres.org/papacy/pap02-02.htm

      (Begin quote)
      The Council of Trent decreed, that “no one confiding in his own judgment shall dare to wrest the sacred Scriptures to his own sense of them, contrary to that which hath been held, and still is held, by holy Mother Church, whose right it is to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of the sacred writ.”
      (End Quote)

      If you swap the terms “Watchtower” and “holy Mother Church” you have almost the identical quote.

      -greg

      • Ted R. (Bible Student)

        That is real interesting Bro Greg. I hope someone is able to find the quote from Peters post to see if it really comes from the WT publications.

      • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

        If anyone has a Jw watchtower library on cpu it may be easier to fine. I think that has every one since like 1950 ish

        • greg (Bible Student)

          I seem to recollect that the first WTLibCD was released sometime around 1993.

          One website has this info about the 1993 CD:
          “The 1993 CD includes The Watchtower from 1950, but other publications from 1970 or later. The 1993 CD omits first editions of revised publications, convention reports, hymn book, and sundry minor literature.”

          Since I didn’t have a copy of the 1993 CD, I tried to see if I could get the 1995 edition installed and running. Newer versions of Windows simply flat-out refused to install or run it. I even tried setting and using different compatibility modes.

          I finally managed to get it to install using PCem (a PC emulator) and Windows95 but after installing, I couldn’t get it to recognize the CD anymore, and so it still refused to run. I’m not quite sure what was causing that glitch, nor if I can find a workaround. I have yet to find a way to actually search it. Maybe someone knows how to manually unpack and search the compressed data files that are on the CD?

          Sigh.

          I might try again if I can manage to locate a 1997 CD, because later editions allowed one to copy all the data file to the hard drive and no longer required the CD to run. But as I seem to recall, older publications got dropped very rapidly from the CD’s in later editions. I wish I could locate a copy of the very first edition. Maybe one of my few remaining JW friends still has a copy kicking around that I can borrow.

          That being said, I am personally doubtful that I’d be able to find the quote in question on any CD. Something about it seems just a little bit off. Maybe someone took the Council of Trent quote and playfully modified it to try and make a point.

          I’m curious to know where and how Br. Peter came across the quotation. Maybe there’s some other way we might be able to either confirm or disconfirm it. Maybe we can track down the author and ask where it came from?

          -greg

          • Lee Anthony (Brandon)

            I know they have all of that on the jw site now but older stuff is unlikely to be found. It is interesting how that quote is almost identical to the catholics.

  • Peter K. (Admin)

    Sr. Jacqueline,

    Thanks for providing these insights so readers can have a greater understanding of the problem. You recently said that you were not aware of Ex-JWs who were shunning their JW family and cutting off communication. Yet their Watchtower study article says, “…the greatest threat to our peace may come from unbelieving relatives. Some might ridicule our beliefs, accuse us of dividing the family, or threaten to disown us unless we give up our faith.”

    So the accusers are guilty of the very crimes that they are accusing the victims of.

    To be balanced, I will add that I think some Ex-JWs are too angry and bitter and the friends, family and organization that shuns them. Our weekend testimony meetings are intended to help in healing and moving forward spiritually and emotionally.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Br. Peter I agree with you sometimes xjw are angry, me included. I have healed so much because I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by spiritual people. I have viewed it as an answer to my tearful prayers that this site is here and provided for by brothers that listened when we came to you. You and the other spiritual brothers were in the dark, you couldn’t believe what you were hearing when we told you of the murders occurring within families and the suicides from shunning. The overall reckless way persons were treated if they didn’t agree with the governing body, even if they were dead wrong and against scriptures in the Bible. They said you have to teach it until they change it. They declared themselves as the earthly organization and vicars standing in now for Christ. They said you can’t get to Jehovah if you didn’t accept them the governing body.
      So you listened and helped us with some correct spiritual understanding and now we have the Wednesday night study of scripture with others just like us and the testimony meetings by internet, actually speaking to each other.
      So we are moving forward spiritually and emotionally.
      Yes the governing body are the ones saying to dump any family member that does not accept the organization and are not witnesses. How they turned it around is beyond me, when they have it in writing. It used to be they just said it from the platform but now they are bold, they put it in writing.
      Those of us who are identified by witness family as being on the site are under strong attack now to the point you are afraid of your relatives in some instances. Although we don’t have a problem with them being witnesses they make it mandatory that we “come back to the organization” to have a conversation or any contact with them and sometimes grandchildren.
      It does bring up deep emotions in us sometimes but testimony meetings normally put us back in the peaceful frame of mind.
      A support system is very important for anyone escaping an abusive relationship or religious situation.

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Sr. Jacqueline – As you know, the early Watchtower association promoted love and Christian liberty.

        The following quotes are taken from “The New Creation” book, Volume 6 of C.T. Russell’s Studies in the Scriptures series, starting on page 240: (Find the complete chapter by clicking here:)

        —————-

        Unity of faith is desirable; it is to be striven for–yet not the kind of unity that is generally aimed at. Unity is to be along the lines of “the faith once delivered unto the saints” in its purity and simplicity, and with full liberty to each member to take different views of minor points, and with no instruction whatever in respect to human speculations, theories, etc. The Scriptural idea of unity is upon the foundation principles of the Gospel. (1) Our redemption through the precious blood, and our justification by demonstrated faith therein. (2) Our sanctification, setting apart to the Lord, the Truth and their service–including the service of the brethren. (3) Aside from these essentials, upon which unity must be demanded, there can be no Scriptural fellowship; upon every other point fullest liberty is to be accorded, with, however, a desire to see, and to help others to see, the divine plan in its every feature and detail. Thus each member of the body of Christ, maintaining his own personal liberty, is so thoroughly devoted to the Head and to all the members that it will be his pleasure to lay down all, even life itself, on their behalf.

        Jumping to page 326…

        “Let Every Man Be Fully Persuaded in His Own Mind” –Rom. 14:5–

        All logical minds delight in reaching a decision, if possible, respecting every item of truth; and this the Apostle declares should be striven for by each member of the Church for himself–“in his own mind.” It is a common mistake, however, to attempt to apply this personally good rule to a Church or to a class in Bible-study–to attempt to force all to decide on exactly the same conclusion respecting the meaning of the Lord’s Word. It is proper that we should wish that all might “see eye to eye”; but it is not reasonable to expect it when we know that all are fallen from perfection, not only of body, but also of mind… [pg 327] we have all need of patience with each other, and forbearance with each other’s peculiarities–and behind these must be love, increasing every grace of the Spirit as we attain more and more nearly to its fulness.

        … Hence, too, after having expressed his own view, each is quietly to hear the views of others and not feel called to debate or restate his already stated position. Having used his opportunity, each is to trust to the Lord to guide and teach and show the truth, and should not insist that all must be made to see every item as he sees it, nor even as the majority view it. “On essentials, unity; on non-essentials, charity,” is the proper rule to be followed.

        We agree, however, that every item of truth is important, and that the smallest item of error is injurious, and that the Lord’s people should pray and strive for unity in knowledge; [pg F328] but we must not hope to attain this by force. Unity of spirit on the first basic principles of truth is the important thing; and where this is maintained we may be confident that our Lord will guide all possessing it into all truth due and necessary to him. It is in this connection that the leaders of the Lord’s flock need special wisdom and love and force of character and clearness in the Truth, so that at the conclusion of each meeting he who has led may be able to summarize the Scriptural findings and leave all minds under their blessed influence–expressing himself clearly, positively, lovingly–but never dogmatically, except upon the foundation principles.

        • Ted R.

          I found this article on Heaven Sent Daily under the title The Problem of Rules Becoming More Important than Scripture

          Written on Dec 19, 2017 by Andrew Woolsey
          There’s a problem in Christianity called “legalism.” Legalism is a term Christians use to describe where there is an over-influence of the “law” or “rules” in Scripture. Legalism occurs when God’s law is removed out of its original scriptural context.
          3 types of legalism
          Biblical legalism typically occurs in 3 different ways:
          1. Strict focus on the rules only
          God gave us the Ten Commandments and other laws. Those legalists who strictly follow these rules do so while ignoring everything else God and Jesus Christ taught us. They are focused on the laws only. They forget about God’s grace, love, joy, forgiveness. Everything is black and white and there is no passion. It’s a very cold and narrow focus on rules only.
          Jesus said…
          “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
          – Matthew 23:23
          Jesus pointed this out to the scribes and the Pharisees in Matthew 23:1-5…
          “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. All their deeds are done for men to see. They broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.”
          2. Obeying the letter of the law but ignoring the spirit of the law
          The Pharisees accused Jesus of violating the law because he healed someone on a Sunday. Jesus pointed out their error of violating the spirit of the law…
          “Moving on from there, Jesus entered their synagogue, and a man with a withered hand was there. In order to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” — He replied, “If one of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored to full use, just like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired to kill Jesus.”
          – Matthew 12: 9-14
          3. Adding human rules to God’s law
          This third type of legalism and human-based rules and rituals as if they are holy and part of God’s law. It is also a deadly practice in terms of eternal salvation.
          Jesus said…
          “‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but by what comes out of it.”
          – Matthew 15:8-11
          “If you have died with Christ to the spiritual forces of the world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its regulations: “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”? — These will all perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such restrictions indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-prescribed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body; but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
          – Colossians 2:20-23
          “I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.”
          – Revelation 22:18

          This fits in nicely with our discussion.

          • Peter K. (admin)

            Ted – Thanks. Let me add that when we read through the Gospels and book of Acts, we find no concept of a rigid organization, but rather we find that in the Christian community, service to the brethren,came from the heart of the New Creature as the holy spirit directed, not from commands from the Apostles or elders.

            Acts 6:8 (ESV) “Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.”

            Luke 9:49 (ESV) “John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

            Acts 1-5 (ESV) “…there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles…
            4 ¶ Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.”

            (Philippians 1:14 – 15, 18) 14. And most of the BRETHREN, trusting in the Lord, have been emboldened by my bonds to speak the Word more abundantly without fear. 15. Indeed, some are proclaiming Christ out of envy and strife, but some with good intentions . . . 18. What then shall I say? Nevertheless, in every way, whether in pretext or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed; and I rejoice in this, yes, and will also continue to rejoice.

        • Ellis Green

          Peter, you use excellent logic!

  • greg (Bible Student)

    Br. Peter,

    I really want to thank you for your efforts in writing out these sound scriptural arguments.

    John 9 was one of my favourite passages while I was “exiting” the JW’s. I always found it amazing that in John 9:18-23 even this blind man’s parents demonstrated fear of man, forgot about the importance of acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God, all because they were more concerned with losing the approval of other humans and their standing in the Synagogue.

    How can anyone Not see all the striking similarities between the Governing Body and the Pharisees? (John 9:15, 19, 24, 28-29, 34, 40)

    -Denying Jesus.
    -Establishing themselves as superior to others.
    -Inserting themselves as the only way to have a relationship with God.
    -Viewing themselves as exceedingly righteous and exceedingly learned.
    -Demanding that others hold them in high esteem and reverence.
    -Refusal to acknowledge undeniable evidence.
    -Flawed application of Scriptural Principles
    -Resistant to correction and education.
    -Interrogating righteous persons, and putting them on trial.
    -Trying to make Sin stick to others.
    -Vilifying persons in the eyes of onlookers.
    -Using threats, fear, intimidation, coercion, and shame to influence, manipulate, and control others.

    Oh, I could say LOADS more about how I perceive John 9 to be playing out in the JW organization today, but I’ll let the scriptures speak for themselves.

    -greg

    • Peter K. (Admin)

      Greg – Thanks for the list of striking parallels. It is sad since I believe that so many JWs are good people wanting to follow Jehovah, however they are confusing obedience to a human organization with obedience to Jehovah. It seems that we cannot have an open conversation with JWs when whatever scriptures or logic we present does not matter since they are certain the JW organization cannot be wrong. So before a word leaves our lips we are presumed to be wrong if or scriptural case contradicts the organizations teachings. Should we then not condemn the Berean’s for not just taking the Apostle Paul’s word for it, but by testing and verifying by Old Testament scripture (Acts 17:10-11)?

  • TedR

    A point the CO made in his talk on “Loyalty “. You should not even look at the family member Facebook or social media pages to see how they are doing. This is a lack of loyalty to Jehovah. This really shows how well they really follow me example of Christ’s love and mercy! But according to him, Jehovah understands how we feel and will bless and comfort us for our loyalty to him (aka the organization).
    This reminds me of the inquisition! The only difference is that they can’t get away with burning you at the stake or torturing you!
    They have truly become worse than the Pharisees Jesus condemned! They have truly become the apostate church, turning their backs on everything Christ taught. I feel so sorry for the rank and file who are blinded by this organization. They truly desire to please God. I can only pray that Jehovah opens their eyes.

  • Richard Tazzyman

    Sister Jackie what a lovely Testimony meeting we had on Sat(Aust Time)with the Sister who wants to fade away from The JWs,What a blessing & suprise it was to have her find & join our site.She was certainly directed there by the holy spirit.It will be so encouraging for her to attend the Convention in December 30/31st Let me know how she is getting on.Also was good to have Sister Candice & Bro Henry as well.Already we can see that Jehovah is blessing the testomony meetings in the 3 zones that the friends of JWs have set up.May Jehovah the Most High & his Son the Risen Christ bless our efforts to help our Brothers in the Jws to find the truth that sets us free.Bro Richard.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Richard yes indeed the testimony meeting for Australia was uplifting. Our friend also came on last night and it was so nice to see so many on the North America testimony meeting. We had a beautiful Europe meeting also it was rewarding.
      Being Free carries a new meaning for many now that they can think for themselves. Take Care until next Saturday (Friday for me).

  • Marjo

    When I left from JW’s from the very same day, when they gave an announcement that I wasn’t a witness anymore. Everyone in the congregation whom were my facebook friends list took off. So the shunning began instantly. It really doesn’t matter of a sin what have you done, it is because you are not Jehovah Witness anymore. That is a very wrong way to teach members.

  • TedR

    Notice the picture? The mild mannered JW being attacked by the “apostate” family member? Really? Who is shunning who? Who is persecuting who? I think they need to reverse the roles in this picture! This is a prime example of subliminal propaganda employed by the writers of the Watchtower. If they would just allow people to leave and worship God in their own way there wouldn’t be a need for many of the YouTube videos and demonstrations. All most of us want is to be allowed to worship God according to our own beliefs. If we are wrong then it is Jesus who is the judge not an organization. By insisting on this course of action they are opening themselves up for blood guilt. I personally know at least two people who committed suicide because of this unscriptural stand.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      TedR it is as if they are declaring some type of war on families. The first rule of war is to cut off all communications. When family members aren’t allowed to talk to the relatives they can be conquered and told anything.
      I don’t really worry about the witnesses that love their form of worship, because lots of families are of different beliefs and get along just fine.
      But their members are in main stream religions and not one of the high control groups with a hierarchy, pyramid structure.
      As long as they don’t do a Jim Jones or Koresh thing I have to live with it. I have resigned myself to making friends and being a better person.Being able to worship Jesus and Jehovah freely more than offsets the pain of being persecuted by the governing body of Jehovah witnesses.

  • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

    Br. Peter I agree with the understanding Matt. 10:34 and Luke 21 verses on Christian persecution.
    It should not come from the congregation members of the Jehovah witnesses. All Christians expect non believers to persecute them.
    I have not to this date encountered anyone that has left the witnesses or that are disfellowshiped say they shunned their relatives or told them not to speak to,text, call them.
    It is always the witness that says “I can’t talk to you” or don’t stay or come to my house.
    It is only the pages of the watchtower and their talks at kingdom halls and conventions that spit out hatred for family members that have left the organization and the control of the governing body. Most are not even vocal about why they left, they are afraid of losing family. They are held hostage by them, not being able to tell them they just want peace and have the ability to think for themselves instead of 7 well protected billionaire governing body members. They are often very nice and accepting of their Jehovah witness relatives in times of crisis although the witness relatives have mistreated them.
    I never thought Jesus would be warning us in the last days that members of our families that are witnesses would be our persecutors. Thanks for the article

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sr. Jacqueline,

      We know the deep love you have for your family still among the JWs and that you have done everything possible to show them your love. Nor have you ever tried to interfere with or undercut their faith.

      Back to Luke 21 (NASV) “16 “16 “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 “But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 “By your patience possess your souls.”

      1 Cor 13 says that LOVE “7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Therefore, I hope and believe that in the end your JW family will realize that they do not to be participating in fulfilling verse 16 and that their lives will have much more joy and happiness with your in it.”

      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Br. Peter thank you so much for the encouraging kind words, I have loved my family and their families intensely!
        But Br. Peter I want to pour out my heart here and let you know what is really hurting me. You are aware of my background.
        I grew up under segregation in Birmingham Alabama during the intense time of desegregation. It was tough being a teenager in the 60’s in Birmingham! But my life as a witness was beautiful, the bible kept me grounded and the 8 other brothers and sisters. Being a Black witness in the south was a beautiful thing. I have the fondest of memories and still think of all the precious brothers. We were not touched by the tentacles of the watchtower society, we operated much like the Bible students do right now. We only ordered books and each little congregation was autonomous and we came together (Blacks only) at conventions in schools or wherever we could rent a place. My life didn’t change until the development of the governing body.
        They realized that the slavery and segregation methods were effective so they instituted them within the organization and it was fierce but we fought it and the black brothers overseering the congregations were able to carry on in spite of their slave tactics with the slave master circuit and district overseers. My children grew up under liberated Black brothers in Chicago and Gary.
        I speak of race here because that is the way the organization played it!! The experience was different, (although not as harsh as some of my white brothers and sisters,I have learned their parents enforced the child abuse, so sad)the society tried to put us back under a slave condition and we fought it in our own way. The Northwest, Indiana story among the witness congregations was horrible but we learned to live together and love each other. Took some time but it worked.
        Now, for me to see my BLACK Family GO BACKWARD IS KILLING ME!!! They let those men in Warwick New York turn them against their own MOTHER AND FATHER and family! As hard as we fought this prejudice, these educated family have broken my heart and yes I am struggling! You might not understand me exactly on this issue but to see my family voluntarily go into slavery to these billionaires in Warwick, New York disgusts me! Black families just got the opportunity to get their families strong in the last 50 years, and my family go do this? Is my disgust valid to have? In scripture I believe so:

        Judges14:18 Samson said, “On the seventh day, before sunset, the men of the city said to him: What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion? So he said to them: If you hadn’t plowed with my young cow, you wouldn’t know my riddle now!
        They messed with his family, his wife and now destroyed the relationship so indignation is valid.

        Vs 19 ” Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house.
        Jehovah understood his anger and agreed by letting his Spirit become operative again on him.

        I know the need to remain humble and in God’s love and framework but like Samson you have to show you are angry so that maybe they will understand.
        Haven’t these people paid out enough money on the pedophile issues? When someone dies because a member didn’t answer the phone they might as well give the courts a straw to just suck them dry. Something is wrong here, no one can be that unintelligent. In their hurry to fight back to save their empire, they didn’t think this thing through!
        I am okay now that I wrote this,whew, I feel better. This just brought up old terrors from the civil rights era. I am human.
        BTW: I have received this perspective from some in the black community and I hope I have expressed their views properly on this subject, this article is greatly affecting black witness families that need each other to survive.
        Australia has issued recommedations on shunning to the witnesses in this article:
        https://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/12/15/03/34/pressure-to-act-on-abuse-inquiry-s-report

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