The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WTBTS) routinely engage in spiritual “bait and switch” routines. Whether or not the person they meet at the door, or now by letter, actually knows much about the Bible and what it says, they probably believe the Bible’s teachings are central to Christianity. Therefore, the WTBTS ensnares their followers by claiming to be “teaching and explaining” the Bible, as though God’s word is central to their teachings. But it is most definitely not. Yes, the word Bible is prominent in the organization’s name, and the Organization even prints their own version of it, which has been “helpfully” modified to make it easier for people to understand the JWs’ unbiblical teachings. But when it comes to promulgating their doctrines and teachings, they usually employ a lot of verbal sleight of hand to fool people into believing that their teachings properly represent what the Bible actually teaches.
For example, they speak of the Resurrection, one of the Bible’s central doctrines, as though they believe, as the Bible teaches, that the actual person who dies will be raised from the dead. Their real belief and teaching, though, is that a deceased person – even Jesus Christ Himself – is dead forever and that God will merely make a copy of the dead person and simply “drop the dead person’s memories and personality type” into the copy. They use the word resurrection but utterly change its meaning. Why? Because obviously, in their thinking, it is impossible even for God to raise a person from the grave. Even Jesus was not actually raised from the dead. God merely created a new body and downloaded what we might call “Jesus-ness” into it. They explain that the empty tomb was just for the disciples’ benefit, so they would “think” the body of Jesus had been resurrected. Jesus, who had been Michael the archangel before His incarnation to human form, was just recreated as Michael the archangel, version 2.0. It is no problem that Jesus no longer exists because New Michael also has the “memories” and supposed “personality” of Jesus, i.e., “Jesus-ness,” along with “Michael-ness.” 1For a more in-depth look, see, “Resurrection: Watchtower-Style” and “In the Beginning was Michael”
They do not deny all of the miraculous – just what they decide militates against rational thought. The Watchtower leadership are theological rationalists. Theological rationalism is defined as “the practice of treating reason as the ultimate authority in religion.” When they come across something about God, human existence, the resurrection, the omnipotence or Omnipresence of God, they build a supposed rational explanation as to why the Bible doesn’t actually say – or at least does not mean – what it clearly says and means. Just HOW could God be everywhere? How can God know everything? How can God be a trinity? And Why would He? How can a decomposing or decomposed body be raised up to live again? God knows the how and why of all these things but limited human beings do not. God asks us to believe what He has said. The Watchtower wants all to believe what they say is true.
But what if people read the Bible and come to a different view than the WTBTS? That cannot be allowed. Therefore, they claim that the Bible is an organizational book, written exclusively to their organization and more specifically to the small group comprising the “Governing Body” back at headquarters.
…Jehovah God has caused the Bible to be written in such a way that one needs to come in touch with His human channel before one can fully and accurately understand it. True, we need the help of God’s holy spirit, but its help comes to us primarily by association with the channel Jehovah God sees fit to use. 2“Do We Need Help To Understand the Bible?,” The Watchtower, Feb 15, 1981, p.17
The Watchtower contends that most people, even individual JWs, cannot understand or interpret the Bible for themselves. As proof of that claim, they offer up all of the denominational differences out there in “Christendom.” They then compare that with their organization, where all followers hold identical beliefs. That is malarky, of course, since all authoritarian groups demand obedience and uniformity, which they then pawn off as “unity.”
Demanding absolute uniformity of thought among their adherents usually makes the individual JW blind and deaf to any answers given them by Christians, unless, of course, God intercedes to open their eyes. They must be completely obedient because they certainly do not wish to be rejected by God and consigned to death at Armageddon for being willing to entertain thoughts contrary to WTBTS teaching. The Governing Body tells them that it is the worst sort of rebellion to engage in independent thinking.
Once the Society establishes – in the minds of their followers – that it is the sole legitimate interpreter of the word of God, they begin undermining what the Bible truly teaches, often using the how and why questions. In the process, their theological rationalism replaces sound biblical understanding, but it is funny how often supposedly sound rationalizations create rational inconsistencies that must be explained away. In a recent online conversation about the Trinity, a JW commented, in a somewhat garbled fashion:
God as 3 persons in 1 being. Here’s the funny thing. Trinitarians would use the man-made dictionaries in order to prove that God has only 1 being, but at the same time denying the fact that there’s not even 1 dictionary in existence that says about BEING as the nature or essence of a UNITED PERSONS. Since most “persons” are also individual ‘beings,’ we could not today rightly use the term “person” for a human father and for his son without at the same time creating a distinction in terms of their “being” or essence:
The human father and human son are not, and they can never under any circumstance be one human being. They are always two human beings and two persons because of the personal relationship they share and because one gave life to the other as a separate human existence, though of the same nature.
Notice how the objection is formulated:
- Premise – Most persons are individual beings
- Premise – A human father and a human son are different persons and different beings.
- Premise: God the Father and the Son are distinct persons
- Conclusion – Therefore, God the Father and the Son are different beings and cannot share one nature.
A careful reading reveals the premises are flawed. The claim equates the existence and nature of a creature, a finite human, to the uncreated infinite God. It may help to understand that God is an entirely different “life form” than humans. Why would we assume the creator can only exist in the same way his created beings exist?
Once JWs reduce God sufficiently to supposedly understand Him thoroughly, they have concocted a seemingly small person who is no longer the God Who has revealed Himself in Scripture. Their theological rationalism transforms God from an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God almighty to a deity much like we’d find in the Greco-Roman Pantheon. While manmade gods may be larger and more powerful than a mere human being, they are of a similar limited nature and existence.
It is true a finite human father can only generate or “beget” a finite human child, both of whom share finite human nature. On the other hand, the infinite, eternal Father generated the infinite, eternal Son, and both share the infinite nature of the One True God.
The Watchtower’s theological rationalism restricts the infinite God of the Bible to a far lower existence in many ways. He is definitely limited in the areas of location, knowledge, and power.
On the official website, jw.org, in the questions section, they ask,
The Bible’s answer
God is able to see everything and to act anywhere he chooses. (Proverbs 15:3; Hebrews 4:13) However, the Bible does not teach that God is omnipresent—that is, present everywhere, in all things. Instead, it shows that he is a person and that he resides in a dwelling place.
Notice the Watchtower here sets about “fixing” problems they have created in denying the biblical teaching of Omnipresence. To support their imaginative view, they subtly shift to arguing against panentheism, i.e., the non-Christian teaching that God is bigger than the creation but is in and through all creation and that creation is God’s body. This is a very common tactic employed by the WTBTS, the proverbial straw-man argument. The Society accuses us (the Christian Church) of believing a heresy we do not believe and then proceeds to demonstrate it is false – knocking down the straw man of their own creation. They continue:
God’s form: God is a spirit person. (John 4:24) He is invisible to humans. (John 1:18) Visions of God recorded in the Bible consistently portray him as having a distinct location. He is never depicted as existing everywhere.—Isaiah 6:1, 2; Revelation 4:2, 3, 8.
The above is their denial of God’s Omnipresence. The God of the Watchtower is limited to being in one location at a time. They go on:
God’s dwelling place: God resides in the spirit realm, which is distinct from physical creation. Within that realm, God has a “dwelling place in the heavens.” (1 Kings 8:30) The Bible mentions an occasion when spirit creatures “entered to take their station before Jehovah,” * showing that in a sense, God resides at a specific location.—Job 1:6.
This is not very far removed from the teachings of C.T. Russell, the founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Russell taught that God lived in the Pleiades, and this teaching outlived Russell as shown here:
Bible Students have good cause to believe that in the region of the Pleiades is located the throne of Jehovah God (The Golden Age, 9-10-1924, p 794)
However, by 1953, it seems the God of the Watchtower moved out of the physical universe:
Incidentally, Pleiades can no longer be considered the center of the universe and it would be unwise for us to try to fix God’s throne at a particular spot in the universe. (The Watchtower, “Questions from the Readers,” 11-15-1953 p 703)
“Incidentally,” they claim here, “it would be unwise to try to fix God’s throne at a particular spot” as the WTBTS DID FOR MANY MANY YEARS. So did God give them that “unwise” information? We must assume He did, but we digress… So, although the official position of the Society is still that God “resides in a dwelling place” “at a specific location,” it appears He has moved from the Pleiades to outside of the universe, perhaps to an upscale neighborhood.
The WTBTS views of God’s omniscience (all knowledge) and omnipotence (all power) are also brought down to a more humanized rational level. Jehovah does have a great deal of knowledge, but he needs help to keep up with current events. In the early 1900s, Russell taught that God had angelic messengers traveling back and forth to keep Him updated on current events, and he (Russell) reasoned it was about a three-day round trip. But this old teaching of the Watchtower has been scrubbed, upgraded by new light. Jehovah is no longer dependent on created angels to carry information back and forth. He now depends on an omnipresent but non-personal “entity” called holy spirit, which keeps Jehovah informed and does “anything, anywhere at anytime,” on His behalf. According to them, it is a fallacy that God needs Omnipresence. They say:
Misconeption: God must be omnipresent in order to know all things and be all-powerful.
Fact: God’s holy spirit, or active force, is God’s power in action. Through his holy spirit, God can perceive and do anything, anywhere, at any time, without being present in person.—Psalm 139:7.
Now, this is weird. Let’s see… Since God isn’t omnipresent, everywhere present, He relies on an entity that IS everywhere present and omnipotent – all-powerful – as well. This entity – holy spirit – is not a person but an all-powerful force that is able to “do anything, anywhere, at any time,” on Jehovah’s behalf. Hmmmmmmm…This all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present entity is not God, nor even a person, but without” it,” God cannot know much or do much of anything. Ludicrous.
The WTBTS is a false prophet and a humbug. They have changed their supposed biblical teachings over and over again, sometimes even switching back to a former “truth” that had been discarded. The whole thing about TRUTH is that it does not change! And, God does not need angels, powerful so-called “entities,” or even zoom cameras to know what is happening everywhere in His creation. The WTBTS organization has identified itself as THE “channel of communication” from God to man. Still, it has made many false prophecies concerning the timing of Christ’s return and the timing of Armageddon, all the while claiming to be receiving this false information from God. They are leading people away from the God of Scripture to a false god. Jesus said something which applies to them:
And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:23)Ω
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