Thursday, March 12, 2009

Interpretation of Prophecy…Angels? Jehovah? Jesus?

Some Jehovah’s Witnesses when presented with the fact that the Watchtower Society, specifically the Governing Body members who are a part of a faithful and discreet slave “class” are false prophets, may try to provide the argument that they’re not false prophets, they just misinterpreted prophecy.

Although such an argument holds no water as the Bible itself provides the definition of a false prophet, which is simply someone who claims to be representative of or speaking by authority of God and states something will happen in the future and it does not occur. Remember, Deuteronomy 18:20-22 clearly tells us:

"However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. And in case you should say in your heart: 'How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?' when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him."

The Watchtower has done this on numerous occasions inclusive of but not exclusive of Armageddon starting in 1914, 1925, in the 1940’s and 1975. However, we will give the benefit of the doubt, and not state for the sake of this argument that the Watchtower Society, which entails the Governing Body was a false prophet, but merely interpreted prophecy incorrectly.

Do their teachings agree with such an argument?

The Watchtower Society has provided a variety of explanation for how information including this so-called ‘interpretation of prophecy’ is given to the Anointed; which in reality again is the man or small group of men making up the doctrine and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses – The Governing Body.

The September 1, 1930 Watchtower on page 203 states:

“But it seems certain that when Jesus came to his temple and began his work of judgment he would direct his holy angels to take the necessary action to cause the separation of the disapproved from approved ones, and would use his angels to bear messages to them to direct the approved ones as to what to do.”

According to the Watchtower Society, Jesus has been using angels in carrying his directions to the “approved ones” (aka The Faithful and Discrete Slave “Class”) so they know what to do.

Volume III of Vindication published in 1931, on page 250 provides the following claim:

"It was in the spring of 1918 that the Lord Jesus, as the representative of Jehovah, appeared at the temple, and from that time forward the glory of Jehovah has been here. 'And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.' (Ezek. 43:6) When Ezekiel heard the Lord speaking to him the man stood by him. 'The man' was the heavenly messengers or angels of the Lord now used by the Lord in behalf of the remnant. These angels are invisible to human eyes and are there to carry out the orders of the Lord. No doubt they first hear the instructions which the Lord issues to his remnant and then these invisible messengers pass such instructions on the remnant. The facts show that the angels of the Lord with Him at His temple have been thus rendering service unto the remnant since 1919."

The above stresses how starting in 1918 and specifically since 1919, the angels of the Lord Jesus, have been taking his messages to the remnant (The Faithful and Discreet Slave "Class").

The understanding of prophecy, indeed the interpretation of prophecy does not come from man according to the Watchtower Society.

In their publication Preparation on page 28 it indicates:

"This is proof that the interpretation of prophecy does not proceed from man, but that the Lord Jesus, the chief one in Jehovah's organization, sends the necessary information to his people by and through his holy angels."

The same publication makes the following claims on pages 36-37:

“Certain duties and kingdom interests have been committed by the Lord to his angels, which include the transmission of information to God's anointed people on the earth for their aid and comfort. Even though we cannot understand how the angels transmit this information, we know that they do it; and the Scriptures and the facts show that it is done.”

Page 64 states:

“Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them. Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones.”

When the faithful and discrete slave does not know something, the Lord provides the answers, according to page 67:

“Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose.”

Again, man does not interpret prophecy according to the Watchtower Society.

The Watchtower February 15, 1936 issue on page 52 states:

"No man can properly interpret prophecy, and the Lord sends his angels to transmit correct information to his people."

Additionally, it has been emphasized that the Watchtower does not contain man’s opinion.

The Watchtower from November 1, 1931 on page 327 states:

“The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or set of any of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in the Watchtower.”

Furthermore, according to the Watchtower Society, it is God, the great author of the Bible who provided the interpretation of prophecy found in the Watchtower magazine.

The Watchtower, April 15, 1943 issue on page 127 provides these details:

"The Watchtower is a magazine without equal in the earth, and is conceded this rank by all that have been faithful readers thereof during its more than sixty years of publications.... This is not giving any credit to the magazines publishers, but is due to the great author of the Bible with its truths and prophecies, and who now interprets its prophecies. He it is that makes possible the material that is published in the columns of this magazine and who give promise that it shall continue to publish the advancing truths as long as it continues to exist for the service of the interests of his Theocratic Government.”

To sum up a few of the Society’s teachings at various times quoted above:

-Jesus uses angels to direct the Anointed.
-Interpretation does not come from man, but Jesus sends the necessary information via angels.
-The Lord sends information to angels who transmit the information to the Anointed, but we don’t know how.
-Enlightenment comes from Jehovah thru Jesus transmitted to the minds of the Anointed.
-When the Anointed do not know something the Lord enlightens them by sending angels.
-The Lord sends his angels to transmit correct information to his people.
-No man’s opinion is expressed in the Watchtower.
-The great author of the Bible interprets prophecy and is credited for what is printed in the Watchtower.

So how does all or any of it account for the false prophecies or in giving the benefit of the doubt at the very least, the false interpretation of prophecy by the Watchtower Society?

Were the angels deceiving the Faithful and Discrete Slave Class? Did the angels provide false information? Perhaps, Jesus sent the wrong information? Was Jehovah providing the wrong interpretation of prophecy and then allowing it to print in the Watchtower?

Or is this just once again clear evidence of an organization run by a bunch of men without any sort of divine backing and direction? Review the facts and decide for yourself.