The Watchtower Tract and Bible Society, better known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, publishes a daily reader for their members. This year’s reader, Examining the Scriptures Daily—2010, explains it’s purpose in the forward on page four: “For each day of the year, it highlights a Scriptural text—a gem of wisdom from Jehovah, who inspired the writing of the Bible. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) Following each text are supporting comments taken from recent issues of The Watchtower.”
The reading for today, August 12, 2010, found on page 81, is exceptionally heretical and I feel compelled to bring it into the light:
Thursday, August 12
Do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.—1 John 4:1.
In harmony with John’s counsel, we always encourage those we meet in the preaching work to test what they have been taught by comparing it with the Bible. That is a good rule for us too. If any statements come to our ears that are critical of the truth or that cast aspersions on the congregation, the elders, or any of our brothers, we do not accept them at face value. Rather, we ask: “Is the one spreading this story acting in harmony with what the Bible says? Do these stories or allegations further Jehovah’s purpose? Do they promote the peace of the congregation?” A sound rule is found in the words of the apostle Paul: “Do not go beyond the things that are written.” (1 Cor. 4:6) Yes, we should not go beyond the things that are written in the Bible or, by extension, beyond the Bible-based counsel written in the publications of the faithful and discreet slave. w08 4/15 1:18, 19
This reading comes from 1 John 4:1 out of the New World Translation (NWT) followed by an excerpt from the April 15, 2008 edition of The Watchtower magazine. The Watchtower magazine is numbered like a Bible, you will find this excerpt from the first article, paragraphs 18 and 19 (w08 4/15 1:18, 19). The Watchtower Tract and Bible Society has their own version of the Bible, the NWT. The NWT isn’t a translation at all, as evidenced by the lack of experience in Greek and Hebrew held by the translating team. The NWT is a revision of the Bible done to support the positions of The Watchtower Tract and Bible Society.
It is no wonder they number The Watchtower like a Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses treat The Watchtower equal to the Bible. They admit so much here in this text:
“we should not go beyond the things that are written in the Bible or, by extension, beyond the Bible-based counsel written in the publications of the faithful and discreet slave”
Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the Watchtower organization is the faithful and wise servant of Matthew 24:45, a claim once made by the founder Charles Taze Russell
. The claim they are making is that publications of The Watchtower are equally infallible and inspired as the Bible is. They are instructing Jehovah’s Witnesses to evaluate statements for truthfulness by examining not only the Bible, but The Watchtower.
This is exactly what John is warning us against!
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 (ESV)
How are we to test the Watchtower to see if it is from God? According to scripture, we are to compare it with scripture. The Watchtower says differently, The Watchtower says to test against not only scripture but against itself. Indeed, The Watchtower is a false prophet.
The Watchtower has added an additional test, not of the Bible, to determine if something is true. “Do they promote the peace of the congregation?” Calling your elder a false prophet is not going to promote the peace of the congregation, but it is true. This is an example of how The Watchtower trains Jehovah’s Witnesses to be loyal to the organization, placing it above God and His Word.
We find some good advice hidden among heresy:
A sound rule is found in the words of the apostle Paul: “Do not go beyond the things that are written.” (1 Cor. 4:6)
Listen to Paul, not the Watchtower. The Watchtower itself goes beyond the things that are written. Paul was talking about the Bible, not The Watchtower.