Before we get into what the Bible says, let me share an experience that sticks with me. In a college class we’d debate controversial topics. One of those was the morality of abortion.
One young lady, addressing the class from the front told us her story. She’d visited her aunt’s place of employment, a place that either performed abortions or held aborted fetuses, because some products do use fetal parts. She saw jars with human embryos and fetuses in them. She said she felt it was a disgusting sight. But when asked what her view was on abortion, she said it was okay with her. I asked her what makes it okay? She replied, “Because it’s legal.” So I asked her a second question, “If it was legal for me to get up and hit you, then would you agree that was okay?” I don’t remember her having an answer to that question. As I recall, she just had a puzzled looked.
Because people have conflicting views, if you believe in God, I’m sure you’d want to know his view about this subject. If you don’t understand it already, you will understand God’s position after considering just a few scriptures. Let’s look at those now:
If someone hurts a woman and she loses her unborn child scriptures read, 22“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,” Exodus 21:22-23
According to those scriptures God held unintentional harm brought upon a woman that resulted in abortion as murder.
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
A broken clock is correct for only two minutes a day. If Armageddon is taught to be coming very soon, then eventually that prediction will come true. But what about all those others that didn’t, those predictions claiming it would come many decades ago, a century ago, over a century ago? I’m only thoroughly familiar with the teachings of one denomination that’s done this. Yet I know other denominations do it or have done the same thing. So once again, let me pick on my favorite denomination. But you can apply these ideas to others you’ve joined or come in contact with.
Have you ever tried to wake someone with a whisper? Or by doing nothing? Or by a prayer? How about a nudge or a shake? If you are Christian God places you and me here, on earth, to do that. So wake up, so that you can wake somebody else. The time to do that is right now. For He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION.” 2 Corinthians 6:2.
What did God say about telling people the Bible claims Armageddon is right upon them, or even coming within their lifetimes?
And He (Christ) said, “Take heed, lest you be led astray; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and ‘The time is drawn near.’ Do not go after them. Luke 21:8
A- Does a person, or group, have to claim they are Christ in order to violate those words?
B-Or can they merely teach the Bible claims ‘The time is drawn near’ to be among the group Christ said, “Do not go after them?” Luke 21:8
1John 4:1 reads, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
If you realize Christ said do not follow Christians preaching that message what will you do? Especially if you are already following them. Will you listen to Christ, who gave instructions about this at Luke 21:8- quoted above; or will you instead follow men claiming to represent Christ you find to be teaching in opposition to that direction?
And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. Jeremiah 23:16
“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.” Jeremiah 23:21
Watchtower does not claim to be God inspired, but instead directed by God’s Spirit. But for the purpose of its culpability in this matter, that claim does not matter. Watchtower has claimed God’s word did teach these things, and in that sense they presented themselves as prophets of God, no matter what escape clause they put forth denying that. Claiming they are not inspired, but instead claiming they are directed by God to teach that idea is contained within biblical scripture classifies them as false prophets in my mind. But does it in the mind of God? Look again at Jeremiah 23:21, “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.” God does not need to send a prophet to make that man or woman a false prophet to God. All they have to do is teach the Bible, God’s word, claims something will happen in the future that doesn’t. And these Watchtower prophets spoke in direct disobedience to Luke 21:8 (see above). So from a biblical point of view a Christian cannot say I’m not inspired by God but Spirit directed, and God’s Spirit is directing me to spread a message Christ told Christians not to spread, but I’m not a false prophet. If a Christian does that he is a false prophet.
While other groups do this I know the particulars of how Watchtower has done it, which is described below. Here are those particulars:
They had taught Armageddon would come in 1914.
When it didn’t they taught it would come in 1925.
When it didn’t they taught the generation that was 10 years of age in 1914 would still be alive when Armageddon comes. That would make the last survivors of that generation 116 years old today. And since that’s unreasonable Watchtower has changed its prophesying about Armageddon still again.
All of those prophesies of Wathtower denied Christ’s words at Matthew 24: 36No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.37As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.
And if those words from Christ do not convince you not to spread a message that the end is imminent, if you instead make excuses to yourself reasoning those verses might have been true of people while Christ walked the earth, but those are not true of Christians right before Armageddon, then I suggest you think again. Because although Christ was referring to the unrighteous not knowing when he would come in verses 38 and 39, read the rest of Matthew chapter 24, and all of chapter 25. Because in that second half of chapter 24 and in most of chapter 25 Christ was only speaking about Christians (anointed Christians) who Christ claims will be totally unaware about the timing of his return.
In none of those verses does he state any of his followers would know when he is returning until they see it. See what? First the great tribulation, and then the miraculous signs in heaven signaling he has returned. And nobody has seen either of those things yet. That means no Christian could know how close we are to his return. For more information on this last point click the title below and it will open that article:
In Matthew chapter 24 Christ spoke of two separate tribulations. It’s clear if you if can see it, but confusing if you don’t realize it because of the close proximity of his two references to the word “tribulation.” I know many folks believe he was speaking of the same tribulation there. They believe he combined those verses into one statement. Then many of them believe that statement has two fulfillments.
That’s called a “type” and “anti-type” fulfillment. It means the whole context of those verses is lumped together into one statement, but there are two different fulfillments of that one prophecy. Thus a “type,” and an “anti-type” fulfillment.
That’s incorrect. Christ gave two prophecies there. How do I know? Because in both references to tribulation Christ spoke of his return. In one he said he would return “at that time,” and in the other said he would not return “at that time.” In referencing the first tribulation in Matthew chapter 24 Christ told Christians not to look for his return, “at that time,” in verse 23. Then, when referencing tribulation the second time Christ claimed he will come immediately after it, “at that time” in verses 29 & 30.
Immediate is a time span. That didn’t happen in 70 AD. Therefore, the whole context of Matthew 24:19-30 couldn’t apply to Jerusalem’s temple stones getting knocked down at all, or even the whole city’s destruction. With no arrival of Christ, there was no fulfillment of that tribulation he spoke of in Matthew 24:29-30. Neither does the whole context of Matthew 24:19-31 apply to the great tribulation in Revelation. The tribulation in Matthew chapter 24 that corresponds to the tribulation in Revelation is the one Christ spoke to at Matthew 24: 27- 30. Let’s read about them both here:
The Bible Text
Matthew 24:19 “How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. (23) At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you in advance. 26 So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. (29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30 At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory 31 And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
Again, Christ spoke of one tribulation first through verse 23. The major point he made in verse 23 was that he wouldn’t return after that tribulation, which is not the point Christian teachers usually focus on. They usually focus on the false Christs he mentions right after that; but that was not the essential point he made in vs 23. The essential point of vs 23 is that he was not returning after that tribulation.
Contrast that to what he said in verses 29 and 30. In those verses he speaks of his return “at that time,” which shows he described different events, not a type and anti-type (combing both sections of scripture into one statement). His shift in focus appears to come in verse 27, “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” And in his mention of this tribulation in vss 29 & 30 he spoke of his return right after that. Verse 28 is likely a metaphorical allusion to verse 31, the gathering of the elect.
For baptized members who leave there is only one way to remove their sentence of isolation. That is for them to petitioning their church to take them back and forgive their crime, deciding to leave.
Several religions I know of practice extreme shunning of ex-members: Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the United Nation of Islam. I’ve included some writings and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses in this article.
Witnesses pride themselves in their belief that only their denomination represents true Christianity. One reason they believe that is because their leaders do change teachings once coming to believe they were wrong on certain matters. Witnesses claim other denominations do not adjust wrong teachings, at least not very often. And Watchtower teaches all other denominations misinterpret scripture, with errors in their beliefs.
We can attribute virtue to a group that admits when it believes it’s wrong, and changes what it believes are wrong teachings. But is it virtuous to force all members to accept its wrong teachings while those are taught? And Watchtower tells all members to shun any member who has figured out errors in its teachings before their leadership does, and does not accept its leadership’s mistakes? Watchtower teaches just believing a contrary belief is grounds for shunning. A member does not need to be spreading a dissenting belief.
Controlling Congregations through Circuit Overseers
Watchtower appoints circuit overseers to oversee congregations around the world. These men can be described as the elders’, elder. A circuit overseer oversees about 20 congregations, visiting each one twice a year. He reports what he finds in each congregation back to Watchtower’s regional headquarters. He also gives talks to the whole congregation, works with them proselytizing, and delivers information from Watchtower headquarters to the local elders in each congregation he visits. He also appoints new elders and ministerial servants, deacons, in those congregations. He can remove them also, whenever he sees fit to do so.
In 1980 Watchtower’s worldwide headquarters delivered a letter to circuit overseers, giving them the assignment to distribute its information to each group of congregational elders. This letter, as well as similar communications distributed to elders, was held a secret from all congregants who were not elders. The 1980 letter stated that if any baptized member does not believe part of Watchtower’s teaching, then attempts by elders should be made to persuade them to do so. But if the member refuses to be persuaded “appropriate judicial action” should be taken. “Appropriate judicial action” means they should be disfellowshipped for apostasy. That is kicked out of the church. The letter stressed the idea that the conflicted member did not need to be spreading his ideas to be disfellowshipped. Just believing that a biblical doctrine contradicts Watchtower’s teaching is sufficient grounds for disfellowshipping a Jehovah’s Witness.
What Is a Repercussion for Leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses
Once a Jehovah’s Witness is disfellowshipped, or even if they officially leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses because of their own choice, for any reason, Watchtower orders all its members to never talk to them again. The only exceptions are if the isolated member has some necessary business contact with another member, or if they are a member of the household, living under the same roof. Unless there is some necessary family business that must be temporarily addressed Witnesses are ordered to have no contact with their family of ex-members who are outside of the home they live in. If you surf the web among Jehovah’s Witness commenters you’ll find the acronym PIMO. It stands for Physically In Mentally Out. These are active Jehovah’s Witnesses who no longer have faith in that religion; but they still participate in it, because they fear the hardship shunning from friends and family will bring.
Below are quotes from Watchtower. These will help you understand its position towards disfellowshipped members:
“Haters of God and his people are to be hated…We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest…Jehovah’s enemies are recognized by their intense dislike for his people and the work these are doing,” Watchtower Oct 1, 1952, Page 599 par 11-13
“Hate what is bad. When a person persists in a way of badness after knowing what is right, when the bad becomes so ingrained that it is an inseparable part of his makeup, then in order to hate what is bad a Christian must hate the person with whom the badness is inseparably linked. Jesus did not mean for us to love the hardened enemies of Jehovah.” Watchtower July 15, 1961, page 420
“Persons who make themselves ‘not of our sort’ by deliberately rejecting the faith and beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses should appropriately be viewed and treated as are those who have been disfellowshipped for wrongdoing.” Watchtower, September 15, 1981, p 23, par 14-16
Any member that continues to have contact with a disfellowshipped or disassociated Jehovah’s Witness will themselves be disfellowshipped, for failing to follow Watchtower’s command. Of course Watchtower teaches the removal of these disobedient to Watchtower’s command is also necessary to follow a scriptural principle. Even though their only sin is association.
So Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun People?
The primary scriptures Watchtower reasoned on to reach its conclusions about disfellowshipping and hating cast out members are in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, contained in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian congregation.
9 “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?13But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.” 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13
Note in his second letter to the Corinthian congregation Paul didn’t say that every member had followed his instructions about association. Not all members of the congregation in Corinth disassociated with the man he previously told them to remove from their midst. Instead Paul said only the majority did:
“The punishment imposed on him by the majority is sufficient for him. So instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” 2 Corinthians 2:6-8
And yet in his second letter to the Corinthian congregation Paul did not say to cast out those members that kept up associations with that man he warned about. Christians are to follow the example of Christ.
Did Christ Talk to People Who Denied Him?
Contrast those teachings of Watchtower with Christ’s words at Luke 6:35-37, and Matthew 5:44:
35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” Luke 6:35-37
Who was it Christ would not speak to if they didn’t follow his beliefs? No one. He even spoke to those he labeled sons of Satan.
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to accept My message. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, refusing to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me!” John 8: 43-45
Christ knew that those men he labeled sons of the devil not only failed to accept what he taught, but Christ also knew they were seeking to kill him-“you are trying to kill Me because My word has no place within you,” John 8:37. And he knew they would eventually have their way with him. And yet he spoke to them.
That idea is taken from Christ’s statement recorded at John 15:15-17; 15“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.”
Note that Christ was asking the Father to protect us from the “evil one,” and not from humans in this world. He also asked that we be sanctified, set apart, made holy through God’s words, knowing his ideas.
Now let’s go to James chapter four and see how the word “world” is sometimes used in the New Testament. “1 What causes conflicts and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the passions at war within you? 2You crave what you do not have; you kill and covet, but are unable to obtain it. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3And when you do ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may squander it on your pleasures.4You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God.” James 4:1-4
So in those scriptures, like the ones in John 17, “world” isn’t used to mean humanity, but instead human characteristics that are in conflict with God’s ways. We can therefore conclude that being no part of the world means not retaining God displeasing characteristics in our lifestyles, and in our personalities.
What wasn’t Christ speaking of? And I’m primarily listing these for the sake of Jehovah’s Witnesses that one day might find this website. Below is a list of what doesn’t apply, along with biblical proofs to support that teaching:
Running for a political office and voting for a political candidate have nothing to do with Christ’s statements in John chapter 17. Scriptural proof: Daniel and his three companions all held political offices in a pagan country, Babylon. Joseph did also, in Egypt. Daniel and Joseph held very high political positions. It’s notable that Daniel and his three companions refused the diet of the Babylonians because of following godly dietary restrictions on them. Yet they accepted political positions. So, unless you believe Jehovah’s ways change, refusing to hold a political office has nothing to do with being “no part of the world.”
Not celebrating holidays has nothing to do with the statements Christ made in John 17. The biblical proof: Paul stated that whether a Christian observes one day above another is a matter of personal conscience, and has nothing to do with whether or not that Christian is acceptable to God. “5One person regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who observes a special day does so to the Lord; he who eats does so to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.” Romans 14:5,6
Serving in the military: I won’t make a judgment on this one, but I suggest you don’t either, since it is not your place. Instead it’s Christ’s place to. The fact the first gentile Christian was a pagan army officer should enlighten you enough not to do that. God could have chosen anyone to be the first gentile Christian. He chose a soldier. Besides, there were dozens of biblical wars sanctioned by God.
15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. 17The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2: 15-17
New International Version “If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.” Leviticus 5:1
Jehovah’s Witness leaders overseeing the Watchtower organization claim to strictly adhere to Bible principles. Yet along with clergy members obedient to them they frequently fail to obey that scriptural commandment above, after learning about child molesters inside their church. Instead they’ve created a pedophiles’ paradise within their organization. Children are sexually abused with no legal consequences for most abusers once they are discovered there.
Instead all Watchtower clergy members are ordered to report known incidents of sexual child abuse to this organization’s headquarters, called Bethel. They have Bethel offices in various countries. One is in Australia. There church elders were instructed to keep those reports hidden from everyone else, including all congregation members and police departments. That was unless the Bethel headquarters instructed elders to file a report with a governmental authority. How many times did those reports get filed with governmental agencies? The Australian Royal Commision found they were never filed.
The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held hearings to examine Jehovah’s Witnesses policies a few years back. It was that commission’s case study 29.The hearings proved that the Watchtower Bethel headquarters in Australia was holding thousands of files containing 1,800 child abuse victims inside Australian Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations. Those files contained over a thousand alleged pedophiles in Australian congregations. Some of those pedophiles admitted their sexually abusive behaviors. But not one of those reports was ever passed on to any governmental authority.
Even in provinces where reports were legally mandated Watchtower and its clergy members hid what they knew. Hiding their pedophiles within their midst, inside their congregations, Australian JW elders were ordered not to report to police by the Watchtower lawyer working at Bethel. The same type of order went out from Bethels around the world to Watchtower’s elders who were learning of child abuse in their congregations. If those elders informed authorities without Watchtower Bethel’s permission they were disciplined or removed from their positions. Was that to save the organization’s reputation? Was it to save Watchtower from paying money to those victims’ parents in lawsuits? I don’t know. But I do know now the story is out, and Watchtower is spending millions of dollars in multiple lawsuits because of it. The excuse I’ve heard that is most frequently given for not reporting is that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to bring reproach on Jehovah’s (God’s) name.
Because I cannot cover this topic nearly as effectively as it has already been covered elsewhere I’m posting the link below to an A&E video. If you wish to view more information after watching it the Australian Royal Commission hearings are also posted online. Just look up their case 29. It’s been reported that Watchtower world headquarters holds tens of thousands of files in a computer database on sexual child abusers. The A&E video can be found at:
Have you ever wondered why scriptures speak of Christ’s millennial rule, while they also speak of him ruling forever? When a millennial is just a thousand years. The answer is revealed in the meaning of his Kingdom. And scriptures writing about it describe two different groups of Christians. Some are taken into a heavenly dimension, where Christ lives:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20,21
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3:30
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord, 1Thessalonians 4:17
So these are taken to heaven. Yet they come back to earth as representatives of God. Why would they be taken to heaven to do that? The answer is because that gives this group face to face access to Christ. Which means they take direction directly from Christ, and not through some intermediary.
This government of God rules for 1000 years to bring earth’s inhabitants up to God’s standard for them. So some scriptures describe their rule as a millennial reign. Yet the administration God establishes continues. Note Daniel 7:27, “Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.”
While one group consists of people making up this administration, people that have heavenly access -Yet they do come to earth to administer over the affairs of mankind-the second group are Christians on earth that live under this administration.