Hello and the flu like conditions are over and I was feeling pretty much normal to meet with my Witness friends. We showed up and talked about how work life is like. On my end, I have a newish employee who I was reasonable for giving some work too. The assignment was to call some companies for information. Was it done? Nope as said individual was “too busy.” The custodian’s husband (he works in a machine shop) said how he was in a situation where he runs two machines. However, he was asked to run a third because he is diligent. He said to us he wishes that he was left alone and they’d bother the guys who, “stand around and drink coffee all day.” The elder inquired to the age of the employee and said individual is no more than 24. He then said, there’s something with the “younger generation” that they do not make much by way of an attempt to get anything done. With that said, let’s move on a little bit.
Before we get started, this chapter is one where we can find some good common ground and there isn’t a lot in some ways to dispute. However, there are some points that are different as with every chapter thus far. Due to the nature of this chapter, the custodian’s husband feels comfortable enough to take the lead. He wanted to start with a video from the organization’s official JW Library App. He was very happy to see this and quite frankly, it’s disconcerting seeing how mind control works. Essentially, they watch and accept everything presented.
The opening paragraphs pertain to the “Lord’s/Model Prayer.” So we got started and the elder asked, “What are the main things to the ‘Lord’s Prayer?’” Here was my response. “This prayer, is a model for any other prayer. I use the acronym of ‘ACTS.’ This is what it stands for (based on the book with that title):
This was a reference that they weren’t necessarily expecting as well either. I gave this partially given the custodian’s husband a few months ago gave me regarding the kingdoms mentioned in the Bible.
So we got to paragraph five on page 77. The second and third lines essentially say that “Jesus was resurrected and ascended.” I asked about this since according to WT theology, Jesus was the Logos in the pre-human existence, only to become Michael once “resurrected.” I asked for a clarification regarding this. The elder (he basically did the talking at this point) said, “it’s nothing more than a role. When he rules, he’s known as Jesus. When he’s fighting, he’s known as Michael.” I didn’t feel led to press but let’s take a quick look at Hebrews 2:5, 8 (New World Translation): For it is not to angels that he has subjected the inhabited earth to come, about which we are speaking. All things you subjected under his feet.”
Essentially, angels are not to rule the world as was said under inspiration. However, according to Watchtower theory, Jesus is an angel who is to rule the world.
The way the conversation ran, I didn’t feel like it was the time to ask about the first question in the sixth paragraph. If you believe Jesus/Michael can be a king yet an angel, please read the following verses:
King of Kings: Revelation 19:16
Hebrews 1:7 (Servants)
Genesis 3:24 (Guard)
Acts 7:53 (Deliver law)
All powerful: Hebrews 1:3
Detained: Daniel 10:12
We continued onto page 78 and how it deals with the 144,000. Here’s one of the interesting things regarding the Society, the number is limited here to the 144,000 yet no where in II Timothy does it limit the number-at all.
Further on, it refers to Revelation 5:10 and explicitly says “kings.” However this is a case where the Bible refers to these individuals being males. However, I’ve heard of testimonies where the person was a woman whom was anointed.
So we chatted a little bit more about the 144,000 and how it’s a “loving arrangement" from page 79. This is where the custodian’s husband made things a little interesting. He said he was looking up information on the Roman crucifixion. I found it odd but decided to interject a little bit. I said the image on page 52 was not very accurate. I got a tacit acceptance from both. I spoke referring to how Jesus was scourged (the whip had bits of bone and would shred a person’s back). I spoke of the Messianic passage of Psalm 129:3. I also referred to Psalm 22:14. Somewhat shockingly, they didn’t argue it. The elder actually corrected the picture and spoke about the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus (which is missing).
This was interesting from two aspects: The first is that the custodian’s husband was looking information up on Roman crucifixion. They believe that Jesus died on a simple upright pole. I was able to talk a little bit more about an image that is in the 1969 version of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation. I was able to speak about the different set ups that were utilized to crucify an individual. I quickly looked up the picture and was able to go over a number of them. The book is at this link here: https://archive.org/details/ivstilipsidecruce00lipsuoft.
Again, I didn’t feel that was the time to say how the Watchtower was wrong regarding the manner in which Jesus died. I’m content at times to allow them to drop these little tidbits as I see it since they generally don’t admit anything to the regular person they interact with. This I feel again is due to taking the time to know them for who they are as individuals.
This lead the elder to say (he majorly zagged) that although we have old information like this, information that deals to those from just after the Bible was written has been lost. I literally said, “I’m going to give you a slight correction” (he looked at me slightly bewildered) and said that’s not the case. He went on to say that it’s not in the bible, how can it be trusted? The custodian’s husband actually spoke up and said it’s historical matter. I spoke about the Early Church Fathers. These men were disciples of the Apostles. The elder said, “there can’t be more disciples of disciples because John was the last one.” I said, “let me rephrase. They were the men who were ‘directly taught by the apostles’” and this sat much better with him. I explained that they quoted Scripture so much that if all Bibles disappeared, we could reconstruct the majority alone from what they actually wrote.
Therefore, we can get great insight from what the early church taught and believed. Side note-this is where Unitarian groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses “fall apart.” They tend to attribute “Christian” beliefs to the First Council of Nicaea without much knowledge prior to this point.
This led to me showing them this website here so that they could see how it exists digitally today: https://www.ccel.org/fathers.html
When I mentioned the names Justin Martyr and Ignatius, the elder seemed to remember who it was. He then said when the Governing Body writes material (it’s actually the organization’s Writing Committee) is not unusual for them to be referenced. He actually proceeded to say that this material is never misquoted (cue a “poker face”). He doesn’t know why people “attack” Jehovah’s Witnesses since all the information is freely available to them so that they can exactly how they teach everything that lines up with the bible. If this was the case, this website wouldn’t have a reason to exist because if you look at the booklet Should You Believe in The Trinity? you know it’s not the case.
Mentally, I was still trying to comprehend what he just said. Although I’ve done my best over the past year to build up good will, either he is engaged in theocratic warfare (permitted lying), he’s trying to impress me (I said I have some familiarity with the Early Church Fathers but not much), or he’s just read what the Society spoke in reference to. Again, if he actually looked at Society quotes like the ones I have listed here on this website, he’d know that was definitely not have made that statement.
We talked for a few more minutes and the custodian’s husband wanted to show me another video. This one pertained to the construction of Kingdom Halls around the world. Once it was done they talked about the donation arrangement regarding Kingdom Halls. Essentially I was told, there can be donations for the local hall then there’s another that can be made for the “worldwide work.” This is where the money is openly said to be used for the furtherance of spreading JW gospel (this is different and accursed by Paul in Galatians 1:8, 9).
What they may not know about is the numerous child abuse payouts going on right now (this is where money is going). Something else the custodian’s husband said that was somewhat striking is that the elder has access to information that others do not. I have a feeling that he knows about the Body of Elder’s Letters and perhaps he knows about Shepherd the Flock of God elder’s manual.
He tried to equate the building of the new world headquarters to the tower of Babel. However, here where work couldn’t go on due to confounding language, work goes on in spite of the language barrier. He then relayed how happy his brother was in “Jehovah’s service” and how wonderful it is to build a new building. From a sheer physical perspective, it’s alright to boast. Spiritually speaking, I’d disagree. They tend to boast only in the physical things they do. It reminded me of this verse which is a contrast: But may I never boast, except in the torture stake of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been put to death with regard to me and I wish regard to the world, Galatians 6:14 New World Translation (I accept the term “cross” unlike the organization).
We set a meeting up for next week. So with that in mind, please pray for them since:
The custodian’s husband spoke about looking up information for the crucifixion.
I was able to openly find fault with the Watchtower publication. They actually agreed and went a step further as well.
The elder best I could tell doesn’t know anything about Early Church Fathers. This is potential gold given there are statements by them affirming the diety of Jesus Christ.
We’ve set our meeting for March 18th to get back on our “normal” schedule.