真理のみことば伝道協会

カルト宗教被害者の皆様の問題解決のお手伝いをさせて頂いております。

The cults are active in Asia and eastern Europe as never before. Satan is working to deceive millions with a false gospel. Many have lost their lives, their possessions, their freedom, and even their very lives as a result of involvement with a dangerous cult group.

Twenty years ago God gave us a burden to help people in cult groups and their families. By God’s grace we have seen countless people come to Christ from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other groups. We have seen the growth rate of the Watchtower drop year by year, and have also witnessed a dramatic drop in the number of people studying with them.

Looking ahead, we can foresee enormous opportunities for evangelism to cult members and their families, and in order to prepare for whatever may come, we feel now is the time to take steps toward the building of a cult research and rehabilitation center. This is something that has been on our hearts for a number of years. It will be a place where cult members and former cult members can come and study the word of God, straighten out their thinking, be healed in body, soul, and spirit, and prepare for reentry into the real world. It will be a place where hurting families can come for counseling. It will also be a place where pastors and Christians with a burden for the cults can come and use the reservoir of reference materials that we have accumulated over the years.

The center, as we envision it now, will have two rooms for people to stay for an extended period of time, office space, a library, a meeting room, and living space for our family. It will probably cost us \50,000,000 ($380,000) for land and \30,000,000 ($230,000) for the building. Please join with us in prayer. Your financial gifts are also greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to us directly at our address in Japan, or, for those who desire a tax deductible receipt, gifts designated for this project can be sent to: Christ for the Nations, P. O. Box 769000, Dallas, TX 75376-9000 (Please attach a note to your gift indicating that it is for “Bill Wood/ Japan).

CHAPTER FIVE NOTES

2012年2月16日(木)

1Ronald M. Enroth, Churches That Abuse (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 174.

2Heb 13:5.

3Isa 43:4.

4Isa 49:15-16.

5John 3:16.

6You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1982), 127.

7The Watchtower, February 1, 1991, 17. Strangely enough, while teaching that salvation is a reward for obe-dience, the Watchtower does, at the same time, unashamedly declare that it is a “free gift.” What this means is that the sacrifice of Christ has wiped away the sin inherited from Adam, and man has now been given the chance to work his way toward salvation. Without this “gift” (chance), there would be no hope of salvation.

8Rom 5:5-10.

9Eph 2:8-10. Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain that faith alone is not enough–works are also needed. James 2:14-26 is often given as scriptural support for this position. However, as Paul plainly declares in the second chapter of Ephesians, salvation is not by works but by grace through faith. Works are the result of a salvation experience, not a condition for receiving that salvation. Good works are necessary, not as a prerequisite to salvation, but as evi-dence of genuine faith.

10Heb 10:19-22.

11Eph 2:13-18.

121 John 1:3.

13John 15:4-7.

14Rom 6:4- 14.

15Rom 8:31-39.

16John 16:13.

171 John 2:27.

18John 10:28-29, 1 John 5:11-13.

19The Watchtower, September 1, 1994, 12.

20The Watchtower, November 15, 1981, 21.

21The Watchtower, October 1, 1994, 6, 8.

22The Watchtower, May 15, 1999, 15.

23The Watchtower, July 1, 1965, 391.

24The Watchtower, December 1, 1993, 13.

25The Watchtower, August 15, 1983, 23. It is note-worthy that in this article the average Jehovah’s Witnesses (who are not members of the “heavenly class” and therefore not branches of the Vine) are told that they must “prove themselves to be Christ’s disciples,” and also “keep bearing much fruit.” Christ Himself, however, states that “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

26The Watchtower, April 1, 1979, 31.

27The Watchtower, June 15, 1974, 376.

28Mark 7:13.

29In the December 1, 1974 issue of The Watchtower, Jehovah’s Witnesses are told what is and is not acceptable in their sexual relations and foreplay.

30The March 15, 1969 issue of The Watchtower declares that, “Jehovah’s organization. . . should influence our every decision” (p. 172).

31The Watchtower, June 1, 1985, 30 [Emphasis added].

321 Cor 7:23.

33Gal 5:1.

34Jas 2:8-12.

35Gal 5:13.

36John 3:3-5.

37Eph 2:1-6.

382 Cor 5:17.

39Reasoning from the Scriptures (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1985), 77. The Scriptures clearly state that all who have faith in Christ are born of God (John 1:12-13, 1 John 5:1).

40You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982), 132 [Emphasis original].

41Matt 23:25-28.

42See Rom 3:12.


43Luke 18:13.

44The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1968), 112-3.

45Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsyl-vania, 1966), 398.

46Insight on the Scriptures (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1994), 1:604-6.

471 John 3:2.

48Rom 5:1.

49Rom 8:1. The Watchtower’s New World Translation omits the word “now” in Romans 8:1: “Therefore those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation.”

501 John 5:11-13.

51John 5:24.

52John 6:47.

532 Cor 6:2.

54You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982), 251.

55Rev 3:20.

56John 6:44.

57See Rom 10:13 and 1 Cor 12:3.

58Matt 11:28.

59John 7:37b.

CHAPTER FIVE / SHARING THE GOOD NEWS

2012年2月16日(木)

The Void Must be Filled
The aftermath of cult involvement has sometimes been described as “spiritual rape.”1 The frustration and power-lessness of knowing that one has been taken advantage of, and the awareness that there is little that can be done about it, are extremely difficult emotions with which to deal. The acute sense of betrayal makes trusting other people nearly impossible.

Leaving a cult group also results in an indescribable feeling of emptiness. Faith, purpose, and direction are gone. In the midst of this immense spiritual vacuum God seems to be light-years away. Without help, former cult members can fall victim to depression and may even become suicidal.

Jesus Christ, in the twelfth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, describes the plight of a man who, after being delivered from an evil spirit, left his house (heart) unoc-cupied and ended up in a far worse state–he fell under the control of eight spirits. The principle illustrated in this parable can also be applied to defectors from the Watchtower Society. Their spiritual vacuum must be filled. They must come to know the One who declares, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”2 They must hear the true Gospel that promises them a sure and enduring salvation.


The Message of the Gospel
The “good news” of the Watchtower is a distortion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is, pure and simple, a false gospel. The Watchtower message is not designed to bring an individual into direct contact with the saving grace of God in the here and now; rather, it is a promise of future hap-piness for those who faithfully obey “God’s organization.” Adherents of this gospel therefore must pledge themselves to a life of subservience in the Watchtower Society.

Jesus Christ promised eternal life as a gift to all who would put their trust in Him. This was not to be a blessing bestowed at some future date, but a present pos-session of every believer. In contrast to the Watchtower gospel where emphasis is placed upon human effort and the reward it brings, the message of Christ is a testimony to God’s unconditional love, a promise of intimate fellowship with God, a gateway to true freedom, and the power to live a life pleasing to God.

God’s Love is Unconditional
The love of God is one of the major themes of the Bible. Numerous Scriptures give a passionate description of the nature of that love:

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.3


Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.4


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.5

In Watchtower theology, divine love and favor is bestowed upon those who have proven themselves worthy. Four basic requirements must be met before anyone can be accepted as a child of God: acquisition of accurate biblical knowledge (obtainable only through reading Watchtower literature), obeying God’s laws (all rules laid down by the Watchtower), associating with the Watchtower, and partici-pating in the Jehovah’s Witness preaching work.6

In essence, the Jesus of the Watchtower does not really save anyone. His death simply made it possible for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to establish their own righteousness and thus demonstrate that they deserve entrance into the kingdom of God.

Thus his death made possible all that the Kingdom will accomplish for us humans: immortal life in the heavens for the 144,000 who constitute his bride and everlasting life in a paradise earth for millions of others who prove their faith and obedience under test.7

The works-oriented gospel of the Watchtower stands in stark contrast with the clear declarations of Scripture. God’s love is not poured out upon the righteous, the faith-ful, or the worthy, but rather the powerless, the ungodly, the sinner, and the enemy of God.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been recon- ciled, shall we be saved through his life!8

Eternal life is offered as a gift to all who put their trust in Jesus Christ. Faith alone is the sole prere-quisite to salvation.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of

God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.9

Intimate Fellowship with God has been Restored
The Bible declares plainly that, because of sin, God and man are in a relationship of hostility and enmity. Every human being, as an enemy of God, is an object of divine wrath. However, the Scriptures also, with equal clarity and force, proclaim the message that reconciliation has been accomplished through the death of Jesus Christ. The substitutionary atonement of Christ has changed man’s former state of enmity into one of righteousness and com-plete harmony with a righteous God, thus making personal and intimate fellowship a blessed reality.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.10

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.11

Those who have been reconciled by faith in Christ can say with the Apostle John, “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”12 As a branch in the true vine, Jesus Christ, Christians can be assured of bearing much fruit for the glory of God.13 Union with Christ in his death and resurrection provides the basis for a life of victory over sin.14 Nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ.15 The Holy Spirit has been given to lead Christians into all truth.16 The Spirit’s annointing teaches the Christian all things; there-fore, the Christian is not bound to rely upon any human being (or human organization) for understanding of the Bible.17 The believer has, as a present possession, eternal life, and is promised by Christ Himself that he will never perish.18

All of the above promises are nullified in the maze of Watchtower doctrine. Instead of an individual and per-sonal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses are told that God “deals with his people as an organized group.”19 Seekers are invited to “come to Jeho-vah’s organization for salvation.”20 The Watchtower unashamedly declares, “We cannot understand the Bible on our own;” people can understand the Bible “only through Jeho-vah’s channel of communication.”21 No one today receives a personal message from God.22 Jehovah does not impart his “holy spirit” apart from his visible organization.23 Followers of the Watchtower are also told:

Rather than expect miracles in the form of divine inter- vention of some sort, Jehovah’s Witnesses realize that protection is to be found in their worldwide Christian brotherhood.24

Only the 144,000 may become branches that abide in the Vine.25 Members of this elite group alone may claim Christ as their mediator–all other Jehovah’s Witnesses are not included in the new covenant.26 The Watchtower even goes so far as to say that most of the New Testament, including the promises of everlasting life, is directed to the 144,000.27

Surely the words of Christ, spoken to the Pharisees, are applicable here, “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”28

Anyone Can be Born Again
The power to live in accordance with “the law that gives freedom” does not originate in man. Man is, by nature, a sinful and self-centered being. A fundamental change must take place in the heart of man before there can be any significant change of life. The Bible refers to this experience as being “born again”:

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”36

This experience is also described as coming alive from a state of death,37 or as being made a new creation.38 Believers in Christ who have been made anew from within are thus enabled and empowered to lead a new life outwardly.

Again, the “good news” of the Watchtower runs con-trary to the testimony of Scripture. Only the 144,000 are granted the privilege of being born again as sons of God.17 This means that all other members of the Watchtower organi-zation must labor diligently, in their own strength, to change themselves and demonstrate that they have conformed their lives to God’s standard.

The Bible shows that persons must make changes in their life in order to meet the requirements for becoming sub- jects of God’s government. (Ephesians 4:20-24) Are you working to make these changes? Surely it is worth any effort to do so! Why so? It will not mean that you will simply have a better life for a few years under some human government. No, but you will receive ever- lasting life in perfect health on a paradise earth under a government ruled by God!18

This line of reasoning is based on the assumption that man is basically good and capable of measuring up to the standards of God. In this regard the Watchtower has taken a chapter from the philosophy of the Pharisees. Jesus Christ, however, sternly rebuked all forms of pharisaic self-righteousness.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypo- crites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.41 Biblical faith begins with the honest admission that one is a helpless sinner who is under the wrath of God and deserving of nothing but eternal destruction. Man is incapable of performing any good works that might warrant the praise of God.42 The entire human race has become so thoroughly corrupted in spirit, soul, and body that there remains only one hope–to be given, by divine grace, a new birth. Those who comprehend this truth will cease all efforts to establish their own righteousness and will cry out in desperation, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”43

Today is the Day of Salvation
The Watchtower concept of salvation is totally futur-istic in focus. Eternal life on paradise earth is promised to those who remain faithful through the millennium and the period of testing that follows:

Jehovah will give them the opportunity to show their loyalty. How? By releasing Satan and his demons from their condition of restraint in the “abyss.” (Revelation 20:7). . . . Those who stay loyal to God will be judged worthy of eternal life. . . any who rebelliously turn against God will be destroyed.44

The adoption as sons of God is also projected into the distant post-millennial future. Jehovah will accept as his sons all those whom he has subjected “to a thorough test for all time.”45 Jehovah’s Witnesses are given a provi-sional status of righteousness now by faith, but that position will only become permanent after they have demon-strated their loyalty.46

This carrot-on-a-stick-gospel is a poor imitation of the glorious good news of Jesus Christ. John triumphantly declares that “now we are children of God.”47 Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”48 And again, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”49 These Scriptures contain not the slightest hint of a right-eousness that pends a probationary period but only a confident shout of joy and victory. Eternal life is no future prize but rather a present possession:

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.50

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be con- demned; he has crossed over from death to life.51

I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.52

The message of the gospel addresses the needs of mankind in the present. While the full realization of all of God’s blessings (i.e., the resurrection of the body, etc.) await a future date, the believer can rejoice in a salvation that restores him or her to right standing with God for all eternity. In his second epistle to the Corin-thians, Paul, quoting from the prophet Isaiah, states, “For he says, ‘In the time of favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”53 hn 7:37b.

The Invitation of Christ
Evangelical churches have for some time emphasized the personal aspects of a relationship with Christ and inviting Him into one’s life through prayer. With the intent of perpetuating a Christian illusion, the Watchtower has disguised its own theology with similar trappings. Des-cribing what a person needs to do initially to put himself on the road to eternal life, You Can Live Forever in Para-dise on Earth states the following:

You should approach God in Jesus’ name and tell him in prayer that you want to be his servant, that you want to belong to him. In this way you dedicate yourself to God. This is a personal, private matter. No one else can do it for you. After you have made your dedication to God, he will expect you to live up to it. So prove that you are a person of your word by sticking to this decision, or dedication, as long as you live.54

This is no picture of a convicted sinner crying out for divine mercy. Rather, it is a portrait of someone who confidently approaches God and proclaims that he or she desires to belong to Him and is prepared to do His will. In Watchtower theology, it is man who initiates the process that will hopefully result in salvation, and it is man who works to prove being worthy of the kingdom of God.

The Scriptures describe conversion as a response to the voice of Christ who personally comes to the individual and knocks at the door of the heart. In the words of Jesus Himself, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”55 Jesus also states emphati-cally that, “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him.”56

Salvation is, from beginning to end, the work of God. Only as the sinner acknowledges this truth in humble faith will he be enabled to come to Christ, call upon His name, and experience God’s saving grace.57

As a shepherd searching for lost sheep, Jesus Christ continues to invite all men to come to Him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”58 “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”59 It is only here, in the bosom of the Savior, that true peace and salvation can be found.

CHAPTER FOUR NOTES

2012年2月16日(木)

1See also 2 Tim 2:24-26.

2Copies of Watchtower literature referred to in this paper may be obtained from the following organizations: Free Minds, Inc., P.O.Box 3818, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; Wit-ness, Inc., P.O.Box 597, Clayton, CA 94517.

3See also Luke 12:42-48.

4The Watchtower, March 1, 1896, 47.

5The Watchtower, July 15, 1906, 229.

6The Watchtower maintains that only 144,000 will go to heaven–all other Jehovah’s Witnesses deemed worthy of salvation will spend eternity in a paradise on earth. This interpretation is based upon Revelation 7:3-4, John 10:16, and other Scriptures. The 144,000 are supposedly made up of Jehovah’s Witnesses baptized before 1935. Since 1935 the ingathering of the “great crowd” (people who will dwell on the earth) began. According to Watchtower figures, of the 144,000, only 8661 are still alive today. From this group of “annointed ones” the members of the Governing Body are chosen.

7God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1975), 350.

8The Finished Mystery (New York: International Bible Students Association, 1917), 84.

9Ibid., 93.

10Ibid., 230.

11Ibid., 119.

12Ibid., 146.

13Ibid., 155.

14Ibid., 178.

15Ibid., 273.

16Ibid., 167.

17Ibid., 188.

18Ibid., 159.

19Ibid., 15.

20Ibid., 258.

21Ibid., 485.

22Ibid., 64. It should be noted that shortly after these prophecies failed, Watchtower president Joseph Ruther-ford embarked upon the “Millions Campaign,” giving public lectures and publishing a booklet on the subject “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” Rutherford maintained that the end of the world would come in 1925.

23Raymond Franz, In Search of Christian Freedom (At-lanta: Commentary Press, 1991), 151.

24The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, 197.

25 The Time Is At Hand (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1889), 76-77.

26Ibid., 99.

27The Watchtower, September 1, 1916, 265.

28The Finished Mystery (New York: International Bible Students Association, 1917), 485.

29Millions Now Living Will Never Die (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1920), 88.

30The Watchtower, September 15, 1941, 288.

31Consolation, October 29, 1941, 11.

32The Watchtower, December 15, 1941, 372.

33 Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1966), 29-30.

34The Watchtower, May 1, 1968, 272.

35Awake!, January 8, 1982, 2. This prophetic word continued to appear in each edition of the Awake! magazine until November 8, 1995, when the words were changed to read, “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Cre-ator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.” The Watchtower finally had to admit that the gen-eration that saw the events of 1914 had largely passed away. Continuing to print the failed prophecy as spiritual food for Jehovah’s Witnesses was comparable to serving meat or milk long after the “sell before” date stamped on the pack-age. Like spoiled food, the prophecy had begun to stink.

36Matthew 7:15-16. Christ also warned that before his second coming “many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matt 24:11).

37Deuteronomy 18:20-22.

38To fear a prophet means to respect that prophet as a messenger of God or to obey his or her words.

39Awake!, March 22, 1993, 4.

40Pages 6-7. The expression “[of 1914]” is in the original.

41Reasoning from the Scriptures (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1985), 136.

42The Watchtower also makes reference to Nathan, “who encouraged King David to go ahead with what was in his heart regarding the building of a house for Jehovah’s worship. But later Jehovah told Nathan to inform David that he was not the one who would build it. Jehovah did not reject Nathan for what he had said earlier but continued to use him because he humbly corrected the matter when Jehovah made it plain to him” (Ibid., 134). Indeed, Nathan offered advice to David concerning the temple of God, but that advice was not based upon any prophetic revelation that Nathan had received, and it was not a message that he spoke as a pro-phet “in the name of the Lord.” There is no record in Scripture of any prophet who prophecied in the name of the Lord only to later be compelled to correct that prophecy because it was in error or failed to come to pass.

43The Watchtower, January 15, 1982, 6-7.

44You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982), 206.

45Aids to Bible Understanding (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1971), 1060.

46The Watchtower, March 1, 1996, 14. The magazine is quoting from Zephaniah 3:12-13 (New World Translation) and applying the words of the prophecy to the Watchtower leader-ship.

47You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1982), 147.

48The Watchtower, January 15, 1993, 5.

49The Watchtower, November 1, 1914, 326.

50The Watchtower, March 1, 1923, 67.

51The Watchtower, January 1, 1924, 5.

52See God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1973), 186.

53The Watchtower, September 15, 1941, 288.

54Consolation, October 29, 1941, 11.

55Kingdom Ministry, January 1968, 5.

56The New World Translation, completed in 1961, is the Watchtower’s official translation of the Bible. John 1:1 reads: “In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

57The Watchtower, April 1, 1983, 31.

58Ibid.

59Page 111.

60Qualified to be Ministers (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1967), 199.

61The Watchtower, May 15, 1983, 6.

62A copy of this letter, dated September 30, 1982, can be seen in The Signs of the Last Days–When? by Carl Olof Johnson and Wolfgang Herbst (Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1987).

63Should You Believe in the Trinity? (New York: Watch-tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1989), 4.

64The Encyclopedia Americana (New York: Americana Corporation, 1977), 27:116.

65Should You Believe in the Trinity?, 6.

66The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Chicago: Encly-clopaedia Britannica Inc., 1985), 10:126 [Emphasis added].

67 A Jehovah’s Witness may argue that the source quoted did say those words; therefore, the Watchtower is not guilty of misquoting the author. However, that is not the issue. The point is, did the author mean what the Watch-tower is telling the reader he meant?

68John 8:44.

692 Cor 4:4.

The immediate future is certain to be filled with climactic events, for this old system is nearing its complete end. Within a few years at most the final parts of Bible prophecy relative to these “last days” will undergo fulfillment, resulting in the liberation of surviving mankind into Christ’s glorious 1,000-year reign. What difficult days, but, at the same time, what grand days are just ahead!34


Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the generation of 1914 passes away.35

The track record of the Watchtower speaks for itself. Not one of its prophecies have come to pass. This histori-cal fact, when viewed in the light of Scripture, shatters the very foundation of the Society’s spiritual authority.


The Biblical Test of a Prophet
Jesus Christ warned his disciples to “watch out for false prophets” and also instructed them that, “by their fruit you will recognize them.”36 This truth is also empha-sized in the Law of Moses.

“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.37

This passage reveals the divine standard for judging the fruit (prophecy) of a prophet. A true prophet’s message will always come to pass; a false prophet’s predictions will never see fulfillment.

When the standard of Scripture is applied to the Watchtower, only one conclusion can be reached, the Watch-tower organization is a false prophet. Concerning the Christian’s relationship with that prophet, the command of God is clear: Do not be afraid of him.38


The Watchtower’s Explanation
When confronted with the facts, Watchtower leadership acknowledges that there have been mistakes in the past. However, these mistakes apparently do not result in the pro-phet losing his or her spiritual authority:

Jehovah’s Witnesses, in their eagerness for Jesus’ sec- ond coming, have suggested dates that turned out to be incorrect. Because of this, some have called them false prophets. Never in these instances, however, did they presume to originate predictions “in the name of Jeho- vah.”39

Here the Watchtower offers that it should not be branded a false prophet because it did not prophecy in the name of Jehovah. The question then arises, in what name did the Jehovah’s Witnesses prophecy? The shallowness and dis-honesty of this excuse becomes even more evident as one finds on the same page of the magazine the words, “Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the gen-eration of 1914 passes away.” In reference to this same prophecy, the May 15, 1984 edition of The Watchtower makes an even bolder declaration:

Jehovah’s prophetic word through Jesus Christ is: “This generation [of 1914] will by no means pass away until all things occur.” (Luke 21:32) And Jehovah, who is the source of inspired and unfailing prophecy, will bring about the fulfillment.40

The evidence is undeniable. The Watchtower did indeed claim that its prophecy concerning the generation of 1914 was “Jehovah’s prophetic word.”

Another attempt to downplay the issue of the Watchtower’s failed prophecies can be be found in the publi-cation, Reasoning from the Scriptures.

Under the subject of “False Prophets,” the following comments are written:

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not claim to be inspired pro- phets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expecta- tions.–Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6.41

As already noted, the Watchtower claims to be God’s “faithful and discreet slave,” entrusted with handling all the interests of the Master. It is God’s sole channel of communication. The leadership occupies a position “similar to that of Paul and his colaborers.” Concerning the prophe-tic activity of the Watchtower, “Jehovah is the one behind all of it.” Reasoning of this kind differs little from an open claim to divine inspiration. It is simply a matter of semantics.

The Watchtower leadership, it would appear, wants to lay claim to the authority of a prophet while avoiding the responsibilities that go along with that prophetic office. Once again, there is a hopeless contradiction in the reasoning of the organization. If the leadership claims to be led by the Spirit of God, it has no right to appeal to human fallibility as an excuse–the teaching has its source in God who, by nature, can do no wrong. On the other hand, if the leadership does offer human fallibility as an excuse for failed prophecy, it has no legal grounds for claiming divine authority. Only those who willingly admit from the start that the source of their teaching is human reasoning have the right to ask forgiveness for human error. For those who have claimed divine authority and then found themselves in error, there is only one course of action, repentance. This involves not only an admittance of guilt, but a complete discontinuation of all prophetic activity. To claim divine authority and then fall back on the excuse that “humans make mistakes” is nothing more than a clever form of deceptive reasoning.

The Watchtower appeal to the “wrong expectations” of the Apostles is more of the same. A careful reading of the passage in Acts chapter one will reveal that the disciples did indeed expect that Jesus might soon restore the kingdom to Israel. However, there is no record that the disciples actually taught or prophecied this in public as a message from God. They simply queried Jesus about the matter, and he corrected their misunderstanding. No comparison can be made between them and the Watchtower leadership. Luke 19:11 is also offered as scriptural support, but this verse is a reference to the crowd that was following Jesus–obviously not a prophetic group claiming divine guidance and authori-ty.42


Lies, Deception, and Cover-ups
Watchtower doctrine consistently expounds the virtue of honesty. Jehovah’s Witnesses are to be completely honest in all of their business dealings.43 Lying is said to be “against the laws for Christians.”44 Jehovah God “hates a false tongue.”45 Concerning the “faithful and discreet slaves,” The Watchtower states that, “they will do no unrighteousness, nor speak a lie, nor will there be found in their mouths a tricky tongue.”46

While setting forth lofty and scriptural principles, however, the Watchtower falls far short in practice. The organization has a proven record of deliberately distorting the truth, misquoting scholarly authorities, and telling outright lies.


Concerning the Second Coming of Christ
One central doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses deals with the invisible return of Jesus Christ in 1914. Accord-ing to Watchtower teaching, Christ did not return to the earth in a literal sense but, as king of God’s heavenly gov-ernment, began in 1914 to “take kingdom power toward this earth and turn his attention to it.”47 The organization is said to have maintained a consistent position on this doc-trine:

The Watchtower has consistently presented evidence to honesthearted students of Bible prophecy that Jesus’ presence in heavenly Kingdom power began in 1914. Events since that year testify to Jesus’ invisible pres- ence.48

The Watchtower has been published since 1879. The organization is therefore claiming here that the magazine has consistently taught from 1879 to the present that Jesus Christ “returned” in 1914. This is a blatant falsehood, as the following quotes from The Watchtower clearly indicate.

In line with the same chronology the Scriptures teach us that there will be a time for the parousia, or presence of the Lord. That time, as far as we are able to calcu- late, began in 1874.49


The Scriptures show that the second presence [of the Lord] was due in 1874. . . . This proof shows that the Lord has been present since 1874.50


Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874.51

Charles Russell, founder of the Watchtower organiza-tion, was convinced that Jesus Christ had returned in 1874. His doctrinal position was also supported by his successor, Joseph Rutherford. It was not until 1943 that the date for Christ’s “presence” was moved up to 1914.52


Concerning World War II and Armageddon
As has already been demonstrated, the Watchtower’s record of prophecy includes predictions related to World War II. By September of 1941, the organization was already making references to “the remaining months before Armaged-don.”53 The near future was hastening to bring to the German people the battle of Armageddon.54

These prophecies proved to be an embarrassment to the Watchtower. Twenty-seven years later, the organization’s leadership boldly denied that the prophecies ever existed:

During World War I God’s people expected it to lead directly into Armageddon, but Jehovah prevented such a climax at that time. We didn’t succumb to such an expectation during World War II.55

Any examination of Watchtower literature published during the Second World War will show that the organization made repeated references to Armageddon. The statement that, “We didn’t succumb to such an expectation during World War II” could not be farther from the truth.


Concerning Johannes Greber
For a period of fourteen years (1962-1976), the Watchtower Society frequently quoted from a translation of the New Testament by Johannes Greber. Greber was a Catholic priest who had become heavily involved in spiritism. In the foreword to his translation, he unashamedly admits that his translation was done with the help of the “spirit world.” The Watchtower quoted from Greber’s translation as a source of support for the New World Translation’s rendering of John 1:1 and other passages.56

Numerous individuals inside and outside the organi-zation began to query the Watchtower about its policy of quoting from a spiritist’s translation of the Bible while at the same time condemning spiritism. Quotes from Greber’s translation began to disappear from the pages of Watchtower literature. Finally, in April of 1983, the organization addressed the question of, “Why, in recent years, has The Watchtower not made use of the translation by the former Catholic priest, Johannes Greber?”57

This translation was used occasionally in support of renderings of Matthew 27:52, 53 and John 1:1, as given in the New World Translation and other authoritative Bible versions. But as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on “God’s Spirit World” to clar- ify for him how he should translate difficult passages. It is stated: “His wife, a medium of God’s Spiritworld was often instrumental in conveying the correct answers from God’s Messengers to Pastor Greber.” The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)58

The Watchtower makes a concerted attempt to avoid responsibility for this contradiction by explaining that it had only recently discovered Greber’s spiritistic connec-tions. The organization had been acting in ignorance, and, once the facts were known, appropriate corrections were made in organizational policy. This, however, is a deliberate distortion of the truth. The Watchtower had knowledge of Greber’s spiritism from as early as 1956, as the following quote from the February 15, 1956 edition of The Watchtower clearly shows:

Says Johannes Greber in the introduction of his transla- tion of The New Testament, copyrighted in 1937: “I myself was a Catholic priest, and until I was forty- eight years old had never as much as believed in the possibility of communicating with the world of God’s spirits. The day came, however, when I involuntarily took my first step toward such communication, and expe- rienced things that shook me to the depths of my soul.”

. . . . In the Foreword of his afore-mentioned book ex- priest Greber says: “The most significant spiritualistic book is the Bible.” Under this impression Greber endeavors to make his New Testament translation read very spiritualistic. . . . Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his trans- lation.59


Deliberately Misquoting Authorities
Watchtower publications frequently quote authorities to undergird organizational doctrine or policy. Periodicals and scholarly works from the field of science, medicine, religion, psychology, etc. are cited to make the Watchtower position on any given subject look reasonable. The Society is apparently aware that, in the process of doing this, cer-tain common sense principles must be followed to ensure that the writer or speaker is not misrepresented:

Be very careful to be accurate in all statements you make. Use evidence honestly. In quotations, do not twist the meaning of a writer or speaker or use partial quotations to give a different thought than the person intended. Also of you use statistics, use them pro- perly. Statistics can often be used to give a distorted picture.60

In actual practice, however, the Watchtower has con-sistently ignored these fundamental rules and deliberately distorted the words of numerous scholarly authorities. Taking quotations out of context, they have made them a pretext for error, as the following examples will show.

Current Watchtower doctrine states that since 1914 mankind has entered the “time of the end,” and that from that date the signs of Jesus’ Second Coming (wars, famines, earthquakes, plagues, etc.) have increased in number and intensity. Watchtower writers do not hestitate to utilize any figures or quotes that would appear to support their theory. In the May 15, 1983 Watchtower magazine, evidence is brought forward to prove that there has been a signifi-cant increase in earthquake activity since 1914.

Some seismologists believe that the earth is now in an active earthquake period. For example, Professor Keiiti Aki of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology speaks of “the apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years,” though stating that the period from 1500 through 1700 was as active.61

This quote is taken from a letter that Professor Aki wrote to the Watchtower Society in response to its inquiry about earthquakes. It would appear that Professor Aki is supportive of the Watchtower position, but when read in con-text, it becomes obvious that his words have been distorted. The apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years is, in all probability, due to the improved recording of earth- quakes and the increased vulnerability of human society to earthquake damage.62

In his letter to the Watchtower Society, Professor Aki did not indicate that there had been a real or actual increase in earthquake activity during the past one hundred years. He refers to an apparent increase. In other words, some are convinced that seismic activity has intensified, operating under a false assumption not based on factual evidence. This false assumption stems from an incorrect interpretation of data that has become available since the invention of the seismograph in the late 19th century. The seismograph made possible the recording of even the smallest earthquakes, leading certain individuals to reason incor-rectly that there has been an increase in seismic activity. The Watchtower conveniently ignores this vital bit of infor-mation in Professor Aki’s letter.

In 1989 the Watchtower Society published a booklet entitled Should You Believe in the Trinity? This 32-page publication argues that the Trinity is an apostate doctrine inspired by the devil and resulting from the influence of paganism on Christianity. While presenting Watchtower argu-ments against the doctrine of the Trinity, the publication also quotes from over one hundred sources, including ency-clopedias, historical works, and Bible dictionaries and commentaries by Protestant scholars. The booklet initially focuses on the so-called confusion among Christians regard- ing Trinitarian teaching, “This confusion is widespread. The Encyclopedia Americana notes that the doctrine of the Trinity is considered to be ‘beyond the grasp of human reason.'”63

At first glance, it would appear that the author of the article in The Encyclopedia Americana agrees with the conclusions of the Watchtower. However, the Watchtower has again omitted key words to convey an idea which the author never intended.

It is held that although the doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason, it is, like many of the formula- tions of physical science, not contrary to reason, and may be apprehended (though it may not be comprehended) by the human mind.64

The same deceptive technique is employed as the Watchtower quotes from The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: “The New Encyclopaedia Britannica observes: ‘Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament.”65 This quote is offered as proof of the unscriptural nature of the doctrine of the Trinity. The article, however, when read in context, communicates an entirely different thought:

Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presence and power of God among them– i.e., the Holy Spirit, whose coming was connected with the celebration of the Pentecost. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were associated in such New Testament pas- sages as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19); and in the apostolic benediction: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fel- lowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (II Cor. 13:14). Thus, the New Testament established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity.66

The Watchtower Society is obviously guilty of delib-erately falsifying information.67 This is done in order to disprove a teaching that is allegedly false.

The Scriptures consistently condemn all forms of falsehood. Jesus Christ plainly declared that the source of all lies is Satan.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native lan- guage, for he is a liar and the father of lies.68 The fruit borne by the Watchtower speaks for itself. There is no logical basis for claiming that the organization is led by the God of the Bible; rather, it must be concluded that the Watchtower Society’s source of power and inspira-tion is the “god of this age.”69

カルトの脱会者による自助グループ
元カルト信者の集い
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マインド・コントロール問題対策DVD発売へ
 日本脱カルト協会より、『カルト:すぐそばにある危機』というDVDが制作され、発売されることになりました。若者はなぜカルトに惹かれるのか。どうして入信してしまうのか。そして、いったん、入ったらなかなか抜け出せないのはなぜなのか。ドラマ、シミュレーション、また実際の元カルト信者の体験談などから、カルト問題の謎を明らかにして行きます。定価は8,000円で高めですが、カルトの勧誘から学生を守るため、高校や大学などの現場で使えるDVDです。
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真理のみことば伝道協会主事
ウィリアム・ウッド
東京都東久留米市幸町
電話:090-8044-5751

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