Click PDF to see a printable tract version.
THE MAGIC KEY & THE GREAT ESCAPE!
Jehovah’s Witnesses are by far the world’s greatest escape artists! Second-to-none! The leaders of the Watchtower (WT) have made sure of this. With all the damaging evidence there is out there that clearly exposes the WT as a false and deceptive religious organization, Jehovah’s Witnesses (iw’s) had to be given a special and unique “key” that would enable them to break free from awkward situations where they were having to explain the unexplainable. In other words, when Jw’s would find themselves in a dilemma faced with critical data and historical facts that baffled them, they needed some help to defend the WT’s “foul-ups”! With this “key,” it doesn’t matter how embarrassing or damaging the evidence may be to the organization, they know, as they’re sitting there listening to it, that they can pull this key out, and magically, make it all go away! Whatever revealing facts and documentation about the WT that’s set before them, they’ll never be trapped, as long as they have this key.
What is this “key”? It’s PROVERBS 4:18! That’s right! A verse of Scripture! What’s wrong with a Bible verse being given to Jw’s to use? Nothing! If the interpretation of it is “from above” and not “from beneath” (John 8:23). The devil doesn’t mind you reading the Bible, as long as he can be the interpreter! He’d just as soon take you to hell from a church pew as he would the gutter. It’s all the same to him. In fact, Peter talked about those who go to hell from church pews! He said, they’re guilty of “twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Now here’s that key:
“But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright
light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day
is firmly established”— PROVERBS 4:18 NWT
What’s wrong with that? Like I said—Nothing! unless it’s perverted by the wT and given a “twist” to be craftily used by JW’s to “explain away” all the WT’s false prophecies over the years, major doctrinal changes, and previous teachings that today are considered of pagan origin and highly offensive to God! That’s what they do with it! This one verse is a universal “cure-all” for all the WT’s blunders. Jw’s are taught to use it to hide the many ills from the past that plague the organization today! It’s their broom to sweep anything and everything undesirable under the rug!
Go ahead and show them all their false prophesies of the end of the world-1914, 1918, 1925, 1940 & 1975. But remember, you’re talking to people who live in a dream world. To them, these are not “false prophecies” at all! These are merely “predictions” that “needed some adjustment.” Nothing is false or wrong with the organization, “adjustments” just had to be made. This is their illusion; and it springs from their misuse of Proverbs 4:18—”The light is getting brighter,” they say, “old light’ has been replaced with ‘new light.— Something that’s clearly “false” is not false at all, it just had to be “adjusted!” This is how they use this key to defend the WT and escape from blame.
Whether it’s changing their dates about the Second Coming of Christ from 1874 to 1914, or changing the date of the beginning of the “1000-year reign of Christ” from 1873 to 1975, or no longer referring to the Great Pyramid of Egypt as “God’s stone witness” and using measurements in it for predicting dates, or prohibiting children from being vaccinated for two decades from the 1930’s up until 1952, or forbidding their followers from having an organ transplant from 1967 to 1980 calling it “cannibalism,” or teaching that it was proper to worship Jesus from 1879 to the mid-20th century, but then abruptly in 1954, the Watchtower announced that no one could worship Jesus anymore! The list is practically endless of false prophecies, pagan practices, and changed doctrines! We highly recommend that you read all about them in our well-documented publications.
Ask them about any of these things, and you’ll find them reaching for that magic key that affords them a refuge! “We no longer believe that,” they’ll say, “because the light has gotten brighter.” When changes are introduced in the organization, they quote Proverbs 4:18, and rejoice in “new light” from God! Rather than see these things as clear evidence of an unreliable leadership, they are trapped in this illusion, and conclude instead that God is running the organization, and all these changes prove his active involvement on a continual basis! “The churches are in darkness,” they say, “but Jehovah keeps making the light for his Witnesses get brighter and brighter.” They use Proverbs 4:18 to interpret anything “bad” in the organization as “good!” That’s right! Think about it. The more false prophecies, the more pagan practices, the more wrong doctrines—the better! With “more” wrong things going on that need “adjusted” (fixed!), they see Jehovah “more” involved—which they say is “good!” This is their illusion—bad is good, wrong is right, darkness is light (“old light!”). And they base it all on Proverbs 4:18! Jw’s need to hear God’s solemn warning—
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness!” (Isaiah 5:20).
When these changes are put into print, the WT uses “new light from Jehovah” as their reason for not getting it right the first time. So, let’s put this together. The way they’re interpreting Proverbs 4:18 is as though they’re blaming God whenever they misunderstand the Bible! That’s right! If God had revealed the correct date of Jesus’ Second Coming, then they wouldn’t have been announcing the wrong date for all those years; and if God had revealed the correct date for the end of the world, they wouldn’t have kept getting it wrong time after time after time for over 100 years! This same reasoning applies to the whole hosts of their errors since they first came onthe scene in the 1870’s. Whatever they’ve gotten rid of— false prophecies, pagan practices, or wrong doctrines— according to their way of thinking, God just didn’t give them enough light! The teachings they have thrown out they refer to as “old light,” and the new teachings are “new light from Jehovah.” Where did the old “Uht” come from? Their same Jehovah! Both the old teachings and the new teachings they call “light.” The new is “new light from Jehovah.” So the old is “old light from Jehovah.” So this is inevitably where their reasoning leads to—that which was false, pagan, and wrong was previously given to them as “light,” but they have since cast all that off as they have received “new light from Jehovah.” That’s just another way of saying—”It’s God’s fault we got it wrong!” All this also raises another very obvious question. If the light continues to get brighter, as they say it always will, and “new light” continues to replace “old light,” how do they know that the things they are being taught now as truth, won’t be false a few years from now?
Are orthodox Christians really in “darkness” today because they embrace the same beliefs they did 100 years ago? Are we in darkness because we’re missing out on “new light” from God? Not at all! Jesus Christ is “the true Light, that lighteth every man” (John 1:9). Those who come to Christ are in the light. What greater light could there be? The context of Proverbs 4:18 contrasts the enlightened path of the righteous with “the path of the wicked” (v14). “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (v19). It doesn’t indicate that the righteous “stumble” in the wrong direction until they receive “new light” to set them straight. If “new truths” contradict old teachings, then the “old light” must actually have been darkness. Jesus said, If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt 6:23).
When the WT was still in its infancy and before it was around long enough to start revamping its own doctrines, founder Charles Russell pointed to this very practice as one of the flaws of the Adventist movement he left behind. He said, “A new view of truth can never contradict a former truth. New light never extinguishes older light, but adds to it.” (Watchtower, Feb/1881, p3) Yet, later on, his followers fell into that very pattern by introducing “new truths” that contradict prior WT teaching. Perhaps the most convincing evidence against the Jw’s misuse of Proverbs 4:18 is found in the organization’s frequent return to previously rejected points of view. For example, it first taught that the “higher powers” of Romans 13:1 are the secular governments, then denounced this as false doctrine and identified the “higher powers” as God and Christ, and later reidentified them as the secular governments. The Society told its active followers they were all “ministers,” then denied this in the mid-1970’s declaring that only the appointed leaders were ministers, and then in the early 1980’s resumed declaring all active Jw’s to be ministers. A similar back-and-forth shift occurred in their teaching on who was the “faithful and wise servant” of Matthew 24:45. First, that “servant” was said to be the Christian congregation collectively, then Charles Russell individually, and then later the whole congregation collectively again. WT teaching flip-flopped back and forth even more drastically on whether the men of Sodom would be resurrected. The official answer was YES in 1879, NO in 1952, YES again in 1965, and NO once more in 1988 (Watchtower July/1879, p8; June/1/1952, p338; Aug/1/1965, p479; June/1/1988, p31).
On these issues, instead of “getting brighter,” the JW’s “light” has been blinking on and off—like a blinker on the highway warning traffic of danger ahead. Indeed, all should take warning that the WT road is not “the path of the righteous” (Pro 4:18), but more closely resembles one of the many travel lanes on the broad way to destruction Matt 7:13). The many doctrinal changes the JW organization has undergone over the years are indeed described in Scripture, but not at Proverbs 4:18. The appropriate verse in the New World Translation is Ephesians 4:14, “tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in contriving error,” or as paraphrased in The Living Bible, “forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different, or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.”
WHO IS “GOD’S ORGANIZATION”?
As with any organization, there is one person or a small group of people who make the final decisions that affect the entire organization. It isn’t a faceless “organization” that makes those decisions. It’s these people who make them. Since 1976 these people in the WT organization have been a dozen or so elderly men of the Governing Body.
Presently the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is composed of ten men.. .They offer spiritual direction to all Jehovah’s Witnesses…The Witnesses gladly look to the mature brothers of the Governing Body for direction and guidance in matters of worship. (Watchtower, 3/15/1998, p21)
Starting January 1, 1976, all the activities of the Watch Tower Society.. .have been brought under the supervision of the Governing Body. (Proclaimers, 1993, p109)
Only since 1976 have the activities been under the direction and control of a body of men. Prior to 1976 everything was under the control of the one man who was the president. The Watchtower (5/15/1995, p 22) acknowledges that prior to 1976—”The matters of the operation [and teachings] of the Watchtower Society were in the hands of the president.” Of President Russell, they say—”Throughout his life Russell had been ‘the Society.’ The work centered around his dynamic determination.” (Proclaimers, p63) The same was true with Rutherford and Knorr. But JW’S tend not to think of any of these men. They simply think of “God’s organization.” But again, it is not an abstract “the organization” that decides what everyone else must believe. Prior to 1976 it was the president who made those decisions. Since 1976 a small body of men has made them.
JW’S are often reminded of the need to be loyal not only to God but also to “his organization.” For example, the Watchtower asks: “What does it mean to be LOYAL?” And then answers: “Loyalty to God also includes loyalty to his organization.” (10/1/2001) Witnesses certainly want to be loyal to God. But they are often reminded that they cannot be loyal to God if they are disloyal to his organization. Today the only way they can be loyal to “God’s organization” is to be loyal to the men of the Governing Body. In order to be loyal to them they must accept whatever they are currently providing in the way of spiritual food. Prior to 1976 “loyalty to God and/or his organization” required acceptance of whatever was provided by the one man who was the president.
In Crisis of Conscience former Governing Body member Raymond Franz explained it this way: (p296)
When the men of the Governing Body urge “loyalty to the organization,” they certainly should know that they are talking about loyalty to the source of the teachings, the source of the authority. Whether the Governing Body members acknowledge it or whether they prefer not to think about it, the fact remains that in these crucial aspects they, and they alone, are “the organization.”
The illusion for Jw’s is that they are being loyal to God by being loyal to “his organization.” The reality is that they are only being loyal to the men who have formed the leadership of the WT religion—the men hidden behind the various terms used for “God’s organization.” The intention of JW’S has been to submit to God and trust in him, but they have ended up submitting to men and trusting in them. (Psalm 146:3; 1 Cor 7:23)
THE ILLUSION—”God’s organization”
THE PEALITY—Prior to 1976, the man who was the
president. Since 1976, the men of the Governing Body.
One of the things that convinces Jw’s that religious groups like The Branch Davidians and The People’s Temple did not have God’s backing is because the men who were their leaders, David Koresh and Jim Jones, demanded unquestioning trust and submission to their directions. Witnesses have no difficulty seeing that fact. But they are unable to see that they are doing the very same thing when they give their unquestioning trust and submission to “God’s organization.” In their thinking they are trusting and submitting to God by trusting and being submissive to his organization.
Despite the honor and respect that WT leadership has always expressed toward the Bible as being God’s Word, they have never been able to allow it to help them notice anything that would suggest that the Society is not God’s organization. If it were some other religion with such a record of failed teachings and prophecies, they would be first in line to say that God and Jesus Christ would not have anything to do with it. But since it is their religion, and especially since they believe it is God’s religion, their position is, “We shall not be unsettled by anything that happens.” (Watchtower, 5/1/1957, p284)
WHY JW’S HAVE UNITY OF RELIEF
One of the things that keeps Jw’s convinced that the WT Society is “God’s Organization” is the fact that no matter where they live on earth they all believe the same. The question is, “Why do they have their unity of belief?” They reply: “Since our beliefs are based on God’s Word, all of us speak in agreement.” (Watchtower, 7/15/1996)
But this too is just an illusion. The real reason why they all “speak in agreement” can be seen by looking at their teachings that have changed. What Jw’s don’t notice is that they have had this same unity of belief even when their teachings have not been based on the Bible. This means that there must be another fundamental reason why they all believe the same. One of the times this reason showed up was in a court case in Scotland in 1954. Although this example has to do with just one of their former teachings, the principle that came out of that trial applies to all their teachings whether they have ever changed or not.
THE DOUGLAS WALSH TRIAL—During that trial former Vice President Hayden Covington was being questioned about the Society’s former prophecy that Jesus returned in 1874. Note carefully the reason he gave as to why JW’s had unity of belief about that teaching even though it was not true and therefore was not based on the Bible.
Q: …the Lord’s Second Coming took place in 1874…?
A: It was a prophecy that was false…
Q: And that had to be believed by all AN’s?
A: Yes, because.. .we must have unity…
Q: If a JW’s took the view himself that the prophecy was wrong and said so, he would be disfellowshipped?
A: Yes.. .Our purpose is to have unity.
Q: Unity at all costs?
A: Unity at all costs…
Q: Unity based upon an enforced acceptance offalse prophecy?
A: That is conceded to be true.
—Pursuer’s Proof, pp 346-48
There was no suggestion that their unity of belief on this subject was because it was based on the Bible. Covington knew if it was, it would still be taught. He ultimately had to concede—their unity of belief was “based on enforced acceptance.” All JW’s were forced to either (1) accept that admitted “false prophecy” so the Society could maintain its “unity at all costs,” or else (2) be disfellowshipped so the Society could maintain its “unity at all costs.”
THE CREATOR’S PROMISE s GENERATION OF 1914— The Jw’s unity of belief today is still “based on enforced acceptance.” One of their more recent teachings, said to be “the Creator’s promise,” was that the GENERATION OF 1914 (1914/Gen) would live to see the “new world.” Before this was abandoned in Nov/1995, it read like this for many years in the masthead of every Awake! magazine: (p4)
This magazine builds confidence in the Creator’s
promise of a peaceful and secure new world before the
generation that saw the events of 1914 passes away.
Just like the teaching about Jesus’ Second Coming in 1874, this one too had to be believed as long as the Society was teaching it, even though it was not based on the Bible.61wo 1’6, 1861
The Watchtower Announcing JEHOVAH’S Kingdom GOVERNING BODY’S LETTER SEPTEMBER II, 19g0— By 1980 there were some Witnesses who had concluded on their own that the Society’s 1914/Gen teaching was not based on the Bible-15 years before the Governing Body (GB) was able to figure that out. In Sept/1980 the GB sent a letter to all their traveling overseers, instructing them on how to handle Witnesses who refused to believe everything that the GB was teaching at that time, including the 1914/Gen teaching. The first thing to notice in their letter is that whereas in 1954 Witnesses would have to say or promote their contrary view to be disfellowshipped, but this 1980 letter says—”Keep in mind that to be disfellowshipped, an apostate does not have to be a promoter of apostate views.” Keep their 1914/Gen teaching in mind while reading the GB’s reasoning—”If a baptized Witness abandons the teachings of Jehovah, as presented by the faithful and discreet slave…”
Notice they are not talking about abandoning “the teachings of Jehovah” as presented in the Bible, but “as presented by the faithful an discreet slave” which means the men of the GB since they are the ones doing all the presenting. But their 1914/Gen teaching was not one of the “teachings of Jehovah” as the GB discovered 15 years after they wrote this letter. Therefore, those who had abandoned that teaching had only abandoned one of the GB’s false teachings. Their letter continues—”If a Witness continues to believe the apostate ideas rejecting what has been provided through the ‘slave class’ then appropriate judicial action should be taken [disfellowshipped].”
Their concern again is for iw’s who abandon, not what is provided through the Bible, but through the “slave class” (the men of the GB). So, any JW who abandoned that false 1914/Gen teaching before the GB abandoned it in 1995 was to be disfellowshipped, even though it was the GB’s false teaching, that they even presumed to put Jehovah’s name on! Now, that’s really something! If a iw’s abandons a WT teaching, they are disfellowshipped for “apostasy.” But if the GB abandons that same teaching, it’s “new light from God!” Notice how the above letter would look now that it’s known that their 1914/Gen teaching was false—
THE REALITY—If a Witness abandons the GB’s false teaching about the GENERATION OF 1914, and continues to reject their false teaching, he must be disfellowshipped.
APRIL 1, 1986 waverrownt— Six years later the Watchtower (p31) warned Jw’s again about their requirement to accept everything the GB teaches: “Approved association with Jw’s requires accepting the entire range of the true teachings of the Bible, including those Scriptural beliefs unique to Jw’s.” When this article was written in 1986, the 1914/Gen teaching was still one of their “unique beliefs.” Although it wasn’t a “true teaching of the Bible” or a “Scriptural belief,” Jw’s were still required to accept it or be disfellowshipped. Such statements never take into account that so many of the Society’s teachings that they said were “the true teachings of the Bible” were not.
Once the GB rejected that teaching in Nov/1995, in order to have “approved association with Jw’s” everyone had to reject it! In other words, in order to have unity of belief before 1995 Witnesses were required to accept that teaching, but in order to have their unity of belief after 1995 they were required to reject it! If the GB would express themselves the way things are in actual practice, their above statement would look like this—
THE REALITY-–Vour approved association
with the men of the GB requires that you accept
the entire range of their teachings whether they
are the true teachings of the Bible or not.”
PLAYING BY WT RULES OR fl!—When the GB realizes that a teaching is not true, they never call it “false.” Rather, it’s referred to as “old light” that’s replaced with “new light.” This is the game that they play, and these are the rules. And only those who are willing to play by these rules are granted “approved association with Jw’s.”
THE ILLUSION—iw’s have unity of belief
because they base all their teachings on the Bible.
THE REALITY—iw’s have unity of belief because their
GB doesn’t allow anyone in their religion who disagrees
with them, even if what they are teaching is false.