Is The Watchtower Material Merely A Bible Aid?

by William J. Stewart

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is perhaps one of the busiest religious publishing entities in the world. Aside from various anonymously published booklets and videos, the Witnesses distribute two semi-monthly magazines, Watchtower and Awake, having respective circulations exceeding 22 million and 20 million. In addition, a monthly publication, Kingdom Ministry, is distributed for use in each Kingdom Hall.

Watchtower, Awake and other Witness material are distributed free in communities worldwide under the guise of simply being good Bible aids for the benefit of the reader. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these materials, coming forth from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society are God inspired, and that they are absolutely necessary if we are going to understand God’s word. Below is a rather extensive list of quotes taken directly from Watchtower material. Consider carefully what these folks are saying. Take note how they have placed the publications of the Watchtower on par with, and perhaps even superior to the Scriptures. See how they have even gone so far as to deify the Watchtower organization, in much the same way that the Catholics have deified Mary, the mother of Jesus.

“It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communication to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watchtower is used for that purpose.”
(1939 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 85)

“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.”
(The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981)

So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? …This “prophet” was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses… Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a ‘prophet’ of God. It is another thing to prove it.”
(The Watchtower, April 1, 1972)

“The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organization until now the Lord has used it as his channel through which to make known the glad tidings…”
(Watchtower, January 15, 1917)

“You will be interested to learn that God has on earth a people, all of whom are prophets, or witnesses for God. In fact, they are known throughout the world as Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
(Awake, June 8, 1986)

“It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people.”
(The Watchtower, May 1,1964)

“…Those who are convinced that The Watchtower is publishing the opinions or expressions of a man should not waste time in looking at it at all… Those who believe that God uses The Watchtower as a means of communicating to his people, or of calling attention to his prophecies, should study The Watchtower with thankfulness of heart…”
(The Watchtower, January 1, 1942)

“…Truly there lived among us in these last days a prophet of the Lord… his work remains an enduring witness to his wisdom and faithfulness!”
(Watchtower, June 1, 1917)

“…Jehovah’s organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God’s holy spirit or active force.”
(The Watchtower, July 1, 1973)

“If you repudiate Pastor Russell and his work, this is equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord!”
(The Watchtower, May 1, 1922)

“Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the Divine Plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he had read them for ten years – if he lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scriptures Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures.”
(The Watchtower, September 15, 1910, pg. 298)

“…but, Who will be Jehovah’s prophet to the nations, to speak to them everything that He should command? Who will be the modern Jeremiah? …So who will prophesy with his message in this time of the end of the nations of this world? …How was the question answered? …The fact that decides the answer to the question is, not, Do all the clergy of Roman Catholicism and of Protestantism agree that Jehovah’s witnesses have been and are God’s prophet to the nations? But, Who discerned the divine will for Christians in this time of the world’s end and offered themselves to do it? Who has undertaken God’s foreordained work for this day of judgment of the nations? Who have answered the call to work and have done it down till this year 1958? Whom has God actually used as his prophet?

By the historical facts of the case Christendom is beaten back in defeat. Jehovah’s witnesses are deeply grateful today that the plain facts show that God has been pleased to use them… It has been because Jehovah thrust out his hand of power and touched their lips and put his words in their mouths…”
(Watchtower, January 15, 1959)

“The two most prominent messengers, are the first and the last – St. Paul and Pastor Russell.”
(Watchtower, November 1, 1917)

“…for God has on earth today a prophetlike organization, …Jehovah’s anointed witnesses on earth.”
(Watchtower, October 1, 1964)

“…More accurately, was there any group on whom Jehovah would be willing to bestow the commission to speak as a “prophet” in His name, as was done toward Ezekiel back there in 613 B.C.E? …It is important to every individual on earth to identify the group that Jehovah has commissioned as being his “servant” or messenger. We must recognize and understand the warning that he brings. We need to take action on the warnings to safeguard our lives, for they are in a danger as grave as that of the lives of Jerusalem’s citizens as that city neared destruction. For this reason forthcoming issues of The Watchtower will further discuss the identify and work of Jehovah’s commissioned messenger as revealed in His vision Ezekiel.”
(Watchtower, March 15, 1972)

Of “independent thinking”, we are told, “…such thinking is an evidence of pride. And the Bible says: ‘Pride is before a crash, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.’ (Proverbs 16:18). If we get to thinking that we know better than the organization, we should ask ourselves: ‘Where did we learn Bible truth in the first place? Would we know the way of the truth if it had not been for guidance from the organization? Really, can we get along without the direction of God’s organization?’ No, we cannot!”
(Watchtower, January 15, 1927)

“Jehovah poured out his spirit upon them and assigned them the responsibility of serving as his sole visible channel, through whom alone spiritual instruction was to come. Those who recognize Jehovah’s visible theocratic organization, therefore, must recognize and accept this appointment of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ and be submissive to it.”
(Watchtower, October 1, 1967)

“The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or any set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man’s opinion is expressed in the Watchtower.”
(Watchtower, November 1, 1931)

“As surely as Jehovah has an organization on the earth, just so surely he is feeding the members of the organization by the hand of Christ Jesus. The facts prove that he uses the Watchtower publications to bring these truths to attention of his remnant…”
(Watchtower, November 1, 1933)

“The Watchtower is issued twice each month, and brings to its readers the current report which the Lord, in the exercise of his loving-kindness, manifests in the unfolding of his prophecies to those who are devoted to him… The Watchtower being the means the Lord is pleased to use to transmit his message of truth to the people, it is a real comfort to the remnant and the other sheep of the Lord to have this given to them regularly twice each month.”
(1937, Yearbook, pg. 82)

“We acknowledge as the visible organization of Jehovah on earth the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, and recognize the Society as the Channel or instrument through which Jehovah and Christ Jesus give instruction and meat in due season to the household of faith.”
(Watchtower, April 15, 1939)

“The world is full of Bibles, which Book contains the commandments of God. Why, then, do the people not know which way to go? Because they do not also have the teaching or law of the mother, which is light. Jehovah God has provided his holy written Word for all mankind and it contains all the information that is needed for men in taking a course leading to life. But God has not arranged for that Word to speak independently or to shine forth life-giving truths by itself. His Word says: ‘Light is sown for the righteous.’ (Ps. 97:11). It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of the truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother.”
(Watchtower, May 1, 1957)

“How shall we view the spiritual food provided by this ‘faithful and discreet slave’? Should it be viewed critically – ‘Oh, well, it might be true but then again it might not be and so we have to scrutinize it very critically?’ …We should have confidence in the channel God is using. At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christian elders, both of the “remnant” and of the “other sheep”, than anywhere else upon earth… We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.”
(Watchtower, February 15, 1981)

“From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah’s people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude… They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,’ they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentators by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago…”
(Watchtower, August 15, 1981)

“No matter where we may live on earth, God’s word continues to serve as a light to our path and a lamp to our roadway as to our conduct and beliefs (Ps. 119:105). But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his ‘faithful and discreet slave’, made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.”
(Watchtower, December 1, 1981)

Friends, consider the blasphemous nature of the quotes supplied from the Watchtower publications. Consider what the Bible declares about itself:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

“Be diligent to show yourself approved before God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)

“…his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…”
(2 Peter 1:3)

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
(Galatians 1:6-9)

Clearly, God’s word is understandable, without the Watchtower material. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “…by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)…” (3:3-4).

The Watchtower material serves no purpose except to cloud the Bible student’s ability to know what God has said. It is a tool of Satan, the blabbering of false prophets. Don’t let them trouble you! Don’t let them pervert the gospel message. Don’t let them corrupt your mind from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.

In next week’s article, we will look at some false prophecies which have cluttered the pages of Watchtower publications. Understand, one false prophecy is all that is required for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to be false prophets, and according to the law of Moses, worthy of death (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). Fortunately for them, we are no longer subject to the Old Covenant. Having said such, their fate is still destruction, as those who teach falsely and lead people away from the Lord are accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

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