LIFE CHANGING INVENTORY
COLORFUL & INFORMATIVE LISTINGS
FEARLESS LOVE is one of the better recent books available that teaches non-JWs how to answer Jehovah's Witnesses.
Anne Sanderson was a Jehovah's Witness who worked in Scotland as a fulltime (paid) Special Pioneer for the WatchTower Society. Anne's husband, Derek, relocated from Sheffield, England to pioneer in Scotland where he met and married Anne.
Using her own background, Sanderson discusses core WatchTower doctrine in a clear and memorable way so that readers are able to grasp the key differences between Christianity and the beliefs of the WatchTower cult.
This book will help readers evaluate their own responses to "the dreaded JW knock at the door" and help them develop a love and concern for the misguided JWs caught within this cult. This book provides the "when" and "how" to approach JWs, as well as several strategies to use in talking to JWs "in a loving manner" that have the best chances of breaking through.
Sanderson also looks at several doctrinal changes that have occurred in recent years, as well as the increasing role of the internet in aiding JWs to question certain doctrines like "no blood transfusions".
The following magazine article written by Sanderson functions as an excellent summary of some of the content of FEARLESS LOVE:
NEW TRIBULATION FOR JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
By: Anne Sanderson
There has been a major new change in Jehovah's Witnesses' teachings on the end-times. This will come as no surprise to Christians who observe the statements and practices of the Watchtower Society. As time marches on, the Society is forced to 'update' its statements (i.e. change them!) because time keeps proving the Society to be wrong!
Society members are currently facing a real dilemma with the latest 'new light', because one of their most important beliefs (about the generation which saw 1914) has been altered. But as with all other Society changes, the vast majority of JW's will go along with it. They will accept, without question, Society pronouncements, because they believe 'the Society' is God's channel of communication today. To question it, is to question God.
However, Christians now have a unique opportunity to help JW's see their need to stop following men and to turn to Christ, by grasping the significance of this changed teaching. At the moment most JW's do not realise the extent of the changes taking place. They cannot see that the whole 1914 teaching is being replaced with something brand new which should give the Society another lease of life.
The changes made thus far have been accepted. In time, more changes will be introduced, and eventually the whole 1914 doctrine will be abandoned (even though it has hitherto been vital JW doctrine)! The hope is that by that time a fresh batch of new JW's will be in place, who do not understand the significance of the 1914 teaching. Any 'old-style' JW's will either have left in protest, or they will silently go along with the changes because they don't know where else to go.
The Old 1914 Teaching
Let us be clear about what the Society has taught about the significance of 1914, for some 80 years. (We will not go into prophetic teaching about 1914 before 1914. Just bear in mind that the Society thought Armageddon would be over by 1915 and that Christ returned 'invisibly' in 1874!) Obviously, after 1915 these false teachings had to be changed, and so we will take up Society doctrine from that point.
All JW's presently believe (and have believed for about 80 years) that Christ returned 'invisibly' in 1914. Thus, they speak of Christ's 'presence', meaning an invisible presence. At that time, they claim, He took up 'Kingdom Power' to reign, casting Satan from heaven down to earth in 1914 - hence World War One. But Armageddon did not immediately follow because God commanded the four angels of Revelation to hold back the winds until the sealing of God's chosen had been finished. God 'cut short' those days of great tribulation at the turn of the 20th century in order to save some flesh.
Also, they believed the separating of the sheep from the goats began. Once the sealing and the separating work was done, JW's believed the great tribulation would resume with false religion (Babylon the Great) being attacked, and Armageddon would immediately follow. The Society kept using the phrase: "The generation old enough to see with understanding, the events of 1914", suggesting that that generation would be alive to see Armageddon - using a Psalm referring to a 'generation' as being 70 or 80 years as their measure. But, around the 1970's, however, they changed the phrase to: "the generation which saw 1914", giving themselves another 12 or 15 years breathing space! But, when 1994 passed by, and their 80 year generation teaching was proved to be false, it became clear that a 'fresh understanding' would be forthcoming!
1995 New Teachings
In the summer of 1995 JW Circuit Overseers in Britain (and possibly world-wide), were briefed by the Society on impending changes in the Watchtower journal. The October 15th and November 1st magazines contained major deviations from the old views.
The first deviation was that the separating of the sheep from the goats had NOT begun after 1914, but that it was still in the future. And, it would happen quickly, once Jesus came back in glory with His angels, at the great tribulation. This must have shaken JW's badly, because the October 15th magazine implied that nobody could know whether or not they were sheep or goats - they would not know until it was too late, when Jesus put them either to His right or to His left!
JW's were told they were providing "a basis" for Christ to favour them for being good JW's. But, people could turn against Christ, even if they were sheep-like now, and vice versa. JW's never suffered from any kind of assurance about their salvation, but this view would be utterly demoralising to them.
Likewise with the current huge emphasis on the coming great tribulation. Society literature has been hammering this expected event relentlessly in recent years. Thus, today, there is much more mention of the great tribulation than of Armageddon. And JW's have been told that the 'anointed' remnant in their midst will disappear at some point during the great tribulation to go to heaven, leaving over five million JW's to go through the horrors of the great tribulation. This thought must depress them badly. However, it was the 1st November magazine that contained the real evidence of what the Society was getting up to....
Old Teaching Abandoned
The November 1st magazine dealt with the wicked generation JW's must be saved from. It was one of the most vague, convoluted, unclear set of articles the Society has ever printed! They could only start to make sense if they were linked with 'Questions from Readers' in the same magazine, which was not a study article. In a nutshell, the magazine abandoned the old JW teaching about the 70 or 80 years - but without actually saying so.
A generation, they said, must be a comparatively short period of time (37 years being used as an example, of the generation which saw the destruction of Jerusalem after Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 24). So, it must be "contemporary people of a certain historical period, with their identifying characteristics" - and such a generation can only be identified with hindsight! Once the great tribulation starts, JW's will know that that is the generation from which they expect to be saved. So, if the tribulation does not start for another 40 years, then it will not be THIS generation they need to be saved from (let alone the 1914 generation!) - but the NEXT ONE!! Thus, by devising yet another interpretation, the Society has neatly covered-over its previous false prophecies. The passage of time will ensure that changes will be forgotten.
A Third Coming of Christ?
Interestingly, the Society is now correct in placing the separation of the sheep and goats in the future. It is also now correct in saying the anointed will be caught up into the heavens during Christ's coming in glory with the angels. This is what mainstream Christianity has taught for the past 2,000 years (but without limiting the 'anointed' to 144,000!).
But, at the moment, JW's have got themselves into a terrible muddle about Christ coming in the clouds in glory, with His angels. He was supposed to have come in the clouds (invisibly to JW's, that is), in great glory, in 1914! So, is this latest Society teaching saying there will be a third Coming/Presence? Yes, that is exactly what they are saying, unless, of course, they decide to drop the original 1914 Coming Presence teaching! We can only wait and see what develops - but, meanwhile, they are now in a complicated mess.
JW's Cannot Cope - Anecdotal Evidence
The Watchtower Society is very subtle, and so it is able to get away with spiritual murder. This subtlety places JW's in turmoil. So as readers can see how hard it is for a JW to cope with 'new light', let me relate a true story...
I was recently talking to a JW about this changed teaching. I asked about the problem of squaring old teaching with the new, concerning the great tribulation. "What problem?" was the reply. "Well," I said, "for some 80 years the Society has taught that the great tribulation started in 1914, was temporarily interrupted, and will resume with Babylon the Great being attacked. But NOW you are being told that the great tribulation will be in the future!" I referred my listener to the 1st May, 1993, page 24, 'Watchtower' statement, which says: "The opening salvo of the great tribulation comes with the execution of Jehovah's judgement on Babylon the Great." If the Society had been honest, it either could have said "The opening salvo of the great tribulation's resumption..."OR, it would have admitted that the 1914 start of the great tribulation was an error.
But, the JW was adamant that JW's never believed the latter! So, I had to open up the old 'Paradise Lost' book at page 197. Then I read:
"The great crowd has 'come out of the great tribulation'. This is the great tribulation or trouble that Jesus said would mark this 'time of the end'. This tribulation began on the Devil's organization A.D. 1914 when Jehovah's newly enthroned King took war action against his enemies in heaven.
Jesus said that this tribulation would be cut short so that some flesh could be saved. How was it cut short? By God's stopping the war action up in heaven against the Devil's organization. So after the Devil was hurled down out of heaven the first part of the 'great tribulation' ended.
Soon now the climax or last part of the 'great tribulation' will take place...The last part of the 'great tribulation' means destruction of this world. It is during this in-between period, between the first part and the last part of the 'great tribulation' on the Devil's organization, that the great crowd of 'other sheep' come out. Now is that time."
That book was published in 1958 and was a part of the Society's official teaching. But as far back as 1969 the Society had stopped mentioning the resumption of the great tribulation. Their 'Aid To Bible Understanding' book is the earliest reference I can find, in which the 'resumption' idea (with its implication that the great tribulation will re-start sometime in the future) is dropped. Yet nowhere (that I know of) has the Society said the old teaching was wrong.
It is not surprising that JW's forget what the Society's previous doctrine has been - they are so taken up with current teaching that they fail to notice subtle omissions or amendments. It is sad that sincere people can be so easily duped. (Ed. As I said at the beginning of this Article - we can apply the same process of deception to today's charismatics. Note the principles!). See the danger of following men instead of following Christ? Oh, how these JW's need to be helped! Once they realise the deception being forced upon them, they will often quickly turn to God's word to see what God says instead of relying on the Society's false and constantly changing interpretations. But first, someone has to point out the fraud to them. Will that 'someone' be YOU?
It might be many months, or even a few years, before the Society finally spells out the extent of the current changes. By that time the new ideas will be securely in place. So, when the final pushing-over of the 1914 pillar occurs, millions of JW's will not realise it has been demolished, or what its significance was! But even more disconcerting than that, is that the Lord could return at any time with His angels - and it will then be too late for JW's to even consider their position. Thus they need to have the Gospel explained to them now. Will YOU do it?
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