Archive for Faithful Slave

A Mental Exercise for Christians: Was Harold Camping a False Prophet?

Why should we care about the religious broadcaster Harold Camping? Because Jesus advised us at Matthew 7:15, saying: “Be on the watch for the false prophets.” 

Harold Camping gives us a good test case of one who not only didn’t qualify as a ‘faithful and discreet slave’, but one who was in essence, a false prophet. By performing this exercise in regard Camping, we can safely examine what it means to be a false prophet without the blindspots we might have toward any group we might happen to be affiliated with. By going through this exercise, we will be more equipped to spot false prophets,

But was Harold Camping a false prophet?

The May 1, 2014 Watchtower says, “RELIGIOUS LEADERS sometimes predict tragic worldwide events to warn mankind and gather followers. Doomsday prophet Harold Camping and his disciples widely advertised that the earth would be destroyed in 2011. Needless to say, the world is still here.” 

This article further says, “Human predictions are often based on such factors as scientific research, analysis of available facts and trends, or even bogus spiritual insight.”

Therefore, Harold Camping was indeed a false prophet who used ‘bogus spiritual insight’ to make predictions that did not come true. The question we should all ask ourselves is: are there other religious leaders or organizations out there that have done the same thing?

If you have time, please watch the above video with the following questions in mind:

  • If Harold Camping uttered a false prophesy, how would God and Jesus view this?
  • Does Harold Camping deriving his prediction from calculations or ‘misplaced expectations’ based on Scriptural interpretation rather than claiming inspiration, make him less of a false prophet?
  • Was he not simply just “keeping awake” rather than “sleeping”?
  • Should Harold Camping have tried to calculate God’s timetable?
  • Where the Apostles at Acts 1:6,7 like Harold Camping, proclaiming a worldwide campaign that set definite dates regarding the times and seasons of God’s timetable, or did they simply direct a question toward the person who would know best?
  • After the Apostles learned that it did not belong to them to know, did they go ahead proclaiming their own predictions anyway?
  • If it did not belong to the Apostles to know God’s Times and Seasons, why did Harold Camping think it belonged to him?
  • Could Harold Camping then be considered a faithful and wise servant of God?
  • Was he faithful to God’s word which precludes making false prophesies?
  • Was he wise in doing so?
  • Was he giving the right sort of food at the right time?
  • What did this prediction show in regard Harold Camping’s credentials as to being a unique messenger or channel of communication from God?
  • Should those that listened to Harold Camping have demanded ‘more than the usual’ of him?
  • Should they have continued to follow his teachings?
  • If he had been shown to be a false messenger, could he later have become a true channel of communication from God?
  • Could they expect someone who proved to be a false prophet to suddenly become a true prophet?
  • Even though Harold Camping directly apologized, calling his predictions a “sinful statement” and publicly asking God for forgiveness, should he have stepped down as a teacher?
  • What was his responsibly to the followers who emptied their bank accounts and quit their jobs to help spread this message?
  • Even if he truly repented and they forgave him, would it follow they should have kept following him as a credible teacher of God’s word?

“Advertise, Advertise, Advertise”–What Message Was Advertised in 1922?

The August 2014 Kingdom Ministry says: In 1922, J.F. Rutherford boldly proclaimed, “Behold, the King reigns! . . . Advertise, the King and his kingdom.” In this 100th year of Kingdom rule, his exclamation still fills us with excitement.  

However, what message was the Judge directing people to advertise? Was it the same message that the Watchtower advertises today?  Have you ever read the context of this talk? It can be found in the November 1, 1922 Watchtower, page 337.

Some might wonder: Why should be care over 92 years later? That’s ancient history!

Well…origins matter, do they not?

A faithful and discreet slave will be faithful and discreet, giving the right sort of food at the right time. If Christ appointed the leaders of the Watchtower “The Faithful and Discreet Slave” in 1919, we should except their message to be faithful and discreet. We should expect the message to be the right food at the right time. Only by examining the spiritual food being dispensed can we determine the credentials of these religious leaders as being the Faithful and Discreet Slave.

“Millions Now Living Will Never Die”—Where Are Those Millions?

One of the hallmarks of a “faithful and discreet slave” is that they would be faithful and discreet, serving the right sort of food at the right time. Such a slave would not be presumptuous, “going beyond the things that are written” or making predictions when God’s word tells us plainly that “nobody knows the day or the hour.” We would expect Christ’s favor and blessing to be upon and to continue with only those who met this criterion.

Case in point was the “Millions campaign” that started in 1918 and continued up until the year 1925. The message declared worldwide was “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”. Likely you’ve heard of this campaign, but have you ever examined the message beyond the title? What did they mean that millions now living will never die? Where are those millions now?

Was this message faithful? Was is discreet? Was it food at the proper time?

 

Believe on the Governing Body, and you shall be Saved?

The July 15, 2013 Watchtower says: “It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.” Later, it is said that the Faithful Slave is the collective leadership of the Watchtower Society, appointed to this role by Christ in the year 1919. This leadership eventually morphed into the Governing Body, which is today composed of eight men in New York.

Is our spiritual health, our relationship with God, our very salvation, dependent on recognizing this collective of eight men? Do we need to have faith in the right hierarchy of men to be saved? Does our salvation depend on organizations, bodies, or counsels? What does the Bible really teach?

‘Misplaced Expectations’

We are all imperfect. We all make mistakes. Then again, not many of us claim to be God’s sole channel of communication with mankind. How do such religious leaders handle failed predictions like, to name a few–1914, 1925, or 1975? They mention how even the Apostles had misplaced expectations, citing Acts 1:6.

Acts 1:6,7 does give us insight into how truly faithful and discreet servants of God handle such matters. Here the Apostles set the example of what to do and what not to do. The passage says, 6 So when they had assembled, they asked him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them: “It does not belong to you to know the times or seasons that the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction.”

Note: The Apostles did NOT go on a worldwide campaign proclaiming, “The Kingdom of Israel is being restored at this time!” They simply asked a question. They were told it did not belong to them to know, such things were only in our Heavenly Father’s jurisdiction, nobody else’s. Therefore, if a person is truly guided by God’s word, should that not be the end of the matter? If someone goes beyond the things that are written, and makes a prediction, either overtly or subtly, is that faithful and discreet?

Daniel’s Prophetic Time Periods and the Watchtower Organization

In the publication, Pay Attention to Daniel’s Prophesy! we find this sobering statement:

With all these prophetic marks to identity “the holy ones of the Supreme One,” what excuse can there be for failure to recognize them and associate with them?

What prophetic marks are pointed to? In this publication, we find commentary on the time periods of Daniel: the 1260 days, the 1290 days, the 1335 days, and the 2300 evenings and mornings. The starting and ending point of these periods are tied in with key events in Watchtower history.

Why is this important? As the above quote shows, if indeed these time periods of Daniel point to the Watchtower organization as “the holy ones of the Supreme One”, then it would be imperative to associate with this organization. The implication is that doing so reaps eternal blessings. Conversely, failure to recognize and associate with this Organization means our eternal doom.  

If these prophetic markers point to Watchtower conventions (such as the one held at the Cedar Point amusement park) and the release of publications such as Deliverance! then these would not be merely mundane events, but Daniel’s prophesy would be elevating these things to a profound spiritual plane.

However, have you ever performed the math for the starting and ending point to these periods?

It should be as simple a matter of saying: Event 1 + X number of Days = Event 2

For instance, take the 1290 Days:

League of Nations officially proposed + 1290 Days = 1922 Cedar Point Convention  

Unfortunately, the above video shows that these dates simply don’t add up like that. Perhaps there is some sort of conversion to lunar years, the Hebrew calendar, and so forth, but the math is not laid out. And if indeed the prophet Daniel was inspired to write these things that would be so integral to our eternal salvation or doom, then shouldn’t it be relatively straightforward? Would the math be that difficult?

So what if it doesn’t add up? Well, imagine a man comes to your door and identifies himself as a policeman. He tells you that your life is in danger, but if you get into his car, he can drive you to safety. Would you not ask for his credentials? And if he showed you a badge and something about it didn’t seem authentic, would you go with him? If you did, at best, it would be a waste of your time, and at worse, you would be headed into danger. Therefore, if the above ‘prophetic markers’ aren’t adding up, what might this tell us about the Organization’s credentials?

If history is a predictor, in the coming years there may be “new light” about these time periods that will reinvent these interpretations yet again. If so, what will this tell us about the trustworthiness of the ‘prophetic marks’ that are now said to be inexcusable to not recognize?

The Channel of God Series

This series explores the development of a hierarchy in the Christian church over the centuries since the death of Christ. It also gives an account of the strikingly similar process which took place in the history of the Watchtower movement.

Men can make no greater claim to authority than to claim to speak for God. This is an introduction to an on-going series that will explore the thinking of men who make such claims, the organization they head, and the membership who unquestioningly offer up their allegiance.

Full playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPbDQHX1wDvnptaVWFbYGODEdh4Kk7iNK

Who is the Faithful Slave?

Has anyone ever asked you: “Who is the Faithful Slave?” Quite likely, this question was a type of loyalty test. Answer correctly and you pass. Answer incorrectly and this results in an inquisition.

Up until 1926, the Watchtower taught that Russell alone was the Faithful Slave. Thereafter, the Faithful Slave was taught to be the “anointed remnant”, essentially a nebulous body of a few thousand people. In 2012, this changed to be the Governing Body alone, appointed by Christ in 1919 as the sole channel upon whom “our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend”.

But what does the Bible say? Is this a mysterious teaching involving the year 1919? Or could this parable be saying something much simpler?