The Governing Body's Famous Sayings of the 80's

(The following are sample quotes taken from the book by Randall Watters of the same name as above, which can be purchased here. )

quoted directly from Watchtower publications
This is an excerpt from the new booklet with the same title, now available from Free Minds, Inc. These are the statements that, due to their irony and manipulative nature, will most be remembered in future generations. These are a collection of psychologically abusive statements intended to correct and mold the thoughts of Jehovah's Witnesses en masse, as dictated by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Words in bold and surrounded by brackets are key words or phrases used by our editor to summarize the quote, followed by the quote in plain text, then ending with a reference to the Watchtower magazine and date of publication. (WT 11/15/88)

["Jews" = anointed praisers of Jehovah]

..."It will be in those days [yes, in our time] that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew [anointed praisers of Jehovah], saying: `We will go with you people, for we have heard that God is with you people.'" WT 4/15/86 p. 20

Those who despise Jehovah's teaching include individuals who criticize and complain about Jehovah's clean organization and its rules for maintaining peace and good order. There is only a fine line of demarcation between such and those who are outright rebels. Korah and his supporters found that out to their complete undoing when they dared to be hasty in speaking against God's servant Moses. (Numbers 16:1-40) On this same subject, Proverbs 29:20 states: "Have you beheld a man hasty with his works? There is more hope for someone stupid than for him." WT 5/15/84 p. 17

[1 Jo 2:26 on why the anointed do not need apostates to teach them]

To walk in divine light and not be misled by apostates, we need proper spiritual instruction. (Read 1 John 2:26-29.) Spirit-begotten ones have an "anointing" by holy spirit, have come to know God and his Son, and "do not need anyone [an apostate] to be teaching" them. By his anointing spirit, God "is teaching" spiritual Israelites "about all things" needed in order to worship him acceptably. (John 4:23,24; 6:45) We are delighted that as Jehovah's Witnesses we receive such spiritual instruction from God through "the faithful and discreet slave." WT 7/15/86, p.14

[sipping poison]

Therefore, resolve in your heart that you will never even touch the poison that apostates want you to sip. Heed the wise but firm commands of Jehovah to avoid completely those who would deceive you, mislead you, turn you aside into the ways of death. If we love Jehovah with our whole heart, soul, and mind, while loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will leave no room for penetration by apostate thinking. (Matthew 22:37-39) We will not "allow place for the Devil" and will have no desire to look elsewhere. We will not `be quickly shaken from our reason' by some counterfeit teaching. 2 Thessalonians 2: 1,2. WT 3/15/86 p. 20

[don't purchase or read writing of apostates]

We have been forewarned that there will be apostates and people who just like to have their ears tickled. Counsel such as at 2 John 9-11, 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 and 2 Timothy 3:5 allows no room for associating with those who turn away from the truth. Nor do we purchase or read their writings. WT 12/15/84 p. 19

[requirements to be a JW]

What is required if one is to become an approved associate of Jehovah's Witnesses?

Such a person must accept the entire range of Bible teachings, including those Scriptural beliefs that are unique to Jehovah's Witnesses. WT 4/15/86 p. 31

[work out salvation]

God has arranged for the "good news of the kingdom" to be proclaimed so that each individual will have opportunity to work out his own salvation. WT 2/1/85 p. 5

[mediator for not ALL men]

What, then, is Christ's role in this program of salvation? Paul proceeds to say: "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men [not, all men], a man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all." 1 Tim.2:5,6. WT 11/15/79 p. 26

[other org. stuff]

Often coupled with `disregard for lordship' is an independent and rebellious spirit that ignores the fact that Jehovah is directing his organization. WT 6/1/85 p. 18

If we always remember our loving God and act in harmony with his Word, we will maintain strong confidence in his unfailing leadership. (Proverbs 22:19) To turn away from Jehovah and his organization, to spurn the direction of "the faithful and discreet slave," and to rely simply on personal Bible reading and interpretation is to become like a solitary tree in a parched land. WT 6/1/85 p. 20

[what not to say in prayer]

Are there things that we should avoid saying when we pray to Jehovah?

Yes, there are. We should avoid saying things in our prayers that sound overly familiar and suggest to others (in public prayers) that we are being disrespectful. Such expressions as "Good afternoon, Jehovah" and "Give our love to Jesus" are not fitting, nor are humorous comments or even jokes in our prayers. Why?

For one reason, when such expressions are used in public prayer, they are likely to shock or offend those listening. (Romans 14:21) But there is a deeper reason why like expressions should be avoided, even in our private prayers. These are expressions that we use in conversation between equals. When used in prayer, they suggest a lack of reverence and respect, and they give the impression that the one thus praying has forgotten his total insignificance in comparison with Jehovah. Genesis 18:27; compare Luke 18:9-14. WT 6/1/85 p. 31

[independent thinking]

How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization. For example, God's organization has from time to time given warnings about listening to certain types of immoral and suggestive music, and about frequenting discos and other types of worldly dance halls where such music is played and people are known to engage in immoral conduct. (1 Corinthians 15:33) Yet certain ones have professed to know better. WT 1/15/83 p. 22

Fight Against Independent Thinking

As we study the Bible we learn that Jehovah has always guided his servants in an organized way. And just as in the first century there was only one true Christian organization, so today Jehovah is using only one organization. (Ephesians 4:4, 5; Matthew 24:4547) Yet there are some who point out that the organization has had to make adjustments before, and so they argue: "This shows that we have to make up our own mind on what to believe." This is independent thinking. Why is it so dangerous?

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! Compare Acts 15:2, 28, 29; 16:4, 5. WT 1/15/83 p. 27

[out of context isn't honest]

Popular Misconceptions

Many people, particularly in Protestant lands, claim that the Bible is like an old fiddle that can be used to play many tunes. They feel that the Bible can be used to prove many conflicting doctrines. They say: `It all depends upon the way you interpret it.' Is this correct?

Admittedly, the Bible can be quoted in attempted support of differing viewpoints. But if statements are taken out of context, cannot the work of any author be made to appear to contradict itself? Would this be honest, though? Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that an honest reading of the Bible does not allow for conflicting interpretations of key doctrines. WT 6/15/85 p. 3

[JWs recognized as excellent Bible students]

Jehovah's Witnesses, who are recognized even by their critics as excellent Bible students, have found that the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures admirably meets the requirements of clarity and accuracy. WT 6/15/85 p. 5

[Catholic "Bible study aid dilemma"]

Where can such Bible study help be found? In recent years Catholic authors have published many books ostensibly meant to help Catholics in their Bible reading. But such authors find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. If such authors truly help Catholics to understand the Bible, the latter quickly discover that much Catholic dogma cannot be found in it. On the other hand, if the authors justify Catholic doctrine, they undermine the readers' confidence in the Bible because they subordinate Scripture to church tradition. Compare Mark 7:13. WT 6/15/85 p. 7

[restored 1st century Christian administration]

So important is it never to raise the voice in bitter criticism of the Lord's organization or its appointed representatives. Jehovah is the omniscient Judge before whom accounting must be made for these and other unprofitable sayings. Matthew 12:36, 37; Leviticus 19:16; Jude 8.

[apostates and opposers]

Is it not true that those who have gone out from us over the years because "they were not of our sort," and who try to induce others to follow the same life-imperiling course, have cut themselves off from the source of solid spiritual food and refreshing spiritual waters? (1 John 2:19) And these senseless ones, far from being generous and openhanded toward those of mankind who hunger and thirst after righteousness, do not see any urgent need for an organized preaching work in our time. They would allow each one to be guided by his own private reading and interpretation of the Bible instead of being brought into a unity of people trained to live and act according to the lofty principles and reminders of God's Word. WT 5/15/84 p. 18

[We can expose lack of logic in false teaching]

With accurate knowledge of God's Word, we can puncture and cut down false teachings, exposing their lack of logic and, in particular, their conflict with the Holy Scriptures. (2 Corinthians 10:4) We do this not out of pride but out of humility and love for God, truth and our fellow man. Happily, with the help of true Christian publications, we can get " a tight grip on the word of life." Philippians 2:16. WT 10/15/84 p. 18

[Predestination is selective]

Predestination, therefore, runs counter to what the Bible actually teaches about God. `But would not limiting God's knowledge of the future undermine his almightiness?' you might ask. Not at all. At Titus 1:2, for example, we learn that "God...cannot lie." But does this undermine God's almightiness? No, rather, it highlights God's truthfulness.

The apostle Paul counseled Christians endowed with the gift of prophecy: "Gifts of the spirit of the prophets are to be controlled by the prophets. For God is a God, not of disorder, but of peace." ( 1 Corinthians 14:32, 33) Such prophets would not speak out indiscriminately but would share their prophetic messages in an orderly way. To do this, self-control was needed. Certainly, then, God is also able to use his foreknowledge selectively, using it only when there is a reason or a purpose for doing so. Compare Genesis 22:1, 12. WT 7/15/84 p. 4,5

[new light on sheepfold-apostates gnash their teeth, but we are not disturbed]

Are we here identifying the "sheepfold" of John chapter 10, verse 1, with the Mosaic Law covenant arrangement? Why, yes! The former explanation of the sheepfold as being the Abrahamic covenant was based on the view that John chapter 10 mentioned directly only one fold, and if that were so, then the Abrahamic covenant would be its logical meaning. However, further study of this chapter showed that Jesus actually spoke of more than one sheepfold. Thus, as we will see, an adjustment in explanation proved fitting.

Such adjustments become necessary from time to time, for Proverbs 4:18 tells us that "the path of righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established." Oh, apostate opposers of truth "gnash their teeth" at such progressive revelations, but this does not disturb us. (Acts 7:54) Rather, we thank Jehovah that "light itself has flashed up for the righteous one, and rejoicing even for the ones upright in heart." (Psalm 97:11) We are confident that you will rejoice to know just what meaning Jesus' illustration of the sheepfolds has for you and all others of Jehovah's Witnesses today. WT 2/15/84 p. 11

Observe from this passage that Jesus speaks of himself as the door of the sheepfold he now mentions, the door into this sheepfold of the Supreme Shepherd, Jehovah God. WT 2/15/84 p. 13

But with this new sheepfold under the Fine Shepherd in mind, note that in John 10:16 Jesus said: "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring." Does this not indicate that he would have another, a second, fold for which he would serve as the Fine Shepherd? WT 2/15/84 p. 15

[former partakers become "readjusted" to being onlookers]

There is another important difference in viewpoint that the "other sheep" class have come to appreciate. Instead of partaking of the bread and the wine as many of them formerly did in some church, they now find their situation "readjusted" to that of onlookers. Why is this so, and do we have Scriptural support for a procedure that allows for onlookers as well as partakers? 2 Corinthians 13:11; 2 Timothy 3:16,17. WT 2/15/85 p. 16

[skipping meetings snubs the gods]

Christian meetings are a way by which we can maintain proper esteem. Since Jehovah and Jesus are present invisibly at these gatherings, grateful Christians will not snub them, as the apostates do, but rather do all they reasonably can to attend regularly. WT 12/15/85 p. 7

["holding to the word"]

..."An overseer must be...loyal." Such loyalty is demonstrated by "holding firmly to the faithful word" as expounded in the publications of Jehovah's modern Christian organization. Titus 1:69. WT 2/1/83 p. 14

[no human is our leader]

A third factor that unites us is that all of us benefit from the same spiritual feeding program. We recognize "the faithful and discreet slave" as the agency that Jehovah is using to provide spiritual food at the proper time. (Matthew 24:45-47) There is no question in our mind that this "slave" is made up of spirit-anointed heirs of the heavenly Kingdom who are found today only among Jehovah's Witnesses. We appreciate what that "slave" and its Governing Body are doing to care for our spiritual needs. And we thank God for the abundance of fine spiritual provisions we have. (Isaiah 65:13, 14) Are we also taking sufficient time to instill appreciation for this arrangement in persons newly associating with the congregation?

A fourth unifying factor, indeed a vital one, is that Jesus Christ, and no human, is our Leader and the one through whom we all approach Jehovah in worship. WT 2/1/84 p. 19

[changes:new light]

Meditation can help you through tests of your faith. For example, occasionally there are changes in our understanding of certain Bible passages or prophecies. "The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established," says the Bible at Proverbs 4:18. Some, however, are disturbed by these refinements. But the "righteous ones" take the time to meditate and absorb these new Biblical truths, instead of hastily concluding that the `faithful slave' has erred. WT 2/1/84 p. 29

[Critical looks from other Witnesses may be discipline from Jehovah]

Discipline may come from someone else. It may come as a look, a frown, a word, a gesture, a verbal reproof. Jesus gave Peter a look that reminded him of the prediction of his grave sin, and he went out and wept bitterly. WT 10-1-87, p. 18

[On questioning the directives of the Governing Body of JWs]

Back in early Christian times, some decisions made by the governing body may have been hard to understand at the time. This was doubtless the case when Paul was sent back to Tarsus or when he was sent to the temple after his third missionary journey. (Acts 9:30; 21:23-25) Yet, Christ was actually behind such decisions. (Acts 22:17-21; 23:11) Today we can be confident that whatever Christ allows to occur among his disciples on earth has some lofty purpose behind it, even as in the first century. WT 8-1-87 p. 20

[On the wicked, filthy, vile opposers of Jehovah's Mighty Organization]

Apostates often appeal to the ego, claiming that we have been deprived of our freedoms, including the freedom to interpret the Bible for ourselves. (Compare Genesis 3:15.) In reality, these would-be defilers offer nothing more than a return to the nauseating teachings of "Babylon the Great." (Revelation 17:5; 2 Peter 2:19-22) Others appeal to the flesh, urging former associates to "take it easy" because the humble work of witnessing from house to house is "unnecessary" or "unscriptural." (Compare Matthew 16:22,23.) True, such smooth talkers may look outwardly clean in a physical and moral way. But inside they are spiritually unclean, having given in to prideful, independent thinking. They have forgotten all that they learned about Jehovah, his holy name and attributes. They no longer acknowledge that all they learned about Bible truth - the glorious hope of the kingdom and a paradise earth and the overturning of false doctrines, such as the Trinity, the immortal human soul, eternal torment, and purgatory - yes, all of this came to them through "the faithful and discreet slave."Matthew 24:45-47.

Interestingly, a circuit overseer in France observes: "Some brothers are deceived because they lack accurate knowledge." That is why Proverbs 11:9 states: "By knowledge are the righteous rescued." This does not mean giving apostates a hearing ear or delving into their writings. Rather, it means coming to "an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God" through diligent personal study of the Bible and the Society's Bible-based publications. Having this accurate knowledge, who would become so curious as to pay any attention to apostate mouthings? May no man "delude you with persuasive arguments"! (Colossians 2:24) False religious propaganda from any source should be avoided like poison! Really, since our Lord has used "the faithful and discreet slave" to convey to us "sayings of everlasting life," why should we ever want to look anywhere else? John 6:68. WT 11-1-87, p. 19,20

[On why theologians do not agree with the Watchtower (because they don't go house-to-house)]

It should be kept in mind, however, that for the most part, the theologians of Christendom do not go from house to house, and many Bible commentators tend to interpret the Scriptures in the context of their own experience. A more objective consideration of Jesus' instruction indicates that he was speaking about his disciples' searching out people individually, either from house to house or publicly, and presenting to them the message of the Kingdom. (Matthew 10:7) Their response would indicate whether they were deserving or not. Matthew 10:12-15.

This is seen in Jesus' words at Matthew 10:14: "Wherever anyone does not take you in or listen to your words, on going out of that house or that city shake the dust off your feet." Jesus was speaking about his disciples' making uninvited calls on people to preach to them. WT 1-1-88, p. 23

[Rutherford decides they will be called Jehovah's Witnesses, by God's direction, of course]

As time passed, the Bible Students became even more closely identified with Jeremiah when, in 1931, at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., it was announced that the Biblical name for this courageous group of Christians should be "Jehovah's Witnesses." (Isaiah 43:10-12)

...Therefore, it was appropriate that at God's due time, his people should finally qualify for this divinely appointed name"Jehovah's Witnesses." WT 4-1-88, p. 23,24

[Jehovah doesn't illuminate individual Christians]

Jehovah does not illuminate each Christian individually. Rather, Christ appointed the "faithful and discreet slave" class to provide Scriptural study material and timely counsel to Christians throughout the world. WT 8-15-88 p. 28

[Jehovah rides the organization]

The chariot Rider was a glorious representation of Jehovah. How well the chariot represents God's angelic spirit organization! (Psalm 18:10; 103:20, 21; Daniel 7:9, 10) Jehovah rides it in the sense of dominating these creatures and using them according to his purpose. WT 9-15-88 p. 11

The Watchtower is once again instructing Witnesses to brainwash themselves.

Check out this from the 2/1/96 Watchtower:

"Fight the tendency to doubt...If some some tinge of doubt about Jehovah, his Word, or his organization has begun to linger in your heart, take quick steps to eliminate it before it festers into something that could destroy your not hesitate to ask for help from loving overseers in the congregation. They will help you race the source of your doubts, which may be due to pride or some wrong thinking. Has the reading or listening to apostate ideas or worldly philosophy introduced poisonous doubts?...act quickly to rout out of the mind any tendency to complain, to be dissatisfied with the way things are done in the congregation. Cut off anything that feeds such doubts."

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