|A 14-year-old Joseph praying in the Sacred Grove|
by Don White
In The Bible the Prophet Ezekiel told Israel to set up watchers at the gates of the city to warn the people by blowing a horn of an impending danger such as an invading army or confederates who would enter and destroy. Ezekiel 33: 7-9, 30. Another purpose of these watchmen on the tower or in the fields was to warn the wicked of their ways and cry repentance.
Also, read Jacob 1:19 in the Book of Mormon.
The Biblical reference and words “watchmen:” have been borrowed by a religious sect called Jehova Witnesses. I offer background for the reader on this sect, their lack of any apparent authority and their organization, as opposed to that of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There is a church or sect that distribute door-to-door pamphlets entitled Watchmen On The Towers. It is the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but in order to be a “watchman” in ancient Israel one had to be called of God by one having authority from God. Nowhere in my research do I find even a claim of succession of authority from one having authority to current-day leaders of this Jehovah’s Witness sect such as is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in the Catholic Church.
Catholics believe their authority came from the Apostle Peter. They say it continued on in the church, but because it was so decentralized each Bishop taught his own teachings and there was no unanimity as to what was the original teachings of Jesus Christ and what wasn’t. It must be remembered that Peter was crucified, head down almost three hundred years before the council of Nicea convened to arbitrate these differences. Universally, scholars report that a great apostasy occurred during this period.
|Reformer Martin Luther|
Another way of saying it is: You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear — which means you cannot make a good quality product using bad quality materials. Constantine would have done better had he discarded and discredited the entire lot of the Bishops and their perverse ideas. The Reformation would have been much simpler without the Catholic Church to muddy the water and bring into men’s minds those devilish ideas that Martin Luther, John Locke and other reformers proclaimed so vehemently against. Today’s Catholic Church is in disarray partly because of what they did at the Council of Nicea, but mainly due to the fact it is not the true Church of God, never was, and never will be. It has no revelatory bearing, no apostolic foundation.
There is much controversy concerning this because Catholic leaders and historians do not claim supernal revelation or divine investiture or any connection with God in this matter — or that God or Peter came to them in resurrected form to deliver the true doctrine taught by the Savior of mankind. Instead, Emperor Constantine – much like a president convening with House and Senate leaders – set up a grand meeting to decide all issues and teachings by give-and-take negotiation that this new reconstituted, reorganized Christian church would have. It derived from the The First Council of Nicea. It was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicea, Bithynia (present-day Iznik in Turkey).
The problem with these Bishops who represented all of Christendom is that many, if not all, of them were teaching different and diverse concepts concerning God and his gospel. The question would be, how could they come together in a unity of thought and mind after teaching their own doctrine for hundreds of years and come away feeling good about the work product? They couldn’t, it had to be done by compromise and quid pro quo, much like political bartering.
Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the relationship of Jesus to God the Father; the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed; settling the calculation of the date of Easter (something that is in disarray today in America in year 2011); and promulgation of early canon law. Read the Nicene Creed. Then you will become aware of how strange and complicated they made God seem.
In the Council of Niece Bishops or prelates voted on what the doctrine should be, rather than taking the actual doctrine from how it was taught in the pristine church. Impossible, you say? No, it isn’t, unless you care about the intent of God and Jesus Christ.
Getting at the truth is only possible by revelation direct from God. But, interestingly, no church but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims divine revelation and appearances of resurrected beings who would lay hands on the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and give them authority that was lost 2,000 years ago after the death of Christ and his apostles in the great apostasy.
Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons — along with most other churches — believe the Catholic dogma was man made and so confused that it is impossible for an ordinary person to understand even the definition of God. Likewise, the fourteen-year-old boy Joseph Smith was confused. Not just about Catholic dogma, but about all of the competing churches and their disparate teachings.
Thus, in the spring of 1820 the boy Joseph withdrew to a grove of trees near his home near Palmyra, New York and knelt and prayed. He asked one simple question, “Which sect I should join…” The answer came from an appearance of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. They said he should join none of them for they were all wrong; “…they draw near me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness but they deny the power thereof.”
In contrast, the history of the Jehova Witnesses precludes them from being what they proclaim so ardently. Sometimes they are called the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. It is a man-made organization, not unlike any company with a product to produce and sell. In their case the products are copies of Bibles, pamphlets and articles explaining their view of God and the Bible that they deliver door-to door. They do not profess to possess any apostolic authority. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the ruling council of Jehovah’s Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York.
The Body resembles a publishing house. It assumes responsibility for formulating policy and doctrines, producing material for publications and conventions, administering its worldwide branch office staff and leading and directing the activities of all members of what they call their “religion.” The Governing Body is described as the representative and “spokesman” for God’s “faithful and discreet slave class” (approximately 11,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses who profess to be “anointed.“
Members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders. From what Heavenly messenger or priesthood holder or person of authority in the Heavens they received their self-proclaimed authority, they do not say.
As I reported, it is a man-made organization, nothing more and nothing less.
According to Answers.com, there are more than seven million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide preaching in over 235 different lands, in 100’s of different spoken and signed languages.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_Jehovah’s_Witnesses_are_there_in_the_world#ixzz1JDytYzpo
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