Many people know that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the trinity doctrine; they believe that Jesus was a creation of god, his first creation, who resided in heaven until his existence was miraculously transferred to Mary. They also believe that Jesus remains separate from god even now that he’s resurrected and has ascended to heaven. (See this website for more information on their beliefs.) One scripture they use to back this claim is Matthew 24:36, where Jesus himself said regarding the start of Armageddon and the end times:
“Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.”
That seems straightforward enough; Jesus himself admitted while he was alive that he didn’t know the “day and hour” of this event.
The July 2016 study edition of the Watchtower, however, has made a very bold claim that completely contradicts this scripture. To understand the statement, first understand that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Armageddon is god’s war, to be fought by Jesus, and this event is going to start any day, any minute now. They believe that after Jesus ascended into heaven, he was made a king and is now waiting for when this war of Armageddon will begin. Note what the Watchtower said about it:
But Christ has been empowered in heaven to wage war against Satan’s world. (Rev. 19:11-16) Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus now knows when Armageddon will occur.
As many readers know, I don’t consider myself a Christian so I’m not always concerned with arguing doctrine; however, I can spot a brazen contradiction between what the bible says and what religious literature says. Nowhere in the bible does it say that Jesus would be given this information in the future, and making such a claim shows an obscene arrogance. The writers of the Watchtower now know what is going on in heaven, they know more than what the bible has told them? They are allowed to draw conclusions that are actually in direct contradiction to the bible itself?
In all fairness, I can understand what they’re saying here; their argument is that Jesus is in heaven, waiting for Armageddon to begin, so he must know when it will start. However, this is not a foregone conclusion. Let me illustrate. Suppose you’re told to show up for a job interview at 11:00 a.m. You arrive on time, check in with the receptionist, and then have a seat in the lobby. Your interview doesn’t necessarily start at 11:00 a.m., as any job seeker will tell you. Your interview will start when the other person is ready for you, and sitting in the lobby, waiting, doesn’t mean that you magically know the exact moment; it could be another five minutes or another 20 minutes. To say that Jesus is in heaven so he must know when Armageddon will start is faulty, for the same reason. He’s there, waiting, ready to go, but he doesn’t necessarily need to know the exact day and hour of when god will start this war that he’s assigned to lead.
Illustrations aside, it’s the bold contradiction of what the bible says, and the brazen privilege that Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to think they have of going “beyond the things that are written” (1 Corinthians 4:6) in their own bible that is disturbing. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to support the idea that they can draw their own conclusions on such matters and make such statements. Yet, despite this obvious blasphemy on their part, no doubt too many rank-and-file Witnesses will continue to believe that they do have this privilege and that they do know so much more than other people, even those who are following the bible exactly as it’s written and not outright contradicting it.
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