Note: This article is written by a former Jehovah's Witness.
"Look out that you are not misled, for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The due time has approached'. Do not go after them." (Luke 21:8, New World Translation).
There are 4 points of instruction in the above passage that every Jehovah's Witness needs to consider.
POINT 1: We are commanded to not be misled.
"Look out that you are not misled…"
We have a direct command not to be misled or deceived. Other versions use the word "fooled." In order for us to follow this command we have to examine what we are being told. Whether it is from the Watchtower, the Pope or our own local pastor, we need to thoroughly investigate what we are being taught as actually coming from the Word of God.
The WatchTower Organization forbids their members to question or investigate its history and past prophecies from any source not published by the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society. Their members are not allowed to seek information on the internet or read anything about their organization unless it is provided by the "Faithful and Discrete Slave", located at Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The WatchTower encourages its members to "make the 'truth' their own," but does not allow them to investigate any material that is critical of their teachings.
To study other denominations and religions, the WatchTower has written a book called: "The Bible, God's Word or Man's?" Of course, this book is published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and only gives a one sided view of the beliefs of other religions. This book portrays Christendom as the evil empire of Babylon the Great.
Watchtower terminology is part of the process of being "fooled"or"deceived". Trite sayings such as "the Truth, the Faithful and Discrete Slave, the Society" are mind control techniques that blind the mind of the JW to the real truth of Jesus Christ.
If you are attempting to evaluate a particular religious organization and the source of all your information comes from the very one you are investigating, would you be in compliance with the Scriptural command "do not be deceived"?
POINT 2: False prophets claim they are the way, rather than Jesus.
"For many will come on the basis of my name, saying, 'I am he.'" (Luke 21:8, NWT)
A person that claims to actually be Jesus Christ is soon taken away by men in white coats to the funny farm! So what is this verse of Scripture telling us? What does the word "Christ" actually mean? Many people think that "Christ" is the last name of Jesus. A "Christ" or "Messiah" is simply a savior, a deliverer, an expected liberator by which a person is saved. A false Christ or an anti-Christ will align themselves in the path of your salvation to include themselves as part of the salvation process and if possible to even exclude the real Christ.
In John 14:6 Jesus says of himself: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." The WatchTower teaches its members that they are the "truth" and that the Watchtower Organization itself is the "way." "Life" without them leads to a forfeit of everlasting life in God's Kingdom, according to the WatchTower. Countless Watchtower articles have been written that teach that only those that are members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society will be able to enter the Kingdom of God.
POINT 3: False prophets say they alone know the time of the end.
"For many will come on the basis of my name, saying, …'The due time has approached…'" (Luke 21:8, New World Translation).
This verse gives a clear warning that the false prophets will warn that they know when the end will come. Of course, the Scriptures do tell us to "always be on the watch, for you do not know the day or hour in which your Lord is coming." This gives us the thought that we should maintain an attitude of dependence on Him, and to be ready for His return. Jehovah's Witnesses herald: "The end of this system is coming soon," and you need to hurry up and become Jehovah's Witnesses before Armageddon comes. Luke 21:8 says this is the calling of the deceiver. In fact, the Watchtower has made several announcements that the end of the world is coming on a certain date and in each case these false prophecies have failed. This continues to be an embarrassment to the Organization to this day, as each of these proclamations fail to cause the end of the world.
The Watchtower Organization is described in detail in Deuteronomy 18:21: "You may say to yourselves, 'How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?' If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken." To defend themselves, the WatchTower accuses the reader of reading too much into what was written, in an effort to relieve themselves from responsibility. At the same time they are quick to condemn and apply this very verse of Scripture to other cults as false prophets, when they do the same thing.
Salvation can not be found in any organization, denomination or religious group. It comes from putting faith in and accepting Jesus Christ as our own personal Lord and Savior. Once we accept the fact that the punishment we deserve is death, we can then accept what the Christ, our Savior Jesus, has done for us. No human organization can dictate to anyone how our relationship to the Heavenly Father should be. Can anyone tell you how to have a relationship with your spouse, your son or your daughter? His relationship with us is on an individual basis.
Can we ever go wrong by following Jesus Christ?
Can we ever go wrong by following 12 old men in Brooklyn, New York?
POINT 4: What should your response be to false prophets?
We leave you with the last part of the verse which simply tells us:
"Do not follow them."
You can contact the former Jehovah's Witness who wrote this article at firstname.lastname@example.org