GODLY INSPIRATION - CAN WE IDENTIFY IT TODAY?
To be or not to be an INSPIRED "prophet," that is the question.
Today, many of Jehovah's Witnesses are very confused about what is considered direct inspiration from God versus "spirit-direction" of a person from God. And this is obvious because, the Watchtower Society has taught for many years that a person or a group of persons today CANNOT be inspired directly by God. They say that this "gift" of the spirit has "ceased" citing 1 Corinthians 13:8. (For a detailed discussion of 1 Corinthians 13:8 and whether the "gifts of the spirit" have "ceased," please see the link below.)
See Link: When "That Which Is Complete Arrives"
Further, the Watchtower Society teaches that today, in our modern day time, Jehovah God uses His Holy Spirit to "direct" His people only. He does not directly INSPIRE His people. So then, no Jehovah's Witness can say, among his spiritual brothers: "I am inspired," because if he did and he persisted in this viewpoint, he would be promptly disfellowshipped from any of some 95,000 congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide. Interesting situation, don't you think?
So then, let's explore that possibility together...that unique situation of whether Jehovah God, would ever find occasion to "inspire" someone on earth just as He directly did in the days of old, from times past.
DOES GODLY INSPIRATION ACTUALLY MEAN INFALLIBILITY IN A PERSON?
In stating the Watchtower Society's position on this question raised above, we find this very curious comment shown in the February 15, 1981 Watchtower magazine on page 19 paragraphs 2, 3. It states in part:
"...At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah's Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christians elders, both of the remnant and of the other sheep, than anywhere else upon earth.
"True, the brothers preparing these publication ARE NOT INFALLIBLE. Their writings are NOT INSPIRED as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. And so, at times, has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct view. (Proverbs. 4:18)..."
And so, we notice the Watchtower Society above has EQUATED the state of being "infallible" or being perfect, flawless as a person, with God's ability to actually "inspire" a person to a higher consciousness of thought, and His unique ability to convey His thoughts thru Divine influence to an imperfect, sinful creature. In other words, in the minds of the Watchtower Society, a person today could not be "inspired" because that would mean the person himself would have to be viewed as being "infallible."
But, the very first statement presented above, actually needs to be analyzed very carefully, namely this one:
"...True, the brothers preparing these publication ARE NOT INFALLIBLE."
That is a very strange statement, since the entire bible itself was "inspired" and written by 40 men, all of which were fallible, sinful men, who were prone to error and sin, just as all of us are today. So the mentioned fact of the brothers themselves are "NOT being infallible," then, is totally irrelevant. Because neither were the 40 men who penned God's Word...they were not "infallible" either. So why even bring that up?
Of course, someone would then say:
"Well, I believe the Watchtower Society was really NOT talking about the men so much as they were about the PENNED WORDS themselves that these imperfect men, inspired writers, actually wrote down. It is these "words" that are what we would consider "infallible," the inspired "words" of God, which themselves have always proven to be "infallible," nonfailing words. These "inspired" words which we have are from God, and thus, CANNOT FAIL. These words, then, are thus "infallible."
Agreed. That is a true statement. The "inspired" words of God, thus, cannot fail. But again, we are making a strong distinction at this time namely: God can use an imperfect person to deliver His "inspired" message. That simply is a fact that cannot be disputed. Therefore, the "infallibility" of the person that God uses, then, is not relevant in such a discussion as this, that is, the question of whether "inspiration" does or does not exist today, yes, in our day and time.
We recall that all of these 40 men that Jehovah used to write the bible were all "fallible," all sinners, all prone to error. But there is one thing about this unique situation for these men whom Jehovah used to record the Holy Scriptures. Yes, these 40 men who were inspired by God to write the bible then cannot be said to have been inspired 24/7, can they? No, these 40 men were not "inspired" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, were they? Isn't that true?
Isn't it true that these were ordinary men that made mistakes and errors in judgment in their general course of life? Yes, in fact, the only person on record that was ever perfect all of the time was Jesus, isn't that true? And we know Jesus didn't personally write any of the books of the bible. No, he did not. No, but our bible was written by imperfect men, sinners, all of which were NOT inspired all of the time.
In addressing the question of inspiration, we come to the subject of "prophets" and their ability to predict the future. Relative to predictions, God's Holy word does predict the future, as penned by many "prophets of old." God's Word does tell us many things about the future by means of what we call PROPHECY. Therefore, what constitutes "inspiration" in a person or not, could be determined by what is said and whether the prediction does come true.
In Deuteronomy chapter 18:22, God's Word states,
"...when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him."
In the above situation described, it simply says if "the word does not occur or come true" then we can conclude that a false prophecy has been uttered and that person is a false prophet. However, did you notice that it does not necessarily give a "time limit" on when the prophecy or prophetic words are to come true. Did you notice this?
In other words, the genuine criteria or "measuring stick" for identifying a false prophet then is not WHEN the message comes true...no, but DOES IT come true, as predicted. In other words, does the event itself happen. Does this event come to pass, does it come true, that is, the event itself.
Thus, in the case of the Watchtower Society's teachings surrounding the date of 1914 -- it is not so important whether these events occurred on a particular date, as it is whether what the Watchtower Society said would happen, happens on that date or an even later. In other words, if what the WTS teaches about the date of 1914 didn't occur at that time, but occurred say 20 years later, 1934, and if Jesus was actually ENTHRONED in 1934...they the Watchtower would perhaps be a few years off in their prediction, but since the things they said actually happened in 1934, 20 years later from the original date -- still the Watchtower Society could be said to be a TRUE PROPHET!
And, yes they would be a true prophet, again as Deuteronomy 18:22 says,
"the word of the prophet occurred, and came true,"
although just a little later than originally thought...that's all. True, they were off in their prediction by 20 years. And, we could say the Watchtower Society, yes, could still be viewed as true "inspired" prophets of God if we focused on WHAT they said should happen and not so much on WHEN they said it would happen. So it is the event itself that should be given the primary focus and not so much exactly when the event is to occur. Because if the event they predict should "come true" as the scripture says, then this one is still an "inspired" prophet of God. Therefore, it is WHAT the person or group of persons say that should be given the primary focus, not WHEN they said it would happen. Yes, the important thing to watch for in identifying an INSPIRED "True Prophet" of God is: Does what the person says actually come true. And this is based solidly upon the wording of Divine Instructions left us in Deuteronomy 18:22. Now, do you see the situation a little clearer, relative to the question of determining whether Divine Inspiration is present or not?
In short, then, the Watchtower Society could be viewed appropriately as "inspired" prophets of God if, in fact, WHAT they say and teach were to come true, relative to our day and time. Yes, they could be "inspired" prophets of God based upon WHAT they teach rather than necessarily WHEN they say it is to come to pass. Think about it!
So as we move through this most controversial topic, it my sincere hope that we can gain a more focused perspective on the matter of how to determine whether a person is "inspired" of God or not. And in so doing, no doubt, this could help us better understand whether God would send us a modern-day "prophet" or "prophetess," for that matter, in these "last days" of this system of things to assist others toward a more spiritual approach to this much misunderstood subject. In other words, we need to know exactly what it means to be an inspired "prophet" or "prophetess" of God according to Jehovah God's Own Inspired Word itself. And we need to teach others properly, "rightly dividing" the Word of Truth from God. -- 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
"SPIRIT-DIRECTION" VS BEING "INSPIRED" -- IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
First of all, we know the Watchtower Society and, upon occasion, its prophet-like teachers that are presently still in the organization or out, makes no difference, have all...all emphatically said publicly many times, that they do not make such audacious and boisterous claims as being "inspired" prophets of God. No, but what they do is merely interpret the prophecies of old, using their HUMAN INTELLIGENCE only, and that's all they need to interpret the "inspired" words of prophets of old. Yes, that's all it takes. And of course, Jehovah Himself assists them, thru His Holy Spirit which means they are now officially "spirit-directed" by Jehovah Himself, but not necessarily "inspired." See the difference...Get it now?
So, then their interpretations of INSPIRED Holy Prophecy is all done thru personal study, prayer and using what God gave us, etc., etc. But, isn't it true that this is what the Watchtower Society does and has been doing for the last 125 years or so? Yes, they claim to correctly interpret prophecy, the inspired words of God, thru prayer, meditation and much bible study and so on. But they do add one more ingredient to successful interpretation of Bible Prophecy: Jehovah gives "Spirit-Direction" to them. Yes, "spirit-direction," as in the "spirit-directed" organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. Ever heard that expression before? I'm sure you have.
But here at this point we encounter a slight problem. Yes, when you think of it, when someone, some "ordinary" NON-inspired person, claims to explain what INSPIRED bible prophecy actually means, when they interpret its true meaning, aren't they doing the same work that Jesus did, the work of an INSPIRED "prophet?" Aren't they?
Yes, when they claim to be able to correctly "interpret" an INSPIRED prophecy, they are doing exactly what Jesus did while on earth. (Luke 24:27; John 4:25) Remember, the Watchtower Society has tried to interpret bible prophecy for over 125 years. And yet many discerning Jehovah's Witnesses today say the Watchtower Society and Governing Body have failed miserably in this endeavor. In fact, I'm sure many on this discussion board have said this to themselves or even to others.
Still, we know that there are literally millions Jehovah's Witnesses who are accustomed to Watchtower-thinking might not agree with this particular assessment of things. Nevertheless, that's exactly what the Watchtower Society has done and continues to do even today. Yes, they claim to be God's Official Channel of Communication, and yet they admit: They are NOT inspired. Now this is a very strange predictament to put some 6 million followers of the Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, isn't it? The "anointed" remnant, the Governing Body, is God's Channel of Communication that all must respect and obey without hesitation, and yet these men are NOT inspired, nor do they ever claim to be. An amazing paradox, wouldn't you say?
Clearly, when one attempts to explain the contents of the book of Revelation, interpret these inspired words, isn't he is attempting to do something that no one has ever, successfully done, on record thus far? Yes, no one, over nearly 2,000 years!
Of course, we have to remember, Jesus, the greatest "inspired" man of all time, officially "interpreted" God's prophecies...no small task. The bible tells us at Luke 24:27,
"And commencing at Moses and all the Prophets HE INTERPRETED TO THEM things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures."
Yes, Jesus, "interpreted to them," the prophecies of God. He explained them. No doubt, this clearly is the work of an "INSPIRED" person. There can be no doubt about this! And it was this inspiration that ensured the interpretation that Jesus gave his disciples was quite accurate, quite dependable.
But when we look back, yes in the finality, after 125 years of prophesying on the part of the Watchtower Society to us, who used to "hang on every word" in their written publications themselves, why it turns out to be a good game of "trial and error", guesswork, pure speculation. And why do we say this? Because we all realize the writings and ideas and teachings of the Watchtower Society or other enlightened Jehovah's Witnesses, even those who are so-called anointed Jehovah's Witnesses, in the end their thoughts are revealed as just that, the thoughts of men/women who do NOT claim to be "inspired" of God. And so, their "teachings," their interpretations, always fail and disappoint so many who follow them and hang on to their every word.
So let's face it, one important fact we need to keep in mind is this: No matter how sincere a person may be, no matter how much we hope, believe, and pray that he is right; still the thoughts and ideas of a mere man who is not "inspired" of God then can only be just that, the words of a man, and they will always fail in the end.
Indeed Isaiah 55:8-11 tells us about God's thoughts as compared to man's thoughts,
"For the thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, nor are my ways your ways, is the utterance of Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as the pouring rain descends, and the snow, from the heavens and does not return to that place, unless it actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout, and seed is actually given to the sower and bread to the eater, so my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it."
Yes, Jehovah's Word, His inspired words, will always have certain success. Yes, it will always "come true" just as Deuteronomy 18:22 said of the words of an inspired, true "prophet."
Actually, when someone says they are "spirit-directed," they are really saying, whether they know it or not, that they are "inspired." Yes, that is true. And this is so because there is no difference between a person being inspired or their being "spirit-directed" by God. There is no difference in the two expressions, in fact.
So, when it comes to the matter of pronouncing the "judgments" of God for Him, and doing His Lofty Bidding by making his "sacred pronouncements" known or his unchangeable "judgments" manifest to God's People, to be sure, we have to realize that this IS the work of AN INSPIRED PROPHET of God, for Jehovah would send no less than such.
And, of course, anyone teaching or claiming or advocating vocally otherwise is fostering a "lie," a heinous "deception" which ultimately harms Jehovah's Witnesses, God's sheep, who put faith in their Non-inspired prophecy-interpretations. Whether he realizes it or not, the Watchtower Society or anyone else who continues to propagate this foolish notion that someone, who is totally UNINSPIRED, can correctly interpret holy prophecy, like the book of Revelation and such, is truly making himself a "prophet" before God. He becomes a "prophet" all right, but a NON-inspired "prophet" that God did not send.
As Jeremiah said of such ones:
"I did not send the prophets, yet they themselves ran. I did not speak to them, yet they themselves prophesied." (Jeremiah 23:21)
Therefore, we must remember that what we "teach" can identify us as "prophets" of God or enemies of God, false prophets. And this is especially true of people who predict events of the future, trying to do so without the help of INSPIRATION from God. Yes, this is especially true when someone is teaching about FUTURE events, about events that are yet to occur such as the order of the Grand events of the "fall" of Babylon the Great, yes the future "destruction" of Babylon The Great, the "Great War" of Daniel 10:1 (NIV) and its final outcome, who will prove to be the future "King of the North," and who is the vicious, harassing "Small Horn" spoken of in Daniel chapters 7 and 8, yes, all of these types of things. Yes, how can one know such things without Jehovah God's direct Hand upon this person? How can anyone know how these events will turn out, using only the prophecy from the scriptures themselves ALONE? Shouldn't there be something additional present, like Jehovah's INFLUENCE on that person...like INSPIRATION from God? Wouldn't such a conclusion be reasonable...since mankind has already had access to God's Word and these prophecies now for thousands of years and have not been able to decipher them?
Actually, we must admit, WHAT we teach to other people as regards what Jehovah will do in the future actually constitutes whether we are "inspired" of God are not. It is WHAT we say and teach that shows whether we are operating under Divine Influence, under the Divine Direction of God's Holy Spirit. And since we, as Jehovah's Witnesses are carrying His Name upon us, then aren't we representing the Most High God? (John 1:6) And if that is so, then don't you think that WHAT we teach needs to be more accurate and "reliable" than what our personal speculation or "private interpretation" of bible prophecy would yield? (Daniel 7:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21) Especially is this true when we consider the clear warning that Jesus specifically gave on this matter.
Jesus said at Matthew 5:19:
"Whoever, therefore, breaks one of these least commandments and teaches mankind to that effect, he will be called 'least' in relation to the kingdom of the heavens. As for anyone who does them and teaches them, this one will be called 'great' in relation to the kingdom of the heavens."
When one "speaks" or "teaches" for God, he becomes a "representative of God." And that means this individual has a big, big responsibility upon his shoulders. (See John 1:6.) When one "speaks" for God, when he "speaks forth" God's "sacred pronouncements" or "judgment" messages, even quoting the holy prophets of old and making applications to our day and time, by way of explaining prophecy, this one IS a "prophet" of God. There is no getting around it. Therefore, it is no light matter in God's eyes to speak his "judgment" message, explaining them in detail as to their future application, especially in view of the fact that his people, Jehovah's Witnesses, find themselves in such a vulnerable state of confusion, as we see today.
Let's keep in mind, this is a serious step for anyone to take, be it the Watchtower Society or any so-called "anointed" yet, NON-inspired member from their midst. Yes, it is a big step for one to take, as this one is taking great risks, don't you think? So, then its imperative that we know what it means to take up the "mantle" of a prophet in our modern day setting. Some may be doing this unwittingly and are thus putting themselves in line to face the "judgment" of one who commits error by "teaching" what is wrong before Jehovah. They thus are making themselves "false" prophets in the process and are bringing untold harm upon those unfortunate enough to listen to them. -- Matthew 5:19
Ezekiel 14:9, 10 says of such a situation:
"And as for the prophet, in case he gets fooled and actually speaks a word, I myself, Jehovah, have fooled that prophet; and I will stretch out my hand against him and annihilate him from the midst of my people Israel. And they will have to bear their error. The error of the INQUIRER will prove to be just the same as the error or the prophet."
Yes, those foolishly "inquiring" of the Non-inspired "prophet" suffer the same penalty as the wayward person acting out the role of the "prophet." So Jehovah is not pleased with either one of them because they BOTH bring shame and reproach upon His Holy Name. We can be sure that the words of a true "prophet" are inspired from God, always. The words written down in the bible are inspired. Those prophetic words, God's "Sacred Pronouncements", God's Judgment Messages, have been with us for thousands of years without anyone, including the Watchtower Society, showing true understanding of them.
As mentioned above, Jehovah's Witnesses have been taught (by the Watchtower Society) a special "word" for what they claim to be. Now please remember this special word. It is called being "SPIRIT DIRECTED" but not "inspired" of God...Remember? So then, we informed Jehovah's Witnesses cleverly say we are a "spirit-directed" people. The "anointed" are "spirit-directed." Yes, the organization is "spirit-directed" -- but not, inspired. But really, what's the difference? Why not give that some thought, ... please? Really, what's the difference, I ask. Think about it.
Isn't it true, that in the first century, God gave "gifts of the spirit" to the "anointed" of that time? And, isn’t it also true that among those "gifts" from God was the "ability to discern prophetic utterances" or "inspired utterances?"
1 Corinthians 12:10 lists some of these "Gifts" from God by saying:
"...to yet another operations of powerful works, to another prophesying, to another DISCERNMENT OF INSPIRED UTTERANCES [like prophecies]..."
So this means that since the words of a prophet are inspired, in themselves, then logically in order for one to be able to "discern" what they mean and "pronounce" them, "interpret" them to you or explain them to you, that person would also HAVE TO BE INSPIRED. That's what that verse means. So when Peter quoted from the book of Joel and explained the inspired words of the prophet Joel, recorded at Joel 2:28-32, he could do so simply because he was "inspired" of God. -- Acts 2:16-21
So, if the Watchtower Society admits that they are NOT "inspired," then you know automatically their explanation of the prophecy will be in error. And why?
Again, because no ordinary human, without Divine Help, without "spirit-direction" even, CAN EXPLAIN INSPIRED WRITINGS. No, they cannot. No, we can't "discern inspired utterances" of the prophets WITHOUT being "inspired." That would simply be impossible. And that is because "discernment" of Divine Prophecy is a "gift" of the spirit, just as it was in the first century. And it is no different in our day and time.
And further, if the Watchtower Society or anyone else claims they can correctly interpret the DIVINELY INSPIRED Words of God WITHOUT being inspired...he is a LIAR, a DECEIVER of the mind, plain and simple. God's Word does not lie. And the bible makes it plain, this is a "gift" of the spirit, this ability to properly "discern inspired utterances." So, we must learn something here. Yes, the unique ability to "discern inspired utterances," then, is truly a "gift" of the spirit, a "gift" of God...so the bible says. Think about it. -- See 1 Corinthians 12:10.
A SIMPLE ILLUSTRATION TO EXPLAIN THE PROBLEM
Here is a simple way to illustrate this problem. Take for example this particular prophecy recorded at Jeremiah 23:19, 20.
Jeremiah 23:19, 20 says:
"Look! The windstorm of Jehovah, rage itself, will certainly go forth, even a whirling tempest. Upon the head of the wicked ones it will whirl itself. The anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he will have carried out and until he will have made the ideas of his heart come true. In the final part of the days you people will give your consideration to it with UNDERSTANDING." -- see also Jeremiah 30:23, 24
Doesn't this prophecy clearly show the undeniable fact that God's People, presumably Jehovah's Witnesses, will receive severe discipline from God in the "final part of the days"? Yes, it does. But isn't it true that this particular prophecy ALSO SAYS that they, those disciplined by God, WILL NOT have true "understanding" of it, until AFTER, after the discipline is over? Doesn't it clearly say this? Did you notice this point?
Therefore, according to what is mentioned here, God's People will NOT possess true "understanding" of God's Discipline upon themselves until AFTER they have gone thru the experience. Does anyone else see this? Therefore, if this is the case, this raises a question to ponder seriously: How can we say that we, as members of God's Household, as God's People ourselves, have a true "understanding" of the events of God's Coming Discipline upon His Own People without being forced to admit that we, ourselves are genuine "prophets" of God --inspired prophets of God? How can do this? How did we get this special "insight" or "power of discernment?" How? How can we know these things, know these "details", without God's Spirit being "active" upon us as an individual or a group of individuals -- How can this be?
Isn't it true that Amos 3:7 said:
"For the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has REVEALED HIS CONFIDENTIAL MATTER to his servants the prophets."
And what could be more "confidential" than what Jehovah is going to do to his Own People? What could more "confidential" than that; His "strange" and "unusual work" of destruction upon them, I ask? (Isaiah 28:21) In the context of the verses in question, it speaks of God's "Intimate Group" in whom he discloses or reveals His "confidential matters" so that "they would have made my people hear my own words, and they would have caused them to turn back from their bad way and from the badness of their dealings. (See Jeremiah 23:18, 22.)
As we think back, we remember that the Watchtower Society didn't want to take the title of being an "inspired" prophet because they knew that title brings responsibility. To be considered "inspired," carrying a message from God, would mean they couldn't keep making changes to their teaching and saying, "the light is getting brighter," when, in fact, it wasn't. At least not in their particular case. (Proverbs 4:18) So they teach they are not "inspired" prophets so that if anything were to go wrong with their predictions, as it often does, they could merely claim they never said they were "inspired" prophets in the first place. They could claim:
"I am no prophet. I am a man cultivating the soil..." (See Zechariah 13:4-6.)
But we know that anyone that accurately speaks of future, major events that actually come true, then yes, this is an "inspired" true prophet of God. Because no one knows the future except God himself, isn't that true? And since that is the case, of course, God would have to get involved in such a situation. Yes, Jehovah Himself would have to "actively" and miraculously "reveal" this to His prophet who would then know details about the future and certain details about what God was going to do, by way of disciplining his people. The "inspired" prophet of God would then know the "details" of the situation. It would be just as Acts 13:41 says:
"Behold it, you scorners, and wonder at it, and vanish away, because I am working a work in your days, a work that you will by no means believe even if anyone relates it to you in detail."
And when we look for the evidence of Divine Inspiration in a person, we look for certain "details" that they possess, "details" that could only, only come from God Himself. And this would be a solid, scriptural position to take this would prove the person in question is someone that knows the "details" of the future. This person, yes, knows the future and thus is a true representative of Jehovah God. Just as John the Baptist, the greatest inspired prophet up to Jesus, was a true "representative" of Jehovah. -- Matthew 11:11; John 1:6
So when someone is speaking about the future and about the coming discipline upon God's people, these events are surely God's "confidential matters" that only his "servants the prophets" know about, isn't this true? Thus, when the Watchtower Society or some other Jehovah's Witnesses should speak of such things, it would be entirely appropriate to refer to such a person as a presumed "inspired" or "spirit-direct" (which means the same thing) prophet of God. Yes, when they openly speak of such things, yes, they are claiming "inspiration" from God! Simple. -- Amos 3:7
WHAT ALL OF THE ABOVE MEANS AS REGARDS IDENTIFYING TRUE "INSPIRATION" IN OTHERS
Jesus said this at John 16:13 about the future activity of the "Spirit of Truth," in our last days by saying:
"However, when that one arrives, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak, and HE WILL DECLARE TO YOU THE THINGS COMING."
Yes, Jesus made plain that the coming "spirit of truth" would do two primary things for us in the last days. It would (1) lead us into ALL TRUTH completely. It would act as a "guide" to do this for us. And it would (2) declare the "things coming," as in declare to us the grand events of the future.
No question, this is the mark of true "inspiration" -- these two things, that can only come from God Almighty. Therefore, in the aforementioned discussion, we must then reach one unavoidable conclusion about whether Godly "Inspiration" actually exists today. We have come to know this: When one speaks of great events of the future, when a person or group of persons do this, then this can only mean either of two things as regards the one who speaks of the future using God's Sacred Word:
1) Either God "Reveals" things, "confidential matters," to this person which makes this person or group of persons "inspired" prophets of God. Or,
2) The person is speaking and teaching things that are NOT from God, and is thus completely wrong. This means that what they teach and say does not reflect true "understanding" about God or His Will concerning the coming discipline from God upon His People. (Isaiah 30:26; Micah 4:6, 7)
And of course, using the 125-year record of the Watchtower Society and its associate "anointed" supporters, some 8,000 in number, spoken of as the Faithful and Discreet Slave Class, yes, we know that the latter is true of them.
Think about it.
Review Questions For The Article: Godly Inspiration - Can We Identify It Today?
1. What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe regarding direct inspiration today? How do they believe God directs His people in our day and time?
2. What did the 2/15/81 Watchtower say relative to those who are responsible for writing their publications?
3. In a statement from the 2/15/81 Watchtower, the writer literally says that in order for Jehovah to inspire a person, that person must be infallible. Do you see anything wrong with this statement?
4. Does being inspired mean that this is a constant state that this person is in all of the time?
5. God’s word, the Bible, is basically a book of prophecy, that is, it deals with future events. Therefore, when a person claims to speak for Jehovah, what does Deuteronomy 18:22 say is the proof of this person’s claim?
6. Does Deuteronomy 18:22 set a time limit as to when the words spoken by a prophet must come true in order that he be declared a true prophet?
7. How can we use the Watchtower Society’s teaching on 1914 to illustrate this point?
8. Since the leaders of the Watchtower Society do not claim inspiration, how do they arrive at their interpretations of the inspired scriptures?
9. What official position does the Governing Body claim for themselves, all the while saying that they are not inspired? Why is this a paradox for some six million Jehovah’s Witnesses?
10. Luke 24:27 tells us that Jesus interpreted prophecy and he was inspired. Is it reasonable that the Governing Body could do what Jesus did and not be inspired? What does the record show regarding their interpretations?
11. Is there a difference between being "spirit directed" and being "inspired?"
12. For what work would Jehovah only send an "inspired prophet" to do and why is it foolish to believe otherwise?
13. How has the Watchtower Society made themselves God’s enemy?
14. When considering Jesus words at Matthew 5:19, what facts should anyone consider before presuming to speak God’s sacred pronouncements or judgment messages?
15. What is the result to both the non-inspired prophet and those who listen to him according to Ezekiel 14:9, 10?
16. Would you agree that it would be impossible for a non-inspired person to explain inspired utterances? Use 1 Corinthians 12:10 to explain your answer.
17. According to Jeremiah 23:19, 20, what will happen to God’s people and when will they understand what this discipline means?
18. If Jehovah’s Witnesses already understand that the above prophecy applies to them, what would it indicate that they possess? How does Amos 3:7 bear this out?
19. According to John 16:13, is there someone that Jehovah will reveal the future to in these last days and what two primary activities will he accomplish?
20. Would you agree that the "spirit of truth" being able to accomplish the above two activities indicate that he is inspired?
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