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“New Light” Doctrine

If you are to look at the Watchtower’s beliefs and teachings you can’t help but notice the number of things that they have got completely wrong, for example see 18741925 and especially blood fractions where they changed their minds 4 times. How can any light, whether it be new or not, contradict past truths. For the “New Light” doctrine to make any sense any new light must add to and enhance past teachings. 

Reference Bible Proverbs 4:17-18

18 But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.

[Emphasis Added]

Zion's Watch Tower, Feb, 1881, p.3

If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now; But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from God must be like its author. A new view of truth never can contradict a former truth. "New light" never extinguishes older "light," but adds to it...

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1954 October 15 pp.638-9 Questions from Readers

Questions from Readers

• How does Jehovah's spirit help the "faithful and discreet slave" arrive at the truth of a matter? The Society does not claim infallibility or inspiration. How much is dependent upon the written Word? How can we be sure that this is the organization Jehovah is using when some things are published and later changed?—C. P., United States.

In regard to how the truth is brought forth through Jehovah's organization, please note that if the Watch Tower Society were infallible there would be no need for future correction of viewpoints held; but because it is not infallible and has never claimed to be, from time to time corrections are necessary. If Jehovah's spirit operated in the way it did upon Bible writers, inspiring them to write according to Jehovah's thoughts, then no future corrections in matters would ever be necessary. But because the spirit does not operate in this way today some corrections are made from time to time.

Jehovah God, in fact, foretold or indicated that such would be the case. At Proverbs 4:18 (AS) it states: "The path of the righteous is as the dawning light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." While the light is still dim the broad outline of an object may be visible but the details of it are not always distinct, and as the light increases these details may be seen with more clarity and a corrected view is obtained. Full dependence is placed upon Jehovah's Word in the formulation of truth and it is from his Word that proof should be forthcoming. However, with greater clarity and understanding, new truths are discerned and something that previously appeared very logical may require revision.

Jehovah did not say that the entire matter would be seen in crystal clarity instantaneously. With these last days in mind, Jesus spoke of the "faithful and discreet slave" that would be appointed to bring forth "food at the proper time." (Matt. 24:45, NW) This is a progressive process, food being continually provided, and as we advance in the stream of time and observe further fulfillment of prophecy new truths are discerned and brought forth and constitute fresh and nourishing food for our day. Some truths were not essential for us prior to the time of their discernment, otherwise Jehovah would have caused them to become known earlier.

Even the erroneous viewpoints held by Jehovah's witnesses during the first world war served their purpose in contributing to the fulfillment of prophecy, for Jehovah had long ago foretold a condition of spiritual uncleanness upon his people at that particular time and the cleansing work that would be done. Hence such things are to be expected according to prophecy and their occurrence is a confirmation that this is Jehovah's organization, rather than a cause for raising question concerning Jehovah's use of the organization.

Jehovah uses this organization because it is meek and teachable and is not set and bound in its viewpoints. It is an organization that looks to Jehovah for guidance and direction and watches his maneuvering of matters on the world scene and the outworking of events that fulfill prophecy and it lines up its views in accord with these things. It is willing to change and keep up with the developing conditions, to keep up with the light as the light is revealed brighter and brighter. That is why Jehovah can use this organization, and certainly the facts show that he has been using it and is continuing to use it. He is bringing the increase. He is using this organization to preach the good news of the established Kingdom in all the inhabited earth. Prophecies are being fulfilled upon this group. We are counseled to remain close to the organization, for even if the organization does have views that are later changed, our safety lies in remaining within the organization and changing with it when the light increases and new truths are discerned.

No other organization has shown this flexibility to alter its views, to keep up with the changing times, to be alert to the increased light that comes from Jehovah from the temple, for other groups are bound by their centuries-old creeds. Rather than a stumbling stone, the Society's readiness to alter its views when necessary should be a source of comfort and encouragement, an assurance that there will be continual advancement and increase in learning, an ever-brightening light as we approach closer to the perfect day with its noonday brightness. A false religion may have some truth in it, but it never gets rid of its many falsehoods and the truth it does have continues to be contaminated. With Jehovah's organization the beliefs can be established from the Bible, and when some erroneous view does creep in it is soon ferreted out and discarded.

An analogy might be drawn between the first and the second presence of Christ Jesus. At his first advent certainly the apostles at first thought he would be an entirely earthly King and that the kingdom would be earthly. Only after Pentecost did they learn that it was to be a heavenly kingdom. Prior to that time they could not discern this truth, and they entertained a false idea, as shown by Acts 1:6-8 (NW): "When, now, they had assembled, they went to asking him: 'Master, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?' He said to them: 'It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction; but you will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you.'" Likewise it was some time until they saw clearly that they were no longer under the Mosaic law as such, as shown by Acts chapter 15. But that did not mean that they were not Jehovah's servants and his channel for bringing the truth to the people. So we should not stumble because the same is true today.

In fact, this ability to discard the erroneous as the light increases marks the difference between Jehovah's true worshipers and the false religions of Christendom. When it can be clearly shown from the Bible that an idea once held does not have sufficient Scriptural support and that a different viewpoint has the weight of Bible testimony behind it, then the new viewpoint is adopted and the former understanding is set aside. To be too proud to do this is to have a pride that would presage a fall. (Prov. 16:18) Increased understanding of the Bible itself and growing proof from the Bible itself are the basis for altering the viewpoint. This organization is always probing and studying to find solid foundations in the Scriptures for its beliefs and as the light increases the foundations of our beliefs become stronger and stronger. We have ears to hear a clarified truth, not ears that refuse to hear. We have eyes to see the increased light, not eyes that refuse to see. We are anxious for new light and for new "food at the proper time."

This Jehovah supplies, not through individuals, but through his organization. (Prov. 3:5, 6) He has so operated with this group in the past and he is still doing so, as the physical facts abundantly confirm. Past history of the organization has shown that those who split off, thinking themselves smarter than the Society, are soon swallowed up in the seas of humanity. The new ideas they entertain are soon forgotten. They are not preached world-wide to all the inhabited earth, as Jesus said would be done with the truth. These separating, disgruntled ones are not fulfilling the prophecies that Jesus said would be fulfilled by his true people. It is this organization that is enjoying that fulfillment and it is through this organization that Jehovah sends further light and spiritual food that rectifies any erroneous conceptions previously entertained, as well as adding to the rich storehouse of spiritual food available for those devoted to him and willing to exert themselves in his service by telling it to others.

Jesus said: "All the same, wisdom is vindicated by its works." So this organization is vindicated as the one Jehovah is using by its activity in doing the preaching work Jesus foretold and in being used to fulfill many other prophecies.—Matt. 11:19, NW.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1981 December 1 p.27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter

The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter

[…]

2 However, it may have seemed to some as though that path has not always gone straight forward. At times explanations given by Jehovah's visible organization have shown adjustments, seemingly to previous points of view. But this has not actually been the case. This might be compared to what is known in navigational circles as "tacking." By maneuvering the sails the sailors can cause a ship to go from right to left, back and forth, but all the time making progress toward their destination in spite of contrary winds.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1976 May 15 p.298 Preaching Christ—Through Envy or Goodwill?

It is a serious matter to represent God and Christ in one way, then find that our understanding of the major teachings and fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures was in error, and then after that, to go back to the very doctrines that, by years of study, we had thoroughly determined to be in error. Christians cannot be vacillating—'wishy-washy'—about such fundamental teachings. What confidence can one put in the sincerity or judgment of such persons?

[Emphasis Added]

Reference Bible Ephesians 4:14

14 in order that we should no longer be babes, tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in contriving error.

[Emphasis Added]

 

The Living Bible Ephesians 4:14

...forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different, or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1972 August 1 p.460 Loving Oversight of the Congregation of God

18 Each week the principal Bible study aid published by Jehovah's witnesses, the Watchtower magazine, is studied by the congregation as a whole. This is done in the form of a question-and-answer discussion. For this meeting the entire congregation usually meets in one place. Through the columns of The Watchtower comes increased light on God's Word as Jehovah makes it known. Because of the vital nature of these discussions, the Watchtower study is the most important meeting for all of Jehovah's Christian witnesses and interested persons. Therefore, the Watchtower study conductor, who presides over this meeting, has an important responsibility. This study enables all to be united in the same line of thought.-1 Cor. 1:10.

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1981 February 15 p.19 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?

Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?

[…]

OUR VIEW OF THE "SLAVE"

We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his "slave" to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using. At the Brooklyn headquarters from which the Bible publications of Jehovah's Witnesses emanate there are more mature Christian elders, both of the "remnant" and of the "other sheep," than anywhere else upon earth.

True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18) However, this has resulted in a continual refining of the body of Bible-based truth to which Jehovah's Witnesses subscribe. Over the years, as adjustments have been made to that body of truth, it has become ever more wonderful and applicable to our lives in these "last days." Bible commentators of Christendom are not inspired either. Despite their claims to great knowledge, they have failed to highlight even basic Bible truths—such as the coming Paradise earth, the importance of God's name, and the condition of the dead.

Rather, the record that the "faithful and discreet slave" organization has made for the past more than 100 years forces us to the conclusion that Peter expressed when Jesus asked if his apostles also wanted to leave him, namely, "Whom shall we go away to?" (John 6:66-69) No question about it. We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the "faithful and discreet slave" organization.

[Emphasis Added]

Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock (1991) p.100-101

Propriety of Disfellowshipping

When making decisions or answering questions about judicial reproof, disfellowshipping, disassociation, or reinstatement, elders should be certain that their decisions and answers are based solidly on the Bible and are in harmony with the most recent statements by the Society. (Compare 1 Corinthians 4:6.)

[Emphasis Added]

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