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Reform Movement Disproves Core Doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses
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Reform Movement Disproves Core Doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses

Reform Movement Disproves Core Doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/8/prweb546361.htm

A reform group called The Bene Yeshua, meaning in Hebrew "children or students of Yeshua (Jesus)," believes it has proven that a core doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses conflicts with the Bible itself. The "1914 doctrine" of Jehovah's Witnesses has been a source of debate and controversy because it misleads adherents into believing that the first destruction of Jerusalem took place in 607 BCE instead of the scholarly accepted date of 586 BCE, excommunicating adherents that challenge it. Providing an entirely scriptural argument against the doctrine is significant because Jehovah's Witnesses argue that only the Bible should be used to establish biblical chronology.

Charlotte, NC (Bluehost/PRWEB ) August 14, 2007 -- A reform group called The Bene Yeshua, meaning in Hebrew "children or students of Yeshua (Jesus)," believes it has proven that a core doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses conflicts with the Bible itself.

The "1914 doctrine" of Jehovah's Witnesses has been a source of debate and controversy because it misleads adherents into believing that the first destruction of Jerusalem took place in 607 BCE instead of the scholarly accepted date of 586 BCE, excommunicating adherents that challenge it. Providing an entirely scriptural argument against the doctrine is significant because Jehovah's Witnesses argue that only the Bible should be used to establish biblical chronology.

One of the primary doctrines of the Jehovah's Witness faith is that Jesus' second coming or "presence" occurred in the year 1914, the year World War I began. Since that year, Jesus has been ruling as king, waiting to collect a small remnant of humans that will co-rule with him in heaven. Once the last human has been collected, there will be a period of worldwide hardship and suffering that culminates with Armageddon, the great war between God and the Devil.

For almost a century, this "1914 doctrine" has been a source of debate and controversy within the Jehovah's Witness movement because it misleads adherents into believing that the first destruction of Jerusalem took place in 607 BCE. This is 21 years earlier than the date of 586 BCE demonstrated by scientific evidence and accepted by virtually every secular historian. In addition, because former and current leaders of the religious group are considered ones that will rule with Jesus, any adherents that challenge this doctrine are excommunicated on grounds of apostasy since it is an attack on the leadership's theocratic authority.

As a result, many ex-Witnesses have started reform movements to expose the "1914 doctrine" as false, using archaeological findings as evidence. Nevertheless, the leaders of the Jehovah's Witness faith have convinced most adherents to disregard such evidence. Their argument has been that one should only use the Bible to establish biblical chronology since some ancient records are known to have been altered for political reasons and secular historians have been proved wrong once additional evidence was found. However, strong evidence suggests that the biblical chronology established by Jehovah's Witnesses conflicts with the Bible itself.

607 BCE vs. Jeremiah the Prophet

According to Jeremiah 52:12-13, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the First Temple in the nineteenth year of his reign. Since Jehovah's Witnesses consider this year to be 607 BCE, this puts Nebuchadnezzar's first year as king at around 625 BCE.

Now according to Jeremiah 25:11-12, the land of Judah was to serve the kings of Babylon for 70 years, and after the 70 years, the Neo-Babylonian Empire was to be made desolate. Witnesses and secular historians agree that this servitude ended when Persian king Cyrus the Great conquered the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 539 BCE and the Jews had returned to their homeland by 537 BCE, but they disagree as to when this servitude began. The position of the Bible and secular historians is that it started right before Nebuchadnezzar officially became king (Jeremiah 25:1-8; 27:1-7; Daniel 1:1-6; 2:1-13), yet the position of the Witnesses is that it started four years later. Surprisingly, even when the bible chronology of the Witnesses is used, a huge problem emerges.

Counting from the fourth reigning year of Nebuchadnezzar (621/620 BCE according to the Witnesses) to 537 BCE is at least 83 years. This is well over the 70 years spoken by Jeremiah even if one decides to count instead to 539 BCE. However, when one uses the dates accepted by historians, counting from the first reigning year of Nebuchadnezzar (606/605 BCE) to 537 BCE gives the necessary 70 years.

A counter-argument that Jehovah's Witnesses often use is that Jeremiah 25:11-12 means that the land of Judah would be desolate for 70 years and that the land was desolate when there were no inhabitants (Jeremiah 9:11). This supposedly occurred in 607 BCE. However, the problem with this counter-argument is that even after Jerusalem was destroyed, there were still people in Judah with a man named Gedaliah as their ruler (2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 39:10). These were not exiled until four years later (Jeremiah 52:30), which equals only 66 years of desolation instead of the 70 required.

To counter this argument, some Witnesses will argue that the land of Judah was considered desolate when Jerusalem's Temple was destroyed and that this occurred in 607 BCE. Yet, under this line of reasoning, the land of Judah would continue to be desolate until the Temple was rebuilt, which both Witnesses and historians agree did not occur until 516 BCE. This creates a period of 91 years, well over the 70 years foretold by Jeremiah. Interestingly again, when one uses the date of 586 BCE to count to 516 BCE, the needed 70 years is obtained.

Despite their counter-arguments, the bible chronology of Jehovah's Witnesses simply fails to add up. It is apparent that 607 BCE is 70 years before 537 BCE, but why do Witnesses insist that the destruction of Jerusalem took place in that year? And what does this have to do with 1914 and World War I.

Why 1914?

To understand why Jehovah's Witnesses are so adamant about 607 BCE and see 1914 as the year of Jesus' second coming, one first must consider two formulas that some religious groups use for interpreting prophecy within the Bible. The prophecies of Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Book of Revelation, each count years in increments called "days" and "times". The first formula states that one prophetic day equals one actual year (Ezekiel 4:4-6), and the second states that 3 ½ times equals 1,260 prophetic days (Revelation 12:6, 14). By combining these two formulas and using simple division (1,260 divided by 3 ½), one derives one "time" equaling 360 actual years.

In the fourth chapter of the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream where a tree representing his kingdom is chopped down, and after a period of seven times, his kingdom is restored to him once he has realized that God rules over the kingdoms of men. Jehovah's Witnesses and secular historians agree that these seven times were seven literal years for Nebuchadnezzar, during which he suffered delirium and was unable to rule. However, the Witnesses also believe that the seven times equal 2,520 years (7 x 360 actual years) in which God's kingdom on earth was removed with the first destruction of the Temple and restored 2,520 years later. Counting 2,520 years from 607 BCE brings one to 1914 CE.

Besides the fact that 607 BCE is the wrong year from which to count, Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a scriptural basis for applying these seven times to the Kingdom of Judah. In the Book of Daniel, the seven times are meant specifically for Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom with no other kingdom being mentioned. In addition, looking at the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and even Daniel, if Israel, Jerusalem, or the Jews were some how involved in a prophecy, then it was clearly stated. There was never a need to guess.

Nevertheless, in the minds of Jehovah's Witnesses, World War I signifies the start of what Jesus foretold as "nation [rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" (Matthew 24:7). Therefore, 607 BCE must be the year of Jerusalem's first destruction since it is 2,520 years from 1914 CE. And this prophecy must apply and be true because there are 2,520 years between 607 BCE and 1914 CE. This is obviously an example of circular logic, but telling Witnesses this is extremely difficult from the simple fact that Charles T. Russell, whom Jehovah's Witnesses regard as their founder, predicted in 1880 that a major event would take place in 1914, thirty-four years prior.

Victims of Coincidence or Manipulation?

The truth is that there were many movements during the late nineteenth century, both Zionist and Masonic, calling for the restoration of a Jewish homeland. Even Russell had former ties to freemasonry and promoted ideas of a new government in Palestine administered by members of the world's thirteen most powerful nations (Zion's Watchtower, vol. 12, Dec. 1891 p. 168-171).

Whether Russell's 1914 prediction is coincidental or an "invented" prophecy to build support for future political or military action is uncertain. However, what is certain is that the Bible cannot support his prediction and all subsequent predictions of Jehovah's Witnesses have either proved false or had to been "refined" over the years.

Jehovah's Witnesses are a group known for their fine behavior and sincere desire to follow Jesus' example. As they knock on their neighbor's doors, they claim to bring scriptural truth about God and His kingdom. Unfortunately, as long as they hold on to doctrines that violate both reason and scripture, the only thing they can hope to bring is reproach on God's name.

The Bene Yeshua, meaning "children or students of Yeshua (Jesus)," is part of a growing reform movement of Jehovah's Witnesses that is dedicated to sharing knowledge about God and His purpose for humanity through history, science, and scripture. Its mission is to publish works that demonstrate the historical and scientific validity of the Bible as well as encourage humanity to develop a relationship with God. For more information about The Bene Yeshua or prophecies in the Bible, please visit http://www.beneyeshuatemple.com.

Warm Christian Love
Bangalore


"While producing people who were outwardly moral, they subverted the essential qualities of humility, compassion and mercy." - Raymond Franz
http://www.spiritualbrother.blogspot.com/
08-14-2007 09:13 AM
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