Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration - Thomas Edison.
Edison is quoted as saying it would take a matter of a few weeks to invent the bulb. In reality it would take him almost two years of failed attempts, new discoveries and prototypes before he would find success. It is said he tried over 6,000 different carbonized plant fibres looking for a carbon filament for his light bulb. By concentrating on inventing a whole lighting system rather than just a single light bulb Edison succeeded where others had failed. Edison chose to look at the big picture and created a lighting system including wiring plugs connectors etc. to operate more than one light bulb at once (www.graceproducts.com).
There is a wonderful story, beloved of personal trainers, about a reporter who came to see Edison after around 5,000 failed attempts at getting the correct bulb filament, the correct means by which the world was to get physical enlightenment, the correct means by which mankind was to conquer the darkness.
5 And the light is shining in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it (John 1).
The reporter said to Edison: Mr Edison, how many failures have you had so far with this light bulb of yours? Edison answered: around 5,000. The reporter then asked him: Would you therefore not agree that you are the biggest failure in this field. He answered: Yes and I am therefore the nearest to success. I am 5,000 steps nearer to success than when I started.
Edison understood that success is the result of how you deal with failure. Every failure which you recognise is a step on the road to success.
Life is about learning from mistakes.
Personal Christianity is about repenting from sin.
Congregational Christianity is about repenting from false church doctrine.
Paul defined faith as follows:
1 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld (Hebrews 11).
Putting this in more modern parlance: Faith is the courage of your deductions. Spirituality is seeing with the eyes of your mind what cannot be physically detected.
With the eyes of our mind, we can see God himself, for his loving character is displayed in all the works of Jesus. But do you have the courage of your deductions? Do you believe what you have worked out for yourself, if your thoughts have not been confirmed by an 'expert'? If nobody agrees with you can you still be correct? If the TV says that you are wrong, if the experts say that you are wrong, if the majority of your country say that you are wrong, can you nonetheless be right? That is how your faith will be tested.
Faith is using your own reason and holding true to its result. Idolatry is accepting someone else's reasoning without verification. There are many people on earth who have the courage of their convictions, but nearly all of their convictions are actually someone else's deductions. How many have the courage of their own deductions? Jesus said...
37 He said to him: You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind (Matthew 22).
1 Consequently I entreat you by the compassions of God, brothers,
to present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred
service with your power of reason (Romans 12).
13 Hence brace up your minds for
activity, keep your senses completely; set your hope upon the undeserved
kindness that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter
You cannot sub contract out this God given duty! If your convictions are other people's deductions then you are an idolater of them. True faith involves living by your deductions, which result from your spiritual vision.
And even when we have found the truth, Jesus commands us to...
7 Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you (Matthew 7).
So it is a never ending process of exploring new understandings and refining old ones. Every day we make choices which exhibit to the angels and to ourselves the strength of our faith. Now if we get real for a moment, no one actually seeks God perfectly. Nearly everyone just throws away their reason when it comes to the holy book. The bible is hard to understand, but this is not because God has a problem in explaining his plan to us. It is because God has deliberately hidden his plan in a sea of apparent ambiguity, in order that he can reveal it when he wants to reveal it and to whom he wants to reveal it. He reveals it to a selected few who love him sufficiently to understand that he wants to tell them everything, but that he has to do it in such a way that the bad guys will not see it and will not therefore be able to set up false churches on the basis of his truth. The scriptures are written in such a way that they only reveal God's truth to genuine people.
In fact God detests the exploitation of his divine truth for commercial gain or for personal aggrandisement. It is better to be an atheist than a peddler of the word of God. He has hidden the divine beauty of his plan very carefully, in order to prevent people abusing, exploiting or prostituting this beauty for purposes other than saving mankind. This indeed is the meaning of the famous words of Paul...
12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart (Hebrews 4).
The mechanism that the bible uses to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart is literal ambiguity. The book is ambiguous in the literal meaning. So if you want to read it as a book written by a guy who roasts bad guys in Hell forever you can. If you want to read it as a book written by Hans Christian Anderson full of naive impractical and unrealistic fairy stories you can. If you want to read it as a book which permits men to dominate women and have as many wives as they like, you can. And if your heart is not straight and you come at the bible from a self seeking angle you will read it as above or in some other self seeking manner. Equally if you want to read it as a book written by someone incapable of clearly expressing himself, and therefore not of divine origin you can. But if you love God, because you love what Jesus did, and you know that Jesus is truly the reflection of his Dad, then you do credit God with being more intelligent than yourself, more loving and more articulate. And then you do understand what David was talking about when he said:
10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom, (Psalm 111).
4 if you keep seeking for it as for
silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it,
5 in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God (Proverbs 2).
Since this is the time of enlightenment, let us explain the fear of Jehovah. It is not a fear of a cruel wicked ruthless tyrant, such as Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler or Attila the Hun. It is the fear of an omnipotent genius who sees everything you do and knows you better than you know yourself. It is the fear of not being able to withstand total scrutiny of your actions by a person who not only exhibits but will eventually require from you, perfect righteousness. For you are his son or you are his daughter. But this fear is trumped entirely by the fact that he loves you more than you love yourself, as well. He is simply the best Dad that anyone could ever wish for! So hey, tell me off! Our love for him can easily conquer our fear of him. John, the one whom Jesus loved, explains it all perfectly...
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love throws fear outside, because fear exercises a restraint. Indeed, he that is under fear has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4).
So since fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom, the LW
church now understands that love of Jehovah is the end of wisdom (thanks to Bill
22 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 (Deuteronomy 18).
The above was the test for a son of Israel claiming to be an inspired prophet. An inspired prophet was someone who spoke words not from his conscious mind, but from God through the holy spirit. Although God often spoke through the prophets in the manner that the prophet himself would normally speak. An inspired prophet has to be right if he is truly inspired, an interpretational prophet does not. He is simply a bible researcher using his imperfect mind on the perfect words of God.
Every bible researcher makes mistakes. We are
interpreters of inspired utterances, but our interpretations are not themselves
inspired. So we do not speak in the name of Jehovah, in the sense that we are
speaking his inspired words. Instead, we attempt to understand
the words of others, the inspired prophets, who have spoken in his name. If on the other hand we said,
as many false religions have, that the angel Gabriel came to our leader in a dream
and told him that there were 3 master salvation covenants, and that is why we have the
3 salvation covenant understanding, then we would have claimed to be speaking in
the name of Jehovah, and so if this interpretation was later found to be incorrect, then we would
be a false prophet.
us be blunt about this. God inspired the prophets to write the bible, for
imperfect humans to grapple with. He did not encode the scriptures so that he
himself could decode them. We have to do that, and since we are imperfect, we
will make a whole load of mistakes. The instructions in Titus for appointing
overseers are instructions made by Holy Spirit, and made for imperfect humans.
They are not instructions made by the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit itself.
The bible was not written for the Holy Spirit, it was written by the Holy
Humans appoint elders, using the scriptural guidelines of the Holy Spirit in Titus 3 and 1 Timothy 3. Likewise, humans interpret scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit plainly does not interpret for us, just as it does not appoint overseers for us. But if we ask God for help in either enterprise, he will oblige in accordance with his will and in accordance with his timescale.
has never directly told Gordon, or Tony, or Massoud or Lee, or Dave or Jeff or any
other LW, what any
scripture means. The LWs are actually the church of 1,000 corrected mistakes.
That is why our understandings are so good. If we believed in papal
infallibility or in direct revelation, then we would imagine ourselves to be incapable of making
any mistakes, and therefore we would not be able to do any bible research, which
by definition is a step into the unknown and is therefore a catalogue of
mistakes. In fact the sick doctrine of direct revelation is what has held most
churches back in understanding of the bible and kept them in dense darkness for the last 2,000 years. Let
us be candid. There is no direct revelation of church doctrine or of prophecy
today. All the inspired utterances that God wants mankind to hear are in the
holy book. No so-called direct revelation today is from God. God can help us in
many ways today (including inspired dreams and visions) but direct revelation went out with the death of the last
person touched by the hands of an apostle, which was the end of the passing on of the physical gifts of the
spirit - see I22.
Let us be candid. There is no direct revelation of church doctrine or of prophecy today. All the inspired utterances that God wants mankind to hear are in the holy book. No so-called direct revelation today is from God. God can help us in many ways today (including inspired dreams and visions) but direct revelation went out with the death of the last person touched by the hands of an apostle, which was the end of the passing on of the physical gifts of the spirit - see I22.
So today the true interpretational prophet is the bible researcher who is genuinely trying to improve his understandings and therefore is always prepared to admit that he might be wrong. His prophecy is the extent to which he advances true bible understanding. Anyone who does this without claiming direct revelation must be a true prophet. The false prophet today is the person who claims to be the true prophet of yesterday, i.e. he claims to have direct infallible revelation. Nobody has had this since the first rapture of 153 AD..
God first revealed the Law covenant to Moses, the mediator of that covenant. God first revealed all of the Abrahamic covenants to Abraham, the mediator of those covenants. God revealed the new covenant to Jesus, the messenger and mediator of that covenant. God has always revealed any covenant first to the mediator of that covenant. So that the mediator of a covenant is also the messenger of that covenant. Gordon saw, by interpretation, the 2NC in 1992Heshvan, and informed the Watchtower of its existence in 1993 and the rest of the World in 2000. He was historically the messenger of that covenant, and therefore is the mediator of that covenant (so long as we accept that the 2NC exists - see I35).
Interestingly no other church presently claims that there is a second new covenant even on the internet. So the LWs are unique in this claim.