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Earliest Jehovah's Witnesses

Calvinist
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7/3/2016 5:49:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
While cultic groups such as Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses partake in revisionist history, I must give credit where credit is due. To some degree, the theology of Jehovah's Witnesses existed in the second century. As I am sure many of you know, I am referencing the Montanism movement. Let's not confuse this movement with the Gnostics. Unlike the Gnostics, there is no doubt that the Montanists had their origin in Christianity.

The Montanism movement believed that "Christ had promised the Spirit's coming in more abundant measure in the future." This belief is currently held by Jehovah's Witnesses. Consider the following excerpt from a Watchtower publication dealing with the holy spirit and light:

"Third, holy spirit is at work in bringing Bible truths to light. (Prov. 4:18) This magazine has long been used by 'the faithful and discreet slave' as the primary channel for dispensing increased light. (Matt. 24:45)" (Watchtower Online Library; w10 4/15 pp. 7-11)

You can read about all the doctrinal "refinements" that have come with the increased light provided by the holy spirit in the last days by using the following article:
http://wol.jw.org...

Continuing with an explanation of Montanism, the book entitled A History of the Christian Church, written by Williston Walker, states that "[i]t was this thought of special dispensation of the Holy Spirit, combined with a fresh outburst of the early prophetic enthusiasm, and a belief that the end of the world-age was close at hand, that were represented in Montanism." Likewise, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the holy spirit is dispensing more truth in these last days, as previously shown. They also believe that the end of the world-age is close at hand:

"'Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that must occur and in standing [with approval] before the Son of man.' (Luke 21:34-36) It is wise to take Jesus' words to heart. Why? Because those having the approval of Jehovah God and 'the Son of man,' Jesus Christ, have the prospect of surviving the end of Satan"s system of things and of living forever in the marvelous new world that is so close at hand!" (What Does the Bible Really Teach?, Ch. 9, paragraph 18.)

Montanus, from whom the movement was named, proclaimed in about AD 156 that he was "the passive instrument through whom the Holy Spirit spoke." Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Governing Body is also the passive instrument through whom the Holy Spirit speaks. Even Charles Taze Russell held this belief about himself:

"No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880." (Zion's Watch Tower, Jul 15, 1906, pp. 230)

"We will also increase our joy if we prayerfully and diligently study God's spirit - inspired Word and Christian publications prepared under the spirit's guidance." (Watchtower, Mar 15, 1992, pp. 21-22)

"When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of the faithful and discreet slave at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. (Matt. 24:45; 1 Cor. 2:13)" (Watchtower, Jul 15, 2010, pp. 22-23)

"The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in The Watchtower. God feeds his own people, and surely God uses those who love and serve him according to his own will. Those who oppose The Watchtower are not capable of discerning the truth that God is giving to the children of his organization, and this is the very strongest proof that such opposers are not of God's organization." (Watchtower, Nov 1, 1939, pp. 327)

It was in this state as instrument that Montanus declared the promise of Christ fulfilled. This fulfillment indicated the end of times and the increased measure of the Holy Spirit had come. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that a major promise of Christ has been fulfilled, that is, His presence coming in 1914. As a result, tnhe end times and the increased measure of the Holy Spirit have now come. The Montanism movement also practiced "strenuous asceticism." This was done to separate themselves from the other churches, which they viewed as becoming too worldly. Similarly, Jehovah's Witnesses practice strenuous asceticism. Consider the following examples:

"The Bible commands that we not ingest blood. So we should not accept whole blood or its primary components in any form, whether offered as food or as a transfusion." (JW.org; What Does the Bible Say About Blood Transfusions?)

"Books, games, television shows, and movies that feature demons, witchcraft, and paranormal phenomena are more widespread than ever. [...] The Bible, however, teaches that involvement with any manifestation of the occult is actually spiritism." (Watchtower online Library; g 7/08 pp. 10-11)

"We do not lobby, vote for political parties or candidates, run for government office, or participate in any action to change governments." (JW.org; Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Maintain Political Neutrality?)

"Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays because we believe that such celebrations displease God." (JW.org; Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Celebrate Birthdays?)

I could go on, but I believe we all get the point. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the other Christian churches are too worldly, just like the Montanists. They believe that "Christians would not want to become part of a world that is under his [Satan's] control." (Watchtower Online Library; wt chap. 18 pp. 159-166)

Why do I bring all of this up? It is simple. The Jehovah's Witnesses share many of the views of the Montanism movement, which was condemned and deemed as heretical. Just like the Montanists, Jehovah's Witnesses are also heretics. Regarding my sources for the Montanism movement, I used the book entitled A History of the Christian Church, written by Williston Walker. He has a chapter dedicated to Montanism.
Sola scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, soli Deo gloria.