Some may wonder, are Jehovah's Witnesses responsible for the "sins" of their leaders, namely those sins of the Governing Body and Watchtower Society itself?
Well, to arrive at the proper scriptural answer namely, "are we responsible for the sins of our leaders," lets consider the following verses:
(Acts 2:23) this [man], as one delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, YOU fastened to a stake by the hand of lawless men and did away with.
(Acts 2:37-38) Now when they heard this they were stabbed to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: "Men, brothers, what shall we do?" 38 Peter [said] to them: "Repent, and let each one of YOU be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of YOUR sins, and YOU will receive the free gift of the holy spirit.
It is clear from the above scriptures that Peter charged
the ENTIRE NATION of Israel with the sin of murdering
Jesus. However, most bible students know that it was
mainly the Pharisees and the religious leaders that actually
caused the death of Jesus and not the general populous of
Israel. So then, why did Peter say this?
Actually, Peter could charge the entire nation of Israel with
this sin because of what's called "community guilt." This is
something the Jewish nation was taught, through God' Law
to the people. An excellent example of 'community guilt'
taught in holy scripture is shown for us at Revelation 18:4, where God's declares all supporters and members of Babylon the Great, must completely renounce her, and "COME OUT OF HER," lest they be charged with ALL OF HER SINS. This is God's standard of justice, even for us today.
It becomes just as Jesus said:
(Luke 11:49-51) "On this account the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send forth to them prophets and apostles, and they will kill and persecute some of them, so that the blood of all the prophets spilled from the founding of the world may be required from this generation, from the blood of Abel down to the blood of Zech·a·ri´ah, who was slain between the altar and the house.' Yes, I tell YOU, it will be required from this generation.
The above words of Jesus show the "ENTIRE GENERATION" of Jewish people of Jesus' time, were to be charged with the sins of their leaders, who actually carried out and sponsored the heinous murders of the holy prophets, public instructors, and apostles that God sent to the nation itself. - Matthew 23:34-37
Today, we are revisiting this same situation, with the
heavy sins of the Governing Body of Jehovah's
Witnesses and the NGO United Nations 10-year
affair, being laid upon the entire nation of Jehovah's
Witnesses. This guilt is to be laid squarely upon the
entire nation itself, even though they are NOT
DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for it. The guilt of this sin,
and many others, remain squarely upon this people.
When Jehovah executes judgment upon wicked
Babylon The Great, the blood guiltiness of her,
is revealed in the following words,
(Revelation 18:20, 24) "Be glad over her, O heaven,
also YOU holy ones and YOU apostles and YOU
prophets, because God has judicially exacted
punishment for YOU from her!" ... Yes, in her
was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones
and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth."
So the same would be true today of any who would be found in Babylon the Great, as God's Word shows they will be charged with ALL ... ALL of the blood guiltiness and sins of this wicked entity, via "community guilt."
Of course, many are familiar with the Watchtower Society's foolish explanation of Revelation 18:20, 24 where they charge the world empire of false religion down thru the ages of time, to be guilty of "spilling the blood" of God's Prophets, Apostles, and Holy Ones of God, yes the blood of all those who have been "slaughtered upon the earth." They claim this has been accomplished by all of the wars fought on the earth, down thru the years, that were religiously inspired by false religions of our time. (See Revelation -- Its Grand Climax At Hand! pages 270, 271.)
However, this explanation of things is completely false and highly UNPROVABLE...why? Well, here is the big reason why.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE WORLDWIDE EMPIRE OF FALSE RELIGION, (Babylon The Great as they understand it) TO BE CHARGED WITH SPILLING THE BLOOD OF THE APOSTLES, HOLY ONES, AND PROPHETS of God! No, it is totally impossible. Because, if so, which of these [pagan] religions of the nations, then is responsible for the deaths of faithful men like Peter, James, or Stephen?
Practically, every keen bible student on earth is fully aware of who was responsible for the vicious murder of the righteous man, Stephen? Was it not the religious leaders of Israel? Also, was not the apostle James himself, murdered by Herod, who did this only to please those of the Jewish faith? -- See Acts 7:54-8:1; Acts 12:2, 3.
So it became exactly as Jesus had said of this wicked
city of "Jerusalem," the city that represented God's
Name (Jeremiah 25:29) ...he said:
"For this reason, here I am sending forth to you
prophets and wise men and public instructors.
Some of them you will kill and impale, and some
of them you will scourge in your synagogues and
persecute from city to city; that there may come
upon you all the righteous blood spilled on
earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to
the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah,
whom you murdered between the sanctuary and
the altar...Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the
prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her..."
-- Matthew 23:34-37
Therefore, if what the Watchtower Society says is true, namely that the "world empire of false religion," (as Babylon the Great) is responsible for "spilling all the blood" of the apostles, prophets and holy ones, then Jesus himself must have been in ERROR, when he clearly said that "Jerusalem," the city that bears God's Name, was the one that was guilty of spilling the blood of the "prophets", "wise men," and "public instructors," sent to her, per Matthew 23:34. Think about it.
However some devout Jehovah's Witnesses at this point may say:
"well, Revelation 18:24 specifically says, not only is Babylon the Great responsible for spilling the blood of the holy ones, prophets and apostles, but of ALL those slaughtered on the earth".
And yes, the verse does say this. This is true. But doesn't Revelation 18:20 also say to certain ones after the destruction of Babylon The Great:
"Be glad over her, O Heavens, also you holy ones and you apostles and you prophets, because God has judicially exacted punishment FOR YOU from her!"
Clearly, this verse specifically addresses 'apostles,' 'holy ones,' and 'prophets' as the particular ones in whom, Jehovah was avenging the blood of, yes, those "holy ones," "prophets," and of course "apostles" that were sent to His people and murdered, and not the world in general who had died on some battlefield and conflict of mankind. Isn't that so? -- Compare Luke 11:49-51.
Therefore, Jesus' words recorded in Matthew 23rd chapter were thus, directed to the religious leaders of God's people in his day, and not to the entire nation itself. Yes, Jesus spoke to and CONDEMNED the ones who were directly responsible for the nation, the ones that specifically and deliberately "skinned" and "threw the sheep all about," yes the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the nation. Yes, the main ones that
did not pay heed or attention to God's messengers when sent to
them. The ones that secretly perpetrated their murders. -- See
Matthew 9:36; Matthew 23rd chapter.
Yes, Jesus said to these religious leaders,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you
build the graves of the prophets and decorate the memorial
tombs of the righteous ones, and you say, If we were in the
days of our forefathers, we would not be sharers with them
in the blood of the prophets. Therefore you are bearing
witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who
murdered the prophets....how are you to flee from the
judgment of Gehenna?" -- Matthew 23:29-33
Yes, Jesus righteously condemned the religious leaders of his
time, for the outright "murder" of the "prophets" and holy men
of old, that was sent to Jerusalem, God's Name People.
Therefore, it is imperative that we correctly understand the
wicked entity of our times which is called "Babylon The Great",
yes to be a Modern-day symbolic "Babylon The Great" that
perpetrates hatred, martyrdom and spiritual "captivity" on an
unprecedented world-wide scale upon God's Name People,
Jehovah's Witnesses. Therefore, we don't confuse the issue here.
No, we know modern-day Babylon the Great, then is not
necessarily to be understood as picturing every single individual
Jehovah's Witness within the Organization itself. No, but we know
modern-day Babylon The Great of our times, specifically pictures
the wicked leadership, the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Pharisaical Leadership of God's Name People today, the ones who have the primary responsibility of keeping the nation of Jehovah's Witnesses on track. Yes, the villainous, nefarious, vile Watchtower Society Leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses itself -- Think about it.
Therefore, we today appropriately say then, the famous words at Revelation 18:4 can best be understood to clearly be directed to "MY PEOPLE," God's Name People, those who picture the "Israel of God"...the ones who have been trapped in spiritual "captivity" to the Modern-Day Pharisaical Leadership of the Watchtower Society. Yes, God's People, the "my people" of Revelation 18:4 -- The very ones who have been most "hindered" from fully pleasing Jehovah God, and consequently, "hindered" from getting into God's Kingdom, because of the teachings and practices of their leadership, the Watchtower Society. Yes, modern-day "Babylon The Great" has wickedly "taken the key of knowledge away" from modern-day Jehovah's Witnesses themselves, the modern-day nation of Israel, just as the Pharisees & Company had done in Jesus' day. - Luke 11:52
Think about it!
Donald C. Burney