Author: Shaun Aisbitt
A chap I know was in the Way International. He is no longer in it, but he still holds to its beliefs. When he left, following a dispute with the leadership, on some interpretations of the Scriptures, I hoped he would begin to examine the Scriptures more closely, without the “blinkers” that this particular group appeared to have put on him. I was disappointed when he continued and still continues to believe the falsehoods he was taught by the Way International; even adding his particular interpretations to the Bible; and is now is trying to start his own church.
This is not a unique case, it happens all the time, you just have to look at the roughly 120 diverse groups that have come from the Mormon church, for instance Bickerites, Strangites, Temple Lot, Lamb of God and RLDS. The Jehovah’s Witnesses also have this problem with groups like the Layman’s Home Mission and The Dawn Bible Students.
Some months ago while scanning through the Internet for information on an article I wrote, showing the error of the Bible Code by Michael Drosnin, I came across a site entitled the bible decoded. At a quick glance, it looked like another Bible code site, but after further examination, I discovered “watchtower type” interpretations of scripture using the New World Translation Bible. I was intrigued, had Jehovah’s Witnesses started going off on a tangent or is there something more here than meets the eye.
After studying the site from one end to another, which is no mean feat as it is well over 300 pages all bigger than A4 in size, I have come to the conclusion that I have found another break off from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They call themselves “The Lord’s Witnesses,” and hold public meetings every Tuesday at 7:30 at the Churchill Hotel, Portman Square, London W1 (usually in Boardroom 1) and have even recently started to distribute 10,000 730-paged books containing all their information.
The leader/prophet is a man called Gordon Ritchie who believes he has been sanctified to unseal the book of Daniel and believes he has been divinely inspired to reveal the world will end on 14 Nissan 2008 (21 March 2008). Their web site along with the new glossy covered book appears to be the vehicle they intend to use to attract prospective converts.
They make the bold claim that
You do not have to be a Lord’s Witness to be saved by God, and you do not have to be a Lord’s Witness to survive Armageddon. We claim we have decoded the bible, and that Jesus has personally appointed us to be the last true Christian religion before Armageddon, we may be wrong but we present evidence for this in this site.
This claim alone deserves the term ‘cult’ to be given to this group. They have special revelation that no one else has. Beyond this, the way the Bible has been decoded may not lead a Christian to lose their salvation, but in all probability, it will divert them from the centrality of Jesus. For the same reason, those seeking Christ and salvation through this group may never find Him.
The site and the book open with an attempt to establish the idea that the Trinity is false. They use Isaac Newton’s disbelief in the Trinity to try to establish their point. This kind of false reasoning is called an argumentum ad verecundiam that is, the appeal to authority that uses admiration of a famous person to try to win support for an assertion.
For example, Albert Einstein was known for his genius in physics and mathematics. His assertions regarding space and time were something to take notice of, being an authority in that area. However, if he said, “Milky tea gives you green spots on your ankles,” shouldn’t we believe it? After all he is a genius. No we should not, because he was not a nutritionist or biochemist. Appealing to authority in an area they have no expertise does not validate whatever statements they have made. Isaac Newton was not a theologian or Biblical scholar by any means.
So what are the unique beliefs of the Lord’s Witnesses? Well most are same as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but where they differ, I have expanded on the subject.
They believe that they have decoded the Bible and have been personally appointed by Jesus to be the last true Christian religion before Armageddon. The world will come to an end on 21 March 2008. Which is, I suppose, a good place to start.
Many groups have set dates and ended up with egg on their face. Is this just another group that says they alone can understand the Bible? They go on to say “Mankind has no useful understanding of the Bible”. It would make anyone wonder why then they favour the New World Translation from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This translation that has been shown, by many Biblical scholars, to be more of a ‘mistranslation’. However using this the Lord’s Witnesses understanding of the Scriptures isn’t the plain reading of what it says on the page, but a “symbolic understanding”. Take for instance their symbolic understanding of the parable of the wicked slave (Luke 19 – Matthew 24)
Take up what you did not deposit = Remove the silver money of the Nethinim, the Watchtower bible decoders that Henschel was not given, that Jesus did not deposit with him. He was given a mina, that of Sardis, the remnant congregation.
Reap what you did not sow = Remove unsanctified Henschel.
Do business till I come = Jesus comes in 5th watch, both presences at the end of the legitimate business of FDS1 (Faithful and Discreet Slave which they believe have been replaced many times as they have become unfaithful) & FDS3 respectively.
Silver money = Spirit sanctified Christians, born again Christians.<
Silver money which the wicked slave did not put in bank = Nethinim, the Watchtower Bible decoders. They are spirit sanctified from heaven, born again. They were not put to work to earn interest, not revealed to the congregation, and not officially accepted.
Interest = Great Crowd will be Sanctified: interest on the sanctified capital of the Nethinim.
Bank = Baptism accepted publicly, and offered publicly.
Take the mina from him and Give it to him that has 10 minas = Give the Remnant to Peter, in heaven, acting for Jesus, who will put them in the bank of the 6th watch, FDS4. Henschel stole this mina when or before FDS3 was disfellowshipped, not from FDS4 but from FDS1. So it should be returned to them.
Lord he has 10 minas = This is a repetition of the slave having ten minas. It therefore has a greater meaning than his congregation increasing 10x (using the Repetition Principle of the code). This meaning is that this slave, Peter, has authority over all of the 10 minas given to the 10 slaves in the first place, i.e. Peter has authority over FDS1 & FDS3 from heaven.
Authority over 5 cities = Russell has authority over 5 watches of FDS3 from heaven.
Enemies of mine that did not want me to become king = Those sanctified citizens of FDS3 who do not accept FDS4.
Slaughter them before me = The second death. <
Those standing by = FDS4, ‘standing by’ means water baptised, ready to put the Mina of Henschel, the remnant, back into a saved state, by water baptising them, giving them back to Peter and Jesus.
The Trinity is false, same as Jehovah’s Witnesses, no change here.
There was a pre-adamic race.
That is, there was a race, which evolved outside of the Garden of Eden. It is thought that animal-natured beings evolved to men. But Adam was a special creation by Jehovah. There were two races before the fall, edenic and exedenic. Edenic were vegetarians, exedenic were carnivores. Adam was not fully a man, just about one step below homo sapiens.
Jesus’ body was inhabited by the archangel Michael, John the Baptist’s body was inhabited by the angel Gabriel.
Jesus was a man, born of a virgin but was not divine until he had passed a test of remaining sinless for 33 years. At this point the Archangel Michael entered his body. On the web page Understanding 1, we come across one of the most strangest lines seen:
“In fact dare we say it, but the way that God made Eve, out of Adam, may well represent the way in which he made Michael, the first angel, out of himself.”
Their exposition of Philippians 2:7 better explains their understanding of this doctrine:
He emptied himself, and took a slave’s form, and came to be in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7).
NWT He emptied angel Michael and left him asleep in heaven, and entered Jesus, taking a slave’s form, he took the form or body away from the non adamic human Jesus, who was a slave in this sense, at the baptism. There was an empty angel in heaven all through the ministry of Jesus, and there was a sleeping full angel containing the human Jesus’ spirit after his baptism which was his death. This is technically how God overcame the death of the Jesus, and resurrected him as an angel. It is the same with all humans, we all have an empty angel throughout our judicial lives (after we have been born again), and a sleeping angel at our deaths.
In general they believe you have two souls. One is human, the other is a sleeping angel that is awoken when you are born again
God may have self created himself in some way
God: The Creator, the Father & Jesus his created firstborn son God created the heavens and the earth. So he created time and space and all the angels and all the humans. His name, Jehovah, means: ‘He who causes to become’ or ‘creator’. Since he created time, it is difficult to understand anything about the ‘beginning’ of God. There may not have been such a beginning in his case, or he may have self created in some way. He himself says in the book of Revelation
Further on, we are told that the seventh creative day, when God rested from His creative works, started when Adam sinned (3993 BC Nisan 14). The last thing that God created or made for the pair of them was clothes. Adam and Eve were not ashamed to be naked before they sinned, when the rest of homo sapiens had been wearing clothes for thousands of years, because they had not interacted with them until then. One must conclude that Adam and Eve had not experienced sexual desire as we know it before they sinned. They had not had sex before they sinned. We know that Cain was conceived after their sin, in fact it is possible to determine from the symbolic code of the Bible that they first had sex on the 42nd day counting inclusively after Adam sinned.
Blood transfusions are only permissible with one’s own blood, the transfusion of another’s blood is fornication.
Pretty strong wording from the group, possibly a throwback from their Watchtower days. It is a slight change, but still not enough to save your life if you are losing blood rapidly and you haven’t stored the necessary amount.
Children under 20 cannot be sanctified:
Where do they get these ages and dates?
God’s law is not for the unbaptised:
I’m having problems finding any justification for this in the Scriptures.
You cannot be baptised before you are 16: A good principal to baptise when a person is old enough
Other beliefs that are listed and indeed ‘proved’ in the thousands of words written include,
Jesus was created from God the same way as Eve was from Adam’s side.
Pentecostals are brainwashed.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are now apostate.
God is married to the Holy Spirit who is female. <
Jared and Methuselah were sons of God like Jesus.
The Lord has given us the Scriptures – “Your word is truth” we read and again that it is “a light to our path.” But here we read,
“The bible is not a novel, it is a collection of short stories. Pitifully, as of this time, mankind has no useful understanding of the majority of these short stories, even in the literal meaning”
There is much, much more that can be said but I believe here is enough for us to realise that following this man’s ideas and ‘revelation’ will only lead to darkness not to the light of the knowledge of God.