Chapter 2. Teaching about God and the Holy Spirit
Who and what is God and does He stay on the Pleiades?
Titles and designations of God
Electric power plant
We might illustrate these facts by likening God to an electric power plant. It has a certain location on a certain street in a city. But its electricity is distributed over all the city, providing light and power. And so with Jehovah God. He has a location in the highest heavens, but his active force, his holy spirit, furnishes enlightenment, and its force can be felt everywhere, over all the universe. (The Watchtower February 15, 1981 p. 6).
As servants of the Great Theocrat, Jehovah, we do well to bear in mind the differences between democratic and theocratic procedures. (The Watchtower January 15, 2001 p. 13).
Jehovah is an accurate Timekeeper. (Awake! 08.05 1998 p. 20).
Therefore, they properly address God as “Father” because he will, in effect, be their Grandfather through the “Eternal Father,” Jesus Christ. (The Watchtower August 1, 1995 p. 13).
God is the senior. Jesus is the junior—in time, position, power, and knowledge. (Should You Believe in the Trinity? 1989 p. 16).
The accomplishment of all things foretold in the exact time-order served to affix a seal of confirmation to this vision and prophecy given to Daniel and it vindicated Jehovah God as a Prophet and Timekeeper (“This Means Everlasting Life” 1950 p. 91).
Some other designations and titles given to God
“Great Organizer” (The Watchtower March 15, 1985 p. 15);
“Evangelizer” (The Watchtower February 1, 1983 p. 16);
“Grammarian” (The Watchtower November 15, 1969 p. 683, 685);
“Dictator”: Jehovah is supreme, the Most High, and absolute Dictator over his organization (The Watchtower August 15, 1932 p. 243).
“President”: We cannot pay the tuition in this school, so we give our notes in good faith; the notes receive the personal endorsement of the Vice-president of Jehovah’s bank; then our notes pass as legal tender, because of Jesus’ assets (The Watchtower July 15, 1920 p. 220).
Is God omniscient?
Omniscience of God
He is also the Omniscient One (The Watchtower March 15, 1988 p. 11).
God does not know certain matters
Clearly, Jehovah did not know beforehand that the first couple would sin (The Watchtower January 1, 2011 p. 15).
Is God omnipresent?
God is omnipresent
The declaration of the Bible respecting the Father’s Power is that "the eyes of the Lord [the intelligence of Jehovah] are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15:3) This statement implies that there are things evil as well as good; things which God approves and things which he disapproves. This citation comes the nearest to a suggestion of God’s omnipresence contained in the Scriptures. (The Watchtower April 1, 1913 p. 5209, reprints).
God is not omnipresent
God is not omnipresent, everywhere at once, an all-pervading spirit (The Watchtower April 1, 1974 p. 220).
God and the Pleiades
Pleiades are the habitation of God
The face of the deep, of course, would be toward the Pleiades, which are understood to be the habitation of Jehovah. (Creation 1927 p. 100).
God does not live on the Pleiades
Some attribute striking qualities to these constellations or star groups and on the basis of such they then offer private interpretations of Job 38:31, 32 that amaze their hearers. Their views are not always sound from the standpoint of astronomy, and when viewed Scripturally they are completely without foundation. (...) Incidentally, Pleiades can no longer be considered the center of the universe and it would be unwise for us to try to fix God’s throne as being at a particular spot in the universe. Were we to think of the Pleiades as his throne we might improperly view with special veneration that cluster of stars (The Watchtower November 15, 1953 p. 703).
Trinity for dollars - taunting
But I will say that I have never found any text of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that mentions the Trinity, and if anybody has found one, it would be worth something to me to know where it is. I would give ten dollars for it right away. I cannot find any reference to the Trinity in the Bible. You will find it in the hymn books, and in all kinds of theological books, but you will never find it in the Bible. There is just one text of Scripture which implies it—it does not say it—in 1 John 5:7 (...) I fully believe in the Bible kind of a trinity. The Bible tells about the Father, and I believe that; the Bible tells about the Son, and I believe that; and the Bible tells about the Holy Spirit, and I believe that, too. I believe whatever the Bible says. And if anyone finds any text that tells about the Trinity, I will believe that too. (What Pastor Russell Said. His answer to hundreds of questions 1917 p. 716).
The teasing stopped when World War I broke out. Arthur regularly witnessed to customers in a store that he owned, where he displayed Bible literature prominently in the window. The window also displayed a sign that offered 100 pounds to anyone who could prove the Trinity—an unscriptural doctrine that Arthur firmly rejected. No one ever collected the money. (The Watchtower June 1, 2015 p. 12).
The Trinity as a three-headed God - taunting
The leaders of Babylon the Great have represented God as a three-headed trinitarian monstrosity, an eternal-torment fiend, and have led the peoples of the earth to worship other false gods (The Watchtower July 1, 1965 p. 405).
When was the doctrine of the Trinity formed?
The second century
The vast majority of the churches of Christendom still teach such doctrines as immortal soul, Trinity and others, which filtered into apostate Christianity from the second century C.E. from Greek philosophy. (The Watchtower May 15, 1978 p. 27).
The third century
But by the third century, certain influential clerics, enamored of the trinitarian teaching of pagan Greek philosopher Plato, began recasting God to fit the Trinitarian formula (The Watchtower June 1, 2000 p. 5).
The fourth century
A “Holy Trinity” of three Gods in one God is also worshiped by most Catholic and Protestant sects, this having first been adopted as Catholic doctrine at the Nicene Council of A.D. 325. (The Watchtower February 15, 1961 p. 104).
The fifth century and later centuries
Thus the Trinity was unknown to early churchmen. Actually it was some 400 years or more after the death of Christ that the concept of ‘three persons in one God’ was finally formulated by men and introduced into the church (The Watchtower July 15, 1969 p. 421).
It was only in later centuries that the Trinity was formulated into set creeds (Should You Believe in the Trinity? 1989 p. 8).
Manipulation of other authors’ texts
Omission of the following words about the term Trinity: “The term may, of course, have been in use before his time”.
The Catholic Encyclopedia also comments: “In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word τρίας [tri′as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian.” (Should You Believe in the Trinity? 1989 p. 5).
The same quotation in an earlier publication, including the later omitted sentence:
This provoked religious controversy that finally resulted in interference by the Roman Empire itself. Since it is considered so important a doctrine in Christendom, we quote The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 15: (...) In scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word τριας (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180. He speaks of “the Trinity of God [the Father], His Word and His Wisdom” (“Ad Autolycum”, II, 15, P.G., VI, 1078). The term may, of course, have been in use before his time. Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian (“De pudicitia”, c. xxi, P. G., II, 1026). In the next century the word is in general use.—Page 47. (The Watchtower May 1, 1966 p. 278).
The Holy Spirit
The personality of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit a person
I am beginning to think Age-to-come people, and many others among pre-millennialists, do not believe in anything of a spiritual nature, or have the most remote comprehention of things of that order; either that the saint is raised "a spiritual body," or in the existence of spiritual beings, or even of the Holy Spirit itself. I know one class of age-to-come believers, the Christadelphians, do not. The Holy Spirit, say they, is but a principle, or element of power, and not an intelligence. It is nothing more nor less than electricity;” is taught in one of their books, now before me. (The Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World 1877 pp. 57-58).
The Holy Spirit is not a person, but can be likened to electricity
THE Bible’s use of “holy spirit” indicates that it is a controlled force that Jehovah God uses to accomplish a variety of his purposes. To a certain extent, it can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a great variety of operations. (Should You Believe in the Trinity? 1989 p. 20).
Changing the Holy Spirit from the “power” to “active force”
The Holy Spirit – power
The holy spirit, which is the invisible power of Almighty God... (Children 1941 p. 37).
The Holy Spirit – active force
Holy Spirit (...) not power (Watch Tower Publications Index 1986-1990, 1992 p. 229).
Under the direction of God’s spirit, or active force, “Jesus’ followers would ultimately serve as witnesses in all the earth (“Bearing Thorough Witness” About God’s Kingdom 2009 p. 219).
Is the Holy Spirit the “personality”?
We acknowledge that the personality of the Holy Spirit is the Father and the Son; that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, and is manifested in all who receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit and thereby become sons of God. (John 1:12; 1 Pet 1:3.) (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 p. 57).
The current view
Check the Bible carefully, and you will find further evidence that the holy spirit is not a personality but an active force that can fill people, impel them, cause them to be aglow, and be poured out upon them. (The Watchtower October 15, 1993 p. 30).
Did the Watchtower Society glorify the Holy Spirit?
God permits these reproaches for the purpose of testing and preparing his children and also as a proof to encourage them that they are his: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings: that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." — 1 Pet. 4:12-14. (Government 1928 p. 155).
The Watchtower November 15, 1924 p. 342;
The Watchtower April 15, 1928 p. 120;
The Watchtower May 1, 1930 p. 138;
The Watchtower November 1, 1934 p. 333;
The Watchtower March 1, 1938 p. 74;
The Watchtower May 15, 1943 p. 151.
Manipulation of other authors’ texts
A text quoted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization:
The New Catholic Encyclopedia admits: “The majority of N[ew] T[estament] texts reveal God’s spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God.” (1967, Vol. XIII, p. 575) (Reasoning From the Scriptures 1989 p. 407).
The above words from Jehovah’s Witnesses publication are found in such a context which speaks about the personality of the Holy Spirit:
Although the NT concepts of the Spirit of God are largely a continuation of those of the OT, in the NT, there is a gradual revelation that the Spirit of God is a person. The majority of N[ew] T[estament] texts reveal God’s spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God. (...) The only passage in the Synoptic Gospels that clearly speaks of the person of the Holy Spirit is the Trinitarian formula in Mt 28.19. (...) Consequently, it is evident that St. John thought of the Holy Spirit as a Person, who is distinct from the Father and the Son, and who, with the glorified Son and the Father, is present and active in the faithful (14.16; 15.26; 16.7). (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1965, Vol. 13, p. 576, Spirit of God).
Pouring out of God’s spirit in the future
But in God's due time he will pour out his spirit upon all mankind, so that all can understand his wonderful plan.–Joel 2:28,29. (The Harp of God 1921, 1927 pp. 189-190).
Pouring out of God’s spirit in 1918
This prophecy shows a gushing forth or pouring out of God's spirit upon a class for a specific purpose. It had a miniature fulfilment at Pentecost and is completely fulfilled after the Lord comes to his temple in 1918. (Prophecy 1929 p. 194).
Pouring out of God’s spirit in 1922
The evidence is strong that the outpouring of the holy spirit according to the prophecy took place in 1922. (Acts 2:18; Joel 2: 28, 29) (Light 1930, Vol. 2, p. 230).
Pouring out of God’s spirit in 1914
However, to make the parallel complete regarding all features, has there likewise been a pouring out of the holy spirit of anointing upon “every sort of flesh” in our “last days”? (Acts 2:16-19) We have no hesitancy in saying that there has been a marked fulfillment of Joel 2:28, 29 since the world-shaking year of 1914 (...) So, during these “last days” since the war-torn year of 1914 holy spirit has been poured out in a specially marked manner to prove that Jehovah is a faithful Time-Keeper and an infallible Prophet. (The Watchtower October 1, 1980 pp. 29-30).
Pouring out of God’s spirit in 1919
Starting in 1919, Jehovah began to pour out his spirit on his people in a way that called to mind Pentecost 33 C.E. (The Watchtower May 1, 1998 p. 14).