These are questions you need to ask yourself since you are involved as one of 7 million Jehovah's Witnesses scattered in better than 100,000 congregations earth wide. As you recall, the prophet Daniel found himself in a similar situation, though it was no fault of his own. He was himself deported to Babylon to live as a slave for the 'sins' of the nation's leaders. What would he do in such a difficult situation? Let's notice his attitude and see if it might be of some assistance to us today.
DANIEL 9:1-11 Verse by Verse Commentary
"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus of the seed of the Medes, who had been made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reigning I myself, Daniel, discerned by the books the number of the years concerning which the word of Jehovah had occurred to Jeremiah the prophet, for fulfilling the devastations of Jerusalem, [namely,] seventy years. And I proceeded to set my face to Jehovah the [true] God, the great One and the fear-inspiring One, keeping the covenant and the loving-kindness to those loving him and to those keeping his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled; and there has been a turning aside from your commandments and from your judicial decisions."
Daniel studiously discerned the real plight of God's people by "books" or writings of Jeremiah. Similarly, we must return to the Bible for true guidance in these critical times. It is quite clear that Jehovah's people have gotten away from the Bible and His Law. Therefore, how many years have you been "in the truth," as Jehovah's Witnesses say, 5, 10, 20 years? Then ask yourself one important question:
Have you personally read the Bible through, in its entirety? Or have you been totally preoccupied with reading your latest Watchtower, Awake!, Yearbook, Revelation - Grand Climax book, Examining the Scriptures Daily (with only one verse under consideration per day), your Kingdom Ministry, Theocratic School Guidebook, and All Scriptures Inspired book, etc., etc., etc.? Yes, are you are busy, busy, busy reading these - and then, if you have time for it, and only then, will you sit down and read the Bible, God's Word? In other words, does your Bible reading come after you have read all your Watch Tower Society publications? Is that the way you acquaint yourself with the Word of God - yes, by reading more Watchtower magazines, books, etc. and leaving His Word to whatever time you have left? If you are doing this, then why does the Bible, God's Word, plainly say to all of His people: 'read God's Word daily, in an undertone?' Have you therefore, made God's Word, your principle and primary textbook, before all other books and publications? Have you??? - See Ecclesiastes 12:12; Joshua 1:8; Acts 17:11.
Furthermore, do you, as one of Jehovah's witnesses, find yourself more conversant about what is in the latest Watchtower or Awake! magazine than what is in the Bible? And, are your children reading the book My Book of Bible Stories as a short-cut to reading the Bible itself? And parents, are your children more familiar with the contents of the Bible than you, because of your lack of reading it either? In other words, are you 'in the dark' because you have 'left Jehovah' by not acquainting yourself with His Law? Think about it! We have to admit that we ourselves are to blame, because any blame or delinquency in this matter of failing to read the Bible would have to be on our part - right? Think about it. - See Psalms 119:97-100.
As you may have already noticed, Daniel himself said the words, "WE (including himself) HAVE SINNED," not because he was directly guilty of any wrong. (See Daniel 9:5, 11.) No, but we realize the prophet said these words because he knew he SHARED IN community guilt (or "guilt by association") by being a part of the Jewish nation. Yes, the prophet Daniel could see the BIG PICTURE -- yes, Daniel actually believed in "Community Guilt" as taught in God's Holy Word, which explains why he said:
"And ALL THOSE OF ISRAEL have overstepped your law, and there has been a turning aside by not obeying your voice, so that you poured out upon us the curse and the sworn oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of the true God, for WE HAVE SINNED against Him." -- Daniel 9:11
Did you notice above (as shown in verse 5 also), Daniel makes the clear admission that "all those of Israel" had to share in the sins of their leadership. Yes, Daniel 9:8-10 makes clear the leadership was involved in this great sinning of the nation, which brought great punishment upon the entire nation. (See also Leviticus 4:3.) Therefore, Daniel even says that he himself is to be included in this "sinning," as he says: "...WE have sinned."
For additional information on "Community Guilt" from the perspective of Revelation 18:4, please see the following link: "Jehovah's Witnesses and "Community Guilt" -- Revelation 18:4
Therefore, today, all Jehovah's witnesses themselves likewise share in community guilt either by direct contribution or indirect moral support and approval, and therefore must ask for forgiveness concerning this horrible, abhorrent thing, namely the UN-NGO Secret Sin of the Governing Body. Which means, in our prayers, we should confess our sin as a nation or international brotherhood that has transgressed Jehovah's law. We must pray also for the willing repentance and "escape" of others still enslaved to this apostate-headed organization. - See Isaiah 2:5, 6; 10:6.
"And we have not listened to your servants the prophets, who have spoken in your name to our kings, our princes and our forefathers and to all the people of the land."
God's people have not listened to his prophetic word. As the Bible states in its record for our times, the Israelite leaders did not listen to the prophets. Daniel humbly acknowledges this fact. Can we acknowledge that those taking the lead among us have done the same? Someone today is pointing out the wrongs committed by God's people. These ones have been appointed by Jehovah to do this very important work! ... Will we display true humility, acknowledge our sin before Jehovah, and convert or 'turn around so as to have our sins blotted out?' Each one must search himself. - See 1 Corinthians 10:11; Acts 3:19.
Verses 7 & 8:
"To you, O Jehovah, there belongs the righteousness, but to us the shame of face as at this day, to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to all those of Israel, those nearby and those far away in all the lands to which you dispersed them because of their unfaithfulness with which they acted against you. O Jehovah, to us belongs the shame of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our forefathers, because we have sinned against you."
We should be ashamed for what has been done. Great reproach has been brought upon Jehovah's name. Unfaithfulness involves the leaders and the people. Are we ashamed? Are we disturbed about this matter of, namely, the secret sin of the Governing Body the UN-NGO situation? We should be...yes, we should all feel MOST "humiliated," as bible prophecy indicates! -- See Ezekiel 43:10, 11.
"To Jehovah our God belong the mercies and the acts of forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him. And we have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God by walking in his laws that he set before us by the hand of his servants the prophets. And all those of Israel have overstepped your law, and there has been a turning aside by not obeying your voice, so that you poured out upon us the curse and the sworn oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of the [true] God, for we have sinned against Him."
When Israel transgressed the Mosaic Law, they brought "curses" or "sworn oaths" upon themselves. Transgression of the new covenant brings even more severe consequences. - Please compare Deuteronomy chapter 28 with Hebrews 10:28-31.
The punishment for violation of the Mosaic Law Covenant is death...everlasting death, everlasting death if the Israelite proved to be incorrigibly wicked. (See Matthew 3:12) Similarly, the punishment for violation of the New Law Covenant is death in Gehenna "Lake of Fire - Second Death - Everlasting Destruction", where no resurrection is possible. Therefore, all Christians (members of the Christian covenant) then must consider these factors very carefully. (1 Corinthians 10:14; James 4:4) We must tolerate no rivalry toward Jehovah's worship! (Numbers 25:6-13) He is a God exacting EXCLUSIVE DEVOTION. As Exodus 34:14 says: "For you must not prostrate yourself to another god, because Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, he is a jealous God." This includes the sharing of worship with even His beloved son Jesus. (Isaiah 42:8) Most certainly it would also include the sharing of the UN-NGO Sin with the leading members of the organization, the Governing Body, and associates of the Watch Tower Society.
It might seem incredible - too incredible - that Jehovah's Witnesses could be guilty of 'sharing in the sins' of the Governing Body and the Watch Tower Society, because, if this is true, it would certainly cause Jehovah to 'abandon' His people. (John 8:29) However, if we were to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, what overall sin did Satan repeatedly thrust before God's people? Wasn't it idolatry? Isn't this the whole aim of Satan the Devil - even going to the point of attempting to stumble Jesus with this grievous transgression? Thus, Jehovah's Witnesses are not immune to Satan's attacks in the areas of idolatry and creature worship...are they? - Luke 4:6-8.
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES IN APOSTASY! Today God's Name People are faced with a very difficult situation, similar to the one faced by ancient Israel of times past. Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses of our modern times are faced with National Apostasy! And, as we recall in times of National Apostasy of the past in Ancient Israel, Jehovah dutifully would without a doubt, "ABANDON" the House of Israel if they proved to be totally unrepentant about this grave sin when brought to their attention. Special National Atonement was necessary in all such cases. -- See Leviticus 4:1-21; Matthew 23:38.
In fact, in all such cases, God's Word indicates that if the nation of Israel would not repent of its wicked ways, JEHOVAH GOD HIMSELF, WOULD BE MOVED TO GO TO THE WILDERNESS, and distance Himself, far away from His Name People and the land of His people!
Indeed, Deuteronomy 23:14 clearly says,
"For Jehovah your God is walking about WITHIN YOUR CAMP to deliver you and to abandon your enemies to you; and your camp must prove to be holy, that he may see nothing indecent in you and certainly turn away from accompanying you."
Also, Numbers 35:34 says for our benefit,
"And you must not defile the land in which you are dwelling, in the midst of which I am residing; for I Jehovah am residing in the midst of the sons of Israel."
And so for these reasons stated above, Jehovah Himself, John the Baptist, as well as all repentant members of the nation of Israel, would have to LEAVE THE "APOSTATE NATION" OF ISRAEL and humbly be willing to go out into the "wilderness," where appropriately they could receive Divine Instruction from Jehovah, in the wilderness, where God would now reside, far away from His Name People. (John 1:6; Isaiah 10:6) Therefore, anyone from the nation of Israel, who was truly repentant, and who wished to "inquire of Jehovah" from that point on, must be willing to GO TO THE WILDERNESS, since God Himself had left the land, and would no longer agree to be a "resident" or "dweller" in this now "polluted," apostate land of God's Name People. This situation became advisable during the difficult times of the prophet "Elijah" as well as the prophet "John the Baptist," who both took up residence in the "wilderness," away from God's Name People for a specific period of time. -- See 1 Kings 17:2-6; 1 Kings 19:4, 15; Matthew 3:1-6
Indeed, Ezekiel 20:35-38 prophetically speaks of God's future "judgment" or discipline upon His Name People because of gross wickedness, and their future trek to the "wilderness," where Godly "Judgment" would be carried out upon them. The prophet Ezekiel was told in ancient times about our day,
"And I WILL BRING YOU INTO THE WILDERNESS OF THE PEOPLES and put myself on judgment with you there face to face. Just as I put myself on judgment with your forefathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I shall put myself on judgment with you, is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. And I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will clean out from you the revolters and the transgressors against me, for out of the land of their alien residence I shall bring them forth, but onto the soil of Israel they will not come; and you people will have to know that I am Jehovah."
Therefore, simply put, God's Name People of our time, Jehovah's Witnesses, have indeed, "polluted" God's land by wickedly engaging in idolatry, injustice and bloodshed, and thus, are presently in line for the Godly Judgment upon themselves, as shown above. -- Jeremiah 7:4, 8-15
In this regard, we remember Jesus himself knew Jehovah would inevitably, "abandon" apostate Jerusalem because of its wickedness, and so never personally risked the chance of being considered unfaithful to Jehovah and thus being himself "abandoned" by God. (John 8:29) Thus we can say, Jesus himself, set the example for us today, to "turn away from the ungodly," when he directed his disciples to LEAVE APOSTATE JERUSALEM. -- See Matthew 23:38; Hebrews 13:13, 14; 2 Timothy 3:5; Revelation 3:12
Ezekiel accurately predicts the true situation facing us today. It predicts that God's people would be guilty of the following as mentioned at Ezekiel 43:7-9:
"And He went on to say to me:
"Son of man, [this is] the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I shall reside in the midst of the sons of Israel to time indefinite; and no more will they, the house of Israel, defile my holy name, they and their kings, by their fornication and by the carcasses of their kings at their death, by their putting their threshold with my threshold and their doorpost beside my doorpost, with the wall between me and them. And they defiled my holy name by their detestable things that they did, so that I went exterminating them in my anger. Now let them remove their fornication and the carcasses of their kings far from me, and I shall certainly reside in the midst of them to time indefinite."
Yes, have we been guilty of putting the Watch Tower Society's "doorpost" and "threshold" alongside Jehovah's "doorpost" or "threshold" in His temple? Have we? Have we willingly placed the Watch Tower Society's publications and their leading men on equal footing with Jehovah's position as God -- when we excuse them of this heinous crime, namely the UN-NGO Secret Liaison of the years of 1991 thru 2001? Yes, have we literally made a "god" out of the Governing Body...yes, willingly making the Governing Body become, yes, the infamous "man of lawlessness"? Think about it. - See 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.
Donald C. Burney