[19] Making Mistakes, False Prophets and Papal Infallibility

22 When the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah, and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak (Deuteronomy 18).

At this point we should say that every bible researcher makes mistakes. We are interpreters of inspired utterances, but our interpretations are not themselves inspired. So we do not speak in the name of Jehovah, we attempt to understand the words of others who have spoken in his name. If on the other hand we said, as many false religions have, that the angel Gabriel came to Gordon in a dream and told him that there were 3 master salvation covenants, and that is why we have the 3 salvation covenant understanding, then we would have claimed to be speaking in the name of Jehovah, and so if this interpretation is incorrect, then we would be a false prophet.

Let us be blunt about this. God inspired the prophets to write the bible, for imperfect humans to grapple with. He did not encode the scriptures so that he himself could decode them. We have to do that, and since we are imperfect, we will make a whole load of mistakes. The instructions in Titus for appointing overseers are instructions made by Holy Spirit, and made for imperfect humans. They are not instructions made by the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit itself. The bible was not written for the Holy Spirit, it was written by the Holy Spirit.

Humans appoint elders, using the guidelines of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, humans interpret scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit plainly does not do it for us, since the guidelines are written not for the holy spirit but for us.

God has never directly told Gordon, or Tony, or Massoud or Lee, or Dave or Jeff or any other LW, what any scripture means. The LWs are actually the church of 1,000 corrected mistakes. That is why our understandings are so good. If we believed in papal infallibility or in direct revelation, then we would imagine ourselves to be incapable of making any mistakes, and therefore we would not be able to do any bible research, which by definition is a step into the unknown and is therefore a catalogue of mistakes. In fact the sick doctrine of direct revelation is what has held most churches back in understanding of the bible and kept them in dense darkness for the last 2,000 years. Let us be candid. There is no direct revelation of church doctrine or of prophecy today. All the inspired utterances that God's wants mankind to hear are in the holy book. No so-called direct revelation today is from God. God can help us in many ways today (including inspired dreams and visions) but direct revelation went out with the death of the last person touched by the hands of an apostle, which was the end of the passing on of the physical gifts of the spirit - see I22.

Here is some copy correspondence between a reader of www.truebiblecode.com and Gordon, and an email to the church which merit their own section.

Question From: Paul
To: helpdesk@lordswitnesses.com 
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 10:01 PM
Subject: Credibility

You have lost all credibility by your numerous false prophecies in recent months. I really do not believe there will be a nuclear attack on the UN in October, just as there was no such attack in the previous months. I am surprised that you still continue to make these wild forecasts despite all the previous mistakes. You are now forecasting the Kingdom of God to arrive in 2008. I am absolutely certain you will be proved wrong again. I admire your amazing hard work and diligence but I am also amazed why you cannot see there is something very wrong with all of your interpretations. It is such a waste of your time and effort. However if your are proved right and the UN is attacked with nuclear weapons in October on the date you predict I will be the first to apologise. 

Edited Answer: Hi Paul,

Thanks for you email. It is the last line of it that moved me to respond.

I run a software company, and we are in a JV with a hardware company. I never yet produced a piece of complex software or hardware that worked first time. Everyone in the technological world accepts that complicated detailed creative work is iterative. Our software has had around 950 builds to get it to its present form. Windows NT had over 1400 builds before Service Pack 1 came out. Our software has had hundreds of bugs removed from it. Our hardware is now 2 years overdue, and has had dozens of defects removed from it. But I last week got a production unit in the office which performs as it should. Both physical products are now pretty much perfect. They are perfect because we did not give up at mistake number 200 in the case of the software, or at mistake number 20 in the case of the hardware.

No one suggested that we should give up writing software or stop making the world's fastest commercial hard disk at any time over the last 5 years because we had made a large number of mistakes. But everyone suggests, after a few mistakes with bible coding, that we should give up because we are false prophets with no credibility!

Why is that?

It is due to a lie put forward by the Catholic church and adopted by many protestant churches. The lie of Papal Infallibility.

This lie was created to camouflage the fact that the Catholic church does not understand God's text book. Anyone who argued with the Pope, was condemned as a heretic and was therefore killed, because the Pope could not be wrong. Very simple, but totally destructive to bible research obviously. Sadly, today, all Christians have subliminally accepted this lie propounded by incompetent priests who have failed to understand the scriptures for 1900 years, and it appears to be re-enforced by the scripture in Deuteronomy that describes a false prophet as a prophet who gets it wrong. 

20 However, the prophet who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.
21 And in case you should say in your heart: How shall we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken?
22 when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak. With presumptuousness the prophet spoke it. You must not get frightened at him (Deuteronomy 18).

Deuteronomy was referring to an inspired prophet. No bible interpreter is an inspired prophet. I am not an inspired prophet. I am an uninspired interpreter of inspired prophecy. So being human, I make mistakes. Not that they are all my mistakes, we have several other researchers in this church and guess what - we all make mistakes, because we are all human. 

Being a Christian is not about claiming perfect behaviour, it is about repentance from incorrect behaviour. Likewise running a Christian church is not about claiming perfect church doctrine. It is about repentance from incorrect doctrine. Now God will give this church the date of the first terrorist nuke (if indeed it is encoded in the scriptures), not because we claim to be infallible, but because we repent from our mistakes and yet keep our faith that God is cleverer than us and so he has not written a history book with no dates in it. He has written a history book with dates in it that we are too stupid to see.

The only way man makes any advance in scientific or in technical understanding is iterative. No one jumps to the finish line, they all get there one step at a time. Why would it be any different with the most academic text book ever written? 

Why do we readily accept that a book written by Newton or Einstein or Hawkins or by any assistant professor with a Doctorate is 'Academic'. But the book written by the father of all of their minds is not 'academic'?

If only we could get faithful people to wake up and to treat the bible like a bog standard academic text written by a loving righteous genius, we would know precisely how to run a church and we would know the future of this system and the next and the ones after that in great detail.

But no, everyone throws away their reason when they look at God's book, because that is what the false churches want them to do. In that way the charlatan priests preserve their very lucrative monopoly and are not exposed as having no more idea of what God is talking about than their congregation has. My father used to call such people the 'mediocre mafia'. They build a wall around their incompetence. It does not only happen in churches. 

I would suggest that you are not in a position to assess our work in the way I and others in the church who have been doing this research for years can. We know we are onto something. We know that the bible is in a brilliantly written grammatical code, we have easily enough data to confirm that. 

So we will continue with this code until we either win the contest and predict the first birth pang of the Kingdom or until the whole building collapses around our heads when we find a fundamental irreconcilable flaw in our understandings. So far, whenever it has looked like we might be screwed, we have seen the bug, fixed it, and gained an improved understanding. That is not what happens when the foundation is wrong. We have not yet come across an unfixable bug. That means the basic concept is correct in my experience. But in faith, our reasoning is that a book with such a high moral understanding cannot be dishonest and cannot lead sincere bible researchers on wild goose chases. The holy spirit must guide sincere bible researchers, for Jesus made promises in that regard, that if we seek then we should find. So we will get something good out of all this!

Blessings and thanks for your concern

Gordon Ritchie
Lords' Witnesses

Email to the church on November 14th 2006...

Greetings dearest children of love,

It is lovely to see people arguing about the true meaning of the scriptures. And even more lovely to see Claire the youngest LW helping to keep the focus correct. If only the Pope and the Governing Body of the JWs would debate with us in such an open manner. The bible would have been decoded a long time ago. And actually FDS1 would still be the true church!

We must be like bears with no claws, we can hug each other but not damage each other. We must interact and debate and discuss, but the aim is to find the truth nothing else. 

Please allow me to return to the two scriptures cited by Alan and Bill.

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18).

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation 
21 for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake [past tense] as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1),

There were only two types of inspired prophets in old time: True and False.

But we are no longer in old time. We need a more grown up definition for new times. In fact today prophecy does indeed come by the will of man. However there are still only two types of interpretational prophets in this presence. Today all prophets prophesy not as a result of direct inspiration but as a result of imperfect interpretation of direct inspiration. So the two types today are: Those who admit their fallibility and correct their inevitable mistakes and those who claim to be infallible and therefore fail to correct their doctrine and therefore become fossilized and dead!

In modern times the supposedly infallible prophet is the false prophet (because he stops seeking at his first declaration and therefore does not find) and the fallible repentant prophet is the true prophet (because he continues to seek after his first often mistaken declaration and therefore does find).

No interpretation is given by direct inspiration. You have to work it our for yourself, but you are not by yourself during your endeavours, if you sincerely seek in faith, for we have the promise that we shall find. The bible was not written for the perfect holy spirit to interpret. It was written by the perfect holy spirit and for imperfect mankind to interpret. But the holy spirit does help us within the limits God has set for her.

How many times did the apostles get the wrong end of the stick? Did these interpretational mistakes of theirs make them false prophets? If so then the first Christian church was finished before it started.

So let me state for the record I do speak in Jesus' name, I speak with his authority. I have authority to baptise and to disfellowship and what I bind down here is bound up there. In other words the angels must work around my mistakes (now there is a big job!) That is the authority that God gives to his imperfect children. But I do not speak under inspiration and I do not interpret by inspiration. No one does anymore. Although I think one can get inspired dreams. God can directly inspire one's subconscious today, but not one's conscious mind - I believe.

I do not speak inspired words on God's behalf. That stopped with the end of the physical gifts of the spirit after the last one died who had been touched by the hands of an apostle [Edited].