SHORT CHRISTIAN READINGS SELECTED FOR FORMER JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
A Message of Salvation
By Natalie Pappas
When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit he became separated from God. Every since then all his descendants have also been separated from God. We are all born of Adam's seed. Because we are all from Adam, we all inherited that sin nature of Adam's. Not only did we inherit that sin nature from Adam, but God saw us with Adam when he disobyed, eating of the forbidden fruit (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
We can't help but sin, we are sinners. Not all of us sin in the same amount. Some people sin more than others. But everybody sins. This flaw is called a "sin nature." Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit. He did not come from Adam's seed. Thus Jesus was sinless. He did not inherit this flaw from Adam. He did not have this urge to sin as you and I do. In the Old Testament God forbid human sacrifices for the payment of sin. Instead he told the Israeli's to only sacrifice clean animals, such as lambs. Because every human being inherited a sin nature from Adam we can never pay God enough for our sins. Instead our sins pay us the price of death (Romans 6:23).
The lambs offered in sacrifice in the Old Testament all pointed forward to a time when Jesus, born without a sin nature, would pay for our sins in full. In the Old Testament people were saved the same way they are today: by grace (Habakkuk 2:4). God always is concerned about the internal, not the external. Jesus is our lamb.
There are some religious groups who will say that Jesus' death on the cross was not enough to pay for all of your sins. They will say you have to meet him halfway to prove yourself worthy to complete your salvation. This is in contrary to Scriptures. Jesus, before He died said, "It is finished" (John 19:30).
Ephesians 2:8-10 says: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Christ died on the cross. It was a horrible death. He paid this price for you in order to bring you to a right relationship so that you would no longer be separated from him. To make sure he was dead he was pierced in the side and blood and water ran out (John 19:31-37)
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken 46 years to build this temple and you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his body. (John 2:19-20) Romans 4:25 says Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
When we understand that we cannot earn God's love with our deeds and that we deserve death we are beginning to understand our need for a Savior. Jesus paid for our past sins, our present sins, and our future sins when he died on the cross. He was buried and he rose three days later (1 Cor 15:1-11). When we truly believe this in our hearts our entire lives change.
When we believe the gospel (1 Cor 15:1-11) we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). Christ lives in us (2 Cor 13:5) and we have a totally new outlook on life. Whereas before we thought nothing of certain sins, we are now repulsed by the thought of them.
We have a peace that surpasses understanding (Phil 4:7).
Because Christ is our peace (Eph 2:14) we have true fellowship with God. There are times when we will sin after being saved. This does not mean our salvation is lost. However, it does break our fellowship with our Father in heaven. 1st John 1:9 assure s us that by confessing our sin that fellowship is restored.
The Gospel of Grace reveals: Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-4)
Salvation is only through Christ (Acts 4:12)
Salvation is a gift of God's grace (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Salvation is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Salvation is attained by Christ (Romans 5:9)
Salvation is at the moment a sinner believes the gospel (Ephesians 1:13,14)
Salvation is secured by God (John 10:27-30)
Sins are expiated by Christ's blood (Romans 3:25)
Salvation glorifies God alone (Ephesians Chapter One)
The work of salvation is finished (John 19:30)
I pray you will consider carefully what has been presented. I also pray you will honestly consider the verses I have offered. Please write them down and read them in their context so you can be sure of the Truth of the Salvation which is in Christ Jesus. If you have not accepted the Lord Jesus as your Savior, please accept His free gift of salvation.
Salvation in Christ
By Natalie Pappas
To those outside the realm of Christianity, it is foolishness to believe God paid for the world's sins. Now, to the Christian's point of view, anyone wanting to stand in front of God to take responsiblity for one's own failings is the true definition of foolishness.
I'm all for accepting responsiblity for my failings in dealing with other people, but when I fail with other people, I also fail with God. Even if I go to a person and apologize for what I've done, even if that person forgives me, God doesn't. He won't forget or forgive -- not in this world or the hereafter. It is not 'mature' to die, stand in front of God, and tell Him that you're responsibile for your own sins. It is foolish. Why? Because He will take you up on your offer. He will hold you responsible. You will be in His debt for your sins -- forever. The Bible teaches that there will be no amount of time that you can serve for your sentence because there is no time in eternity. There is nothing you can do while serving your sentence to make up for your mistakes either. God simply won't accept any excuse or reason for our sins. Why? Because He offered the alternative already and it was refused.
If you die before accepting the only way out of your responsibility for your sins, you will pay for your mistakes in a state of existence that the Bible calls "torments" in a place called "The Lake of Fire". There is no stronger word for pain than this word "torments". It is a concept that you and I cannot grasp in this world. We can apprehend it, but not comprehend it.
If you are not dead yet, there IS a way out of eternal torments, but if you die without telling God that you need His payment for your sins, then you are lost forever, for as long as eternity lasts (which is forever).
Right now, while alive, is the time that to stand in front of God and take responsibility for our eternal souls. We need to tell Him our mistakes and failings and agree with Him that they are an offense to Him. He will forgive us our sins because He knows we can't help BUT sin. That's why He came to take our sins away.
That's the understanding and merciful God I love. He gives and gives as much as it takes for those who will believe that He paid for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world. But if we die and we haven't settled matters with Him. ... don't be foolish. Believe and be saved.
Bible Passages for futher reading: John chapters 1-3; Romans chapters 1-8; 1st Corinthians chapter 15; Galatians chapter 1; Ephesians chapters 1-3; 1st John chapter 1; Luke chapter 16; The entire book of Revelation.
Salvation: The Watchtower Way
By Natalie Pappas
A publication which clearly outlines the WTB&TS's plan for salvation through itself, (which consists of a mere organization controlled by admittedly fallible men), is a book called: "SURVIVAL INTO A NEW EARTH".
Countless times throughout this book the Watchtower points to itself as the way to salvation instead of toward Jesus. I found that "preach the messianic kingdom and salvation *might* be yours" is the repetitive theme throughout this book.
For example page 136 of this book says:
"In preparation for that time, Jehovah now provides training through his visible theocratic organization."
What time is this book referring to? Is it indeed pointing toward a future time as I've suggested in my first paragraph? Paragraph 15 on the same page defines "that time" as "the millennium", so one truly searching for God's truth (instead of what they would LIKE to be God's truth) would have to truthfully answer, "yes, that time certainly does point forward to a "messianic kingdom".
The study question at the bottom of page 136 -- 15(a) says:
"To be among those who will regain what Adam lost, what must we learn to do?"
In other words, how can one have salvation from this "system of things"? How can one obtain everlasting life? How can one live forever on Paradise earth? What are the requirements according to the WTB&TS?
The answer given in paragraph 15 is that:
"We must give evidence that we pay attention when God speaks."
So the answer logically becomes -- the way to Salvation is to listen when God speaks -- how does God speak?
Jehovah's Witnesses claim that God speaks through their fallible organization, thus, they point to the WTB&TS (even with all the mistakes in the ever-changing doctrine) for salvation rather than to Jesus Christ (who is perfect and sinless and whom God has already provided for our salvation).
Regarding obeying God through the WTB&TS organization, Paragraph 17 on page 137 of SURVIVAL INTO A NEW EARTH says:
"... it is not simply a desire to be among the survivors of the coming world destruction that motivates ... such obedience."
and paragraph 18 further states:
"An accurate understanding of his [God's] purposes and requirements, along with experiencing this only reasonable and sensible course .... is ... a way to show ... love for God."
One might tend to wonder why YHWH bothered to provide His Son Jesus Christ since we, according to this book SURVIVAL INTO A NEW EARTH, can apparently show love for God by telling others about His Kingdom and thus have salvation.
Jesus said: "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.... (John 8:42)
The way to show love for YHWY is to ask His Son to cleanse you of your sin, after all that's why our Father provided His Son. Showing love to YHWY does not consist of showing an outward love for an "accurate understanding of God's purposes and requirements" as laid out by an organization which has admitted to making mistakes when interpreting God's word.
What are His (YHWY's) purposes and requirements for salvation according to the SURVIVAL book?
Page 153, paragraph 3:
"Only people who put their full faith in God's Kingdom can look to the future with confidence.
How does one put their full faith in God's Kingdom according to the WTB&TS? Page 181, paragraph 13 says:
"To avoid losing out on the marvelous prospect of life in the "new earth" it is vital ..." not "... to turn ... aside from the vital work of bearing witness to the Messianic Kingdom."
In other words, to put full faith in God's Kingdom, one must not turn away from preaching that "Kingdom" of living forever on Paradise Earth. Jesus never seems to enter into this type of salvation; it is all human bought and paid for with the human sweat and human effort of going "door to door".
AND, in order to succeed in preaching that "Kingdom" of living forever on "Paradise Earth", one must be in the WTB&TS Organization. In paragraph 14, supporting this statement, says:
"... if we ... stay close to his [God's] organization, he will direct our steps."
Again, the organization points to itself as a source of salvation, instead of toward Jesus. However, Jesus points to himself as a source of salvation. Only those going through him can go to the Father. (John 14:6). Jesus truly is the way, the truth, and the life. Not the WTB&TS. Jesus promises:
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever -- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-21)
Jesus is the way to salvation. We *all* need a savior. Our sins keep us separated from YHWY. Once they are forgiven by Jesus then we can approach the Father and fellowship with Him.
The reason why Christians witness to JWs is given by the Bible:
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from ALL sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:5-10)
"... then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth; whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.'"
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:10)
Lastly, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:10-13:
"Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain that salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
"Here is a trustworthy saying: 'If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.'"
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
It Is Finished
By Natalie Pappas
"It is finished!" With these three words Christ gave up His spirit and died. There is no question of what He finished. He finished the work of salvation for all who will believe (John 3:16). Somehow, though, some who are religious refuse to believe that Christ finished the work of salvation and insist on doing things their way instead of God's way.
The first recorded person to do things his own way was Cain. Offering up veggies instead of the required animal probably wasn't his brightest idea. When the Lord rejected the offering, Cain did not repent. Instead he became outraged and murdered his brother, who followed the Lord's instructions. The result is that we can look back and observe that Abel believed God but Cain didn't.
We see later in Scripture that Abraham believed God and offered up Isaac, believing that the Lord would raise him from the dead (see Hebrews chapter 11 for verification). We also read that Jonah believed God when he refused to go to Nineveh and preach. He didn't even want that pagan city to be saved and traveled in the opposite direction. The Lord, through circumstances of His own design, brought Jonah to the place where He agreed to do what the Lord asked of him, even if reluctantly.
Christ, unlike Jonah, was a willing participant in the Father's plan of redemption. Unlike Cain, He did things His Father's way (John 13-17). Like Abraham believed that Isaac would be raised from the dead, Christ believed He would be raised from the dead (John chapter 2). Unlike Isaac, who inherited a sin nature from Adam, Christ was able to satisfy all of His Father' wrath.
However, even though Christ was extremely specific about finishing the work of salvation, there are some who seek to cause trouble. They do not believe that Christ really finished the work His Father gave Him to do. So they say that believing in Christ's payment for their sins is not enough. They say that Christ does His part and we do "our" part. They say that we are to show how grateful we are that Christ did what He did by doing certain things and that doing these things qualifies us for the chance of salvation (see the Live Forever book, last page). This is nothing more than a different gospel. It is not the same gospel Paul defined at 1st Corinthians 15:1-11. Salvation is not a prize that God holds out, but a gift (see Ephesians chapter two). Gifts aren't won, gifts are given.
There are rewards for believers (as shown in 1st Corinthians chapter three), but the reward is not salvation. Believer's rewards are like the whipped cream on the ice cream you already are eating.
If you don't think believing the gospel is enough and that you have to prove yourself worthy of salvation, then Galatians is the book for you. Will you take salvation as God offers, as a free gift? Or will you insist on attempting to win your salvation? Be like Abel, Abraham, and Jonah. Believe God and be saved.
The Watchtower Gospel -VS- the True Gospel
Are You Preaching the One and Only True Gospel?
By Natalie Pappas
The gospel that the Bible teaches is found at 1st Corinthians 15:1-11. There are three main points as to what a person believes about Jesus for salvation. 1) Jesus died for our sins. 2) Jesus' body was buried. 3) Jesus was resurrected (brought back to life).
By the end of this article you will understand that the WTB&TS does not preach even one of these three things about the Gospel. Are you willing to be a good berean (Acts 17) and read this article?
The Watchtower Gospel teaches:
Jesus only died for Adam's sin of eating the forbidden fruit
Jesus' body was buried and his soul died
Jesus' body wasn't resurrected from the dead.
Jesus returned invisibly to rule in 1914.
Jehovah's Witnesses are called to preach a 1000 year "Paradise Earth" which might earn them a chance to live on "Paradise Earth" where they might earn another chance of proving that they are worthy of Eternal life in that time known as "Eternity".
Sound a little complicated? It is! Does it sound like the simple Gospel the Apostle Paul preached? No!
If you believe the Watchtower Gospel, the first thing you must do is carefully read and study the first chapter of Galatians. Look up the nouns and verbs by using a Strong's Concordance. Read their definitions. Look at how Paul uses the same nouns and verbs in the same book and other Epistles he authored. This will be the first step in your learning how Scripture, and not the private interpretation employed by the WTB&TS, interprets Scripture.
Paul teaches very systematically that the gospel absolutely cannot be added to or changed in any way. Paul goes as far as to write that if he, himself, or even an angel of light tried to come back at a later time and change the gospel, that he, himself (and the angel of light) would be eternally (forever) condemned. Therefore, any mention of Jesus' invisible return in 1914 is automatically disqualified, as is the call to "preach a 1000 year "Paradise Earth" as part of the Gospel. However, I will go into detail later in this article about why the Watchtower teaching on getting a chance to earn salvation while living on "Paradise Earth" is completly and totally unBiblical.
First of all, the WTB&TS teaches that their Jesus (Michael the Archangel) came to die for Adam's sin of eating the forbidden fruit. They teach that if Jesus (the only-begotten Son--the 2nd person of the Trinity) had died for everyone's sins that it would have been too much, that such a huge payment would not have been needed. Don't believe me? Well, how about some documentation?
"The 'living soul' Adam, who forfeited life for mankind, was a perfect human. In exchange for what he lost, another human soul, equal to Adam, was needed, one who would offer his own perfect life as a sacrifice on behalf of mankind." (emphasis not in text) --The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, pg 51
I emphasized the "equal" in the above quote to get you to notice it. This is one reason a devoted JW does not want to believe Jesus is God; If Jesus was God, Jesus would have been more than Adam. So in the passages of Scripture where Christ's deity is clearly taught, the JW thinks to himself, "Wait a second, Christ can't be more than Adam, therefore Jesus must not be God! There must be another explanation for this passage", thus they accept whatever explanation the Watchtower gives about deity passages. To back up its teaching that Jesus is not God, the Watchtower elaborates:
"Jesus was born as a human, because it was a human life that was required. But he was born without the aid of a human father, so that he would be perfect as Adam was. God alone was the Father of the human Jesus, as he had also been Adam's Father." --The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, pg 51
How can this definition of Jesus, who was no more than Adam, take away the world's sin? Well, the fact is, that a Jesus of this type of definition absolutely can't. If this Jesus died, who would he take the place of: you? me? The little woman down the road? This Jesus can only take the place of one person and that person is Adam (except according to WTB&TS books Jesus' payment can't even do that!).
"Thus Jesus was fully qualified to offer his life as a 'corresponding ransom.'" --The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, pg 51 (emphasis in text)
How does the Watchtower define the word "corresponding ranson"? The Reasoning Book provides a helpful illustration (the text in the square brackets are my comments):
"A family head [Adam] may become a criminal and be sentenced to death. His children [the human race] may be left destitute, hopelessly in debt [we have an irresistable urge to sin and do all sin]. Perhaps their kindly grandfather [Jehovah God] intervenes on their behalf, making provision through a Son [Michael the Archangel] who is living with him [Jehovah God] to pay their debts [die for Adam's sin] and to open up for them the possibility of a new life. Of course, to benefit the children [the human race] must accept the arrangement, and the grandfather [Jehovah God] may reasonably require certain things as assurance that the children will not imitate the course of their father"
I do not see how the WTB&TS could be more clear: they blatantly teach that their Jesus/Michael did not die for your sins! They teach that Jesus/Michael died to give you the POSSIBILITY of a new life in "Paradise Earth" where you will have to be perfect in your own power to assure Jehovah God that you would never imitate Adam and willfully sin.
I don't mean to deliberately confuse manners, however, it must be pointed out again and documented that the WTB&TS actually teaches that Adam was not deserving of Salvation, therefore Jesus' payment for Adam's sin wasn't enough to save Adam. (comments in the square bracket are mine).
"Since one man's sin [that of Adam] had been responsible for causing the entire human family to be sinners, the shed blood of another perfect human [in effect, a second Adam], being of corresonding value, could balance the scales of justice. Because Adam was a willful sinner, he could not benefit; but because the penalty that all mankind was due to pay for sin wuld in this way be paid by someone else, Adam's offspring could be delivered....Jesus died on behalf of mankind." --The Reasoning Book, pg 308
Then the Reasoning Book continues that Jesus gave his life for "mankind", not for Adam. Has it dawned on you yet what this means? In case it still hasn't, the answer is this: Jesus died for the chance for all those of a good heart to have a second chance in "Paradise Earth" to show Jehovah God that we are good enough, sincere enough, perfect enough to earn eternal life in the future time period called, "Eternity".
Completely ignored is the passage in Hebrews 9:27 which says, "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement" There are no second chances, folks. It's either this time or no time to get right with God.
"Paradise Earth" as defined by the WTB&TS can be likened to a bunch of Unfallen Adam and Eves with the potential to sin, like Adam and Eve were. If we can somehow go 1000 years without sinning than the Watchtower God will then will FINALLY give us the ability to not sin and we will then all live in the time period called, "Eternity" (Eternity means forever).
Let me explain it again: In the Watchtower, if you accept "Jesus' payment for your sins", this simply means that you now have the chance to enter into the 1000 year "Paradise" Earth. During this 1000 years, if you can go the entire time period without disobeying God, then you will be granted eternal life. As you can easily see, it is not "freely given", this eternal life is earned through pure obedience and effort on your part.
There is a major problem with this view. The Bible doesn't teach it. We are either resurrected to life or to judgment according to Acts 24:15, "having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." The "righteous" are those who accept Jesus as their Savior, and the "wicked" are those who reject Jesus as their Savior.
The other problem with this view is that those who are resurrected to life, and not judgment, are resurrected "Immortal" and "Imperishable". This means that our resurrection bodies can never die (or be murdered) and that we are without the ability to sin. We're actually more than Adam or Eve were in the beginning! We won't undergo temptation! See 1st Corinthians chapter 15 for the Bible's definition of the resurrection body. The Bible does not agree with the WTB&TS' doctrine on the resurrection!
To further confuse things, the WTB&TS attempts to teach there are those wicked that are SO wicked that they will not even be resurrected. This statement appears in the "You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth", pg 171.
"This does not mean that everyone will receive a resurrection. The Bible shows that Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, will not. Because of his willful wickedness, Judas is called "the son of destruction." (John 17:12) He went to the symbolic Gehenna from which there is no resurrection. (Matthew 23:33. Persons who willfully do what is bad after knowing God's will may be sinning against his holy spirit. And God will not resurrect those who sin against his holy spirit. (Matthew 12:32; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26, 27)."
I have looked up every one of these verses, read the surrounding content, considered the historical content. All of these verses deal with judgment. However, none of them mention that some will not be resurrected!
In fact, in Heb 10:26-27 and Revelation 20:11-15 no one is thrown into the "fury of fire/lake of fire" until they are first "resurrected" and THEN judged. The steps the Bible teaches are these: 1) resurrection of the wicked (it doesn't say anything about those especially more wicked then others, it just says, "wicked"). 2) Judgment (now the Bible makes the distinction that the wicked are judged according to their deeds) 3) the casting of the resurrected wicked into the "fury of fire/lake of fire".
You would have to imagine that those who are especially wicked are not going to receive resurrection in order to believe it, because the Bible teaches that ALL will be resurrected.
When you imagine things in Scripture are there when they are not, it is called: "reading into the Scriptures" or eisegesis. It's a no no. We either take from Scripture what is already there (Exegesis) or we imagine things are there when they are not (Eisegesis). The WTB&TS has to employ the faulty method known as Eisegesis in order to come up with its doctrines.
The WTB&TS teaches eisegesis when it teaches that most people (even non-JWs) will get a second chance to earn salvation on Paradise Earth and that those who are especially evil will not be "renewed to repentance" during the 1000 "Paradise Earth".
However, Hebrews 10:27 definitely puts the "Judgment" before the being cast into "the fury of fire", not before. In order to be judged, one must first be resurrected. The Bible also puts the wicked as being resurrected at the *end* of the 1000 years, not before. (Revelations chapter 20).
If you accept the Watchtower's definition of who Jesus is, then contrary to what the Bible teaches, you do not believe that Jesus died for your sins. You have not believed the first thing you need to about Jesus Christ. If you have not believed the whole gospel, then you have believed none of it. You are still in your sins, you are still under condemnation by the Father of Jesus Christ! You will face a Christless eternity because you believed, that in your own strength, you could earn God's favor by what you have done here on this earth and on "Paradise Earth".
You have instead believed that you can earn your own savlation. This WTB&TS' teaching completely disagrees with Ephesians 2:8-10:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Below are just a sample of verses which disagree with the Watchtowers' teaching that Jesus death wasn't sufficent to grant you eternal life right now. I urge you to get your Bible and look these verse up. Read them in their surrounding context: a good rule of thumb is 20 verses before and 20 verses after.
John 3:16,36; 5:24,39; 10:28
Romans 4:8; 5:6,8,12; 6:23; 8:2
1 Cor 8:11; 15:3;
2 Cor 5:21
1 Th 5:10
1 Tim 1:16
1 Pet 3:18
1st John 1:2,7; 2:2,12,25; 5:11, 13
Did you notice through this entire article so far that I have repeatedly used the word "chance"? I did that for a specific reason. Nobody really knows for sure in the Watchtower Organization how much they will have to do in order to qualify for this "chance" to enter "Paradise Earth".
I find it heartbreaking that the WTB&TS teaches one can't be sure if they will earn the chance to earn another chance to enter "Eternity". The Bible refutes this teaching. It does give Christians the assurance about Eternal Life in 1st John chapter 5:13
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life
The newest WTB&TS' teaching book, which replaced, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth" is named, "The Knowledge Which Leads to Everlasting Life". I have a copy and am currently addressing some key issues which this newest book raises. One that I will be addressing is the teaching that the WTB&TS does say the only ones who have a GOOD chance of making it through the 1000 years are the ones who survived Armageddon. It writes on page 187, "Like the great crowd of Armageddon survivors, the resurrected ones will become fully alive when they reach sinless perfection." So, if you are "perfect" enough to make it through Armeggedon, then you will earn the chance to be sinless on "Paradise Earth". However, Eph 2:8-10 still applies to you. If you could be good enough to do this, then you sure would be good enough to be boasting! Ask yourself: Are you your workmanship or God's workmanship? What does the Bible say? Ask yourself: If you're boasting in yourself, isn't that pride? How can one be perfect and be prideful? Pause a moment and thing about that.
To defend the WTB&TS teaching that those who are resurrected can still sin, JWs point to Revelation 20:7-10. Because the JWs confuse themselves with the nation Israel they misinterprete this verse. The entire Old Testament is about God's promise to the nation of Israel about how their Messiah would come and rule over them as their king! The New Testament shows how Jesus, in his first coming, came to die for the sins of the world. Jesus, in his second coming, will be the reigning king! The nation, Israel, and those surviving Armegeddon will enter the millennium in their nature bodies still with the capability of sinnning. They do not have "resurrection" bodies. Therefore, they are capable of being misled when Satan is let out of the pit." Sorry, Jehovah's Witnesses, you are not Spiritual Israel!
This next section addresses the issue of soul sleep, which the WTB&TS promotes. The idea of this section is not to actually refute "soul sleep", there are plenty of other articles on this web-site which do this very well. However, when the Watchtower literature teaches that Jesus was "buried" they not only teach that he was "buried" but that his soul went to sleep (or died) for three days. There is not one Scriptures to support this belief. The Scripture at 1st Corinthians 15:1-11, verses 3, 4 says Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day. This verse does not teach soul sleep. It is only talking about Jesus' physical body: he died. His body was buried, and his body rose on the third day. The WTB&TS does not teach that Jesus' body was simply buried, they teach that his soul died along with his body. There is simply no scripture given by the Watchtower to promote this: it is just stated. I urge you to read the articles on this web-site which refute "soul-sleep". A key verse to consider until this is Matthew 10:28 where Jesus explained that one can kill the body without killing the soul!
Jesus Rose From The Dead
The WTB&TS teaches that Jesus' body wasn't resurrected, that it was "manifested". The word "Resurrection" means to "again stand up" "to wake" "to rouse". So what dies has to "again stand up". If Jesus' body died, then his body would have to "again stand up". Instead, the WTBT&S teach on page 68 of the book, "The Knowledge that Leads to Everlasting Life" that God "...resurrected him to life as a mighty spirit being. -- 1 Peter 3:18". We've already established that Jesus' soul did not die, therefore it would not need to "stand up again" "to wake" "to rouse". However, lets address 1st Peter 3:18: "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit" This verse does not teach that Jesus' soul came alive, but that the Holy Spirit resurrected his body. Please not that it also, teaches that Jesus died for everyone's sins, that no further sacrifice would ever have to be made to bring us to God.
The Bible is very clear that Jesus' resurrection would be a physical resurrection. One chapter you, as a JW, need to read is John chapter 2 where Jesus describes and defines his resurrected body as being physical and the disciples echoing this thought. The other chapter you need to consider is chapter 20 of John where Thomas inspects Jesus' hands and side. Was Jesus saying to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my [fake] hands? Read out your hand and put it into my [fake] side. Stop doubting and believe!" Doesn't that sound just a bit unrealistic? Jesus would have been lying if he had meant that his body wasn't real. He would have been actively deceiving Thomas and that wouldn't have been very truthful, would it?
If you are a JW it should be clear to you now that you have not believed the Gospel Paul the Apostle preached. You do not believe Jesus died for your sins, you do not believe he was simply buried, and you do not believe in His resurrection. Instead, you believe Jesus died for Adam's sin, that Jesus' soul died too, and that Jesus' spirit manifested itself in many different bodies after the third day. When you go door to door you preach a different Gospel and then add onto it as well! Scripture condemns you for this (Galatians 1:6-10). However, if you repent and believe the true Gospel, God will save you and make you His child.
An Appeal to Stuart to believe the Gospel
By Natalie Pappas
This article grew out of a discussion with a loyal JW from my Guestbook. I post it here with the firm expectation that it will benefit many.
Hi again Nat. I have just finished reading your comments on what I wrote. I must say you seem to hold to a mistaken impression about what the brothers think about themselves, nowhere have they said that you cannot get salvation without first going through them - they are under no such delusion (something that was pioneered by the Catholic church) but they like all of the rest of Jehovah's Witness believe that we have the "Truth".
It is best if I let the Organization speak for itself. If you read your 1981, August 1st edition of the Watchtower, around pages 16-17 you will find how important the organization is for your salvation. The Watchtower (11/15/81, pages 21) goes as far to state that you have to "come to Jehovah's organization for salvation". We are not to ever place our faith in a person other than Jesus Christ. Putting our faith in an organization, no matter how victorious they paint themselves is dangerous. Jesus is the one who is victorious!
Now this idea is far from unique after all you must believe the church that you attend has the Bible's truth or you wouldn't be there, correct?
This is a fair question and one I'm happy to answer. The church I attend teaches the Bible--at least up to this point. It is up to me to measure what they say against what the Bible teaches. This is the point made by Luke when he wrote Acts chapter 17. If my church goes apostate and teaches contrary to what the Bible teaches, I will find a church that does teach the Bible. I can read the Bible for myself, know what it is teaches (it only teaches one truth), and measure whether a church is good for fellowship or not. My salvation does not depend on my church being Biblical or not. My salvation rests in Christ alone, in grace alone, by faith alone.
The brothers don't teach a Gospel of works, as you errantly term it, they - again like the rest of us, teach a gospel of faith. That is to be acceptable to God and to his Christ you must first come to a deep personal relationship with them both by carefully studying God's word the Bible (John 3:17) this will then generate faith within you which God will strengthen when you pray earnestly to him in turn this faith will spur you on to emulate Jesus (whose Hebrew name is Yehoshua by the way meaning "Jehovah is Salvation" (just a little aside there)) by spreading the Gospel or "Good News" of the Kingdom of God's salvation to all that we meet just as he did when he was alive and just as his Apostles did when they were alive.
I can understand why you would ask this question. You confuse salvation with sanctification. Salvation is when your relationship with God is mended, by Christ who is our mediator, who died for our sins (note the plural), who rose bodily from the grave (if not bodily then there is no resurrection of the dead and we are still in our sins (note the plural). Santification happens after you have (presently) eternal life. 1st John 5:13 says we can KNOW we have eternal life. We do not have to wonder if we're being good enough to earn His love ... we, after salvation, will continually always have His grace. Even if we are faithless, He is faithful, (2nd Timothy 2:11-13 says: "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.".)
The whole of Scripture is profitable -- part of it is not reserved for one class of people and the other part of it reserved for a second class of people. You, Stuart, are under just as much obligation as myself to "... present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." (2nd Timothy 2:15). That means we have to be intellectually honest about what the Bible is teaching, even if it goes against our traditions. Even if it means that others will turn against us, or even kill us for the Faith that was once for all delivered to all the saints (Jude). Note this: once for all delivered to all the saints. The word "saint" means "set apart" or "different". A saved individual is set apart from the world exactly like the nation of Israel has always been set apart from the Nations. To be a saint does not mean you are in a perfected state, it refers specifically to those who no longer have a wall of separation between them and God. We are all under God's wrath, as Roman's says, and as John chapter 1 says, Jesus is the ladder which the angels of God ascend and decend upon. We are the voice: but Jesus is the Word, and which we proclaim His death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead: bodily.
Now one of the gross errors you commit here is that you say we believe that these works will save us - this is false and it is unfair because although we believe that they are necessary this doesn't mean that we believe they mean our salvation, they don't at least not without our FIRST having a firmly fixed faith in Jehovah and in Jesus, the one he provided as a means of our finding forgiveness.
The WTB&TS specifically teaches that when you trust in Jesus' death for Adam's sin, (and also recieve a pardon for the sins you have commit up until then) that what you get is 1000 years in Paradise Earth to prove to Jehovah that you will not make the same mistake Adam made: you will be obedient to His will, and that you will also help others to do this as well. All this you do in the resurrection body. This is a works salvation. There is something you do to either save yourself or in this case, KEEP yourself saved.
After you have accepted this gift of getting the chance to prove yourselves better than Adam, you must keep yourselves safe from Armeggdon. This is a terrible burden to endure. Jesus' burden is light, yet the power to do good works comes from being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. It is He who gives us the strength to resist sin and temptation. Yet, JWs endure this while in their flesh and it is a hard, hard life to live. JWs have all my sympathy and I want them to all know that the truth sets one FREE, it does not put them under a list of organizational rules to follow, which inevitably are not able to be kept and brings condemnation and wrath from the Organizations system of Elder rule.
Secondly, there is a huge error made about the resurrection body by the WTB&TS teachings. 1st Corinthians 15: 52 teaches that the resurrection body:
cannot sin (is imperishable)
cannot die (is immortal)
As verse 56-57 says: The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, with only a few verses, the Bible refutes this WTB&TS teaching that during Paradise Earth that people in their resurrection bodies are able to sin or be "cut off" (physically die).
I can hear your question: the question I've heard at my own door many many times: "But what about free will?" I answer this by saying, "Oh? Do you LIKE sinning? I certainly don't! I want more than anything not to ever sin again! I long for that day when this body is redeemed from the ability to sin.
The second question I have heard is, "If the resurrection body cannot sin or die, who is Satan going to mislead after the 1000 years?
The answer is: those who are not resurrected who went into the 1000 years of peace in their natural bodies (complete with the same sin nature inherited from Adam). These people who survive the tribulation marry and have children, but they will not be cut off (physically die) unless they sin willfully.
So this teaching that you get a chance to prove yourself worthy before Jehovah is nothing less than pride rearing its evil head. Pride was the first recorded sin which Satan committed, and it is the worst sin we can committ as well. It is absolutely prideful for you to think that you can do what Adam could not: resist the forbidden fruit.
In every time period, from the garden, to the flood, to the time of the Judges and Kings, through the period of Grace, man has proved himself not able, (no matter how God sets things up to our benefit) to resist sin. It will be the same way during the Millenium. Satan will be bound. The lion will lay down with the lamb. Children can play with vipers and not be bit. The curse will be lifted. In every way life will be perfect and man, even without the temptation of Satan, can and will choose sin over God. We have the knowledge of good and evil, yet we cannot do the good. We can only do the evil. Thus God sent His Son, Jesus, who was born from the Holy Spirit and did not inherit the sin nature of Adam. The Son revealed to us the Father's character in every way. Jesus is the Word, like John the Baptist, we are the voice who proclaims that Word who has no beginning or end yet is the Alpha and Omega.
Next you attack us because we don't say that Jesus was bodily resurrected, what's the big deal here?
As 1st Corinthians 15:17 says: we are still in our sins if He is not raised bodily. Secondly, it is the WTB&TS who has attacked the teaching of the bodily resurrection. The Organization created this big deal by denying Jesus was raised in the same body He died in.
I cannot find anything in the Bible that says "Thou shalt believe the Messiah was raised bodily!"
In John chapter two we have Jesus prophesing that His physical body would be raised from the dead. The context in the English shows that the same body that would die, would be the same body that would be raised from the dead. There is no allowance that a body would be manufactured, or be created from nothing, or assumed or otherwise. The English is extremely clear about this: even in your New World Translation this is clearly the case...in fact, the more literal, or wooden, a translation is, the more clearly a bodily resurrection is taught. If you take out your Kingdom Interlinear and look, you will also see this to be the case.
I would like to talk about the word "raised" for a moment. I have, because I have had the God given opportunity to study the Greek, an in-depth lexicon (foreign language dictionary) on the Koine language. The name of this is: "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature" by Walter Bauer, second edition revised and augmented by F. W. Gingrich and Frederick Danker. Why the second edition? Because archeology continually turns up new (old) manuscripts which shed more light on Koine Greek words and their common usage.
The word "raise" in the verses where Jesus prophesies his own death and resurrection, by comparing and contrasting the tearing down of the temple and raising it again in three days, has the initial meaning of "wake" or "rouse". It is used literally of sleeping person as in the case of Mt 8:25 and Acts 12:7. If you turn in your Kingdom Interlinear to these passages, you can find out that indeed, the Greek word "egeiro" is used here as well. In fact, if you have a full concordance, you can search out this particular word throughout the New Testament (Greek Scriptures) and see how it is used each and every time for even a broader meaning. Everytime that word is used, the context of it helps define what exactly that word "egeiro" means. This word is also used figuratively to mean "help to rise of a person sitting down, as in Acts 3:7, lying down as in Mark 1:31 and 9:27. It is especially used of the sick to mean to restore to health as in James 5:15.
This word also is used to mean to "erect or restore" as in the case of buildings and we have many instances of this in many non-Biblical manuscripts (non-Biblical meaning the ordinary writing of the Koine Greek time period). In the Septuagent (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testment Scriptures which Jesus Himself taught from) this same word is used in Judges 2:16, and means to raise up and bring into being. Not in the sense of restoring something that was lost (as in the JW teaching that Jesus re-assumed his angelic body) or created something out of nothing (as in the JW teaching that Jesus created a body for whatever purpose He needed it during the 40 days He dwelled on earth after the resurrection and before the ascension), but that God "raised up Judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them" in the sense that these persons already existed and were perfected in some way in order to deal with those around themselves -- in other words, to be judges.
Jesus never inherited a sin nature and was not able to sin, but His body was able to experience the same things we experience: being tired, etc. ... Jesus' body was perfected in the resurrection: never again would it be subject to disease and death as before (1st Corinthians 15 teaches what resurrection bodies are like), and Philippians teaches that all believers will have bodies just like Jesus'.
The Greek, itself, leaves no room in this passage to be translated in any other way but for Jesus' body, the same body, to come back to life. to be raised. But there's more, because God, in His infinite wisdom, went also beyond the call of kindness to be even more specific about this raising up again.
In these same verses, the Bible doesn't just say that Jesus would be raised again ( in other words, what will be torn down will be raised up), but the Greek word for physical, material, substance "body" is also used and linked to the word "raise up". So it is clear that what was "torn down" (the body which was put to death) would be "raised up", awaked from slumber, and agrees with 1st Corinthians 15:1-11 perfectly, as well as all the other scripture which addresses the topic of the resurrection. In Acts, it actually says that Jesus' body wouldn't undergo decay like David's underwent decay, which was a Holy Spirit led commentary on one of the Psalms which David wrote. Why even talk about a body decaying if it wasn't talking about the same body which died? Nowhere does Scripture teach in any comprehensible manner that Jesus' body was "evaporated" or "zapped" or otherwise. Just like there is no substantial teaching found in the Bible that Jesus is Michael the Archangel is there any substantial teaching found in the Bible that God the Father somehow disposed of Jesus' body (smacks of deception to my sensiblities anyway).
The word for "body" used in chapter 2 of the Gospel of John is "somotos". Whenever it is used, it always refers to a physical body, either a dead body, such as a corpse, or a living body. It can refer to either man or an animal and even plants, but it always refers to something of a material, holdable, touchable, visable, substance. It is even used collectively of the visable church.
The point Scripture makes here is that the physical body of Christ would be raised again after being killed. The Greek leaves no other interpretation.
The only thing that it stresses is that Jesus died willingly on our behalf and endured a painful death for what amounts to a planetful of worthless ingrates, who constantly spurn his fathers free gift of eternal life by adding man-made traditions such as what form his resurrection took, and exactly what he died on (Cross or Stauros (Paling)), and saying that that Jesus' commandment to have love among ourselves is incorrect and that we must worship as an idol the instrument of his death!
We agree that man is indeed depraved. Yet, instead of focusing on the ways in which we are alike, we must also discuss calmly those things which set us apart from each other. We are to love each other as we already love ourselves ... do you really think you can do this? I know I cannot do this without the strength and power the influence of the Holy Spirit has upon my life. You are deceived to think you can. The Ten Commandments pointed out that we cannot live a perfect sinless life. The Sermon on the Mount proved to us that even in our thought lives we fall far short of how perfect we have to be in order to gain God's acceptance. The point in that passage is so simple: none of us measure up. As Romans says, we all fall short and no one, not one, of us is good. Yet, in Christ there is no condemnation. Please read Romans chapters 1-8.
Also your idea that the Gospel is restricted to 1 Cor 15:1-15 invalidates vast portions of the Bible and more importantly Jesus' command to his desciples that they should preach the "Good News of the Kingdom" in all of the inhabited earth, which Kingdom? His Messianic Kingdom of course!
That's not true. First of all, there aren't two gospels. If so, then the Bible would contradict itself. How do you think you can enter the Kingdom of God (Paradise on earth) if you are NOT born again, Stuart? If you consult your WTB&TS literature, you will find that both Paradise Earth as well as heaven are both described as the Kingdom of God. In the same way, the gospel of the Kingdom is the same exact gospel as Paul the Apostle preached. Believe in Jesus: you make straight the way of the LORD! Behold, the Kingdom of God is near! How could those people believe unless they first trusted that God would provide a lamb as He did with Abraham? How could those people believe unless that lamb pointed forward to a time when a Messiah would come and save them from their sins? Abraham believed that Isaac, even if he died, would be resurrected and his faith showed that he believed God (this is explained in Hebrews where Abraham considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him (Isaac) back as a type). In the same way Isaiah 53 taught that the Messiah would be resurrected from the dead. As Habakkuk says, the righteous will live by his faith. This is all the same gospel preached in the Old Testament, carried forth in the New Testament. There are not two different gospels. Believe in the only gospel which saves and live forever, eternally--there is no 1000 year testing period to prove yourself worthy of eternal life. That's a lie from Satan. You can have eternal life and be certain of your salvation right now if you believe Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day as Paul the Apostle believed and preached.
You see the message at 1 Cor 15 is called "the first things" by Paul, the first things are later described as milk for babes by him, that is spiritually immature persons who still haven't grasped that the message of the Word of God (the Bible) isn't solely about Jesus' this is a major part of a much larger purpose for mankind (that is salvation, forgivenes by God, erasure of the wicked and the Apostate and then restoration of perfect mankind to a cleansed earth).
Every person starts out believe the simple gospel. Then sanctification begins, which is our daily walk with God. This does not mean that certain teachings are withheld from a person until they are strong enough spiritually to handle knowing. If that was true, we wouldn't have the whole Bible in front of us. The Catholics taught a similar thing and took away the Bible from the common people. The WTB&TS tries to teach the same thing as the Catholics by saying you are not capable of understanding the Bible without going into apostasy from the WTB&TS. You know why they say that? Because it's the truth: and one of the few the WTB&TS actually teaches. If you read the Bible without the help of the Organizations interpretation, you will believe all those things you are conditioned to hate: immortality of the soul, hellfire, etc. ... but the worst part is that you are being taught day by day to hate God, the entire being of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Think about it, we preach only one thing is required for salvation - a deep, living and active faith in God and in Jesus, your church tells you that this isn't enough you must believe in a bodily resurrection of Christ, the Cross, the Trinity, Christmas, Easter and a host of other doctrines that cannot be found in the Bible and are only supported by the writings of men such as Augustine and Athanasius and from the political support of pagans such as Constantine the Great (and yes he was pagan to the very last day of his life when he was baptised in Byzantium by an Arian Bishop).
On one hand you say beliefs aren't important. Yet you turn around and say that Constantine was FINALLY saved when he believed the Arian Bishop, that Christ was a created creature (as the WTB&TS presently) teach. Was what Constatine believed important? Or not? If one thing was required, a belief that a deep, living and active faith in God in and Jesus, then why do you consider this man saved only after believing that Christ was a created creature? This is inconsistant with your earlier statement.
The things you believe about Jesus are important. You live what you believe. We are to believe in Christ...but what exactly are we to believe about him? That's why Paul is so emphatic in 1st Corinthians 15:1-11, THIS is what we believe, THIS is what we preach, that Christ DIED for our SINS,that he WAS buried, that HE WOKE (ROUSED) on the third day. ... if you cling to that with all your heart, soul and mind, then you are BORN AGAIN ... except JWs teach that you, Stuart, have NO NEED of being born again. Shame on the WTB&TS for teaching you to doubt Jesus words as He spoke to Nicodemus: "YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN IN ORDER TO SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD".
Eternal Punishment: Fact or Myth?
By Natalie Pappas
Years ago when I first began discussing doctrine online with Jehovah's Witnesses I was asked the following question (it went something like this): If your child did something bad, and you decided to punish that child by holding his hand on a hot frying pan, could you hold it there for all eternity?
Good question, but it lacks right thinking. What I mean by this is that it assumes that that there is a relationship between the two people, that the type of punishment is unreasonable, and that the punisher's anger would eventually ebb and end.
When we put this question back in perspective, we find God Almighty holding some person captive and tormenting that person with fire for all of eternity without ever letting up on the punishment. At first glance it does seem awfully harsh. Yet, isn't sin an awful thing that deserves punishment?
First of all, the senerio states that the person being punished is related to God in some manner. Yet, the Bible teaches that those who die without a savior are not children of God, nor are they related to Him. The lost are children of Adam, not of God. Children of Adam do not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them, thus they are not related to God, thus there is not even one emotional string to tug at the heart of God. There is no mercy for the tormented. This is taught in John chapter 11.
This is because the lost sinner utterly rejected God when he rejected Jesus Christ's saving work, thus God utterly rejects the lost sinner as well. Children of Adam are separated from God in life and when they die, they are utterly separated forever from God. Yet the child of God is not separated from God in life, thus a child of God is not separated from Him when this body dies either.
Second, the scenario of the hot frying pan gives the impression that the place the Bible calls the Lake of Fire is an unreasonable place, thus sinful. This question is answered by stating that God cannot create sin, nor a sinful place. God is not the author of evil. To call the Lake of Fire a sinful place, or say that it is unreasonable, is to assault a Holy God. It is, in short, blasphemy of the God who creates all things. The book of Revelation defines the Lake of Fire as an actual place.
But the real question that needs to be dealt in length is the idea that if punishment did last for all of eternity (in full strength) that God, Himself, would be unreasonable, thus guilty of sin.
To begin with, the Scriptures state that no amount of punishment given to sinful man will ever satisfy God's wrath. This is found in Romans chapters 1-8. It is the precise reason why we need a substitute who was able satisfy the wrath of God: Jesus Christ. Only Jesus could have taken the Father's wrath and endured the punishment until the Father was no longer angry. And it is because Jesus was completely without sin that He could take the wrath of His Father. We, as mere human beings, can never, ever, for all of eternity satisfy God's wrath. That is why the punishment of a lost sinner lasts forever. To say that the body is annihilated after being resurrected is to say that God's wrath is finally satisfied. It says that God will eventually be merciful to the lost. That is not the case, however. Those who die without a substitute to take God's wrath will take His wrath forever. There is no relief. There is no stopping point at which the punishment ceases. To teach otherwise is a slap in God's Holy face.
To imply that it is sinful for God to punish sinners for all eternity is to blaspheme the very character and nature of God. This type of thinking lacks an understanding of God's holiness. It shows a lack of understanding of the sinfulness of sin. It creates the impression that sin really isn't as awful as God says it is. And that is something very awesome to consider if you really believe you are His witness. Are you telling the truth about the very character and nature of God Almighty when you teach that God's punishment is at some point satisfied by those who die without a substitute, Jesus Christ, whom God provided as the only way out of the Lake of Fire?
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed -- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?" -- Isaiah 43:10-13
Don't be deceived by the Jehovah's Witnesses when they come Knocking!
By Natalie Pappas
Recently, the Jehovah's Witnesses began handing out their newest tract: "WHY IS LIFE SO FULL OF PROBLEMS?". If you accepted the tract, expect a return visit in the next couple of weeks. Their current goal is to convince you to have a "Bible Study". Their end goal is to isolate you from family and friends. If they succeed you will work for an organization for your salvation. You will peddle Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WTB&TS) literature door to door. You will have to pay for your ticket into "Paradise Earth". Salvation is not a free gift in the WTB&TS, but this is not told to new prospects. This is something which is learned later, after the new prospect is thoroughly indoctrinated and trusted.
While Christianity encourages people to be salt and light in the world, the Jehvaohs' Witnesses pull people out of the world and into their organization. If the Jehovah's Witnesses are successful into luring you into a "Bible Study", you will not learn the Bible. Instead you will learn about a little red book titled, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise On Earth." Near the end of the book, on page 255, the thoroughly indoctrinated prospect finally learns, "You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life.--Psalm 133:1-3." This Psalm is about believers fellowshipping with one another, and not how to receive everlasting life. The Bible is clear about who receives everlasting life. John 3:3-5, John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, and 1 John 5:1 completely disagree with the Jehovah's Witnesses' method of salvation.
While the tract does address valid world problems, Jehovah's Witnesses are not in a position to toot their own horn about being the "true" religion. The first reason the tract gives for being the "true" religion is that their members do not participate in war. Other religions, such as Quakers, have abstained from war Obviously not going to war cannot mystically reveal which religion is or isn't approved by God.
The second reason the tract says that they are the "true" religion is that they have love. I urge anyone who is considering studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses to examine 1 Corinthians chapter 13 for the Biblical definition of love. Once you are inside the organization you will not receive special treatment any longer. Instead you will be expected to pull your own weight.
The third reason the tract says that they are the "true" religion is that only they "preach the 'good news' of God's Kingdom worldwide." Ask one of the Jehovah's Witnesses, "What is the good news you preach?" Then compare their answer to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. The Jehovah's Witnesses' 'good news' that Christ returned to set up his Kingdom in 1914 is vastly different than what the Apostle Paul preached. Galatians 1:6-8 prohibits the spread of any other gospel than what Paul preached. The Bible itself proves that Jehovah's Witnesses are not the "true" religion.
So just what is true religion? Is it serving an organization? Or Christ? Is it having a personal relationship with literature, or Christ? Is it pleasing the elders or is it pleasing Christ? Does the Bible talk about being the member of a certain church or being a member of the body of Christ? Belonging to a certain denomination or church does not save anyone...all the people in any church, denomination, or organization can do is present the gospel -- but Jesus saves! It is up to you to be a good Berean (Acts chapter 17) and determine whether someone representing a church, denomination, or organization is preaching the gospel! Salvation is freely given to all who believe the gospel (found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-11); it cannot be earned or worked for!
There is a little known fact which Jehovah's Witnesses will not share with a new prospect: if you DO work hard enough to make it into Paradise Earth, you still may not have eternal life. The WTB&TS teaches that the 1000 year paradise is a "judgement day". At the end of the 1000 years if you fail the test you will be destroyed. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches about eternal life. Eternal life IS forever (eternal means forever). It is not something that can be snatched away or earned.
The Jehovah's Witnesses organization, the WTB&TS, does not point to Jesus Christ as the way to salvation. Instead, they point to a mere organization which is run by a group of mere men who contradict their own teachings and call it "new light". Jesus, however, says to trust in God, and says we can put our trust in him, too (John chapter 14).
If you haven't accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior I urge you to do so today. You don't have to wait until a 6 month book study is over and then be baptized into a mere organization where you work for the chance to hopefully make it into a 1000 year judgement "day" so you can work even harder for the chance to finally attain eternal life. You can have eternal life right now for FREE--a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-10). Believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins and came back to life in his real body--ask him to save you! He will save you!
If you trusted Christ as your PERSONAL Savior, begin reading your Bible. It isn't hard. Simply start at the first chapter of a book and begin reading. Read a gospel, then read Acts which encompasses early church history. Read the book of Romans which covers every major doctrine. Keep reading and you won't be deceived by mere men again. Visit churches and join one. Joining a church doesn't prove you are saved, but fellowshipping with other believers IS wonderful (Psalm 133:1-3).
If you have further questions about Jehovah's Witnesses visit a local Christian bookstore or your public library. Don't be deceived by the Jehovah's Witnesses. The people who represent the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society (WTB&TS) are deceived themselves. Treat them with Christian love (1 Corinthians chapter 13) when they come to your door. Share with them the true Gospel (good news) about Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).