Draw close to God in Prayer
New Religious Movements, of which Jehovah’s Witnesses are one, use Christian terminology and so, to the uninitiated, they sound like Christians. This chapter uses Scripture and talks about a Creator to whom we direct our prayer, all very obvious stuff for those who claim to be Christian, but we need to dig deeper.
Firstly, let us consider what Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught about this Creator.
The God of the Witnesses is a distant God who must be obeyed. He is a God who dwells in Heaven but, as he is not omnipresent, he is not a personal God who presences himself with his people.
Though Jehovah’s influence may be felt across the world, he is limited to a specific location:
The true God is not omnipresent, for he is spoken of as having a location.(1 Ki. 8:49; John 16:28; Heb. 9:24) His throne is in heaven. (Isa. 66:1) He is all-powerful, being the Almighty God. Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, page 665
He is a God who, after 30 years of service, could annihilate you at Armageddon because you have not ‘done enough’. Theirs is a God who they speak of as father, but they have no real experience of Him as Father. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, which reveals the loving heart of a Father, longing for his wayward son to return, is totally lost on the Witnesses.
The Watchtower also teaches that the Creator is not a Trinity:
“Christendom’s unchristian doctrine of a Trinity of “God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost” will be rejected by all enlightened mankind as being a blasphemous pagan lie.” Paradise restored to Mankind – By Theocracy p.388
Let us then ask a question: Is the God of The Watchtower the God revealed in Scripture?
What does the Bible really teach about the Creator?
The Bible consistently teaches that God is not distant, but He is with His people.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10
He is a God who came close to us in the person of Jesus:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
He is a God who dwells on high, yet is present with people.
For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15
He is a God of Grace who saves people who put their faith in Jesus:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:21-24
The Bible clearly teaches that God is ONE yet THREE:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one Deuteronomy 6:4
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus 1 Timothy 2:5
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” Genesis 1:26
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16,17
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all 2 Corinthians 13:14
As we see from these few examples, the God of The Watchtower Society is NOT the God of the Bible. Therefore a question follows: If the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not praying to the God revealed in Scripture… who are they praying to?
The Witnesses claim that all prayer must be directed to Jehovah alone through Jesus, and that it is wrong to address Jesus in prayer. This view derives from the Watchtower view of Jesus. Jesus is not eternal as he was created directly by Jehovah. Therefore Jesus is not God and prayer should only be directed to God alone.
Let us ask another question: What does the Bible really teach about praying to Jesus?
To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours 1 Corinthians 1:2
Speaking about his ‘thorn in the flesh’ the Apostle Paul commented: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8,9
Paul had no problem addressing Jesus in prayer. Stephen also prayed to Jesus:
“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep” Acts 7:59,60
Not only did Jesus receive prayer, He promised to answer:
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13,14
What does the Bible really teach about worshipping Jesus?
After Jesus healed the man born blind, the Bible records:
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him John 9:38
Jesus is worshipped by both humans and angels:
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honour and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power,
forever and ever!”
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped
It is clear that the Watchtower god is not the God revealed in Scripture.
This begs the question: Are Jehovah’s Witnesses wasting their time praying to a non-biblical Watchtower god through a created being? The answer must be yes!
The chapter is called Draw near to God in prayer. The Jehovah’s Witnesses can only draw near to God if they come to believe, accept and put their faith in the Biblical Jesus.
Let’s pray that God will open their eyes!