Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

What Does The Bible Really Teach? – Chapter 18 Review

bible teach

Baptism and Your Relationship With God

The whole book really has been leading up to this, what the Watchtower wants to do now to baptise you.

They open with talking about the Ethiopia and quote Acts 8:26-36.

The book asks the question “What prevents me getting baptised” the Watchtower has the answer. Lots of knowledge! They have given this knowledge in this book. They may now suggest it is time to get baptised, so long as you qualify.

First let us examine in the scriptures when people got baptised :-

Acts 2:38 “Peter [said] to them: “Repent, and let each one of YOU be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of YOUR sins.

Acts 8:14-16 “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Sa·mar´i·a had accepted the word of God, they dispatched Peter and John to them; 15 and these went down and prayed for them to get holy spirit. 16 For it had not yet fallen upon any one of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus

So in the bible people where baptised as soon as they believed. There was no such thing as being “qualified”, it was about believing.

The Watchtower then brings out its famous ….. always be aware when you see the ….. in the paragraph, usually its because they have missed out something really important. The paragraph says “Go therefore and make disciples……..” it does not quote the verse in full. Biblically we baptise in the name of the father, son & Holy Spirit (Matthew 28) and baptise people as soon as they believe.

The Watchtower baptises people after answering over 100 questions in the “organised to do Jehovahs Will” book which looks like this :-

When you have answered these to the satisfaction of the Elders only then can you be baptised. You are not baptised in the name of the father, son and holy spirit you are baptised into the organisation. In fact the last question they is “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”

You have to publically declare this.

Paragraph 4 states “baptism is a requirement for all who want to have a relationship with Jehovah God”.

If that was the case why did Jesus say to the dying thief “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise”. – He did not say “well you need to get baptised first! Baptism is not a required for salvation, it is publicly declare that you now belong Jesus.
Paragraph 4 continues “To qualify for baptism however, you must take definite steps.” We can see clearly from the bible it is not about “qualifying” it is about believing. Romans 5:1 –

“Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

We HAVE been declared righteous because of Jesus not because of baptism.
So now in paragraph 5-7 they tell you “knowledge and faith needed”. The encouragement here is to go to the meetings and to do “bible” study (which essentially studying there books and their own bible). Paragraph 7 I quote “knowledge is not enough though” for without faith it is impossible to please God.

I submit to you that actually it is not about knowledge, its about knowing! Knowing that Jesus has died for you and all you need to do is believe, John 3:18 says:-

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten.

What amazes me is that they talk about “qualifying” for baptism and then quote Act 18:8 “they began to believe and be baptised” ????? “Believe” not “qualified”.

Paragraph 8-11 is going to encourage you to now talk to people about the “truth”. This is what they say in paragraph 9 “in time, you will want share in the organised preaching work of Jehovahs Witnesses”. They go on… “ If it appears that you qualify for public ministry, arrangements will be made for you and your teacher to meet with two of the congregation elders”.

WHAT?? Has the Watchtower never heard of little person in the bible called Paul? As soon as Paul was convicted to preach to the Jews and Gentiles, did Paul have to have a meeting with and leaders to see if this was ok? NO!

Paragraph 12-16, they make some good points but miss key ones. Repentance is about “rejecting your former way of life” and “disowning himself”. They miss the most important thing :-

John 3:3 –” Your must be born again to see the kingdom of God”.

Are you Jehovah Witness? Are you born again, the bible tells you if you are not you cannot be in the kingdom.

They then move to the subject of “overcoming fear of failure”. (Paragraph 17-19).
They quote 1 John 5:3 which reads in the New World Translation :-

“ For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome”

Amen. Gods commandments are not burdensome, but this is because we live under grace – I quote Galatians 2:21 from the New World Translation.

I do not shove aside the undeserved kindness of God; for if righteousness is through law, Christ actually died for nothing.

How about that if you think you are saved by upholding a law? Gods law are not burdensome, but let me list some things that the watchtower burden with when you are baptised:-

• Fill out a report card every month detailing how much ministry you have done (or not as the case may be).
• You MUST go to all the meetings.
• You MUST go on the field service.
• You MUST not have a blood transfusion even if your life depended on it.
• You MUST not get involved in any holidays, Christmas, Birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day…the list goes on.
• You MUST cut off love ones if they reject the religion…
• The list goes on…

The Watchtower laws are burdensome because they are not from God! What are you going to do if you’re a Jehovahs Witness, our Lord Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 :-

Come to me, all ​YOU​ who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh ​YOU 

Has it ever occurred to you the Jehovahs Witness the your Watchtower is you burden?
Throw it away and you will be left with Jesus, and I tell you the truth, he WILL refresh you.

The final paragraph quotes “Baptism does not guarantee salvation.” That’s right all this “stuff” you have to adhere to does not guarantee your salvation. There is no guarantee for salvation from the Watchtower.

The bible says something very different, all these are quotes from the New World Translation :-

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 – 20For no matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him. Therefore also through him is the “Amen” [said] to God for glory through us.21But he who guarantees that ​YOU​ and we belong to Christ and he who has anointed us is God.22He has also put his seal upon us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.

Romans 5:1 – 1 Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:15 – 15But it is not with the gift as it was with the trespass. For if by one man’s trespass many died, the undeserved kindness of God and his free gift with the undeserved kindness by the one man Jesus Christ abounded much more to many.

You do not work for a gift, otherwise it would not be a gift.
The Watchtower guarantees….nothing.

Jesus guarantees your salvation, if you ask him.

Which one will you choose?

Jason Thickpenny
findingthetruth@hotmail.co.uk

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Categorised in: Baptism, What Does The Bible Really Teach Manual Reviews

4 Responses »

  1. Hi Jason. great article, I remember when I was a JW, I really wanted to get Baptized and the elders said “No”, because in their eyes I did not qualify. When I asked them to show me the scriptures to prove their point, they could not! Your absolutely right, as soon as you believe you can get baptized.I am so glad I am free from the burden of the Watchtower but instead I have thrown my burden onto Christ.

  2. In this Chapter the Watchtower again mentions that a person can have a close personal relationship with God ( p. 175, 183 ) . Although this chapter mentions a person must “follow Jesus “, where is the promise of a close personal relationship with Jesus also promised to those who to serve him , as it is with the Father ? The N.T. says that Paul was baptized and he called upon the name of Jesus , prayed to him , and thus became his servant [ Acts 22:16 ] . The N.T. reveals that a person can have a close personal relationship with both the Father and the Son , and this is more than just “taking in knowledge ” of them [ NWT Jn 17:3 ] — it’s to know them each in a very personal way , such as two friends enjoy [ James 2:23 / Jn 15:14 ] . Sadly , the Watchtower has misled Jw’s about a fundamental truth of the Christian faith .

    The Watchtower can’t make up it’s mind on the number of questions a person is asked before the person even “qualifies ” for baptism , and the latest question asked of the person when being baptized now includes mentioning the Watchtower organization itself ! But I guess that can’t surprise those who know that the Watchtower has taught :

    ” ….the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation …”
    [ W.t. 11-15-1981 p 21 ]

    However, the N.T. teaches that salvation is in a person — Jesus , not by joining a religious organization .

    The Watchtower Society claims that it is a restoration of first century Christianity , and also that
    ” Their beliefs and practices are not new but are a restoration of first-century Christianity.”
    [ Reasoning From The Scriptures , 1985 , 203 ] .

    The following is from Bethel Ministries newsletter some years ago , it was submitted by a reader and it is a humorous look at what would have happened between Peter , the eunuch and a Jw from today .( I’ve shortened it up a bit ) :

    ” Do you realize friends , that with all the organizational hoopla today , the Ethiopian eunuch would’nt stand a chance . Think about it . The encounter in Acts chapter 8 might have gone something like this :
    Verse 38 – With that he commanded the chariot to halt , and both went down into the water , both Phillip and the eunuch ; and …. just as he was about to baptize the eunuch , along came one of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a briefcase in hand . ‘ What are you doing Phillip ?’ he asks .
    ” I’m baptizing the eunuch ” . ‘Has he finished his 6 month bIble study using the Society’s publications ?’ ” well , no uh…. we just read straight from the scroll . The eunuch had a copy of of the book of Isaiah” . The eunuch interrupts , ” Yes Phillip explained it all to me ….” ‘ I told him all about the good news of Jesus ‘ . ” yes and I believe , I do ” says the eunuch very excitedly . ” But Phillip , you know the rules . The brothers have talked to you about this in the past . You have to work within the framework of the organization . First things first . A six month study is a must and follow each lesson with a little 10 or 15 minute part about the organization ,” the Witness says . ‘ Then I can get baptized ?’ the eunuch inquires . ” Well , you really need to get established in the door to door ministry before being immersed ” , the Witness adds . ‘ Then after that , can I get baptized ?’ implores the eunuch . ” As long as you’re attending all five meetings a week too . I don’t see any reason why you would’nt qualify .” the Witness says . ….
    The eunuch speaks up , ‘ I’m from Ethiopia . I work for the Queen of Ethiopia , Candace. I’m the Secretary -Treasurer ‘ . ” Oh no, !” the Witness exclaims…..
    The Witness turned to the eunuch . ” Ok . let me get this straight . You’ll agree to a 6 month study, quit your job and move to Jerusalem so you can get to all the meetings and go out in service ?” ‘ Yes, yes. I’ll do whatever is necessary to get life and be aChristian ‘ , the eunuch promises . ‘ Then can I get baptized ?’ he begs . ” Of course ” assures the Witness . ” Just tell the elders of your intentions . After you answer the eighty questions correctly , you can get baptized .” With a smile on his face again , the eunuch turns to Phillip. ‘ We’ll come back here to this large body of water and you can baptize me then ! ‘ Remembering organizational procedures Phillip says , ” Sorry , we’ll have to wait another 6 months for the next circuit assembly “.

    Jn 14:6 .

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