Question If the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society are God’s Organization? We need to ask if this is true.
Watchtower April 1st 1972: “Jehovah has a prophet that he is using, it was identified as a body called the Bible Students of God and later was renamed God’s Faithful & Discreet Slave”
Watchtower in 1916 & in the 7th Volume of the Study of the Scriptures: Confirmed that Charles T Russell was the Faithful & Discreet Slave,
In the JW book “Aid to Bible Understanding” P 1348
A true prophet is defined as
1 Speaks in Jehovah’s name
2 What it foretells will come to pass
3 Promotes true worship in accordance to Jehovah
In 1889 Russell predicted that the 6000 years has ended and now begins the era of Jesus and that this was established in 1873
Rutherford confirmed that Jesus would return invisibly: See Rev 1 Behold he is coming in the clouds and every eye will see him. Rutherford predicted that in 1925 the physical return of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob would return. Rutherford confirmed that he was disappointed that none of the predicted dates come to pass and that there would be no more dates put forward.
Yet there was further predictions of Armageddon, re 1925, 1941 & 1975
Watchtower 1941 edition: Actually wrote that they propagated false prophecy
Watchtower August 15, 1968 “ Why are we looking forward to 1975, 6000 years from Adam” was confirmed but then adjusted based on not knowing exactly when Eve was created, never the less this has since proven to be a false prediction due to the number of years past.
Hayden Covington A distinguished JW lawyer agreed in court under oath, that the JW Org have propagated false prophesies based on Duet 18:22, 23 “what does not come to pass”
Christ A created Being or God?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses will lead us to believe that Christ was created and in addition that he is the Angel Michael, but is this true? Let’s look more closely at what the Bible says
Revelation 3:14 Showing Jesus as the “beginning” of the creation
NWT: “…the beginning of the of the creation of God”
KIT: “ἡ (the) ἀρχὴ (beginning) τῆς (of the) κτίσεως (creation) τοῦ (of the), (God)
The Greek word actually means Origin” not “beginning”
Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
KIT ἐστιν (is) εἰκὼν (image) τοῦ (of the) θεοῦ (God) τοῦ (the) ,(invisible) πρωτότοκος (firstborn)
πάσης (of all) ,(creation)
In Genesis 41:51,22 It talks about Manasseh being the 1st born, and Ephraim being the 2nd.Then in Jeremiah 31:9, Ephraim is now called “1st Born”.
So how can we have two 1st Born? When we look more closely at his Greek word for 1st Born as is the case in Colossians, it is far more widely used to mean “pre-imminent, and therefore this must be what the word meant, as the only logical option.
So when you use this word in Colossians, taking into account its context, it reads far more accurately when we say “pre-imminent over all creation, especially when we have to reconcile other scriptures about Christ.
Important Note: scripture confirms scripture
Going back to Colossians 1:15, which we can see based on the original Greek, clearly shows Jesus must of created all things (the word “other” in the NWT simply does not exist in the original Greek see KIT above) and as later on in the verses 16-18, “existed before all things”, he could not of been created, because if he was, he would have been a “thing” and therefore it is impossible to exist before “all things”.
As also concluded by millions of Christians and Bible scholars that Jesus must therefore be God, and of course these are a number of scriptures to support this, especially when you look at the “correct translation” from the original Greek.
This method of understanding the true meaning of scriptures also applied to John3:16 where Jesus is referred to “his only begotten Son”.
The phrase “only begotten” translates the Greek word monogenes. This word is variously translated into English as “only,” “one and only,” and “only begotten.” So what does monogenes mean? According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAGD, 3rd Edition), monogenes has two primary definitions. The first definition is “pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship.” This is its meaning in Hebrews 11:17 when the writer refers to Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son” (KJV). Abraham had more than one son, but Isaac was the only son he had by Sarah and the only son of the covenant. Therefore, it is the uniqueness of Isaac among the other sons that allows for the use of monogenes in that context.
The second definition is “pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind.” This is the meaning that is implied in John 3:16 (see also John 1:14, 18; 3:18; 1 John 4:9). John was primarily concerned with demonstrating that Jesus is the Son of God (John 20:31), and he uses monogenes to highlight Jesus as uniquely God’s Son—sharing the same divine nature as God—as opposed to believers who are God’s sons and daughters by adoption (Ephesians 1:5). Jesus is God’s “one and only” Son.
So here in order for the scripture to tie up with other scriptures about Jesus, clearly the 2nd definition offered is the most logical and accurate.
This leads us nicely into understanding why we believe Jesus is God and not a created being.
Let look at Philippians 2:7-10 and even in the NWT
“Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, he gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and became human. More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground”
So even using the JW Bible it clearly shows that that he is equal to God and that every name should bend (worship).
It also talks about Jesus “emptying” himself, this is very important as it shows he relieved himself of his Godship when he became a man on Earth and that is why he could say that his Father was greater than him at this time.
The Jehovah’s Witness do try and explain this by saying Jesus is “A God” re John 1:1
But when we read Isiah 44:6 Jehovah is God and there is no one before me or after me.
So if Jesus is even called “A God”, as there is only 1 (true) God, then he must be Jehovah.
Further verses to support this are
John 14:28 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I myself am working.”
Jesus’ Equality with God 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
Watchtower January 15th 1975 quotes “the Word was A God”
Watchtower March 15th 1975…Jesus is God
The Watchtower quoted Dr Julias Mantey as a supporter of “the word is A God”, but the scholar wrote back to the Society claiming they were “diabolical liars, and that he was taken out of context, and that introducing the definite article “A” has no syntaxical parallel and simply could not be interpreted that way.”
Jesus the “I AM”, the “Alpha & Omega”, the “First and the Last”
This is such a powerful basis to prove that Jesus is God. And this can be best illustrated by the scriptures that clearly show Jehovah is the “IAM”, and comparing with the verse which attribute the exact same title to Jesus
Here are the key scriptures that a JW would confirm relates to Jehovah
Revelation 1:8I am the Al′pha and the O·me′ga,”aq says Jehovah God, “the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.” NWT
Revelation 21:6And he said to me: “They have come to pass! I am the Al′pha and the O·me′ga,a the beginning and the end. l To anyone thirsting I will give from the spring of the water of life free. NWT
Revelation 22: 12,13“‘Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to repay each one according to his work. I am the Al′pha and the O·me′ga, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. NWT
Now let’s look at 2 more verses, but here they clearly refer to Jesus
Revelation 22:20 The one who bears witness of these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’“Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”
Revelation 1 17,18 When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet.And he laid his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave.
What do we notice?
1 Both Jehovah & Jesus is called the “alpha & Omega, the First & the Last.
Clearly you can’t have two “first & lasts” so Jesus must also be Jehovah.
2 It confirms in Rev 1:17,18 that God became dead, but as we know Jehovah(Father) never died, so it must be referring to Jesus.
Jesus the “I AM”
Now to add further weight to the identity of Christ, is where both Jehovah & Christ is called the “I AM”, this surely would give any witness no doubts that Jesus is God, if the scriptures actually said this.
Let’s look at the case for Jehovah using the NWT
Exodus 3: But Moses said to the true God: “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your forefathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I say to them?” 14 So God said to Moses: “I Will Become What I Choose to Become”
As we know from scholarly research that the name here signifies by “YHWH” is also translated as the “I AM”, and there is no dispute
John 8:58 Then the Jews said to him: “You are not yet 50 years old, and still you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been
In the KIT (Kingdom Interlinear) αὐτοῖς (to them) Ἰησοῦς (Jesus) ᾿Αμὴν (Amen) ἀμὴν (amen) λέγω (I am saying) ὑμῖν, (to YOU) πρὶν (Before) ᾿Αβραὰμ (Abraham) γενέσθαι (to become) ἐγὼ (I) εἰμί. (am.)
The problem here the NWT has translated “I AM “to “I have been”, but is there any genuine bases for this?
Again Doctor J Mantey explains that this is not feasible because of the following
The JW Organization made the change on the basis of using a “Perfect Indefinite Tense”, but as Dr Mantey outlined, there was NEVER a “perfect indefinite tense” in the Greek language. Instead it is clearly shown as a “present indicative tense” and thereby “I AM” is the correct translation.
Most importantly the original Greek is the same here in John when referring to Jesus as it is with Jehovah in the Old Testament, so absolute proof that Jesus is the “I AM” and therefore God.
Clearly deliberate plagiarism on behalf of the Watchtower Body.
The Holy Spirit : A force or God
As we know the Jehovah’s witnesses claim that the Holy Spirit is God’s active force, or put it another way “just a force with no personality” but is this true from the Bible?
Let’s look at Acts 5:3,4 where it says
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” How would that be possible if the Spirit was just a force, how can you lie to wind, or electricity? So we see that by lying to the Spirit, you are in fact lying to God.
Also note the scriptures make it clear “you are lying to God”, so the only sensible conclusion that you can make is that the Spirit must be God. Also see 2 CORINTHIANS 3:17: “Now Jehovah is the Spirit; and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.”—New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
If you are still in any doubt, consider the following
THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS A MIND:
ROMANS 8:27: “and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
1 CORINTHIANS 2:10-11: “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God….Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS EMOTIONS:
EPHESIANS 4:30: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God….”
ISAIAH 63:10: “But they…rebelled and made his holy spirit feel hurt.”—New World Translation
MICAH 2:7: “…Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these His doings?”
HEBREWS 10:29: “…and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS A WILL AND ISSUES COMMANDS:
1 CORINTHIANS 12:11: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”
ACTS 8:29; 13:2,4; 16:6: “And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.’ …The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’…So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit….having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.”
2 SAMUEL 23:2: “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TREATED AS A PERSON:
JOHN 14:16; 15:26: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper….When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me.…”
Clearly the scriptures identify the Spirit as a “personality” and therefore simply cannot be just a “active force”
The Resurrection of Christ – In Body or in Spirit
Let’s firstly understand what resurrection means
The dictionary definition taken from a religious context “It is the concept of a living being coming back to life after death.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus was raised as a sprit, based on the scripture that “in his resurrection he ‘became a life-giving spirit.”
But does that conclusively mean he rose as a spirit?
Firstly, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 15:42-44:
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
So we can see a physical body also has a spiritual body, and therefore on its own does not negate the possibility that Jesus was risen as a Physical body.
There is a scripture that helps us here where it absolutely clarifies the position
John 2:19-21: “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body.”
We also see the importance of Christ’s body when you look at Christ’s Gospel and importance to one’s salvation
Romans 10:9 articulates two requirements for salvation. The first is to confess “Jesus as Lord.” The second requirement is to believe that “God raised Jesus from the dead.” Similarly, the Apostle Paul summarizes the gospel at 1 Corinthians 15:3-5:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
Paul not only states that one of the main tenants of the gospel is the belief that Jesus rose from the dead, but in verse 17, he goes on to say that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
Your Salvation & the Gospel
Jehovah’s witnesses believe that as much as Jesus died for us and that it is a free gift, they still push the point that in order to gain salvation you must “Be part of God’s Kingdom established on earth, being the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society” and even recently at their 2013 District Convention reiterated that “you can only have a hope of everlasting hope (salvation) is by partaking from Jehovah’s table as provide by the WTBS and that the only other table offered is that coming from Satan”.
They go on by explaining that you need to “take in knowledge”, be “obedient to God, by being obedient to the WTBS”, “attend all meeting of the WTBS”, only “read their literature”, “preach the good news of Jehovah’s Kingdom”, representing God’s gospel, otherwise you will not gain everlasting life. Does this not sounds like a works based salvation?
Is this true and more importantly what does the Bible say?
One of the best scriptures that plainly explain God’s position on your salvation is
Ephesians 2:8-10 which reads: By this undeserved kindness you have been saved through faith, l and this is not of your own doing; rather, it is God’s gift. 9 No, it is not a result of works, so that no one should have grounds for boasting. 10 We are God’s handiwork and were created in union with Christ Jesus for good works, which God determined in advance for us to walk in them. NWT
Despite some efforts by the Watchtower, the verse still reads that “YOU are SAVED by FAITH”, it is a FREE GIFT, and it is NOT BY WORKS, and ANY WORKS are what God determines in advance.
So how can any works that we do have anything to do with our “earning” salvation, clearly none at all, as they are God’s that he wills in us.
Of course the JW’s say that “Faith without works is Dead” (James 2:17) which is true and biblical, but here we need to be careful with the context and that it must not contradict Ephesians.
Simply explained: Works are not to get saved but “BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED”, again this re-emphasizes that it is God’s grace that we are saved, we can never earn it.
FAITH IS JUSTIFIED BY GOD : WORKS IS JUSTIFED BY MAN
So how does this then fit in terms of how you walk out your salvation?
This is where the Gospel comes in, Jehovah witnesses when asked say “it is preaching the good news of the kingdom and the hope of everlasting life on Paradise Earth”. But is that what the Bible means by “Preaching the Good news”?
When we read through the New Testament we can clearly see the “Good news” is also referred to the “Gospel”, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have no problem with this, which is a good start.
So what is the Gospel,? Well the Bible does refer to the Gospel in many ways, in terms of Kingdom, faith, good news etc, but these terms are not completely unpacking what the Gospel specifically means and also what is the most key element. So what do we mean by “preaching the Kingdom/Good news”? Fortunately Jesus helps us here, where he himself is asked this very question.
Clearly before we preach about the Kingdom, or everlasting life, we need to first preach the Gospel of Christ, as explained by the following verses
1 Corinthians 15 1-4 NWT: “Now I remind you, brothers, of the good news that I declared to you, which you also accepted, and for which you have taken your stand. 2 Through it you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the good news I declared to you, unless you became believers for nothing.
3 For among the first things I handed on to you was what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures 4 and that he was buried, yes, that he was raised up on the third day according to the Scriptures.
1 John 5:1. It says, “Everyone believing that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God.” Ask the Jehovah’s Witness, “Does the phrase ‘everyone believing’ leave anyone out?”
John 3:3 where Jesus states that unless a man is “born again” he cannot “see” God’s Kingdom
Romans 8:8-9 says, “So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God. However, you are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in you. But if anyone does not have Christ’s spirit, this one does not belong to him.”
From the above verses we can conclude the following
1. A person must receive God’s Spirit in order to walk “in the spirit” and not according to “the flesh, and this spirit must come from Christ
2. Those who walk “in the flesh, cannot please God.”
3. Anyone who does not have Christ’s spirit which he receives by being born again through adoption as a child of God (John 3:3, Gal. 4:5-6, Rom 8:1-9; 14-16) “this one does not belong to him.”
To receive Christ this is clearly spelt by in Romans 10: 9,10 NWTFor if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation.
This is probably the saddest part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses efforts is they miss the whole point that it is not about their fruits (works), or in preaching the hope of the Kingdom and eternal hope on paradise earth, if as they do, omit the pre-requisite of entering the Kingdom and be guaranteed salvation, they must first accept Christ, and then walk in the Spirit, which will lead them to all that they preach.
Our Lord we pray for our dear witnesses that work so hard to please you Lord, but sadly are so misguided by the many false teachings of the Watchtower. Lord we ask for their eyes to be opened to see that that no organisation can ever claim to be of God, if it prophecies in your name but they do not come to pass, to see that the NWT is not the accurate translation they believe it to be, but instead, are directed to their KIT which brings out your word in truth. We also pray that their eyes are opened to who Christ really is, the “Alpha & the Omega, the “I AM”, “God in flesh”, that has come to save all mankind from the bondage of sin, and that by repenting, accepting his death and resurrection, they are saved. Amen
WBTS Watchtower Bible & Tract Society
KIT Kingdom Interlinear Bible
JW Jehovah’s Witnesses
NWT New World Translation