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

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus? – Watchtower May 2014 – Review by Ray Aldridge

2014325_univ_lsr_lg

 

See Original Article here.

 

This seems such an innocent question to answer, that why would there even be a need for a review? Initially I felt the same as obviously Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe in Jesus, in fact I have never heard of anyone saying to me that they thought that they didn’t, and that is what drew my suspicion that something was not quite right here.

So was the article really trying to answer this question or was there more to this, and if so what was the message that the Organisation was trying to portray to the reader?

The article starts by simply stating they do believe in Jesus and then refer to John 14:6 that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through him.

Now for them they suggest this implies that we are really going to Jehovah (the Father), but we need to do this through Jesus and that they do this by simply saying “in the name of Jesus” at the end of each prayer. The article then refers to John 3:16 Where it points to that “….so that everyone exercising Faith in him (Jesus) might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”

Now here is where I believe the “real agenda” surfaces. Apart from mentioning that it is by “exercising Faith”, rather than simply having faith, it then states that faith In Jesus “might gain everlasting faith, and who is now ruling as King of God’s Kingdom.

 

Amazing, so now we have

1 We need to EXERCISE Faith, and that it is vital for Salvation

2 Faith in Jesus MIGHT gain everlasting Life

3 Jesus NOW rules as King

 

Before we continue let’s get to the facts of the 3 points I highlighted above

1 In John 3:16 it DOES NOT say “exercise” but in FACT “Have

Can you see the difference, by changing the scripture to “exercise” it suggests there is a work required in placing faith in Jesus, rather than simply receiving it.

Let also look at Ephesians 2:8,9 which reads “for Grace you have been saved through Faith and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast”, so clearly there is no exercising required, or work as another way of expressing it.

2 This again is very subtle but deceptive that Faith in Jesus “might” gain everlasting Life.

Again in the same John verse, it refers to a definite expression not a probable one, and again here the Watchtower are trying to add words of WORKS in order to justify that this is what the word is trying to say, but these words simply do not exist in the original manuscripts.

Definitely something for the JW to ponder over.

3 Lastly here the mention of Jesus ruling NOW; unbelievable, this point is simply mentioned without any explanation or ounce of reasoning, hoping the reader will just accept this point.

 

The article carries on the point of exercising Faith, and then tries to suggest therefore, there is “a need to do something” in order to gain everlasting life. Now the average reader may think that is what it says in the Bible and thereby accept there is a “work” involved”, but as proven above, there is simply no word referring to “work” in this verse and as confirmed in Ephesians that it is “not of works”. I cannot stress enough “to use scripture to prove scripture”, when discussing with Jw’s and also get them to double check their KIT (Kingdom Interlinear) for a more accurate translation, and then show the corresponding scriptures in context to drive the point home.

Now, what appears to be a shift in argument, the article uses the disguise that man also asks “if they believe in Jesus why do they talk about Jehovah so much”? Here again the article is simply trying to put the point over why we should say the name Jehovah so much, as it says “I have made your name known”. Here of course is where Jesus is talking in context about making the Father known, not specifically by stating his name, but rather in what is represented by this Name, here I recommend looking at one the other articles here that specifically addresses this issue.

However, what is amazing here is, it then quotes Acts 2:21 saying whoever calls on the name of Jehovah” will be saved. Are they right in this verse, well most definitely NOT and here’s why

1 The name Jehovah or equivalent is not in the original NT text

2 This verse in context is where Joel prophesied his present age would end amidst mighty portents and in divine judgement, but that whoever calls on the name of Lord shall be saved. Peter would then proceed to establish that “Jesus” is the Lord who will return in judgement and upon whom people must now call in repentance and Faith.

How amazing the Watchtower, on one hand make a big point that they believe in Jesus and then at the same time replace his name for Jehovah as a way to justify why they put so much emphasis in the Father name than the Son’s, and thereby shifting the emphasis of where our Faith should be directed.

Now here is just an unbelievable comment, the article then tries to prove that by calling out God’s personnel name, that by default, draws us closer to him, using Moses as an illustration. How totally ridiculous is that , as we know it is all about building a relationship with someone that brings us closer, not by how often we call out his name!

In the closing paragraphs, it then ties in John 14:1 stating that it reads “exercising Faith in both God (Father) and in him (Jesus)

This is then used as way to bring this article together, but again this is not what the verse is saying.

There is no word in this verse for “exercising” and it is not saying in context of having Faith in both for Salvation by, just that the disciples need to also believe in Jesus in addition to the Father, no more.

Then it concludes that surely it is not enough to just have Faith in God & Jesus, but that we need to live our lives in a way to back up that claim.

 As mentioned in Ephesians 2, and in many other scriptures, the Bible actually says “It is by Faith Alone”, not by works or in by exercising, that one is saved; and now let’s clear this point of works, by looking at the context in verse 10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God Prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. So you can see our works are actually the Lords when we have Faith in Christ, so that no man can boast.

In other words, the works that follow from our Faith are simply the outward result of God’s will in us, not of our own doing.

I really feel for the Jehovah’s Witness that reads such articles, as the Watchtower are deliberately deceiving the reader to accept their teaching, even to the point where it goes directly against what the Bible states and teaches, and more crucially over one of the most important tenants of the Bible, our Faith In Christ.

Advertisements

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses »

  1. Outstanding article – well done for exposing the fatal error in Jehovah’s Witnesses thinking about Jesus.

  2. The Greek word usually translated “believe” is a take-off from “faith”, but the Greek adds the thought of puting faith to work. Thus “exercise faith” is a closer translation then “believe.”

    In Acts chapter five the apostles are brought to the Sanhedrin and there was a question of how to treat them. Gamiel rose up and mentioned two men who had followers and they perished. Then he said, in verse 38 “So under the present circumstances, I say to you, do not meddle with these men, but let them alone. For if this scheme or this work is from men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. Otherwise, you may even be found fighters against God himself.”

    There were 250,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses when i was baptized, now we are 8 million strong. This is surely a fullfilment of what Gamiel said. Another point that I am with the right group is when Jesus sent out the 70 disciples, he said (Matthew 10:8) “You received free. Give free.” All of us serve without remuneraton. There are no collection plates ever passed at our meetings. I feel that this is the group Jehovah is using.

    Jesus when he ascended to the heavens told his followers to be witnesses to the most distant parts of the Earth. We know only Jeovah’s Witnesses do this. There are comments against Jehovah’switnesses just because they are so active. Thos who criticize us do not follow any of the instructions of no money and earthwide. Why not listen to them the next time they call and see what help they can give you. Perhaps you, too, will be able to be among the few giving a witness in this time of the end.

  3. Thanks Jerome four your feedback.
    Your are right the word in Greek is “Believe”, which on its own does not imply works.( as per English definition) I am not sure where the Greek “adds the thought of putting faith to work” in this verse, as it simply is not recorded as such.Again look at Ephesians 2:8-10, it says so clear that “it is not of works, so that no man can boast” and then in Verse 10 ” that any works are after one has Belief/faith” and this is in fact God’s works that he will’s in us”. Works are a consequence of Faith not to gain Faith.
    Please look at all these verses and note it also says it is a free gift from God, by his Grace, so therefore you cannot earn it, hence it is not a per-requisute of works..
    Yes works are important but we need to appreciate the context., as explained above.
    Thanks for the statistics of JW’s who have grown significantly from the early years, but does that prove their beliefs are True? What about the size of the Mormon Faith, to name one.(over 15M)
    With regards to money let me ask you the following
    1 What is the difference of a collection plate vs a collection box
    2 How much effort does the JW put on donations see latest letter to the elders on this subject , I can send you a copy if you want.
    2 How wealthy are the JW Organisation?
    Whatever the method, mainstream Christianity on the whole do not charge for Christian service , but do ask a donation to cover costs, and are certainly not wealthy.
    I agree JW’s are very active but they are not alone.The difference is the method of ministry.
    Most Christians do not go “door to door” simply because it has never been a very successful method of evangelising. Please Google Christian Evangelizing around the world to see what actually goes on, and how many “accept Christ” as their Savior.
    Jerome, not only do I listen to JW’s I invite them to discuss about the Bible on every opportunity I can and have had many interesting conversations.
    If you are truly interested in sharing the message, let me offer the invitation to discuss with me. I am always happy to talk about God.Leave your contact details with this site and we will be happy to get in touch to discuss further.
    1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
    Bless Ray

    • “Works are a consequence of Faith not to gain Faith.”

      This statement is half correct.

      Works are a consequence of faith is sound reasoning. A person is not going to fall inline with something that is not accepted. For no person does something, unless reluctantly, he or she does not believe.

      However, to state that faith is not gained through works is not sound reasoning. From the time we are born, much of what we learn is through trail and error. In many cases, we learn our limitations through the things we do. Some of our confidences are based on pre-established facts observed and in some cases inherited.

      In short, our faith is based on assurances which are borne through circumstances we encounter. Generally, these assurances are connected to something or someone. In other words, assurances are achieved in something or someone as a direct result of circumstances (usually challenges) associated with that something or someone.

      Faith is not just something that you have. It is also something that you use. Like a muscle, we must use or exercise our faith or risk becoming weak. We must exercise our faith (use those personal assurances) in our daily activity. As we conquer tougher challenges, we gain greater assurances either in quantity or quality.

      And faith is not a absolute. It not just about having knowledge or understanding. Believing is not enough. Even the demons believe they will be destroyed but they do not act in a way as not to be (James 2:19). Bank robbers know they will get caught at done point in time hut it does not stop them from robbing banks. At one point in time they had high respect, proper fear and obedience toward their God and creator. Then, they just stop and made themselves an enemy of their creator even though they know and believe Jehovah is almighty and will destroy them.

      So, a person’s faith can grow and shrink depending on their works.

  4. Examine urself properly. Are u a Fault-finder? As an EX, what made u an EX? Were u retired? Pls, the world needs constructive criticism. U can’t make good name by pulling others down. Well u are free to form ur own religion. Then God will become a JUDGE to the JWs n YOU.

  5. Hi Steve let me qualify my point
    I am not saying you gain Faith without coming into some form of knowledge. Yes of course everyone needs to take in knowledge so that they are in an informed position. However, I am only rfefering to “works” in terms of “earning salvation”. Simply proving by Ephesians 2:8-10 that it is not earned but rather a free gift, that’s all. Apologies for any confusion.

  6. Hi Eboigbe, let me firstly say I am not trying to pull anyone down. I am en ex-JW because I had too many issues with the beliefs, practices, rules etc of the JW’s that simply did not sit well with me when I tried to reconcile with the Bible and the answers I was given by numerous Elders that were unsatisfactory, in order for me to be confident this was the truth.
    My review is an honest review based on what I believe are accurate assessment based on what the Bible conveys. Let me know any specifics that you are concerned with and I will be more than happy to explain my respective comment. I actually love all JW’s which is why I am taking the time to provide them with facts as provided in God’s word and how they should be interpreted so that they are in harmony with all scripture.
    One last point if you are a true Christian then you should warn others that are in danger, right?
    Well I believe that JW’s are being taught many untruths which have a direct impact on their salvation, and I don’t want them to miss out. It is all about sharing to others the beliefs you have and by so coming to a better understanding of God’s truth, so that we can be set free.
    See 1 Peter 3:15

  7. Ray,
    Thanks for the clarification. I am in agreement with following addition.

    As you are aware, mankind can not pick and choose what part of anything that Jehovah requires. Faith should promote works and works should in turn build faith.
    Nothing can be achieved with no effort. Even if something has been done for you, meaning provided freely, it still requires some effort in receiving the benefit.

    Faith without works is dead. In this statement, the focus is not on any one thing. The reason is because neither one by itself can provide any meaningful outcome. Just believing something does not suggest faith. No more than working towards something means you are worthy of it.

    Many people see the term “works” only on the context as good actions or deeds. However, the primary component of works is obedience.

    The Children of Abraham had the Law. Keeping the Law was not as much about faith as it was about obedience. They did not try to keep the Law because they believed. They put fourth the effort because it was a requirement that they agreed to live by. History shows us they did not do a great job at keeping the Law. The Israelites developed their faith in their a God by the events they experience through their relationship as a nation with Jehovah. However, the requirement for the Nation was to be obedient to Jehovah’s Law. Blessings or maledictions were based on “works” or rather their obedience in accordance with the Law. It should be noted that salvation, meaning everlasting life, was not a reward for obedience to the Law.

    In terms of obedience, it is no different for Christians today. While not under the requirements of the Law, we are required to be obedient to the Christ by following his teachings and instructions. Obedience to Jehovah’s a Son Jesus and Jehovah himself is a requirement for salvation as an individual. While the gift of everlasting life is free, one must qualify for it through their obedience. Jehovah is not giving the gift of everlasting life to anyone that is not obedient to him and his Son.

    Hebrews 5:8 states although he (Jesus) was a Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. If Jesus had to learn and practice obedience, any that follow him must do the same. This requires action defined as “works” among other things.

  8. Steve,
    I actually agree with most of what you said in your last post. But I think I need to clarify a few points so that no one reading this is mis-interpretating what is being said
    .
    Point 1 yes Faith should promote works but look at Ephesians 2:8-10 these works that come from Faith are what God wills into us, not our own.

    Point 2 Gods Works are what comes from his Spirit , so we need to identify what they are.
    , IE fruits of the spirit, not fruits of the flesh

    Point 3 yes I agree we need to be obedient to Christ, but it does not say in the Bible that it is req’d for Salvation. Salvation is a free gift to those who accept as pointed out already. There is nothing we can do to merit it. However if we truly love Christ then we will want to follow him, this is simply the outwards result of coming to Christ, through his spirit.
    Jesus explains that by being Obedient to him, we will receive blessings/rewards Luke 11:28

    Point 4 In practice we are guided by scripture in how we can build our Faith as follows
    Prayer Rom 10:17, Reading & study of the Bible 2 Thess 1:3, receiving the fruits of the spirit as offered by Christ, Be born again Rom 12:3, Love all mankind just as Jesus loves all, Trust In God Rom 4:19-21, Fellowship with Believers Matthew 18:20, Close relationship with Christ, Act on yr Faith, which is acting on what God leads us to.

    So yes we need to be obedient to Christ as it provides blessings from Him and that in turn will bring us close to him and strengthen our Faith, plus the other areas mentioned above.
    But let us be careful, our repenting of our sins, accepting Christ as our savior and believing that he was resurrected, we are saved, there is no further works to earn this. Ephesians 2:8-10
    But then the Bible explains through our belief, with God’s spirit in us, we are moved to then walk in faith to do his will, and the many blessings will be received.

    Notice Steve, in this there are a few things we need to ask ourselves
    1 have we accepted Christ as our savior and mediator and go to him for all things John14:6?
    2 are we born again , otherwise we cannot enter into the God’s kingdom or come under a close relationship with Christ?
    3 Do yo have a close relationship with Christ, and if so how? do you talk to him?
    4 Do you have God’s spirit indwell in you? otherwise how can you walk in the spirit?
    Finally I agree we need to act but based on the above, it is very important what acts you are actually referring to.

    • Ray,
      From your last post, you are declaring that the actions are less important than the faith. Additionally, it appears you are advocating Jehovah gives faith as a free gift therefore qualifying anybody and everyone for salvation regardless of their conduct. It sounds like mankind has no responsibility or accountability. Everyone seems to be eligible and qualified for salvation regardless of their conduct.

      If this is your position, we are not in agreement nor would your position be in agreement with the whole bible. Moreover, it would be a mistake for you or any other person to think no action is require for the salvation.

      POINT 1: It is true, there is no way that a descendant of Adam can gain salvation on his own, no matter how noble his works are. The scriptures you continue to refer clearly speaks of salvation through their faith. Faith is not the gift. Salvation is the gift. Salvation is a gift from God given to those who put faith in the sin-atoning value of the sacrifice of his Son. A person must act with conviction in the things he believes or values. Not everyone believes in a god, Jesus, Satan, angels, the bible or in religion. So, they do not conduct themselves in support of those things. That is not Jehovah’s doing, it is mankind’s choice. Jehovah has not and will not force anyone to love, respect, worship and obey him. Mankind has free will. He makes his choices himself. His choices can be forever, off and on or do it and stop. It is his choice.

      2 Thessalonians 3:2 tells us the faith is not a possession of all men. That’s because not all men choose to believe in the value of accurate knowledge in association with spiritual things. But faith is what is needed in order to gain the free gift of salvation. And yet, 2 Peter 3:9 tells us Jehovah is patient with us because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. This is not based on him giving anyone faith. It is based on his desire for all to gain the life that Adam lost.

      Jehovah does not give faith. He provides the justification for believing through his word the bible. In other words, mankind can trust what the bible states and act accordingly of not. His choice, not God’s choice. The truth is for everyone but not everyone will want the truth.

      And to hopefully closeout this point, consider that Jesus had works. Think about his mission. Did he not act with faith in Jehovah? Did he not preach and teach about the good news of the kingdom? Did he not make his father’s name known? Did he not teach his Apostles and disciples how to preach and teach the good news of the kingdom? Was he not obedient to everything his father wanted? All the prophesy spoken about him he fulfill, did he not?

      Moreover, concerning “works”, Jesus just before his death told his 11 faithful apostles: “Most truly I say to you, He that exercises faith in me, that one also will do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father.” (John 14:12) Since the Son was returning to heaven, his followers, not just the apostles but also all future disciples, would have to carry on the preaching and teaching work. (John 17:20) Jesus humbly acknowledged that their works would be “greater than” his. Putting faith in a Jesus requires being obedient to his teachings, commandments and instructions.

      In short, if you say you believe or have faith in Jesus and yet do not carry on the “works” he did, even to a greater degree than him, your faith in him is dead. Hence, faith without works is dead. And according to Ephesians 2:8-10, that free gift of salvation is based solely on faith in Jesus.

      It is not the good deeds that people do but rather the putting faith in Jesus which in turn would lead to the proper conduct through obedience that qualifies a person for salvation. Everyone is eligible but not everyone will qualify.

      • POINT 2: in the 5th chapter of Galatians, it speaks of qualities produced from Jehovah’s Holy Spirit. They are qualities and not “works”.

        “Works” are the results of what one does, the product of one’s actions. In other words, the items that Paul listed as the works of the flesh are the results either of one’s conscious effort or of the influence of the fallen human flesh. (Romans 1:24, 28; 7:21-25)

        On the other hand, the expression “the fruitage of the spirit” implies that the qualities listed are, not the results of efforts in so-called character development or personality enhancement, but the results of the operation of God’s spirit on a person. Just as a tree will bear fruit when it is properly tended, so a person will manifest the fruitage of the spirit when holy spirit flows freely in his life.—Psalm 1:1-3.

        The operative phrase is “holy spirit flows freely in his life”. This is a choice and it requires obedience. A person may choice not to allow God’s spirit to operate upon him so as to produce the qualities from his spirit.

        http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2001563 (paragraph 13-14)

        http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2011283

  9. Steve
    I thank you for taking the time to reply once more and put your points over.Sadly I respectfully contest you have not understood my points, so let me try and qualify each point that you have raised against what you believe I have said.

    I am not saying actions are less important that Faith, in fact i do not wish to compare, they simply have their place
    I am saying that it is by Faith you are saved.
    I am also saying YES it is important that you act on your Faith, in order to safeguard, & Grow your faith and so by, receive the blessings and build your relationship with Christ

    In terms of Salvation the Bible is clear, that it is the FREE GIFT of Salvation, not Faith. It is through Faith that we can accept this free gift and here is the important piece: It is to accept that Christ Died for us , and was raised after 3 days. IE his death & Resurrection.
    Now in terms of our conduct, of course that is important as this demonstrates your genuine belief in Christ.
    I am puzzled where you get the idea that I believe in giving Faith, or Faith is the gift, I checked my comments and this is simply not stated.So please re-read and also look at this post for clarity.

    Now your ending point, I feel you are putting things in the wrong order
    Jesus said that the offer of salvation is free – not of Works!
    This is Justification.
    What follows is Sanctification, which is the result of you acting in harmony with your belief in Christ, which Ephesians explains is the result of God’s will, now being in you, via his Spirit.
    Yes we still have free will and have to still make the right choices, God’s will is not forced on us , but simply works in us, and it is for us to choose to be lead by this.
    This is called walking in the spirit rather than walking in the flesh.

    Yes salvation is based solely on your Faith, but don’t forget the.context: that by having Faith God;s will is now in you, and this leads to works. In other words, works are a consequence of Faith.
    I continue to act by God’s will, as a result of my Faith, as the spirit leads me, and I do my best to choose to act accordingly. This means I do follow Christ, in terms of preaching, prayer, love to all, study, fruits of the spirit etc.
    You try to surmise that as Faith leads you to be obedient and act accordingly, that these works are what God qualifies a person of Salvation. Well if that was case the Bible would be contradicting itself when looking at Ephesians, and other similar passages.
    It is amazing that you base this on John 14:12 as this scriptures actually supports my view.
    Lets look more closely at what It says
    “truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing”
    Here it is by the Faith In Christ, that will result in works, NOT by exercising Faith, as if to suggest it is by his works he has Faith. Please go to your Kingdom Interlinear to see a more accurate translation.
    Sadly the JW Org are trying to convince its followers that you need to do all these works, in order to earn your salvation, when in fact it is by your Faith you are saved, and this leads to works , as willed in you by God.
    This may look subtle but the difference is huge, as it negates the idea that you will live in fear not knowing if you are saved until the day you are judged, and everything good & bad you did is taken into account.

    Now your Point 2 is a strange one
    On one hand you recognize that it is by walking in the spirit that is key, which i agree, but then say that you then have the choice to be obedient to the spirit, which is fine ; so what exactly is your point. I never said you are forced by God’s spirit, of course you need to make the right choices.
    I believe the reason for your comments if I can call them that, as they are more of JW “cut & paste” , is to simply defend JW theology, but I would much prefer proper reasoning to why you defend it.

    So interestingly how does a JW receive the spirit if he is NOT BORN AGAIN?
    How can he be led by God’s will if he has not understood the free gift of Salvation, and thinks it is based on works to earn it?
    How can a jW truly be saved if he does not have Jesus as his mediator and savior, as we know it is the JW Org that its followers believe is their mediator between God & Man?
    How can you be accepted by God if you follow man (JW Org”) over Christ?
    If you believe what I ask from a JW perspective is not true,please let me know and I will provide the actual JW literature to support my point.

    • Ray,
      It was never my intention to go beyond the scriptures on this matter. The truth of God’s word is simple clear and concise. It is really not open for interpretation nor does it need to be interpreted. It does a pretty good job of interpreting itself.

      It is clear you have a philosophy that you want the scriptures to support. While some scriptures have satisfied your thought process, others oppose. Much of what we have spoken relates back to the first 39 books of the bible. There is no way to match your understanding of a few Greek scriptures you cited with the many cross references in Hebrew, some of which are connected to prophecy.

      Moving forward, you will find it to be more difficult to fit the consistent and inter-connected truth of all 66 books of the bible into your thinking process. More importantly, understanding the whole bible from Genesis to Revelation and the inter-connections is critical to surviving the Great Tribulation.

      We agree to disagree

  10. Steve
    All my intention, is to share with others the real truth in God’s word, so rather than give a blanket response to my last articulated set of points, please let us know what specifically you have an issue with, and I will b happy to discuss. If we truly are followers and want to do God’s will, then we should not shy away from those that ask for a reason to your faith, and that you would always be ready to witness to those that are interested to know and discuss about God, in love & respect, and that is all I want to achieve here. Bless

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: