JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES BELIEVE THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A FEW SCATTERED INDIVIDUALS who kept the faith, true Christianity vanished from the face of the earth shortly after the death of the twelve apostles. It was not restored until Charles Taze Russell set up the Watchtower organization in the late 1870s.
They believe that Christ returned invisibly in 1914, and found Russell's group doing the work of the faithful and wise servant" of Matt 24:45, and appointed them over all his belongings. All other churches and professed Christians are actually tools of the devil.
APOSTASY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
A common argument that various cults give to validate their claim to "True Christianity" is that the Christian church has apostatized from the truth that was delivered to the early church. Mormons, Seventh day Adventists, Christian Science, the Brethren, The World Wide Church of God, along with a variety of others join the Jehovah's Witnesses in declaring that the Christian Church had apostatized shortly after the death of the original 12 apostles.
This faulty reasoning implies that Jesus Christ was mistaken when he said:
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
ASK: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS AN APOSTATE CHURCH?
ASK: IF THE CHURCH APOSTATIZED FROM THE TRUTH SHORTLY AFTER THE DEATH OF THE APOSTLES, WAS JESUS MISTAKEN WHEN HE SAID THAT THE GATES OF HELL WOULD NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HIS CHURCH?
JESUS declared that He had received all authority in heaven and earth, and that He would be with His people always, even unto the end of the world.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came
and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
ASK: DOES THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY TEACH ITS FOLLOWERS THAT SATAN'S DECEPTION HAS MORE AUTHORITY THAN JESUS? IF SO, DOES THAT MEAN JESUS LIED IN MATT. 28:18-20?
CONCERNING THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Watchtower theology teaches that Jesus Christ returned invisibly in 1914, and has been present ever since, ruling as King on earth through the Watchtower Society (see the back portion of any Jehovah's witness' Bible where it references Bible Topics for discussion, under section 36, "return of Christ). The Seventh Day Adventist church also holds a similar view, declaring that the years following Jesus' coming are His "investigative Judgment", where He investigates all the lives that are living and have ever lived, to determine who is worthy to enter into Heaven.
References to the second coming are translated as "presence" in the New World Translation (Matt 24:3,27,37,39,etc.). According to their interpretation of Matt.24:34, the generation of people who witnessed Christ's invisible return in 1914 will not pass away before Armageddon comes .
ASK: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST?
ASK: IF JESUS' RETURN TO EARTH IS INVISIBLE THEN HOW CAN ONE EXPLAIN MATTHEW 24:30 WHERE JESUS SAID THAT ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH WOULD MOURN, AND THEY SHALL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY?
ASK: WHAT DOES HEBREWS 9:28 MEAN TO YOU? "So also the Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many, and the second time that he appears, it will be apart from sin and to those earnestly liking for him for [their] salvation" (NWT). HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT YOUR OWN BIBLE SAYS THAT HE WILL APPEAR THE SECOND TIME, AND YOUR TEACHING SAYS THAT HIS SECOND COMING WON'T BE VISIBLE?
In Matthew 26:64, Jesus told the high priest that he would see Him sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Again, I would refer the reader back to Revelation 1:7 that says that every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him. Jesus was informing the High Priest that one day he would see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven. This is a hard saying for the Jehovah Witness who believes that when a person dies, they are no longer conscious of anything.
ASK: WHAT ABOUT REVELATION 1:7, THAT SAYS: "Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief because of him. Yes, Amen." (NWT) HOW CAN EVERY EYE SEE HIM IF HE IS INVISIBLE?
Their comment in section 36 of their Bible topic for discussion regarding Revelation 1:7 is "Enemies 'see' as destruction overtakes" but the fact is, that while Revelation 1:7 is referring in part to His enemies, it also is referring to every person on earth, whether they are enemies or not. He says EVERY eye will see Him.
They put the quotation marks around the word "see", to infer that this is only figurative language, since their doctrine teaches that Jesus is now invisible. But this word translated as "see" means to gaze with wide open eyes as at something remarkable. That's a pretty strong word to use if it was only intended to be figurative. We will look at Strong's definition for this word.
G3700 optanomai optomai op-tan'-om-ahee, op'-tom-ahee The first a (middle voice) prolonged form of the second (primary) which is used for it in certain tenses; and both as alternates of G3708; to gaze (that is, with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable; and thus differing from G991, which denotes simply voluntary observation; and from G1492, which expresses merely mechanical, passive or casual vision; while G2300, and still more emphatically its intensive G2334, signifies an earnest but more continued inspection; and G4648 a watching from a distance): - appear, look, see, shew self.
If we look at section 36 in the Bible Topics for Discussion of the NWT, we see this statement referring to Jesus: "In heaven, an invisible spirit".
ASK: IF JESUS IS AN INVISIBLE SPIRIT IN HEAVEN, THEN WHAT WAS STEPHEN TALKING ABOUT IN ACTS 7:55,56?
Acts 7:55 But he, being
full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God's glory, and
of Jesus standing at God's right hand,
56 and he said: "Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the son of man standing at God's right hand." (NWT)
Regardless of how one looks at it, the fact is that only moments before his death, Stephen declared that he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. It would not be a good thing for a man to lie about something just before he was stoned to death!
Certainly Stephen couldn't have seen an invisible spirit standing at God's right hand. Notice he saw God's GLORY, but he actually saw Jesus.
CONCERNING THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Jesus was crucified on a cross. They maintain that He was nailed to a straight upright pole without a crossbeam. They believe that the cross is a pagan symbol adopted by the church when Satan, the devil, took control of ecclesiastical authority.
ASK: DO YOU BELIEVE JESUS DIED ON A CROSS TO TAKE AWAY YOUR SINS?
The Jehovah's Witness will tell you they do not believe that Jesus died on a cross.
ASK: IF JESUS WAS PUT TO DEATH ON A TORTURE STAKE, WITH BOTH HANDS TOGETHER OVER HIS HEAD, WAS JOHN MAKING A MISTAKE WHEN HE QUOTED THOMAS AS SAYING "... unless I see in his hands the print of the nailS...", (John 20:25), indicating that there was more than one nail used for his hands? Two nails would have been used if he was crucified on a cross.
The fact of the matter is that it shouldn't be a major point of contention as far as HOW Jesus died…the important thing is that He did willingly give His sinless Life in order to redeem sinful humanity.
But since the Watchtower Society has majored so on a minor, one cannot help but think of the passage in Phillippians which so aptly fits them:
Phi 3:18 (For many walk,
of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are
the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
ASK the Jehovah's Witness to read Phillipians 3:18,19. Eplain that your translation says "cross" instead of torture stake.
ASK: SINCE YOU REJECT THE CROSS, AND YOU REJECT THE DOCTRINE OF A HEAVENLY HOPE, COULD IT BE POSSIBLE THAT PHILLIPIANS 3:18 & 19 IS SPEAKING OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES WHEN IT MENTIONS THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS?
SAY: FOR THE CHRISTIAN, WE ARE TAUGHT THAT OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN, AND NOT ON THIS EARTH. DOESN'T THIS CONTRADICT WHAT THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES TEACH CONCERNING THE DOCTRINE THAT THEY WILL LIVE AND REIGN ON THE EARTH? IT SEEMS THAT THEY ARE TAUGHT TO REJECT THE HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP, WHEN THEIR OWN BIBLE SAYS THAT THEIR CITIZENSHIP EXISTS IN THE HEAVENS.
Phi 3:20 As for us, our citizenship exists in the heavens; from which place also we are eagerly waiting for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: (NWT)
THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES BELIEVE THAT Christ became nonexistent when He died, and that He was raised three days later as a "spirit"- an angel. They believe that his physical body was not resurrected, but disposed of or dissolved. They teach that for a period of 4o days after His resurrection, He appeared visibly to His disciples a number of times, in materialized bodies, to prove that He really had been raised from the dead (The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life; p.52). The doctrine taught by the Jehovah's Witnesses is that Jesus appeared in different bodies to various people ["perhaps to reinforce in their minds the fact that he was then a spirit" Reasoning From the Scriptures, p.335]
Contrary to the above statement quoted from Reasoning From The Scriptures, in Luke 24:36-43, Jesus goes to great lengths to prove to His disciples that He was NOT a spirit.
24:36 While they were speaking of these things he himself stood in their midst
[and said to them: "May you have peace]
37 But because they were terrified, and had become frightened, they were imagining they beheld a spirit.
38 So he said to them: "Why are you troubled, and why is it doubts come up in your hearts?
39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have."
40 [And as he said this he showed them his hands and his feet.]
41 But while they were still not believing for sheer joy and were wondering, he said to them: "Do you have something there to eat?"
42 And they handed him a piece of broiled fish;
43 And he took it and ate it before their eyes. (NWT)
Jesus Himself prophesied His physical resurrection long before His death:
Jn 2:19 In answer Jesus
said to them: "break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20 Therefore the Jews said "This temple was built in forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?"
21 But he was talking about the temple of his body. (NWT)
ASK: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS PHYSICALLY RAISED FROM THE DEAD?
The Jehovah's Witness will say that they believe Jesus was raised with a spiritual body.
ASK: IF JESUS' BODY WAS DISPOSED OF OR DISSOLVED, WHILE HE WAS IN THE TOMB, AND HE WAS ONLY RAISE SPIRITUALLY, THEN DON'T THE WORDS THAT HE SPOKE IN JOHN 2: 19-21 MAKE HIM A FALSE PROPHET? OR EVEN WORSE, A LIAR?
ASK: WAS JESUS DECIEVING THE DISCIPLES WHEN HE SHOWED THEM THE NAIL PRINTS IN HIS HANDS AND HIS FEET, TO PROVE THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY HIM, AND NOT A SPIRIT THAT APPEARED TO THEM?
Other scriptures which attest to the physical resurrection of Jesus are found in Luke 24:13-35, John 20:26, 1 Cor 15:1-8, Acts 1:9-11.
At this point, the Jehovah's Witness may point out that Mary thought He was a gardener, and the disciples didn't recognize Him as He walked with them on the road to Emmaus, as proof that Jesus came in different bodies.
But Luke 24:31 explains why His people did not recognize Him for Who He was: After Jesus had blessed the meal, and broke the loaf, we see
"At that their eyes were fully opened and they recognized Him and He disappeared from them."
Prior to His breaking the bread, their eyes were closed to the Truth. Verse 16 says that their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.
The Jehovah's Witness may say that if Jesus wasn't a Spirit when He appeared to them, how could he disappear from them? (Verse 31).
One need only to point out the account of Phillip the evangelist who was with the Ethiopian eunuch one minute, and the next minute, he was found in anther town, because the Holy Spirit caught him away. The NWT says that "Jehovah's spirit quickly led Philip away" but the Greek here is stronger than merely leading him away from the eunuch. He was actually physically caught up and translated to another place.
G726 harpazoŻ Thayer Definition: 1) to seize, carry off by force 2) to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly 3) to snatch out or away Part of Speech: verb
This same word translated as "led away" by the NWT in Acts 8:39 is translated as "caught away" in 2 Corinthians 12:2 & 4, 1 Thes 4:17, Rev 12:5.
Just as Phillip was suddenly caught up by the Holy Spirit and brought to another place, so Jesus in His physical resurrected body was caught up, and translated to another place. We see that in verse 36, Jesus suddenly appeared to the disciples in their room, not unlike what occurred when Phillip was suddenly caught away to Azotes (NWT says "Ashdod"). Phillip wasn't a spirit when he disappeared from the eunuch, and Jesus wasn't a spirit when he disappeared from the disciples.
ASK: IS THERE ANYTHING THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD OTHER THAN LYING? WHY WOULD IT BE A HARD THING TO COMPREHEND THAT THE SPIRT OF GOD CAN TRANSLATE WHOEVER HE CHOOSES FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER?
ASK: IF JESUS HIMSELF SAID HE WAS NOT A SPIRIT, WHY WOULD WE WANT TO BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO SAYS HE WAS?
ASK: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE?
ASK: IF JESUS (WHO IS THE TRUTH) HIMSELF SAID HE WAS NOT A SPIRIT, WHY WOULD WE WANT TO BELIEVE SOMEONE WHO SAYS HE WAS?
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES TEACH THAT THE FATHER ALONE IS GOD, AND TRUE WORSHIPPERS MUST CALL HIM BY THE NAME JEHOVAH.
Witnesses are taught that Jesus Christ was merely a manifestation of Michael the archangel in human form - not God, but a mere created being. The Holy Spirit is presented as neither God nor a person but, rather, as an "active force".
JESUS' POSITION IN RELATION TO THE ANGELS
Heb 1:5 For example, to
which one of the angels did he ever say: "You are my son: I, today, I have
become your father"? And again: "I myself shall become his father, and he
himself will become my son"?
6 But when he again brings his firstborn son into the inhabited earth, he says "and let all God's angels do obeisance to him. (NWT)
The inference is that God never said to ANY of the angels (including Michael) "You are my son, I today have become your father."
The New World Translation of the Watchtower Bible is not a translation, but rather a rewriting of the Word of God in order to substantiate the false doctrines of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
A case in point is found right here in verse 6 of Hebrews 1, where their translation says "and let all God's angels do obeisance to him." This is an attempt by the Watchtower to diminish the importance of Who Jesus really is.
According to Webster's dictionary, obeisance is defined as:
Obeisance OBE'ISANCE, n. [L. obedio.] A bow or courtesy; an act of reverence made by an inclination of the body or the knee.
So the Angels are to give Jesus a bow or a courtesy in an act of reverence to Him. According to the Watchtower Society, Jesus does not deserve worship, because only God is worthy of worship. But the same word translated as "obeisance" here in Hebrews is translated as worship in Matt 4:10, Rev 22:9, Luke 4:7, Jn 4:20, & Rev 14:6.
ASK: WHY IS IT THAT IN THE NWT, EVERY TIME THE GREEK WORD "PROSKUNEO" ( ) IS USED REFERRING TO GOD, IT IS TRANSLATED AS "WORSHIP" (MATT 4:10, JN 4:20, REV 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4, ETC.), BUT WHENEVER "PROSKUNEO" IS USED REFERRING TO JESUS, IT IS TRANSLATED AS "OBEISANCE" (MATT 2:8, 8:2, 14:33, 28:9, 28:17, LK 24:52, HEB 1:6, ETC.), EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE SAME WORD IN THE GREEK. TAKE TIME TO COMPARE THE GREEK WORD "PROSKUNEO" USED WITH REFERENCE TO GOD IN REV 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, AND 19:4 AND USED WITH REFERENCE TO CHRIST IN MT 14:33, 28:9, AND 28:17. WHY WOULD THE WORDS BE TRANSLATED DIFFERENTLY? IF THE NWT WAS CONSISTENT IN TRANSLATING "PROSKUNEO" AS "WORSHIP", HOW WOULD THE VERSES ABOVE REFERRING TO CHRIST READ?
Another example of the NWT's corruption of the Bible is found in Colossians 1:16-17:
Col 1:16 Because by means
of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth,
the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones
or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created
through him and for him.
17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist.
The word "other" placed in brackets does not exist in the Greek text, and the Jehovah Witness' interlinear Bible will bear that out.
ASK: DO YOU REALIZE THAT WHEN A WORD IS IN BRACKETS IN YOUR BIBLE, IT ISN'T REALLY THERE? WHAT WOULD COLOSSIANS 1:16-17 SAY IF THE WORD "OTHER" WAS LEFT OUT? WHAT DOES PROVERBS 30:5&6 SAY?
SAY: THE BIBLE IS CLEAR THAT JESUS CREATED "ALL THINGS", SO HOW CAN YOU RECONCILE REVELATION 14:6&7, THAT SAYS WE SHOULD WORSHIP THE ONE WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND EARTH AND SEA AND FOUNTAINS OF WATERS?
Rev 14:6 And I saw another
angel flying in mid heaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as
glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe
and tongue and people,
7 Saying, FEAR GOD and give him glory, because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived, and so worship the One who made the heaven and earth and sea and fountains of waters. (NWT)
Jn 1:3 says that "All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence." (NWT)
ASK: ACCORDING TO JN 1:3, ALL THINGS CAME INTO EXISTENCE THROUGH JESUS, AND APART FROM HIM, NOT EVEN ONE THING CAME INTO EXISTENCE. JEHOVAH'S WITNESES MAINTAIN THAT JESUS IS A CREATED BEING. IN THE LIGHT OF THIS PASSAGE, DOES THIS MEAN THAT JESUS CREATED HIMSELF, OR DID HE EXIST BEFORE EXISTENCE ITSELF? WOULDN'T THAT MAKE HIM GOD?
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS DEFINED BY THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY AS "GOD'S IMPERSONAL ACTIVE FORCE (Bible Topics For Discussion, #42D, NWT).
ASK: IF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT A PERSON, WHY IS HE REFERRED TO AS HE AND HIM IN JN. 16:7-15? HOW CAN HE BE A "HELPER" AND BEAR WITNESS ABOUT JESUS IF HE IS NOT A PERSON (JN 15:26)? IF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT A PERSON, HOW COULD HE SPEAK TO PHILIP (ACTS 8:29), TO PETER (ACTS 10:19, 11:12), TO THE PROPHETS AND TEACHERS IN ANTIOCH (ACTS 13:2), AND TO US (HEB 10:15-17 - HERE REFERRED TO IN THE NWT AS "IT" BUT HOW CAN AN "IT" SPEAK?)? HOW CAN IT BE LIED TO, AND BE GOD (ACTS 5:3,4).
The Watchtower Society teaches that the soul and the body of a person are one and the same. Section 40 of Bible Topics For Discussion declares that Man is a soul, that Soul has blood, eats, and can die, and that man, having life has soul. They use a few selected verses that appear to prove their doctrine.
Genesis 2:7 says that God formed man out of the dust from the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man came to be a living soul.
The Jehovah's witnesses see this as man's body being a soul. But they fail to see that it was only until God BREATHED the Breath of Life into the body that He had formed from the dust of the ground, that man became a soul.
The word that is used here for BREATH is the Hebrew Word "Neshamah". In every instance where this word is used, it is referring to the BREATH that man breathes, as distinct from the breath that animals breathe. Biblically, Neshamah is what God personally imparted to mankind.
While the word "Ruach" can mean spirit, and can refer to the Spirit of God as well as the spirit of man, it also refers to breath, whether it is the breath of a man or an animal (Gen 7:15).
But the Word Neshamah is that which distinguishes man from all other life forms. A verse in Job wonderfully illustrates what I have said:
Job 33:4 The Spirit (RUACH) of God hath made me, and the breath (NESHAMAH) of the Almighty hath given me life.
It is the NESHAMAH which makes the soul of a man different from all other souls. It is the NESHAMAH of man that the Lord uses as the factor that reveals the condition of a man's heart.
Pro 20:27 The breath of earthling man is the lamp of Jehovah, carefully searching the innermost parts of the belly. (NWT)
The translators of the King James had a better grip on the meaning of this passage than the Watchtower Bible corrupters:
Pro 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (KJV)
Again, it seems like the King James Translators understood the significance of NESHAMAH when they translated Isaiah:
Isa 57:16 For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit (RUACH) should fail before me, and the souls (NESHAMAH) which I have made.
The Breath of the Almighty God is that which brings life to a man. The God Given life of a man is the soul of a man. The Body is not the soul, but the life of a man is the soul.
Just as the word Ruach carries with it a number of meanings depending on the context of the verses in which it is used, so too, we need to look at the context in which Nephish or "soul" is used to determine what is actually being said in a given verse.
ASK: IF THE SOUL IS THE BODY, WHY DOES JESUS MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE BODY AND THE SOUL IN MATT 10:28?
MATT 10:28 "And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. NWT.
ASK: IF THE SOUL IS THE BODY, WHY DOES PAUL REFER TO IT AS BEING SEPARATE FROM THE BODY AND THE SPIRIT IN 1 THES 5:23?
1 Thes 5:23 May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And sound in every respect may the spirit and soul and body of you [brothers] be preserved in a blameless manner at the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NWT)
If the soul dies when the body dies, how could the "souls" of Rev 6:9- 11, who were of those who had been "slaughtered" (i.e., killed), cry out "with a loud voice, saying: 'Until when Sovereign Lord ..."?
If there is no conscious awareness after death, how could the "spirits in prison", who lived during the time of Noah, be preached to by Christ after His death (I Pet 3:18-20) and how could the good news be "declared even unto the dead" (I Pet 4:5-6)?
ARE WE LIVING IN THE LAST DAYS?
WHY DOES CHRISTIANITY PROFESS TO BE THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN?
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