|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
Introduction to a series
In this series we address the vast differences between the Jehovah's Witnesses and authentic Biblical Christianity on the key issues of eternity.
We frequently receive correspondence from readers and listeners who are dealing with coworkers, family members, or acquaintances who are Jehovah's Witnesses, or have encountered representatives of this cult knocking on their doors at home.
We have prepared a book on the subject that many have found helpful (available from TTW, please contact us for details). The labyrinth on the cover symbolizes their false teachings - a complex, confusing network of error leading souls away from the saving truths of authentic Scripture and toward eternity in Hell. The series we introduce today contains excerpts from the book.
The Watchtower Society's teachings are not only systemically false, they are also constantly changing. To attempt to answer them in every detail is, therefore, a fool's errand. How, then, can a Christian confront the Watchtower's falsehoods? The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul gives us the answer:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God... (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
The principal weapon of our spiritual warfare is, as Paul declares in Ephesians 6:17, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" - unchanging and unchangeable.
With these things in mind, this series is not an attempt answer every variable teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses in detail. We focus, rather, on the heart of the matter: the life-and-death differences between Watchtower Society teachings and authentic Scripture on the key issues of eternity - about the nature of Scripture itself; about the nature of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; about man, life, and death; and about salvation, Heaven, and Hell.
We take this stand upon Scripture alone with the confident prayer that the Holy Spirit will honor His Word. He has promised that it will not return to Him without fruit, but will accomplish the purpose for which He has sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use this series to equip God's people to "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). We find here the three-fold key to making use of the occasions God gives us to bear witness to Jehovah's Witnesses and all others who are outside of Christ.
First, we are to "sanctify the Lord God" in our hearts. The Greek is hagiasate - to set apart as holy. We must recognize and rest upon the holiness - the complete "otherness" - of our Lord. He is above, outside of, unmoved by, and in complete control of, all the circumstances we face, all the situations in which we find ourselves, and all the people we encounter in life. He is sovereign in salvation.
Sanctifying the Lord God in our hearts also demands our personal sanctification. That is likewise crucial to our witness for Christ, since we are the temples of the Holy Spirit in this world. As the Spirit through Peter said earlier in the same epistle,
Therefore [that is, because of your salvation] gird up the loins of your mind [more literally, "prepare your mind for action"], be sober [this signifies being free from the spiritually intoxicating influences of sin], and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation [the return] of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16).
Second, "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you." The Greek word translated "ready" is hetoimoi - a readiness that is based upon the necessary preparations having been done. We prepare ourselves for action, as Paul writes to the Ephesians, by taking up "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (6:17). It is that Word that has supernatural power - "living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
Third, we must witness to the unbelieving world "with meekness and fear" - more literally, with humility and respect. Such humility is born out of an understanding of the holiness of our God, that we are the undeserving objects of His saving grace, and that the power is not in us, not in our flesh or intellect, but in His Word. Such respect is born out of an understanding that the unbeliever who is still in the bondage of sin and spiritually blind to these things is nevertheless one who was created in the image of God - an image marred both inwardly and outwardly by the curse, as our own presently is. As Paul recalled his coming among the pagans of Corinth, many of them deep sinners, who later became the first Christians in that city, he wrote,
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
May the power of the Spirit be demonstrated as we bear witness to the truth.
Next: Is the Watchtower Society a Christian Denomination?
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