|Jehovah's Witnesses -
officially known as 'The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society'
Who are they? | The Founder | Other Leaders | Court cases | False teachings | False name for God | False Christ | False altar | False Holy Spirit | False prophets | False salvation | False resurrection | False judgement | False Bible | Firstborn | Trinity | Occult | Egypt | Watchtower | Other |
Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Jesus' work on the cross was the 'Finished work' and teach a salvation by works.
They quote James 2 in their bible.."..faith without works is dead" ,and also in Romans 2 23.. "All who by reason of faith in Jehovah God and in Christ Jesus dedicate themselves to do God's will and then faithfully carry out their dedication will be rewarded with everlasting life"
And..despite the fact that the Bible tells us in Isaiah 53 '..Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows..He was bruised for our iniquities.. the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed..' they teach that Jesus' suffering has no meaning for us. That only the extinction of his life has meaning. And that to undo what Adam did, to allow sinners a fresh start to 'earn' their own salvation. By hard work.
Hence their zeal. A zeal not inspired from thankfulness for salvation freely received, but a zeal based on doubt, anxiety and fear. 'Have I done enough?'
Russell also taught that a person was born again when they could answer 100 key questions from scripture.
Those who worked their way into heaven could then say ' Jesus' death cancelled out my previous sins and allowed me to get into heaven through my good works '..in other words they could claim merit, and boast, that they themselves had, after a fresh start, earned their own salvation.
But God's word allows us no room for such self centred merit. Even their own version fails to cover up this basic truth.
"By this undeserved kindness, indeed, YOU have been saved through faith, and this is not owing to YOU, it is God's gift. No it is not owing to works, that no man should have ground for boasting' (Ephesians 2 8, 9 New World translation.)
Again we see God's word admonish those who work to earn their salvation as a just reward for their effort.. "And if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS, otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace, otherwise work is no more work' Romans 11 6
Grace and man's~works are like oil and water. They do not mix. We are totally saved by one or the other. And God says 'Grace' Merit denies Grace (kindness, a free undeserved gift) They deny that a sinner is saved by grace alone, and teach that grace that merely 'cleans your sheet' and allows you to begin works that will save you.
James points out that works are the evidence of, not the means, of a
It is Christ's indwelling righteousness after a sinner is saved by grace that God sees. 1 Cor. 1 30
Not our own righteousness from works as we seek salvation. The Bible calls that kind of righteousness just 'filthy rags'
'Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according
to his mercy He saved us..
Jehovah's Witnesses quote James chapter 2: 14 'Though a man SAY he has faith.."
The person James is speaking about is the man or woman who makes an outward profession
of faith, but is not genuine within, therefore 'that (kind of) faith cannot save him'
As with Matthew 7 21 a mere profession of Jesus as Lord is not enough.
The core of Christ's teaching is that when we turn from our own ways and turn our lives over to Him, trusting Him to save us, He does. When we confess him as our LORD, and believe in our hearts that he rose from the dead, we WILL be saved. Romans 10 9 All he asks is an obedient heart, and He will do the rest.
He is the 'author and the finisher of our faith'.
What He started, He will finish. (Phil 1 6)
"He that believes in Him is not condemned, but he that not is condemned already because he has not in the name of the only begotten Son of God" John 3:18
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" John 3:36
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by washing of regeneration, and the renewal of the Holy Ghost" Titus 3:5
"Justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that
is in Christ Jesus" Romans 3 24
Jehovah's Witnesses cannot 'rest' on faith in Christ's finished work at Calvary.
Philippians 1 6 holds no real value to them.
"And this is the witness given, that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is his Son. He that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son does not have life. I write YOU these things that YOU may know that YOU have everlasting life, YOU who put YOUR faith in the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5 11 - 13 New World translation)
Nothing could be clearer. When the son of man sets us free, we are free indeed! We are bonded to Jesus by his Spirit, and He is free to work through us. As Paul said "It is not I who lives but Christ who lives in Me"
In Ephesians 1 13, 14 Paul tells us 'And you also became God's
people when you heard the true message, the good news that brought you salvation. You
believed in Christ, and God put his stamp (or seal) of ownership on you, by giving you the
Holy Spirit He had promised. The Spirit is the GUARANTEE that we shall receive what God
has promised His people, and this assures us that will give complete freedom to those who
The whole weight of scripture shows that we are saved, and may know that we are saved, and that works are the manifestation of the Divine life within.
Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is LORD and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED Romans 10 9
.a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, and NOT by works of the law, because by works of the law shall NO ONE be justified. Galatians 2 16
For if justification were by through the law then Christ DIED TO NO PURPOSE. Galations2 21
Christ redeemed US from the curse of the law, having become a curse FOR US...Galatians 3:13
For if inheritance is by the law, it is no longer by promise. Galations3 18
For Christ is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith may be justified Romans 10 4
For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. Romans 10 10
For everyone who calls on the name of THE LORD shall be saved. Romans 10 13
But if it is by grace then it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.Romans 11 6
..Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is righteousness through FAITH; but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on the law did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it through it through faith, BUT AS IF IT WERE BASED ON WORKS. THEY HAVE STUMBLED OVER THE STUMBLING STONE. Romans 9 3
By abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances. Ephesians 2 15
But we KNOW that we abide in HIM and HE in US, because he has given us of his own Spirit.1st John 4 13
There is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8 1,2.
Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8 9
Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law,or by hearing with faith? Galations3 2
FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED, THROUGH FAITH, AND THIS IS NOT YOUR OWN DOING, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST. Ephesians 2 8
NOW TO ONE WHO WORKS, HIS WAGES ARE NOT RECKONED AS A GIFT, BUT AS HIS DUE. AND TO ONE WHO DOES NOT WORK BUT TRUSTS HIM WHO JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY , HIS FAITH IS RECKONED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Romans 4 4
So we are saved only by Faith in what Jesus has done for us. That faith will be evidenced by works inspired by the Holy Spirit within, and by our love for Him who saved us when we were steeped in sin and shame...so faith apart from works is 'dead.' James 2 26
But of those who preach the 'gospel' that God demands 'works' as the admission or part payment into his Kingdom..For being ignorant of the righteousness that COMES FROM GOD, they seek to establish their own. Romans l0: 3
For all who rely on 'works' of the law are under a curse; for 'it is written' "cursed be everyone who does not abide by ALL things written in the book of the law, and DO them" Galatians 3
But even if we, or an angel from heaven,should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you,let him be accursed. Galatians 8
BUT BECAUSE OF FALSE BRETHREN SECRETLY BROUGHT IN TO SPY OUT OUR FREEDOM Which WE HAVE IN CHRIST JESUS, THAT THEY MIGHT BRING US INTO BONDAGE. Galatians 2 4For FREEDOM Christ has set US free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5 1
Russell taught that a person could regard themselves as being born again when they could satisfactorily answer 100 key questions.This perhaps above all shows how completly absent the Spirit of God is. Nicodemus could answer 100 questions and more, yet Jesus told him "you must be born again"..and at that moment he didn't understand.
The thief couldn't answer the questions, yet in his dying moments he repented and claimed God's Son as His Saviour without any works and was "born again" into God's Kingdom.
"Then the thief said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom" Luke 23: 42
Transferred in a moment from the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of His Son, through the forgiveness of his sins' (Colossians 1:13) on simple confession with his mouth of 'Jesus as Lord', and on the believe in his heart that Jesus would indeed rise from the dead - Romans 10 9
"Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom" It was and is that simple. One heart felt cry from a dying sinner who repented in the middle of hurling insults at Jesus and threw himself on Jesus for salvation..and got it!
We are born once flesh from flesh, and only when God's Spirit joins with our spirit, are we born again. Born anew from above. No other way. And then the Spirit illuminates the Bible that He inspired. Without the Spirit we get the 'rational mind' approach from the flesh. Everything must 'make sense' to the intellect. And so they trust in Michael the archangel, and in scriptural knowledge and in their works to get salvation - on earth.
Let this simple diagram illustrate what happens when a person is 'born again'
Figure 1. Pre - fall. As God designed us to be in relationship with Himself, Spirit to spirit.
We were designed to know God and communicate with God Spirit to spirit. Deep calling unto deep. God made us and then breathed His life into us and we became living beings. That is, alive to Him. God's model was that though our souls would be tuned into the things of earth all around while our spirits would be tuned into Him. Therefore in our daily walk with God our spirit would hear from God, and our soul would obey the wisdom our spirits were receiving and our flesh would naturally do what ever the soul decided to do.
God said to Adam (Spirit to spirit) "Don't eat of that tree" Adam chose (in his soul) not to obey, and his body naturally obeyed his soul and he ate the apple. The Spirit to spirit bonding was severed through rebellion. God still reigned and still cared for man and longed for the relationship to be restored again, but until there was repentance and punishment for the sin that relationship could not be established again.
Hence Figure 2. Man's separated - or fallen state
Man is dead to God. Dead in his trespasses. Satan has control. Man tries to 'know God' through his soul - his intellect- and so religion appears. Men think that knowledge will draw them to God when all along it is just a Father / son relationship awaiting redemption.
Figure 3. God's approach to fallen man.
God the Son comes to earth - Emmanuel "God with us" - and He reveals God as Father or "Abba". He offers Himself on the four pointed altar of the cross as our sin bearer, in order that whosoever would repent of their rebellion and look to Him as the One who took sin upon Himself and bore the punishment that should of rights been ours then that person would be rejoined to God Spirit to spirit.
When we acknowledge Jesus as Lord we have set down our rebellion. When we believe that He died in our place, and rose again, then we will be saved. Immediately.
"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you WILL be saved" Romans 10:9
Remember when Jesus appeared alive on the first day of the week to His disciples? They had certainly acknowledged Him as Lord, but they did not understand about Him rising from the dead. On that Sunday morning, when they saw Him alive, and so believed in their hearts that He rose from the dead, we see Jesus do a strange thing. He ' breathed on them' and said receive the Holy Spirit.
At that moment they were 'born again' Back in relationship with His Father.
God breathed His breathe at creation and now God breathed His Life into them 'again'.
Instantly they had power to become children of God.
The works they did after this was the evidence of God the Father's favour and indwelling power - not the means to getting it!
Can you imagine a loving father making his children earn their way back by their works? The father in the prodigal son story had no such hard heart. Immediately the son repented and turned humbly for home he was welcomed, embraced and clothed by a joyful father. The father / son relationship was restored instantly.
And so through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, whosoever wants to come home to the Father may.
Forgiven - restored - alive again to God
Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their teaching on the 144,000 in heaven. Basically they teach that only 144,000 (of them) will be 'sealed' and dwell forever in heaven and that the remainder (of them) will dwell in paradise on earth. This was exciting teaching when they were a starting out - however long ago the whole 144,000 places were claimed by Witnesses.
However a look at what scripture says tells us a very different story.
First of all the 144,000 mentioned (in Revelation 7:4 - 8 and Revelation 14:1-5) will all come from the twelve tribes of Israel - twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes. They would be ones who would follow Jesus wherever He went, and they would be virgins ('undefiled' by women) with no deceit in their mouths and totally without fault before the Throne of God.
However, these special 144,000 Israelites (if this portion is to be understood literally) are not the only ones around the Throne of God in heaven - hallelujah.
Scripture clearly states - after detailing the make up of the 144,000 in Revelation 7:4-8 -
"After these things I looked and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the Throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb."