What would Jesus say to the Jehovah’s Witness?           John 1:1,14-17
*** Knock on any door in the United States, as well as in many countries around the world, and the odds are excellent that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been there ahead of you. They are a serious challenge to Christians for several reasons. JW’s continue to grow at a rapid pace. 1980’s ½ million members in United States 2.25 million worldwide 1998 1 million members in United States 5.9 million worldwide in 233 countries. The amount of time JW’s spend “preaching”, either in service, door-to-door, or in other public places is enormous. In 1998, JW’s spent almost 183 million hours preaching in the United States alone. In addition, the JW’s also conducted 4.3 million Bible studies for those who showed interest in their doctrines. Officially called The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, JW’s arm their members with the printed page in astounding amounts. They have a magazine called the Awake which is over 18 million copies and in 80 different languages. The Watchtower, is another magazine sent out semi monthly to instruct the society’s members in doctrine and practice, reached almost 21 million copies in 126 languages. All JW witnessing efforts and tools are designed to oppose and contradict the biblical doctrines and teachings and to twist Scriptures to make the Bible fit a preconceived theology it simply does not teach. The JW’s have their version of the Bible, The new World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which is filled with mistranslations designed to prove JW doctrines. But just like the other cults, to fully understand where they are coming from, we need to start at the beginning. ***George Gallup states, “This is the most crucial decade in History. Designer, a la carte religion flourishes as traditional Christianity is undermined by counterfeits.”
1. This is true when it comes to Charles Taze Russell the founder of Jehovah’s Witness cult. He was born in February 16, 1852 in Pittsburgh Pa. and died October 31, 1916.
2. He lived a colorful life with all kinds of legal troubles with his religious schemes.
He was selling his so-called sermons that were supposed to have been preached on his “World Tour” in 1912 and that proved to be a lie.
Another scheme was called the “Miracle Wheat” with claims that it would grow 5 times that of normal wheat. It sold for $1.00 a pound. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle was a N.Y. paper that had national importance and it ran from 1841 to 1955. It exposed many of Russell’s schemes through court.

 

*** P.T. Barnum said correctly, “Never underestimate the gullibility of the public…there’s a sucker born every minute.”
In June of 1912 Reverend J.J. Ross pastor of James Street Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario published a pamphlet denouncing Russell as a minister and his qualifications as a scholar along with his moral depravity. Well Charles Russell sued Pastor Ross for “Defamatory Libel”.

 

*** In the pamphlet, Ross said that Russell’s system of theology was, “Anti-rational, anti-scientific, anti-biblical, anti-Christian and a deplorable perversion of the gospel of God’s dear Son.”

 

***Under cross-examination that took 5 hours here is just one example of the Russell answered…
Q: Attorney Stanton: “Do you know the Greek Alphabet?
A: Russell: “Oh, yes.”
Q: Can you tell me the correct letters if you see them?”
A: Some of them; I might make a mistake on some of them.”
Q: Would you tell me the names of those on the top of the page?”
A: Well, I don’t know that I would be able to.”
Q: You can’t tell what those letters are? Look at them and see if you know?”
A: “My way…” (at this point Russell is interrupted).
Q: “Are you familiar with the Greek language?”
A: “No”.
The next round of questioning was about his ordination. Russell claimed that his ordination was equal if not superior to ordained and accredited ministers. Attorney Stanton asked Russell to answer “Yes” or “No” to the next questions…
Q: “Is it true you were never ordained?”
A: “It is not true”.
Q: “Now you never were ordained by a bishop, clergyman, presbytery, council, or any body of men living?”
A: “I never was.”
1. He lost his case, and in falling to name the Greek alphabet, he proved himself a perjurer under oath, mainly because all through his ministry he claimed to base his cult on his Greek and Hebrew scholarship!
I. History of the Watch Tower
1. The history of the Jehovah’s Witnesses begins with the founder of the organization Charles Taze Russell. In 1870, at the age of eighteen, an ex-Congregationalist by the name of Charles Taze Russell started a Bible class in Pittsburgh. In 1876, the class elected Russell as their Pastor.
He founded the “Herald of the Morning” in 1879, which eventually developed into what is known today as “The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.”  Today this publication has grown to over seventeen million copies per month in over one hundred languages.
2. In 1884, Russell incorporated the “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” at Pittsburgh. Today this organization has branches in over one hundred countries, and it has missionary works in over two hundred and fifty. With over one-half million volunteer workers, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have become a serious threat to Bible believers throughout the world.
. Russell died in 1916, and Judge J.F. Rutherford took over the Society’s leadership. It was under Rutherford’s leadership that the group took the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and Society headquarters moved to Brooklyn. Rutherford died in 1942, and Nathan Knorr took control and boosted the membership to over two million. In 1961 the Society published its own “translation” of the scriptures, called “The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.” Knorr died in 1977, and Frederick Franz took over the leadership of the Watchtower Society. Franz is the current leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (1991).
II. What Do They Believe?
They offer a cunning mixture of Scripture verses and “almost” Christian doctrines. Their approach, like that of the Mormons, is to stress elements of their doctrine which avoid controversy. The rest comes later.
But they are an “organization” of slaves, working desperately to “earn” eternal life. They seek salvation, not by grace, but by becoming “Kingdom Publishers.”
They don’t have a personal relationship with Christ (who they say is not God), but rather they observe a system of law and works.
They devote their attention to an all-encompassing fascination with prophecy, and the “vindication of God’s sovereignty.”
They believe:
Jehovah God existed from the beginning. His first creations were two angels, Michael (who later becomes Jesus) and Lucifer. Jehovah God created all else through his firstborn, Jesus (Michael).
Jehovah appointed Lucifer to watch over earth, but the angel became jealous of Jehovah. He seduced Adam and Eve, and became Satan. He dared challenge Jehovah’s right to rule! Jehovah gave Satan 6,000 years to try to win over all humanity. When he fails, Jehovah God will re-establish his kingdom and destroy Satan and all his rebellious followers, thus vindicating Jehovah’s name (an obsession with Witnesses).
After thousands of years of this struggle, Jehovah God arranged for Michael to cease to exist and be recreated as Jesus, a human. He was killed as a ransom on a torture stake (not a cross) for all mankind. This released men from Adam’s sinful legacy, and gave them a chance to be worthy of eternal life, if they were faithful Witnesses.
When the human Jesus died, he stayed dead. He was recreated as a spirit (no bodily resurrection) and lives in heaven.
Jesus Christ (now Michael) returned to earth invisibly in 1914 (the date has been changed repeatedly) and is working through his “Organization” to re-establish Jehovah’s kingdom over the earth.
The final battle between Jehovah and Satan, the Battle of Armageddon, is to start shortly, settling the question, “Who will rule earth?” A very special 144,000 Witnesses, the only ones considered “born again,” will rule with Jesus in heaven at the end of this battle. All other Witnesses (numbering millions) will survive Armageddon, and live forever on earth, in the kingdom of the “New World.”
After 1,000 years of this utopian Kingdom comes the final test. Satan will be loosed for a while and deceive many. He and those who rebel with him will be destroyed by fire from heaven (no eternal hell, just quick annihilation). Jehovah’s sovereignty over all creation will have been vindicated once and for all.
While many Christians disagree on the order of final events, there can be no disagreement on the work of Christ, or one is not really Christian. J.W.’s bear the indelible mark of a cult: they claim Christ’s death on the cross is not sufficient for full salvation. One must believe that Jesus is God, and also in His bodily resurrection. Both are denied by the Witnesses.
In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses deny most of the basic doctrines of Christianity. Former Witnesses point out several basic denials:
They claim: Jesus Christ is not God. Rather, he is Michael the archangel. The Holy Spirit is not a person, but an “active force.” J.W.’s are unitarians, denying the Trinity.
When you’re dead, you’re dead. Man has no eternal soul, any more than animals.
Jesus Christ was not raised bodily from the grave, but was recreated as a new “spirit body.”
Jesus returned invisibly in 1914. There is no “visible coming” planned in the future.
There is no hell. Just like animals, when we die, it is over.
Only 144,000 people achieve heaven. The rest, faithful Witnesses who have died, will be recreated on earth during the kingdom of the “New World.”
Focusing on the Old Testament, their system is a legalistic one. They forbid blood transfusions (they say that is eating blood). They also consider any salute to a flag as worship of that flag, and therefore prohibited. They don’t vote, hold public office or serve in the military.
Consumed with preparing for a “New World,” they know nothing of “New Life” in Jesus Christ.
III. The Doctrinal Error of the Watch Tower
1. Witnesses deviate from biblical Christianity in several areas.

 

First, like all the cults, they deny the Trinity. They believe there is one God, Jehovah. Jesus, is actually Michael the Archangel, the first of God’s creation, who became flesh at the incarnation. After the resurrection, He returned to heaven as Michael the Archangel.1 The Holy Spirit is not God but an active force much like electricity or fire.
2. Second, Witnesses deny the bodily resurrection of Christ, but instead believe He was raised as a spirit and manifested Himself several times in different materialized bodies.
3. Third, they deny the existence of hell and eternal punishment, but believe in total annihilation after death. Only the elite ruling class, the 144,000, are allowed to go to heaven. The faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses remain unconscious after death till they are resurrected in the Millennium. Those who are not in the organization are annihilated after death.
4. Fourth, Witnesses have a works-oriented salvation. Salvation is not based upon a relationship with Christ, but found in the organization. One must serve the society, and depending on one’s faithfulness and absolute obedience, one may be saved.5
5. Fifth, they believe that Jesus returned invisibly in 1914 and established His throne in heaven. At Armageddon, God will destroy all evil, and abolish all the world’s governments, and establish a new Paradise on earth. Then the living and resurrected Jehovah’s Witnesses will inherit Paradise earth. The 144,000 mentioned earlier will rule with Jesus. At this time all unbelievers who have died will be raised (with some exceptions) and will study under the Witnesses during the Millennium, a period of a thousand years. Studying with them will be the unbelievers who have survived Armageddon. After the thousand years, their faith will be tested because God will release Satan from the abyss. At that point all unbelievers will have to choose between Satan or Jehovah. Those who reject Jehovah will be annihilated.
6. Clearly the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses deviate in critical ways from sound biblical principles.

 

A. Their Deception of John 1:1.

 

1. John 1:1 “…The word was a god.” – New World Translation. In their New World Translation of the Bible that was first published in 1950 shows deliberate misinterpretation of key phrases by their so-called scholars. I call it “scheming scholarship” – it’s a joke!

 

*** On November 24, 1954 Fredrick W. Franz, their leading representative on the NWT Bible translation committee said under oath…
Q: Can you yourself, translate that into Hebrew?
A: Which?
Q: That fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis.
A: You mean this?
Q: Yes
A: No!
They can’t even interpret the O.T. right, how can we believe their N.T. interpretations?
2. Universal Greek Grammatical Rule: The subject of the sentence is “word”; the verb is “was”. There can never be a direct object “a” following “was”, since verbs cannot take on an object. It is poor grammar and poor Greek to do otherwise.
3. What is this verse from the NWT saying about God and Jesus Christ?
That God is polytheistic – not true!

 

Deut 5:7 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
They get around this as saying that Jehovah is higher than all other gods.

 

Deut 6:4 “Hear O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Monotheistic)
In Ex 3:14 Jehovah God says to Moses “I Am”
But wait – Jesus said in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was I Am.”
When Jesus said this – any reasonable person can see that Jesus was actually saying, “I Am Jehovah” in the flesh!
By the way, how do we know this for sure? Because in the next verse the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy – Jesus was identifying Himself not as a god but Jehovah God!
Now watch this – Isaiah 43:10 “…Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.” Isaiah 43:11 “…And besides Me there is no Savior.”
That Jesus is not equal with God – not true!
To the Jehovah’s Witness, Jesus is Michael the archangel. Remember, Mormons teach that Lucifer is Jesus spirit brother!
4. J.W teach that Jesus is a created god and they use for their proof text…Col 1:15, 16

 

“Firstborn” = origin or initiator

 

Rev 3:14 “…the Beginning of the creation of God.”
Same word as John 1:1 “In the beginning” – which in fact the 1951 Edition of the Jehovah Witness New World Translation of Greek Scriptures agrees!

 

Phil 2:6 “Who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.”
“Being” = it’s not the normal Greek word used, but instead Paul uses another word that stresses the essence of Christ’s person – His continuous state or condition.
“Form” = literally, the unchanging character of Christ.
“Robbery” = it’s a word that has evolved over the 1st century. It used to mean something that was seized or snatched by a thief. Then it became to mean – to clutch, embrace or prized.
“Equal” = the exact in quantity, character and number.
Key: When Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, He still had all the exact rights, privileges and honor as deity and so there is still only one God!
Question: Just because Jesus chose not to appropriate all His powers and privileges as man, does that make Him any less God? Absolutely not!
Humble = strength under control

 

Heb 1:3 “Who being the brightness of His glory and the expressed image of God and upholding all things by the word of His power…”
“Being” = His continuous state or condition.
…Same word as in Phil 2:6

 

“Brightness” = not a reflection of God’s glory but rather as God, Jesus has the same exact essence.
“Expressed image” = this word is only used here in the N.T. and in extra biblical literature it meant to engrave on wood, an etching on metal, a brand on an animal’s hide, an impression on clay or a stamped image on a coin. Here Paul is stressing the perfect imprint and the exact representation of the true nature of God in both time and space.

 

Col 2:9 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…” What’s the key word here? All!
It’s interesting that in Paul’s day matter was seen as evil and spirit was seen as good. Notice here Paul takes on this false thinking head on! It was unthinkable that God would take on a human body!
Cults use our terminology but they don’t use our dictionary!
The Jehovah’s Witness are the best examples of this principle. Their massive grammatical abuse of the Bible is alarming to a real Greek scholar!

 

B. Their Denial of The Crucifixion.

 

1. They deny that Jesus hung on a cross, but rather on a stake or a pole in the ground. How do does one hang on a pole?
2. The Watch Tower Society says, “The cross is a symbol falsely used to represent Christianity. Jesus was not crucified on a cross, but on a single stake, a single pole in the ground with no crossbar.”
3. They say that the cross is legend! That it developed after the 3rd century! You know – it’s so easy to say this and never show any documentation! This is what Cults are great at doing because they know most people are biblically illiterate!
What gets me is that even secular historians and archaeologist disagree with Jehovah Witness!
C. Their Departure From the Resurrection.
1. They teach that Jesus rose from the dead in spirit only. In a debate with John Ankerburg, this was their comment on Christ’s body, “We know nothing about what became of His physical body, except that it did not decay or corrupt, whether it was dissolved into gases or whether it’s preserved somewhere as a grand memorial of God’s love.” I’ll tell you what happened to His body, “Up from the grave He arose!”
2. There’s too much evidence that proves that Jesus did raise body and all!
Why did Mary and the woman, John and Peter only see the burial cloth in the tomb?
Jesus ate with the disciples – spirit can’t eat!
Thomas touched Jesus’ wounds – you can’t touch sprit!
1 Cor15 speaks of our resurrection and it involves our bodies and Christ’s bodily resurrection is our assurance. I’ll take Paul’s word over any J.W.

 

Rev 1:5 Christ is “Firstborn from the dead.” Simply – Jesus is the first to rise from the dead with a physical body!
2. J.W. say that since Jesus did not physically rise from the dead, He will not physically return! But wait the Bible says, “Every eye will see Him” return to earth!

 

D. Their Distortion of The Word “Jehovah”.

 

1. J.W. teach that the only name for God is “Jehovah” in the O.T and the N. T. and all other names like Lord (kyrios) and God (theos) are added years later and that we’ve distorted His name.
2. Where do they get this, you ask? Well let’s look at this issue:
This is their argument from the Watchtower and Tract Society, “The evidence is, therefore, that the original Scriptures has been tampered with, the same as the text of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the O.T.) has been. And, at least from the 3rd century A.D. onward, the divine name in tetragrammaton form has been eliminated from the text by copyist…In place of it, they substituted the words “Kyrios” and “theos”.”
Tetragrammaton = the Hebrew consonants YHWH, for Jehovah. This is what the J.W’s want us to believe. It’s better translated – Yahweh!
But in reality, Jehovah is a word created by a 13th century Catholic Spanish Monk named Martini. He took the consonants of “Adoni” and “Elohim” to Latinize the word and it was very popular since then.
Now get this, the J.W. agree with this as they said in 1969, “While inclining to view the pronunciation “Yahweh” as the more correct way, we have retained the form “Jehovah” because of the people’s familiarity with it since the 13th century.”
Bruce Metzger said, “Jehovah does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew.”
So J.W. believe that they need to restore the true name of God and expose the cover up and yet they aren’t!!
Their argument explodes in there face because of the evidence is to the contrary and rather elementary.
It can be shown from literally thousands of copies of the Greek New Testament and not one does the Tetragrammaton appear, not even in the Book of Matthew, which was possibly written in Hebrew or partly in Aramaic.

 

E. Their Discounting of Christ’s Atonement.

 

1. Mormons have a non-sufficient atonement and the J.Ws. are no better off.

 

*** From they’re teaching, “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” “Jesus was no more and no less than a perfect human…thus, when God sent Jesus to earth as the ransom, he made Jesus to be what would satisfy justice, not an incarnation, not a god-man, but perfect man, lower than angels.”
2. Now watch…this discounting of the atonement messes up their salvation also. If you don’t have an all-sufficient atonement you can’t have an all-powerful salvation! If Christ can’t do it for us then whose left…us! I don’t think so!

 

***The Watchtower Society states, “Salvation depends on works. Grace is more or less the opportunity for human beings to earn their salvation by total obedience to the Watchtower Society. Grace does not involve a free gift of salvation.”
Close to 200 times in the New Testament salvation is said to be by faith alone!

 

Rom 10:9 “…If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved.”

 

Rom 10:13 “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
3. What do these verses have in common? Call on the Lord Jesus not Jehovah! The J.W. mistranslate these verses if you didn’t already know!

 

Rev 4:11 – The J.W.’s translate this “Jehovah” but correctly translate Romans 10:9 – because if they did then Jesus is Jehovah God!

 

***Blaise Pascal the great 19th century Christian thinker wisely said, “Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”
IV. How to witness to the Jehovah’s witness?
A One of the most effective ways to evangelize Jehovah’s Witnesses is to destroy their faith in the Society.
Remember, salvation is found only in this organization. The Watch Tower Society is seen as the spokesman for God. If you can show Witnesses the serious errors of the organization, they will begin to have doubts and questions. This can sometimes lead them to leave the Society.
Attacking the Society’s record of false prophecy can cause JWs to to question the organization. This approach is effective because they claim to have the true understanding of the end times. If we can show them that the organization has been constantly wrong in the area of prophecy, this will certainly make an impact. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses show up at your door again, begin first by asking them, “Are you prophets of God?” Some will say, “Yes.” Others may say, “We are prophets in a sense.” You must make it clear there is no such thing as “a prophet in a sense.” There are only true prophets and false prophets. Some may deny being prophets. If so, show them a copy of the April 1, 1972, Watch Tower article on page 197, which states clearly that they are prophets.
B. Define clearly what makes a true prophet and a false prophet using Deut. 18:20-22.
A true prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and predicts future things which come to pass. A false prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and predicts future things which do not come to pass. Make sure they understand this, for this is the most critical step.
C. Ask them, “Is there an organization that fits the character of a false prophet?”
That’s when you say, “Let’s take a look at the Watch Tower Organization.” Have handy copies of the articles mentioned here. The 1889 issue, “The Time is at Hand,” page 101 states, “The battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914, with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.” This 1914 prediction of Christ’s return never came true.
Then the Watch Tower predicted that Christ would return in 1925. The 1918 issue of, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” p. 89 states, “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the apostle in Hebrews 11 to the condition of human perfection.” This proved to be another false prophecy.
The Watch Tower made a third prophecy of the return of Christ; this one was to occur in 1975. The August 15, 1968, issue of, Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?, p. 494, predicted the return of Christ in 1975. Once again the Witnesses were shown to be false prophets. If the Witnesses don’t believe these articles are real, tell them to look them up in their church’s library.
Another interesting prophecy is found on page 154 of their book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. Here they state, “Some of the generation living in 1914 will see the end of the system of things and survive it.” Most of the 1914 generation are dead, and the few remaining are very old. In just a few years, the Watch Tower will again have another false prophecy. When presented clearly, the record of the Watch Tower’s false prophecies is a very effective tool in witnessing to JWs.
D. The Bodily Resurrection of Christ
An area for effective witnessing to Witnesses is the bodily resurrection of Christ. Witnesses believe that Christ’s crucified body was disintegrated by Jehovah never to exist again. Accordingly, Jesus was raised as a spirit who then materialized and appeared in several different fleshly bodies as the angels had done. Indeed, it was in this form that He appeared to His disciples; i.e., He wasn’t in a human body; He just appeared to be human. He ascended into heaven as a spirit and once again became Michael the Archangel. This doctrine can be easily disproved.

 

Luke 24:36-43, Jesus clearly states in verse 39 that He is not a spirit but a man of flesh and bone. He even ate food to prove that He was not a spirit but had a physical body. John 20:24-27, Jesus shows Thomas His wounds. Jesus is clearly demonstrating to His disciples that the body previously on the cross had been resurrected. If Jesus had a different body than the one on the cross, He would have been deliberately deceiving the disciples. Ask the Witness, “Would Jesus deliberately deceive His disciples into believing something that was not true?”
Next, turn to some passages where Jesus predicts the resurrection of His body. In John 2:19-21 Jesus says, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Acts 2:26-27, another prophecy of the Messiah’s bodily resurrection. Clearly the prophecies and Jesus’ appearances prove a bodily resurrection.
Witnesses cite 1 Peter 3:18 ; 1 Cor. 15:44-50 to back up their belief. In 1 Peter 3:18 we read, “Christ died once and for all… he being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the spirit.” This verse does not prove Jesus is a spirit. This verse says that Jesus was raised in the Spirit and by the Spirit of God who gives life. Romans 8:11 states that the Holy Spirit was involved in raising Jesus from the dead. Jesus was not raised as a spirit but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
According to 1 Cor. 15:50, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Since Jesus is in heaven, Witnesses say He must be a spirit.14 They are correct in saying that the earthly body cannot enter heaven. However, when Jesus rose, He had a glorified body (Luke 24:39). Therefore, He can dwell in heaven because of His glorified state. According to 1 Cor 15:39, “All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another…. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies.” Christ’s glorified body allows Him to travel in the earthly and heavenly dimensions. Some verses indicate that Christ exists in heaven in bodily form. “For in him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” Colossians 2:9. The verb “dwells” in the Greek is katoikei, and is in the present tense. In other words, Jesus has a glorified body in heaven, the one that was resurrected. Note also 1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one God and one mediator, the man Christ Jesus.” The verb “is,” is a present tense verb also. How can Jesus be a man if He is Michael the Archangel? Seeing these errors may prompt them to seek the truth.

 

***Charles Smith was a Jehovah’s Witness, working his way up in the organization for 37 years. Outside one of their meetings, he noticed someone with a sign that simply said, “1 John 5:13.” He decided he would read it later. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (KJV) The verse was shocking to him. He tried reading it again to be sure he had not misread it the first time. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know… that ye may know… that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” Watchtower theology does not allow them to know they have eternal life. Charles Smith was shocked and confused. After 37 years of working his way up in the organization, he did not know he had eternal life. He did not even know he could know. He took the rather unusual step (unusual for Jehovah’s Witnesses) of reading the verse in context. Much of 1 John 5 was contrary to his JW teachings. When he asked questions about it, what did his superiors tell him? “Don’t worry about it.” Charles could not stop worrying about it. He struggled with this chapter for a year before deciding he had to know or go mad. He finally knew he had to accept the real Jesus, not the Jesus of the Watchtower, as his savior. The last time I talked with Charles, he had not met the person holding the sign outside of one of their meetings. The person holding the sign does not know what happened to Charles. I pray that the person has not become frustrated and given up trying to witness. Only God knows all the results of all our efforts.
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