This article is a response to questions posed on this website
1. If you found the Watchtower contradicted the Bible which would you believe?
This is a really just a preparatory question which should have an obvious answer, but it is designed to introduce the idea that there may be a disparity between the Watchtower and the Bible.
Whatever errors are promulgated by the Watchtower— and there are many related to prophetic interpretation— we may be sure of one thing: No one among the Trinitarians will ever successfully point to any such “disparity.”
2. How can I gain eternal life?
The route to eternal life for a JW is long and tortuous, passing through various stages with a big final exam at the end that the Bible tells them most will fail! Their religion is through works, not faith! Be ready to show them scripture which actually tells us how to gain eternal life.
Jesus exhorted his disciples to exert themselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door because many will seek to but will not be able. (Luke 13:24) According to Jesus, salvation is not easy to attain. Furthermore, Jesus certainly indicated that Christian works are a requirement. Read for yourself what the Lord said to the congregation of Sardis: “Become watchful, and strengthen the things remaining that were ready to die, for I have not found your works fully performed before my God.” (Revelation 3:2)
What works might Jesus have had in mind? For one, how about preaching and teaching others? How many church-goers make any effort to do the works of Christ by preaching and teaching in public? Jehovah’s Witnesses do. The same cannot be said of any other sect. No wonder when the judgment comes Jesus will condemn the many who claim to serve him. “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!”‘ (Matthew 7:21-24)
3. Do you know if you have eternal life?
A JW cannot know they have eternal life until the end of the 1000 year reign when they must pass the final ‘test’ set out in Revelation 20:8. Ask them if they be surprised to find that the Bible tells us we definitely can know we have eternal life then show them 1 John 5:13: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” You can ask them: “wouldn’t it be great to know you have eternal life?”
Eternal life has been promised to those who obey God. It is a hope held out. There is no question that God’s purpose will be fulfilled. The only unknown factor is whether we, as individuals, will realize our hoped-for salvation, even as Paul said: “For we were saved in this hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it? But if we hope for what we do not see, we keep on waiting for it with endurance.” (Romans 8:24-25)
Furthermore, Paul wrote to the Philippians saying he did not consider himself as having laid hold of the prize. “Not that I have already received it or am already made perfect, but I am pursuing to see if I may also lay hold on that for which I have also been laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not yet consider myself as having laid hold on it; but there is one thing about it: Forgetting the things behind and stretching forward to the things ahead, I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus.” (3:12-14)
Contrary to popular belief, Christ and his foremost apostle taught that salvation requires strenuous effort. Who are you going to believe Jesus or some wanna-be preacher peddling easy salvation?
4. Do I have to be JW to be resurrected onto paradise earth?
JWs are taught the vast majority of people (the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9) will live out eternity on a paradise earth, not in heaven, initially including those who are not presently JWs. This begs the question of what being a JW achieves in this life, or in fact any action or belief, as we are all resurrected irrespective of our affiliation!
Whoever posed this question is profoundly ignorant of what the Bible teaches. First, the great crowd is not resurrected. In fact, they will have the unique privilege of not dying at all. To be sure, everyone called to be with Christ in heaven must first die to attain the prize. Not so the great crowd. The great crowd is a group of believers who will survive the end of the world. They will become the nucleus of the new world— the first generation of mankind who will not live under Satan’s wicked influence. Contrary to the claptrap of the rapturists, being left behind will be an indescribable blessing. Revelation describes it: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
Anyone who honestly reads the verse above will recognize that it is referring to conditions on earth after the war of Armageddon. God will be with mankind here on earth, just as he was with Adam in Eden in the beginning.
5. If the unrighteous are resurrected to the paradise earth anyway what did Jesus achieve?
The implication is that whether I follow Christ or not I will be resurrected, so what was the point of Jesus dying? They may try and say his death allowed us all to be resurrected, if so ask them where it says that in the Bible and even where it says so in their literature – it doesn’t!
Again, profound ignorance from a supposed Bible expert.
At Acts 24:15 Paul expressed that he had hope that God was going to resurrect the righteous and the unrighteous. Jesus himself said that some would receive a resurrection of life and others a resurrection of judgment, meaning they would be judged by their conduct after their resurrection.
6. The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus’ death was only a sacrifice for Adam’s sin so why does the Bible tell us Jesus died for all our sins?
You can ask them to explain any of the many verses which tell us all our sins are forgiven.
The questioner is mistaken. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not teach that Jesus died for Adam. Jesus died for Adam’s offspring. Jesus died a substitutionary death for Adam in order to provide God with the equivalent value of the perfect human life that Adam threw away. That is what is called the ransom. Jesus has essentially replaced Adam as mankind’s father. That is why when Paul was explaining the resurrection he said that Jesus was the Last Adam and the second man, meaning he was the last perfect human that Jehovah will ever create because by means of Christ Adam’s sinful offspring will be redeemed and those who are obedient to Christ will be completely rehabilitated and become sin-free.
7. Where in the Bible does it say that God’s kingdom is not a kingdom but a government?
The Watchtower Society teaches God’s kingdom is not “that over which God rules”, but a “government” made up of the 144,000 from Revelation 7:4 who are the only ones who are “born again”. They may point you to Daniel 2:44 and Isaiah 9:6; neither of which show a kingdom is a government. You can link this to John 3 in a warning to remind them that if they’re not born again they will never even see the kingdom let alone enter it!
Again, profound ignorance: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” — Isaiah 9:6 King James Version
To be clear, though, the Kingdom of God may also be in reference to Christ’s congregation. The reason that is so is because, ultimately all those who are in the kingdom, that is to say in the congregation of the Firstborn, and who are approved, will become rulers in Christ’s heavenly government.
8. How many ‘hopes’ does the governing body teach for Christians?
The JW’s governing body teaches there are two; one in heaven for the 144,000 and the other on earth for everyone else. Ask them how this matches up with Ephesians 4:4 which says: “There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called.”
All first-century Christians were called to be with Christ in heaven.
9. Why did the Watchtower Society become an associate member of the United Nations in 1992 until 2001?
Before posing this question as an attack on the organisation it is best to prepare the way otherwise the effect can be lost. Start by asking why JWs are not allowed to participate in political affairs. Then move on to asking them why they hate the UN so much. Getting them to confirm first how the UN is so opposed to Jehovah’s kingdom before dropping the bombshell that that the Watchtower Society joined it increases the effect. They may well deny that this actually happened but just ask them to speak with their elders to confirm it or research it themselves. Leave the question to simmer in their minds.
Jehovah’s Witnesses had nothing to do with that. Some of the leadership acted treacherously. This is to be expected.
10. Is Jesus your mediator with God?
The Bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that is Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5) but the governing body teaches that he is only the mediator for the 144,000 and that, in effect, the 144,000 are the mediators for the rest.
Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant. Just as the old covenant was mediated by Moses and was exclusively between Jehovah and the nation of Israel, so too, the new covenant is between Jehovah and the “Israel of God,” as Paul called it in Galatians. Paul explained that the true Israel of God is the seed of promise, namely Christ and those who are in union with him. During the 1,000 year reign of the Kingdom, the 144,000 will serve as kings and priests along with Jesus.