Issue # 4 – Heaven and Hell
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
I want to sincerely thank you for your letter. It is obvious you have given the second issue of The Main Issue, Jehovah’s Witnesses: Christian or Cult? serious perusal, and I appreciate your courtesy in expressing your comments and concerns and objections. I sense an honesty and a hunger for truth. Again, I express my sincerity and best wishes toward you, and I ask that any expressed convictions conflicting with your own will not cause you to conclude otherwise.
Yes, there is only one God, as you so ably pointed out. But in that one Godhead are three persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct from each other, and are each fully God (i.e. omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal). The Bible is very clear on this, calling all three “God.” The Bible sometimes uses the word ‘God’ in the singular when referring to one of these persons, or in the plural when referring to two or three of them (i.e. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ ” Gen 1:26).
This should not be so difficult to grasp. Scripture teaches a man and wife are one flesh. A singular family consists of many members. A man consists of a body, a soul and a spirit, yet he is one person.
From the foundation of the church Christians have always believed in the Trinity; believe me, I have not invented a strange doctrine. Jesus commissioned his disciples to baptize converts “in the name of (1) the Father, and of (2) the Son and of (3) the Holy Spirit.” The Godhead can be seen at the baptism of Jesus: (1) Jesus was baptized, (2) the Father spoke to Him, and (3) the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove. The triune God can be seen in these words of Christ, “The Helper, (1) the Holy Spirit, whom the Father (2) will send in My (3) name, He will teach you all things.” (John 14:26) The Bible declares that (1) the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24), (2) Jesus raised Jesus from the dead (John 2:19), and (3) the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. (Rom. 8:11) If you find this difficult to comprehend, remember only the person who is equal to God can fully understand God.
God never invited us to challenge His Word, and it’s not my place to defend it. I simply tell you what the Bible plainly teaches. When I come upon a verse I cannot understand, I am obligated to believe it and accept it for what it says. I dare not bring the word of the mighty God down to my human level, for He said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways….. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)
In the fourth century a fellow by the name of Arius (of Alexandria, Egypt) popularized a theory that Jesus was a creation of God, and not the eternal God. That theory has since been known by the church as the ‘Arian heresy.’ With much fervor the Jehovah’s Witnesses have promulgated this heresy to the degree that they have deliberately perverted certain Scripture verses in their ‘translation’ of the Bible, the New World Translation (as I pointed out in Issue two).
A close study of the Bible reveals:
1. God is the Creator and Jesus is the Creator. (Since there is only one Creator, Jesus therefore must be God.)
2. God is the redeemer and savior, and Jesus is the redeemer and savior. (The above logic equally applies.)
3. God is our shepherd and Jesus is “the good shepherd.”
4. God is the King and Jesus is the King.
5. God is “I Am” and “I am He,” and Jesus is “I AM” and “I Am He.”
6. God is the Rock and Jesus is the Rock.
7. God: “I am the First and I am the Last.” And Jesus, “I am….. the first and the last.” (How many first(s) and last(s) can there be?)
The Bible gives more indisputable proof that Jesus is, in fact Jehovah God: They called the Babe, Immanuel “which is translated, God with us.” In other words, Christ was called “God with us.”
Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” Did Jesus refute Thomas (as He certainly would have if Thomas had spoken an untruth)? No, certainly not. Jesus let Thomas’ declaration stand so that people of every century would know for a certainty that Jesus is Jehovah God. Hebrews 1:8 quotes the Father as saying to Jesus, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” (The ‘translators’ of the NWT perverted this text.)
John writes, “and the Word (Jesus) was God.” (Yes, they mistranslated this verse as well, calling the Word ‘a god.’)
Paul tells us Jesus created all things. How could He create all things if He Himself was created? (The ‘translators,’ recognizing the dilemma, added the word ‘other’ to make it read that Jesus created all other things.)
Surely this is plain evidence that Jesus is Jehovah. And there is more:
John tells us Jesus declared that “God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” (I am sure you will agree that anyone equal to God is God.) They crucified Jesus on the grounds of blasphemy (claiming to be God).
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.”
John the baptist was sent to “Prepare the way of Jehovah ” (NWT) and, as you know, John was the forerunner of Christ as indicated by his own words, “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ ” Therefore Christ must be Jehovah.
When Jesus arrived on planet earth through the body and through the obedience of a virgin, he left his Godly power behind and became as we are. (He did so voluntarily, so He could become the innocent sacrifice to atone for man’s sin – which God’s righteousness demanded.) He walked on earth as a man and related to God the Father as a man. And as a man He depended on the Holy Spirit to empower Him. That is why “The Son can do nothing by Himself.” And that is why He did not “know the day or hour when these things will happen.” Yes, Jesus is the Son “of” God, but this does not mean produced by as you say, no more than the Spirit “of” Christ means that the Spirit was produced by Christ, (or for that matter, that the God “of” Israel was produced by Israel).
I trust that you will find these insights helpful.
As for Jehovah’s Witnesses: I am not critical of the individual Jehovah’s Witness knocking on my door. I said in issue two, speaking to Jehovah’s Witnesses, “I am not being critical of you. And I am not being critical of anyone else, for they are all, without exception ‘Followers of followers, victims of victims.’ Again, I am not being critical of you. Actually, I can very much identify with you. I really can. I know what it is like to be indoctrinated. As a Catholic I was taught that…”
But I am very critical of the Jehovah’s Witness organization! And so should anyone else who has examined its deadly doctrines, its many false prophecies and its history of cruelty and intrigue.
I don’t think you grasp the import of who they claim to be. They are saying to you and I (and everyone else) that they alone are God’s spokesman, and if we do not become a part of their organization, if we do not unquestionably submit to their every dictate, if we do not carry their gospel of death to wherever they would send us, we are under the wrath of God and have no hope of escaping the tribulation that will soon fall upon humanity. Surely we have a right and responsibility to judge for ourselves whether or not this claim be true or false.
Would you not warn your son or daughter about the cults you have come in touch with, even at the risk of being criticized and ridiculed? Would you really hold back your criticism and let them walk into a trap?
Do I not likewise have the responsibility of warning the citizens of our city of a cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, whose hidden intent is to make them the androids they have become? To arm them with a defense, the truth about Jesus Christ and His ability to save to the uttermost? Listen to what the Watchtower Society itself says on this subject (excerpt from both Awake, Nov 22, 1971 and an article, Execution of Divine Judgment Upon False Religion):
“It is not religious persecution for an informed person to expose publicly a certain religion as being false, thus allowing persons to see the difference between false religion and true religion….. To make a public exposure of false religion is certainly of more value than exposing a news report as being untrue; it is a public service instead of a religious persecution and it has to do with the eternal life and happiness of the public. Still it leaves the public free to choose….. But ask yourself: Why did Jesus publicly criticize religious men who claimed to serve the same God he preached? Was his motive bad? Not at all. Though he was mild-tempered and kind, his love for righteousness and his desire to aid honest hearted persons moved him to criticize those who were teaching or acting contrary to God’s revealed will….. Was it only Christ who could properly make such comments? No, for the Bible shows clearly that Jesus’ disciples also called attention to religious error. For example, read Stephen’s bold denunciation of the Jewish leaders….. And note that the apostle Paul branded the Athenian worship of idols as ‘ignorance’….. Further, out of love for truth these first-century Christians exposed deviations from true Christianity by ones professing to be Christians. So the disciples were being Christian – not unchristian – in pointing out religious error….. Consequently, is it unchristian today to offer Bible-based comments about another religion? The Scriptural answer must be No. True, criticism that reveals faults in the teachings or practices of someone’s religion might at first seem severe. Yet, how should one react? Not like those who became violently enraged over Stephen’s criticism….. Far from being rejected as unchristian then, criticism based on God’s Word should be carefully considered, for it can bring real benefits.”
True, they did not have themselves in mind when publishing these statements, but unless they admit to a double standard they would have to agree the same principles apply to themselves.
You say, “never have I been bullied or pushed.” I warn you, the trap is closing.
A man phoned my wife after reading Jehovah’s Witness: Christian or Cult? He and his wife have been raised in the organization since youth and all their acquaintances are Jehovah’s Witnesses. He wants out. But he knows if he tries to leave they will try to split their marriage and he will lose everything. If he has children he will lose them to the Watchtower Society and he will become his children’s enemy. What advice would you give this man? I don’t think he would agree that the Jehovah’s Witnesses never bully or coerce.
The following conversation is between a Jehovah’s Witness Elder and myself (not word for word – my memory is not that good) which I had just prior to Issue Two:
Do the people in your organization have the right to make their own decisions, to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions?
Elder: Oh yes, people can think whatever they want. It’s a free country. We do not dictate what people do.
Do you mean to say that a Jehovah’s Witness for example, is free to have a blood transfusion if he honestly thinks it is Scripturally sound to have one?
Elder: Oh yes. We are not like that. People are free to do whatever they please. Like I said, it’s a free country.
And such a person can remain a Jehovah’s Witness?
Elder: No, only those who agree with our teachings can be a Jehovah’s Witness.
But don’t you teach that anyone who is not a Jehovah’s Witness cannot be saved? That they are under the wrath of God?
Again, is this not “bullying” people to submission? Treated like a little child, a Jehovah’s Witness is not ‘allowed’ to vote, attend a wedding at a church, join the armed forces, speak to someone who has been disfellowshipped, take a transfusion, sign a petition, etc., etc. What word should I have used to describe this degrading control? If Jehovah’s Witnesses are not held in fear of this ‘organization-god,’ as one author called it, why, may I ask, did you not sign your letter? I am not criticizing, just asking you to look at it. Whom do you fear?
I think you are more influenced by this society than you realize. The arguments you presented against the deity of Christ is Watchtower Society reasoning. They have a way of steering their victims to their logic while making them believe they came to those conclusions themselves.
The Jehovah’s Witness organization IS a cult as they put themselves on par with God’s word. It is true there is no official membership in the Watchtower Society, but they do claim that it is impossible to attain salvation (their brand of salvation) without their help. They oppose almost every Biblical truth while, as you say, claiming to adhere to the Bible as its authority. My paper was not poorly researched, and if you would but read the books listed (in issue two) you would agree.
If you contact me I will send you any one of these books free of charge, so much do I want you set free from this organization. Why?
Because there really is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, even though the Witnesses say otherwise. I quote a Mr. Walter Martin, a writer who has studied the cults for many years:
Jehovah’s Witnesses know beyond doubt that if Jesus is Jehovah-God then everyone of them is going to a flaming hereafter, and hell they fear above all else. This no doubt explains a great deal of their antagonism to the doctrines of the Trinity and Hell. The Witnesses, it must be remembered, consistently berate the Trinity doctrine as “of the Devil,” and never tire proclaiming that “the Bible Hell is the grave.” The thought of being punished in unquenchable fire for their disobedience to God is probably the strongest bond that binds the Watchtower’s flimsy covers together.”
The only one who can save you from hell and bring you into the New Jerusalem is Jesus Christ, “My Lord and my God.” Although the Bible does not specifically say to renounce Russellism it does say, “Come out from among them and be separate,” referring to everything ungodly. Please believe me when I say that I only want to see you there. That is my motive. That was the heart behind Jehovah’s Witnesses: Christian or Cult?
Publicizing the teachings and history and false prophecies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization was a good work. The intent was not to injure but to set free, and to give the uninformed a defense. I am glad you have read it. Yes, you were offended, but the gospel does that. Now my question to you is this:
What will you do with Christ?
Will you embrace Him into your life, or reject Him? Will you turn to Him for eternal life, or put your trust in an organization whose history abounds in bad fruit? Will you not turn to Him, as did Thomas, and profess, “My Lord and my God”? Again I ask you:
What will you do with Christ?