The Mothership!One day about two years ago, an old lady came knocking on my door. She explained she was going door-to-door discussing Bible teachings, with whoever wanted to talk. I invited her into our home to talk...after a short while talking, she asked me which Bible translation I read from, which at that stage, was the New King James (this was before our family's research on the differences in modern Bible translations, compared with the King James Version) she informed me she was reading from the New World Translation...I had no idea what that was, as I had never heard of it!
So she came, she talked, gave me the "watchtower" and went! Obviously when she gave me the "watchtower" I realised that she was a Jehovah's Witness. I smiled and waved and hoped she would not return. But she did...faithfully every few months or so she would come back with another watchtower magazine! Sometimes I would discuss key Bible teachings with her and sometimes not.
Why didn't I just tell her to go away? Well, I guess I just didn't want to be rude to an old lady and I kind of figured that she was doing the Lord's work by taking the gospel door-to-door and getting people saved, as we are biblically instructed to do. I will point out however, that in all the time this lady knocked at my door, she never gave me the gospel, nor talked about salvation?...I reasoned "Well she is sweet old lady and is doing the Lord's work, so whats the harm?"
Hmm...whats the harm? Boy, was I wrong! I began to do a little digging on the "religion" of Jehovah's Witnesses. I was so surprised with what I learned!
The biggest shock to me, was realising that they don't take the gospel door-to-door, trying to get people saved! That's right, they take a false gospel! Shameless works salvation! According to what I was able to find out, Jehovah's Witnesses teach that salvation is only possible once a person has repented of their sins and has called upon God; a free gift, though this is unattainable without good works! They also believe that you can lose your salvation by not being faithful to God!
This made me so mad! *Newsflash* If you have to work for it, then its not free! Jesus did all the work for us! Seriously I'm not making this up, they really believe this. The Bible teaches that all believers are apt to backsliding...so by their logic aren't we all going to lose our salvation at some point? The Bible has this (along with others) to say on the issue of works salvation:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
So, I was wrong; Jehovah's Witnesses are doing a lot of harm, by bringing their false gospel and false doctrines door-to-door. Many people are being deceived by them, how many people are un-saved, without realising it, spending their lives relying on their works to earn themselves a place in heaven?
To further corrupt the word of God, they fashioned for themselves a whole new Bible translation; The New World Translation. Which interestingly enough cuts out some of the same complete verses that the NIV does! Also a word in here or taken out there, has demoted Jesus from God in the flesh, to being the archangel Michael! Their reason for devising a whole new translation...
"one of the main reasons for producing a new translation was that most Bible versions in common use, including the Authorized Version (King James), employed archaic language."
We all know how difficult it is to read the archaic King James Bible *eyeroll* What a better way to keep your members ignorant of vital truth, than to rewrite and corrupt the word of God, to suit your denominational beliefs. Some others have said this about the New World Translation:
Dr. William Barclay, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, concluded that "the deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in the New Testament translation. ... It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."
Robert McCoy stated "... In not a few instances the New World Translation contains passages which must be considered as 'theological translations.' This fact is particularly evident in those passages which express or imply the deity of Jesus Christ.
I was once told by another lady, (accompanying the older lady) to my home that the watchtower "headquarters" was like a "mothership" that filtered down doctrine to the individual Kingdom Halls. I queried this, as I know from my own Bible study that New Testament churches where to be "independent", not controlled by a mothership! The lady had no scripturally credible answer. Jehovah's Witnesses are organized under a hierarchical arrangement, which their leadership calls a "theocratic government"!
There are many more weird doctrines to which the Jehovah's Witnesses hold, but to save time I will not go into them all here, though if you do not know please take the time to research them. Once I had my information about JW beliefs about salvation gathered, I waited...
Sure enough a just a few days later two women knocked at my door. I left the playroom where I was doing a read aloud with my kids, I picked up the watchtower left previously and went to the door. I greeted them nicely and I explained that I had been researching their denomination and had been shocked to find that they held to a false gospel. I told her that our beliefs as Baptists is, that salvation was through faith in Jesus Christ only...
You could have knocked my socks off, when they said "Oh no you must be mistaken because we do too". I was a little taken aback until the older lady said "but the Bible says faith without works is dead". That was it...the argument I had been waiting for! The confirmation of what I had already discovered. I had my verses ready, but was cut off short. The old lady quickly quoted:
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 3:14
She told me it was JW belief that the "prize" mentioned in this verse meant salvation, and that this proved that salvation was something we needed to work towards. Yikes! I told her her kindly but firmly that I thought she was wrong, that the Bible clearly states that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ only. Our good works are evidence of our salvation, as when we are truly saved (with eternal security) we desire to live our lives in a God honouring way. I offered her the watchtower back and said that I could no longer receive their publication as I believed they contained false doctrine. They left and have not been back.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there
shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable
heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon
themselves swift destruction.
~ 2 Peter 2:1