Facts Jehovah’s Witnesses Won’t Tell You When Calling at Your Door
Facts Jehovah’s Witnesses Won’t Tell You When Calling at Your Door
By: The John Ankerberg Show
The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, USA, was founded over 100 years ago by Charles Taze Russell, who had no theological training, but adopted the title, “Pastor.” His ideas were strange right from the beginning.
Early Watchtower magazines (3/15/1913 & 1/15/1912) reveal that he believed a person’s desire to worship God was due to the shape of their brain. He believed that if a dog’s head were shaped like a man’s, the dog would think like a man!
He offered health advice too, believing appendicitis and typhoid fever were caused by “biting worms in the colon”.
He sold “miracle wheat” at greatly inflated prices. Despite all this, his followers then (and now) believed that he was God’s “faithful and discreet slave” referred to in Matthew 24:45. After his death, his legacy, the Watch Tower organization became this sole channel for God in the eyes of its followers.
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES BELIEVE & TEACH
THAT Jesus Christ (who is Michael the Archangel in their doctrine) is mediator for only a small, elite, group within their ranks called the “anointed remnant”. Others must come to this group who control the organization and earn their salvation by absolute obedience to it.
THAT all religions except theirs are of Satan, and your Pastor or Priest is under the Devil’s control.
THAT the Watchtower Society is the only source of truth on earth today, and all churches teach error and will be destroyed at Armageddon.
THAT the cross is a pagan symbol of sex worship, and that all buildings or persons displaying the cross are likewise pagan. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus died on the cross. However, “new light” in the Watchtower Magazine has admitted they are not certain about the cross, but will continue to deny it anyway.
THAT no one goes to heaven but 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses, and your soul will be destroyed if you refuse to join their organization.
THAT the Christ child was only an “IT”, not a “HE”. See the New World Translation, Luke 2:16,17.
THAT Jesus was not the Christ (or Messiah) until age 30, even though their own bible says in Luke 2:11, “because there was born to you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
THAT after Jesus was buried in the tomb, Jehovah dissolved his body into gasses and it disappeared forever.
THAT Jesus rose invisibly in three days, so Jehovah had to “materialize” a fake body for him complete with fake nail prints so His disciples would believe it was really Jesus risen.
THAT Armageddon and Christ’s second coming were foretold to happen in 1874, 1914, 1925 and 1975 by this “non-prophet” organization.
THAT when Christ failed to show up in 1914 The Society claimed in later years that He had come—invisibly—of course, and all Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this today.
THAT Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob etc., were to be back on earth as perfect humans in 1925. The Society built a palatial home for them BUT, when the patriarchs failed to show up, the President of the Society moved in.
THAT their light gets “brighter and brighter”, allowing for the many changes and “about faces” on their doctrines. Yesterday’s error is today’s “truth”. Often the “light” bounces back and forth from old to new views and back again! Does real light return to darkness?
THAT the Watchtower Society and its followers are all prophets of God today and the Governing Body is directed by angels from God.
THAT salvation for Society members consists of doing the good works of placing Watchtower books and magazines and winning converts.
THAT soon Jehovah God will become a GRANDFATHER and Jesus will be promoted to “EVERLASTING FATHER”!
THAT Jehovah God is not omnipresent, but still Almighty. Think! How can this be?
They have NOT BEEN TOLD —By the leadership of the Society
THAT when they translated their New World Translation of the Bible they deliberately altered almost every scripture on the Deity of Christ, to make him only a creature.
THAT the Society used a translation by a SPIRIT MEDIUM, Johannes Greber, to support their rendering of John 1:1 with full knowledge that his sources were DEMONIC. Greber was exposed in the Feb. 15/56 W.T. However in 1961 they released a translation based on his occult one then denied they knew what they were doing on page 31 of the Apr. 1, 1983 Watchtower!
THAT none of their “translating committee” knew Biblical Greek or Hebrew. No scholars at all.
THAT Fred Franz, who for many years headed the Society, perjured himself under oath in Scotland in a court trial, by saying he could read Hebrew, and then failing a simple Hebrew test.
THAT the following encyclopedias consider the name “JEHOVAH” to be FALSE Merits Student Enc.; Encyclopedia Americana; The Jewish Encyclopedia; Encyclopedia International, The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible; The New Catholic Encyclopedia; The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, etc.
Jehovah’s Witness’s own “Aid” book admits on pages 884 & 885 that “Jehovah” was first recorded by a Catholic monk about 700 years ago!
THAT the date 1874 was taught for Christ’s invisible presence by the Society until l929. (See their book, “Prophecy”, p. 65. sold until 1941. Also WT. Jan 1, 1924, p. 5.)
THAT top executives of the Society have admitted under oath that they forced their members to accept false prophecies or face disfellowshipping and be found worthy of death.
THAT true salvation is FREE (Ephesians 2: 8 & 9), and consists of receiving Christ as your Savior. (John 1:12 , John 6: 28, 29).
We find the Watchtower Society practicing their belief that it is proper to deceive people. But they say this really isn’t lying. Why? Because the Society has a different definition of lying than most of us. In their book “AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING” under the word “LIE” we read:
Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is ENTITLED to know the truth….
While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it. Of course it is the Watchtower leaders that decide WHO deserves to know the truth.
This article was written by by Lorri MacGregor, ©June 1999 for The John Ankerberg Show.
John MacArthur | When Jehovah Witnesses Come A Knockin
Jehovah’s Witnesses, JW’s, Russellism
Founder: Charles Taze Russell
Jehovah’s Witnesses trace their origins to the nineteenth century Adventist movement in America . That movement began with William Miller, a Baptist lay preacher who, in the year 1816, began proclaiming that Christ would return in 1843. His predictions of the Second Coming or Second Advent captured the imagination of thousands in Baptist and other mainline churches. Perhaps as many as 50,000 followers put their trust in Miller’s chronological calculations and prepared to welcome the Lord, while, as the appointed time approached, others watched nervously from a distance. Recalculations moved the promised second advent from March, 1843 to March, 1844, and then to October of that year. Alas, that date too passed uneventfully.
After the “Disappointment of 1844” Miller’s following fell apart, with most of those who had looked to him returning to their respective churches before his death in 1849. But other disappointed followers kept the movement alive, although in fragmented form. Their activities eventually led to the formation of several sects under the broad heading of “Adventism” including the Advent Christian Church, the Life and Advent Union, the Seventh-Day Adventists, and various Second Adventist groups.
An interesting side-note:
The Branch Davidians who died at Waco, Texas, under the leadership of David Koresh also trace their roots to the same Millerite source through a different line of descent. In 1935 the Seventh Day Adventist Church expelled a Bulgarian immigrant named Victor Houteff, who had begun teaching his own views on certain passages on the book of Revelation. Houteff set up shop on the property at Waco . After first referring to his tiny new sect as The Shepherd’s Rod, Houteff and his people in 1942 incorporated and renamed themselves Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. Houteff died in 1955, and in 1961 his wife Florence officially disbanded the sect, but a few followers under the leadership of west Texas businessman Benjamin Roden took over the real estate. Roden died in 1978, leaving behind his wife Lois and his son George to lead the group. Then, in 1987, David Koresh took over the leadership position, and the tragedy that followed is public knowledge.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, likewise, trace their roots back to the Adventists. But they do not often admit this to outsiders; nor do many Witnesses know the details themselves. Jehovah’s Witnesses are accustomed to defending themselves against the charge that they are a new religious cult. They will often respond that theirs is the most ancient religious group, older than Catholic and Protestant churches. In fact, they assert that “Jehovah’s witnesses have a history almost 6,000 years long, beginning while the first man, Adam, was still alive,” that Adam’s son Abel was “the first of an unbroken line of Witnesses,” and that “Jesus’ disciples were all Jehovah’s witnesses [sic] too.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, pp. 8-9)
An outsider listening to such claims quickly realizes, of course, that the sect has simply appropriated unto itself all the characters named in the Bible as faithful witnesses of God. By such extrapolation the denomination is able to stretch its history back to the beginnings of the human family, at least in the eyes of adherents who are willing to accept such arguments. But outside observers generally dismiss this sort of rhetoric and instead reckon the Witnesses as dating back only to Charles Taze Russell, who was born on February 16, 1852, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Originally raised a Presbyterian, Russell was 16 years old and a member of the Congregational church in the year 1868, when he found himself losing faith. He had begun to doubt not only church creeds and doctrines, but also God and the Bible itself. At this critical juncture a chance encounter restored his faith and placed him under the influence of Second Adventist preacher Jonas Wendell.
For some years after that Russell continued to study Scripture with and under the influence of various Adventist laymen and clergy, notably Advent Christian Church minister George Stetson and the Bible Examiner’s publisher George Storrs. He met locally on a regular basis with a small circle of friends to discuss the Bible, and this informal study group came to regard him as their leader or pastor.
In January, 1876, when he was 23 years old, Russell received a copy of The Herald of the Morning, an Adventist magazine published by Nelson H. Barbour of Rochester , New York . One of the distinguishing features of Barbour’s group at that time was their belief that Christ returned invisibly in 1874, and this concept presented in The Herald captured Russell’s attention. It meant that this Adventist splinter group had not remained defeated, as others had, when Christ failed to appear in 1874 as Adventist leaders had predicted; somehow this small group had managed to hold onto the date by affirming that the Lord had indeed returned at the appointed time, only invisibly.
Was this mere wishful thinking, coupled with a stubborn refusal to admit the error of failed chronological calculations? Barbour had some arguments to offer in support of his assertions. In particular, he came up with a basis for reinterpreting the Second Coming as an invisible event:
In Benjamin Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott translation of the New Testament the word rendered ‘coming’ in the King James Version at Matthew 24:27, 37, 39 is translated ‘presence’ instead. This served as the basis for Barbour’s group to advocate, in addition to their time calculations, an invisible presence of Christ.
Although the idea appealed to young Charles Taze Russell, the reading public apparently refused to ‘buy’ the story of an invisible Second Coming, with the result that N. H. Barbour’s publication The Herald of the Morning was failing financially. In the summer of 1876 wealthy Russell paid Barbour’s way to Philadelphia and met with him to discuss both beliefs and finances. The upshot was that Russell became the magazine’s financial backer and was added to the masthead as an assistant editor. He contributed articles for publication as well as monetary gifts, and Russell’s small study group similarly became affiliated with Barbour’s.
Russell and Barbour believed and taught that Christ’s invisible return in 1874 would be followed soon afterward, in the spring of 1878 to be exact, by the Rapture, the bodily snatching away of believers to heaven. When this expected Rapture failed to occur on time in 1878, The Herald’s editor, Mr. Barbour, came up with “new light” on this and other doctrines. Russell, however, rejected some of the new ideas and persuaded other members to oppose them. Finally, Russell quit the staff of the Adventist magazine and started his own. He called it Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence and published its first issue with the date July, 1879. In the beginning it had the same mailing list as The Herald of the Morning and considerable space was devoted to refuting the latter on points of disagreement, Russell having taken with him a copy of that magazine’s mailing list when he resigned as assistant editor.
At this point Charles Russell no longer wanted to consider himself an Adventist, nor a Millerite. But, he continued to view Miller and Barbour as instruments chosen by God to lead His people in the past. The formation of a distinct denomination around Russell was a gradual development. His immediate break was, not with Adventism, but with the person and policies of N. H. Barbour.
Nor were barriers immediately erected with respect to Protestantism in general. New readers obtaining subscriptions to Zion’s Watch Tower were often church members who saw the magazine as a para-church ministry, not as an anti-church alternative. Russell traveled about speaking from the pulpits of Protestant churches as well as to gatherings of his own followers. In 1879, the year of his marriage to Maria Frances Ackley and also the year he began publishing Zion’s Watch Tower, Russell organized some thirty study groups or congregations scattered from Ohio to the New England coast. Each local “class” or ecclesia came to recognize him as “Pastor,” although geography and Russell’s writing and publishing activities prevented more than an occasional pastoral visit in person.
Inevitably, Russell’s increasingly divergent teachings forced his followers to separate from other church bodies and to create a denomination of their own. Beginning, as he did, in a small branch of Adventism that went to the extreme of setting specific dates for the return of Christ and the Rapture, Russell went farther out on a limb in 1882 by openly rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity. His earlier mentor Nelson H. Barbour was a Trinitarian, as was The Herald of the Morning’s other assistant editor John H. Paton who joined Russell in leaving Barbour to start Zion’s Watch Tower . The writings of Barbour and Paton that Russell had helped publish or distribute were Trinitarian in their theology. And the Watch Tower itself was at first vague and noncommittal on the subject. It was only after Paton broke with him in 1882, and ceased to be listed on the masthead, that Russell began writing against the doctrine of the Trinity.
By the time of his death , Charles Taze Russell had traveled more than a million miles and preached more than 30,000 sermons. He had authored works totaling some 50,000 printed pages, and nearly 20,000,000 copies of his books and booklets had been sold.
Followers had been taught that Russell himself was the “faithful and wise servant” of Matthew 24:45 and “the Laodicean Messenger,” God’s seventh and final spokesman to the Christian church. But he lived to see the failure of various dates he had predicted for the Rapture, and finally died on October 31, 1916 , more than two years after the world was supposed to have ended, according to his calculations, in early October, 1914..
His disciples, however, saw the World War then raging as reason to believe “the end” was still imminent. They buried Russell beneath a headstone identifying him as “the Laodicean Messenger,” and erected next to his grave a massive stone pyramid emblazoned with the cross and crown symbol he was fond of and the name “Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.” (The pyramid still stands off Cemetery Lane in Ross, a northern Pittsburgh suburb, where it reportedly serves as the focal point of an eerie scene each Halloween as modern-day Russellites encircle it, holding hands, in a vigil commemorating the day of his death.)
According to instructions Russell left behind, his successor to the presidency would share power with an editorial committee and with the Watch Tower corporation’s board of directors, whom Russell had appointed “for life.” But vice president Joseph Franklin (“Judge”) Rutherford soon set about concentrating all organizational authority in his own hands. A skilled lawyer who had served as Russell’s chief legal advisor, he combined legal prowess with what opponents undoubtedly saw as a Machiavellian approach to internal corporate politics. Thus he used a loophole in their appointment to unseat the majority of the Watch Tower directors without calling a membership vote. And he even had a subordinate summon the police into the Society’s Brooklyn headquarters offices to break up their board meeting and evict them from the premises. (Faith on the March by A. H. Macmillan, pp. 78-80)
After securing the headquarters complex and the sect’s corporate entities, Rutherford turned his attention to the rest of the organization. By gradually replacing locally elected elders with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous democratically-run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine run from his office. Some local congregations broke away, forming such Russellite splinter groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day. But most Bible Students remained under his control, and Rutherford renamed them “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in 1931, to distinguish them from these other groups.
Meanwhile, he shifted the sect’s emphasis from the individual “character development” Russell had stressed to vigorous public witnessing work, distributing the Society’s literature from house to house. By 1927 this door-to-door literature distribution had become an essential activity required of all members. The literature consisted primarily of Rutherford’s unremitting series of attacks against government, against Prohibition, against “big business,” and against the Roman Catholic Church. He also forged a huge radio network and took to the air waves, exploiting populist and anti-Catholic sentiment to draw thousands of additional converts. His vitriolic attacks, blaring from portable phonographs carried to people’s doors and from the loudspeakers of sound cars parked across from churches, also drew down upon the Witnesses mob violence and government persecution in many parts of the world.
Like Russell, Rutherford tried his hand at prophecy and predicted that biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be resurrected in 1925 to rule as princes over the earth. (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, pp. 89-90) They failed to show up, of course, and Rutherford quit predicting dates. In fact, referring to that prophetic failure he later admitted, “I made an ass of myself.” (The Watchtower, October 1, 1984, p. 24)
Vice President Nathan Homer Knorr inherited the presidency upon Rutherford’s death in 1942 but left doctrinal matters largely in the hands of Frederick W. Franz, who joined the sect under Russell and had been serving at Brooklyn headquarters since 1920. Lacking the personal magnetism and charisma of Russell and Rutherford, Knorr focused followers’ devotion on the ‘Mother’ organization rather than on himself.
After decades of publishing books and booklets authored by its presidents Russell and Rutherford, the Watchtower Society began producing literature that was written anonymously. But it was not impersonal, since the organization itself was virtually personified, and readers were directed to “show our respect for Jehovah’s organization, for she is our mother and the beloved wife of our heavenly Father, Jehovah God.” (The Watchtower, May 1, 1957, p. 285)
A superb administrator, Knorr shifted the sect’s focus from dynamic leadership to dynamic membership. He initiated training programs to transform members into effective recruiters. Instead of carrying a portable phonograph from house to house, playing recordings of “Judge” Rutherford’s lectures at people’s doorsteps, the average Jehovah’s Witness began receiving instruction on how to speak persuasively. Men, women, and children learned to give sermons at the doors on a variety of subjects.
Meanwhile Fred Franz worked behind the scenes to restore faith in the sect’s chronological calculations, a subject largely ignored following Rutherford’s prophetic failure in 1925. The revised chronology established Christ’s invisible return as having taken place in 1914 rather than 1874, and, during the 1960’s, the Society’s publications began pointing to the year 1975 as the likely time for Armageddon and the end of the world.
The prevailing belief among Jehovah’s Witnesses today is that the Society never predicted “the end” for 1975, but that some over-zealous members mistakenly read this into the message. However, the official prediction is well documented. See, for example, the article titled “Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?” in The Watchtower of August 15, 1968, pp. 494-501. Allowing for a small margin of error, it concludes a lengthy discussion with this thought: “Are we to assume from this study that the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of man’s existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. . . . It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.” (p. 499) For several other quotes pointing specifically to 1975, see the book Index of Watchtower Errors (by David A. Reed, Baker Book House, 1990) pages 106-110.
Knorr’s training programs for proselytizing, plus Franz’ apocalyptic projections for 1975, combined to produce rapid growth in membership, the annual rate of increase peaking at 13.5 percent in 1974. All of this pushed meeting attendance at JW Kingdom Halls from around 100,000 in 1941 to just under 5 million in 1975. Growth since then has been slower, but fairly steady in most years, with the result that nearly 11.5 million gathered at Kingdom Halls in the spring of 1992 for the Witnesses’ annual communion or “Memorial” service commemorating Christ’s death with unleavened bread and red wine.
During the 1970’s changes took place at Watchtower headquarters in regard to presidential power. First it became accepted in theory that the Christian Church (which Jehovah’s Witnesses see their organization as encompassing) should not be under one-man rule, but rather should be governed by a body similar to the twelve apostles. The 7-member board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania had previously been portrayed as fulfilling this role, but in 1971 an expanded Governing Body was created with a total of eleven members, including the seven Directors. The aim was to demonstrate that the leadership derived authority from an apostolic source, rather than from Pennsylvania corporate law.
This new Governing Body was displayed as further evidence of the sect’s being the one true church, but in actuality Nathan Knorr continued to rule Jehovah’s Witnesses much as Russell and Rutherford had done before him. That is, until 1975, when Governing Body members began insisting on exercising the powers granted to them in theory but that had never really been theirs in practice. Over the objections of Fred Franz the Body that he had been instrumental in creating actually began governing, so that when Nathan Knorr passed away in 1977 Franz inherited an emasculated presidency.
Franz also inherited an organization troubled by discontent over the obvious failure of his prophecies of the world’s end in the autumn of 1975. Even at Brooklyn headquarters little groups meeting privately for Bible study were beginning to question not only the 1914-based chronology that produced the 1975 deadline, but also the related teaching that the “heavenly calling” of believers ended in 1935, with new converts after that date consigned to an earthly paradise for their eternal reward.
The hitherto fast-growing sect actually began losing members for the first time in decades, as people who had expected Armageddon in 1975 became disillusioned. When membership loss grew into the hundreds of thousands-a fact masked by new conversions in figures released by the Society, but reported in an investigative article in the Los Angeles Times of January 30, 1982 (pp. 4-5)-president Franz and the conservative majority on the Governing Body took action. In the spring of 1980 they initiated a crack-down on dissidents, breaking up the independent Bible study groups at headquarters, and forming “judicial committees” to have those seen as ringleaders put on trial for “disloyalty” and “apostasy.”
By the time this purge culminated in the forced resignation and subsequent excommunication of the president’s nephew and fellow Governing Body member Raymond V. Franz (a development Time magazine found worthy of a full-page article, Feb. 22, 1982, p. 66) a siege mentality took hold on the world-wide organization. Even Witnesses who left quietly and voluntarily for personal reasons were denounced as disloyal and were ordered shunned, former friends forbidden to say as much as “a simple ‘Hello'” to them.
Thus, although Frederick W. Franz served as the sect’s chief theologian for some fifty years-from the start of Knorr’s presidency in 1942 until his own death on December 22, 1992-the fact that he outlived his failed prophecies by more than fifteen years required him to impose a mini-Inquisition on the membership in order to keep his doctrinal and chronological framework in force for the remainder of his lifetime.
Milton G. Henschel’s selection as fifth Watchtower president on December 30, 1992 , is truly significant for the 13 million now attending Kingdom Halls. At first glance the choice of a staunch conservative for the post may seem to guarantee a continuation of the status quo, with little change in the offing for Jehovah’s Witnesses. But a closer look reveals this appointment as the conservative old guard’s last stand-an indication that radical change in the sect’s leadership and doctrines is imminent.
At age 72 Henschel became the second-youngest member of the Governing Body, and he was selected to lead by men several years older than he is. (Both the average age and the median age at the time of Henschel’s appointment calculated out to about 82 years.) With members in their eighties known to sleep through meetings and to vote on matters upon being awakened (See eyewitness Raymond Franz’s account in his book Crisis of Conscience, p. 40.) the Body is losing its ability to provide purposeful and decisive leadership. Henschel was no doubt chosen in part due to his having vitality others lacked. Obviously, these aging leaders will not be able to hold the reigns of power much longer. The men who shared in building the Watchtower into what it is today will soon leave it behind for others to run.
In the decades following the death of founder Charles Taze Russell, his successor J. F. Rutherford found himself forced to re-write many of the sect’s major doctrines. Much the same can be expected when JWs of a new generation inherit the positions currently occupied by Milton Henschel and his fellow elderly Governing Body members. When new leaders eventually take over, will they drop the ban on blood transfusions? Only time will tell. But, even if they do, it will make no difference for those who have already died, nor for those Witnesses continuing to die while the teaching remains in place.
Adapted by Jehovah’s Christian Witness, from the book “Worse Than Waco: Jehovah’s Witnesses Hide a Tragedy” copyright © 1993 by David A. Reed, P.O. Box 819, Assonet , MA 02702 . For a more detailed account of Watchtower history see the book “BLOOD ON THE ALTAR” by David A. Reed (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Publishers, 1996).
They believe that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Russell says His body either dissolved into gases or is still preserved somewhere.
They believe that God is not triune (i.e., Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).
They believe that there is no such thing as a hell of everlasting torment. Hell is just the grave. The wicked are simply annihilated.
They believe that man has no spirit.
They believe the Holy Ghost is not a person of the Godhead, just a “life force” of God.
They exercise mind control over members.
They believe that man must work to be part of “God’s system of things”.
They believe that only the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation will live in heaven with God.
They believe all dead people will have a second chance for eternal life at the millennium. If you do not prove worthiness at this time, you’ll be destroyed.
The believe the blood of Christ does not forgive sins, it gives us a “chance” to live again. They have NO assurance of salvation as Jehovah’s Witnesses who supposedly know the truth.
They believe Jesus is the archangel Michael – Jesus is a created being.
They believe Jesus is just an agent of God, nothing more.
They believe that Jesus’ second coming occurred invisibly in 1874. Russell’s successor, Rutherford, says this was confirmed by the creation of the first labor organization in 1874.
They believed Russell when he said that in 1914 the millennium would occur and righteousness would be restored to the earth. As 1914 approached, he, and his successor, changed the date to 1915, 1916, 1924, 1928, and on and on to the present day! When you ask a Jehovah’s Witness about this, they’ll give you the party line, “Well, the Watchtower is reaching different levels of enlightenment.”
Do you have relatives and friends who are part of this cult? Pray for the Lord to replace this pack of lies with His truth: salvation through faith in the Lordship of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12, John 14:6) For comprehensive information about this wicked cult, please go to the following website: jwlies.com Blessings, Pastor Steve <><
The very thought of the entitled subject, people considering themselves as apostles today, makes my skin crawl. The audacity, hubris, conceit, and arrogance of anyone who would claim such an office is unparalleled.
May we examine how Biblical authority leaves NO OPTION for apostleship today:
Ephesians 2:19-20 King James Version (KJV)
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Note how the prophets and apostles are singled out as foundational. The foundation has been laid, and the Lord is finished using these particular offices – both prophets and apostles.
In the following passage, Paul considers himself to be the last chosen apostle:
1 Corinthians 15:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
There are three major Biblical qualifications for the original apostles:
1)They were chosen by Christ Himself.
2)They experienced the resurrected Christ firsthand.
3)They were able to display signs and wonders, as it pleased the Lord to work through them in such a way.
Consider the following on this subject from John MacArthur:
Not sure what to listen to? Tune in to Grace Stream.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Marks of a True Apostle: Appointed by Jesus
by John MacArthur
Lots of people today claim to be apostles—to wield the same authority and power as the leaders of the New Testament church. To properly evaluate those claims, we’re looking at the biblical requirements for apostleship and measuring the credentials of these modern apostles against those of the men the Lord used to found and establish His church.
The Greek noun apostolos—from which we get the word apostle—is derived from the verb apostellō, which means “to send off on a commission to do something as one’s personal representative, with credentials furnished.”  We could translate apostolos as “envoy” or “ambassador,” someone who goes on a mission bearing credentials of the one who sent him.
An apostle in the New Testament was one sent to carry the gospel to sinners, and several individuals in the early church—both major and minor characters—were called apostles. Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), Andronicus and Junius (Romans 16:7) and James the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19) all bore the title, though they were not among the twelve chosen by our Lord. They are what 2 Corinthians 8:23 calls “messengers [apostles] of the churches.”
In that broad sense, believers today are able to accomplish apostolic work through evangelism and service to the church. But that’s not what many modern church leaders mean when they lay claim to the apostolic office. Instead, modern apostles are claiming authority, privilege, and power that belonged only to men specifically appointed by Jesus.
In its more restricted and common New Testament usage, apostle refers to “an apostle of Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:1). Those apostles included the original twelve (with the deletion of Judas and the addition of Matthias after Judas’s defection) and Paul. In contrast to the apostles of the churches, these men were commissioned by Christ Himself. They were chosen by Him (cf. Luke 6:13; Acts 9:15) and learned the gospel from Him, not other men (cf. Galatians 1:11-12).
In Mark 3:14, we read that “He [Jesus] appointed twelve,” who are then named in verses 16-19. As we saw last time, the apostles were chosen by God long before they were ever born. But in life, they were hand selected by God incarnate. As Jesus said in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit.”
That same mindset drove Paul to describe his own work as “the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:24). He also echoed that sentiment in Romans 1:4-5, recognizing Christ as the source of his apostleship.
New Testament apostles were not only chosen by God, they were appointed by Jesus—called out from the crowd and set aside for specific work on behalf of the Savior.
It’s a wonder then that so many men and women today claim the authority and power of the apostolic office when they so clearly lack the necessary credentials, which accompanied that office in Scripture. As we further examine the marks of a true apostle, the more clearly we will see that their vain claims hold no water. That’s where we will pick it up next time.
(Adapted from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Timothy)
[In addition to the above exegesis of the scriptures by John MacArthur on true apostleship, I would recommend his book “Strange Fire,” for anyone who desires to further research the heresy of so called modern day apostles, and the other scriptural errors of the charismatic movement.]
Another noteworthy truth, is that the Christ chosen apostles were responsible for writing the New Testament in its entirety! (Just like the prophets wrote the Old Testament, both groups wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit). If people claimed modern day apostleship, one can easily see the Pandora’s Box that would open up, with our Bible becoming a “fluid document,” and books could be continually added by modern day “apostles.”
The early church leaders, i.e. successors of the apostles following the apostle John’s death in about 100 A.D., NEVER claimed apostleship, and always referred to the office as foundational to the origins of the church. Irenaeus, Polycarp, Ignatius, Tertullian, and Eusebius referred to their apostolic predecessors as the bedrock of the church, yet did not claim the title themselves – and for good reason: once the church was established, the Lord laid the position to rest. Now, nearly 2,000 years later, false prophets are claiming the position without the credentials to rightfully do so. Ignatius (c. AD 35-115), in his epistle to the Magnesians, spoke in the past tense of the foundation-laying work of Peter and Paul. Referring to the book of Acts, Ignatius wrote, “This was fulfilled in Syria; for the disciples were called Christians at Antioch, when Paul and Peter were laying the foundation of the Church.” Irenaeus (c. 130-202) referred to the twelve apostles as “the twelve pillared foundation of the Church.” Tertullian (c. 155-230) similarly explained that “after the time of the apostles” the only doctrine true Christians accepted was that which was “proclaimed in the churches of apostolic foundation.” Lucius Lactantius (c. 240-320) in his Divine Institutes likewise referred to the past time in which apostolic foundations of the church were laid, stating that the apostles were dispersed through the provinces, laying the foundations of the Church everywhere, and doing many incredible miracles. Examples could be multiplied, but the point is clear. Many charismatics believe the foundation of the Church is still being laid, contrary to the Bible, contrary to the original apostles selected by Christ Himself, and contrary to the cited founding fathers of the Church.
The Roman Catholic Church also errors in considering the pope to be in the line of the apostle Peter (apostolic succession), even though there was no pope for three hundred years following the apostles, and no genuine blood line to Peter. The Roman Catholic Church is a grand mixture of scripture, tradition, and paganism. You will not find popes, nuns, monks or cardinals anywhere in the Bible.
One final note. Believers in modern day apostles often use the following scripture as their proof text:
Ephesians 4:11-12 King James Version (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Yes, the offices of prophets and apostles are mentioned, prophets were predominant up until the time of Christ, and apostles helped to establish the church, but the passage in no way infers that they would continue to this day. Billy Graham would be one that misguided people would attempt to give the title to. But Billy himself would refuse it and rightly identify himself as an evangelist! God raised the dead through Peter and Paul, and performed countless other miracles through the apostles. The apostles that Christ chose all experienced the risen Christ and were commissioned by Him! Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they also wrote the New Testament. That office is finished! Amen and amen.
In His Service, Pastor Steve <><
“Ye must be born again.” John 3:7
“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13
The new birth does not come through human descent (“not of blood”), nor does it come through human desire (“the will of the flesh”), nor does it come through human determination (“nor of the will of man”). The issue is, have you put your faith in Christ? Have you been born of God: have you been born from above? Apart from this you will never enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Believe on Christ now, tomorrow may be too late. -W. Ross Rainey
Children of men, attend to the word, so solemnly uttered by Jesus the Lord; And let not this message to you be in vain, “Ye must be born again.” -William T. Sleeper
Let us contrast the beautiful aforementioned summary of true salvation with that of Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in California. The following quotation is taken from page 220 of the Purpose Driven Church: “Anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart.”
Sorry Rick, as it states prior to your man centered apostate statement, salvation does NOT come through human desire or determination. It comes from ABOVE, and you and I are not big enough to find keys to anyone’s heart. Do not be deceived- Salvation has everything to do with becoming born from above. It has NOTHING to do with finding keys to people’s hearts.
Are you a Berean or a Laodicean? Do you believe the Bible or Rick Warren? Rick Warren is a litmus test and a referendum of Biblical illiteracy. Unfortunately he is plum out of line with how one becomes saved – the most important issue that anyone will ever face this side of eternity. In the following video, John MacArthur succinctly and thoroughly exegetes the scriptures, comparing the impotence of Rick Warren’s “Gospel,” with the true and Biblical Gospel that saves. Warren totally ignores the doctrine of repentance, without which one cannot be saved. [Luke 13:3,5 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”] In a mere three minutes, the following video beautifully summarizes what true salvation is, and what it is not:
These lengthly videos record many of Rick Warren’s false teachings, including Chrislam, his worldwide P.E.A.C.E. Plan, Catholicism, allegiance with the Pope, Mariolatry, universalism, promotion of the New World Order (NWO), his disparagement of Christian Fundamentalists, easy believism, no repentance required and all inclusive salvation, no mention of sin or condemnation, and much more. Among the authors on these videos are John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, James Sundquist, Scott Johnson, Gary Gilley and Jack Van Impe. Rick Warren is a litmus test. Are you a Berean or a Laodicean?
In Christ, Pastor Steve
Beware Of The False Gospel Of Rick Warren
In a day of heresy and watered down Gospel, it is great to know there still are handful of sentinels on the wall. John MacArthur stands firmly on the Bible (sola scriptura) in the first video. He does not mince words. He whisks off liberal and apostate theologians by simply standing on the Word of God. In the second video, John MacArthur reveals the true terrorists in America- the United States Supreme Court. They sanctioned the murder of millions of unborn babies since Roe vs. Wade, and recently unleashed a travesty upon our nation that has never existed in mans’ history! So called “Gay,” same sex marriage. Rarely is the truth espoused so plainly today anywhere in the public arena. If you truly love the Lord and His Word, then like me you would realize that MacArthur’s Bible is a sword and not a butter knife. The true barometer of a man’s spiritual metal is where he stands with the volatile, hot button issues of the day.
These articles go on and on and on. When a Christian pastor, leader and teacher endorses a “World P.E.A.C.E. Plan,” yet never speaks on Bible prophecy and disparages the teaching of Bible prophecy, it should send up a red flag. I believe Jesus Christ, and not Rick Warren, will bring in the millennium. When a Protestant pastor has liaisons with the Pope, Elton John, prominent American and international Muslim leaders, global communities such as the Council Of Foreign Relations, the African Summit, and the United Nations, all focused on the New World Order, etc., etc., etc., and endorses plans to “coexist,” yet does not share the Gospel, I need no other information. When an author claims he is bringing on a New Reformation like Martin Luther, I think he is deranged and deluded. When a Protestant preacher refers to the “Prophet Isa” (the Muslim’s apostate view of Jesus Christ) at President Barack Hussein Obama’s first inaugural, I need no further information. When a man is mentored by universalist Robert Schuller, I believe he has left “Christ alone.” When a Protestant pastor endorses Chrislam, I believe that once again he has left “Christ alone.” When a man holds hands with a worldly famous sodomite, and says “If they kissed, it would be the kiss heard around the world,” I smell something very rotten in Denmark. (He fought AIDES with Elton John, yet failed to warn him that he was heading for a Christless etenity). When a man writes books including the theme of salvation, using nearly twenty translations of the Bible, yet fails to expound on sin, the dire need to repent, and fails to mention the reality of hell and the Lord’s soon coming judgment, this is a false Gospel.
Having attended four prophecy conferences in the last decade, I found it fascinating that about twenty speakers at each conference, all who represented different Protestant denominations, and none who worked intimately with, or even knew each other, all found major flaws in the theology of Rick Warren. Warren is not the subject of a witch hunt of sorts. These erudite scholars live totally separate lives from one another, yet all come up with the same conclusions. One can easily observe this, as his critics each cover different concerns in his convoluted theology. Where there is smoke there is fire.
American Christians today are Biblically illiterate. 95% of professing Christians would not know how to properly respond to a Jehovah Witness or a Mormon if they came to their door. (That is why they keep coming to our doors. The cults can perceive when they encounter a theological vacuum and they become emboldened…and that is what our culture has become- a Biblically anemic people). They know not the Word of God. Many of my peers and colleagues support Rick Warren only because he is a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor. In some cases their relative or friend served on his staff at Saddleback. Rick is worldly popular, and vacillates on the so called “gay lifestyle,” depending upon to whom he is speaking. He is brilliant, clever, witty and smart, and he is not a straight Gospel preacher. This is to his advantage in a day of Biblical illiteracy. Rick Warren is a litmus test.
Are you a noble Berean?
Acts 17:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 The Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Is your Bible a sword or a butter knife?
Hebrews 4:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Blessings, Pastor Steve