Are Jehovah’s Witness the one true religion?
(I am going to use the KJV or NKJV for my bible references because I trust it. If you are a JW this should be fine for you as JW’s used to use KJV before the NWT, which was also translated from KJV)Acts 7:48-50 (NKJV):
48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
49 ‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has My hand not made all these things?’
When I was stumbled (I was stumbled by many things), I doubted whether JW’s was the truth. So I decided to read the bible for myself (without it being interpreted by imperfect people) to find out what was true. I decided to “make the truth my own”. Before I read it, each time, I prayed for understanding. The bible came alive and I understood like I never have before. It was like a veil was lifted off. Little did I know at the time, this is exactly how we are meant to read it.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Cor 2:14 “For the word of God is alive and active…” Hebrews 4:12 “… the Lord give thee understanding in all things..” – 2 Tim 2:7
My new understanding came directly from scripture with help from the Holy Spirit. I have not been brainwashed by “apostates”. While I do now associate with christian people that share the same beliefs as me, they have not influenced by beliefs whatsoever.
My reasons for choosing the Lord Jesus over the watchtower organisation:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” – 1 Tim 2:5
Obviously Jesus is the only mediator, the only Way, Truth and Life.
You might be thinking that the governing body are the faithful and discreet slave appointed to give out food at the proper time…even if they are, that doesn’t make them the mediator between God and man. Before Jesus, God had appointed mediators, priests and prophets to relay His messages. After Jesus died the curtain that was separating the Holy of Holies was ripped. The significance was that we are now each able to come directly to God, through Jesus. Jesus is the key. He Has also written His law on our hearts (God given conscience) and gave us His word, the bible, which is FINISHED, so we know what to do. And to clear up any confusion, He sent the Holy Spirit to help us understand the bible. Teachers can help guide us to the bible and to God, but are not to be mediators, coming between us and God, nor are they to make laws or add to the word of God.
“26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” – 1 John 2:26-27
“5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – 2 Cor 3:5,6
If you get nothing else out of what I’m saying here, please trust God as the highest authority and pray to Him and read His word with an open heart (to Him), asking for understanding. You cannot go wrong with this. You are trusting imperfect men (governing body) to interpret the bible for you, you are trusting them with your LIFE, please trust God and check all of what I’m presenting here and consider prayerfully what is true. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you.
“… they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:11
Here are the 10 criteria the JW’s put forward to identify the one true religion and as I go through each one I’ll comment on them. (please bear in mind that Jws have gone about this the wrong way anyway as I will explain later):
- They have love among themselves and by their fruits. “35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:35 “By their fruits you shall know them” – Mat 7:16
This is a true point, its scriptural. however in reality, all religions have those that are loving, and those that are not loving within them. Obviously this scripture is about individuals, not a religion. There are individuals in JWs who are loving and those who are not. You know this is true. I have personally met people from other churches that are very loving, they give food out to the hungry, help each other out and go beyond their congregation to help the community as per Jesus command: “35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” – Matthew 25:35-40 Jehovah’s witness as a religion don’t follow this command except to help their own in emergency situations. Jesus commanded to do this for strangers though, not just our own. I don’t know of any JWs that do this. Do you? Getting back to the subject though…
2. They preach the good news worldwide. Yes, the bible says this will happen.
- JWs are thorough, but they are not the only ones doing this. Missionaries from other churches have also preached the word to the remote places. Places where even JWs haven’t been. All of the world has access to a bible and almost all have the internet nowadays where the word is also being preached by many different churches and individuals.
- It is also debatable whether the word JWs are teaching is in fact the true good news. But I’ll get into that later…
- This scripture isn’t about which church is sharing His word, but the fact it is being shared. His word being the Bible.
3. They don’t go to war or get involved in politics. That’s good. There are others who do this also.
4. True religion must have the correct doctrine based on bible. Sure. All religions make this claim. It is up to us find out if what they are teaching us is true. JWs call themselves “the truth”. It is blasphemy though as Jesus is truth. Humans can’t be truth or be the authority on truth no matter how hard they try to get it right, they are imperfect. Jesus is the truth and the authority on truth as He is the only perfect human that qualifies. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
5. They glorify Jehovah’s name.
- True, JWs may be the most passionate about Jehovah’s name although they are not the only ones who use it. I couldn’t believe it when I was in a baptist church once and saw posters all around praising Jehovah’s name!
- The true pronunciation of His name is lost. All we have is YHWH. Many consider it too holy to say, especially as we don’t know how to pronounce it. I am happy to just call Him Father as Jesus instructed us in the Lord’s prayer. Or I call Him by however He leads me. Sometimes I call Him Abba or Lord or Elohim or Yahweh or Adonai or El Shaddai etc. There are different ways people came up with to pronounce the tetragrammaton such as Yahweh, Yahushuah, Yahshuah or Jehovah etc. I call Him Jehovah too sometimes but don’t get hung up on it. He knows I’m talking to Him. Can you imagine requiring your child to say your name exactly right? No, you would just be happy with them calling you daddy or mummy.
- The name that we are to promote is Jesus (or Yeshua). “9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” – Phil 2:9, 10 “21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” – Eph 1:21, 22 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” – Mat 10:32 This does not mean we are putting Jesus above God. Rather We are glorifying God through spreading the message that Jesus is the Lord. “11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Phil 2:11
Jw believe that because they all believe the same that they are fulfilling 1 Cor 1:10: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
But if you read this verse in context, you will find out what it really means. Let’s continue to verse 11 onwards: “11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”
As you can see here Paul was talking about people following different men when they should all be united following Jesus. Many of the christian religions today are doing this. They are following various men instead of Jesus alone. For example the Catholics follow the pope. Mormons follow Joseph Smith. Jehovah’s witness followed Charles Russell and Joseph Rutherford and now follow the governing body. They even baptise people to their organization instead of God alone. Paul was specifically warning against such things. The very scripture that Jws twist to support their beliefs actually exposes them!
Ok so now I have gone through the reasons why JW’s believe they are the true religion and why I doubt that. Now as I mentioned I think that is the wrong question. I think the right question is: how do you know if an individual is a true follower of God? I don’t believe His church is in a certain organisation or a certain religion. I believe His church is made up of individuals who follow Him.
Here is my reasoning for that:
- “16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in himshould not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16. It is individuals believing in Jesus and following Him that makes them christian. Being in a certain church (or organisation) doesn’t make you christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
- There is no mention of an earthly organisation, hierarchy or mediator from Jesus time onwards. There used to be one before Jesus time, when they needed to have a human mediator to relay Gods messages to mankind. Since Jesus died and the curtain to the holy of holies got ripped in half, we (mankind) are now free to go to God directly, through Jesus. Yes they had congregations where they gathered together in each others homes with other believers, and yes that’s important in order to build each other up. But it is not a means of salvation. “24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Heb 10:24,25. Why are they gathering? To encourage each other. Not for salvation.
- “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Mat 18:20. Only 2 or 3 are needed. This shows it can be a friend or 2 who share your belief in Jesus. Very important if there are no true churches available where you live.
- After the time of the Apostles, wolves came in and took over the early congregations (the catholics) There was no true church or organisation from then onwards, only individuals “29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” – Acts 20:29-31
- How can JW’s explain there being no true church between that time and when the JW’s started? About 1800 years where no-one could be saved? Of course there were people who were saved because they were individuals who followed Jesus, who didn’t belong to any church.
- The wheat and the tares grow together. (in Mat 13) This is about true followers and false growing together. They look almost identical. So as it was prophesied false and true christians are mixed up together. It is good for our growth to not know who are wheat or tares so we do not go the easy way and follow man, but continually keep checking what is true by following God.
- If there was an organisation in the early church, then Paul would have had to go through the proper channels to get his position. But no, Paul was appointed directly by Jesus and went straight out to preach before ever consulting the other apostles. So can we as individuals go directly to Jesus and follow His instruction without going through a church or organisation.
- Jesus, Himself, didn’t go through the proper channels either, which at the time was the Jewish temple. This is because the pharisees were so busy following the law and their interpretation of it, they failed to see what God was doing right in front of them! If they followed God directly with their heart and spirit, they would have seen Jesus as who He really was, the Son of God. But no, they said Jesus was a blasphemer.
- Through my own experience, I have gone directly to God, through Jesus alone and have been given instruction and understanding via the Holy Spirit. I don’t, nor would ever consider myself a mediator for people because of this, because I am an imperfect human being. I will not take power over others, but do as I am told and direct people to go straight to God and follow Him for themselves.
- Now I wonder, how on earth does the governing body think they have the right to put themselves in this position of power? If they teach one thing wrong to mislead one person, that person’s life is in their hands. How can they sleep at night? “6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matt 18:6 “14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” – Mat 19:14 The governing body stop you from going directly to Jesus, as they stand as a mediator in between.
- It is a form of idolatry to look to a manmade organisation for salvation, rather than God Himself. “12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
“20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:20-24
I hope you can understand this is the basis of where I’m coming from and I hope you will question what you are being taught. The governing body are self-appointed. They attempt to prove who they are by their own interpretation of scripture. Do you see the circular logic here?
Please open your mind to the possibility of their interpretation being wrong. Through studying the bible for myself I have found many of the governing bodies doctrines to conflict with the bible. The worst one being their teaching that they are the one true mediator! This doctrine stops JWs from questioning any of the other doctrines. It is included in our very baptism. Jesus instruction was simple and perfect: Baptise people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The JW baptism questions go like this:
- On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
- Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?
I see the Father there and the Son, but they have replaced “holy-spirit” with “God’s spirit-directed organisation”. This is very serious as we are committing to a man-made organisation to reveal Gods will to us rather than the holy spirit directly as Jesus instructed.
Jesus made a promise to us:
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him..” – John 14:21
Please pray and ask Him to show you who He is and teach you with His spirit. If you are sincere, He will answer you, He will teach you. God bless!