THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY
ITS ORIGIN, DOCTRINE AND DESTINY
by Ed Stevens
This is written by one who is not affiliated with any religious sect.
All N.T. quotations herein are as found in the
Watchtower's "New World Translation", 1950.
A "WITNESS" QUESTIONED
"How do you get saved?" I asked a so-called "Jehovah's Witness". "We get saved", he answered, "By doing the will of God; and then if He sees fit to save us when the time comes, we'll be saved". My next question was, "Do you mean that by doing the will of God you must perform works of right behavior to finally obtain salvation?" To this he replied, "Yes".
I then opened their "New World Translation" ("the best", according to them) and read Eph. 2: 8-10, "By this undeserved kindness, indeed, you have been saved through faith, and this not owing to you, it is God's gift. No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have grounds for boasting, for we [saved ones, with a 'new personality', 4:241 are a product of His work and are created in union with Jesus Christ for [not by] good works which God prepared in advance for us to walk in them".
I reminded the "witness", "You said salvation is by works but your own New Translation declares this to be impossible". I next read Romans 11 :6 and Titus 3:5 as follows: "Now if it is by undeserved kindness, it is no longer due to works; otherwise, the undeserved kindness no longer proves to be undeserved kindness." "Owing to no activities in righteousness that we had performed, but according to His mercy He saved us through the bath [i.e., regeneration, or re-birth] that brought us to life and through the making of us new by holy spirit".
It all fell on ears willfully deaf, manifesting the spiritual darkness that enshrouds these people. This "kingdom" witness was not only ignorant of God's way of free salvation through the vicarious atonement for man's sin by the substitutionary death of His Son on the cross, but was actually hardened against receiving it! He had fixed, blind trust in a religious system the origin of which was not to be questioned: whether of God or of Satan. Its size in growth and zealous following, its literature, is more persuasive for such than allowing the unforced Word of God to formulate doctrine to be believed. It is always thus with people who idolize man-made religious babel towers. They hold opposition to be of the Devil. Nevertheless, God's Word is "like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces" (Jer. 23:29). It effectually breaks up "WatchTOWER" teaching!
ORIGIN OF WATCHTOWER
Charles T. Russell began publishing "The Watchtower" magazine in 1879. He began Bible classes in 1872. The prophetic scriptures, where so many have broken forth with wild speculation and date-setting, were the major study. Near the close of that century the religious masses in America were much moved with the belief that the end of the world was near. Other new cults sprang up with names as "Latter Day Saints", "Adventists", "Latter Rain Pentecostalists", etc. Prophetic scriptures were avidly `expounded" with any interpretation given that suited the fancy or visions of the leaders. They made wild "year for a day" prophetic speculations. Both the Watchtower Society and the Seventh Day Adventists (founded by their prophetess Mrs. E. G. White) claimed to be the 144,000 in Revelation and that they were "spiritual Israel". Both Russell's and Mrs. White's ideas were copied from William Miller who proclaimed the return of Christ to occur in 1884. Though Miller's prophecies proved utterly false, Russell predicted that in 1914 would coma the end of "the times of the Gentiles, the invisible return of Christ and the beginning of the millennial age". Mrs. White, more cautious, said that generation would not pass before the Lord's return.
"Pastor" Russell wrote in Vol. I of his "Studies in the Scripture": "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the holy prophets, already tried and approved, will be the princes among men, the exponents and representatives of the spiritual, invisible kingdom. In them Christ will be manifested — in their flesh —even as the Father was manifested in his flesh". This he said would occur in 1914, but what a lie it proved to be! Three years after Russell's death in 1916, "Judge" J. F. Rutherford elaborating Russell's ideas, said, "These things began to come to pass in 1914. Messiah's Kingdom will shortly follow". In 1920 he prophesied the return of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in 1925, in his book (now hard to find), "Millions Now Living Will Never Die". He died in 1942. Another false prophet!
The thoughtful Bible student should see in all this a fulfillment of I Tim. 4:1: "However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in the later periods of time some shall fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading spirits and teaching of demons". Well does Isa. 44:24, 25 apply here. " I am the Lord ... that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish".
As check forgers do, the cult has had different names as, "Russelism", Millennial Dawnism","Zion's Watchtower", "International Bible Students". The present name, "Jehovah's Witnesses" was officially adopted at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, in 1931. Their present day anonymous literature is largely a rehash of Russell's original writings with some deviations. This is true also of the split-off "Bible Students Ecclesia". Scriptures are profusely quoted and wrested symbolically and otherwise "to their own destruction" (II Pet. 3:16).
The salient points of their teaching are:
1. Salvation by works of the flesh.
2. Vicious attack upon "religionists" and the clergy as being inspired of Satan, both Protestants and Rome.
3. That the "higher powers" of Romans 13:1-4 are not civil government but "the authority of God and of Christ".
4. Repudiation and intense opposition to the doctrines of the Trinity, immortality and eternal punishment.
5. That they are fulfilling Matt. 24:14—the kingdom gospel to be heralded "in all the inhabited earth", before Armageddon.
Like all other "accursed" preachers of "another sort of good [?1 news" (Gal. 1:6-8), the Watchtower missuses God's Word to make works necessary for salvation. Foremost texts used are Heb. 5:9; Rom. 2:6, 7, and Matt. 24 :13 : —Christ "became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him". "He will render to each one according to his works: everlasting life to those who are seeking glory, and honor, and incorruptibleness, by endurance in work that is good." "But he that has endured to the finish is the one that will be saved."
God's Word does not contradict itself on the all-important doctrine of salvation as a free undeserved gift. The first two above texts do not give the way to be saved but describe the characteristic behavior of those who are saved. They alone "obey" the truth and "seek", or expect with confidence, future "glory", and they alone KNOW they are a "new creation in union with Christ" and that they now have everlasting life (II Cor. 5:17; John 5:24; 3:36; 20:31; I John 5:13). Like all others who deny eternal security, Watchtower followers are utterly ignorant of the blessed truth that everlasting life resides not in the hopelessly corrupt Adamic old man but in the new man wherein a believer is "sanctified perfect perpetually" (Eph. 4:24; Heb. 10:14).
As for Matt. 24:13, enduring to the end, the context shows it is physical endurance unto physical Preservation in the days of the coming Antichrist to the end of the great tribulation. Before those days the Church, composed of saved believers who are spiritually preserved "to the end" (I Cor. 1:8; Phil. 1:6, will have been "caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thes. 4:13-17).
"What must I DO to get saved? BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS and you will [BE] saved!" (Acts 16:30, 31). Watchtower says that is "not by any means all that is required" ("Awake", Feb. 8, 1953, P. 25). God says, "Add thou not unto His words lest He reprove thee and thou be found A LIAR" (Prov. 30:6). Please read I Cor. 15:1-5 and note that believers "STAND" only in believing "the good news" as presented in this plain salvation passage.
2. ORGANIZED RELIGION
As to the many man-made conflicting religious organizations, or "churches", existing today, truly, their formation, like the Watchtower Society, is not of God, though many Christians are in them. Few Christians see and still fewer "walk worthily of the calling with which you were called . . . earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. One body [or Church] there is, and one Spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father..." (Eph. 4:1-6).
Though millions of Protestants have thanked God for faithful ministers of His Word, who died having full assurance of salvation and of a future glorious resurrection, yet the Watchtower Society blatantly asserts that all were deceived of Satan. To quote them: "The religious clergy are the direct visible link between mankind and the invisible demons".
3. THE HIGHER POWERS
Since Watchtower teaching, as begun by Russell and continued by Rutherford, holds the political rulers of the nations to be under Satan's supreme rule it would be serving Satan to serve in the military service. Also, it would be disobeying God to shoot an enemy, for He commands, "Thou shalt not kill". Like the Adventists, they fail to see that in paying taxes (used partly for military expenses), making munitions or medical supplies, serving in the medical cops — all this is helping the war-machine to keep it going. Thus, every individual in the nation is an active accomplice of the man at the front who pulls the trigger. Did not the Lord Jesus himself pay tribute money to Caesar (Matt. 17:24-27; 22:17, 21) ?
"Thou shalt not kill" applies to civil life — "do no murder". God fought for Israel whom He told to kill the wicked inhabitants of Palestine (Deut. 20: 4, 16, 17).
Romans 13:1-7 reads, "Let every soul be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority (i.e., on earth) except of God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore, he who ranges himself up against the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment to themselves . . . it is not without purpose that it bears the sword; for it is God's minister, an avenger to express wrath [punishment] upon the one practicing evil. There is therefore compelling reason for you to be in subjection, not only on account of that wrath, but also on account of your conscience. For that is why you also are paying tribute, for they are God's public servants constantly serving this very purpose. Render to all their dues . . . " This command to be subject to civil authority is repeated in Titus 3:1 and I Pet. 2:13, 14. "For the Lord's sake, subject yourselves to every human creation: whether to a king as being supreme or to governors as being sent by Him to inflict punishment on evildoers but to praise doers of good".
From a Watchtower book, "This Means Everlasting Life" we quote the following: "The superior authorities (of Rom. 13:1-5) are the Most High God Jehovah and His exalted Son Jesus Christ" (P. 197) ! Then, arbitrarily, the writer (P.203) makes verses 6 and 7 of Romans 13 refer to public office held by those in "the Theocratic Organization" (their term for "kingdom" believers), as "God's public servants" who must be submitted to, paying tribute for them! This is crooked wresting of the scripture, for earthly government only is designated in v. 1 to 7. It shows their desperation to avoid military service which may in the end involve them in fateful "Armageddon!" Further objection to such service is stated on P. 202, 203, that in such "obedience to Caesar" their lives could not be spent in witnessing for the kingdom (which is to them the way to deserve or earn eventual everlasting life). Thus they would not be saved, you see! Also, Peter said, "We must obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29). This had reference to religiously resisting Israel's religious unbelieving leaders, not Caesar's authority.
Our government rightly exempts ministers of congregations from military conscription. For the Watchtower Society to claim that its multitude of job-holding so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses" are "ministers", also to be exempted "without discrimination", can only be treated as brazen arrogance and subterfuged rebellion. Every Christian in this world is called to witness—"shining as illuminators in the world" (Phil. 2:15, 16; Matt. 5:14, 16).
Plainly, when a soldier shoots the enemy the responsibility lies with the civil and military authorities, in God's sight. Nowhere in God's Word is serving in the civil or military service forbidden. When soldiers asked God's prophet, John the Baptist, "What shall we do?" they were not told to quit the service (Luke 3:14) ; neither was Cornelius in Acts 10.
"The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one", yes, and Satan is "the god of this system of things" — "the ruler of this world" (I John 5:19; II Cor. 4:4; John 12:31) ; but the God of heaven supremely rules over all (Dan. 2:21). We read in Dan. 4:17 how proud king Nebuchadnezzar must learn that "the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men"—(true to this day). Christians are exhorted to pray "for kings and for all that are in authority" (I Tim. 2:1-3) !
In accordance with the above, to salute a national flag and to pledge allegiance to the country for which it stands is not contrary to God's Word but in harmony with it. To religiously bow down to a flag or other object is quite different and is strongly forbidden (Exodus 20:3-5). That, of course, is not required of anyone.
4. THE TRINITY
C. T. Russell's and the Watchtower's assertion that the doctrine of the Trinity is of pagan origin is utterly false! Alexander Hyslop's "Two Babylons" reveals how "the original patriarchal faith" of the Trinity became corrupted in idolatrous nations. We quote from page 18:
"While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine of this subject which comes out so distinctly in Genesis."
The word "God" in Gen. 1:1 is "Elohim" (plural) in the Hebrew original, as is true also in Exod. 20 :2— "Thou shalt have no other Elohim (gods) before me". Thus in Gen. 1:2, 26 we read, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters". "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". Man was made triune—"spirit and soul and body" (I Thes. 5:23).
The three Persons of the godhead are clearly evidenced in Matt. 3:16, 17; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; Isa. 48:16 and Acts 7:55.
In Watchtower teaching the Holy Spirit is said to be merely "the invisible active force of Almighty God". Two passages in Acts and John's Gospel should suffice to prove that the Holy Spirit is a person. One cannot tempt or lie to a force. Acts 5:1-10 gives an account of how Ananias and his wife, Sapphire "tempted" and "lied to the Holy Spirit". In John 16:7, 13-15 we find the Lord Jesus repeatedly referred to the Holy Spirit, using the masculine personal pronouns "him" and "he".
Why should the Watchtower cult so venomously attack the deity of Christ and deny the personality of the Holy Spirit, with whom the personal pronoun is always used? Doubtless, because the father of this cult, "Pastor" Russell, first made this denial, as did Rutherford after him. Secondly, Satan misrepresents Christ, thus to destroy men's hope of salvation for this hope is founded on the deity of Christ, and this enemy of all truth is obviously the motivator of the Watchtower cult from its beginning. Many of the "religionists" also deny Christ's deity (and eternal punishment), as, Christian (?) Science, Theosophy, Christadelphianism, Unitarians, Spiritualists, Mormons, etc. Such denial makes salvation impossible!
All deniers of Christ's deity make Him an impostor for He definitely taught He was very God!
The Watchtower Society teaches that Christ is God's created Son — the first of all creation, He being "not the author of the creation of God, but after God had created him as His firstborn then God used him as His working partner in creating all the rest of creation" ("Let God Be True", p. 31, 1st edition). Reference is made to Col. 1:16-18; John 1:1-3. In accordance with their false teaching that Christ is the first creature of creation, we find them in their "New World Translation" at Col. 1:15-17 dishonestly inserting the word "other" four times, when it is not found in the original Westcott and Hort Greek Testament from which they made their translation. Quote: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, because by means of him all other things were created . . . all other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist". By this crooked means Christ is robbed of His deity and made to be part of creation. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon shows this passage clearly to mean that Christ was God's Firstborn prior to the entire universe of created things and that He, as "the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev. 3:14), was actually the BEGINNER, or that by which anything begins.
If Christ was not God, but of the creation, then, According to John 1:3 He must have created Himself for here we read, "ALL things came into existence through Him and apart from Him not even one thing came into existence".
Christ said, "I and my Father are ONE", adding not, "in purpose" as Watchtower interprets it. He also said, "He that has seen me has seen the Father" (John 10:30; 14:9). Did He lie? Because He who in heaven "was existing in God's form" temporarily "emptied himself" of being outwardly "equal to God" while He was on earth He said, "the Father is greater than I am". (Phil. 2:6, 7; John 14:28).
The Watchtower also deliberately mistranslates Heb. 1:8 to read (God speaking to "the Son"), "God is your throne forever", instead of, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever", as found in the Greek text of Westcott and Hort, their copy text. Col: 2:9 is made to read, "it is in him that the fulness of the divine quality dwells for the body". The original has it: "in him dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily"!
How Christ can contain "the godhead" and how He can be the eternal Son "from everlasting" (Micah 5:2), the resemblance or "image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15), "the reflection of His glory and the exact representation of His very being" (Heb. 1:3), and how Christ can be called in Isa. 9:6, "Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father", cannot be fully understood by our finite minds. "The secret things belong unto God; but those things which are revealed belong to us and our children forever" (Deut. 29:29). All who deny Christ's deity are solemnly warned by His words found in John 8:23, 24," . . . if you do not believe that I AM HE, you will die in your sins". The words "I am He" were evidently quoted from Deut. 32:39; Isa. 43:10-13; 46:4, 9; 48:12, 17, where they speak of Christ's pre-existence as "the LORD (Jehovah) ; and besides me there is no Savior . . . I AM HE". Thus deniers of Christ's diety are eternaally lost!
" He that is from God listens to the sayings of God" (John 8:47).
The Watchtower's much heard contention that John 1:1 should read (as in their new translation), "Originally the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god", is sheer nonsense. We quote here another who is familiar with Greek language: "In our language we use the definite article (the) and the indefinite article (a), but Greek has only the definite article and this is not used with words which, by themselves, are definite. No intelligent reader of the Greek Text, therefore, would perpetrate the folly of reading 'a god' in the absence of the definite article".
The absurd Watchtower teaching that a big God made a little god is destroyed in Isa. 43:10, ". . . before me [Jehovah] there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me".
From the Watchtower's New Translation we present more proof that Christ is actually "Jehovah God". In Rev. 1:12-17, please note "the voice" was "someone like a son of man", thus, Christ. He said, "Do not be fearful, I am the First, and the Last, and the living one, and I became dead but look; I am living forever and ever". We see here the risen Christ identifying Himself as the speaker of v. 8: "I am the Alpha [the First] and the Omega [the Last], says JEHOVAH GOD, the one who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty". (The Watchtower ever refers to Christ as the coming one) Again, in Rev. 22:12, 13 the risen Christ speaks as being Jehovah God, who is "coming". At Christ's first coming, John, His forerunner, said, "Prepare the way of JEHOVAH" (Matt. 3:3) !
In their book, "Let God Be True" (would they'd let Him!), the Watchtower writes of Christ at His baptism: "He was begotten of God's holy spirit to be a spiritual son; a mere man could not enter the heavenly government, Acts 13:33; I Cor. 15:50 [...'flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom'] The King Christ Jesus was put to death in the flesh and was resurrected an invisible spirit creature; therefore the world will see him no more" (P. 120, 122).
Christ, as "God with us" (Matt. 1:23), never was a "mere man". He was resurrected and entered heaven in a "flesh and bone" body (Luke 24:39; Acts 1:9-11). Paul referred only to human Adamic "flesh and blood" in I Cor. 15:50, as needing to be "changed" from a "corruptible" to an "incorruptible" state, verses 51-53. Christ had no corruption and His body saw none. God says, "Every eye shall see Him" when He returns (Rev. 1:7) ! Christ did not become God's "spiritual Son" at His baptism. There He merely identified Himself with Israel and was made "manifest to Israel" by God's voice from heaven and the Holy Spirit descending upon Him like a dove—a trinity to be sure! (Matt. 3:16, 17; John 1:31) Notice the trinity also in Acts 7:55. That Christ was God's Son before His first coming is definitely proved in Gal. 4:4 and Phil. 2:6, 7—"God sent forth His Son [from heaven] who was produced out of a woman . . . ", to take "a slave's form"—He who in heaven "was existing in God's form". The words, "this day have I begotten thee", in Psalm 2:7, taken with Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; Rev. 1:5; Col. 1 :18, reveal that "this day" was the day of Christ's resurrection, when God's eternal only begotten Son became "the firstborn [or 'begotten] from the dead" to become the glorified Head of a new order of beings.
Christ entered heaven as a flesh and bone MAN (I Tim. 2:5). That Christ's same BODY arose from the tomb, and not an "invisible spirit creature", is proved conclusively by His own words, "talking about the temple of His body":—"Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise IT up" (John 2:19, 21). Did He lie? He was "raised up a spiritual BODY" (I Cor. 15:44) and could in that same nail-scarred BODY eat food and miraculously appear and vanish. To two disciples He appeared "in another form", for their eyes "were kept from recognizing Him" (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:15, 16, 31). He said, "A spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have" (Luke 24:39). Rather believe Him than Watchtower falsehoods!When God created man he wasn't an immortal soul but "a living soul" having human life, not immortal God-life. Animals also have souls but man differs in that he was given a spirit capable of fellowship with God (Gen. 2:7; Isa. 31:3; Prov. 20:27; Zech. 12:1; I Thes. 5:23). Sin separated man from God, causing spiritual death (Isa. 59:2; Eph. 2:1; I Tim. 5:6; Matt. 8:22). "In the day" Adam and Eve sinned in eating the forbidden fruit this spiritual death came upon them, which, with their subsequent sentence to labor and eventual physical death, passed upon all Adam's posterity (Gen. 3:16-19; Rom. 5:12, 14). Yes, Satan did lie. Thank God, through Christ, "the last Adam", all men, including Adam, could become God's children through simple faith in this promised Savior, "the Seed of the woman" (Gen. 3:15; John 1:12). Being dead in Adam men need to be "born again" in Christ by receiving His freely offered "gift of eternal life" (John 3:3, 7; Rom. 6:23). Those who reject this offered gift are the ones who impudently oppose and deny God's truth that He will justly condemn UNBELIEVERS to eternal punishment—a punishment ONLY for the willful sin of unbelief (John 16:9; 1:29; II Cor. 5:19; Heb. 10:26-29). Being unsaved, they hate this doctrine because they have no assurance about their future state. Denying that one can be eternally saved now and know it, they (like all such) must of necessity teach probation and soul sleep—awaiting final decision at the resurrection.EITHER ETERNAL LIFE OR ETERNAL PUNISHMENT
God is not a tormentor; He "does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance" (II Pet. 3:9). "He is righteous in all His ways and holy [`merciful'—margin] in all His works" (Psa. 145:17), both as to His love and His wrath (Rom. 5:5; 1:18).
"The one alone having immortality" is God (I Tim 6:16). Since Christ is also God, He, too, has it. Now, "this is the witness given, that God gave us [believers] everlasting life, and this life is in the Son. He that has the Son HAS this life; he that does not have the Son of God does not have this life" (I John 5:11, 12). "For you died, and your life has been hidden with the Christ in union with God. When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then you also will be made manifest with him in glory" (Col. 3:3, 4). Definite proof here, that a believer does now have immortality of the soul (with bodily immortality coming—see Eph. 1:13, 14; I Cor. 15:51-54, and that surely, at Christ's coming every believer will have a glorified body like that of Christ when He comes (I John 3:2).
The Bible nowhere teaches extinction of being, either at death or after the resurrection. The same words, "everlasting", "forever and ever", etc., describe the perpetual existence and condition of both the saved and lost as well as of God (Rom. 16:26; Rev. 10:6). Read Dan. 12:2 for example: "And many [`multitudes'—Heb.] of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" or "abhorence", (R.V.). Definitely, no second chance or extinction (Prov. 11:7; 29:1; Rev. 14:11). Please read also Rev. 19:20 with 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8 for further proof. Just as "death" now is not extinction of being (including Adam), for a resurrection follows for all men, so the words "second death, the lake of fire" also do not mean extinction, but eternal separation from our life-giving and sustaining God. Continuity of conscious existence in such a case is proved in Rev. 22:11; 21:8, "He that is doing unrighteousness let him do unrighteousness still; and let the filthy one be made filthy still." "Their portion" ("weeping and gnashing of teeth"—Matt.13 :50) "will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur". In Bible usage the words, perish, destroy, destruction, never mean annihilation. The Beast and False prophet still remain in the lake of fire after 1,000 years. Rev. 20:10.
Opposers of God's truth constantly use the book of the natural man "under the sun", namely, Ecclesiastes, for supporting their false doctrine. The terms "I said in mine heart" and, "my heart yet guiding me with wisdom" (2:1, 2. R.V.) plainly show the writer speaks of things "under the sun" (a term used 29 times) as they seem to be to the natural man—whose "heart is deceitful above all things" (Jer. 17:9). Therefore, we find besides truth, half-truths and Bible-contradicting statements in Ecclesiastes. Ecc. 9:5, 6 does not teach soul sleep but that the dead no longer know what "is done under the sun". When a man dies, "in that very day his purposes perish"—the plans that were in his "thoughts" (Psalm 146:4, R.V.).
If there were no eternal conscious existence for men after death, why should God have "set eternity in their hearts" (Ecc. 3:11, R.V.) ? Also, soul sleep is disproved in the account given in Luke 16:19-31, as spoken by the One who made all things and knows all things. It has no semblance of being a parable. Please read also Luke 12:4, 5; Rev. 6:9-11; Job 27:19-23; Ezek. 32:21; Phil. 1:21, 23; II Cor. 5:8, for definite proof against soul sleep! Only the body is said to sleep—"in the dust of the earth".
5. THE WATCHTOWER'S "KINGDOM" TEACHING
Beginning with a false premise on kingdom teaching the Watchtower cult is in error throughout this subject. Their book, "Let God Be True", P. 119, 120, declares that the former kingdom of Israel was merely "a picture or type of the coming kingdom". "That typical Theocratic kingdom had served its purpose and approached its END".
The Watchtower, like other cults and the denominations, does not "rightly divide" God's Word as to "Jew, Gentile and church of God" (II Tim. 2:15; I Cor. 10:32), and makes believers since the the cross to be a spiritual Israel, causing endless confusion. Contrariwise, the Scriptures designate believers as the spiritual "seed of Abraham", not of Jacob who was surnamed, "Israel" (Gal. 3:23; Gen. 32:28). Of literal Jews it is said in Rom. 2:17, 29 that "he is a Jew which is one inwardly", i.e., as a believer. Such with every Gentile believer formed together since Pentecost "the church which is Christ's body", being "fellow-heirs and of the same body" (Eph. 1:22, 23; 3:6). This "body" is mystically one with Christ himself, He being the Head (I Cor. 12:12, 27; Col. 1:18). Having no national or racial identity, Christ's body cannot possibly be the 144,000 "of all the tribes of the [literal] children of Israel" (Rev. 7:4; 14:1-5). Please read Col. 3:11.
The Watchtower teaching of two sheepfolds (P. 223, 303, "Let God Be True"), one being the 144,000 (the "little flock" of Luke 12:32, begun with John the Baptist and being completed now as "a remnant") and the other being "other sheep not of this fold" (John 10:16) is utter nonsense! John 11:52 makes it clear that Christ merely referred to saved Jewish believers as the "little flock" who were first in one Spirit "baptized into ONE BODY" the church (I Cor. 12:13), and to Gentiles as "other sheep" who would later be saved and be likewise placed in the same body (as beginning with Cornelius and company, Acts 10)—all becoming "children of God".
The false statement is further made (P. 125) that as did Christ so "the disciples likewise proclaimed the presence of the kingdom, but there is no record that they continued to do so after his ascension". Acts 26:22 proves they continued proclaiming the kingdom to Israel. See also Acts 3:19-21 where Peter assured Israel their Messiah would return and immediately establish the kingdom if that nation believed on Him.
With all this Watchtower "kingdom" witnessing, where are the miracle signs that certified kingdom preaching in Bible times and which will again accompany such preaching by the future Jewish remnant? More proof of a false testimony!
Let's get it straight that God covenanted with King David saying, ''Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee and thy throne . . . forever". Also, that literal Israel will not cease "from being a nation forever, nor be cast off for all that they have done", and will yet be gathered "out of all countries" (II Sam. 7:16; Jer. 31: 31-37; 32:37-44; Acts 15:16).
"All they that despised thee shall bow themselves down to the soles of thy feet, and they shall call thee, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 60:14). With Christ as her King, Israel will yet be "the head and not the tail" of the nations (Deut. 28:13). Though rejected after He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as Israel's King, Christ will, after Israel abides "many days without a king" (Hosea 3: 4, 5; 5:15; Amos 9:8-10), return visibly to Israel to reign 1,000 years over all the earth. He will come as "Jehovah, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts" (Isa. 44:6). To Israel, "saith Jehovah . . . they shall look upon ME whom they pierced" (Zech. 12:1, 10). Then: "O Israel, be glad and rejoice . . . Jehovah is in the midst of thee" (Zeph. 3:15, 17). More proof here of Christ's deity as Jehovah God!
When the true church—"a place for God to inhabit by the Spirit"—is completed and caught up before the great tribulation (Ephesians 2:22; I Thes. 5:9; II Thes. 2: 7, 8), then the "good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all nations" (Matt. 24:14). This will be done by the remnant of Israel, the 144,000 out of her tribes—not by the Watchtower Society which boasts of fulfilling this prophecy now (Micah 5:7, 8; Rev. 7:3-8). Unlike today's spurious Watchtower "witnesses", these future kingdom preachers doubtless (like their predecessors of Matt. 10:7, 8) will be able to "cure sick people, raise up dead persons, make lepers clean, expel demons".
Today the church is directed to preach "the kingdom of God" as being "righteousness, and peace, and joy with Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17). Also, that believers are now "transplanted into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Col. 1:13). They will appear with Him to reign with Him over flesh and blood subjects on earth. With Christ they will "judge the world" (I Cor. 5:2), as pictured in the "sheep and goats" judgment described in Matt. 25:31-46.
The "sheep" in the nations will inherit the kingdom on earth. The "goats" will be those who have rejected the 144,000 and their message and will with all false so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses" hear Christ's words, "Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels".
What a horrible disillusionment and fate awaits these poor deceived people who, denying the Lord that bought them, "follow artfully contrived false stories" (II Pet. 2:1; 1:16) !
We close with their New Translation of II John 7, 10, 11: "Many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming IN THE FLESH. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. If anyone comes to you and brings not this teaching [including all 'the teaching of the Christ' v. 9], never receive him into your homes or say farewell to him. For he that says farewell to him is a sharer in his wicked works".
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