The gospel that the Bible teaches is found at 1st Corinthians 15:1-11. There are three main points as to what a person believes about Jesus for salvation. 1) Jesus died for *our* sins. 2) Jesus' body was buried. 3) Jesus was resurrected (brought back to life).
By the end of this article you will understand that the WTB&TS does not preach even one of these three things about the Gospel. Are you willing to be a good berean (Acts 17) and read this article?
The Watchtower Gospel teaches: 1) Jesus only died for Adam's sin of eating the forbidden fruit 2) Jesus' body was buried and his soul died 3) Jesus' body wasn't resurrected from the dead. 4) Jesus returned invisibly to rule in 1914. 5) Jehovah's Witnesses are called to preach a 1000 year "Paradise Earth" which might earn them a chance to live on "Paradise Earth" where they might earn another chance of proving that they are worthy of Eternal life in that time known as "Eternity".
Sound a little complicated? It is! Does it sound like the simple Gospel the Apostle Paul preached? No!
If you believe the Watchtower Gospel, the first thing you must do is carefully read and study the first chapter of Galatians. Look up the nouns and verbs by using a Strong's Concordance. Read their definitions. Look at how Paul uses the same nouns and verbs in the same book and other Epistles he authored. This will be the first step in your learning how Scripture, and not the private interpretation employed by the WTB&TS, interprets Scripture.
Paul teaches very systematically that the gospel absolutely cannot be added to or changed in any way. Paul goes as far as to write that if he, himself, or even an angel of light tried to come back at a later time and change the gospel, that he, himself (and the angel of light) would be eternally (forever) condemned. Therefore, any mention of Jesus' invisible return in 1914 is automatically disqualified, as is the call to "preach a 1000 year "Paradise Earth" as part of the Gospel. However, I will go into detail later in this article about why the Watchtower teaching on getting a chance to earn salvation while living on "Paradise Earth" is completly and totally unBiblical.
First of all, the WTB&TS teaches that their Jesus (Michael the Archangel) came to die for Adam's sin of eating the forbidden fruit. They teach that if Jesus (the only-begotten Son--the 2nd person of the Trinity) had died for everyone's sins that it would have been too much, that such a huge payment would not have been needed. Don't believe me? Well, how about some documentation?
I emphasized the "equal" in the above quote to get you to notice it. This is one reason a devoted JW does not want to believe Jesus is God; If Jesus was God, Jesus would have been more than Adam. So in the passages of Scripture where Christ's deity is clearly taught, the JW thinks to himself, "Wait a second, Christ can't be more than Adam, therefore Jesus must not be God! There must be another explanation for this passage", thus they accept whatever explanation the Watchtower gives about deity passages. To back up its teaching that Jesus is not God, the Watchtower elaborates:
How can this definition of Jesus, who was no more than Adam, take away the world's sin? Well, the fact is, that a Jesus of this type of definition absolutely can't. If this Jesus died, who would he take the place of: you? me? The little woman down the road? This Jesus can only take the place of one person and that person is Adam (except according to WTB&TS books Jesus' payment can't even do that!).
How does the Watchtower define the word "corresponding ransom"? The Reasoning Book provides a helpful illustration (the text in the square brackets are my comments):
I do not see how the WTB&TS could be more clear: they blatantly teach that their Jesus/Michael did not die for your sins! They teach that Jesus/Michael died to give you the POSSIBILITY of a new life in "Paradise Earth" where you will have to be perfect in your own power to assure Jehovah God that you would never imitate Adam and willfully sin.
I don't mean to deliberately confuse manners, however, it must be pointed out again and documented that the WTB&TS actually teaches that Adam was not deserving of Salvation, therefore Jesus' payment for Adam's sin wasn't enough to save Adam. (comments in the square bracket are mine).
Then the Reasoning Book continues that Jesus gave his life for "mankind", not for Adam. Has it dawned on you yet what this means? In case it still hasn't, the answer is this: Jesus died for the chance for all those of a good heart to have a second chance in "Paradise Earth" to show Jehovah God that we are good enough, sincere enough, perfect enough to earn eternal life in the future time period called, "Eternity".
Completely ignored is the passage in Hebrews 9:27 which says, "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement" There are no second chances, folks. It's either this time or no time to get right with God.
"Paradise Earth" as defined by the WTB&TS can be likened to a bunch of Unfallen Adam and Eves with the potential to sin, like Adam and Eve were. If we can somehow go 1000 years without sinning than the Watchtower God will then will FINALLY give us the ability to not sin and we will then all live in the time period called, "Eternity" (Eternity means forever).
Let me explain it again: In the Watchtower, if you accept "Jesus' payment for your sins", this simply means that you now have the chance to enter into the 1000 year "Paradise" Earth. During this 1000 years, if you can go the entire time period without disobeying God, then you will be granted eternal life. As you can easily see, it is not "freely given", this eternal life is earned through pure obedience and effort on your part.
There is a major problem with this view. The Bible doesn't teach it. We are either resurrected to life or to judgment according to Acts 24:15, "having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." The "righteous" are those who accept Jesus as their Savior, and the "wicked" are those who reject Jesus as their Savior.
The other problem with this view is that those who are resurrected to life, and not judgment, are resurrected "Immortal" and "Imperishable". This means that our resurrection bodies can never die (or be murdered) and that we are without the ability to sin. We're actually more than Adam or Eve were in the beginning! We won't undergo temptation! See 1st Corinthians chapter 15 for the Bible's definition of the resurrection body. The Bible does not agree with the WTB&TS' doctrine on the resurrection!
To further confuse things, the WTB&TS attempts to teach there are those wicked that are SO wicked that they will not even be resurrected. This statement appears in the "You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth", pg 171.
I have looked up every one of these verses, read the surrounding content, considered the historical content. All of these verses deal with judgment. However, none of them mention that some will not be resurrected!
In fact, in Heb 10:26-27 and Revelation 20:11-15 no one is thrown into the "fury of fire/lake of fire" until they are first "resurrected" and THEN judged. The steps the Bible teaches are these: 1) resurrection of the wicked (it doesn't say anything about those especially more wicked then others, it just says, "wicked"). 2) Judgment (now the Bible makes the distinction that the wicked are judged according to their deeds) 3) the casting of the resurrected wicked into the "fury of fire/lake of fire".
You would have to imagine that those who are especially wicked are not going to receive resurrection in order to believe it, because the Bible teaches that ALL will be resurrected.
When you imagine things in Scripture are there when they are not, it is called: "reading into the Scriptures" or eisegesis. It's a no no. We either take from Scripture what is already there (Exegesis) or we imagine things are there when they are not (Eisegesis). The WTB&TS has to employ the faulty method known as Eisegesis in order to come up with its doctrines.
The WTB&TS teaches eisegesis when it teaches that most people (even non-JWs) will get a second chance to earn salvation on Paradise Earth and that those who are especially evil will not be "renewed to repentance" during the 1000 "Paradise Earth".
However, Hebrews 10:27 definitely puts the "Judgment" before the being cast into "the fury of fire", not before. In order to be judged, one must first be resurrected. The Bible also puts the wicked as being resurrected at the *end* of the 1000 years, not before. (Revelations chapter 20).
If you accept the Watchtower's definition of who Jesus is, then contrary to what the Bible teaches, you do not believe that Jesus died for your sins. You have not believed the first thing you need to about Jesus Christ. If you have not believed the whole gospel, then you have believed none of it. You are still in your sins, you are still under condemnation by the Father of Jesus Christ! You will face a Christless eternity because you believed, that in your own strength, you could earn God's favor by what you have done here on this earth and on "Paradise Earth".
You have instead believed that you can earn your own savlation. This WTB&TS' teaching completely disagrees with Ephesians 2:8-10:
Below are just a sample of verses which disagree with the Watchtowers' teaching that Jesus death wasn't sufficent to grant you eternal life right now. I urge you to get your Bible and look these verse up. Read them in their surrounding context: a good rule of thumb is 20 verses before and 20 verses after.
Did you notice through this entire article so far that I have repeatedly used the word "chance"? I did that for a specific reason. Nobody really knows for sure in the Watchtower Organization how much they will have to do in order to qualify for this "chance" to enter "Paradise Earth".
I find it heartbreaking that the WTB&TS teaches one can't be sure if they will earn the chance to earn another chance to enter "Eternity". The Bible refutes this teaching. It does give Christians the assurance about Eternal Life in 1st John chapter 5:13
The newest WTB&TS' teaching book, which replaced, "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth" is named, "The Knowledge Which Leads to Everlasting Life". I have a copy and am currently addressing some key issues which this newest book raises. One that I will be addressing is the teaching that the WTB&TS does say the only ones who have a GOOD chance of making it through the 1000 years are the ones who survived Armageddon. It writes on page 187, "Like the great crowd of Armageddon survivors, the resurrected ones will become fully alive when they reach sinless perfection." So, if you are "perfect" enough to make it through Armeggedon, then you will earn the chance to be sinless on "Paradise Earth". However, Eph 2:8-10 still applies to you. If you could be good enough to do this, then you sure would be good enough to be boasting! Ask yourself: Are you your workmanship or God's workmanship? What does the Bible say? Ask yourself: If you're boasting in yourself, isn't that pride? How can one be perfect and be prideful? Pause a moment and thing about that.
To defend the WTB&TS teaching that those who are resurrected can still sin, JWs point to Revelation 20:7-10. Because the JWs confuse themselves with the nation Israel they misinterprete this verse. The entire Old Testament is about God's promise to the nation of Israel about how their Messiah would come and rule over them as their king! The New Testament shows how Jesus, in his first coming, came to die for the sins of the world. Jesus, in his second coming, will be the reigning king! The nation, Israel, and those surviving Armegeddon will enter the millennium in their nature bodies still with the capability of sinnning. They do not have "resurrection" bodies. Therefore, they are capable of being misled when Satan is let out of the pit." Sorry, Jehovah's Witnesses, you are not Spiritual Israel!
This next section addresses the issue of soul sleep, which the WTB&TS promotes. The idea of this section is not to actually refute "soul sleep", there are plenty of other articles on this web-site which do this very well. However, when the Watchtower literature teaches that Jesus was "buried" they not only teach that he was "buried" but that his soul went to sleep (or died) for three days. There is not one Scriptures to support this belief. The Scripture at 1st Corinthians 15:1-11, verses 3, 4 says Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day. This verse does not teach soul sleep. It is only talking about Jesus' physical body: he died. His body was buried, and his body rose on the third day. The WTB&TS does not teach that Jesus' body was simply buried, they teach that his soul died along with his body. There is simply no scripture given by the Watchtower to promote this: it is just stated. I urge you to read the articles on this web-site which refute "soul-sleep". A key verse to consider until this is Matthew 10:28 where Jesus explained that one can kill the body without killing the soul!
Jesus Rose From The Dead
The WTB&TS teaches that Jesus' body wasn't resurrected, that it was "manifested". The word "Resurrection" means to "again stand up". So what dies has to "again stand up". If Jesus' body died, then his body would have to "again stand up". Instead, the WTBT&S teach on page 68 of the book, "The Knowledge that Leads to Everlasting Life" that God "...resurrected him to life as a mighty spirit being. -- 1 Peter 3:18". We've already established that Jesus' soul did not die, therefore it would not need to "stand up again". However, lets address 1st Peter 3:18: "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit" This verse does not teach that Jesus' soul came alive, but that the Holy Spirit resurrected his body. Please not that it also, teaches that Jesus died for everyone's sins, that no further sacrifice would ever have to be made to bring us to God.
The Bible is very clear that Jesus' resurrection would be a physical resurrection. One chapter you, as a JW, need to read is John chapter 2 where Jesus describes and defines his resurrected body as being physical and the disciples echoing this thought. The other chapter you need to consider is chapter 20 of John where Thomas inspects Jesus' hands and side. Was Jesus saying to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my [fake] hands? Read out your hand and put it into my [fake] side. Stop doubting and believe!" Doesn't that sound just a bit unrealistic? Jesus would have been lying if he had meant that his body wasn't real. He would have been actively deceiving Thomas and that wouldn't have been very truthful, would it?
If you are a JW it should be clear to you now that you have not believed the Gospel Paul the Apostle preached. You do not believe Jesus died for your sins, you do not believe he was simply buried, and you do not believe in His resurrection. Instead, you believe Jesus died for Adam's sin, that Jesus' soul died too, and that Jesus' spirit manifested itself in many different bodies after the third day. When you go door to door you preach a different Gospel and then add onto it as well! Scripture condemns you for this (Galatians 1:6-10). However, if you repent and believe the true Gospel, God will save you and make you His child.
Copyright 1996 Natalie Pappas
|Home | Doctrine | Catholic Stuff | PTG Forum|
Page design (C) 1994-2008 Ron Loeffler