New Covenant Ministries
THE WRONG TRAIN
Every day hundreds of trains and tens of thousands of people pour in and out of the Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Last October, a conductor on the Long Island Line began to take up the tickets as the train pulled out of the station. When he looked at the ticket of the first passenger he laughed and said, "You are on the wrong train." When he looked at the ticket of the second passenger he laughed again and said, "You are on the wrong train, too." He also laughed when he looked at the ticket of the third passenger, but it was not nearly so funny when he found out that he was on the wrong train.
EIGHT REASONS WHY WE KNOW THAT THE
At first it was difficult to convince the conductor that it was he, and not the passengers who were on the wrong train, but when he saw another conductor taking up tickets, he began to wonder. As the train sped along, the landmarks outside the windows convinced him that he was indeed on the wrong train. He got off at the next station, returned to the Grand Central Station, and got on the right train.
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov.14:12). This verse does not say that the way that seems wrong ends in death, but it is the way which seems right that ends in death. This should cause us to stop and think. It should cause us to consider our ways and to see if we are on the right train.
Think of all the religions in the world. All of them claim to be the way to God. Think of the 500 million Hindus in India who are convinced that there religion is right. Think of the 400 million Moslems who believe that Allah is the only true God and that Mohammed is his Prophet. They believe this so strongly that they often kill the members of their own family who turn from this religion. The Roman Catholics believe that their church was founded by Jesus Christ. There are millions of people in the cults such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Christian Scientists, the Mormons and a host of others who think they have the truth. All of these people are sincere in what they believe, but they cannot all be right because many of them believe in diametrically different things.
The Lord Yahshua (Jesus) said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matt.7:13-14, NIV).
He said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (John 10:9).
He told Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).
The Apostle Paul said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
A few Sundays ago I had a nice visit with several Jehovah's Witnesses who told me, "We have the truth. We know that we have the truth. We are not interested in anything that you have to say to us." They believe that they have the one true religion. Their convictions are so strong that they witness day and night, and as a result they are the fastest growing religion in the world. They are working feverishly to escape Armageddon, which they believe is just around the corner.
I believe that these people have been deceived by false teachers, and they believe that I am a false teacher. I believe that they have been deceived by Satan, and they believe that I have been deceived by Satan. I believe that I am right, and they are wrong. They believe that they are right and I am wrong. They think they are on the right train and that I am on the wrong train. How can we know who is on the right train?
Two people might argue until doomsday as to whether a wall is crooked or straight, and neither could prove by arguing that the other was wrong, but if a level or a plumb line is put on the wall, it can soon be determined if it is perpendicular. In the same way, everything that we believe must be tested by the Word of God. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).
But we still have a problem. I claim to base my doctrine on the Word of God; the Jehovah's Witnesses claim the same thing. They say, "Everything that we believe is based on the Bible. We know what the Bible teaches. We are not deceived by the false prophets of apostate Christendom."
It must be admitted that the Jehovah's Witnesses spend far more time studying the Bible than does the average Protestant. A limited number of Protestants attend Bible studies each week, but the Jehivah's Witnesses attend five periods of study each week. Most Protestant denominations are on the decline, but the Jehovah's Witnesses are growing by leaps and bounds.
In the book, The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, the Watchtower Society gives these characteristics of the true religion:
Let us take a moment to analyse these points . Do they really tell us what is the "right religion"?
- 1. Those in the true church must be united in their worship. They must be gathered together in just one religion;
- 2. Another mark of the true religion and of those who practice it is respect for God's Word. Many clergymen in many modern denominations attack and belittle the Word of God;
- 3. A further requirement of true religion is that it must sacrify God's name. "Now, stop and ask yourself: What religious group is most prominently known for publishing the name of God, as Jesus did? The churches in general avoid the use of the name Jehovah...There is only one people who notably follow Jesus' example in this regard";
- 4. "True worshippers also proclaim the kingdom of God as man's true hope";
If any organisation can convince their followers that it is God's sole channel for the dissemination of the truth, they can lead their followers to believe exactly what they want them to believe. This is exactly what the Watchtower Society has been able to do.
- 1. Christians should be united. Five times in the 17th chapter of John, the Lord Yahshua (Jesus) prayed that "we might be one in Him" . All true believers are one in Christ. In Ephesians 4:3 we are exhorted to keep the unity that we have in Christ. There is not one place in the Bible where we are told that all Christians must be gathered in one organisation. The only organisation in the New Testament is the local New Testament Church.
- 2. Though no thinking person would belittle the importance of studying the Word of God, it is the Jehovah's Witnesses who come short at this point. They do not study the Bible. Instead theyr study Watchtower literature about the Bible. I have dealt with hundreds of Jehovah's Witnesses and have not met a single one who knew the message of the Bible or the message of a single book in the Bible.
- 3. Certainly Christians should sanctify God's name. We are to reverence the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yahweh is the ineffable name of God, not 'Jehovah', which is actually quite blasphemous, and it is a matter of regret that the Divine Name is not used more. Were it to be thus used, it would remove the sorts of fudges that are sometimes made when people say that all religions worship 'God', and so it doesn't matter what religion you follow. All religions do indeed worship 'God' but only those who worship Yahweh are worshipping the true God, for clearly Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu and Jehovah (to mention four) are not the same. It is very interesting to notice that not only does the Watchtower get the Name of God wrong but that it did not begin to use the name 'Jehovah' until 1931 when J.F.Rutherford began to use the name as a rallying point to regroup his scattered followers. (When their founder, Charles Taze Russel died, the organisation he founded split into two factions - the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement).
- 4. In the present Church age we are to proclaim the Glorious Gospel of the Grace of God. Our only hope (Titus 2:13) is the Second Coming of the Lord Yahshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ), but the Watchtower Society teaches that Yahshua (Jesus) returned invisibly in 1914 and that the kingdom of God is now being established on earth through the Watchtower Society. This doctrine evolved as the result of a false prophecy in which they believed Yahshua (Jesus) would return visibly in 1914. When he didn't come, in order to "save face", they invented an invisible Second Coming. This trick has been performed by the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists as well.
WATCHTOWER SOCIETY IS NOT
JEHOVAH'S THEOCRATIC ORGANISATION
- 1. The Bible teaches that Satan is a deceiver, and that he deceives the whole world (Rev.12:9). Men are taken captive by Satan at his will (2 Tim.2:26);
- 2. The Bible teaches that in the last days many false teachers would arise (Matt.24:24; 1 Tim.4:1; 2 Tim.3:1-5; 2 Pet.2:1-3; 1 Jn.2:18-19). The Jehovah's Witnesses will readily agree with these first two points, and they often use such references as the ones given above to prove that all preachers and teachers who are not in the WTS are false prophets;
- 3. The Jehovah's Witnesses have the wrong method of Bible study. Instead of coming to the Bible to doscover the truth as it is revealed by God, they come to the Bible to discover proof texts to substantiate their own doctrine. In doing this they are masters of deception. Instead of taking a literal interpretation of the Scriptures in many instances, they give it allegorical interpretation attempting to prove that the Watchtower Society is Jehovah's Theocratic Organisation. They study the Bible following the guided tours of the Watchtower Society. I repeat that I have never met a Jehovah's Witness who knew the message of the Bible. They refuse to be questioned on the Bible.
- 4. They have the wrong interpretater for the Scriptures. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is to interpret the Bible for us (Jn.14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15; 1 Cor.2:9-14; 1 Jn.2:27). The Jehovah's Witnesses cannot look to the Holy Spirit to be their teacher because they deny His personality and deity. They believe that the Watchtower Society is Jehovah's sole channel for the dissemination of truth, and that the Watctower Society is the only interpreter of the Scripture. No freedom of thought is allowed. In their "Bible studies" no one would dare to have an independent thought. The members of the class or congregation simply "parrot" the words expressed in the Watchtower literature. Yes, it is amazing that intelligent people can be brainwashed into doing this.
- 5. The major doctrines taught by the Watchtower Society are contrary to the teachings of the Word of God. Jehovah's Witnesses emphatically deny that this is true, but they have never made an independent study of the Bible using recognised methods of Bible study and in studying they follow the guided tours of the WTS. below are listen seven WTS doctrines which are contrary to the Scriptures:
- A. They deny the doctrine of the Trinity, and refer to such a God as being a "three-headed monstrosity";
- B. They claim to believe in the deity of Christ, but deny His absolute deity. They believe that Christ is a son of God, but not God the Son. They believe He is a mighty god, but not Almighty God. They believe that Christ is a creature of God, and, of course, they can quote Scripture to "prove" their doctrine;
- C. They deny the literal, bodily resurrection of Christ and teach that He was raised as a "spirit person". This is a central occultic doctrine and frimly places them within that camp;
- D. They deny the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit and refer to the Holy Spirit as "the active force of God". They cannot recognise what the Bible teaches about the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (Yahshua haMashiach). To do so would be to establish the "trinity doctrine" which they hate;
- E. They deny the immortality of the soul;
- F. They deny the Bible doctrine of Hell, and refer to those who believe in Hell as "hell fire screechers";
- G. They teach that Jesus Christ (Yahshua haMashiach) returned in 1914 as a spirit person, and that His kingdom is now being established through the Watchtower Society.
- 6. The Watchtower Society has its own translation of the Bible which is called The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They make the claim that this translation was made by the best scholars, and that it is based on the best manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. For many years the names of the translators of this verion were a well kept secret, but now it has been revealed that the five translators are not bona fide scolars.
The translators of the NWT have made it a very readable translation, and have in some cases clarified the rendering of some of the older versions, BUT wherever it has been necessary to do so, the translators have not hesitated to tamper with the sacred text and to change, without warrant, the rendering of the original languages to substantiate their own doctrine. This is deplorable, deceitful and damnable! Do I have proof for this charge? Consider the few examples given below:
- A. They have changed the correct rendering of John 1:1 which reads, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." They have changed this to read,"and the Word was a god."
- B. The correct translation of John 8:58 is "Before Abraham was, I am" (the Lord Yahshua/Jesus was revealing Himself by the same name that He revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14), but the NWT has changed this verse to read, "Before Abraham came into existence, I have been."
- C. The correct translation of Philippians 2:5-6 is, "Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus (Yahshua haMashiach), who, though he was in the form of God (Yahweh), did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped" (RSV). The NWT has changed this to: "Keep this mental attitude in YOU that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God's form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal with God";
- D. In Colossians 1:16-20 they have inserted in parenthesis four times the word "other" without having any textual warrant for having done so. Their aim in doing this was to discredit the deity of Christ.
- 7. The Jehovah's Witnesses claim that they are God's Prophet. I quote from the July 1, 1973 issue of the Watchtower. "So does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come?
"These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet?... This "prophet" was not one man, but a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as the International Bible Students (the earlier name of the JWs). Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses" (The Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p.401; April 1, 1972, p.197).
In Deuteronomy 18:22, we read these words, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
The test of a prophet was that the thing he prophesied must come to pass, otherwise the people would know that he was a false prophet. Jehovah's Witnesses readily admit that there have been many changes in the doctrines put out by the society. They have changed their dates many times, but they attribute these changes to "added light", and quote Prov.4:18. The truth does not change. The truth has nothing to fear from the light. Earlier editions of the Watchtower taught that it was proper to worship Jesus (Yahshua). Later editions (May 15, 1954) taught, "...No distinct worship is to be rendered to Jesus Christ now glorified in heaven. Our worship is to go to Jehovah God."
If the Lord Yahshua (Jesus) is not to be worshipped, how can the Jehovah's Witnesses claim that they honour Him in the same way that they honour the Father (John 5:23)? It is quite ironical that their book, Let God Be True is no longer true! Recently a group of Witnesses told me that it had to be laid aside because of errors it contained. This admission did not phase them in the least!
- 8. Though truth is one of the primary attributes of Yahweh ('Jehovah'), the Watchtower Society compells its brainwashed, enslaved members to believe error when it is necessary to do so in order to preserve the unity of the Watchtower organisation. Then such charges are made, Jehovah's Witnesses scream, Lies! Lies! Lies!, but the charge that I have made above is not based on accusations of former JW's who the Society put in "the evil slave class", but above charge is substantiated by statements made in court by their own leadert.
In 1954 in Scotland the Jehovah's Witnesses sued the Ministries of Labour and National Services. This was a test case brought by the Society to set a precedent for future Witnesses.
The complete record of this trial is available to anyone for the price of the microfilm. It is the invaluable testimony given by the leaders of the Society. They make admissions in court that they would not make anywhere else. The attorneys for the Government have done their homework very well an elicited statements that give a true picture into the workings of the Watchtower Society, and the psychology of the Witnesses. Those who testified for the Society were Fred Franz, the Vice-President; H.C.Covington, the head legal counsel of the Society at that time; Grant Suiter, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Society; A.R.Hughes, the British Branch Servant; and D. Walsh, the Congregation Servant who brought the suit. Just a few quotations appear in these notes, those covering interesting statements.
During the trial Fred Franz, Vice-President of the Society, gave the following answers:
Grant Suiter gave the following testimony at the trial.
Q. Who is responsible for the interpretation in case of doubt, or in general, of scriptural writings for the guidance of Jehovah's Witnesses?
A. We believe that Jehovah God who is author and inspirer of the Bible is he one who makes the interpretations. he is his own interpreter. He does this by the use of his invisible active force, the Holy Spirit acting upon the mind of his witnesses upon this earth, and he causes events to come to pass in the earth which are in fulfillment of his prophetic word and which, therefore, throw light upon the true significance of his word.
Q. That is very helpful, but it does not quite meet the point I was making. What I want you to tell me was whether you can say how the Biblical texts are authoritatively interpreted: who is the interpreter?
A. Jehovah God is the interpreter, but he guides his people upon this earth, and in this case the editorial committee of the Society, they study the Scriptures continually, and they examine and re-examine the evidence as it appears, and under this Divine guidance with the help of the Holy Spirit they arrive at an understanding of the Scripture.
Mr. H.C.Covington, the head legal counsel of the Society at that time have the following testimony.
Q. Indeed can any person...have an understanding of the Scriptures apart from the publications of Jehovah's Witnesses?
Q. Only by the publications can he have a right understaning of the Scriptures?
A. That is right.
Q. Is that not arrogance?
Q. Back to the point now. A false prophecy was promulgated?
Mr. Covington also gave the following testimony.
A. I agree to that.
Q. It had to be accepted by Jehovah's Witnesses.
A. That is correct.
Q. If a member of Jehovah's Witnesses took the view himself that the prophecy was wrong and said so he would be disfellowshipped?
A. Yes, if he said so and kept persisting in creating trouble because if the whole organisation believes one thing, even though it be erroneous, and somebody starts on his own trying to put his idea across then there is disunity and trouble, there cannot be harmony, there cannot be marching together. When a change comes it should come from the proper source, the head of the organisation, the governing body, not from the bottom upwards because everybody would have ideas, and the organisation would disintegrate and go in a thousand different directions. Our purpose is to have unity.
Q. Unity at all costs?
A. Unity at all costs, because we believe and are sure that Jehovah God is using our organisation, the government body of our organisation to direct it, even though mistakes are made from time to time.
Q. A unity based upon a forced acceptance of false prophecy?
A. That is conceded to be true.
Q. And the person who expressed this view, as you say, that it was wrong and was disfellowshipped, would be in breach of the Covenant, if he was baptised?
A. That is correct.
Q. And as you said yesterday expressly, would be worthy of death?
A. I think....
Q. Would you answer yes or no?
A. I will answer yes unhesitatingly.
Q. Do you call that religion?
A. It certainly is.
Q. Do you call that Christianity?
A. I certainly do.
Q. But then it is the case, is it not, that on occasions you have not spoken what is true?
Mr. Fred Franz gave the following testimony at the trial.
A. I have agreed to that many times, and I will agree to it many times more, that we have mistakes and proclaimed error and have had to correct ourselves many times. But that proves we are a real live moving Christian Congregation. If we did not move we would never have to correct ourselves.
Q. Where on that particukar point does the adherent to the Society find any enlightenment?
If you are interested in a copy of the complete trial it can be obtained from - The Scottish Record Office, H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland. Ask for the Pursuer's Proof of Douglas Walsh vs. The Right Honourable James Latham Clyde, M.P. P.C., as representing the Ministry of Labour and National Service.
A. In the publication that he reads.
Q. Must he read them all to arrive at the fact that upon this one poinr Judge Rutherford was in error?
A. It isn't necessary for him to read that Judge Rutherford is in error on that point. What he is interested in is the present truth. The up-to-date truth.
Q.Yesterday's errors cease to be published today, do they?
A. Yes, we correct ourselves.
Q. But not always expressly?
A. We correct ourselves as it becomes due to make a correction, and if anything is under study we make no statement of it until we are certain.
Q. But one may not assume that Judge Rutherford did not publish until he also was certain?
A. He published only when convinced, and he withheld publication until he was convinced he was correct.
Q. So that what is published as the truth today by the Society may have to be admitted to be wrong in a few years?
A. We have to wait and see.
These testimonies of officials in the Watchtower Society are very enlightening indeed. Is it not strange that they can say, "We have the truth, we know we have the truth," when by the admission of their own leaders "the truth" has been changed many times. THE TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE! What is true today will be true tomorrow. If a statement has to be changed, it is not the truth. Especially damaging is the testimony that the poor enslaved Jehovah's Witness is compelled to believe a false prophecy until it is officially changed by the WT hierarchy.
THE ONE TRUE RELIGION
Jehovah's Witnesses often ask me, "If you do not believe that the Watchtower Society is Jehovah's Theocratic Organisation, what do you believe is the one true religion?" The Bible does not speak of "One True Religion". True Christianity is far more than a religion; it is more than a way of life; it is more than a philosophy; it is more than an ethic; it is more than morality; it is more than "do's" and "don'ts". Christianity is knowing, loving, worshipping and serving the only true and living God. It is sharing the life of the risen Christ. It is being born again of the Spirit, and living and walking in the Holy Spirit. We become a Christian by inviting the living Christ to come into our heart; we live the Christian life by allowing the living Christ to live His life through us.
What a difference there is between the hidgepodge system that has been devised by the Watchtower Society and the life, light and liberty we have in Christ. What a difference there is between true Christianity and the deceitful Watchtower religion. Religion is the effort on the part of man to make himself acceptable to God. Religion is trying to do something for God. True Christianity tells us what God has done for us. I have never met a Jehovah's Witness who could tell you that he is saved. He is hoping to be saved if he works hard enough, and if he "holds out faithful to the end". The true believer knows that he now has everlasting life. Everlasting life is not a future attainment, but a present possession (John 5:24). Jehovah's Witnesses cannot believe this verse because it is contrary to their manufactured doctrine, but the truth of this verse is in wonderful harmony with the rest of the Scripture.
Our loving Heavenly Father not only wants us to be saved, but he also wants us to know that we are saved (1 John 5:13). The Word of God gives evidence whereby we can know that we are saved.
When a person is saved, he becomes a new creature in Christ (2 Cor.5:17). he knows that he has apssed from death to life becaise he has a new love in his heart for the children of God (1 John 3:14). He has a new love for the Word of God (1 Peter 2:2). he has a new understanding of the Bible (Psalm 119:18). he has a new desire to pray (Romans 8:15).
These are some of the things that happen to a person when he is born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:7).
My dear friend, where do you stand with God? Do you have the sweet and blessed assurance that you are a child of God? Do you know that you will go to heaven when you die? Are you sure that you are on the right train?
Slightly adapted, with thanks, from a pamphlet of the same name by Homer Duncan, Missionary Crusader International Publications, 2451 - 34th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79411, USA.
This Page was Created on 5 August 1999
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