That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rightly Divide

There's definitely something to be said for "rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15).  Today I had two very nice Jehovah's Witness ladies knock on my door.  Being a born-again-Bible-believing Christian, my eyes light up when people like them come to my door.  I see it as a chance to witness about my faith.  I figure if I listen politely to them, then they are obligated to listen politely to me.  I don't know their names, so I will just call them Lady #1 and Lady #2.  

First, Lady #1 tried to give me one of their Watchtower papers.  I very politely said that I would gladly take one of their papers if they agreed to take one of my papers.  I thought that would be a fair exchange.  I keep a few gospel tracts right beside the door exactly for moments like this one, so I offered her one.  She didn't really go for the "let's trade" idea and refused to take it.  Oh well.  

I told them very early in the conversation that I was a born again Christian, and that I believed the Bible totally and literally.  I explained that Jesus had died for my sin, and I had accepted Him as my Saviour.  Because I have asked Jesus to save me, He has promised me a home in heaven when I die.  That's when the debate really got going.

Jehovah's witnesses do not believe in going to heaven.  They believe that heaven will be on earth.  To support this they quote Psalm 37:11, 29.  They also use a passage in Isaiah where it says God "firmly established" the earth.  I can't find that verse now because the words "firmly established" are not in that verse in the King James Bible, but they are in their translation (New Word Translation).  It's amazing the corrupt doctrines that can be established as truth by using a corrupt version of the Bible.  They believe that only the 144,000 in Revelation 7 will be in heaven.  They also do not believe that Jesus is God or that there is a literal hell.  

I praise the Lord for the godly teaching I've had.  "Rightly dividing the word of truth" can only happen when one has "Stud[ied] to show himself approved unto God."   I am thankful that God allowed me to attend Bible college and good churches where I learned how to study the Scriptures.   Lady #2 took over fairly quickly from Lady #1 because it was quite obvious that Lady #1 was not able to handle some of the Scriptures and questions I was bringing up.  Several times in the conversation neither woman had an answer to the Scripture I showed them that refuted their position.  Whenever that happened they usually changed the subject.  

Here are some of the Jehovah's witness beliefs that came up in our conversation refuted with Scripture.  
1.  Only 144,000 will go to heaven.
     *John 14:2-3 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."
  Where is the Fathers house?  HEAVEN
  Where was Jesus going? HEAVEN
  Where is the place Jesus is preparing for me?  HEAVEN
  Where did Jesus say I would be? WITH HIM... and He's in heaven, so I guess I will be to.
     *Ephesians 1:20; 2:6 "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
  Reading the rest of chapter 2 will clearly show that Paul is speaking about those who put their faith and trust in Christ for salvation (Eph. 2:8-9).  No where in this passage does he say, imply, or even hint that these promises are for only 144,00 select Jews who believe in Christ.  

2.  Heaven is really on earth
   *Acts 1:9-10 "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel."
   Jesus clearly ascended to heaven after His resurrection.  According to the verses in #1, He is there preparing a place for me, and someday I will go to Him.

3.  There is no literal hell
  *Luke 16:22-23 "...the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell lift up his eyes being in torments..."  (also this passage says that Lazarus is in heaven when he dies... see #1... hmm)
  *Matthew 18:42 "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
  *Revelation 20:14-15 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." 

5. Jesus is not God, He is only God's Son
  *I John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."  (note: This verse is removed from every modern English translation except the NKJV, and yet is is the clearest verse depicting the doctrine of the Trinity.  Some translations have even split what is vs. 8 in the KJV in half and labelled the first part as vs. 7 and the second part as vs. 8).
  *John 17:21 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
  *Philippians 2:6 "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."

Sadly, much of what these women told me about their religion is a result of not rightly dividing the word of truth.  The Scripture does hold the answer for truth.  Lady #2 told me that she used to read the King James Bible, but when someone reasoned with her out of the New World Translation she saw the "truth" and stopped reading her King James Bible.  I find this really sad because at one point she had the real truth, and she threw that away for a few verses taken out of context and doctrines based on the ideas of men instead of Scripture.  It's really no surprise that the Jehovah's witness religion is filled with false doctrine because it's based on a false Bible.  The NWT translation is translated from corrupt manuscripts.  Lady #2 also told me that she's never met anyone like me who wasn't afraid to die and who could use their Bible (I showed them a lot of Scripture).  I'm not saying this to be boastful, because when she said that it actually broke my heart.  The first thing I thought was where are all the Christians?  Why am I the only person she's ever met who is not afraid to die and who is looking forward to heaven?  These people go knock on doors frequently, and she's never knocked on the door of another Christian who is excited about going to heaven!?  How sad!  I believe these cults are gaining converts because many Christians are weak in our faith, and we don't know how to use our Bibles to give answers to these people.  I admit there were a few things in the conversation today that I could not immediately refute from Scripture.  I know they were wrong, but I didn't know where the verses were to defend my position. 

It's moments like these that make me realize even more the importance of knowing the Bible and studying God's Word.  It's not enough to simply be saved and that's it.  Bible doctrine is crucial.  Lady #2 knew her stuff.  She knew the verses to go to, and she knew how to defend her beliefs.  How do I expect to show her that her doctrine is wrong if I don't know my Bible?  I believe a lot of Christians are lazy when it comes to knowing the Scripture.  They think it's too complicated or maybe it's just the Pastor's job to know all the theological stuff.  What would I have done today if I had that mentality?  My pastor lives 20 minutes away, and those ladies weren't at his door they were at mine.  Since there were some topics I had difficulty with, I'm going to do a little more II Timothy 2:15 this week, and the next time I will be able to "rightly divide" those issues too.


  1. Who are you going to rule when you are in heaven? Rev 5:9,10; 20:4; Psalm 72:7,8; Prov 2:20-22.

    How do you reconcile the true God's love (as noted in 1 John 4:8 and Jeremiah 7:31 for example) with your take on him being an extremely hateful god who would choose to cruelly torture his children for an eternity for something that they only did for a relatively short lifetime? (Leviticus 24:20) Is that your god's form of true justice?

    The purpose for discipline in the Bible is to teach, so that a person might repent & change his ways (Acts 3:19), but according to your teaching, there would be no chance for ones to change and be redeemed after they've been sentenced to hell. And why would the true God give his adversary, Satan the Devil, a kingdom (hell) to rule over for eternity, when we are promised that Satan will be abyssed and eventually destroyed? Rev 20:1-3; 7-10. That would make your god a liar. However, as stated in the Bible many times, it is impossible for God to lie. Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18.

    Interestingly one of the verses you chose to back your trinity teaching was John 17:21 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Are you saying that Jesus and the Almighty God are one? Then according to this verse, all Jesus disciples are also God, since this verse says they are "one" also. So that makes all true Christian God...and Jesus...and the Holy Spirit. Huh? (You might check your cross references on that one.)

    Ok. You are really confused. Please do some deep Bible study and also look into secular history to see exactly when & where & how the false doctrines of hellfire and trinity and the idea that all those saved go to heaven actually began.

  2. Greetings Jess B

    I am not a JW!
    And indeed, many aspects of the JW doctrines are erroneous.

    However, I would like to point out a few things:

    1) Jesus said absolutely nothing about the saints/church going to Heaven!.

    Rather, Jesus' message (like all the prophets before him) was about GOD's Coming Kingdom, here on earth, whereby GOD will renovate and renew this planet, and the Messiah will reign over the Kingdom from the throne of David in Jerusalem.
    [Luke 4.43, Acts 1.3-6, 3.19-20; Isaiah 11.4ff, 65.17ff; Jere. ch. 23, Psalm ch. 37; Luke 1.32-33, etc.]

    Quoting Psalm 37 which speaks of the inheritance of the land/earth, Jesus taught that the meek shall inherit the earth.
    Hence, 1 Thess 4.16 speaks of the descent of Christ and Rev 5.10 proclaims that the saints shall reign on the earth.

    So when reading John 14, look again at verse 3: that where I am, there ye may be also.
    Where will Jesus be?
    Answer: He is coming back! He is returning to this earth!
    [Acts 1.11]

    Indeed, Jesus has gone into Heaven to prepare a place. The saints have an inheritance reserved in heaven.
    [1 Pet 1.4]
    The saints have treasures in heaven.
    [Matt. 6.20]
    The saints have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
    [2 Cor 5.1]

    Yet, all these rewards and more, Jesus will bring and give to the faithful at his return!!
    Jesus has indeed gone to a far country i.e. Heaven to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
    [Luke 19.11-28 cp. Dan. 7.13-14.
    Note, Jesus gave this very parable because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.]

    All these rewards are indeed reserved in Heaven however Jesus will bring these rewards with him at his return, hence where he is
    i.e. in the Kingdom of GOD
    , the saints will be also.
    See also Concerning John 14:1-6

    2) Don't stop there! ... read verse 11: Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

    SHALL SO COME? Come where? Back to earth! In order to fulfill all that GOD had promised i.e.

    Acts 3:20-21
    And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

    UNTIL the times of restitution i.e. renovation/regeneration.
    [Matt 19.28]
    It is this planet that GOD promised to renew, restore and establish His Kingdom thereupon. Jesus is indeed coming back!
    Hence he always spoke about His Coming!

    5) Sorry, I must inform you, that 1 John 5.7 is indeed a forgery.
    Nevertheless, the Bible does not speak of a trinity.
    Rather, there is solely ONE GOD, the Father
    [1 Cor 8.4,6];
    whom Jesus identified as the only true GOD & the only GOD
    [John 17.3, 5.44]
    Jesus is, who he claimed to be ... GOD's Son!
    [John 10.36, Matt 16.16-17]

    Therefore, Jess B.,
    On the subject of the Trinity,
    I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.

    Also, here is a good video, about the Gospel that Jesus preached: i.e. the Gospel of the Kingdom
    The Forgotten Gospel

    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor

  3. Hello Adam Pastor,

    Thank you for your comment. First of all, this post was in no way intended to be an exhaustive commentary on the kingdom of God, Trinity, second coming of Christ, or other such doctrines as were mentioned. It was merely an attempt (and probably a bad one at that) to show from the Scriptures some of the inconsistencies in the JW doctrine.
    I appreciate the tone of your comment and the Scriptures you shared. I do agree with many things you said, and some I do not agree with.
    Let me clarify a few things about what I believe from the Scriptures.
    1. I do believe in the bodily return of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11). I never said I did not believe in this. The Scripture is clear that Jesus is coming back. Phil 3:20-21, I Thess 4:16.
    2. The Scripture is also clear that the heavens and the earth will be destroyed and re-created... not renovated and renewed. II Peter 3:10-14, Rev 21:1, Is 65:17, Is 66:22; Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31
    2. The doctrine of eschatology that I believe (rapture, tribulation, second coming, millennial reign of Christ) can be found by reading the Statement of faith on my church's website.
    3. Regarding the Trinity. Since you believe I John 5:17 to be a fraud, how about John 1:1-3, 14? I do believe in the Trinity, but I do not believe in 3 separate gods. Again I refer you to the statement of faith at my church's website. The Trinity is not something that can be explained in rational terms. It doesn't make sense in the human mind. How can God be one person, yet be three people at the same time? Humanly speaking that is impossible, but all things are possible with God. Belief in the Trinity requires faith. Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

    Many aspects of Christianity cannot be rationalized by human thinking. That is why the Bible is so important, and that is why we need faith. God doesn't ask us to "rationalize" completely everything we read in the Bible, but He does ask us to have faith in His Word. The fact that Jesus was completely human while being completely God does not make sense, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.
    Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your was, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

    Again it has to come back to the Bible. Am I going to believe man's thoughts and ideas, or am I simply going to accept what God has said in His Word even though I may not understand it? Jesus did preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. Someday He will be in charge, and things will be set right. Jesus also preached the gospel of repentance and faith. Mark 1:15 "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." According to this verse the gospel of the kingdom IS repentance and faith in the gospel! Faith in what gospel? The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and redemption through His blood as set forth in I Corinthians 15.

    We do look for a new heavens and a new earth. I close with this verse.
    II Peter 3:14 "Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things [new heaven and a new earth], be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."