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WHAT IS SIN AND CAN WE BE SURE OF SALVATION?

When conversing with Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are two issues that they are very confused about. (1) They do not understand sin. Because of this, they don’t realize that they need the blood of Jesus to save them from their person sins. (2) They have no assurance of ever having salvation in this life. When speaking about assurance the Witnesses continually bring up verses that seem to indicate that salvation can be lost. But you can’t loose something you don’t have! Thus you want to have them do some thinking and realize if you can’t have salvation you cannot lose it! The Bible clearly states that you can have salvation and know it. (I John 5:13.) So don’t argue if salvation can be lost or not, but discuss how salvation can be obtained. This article discusses these two issue, (1) the true nature of sin, and (2) assurance of salvation, from a little different way. Since Witnesses are confused on these two things important issues, it is a hindrance in their coming to a personal relationship with Christ.

 

You can say something like this to the Witness. “There apparently seems to be a vast difference as to what I believe about sin and its results then you do as JW’s! I also believe that by some of the questions you have asked that you are rather confused as to what Bible-believing, born-again, God honoring Christians believe on the subject of sin. It seems apparent to me that I am a MUCH bigger sinner than JW’s feel they are. Just about everyone will say: ‘I am not perfect, we all blunder and make mistakes’ (this is how they pray in the Kingdom Halls). But to say, ‘I am proud, self-centered, and self-righteous, have anger, wrath, jealousy, backbiting, etc.’ in my heart is different. I would like to clarify what I believe about sin and the condition of MY heart before I came to know Christ as my personal Savior.”

 

I know I have said, “Always ask and never tell,” but in this case there is an exception because if you don’t ask them to wait until you are done explaining they will get you onto other verses and they will miss the point of what you are driving at.

 

Say to the Witnesses, “I would like to ask you to save you comments or any rebuttal until I am finished and then if you have any questions you can ask them.”

 

Continue by saying, “I would like to look at the subject of sin found in the Bible and then consider the results of sin.” (This is a very important subject for the JW’s for two reasons.

 

(1) In the first place, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe they are really bad or big sinners. I know this sounds strange but it is true. While the Witnesses believe in “original sin,” they do not believe that it is something that they can’t conquer by their own efforts. In the June 1, 2010 Watchtower magazine, while speaking of original sin, we read the following: “Tainted by Original Sin? Consequently, all of us are born with a STAIN of imperfection.” (We are not just “stained,” we are fully corrupted.) One Witness wrote: “Do you really think that all humans are the children of Satan because of this one Scripture (John 8:44)? As for me, I am not Satan’s child.” To Witnesses, sinners are those who celebrated holidays, birthdays, take blood transfusions, participate in government, salute the flag, and DO NOT attend all the 5 (boring) meetings a week at the Kingdom Hall and DO NOT spend at least 10 hours a month going from door to door. To a Witness, this is how they think of sin, and since they don’t do those things and do attend all the meetings and go from door to door at least 10 hours a month they really don’t feel they are bad sinners. Of course, all others are sinners because they participate in or don’t go to these meetings and don’t go from door to door.

 

(2) It is very humbling for us to have to admit that we are such ungodly, wicked sinners and that only God Almighty can solve our sin problem. That really makes us bad, and so we are. I was saved at the age of 14, but it was hard for me to admit that I had such a sinful heart. I know we often say, “You just have to trust Jesus in order to be saved.” Yes, that is true, but before that can happen you have to admit that you are such a sinner that only God can save you and that is very difficult for us sinners to admit! Thus, I tell people that while we are saved through the blood of Jesus and it is a free gift, we have the most difficult way of salvation there is because we first have to admit we are really such an ungodly sinner. (We have to leave all our pride behind us.) We will admit that we are not perfect and do make mistakes, but to be so utterly sinful is hard to admit!

 

In your explanation of sin go to Romans 1:28-31. Read this very slowly.

 

Next go to Romans 3:9-17 and 2 Cor 12:20, and Jude 15-16. (You can go to other passages if you like.) Explain to the Witness or Witnesses that this is how you perceived of yourself before you were saved. Say them that you know you were an ungodly sinner and separated from God. (They might try and talk you out of your claim of being such bad sinner, but when we come to know Christ we understand just how sinful our old nature is. If they do try to say that you are not that bad, you can say: “You really don’t know what I was like before I came to know Christ as my own personal Savior.”)

 

Next, you can say that you believe because of our sin nature and that we choose to sin of own free will, that we were dead in the trespasses of sin and a slave of Satan. (Let anyone try to put off their bad habits and they will soon realize how much of a slave to Satan they are.)

 

John 8:44 says, “You are from your father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of your father.” (All of these verses are taken from the Watchtower’s New World Translation of the Bible and proves that it says the same thing.) (This seems to be what Witnesses implied when they constantly say that if you were once saved and always saved then you could go out and sin, the desire of the heart, and still get to heaven! If we don’t have a sin nature, then why would we rather sin then do righteousness?) (The Witnesses will often argue with this verse and tell you that it was just written to the Pharisees and does not apply to them. You can say that you know from your own experience it is true of you. If they want to feel that way, it is up to them, but you know it is true in your cases.)

 

That verse alone might not convince them that they are a child of the devil, but Ephesians 2:1-2 is hard to argue against! “Furthermore, [it is] You (Gentiles, of which we are) [God made alive] though You were dead in YOUR trespasses and sins, in which YOU at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air (Satan), the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience.” These verses make it very clear that we are by nature children of the devil and spiritually dead towards God.

 

Ephesians 2:12 confirms the fact that by nature we are alienated from God. “That YOU were at that particular time (when we were unsaved) without Christ, alienated from the state of Israel and strangers to the covenants of the promise, and YOU had no hope (just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses) and were without God in the world.” (Verse 13 explains how we draw near. “But now in union with Christ Jesus YOU who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of Christ.”)

 

Then Acts 26:18 proves the point that by nature we are children of the devil. “To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, AND FROM THE AUTHORITY OF SATAN TO GOD, in order for them to receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among those sanctified by [their] faith in me (Jesus).” This again proves that by nature we are children of the devil. (Also note that it is by faith in Jesus, as the Savior of sins by the power of His shed blood that we received the forgiveness of sin and an “inheritance” which means we are sure of going to heaven the very moment we die!)

 

Colossians 1:13: “He (Jesus Christ) delivered (past tense) us from the authority of the darkness and transferred (past tense) us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.” When we trust Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior we are taken out of the power of Satan, he is no longer our father; we then become children of God and have a new master!

 

The Witnesses might not yet get the point so you can illustrate it in this way.

 

Because of our sin nature and our choosing to sin, we are slaves to Satan. Therefore it is necessary for us to get free from Satan’s power. He is not going to just let us go! Use the illustration of a slave on the auction market. The slave belongs to Satan. But in order for that slave to become free someone has to buy him out of his slavery. This is where the word “ransom” actually comes from. It means buying someone out of the slave market. Now the question comes, “How do we get free from being a slave of Satan, because he does not willingly let us do this and have a new master”?

 

Ephesians 1:7: “By means of him (Jesus Christ) we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of [our] trespasses, according to the riches of his undeserved kindness.” Here we have stated very clearly how we are bought out from being a slave of Satan, becoming free of his power, and becoming a child of God. The ransom price was paid for “through the blood” of Jesus. We are not released by “enduring to the end” (like the witnesses continually say). No. The price was paid, which was the blood of Jesus, and that is what releases us from the power and slavery of Satan, and how we become children of God.

 

 

There are some more beautiful and wonderful verses on this subject. Romans 6:17-18: “But thanks to God that YOU were the slaves of sin (just what we have been saying) but YOU became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which YOU were handed over. Yes, since YOU WERE SET FREE (past tense) from sin (and the slavery of Satan) YOU became slaves to righteousness.” Now we have a new owner, who is God. As before, we continued to sin because we were powerless to resist, but when we were saved by faith in Christ, then and only then can we do righteousness. At this point, these Witnesses might try to point out that the verse really doesn’t say what you are getting out of it. Then ask them why God was not wise enough to write a book so that He didn’t have to have some man tell Him what He actually said, when it seems so very clear to you and millions of other Christians? Why is it clear to most people and complicated only for the Witnesses? Other cults have used this method to keep it followers in control.

 

There is a very clear picture of what we are talking about in Galatians 4:1-7: “Now I say that as long as the heir is a babe he does not differ at all from a slave, lord of all things though he is, but he is under men in charge and under stewards until the day his father appointed before hand. Likewise we also, when we were babes, continued enslaved by the elementary things belonging to the world (slaves of sin). But when the full limit of the time arrived, God sent forth his Son, who came to be out of a woman and who came to be under law, that HE (JESUS CHRIST) MIGHT RELEASE BY PURCHASES those under law, that we, in turn, might received the adoption as sons (become children of God instead of children of the devil). Now (present tense) because YOU are (present tense) sons, God has set forth the spirit of his Son into our hearts and it cries out: ‘Abba, Father!’ So, then YOU ARE NO LONGER A SLAVE, BUT A SON and if a son, also HEIR (of heaven) through God.”

 

These verses make it very clear how we get released from being a child of Satan and becoming a child of God. It is “release by purchase” which is the blood of Jesus Christ. We are not ULTIMATELY SAVED and MAYBE receive everlasting life after years of “enduring” and “exercising=doing things” but it is instantaneous.

 

Now we see the truth of John 1:12: “However, as many as did received him (Jesus Christ, believing you are an ungodly sinner, repent, and trust in the shed blood of Jesus), to them he gave (past tense) authority to become God’s children, because they were exercising faith (it is not a long process of doing things, but our faith) by his name.” So we see that by nature we are not children of God, but by faith in Jesus we become children of God. Also, this verse proves the WT teaching that “exercising faith” is not actions. We once were slaves of Satan but now we are children of God. This took place when the purchase price was paid (applied to our heart by faith). We are either a child of Satan or a child of God, and this transaction happens when we repent of our sins and acknowledge Christ to be our Savior.

 

The Bible is VERY CLEAR that for those of us who have asked Jesus Christ to be our Savior, that this is something that happened in the past, IS COMPLETED and not a “process”!

Before I present what the Bible teaches and Bible-believing Christians believe about salvation, I would like to present what the Watchtower Society teaches on the subject.

 

This is a quote from the January 1, 2010 Watchtower magazine page 29.

 

“The OFFER of everlasting life is ‘a free gift… Though we all deserve to die, God chooses to give everlasting life to those who love him. (Salvation does not come through the blood of Christ alone, but we come to merit this “free gift” by the good life that we live, but this is determined by the Watchtower Society, and not the Bible.)…. If the criminal willingly conforms to punitive orders and exhibits changes in his attitude and behavior, a judge or president may choose to pardon him by lessening his sentence or totally forgiving his sentence. This action may well be an expression of undeserved kindness…. In a similar manner, Jehovah can choose not to demand of all sinners the punishment they deserve (which is eternal annihilation according to the Watchtower Society). Rather, motivated by love, he can grant everlasting life to those who love him and confirm to his standard…. All those who do come to love Jehovah and do His will are equally acceptable to God, whatever their background. Thus, the HOPE of everlasting life is primarily an expression of undeserved kindness.” In other words, the Watchtower Society teaches that your actions, mainly towards the rules of the Watchtower Society, will ultimately determine your eternal destiny, and not a personal faith in Jesus Christ, that changes the life and give the strength to live the Christian life. You don’t become a Christian by living a so-called “Christian life,” but you live a “Christian life” because you ARE a Christian.

 

In the February 1, 1996 Watchtower there is a long article from page 3-8 which makes quite clear the Watchtower’s way of salvation.

 

Before I quote from this article, I would like to give you the basic teaching of the Watchtower Society on how a person MIGHT receive everlasting life, (which cannot be obtained in this life, but only in the next). It is a PROCESS that starts in this life.

 

But let me back up a little. What the Watchtower Society taught BEFORE 1914 and what it NOW teaches is very different.

 

The Watchtower Society used to believe in and teach what is called “universal salvation.” This is a teaching that through the death of Christ, He paid just for the sins that we inherited in Adam that caused physical death (personal sins are dealt with differently), was taken care of so that just about everyone who ever lived, both OT and NT people will be resurrected during the Millennium and given a second chance on the new earth to work towards eternal life. This does not require any personal faith, but just about automatic for all who have lived on this earth. To try to prove this teaching, the WT Society used 2 Peter 3:9 which reads: “Jehovah… does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” Thus to a Jehovah’s Witness “saved” or “salvation” means that you will be resurrected and go onto the new earth which occurs after Armageddon. For a Witness it is not possible to claim that he or she is saved while living on this earth.

 

But in 1914 this was all changed. The Watchtower Society claims that God started looking over all the religious organizations on the earth in 1914 and five years later in 1919 He chose the Watchtower Society to be the “faithful and discreet slave.” In other words, there was only one true religion and the Watchtower Society was that only one. (I know the Society states it was chosen in 1919, but yet it was from 1914 that the only way to get onto the new earth was through being associated with the Watchtower Society by being a baptized Jehovah’s Witness.) (If you ask a Jehovah’s Witnesses directly if only JW’s will go onto the new earth now, they will be quite vague and say that some might be included. What they mean is, there might be a few places in the world that have not heard the message of the Watchtower Society and these might be able to enter into the new earth when Armageddon occurs, but since most of the world has heard the message of the Watchtower, all who have rejected will not be “saved=going onto the new earth” but will be eternally annihilated at Armageddon.) So in 1914 what Jesus used to do was completely negated, and since 1914 if you want to be “saved=go onto the new earth” you have either die in the good graces of the Watchtower Society or be alive and in its good graces in order to get onto the new earth. Thus, since 1914 the death of Jesus Christ and His shed blood plays absolutely no part in your future according to the Watchtower Society. The WT now claims to do what Christ Jesus used to do. (I think this is a rather strong claim!)

 

In order to become a JW there is no conversion like in Biblical Christianity. You become a JW by taking in “accurate” knowledge of God, which only the Watchtower Society can dispense, and it is done through the Watchtower publications and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then you make a commitment to God, are baptized, and live under the rules and regulations of the Watchtower Society until death, or until Armageddon occurs, then you will go onto the new earth during the Millennium. If you are alive when Armageddon occurs you will go directly onto the new earth (but the world is almost completely destroyed at Armageddon and must be rebuilt by hundreds of years of hard manual labor) or if you have died you will be resurrected sometime after Armageddon, Then during the Millennium there will be different rules set up (the Society teaches that these rules are contained in the “scrolls” that will be opened as stated in Revelation 20:12. This verse is taken out of context because what is written here takes place AFTER the Millennium, not at the BEGINNING.) According to the WT what is written on these scrolls is not known yet, but if one is faithful to these rules and then remains faithful at the end of the Millennium when Satan is let loose to tempt all people, then and only then will a person be considered WORTH of receiving everlasting life. The Witnesses will talk about salvation (going onto the new earth) being a “free gift” and because of God’s “undeserved kindness=grace,” but what they mean is that because God is gracious, then as a “free gift” God will let you work for your own salvation. It is only by His grace that He lets you work for your salvation, but ultimately it is what you do that makes it possible to MERITS eternal life. It does not come through the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

Here are some of the quotes from the February 1, 1996 Watchtower magazine.

 

“So, what does ‘accepting’ Jesus really mean? Is it a one-time act of faith, or is it a continuing way of life? Must our belief be strong enough to motivate us to action? Can we really accept the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice without the responsibility of following him? (Following Jesus means living by the rules of the Watchtower Society.)”

 

“Are we following Jesus if we do not at least try to live in harmony with his example? Do we not have to work on making our lives more Christ like? (We need to be saved and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us before our lives can be changed.) That vital question is rarely, if ever, considered by people who say, as one religious tract does: ‘Come to Christ now—just as you are.’” (What they are saying is that we need to clean up our lives, which is by becoming a JW, before God will think about accepting us. No. We come to Jesus “just as we are” but we don’t stay that way.)

 

“Jesus described a far greater commitment than most people have understood when they were told that their salvation was a ‘finished word’ as soon as they ‘accepted’ him at a religious meeting.” What they are saying is that you have to live a certain type of life in order to BECOME a Christian. No. You become a Christian by recognizing your depraved sinful condition, repenting and finding new life when you ask Jesus Christ to be your own personal Savior. After we become part of the body of Christ we are to read the Bible in order to find out the kind of life that a Christian ought to live. As stated before, the Watchtower Society doesn’t recognize the power of sin. This is something we can’t break on our own, but Christ can do it.

 

“True Christians are in a saved condition in that they are in an approved position before God. As a group, their salvation is sure. Individually, they must meet God’s requirements.” What is written here is very important. The Watchtower Society teaches that God does not deal with people on an individual basis. The only way you can get into a right standing with God is by being baptized and associated with the Watchtower Society. If you ever leave the Watchtower Society, then God will have nothing to do with you and there is absolutely no hope of going onto the new earth so that you will have a chance to maybe merit eternal life by your actions and beliefs during the Millennium.

 

 

There is another article in the June 1, 2000 Watchtower magazine titled: KEEP YOUR “HOPE OF SALVATION” BRIGHT!

The question is asked in this article: “But what really is Salvation? And what is required to attain it?” (You will note in the following quotes that there is not one word of recognizing you sinful condition before God, repenting and asking Jesus to be your personal Savior. It goes without saying that once we are saved there ought to be a change in our lives as we read the Bible and go to church and seek to put into practice what we read an hear. Psalm 119:11 states: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”)

What is Salvation? It is the opportunity to have everlasting life.” (But only at the end of the Millennium and something that you have merited by your actions. The death of Christ has nothing to do with this.)

 

“Salvation means a restoration to the perfect life (on the new earth during the Millennium which has to be built by hard manual labor) and relationship with God that Adam and Even enjoyed in the garden of Eden before they sinned.” (As I said before, salvation is not something that can be obtained in this life, but salvation to the Witnesses means being able to go onto the new earth to work in order to maybe merit everlasting life.)

 

“To give salvation to all who meet God’s requirements (not faith in Jesus Christ alone but living up to the requirements set out by the Watchtower Society.)”

 

What Is Required to Gain Salvation? We must continually strive to live in accord with God’s ways.” It is clear from this quote that the Watchtower Society does not teach that faith in Jesus Christ gets you into salvation. It is a certain way of life which is prescribed by the Watchtower Society—don’t observe holidays and birthdays, don’t participate in government, don’t take a blood transfusion, do go to five boring meetings a week at the Kingdom Hall and spend at least 10 hours a month going from door to door.

 

“To gain salvation it is not enough to have faith.”

 

“Our active participation in the preaching work (going door to door) is also a means to help us keep our hope bright.” Thus for a JW, you cannot ultimately be save=going onto the new earth=unless you are faithful in going from door to door. Thus you are “earning” salvation.

 

There is another quote in the June 1, 2010 Watchtower magazine which shows clearly that Witness cannot not have any assurance of salvation in this life. “If a person appreciates that Jesus’ sacrifice can POTENTIALLY free him from the effects of sin.” What the Society is saying here is that if you follow the dictates of the Watchtower Society to the letter of the law then you will have the opportunity of going onto the new earth and then after working hard, physically, to build the new earth and striving inwardly that at the end of the Millennium there is the possibility of your becoming perfect and meriting everlasting life.

 

 

Here are some facts taken from material that a JW took from various Watchtower sources and sent to a Christian lady. These quotes shows clearly that for the Jehovah’s Witnesses salvation is a “process” and there is no way of being assured of salvation in this life.

 

 

“Baptism is only a beginning. The question is: “How can you remain in God’s love?”

 

“Does the Bible actually say, ‘Once saved, always saved’? No.”

 

“Time and again Paul likens the Christian’s course to a ‘race’ that must be run to the finish.” In other words, you do not just trust Christ as your own personal salvation and have eternal life, and since you are a Christian you live a Christian life, but you begin in a race and if you are faithful to the end then you will be qualified to go onto the new earth after Armageddon and then if you are faithful to the end you will MERIT everlasting life. According to the Watchtower Society you can’t have everlasting life while living on this present earth.

 

“Yes, people who truly appreciate the salvation provided through Christ and God’s grace will not be overconfident. They will strive to remain in the race like Paul and the other early Christians, whom he encouraged to ‘work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling.”

 

Here is a very important quote. “So the visible congregation (the Watchtower Society) of God’s people has something to do with the provision of salvation…. We cannot remain outside the organization of God’s people (the Watchtower Society), separated from it, if we want to have Jehovah’s protection…. So there is a vital connection between Jehovah’s protection in the antitypical city of refuge and His visible congregation (the Watchtower Society) of spiritual Israelites, supervised by the ‘faithful and discreet slave.” This makes it very clear that the Watchtower Society teaches that God’s approval can only be obtained by becoming and remaining a Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

“Acquiring knowledge of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, exercising faith, repenting, converting, dedicating and being baptized—do these steps automatically result in a person’s being ‘born again?’ By no means!”…. Being ‘born again’ requires an active role on the part of the divine Parent (the Watchtower Society), Jehovah God, and his heavenly organization or ‘woman’ (the Watchtower Society). All that the person taking the above steps can do is put himself in line to be ‘born again,’ if that be God’s will.” The WT teaches that just like a child needs a father and a mother, also to become one of God’s children requires a Father=God, and a mother=the Watchtower Society.

 

 

Now I want to go back to the subject of how you can KNOW that you have salvation while you are upon this earth once you recognize your sinful condition, are willing to repent and then ask Jesus Christ to be your own personal Savior.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9: “By this undeserved kindness, indeed, YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED (past tense) through FAITH (alone in the shed blood Jesus=the purchase price), and this not owing to YOU, it is God’s GIFT (you can work for or merit a gift). No, it is not owing to works, in order that no man should have ground for boasting.” Stick here to the words “have been saved” and that you can’t merit at “gift.”

 

John 5:24: “Most truly I say to YOU, He that hears my word and believes him that sent me HAS (no question about it) everlasting life (which by the way can’t end), and he DOES NOT come into judgment but HAS passed over from death (we have seen that we are, by nature, spiritually dead, and that we do become spiritually alive in Christ) to life.” I don’t think the Bible can be much clearer.

 

John 10:28: “And I (Jesus Christ) GIVE them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (When we become children of God, he protects us.)

 

1 Peter 1:18-19: “For YOU know that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or god, that YOU WERE DELIVERED (past tense) from YOUR fruitless form of conduct received by traditions from YOUR forefathers, but it WAS (past tense) with the precious blood, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, even Christ’s.” We are either children of the devil or children of God! It is not a long drawn process! The purchase price was paid for 2000 years ago. It is offered to us as a “gift.” We have either taken the gift or we have rejected it (because of our pride and feel that we are not that big of a sinner.) (You can use other passages where salvation was immediate and not a process like Acts 10:44-48, 16:30-33, Luke 23:39-43, etc.)

 

Revelation 1:5b: “To him that loves us and that loosed (past tense) from our sins by means of his own blood.” We do not “eventually” become saved by our enduring and “exercising” but by faith in the shed blood of Jesus for our sins! You will note that there has not been one single verse that mentions that salvation comes through an “organization.” The Watchtower Society has nothing to do with salvation. However, it does hinder people from coming into salvation, but it can’t offer salvation like it claims. There was one Watchtower magazine a while back that said: “Come to God’s organization for salvation.”

 

Then 1 John 1:7b and 9 are terrific verses. “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from ALL sin…. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

What you want to emphasize is that we are ungodly, wicked sinner and need a mighty Savior. Then we are spiritually dead, and dead people can’t work! We need life. Also, by nature we are slaves of Satan and his children. It takes a Mighty power to release us from Satan’s power. This is not a process, but a “purchase price” which is the blood of Jesus. We are either children of the devil or children of God. The change over is not a “long process” but immediate.

 

There is another very important thing that you can bring up along this line. Ask the Witnesses if they have the “Lord’s Supper=communion” at their place. (They call it the “Memorial” and it happens once a year. Only the “anointed=144,000” are able to take it and here is how they determine who can take it.) They will say “yes” and that this happens once a year (Don’t argue with them about how often it is to be taken.)

 

Ask them how it is determined who partake and who do not? They will most likely quote Romans 8:16: “The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (This is always quoted at the Memorial. Since only the “anointed” have “God’s spirit, according the Society, then there are very few that partake.)

 

There are quite a number of things that can be brought up here. If they do not personally have God’s spirit dwelling in them then they are NOT God’s children, and according to what we have just presented then they are still children of Satan! You can question them about this.

 

Go up and read Romans 8:5-9: “For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those in accord with the spirit on the things of the spirit. For the minding of the flesh means death, but the minding of the spirit means life and peace; because the minding of the flesh means enmity with God, for it is not under subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. So those who are in harmony with the flesh (not of the anointed, of which most of the Witnesses are) CANNOT PLEASE GOD. However, you (those who are of the anointed and have the spirit of God and partake of the Memorial) are in harmony, not with the flesh, but with the spirit, if God’s spirit truly dwells in YOU. But IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE CHIRST’S SPIRIT, THIS ONE DOES NOT BELONG TO HIM.” So we see that since the Witnesses you are talking to are not part of the “ anointed” then are still in the “flesh” and those in the flesh cannot “please God”!

 

Now I want to suggest something a little different. The Witnesses often quote verses that would lead you to think that one can loose his or her salvation. I would bring up all of these verses (given below) for a very good reason. In order to loose salvation then you have to HAVE HAD IT. But there is never a time in the life of Witnesses, who are part of the “great crowd,” who can be sure that they ever have salvation.

 

 

BUT DOESN’T THE BIBLE SAY THAT ONE CAN LOSE HIS OR HER SALVATION? Heb. 3:12-14, 6:1-8, 10:26-27, Phil. 2:12, 1 Cor. 10:12, 15:2, etc. You cannot lose something that you do not possess. If you don’t have a million dollars you cannot lose it! Only those who have a million dollars have to worry if they can lose or not. Before you can take of the subject of losing salvation you first have to FIND out how you can be positive of having it. Ask the Witnesses if there is ever a time in their life when they can be 100% sure of their eternal end (like the thief on the torture stake)? If they do say that it is possible, then ask them to explain how this happens. (The Bible says that we are “declared righteous” through “faith” in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This is what we, as born-again Christians believe.) They will probably try to get you onto another subject but keep them to this issue.

 

Almost always when you bring up the subject of the assurance of salvation the JW’s will bring up Judas and use him as an example of one falling away. But you can use this to your advantage. You have the Witness coming or going. John 6:68-71 and 13:11 are two verses that seemed to indicate quite clearly that Judas was not saved. But I am rather certain that the Witnesses will not accept this and insist that Judas was a true believer and then walked away. (Here is more material to show that Judas was not a true believe. John 12:4-6 it states that Judas was a thief. The Bible says, and the JW’s often quote, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Since Judas was a perpetual thief then he could not be a believer. The Witnesses ask you if Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him when He chose Judas. Since the JW’s do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, then Jesus would not know everything. But the Bible indicates that the betrayal of Judas was prophesied in Scripture. Acts 1:15-20. (See also Matt. 27:9-10.) What Judas did was a fulfillment of Zech. 11:12-12. Peter also quotes Psalm 69:25 about Judas, where David prays that the dwelling place of his enemies would be deserted and also quotes Ps. 109:8 where David talks about his enemies dying young and a replacement for him being needed. Peter relates the events with Judas as fulfillment of the Psalms. John 13:18 states that what Judas did was to fulfill what is written in Psalm 41:9. In John 17:12 Jesus calls Judas the “Son of destruction” BEFORE Judas betrays Him and says it is “So the Scriptures would be fulfilled.” Thus the Bible clearly shows that the betrayal of Judas was written in the Bible and that Jesus clearly knew when He chose Judas that He would betray Him. This will be hard for the Witnesses to accept since they do not believe in predestination.

 

But this is really playing into your hands. They are quite certain that Judas was a believer! The subject you are trying to get them to think about is, “You have to have salvation before you can loose it.” Up to this point they haven’t seemed to have caught on. Here is a good place to get your point across.

 

You can say something like this: “So you are quite certain that Judas was a believer and then walked away?” They will most certainly say, “Yes.”

 

Then you can ask them what Judas had to believe in order to become a true follower of Jesus? At this point, they are going to be a little vague.

 

You can take them to Matthew 1:21: “She will give birth to a son, and you will call his name, Jesus, for HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.” So if Jesus is going to save the Jewish people (and us) from our sins, then we have to decide on what grounds Jesus saves! (Note it does not say that you are saved by “taking in accurate” knowledge over period of time or “enduring to the end” but that JESUS WILL SAVE YOU FROM YOUR SINS.)

 

John the Baptists helps us out here. John 1:29 says: “The next day he (John the Baptist) beheld Jesus coming toward him, and he said: ‘See the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.’” Heb. 9:22 states: “Unless blood is poured out no forgiveness takes place.” So we see that blood is needed to cleanse from sin. John the Baptist was saying that all of the OT sacrifices pointed to the blood that Jesus would shed on that torture stake. (Never use the word “cross” but “torture state” which the Witnesses use.)

 

So we see that Jesus is going to save people from their sins. This is done by the shedding of His blood. Rev. 1:5b states: “To him that loves us and that LOOSED (past tense) US FROM OUR SINS BY MEANS OF HIS OWN BLOOD.” This is quite clear.

 

Then 1 John 1:7b declares: “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

 

Now we come back to Judas. If Judas was a true believe then he believe the fact that Jesus as the Messiah was going to die and shed His blood for the sins of mankind.

 

Now isn’t this exactly what we as Bible-believing, born-again Christians believe?

Since there is only one way of salvation, then Judas had to be saved as he looked forward to the death of Jesus and the Witnesses are quite sure that he was a true believe. We as Christians look back at the death and resurrection of Christ for our salvation. So there is only one way of salvation and that is to believe that Jesus Christ died for our PESONAL sins, not just those we inherited in Adam, and since these the JW’s are sure that Judas was a believer, and since born-again Christians believe exactly the same thing then ask the Witness: “Why can’t you be sure that you have salvation?”

 

You are trying to get them to see that a person can really be 100% sure of salvation and that this salvation comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. So it is possible to know you are saved. So if the Jehovah’s Witnesses really believe they are sinners and believe that Jesus Christ died on that torture stake for their own personal sins, then why don’t they have the assurance of salvation?

 

You have shown them it is possible to have the assurance of salvation, and then ask them why they don’t have it. Ask them if they don’t believe that Jesus Christ died on that torture stake for their personal sins? It is not a process, but faith in a finished work!

 

At this point be sure to not let them take you to some other verses and get you distracted but keep them to the subject. If they don’t have the assurance of salvation then it is clear that they have not been washed in the blood of Christ and are still in their sins, and according to Romans 8:5-9 states that they are still in the flesh and those in the flesh “cannot please God.”

 

Make sure that you do not budge on this until they give you something clear. Either they believe that the death of Christ is sufficient to save us from our personal sins or they are ADDING something to the Bible

There is no use talking about divorce to an unmarried person. You have to be married before you could ever think of divorce. YOU JUST CAN’T LOOSE SOMETHING THAT YOU DO NOT POSSESS! There is no use of talking to a couple who have no children about the possibility of children leaving the home is disgust at one point if they have no children!

The fact that we are precious children of God and that He has not only provided for our salvation but for our protection as children never crosses the mind of a Witness. Here are some verses on this subject that might be helpful if the opportunity comes up.

THOSE WHO HAVE TRUSTED JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR OWN PERSONAL SAVIOUR CAN BE ASSURED THAT THEY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. Just as parents protect and care for their children, so God protects and cares for His children. Some people say it is possible for a person to turn away from Christ, but it is hard for me to understand how anyone who has known the wonderful salvation there is in Christ would want to do this! Here are God’s promises to protect us. John 6:39; 10:28; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Cor. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:13; 5:27; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 1 John 5:12-13; & Jude 24-25. The salvation of a true believer in Christ was bought at a very high price, the precious blood of Christ. God is going to do everything on His part to protect the salvation that He gave as a free gift. If it is possible for a person who is 100% sure of having salvation to lose it, the only way this could be done is for that one to deliberately turn his or her back upon the Lord Jesus Christ! My question for such a person is: “Why would anyone who has tasted the freedom from the burden of sin in Christ want to pick up that burden of sin again and go back to being a slave of Satan?”

 

 

The Witnesses are hung up with the false statement: “Once saved, always saved, then you can go out and do anything (sin) and still get to heaven!”

 

They do not realize that in order to be saved you have to “repent” and if you have truly repented then you do not WANT to sin. The last thing I want to do, as a Christian, is to sin! We are saved to “holiness.” We desire to be as holy as possible, not look for opportunities when we can sin. I tell people that when I got saved my DESURES also got saved. Just as parents do not drive their children out of the home when they sin, neither does God kick His children out of His family when we sin. He will teach, correct, and sometime disciplines us, but he never disowns us.

 

After one Christian used the material on “Sin and the assurance of salvation” the Jehovah’s Witness still did not get the point. This witness did not like to use the word “saved” but “in” and “out” because there is always the chance of a Witnesses sinning (even though they never have the assurance of being “in”) so I wrote the following material to try to help the Witness understand a little of what happens to a Christian when he or she trusts Jesus Christ as his or her own personal Saviour and has the assurance of salvation and 100% sure of going to heaven.

 

It is very obvious that Witnesses don’t have the faintest idea of what it means to be saved, becoming a child of God and coming under His care. They don’t understand we were slaves of Satan and were released by Christ. We are now in God’s family. We are perfect in Christ, but not perfect in all of our actions yet. Yes, sad to say we do sin, but we sin as Christians but don’t sin as an un-forgiven sinner. God now deals with us as children.

 

But even though they usually don’t understand salvation, don’t give up. Continue on this subject of HOW a person is saved and the difference of sinning outside of Christ, and sinning as a Christian.

 

I am going to give you a number of things that you might be able to use because they might not get it the first time so you may have to approach it from a number of angles.

 

Witnesses trying hard to get Judas a believer (what ever that is to them) in order to try and prove that you have to continually work (exercising faith) in order to MAYBE get onto the new earth.

 

I will have to explain some of the WT beliefs so that you get the point that you are driving at.

 

Go yourself to John 12:4-6. This clearly says that Judas was a thief and that he had been doing it for a long time. But don’t bring up these verses right away. Tell the Witness that you have been doing a lot of thinking about what you discussed before and want to discuss it some more. Ask the Witness if he or she thinks a PERPETUAL THIEF CAN BE A TRUE BELIEVER? Don’t let the Witness know at this point that you are referring to Judas. I am almost sure he or she will have to say that such a person is not a believer. Then just drop this for a little while and go to the next point.

When this subject was approached, one Witness said that Judas was a believer and had a “heavenly hope.” There are a number of ways to approach this. We all know that this incident about Judas was BEFORE Christ died, so if Judas was a believer he had to believe in the PROMISES of the Bible and LOOKED FORWARD TO THE DEATH OF CHRIST. So the Witness was saying that those who looked forward to the death of Christ had a heavenly hope! But the only trouble is that the WT Society does not believe that any of the OT believers will go to heaven. They only have an earthly hope. Therefore, the explanation of the Witness is opposite of what the Society teaches.

I am saying these things so you can build your foundation well so that later you can come in with a very strong point. Ask the Witness again if he or she felt that Judas, as a believer would have gone to heaven if he had not betrayed Jesus? If she is consistent then she should say, “Yes.”

Then ask, since Judas was still in the OT times and Christ had not died yet, that kind of faith would take him to heaven, then does this mean that the WT Society believes that ALL the OT believers will go to heaven? If the Witness knows his or her theology correctly and answers you correctly, the Witness will have to say they do not have a heavenly hope but only an earthly hope. Then you can ask why he or she said that Judas would have gone to heaven if he had not have sinned as a believer since the rest of the OT believers would only go onto the new earth? The Witness is going to do some “dancing” but don’t leave them off the hook very easily.

Now we come to another problem. They said that Judas would have gone to heaven because he believed in the coming Messiah. But previously when speaking about the thief next to Jesus on a torture stake who became a believer Witnesses state that he would not go to heaven, but to Paradise, that is the new earth. This is really confusing! Judas and the thief were both before Pentecost (this is when the Society teaches that those who would go to heaven would be chosen from then on), then why do they have Judas going to heaven as a believer and the thief, now as a believer, only going onto the new earth? This is going to be something new to them so once again do not let them run or give you a silly answer. Try to get them to admit that it is a contradiction.

At this point you might go back and discuss if Judas was really a believer. God to John 6:68-71. Notice that Peter said: “We have believed” but the answer of Jesus concerning Judas would seem to indicate that Judas was not a believer. Peter was apparently speaking for all the disciples, but Jesus was saying, “Peter you are wrong. Not all of you are believers and that Judas was not a believer and never had been a believer.”

Next go to John 13:8-11 again. Jesus said concerning Judas in v. 11 “Not all of YOU are clean” which naturally is referring to Judas. So Jesus was saying that Judas was never a real believer. (Thus their falling away argument falls apart.)

Now you can take them to John 12:4-6. This shows that from the very beginning of Judas becoming an apostle that Judas was a thief, and therefore would prove that he was not a true believer. (I wanted them to keep guessing after you asked the question about a thief before.) It is pretty hard for them to really believe that Judas was a true believer from what the Bible states!

I realize that I have approached this subject from a number of different angles and would suggest that you use them all, because they don’t pick up things very fast.

Before I approach this next subject, there are some verses that I want to point out. (I am not going into a deep discussion of eternal security. I believe that we are saved by grace and given eternal life. I don’t believe this is a license to sin, but we do know that we do sin. Sin does not interrupt our SONSHIP but it does interrupt our FELLOWSHIP. I have met very few people who I felt were truly born-again Christians who walked away from the faith, but there seem to have been some who have done it. I know there are some who say that they were never saved in the first place. Others do feel you can loose your salvation. Here I am going to use a great big “if.” If it is possible that a person can loose salvation, God will not kick us out. He will discipline us as children and put up with a lot, but He will not drive us out. So if it is possible for one to loose salvation, I believe the only way this could be done is for the believer to completely denounce Christ and God, not just commit some sin or sins, and say they do not want to have anything more to do with Him. I don’t know how someone after they have tasted of the heavenly manna could ever want to go back to the world and be a slave of Satan! So if there is such a thing as going “in” and “out” of Christ, the only way you can get “in” is not by you own good works, but by faith in Christ. Then the only way you can get “out” is by denouncing Christ on you own free will. Eternal security is not a license to sin like so many cultists accuse Christians of believing. Before we get saved we have to “repent” and if we have truly repented then we don’t want to sin, but we want to do what is pleasing to God. Sin grieves us as Christians. I have often said that if I could to anything I wanted AS A CHRISTIAN that I would be perfect. The last thing I want to do is to sin. So the assurance of salvation does not allow us to sin freely, but allows us to do holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can please God.

When Witnesses talking about loosing salvation they use Hebrew 6. But now you can use this section on them. If you read verses 4-8 you will note that it clearly says that if a person is really “in” and then goes “out” that that person can never get back in again. I imagine that they will “choke” a little when you bring this fact up, but again don’t leave them off the hook. Remind them that they were the ones that brought up these verses in the first places. So the Bible says that if once you get “in” and then go “out” that it is impossible for you to get back “in” once again. This will be a new idea to them but try to get the Witness to ponder these verses.

As mentioned above, one Witness didn’t like to use the word saved but “in” and “out.” (Even if the Witness you are talking to did not use the same words, they do believe that when you sin you have departed from being a believer, though the WT never describes how to become a true believer to get “in.” But you can use this approach.) You can do something interesting. Ask the Witness IF ALL sins take you “out” or just what we consider BIG SINS? I am not sure of their answer but either way you can continue. If they say “all” sins then ask them to name some of the sins that will take you “out” and loose any assurance.

Ask them, if they do sin and get “out” and then want to get back “in” do they have to confess EVERY sin that they commit or can they just say, “Please forgive me of all my sins?” Try to get a specific answer out of them. I am sure they have not thought about this before. (By the way, in the Kingdom Halls when they pray, they do not mention specific sins. They will say something like: please forgive us of our blunders and shortcomings; they do not name individual sins. You might want to get them conscious of how they pray in the Kingdom Hall and ask them if they confess specific sins or do they just do it in general. By asking this question it will help them to listen the next time.)

If they do say you have to confess each individual sin, then you can point out that this would be very difficult because often we do not realize that we have sinned. Ask them if they confess every time they have felt PROUD? (Go slowly and name these one by one and wait for an answer.) What about: SELF-CENTEREDNESS? ANGER? JEALOSY? BOASTING? (The Society does a lot of this.) FEELING SUPERIOR? BAD LANGUAGE? ARGUNING? (You can add to the list. Try to get them to think about these things.)

Then ask them if they confess each single sin just as soon as they realize it or do they wait until the end of the day and try and collect them all and confess them as a group? (If they did confess them at the end of the day, it would be dangerous because if they died before the end of the day then they would be “out” and would not make it to the new earth!)

Then you can ask them about James 4:17: “Therefore, if one knows how to do that is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” So the Bible is saying there are times that we know that we should do something good and do not do it then it is sin. Ask them if they have ever confessed such sins?

Mention the fact that we often have “evil thoughts” which are sin. Ask them if they regularly confess the evil thoughts that they have? Ask them if they do it right away or wait until the end of the day? Ask them if they AWAYS confess every evil thought that they have?

There is something that they obviously do not think about and do not understand, and that is that, once we were slaves of Satan, but since we were saved by Jesus Christ and we now are His children. We are 100% His children but we are not 100% perfect in all out actions. Just as parents train their children so God trains His children. You want to try and get this concept over to the Witness somehow. For this reason, I am going to approach the subject from a number of angles and you probably will have to use all of them.

You can mention that it seems from what they say they don’t understand the position that we as Christians are in once we recognize our sins, repent and trust Jesus Christ to be our own person Saviour. For this reason, you would like to use several illustrations to help them understand where a born-again Christian is coming from.

You might once again go over the material on being “ransomed” from being a slave of Satan and becoming a child of God.

Marriage is a good illustration. Most of us were not forced into marriage. (In some countries it does happen.) We did this of our own free will. At the marriage ceremony we promised certain things. After we get married we are not perfect, but because we do things wrong we do not become “unmarried’ until we confess our sin and then become married again! We know that we have to learn to live with each other and we trust that the longer we are married the better it becomes. The way you get out of marriage is by divorce. This is something you decide to do once and for all. Again I say, after being a slave of Satan and being in his bondage for many years, I certainly don’t want to divorce myself from my wonderful Savior. Maybe you can use this illustration to show that it isn’t a matter of “in’ and “out” and that sins in marriage does not necessarily dissolve the marriage. As Christians we keep working on our relationship with Christ, which happened because of the shed blood of Christ, and the longer we walk with Him the more wonderful it ought to become.

Next take the example of children. When they are born they are given a birth certificate that states to what family they belong. (When we trust Christ our name is written down in the “Lamb’s book of Life. See: Rev. 20:15, & 21:27.) We know that children are not perfect in their actions, but they are perfectly our children. As parents, we have an obligation to the children that we bring into this world. (God has also thought about bringing up the children in His family.) Good parents will train their children in the right way. (Sad to say, they don’t always follow in the way we have taught them.) But when our children do bad things, and they all will, we do not kick them out of the house. We might send them to their room, breaking FELLOWSHIP but the SON OR DAUGHTER relationship is not broken. Parents do not have the right to kick their underage children out of the house. They have an obligation to them.

Here are God’s promises to protect us. John 6:39; 10:28; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Cor. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:13; 5:27; Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 1 John 5:12-13; & Jude 24-25.

God has not only thought of our salvation but how to take care of us as believers. God is going to be faithful to the very end. So when you think of being part of the family of God this idea of being “in” and “out” doesn’t make much sense.

There is a lot of material in this article and it will take you weeks to go through it.

 

After you read over this material, if you will have questions please feel free to ask me about them

 

I realize that it is very exhausting when dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses, but don’t be discourage. I want to encourage you all that I can. At first, it is very difficult, but I can assure you, if you keep at it, there will come a time when you are in control and you will look forward to the meetings.

 

 

 
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