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DOES THE WATCHTOWER BOOK "KNOWLEDGE"
REALLY LEAD TO ETERNAL LIFE?
by Gary J. Hall
INTRODUCTION by Lorri MacGregor
Jehovah's Witnesses continue to offer first-time recruits a study in their book, "Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life". Of course, we know that it is Jesus Christ Himself who is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life", but they think they get life through their Watchtower "knowledge". Their New World Translation twists John 17:3 to say,
"This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ".
This is a slanted paraphrase of what the true word-for-word translation really says, quoting the New American Standard Bible,
"And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
Pastor Gary Hall of England has done an excellent job of refuting their book, point by point. This is a valuable witnessing tool, and will make the JW's THINK. It will build your faith, too! Now let's proceed with the refutation of the "Knowledge" book.
As with other Watch Tower publications mention is made of a future paradise earth.
"What the Bible says about the future of the earth and mankind might be summed up in one word - Paradise!" (Pg.8.) Also. "The Bible.... It informs us that God placed the first human pair, Adam and Eve, in a paradise called the Garden of Eden." (Pg.72)
The fact is that the Bible never mentions either Eden or a future recreated earth as Paradise.
Jehovah's Witnesses often remark that the word "Trinity" is nowhere in the Bible to disprove the doctrine of the Trinity (see page 31 of Knowledge,) but fail to realize that many of their own words do not appear in Scripture. Such is the case with "Paradise Earth". To connect Eden with Paradise is foolishness since the word only appears three times in the Bible, each time in the New Testament. Before we look at the misquote of Luke 23:43 on page 8 let us find out what the Bible really says about Paradise.
In Revelation 2:7 Jesus says,
"To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (MKJV)
Because Jesus makes mention of the tree of life does not automatically place paradise in Eden or a future earth as we shall see. Although God put the tree in Eden it is evident that since Eden no longer exists that the tree was removed. If it is not on earth then it can only be in Heaven - where it originated! How do we know that Paradise is the same place as Heaven? Simple, the Bible tells us so.
Read what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:2.
"I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body I cannot tell; or whether out of the body I cannot tell, God knows - such a one was caught up to the third Heaven." (AV).
We readily see that Paul was caught up into Heaven. He adds in verse four "How that he was caught up into paradise...". To hide this fact, that Heaven and Paradise are one and the same place and are "up", the New World Translation mistranslates these verses. It adds "caught away as such to the third Heaven" (12:2), and "caught away into Paradise" (12:4). In doing so it removes the fact that Paradise is Heaven.
Of the forty translations of the Bible I have, only the NWT translates the Greek word "HARPAZO" as "caught away". While the meaning of the word can mean "caught away" it does not fit the context of these verses. Besides this, since Eden was not on earth, Paul must have been caught up into Heaven.
As Heaven and Paradise are one and the same place where do we think Jesus was referring to when he said to the thief on the cross , "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43 MKJV)?
Regardless of the fact that the NWT mistranslates these words as "Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise." we have seen that the place called Paradise is up in Heaven. Therefore, the man was going to Heaven with Jesus.
The "Knowledge" book on page 8 reads "The mention of Paradise no doubt brought to that man's mind the happy state of our first parents, Adam and Eve " .
This is false since his thoughts were clearly upon Christ's Kingdom. "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Luke 23:42 MKJV).
Page 9 of "Knowledge" makes a remarkable statement "They and their offspring were to extend the borders of Paradise until the entire planet became a place of beauty and delight" and it tries to back this up with Genesis 1:28. This verse does not even suggest that Adam and Eve were to extend the borders of Eden and why should they?
Has the Watch Tower Organization forgotten to read Genesis 1:31? The Bible says "God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good." (MKJV).
To infer that Adam was to "extend" what God created is to believe that he had some divine qualities and that all that God created was not very good. Maybe due to the weakness of the argument the book uses lsaiah 55:10, 11 as a proof text on page 9.
If we read the verses we shall find that far from referring to a future paradise earth, it speaks of the fact that God's Word is eternal and will not return to Him void. To link man with the extension of Eden is to place him as a creator or God, exactly what Satan wanted him to believe!
In the chapter entitled "The Book that reveals the knowledge of God" mention is made of the Messiah being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (page 19). Since this reference is Zechariah 11:12 it does well to read what it says. "
They proceed to pay my wages, thirty pieces of silver." (NWT)....
But why end with verse 12? Read verse 13.
"At that Jehovah said to me , "Throw it to the treasury - the majestic value with which I have been valued from their standpoint." (NWT).
Even the Watch Tower has to admit that this is what happened concerning Jesus. Yet, it is Jehovah that is speaking!
Jehovah's witnesses believe that Jesus only became the Christ at His baptism. This line is restated on pages 36 and 65. It says that "Jehovah anointed Jesus with holy spirit. Jesus thus became the Christ."
This would mean that Jesus was not the Christ from his birth until his baptism by John. If this is true, how does it tie in with regards to Simeon in Luke 22:6? It reads,
"And it happened to him, being instructed by the Holy Spirit that he was not to see death before he would see the Lord's Christ." (MKJV).
The NWT says almost the same thing. If Simeon didn't see the Christ as the Bible said he did, then the Lord lied to him.
Besides this the shepherds were informed "For to you is born today, in the City of David, a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11 MKJV).
Also, are we to believe that a mere man, John the Baptist, was "filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 115 MKJV), but God's Only Begotten Son had to wait thirty years? Someone is lying, and it is not the Bible.
Staying on the theme of the divinity of Christ, it is interesting that in the book "Knowledge" John 3:16 is used on page 39 as evidence of Jesus being "God's only begotten son because Jehovah created him directly."
Even a new believer in Christ can spot that this verse does not teach that Jesus is a created being. As usual the word "other" is added to Colossians 1:16 to say that Jesus isn't the Creator.
They also persist in using Proverbs 8:22-31 as proof of Jesus being created, when in fact these verses refer only to wisdom. Jesus is constantly attacked in all Watch Tower publications.
The "Knowledge" book is no exception. Page 40 states.
"God transfered his life from heaven to the womb of a faithful Jewish virgin named Mary. Jehovah's powerful holy spirit, or active force, overshadowed Mary, causing her to become pregnant."
Yet page 82 says.
"This life force does not have any of the characteristics of the creature it animates."
Does this mean that Jesus was a non-person? They must see Jesus as a non-person to promote their teachings. Look what is written on page 68.
"Upon being raised to life in Heaven, he became a life-giving spirit." Therefore since the Holy Spirit isn't a real person because it is spirit, Jesus must be a non-person also since he is now only a "life-giving spirit."
Luke 24:39-42 proves that Jesus was raised in his flesh and bones, and that He was able to eat natural food. So in the mind of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not real persons but,
"The Devil is a malicious manslayer. The Bible reveals that he is a real person..." (page 55).
Another attack is made upon Jesus on page 65. Only because Jesus is the "last Adam" and is the "Corresponding ransom for all" is He known as "Eternal Father?"
This is a weak and foolish invention to destroy what Jesus is and what He came to do. This destroying of the ministry of Jesus is very revealingly brought to the surface on page 69. "Yet, our salvation is not the most important reason for Jesus' life and death on earth."
This is why the Watch Tower Organization pays so little regard to Jesus, and has sought to remove all honour to Him in the NWT and other books. Is it little wonder that they say on page 82, "Human death does not differ from that of the animals."
I may be wrong, but there may be some "new light" in the future regarding the Jesus/ Michael doctrine. "Knowledge" does not mention this once.
The unusual statement for Jehovah's Witnesses on page 153 may be some indication of some new doctrine in the near future, it reads "He is the only channel through whom we can approach Jehovah God."
While we agree with these words we have to be cautious as to why they were written.
The usual illustration of Jesus hanging on a stake is shown on page 67. It shows a single nail through the wrists of Jesus, despite the fact that even the NWT says that Jesus had scars from the "nails" in both His hands (see John 20:25). So to say the least, his hands had to be separated.
Universalism, the belief that all will he saved or given a chance to repent and follow God after death is evident on page 88 - "They will have an opportunity to demonstrate by their deeds whether they will serve God."
Two questions will surface here.
1. Where does the Bible even hint at this?
2. If all will be saved, why did Jesus bother dying for us on the cross? This idea is a further attack upon the sacrificial death of our Savior.
Because the WatchTower hates the cross they must get rid of it and what it really means. To believe in Universalism is to reject God's way of salvation.
The 1914 issue is bound up with the fall of Jerusalem in 607 B.C. They refer to this date as "very significant" (page 96).
By adding 2,520 years to 607 B.C. they arrive at 1914. The main problem here is that Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 587 B.C. Which automatically nullifies the 1914 theory. Wouldn't we like to see the verse where the Bible teaches that Jesus was "enthroned in the Heavenly kingdom in 1914 C.E." (page 94)? Page 97 promises
"...did Jesus begin to reign in Heaven at that time? Scriptural reasons for saying he did will be discussed in the next chapter."
You will look in vain in chapter 11 for the Scriptural reasons for dating His Heavenly rule at 1914.
It would be a step in the right direction if the Watch Tower believed their own writings without going on to disqualify what is written.
The statement found on page 153, which we accept as Biblically correct, "He is the only channel through whom we can approach Jehovah" is made void by further statements on pages 160-161 referring to the "Faithfull and discreet slave" being "God's channel.."
Again we find either Jesus or the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society must fall.
It is no surprise to us that Jesus is disregarded once more. If Jehovah's Witnesses really did study their Bibles, instead of books on the Bible as advised on page 178, they might come nearer the fundamental truths of God's Word.
Of course the "faithful and discreet slave" in Brooklyn U.S.A. would never allow this! If only they were allowed to put into practice the words found on page 182,
"Moreover, we do not earn life by serving Jehovah. Everlasting life is a gift of God."
The "Knowledge" book speaks about the 144,000, Christmas, birthdays, soul sleep as well as the family.
There are many good books available that will correct these false doctrines. The only point I'd like to address here is in response to the amazing and erroneous words found on page 68 regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus. They say:
"He slept in death for parts of three days."
Since I've never heard anyone say that Jesus was dead for parts of three days, I have to ask "which parts?"
If He was alive at a certain time then does this not nullify the idea of soul-sleep? Once again the book is way off course. Since the Bible teaches that Jesus was active during the time His body lay in the tomb (see 1 Peter 3:19 and Ephesians 4:8-10).
The "Knowledge that leads to Everlasting Life" book is a sloppy attempt to undermine Bible doctrine and promote life-destroying teachings. Only those who have shut their eyes and closed their brains would accept this as coming from God.
As with other books this goes out of its way to promote another Jesus. Some gullible Christians may think that all the references to Jesus as God's "only begotten Son" means that the Jehovah's Witnesses are getting closer to the truth.
All those caught up in the web of deceit spun by the Watch Tower must answer a serious question for themselves. Jesus once asked His disciples "Who do you say that I am?" (Mark 8:29).
Peter could have replied something like, "I say You are a prophet, or maybe Michael the archangel." Peter's reply was "You are the Christ" (Mark 8:29 MKJV).
The disciples recognized Jesus as the Messiah. They knew that the Messiah had to be different from prophets or angels.
In Mark 9:1-7 they had an experience that they would never forget when Elijah and Moses met with Jesus after He was transfigured.
Notice that Jesus was transfigured. What was he transfigured into? - A prophet? That wouldn't have made Him any different from Elijah and Moses. - An angel? No, because
"to which of the angels did He say at anytime, You are My Son, this day I have begotten You"? (Hebrews 15 MKJV).
When God the Father spoke in Mark 9:7 he was not referring to a mere man or any angel when he said, "This is My beloved Son, hear Him." (MKJV). Jesus was seen by the disciples as the second, but not inferior, member of the Godhead in all His Heavenly glory.
Each Jehovah's Witness, and for that matter, every person on earth must answer the question "Who do you say Christ is?"
If you listen to your organization you may get the wrong answer. Obey God's command to us all....
"This is My beloved Son, hear Him."
That's the only way to Heaven, and, the knowledge that leads to Everlasting Iife.
Versions of the Bible used:
Modern King James Version (MKJV)
New King James Version (NKJV)
Authorized King James Version (AV)
New World Translation (NWT)
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