This seems such an innocent question to answer, that why would there even be a need for a review? Initially I felt the same as obviously Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe in Jesus, in fact I have never heard of anyone saying to me that they thought that they didn’t, and that is what drew my suspicion that something was not quite right here.
So was the article really trying to answer this question or was there more to this, and if so what was the message that the Organisation was trying to portray to the reader?
The article starts by simply stating they do believe in Jesus and then refer to John 14:6 that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through him.
Now for them they suggest this implies that we are really going to Jehovah (the Father), but we need to do this through Jesus and that they do this by simply saying “in the name of Jesus” at the end of each prayer. The article then refers to John 3:16 Where it points to that “….so that everyone exercising Faith in him (Jesus) might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”
Now here is where I believe the “real agenda” surfaces. Apart from mentioning that it is by “exercising Faith”, rather than simply having faith, it then states that faith In Jesus “might gain everlasting faith, and who is now ruling as King of God’s Kingdom.
Amazing, so now we have
1 We need to EXERCISE Faith, and that it is vital for Salvation
2 Faith in Jesus MIGHT gain everlasting Life
3 Jesus NOW rules as King
Before we continue let’s get to the facts of the 3 points I highlighted above
1 In John 3:16 it DOES NOT say “exercise” but in FACT “Have”
Can you see the difference, by changing the scripture to “exercise” it suggests there is a work required in placing faith in Jesus, rather than simply receiving it.
Let also look at Ephesians 2:8,9 which reads “for Grace you have been saved through Faith and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast”, so clearly there is no exercising required, or work as another way of expressing it.
2 This again is very subtle but deceptive that Faith in Jesus “might” gain everlasting Life.
Again in the same John verse, it refers to a definite expression not a probable one, and again here the Watchtower are trying to add words of WORKS in order to justify that this is what the word is trying to say, but these words simply do not exist in the original manuscripts.
Definitely something for the JW to ponder over.
3 Lastly here the mention of Jesus ruling NOW; unbelievable, this point is simply mentioned without any explanation or ounce of reasoning, hoping the reader will just accept this point.
The article carries on the point of exercising Faith, and then tries to suggest therefore, there is “a need to do something” in order to gain everlasting life. Now the average reader may think that is what it says in the Bible and thereby accept there is a “work” involved”, but as proven above, there is simply no word referring to “work” in this verse and as confirmed in Ephesians that it is “not of works”. I cannot stress enough “to use scripture to prove scripture”, when discussing with Jw’s and also get them to double check their KIT (Kingdom Interlinear) for a more accurate translation, and then show the corresponding scriptures in context to drive the point home.
Now, what appears to be a shift in argument, the article uses the disguise that man also asks “if they believe in Jesus why do they talk about Jehovah so much”? Here again the article is simply trying to put the point over why we should say the name Jehovah so much, as it says “I have made your name known”. Here of course is where Jesus is talking in context about making the Father known, not specifically by stating his name, but rather in what is represented by this Name, here I recommend looking at one the other articles here that specifically addresses this issue.
However, what is amazing here is, it then quotes Acts 2:21 saying whoever calls on the name of Jehovah” will be saved. Are they right in this verse, well most definitely NOT and here’s why
1 The name Jehovah or equivalent is not in the original NT text
2 This verse in context is where Joel prophesied his present age would end amidst mighty portents and in divine judgement, but that whoever calls on the name of Lord shall be saved. Peter would then proceed to establish that “Jesus” is the Lord who will return in judgement and upon whom people must now call in repentance and Faith.
How amazing the Watchtower, on one hand make a big point that they believe in Jesus and then at the same time replace his name for Jehovah as a way to justify why they put so much emphasis in the Father name than the Son’s, and thereby shifting the emphasis of where our Faith should be directed.
Now here is just an unbelievable comment, the article then tries to prove that by calling out God’s personnel name, that by default, draws us closer to him, using Moses as an illustration. How totally ridiculous is that , as we know it is all about building a relationship with someone that brings us closer, not by how often we call out his name!
In the closing paragraphs, it then ties in John 14:1 stating that it reads “exercising Faith in both God (Father) and in him (Jesus)
This is then used as way to bring this article together, but again this is not what the verse is saying.
There is no word in this verse for “exercising” and it is not saying in context of having Faith in both for Salvation by, just that the disciples need to also believe in Jesus in addition to the Father, no more.
Then it concludes that surely it is not enough to just have Faith in God & Jesus, but that we need to live our lives in a way to back up that claim.
As mentioned in Ephesians 2, and in many other scriptures, the Bible actually says “It is by Faith Alone”, not by works or in by exercising, that one is saved; and now let’s clear this point of works, by looking at the context in verse 10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God Prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. So you can see our works are actually the Lords when we have Faith in Christ, so that no man can boast.
In other words, the works that follow from our Faith are simply the outward result of God’s will in us, not of our own doing.
I really feel for the Jehovah’s Witness that reads such articles, as the Watchtower are deliberately deceiving the reader to accept their teaching, even to the point where it goes directly against what the Bible states and teaches, and more crucially over one of the most important tenants of the Bible, our Faith In Christ.