A Conversation with a Jehovah's Witness
Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 13:58:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rolaant McKenzie
To: Steve
Subject: Re: question

On Fri, 30 May 1997, Steve wrote:

> RLM wrote:
> > > > So that would also include the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs)
> > > > as not having been consistent with the bible in the history of humanity.
> > >
> > > And we don't claim to be perfect. We just use the bible as the guide.
> >
> > As do most other churches. But that wasn't the point I was making here.
> > Making predictions about when the end will come runs counter to clear
> > Biblical teaching. So how do JWs use the Bible as a guide when they
> > contradict it by setting dates?
> We don't set dates and even when we DID (past tense) that does not
> change our striving to please God. Remember that the dates were for
> looking to God's kingdom and that is good.

But JWs did set dates for most of their history while speaking for
Jehovah, and not one of them came to pass. Striving to please God to me
means obeying His word. JWs are not obeying the Bible, God's word, when
they have spoken for Jehovah in predicting the end. Deut 18:21 plainly
says that people who make false predictions while speaking for God, God
has not sent. So whatever JWs say the purpose of the dates are for, the
fact that none have come true prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the WTS
(JWs) do not speak for Jehovah.

> > But then JWs and the WTS cannot rightly claim to be Jehovah's mouthpiece,
> > or sole source of God's truth in the world. Because they continue to do
> > so shows they are not of God.
> Continue? How can you claim continue?

Maintaining that the WTS is Jehovah's sole source of truth on earth after
failing so many times in prophetic and doctrinal matters while speaking
for Him is a continuation of the deception. The claims JWs make for
themselves and their organization are proven to be false based on their

> > A prophet who makes false predictions
> > remains a false prophet. He doesn't become a true one after
> > abandoning a prediction that failed to come to pass.
> I do not agree. You are claiming that that is the unforgivable sin and
> that is not true.

Can you show me one example in the Bible where a prophet made repeated
false predictions while speaking on behalf of Jehovah and was still
considered a true prophet?

Deut 18:22 is very clear. If it doesn't come to pass, that means the Lord
has not spoken through the one claiming to speak for Him.

> > > > But the fact that they did it shows that the Holy Spirit was not behind
> > > > their words, contrary to what they said. They made a false prophecy.
> > > No prophecy. They were just interpreting the bible and doing
> > > calculations based on it. That is not prophesying.
> > But when the Watchtower Magazine said that the words it prints is "God's
> > words, not man's", the WTS is indeed making a prophecy.
> Not so.

How can it not be so? If someone or an organization claims to speak for
God, and that person or organization makes predictions on while speaking
for Him, that person or organization is making a prophecy. And if the
predictions do not come to pass as previously stated, then that person or
organizaiotn is, according to Deut. 18:22, a false prophet. That person
is not really speaking for God. It is like Jer. 14:14 -

"The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or
appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false
visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds."

> >When JWs claim to
> > be a prophet like Ezekiel or Jeremiah and they make predictions while
> > speakign for Jehovah, they are making a prophecy. The fact that none of
> > them came to pass proves them to be false prophets.
> A prophet like Ezekiel has nothing to do with predictions.
> And if they were false prophets it does mean one should abandom the
> bible. We should still go to meetings and the ministry of faith.

If they were false prophets, the Bible says not to listen listen to or
follow such people. After all, "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a
bad tree bear good fruit." (Luke 6:43) If, as you say, they were false
prophets, then you should do as the Bible says and not associate with
them, lest in proclaiming their message and attending their meetings, you
fail to obey Christ.

> > > > Since no church or denomination, including JWs, has a monopoly on the
> > > > truth, there will be differences of opinion on some things.
> > >
> > > There are always differences of opinion, but what God is looking for is
> > > how people are willing to submit to theocratic order because if they do
> > > that then they will submit to him.
> >
> > Actually, what God is looking for are people will submit to Him, not to a
> > manmade organization. What you say makes a person subservient to the WTS
> > rather than to God. Where in the Bible does it say that an organization
> > stands in God's place?
> Learn from Israel. They had judges and others whom they had to submit
> to not just to God. The Christian congregation has overseers.

But Christians DID NOT depend on their congregations for their salvation
as JWs do. The Jews depended on their status of being sons of Abraham for
their salvation, and they failed to follow Christ when He came. JWs do
the same when they focus more on their organization than on Jesus Christ.
They end up worshiping the organization rather than God, thereby
living in disobedience to God and missing out on the benefits of the
gospel of Christ.

> Again, the WTS is not God's organization only. The worldwide
> congregtion of Jehovah's Witnesses is God's organization and it is not
> manmade. It does not stand in God's place. YOu are inserting
> objections that are not valid and you are just making them up.

The WTS controls the worldwide congregtion of Jehovah's Witnesses, which
is manmade. It stands in God's place when whatever the Governing Body
hands down a directive and all members have to obey or risk being
disfellowshiped (thereby losing their chance for salvation). It is so sad
that you fail to admit the truth of this.

> > > That is true about the body of Christ however they would be seeking each
> > > other and working together as a congregation.
> >
> > Working together regardless or denominational labels, rather than joining
> > yours.
> NO, working together as a people, brotherhood with no denominations.

But you said earlier that all people who are truly seeking Christ would
become members of your organization. Your denomination. And that those
outside your organization are not truly following Christ. So I do not
understand your statement here. JWs believe and teach that only JWs will
survive Armageddon, and that Jehovah will kill everyone else who is not
a JW. So who is the body of Christ? Is it only JWs, or is it all those
who have a personal relationship with Christ?

> > > > Mormons would dispute that. They say that following Joseph Smith is the
> > > > same as following Christ.
> > >
> > > I don't know much about Joseph Smith but he is a man and we do not
> > > follow men. We just use the modern day teaching methods of the WT.
> > So you follow the Governing Body of the WTS, which is a group of men. So
> > you do indeed follow men.
> If there were a govering body of the WTS, but there is not. There is a
> governing body of Jehovah' sWitnesses that we follow since Hebrews
> 13:7,17 says to be obedient to those taking the lead. That is not wrong
> but that is what is supposed to be done as the bible says.

Nonetheless, JWs follow a group of men called the Governing Body. These
men also control the WT. Either way, your statement that JWs do not
follow men is invalid by your own words, and by the words of your

> > > > Seventh-day Adventists dispute that. The SDAs say that following what Ellen
> > > > White says is also following Christ.
> > >
> > > Ditto above. Do they preach to the people?
> >
> > Yes, they do. In fact, there are a lot more SDAs in the world than JWs.
> > The same with Mormons.
> And alot omore Baptists and Catholics too, but they are not submitting
> to God.

Neither are JWs when the continue to claim that one must submit to their
organization for salvation, contrary to Biblical teaching. JWs are at the
very least as bad as the churches they concemn so much.

> > > > Roman Catholics dispute that. RCs say that following the Pope is also
> > > > following Christ.
> > >
> > > But they do not agree with the bible. The popes have endorsed wars and
> > > overthrowing of governments which are not in agreement with christ.
> >
> > Neither does the WTS agree with the Bible when it has continually engaged
> > in making false predictions while speaking for God.
> Again, what is this continually stuff?

Continually claiming to speak for God wrongly. One cannot claim to speak
for God with a long history of false prophecies.

> > > > And now you tell me that following the WT is also following Christ.
> > >
> > > No, I am saying that reading and doing what the Watchtower publications
> > > say is good as they are just applying to today's world what Christ said.
> >
> > In other words, WTS publications interpret the Bible for you. This is no
> > different from Mormons who use the words of Joseph Smith to interpret the
> > Bible.
> I don't believe that the bible needs interpretation as it is not that
> difficult.

But you just said before that, "We just use the modern day teaching
methods of the WT." JWs depend on the Biblical interpretations of the WT
and teach that. And if the Bible is that easy for you, then I guess you
have no need for the Holy Spirit to guide you, right?

> > Actually, it teaches reliance on the WTS for salvation rather than on
> > Christ, contrary to Biblical teaching. The Mormons have unity too, so do
> > most cults. Unity does not mean a group has truth.
> HOw does one rely on the WTS for salvation? And how can it provide it?
> Unity means that the group as a whole will have truth and change to it.

Simple. When one believes one's salvation is dependent on being in a
particular organization, then that person is depending on that
organization for salvation. JWs do this when they following the WT's
teaching that one must be part of its organization in order to be saved.
Organizations do not provide salvation. Only Jesus Christ does. Unity is
of no value if the group does not believe and teach the same gospel of
Christ the apostles taught.

> > In essence, then, you believe that those who do not become JWs are lost.
> Sure, why not? Is it so hard to become one of Jehovah's people?

Because Jehovah's people DO NOT equal the Jehovah's Witnesses or
their organization exclusively. This is what I was referring to before. You,
like other JWs, depend on being in the "organization" for salvation,
contrary to Biblical teaching. It is interesting to note that many SDAs,
Roman Catholics, Mormons, and various cults believe the same for their
churches/organizations. JWs are no different in this regard.

> > The Bible teaches that believers should gather together regularly to
> > encourage one another, but it does not teach that salvation comes through
> > the group.
> But if that group is the only people that follow and obey the bible and
> have faith, then yes the bible teaches salvation for the group that does
> the criteria.

But I have already demonstrated to you various areas where JWs do not
obey the Bible, but contradict it. You cannot show me from the Bible that
being a JW is necessary for salvation. You have showed me in this
discussion that neither you nor JWs in general believe the gospel of
Christ as taught by the apostles. Therefore, you cannot accurately claim
that JWs are the only people following the Bible and have faith.

> > The Bible does not teach that salvation comes only through
> > being a JW.
> So what? Be a JW not for the reason of salvation but because it is the
> way to please God as a people.

But you just agreed with me before that you view people who do not become
JWs as being lost. You are contradicting yourself. The way to please God
is to have faith in Christ alone for salvation. One DOES NOT please God
by being following the dictates of an organization that claims flasely to
speak for Him.

> > > individuals that do but those are a few individuals. The vast majority
> > > of Jehovah's Witnesses know Christ and are manifesting his qualities,
> > > there are a few that do bad and need work in many areas but that is what
> > > the meetings are for, to correct the problems.
> >
> > So far what I have seen is that JWs mostly worship the organization
> > rather than God. They also teach a different gospel. One not found in the
> > Bible.
> How does worshipping the organization translate into behavior? And
> since what I see is good behavior what knock it? Why center on
> salvation rather than progressing towards God?

But why do JWs dishonor God be worshipping a manmade organization. The
Bible clearly says that He alone is to be worshipped. This is yet another
area where JWs contradict Biblical teaching. Good behavior doesn't save
anyone. Mormons, Catholics, SDAs, CSs, atheists, even the members of the
Heaven's Gate cult performed "good behavior". So JWs do not have a
monopoly on that, neither does it prove anything.

Matt 7:21-23 says that not everyone who calls Jesus Lord will enter the
kingdom. Many will say they prophesied in His name, cast out demons, and
did good works, but Jesus will tell them to depart form Him.

Why center on salvation? Because a false view of salvation does not get
anyone into the kingdom. One does not progress towards God for salvation.
This is the basis of practically every false religion in the world. That
one must work his way up to God. And this is why JWs have no assurance
of salvation as Christians do, because they are trying to work their way
into the kingdom of God.

> In what way is our gospel different than the bible's?

Consider how the Bible describes the gospel of Christ:

Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection. (1 Cor 15:1-4)
Salvation is only through Christ. (Acts 4:12)
Salvation is a gift of God's grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Salvation is by faith alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Salvation is attained by Christ. (Romans 5:9)
Salvation is at the moment a sinner believes the Gospel. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Salvation is secured by God. (John 10:27-30)
Sins are expiated by Christ's blood. (Romans 3:25)
Salvation glorifies God alone. (Ephesians 1)
The work of salvation is finished. (John 19:30)

If salvation can be worked for, then Jesus died for nothing. (Rom
3:20,27-28; 4:2-6; 9:30-33; Gal 2:16).

It is different because JWs teach salvation through a manmade
organization rather through Christ alone; they teach salvation through
works rather than by the grace of God alone through faith in Christ
alone. JWs in general also worship their organization when the Bible says
that worship is due to God alone.

In fact, the "gospel" taught by JWs is the opposite of the one taught in
the Bible.

> > > > But JWs can't be in the text because they teach a different gospel. One
> > > > not found in Scripture.
> > >
> > > How is it different?
> >
> > The gospel does not say that salvation comes through being
> > associated with the WTS.
> And it does not say that being associated with the WTS is bad either.

But the Bible DOES NOT teach that salvation comes through association
with the WTS or being a JW. JWs contradict the clear word of the Bible
when they teach this, thereby teaching a different gospel that saves no one.

> > > > But what you can't show me in the Bible is where the apostles taught that
> > > > 1914, 1925, 1975, and other dates were significant dates.
> > >
> > > What significance is this since the computations for that came later
> > > than the apostles. But the apostles and the revelation taught the
> > > kingdom.
> > But they did not teach the dates I mentioned above. Therefore the
> > apostles did not teach what JWs teach. They did not believe as JWs believe.
> You are really reaching for dirt. Getting your shovel down.

Not really. You were unable to provide Biblical support for your
contention that the apostles believed as JWs believed. And I showed you
from the Bible that the apostles DID NOT believe as JWs believe, thereby
disproving your assertion.

> > > >The apostles
> > > > did not set dates, and you can't find in the Bible anyone where they did.
> > >
> > > They did not have enough information to even start.
> >
> > So JWs claim to know more than the apostles, who walked with Jesus, did?
> Sure since we have fulfillment of prophecies that they did not have.

Hmm... Interesting that the Mormons, SDAs, and other cults believe the
same about their distinctive teachings. But I do wonder what fulfillment
of prophecies you are referring to, since all the prophecies that JWs
have made throughout their history have been shown to be false when they
did not come to pass.

You statement above essentially places JWs above the disciples, and above
the Bible. And I, of course, could not accept this since JWs do not even
preach the gospel they preached.

> > > > Therefore, the apostles and first century Christians DID NOT believe as JWs
> > > > and the WTS do.
> > >
> > > JW's are the WTS. Setting dates is not a belief.
> >
> > But it is a practice that JWs have engaged in for most of its history.
> So what? We also engaged in other godly practices too. Why reject
> that? I know that it is because you are just trying to knock us. But
> it will not work with me. I have more depth than that.

Because the Bible clearly states that a false prophet is revealed when
the word he claimed was from God does not come to pass. Ellen White
engaged in a lot of godly practices. So did Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph
Smith, Jim Jones, and others. But they were all false prophets. Good
works, as shown from Matt 7:21-23, does not prove one has God's favor.
Knocking JWs is not the issue. The issue is that JWs make certain claims
about themselves, their organization, and what the Bible teaches, and I
have demonstrated from the Bible that those claims are invalid.

> > Setting a date, calling on members to believe it, and punishing those who
> > don't.
> We do not punish thos who don't believe the dates. The ones who do not
> choose to be part of the congregation are removed as leaven. But that
> is not about beliefs.

But when JWs remove people from the congregation for not accepting
dates (or whatever else the WT teaches) and shuns them, and isolates
them from family and friends, this is punishment. And the key issue is
not what the Bible teaches, but whether one will follow what the
organization says. So that is all about belief.

If the WTS said today that taking vitamins was a sin against Jehovah and
that JWs are not to take them, if you disagreed with that assessment of
vitamins and decided to take them anyway, you would be disfellowshipped.
This because the WTS will tell you to believe this and do it, or else be
disfellowshipped. And JWs believe that a person who is disfellowshipped
loses his/her chance for salvation.

> > > JW's are the organization.
> >
> > Based on the evidence, JWs are then a false organization.
> An organizatoin can neither be true or false. It only exists.

An organization is true or false based on what it does and teaches. JWs
claim their organization is Jehovah's sole channel of truth on earth.
It's false prophecies and failure to follow the Bible show that that
claim is false. Therefore, the organization IS NOT Jehovah's sole channel
of truth on earth, but only one that claims to be. This makes it a false
organization and those who follow it deceived.
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