The other day the local Jehovah witnesses stopped at my door and gave me a copy of "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" published by the Watchtower Society. Notice I said Greatest Man Who Ever Lived not the Greatest God Who Ever Lived. The book is the literature that comes straight out of the Jehovah Witnesses publishing House and emphasizes views that are not my own. I was surprised to learn that the majority of beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses per "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" are distinct but nearly the same as the Protestant churches with a few exceptions.
In the first forty pages I discovered that Jesus is interpreted as the son of God but not as the God of creation. According to the articles I was reading, Jesus Christ was born again when John baptized him in water, more specifically after he was submerged and lifted out of the water. The Jehovah witnesses also believe that the Holy Spirit is Godís active force on earth. Their arguments are impressive and their interpretations are like paintings done by a painter who is unable to distinguish one color from another. In their defense, every denomination has a different theme that makes them stand out from the other churches.
Regardless of the church the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was born the Son of God being conceived in Mary through the Holy Spirit. The New World Translation is the official Bible of the Jehovah witnesses and agrees other Bibles with a few exceptions.
At the age of twelve Jesus said he had to be in his fatherís house. In this story Jesus was in the temple courts discussing issues about the law with the teachers. Itís evident that Jesus knew God as his father at the age of twelve. However the need for a second birth is another issue. Did Jesus need to experience a spiritual rebirth since he had not sinned? The answer is no, he was already the Son of God.
Manís spirit died in the garden when Adam and Eve ate from the tree that God instructed them to not eat of. It is also plain to see that they lived several years afterward, but that shows that did not immediately die a physical death. However, the moment they ate from the tree, the spiritual side of their life gave birth to sin and death, which severed their relationship with God. Every man since Adam was born in sin and sin reigned until Christ fulfilled the law. During that time man found the law impossible to obey because of his sinful nature. God gave Moses the law and a system of sacrifices that would cleanse the sin outwardly, but the law also made man conscious of his sin. The blood of goats and bulls made them ceremonially clean and acceptable to God, but man still needed a redeemer. Paul writes,
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 The New World Translation.
It was sin that caused the spirit of man to die and nothing man can do will ever bring the spiritual side of man back to life again. Since God is Spirit and God is life the spiritual side of man has its origin from God. for this reason, man can not be born again through water baptism.
Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit. John 3:5-6 The New World Translation.
According to "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" Jesus was born again when the Holy Spirit descended upon him and from their point of view he was born "from water and spirit." They also believe that at Pentecost 33 C.E., the baptized ones will receive Holy Spirit and be born again as spiritual sons of God. According to The New World Translation, the official Bible of the Jehovah Witnesses, becoming a Son of God is still a decision of God.
However, as many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become Godís children, because they were exercising faith in his name; and they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from manís will, but from God. John 1:12-13 The New World Translation.
Perhaps the Jehovah witnesses need to read their bible more closely.
What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit. John 3:6 The New World Translation.
Even their Bible says that those born of God are not born of manís will but from God. The first step in salvation is to receive Jesus Christ into your life. According to The New World Translation: ĎAs many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become Godís children." What does it mean to receive Jesus Christ? Your body is a vessel of clay made to contain the presence of God and your spirit. Those with the sinful nature have a spirit that wonít allow God to enter and those who are born again are receptive to a spirit of God. To become a child of God requires Jesus Christ to be king in your life. Jesus Christ comes into your life with your personal invitation giving him authority of your life.
When you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, you gave Jesus the authority to rule the realm of your spirit and life, and you not only became a subject of his kingdom but a citizen of Heaven. Inviting Jesus into your life is done through prayer by exercising your faith choosing to believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Those who exercise their faith by receiving Jesus Christ into their life enter into agreement with God. Only those who are born again will make a public declaration saying that Jesus is Lord.
For if you publicly declare that Ďword in your own mouth,í that Jesus is Lord, and exercise faith in your heart that God raised him up from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. Romans 10:9-10 The New World Translation.
Consider this, if you were adopting a child, wouldnít you want some assurance that the adopted children would accept your authority in your household. And wouldnít you want to know beforehand if they would obey you? The same would be true for you to become a naturalized citizen, in a formal ceremony you would swear an oath of allegiance to the country accepting you. In like manner, you accept Jesus Christ in a formal prayer before God by taking an oath of allegiance saying Jesus Is Lord and you will serve him the rest of your life.
In answer Jesus said to him: "If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him. John 14:23 The New World Translation.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. John 3:16 The New World Translation.
Salvation for the Jehovah witnesses is through water baptism when the bible they use tells them that salvation is through a public confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. Godís plan is through Jesus Christ who the only way to salvation. There is no other name and no other way that man can be saved from the coming wrath of God. God appointed his son Jesus Christ as high priest, the Lamb of God who takes the sin of the world away, and the door, the straight gate that leads to eternal life.
Jesus said to him: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 The New World Translation.
Godís plan is simple but it requires recognition that Jesus Christ as the only person through whom God's plan of Salvation works. Human beings can accept the plan or reject it and as far as I can see it doesnít require specific beliefs about the divinity of Jesus Christ to accept Jesus as Lord. The born again experience begins their walk with God, as long as they will allow God in their lives and beliefs.
God wants to know you and developing a personal relationship with God demands your time. Regardless of where Christians are saved they should all make time to read the Bible every day. The serious Christian will take Godís word to heart to know God for it is in knowing God and Jesus Christ the one he sent that you can have everlasting life.
This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. John 17:3 The New World Translation.
I used The New World Translation to show you that the good news can be used to help the witnesses that come to your door by showing them Godís plan. The message is just as clear in the official bible translation of the Jehovah Witnesses as it is in our own, but they are led astray by how the bible is interpreted in their church. They simply donít have the help of the Holy Spirit to guide them in all truth and they cannot discuss the entire bible for lack of understanding. You have the good news but didnít know that you could use their Bible to lead them to Christ. God loves the Jehovah witnesses too and unfortunately Christians slam the door on those God loves.