A MESSAGE FOR ‘JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SECT DENIES "RANSOM FOR ALL"
IT is not our general practice to single out one sect more than another in examining their errors and denials of certain Bible teachings; but we have had so many inquiries regarding the present teachings of the "Jehovah’s Witnesses’ sect in respect to the "ransom for all,’ that we believe it would be profitable for our readers if we examine briefly here the "J.W.’s" teachings on this important subject.
The "J.W.’s" teach that Jesus gave Himself as a ransom price only "for believing mankind,’ Afor obedient men,’" for obedient believing ones on earth,’ and not for Adam and all his posterity. By their teaching, e.g., in their Feb. 1, 1954 Watch Tower, the "J.W.’s" leaders made void and add to God’s Word in 1Ti 2:6 by translating it Awho gave himself a corresponding ransom for all kinds of people.’ Even those who do not know Greek can see from Wilson’s Emphatic diaglott or Berry’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament that there are no corresponding words in the Greek text for the words Akinds of people.’ Among many translations, we find these three added words only in a footnote in the "J.W.’s" own New World translation.
Thus the "J.W.’s" leaders deny the "ransom [anti-lutron, a corresponding price] for all’( 1 Tim 2: 5, 6; 4:10; 2Co 5:14, 15; Heb 2:9), and make it instead a ransom for only some. AThe man Christ Jesus,’ a perfect man, was the anti-lutron, the corresponding price, for the perfect man Adam, who by his wilful sin forfeited life for himself and his as yet ungenerated race. Thus if Jesus as a perfect human being is pictured as being placed on one side of a balance scales, He will be found to be an exact equivalent of the perfect man Adam placed on the other side of the scales. God’s law of justice demands an exact equivalent (Ex 21:23-25; Lev, 24:20; De 19:21; Pr 11:1). None of Adam’s fallen race, already legally dead, could Aby any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him’( Ps 49:7). But Athe man Christ Jesus’ is an anti-lutron, an exact corresponding price for Adam, and not merely for Aobedient men.’
The "J.W.’s" leaders fail to distinguish between universal salvation from Adamic condemnation for Adam and all his race (for whom Jesus died, and who therefore must all receive benefit from the ransom price paid for them), which is taught in the Scriptures (e.g., 1Ti 2:4; 4:10; Ro 5:18; 2Co 5:14, 15; Heb 2:9), and universal salvation unto eternal life, which is nowhere taught in the Scriptures. Thus there is salvation and deliverance from the Adamic curse promised for all, even for the antediluvians (except the Nephilim), for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Eze 16:46-61; Mt 10:14, 15; 11:23, 24; Lu 10:10-12) and for all other humans, for whom Christ died—’He died for all’( 2Co 5:14, 15); and through Him as Abraham’s seed Ashall all families of the earth be blessed’( Ge 12:3; 22:18; Ga 3:7-9, 16, 29).
In their Feb. 1, 1954 Watch Tower, p. 85 the "J.W.’s" leaders wrote of the Autter impossibility of ransom for unbelievers or those wilfully wicked, because Sodom and Gomorrah were irrevocably condemned and destroyed, beyond any possible recovery’—and this in the face of definite Scriptures to the contrary! Of course, if anyone after being placed on trial for life, by being saved from the Adamic condemnation and coming to a knowledge of the Truth, sins wilfully, either in this Age or in the next, the Scriptures hold out no hope for eternal life for him (Heb 6:4-6; 10:26-31); but all of Adam’s race will have one full and complete opportunity to gain everlasting life. The ransom is only Afrom the power of the grave’( Ho 13:14, and the Scriptures nowhere teach Aa ransom to everlasting life,’ as the Feb. 1954 Watch Tower (page 84, last line) taught.
CHANGEABLENESS OF BASIC ‘J.W.’ TEACHINGS
From time to time the leaders of the "J.W.’s" in their spiritual blindness make many changes in doctrine, including basic teachings. This results in their contradicting many of their own former teachings. What they taught and practiced yesterday may not be what they teach and practice today; sometimes it is the very opposite. (Thus they manifest that they are not safe guides to follow.) To note just one case: While in 1954, as already mentioned, they taught the Autter impossibility of ransom for unbelievers or those wilfully wicked, because Sodom and Gomorrah were irrevocably condemned and destroyed, beyond any possible recovery,’ they have since greatly changed their view on this and now teach the very opposite as respects the unbelievers of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In their Mar. 1 and Aug. 1, 1965 Watch Towers, the "J.W.’s" leaders make it appear as though they are giving new light, or advancing truth, on the subject (though it is really what The Divine Plan of the Ages book has taught on it from the Scriptures for many years). They at last admit that in view of the testimonies of Mt 10:14, 15; 11:23, 24; Lu 10:10-12 and Eze 16:46-61, there is hope for the people of these wicked cities, Athat Sodom, bad as it was, had not got to the state of being unable to repent.’ Thus under the force of these Scriptures, as expounded in The Divine Plan of the Ages, which we and others have for many years repeatedly called to these leaders’ attention as opposing their errors on this subject, they now have been more or less forced to admit that "the spiritual recovery of the dead people of Sodom is not hopeless.’ We are glad to see that they have come into harmony with the teachings of the Scriptures as set forth in The Divine Plan of the Ages, on this point, which Scriptural teachings they formerly rejected.
We are sorry to see, however, that the "J.W.’s" leaders still teach their adherents other outstanding errors against the Aransom for all, to be testified in due time’ (1Ti 2:3-6). In this passage God pledges that because of Jesus’ ransom-sacrifice He will have every individual (Heb 2:9) of Adam’s race to be saved from the Adamic condemnation and brought to an exact knowledge of the Truth. In other words, each one will have one full and complete opportunity for salvation, either in this life or in the next. In their March 15, 1965 Watch Tower these leaders refer to 1Ti 2:5, 6 and then proceed in effect to deny it, by claiming that there is no hope of a resurrection for any of the following:
RESURRECTION DENIED FOR ALL THESE
(1) For Adam, because his sin was wilful.
(2) For Eve, who, though deceived, Ashared with him in this wilful transgression.’
(3) For Cain, of whom they state: ‘God justly withholds the benefits of Christ’s ransom sacrifice from Cain because Jehovah God directly warned Cain and yet he wickedly assassinated his godly brother Abel. For Cain as well as for his parents Adam and Eve we reasonably expect no resurrection from the dead.’
(4) For all of Adam’s race—’the men, the women, the children and babies’—who were drowned in Noah’s Flood. Of these, by a misapplication of 2Pe 3:6, 7, the "J.W.’s" leaders conclude: ‘Apparently there is no hope of a resurrection for those dying in that executional flood.’ (Of course, for the Nephilim—the hybrids produced by materialized angels mating with women. Ge 6:2—there is no hope of a resurrection; but there is such a hope for all who were fathered either directly or indirectly by Adam.)
(5) For the scribes and Pharisees in general who lived in Jesus’ day, whom He strongly condemned in Matt. 23. In this connection we should keep in mind that Jesus showed a possibility, however slim, of Aescape’ for these from Athe judgment of Gehenna’( v. 33), when in the Millennial Kingdom reign, the world’s Judgment Day, their trial for life would come (Lu 13:28; Ac 17:31); He allowed that they were only half as bad as some of their proselytes (v. 15). Yet in the face of this, and ignoring the fact that the unrepentant scribes and Pharisees were not Spirit-begotten, not New Creatures, and therefore not yet on trial for eternal life, the "J.W.’s" leaders declare (Feb. 15, 1965 Watch Tower): ‘They were ‘blind guides,’ and the religiously blinded Jews and proselytes who followed these hypocritical blind guides in such a course ended up with them in Gehenna. Both guides and guided ones>shall fall into the pit,’ said Jesus in Mt 15:12-14. They go into>second death,’ and Christ’s sacrifice does not procure for them a resurrection from the dead." Thus the "J.W.’s" leaders confuse a ditch or pit of error and unbelief, from which recovery is possible, with Gehenna, the Second Death, eternal annihilation.
(6) For Spirit-begotten Christians, New Creatures, who oppose the "J.W.’s" teachings. By misapplying Mt 24:48-51 to a class, instead of to an individual who followed that ’faithful and wise servant’( Mt 24:45-47; Lu 12:42-44), the "J.W.’s" leaders (see their Mar. 1 and 15, 1965 Watch Towers) dub these ‘the ‘evil slave’ class’ and deny them any hope of a resurrection.
(7) For the great majority of people living today—those of them who do not join the "J.W.’s" leaders derive this thought from a misapplication of the parable of the sheep and goats (Mt 25:31-46). They follow Judge Rutherford’s erroneous teaching that it applies in the end of the Gospel Age, whereas (as is correctly taught in The Divine Plan of the Ages) it clearly applies to the Millennial Age, after our Lord Jesus is present in His Second Advent in His glory, after the entire Little Flock is with Him—Aall the holy angels [messengers] with him’ (Mt 25:31; Col 3:4; Ro 8:17; 2Ti 2:11, 12), after He with them shall sit upon the Millennial Mediatorial Athrone of his glory’ (Re 3:21; Matt. 19:28; Lu 22:30) and after the Ancient Worthies have been resurrected and have established the earthly phase of the Kingdom. Then, during the world’s Thousand-year Judgment Day, He shall separate between the ‘sheep’ and the ‘goats.’
The "J.W.’s" leaders include in their ‘goat’ class the ‘clergy’ in general, the governmental heads, and the millions of mankind living today who do not affiliate themselves with their ‘sheep’ class, the "J.W.’s"; and they even go so far as to declare in their Mar. 15, 1965 Watch Tower, p. 176, that ‘the undedicated children of goatish people will not be spared from execution and being sentenced to Gehenna just because they are themselves minor, unresponsible children.’ They add the following dictum: ‘Such>goats’ who get executed at the destruction of Babylon the Great or in the battle of Armageddon will not go into>everlasting life’ in any form. ... Being destroyed as by fire, they will have no resurrection.’
In their Feb. 15, 1966 Watch Tower, the "J.W.’s" leaders present the above and other errors afresh, and they boast of these teachings as advancing truth; they boast also of their large numbers as a mark of Jehovah’s favor (though they haven’t yet caught up to the greater numbers of which the Roman Catholics boast). While we commend them for the Scripturally supported truths that they present, we decry their many errors, some of which are against the cardinal doctrines of God’s Word. For a further explanation of their teachings we refer any reader to our 36-page 10c booklet, ‘The Teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Examined in the Light of the Scriptures’ (a copy free on request). And our prayer for our readers is ‘that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God’( 1Co 2:5).