For Christians who are familiar what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society literature, and have talked with Jehovah’s Witnesses this question is not that difficult to answer. Not too long ago I was invited to a Christian Apologetics Facebook group by a guy named Edward Andrews, who apparently has written books on Apologetics and various Christian topics. Personally I have never heard of him, but then again who really has heard of me? With that being said I thanked him for the invitation to his room for discussions on Christian Apologetics.
A few days ago I posted a link in that group to one of my YouTube videos called, Best Bible Verse to Share the Gospel and Witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses in 3 Minutes. I have shared this video with others and it has had very good feedback by those who have viewed it. The video explains how to share the gospel of grace in a loving and personal way pointing the Jehovah’s Witnesses to Jesus Christ for salvation alone. I recommend anyone who is reading this to please check it out. CLICK HERE for link. To my surprise the guy who invited me to this group said something extremely bizarre in response to me and the video.
Quote: “Every time some apologist tries to talk about how to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Atheists, or Muslims, I almost know what is coming. What is coming? MISINFORMATION, MISUNDERSTANDING, AND MISREPRESENTATION. Let’s take this video. It sounds good until about 3:50. He says he gives the Jehovah’s Witness three minutes to tell him about salvation. Then he says, “Jehovah’s Witnesses have no idea what this even means.” Then, he says, ‘in their way of thinking, they gotta knock on doors, do all of their Bible studies, in the New World Translation.’ He goes on to say that the Witness hope is ‘to be approved by God and the Watchtower organization on judgment day.’ He says that the Witnesses idea of eternal is based on what they do, efforts, and works. RESPONSE: He has a wrong understanding of witnesses and what they teach and believe. This is because he is listening to people like Ray Comfort and Walter Martin. Maybe he should spend more time talking with the Witnesses instead of looking for a gotcha Scripture.” (Edward Andrews, Christian Publishing House; Facebook Group Called Christian Apologetics: Defending Your Faith Online)
This took me by surprise, even as I write this I am shocked but it was said nonetheless. But he did not stop there, this guy had more to say. He quoted a few Jehovah’s Witnesses sources attempting to prove that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe they have to be associated and loyal to the Watchtower Organization for them to have eternal life, and he said that they did not have to preach door to door handing out the Watchtower literature to receive eternal life. Anyone who studies Counter-Cult Apologetics knows that there are statements at times in what is said by those in Cults that sounds good and even Christian. That does not mean they are or what is being said is accurate. In order to understand what Jehovah’s Witnesses truly believes takes looking at clear references and quotes from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and also speaking with them first hand through many conversations through experience. If this guy was a good apologist he would know this, but it seems his pride has gotten the best of him.
He concluded saying: “You see, what these apologists do is prooftext the Witness literature…This selective picking from Witness literature is exactly what the Christian apologists accuse the Witnesses of in saying that they prooftext, that is, using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis (introducing one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases).” (Edward Andrews, Christian Publishing House; Facebook Group Called Christian Apologetics: Defending Your Faith Online)
In response to what he said I provided many Watchtower Bible and Tract Society quotes and references on what is required for a Jehovah’s Witness to receive eternal life. Here is just a few to examine.
Official Watchtower Bible and Tract Society Quotes: “Jesus Christ identified a first requirement when he said in prayer to his Father: “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) Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ includes knowledge of God’s purposes regarding the earth and of Christ’s role as earth’s new King. Will you take in such knowledge by studying the Bible? Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life.—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Peter 4:3, 4. A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it. The fourth requirement is connected with loyalty. God requires that prospective subjects of his Kingdom support his government by loyally advocating his Kingdom rule to others. Jesus Christ explained: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) Will you meet this requirement by telling others about God’s Kingdom?Perhaps you are well acquainted with these requirements. Yet many persons are ignorant of God’s purposes and of what he requires.” (Watchtower Magazine Feb. 15, 1983, pp. 12-13)
“Bible students need to get acquainted with the organization of the “one flock” Jesus spoke about at John 10:16. They must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation. (Rev. 7:9, 10, 15) Therefore, we should start directing our Bible students to the organization as soon as a Bible study is established.” (Kingdom Ministry, November 1990, p. 1)
“Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God’s new system. There is only one. There was just the one ark that survived the Flood, not a number of boats. And there will be only one organization—God’s visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching “great tribulation.” It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. (Matthew 7:21-23; 24:21) You must be part of Jehovah’s organization, doing God’s will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life.—Psalm 133:1-3.”(You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1982, p. 255)
“We now come to the matter of being loyal to Jehovah’s visible organization. Certainly, we owe loyalty to it, including “the faithful and discreet slave,” through which the Christian congregation is fed spiritually. (Matthew 24:45-47) Suppose that something appears in Watch Tower publications that we do not understand or agree with at the moment. What will we do? Take offense and leave the organization? That is what some did when The Watch Tower, many years ago, applied the new covenant to the Millennium. Others took offense at what The Watchtower once said on the issue of neutrality. If those who stumbled over these matters had been loyal to the organization and to their brothers, they would have waited on Jehovah to clarify these matters, which he did in his due time. Thus, loyalty includes waiting patiently until further understanding is published by the faithful and discreet slave.” (Watchtower March 15, 1996, p. 15-20)
“Jehovah’s visible organization can use you, but can get along without you too. But you cannot get along without it. Fruitless ones are eventually pruned off and never missed as new ones are grafted in. Pruned-off branches soon wither and die, being cut off from the circulating, life-giving sap.” (Watchtower 1950 Jan 15 p.26)
“But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his “faithful and discreet slave”, made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.” (Watchtower 1981 Nov 15 p.27)
“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.” (Watchtower 1967 Oct 1 p.587)
“However, what we see exemplified in God’s woman, his heavenly universal organization, we should look to see in his visible organization. Why? Because his higher, greater universal organization uses it as her earthly instrument. That is why we do see those motherly traits, those traits and acts of a virtuous woman, in the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead and in the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, because these profess to represent and serve God’s woman. We thank God for providing and using them. So we stand up respectfully and bless his faithful organization, his queenly “woman” in heaven which makes all these loving provisions for us as children of God.” (Watchtower 1950 Oct 1 p.348)
“19 In this same text Paul also counseled that we “support the weak.” Perhaps you have observed some who are weak in the preaching work or in attending meetings. You could lovingly talk to such brothers and try to encourage them and, in some cases, make practical arrangements to help them. Or we may find someone who is getting weak in faith, perhaps because of speculating about the future. There are some who are always asking questions that have no Scriptural answers, and, when elders or others in the congregation cannot answer their questions, they begin to doubt the fulfillment of prophecies or even to doubt that Jehovah is using his organization today. How can we help such weak ones? Certainly we can encourage them to recognize the value of the congregation, can we not? See how Jehovah is using his organization today to get the good news preached! This is the work Jesus said must be done, and what other organization is there doing it? (Matt. 24:14;28:19, 20) Jesus also said that there would be a “faithful and discreet slave” class that would supply spiritual food to God’s people, and today Jehovah’s people are the only ones well fed spiritually, because of association with this “slave.” (Matt. 24:45, 46) Through it we have come into close association with Jehovah, his Son and his people on the earth. Where could we turn if we would leave God’s organization today? There is nowhere else! (John 6:66-69) This is the one organization he is using, and, if we ourselves are convinced of this, we should be able to assist others who are weak in faith.” (Watchtower Sept. 1 1975, p. 531)
Anyone who has basic reading skills and some basic Christian Apologetics training can see that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is very clear that a person must be Jehovah’s Witness and a part of their Organization to receive eternal life. It is also clear that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught by the Organization that they must preach door to door, street witnessing, advocate the good news of God’s only channel for people to be saved. You would think that this would have been clear to the guy who accused me of misinformation and misrepresenting what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is required for eternal life. But again he not only missed it but went on to say that he was more informed about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, that what I shared was wrong, and that he could properly instruct me on these things.
His Response: “No JW believes that salvation is dependant upon their obedience to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s witnesses. None. They believe that the Faithful and Discreet Slave (Governing Body) are chosen by God to lead their organization and thus, what they write in their literature is beneficial for their spiritual welfare. If you do not have a grasp of all of the Witness literature; then, you are selectively choosing comments out of context. Don’t blame me for your misinformation…I could literally walk through your video and pick out probably 20 pieces of misinformation. I doubt you have a better knowledge of the Witnesses than myself. Regardless, you are mistaken on your understanding. If you want to know exactly what Jehovah’s Witnesses think, feel, and believe, I am more than happy to inform you.” (Edward Andrews, Christian Publishing House; Facebook Group Called Christian Apologetics: Defending Your Faith Online)
I responded again asking for him to prove what I shared in the Watchtower references and quotes that I was mistaken, misinformed, and to prove his claims. What is bizarre in all of this is that this guy claims to be a Christian apologist who knows more than Walter Martin, Ray Comfort, Robert Bowman, and other well known men and women of God concerning what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. I am not a well known Christian apologist like Walter Martin, Robert Bowman, or Ray Comfort. But I have been a Christian since 1977 and involved with Christian Apologetics since 1991. To God’s glory I have been able to talk with hundreds and hundreds of people in the Cults, whether they are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, and other beliefs. I have witnessed to those in the Cults first hand over the last 28 years and know what they believe, and have seen many come to know Jesus personally.
So what? Why does this matter? This matters because those who serve the Lord in Counter-Cult Apologetics, street witnessing, evangelism, whatever, it is important to have an attitude of grace in how we conduct ourselves among fellow believers and those who are in the Cults. This guy has demonstrated an attitude of superiority above other well known and solid Christian apologists, and sadly does not know what he is talking about when it comes to what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe on what is required to receive eternal life.
Reading some of Edward Andrews views in things he has written he has stated that Jesus is not the Creator but the first to be created by God the Father, and he teaches what is called Soul Sleep doctrine which is a main belief of the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am not seen a statement of faith for what he believes on things like the Trinity Doctrine, Salvation, Deity of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, Jesus’ Return, etc., but it is clear he is not a sound biblical teacher and there are many red flags concerning his teachings and views. This is shared to help others who are involved in apologetics in one way or another. Be careful, be a Berean, and test what you read from anyone on what they believe and their character. You are welcome to share your thoughts on what was shared here, on the YouTube video, and to ask questions.
Berean Perspective Apologetics