In this video, we’re going to demonstrate from Scripture that the Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is wrong to teach that pre-Christian men and women of faith do not have the same salvation hope as spirit-anointed Christians. In preparing for this video, I was stunned to discover the lengths to which the Governing Body has gone to change what the Bible actually says, as far back as the original 1950 edition of the New World Translation. There was so much information, that I felt it best to divide the topic into two videos.
In this first video, I will share the extensive scriptural evidence supporting the understanding that the faithful ones of old prior to and in the old covenant share the same hope of being adopted as children of God, as do we who are in the new covenant.
The proof we’ll provide in this video will overwhelmingly contradict the Organization’s teaching that pre-Christian faithful ones will only get an earthly resurrection as imperfect sinners that need another 1000 years to become righteous and sinless and gain eternal life even after maintaining integrity to God that few of us will ever face.
The Organization ignores all this evidence—sometimes explaining it away in ridiculous ways, which we’ll show you—and focuses all its attention on Matthew 11:11 where Jesus tells us that John the Baptist is less than the least one in God’s Kingdom. In the next video, we’ll show just how this verse’s true meaning has been ignored and how by cherry-picking this verse and ignoring the context, the Governing Body has sought to support its doctrine, which is crucial—as you’ll see if you watch video 2 in this series—to supporting their teaching regarding an earthly resurrection of the other sheep. But what you’ll find even more shocking is the evidence that the translators of the New World Translation actually mistranslated some key verses to support their doctrine, even showing up in their Kingdom Interlinear.
But before getting into a scriptural discussion, let’s talk about the human cost stemming from “going beyond what is written,” or worse, changing what is written in the Bible. (1 Corinthians 4:6) Let me start by relating a revealing, impromptu discussion that took place recently at a Kingdom hall following a Watchtower Study on the resurrection.
A brother who has woken up to the truth about the Organization’s teachings spoke with an elderly couple in his congregation. They had devoted their life to the Organization, serving as special pioneers and eventually in the circuit work. Our awakened brother asked them a question based on a paragraph in that Watchtower study.
Our brother posed this question to the couple: “What is the point of being righteous when the unrighteous will have the same shot at everlasting life as yourself and your wife, who have devoted your whole life to being righteous?”
Bear in mind that this discussion is happening at the Kingdom Hall after the Watchtower Study with many others still present.
The wife said: “I have devoted my whole life, not having children, because Armageddon is around the corner, and you are telling me that the unrighteous people are going to be resurrected without any self-sacrifice, and they’re going to be having their name written in pencil the same as myself and my husband?”
Our awakened brother then read this paragraph from the Watchtower Study article:
“What about those who practiced vile things before they died? Although their sins were canceled at death, they have not established a record of faithfulness. They do not have their names written in the book of life. Hence, the resurrection of “those who practiced vile things” is the same as the resurrection of “the unrighteous” referred to at Acts 24:15. Theirs will be “a resurrection of judgment.” * The unrighteous will be judged in the sense that they will be evaluated. (Luke 22:30) It will take time to determine whether they are judged worthy of having their names written in the book of life. Only if these unrighteous ones reject their former wicked course of life and dedicate themselves to Jehovah can they have their names written in the book of life.” (w22 Sep. Article 39 par. 16)
“That’s BS!” the sister yelled out loud enough for about a quarter of the congregation to hear. Apparently, this was the first time she had ever realized that after a lifetime of faithful service to the Organization, all that her self-sacrifice had bought her was the same opportunity at salvation that the unrighteous and godless have, since both the righteous and unrighteous as defined by the Governing Body have their names in the book of life written in erasable pencil.
This experience shows the human cost of the enormous and far-reaching ramifications of a doctrine born in the 1930s out of the mind of Joseph Franklin Rutherford.
In the September 1, 1930 issue of The Watchtower on page 263, Rutherford—referring to himself in the third person as “the servant”—claimed to be “in direct communication with Jehovah and [acting] as Jehovah’s instrument.” In that same magazine issue, Rutherford also claimed that the holy spirit was no longer being used to reveal truth, but that angels, and anointed Christians whom he believed to have been resurrected in 1918, were conveying messages from God to him. It was under that conviction that Rutherford came up with the idea that only 144,000 would make up the first resurrection. Since then, the Organization has been trying to find ways to support that doctrine. It was that belief that made the creation of a secondary salvation hope necessary—the hope of the other sheep—because there were just too many Jehovah’s Witnesses to account for if only 144,000 were going to be saved.
For years, they claimed that the 144,000 was all but filled by 1935, though they no longer claim that. According to the Proclaimers book on page 243, in 1935 there were over 39,000 partakers. If there were that many after only 70 years of preaching, how many could there be since the time of Christ? You see the problem? Holding to the line that only 144,000 are anointed is hard to defend over the course of 2,000 years considering how many faithful Christians are shown to have lived just in the first century.
But what if they also have to include the previous 4,000 years of history before Christ? Then that doctrine becomes impossible to maintain! So, one of the ramifications of Rutherford’s teaching has been the need to engineer a doctrine that men like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as well as all the prophets, do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Of course, a reasonable person might ask why they don’t just admit that they were wrong about 144,000 being a literal number? That would be a natural thing to do were we speaking of men led by God’s holy spirit. God’s holy spirit will move his servants to correct wrong understandings and will guide them to truth. That the members of the current Governing Body continue to defend the false teachings of Rutherford would seem to indicate that a spirit from a different source is at work here, doesn’t it?
Of course, the number of 144,000 taken from the ranks of Israel as described in the Revelation to John at chapter 7 verses 4 thru 8 is symbolic, which I’ve shown to be true from Scripture in my book (Shutting the Door to the Kingdom of God: How Watch Tower Stole Salvation from Jehovah’s Witnesses) as well as on this channel.
So, now, we’ll stay on topic and look at the scriptural evidence that proves that faithful pre-Christian servants of God have the same hope as anointed Christians, which is really the hope for all Christians.
Let’s start with what Jesus revealed on the subject:
“But he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Get away from me, all you workers of unrighteousness! There is where your weeping and the gnashing of your teeth will be, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown outside. Furthermore, people will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the Kingdom of God. And look! there are those last who will be first, and there are those first who will be last.” (Luke 13:27-30 NWT)
Who are the people who will come from the east, west, north, and south? These would be anointed Christians which history has shown include Gentiles as well as Jews. These Christians will recline at the table in the Kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as all the prophets of old. What more proof do we need to show that faithful people who died before Christ share in the same salvation hope? They all enter the Kingdom of God.
By “Kingdom of God” we are not speaking of Watchtower ’s earthly resurrection hope. Here is what the March 15, 1990 issue of The Watchtower has to say about the meaning of Kingdom of God as expressed in this passage of Luke we’ve just read:
“Many” refers to people who begged to be let in after a door was shut and locked. These were “workers of unrighteousness” who did not qualify to be with “Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God.” The “many” had thought they would be first “in the Kingdom of God,” but they actually would be last, evidently meaning that they would not be in it at all.—Luke 13:18-30.
The context shows that Jesus was dealing with entry into God’s heavenly Kingdom. Jewish leaders back then had long enjoyed a privileged position, with access to God’s Word. They felt that they were spiritually rich and were righteous in God’s sight, in contrast with the common people, whom they held in low esteem. (John 9:24-34) Yet, Jesus said that tax collectors and harlots who accepted his message and repented could have God’s approval.—Compare Matthew 21:23-32; Luke 16:14-31.
Common people who became Jesus’ disciples were in line to be accepted as spiritual sons when the heavenly calling did open up at Pentecost 33 C.E. (Hebrews 10:19, 20) Though vast multitudes heard Jesus, those who accepted him and later gained the heavenly hope were few. (w90 3/15 p. 31 “Questions From Readers”)
You might be scratching your head right now, wondering how the Governing Body can say on the one hand that men like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with all the prophets don’t have the heavenly hope, while on the other hand, admitting that Luke 13:28 refers to the heavenly hope when speaking of the Kingdom of God. If the Kingdom of God is the heavenly hope and “Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets [are] in the Kingdom of God,” then “Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets” have the heavenly hope. How can they get around that? It’s obvious!
This is where eisegetical Bible study makes a mockery of itself and of all those who have naively trusted in the men teaching them “The Truth.”
The foregoing “Questions From Readers” continues with:
“But the little flock of spirit-begotten humans receiving that reward could be compared to Jacob reclining at a table in heaven with Jehovah (the Greater Abraham) and his Son (pictured by Isaac).” (w90 3/15 p. 31)
Hey, boys, you forgot something. You haven’t accounted for all the prophets. And you’ve run out of antitypes. I know, you can make Jacob represent the Governing Body, and then you have room to have all the prophets represent the rest of the anointed. There you go. All fixed.
The lengths to which they will go to protect their teachings. I mean, I’ve heard and seen many examples of twisting scripture, but here they’re twisting it to the breaking point. I wondered to myself why I didn’t notice this piece of stupid, stupid reasoning back when I was a Witness in 1990. Then I remembered that I’d pretty much stopped reading The Watchtower by then except for the study articles, because they were just so boring and repetitive. There was never anything new to learn.
Do you think that the Jews hearing Jesus’ words would have not taken them literally? Of course, they would have. Those Jews had a salvation hope that involved being in the Kingdom of God. They believed the scripture that promised that the forefathers of the nation of Israel would make it into the Kingdom of God as would the faithful prophets. That Kingdom was promised to them for keeping the covenant that God made with them through Moses:
“And Moses went up to the [true] God, and Jehovah began to call to him out of the mountain, saying: “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and to tell the sons of Israel, ‘YOU yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, that I might carry YOU on wings of eagles and bring YOU to myself. And now if YOU will strictly obey my voice and will indeed keep my covenant, then YOU will certainly become my special property out of all [other] peoples, because the whole earth belongs to me. And YOU yourselves will become to me a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the sons of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3-6)
If they kept the covenant, they would have become a holy nation and a Kingdom of priests. Isn’t that what is promised to us in the new covenant that Jesus instituted? So the first covenant promised those keeping it entry into the Kingdom of God to rule as kings and priests. They could have kept that covenant. It wasn’t beyond reach.
“Now this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it beyond your reach. It is not in the heavens, so that you have to say, ‘Who will ascend to the heavens and get it for us, so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Nor is it on the other side of the sea, so that you have to say, ‘Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us, so that we may hear it and observe it?’ For the word is very near you, in your own mouth and in your own heart, so that you may do it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
You might be wondering, “I thought that no one could keep the law of Moses perfectly.” Not true. Granted, no one could keep the law without sinning, without breaking at least one of the ten commandments, but remember that the law included a provision for forgiveness of sin. If you, as an Israelite, were to sin, you could have your sin wiped clean if you followed the other stipulations of the law involving sacrifices for the expiation of sins.
The nation of Israel didn’t do this and so it broke the covenant, but there were many individuals, like Samuel and Daniel who did keep the covenant and so won the prize. Or are we saying that God would not keep his word with individuals because of the sins of others? That could never happen. Jehovah God is just and keeps his word.
Evidence of his purpose to keep his word to faithful servants is seen in the transfiguration account:
“Truly I say to you that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death at all until first they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom.” Six days later Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John along and led them up into a lofty mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone as the sun, and his outer garments became brilliant as the light. And look! there appeared to them Moses and E·liʹjah conversing with him.” (Matthew 16:28-17:3)
Jesus said that they would see him coming in the Kingdom of God, and then before the week was out, they saw the transfiguration, Jesus in his Kingdom dialoging with Moses and Elijah. Can there now be any doubt in your mind that Peter, James, and John understood the truth that those faithful men would be in the Kingdom of God?
Again, all this evidence was there to behold, but we all missed it. This demonstrates the power of indoctrination, which turns off our natural critical thinking processes. We must beware of never falling prey to it again.
If you have any doubt that the first covenant was for the same reward as the new covenant, consider what Paul tells the Romans:
“For I have been praying that I myself might be destroyed from The Messiah, for the sake of my brethren and my kinsman, who are in the flesh, Who are the children of Israel, whose was the adoption of children, the glory, The Covenant, The Written Law, the ministry which is in it, The Promises, …” (Romans 9:4 Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
The adoption as God’s children was promised to the children of Israel, both collectively and individually. The Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed one of God was implicit in that first covenant.
The key elements indicating that the coming of the Christ was implicit in the Mosaic covenant is evident by comparing Deuteronomy 30:12-14 with Romans 10:5-7. Notice how Paul puts meaning into the words Moses spoke:
“It is not in heaven, that you should need to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it for us and proclaim it, that we may obey it?’ And it is not beyond the sea, that you should need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and proclaim it, that we may obey it?’ But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:12-14 BSB)
Now Paul demonstrates the fulfillment of those words. Reading from Romans: “For concerning the righteousness that is by the law, Moses writes: “The man who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) or, ‘Who will descend into the Abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”” (Romans 10:5-7 BSB)
Sea and abyss are sometimes used interchangeably in Scripture since both represent a deep grave.
So, here Moses is telling the Israelites not to worry about the “how” of their salvation, but only to put faith and keep the covenant. God was going to provide the means for their salvation and that means turned out to be Jesus Christ.
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” (Hebrews 10:1)
A shadow has no substance, but it does indicate the coming of something with real substance, Jesus Christ our savior. He is the means by which the reward for keeping the first covenant could be applied to those faithful men and women in pre-Christian times.
We have by no means exhausted our evidence for pre-Christian faithful ones having the reward of entering the Kingdom of God. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 11 refers to the faith of countless pre-Christian servants of God and then concludes with:
“And yet all of these, although they received a favorable witness because of their faith, did not obtain the fulfillment of the promise, because God had foreseen something better for us, so that they might not be made perfect apart from us.” (Hebrews 11:39, 40)
The something “better for us” cannot be referring to a better resurrection or a better salvation hope, because both groups, pre-Christian faithful ones and anointed Christians, are made perfect together: “…that they might not be made perfect apart from us.”
Peter helps us to see what the “something better” refers to:
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who foretold the grace to come to you searched and investigated carefully, trying to determine the time and setting to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they foretold the things now announced by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.” (1 Peter 1:10-12 BSB)
Christians have the fulfillment of the promises. These things were hidden from the prophets, although they earnestly searched into them to get the revelation, but it was not for them to know. The Sacred Secret of this salvation was hidden even from the angels at that time.
Now this is where things start to get interesting. Did you notice the wording from verse 12. Here it is again: the prophets were “trying to determine the time and setting to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing…”
Jesus had not yet been born, so how can it be that the spirit of Christ was in them? This relates to a number of similar objections put forward by Witnesses claiming that the prophets and men and women of old are not among the anointed. They will claim that to be among the anointed, a person has to be “born again,” which means they have to be anointed with holy spirit, and they claim that only came about after Jesus was resurrected. They also claim that to be saved, one has to be baptised in the name of the Christ. They assert that the prophets were not born again, not baptized, nor did they partake of the emblems, the bread and wine, all because they died before these facets of Christianity came into existence. Thus, Witnesses are conditioned to believe that such ones would lose out on the reward offered to Christians.
This is where we have to be very careful not to let our human wisdom color our thinking. Who are we to impose rules on what God can and cannot do? This was the failing of the Sadducees who foolishly thought they could craft a question that Jesus couldn’t answer and so would confound him.
They posed a scenario where a woman was married to seven men, who all died and then she died. “To whom would she belong in the resurrection?” they asked. Jesus answered them and in so doing supplied us with two keys to resolving this quandary raised by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In reply Jesus said to them: “You are mistaken, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God; for in the resurrection neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but they are as angels in heaven. Regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, who said: ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.” On hearing that, the crowds were astounded at his teaching. (Matthew 22:29-33)
The objections which Jehovah’s Witnesses raise to dismiss the idea that the prophets also gain the Kingdom of God indicate that, like those Sadducees, they do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God.
So, the first key to understanding how all this is possible is to recognize that we are not dealing with the limitations of men, but with the power of God. When we read something in Scripture, we should not question it simply because we can’t figure out how it works. We should just accept it as fact and hope that in time the spirit will answer all our questions.
The second key to understanding how the prophets can be born again, be anointed, and have the spirit of Christ, lies in what Jesus says about the resurrection of the dead. To repeat it, he said:
“Regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, who said: ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.”” (Matthew 22:31, 32)
Jesus speaks in the present tense, meaning that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are alive in God’s eyes.
If they are alive to God, then He can anoint them with holy spirit. If they are alive to him, he can adopt them as children and so they can be born again, or “born from above” which is what the Greek word really means.
Jehovah God is eternal. He doesn’t live within the stream of time. He doesn’t live from moment to moment as we do. The limitations of time are nothing to him. To him, those men are alive and can be born again and adopted as his children, with the benefits of inheritance that such an adoption carries.
The benefits of Jesus’ ransom, though paid long after men like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob died, can still be applied because God is not limited by time as we are. That is the power of God. So, when the scriptures tell us that pre-Christian Israelites had the hope of “the adoption of sons” (Romans 9:4) we accept it as fact. When the Scriptures tell us that they had “the spirit of Christ” (1 Peter 1:11) we accept it as fact, even though our minds, limited by the constraints of time, cannot understand how that can work.
Well, you’ve seen the proof that faithful men and women of pre-Christian times are going to enter the Kingdom of God along with faithful Christians. It’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Yet, accepting that truth undermines the false belief that only 144,000 get into the Kingdom of God, and that undermines the whole premise for the Other Sheep teaching that creates a secondary, lesser resurrection hope.
How does the Organization get around that? Cherry-picking verses is not enough. It won’t cut it. They’ve had to resort to some more drastic measures. Let’s start with 1 Peter 1:11 that we just read. Every Bible on Biblehub.com renders that verse as “spirit of Christ,” or “Christ’s Spirit,” or “spirit of the Messiah.” The interlinear, and I’m talking the Kingdom Interlinear now, the Organization’s own publication, renders the Greek as the “spirit of Christ.” So, how does the New World Translation stand out from the rest and get around this very inconvenient verse that undermines JW doctrine? They do it by changing what is written.
“They kept on investigating what particular season or what kind of season the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ…” (1 Peter 1:11a NWT 1950)
That completely changes the sense of the verse, doesn’t it? And it is not supported by the original Greek. You’ll notice I’m taking this reference from the original 1950 version of the New World Translation, because I want to show you where this deception originated. This rewriting of the Bible does not stop with this verse in 1 Peter. It gets much worse as we will see in our next video when we examine the Organization’s sole verse for denying faithful pre-Christian servants entry into God’s Kingdom.
But one last thought before we close. Jehovah made a covenant with the Israelites in which He promised them that if they kept His covenant, He would reward them by making them “a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation” as shown in Exodus 19:6. By denying all pre-Christian servants entry into the Kingdom of God as kings and priests, the Governing Body is effectively blaspheming God. They are stating that Jehovah is not a God of His word, that He does not keep His promises, and that in making the covenant, He was negotiating in bad faith.
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