FALSE PROPHETS – MARK, AVOID THEM
THE Bible warns the Christian against people whose teachings are contrary to the doctrine of Christ:
“Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).
Many false teachers are abroad in the land today; and God’s Word says, “Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (II Peter 2:2).
One group continually presenting to others the false teachings whereby they themselves have been deceived, is the sect who boldly call themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses” – also known as The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. These people reject practically every fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. All true Christians should do as the Bible says, “Mark them . . . and avoid them.”
This sect denies the deity of Christ, the Trinity of the Godhead and the bodily resurrection of Christ. They deny hell as described in the Bible; and they teach a second chance – after death.
How detrimental are these unscriptural teachings! They are a real menace to the work of evangelical Christianity everywhere. Millions of copies of their falsehoods are distributed worldwide, confusing and deceiving unwary souls.
When Jesus was here on earth He spoke of widespread deceptions and said: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).
Beware of any reading material handed out by these so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their publications, “The Watchtower” and “Awake,” are presented to the man on the street or at the entrance of buildings and factories, and at the door of many homes. If they cannot sell their literature, they will try to give it to you free.
Christ – Eternal and Divine
Like teachers of other false religions – Christian Science, Spiritism, Unity, Theosophy, Mormonism, and Modern Theology – the teachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus is one of the Godhead. They say that when Jesus, the Son of God, was in the flesh He was a “perfect human being – nothing more.”
The Bible warns against such false teachings; and God’s Word declares that Christ is one of the Godhead:
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, . . . and not after Christ.
“For in him [in Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:8, 9).
When Jesus was here on earth “as a man,” He thought it “not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). The Jews even sought to kill Jesus because He was “making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
The Scriptures declare that the Son of God was with the Father before the beginning of the world:
“By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, . . .
“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16, 17).
After all else was created, God the Father said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). It is plain to see that Christ had a part in all creation. He was with the Father from the beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John1:1, 3).
In the fullness of time the Father sent His Son into this world to redeem man from the power of sin.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
False teachers fearlessly label the doctrine of the Trinity as nonsense. But the Bible substantiates the doctrine of the Trinity of the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Word reveals that in essence, all three of the Godhead are one, but they are three persons in individuality, each one having a part in the work of salvation, but all working as one. In John 15:26, we read that Jesus said:
“When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
Note that there are three persons spoken of in this verse of Scripture: Jesus said He would send the Comforter from the Father. The Holy Ghost – the Spirit of Truth – is spoken of as “he,” as a person who “shall testify.”
There is evidence of the Trinity also at the time of Jesus’ baptism:
“Lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16, 17).
It is important that Jesus Christ be honoured as one of the Trinity, one who was with the Father before Creation; and it is also important that the Holy Ghost be revered as a person; as one of the Godhead. Warning is given in Matthew 12:31, concerning “blasphemy” against the Holy Ghost as a sin that shall not be forgiven.
Physical Resurrection of Jesus
Though these false teachers deny that Jesus was physically resurrected, the Bible clearly records His bodily resurrection as a fact.
Jesus told the Jews who asked for a sign: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” He was speaking of the temple of His “body” (John 2: 19, 21).
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and said:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
“And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:39, 40).
The disciples then gave this resurrected Christ some broiled fish, and He ate it before them, letting them know He was not just a “spirit.”
The Apostle Paul speaks of Christ’s resurrection, saying that Christ was “buried,” and that He “rose again the third day” and that He was seen of “above five hundred brethren at once” (I Corinthians 15:4-6).
In the Book of Acts, it is stated that while the disciples beheld Him, Jesus was taken up from them; “and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). After His ascension, Jesus, the resurrected Christ, became our Intercessor before God in Heaven above.
“It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).
These are truths “according to the scriptures.” Why not believe the infallible Word of God rather than man’s notions or spurious teachings?
Hell – Place of Torment
The Bible sets forth the fact that there is everlasting life for the righteous, and everlasting punishment for the wicked, regardless of what any sect may teach.
“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:41, 46).
The Lord spoke of those in hell as being very much alive – conscious, alert and possessing a memory. He told of a rich man who died; and in hell he cried out:
“Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).
This man’s memory was very keen – so keen that he became concerned about his five brothers who were still alive. He did not want them also to suffer torment in the flames of a burning hell. There is a hell, “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44).
Jehovah’s Witnesses also deny the possibility of having a present salvation – of having an assurance now of life eternal. But the Bible says,
“Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).
Christ paid the ransom for our redemption, and through the merits of his sacrifice we can have everlasting life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Today is the day of salvation. There is no second chance – after death. God’s Word makes it very plain that as a man dies, so will he be eternally.
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still” (Revelation 22:11).
If one is ever to be saved, he must experience salvation before death. After death comes “the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
No man can be saved by his own works, as these people infer.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
“Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Through repentance for sin, and through faith in the efficacy of the shed Blood of the divine Son of God, the sinner can be saved – born again of the Spirit and power of God. The born-again person is a new creature in Christ Jesus, a real Bible Christian – regenerated – empowered to live a life of victory above sin.
Jesus said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). And we are told, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (I John 3:9).
Return of Christ
Jehovah’s Witnesses have claimed that “Christ came to the Kingdom in 1914, A. D., unseen by men.” But, as we know, the year 1914 passed unnoticed so far as any spectacular event was concerned. The earth is still waiting for God’s appointed time when Christ shall come back to this earth to set up His Kingdom.
When He comes in His Revelation to rule this world, there will not be a vestige of a doubt in the hearts of the people then living, as to the fact of His return.
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him” (Revelation 1:7).
The coming of Christ in the clouds, riding upon a “white horse” with “ten thousands” of His saints following Him, “to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly . . . of all their ungodly deeds,” will be a truly visible scene and very real to all who are upon the earth (Revelation 19: 11-14 and Jude 14, 15).
Christ, as King of kings, will reign supreme with His saints during the Millennium, a 1000 year period of peace (Revelation 20:6). This is a day greatly anticipated – a time when there will be no more violence, murder and crime.
Reprove with Truth
The Apostle’s charge to Timothy is a charge which all ministers and leaders of Christian evangelism should accept and execute today:
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2).
It is dangerous to tamper with God’s Word to alter, add to or take from it (Revelation 22:18, 19).
The eternal truths found in God’s Book remain ever the same, unchangeable and infallible. Man may reject or remove any one of those truths from that Holy Book but the day is coming when he will be judged thereby.
Take heed: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Found the Truth
A man who had professed religion for many years, was studying the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses, trying to convince himself that there is no hell. But before this man was engulfed in that falsehood, the Lord brought him face to face with God’s eternal truth.
From his home in the city of
“One night I heard a group of Apostolic Faith people on the street corner, holding a service, and singing: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me; let me hide myself in Thee.’ Tears began to flow down my cheeks. I wondered what was wrong with me. It was God’s Spirit talking to me.
“I heard an ex-dope fiend and an ex-drunkard telling that God had delivered them. I decided it was all right for them, but I was a deacon and thought I didn’t need it.
“When I attended a meeting at their church I learned that being a religious man and being born again, are two different things. I heard born-again Christians testify that God had taken them out of their sins, delivered them from bad habits, and given them victory over sin. All I could say was that I was a church member, a Christian Endeavorer, a Sunday school teacher and a deacon trying to convince myself there is no hell. But I had no peace of heart.
“In his message, the preacher spoke of hypocrites, people trying to make others believe they were Christians. There I sat with my Christian Endeavor badge on the lapel of my coat.
“The next week was miserable for me. I tried to drink my misery off, but God’s Spirit continued to strive with me.
“The following Sunday I went to church again with my wife, and another minister got up and preached – on hypocrisy! I don’t know that he saw me, but he pointed down at me and said, ‘You hypocrite!’
“I nudged my wife, and said, ‘You told these people something about me.’ She hadn’t. I left that place with clenched fists, saying I would never pray at their altars.
“But at my work I still could hear those words, ‘You hypocrite.’ Finally, in my misery, I knelt – right in front of my fellow workmen – and called upon the Lord for mercy. God answered my prayer. The heavens opened, and the glory of God filled my soul. I knew I was saved through and through. I jumped to my feet, saying, ‘I’ve got it! I’ve got it!’
“I took the cigars, the old pipe, the chewing tobacco out of my pockets, and threw them on the floor. At home that night I told my wife to burn my cigars. She asked, ‘What are you going to do with Russell’s doctrine – the teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that there is no hell?’ I answered, ‘Put it into the stove with the cigars.’ I no longer feared hell, for I was on my way to Heaven. And by the grace of God I am able to live a Christian life with victory over sin every day, year in and year out.” J. B. C.