Has the Watchtower Ever Lied, Covered Up, or Changed Important Doctrines, Dates, and Biblical Interpretations?/Program 3

By: Lorrie MacGregor; ©1989
The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief that all true religion is made up of only two classes of people: first, the people that get to go to heaven; And the “other sheep” do not get to go to heaven, they get to go to Paradise Earth. But what do they have to do to get to Paradise Earth?


Ankerberg: Welcome! During our program tonight, we’re examining portions of a new documentary film on the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, better known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This film is entitled Witnesses of Jehovah and it covers many interesting areas.

Now, tonight, we want to show you excerpts to begin with of this film which deals with the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ belief that all true religion is made up of only two classes of people: first, there is what they call the “144,000.” These are the people that get to go to heaven. And, second, there is the “great crowd,” as they call it, or the “other sheep.” And the “other sheep” do not get to go to heaven, they get to go to Paradise Earth. But what do they have to do to get to Paradise Earth? And that’s what I want you to see. I want you to look at what it is like to be a Jehovah’s Witness and what you must do. Please listen to this excerpt very carefully.

Excerpt from Witnesses of Jehovah

L. Chretien: If you should choose to accept the Watchtower’s current prophecy of Armageddon, whatever that may be, and decide to protect yourself by becoming a Jehovah’s Witness, you will find yourself in a unique “two-class religion.”
Marjorie Chretien: Only the upper class, the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation, are guaranteed a place in heaven, and they are known as “the anointed.” The Watchtower Society teaches that the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses constitute a secondary group referred to as the “other sheep.” They have no heavenly hope, but must remain on earth for all eternity.
Narrator: Once a year, on the anniversary of the Last Supper, Jehovah’s Witnesses and invited persons gather for this communion-like ceremony. Only members of “the anointed” class who are alive today – about 9,000 worldwide – partake of the bread and wine. The millions of “other sheep” will not take communion. The “other sheep” are not in the New Covenant and therefore have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How then do they hope to attain salvation?
Chretien: The Jehovah’s Witness is told he may not look to Jesus alone for everlasting life. As one of the “other sheep,” he must also depend on the Watchtower organization for his passage to Paradise. In turn, the organization says he’s required to earn his salvation, largely by calling door-to-door.
Raymond Franz: It’s strange, but they seem able to teach two different things – opposite things – simultaneously. They agree that the Bible teaches that we are saved by grace, or as they put it, “God’s undeserved kindness” and not by works. And yet the average Witness believes – he hasn’t the slightest doubt – that unless he performs the works that are laid out for him by the Watchtower Society, the witnessing activity, going door-to-door, regular meeting attendance and other things that are brought out, that he will never gain everlasting life.
Narrator: Once in the organization, Witnesses attend five hours of meetings a week. In addition, they are expected to devote many hours a month going door-to-door, selling literature, and gaining converts; striving always to prove themselves worthy of escaping God’s wrath at Armageddon.
Former Witness: Even though we believed that God was love, we were always afraid that He was going to “zap” us, that sometime Armageddon might hit and we might not make it. Even if we didn’t go out for the door-to-door ministry on a weekend but took our family out to the lake or something, and we didn’t go out from door-to-door, we felt guilty all the time.
Narrator: In order to keep a close check on the activities of each member, the organization requires them to turn in a monthly time report if they want to be retained on the rolls as active Jehovah’s Witnesses.
F. M. Gipe: We don’t keep any membership records per se, but the only record we have is those who actually go door-to-door preaching.
Narrator: Today, when the new Jehovah’s Witness is baptized, rather than using the biblical format of baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Witness is baptized “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit-directed organization.”
W.T.S. Rep.: This is a dedication to them that is without any reservation. They are now going to set their entire life aside to do their Creator’s will.
Narrator: Thus baptized, the Jehovah’s Witness is now committed to slave for the organization until the world comes to an end.

Ankerberg: Our guest is Mrs. Lorri MacGregor, who has studied the materials of the Watchtower Society for more than 27 years. Lorri, let me ask you two questions concerning the excerpt we just saw. Is the Jehovah’s Witnesses two-class system of the 144,000 and the “other sheep” really taught in the Bible? And number two, the Watchtower says salvation is by the free gift of God, or because of God’s unmerited favor, but if so, why are works so necessary to receive eternal life?
MacGregor: Okay, I’ll answer the first question about the 144,000. And what I’m going to share with you is a good presentation that you could use if you’re talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses or Jehovah’s Witnesses could look up for themselves. The number 144,000 is contained in two chapters of Revelation: Revelation 7 and Revelation 14. And before I start reading, I say to the Jehovah’s Witness, “Are we going to agree? Is this passage of Scripture literal? Does it mean exactly what it says literally? Or is it figurative or spiritual? Does it say one thing but it typifies something else?” And you can never get a straight answer, and the reason is they’ve made one phrase literal and one phrase figurative.
It says in Revelation 7:4: “I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.” So they believe there is a literal number; but the sons of the tribe of Israel is “them:” they are the Jews; they are the sons of Israel. We go on down the list of the tribes. And here’s the important part, because the people, mostly, that you will meet will be of the “great multitude” or the “great crowd.” Verse 9 says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation, all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne.” [Rev. 7:9] Mark that in your Bible, because the great crowd’s location is before the throne. If you go into verse 11, you see that all the angels were standing around in the same location. Sounds like heaven to me, and not earth.
Then, if you turn over to Revelation 14, we again in verse 1 find the reference to the 144,000 in verse 1. And notice their location in verse 3: “And they sang a new song [where?] before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.” The 144,000 are before the throne, and the great crowd, the earthly hope, are before the throne.
Also, they are promised in Revelation 21 that the tabernacle of God will be with men, and He’ll be with them. [Rev. 21:3] And they’re promised that this is the earth. But actually, if they will look in Revelation 13:6, they will find out that the tabernacle [“residence” – New World Translation] of God is in heaven. So Jehovah’s Witnesses, you’ve been conned. If you don’t have a heavenly hope, you better start thinking about one because you’re not going to be on the earth.
Ankerberg: I noticed that you were reading almost exactly out of the New World Translation, or it agrees with what you are actually saying in reading right there, so the Jehovah’s Witness can look it up in their own translation.
MacGregor: Absolutely.
Ankerberg: Alright. What about this thing of all the things that they have to do, Lorri?
MacGregor: Well, I want Jehovah’s Witnesses to take a few minutes and think about what salvation they have. Okay? You get articles in The Watchtower like this: “Working hard for the reward of eternal life.” I mean, forget about grace and “get to work!” They talk about grace, but out of the other side of their mouth you’ve got to work for it.
Now, supposing you’re a good Jehovah’s Witness and you’re going out into service; you’re doing everything you should do, and two weeks before Armageddon you say, “I’m tired. I don’t feel like it. I’m going to put my feet up, I’m going to watch the television, I’m not going to the meetings.” And Armageddon comes. Are you saved? No! You are totally lost, because you weren’t found working when Armageddon comes, and “Zap! Into the lake of fire with you, burned to a crispy crunch!”
But let’s say you’re a good Jehovah’s Witness. You make it through Armageddon. You’re off in the thousand-year reign of Christ. Are you saved? No! No! Because if you think you were busy before Armageddon, wait till after! I mean, everyone but Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to be destroyed. There is going to be rubble. You have to clean up rubble. Secondly, you have to fulfill God’s command to multiply, and fill the earth. You’ve got to have a baby every nine months or so. Thirdly, all the cults have a problem of what to do with the people that lived before the time of their prophet. So all these people have to come back in a re-creation/resurrection type thing and you’ve got to preach to them and hold Bible studies and place Watchtowers and everything. Well, you know, folks, after 600 years you might say, “I’m tired. I don’t feel like rubble, babies, and publishing anymore!” What will happen to you at that point if you refuse to do it? Zap! Into the lake of fire. Burned.
But let’s say you’re a good Jehovah’s Witness and you carry right through almost to the end of the thousand years doing everything you’re supposed to do. Are you saved? No. No. Because Satan’s going to come back for a little while and they teach that many will fall away. And zap! Into the lake of fire. Burned up. Annihilated.
But let’s say you make it through the testing of Satan, and you’re off into eternity, are you finally saved? No! No! If at any time you disobey the 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses on Mount Zion with Christ, Zap! Into the lake of fire. Annihilated. What hope, Jehovah’s Witnesses, do you have? There isn’t any.
Ankerberg: Okay, let me document one spot they can look up as well, Lorri, and that’s according to The Watchtower magazine, February 15, 1983. They said in order to receive everlasting life, here’s what the “other sheep” have to do: number one is they have to take in knowledge of God from The Watchtower magazine. Number two: they must obey God’s laws; number three: they must become associated with God’s channel, God’s organization on earth, that’s the Watchtower, and they say, “To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise, we must identify that organization and serve God as a part of it.” And then, finally, fourth, they say, “God requires that the prospective subjects of His kingdom support His government by loyally advocating His kingdom rule to others.” In other words, you’ve got to go door-to-door, and then you may receive everlasting life on Paradise Earth.
MacGregor: Yes, John. I’m looking at the November 15, 1981 Watchtower which sums up everything you’ve said. It says, “The Witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation.” Do you notice how Jesus has been cut out? And yet Acts tells us there is salvation in no one else, and “there is no other name given under heaven by which you must be saved.” [Acts 4:12] It is not the Watchtower Society, it is Jesus.
Ankerberg: For the Jehovah’s Witness who says, “I agree with everything you said. That’s exactly what we believe and, you know, that’s grace. That’s God’s gift. At least He made a way. So, we’ve got to work for it. Tough, you know. But we at least have a way. We can make it.” What is the Bible actually saying concerning grace? What is the thing that God really offers that is such good news to everybody that understands it?
MacGregor: Well, the wonderful thing is that we can’t do anything: Jesus has done it all. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no man should boast.” And when they asked Jesus in John 6:28-29, “What must we do to work the works of God?” He said, “This is the work of God; that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” That’s the work of God.
Ankerberg: Alright, right now we’re going to take a look at an excerpt from the film, Witnesses of Jehovah, that talks about the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses concerning Jesus Christ. What do they believe? Please listen very carefully.

Excerpt from Witnesses of Jehovah

Gipe: Our teaching on Jesus Christ is that Jesus is the Son of God. He was the first thing that Jehovah created, and through Him other creative works were done. Now, some religions teach that God and Jesus are one and the same, but the Bible does not teach that and therefore neither do Jehovah’s Witnesses.
W.T.S. Rep.: We believe that the Bible teaches that Jesus carries out a number of functions for Jehovah God, the Most High. For example, in the Hebrew Scriptures He is referred to as Michael. “Michael” literally translated into English means “Who is like God.”
Narrator: Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ is a spirit creature, a “super angel,” the first creation of Jehovah God, who prior to coming to earth as a man, existed in heaven as Michael the archangel. Jesus started out originally as the Logos, or Michael the archangel, who then came to earth as the virgin-born Son of Mary. He was a perfect, sinless man, but He was only a man, devoid of all divinity. Jesus walked the earth as a man, becoming the Christ only when He was baptized. Jehovah’s Witnesses hold the cross in contempt, feeling that it is nothing more than a pagan symbol used by apostate Christendom. Instead, they teach that at the completion of His ministry, Jesus died, not on the cross, but on an upright stake. Christ’s body was then laid in a tomb, where it was disintegrated by God, totally destroyed forever. Jesus was then re-created by the Father. Before going to heaven, He materialized in different bodies on different occasions to convince His disciples and others that He had really been resurrected. Jesus returned to His Father in heaven, where once again, He became Michael the archangel. He will never again be seen on the earth in visible form, but instead, rules invisibly from the heavens. When He executes judgment over the world at Armageddon, He will destroy all but the faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jesus, alias Michael, will always remain invisible to those on earth, and can be seen only by the 144,000 select Jehovah’s Witnesses who rule with Him from heaven.

Ankerberg: Lorri, the Watchtower Society and all Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible teaches that after His death, Jesus was re-created, not resurrected. What does the Bible really say? What’s the evidence?
MacGregor: Okay. The Jehovah’s Witnesses read 1 Peter 3:18 that says Jesus was “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit” and they take this to mean that Jesus lost His body and became a Spirit-creature. But the term, “in the Spirit” in the Bible doesn’t mean this. In fact, interestingly enough, the disciples made the same mistake as the Jehovah’s Witnesses originally here. In Luke 24, it says, when they saw the risen Christ here, “they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit” [Luke 24:28] – Jehovah’s Witness doctrine entirely.
I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as ye see that I have.” So Jesus said, “Look, I’m not a spirit. Here I am in my resurrected body. I have flesh and bone.” And JW’s again misinterpret that to mean flesh and blood. And “flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom” [1 Cor. 15:50] and how could He go?
So I suggest they read 1 Corinthians 15 that says if there’s a physical body, there’s a spiritual body also. There is a resurrection body and Jesus also referred to it in John 2:19-20 where He said, “Destroy this [body] and in three days I will raise it up.” So He was speaking of the temple of His body. And this is so important that we understand the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.” The resurrection is not a “re-creation.” We live because Christ lives and it’s even tied in with our salvation, because Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
Ankerberg: Lorri, for those Jehovah’s Witnesses who have heard enough tonight that they are serving an organization, they are working for the organization, and the Bible, from what you are reading, is giving them hope that that’s not where salvation is at; it’s a free gift from God, would you say a prayer that any Jehovah’s Witness could say with you tonight to start a relationship under grace.
MacGregor: Al right. Let’s just bow our heads together, Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Jehovah God, I feel very confused by the things I have heard and seen on these programs. I’m not absolutely sure who Jesus Christ really is, but I ask that you would just give me the Holy Spirit that the Bible says in John 14 will guide me into all truth. I ask that you show me who the Savior really is, and where I can turn to for salvation. And if I am wrong, forgive me because I did not mean to be wrong. I wish to ask the true Jesus Christ into my life and my heart, and I ask Him to save me. Amen.”
Ankerberg: Thank you, Lorri. If you folks at home, if you prayed that prayer and you meant it, would you write me a letter and we will send you some information of how you can get started right in your relationship with the Lord Jesus. You can find out other things. We want to help. Next week, we’re going to look further at some excerpts concerning what Jehovah’s Witnesses do every day underneath the Watchtower Society. So please join us.


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