Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Any Church or organization claiming to speak for Him must witness to the truth. The Holy Spirit must guide it and protect it from error (Cf. John 14:26). She CANNOT err since the gates of hell shall not prevail (Cf. Matthew 16:18) against the Church which is "pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). This is the reason why you must come into the light (Cf. 1 John 1:7), allowing the truth to set you free (Cf. John 8:32) from the Watchtower's errors and lies.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to think about coming into the light of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ:
1. The New World Translation (NWT) is a fatally flawed translation:
i) In the NWT, every time the Greek word "proskuneo" is used in reference to God, it is translated as 'worship' (Rev. 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4, Jn 4:20, etc.). Every time "proskuneo" is used in reference to Jesus, it is translated as "obeisance" (Mt 14:33, 28:9, 28:17, Lk 24:52, Heb 1:6, etc.), even though it is the same word in the Greek. If the NWT was consistent in translating "proskuneo" as "worship", how would the verses above referring to Christ read?
ii) The NWT translates the Greek word 'kyrios' as 'Jehovah' more than 25 times in the New Testament (Mt 3:3, Luke 2:9, Jn 1:23, Acts 21:14, Rom 12:19, Col 1:10, 1 Thess 5:2, 1 Pet 1:25, Rev 4:8, etc.). Why is the word 'Jehovah' translated when it does not appear in the Greek text? Why is the NWT not consistent in translating kyrios as 'Jehovah' in Rom 10:9, 1 Cor 12:3, Phil 2:11, 2 Thes 2:1, and Rev 22:21)?
iii) The Watchtower Society teaches that the 144,000 of Rev 7:4 is to be taken literally. If chapter 7 of Revelation is to be taken literally, where then does the Bible say that the 144,000 will come from? (See Rev 7:5-8)
iv) The NWT translates the Greek word 'esti' as 'is' in almost every instance in the New Testament (Mt 26:18, 38, Mk 14:44, Lk 22:38, etc.). Why does the NWT translate this Greek word as 'means' in Mt 26:26-28, Mk 14:22-24, and Lk 22:19? Why the inconsistency in the translation of the word 'esti'? If the NWT was consistent and translated the Greek word 'esti' as 'is' in these verses, what would these verses say?
v) In Jn 20:28, Thomas refers to Jesus in Greek as 'Ho kryios moy kai ho theos moy.' This transliterates as "the Lord of me, and THE GOD of me." Why does Jesus, in Jn 20:29, affirm Thomas for having come to this realization? If Jesus really wasn't the Lord and THE GOD of Thomas, why didn't Jesus correct him for making either a false assumption or a blasphemous statement?
vi) The Bible says that only God is our Saviour (Hos 13:4, Isa 43:11, 45:21, etc.) How can it be then, that the Bible repeatedly says that Jesus Christ is our Saviour (Lk 2:11, Phil 3:20, Tit 2:13, 3:6, 2 Pet 1:1, 2:20. 3:18).
vii) The Watchtower Society teaches that the earth will never be destroyed or depopulated. How can it be, then, that God says in Isa 51:6, " the earth itself will wear out, and its inhabitants will die like a mere gnat ", and that Jesus says in Mt 24:35, "Heaven and earth will pass away ", and that john says in Rev 21:1 that he saw "a new heaven and a NEW earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more."? Golden Age, Jan. 5 1929, Page 502
2. And while the Catholic Church has NEVER contradicted Herself in Her doctrines, the same cannot be said about the Watchtower Society which disqualifies it as being the 'True Religion'. Check out these doozies which the Watchtower Society once taught:
i) Against vaccinations? - Golden Age, Feb 4, 1931, pg. 293 Golden Age, Jan 5, 1929, pg. 502
ii) Against organ transplants? - Watchtower, 11/15/67, pg. 702
iii) That it was okay to celebrate Christmas and birthdays? (see below)
iv) That Christ is the almighty of Rev 1:8? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg. 15
v) That Christ established a "Church"? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg 17
vi) That Christ returned invisibly in 1874? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg. 54, 60, 68
vii) That the Holy Spirit has a personality? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg 57
viii) That the pyramid of Gizah was God's witness and was used to predict the year of Armageddon? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg. 60
ix) That Armageddon would definitely occur in the spring of 1918? - The Finished Mystery 1917, pg 62
x) That Christ was crucified? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg. 68
xi) That Leviathan of the Bible refers to the steam locomotive? - The Finished Mystery, 1917, pg 85
xii) That Michael is the Pope of Rome and his angels are the Catholic bishops? - TheFinished Mystery, 1917, pg 188
3. The Founder's Frauds:
i) The Jehovah's Witnesses (a.k.a. the "Russelites", "Millenial Dawn People", "Stand-Fasters", "Bible Students") were founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1874 because, among other reasons, he could not reconcile the mercy of God with eternal punishment.
ii) The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (the organization run by the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses) claims that it is the sole channel of information between God and humanity. How, then, can this organization which claims to be "God's organization" contradict itself so much over its infamous history? In addition to the above references, the Watchtower once taught that Jesus had invisibly returned to earth in 1874 to set up his kingdom, and that in 1914, at the end of the "Gentile Times", Jesus would come to judge the earth and annihilate the wicked. When nothing supernatural happened in 1914, the Watchtower Society started transferring all of the doctrines about 1874 to 1914. They explained that Christ's kingdom had been set up invisibly in 1914, and that although secular governments were still in place, their rule was no longer valid. Based on the Society's writings, Jehovah's Witnesses looked forward to momentous events in the year 1918. When nothing supernatural happened in 1918, the Watchtower Society looked forward to momentous events in 1925. When nothing supernatural happened in 1925, the Watchtower Society lost three quarters of its members.
iii) Pastor Russell's wife divorced him in 1897 on the grounds of infidelity and cruelty. The Court declared that "his course of conduct towards his wife evidences such insistent egotism and extravagant self-praise that it would be manifest to the jury that it would necessarily render the life of any sensitive Christian woman an intolerable burden."
iv) He was also charged with defrauding credulous farmers by selling them 'miracle wheat' - the only variety that would grow in the farms of heaven! (It cost $60/bushel). He was ordered by the court to refund the farmers.
4. Some other goodies:
i) "Moral insanity, sexual perversions, repression, inferiority complexes, petty crimes - these often follow in the wake of blood transfusion." (Watchtower, Sep. 1 1961, Page 564)
ii) "The indisputable facts, therefore, show that the "time of the end" began in 1799; that the Lord's second presence began in 1874." (Watchtower, Mar. 1 1922) Witnesses tend to forget that the current "1914" doctrine was vastly different even in the 1920's. The absolute assurance of the writer of this article is quite interesting, don't you think?
iii) "Even though Christmas is not the real anniversary of our Lord's birth, but more properly the annunciation day or the date of his human begetting (Luke 1:28), nevertheless, since the celebration of our Lord's birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction, but merely a tribute of respect to him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate - Christmas day." (WatchTower, Dec. 1 1904, Page 364)
iv) "Thinking people would rather have smallpox than vaccination, because the latter sows seeds of syphilis, cancers, eczema, erysipelas, scrofula, consumption, even leprosy and many other loathsome affections. Hence the practice of vaccinations is a crime, an outrage, and a delusion". (Golden Age, Jan. 5 1929, Page 502)
5. Origins of the bible (Exerpt from a debate):
Christ died in 33 A.D. The New Testament Scriptures were written over the next 50-60 years, with the first of the NT books being written in 45 A.D. So what did the early Christians rely on for an 'ultimate authority' on what Christ taught during this time? The answer to that, of course, is the Apostles, who, not only wrote, but also spoke (Cf. 1 John 3:2), and their oral word was just as binding as their written word (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:15). Individual churches in Corinth, Ephesus, or Rome might have the letters addressed to them by St. Paul, for instance, but they would hardly have all of the New Testament Scriptures. Now, why would I make the unjustified PRESUMPTION that ALL of the Apostle's teachings were committed to writing?
Which brings me to the next point: after the Scriptures were completed, there was no definite agreement on what constituted an authentic Apostolic letter because there were many spurious fabrications claiming to be Apostolic (i.e. the Gospel of James, the Gospel of Thomas, the Acts of Pilate, Acts of Paul and Thecla and 50 other 'Acts' as well as a small number of Epistles and Apocalypses.) There were also the Apocrypha or contested books which were considered by many to be inspired and apostolic as much as the current canon. These included the 'Shepherd' of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache, the Gospel According to the Hebrews, St. Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans, and the Epistle of St. Clement. AND NOT ONLY THAT!!! There were a number of books which were not originally widely received as 'authentic' until the Church finally decided the question , including the Epistle of St. James, Epistle of St. Jude, 2nd Epistle of St. Peter, 2nd and 3rd of St. John, Hebrews, and Revelation.
So what about these 'apocrypha' books and originally contested books? Who is going to decide what is 'apocrypha' and what is 'canonical'? I then discover that the NT canon , which excluded these 'apocrypha' books, was not even determined until the end of the fourth century at the Councils of Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397A.D.). So I ask myself: on what authority did the early Christians rely to communicate the Gospel message (or for that matter, to determine what was canonical in the first place) AFTER the original Apostles had died? And, not only that, if the successors of the Apostles, the bishops, did not have the authority to decide the question of canonicity, then why was their decision accepted i.e. to exclude the apocrypha books and accept the more controversial ones? And if they were not the ones to have the authority to make this decision, then WHO was? And if there was another group, how come there is no historical evidence of them? And why, may I ask, do Protestants consider the NT canon 'infallible' when an allegedly 'fallible' body of bishops determined its collection? So, you can clearly see, professor, the idea of the 'bible' as the sole rule of faith or sole source of truth is not only rather absurd as a doctrine, it was an IMPOSSIBILITY before the fifth century.
6. The Early Church Fathers:
"Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier Our Apostles know through Our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry." (Pope St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians 42:4-5, 44:1-3 [80 A.D.])
"Be subject to the bishop and to one another, as Jesus Christ was subject to the Father, and the Apostles were subject to Christ and to the Father; so that there may be unity in both body and spirit" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians, A.D.110, [13,1])
"Those, indeed, who belong to God and to Jesus Christ - they are with the bishop Do not err, my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic; he will not inherit the kingdom of God." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Philadelphians, A.D. 110, [3,2])
"You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church " (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, A.D. 110, [8,1])
"Let us be careful, then, if we should be submissive to God, not to oppose the bishop." (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, A.D. 180, [5,3])
"And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the Apostles, and their successors to our own times: men who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about." (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, A.D. 180, [3,3,1])
"The blessed Apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the Church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the Epistle to Timothy. To him succeeded Anencletus; and after him, in the third place from the Apostles, Clement was chosen from the episcopate. He had seen the blessed Apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that He still heard the echoes of the preaching of the Apostles, and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the Apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded; and Alexander succeeded Evaristus. Then, sixth after the Apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telesphorus, who also was gloriously martyred. Then Hyginus; after him, Pius; and after him, Anicetus. Soter succeeded Anicetus, and now, in the twelfth place after the Apostles, the lot of the episcopate has fallen to Eleutherus. In this order, and by the teaching of the Apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us." (St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, A.D. 180, [3,3,3])
"After the death of the tyrant, the [Apostle John] came back again to Ephesus from the Island of Patmos; and, upon being invited, he went even to the neighbouring cities of the pagans, here to appoint bishops, there to set in order whole Churches, and there to ordain to the clerical state such as were designated by the Spirit" (St. Clement of Alexandria, Who is the rich man that is saved?, 190 A.D. [42,2]).
"Moreover, if there be any [heresies] bold enough to plant themselves in the midst of the apostolic age, so that they might seem to have been handed down by the Apostles because they were from the time of the Apostles, we can say to them: let them show the origins of their Churches, let them unroll the order of their bishops, running down in succession from the beginning, so that their first bishop shall have for author and predecessor some of one of the Apostles or of the apostolic men who continued steadfast with the Apostles. For this is the way in which the apostolic Churches transmit their lists: like the Church of the Smyrnaeans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John; like the Church of the Romans where Clement was ordained by Peter. In just the same way the other Churches display those whom they have as sprouts from the apostolic seed, having been established in the episcopate by the Apostles" (Tertullian, The Demurrer Against the Heretics, A.D. 200, [32,1]).
"From what has been said, then, it seems clear to me that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one .We say, therefore, that in substance, in concept, in origin, and in eminence, the ancient and Catholic Church is alone." (St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7:17:107:3-5, [207 A.D.])
"Our Lord, whose commands we ought to fear and observe, says in the Gospel, by way of assigning the Episcopal dignity and settling the plan of His Church From that time the ordination of bishops and the plan of the Church flows on through the changes of the times and successions; for the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers " (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter without heading, of Cyprian to the Lapsed, A.D. 250, [33,27,1]).
"They alone have remained outside [the Church] who, were they within, would have to be ejected There [in John 6:68-69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest, the flock clinging to their shepherd in the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishops, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priest of God, believing that they are secretly in communion with certain individuals. The Church, which is one and Catholic is not split or divided, but is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere to one another." (St. Cyprian of Cathage, Letters 66(67):8, [254 A.D.])
"And if you ever are visiting in cities, do not inquire simply where the house of the Lord is - for the others, sects of impious, attempt to call their dens 'houses of the Lord' - nor ask merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church, for this is the name peculiar to this holy Church, the Mother of us all, which is the Spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Cathechetical Lectures 18:26, [350 A.D.])
"We believe in the holy Church, that is, the Catholic Church, for heretics and schismatics call their own congregations churches. But heretics violate the faith itself by a false opinion about God; schismatics, however, withdraw from fraternal love by hostile separations, although they believe the same things we do. Consequently, neither heretics nor schismatics belong to the Catholic Church; not heretics, because the Church loves God, and not schismatics, because the Church loves neighbour." (St. Augustine, Faith and Creed 10:21, [393 A.D.])
"If you should find someone who does not yet believe in the gospel, what would you [Mani] answer him when he says, 'I do not believe?' Indeed, I would not believe in the gospels myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so." (St. Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani called 'The Foundation' 4:5, [397 A.D.])
"What then will a Catholic Christian do if a small portion of the Church has cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What, surely, but prefer the soundness of the whole body do the unsoundness of a pestilent and corrupt memebers?" (Vincent of Lerins, Notebooks 3:5, [434 A.D.])
"Certainly, it is now the bishops who hold their [apostles] place in the Church. They receive the authority of binding and loosing, who have as their lot a degree of governing. It is a magnificent honour, but that honour carries with it a heavy burden." (Pope Gregory I, Homilies on the Gospels, 2:26:4, [590 A.D.])
The Catholic Legate
January 1, 2002