As with other Watchtower publications mention is made of a future paradise earth. “What the Bible says about the future of the earth and mankind might be summed up in one word -Paradise!” (Pg.8.) Also. “The Bible…. It informs us that God placed the first human pair, Adam and Eve, in a paradise called the garden of Eden.” (Pg.72).The fact is that the Bible never mentions either Eden or a future recreated earth as Paradise.
Jehovah’s Witnesses often remark that the word “Trinity” is nowhere in the Bible to disprove the doctrine of the Trinity (see page 31 of Knowledge,) but fail to realise that many of their own words such as “theocratic” and “paradise earth” do not appear in Scripture. Such is the case with “Paradise Earth”. To connect Eden with Paradise is foolishness since the word only appears three times in the Bible, each time in the New Testament. Before we look at the misquote of Luke 23:43 on page 8 let us find out what the Bible really says about Paradise.
In Revelation 2:7 Jesus says, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Because Jesus makes mention of the tree of life does not automatically place paradise in Eden on a future earth as we shall see. Although God put the tree in Eden, it is evident that since Eden no longer exists that the tree was removed. If it is not on earth then it can only be in Heaven – where it originated! How do we know that Paradise is the same place as Heaven? Simple, the Bible tells us so.
Read what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:2 “1 knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth;) such an one was caught up to the third Heaven. ” We readily see that Paul was caught “up” into Heaven. He adds in verse four “How that he was caught up into paradise…”. To hide this fact, that Heaven and Paradise are one and the same place and are “up”, the New World Translation mistranslates these verses. It adds “caught away as such to the third Heaven” (12:2) and “caught away into Paradise” (12:4). In doing so it removes the fact that Paradise is Heaven. Of the forty translations of the Bible I have, only the NWT translates the Greek word “HARPAZO” as “caught away”. While the meaning of the word can mean “caught away” it does not fit the context of these verses. Besides this, since Eden was not on earth, Paul must have been caught up into Heaven.
As Heaven and Paradise are one and the same place where do we think Jesus was referring to when he said to the thief on the cross, “Verily l say to thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)? Regardless of the fact that the NWT mistranslates these words as “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” we have seen that the place called Paradise is up in Heaven. Therefore, the man was going up into Heaven with Jesus. The “Knowledge” book on page 8 reads “The mention of Paradise no doubt brought to that man’s mind the happy state of our first parents, Adam and Eve”. This is false since his thoughts were clearly upon Christ’s Kingdom. “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
Page 9 of “Knowledge” makes a remarkable statement “They and their offspring were to extend the borders of Paradise until the entire planet became a place of beauty and delight” and it tries to back this up with Genesis 1:28. This verse does not even suggest that Adam and Eve were to extend the borders of Eden and why should they?
Has the Watchtower Organisation forgotten to read Genesis 1:31? The Bible says “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
To infer that Adam was to “extend” what God created is to believe that he had some divine qualities and that all that God created was not very good. Maybe due to the weakness of the argument the book uses Isaiah 55:10-11 as a proof text on page 9. If we read the verses we shall find that far from referring to a future paradise earth, it speaks of the fact that God’s Word is eternal and will not return to Him void. To link man with the extension of Eden is to place him as a creator or God. Exactly what Satan wanted Adam and Eve to believe!
In the chapter entitled “The Book that reveals the knowledge of God” mention is made of the Messiah being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (page 19). Since this reference is Zechariah 11:12 it does well to read what it says. “They proceed to pay my wages, thirty pieces of silver.” (NWT)
But why end with verse 12?
Read verse 13. “At that Jehovah said to me, “Throw it to the treasury – the majestic value with which I have been valued from their standpoint.” (NWT).
Even the Watchtower has to admit that this is what happened concerning Jesus. Yet, it is Jehovah that is speaking and claiming that He is the one being valued for thirty pieces of silver. Also we know from the gospels that Judas received this amount for his betrayal of Jesus – “And [Judas] said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you And they covenanted him for thirty pieces of silver.” (Matthew 26:15). Who is Jesus? We say He is Jehovah! [Write for our booklet “Who is Jehovah?]
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus only became the Christ at His baptism. This line is re-stated on pages 36 and 65. It says that “Jehovah anointed Jesus with holy spirit. Jesus thus became the Christ.” This would mean that Jesus was not the Christ from his birth until his baptism by John. If this is true, how does it tie in with regards to Simon in Luke 2:26? It reads, “And it was revealed unto him, by the Holy Ghost that he should not to see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
The NWT, says almost the same thing. If Simeon didn’t see the Christ as the Bible said he did, then the Lord lied to him. Besides this the shepherds were informed “For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord..” (Luke 2:11).
Also, are we to believe that a mere man, John the Baptist, was “filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15), but God’s Only Begotten Son had to wait thirty years? Someone is lying, and it is not the Bible.
Staying on the theme of the divinity of Christ, it is interesting that in the book “Knowledge” John 3:16 is used on page 39 as evidence of Jesus being “God’s only begotten son because Jehovah created him directly.”
Even a new believer in Christ can spot that this verse does not teach that Jesus is a created being. As usual the word “other” is added to Colossians 1:16 to say that Jesus isn’t the Creator.
They also persist in using Proverbs 8:22-31 as proof of Jesus being created, when in fact these verses refer only to wisdom.
Jesus is constantly attacked in all Watch Tower publications.
The “Knowledge” book is no exception. Page 40 states. “God transferred his life from heaven to the womb of a faithful Jewish virgin named Mary. Jehovah’s powerful holy spirit, or active force, overshadowed Mary causing her to become pregnant.” Yet page 82 says, “This life force does not have any of the characteristics of the creature it animates.” Does this mean that Jesus was a non-person? They must see Jesus as a non-person to promote their teachings. Look what is written on page 68. “Upon being raised to life in heaven, he became a life-giving spirit.” Therefore since the Holy Spirit isn’t a real person because He is spirit, Jesus must be a non-person also since He is now only a “life-giving spirit.”
Luke 24:39-42 proves that Jesus was raised in his flesh and bones, and that He was able to eat natural food. “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 showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, an of an honeycomb.”
So in the mind of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not real persons but, “The Devil is a malicious manslayer The Bible reveals that he is a real person…” (page 55). Therefore, Satan is a real person but Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not! I wonder who it is that is teaching the Organisation these things?
Another attack is made upon Jesus on page 65. Only because Jesus is the “last Adam” and is the “Corresponding ransom for all” is He known as “Eternal Father?” This is a weak and foolish invention to destroy what Jesus is and what He came to do. This destroying of the ministry of Jesus is very revealingly brought to the surface on page 69. “Yet, our salvation is not the most important reason for Jesus’ life and death on earth.”
This is why the Watchtower Organisation pays so little regard to Jesus, and has sought to remove all honour to Him in the NWT and in all their books. No wonder that they say on page 82, “human death does not differ from that of the animals.”
Since, according to Jehovah’s Witness doctrine the Lord Jesus Christ was only a human with divine qualities, His death is of little or no importance to them. I may be wrong, but there may be some “new light” in the future regarding the Jesus / Michael doctrine. “Knowledge” does not mention this once.
The unusual statement for Jehovah’s Witnesses on page 153 may be some indication of some new doctrine in the near future, it reads “He is the only channel through whom we can approach Jehovah God.” While we agree with these words we have to be cautious as to why they were written. It would be a step in the right direction if the Watchtower believed their own writings without going on to disqualify what is written. Yet these very words are made void by further statements on pages 160-161 referring to the “Faithful and discreet slave” being “God’s channel..” Again we find either Jesus or the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society must fall. It is no surprise to us that Jesus is disregarded once more.
If Jehovah’s Witnesses really did study their Bibles, instead of books on the Bible as advised on page 178 – “To endure in your service to Jehovah, you will want to set spiritual goals for yourself. One worthy goal is to further your knowledge of God through regular personal study of his Word” they might come nearer the fundamental truths of God’s Word. Of course the “faithful and discreet slave” in Brooklyn USA would never allow this! If only they were allowed to put into practice the words found on page 182, “Moreover, we do not earn life by serving Jehovah. Everlasting life is a gift of God.”
The usual illustration of Jesus hanging on a stake is shown on page 67. It shows a single nail through the wrists of Jesus, despite the fact that even the NWT says that Jesus had “nails” in both His hands (see John 20:25). So to say the least, His hands had to be separated.
Universalism, the belief that all will be saved or given a chance to repent following death is evident on page 88 – “an opportunity to demonstrate by their deeds whether they will serve God.”
Two questions will surface here.
I. Where does the Bible even hint at this?
2. If all will be saved, why did Jesus bother to die for us on the cross?
This idea is a further attack upon the sacrificial death of our Saviour.
Because the Watchtower hates the cross they must get rid of it and what it really means. To believe in Universalism is to reject God’s way of salvation. The 1914 issue is bound up with the fall of Jerusalem in 607 BC They refer to this date as “very significant” (page 96).
By adding 2,520 years to 607 B.C. they arrive at 1914. The main problem here is that Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 587 BC Which automatically nullifies the 1914 theory. Wouldn’t we like to see the verse where the Bible teaches that Jesus was “enthroned in the Heavenly kingdom in 1914 CE.” (page 94)? Page 97 promises, “Did Jesus begin to reign in heaven at that time? Scriptural reasons for saying that he did will be discussed in the next chapter.” You will look in vain in chapter 11 (or anywhere else in the book) for the Scriptural reasons for dating His Heavenly rule at 1914.
All of the Society’s publications use many Scripture references, the “Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life” is no exception, but please note, that they constantly remove the text from its context, or misuse, or offer verses that have no relevance to the issue s raised. Speaking of the end of the ages they write on page 106, “Jesus said that during this period ‘the sun would be darkened, and the moon would not give its light, and the heavens would be shaken.’ (Matthew 24:29) This may denote literal celestial phenomena. In any case, the shining lights of the religious world will be exposed and eliminated.” This is twisting Scripture at its worst!
The “Knowledge” book speaks about the 144,000, Christmas, birthdays, soul sleep as well as the family. There are many good books available that will correct these false doctrines. The only point I’d like to address here is in response to the amazing and erroneous words found on page 68 regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus. They say, “He slept in death for parts of three days.” Since I’ve never heard anyone say that Jesus was dead for parts of three days, I have to ask “which parts ?”
If He was alive at a certain time then does this not nullify the idea of soul-sleep? Once again the book is way off course. Since the Bible teaches that Jesus was active during the time His body lay in the tomb – “By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” (1 Peter 3:19). “Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.)” (Ephesians 4:8-10).
On page 82 we find written, “At death Adam simply ceased to exist!” and “Yet at death humans and animals alike return to the dust.” We only need to read what Jesus said in Matthew 22:32 to see that these statements are false – “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” We should also acknowledge the following reference when dealing with those who believe in soul-sleep, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21).
The “Knowledge that leads to Everlasting Life” book is a sloppy attempt to undermine Bible doctrine and promote life-destroying teachings. Only those who have shut their eyes and closed their brains would accept this as coming from God.
As with other books this goes out of its way to promote another Jesus. Some gullible Christians may think that all the references to Jesus as God’s “only begotten Son” means that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are getting closer to the truth.
All those caught up in the web of deceit spun by the Watch Tower must answer a serious question for themselves. Jesus once asked His disciples “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29).
Peter, according to Watchtower teaching, should have replied something like, “I say You are a prophet, or maybe Michael the archangel.” Peter’s reply was “Thou art the Christ” (Mark 8:29).
The disciples recognised Jesus as the Messiah. They knew that the Messiah had to be different from prophets or angels.
In Mark 9:1-7 they had an experience that they would never forget when Elijah and Moses met with Jesus after He was transfigured. Notice that Jesus was transfigured. What was be transfigured into? – A prophet? That wouldn’t have made Him any different from Elijah and Moses – An angel like Michael? No, because “unto which of the angels said He at anytime, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee”? (Hebrews 1:5).
When God the Father spoke in Mark 9:7 He was not referring to a mere man or any angel when he said, “This is My beloved Son; hear Him.” Jesus was seen by the disciples as the second, but not inferior, member of the Godhead in all His Heavenly glory.
Each Jehovah’s Witness, and for that matter, every person on earth must answer the question “Who do you say Christ is?”
If you listen to your organisation you may get the wrong answer. Obey God’s command to us all….”This is My beloved Son, hear Him.” That’s the only way to Heaven, and, the knowledge that leads to Everlasting life. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).