What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe?

This is the second in a three-part series on Jehovah’s Witnesses

Our Jehovah’s Witness friends deny at least 10 key biblical doctrines. This is due in part to their reliance on The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which we discuss in the next column.

Note: The Baptist Faith and Message, available as a free download from sbc.net, features a more complete treatment of Christian doctrines and includes multiple Scripture references.

1. The Trinity. The Watch Tower says Jesus is a created being and the “holy spirit” is an impersonal force. “The obvious conclusion is, therefore, that Satan is the originator of the trinity doctrine” (Let God Be True).

The Bible tells us there is one true and living God who exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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The marriage of the Lamb has come – Revelation 19:6-8

Previously: Salvation, glory, and power – Revelation 19:1-5

The scripture

Rev. 19:6 – Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying: Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign! 7 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself. 8 She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure. For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.  (HCSB)

The marriage of the Lamb has come

In verse 6, John once again hears something like the voice of a vast multitude, further described “like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder.” Likely, this is the same heavenly choir we encounter in verses 1-3, but it is singing a different tune. Rather than praise God for his righteous judgment of the notorious prostitute, the multitude now exults in the coming reign of the Lord and the marriage of the Lamb.

“Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign!” the choir sings. We should not imply from these words of celebration that our eternal and omnipotent God has ever failed to reign. The earth – indeed the whole universe – is always under His watchful eye and sovereign hand.

However, these heaven dwellers know full well that Satan, too, has a kingdom. He rebelled against God and took a vast number of fallen angels with him. He usurped the dominion God entrusted to Adam through deceit. As the god of this age and the prince of a dark kingdom in opposition to God, he is the “strong man” of whom Jesus speaks in Mat. 12:29. But in coming to earth and putting on the veil of the flesh, Jesus has entered the strong man’s house and bound him.

Since His finished work on the cross 2,000 years ago, the Lamb of God has been plundering the strong man’s goods – the souls of people – and bringing them into the kingdom of heaven. The judgment of Babylon the Great signals the complete collapse of Satan’s rebellious kingdom. Yet we should comfort ourselves in knowing that the reign of God over all creation has never been in jeopardy.
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Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

This is the first in a three-part series on Jehovah’s Witnesses

They come to your door well prepared, using familiar terms like Jesus, kingdom, and faith. Their smiling faces and leading questions make it easy to agree with them. You might even let them start a Bible study in your home.

They are sincere, committed to their beliefs, and faithful in their endeavors. They are seeking the truth, believe they have found it, and are eager to share it with you.

They are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Officially known as The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the Jehovah’s Witnesses today boast more than 8.2 million active participants in 239 countries, with 115,000 Kingdom Halls and one of the largest publishing operations in the world.
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What every Christian should know about same-sex attraction: Listen to the radio interview with Harold Hendrick

I recently had the privilege of appearing on “Encounter,” a radio program hosted by Harold Hendrick on the Bott Radio Network.

Harold and I discussed the new book, What Every Christian Should Know About Same-Sex Attraction, as well as God’s creative intent for sexuality and marriage as revealed in His Word.

You may catch the program here.

Copies of the book may be purchased here.

Many thanks to Harold for his ministry on Christian radio.

Salvation, glory, and power – Revelation 19:1-5

The scripture

Rev. 19:1 – After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God, 2 because His judgments are true and righteous, because He has judged the notorious prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality; and He has avenged the blood of His slaves that was on her hands. 3 A second time they said: Hallelujah! Her smoke ascends forever and ever! 4 Then the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who is seated on the throne, saying: Amen! Hallelujah! 5 A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all His slaves, who fear Him, both small and great!  (HCSB)

Salvation, glory, and power

John hears a “vast multitude” in heaven praising God. Some commentators say these “heaven dwellers” make up a choir that sings of the Lord’s attributes and great works. This likely is the vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language we encounter in Rev. 7:9. They are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night (Rev. 7:15). They also may be the ones the beast from the sea speaks against as he blasphemes God’s name and His dwelling (Rev. 13:6). But the evil one and his minions cannot harm these saints or disrupt their joyous celebration.

“Hallelujah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word exhorting people to praise the Lord (Heb. halelujah = praise Yah). It is rendered Allelouia in the Greek text and is found 22 times in Ps. 104-150 and four times in Rev. 19:1-6. It is a familiar term in Old Testament prayer language that is documented here in a Christian sense for the first time, according to Jurgen Roloff in Revelation: A Continental Commentary: “Its original meaning was that of a call to praise God, which the worshipping community answers with its praise. However, gradually it developed in Judaism into an independent formula of praise (e.g., Tob. 13:17; 3 Macc. 7:13). The original meaning still flickers through here: the singers summon themselves and others to praise God by means of the Hallelujah. In postbiblical Judaism the perception was represented that this acclamation was reserved for the end time” (pp. 210-11).

Some commentators note that while David spoke 103 sections of the Psalms, he only uttered Hallelujah when he saw the fall of the godless. This fits well with what we see in Revelation 19. Those who witness the fall of Babylon are summoned to join the praise of God, who has defeated His foes.
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