Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Cowboy and the "Jehovah's Witnesses"

A contented cowboy gazed at the stallion’s ears as he whistled softly to the tune of “Only trust Him”. Just then he saw someone approaching his neighbor’s property so he pulled slightly on the reins to stop his mount. Out of the shadows walked a couple of people who were going door to door! One held a briefcase and the other carried a large purse. An elderly man met them in the driveway. One of the visitors offered his hand and said, “We are discussing world conditions door-to-door.” After the small talk he added, “By coming to you we are fulfilling Scripture.”

“Yes! Indeed you are,” the discerning old gentleman agreed. “In fact, Jesus told me that you would be coming. He warned, ‘Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ (Matt. 7:15-16). Sonny, do you know what the fruit of a false prophet is? Why it’s very clear that He is talking about any false prophesies! Your organization not only claimed to be God’s prophet (Watchtower 4-1-1972, p.197) in the same manner as Ezekiel (Watchtower

3-15-1972, p.189), but it repeatedly lied about the future. Then the Watchtower leadership conveniently blames Jehovah God by calling it new light from Him.”

At this the visitor recoiled, “The Watchtower Society is only sort-of-a-prophet.”

The elderly man continued with a direct question that would haunt them. “Would you show me any sort-of-a-prophet described for us in the Bible? Scripturally, those who give just one word of false prophecy are never to be followed for the second time.” (Deut. 18:18-22).

The visitor’s mouth snapped shut as he growled, “You’ve been reading old materials to dig all that up! Why don’t you stick to our newest publications, because you can’t progress toward a saved condition without the Society’s books!” (Watchtower 7-15-1960, p.439; 12-1-1981, p.27). The pair excused themselves that they had an important appointment to keep and hurried to their car. They looked very confident but deep inside they faced some unnerving facts as Jesus spoke hard words and the warning applied to them. What scary verses!

The cowboy touched the big horse with his heels and as they passed the driveway the young man began to sing his beautiful song, “Come every soul by sin oppressed, there’s mercy with the Lord, and He will surely give you rest by trusting in His Word. Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now; He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

Slamming her car door the lady with the purse began to complain, “That cowboy must be one of those born-again’ers!” As the sedan crept along the street they could hear the steady clopping rhythm of the trotting horse. Leaning from the window she smiled broadly, “Excuse me, young man. Wasn’t that a religious song you were singing? We are sharing the important news of how to have a right standing with Jehovah by ‘Working hard for the reward of eternal life.’ (Watchtower 4-15-1972, p.491). Do you know what you have to do to have this hope?”

Turning in the saddle the young westerner stopped his horse and pushed back his wide-brimmed hat, revealing a radiant smile. Compassionately, he gazed intently into her eyes and then responded gently, “Well Ma’am, many people are seeking the answer to that same question. All of the counterfeit religions teach that you must ‘do’ something in order to have eternal life. In fact, I think you just called it a ‘reward’, which of course would have to be earned. My salvation from the God of the Bible calls it a ‘gift’ to be ‘received’, never a reward to be earned. ‘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’ (Eph. 2:8-9). ‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name’ (John 1:12). You see, the only safe thing for any of us to do is to just side up with the Apostle Paul as he showed us the way. He answered the question in this way when the jailer asked what he needed to ‘do’ for eternal life. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved’ (Acts 16:31). I’m sure glad he did not say ‘might be saved’ or ‘hope,’ ‘think,’ ‘wonder,’ or just be left to ‘worry about it as we wait and see.’ No. Eternal life is a definite certainty and given freely by trusting in Jesus Christ alone to be our Saviour! ‘These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God’” (1 John 5:13).

The lady was growing nervous and cut him off sharply, declaring, “We tell people about Jehovah the Father!”

The cowboy seemed a bit amused as he replied, “Well now, I don’t see the Father even mentioned in this passage, do you?”

At this she lifted her nose high and howled in irritation, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! All you people know to talk about is Jesus! Why not tell people about the Father? We are the rightful witnesses of Jehovah! Just read what it says here in Isaiah 43:10.”

“Oh lady,” he returned, “if you will just note the context you’ll see that this verse applies to the sons of Jacob or Israel! Do you see that? By the way, Jesus Himself settled the question about for whom we are to be witnesses. He said we are to be witnesses of Him in Acts 1:8. So I wonder if you and the people of your Kingdom Hall are known to be ‘Jesus’ Witnesses’?” I just can’t ever recall any of your folks praising Jesus Christ.

She looked uncomfortable and it grew apparent that she would change the subject. She snapped, “Well, at least we do not celebrate birthdays!” Suddenly the car lurched forward and they were gone. As the fumes filled the air the horse laid back his ears, shook his head and snorted. Finally the smoke cleared and the young rider drew a deep breath and began to sing tenderly, “For Jesus shed His precious blood, rich blessings to bestow; plunge now into the crimson flood that washes white as snow. Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now; He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

Nearing the next driveway the young rider watched with amusement. The man was stepping out of his car and gathering up his briefcase of materials. Standing cautiously several yards from the big horse, he glared in frustration. With an emphatic voice he urged, “Young man, be reasonable! ‘You need to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation!’” (Watchtower 11-15-1981, p.21).

“Hmm,” the cowboy paused thoughtfully, “would you show me that in Scripture? Perhaps you could tell me if your organization even existed back in the 1870’s or early 1800’s. And remember how Jesus said, ‘I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!’” (Matt. 16:18). So true believers had to be around.

“Well if our organization is not the ‘Truth,’ what is then? You see, Jesus said, ‘And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (John 8:32). So we call our organization the truth!

“Well sir, let’s just check the context for an answer. Read verse 36. Do you see what Jesus is saying? ‘If the son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ Freedom is through Jesus. And Jesus said, ‘I am the truth’ in John 14:6. Where then shall we go for truth? Jesus has invited, ‘Come unto me’ in Matthew 11:28. I recommend that you read the sermons through the Book of Acts, noting how the preaching work was always pointing sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. According to Scripture the Truth is a Person not an organization.”

The man countered, “You don’t think we know about all about Jesus? We know Jesus is our mediator!”

The Christian shook his head sadly, “For some reason, most of your people don’t know your headquarters’ position on this. They said in the Watchtower on April 1, 1979, page 31, ‘So in the strict Biblical sense Jesus is the ‘mediator’ only for the anointed Christians.’ They mean the 144,000, right? So you don’t have a mediator according to the Watchtower. So you see, sir, you are surely in deep trouble!” The cowboy continued, “I reckon you have a big choice to make. Wouldn’t you rather be Scriptural according to the Bible than to try to be reasonable according to your books and magazines?”

The briefcase looked very heavy as the man hung his head, responding weakly, “Well, I think it is about time for you to exercise your horse. We are looking for the sheep-like ones who have open minds.” The cowboy urged his proud stallion forward. The horse stepped along eagerly in the cool morning air. Glancing back, the young man saw the couple moving up another driveway. A flock of birds sung cheerfully from the nearby high lines. How his heart thrilled to know his wonderful Savior as he looked to the heavens and lifted his voice in adoration, “Yes, Jesus is the Truth, the Way that leads you into rest; believe in Him without delay, and you are fully blest. Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now; He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

Concluding the chorus he heard a car approaching. The dejected couple stepped out hesitantly at the next place. “Cowboy, why don’t you preach the gospel of the kingdom that can put a stop to all world problems?”

The saddle creaked as the young man leaned forward against the saddle horn, “Well, sir, the gospel that we preach is the gospel that ‘saves’. It is defined as the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4). You preach a kingdom, sure enough, but we preach the KING! We are more impressed with the Creator than with creation.” (Romans 1:25). Then he added thoughtfully, “Besides, what good is the kingdom to you as Watchtower followers? Jesus said, if you are not born again you cannot see or even enter into the kingdom! (John 3:3,5). So it seems to me that you are wasting your time preaching about a kingdom that you can never enter!

“Jesus was talking about ‘heaven’,” the lady offered. “Only the 144,000 go there. Our kingdom is about an earthly hope.”

“Well lady, would you please read those words of Jesus again. Do you see the word ‘heaven’ in those verses? A person cannot enter any kingdom of God at all without having the new birth.”

Speaking quietly she read verse three and stopped, “‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3). Well, never mind that! The Bible talks about a ‘paradise earth’ that is special for those who don’t go to Heaven!”

“Folks, Scripture speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, but where have you ever read the words, ‘paradise earth’ except in the Watchtower? Paul said the location of paradise is really up, ‘Caught up to the third heaven...he was caught up into paradise (2 Cor. 12:2,4). Heaven and paradise are synonymous now. You can live in that real paradise of heaven too, but only if you are born again.”

“Well, I’m afraid we have an appointment to keep. Come on, we’d better go. Oh, uh - by the way, what do you mean by being ‘born again’?”

The cowboy smiled. “Birth is a one-time experience. It happens quickly and is of course irreversible. It means you then become a part of a family. Spiritually, real life starts for you in God’s eternal family when you are born again. You seem sincere, but your confidence is misplaced when it is in a manmade religion. Turn in repentance from your false hopes and sin. God shed His own blood to save you (Acts 20:28). Why not ask Jesus Christ to save you today?” (Romans 10:9-10, 13)

The heavy-laden couple turned soberly and walked away toward another closed door. They listened longingly to the inviting words which seemed so distant. “Come then, and join this holy band, and on to glory go, to dwell in that celestial land, where joys immortal flow. Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now, He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

The cowboy pulled his hat low as the stallion rounded the corner at a brisk canter and disappeared behind the trees. Far down the road he rested the horse at an old log. The morning sun felt warm on his clothing. As he sat meditating on the Lord, the horse nudged his shoulder and holding the worn Stetson the rider rested an arm on his knee. How his heart ached for the poor Watchtower slaves! Every faulty teaching of an unfaithful, indiscreet society is blown right into the theological ash-can by the truth of God’s Word. If only people knew where to look! He blinked as the salty tears burned his eye and trickled down his cheek. Deeply moved, he looked to the heavens and prayed, “Dear Father, please help those precious people to discover Biblical truth and the real Jesus Christ who is the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) and also revealed as our LORD Jehovah (Isaiah 10:20-21). He is the Almighty God and the Alpha and Omega as one of their own Greek Bibles affirms (Emphatic Diaglott, p.872). I pray you will put their feet on the trail that will lead them right into the arms of God!” As He looked up to see a great cloud, a chill tingled down his back and he prayed: “Lord, I really long to see that couple riding join us to ride at my side on that great day when we come behind that great white horse of Jesus Christ, our KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! Lord, I know that You are the only one who can make them Your sheep. Save them from their sin, from Armageddon and the Lake of Fire. I pray in the name which is above every name, Jesus Christ! (Phil. 2:9). Amen. Whew! You are an awesome God!”

The seed had been planted for those who were lost in a cult. None but the Lord could foresee a coming day when life would begin for them and the seed would spring forth and grow.

Friend, Scripture warns in 2 Corinthians 11:4 about those who come with spiritual poison, preaching another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel. The Jesus of the Watchtower is a little god or Michael the Archangel. The Watchtower’s impression of the Holy Spirit is like an active force like a radio wave. The society’s gospel is the re-establishment of God’s kingdom with Christ’s second presence commencing in 1914. Under inspiration, the Apostle Paul wrote about those preaching another Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4) as the results are everlasting condemnation (Gal. 1:8-9)! WHAT SPIRITUAL DISASTER FOR THOSE WHO MISTAKE THE WOLVES TO BE NICE CHRISTIAN SHEEP! A boy lost an arm from a ravenous wolf; he could have lost his life! Friend, Jesus clearly warned about your well-being. If you will give the Watchtower your strokes, your eternal life may be missed forever! “Beware of false prophets!” which include Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, and those of the lunatic Charismatic fringe! Even if a false prophet has a supernatural miracle, God is clear, “put the evil away from the midst of thee” (Deut. 13:1-5).

A Watchtower book called “Light” reads: “All of the Lord’s people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin and mourning, and the Lord’s people were greatly in reproach. They were ridiculed by the clergy and their allies in particular, and pointed to with scorn, because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their ‘prophecies’ had not been fulfilled.” (Light, Watchtower pub., 1930, p.194).

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