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Are the Jehovah's Witnesses Just Another Christian Denomination?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2022 1:30 pm

Are the Jehovah's Witnesses Just Another Christian Denomination?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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July 14, 2022 1:30 pm

Episode 1010 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Was Judas not culpable or responsible for his actions if he was predestined to betray Christ?

2. Are the Jehovah's Witnesses another Christian denomination, or are they a different religion entirely?

3. At what age does an infant have a soul?

4. What's the best way to find a biblically grounded church?

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Are the Jehovah's Witnesses just another Christian denomination? That's one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us at questions at First up today, let's go to Donald calling in from Nebraska. Donald, what's your question for Adriel?

Thank you there for taking my call. Yes, question is about predestination, specifically, I had a lengthy conversation last night with a friend of mine. The bottom line was we departed from each other when he said that Judas had to do what he had to do, because it was predestined that he would fulfill Scripture.

And I just, I won't say lost it, but absolutely incorrect. Ultimately, you and Judas and any other sinner, to that effect, will be held culpable and responsible for their actions, even though it may be predestined or to fulfill prophecy, but ultimately, you are held responsible. And I wanted to find scripture to say that, and I gave him a couple different scriptures specifically in Acts that talked about Judas went to his own place, right, went to his own place, was one I gave him, because he said, what did he go? I said, he went, he went, even ultimately, what the hell? So, need scripture to back that up, of course, and, and, and, and, am I correct?

Thank you for calling in, man. I love that you're having these theological conversations with, with friends, and I do believe that you are correct. I mean, even, even for those who embrace the doctrine of predestination or unconditional election, that God chooses his own from before the foundation of the world. That's never meant to strip away human responsibility and the fact that God is not the author of sin or evil. He doesn't coerce us to do evil. He didn't coerce Judas to do evil.

Yes, these things had been prophesied very clearly, as is indicated in places like Acts chapter one. But you have this, this relationship between the sovereignty of God and the free action of human beings, and each and every one of us are going to be held responsible for the choices that we made for the things that we did. And yet at the same time, for those who believe, we attribute that first and foremost solely to the, the, the grace of God, that it's only the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, we would be and have, you know, continue to be dead in sin. And there are some places, I think, that, that help to bring this sort of tension together. Again, that, that tension that we sometimes see between the sovereignty of God and human responsibility.

And, and actually some, I think some of the best ones are in Acts as well. Acts chapter two, speaking of the, the, the death of Christ as Peter is preaching to a group of, of Jews there on the day of Pentecost, he says in verse 23, this Jesus delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. So you have these two things together right there, Donald, you have the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, and yet you have the, the human responsibility. You know, Peter says, you got, I mean, this was God's plan all along, but you guys killed Jesus.

You're guilty, you're responsible, you're murderers. And not, not a very ear tickling sermon that he preached there, but one that led to the repentance of many thousands of people there on the day of Pentecost. You also have the words of, of this prayer in prayer for boldness in Acts chapter four, where in verse 27 of Acts four, we read, for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the people of Israel to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. So look, in the minds of the apostles of our Lord Jesus, everything took place according to the definite plan, foreknowledge, and predestination of God. And yet still the people who killed Jesus, who murdered him, were responsible for that sinful act. Now God used those, those things, I mean, ultimately the crucifixion of Christ, to be redemption for the whole world. I mean, the amazing thing that we see here is how God is able to take our sinful acts, the sinful acts of Judas, and turn them around for the good of humanity and his own glory. I mean, it just highlights the majesty of the God that we worship. But even recognizing that, the absolute majesty of God, we don't strip away human responsibility. And so if your friend was saying, oh yeah, Judas couldn't have done otherwise, Judas was just, you know, basically forced by God. No, that's not what we believe.

That's not what Christians have ever believed. It's holding those two things together, the freedom of man, to the extent that we have freedom, and the absolute sovereignty of God over all things that take place. God bless, brother. Such a challenging issue that we often grapple with on this program, that tension between our free will and God's sovereignty.

So thanks for clarifying that. I appreciate it. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Here it is summertime, wedding season, a lot of weddings taking place right now.

In fact, maybe you're going to one in the next month or two. And we actually have a wonderful resource on marriage we'd like to offer you today. Yeah, and as you know, if you listen to the broadcast, we get a lot of questions about relationships, dating, engagement, marital conflict, right? We get questions about conflict in marriage.

The list really goes on and on. And as we answer these questions, it's absolutely vital for us to ask, why did God create marriage in the first place? Is marriage just to meet our individual needs and desires? Is the biblical view of marriage outdated, right? Why would anybody get married today?

I mean, well, that's the question that we tackle in this booklet. Why would anyone get married? A case for the beauty and goodness of marriage. Now, I would say more than ever, Christians should be able to answer difficult questions about marriage and relationships and point others to what the Bible says about marriage. The beauty, actually, of what marriage is meant to portray for us and for the world. And so I do hope you get a hold of this resource and thank you for your support. Once again, it's called Why Would Anyone Get Married?

A Case for the Beauty and Goodness of Marriage. And it's yours for a donation of any amount. You can find out more by going to forward slash offers.

Again, forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail with your question. We try to review our voicemails each day. So feel free to call at any time. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Mark. Will you please help me document, understand and be able to explain and debate, if necessary, the Christian point of view to the Jehovah Witnesses? I've been sending my son Bible verses every day since he was traumatized in a mass shooting last fall. I'm not sure yet if my son has accepted Jesus as Savior. Now there is a Jehovah Witness coming at him from the other side. And although I know it is wrong in a cult, I do not have clear answers for my son on these people.

I would think that true Christianity would seem like just another variation of something like the Jehovah Witnesses. And I want to be able to point out and prove that my faith, belief and trust in Jesus as my Savior, accepting the salvation for the price he paid for me by taking my place on the cross and dying for my sins is the one true way to achieve salvation and establish the love relationship in him being my God and my Savior. I'd appreciate it a whole lot if you could answer that for me and help me. Thanks a lot. God bless.

Yeah, Mark, thank you for just calling in with that question. And I hope that you hear this and that your son also gets to hear this. I'm so sorry about the trauma that he experienced.

I mean, just absolutely devastating. And so I know he's probably looking for, longing for answers, for hope. But the truth is, and it sounds like you know this, he's not going to get that from the Watchtower Society and organization from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Jehovah's Witnesses are not just another branch of Christianity, similar to Mormonism, right? Mormonism is not just another denomination of Christianity, that kind of a thing.

No, not at all. These are sects that came and reject the true gospel, reject the true Jesus. But oftentimes we'll use terminology, language that sounds very Christian. I think this is part of the deception, is they kind of come off as like, oh, well, we're Christians, we follow Jesus, we believe in grace, we believe in the atonement of Jesus, and so on and so forth. But then when they begin defining those words, like grace, salvation, even Jesus, who is Jesus, they get it wrong.

And it's a question, I mean, those questions are questions of eternal significance. I mean, it's what Jesus himself said in Matthew chapter 16, where he's talking to Peter and some of his other disciples, and he asks them, you know, who do men say that the Son of Man is? Who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they said, some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. And he said to them, But who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. There's no more important question that we can answer correctly than the question, who is Jesus? I mean, getting that answer wrong, not understanding who Jesus is, is eternally significant. And again, this is what the Jehovah's Witnesses get wrong.

Now, how do they get this wrong? Well, they reject the deity of Christ, the person of Christ as revealed in Scripture, the Word, the eternal Son of God, that we read about in John chapter 1. What they do is they take a lot of those passages that very clearly teach the preeminence, the supremacy, the deity of Jesus, and they twist them, they mistranslate them, they'll add a word or they'll take away a word.

I'll give you just one example. In the New World translation of the Scriptures, this is the Jehovah's Witness version of the Bible in Colossians chapter 1, where it says in the New Testament, correctly translated, by him all things were made, that is by Jesus, and this is also what John tells us in the beginning of his gospel, by him all things were made, and apart from him nothing was made that was made. Well, in the New World translation in Colossians 1, they add the word other, by him all other things were made, in order to suggest that he himself is a creature, a created being, and that's what they say. They say that Jesus is the first created being of God, that he's divine, but he's still in the category of creature, not creator.

Well, right there, they've rejected the God of the Bible because Jesus, the eternal word of the Father, is not a creature. He's in the category of creator, God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the doctrine of the Trinity, and so it's so important that we get these things right. The spirit of the Antichrist is at work in the world today trying to confuse people about the person and work of Jesus Christ, and that's what he's done in these groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons, and so I would just plead with your son and say, my friend, go to the scriptures, get plugged into a solid church that loves Jesus, the true Jesus, that loves his word, and that embraces the gospel. And what is the gospel?

It's the fact that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's law, God's glory, God's goodness, and yet he calls us to himself, and he forgives our sins through faith in Jesus, washing them away, so that we can have hope, the hope of eternal life, the hope of the new creation, the hope of the resurrection of the dead, the restoration even of our bodies, and that's what's given to us in the Christian faith, in the true Christian faith. But again, the Jehovah's Witness organization doesn't have that gospel because it rejects Jesus as revealed in scripture, and so may God be with you, Mark, and with your son, and we're here to encourage you guys and support you guys however we can. One resource I'd recommend you get is Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton because it's got a lot of information there about the person and work of Christ, and maybe that'd be a good book for you and your son to go through together.

God bless. You know what, Mark, we're going to send you a complimentary copy of that book, so call us back, give us your address, and we'll be glad to send that to you. A wonderful book for all of our listeners, Core Christianity by Dr. Michael Horton.

It's really the book that started this whole program several years ago, so check that out on our website, Well, let's go to an email that came in from one of our listeners, and this one's from Jerry. Jerry says, with the recent ruling of Roe v. Wade being overturned, at what point does a baby have a soul? Sometimes I feel that a baby is better with God than being born into an unfit situation. I am not for abortion, but sometimes I just struggle with the thought of that baby being thrown into a life where they may never have a chance.

Hey, Jerry, thank you for that question. I would say that the baby has a soul is a living being at the moment of conception. That's my view. I mean, I think there are passages that you can go to in the Psalms, for example, that speak of God knitting us together in the womb. You think of John the Baptist also in the womb of Elizabeth, leaping when Elizabeth was greeted by the Virgin Mary.

Right there in Scripture, being treated even while he's in the womb as a person, and as a person who's able to somehow mysteriously, by the work of the Holy Spirit, recognize Jesus and the presence of Christ there through Mary with Jesus in her womb. I would say that. I recognize, as you do, the complexity of people born into broken homes and situations.

We lament that. I think that this is where the church, where we as Christians, want to come alongside of people and come alongside of families to help them and to encourage them. But certainly, that brokenness isn't, I think, any argument in favor of, well, maybe then abortion is a good thing or maybe abortion is permissible.

No, absolutely not. We lament the dissolution of families, the brokenness of families, poverty, all of those things, and I think we want to think about how we as individual Christians are loving our neighbors well and loving the people in our community well to help families in need. And I imagine that you want to do that as well. So may God bless you and give you wisdom, and we give thanks to the Lord for His kindness to us in helping us in these days. So thank you again, Jerry. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day. 833-THE-CORE is the number.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also send us an email anytime at Here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Christina. I and my family have been searching for a church for the last two plus years because the one that we were attending participated in the NAR, especially in their music ministry. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find another church that does not participate in this movement.

Is there some way or some recommendation that you can make to help us find a church that is biblically grounded in our neck of the woods? Thank you. Yeah.

Well, so a couple of things, Christina. For those of our listeners who don't know what the NAR is, there's a movement that's been around for a handful of years now that goes by that, you know, it's called the New Apostolic Reformation. And it's, I think, more prevalent in some charismatic circles. I mean, they emphasize the office of apostle, New Apostolic Reformation sort of in the name, prophets of these individuals having authority in the church today, a lot of emphasis on spiritual warfare.

I think in many ways, just sort of unhealthy and unbiblical. But it's this movement that has really gained some steam in some areas. And it sounds like it's gained quite a bit of steam wherever it is that you live.

I wish I knew more specifically where you were so I could maybe point out what I would recommend. But I realized that there are some places where it's just hard to get to a good church. So a couple of things. One, we need to understand what the marks of the true church is and what makes a church a church, a true church, a true church. First and foremost, it's the pure preaching of the word of God, faithfulness to the gospel. The word creates the church. God makes the church exist through his word.

It's a beautiful thing. So if you don't have the preaching of the word of God, you can't have a church, even if you have a building, even if you have a pastor, even if you have people going in and sitting in the pews or the chairs, wherever they are. If the word of God is not being taught, preached, well, the spirit of God is not at work and you just don't have a church. You also have the faithful administration of the ordinances that Jesus gave. That is, there's right preaching and right worship.

We're worshiping according to scripture. And then another mark of the church that at least some of the Protestant reformers understood and embraced is this idea of discipline. The true churches take sin seriously. They take Christian fellowship seriously so that when there's an issue, it gets dealt with.

And so those are the things you want to look for. You want to find a church where, I mean, maybe the music is not the style that you like per se, or they don't have all of the programs that you would like for your family. But the most important things are, is the word of God being faithfully taught? Is Jesus being worshiped according to scripture? And does this church take seriously the word of God and the calls to church discipline and just a Christian encouragement and fellowship that we see in the New Testament? I think of what the picture that's given to us in Acts 2 of the early community of the faith, it says there, and this is shortly after the day of Pentecost, or right after, it says they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching. That is the right preaching and teaching and to the fellowship. So we might say that there you have that discipline, that care for each other, and the breaking of bread and the prayers.

The breaking of bread there is probably a reference to the Lord's Supper, Holy Communion. So what was the early church doing from the very beginning? It was focused on apostolic doctrine, true apostolic doctrine, not new apostolic reformers, the original apostles that were sent by Jesus to go and plant churches. It's that apostolic doctrine that we need to recover. Too often today I think people are looking for movements, you know, give me something new, give me that fresh wave of the Spirit and prophecy, and they get caught up in these movements. And oftentimes in these movements, you know what they lose is the doctrine of the original apostles, a focus on the cross of Jesus Christ, repentance from sin. So we need to actually get back to the original apostles' teaching that the early Christians, you know, fellowshipped around and recover that, recover core Christianity. And if you can't find any church in your area for your family that's focusing on that, again, I don't know where you live, but I would honestly say, man, it might be worth, it is worth considering moving, going somewhere else because it's so important for us to be plugged in to solid Christian community. We were not meant to live the Christian life in isolation on our own as these sort of commando Christians, me by myself with my Bible.

And so, I mean, that's not the way it's supposed to be. No church is perfect. And so sometimes I think people can be a little too picky and just say, well, I'm not going to go to church anywhere because no church, you know, has everything that I want personally. But the fact of the matter is you're never going to find that because churches are made up of sinners and we're sinners. And so what we do is we go to churches that are faithful to the word where people are gathering to receive the grace of Jesus. And we want to join them and serve and grow together with them so that we might be built up in our faith. And I pray that you find that, Christina, and that the Lord blesses you in that search and gives you wisdom for yourself and for your family. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833, the CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-24 17:44:40 / 2023-03-24 17:54:25 / 10

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