This afternoon I saw some people walking through my complex dressed like they were headed to church. The youngest of the three saw me and smiled, saying quite cheerfully, “Hello. How are you?”As I was slightly taken aback, all I could think to say was, “Blessed,” which was true. I’d been rejoicing in my Savior all day. I was taken aback because I thought they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Now, I love those folks because my Savior loves them, even though I heartily disagree with their teachings. I don’t encourage them because of their prepared, canned presentation and prepared answers to whatever I might say to them. I also encourage other Christ-followers not to engage them with rebuttals unless they’ve studied JW dogma and know God’s truth way better than the average believer.
They aren’t unique in propagating a false gospel; other sects, many of which presume upon the name of Christ and pretend to conform to the teaching we have received, claim new revelations that counter God’s Word. I’m focusing here on the Watchtower Society because their teachings pervert the holy Name by which God identified himself to Moses. Our obligation isn’t to debate such false “prophets,” but to obey God’s Word, which tells us:
(6) I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, (7) which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
Matthew chapter seven quotes Jesus dealing with various kinds of error. As for false prophets, he said:
(15) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (16) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? (17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Jesus’ words about discerning “good trees” from “bad trees” gives us the key to identifying the liars. All human religions harbor deep, dark secrets known only to the inner circle. Such secrets may involve the founders’ moral transgressions, or hidden doctrines that any reasonable person would see as a lie.
These people name Jehovah and Jesus as if their authority comes from them, when in fact they are usurpers with no valid authority. They prey on those who are largely ignorant of God’s Word and have not been warned about such false teachers. Indeed, there is power in God’s names, both for truth and for error, depend upon who is those using them.