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Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers

The theme for the Watchtower’s 2002 district conventions was "Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers." The Jehovah’s Witnesses are zealously proclaiming the kingdom of "Jehovah God." 

But why are they so zealous?

They are so zealous because they have to be

According to the Watchtower, there are four requirements for salvation; taking in knowledge of the Father and Jesus Christ, obeying God’s laws, being associated with God’s channel (The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society), and loyally advertising his Kingdom rule to others (WT, February 15, 1983, p. 12). 

"Loyally advertising" means going door-to-door to hand out The Watchtower and Awake! magazines. The Witnesses must work their way to salvation. They’ve got to fill out the "record card." While they believe that Jesus’ death atoned for Adam’s sin, it does not make up for their own sin. In order to become righteous they have to keep working and working and working, with no assurance of salvation until after the millennium has ended and they are again tested by Satan. 

But the Bible knows nothing of the above concepts! 

Jesus’ death and resurrection immediately and forever atoned for all the sins of all men: 

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." 1 Peter 3:18a 

"But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin." 1 John 3:5 

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24 

There is no waiting and wondering, only a guarantee of your salvation; if you believe, you are saved now

"‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life’" John 3:36a 

"‘I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.’" John 5:24 

"‘I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.’" John 6:47 

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." I John 5:11-13 

There are no works required.  Works are evidence of your faith, a result of faith, not a requirement for salvation. (The Bible doesn’t say, "He that believes, and is baptized, and does good works will be saved.") You are saved based on your faith, apart from works! 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 

"What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works." Romans 9:30-33a 

"‘Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’ Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’" John 6:27-29 


But why are they proclaiming the kingdom of "Jehovah God"?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses take their name from the following Old Testament passage and claim that today it refers to them, exclusively:

 "‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD [YHWH], ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he’". Isaiah 43:10 

But in whose Name did the apostles speak in the New Testament?  And what was the message theyproclaimed?

In the New Testament the apostles spoke in the Name of Jesus Christ and they proclaimed “the gospel of Christ.  

Paul says in Romans 15:19b:

"So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ." 

The apostles are witnesses for Jesus Christ. 

"And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all." Acts 4:33

"‘We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.’" Acts 10:39-40

And what is this gospel of Christ, to which the apostles are witnesses?

It is simply this: 

"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve." 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 

This is the same Gospel that the Patriarchs saw and looked forward to. This is the same Gospel that is both foreshadowed and proclaimed in the Old Testament. This is the same Gospel that the entire Old Testament points to, the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

From the Protevangel of Genesis 3:15b, 

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." 

Through the patriarchs, 

"The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’" Galatians 3:8

And the kings,

"David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’" Acts 2:25 

And the prophets,

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 

And finally to Jesus Christ himself:

"Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’" John 2:19 

This is the Gospel we proclaim! It stands today just as it did in the beginning of Genesis. It still speaks to us today, unchanged, just as surely as it did then through God’s word. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword.

All of our sins were washed away by Jesus’ blood. By His death and resurrection, we have eternal life. The only condition is faith, and faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8). It sounds unreasonable that God would forgive us with no effort on our part, but as all of the above scriptures attest, it’s true! It shows just how great God’s love for us is.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" Romans 5:8-9

In closing, I pray for the Jehovah’s Witnesses the prayer Paul prayed for the Israelites:

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Rom. 10:1- 4 

Written by Scott Diekmann

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