Jehovah Witness - Salvation

Since there is a heavenly class and an earthly class, the requirements for salvation must be different. That is why some parts of the Bible speak of salvation requiring obedience while others talk about salvation as a free gift.

What does it mean to know God?

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know (NWT : taking in knowledge of) you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

JWs are taught that gaining intellectual knowledge in the areas taught by the organization is necessary for salvation. Christians believe that this verse is talking about a personal knowledge of God. A mere intellectual knowledge without the personal knowledge will not save us. In other words, knowing Lee Kuan Yew from books is very different from knowing the man personally.

We have to know God personally in order to be saved. Because if we do not know God pesonally, then He does not know us personally and the Bible says that such people are not saved.

Galatians 4:8-9 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. {9} But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

To know God is also to be known by Him. Therefore, knowing refers to personal knowledge and not intellectual knowledge.

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' {23} Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

These people have knowledge of God but God still does not know them because they never had a personal relationship with Him.

What does it mean to "believe" in God?

The NWT translates the Greek word for believe "pisteuo" as "exercise faith" because it implies doing works on the basis of one's belief.

John 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. {17} For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. {18} Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

However, if we study the verses that talk about believing, it does not include the idea of works.

Jn 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am, you will indeed die in your sins." (NIV)

Jn 10:38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (NIV)

Jn 11:27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." (NIV)

Mk 1:15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (NIV)

We see that believe is always in facts. When we say that we believe in Jesus, we are saying that we believe in the things Jesus said namely He is God and He came to die for our sins. It is impossible to expand the meaning of the word to include works. See also Rom 10:9, Jn 20:31 and Jn 8:24.

Who can go to heaven?

Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Only the little flock or the 144,000 go to heaven.

Revelation 7:4-8 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. {5} From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, {6} from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, {7} from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, {8} from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

It is clearly stated that the 144,000 are to come from the 12 tribes of Israel and not from all over the world. If the Jws take the tribes symbolically, why not also take the number 144,000 symbolically?

Where does the Bible teach that entrance to heaven will be closed in 1935? Rather, this is "divine truth" that Rutherford allegedly received.