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Our Need for a Personal Relationship with Jesus

Bible teach Ch 19

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

“Bible Teach”, Chapter 19, paragraphs 10-14 (pp. 187-189) discusses the importance of continuing to learn about Jehovah (10), to study the Scriptures (11), to think deeply on them (12-13), and to pray sincerely from the heart (14).

Paragraph 11 (p. 188) says, “Jesus wanted his followers to keep their love for Jehovah and for His precious Word of truth alive and burning brightly. After his resurrection, Jesus taught two of his disciples about some of the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that were fulfilled in him. What was the effect? They later said: ‘Were not our hearts burning within us as he was speaking to us on the road, as he was fully opening up the Scriptures to us?’—Luke 24:32.”

We can agree with all of that, but we need to stress that in order for the Word to burn in our hearts—as it did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus—we need to have a personal relationship with Jesus in which he opens the Scriptures to us.

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Our Need for Inner Transformation

Bible teach Ch 19

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

“Bible Teach”, Chapter 19, paragraph 7 (p. 186) says, “As described in the Bible, love for God is much more than a feeling… The Bible teaches: ‘This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.’ (1 John 5:3). To be genuine, love for God must bear fine fruit. It must be expressed in actions.”

What the Watchtower fails to understand is that none of this is possible without the inner transformation provided by the new birth (see The New Birth Approach from my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, pp. 131-133).

You can drive the point home by asking the Witnesses to tell you honestly how they think they are doing at keeping all of Jehovah’s commandments. Are they certain if they died tonight that Jehovah would consider them worthy to be resurrected? Continue reading

Is God’s Love Conditional?

Bible teach Ch 19

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

With the Watchtower’s emphasis on works, it’s not surprising that the title of the last chapter of the book comes from a partial quotation from Jude 21—“Remain in God’s Love.” Continue reading

The Meaning of Baptism

Bible teach Ch 18

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

What is baptism all about?

“Bible Teach,” Chapter 18, paragraph 23 (p. 182) states that baptism “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit… means that a baptism candidate recognizes the authority of Jehovah God and of Jesus Christ. He also recognizes the function and activity of God’s holy spirit, or active force.”

This provides a good opportunity to use The Holy Spirit is God Approach from my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, especially pp. 193 and 197 regarding the “name” shared by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

The Contrast Between Watchtower and Bible Baptism

Bible teach Ch 18

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

After you have worked your way through all the baptism requirements set out in Chapter 18 of “Bible Teach”, ask the Witnesses to contrast that with what the Bible reveals about baptisms of people in the New Testament.

Take your time with each passage. Continue reading

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