The Holy Spirit is not The Force (The dangerous gospel of the Jehovah Witnesses)

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are on a massive marketing campaign in our area.  Unfortunately, the gospel that they are marketing is a false gospel that cannot save.  It is a gospel that undermines the Person of Jesus and the Person of the Holy Spirit.

The JW’s say that Jesus is not God, but a created being.  Thus, they deny the Lordship of Christ.

Not only that, they also deny the deity of the Holy Spirit.  They teach that the Holy Spirit is simply a force or influence. Therefore, they deny the Trinity that says there is one God made up of three Persons.  Christian people, however, hold to the doctrine of the Trinity, because it is taught in the Bible.

Who is God?

Article 1 of the 39 Articles of Religion, our church and denomination’s Statement of Faith, says: 

There is only one living and true God. His existence is everlasting, without beginning or end…his power, wisdom, and goodness are infinite. He is the Creator and Preserver of all things whether seen or unseen. In the unity of this one true God there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are one in being, power and eternity.

The word “Trinity” does not occur in the Bible, but the concept of Trinity certainly does.

At the beginning of the universe, God simply spoke it into being.  Then God said to himself, “Let US make mankind in OUR image.” (Genesis 1:26)  God did not say, “Let ME make mankind in MY image”.  God has revealed himself as 3-in-1 from the beginning of the Bible.  In later years, God the Father sends God the Son (a human Saviour) into the world, who is empowered by God the Holy Spirit.

Who is God? He is the sovereign and good God, who is 3-in-1.

Who is Jesus?

On one occasion Jesus was on a boat and there was a terrific storm, so much so that career-fishermen were frightened. If career-fishermen are frightened, you should be too.  Jesus stood up and commanded his creation to be still and it was still.  The disciples then asked each other a very good question,

Who is this that the wind and waves obey him?”

The answer is that the wind and waves only obey one person and it’s not me or you; it’s God.

That’s why we can pray for rain. The wind and the waves and the rain listen to their Creator.  It’s no big deal for God to make it rain, that’s what he does – he providentially rules over his creation.  He makes the sun rise and sun set.  He keeps your heart beating.  He keeps the birds in the air and the earth on its axis.

Who is Jesus?  God with us, as a human.

Jesus behaved like a human.  He is described as a human in the New Testament.  He grew tired, hungry and thirsty. And yet he was without sin.  He is the divine man.  Jesus is fully God and fully human.

Because he is fully God and fully human, Jesus can mediate between God and humans.

As a human, he can pay for human sin. As God, he can pay fully for all the sin of all God’s people.

If you deny the Lordship of Christ like the JW’s do, you have serious theological problems and you, more tragically, cannot be Christian.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Bible teaches that they Holy Spirit is not a force like gravity or an influence like The Force in Star Wars, but a Person in the 3-in-1 God.   The Holy Spirit prays, teaches, speaks, grieve, wills and leads.  These are all personal activities.

To illustrate the person-hood and deity of the Holy Spirit we have a remarkable account in Acts 5 about Ananias and Sapphira in the early church.  They sold a plot of land and donated the money to the church.  They donated only part of the money (which was fine), but told the apostles that it was all the money – they lied.

V1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? (Acts 5:1-3)

Notice that he didn’t only lie to the apostles, he (v3) lied to Holy Spirit …and God killed him.

Unrepentant sin in the church is a very serious thing, and if you are possibly committing unrepentant sin, you best take this account as a warning.

The point is you can’t lie to a rock or an inanimate force, but you can lie to person.

v4 ….”While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.  (Acts 5:4-5)

Peter says they lied to the Holy Spirit (v3), in the next breath, he says they lied to God (v4).  The implication is obvious, the Holy Spirit is God.

Implication of the Trinity

God did not create human beings because he was lonely and needed companionship.  God is in perfect, loving relationship with himself from all eternity, to all eternity. This truth is very liberating.  God is not dependent on me or you for anything.  God does not need you to sing at church for him to feel good about himself.  God is totally self-sufficient in himself.  And yet chooses to shower his love and grace on us, not because he is compelled to, but because he wants to in love.  

Because God is relational and in perfect relationship with himself, we too are created for meaningful relationships.  Ultimately, we were created to have a meaningful, good relationship with God. There will always be something missing in our lives until we have a right relationship with God through Jesus.

Sincerely wrong

The Jehovah Witnesses are dangerous.  They are marketing a heresy under the guise of Christianity.  They are either devious or misled. Whatever the case, they are sincerely and dangerously wrong. They are not only endangering their own souls, but those who they seek to “reach”. 

When you see JW’s in the street, say a silent prayer for them. Pray that Jehovah would reveal his truth to them that he is Trinity, and pray that their “missionary” endeavours would be unsuccessful and unfruitful.