Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. -Isaiah 2:2-
As Jehovah's Witnesses, we are conditioned to believe that ONLY those who belong to the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses have the hope of surviving Armageddon - whenever that may come. We are accustomed to the teaching that all other Christian faiths around the world are collectively all part of "false religion," and are destined to destruction on the day of God's anger. Such teachings are found in a broad spectrum of articles, magazines, books, booklets, tracts, brochures extending back decades. It is the explicit belief by the leadership of the Jehovah's Witnesses that one must be linked to the Jehovah's Witness organization for any hope in escaping God's wrath.
By such teaching, we must be willing, through the process of reasonableness, to conclude that if one has been given the opportunity to hear the message of a Jehovah's Witness and decides the religion is not for them, that they have compromised any opportunity for everlasting life. It is also believed that if one leaves the organization, albeit due to the long history of false doctrine(s), and/or abusive behavior heaped upon an individual by an elder, or body of elders, that they have handed themselves over to Satan and also destined for destruction. In fact, these very things are what the leadership teaches . . . but is it reasonable? Most of all . . . is it scriptural? Of course, the scriptures in no manner state that Jesus would raise a body of men 1900 years after Christ to lead mankind! But regardless, the leadership has been effective at convincing millions that this is what has happened. Notice in the article below (one of many) the false reasoning of the Governing Body on this topic.
In the Watchtower 2009 August 1, pp 3-4 it says: "Was Jesus really saying that some religions lead “to destruction”? Or was he teaching that only unbelievers are on the broad road, whereas those who believe in God—no matter what their religion—are on the narrow road that leads to life? Immediately after stating that there are only two roads, Jesus said: “Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves.” (Matthew 7:15, New Century Version) Later he said: “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.” (Matthew 7:21, Today’s English Version) If someone is called a prophet or claims that Jesus is his “Lord,” it is reasonable to say that he is a religious person, not an unbeliever. Clearly, then, Jesus was warning that not all religions are good and not all religious teachers should be trusted." Of course, the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses referred to themselves, mind you, for decades as "prophet-like." And with constant changes in doctrine, in some cases complete reversals, followed by more reversals, may we consider them as a false prophet that Jesus warned about? Absolutely, we may! For example, will the men of Sodom be resurrected? How could any Witness answer this . . . for it has been changed TEN times to date from "yes" to "no" to "maybe" to "no" to date. It has been changed twice in one book alone! How is it that the leadership feel they are exempt with such massive fallacy of scripture over the decades? When it comes to the illustration above, may we conclude, as a true Christian, that some true Christians may be on the ONE ROAD leading to life from different Christian faiths? Absolutely, we may! The leadership interprets the road leading to life as literally ONE SINGLE ROAD OF ONE SINGLE RELIGION, instead of the road occupied by people whose faith is in Christ Jesus, regardless of what individual religious group or congregation they may belong to. Do you identify another fallacy here, in this teaching of theirs? Surely, we do.
The Governing Body, in this article, use an illustration of a traveler needing a map for guidance. How true. But the illustration is meant to initially lead the reader in believing that the correct map may only be obtained through the JW organization. However, the innocent sheep may be caught unaware of the tactic. They suggest that the map needed is the Holy Bible, which they have correct. But that is only a ploy, or another tactic to initially convince the person in believing that the bible is their ONLY source of authority. Notice this point here: "Since not all roads lead to God, how can you find among the thousands of options the narrow road that leads to life? Consider this illustration: Imagine that you are lost in a big city. You decide to ask for help. One person confidently tells you to go east. Another urges you to head west. Yet another suggests that you choose whatever direction feels best to you. Finally, a fellow traveler takes out a reliable map and shows you the correct route. He then gives you the map so that you can refer to it along the way. Would you not feel more confident of reaching your destination? So, too, when it comes to choosing the right religious road, we need a reliable spiritual road map. Does one exist? Yes, it does. That map is the Bible, which declares: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”--2 Timothy 3:16, King James Version. You likely have available in your language a translation of the Bible that you can use as a spiritual road map. The publishers of this journal, Jehovah’s Witnesses, produce a reliable Bible translation known as the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures."
The leadership make it appear that the bible is their only reference tool. As a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses for some 45 years I can testify to the fact, as any previous member, that this is only a deception. Soon after studying with a Jehovah's Witness, the student will suddenly find themselves studying through a book published by the JW organization instead of JUST the bible! In addition, the scriptures they use (as a map) are often misapplied and taken completely out of context! And this is why they prefer to manipulate the person studying to begin to use the New Word Translation (their version), because it is carefully designed, through multiple revisions, to fit their teaching. In example, in previous versions of the NWT, Micah 6:8, along with a number of others, properly rendered the Hebrew word "chesed" (also "hesed"), which means "grace" as "loving kindness." The majority of all translations render chesed as either "mercy" or "loving kindness, and this is very appropriate for the context. What is important is to read the CONTEXT, since Hebrew is a contextual language, and carefully examine the Hebrew lexicon and the exhaustive concordance to understand the proper word necessary for any particular verse. However, in the newest version of the NWT (2013), they changed "loving kindness" to "loyal love." And they changed it to "loyal love" or "loyalty" a number of times in different passages where it used to say "loving kindness." Why did they do that? No one would ever think to examine it closely. However, when reviewing articles in their printed literature since 2013, they now have a number of scriptures to use when they speak of the organization, or its elder and Governing Body. You see . . . even though they had it absolutely right in the beginning, that is, "loving kindness," they changed it to "loyal love," and again in other verses to "loyalty." Why? They needed verses to utilize the import of giving our loyalty, or loyal love to the organization and its leadership. What a serpentine and unholy maneuver on their part. But it is important to note, that many verses are taken out of context, not just those. So how important it is to understand the importance of research on our part, otherwise, we are caught unawares! But that is what they are banking on!
It is also their position that seeking the scriptural counsel from the Jehovah's Witnesses is the only way one may reach the road leading to life . . . the ONLY organization on earth with the proper map. And this is a huge part of the problem, because the members are conditioned and trained to ONLY research within the parameters of the organizations literature. In fact, if I had to take an educated guess, a very accurate estimate would be around 95-99% of all members do no research in the real study tools to come to an accurate understanding of scripture and context, such as utilizing the exhaustive concordance, the Hebrew and Greek lexicons, the Hebrew and Greek Interlinear etc etc. The majority do not even know what those tools are and what they are necessary for - not to suggest in any manner that the members as a whole, and as individuals are some of the most sincere and kind people I have ever know during my 45 years in the organization. But in the end, truth is truth, deception is deception no matter how kind and sincere a person may be!
It also becomes more humorous, and perhaps deeply disquieting when it is suggested that people seek out a Jehovah's Witness when it comes to understanding bible doctrine when one begins to consider the massive changes in doctrine over the years. They explain this by referencing Proverbs 4:18. They believe that that scripture applies to them, and them alone - and that is, that God would give them increasing accuracy and understanding as time proceeds on. First, this is taken completely out of context. For when one examines the entire chapter, they quickly find that this is NOT what the verse is saying. Second, they use that scripture as though God had it written especially for them, and them alone! Interesting . . . for I was always under the belief that God's inspired Word was written for ALL mankind!
So, what was Jesus speaking of in his illustration regarding the "broad and spacious road" vs the road that is "narrow and cramped?" Was Jesus speaking of some religious group that would appear on the world scene some 1900 years later and claim that theywould be the religion, or system of belief that would be aligned with the "road leading to life?" This would be absurd! Of course, the answer is NO! Jesus was speaking of the truth as taught by him. In the above article, it speaks of Jesus' words when he says, "not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven..." - what was he speaking of here? He was speaking of those who claimed to follow in Christ footsteps, those who claim to be Christian. But as we know, there are many who make such claims, but when we examine their way of life, they appear like anything but a true Christian! This is in harmony with 2 Timothy 3:5 when it says, " . . . holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." There were clearly those who admit to being followers of Christ, even at that time, but proved false to the power of a true Christian - by their way of life. And this is what we see to this very day.
Therefore, the many articles the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses have that label all Christian religions as part of Babylon the Great, are outright lies and intellectual deceptions, perverting the scriptures to deceiving ones in believing that ONLY salvation may be gained through the Jehovah's Witness religion.
Another argument the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses uses to support their claim that only they have the "true faith," is that all Christian denominations the world over are teaching different things, including the false teachings of hell and the Trinity, therefore, since they are in disagreement, they cannot have God's approval, since God is a God of order. First, it is interesting to note that while most Christian sects around the world may have varying opinion or different explanation of bible doctrine, the organization does as well! How is it that they feel that THEY do not meet this criteria, yet everyone else does? For instance, the Jehovah's Witnesses teach (as instructed by their Governing Body) that under the new covenant arrangement, that Jesus is the Mediator to ONLY those claiming to be anointed of Jehovah's Witnesses on earth - no one else whatsoever! This is completely unsupported by scripture, and a massive perversion of scripture, and a complete absurdity when one examines the subject of the new covenant arrangement. There are too many beliefs taught by the leadership that perverse the scriptures and teach doctrine(s) that either the scriptures are absolutely silent on, or twist the scriptures to make it look as though it is saying one thing, when it says another. Also, there have been hundreds of books written by the leadership that have been shelved due to severe scriptural inaccuracy. Is it reasonable to conclude that they too have had false understandings, false doctrines? Of course, it is!
So let us get to the meat of the question . . . DO ALL ROADS LEAD TO GOD? When we say "all roads," we speak of Christian roads, since the Holy Bible, as inspired of God, directly condemns religions that steep in idolatrous worship as their form of belief. Therefore, though they will be judged by God, not us, we remain diligent in directing our focus here on Christian faiths only, not idolatrous faiths. So, DO ALL CHRISTIAN FAITHS LEAD TO GOD? The answer must be a definitive and absolute YES!! After 45 years as a Jehovah's Witness, it was exceedingly difficult to accept such a thing as truth. But I realized that God's Word also spoke of a great apostasy that would occur (2Thess 2:3). And as the foremost apostate, Satan the devil has made sure that apostate teachings exist in ALL Christian faiths earth wide. There is no way around that! But no one religion may lay claim to being the ONLY true faith, such as the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. The opening scripture on this page says, "And all the nations will stream to it." Yes, peoples of all Christian faiths earth wide, regardless of the false beliefs have one very powerful thing in common . . . a superfine feature! What is it? Jesus!! Yes, our Master, Mediator, Redeemer, Ransomer, Chief Agent, Perfector of our Faith! And we each have a Christian duty to continue to examine the scriptures and seek out the truth of the writings. We then need to examine the religion we are in and if we have identified false teaching, we must commit ourselves to the truth of what we have found, even should we remain in the religion. We also have a responsibility to minister to others, and to be ministered to as well. These things are holy.
Yes . . . it is indeed true. ALL CHRISTIAN FAITH LEAD TO GOD! But let us never give up proving who we are as true Christians. Let us continue to allow ourselves to be molded by bible truth, not by men who may claim that their interpretation is the ONLY interpretation, especially since the bible makes it clear that "interpretations belong to God." And it is through his spirit, as well as consulting useful tools such as ancient historian writings, bible commentaries, and our brothers and sisters in Christ who have a broad spectrum of scriptural understanding. Let us continue to mold ourselves by our Mediator Jesus, our heavenly Father, and by doing so, we will receive the holy spirit necessary to continue as holy members of the body of Christ . . . whichever Christian faith, or path we may be on, as a narrow and cramped road leading to salvation!