A CLOSE LOOK AT THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Jehovah’s witnesses have a high zeal for involvement in their church and what they believe. They have a strong interest in the Bible. They spend several hours every week in Bible study. Their missionary efforts are tremendous. They have a high concern for religious apostasy in Christianity. They take a stand against evolution. They believe in the coming battle of Armageddon and the millennial reign of Christ.
Their founder is Charles Taze Russell, born Feb. 16, 1852; died Oct. 31, 1916. At an early age he rejected the doctrine of eternal torment and in 1870, at 18, he started his own organized religion. He was the author of the “Watch Tower” publication that in 1975 was printed at 244,000,000 copies sent to the U.S. and 78 different languages.
In the WatchTower he advertised wheat seed for sale at $1.00/lb and was advertised as miracle wheat, and it was asserted that it would grow five times as much as any other brand of wheat. He was proved to be a fraud in court at a later date.
Russell was the controlling hand of the entire financial power of the Society. Of the $1,000 capital, he held $990 and two of his followers the other $10. He denied making any profit from the organization, yet he was directly heir to practically all the stock.
Pastor Russell printed imaginary sermons in his WatchTower publication saying that he preached in countries that he visited in which was later found out he never appeared in front of a crowd. The truth was found out that the whole expedition was merely a huge advertising scheme.
Russell claimed to be a philosopher and ordained minister. In court Russell was exposed as a pseudo-scholar and philosopher who never attended the higher schools of learning and was never ordained by a bishop, clergyman, presbytery, council, or any body of men living. In court he claimed to be a Greek scholar, yet in court he could not identify the Greek alphabet. He lied under sworn oath and proved himself a perjurer. In court it was discovered that he divorced his wife and gave his wife alimony.
Upon Russell’s death, Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford became the leader. He, too, was corrupt. He spent a term in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for violation of the Espionage Act” in 1918. He condemned all religious opponents as “enemies of God.” Rutherford declared in effect that he was the mouthpiece of Jehovah for his age and that God had designated his words as the expressive of divine mandate. Rutherford declared in the writings that Christ appeared on earth in presence in 1874.
1. They claim to be the true representatives of God, that they are the present prophets of God, and the only channel of Biblical truth to man. What does the Bible say? Deut. 18:21-22; Matt. 7:15; Gal. 1:8-9
– False prophesy = when they say Jesus returned in Oct. 1874; and we are supposedly in the thousand-year reign of Christ.
- False prophesy = 1914, 1918, 1925 were supposed to be the years of the end of the world and the thousand year reign of Christ begin. Luke 21:8; 2 Pet. 2:1
2. They deny the Deity of Jesus Christ; they believe the doctrine of the Trinity originated from Satan. Matt. 1:23; John 1:1; 20:24-28; 5:16-18; 10:30, 37-38; 12:45; 14:6-11; 17:5; 1 John 5:8
3. They deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus and claim instead that He was raised a “divine spirit being.” John 2:19-21; 20:24-28; Lk. 24:36-43; Matt. 28:5-9; 27:50-53;
4. They teach that the atonement of Christ is not wholly of God, but rather half God and half man, that man must do half of His “work” for salvation. Heb. 9:11-14; 9:22-28; John 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:24; Col. 1:19-22; Rom. 5:8-11; Rev. 5:9-10
5. They deny a physical return of Christ along with teaching that He returned in 1914.
Matt. 24:30; Rev. 1:7; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; Zech. 12:10; Acts 1:9-11
6. They deem themselves independent of allegiance to any government other than God’s. They will not salute the flag or fight for their country. Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; Titus 3:1; John 19:11; Matt. 22:21; 17:24-27
7. They teach that hell is the grave, the place where mortals wait for the resurrection, and there is no conscious punishment after death, as in hell fire. Matt. 5:22; 10:28; 18:9; 13:41-42,
49-50; Isa. 66:24; Rev. 19:20; 20:10-15; Matt. 8:28-29; Rev. 14:9-11; 2 Pet. 3:10-12
8. They teach that Satan was annihilated, completely destroyed, when he was cast out of Heaven. Ezek. 28:16-19; Isa. 14:12-15; Eph. 6:10-13; 1 Pet. 5:8
9. They teach the soul is not an eternal entity, but merely a principle of life; it is not part of our being. Rev. 6:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:51-55; 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 5:4-5; Lk. 23:46; Acts 7:59
10. They teach that the “Kingdom of Heaven” is an invisible Kingdom on earth and Christ’s return was invisible in 1874 and He set up His Kingdom beginning in 1914; that there only 144,000 saved humans who are in the “Kingdom of Heaven.” Zech. 14:4; Ezek. 37:20-28; Lk. 17:20-30; Matt. 24:26-31; Rev. 7:1-10; 5:6-10
11. They believe there is no present way to know your salvation is promised, so in the mean time you do your best and only hope that you will be saved come Judgement Day. Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10:9-11; John 3:16-17; Mark 16:16; 1 John 5:12-13
Other Doctrines They Believe
1. God’s personal name is Jehovah (The Truth Shall Make Your Free, p. 17)
2. Only Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting (Make Sure of All Things, 1965, p. 486).
3. Holy Spirit is God’s active force, not a person (MS, p. 487).
4. There was a time when Jehovah was alone in universal space. All life and energy and thought were contained in him alone. (Let God Be True, 1952, p. 25).
5. The obvious conclusion is that Satan is the originator of the trinity doctrine. (LG, p. 101).
6. Elohim is the plural of majesty. It does not mean that he is mysteriously a trinity (New Heavens and New Earth, p. 36).
· Scriptures that refute the above: Gen. 1:1; Deut. 4:35; John 4:24; 1 Tim. 2:5; Matt. 28:19; 3:16-17; Gen. 11:7; Isa. 48:16
1. Not Jehovah God. He was the first son that Jehovah God brought forth (LG, p. 32).
2. He is the First Creation by God (MS, p. 282).
3. Jesus Christ had a pre-human existence (LG, p. 34).
4. Michael the archangel is no other than the only-begotten Son of God, now Jesus Christ (NH, p. 30).
5. Jesus was born about Oct. 1, BC 2, of the virgin Mary (LG, p. 36).
6. At baptism Jesus was anointed to become the Messiah, or Jesus the Christ (Anointed) (LG, p. 38).
7. He showed his subjection to God by humbling himself to a most disgraceful death on a torture stake (LG, p. 35).
8. God raised him as a mighty immortal spirit Son (LG, p. 40).
9. Christ was not raised in flesh, but with a spiritual body (MS, p. 426).
· Scriptures that refute the above: John 1:1; Matt. 1:18; Isa. 7:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; John 1:14, 18; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:17; Heb. 7:25; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:13-18
1. The Holy Spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God, which moves his servants to do his will (LG, p. 108).
· Scriptures that refute the above: John 15:26; 16:8, 13; 14:26; Rom. 8:11; Eph. 5:18; Rom. 8:9, 14, 16
REDEMPTION AND SALVATION
1. Jesus’ perfect human life with all its rights and prospects, was laid down in death, but not for sin and in punishment (LG, p. 116). Jesus was raised a divine spirit creature.
2. That which is redeemed or brought back is perfect human life with its rights and earthly prospects (LG, p. 114).
3. The Bible plainly shows that 144,000 will share in heavenly glory, while the others will enjoy blessings of life down here on earth (LG, p. 298).
4. All who by ransom of faith in Jehovah God and in Christ Jesus dedicate themselves to do God’s will and then faithfully carry out their dedication will be rewarded with everlasting life (LG, p. 298).
5. Unnumbered crowds of faithful persons do not expect to go to heaven. They have been promised everlasting life on earth if they prove their faithfulness (LG, p. 231), by faith in Jehovah’s baptism, “provided…they abide in him, keeping their good conscience through faith and loyal service” (NH, p. 311).
6. Armageddon survivors and the mass of humankind will find life here on earth amid paradise conditions (LG, p. 279).
7. It is a gross twisting of the Scriptures to throw Jesus’ words of John 3:3 to make them embrace all mankind (The WatchTower, Nov. 15, 1954, p. 681). This “great crowd” of people are not “born again,” nor do they need to be “born again,” because they gain everlasting life on the earth (Ibid., p. 682).
· Scriptures that refute the above: Acts 16:31; Jn. 1:12; 3:18; 3:36; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:24; Rom. 10:4
1. The doctrine of a burning hell where the wicked are tortured eternally after death cannot be true (LG, p. 99).
2. A dead person is unconscious, inactive. The soul (entire being) itself is dead (MS, p. 143).
3. The millennial judgment day is a 1,000-year judgment day (LG, p. 284-286).
4. All who reject the Kingdom message will be destroyed (LG, p. 190; YM, p. 341).
· Scriptures that refute the above: Rom. 6:23; Dan. 12:2; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:12; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Mark 9:45
Suggestions for Jehovah’s Witnesses
1. Be very kind and loving to these people. God loves these people. Christ died for them. Your Christian kindness will help your testimony to be far more effective.
2. Give them a copy of “Open Letter to Jehovah’s Witnesses.” (Moody Monthly) Do NOT give them this material yet.
3. Ask the to do for themselves now what they should have done for themselves before they became a Jehovah’s witness…check the evidence to see for themselves whether their organization is really teaching the truth.
4. Tell them to check the references listed in the “Open Letter to Jehovah’s Witnesses.”