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JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

Contemporary Cults  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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BEGINNINGS

In 1881 Charles Taze Russell started Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society in Pittsburgh, which today is known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

By 1904 Russel had written six volumes that became known as Studies in the Scriptures

Russell died in 1916, two years after his 1914 prediction of God’s Kingdom being set up on earth passed by

Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford became second president of the Watchtower Society

Rutherford predicted the OT patriarchs were to be resurrected and usher in the righteous government of Jehovah in 1925

In 1931 those affiliated with the Watchtower would now be called “Jehovah’s Witnesses”

1975 was pegged as the year human history was to end with Armageddon and Christ setting up the Millennial Kingdom

BELIEFS

(1) Jesus Is A Lesser God

JW’s believe Jesus and the archangel Michael are the same being

Michael gave up his existence as an angel when his life force was transferred into Mary’s womb by Jehovah

Jesus was not physically resurrected, he became nonexistent (physically) after dying on the cross and was raised (recreated) three days later as Michael the archangel

The Watchtower Society uses to argue that Jesus as a “mighty god” is a lesser God than God the Father

reads, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

The Society ignores the next chapter () that calls Jehovah “Mighty God”

JW’s use to prove that Jesus is the archangel Michael, “For the Lord Himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first”

JW’s

However, this verse does not describe Jesus speaking, but rather descending from heaven when the voice of the archangel speaks

Jesus and the archangel Michael cannot be one and the same. Jesus is God (; ; ; ) and Creator of all things, including angels (; )

(2) The One True God Is Jehovah

The Society believes the following about Jehovah: a) Long ago superstitious Jewish scribes removed the sacred name “Jehovah” from the Bible

b) The New World Translation “restores” the name in the OT where the Hebrew consonants “YHWH” appear and inserts the name in the NT replacing “the Father”

c) JW’s insist they are the true followers of God because they are the only group that refers to God by His “true” name

Ancient Jews inserted the vowels from Adonai (a-o-a) among the consonants YHWH, resulting in Yahowah, or Jehovah

Both the OT and NT use generic terms for “God” and “Lord,” including El, Elohim, and Adonai (Hebrew); Theos and Kurios (Greek)

“Jehovah” does not appear in any Hebrew or Greek manuscripts

(3) The Trinity Is A Pagan Lie

The Society holds the Trinity to be a lie because of the trinities of gods that existed in ancient Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt before the time of Christ

JW’s use to assert that God is not a God of confusion and the Trinity is definitely confusing, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints”

is not referring to confusing doctrine but disorderly church practices

Paul wrote, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ()

JW’s like to use , “I and the Father are one,” to prove that Jesus and the Father are “one in purpose”

The Jews knew Jesus meant “one” with the Father, because they immediately tried to stone him to death for committing blasphemy

The doctrine of the Trinity asserts there is one God consisting of three coequal and coeternal persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

(4) The Holy Spirit Is God’s Active Force

The Society believes the Holy Spirit is not God or a person

JW’s argue from that the Holy Spirit does not have a personality, “And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove”

After all, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush (), and Jesus is described as the bread of life () and even as a door ()

The Bible does give personal attributes of the Holy Spirit: Mind (), emotions (), and a will ()

reads, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”

Nonetheless, the Bible speaks of being filled with God himself () and of Christ filling all things ()

The Holy Spirit does things only a person could do: Teaching (), guiding () and speaking to people ()

(5) Man Is A Living Soul

JW’s believe man is a combination of body and “breath” that forms a “living soul”

The righteous dead remain unconscious in the grave until the time of future resurrection

The Society asserts from that the soul does not survive after the physical death of the body

says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”

However, Scripture tells us Jesus will rejoin souls and spirits to their resurrection bodies in heaven ()

Paul wrote it is better to depart and to be with the Christ () and to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord ()

JW’s use to show that humans do not have an immaterial nature called the spirit or soul

reads, “For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity”

Jesus himself described hell as a place of “unquenchable flames” () where the bodies of the unrepentant will never die (cf. )

(6) Salvation Must Be Earned

The Society believes grace and faith in Christ is needed to be saved

Total obedience to the Watchtower and vigorous participation in its assorted programs is needed for salvation

JW’s believe means salvation is not assured for anyone, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”

However, in context, Paul was addressing the Philippian church’s internal problems that were holding back their spiritual growth

The Bible speaks of three tenses of salvation: a) Justification (Being saved from the penalty of sin),

b) Sanctification (Being saved from sin’s power), ) Glorification (Being saved from the presence of sin),

(7) Jehovah Saves Two Classes Of People

JW’s believe the “Anointed Class” is made of 144,000 JW’s who died in 1935 or before

The Society argues that indicates only the “anointed class” will live forever with God in heaven, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”

However, tells us that “whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” states, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God”

JW’s cite as justification for teaching that 144,000 are destined to live in heaven with God, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed”

However, the passage is speaking of 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each tribe. Verses 7:5-7 list the tribes and numbers

Verses showing all who believe in Jesus can look forward to a heavenly destiny ( ; ; ; ; )

JW’s refer to to show that there will be “other sheep” who will live forever on a paradise earth, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd”

Jesus was speaking to two flocks in chapter 10: The Jews who followed Christ were called his “sheep” and the “other sheep” who were the Gentile believers

Jehovah Prohibits Contamination By The World

JW’s do not wear crosses because they believe it is a pagan religious symbol adopted by the church

However, wearing a cross is not idolatry because the cross itself is not worshipped or venerated

The Watchtower Society prohibits the celebrating of birthdays because of

JW’s cite pointing to Herod putting John the Baptist to death on his birthday

The Society believes prohibits blood transfusions, “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood”

JW’s also use that says, “And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal”

JW’s are prohibited from participating in war in any capacity, voting, holding government office, saluting a flag, and major holiday events

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