Jehovah’s Witnesses: Satan’s Watchtower (Part three of the False Relgions, False Doctrines and Cults series)
This is the third in my series on false religions, doctrines and cults. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the two religious groups you are most likely to encounter on your doorstep. They seem nice, offer literature that appears Christian and will even offer to have Bible studies with you but they are as much a non-Christian cult as the Mormons.
Preface for Christians:
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been a common staple in American culture for many years. However, few of us have bothered to see what they really believe. They will present themselves as Christians but we must possess knowledge of this cult to protect ourselves and our families from being deceived.
Beliefs on Jesus:
Jehovah’s Witnesses have many bizarre doctrines but none so obviously non-Christian as their views on the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, much like the Oneness and Mormons, they deny the doctrine of the trinity. However, they deny it for totally different reasons than the others. As we have already covered, the Mormons believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three different Gods. On the other hand, the Oneness believe all three to simple be manifestations of the God but not distinct persons. Jehovah’s Witnesses, however do not view the Son or Holy Spirit as divine at all.
Specifically, they believe that Jesus was merely a created being and that the Holy Spirit is simply a force. Jesus did exist prior to his incarnation but not as part of the trinity. Prior to coming to this earth he was Michael the Archangel. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand is simply the active force of God. He possesses not personhood and is not “alive.” Furthermore, they will insist that Jesus did not die on the cross but on a stake. To the Jehovah’s Witnesses Jesus was not God the Son. He was only a perfect man.
While all this clearly separates them from the Christian fold, other beliefs are even more disturbing. One of which is that Jesus did not physically raise from the dead. The Bible is very clear that this is a damnable doctrine. In 1 Corinthians 15:17 the word says, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” Jehovah’s Witnesses would even go so far as to say that Jesus himself needed to be born again.
Since Jesus was not the Son of God, in any literal way salvation is based a great deal on personal works. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses salvation is attained by faith and good works. While there is no doubt that good works should naturally follow salvation they teach that such good works help one gain salvation. Furthermore, only good Jehovah’s Witnesses will be saved.
They say that their Church is Gods appointed prophet on earth, thus making any statements that come from the church as above criticism. Even being a Jehovah’s Witness is no guarantee of salvation as only 144,000 of them will be saved. Due to that, only the 144,000 may take communion and yet, for some odd reason, they continue to try to add souls to their count. Any interesting question that I have always wanted to ask the Jehovah’s Witness is, “What number are you?” After all, if the Witness on my doorstep is number 143,999, I still have a chance but if he is number 144,000 I’d rather not waste my time.
According to the Watchtower there are four requirements for salvation.
The first is knowledge of God. By this they mean knowledge of Gods plan for the earth and Jesus’ role as the King.
The second is obedience to God’s laws.
The third is to be associated with Gods channel or prophet, in this case the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.
The Fourth is loyalty to proclaiming Gods Kingdom; specifically going door to door to evangelize for the Watchtower Organization.
The Bible takes a much different approach. It is not our works or our connections that save us. Romans 5:1 says that we are justified by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Watchtower as a Prophet:
As I have stated above, the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that their church is Gods appointed prophet on earth. However, the test of prophet is found in their accuracy. An inaccurate prophet is, in reality a false prophet. Has the Watchtower Organization made false prophecies? Lets examine and see:
1897 "Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874," (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, p. 621).
1899 "...the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty, which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced," (The Time Is at Hand, 1908 edition, p. 101).
1916 "The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873," (The Time Is at Hand, forward, p. ii).
1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection," (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89).
1922 "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914," (Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262).
1923 "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge," (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923, p. 106).
1925 "The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year," (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3).
1941 "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon," (Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288).
1968 "Why are you looking forward to 1975?" (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494).
For the past 113 years the Watchtower has been predicting the end of the world. Look around. We’re still here. Their prophecies have proven time and time again to be false. If they can be so wrong on this how are we to trust them on anything else. If they are truly Gods prophet, our unchanging God seems to change His mind a great deal.
Hell and Eternity:
According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, hell is a human invention. There is no eternal punishment. When we die, we cease to be. At the end of days, the faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses will be resurrected to eternal life on paradise earth. Those who did not accept the Watchtower’s beliefs will be eternally annihilated. For those non-believers there is no heaven, there is no hell, there is no existence. They simply cease to be.
What does the Bible say about this non-existence at death?
"We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord," 2 Corinthians 5:8
Death is not the end for any of us. The Bible makes it very clear that the dead will transition to one place or the other. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will immediately be with Him in Heaven. Those who have rejected Him will be cast into eternal hell, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
New World Translation: Can it be trusted?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses knew well that their doctrines could not stand up to Biblical scrutiny. Rather than conform their doctrines to God Holy Word, they choose to create a bible “translation” that would back them up. What are some of the key differences in this “New World Translation?”
"In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters," (New World Translation) Genesis 1:1-2
Given the Watchtowers denial of the doctrine of the Trinity and of the personhood of the Holy Spirit they have changed the words “the Spirit of God” to “God’s active force.”
“And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of favor and entreaties, and they will certainly look to the One whom they pierced through, and they will certainly wail over Him as in the wailing over an only [son]; and there will be a bitter lamentation over him as when there is bitter lamentation over the firstborn [son].” Zechariah 12:10 (New World Translation)
The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus is God in the flesh, second person of the Trinity. Obviously, they knew that the correct translation of this verse posed a serious problem for them. That is why they changed the word “me” to “the One.”
“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” John 1:1 (New World Translation)
Jehovah’s Witnesses have added the “a” to this verse to further deny that Jesus is the true God. The simple addition of the word “a” is to signify that Jesus is not the true God but is simply in a god-like form.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist” Colossians 1:15-17 (New World Translation)
Denying that trinity and the divinity of Jesus, the Jehovah’s Witnesses knew this verse posed a serious problem. Naturally, only God could be the creator so they have inserted the word “other” into the scripture several times. However, a serious problem is detected when we look to the Greek. In Greek there are two words for “other.” The first is heteros and the second is allos. Neither word is found in the Biblical manuscripts for this verse.
I will end our examination of the Watchtowers New World Translation here. However, these are simply a few of the many faulty and dangerous mistranslations contained within its pages. A careful examination of the NWT can lead to only one conclusion; the Watchtower has changed its version to suit their own doctrinal stances.
Studying the Jehovah’s Witnesses we can clearly see that they are certainly not a Christian church. Denial of the trinity would have been enough to declare them non-Christian. However, when combined with their denial of the physical resurrection of Jesus, denial of salvation by grace through faith alone, false prophecies and their mistranslation of the Holy Bible we can only conclude that they are, in fact a cult and can not be trusted.