Jehovah's Witnesses

by Matt Slick

  1. Jehovah's Witness doctrines
    1. There is no Trinity (Let God be True, pp. 100-101; Make Sure of All Things, p. 386); The Holy Spirit is God's impersonal active force (The Watchtower, June 1, 1952, p. 24); Their church is the self-proclaimed prophet of God (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197); They claim to be the only channel of God's truth (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981, p. 19).
    2. Jehovah's first creation was his 'only-begotten Son'. . . was used by Jehovah in creating all other things (Aid to Bible Understanding, pp. 390-391); Jesus was Michael the archangel who became a man (The Watchtower, May 15, 1963, p. 307; The New World, 284); Jesus was only a perfect man, not God in flesh (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p. 306); Jesus did not rise from the dead in his physical body (Awake! July 22, 1973, p. 4).
    3. Jesus was raised "not a human creature, but a spirit" (Let God be True, p. 276); Jesus did not die on a cross but on a stake (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 89-90); Jesus returned to earth, invisibly, in 1914 (The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 300); Jesus' ransom sacrifice did not include Adam (Let God be True, p. 119).
    4. Only their church members will be saved (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1979, p. 30); Good works are necessary for salvation (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 150, 152); The soul ceases to exist after death (Let God be True, pp. 59, 60, 67); There is no hell of fire where the wicked are punished (Let God be True, pp. 79, 80).
    5. The soul ceases to exist after death (Let God be True, pp. 59, 60, 67); There is no hell of fire where the wicked are punished (Let God be True, pp. 79, 80); Only 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses go to heaven (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 166-167, 361; Let God be True, p. 121). Only the 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses are born again (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p. 76.; The Watchtower Nov. 15, 1954, p. 681).
  2. Salvation according to the Jehovah's Witnesses
    1. According to the Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12, there are four requirements for salvation: "Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God's laws, yes, to conform one's life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life. 1 Cor. 6:9,10; 1 Pet. 4:3, 4."
      1. See quote in context
      2. Ask the JW if he/she is doing what the Watchtower says to do. Are you keeping God's laws?
      3. If the JW says he isn't, then why not? Is he disobeying the Watchtower?
      4. The Watchtower says you have to obey God's laws. Which laws are those you have to obey? Which moral requirements must you obey?
    2. "Yes, there are various things involved in getting saved. We must take in accurate knowledge of God's purposes and his way of salvation. Then we must exercise faith in the Chief Agent of salvation, Jesus Christ, and do God's will the rest of our lives" (John 3:16; Titus 2:14) (The Watchtower, Sept 15, 1989, p. 7).
      1. See quote in context--at end of page
    3. "When a person, on the basis of the Scriptural knowledge he has gained, has belief It would be a mistake for him [one who has belief in Christ] to think that he is now saved and cannot fall. He must show by his endurance in the Christian faith that he is worthy of salvation . . . Salvation from death is a gift from God to those that obey him, not to those that disobey" (The Watchtower, March 1, 1960, p. 134).
      1. See quote in context
    4. Baptism is necessary for salvation.
      1. "It is evident from this [Rom. 10:9-10] that besides faith and baptism, public declaration to the effect that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised him up from the dead is a requirement for salvation" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1979, p. 15, Baptism, A Christian Requirement).
    5. "These foregoing scriptures [Dt. 27:9, 10; 30:1-10] clearly show that obedience brings harmony and friendship with Jehovah, peace, salvation, testing for approval, release from oppression, and punishment upon the enemies of his own people . . . " (The Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1952, p. 559).
  3. The Watchtower Organization is the Prophet of God.
    1. "This 'prophet' was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses . . . Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a 'prophet' of God. It is another thing to prove it" (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197).
      1. Link: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/jehovahs-witness-organization-prophet-god
  4. If the Watchtower Organization is a prophet of God, why has it made false prophecies?
    1. 1897 "Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874" (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 4, p. 621).
    2. 1899 " . . . the battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Revelation 16:14), 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 ed., p. 101).
    3. 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).
    4. 1922 "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914" (The Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262).
    5. 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" (The Watchtower, April 1, 1923, p. 106).
    6. 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" (The Watchtower, January 1, 1925, p. 3).
    7. 1931 "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time . . . and they also learned to quit fixing dates" (Vindication, p. 338).
    8. 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" (The Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288).
    9. 1968 "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an end to the world, even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The end did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing?.. Missing from such people were God's truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them" (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968).
    10. 1968 "Why are you looking forward to 1975?" (The Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494).
  5. Watchtower's control over its people.
    1. "Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his praise. To it alone God's Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book" (The Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p. 402).
      1. Link: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/knowing-bible-possible-only-through-jehovahs-witness
    2. "Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible" (The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967. p. 587).
    3. "We should meekly go along with the Lord's theocratic organization and wait for further clarification, rather than balk at the first mention of a thought unpalatable to us...Theocratic ones will appreciate the Lord's visible organization and not be so foolish as to put against Jehovah's channel their own human reasoning and sentiment and personal feelings" (The Watchtower, Feb. 1, 1952, pp. 79-80).
    4. "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the faithful and discreet slave organization" (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981).
    5. "We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his word and channel of communication" (The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967, p. 591).
    6. All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave (The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1994, p. 8).
    7. "From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah's people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude . . . They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such Bible reading, they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago . . . " (The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, pp. 28-29).
  6. Who is the Faithful and Wise Servant?
    1. "Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of 'that faithful and wise servant,' and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation" (The Watchtower, Dec. 1, 1919, p. 357).
    2. "Jesus foretold that among his people there would be a 'faithful and discreet slave' class who would be providing the spiritual food to God's family . . . overseeing the carrying out of the Kingdom interests world wide (Matt. 24:45-47). These anointed overseers serve as though being guided in their activities by the right hand of Christ" (The Watchtower, January 15, 1969, p. 51).
  7. Jesus is present since 1874.
    1. "But now we are in the end of this Gospel age, and the Kingdom is being established or set up. Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A.D., according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear; and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878 A.D." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 4, p. 621).
      1. Link: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/jesus-present-1874
  8. Jesus is Abaddon and Apollyon the Destroyer.
    1. "When Jesus was on earth as a man, he was a Hebrew, and now in his capacity as Jehovah's royal Executioner he is called by the Hebrew name Abad'don, which means Destruction (Job 26:6; 28:22; 31:12; 12:23; 14:19). In the Greek in which the inspired Christian Scriptures were written his similar title is Apollyon, which means Destroyer" (The Watchtower, Dec. 1, 1961, p. 719).
      1. Link: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/jesus-abaddon-and-apollyon-destroyer
  9. Jesus mediates only for the 144,000,
    1. "Likewise, the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members" (The Desire for Peace and Security Worldwide, 1986, p. 10).
      1. Link: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/jesus-mediates-only-144-000-jehovahs-witnesses
      2. Does Jesus mediate for the average JW? Nope. " . . . Jesus Christ is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members" (The Desire for Peace and Security Worldwide, 1986, p. 10).
      3. If Jesus is the mediator only for the 144,000, then the average JW has no mediator before God. Without a mediator, they are damned.
  10. Jesus' Resurrection
    1. John 2:19-21, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' 20 The Jews therefore said, It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days? 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body."
      1. The JW's say Jesus was not raised physically even though Jesus Himself contradicts what they say. Note that John the apostle says Jesus was speaking of His body, the temple that would be raised. The JW's are wrong.
  11. Bible Verses Examined
    1. Exodus 6:2-3, "God spoke further to Moses and said to him, I am the Lord [YHWH]; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them."
      1. If God appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty (Ex. 6:2-3) yet Jesus says that no man as seen the Father at any time (John 6:46), then who were they seeing if it was God Almighty, but not the Father?
    2. Isaiah 43:11, "I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no savior besides Me."
      1. If there is no savior besides God (Is. 43:11; 45:21), then how can Jesus, a created thing, be the savior?
      2. In what sense is God alone the savior? Simple, only God forgives our sins, and only God provides the provision for our forgiveness through Christ. Yet, Jesus is the Savior who forgives sins and is Himself the provision. How can Jesus then be a created thing?
    3. Matt. 24:36, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."
      1. Rev. 19:12-13, "And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God."
    4. John 1:1--The JW's say that Jesus is "a" god.
      1. If Jesus is "a" god, then isn't that polytheism?
      2. If Jesus is "a" god, then how many gods are there in JW theology?
      3. If Jesus is "a" god, then is he a true God or false god since the Bible says there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8)?
      4. If Jesus is "a" god, then why does he tell people to come to him and not the Father (Matt. 11:28)?
    5. John 5:18
      1. If it was only the Jews who thought that Jesus was making Himself equal to God, then please point out in John's gospel what Jesus said and did that would cause the Jews to think this. If you cannot find the place in scripture, if it isn't there, then the only thing left to conclude is that the comment is John's and not that of the Jews.
      2. If John is merely reporting the error of the Jews' thinking and Jesus was not really God, then why didn't John the apostle clarify the situation? After all, it is a perfect opportunity to do so, especially since John records corrections of the Jews in John 8:48-49 and 21:23.
    6. John 8:58--JW's Bible says, "Before Abraham was, I have been," not "I AM."
      1. If that is true, then why did the Jews want to kill Jesus? Later, in John 10:31 the Jews wanted to kill him because Jesus made himself out to be God.
      2. The Jews who killed Jesus denied that Jesus was God. So, the JW's agree with the Jews that Jesus is not God.
    7. John 14:28, "You heard that I said to you, I go away, and I will come to you. If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I."
      1. The JW's say that when Jesus says the Father is greater than He, that it means Jesus isn't divine. But this is not logically true. Jesus was speaking of position--not nature. A husband is greater in authority than his wife, but they are equal in nature.
      2. The JW's fail to understand that Jesus was in a humbled state (Heb. 2:9) and made under the Law (Gal. 4:4). Jesus was in a lower position because He was a man as well as divine. He has two natures: human and divine. The incarnation answers the JW's objections.
    8. John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
      1. If John 17:3 means that the Father is the only true God, then Jude 4 means that Jesus is our only Lord and Master because it says Jesus is our ONLY Lord and Master. Therefore, the Father is not our Lord or our master by the thinking the JW's use..
      2. You don't make doctrine out of one verse, especially since the Bible says that Jesus is God in Heb. 1:8 and John 20:28.
    9. John 20:28, "Thomas answered and said to Him [Jesus], My Lord and my God!
      1. Why did Thomas call Jesus both Lord and God in John 20:28? Can you also call Jesus your Lord and your God? The true Jesus (of the Bible) is called Lord and God by His disciple. If you are a disciple of Jesus, can you also call Him your Lord and God? If not, why not?
    10. 1 Cor. 1:2, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours."
      1. The phrase, "call upon the name of the Lord [YHWH]" is used in the OT only in reference to God (i.e. prayer to God in 116:4), never anyone else. Yet, the Greek equivalent (LXX, the Greek version of the OT translated by the Jews around 250 BC) of the phrase is applied to Jesus in 1 Cor. 1:2. It says that the church "calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus." Why is a phrase used ONLY of God in the OT applied to Jesus in the NT when that phrase implies worship and prayer to God?
      2. The LXX translates "call upon the name of YHWH" as "call upon the name of the Lord [kurios]." The phrase "call upon the name of the Lord" is applied to Jesus.
    11. Col. 1:15, "And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation."
      1. The JW's say that "firstborn" means first created. It doesn't. The following two verses demonstrate that "firstborn" is a title of pre-eminence that is transferable.
        1. Gen. 41:51-52, "And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my fathers house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction." AND, Jer. 31:9, " . . . for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn."
        2. Therefore, the JW fails to understand the complete meaning of "firstborn."
    12. Col. 1:16-17, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
      1. In the New World translation in Col. 1:16-17, the word "other" is added four times.  The word "other" is not in the Greek.  So the NWT version says, "because by means of him all OTHER things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All OTHER things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all OTHER things, and by means of him all OTHER things were made to exist, (CAPs added for emphasis)".  But, if Jesus is the first created thing as Jehovah's Witnesses teach, then what you do with Isaiah 44:24 which says, "This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, Who formed you since you were in the womb: “I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself, And I spread out the earth. Who was with me? (NWT)"  If Jehovah stretched out the heavens by himself, that it cannot be that Jesus is the one who created all things.
    13. Heb. 1:3
      1. If Jesus is the "the exact representation of his [God] very being" (Heb. 1:3, NWT), then how is Jesus (who is only a man) God's exact representation? It makes no sense. But, if Jesus is both God and man (Col. 2:9), then Jesus can be the exact representation of God's nature because He HAS A DIVINE nature.
      2. If the JW Jesus was first an angel and became a man, then the angel stopped being angelic in nature, changed natures, became a man, and he yet was the "exact representation" (Heb. 1:3, NWT) of God? How is that so?
  12. COMMENTS:
    1. The JW's agree with the Pharisees who condemned Jesus--that Jesus is not God in flesh. They accused Jesus of claiming to be God (John 10:33). But, of course they denied that Jesus was God--just the same as the JW's do.
    2. Does the term SON OF GOD mean that Jesus is not God? If so, then does the term SON OF MAN mean that Jesus is not a man?
    3. If the term SON OF GOD means that Jesus is a man, then what does the term SON OF MAN mean?
    4. If the term SON OF MAN means that Jesus is a man, then what does the term SON OF GOD mean?
    5. John 1:1 is dealing with God's nature since it says the Word was God. Dealing with the nature of God we understand that there is only one God (Is. 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5). To say that the Word was "a" god is far too close to polytheism in the context.
    6. Jesus said that the greatest act of love is to die for another (John 15:13).  The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8).  In the the Trinity God performs the greatest act of love by dying for those whom, he saves in the person of Jesus.  But in the JW's, God can't do it, and God is outdone by a creature.  This is an incongruity the JW's cannot resolve.
    7. What is the greatest act of love?
    8. Jesus said it was to lay one's life down for his friends. In John 15:13 Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
    9. Can Allah perform the greatest act of love? No.
  13. QUESTIONS
    1. Death and ceasing to exist:  In Luke 8:55 the verse speaks about a girl who was dead and how Jesus raised her.  It says, "And her spirit returned, and she rose immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat." If the soul and the body are one and the same and if when the body dies the spirit dies (ceases to be), then how can her spirit return to her dead body?  Wouldn't it have ceased to exist?
    2. God doesn't want any to perish:  I've always wondered why Jesus spoke in parables so people will not be saved, (Mark 4:10-12) and yet also God desires that all be saved (2 Pet. 3:9).  Can you explain how these two verses go together?
    3. Does the term "Son of God" mean that Jesus is not God?  If so, then what does the term "Son of Man" mean . . . that he is not man?  Could someone clarify that?  I'm curious.  Thanks.

 

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