Lets look at some facts about Jehovah’s Witnesses, compared with their common beliefs. As believers, we need to be informed about what others believe, and how our faith can be twisted for others use. Enjoy!
Where did Jehovah’s Witnesses come from?
- They claim that in the 4th century AD the church fell away from God, into a state of apostasy. Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) came along as a vessel used by God to restore purity to the church. He established the Watchtower organization which produces literature and provides corrections and truth for the true followers of God.
- Russell rejected the concept of hell and eternal separation from God, instead claiming that the wicked do not suffer but cease to exist when they die. This belief, along with many others he adopted, came from the ‘Second Adventists’ from whom he parted ways with in 1879. He also rejected the concept of the Trinity and claimed that the invisible presence of Christ began in 1874 and would bring an end to human systems by 1914, restoring earth to paradise.
- When that didn’t happen, he shifted the date to 1915, then 1918. After he passed the date for the end of the world was moved to 1925 by his successor.
- The Bible does declare that some will depart from the faith (1 Tim 4:1) but not that Christianity as a whole would vanish and need to be replaced.
Is Jesus Christ God?
- According to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus actually began his existence as the Archangel Michael. He was then used by Jehovah God to create everything else, making him the first ‘son of God’ in the sense that he was the first created. However, since the Bible refers to Satan as a god as well (2 Cor. 4:4) Jesus is regarded as a spirit son, like Lucifer.
- When Jesus came to earth as a man, he became the perfect human and took on the new name Jesus. When he died, that body was disposed of and Michael rose from the dead as a spirit being once more. It was Michael, the true form of Jesus, that the disciples saw after the Resurrection.
- Jesus, of course, isn’t Michael…or any other angel. In fact, Jesus was able to rebuke Satan, when Michael was not ( Jude 9). Furthermore, the scripture refers specifically to Jesus not as A son of God, but as THE Son of God and claims that he did indeed rise from the dead physically. (Col 2:9)
The Watchtower Society further claims that independent thought it dangerous and a sign of spiritual weakness. Any member who questions their interpretation of scripture or authority can be cast out and be subject to shunning by the organization and their family.
Their view on salvation is that Jesus did indeed die as the ransom sacrifice to buy back what Adam lost. However, they have 4 Requirements for Salvation:
- Taking in knowledge of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ
- Obeying God’s Laws and conforming to the moral requirements of the Bible (as they are taught it)
- Belonging to and serving with God’s one true organization (the Watchtower)
- Being loyal to the Watchtower Organization.
For them, salvation is earned through faith and works, therefore they can have no assurance of eternal life. If they fail at any point in this life, the 1,000 year reign of Christ, or after that during Satan’s final judgement, then they are at risk of eternal destruction.
Some things to Consider when talking to a Jehovah’s Witness:
- Tell them about your personal experience with God and how he answers prayers and responds in your life. They do not believe that God cares much for them, but only for the organization. Let them know He is personal!
- Ask them to help you understand how they reconcile their beliefs with Scripture that refutes the things they are taught. They DO believe the Bible is God’s Word, and they are trained to teach…not listen and respond to questions (think for themselves).
- Do pray and ask the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance!
Have a great one!