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Jehovah Witness Summary
August 24, 2014      |     By: Sam McVay, Jr.      |      Category: Scripture Teachings

Another Gospel: The history, beliefs, and dangers of Jehovah Witness teachings

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The Jehovah Witness teachings are “non-christian” teachings that originated about 140 years ago primarily through a man named Charles Russell. Russell had been involved at an early age in the Congregational church but became discouraged with the faith some time later. He was revived back to the faith with the writings of the Seventh Day Adventist and slowly began to evolve a new teaching that was “quasi-christian”. He and they believed that Christianity had been apostate until his revived teachings. Russell financed and began a publishing company called the Watchtower Society which has propagated his teachings over the duration of the movement. His wife filed for divorce from him later in their marriage and he died at the age of 64.

Galatians 1:8-9

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

2 Corinthians 11:4

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 

What makes Jehovah Witnesses “non-christian” and considered a cult by mainline Christianity?

1. Jesus is not God but rather "a god" the first creation.

In Watchtower theology Jesus was created by God as the archangel Michael, during his earthly sojourn became merely human, and after his crucifixion was re-created an immaterial spirit creature. 

2. They do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead bodily as a man. They believe he arose as spirit back into the image of Michael the arch-angel.

According to Russell, the body that hung on a torture stake either “dissolved into gasses” or is “preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love.”

The Watchtower organization says that Jesus did not rise from the dead in the same body he died in (You Can Live Forever on Paradise Earth, pp. 143-44). Instead, it says that He rose as a spirit creature and that the material body of Jesus was taken away by God the Father. Therefore, they deny the physical resurrection of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:14

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 

1 John 4:1-3

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,v3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

3. They do not believe in the Trinity. They believe that this concept was created by Satan. Often refer to this as the heresy of the "Three headed God”.

4. They believe that the New World Translation is the only true translation of the bible. It has hundreds of errors in it with many words added to the Greek text.

In reality, the NWT is the work of a Bible Translation Committee with no working knowledge of biblical languages. Their bias is so blatant that Dr. Bruce Metzger, professor of New Testament at Princeton, not only characterized the NWT as a “frightful mistranslation” but as “erroneous,” “pernicious,” and “reprehensible.”

Furthermore, the Translation Committee has sought to conform the NWT to their religious traditions by replacing the cross of Christ with a torture stake. Matthew 10:38, for example, has been altered to read, “And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me.” In Watchtower lore, the cross is a pagan symbol adopted by an apostate Christianity when Satan took control of the early church. Jehovah’s Witnesses view wearing a cross as a blatant act of idolatry. Conversely, Christians wear crosses as a reminder of what was at once the most brutal and beautiful act in redemptive history.

5. They do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person or God. They believe the Holy Spirit to be a force working for God.

6. They believe that salvation is by works and not by grace. Which is a motivation for much of their missional zeal.

7. They do not believe in a literal hell. They believe in the annihilation of the unbeliever.

8. They believe that a special group, 144,000, will live in heaven while the rest of those that are not annihilated will live on earth.

9. They have predicted multiple returns of Christ that have not materialized. 1914, 1918, 1925, & 1975 were all predicted ends. They did teach that one of these was a secret spiritual coming in 1914.

10. They refuse blood transfusions, are pacifist, and will not celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Easter, or birthdays.

Let us love and pray for Jehovah Witnesses. We want them to be saved and to know the truth of Jesus Christ.

It is not ours to argue in anger with them but to tell them:

lovingly and gently that we believe they are deceived about Jesus and the biblical witness of truth.

that we love them and are praying for them to know the fullness of Jesus, the glorious God-Man in whom alone is salvation by Grace. (Get their names and tell them you will specifically be praying.)

we want to encourage them to read the history of Charles Russell as well as the translation team of the NWT, and that in all of their studies to read another translation of the bible.

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