What do JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES believe?
The word of God tells us to "Test all things and cling to that which is good." 1 Thes. 5:21. According to this verse we are to examine what we hear with an open mind and see it in light of the Word of God, before we accept it or reject it. We should not ignore it just because it is different from what we have always believed, nor should we accept it without testing it according to the Scriptures.
In this study we would like to understand and evaluate some of the major doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BASIC DOCTRINES OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES?
I. CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST:
Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jesus is the son of God, but not equal with Jehovah God. According to Jehovah Witnesses Jesus Christ is the first creation of Jehovah God. He is a created being, an archangel. He is not God with a capital "G"; he is god with a small "g". He has been given the authority to be "god" by Jehovah God and his being god is not co-equal with Jehovah. Just like Satan is called "the god of this world" in the Bible, Jesus is the god of all the universe and creation but is not equal to Jehovah.WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Let us see the place the Bible gives to the pre-incarnate Jesus (before he was manifested in the flesh). Philippians 2:6-7 says"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." This verse clearly tells us that Jesus Christ was equal with God before he was made in the likeness of men.
Also in John 10:30-33 Jesus himself said"I and my Father are one." When he said this, the people took up stones to stone him and said "thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Even though they were annoyed by what he said they knew exactly what he meant. He was making himself equal with God, and this was considered to be a blasphemy for the Pharisees.
John 1:1 and 1:14 also tell us of the deity of Jesus Christ."In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God......and the Word was made flesh." We all know that Jesus Christ is the one who was made flesh, but before he was made flesh he was God. How many ALPHA & OMEGA can we have?
In the book of revelation chapter 1 and chapter 22 Jesus is portrayed as"The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last." (Rev 1:8,11,17-18 and 22:12-13) We all agree that Jehovah God or God the father is Alpha & Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last, but the above verses tell us that Jesus Christ the Son of God is also Alpha & Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. How can we have two Alphas and two Omegas, two beginnings and two endings, two firsts and two lasts unless they are equal and one? How can a created being or an archangel be Alpha and Omega, the first and the last? How can both Jehovah God (God the father) and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, both be the first and the last, the beginning and the ending unless Jesus Christ the Son of God is not just the Son of God but also God the Son, equal to God the Father just as he said in John 10:30 "I and my father are one."
To make sure that the above verses are talking about Jesus Christ we can take a look at Rev 1:17-18"And when I saw him I fell at his feet as dead, and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me. Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore." The only question we need to ask to show that these verses are talking about Jesus Christ is; "Who was dead and alive for evermore?" Jehovah God never died, so it must be Jesus Christ. If we need another proof we can go to chapter 22:12-13 and verse 16. "And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. ..... I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." Here we have a clear indication of who is doing the talking. The one who is coming quickly (Jesus Christ) is saying to us 'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.'
Actually, in Rev 1:8 the Bible calls Jesus the Almighty."I am Alpha and Omega (the exact same words we read in Rev 22:13), the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Who is the only one we should worship?
We all agree that Almighty God is the only one who is worthy to be worshiped. The Bible tells us in Matthew 4:10 saying"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." In the Bible, we read in numerous places where Jesus Christ accepts worship from men and angels. In Heb. 1:6 we read "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." God the father is commanding all the angels to worship the new born Jesus (the firstbegotten into the world). This word 'worship' is exactly the same root word in Greek as the one we read in Matthew 4:10. We cannot play games with words and claim that it means two different things in these two verses. It does not mean just to show obeisance, it means to worship the one who is worthy to be worshiped. If Jesus was a created being how did he qualify for all the angels to worship him? How can an archangel, if Jesus is just an archangel, receive worship from all the angels? Wasn't this exactly what Satan tried to do. Satan, himself created as an archangel, tried to receive the worship and honor that only Jehovah God was worthy to receive, and that was the reason for his downfall. The truth is that God the father commanded all the angels to worship God the Son as he was manifested in the flesh.
In addition to all the angels worshipping the Son of God when he was manifested in the flesh we see the wise men worshipping Him when he was a child. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him" Matthew 2:1-2. Throughout generations wise men still worship him. Matthew continues in verse 11 by saying, "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him."
If Jesus was just an archangel, a creature, how can he accept worship from angels and these wise men? In the book of Revelation we see an angel of God warning John not to worship him. "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." The angel refused to be worshiped because he is not God and God alone deserves to be worshiped. If Jesus was not equal with God the Father he could not have received worship from men and angels.
In Matthew 8:2 we
see a leper worshiping Jesus. "And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou
wilt, thou canst make me clean."
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary worshiped the Risen savior. "And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying `All hail`. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him." Matthew 28:9. In Mark chapter 5 the man possessed with Legion worshiped him. "But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him". Thomas called Jesus "My Lord and my God."
In all these verses we see angels, wise men, his disciples, Mary Magdalene, a leper, a demon possessed man and Thomas worshipping Jesus. We see Him worshiped as a babe, as a child, as an adult and as the risen savior and Lord. Nowhere do we hear him say, "don't worship me, because I am just an arch- angel. Worship Jehovah God only." All these angels and men worshiped him because he is equal with God the father and deserves praise and worship. He is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. What is your reason for not worshipping him as "your Lord and your God? Jesus accepted all the worship that came to him, every single time, because he is God. He was God manifested in the flesh while he was on the earth.
JESUS: TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN
As we have seen in Phil 2:6 Jesus left his eternal glory and was manifested in the flesh as a lowly servant. As true man he said "My Father is greater than I". John 14:28. As true God he said, "He that has seen me has seen the Father" John 14:9. "I and my father are one" John 10:30. His very name tells us of his dual nature: Immanuel, `God with us`. In other words `God manifested in the flesh`. This is exactly what 1 Timothy 3:16 says, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Who is the God that was manifested in the flesh other than Jesus Christ?
IS THERE ONE ALMIGHTY GOD AND ANOTHER MIGHTY GOD?
One argument Jehovah Witnesses claim is that the Bible calls Jehovah God an ALMIGHTY God but calls Jesus a Mighty God. They base their argument on Isaiah 9:6 where one of the names given to Jesus Christ is `Mighty God`. They claim that because it doesn't say "ALMIGHTY God", Jesus must be lesser than Jehovah God or God the father. In the old testament we know the Bible refers to God the Father whenever it refers to God unless it explicitly talks about Jesus Christ, as in Isaiah 9:6. In the same book of Isaiah 10:21 we read the Bible referring to Jehovah God or God the Father as `the Mighty God`. "The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the Mighty God." The above argument, to diminish the deity of Jesus Christ, is a result of reading into the Bible ones' own preconceived doctrine and not a proper interpretation of the Word of God.
As we mentioned previously, in the book of Revelation we can see the Bible referring to Jesus Christ as the ALMIGHTY God. In Revelation 1:8 it says, "I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the ALMIGHTY." Those who want to insist in making Jesus less than what he is, would say this verse is not talking about Jesus Christ but Jehovah God, but he doesn't stop saying I am Alpha and Omega in this verse only. He repeats the same words in Rev 1:11, 17-18, and Rev 22:12-13 as we have already read in a previous section. In all these verses it is Jesus Christ who is saying `I am Alpha and Omega`. After all, the book itself is `The revelation of Jesus Christ` Rev 1:1. No where in the Bible is Jesus Christ revealed in a greater Glory and Majesty than in Revelation.
Who can say that the subject in Rev 1:8,11 &17-18 is not Jesus Christ when the Apostle John himself tells us it is "the Son of man", a term referring to Jesus Christ throughout the New Testament. Listen to John's eyewitness testimony, "And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" Rev. 1:12-18.
In addition, Titus 2:13 says, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ." Whose appearance are we looking for, other than our Lord Jesus Christ? In this verse, it doesn't refer to Jesus Christ as the little god, but as the GREAT God. Also in 1 John 5:20, the Bible calls Jesus Christ 'The true God, and eternal life'. "...we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." Jesus Christ is not a created god, like Satan is called 'the god of this world', but he is 'the eternally true and great God'. Everyone should accept him as such in order to receive eternal life, because Jesus is 'eternal life'. He has said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but by me." John 14:6
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS `GOD IS THE HEAD OF JESUS CHRIST`?
"The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God." 1 cor. 11:3 Jehovah witnesses use this verse as one of the proofs that Jesus is not equal with God the father because it says 'God is the head of Jesus Christ'. As we have discussed earlier, someone who has the preconceived idea to make Jesus Christ less than who he really is, can misconstrue any verse to mean what he already believes. The true meaning of this verse will be very clear if we see other verses that would shed more light on it. The reason the Bible advises us by saying, "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col. 3:16), is to keep us from shallow interpretations of any solitary verse.
Ephesians 5:23 says "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church." Does this verse mean husbands are superior to wives? or does it mean wives are inferior to husbands? NO. Genesis tells us that male and female are created equal. "Male and female created he them. And God blessed them." Gen. 1:27-28. The Bible also says "There is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ" (Gal 3:28). Seeing these verses together shows us that 'being the head of somebody' doesn't necessarily imply superiority.
HEADSHIP SIGNIFIES HIERARCHY
The Bible tells us that 'God is not the author of confusion`. He is a God of order. In accordance to his nature, he has established a hierarchy in the universe. That is why 1 cor. 11:3 says "The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God." It only signifies hierarchy, not superiority. When the Bible says "The husband is the head of the wife", it does not imply that the husband is better, greater or superior to the wife, but it simply shows us the divine order God has established in marriage." Similarly, when it says 'the head of Christ is God' it shows the divine hierarchy between Jesus Christ and God the father. It shows us a divine order not a divine inequality. That is why He (Jesus) "...Thought it not robbery to be equal with God" Phil 2:6, rather he submitted humbly to the headship of the Father.
FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE
One of the main verses Jehovah witnesses use to claim that Jesus is a created being is a verse in Colossians 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." They usually stop at this verse and ignore the following verses. Verses 16-17 say, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." When we see the totality of these three verses, anybody can deduct that they are talking about a creator who created all things, not a created being. It said "All things were created by him". If he is a creature and all things were created by him, then he must have created himself, which is total nonsense. The Bible doesn't say "In the beginning God created Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ created all things." To the contrary, what the Bible says is, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen. 1:1) We already read in Col. 1:16-17, "For by him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth". When we combine the above two verses, Gen. 1:1 and Col. 1:16-17, we can come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was part of the Godhead (Elohim) in Genesis 1:1 who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth. The Bible also says, "And God said 'Let us (plural) make man in our image, after our likeness.'" Gen. 1:26
Why does the Bible call Jesus FIRSTBORN?
In the Bible, the word firstborn is not always used to signify the meaning it normally carries as the one born first in the family. We all know David was the youngest in his family, but in Psalms, God calls David 'MY FIRSTBORN'. "I will make him my FIRSTBORN, higher than the kings of the earth" (Psalms 89:27). Also concerning Esau and Jacob the Bible calls Jacob the FIRSTBORN, but we know that Jacob was the younger brother. In many places, the Biblical use of the word FIRSTBORN means preeminent . Webster defines "Preeminent" as "Excelling all others, or outstanding". When this word is applied to Jesus, it does not mean he is the first created being as the Jehovah witnesses believe, but it signifies that Jesus is "preeminent" `the beginning and the ending, the Alpha and Omega, the FIRST and the last' as we have already seen in Revelation 22:12-13.
The Bible not only calls Jesus the firstborn of every creature, but also calls him the firstborn from the dead. "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" Col. 1:18. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead because he is the first to be resurrected from the dead in a resurrected body never to die again. Also in Revelation 1:5 the Bible calls him "The first begotten from of the dead". Many people were raised from the dead, not resurrected, (like Lazarus), but they all had to die again because they were not raised in a resurrected body like Jesus. In Light of these verses that ascribe the word FIRSTBORN to Jesus Christ, we can come to a conclusion that they really mean that Jesus has preeminence in everything. He should also have preeminence in our personal lives, because he is the LORD OF LORDS and KING OF KINGS the one who created all things visible or invisible.
II. Concerning the HOLY SPIRIT?
Jehovah witnesses do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. They believe that the Holy Spirit is just an active force of God. Just like the energy that comes from the Sun is solar energy, the Holy Spirit is like Gods radiance or Gods energy.
let's see what the Bible has to say about the Holy Spirit:
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph. 4:30
How can an impersonal force or energy be grieved?
"But Peter said, Bananas, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?" Acts 5:3
How can one lie to an impersonal force?
"But all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." I cor. 12:11
How can an impersonal force have a will?
"...they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia." Acts 16:6
How can an impersonal force forbid?
"...the Holy Ghost said, 'separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.' Acts 13:2
"Then the Spirit said unto Philip....." Acts 8:29
How can an impersonal force speak?
"The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: ...the Spirit maketh intercession for us." Rom. 8:26
How can an impersonal force make intercession for us?
Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as 'HE' with a personal pronoun.
"...but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." John 16:8
How can an impersonal force be referred to with a personal pronoun?
III. Concerning the TRINITY?
Jehovah witnesses deny the doctrine of the TRINITY. They claim there is only one God that has no tri- unity in Him.
What is the basis for the TRINITY doctrine?
The scriptures clearly tell us that there is plurality within the the GODHEAD.
"And God said, "let Us create man in our own image, after our likeness." Gen. 1:26
If there was no plurality in the Godhead, why did God say "let Us" instead of "let me"? He couldn't be referring to Angels because Angels don't have creative power since they are creatures themselves.
We see this plurality and singularity combined in Isaiah 6:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? and who will go for us?"
All three in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) participated in creation.
God the Father in creation:
In Gen. 1:1 we read "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Jesus Christ in creation
Col. 1:16 "For by him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
The Holy Spirit in creation
In Gen. 1:2 we read "...And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Psalms 104:30 "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth."
In light of the above verses, we know who he was talking to when God said "Let us create man in our own image." in Gen. 1:26
Again in the Scriptures, all three are referred to us GOD
The Father referred to as God,
II Peter 1:17 "For he received from God the Father honor and glory."
The Son referred to as God,
I John 5:20 "...we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."
Titus 2:13 says, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ."
The Holy Spirit referred to as God,
Acts 5:3-4 "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, ... thou hast not lied unto men but unto God."
If the above scriptures refer to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost as God, and in Deuteronomy 6:4 the Bible says: "Here O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." then The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost must constitute the one God. Thus the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, three in one. We see the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost in the Godhead.
YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUIT
In this day and age, the WATCHTOWER claims to be God's representative in this world . They have installed themselves as present day prophets. The Bible tells us what the test for a true prophet is.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 "But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
In the past, the Watchtower has made numerous predictions, specially about the second coming of The Lord Jesus Christ.
In Jan 1886, the watchtower predicted that Jesus Christ would come in 1914 and establish his kingdom on earth.
In 1918 they prophesied that the old testaments saints would be revealed on the earth in 1925. "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, a watchtower publication, 1918, page 89.
In 1931 they again prophesied that the thousand years reign of Jesus Christ will start in 1975. To further strengthen their prophesy concerning the year 1975, they wrote an article, in May 1974, titled "HOW ARE YOU USING YOUR LIFE? in which they were exhorting their followers to use all their resources for the gospel of the Watchtower.
After seeing all these false prophesies and applying the test of a prophet mentioned above in Deuteronomy 18, we are not left with any other conclusion but to say the Watchtower must be an association of false prophets.
Test all things and cling to that which is good
If you are involved in this false religion that cannot save your soul, in fact, that is leading you in a path of eternal destruction, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 16:25), you should think twice and ask yourself "If I die today, am I 100% sure that I would go to heaven?" Don't be fooled by another of the Watchtowers' false doctrine that only 144,000 are going to heaven, because the Bible says, "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" Rev 7:9. If you read for yourself, verses 4-8 of the same chapter, you can learn that the 144,000 are only from the nation of Israel. To be more specific, 12,000 people from each of the 12 tribes. Salvation is not by quota, the Bible says, "Whosoever (this means anybody) believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting Life." John 3:16
Don't let anybody
cheat you out of everlasting Life. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.
Believing a created Jesus of the Watchtower is not going to save you. You have to believe
in the one whom the Bible in 1 John 5:20 calls 'The true God, and eternal life'. Paul
warned us against those who would try to preach to us about "another Jesus and
another Gospel". "But though we, or an angel from
heaven, preach any other
gospel unto you
than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed" Gal 1:8.
"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not
received, or another
gospel, which you have
not accepted, you might well bear with him" 1 Cor. 11:4.
If you would like to receive eternal life by giving your life to the real Jesus Christ of scriptures who is 'true God and eternal life', pray the following prayer sincerely.
"Lord Jesus, I believe that you are 'true God and eternal Life' who willingly became man to die for my sins. I believe that you are the creator of all things and you were with the Father from eternity. I believe that you shed your blood for my salvation. Forgive me of all the sins I have committed from the day I was born up to this moment. I open my heart to you and invite you to come into my heart. As the Apostle Thomas, I accept you and worship you as my Lord, my savior and my God. Amen"
If you prayed this prayer sincerely, the Word of God assures you that you just became a child of God and received eternal life.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God." John 1:12
"This things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:13
"He that has the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:12
if you prayed the above prayer read "what next" and our follow up booklet titled .
If you have questions/comments, we want to hear from you.
Global Good News Literature
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(C) Copyright 1994 Global Good News Literature
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