"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
Psalm 118:8
Corruptions of Christianity: Jehovah's Witness
Author:
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Mar 18, 2013
Updated: Apr 20, 2017

Contents:
Introduction to Jehovah's Witnesses
The Origin of Jehovah's Witnesses
The Bible's Jesus vs The JW's Jesus
Jehovah's Witnesses Work for Salvation
A Failed Prophet Is The Devil's Prophet

Additional chapters under renovation...


 
In our "Corruptions of Christianity" series, we cover pagan religions that call themselves "Christianity," when they openly contradict the Lord Jesus Christ and His doctrine in their teachings and actions. Jehovah's Witnesses provide another example of a cult that claims to believe in the Christian God of the Bible, but they reject Him, and instead follow the traditions of their works-based organization (in this instance, the Watch Tower Society) that will lead them straight to the pits of hell. Although some may find my introductory remarks harsh, what is harsh is how many people the Watch Tower Society has deceived, and how many souls they have diverted away from the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the very slim chance a Jehovah's Witness may be willing to read this (because they are taught to avoid anything that was not produced by the Jehovah's Witnesses), I would like to remind them of what their founder, Charles Russell, said. Though the Watch Tower Society tries to tell people that Russell is not their founder (i.e. they claim Jesus was their founder), he is the primary founder of their cult. If any JW refuses to read this teaching, they are rejecting the doctrine of their "prophetic" founder:
"We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, "The Time Is At Hand," 1913, p. 242

JWs claim to be Christians, so if they also claim to be "lovers of the truth," then they should have nothing to fear from what I'm about say. In fact, they should examine the claims I'm making and investigate for themselves to see if what I'm saying is true.

On the surface, this is what you might read and hear from a Jehovah's Witness:
"Jesus is 'the truth.'... And Jesus Christ is 'the life.' By means of the ransom, his giving up his perfect life and blood, he made it possible for us to gain 'the real life,' that is, 'everlasting life.'"
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "The Way, the Truth, the Life," Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, retrieved Apr 19, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/books/jesus/way-truth-life]

That sound good and Biblical, doesn't it? However, when a Jehovah's Witness comes to your door, they won't quote tell you what they really believe: "Nor could our Lord have been raised from the dead a man... it was necesary, not only that the man Christ Jesus should die, but just as necessary that the man Christ Jesus should never live again, should remain dead,"
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Internation Bible Students Association, Vol. 3, 1916, p. 454, [University of California]

So they claim to believe on one hand that Jesus is the "everlasting life," but on the other hand, they believe he's everlasting dead. (We'll cover the Scripture on that in a later section.) The Bible calls people who believe in two opposing doctrines at the same time "double minded;" those with a double mind have unpure hearts, and they are unstable in everything they do:

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
-James 1:8

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
-James 4:8

This is just a taste of the many major contradictions (i.e. lies) that Jehovah's Witnesses teach, but just from this one alone, we can see that the foundations of JWs and the Watch Tower Society are not laid in Scripture. The JW foundation was laid in a man who was proven to be a false prophet time and time again, and who openly denied the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would like readers to consider that people do not because Jehovah's Witnesses by simply reading the Bible, or in other words, they must be converted by another Jehovah's Witness. JWs don't go door to door in areas where there are no Christians, but rather, they wait until a Christian has established a church, then they set up in that area, and primarily knock on doors in areas that have Christian influence because they attempt to corrupt what God has built. The bottom line is that many JWs who knock on doors are completely unaware that they are being used to draw people away from the truth, and add them to the numbers of a cult.


 


The story of Jehovah's Witnesses begins in the early 19th century with a man named William Miller, who was most famous for starting a religious cult called the "Adventists," or "Second Adventists," which is more commonly known today as the "Seventh-Day Adventists." Miller's followers were called "Millerites," and they adhered to his teaching that Christ would return in the year 1844.
"Taking '2,300 evenings and mornings' of Daniel 8:14 to mean 2,300 years, [Miller] concluded that Christ would return sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. Miller [formerly a farmer in New York] began to spend all his time lecturing. An Adventist periodical called The Signs of the Times promoted his teachings. But March 21, 1844 came and went without Christ's return. A few weeks later, however, a follower of Miller named Samuel Snow restored the hopes of the Millerites by suggesting that the real date of Christ's return would be October 22, 1844. A new fervency appeared. A number of Adventists gave up their jobs in the 'last days' and spent their time attending church meetings... When October 22 passed, the Adventists' hopes were again crushed. This came to be known as the Great Disappointment of 1844."
-Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions and the Occult, David C Cook, 1990, p. 117, ISBN: 9780896938236
Although the Great Disappointment faded over time, the fire of occultism had been started, and it split into many small fires. (i.e. Seventh-Day Adventists, Advent Christian Church, etc.) About thirty years later, a former Millerite named Nelson Barbour published a document that stated his prediction that Christ would return in 1873, but when 1873 passed and nothing happened, he pushed his prediction up one year to 1874.
Of course, 1874 came and went, and nothing happened, so Barbour told his followers that Christ had returned to earth, but he was incognito (i.e. hidden in secret). In order to justify this, Barbour referenced to Benjamin Wilson's new-age version translation from the corrupt Vatican Manuscript, called The Emphatic Diaglott, for Matthew 24:27.
(Read "Why I Use the King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details on the corrupt manuscripts new-age bible versions use.)

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
-Matthew 24:27

This obviously describes to us an event that no one could mistake. However, Wilson's version rejects the preserved Word of God, and changes the word "coming" to "presence:"
"As for the lightning comes out from east, and shines to west, so shall be also the presence of the son of man."
-Benjamin Wilson, The Emphatic Diaglott, Fowler & Wells, 1864, Mat 24:27, p. 102-103, [Princeton University]

Thus, Barbour (through use of a new-age corrupt version) began to preach that Jesus was "present," but still in his spirit form, so he was hidden to the eyes of men. There is nowhere in Scripture where this concept is taught, but the false doctrines taught by this generation of cultists were passed on to the next generation.

Charles Taze Russell was born in 1852 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was raised as a Presbyterian, and grew up working in (and managing) his father's clothing store, while attending various denominational church buildings every week. At age 16, he declared he had problems with the doctrines of Scripture, and he began to doubt God and the Bible, so he left the churches to study various other religions until one day he heard a Second Adventist preacher named Jonas Wendell.
(See Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1959, p. 14, [University of Wisconsin - Madison])

Although Russell didn't agree with everything he heard, Wendell's preaching had a profound influence on his life, and so Russell decided to follow some Second Adventists to do some study. Some of the men who mentored Russell were Second Adventist minister George Stetson, and George Storrs, a former Millerite and publisher of The Bible Examiner magazine.
(See James M. Penton, Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses, Third Edition, University of Toronto Press, 2015, p. 16, ISBN: 9781442616059)

At age 18, Russell began to meet with a small group of friends on a regular basis to study the Bible, and over time, this group began to refer to Russell as "pastor." A few years later (1876), Russell read a copy of The Herald of the Morning, that was written by Nelson Barbour, who still taught that there was an incognito Jesus walking the earth, which was generally rejected by the public, but Russell found it quite interesting, and so he decided to meet with Barbour to discuss the details.

After Russell and Barbour's meeting, Russell became the financial pillar behind the failing Herald of the Morning, and his name was added to the list of assistant editors on the front page. Russell provided cash contributions, and in return, he got to publish his own articles inside. This was where Russell's bible study groups and the Adventist cult following formed a publication alliance that would eventually grow into a wealthy religious empire.
(Click image for larger view.)

Barbour predicted that "1874 Incognito Jesus" would rapture all Christians to heaven in the early part of 1878, and again, nothing happened. After this, Barbour reanalyzed a number of doctrines he had taught to make some changes, but Russell didn't like all the changes, so he left the Herald of the Morning Adventist magazine and started up his own magazinei in 1879 called Zion's Watch Tower.

Slowly, the Adventist cult formed a sect called "The Russellites," and even though Barbour and Russell had a falling out, the cult followers still knew that Russell believed in the general principles of Adventism. Not only did he begin selling his own publication, but Russell also got married (to Maria Ackley) and started up many church study groups across most of the north eastern states. Russell learned the basics of Adventism through William Miller and the Millerite followers, then learned the habit of making false prediction claims through Nelson Barber, and then went on to create his own denomination of followers by rejecting the doctrine of God in Three Persons.
(Read "Is The Trinity a Biblical Doctrine?" here at creationliberty.com for more details. The term 'trinity' is a pagan concept, but 'God in Three Persons' is a core Bible doctrine.)

Zion's Watch Tower and Tract Society became a legal corporation by 1884, and their literature was being produce and spread out at a rapid rate. Two years later, Russell published The Divine Plan of the Ages in which predicted the end of the world in 1914, but he did NOT on Scripture in any sense; the entire prediction was made up by measuring the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza. (See image below; click for larger view.)
(This chart is a remake of Charles T. Russell's original doctrine and charts in The Divine Plan of the Ages, International Bible Students Association, 1886, [Harvard University])

Men like Russell who study and theorize about the Great Pyramid of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of the World) are typically called "pyramidologists," or rather, it's referred to as "pyramidism." Pyramidologists are typically associated with "pseudoscience," or in other words, it's based on speculation rather than hard facts, which is why a "pyramidist" is the better term for Russell.

Russell wrote in his book:
"This measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year B.C. 1542, as the date at that point. Then measuring down the 'Entrance Passage' from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of the 'Pit,' representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation--no, nor ever shall be afterward... Nor should any doubt the fact that the forty years of 'harvest' began in the fall of 1874... the 'harvest' period since that date has been one of great advancement in knowledge."
-Charles T. Russell, The Divine Plan of the Ages and the Corroborative Testimony of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, God's Stone Witness and Prophet, International Bible Students Association, 1886, p. 42, [Harvard University]

In a later edition, before the turn of the 20th century, Russell added the following prediction about the rapture of Christians in 1910. Some of these documents are hard to find because the JWs have made great efforts to remove certain volumes and editions of their history so their members won't learn the truth:
"[B]ut this date, 1910, indicated by the [Great] Pyramid, seems to harmonize well with the dates furnished by the Bible. It is but four years before the full close of the time of trouble which ends the Gentile times; and when we remember the Lord's words--that the overcomers shall be accounted worthy to escape the severest of the trouble coming upon the world [i.e. it should be no suprise that he also believed false prophecy of secret pre-tribulation rapture] we may well accept as correct the testimony of the Great Pyramid, that the last members of the 'body' or 'bride' of Christ will have been tested and accepted and will have passed beyond the vail before the close of A.D. 1910."
-Charles T. Russell, quoted by Edmond C. Gruss, Jehovah's Witnesses: Their Claims, Doctrinal Changes, and Prophetic Speculation : what Does the Record Show? Xulon Press, 2001, p. 47, ISBN: 9781931232302; See also Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1908, p. 363-364, [Columbia University]

The words I put in bold were removed and rewritten by the Watchtower Society in 1925. They did not want their members to learn the truth, hiding from them Russell's instructions to "well accept" the dates of the false prophecy he gave, and in fact, I went to jw.org and typed the word "pyramid" into their archive search to see what I could find, and it brought back six results, but none of them had anything to do with the Great Pyramid of Giza or Russell's prophecies. (i.e. The Watchtower has been careful to prevent any information about it from appearing on their website.)
(See 'pyramid', Jehovah's Witnesses, "Search JW.ORG," retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [jw.org/en/search/?l=en&q=pyramid&fpd%5B%5D=any&sortBy=rel])

Once 1914 came and went, some faithful Jehovah's Witnesses became skeptical, which is why by 1928, JWs officially rejected pyramidology. Today, many Jehovah's Witnesses remain blissfully unaware that their religious leader, who paved the way for their cult, had roots in pyramidism.
(See Ronald H. Fritze, Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, Reaktion Books, 2016, p. 270, ISBN: 9781780236858)

Getting back to the timeline, in 1896, Zion's Watch Tower and Tract Society was renamed Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which would later be shortened to The Watchtower. By 1906, Russell went through the transformation that every cult leader seems to go through; he told his readers that he was the word of God on earth for men:
"No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out."
-Charles T. Russell, quoted by Henry T. Besse, Church History, Holzapfel Publishing Company, 1908, p. 257, [New York Public Library]

When 1914 came, the Russellites prepared for the end of the world. Some JWs today believe that Russell never said these things (because they're cultic elders hide the truth from them), but in his book, Russell stated very clearly:
"In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i. e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A. D. 1914; and that that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, London, 1911, p. 76-77, [Harvard University]

During 1914, the Russellites picked up some momentum because, unbeknownst to Russell, that year would be the start of World War I. Many farmers at that time refused to plant crops in the spring because they believe the end of the world was imminent. As the world entered into war, it gave a temporary illusion of Armageddon to the faithful cultists, but when the year rolled over to 1915, it was as if the Great Disappointment of 1844 was now the Great Disappointment of 1914.

Russell tried to keep his cult followers from leaving by pushing the date back one year to 1915 (i.e. the same pattern as the Adventists aforementioned). As we already known, 1915 came, and 1915 went. Sadly, without repentance, Russell was finally judged by God for his sinful offenses, and died during a train ride home the following year on Oct 31, 1916 at age 64.

Russell had left instructions that his position was to be replaced by someone else, but the authority over the corporate Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society was to be shared with a board of directors and with the editorial committee. Russell's Vice President, Joseph Rutherford, a judge, laywer, and Russell's legal advisor, found a loophole in the contracts which allowed him to legally supersede the board of directors without a vote, and so he took over the company by force.

This would obviously create blowback from the board members, so Rutherford told his subordinate:
"If they get too obstreperous and indicate they want to start action against the Society, call a policeman... if it becomes necessary, don't hesitate."
-A.H. Macmillan, Faith On The March, p. 78-80, retrieved Apr 13, 2017, [http://bit.ly/2ovNiwl]

A police officer removed the men from the building, and Rutherford took complete control over the Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society, however, this war over the cult started to backfire when the U.S. Department of Justice put out a warrent for the arrest of Rutherford and seven other Watch Tower directors under the 1917 Espionage Act, which prohibited any interference with military recruitment or operations during active wartime. The Watchtower's cultic teaching encouraged members to refuse the draft, and convince active military to break their oaths and leave their duty of service, since joining the military is considered a JW "fellowshiping offense."

This is not to argue that being arrested automatically means he did something wrong, or in other words, I'm not approaching this from a fallacious standpoint because even the disciples of Christ were innocent, but arrested and thrown in jail anyway. However, when Rutherford and the rest of his cult society are defying the government on unbiblical grounds (i.e. by hindering the military, which there is no Biblical precedent for under the circumstances), then they are simply rebels who are faithful to deceptive teachings, and so the government warrents were justified.

In 1918, Russell's book The Finished Mystery: A Helping Hand for Bible Students was condemned by Attorney General Thomas W. Gregory as a conspiracy against the U.S. Army. This condemnation was a response to a petition to release restrictions on the book because "The passage of this amendment would reopen our camps to this poisonous influence."
(See Thomas W. Gregory, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the Second Session of the Sixty-Fifth Congresss of the United States of America, Vol. 56, U.S. Government Printing Office, May 4, 1918, p. 6052)

After appealing their case in court, the Watch Tower directors were released on bail, but Rutherford remained. In order to be released, Rutherford made a pact with the U.S. Government that they would instruct their cult members to cut out pages 245-254 of The Finished Mystery, and that the Watch Tower would stop printing copies of the book.

After clearing up the offenses against the U.S. military, Rutherford started replacing elected elders from Watch Tower churches with hand-picked staff he appointed. This transformed the Russelite cult into a strictly run corporate network in a very short time. However some of the congregations resisted these changes, which caused a split and created new sects (e.g. Dawn Bible Students [dawnbible.com], Chicago Bible Students [chicagobible.org], Laymen's Home Missionaries [now called Bible Standard Ministries--biblestandard.com], etc), and since their cult was generally known at the time as "The Bible Students," to differentiate between Rutherford's majority sect and the splinter groups, on Oct 1, 1931, Rutherford called his organization "Jehovah's Witnesses."
(See Joseph F. Rutherford, "A New Name," The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, Vol. 52, No. 19, Oct 1, 1931)

During this time, Rutherford moved away from the emphasis on members' personal improvement and understanding, and focused instead on pushing Jehovah's Witness literature. He declared that it was the duty of every JW to go door-to-door and distribute Watchtower books and tracts, and made it a requirement within the organization.

In the next few sections, we're going to cover many of the strange doctrines and beliefs held by Jehovah's Witnesses, but it is important for us to first acknowledge that JW habits, traditions, and doctrines have largely been handed down from false prophets and heretics over the past 180 years.


 


The Jesus Christ of the Bible and the "jesus" of the Watchtower Society are not the same person. JWs serve a false god that they call "jesus." The difference between them can be clearly seen by looking at the doctrines of the Bible and comparing them to the doctrines of JWs.

The Jehovah's Witnesses' supreme ruling authority, The Watchtower (now part of jw.org), states the following:
"If Jesus of the 'New Testament' is Jehovah of the 'Old Testament,' as many claim, should there not at least be one Biblical reference saying that Jesus is Jehovah? Yet there is not one."
-The Watchtower, Dec 15, 1984, p. 29

What JWs are essentially asking readers to do is go do a keyword search for the words "jesus" and "jehovah," and they know that their readers will not find any results, and so the conclusion they come to is that Jesus and God are not one. There's a reason the name "Jesus" does not appear in the Old Testament, and that's because God didn't reveal the name to anyone until He told it to Joseph and Mary.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
-Matthew 1:21

In Matthew 1:23, the Bible tells us our Savior would be called 'Emmanuel', which literally means "God with us," and there are many correlating verses to back this up:

And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
-Luke 7:16

This verse was the reaction of the people after Jesus Christ had raised a young man from the dead. They knew Christ was God in the flesh.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
-Isaiah 9:6

This verse tells us that a child (i.e. the prophecy of Jesus Christ) was born into the world that is called "the everlasting Father," and "the mighty God."

Giving thanks unto the Father... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son... For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth... all things were created by him, and for him:
-Colossians 1:12-16

This verse tells us that the Son (i.e. Jesus Christ) is the creator of all things. Christ got a lot more specific when He told us that He and the Father are one:

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.
-John 10:29-30

Jehovah's Witnesses will reject this if they come to your door and you give them these verses, but there is an easy way to show them what they believe is unbiblical. JWs are very strict on the title of "Alpha and Omega," "the beginning and the end," and "the first and the last" being attributed to the Almighty God. It is true that the Alpha and Omega is God, as the Bible points out:

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.
-Revelation 1:8

For God to share this name with another would make Him a liar, because only He is the beginning and the end, the creator of the world, but as we just read from Colossians 1, Jesus Christ also identifies as the creator of the world. This creates a problem for JWs later in the book of Revelation:

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
-Revelation 22:6-7

God has identified Himself speaking here again, and He confirms it again by identifying Himself as the Alpha and Omega:

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.
-Revelation 22:12-13

After identifying Himself as the Almighty God speaking, He then says:

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
-Revelation 22:16-21

This clearly points out that the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ are one, just as Christ said in John 10 that they are one. JWs refuse to believe this, and have written objections to this Biblical argument at jw.org, however, there isn't anything of substance in their writings, they just CLAIM Revelation doesn't say what I just showed you it says. For example, they claim that one of their "scholars" concluded that it may not have been talking about Jesus, but just because someone claims that, doesn't make it true; the context of Scripture clearly spells out that the Almighty God and Jesus Christ both identify as the Alpha and Omega.
(See Watchtower Online Library, "Alpha and Omega," retrieved Apr 5, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000208#h=5])

However, when speaking with a JW, they will insist that the authorship of the text changes when Jesus is talking, so at that point, they are confirming that the "the first and the last" is Jehovah God only. Now that JWs have confirmed that the first and the last is ONLY talking about Jehovah' God, let's go back to Revelation 1:

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.
-Revelation 1:17-18

Again, JWs believe that "the first and the last" is talking only of Jehovah God and not of Jesus Christ, so ask them: "When did Jehovah God die?" You could even take it one step further and ask: "When did Jehovah God die and was resurrected from the dead?" There is literally no answer that can be given from JW doctrine on this matter, and I've heard (as of 2017) the JWs are working on a new translation (outside of the many corrupt ones they already use) in which they're going to change some things around to remove these parts so they don't have to answer them anymore.

For the sake of JWs, I'll quote the corrupt 2013 New World Translation because, as we'll see in a later section, they believe the NWT is God's gift to mankind, and that it cannot be in error:
"And he laid his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave."
-Revelation 1:17-18, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 2013 Revision, retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/revelation/1]

There is no other created being that can pay the eternal debt of sin; only God can save people from their sins. That means, for the following verse to be true, Jesus Christ has to be God.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
-Matthew 1:21

Jesus Christ taught as one having authority, meaning the authority that He is God:

For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
-Mat 7:29

In fact, this is the entire reason the Jews wanted to kill Him. He was teaching from the perspective that He is God, and the Jews rejected Him as God:

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
-John 5:18

I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
-John 10:30-33

This is important because Jehovah's Witnesses will openly tell you that they believe that Jesus is "the Son of God," but when they use that phrase, they do not mean the same thing the Bible tells us. For example, jw.org teaches:
"[T]he Bible teaches that Jesus was created by God. So Jesus is also called a 'Son of God.'"
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Why Is Jesus Called Godís Son?" retrieved Apr 5, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/jesus-gods-son]

There is no place the Bible teaches that Jesus was created by God, and again, as we read earlier in Colossians 1, the Bible specifically points out that Jesus Christ is the creator. However, because JWs believe that Christ was created, therefore, they believe that "Son of God" simply means a created being that is not God, but that is not how it is defined in Scripture.

In the verses I just quoted, the Jews recognized that the phrase "Son of God" and Emmanuel (i.e. "God with us") are the same thing, or in other words, they knew that Christ's claim to be the Son of God meant that He claimed to be God Himself who had come in the flesh. The term "son of God" can have multiple meanings, but in this context, the Jews themselves defined it as Christ's claim to be God, and so most hated Him and would not follow Him, and Jehovah's Witnesses today believe EXACTLY the same as the Jews believed in Christ's day. This means that JWs believe that Christ is not God, refuse to follow Him, instead choose to follow a false god they deceptively name "jesus," and go door-to-door to convince people to believe the same thing that was believed by those who crucified the Lord Jesus Christ.

Although JWs believe that Christ is not God, they do believe that He is A god, but they more view Him as a created god who is not eternal. This too is contradictory to Scripture since the Bible tells us that Christ is to be worshipped:

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
-Hebrews 1:6

The JWs would respond to this by saying that Christ and God are worshipped separately, or in different ways, but the Almighty God said:

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
-Exodus 34:14

The Lord Jesus Christ has to be God, otherwise there is a contradiction in Scripture, and that would make God a liar, which is not possible.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
-Titus 1:2

Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be worshipped, and repeated the Scripture only God is to be worshipped.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
-Luke 4:8

God the Father also said He would not give His glory to anyone else:

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
-Isaiah 42:8

God will only give His glory to Himself, and Jesus Christ took part in that glory:

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
-John 17:5

Christ had the same glory that God had before the world began. This is more evidence that Jesus Christ is eternal, meaning that He was not a created being or created god, and the only way He receives glory for that is because He is God.

These are just a few of the many Scriptures that can be quoted demonstrating that Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be God. JWs will say that Christ is not God and use John 14 as their evidence:

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
-John 14:28

JWs claim that God and Christ cannot be equal if one is greater than the other, but that is based on the presupposition that Jesus Christ is not God. Christ brought Himself down to earth to live in the flesh, and while He was in the flesh, God was greater than He, but when He died and rose from the dead, He was equal to the Father again.

The Bible tells us that Christ raiseed Himself from the dead, and the only way He could do that is if He is God:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.
-John 2:19-21

In 1920, Joseph Rutherford changed the identity of their false "jesus" from a created god to Michael the Archangel. His argument for this is still taught by the Watchtower today:
"The Bible states that 'Michael and his angels battled with the dragon... and its angels.' (Revelation 12:7) Thus, Michael is the Leader of an army of faithful angels. Revelation also describes Jesus as the Leader of an army of faithful angels. (Revelation 19:14-16)"
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Who Is Michael the Archangel?" retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/who-is-michael-the-archangel-jesus]

Let's go read Revelation 12 and 19 for ourselves:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
-Revelation 12:7

And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
-Revelation 19:14-16

We just quoted the verses the Watchtower website referenced to, but f you go back and read the two contexts, you'll see that this is talking about two different battles. It should be no surprise since they're seven chapters apart. In chapter 12, the angels are fighting a war in heaven, and in chapter 19, Jesus is exiting heaven (v11). There is no indication anywhere that these are talking about the same person.

What I find absurd about their attempt to so vaguely connect Jesus and Michael is the fact that Jesus and God are connected in far more more verses throughout the Bible, and yet, JWs will reject God and Christ being one. "Alpha and Omega" and "the first and the last" is clearly spelled out and defined only a few verses apart from each other, but JWs will reject that Jesus and God are the same person, and yet when it comes to Michael and Jesus, they'll take giant leaps of logic that defies the context of Scripture to say they're the same person. In other words, they're willing to believe Michael and Jesus are one on one example, but refuse to believe God and Jesus are one with many examples.

I also want to point out a fallacy of assumption: Michael leading a group of angels and Jesus leading a group of angels does not automatically make them the same person. That's like saying Donald Trump, who is a U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief over the U.S. Military, is the reincarnation of Douglas MacArthur, who was a U.S. General during WWII; it's absurd to think that because they were both in charge of commanding military soldiers, they must be the same person.

"There is Scriptural evidence for concluding that Michael was the name of Jesus Christ before he left heaven and after his return."
-The Watchtower, May 15, 1969, p. 307

"Michael the great prince is none other than Jesus Christ himself."
-The Watchtower, Dec 15, 1984, p. 29

One of the major problems with this is that Jesus Christ is given a name which is above every name:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus... Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
-Philippians 2:5-9

If this is true, then the logical conclusion is that Jesus's name would have to be above God's, and that Michael's name would have to be above God's as well, but they will refuse to believe that because they are inconsistent with their doctrine. There is only one way to interpret that verse in consistency with the rest of Scripture: Jesus Christ is God.

However, for Jehovah's Witnesses, this problem gets much worse because Charles Russell's The Finished Mystery, which is still highly revered by JWs today, defines Michael as the Pope of Rome:
"[Revelation] 12:7. And there was war in heaven.--Between the two ecclesiastical powers, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome. Michael.--'Who as God,' the Pope.--B275; C62. And his angels.--The Bishops."
-Charlles T. Russell, The Finished Mystery, Internation Bible Students Association, 1918, p. 188, [Harvard University]

It's also interesting to note that Russell did not consider Catholicism to be pagan, even though it is, because he separated "Pagan Rome" from "Papal Rome." The main point, however, is that if we connect JW beliefs that the Pope is Michael, and Michael is Jesus, then JWs would have to believe that the Catholic Pope is Jesus, which would please the Catholic Church in some ways because they believe the Pope is the essence of Christ on earth.
(Read "Corruptions of Christianity: Catholicism" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

JWs also teach that when Jesus Christ died, He died permenantly and stayed dead. They believe that Jesus's body was hidden by God after it was sealed in the tomb, and Jesus was recreated as Michael the Archangel, but this would make Christ a liar because he told the man crucified with Him:

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
-Luke 23:43

If Jesus stayed dead, then they didn't join Him in paradise. Also, if Jesus was recreated, then it wasn't Him they were joining, but some other being. And again, Jesus said He would raise Himself from the dead in John 2, so you either have to put our trust in the Bible's Jesus, or in the JW's Jesus, but you can't believe in both.

When Mary and Mary Magdalene came to visit the sepulchre where Jesus was buried, they saw the angel sitting on the stone door rolled back from the entrance:

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
-Matthew 28:5-7

Either Jesus remained dead as the JWs claim, or Jesus was risen as the angel of God said. If what JWs claim were true, the angel should have said: "He is not here: for his body is hid. Go quickly, and tell his disciples that God has made a new spirit creature with the name of Michael."

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe... Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
-John 20:25-27

Thomas came to believe after seeing the evidence of the wounds with his own eyes, and feeling them with his hands. The reason Christ's body had the wounds of His crucifixion is because His body was risen from the dead. The JW could claim that God made a new spirit creature (i.e. Michael) and put wounds on his body for them to see, but that would be nothing more than deception.

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
-Luke 24:46-48

Hundreds of people were witness to Christ's resurrection, and the Bible says they were WITNESSES (a word that JWs ironically seem not to understand in this context), meaning that they saw it themselves. By denying Christ's bodily resurrection from the dead, JWs are not only denying the Christian God of the Bible, but also the eye-witness accounts that are reconfirmed in the book of Acts:

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
-Acts 2:31-32

In fact, the Bible specifically tells us that if Christ was not risen (as JWs believe) then the preaching of the Word of God is vain, our faith is meaningless because we would then be FALSE WITNESSES who would perish, and all those previously who have died with their faith in Christ has perished as well:

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not... And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
-1 Corinthians 15:14-18

There is no compromise or middle ground to take here. Either we believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible who died and raised Himself from the dead to become the savior of men by demonstrating Himself to be God in the flesh who shed His own blood for the sins of mankind, or we believe JWs that none of that is truth and our faith is meaningless.

"So Michael the archangel is Jesus in his prehuman existence. After his resurrection and return to heaven, Jesus resumed his service as Michael, the chief angel, 'to the glory of God the Father.'"
-Watchtower Online Library, "Our Readers Ask... Is Jesus the Archangel Michael?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010250#h=7]

In summary, the JW belief is that Michael was created, then God ended his existence to re-create Michael as a man called Jesus. Then when Jesus died, he re-created Michael to continue service as an angel. There is no one on the planet who would come to that conclusion by just reading Scripture alone, which means all this has come out of the creative mind of Joseph Rutherford. Don't be deceived when talking with a Jehovah's Witness; when they say "I believe Jesus is the son of God," they do mean they believe Jesus is a created angel, and they do NOT mean that Jesus Christ is directly connected to God in His person like Christians do.

It's not difficult to figure out who Jesus Christ is just by reading Scripture, and one would not even become a Jehovah's Witness simply by reading the Bible (which is why JWs have to have people go door-to-door to convince people); however, for those JWs who want an excuse to believe what the Watchtower cult teaches, the contradictions against Scripture I've demonstrated here will never be enough proof for them to repent. If there's one thing you should prepare yourselves for if you talk with JWs, they are trained by the Watchtower to make excuses and and change the subject to try to escape from being nailed down by any Scriptural certainty; the Lord Jesus Christ can save these JWs too, if they will repent (i.e. have godly sorrow and grief of wrongdoing) and believe on His saving grace alone, but there are very few who will find that narrow path.
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
-Matthew 7:14





 

First, I want to be clear on what the Bible says about the salvation of sinners and entrance into the Kingdom of God:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
-Ephesians 2:4-10

Grace is something given that was not earned; meaning it is something you did not work for, but received as a gift out of kindess and love. If we do works to earn a place in heaven, then it is no longer grace, but a debt that is owed:

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
-Romans 11:6

Either the Salvation of Christ is by grace, or it's by works, but it can't be both. The Bible clearly states that the Salvation of Christ is by grace, which means it is NOT a work you do to earn, but Jehovah's Witnesses believe it is a work you must earn.

The Watchtower's main website tells its readers how to gain salvation:
"To gain salvation, you must exercise faith in Jesus and demonstrate that faith by obeying his commands."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "What Is Salvation?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-is-salvation]

Thus, according to Jehovah's Witnesses, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you do good works. In the same article, they also teach that Jesus Christ does NOT save anyone, but rather, they claim that God takes advantage of the "random [i.e. NOT planned] sacrifice of Jesus Christ" to save people.
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, "What Is Salvation?: Who is the SavioróGod or Jesus?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-is-salvation])

JWs teach that you must do good works so that one day, God will declare you to be righteous:
"The great crowd is tested as to the people's integrity, their continued faithfulness. The final test will result in Jehovah declaring them righteous."
-Watch Tower Magazine, Oct 15, 1985, p. 31; See also David A. Reed, Index of Watchtower Errors 1879 to 1989, Baker Books, 1990, ISBN: 9781585585878

The problem is that God has already judged mankind on this matter, and in His Word, He has already told us that NONE are righteous:

Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.
-Isaiah 41:26

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
-Romans 3:10-12

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
-Romans 3:20

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
-Romans 3:24-26

The Watchtower denies this doctrine and teaches their cult members that you have to work for your own salvation:
"God has arranged for the 'good news of the kingdom' to be proclaimed so that each individual will have opportunity to work out his own salvation."
-Watch Tower Magazine, Feb 1, 1985, p. 5; See also David A. Reed, Index of Watchtower Errors 1879 to 1989, Baker Books, 1990, ISBN: 9781585585878

There is a verse in Philippians that mentions this phrase about working out your own salvation, but the contexts are completely different:

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
-Philippians 2:12-13

The Bible explains that God is working in us to do those good works, and it is His Spirit which leads us, and so to "work out your own salvation" in this context means that you have the Salvation of Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and you should work according to that salvation. However, that's not what Jehovah's Witnesses mean when they say "work out his own salvation," because they believe salvation requires a lot of works:
"To get one's name written in that Book of Life will depend upon one's works."
-The Watchtower, Apr 1, 1947, p. 204; See also David A. Reed, Answering Jehovah's Witnesses: Subject by Subject, Baker Books, 1996, p. 208, ISBN: 9780801053177

The Watchtower's website tells readers that they must obey God's laws to have their name written in the book of life:
"'The book of life,' also called 'the scroll of life' or 'book of remembrance,' contains the names of people in line to receive the gift of everlasting life... God determines those names based on a person's faithful obedience to him."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Whose Names Are Written in 'the Book of Life'?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/book-of-life]

The faithful JW must do good works their entire lives to earn their way into heaven:
"Some suggest that belief in Jesus is the end of the matter... 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."
-The Watchtower, Sept 15, 1993, p. 5-7; See also Robert M. Bowman, Jehovah's Witnesses: Issue 11 of Zondervan Guide to Cults & Religious Movements, Zondervan, 1995, p. 85, ISBN: 9780310704119

Please don't be deceived by misunderstanding what they mean by "God's will" in that statement; they actually mean the will of the Watchtower Society because they believe that the Watchtower's will is the same as God's will. The Watchtower wrote a book called You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, in which they tell people that only 144,000 will get into heaven (we'll cover more in a little bit), and the rest of those who have God's "salvation" will live on Earth under God's government, which is supposed to be "paradise."
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 126-127)

According to this Watchtower book, there are four things you must do in order to gain God's salvation, be declared "righteous," and live in "paradise." The first thing a JW must do is gain the "knowledge needed," or in other words, they must learn "the truth of God," which most people would take to mean studying the Bible, but when new members join the JW cult, they quickly realize this "knowledge needed" is gained by attending the five minimum mandatory one-hour meetings per week, with up to 20-30 hours of optional activies per week that a JW can choose to attend if they are really zealous.
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 127-128; See also Jerry Bergman, "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Have Mental Problems," Cult Awareness & Information Centre, retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [caic.org.au/jws/medical/mental.htm])

Alan Miller, former Jehovah's Witness that grew up in a JW family, talks about the way the Watchtower teaches the importance of these meetings:
"The weekly five hours of meetings were referred to as the five fingers on your hand. All five were important. Just as you wouldnít want to have less than five fingers, a good Witness would not want to try to get away with just four or less hours of these meetings every week."
-Alan Miller, "Fade From the Truth: A Tale of Learning then Unlearning the Beliefs of Jehovahís Witnesses," Barbara Anderson's Watchtower Documents, retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [watchtowerdocuments.org/alan-miller-shares-his-story]

The "knowledge needed" also has to be gained by reading Jehovah's Witness literature. The Watchtower makes it very clear to its readers that their literature is vital to their salvation:
"But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, [i.e. the Watch Tower Society] his visible and discreet slave made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians [i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses] in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, [i.e. JW literature] we will never progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do."
-Watchtower, December 1, 1981, p. 27

This means that JWs believe you can study the Bible all you want, but you can never find the truth, the way, and the life through the Word of God alone. JWs believe you must have the JW volumes of private interpretation to understand the Bible, and that is an overt sign of a cult.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
-2 Peter 1:19-20

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
-1 John 2:27

After getting the "knowledge needed," the second thing you have to do is be baptized; JWs do not teach that baptizism is simply a commandment for Christians, but rather, they teach it is a work that must be done to gain salvation. They also do not baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; they baptize in the name of the Watchtower Society, and we'll cover more on that later.
-Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 251-252

The third thing JWs teach you need to gain salvation and enter God's kingdom is "righteous conduct," or in other words, you have to do good works to get in. You have to obey and keep ALL of God's commandments (which the Bible has already told us that men cannot acheive), and that includes all Watchtower commendments, which means that attending the weekly meetings is considered "righteous conduct."
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 129-132)

The fourth point of requirement to gain salvation and enter God's kingdom is to demonstrate "loyalty to God's government," and this is accomplished by going door-to-door to pass out Watchtower literature and convince others to join the JWs.
"Subjects of God's government must tell others about it."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 133

If a man was in a hospital, rapidly dying of an illness, and he had repentantly asked you to tell him how he could be saved, if you are a Jehovah's Witness, would have to tell him he has to do four things:
  1. He must study the Watchtower-approved bible versions and attend their weekly meetings.
  2. He must be baptized in a location that Watchtower-approved and spoken in accordance with Watchtower regulations.
  3. He must keep all the commandments of God written in the law, and keep all the Watchtower Society's commandments as well.
  4. He must tell others about Jehovah's Witnesses and pass out their literature every week.
If he does not do these things, he cannot gain salvation from God, and will not be admitted to "Jehovah's Kingdom." Even if a dying man had a repentant heart and was ready to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, a faithful Jehovah's Witness must tell him it is impossible and condemn him to eternal punishment.

I give praise to the God the Father that he is nothing like the god of the JWs:

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
-2 Timothy 1:9

As we just read, JWs are looking to get into "paradise," but not heaven. This is because JWs teach that heaven is reserved for only 144,000 people, and this is based on a false interpretation of Revelation 7:

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
-Revelation 7:4

If you simply read the Bible for what it says, this is talking about a number of people sealed that are among the tribes of the children of Israel. The JWs are not among the tribes of the children of Israel. These verses have nothing to do with how many people are going to heaven, but as we've already seen, JWs making up wild ideas out of false interpretations of a single verse should not be surprising.

The Watchtower Online Libarary says:
"In the Bible, the phrase 'those who were sealed' refers to a group of individuals who are chosen from among mankind to rule with Christ in heaven over the coming Paradise earth."
-Watchtower Online Library, "Why do Jehovahís Witnesses take the number 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation literally and not symbolically?" retrieved Apr 19, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2004647]

The Bible does not say this anywhere whatsoever. In attempt to back up that claim, JWs will go to 2 Corinthians 1:

Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
-2 Corinthians 1:21-22

So we can see what JWs have done; they took the word "sealed" in two places, and just assumed they're talking about the same thing. What they missed is that in Revelation 7:4, it's talking about the Jews, but in 2 Corinthians 1, Paul's talking to the Gentiles in Corinth, so the only way they can confuse the context of these is by WILLINGLY ignoring the context.

So because JWs believe only 144,000 are going to heaven, most are simply trying to earn their way into "paradise," which they believe will be an earthly existence under God's direct governing rule. However, JWs have no idea who is among the 144,000, and they also have no idea how much work must be done to gain enough salvation just to get into the earthly "paradise" kingdom.

To give an example of how fervently JWs believe this, I listened to the testimony of an ex-JW who talked about a mother and teenage daughter discussing the paradise vs heaven issue in their congregation. The mother had claimed she had a revelation that said she was going to be one of the 144,000 who would rule in heaven, and the daughter was angry with the god of the JWs because she would be separated from her mother for all eternity.

Hopefully, readers can begin to see why Jehovah's Witnesses experience so much burden and stress in their lives. When one believes he must do an enormous amount of work to get into "paradise," never knowing how much work is enough to get into paradise, and the hopelessness of knowing it would be next to impossible to do enough work to be in the 144,000 (or not knowing if all the 144,000 slots have already been reserved), it creates a burden of dispair that results in JWs suffering an extraordinary amount of depression and anxiety. (This is quite common amongst JW households; we'll cover more on that later.)

The Watchtower teaches that all must come unto the Jehovah's Witnesses to gain salvation:
"And while now the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah's organization for salvation, the time no doubt will come when the messages takes on a harder note, like a 'great war cry.'"
-Watchtower, Nov 15, 1981, p. 21; See also Edmond C. Gruss, The Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Xulon Press, 2003, p. 60, ISBN: 9781594671319

Notice that they did not tell people to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, but they have replaced Him with their own organization; meaning that they believe the JW cult is the salvation of mankind. The Watchtower puts their hard yoke and heavy burden on their members, but Jesus Christ tells us:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
-Matthew 11:28-30





 

The Watchtower Online Library publishes a book called Insight on the Scriptures in which they define the signs of a true prophet of God:
"The three essentials for establishing the credentials of a true prophet, as given through Moses, were: The true prophet would speak in Jehovah's name; the things foretold would come to pass (Deut. 18:20-22); and his prophesying must promote true worship, being in harmony with Godís revealed word and commandments (De 13:1-4)."
-Insight On The Scriptures, Vol. 2, 1988, p. 696; See also Watchtower Online Library, "Prophet," Insight, Vol. 2, retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003562]

The Watchtower teaches that a prophet must claim to be of God, their prophesying must be in harmony with the Bible, and the prophesies must come to pass. If any one of these things is not true, then that prophet is false and of the Devil.

Let's read the verses the Watchtower is referencing to in the above quotation:

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 [i.e. arrogantly, in bold defiance of God]: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
-Deuteronomy 18:20-22

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
-Deuteronomy 13:1-4

I would like to emphasize, especially to Jehovah's Witnesses (if by some miracle one would read this), that the Watchtower teaches that you are not to follow after anyone who gives prophecy that does not come to pass, and you are not to follow after any prophet that takes you away from the Word of God. We've already given examples of both of these violations within the Watchtower. They are false prophets, and the lies they tell come from the Devil, who is the father of lies:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
-John 8:44

In the above section, "The Origins of Jehovah's Witnesses," we briefly mentioned some of the Jehovah's Witnesses false prophecies (which they take great pains to hide from their members), first with the Millerites, then with the Russiltes, and the JWs would continue this tradition throughout most of the 20th century. Let's go back through history and look at the details of all the end-time prophecies that were made, and the count how many came to pass.

We'll start with William Miller (founder of the Millerites) because this is where Jehovah's Witnesses eventually stemmed from, and he first declared that Christ's second coming would happen in 1843. This was based on his private interpretation of Daniel 8:

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
-Daniel 8:14

Miller interpreted "sanctuary" to mean "the world," and 2,300 days to be 2,300 years. He started the count in 457 B.C., which was the decree of Xerxes to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and so 2,300 - 457 = 1843. Miller submitted this teaching to some baptist publications in 1832, and then he started getting a flood of inquiry and support, but many of them were asking him for a month/day, which Miller refused to give; he simply said Christ's second coming would happen somewhere between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844.
(Image is the original Millerite chart; click for a larger view.)

March 21, 1844 came and went, and no second coming of Jesus was witnessed. Miller went back to his calculations and came up with a new theory, and he told everyone that he not accounted for a "tarrying time," which is in reference to Matthew 25:

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
-Matthew 25:1-5

Thus, he said there would be a time of tarrying, and that Jesus was coming back on October 22, 1844. As you can probably figure out on your own, October 22, 1844 came and went, Christ did not return, and no one was raptured; Adventist followers of Miller were devestated, which is historically known as "The Great Disappointment," and they desperately searched for another prophecy to replace the old one. (i.e. They refuse to repent and admit they rejected the Christian God of the Bible with false prophecy, so they keep up the charade.)

The Pre-Tribulation Cultists Are No Different

It's important to understand why these people cling so tightly to a failed religion because, for us, it doesn't make sense for someone to stay in cult that has proven to be led by false prophets. We Christians know "The Gospel" to mean the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to be the salvation of sinners who repent (i.e. grief and godly sorrow for wrongdoing) and believe in His resurrection; however, those who follower after the traditions of the Millerites, they believe "The Gospel" means "Jesus is coming back at any moment," so to reject the anticipation of Christ's arrival being "just around the corner," is to reject "The Gospel."

Sadly, most church building in America today have taken after these types of movements, not in specific dates, but in believing that Christ will return at any moment. The declaration of a date has started to be abandoned because it has failed so many times. This false belief of "Jesus is coming back at any moment" had existed even in the days of Christ's disciples, which is why Paul rebuked them:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. [i.e. don't get excited as if Christ is returning at any moment] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [i.e. the final antichrist] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
-2 Thessalonians 2:1-5

This not only rebukes the Millerites, Russelites, Jehovah's Witnesses, and any other flavor in between, but it also rebukes the "Pre-Tribulation" false doctrine that's only been around since the 19th century. The attitude I have seen in many church buildings and online teachers is that if you don't believe in Pre-Trib, then you're not a Christian, and that's because their faith in founded in Pre-Trib doctrine. I've had people write me on the subject and say these things in no uncertain terms because, to them, Pre-Trib is the gospel first and foremost, and to them, if you don't believe in Pre-Trib, you can't be of Christ. If you don't know much about the unbiblical fallacies of Pre-Trib, and the history of how it got into American church buildings, I would highly recommend reading our teaching "The Beginner's Guide to Tribulation and Rapture" here at creationliberty.com for more details.

The "Jesus is coming" Adventist/Millerite/Russellite/Jehovah's Witnesses and the modern-day Pre-Tribbers are no different in their attitudes and their doctrines, and all of them were rebuked in 2 Thessalonians 2. It's sad that so many of them get more wrapped up in the excitement they get when thinking about their new-age false god coming to get them in a secret pre-tribulation rapture (which is not talked about anywhere in Scripture) and take them to a warm and fluffy place where they won't have to suffer any persecution, rather than studying the Word of God to find out what He teaches us.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
-2 Timothy 3:12


So after 1844, there are many dates that were prophesied in the 19th century by various sects across Adventism; so many that I will not be going over the details of each one. There was an individual prophecy for the years 1850, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1862, 1864, 1865, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1874, 1875, 1877, 1880, 1883, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1898, and 1899; and as you can guess, all of them failed.

These Millerism/Adventist organizations printed magazines (just like the Watchtower) to get their ideas out to the public, and most cults today have taken after this 19th century tradition of publishing magazines. I'm not saying every magazine is a cult, but I'm saying it's a common theme for cultists. In the 19th century, there was The Age to Come, Herald of the Coming Kingdom and Age to Come, Herald of the Morning, Advent Herald, Messiah's Herald, The Saints' Herald, Herald of the Coming One, The Bible Standard and Herald of Christ's Kingdom, The Herald of Christ's Kingdom, The Bible Examiner, The Present Truth, The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Kingdom, and Zion's Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Kingdom, just to name a few, and some of these are still in publication today.

The date that I want to focus in on for the context of Jehovah's Witnesses is 1874, which was the prediction of the aforementioned Nelson Barbour, who worked with Charles Russell to get his ideas out through the Herald of the Morning magazine. While Miller claimed the "tarrying time" (after his failed 1843 date) would only be about six months (i.e. from March 21, 1844 to October 22, 1844), Barbour claimed the "tarrying time" would be 30 years, and so he predicted Christ's return in 1873, but that obviously failed, so he pushed it (just like Miller did) to 1874.

Russell didn't meet Barbour until 1876, but Barbour had already taught a 3.5 year "harvest time," and so he claimed the "Bride of Christ" would not be translated into heaven until 1878, and that Christ did return in 1874, but he was invisible. Barbour also taught that the "Gentile Times" would be over in 1914, and Russell jumped on board by selling his retail clothing chain for a very large sum and investing into the magazine.

Nelson Barbour, backed by Charles Russell, published the following in reference to the 1878 prediction:
"THE END OF THIS WORLD; that is, the end of the gospel, and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period [i.e. 3.5 years], which is to be a 'time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation'"
-Nelson H. Barbour, The Three Worlds, Рипол Классик [Ripol Classic Publishing], 1877, p. 17, ISBN: 9785880807628

After 1878, Barbour and Russell split apart because Russell came up with a new date; he believed the bride would be translated in 1881. Of course, this didn't happen either, so Russell instead said 1881 was "the general call to this joint-heirship with our Redeemer as members of the New Creation of God" and that the call ceased in 1881.
(See Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1911, p. 95, [University of Virginia])

However, Russell stuck to Barbour's original story that 'Incognito Jesus' was already on earth, but couldn't be seen, as he reiterated in his writings. The follow quotes are taken from Studies in the Scriptures, which was originally called The Plan of the Ages and The Divine Plan of the Ages, which Russell authored in 1886:
"If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth's history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ's reign, we shall by showing that it began in 1873, be proving that we are already in it."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, International Bible Students Association, Vol. 2, 1914, p. 40, [Pennsylvania State University]

"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 it: and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A. D.: and the first work of the Kingdom, as shown by our Lord, in his parables and prophecy (the gather of 'his elect'), is now in progress."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, International Bible Students Association, Vol. 4, 1913, p. 621, [University of California]

I'd like to point out that if this were true, then the JW's 'Incognito Jesus' must be asleep on the job because soon after, WWI broke out, and then later, WWII. JWs still believe Jesus is on earth invisibly today, and our world is getting worse all the time, so the 'JW Incognito Jesus' is either stupid or doesn't care, but this is all despite the fact that Russell's prophecy stated that all government institutions were supposed to be shut down before 1915, which obviously hasn't happened.

"True, it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years [i.e. by the end of 1914] all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the 'Day of Jehovah,' in which matters culminate quickly; and it is written, 'A short work will the Lord make upon the earth.'"
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, International Bible Students Association, Vol. 2, 1914, p. 98-99, [Pennsylvania State University]

All the dates from Russell and Barbour had been thus far exhausted, so everyone was now waiting for the final date they taught for the end of the world, which was 1914. Of coruse, 1914 came and went, and nothing happened. As aforemention, Russell pushed back the date to 1915, and after that failed, he died in 1916, but the cultists' "gospel" is that "Jesus is coming," so Joseph Rutherford, appointed to take Russell's place, picked up the torch and made more predictions to satisfy the lust of their followers.

In 1918, Rutherford wrote a book called Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and said the end would be in 1925:
"As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized... 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,"
-Joseph F. Rutherford, Millions Now Living Will Never Die!, Lulu.com, 2005, p. 89-90, ISBN: 9781411628984

A 1922 issue of the Watch Tower said that the 1925 prophecy was better than the 1914 prophecy:
"The physical facts show beyond question of a doubt that 1914 ended the Gentile times; and as the Lord foretold, the old order is being destroyed by war, famine, pestilence, and revolution. The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures because it is fixed by the law God gave to Israel."
-Watch Tower, "Europe a Boiling Cauldron," Sept 1, 1922, p. 262
Click image for larger view.

I would like to point out the obvious fact that there is almost no one left alive today who was reading this in 1918. I'm being generous with this statement because the amount of Jehovah's Witnesses still alive who were born prior to 1925 are dwindling fast, if not already depleted.

So Rutherford gave the prophecy to his followers that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were coming back to reign on earth. Although that's absurd because the Bible never mentions anything like that, they took it very seriously; so seriously that they had a mansion built to house the three of them (and other Biblical figures) when they were to falsely prophesied to return in 1925.

The mansion is called "Beth-Sarim," which is Hebrew for "House of Princes," and although offical JW and Watchtower publications today will claim it was constructed as a winter home for Rutherford due to his health complications, but though it is true he had health complications and that he lived there during the winters, they are once again hiding the embarrassement of false prophecy. The following image is a photocopy from Rutherford's magazine, The Golden Age, in which they documented what is written in the deed to the house:
(Click image for larger view.)
"Both the grantor and the grantee, the said JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD are fully persuaded from the Bible testimony which is the Word of Jehovah God and from extraneous evidence that God's kingdom is now in the course of establishment and that it will result beneficially for the peoples of earth; that the governing power and authority will be invisible to men but that the kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under supervision of the invisible ruler Christ; that among those who will be thus the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, who was once King over Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthae, and Joseph, formerly ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophet and other faithful men named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews the eleventh chapter. The condition herein is that the said WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY shall hold said title perpetually in trust for the use of any or all of the men above named as representatives of God's kingdom on earth and that such men shall have possession and use of said property hereinabove described as they may deem for the best interest for the work in which they are engaged... Any persons appearing to take possession of said premises shall first prove and identify themselves to the proper officers of said Society as the person or persons described in Hebrews chapter eleven and in this deed."
-The Golden Age, Mar 19, 1930, p. 406-407

In reality, Rutherford took up residence as a second home, living in the top brackets of luxury from the profits of his books and magazines. "The few references to Beth Sarim in the Societyís publications make very little effort to deny that the building was erected first-and-foremost as a private residence for Rutherford."
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