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Transcript of Jehovah's Witnesses
The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society
Founder: Charles Taze Russell
HISTORY OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Born in Allegheny, Pa. in 1852
attended the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches
at age 16, denied the doctrine of Hell
Organized Bible Study classes in 1870 at age 18 and adopted the title of Pastor Russell
Financed Zion Watchtower in 1879
Zion's Watchtower Tract Society was est. in 1881
Dec. 13, 1884, the society was legally accepted as a corporation
Questionable moral character of Russell
Fake preaching tours and fake sermons
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
February 19, 1912 (page 18)
"Pastor Russell's Imaginary Sermons"
Reports several sermons never delivered, ex. in Hawaii
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan. 11, 1913
"Tour of Orient Branded Huge Advertising Scheme"
The Judge: Joseph Rutherford
Jehovah's Witnesses History (continued)
succeeded Charles Russell on Jan. 6, 1917
printing activities expanded
15-20 Million copies distributed over 6 years
Why Serve Jehovah?
a pamphlet explaining that Rutherford was the mouthpiece of Jehovah for this age according to God's mandate
The name Jehovah's Witness
adopted by Rutherford in 1931
based on Isaiah 43:10
Rutherford claimed that Russell's teachings and all teachings apart from his own is another Gospel (see Galatians 1:8-9)
January 8, 1942 -- Rutherford died of cancer after 15 years as president
Nathan Homer Knor
succeeded Rutherford as 3rd president in 1942
Responsible for The New World Translation to the Christian Greek Scriptures & The Kingdom Interlinear Translation
Frederick Franz -- Fourth president in 1977
Don Adams - current Watchtower president
Jehovah Witnesses believe that Reason, not Scripture, is the value
"Let us examine the character of the writings claimed as inspired (The Bible) to see whether their teachings correspond with the character we have reasonably imputed to God" (Studies in the Scripture, p. 41).
Scripture Studies aka. Studies In The Scriptures (Russel's writings) are superior to Scripture (the Bible)
"The Scripture studies are not mere comments on the Bible, they are practically the Bible itself."
"People cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside after studying them for ten years and goes to the Bible alone, within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have the light of the Scriptures" (The Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1910, page 298).
New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures
The Scriptures lost the true meaning of God's Name
The preface of The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures states that other translations have fallen to human tradition and are corrupt. THis version is therefore THE CORRECT TRANSLATION!
The original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures has been tampered with. At least from the third century onward, the divine name in tetragrammaton (YHWH or Yahowah or Jehovah) has been eliminated from the text by copyists. They substitute the words kyrios (lord) and theos (God).
Not by grace but by faith plus works
Jehovah's Witnesses View of Salvation
"Immortality is a reward for faithfulness. It does not come automatically to a human at birth" (Let God Be True, p. 74).
"To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it" (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983; p. 12).
Only 144,000 enter the Kingdom of Heaven
"Who and how many are able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? The Revelation limits to 144,000 the number that becomes a part of the Kingdom and stand on heavenly Mount Zion" (Let God Be True, p. 136).
"Only a little flock of 144,000 go to heaven and rule with Christ ... The 144,000 are born again as spirit sons of God" (Jehovah's Witnesses in the 20th C).
"The theory of the Trinity is as unscriptural as it is unreasonable. If it were not for the fact that this Trinitarian nonsense was drilled into us from earliest infancy, and the fact that it is taught in Theological Seminaries by gray-haried professors ... nobody would give it a moments serious notice" (Studies in Scripture 5:166).
Jehovah's Witnesses' View of the Trinity
A Direct Result of Denying the Trinity is a Denial of Jesus' Deity
Jehovah's Witnesses' View of Jesus Christ
JW's also distort the biblical doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. They believe that Christ was raised as a spirit but the body of Jesus dissolved into gasses and the man Jesus is forever dead
Jehovah's Witnesses' View of Jesus' Bodily Resurrection
Another result of rejecting the Trinity is that JW's reject the Deity of the Holy Spirit.
Jehovah's Witnesses' View of the Holy Spirit
JW's believe that man does not possess an immortal soul and that the doctrine of the immortal soul is a doctrine of satan. They claim that man is a soul.
Jehovah's Witnesses View of the Soul
JW's deny the biblical concept of hell as eternal punishment and claim that Sheol and Hades means only the grave. Furthermore, Witnesses argue for a painless extinction or annihilation or absence of being after death as a result of not possessing an immortal soul.
Jehovah's Witnesses' View of Hell
JW's teach that Christ's second coming to earth would be invisible since Jesus no longer has a physical body. The return has already taken place in three stages: 1) in 1874 Christ came to the upper air and later caught up the apostles and dead members of the 144,000 who will be immortal; 2) in 1914 Christ ended the times of the Gentiles and began to reign; 3) 1918 he came to the spiritual temple and began judging nations.
Jehovah's Witnesses' View of Jesus' Second Coming
Why Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions!
Key Issues to Discuss with J.W.'s
Why Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays
JW's believe that it is idolatry to salute a flag or pledge an allegiance to a country.
The only allegiance pledged is to Jehovah's government, not man's.
More Issues to Discuss with J.W.'s
Why Jehovah's Witnesses do not salute the flag, say a pledge of allegiance, sing a national anthem, or participate in the military
"How the great adversary Satan ever succeeded in foisting the Triune godhead upon the Lord's people to bewilder and mystify them is the real mystery"
(Studies in Scripture 5:166).
"The obvious conclusion is that Satan is the author of the Trinity doctrine"
(Let God be True, 101).
"Sincere persons who want to know God and serve Him find it a bit difficult to love and worship a complicated, Freakish looking, three-headed God" (Let God Be True, 102).
"Is Jehovah a Trinity - three persons in one God? No! Jehovah the father, is only True God. Jesus is his firstborn son, and he is subject to God. The Father is greater than the son. The Holy Spirit is not a person it is God's active force" (What Does God Require of Us?; Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1997).
The testimony of the Bible and history makes clear that the teaching of the Trinity was unknown throughout biblical times and several centuries thereafter (Should You Believe In the Trinity?)
"Our Lord Jesus is 'a' God ... still the united voice of the Scriptures most emphatically asserts that there is but one almighty God, the Father of all" (Scripture Studies, 5:55)
"The true Scriptures speak of God's Son, the Word, as a god. He is mighty god but not Almighty God, who is Jehovah in Isaiah 9:6" (The Truth, 47).
"The very fact that he was sent proves that he was not equal with God but was less than God his Father" (The Word Who Is He, 41).
"Certainly the apostle John was not so unreasonable as to say that someone (the Word) was with some other individual (God) and at the same time was that other individual (God)" (TWWIH, 53).
John 1:1-4 Kingdom Interlinear Translation inserts the article "a" before the word God making the Word "a god" rather than God Himself
"As chief of the angels and next to the Father, he (Christ) was known as the archangel or messenger whose name was Michael, signifies 'Who as God' or 'God's representative'" (Scripture Studies, 5:84)
"Our Lord was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; he was put to death as a man, but was raised from the dead a spirit being of the highest order of divine nature" (Studies, 5:453)
"In his resurrection, he was no more human. He was raised as a spirit creature" (TKIAH).
"The man Jesus is dead, forever dead" (Studies, 5:454).
"Having given up his flesh for the life of the world, Christ could never take it again and become a man once more. For that basic reason his return could never be in a human body that he sacrificed once for all time" (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on earth, 143).
"Our Lord's human body did not decay or corrupt ... Whether it was dissolved into gasses or whether it is still persevered somewhere ... no one knows" ( Let God Be True, 80).
"The first born from the dead was raised from the grave not a human creature, but a spirit" (Let God Be True, 80).
Read John 20:24-30. How does the Doubting Thomas passage disprove the JW position on Christ's resurrection?
Is the bodily resurrection necessary for salvation?
(see 1 Corinthians 15:1-9).
The New World Translation purposely distorts Greek pronouns by referring to the Holy Spirit as "it" rather than "he." JW's teach that the Spirit is "not of God," not a member of the Trinity, not coequal, and not a person. The HS is like a radar beam or a controlled force
"The holy spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God that moves his servants to do his will" (Let God be True, 108).
"As for the Holy Spirit, the so-called third person of the Trinity, we have already seen that it is not a person but God's active force" (The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life, 1968, p. 24).
"To a certain extent, the Holy Spirit can be likened to electricity, a force that can be adapted to perform a variety of operations" (Should You Believe In the Trinity).
BUT, The Bible teaches that man's soul lives beyond the death of the body and will one day be resurrected with a glorified body (Luke 20:37-38; Revelation 6:9-10).
"man is a combination of two things, namely the dust of the ground and the breath of life. The combining of these two things produced a soul or creature called man" (Let God Be True, 68).
"So we see that the claim of religionists that man has an immortal soul and therefore differs from the beast is not scriptural" (LGBT, 68).
"It is clear to see that even the man Jesus was mortal. He did not have an immortal soul: Jesus, the human soul died" (LGBT, 71)
"Thus it is seen that the serpent the devil, is the one that originated the doctrine of the inherent immortality of human souls" (LGBT, 74-75)
"Those who have been taught by Christendom believe the God-dishonoring doctrine of a fiery hell for tormenting conscious human souls eternally" (LGBT, 88).
"It is so plain that the Bible 'hell' is mankind's common grave that even an honest little child can understand it, but not the religious theologians" (LGBT, 92).
"Who is responsible for this God-defaming doctrine of a hell of torment? The promulgator of it is Satan himself. His purpose in introducing it has been to frighten people away from studying the Bible and to make them hate God" (LGBT, 98).
"Imperfect man does not even torture a dog, but kills it. And yet the clergymen attribute to God, who is love, the wicked crime of torturing human creatures merely because they had the misfortune of being born sinners" (LGBT, 98).
The doctrine of hell where men are tortured cannot be true, mainly for four reasons: 1) Because it is wholly unscriptural; 2) it is unreasonable; 3) it is contrary to God's love; 4) it is repugnant to justice" (LGBT, 99).
Is the traditional Christian doctrine of hell as eternal punishment in opposition philosphically to an all-powerful, all-good, just God?
JW's believe celebrating holidays violates the first commandment "No other gods before me"
Also, no follower of Jehovah ever practiced pagan celebrations of birthdays or holidays in the Bible.
The two birthday celebrations in the Bible (Pharaoh of Egypt - 18C BC and Herod Antipas - 1 AD) are both remembered for executions:
The hanging of Pharaoh's chief baker (Gen. 40:20-22) and the beheading of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:6-10).
Leviticus 17:13-14 forbids the eating of blood, therefore JW's refuse blood transfusions because they refuse to be fed blood through the veins.
PROBLEM PASSAGES FOR THE JW POSITION:
1 Peter 2:13-14
"any national flag is a symbol of the sovereign power of its nation" (LGBT, 242).
"All such likeness is forbidden by the idolatry commands in Exodus 20:2-6" (LGBT, 242).
"No Witness of Jehovah, who ascribes salvation only to him, may salute any national emblem without violating Jehovah's commandment against idolatry as stated in His Word" (LGBT, 243).
JW's are not awaiting the return of Christ today but the END also known as the WAR OF ARMEGGEDON which Christ will lead JW's to victory over evil. (Several false dates have been given).
Only one faithful witness will escape death in this battle. Then there will be an earthly resurrection of all dead. Everyone who was annihilated will be recreated and given a second chance during the Millenium to believe and obey Jehovah.
Those who fail during the probationary period will be permanently destroyed. All who remain on earth after this will be "Jonadabs" who will enjoy perfect earth forever. Only the 144,000 will remain in Heaven with Christ forever!
- Kenneth Boa, p. 102
Who and how many are able to enter the Kingdom? The Revelation limits to 144,000 the number that becomes a part of the Kingdom and stand on heavenly MT. Zion (LGBT, 136).
He (Christ) went to prepare a heavenly place for his associate heirs, 'Christ's body,' for they too will be invisible spirit creatures (LGBT, 137).
The undefeatable purpose of Jehovah to establish a righteous kingdom in these last days was fulfilled in AD 1914 (LGBT, 143).
Only a little flock of 144,000 go to heaven and rule with Christ ... The 144,000 are born again as spiritual sons of God (Jehovah's Witness in the 20th Century, electronic version).
Since no earthly men have ever seen or can see the father, they will not be able to see the glorified son (LGBT, 197).
Christ does not come in the body of his humiliation, a human body, which he took for the suffering of death ... but in his glorious spiritual body (Studies, 2:108)
"The testimony of history is clear: the Trinity teaching is a deviation from the truth; an apostatizing from it" (Should You Believe?)
Who are the 144,000 in Revelation 7?
FALSE PROPHECIES CONCERNING ARMAGEDDON: END TIMES!
1877 - "The end of this world is nearer than most men suppose"
1886 - "the time has come for Messiah to take dominion over the earth"
1889 - "the battle of the great day of God almighty (Rev. 16:14) will end in AD 1914 with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership"
(IN the 1915 edition of the same book, they changed the above date to 1915)
1904 - "The stress of the great time of trouble will be on us soon, sometime between 1910 and 1912, culminating with the end of time for the Gentiles in October 1914."
1923 - "Our thought is that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures"
1930, 1931, 1933 - claimed Armageddon was at hand
Awake Magazine, Oct. 8, 1968, "There have been those in times past who predicted an end to the world, even announcing specific dates. The end did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them. But what about today? Today we have the evidence required, all of it, and it is overwhelming!"
What is the BIble's test for a true prophet of God?
Deuteronomy 18:22 - "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."
1. Complete the Jehovah's Witness Bible Verse Project by reading the 25 verses JW's take out of context to support their views and write a traditional Christian response.
2. Watch "The Witness at Your Door" DVD
3. Take Test