Cult #1: Jehovah’s Witness

The official name for Jehovah’s Witness is, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. They produce two magazines within their circuit: “Awake” and “The Watchtower.” Their Bible version: The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT).

Everyone who disagrees with Jehovah Witness’s – especially Christians – are not only wrong but are moral enemies and will be destroyed by Jehovah at Armageddon. Jehova’s Witnesses are tightly controlled by Watchtower headquarters and are constantly told they cannot interpret the Bible for themselves in any way; they must avoid individual thinking; they are never to question the counsel provided by the Watchtower.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are tightly controlled by Watchtower headquarters and are constantly told they cannot interpret the Bible for themselves in any way; they must avoid individual thinking; they are never to question the counsel provided by the Watchtower.

Here is a brief history:

Charles Taze Russell: How it all began

Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) rejected many views in his church as a teen. Particularly Hell and the Trinity. Adventist teaching told him there was no eternal punishment, so his faith in Scripture was restored but he remained distrustful of churches. By age 18 he formed his own Bible study empathizing Christ’s coming (predicted in 1874). He and Adventists believed it happened in a “spiritual and invisible way.”

In 1879 he parted was with the Adventist and launched the magazine, The Watchtower. He predicted Armageddon in 1914, but WWI started. He died 2 years later.

Joseph F. Rutheford predicted the end would be in 1925. He adopted the name Jehovah’s Witness (from Isaiah 43:10), and invented door-to-door witnessing. He originally said 144,000 people would go to Heaven. But because of overpopulation Rutheford said that everyone who became a Jehovah’s Witness before 1935 would go to Heaven. If you became one after 1935 you can be among the “great crowd” living on earth in a new Paradise after Armageddon and the Millennium.

“New light” – A favorite Jehovah’s Witness term to explain its many changes in doctrine and teaching. Despite wrong predictions, Jehovah’s Witnesses insist they have never made any false prophesies.

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society still operates on the same foundation laid by Russell and say he was the founder but they distance themselves from his theology and writings (except denying the Trinity, Christ’s deity, and Hell as punishment).

Jehovah’s Witness…

1)    Deny the Trinity – “Who ran the universe when Jesus was dead in the grave?”

2)    Deny Christ’s deity – Jehovah is the Almighty God who created Jesus. Then Jesus, the mighty god, created everything else. Jesus was archangel Michael before coming to Earth. He is still archangel Michael.

3)    Deny Jesus’ bodily resurrection – Christ rose as a s spirit that looked like a body. Jehovah does not resurrect bodies, he “re-creates” them. Because body and soul (which are one) have been annihilated at death, God must re-create the “life pattern” of a person and he can easily do this be retrieving that life pattern from his memory.

4)    Deny the Holy Spirit is God – It is an “invisible act or force” that God uses to inspire His servants to do His will. It’s like electricity.

5)    Deny Christ’s full Atonement – They give Christ credit for giving them the opportunity to work for and obey Jehovah – by doing what the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society teaches.

To be a Jehovah’s Witness means constantly trying to affirm your salvation.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly working for a place in an earthly paradise where they will have everlasting life, but not in the presence of a loving Jehovah God. Instead, they will be ruled by Christ and the 144,000 anointed ones who remain in Heaven throughout eternity to enjoy immortality, as they serve as joint heirs and co-rulers of Jehovah’s glorious theocracy.

The Last Days:

Armageddon will bring about the destruction of 99.9% of mankind. After Armageddon, according to Jehovah’s Witnesses, there will be a time when earth will be repopulated by faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses (who survive Armageddon) and billions of people who are resurrected (re-created from Jehovah’s memory bank). They will be taught truth. In the end, Satan and his demons will tempt people. If people fail they will be cast into the lake of fire and wiped forever from existence.

Jehovah’s Witnesses meet five times a week at Kingdom Hall, a term for church. They do not believe in immortal souls. At death their “life force” goes out of them and they no longer exist.

When confronting a Jehovah’s Witness, do so out of love and kindness, bearing in mind that all of their false information has been mercilessly shoved down their throats, but it sounds good to them because they are already “in.” Approach them with the bold truth and let the Spirit of God do the work that is saved for Him to do in that person’s life.

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My lovely wife and I are foster parents, dog owners, home owners, and Christians. I am a blogger, book editor, and author. On my blog you'll read about adoption, faith topics, inspirational thoughts, and a whole lotta Disney/Pixar lovin'! For the most exciting read ever, check out my suspense/adventure novel, The Man in the Box. You. Will. Love it.

16 Responses to Cult #1: Jehovah’s Witness

  1. Lynn McMonigal says:

    Two years ago, my oldest son (who is now 9) began taking his Bible with him to school. He would read it after lunch and at other quiet times. One little boy started to ask him questions, and Dru would carefully explain what he could. If he didn’t have an answer, he would ask. He said he didn’t want to give the boy the wrong answers. This little boy was especially intrigued with the New Testament. He said he went to church, but he’d never heard much said about Jesus at all. Turns out the boy was a part of Jehovah’s Witness family. He asked a lot of questions, but we lost track of him at the end of that school year. Haven’t stopped praying for him, though.

    • phyllissloan says:

      What a wonderful account! ‘Out of the mouths of babes’ comes to mind. Your son has been a true ‘witness’ to that little boy and I believe the Lord will honour your prayers.
      Thanks for sharing :)

  2. javawithjae says:

    I had 2 Witnesses come to my door once. I asked them the Biblical basis for their belief in annihlationism, and they were not well-equipped to answer. When I offered that we should all pray together, they couldn’t get away from my house fast enough. I found that to be even more sad than their aberrant theology.

  3. Jehovah’s Witnesses are in *breach of the preach*.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytizing is a false Gospel. (Gal. 1:8)

    Straight up doctrinal facts on Jehovah Witness.
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach preach that Jesus had his return aka second coming October 1914,then they spin all sorts of doctrinal embellishments on that date.

    They teach only 144,000 go to heaven,on and on and on with made up man made dogmas……They have infighting,crime and child abuse as bad as any church out there.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses promotion of their Watchtower sect has the net effect of stumbling and turning people off to the real Gospel.
    Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte; and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matt 23:15)

    Danny Haszard born 3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness
    *Tell the truth don’t be afraid*
    FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

  4. btg5885 says:

    Thanks for continuing to share summaries of other faiths and religions. I have always been in favor of a doctrine of inclusion rather than exclusion, so I like your goal of sharing the stories of others so we can understand our differences and common grounds.

  5. reslight says:

    Charles Taze Rusell had trouble accepting many views of the Presbyterian church, and, having been led to think that such views were in the Bible, was stumbled for a while by such teachings. Around 1870, he came to understand that Jesus returns to bless all the families of the earth, as a result of the ransom for all. He also came to realize the Biblical truth about hell is, and he eventually began to see how the triune God philosophy is not found in the Bible, and indeed, that this philosophy would annul the ransom sacrifice of Jesus.

    Russell was not, before 1874, predicting Christ to return in 1874. Nevertheless, evidently sometime around 1872, Russell came to realize that Christ does not return in flesh, because he eternally sacrificed his flesh, and, after his ascension, presented his fleshly body to God. (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:10) Thus, before 1874, Russell had already concluded that Christ would not return in the flesh. Nevertheless, at that time, Russell resports that he had no interest in the interpretation of the Adventists related to dates.

    In 1876, he saw that N. H. Barbour had concluded similarly, and Russell became interested in the idea that Barbour was presenting that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874; recognizing that this “invisible” feature was similar to his own earlier conclusions, Russell met with Barbour to discuss Barbour’s conclusions regarding time prophecies. Thus, in 1876, two years *after* 1874, Russell accepted that Christ had already returned in 1874.

    In 1876, Russell also accepted Barbour’s conclusion that Armageddon had begun in 1874 and would last until 1914. Russell never believed in an Armageddon like the JWs preached; he never spoke of an Armageddon that was eternally destroy millions of unbelievers. Indeed, he preached against such an Armageddon.

    Sometime later, Russell rejected Barbour’s conclusion that Armageddon had begun in 1874, but for a time, he believed that Armageddon was to begin sometime before 1914 and end in 1914; nevertheless, in 1904, he came to realize that the end of the Gentile Times would be the beginning, not the end, of the time of trouble (Armageddon). Russell, however, was not expecting the kind of Armageddon that the JWs preach; he was not expecting that in 1914 millions of unbelievers would be eternally destroyed leaving only believers. Indeed, his view of Armageddon was that it consistis of a period of time in which the peoples of the nations are “chastised” — not eternally destroyed — in preparation for the blessings of the kingdom that was to come after the time of trouble was over. Thus, his view is almost the opposite of that held by most of the “Second Adventists” as well as the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

    I am sure that Russell would never have agreed to the creation of an organization that came into existence after Russell died. Russell was a non-sectarian who believed that members of the true church could be found amongst all the denominations of Christendom. He rejected that idea that any “outward organization” has legitmate claims to being “the true church.”

    Anyone familiar with the works of Russell should also know that he was about “shoving” his views down the throats of others. Some of his associates may have sought to do this, but this was not his way.

    • reslight says:

      I stated; “Anyone familiar with the works of Russell should also know that he was about “shoving” his views down the throats of others. Some of his associates may have sought to do this, but this was not his way.” This should have read: “Anyone familiar with the works of Russell should also know that he was NOT about “shoving” his views down the throats of others. Some of his associates may have sought to do this, but this was not his way.

  6. Lunch Sketch says:

    Thankyou. I enjoyed that, especially your closing statement. These folk need to be shown love like all of us. They are not fools, they know there is a God, they searched for the truth … but sadly they found something else.

  7. Strange timing with your post because my husband and I were just having this conversation over the weekend. I am a former JW who was kicked out more than 20 years ago. My sister and her husband are still witnesses but her son was kicked out many years ago, shortly after I was.

    As of recent, my sister claims that there are new “rules” not allowing them to have any kind of contact with former JWs that were disfellowshiped (kicked out) that are not trying to ask for forgiveness and return to “the truth”. Previously, when it came to immediate family this rule was at your discretion. Now, they have changed the rule to be absolutely no contact, not even with family.

    So because of this my sister had her husband call her son to come over to remove all of his stored belonging in the garage. She would not come out of the house and her son was not allowed in. Her husband (the step-father) explained to my nephew this new rule and that because he was not showing any sign of repentance and coming back to “the truth” that they would no longer have any contact with him, for any reason. He said that they will not jeopardize their entry into the new kingdom by associating with him so no calls, no visits, not allowed at the house, nothing.

    I have believed for years that my sister was a fanatic in this religion. Now after hearing this, I believe now, more than ever, that this religion closely parallels a cult and she can’t help it and has been brainwashed. I feel sad for her.

    I really like your last paragraph about confronting JWs out of love and kindness. From personal experience I know first-hand they DO have this information shoved down their throats and are not allowed contact with people who don’t believe the same. They are very controlled to believe one hundred percent everything they are told. I pray for them, that one day their eyes will be opened to see that God lives in all of us and one does not need a group of “elders” or Watchtower Society to dictate their every move.

  8. Amy says:

    Hi! This is Amy from The Messy Middle — I updated my blog this weekend but haven’t been able to move subscribers from wordpress. Sigh. So, if you want to keep following me, you’ll need to resubscribe through wordpress (messymiddle.com). I’m slowly learning more about technology, that’s for sure!

    Amy

  9. reslight says:

    I might add that Russell did not reject the Biblical idea of “eternal punishment'; he did reject the idea that “eternal purnishment’ meant that the souls of the unrepentant sinners will be kept in conscious torture all eternity. Jesus died to release all from the death in Adam; there is no sacrifice for those who come under the second condemnation, the second death. — 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

  10. WHeinemann says:

    Nice synopsis. I must say that the concept of only 144,000 be admitted at the end times is brilliant for perpetuating a culture, erroneous, but brilliant none-the-less. With this deeply ingrained belief and their restriction of outside influences, I don’t foresee the JWs going anywhere. It’s a shame, because they are missing out on the truth of scripture.

  11. acepuppets says:

    I found this very interesting because I wondered why every time you ask what they believe the answers were quotes from the Bible. It all makes sense now.

  12. kenyanvoice says:

    I like their dedication to the cause, like ants or bees. not very different from other religion though. i have observed that almost all religions have a point of blankness, a point where there is no answer and if you asked someone a question, they just stare at you

  13. see this says:

    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are
    you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish
    my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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