INCORPORATED NAME: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania COMMON DESCRIPTORS:

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INCORPORATED NAME: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania COMMON DESCRIPTORS: Jehovah's Witnesses, Witnesses, Russellites, JW's FOUNDER: Charles Taze Russell CURRENT PRESIDENT: Fredrick W. Franz MEMBERSHIP: Just over two million DISTRIBUTION: North America, Europe, Africa HEADQUARTERS: Brooklyn, New York, USA PERIODICALS: Watchtower, Awake PUBLISHER: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York HISTORY The Jehovah's Witnesses were founded by Charles Taze Russell in the 1870s. Russell, born in 1852 in Allegany, Pennsylvania, was raised a congregationalist. At an early age Russell rejected orthodox Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, eternal punishment and the personality of the Holy Spirit. In 1884 he organized Zion's Watchtower Tract Society in Pittsburgh and began to publish material by 1886. After Russell died in 1916 the organization split. Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded Russell as President of the larger group. Nathan H. Knorr, under whom the Witnesses produced their New World Translation, succeeded Rutherford, who in turn, has been succeeded by the current president, Frederick W. Franz. BELIEF SYSTEM REVELATION: Studies in Scripture(seven volume series), The New World Translation of the Scriptures. Weekly magazines called Awake! and The Watchtower. Jehovah, Himself, is considered the editor of the Watchtower. The publishers, The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, is believed to be the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24. The society is supposed to be God's prophet on earth today in both senses of the word (forth-telling and foretelling). Not only do they supposedly proclaim God's truths but also have predicted specific dates for the return of Jesus, the battle of Armageddon, the resurrection and the "overthrow" of earth's present system. GODHEAD: The Christian doctrine of the trinity is denied by the students of the Watchtower. It is perceived as a gross invention on the part of Satan. The Watch Tower Society teaches there are two gods; Jehovah, the "all mighty God" and another god, Jesus, who is merely "a mighty god." JW's refuse to believe that the Holy Spirit is a real person. Instead, the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal active force of God, like lightening. CHRISTOLOGY: The JW's renounce the Christian belief that Jesus is true God. Instead of being the creator, they teach Jesus was a mere creature. In fact, they believe that before his incarnation, Jesus was only an angel, Michael the archangel. He is now designated as "a god" to distinguish him from Jehovah, a separate and different God. ATONEMENT: The atonement, according to JW's, is a ransom that was paid by Jehovah through the Jesus . The death of Jesus only removed the effects of Adams sin. To be justified though, the JW's demand that you must work to earn it. In addition to repenting, you must declare the kingdom, worship exclusively with Jehovah's Witnesses and do good works by imitating Jesus. Then and only then will you become a member of the kingdom of God. CHRISTIAN RESPONSE REVELATION: The Watch Tower's translation of the bible (New World Translation), considered by them as the only reliable translation, was produced by translators who had no qualifications in the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek languages - the languages in which the original manuscripts were written. They took it upon themselves to change, delete and add to those portions of scripture which did not agree with their preconceived theology. It is also interesting to note that originally Charles Taze Russell was regarded as the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24. After Russell died the society (Jehovah's kingdom on earth) was left without the required leader during the last days. Consequently, the JWs, who have supposedly been receiving their doctrines straight from Jehovah, changed their doctrine. Now they teach that the leadership of the Watch Tower Society is the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24. Believing that "Jehovah's Christian Witnessess" are God's prophets for today, they have prophesied specific events to occur at specific times. For instance, they have prophesied: 1.Jesus returned in 1873. 2.Jesus returned in 1874. 3.Jesus returned in 1914. 4.The resurrection would occur in 1925. 5.Armageddon would end in 1914. 6.Armageddon would end in 1915. 7.Christianity would be destroyed by the Fall of 1920. 8.The "earthquake" of Rev 11 would occur in early 1918 9.The "fire" of Rev. 11 would take place in the Spring of 1920 10.God's "theocratic Kingdom .. civil and religious" would be established by 1925. By applying the test of a prophet we may conclude that the Jehovah's Witnesses are false prophets and therefore, we do not need to recognize them as either authoritative or trustworthy. When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deut. 18:22) It is also obvious that Jehovah is not the editor of the Watch Tower magazine as the current Watch Tower Society president, Fredrick W. Franz, proclaimed in court, under oath, in Scotland (1954). GODHEAD: The Christian church, contrary to the views of Charles Taze Russell, has always taught that within the nature of the one God there are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This view of God is derived from the Christian scriptures. The foremost message of the Bible is that there is one and only one God (Is. 44:6). But three are recognized in scripture as God: Father (I Pet. 1:2), Son (John 1:1-18) and Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). This apparent contradiction, this mystery of the Godhead, is reconciled in Deut. 6:4 - "Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD." The Hebrew word (Yahid), from which the English "one" is translated, is not a solitary one, but rather, denotes a composite one. God's word uses "yahid" to describe one flesh in the marriage of two people (Gen. 2:24), one family, one tribe and one nation. CHRISTOLOGY: The historic Christian position on the nature of Jesus Christ is that He is God almighty, who is the creator and savior of the universe. In John 8:58, Jesus refers to Himself as the "I AM;" the exact name God institutes for Himself in Exodus 3:14. Upon hearing Jesus apply God's name to himself, the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy, demonstrating that they understood Jesus was claiming to be God. ATONEMENT: The Witnesses do not believe salvation by the grace of God alone (Eph. 2:8-9), but by good works as a way to obtain eternal life. The Christian church has always taught that salvation is obtained only through the finished work of Christ. Paul utterly rejects the idea that people are justified or made right with God by good works (Gal.3). The Bible teaches that Jesus entered earth and lived a sinless life. After dying on the cross for the sins of the multitudes and finally raising from the dead, He obtained eternal life for us. Just as Abraham's belief was counted as righteousness before God, so our belief also is counted as our righteousness before God (Rom.4). APPEAL People are draw to the Watch Tower Society primarily for three reasons. First, people instinctively crave friendship and the Jehovah's witnesses are more than willing to supply this void. In fact, they will come to your house and conduct a personal Bible/book study. Second, our complicated lifestyle is an easy target for simplistic, pre-packaged answers to our problems. This is where the Witnesses shine. They believe they have the answers to all our problems, and further, these answers come straight from Jehovah to the Watch Tower Society. Third, the Witnesses draw people who are fascinated by an apocalyptic message. From day one their view of the end times has been their primary distinctive doctrine.


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