INCORPORATED NAME: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of
COMMON DESCRIPTORS: Jehovah's Witnesses, Witnesses, Russellites,
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
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
by the current president, Frederick W. Franz.
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
impersonal active force of God, like lightening.
CHRISTOLOGY: The JW's renounce the Christian belief that Jesus
true God. Instead of being the creator, they teach Jesus was a
mere creature. In fact, they believe that before his
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
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.
REVELATION: The Watch Tower's translation of the bible (New
Translation), considered by them as the only reliable
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
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
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
Fredrick W. Franz, proclaimed in court, under oath, in Scotland
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
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
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
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).
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.
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.
is where the Witnesses shine. They believe they have the answers
to all our problems, and further, these answers come straight
Jehovah to the Watch Tower Society. Third, the Witnesses draw
people who are fascinated by an apocalyptic message. From day
their view of the end times has been their primary distinctive