[Please keep in mind that the author of this document is only offering
her or his _opinion_, and this sould not be considered or taken as fact
in any way. If you want to know about the Jehova Witnesses, and what
they "believe" in, then ask ONE OF THEM: Do not listen to someone like
the author of this diatrib, who's sole intent is to JW-bash. -- DMR]
filename : JW1.TXT
added : ?
Christian Information Exchange
Fountain Valley, CA
Sysop : Mike Wallace
"P" = PAUSE, SPACEBAR = EXIT
Excerpts from the book :
"So What's the Difference?"
As cults go, Jehovah's Witnesses are a small group. They claim about a
quarter of a million members in the United States and more that half a
million in other parts of the world. But their small numbers are far
outweighed by their activity. In 1960 they reported 132 million hours of
witnessing and in 1962 their official publication, The Watchtower, had a
weekly circulation of nearly 4 million copies in 62 languages.
Jehovah's Witnesses are a challenge to christians for several reasons: 1.
Most of their growth has taken place just recently; 2. they will probably
have an increasing outreach because of their message to a world on the brink
of nuclear war; 3. their teachings are flatly opposed to the gospel; 4.
they are flatly opposed to the Christian church which they say is of the
devil; (even though Christians follow the bible); 5. they deny the deity of
Jesus Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit and many other vital
doctrines; and 6. they claim that their teachings are the only real truth
about the Bible.
This should be enough to interest the Christian in learning about the
dangerous teachings of this cult. Yet few Christians know much about these
ardent doorbell ringers who come armed with literature and Scripture verses.
THE TEACHINGS OF THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Hell or Annihilation?
Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their witnessing on street corners
and door to door. why do J.W.'s witness so much? They witness because they
are working hard to earn their salvation. Since J.W.'s do not believe in
hell, they have no fear of eternal punishment, but they do fear that they
will not meet Jehovah's standards for salvation. Russell (the founder)
denied the existence of hell, but he substituted a terror of God.
Why does a J.W. witness so much? His motive is not love of God, but
rather a dreadful terror of God. Russell denied the existence of hell, but
he substituted something that seems much more terrible - death of the soul
as well as the body.
Jesus often spoke of hell. He called it "Gehenna," the place of torment.
(See Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33.) And Revelation 19:20 and
20:10,14,15 describe a "lake of fire."
Russell could not accept this. He argues that it is unreasonable and
contrary to God's love. In place of hell, he invented the doctrine of
annihilation which states that a person's soul dies when his body dies.
He taught that a person could escape this fate only accepting and preaching
the doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
144,000 True Believers Only?
The organization is divided into two main groups, but there are minor ones
as well. Those who hold important offices and make major decisions are
called the 144,000. This number comes from Revelation 7:4-8 which most
Christians interpret as a symbolic number referring to the twelve tribes of
Israel. J.W.'s say that this text speaks of 144,000 Witnesses who have been
chosen by God to be special leaders.
The rest of the group, those who come door to door, are called the "other
sheep," or Jonadabs. Jonadabs do not have the same eternal future as the
144,000 and they must work hard to earn their salvation. This is the reason
they are so zealous and dedicated.
The teachings of the Witnesses point to a great occurrence that they say
will take place sometime soon - the Battle of Armageddon. In the Bible, this
refers to the last great battle against Israel (Revelation 16:16). But the
Witnesses, in their typical free-wheeling interpretation, claim that
Armageddon will be world-wide, thermonuclear devastation.
According to the Witnesses, on one side will be all the nations of the
world, the leaders of Christianity (who they say are of the devil), and all
the heathen. On the other side will be those of the 144,000 who are still
alive and the "other sheep." Besides the battle on earth, there will be a
battle in heaven between God and Satan. J.W.'s won't have to fight;
Jehovah Himself will do the fighting for them.
The result of the battle will be terrible. Over two billion people will
die, all of Christianity will be wiped out, and all the nations will be
destroyed. Not one person who was against Jehovah and his J.W.'s will remain
alive. Only faithful Witnesses will survive Armageddon.
An Educational Period/Second Chance
During the next thousand years after Armageddon, many good things will
happen to the Witnesses. First, as the remnant of the 144,000 (who are
still on earth after Armageddon) die they will go immediately to heaven to
reign with Jesus. The "other sheep," survivors of the great battle, will
clean up the debris and get ready for the great judgments to come.
Next, multitudes will be brought back to life. Great personalities will
be "resurrected," such as Abraham, Moses, and David.
Jehovah's Witnesses say that after the Old Testament heroes have been
brought back, then the "other sheep" will be raised. Next, Jehovah will
"recreate" all the people who never had a chance to hear the truth about
Jehovah. The rest will remain annihilated. During the thousand years,
these billions of people will be "educated." On the day of Judgment, they
will choose whether to accept or reject Jehovah. Those who reject Jehovah
will be annihilated. The rest will remain on earth forever.
Is any of this in the bible? Not at all. Nowhere does the Bible teach
that anyone will have a second chance before the day of Judgment. I
Corinthians 15 says that only those who believe in Jesus Christ will be
raised at His return and that only those who believe and are alive at the
time of His return will be taken by Him into heaven. Revelation 20 says
that after Christ has reigned for a thousand years, those who were not
Christians will be raised and judged according to their works. There's no
mention of any "educational period" during this time. It is very clear,
however, that "whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the
lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15).
Who is Jesus Christ?
One thing that makes J.W.'s unique is their bitter hatred for
Christianity. They relish the idea of all Christians being destroyed in
Armageddon. They have also devised a fanciful myth about Christ.
The Witnesses teach that Christ is not equal to God, but that He was
created by God. for them, Jehovah is the only Saviour. When Christ lived
in heaven, they say, He was known as the angel Michael. when Christ came to
earth, He was stripped of his angelic nature and became only a man.
So it was only as a man that Jesus died on the cross and a man's death is
not enough to atone for the sins of the world. The Witnesses also teach
that Jesus was not bodily resurrected, but only as a spirit. However, like
others who have said this, the Witnesses cannot explain what happened to
Christ's body. For them like many other doubters, the empty tomb with the
unwrapped grave clothes (John 20:5) is an insoluble mystery.
The twisted teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses came from the life and
thoughts of Charles Taze Russell. a man who hated Christianity. This
hatred has been fed and kept alive by his successors.
Witnessing to Witnesses
To be able to face the claims of the Witnesses, the Christian must be
absolutely sure of his salvation based on the crucifixion and resurrection
of Christ. He must say with Paul, "Now if the rising of Christ from the
dead is the very heart of our message, how can some of you deny that there
is any resurrection?...if Christ did not rise, your faith is futile and your
sins have never been forgiven. Moreover those who have died believing the
Christ are utterly dead and gone... But the glorious fact is that Christ did
rise from the dead..." (I Corinthians 15:12,16,17,20).
And it is on this wonderful fact that our faith and our hope of eternal
life is grounded.