[Please keep in mind that the author of this document is only offering her or his _opinion

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[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 714-531-3834 Fountain Valley, CA Sysop : Mike Wallace "P" = PAUSE, SPACEBAR = EXIT Excerpts from the book : "So What's the Difference?" Some Background --------------- 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. Biblical Doctrine? ------------------ 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.

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