Jehovah’s Witnesses

Overview

The Biblical Gospel

The Teaching of the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) on Salvation

Reasons the Watchtower Society’s Teachings on Salvation are Incorrect

Other False Teachings of the Watchtower Society

The Biblical Gospel

Understanding the true Gospel makes identifying false gospels easy. Therefore, we’ll start with the true Gospel according to God’s Word. Romans 1-4 is where there Gospel is clearly articulated in the Bible. We’ve covered this in detail in BeGospel Clear, so we’ll be brief here. The Gospel according to God’s Word in Romans 1-4 is this:

Understanding the true Gospel makes identifying false gospels easy.

God is Holy – He cannot allow any sin in His presence and must judge all sin.

We Are Sinners – We deserve the punishment of eternal death for our sin.

Jesus Died for Our Sin – He paid for all of our sins in full.

Our Part is Faith Alone – When we trust that Jesus paid for our sin in full, His payment is applied to our lives. We are forgiven. We are also given the righteousness of Christ as a free gift. This righteousness is credited or imputed to our account. We did not earn this righteousness, nor do we deserve it. It is a free gift given by “grace.” Grace simply means “undeserved and unmerited favor.”

The Teaching of the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) on Salvation

In order to accurately understand the teachings of the Watchtower Society, we need to consult their sources of doctrine. This is the Watchtower publications. Here are a few quotes from their sources about how someone can be saved:

“You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth–But How?”
Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983, page 12-13

Four Requirements

#1 “Jesus Christ identified a first requirement when he said in prayer to his Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ includes knowledge of God’s purposes regarding the earth and of Christ’s role as earth’s new King.”

#2 “Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life.”

#3 “A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. …Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.”

#4 “The Fourth requirement is connected with loyalty. God requires that prospective subjects of his Kingdom support his government by loyally advocating his Kingdom rule to others.”

“What must we do to be saved?”
Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1989, p. 5-7

“Some suggest that belief in Jesus is the end of the matter. There is just one thing that any one needs to do to get to heaven, says one religious tract. That is, to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, surrender to Him as Lord and Master, and openly confess Him as such before the world. Thus, many believe that a sudden, emotional conversion experience is all we need in order to guarantee everlasting life. However, to concentrate on only one essential requirement for salvation to the exclusion of the others is like reading one crucial clause in a contract and ignoring the rest.”

“Yes, there are various things involved in getting saved. We must take in accurate knowledge of Gods purposes and his way of salvation. Then we must exercise faith in the Chief Agent of salvation, Jesus Christ, and do Gods will the rest of our lives. (John 3:16; Titus [2:14]) Salvation is sure for those who follow this course. But it involves persevering right to the end of our present life or of this system of things. Only he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved.”

Reasons the Watchtower Society’s Teachings on Salvation are Incorrect

Works Gospel

It is clear from their teachings that they teach that salvation is by faith and works. This is in direct conflict with God’s Word, which teaches salvation by faith apart from works:

  • “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” Romans [3:28]
  • “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” Romans 4:4-5
  • “Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.” Galatians [3:21]
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

False God

The Watchtower Society rejects the Biblical truth that God is a Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – yet one God. Since they have distorted this truth of God’s word, they aren’t worshipping the true God. They worship a false god they have created by distorting the Bible.

  • “ . . . the trinity doctrine is of pagan origin, as historians point out. Early Christians of the first century did not believe in it. They did not worship a triune god. There is absolutely no Scriptural grounds for believing in the trinity,” (Watchtower, 2/1/1960, p. 94, Why Do You Believe in the Trinity?)

However, the Bible teaches the Trinity:

There is One God: ““Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” Deuteronomy 6:4

Yet, He exists in 3 distinct persons.

The Father: “Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, ‘“Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You” John 17:1

The Son: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3…“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John [1:14]

The Holy Spirit:But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'” Acts 5:3-4

False Jesus

Jehovah Witnesses also follow a false Jesus. They do not believe that He is God. Instead, they believe He was created by God. They also deny His bodily resurrection.

  • “Yes we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. While he was not the God, Jehovah, he was a God. The word ‘God’ signifies a ‘mighty one,’ and our Lord was indeed a mighty one. So it is stated in the first two verses of the gospel of John. It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father. . .” (Watchtower, July 15, 1898, p. 216).

This contradicts God’s Word that teaches us that Jesus is God in the flesh:

  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-3
  • “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John [1:14]
  •  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.” John 8:58 *The reason the Jews were trying to stone Jesus is because He just declared Himself to be God by stating that He existed before Abraham lived and referring to Himself as “I AM” (greek: ego eimi). This is the same title God gives Himself in Exodus 3:13-14:  “Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
  • Here’s other verses about the deity of Christ: https://www.moodyglobal.org/beliefs/deity-of-jesus-christ/

This false gospel consists of a false god, false Jesus, and a false requirement for salvation. Therefore, it is…false.

Other False Teachings of the Watchtower Society

To more firmly establish the Watchtower, not only of teaching a false gospel, but also of being a steady stream of false teachings and prophecies since it started – here is a quick list:

False Teachings

  • Jesus was Michael the archangel who became a man, The Watchtower, May 15, 1963, p. 307; The New World, 284.
  • Jesus did not rise from the dead in his physical body, Awake! July 22, 1973, p. 4.
  • Jesus did not die on a cross but on a stake, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 89-90
  • They claim to be the only channel of God’s truth, The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981, p. 19.
  • Only their church members will be saved, The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1979, p. 30.
  • Only the 144,000 Jehovah’s Witness are born again. Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p. 76.; Watchtower 11/15/54, p. 681.
  • Blood transfusions are a sin, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 72-73.
  • The Cross is a pagan symbol and should not be used, Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 90-92.
  • The universe is billions of years old, Your will Be Done on Earth, p. 43.
  • Each of the 6 creative days of God in Genesis 1, was 7000 years long. Therefore, Man was created toward the end of 42,000 years of earth’s preparation, Let God be True, p. 168.
  • They also refuse to vote, salute the flag, sing the “Star Spangled Banner,” or celebrate Christmas or birthdays. They are not allowed to serve in the armed forces.

False Prophecies

  • 1899 ” . . . the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Revelation [16:14]), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced,” (The Time Is at Hand, 1908 edition, p. 101).
  • 1916 “The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ’s Reign, began in 1873,” (The Time Is at Hand, forward, p. ii).
  • 1918 “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection,” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89).
  • 1923 “Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge,” (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923, p. 106).

Fun Facts About The Founder: Charles Taze Russell

  • He tried to sell phony “Miracle Wheat” that would grow 5 times more than regular wheat.
    • After a court case and investigation, his wheat was found to be less effective than regular wheat. (p. 14, Nov. 1, 1916, Brooklyn Daily Eagle)
  • Russell lied while on the stand in court regarding his ability to read Greek and supposed ordination as a minister.
    • In June of 1912, Rev. J.J. Ross of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, published a pamphlet about Russell entitled, Some Facts About the Self-styled “pastor” Charles T. Russell. Russell sued Ross for this. When Ross’ lawyer asked Russell is he understood Greek, he replied, “Oh, Yes.” Ross’ lawyer held up Greek letters for Russell to identify. Russell then admitted that he didn’t know Greek. ( p. 18-22 of Martin and Klann, Jehovah of the Watchtower, rev. ed., Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1959)
  • Russell used “Pyramidology” to make false prophecies.
    • “So, then, if we measure backward down the “First Ascending Passage” to its junction with the “Entrance Passage,” we shall have a fixed date to mark upon the downward passage. This measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year BC 1542, as the date at that point. Then measuring down the “Entrance Passage” from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of the “Pit,” representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3416 inches, symbolizing 3416 years from the above date, BC 1542. This calculation shows AD. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years BC plus 1874 years AD. equals 3416 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1874 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation — no, nor ever shall be afterward. And thus it will be noted that this “Witness” fully corroborates the Bible testimony on this subject…” (Thy Kingdom Come, Millennial Dawn, vol. 3; by Charles Taze Russell, copyright 1891, by The Watch Tower Bible And Tract Society. 1904 edition”