WHAT THE JEHOVAH-WITNESSES BELIEVE
COMPARED TO THE HOLY BIBLE
The founder of the Jehovah-Witnesses, Charles Taxe Russell, once wrote, "Truth-seekers should empty their minds of the muddy waters of tradition and fill them at the fountain of truth—God's Word. And no religious teaching should have weight except as it guides the truth-seeker to that fountain." (Studies in the Scriptures Vol. 1, p. 12). In this spirit, teachings of the Witnesses concerning Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the way to be saved, and the Trinity (Tri-unity) will be compared to the Bible (King James Version).
Who is Jesus Christ?
Witnesses claim to be "Christians," yet they teach that Jesus is not God (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 212). They teach that He was actually the archangel Michael (Reasoning, p. 218). In John 1:1, a correct translation (not the New World Translation) is: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The witnesses' New World Translation has it, "the Word was a god," a mistranslation (for proof that theirs is a mistranslation, see Walter Martin. 1985. The kingdom of the cults ISBN: 0871237962, pp. 85-87). Jesus understood Himself to be God: "I and my Father are One." (John 10:30). He claimed the name of God given to Moses, "I AM," (Exodus 3:14) when He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58. Walter Martin, the late scholar who has exposed the errors of many cults, showed that Jesus was God from Isaiah 44:6, where it is written, "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts;I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." Jesus said in Revelation 1:17-18, "Fear not: I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen. . . ." In Revelation 2:8 Jesus said, "These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive." In Revelation 22:13, Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (see The kingdom of the cults, pp. 87-89). Each claimed the same title, and are One.
Was Jesus an angel?
The Witnesses teach that Jesus was the archangel Michael (Reasoning, p. 218). But the Bible says that Jesus is the exact image of God, "Being made so much better than the angels. . . For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? . . . And let all the angels of God worship him." (Hebrews 1:4-6, emphases supplied). In Colossians 1:16-17 it states: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth. . ." So Jesus was not a part of the creation, but all things were created by Him, and He was "before all things." Therefore, He was not part of creation, but always has been existing (John 1:1; 17:5), before being born into the world as the Christ child, so that He could die to pay for our sins (1 Peter 2:24). He humbled Himself for a little while, and submitted to the Father, in order to die for us, but is now "highly exalted," "That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:8, 10). "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." (1 John 5:20).
How can I be saved from my sin?
All of us sin (Romans 3:23), that is, we break God's commands, and deserve to go to a place of conscious torment, away from God's presence, which is hell (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:10, 13-15; Luke 16:23-26). The Bible teaches that a Christian is saved by faith, not by good deeds, or a combination of both (Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."; Titus 3:5; Romans 3:20-28). While Christians believe with the apostle James that saving faith will be demonstrated by good works (James 2:14), we also believe that, because good works don't save us, we can know right now that we have eternal life with God, in heaven. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:13). Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28). A Witness does not know that he/she is going to heaven, because salvation is faith plus faithfulness (faith plus works—as someone has put it, they "publish" their teachings for fear that they will otherwise "perish"). The Witnesses believe that only 144,000 (actually virgins—Revelation 14:3-4,) will go to heaven (Reasoning, p. 361). These are the "firstfruits unto God" (Revelation 14:4), which indicates simply the start of the harvest. No statement is made that only these will go to heaven, but in Revelation 21:27 the requirement to go to heaven is for one's name to be written in "the Lamb's [Jesus'] book of life." God writes those names before we're born (Revelation 17:8), and He gives the ability to be an "overcomer" (Revelation 3:5; Philippians 4:13; 2 Timothy 1:12). Nothing can separate a "born again" Christian from God's love (John 3:7; Romans 8:26-39). You can be "born again," if you are not, in this way: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9). This involves repentance (turning from sin, Acts 17:30), and building your life upon fellowship with the Father and the Son (John 17:3), and upon the strong foundation of Jesus' words, with the rest of the Scriptures (Matthew 7:24-27; 2 Timothy 3:16). The final authority is not a "theocratic organization" in Brooklyn, New York, but simply the Holy Bible, not forced to suit error. Critical to a Christian's growth is finding a church that really teaches the Bible (not the New World Translation).
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force, as the Witnesses teach (Reasoning, p. 380). The Holy Spirit can be grieved, as can a person (Ephesians 4:30); He can be lied to, as is true with a person (Acts 5:4). He is called the "Comforter" (John 14:16), which seems to require personality. The Spirit is also God. Even the Witnesses' own Translation reads, for the account of Ananias and his wife Sapphira: "Annanias, why has Satan emboldened you to play false to the holy spirit. . . You have played false not to men, but to God." (Acts 5:3-4, emphasis supplied). The Spirit was there in the very beginning of the creation, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:2). The Witness's Translation reads, "God's active force was moving. . . .)
Since the Bible teaches that God the Father (Jehovah), Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all God, and since God is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Galatians 3:20), then God is three–in–One. Witnesses deny this (Reasonings, p. 424).
Where does the Bible show the Tri-unity of God?
There are many places. In Genesis 1:1-2, God and the Spirit are creating the earth. In John 1:1-3 it reads, "In the beginning was the Word [Jesus]. . . The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him. . . ." They were together. At Jesus' baptism, the Son, the Spirit and the Father were present (Matthew 3:16-17). The Great Commission is: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19). The Tri-unity was present as the deacon Stephen died, "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55). For other examples, see Luke 1:35; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; Romans 15:16, 30; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 22:16-18.
Should I study with the Witnesses?
"He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 1:9-10).
Various verses dealing with Witness doctrine:
The Spirit is God: Gen. 1:2; John 14:16; 15:26
Jesus claimed to be God: Luke 22:70; John 5:18; 10:30 (compare Tit. 2:13)
Jesus is God: Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-2, 14; Romans 9:5; Revelation 1:8 compared with 1:17-18
Jesus created all things (not Himself created): John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17
Hell is conscious torment: Matthew 22:13; Luke 13:28; Revelation 20:10, 15