he Witnesses were the first of the pseudo-Christian sects that realized a proprietary translation of the Bible could be used to further their theological agenda. Previously known as the Dawn Bible Students, the group was founded on the teachings of a man named Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916). The Russellites (as they became known in the early days) taught that because the Christian denominations of the world had moved away from the "original" gospel, their group was to be the last days religious vehicle for God, and the sole voice of Jehovah in the world.
The group formally predicted the end of the world in 1874, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1941, and 1975. This is a powerful indicator of the true nature of this religion. The JW's have long taught that the 144,000 of Revelation is solely comprised of their members. Based on almost any definition of the word, the Jehovah's Witnesses group would have to qualify as a large cult; however, what I refer to as the Culting of Christianity has made the term virtually meaningless. Based on current realities, it is linguistically more accurate to refer to them as a sect with major scriptural errors. Pragmatically speaking, it seems a misnomer to refer to a distinctive religion with 5.8 million members in over 200 countries as a cult. Although it carries the trappings of Christianity, the Watchtower Society (the corporate head of the Jehovah's Witnesses) is simply another religion preaching another gospel.
Because the Jehovah's Witnesses have repeatedly claimed to be the exclusive channel of the Lord's communication with mankind, they must be viewed in the light of Deuteronomy 18 - the famous chapter usually thought to apply to false prophets. Actually, Deuteronomy 18 is a prophecy and set of characteristics to be applied to the Messiah - but since the group claims to be the mediator between God and man (thereby replacing the role of Jesus), they should be judged based on this chapter. Verse 22 says "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." Using this chapter as a yardstick, it is easily demonstrated the Jehovah's Witnesses are a false group, led by false prophets, bringing forth false doctrine.
My personal experience with Witnesses is that many of them are intellectually as dishonest as their early leadership. In a fashion eerily reminiscent of speaking with someone that has been thoroughly brainwashed, when it suits them, they simply deny the facts concerning their own group. For example, in support of the previous assertion demonstrating their claim to be the collective "prophet" for the whole world, their own periodical, The Watchtower, said this:
"So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet?...This 'prophet' was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses..." (The Watchtower, 4/1/72, cited in Christian Answers Newsletter V1#3).
But the duo at your door will never believe this unless you have the original document in your hand! Even then, they'll probably claim it's a forgery!
The primary theological error of the Jehovah's Witnesses is found in the nature of Jesus Christ and how His program of salvation works. Russellism teaches that Jesus is not actually God, but he is a lesser god created by the Lord of the Old Testament (Jehovah). This is a deadly error, for New Testament teaching firmly states that an accurate understanding of the nature of Jesus is crucial to a saving relationship with Him. For instance, Jesus said "...if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). This is a definite reference to the Old Testament name of God, the great "I AM" spoken of in Exodus 3:14. When the Pharisees challenged the authority of Jesus, he said "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58). When 'doubting' Thomas knelt before Jesus, he called Him "...my Lord and my God" (John 20:28). There are many other verses clearly showing Christ as God.
Once they've rejected Christ as the exclusive mediator, the Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to position themselves as having the relationship with God the Father that was developed not by the grace repeatedly spoken of in the New Testament, but by an elaborate system of works and good deeds.
Russellism teaches there is no Trinity. They also reject the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity. They believe that Jesus was never God, but actually Michael the Archangel. CT Russell taught that Christ was not physically resurrected nor will he return bodily at the second coming. Their illustrious leader was also among the first to embrace pyramidology as a God given series of measurements that have direct bearing on Christian prophecy. In the last century, this error has made tremendous inroads into mainstream Christianity through various teachers associated with the Rapture Cult.
Actually, even their name betrays them for in attempting to alliterate the Hebrew name of the Lord, they've relied on a poor rendering of YHWH (the actual name of God in Hebrew - known as the Tetragrammaton). Their linguistic abilities are deficient in their manuscript selection as well for the New World Bible issued by the sect is based on Vaticanus and Sinaiticus - the two most corrupt manuscripts in existence.
Interestingly, there are aspects of the Witness system that are far closer to the truth than mainstream Christian tradition. The group refuses to celebrate current holidays (which are holy days) because of their pagan origin. Christmas tree loving so-called Christians around the world point their finger at the Witnesses and accuse them of being a cult on this basis. This is absurd, for Jeremiah specifically warns against honoring the Christmas tree ritual in chapter 10.
The group's rejection of the holidays extends to Easter because it was originally the day of Ishtar (see Acts 12:4). Because they base their salvation on works, the Witnesses are also Sabbath oriented. These facts tend to obscure the truth of the Sabbath and the pagan nature of modern Christendom among evangelical Christians because they reason 'the witnesses are a cult, the witnesses keep the Sabbath, therefore Sabbath keepers are in a cult.'
This is one of Satan's cleverest tactics: to place enough truth in an otherwise error-ridden group to discredit that truth among outside observers. The truth is, virtually every "Christian" holiday does have pagan origins, and the witnesses fervor in this matter is commendable; however the greater errors concerning salvation and the personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is available to far more than 144,000 is a fatal error. This group should be avoided at every opportunity. "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed" (II John 1:10).
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