Unmasking the Witnesses: Putting the JW's on the stand

“It is important, then, that you “keep testing whether you are in the faith,” as Paul declared. Keep checking to see whether the things you believe are in keeping with God’s Word. But the question is, are you willing to put your religion through such a test? There is nothing to fear, because if you have the right religion you can only be reassured by the examination. And if what you believe is not in keeping with the Bible, then you should welcome the truth, because it leads to light and life.” (Watchtower May 1 1958 p.261, Is Your Religion the Right One?)

Allow me to put the Jehovah Witnesses on the stand and unmask some of the fallacies of their belief. This is very close to my heart. I had a young cousin who was a JW and he committed suicide because he had no hope of a better way out of his mess and I have a grandfather who is presently a JW. So I’m not doing this to bash but rather to challenge minds to see false for false and create the opportunity to come to the Truth. I should’ve done this a long time ago.

Timeline of the origin of JW’s

1852- Birth of Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

1872- Charles Taze Russell founds the International Bible Students Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Only 20 years old. He’s still a kid. He’s not even old enough to have finished a 4 year degree in Biblical Studies.)

1874- Year designated by Charles Taze Russell as the year of Christ’s invisible return (with the visible return to occur in 1914).

1879- Russell begings publishing the Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence magazine.

1884- Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society established as an incorporated body.

1886- Russell begins writing Studies in the Scriptures, which came to be considered second only to the Bible in importance.
(Now he has cornered the market on authoritative writings.)

1914- Year designated by Russell for Christ’s visible second coming.
(No return of Christ. Prediction is false. Yet he is the JW’s inspired, authoritative, and prophetic founder/leader.)

1916- Russell dies and is succeeded by “Judge” Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942).

1925- Year predicted by Rutherford as the year Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets would return to earth. (From a booklet in 1920 entitled Millions Now Living Will Never Die, pp.89-90)
(Nowhere in the Bible does it say Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would return after their death. And the prediction was false. This would be the second false prediction in 20 years of the new birth of this religion.)

1931- Judge Rutherford adopts the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” for the group based on Isaiah 43:10.
(Believers/followers of Jesus Christ have been called “Christians” since the middle of the first century in Antioch, and Apostle Peter confirmed it in one of his first epistle.)

1942- Rutherford dies and is succeeded by Nathan Homer Knorr (1905-77).

1975- Year predicted for Armageddon, based on calculation of Adam’s creation (determined to be 4026 BC) plus 6,000 years. But Watchtowers leading up to that year warn that no one can predict “the day or hour” with certainty.
(We see the founder of this group started with a false prediction, as well as the next three successors. Not to mention, the same “Watchtower” that now says no one can predict with certainty was created by the founder who made a false prediction. Oh, and this was another false prediction.)

1977- Death of Knorr, who was succeeded by Frederick Franz. Franz explained the uneventful 1975 by noting that perhaps Eve was created several months or years after Adam, and Armageddon would occur 6000 years from that date.
(If this is true, according to the calendar of time recorded in the Bible, we have either passed or are close upon the 6000 years after Eve was created. Another false prediction after they say no one can predict with certainty.)

From this timeline we see the JW’s have no historic depth. They were founded by a 22 year old who made, he and his successors, false predictions and used them as the basis for why they are the one true faith. They have not been affirmed by the scholarly communities as historic or systematically legitimate. And, as we are about to further see, they are a false offshoot of Christianity.

The JW’s Bible

“For the most part, the NWT is similar to most other modern translations. However, notable differences occur in verses that touch on particular doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses that differ from mainstream Christianity.”

The JW’s say their New World Translation is the “Hebrew Scriptures” and “Christian Greek Scriptures”. How can the NWT (which has only been around for 50 years) truly have the “Hebrew Scriptures” and “Christian Greek Scriptures”—of which they took from the Holy Bible—when they have altered the Holy Bible to fit their belief and no longer stand in accordance with the 2,400 year old complete Hebrew Bible and the 1,900 year old New Testament? The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament have been consistent for over a thousand years and yet only the NWT—which is supposedly taken from the same Holy Scriptures as the Bible—has altered the context of the content within. Why would one want to trust the NWT? Yet the JW’s say they “affirm the full inspiration of the Bible by God and the preservation of its copies over the centuries.” But how can this be when they have altered it. So despite the “full inspiration of the Bible by God” within the last 50 years they figured God did not do a good enough job the first time and the centuries upon centuries of preserving it so they had to change the very source they got their translation from and make a “New Word of God”. Smells fishy.

JW’s on Jesus

JW’s teach that Jesus was crucified “not on a cross, but a single upright stake.”

In first century Roman history, it has been documented that when they crucified someone they were nailed to two wooden beams attached in the shape of a cross. The nails went through the wrist (which was considered a part of the hand during that time) and a single nail through both feet. Also there would be times the legs where broken so they couldn’t hold themselves up and die quicker. The New Testament’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion also affirms the Roman’s custom of punishment for capital crimes at that time. So who is right the JW’s or the Holy Bible and history? The 1,900 year old New Testament records Jesus being crucified on a cross, and those (both believers and non-believers) during that time who wrote of Jesus after His death says He was crucified—Samaritan born historian Thallus AD 52; 1st century Jewish historian Josephus; Roman historian Tacitus AD 112; 2nd century satirist Lucian; and the Jewish Talmud all record Jesus being crucified/hung on a cross.

JW’s teach that Jesus is not God “but rather God’s first creation.” “Jesus existed in pre-human form as God’s agent of creation and God’s chief spokesman (the Word), and took on human form as the man Jesus by means of a virgin birth.”

Here is where it gets steamy. In the JW’s NWT, they, and only their translation, have changed John 1:1. No other biblical translation of the Holy Bible has changed the context of any of the content of what has been passed on since the first century. How can someone trust a translation that has altered the context of the content from the historical translations—the same it copied from—which has passed the scrutiny and rigorous analyzing that the New Testament has from the first century?

Where in any Holy Bible does it say that Jesus is God’s first creation? Jesus Himself told John in the heavenly revelation that He was the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end—names which in the Old Testament that only God attributes to Himself (Rev. 1:8, 17-18; 22:13).

Where does the Holy Bible say Jesus ever existed in “pre-human form”? Is not God an invisible spirit (Jn. 4:24, 1Tim. 1:17)? Does not the Apostle Paul say Jesus is the image (Gr. eikon—a likeness, i.e. (literally) statue, profile) of the invisible God (Col. 1:15, 2Cor. 4:4)? This same “image” (eikon) is used in Matthew 22:20 and Mark 12:16 when Jesus said to the disciples about the coin with Caesar’s face on it, “Whose is this image and inscription?” In the Book of Hebrews it says Jesus is the “express image of [God]” (Heb. 1:1-3). The term “express image” in this context in the Greek is charakter which means “exact likeness/exact image”. (This Greek word is where we get our word “character” from). Just from these we see Jesus is portrayed as the visible image of the invisible God. Jesus says out His own mouth that He is God, equal in nature and power (Jn. 5:17-39; 8:57-59; 10:30-39; 17:11, 21-22). And every time He made these claims the Jews, who knew exactly what He was saying, shouted “blasphemy” and then tried to stone Him as was the custom for blasphemy, death—the exact reason why they wanted Him crucified, because He was a blasphemer. Not only did Jesus say it, but those who followed Him preached it and worshipped Him as the one true God. This has been documented by believers and non-believers as far back as late first century and the early second century—1st century Jewish historian Josephus; First Clement AD 96; Pliny the Younger and Emperor Trajan AD 112; Polycarp AD 116; Suetonius AD 120; Justin Martyr AD 150; Irenaeus AD 185; etc).

Yet, with just this little bit of data, the JW’s still somehow come up with the Jesus they came up with.

JW’s on the Holy Spirit

“Witnesses disagree with mainstream Christianity that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons in the Godhead. Instead, they believe the Holy Spirit to be “God’s active force.”

Jesus, the Apostle John, and the Apostle Paul seem to disagree with JW’s on the Holy Spirit. Jesus specifically makes references to the Holy Spirit as a Person (Jn. 14:15-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-11, 13-15) not some impersonal “active force”. Apostle’s John and Paul also make references to the Holy Spirit as a Person (Rom. 8:9-16, 26-27, 1Cor. 2:10-14; 3:16, Eph. 4:30, Heb. 9:14, 1Jn. 5:6-8). Whom should one trust, the Savior Jesus and the inspired by God Apostles John and Paul or the JW’s translation which supposedly corrects what they themselves believe was already fully inspired?

JW’s on the End-times

“A belief that is unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses is that the eschatological events predicted in Revelation began in 1914. This is when God gave Jesus his Kingdom, and Jesus has been ruling from heaven ever since. At this time Jesus threw Satan and his demons out of heaven and down to earth, which is why, according to Witnesses, the world has been getting progressively worse since 1914.”

Jesus said, while He was still on earth amongst His disciples before His death and resurrection, He saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lighting (Lk. 10:18). How can this be so if He didn’t throw Satan and his demons out until 1914? Somebody is wrong, the JW’s or Jesus.

JW’s on the Afterlife

“Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the existence of hell. Instead, they hold that the souls of the wicked will be annihilated.”

Jesus said we are to fear Him who, "after He has killed, has the power to cast into hell" (Luke 12:5). Jesus said there is a hell to be casted into, not annihilated. Somebody is wrong, the JW’s or Jesus.

“The death that Adam brought into the world is spiritual as well as physical, and only those who gain entrance into the Kingdom of God will exist eternally.”

Solomon, the wisest man to walk the earth next to Jesus, says in Ecclesiastes that God put eternity in the hearts of men and that when man dies he will go to his eternal home (Eccl. 3:11; 12:5-7). Jesus Himself said when speaking to His disciples that some will be raised to eternal life and others to everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:31-46). The Apostle Paul says the same thing to the Thessalonians, as does the writer of Hebrews and Jude (2Thess. 1:6-9, Heb. 6:2, Jude 6-8). And let’s not get into Revelation in regards to this. Yet JW’s hold that only those who gain entrance into the Kingdom of God will exist eternally. How can this be when Jesus just said there will be some who will be raised to everlasting punishment, and Solomon affirms an eternity for mankind not just the saved, as well as the others? Someone is wrong, either Jesus and Solomon and company or the JW’s.

Oh, and how can one be certain if they have gained entrance into God’s kingdom? JW’s teach that “eternal life comes not simply from faith in Jesus but from “learning about Jehovah and obeying his requirements,” proving oneself to be God’s loyal subject, and listening to the Kingdom message and acting on it.” So you may never really know if you’re in until you die. That’s a lot of hoping and risk-taking with no guarantee!

More facts and critical examining about the JW’s

–“The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization (The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) has claimed in its own writings to be THE ONLY channel through which God communicates His truth to the world. (WT, 4/1/1919, p.6414; WT, 1/15/1917, p.6033)  Furthermore, it has described itself as a “Prophet-like” group that does not interpret what God’s truth is, but merely puts in writing the truth that God delivers to the world through them, and only them! (WT, 7/1/1943, p.203; WT, 11/1/1931, p.327; WT, 10/1/1994, p.6)  Considering these claims to posses the exclusive ability to communicate God’s truth, the Jehovah’s Witnesses must succeed in passing the highest Biblical scrutiny. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and 13:1-4 give two tests for distinguishing between genuine Prophets of God and False Prophets. 

  1. If one prophesies in God’s name and what they predict does not come to pass, they are a False Prophet. 
  2. If one prophesies in God’s name and the prediction does come to pass, BUT they teach you to follow false gods, they are a False Prophet. 

Thus, recognizing False Prophets is achieved by simply applying these tests to the teachings and prophecies of the WTBTS to determine if the claims it makes about itself hold up to Biblical and reasonable scrutiny. If they are THE ONLY TRUE “Prophet” of God, then everything they have ever predicted should have come to pass. Tragically, everything they have ever predicted has FAILED to come to pass. “Judge” Rutherford in his book Light, he wrote that making false predictions is proof positive that someone is a False Prophet, Rutherford stating,

“...their prophecies to date have not come to pass; and that alone is strong evidence that they are false prophets.” (Light Vol.2, p.47).

Anyone can read and study the WTBTS publications from 1879 to present and discover for themselves how deceptive that have been to their followers.”*(1)

–“…reading Russell’s Studies in the Scriptures is enough for many people to realize that the religion Russell started has very little resemblance to the Witnesses today. There are also over 20 wrong dates, many that were part of Watchtower doctrine for over 50 years. “F&D Slave” shows that there has never been a line of Jehovah’s Witnesses that even remotely believe current Watchtower truth. What is disappointing is the way that current Watchtower articles refer to these changes. When a significant doctrine has changed back and forth, or been introduced and then renounced, a person must ask “Can I believe that God directed the Organization to make such mistakes?””*(2)

“Proving that the Organization is not directed by Jehovah took me many years because of fear; fear of change, fear of my own motives and fear of researching outside of the Watchtower.” (Paul Grundy)

Conclusion

I didn’t touch on everything, but I touched on enough to show the falsity of this belief. For how can something continue to profess to be the “truth” with so many falsehoods? Revelation 19:10 says, “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” And on that note let’s sum this up:

  • False predictions since its inception.
  • False prophetic leaders.
  • False doctrine fostered from an altered version of a tested historic and divinely written source existing over a thousand of years before the JW’s.
  • False divine inspiration—the Holy Spirit of God is not with JW’s/Watchtower doctrine as exposed by the false doctrines and false predictions.
  • This all equals a false testimony of Jesus, which means JW’s are worshipping a false god and therefore they are a false belief.

If you’re reading this and you are a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, I’m sure the thought of disfellowship and being shunned by family and friends is intimidating. And I will not try and act like I can relate, because I can’t. But I still have to ask, which is worth more...being shunned and rejected by family and friends or being shunned and rejected by God for eternity? I have lost a young cousin to this false belief and I may lose a grandfather, please don’t allow it to take you to Hell—eternal separation from God in an eternal like prison.

If you want to talk, please contact me. You are not alone. The real Jesus would love to rescue you from the house of bondage, give you eternal life, and truly bring you into His family.

__________

*1. Essential for Addressing J.W. Assertions, June 8, 2007 by Chris Cross

*2. © Paul Grundy 2005 http://www.jwfacts.com/

All other information on Jehovah’s Witnesses taken from www.religionfacts.com.


11/2009