Thank you for checking out our website.
You must be wondering, “Why this site?” And, “Why are you wanting members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) to come here?” After all, what are we trying to accomplish?
We are biblical Christians who live in Utah and work regularly with the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To see the myriad of articles, YouTube videos, and other resource material, go to www.mrm.org.
But we are also concerned with those who call themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” There is no doubt that those leading the WBTS claim to be the one and only true religion. According to page 256 in the JW manual You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,”
Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God’s new system. There is only one. . . And there will be only one organization–God’s visible organization–that will survive the fast-approaching “great tribulation.” It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. (Matthew 7:21-23; 24:21) You must be part of Jehovah’s organization, doing God’s will, in order to receive his blessing of eternal life.
This philosophy is very similar to the Mormon culture that many of us live in throughout Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Mormons are also told that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and no other is the one true church on earth. Other religious movements, including Roman Catholicism, Islam, and others, teach the same thing.
Jesus did say that there would be only one road to truth and that was through Him (John 14:6). Many members of religions (including the ones listed above) claim to be authentic followers of Jesus. Hence, Jehovah’s Witness theology is either true or it is not true. It cannot be true if Islam is true too. Nor can Watchtower theology be correct if biblical Christianity is true.
With that as a background, what are some of the important differences between what is taught in WBTS and what Evangelical Christians believe? Here are just a few:
- Who is God?
According to the WBTS, Jehvoah is the only God and the doctrine of the Trinity is false. According to page 39 of the JW manual You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth:
“Who is this wonderful God? Some persons say his name is Jesus. Others say he is a Trinity, although the word ‘trinity’ does not appear in the Bible…Well, did Jesus ever say that he was God? No, he never did.”
This information is false. Click on Does the Bible really say that Jesus is God? for more information. Although JW leaders insist that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, we invite you to visit here for more information on this very important topic and explain why the Trinity is not a man-made invention but rather a biblical teaching.
What many Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t know is that the cross was once celebrated in the history of the JW organization. Jehovah’s Witnesses are even taught to minimize the cross. It says in the August 15, 1987 Watchtower, “Jesus most likely was executed on an upright stake without any crossbeam.” In the Awake magazine of April 8, 1974, it says that there is “no biblical evidence even intimat(ing) that Jesus died on a cross.”
However, there was a cross on the cover of the Watchtower magazines beginning in January 1891. It remained there until October 1, 1931, a period of more than 40 years and 960 issues. And the WBTS taught that Jesus died on a cross until 1936.
Consider this quote from the Watch tower dated April 15, 1907 on page 302:
“Nor can the rewards of present temporal prosperity in worldly things be expected by those who are running for the prize of this high calling to glory, honor, immortality as kings and priests unto God; for the way to the crown is the way of the cross.”
Take a look at the photo to the left. I own a copy of the book The Harp of God that was printed during the administration of J.F. (Judge) Rutherford in 1921. What you see here was printed on page 113! Does it look like the organization was minimizing the cross?
Maybe this isn’t a big deal. But it’s not the only time JW theology changed. For instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses used to celebrate Christmas, something they’re not allowed to do today. Consider:
Watchtower, 12/15/1903, p. 457 – “…it is quite immaterial upon what day that event, of so great importance to all, is celebrated. Upon this day, so generally celebrated, we may properly enough join…”
Watchtower, 12/1/1904, p. 364 – “…it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate—Christmas day.”
Watchtower, 11/15/1907, p. 351 – “Dear Friends:– It might interest you to know that we are already offering the books for ‘Christmas gifts.’”
Watchtower, 1/15/1919, p. 31 – Rutherford gives thanks for the “numerous Christmas presents which I and my associates have received.”
However, the Watchtower published on 12/15/1983 said on page 7, “We all need to face up to the fact that Christmas and its music are not from Jehovah, the God of truth. Then what is their source? …Satan the Devil.”
Or how about the flag? It was once celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses:
Watchtower, 5/15/1917, p. 6086 – “…every one in America should take pleasure in displaying the American flag.”
Yet the September 8, 1971 Awake magazine says on page 14, “There are Christians today who feel similarly regarding national flags. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses… They decline to participate in flag ceremonies.”
To see a series of articles on the Trinity, click here.
2. Who is Jesus?
According to the JW.org website, the answer to the question “Is Jesus Almighty God?” the answer given is:
Jesus’ opposers accused him of making himself equal to God. (John 5:18; 10:30-33) However, Jesus never claimed to be on the same level as Almighty God. He said: “
The Father is greater than I am.”—John 14:28.
Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God. For example, the apostle Paul wrote that after Jesus was resurrected, God “
exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position.” Obviously, Paul did not believe that Jesus was Almighty God. Otherwise, how could God exalt Jesus to a superior position? —Philippians 2:9.
This view that Jesus is subordinate to God the Father has marked the Watchtower from its very beginning, despite the fact that Christians through the centuries have believed that Jesus is indeed God Almighty. In order to understand the verses above, we must understand Philippians chapter 2, verses 5 through 11. Here Paul says that Jesus was “in very nature God” but did not consider equality with God something to be “grasped.” However, Jesus humbled Himself to become a man and therefore experience death. It was this death and resurrection that provided the ability for Christians to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior so they might have eternal life. Also see If Jesus is God, why did He say the Father was greater than He?
Remember, the Bible does teach that Jesus “humbled Himself” and “became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” This would explain John 14:28 where Jesus says the Father is greater than He. Notice Jesus doesn’t say “better than he” but “greater than he.” What does this mean? In his humanity, Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” but allowed His role to become submissive. In fact, Jesus came as the “suffering servant,” the Bible teaches. Jesus never lost His deity, but rather He limited His deity. This is much different than saying Jesus is a lower creature or a lower God. If the President of the United States walked into the room and someone said, “Here is a man who is greater than all of us here.” Is that person correct? Yes, indeed! After all, the President has much more power and authority than any other American. However, what was said was not “Here is a man better than all of us here.” Instead, the word was “greater.”
There are many verses we can use to support the idea that Jesus is equal to God, including:
- John 1:3, Col. 1:15-16: Jesus created all things. Without Him “not even one thing was made.” In other words, Jesus is Creator God and could not have been created Himself (as JWs believe he was first created before the rest of the universe).
- John 8:58 (with Exodus 3:14): Jesus is the Great “I am,” the same words God used with Moses in Exodus 3:14. Notice how many times the Jewish authorities picked up stones to kill Jesus because “you, a mere man, claim to be God.” If they were mistaken, why didn’t Jesus correct them? (Unfortunately, the New World Translation put together by the Jehovah’s Witnesses mangles this verse by turning the present active indicative “am” into the past tense “have been”–see John 8:58, “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”)
- John 10:30: Jesus and the Father are one. After all, if you “have seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”
- John 14:6: Jesus is the only way to know God; there is no other way possible.
- John 20:28: Thomas calls Jesus “My Lord and My God.” This would appear to be blasphemous. However, Jesus commends Thomas in the next verse.
- Acts 4:12: There is no other name by which a person can be saved
- Acts 16:31: You can believe in Jesus and you will be saved
- Romans 10:9,10: It’s through confessing Jesus as Lord and believing in your heart that you will be saved
- Colossians 2:9: Jesus is in very nature deity
So many other verses could be used. For more information on this topic, please visit Does the Bible really say that Jesus is God?
3. What is salvation?
According to the WBTS, there are a number of things yuo must do. According to chapter 30 of the manual You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth:
- “You must have faith in Jehvoah and his promises.”
- “There must also be works to demonstrate what your true feelings are about Jehovah. (James 2:20, 26)”
- “You should approach God in Jesus’ name and tell him in prayer that you want to be his servant…”
- “If you keep close to God’s visible organization [meaning, the WBTS], you can be helped by fellow Christians…”
- “You need to show before others that you have made a dedication to serve God. How do you do this? By getting baptized in water.”
In Jehovah’s Witness theology, there are two groups: The 144,000 Annointed Class, a group of people living during the 20th century and who are, for the most part, already dead; and the “Great Crowd,” which is made up of all other Jehovah’s Witnesses. For those who belong to the Annointed Class, there is the hope for heaven. For the Great Crowd, the hope is a “Paradise Earth” where good works are still required.
In Christian theology, however, justification (salvation) is not based on what we do but on what Jesus did for the believers. It says in Romans 5:8:
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Notice the beatiful language of Ephesians 2:4ff:
4 But God, beingrich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him andseated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace inkindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Notice, salvation comes by grace through faith alone. It’s not based on anything we do or offer to God. To answer point number 2 above, good works are important too, but for sanctification, not justification. (See Justification by Faith and the Book of James). This is why Paul continued in verse 10:
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
If a person is not saved by “works” and yet Paul says believers are His “workmanship” and “created in Christ Jesus for good works,”it shows that good works cannot bring a person forgiveness of sins. In fact, there will be many who claim good works at the Great White Throne Judgment and yet Jesus will say He never knew them:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ “(Matthew 7:21-23)
4. Where does a person get authority?
According to WBTS theology,
God’s visible organization today also receives theocratic guidance and direction. At the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York, there is a governing body of older Christian men from various parts of the earth who give the needed oversight to the worldwide activities of God’s people. The governing body is made up of members of “the faithful and discreet slave.” It serves as a spokesman of that faithful “slave.” (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, p. 195).
For those Christians who want to follow God, the Bible is enough. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul explained,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses use the Bible too–specifically, the New World Translation. However, this is a bad translation. There are good Reasons Why it Makes Sense to Trust the Bible.
In addition, the Jehovah’s Witness is required to study the publications of the WBTS, including the church’s magazines and books. The interpretation given by those presiding in Brooklyn supposedly are to be trusted over any other interpretation. This is a very dangerous precedent. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:15-20:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Do you think Jehovah can be glorfied and pleased if someone believes false teaching about Him? Or is He only pleased when He is worshiped “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24)? I think you would agree that the latter is true, and truth really does matter. In one short website page, I can’t pretend to cover every important issue or difference between the JW religion and what the Bible says. If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, I ask you to consider the resources that are listed below.
If you are someone who has recently joined or who is thinking about joining the WBTS, I recommend looking at the other side. If the JW position is true, then it will only be confirmed by reading these other sources. But what if it’s not true. As nice as the leaders and fellow members of your kingdom hall might be, there is much at stake. Do your reserach and verify that you are following the truth.
If you would like to consider a Bible-believing Christian church in Utah, please visit this website: http://www.mrm.org/utah-churches. These are people who care about you and your walk with God.
- Should you Trust the Watchtower Part 1 (an 8-minute video talking about problems with changes made by this organization)
- Should you Trust the Watchtower Part 2 (16 minutes showing changes throughout the Watchtower’s history regarding Jesus’s return)
- Debate from 2013: James White vs. Greg Stattford
- Understanding the Jehovah’s Witnesses 2013 James White
- Hour-long Documentary video from several years ago
Web site references
- Would you be willing to take the Romans Challenge? En Espanol
- 10 reasons why a person ought to consider becoming a Christian
- 10 reasons why it’s reasonable to believe in God
- 10 reasons to support the story of the Resurrection
- How can a person get into heaven?
- How can I be sure I am saved?
- Facts, Feelings, Faith
- Can Christians be assured of their salvation?
- Spurgeon on salvation
- Should the cross be just an afterthought? (Blog)
Like to have lunch?
If you would like to meet with Christians who would share the Christian gospel with you, please email me: eric at mrm dot org. Let’s meet halfway and, in a loving manner, let’s discuss these important issues.
From the Carm.org website
- Jehovah’s Witness’ Beliefs video
- Jehovah’s Witnesses in a nutshell video
- Jehovah’s Witnesses’ History video
- Is the Jehovah’s Witness religion Christian? video
Regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses
- If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, please read this first video
- Jehovah’s Witnesses are really “Watchtowerites.” video
- Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses video
- Has the Jehovah’s Witness’ god performed the greatest act of love? video
- Response to “Has the Jehovah’s Witness’ god performed the greatest act of love?”
- Arianism and Its Influence Today
- Logical problem with the Michael becoming Jesus who became Michael again
- New light on the Watchtower’s faithful discreet slave
Issues and Answers
- Responding to the Jehovah’s Witness attacks on the deity of Christ
- Responding to the Jehovah’s Witness attacks on the Bible
- A Biblical Response to Jehovah’s Witnesses
- The Lord’s Supper and the 144,000 Anointed Class of Jehovah’s Witnesses
- A.D. 1914, 607 B.C., 586 B.C. and the Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Why A.D. 1914 is Important to the Jehovah’s Witnesses
- God and Human Suffering in the Watchtower and the Bible
- Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mental Health
- Are Blood Tranfussions Sinful?
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Resurrection of Jesus
- Is the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization the “faithful and discreet slave?”
- Do Annihilation and Resurrection Make Sense?
- Does the Watchtower say the Bible teaches the Trinity?
- Is a mere man a sufficient sacrifice for all of our sins?
- A Test: Do you have the True Jesus?
Problems in the Watchtower Organization
- Jehovah’s Witnesses and their many false prophecies
- Is the Watchtower Organization a Trustworthy Interpreter of Scripture?
- The Watchtower and the 1914 Generation
- The Watchtower and 1975
- Jehovah’s Witness doctrine is not from the Bible alone
- Contradictions in Watchtower Literature
- Salvation according to the Watchtower Organization, Part 1
- Salvation according to the Watchtower Organization, Part 2
Jehovah’s Witness attacks on Jesus
- If Jesus is God, then who did He pray to?
- If Jesus is God, then why did not know the time of His return?
- If Jesus is God, why did He say the Father was greater than He?
- Did Paul think Jesus was God?
- Did Jesus rise from the dead in the same body He died in?
- Did Jesus die on a stake or a cross?
Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Bible
Bible Verses Examined
- 1 Chronicles 29:20, is Jesus worshiped the same way David was?
- Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3:1; Matt. 3:3, Prepare the way of the Lord.
- John 1:1, “The word was a god.”
- The Word and The Watchtower: An Exegesis of John 1:1
- John 5:18, “…making Himself equal with God.”
- John 5:30-32, “By Myself I can do nothing.”
- John 8:58, “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”
- John 8:58 and 10:30-33, “I am.”
- John 10:30-33, What made the Jews want to kill Jesus?
- John 14:28, “The Father is greater than I.”
- John 17:3, “The only true God.”
- 1 Cor. 1:2, Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus
- Col. 1:15, “firstborn of all creation”
- Col. 1:16-17 – “…all [other] things were created by him…”
- Heb. 1:6, “Let the angels do obeisance to him.”
- Heb. 1:8 and Psalm 45:6, “God is thy throne.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church Fathers
- Justin Martyr and the Watchtower
- Irenaeus and the Watchtower
- Tertullian and the Watchtower
- Clement of Alexandria and the Watchtower
- Hippolytus and the Watchtower
Interesting Quotes from Watchtower Literature
- Does the Watchtower organization control the JW’s thinking?
- Regarding the Watchtower Organization and Salvation
- The Watchtower Organization points to itself as the truth.
- Regarding the Trinity, Jesus, Adam, and the immortality of the soul
Documentation from Jehovah’s Witness Literature
- Regarding the faithful and discreet slave
- Regarding Jesus
- Regarding Salvation
- Regarding sin
- Regarding the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Organization
- Regarding opposers and apostates
Other websites on the Jehovah’s Witnesses
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