An Overview of
Jehovah’s Witnesses
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An Overview of the
Doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses
[1]

 [SOURCE]

[Please see “Where Did the Word ‘Jehovah’ Come From?
If they do not even know God’s name, how can they be His witnesses?]

“But do test everything - hold onto what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)

 1. There is one solitary being from all eternity, Jehovah God, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe and of all things visible and invisible.

 2. The Word, or Logos, is “a god,” a mighty god, the “beginning of the Creation” of Jehovah, and His active agent in the creation of all things. The Logos was made human as the man Jesus and suffered death to produce the ransom or redemptive price for obedient men.

 3. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God as it was originally given, and has been preserved by Him as the revealer of His purposes.

 4. Satan was a great angel who rebelled against Jehovah and challenged His Sovereignty. Through Satan, sin and death came upon man. His destiny is annihilation with all his followers.

 5. Man was created in the image of Jehovah, but willfully sinned, hence all men are born sinners and are “of the earth.” Those who follow Jesus Christ faithfully to the death will inherit the heavenly Kingdom with Him. Men of good will who accept Jehovah and His Theocratic Rule will enjoy the “new earth”; all others who reject Jehovah will be annihilated.

 6. The atonement is a ransom paid to Jehovah God by Christ Jesus and is applicable to all who accept it in righteousness. In brief, the death of Jesus removed the effects of Adam’s sin on his offspring and laid the foundation of the New World of righteousness including the Millennium of Christ’s reign.

 7. The man Christ Jesus was resurrected a divine spirit creature after offering the ransom for obedient man.

 8. The soul of man is not eternal but mortal, and it can die. Animals likewise have souls, though man has the pre-eminence by Special creation.

9. Hell, meaning a place of “fiery torment” where sinners remain after death until the resurrection, does not exist. This is a doctrine of “Organized Religion,” not the Bible. Hell is the common grave of mankind, literally sheol (Hebrew), “a place of rest in hope” where the departed sleep until the resurrection by Jehovah God.

10. Eternal Punishment is a punishment or penalty of which there is no end. It does not mean “eternal torment” of living souls. Annihilation, the second death, is the lot of all those who reject Jehovah God, and it eternal.

11. Jesus Christ has returned to earth in 1914 C.E., has expelled Satan from Heaven, and is proceeding to overthrow Satan’s organization, establish the Theocratic Millennial Kingdom, and vindicate the name of Jehovah God. He did not return in a physical form and is invisible as the Logos.

12. The Kingdom of Jehovah is Supreme, and as such cannot be compatible with present Human Government (“the Devil’s Visible Organization”), and any allegiance to them in any way which violates the allegiance owed to Him is a violation of the Scripture.

Assorted Watchtower Doctrines[2]

The Holy Trinity

 1. “... Such doctrine is not of God.” — Let God be True, 1952, p. 100

 2. “The obvious conclusion is ... that Satan is the originator of the trinity doctrine.” — Ibid. p. 101

 3. “... Sincere persons who want to know the true God and serve Him find it a bit difficult to love and worship a complicated, freakish-looking, three-headed God.” — Ibid. p. 102

 4. “The trinity doctrine was not conceived by Jesus or the early Christians.” — Ibid. p. 111

 5. “The plain truth is that this is another of Satan’s attempts to keep God-fearing persons from learning the truth of Jehovah and His Son, Christ Jesus. No, there is no trinity!” — Ibid. p. 111

 6. “Such doctrine is altogether foreign to true Christianity.” — What Has Religion Done for Mankind? 1951, p. 268

 7. “Any trying to reason out the Trinity teaching leads to confusion of mind. So the Trinity teaching confuses the meaning of John1:1,2; it does not simplify it or make it clear or easily understandable.” — “The Word” Who Is He? According to John, 1962, p. 7

The Deity of Christ

 1. “Who ran the universe during the three days that Jesus was dead and in the grave...? If Jesus was God, then during Jesus’s death God was dead and in the grave... If Jesus was the immortal God, He could not have died.” — Let God be True, op.  cit., p. 109

 2. “‘My Father is greater than I.’... means ‘greater’ not only as to office but also as to person.” — Ibid. p. 110

 3. “Being God’s first creation, he was with the Father in heaven from the beginning of all creation. Jehovah God used him in the creating of all other things that have been created.” — From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, 1958, pp. 126,127

 4. “... The Bible shows that there is only one God ... ‘greater than His son.’... And that the Son, as the First-born, Only-begotten and ‘the creation by God,’ had a beginning. That the Father is greater and older than the Son is reasonable, easy to understand and is what the Bible teaches.” — Ibid. p. 164

 5. “... Jesus was ‘the Son of God.’ Not God Himself!” — “The Word” Who is He? According to John, op.  cit., p. 20

 6. “The very fact that he was sent proves he was not equal with God but was less than God the Father.” Ibid. p. 41

 7. “Certainly the apostle John was not so unreasonable as to say that someone (‘the Word’) was with some other individual (‘God’) and at the same time was that other individual (‘God’).” — Ibid. p.  53

The Holy Spirit

 1. “...The holy spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God which moves his servants to do his will.” — Let God Be True, p. 108

 2. “...The ‘Holy Ghost’ or Holy Spirit is God’s active force... There is no basis for concluding that the Holy Spirit is a Person...” — “The Scriptures, Reason, and the Trinity,” The Watchtower, Jan.1, 1953, p. 24, quoted in Jehovah of the Watch Tower, op.  cit. p. 134

 3. “Far from teaching equality with Jehovah, the Scriptures show that the holy spirit is not even a person.” The Watchtower, July 15, 1957, p. 431

 4. “The fact is that the truth about the holy spirit has been beclouded by the prejudices of Bible translators.” Ibid., p. 432

 5. “...God’s holy spirit is not a god, not a member of a trinity, not coequal, and is not even a person... It is God’s active force, not Jehovah’s power residing within himself, but his energy when projected out from himself... It is not a blind, uncontrolled force, such as the forces of ‘nature,’ lightning, hurricanes and the like, but ... is at all times under his control ... and therefore may be likened to a radar beam.” — Ibid. pp. 432,433

The Virgin Birth

 1. “Mary was a virgin ... When Joseph learned that Mary was going to have a child, he did not want to take her as his wife. But God’s angel ... said: ‘...That which has been begotten in her is by the holy spirit...’ ... He took Mary his wife home. But he had no relations with her until she gave birth to a son. — Matthew1:20-25.” (New World Translation) — From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, pp. 122,123

 2. “... Jesus was conceived by a sinless, perfect Father, Jehovah God ... The perfect child Jesus did not get human life from the sinner Adam, but received only a human body through Adam’s descendant, Mary. Jesus’ life came from Jehovah God, the Holy One. ... Jehovah took the perfect life of his only-begotten Son and transferred it from heaven to ... the womb of the unmarried girl Mary ... Thus God’s Son was conceived or given a start as a human creature. It was a miracle. Under Jehovah’s holy power the child Jesus, conceived in this way, grew in Mary’s womb to the point of birth.” Ibid. pp. 126,127

 3. “... Jesus’ birth on earth was not an incarnation ... He emptied himself of all things heavenly and spiritual, and God’s almighty spirit transferred his Son’s life down to the womb of the Jewish virgin of David’s descent. By this miracle he was born a man ... He was not a spirit-human hybrid, a man and at the same time a spirit person. ... He was flesh.” — What Has Religion Done for Mankind? p. 231

The Atonement

 1. “The atonement is a ransom paid to Jehovah God by Christ Jesus and is applicable to all who accept it in righteousness. In brief, the death of Jesus removed the effects of Adam’s sin on his offspring and laid the foundation of the New World of righteousness including the Millennium of Christ’s reign.” — Martin and Klann, Jehovah of the Watch Tower, 1963, p. 30 [approved by the W.T.B.&T.S.]

 2. “That which is redeemed or bought back is what was lost, namely, perfect human life, with its rights and earthly prospects.” — Let God Be True, p. 114

 3. “... Jesus as the glorified High Priest, by presenting in heaven this redemptive price, is in position to relieve the believing ones of Adam’s descendants from the inherited disability under which all are born.” — Ibid. p. 119

 4. “The human life that Jesus Christ laid down as sacrifice must be exactly equal to that life which Adam forfeited for all his offspring. It must be a perfect human life, no more, no less... This is just what Jesus gave ... for men of all kinds.” — You May Survive Armageddon Into God’s New World, 1955, p. 39

Salvation by Grace

 1. “Those who follow Jesus Christ faithful to the death will inherit the heavenly Kingdom with Him. Men of good will who accept Jehovah and His Theocratic Rule will enjoy the “new earth’; all others who reject Jehovah will be annihilated.” — Jehovah of the Watch Tower, p. 30

 2. “Immortality is a reward for faithfulness. It does not come automatically to a human at birth.” — Let God Be True, p. 74

 3. “Those people of good will today who avail themselves of the provision and who steadfastly abide in this confidence will find Christ Jesus to be their ‘everlasting Father’ (Isaiah9:6).” — Ibid. p. 121

 4. “...You must love Jehovah’s universal sovereignty...; you must uphold it and proclaim it and remain true to it at all costs until it is vindicated. Only then may you survive Armageddon...” — You May Survive Armageddon Into God’s New World, p. 30

 5. “We have learned that a person could fall away and be judged unfavorably either now or at Armageddon, or during the thousand years of Christ’s reign, or at the end of the final test...” — From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, p. 241

The Resurrection of Christ

 1. “This firstborn from the dead was raised from the grave, not a human creature, but a spirit.” — Let God Be True, p. 276

 2. “... Jehovah God raised him from the dead, not as a human Son, but as a mighty immortal spirit Son... For forty days after that he materialized, as angels before him had done, to show himself alive to his disciples...” Ibid. p. 40

 3. “... Jesus did not take his human body to heaven to be forever a man in heaven. Had he done so, that would have left him ever lower than the angels... God did not purpose for Jesus to be humiliated thus forever by being a fleshly man forever. No, but after he had sacrificed his perfect manhood, God raised him to deathless life as a glorious spirit creature.” — Ibid. p. 41


A Comparison of Three Critical Doctrines
as presented in
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Prophets, Promises ... and Problems,
©1986 American Tract Society, Garland, Texas


Doctrine of God
Jehovah’s Witnesses The Bible
The doctrine of the Trinity is “a false, unbiblical doctrine” originated by Satan. Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., p. 386; Let God Be True, p. 101 There is one God (Deut. 6:4), but three distinct “Persons” (Matt. 3:16-17)  in the Godhead: HaAbba, the Father (Phil. 2:11), HaBen, the Son (John 5:18, Prov. 30:4), and Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:1-2, Acts 5:3-4,9)
Christ the Son was originally the first created being of Jehovah God. Let God Be True, p. 32 Yeshua, the Son, is eternal, uncreated God. (John 1:1-3,14, John 8:58; compare Rev. 1:17-18 with Isa. 44:6)
Jesus Christ was actually the incarnation of Michael the archangel; Christ resumed the name Michael when He ascended to heaven. Your Will Be Done On Earth, p. 316-7; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 30 Nowhere is Michael said to have become Christ or vice versa; the Bible sharply distinguished between angels and the exalted office of Christ. (Heb. 1:1-14)
Jesus Christ arose from the grave as a spirit person, Jehovah allowing Him to materialize a different body in which to appear to His disciples. Your Will Be Done On Earth, p. 143; Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., p. 314 Messiah Yeshua arose in the same body that was laid in the tomb, which explains the marks of crucifixion, the empty tomb, and the empty burial wrappings (Luke 24:39; John 20:20,25,26; John 20:1-9 respectively)
The Holy Spirit is not a Person, but rather the impersonal, active force of God (Let God Be True, 2nd. ed., p. 108; The Watchtower, June 1, 1952, p. 24 Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit is an eternal Person, possessing all the essence of God (John 14:16-17,26; Acts 5:3-4)
Doctrine of Man
Jehovah’s Witnesses The Bible
A person’s soul is an inseparable part of the body, so that when a person dies there is no continued existence of the soul. Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., pp. 349,352 Yeshua taught that there is life after death (Luke 16:19-31). He promised continuing life the same day after death (Luke 23:39-43). Rav Sha'ul (Paul) taught an independent existence apart from the body after death (2 Cor. 5:5-8; Phil. 1:19-24).
The doctrine of the immortality of the soul finds its origin with Satan. Let God Be True, 2nd. ed., pp. 74,75 The immortality of the soul is a God-inspired truth (Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1,6-8).
Since there is no continued existence of the soul after death, Jehovah’s Witnesses who die will eventually be recreated from Jehovah’s memory to inhabit His kingdom. Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., p. 311 The resurrection is a returning of the soul back to its body (1 Kings 17:17-24; Luke 7:11-17), and will happen when Messiah returns (Luke 24:36-43; Phil. 3:20-21; 1Cor. 15:39-54).
Doctrine of Salvation
Jehovah’s Witnesses The Bible
Christ’s death only purchased for mankind the earthly life and earthly blessings lost when Adam sinned. Studies in the Scriptures, V.5, p. 145 Messiah’s death purchased present forgiveness of sins and blessings beyond this earthly existence (Eph. 1:3-14).
Christ’s death only provides an opportunity for a person to attain eternal life through obeying God’s laws. There is no assurance of eternal life. Studies in the Scriptures, V.1, pp. 150,152 Messiah’s death provides salvation from sin for all who accept by faith His sacrifice on their behalf (1Pet. 3:18; Eph. 2:8-9). The eternal life given by grace to believers is also preserved by God (1John 5:11-13; John 6:39; 10:28-29).
Christ’s blood shed on Calvary applies only to 144,000 elite Jehovah’s Witnesses (the “Israel of God”) and not for the “great crowd,” the remainder of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 389 Messiah died on behalf of all humanity (1Tim. 2:5-6; 1John 2:2; 2Cor. 5:15; Heb. 2:9).
One can live in God’s paradise only through (1) studying the Bible, (2) associating with Jehovah’s Witnesses, (3) changing living habits from the former way to God’s way (requiring JW baptism), and (4) being a preacher and a witness of God’s kingdom. From Paradise Lost To Paradise Regained, pp. 242-249 Salvation is offered through calling on the Name of ADONAI (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13) and trusting Messiah Yeshua as Savior (Acts 4:10-12; 10:42-43; Rom. 3:21-24).
The doctrine of a burning hell where the wicked are tortured eternally after death is false. Make Sure of All Things, 1953 ed., pp. 154-155 Hell is a place of everlasting torment for the unrepentant wicked (Rev. 20:11-15; Matt. 13:41-42, 49-50; Mark 9:47-48)

_______________

  1. Except where otherwise indicated, this information is adapted from Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1977, pp.  34-110. [RETURN]

  2. Unless otherwise noted, all Watchtower publications quoted are published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (W.T.B.&T.S.). [RETURN]

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