Introduction to Jehovah's Witnesses
The Origin of Jehovah's Witnesses
The Bible's Jesus vs The JW's Jesus
Jehovah's Witnesses Work for Salvation
A Failed Prophet Is The Devil's Prophet
Additional chapters under renovation...
On the very slim chance a Jehovah's Witness may be willing to read this (because they are taught to avoid anything that was not produced by the Jehovah's Witnesses), I would like to remind them of what their founder, Charles Russell, said:
We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated. Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of men? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, "The Time Is At Hand," 1913, p. 242
Though the Watch Tower Society tries to tell people that Russell is not their founder (i.e. they claim Jesus was their founder), Russell is the primary founder of their religion. JWs claim to be Christians, so if they also claim to be "lovers of the truth," then they should have nothing to fear from what I'm about say, and if they believe as Russell did, then they should examine the claims I'm making and investigate for themselves to see if what I'm saying is true.
On the surface, this is what you might read and hear from a Jehovah's Witness:
"Jesus is 'the truth.'... And Jesus Christ is 'the life.' By means of the ransom, his giving up his perfect life and blood, he made it possible for us to gain 'the real life,' that is, 'everlasting life.'"
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "The Way, the Truth, the Life," Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, retrieved Apr 19, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/books/jesus/way-truth-life]
That sound good and Biblical, doesn't it? However, when a Jehovah's Witness comes to your door, they won't quote tell you what they really believe:
Nor could our Lord have been raised from the dead a man... it was necesary, not only that the man Christ Jesus should die, but just as necessary that the man Christ Jesus should never live again, should remain dead,"
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Internation Bible Students Association, Vol. 3, 1916, p. 454, [University of California]
So they claim to believe on one hand that Jesus is the "everlasting life," but on the other hand, they believe he's everlasting dead. (We'll cover the Scripture on that in a later section.) The Bible calls people who believe in two opposing doctrines at the same time "double minded;" those with a double mind have unpure hearts, and they are unstable in everything they do:
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
I would like readers to consider that people do not because Jehovah's Witnesses by simply reading the Bible, or in other words, they must be converted by another Jehovah's Witness. JWs don't go door to door in areas where there are no Christians, but rather, they wait until a Christian has established a church, then they set up in that area, and primarily knock on doors in areas that have Christian influence because they attempt to corrupt what God has built. The bottom line is that many JWs who knock on doors are completely unaware that they are being used to draw people away from the truth, and add them to the numbers of a cult.
|The story of Jehovah's Witnesses begins in the early 19th century with a man named William Miller, who was most famous for starting a religious cult called the "Adventists," or "Second Adventists," which is more commonly known today as the "Seventh-Day Adventists." Miller's followers were called "Millerites," and they adhered to his teaching that Christ would return in the year 1844.|
"Taking '2,300 evenings and mornings' of Daniel 8:14 to mean 2,300 years,
[Miller] concluded that Christ would return sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. Miller [formerly a farmer in New York] began to spend all his time lecturing. An Adventist periodical called The Signs of the Times promoted his teachings. But March 21, 1844 came and went without Christ's return. A few weeks later, however, a follower of Miller named Samuel Snow restored the hopes of the Millerites by suggesting that the real date of Christ's return would be October 22, 1844.A new fervency appeared. A number of Adventists gave up their jobs in the 'last days' and spent their time attending church meetings... When October 22 passed, the Adventists' hopes were again crushed. This came to be known as the Great Disappointment of 1844."
-Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions and the Occult, David C Cook, 1990, p. 117, ISBN: 9780896938236
|Although the Great Disappointment faded over time, the fire of occultism had been started, and it split into many small fires. (i.e. Seventh-Day Adventists, Advent Christian Church, etc.) About thirty years later, a former Millerite named Nelson Barbour published a document that stated his prediction that Christ would return in 1873, but when 1873 passed and nothing happened, he pushed his prediction up one year to 1874.|
(Read "Why I Use the King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details on the corrupt manuscripts new-age bible versions use.)
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the
"As for the lightning comes out from east, and shines to west, so shall be also the
presenceof the son of man."
-Benjamin Wilson, The Emphatic Diaglott, Fowler & Wells, 1864, Mat 24:27, p. 102-103, [Princeton University]
Thus, Barbour (through use of a new-age corrupt version) began to preach that Jesus was "present," but still in his spirit form, so he was hidden to the eyes of men. There is nowhere in Scripture where this concept is taught, but the false doctrines taught by this generation of cultists were passed on to the next generation.
Charles Taze Russell was born in 1852 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was raised as a Presbyterian, and grew up working in (and managing) his father's clothing store, while attending various denominational church buildings every week. At age 16, he declared he had problems with the doctrines of Scripture, and he began to doubt God and the Bible, so he left the churches to study various other religions until one day he heard a Second Adventist preacher named Jonas Wendell.
(See Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1959, p. 14, [University of Wisconsin - Madison])
Although Russell didn't agree with everything he heard, Wendell's preaching had a profound influence on his life, and so Russell decided to follow some Second Adventists to do some study. Some of the men who mentored Russell were Second Adventist minister George Stetson, and George Storrs, a former Millerite and publisher of The Bible Examiner magazine.
(See James M. Penton, Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses, Third Edition, University of Toronto Press, 2015, p. 16, ISBN: 9781442616059)
At age 18, Russell began to meet with a small group of friends on a regular basis to study the Bible, and over time, this group began to refer to Russell as "pastor." A few years later (1876), Russell read a copy of The Herald of the Morning, that was written by Nelson Barbour, who still taught that there was an incognito Jesus walking the earth, which was generally rejected by the public, but Russell found it quite interesting, and so he decided to meet with Barbour to discuss the details.
After Russell and Barbour's meeting, Russell became the financial pillar behind the failing Herald of the Morning, and his name was added to the list of assistant editors on the front page. Russell provided cash contributions, and in return, he got to publish his own articles inside. This was where Russell's bible study groups and the Adventist cult following formed a publication alliance that would eventually grow into a wealthy religious empire.
(Click image for larger view.)
Barbour predicted that "1874 Incognito Jesus" would rapture all Christians to heaven in the early part of 1878, and again, nothing happened. After this, Barbour reanalyzed a number of doctrines he had taught to make some changes, but Russell didn't like all the changes, so he left the Herald of the Morning Adventist magazine and started up his own magazinei in 1879 called Zion's Watch Tower.
Slowly, the Adventist cult formed a sect called "The Russellites," and even though Barbour and Russell had a falling out, the cult followers still knew that Russell believed in the general principles of Adventism. Not only did he begin selling his own publication, but Russell also got married (to Maria Ackley) and started up many church study groups across most of the north eastern states. Russell learned the basics of Adventism through William Miller and the Millerite followers, then learned the habit of making false prediction claims through Nelson Barber, and then went on to create his own denomination of followers by rejecting the doctrine of God in Three Persons.
(Read "Is The Trinity a Biblical Doctrine?" here at creationliberty.com for more details. The term 'trinity' is a pagan concept, but 'God in Three Persons' is a core Bible doctrine.)
Zion's Watch Tower and Tract Society became a legal corporation by 1884, and their literature was being produce and spread out at a rapid rate. Two years later, Russell published The Divine Plan of the Ages in which predicted the end of the world in 1914, but he did NOT on Scripture in any sense; the entire prediction was made up by measuring the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza. (See image below; click for larger view.)
Men like Russell who study and theorize about the Great Pyramid of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of the World) are typically called "pyramidologists," or rather, it's referred to as "pyramidism." Pyramidologists are typically associated with "pseudoscience," or in other words, it's based on speculation rather than hard facts, which is why a "pyramidist" is the better term for Russell.
Russell wrote in his book:
"This measure is 1542 inches, and indicates the year B.C. 1542, as the date at that point. Then measuring down the 'Entrance Passage' from that point, to find the distance to the entrance of the 'Pit,' representing the great trouble and destruction with which this age is to close, when evil will be overthrown from power, we find it to be 3457 inches, symbolizing 3457 years from the above date, B.C. 1542. Thus
the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation--no, nor ever shall be afterward... Nor should any doubt the fact that the forty years of 'harvest' began in the fall of 1874... the 'harvest' period since that date has been one of great advancement in knowledge."
-Charles T. Russell, The Divine Plan of the Ages and the Corroborative Testimony of the Great Pyramid in Egypt, God's Stone Witness and Prophet, International Bible Students Association, 1886, p. 42, [Harvard University]
In a later edition, before the turn of the 20th century, Russell added the following prediction about the rapture of Christians in 1910. Some of these documents are hard to find because the JWs have made great efforts to remove certain volumes and editions of their history so their members won't learn the truth:
this date, 1910, indicated by the [Great] Pyramid, seems to harmonize well with the dates furnished by the Bible. It is but four years before the full close of the time of trouble which ends the Gentile times; and when we remember the Lord's words--that the overcomers shall be accounted worthy to escape the severest of the trouble coming upon the world [i.e. it should be no suprise that he also believed false prophecy of secret pre-tribulation rapture] we may well accept as correct the testimony of the Great Pyramid, that the last members of the 'body' or 'bride' of Christ will have been tested and accepted and will have passed beyond the vail before the close of A.D. 1910."
-Charles T. Russell, quoted by Edmond C. Gruss, Jehovah's Witnesses: Their Claims, Doctrinal Changes, and Prophetic Speculation : what Does the Record Show? Xulon Press, 2001, p. 47, ISBN: 9781931232302; See also Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1908, p. 363-364, [Columbia University]
The words I put in bold were removed and rewritten by the Watchtower Society in 1925. They did not want their members to learn the truth, hiding from them Russell's instructions to "well accept" the dates of the false prophecy he gave, and in fact, I went to jw.org and typed the word "pyramid" into their archive search to see what I could find, and it brought back six results, but none of them had anything to do with the Great Pyramid of Giza or Russell's prophecies. (i.e. The Watchtower has been careful to prevent any information about it from appearing on their website.)
(See 'pyramid', Jehovah's Witnesses, "Search JW.ORG," retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [jw.org/en/search/?l=en&q=pyramid&fpd%5B%5D=any&sortBy=rel])
Once 1914 came and went, some faithful Jehovah's Witnesses became skeptical, which is why by 1928, JWs officially rejected pyramidology. Today, many Jehovah's Witnesses remain blissfully unaware that their religious leader, who paved the way for their cult, had roots in pyramidism.
(See Ronald H. Fritze, Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, Reaktion Books, 2016, p. 270, ISBN: 9781780236858)
Getting back to the timeline, in 1896, Zion's Watch Tower and Tract Society was renamed Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which would later be shortened to The Watchtower. By 1906, Russell went through the transformation that every cult leader seems to go through; he told his readers that he was the word of God on earth for men:
the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out."
-Charles T. Russell, quoted by Henry T. Besse, Church History, Holzapfel Publishing Company, 1908, p. 257, [New York Public Library]
When 1914 came, the Russellites prepared for the end of the world. Some JWs today believe that Russell never said these things (because they're cultic elders hide the truth from them), but in his book, Russell stated very clearly:
"In this chapter
we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the times of the Gentiles, i. e., the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A. D. 1914; and that that date will be the farthest limit of the rule of imperfect men."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, London, 1911, p. 76-77, [Harvard University]
During 1914, the Russellites picked up some momentum because, unbeknownst to Russell, that year would be the start of World War I. Many farmers at that time refused to plant crops in the spring because they believe the end of the world was imminent. As the world entered into war, it gave a temporary illusion of Armageddon to the faithful cultists, but when the year rolled over to 1915, it was as if the Great Disappointment of 1844 was now the Great Disappointment of 1914.
Russell tried to keep his cult followers from leaving by pushing the date back one year to 1915 (i.e. the same pattern as the Adventists aforementioned). As we already known, 1915 came, and 1915 went. Sadly, without repentance, Russell was finally judged by God for his sinful offenses, and died during a train ride home the following year on Oct 31, 1916 at age 64.
|Russell had left instructions that his position was to be replaced by someone else, but the authority over the corporate Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society was to be shared with a board of directors and with the editorial committee. Russell's Vice President, Joseph Rutherford, a judge, laywer, and Russell's legal advisor, found a loophole in the contracts which allowed him to legally supersede the board of directors without a vote, and so he took over the company by force.|
This would obviously create blowback from the board members, so Rutherford told his subordinate:
If they get too obstreperous and indicate they want to start action against the Society, call a policeman... if it becomes necessary, don't hesitate."
-A.H. Macmillan, Faith On The March, p. 78-80, retrieved Apr 13, 2017, [http://bit.ly/2ovNiwl]
This is not to argue that being arrested automatically means he did something wrong, or in other words, I'm not approaching this from a fallacious standpoint because even the disciples of Christ were innocent, but arrested and thrown in jail anyway. However, when Rutherford and the rest of his cult society are defying the government on unbiblical grounds (i.e. by hindering the military, which there is no Biblical precedent for under the circumstances), then they are simply rebels who are faithful to deceptive teachings, and so the government warrents were justified.
In 1918, Russell's book The Finished Mystery: A Helping Hand for Bible Students was condemned by Attorney General Thomas W. Gregory as a conspiracy against the U.S. Army. This condemnation was a response to a petition to release restrictions on the book because "The passage of this amendment would
(See Thomas W. Gregory, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the Second Session of the Sixty-Fifth Congresss of the United States of America, Vol. 56, U.S. Government Printing Office, May 4, 1918, p. 6052)
After appealing their case in court, the Watch Tower directors were released on bail, but Rutherford remained. In order to be released, Rutherford made a pact with the U.S. Government that they would instruct their cult members to cut out pages 245-254 of The Finished Mystery, and that the Watch Tower would stop printing copies of the book.
After clearing up the offenses against the U.S. military, Rutherford started replacing elected elders from Watch Tower churches with hand-picked staff he appointed. This transformed the Russelite cult into a strictly run corporate network in a very short time. However some of the congregations resisted these changes, which caused a split and created new sects (e.g. Dawn Bible Students [dawnbible.com], Chicago Bible Students [chicagobible.org], Laymen's Home Missionaries [now called Bible Standard Ministries--biblestandard.com], etc), and since their cult was generally known at the time as "The Bible Students," to differentiate between Rutherford's majority sect and the splinter groups, on Oct 1, 1931, Rutherford called his organization "Jehovah's Witnesses."
(See Joseph F. Rutherford, "A New Name," The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, Vol. 52, No. 19, Oct 1, 1931)
During this time, Rutherford moved away from the emphasis on members' personal improvement and understanding, and focused instead on pushing Jehovah's Witness literature. He declared that it was the duty of every JW to go door-to-door and distribute Watchtower books and tracts, and made it a requirement within the organization.
In the next few sections, we're going to cover many of the strange doctrines and beliefs held by Jehovah's Witnesses, but it is important for us to first acknowledge that JW habits, traditions, and doctrines have largely been handed down from false prophets and heretics over the past 180 years.
The Jehovah's Witnesses' supreme ruling authority, The Watchtower (now part of jw.org), states the following:
"If Jesus of the 'New Testament' is Jehovah of the 'Old Testament,' as many claim, should there not at least be one Biblical reference saying that Jesus is Jehovah? Yet
-The Watchtower, Dec 15, 1984, p. 29
What JWs are essentially asking readers to do is go do a keyword search for the words "jesus" and "jehovah," and they know that their readers will not find any results, and so the conclusion they come to is that Jesus and God are not one. There's a reason the name "Jesus" does not appear in the Old Testament, and that's because God didn't reveal the name to anyone until He told it to Joseph and Mary.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Giving thanks unto the Father... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son... For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth... all things were created by him, and for him:
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
(See Watchtower Online Library, "Alpha and Omega," retrieved Apr 5, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000208#h=5])
However, when speaking with a JW, they will insist that the authorship of the text changes when Jesus is talking, so at that point, they are confirming that the "the first and the last" is Jehovah God only. Now that JWs have confirmed that the first and the last is ONLY talking about Jehovah' God, let's go back to Revelation 1:
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, 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; and have the keys of hell and of death.
For the sake of JWs, I'll quote the corrupt 2013 New World Translation because, as we'll see in a later section, they believe the NWT is God's gift to mankind, and that it cannot be in error:
"And he laid his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid.
I am the First and the Last, and the living one, and I became dead, but look! I am living foreverand ever, and I have the keys of death and of the Grave."
-Revelation 1:17-18, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 2013 Revision, retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/revelation/1]
There is no other created being that can pay the eternal debt of sin; only God can save people from their sins. That means, for the following verse to be true, Jesus Christ has to be God.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
[T]he Bible teaches that Jesus was created by God. So Jesus is also called a 'Son of God.'"
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Why Is Jesus Called Godís Son?" retrieved Apr 5, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/jesus-gods-son]
There is no place the Bible teaches that Jesus was created by God, and again, as we read earlier in Colossians 1, the Bible specifically points out that Jesus Christ is the creator. However, because JWs believe that Christ was created, therefore, they believe that "Son of God" simply means a created being that is not God, but that is not how it is defined in Scripture.
In the verses I just quoted, the Jews recognized that the phrase "Son of God" and Emmanuel (i.e. "God with us") are the same thing, or in other words, they knew that Christ's claim to be the Son of God meant that He claimed to be God Himself who had come in the flesh. The term "son of God" can have multiple meanings, but in this context, the Jews themselves defined it as Christ's claim to be God, and so most hated Him and would not follow Him, and Jehovah's Witnesses today believe EXACTLY the same as the Jews believed in Christ's day. This means that JWs believe that Christ is not God, refuse to follow Him, instead choose to follow a false god they deceptively name "jesus," and go door-to-door to convince people to believe the same thing that was believed by those who crucified the Lord Jesus Christ.
Although JWs believe that Christ is not God, they do believe that He is A god, but they more view Him as a created god who is not eternal. This too is contradictory to Scripture since the Bible tells us that Christ is to be worshipped:
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
These are just a few of the many Scriptures that can be quoted demonstrating that Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be God. JWs will say that Christ is not God and use John 14 as their evidence:
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
The Bible tells us that Christ raiseed Himself from the dead, and the only way He could do that is if He is God:
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.
"The Bible states that 'Michael and his angels battled with the dragon... and its angels.' (Revelation 12:7) Thus,
Michael is the Leader of an army of faithful angels. Revelation also describes Jesus as the Leader of an army of faithful angels. (Revelation 19:14-16)"
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Who Is Michael the Archangel?" retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/who-is-michael-the-archangel-jesus]
Let's go read Revelation 12 and 19 for ourselves:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
What I find absurd about their attempt to so vaguely connect Jesus and Michael is the fact that Jesus and God are connected in far more more verses throughout the Bible, and yet, JWs will reject God and Christ being one. "Alpha and Omega" and "the first and the last" is clearly spelled out and defined only a few verses apart from each other, but JWs will reject that Jesus and God are the same person, and yet when it comes to Michael and Jesus, they'll take giant leaps of logic that defies the context of Scripture to say they're the same person. In other words, they're willing to believe Michael and Jesus are one on one example, but refuse to believe God and Jesus are one with many examples.
I also want to point out a fallacy of assumption: Michael leading a group of angels and Jesus leading a group of angels does not automatically make them the same person. That's like saying Donald Trump, who is a U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief over the U.S. Military, is the reincarnation of Douglas MacArthur, who was a U.S. General during WWII; it's absurd to think that because they were both in charge of commanding military soldiers, they must be the same person.
"There is Scriptural evidence for concluding that
Michael was the name of Jesus Christbefore he left heaven and after his return."
-The Watchtower, May 15, 1969, p. 307
Michael the great prince is none other than Jesus Christ himself."
-The Watchtower, Dec 15, 1984, p. 29
One of the major problems with this is that Jesus Christ is given a name which is above every name:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus... Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
In Hebrews, the Bible tells us that God has never called any angel "Son," nor has he begotten any angel:
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
For them to say that Michael was destroyed, Jesus was created, then he was destroyed and Michael was recreated, but they're supposed to be the same person, doesn't make any sense in light of what we just read in Hebrews. Jesus Christ would have to be the only begotten Son of God, and at the very least in that passage, He's not on the same level as angels.
However, for Jehovah's Witnesses, this problem gets much worse because Charles Russell's The Finished Mystery, which is still highly revered by JWs today, defines Michael as the Pope of Rome:
[Revelation] 12:7. And there was war in heaven.--Between the two ecclesiastical powers, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome. Michael.--'Who as God,' the Pope.--B275; C62. And his angels.--The Bishops."
-Charlles T. Russell, The Finished Mystery, Internation Bible Students Association, 1918, p. 188, [Harvard University]
It's also interesting to note that Russell did not consider Catholicism to be pagan, even though it is, because he separated "Pagan Rome" from "Papal Rome." The main point, however, is that if we connect JW beliefs that the Pope is Michael, and Michael is Jesus, then JWs would have to believe that the Catholic Pope is Jesus, which would please the Catholic Church in some ways because they believe the Pope is the essence of Christ on earth.
(Read "Corruptions of Christianity: Catholicism" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
JWs also teach that when Jesus Christ died, He died permenantly and stayed dead. They believe that Jesus's body was hidden by God after it was sealed in the tomb, and Jesus was recreated as Michael the Archangel, but this would make Christ a liar because he told the man crucified with Him:
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
When Mary and Mary Magdalene came to visit the sepulchre where Jesus was buried, they saw the angel sitting on the stone door rolled back from the entrance:
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe... Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not... And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
-1 Corinthians 15:14-18
Michael the archangel is Jesus in his prehuman existence. After his resurrection and return to heaven, Jesus resumed his service as Michael, the chief angel, 'to the glory of God the Father.'"
-Watchtower Online Library, "Our Readers Ask... Is Jesus the Archangel Michael?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010250#h=7]
In summary, the JW belief is that Michael was created, then God ended his existence to re-create Michael as a man called Jesus. Then when Jesus died, he re-created Michael to continue service as an angel. There is no one on the planet who would come to that conclusion by just reading Scripture alone, which means all this has come out of the creative mind of Joseph Rutherford. Don't be deceived when talking with a Jehovah's Witness; when they say "I believe Jesus is the son of God," they do mean they believe Jesus is a created angel, and they do NOT mean that Jesus Christ is directly connected to God in His person like Christians do.
It's not difficult to figure out who Jesus Christ is just by reading Scripture, and one would not even become a Jehovah's Witness simply by reading the Bible (which is why JWs have to have people go door-to-door to convince people); however, for those JWs who want an excuse to believe what the Watchtower cult teaches, the contradictions against Scripture I've demonstrated here will never be enough proof for them to repent. If there's one thing you should prepare yourselves for if you talk with JWs, they are trained by the Watchtower to make excuses and and change the subject to try to escape from being nailed down by any Scriptural certainty; the Lord Jesus Christ can save these JWs too, if they will repent (i.e. have godly sorrow and grief of wrongdoing) and believe on His saving grace alone, but there are very few who will find that narrow path.
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
The Watchtower's main website tells its readers how to gain salvation:
"To gain salvation, you must
exercisefaith in Jesus and demonstratethat faith by obeying his commands."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "What Is Salvation?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-is-salvation]
Thus, according to Jehovah's Witnesses, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you do good works. In the same article, they also teach that Jesus Christ does NOT save anyone, but rather, they claim that God takes advantage of the "
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, "What Is Salvation?: Who is the SavioróGod or Jesus?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-is-salvation])
JWs teach that you must do good works so that one day, God will declare you to be righteous:
"The great crowd is
tested as to the people's integrity, their continued faithfulness. The final test will result in Jehovah declaring them righteous."
-Watch Tower Magazine, Oct 15, 1985, p. 31; See also David A. Reed, Index of Watchtower Errors 1879 to 1989, Baker Books, 1990, ISBN: 9781585585878
The problem is that God has already judged mankind on this matter, and in His Word, He has already told us that NONE are righteous:
Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
"God has arranged for the 'good news of the kingdom' to be proclaimed so that
each individual will have opportunity to work out his own salvation."
-Watch Tower Magazine, Feb 1, 1985, p. 5; See also David A. Reed, Index of Watchtower Errors 1879 to 1989, Baker Books, 1990, ISBN: 9781585585878
There is a verse in Philippians that mentions this phrase about working out your own salvation, but the contexts are completely different:
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
"To get one's name written in that Book of Life
will depend upon one's works."
-The Watchtower, Apr 1, 1947, p. 204; See also David A. Reed, Answering Jehovah's Witnesses: Subject by Subject, Baker Books, 1996, p. 208, ISBN: 9780801053177
The Watchtower's website tells readers that they must obey God's laws to have their name written in the book of life:
"'The book of life,' also called 'the scroll of life' or 'book of remembrance,' contains the names of people in line to receive the gift of everlasting life...
God determines those names based on a person's faithful obedience to him."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Whose Names Are Written in 'the Book of Life'?" retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/book-of-life]
The faithful JW must do good works their entire lives to earn their way into heaven:
"Some suggest that belief in Jesus is the end of the matter... there are various things involved in getting saved. We must take in accurate knowledge of God's purposes and his way of salvation. Then
we must exercise faithin the Chief Agent of salvation, Jesus Christ, and do God's will the rest of our lives."
-The Watchtower, Sept 15, 1993, p. 5-7; See also Robert M. Bowman, Jehovah's Witnesses: Issue 11 of Zondervan Guide to Cults & Religious Movements, Zondervan, 1995, p. 85, ISBN: 9780310704119
Please don't be deceived by misunderstanding what they mean by "God's will" in that statement; they actually mean the will of the Watchtower Society because they believe that the Watchtower's will is the same as God's will. The Watchtower wrote a book called You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, in which they tell people that only 144,000 will get into heaven (we'll cover more in a little bit), and the rest of those who have God's "salvation" will live on Earth under God's government, which is supposed to be "paradise."
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 126-127)
According to this Watchtower book, there are four things you must do in order to gain God's salvation, be declared "righteous," and live in "paradise." The first thing a JW must do is gain the "knowledge needed," or in other words, they must learn "the truth of God," which most people would take to mean studying the Bible, but when new members join the JW cult, they quickly realize this "knowledge needed" is gained by attending the five minimum mandatory one-hour meetings per week, with up to 20-30 hours of optional activies per week that a JW can choose to attend if they are really zealous.
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 127-128; See also Jerry Bergman, "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Have Mental Problems," Cult Awareness & Information Centre, retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [caic.org.au/jws/medical/mental.htm])
Alan Miller, former Jehovah's Witness that grew up in a JW family, talks about the way the Watchtower teaches the importance of these meetings:
The weekly five hours of meetings were referred to as the five fingers on your hand. All five were important. Just as you wouldnít want to have less than five fingers, a good Witness would not want to try to get away with just four or less hours of these meetings every week."
-Alan Miller, "Fade From the Truth: A Tale of Learning then Unlearning the Beliefs of Jehovahís Witnesses," Barbara Anderson's Watchtower Documents, retrieved Apr 18, 2017, [watchtowerdocuments.org/alan-miller-shares-his-story]
The "knowledge needed" also has to be gained by reading Jehovah's Witness literature. The Watchtower makes it very clear to its readers that their literature is vital to their salvation:
"But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, [i.e. the Watch Tower Society] his visible and discreet slave made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians [i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses] in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives.
Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using,[i.e. JW literature] we will never progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do."
-Watchtower, December 1, 1981, p. 27
This means that JWs believe you can study the Bible all you want, but you can never find the truth, the way, and the life through the Word of God alone. JWs believe you must have the JW volumes of private interpretation to understand the Bible, and that is an overt sign of a cult.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
-2 Peter 1:19-20
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
-1 John 2:27
-Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 251-252
The third thing JWs teach you need to gain salvation and enter God's kingdom is "righteous conduct," or in other words, you have to do good works to get in. You have to obey and keep ALL of God's commandments (which the Bible has already told us that men cannot acheive), and that includes all Watchtower commendments, which means that attending the weekly meetings is considered "righteous conduct."
(See Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 129-132)
The fourth point of requirement to gain salvation and enter God's kingdom is to demonstrate "loyalty to God's government," and this is accomplished by going door-to-door to pass out Watchtower literature and convince others to join the JWs.
Subjects of God's government must tell others about it."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, You can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, 1989, p. 133
If a man was in a hospital, rapidly dying of an illness, and he had repentantly asked you to tell him how he could be saved, if you are a Jehovah's Witness, would have to tell him he has to do four things:
I give praise to the God the Father that he is nothing like the god of the JWs:
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
-2 Timothy 1:9
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
The Watchtower Online Libarary says:
"In the Bible, the phrase 'those who were sealed'
refers to a group of individuals who are chosen from among mankind to rule with Christ in heaven over the coming Paradise earth."
-Watchtower Online Library, "Why do Jehovahís Witnesses take the number 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation literally and not symbolically?" retrieved Apr 19, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2004647]
The Bible does not say this anywhere whatsoever. In attempt to back up that claim, JWs will go to 2 Corinthians 1:
Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
-2 Corinthians 1:21-22
So because JWs believe only 144,000 are going to heaven, most are simply trying to earn their way into "paradise," which they believe will be an earthly existence under God's direct governing rule. However, JWs have no idea who is among the 144,000, and they also have no idea how much work must be done to gain enough salvation just to get into the earthly "paradise" kingdom.
To give an example of how fervently JWs believe this, I listened to the testimony of an ex-JW who talked about a mother and teenage daughter discussing the paradise vs heaven issue in their congregation. The mother had claimed she had a revelation that said she was going to be one of the 144,000 who would rule in heaven, and the daughter was angry with the god of the JWs because she would be separated from her mother for all eternity.
Hopefully, readers can begin to see why Jehovah's Witnesses experience so much burden and stress in their lives. When one believes he must do an enormous amount of work to get into "paradise," never knowing how much work is enough to get into paradise, and the hopelessness of knowing it would be next to impossible to do enough work to be in the 144,000 (or not knowing if all the 144,000 slots have already been reserved), it creates a burden of dispair that results in JWs suffering an extraordinary amount of depression and anxiety. (This is quite common amongst JW households; we'll cover more on that later.)
The Watchtower teaches that all must come unto the Jehovah's Witnesses to gain salvation:
"And while now the witness yet includes the invitation to
come to Jehovah's organization for salvation, the time no doubt will come when the messages takes on a harder note, like a 'great war cry.'"
-Watchtower, Nov 15, 1981, p. 21; See also Edmond C. Gruss, The Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Xulon Press, 2003, p. 60, ISBN: 9781594671319
Notice that they did not tell people to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, but they have replaced Him with their own organization; meaning that they believe the JW cult is the salvation of mankind. The Watchtower puts their hard yoke and heavy burden on their members, but Jesus Christ tells us:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
"The three essentials for establishing the credentials of a true prophet, as given through Moses, were: The true prophet would speak in Jehovah's name;
the things foretold would come to pass(Deut. 18:20-22); and his prophesying must promote true worship, being in harmony with Godís revealed word and commandments(De 13:1-4)."
-Insight On The Scriptures, Vol. 2, 1988, p. 696; See also Watchtower Online Library, "Prophet," Insight, Vol. 2, retrieved Apr 14, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003562]
The Watchtower teaches that a prophet must claim to be of God, their prophesying must be in harmony with the Bible, and the prophesies must come to pass. If any one of these things is not true, then that prophet is false and of the Devil.
Let's read the verses the Watchtower is referencing to in the above quotation:
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 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 [i.e. arrogantly, in bold defiance of God]: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
We'll start with William Miller (founder of the Millerites) because this is where Jehovah's Witnesses eventually stemmed from, and he first declared that Christ's second coming would happen in 1843. This was based on his private interpretation of Daniel 8:
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
(Image is the original Millerite chart; click for a larger view.)
March 21, 1844 came and went, and no second coming of Jesus was witnessed. Miller went back to his calculations and came up with a new theory, and he told everyone that he not accounted for a "tarrying time," which is in reference to Matthew 25:
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
It's important to understand why these people cling so tightly to a failed religion because, for us, it doesn't make sense for someone to stay in cult that has proven to be led by false prophets. We Christians know "The Gospel" to mean the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to be the salvation of sinners who repent (i.e. grief and godly sorrow for wrongdoing) and believe in His resurrection; however, those who follower after the traditions of the Millerites, they believe "The Gospel" means "Jesus is coming back at any moment," so to reject the anticipation of Christ's arrival being "just around the corner," is to reject "The Gospel."
Sadly, most church building in America today have taken after these types of movements, not in specific dates, but in believing that Christ will return at any moment. The declaration of a date has started to be abandoned because it has failed so many times. This false belief of "Jesus is coming back at any moment" had existed even in the days of Christ's disciples, which is why Paul rebuked them:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. [i.e. don't get excited as if Christ is returning at any moment] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [i.e. the final antichrist] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
The "Jesus is coming" Adventist/Millerite/Russellite/Jehovah's Witnesses and the modern-day Pre-Tribbers are no different in their attitudes and their doctrines, and all of them were rebuked in 2 Thessalonians 2. It's sad that so many of them get more wrapped up in the excitement they get when thinking about their new-age false god coming to get them in a secret pre-tribulation rapture (which is not talked about anywhere in Scripture) and take them to a warm and fluffy place where they won't have to suffer any persecution, rather than studying the Word of God to find out what He teaches us.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
So after 1844, there are many dates that were prophesied in the 19th century by various sects across Adventism; so many that I will not be going over the details of each one. There was an individual prophecy for the years
These Millerism/Adventist organizations printed magazines (just like the Watchtower) to get their ideas out to the public, and most cults today have taken after this 19th century tradition of publishing magazines. I'm not saying every magazine is a cult, but I'm saying it's a common theme for cultists. In the 19th century, there was
The date that I want to focus in on for the context of Jehovah's Witnesses is 1874, which was the prediction of the aforementioned Nelson Barbour, who worked with Charles Russell to get his ideas out through the Herald of the Morning magazine. While Miller claimed the "tarrying time" (after his failed 1843 date) would only be about six months (i.e. from March 21, 1844 to October 22, 1844), Barbour claimed the "tarrying time" would be 30 years, and so he predicted Christ's return in 1873, but that obviously failed, so he pushed it (just like Miller did) to 1874.
Russell didn't meet Barbour until 1876, but Barbour had already taught a 3.5 year "harvest time," and so he claimed the "Bride of Christ" would not be translated into heaven until 1878, and that Christ did return in 1874, but he was invisible. Barbour also taught that the "Gentile Times" would be over in 1914, and Russell jumped on board by selling his retail clothing chain for a very large sum and investing into the magazine.
Nelson Barbour, backed by Charles Russell, published the following in reference to the 1878 prediction:
THE END OF THIS WORLD; that is, the end of the gospel, and the beginning of the millennial age is nearer than most men suppose; indeed we have already entered the transition period[i.e. 3.5 years] , which is to be a 'time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation'"
-Nelson H. Barbour, The Three Worlds, Рипол Классик [Ripol Classic Publishing], 1877, p. 17, ISBN: 9785880807628
After 1878, Barbour and Russell split apart because Russell came up with a new date; he believed the bride would be translated in 1881. Of course, this didn't happen either, so Russell instead said 1881 was "the general call to this joint-heirship with our Redeemer as members of the New Creation of God" and that the call ceased in 1881.
(See Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1911, p. 95, [University of Virginia])
However, Russell stuck to Barbour's original story that 'Incognito Jesus' was already on earth, but couldn't be seen, as he reiterated in his writings. The follow quotes are taken from Studies in the Scriptures, which was originally called The Plan of the Ages and The Divine Plan of the Ages, which Russell authored in 1886:
"If, then, the seventh thousand-year period of earth's history be an epoch specially noted as the period of Christ's reign, we shall by showing that
it began in 1873, be proving that we are already in it."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, International Bible Students Association, Vol. 2, 1914, p. 40, [Pennsylvania State University]
we are in the end of this Gospel age, and the Kingdom is being established or set up. Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874, A. D., according to the testimony of the prophets, to those who have ears to hear it: and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April 1878, A. D.: and the first work of the Kingdom, as shown by our Lord, in his parables and prophecy (the gather of 'his elect'), is now in progress."
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, International Bible Students Association, Vol. 4, 1913, p. 621, [University of California]
I'd like to point out that if this were true, then the JW's 'Incognito Jesus' must be asleep on the job because soon after, WWI broke out, and then later, WWII. JWs still believe Jesus is on earth invisibly today, and our world is getting worse all the time, so the 'JW Incognito Jesus' is either stupid or doesn't care, but this is all despite the fact that Russell's prophecy stated that all government institutions were supposed to be shut down before 1915, which obviously hasn't happened.
it is expecting great things to claim, as we do, that within the coming twenty-six years [i.e. by the end of 1914] all present governments will be overthrown and dissolved; but we are living in a special and peculiar time, the 'Day of Jehovah,' in which matters culminate quickly; and it is written, 'A short work will the Lord make upon the earth.'"
-Charles T. Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, International Bible Students Association, Vol. 2, 1914, p. 98-99, [Pennsylvania State University]
All the dates from Russell and Barbour had been thus far exhausted, so everyone was now waiting for the final date they taught for the end of the world, which was 1914. Of coruse, 1914 came and went, and nothing happened. As aforemention, Russell pushed back the date to 1915, and after that failed, he died in 1916, but the cultists' "gospel" is that "Jesus is coming," so Joseph Rutherford, appointed to take Russell's place, picked up the torch and made more predictions to satisfy the lust of their followers.
In 1918, Rutherford wrote a book called Millions Now Living Will Never Die, and said the end would be in 1925:
"As we have heretofore stated,
the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. At that time the earthly phase of the kingdom shall be recognized... Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection,"
-Joseph F. Rutherford, Millions Now Living Will Never Die!, Lulu.com, 2005, p. 89-90, ISBN: 9781411628984
A 1922 issue of the Watch Tower said that the 1925 prophecy was better than the 1914 prophecy:
"The physical facts show
-Watch Tower, "Europe a Boiling Cauldron," Sept 1, 1922, p. 262
Click image for larger view.
I would like to point out the obvious fact that there is almost no one left alive today who was reading this in 1918. I'm being generous with this statement because the amount of Jehovah's Witnesses still alive who were born prior to 1925 are dwindling fast, if not already depleted.
So Rutherford gave the prophecy to his followers that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were coming back to reign on earth. Although that's absurd because the Bible never mentions anything like that, they took it very seriously; so seriously that they had a mansion built to house the three of them (and other Biblical figures) when they were to falsely prophesied to return in 1925.
The mansion is called "Beth-Sarim," which is Hebrew for "House of Princes," and although offical JW and Watchtower publications today will claim it was constructed as a winter home for Rutherford due to his health complications, but though it is true he had health complications and that he lived there during the winters, they are once again hiding the embarrassement of false prophecy. The following image is a photocopy from Rutherford's magazine, The Golden Age, in which they documented what is written in the deed to the house:
"Both the grantor and the grantee, the said JOSEPH F. RUTHERFORD are fully persuaded from the Bible testimony which is the Word of Jehovah God and from extraneous evidence that God's kingdom is now in the course of establishment and that it will result beneficially for the peoples of earth; that the governing power and authority will be invisible to men but that
the kingdom of God will have visible representatives on the earth who will have charge of the affairs of the nations under supervision of the invisible ruler Christ; that among those who will be thus the faithful representatives and visible governors of the world will be David, who was once King over Israel; and Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthae, and Joseph, formerly ruler of Egypt, and Samuel the prophetand other faithful men named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews the eleventh chapter. The condition herein is that the said WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY shall hold said title perpetually in trust for the use of any or all of the men above named as representatives of God's kingdom on earthand that such men shall have possession and use of said property hereinabove described as they may deem for the best interest for the work in which they are engaged... Any persons appearing to take possession of said premises shall first prove and identify themselves to the proper officers of said Society as the person or persons described in Hebrews chapter eleven and in this deed."
-The Golden Age, Mar 19, 1930, p. 406-407
In reality, Rutherford was living in the top brackets of luxury from the profits of his books and magazines, and the "prophecy" was a convenient excuse for it.
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There are numerous audio and video records of people talking with Jehovah's Witnesses, and these various people attempt to explain to the JWs that the organization has a long history of false prophets. Most JWs are trained and understand that most people won't have the documentation on hand for these false prophecies, so JWs simply question where, who wrote it, and what was said, knowing that the person they're talking to won't have all that memorized.
I've heard these challenges quite a few times from JWs concerning the 1975 prophecy of the end of the world, so for the sake of clarity, here is the Watchtower magazine's publication from 1968:
"What about all this talk concerning the year 1975? Lively discussions, some based on speculation, have burst into flame during recent months among serious students of the Bible. Their interest has been kindled by the belief that
1975 will mark the end of 6,000 yearsof human history since Adam's creation. The nearness of such an important date indeed fires the imagination and presents unlimited possibilities for discussion."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?" The Watchtower, Aug 15, 1968, p. 494
After a hundred years of false prophecies coming from the Millerites, to the Russellites, and then to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the organization finally started to wise up and stop giving DEFINITE predictions. Instead, they'll say things like "it could be" or "it's possible," so they have a way out in case they're wrong (which they always have been), and as you can see, even the introduction is rather vague as to what they mean by the "end of 6,000 years."
A few pages later, the document continues to say:
"Are we to assume from this study that
the battle of Armageddon will be all over by the autumn of 1975, and the long-looked-for thousand-year reign of Christ will begin by then? Possibly, but we wait to see how closely the seventh thousand-year period of manís existence coincides with the sabbathlike thousand-year reign of Christ. If these two periods run parallel with each other as to the calendar year, it will not be by mere chance or accident but will be according to Jehovahís loving and timely purposes. Our chronology, however, which is reasonably accurate (but admittedly not infallible), at the best only points to the autumn of 1975 as the end of 6,000 years of manís existence on earth. It does not necessarily mean that 1975 marks the end of the first 6,000 years of Jehovahís seventh creative 'day.' Why not? Because after his creation Adam lived some time during the 'sixth day,' which unknown amount of time would need to be subtracted from Adamís 930 years, to determine when the sixth seven-thousand-year period or 'day' ended, and how long Adam lived into the 'seventh day.' And yet the end of that sixth creative 'day' could end within the same Gregorian calendar year of Adamís creation. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?" The Watchtower, Aug 15, 1968, p. 499
JWs will say there are a lot of contengicies, and that they didn't know for sure, but they certainly did state that it would be on or very closely around 1975. The debate about the exact timing is irrelevant today because, as you'll see from what I highlighted in bold at the end, they say the difference would NOT have been years in time, but rather, the margin of error would be just a few weeks or months.
Before I get into this topic, I want to point out the hypocrisy of new-age version users, or rather the "Scholarhip-Only" crowd who jumps around various corrupt versions and claims them to be the "Word of God." Almost every one of them condemns the New World Translation, and this is pure hypocrisy because the very arguments they use to defend their own new-age versions against the King James Bible are the same arguments that JWs use to defend the New World Translation, and we'll see examples of this as we explore this topic.
(Read "Why I Use the King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
There are so many things wrong with the New World Translation that I doubt I'll be able to list them all out here, but I want readers to understand I am not one of those who plays the Greek game, meaning that I believe the Greek and Hebrew texts, as well as many other sources, were properly and finally translated into God's preserved and perfect Word through the King James Bible. Sadly, many leavened or false Christians are debating with JWs over what this scholar says or what that scholar says, when all of them have the same exact problems that JWs have, namely that all of them have created bible versions that have taken liberties to interpret words the way they want, rather than by the context of what God's Word says.
(Read "How to Play The Greek Game and Dangers of Using Lexicons and Concordances here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
However, the fact that even the corrupt new-age version "scholars" unanimously argue against the NWT should speak volumes about the amount of deception involved in its creation. One of the most common points of contention is the use of the "Jehovah" in both the Old and New Testaments of the NWT, but the letter 'J' does not exist in Greek or Hebrew, and not only is this significant from a translation perspective, but it also contradicts JW doctrine.
The Watchtower official website states:
God wants us to use his personal name.We use personal names when we talk with those we love, such as our close friends--especially if they invite us to do so. Should it be different when it comes to talking with God? Furthermore, Jesus Christ encouraged the use of God's name."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "Bible Questions Answered: Why should we use God's name?", The Watchtower, January, 2013, retrieved Apr 27, 2017, [jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20130101/name-of-god]
If you ask a JW, you'll find that they believe the use of the name "Jehovah" puts you in direct communication with God, but if you call Him by His name, then He will not hear you. So a new JW is brought into the organization, taught that they must call God by His name, then they go to their NWT to find out what His name is, and they find the name "Jehovah" used throughout many verses, so that's what they call Him.
In fact, the letter 'J' didn't enter the English langauge until the 16th century. This is why the original printing of the 1611 King James Bible spelled "Jesus" as "Iesus" and "John" as "Iohn."
"The next day,
Iohn seeth Iesuscomming vnto him, and saith, Behold the Lambe of God, which taketh away the sinne of the world."
-1611 King James Bible, John 1:29, retrived Apr 27, 2017, [kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_John-Chapter-1]
Thus the name "Jehovah" is a man-made term that JWs apply to God, and that means when they use the 'Jyah' sound of the letter 'J' in "Jehovah," they're not really using God's name. The translators for the NWT took the liberty to ADD that name into the New Testament 237 times, but it was never in the Greek texts of the New Testament, meaning that the JW "translators" didn't do any actual translating on this point.
As we read earlier, Rutherford changed the name of their organization to "Jehovah's Witnesses" in 1931, and conveniently, the 1950 "translation" of the NWT decided to insert "Jehovah" in a many verses. Why didn't they add in "Elohim" or "Adonai," which would be more accurate to the Hebrew text? Jehovah's Witnesses could have instead called themselves "Emmanuel's Witnesses" or "The Everlasting Father's Witnesses," because those are names for God too, but they stick with "Jehovah" because Rutherford, one of the founders of their organization, named them "Jehovah's Witnesses," and since it's so well established, it can't be changed now, which means they have to stick to the name, even though it doesn't make sense with what they claim.
That brings us to question the New World Translation because, putting aside the fact that they were simply adding in a personal preference, anyone who would understand some simple facts about the English language (like the addition of 'J') would have seen the "Jehovah" inserts to be a problem. So who were the translators of the NWT? The fact is that for many years, Jehovah's Witnesses hid from the public the names of those who were on the translation committee, and Frederick Franz, head of the JW Publicity Department, told a courtroom under oath:
"That is an absolute secret. It will never be revealed now or even after death."
-Frederick Franz, quoted by George D. Chryssides, Jehovah's Witnesses: Continuity and Change, Routledge, 2016, ISBN: 9781351925426
Later, in response to a lot of inquiry quoted Charles Russell in an edition of Awake magazine:
It is the truth rather than its servant that should be honored and proclaimed.There is too much disposition to credit truth to the preacher, forgetful that all truth is of God, who uses one or another servant in its proclamation as it may please him."
-Charles T. Russell, quoted in Awake, Oct 22, 1989, p. 20
A decade later, the Watchtower said:
"A translation committee of experienced anointed Christians was organized to produce the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in English."
-Jehovah's Witnesses, "How the Bible Came to Us," The Watcher, Oct 15, 1997, p. 11-12
This was obviously an excuse to keep anyone from finding out who worked on the NWT. It wasn't until some members of the Watchtower Society got out of the JW cult and came forward with the truth that the public finally learned about the six men ont he committee: Frederick W. Franz (aformention), Nathan H. Knorr, George D. Gangas, Albert D. Schroeder, Milton G. Henschel, and Karl Klein.
Of course, as soon as the names were released, background checks were done on these men to find out their experience with Hebrew and Koine Greek (i.e. the type of ancient Greek the NT was orginally written in), and here's what was found:
Ex-JWs have lost family, friends, and spouses, and in some very sad cases in which an ex-JW grew up in a JW family, being excommunicated, or "disfellowshipped," means more than just leaving the cult. Sometimes it means losing a husband or wife, losing your home, losing your children, and much more. The Watchtower, by their strict regulations, will threaten a leaving member cutting off his/her family and friends, while lying to their congregations by stating that they do no such thing.
For example, this is from the JW Awake magazine, published in 2009:
"Although the Bible makes a clear distinction between true and false teachings, God allows each person the freedom to choose how he or she will respond. No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family. Does study of the Bible lead to family breakup? No. In fact, the Bible encourages a husband and wife who practice different religions to remain together as a family."
-Watchtower Online Library, "The Bible's Viewpoint: Is It Wrong to Change Your Religion?" Awake! 2009, p. 28-29, retrieved Apr 28, 2017, [wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102009251#h=3]
At this point, it should be no surprise to readers that the Watchtower violates its own teachings in hypocrisy. Every day, JWs are forcing their memebers to choose between their family and their religion because they instruct their members to shun the leaving member unless they submit to Watchtower authority.