Checking through our ministry web site I see that the last of 3 online articles that I have written on the subject of the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ was back in 2005. Details of all 3 articles can be found on –
Just recently I was given copies of their July 2009 ‘Awake’ and their 1st July 2009 ‘Watchtower’ magazines that a friend had accepted from one of their ‘foot soldiers’ – these are the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ who faithfully call regularly from door to door trying to encourage people into accepting these publications from one of the most enduring of all the religious cults – ‘yes’ – despite all their claims now to be ‘Christian’ they are still a non Christian cult.
I want in this article to detail how, despite their clever use of terminology, they are still wedded to the false teachings that put them clearly in the ‘cult class’. Turning first to their ‘Awake’ magazine I noticed the following –
In an article dealing with ‘Depression’ they have a section entitled ‘HELP from “the God of comfort”’.
The Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 wrote of “the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulations that we may be able to comfort them who are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God”.
Reverently speaking the ‘agent’ of such divine comfort was promised to believers by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself – in John 14:16 He said to His disciples “And I will pray the Father and he shall give you another COMFORTER, that he may ABIDE with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive… but ye know him for he DWELLETH with you and shall be IN you”. Later in verse 23 the Lord said “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him and WE will come unto him and make OUR ABODE with him” and this indwelling divine presence for believers is well explained in Paul’s writings to the believers in Corinth.
Paul wrote “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” [1st Corinthians 3:16} “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom ye have of God”’ [1st Corinthians 6:19] “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them” [2nd Corinthians 6:16 referenced with Ezekiel 37:26-27].
This divine indwelling and comforting presence is reserved only for those who are no longer ‘natural’ but who have been supernaturally reborn by the Spirit of God – or as Paul put it in 1st Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God [including divine ‘comfort’] for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned”.
Going back to the ‘Awake’ article and the section entitled ‘HELP from “the God of comfort”’ we read this on page 6 ‘God is so close to his depressed servants that it is as if he resided with the “crushed and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly ones and to revive the heart of the ones being crushed” (Isaiah 57:15). How comforting to know that “Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart…” (Psalm 34:18).
The biblical reality is that only those who are ‘born again’ and so indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, “the comforter” receive ‘HELP from “the God of comfort”’. Today’s ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ do not claim to be ‘born again’ because according to Watchtower teaching that experience was reserved for a limited group of 144,000. In their publication ‘Reasoning from the Scriptures’ we read this on page 76 ‘BORN AGAIN: Being born again involves being baptised in water… and begotten by God’s spirit… thus becoming a son of God with the prospect of sharing in the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-5) Jesus had this experience, as do the 144,000 who are heirs with him of the heavenly Kingdom’.
That quota, according to their teaching, was filled up in the 1930’s. In their publication ‘Let God Be True’ we read on page 298 ‘God having fixed a time for every purpose… his time to give creatures on earth the opportunity to get in line for a heavenly reward has been from AD 29 until chiefly 1931, called the “day of salvation”… It began with Jesus at Jordan and is now rapidly passing away’ so the vast majority of such supposed ‘born again Jehovah’s Witnesses’ are now dead and today’s modern-age ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ are “natural” and not ‘born again’ and not indwelt by God’s Spirit.
This explains the clever terminology used in their article that their ‘God is so close… it is AS IF he resided with’ and that their Jehovah is described as being ‘NEAR’ but never as “abiding” and “dwelling” and actually being “in” believers as Paul so clearly stated in his writings to the Corinthians and as Christ so comfortingly stated in His words recorded in John’s gospel.
The truth is that God only graciously grants personal divine comfort to those who have been ‘born again’ and who are thus permanently indwelt by His gracious Spirit.
Later in the ‘Awake’ magazine there is an article directed at young ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ called ‘Why am I afraid to share my faith?’ In the course of the article on page 25 there is this quote by a young American ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ called Samantha – ‘If you don’t tell people that you’re A CHRISTIAN you can lose touch with who you are and start acting like everyone else. You can’t let yourself be a follower; you have to remain your own person’. The last bit of this quote I found somewhat confusing but I assume Samantha meant that if you profess, as she does according to her understanding to be a Christian, then you can’t become a ‘follower’ of the ways of non-Christians and you have to ‘remain your own person’, namely in her understanding, remain a Christian.
This claim by ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ to be ‘Christian’ is in my understanding a relatively recent development and I view it as being a tactic to disarm some of the fears they probably encounter from people they meet on the doorsteps. Are ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ correct in their claim to be Christians?
The world can be viewed as being made up, from God’s perspective, by two distinct groupings. They can of course simply be classified as being either ‘Christian’ or ‘non-Christian’ but the bible supplies other terminology that can be applied to these 2 groups.
The ‘non-Christian’ grouping can be viewed as ‘natural’ people [see 1st Corinthians 2:14 that was quoted earlier] and as being therefore only ‘born of the flesh’ [see John 3:6].
The ‘Christian’ grouping can be viewed as ‘supernaturally re-born people’ [see John 3:3] and as having been “born of the spirit” [see John 3:6]. When someone is truly ‘born-again’ and at that moment ‘baptised by the Holy Spirit’ they are engrafted into Christ’s Body – His Church.
Writing to the Christians in Corinth Paul reminded them “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit were we all baptised into one body… For the body is not one member, but many” [1st Corinthians 12:12-14].
Adopting a similar line of thinking Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians “And he [Christ] is the head of the body, the church” [Colossians 1:18].
When writing to Christians in Rome, Paul outlined the glorious truth that those ‘born of the spirit’ are the children of God having been graciously adopted into His family at their conversion. We read “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…. ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; And if children then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” [Romans 8:14-17].
Those ‘born of the spirit’ are described as “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”. We saw earlier that according to the definition of ‘BORN AGAIN’ as explained in the Watchtower’s ‘Reasoning from the Scriptures’ this privilege of being an ‘heir of God etc’ is limited to their 144,000 who were supposedly ‘born of the spirit’. Every other ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ who does not claim to be one of the 144,000 does not claim to be ‘born of the spirit’ and so has only been ‘born of the flesh’.
Can someone like today’s average ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ validly claim to be a Christian knowing that they have not been ‘born of the spirit’? Earlier in Romans 8 Paul gives us a clear answer to that question. He wrote “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, (mind) the things of the Spirit… Because the carnal (natural) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now of any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is NONE OF HIS” [Romans 8:5-9].
In verse 11 Paul says plainly that only those who are indwelt by God’s Spirit belong to Christ and so can rightly call themselves ‘Christian’. Those who are not indwelt by the Spirit are simply deluding themselves if they believe they have the right to call themselves ‘Christian’ as ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ now do.
Commenting on these passages in Romans 8, David A Reed, a former ‘Jehovah’s Witness Elder and Presiding Minister’ wrote on page 75 of his book ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse’ as follows ‘Remind the Witness that he has admitted that he has not received Christ’s Spirit to dwell in his heart by being born again through adoption as a child of God. In the light of verses 8 and 9, therefore, can he reach any conclusion other than that he cannot please God and he does not belong to Christ?’
Moving now to the ‘Watchtower’ magazine it states the following on page – ‘THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE, The Watchtower, is to honour Jehovah God, the Supreme Ruler of the universe… It promotes faith in Jesus Christ, who died so that we might gain everlasting life and who is now ruling as King of God’s Kingdom’.
To the biblically unwary and unlearned these expressions of devotion to ‘Jehovah God’, respect for ‘Jesus Christ’ and talk of ‘everlasting life’ might have a typically ‘Christian’ ring to them. That is the subtlety of the Watchtower deception.
Their ‘Jehovah God’ is a singular, Unitarian entity and not the Triune God revealed to us in the Bible.
Their ‘Jesus Christ’ is not the Eternal Son of God, God the Son, the second person of the Triune God revealed to us in the Bible. Hebrews 1:3 linked with Hebrews 10:12-13 show clearly that Christ has been seated as King in heaven since his triumphal ascension back to heaven as recorded in Acts 1:9. However, according to initial JW teaching, their Jesus Christ only took up the post of ‘ruling as King of God’s Kingdom’ in 1874. However this was later revised to 1914.
Commenting on Matthew 24:3, David A Reed, the former ‘Jehovah’s Witness Elder and Presiding Minister’ wrote on page 54 of his book ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse’ as follows ‘The Watchtower Society has such a long history of failed prophecies that it qualifies for the label “false prophet” many times over… There is also the fact that their story keeps changing. It is one thing to claim that Christ returned invisibly in 1914, but another thing to make that claim after you have already spent fifty years telling people that he returned invisibly in 1874 – and then changed your mind. Yet the JW organisation has done just that. When The Watchtower magazine began publication back in 1879 it was originally titled Zion’s Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. And fifty years later in the book Prophecy by J F Rutherford [the then leader/president] this 1874 “presence” was still being heralded “The scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 AD” (p 65). Now the Society says that he returned in 1914.’
A more recent JW publication ‘The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived’ says on pages 133-134 ‘A careful study of Bible prophecies, including Jesus’ own prophecy regarding the last days, reveals that “the Lord’s day” began in history-making 1914… So it was in 1914 that Jesus returned invisibly [it would be good at this point to keep in kind what we read in Acts 1:11 (immediately after the VISIBLE ascension of Christ) “This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner [VISIBLY] as ye have SEEN him go into heaven”] without fanfare and with only his faithful servants being aware of [NOT SEEING!] his return. In that year Jehovah gave Jesus the command to go subduing in the midst of his enemies… Yes, in 1914 CHRIST BEGAN ruling as King’.
Their ‘everlasting life’ is not a gracious gift from the merciful Triune God revealed to us in the Bible but has rather to be ‘gained’ through slavish obedience to Watchtower diktats.
In the JW publication ‘The Harp of God’ we read on page 137 ‘Jesus, the perfect man permitted his life to be taken [Jesus said in John 10:17-18 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. NO MAN taketh it from me but I lay it down of myself. I HAVE POWER TO LAY IT DOWN and I HAVE POWER TO TAKE IT AGAIN”] that it might be used for the purpose of releasing Adam and his offspring from the great enemy death, that that they might have a full OPPORTUNITY for life’. David A Reed wrote under a sub-heading of ‘Salvation’ on page 15 of his book ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse’ as follows ‘Although giving lip-service to salvation through faith in Christ, Witnesses actually believe that salvation is impossible apart from full obedience to the Watchtower Society and vigorous participation in its prescribed works program’.
The following JW quote cited by Matt Slick of CARM in his article located on
sums up very well the JW teaching on ‘everlasting life’ – “Accepting the message of salvation and devoting ourselves to God through Christ and being baptized in water is only the beginning of our exercise of faith. It is only the beginning of our obedience to God. It sets us on the way to everlasting life, but it does not mean our final salvation,” (This Means Everlasting Life, p. 181).
Rather then me in this article typing up lengthy arguments to expose what the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ really mean when they use the deceptive terminology that I have highlighted, I will instead direct you to a series of helpful articles on the web site of Matt Slick who heads the ministry called CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) and that cover many of these issues. The articles are located on –
Finally on page 26 of the ‘Watchtower’ magazine, in the profile of a JW living in Brazil, this member wrote under the heading of ‘How the Bible Changed my Life’ as follows – ‘When I met Jehovah’s Witnesses they showed me from the Bible that God will make the whole earth a paradise… I also learned that the dead are not conscious of anything so God does not punish bad people in a fiery hell’.
Here we see that the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ are still promoting the heresies of ‘soul sleep’ [no immediate and ongoing conscious existence after death] and ‘conditional immortality’ [only ‘believers’ will be resurrected to an eternity of bliss but ‘unbelievers’ have no eternal existence and certainly not in any place of punishment called hell].
Once again I will direct you to some helpful articles by Matt Slick on these links –
‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ are not Christians and are being deceived by an organisation that has been leading millions of adherents to the very ‘hell’ that they deny even exists. A further large selection of helpful articles on the numerous errors and deceptions of ‘The Watchtower’ can also be viewed on
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 18th August 2009