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Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christians?

Episode 2

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Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Are the followers of Charles Taze Russell really Christians? Charles founded the Jehovah’s Witness movement, and he was described as an egotistical man, who frankly made some absurd claims about himself in his own writings. Some scholars have even claimed, he compared himself to the Apostle Paul or Luther on occasion and encouraged his followers to do so. Russell was once quoted as saying, “if people had to make a choice between reading my books and reading the Scriptures, they would do better to choose my books!” In this podcast Carl will compare the core tenets of the Jehovah’s Witness organization to biblical truths and reveal whether or not you can safely place your soul in their hands.

Here is a complete copy of the transcript…(below)

“Let me ask you this my friend, do you think Jehovah’s witnesses are in fact Christians? Heck, you might even be a Jehovah’s Witness listening to this broadcast right now and if so, I would strongly urge you to consider what I’m about to say with an open heart because friend, your very soul depends upon it. Now, before I answer the question of whether they are Christians or not, let me share some information with you, concerning its founder Charles Taze Russell. This gentleman was the founder of the Jehovah’s Witness movement and he lived from 1852-1916, passing away right in the middle of the First World War. He was originally a 7th Day Adventist, but he began to disagree with them on several doctrines, but especially that of atonement. I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of this but suffice to say, you could argue that the teachings of Jehovah’s witnesses are in fact, a perversion of 7th day Adventism (and I will have a separate teaching regarding the 7th Day Adventists, so stay tuned for that broadcast in the coming weeks).

Because of the schisms Charles had, he went on to form his own magazine entitled The Zion Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1884 he founded the Watchtower Tract Society, and the organization became incorporated that same year. His most important work was Studies in the Scriptures which was a 7-volume set. Some described Charles as an extremely egotistical man, who frankly made some absurd and bizarre claims about himself in his own writings. Some scholars have even claimed, he compared himself to the Apostle Paul or Luther on occasion and allowed his followers to do so. What is striking is that this man had the audacity to say this, “if people had to make a choice between reading my books and reading the Scriptures, they would do better to choose my books!” Friend, with statements like that, our alarm bells should go off.

The internal warning of the Holy Spirit should let you know, something is not right. Russell was not a scholar, nor learned in the Greek language as he claimed to be. Under oath in court at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1913 he declared in support of his claims to be an expert Greek scholar and that he knew Greek intimately. He was handed a Greek New Testament, and embarrassingly forced to admit that he did not know even the Greek alphabet; neither did he know Latin or Hebrew as he claimed he did. Russell was never a scholar in the accepted sense of the word. There have also been claims that Russell was a 33rd degree freemason and he even used Masonic symbolism in his published literature, but these claims cannot be substantiated.

It’s not surprising then to learn that many modern-day Jehovah’s witnesses try to distance themselves from their founder. Some have labeled them “Russellites”, much to their disdain. Unfortunately, there has been a tendency toward the trait of domination within the Watchtower, as several people who’ve left the organization claim that it is authoritarian and theocratic in the way it is run. This was further implemented by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, the second President (circa 1917) who apparently ran the organization with unquestioned authority. If you were to oppose him in any way, you were ousted immediately. Rutherford also scathingly denounced all other religions and generated a demeanor of hostility toward Christian churches and organizations at the time, which has existed ever since.

Following him was Nathan Homer Knorr who was a far less conspicuous character than his two predecessors and he changed the image of the movement into a more palatable form by minimizing or ignoring the writings of Russell and Rutherford. There has in fact been a history of hostility toward Christian churches even to this day and this has landed the Jehovah’s witnesses in some trouble down the years. Now there have been six presidents of the Watchtower organization since its inception, with the current being Don Alden Adams since the year 2000. Jehovah’s witnesses’ train their people in Kingdom Halls and have a missionary school out of New York State. I sincerely believe that unfortunately, the creed taught by the Watchtower organization is simply another form of corrupting the pure Gospel and making it into something else, as you shall see for yourself shortly.

Here are some striking facts about the Jehovah’s Witness movement and specifically their doctrinal beliefs:-

  1. Jehovah’s witnesses deny conscious punishment and argue instead for painless extinction, but the Bible simply does not teach this. They deny a literal hell and choose to believe in annihilationism or the full destruction of man. We know clearly from the scriptures however, that Hell is a place of eternal torment, originally created for the devil and demon forces but man chose to go there because of his rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is clear from scriptures like Matt 8:11-12, Matt 13:42, Matt 22:13, Luke 13:24-28, Luke 16:19-31 and finally Rev 14:9-11.
  2. They have their own translation of the Bible known as the New World Translation but curiously its producers are anonymous and there’s no way of knowing the credentials of the translators. How convenient, we simply are unable to track down the producers and authors of their texts. Which then begs the question, what exactly are they hiding?
  3. They deny the deity of Jesus Christ, and even the Holy Spirit in their translations. In fact, they distort the pronouns calling Him an ‘it‘, ‘which‘ or ‘that‘, but never as coequal, or a person or a part of the Godhead.
  4. They deny Christ’s bodily resurrection and second coming. In fact they deny the Trinity all together and even claim that Satan was the originator of it!
  5. They assert that Christ isn’t the son of God, but he’s merely an incarnation and was previously known as, the archangel Michael, the captain of Jehovah’s hosts.
  6. They surmise (the Watchtower Society) to be the only source of truth on earth today and your soul will be destroyed if you refuse their organization and its followers are all prophets of God and the Governing Body is directed by angels from God.
  7. They also believe that to salute the flag is an act of idolatry.
  8. Since 1945 they don’t believe in taking any kind of blood transfusion even at the point of death.
  9. Participation in any civil holidays, Mother’s day, birthdays brings condemnation from God.
  10. They also claim that Christ’s second coming to the earth has already taken place! Apparently, it happened in 3 stages. Firstly in 1874, Christ came to the upper air and later caught the apostles and dead members of the 144,000 who will become immortal. Then in 1914, Christ ended the times of the Gentiles and began to reign, and finally in 1918, Christ came to the spiritual temple and began judgment of the nations. Friend, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out, that if Christ has already set up His Kingdom on this earth, then frankly He’s doing an awful job isn’t He! No, no, heck no, Jesus has not come back yet clearly. If he had, we would know about it. The church of Jesus Christ would be raptured, it would be absent from this earth and then He would rule the nations in the 1000 yr. millennial reign and the whole world would know about it.
  11. They believe in a works system of salvation, also known as auto-salvation and even go as far as to say that anyone who dies gets a second chance to receive ‘Jehovah’ during the Millennium reign.

Friend, if you’ve ever read your Bible, you know categorically and obviously, these teachings are erroneous to say the least. They choose to deliberately distort or twist almost every significant biblical truth. But for me the rubber meets the road in their hermeneutic of Johns Gospel, they render John 1:1 as follows, and I’m going to read from the New World Translation right now, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was (a) God.” Did you catch that my friend? It said, ‘was a God’, not was God”. The implication or inference here of course, is that we are all gods, little ‘g’ and that Jesus was a God, but not the God. This my friend is a flagrant lie and it’s the same lie posed by the Serpent Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden, that we can become gods and have no need of a redeemer.

All cults have this in common; they seek Godhood without a redeemer. There is no repentance but another farcical means to get to heaven by either works or special knowledge and unfortunately the Jehovah’s witnesses are no exception. They call themselves Jehovah’s Witness because according to their translation the term Jehovah is the only true name for God, yet we know that Jehovah, is not contained in the New Testament manuscripts as Gods true name. The term Jehovah is a play off the correct term for God in the Old Testament, better known as the Tetragram Maton and pronounced YUD-HAY-VAV-HAY.

Friend, if you don’t know what’s written in your Bible, you will be easy prey for the visitors at your door who come in white shirts and black pants with much zeal but little knowledge of Gods Holy Word. We need to read the Bible in context and understand that these people unfortunately within the organization (as with all cults), are blinded in their minds by Satan, to the truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The trouble with all cults is those in them don’t know they are deceived. This is the beguiling aspect of deception; one does not simply know when one is deceived until they are confronted with the truth. And that’s what I’m doing right now. Friend, perhaps you grew up in this organization and this is the first time you’ve ever heard a brief history of your organization or what your leaders truly believe. Perhaps you have a friend who is a Jehovah’s Witness, and they are really nice people, but you feel drawn to share some of these truths with them. I would pray that you would have the courage and temerity to lovingly confront your friends or family about their beliefs and share the truth with them. Whenever anyone hears the truth, we have two options: carry on as usual, or ask some questions for ourselves and come to the realization that maybe, just maybe, my mom or dad or family are into something that they themselves have not fully researched.

Let me ask you this, would sincerely you place your faith in an organization like the Watchtower for example, that has falsely predicted the return of the Messiah on numerous occasions and instead of repenting continues to set false dates over and over again? The Holy Spirit would not lead men to attempt date setting or at least get those dates wrong time and time again. It simply just doesn’t add up, ‘come let us reason together’ as the scripture says. We need to think some of these things through, objectively and not carry on blindly with the traditions of men. It’s imperative that we love people and confront them with the truth, who are in these false organizations. Every man or woman is accountable for the truth revealed to them and you are no longer innocent if you’ve heard this message. You know it’s time to seek the Lord Jesus. I also wish to thank Dr. Kenneth Boa for granting me permission to use some of his source material in this podcast.”

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