Jehovah’s Witness Brian Haefliger Steven Ward Nikko Yanase Cody Caudill Jase Adams
There are five important facts to remember about the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower Organization. • 1. They have accepted the Organization as the Prophet of God. • 2. They have accepted the Organization as God's sole channel for His truth. • 3. They believe that to reject the Organization is to reject God. • 4. They believe that only the Organization can interpret the Bible; as individuals they are unable to do so. • 5. They believe the Watchtower Magazine contains God's truth, directed by Him, through the Organization.
Timeline • Begun in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell • 1879-1st issue of Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence published. • 1896-Dropped “Zion” from name. • 1909-Moved headquarters to Brooklyn, NY which is the current location. • 1914-Predicted Second Coming of Christ (Christ returned invisibly and fought Satan in a heavenly battle and was victorious)
Timeline cont… • 1916- Russell died on October 31 and Joseph Rutherford took over the presidency of the Watch Tower Society. • 1925-Claimed that Abraham and other prophets were returning to Earth; bought a mansion in San Diego and a car for them to drive in. • 1931-Began calling themselves “Jehovah’s Witness” • 1940-Banned in Canada. • Today-More than 700,000 Witnesses go door to door spreading the religion, and print out 100,000 books and 800,000 magazines daily.
Beliefs • There is one God in one person • There is no Trinity. • The Holy Spirit is a force, not alive • Jehovah's first creation was his 'only-begotten Son'. . . was used by Jehovah in creating all other things", • Jesus was Michael the archangel who became a man • Jesus was only a perfect man, not God in flesh • Good works are necessary for salvation • Only 144,000 Jehovah's Witness go to heaven. • They also refuse to vote, salute the flag, sing the "Star Spangled Banner," or celebrate Christmas or birthdays. They are not allowed to serve in the armed forces.
The Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe or teach some of the very basic tenets of Christian doctrine. They deny: • 1. The Trinity. • 2. The Omnipresence of God. • 3. The Deity of Christ. • 4. The dual nature of Christ. • 5. The bodily resurrection of Christ. • 6. The visible return of Christ. • 7. The person of God the Holy Spirit. • 8. The Promise of Heaven to all believers. • 9. The necessity of the New Birth for all believers. • 10. The Lord's Supper for all believers. (only for the 144,0000). • 11. The Eternal Security of the believer. • 12. The conscious Eternal Punishment of the lost.
Shunning • If a member leaves or denounces the religion, they are often never talked to again by that community. • This act is said to be necessary for a person to grow when they “proudly sin” • Although the Watchtower denies it, people who have left claim even to be subject to physical abuse and threats on their life.
Baptism • You must be of a responsible age and choose for yourself. • After baptism you are expected to do and take care of the community as you are now confirmed. • Looked at as a commitment not to be broken for the rest of your life.
Witnessing & Evangelism • Believed it is important to make “A disciple of all nations.” • You must be confirmed and firm in your beliefs in Jehovah to witness. • There are “Kingdom, Pioneer, and Special Publishers” and are paid to Evangelize each holding a different rank and different amount of time spent.
Kingdom Hall • Can be a rented building, an auditorium, a gymnasium, or a simple building. • Display no crosses in or on the building. • It is carefully tracked as to how many people attend and statistics on hours preached. • Jehovah's Witnesses usually meet three times a week, once on Sunday, twice during the week. • Services consist of…
Watchtower Study- a one-hour discussion of a recent article in the Watchtower magazine. • Public Meeting- a 45-minute Bible-based lecture • The services begin and end with prayer Worship is simple and includes little ritual. • The Theocratic Ministry School and Service Meeting are held on weekdays, which is a student lead program where six students teach on an assigned topic. • Service meetings are strictly about Evangelistic tatics.
Ideal • Dress is “well-arranged”, “chaste”, and “becoming of a christian”, but can be both formal and casual. • They value promptness, order, and scheduling. • There are no special awards or recognitions. Titles are privileges not rewards. • They focus on all family, and fellow members of the congregation are also important. Age is given status and respect. • Informal greetings are handshakes. Formally they greet each other with a Holy Kiss and warmth is expected.
Actual • Acceptable dress conforms to the congregation. Formal wear is typically considered tasteless and out of fashion. • They are very prompt and orderly. • Positions and titles form from conformity and obtaining minimum service levels. Privileges depend on relationships with the “power circle” of the congregation. • They focus on just the spiritual family, not many congregational ties. • There are degrees of “warmth” that are situational. Those who are disapproved or shunned are not even given a glance.
Within the sect • False prophecies • They profess to be the only true church, yet most of their prophecies have not been true. • They say their doctrines only come from the Bible. But they really come from what the Watchtower says about the Bible. • In Watchtower Literature there are many contradictions such as who the faithful and discreet slave is, Watchtower or Russell. Also they argue if Armageddon would be in 1914, 1915, or 1941.
Outside the sect • There have been scandals involving child abuse. • Being silent is considered the right thing to do. Otherwise, you will be shunned. • The Internet has become a bad place for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many former Witnesses are posting articles and other things that challenge their faith. • This is causing many members to leave.
Bible translations • They use the New World Translation of the Bible. • They have changed some of the verses in the Bible based on their beliefs: • Genesis-They replace Holy Spirit with active force because they don’t believe the Holy Spirit is alive. • Zechariah-They don’t believe Jesus is God in flesh, so they change “me” to “the one”. • Colossians-They add in “other” when they are referring to Jesus being created because they believe Jesus was created, not the creator of all things. • Hebrews-They change worship to obeisance, meaning to honor because Jesus cannot be worshiped. • This is a bad translation of the original Bible because they change it according to their theology.
Holy Cannon – the Bible“crossed out scriptures” • Matt. 17:21 • Matt. 18:11 • Matt. 23:14 • Mark 7:16 • Mark 9:44 • Mark 9:46 • Mark 15:28 • Mark 11:26 • Luke 17:36 • Luke 23:17 • John 5:4 • Acts 8:37 • Acts 28:29 • Romans 16:24
Jehovah’s Witness Jehovah is their god. Reject Trinity Holy Spirit is God’s active force. Select few witnesses go to heaven, wicked souls are annihilated, rest live on paradise earth. Holidays- celebrate Memorial of Christ’s death only. Christianity Trinitarian god with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is God, third person of Trinity. Believers go to heaven, non-believers go to hell. Holidays- Easter, Christmas, saint’s days, some others. Differences with Christianity
Frequently asked questions(and answers from the watchtower website) • What does the name Jehovah's Witnesses mean? • Jehovah is the personal name of God, as found in the Bible. A witness is a person who relates facts from direct personal knowledge or proclaims views or truths of which he is convinced. Thus, the name Jehovah's Witnesses designates an organized group of Christians who proclaim the truth that Jehovah is a loving and just God, deserving of our love and obedience. They do this by sharing what they have learned from the Bible with friends and neighbors.—Isaiah 43:10-12. • Are you Christians? • Yes. We follow Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and put faith in the ransom sacrifice he provided for the salvation of mankind. We imitate his example in preaching and teaching and in our dealings with fellow humans. We also look forward to living in true peace on earth under his heavenly Kingdom.
Frequently asked questions(and answers from the watchtower website) • Do you believe that you are the only ones who will be saved? • No. Many millions who have lived in centuries past and who were not Jehovah's Witnesses will come back in a resurrection and have an opportunity for life. Many now living may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before God's time of judgment, and they will gain salvation. Moreover, Jesus said that we should not be judging one another. Humans look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. He sees accurately and judges mercifully. God has committed judgment into Jesus' hands, not ours.—Matthew 7:1-5; John 5:22, 27.