Jehovah’s Witnesses: History, Beliefs, and Information
Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty dingy hall in Allegheny, Pa., where I heard religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the view of the Second Adventists, the preacher being Mr. Jonas Wendell. - Zion’s Watch Tower, July 15, 1906 Page 3821 Society’s reprints
The Second Adventists were a splinter group from the Millerites that were dispersed after their many predictions of the return of Jesus and the subsequent apocalypse failed and left them disillusioned. The Second Adventists would join with a few other splintered Millerite groups and eventually form what is today known as the Seventh Day Adventists.
It is from his own deep seated fears and this Adventist theology that Russell would emerge with beliefs that discarded many historic, orthodox, and scriptural Christian essentials like the Trinity, The Person and Deity of Jesus, The Person of the Holy Spirit, Heaven, Hell, and Salvation, deeming them “unbiblical” and “heretical”. It is important to note that the founder of Seventh Day Adventistism, Ellen G. White, was discredited as a false prophet who plagiarised much of her “revelations” from God from other false prophets of her day. Seventh Day Adventists were notorious for wrongly predicting the return of Christ repeatedly. Sadly this practice was carried on by the Jehovah’s Witnesses into the late 20th century.
This obvious failed prophecy caused most to fall away from the “Herald” group. However, some then believed that the rapture would occur 3-1/2 years later in 1878. It did not. The “Herald” failed and Russell took it over for a song and renamed it “Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence”, publishing the first edition in 1879.
This little publication started by a 25 year old Bible Study “Pastor” would eventually grow into the “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society” and would publish nearly 18 million issues in over 200 countries by the year 2010 and the link between Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the heretical Restoration Movement would forever be linked in the printing of this magazine.
Today, in similar fashion to the Seventh Day Adventists and Stone-Campbellite claim of Jesus secret return in the 19th century, modern Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Jesus has secretly returned and is in an “inner room” known only to a privileged few.
This claim, like the secret, hidden “Golden Plates” which supposedly authenticate the claims of Mormonism, or the Apostolic Prophecies of the New Apostolic Reformation, are typical of cults who declare “special” revelation which can never be proven, examined, or even witnessed by anyone…not even the regular everyday Jehovah’s Witness (or Mormon for that matter).
Nature of God
A god who must be referred to as “Jehovah” only
Created being: formerly Michael the Archangel
An impersonal force
Belonging to and working
an acceptable number of hours for, a Jehovah’s Witness “Kingdom Hall” (JW name for ‘church’)
Only for the 144000 in Revelation, who are already fulfilling. Only for those there. All Jehovah’s Witnesses since the 144000
all died off are bound to this Earth as their sort of “heaven”
Hell Doesn’t exist: Soul sleep when we die
Trinity: One God in Three Persons Father Son and Holy Spirit
Uncreated, eternal, God, 2nd Person of Trinity
Person who is Deity, 3rd Person of Trinity
Grace Alone through Faith alone in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and subsequent resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.
A location of paradise whereby believers can dwell after death, close to God and all things good, enjoyable, and pure.
A location completely removed From God whereby nothing good exists: No comforts, no joy, no love. It is utterly separate from God and therefore utterly devoid of anything remotely pleasing or good.