Jehovah’s Witnesses

Religions, Cults & Worldviews: Valuable Answers for Valid Questions.

Founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1870. Russell was raised as a congregationalist and, like Joseph Smith of the Mormons, grew disillusioned with orthodox Christianity on the whole. He soon met a “Second Adventist” (a formation of Millerites and a forerunner for the 7th Day Adventists) by the name of Jonas Wendell. Wendell would breathe new life into Russell’s view of Christianity and eventually Russell would adopt the peculiar manner whereby the Adventists would erroneously predict the end of the world and the subsequent Second Coming of Jesus.

Started as a simple Bible class in 1870 by Charles Taze Russell. Russell had extreme difficulties with the doctrines of heaven and hell which lead him on a search for a belief system that was most comfortable for him. He heard a “Second Adventist” preacher named Jonas Wendell. The following citation is from an official Jehovah’s Witness publication, published on truthnet.org

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.

In 1876, Russell sought to publish his aberrant beliefs and partnered with a friend to help continue the publishing of the “Herald of the Morning” formerly owned and operated the Stone-Campbell Restorationist offshoot known then as the “Adventists”; later to become “Seventh Day Adventist”. This group and particularly this publication had falsely predicted the return of Jesus in 1874. Jesus did not return in 1874 but rather than admit the mistake, Herald of The Morning publishers would claim that Jesus returned invisibly in 1874. He did not.

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. To this day, no Jehovah’s Witness dares speak their own thoughts on theology but are diligent to repeat only the position of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

  • All members of the Jehovah’s Witness gather all doctrine, spiritual guidance, and advice for living from these publications of the Watchtower. They rely on the printed literature of this massive machine as much as Christians rely on the Bible.
  • 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)

What Jehovah's Witnesses Actually Believe

(Here is a hint: Its not what the Apostles passed down to us in Scripture) – this video is an excerpt for educational purposes, from Leonard Chretien’s film “Witnesses of Jehovah”.

As with any Christian-like cult, Biblical names are used but the persons and meanings behind them are completely different. In the words of a preacher, “same vocabulary but different dictionary”. For clarity sake, let’s view a quick comparison between authentic, historical Christianity, and the doctrines of Russell and Rutherford as propagated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, NY.

Essential Doctrine Apostolic-Biblical View Watchtower (JW) View
Nature of God
Trinity: One God in Three Persons Father Son and Holy Spirit
A god who must be referred to as “Jehovah” only
Jesus Deity
Uncreated, eternal, God, 2nd Person of Trinity. All things created by Him through Him and for Him (including Michael the Archangel)
Created being: formerly Michael the Archangel. Will become Michael once again.
Holy Spirit
A person who is Deity, 3rd Person of Trinity. Can be lied to, can be grieved just as the Father and the Son.
An impersonal force or "divine spark"
Salvation
Mankind is saved by grace alone through Faith alone in the Biblical Jesus’ finished work on the cross and subsequent resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. When we put our faith (assurance of things hoped for) in the person and work of Jesus we have salvation.
Belonging to and working an acceptable number of hours for, a Jehovah’s Witness “Kingdom Hall” (the Jehovah's Witness name for ‘church’)
Heaven
A location of paradise whereby believers dwell in the presence of the Lord after death, close to God and all things good, enjoyable, and pure.
Only for the 144000 in Revelation, who are already fulfilling the prophecy. Only for those currently there. All Jehovah’s Witnesses since the 144000 all died off are bound to this Earth as their sort of “heaven”. The Watchtower has trained their followers to respond with "pity" toward those who look for heaven when they die.
Hell
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 to anyone. No companionship nor comraderie (both good things from the Father of Lights) therefore they are no where to be found. Only wailing (extreme eternal sorrow for one's self) and gnashing of teeth (extreme eternal rage against the God whom they rejected in life)
Consistent with nearly every cult, hell doesn’t exist, but instead the lifelong rebellious toward their Maker simply experience "soul sleep" when they die: No repentence necessary, no faith in Jesus work necessary.
The Church
The body of genuine believers in Christ Jesus, who have been converted through repentence and faith in the Lord Jesus. They are the "invisible church" as they can't necessarily been "seen" and exist within the visibile church (denominations) which can be seen. However, the visible church is NOT the actual church of the Bible as it is primarily filled with false converts and many that care nothing for Jesus nor the Gospel. Jesus said he would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
Believe that the many denominations are a sign of an apostate church and that they all believe a false Trinity, Jesus and Gospel. The Jehovah's Witness is the only organisation with the "true" gospel (c.f. Mormonism