The “Jehovah’s Witness” Faith
According to the Watchtower Society, true religion did not occur until sometime in the 1870’s when its founder, Charles Taze Russell, began his Bible classes. Before this time the entire Christian church was (again, according to the Watchtower Society) thoroughly steeped in apostasy, including the early church just after Christ’s resurrection. The Watchtower Society teaches that they – the Jehovah’s Witnesses – are God’s chosen people. All of Christendom (except for themselves) are of the devil, deceived followers of satan. Furthermore, governments of every nation are part of the devil’s organization. (For this reason Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to salute a flag, go to war, vote, or hold political office.)
The Watchtower Society teaches that they are “the instrument or channel being used by Jehovah (God) to teach his people on earth.” Whereas in days of old Jehovah chose individuals to be His spokesman (prophet), today He speaks through a group of faithful followers of Christ commonly recognized as Jehovah’s Witnesses, ruled by ‘the Governing Body’ in Brooklyn, New York. It is impossible for one to attain spiritual truth without their help. To remain outside their organization is to dwell in darkness, for Jehovah will not enlighten anyone except through His earthly theocratic organization, the Watchtower Society. They alone are God’s prophetic voice and they consider their perceptions to be of great value.
The Watchtower Society, too, believes in the infallibility of the Bible. However, they have marginal confidence in the translations that Christians, generally, accept as dependable – so much so that they produced their own version, The New World Translation, completed in 1961. The translators remain anonymous, saying they do not want to receive credit for this work. Their translation is distinctly different from most other translations, especially in text where their beliefs differ from that of evangelical and traditional Christians. Whereby they hail The New World Translation as the most accurate of translations and pure of all bias, most recognized scholars do not share their sentiments.
The conclusions reached by the leadership of the the Watchtower Society in their study of Scripture, almost without exception, is contrary to evangelical (as well as traditional) Christianity. To begin with, they teach man does not have an immortal soul. When Adam died he “went nowhere but to the dust from which he had been taken.” And so it is with everyone. There is no life hereafter. When one dies a physical death he simply ceases to exist.
So it therefore follows there is no hell to be saved from. Gehenna, “the lake of fire and brimstone,” is merely a symbol of annihilation. If one goes to Gehennah one simply goes outside of God’s memory – never to be resurrected. However, if one dies after living a worthy life he/she will not go to Gehennah, but will eventually be resurrected.
Resurrection, to a Jehovah’s Witness, is actually a reconstruction. Because death is a total termination of life there is therefore nothing remaining to resurrect. But Jehovah will reconstruct a replica of a worthy person from His memory.
The Messiah, therefore, did not come to save man from eternal torment, but rather from annihilation of life. And He was not sent primarily because of His love for degenerate man, but rather because of His keen sense of justice. For He knew one day there would be a worthy group of followers (Jehovah’s Witnesses) who do not deserve eternal annihilation.
Salvation for the Witness is not God’s grace (unmerited favor), but rather one’s own worthiness. Christ’s innocent death was not payment for man’s salvation, but rather a payment for another chance. Man now has a second opportunity to obtain salvation. Salvation, then, is not a gift to be received, but a reward to be earned.
To reiterate, a person is saved by proving himself worthy, as Christ did. One is not saved by faith, as evangelicals claim, but good works and honest motives. A man having honest motives will surely join God’s true organization (the Watchtower Society), and refusing to do so is evidence of a corrupt heart. Good works is giving due worship unto Jehovah, and true worship means, primarily, witnessing to the less enlightened the truths about the Society’s special calling. (That is why he/she appears at your door.) If one is faithful to God (by being faithful to God’s organization) one may be saved from the destruction the Society has, since its inception, prophesied to be in the immediate future.
The Watchtower Society refutes the doctrine that the babe born in Bethlehem is God in the flesh. They teach rather that Jesus was a new creation. Before He became a man He was actually Michael the Archangel, a spirit-being. Christ was completely annihilated at Calvary, that is, he not only died physically but spiritually as well. (The Watchtower does not know what happened to the body of Jesus, but considers the possibility it is preserved by God for future display.) Today the Son is again a spirit-being, and He again is called Michael.
The person who died at Calvary was no more than a man. Certainly the only guiltless man, but nonetheless just a man. And He wasn’t crucified on a cross, but rather “impaled” on a stake.
The Holy Spirit is not a person. While most translations refer to Him as “He,” the New World Translation refers to the Holy Spirit as “it.” Such a conclusion is reached because He does not have a name, and therefore cannot be a person. He is likened to electricity, or a radio beam, or an impersonal force.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are divided into two groups: 1) the anointed class and 2) the other sheep.
The anointed class (also called the heavenly class) consists of exactly 144,000 people. These are God’s spiritual sons, born-again members of Christ’s body, anointed by God to rule, with Christ, over the rest of mankind. There are only a few from this group still on earth, the rest are in heaven.
The other sheep is by far the largest group. This group, comparatively, is much less fortunate than the anointed class. They can never be born again, will never see heaven, will never be justified by God. They will, however, live an everlasting life of peace on earth if they prove to be faithful to God. (This includes, of course, being faithful to God’s theocratic earthly organization.)
Planet Earth will never be destroyed, but will be an eternal paradise for the happy, faithful followers of Jehovah after He destroys the evil systems now in control.