What Christians Need to Know About the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Text: 1 John 4:1

It is good for Christians to have at least a basic understanding of what others believe in order to be better equipped to teach the truth and defend against error. This lesson will highlight some notable beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and explain how these are contrary to the Scriptures.

God/Jehovah

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the “trinity,” but that there is only one person of God (Jehovah)
  • The Scriptures teach that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons (Matthew 28:19) – they are all God/deity (Romans 1:7; Colossians 2:9; Acts 5:3-4)

Jesus

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus was a created being and not deity (God)
  • The Scriptures teach that Jesus created all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16) and that He is God (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9)
  • Passages that speak of Jesus’ role should be harmonized with passages that speak of His deity – Jehovah’s Witnesses cite John 14:28 as “proof” that Jesus was not God; but Jesus was not inferior to the Father (John 5:17-18; 10:30); He took on the role of a servant and humbled Himself to the point of death (Philippians 2:5-8)

Heaven

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God, Jesus, and the angels are in heaven, along with 144,000 of the faithful – the rest of the faithful will live in a paradise on earth
  • The Scriptures teach that this earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10) – all the faithful will be with the Lord in heaven for eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 7:9)

Hell

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the existence of hell – they believe the dead will cease to exist; resurrection only for the faithful
  • The Scriptures teach that both the righteous and the wicked will be raised (John 5:28-29) – those who are lost will be sentenced to hell (Matthew 13:42; 25:41)

Governing Body

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses have a “Governing Body” that provides worldwide leadership – congregations are led by elders and “traveling elders” oversee a “circuit” of about twenty congregations
  • The Scriptures teach that a local church is to be overseen by a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:2) – no organization in the Lord’s church beyond this; over the local elders is only Christ (1 Peter 5:4)

Judgment Day Predictions

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses have made many failed prophecies over the years regarding the end of the world
  • The Lord warned not to listen to those who make failed prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:22) – furthermore, only the Father knows when the world will end (Matthew 24:36)

New World Translation

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own translation of the Scriptures (New World Translation) – reflects their views regarding the Godhead, hell, and more
  • Peter warned about those who would “distort…the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16)

The Name “Jehovah’s Witness”

  • “Jehovah’s Witness” is not in the Bible – Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to use the name because Jehovah is the personal name of God
  • “Jehovah” is in the Old Testament in some translations – it is really a hybrid term based upon the Hebrew name YHWH
  • “Jehovah” is not found in the New Testament – except in the New World Translation which erroneously added it over 200 times

Conclusion

  • We can admire the zeal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – but zeal alone is insufficient to save (Romans 10:2-3)
  • We must believe in Jesus and His deity to be saved (John 8:24; cf. Exodus 3:14; John 8:58)
  • We must also obey Christ to be saved (Hebrews 5:9) – includes the words of His inspired apostles and writers of the New Testament (Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 14:37); also requires us to reject the teachings of men (Galatians 1:6-9), including the false prophets and teachers of the Jehovah’s Witness organization

For more information, read the article: What Christians Need to Know About the Jehovah’s Witnesses


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