ADD-06 - Jehovah's Witnesses

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Transcript

ANSWERING DENOMINATIONAL DOCTRINES

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now, Ben
Bailey.

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32). Wel-
come to our study of Answering Denominational Doctrines. Today we will be examining the

doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion to see if they are true to the Word of God.

In this series of lessons we are taking the Bible as God’s sole authority in religious mat-
ters, as all truth, and as our only guide to get to Heaven. We are going to take the Word

of God and we are going to examine the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion to
see if they are true to the Word of God. These lessons are designed to help us see that
there are things that people teach that are in contradiction to the Bible and that do not
agree with the Word of God. If a person remains in such religious error, they cannot be
right in God’s sight. The intent of these lessons is to express a love for people’s souls in
order to help them get to Heaven.
The entire system of religion associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses was started by false
prophets. I am going to give you the evidence and let you see it for yourself because it
has been documented in their own writings as well as in history. The facts are undeniable.
These false prophets made statements and prophecies that were blatant lies. Some of
these false prophecies were given by Charles Taze Russell, who is believed to be one of

the original founders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. Russell published a book claim-
ing that Christ’s Second Coming had begun invisibly in 1874. If I was going to say that

something like that was going to happen, I would have to say that it was occurring “invis-
ibly” because no one saw it occur. How could anyone know it had happened? How could

it be proved? Russell also claimed that by 1889 the twenty-six years had all been account-
ed for, that governments were going to be overthrown, and that the world was going to

come to an end. Did that happen? In 1889, did all governments come to an end? Of course
not. Many are still in existence today. So here is a prophecy that did not come true. Jesus
did not have an “invisible Second Coming” in 1874. In 1914 Russell said that Armageddon
“may be next spring.” Yet spring of 1915 rolled around—and there was no Armageddon.
Russell then said, “In view of the strong Bible evidence concerning the times of the Gentiles,
we consider it an established truth that the final end of all the kingdoms of this world, and
full establishment of the kingdom of God, will be accomplished by the end of 1914.” The

year 1914 ended, yet those things did not take place. Jesus did not come back. All gov-
ernments were not done away with. There was no Armageddon. What do we learn from

all of that? Here’s a man who supposedly is the founder of these ideas, which are at the
heart and core of this religion, yet he is clearly seen as a false prophet. How does the
Bible say that we should deal with a person like that?
In Deuteronomy 18:22 the Scripture says concerning false prophets, “When a prophet
speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the
thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you
shall not be afraid of him.” That is how God says we ought to deal with people who are

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false prophets. We are not to listen to them. We are not to buy into what they are saying.
If what they have prophesied does not come to pass, then we can know that what the
people said was not said on God’s behalf. Look at everything that Charles Taze Russell
said. He said that Christ’s Second Coming took place invisibly in 1874. He said that all
governments would be overthrown. He said that Armageddon would occur in the spring of
1915. Everything would happen in 1914. Yet when all of that failed to happen, according to
Deuteronomy 18:22 people would need not to worry about what he had said, and could
be assured that he was not a prophet of God.
How does all of that apply to the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion? If the very person who is
the founder of the religion, and who is the one who came up with such ideas, is clearly seen
as a false prophet, as a liar, and as a deceiver of multitudes, why would anyone want to
buy into anything he says. But Russell was not the only false prophet. There also were false

prophecies that came from Judge J.F. Rutherford, who also recognized as one of the orig-
inal founders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. In 1920 Rutherford predicted the res-
urrection of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and other worthies of old “fully restored to perfect hu-
manity in 1925.” Did anyone see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or others restored to humanity in

1925? Of course not! Those things did not happen. Rutherford also said that 1940 was
certain to be the “most important year yet” because “Armageddon was very near, which
behooves all who love righteousness to put forth every effort to advertise the theocracy
while the privileges are still open.” What is he saying? God’s theocracy is going to occur.
Former governments of old will be done away with. And Armageddon will occur in 1940.

Those things did not happen. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not come back in 1925. Arm-
ageddon did not happen in 1940. So what can we know as a result? Let’s listen to Deuter-
onomy 18:22 again: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does

not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet
has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Charles Taze Russell offered
up prophecies that did not come true. He was not a spokesman for God. J.F. Rutherford

made statements that were not true. He also was not a spokesman for God. The Jeho-
vah’s Witnesses religion is so uniquely tied to these two men that it cannot be separated

from them. If they were known to be false prophets—and they were!—then why would you
believe anything that they said without checking and double checking it according to the
Bible?

Let’s do just that. Let’s examine some of the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reli-
gion. One of the doctrines that is in direct opposition to the Word of God is the Jehovah’s

Witnesses view of the Bible as final authority. Charles Russell said,
“Not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible itself,
but we see also that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used
them, after he has become familiar with them, and after he has read them for ten year,
if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has
understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes
into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with the
references, and had not read a page of the Bible as such, he would be in the plain light
at the end of two years because he would have the light of the Scriptures.”
Stop and think about that. Russell said that a person needed “his book.” You have to take
the Scripture Studies, study them, and stay true to them, and you will do all right. But if
you leave them, within two years you will go into darkness. If you had stayed with them,

you wouldn’t even have had to open the Bible. Look at all that says. It says that a man can-
not get to Heaven by using the Bible alone, and that we need other books of men to be

right with God because the Bible itself is not sufficient, and cannot be our only guide. That
is in direct opposition to what the Scriptures teach. What did Jesus say concerning know-

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ing the truth? Jesus did not say that we need Scripture Studies or anything else. Jesus said,

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus did not give any ad-
ditions. He did not say that we need the truth and Scripture Studies. Jesus said simply that

we can know the truth. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that “all Scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every
good work.” When we take what God’s Word says, we do not need the ideas and additions
of men. Revelation 22:18-19 tells us that we are not to add to or take away from the Word
of God. We do not need the additions, ideas, or insights of any man in order to know the
Bible. James 1:21 says that we are to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which
is able to save our souls.” Romans 1:16 clearly teaches that the Gospel is God’s “power
unto salvation.” Paul, in discussing the understandable nature of Scripture, said, “When you
read, you can understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). We can read
the Bible. We can understand it. And we do not need anyone to say, “You’d better take
this book, too, because you can’t understand the Bible.”
Anytime someone says that we cannot understand the Bible, cannot know the Bible, or

need his help or his book to understand the Bible, we need to be very leery of that indi-
vidual because the Bible says the exact opposite. We do not need anything except the

Bible to get to Heaven. The Jehovah’s Witnesses religion is wrong regarding the Bible
not being our final authority and only guide.
Another doctrine with which we need to deal, and which the Jehovah’s Witnesses promote,
concerns death. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that death is an annihilation. When you are
dead, you are dead all over, and that’s it. Rutherford said in his book, Reconciliation, “Death
means non-existence.” He said in his book, Deliverance, “When a man dies, he is as dead

as a dog.” Is that really true? Is death annihilation? The second we die, do we cease for-
ever to exist? Is there anything on the other side, or is death the end? Thanks to the Bi-
ble we know that we are not annihilated at death. Do you remember when Jesus was

speaking with the Sadducees in Mark 12? The Sadducees had an odd idea about the oth-
er side. They did not believe in a bodily resurrection. They did not believe in an afterlife.

So Jesus said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the
Scriptures nor the power of God?” (vs. 24). Then He reminded them where God said in the
Old Testament, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Jesus
then said, “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly

mistaken.” Jesus clearly taught that death is not annihilation. How so? At the time of the writ-
ing of the passage in Exodus, were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dead? Absolutely. They had

been dead for many years. Yet Jesus said that God is “not the God of the dead, but of the
living.” Jesus said that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This implies that
those three men were not annihilated, but were alive somewhere on the other side.

In John 5:28-29 Jesus taught that the same is true of us. Jesus said that at the resurrec-
tion, all who are in the graves will come forth—those who have done good, to the resur-
rection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of eternal death.” People

do not cease to exist after death. In Luke 16 we see the story of Lazarus and the rich man.
The rich man had everything in this life. He “fared sumptuously.” Lazarus was a poor man
who sought the crumbs from the rich man’s table, and who had the dogs lick his sores. Both
men died. The rich man awoke in torment in the Hadean realm. Lazarus also awoke, but

was in Paradise. There we see that both men still existed after death. So it is true that peo-
ple do not cease to exist. “Annihilation upon death” is not taught in the Bible. It is a doc-
trine of false teachers. Someone might ask, “Can a loving God actually send someone to

Hell?” There are things we need to consider here. God did not create us as robots. God

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created us as free moral agents. We have the right to choose. In Joshua 24:15 we read,
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” The fact that we have a choice, and
that God is the Judge, demands that God also be the Punisher. Let’s put it in human terms.
Let’s say that a criminal committed a heinous crime by murdering someone. What would

we think of a judge if the criminal appeared before him (having made the choice to mur-
der), and the judge slammed down the gavel as he said, “You’re innocent because I love

you too much”? People would be outraged. They would be up in arms about such a thing.
Would they ever say, “If the judge had sentenced the man to prison, he would not have

been a loving judge”? Of course not. Justice demands free moral agency. And justice de-
mands that a loving God must punish some people if free choice and free will come into

play. Annihilation is not taught in the Bible.

Another doctrine that Jehovah’s Witnesses promote has to do with the 144,000 who sup-
posedly will be the only people to be saved. Perhaps you have been visited by members of

the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. They might have asked, “Are you a part of the 144,000?
They are the only ones going to Heaven. The church will have exactly 144,000, and that
is all the people who will be saved.” That doctrine comes from Revelation 14. And if we
are going to take it literally, then Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to have a serious problem.
Here is what the Bible actually says. According to Revelation 7:4, the 144,000 will be only
Jews. According to Revelation 14:4, they will all be male virgins. Thus, you will have Jews

only, men only, and virgins only. Is that really what the Bible is teaching? What is the sig-
nificance of the 144,000? It is a number describing all the redeemed of all the ages. It is

not a literal number. The Bible does not teach that when the number of 144,000 is finally
reached, and someone else wants to be saved, he cannot be. This is not a literal number,

but is a depiction of all the redeemed of the ages. Taking this literally becomes a real prob-
lem for Jehovah’s Witnesses because it says that only Jews, only men, and only virgins

will be saved. That would wipe out most of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Such a doctrine is
not taught in the Bible.
What about Jesus’ deity? Jehovah’s Witnesses once again teach false doctrine concerning
this item. Rutherford said in Reconciliation, “In truth, when Jesus was on Earth, He was a
perfect man—nothing more, nothing less.” What does that mean? It means that Jesus was
not divine. He was not God in the flesh. He was a perfect man, and that’s it. But that is false,
considering what Scripture says. In John 1:1 the Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 says, “We beheld His glo-
ry, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus Christ is

God. He is divine. The Godhead has always been composed of a plurality. In Genesis 1:
26-27 God did not say, “Let Me make man in My image.” Rather, He said, “Let Us make
man in Our image.” Genesis 2:7 comments on that and says, “The Lord God breathed

into man the breath of life, and man became a living being.” There is a plurality to the God-
head. Think about what Thomas said in John 20:28. After Jesus had shown Thomas the

nail imprints in His hands, and the place where the sword had pierced His side, Thomas
said, “My Lord and My God!” Thomas knew that Jesus was divine. Notice Matthew 1:23,
where it was said to Mary, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they
shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us.’ ” Does the Scripture say
that Jesus, Who was born of Mary, was “God with us” (God in the flesh”)? Absolutely. To
deny the deity of Jesus is to deny the heart and core of God’s sacrifice in Christianity. The
very fact that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son (God in the flesh) to this
Earth so that He could live and die for us, shows the extreme nature of God’s sacrifice, and
proves how much He loved each and every one of us. So yes, Jesus is divine. He is more
than “just a perfect man.” He was God in the flesh Who made a sacrifice for each one of
us.

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Another false doctrine that does not line up with the teaching of Scripture, and that is pro-
moted by Jehovah’s Witnesses, is that the Earth will never be destroyed. They believe that

the Earth will exist forever, and that one of these days we will live in a state of utopia like
the Garden of Eden where all sin will be done away with, and that will be on this Earth.
In fact, in the book Make Sure of All Things, that very thing is said. Is that what the Bible
teaches? Does the Bible teach that we will live in some sort of utopia-like state that will be
a Paradise here on the Earth likened to the Garden of Eden? Absolutely not! In Matthew
24:35 Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass

away.” Jesus clearly taught the heavens and the Earth will one day be destroyed. If some-
one claims that the Earth will never be destroyed, how would they deal with 2 Peter 3:10-

12? Look at the clarity of these verses, which specifically discuss the Second Coming of
Christ. Peter said that, just as it was in the days of Noah, there were in his day mockers
and scoffers who were asking, “Where is the sign of His coming? When will Christ return?
You told us it would happen...so where is He?” Peter then makes the point that with the
Lord, time is not the same as it is to us. God is not constrained by time (2 Pet. 3:8-9). He
is longsuffering. But in 2 Peter 3:10-12 we read,
“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass
away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and

the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dis-
solved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking

for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be
dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
Look at the terminology that is used—“destroyed,” “dissolved,” “be on fire,” and “cease to
exist.” The Scriptures clearly teach that this Earth on which we live will not last forever.
At the Second Coming of Christ, it will be destroyed. In 2 Thessalonians 1:8 we are told
that Christ will come “in a flaming fire to take vengeance on those who do not know God,
and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Another problem with such an idea is that Jesus, and those who have been faithful, will
not even be on the Earth any more. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 we are taught that Christ
will come
“with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead
in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the
Lord.”
Christ is not coming to reign on Earth again. The Bible never says that. The saints will be
caught up with Him in the air, and we will go to the “new heaven and new earth” that God
has prepared for His people (Rev. 21:3-4).
Another doctrine that is not according to the Scripture that often is promoted by Jehovah’s
Witnesses is the idea of Hell. They say concerning Hell that it is “only the grave.” There is
no place of punishment. God will not actually punish anyone for eternity. People will not
burn and be in torment like you see in the Bible. That is just figurative language, so we
are told—and it will not happen. The problem is that the same passage in Isaiah 66 that
Jesus used in Mark 9 to talk about Hell is also used in Revelation 21:3-4 to talk about
Heaven. You cannot have Heaven without Hell, and you cannot have Hell without Heaven.
In Mark 9:43-44 Jesus said that Hell is a place where “their worm does not die, and the
fire is not quenched.” God promises that ungodly people will be punished on the other side.
So yes, the Bible does teach that Hell is a real place, and that we must be sure that there
will be there who go there. We also must make sure that we do not go there.

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Another error taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses concerns baptism. In the book, Make Sure,

the following is taught: “Baptism has nothing to do with the remission of sins.” What a bla-
tant statement that is. It is very clear. The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that baptism has noth-
ing to do with the remission of sins. It does not matter if you are baptized or not because

your sins will not be washed away by baptism. What does the Bible say about baptism?
Here’s what is amazing. God, in His infinite wisdom, has already refuted this error in much
of the exact language that false teachers use. Jehovah’s Witnesses say that baptism has
nothing to do with the remission of sins. Let’s see what God has to say. In Acts 2:38 Peter
stood up to proclaim the Gospel. The Jews realized that they had just crucified their Lord

and Savior. They asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (vs. 37). Peter said, “Re-
pent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of

sins.” Jehovah’s Witnesses say that baptism has nothing to do with the remission of sins.
God said that baptism is for the remission of sins. Who will you believe? Are you going to
believe Charles Taze Russell, J.F. Rutherford, and the Watchtower Society (all of whom say
that baptism has nothing to do with remission of sins)? Or, will you believe the Bible, which
says that baptism is “for the remission of sins”? Acts 2:38, of course, is not the only place
where we read such a thing. In Mark 16:16 Jesus said, “He who believes, and is baptized,
will be saved. He who does not believe shall be condemned.” Both belief and baptism
are essential to salvation. Do you remember what Saul was told? In Acts 9:4-6 we see the
Lord appearing unto Saul. He asked,
" ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord? Then the
Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the
goads.’ So he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then
the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ ”
What was it essential for Saul to do? In Acts 22:16 we see Ananias coming to Saul to
say, “Why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the
name of the Lord.” Baptism is the point at which our sins are washed away. In 1 Peter 3:
21 we read, “Baptism does also not save us.” It is not baptism alone. But combined with
hearing God’s Word (Rom. 10:17), believing in Jesus as God’s Son (Jn. 8:24), confessing
Him before men (Acts 8:36), repenting of our sins (Lk. 13:3), baptism makes us right in
the sign of God because we have done what God wants us to do.
I want to ask you today if you are going to buy into the things which false prophets started
(as confirmed by their failed prophecies), and the false doctrines they teach that are in clear
contradiction to Scripture? Or, will you obey God and the Bible? If you are not a child of
God, or if you have gotten caught up in this error, we are begging you to come out of this
religious error. Obey the Gospel, and become a New Testament Christian. Put all of these

ideas (like the idea that you cannot understand the Bible) aside, and simply obey the Gos-
pel of Christ. Won’t you do that before its everlastingly too late?

Narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST is brought to you by loving, caring members of the church of

Christ. The McLish Avenue church of Christ in Ardmore, Oklahoma, oversees this evan-
gelistic effort. For a free CD or DVD of today’s broadcast, please write to:

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
607 McLish Ave.
Ardmore, OK 73401
You may call 580-223-3289. Please visit us on the web at www.thegospelofchrist.com.

We encourage you to attend the church of Christ, where “the Bible is loved and the Gos-
pel is preached.”

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STUDY QUESTIONS FOR “JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES”

1. What important statement did Jesus make in John 8:32?
2. According to the material presented in this lesson, who were the two founders of the
Jehovah’s Witnesses religion?

3. State two “prophecies” made by one of the founders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reli-
gion that have to do with the years 1874 and 1889, and that did not come true.

4. What does Deuteronomy 18:22 say about a prophet?
5. What “prophecy” did one of the founders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion make about
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob that related to the year 1925, but that did not come true?
6. What claim did one of the founders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion make about his
book, Scripture Studies, in relation to the Bible?
7. What does 2 Timothy 3:16-17 have to say about God’s Word?
8. What does Psalm 119:160 say about God’s Word?
9. What does James 1:21 say about God’s Word?

10. According to material presented in this lesson, what do members of the Jehovah’s Wit-
nesses religion believe regarding life after death?

11. In Mark 12:24-27, what point was Jesus making about life after death?

12. What doctrine do members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion believe based on Rev-
elation 14?

13. According to material presented in this lesson from Revelation 7 and 14, what is wrong
with the doctrine mentioned in question #12 above?

14. What do members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion believe regarding the deity of Je-
sus Christ?

15. According to Matthew 1:23, what was Jesus Christ to be, once He was born to Mary (as
indicated by His name)?

16. According to material presented in this lesson, what do members of the Jehovah’s Wit-
nesses religion teach about this Earth?

17. What does 2 Peter 3:10-12 say will happen to the Earth at Jesus’ Second Coming?
18. What do members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion teach about Hell?
19. In Mark 9:43-44, what did Jesus have to say about Hell?