Highlights of the Beliefs of
The Watchtower Organization
teaches that it is God's sole earthly representative
Jehovah’s Witnesses are controlled by a "Governing Body" which they claim is
the "faithful and discreet slave" spoken of at Mathew 24:45. This group consists
of 10 to 15 mature men that, Jehovah’s Witnesses are told, have direct guidance
from God. The Governing Body in turn instructs followers with this guidance
through the pages of the Watchtower and other publications. Jehovah’s Witnesses
are told by this "Governing Body" that Scripture alone is insufficient to
understand the things of God. One needs the Watchtower Society and the
literature it publishes to properly understand the Bible. ("Jehovah God has also
provided his visible organization, his "faithful and discreet slave," made up of
spirit-anointed ones... Unless we are in touch with this channel of
communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no
matter how much Bible reading we do. Watchtower, December 1, 1981 p.27) They are
the instruments God is using to teach the world the deeper things of the
scriptures. People are not to think for themselves but instead submit to the
Watchtower Society teachings. (" But a spirit of independent thinking does not
prevail in God’s organization, and we have sound reasons for confidence in the
men taking the lead among us. Watchtower September 15,1989 p. 23) Jehovah's
Witnesses believe they are the only people on earth that are serving God and the
only ones that will be saved. They dare not question the teachings of the
Watchtower Society; one who questions the Watchtower Society is considered to be
weak in faith and could be disfellowshipped.
Most Christian churches have a system of moral oversight, but their systems
are set up to help individuals with problems. Only after
extensive effort over a period of time is action taken.
Jehovah's Witnesses claim that
Disfellowshipping is a
but in fact
it is their most
mechanism. It allows the Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society
to control its
members with guilt
The Watchtower Society makes a lot of rules, based on their interpretations
of various scriptures, that all Jehovah's Witnesses must follow. Members are
taught that that they must turn each other in for any rule violations. If they
observe another Jehovah's Witness breaking a rule and do not report him or her
to the elders they are as guilty as the offending party. Anyone breaking any of
the Watchtower Society rules is called before 3 elders in a private meeting that
is conducted like a trial. The elders become judge and jury deciding whose is
repentant and who is not.
Members who are found to be unrepentant of violations of Watchtower
rules by these elders, are disfellowshipped. Jehovah’s Witnesses can be
disfellowshipped for a number of rule violations: premarital or extramarital
sex, using alcohol excessively, using tobacco products, celebrating Christmas,
reciting the pledge of allegiance, lying, stealing, joining the military,
speaking to a disfellowshipped Witness, reading religious material not published
by the governing body, or running for political office just to name a few.
Fellow members are then required to shun him/her completely, having no contact
even if the disfellowshipped person is a family member. (Some
allowances are made
if the family
member is living
in the same
household). Disfellowshipping has a devastating effect
because the individual's entire religious, family and social
life are rooted in the Society. Keep in mind Jehovah’s Witnesses who are
disfellowshipped are no longer part of the Watchtower Society and have,
therefore, lost all hope of salvation until they can prove themselves worthy of
being accepted back into the Watchtower Organization by their works. Elders in
the congregation are the ones who decide when an individual has earned the right
to come back into the fold, and the Watchtower Organization instructs elders
that it would be very rare for one to earn their way back in less than a year.
In order to earn their way back they must attend meetings regularly, sit in the
back of the church -Kingdom Hall- while everyone in the congregation ignores
them, if anyone did dare to speak to them they could be disfellowshipped
themselves. They must do this with the knowledge that if Armageddon should come
before they have earned their way back they will be destroyed. Sad to say
Disfellowshipping has resulted in suicide. Those who leave on their own are
treated just as a disfellowshipped one. Once you join their group there is no
easy way out.
If a member is guilty of breaking
a minor rule
such as associating
with a worldly person
(one who is not
a Jehovah's Witness)
that individual could
be marked. This
means that other
Jehovah's witnesses may only
speak to them
at the Kingdom
Hall (the name
Jehovah's Witnesses use for
their churches). Jehovah's Witnesses
are not allowed to
associate with a marked individual
in a social
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to accept blood transfusions for
themselves or their children, believing that this is the same as eating blood
and is forbidden by the Bible. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have died because of
this restriction the Watchtower Society has placed upon its followers. In the
past the Watchtower Society has forbidden its followers to get vaccinations or
accept organ transplants, many people died needlessly before the Watchtower
Society changed its rules and allowed these procedures. They still hold fast to
the prohibition of receiving blood transfusions. See the web site
"New Light on Blood"
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to salute the flag of any nation, recite
the pledge of allegiance, stand for or sing the national anthem, run for public
office, vote, or serve in the armed forces.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to celebrate Christmas, birthdays,
Easter, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays, claiming they all have pagan roots.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to associate with non-Witnesses including
family. Exceptions are made if the non-Witness family member is living in the
They do not believe in the Trinity. Instead, they follow a strict monotheism,
in which: Jehovah is the Supreme Being. Jesus is the Son of God, a created
being. Christ is believed to have originally existed in a pre-human state as the
Archangel Michael. He later took human form as a man like any other person,
except that he was sinless at birth and remained so throughout his earthly life.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ. They
believe that after the crucifixion, Christ died and was resurrected as an
invisible, non-material, glorious, spirit creature. They believe that Jesus
appeared on earth after his resurrection in a special body that Jehovah created
The Holy Spirit they believe, is not a separate entity, but is simply a
force: the method by which God interacts with the world.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that a person is the soul the Bible speaks of,
and when a person dies nothing lives on, the person is dead and is conscious of
nothing. When the time comes for God to resurrect them from the dead He will
create a new body for them from His memory.
They totally deny the existence of the traditional Christian view of Hell.
Satan is regarded as having created the concept of Hellfire in order to turn
people against God. They believe that hell is the "common grave of mankind"
where people go when they die. They are not conscious there. Unbelievers simply
cease to exist at death. Believers remain in death until the resurrection.
The Heavenly Kingdom took effect in 1914 with the invisible enthronement of
Christ as King. A little flock or Anointed Class of about 135,300 people
currently occupies it. All were selected after Christ's ascension into heaven at
Pentecost (33 AD) and during subsequent centuries. The selection of the full
complement of 144,000 was completed in 1935. Some 8,700 are still living on
earth. They will spend eternity as spirit creatures in heaven with God and
Christ and will rule over the other Jehovah’s Witnesses who remain on earth.
Those spending eternity on earth are what Jehovah’s Witnesses call the Great
Crowd or Other Sheep.
Salvation (Grace vs. Works)
Salvation requires that one accept Bible doctrines as interpreted by the
Governing Body, be baptized as a Jehovah's Witness and follow the program of
works as laid out by the Governing Body.
Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that they believe in the grace of God and that one
does not earn salvation by their works. While they give lip service to God’s
grace, their actions indicate differently. Consider the policy of making a
disfellowshipped person earn their way back into the congregation. Remember you
must be a Jehovah’s Witness "in good standing" to survive the end times, and
to remain in good standing you must follow the rules and works set out by
the Watchtower Organization. If someone breaks a rule, the elders decide whether
that person is repentant or not, if they decide they are not repentant they are
disfellowshipped. A disfellowshipped witness will not survive the time of the
end. Think about it, they are deciding who deserves God’s grace and who does
Wherever you find the word grace in most Bibles you will find the term
"undeserved kindness" in their Bible. While this may or may not be an acceptable
translation of the original Greek word, it gives them a great deal of latitude
in their teaching. In the December, 1993 issue of The Kingdom Ministry (a
publication for members only) in an article titled "Sow Bountifully but With
Discernment" the Watchtower Organization printed this thought "We want to give
deserving ones the opportunity to learn of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness and the
Kingdom hope". This brings to mind some serious questions: How can anyone
deserve God's undeserved kindness if it's undeserved? And just what methods
would mortal man use to discern who deserves God's undeserved kindness
and who does not, are not God's thoughts higher than man's? This statement
really shows the attitude of The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society—not all
people deserve God’s grace and it is the job of Jehovah's Witnesses to
discern who does and who does not. Jehovah's Witnesses constantly boast that
they alone are "preaching the good news of the kingdom in all the
inhabited earth". Are they preaching in all the inhabited earth or
just to the ones they deem deserving?
Jesus crucified on a stake not
They reject the traditional symbol of Christianity, the cross, as being of
pagan origin. They translate the Greek word from the Christian Scriptures "stauros"
as "torture stake", and believe that Jesus was crucified on a single upright
wooden stake with no crossbeam. They view the cross as an Idol and wearing or
displaying one is considered idol worship.
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