The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witness

Title: The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witness

Text: Galatians 5:16-21

Time: October 16, 2011

 

Last week I wrote a newspaper article on why Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion is a cult, although that shouldn’t be permitted to stop him from running for president. The Jackson-Citizen Patriot ran my article, although they omitted my last point, how Mormons teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. I guess having the paper print two out of three shocking Mormon beliefs isn’t bad. I guess the last point was too shocking for the newspaper, or they thought it would be too shocking for the readers. But I’m glad God gave me a voice in the local newspaper in order to teach his Word among the people. Today, however, I’d like to shift from examining Mormon beliefs to putting Jehovah’s Witness beliefs under the microscope. Like the Mormon’s the Jehovah’s Witness religion is a false cult also – and they like the Mormons have shocking beliefs. Today I’ll outline three of the most shocking beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witness cult. They are: one, that Jesus is a creature; two, that JW’s believe their church speaks for God even after repeated false predictions of Christ’s Second Coming; three, that Jesus didn’t raise from the dead. Now most or all of these shocking beliefs are things you’ll never hear about at your doorstep with a visit from a member of the Jehovah’s Witness church; they keep these beliefs pretty well hidden until you are fully indoctrinated into their religious cult community. But it’s important that people know, understand and beware of these false teachings because for all the joking and making fun of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ evangelism techniques, they are indeed recruiting followers going door-to-door. Most of these new recruits are led astray through ignorance, deception and lies. If people really knew what Jehovah Witnesses believed, they’d be more cautious and careful about listening to church members present their teachings. What Jehovah Witnesses believe is shocking. Just like what the Mormons believe is shocking. In a few weeks I’m also going to give an outline of the three most shocking beliefs of the Christian Science church, because like the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is a cult as well. It’s not as popular these days, it’s not growing rapidly, it might even be dying as an organization, but it still has influence in society today through such things as the Christian Science Monitor newspaper and radio broadcasts. But I’ll save that critique until next week; this week I’d like to focus on the three most shocking beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a group that is out and active in most communities. Every Saturday you’ll see two or three persons walking down the sidewalk carrying a briefcase and looking like they might be businessmen or women; but they aren’t, they’re JWs trying to recruit for their church. They’ll give a friendly, reasonable presentation on your doorstep, but what do they really believe? That’s what I’d like to explain today.

 

#1 shocking belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses – they believe Jesus is a creature, a created being, not eternal. John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Historic, biblical, mainstream Christianity teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is eternal, without beginning or end, just as the historic creeds, such as the Nicene Creed, state. The Bible teaches that Jesus has existed from all eternity, just as the verse from John 1:1 shows, “And the Word was God.” Later in the same chapter, we read, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. So here is a clear teaching that the Word, the eternal Christ, the Lord Jesus, existed from eternity back, but came to earth in the virgin’s womb and was born as the Savior of mankind. But the Jehovah’s Witnesses reject this clear biblical teaching. They reject the historic teaching of mainstream Christianity. What they teach instead is that the Lord Jesus is a creature, a created being, who came into existence just like everything else came into being, only before all other things were created. In other words, the JWs believe that God the Father created the Lord Jesus first before all other things, then everything else was created after Jesus. But still, they teach that Jesus is a creature just like you and me, just like everything we see on earth and in the sky. To the Jehovah’s Witness, the Lord Jesus is not eternal, not everlasting and not God. But mainstream, classic, historic, biblical Christianity teaches that the Lord Jesus is God, second person of the Holy Trinity. But Jehovah’s Witness’s reject the Trinity and they also reject the deity of Christ. Instead, they teach that Jesus is a divine being, yet not God. They teach that he is a created being, not eternal. Now obviously this is a very shocking belief because it totally robs the Lord Jesus of his high status as God; it lowers him to the status of a mere creature, like us. He may have been created before us, he may be more powerful, more knowledgeable, more holy, more honorable than us, but he’s still a creature, still a created being, just like us, according to the JWs. Now in this we can see why Jehovah’s Witnesses are properly labeled a cult, because they depart from historic, biblical, classic, mainstream Christianity. They rob the Lord Jesus of his true glory, while at the same time twisting the biblical teaching of Jesus’ true identity in order to teach people that Jesus is a mere creature. JW’s don’t like it because they are labeled a cult, but they deserve that label because of their bizarre teachings about Jesus. There is plenty of diversity within Christianity, but all true Christians today agree that Jesus was God come in the flesh. That’s why the JWs are called a cult, because they don’t hold to classic, historic Christian teaching concerning the identity of the Lord Jesus. But there’s more.

 

#2 shocking belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses — they alone are the true church even though they’ve falsely predicted Christ’s return many times. Deuteronomy 18:21-22, “You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message that Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” So here is the biblical test for prophets – if what they proclaim comes to pass, then they just might be a true prophet. But if what they proclaim doesn’t come to pass, then they are definitely a false prophet. That is the test outlined in the Bible for all prophets. Now according to the Bible’s own standard the Jehovah’s Witnesses are false prophets because what they’ve predicted time after time has not come to pass. For example, the Christian Research Institute, founded by the cult expert Walter Martin, published a small tract entitled, “100 Year of Divine Direction?” that outlines all the false prophecies and predictions the Watchtower organization (the corporate arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) has made. In 1874 they predicted the Second Coming of Christ, which failed to happen. In 1914 they predicted the so-called “real” Second Coming, but that also failed to materialize. In 1925 they predicted the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets, yet again, it didn’t happen. In 1975 Armageddon was supposed to happen, but it didn’t. Yet Jehovah’s Witnesses still maintain that they are the only true church, that they alone speak for God on earth, that they speak the truth. The problem is that every time their teachings can be tested, they fail the test. They claim to be the true church and speak for God, yet whenever they prophesy or predict anything, it fails to happen. In other words, how can the true church that speaks truth for God fail to make good on its claims? The answer is, it can’t. But what’s most shocking is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses still believe their church is the true church on earth and that it alone speaks for God. It’s shocking to think that there are so many gullible people who could be misled in this way. You’d think that after a few tries at prophecy, after a few failed attempts to predict the future, people might get the notion that the JWs claim is bogus. I’m sure there are some JWs that have left the church because of this failure, but what’s amazing still is that most JWs remain even though their own church has clearly failed in its predictions and prophecies. It’s shocking to think that thousands, even millions of Americans who belong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the millions outside of the U.S. who belong, simply refuse to acknowledge that they are part of a false church that makes false claims to prophecy. If they are teaching false prophecy, what other false teachings are they peddling?

 

#3 shocking belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses – they don’t believe that Jesus rose from the grave, that his body left the tomb. Luke 24:36-39, “While they (the disciples) were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?’ Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’” Here is a New Testament passage that clearly describes Jesus showing his risen body to the disciples. He specifically states, “It is I myself, touch me and see, a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” This truth forms the basis of the classic, historic, biblical teaching within Christianity that Jesus raised bodily from the tomb in resurrection from the dead. Yet, in contrast to mainstream, historic Christianity, the JWs believe that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead bodily, but only in some form of spirit, spiritually. Within a few miles of my old home in Jamestown, NY lies a village or community called Lily Dale. Why is this significant? Because it’s the world’s largest spiritistic or spiritualist community – which means, it’s the largest official community of people who devote themselves to conjuring up the spirits of the dead. They hold séances, they meditate and invite the departed souls to speak, they practice the Ojai board, they do table tipping and other means of communicating with the dead. Now they believe, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in spiritual resurrection not bodily resurrection. Yet Christians believe both in bodily resurrection and spiritual resurrection. Upon death, everyone’s soul or spirit departs from their body – Christians believe this too. But Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead not just in spirit or soul, but also in body as well. If Jesus rose from the dead only in spirit, like the JWs claim, then that’s nothing special, because that’s how all people will rise from the grave – the righteous to eternal life, the unrighteous to everlasting punishment. Again, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are belittling the Lord Jesus further by making his resurrection only of a common variety, instead of a unique kind. They did this before with Christ’s deity and eternality. They deny that the Lord Jesus is eternal, they deny that he is God, and now they deny that he rose bodily from the grave. When they claim to believe in the resurrection of Christ, they mean only spiritually – but there is nothing unique or supernatural about a soul surviving death, because that’s how all people will rise. Furthermore, if that’s all the disciples meant to say when they proclaimed the resurrection of Christ, that his soul still lives, then where’s the power in that? The Jews, as well as most pagan religions, believed that everyone’s soul will survive death. So how does that make Jesus’ resurrection so special, so different? It doesn’t. Again, the JWs rob Christ of his glory and honor by belittling him and his accomplishments. That’s why they are correctly labeled a cult. As you can see, the JWs are a cult because they believe these and other shocking departures from real Christianity. We need to pray for the people who are caught in this dangerous cult, as well as pray that others are protected from ever entering into this false religion. We need to pray that the truth of real Christianity would spread near and far, and that the influence of the cults, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses would diminish. Let’s pray.

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