What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Actually Believe? (Part 2)
March 1, 2019
To read other parts in this series on Jehovah's Witnesses, click below:
This is part two of a three-part article on the beliefs of the religious group that refers to itself as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Watchtower Organization—A Mind-Control Attempt?
The Watchtower Society teaches that God has chosen to use one organization to communicate all truth to man. They claim that only the Watchtower Society knows what is true. If the Watchtower Society comes up with a "new revelation" that contradicts something they taught before, the "new revelation" must be accepted by everyone as the new truth.
The Watchtower Society also teaches that the Bible is not literally true, that it was written by men who had divinely inspired ideas but were not writing by divine guidance; as a result, everything must be interpreted through what their organization teaches instead of what the Bible actually says. This is very convenient for them, as they can then tell JWs that Scripture means whatever they want it to say. JWs are forbidden from reading any literature except what the Watchtower Society produces, and they are not allowed to question anything the Watchtower Society says. The Watchtower Society is very controlling, which is yet another warning sign.
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). Basically, this verse is saying that if anyone is telling us to go here or to go there for Christ, we should be very concerned. We do not get Christ by going somewhere, but by Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17). By teaching people that only the Watchtower Society can figure out what is true, people are kept from personally reading the Bible and are kept from the real truth. Despite what they may tell you, JWs do not actually read the Bible without at the same time reading Watchtower Society literature. Sadly, what happens is that the twisted Watchtower Society literature keeps them from understanding what the Bible really says.
Who Is Jesus to the JWs?
The JWs teach that Jesus was only a man, not God, and that Jesus didn't know that He was sent here to die until He reached the age of thirty. They teach that Jesus died for the sin nature we received from Adam, but that He did not die for the personal sins we commit. Instead, they teach that our good works can outweigh our bad deeds, and if we fulfill our duties as part of their organization, we can be saved. This is perhaps their worst false teaching, and it clearly tells us that the JW organization is a heretical religion.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8). Let him be accursed is what the Bible says, and it is true. The Watchtower Society must be avoided at all costs. There is no hope outside of Jesus Christ, and as such, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what is most under attack by our enemy, Satan. Underneath their smiling faces, there is a sad side of the JWs. It is obvious to us from having spent time with our JW neighbors that they do not have real peace in their hearts. They truly have no hope.
Are People Good or Bad?
Because the Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus died to take away Adam's sin, they have to figure out what to do with each individual’s personal sins. Their solution is to teach that people are born good, and while JWs can fail in certain things, these things do not keep them from being saved in the end as long as they do good works and fulfill their duties as JWs. They do not teach that people are bad to the core. They do not teach that people are corrupted with sin, as the Bible and an examination of our own hearts show us. Nor do they teach that we can't have hope of ever being restored to God unless we are born again through Christ.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23); As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10). I have more than once been told by my neighbor that I am a good person, which, of course, is not true. The Bible says I am wretched, sinful, and wicked if I am outside of Christ. No human being is truly good; only God is good. We are made good only through His righteousness that we take on if we are in Christ.
Do JWs Think People Need to Be Born Again?
If asked this question directly, they will likely not answer directly with a yes or no. But the simple answer is—no. Instead, the JWs teach that you must be members of the Watchtower Society and that you must work in order to be saved. The “work” JWs are to do is mainly door-to-door “evangelism,” and submission to every rule and regulation coming from the Watchtower Society is also considered their “work.”
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). All true Christians must rely on what Scripture says about salvation. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
Can Those Who Are Not JW Go to Heaven?
I asked my neighbor this question, and he said he personally wrestled with this for several months before concluding that, though unlikely, a few outside the JW organization might be saved if they are “good” people. To them, it's all about being good, and since the Watchtower Society is the only organization that they think knows how to read the Bible, they think they are also the only ones who can teach people how to be good. My neighbor concluded that I could almost accidentally fall into what is good, and from his earlier comments, it must seem to him that I am one of those “accidental saints.” But unlike my neighbor, the Watchtower Society does not teach that you can be saved unless you are an active member of their organization.
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:12-13). Is the body of Christ divided? Not at all; there is only one body of Christ and many members (individuals). Anyone who is in Christ is part of the body, regardless of where they live or what they look like or what church they attend or don’t attend.
It is a warning sign of a cult when any organization says that you must be part of their organization in order to be saved. This means they are teaching a false gospel, something other than the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is what Jesus says: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door [Jesus is the door] into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber (John 10:1).
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