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Jehovah’s witnesses in the light of the Bible

  

 

How do Jehovah's Witnesses believe, and how do the Watchtower teachings differ from the Bible? Especially the denial of the deity of Jesus is characteristic of them

 

 

Foreword

 

This text is about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their doctrines. They are well known for magazines like “Awake” and “the Watchtower”, as well as for their door-to-door-work, which they diligently carry through.  Usually, these people go in pairs and soon start to speak about the coming kingdom on Earth that they think will happen soon. Other subjects of conversation can be things like the divinity of Jesus, Christmas, or the question of what comes after death, for example. Generally, if a person who invites them into his house is not acquainted with the Bible, he does not have much to say to these things about which the Jehovah’s Witnesses so convincingly speak.

   But are the doctrines of the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses really as correct as they believe or is this only an incorrect view? Jehovah’s Witnesses consider their teachings to be correct, of course, but in the coming paragraphs we seek answers to this question. You can see this in the strong title of the text, as well. If you are a Jehovah's Witness, it is worth your while to study and consider these in the light of the information presented in the next chapters.

 


1. The divinity of Jesus
2. Teaching about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity
3. The resurrection of Jesus
4. The coming of Jesus
5. What is there after this life?
6. Resurrection – what is it like?
7. 144,000 anointed ones
8. The Great Multitude – can it enter heaven?
9. Is the Watchtower society the channel of God?
 

 

1. The divinity of Jesus

  

When a Christian believer speaks with a Jehovah’s Witness, one of the key discussion points is the divinity of Jesus. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, like most Christians. Instead, they regard Him only as a created being who was and is a great spiritual being in Heaven. Actually, they believe He is the archangel Michael. He is also believed to have lived on Earth as an ordinary person. One of their leaflets says the following:

 

Jesus was in Heaven before coming on Earth. But was He one person of the almighty, everlasting triune God? No, for the Bible clearly says that before Jesus became a man, He was a created spirit, just as the angels were spirits created by God. (…)

   But because Jesus was not God, He could have been disloyal.

   From Jesus, who was not more than a perfect man, became a ransom that compensated exactly what Adam lost – the right to the perfect human life on Earth. (Tulisiko sinun uskoa kolminaisuuteen [Should You Believe in the Trinity?], p. 14,15)

 

But is this view held by the Jehovah’s Witnesses' and the Watchtower Society about Jesus true? We will try to give an answer to this below.

 

VERSES THAT REFER TO THE DIVINITY OF JESUS. Firstly, it is good to note that in the Bible, there are many verses that address the divinity of Jesus. The significance of these verses is, that if they are examined by a person, who is not yet saturated with the doctrine of the Watchtower Society, he will certainly understand that those verses clearly speak about the divinity of Jesus. This is the conclusion we come to if we accept the verses as they are:

 

- (1 John 5:20-21) And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

 

- (John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

- (Rom 9:5)  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

 

- (Tit 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

 

- (Matt 1:22-23) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

- (John 20:28) And Thomas answered and said to him, My LORD and my God.

 

- (1 Cor 2:7-8) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

 

- (Phil 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

 

- (Col 2:8-9) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

 

- (1 Tim 3:16) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

 

- (1 Tim 4:10) For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.

 

- (Hebr 1:7-8) And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.

 

JOHN 1:1. The previous list had the first verse from the Gospel of John (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.). In the original language, this verse is one of the best pieces of evidence about the divinity of Jesus. Even the literature of the Watchtower Society admits that this verse confirms the divinity of Jesus:

 

A Bible reader who uses the commonly accepted translations will immediately say, “There should not be any difficulty in understanding who the Word is. It clearly says that the Word is God, and God is God. (Word, who He Was According to John, p. 4).

 

However, it is important that because this same verse does not fit the doctrine of the Watchtower Society it has been changed a little. In its own New World Translation, the Society has translated and changed this verse so that it says that Jesus is only one of the gods. In its translation, the word “God” is not capitalized and even has an indefinite article before it. This verse has been translated in the following way by them:

 

- ... and the Word was a god.

 

However, it is strange that the Watchtower Society has not followed the same translation principles in other similar verses. If we look at the same first chapter of the Gospel of John (dozens of similar examples can be found in the NT), the following verses should also have been translated in the same way as in John 1:1. However, the Society has not done this, but has translated them according to what is said also in other translations. Is this because only John 1:1 emphasizes the divinity of Jesus too strongly, and the other verses do not?

   In any case, if the Society were to follow the same translation principles than in John 1:1, it should have translated the verses below in the following way:

 

- (John 1:6) There was a man sent from (a) god, whose name was John.

 

- (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of (a) god, even to them that believe on his name:

 

- (John 1:13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of (a) god.

 

- (John 1:18) No man has seen (a) god at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

 

ONE WITH THE FATHER. One good piece of evidence supporting the divinity of Jesus is that He is one with the Father. Jesus said that whoever has seen Him, has seen the Father. These verses refer to Jesus being as divine as His heavenly Father:

 

- (John 10:30-33) I and my Father are one.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.

 

- (John 14:7-9) If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from now on you know him, and have seen him.

8 Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffises us.

9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?

 

- (Hebr 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

 

When it is a question of the above-mentioned verses, the Watchtower Society generally explains them so that Jesus is one with his Father only in His goals and His will, but not in His nature and essence.

   But if Jesus really meant this, why did the Jews intend to stone him? Did they not intend to stone him because He said He was equal to the almighty God? In the Jewish society of those days – which believed only in one almighty God – this had quite a special meaning. People in this society could in no way mistake the significance of the words said by Jesus about His divinity. (It should be noted that the cause of Jesus’ death was the same.)

   The conclusion is that Jesus has to be one with the Father, not just in His goals and His will, but also in nature and essence. This same divine connection can also be found in the next examples:

 

God / Jesus has created everything:

 

- (Gen 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 

- (Job 38:4) Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding.

 

- (John 1:9-10) That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.

10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

 

- (Col 1:16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

 

God / Jesus is unchanging:

 

- (Mal 3:6) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.

 

- (Hebr 13:8) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

 

The Judgement of God and Jesus Christ:

 

- (Rom 14:10) But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 

- (2 Cor 5:10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.

 

WORSHIPPING JESUS. The Bible says in several places that God does not give His glory to others and that we cannot have other gods before Him. He never gives His glory to anyone else or, for example, to idols:

 

- (Isa 42:8) I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

 

- (Exodus 20:2-3) I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 You shall have no other gods before me.

 

We can also find lessons in the Bible about the angels of God not attracting worship to themselves; they will refuse it. A good example is in the Revelation: John fell down at the feet of an angel, and the angel warned John not to do so. (It should be remembered that in the teaching of the Watchtower Society, Jesus is believed to have been an angel – actually the archangel Michael – before He came on Earth.):

 

- (Rev 22:8-9) And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.

9 Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

 

However, when we look at the Bible verses about Jesus, we see several in which He is worshipped, bowed down to, and respected, just like the Father. There is also one verse in which Jesus is set aside from the angels and the angels bow down to Him.

   This kind of worship activity could not be possible if Jesus was only a man or an angel:

 

- (Phil 2:10-11) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

- (John 9:38) And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

 

- (Matt 14:33)  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth you are the Son of God.

 

- (Matt 28:9) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

 

- (Hebr 1:5-8) For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6 And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him.

7 And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.

 

- (John 5:22-23) For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son:

23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the FatherHe that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.

 

- (Rev 22:1,3) And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

 

CREATED BEING OR ETERNAL GOD? When considering Jehovah's Witnesses’ view on Jesus we find that they believe He is like a smaller "god" who has been created but the Father God is almighty and the highest God. Jesus can be seen to be a "god" only in that He is a great spiritual being. Neither is He ever thought to be eternal.

   However, if we study this view by examining many Bible verses, we find they indicate just the opposite. They speak, among other things, about His eternity and how everything has been created by Him. This would in no way be possible for a created being:

 

Eternal. Isaiah 9:6 and other verses indicate that Jesus is eternal.  If someone is eternal, He cannot have been created, as the Watchtower Society teaches:

 

- (Isa 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

- (Micah 5:2) But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

- (1 John 1:1-2) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;

 

- (Hebr 7:3) Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like to the Son of God; stays a priest continually.

 

Through Jesus all things were created. One example of the divinity of Jesus is that all things were created by Him and have their origins in Him.

    If without Jesus – the Word – nothing would have been created, then it means that He cannot be a created being but must have always existed. Also, many verses indicate that He is also life – it is a characteristic that belongs only to God:

 

- (John 1:3,4) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

 

- (Col 1:16-17) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

- (John 11:25) Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

No other gods. The idea that Jesus was a created god does not agree with the next verses. They indicate that no god is created, and that there is no other God than the right God. The conclusion is that as these and many other verses speak about God, they can only refer to one God who has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ.

   On the other hand, if Jehovah’s Witnesses do not admit the divinity of Jesus and that He is one with the Father God, they then have two Gods: Jesus, a powerful God who has been created, and the Father God, the Almighty who created Jesus. In fact, they have many gods, which makes them polytheist:

 

- (Isa 43:10) You are my witnesses, said the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

 

- (Isa 45:5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you, though you have not known me:

 

- (Deut 32:39) See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

 

JEHOVAH AND JESUS. Some of the best pieces of evidence about the divinity of Jesus are the Bible verses where Jesus is connected with the name Jehovah. (Most learned people regard this form of the name of God as wrong and believe that the original name was Yahveh.) Jehovah’s Witnesses emphasize this name but the Bible verses below indicate that Jesus is Jehovah / God, like the Father is Jehovah / God. To make things clear, we have used boldface and italics to mark those places (in the Old Testament) where the word Jehovah / Jahveh (the LORD) appears:

 

Make road for the Lord / Jehovah, meaning Jesus

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 40:3-5) The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 3:1-3,11) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

 

- (Luke 1:16-17) And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

 

- (Luke 1:76) And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

 

There is no other saviour than the Lord/ Jehovah, Jesus

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 43:11) I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Acts 4:11-12) This is the stone which was set at nothing of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Calling on the name of the Lord / Jehovah, Jesus

Prophecy:

 

- (Joel 2:32) And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Rom 10:9,13) That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

13 For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

- (1 Cor 1:2) To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:

 

- (Acts 9:21) But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came here for that intent, that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?

 

"I am" that is the name of God and Jesus

 Prophecy:

 

- (Exo 3:14-15) And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.

15 And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 8:58) Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

 

The Lord / Jehovah, Jesus, who searches the heart

 Prophecy:

 

- (Jer 17:10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Rev 2:18,22,23) And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things said the Son of God, who has his eyes like to a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give to every one of you according to your works.

 

The Lord/ Jehova, Jesus, who comes with all his saints  

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 14:5) And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (1 Thess 3:13) To the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

 

The Lord / Jehovah, Jesus, who is the righteousness of people

 Prophecy:

 

- (Jer 23:5-6) Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (1 Cor 1:30-31) But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.

 

- (Rom 4:25) Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

 

The Lord / Jehovah, Jesus and thirty silver coins

 Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 11:12-13) And I said to them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 26:15) And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

 

The Lord / Jehovah, Jesus, who is pierced and pouring of the Holy Spirit

 Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 12:1,10) The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.

10 And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 19:33-37) But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and immediately came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bore record, and his record is true: and he knows that he said true, that you might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

 

- (Acts 2:32- 33) This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.

 

The Lord / Jehovah, Jesus, who is the first and the last

 Prophecy:

 

-  (Isa 44:6) Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Rev 1:17-18) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

 

- (Rev 22:12- 13) And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

 

- (Rev 21:6- 7) And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.

7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

 

The Lord/ Jehovah, Jesus, before him every knee shall bow

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 45:21-24) Tell you, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time? who has told it from that time?  have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.

22 Look to me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Phil 2:10-11) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

The Lord/ Jehovah, Jesus, who is the shepherd

 Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 23:1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 10:11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.

 

God / Jesus, who laid the foundations of the earth

 Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 102:24-27) I said, O my God, take me not away in the middle of my days: your years are throughout all generations.

25 Of old have you laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26 They shall perish, but you shall endure: yes, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a clothing shall you change them, and they shall be changed:

27 But you are the same, and your years shall have no end.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Hebr 1:7,8,10-12) And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

10 And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands:

11 They shall perish; but you remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment;

12 And as a clothing shall you fold them up, and they shall be changed: but you are the same, and your years shall not fail.

 

 

 

2. Teaching about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, and neither do they believe in the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit and the Trinity. They deny these beliefs, as these quotes indicate:

 

But the Holy Spirit does not have the name of a person. The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit is not an intellectual person. It is an impersonal, invisible working power. (Pyhitetty olkoon sinun nimesi, p. 279)

 

We have already observed that the "holy spirit", so called third person of the trinity, is not a person, but the working power of God. (…)

    The facts clearly indicate that the Bible does not teach trinity. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä, [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth] p. 40) 

 

THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. When considering the personality of the Holy Spirit, we see Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in this. To them, the Holy Spirit is only the working power of God, like wind, electricity, or other natural forces.

   However, if we look at this belief in light of the next examples, we see that they refer to the personality of the Holy Spirit. This means that the teaching of the Watchtower Society cannot be right:

 

The name "he". Firstly, the Bible uses the name "he" for the Holy Spirit, and this is a clear proof of the personality of the Holy Spirit. Mere energy and power cannot be called “he,” but a person can:

 

- (Isa 40:13-14) Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor has taught him?

14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding?

 

- (Isa 63:10) But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

 

- (John 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:

 

- (John 14:16,17,26) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.

 

- (John 16:7-8) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

 

- (John 16:13-15) However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

15 All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it to you.

 

- (Acts 8:15-16) Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

16 For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

He can do different things. When we are looking for more evidence that defines the personality of the Holy Spirit, there are several passages of the Bible that say that the Holy Spirit can speak, want, prove, and be grieved. A mere neutral power cannot have these kinds of characteristics:

 

- (2 Sam 23:2) The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.

 

- (Neh 9:20) You gave also your good spirit to instruct them, and withheld not your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.

 

- (Isa 63:10) But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

 

- (Isa 11:2) And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

 

- (Luke 2:26) And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

 

- (John 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:

 

- (John 16:13) However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

 

- (Acts 2:4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

- (Acts 5:9) Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried your husband are at the door, and shall carry you out.

 

- (Acts 10:19-20) While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, three men seek you.

20 Arise therefore, and get you down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

 

- (Acts 13:2-4) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

 

- (Rom 15:30) Now I beseech you, brothers, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

 

- (1 Cor 12:11) But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

 

- (Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.

 

- (1 Tim 4:1) Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

 

THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. When we look for evidence of the divinity of the Holy Spirit, which is also denied in the teaching of the Watchtower Society, we find several passages that support divinity. One of them is that the Bible refers in many places to the “Spirit of God." The same Spirit of God was also with God in Creation:

 

- (Gen 1:2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.

 

- (2 Chron 24:20) And the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said to them, Thus said God, Why transgress you the commandments of the LORD, that you cannot prosper? because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.

 

- (2 Cor 3:3) For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

 

- (1 Peter 4:14) If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

 

- (1 Cor 2:10-11) But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.

 

Evidence of the divinity of the Holy Spirit can also be found in other Bible verses. This becomes clearly apparent in the next verses:

 

- (Judges 15:14 / Judges 16:20) And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on him, and the cords that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

16:20  And she said, The Philistines be on you, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he knew not that the LORD (in the original language Yahveh) was departed from him.

 

- (Acts 5:3-4) But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

4 Whiles it remained, was it not your own? and after it was sold, was it not in your own power? why have you conceived this thing in your heart?  you have not lied to men, but to God.

 

- (Hebr 9:14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (the eternal Spirit can be only God)

 

- (2 Sam 23:2-3) The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.

3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

 

- (1 Cor 3:16/ 6:19) Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

6:19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

 

- (Isa 6:8-9 / Acts 28:25-26) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear you indeed, but understand not; and see you indeed, but perceive not.

Acts 28:25-26: And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spoke the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet to our fathers,

26 Saying, Go to this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive:

 

THE TRINITY. When we search for evidence of the Trinity, meaning that one God has represented Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we can find several Scriptures that support it. These are among others:

 

The names of God. Firstly, we should note that according to the Bible, there is only one God (Isa 45:18,21, Isa 46:9). However, the Bible also proves that the Father is God (Deut 4:35), the Son is God (1 John 5:20-21), and that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Thus, a logical conclusion is that all these three must be the one and same God. It is the only reasonable conclusion.

 

The word "Elohim". One possible reference to the different manifestations of God is the plural form "Elohim" used for Him. It appears in many places in the Bible; it is also used several times in the first chapter of the Bible that describes Creation. The verbs that follow are always singular. The word Elohim also appears in the First Commandment where the plural form is used for God, even though the verb is in singular. This commandment referring to the diversity of God, says:

 

- (Exo 20:2-3) I am (singular) the LORD your God (plural), which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 You shall have no other gods before me.

 

Plural expressions. If we continue to study the tension between the plural and singular, we see it again in other examples from the Bible; they all use the first person of the plural for God, even though the verb is in singular. We should especially note that in the first of these examples (Gen 1:26,27), God could not speak to angels (this might have been commonly believed), but to Himself because man was created in the image of God, not that of angels; verse 27 indicates this clearly:

 

- (Gen 1:26-27) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

- (Gen 3:22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

 

- (Gen 11:6-7) And the LORD said (singular), Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go (plural) down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

 

- (Isa 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

Other verses. There are also several other verses that refer to the essence of God either directly or indirectly. For instance, the next verses do so:

 

- (John 14:26/ 15:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.

15:26: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:

 

- (2 Cor 13:14) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

 

- (Matt 28:19) Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

- (1 Peter 1:2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied.

 

- (Rom 8:9) But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

- (Gal 4:6) And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

 

 

 

3. The resurrection of Jesus

 

As to the resurrection of Jesus, the Watchtower Society teaches that he did not rise from the dead physically, and that his body did not rise into Heaven. Instead, the Society teaches that He rose up only as an invisible spirit. There was no human or glorified body:

 

We claim that it is a lie, that Jesus was raised from the dead in the body. The human body of our Lord was taken from the grave in some supernatural way, and we do not know what happened to it. Nobody knows whether it evaporated as gas or is it somewhere preserved. (…) It will be shown to people in the kingdom of thousand years. (Raamatuntutkielmia, part 2, p.131 and Jumalan harppu, p. 163)

 

And when the cloud covered Jesus, He got rid of the body which He had created for this purpose behind the cloud, and now He is a spirit and thus invisible. (Totuus tekee teidät vapaaksi, p. 297)

 

But what does the Bible teach us? If we examine the Bible, we learn from clear statements made by witnesses that Jesus rose from the dead physically and received a glorified and heavenly resurrected body. This can also be seen from the next examples:

 

Verses that speak about the resurrection of the body. Firstly, we should note that several verses indicate that Jesus rose up physically. He got a new, glorified and heavenly body, in which He also went to Heaven:

 

- (John 20:19-20) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you.

20 And when he had so said, he showed to them his hands and his side.  Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

 

- (Luke 24:36-43) And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Have you here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

 

- (1 Cor 15:20,35,40,44) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

 

- (Phil 3:20-21) For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.

 

The empty tomb. One piece of evidence supporting the physical resurrection of Jesus was his empty tomb. It proves that His body – and not only his spirit – really did leave the tomb:

 

- (Matt 28:1,6) In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

 

- (Luke 24:2,3,6,12) And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke to you when he was yet in Galilee,

12 Then arose Peter, and ran to the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

 

The disciples saw it. The disciples saw Jesus rise up into Heaven, which proves that He was not a mere spirit. He also had to have a glorified resurrected body:

 

- (Acts 1:9-11) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.

 

 

 

4. The coming of Jesus

 

The Watchtower Society teaches about the coming of Jesus in a different way than what is normally taught. The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus will not appear visibly, but only in an invisible way, spiritually. A book called Silloin on täyttynyt Jumalan salaisuus (p. 248) provides the following statement (italics have been added to the quotes):

 

... The second coming and the second presence will be invisible to the eyes of the people on Earth.

 

Furthermore, according to the teaching of the Watchtower Society, the coming of Jesus (parousia, or “presence") has already occurred; it took place in 1914 (or according to an earlier view, in 1874) when Jesus was also made King in Heaven. The next paragraphs address this:

 

Also, the return of Christ does not mean that He would literally come back on Earth, but that he will take over the royal power of the world and turn His attention to it. He does not, therefore, need to leave His heavenly throne and actually come on Earth. As we have seen in an earlier chapter, the evidence from the Bible indicates that the year 1914 was the determined time by God when Christ returned and started to rule. A cry was heard in Heaven, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. – The Revelation 12:10. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä, [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth] p. 147)

 

The facts indicate this to be a limited age that has a precise beginning and end. It started in 1914, when Jesus Christ was made the king in Heaven..." (Totuus joka johtaa ikuiseen elämään [The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life], p. 95)

 

That is why those who belonged to the nation of Jehovah in the 1800s rightly understood that the pa-rou-si’a of Christ would be invisible. They had also come to understand that the times of the Gentiles would come to an end during the autumn of 1914. With increasing spiritual enlightenment, they later understood that Jesus Christ was crowned in Heaven as the King of the Kingdom in that same year 1914.” (Vartiotorni or the Finnish version of Watchtower, 1 May 1993, p. 11)

 

In addition to this, only Armageddon and the great tribulation are expected in the future and after them, earthly paradise, but not the coming of Jesus. That was supposed to have occurred already in 1914:

 

One thing is sure: all evil and bad people will soon face their sudden end in Armageddon. (…) None of this bad world will be saved in Armageddon. (…) After Armageddon, the kingdom of God is the only government of Earth.” (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth], p. 154,155)

 

In the coming ‘great tribulation’, there will be people who stay alive in addition to the spiritual Israel, “the chosen ones". Around the year 96, the old Apostle John received a vision of those people who would go through “the great tribulation”, together with the spiritual “remnants” of Israel. (Jumalan ikuinen tarkoitus nyt saamassa voiton ihmisen hyväksi [God’s ”Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing for Man’s good], p. 181)

 

But is this true? Did Jesus return as an invisible spirit in 1914 or not? We try to give an answer in the light of the next examples to these and other views of the Watchtower Society concerning the coming of Jesus:

 

Was the coming invisible? If we first look at whether Jesus has already returned or will return as an invisible spirit, we see that the Bible does not mention this at all. We can find in the Bible many verses which indicate that Jesus will return in a physical form, in his glory, and clearly visible so that all eyes can see him. His coming cannot be a secret and invisible, as the Watchtower Society has taught. We should also note that many of these verses contain the word Paruosia – referring to a visible coming – which the Watchtower Society says is only an invisible presence:

 

- (Rev 1:7) Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

- (Matt 16:27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

 

- (Matt 24:30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 

- (Matt 23:39) For I say to you, You shall not see me from now on, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

 

- (Matt 26:64) Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

 

Did the resurrection and rapture take place in 1914? If the coming of Jesus occurred in 1914, then the resurrection and rapture of the believers should also have taken place, as the next verses teach. According to those verses, these events occur simultaneously with the coming of Jesus.

   However, nothing like this happened to the Jehovah's Witnesses who lived in 1914. Instead, they continued their normal lives, just as did other people. This clearly proves that the coming of Jesus and the above-mentioned things did not happen in 1914:

 

- (1 Cor 15:20-23) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

 

- (Matt 24:30-31And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

- (1 Thess 4:15-17) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

Made to be a king. According to the above-mentioned view held by the Watchtower Society, Jesus was made the King in Heaven in 1914. The author of a book called Totuus joka johtaa ikuiseen elämään [The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life] wrote about it.

   However, if we read the following Bible verses, we learn that He was crowned King immediately after He went to Heaven, not in 1914. This proves that the Watchtower Society is wrong:

 

- (Matt 28:18) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

 

- (Mark 16:19) So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 

- (Hebr 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

 

- (Eph 1:20-22) Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

 

Armageddon, the great tribulation and the coming of Jesus. The Watchtower Society teaches, that the coming of Jesus took place in 1914, but that Armageddon and the great tribulation are still in the future. This can't be true, either. The Bible says that the coming of Jesus will take place after Armageddon and the great tribulation, not before them:

 

- (Matt 24:21,22,29,30) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 

- (Rev 16:16 / 19:11,15) And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

19:11,15 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.

15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

 

 

 

5. What is there after this life?

 

One lesson taught by the Watchtower Society is that everything will end when we die. According to the teachings of the Watchtower Society, when we die there is no soul that separates from our body; death is just the end of conscious existence. This belief is stated, for example, in a book called Mitä toivoa on kuolleilla omaisillamme?:

 

However, someone may ask, “Don’t people have a soul that will stay alive through death?” Many have taught this and have even said that death is a gate to another life. However, this view does not come from the Bible. (…) The Bible does not teach that a man has a soul that will stay alive when the body dies.

 

Also, the damnation to which unsaved people will go means the end of conscious existence, according to the teachings of the Watchtower Society:

 

The slanderer said to Eve, “You shall not surely die,” (Gen 3:4; Revelation 12:9) But she died, no part of her remained alive. Teachings according to which the soul remains alive after death are a lie invented by the slanderer. The slanderer has also spread the lie that bad souls will be tormented in hell or in purgatory. Because the Bible indicates clearly that the dead are unconscious, these teachings cannot be true. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth], p. 89)

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? Even though Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the continuation of conscious existence after death, there are several Bible verses that contradict this belief. Let’s study this subject through the next examples:

 

Internal and external man. There are many verses that teach us that man has a soul and a body -- the internal and external part -- and that the soul can be separated from the body. These verses teach us that the soul is separate from the body and will continue its existence even when the body dies:

 

- (Matt 10:28) And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

(In this verse is indicated that people can kill the body, but not the soul, in other words the soul can be independent of the body.)

 

- (2 Cor 12:2-4) I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;)

4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

 

- (1 Kings17:17-22) And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of God? are you come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

19 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he stayed, and laid him on his own bed.

20 And he cried to the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, have you also brought evil on the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?

21 And he stretched himself on the child three times, and cried to the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray you, let this child’s soul come into him again.

22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

 

- (2 Cor 4:16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

 

- (Luke 8:52- 55) And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeps.

53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

 

- (1 Cor 2:11) For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.

 

- (Zec 12:1) The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.

 

Spiritual death. The difference between internal and external man is also illustrated in verses concerning spiritual death. A good example is the case of Adam and Eve. It was said to Adam, "… for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die", but he did not die physically "on that day" and neither did he become non-existent; this concerned only his spiritual life. He was separated from God, and thus died spiritually.

   So, if Adam was a mere body without a spirit and soul, his body should have died immediately after eating the fruit – but this did not happen. This indicates that our bodies are more than physical in nature; there is an internal element, which exists separately from our physical body and it will stay alive after our body dies:

 

- (Eph 2:1) And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

 

- (Col 2:13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

 

- (Luke 15:32) It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

 

- (Rev 2:11) He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

- (John 11:25-26) Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?

 

- (John 8:51) Truly, truly, I say to you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

 

Continuation of life after death. The Watchtower Society teaches that life does not continue beyond death. However, there are several verses that indicate that the life of people – bad ones included – will continue immediately following physical death. According to these verses, people will be conscious after death.

 

- (Luke 23:43) And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, To day shall you be with me in paradise.

 

- (Job 19:25-26) For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day on the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

 

- (Luke 20:37-38) Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.

 

- (2 Cor 5:6-8) Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight:

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

 

- (Phil 1:22-24) But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not.

23  For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

24  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

 

- (Luke 16:22-25) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.

 

- (Hebr 12:23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

 

- (1 Peter 3:19-20) By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

 

- (Rev 6:9-11) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brothers, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

 

- (1 Peter 4:5) Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

 

- (2 Peter 2:9) The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished

 

- (Rev 1:7) Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

- (Rev 20:12-13) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 

Different judgments. One indication that the existence of man does not end after death is that after death we face different judgments. This clearly requires us to live after death.

   If in the future there is nothing at all – for good or bad people – then we cannot face different judgments:

 

- (Matt 11:21-24) Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22 But I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

23 And you, Capernaum, which are exalted to heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

24 But I say to you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.

 

- (Mark 12:38-40) And he said to them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

 

- (Mark 14:21) The Son of man indeed goes, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

 

- (Rev 20:13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 

- (Col 3:25) But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done: and there is no respect of persons.

 

- (Matt 16:27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

 

Jesus’ warnings about damnation. One thing that supports the reality of damnation is that Jesus warned us about it more than anybody else. If damnation did not exist, why would Jesus have warned us about it?

   Also, the Bible teaches us that He came so that nobody would have to go to Hell. He did not come to condemn people but to save them (John 3:16,17).

 

- (Matt 8:11-12) And I say to you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

- (Matt 13:40-42) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 

- (Matt 25:41,46Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

- (2 Thess 1:9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

 

- (Jude 1:7) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

- (Rev 14:9-11) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.

 

- (Rev 20:10,15) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

 

 

 

6. Resurrection – what is it like?

 

The Watchtower Society's understanding of resurrection differs from the ordinary view mainly in three ways:

 

1. All people will not experience resurrection.

2. Only 144,000 people will be raised to be spiritual creations.

3. The great multitude will resurrect into imperfect bodies.

 

1. All people will not experience resurrection. Their first idea is that the worst sinners will not experience resurrection. For example, Judas Iscariot is believed to belong to this group:

 

This does not mean that everyone can experience resurrection. The Bible indicates that Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus cannot experience it. (…) He went to the symbolical Gehenna from where there is not resurrection. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth] , p. 171)

 

However, the Bible tells us that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust; we will be resurrected to life or to damnation. These two resurrections include all people, not just some of them:

 

- (Dan 12:2) And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

 

- (John 5:28-29) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.

 

- (Acts 24:14-15) But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

 

2. Only 144,000 people will be raised to be spiritual creations. The second view in the teachings of the Watchtower Society is that a certain group, 144,000 people (to which the first disciples belong) will not receive a resurrection body, but will only be spirits in Heaven without a body. This is also how they have explained the resurrection of Jesus.

   According to the Watchtower Society’s dogma, this first group of 144,000 already experienced resurrection to heavenly life. That happened in 1918, according to the Watchtower Society, and the rest of them will follow as they die:

 

Those 144,000 are people who will die on Earth and will be raised to the heavenly life as spiritual creations, as Jesus. (Romans 6:5) When they are compared to the billions who live on Earth, they are a very "small flock." (Totuus joka johtaa ikuiseen elämään [The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life] p. 78)

 

Apostles and other early Christians have undoubtedly already been raised to heavenly life. - 2. Tim 4:8.

   But during this invisible presence of Christ, there are still Christians alive who have this same hope to rule in Heaven with Him. They are a remnant of those 144,000 people. When will they experience resurrection? They do not need to sleep in death but they will experience resurrection immediately when they die. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth], p. 173)

 

The Apostle Paul indicated that those anointed Christians who had slept for a long time in their graves would be raised first to the spiritual world to live with Christ. Over the years, people have provided evidence that this has been happening since 1918. (Vartiotorni, the Finnish version of the Watchtower, 1 May 1993, p. 13)

 

However, if we read the Bible, we learn that the resurrection always concerns our body – also for those 144,000 people. The soul/spirit of a believer has already gone to Heaven to God, as noted earlier:

 

- (Phil 3:20-21) For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.

 

- (Rom 8:11,23) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

 

- (1 Cor 15:35,40,44) But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

 

Furthermore, as far as the year 1918 is concerned, this doctrine cannot be true because the resurrection will take place in connection with the coming of Jesus, not before it:

 

- (1 Cor 15:20-23) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

 

- (1 Thess 4:15-16) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

3. The great multitude will resurrect into imperfect bodies. According to the teachings of the Watchtower Society, there is still one group – the great multitude. They believe that this group will experience physical resurrection but it has been explained that it is only returning to the same kind of a body as we have now. We return to a state of imperfection; we do not get a new everlasting body. We can still lose this body if we do not pass the final test of the millennium:

 

For those who are raised to live on Earth, He will give a new material body. This new material body will undoubtedly be similar to the one the person had before he died, so that his friends would recognize him. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth], p. 174)

 

However, the Bible says that the resurrection of believers is not about returning to imperfection, to the previous body. It teaches us that resurrection will lead to something completely new. We will receive an everlasting, perfect, and immortal body that can no longer die. We gain eternal life. The teachings of the Bible are clearly different from those of the Watchtower Society:

 

- (1 Cor 15:42-43) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

 

- (1 Cor 15:51-54) Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

 

 

 

7. 144,000 anointed ones

  

To continue examining the teachings of the Watchtower Society, one of them is the very important teaching of 144,000 anointed ones, "the faithful and wise slave" who are also called “the small flock”. The number of people in this group has been figured by an examination of the Revelation, chapters 7 and 14. According to the teachings of the Watchtower Society, only these 144,000 are the children of God, only they will be born again, only they are the members of Christ’s body, and only they can enter Heaven. The first followers of Jesus -- the disciples -- will be among those in this group:

 

The members of the "small flock" know that God has called them into heavenly life. How? With the help of the spirit of God that is in them and who creates in them the hope of heavenly life. The Apostle Paul, who belongs "to the small flock", wrote, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (…)

  These words written by Peter indicate that he understood what Paul understood: that Jesus is the "cornerstone," the "rock" on which the congregation has been built. Peter is also one of those “144,000 living stones” who are the real congregation. (Totuus joka johtaa ikuiseen elämään [The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life], p. 79,119)

 

These 144,000 people have been chosen from all tribes of the world over the course of 1900 years. The group of 144,000 anointed ones became full in 1931, according to the announcement of the second president of the Watchtower Society. After this nobody could join the group. If a person was not, and is not, among those in this group of 144,000, he has one alternative left: to live in an earthly paradise together with the great multitude:

 

Did you know that in those days only 144,000 people who have been chosen from the mankind in the course of 1900 years will enter heavenly life? And did you know that the Bible gives the hope of everlasting life here on Earth under righteous circumstances to all others who become faithful servants of God? (Totuus joka johtaa ikuiseen elämään [The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life], p. 80)

 

According to the Bible, God limited the membership of this governing body, which is under the authority of Jesus Christ, to 144,000 members. (Rev 14:1- 3.) However, God has chosen them carefully. They have been taken "from every nation, tribe, people, and language". (Tosi rauha ja turvallisuus - mistä lähteestä, p. 68)

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? When we study the teachings of the Bible about the group of 144,000 and the congregation, we find clear contradictions with the teachings of the Watchtower Society, such as the following:

 

From the tribes of Israel. Firstly, although the Watchtower Society teaches that the group of 144,000 was composed of all nations of the world, the Bible indicates that this group is composed only of native Jews from all the tribes of Israel. So, each of these 144,000 should be Jewish "Jehovah's Witnesses" in order for this Bible verse to apply to them. However, is it not a fact that only a very few of them have this kind of a background?

 

- (Rev 7:4) And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

 

Simultaneously on Earth. The second point worth noting is that these 144,000 people will appear simultaneously on Earth. The Watchtower Society teaches that the 144,000 anointed ones have been chosen from mankind over the course of 1900 years but this cannot be true because the Bible clearly states that these 144,000 people are on Earth at the same time and at a certain point in time. They are also sealed together:

 

- (Rev 7:1-4) And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

 

Future events. One important thing to note is the date when the book of The Revelation was written, generally regarded to be around 90 A.D.

   If we take this into consideration, it is rather impossible for the first disciples and Apostles to be a part of this group of 144,000. It certainly cannot be true because, for example, Peter and Paul had already died more than twenty years before this.

   Furthermore, the whole Revelation is a description of future events "which must shortly come to pass." (Rev 1:1). It will happen at the specific time of tribulation that is still in the future. The Apostles, who have already died and gone to God, cannot – based on this – experience this and belong to the group of 144,000.

 

Filling the number. Regarding the gathering of 144,000 people, according to the teachings of the Watchtower Society this number was collected by the year 1922; but the Watchtower Society later changed that date to 1931, when it had its conference in Columbus, Ohio.

   However, we can question how Mr. Rutherford, the second president of the Watchtower Society, and others could have known when this number was filled? If this group of 144,000 people includes people who lived over the course of 1900 years (already noted as impossible because the group of 144,000 people must be alive at the same time on Earth), how could anyone living in the 1900s verify the number of people saved? There is only one explanation: that the fulfillment of this numeric gathering is based on the imagination and reasoning of Rutherford and his Watchtower Society followers.

   In addition, if from the group of 144,000 people 100,000 were alive in the early 1900s – according to the Watchtower Society – would there not have been a rather small number of places in Heaven remaining for the Christians who lived in the first century, and others? How is this kind of an imbalance possible? Through hearing Peter’s sermon alone, 3,000 people were saved in one day during the first century. They all expected to enter Heaven:

 

- (Acts 2:41) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.

 

Is the number of saved people in the congregation limited to 144,000? As to the view of a limited number of people who are saved, adopted by God, and belonging to the body of Christ and to His congregation – only 144,000 people as the Watchtower Society says – we cannot find any verses in the Bible that support this. Neither can we find any verses saying that most of the Bible would have been written only for 144,000 people.

   On the contrary, the Bible teaches us that salvation and being born again belong to everyone who turns to God in the name of Christ. The number has not been limited:

 

- (1 Tim 2:3-4) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

- (John 3:16-17) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

- (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

 

- (Rev 21:6) And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.

 

- (Rev 22:17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely

 

Who is teaching now? We have already considered how, according to the Watchtower Society, in order to understand the Bible you need the help of "the faithful and wise slave class" because they are the only accepted channel on Earth and distribute "heavenly teaching" to people.

   However, if we hold true that teaching must only come from this "slave class", we hit a problem: those people belonging to this slave class are very old. The last of them had already entered into this group and heavenly hope in 1931 - more than 80 years ago (this was explained by Rutherford, the second president of the Society). They had to have been tested witnesses by then, which means that they must be very old.

    So, we might ask who is supposed to teach now, when members of this "slave class" are already very old, perhaps as old as 100 years? Are they still teaching or have younger people taken their place? And if younger people have taken their place, doesn’t that make false the Society’s statement about how the slave class acts as the channel of spiritual teaching and directs people? Who among the representatives of the Watchtower Society can honestly answer this question?

 

All those who want to understand the Bible should admit, that “God’s extremely manifold wisdom” can be understood only through Jehovah’s communication channel, the faithful and wise slave. (Vartiotorni or the Finnish version of Watchtower, 1 October 1994, p. 8)

 

Because the purpose of those who go to Heaven is to rule the Earth, it is clear that they must be tested followers of Christ. This means that no babies or small children who have not been completely tested during their Christian service, which has lasted for years, will be taken into Heaven. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth], p. 124)

 

 

 

8. The Great Multitude – can it enter heaven?

 

In the previous chapter we talked about the group of 144,000 anointed ones. According to the Watchtower Society’s teachings, it is the 144,000 for whom salvation is reserved. They belong to the congregation of God and to the body of Christ and they have access to heaven.

   The Watchtower Society also teaches that there exists another group: the Great Multitude: people who are required to be devoted to God’s service but who are never spiritually reborn, never become members of the body of Christ and congregation of God, and who can never hope to get into heaven.

   Instead, this group has only an earthly hope. They have the possibility of first entering the millennium, and only if they pass the final test can they enter the eternal earthly kingdom, the paradise on Earth. The millennium is seen as the first possibility for these persons to achieve eternal life:

 

So people in "the Great Multitude" do not wait to get into Heaven even after being saved from the "great tribulation". Those who belong to “the Great Multitude" can only expect that the Lamb of God will shepherd them here on Earth after “the great tribulation”, and He will guide them into the eternal life they will spend in paradise on Earth. (Jumalan ikuinen tarkoitus nyt saamassa voiton ihmisen hyödyksi [God’s ”Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing for Man’s Good], p. 182)

 

Those 144,000 are people who die on Earth and are raised to heavenly life as spiritual creations, just as Jesus was raised. (Romans 6:5) When compared to the billions of people who live on Earth, they represent a very small flock.

   But it is not necessary to belong to this heavenly group of 144,000 in order to be freed from the worries of this life. God also loves His earthly "other sheep." He promises to make a paradise on this Earth where there is no more pain and sorrow. The facts indicate that in recent years, God has led people primarily into this hope of earthly life. (Totuus joka johtaa ikuiseen elämään [The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life], p. 78,81)

 

The doomsday (= thousand years’ doomsday) does not give mankind a so-called “second chance”. Instead, it gives them the first real chance to live everlasting life in a state of human perfection and absolute innocence in an earthly paradise. The doomsday gives mankind a chance, because of Christ's perfect offering, to become pure from sin, and to be raised to the full ‘glory of God’ that they now cannot reach. (…) The doomsday will allow them to prove their heart’s sincere hope to be freed, to get rid of sin permanently. (Jumalan tuhatvuotinen valtakunta on tullut lähelle, p. 129).

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? If we look at the Bible and consider what it says about end times, we can clearly see that the teachings of the Watchtower Society are not based on Biblical truth.

   Firstly, the Watchtower Society teaches that the Great Multitude cannot get into Heaven but they have only earthly hope, we can see that this cannot be true. The verses Revelation 7:9 and 4:2 teach us that the Great Multitude is in Heaven with God where His throne is:

 

- (Rev 7:9) After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

 

- (Rev 4:2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

Other verses also indicate that this multitude of people enters into Heaven following the great tribulation on Earth. This means that the people counted among the Great Multitude can get into Heaven, not just the 144,000 anointed people as the Watchtower Society teaches:

 

- (Rev 7:9,13-15) After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and from where came they?

14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.

 

As for humans gaining the approval of God after this life in the millennium, the Bible says that we have a possibility to be saved only during this life. After this life comes judgement (which certainly does not last for a thousand years) not a new possibility to be saved:

 

- (Hebr 9:27) And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 

 

 

 

9. Is the Watchtower society the channel of God?

 

The most important channel for teaching the dogma of the Watchtower Society is the slave class (the group of 144,000) and the governing body that is a part of it. The Watchtower Society has announced several times that it is the only channel authorized by God. The Society has also announced that the Bible can be understood only by members of the Watchtower Society:

 

Because the whole property of the Master has been trusted “to the faithful and wise slave”. (…) The will of the slave is, therefore, the will of Jehovah. Rebellion against the slave is rebellion against God. (Watchtower 1 August 1956, p. 236)

 

All who want to understand the Bible should admit, that “God’s extremely manifold wisdom” can be understood only by Jehovah’s communication channel, the faithful and wise slave. (Watchtower 1 October 1994, p. 8)

 

The Bible cannot be understood correctly without Jehovah’s visible organization. (Watchtower, January 1968, p. 7)

 

In the same way, we can get a clear understanding of how greatly Charles Taze Russel, the first president of the Society, valued his own books by reading the next passage. According to him, his books are even more important than the Bible because by reading the Bible, you will be led to darkness but by reading his books you will be led to light:

 

Man cannot understand the plans of God by studying the Bible only. - If someone reads the Bible for two years, he will be in perfect darkness but if he reads only the Bible Treatises and not the Bible at all, he will be perfectly enlightened after two years. (Watchtower 1910. p. 298).

 

But is the Watchtower Society's claim of its own importance really true or is it only imaginative? If we take a look at the changes in their doctrine, their Bible translations and their prophecies, we see that the whole Society does not seem to be very stable or reliable. ”God’s only authorized channel" has made many mistakes and has many faults. We will look at some examples:

 

CHANGES IN DOCTRINE. If we study the Society’s beliefs, we see that over a period of years Society members have changed some principles that they once considered absolutely true and unchangeable.

 

The identity of the slave has been changed. When Charles Russell (first president and founder of the Watchtower Society) lived, and for many years after his death, Society members believed that Russell himself was this "faithful and wise slave." This belief was abandoned in 1927. Nowadays, the servant -- the slave – is believed to be the group of 144,000 anointed ones and not an individual person:

 

Old view:

 

Pastor Russell held accurately to the teachings of the Bible. (…) It is interesting to note the next words of Jesus in this context, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. Truly I say to you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Thousands of readers of pastor Russell's booklets believe that he had the ministry of the faithful and wise servant and that his great task was to feed the household of faith. His modesty and humility prevented him from openly demanding this value for himself but in private conversations he admitted that it was so. (Watchtower, February 1917)

 

However, Russell’s wife publicly expressed the belief that Russell himself was the faithful and wise servant. (…) [This view] prevailed among the Bible researchers for about 30 years. (Jehovan todistajat - Jumalan valtakunnan julistajia, p. 143)

 

New view:

 

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? (…)

   Jesus' description of this faithful slave does not describe an individual. Instead, it describes Christ’s faithful and anointed followers as an entirety, as a group. (Watchtower, 1 May 1993, p. 17)

 

The invisible presence of Jesus. The view about when the invisible presence of Jesus began has changed. According to the Society’s earlier policy it took place in 1874. But now the date is 1914:

 

Old view:

 

Pastor Russell held accurately to the teachings of the Bible. He believed and taught that we live the times of the Lord’s second coming, which started in 1874. Since then, we have lived “the ends of time”, “the end of the eras”, during which the Lord has directed his large harvest. (Watchtower, February 1917)

 

The Scriptures clearly indicate that the time of his coming is in 1874 A.D. The prophecies that have been fulfilled and that we call clear facts indicate that his presence started that year. (…) Surely a perfectly dedicated child of God has no doubt about that. (Watchtower, March 1924, p. 40)

 

This thorough testimony that fulfils the prophecy is the origins of the facts and confirms the testimony that the Lord has been present since the year 1874; this assembling work has continued since then. (J.F. Rutherford [The second president of the society]: Luominen [Creation], p. 303)

 

New view:

 

However, the reason why we pay attention to the year 1914 is that in this year the "presence" of the Lord Jesus (parousia) started under the messianic kingdom. (…) But there is also another way to prove that this date is predetermined to be the time of the birth of the Kingdom and "the presence" of Christ there. But what is that second way? (Jumalan ikuinen tarkoitus nyt saamassa voiton ihmisen hyväksi [God’s ”Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing for Man’s Good], p. 173)

 

In Chapter 16 of this book we looked at the evidence in the Bible saying that Christ returned and started to rule in the middle of his enemies in 1914. You should now get thoroughly acquainted with the different features of “the distinctive mark” which proves the presence of Christ and also with additional evidence concerning "the last days" of Satan’s evil organization. (Sinä voit elää ikuisesti paratiisissa maan päällä [You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth], p. 149)

 

The pole. The symbol of the cross is nowadays a horror to the Watchtower Society, and the Society firmly claims that Jesus did not die on the cross but on a torture pole. This can be seen very well in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Bible translation (translated from Finnish):

 

… and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through torture pole, by which he made an end to their hostility. (Eph 2:16)

 

And even more: when he recognized himself to be a man from his appearance, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -even death on a torture pole! (Phil 2:8)

 

For the message of the torture pole is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)

 

However, it is surprising that the cross was used as a symbol on the cover of the Watchtower up till October 1931, meaning that it was accepted for quite a long time.

   Also, the second president of the Society, J.F. Rutherford, wrote in his book about the significance of the cross and how Jesus died on the cross:

 

The testimony of the Bible confirms that Logos, Jesus, and Jesus Christ are the same. (…) He died on the cross as a man and (…)

   According to the Jews, a man was a sinner and accursed in the eyes of God if he died on the cross. (…)

   Suffering from resistance from sinners, the representatives of the enemy, which was described as things that took place outside the camp, was the cross of that great suffering which became perfect and fulfilled in reality when Jesus was crucified as a sinner. (J.F. Rutherford, Luominen [Creation], p.197, 230)

 

Michael. Another change in the Society’s dogma is found in the explanation of Michael’s identity. According to current view, the archangel Michael and Jesus Christ are the same person. But in Täyttynyt salaisuus, p. 302 (published in 1917) the Society teaches that Michael as mentioned with his angels in Revelation 12:7 actually describes the Pope and his bishops!

 

Blood transfusion. The Watchtower Society has forbidden all blood transfusions but this stance did not appear until the 1940s. Still in December 1940 the Consolation magazine (later on Awake) published an article that described in positive terms how a blood transfusion saved a woman in New York. It was not until December 1943 that the Society assumed a negative attitude towards blood transfusions, as seen for the first time in the Consolation, then in Watchtower on 1 December 1944.

   As far as blood transfusion is concerned, it is quite a different thing than eating blood, about which the Bible warns us (Gen 9:3,4 and Acts 15:29). The eating of blood is done for nourishment, while the transfusion of blood is a matter of transporting liquid tissue that is similar to organ transplants.

 

THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION. The Watchtower Society is known for its many publications. It also has published its own translation of the Bible, called the New World Translation. The following observations can be made:

 

Key verses have been changed. The Watchtower Society has changed many key verses to fit its own doctrine. It has been estimated that changes have been made to at least 300 Holy Bible verses.

   Especially notable are changes to verses dealing with the divinity of Jesus, such as John 1:1 and Col. 1:16,17. They added the word "other", which completely changes the original meaning. Verses describing the personality and nature of the Holy Spirit (John 14-16, etc.) have also been changed.

   Furthermore, in Luke 23:42,43, the place of the comma has been changed so that the thief did not get to paradise with Jesus "today" -- immediately. Instead it appears that Jesus only promised it "today":

 

- (New World Translation / Luke 23:42- 43) And he went on to say, “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.”

43. And he said to him, “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”

 

- (The Bible, AKJV  / Luke 23:42-43) And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

43 And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today shall you be with me in paradise.

 

The Society’s New World Translation of that verse completely changes the original meaning of the text, in a way that is not supported by any other translations or by the text in its original language. By changing the verse’s intended meaning the Society promotes its own dogma and teaches incorrectly that life does not immediately follow death. Common sense alone tells us that Jesus certainly would not have said, “Truly I say to you tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow): you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

The education level of the translators. Watchtower Society translators were not academically trained in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek languages -- the languages in which the earliest manuscripts were written. Raymond Franz (a close relative of Frederik Franz, the fourth president of the Society) and William Cetnar worked in the Society’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. They both stated that none of the translators involved in creating the Society’s New World translation had received higher-level training in those languages (Cetnar, Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses Who Love the Truth, p.57). As was typical for this kind of translation work, none of the translators wanted their names to be associated with the work’s publication.

   When the accuracy of translation work was examined in court, it was found that Frederik Franz could not even translate a simple verse from English to Hebrew (Gen 2:4), and he was the one responsible for the translation work. He did not study Greek for more than a couple of years in university while also studying other subjects. This does not give a very good picture of his language skills.

 

A statement about the translation. The next statement gives one indication of the New World Translation not being very reliable. It was written by Dr. Robert H. Countess, who in the late 1960s wrote his doctoral dissertation about the Society’s translation:

 

The opinion of this researcher is that the New World Translation of the Greek Scriptures must be seen as radically biased work. In some places, it is even dishonest. In other places, it is neither modern nor the work of scholars. Throughout the translation, it can be observed that the translators have not logically followed the principles that they have mentioned in the foreword and appendices. This writer strongly recommends that any conversation between Jehovah's Witnesses and Christians should not be based exclusively on the New World Translation; such conversation would be based on manipulation and bias.

   When seen purely from a literary view, the New World Translation suffers from a dull style, which makes continuous reading repulsive. This point alone has more weight than the modest merits of New World Translation. (1)

 

PROPHECIES. One indication of the Watchtower Society's and its first leaders’ false steps are its false prophecies. Even though the Watchtower Society regards itself as the only true channel and as the prophet spokesman for God, the Society and early leaders were not successful in delivering accurate prophecies. Their prophecies contain numerous errors. Among those most notable errors are the following: 

 

1878. Russell with his successors initially expected that they would be taken to Heaven in the spring of 1878:

 

They thought that their heavenly award would be given to them at that time (1878). When it did not take place, they assumed that (…) then started the rising up of already dead people, to spiritual life. (Jehovan todistajat - Jumalan valtakunnan julistajia, p. 632)

 

1881. When the above-mentioned did not happen, Russell moved the date to 1881. He wrote about this also in the Watchtower in January 1881. In the same year in May, he cancelled the whole thing.

 

1910. One possible date for the rapture was the end of the year 1910 (C.T. Russell: The Kingdom Come, p. 364)

 

1914. The expectations for 1914 are well known. What should have happened according to Russell was that the current order of society should have disappeared, the kingdom of God should have been founded on Earth, and believers should have been taken into Heaven. None of these happened.

 

1915. When the expected event of the year 1914 did not take place, Russell moved the date to the end of the year 1915 (Aika on lähellä, later Finnish edition, p. 281).

 

1918. As nothing happened in 1915, Russell moved the date to the spring of 1918 (Watchtower 1 September 1916, p. 264-265). Nothing happed then either, and Russell himself died before 1915.

 

1925.  The second president of the Watchtower Society, J.F. Rutherford, wrote in Miljoonat jotka nyt elävät, eivät kuole koskaan that the end would come in 1925 when the Kingdom would be established on Earth and believers would be taken to Heaven. His expectations did not come true either, however.

 

1975. Well known prophecy is also the one that came during the time of the third president of the Society, Nathan Knorr (president in 1942–1975). This prophecy said that the end would come in 1975. However, when this prophecy did not come true, the number of baptized people in the Watchtower Society decreased by significant percentages in the late 1970s.

   One former Jehovah's Witness wrote about the expectations that were directed to this year and how Jehovah’s Witnesses were disappointed:

 

I remember well when in the late ’60s people started to emphasize the end, which was to come in 1975. People talked about how there were only so-and-so many conventions and months left. This godless mankind was surely running out of time. One brother also mentioned in his speech around 1971 that there were only 36 months left. He must have forgotten his words by now as nothing happened. It is true that then I was terrified by my thoughts and doubts, but today I see that they were not without base. (2)

 

The current situation. We should note that the Watchtower Society expressed similar expectations in other years. However, now Society members have stopped speculating about the date for the end of the world. This change in attitude is described in the next newspaper article (Etelä-Suomen Sanomat 13 November 1995):

 

THE END OF THE WORLD WON’T COME QUITE SO SOON

 

The end of the world is not near at all, according to the Jehovah's Witnesses. Their Watchtower magazine urges people to stop the speculations about when the world will come to an end.

   The founder of the movement, Charles Russell, initially prophesied that the end of the world would come in 1914. Later, the Jehovah's Witnesses presented two other prophecies still: according to one of them the end would come in 1925 and according to the other in 1975.

  Nowadays, approximately five million people are Jehovah's Witnesses, a movement based in the United States. The movement believes that only Jehovah's Witnesses will be saved when the doomsday comes.  

 

 

                                                                 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. Cit. from: Pasi Turunen: Vartiotorni, valtakunta uudessa valossa, p. 172.

2. Åberg, Herrick: Nyjyajan baabelin orjat, p. 78.

 

  

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What is God like?

The Koran and the sources of Islam refer indirectly to the deity of Jesus

Jesus Christ in the Koran and Islam. The high position and deity of Jesus is revealed in numerous passages in the Koran

About salvation. How do Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses understand salvation, and how their teaching differs from traditional Christian and biblical teaching?

Religiousness or faith? What is the difference between religiosity and saving faith in Jesus and God? They are not the same thing

Are you a foolish virgin? It is possible to be a member of the church and attend church, but still be a foolish virgin, or unsaved person. What are the characteristics of such religiosity?

Theoretical belief. Many have faith in God, having outward forms of Christianity, and some are even church workers, but they still do not know the matter of salvation.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

 

 

  

 

Grap to eternal life!

 

More on this topic:

Hundreds of Bible verses refer to the deity and eternal existence of Jesus. It is reasonable to believe that he is the Son of God, came from heaven, and God

The divinity of the Messiah

What is God like?

The Koran and the sources of Islam refer indirectly to the deity of Jesus

Jesus Christ in the Koran and Islam. The high position and deity of Jesus is revealed in numerous passages in the Koran

About salvation. How do Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses understand salvation, and how their teaching differs from traditional Christian and biblical teaching?

Religiousness or faith? What is the difference between religiosity and saving faith in Jesus and God? They are not the same thing

Are you a foolish virgin? It is possible to be a member of the church and attend church, but still be a foolish virgin, or unsaved person. What are the characteristics of such religiosity?

Theoretical belief. Many have faith in God, having outward forms of Christianity, and some are even church workers, but they still do not know the matter of salvation.