Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         May 15, 2016                                                                                                                            NO. 9



GJehovah's Witnesses are commonly known for their zeal in evangelism - - going door-to-door and trying to teach people what they believe to be the truth. Many people, even if they do not personally know anyone who is a Jehovah's Witness, have encountered them through these unannounced visits to their home. Those who personally know any members of this group will probably acknowledge that they are good, moral people who also have some peculiar beliefs. 

It is good for Christians to have at least a basic under- standing of what others believe in order to be better- equipped to teach the truth and defend against their errors. In this article, I will not attempt to make an exhaustive rebuttal to the beliefs and practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Rather, I will simply attempt to highlight some notable beliefs and explain how these are contrary to the Scriptures.*


Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the “trinity” – three persons of God – but one person of God – Jehovah. In contrast, the Scriptures teach that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons (Matthew 28:19) and are all God/deity (Romans 1:7; Colossians 2:9; Acts 5:3-4). 


Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was a created being and is not deity (God). The Scriptures teach that Jesus created all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16) and that He is God (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9). Passages that speak of Jesus’ role should be harmonized with passages that speak way as to nullify these other passages. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses cite Jesus’ statement in John 14:28 as “proof” that He was not God: “For the Father is greater than I.” Yet as we consider other passages, we can conclude that Jesus was not talking about His inferiority to the Father (John 5:17-18; 10:30), but that He took on the role of a servant in which He humbled Himself to the point of death (Philippians 2:5-8). 


Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God, Jesus, and the angels are in heaven. They also believe that 144,000 of the faithful will also be there. The rest of the faithful will live in a paradise on the earth. In contrast, the Scriptures teach that this earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10) and that all of the faithful will be with the Lord in heaven for eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 7:9). 


Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the existence of hell, believing instead that the dead cease to exist. They believe that those who will be in heaven will be raised from the dead, but everyone else will not. In contrast, the Scriptures teach that both the righteous and the wicked will be raised (John 5:28-29). Those who are lost will be sentenced to a place that Jesus described as “the furnace of fire [where] there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42). He described it elsewhere as the “eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). 

Governing Body 

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a “governing Body” that provides world-wide leadership. Their local congregations are led by elders with “traveling elders” overseeing a “circuit” of about twenty congregations. The Scriptures teach that a local church is to be overseen by a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:2). There is no organization in the Lord’s church beyond this. Over the local elders is only Christ (1 Peter 5:4). 

Judgment Day Predictions 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have made many failed prophecies over the years regarding the end of the world.** The Lord warned His people not to listen to those who made failed prophecies: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22 Furthermore, 

Jesus said that only the Father knows when the world will end (Matthew 24:36). 

New World Translation 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own translation of the Scriptures (the New World Translation), reflecting their views regarding the Godhead, hell, and more. Peter warned about those who would “distort...the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). 

The Name “Jehovah’s Witness” 

Though the name “Jehovah’s Witness” is not found in the Bible, they claim to use the name because “Jehovah” is the personal name of God. Though “Jehovah” is found in the Old Testament in some translations, it is in reality a hybrid term based upon the Hebrew name YHWH. Furthermore, the name Jehovah is not found in the New Testament - except in the New World Translation in which it was erroneously added over two hundred times.

We can admire the zeal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but zeal alone is insufficient to save (Romans 10:2-3. Jesus said, “For unless you believe that I am He, you will dies in your sins” (John 8:24). The word “He” in that verse was added by the translators as it is not in the original text. What Jesus said is that one must believe that He is the "I AM" (cf. Exodus 3:14; John 8:58). Those who deny the deity of Christ - - like the Jehovah's Witnesses - - cannot be saved in that condition. 

Furthermore, in order to be saved we must obey Christ. The Hebrew writer said that Jesus is "to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation" (Hebrews 5:9). Obeying Christ includes following the words of His inspired apostles and writers of the New Testament (Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 14:37). This also requires us to reject the teachings of men (Galatians 1:6-9), which includes the false prophets and leaders of the Jehovah's Witness organization. 

*In an attempt to be fair, most of the information about their beliefs is taken from the Jehovah's Witnesses website: h-witness-beliefs/ 

**A long list of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ failed prophecies are available on Steve Rudd’s website:

—Andy Sochor

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The Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes wrote, "Tell me what company thou keepest, and I'll tell thee what thou art." Cervantes was not a prophet, he simply understood the strong influence friends exert over our lives. You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Scripture brings this truth to light. Show me your friends… 

And I'll show you your religious convictions. David wrote, "I am a companion of all who fear You/ And of those who keep Your precepts" (Psa. 119:63). Our companions will help or hinder us in letting our light shine, doing good works, devotion to God and in getting to heaven. We ought to be concerned if we realize all our close friends are either godless or involved in false religion. 

And I'll show you your favorite activities. Proverbs 23:19-21, "Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man in rags." We do things with our friends. Obviously, we do not choose friends so we can AVOID them. We want to spend time with them and generally pursue common interests. Are you involved with the party-hard, drunken, drug-using crowd? Well, guess what that makes you?

And I'll show you how you value wisdom. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed" (Prov. 13:20). Your friends encourage you in the direction they are heading. The company you keep is commentary on your current values and a variable in future decisions. Thus you want to be with those who show wisdom and set goals for their future. Don’t be with those who can't see past the weekend. 

And I'll show you your feelings about proper speech. "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise" (Prov. 10:19). Some people’s mouths are a hotbed for sin: gossip, profanity, anger, criticism. Let us remember, “Evil company corrupts good habits" 1 Cor. 15:33). What do your friends say about you?

—Andrew Roberts

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