Last year I wrote three articles on the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, The Watchtower Society in Brooklyn, New York – and dealt briefly with the Governing Body, the insistance upon the name Jehovah, and upon the texts behind the New World Translation.
I’m going to spend some dedicated time on this, trying as usual to save some. AS I decribed in the first article, most of you havea mindset where if you start to doubt the Watchtower Society, the Governing Body, or ANY of the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, you immediately run into a line planed by the organization – “Do not cross. Thou shalt not question the Watchtower Society.”
Okay, do this then. Prove me wrong. Read EVERYTHING I write on this issue (probably take about 3 weeks for me to finish this series), and after you’ve completed it, you can post a comment on where I’m wrong. Please see my position on comment debates. I encourage responses, but only for those who are willing to be helped. The Scripture forbids me to be drawn into long comment debates or email debates.
While you read this, I want you to THINK. For yourself. Because the Jehovah’s Witness will not think for themself! If the Watchtower Society teachings are correct, they can be proven easily from Scripture, right?
Here’s the truth. The Jehovah’s Witnesses place the Bible below the Watchtower Society. Literally, if the Bible says “Jump” and the Watchtower society says “duck”… then you duck. The Watchtower society cautions that if one reads only the Bible, without any of the Watchtower society literature, one will within a year “Be lost”.
I submit to you that means, “shake off your programming and get saved.”
Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of the early teachings of Charles T. Russell, who founded the Bible students. Most JW’s know the history, and understand that Russell originally formed Bible study groups, teaching. He then began publishing his notes, because there were too many people coming in from too many areas, and he could not teach them all. And so, eventually the Watchtower Society was born.
Well, actually, that’s half the truth.
Charles Taze Russell originally was a Seventh Day Adventist, working for a brief time helping to publish their materials. It was here that Russell learned several key doctrines that would form the core of the JW teachings. These include the inivisble return of Christ, the investigative judgment, Christ as the Archangel Michael, the constant emphasis upon Armegeddon.
There are some key differences. JW’s are primarily post-tribulational, believing apparently that they will nto be raptured. Seventh Day Adventists were primarily pre-tribulational. Both groups, however, must spiritualize great amounts of scripture, allegorizing some passages while attempting to take many others literally.
Russell left after a disagreement with his mentor, and he left to form his International Bible Students. Some of the earliest core followers were originally Seventh Day Adventists that left with him.
Tomorrow, I’ll begin examining the core teachings of the Watchtower Society, the New World Translation, and a great number of issues.
Update: Oct. 18
A JW wrote to me he very first day this post was online. He informed me I didn’t know what I was talking about, that Charles T. Russell was a Presbyterian who heard the teachings of an Adventist teacher and went on from there to study the Bible on his own, and was shown the “truths” of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
He then accused me of spreading hate, and his post degenerated quickly into an AD Hominem attack.
Was Charles T. Russell a Seventh Day Adventist or not?
I did some searching, and came across many opinions that he was indeed Seventh Day Adventist. I read others that agreed that his involvement was more than the one-time hearing that my blog visitor led on, but that there was a difference between Adventists and Seventh Day Adventists.
I don’t know, usually those kind of differences amount to, “our top guy is more qualified than your top guy.”
However, I found an article on a Seventh Day Adventist website which settled the issue. They accept that Jonas Wendall was a Seventh Day Adventist preacher, which is not something my blog visitor was ready to concede.
They remarked that Russell never quite accepted Seventh Day Adventism. I’m not so sure, as he did spend some time printing SDA literature,m as I pointed out above. However, I will readily concede my earlier information was probably incorrect, and I will describe Russell as a “quasi-Seventh Day Adventist”. The defining thing for me is – you don’t spend time printing their literature unless you believe it, or you’re in the printing business and are bring paid.
- Questions that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not like to be asked. (christianspooksite.wordpress.com)
- How to witness to a Witness (Jehovah) (evangelize4life.org)
- How I Answered a Jehovah’s Witness Couple (http://citizenofnewjerusalem.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 2 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnessese Answered 3 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 4 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered 5 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)