Jehovah’s Witness Theology as Opposed to Scripture
Let’s review some very simple scriptures followed by some very basic beliefs of Jehovah’s Witness theology. If you have never met or had discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses before to become accustomed to their Watchtower teachings, please pay close attention, so you can understand the severity of their mind control. If you’re a former JW, please take note of some of these Christian bible basics that are distorted by Watchtower doctrine so you can see how it affects Jehovah’s Witness theology.
At first glance, the teachings and beliefs stated below will be denied by the average Jehovah’s Witness. This may be due to their controlled and defensive thinking. In fact, they may even say the following are lies, however the teachings can be found in their own literature and on their website.
A wise Christian theologian said,
“Satan does not always try to ruin faith by saying, “The Bible isn’t true.” He often tries to destroy our faith by affirming some passage and using it to lead us into disobedience”.
-John Piper, Desiring God
Doctrine vs Scripture
John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jehovah’s Witness doctrine: Christians who call themselves “Born again”, are typically controlled by Satan. The Watchtower states that it is a “Misconception” that “a person must be born again to gain salvation” The post-Armageddon earth dwellers are a separate group that do not need to be born again. This separate group gets thrown into the mix for a twisting of theology. See the JW article here.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Jehovah’s Witness theology: Watchtower answers the question as to whether their ministry work as an attempt to earn salvation:
“We engage regularly in our door-to-door ministry, but we don’t believe that we earn our salvation by doing such work.”
However, Jehovah’s Witnesses can be reprimanded for not engaging enough in preaching work. They can lose special permissions and positions if they do not meet preaching hour quotas. Essentially, they get spiritually “demoted” and this is a threat that they can lose their salvation. Further, it is well known that a JW who leaves the religion will lose their salvation, as such an act is considered apostasy against God.
Submission to God:
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
JW belief (paraphrase): Submit to the Governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You cannot understand the bible by yourself. If you don’t listen to us, you’re not listening to God.
Matt 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
JW teaching: There is no such thing as hell.
A typical “far reaching” hypothesis made in Jehovah’s Witness anti-Christian theology:
“For the Devil to be tortured eternally, he would have to be kept alive forever. However, the Bible says that he will be brought to nothing, or put out of existence”. –Watchtower article
Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Watchtower teaching: “neither Jesus nor anyone else has a key to the lake of fire. That symbolic lake represents eternal punishment in the form of permanent destruction.”
Notes from Vine’s Expository Dictionary on Hadēs:
The word is used four times in the Gospels, and always by the Lord, Mat 11:23; 16:18; Luk 10:15; 16:23; it is used with reference to the soul of Christ, Act 2:27, 31; Christ declares that He has the keys of it, Rev 1:18; in Rev 6:8 it is personified, with the signification of the temporary destiny of the doomed; it is to give up those who are therein, Rev 20:13, and is to be cast into the lake of fire, ver. 14.
Acts 4:27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
Jehovah’s Witness theology: “Jehovah did not predestinate the path of human history; after all, he created humans with free will.”
**Notes for Reformed theology students researching JW beliefs:
Note: Interestingly, Watchtower does acknowledge that one cannot choose to be born again; and that only God can choose. To the beginner Reformed student, this might indicate that they believe in Predestination, however this is not the case. Predestination to adoption is permanent in nature; a foreknowledge and choosing of the saints [by God] who will live eternally in heaven. Watchtower theology teaches that God can choose not to know something, and He can make decisions of salvation based on a human’s freewill choice. In other words, you act first, then God is given the knowledge of your actions and decides your heavenly fate. Freewill choices made by humans on earth are separate from sovereign election.
See Romans 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
More on Predestination here.