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Jehovah Witnesses – Parts 1 and 2 -Their History And Beliefs

Lecture 1

The Jehovah Witnesses – Their History and Beliefs

Respected Friends:

This subject will, God willing, be given in Two Parts. Today’s lecture is Part 1, and is entitled, “The Jehovah Witnesses – Their History and Beliefs.”

Part 2 will, God willing, be given later, and will consider Jehovah Witness doctrines with the Bible, and will examine some differences between Christadelphians and Jehovah Witnesses.


Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded in 1872 in Pittsburgh, PA by Charles Russell. He left the Congregational Church and began a small Bible class in Pittsburgh. In 1876 he was elected “Pastor” of this group, and they became known as “Bible Students”.

In 1879 Pastor Russell, as he became known, printed the first edition of “Zion’s Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence”. The name of the magazine was changed to the Watchtower in 1892. The Watchtower was published every two weeks, and this continues today.

Between 1879-1880 some 30 congregations were established in America. These congregations were called Ecclesias. The word Ecclesia is a Greek word that is commonly translated “church” in the King James Version of the Bible. Christadelphians still use the word Ecclesia, to distinguish themselves from the false Christian Churches of the day.

The Ecclesias established then by these ‘Bible Students’, were totally different from the Watchtower Organization of today. These Ecclesias were not particularly followers of Pastor Russell, but rather agreed with what was written in the “Zion’s Watchtower” magazine. Each Ecclesia had its own elected spiritual and administrative leaders and the prime motive of most individuals was character development. Most importantly they were not dictated to from a distant source, as they are today. This system survived up till Pastor Russell’s death in 1916.

In 1881 Pastor Russell set up a Magazine called “Zion’s Watchtower Tract Society.” This soon became a legal corporation and was designed to handle the extensive publishing being undertaken.

In 1888 Russell became President of the Organization now called “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society”, and the first door to door work began. Russell founded Ecclesias in London in 1900, Germany in 1903, and Australia in 1904.

In 1906 Russell’s wife divorced him on grounds of mental cruelty and the bitter court case deeply divided the Movement. He sued some newspapers for libel. In 1910 Russell was convicted in court of perjury.

In 1909 the society established its international headquarters in Brooklyn New York. At his death in 1916, a bitter struggle for leadership occurred, and finally Joseph Rutherford, a lawyer and part-time local court judge, was elevated as the second President. He became known as Judge Rutherford.

During the struggle for Presidency, between 1917-1918, the movement took a stand against military service. Rutherford was sentenced to gaol for 80 years, and imprisoned in 1917. He was released after 9 months, and became President of the movement thereafter.

In 1917 the magazine called “Awake” began, and under Judge Rutherford the organization took on a new direction. We remember that up until this time, the Watchtower Society had merely acted as a publishing source. Each congregation, or Ecclesia, was autonomous and elected its own leaders, who saw to the work of their own members. Any leader or member that would not accept Judge Rutherford’s headship, was excommunicated. It is estimated that between 1921 and 1931 75% of the Bible Students left the movement, or were expelled. The members today call this period God’s method of “cleansing the sanctuary.” Rutherford wrote of this event. He said, “Of the great multitude that left the world to follow Jesus Christ only a few are now in God’s organisation” (Jehovah; p. 277).

During this time period there were significant doctrinal changes made to the movement. We will consider some of these later.

In 1931 Rutherford introduced the name Jehovah Witnesses.

The following resolution was passed,

“…to make known to the people that Jehovah is the true and almighty God; therefore we joyfully embrace and take the name which the mouth of the Lord God has named, and we desire to be known as and called by the name, to wit, ‘Jehovah witnesses.’ Isa 43:10-10; 62:2; Rev 12:17.”

In 1930-1932 he introduced the idea that the Watchtower Society was the “channel of Divine Communication”. In 1938 the view that Jehovah Witnesses was a “Divine Theocracy” was established. Thus all literature coming from the Watchtower Society is considered as coming through a “Divine Theocracy”, and that God uses this as His “channel of divine communication”. All members therefore accept the information from the Watchtower and Awake Magazines as coming directly from God.

Under his leadership the Watchtower Society became an enormously successful business enterprise, based on the sale of books.

Before Judge Rutherford’s death in 1942, the Watchtower Society introduced the system of corporate leadership, so that the corporate leadership became the governing body. This Governing Body call themselves the “faithful and discreet slave class”. They are accepted by all Jehovah Witnesses as having the Holy Spirit, as being a “Divine Theocracy”, and “Jehovah’s channel of Divine Communication” to the masses of the other Jehovah Witnesses.

Nathan Knorr took over after Judge Rutherford’s death. In 1976 just before his death, he expanded this Governing Body, located in Brooklyn New York, to 18 members.

The 18 Member Governing Body as a group are now considered Jehovah’s divine channel of communication

In 1961 The “Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.” published their own translation of the Bible, called, the “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.” The edition that I have was revised in 1984, and has in the front the statement that 104,200,000 copies of all editions were printed.

Thus far, respected audience, we have given a history of the Jehovah Witnesses. I have attempted to be wholly factual, and have not brought doctrinal views into this presentation except insofar as they relate directly to the history.


We will next look at some Biblical interpretations, and beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses.

We mentioned how Judge Rutherford in the 1930’s introduced the view of the Jehovah Witness organization being God’s ‘channel of divine communication.”

We will consider now a quote from the December 1st 1981 Watchtower Magazine.

“There is no question that Jehovah God is continuing to bless the global activity of his witnesses, as directed by the “faithful and discreet slave”…And such righteous fruits are to be seen internationally today in one people only – the united, global society of Jehovah’s Witnesses

“…Jehovah God has also provided his visible organisation, his “faithful and discreet slave”, made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.”

“Will you be loyal to Jehovah, his approved anointed ones and his theocratic organisation and the arrangements?

“Rebellion may start a little thing-criticism of the elders’ decision or some provision of the “faithful and discreet slave”, but it can lead to open rebellion.’

“Regarding God’s channel of communication, Jesus said that the “faithful and discreet slave” would provide spiritual nourishment at the right time for all his followers and that he would set this “slave” over all his belongings (Matt. 24:45-57).”

“…What is your attitude towards directives from ‘the faithful and discreet slave’? Loyalty should move you to be ‘ready to obey’ (James 3:17)…Instead of forging ahead with our own ideas and methods, let us willingly submit to the theocratic arrangement, recognising the channel through which Jehovah directs his people.” (End Quote)

The term “Faithful and discreet slave” is taken from their translation of Matt 24:45, where the KJV says “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?” They, the Jehovah Witness Governing Body, believe that this scripture applies specifically to them, and that as rulers over their Masters household, the householders must receive their meat from them.

For non-Jehovah Witnesses, we will clarify briefly what this quote is saying. The Governing Body from New York is saying that they are, as a group, God’s ‘faithful and discrete slave’, His ‘spirit anointed ones’, His ‘visible Theocratic Organization’, the Channel through whom He works. That reading the Bible without their guidance will never lead to life, and to question them, is rebellion against God.

We will next consider what the two main Groups or Classes of Jehovah Witnesses.

One Group consider themselves part of the 144,000 (Rev 14:3). They call themselves “The Little Flock”. When they get baptized, they believe the Holy Spirit enters them. They believe that when they die they go directly to heaven and reign with Christ over the earth as immortals invisible spirit beings. They only are the “Body of Christ.” This Little Flock consists only of those who lived since Jesus came. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Noah, David, etc., will not be part of this ruling class.

Another Group is called “The Great Crowd”. When they die, they return to the dust of the earth to await the resurrection. When resurrected they will attain to eternal life, live in physical bodies on the earth, and be ruled over invisibly by Christ and the 144,000 from heaven. Another distinction is made. The “Little Flock” are immortal, which they understand as incapable of death. The “Great Crowd” have eternal life, which they understand as non dying, but capable of death. Let us look at several quotes to show this view. In a Jehovah Witness book, Let God Be True, pp 222-3, 1946, it says,…”Not all of Jehovah’s Witnesses expect to go to heaven. Indeed, only a small proportion, a “little flock”, of them do (Luke 12:32). Almighty God, who sets all members in his organisation as it pleasing to him, has limited to 144,000 the number of the “body of Christ”, whose members will reign with Christ Jesus in God’s heavenly kingdom. Only a small remnant, sufficient to complete the fullness of that body, now remains on earth” (Cowie, p. 66).

Another quote from their book, From Pardise Lost to Paradise Regained, p 202. “The kingdom that the sheep inherit (Footnote: The sheep are referring to the Great Crowd). Is not the kingdom of heaven. The sheep inherit the earthly realm of the kingdom of heaven. Everlasting life on earth is what the sheep gain.”

One last quote on this topic, showing the position of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as quoted from , Let God Be True 1946, p 123.

“On the earth the faithful men of ancient times, being resurrected, will be ‘princes in all the earth’ (Psa. 45:16; Isa. 32:1). A few of such princely representatives are mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.”

Another difference between the Little Flock, and the Great Crowd is in the Breaking of Bread. Only the Little Flock are permitted to partake of the Bread and Wine, and then, only once a year.

Here is their explanation:

“However, each year, on the anniversary of Christ’s death, the few remaining members of the ‘little flock’ yet on earth keep the Memorial of Christ’s death. As Jesus directed, they partake of unleavened bread and red wine, which are symbols representing the flesh and blood that Jesus gave for mankind. Jesus said to those whom he instructed to partake of these emblems that he was making with them ‘a covenant for a kingdom’; so those who arn not heirs of the heavenly kingdom do not partake of the emblems (Luke 22:19,20,29).” (The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, p. 80).

Many beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses have changed over time. Let us consider their view of Christ’s return. The present view is that Jesus Christ returned invisibly to the earth in 1914 and began to reign over the earth after a war in heaven with the Devil. That Christ now is reigning over the earth from heaven, with the assistance of that part of the 144,000 who have already died.

Let us look at the history of this. The founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, Pastor Russell said that Christ would return in October of 1874. When nothing seemed to happen, he made the following statement:

“The year 1878 being thus indicated as the date when the Lord began to take unto himself his great power, it is reasonable to conclude that there the setting up of his Kingdom began, the first of which would be the deliverance of his body, the Church, among whom the sleeping members are to take precedence… Our Lord, the appointed King IS NOW PRESENT, since October 1874, and the formal inauguration of his kingly office dates from April, 1878 A.D. and the first work of the Kingdom, as shown by our Lord, in his parables and prophecy (the gathering of ‘his elect’) is now in progress.” (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 3. P. 234, vol 4, p. 621, C. T. Russell).

Here he is saying, that Christ DID RETURN in 1874, and that a “formal inauguration” of his kingly office would begin in 1878 – which is 3 and 1/2 years later. When this did not materialize, he concluded that there must be another 40 year period before the Kingdom rule would take effect upon the earth. Thus from 40 years added to 1874 brought him to 1914. Now, we must remember, that he plainly stated that Christ HAD ALREADY RETURNED IN 1874 and was reigning invisible on the throne from heaven!

In 1914 therefore he expected, and taught that the ‘Kingdom Rule’ upon the earth would begin, and that the ‘ancient worthies’, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be resurrected to life on the earth as rulers in the Earthly phase of the Kingdom and that the Gentile dominion over the earth would come to an end.

1914 came and went without resurrection and the Kingdom Rule occurring. Many Jehovah Witnesses left the movement. Pastor Russell was greatly distressed at this lack of fulfillment, and died 2 years later.

Today Jehovah Witnesses completely ignore Pastor Russell predictions of Christ’s return in 1874. Instead they begin with his ending date, and say that this is the new beginning date, and it is really in 1914 when Christ returned invisibly. Let us look at a quote from their book, “You May Survive Armageddon Into God’s New World,” pp 206-207.

“In that year [1914] Jesus Christ was installed to reign as King and began ruling with authority in the midst of all his enemies, but he did not begin to execute them in that year. He turned warrior, like his enthroned ancestor King David and waged war against Satan the Devil and his demon angels in the heavens and hurled them down to the earth, where that original serpent once had bruised him in the heel. In the spring of 1918 he came to the spiritual temple with Jehovah for judgment work, but even then he did not begin to execute his enemies.”

Thus from 1874 to 1914 the Jehovah Witnesses taught that had Christ returned in 1874. From 1914 to the present that teach that he returned in 1914.

Another change in belief by the Jehovah Witnesses is in regards to the Return of the Jews.

Early Jehovah Witnesses, including both Pastor Russell, and Judge Rutherford, believed that the Jews would be regathered and restored as a polity; that they would be the first among the nations to come under the new order of things.

In the Jehovah Witness book, Divine Plan of the Ages, p. 294, 1886, it says:

“We find statements by both prophets and Apostles which clearly indicate that in the times of the restitution, Israel as a nation will be the first among the nations to come in harmony with the new order of things.”

Judge Rutherford, in his book “the Harp of God, p. 216 says “Israel is now [1921] being regathered and is rebuilding Palestine exactly as foretold.”

Today’s Jehovah Witnesses completely repudiate this view. In 1946, in the Jehovah Witness Book, Let God Be True, p. 208-209 they say, “The facts and prophecies prove that the natural Jews will never again be a chosen regathered people…It is a false hope that they must be regathered to Palestine.”

Next we will look at their view that Christ was raised from the dead as an invisible being.

Let us give some quotes to show their view.

“So if Jesus gave his human life, including his fleshly body as a ransom for mankind, he could not have been raised from the dead as a human, with a flesh and blood body. Had he taken back the human life which he sacrificed mankind would no longer be ransomed” (Awake, July 22, 1973, p. 4).

Again, in the Jehovah Witness book, “Let God Be True”, p. 136 it says, “Christ Jesus was put to death in the flesh and was resurrected an invisible spirit creature. Therefore the world will see him no more.”

“Christ was raised from the dead as an immortal spirit person” (Web Site).

In the book, “Truth That Leads to Eternal Life”, p. 52, they explain it this way. “During a period of forty days after his resurrection he appeared visibly to his disciples a number of times in materialized bodies”.

And again in their ”Awake”, magazine, p. 4, July 22, 1973 they say, “Jesus appeared in human form, yes, even assuming a body with wounds so as to convince doubting Thomas.”

The logical conclusion from this, is that Jesus Christ would return would be in an invisible “presence.”

The Watchtower Magazine, Dec 1st, 1981 says of this, “The key to understanding the whole matter lies in the question that four of Christ’s disciples posed to their Master as they viewed Jerusalem and its temple from nearby Mount of Olives. Jesus had startled them by prophesying that the temple, the very center of Jewish worship at that time, would be utterly destroyed. So they asked him: ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence (Greek parousia) and of the conclusion of the system of things?”

Here, in their NWT Bible, they translate the Greek word ‘parousia’, as presence. The King James Version Bible translates this word as “coming”.

Due to the limitation of time, I will briefly list some additional beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses. These next beliefs are taken from the Jehovah Witnesses official Web Site. So then, although given is a condensed form, they will accurately present their view. Some of their beliefs then are:

God’s name is Jehovah

Christ was first of God’s creations

Satan is invisible ruler of world

Taking blood into body through mouth or veins violates God’s laws

A clergy class and special titles are improper

Baptism by complete immersion symbolizes dedication

And finally, we will list a few other Beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses of interest to us in this lecture, but ones that are not listed on their web site. They also believe in:

The Pre-existence of Christ

Christ died as a substitute to appease God

The devil is a fallen angel.

Respected Audience: In this Lecture, I have been as fair and as factually as possible regarding the history and the beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses. Whenever possible, I have quoted from Jehovah Witnesses sources to show the accuracy of my presentation. I have purposefully avoided critiquing the Jehovah Witness views. This critique will come, God Willing, in the next Lecture. It is my hope that through this presentation we, the Christadelphians, will better understand the Jehovah Witnesses. It is also my hope that the Jehovah Witnesses, particularly the “Great Crowd” Class, will better understand their own history and beliefs.

I encourage you who are seeking Bible Truth to commit yourself to this search. God has promised to add His blessing to the endeavors of sincere and prayerful people who search for His Truth (Matt 7:7-8, 13-14). Let us therefore conclude with this quote.

Matt 7:7 ¶ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened…13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


Lecture 2

The Jehovah’s Witnesses

A Christadelphian Compares Jehovah Witnesses’ Beliefs

With The Bible

Read 2 Timothy Chapter 3

Respected Audience:

This is the second of a two-part lecture on the Jehovah Witnesses. In the first lecture, we considered “The History and Beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses”. This lecture is entitled “The Jehovah Witnesses – A Christadelphian Compares Their Beliefs With The Bible”.

We will begin by looking at the two Classes of Jehovah Witnesses.

One group proclaim to be A Divine Theocracy. They also call themselves “The Little Flock”. The other Group is called “The Great Crowd”.

The Little Flock and The Great Crowd

The Leaders, The So-Called Divine Theocracy Group believe that:

They have the Holy Spirit, They are God’s divine channel of communication in the earth, one cannot understand the Bible without their interpretation, they are the ‘faithful and discrete slave’ of God, they are a Divine Theocracy, they only can partake of Christ’s memorial bread and wine, they go directly to heaven at death and are invisible and immortal, they will assist Christ in ruling the earth from the heavens, and that they are over, and will rule over, The Great Crowd, including Bible worthies, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Daniel, and Job.

These Leaders insist that they are the overseers of the “Great Crowd”. That they are God’s divine channel of communication, the Divine Theocracy on the earth. They say that the Great Crowd must accept them as such. They tell the Great Crowd that they cannot partake of Christ’s Memorial service, and when they, the members of the Great Crowd die, they go to the dust of the earth. That they will never be immortal, but only have eternal life on the earth, ruled over eternally by them, the Little Flock; that if this Great Crowd questions their authority, or their interpretation of the scriptures, they are rebelling against God.

[they define immortal as unable to die, and eternal life, as non-dying, but capable of death]

It is my desire in this lecture to show a large number of Scriputral errors claimed by the so called Divine Theocracy Group. To do this, I must limit my scriputral proofs because of the time limitations. I will however be most happy to give further proof to all those who are interested.

The Leaders in their official web site says, “A clergy class and special titles are improper”. At the same time, they have two distinct classes as shown in our introduction. There is in fact, no practical difference between the clergy and laity of the Jehovah Witnesses and of the Roman Catholics. In fact, if we look at the claims of the two groups, the Jehovah Witnesses have a much more distinct clergy class than does Roman Catholicism. Even Romanism does not claim that it’s clergy goes to heaven to rule over the Great Crowd on the earth.

This is wholly in opposition to the scriptures.

Ephesians 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.”

To The Great Crowd Group, I say: Your rulers tell you there are two hopes – a heavenly one and an earthly one. One with immortal life and one with eternal life. A Ruler Class, and a Ruled Class, etc. This is wholly opposed to the Scriptures as our quote from Ephesians shows.

The Name, Jehovah’s Witnesses


Next let us look at your name. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Again, your leaders are wrong on both counts. God’s name is not Jehovah, it is Yahweh, and you are not his witnesses, the Jews are.

It would not be so bad if your leaders did not insist that God must be called by his correct and chosen name. They use the scriptures. Heb. 2:11 ‘I will declare thy name unto my brethren, and, Isaiah 6:4 …in order to make your name known to your adversaries.’ And therefore, they insist, everyone must call God by His correct and chosen name. And then after all of this, they get it wrong.

The Harper Collins Dictionary of Religion

“Jehovah – incorrect reading of the proper name of Israel’s deity, joining the consonants of YHWH to the vowels of Adonoi”

[ Unger’s Bible Dictionary states: “The Hebrew tetragrammaton (YHWH) traditionally pronounced Jehovah is now known to be correctly vocalised Yahweh. ]

I therefore challenge you, the Great Crowd, you who claim to be Bible Students, do some research. Check this claim for yourself. All scholars agree on this point. Your leaders are wrong. God’s name is not Jehovah, it is Yahweh.

Yahweh’s Witnesses are the Jews

The second claim that your leaders make is that God was referring to you when He spoke of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Isa 43:10.

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he”

11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

The witnesses referred to here were absolutely and without question, THE JEWS. If we look at the context of the chapter, verses 22, and 24 say, (RSV) “But you have burdened me with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities.” This is NOT referring to “Spiritual Israel” since they have not burdened and wearied Yahweh with their sins. It is the natural Jew. The Jews witnessed throughout history, to God’s prophetic word that they would be persecuted, scattered, and regathered (Deut 28 etc.).

Again, I ask you to carefully read through the whole of Isaiah Chapter 43. No one who reads this chapter can possible be misled. Your leaders have given you false information concerning God’s Word.

The Holy Spirit

Your Leaders also claim to have the Holy Spirit. Christadelphians believe that no one today has the personal possession of the Holy Spirit. What we DO have is God’s holy word of truth that has been given to us through the Holy Spirit.

Catholics, Protestants, and Jehovah Witnesses all claim to have the Holy Spirit, yet all have conflicting views as to what the scriptures mean. Furthermore they are all wholly unable to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ and the Apostles had no such problem. Acts 10:38 says of Jesus Christ.

Acts 10:38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy spirit [Ghost] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Again, in Luke 7:22, Christ says, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

And what of the Apostles? We are told in 2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

These mighty deeds included healing the sick and raising the dead, etc.

The great whore, Rome, and her Protestant harlot daughters all claim to have this power, and so attempt to impress, intimidate, and subjugate their subjects. Sadly we see the same thing happening to the Jehovah Witnesses. Your leaders, the so-called Divine Theocracy claim to have this power, yet they are wholly unable to demonstrate it by such healing as Christ and the apostles demonstrated.

The Interpretation of the Bible

Let us next look at the interpretation of the Bible. Christadelphians believe that God’s Holy Spirit has given us His Word, the Bible. 2 Tim 3: 16 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” “That the man of God may be perfect”. Your leaders cannot give you this perfection. We have already shown them to be imperfect. This perfection comes from God’’s Word.

Furthermore we are told that God’s Holy Spirit gave us these scriptures. Jesus Christ said in, John 6:63 the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. The WORDS of Christ and of the scriptures are God’s spirit word. And inasmuch as we take His Word into our hearts and minds, we imbibe of His Spirit.

Rome tells us in The Second Vatican Council [in the mid 1960’s (taken from video, Revelation and Rome],

“The manner of interpreting Scripture is subject ultimately to the Church’s judgment: she had the divine commission and the office of preserving and explaining the word of God…the word of God whether scriptural or traditional, has been entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Church’s magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Your Leaders, say in the December 1st 1981 Watchtower Magazine, and I quote:

“Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do.”

And of course, they claim to be this divine channel of communication from God. Notice the similarity of claims between Rome and the Jehovah Witnesses.

Who is the Leader of The Church

Let us look at another claim of Rome. The Roman Council of 877 AD said, “Christ himself willed that the Pope be the head of us all in his stead upon the earth.”

The Leaders of the Jehovah Witnesses claim, that THEY are God’s head on the earth, His visible Theocratic Organization.

Only Christ should be our “head”

How Can We Tell the True Prophet From The False Prophet

Sorting out the claims of the different Churches can be difficult. Sincere seekers of the truth may sometimes become frustrated. How can we know what is true and what is false. The Jews in Old Testament times had a similar problem. Some prophets were true, sent from God, and some were false prophets. The people wanted to know how they could tell the one from the other.

God tells them through Moses in Deut 18:21 “And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Let us examine the claims of the Jehovah Witnesses. As we have already seen, your leader’s claims have in a number of instances proven false. The name, Jehovah Witnesses; the claim of having the Holy Spirit; the claim of being the only infallible interpreters of the scriptures, etc.

Let us look at another instance. Pastor Russell, made the claim that Christ returned to the earth in 1874. This was taught by mouth and pen until 1914. When the overthrow of the existing powers did not occur then, they changed the date without comment, saying that actually he returned in 1914; invisibly of course, so that no one could test their claim. Christ’s return in 1874 was clearly a false claim.

Another instance of a false teaching concerns the Jews. Both Pastor Russell and Judge Rutherford plainly taught that the Jews return to the land of Israel was necessary before Christ’s second advent at Armageddon.

In 1946, your leaders chanced their story. In the Jehovah Witness Book, Let God Be True, p. 208-209 they say, “The facts and prophecies prove that the natural Jews will never again be a chosen regathered people…It is a false hope that they must be regathered to Palestine.”

The words of God through Moses in Deuteronomy clearly apply. The prophet is false. Even logic tells us this. If these are ‘spirit anointed’ ones, and God’s ‘divine channel’, having the Holy Spirit, as they claim, they would not, and COULD NOT, give false information. This is why we can trust fully in the Bible. God’s word is perfect and unchangeable. We must look to this only, and not to changeable men, especially when we can plainly see that what they said has not come to pass, and that they have spoken falsely.

Natural Israel, The Jews, Will Ultimately be Blessed by Yahweh

Next let us consider the Jews. Jehovah Witnesses are now told by their leaders that THEY, the Jehovah Witnesses, are Spiritual Israel. They claim that the passages of scripture that refer to the Jews being ultimately blessed by God and inheriting the land refers to THEM, the Jehovah Witnesses – not to the natural Jew.

Let us examine this claim. Romans 11:26 says, “And so all Israel shall be saved.” The Jehovah Witnesses, say “this passage refers US, spiritual Israel”. Let us examine this by looking at the context of this verse.

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

Spiritual Israel is not “blind, ungodly, and enemies of the gospel”, but natural Israel, the Jews are. Therefore we conclude that this passage MUST apply to natural Israel. That at some time in the future, all of the blind, ungodly Jews who are presently enemies of the gospel, shall be saved because of Gods promises to their fathers.

Next we shall consider Jeremiah Chapter 31 in reference to the Jews. This whole Chapter is talking about the Israel being established in the land. Verse 24 & 27 says

24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks… 27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

Agreed, say your leaders. This is us, spiritual Israel, the Great Flock who shall inherit the land. But read the very next verse.

28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.

God has watched over the Jew to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy and to afflict – but certainly NOT spiritual Israel.

There are literally scores of passages like this regarding the Jews returning to God’s favor, and God Himself building and planting them.

Respected audience of the Great Flock Class. Your leaders are teaching you falsehoods. Read the Bible for yourselves.


Why is it that you the Great Crowd do not see this. It is because you are students of your own theology not students of the Bible. You read, study, and memorize the doctrine that is given to you by your leaders in the Watchtower and Awake magazines. You go door to door with fragmented quotes, and never go back to study the context of the Bible for yourself. You are fearful of questioning your leaders, for you believe that to do so is rebellion against God. And lest you think I am speaking inaccurately, I challenge you, to take out your Bible and read the entire chapter of Jeremiah Chapter 31, and Romans Chapter 11, for yourselves. These scriptures are not referring to Spiritual Israel, but rather Natural Israel, the Jew. Test this for yourselves by reading these scriptures.

Christadelphians on the other hand are Bible Students. Yes, we read other books and magazines, including at times, the Watchtower and Awake magazines. But we read the Bible, completely, cover to cover, year after year. We have a Bible reading plan and read the Bible every day. At the end of each year we have read the Old Testament once, and the New Testament twice. Then we start again, and we do so year after year. For example, after 10 years, we would have read the Old Testament ten times, and the New Testament 20 times. We bring up our children the same way. From their youth, they do this with us. So that from the age of say, 5-15, our youth have read the Old Testament ten times and the New Testament 20 times. If someone quotes to us Rom 11:26 “And so all Israel shall be saved”, we can in many cases finish the verse from memory, and we most certainly understand the Chapter and the context.

It is this kind of study that is necessary for all of God’s true children. For without this, we can easily be lead astray by false teachers.

I recently had a Jehovah Witness come to my door. She had been witnessing for 10 years. Yet when I ask her how many times she had read through the whole Bible, she admitted that she had never done so. Again notice the similarity between Roman Catholics and Jehovah Witnesses in this regard. Some may read the Bible, but it is their theology that is emphasized, not Bible Study.

I repeat, read the Bible for yourselves. Look up all the quotes that I am giving you and judge for yourself.

Mistranslations in The New World Translation of the Bible

Let us first look at The Memorial Meeting, sometimes called the Breaking of Bread Meeting.

Acts 2:42 in the AV reads thus, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Virtually all other translators render this like the AV. For example, The Diaglott “and to the breaking of the loaf”; Young’s Literal Translation “and the breaking of the bread”, and The RSV “in the breaking of the bread.” The New World Translation renders this verse thus, “And to sharing [with one another], to taking of meals”.

Nor do the Leaders do this on a weekly basis as commanded. They have this Memorial Service once a year. Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

Again, all of the translations mentioned above agree with the AV

except The New World Translation, which changes ‘to break bread’, to “when we were gathered together to have a meal”.

By interpreting this passage in this way, the Leaders change the Memorial Meeting, with great spiritual significance, to a regular meal, with no spiritual significance. They then use this mistranslation to prohibit the Great Crowd from fulfilling this important command.

Rev 5:9, “Reign on the earth”

Another example of this is shown in Rev 5:9 “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book,and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and

we shall reign on the earth.”

“On the earth” is how the AV translates this, ALONG WITH EVERY

OTHER RELIABLE TRANSLATION. The NWT translates this word, “on”,

as “over”. They of course teach that Christ and his assistants will rule

“over” the earth, not “on” the earth.

In addition, this identical Greek word appears six other times in the

book of Revelations (6:10; 7;1; 11:10; 13:14;, 14:6; and 17:8). IN

EVERY INSTANCE The New World Translation translates this word

correctly as “on”.

The conclusion is obvious. The translators are being dishonest.

They are deceiving the Great Crowd, and so allowing them, the Leaders, to maintain their (supposed) superior position in heaven with Christ, ruling “over” the Great Crowd on the earth.


Matt 24:3 (NWT) “what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things”

The AV says, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

The NWT translates the Greek word “parousia” as “presence”, and the AV translated this word as, “coming”. This word can mean both “presence”, and “coming”.

This different translation of the word is necessary for the Jehovah Witnesses theology. Let us consider.

In the Jehovah Witness book, “Let God Be True”, p. 136 it says, “Christ Jesus was put to death in the flesh and was resurrected an invisible spirit creature. Therefore the world will see him no more.”

“Christ was raised from the dead as an immortal spirit person” (The Jehovah Witness Web Site).

In the book, “Truth That Leads to Eternal Life”, p. 52, they explain it this way. “During a period of forty days after his resurrection he appeared visibly to his disciples a number of times in materialized bodies”.

In their ”Awake”, magazine, p. 4, July 22, 1973 they say, “Jesus appeared in human form, yes, even assuming a body with wounds so as to convince doubting Thomas.”

Therefore, when Christ returns, they say, that it is only in “presence”, invisibly, ruling from the heavens not as a human but as “a glorious spirit creature” (Let God Be True p. 185, 1946 edition, etc.)

But Matt 24:3 is not the only time that Christ’s return to the earth was spoken of. There are at least three other words that refer specifically to Christ’s appearance that leave no doubt as to his literal appearing.

In 1Peter 5:4 it says, “And When the chief Shepherd shall appear” “Appear” if from the Greek word ‘Phaneroo’ which means literally, “to make manifest” according to Dr. Young (Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible).

In 2 Thes 1:9 it says,”the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints…” “Presence”, as translated here by the AV is from the Greek word, ‘prosopon’ and means, “face”.

In Rev 2:25 it says, “Hold fast till I come”. This word (‘heko’) according to Dr. Young means, “To have come, be here”.

And of course, “his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives” Zech 14:4. And they shall look upon him “whom they have pierced” Zech 10:12.

They have forgotten that, “there is a spiritual body” (1 Cor 15:44).

From this, we can see that the words of the angels in Acts 1:10, are literally true. “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

“Materialized bodies”, “assuming a body”, “invisible spirit creature”, and “the world will see him no more” are false unscriptural speculations. And to say that Christ did this to “convince doubting Thomas”, is to make Christ a deciever.

No Bible student, one who has thoughtfully read through the entire Bible several times, would ever be deceived by these unscriptural speculations. Again, I urge you, the Great Crowd, read the Bible, and do not rely on the false theology of your Leaders.

When did Christ’s Rule Over the Earth Begin – 1874, 1914, or 33 AD?

Jesus was taken into heaven shortly after his crucifixion in about 33 AD. What has he been doing there for the last 2,000 years? After his resurrection Christ told his disciples, in Matthew 25:18, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Thus after his resurrection and being taken into heaven, God gave him full power “in earth”. Peter defines this more fully in 1 Peter 3:22, he says of Christ, “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”

And finally we have the entire book of Revelations that gives us the history of the earth, from the time of John the apostle, in about 95 AD, until after Armageddon; roughly for the last 2000 years. It is Jesus Christ that we see opening the seals in Chapter 6, and overseeing the events on the earth. Christ did not go to heaven, and wait for 1874 or 1914 to begin his work in overseeing the events on the earth as your leaders would have you believe. His work began in 33 AD and has continued ever since.

This can also be seen in Rev 2: 5 “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Here Christ is speaking to the church at Ephesus. This is about 95AD when he gave the revelation to John on the isle of Patmos. We see him actively involved in the affairs of the earth, prepared to remove there lightstand.

Again in Daniel 9:26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people [the Roman Armies] of the prince [Jesus Christ] that shall come shall destroy the city[of Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Temple]; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”

This occurred in 70AD when Titus the Roman General completely destroyed Jerusalem and burned the temple to the ground. He then scattered the Jews into the Diaspora where they remained until 1948. Note that the Roman army was working on behalf of the prince, Jesus Christ, carrying out the plan of God as recorded in Daniel.

Christ’s work will continue his oversight of the nations until he returns to the earth. He will then bring all nations into subjection to his earthly kingdom for the next 1000. “Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father…28 … then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (God) that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15: 24&28).

Thus, Christ’s oversight of the earth began in 33 AD and has continued until the present. When he returns to the earth, he will then bring all nations into subjection to his Kingdom for the next 1000 years. Then, he will deliver up the kingdom to God and be subject unto God, that God may be all in all.

Unscriptural Reasoning

In “From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained,” p. 30, the Jehovah

Witnesses reason thus on Genesis 3:1-4.

“Where did the serpent get the power to speak? God had not given it this power when he made it. This can only mean that someone was speaking through the serpent and making it seem to be the one that was talking. Who else could it be but one of the unseen persons or angels that God had made…”

We ask, “how could any Bible Student give serious consideration to this”? He asks questions and then giving his own unscriptural answers; having unproven assumptions, circular logic, etc. Why not accept the record of the Scriptures as God has given it? The serpent was made by God – subtle and with the ability to speak – even as Balaam’s ass was able to speak (Numbers 22:28).

Suing At Law

The Jehovah Witnesses understand that the governments of the world are of man. They do not vote, nor do they serve in their military. In this Christadelphians agree. Yet your Leaders tell you that you CAN use these same governments to redress your grievances by suing at law.

This is clearly and directly opposed to the scriptures. Christ says, in Mt 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.…44 Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

We must use God’s word to guide us, and not man’s opinion.

Apostate Christianity

Next we will consider Apostate Christianity. Both Jehovah Witnesses and Christadelphians agree that Traditional Christianity is in error, is apostate, and is considered filthy in the sight of God.

Not only is Roman Catholicism that Great Whore spoken of in Revelation, but Protestantism, having developed out of her, is her harlot daughters.

Let us consider this from Revelations Chapter 17:

1 ¶ And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters…


6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…

Using the Scriptural terms, from Revelation Chapter 17:1-6, we see that this woman is drunken, whorish, wealthy, abominable, blasphemous, and filthy. This, is Roman Catholicism. She is here described as a mother of harlots. These harlot daughters are Protestant’s who were borne into the world through her, and who have doctrinal characteristics similar to their mother. This is the general Christadelphian view, and as I understand it, also the view of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This great spiritual whore, (Catholicism) gave wine to the inhabitants of the earth making them drunk and unable to think clearly. This wine, scripturally speaking, stands for her “doctrine”. Anyone accepting the doctrine of this Apostate system is unable to think clearly or to understand accurately God’s Word, the Bible.

It is critically important for us therefore to understand just what doctrines are held by Roman Catholicism, since it is this wine that blasphemes and opposes God. Furthermore, these doctrines would, generally speaking, be the same doctrines held by her harlot daughters who have come to birth through her. The whore and her harlot daughters are closely related in their apostate doctrine.

We will consider 18 doctrines that are held by Roman Catholics

Eighteen Biblical Errors held by Catholicism and Most of Protestantism – Beliefs in:

(the bold are also held by JW’s and the italicised one ( #4) for the 144K)

1. The Trinity

2. The Pre-existence of Christ

3. The Holy Spirit is a Person

4. The Soul is immortal

5. Hell torments for the wicked

6. Heaven going for the righteous

7. The earth will be destroyed

8. The Kingdom of God is the Church

9. Christ is now sitting on David’s Throne

10. Christ died as a substitute to appease God

11. Infant sprinkling is baptism

12. The Holy Spirit Gifts are available today

13. Sabbath keeping is required today

14. Breaking of Bread and drinking of wine is not required for all believers

15. The Bible is not the final authority, the spiritual leaders are

16. The devil is a fallen angel

17. The Jews return to the land of Israel has nothing to do with the fulfilling Bible prophecy

18. There will be a future antichrist

(“There is a World-Wide Family”).

Now what of her Protestant Daughters?

Let us begin with the Lutherans. Martin Luther was ordained a priest of Roman Catholicism in 1507. In 1517 he published his famous 95 thesis critical of certain doctrines of the Roman Church. He was excommunicated from the Roman Church, and became a leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. Notice that he was born into the world by his Roman Catholic Mother; he literally came out of her. And although rejecting some of his Mother’s doctrines, he nevertheless retained many of them. He was truly his Mother’s daughter.

As we consider Lutheranism today, we see that she still retains 16 of her Roman Catholic mother’s 18 doctrines noted above (1-13; 15-17).

Let us consider some other Protestant sects. The Assemblies of God, the Pentecostals, the Pilgrim Holiness, the Nazarenes, for example, believe in 13 of these 18 doctrines (Numbers 1-7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, & 18).

The Mennonites believe 15 of these 18 doctrines (1-10, 12, 13, 15-17).

The World Wide Church of God believes 8 of these 18 doctrines (2, 10, 12-16, 18). Etc.

Thus we can see, that being brought into the world by their mother, her daughters all share with their Mother, many of the Mother’s spiritual characteristics. They are easily identified as their Mother’s daughters.

But what of Jehovah’s Witnesses? The Jehovah Witnesses believe 9 of these same doctrines (2, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, & 17). Although they, like Luther, and the other daughters, differ from their Mother in certain aspects, they are nevertheless, clearly identified with their Mother. They are one of her daughters.

The Christadelphians, on the other hand, share NONE OF THESE DOCTRINES with this ‘Mother Whore’. We believe that every one of these 18 doctrines are opposed to the clear teaching of the Bible, and that anyone that holds any of these doctrines is apostate from the truth. And certainly any group that holds a large number of these doctrines can be identified as a daughter of their Mother.

Respected Friends: I realize that this information will be horrifying to Jehovah Witnesses. I accept that you a committed and zealous people; that you generally speaking, attempt to faithfully uphold the Jehovah Witness doctrines. But if we are truthful to the truth, we must accept the truth. Jehovah Witnesses are in in fact agreement with Roman Catholicism on 9 of these 18 doctrines mentioned above. This is a fact, and is truth.

Some Beliefs Held in Common by bo th Christadelphians and Jehovah Witnesses.

Nevertheless, there is some good in you. The Christadelphians and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have many doctrines in common. Let us look at some of them (From the Jehovah Witness Web Site):

Bible is God’s Word and is truth

Kingdom under Christ will rule earth in righteousness and peace

Kingdom brings ideal living conditions to earth

Christ is God’s Son and is inferior to him

Christ’s one sacrifice is sufficient

Wicked will be eternally destroyed

People God approves will receive eternal life

There is only one road to life

We are now in the ‘time of the end’

Human death is due to Adam’s sin

The human soul ceases to exist at death (except for their rulers)

Hell is mankind’s common grave

Hope for dead is resurrection

Adamic death will cease

Christ’s congregation is built upon himself

Prayers must be directed only to God through Christ

Images must not be used in worship

Spiritism must be shunned

A Christian must have no part in interfaith movements

A Christian must keep separate from world

All human laws that do not conflict with God’s laws should be obeyed

Bible’s laws on morals must be obeyed

Sabbath observance was given only to the Jews and ended with Mosaic Law

A clergy class and special titles are improper

Man did not evolve but was created

Christ set example that must be followed in serving God

(Some other similarities but not listed on the Web)

We do not baptize infants

We do not wear crosses

We do not participate in war

We do not vote

We agree that Christmas and Easter are pagan holidays

Final Plea To Jehovah’s Witnesses

These areas of agreement between Christadelphians and Jehovah Witnesses are a wonderful starting point. We urge you to carefully and prayerfully test all of the claims made herein with the Bible. You have started the process in rejecting many of Rome’s claims. Complete the process and accept the fulness of the Truth! I urge you to follow God’s command in Rev 18:4, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities”.

We the Christadelphians, urge you to be like the noble Bereans of New Testament times.

Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

We agree with you, that the time is short. Christ’s revelation to this earth is at hand. Therefore may we all have the wisdom to commit ourselves to seeking the fulness of God’s Truth, knowing that if we do so, we will find it. Christ has assured us saying, Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

May God’s blessings and mercies be with each of us as we seek and knock, that we may find, for the time is at hand.



Jehovah’s Witnesses – a Scriptural and Historical Analysis, Christadelphian Scriptural Study Service, 17 Braemar Road, Torrens Park, South Australia, 5062,

1984, Ron Cowie

Wrested Scriptures, Ron Abel, The Christadelphians, Box 1066 Pasadena, California, 91102

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT)

The Teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses examined, Dawn Booklet # 33, The Dawn Book Supply, England, 1987

Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuted by the Bible, Herald of the Coming Age, Edited by H. P. Mansfield, Australia, 1982

Various Web Sites, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses official site


Strong’s Concordance

Various Web Articles