HISTORY OF THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES
A. The Jehovah's Witnesses was begun by Charles Taze Russell in 1872.
1. He was born on February 16, 1852, the son of Joseph L. and Anna Eliza Russell.
PASTOR RUSSELL, the greatest expounder of Biblical truths since the days of Saint Paul, the twelfth and greatest of the Apostles of the Lamb, and the staunchest defender of "the faith once delivered to the saints" since Luther, was born Charles Taze Russell, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1852, of consecrated parents who were of Scotch- Irish descent.
The circumstances connected with his birth, together with the environment of his early life, no doubt had much to do with his subsequent course and usefulness in the Lord’s cause, as in the case of Samuel, who was given to the Lord before he was born; (1Sa 1:11) and of Saint Paul, who tells us he was chosen from his birth. (Ga 1:15)
Having come of such parentage and being reared under the influence of a Christian home, he necessarily developed at an early age, a mind that incited him to "feel after God," a desire to KNOW Him in the true sense, and so to worship Him accordingly. Being, therefore, of a naturally reverential trend of mind he early showed a tendency to worship a GOD of LOVE; for his own heart,
2. He had great difficulty in dealing with the doctrine of eternal hell fire
3. And in his studies came to deny not only eternal punishment,
a. But also the Trinity,
b. The deity of Christ
c. And the personal Holy Spirit.
B. When Russell was 18 years old, he organized a Bible class in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1. In 1879 he sought to popularize his ideas on doctrine.
2. He co-published The Herald of the Morning magazine with its founder, N. H. Barbour.
3. By 1884 Russell controlled the publication and renamed it The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom,
4. And founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society (now known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society).
5. The first edition of The Watchtower magazine was only 6,000 copies each month.
6. He founded the International Bible Students Association.
6. Today the Witnesses' publishing complex in Brooklyn, New York, churns out 100,000 books and 800,000 copies of its two magazines daily!
II. AFTER THE DEATH OF RUSSELL ON OCT. 31, 1916
A. A Missouri lawyer named Joseph Franklin Rutherford
1.Took over the presidency of the Watch Tower Society which was known then as the International Bible Students Association.
2. In 1931 he changed the name of the organization to "The Jehovah's Witnesses."
B. Next in power.
1. After Rutherford's death, Nathan Knorr took over.
2. After Knorr, Frederick William Franz became president.
3. The Society was led by Mr. Henschel who died in 2003.
4. The group has over 4 million members worldwide.
C. Some interesting stats.
1. The Watchtower Society statistics indicate that 740 house calls are required
a. To recruit each of the nearly 200,000 new members who join every year.
2. The Jehovah's Witnesses have several ‘book studies' each week.
3. The members are not required to attend, but there is a level of expectation that gently urges converts to participate.
4. It is during these “book studies” that the Jehovah's Witness is constantly exposed to counter Christian teachings.
5. The average Jehovah's Witness, with his constant Watchtower indoctrination, could easily pummel the average Christian when it comes to defending his beliefs.
A. God's personal name is Jehovah.
1. There was a time when Jehovah was alone in universal space.
2. All life and energy and thought were contained in him alone. (Let God Be True 1952, p. 25).
3. The obvious conclusion is that Satan is the originator of the trinity doctrine. (LG, p. 101).
B. Only Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting (Make Sure of All Things, 1965, p.486).
1. Elohim is the plural of majesty.
2. It does not mean that he is mysteriously a trinity (New Heavens and New Earth, p.36).
3. Jesus Christ is not One God with the Father (MS, p.485).
4. Holy Spirit is God's Active Force, not a person (MS, p.487).
IV. JESUS CHRIST
A. He is not Jehovah God.
1. He was the first (created) son that Jehovah God brought forth (LG, p. 32).
2. The First Creation by God (MS, p. 282).
B. Jesus Christ had a pre-human existence (LG. p. 34).
1. Michael the archangel is no other than the only begotten Son of God, now Jesus Christ (NH. p. 30).
2. Jesus was born about Oct. 1, B.C. 2, of the Virgin Mary (LG. p. 36).
3. At baptism Jesus was anointed to become the Messiah, or Jesus the Christ (Anointed) (LG. p. 38).
C. He showed his subjection to God by humbling himself to a most disgraceful death on a torture stake (LG. p. 35).
1. God raised him as a mighty immortal spirit Son (LG. p.40).
2. Christ was not raised in flesh, but with a spiritual body (MS, p. 426).
D. Who is Jesus to the Watchtower
A. Michael the archangel is no other than the only begotten Son of God, now Jesus Christ (NH. p. 30).
2. Jesus is called Abaddon, Apollyon meaning Destroyer in Rev. 9:1-11. (Then is Finished; The Mystery of God, p. 232)
a. Satan is also called Abaddon, Apollyon meaning Destroyer in Rev. 9:1-11. (Studies in the Scriptures Vol.7, p. 159)
V. HOLY SPIRIT
A. The Holy Spirit is the invisible active force of Almighty God,
1. Which moves his servants to do his, will (LG. p. 108).
A. Sin is a falling short of God's mark of perfection, transgression of His righteous law. (MS, p. 456).
1. Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God's plainly stated law (MS, p. 457).
2. At death, Adam was to return to the dust, a return to non-existence (NH, p. 88).
3. No descendant of Adam is free from sin: all inherit it from first man (MS, p. 458).
4. All are born in sin (imperfect, with wayward tendencies) (MS, p. 456).
5. Adam brought death not only upon himself, but also upon all the race descended from him (NH, p. 89).
6. Perfect human life was lost with its rights and earthly prospects (LG, p. 114).
VII. REDEMPTION AND SALVATION
A. Adam is not included in those ransomed. He had perfect life, and this he deliberately forfeited (LG, p. 119).
1. Jesus Christ laid down in sacrifice a perfect HUMAN LIFE,
2. Equal to that which Adam forfeited (You May Survive Armageddon, p. 39).
3. The ransom, or redemptive price with which redemption is made, is "the man Christ Jesus" (LG, p. 113).
4. His perfect human life with all its rights and prospects, was laid down in death,
5. But NOT FOR SIN AND IN PUNISHMENT (LG, p. 116). (Jesus was raised a divine spirit creature.)
B. The value of the perfect human life was now available for use on behalf of faithful men (LG, p. 116).
1. Thus, makes possible general resurrection for mankind with opportunity for eternal life (MS, p. 411).
D. The Bible plainly shows that 144,000 will share in heavenly glory,
1. While the others will enjoy the blessings of life down here on earth (LG, p. 298).
E. All who by reason of faith in Jehovah God and in Christ Jesus
1. Dedicate themselves to do God's will
2. And then faithfully carry out their dedication will be rewarded with everlasting life (LG, p. 298).
F. An unnumbered crowd of faithful persons do not expect to go to heaven.
1. They have been promised everlasting life on earth
2. If they prove their faithfulness (LG, p. 231),
a. By faith in Jehovah's baptism, "provided ... they abide in him,
b. By keeping their good conscience through faith and loyal service" (NH, p. 311).
3. Armageddon survivors and the mass of humankind will find life here on earth amid paradise conditions (LG, p. 279).
A. The doctrine of a burning hell where the wicked are tortured eternally after death cannot be true (LG, p. 99).
1. A dead person is unconscious, inactive. The soul (entire being) itself is DEAD (MS, p. 143).
B. The millennial judgment day (the 1,000-year judgment day) will take place after Armageddon (LG, p. 284-286).
1. The final test will come by the loosing of Satan out of his restraint (at the end of the Millennium) (LG, p. 293).
2. Those supporting Satan (at the end of Millennium) will, with the Devil himself, be cast into the "lake of fire and sulphur."
3. They are drowned in everlasting destruction (annihilated) and for them there is no resurrection (LG, p.270).
4. All who reject the Kingdom message will be destroyed (LG, p. 190; YM, p. 341).
IX. THE ORGANIZATION
A. The history of the Watch Tower Organization
1. The organization was formed in 1881 as the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society.
a. In 1896 the name was changed to Watch Tower Tract Society.
2. The People's Pulpit Association was incorporated on February 23, 1909.
3. In 1914, the International Bible Students Association was incorporated in Britain.
B. Does the organization claim to be the prophet of God?
1. The JW’s claim to be the modern day prophet Ezekiel. (The Watchtower 1972)
2. The organization says to believe everything they say to you. (Qualified to be Ministers, p. 156)