A Biblical Response to Jehovah's Witnesses

September 15, 2001

A. Purpose/Goals of this Series:
1.  Purpose:
>  Our purpose is to instruct our church family on the teachings and beliefs of various world religions, in contrast to Biblical Christianity.
2.  Goals:
1.  To accurately present in a culturally sensitive manner the specific world life views of various world religions.
2.  To demonstrate how each world religion differs from Biblical Christianity.
3.  To equip our church to respond Biblically to the claims of these world religions
-  It is not our desire in any sense to make fun of those who believe something different than we do – I’m certain that many who hold other beliefs are very sincere in those beliefs
- However, sincerity it not the standard of truthfulness
- Proverbs even warns us about our sincerity:
• Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
B.  Ground Rules
1.  We are not speaking in a spirit of ill will (but we will not ignore obvious error)
2.  There WILL be disagreements and differences.
3.  Learn what we can about other religions while better understanding our own
- Let’s begin with this question . . .

I.  General Overview

- It is estimated that:
• Over 900,000 Jehovah's Witness spend 10 hours a month going from door to door in the United States while another 100,000 "pioneers" devote 100 hours a month. Jehovah’s Witnesses convert 4,000 people and build five Kingdom Halls per week worldwide!
• Door-to-door witnessing is one of the most important requirements for Jehovah’s Witnesses salvation.
• This process is called . . .
A.  Proselytizing:  Often the proselytizing is an attempt to gain God's approval.
-  They work for grace rather than from grace as the Bible teaches.
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ proselytizing in made possible by . . .
B.  Intensive Training
• Jehovah's Witnesses must attend five hours of meetings a week devoting about 85 percent of their study time to Watchtower publications and 15 percent to their version of the Bible, the New World Translation.
• Make no mistake, they do an excellent job in training their converts – we simply believe that they are being trained to promote doctrinal error that has eternal implications
C.  The Theological Problems of the JW
[We will begin to deal with this aspect in a few minutes – it is the heart of why we are here this evening and why we are doing this series!]
Dr. Martin

II.  Historical Background –

[taken from The Kingdom of the Cults, Walter Martin + other sources]

A.  Founder -- Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916)
• Russell grew up in PA where at an early age he rejected the doctrine of eternal torment. 
• In 1870, at 18, Russell organized a Bible class in Pittsburgh, which in 1876 elected him “Pastor” of the group – but he was never ordained by any group.
• Three years later, Russell founded The Herald of the Morning (1879), which developed into today’s The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.
• In 1884, “Pastor” Russell incorporated “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which in 1886 published the first in a series of seven books (Russell wrote six by himself), originally published as The Millennial Dawn and now entitled Studies in the Scriptures.
• The seventh volume, The Finished Mystery, was edited from his writings after his death and published in 1917.
• This 7th book caused a split in the organization, which culminated in a clear division, the larger group following J.F. Rutherford, the smaller remaining by itself.  Under Rutherford’s leadership, the ‘Society’ became known by it present name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”
B.  About the founder
- It is important for us to understand the kind of person who is at the foundation of this religion, who claimed new interpretation of Scripture.
- The following details are true of His life:
-  During the “Pastor’s” 1912 tour, sermons printed in newspapers were subsequently discovered to never have been delivered in the places claimed.
-  Russell had no training or education to justify his interpretation of Scripture.
-  Russell did not have that knowledge, or even the qualifications for ordination by any recognized body, yet allowed himself to be called “pastor”  -- a title that was assumed—not earned
-  Additionally, Russell claimed “ordination” and equal if not superior status to ordained and accredited ministers, which he subsequently recanted.

- In addition, Russell Perjured himself
• In a case where Russell sued a minister from Ontario for “defamatory libel” for denouncing Russell’s theology and personal life.  The court record shows Russell perjured himself repeatedly under oath before Almighty God.
• He first claimed under oath to know the Greek and then finally admitting that he couldn’t read the alphabet at all when confronted with a copy of it. He subsequently admitted he knew nothing about Greek and Hebrew, had never taken a course in philosophy or systematic theology, and had not attended schools of higher learning. Although a short time before Russell had sworn he did have such knowledge.
- It’s right to consider the character of Jesus Christ, the qualifications of a pastor, etc – it’s also right for us to know the truth about the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
W. Martin’s quote:
“Jehovah’s witnesses cannot deny this documentary evidence; it is too well substantiated.  This is no ‘religious scheme’ to ‘smear’ the “Pastor’s” memory.  I offer it as open proof of their founder’s inherent dishonesty and lack of morals, that they may see the type of man to whose doctrines they have committed their eternal souls.” – p. 43
C.  Structural Authority of the Organization
• The Watchtower Society is an absolute autocracy.
-  All authority is vested in The Governing Body, including the authority to understand and teach the Bible.
-  Dissent is not permitted and, if discovered, exclusion from membership or being disfellowshipped for questioning the teachings and authority of the Society.
• Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed the following:
1) to study the Bible on their own
2) to interpret what they read in the Bible for themselves
3) to teach directly from the Bible.
• Rather, they must teach from approved Watchtower publications about the Bible.
IMPORTANT:  According to Russell, it is impossible to understand God’s plan of salvation independent of his theology. Also, if one’s study is of the Bible alone, without Russell’s interpretations, that person will walk in darkness at the end of two years. [i.e. they will believe what they read in the Bible and adopt that belief]

III.  Jehovah's Witnesses Beliefs

- The easiest way to treat the doctrinal system of JW is to present its denials of evangelical Christianity – since this series is titled, “A Comparison of World Religions” – we’ll do just that!
- Let’s look at these in detail . . . 1st of all, the Place of the Word of God
A. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the authority of the Bible.
- As Christians, we believe the Bible alone (66 canonical books) is God's inspired Word.
[Note:  There is a session available on the Canon of the Bible – why we include what we include, etc. – contact the Ministry Resource Center for a cassette tape.]
• 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired [lit. ‘God-breathed’] by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
[cf. 2 Peter 1:19-21; Hebrew 1:1-2]
- ‘inspired’ = God-breathed (while God used the backgrounds, various life experiences, and even writing styles, the Holy Spirit moved upon these holy men and recorded His Word as the living Word) – this definition applies ONLY to the ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS!
- That’s why the writer of Hebrews could say:
• Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
- We not only believe in ‘inspiration’ but also ‘PRESERVATION’ of God's Word
‘preservation’ – that God has preserved His Word for us in the translations of the original manuscripts from generation to generation
• Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
Quote:  Josephus (at the end of the 1st century – in reference to the OT books) “For, although such long ages have now passed, no one has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to altr a syllable; and it is an instinct with every Jew from the day of his birth, to regard them as the decrees of God, to abide by them, and if need be, cheerfully die for them.”
Point:  As believers, we can be certain that we have the Word of God as He gave it to the writers!
1)  Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the authority of the Bible by claiming unique interpretations.
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) was first published in part in 1950 and later revised in 1951, 1961, and 1984.
Jehovah’s Witnesses boast that their “translation” is “the work of competent scholars” giving clarity to the Scriptures that other translations have somehow failed to supply.
In reality, The Watchtower redefines biblical terms to suit their own peculiar theological interpretations: 
Examples – Matthew 27:50 and Luke 23:46 are parallel passages describing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.:
• Matthew 27:50  “Again Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and yielded up his breath” (NWT).
• Luke 23:46  “And Jesus called with a loud voice and said: Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit” (NWT).
Point:  In Matthew’s account, the Witnesses substitute “breath” for the Greek “spirit” to make it appear that Jesus only stopped breathing and did not yield up His invisible nature upon dying.
But in Luke’s account, they are trapped because Jesus would hardly have said: “Father, into thy hands I commit my breath!” The very fact that Christ dismissed His spirit proves the survival of the human spirit beyond the grave (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:7).
- in fact, part of the problem was . . .
2)  The New World translation committee had no known translators with recognized degrees in Greek or Hebrew exegesis or translation.
*  In fact, Frederick W. Franz (a former president 1977-1992) – then representing the translation committee, admitted under oath that he could not translate Genesis 2:4 from the Hebrew.
• Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
*  A Hebrew teacher from Biola University/Talbot Theological Seminary said he would never pass a first year Hebrew student who could not translate that verse! [In other words, it was easy for a 1st year student!!]
Point:  The New World “Translation” is not only an inferior translation, it is inaccurate with the ancient manuscripts and it lacks true scholarship! – and in many cases, differs with what you and I would call “The Word of God”
Dr. Martin
B.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity
- As Christians, we believe God is eternal, personal, spiritual Being in three persons--the Trinity: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
• Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
-  Jehovah's Witnesses believe differently – they believe & teach:
1.  There is one solitary being from all eternity, Jehovah God – the Creator and Preserver of the Universe and all things. They deny the doctrine of the Trinity.
-  JW conclude that . . .
2.  Believing in the Trinity “prevents people from accurately knowing” Jehovah God and from properly worshipping Him.
>  As a result, they say, the doctrine of the Trinity must be thoroughly rejected.
3.  One of The Watchtower’s major publications, “Let God Be True” echoes this belief stating the following:
“Satan is the originator of the Trinity doctrine” – p. 101."
-  In short, they have embraced the old Arian heresy, popularized by Arius of Alexandria (in Egypt) in the fourth century A.D., which taught that
• Jesus was the 1st  creature [a 2nd and created god] -- inferior to Jehovah, the Father. 
Point:  The Jehovah’s Witnesses base their whole system upon this theological myth which was banished from the church, along with Arius, in A.D. 325
- Biblical Christianity believes that . . .
• There is only one God.  God is one in His substance or essence.  When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, He prefaced His answer by quoting the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) – “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.”
- Even the NWT claims in their translation of 1 Timothy 2:5 that there is only one true God: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men” (NWT).
• Each person in the Godhead is equally God.  Each member has His own work and inter-relationship with the other tow.  But the three share the same essences, so the they unify as one divine being.
- Carefully note the following statements:
1. The Father Is God.
-  The Scriptures clearly speak of God as the Father.
• Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father . . .
• The NWT also claims that the Father is God in 1 Corinthians 8:6 “There is actually to us one God the Father” (NWT).
2.  Jesus Is God.
• John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
-  The New World Translation of the Watchtower Society translates the last clause of John 1:1 as "the Word was a god."  --  i.e. since the definite article ‘the’ does not appear in the Greek, then wrongly assume it would be translated ‘a’ god.
**[Explain Coldwell’s rule – a definite predicate nominative (in this case, theos—God) never takes an article when it precedes the verb (was) as in John 1:1
- It is therefore easy to see that no article is needed for Theos (God)
- To translate it ‘a god’ is incorrect grammar and poor Greek since Theos is the predicate nominative of ‘was’ in the third sentence-clause of the verse and must refer back to the subject – Martin, p. 85]
-  The Watchtower considers Jesus “a second god” and introducing polytheism (many gods) into Christianity.
Point:  This translation is markedly inferior scholarship and finds no basis whatsoever in NT Greek grammar.
-  Further, the translation "a god" conflicts with the first and foremost commandment, "You shall have no other gods before [besides] Me" (Exodus 20:3).  Jehovah God declares, “There is no god besides Me" (Deuteronomy 32:39)
-  The Bible repeatedly describes Jesus as God, equal with the Father. It attributes to Him the same names, titles, honor, qualities, and acts as God.
• Exodus 3:14 – Jehovah speaking to Moses said, “I AM.”
• John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, . . . before Abraham was, I Am”
-  Jesus literally said to the Jews, “I AM Jehovah.” They clearly understood Him and what He meant because at that point they attempted to stone Him.
-  The only legal ground the Jews had for stoning Christ (actually, they had none at all) was that of blasphemy (Leviticus 24:10–23)
-  Many Jehovah’s Witnesses claim the Jews were going to stone Jesus because He called them children of the devil (John 8:44), but they could not stone Christ on those grounds.

-  A Key New Testament Verse to consider: [Note:  This is even found in the NWT!!]
• John 20:28 Thomas clearly proclaims:  “My Lord and my God.”
>  If Jesus were not God, He would have corrected Thomas sharply.
[Student Notes – Further Study:  Hebrew law on this point states five cases in which stoning was legal. (1) Familiar spirits, Leviticus 20:27; (2) Cursing (blasphemy), Leviticus 24:10–23; (3) False prophets who lead to idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:5–10; (4) Stubborn and rebellious adult son, Deuteronomy 21:18–21; and (5) Adultery and rape, Deuteronomy 22:21–24 and Leviticus 20:10.]
- There are examples in the Scripture of those who rebuke others for trying to offer them worship:  (just mention quickly)
• Angel (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9)
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he *said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
>  Yet Jesus commended Thomas – He did not rebuke him!

-  Passages Jehovah's Witnesses Use to Claim Jesus Is Not God
1.  John 14:28 “The Father is greater than I.”  (cf. John 10:18,29)
-  It is true, Jesus' position as a man was less than that of His Father.
-  In fact, Jesus became not only less than the Father, but also a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9) in order to be our Savior –  He died as man, but as God He never ceased to rule the universe with His Father. He was always God, yet He was a man! – He was the God-man!
- Some have stated it this way:  Jesus never ceased being God, but rather laid aside the independent exercise of His attributes as God in order to fulfill the Father’s plan of redemption!!!
- Paul stated that ‘He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Philippians 2:8)
2.  Colossians 1:15 “He (Jesus Christ) is the firstborn over all creation.” 
-  JW maintain that this passage proves Jesus is a creature – the first and only direct creation of God.  The ‘firstborn’ sometimes does mean “the first one born.”
-  However, at other times ‘firstborn’ means the first in rank, position, or privilege – the heir, as in Jeremiah 31:9 and Psalm 89:27.
• Jeremiah 31:9 ". . . for I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My first-born."
[Actually, Ephraim was born 2nd to Manasseh – sons of Joseph – Gen. 41:52]
Q:  Why is Jesus called "the firstborn over all creation" in Colossians 1:15?
Answer:  The next verse -- Colossians 1:16 -- "By Him all things were created."
Point:  He is 1st in rank, position, and privilege!!
Note:  To justify the Watchtower doctrine, the NWT incorrectly adds the word "other" in brackets to this statement:  ‘by means of him all [other] things were created.’ NWT).
-  Jehovah’s Witnesses, knowing full well that the word ‘other’ does not occur in this text, pervert the NT text in a vain attempt to make Christ a creature and one of the “things”
-  But He is spoken of as having created all things! Therefore, Jesus is NOT the first creation of God; He is Himself the originator of all creation, the Creator.
Dr. Martin
3. The Holy Spirit Is God.
- Jehovah’s Witness view:
a.  The Holy Spirit is nothing more than God's invisible, active force.  "
>  From God there goes forth an invisible active force by means of which He gets His will done…and it issues forth from God who is holy. So it is correctly called 'holy spirit."
b.  The Watchtower declares “there is no basis for concluding that the Holy Spirit is a person.”
- Biblical Christianity:
a.  The Holy Spirit has the characteristics of a personality – intellect, emotion, and will.
b.  The Holy Spirit speaks in the first person singular (Acts 13:2)
Acts 13:2 And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
c.  The Holy Spirit is referred to as ‘he’ (not ‘it’) including the NWT of John 16:13:
• John 16:13 "However, when that one arrives, the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own impulse, but whatever he hears he will speak and he will declare to you the things coming.”
[Note:  See passage in John 14 and 15 which use the same pronouns in reference to the Holy Spirit.]
[Student Notes – For additional study:  The Holy Spirit teaches (John 14:26), knows the future (Acts 21:11), can be lied to-- (Acts 5:3), may be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), prays-- (Romans 8:27), and loves-- (Romans 15:30)]
4. Conclusion:  There is One God, yet Three Persons
-  The Bible differentiates between the Father, Son, and Spirit.
-  There are three distinct divine persons – Father, Son, and Spirit. They are properly called God, whether separately or collectively.
-  They are NOT three separate Gods, but ONE eternal God.
-  They are three distinct divine persons Who share a divine essence.
-  Jehovah’s Witnesses own Bible, the New World Translation (1970 edition), includes some of the same verses about the Trinity as our Bible, yet they are inconsistent with their understanding and application of their own translation
-  Jehovah’s Witnesses own Bible, the New World Translation (1970 edition), teaches the doctrine of the Trinity:

[The following was listed on the Handouts for that service:]
a. There is only one true God:
• “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5 NWT) 
[Notes only:  cf. Deuteronomy 4:35, 6:4; Isaiah 43:10]
b. The Father is God:
• “There is actually to us one God the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6 NWT)
[Notes only:  cf. John 17:1-3; 2 Cor. 1:3; Philippians 2:11; Colossians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:2]
c. Jesus Christ, the Son, is God.
• “But He [Jesus] was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God”: (John 5:18 NWT)
[Notes only:  cf. John 20:28; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1]
d. The Holy Spirit is a person, is eternal, and is therefore God:
• “However, when that one arrives, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own impulse, but what things he hears he will speak and he will declare to you the things coming” (John 16:13 NWT, emphasis added).
[Notes only: The Holy Spirit is also eternal: “How much more will the blood of the Christ, who through an everlasting spirit offered himself without blemish to God” (Hebrews 9:14 NWT). The Holy Spirit is therefore God: “But Peter said: ‘Ananias, why has Satan emboldened you to play false to the holy spirit.’ You have played false, not to men, but to God” (Acts 5:3, 4 NWT, emphasis added)]
e. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons with equal authority.
• “Baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19 NWT)
[Student Notes only:  “Now I exhort you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the spirit, that you exert yourselves with me in prayers to God for me”; “The undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the sharing in the holy spirit be with all of you” (Romans 15:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14 NWT)]

C.  They Deny Much about the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
* A key passage for discerning false teachers:
• 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

[The issue of the atonement of Christ will be discuss under the next point]

1.  Deny the Deity of Christ (that Jesus is God in the flesh)
[We already dealt with the deity of Christ in reference to the Trinity – cf. John 1:1; Philippians 2:5-6; Colossians 1:15-19; 2:9; 1 John 5:7,8.]
- I do want to give one other verse on this matter:
• Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
>  The NWT of the Watchtower Society incorrectly translates Colossians 2:9 as:  “It is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily." 
>  But the Greek word in this verse is a stronger word that means "deity, divinity" or as Thayer's older Greek-English Lexicon rightly says, "the state of being God, Godhead" (p. 288).
2.  Deny His deity by teaching that Jesus is actually Michael the Archangel
*  Important:  Of the five verses that mention Michael (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7), NONE declares him to be Jesus.
[Notes only:  The Witnesses misuse 1 Thess.4:16, "The Lord Jesus Himself will come down from heaven with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God."  -- To the JW, the Lord's coming "with the voice of the archangel" proves to them that Jesus is Michael the archangel.  Using that reasoning, the Witnesses should also say that coming "with the trumpet call of God" shows that Jesus is God – which, of course, they reject!]
3.  Deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
-  Luke 24:39 teaches that Jesus rose from the dead in the same physical body in which He died. Though there were some significant changes in the body of Jesus, these changes do not lessen its physical nature!
-  Because our Lord rose bodily from the dead, we know that His sacrifice fully paid for our sins and that our bodily resurrection is certain.
Note:  The resurrected Lord told Thomas to examine the prints of the nails in His hands and the scar in His side (John 20:27).
-- He even ate food – as recorded in Luke 24:43
-  Jehovah’s Witnesses deny this teaching and instead believe that Jesus was NOT raised 'physically,’ but rather was raised 'spiritually." 
-  While they claim to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, what they really mean is that Jesus was recreated as a spirit creature: Michael the archangel.
-  They quote 1 Cor. 15:50: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."
Rational:  "Since Jesus inherited the kingdom of God, He could not have had a flesh-and-blood body after the resurrection. He had a spiritual body."
- Biblical view:  Jehovah’s Witnesses misunderstand that it is our sinful weak and corrupted earthly body, in its present state, cannot enter heaven. Therefore, Scripture explains in 1 Cor. 15:51-54, God will change the believer's body into a new and glorified one.
- Paul's whole point in this chapter is precisely that flesh and blood, the body, is raised from the grave, Jesus' body first, then ours.

4. The Second Coming of Christ
>  Jehovah's Witnesses deny the bodily, and visible return of Christ – yet the Bible teaches us in . . .
• 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 states the Lord’s return will be visible and audible!
>  They proclaimed in 1914 that Christ returned invisibly
-  He supposedly returned to the temple and cleansed it by 1918 for judgment upon sinful men and Satan’s organizations in order to establish God's kingdom in heaven, with the Watchtower Society as His visible agency on earth.
-  The 1914 date was determined based on calculations based on the inches in the passageways of the Great Pyramid outside Cairo, Egypt.  In 1928 the Watchtower Society utterly rejected this view, once hailed as a "witness of the Lord"  was now called "Satan's Bible.” 
Dr. Martin
IV.  Jehovah’s Witnesses Deny Salvation by Grace through Faith Apart from Works.
-  The Jehovah's Witnesses
A.  Jesus’ sacrifice is incomplete and nothing more than a human body and was for Adam only.
* Biblical Christianity:  The Bible teaches that . . .
• "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9)
• "Christ Jesus ... gave Himself as a ransom for all men" (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
Point:  All the fullness of God lived in Jesus' body. Therefore, His divine-human sacrifice was of infinite value. He gave His life as a ransom for all, not for Adam only.
B.  The Atonement is half of God and half of man.
-  In spite of 2 Corinthians 5:20, they argue that the Atonement is not completely a work of God – they detract from the blood of Christ by allowing it only partial cleansing power!
Quote:  “Jesus, according to their argument, removed the effects of Adam’s sin by His sacrifice on Calvary, but the work will not be fully completed until the survivors of Armageddon return to God through free will and become subject to the Theocratic rule of Jehovah.  For Jehovah’s witnesses the full realization of the matter is reconciliation with God, which will be completed in relation to the Millennial Kingdom.”  – p. 99 Martin
*  Biblical Christianity
-  The atonement of our Lord is the guarantee of eternal life through the complete forgiveness of sins to whoever appropriates its cleansing power.
• Leviticus 17:11 “It is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.” 
• Hebrews 9:22 Without shedding of blood is no remission.
Point:  Jesus Christ became the one blood sacrifice for sin that insures everlasting life – it is His work, and His work alone that brings forgiveness.
• John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”
C.  Christ's death cleared the slate so that Jehovah's Witnesses could prove themselves worthy of everlasting life by adding works to the gospel.
*  Jehovah's Witnesses must meet four requirements for salvation:
(1) Take in knowledge by studying the Bible with the aid of Watchtower publications
(2) Obey the laws of God and the laws of the Watchtower Society
(3) Be baptized into the Watchtower organization
(4) Publish the good news of the Watchtower Society from door to door.
- Biblical Christianity
>  Salvation is a gift and cannot be earned by works. All that is necessary is belief/faith in the gospel!
• Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
 – summarize each quickly
V. Additional doctrinal differences between Jehovah's Witnesses and Christianity
A. Immortality
- Jehovah’s Witness:  Man does not have an immortal soul that continues in conscious existence after the death of the body. 
>  The soul is not separate from the body.  The soul and spirit are distinct, but the spirit is not the conscious part of man, but rather is a "life force." When a person dies, he or she ceases to exist. 
- Biblical Christianity:  Man has an eternal, immortal soul that will live somewhere forever. (Genesis 1:26; 5:1; Job 32:8; Acts 7:59; 1 Corinthians 11:7).
[Student Notes – Additional study:  These are resurrected either into "spiritual" i.e., immaterial bodies and live in heaven. or into physical bodies and live on earth. The unrighteous are never resurrected and cease to exist."]
B. Resurrection of Mankind
- Biblical Christianity:
>  All will be raised from the dead, both righteous and unrighteous. The resurrection from the dead is physical. (John 5:28-29; Romans 6:5)
-  JW’s claim the ransom Jesus paid accomplishes the resurrection of only those for whom it is applied, i.e., the righteous. Thus, only the righteous resurrected. 
[Notes only:  These are resurrected either into "spiritual" i.e., immaterial bodies and live in heaven. or into physical bodies and live on earth. The unrighteous are never resurrected and cease to exist."]
B. Hell
- Jehovah’s Witness :  There is no hell or eternal punishment.
>  Those who do not measure up to Jehovah's standards will be annihilated, meaning they will exist no more.  Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that hell is "the common grave of dead humans." 
- Biblical Christianity
>  There is eternal punishment for sin.
References:  Mathew 5:22; 8:11, 12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; Luke 13:24-28; 2 Peter 2:17; Jude 13; Revelation 14 11
[Student Notes – Additional study:
-  But Jesus spoke about hell (Hades, gehenna) as a real place where those who do not believe in Him will suffer forever. (Matthew 10:28; Matthew 25:41, 46)
-  Death in the biblical sense never means extinction or annihilation, and not one word, Greek or Hebrew, in either Testament will be found to say that it does. Death in the Bible is portrayed as separation. In Matthew 5:22, 18:9 is “the hell of fire,” and in 10:28, “to be delivered up to eternal misery” (see Thayer, 64). It indicates everlasting misery.
-  The following verses collectively refer to a place of everlasting conscious torment where Satan and his followers must remain in future eternal wounding or misery, separated from God’s presence and “the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Matthew 8:11–12, 22:13: “outer darkness;” Matthew 13:42, 50:  “furnace of fire;” 2 Peter 2:17. “mist of darkness is reserved for ever;” Jude 13: “the blackness of darkness for ever;” Revelation 14:9–11: “fire and brimstone…and they have no rest day nor night…;” Revelation 19:20. “lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
-  These verses are conclusive proof that everlasting conscious separation from God and real torment exist, and no possible confusion of terminology can change their meaning in context.
-  Jehovah’s Witnesses forget that because God is Love, He is also Justice and must require infinite vengeance upon anyone who rejects the precious blood of Christ. God is both Love and Justice. He does not condemn man, but man who condemns himself. “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).]
C. On the Exclusive Use of the Name Jehovah
- Jehovah’s Witnesses claim as “God’s true Witnesses” they are to . . .
Restore the divine OT name Jehovah to the text of the Greek NT. 
> However, not one of the thousands of the original Greek manuscripts used in translating the NT has the word Jehovah or Yahweh in either Hebrew or Greek letters.
>  No scholar objects to the use of the term Jehovah in the Bible. Since only the Hebrew consonants YHWH appear without vowels, pronunciation is at best uncertain, and dogmatically to settle on Jehovah is straining at the bounds of good linguistics.
[Student Notes – Additional study:  Petrus Galatinus in ca. A.D. 1520 created the name Jehovah by adding the vowels of the Hebrew word Adonai ("Lord") to these four consonants.  Jesus never referred to God as "Jehovah" but He prayed to the Father (Matt 6:9;11:25; Luke 23:34, 46. 
[Notes only:  It is perfectly proper to pray and sing to Jehovah or Yahweh. But the Watchtower organization is wrong to insert the word Jehovah in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit did not inspire the apostles to do so.]
D.  Armageddon
- Biblical view:  The word Armageddon in Revelation 16:16 is the final battle between good and evil.
- The Watchtower Society: Teaches that all-except JW’s will be annihilated at Armageddon.
[Notes only:  The Watchtower organization has repeatedly erred in predicting a specific date for Armageddon predicting 1874 , 1914 , 1918 , 1925 , 1941 , and 1975 . After their prophecies fail the Watchtower governing body either change their prophecies in later editions of their literature, or they may admit, "We made mistakes ... but so did Moses, Paul, and Peter... No person or organization is perfect," explaining that the light is getting brighter (Proverbs 4:18) or they blame their followers as overzealous, overanxious, or misunderstanding the Scriptures. However, unlike the Watchtower Society, Moses, Paul, and Peter did not make false prophecies in the name of Jehovah.
Surprisingly, even the Watchtower leaders have said, "If these prophecies have not been fulfilled, and if all possibility of fulfillment is past, then these prophets are proven false."  "True there have been those in times past who predicted an `end to the world,' even announcing a specific date. ... The `end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying."  Jesus warns, "Watch out for false prophets" (Matthew 7:15). Clearly, the Watchtower Society convicts itself. It is a false prophet.
Additionally, members of the governing body have excused their bad predictions by saying, "Never did they say, 'These are the words of Jehovah."  However, the governing body has declared itself to be Jehovah's mouthpiece. 
The prophecies of the Watchtower Society have failed. Scripture says, "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously" (Deuteronomy 18:22).
Dr. Martin
VI. How to Witness to a JW:
1.  Be friendly and kind – not argumentative.   Don't say, "I am a [denomination name]." It's better to say, "I'm a believer in Jesus."
2.  Don't get sidetracked by minor issues you may have heard about such as Jehovah's Witnesses' refusal to receive blood transfusions, to celebrate holidays, or to serve in the armed forces.
3.  Focus on Jesus Christ –  the central issue. Listen first! Then witness to them with love and a smile. Jehovah's Witnesses seldom hear a loving, confident witness to Jesus. It's the one thing they are not prepared to answer.
4. Ask questions to make Jehovah's Witnesses think.  For example:
(1)  Since they believe that Jehovah has always worked through an organization, you might ask, "Where was Jehovah's organization between the time of the apostles and the time of your founder, Charles Russell?"
(2)  If John 1:1 is translated as ‘a god’ ask, "Is Jesus a true God or a false god?"
-  Jehovah's Witnesses will not say Jesus is a false god.
-  If they say He is a true God, answer, "You have two true Gods – a big God and a small god. That is contrary to the first commandment, `You shall have no other gods before [besides] Me' " (Exodus 20:3).
5.  Use the Bible only. They will probably turn to their Watchtower literature. Tell them, "I don't want to talk about what the Watchtower Society has to say." Jehovah's Witnesses are trained to discuss doctrine. So don't ask questions about Bible teachings unless you know the answers.
6. Urge them to read the Bible.  Ask, "Can you be a Christian without using Watchtower magazines and books?" Jehovah's Witnesses will usually answer no. Regardless of their answer say, "Why don't you put aside your Watchtower helps for one week or one month.  Let Jehovah speak to you directly through the Bible."
7.  Direct your words to the trainee.  When two Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door, one is usually a trainee. This person will do less talking and may be more receptive to the Holy Spirit.
8.  Be prepared with Bible verses.  It's a good idea to list (perhaps in the back of your Bible) relevant Bible passages that will help you in your discussion. If you make an appointment to meet again with Jehovah's Witnesses, be sure to have a praying, Bible-reading Christian join you.

• “Crisis of Conscience” by Raymond V. Franz, is the personal story of a former member of the Governing Body of the Watchtower in Brooklyn and nephew of President Frederick W. Franz, is boring to non-witnesses but so fascinating to Jehovah’s Witnesses they will read it even though they could be put on trial!
• David Reeds books are also excellent resources.
• Additional Resources:
• Handbook of Today’s Religions – Josh McDowell, Don Stewart (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
• The Kingdom of the Cults – Walter Martin (Bethany House Publishers)
• Jehovah’s Witnesses, pamphlet, by Ron Rhodes (Harvest House Publishers)