When you are busy with the evangelisation of Jehovah's Witnesses, you may use the following

The Jehovah Witnesses

Compiled by Dr Henk Stoker and Dr Hennie van Wyk

QUESTIONS TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ABOUT THEIR DOCTRINE

Preface 1. The Trinity 2. Jehovah
3. Jesus as creature 4. The Holy Spirit 5. Cross or pole
6. The resurrection of Jesus 7. The second coming 8. Physical second coming
9. Continued existence directly after death 10. The day of judgement 11. The Hell
12. The 144000 13. Mediator for some 14. Blood transfusions

Let us proclaim the Name of Jesus Christ “for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

  If you believe in Him, you may be certain even now that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13)

PREFACE

This document has been drawn up to help you in your quest for truth when you are engaged in conversation with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Use the following principles with regard to the Bible in your discussion:

1. The Bible is the eternal, ever-valid Word of God.

2. The Bible contains EVERYTHING we need to know for our salvation (Rev. 22:13).

3. The Bible is the authoritative Word of God.

4. The Scripture is self-explanatory. Get hold of the Reference Bible [The Bible with verse references in the centre]. Verses that are quoted in this document, HAVE to be read in context. Also be sure to read ALL the verses that are referred to.

5. Remember that the Bible is a UNITY, but that it at the same time consists of a variety of books and types of books.

6. Each verse has a particular MESSAGE in the chapter, book and the whole Bible. What did the Holy Spirit want to tell the first readers? What does He want to tell us?

7. CLARITY. Certain passages are clearer than others. Read the more understandable passages first and then look for the message of the less clear passages.

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QUESTIONS TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES ABOUT THEIR DOCTRINE

1. THE TRINITY

Jehovah’s Witnesses say We do not believe in the Holy Trinity, but that only the Father is truly God (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 425).
Discussion The book of Isaiah clearly states that there is only one true God (Isa. 43:10, 11; 44:6; 45:5, 21-23).

All other so-called gods are therefore idols or creatures who are falsely regarded as gods (compare Jdg. 16:23 and 2 Cor. 4:4).

Question Why would the very same book of Isaiah, that explicitly states that there are only one God, call Jesus Mighty God and Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6)? (Isa. 10:21 refers to God as Mighty God.)
Answer Isaiah thus teaches that the Father and the Son are both called truly God. He teaches that there is only one true God. This means that these two Divine Persons have to be one God. The concept is not inconceivable: two persons also are one in marriage.

The Bible explicitly teaches that there is only one God (Ex 20:3; Deut. 6:4; 1 Tim 1:17; Jas. 2:19). According to Matthew 28:19 this one God consists of three Persons: “… baptizing them in the name …” [singular]. These three Persons are therefore one God: the Father (compare Eph. 1:3; John 1:1, 18); the Son (compare John 1:1,18; John 20:28; 1 John 5:20; 2 Pet 1:1); and the Holy Spirit (compare Acts 5:3, 4; 2 Cor. 3:17,18).

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2. JEHOVAH

Jehovah’s Witnesses say God the Father has to be addressed and preached as “Jehovah” in order to have an intimate relationship with Him, and to distinguish Him from all the false gods in the mission field (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p 217).
Question Why isn’t the name “Jehovah”, that is JHWH, used at all in the New Testament?
Discussion Not even the earliest fragments that were found of the New Testament contain the word “JHWH”. It was not taken out by the earliest churches (why would they want to do that anyway?)! Your own version of the Greek New Testament (The Kingdom Interlinear) nowhere has JHWH where you translated “Jehovah”, but Kurios (Lord) and Theos (God). Not even when Paul has to distinguish the true God from all the idols in Athens does he use the name JHWH (Acts 17:15 ff.). Furthermore Jesus does not teach his disciples to address God as JHWH, but very intimately as “Our Father”.
Question Is it true that John 1:18 (New Testament) says that no man has seen God the Father, but that the Son (who is clearly also called God here) is the revealer of God?
Answer Definitely yes!
Question Is it true that JHWH came to earth in human form in the time of the Old Testament and that He was seen, spoken to and even touched by people?
Answer Definitely yes! Compare Gen. 16:13; 18:1-22; 32:24-30; 35:1-3; Ex 24:9-11; 33:18-23; Jdg. 6:16; Isa. 6:1-7.
Question Who then is the JHWH that the Old Testament refers to if the New Testament explicitly states that God the Father has never been seen?
Answer In the light of John 1:18, it has to be God the Son! Father and Son are thus both referred to as JHWH here (compare Gen. 19:24).

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3. JESUS AS CREATURE

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jesus is the first creature of God, and He is actually the archangel Michael (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 209, 218).
Question Does that mean that Jesus created Himself, if John 1:3 says that all things were made through Him? Is that possible? Or is God making another mistake by repeating that without Him nothing was made that has been made? Is it possible for God to make a mistake? Is God not emphasizing here that Jesus is the Creator of all things? (Also compare Col. 1:16, 17 where your Bible translation repeatedly inserted the word “other” after “all” to change the clear meaning.)
Answer Jesus is therefore the Creator of all things and no creature. He who is eternally God, was indeed born as a Human Being for our sakes almost 2000 years ago. Because He is the most important human being ever born, He can be called the “Firstborn of the whole of creation”.

David was his father’s youngest son, but he is called the “firstborn” (that is the first [most important] among those who were born) in Ps 89:27. In this way Jesus is definitely the most important Person who ever became part of this creation, because He is the Creator of this creation (also compare Col. 1:18 and Heb. 12:23).

Question Where does the Bible say that Jesus and Michael are one and the same person?
Answer Jesus is not a creature as Michael is. Michael is but one of the most important princes (Dan 10:13), whereas Jesus is “Lord and God” (Jn. 20:28). All the angels (thus Michael too) have to worship Jesus (Heb. 1:6).
Question Where does the Bible say that Jesus became Michael after his ascension?
Answer Acts 7:56, 60 - Stephen sees Him when heaven opens and prays to Him as “Jesus”.Acts 9:5 - Jesus presents Himself out of heaven as “Jesus”.Rev. 22:16, 20 - Again Jesus presents Himself as “Jesus”. At his second coming as well, He will return as “Jesus”.
Question You acknowledge in some of your writings that Jesus is “mighty god”, but not “almighty God”.

Do you therefore believe in polytheism, or do you believe what the Bible says that there is only one God (mighty or almighty)?

Is Jesus not called “Almighty” in Revelation 1:8?

According to Revelation 1:17-18 Jesus is “the First and the Last”.

According to Revelation 22:12-13 “the First and the Last” is the Alpha and the Omega.

According to Revelation 1:8 “the Alpha and the Omega” is “the Almighty”.

Answer There is only one God. He is mighty. He is almighty. He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. Like his Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus is this almighty God.

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4. THE HOLY SPIRIT

Jehovah’s Witnesses say The Holy Spirit is not a person, but merely a working force like the forces of gravity or electricity (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 407).
Question How does one grieve an unpersonal force like gravity? (Eph.. 4:30; Isa.. 63:10)
Question How does one lie to a force? (Acts 5:3-4)
Question How can the only unforgivable sin be against an unpersonal force? (Mark 3: 28, 29; Heb.. 6:4-6).

The TrinHow can one sin against a force anyway?

Question How can a force be “holy”?
Question How come the Bible says the Holy Spirit has power, if you say He is a power? (Rom. 15:13, 19).
Question How can an unpersonal force talk, teach (Rom. 8:26, 27), hear, have a will of its own, have its own intentions, let decisions be taken (Acts 15:28); etcetera? (John 14-16; 1 Cor.. 12:11)
Answer The Holy Spirit is a divine person - part of the Holy Trinity (Acts 5:3, 4; 2 Cor.. 3:17, 18; Matt. 28:19).

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5. CROSS OR POLE

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jesus did not die on a cross, but on an upright pole (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 90).
Question Is it really important what the cursed tree on which He died looked like?
Question Would the Romans have crucified Jesus on an upright pole, with his hands nailed above his head, if they crucified their criminals on a cross with a cross-beam?
Question Would the first Christians have made signs of the cross in tombs and on prison-walls if Christ was crucified on an upright pole?
Question Would John 20:25 have referred to the nails in his hands, if his two hands were nailed onto a pole with one nail, one over the other, as you sketch it? (see your Children’s Bible and “Paradise on earth” books).
Answer The cross is not a pagan symbol. The pagans (Romans) used it as a means of punishment. It is the cursed tree on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

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6. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jesus did not rise from the dead Himself, because He did not live or exist between his death and resurrection (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 423).
Question If this was so, Jesus would surely not have said at his death: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46)? Then He would not have anything to give to the Father!
Question Why does Jesus say before his death that He Himself would raise his body from the dead?
Answer This is only possible if his Spirit continued to exist after death. John 2:19-27: “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ … the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said ...”

The Trinity of God is emphasized by the resurrection of Jesus, because apart from the above mentioned verses which say that Jesus resurrected Himself, there are also verses that emphasize that the Father (1 Cor.. 15:15) and the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 3:18) raised Him from the dead.

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jesus did not physically raise from the dead. His body was destroyed by God, and He was resurrected only as a spiritual being (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 333-334).
Answer As opposed to this, Jesus says:

Before his death: “Destroy this temple [his body], and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2:19)

After his death and resurrection (Luke 24:36-49):

  • The disciples think they see a ghost (verse 37). Jesus denies that He is a ghost, but says He has a physical body (verse 39).
  • Jesus proves to them that He is not a spiritual being by saying that they must look at Him, touch Him, and He even eats in front of them (verses 39-43).
  • The disciples react with incredible joy on the fact that it is in fact the physical Jesus (verse 4).

Jesus sends his disciples to be witnesses, also of his physical resurrection (verses 46-48)

Answer Thomas too only believes once he really sees Jesus, as well as his wounds, and Jesus invites him to touch Him (John 20:20-29).
Answer The open tomb is the sign to the believers that Jesus has physically risen from the dead (Luke 24:1-12 and John 20:20-29). The angels also emphasize this (Luke 24:5, 6): “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!”
Note This story of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reminds very strongly of the story that was circulated among the Jews (Matt. 28:11-15) that Jesus did not really rise from the dead, but that the disciples stole his body.

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7. THE SECOND COMING

Jehovah’s Witnesses say The Invisible second coming of Jesus (his “being present”) already took place in 1914 (You can live forever in Paradise on earth, p. 141).
Question Doesn’t the Bible say very clearly that the second coming will be such that every eye will see Him?
Answer We read in God’s Word that Jesus “will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11); and that “he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” (Rev. 1:7); and “the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command … and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air …” (1 Thess. 4:16, 17).

Jesus is thus coming again - physically visible to everyone, also to those who pierced Him.

Question Where does the Bible say that Jesus has to return “invisibly”?
Answer “Invisibly” (that is in his Divine omnipresence) Jesus never left, He was present since his ascension (not only since 1914). He promises to his church just before his ascension: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
Note For this reason the test for being a Christian is whether Jesus Christ is in us (2 Cor.. 13:5). [Not in communion with us as your Bible wrongly translates.]
Question If Jesus did come in 1914 as you allege: why didn’t you yourselves know it when He came?
Answer In the 1937 edition of an official publication of your organisation, “The Harp of God”, you still said that the second coming of Jesus took place in 1874. In addition, you did not predict the second coming of Christ before 1914 as your organisation now claims. You did predict that 1914 would bring the end of all earthly governments and of Christianity - something which clearly did not happen.
Question Doesn’t these rumours of the second coming (which hasn’t taken place as yet) contradict the Bible?
Answer In Matthew 24:23-27 Jesus Himself warns us: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it“ (23). When He really comes He will be visible from east to west (27). Is this Christ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses not one of the false Christs?

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8. PHYSICAL SECOND COMING

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jesus will never return to the earth (You can live forever in Paradise on earth, p. 146). He still reveals Himself today through the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 281).
Answer Contrary to this point of view it is clear (from the verses referred to in 7) that the Lord will physically return to the earth (also see Rev. 21:3). Jesus tells the criminal that he will be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:43). According to you the paradise will be on earth. Your own doctrine says that Jesus will come to earth!
Answer If it is true that Jesus still reveals Himself to the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, you are contradicting Revelation 22:18 which says that the Bible contains the complete, full and final revelation of God. The Bible never contradicts itself. If Jesus reveals his truth to you, there would be no contradictions in your writings. However, that is not the case, because previously you declared that Jesus is not Michael, that people should not be vaccinated, that Christmas may be celebrated, etcetera - on all these things you now have different viewpoints.

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9. CONTINUED EXISTENCE DIRECTLY AFTER DEATH

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Man does not continue to exist after death (You can live forever in Paradise on earth, p. 77).
Answer The Bible teaches a conscious continued existence after death:
  • Stephen prays to Jesus to receive his spirit (Acts 7: 56, 59).
  • Paul desires to depart and be with Christ (Phil. 1:23).
  • When we leave our earth, we will live with God (2 Cor.. 5:6, 9).
  • Abraham, Isaac and Jacob live in Jesus’ time (Luke 20:37, 38).
  • Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus [after their deaths](Matt. 17).
  • The souls of people talk and wear clothes (Rev. 6:9-11).
  • Who believes in Jesus will live, even though he dies (John 11:25, 26).
  • Death is without sting and has been conquered by Christ (1 Cor.. 15:55-57).
  • Death cannot separate the believer from God (Rom. 8:38, 39)

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10. THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

Jehovah’s Witnesses say The day of judgement lasts 1000 years (You can live forever in Paradise on earth, p. 176).
Question Is there any Biblical grounds for this point of view?
Answer According to Matthew 25 Jesus will immediately give judgement when He comes.
Question Where do the Scriptures say that the Lord has to free Satan after 1000 years in order to find out who really serves Him?
Answer God knows who his children that serve Him are (John 13:18).

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11. THE HELL

Jehovah’s Witnesses say The hell is merely a resting-place for the dead and not a place of punishment (You can live forever in Paradise on earth, p. 89).
Answer If this were true, God would not punish anyone who mocks, rejects, scorns, etcetera Him. Yet: the enemies of God are consumed by a raging fire (Heb.. 10:26-31).
Answer You do believe in eternal life. The opposite of this, Jesus calls the eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46). The following passages of Scripture emphasize the hell as a terrible place of punishment for the unbelievers: Daniel 12:2; Matthew 5:22; 8:12; Mark 9:42-49; John 3:36; Hebrews 10:31, 32; Revelation 19, 20; 20:12-15; 21:8.In these passages God very clearly teaches us that as opposed to eternal life (in the glory of God), there is eternal death which will last forever, will be terrible, will burn day and night over all the wicked (those who do not believe in Him and obey Him). This is an eternal punishment - forever dreadful.

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12. THE 144 000

Jehovah’s Witnesses say 144 000 will inherit the heaven and the rest the earth (You can live forever in Paradise on earth, p. 124, 126).
Question Where does the Bible say that it will be literally 144 000? In Revelation 7 the 144 000 are sketched as the believers on earth while the great multitude is in the heaven - before the throne of God (see also Rev. 4:2; 19:1)!
Answer With the second coming of Christ the heaven and the earth become one and God Himself will live with us (Rev. 21:3).

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13. MEDIATOR FOR SOME

Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jesus is the Mediator of only the “elite” (144 000)(The Watchtower, 1/2/79, p. 31).
Question Where does the Bible say this?
Answer He is the Mediator of whoever believes in Him (John 3:16; 6:47).
Question Does your organisation not put itself in the place of Christ when you say that the great multitude is not in the covenant (of which Christ is the Mediator)? How can other people be your mediator, and not Jesus Christ like the Bible says (1 Tim. 2:5)?

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14. BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS

Jehovah’s Witnesses say God forbids blood transfusions in the Bible (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 72-73).
Answer The Bible does forbid the eating of blood because the idea existed among the nations of old that it contains special powers. In Acts 15 believers out of the heathendom are asked to respect the Jewish believers if they do not eat blood (nor sacrificial meat nor meat of an animal that was strangled to death). Yet the believers may indeed do this (1 Cor.. 10:25-30) as long as it doesn’t cause those who are weak in faith to stumble.
Answer Something that a person eats cannot make him unclean (Matt. 15:11, 17, 18; Mark 7:15, 18-20). Blood transfusion as a medical intervention is not eating - and therefore not a breaking of the commandment not to eat blood. If one refuses a blood transfusion - and someone dies - the sixth commandment is broken - which is more serious than a law not to eat blood.

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Last updated: 19/05/05

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