Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses a Cult?
What is the Jehovah’s Witness sect and what do they believe in? Also, what are some of the specific beliefs & practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that have led this group to be classified as a cult?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded through Charles Taze Russell in 1870 who started a Bible study class called the “Millennial Dawn Bible Study”.
Russell also wrote a series of books called “The Millennial Dawn” from which most of the Jehovah’s Witness theology is based on and to which the Jehovah’s Witness members hold as part of their essential doctrine.
In 1886 the Jehovah’s Witnesses founded an organization known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society which is led by the Jehovah’s Witness leaders.
The Watchtower Society is responsible for the publication and distribution of various Jehovah’s Witness literature such as The Watchtower, the Awake! magazines and also the Jehovah’s Witness translation of the Bible called the New World Translation.
The Watchtower Society and the Jehovah’s Witness leaders have tremendous spiritual & psychological control over Jehovah’s Witness members, both through their doctrines and through exercising cultic manipulation techniques on their members.
Whilst the Jehovah’s Witness sect may outwardly appear to be a friendly, Bible-believing group that follows God and has a strong dedication towards evangelism – closer scrutiny of their doctrine and internal practices will reveal that this group is not at all what it appears to reflect.
What do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have many beliefs and practices that veer off from normal Christian behavior and doctrine. Some of these beliefs are as follows:
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). They believe that salvation is something you earn through serving the Jehovah’s Witness sect and adhering to its doctrines.
- They believe that Jesus is Michael the archangel. As a result, they believe that Jesus is a created being thereby claiming that Jesus is not God. This is a contradiction of the Bible which clearly states that Jesus is God (John 1:1,14)
- They believe that the Holy Spirit is an “active force” and not a Person whom you can talk to or relate with. This concept clearly affects how their members perceive God and how they can relate with God according to His true nature.
- The fact that they see the Holy Spirit as a “force” and view Christ as a “created” being means that the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not ultimately believe in the triune nature of God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only God the Father is Jehovah / God and that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not part of the Godhead.
- The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only 144 000 people will be resurrected to live with God in Heaven and then a great group of others will live on the earth.
- They do not believe in a literal hell or lake of fire as described in the Bible. They do not believe that people will be eternally punished in hell. They believe that a bad person will either seize to completely exist or that the person will be completely destroyed after physical death.
- They believe that they have the most accurate translation of the Bible which is called the New World Translation. Basically the New World Translation is a version of the Bible which was created by the Watchtower Society and contains subtle but deceptive changes to many Bible verses especially where the deity of Jesus Christ is depicted.
- Jehovah’s Witness members are persuaded therefore to only read the New World Translation Bible and not any other version of the Bible such as New King James Version or English Standard Version. They believe that every other version of the Bible is inaccurate except their own New World Translation.
The above are just but a few beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrinal beliefs which contradict essential Christian doctrines and classify the Jehovah’s Witnessess as being a cult.
The governing body of the Watchtower Society is the only body within the entire Jehovah’s Witness cult that claims authority to interpret scripture. Therefore the interpretation of scripture by the Watchtower Society and Charles Taze Russell cannot be challenged or questioned by Jehovah’s Witness members but their teachings should be accepted and followed.
Testimonies of Former Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
In addition to its false doctrines being an issue, many former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have given many heart-breaking testimonies of cultic behavior, sexual immorality, hypocrisy, spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, separation of families and a manipulative side of this group and its leaders.
Many articles and testimonies about the Jehovah’s Witnesses exist all over the Internet and also from various reputable sources and ex-members who reveal a dark and strange side concerning the group.
All over the world there are thousands of cults that exist and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are claimed as being one of the largest and probably most recognized religious cults in the world.
The Bible warns every believer that there are various types of false teachers and false prophets who exist in the world. These false teachers deceive many and disguise themselves as sheep but yet inwardly they are wolves (Matthew 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Therefore every Christian believer is encouraged through the word of God and through the discernment from the Holy Spirit to test the spirits because of the existence of false teachers (1 John 4:1). Christians are also encouraged to heed the example of the Berean Christians who had a personal relationship with God and studied the scriptures for themselves. The Bereans were not so quick to believe every preacher but they compared what was preached with what the Bible actually taught.
May God open the spiritual eyes of those who are deceived by the Jehovah’s Witness doctrines & practices and may the power of the gospel of salvation set its members free from the grip of this group.
A NOTE TO THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESS MEMBER
If you are currently a Jehovah’s Witness or an ex-member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s important to realize that God loves you and salvation is a FREE gift of God received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). You don’t have to work for your salvation because Jesus paid a debt for sin that no other person could pay.
Jesus paid for our sins on the cross so that through Christ alone, we may have eternal life. All we have to do is to GENUINELY believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour (John 1:12). When you put your trust in Christ, God will change your life and free you from bondage.
It’s also important to believe in the deity of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit.
There is only ONE God who exists in 3 Persons – The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
If you have been reading this article and believe that you are a member of a cult and have thoughts of leaving please also read our article: How To Leave and Recover From A Cult
If you are a member or ex-member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and if you have never received Jesus Christ, today you have the opportunity to believe and FREELY accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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