As Evangelists, what are the beliefs of Jehovah Witnesses?
In the late 1870’s, a bible study movement was founded by Charles Taze Russell. One primary doctrine they held to was God is non-trinitarian. This means, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not one, but separate. Along with other unorthodox perspectives, Russell called this group the Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society. However, after Russell’s death in 1916, much dispute over who would lead the group led many to break away. In 1931, Joseph Rutherford gained presidency of Watch Tower’s publications and named the group, Jehovah Witnesses.  From the beginning of this movement, leadership and the governing body have added and changed various doctrines throughout its history, including multiple failed predictions of Jesus’ second coming and what they call, the end of “systems of things.”  Using this fear-based doctrine of “Jehovah is going to destroy the world at any moment” has kept millions of souls constricted to the letter of scripture and religious dogma.
In order to bring any healing to those within the Jehovah Witness (JW) organization, it is important to understand their perspectives when speaking to them. Here are a few keys into the mind of JWs and a closer look into their teachings:
JWs are taught that anyone who is not part of their organization is wicked and worldly. This means you are committing immoral acts and misbehaving because you are being used by Satan. This is not an exaggeration. Why is this important? Because not many JWs have seen someone who is being transformed into the nature of Christ, including in their own religion. Revelation of God’s Word is manifested through you: by your words, deeds, and actions. When you see JWs at the store-front, malls, neighborhood etc., greet them with a smile and say hi. If the Father provides an opportunity to have a conversation with them, go as He leads. They rarely have someone approach and greet them. That simple greeting could plant a seed in their mind and give them an experience that is contrary to their doctrine and that leads them to Christ. As Pastor Michael has said, “Do not despise small beginnings.”
2. New or Increasing Light
2. New or Increasing Light
JWs are taught that the heads of the organization, called “the governing body” are given “new light” from Jehovah. Do you see the counterfeit? New light is not revelation like we see in Matthew 16:17 or Ephesians 3:5. But when they decide to implement something else or new in the organization as they see fit, they call it “new light.” For example, in the early 1900’s, they said Jesus would return in 1914. When that didn’t happen, they changed it; that the end “began in 1914” as World War I being a sign of the end.  However, true revelation or light means seeing and receiving the divine nature of Christ (Gal. 1:12). Because they don’t “hold the traditions” (2 Thess. 2:15) as the Apostles taught, JW leadership manifest the “letter that kills” (2 Cor. 3:6) and give carnal ordinances and doctrine, such as their 1914 teaching of Jesus.
Those in the JW organization are told a literal end of the world, called “Armageddon,” is going to happen any second, and only those who are baptized into the organization and doing “Jehovah’s work” will be the only ones to survive: “…dedicating their life to Jehovah, and getting baptized. Only then will they survive Jehovah’s day.”  This is another dead-letter teaching that brings in a spirit of fear among JWs. This is a main reason why they are persistent in door-to-door preaching and field service. However, if you read regarding the plagues in Revelation 16:16, it says, “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” This place called, Armageddon, is two Hebrew words: Har, meaning, “mountain” and Megiddo or Megiddon, meaning a “place of crowds.”  This was a mountain in the land of Canaan, where the Israelites had many battles (Jdg. 5:19, 2 Ch. 35:22). In Hebrew, mountains represent the ancient-paleo pictograph, Resh, meaning the head or mind of a person. These wars, tribulations, and plagues in Revelation 16 is a vision or shadow of what is happening within the minds of the people within the church. We see this in the New Testament when Paul says, “The carnal mind is at war against God,” (Rom. 8:7). Also, Jesus said, “Tribulation comes because of the Word” when the seed is planted in the hearer (Matt. 13:21). If the book of Revelation were literal, as the JWs teach, the Apostle John wouldn’t have said, “Blessed are those who read and hear the words of this prophecy…” (Rev. 1:3). To hear, means to understand the spiritual meaning of the parables, as Jesus explains in Matthew 13:14-15. A simple way to bring this up to a JW and give the true meaning, is through a question. Examples could be: “What do you believe about Armageddon? Did you know Armageddon represents a mountain? Have you read what the early church taught about the end of the word?” etc.
As Joshua and Caleb went to spy out the land, we as evangelists need to know the JW organization, and seek the love and wisdom we need, in order to speak into their lives in a mature and fruitful way. We continue to pray for the souls within the Jehovah Witness community around the world who desire true freedom and a living relationship with God.
1. JW.org- https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/jehovahs-will/why-called-jehovahs-witnesses/
3. JWfacts.com- https://jwfacts.com/watchtower/changed-watchtower-teachings.php
4. JW.org- https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/watchtower-study-october-2019/ pg. 12
5. H2022 & H4023, Strong’s Dictionary