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Jehovah's Witnesses, A Few Key Points

Updated on May 10, 2007

Watchtower Bible & Tract Society

The Jehovah's Witnesses began as an organized religious group in 1879 in Pennsylvania. It is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Its founder is Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), and later Joseph F. Rutherford.

Its writings include all current Watchtower publications, including the Bible (New World Translation only), Reasoning from the Scriptures, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Wathchtower and Awake! magazines.

They believe in a One-person God, called Jehovah, and no Trinity. Jesus is the first thing Jehovah created.

They believe Jesus is not God. Before he lived on earth, he was Michael, the archangel. Jehovah made the universe through him. On earth he was a man who lived a perfect life. After dying on a stake (not a cross), he was resurrected as a spirit; his body was destroyed. Jesus is not coming again; he "returned" invisible in 1914 in spirit. Very soon, he and the angels will destroy all non-Jehovah's Witnesses.

The believe in an impersonal holy spirit which is not God, but rather an invisible, active force from Jehovah.

Salvation is by being baptized as Jehovah's Witnesses. Most followers must earn everlasting life on earth by door-to-door witnessing. Salvation in heaven is limited to 144,000 anointed ones. This number has already been reached.

After death the 144,000 live as spirits in heaven. The rest of the righteous, "the great crowd" live on earth and must obey God perfectly for 1000 years or be annihilated.

They are also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and they meet on Sundays in "Kingdom Halls." Other practices include active members encouraged to distribute literature door-to-door. Once a year Lord's Evening Meal; only "anointed" ones may partake. They do not observe holidays or birthdays. They do not vote, salute the flag, work in the military, or accept blood transfusions. The believe Armageddon will occur sooon.

Contemporary Issues:

Abortion is wrong. Homosexuality is a serious sin. Gender roles are defined: Men are the head of the household and women are loving caretakers who assist the husband in teaching the children. Divorce is permitted under certain circumstances, but Jehovah hates remarriage unless the divorce occurred as a result of adultery. Service in the armed forces or any form of allegiance to government is prohibited; one must show allegiance only to the Kingdom of Christ. Blood transfusions, along with ingesting blood, are considered wrong, as God said the soul is in the blood. Bone marrow transplants are left to the individual conscience. All other forms of medical treatment are acceptable.

Further note on blood transfusion:

This policy extends to disallowing blood transfusions, even those which involve a person's own blood. Over the years the organisation has softened its attitude somewhat and no longer condemns organ transplants or the infusion of blood products. Despite still banning transfusions of a person's own blood which has been earlier removed and stored, they do allow blood which is lost during an operation to be collected, cleaned and returned to the body in a process called blood salvaging. This practice of refusing blood transfusions has been very controversial and sometimes brought the Jehovah's Witnesses into conflict with medical and legal authorities.

Further note on allegiances:

Jehovah's Witnesses do not swear allegiance to any organization or nation. Because of this they are not allowed to join any armed forces, nor can they participate by voting in any election, run for any political office, sing a national anthem or participate in any activity associated with proclaiming allegiance to any earthly government.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Here's an eye opening exercise. It does require actually reading though. Go through the gospels and read everything you can about the Pharisees and their actions and words. Then, compare it to the Watchtower. If you don't get it, let me know and I'll help you out.

    • Darrin Hart profile image

      Darrin Hart 

      4 years ago

      The Bible makes ZERO comments on transfusing human blood. None. Zero. No amount of quoting scriptures and trying to apply them to an "argument" against human blood transfusion, will make it so.

      Jehovah's Witnesses have spent well over a century "going beyond the things written" ...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Got a question for Pete.

      If James 2:17-26 states that we "NEED" works for salvation, what does Romans 4:1-5 state?

    • profile image

      soldier for christ 

      7 years ago

      Hi exjwlaurie

      Just curious now that you are saved , do u believe u are following the christ and worshiping the only true God?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Bob! I just found your site--this hub caught my eye. Well done!

      I am a former JW. I was born into the religion, but I left them almost 18 years ago now, and became a born-again Christian last year! Praise God!

      I am happy to have found your site and will follow you, you have a nice style of writing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The Jehovah's Witnesses organization was created by Joseph Rutherford after Russell died. Russell did not believe in such an organization, and actively preached against such organizations. Additionally, the glad tidings of great joy for all people that Russell preached is almost the opposite of the bad tidings of great misery for most people that is preached by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Russell was certainly NOT the founder of that which he did not believe in, and which he actually preached against.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what is j.w. vewe point on smokeing

    • profile image

      a former student of jehovah's witness 

      8 years ago

      i do not yet understand many things that jehovah says throughtout the bible.

    • bobm288 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Martina, glad you like the hub. I am not a member, nor claim to be knowledgeable or an expert. Just trying to learn is all. I am sure I am inaccurate a lot, but I hope other posters will provide good info.

    • martina9 profile image


      9 years ago

      I found this hub to be particularly interesting since I am a Jehovah's Witness.I am vey impressed with how much you know about this religion.The extent of your knowledge makes clear that you have studied with witnesses. But Im just curious....Are you baptized? What is your current standing with this organization?

    • profile image

      jordanna morgan 

      9 years ago

      i have learned queit alot of points from the information above thank you verry much

    • profile image

      1 Peter 3:15 

      9 years ago

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      The 'zeal' and 'love' you show shows and surely strengthens many other brothers and sisters too.

      The NIV - version, Acts 5:42 - Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

      1). Alike the 1st century Christians - we do likewise.(song32).

      2). Question to our readers, 'Jesus is the Christ' this means He is King, ..., of what? The Bible indicates, ofcourse JEHOVAH GOD'S Kingdom.

      Daniel 2:44 - NIV - version, In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

      At the moment Jesus is the Christ, but there will come a time soon, and as each day goes by it gets closer, sooner and sooner, that Christ Jesus, being a 'Vassal King' will hand back the Kingdom and total rulership to JEHOVAH GOD.

      - 1 Corinthians 15:24.

      (( if you are not a Jehovah Witness, please read and check for yourself the Scriptures cited.))

      For be assured, what Jehovah Witnesses do, that is the preaching work, is a commission from Christ Jesus.

      - Matthew 28:18-20.

      The end to this ungodly world will arrive.

      - Matthew 24:14....!!!!!!

      *** Remember what happened in Noahs Day? ***

      People drowned, they did not go to heaven nor any other place, they perished.

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      9 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Do you know when the Witnesses say the 144,000 number was reached? My sister called the Watchtower society to answer a question I posed to her when I was trying to show her how I got saved. When she called they actually put her on the phone with a younger sounding voice claiming to be one of the 144,000. It was so nice that they did because it really effected her and her conversion. I explained how old that man would have to be and she was stunned. I think you are right in that they are all dead. Who can live to 110 years old? Not many and who still works in the office answering questions at that age?

    • bobm288 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks for those making comments above. I have learned a great deal from them and appreciate the inputs.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The upright are those who learn Jehovah’s will and do it. Jesus Christ said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Yes, “the world is passing away . . . , but he that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:17.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The custom today for a clergy class to do the preaching and for the common people to remain silent comes from these apostates rather than from Jesus Christ.—Acts 20:29, 30

      So, we do not feel that we are “earning our salvation”, rather we preach “in every house” as did the early Christens, obeying a commandment Jesus gave. Our motivation is love of God, love of neighbor, and then obedience. What else can we possibly give back to him but our obedience? He owns everything else.

      Act 5:42: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” KJV

      Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” KJV

      James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” KJV

      So, what is that Good News of The Kingdom that was so important that Jesus made it his priority while here on Earth and then commanded his follows to continue to preach about it?

      One of the Tracts published by Jehovah’s Witnesses does an excellent job summarizing this Good News:

      *** T-27 pp. 1-6 All Suffering Soon to End! ***

      All Suffering Soon to End!

      At some time in your life, you have likely asked, ‘Why all the suffering?’ For thousands of years, the human family has suffered greatly from wars, poverty, disasters, crime, injustice, sickness, and death. The past hundred years have seen more suffering than ever before. Will all of this ever end?

      The comforting answer is yes, and very soon! God’s Word, the Bible, proclaims: “The wicked one will be no more . . . But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” For how long? “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Psalm 37:10, 11, 29.

      After God removes wickedness and suffering, the earth will be transformed into a paradise. Then people will be able to live forever in perfect health and happiness. God’s Word foretells: “[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”—Revelation 21:4.

      In that new world, even dead ones will be brought back to life to share in those blessings: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) That is why Jesus Christ could tell a repentant evildoer who expressed faith in him: “You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:43.

      Why Did Suffering Start?

      Since God purposed for humans to have such a marvelous future, why did he permit suffering to start? Why has he allowed it for so long?

      When God created Adam and Eve, He made them perfect in body and mind. He put them in a paradise garden and gave them satisfying work to do. The Bible states: “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) If they had obeyed God, they would have produced perfect children, and the earth would have become a global paradise, where people would live forever in peace and happiness.

      God implanted in Adam and Eve the wonderful gift of free will as part of the human makeup. They were not to be mindless robots. However, their continued happiness depended upon their using free will in the right way—to obey God’s laws. God says: “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in the way in which you should walk.” (Isaiah 48:17) Misuse of free will would result in catastrophe, since humans were not created to be successful independent of God. The Bible says: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.

      Sadly, our first parents felt that they could be independent of God and still be successful. But when they pulled away from God’s rulership, he no longer sustained them in perfection. So they began to degenerate until finally they got old and died. Consistent with the laws of genetics, we have inherited that imperfection and death.—Romans 5:12.

      The Main Issue—Sovereignty

      Why did God not destroy Adam and Eve and start over with another human pair? Because God’s universal sovereignty, that is, his right to rule, had been challenged. The question was, Who has the right to rule, and whose rule is right? By extension, Could humans do better if not ruled by God? In allowing them enough time to experiment with total freedom, God would establish once and for all whether they are better off under his rule or their own. The time allowed had to be long enough for humans to try all types of political, social, economic, and religious systems apart from God’s guidance.

      What has been the result? Thousands of years of human history tell us that there has been more and more suffering. In the past century, the human family has experienced the worst suffering ever. Millions were murdered during the Holocaust. Over 100 million have been slaughtered in wars. Crime and violence are rampant. Drug abuse is epidemic. Sexually transmitted diseases continue to spread. Tens of millions die each year of hunger and disease. Family life and moral values have broken down everywhere. No human government has the answers to these problems. Not one of them has overcome aging, sickness, and death.

      The human condition is just as the Bible foretold for our times. God’s Word identifies our era as “the last days” of this system of things when “critical times hard to deal with will be here.” And just as the Bible said, ‘wicked men and impostors have advanced from bad to worse.’—2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13.

      Suffering Is Near Its End

      All the evidence shows that we are nearing the end of man’s tragic experiment in independence from God. It has been clearly demonstrated that rulership by humans apart from God can never succeed. Only God’s rulership can bring peace, happiness, perfect health, and everlasting life. So Jehovah’s toleration of wickedness and suffering is nearing its end. Soon God will intervene in human affairs by destroying this entire unsatisfactory system of things.

      Bible prophecy says: “In the days of those kings [human rulerships now existing] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom [in heaven] that will never be brought to ruin. . . . It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms [present rulerships], and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” (Daniel 2:44) The vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty, his right to rule, by his heavenly Kingdom is the central teaching of the Bible. Foretelling a key part of the sign of “the last days,” Jesus said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.”—Matthew 24:14.

      When the end comes, who will survive? The Bible answers: “The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth.” (Proverbs 2:21, 22) The upright are those who learn Jehovah’s will and do it. Jesus Christ said: “This means everl

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a common misconception of our work and our belief. It's understandable why some may feel this way, because we do feel, as Christians and as his creation, obligated to do this work. However this is not our motivation. We can’t earn anything; everything we have is a gift from God.

      Salvation is a free gift, because our current sinful state legislates death. We have descended from Adam and Eve, who sinned and lost their clean standing before God. In that sinful state, they conceived children and passed on that imperfection to us. Out of love, God gave us the Ransom, as a free gift, to redeem us out of that sinful state, basically putting us back on par with Adam and Eve before they sinned. However the ransom doesn’t guarantee our salvation, it just gives us back what Adam had lost.

      Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” KJV

      Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” KJV

      Romans 5:19: “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” KJV

      Romans 5:18: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” KJV

      1 Timothy 2:5, 6 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” KJV

      In other words, the Ransom gets us out of dept, but we then have to stay out of dept. It doesn’t give us a free pass to do what ever we want. In order to stay alive or keep that gift, we must obey God’s commandments, just like Adam and Eve were supposed to do. Obedience is the other half of the equation.

      Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” KJV

      Jesus’ half brother James wrote: “Faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself.” He further said: “Show me your faith apart from the works, and I shall show you my faith by my works.” James pointed out that even the demons “believe and shudder,” but that belief will not save them because of their disobediance. Abraham, on the other hand, had both faith and works. “His faith worked along with his works and by his works his faith was perfected.” James repeated: “Faith without works is dead.”—James 2:17-26.

      So our faith or belief in Jesus Ransom motivates us to obey God’s commandments, especially the commandment Jesus himself gave to his followers. And by following his example, we becoming Christ-like or Christens. One of the most important commandments was to preach the good news of the Kingdom to all nations:

      Matt 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” KJV

      John 21:15-17: “Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

      Matt 10:7: “7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” KJV

      Luke 8:1: “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him” KJV

      Act 5:28, 29: “Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. 29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

      Acts 20:20: “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house”

      Mark 13:10: “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” KJV

      Matt 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” KJV

      Romans 9:16: “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” KJV

      So as seen in the above scriptures, Jesus commanded his followers to preach the good news of the kingdom and they did so diligently from “house to house”. The Bible and History shows that all early Christens were preachers of this good news of the Kingdom. Some time after the death of the apostles and those who had been close to them, the professed Christians of that time began to become apostate (abandoned the true cause, worship, and service of God). Ecclesiastical orders were established, and preaching ceased to be the activity of all who professed the Christian faith; it became the exclusive prerogative of a clergy class. Note what the Bible encyclopedia by M’Clintock and Strong says about this: “When ritual ceremonies came to supersede not only the practice, but the very idea of evangelization, it is not surprising that preaching itself became a ceremony, and at length a rare and infrequent ceremony. Not merely laymen, but even presbyters of the Church were inhibited from preaching, except by special permission of bishops; while many of the bishops, who had arrogated to themselves the exclusive right of preaching, either through ignorance or indolence practically abandoned the custom.” The custom today for a clergy class to do the preaching and for the common

    • William Turpen profile image

      William Turpen 

      9 years ago from Southwest Virginia

      Not bad. Only a few errors. Official website to learn direct: Watchtower dot org.

    • profile image

      Miley Cyrus 

      10 years ago

      very informative, Thanks but no thanks

    • dasiavou profile image


      10 years ago

      why are you writing about this?


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