The Beliefs, Characteristics and Features of Jehovah's Witnesses

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This paper will discuss the beliefs, characteristics, and features of the Jehovah's witnesses and will conclude by showing how these beliefs have helped them. It will also include the history of where and how the doctrine came to be, their governance and its establishment.

 Jehovah witness is a Christian denomination, which has nontrinitarian beliefs, which differ from other Christian denominations.  This formal denomination establishment in 1971 and the body used to meet regularly (Harrison 14). According to Raymond Franz, it is presumed that the meeting took an estimate of seven minutes since they were making decisions about branch appointments. In December 1975, the governing body conducted an election and voted six operating committees to oversee the different administrative requirements of this organization in the whole world (Harrison 25). This denomination has more than 8.45 million members worldwide who are involved in evangelism and 20 million members who attend annual memorial meetings. Jehovah witness is the governing body, whose location is at Warwick New York, and this is their headquarters. This body administers the operation of the group worldwide and formulates doctrines and production of written materials for publication and conventions. The existing members select the new governing body (Harrison 42). The belief of this doctrine and bases are on the teachings of the bible and of Charles Taze Russell who is the founder of the Bible student movement. 

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there is an organization, which God uses both in heaven and on earth; they also think that God uses their governing body as the only channel to communicate to humanity (Botting 70). This organization has been said to be theocratic that is the rule is from the divine to down and not from the regular members. The Jehovah's Witness also believes and teaches that people should choose either Gods or Satan’s organizations (Botting 62). According to the watchtowers publications, they think that bible is an organization book and does not belong to an individual (Juettner 24). They also believe that an individual cannot understand the Scripture correctly without the help and guidance of the Jehovah's visible organization (Juettner 30).

Following the witnesses, when one is undergoing baptism is required to announce publicly and confirm that they are associating themselves with Gods spirit-directed organization and that they are submitting themselves to the judicial system and its direction system. One is required to demonstrate loyalty without dissent even if it is on the coast of the family ties (Juettner 65). According to the watchtower society publications. Involvement in full time preaching and attending meetings shows loyalty to this organization. A sociologist known as Andrew Holden observed and released that the witnesses did not see any difference between allegiance to the movement and commitment to Jehovah, other researchers that are challenging the views of those who are on the higher hierarchy ladder is as questioning God himself.

The Jehovah's Witnesses also believe that the church embarked on a very high apostasy after the death of the apostles. In the 19th century Charles Taze Russell and some other associates came together and formed a bible study group, they considered their teachings as the revival of the great truths taught by the apostles and Jesus himself. The witnesses believe that they are the only real religion (Juettner 46). According to their interpretation of Revelation 18:2-24 the Jehovah witnesses assumes that all the real faith in the world are part of the world empire of false religion which is under the control of the Satan, they also believe and refuse to be involved in any relationship with other religious denominations (Juettner 18).

This denomination considers the Bible as historically and scientifically reliable and accurate book; this makes the witnesses base all their beliefs on the bible as their governing body has interpreted it. Thus denomination usually uses terms such as Hebrew and Christian Greek scriptures instead of using the old and new testament to avoid some implications which suggest that the old testament is inferior or outdated.  According to them, the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) contains the fulfillment of the Jesus Christ prophecies. They also believe that Greek Christian scriptures (New Testament) are primarily direct to 144000 chosen by God himself for life in heaven. The translators who are usually used by the Jehovah's witnesses do not name God as God, but they call Him as Jehovah (Stroup 60).

This denomination believes in God as a supreme being and recognizes Him as the universal creator. They reject doctrines on the Trinity as they consider it unscriptural (Juettner 69). They envisage God as a Father who is an invisible spirit separate from Jesus whom they regard as a son. They, therefore, describe the Holy Spirit as the active force of GOD the father as refuted by other denominations as the third party of the Trinity (Juettner 90). God is believed to be approachable and infinite. His real name is supposed to be Jehovah. He is not omnipresent but located in heaven. There is a possibility of having a personal, friendly relationship with Him. Kindness and mercy are His main characteristics and therefore will not punish the sinners eternally. He does not force people to obey His rule because He respects free wills principles. Jehovah saves those who serve him (Stroup 24). 

It is also learned that among Witness that, Jehovah is Gods distinguishing name, a common Latinized name in the modern society from a Hebrew Tetragrammaton, translating to YHWH.  The vitality for true worship is regarding Him by his real name, and therefore they preface the word GOD with Jehovah. They rarely use the term lord when talking about God.  Since no other religion refers to God as Jehovah in similar prevalence, they believe that they make Gods name popular among His creation.

Jesus Christ is believed by Witnesses to be God's only son, and he started his life in heaven. He is an exact representation of God and His first creation (Juettner 84).  He is not part of the Trinity but an independent entity. He is believed to have been used by God the creator of the universe. Archangel Michael is the word mentioned in John 1:1 and personified wisdom in Proverbs 8 were references to Jesus in His pre-human life and that he resumed this state after ascension. He is an identity of the white horse rider cited in the book of Revelation chapter 6 and chapter   19. He was born of a virgin following his acceptance of transformation by God from to a woman’s womb on earth named Mary. He was executed while on the surface as an atonement for the sins of humankind and became an everlasting father to the human race. Witnesses believe that Jesus appeared to his disciples and convinced them of his resurrection before ascending to heaven and sat by Jehovah's right-hand side. He waits in His seat until he becomes the king of God's kingdom as promised in the Holy Scriptures. He is the mediator mentioned in by Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20 and Hebrews 9:15; 12:24 only for the 144,000 who will go to heaven. Jesus is, however, a subordinate to God the Father even as a king of the heavenly kingdom and that only a few with the earthly hope will benefit from his mediation acts (Juettner 54). Jehovah's witnesses dispute a doctrine about Mary perpetual virginity arguing that, after Jesus, she bore more children.

Crown and cross were symbols used on publications and tombstones to 1931 by The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Witnesses from the year 1963 have disputed the idea of Jesus death on a cross. They instead believe that he died on a single stake of wood. The cross is therefore considered to have originated from pagans, and it is hence a form of idol worship. Some witnesses have faced persecution for failure to kiss or bowing before crosses (Harrison 84). 

Satan is believed by Witnesses to have been a perfect angel of God who began to be self-centered and developed jealousy for worship directed to God. He persuaded humankind ancestors to his obedience rather than God. It has raised the issue often regarded as controversy on whether if humankind will obey and worship God if granted free will under persecution and temptations (Botting 70). On this issue, God should refrain destroying the devil and instead test those who are loyal to Him among the humankind to prove that indeed Satan is a liar. This show Gods sovereignty over the universe. Satan is the chief adversary of God and the ruler of the unseen world (Juettner 110). Angels allied with Satan and rebelled against God eventually became demons after the controversy. Satan and Demons were cast down on other from heaven in 1914, marking the begging of escatology and are not in hell. They have neither shown the responsibility of punishing the wicked contrary to different denominational beliefs. They believe that Satan and his demons influence nations, organizations, and individuals causing suffering among humans. Satan will bound at Armageddon for 1000 years before allowing him to manipulate upright humanity before his destruction (Juettner 33).

Writers like Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, James Beckford and James Penton the fear of demons among Jehovah’s Witnesses which is said to be extreme and eventually becomes superstitious. However, they stated that avoiding demonic practices has freed many Africans and Latin Americans from fear of demonic spirits.  Watch Tower Society advice Witnesses not to fear demons since they have limited powers of humans.

The kingdom of God is likened to a lateral government among Witnesses. Its establishment dated back to 1914 and Jesus rules over the 144,000 people taken to heaven. The is a means for Gods accomplishment of His original purpose. He wanted crime-free earth, with no deaths and poverty. He wants to transform the world into a paradise ultimately. This kingdom is believed to have been an entire focus of Jesus on His ministry (Harrison 89). 

The soul is immortal as said in Ezekiel 18:4 and does not continue living after the death of an individual. The end is, therefore, is non-existence from the understanding of Ecclesiastes 9:5. The only hope of eternal life is resurrection among Witnesses. They state that 144,000 bodies will resurrect as spirits in heaven to be priestly rulers to assist Jesus while the majority remain on earth physically.      

The purpose of this essay was to provide characteristics, features and believes of the Jehovah’s witnesses. It has evident the witnesses are a nontrinitarian doctrine that differs from other religions. This essay has considered of the witnesses and their characteristics which they value and believe. The witnesses think that God uses a particular organization in heaven and earth. They also base their beliefs on the bible because they take the scripture as a historical and scientifically reliable and accurate book as their governing body has interpreted it. This denomination rejects the doctrine on the holy trinity and considers it unscriptural. In conclusion, the Jehovah’s witnesses is a denomination that is in the whole world, and they have that differ from other faiths.

Works Cited

Botting, Gary. Jehovah's Witnesses. 6th ed., U of Calgary P, 2016.

Harrison, Barbara G. Visions of Glory: A History and a Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses. 6th ed., Hale, 1980.

Juettner, Marie. Jehovah's Witness believes. 7th ed., KidHaven P, 2015.

Stroup, Herbert H. The Jehovah's Witnesses. 6th ed., Columbia UP, 2015.

December 12, 2023
Category:

Religion

Number of pages

7

Number of words

1848

Downloads:

33

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