Allow me to begin this study by pointing out the fact that this is not intended to be an all encompasing look at the doctrinal differences between The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, better known as 'Jehovah's Witnesses.' and historic Christianity.  Rather, it is my hope to provide the reader with some information which can be used to begin the process of calling into question the validity of the Watchtower's claim that it alone is God's representative on the earth today.  There are few if any of us who have not been paid a visit by members of the Jehovah's Witnesses.   While most Christians realize that the Jesus to whom the JW's pay homage is not the Jesus of the Bible, few of us are able to point out some of the specific errors within their Doctrine.  Unfortunately, most JW's are more familiar with their program than many Christians are with the true Word of God.

      A typical JW visit to your home includes some cleverly phrased questions as well as quotes taken out of context from the KJV of the Bible.  It is at this point that many believers become confused or angry and simply ask the JW missionaries to leave their home.  However, there is a simple question which any believer can ask the members of the JW witnessing team before they even get started in their presentation.  That question goes something like this:
 

     Do not allow them to tell you that "new light" supercedes "old light," for as you can see from quote II B.4 found below, supposed new light can never
contradict old light.  It is important for you to understand that a JW is not supposed to accept literature from you.  Nor, are they to look at anything that has not been written by their leadership.  That is why the quotes which appear in this article are taken directly from Watchtower publications.

     Above all else, we must remember that the most important thing we can do when witnessing to JW is to allow the love of Jesus Christ to flow forth from us. We are not interested in winning the battle and losing the war.  What we are interested in doing is seeing that individuals who are bound in deception are freed from that deception and then encouraged to seek a personal relationship with the living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. An important step in that process is for the average JW to see that their leadership has misled them on numerous instances.   It is towards that end that the following 43 quotes from Watchtower publications are presented here.
 

 I   EXAMINING AND QUESTIONING THE DOCTRINAL POSITION    OF CHURCH LEADERSHIP

A  Biblical Perspective:

1) Eph. 4:11-12 "And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ." KJV

2) Acts 17:11 "These (Bereans) were more noble character than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (parenthesis added) KJV

B  Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's, aka Jehovah's Witnesses publications state: 1) "A necessary part of life is that we make decisions and reach judgments But decisions made "without due examination" or judgments reached "on other grounds than reason or justice" are evidences of a closed mind. Having an open mind, on the other hand means to be receptive to new information and ideas. It means being willing to examine and to evaluate information without a biased attitude. By retaining what is worthwhile and rejecting what is worthless, we can reach definite conclusions on a solid basis A closed mind may betray a lack of interest in the subject matter, or a reluctance to look into the matter. ...(I)f we are unable to defend our religious views, we may find ourselves lashing out against those who challenge our beliefs, not with logical arguments, but with slurs and innuendoes. This smacks of prejudice and of a closed mind... (A)n open mind can serve to your advantage, a closed one will almost certainly serve to your detriment." Awake, November 22, 1984, p. 3-4

2) "We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated Are its teachings in full harmony with God's Word, or are they based on the traditions of man? If we are lovers of the truth, there is nothing to fear from such an examination." The Truth That Leads To Eternal Life 1968, p. 13

3) "It is obvious that the true God, who is himself "the God of truth" and who hates lies will not look with favor on persons who cling to organizations that teach falsehood... And really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?" Is This Life All There Is?, 1974, p. 46

4) "If you find a lie, forsake it regardless of who teaches it; it is your duty to God." Riches, p. 178

5) "It is not a form of religious persecution for anyone to say and show that another religion is false. It is not religious persecution for an informed person to expose publicly a certain religion as being false, thus allowing persons to see the difference between false religion and true religion." Watchtower November 15, 1963, p. 688

C  However, a Jehovah's Witness is not allowed to question his own organization: 1) "(D)oes Jehovah have a prophet to help them (people in general), to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? ... These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? (Immediately after the formation of the League of Nations this prophet was) ...the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are know as Jehovah's Christian Witnesses. (parenthesis added for clarity only) Watchtower, April 1, 1972, p. 197

2) "Now today, if anything, there needs to be a 'prophet to the nations'. ... The prophet whom Jehovah has raised up has been, not an individual man as in the case of Jeremiah, but a class. ... At this late date there is a mere remnant of this 'prophet' class yet on earth." (emphasis theirs) Watchtower, October 1, 1982, p. 26-27

3) "Consider, too, the fact that Jehovah's organization alone, in all the earth, is directed by God's holy spirit or active force. ... How very much true Christians appreciate associating with the only organization on earth that understands the "deep things of God" ...Furthermore, this organization alone is supplied with "gifts in men," such as evangelizers, shepherds and teachers..." Watchtower, July 1, 1973, p. 402

4) "...(C)an we get along without the direction of God's organization? No- we cannot!" Watchtower, January 15, 1983, p.27

5) "We should meekly go along with the Lord's theocratic organization ... do we suddenly become smarter than our former provider and forsake the enlightening guidance of the organization that mothers us." Watchtower, February 1, 1952, p.80

6) "What does God require of those who will reside forever upon his Paradise earth. ... A third requirement is that we be associated with God's channel, his organization." Watchtower, February 15, 1983, p. 12

D  A Jehovah's witness is not even allowed to read the Bible on his own: 1) "Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah's visible organization in mind." Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587

2) "... they (Scripture Studies) are not merely comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself. ... Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see also that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside even after he has used them for ten years - if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, ... our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references and had not read a page of the bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light of Scriptures." Watchtower, September 15, 1910, pp 298-299

3) "They (independent thinking Witnesses) say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such 'Bible reading' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago..." Watchtower, August 15, 1981, pp 28-29

II  WHAT IS THE PROPHETIC TRACK RECORD OF THE WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY?

A  Biblical perspective:
 

B  Jehovah's Witnesses perspective appears at first glance to be compatible with the Biblical admonition, to wit: 1) Deut. 18:22 "when the prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and the word does not occur or come true, that is the word that Jehovah did not speak." New World Translation, Reference Edition, 1984, p. 258

2) "Jehovah, the God of the true prophets, will put all false prophets to shame either by not fulfilling the false prediction of such self assuming prophets or by having His own prophecies fulfilled in a way opposite to that predicted by the false prophets. False prophets will try to hide their reason for feeling shame by denying who they really are" Paradise Restored To Mankind By Theocracy, 1972, pp 353-354

3) "It is a serious matter to represent God and Christ in one way, then find that our understanding of the major teachings and fundamental doctrines of Scriptures was in error, and then after that to go back to the very doctrines that, by years of study we had thoroughly determined to be in error. Christians cannot be vacillating - wishy washy - about such fundamental teachings. What confidence can one put in the sincerity or judgment of such persons?" Watchtower, May 15, 1976, p 298

4) "If we were following a man undoubtedly it would be different with us; undoubtedly one human idea would contradict another and that which was light one or two or six years ago would be regarded as darkness now: But with God there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, and so it is with truth; any knowledge or light coming from God must be like its author. A NEW VIEW OF TRUTH NEVER CAN CONTRADICT A FORMER TRUTH. "NEW LIGHT' NEVER EXTINGUISHES OLDER "LIGHT" BUT ADDS TO IT. ... So it is with the light of truth; the true increase is by adding to, not by substituting one for another." (capitals added, quotations in original) Zion's Watchtower, February 1881, p. 3

5) "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an "end to the world," even announcing a specific date. Some have gathered groups of people with them and fled to the hills or withdrawn into their houses waiting for the end. Yet, nothing happened. The end did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? Missing was the full measure of evidence required in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Missing from such people were God's truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them." Awake, October 8, 1968, p. 23
 

PROBLEM The following false prophecies of the Jehovah's Witnesses clearly reveal the fact that as an organization they do not meet either the Biblical mandates for prophecy, or their own supposedly compatible standards.
C  CHRISTENDOM WOULD BE DESTROYED IN 1914! 1) "For instance, as we look back and note that the Scriptures marked 1873 as the end of six thousand years from Adam to the beginning of the seventh thousand, and the fall of 1874 as the beginning of the forty year harvest of the Gospel age and day of wrath for the overthrow of all the institutions of 'this present evil world' ... we can see that facts have well borne out those predictions of Scripture." Watchtower, July 15, 1894, (Watchtower reprints, p. 1675)

2) "And with the end of A.D. 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy." Thy Kingdom Come, 1891 Edition, p. 153 (as found in 1916 Edition -Studies in the Scriptures)

3) "The date of the close of that battle (Armageddon) is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October 1874." (parenthesis added) Watchtower, January 15, 1892, pp 21-22

4) "Be not surprised, then, when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God is already begun, that it is pointed out in prophecy as due to begin the exercise of power in AD 1878, and that the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" ... will end in AD 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership is already commenced." The Time Is At Hand, 1911 Edition, p 101
 

PROBLEM "All of the Lord's people looked forward to 1914 with joyful expectation. When that time came and passed there was much disappointment, chagrin, mourning, and the Lord's people were greatly in reproach. They were ridiculed ... because they had said so much about 1914, and what would come to pass, and their 'prophecies' had not been fulfilled" Light, 1930, p. 194 (see points II,B,1,2,3,5 above)
D  CHRISTENDOM WILL BE DESTROYED IN 1918! 1) "The present great war in Europe is the beginning of the Armageddon of Scriptures." Pastor Russell's Sermons, 1917, p. 676

2) "Also in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, it shall be that any that escape shall come to the works of Pastor Russell to learn the meaning of the downfall of 'Christianity.'" The Finished Mystery, 1917 Edition, p. 485
 

PROBLEM Inspite of the Jehovah's Witnesses claims that Charles T. Russell was "that servant spoken of by the Lord" (Foreword to the 1911 Convention Report), one of the "seven messengers to the Church" (The Finished Mystery, Karatol Edition, 1918 Edition, p. 64), and "the special messenger to the last age of the Church" (The Finished Mystery, 1917 Edition, p. 53) World War I was not the beginning of the Battle of Armageddon, and Christendom was not destroyed in 1918. Charles T. Russell was a false prophet, even by the Jehovah's Witnesses own definition. (see points II,B,1,2,3,5 above)
E  ABRAHAM, ISSAC, JACOB, AND OTHERS WILL PHYSICALLY RETURN TO EARTH IN 1925! 1) "As we have heretofore stated, the great jubilee cycle is due to begin in 1925. (Since all those listed in Hebrews chapter 11 cannot become part of the heavenly class, they are to be resurrected as perfect men and constitute the princes of the earth.) Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews chapter eleven, in the condition of human perfection." (Parenthesis added for clarification only) Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, pp 89-90

2) "We should, therefore expect shortly after 1925 to see the awakening of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Melchisedec, Job, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John the Baptist, and others mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews." The Way To Paradise, 1924, p. 224
 

PROBLEM "God's faithful people on earth emphasized the importance of the dates 1914, 1918, and 1925. They had much to say about these dates and what would come to pass, but all they predicted did not come to pass." Vindication, Book One, 1931, p. 146-147 (see points II,B,1,2,3,5 above)
  Maybe 1930   3) On December 24, 1929 the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society purchased a piece of property to be used as a home for David, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Joseph and the "faithful men who were named with approval in the Bible at Hebrews the eleventh chapter." Deed to property as found in "Golden Age", March 19, 1930, p. 400

4) "...any persons appearing to take possession of said premises shall first prove and identify themselves to the proper officers of said Society as the persons described in Hebrews chapter eleven and in this deed." Golden Age, March 19, 1930, p. 407

5) "In this expectation the house at San Diego, California which house has been much publicized with malicious intent by the religious enemy, was built, in 1930, and named 'Beth-Sarim', meaning 'House of the Princes'. It is now held in trust for the occupancy of those princes on their return." The New World, 1942, p. 104

Maybe 1942

  6) "... the scriptural and physical facts prove that Job is due to be resurrected shortly with those faithful men Hebrews chapter 11) and to appear on earth with them. These appointed 'princes' of God will take over what the Nazi-fascists totalitarian dictators desperately try to grab on earth." The New World, 1942, p. 104
 
PROBLEM With so many failed prophecies concerning this event, the Society began denying that they had ever really predicted the actual return date for the princes of Hebrews eleven. On page 146 of the 1975 Yearbook, what was called a confident expectation in II,E,1 above is now called nothing more than a "probability" On page 194 of the 1975 Yearbook, the house named Beth Sarim, was deemed as nothing more than "a house in San Diego for Brother Rutherford's use". This is inspite of the fact that point II,E,4 states that claimants to this property must prove their identity as one of the resurrected princes. Finally, on page 62 of the 1980 Yearbook the "confident" expectation of point II,E,1 was reduced to a "reasonable" expectation. Furthermore, it was nothing more than an "expressed opinion"
F  ARMAGEDDON - AGAIN (it was supposed to be in 1918 - see II,D,1 above) 1) "His day of vengeance is here, and Armageddon is at hand and certain to fall upon Christendom, and that within an early date." Vindication, Book One, 1931, p. 147

2) "The Kingdom is here, the King is enthroned. Armageddon is just ahead. The glorious reign of Christ that shall bring blessings to the world will immediately follow. Therefore the great climax has been reached. Tribulation has fallen upon those who stand by the Lord." The Messenger, September, 1, 1940, p. 6

3) "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy, or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." Watchtower, September 15, 1941, p. 288
 

PROBLEM "During World War I God's people expected it to lead directly into Armageddon, but Jehovah prevented such a climax at that time. We didn't succumb to such an expectation during World War II"  Kingdom Ministry, January 1968 p. 5  editor's note: The above three points(II F 1,2,3) clearly show that this Kingdom Ministry statement is false.
ARMAGEDDON - ONE MORE TIME 1) "According to this trustworthy Bible chronology six thousand years from man's creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E." Life Everlasting In Freedom Of The Sons Of God, 1966, p. 29 (editor's note: this statement flatly contradicts point II,C,1 in that 1874 was supposed to have been the end of the 6,000th year. Therefore, we have 'new light' contradicting 'old light' which violates point II, B,4 above. This further discredits the Watchtower Society's position in that they are now being 'wishy, washy' and vacillating in direct opposition to point II,B,3.)

2) "Just think brothers, there are only about ninety months left before 6,000 years of man's existence on earth is completed. Do you remember what we learned at the assemblies last summer? The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out." Kingdom Ministry, March, 1968, p. 4

3) "Eight years from the autumn of 1967 would bring us to the autumn of 1975, fully 6,000 years into God's seventh day, his rest." Watchtower, May 1, 1968, p. 271

4) "How fitting it would be for God to follow this pattern, to end man's misery after six thousand years of human rule and follow it with His glorious Kingdom rule for a thousand years. ... That ... period will evidently finish in the autumn of the year 1975." Awake, October 8, 1968, p. 14

5) "If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years." Awake, May 22, 1969, p. 15

6) "In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise, but extremely dangerous. ... Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarships or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first." Kingdom Ministry, June 1969, p. 3

7) "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Kingdom Ministry, May, 1974. p. 3

8) F.W. Franz, the Society's vice-president, forcefully impressed on the audience the urgency of Christian preaching work. He stressed that, according to dependable Bible chronology, 6,000 years of human history will end this coming September according to the lunar calendar." Watchtower, May 1, 1975 p. 285
 

PROBLEM "... considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. There were statements made then, and thereafter, stressing that this was only a possibility. Unfortunately, however, along with such cautionary information, there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability. ... If anyone has been disappointed ... he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed, or deceived him ... but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises."(emphasis added) Watchtower, March 15, 1980, pp. 17-18
Question: Aside from the obvious problem that the foregoing 8 points have with point II,A,5 above, how could any organization which claims to be walking in the love of Jesus Christ first tell its followers that they have no right to question anything that organization tells them, and then turn around and tell them that it was their own fault for believing that organization when it told them that the end of the age was at hand? What comfort those who sold their homes, quit their jobs, or dropped out of college must have felt when the only thing the Watchtower Society could tell them was "adjust their viewpoint"