What are the differences between Christianity and Jehovah Witnesses? Are they important differences?
One of the most glaring differences between Christianity and the Jehovah Witnesses is that Jesus is either God and has always existed or He was a created being and thus, not fully God. What they believe and what Christians believe are crucial because if you don’t have the right Jesus, you’ve got the wrong Savior, meaning no Savior at all. Jesus said that it is crucial to know who He is and to know Who God the Father is and said “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3) so if you don’t know the right Jesus, then you don’t the right Father. Eternal life is to know Jesus and the Father. The Jehovah Witnesses believe that Jesus was first Michael the Archangel and then He became man however that’s not the right Jesus of the Bible!
The Holy Spirit
Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in the Trinity and only believe the Holy Spirit to be an impersonal force or power from God (The Watchtower, June 1, 1952, p. 24). Jesus identified all Three Persons in the Trinity, telling the disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, the Helper, and the Advocate, all capitalized, meaning He used proper nouns to identify each one and by using the word “and” He is separating God the Father from God the Son and from God the Holy Spirit.
The place of Works
The Jehovah Witnesses, from their own publications, state that good works are required to be saved (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 150, 152). The Bible says that no one is saved by works and at best, they are like filthy rags before God. God will not accept our works nor will He accept anyone’s works. He only accepted what Christ did on the cross so believing that it is necessary to do good works in order to be saved is contrary to biblical doctrine (Eph 2:8-9). Works have their place but a person is not saved by works but a person that’s saved will naturally do good works because God’s Spirit lives in him or her. To the Jehovah witnesses a person is saved by their works and by faith (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp.150, 152).
Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as He ever did heaven but the Jehovah Witnesses must not believe Jesus because they don’t believe in hell. They believe that the soul ceases to exist after death and that only 144,000 will be saved but only Jehovah Witnesses, and no one else. If there is no hell, then there is no justice and no justice means no judgment day (Rev 20:12-15) and no one is really cast into a lake of fire (Rev 21:8). According to their beliefs, the wickedest of people will end their existence just like the nicest people who ever lived. The wickedest will receive no punishment for the hideous crimes they committed. Since Jesus spoke so much about hell, no wonder the Jehovah’s witnesses had to create their own church-translation (the New World Translation).
There are so many other areas where the Jehovah Witnesses and Christianity differ but the differences are black and white and life and death. If they are not trusting in the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ, and denying the Trinity, meaning contradicting what Jesus said about Him, and that there will be no hell, they may end up going to a place they don’t believe in. All because they’ve got the wrong Jesus and if you’ve got the wrong Jesus, you’ve got the wrong Savior.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.