At a Glance: The epitome of false prophets, Jehovah's Witnesses are an example of putting too much emphasis on "good" works and not enough on what the actually Bible says. JW's have a low view of the Bible ("it doesn't mean what it says") and Christ ("he wasn't who he said he was") and this completely undermines their theology and personal faith.
LIE #1: WORKS ARE NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
The "gift" of Salvation has been and always will be solely by grace through faith in Christ. You do not work for a gift. All you have to do is receive it. Salvation has nothing to do with how many doors you knock on or how good of a person you are, and to believe such things is to detract from Christ and the sacrifice he made.
Gal. 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,: it is the gift of God: Not of works, let any man should boast."
Romans 4:1-8 "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."
Gal. 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Gal. 2:21 "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
Romans 3:24-28 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Isaiah 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…"
Romans 6:25 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
John 3:15 "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Hebrews 10:29 "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
What about James 2? Like all chapters in the Bible, James 2 should be read in the context of the book and while keeping the rest of the Bible in mind. James is talking about what can be seen with the human eye ("Ye see" in verse 24). The correct interpretation of this chapter is that if you see a person who does not act in any way like he has faith--then he does not have true faith! A faith that does not produce good works is a faith that is dead (verse 17). A person with true faith will show it through his works (2:18 "...I will shew thee my faith by my works.").
Read More: Salvation by Grace (PDF)
LIE #2: HELL, A PLACE OF ETERNAL FIRE AND PAIN, DOES NOT EXIST
2 Cor. 5:8 "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
When someone dies their eternal destination is heaven or hell. Individuals who die without accepting Christ as their savior will burn for ever and ever in the literal flames of hell, contrary to JW teaching. Luke chapter 16 provides one of the clearest pictures of hell. Jehovah's witnesses, as well as other cults, try to argue that the passage is a parable, but this idea holds no water at all. No other parables use proper nouns (real people: Abraham, Lazarus, and Moses). Furthermore, if it is a parable, what is it teaching, why doesn't Christ give the meaning of parable, and why don't his disciples ask him for it? Because it is not a parable.
Luke 16:19-31 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."
In addition, the following words from Jesus Christ himself are incontestable. If he's not talking about a real, literal hell then what is he talking about? He's just trying to confuse us into believing there is a such a place? No, he's speaking candidly about the realities of the result of rejecting the savior -- eternity in hell. And he is reinforcing what is taught in the Old Testament.
Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"
Mark. 9:43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:"
Isaiah 33:14 "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
Also, to further address the unbiblical JW notion of total annihilation (the idea that people who go to hell simply burn up and out of existence) please note the following:
The Beast was cast alive into the Lake of Fire:
Rev. 19:20 "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
The Beast died in the flames:
Daniel 7:11 "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."
Yet, the Beast is still alive in the Lake of Fire a thousand years later:
Rev. 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
And the lake of fire is exactly where individuals who are not written in the Book of Life will end up.
Rev. 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Jehovah's Witnesses use Ecclesiastes chapter 9 as their main proof that hell doesn't exist. Verse five says "the dead know not any thing" and verse 10 says there is no knowledge or wisdom in the grave. While it could be Biblically stated that there is no knowledge in the grave because graves contain just physical remains while souls go to heaven or hell, the context of Ecclesiastes must be pointed out. As the book points out numerous times (especially chapter one), Ecclesiastes is a book of man's wisdom, what man sees "under the sun." It is the best man can surmise from his point of view, and the final chapter (12) blatantly points out that the best of man's wisdom is vanity. Thankfully God gave us the Bible which tell us exactly what is after death.
LIE #3: THE TRINITY DOES NOT EXIST
LIE #4: CHRIST IS NOT GOD
Closely related to denying the trinity, denying the deity of Christ, as JW's do, is one of the most blasphemous doctrines of our age. The Bible is unequivocally clear that Christ is God. Only a brainwashed mind bent on detracting from Christ would come to a different conclusion. According to II John 9, those who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ are hell bound. Below is just a sample of passages proving the deity of Christ.
II John 9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."
I John 2:22 "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
I Timothy 3:16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Matthew 1:13 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
John 10:30 "I and my Father are one."
John 14:7-11 "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake."
Col. 1:15-19 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell"
JW's often point to Col. 1:15 as proof that Christ was created. Let it be understood that the term "firstborn" does not mean this at all. In Jewish culture this term simply shows preeminence or rank (similar to the rank shown in Psalm 89:27). Christ is and always has been fully God -- the Alpha and Omega. Christ could not have been created because the Bible says he created all things!
John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
Col. 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Rev. 1:8 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
Isaiah 43:10 "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
According to Isaiah 43 Jesus could not have been a "lesser god" contrary to JW doctrine.
LIE #5: THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION IS AN ACCURATE TRANSLATION
The New World Translation (NWT), the Jehovah's Witnesses' ungodly concoction of a "Bible," is nothing short of laughable. Its scholarship is horrendous, but its intentions are clear. Verses which are at odds with church doctrines are conveniently rearranged, no matter how far away from the Greek/Hebrew the translation gets. Despite the effort, Watchtower Society scholars failed to mangle a number of passages (verses like Isaiah 9:6), additionally, they introduced even more confusion in the process for other passages. For instance, in John 1:1 the NWT randomly inserts the word "a" before God. By doing so they attempt to remove Christ's deity, however, at the same time they introduce a belief in multiple gods which is even more at odds with scripture. The translation is a joke, except God is not laughing.
Rev. 22:18 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:"
Read More: The King James Version is Perfect (PDF)