Because of some similarities with the Christian religion, many people are often confused about what the Jehovah’s Witnesses stand for. Even though they share the same passionate criticism when it comes to the theory of evolution and common concerns about religious apostasy with Christians, it is necessary to mention that these two doctrines differ significantly on the important doctrines. Let’s explore some of the most shocking beliefs associated with what some might dub a very dangerous cult.
1. The “disfellowship”
In the eventuality that a member commits a sin that the Watch Tower society perceives as serious or if a person stops believing in the authority and teachings of JW blindly, the punishment is excommunication. The disfellowshipping of a member usually has severe emotional impact on the individual, especially since members are required not to associate with such a person. In fact, according to the society’s teaching even a simple “Hi’ is forbidden because it can lead to a conversation and even – god forbid – a friendship.
2. Jehovah’s Witnesses hold the most accurate translation of the Bible
Unlike the Catholic Church that pretends it is infallible, Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders are renowned for constantly changing their beliefs and policies. The explanation for this rather strange behavior is that it is perfectly normal for their knowledge to be imperfect and that the Governing Body is allowed to make mistakes. However, as Armageddon draws near they will be able to presents more accurate information.
3. Jesus has returned since 1914
The JW’s publications teach the heavenly kingdom has been literarily formed in 1914 and since that date Jesus has been ruling along with the anointed ones. In addition, the main role of the kingdom is to make sure that God’s original purposes can be accomplished here on Earth. In short, God’s Messianic Kingdom is a new paradise where sin, crime, sickness and poverty have no place.
4. Jesus was in fact Michael the Archangel
Michael the Archangel is the only real creation of God – “the Word” – while the rest of the universe represents an indirect creation built under Jehovah’s guidelines. In addition, because their scriptures say that Jesus came to Earth with a seraph voice and Michael was the only archangel mentioned in the Bible (except Gabriel), witnesses believe that Jesus was in fact Michael prior to his first coming.
5. Only the anointed will go to Heaven
Because the Governing Body tends to interpret the Holy Scriptures word for word, a further shocking JW belief is that only a bundle of faithful and true believers will end up in heaven and rule alongside with Christ. To be more precise, the witnesses talk about 144,000 true Christians, the number indicated by God in the Book of Revelations. Even though the anointed or the “born again” are part of a very exclusive group, it is necessary to mention that they do not benefit from any preferential treatment in the society. However, they are the only ones allowed to partake in a yearly ceremony where they feast on unleavened bread and wine.