#1 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe in Jesus?
Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus as the Son of God, who is of lower-authority than the Father. Jesus Christ is seen as the firstborn son of God, who is not a God himself. As an inferior power, Jesus sacrificed his life because his Father asked this of him.
John 14:6 says:
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Although many Christian Protestant denominations view the Holy Power as an equal power with the Father, what separates Witnesses from other Christians are the prevalent beliefs that:
- The Father is the one true God, known as Jehovah (Yahweh in the Bible)
- Jesus is the Son of God, secondary to him, with Jesus’ disciples being beneath Jesus.
- The Holy Spirit is a sacred essence of God that helps us and gives power (JW.org). But similar to Jesus, this spirit is not seen on-par with the power of the one true God, who is the absolute sovereignty over all living things. They do not find a scriptural-basis for the trinity doctrine.
On the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they pose the question: Do JWs Believe in Jesus?:
“Yes. We believe in Jesus, who said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) We have faith that Jesus came to earth from Heaven and gave his perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice. (Matthew 20:28) His death and resurrection make it possible for those exercising faith in him to gain everlasting life. (John 3:16) We also believe that Jesus is now ruling as King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, which will soon bring peace to the entire earth. (Revelation 11:15) However, we take Jesus at his word when he said: “The Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) So we do not worship Jesus, as we do not believe that he is Almighty God.”
The disparity between this belief and other Protestant Christian denominations is the major controversy over Christ’s level of authority. Many use scriptural evidence to demonstrate how God and Jesus are the same Lord. This is seen in scriptures such as Matthew 1:23: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
There are many occasions in the Bible in which Jesus is referred to as God, which leads to a theological divide amongst Christians. Another scripture that leads to debate is Isaiah 41:4 when Jesus refers to himself as the Lord: “Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses disagree with this belief, seeing Jesus only as the secondary power, the Son of God.
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.
- “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6.
#2 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe in Heaven?
Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the existence of Heaven; however, it is not a paralleled teaching of most other Christian denominations.
The central teachings surrounding Witnesses related to their stance on Heaven includes the following:
- Heaven is a real place, but only for the most sacred prophets, disciples, teachers, and spiritual leaders that served Jesus Christ during their time on earth.
- Heaven is a place that may only hold 144,000 people. Referenced in Revelation chapters 7 and 14 – it is said to only be reserved for ‘kings and priests.’ To this point, Heaven is considered to be a dimension that is already at maximum capacity. In all probability, this number could have been reached centuries ago, implying that no more humans will enter the gates of Heaven.
- Witnesses believe that the end-times are near, and Armageddon is fast-approaching due to the crumbling of our social and political structures. This was referenced as a final indication that days were numbered on earth, and God would commence a sort of worldwide war of destruction.
- Those that do not obey God or did not follow his worship on earth will be killed, just as the destruction caused during the times of Noah’s Ark, a story of a great flood that wiped out humankind.
- Witnesses believe that when you die, your soul dies along with the body. This opposes many religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islamic, etc.) that believe the soul lives on even after the body dies (whether it goes to Heaven, a new dimension, reincarnates into new bodies, or any other eternal possibility outside of absolute annihilation).
- Since Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe they are going to Heaven, their theology is formed around the belief in resurrection in an afterlife. Said to be a paradise on earth, this will be a world freed of sin and evil.
- This Utopia is described in Daniel 7:13, 14; Luke 23:43: “Jehovah will completely undo all the bad that Satan has done. Jehovah has made Jesus the King over all the earth. Under his rulership, the earth will be made into a paradise.”
- JW.org – The Paradise Earth: “Jehovah promises these things:
- PLENTY OF FOOD: “The earth itself will certainly give its produce; God, our God, will bless us.” “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Psalm 67:6; 72:16.
- NO MORE WAR: “Come, you people, behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”—Psalm 46:8, 9.
- NO BAD PEOPLE: “For evildoers themselves will be cut off . . . And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.”—Psalm 37:9, 10.
- NO SICKNESS, SORROW, OR DEATH: “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.”—Isaiah 35:5, 6.
- “And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:3, 4.
- Unlike Satan and the demons, Jehovah never lies. Everything he promises must come true. (Luke 1:36, 37) Jehovah loves you and wants you to live in the Paradise that he will make. So contact Jehovah’s Witnesses to learn more about the marvelous truths found in God’s Word. If you apply the truth in your life, you will be set free from bondage to falsehood, superstition, and ignorance. In time, you will even be released from bondage to sin and death. As Jesus said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—John 8:32.”
- You An Live Forever on Earth – JW.org; Published the 2nd of November, 2018.
#3 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Ride Bikes?
Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses ride bikes and have various documents and articles related to biking through their Watchtower Publication. In these texts, they refer to biking as being:
- Good for your health
- A method to minimize stress
- An exercise that prevents obesity
- A way to connect with God on a deeper level by keeping your body ‘clean’ through better health
- A joy of leading a simple life
With all of these opinions from the Jehovah’s Witness Church, along with many countries using it as a more convenient means of transportation, biking is certainly embraced within the denomination.
- “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:.5
#4 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Easter?
No, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Easter.
The reasons for this decision include:
- Easter has pagan customs and ties.
- They find all purposes for Easter to lack scriptural-basis.
- Abstaining from ritualistic ceremonies such as the Easter egg hunt, which is linked to the goddess of spring and renewal, which corresponds to the fertility of rabbits.
- These pagan traditions predate biblical and scriptural context/chronicles.
- Jesus is not equal to God; the reason suggested by Christianity.com.
- Jesus never established a specific date for his birthday in the Bible, with no reason to believe his date of birth was the 25th of December. As this relates to his resurrection and celebration for Easter, Witnesses find no evidence of any specific date to be revered.
- Although they honor Jesus’s sacrifice and see him as the Savior and Son of God – They do not like to recognize gruesome aspects of his death. This includes wearing a cross, using idolatry to symbolize Christ’s sacrifice, or celebrating days of his death in an upbeat fashion.
Seeing none of this as related to Christ in a productive or positive light, Witnesses do not encourage Easter celebrations.
- “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:14.
- “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:40.
- “ And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” – Daniel 12:2.
#5 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Funerals?
Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses have funerals and their traditions mirror Christian funerals in most ways. The differences you will notice in their services are:
- The soul is not considered to be immortal
- Typically shorter in duration; sometimes only 15-30 minutes
- It will take place within a week of the death
- The dead are unconscious
- There should be modesty in clothing and behavior
- Can be held at a Kingdom Hall, funeral home, graveside, home, or crematory
- Scriptures will be read about death and resurrection
- They highlight their faith at the funeral service
- Anyone is welcome, not solely Jehovah’s Witnesses. If family or friends are not members of the denomination, they are still allowed to pay their respects
As stated on JW.org:
“We do not try to impose on others our beliefs regarding funerals. In this regard, we follow the principle: “Each of us will render an account for himself to God.” (Romans 14:12). However, if we are given the opportunity, we do try to explain our beliefs “with a mild temper and deep respect.”—1 Peter 3:15.’
In addition to this, they do not charge for these expensive services:
“We do not charge for any religious services, including funerals, nor do we take up collections at our meetings.—Matthew 10:8.”
· JW.org on Funerals: “Do Witnesses attend funerals conducted by other religions? Each Witness decides for himself, based on his own Bible-trained conscience. (1 Timothy 1:19) However, we do not share in religious ceremonies that we feel are out of harmony with the Bible.—2 Corinthians 6:14-17.”
#6 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Drink Alcohol?
In an official statement on drinking, the JW church asserts that the bible’s answer is:
“It is not a sin to drink alcohol in moderation. The Bible describes wine as a gift from God that can make life more enjoyable. (Psalm 104:14, 15; Ecclesiastes 3:13; 9:7) The Bible also acknowledges the medicinal value of wine.—1 Timothy 5:23.”
Although other Christians find it to be a tempter of sin and foul behavior, there is controversy regarding alcohol in the Christian denomination. Most find drinking in moderation to be acceptable, as long as one isn’t consuming to the point of gluttony or over-indulgence.
With combative scriptures sometimes saying that ‘only the fool drinks’ while others contradict with Jesus making water into wine (John 2:1-25) – this subject causes a divide amongst many Christians.
In another query; Is It Wrong to Drink? Witnesses have said:
“WHY DOES IT MATTER?
“Alcohol is a powerful drug,” says World Book Encyclopedia. Hence, there may be circumstances or times when even the moderate consumption of alcohol would be unwise.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
People often “walk right into [trouble]” because they drink at the wrong time. “For everything there is an appointed time,” the Bible says, including a time to stay away from alcohol. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) For example, a person may be legally too young to drink, he may be a recovering alcoholic, or he may be taking medication that does not interact well with alcohol. And for many people, the “appointed time” to abstain is before they go to work and while they are at work, especially if they operate potentially dangerous machinery. To be sure, wise people view life and health as precious gifts from God. (Psalm 36:9) We show our respect for those gifts when Bible principles guide our attitude toward alcohol.”
- JW.org – Is Drinking a Sin? “Dangers of overdrinking
While the Bible mentions the positive aspects of wine, it condemns overdrinking and drunkenness. Thus, a Christian who chooses to drink alcohol would do so only in moderation. (1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 2:2, 3) The Bible gives several reasons to avoid overdrinking.
- It impairs thinking ability and judgment. (Proverbs 23:29-35) An intoxicated person cannot fulfill the Bible’s command to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.”—Romans 12:1.
- Overdrinking removes inhibitions and “the motivation to do what is right.”—Hosea 4:11; Ephesians 5:18.
- It can lead to poverty and serious health problems.—Proverbs 23:21, 31, 32.
- Heavy drinking and drunkenness displease God.—Proverbs 23:20; Galatians 5:19-21.
How much is too much?
A person has had too much alcohol when his drinking puts him or others at risk of harm. According to the Bible, drunkenness is identified, not by a person’s passing out, but by such behavior as being disoriented, walking unsteadily, becoming contentious, or having slurred speech. (Job 12:25; Psalm 107:27; Proverbs 23:29, 30, 33) Even those who avoid getting drunk can still become “weighed down with . . . heavy drinking” and experience its serious consequences.—Luke 21:34, 35.
The Bible also identifies times when Christians should avoid drinking alcohol altogether:
- If others would be stumbled by it.—Romans 14:21.
- If drinking alcohol violates the law of the land.—Romans 13:1.
- If a person cannot control his drinking. Those who suffer from alcoholism and other forms of alcohol abuse must be willing to take drastic action.—Matthew 5:29, 30.”
#7 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Vote?
Promoting neutrality in thought and action, Witnesses avoid politics, voting, pledging allegiance to the flag, or other political views that place governments above or at-par with the importance of God. They do not lobby, run for office, or particpate in any gate-changes of government leaders.
Offering respect for governmental forces, they do not swear their loyalty to them. Despite this, there is no threat to national security or patriotism. As pacifists that promote peace, Witnesses are law-abiding citizens that simply do not want to vote or participate in the corrupt and divisive formats of politics.
Romans 13:1-7 reads:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.
Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience..”
Pew Research Center finds that:
- 18% lean democratic
- 7% lean republican
- 75% are Independent or have no lean towards government
The reasons that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t vote is because of the following reasons listed on JW.org- Politics:
- “We follow the example of Jesus, who refused to accept political office. (John 6:15) He taught his disciples to be “no part of the world” and made it clear that they should not take sides in political issues.—John 17:14, 16; 18:36; Mark 12:13-17.
- We are loyal to God’s Kingdom, which Jesus spoke of when he said: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) As representatives of God’s Kingdom, commissioned to proclaim its coming, we remain neutral in the political affairs of all countries, including the one where we live.—2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20.
- By remaining neutral, we are able to speak freely to people of all political persuasions about the good news of God’s Kingdom. We try to show by our words and practices that we rely on God’s Kingdom to solve the world’s problems.—Psalm 56:11.
- Since we avoid political divisions, we are united as an international brotherhood. (Colossians 3:14; 1 Peter 2:17) In contrast, religions that meddle in politics divide their members.—1 Corinthians 1:10.”
- “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” – Romans 16:17.
- “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12.
- Business Insider – America’s 1.3-million Jehovah’s Witnesses Don’t Vote; Published October 22nd, 2020.
#8 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Mother’s Day?
No, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not tend to celebrate Mother’s Day. A member would not be against quality time with their parentand would perhaps spend time with their mother on this day; However, most Americans will see Mother’s Day as more significant and special than a Jehovah’s Witness will view the occasion.
The reasons that Witnesses do not celebrate Mother’s day are:
- Holidays often have pagan-roots
- Witnesses do not choose to celebrate holidays that do not honor Jesus or God.
- Holidays such as Christmas and Easter have no evidence for their specific dates, while celebrations like Mothers’ Day, Valentine’s, Halloween, and birthdays have nothing to do with the Lord.
- JW.org – The Origin of Mother’s Day – “What is the origin of the practice of setting aside a day to honor mothers?
The Encyclopædia Britannica says: “A festival derived from the custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Formal mother worship, with ceremonies to Cybele, or Rhea, the Great Mother of the Gods, were performed on the Ides of March throughout Asia Minor.”—(1959), Vol. 15, p. 849.”
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- Academy Lessons – Jehovah’s Witnesses: Holidays, Rules, & Worship; Published October 10th, 2017.