The Orthodox Pages




6th MAY 2010




















































































































































In the past we have talked on the various heresies that troubled the Church in the first centuries which led to the calling together of the Ecumenical Councils so that the Church could define and put forth the true teachings concerning the God-man Jesus Christ. As the Church fought and defeated the lies of one heretical teaching another would crop up. But even though these heresies did harm and at times divided the Church, they were necessary and forced the Church to officially explain and put in writing her beliefs, which up to those times, had not been defined and allowed for misinterpretations. In fact the majority of those early heresies began with bishops or priests who belonged to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, but didn’t fully understand that Christ was God incarnate or that the Holy Spirit was also God and not just an energy that proceeded from God and so interpreted Holy Scripture according to their own illogical reasoning.

Most heresies fall under one of three groups: the Monophysites, the Monothelites and the Pneumatomachi. The Monophysites were heresies that had to do with Christ’ nature. Either Christ was made less than God or his manhood was so divided from his Godhead that he became two persons instead of one. The Monothelites argued that although Christ has two natures, yet since he is a single person then he only has one will. In other words Christ does not have a human will but only a divine will. The Pneumatomachi meaning “Spirit fighters” were those who did not recognize the Holy Spirit as God, they did not recognize than he was one of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity. Many of the heretic churches that exist today are not new heresies but revivals of the many heresies that developed in the first four centuries. Of the old heresies there were two groups called Millenarians. They misinterpreted the Book of Revelations where it says that Satan was shut up and bound for a thousand years, and that the righteous who participated in the first resurrection reigned together with Christ as kings for a thousand years. Many imagined that when after the second coming and judgement takes place, the righteous are to reign here on earth as kings for a thousand years together with Christ, and thereafter to ascend to heaven. During those thousand years they are to enjoy every enjoyment and bodily pleasure. This heresy first appeared in the first century by a certain Cerinthus and a similar heresy appeared in the second century by Marcian. Today the Millenarians are the Jehovah’s Witnesses who also belief that they will reign with Christ for a thousand years. In Greek they are called “Χιλιαστές” in other words Millenarians.
Last week I was asked if I could give a talk on the Jehovah’s Witnesses so today this will be the subject of our talk. We will see how they ascribe to a teaching derived from a mixture of those early heresies – they are a mixture of the Monophysite Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Christ, of the Macedonian – Pneumatomachi heresy which denied that the Holy Spirit was God and also the Millenarians.
Most of us have come face to face with Jehovah’s Witnesses as they come knocking at our doors in the hope of selling us one of their books with the prime intention of converting us over to their false beliefs. They know that many will shut the door in their face and this they gladly accept as part of their martyrdom for the name of Jehovah and interpret it according to the Gospel teaching that “You will be hated and persecuted by all men for my sake”. Among the Orthodox people there is a real fear of Jehovah’s Witnesses and many see them as the agents of Satan. Treating them as such is encouraged by many Priests, but the main intention of this inhumane approach is to safeguard the flock from ravenous wolves who because of their lack of religious knowledge could easily be devoured by these well versed and well instructed missionaries. If one is not knowledgeable in the Scriptures and in what the Church believes and out of politeness begins conversing with them they are certain to be persuaded by their arguments. And it is not only the illiterate and old women who are in danger of being caught in their web, there are thousands of people who at some time in their lives have a great need for God, but instead of approaching the Church to find help and comfort, they remain suffering alone and when they are approached by Jehovah’s Witnesses they fall easy prey to their false teachings of love and salvation. The safest way of dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses is to not get caught into their conversation unless of course you know how to counter attack their teachings with the teachings of the Church, but this can be done without any rudeness. A simple polite no thank you is sufficient. We should at all times treat them as human beings, deluded yes, but still God’s children who have themselves fallen prey and were caught in the devil’s web – they as lost sheep who need help in finding their way back to the flock of Christ.
So now let’s see what they teach. Firstly they teach that God has a certain name and that this name is Jehovah. They believe that if they don’t call him Jehovah then they will not belong to the group that comprise his people and so they won’t be saved.
The origin of the name goes back to Moses when God appeared to him in the burning bush. God told Moses to go and tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave Egypt. Moses said to God “When I go to the Israelites to tell them that I was sent by the God of our Fathers, and they ask me “What is His name?” what should I tell them?” (Exodus, III:13). In reply to this question, God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. In the Hebrew this is represented by four consonants which in English would be JHWH. But if this is God’s name then there are many other names that Scripture gives to God. In Exodus we read “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous is a jealous God: Exodus 34:14. From Isaiah we read “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57: 15). Again from Isaiah we read that God’s name is Redeemer (Isaiah 63:16) In other places we read that God’s name is Adonai, Elohim, Almighty etc. If Holy Scripture presents us with so many names for God, why do Jehovah’s Witnesses insist only on the name Jehovah and by what logic does the name Jehovah save and not these other names? They reply that the other names are not in reality proper names but just adjectives or characterizations. We reply: Yes they are adjectives and characterizations but Holy Scripture calls them names. But then neither is the JHWH or from the Greek “I AM” a proper name but a verb and in the sense that God used it to answer Moses’ question of “what is God’s name” it is saying that I AM the only, true, existing God. Egypt worshipped many false gods with names, but God here is saying that he is the only God – I AM he who is, whereas the other gods are not. In giving us His name as I AM THAT I AM, He tells us that He is the ‘Absolute Being’ that has no beginning or end, or I AM from the very beginning and ever shall be. And because JHWH is a verb and not a proper name it is just common sense that it can be translated into any other language just like any other verb, thus when the Hebrew text was translated into Greek it was translated as I AM or Lord which even the Apostles did in the New Testament.

But just for arguments sake the JHWH is God’s name where did the Jehovah come from. The ancient Jewish language didn’t have any vowels thus the name was written with just four consonants and was properly pronounced as Yahve. But due to an excess of piety the Jews rarely pronounced the name and due to a misinterpretation of a law in Leviticus (24:16) they believed it was forbidden to pronounce the name of God out loud so with time the name came into disuse and they forgot which vowel sounds accompanied the four consonants.
After the 6th century AD, the Masorites (Judean scholars of that era) introduced their own vowels into Hebrew words. Thus, because they didn’t know what the correct pronunciation of the word “Yahve” was, they arbitrarily added vowels to the four-letter “JHWH”, which they had taken from the words “Adonai” (Master) and “Elohim” (God) and created the word Jahovah which then became Jehovah. Jehovah therefore is not the name God revealed to Moses in Exodus, but a created word of the wise men of Israel. Today all the experts are in agreement that the four letter JHWH was pronounced Yahve. Thus the Jehovah of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is a name that doesn’t exist and is without any meaning.
Even though today’s self-proclaimed “Jehovah’s Witnesses” are aware that the pronunciation they are using for God’s name is incorrect, they insist on using it, because “this is how they have become accustomed to it”. In response to the Christian observation that this, incorrect use of the name “Yahve” is irresponsible and perhaps even blasphemous, they reply: “So is Jesus’ name in Hebrew not pronounced “Jesus” but “Joshua”, and despite this fact, we refer to it in Greek as “Jesus”. In the same sense, therefore, it would not be wrong to use the mistaken pronunciation of “Jehovah”, since that is how it is prevalent.”
To this we reply: “The name “Jesus” is used in the Greek form because the New Testament was written in Greek and this is how the very Scriptures themselves have given us the name, consequently, we too can use it. However, the name “Jehovah” is not used in this form, so, consequently, we do not have the right to use it arbitrarily. Even more so, because today, we are acquainted with the correct pronunciation of the name, which is: “Yahve”. Acting as always with prudence and respect, the Church of our Lord uses the forms of address that the Apostles used in the New Testament. They never used the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament; or even the name “Yahve”. They only used it in the Greek sense, as “He Who Is”, or, they used words that the translators of the Septuagint translation used, such as: “Lord” or “God”. In this way, they delivered the meaning of the word, which was exactly what God Himself wanted, when He chose the strange name: “I AM”.
To their insistent that only the name Jehovah can save we reply: that it is true faith that saves and not just a name, but if there is a name that helps us to be saved it is none other than the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ because he is the only saviour of the world. This is testified by Holy Scripture itself: In the Acts of the Apostles we read concerning Jesus Christ that “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (4:12)
Also from John “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (20:31)
“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another.” (1 John 3:23)
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
I could quote many more lines from Scripture, but these are more than enough to prove that our only saviour is Jesus Christ and that there is no other name given to us whereby we might be saved. Scripture calls us to be Witnesses of Christ and his Resurrection and to no one else. The Apostles, who preached the Gospel, preached in the name of Jesus Christ and never mentioned the name Jehovah.
I think we have seen enough to understand that even though Jehovah’s Witnesses say they are Christian they have nothing to do with the Christians of the New Testament. Let’s now see another of their teachings. They deny that God is Trinitarian, in others words they deny that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To reach this conclusion they have to deny the divinity of the Son of God Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Thus they teach that Christ is the first creation of God through whom he then made the rest of creation. In this way they deny the divinity of Christ and make him a servant of God as all the rest of creation. This is nothing more than a revival of the old Arian heresy which taught that the Son was inferior to the Father denying him the Divine Nature of God, and taught that Jesus Christ was a mere creature. But the heresy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses can even be called Nestorianism because by denying that Jesus is God in the flesh they are at the same time agreeing with Nestorius who claimed that Mary should not be called Theotokos – Mother of God because she did not give birth to God but only gave birth to a man. And they are also Pneumatomachi like Macedonius, who taught that the Holy Spirit was not a person (“hypostasis”) of the Holy Trinity, but simply a power or energy of God. Therefore the Spirit was inferior to the Father and the Son.
When Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking on your door they will try to prove to you that the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church which believe in a Trinitarian God are in fact Polytheistic Churches that believe in three gods instead of only one. For there purpose they will take isolated phrases from Scripture to point out that Jesus is only an inferior man. But we too can use the same scripture quotations to prove to them how wrong they really are. Let’s therefore see some of these scripture lines. St. John’s Gospel begins with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Here we are explicitly told that God the Word and Son of God is eternal and without beginning just as the Father is. There was not a time that he did not exist. The Jehovah’s prefer to interpret this passage as “In the beginning was created the Word. But if the first line indirectly mentions creation it is saying that in the beginning of creation the Word already was. The Son of God is not therefore a creation; he was never created, but always was. When Holy Scripture talks about creation it uses the verb “to create or to make” and when it talks about God it uses the verb “to be” Thus in the creation of the world is says “In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.” And when Jesus talked of himself to the Jews he said “Before Abraham was I AM” and this he used in the present tense to underline his eternal and without beginning existence with the Father.
Some things are so evident that one wonders how some people can interpret them in a totally different light. The text clearly says that “The Word was God”. To justify their teaching that Christ is only a creation they say that the use of God in this phrase does not mean the one true God but rather that it has the meaning of someone strong and powerful because it is not preceded by the definite article, in other words it does not have the article “the” before God and so makes the Word someone lower than God the Father. In English, to place the article “the” before the word God would sound strange, we do not say the God, but in Greek this would be quite normal - “Ο Θεός ην ο Λόγος” To this we answer that the absence of the article “the” does not diminish the Word in any way because in the ancient Greek language this is completely acceptable and throughout Scripture the Father is often referred to as God without the article. In any case there are passages in the New Testament where Christ is mentioned as God with the use of the article; e.g. “My Lord and my God” which in the Greek is Ο Κύριος μου και ο Θεός μου” (John 20:28), and The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” “Ο μεγάλος Θεός και Σωτήρ ημών Ιησούς Χριστός” (Tim. 2:13), and “Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” Ιησούς Χριστός. Ούτος εστιν ο αληθινός Θεός” (1 John 5:20). Here then their argument is torn to shreds and now they have to defend themselves and explain why, if in these passages it clearly calls Jesus God, do they deny him his divinity?
For the passage from John’s first Epistle which says “Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” they say that the use of God here is just a title in the same way that Pharaoh was called the god of Egypt and in the same way that Satan is called the god of this world. To this we reply that they were false gods, while in the passage Jesus is clearly called the true God and we are all in agreement - there is only one true God. But more than this it says that he is eternal life and only the one true God can be the source of Life. Thus Christ is without doubt “The one true God and eternal life”.
Let’s now take the passage by doubting Thomas to the Risen Christ when he was invited to touch the places of his body that were wounded by the nails of the Cross and the spear so that he would believe that he was truly risen. Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God.” Here Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Thomas made a mistake in his exclamation. Again we reply that if Thomas had made a mistake then Jesus shouldn’t have and wouldn’t have accepted this title which belongs only to God and would have corrected Thomas for calling him God, because it would infringe on God’s rights. To accept the title can only mean that he was indeed our Lord and God. It is precisely because Christ proclaimed himself as Lord and God that the Jews sought to stone him as testified in the Gospel of St. John: “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (10:33)
In fact the whole New Testament is full of phrases and verses that testify that Christ is God or where he himself proclaims that he is God and equal to the Father or accepts from others the title of God. The quotes are so many that in our short talk we have no choice but to pass them by. But it is worth looking at one more testimony which proves that Christ proclaimed himself equal to the father. It concerns the dialogue Christ had with the Apostle Phillip. Phillip said to Christ: “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us. And Jesus replied, “I have been with you such a long time and yet you still do not know me Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say show us the Father.” (John 14:8-9) Here there is no clearer testimony concerning the divinity of Christ, his equality and consubstantiation with the Father. Because Christ’s words can only be valid if he is God in exactly the same way the Father is God.
In spite of these testimonies and hundreds more found in both the Old and New Testaments the Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to insist that Christ is not God but only a creation and pinpoint other verses which they say prove their heretical teachings. Let’s then look at some of these verses. On the night that he was betrayed Christ said to his disciples “If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
The Orthodox Church teaches according to Holy Scripture that Christ is both perfect God and perfect man. As God he is equal and of one substance with the Father as proved by the previous verses and as man it is only natural that he is lower than God. But because he has two natures it follows that he also has two wills the divine and human and he sometimes speaks and acts as God and at other times he speaks and acts as a human. When he speaks and acts as a human it is usually in connection with the Passion, the Resurrection and his Ascension into heaven because these he suffered as a man. When Christ speaks of the Father as greater than himself he is referring to his human nature because as God the Word he is always with the Father and had no need to go to him.
In previous talks we have seen how Christ acts according to both his natures. Each nature acts according to its own properties: In the story of Jairus’ daughter the human hand raises the young girl, the divine restores her to life; when Christ walked on water, the human feet walked on the surface of the water, because the divinity had made it firm. “It is not the human nature that raised Lazarus, it was not the divine power which shed tears before the tomb,” said St. John of Damascus. The two wills proper to the two natures are different, but He who wills is one, though He wills in conformity with each of the two natures. Each nature exercises its own free will. Christ’s divine nature had a specific task to perform and so did His human, without being confused nor subjected to any change or working against each other: the divine performing miracles and the human performing the ordinary acts of daily life.
Another passage the Jehovah’s Witnesses love to show us is the meeting of Christ after his Resurrection with Mary Magdalene. Jesus said to her: “I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17) It is clear that here again Christ is speaking as a man and as the Messiah who represents all mankind and for whom he died and was resurrected for our salvation and as a man he was to soon to appear before the Father so that he could be the mediator between God and man. As a perfect man he is a creation and as a creation he has the Father as his God as do all creatures. The fact that he will ascend to the Father proves beyond a doubt that he is speaking as a man because as already mentioned - as God he is always with the Father.
In all cases where the Father is mentioned as being greater than Christ it is always referring to Christ’s humanity and not his divinity. Thus the verse from 1 Corinthians which says “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3) refers to his manhood as does the passage from Mark “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32) But this passage also reveals another side of his human nature. As a perfect human being Christ had all the characteristics of human nature and one of these is ignorance. If you remember the talk we had before Easter we saw that in the account of Lazarus’ resurrection we saw how the humanity of Christ was revealed by his weeping but also of his ignorance of where Lazarus was buried. A hymn for the feast says: “Foreknowing all things as God, Thou hast foretold to the apostles the death of Lazarus; yet at Bethany, when in the presence of the people, thou hast as man asked where Thy friend was buried, being ignorant of this.” (Lauds)
Let see just one more passage used by Jehovah’s Witnesses which they say prove that Christ is just a man. It is from the prayer of Gethsemane where Christ says: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39) These words do not prove that Christ is not God but only confirm that Christ is also human and acts according to both his natures. Here we see his human nature freely manifesting itself in fear of the approaching passion. The prayer of Gethsemane was an expression of horror in the face of death, a reaction proper to all human nature, especially to an incorrupt nature which should not submit to death, and for whom death could only be a voluntary rending contrary to nature. When His human will refused to accept death, and His divine will made way for this manifestation of His humility, the Lord in conformity with His human nature, submitted to struggle and fear, and prayed to be spared from death. But since His divine will desired that His human will should accept death, the humanity of Christ voluntarily accepted the Passion.
Let’s now look at another heretical teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They ascribe to the Macedonian heresy which denied that the Holy Spirit is a Person of the Holy Trinity and say that the Holy Spirit is just an energy and power of God which moves people to do his will. But Scripture clearly speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person. It would take too long to analyze every verse that testifies to this so we will just look at some of the verses where the person of the Holy Spirit is clearly manifested. Christ said; “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) The use of the masculine pronoun he is clear that Christ is talking of a person. If Christ meant just an energy he would have used the neutral pronoun it. Here it is clear that the Holy Spirit is a person who guides us into all truth.
He teaches: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.” (John 14: 26)
He testifies: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” (John 15: 26-27)
He reproves sin: “But if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” (John 16: 7-8)
He speaks: “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” (Acts 8:29)
“While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.” (Acts 10:19)
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)
That the Holy Spirit is a Person of the Holy Trinity and not just an energy can also be deduced by Christ’s words concerning blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matt. 12:31-32) Blasphemy is directed against a person and not an energy. How ridiculous to even think like the Jehovah’s Witnesses that blasphemy against the persons of the Father and the Son can be forgiven, but blasphemy against an energy or power of God cannot be forgiven.
Lastly we have the formula for Baptism: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. (Matt. 28:19) This comprises the very proof that the Holy Spirit is a person. If the Father and the Son are persons then so is the Holy Spirit. It would be ridiculous to baptise in the name of two persons and an energy. Or how more ridiculous to baptise in God the Father, the creature the Son and the energy Holy Spirit.
One of the central teachings of the Jehovah Witnesses is the theory that before the final judgement day, Christ will come to establish on earth his 1000year kingdom. They support this theory on the 20th Chapter of Revelations which says “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled… And I saw… the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (20:1-5)
According to them this kingdom of Christ will be on earth and materialistic. The fathers of the Old Testament – Abraham Isaac, Jacob and others will rise and form a universal government with Christ as the president with their headquarters in Jerusalem and from which they will direct all worldly affairs. This government will bring peace, happiness, and every luxury one can imagine. The problem with this teaching is that the date for all these wonderful things keeps changing. The founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Charles Russell preached that the beginning of the last times began in 1799 and ended in 1914. His successor Rutherford said that the Second Coming began in 1874 and ended in 1914 and put the year 1925 as the year when the righteous of the Old Testament were to rise. Today their leader Nathan Knorr preaches that the Second Coming of Christ did actually take place in 1914 but in an invisible way that it was not seen by us mere humans. In 1914 the Jehovah God placed the king Jesus upon his holy throne. The first act of his righteous government was to expel Satan from heaven and throw him down to earth.
The date of 1914 is important and serves as the foundation of its central dogma. It is calculated from the date the first destruction of Jerusalem took place and by adding the years of certain events they came to the conclusion that 1914 was the year of the Second Coming. By their calculations the destruction of Jerusalem took place in 607 BC. Through scriptural history we know that the actual year was 587 BC. Even though the leaders of the heresy know this to be correct they insist on lying to their followers because almost all the doctrines of the organization even its allegation of being the “organization of God” are based on this dogma of 1914. Ex Jehovah Witnesses have written articles on the subject and a few who took the time to study realized that the Watchtower organization was based on just lies. But why when confronted with the Scriptural evidence proving the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit and also the lie behind the dogma of 1914 do Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to remain faithful to the organization?
For years they have been brainwashed that salvation can only happen within the organization. They are taught that if they go against these teachings they are certain to suffer the fire and brimstone of Armageddon. But for most there is the fear of being disfellowshipped. When someone leaves the organization, all there friends and family are ordered not to talk to them anymore and to completely ignore them. If they are married and the spouse remains faithful to the organization he/she is urged to divorce the partner with fear of being disfellowshipped themselves. Many have jobs from employers who are themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses. Someone then leaving the organization must be prepared to find himself without a job and without an income to support his family. There is so much emotional torture and blackmail that being cut off from the only society they have known is more fearful to them that Armageddon. Thus the truth doesn’t become important anymore, they accept living with the lies of the Watchtower society to hold on to family, friends and social standing within the organization.
Two well known facts about the Jehovah’s Witnesses are that they refuse to do the compulsory Military service and they refuse blood transfusions. The first because they believe we should not take up arms against others even in defence of one’s nation. In the past they had to spend their time in prison which they saw as a martyrdom for the sake of Jehovah. The second because they consider it a violation of God's law based on their interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29 “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.” Also from the Old Testament “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Genesis 9:4
“And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood”. Lev. 17:10
Since 1961 the acceptance of a blood transfusion has been grounds for expulsion from the religion. Watch Tower literature directs Witnesses to refuse transfusions in all cases even if death may result. The scripture readings of course refer to animal blood which is not to be eaten but the Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret these passages even for human blood and not only for eating but also for storage and transfusion of blood for use in cases of medical emergency.
There is still much more to be said on the various dogmas Jehovah’s Witnesses are forced to believe in. I have not mentioned how they believe that the Orthodox Church is the whore of Babylon, how like all Protestants they deny Holy Tradition, how they believe that the presence of God is not in all places but that he dwells only in heaven and it is only his power that is extended everywhere. They take the words of Scripture in a literal sense and also the Lord’s Prayer which says Our Father which art in heaven or they believe that he sits upon a throne in heaven and has the earth as his footstool. Neither have I mentioned their belief that Jesus did not rise from the dead in the body but only in spirit and the fact that he appeared several times in a body was because his spirit borrowed matter similar to how angels have appeared to men in Holy Scripture. Sadly we do not have time to look closer at these dogmas, but maybe some time in the future we can continue our study on Jehovah’s Witnesses with the things we haven’t as yet discussed. For now if you are to get into conversation with them it is important for you to understand how to show them from the very Bible that Both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are indeed Divine Persons and that God is Trinitarian, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.