Around 4000 according to the 2015 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses.
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First, we need to qualify what is meant by ex-members. Someone who has simply stopped attending meetings, or has become what we call "inactive" that is, they have stopped engaging in activities associated with being one of JW's would not necessarily be avoided by JW's. We do not shun such a person intentionally, in fact, most often the congregation elders will visit this person to try to encourage them as much as possible. Their faith may have gotten weak, or maybe they are going through difficulties that may be preventing them from a full share in congregational activities. Even though they are not considered "active," and they would not be counted among our numbers in monthly congregation reports, they are not considered to be EX-members. The ones that are to be avoided by congregation members are those who are spoken of in 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, where it says,"But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Do YOU not judge those inside, while God judges those outside? "Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves." In certain cases, there are those who are unrepentantly engaging in gross sin, such as fornication, adultery, drunkenness, criminal activity, etc. These who are not willing to repent and turn back from their course would be removed as a "brother" or "sister" in the congregation, and in accord with the scriptures, the congregation members would not associate with that one. This is called "disfellowshipping." It serves a two-fold purpose: One, to protect the congregation from possible harmful influences, and two, to possibly bring the erring one back to their senses. The disfellowshipping act by the congregation does not have to be permanent. It depends on whether the individual is willing to repent from their former course, and stop engaging in the unscriptural activity. If so, they can notify the congregation elders that they have changed their course and wish to be reinstated to the congregation. One who has been reinstated will be welcomed back by the congregation members. This one would no longer be avoided by JW's. Answer There's another group who are ostracized even though they have committed no serious biblical "sin". Once baptized, without committing any unscriptural acts as defined by the elders they are in fact still considered in "good standing", if they choose to remove themselves from the witnesses by writing a letter asking not to be identified as witnesses, these individuals although not engaged in any unscriptural conduct while members do not return to their previous status as "worldly" as the rest of the people are viewed but now (one can presume because of their inside knowledge) are shunned as highly dangerous to the sheep and referred to in public talks as "dogs returning to their vomit" and worse than those who are disfellowshipped because they willingly chose to remove themselves from the congregation. They may even refer to these ones as apostates without proof or substance. The fear is that while people at the door usually don't have a good grasp of the scriptures to debate a witness presumably they who have knowledge might be able to convince others to their side so they are labelled and banned from all contact even though the reality is that most have no interest in further biblical discussion with them. There is no biblical reason for this designation or taking an unchristian attitude and not being civil to these old acquaintances, in fact the turning of the back, the twisting of the head and the weird facial expressions belie the message that they preach and frankly make the witnesses who follow this practise look ridiculous.
No, Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a clergy laity division. They consider all their members (male and female) as "ministers" and all members take part in their services.
Only male members qualifty to be what they call "elders", members that take the lead in organizing their work. Their elders are not paid and have no special privileges.
Try 020 8906 2211 from the UK
Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays at all. It doesn't matter whether Jehovah's Witnesses are at the party or not, we don't celebrate any birthday. There were only two birthdays mentioned in the Bible and the ones who were there were not Christians.
The reason for this is because of it's origins. In fact early Christians (Christians from many centuries ago) did not even celebrate Jesus' birthday because they knew that the celebration of birthdays are connected to superstitions. Many Greeks and Romans of ancient times believed that a spirit attended the birth of every human and protected that one throughout life.
"This spirit had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born," says the book The Lore of Birthdays.
Why is this wrong? Because there is only one God. And you can only have a relationship with some one that's actually there. You might even ask yourself, 'Why would I have a relationship with something that's not really there rather than having a relationship with the one who created me?' Even if we are not literally bowing down to idols, in a way, we are still acknowledging them by doing something that was meant for them.
Another reason is because of the things that happened at birthday parties. Back in ancient times, the way people conducted themselves at birthday parties was anything but the way a Christian should act. There was heavy drinking, immorality, etc. In fact, at one of the two birthday parties mentioned in the Bible, there was even a beheading! Of course I'm sure anybody would dare do that now-a-days, birthdays are still related to all the things that happened back then.
That's why Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthday parties at all.
Answer: Parties can be lots of fun, however all parties no matter how well intended do not please God. The Bible tells about two birthday parties and we know that everything is in the Bible for a reason and for our instruction. - Romans 15:4 The two birthday parties featured the King Herod having the head of John the Baptist being chopped off and brought back on a platter. The king of Egypt during his birthday party had someone's head chopped off and hung the man up for the birds to eat. -Genesis 40:19-22. Jesus did not celebrate his own birthday neither did his early followers. The date of Jesus birthday was chosen as The World Book Encyclopedia says " the people of Rome alteady observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun." So people chose to celebrate Jesus' birthday when pagans already had a holiday! At their birthday parties many think they ae the most important people. It is likened to a form of creature worship and all worship should go to God alone. While a lot of people like receiving gifts, the Bible says there is more happiness in giving than in receiving. Jehovah's Witnesses are not deprived for not celebrating birthdays.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are not considered to be a cult today.
However almost all modern religions were considered, at one time, to be cults. The original Christian church began as a Jewish Cult and then expanded.
Answer: See the Reasoningf rom the Scriptures on the official website of Jehovah's Witnesses---cult is a religion that is said to be unorthodox or that emphasizes devotion according to prescribed ritual. Many cults follow a living human leader, and often their adherents live in groups apart from the rest of society. The standard for what is orthodox, however, should be God's Word, and Jehovah's Witnesses strictly adhere to the Bible. Their worship is a way of life, not a ritual devotion. They neither follow a human nor isolate themselves from the rest of society. They live and work in the midst of other people.
By the looks of things that I have found this person was raised in a Witness family but to be honest I could not see if they were/are still a practising Witness.
Maybe somebody else might do better...
For convention dates please go to the related link.
Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses give and receive gifts all the time. The only time we refrain from certain gift giving customs is when it is associated with customs or holidays that are tied up in pagan and non-Christian religion. An example of when we refrain from gift giving or receiving in birthday celebrations which origionated in pagan religion. The birthday celebration was actually a celebration to appease the god of the astrological sign the celebrant was born under. Also we don't participate in the popular holidays because of their roots in pagan religion as well. But on other occasions we do exchange gifts. For example: wedding anniversaries, bridal and baby showers, house warming, and other occasions that are not related to pagan religion, and sometimes we give gifts for no reason at all.
God gave us not a spirit of cowardice, but that of power and of love and of soundness of mind.-2 Tim. 1:7.
"Soundness of mind" involves being able to think and reason sensibly. It includes the ability to face things as they are-not the way you would like them to be. Some immature youths manifest a spirit of cowardice and mentally try to escape stressful situations by resorting to excessive sleep or TV viewing, drug or alcohol abuse, constant partying, or sexual immorality. Christians are admonished "to repudiate ungodliness and worldly desires and to live with soundness of mind and righteousness and godly devotion amid this present system of things." (Titus 2:12) The Bible exhorts "younger men to be sound in mind." (Titus 2:6) Heeding this counsel means that you will face problems prayerfully and will rely on God-given strength. (1 Pet. 4:7) Thus, you will develop confidence in "the strength that God supplies."-1 Pet. 4:11
TURKEYPO Box 23, 34377 FerikÃ¶y, Istanbul.
I don't think this is a Bethel address though, just for correspondance. With the terrible track record of human rights I doubt they will establish a Bethel there.
The first form of Jehovah's Witnesses were started in the lated 1800's in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.. Charles Taze Russell and others formed a group to independently study the bible in 1870. In 1879 he broke off from a man named Nelson H. Barbour. In 1881 he formed the Zion Watchtower Tract Society and in 1884 he became president of it when it was legally incorporated in Pennsylvania. In 1910 he announced that the group would be called The International Bible Students Association. In 1931, the name Jehovah's Witnesses were adopted based on the scripture Isaiah 43:10: " You are my witnesses, is the utterance of Jehovah..."
Doctrinally, the Jehovah's Witnesses began with the teachings of Charles T. Russell, although they diverged somewhat from him, but owe many of their major teachings and emphases to him. Some of their teachings are repetitions of ancient heresies, such as arianism, which denies the full deity of Jesus Christ, as taught in the Bible.
Although they regularly quote Bible verses, these are often from their altered NWT, which, rather than following the Greek and Hebrew, amends it to suit their doctrine and alters the clear textual meaning in numerous places. They thus cannot rightfully claim to have a faith which has its origins in any Biblical location or time, since they do not adhere to ancient Christian or Biblical doctrine. Rather, both historically and doctrinally, their faith is of recent origin, Charles T. Russell being born in 1852, he thus being the 'where' as far as their origin. The claims of Jehovah's Witnesses to come as descendants from any line of Bible characters whatsoever is quite obviously false. This is so since they reject nearly every major Bible doctrine or alter it to suit their theology.
Maybe a Jehovah's Witness would take the gift out of courtesy, but they do not recognize Father's Day and could very well refuse it. It would be much more respectful to forgo the gift.
Yes, in virtually all demographics, they are considered a Christian denomination.
Their beliefs are centered around the Biblical teachings that Jesus existed in heaven as a divine spirit being before coming to Earth, that he came to Earth as a human being to die as a ransom for mankind, and that he was resurrected and ascended back to heaven as a divine spirit being. They also believe that a person has to exercise faith in that sacrifice and imitate Jesus in order to receive salvation.
Because of those beliefs, they fit the definition and distinction of being a Christian religion.
George Benson is.
The Watchtower 1st Nov 1979 comments with regard to this issue:
''That depends on what the bonus actually signifies and how accepting it would be viewed.
Would accepting a "Christmas bonus" mean that one is sharing in that holiday? Perhaps not. It may be that the bonus is not at all understood as meaning that each recipient is celebrating Christmas. The employer may simply choose to give all his workers a share of the company's profits at the year's end and when many of them would especially appreciate a lump sum to use as they desire. The bonus may be an evidence of gratitude for services rendered all year long, as well as a stimulus to continued good work and smooth employer-employee relations. The employer may give it to all employees, regardless of whether some, such as Jews, Moslems or others, do not believe in Christmas. So the mere timing of the gift or the name that has come to be used for it does not necessarily rule out its acceptance by one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
If the Christian's conscience would be at rest in accepting the gift, he might choose to take it and express thanks without any reference to the holiday.
But if a gift is given with the clear intent of showing that the Christian is not firm in his beliefs or will compromise for gain, then definitely it is best to decline.''
There are no religious holidays. The closest is Nissan 14 when no Jehovah's Witness would be at work after sun down that day because they would be at a Kingdom Hall their place of worship to watch members of the anointed partake of the emblems. Only those going to heaven of which there is a finite number of 144,000 drink bread and wine. The rest just watch. Most Kingdom Halls have 1 or less anointed member so the rest don't get to see anyone drink or eat.
No, Jehovah's Witnesses do not smoke, for two reasons:
One, in the Bible, at 2 Corinthians 7:1, we are told "Since we have these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God's fear." Smoking is certainly a defilement of flesh; just look at a smoker's lungs!
Secondly, the Bible also tells us to love our neighbor. It would certainly not be loving to pass on the damaging effects of secondhand smoke to those around us.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jehovah is the one true God and the Grand Creator of all things and is the father of Jesus, his only-begotten son.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, and instead of adhering to a creed based on human tradition, they hold to the Bible as the standard for all their beliefs.
They worship Jehovah as the only true God and freely speak to others about him and his loving purposes toward mankind. Anyone who publicly witnesses about Jehovah is usually identified as belonging to the one group-"Jehovah's Witnesses."
They believe, not that Jesus Christ is part of a Trinity, but that, as the Bible says, he is the Son of God, the first of God's creations; that he had a prehuman existence and that his life was transferred from heaven to the womb of a virgin, Mary; that his perfect human life laid down in sacrifice makes possible salvation to eternal life for those who exercise faith; that Christ is actively ruling as King, with God-given authority over all the earth since 1914.
They believe that God's Kingdom is the only hope for mankind; that it is a real government; that it will soon destroy the present wicked system of things, including all human governments, and that it will produce a new system in which righteousness will prevail.
They believe that 144,000 spirit-anointed Christians will share with Christ in his heavenly Kingdom, ruling as kings with him. They do not believe that heaven is the reward for everyone who is "good."
They believe that God's original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled; that the earth will be completely populated by worshipers of Jehovah and that these will be able to enjoy eternal life in human perfection; that even the dead will be raised to an opportunity to share in these blessings.
They believe that the dead are conscious of absolutely nothing; that they are experiencing neither pain nor pleasure in some spirit realm; that they do not exist except in God's memory, so hope for their future life lies in a resurrection from the dead.
They believe that we are living now, since 1914, in the last days of this wicked system of things; that some of the generation who saw the generation that saw events of 1914 will also see the complete destruction of the present wicked world; (the new overlapping generation teaching Watchtower 15th April 2010) that lovers of righteousness will survive into a cleansed earth. Only Jehovah's Witnesses have any hope of surviving this impending end
They earnestly endeavor to be no part of the world, as Jesus said would be true of his followers. They show genuine Christian love for their neighbors, but they do not share in the politics or the wars of any nation. They provide for the material needs of their families but shun the world's avid pursuit of material things and personal fame and its excessive indulgence in pleasure.
They believe that it is important to apply the counsel of God's Word in everyday life now-at home, in school, in business, in their congregation. Regardless of a person's past way of life, he may become one of Jehovah's Witnesses if he abandons practices condemned by God's Word and applies its godly counsel.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe all other religions to be false, and are deeply involved in preaching. They do not believe in the work of politics, as it is not important in their life, so they rarely vote. They do not sing the national anthem or salute the flag.
Homosexuality, premarital sex, and abortion are considered sins to Jehovah's Witnesses. Most do not drink or gamble. They do not celebrate Christmas, birthdays, and they avoid Thanksgiving. However, they do celebrate anniversaries and observe funerals.
Please see the Related Link(s) below for more beliefs.
Jehovah's Witnesses have a very comprehensive website where they post the Bible for online study along with their publications that are useful in understanding what the Bible Teaches.
On their website, they have a specific page that outlines their core beliefs.
Here is what it says:
What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe?
As Jehovah's Witnesses, we strive to adhere to the form of Christianity that Jesus taught and that his apostles practiced. This article summarizes our basic beliefs.
Bible. We recognize the Bible as God's inspired message to humans. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16) We base our beliefs on all 66 of its books, which include both the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament." Professor Jason D. BeDuhn aptly described it when he wrote that Jehovah's Witnesses built "their system of belief and practice from the raw material of the Bible without predetermining what was to be found there." *
While we accept the entire Bible, we are not fundamentalists. We recognize that parts of the Bible are written in figurative or symbolic language and are not to be understood literally.-Revelation 1:1.
Jesus. We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as our Savior and as theSon of God. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 5:31) Thus, we are Christians. (Acts 11:26) However, we have learned from the Bible that Jesus is not Almighty God and that there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity doctrine.-John 14:28.
The Kingdom of God. This is a real government in heaven, not a condition in the hearts of Christians. It will replace human governments and accomplishGod's purpose for the earth. (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 6:9, 10) It will take these actions soon, for Bible prophecy indicates that we are living in "the last days."-2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 24:3-14.
Salvation. Deliverance from sin and death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 4:12) To benefit from that sacrifice, people must not only exercise faith in Jesus but also change their course of life and get baptized. (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 3:16; Acts 3:19, 20) A person's works prove that his faith is alive. (James 2:24, 26) However, salvation cannot be earned-it comes through "the undeserved kindness of God."-Galatians 2:16, 21.
Heaven. Jehovah God, Jesus Christ, and the faithful angels reside in the spirit realm. *(Psalm 103:19-21;Acts 7:55) A relatively small number of people-144,000-will be resurrected to life in heaven to rule with Jesus in the Kingdom.-Daniel 7:27; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1, 3.
Earth.God created the earth to be mankind's eternal home. (Psalm 104:5; 115:16;Ecclesiastes 1:4) God will bless obedient people with perfect health and everlasting life in anearthly paradise.-Psalm 37:11, 34.
Evil and suffering. These began when one of God's angels rebelled. (John 8:44) This angel, who after his rebellion was called "Satan" and "Devil," persuaded the first human couple to join him, and the consequences have been disastrous for their descendants. (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12) In order to settle the moral issues raised by Satan, God has allowed evil and suffering, but He will not permit them to continue forever.
God will bring billions back from death by means of a resurrection. (Acts 24:15) However, those who refuse to learn God's ways after being raised to life will be destroyed forever with no hope of a resurrection.-Revelation 20:14, 15.
Family.We adhere to God's original standard of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, with sexual immorality being the only valid basis for divorce. (Matthew 19:4-9) We are convinced that the wisdom found in the Bible helps families to succeed.-Ephesians 5:22-6:1.
Our organization. We are organized into congregations, each of which is overseen by a body of elders. However, the elders do not form a clergy class, and they are unsalaried. (Matthew 10:8; 23:8) We do not practice tithing, and no collections are ever taken at our meetings. (2 Corinthians 9:7) All our activities are supported by anonymous donations.
Our unity. We are globally united in our beliefs. (1 Corinthians 1:10) We also work hard to have no social, ethnic, racial, or class divisions. (Acts 10:34, 35; James 2:4) Our unity allows for personal choice, though. Each Witness makes decisions in harmony with his or her own Bible-trained conscience.-Romans 14:1-4; Hebrews 5:14.
Our conduct. We strive to show unselfish love in all our actions. (John 13:34, 35) We avoid practices that displease God, including the misuse of blood bytaking blood transfusions. (Acts 15:28, 29; Galatians 5:19-21) We are peaceful and do not participate in warfare. (Matthew 5:9; Isaiah 2:4) We respect the government where we live and obey its laws as long as these do not call on us to disobey God's laws.-Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29.
Our relationships with others. Jesus commanded: "You must love your neighbor as yourself." He also said that Christians "are no part of the world." (Matthew 22:39; John 17:16) So we try to "work what is good toward all," yet we remain strictly neutral in political affairs and avoid affiliation with other religions. (Galatians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 6:14) However, we respect the choices that others make in such matters.-Romans 14:12.
"Copyright Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York"
Jehovah's Witnesses feel that someone has become an "apostate" if they were once a baptized member of their religion that not only left the religion, but actively and purposely sought to either make the religion appear evil, or draw others out of the religion as well. They feel this is the act of sinning against the holy spirit as described at Matthew 12:31,32. If someone identifies themselves as a former member of the religion, and is actively trying to turn other people away from the religion, that would be a way to identify what Jehovah's Witnesses would consider an apostate.
We can if our conscience allows us to. Pokemon stands for pocket monsters. Some of us may say God didn't create monsters and not play or watch it, or some may reason that they're creatures with no demonic origins. It's really up to the individual. But we most definitely do not play games with magic and the occult.
The name "JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES" is taken from the bible verse of Isaiah Chapter 43 verse 10 which reads:
"Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, 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 ùGod formed, neither shall there be after me." -- (Darby Bible Translation)
Formerlly known as the International Bibles Students, they adopted the name in July, 1931.
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According to "Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom", a small group of individuals, including Charles Taze Russell, started meeting together in 1870 in Pennsylvania. In 1877, Russell started writing and wrote the pamphlet, "The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return". Then, in 1879, he started publishing "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence" which latter became known simply as "The Watch Tower" which is still being published today.
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