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This article mentions numerous denominations. Our inclusion of any particular denomination does not automatically indicate automatic endorsement of any particular denomination

The Watchtower Society tries very hard to show the world that Jehovah's Witnesses are completely different from all of the other religions in the world. They claim to hold unique teachings that are unseen anywhere else, and the membership believes that these teachings are what sets them apart from everyone else as the True Religion. Interestingly, the membership is not taught that many other denominations share many of these same “unique” beliefs. For example, although Jehovah's Witnesses are taught they they are the only group who are known for zealously preaching worldwide (The Watchtower, August 15, 1994, p.11, para.2). In reality, other groups are also known for this very activity: Latter Day Saints (13 million world wide) and members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (7 million world wide) are among those. On top of that, you cannot dismiss all the radio and television preachers who use the media to bring their message to the masses. Jehovah's Witnesses are also taught that they are the only ones who remain politically neutral and refuse military service (Awake! May 8, 1995, p.14; The Watchtower, April 1, 1992, p.12, para.15). In reality, several others also believe this way, including the United Church of God, the Living Church of God, Christadelphians, and the Church of God Seventh Day. Therefore, it's important to show the reality of the shared teachings and how widespread they really are. The following lists are not exhaustive, meaning that there are more similarities beyond what is listed here. This chapter is meant to be only a sampling of what exists:

7 Million members worldwide

“Iglesia Ni Cristo” means “Church of Christ” in the Tagalog language – a language of the Philippine Islands. (This is not to be confused with other Church of Christ denominations) The Iglesia Ni Cristo began in 1914 in the Philippines under the guidance of Felix Manalo. The membership is largely made up of people from Filipino descent, and though the church concentrated its efforts on the Far East, it has recently begun trying to win converts in Europe and the Americas as well. Beliefs and practices they have in common with Jehovah's Witnesses include, but are not limited to:

Members regularly place denominational magazines with non-members
They point to their denominational name as being proof of the true congregation.
They have a Governing Body system called the "Central Administration"
Congregational leaders teach from assignments from the Central Administration
The Central Administration issues teachings which the membership follows
No celebrating of holidays such as Christmas, Easter, etc.
Regularly spreads their message to the public (though via radio and television)
Women are expected to wear skirts/dresses, men to wear suits
The time of the End began in 1914 with the first World War
At death a person ceases to exist; the soul is not immortal
Potential members complete “Bible Study” lessons before baptism
Questioning the doctrine or authority is strongly discouraged
They strongly discourage marrying outside the denomination
Previous baptism into a different faith is not seen as valid
Jesus Christ is not God but is, instead, a created being
Diligent personal records are kept on each member
Members regularly seek to find new members
They prohibit veneration of the cross and saints
Attendance is counted at each worship meeting
Former members are seen as enemies of God
They heavily promote denominational unity
The Holy Spirit is God's impersonal force
Members must be baptized by immersion
Most church leaders are unpaid
Forbids the eating of blood

Those who are Jehovah's Witnesses can easily see how similar the Iglesia Ni Cristo is, and it may even come as a bit of a shock since their membership numbers are comparable to the number of Jehovah's Witnesses. But this isn't the only group who has similarities to the Jehovah's Witnesses, as you can see from the following:

Numerous congregations in over 50 countries

The United Church of God began in 1995 as one of the splinter groups from the Worldwide Church of God ("WCG") when the WCG made drastic changes in their doctrine (WCG was started by Herbert Armstrong in 1934. Thus all related splinter groups are grouped under the label "Armstrongism") In December 2010, the United Church of God itself became divided, with many splintering off to the “Church of God – A Worldwide Association.” At any rate, here is a partial list of the beliefs and practices that the UCG has in common:

Children are expected to attend religious services with the parents.
Resurrection for those who never had the chance to learn "The Truth"
Does not utilize offering plates or solicit funds from the general public
Believes that their denomination is the only road to eternal life
Has a governing body, which they title "the Council of Elders"
They discourage marrying outside of the denomination
Holy Spirit is not a person but is the power of God
Truth cannot be found outside of their organization
They avoid all holidays which have pagan origins
Members should refuse to voluntary military service
Members should refuse to carry weapons of war
Free doctrinal literature for the public
Belief in male leadership in marriage
They heavily discourage military service
Death is the cessation of existence
Offers free Bible study courses
Baptism is by immersion only
They heavily discourage voting
The soul is not immortal
Fiery hell does not exist

Congregations in 45 countries

This is another church rooted in Armstrongism, led by Roderick C. Meredith, begun in 1998. This denomination has a radio ministry titled "Tomorrow's World," as well as a free magazine by the same title. Here is a partial listing of their common beliefs:

Women should wear dresses/skirts, men should wear suits
Annual Lord's Supper is observed on Nisan 14th
Christ is God's son and is in submission to Him
Only baptism into the denomination is valid
Satan is invisible ruler of the world
We are now in the time of the end
Holy Spirit is an impersonal force
No holidays with pagan origins
Baptism is to be by immersion
Rejection of military service
Free literature for the public
Christ was killed on a stake
No cross/stake veneration
No immortal soul
Free Bible courses
No political voting
No birthdays

Note how this group believes that Christ died on a stake instead of a cross. A Jehovah's Witness would find this to be a very interesting similarity indeed, as they, too, also teach a stake-instead-of-cross doctrine.


Members in 120 countries

The name “Christadelphian” means “Brethren in Christ”, and was founded by John Thomas, who had links to the Adventist movement in the 1800's. A majority of the Christadelphian membership lives in the United Kingdom, though there are still significant populations in other countries. Here is a partial list of the beliefs and practices that the Christadelphian membership has in common with Jehovah's Witnesses:

Uses the terms “talk” and “public discourse” instead of sermon
Observe Lord's Supper annually on Nisan 14th
Jesus is God's son and is in submission.
Use God's personal name (“Yahweh”)
They do not mix with other denominations
Meeting houses are not called “churches”
Hell is not a fiery place of torment
No steeples on their meeting halls
Jesus died on a stake, not a cross
They don't pass a collection plate
No taking up of arms in warfare
Abstinence of tobacco products
Holy Spirit is the power of God
Does not perform infant baptism
Death is cessation of existence
Clergy members are unpaid
Earth will not be destroyed
Righteous will live on Earth
No involvement in voting
No involvement in politics
Tithing is not obligatory
Baptism by immersion
Homosexuality is a sin
Only they have the truth
Soul is not immortal

Note, again, how this is yet another denomination who teaches Christ's death on a stake instead of a cross.

300,000 members worldwide

The COG7 has roots in Millerism. Because they hold to a Saturday sabbath and worship they are considered a “Seventh Day” group, thus their name. Here is a partial listing of the teachings and practices they have in common with Jehovah's Witnesses:

Does not accept holidays with pagan origins
Meets for worship a few times weekly
1914 is a significant date in prophecy
Adultery is only grounds for divorce
Holy spirit is the power of God
Death is cessation of existence
Hades and Sheol is the grave
Baptism is by immersion only
Avoid worldly entertainment
Lord's supper on Nisan 14th
Annual conventions are held
Homosexuality is a sin
Do not use tobacco
Soul is not immortal
No mixing in politics
No military service
Free literature
No fiery hell
No voting

16 million members worldwide

The Seventh Day Adventists grew as an offshoot from the Millerite movement (started by William Miller) in the 1840's. Interestingly, William Miller was friends with Charles Taze Russell – the founder of the Bible Students, from which the Jehovah's Witnesses branched off. The Seventh Day Adventists are called “Seventh Day” because they believe in a Saturday sabbath and worship instead of Sunday. These are some of the teachings which the Seventh Day Adventists have in common with Jehovah's Witnesses:

Satan & his Demons will be destroyed in the "Lake of Fire"
Heavily preach about having unity among church members
Only legitimate reason for divorce is sexual unfaithfulness
Jesus Christ will return visibly after a "time of trouble"
Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael
Abstinence from tobacco products
Death is the cessation of existence
Reward of a paradise on Earth
Baptism is by immersion only
Preach the gospel to others
Homosexuality is a sin
No immortal soul.
No fiery Hell

Note that this is the largest denomination that believes Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael, another Jehovah's Witness belief.

Membership of 4,000 and a mailing list of 16,000

The Assemblies of Yahweh is a Sacred Name group started by Jacob O. Meyer in 1966 in Bethel Pennsylvania (United States) The Assemblies of Yahweh also have a shortwave radio ministry on WMLK broadcasting to 125 counties in the region. This group has a few beliefs in common with the Jehovah's Witnesses:

The denomination has their own Bible version ("The Sacred Scriptures, Bethel Edition")
They believe they are the only ones with accurate Bible truth
God's personal name (taught as "Yahweh") should be used regularly
Jesus ("Yahshua") is a created being
Rejects pagan originated holidays
Rejects the teaching of the Trinity
Holy Spirit is the power of God
Refuses military service
Homosexuality is a sin


Now, we could probably write an entire book going on with more and more listings, as there are many groups who hold beliefs similar to the Jehovah's Witnesses. For example, unpaid clergy can also be found in the Plymouth Brethren. The idea of Jesus Christ beginning his reign in 1914 is found in the Lord's Witnesses. Disfellowshipping is seen in the Amish, and Mennonites. Jesus Christ died on a stake? Yes, that is also found in the Yahweh's Assembly of Messiah and the Followers of Yah on top of the other ones already listed in this chapter. Is God's Name being promoted? Aside from what has been mentioned in this chapter there are numerous “Sacred Name” groups who regularly promote God's personal Name in worship as well as in everyday living. Beyond this, there are also numerous websites which also promote the regular use of God's personal Name. There are also numerous Sacred Name Bibles that have the Name printed throughout their pages, Bibles such as the HalleluYah Scriptures (2011), Sacred Name King James Bible (2005), The New Jerusalem Bible (1985), Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (1902) and many more in beyond these. On top of this, some Sacred Name groups such as the Assembly of Yahweh and the separate Assemblies of Yahweh publish their own Sacred Name Bibles.

Although we didn't list all of the parallels between the Watchtower Society's teaching and other denominations, we believe the point is clear: Not one single Jehovah's Witness teaching or practice is actually unique to them. Please be careful when basing claims of truth upon one's claims of having “unique” teachings.