Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses

There’s a knock at the door. We’ve all met them. They call themselves associates of the WatchTower Society of Zion, or more commonly, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Plaid suits with suitcases; silk dresses and a tether edged Bible. They come during breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekends and weekdays. Most of us hide and pretend like the television and lights aren’t on. But that isn’t what we are called to do. We should, with smiles and a warm heart, welcome them into our home and help provide clarity to a heinous misunderstanding they have of the blessed Bible. This essay will help you convey the Biblical truth of the true faith. We will begin with a comparison of the history of the true Church and the Jehovah Witness church (and the preceding origins of its doctrines) and then move into scriptural theology and evidence for Christianity using the Bible.

Jehovah Witness’ History

Jehovah Witness will claim that Jesus Christ, is not God and this has always been taught by the church. They believe that at the death of the last apostle, the world fell into a state of apostasy as true religion became an underground movement. In the 4th century, Catholicism arose and was founded by Constantine who headed the Roman empire. Then their underground movement of true religion came back to true fruition when in 1874 when Charles Taze Russell conducted private home Bible studies and was, by divine appointing, the oracle of truth. In 1914, Christ established his kingdom of heaven on earth in a spiritually discrete and secretive way, thus we are finally living in the ends times. Also, Jehovah Witness claim that the gates of heaven are sealed since 1935 due to the 144,000 allotment in heaven being fulfilled; the rest of God’s good citizens will reside on paradise earth (then the moon when the earth overfills). Jehovah Witness also make the claim that they are the first church to reach all of the world with the gospel (in the 21st century), as prophesied by Christ in the Gospels concerning the ends times.

This is a fallacy.

Christian History

The Church has official doctrines and datum recorded from reliable politicians, military officials (including the head general of the Roman empire), pagans, and Christians during the 1st century that state that it was an essential belief of Christianity to believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ as God. Ignatius of Antioch was personally mentored by Jesus’ favorite disciple John, and later ordained by Jesus’ apostle Peter. A few other men to have lived in the time of the apostles and knew the apostles were Polycarp, Linus, Anacletus, Clemenus Romanus. Jehovah Witnesses will claim that the apostles and Christ taught that Christ wasn’t God. This is simply untrue. The first official church to pontificate this teaching was the church of Arianism, founded by an anathematized priest named Arius who falsely surmised that Jesus Christ was nothing more than a mere man. This heresy was eradicated in 381 Anno Domini (A.D.). Further, Constantine did not found the Roman Catholic Church. What Constantine did was legalize Christianity after winning a battle against the Roman General Maximum to end legal persecution of Christianity (by signing the Edict of Milan). In 361 A.D., Constantine won another battle against Julian the Apostate whom tried legalizing and cultivating the Roman society back into paganism. In 381 A.D., the Roman Catholic Septuagint canonized the Bible with 73 books in it. In 1517 A.D., Martin Luther set forth the Great Schism from the Roman Catholic Church, and in addition to that, he downsized the Bible by removing seven books (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, First and Second Maccabees, and additions to Esther and Daniel). What is not so much a common knowledge to Jehovah Witnesses and Protestants alike is that Martin Luther also felt “divinely” convicted to remove seven other books (Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation, 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John). In short, everyone but the Catholic Church has a truncated version of the Bible. Point of this synopsis of history is to illustrate a very good question. How could Jehovah Witness have possibly collaborated the books of the Bible and Canonized it and set it world wide if they were hiding as an underground movement? Further, if they don’t claim to have canonized the Bible, why do they accept the Bible from what they consider an “idolatress and blasphemous false religion” as the source of their truth? Further on, the heresy of Arianism arose again with with Joseph Smith in Mormonism (1831 A.D.) and again with the Seventh Day Adventist (1863 A.D.). Jehovah Witness claims are nothing new but an age old heresy conjured by false teachers before them.

Now let’s move into God’s good Word, Biblical scripture.

Biblical points to help share the True Faith

  • Jehovah Witness (JW) – We are the first church to reach all the ends of the earth of the gospel according to Christ’s prophecy found in the Gospel of Matthew
    • Roman Catholic (RC) – “I appreciate your efforts in trying to spread the Word of God for the salvation of the world” (remember, God does not turn away a contrite heart Ps 51:17. Always admonish and build up your brother to good works, because what we do for others we do for Christ [Mt. 25 40.45], and what we do against others we do against Christ [Acts 9:4-5]). Then follow up with scripture that clarifies any misconceptions. Two verses from the Epistles of Paul read, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world (Romans 1:8)” and, “faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth (Colossians 1:5-6)” St. Paul clearly informs us that this commission from Christ has already been fulfilled in the days of the Apostles.
  • JW – They may or may not bring up the teaching that the Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church, and any other institution of faith that stands in opposition to the Jehovah Witness doctrine is the Great Whore of Babylon/the Harlot found in the book of Revelation.
    • RC – Always express your understanding of their point of view. We are here to accommodate people on their journey of sanctification and sainthood in preparation for heaven. Although the notion they believe is false, relate to how the world does have many miscellaneous ideas. But then share with them whom the Bible calls the Great Whore of Babylon and the Harlot. There are several Biblical passages the clearly convey this.
      • Isaiah 1:21 “See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her–but now murderers!
      • Ezekiel 23:27-29 “So I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you began in Egypt. You will not look on these things with longing or remember Egypt anymore. ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to hand you over to those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you naked and bare, and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity’
      • Hosea 2:1-13, Ezekiel 16:37-41 also emphasize Israel as this “Harlot” for her infidelity
      • Jeremiah 3:3-6 “therefore the showers were withheld, the spring rain failed. But because you have a harlot’s brow, you refused to blush. Even now do you not call me, “My father, you who are the bridegroom of my youth”? “Will he keep his wrath forever, will he hold his grudge to the end?” This is what you say; yet you do all the evil you can. The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: See now what rebellious Israel has done! She has gone up every high mountain, and under every green tree she has played the harlot.
        • In fact, the covenant and staff of favor between Israel and God was nullified by God because of their infidelity. Zechariah 11:10-14 reads, “Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. It was revoked on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord. I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter. Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.”

 

  • JW – There is no such thing as hell. Only eternal annihilation (which means that the people who aren’t saved will cease to exist after death and Satan and his demons will also no longer exist at the end of time). A loving God would never send anyone to a place of eternal torment. Hell, JW’s will say, is just another term for a grave and oblivion.
    • RC – The Jehovah Witness convey a partial truth in this statement. First, there is a tangible hell holding tangible beings. But the part they are right about is that God does not send anyone to hell; people will that they go there by refusing God. Man only goes to hell on his or her account. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:41 that mankind may go to a place of damnation that was made for the devil and his angels. If hell meant a graveyard, and graves only hold tangible bodies, then why was this hell made for the devil and his angels who don’t have tangible bodies? In fact, Jesus tells us that the body and soul can reside in a place of torment postmortem (Matthew 5:30, 10:28). The punishment is eternal (Matthew3::16-17, 25:46; Isaiah 33:11,14). St. Paul also states a place of eternal ruin of the soul in 2 Thessalonian 1:6-9.
      • Ask the next Jehovah Witness, if there is no hell, why does Jesus tell Judas, “better had it been that he not be born” (Matthew 26:24)? I asked once, and the reply was because it gave him an ill-reputation. But Jesus had an ill-reputation. He was called a blasphemer, hypocrite, scandal, a drunk, and even told his Apostles that they would be hated because He Christ was hated first.
        • If there is no life after death, then how did Jesus preach to the dead in 1 Peter 4:6, “For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead that, though condemned in the flesh in human estimation, they might live in the spirit in the estimation of God.”

 

  • JW – Jesus Christ is not God but the Arc Angel Michael.
    • RC – The best response is empathy. Reply that you can understand why they see it the way they do, but that how they see it does not align with what the Bible teaches us.
    • John 1:1 says the “Word is God”, and we know the Word is Christ.
    • John 8:58-59, “Before Abraham was I AM”, the same name given to Moses by God in the Burning Bush
    • John 20:28 Jesus accepts Thomas plea “My God, my Lord!”
    • Titus 2:13 “Glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
      • The name “First and Last” or “Alpha Omega” stands for God. Revelation 1:17-18 reads, “When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld’.”
        • Ask them, “when did Jehovah, the First and the Last, die?”. And remind them that God does not share His name or glory with anyone. Remind them also that only God is the Alpha/Omega First/Last and doesn’t share His name with any other (Is. 44:6).
          • Divinity of Christ – Phil 2:5-11, Col. 1:15-16, 2:9, Rom. 9:5, Titus 2:13

 

  • JW – The Holy Spirit isn’t God but just a force.
    • RC – Respond with the same empathy as you did with the challenge of Christ’s divinity. But turn with them deep into scripture and ask questions after each passage, such as:
      • John 14:16 “He [Holy Spirit] will teach you all things
        • Why is the Holy Spirit called “He” and how could a “force” teach?
      • Acts 8:29 “Holy Spirit said to Philip, ‘go up’” and Acts 13:2 “Holy Spirit said, ‘set apart from Me’”
        • How does a “force” speak?
      • Acts 5:3-4 “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? And when it was sold, was it not still under your control? Why did you contrive this deed? You have lied not to human beings, but to God’.”
        • Peter the Apostle just said that Ananias lies were to the Holy Spirit, which is lying to God.
        • Peter is referring to grieving God as the Holy Spirit, which is warned against in Ephesians 4:30 & Matthew 12:32.

 

  • JW – Jehovah is God the Father’s name; there is only one God, the Father.
    • RC – Technically, the word “Jehovah” doesn’t exist but is a misnomer in the English language; the best rendition is actually Yahweh. The proper spelling of it is “YHVH” since there are no vowels in the Hebrew dialect. In fact, in Hebrew, YHVH doesn’t stand so much for God the Father’s name but the name of the Holy Spirit as God, since YHVH was also used as the word “breath”. In Genesis, God breathed “YHVH” into man and gave him life. So the Jews translated it as, “God breathed “Holy Spirit/breath” into man and then he lived”.

 

  • JW – Colossians 1:15 says Christ didn’t always exist cause He was born “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”
    • RC – We have to be gentle in coaxing our friends toward the truth. Some religions have trouble distinguishing symbolism from literalism. If they took everything literal, then please help them with the entire Bible, from allegorical Genesis, to the Songs of Solomon, to the Psalms (like Psalm 89:27 which says King David is the first born when he was actually the 8th son born- firstborn means he has the right to inheritance or is chosen for blessing), with the parables, and surely Revelation which is written apocryphally which is very cryptic and esoteric.

 

  • JW – The Kingdom of Heaven has finally been established on earth in 1914 secretively.
    • RC – Christ and Paul said the Kingdom of Heaven was established during His first Advent:
      • Matthew 12:28, Luke 17:21, Acts 8:12, 19:8.
        • Ephesians 1:20-23, 1 Peter 3:22.
          • and there is nothing secretive or discrete about the coming or supposed “rapture” according to Matthew 24:27

 

  • JW – Charles Taze Russell made accurate predictions about the coming of the Kingdom of God
    • RC – Refer back to last statements Biblical passages of Matthew 12:28, Luke 17:21, Acts 8:12, 19:8
    • Ask how they treat Russell and other ministers when they falsely prophesied the rapture into Heaven in 1914, 1918, 1925, 1942, 1975? Deuteronomy 18:21-22 says that a prophet who makes a false claim should be abandoned and all his doctrine.

 

  • JW – the Great Crowd are those who reside on paradise Earth.
    • RC – Revelation 19:1 says that the Great Crowd is standing before the throne of God in Heaven.

 

  • JW – The gates of heaven closed in 1935 and the rest of God’s followers will reside on paradise earth.
    • RC – Matthew 23:13 warns us against keeping people out of heaven, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.”

 

  • JW – Jesus Christ didn’t die on a Cross. He died on an upright stake. It was shameful and not glorious.
    • RC – Go over the scriptures from the Bible with them. Each of these scriptures speak of how necessary it is for us to carry our cross which is an instrument of glory used by Christ:
      • Galatians 5:20, 6:14, 20:20
      • 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 2:2
      • Philippians 3:18
      • Colossians 1:24, 2:14
      • Matthew 10:38, 16:24
      • Luke 9:23, 14:27

 

  • JW – Don’t celebrate holidays. It’s pagan and offensive to God. Even Christmas is wrong.
    • RC – The angels celebrated Christ’s birthday in Luke 2:13-14 and Mother’s and Father’s day is in honor of Exodus 20:12 (which promulgates the Ten Commandments, one of which being to honor (“glorify” is how it translates from the original Hebrew) thy parents).

 

  • JW – we receive our power from God and His Bible as our only authority
    • RC – But that is not how God works. The Bible says that God doesn’t reveal any individual prophecies or have individual interpretation (1 Peter 1:20). Also, the Church is the foundation of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
      • What the Bible talks about authority is in:
        • Laying of Hands – Acts 6:6, 13:3, 14:22, 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:14, 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6, 2:2; Titus 1:5
        • Hierarchy – Ephesians 4:11-12
        • Papacy – Galatians 1:17-19, 2:7-14
        • Priesthood – Romans 15:15-16
        • Qualifications to be in the Ministry – 1 Timothy 3:1,8, 5:17

Remember, do all things in love, else we are absolutely useless (1 Corinthians 13).

Yours,

Drew Castel.

Share

2 Responses to “Answering Jehovah’s Witnesses”

  1. cherie says:

    This is very good,– no great! Thank you!! I love this; not inviting them in, a curt ‘no thanks’ and shutting the door, as was advice given on a different blog, umm…. not so much.:) I cant remember verbatim, but your advice brings to mind what Mother Theresa said about kindness converting more people than zeal or knowledge(?). Anyway, ties in nicely with what we are called to do anyway, THANKS again great info, help and in the right spirit.

    C

    JMJ

  2. Drew Castel says:

    Thank you for your generosity. Although I cannot compete with the sanctity and holiness of our late Mother Theresa, it is no less complimentary to hear that an article of this site brings forth memories of God’s love found in this simple yet profound Mother of Mercy.

    And no truer words have been spoken than to love thy God with all thy heart and to love thy neighbor as thyself. As you noted, Mother Theresa knew this. Another was St. Francis of Assisi who mirrored Christ when he said, “Preach the gospel always; when necessary use words.”

    Love is in our service, not our sermons. (Jn 14:15, Mt 7:21)

    Yours,
    Drew Castel.

    Ps. For questions, inquiries, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us via the medium of our emails (posted in the drop menu) or simply our comment box. I had met with quite a few Jehovah Witnesses, a few being the ‘elders of the church’ (I use the term loosely), so I can relate or expound on the temperament and theological positions they have and how to further respond. But the best advice I can give is love, pray, and go to Adoration- Adoration because as the Lord said to His apostles ,”So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Mt 26:40). Let’s all be disciples and spend an hour (or more) with the One who gave His life for us.

Leave a Response