At some point, most every Christian has answered the knock on his door, only to find a Jehovah Witness armed and ready for religious battle! And many Christians have felt that uneasy, intimidated feeling of not knowing what to do, what to say, or what to expect. This booklet will help eliminate that feeling so that the believer can be bold, loving, powerful, and effective even to the Jehovah Witness.
T.L. Osborn, our beloved brother who has won millions to Jesus overseas, has spent years trying to awaken the church to it’s high calling of reaching the lost and winning souls. He said this of the church back in the 80’s, and it’s still true today, “While traditional Christians were using their church pews, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were using their shoe soles. While church members beat a path to the sanctuary, the Jehovah’s Witnesses beat a path to the people, and there they made converts.” (Soulwinning, Out Where the People Are, Osborn, 1980, p. 66)
We need to take on that responsibility for ourselves and spend most of our effort on training, praying, and practicing our own personal, powerful, effective witness to the world. Knowing what the Jehovah Witness knows and a little of where he is coming from will provide us with another weapon in our spiritual arsenal. At the least we can overcome any intimidation and learn how to better help them.
As you approach this material and also when you are confronted by a Jehovah Witness (JW), remember to abide in Love. They need to be saved, and you may be their only chance to see a true believer who is full of God (and God’s love). This information is compiled to give you some familiarity of where the Jehovah Witness is coming from so that you can be more confident in speaking with them. It is notdesigned to help you win an argument, because arguing usually never works. However, if by chance you wanted to win, you could!
Actually, we are trying to win their souls; not some argument. And we’ll be successful if we learn to preach from our spirit (not our head) with the motivation of love for the person, love for the truth, and a hatred for false doctrines of devils that are destroying so many lives.
II. BACKGROUND ON THIS CULT
The Jehovah Witness religion was founded by Charles Russell, who first predicted that Christ's return would be in 1874. When this didn't happen, he changed the date to 1914; but said that this return would not be physical, but only spiritual. They now believe that Christ has returned to earth - invisibly - and now reigns from heaven. The Jehovah Witness doctrine is based on a mis-use of the scriptures and on many false conclusions. This doctrine underwent 3 major changes in a period of 90 years.
Their teachings are flatly opposed to the gospel, and they deny the deity of Jesus Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the Tri-une nature of God, and many other vital doctrines. They do not believe that Jesus rose physically from the grave, though they cannot explain the empty tomb or clothes. They believe that only 144,000 people will be saved and live with God in heaven. This 144,000 will be the Jehovah Witness leaders who hold important offices and make major decisions (from Rev 7:4-8, the truth is that the 144,000 represents the 12 tribes of Israel who are saved during the tribulation period). The 'other sheep' (called Jonadabs) do not have the same eternal future as the 144,000, so they must work hard to earn their salvation. If they do good enough, they will be allowed to live on an Eden-like earth after world destruction and the judgment. They do not believe in HELL, though; instead they believe in complete annihilation (non-existence) for those who don't meet God's standard. They are not working hard because of a love of God, but a because of a dreadful terror of God and of Armageddon (the great battle and tribulation of the last days). This is convenient for the cult, in that their money comes from literature sold for their door-to-door ministry. Hence, the hard, persistent work of the witnesses…
III. CHRISTIANITY vs. JEHOVAH WITNESS
God is an eternal, personal, spiritual being in three persons - The Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
1 John 5:7,8 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
Mat 3:13-17, 2 Cor 13:14
There is one solitary being from all eternity, Jehovah God, the Creator and Preserver of the universe and all things. They deny the doctrine of the Trinity. Their Bible has been altered to eliminate 1 John 5:7,8. (To prove which Bible version is correct, refer to the ‘Interlinear Greek Text’, which is a transcribed copy of the original Greek text and NOT a translation from one language to another).
Man has an eternal, immortal soul.
Gen 1:26 “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
Acts 7:59 As Stephen is being stoned, he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
1 Thess. 5:23 “…and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our lord Jesus Christ.”
Man does not have an immortal soul. They teach that the soul is not separate from the body.
Christ is divine; a part of the Trinity; God himself.
John 1:1, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…” v. 14 “and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
1 John 5:7,8 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
Col 1:15-19 “In whom (His dear Son) we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature…”
Col 2:9 “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
Christ was not God, but God's first created creature. They deny Christ's deity.
Christ's death was the complete payment for man's sins.
Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Romans 3:24, 25 “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Col 1:20 “And having made peace through the blodd of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself…”
Rom 10:9 “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
Christ's death provides only the opportunity for man to work for his salvation: perfect human life for eternity on an Eden-like earth.
Christ was bodily resurrected from the grave.
John 2:19-21 “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up...But he spake of the temple of his body.”
Luke 24:36-39 After the resurrection, “Jesus himself stood in the midst of them....Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I, myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
Christ was raised only as a 'divine spirit'. They deny the bodily resurrection of Christ.
Christ will return to earth physically.
Mat 24:30 “And then shall appear the Son of man in heaven... and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Rev 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him…”
Christ returned to earth - invisibly - in 1914, and now rules earth from heaven.
(They may have changed this belief by now. If so, they believe that Jesus will come only invisibly at some point in the future).
There is eternal punishment for sin without the Savior.
Mat 13:42 “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Rev. 20:11-15 “…and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Other scriptures: Rev 14:9-11, Luke 13:24-28, Luke 16:19-31.
There is no hell or eternal punishment. Those who do not measure up to Jehovah's standards will be annihilated, meaning they will be or know no more.
IV. WHEN THEY COME TO YOUR DOOR:
1. Don't argue religion, for their doctrines are built upon a mis-use of the Bible and lots of false conclusions.
2. Don't engage in conversation on present events.
3. Don't buy literature or accept anything free.
4. Don't let them know you have literature on their false doctrines. They are taught to leave immediately.
5. Don’t forget that you have been endued with power from on high, and have the authority necessary to deliver this person at your door from sickness, oppression, pain, and sin TO salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. So expect God to work miracles and to give you a good lead into ministering to them. They are taught to NEVER LET ANYONE PRAY with them. But if they have an apparent need, and you can convince them that you know God well enough to ask on their behalf, go for it. Remember, you’re backed by God, so it is your decision of whether to pray or not.
1. Remember that JWs are a cult, and that the longer they remain in this darkness, the more deceived and demonic they become. The rulers of the darkness of this world have blinded them, so you’ll need to discern what depth of deception you are dealing with. You may find that some of them are new to the JW group and are interested in what you have to say, where others are very hardened to any truth you share. You may need to bind the devil in the name of Jesus (preferably before you answer the door or under your breath). And expect that while they are on your doorstep, you dominate the spiritual situation because of your position in Christ.
2. Be courteous to the JW - let him continue his presentation without interruption on your part. However, as the JW begins to ask you leading questions, DO NOT answer him. He is trying to categorize you either as a person who has fears about the world troubles, a lonely person, or one who has gripes about the establishment (the JW organization). If you fall for it, he will latch on to you (trying to help you) and you will not be able to help the JW.
3. When the JW is done talking, promptly forget what he said (don’t let yourself ponder his confusion). Begin something of your own. Tell him what Jesus means to you (possibly give him a short, sweet, enthusiastic testimony).
Then ask him to tell you his testimony. This will throw him off because he cannot speak of the grace of God in Christ Jesus. He has no testimony.
If you succeed in getting him to give a testimony (continue as the Holy Spirit leads), try to read him John chapter 3. If he is open, ask him if he is would like to know a true, living Christ, as you do; then pray with him.
4. If he is not receiving anything from you, let him leave. If, at any time, the JW tries to recite a bunch of scriptures to you, don't let him. Get your Bible and make him give you each passage separately (he may do so reluctantly). Read the scriptures before and after (in context) and then give him the true interpretation.
5. Be wise. Do not fall into the trap of arguing, even if you know you're right.
6. *** Important ***
Usually, the JW’s come to your door in teams of (2). One of the pair will be a well-learned JW, but the other is usually an apprentice who will do little, if any, of the talking. One wise ministry technique will be to look at the main speaker as if you are interested in talking to them, but realize that your ministry may actually be having a greater impact on the one who is just standing by. I have been in a situation at my door where the lead JW finally walked off in retreat, but the apprentice didn’t realize it and was listening intently until the lead person called for them.
7. Salvation: they might be ready, so be on the lookout for ripe fruit! If you can preach Jesus to them and they agree with everything you say (sometimes they will), then just tell them to receive Him. Something like, “Hey, great! If you believe in Jesus, why don’t you just call on Him now to save you? Like this, “Jesus save me from sin, come into my heart now, you are my Lord, Amen.” (show them how to just call on Jesus with their eyes open, and then tell them to do it). If they are ready and open, this will work. If they are not, don’t push them.
V. SO WHERE DO WE DIFFER AND HOW TO DISPROVE THEM?
A key scripture for us is 1 Cor 15:12,16,17,20 “Now if the rising of Christ from the dead is the very heart of our message, how can some of you deny that there is any resurrection?... if Christ did not rise, your faith is futile and your sins have never been forgiven. Moreover, those who have died believing in Christ are utterly dead and gone...but the glorious fact is that Christ was raised from the dead.” (Phillips trans)
SCRIPTURE BASE FOR THEIR FALSE DOCTRINES
1. Members can be dis-fellowshipped from the cult (kicked out).
Scripture base: 1 Cor 5:11 - says that the church should not keep company with anyone who is involved in certain things. The 'things' included are all evil (fornication, idolatry, drunkenness, etc.), but the Jehovah Witnesses use this scripture to 'dis-fellowship' members who talk to non-JWs, receive blood transfusions, marry outside the JW religion, etc. They also use 2 Thes 3:14 “And if any man does not obey our word by this letter, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” This scripture is talking about separating from brothers in error and also from intimate relationships with unbelievers (of course, we keep a certain level of relationship with sinners in order to win them to Jesus, but there are limits to our involvement with them). Again, the JW’s believe, incorrectly, that any non-JW is in error. Furthermore, v. 15 says "NOT to count them as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother". They actually treat them as a leper, by refusing to talk to them indefinitely. Clearly they are mis-using the scripture to scare people from dis-obeying their cult 'committee', which sits in judgment over specific cases.
2. According to the JW, Jesus is Michael, the archangel, in bodily form (and not the Son of God). Their scripture base for this is unknown. However, clearly Jesus is NOT Michael based on Jude 9, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, did not bring against (the devil) a railing accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke thee.” If Michael is actually Jesus, why wouldn’t he just have said, “I rebuke you”. Instead, he deferred to another: the Lord Jesus. On the other hand, Jesus spoke to Satan and told him, ‘Get thee behind me’.
3. According to the JW, blood transfusions are not allowed for ANY reason.
Scripture base: Lev 17:14 - under the old covenant, people were not to EAT the blood of any animal, for the 'life is in the blood'. First, a blood transfusion is not eating blood. Second, if you read on to verse 15, the person can wash his clothes and bath himself and will only be unclean for a short period, The JWs kick people out of the group and refuse to talk to the 'dis-fellowshipped' ones.
4. They call themselves 'Jehovah's Organization', which they also call THE TRUTH'. Scripture base: none. We know that Jesus said that HE is the Truth, and there is no other! “I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
5. According to the JW, the Jehovah Witness doctrine is the only true faith. Scripture base: unknown.
Here is a good test to see if one is in the faith: 2 Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves...that Jesus Christ is IN you.." Notice that Christ must be IN you. The JW Bible incorrectly says 'in UNION WITH you’. You must go back to the original Greek text (in an interlinear Greek Bible) to see that they have added incorrect words and also removed valid ones.
6. According to the JW, eternal life is obtained by knowing the scriptures and not by receiving Jesus Christ. The JW foundation for this lie is that their Bible translation for John 17:3 is incorrect. The King James Version reads, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” The Jehovah Witness Bible says that ‘taking in knowledge is eternal life’ - another incorrect interpretation not found in the original Greek. And remember Eph 2:8,9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
The truth is in John 5:39,40 “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” As Christians, we know that eternal life is found in the person of Christ, and not only in the scriptures. Jesus needed to clarify this even in his own day so that folks would realize that the words in the Bible are to point us to the PERSON of the Lord.
7. According to the JW, Jesus is not the son of God and is not equal to God.
However, by reading these scriptures (Rev 1:8, Rev 22:12, 13, Rev 1:13 - 18), you can disprove them. GOD, Jehovah God, as their Bible says) is called the 'Alpha and Omega' in Rev 1:8. JESUS is called the 'Alpha and Omega' in Rev 22:13. Obviously, the Bible describes them the same way. However, the JWs explain that the speaker changes between verses 12 & 13! But that is wrong. Verse 13 also calls Jesus 'the first and the last' (they still think the speaker has changed to God – but if so, then they’ve still lost the discussion). Look at Rev 1:13-18 - this is the vision of the Son of man - and in verse 17, Jesus again says “I am the first and the last.” So, you see, one way or the other, Jesus is equal with God. You have just got them into a paradox with no way out.
This should be enough information to help you overcome any fear of the JWs. But remember that your biggest success will be when you minister the power of God and the Word of God to them with sincere compassion and with holy boldness.