Welcome to Adventures In Witnessing volume six.
For the third year in a row, I visited the annual convention of Jehovah Witnesses. This most recent time, I purposely arrived at the arena just as the final session of the day was coming to a close. This is a great time to engage in conversations as people leave the arena. My friend, Mike, and I would approach people with an opening question like this, “Hello, we are not Jehovah Witnesses, but enjoy coming to events like these to learn more about other beliefs. Would it be alright if we ask you some questions?” Almost everyone agreed to speak with us. My favorite start up question is, “If you died tonight and Jehovah asked you, 'Why should I let you live on paradise earth?' what would your answer be?” I ask this question because most JWs don’t believe they will go to heaven but hope they will be considered righteous enough to live on paradise earth. The overwhelming response to this question is most often based around them counting on their own merit or works such as Bible study or door to door outreaches. I’ve heard many testimonies from ex JWs that said they never heard an accurate teaching on the Grace of God while in the JW organization. I use Ephesians, chapter two to share God’s grace with them.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
This year, I felt led to focus on the assurance of salvation. It’s was very sad to us as we heard one person after another say that they were uncertain of what their fate would be when they died. No one thought they would go to heaven, no one had assurance of living on paradise earth and some didn’t even know if they were presently considered right in God’s eyes. They were hoping that their acts of service, knowledge of Jehovah through Bible study and attitudes would allow them to be considered worthy at the end of their lives.
Ex JWs commonly testify that the catalyst for their exit from this organization into a true relationship with God began with a desire to know who the real Jesus is. For this reason, I try not only to focus on the Grace of God, but also on who Jesus is. It was amazing this year, as I was sharing about the deity of Jesus with a new JW convert, she was speechless and visibly shaken as I showed her Isaiah 9:6 from her own bible. She read about the child (Jesus) that was given to us and will be called Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Price of peace. I asked her who can offer eternal life except God alone? Who can forgive sins except God alone? Who can answer prayers except God alone? I proceeded to show her John 10:27-28, where Jesus offers eternal life, something only God can do.
The following is a response to the teaching of the Jehovah Witnesses. Here are some ways to address their misunderstanding of who Jesus is, the True Church and genuine salvation.
There is a messianic prophecy that speaks of a child being born unto us whose name will be Mighty God. (Ref. Isaiah 9:6)
Who can offer eternal life except God alone? Who can forgive sins except God alone? Who can answer prayers except God alone?
Jesus offers eternal life, has the power to forgive sins and answers prayers.
(Ref. John 10:28, Luke 5:24 & John 14:13-14)
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He offers eternal life, has the power to forgive sins, can answer prayers and accepts worship that belongs to God alone. While remaining enthroned in heaven, God pitched His tent among us as Jesus, the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature. The Lord our God is one but has revealed Himself to us in many ways and most commonly as God the Father, God the Son and Holy Spirit. (Ref. John 1:1, Colossians 1:15, John10:28, Luke 5:24, Matthew 28:9, John 14:13-14, Psalm 123:1, Hebrews 1:3 & Acts 5:3-4)
When Jesus said "before Abraham was, I AM", they picked up stones to kill Him because He was claiming to be God. (Ref. John 8:58-59 & Exodus 3:14)
God says He will not give His glory to another. We read in Revelation, chapter five, where multitudes are worshipping Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb. They are worshipping God the Father and Jesus. (Ref. Isaiah 42:8 & Revelation 5:11-14)
Do you believe Jesus returned invisibly without public fanfare in 1914? Please know that Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. All the tribes of the earth will mourn as they see Him coming with power and great glory. (Ref. 2Thessalonians 1:7-8 & Matthew 24:30)
Do you believe that the Watchtower organization and the Jehovah’s Witnesses is God’s sole channel(s) of communication? If so, that would mean that the true Church needed to be restored. Please know that Jesus said He would build His Church and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Ref. Matthew 16:18) The true Church has never needed to be restored. No earthly organization can claim to be the only right way to God. When a person follows the instructions of Jesus and gets born again his name gets written in the Book of Life and he becomes a child of God. (Ref. Hebrews 12:23 & Philippians 4:3)
From Genesis to Revelation God’s primary message to us is how to have a relationship with Him, knowing Him and spending eternity with Him. The main goal is not the prospect of life on a paradise earth. (Ref. John 17:3, 1John 5:20 & John 1:12)
Jehovah’s Witnesses put a major emphasis on their deeds such as multiple weekly meetings and required public canvassing outreaches. Please know that Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." First we get right with God through faith, then He directs our steps and sends us on our own unique outreach.
Untold millions of people from around the world have put their faith in Jesus, who died for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day. They have experienced, without the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the transforming power of Christ with the Holy Spirit bearing witness that they are born again children of God.
I hope this post will help you plant some seeds of truth into the lives of those deceived by a dangerous organization.
The Talmud states in Yoma 39b that during the Yom Kippur service in the Temple, a red thread would be tied to the doorway of the sanctuary. If the sacrifice was acceptable and Israel’s sins forgiven, then the thread would turn white. The Talmud shows that during the last 40 years of the 2nd Temple, this miracle ceased to occur and the thread would remain red.
Yeshua died and rose from the dead 40 years before the destruction of the 2nd Temple; this signifies that the sacrificial system was no longer effective and that another system for atonement had been established.
The Forever Commandments
The priest shall make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year. It's an everlasting statute. (Ref. Leviticus 16:32-34)
If Yeshua is not the Messiah then God gave Israel commandments and left them without a way to keep them since there’s no standing temple. Yeshua is the Messiah and the Torah commandments are fulfilled in Him. Yeshua said: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Ref.Matthew 5:17)
Yeshua is Jesus
Yeshua took care of the sin problem by going to the cross and dying as the perfect sacrifice, paying the price for our disobedience. He rose from the dead so that whoever follows and confesses Him will have his name written in the Book of Life. He will return again to fulfill the remaining messianic prophecies, establish His kingdom and then be recognized by all the world as the Messiah. Jesus came the first time lowly and riding on a donkey. Died on Passover as the Lamb of God. Rose from the dead on the feast of firstfruits. He sits at the right hand of the Father and will return with the clouds of heaven as the trumpet sounds. (Ref. Zechariah 9:9, John 1:29, Luke 24:46,Psalm 110:1, Daniel 7:13 & Zechariah 9:14)
Yeshua the Messiah said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (Ref. John 14:6)
Follower of Jesus