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Disciples in Disguise: How Does Jesus See….Week 2: Ministering to the Jehovah’s Witness

Disciples in Disguise: Week 2:  Ministering to the Jehovah’s Witness

Before I begin teaching how to witness to the Jehovah’s Witness (JW), I feel it is necessary to take a look at the history of this organization and how it was founded to its present day status.  There is so much information to cover and still fit within a blog format that I will highlight the most important facts and give you the resources used in my research so that you can continue to study about the JW. 

I grew up in a family steeped in the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This was all I knew, growing up hearing about Jehovah but not much at all about Jesus and never the Holy Spirit.  I had a deep love for my “creator”, as my Nana would affectionately call Jehovah, but the praise began and ended there—with Jehovah.  Though Jehovah is greatly to be praised!

It is important to note, the people who call themselves the Jehovah’s Witnesses are loving and warm- hearted people.  However, something so crucial to their secured eternity in a future paradise is missing.  These kind-hearted people have believed what they have been told for years and have accepted this as fact–their truth–that Jesus is really the Archangel Michael come to earth in flesh and they do not recognize Him—Jesus–as Deity.  They do not recognize the Holy Spirit as Deity and not even in the slightest do they recognize the Trinity.  This major missing piece of their theology is the stumbling block that will seal their eternity forever separated from Christ in paradise. 

It is my hope that believers and non-believers will read this blog and soak this truth into their hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to them.  It is also my hope that a Jehovah’s Witness who may read this–perhaps given to you by a friend–will allow your eyes to opened and the veil of deception fall from you so that you can meet Jesus Christ, the one who was sent by the Father, Jehovah God, to earth to pay the ransom for our sins.  Not Michael but Jesus. This payment for the penalty of our sin–once acknowledged as truth and accepted in your heart–is a free gift and will allow you access to the Kingdom of God as a Son or Daughter of Christ, adopted by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Let us look deeper.   

Charles Taze Russell was born February 16, 1852.  He grew up under parents who would speak of hellfire and damnation.  Russell couldn’t come to terms with the teaching of a loving God of mercy who would “send” His creation to hell.  He developed his own personal theology that didn’t include hell.  He began to hold Bible studies and teach others his theology.  This theology quickly spread and before long he had developed a group of followers he called the “Russellites”, later named “Millennial Dawnists”.  This launched into the modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The head organization is called the Watchtower, located in New York.  The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society publish the Watchtower and Awake! magazines that the witnesses hand out from door to door.  The JW have their own Bible translation called the New World Translation or the NWT, and require their members to use Bible teaching booklets that give their explanation of the “true meaning of the Bible.”

Here are a few beliefs of the Jehovah Witness that I will mention. Again I will include all resources so that you may investigate further. 

  1. There is one true “religion”: Jehovah’s Witness.
  2. The NWT is the most accurate translation of the Bible that exists…this is their translation. And ONLY they have the true knowledge and its meaning.
  3. They believe that Jesus has already returned and has been here since 1914.  Also that satan was cast out of heaven down to earth at that time.
  4. Jesus was the Archangel Michael and was never a Deity with God.
  5. The Witnesses believe that they alone are the true saved organization and if you do not belong to their organization, you are lost, will not be resurrected at the time of the new world and will remain in the ground–body and soul–for eternity.
  6. They do not believe Jesus died on the cross but on a stake. 

A quote from the Watchtower in May 1989:

“The Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible.  For this reason, the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind”. 

The problem is this.  The organization they are referring to is not the Bride of Christ or the Church, but the Watchtower organization.  The word of God has been written for all mankind.  All mankind—and the Holy Spirit will give us understanding to the meaning of scripture and how to apply it to our life.  It is also full of the understanding of whom our Lord is….who created us, how we were created and why.  It tells us how He loves us and so much so that, “For God so loved the World that, He gave His only begotten son that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE.  John 3:16 (KJV)

Beloved, the Apostle Paul warned us about the spirit of the antichrist and how it was already at work in the world even then. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”  1 John 2:18 (NKJV)

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB)

“You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach about a different Jesus then the one we preach, or a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.”  2 Corinthians 11:4 (NASB)

“But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.  For such a man are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even satan disguised himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:12-15(NASB)

These are but a few scriptures that warn us concerning this trap of the antichrist.  It is so important to mention to you that speaking to a JW in hostility or arrogance in your own true belief will not bring a desire in him to know more about the Jesus who changed you.  However, the greatest way to introduce him/her–if and when they come to your door–is to share your testimony of the love of Christ.  This cannot be disputed.  And your personal testimony cannot be refuted!!  Be sincere.  Offer them a hot drink on a cold day and a cool drink on a hot day.  But be careful to read 2 John: 10 & 11.  Pray about this and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.  SHOW the JW who Jesus is and that He lives within you.  Words are a dime a dozen but living your belief in Jesus Christ is the defense of your faith. The enemy will make this hard to do sometimes…..when that happens give your thoughts over to God and stand.

Love–my friend–never fails.

 

Resources:

-Personal narrative from interviews of former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

-Bible translations are mentioned within the body of the study.

www.JWTruth.org

-Jehovah’s Witness resources mentioned within the body of the study.

While praising our Lord during worship service this morning at the Church of the Cove in the Smokies, my thoughts were drawn to an image of a glass container.  Not just any glass container, but one that had been freshly washed.  The outside of the glass was “spotless” but the inside had not been fully cleaned.  Sediment from dirt particles still lined the inside bottom of the container…the hardest place to get to while washing it.   Perhaps one of those tall drinking glasses you might use to serve a guest a glass of chilled lemonade or tea on a humid Kentucky day?  Some of those tall glasses wont let you dig down deep to clean them and my dishwasher, only a few years old, doesn’t get the glasses truly clean, sometimes leaving deposits of sediment inside.

Thinking about this vessel, I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to use this as a message in the blog today.  Just as much of a message for the writer as for the reader.

Our lives are much like this container. Though useable just like it is, it still requires cleansing and preparation to make it effective for use.  Otherwise serving up lemonade or tea to a friend in dirty glass would not only give cause to be ashamed but give the one consuming it more than they asked for or needed.  If at first the sediment didn’t break loose and float to the surface, before long it would and one would then be chewing on it.  Not pleasing in thought.

Comparing our spiritual lives to the container, we must acknowledge that we require preparation as well.  How can one determine if a container is clean?  If we look only on the outside we may be fooled because the container could look clean after taking it out of the dishwasher.  Sparkling in fact.  So clean we use it before closely examining an important aspect of the container….deep down inside.  We unknowingly hand the dirty glass to our friend.  They drink because they are parched and want to be refreshed, desiring their thirst quenched.  Then they notice the sediment floating to the surface upon being used without proper preparation….hence the part about being ashamed by serving a drink in a unclean glass.   (Once I served molded cake to a dear friend and didn’t notice it was molded because it was a mint chocolate cake…yes I was ashamed by that).

In the same way we must study to make ourselves approved:  2 Timothy 2:15  tells us to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.  (NASB)”

You see we are all unclean containers, or vessels when we come to our Jesus.  We can wash and rewash our outside and hide the dirt on the inside for a very long time.  So much so that we even can fool ourselves for awhile.  For when we first come to the master “washer” we become very very clean…..spotless in His sight, without blemish or fault.  But after a little while we begin to have dirt re-deposited within.  Though that doesn’t mean we become unusable, it does mean we will become ineffective in service for Him.  A dirty glass that doesn’t show its spots is still dirty.  We wont be thrown away but the glass ( if it were in my household)  would be put back on the shelf to be found by someone else or put back in the dishwasher.  The Savior however wants to wash us tenderly and lovingly by His hands.  He knows just how to dig into those hard-to-reach places that we can’t get to…sometimes because we want to forget they are there.  To keep from remembering we may refrain from seeking God through the daily reading of His word.  Or return to a mediocre prayer life. Because if we don’t listen for His voice we wont hear Him woo us into bringing those hard-to-reach places to Him for sanctification. Jesus loves our container so much that He desires to make us very clean and keep us clean to be deemed effective for His service.  We have to open the cupboard door of our heart first.  The process of His preparation may be painful but as the sediment comes to the surface He will free you from a lifetime of sitting in the cupboard waiting-collecting dust.

“Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.  Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart”. (2 Timothy 2:21-22 NASB)