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Answering the JWs

It is a common experience to be visited by the so-called Jehovah's Witnesses.  The zeal of this cult is impressive, although it is not according to knowledge from the Scriptures (Rom. 10:2).  Its doctrines emanate from their "Governing Body" and are disseminated via their magazine, The Watchtower.  The Watchtower Society is the organization used to develop these doctrines and spread them across the world.

Because you are likely to be visited by those who espouse the Watchtower doctrines, you should prepare to answer their false teachings with challenges from the Scriptures.  A general working knowledge of the Bible is sufficient to expose their errors, so Christians should not need a great deal of extra preparation.  Even so, some preparation is necessary in order to know something about the false doctrines they believe.  In fact, one particular issue is sufficient to expose the fallacy of their religion.

When you are visited by Watchtower disciples, quickly steer the conversation to the identity of Jesus Christ.  They are likely to begin their appeal to you with words about morality or God in general, which may sound agreeable to you as a Christian, but you should focus the discussion on Jesus.  The Watchtower does not believe that Jesus is God, but rather they describe Him as the Son of God who was created in heaven by God.  They accept that God used Jesus to create all other things, but they do not accept that Jesus Himself has existed from eternity.  In fact, they teach that Jesus was the archangel Michael before He was incarnated.  Already, you see that these doctrines concerning Jesus are false, for the Scriptures declare that He is the eternal God who is equal to the Father rather than an angel (John 1:1; 10:30; Heb. 1:1-14).

As you prove the true identity of Jesus Christ, there are a few verses of Scripture that will be especially helpful.  The Watchtower has certain passages that they use often, so it is effective to use some of these to disprove their own doctrine.  They are especially fond of the books of Isaiah and Revelation. In fact, they take their name from Isaiah 43:10 and 44:8.  Also, they place a great emphasis on the name of God, which is interpreted as Jehovah (in Hebrew יְהֹוָה or YHWH, meaning "I am"), so make this part of your discussion as well.

A good starting point is Isaiah 44:6, which states:

"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.'"

Compare this to the words of Jesus in Revelation 1:8, which says,

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

He also said that He is the "first and the last" in verse 17.  If there is any question about whether Jesus was speaking in Revelation 1:8 and 17, then refer to Revelation 22:13, where Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." This passage leaves no doubt about who was speaking, for in verse 16, the speaker affirms, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."  Clearly, the same God who spoke in Isaiah 44:6 also spoke in these verses of Revelation.  In these verses, Jesus declared that He is the eternal God.

Another good approach to take in your discussion is Jesus' claim to the name Jehovah.  This name for God was revealed to Moses when God spoke to Him at the burning bush.  Notice Exodus 3:14:

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

In a clear reference to that passage and that name, Jesus said to the Jews in John 8:58, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."  When He said this, the Jews picked up stones to throw at Him because they perceived His words to be blasphemy (John 8:59).  Their perception of His words is made clear in John 10.  When Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" in verse 30, they again took up stones to stone Him.  When Jesus asked why they had done this, they said in verse 33, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."  Clearly, Jesus had laid claim to the name Jehovah and to the identity of God.

By no means are these all of the passages of Scripture that refute the Watchtower, but these are sufficient to tear down their most fundamental error.  It is also likely that this subject will bring your conversation with Watchtower disciples to a close.  They are sent to your home to teach you rather than to have you teach them.  Usually, once they perceive that you are not open to receiving their teaching, they will leave.  Just remember that these false teachers are not Christians, for they do not believe the truth about Jesus.  As they leave you, pray that they will turn to the truth and do not bless them in their error, for "if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds" (2John 10-11).

Stacey E. Durham



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