A Question that Works with Jehovah’s Witnesses
[ Author: Sally Peterson ]
Want to get a Jehovah’s Witness to listen instead of argue? There’s a simple way to do that: ask questions. Ask the right question and you’ll get his or her wheels spinning. Ask the wrong question and it’ll end up in a game of Bible ping pong that quickly goes nowhere.
How do I know this? Simple. I was a Jehovah’s Witness for 16 years, for starters. And I was asked this question while I was door knocking full time. It worked on me, and it can work for you too!
It’s important to remember: doctrines don’t save, only Jesus saves. Put doctrines on the back burner. You’ll get nowhere with them. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses are not willing to engage in debate; most are so indoctrinated we can’t reach them. The key to waking up a Jehovah’s Witness is to help them see the Watchtower is not God’s chosen organization. It is not the “one true religion” like they claim. How do we do that?
It’s imperative not to attack the Watchtower. No matter how much you’d like to, no matter how much ammunition you may have. They will instantly view you as not only a hater and apostate (even if you never were one of Jehovah’s Witnesses), but they will also view you as being “used by the devil” to take them “out of the truth.” All your well thought out arguments will fall on deaf ears, as they say, “we are not here to argue or debate” or “we are looking for sheep-like people” (meaning someone who will simply believe whatever they say without question).
The key is showing them that what the Watchtower teaches does not agree with the Bible. There are thousands, if not millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses who honestly believe they are serving God by peddling those magazines door to door. Once they find out about discrepancies in the Watchtower’s teaching, some of the more honest-hearted actually do go and investigate, by either looking up the information, or asking their elders (think pastor or minister).
I’ve used this question successfully with scores of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it has caused a good number of them to leave the Watchtower organization. To be totally honest, most of them were only Bible students, not yet baptized, and still had some thinking ability, although it has also worked with several members who had been baptized many years ago. It is much harder with someone who has already taken the plunge; patience is the key. By that time, they are totally indoctrinated. More on that later.
The key question is this: What would you do . . . (pause for emphasis; it reels them in, getting them to stop arguing and listen) if you found out that what the Watchtower teaches is not what the Bible teaches? Whom would you obey? Jehovah God or the Watchtower? (They like it, and view you more favorably, if you use “Jehovah God” rather than just “God.”)
When I was asked this question, I answered honestly and said, “I would change my religion!” I sincerely meant that. (A different topic was used, and was not successful – more on this later.) Most Jehovah’s Witnesses will say that the Watchtower does not disagree. (They don’t know this teaching, although it is “official.”) So ask again, what if it did? Then what? Jehovah God or the Watchtower organization? If they say Jehovah God, then great! You can start showing them. If they refuse to answer, or change the subject, then sharing your testimony or a remarkable answer to prayer might work better. Although you will probably not see any change in the JW at your door, it leaves a lasting impression. Sadly, some of them say they’d rather be in the Watchtower – right or wrong – than be out!!
The scripture I use is 1 Tim 2:5-6:
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Ask them: “Is Jesus your mediator?” They will say yes. Then tell them how happy you are to hear that. Everybody loves a little praise. Tell them Jesus is your mediator, too, and that you agree on this. (Finding a point of agreement is also very helpful).
The Big Question
Then you can let the hammer drop. “It’s a shame the Watchtower does not agree with this bible teaching. Instead the Watchtower says Jesus is the Mediator only for the 144,000. So who then is the mediator for the great crowd?”
It’s important to have the Watchtower quotes to show them this, otherwise they will typically call you a liar, or if they are nicer, they will tell you that you are simply not familiar with their beliefs, and direct you to their website. The fabulous part of that is, the actual Watchtower quotes are found on their website!
Another important point: Always, always, use the latest Watchtower quotes. Jehovah’s Witnesses have this thing called “new light” for when their teachings change. So older quotes just won’t work, and they will view you as an apostate or tell you that you’ve gone to “apostate sites,” because the older quotes are not found online. The Watchtower is making older publications no longer available, whitewashing their history and older teachings.
The latest quotes should be presented first because the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in something called “old light.” According to their teachings, “the light gets brighter” is interpreted to mean that truth changes. Therefore, older quotes are suspect, even when taken from their own literature! It’s a thought-stopping procedure. This way, a Jehovah’s Witness can dismiss failed prophecies the Watchtower has made with the simple statement:
“That’s old light. The bible says the light gets brighter”.
This is the Watchtower’s misinterpretation of Proverbs 4:18:
“But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light that grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.” Proverbs 4:18 NWT
The latest quotes about the mediator issue can be found in the 2014 and 2013 Watchtowers along with their book “Insight into the Scriptures” (a two-volume set; think encyclopedia of accepted teachings).
The October 2014 Watchtower magazine says that Jesus is only the mediator for those in the new covenant and only the 144,000 are in the new covenant. The article clearly lays it out. So right on jw.org you can see Jesus is not your mediator as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Par. 15 After instituting the Lord’s Evening Meal, Jesus made a covenant with his faithful disciples, often referred to as the Kingdom covenant. (Read Luke 22:28-30.) Unlike other covenants, in which Jehovah is one of the parties to the covenant, this is a personal covenant between Jesus and his anointed followers.
Par. 16 Thus, the Kingdom covenant is made with the 144,000 anointed Christians.
That faithful slave is the channel through which Jesus is feeding his true followers in this time of the end.
It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.—Matt. 4:4; John 17:3.”
“He mediates the new covenant between God and those taken into the new covenant, the congregation of spiritual Israel. The total number of those who are finally and permanently sealed is revealed in Revelation 7:4-8 as 144,000.” Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2 p.362 Mediator
Quotes #4 & #5
Older quotes are even clearer; however, the Jehovah’s Witness is unlikely to accept these at first. He or she might say you simply don’t understand what the Watchtower is saying, in which case these older and clearer quotes can come in quite handy.
“So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the ‘mediator’ only for anointed Christians.” Watchtower 1979 Apr 1 p.31
“Likewise, the Greater Moses, Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.” Worldwide Security Under the “Prince of Peace” (1986) pp.10-11
After you have presented the quotes, encourage them to ask their elders. Encourage them to go onto their website and research it for themselves. They may look puzzled. This is because they are suddenly realizing you cannot be lying to them if you are encouraging them to ask questions and research this.
This article was originally featured on jwinform.com and was republished with permission of the author.