Help with Jehovah's Witnesses

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
They are self-proclaimed scholars who know enough to fool some people who know less. Besides, the average JW member is so brainwashed that they cannot simply accept arguments from non-JW's. It's the same with Mormons. You can point out the ridiculous nature of the means by which Joseph smith allegedly received his new gospel and you can even point out that what he "translated" as scripture has been many times been translated by legitimate translators as ancient Egyptian writings that say absolutely NOTHING like what Smith says they meant. He was exposed as a fraud in his lifetime and assassinated by people enraged at his deception. Yet the LDS members still accept his writings as the real Bible. The JW's are no different.

If we want to deal with them, then we have to do it on the basis of the CONTENT of Scripture ... namely Jesus Christ and His revelation. Jesus Himself said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me." This clearly refers not simply to the Crucifixion, by which He was lifted up physically before men; nor to the Resurrection, by which he was lifted up to Heaven; but to the fact that it is when we look at Jesus that we are drawn to Him ... just as seeing the girl of our dreams (or, for a woman, the man of her dreams) we are drawn to that person.

So the secret to dealing with any cult is to hold up the true picture of Jesus Christ so that they may see Him. And that, my brother, requires knowing Jesus intimately ourselves and also knowing what His Word says about Him so that we may counter the false view of Him presented by the cults. Anything else merely draws us into a fruitless argument over things. We may win some of those arguments; and sometimes people may be willing to change their views as a result. But it is only catching a glimpse of the real Jesus that will lead anybody to salvation.

I hope this answers your question.
 

David_A_Reed

Come, Lord Jesus!
When dealing with JWs it is also helpful to keep in mind the famous quote attributed to Mark Twain:
"You can't reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into."

Many JWs were raised in the sect, others converted to please a young lady or young man they wanted to marry, and still others joined because they were lonely and love-bombed by sect members. People like that often put their emotional ties to the sect above any persuasive argument. They won't even think of questioning the sect, for obvious emotional reasons.

Still others reject good sound Christian arguments for much the same reasons that Pharisees rejected things that they heard Jesus himself speak. No matter how much we prepare, and no matter how effectively we present matters, can we expect to be more convincing than Jesus was to such persons?

And many JWs are shaken and perhaps even convinced by things they hear from Christians, but they don't dare admit it -- for fear of being put on trial if another JW finds out they are questioning or indulging in the forbidden "independent thinking."

So, don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate positive response when sharing the Gospel with JWs.

For me, the process of leaving the sect took about 3 years. And at the beginning of that process I had no idea it would lead to my leaving JWs and becoming a hated 'born-again Christian.'

David
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Indeed, line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.

I had the opportunity to speak with a JW this past weekend. I pray he comes back before I leave Phoenix at the end of the month.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE using Tapatalk
 

David_A_Reed

Come, Lord Jesus!
You can now download a free PDF copy of the Doorstep Bible Answering Mormons & Jehovah's Witnesses

You can now download a free PDF copy of the DOORSTEP BIBLE Answering Mormons & Jehovah's Witnesses or read it free online at the Doorstep Bible web site.

Enjoy!

David
 
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Lily

Looking Up
By posting here I just feel a need to unload the burden I have for a JW that I've known for many years. I've tried and tried to show him the real Jesus. I have not been able to. I pray nearly everyday for his salvation. He was raised a JW and it has an iron grip on him.

I'm not really asking for anything, I just have to lay my burden down.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. The advice here is wonderful advice, I've tried some of it. Good work!
 

Lily

Looking Up
I'm once again having a conversation with my JW friend. I'm not sure what I'm doing. This time the conversation centered on the human soul being born eternal. Also about humans having a body, soul and spirit.

JW's believe that the soul ceases to exist after death. I'm to "prove" providing Biblical examples
and verses that the soul is eternal.

I've looked at several websites, here at RF and cannot find a writing on this in particular.

Does someone know of such a website or article?

Also, I did try to keep bringing the conversation back to Jesus and who he is, but not surprisingly the subject kept getting changed.

What I'm wondering is this, is this kind of conversation productive or am I just spinning going nowhere? My goal is showing that Jesus is the way to salvation, not endless Bible studies that are just sparring matches. If most any study can produce fruit, I'm ok with that. I just don't want this to be a pointless exercise.

Help please?
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Lily, scripture is clear. all of the following state plainly that we (that is our souls) are eternal.: Psalm 23:6; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 8:11; 25:46; Luke 20:36; John 6:68; Romans 2:7; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:53; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 21:3.

The biblical answers site "Got Questions" summarizes the topic well:

Question: "Is the human soul mortal or immortal?"​

Answer: Without a doubt the human soul is immortal. This is clearly seen in many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments: Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Daniel 12:2 says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Similarly, Jesus Himself said that the wicked “will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). With the same Greek word used to refer to both “punishment” and “life,” it is clear that both the wicked and the righteous have an eternal/immortal soul.​

The unmistakable teaching of the Bible is that all people, whether they are saved or lost, will exist eternally, in either heaven or hell. True life or spiritual life does not cease when our fleshly bodies pass away in death. Our souls will live forever, either in the presence of God in heaven if we are saved, or in punishment in hell if we reject God’s gift of salvation. In fact, the promise of the Bible is that not only will our souls live forever, but also that our bodies will be resurrected. This hope of a bodily resurrection is at the very heart of the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).​

While all souls are immortal, it is important to remember that we are not eternal in the same way that God is. God is the only truly eternal being in that He alone is without a beginning or end. God has always existed and will always continue to exist. All other sentient creatures, whether they are human or angelic, are finite in that they had a beginning. While our souls will live forever once we come into being, the Bible does not support the concept that our souls have always existed. Our souls are immortal, as that is how God created them, but they did have a beginning; there was a time they did not exist.​

You may recall that Jesus had a discussion with a certain woman at the well. She, too, was a believer in an apostate religion. And she, too, kept trying to turn the discussion to an unimportant theological issue. Jesus continually re-focused the topic on her, her need and His provision. Following His pattern is wise.

I would say to my friend, "You'd better hope the soul is not eternal because if it is your suffering will never end. But it IS eternal as all these scriptures show. But Jesus has given you a way out of your hopeless end. You only need to accept it. Why fight so hard against it? Doesn't that seem silly" Or words to that effect. The Holy Spirit will lead you if you ask Him to each time you write.
 

Lily

Looking Up
Thank you so much Adrian. But how did I not find this myself? I went to gotquestions. (not for you to answer, I'm wondering out loud.)

I'm going to study this further. The thing is, my JW friend believes that believers (JW's) will be brought back from nothing, but unbelievers will not. So, I have to figure out how to untwist these verses that the JW's twist. But I will work on it.

Good advice at the end of your post, I will try it if I get a chance.

Do these questions from the JW mean that they are open? Or maybe they're just trained to do "Bible speak" when given a chance? I'm trying to understand what I'm doing.

Thanks. I will be working on this over the next few days. I have a medical test tomorrow and my whole day is spoken for. Then I should be able to work on this some more.
 

David_A_Reed

Come, Lord Jesus!
Thank you so much Adrian. But how did I not find this myself? I went to gotquestions. (not for you to answer, I'm wondering out loud.)

I'm going to study this further. The thing is, my JW friend believes that believers (JW's) will be brought back from nothing, but unbelievers will not. So, I have to figure out how to untwist these verses that the JW's twist. But I will work on it.

Good advice at the end of your post, I will try it if I get a chance.

Do these questions from the JW mean that they are open? Or maybe they're just trained to do "Bible speak" when given a chance? I'm trying to understand what I'm doing.

Thanks. I will be working on this over the next few days. I have a medical test tomorrow and my whole day is spoken for. Then I should be able to work on this some more.
Lily, yes, it is good to avoid what you called 'sparring matches' with the JWs, that lead nowhere. I call it Bible ping-pong -- where you read a verse, they read a verse, you read a verse, and so on. Everyone ends up sweaty and exhausted, like in a ping-pong game, but nothing is accomplished.

However, if you know what you are doing -- like presenting the good material Adrian supplied -- you can get somewhere and accomplish something. (Don't be discouraged, though, if the JW fails to admit this to you. They are trained not to admit it when you prove them wrong -- and they fear being put on trial if they admit a non-JW argument carries some weight.)

But there are solid answers for the verses they like to twist. Here are a couple:

Psalm 146:3-4
Don’t put your trust in princes,
each a son of man in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, and he returns to the earth.
In that very day, his thoughts perish.

JWs use the expression “his thoughts perish” to argue for their belief that there is no conscious existence after death.

But is that what the psalmist meant? No! The context shows that the point being made is that we should trust in God rather than in human leaders.

“Happy” is the man “whose hope” is in God who accomplishes all the good things listed, and who “will reign forever.” (verses 5-10) The psalmist contrasts this with “trust in princes” who die and can no longer provide help. (verses 3-4) Such a human prince can no longer implement his “thoughts” or plans, because he dies and leaves this world. An example would be the death of president John F. Kennedy, who many looked to as their hope; his death disappointed his followers. All his plans (or "thoughts") perished with him, and came to nothing.

To show that this is what the psalmist meant—rather than a doctrinal statement on the condition of the dead—simply point out how other translations render “his thoughts perish”:
“their plans come to nothing” (NIV)
“all their plans die with them” (NLT)
“his plans perish” (ESV)

JWs also like to twist Ecclesiastes 9:5
"For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything,"

They use “the dead don’t know anything” here to ‘prove’ their belief that there is no conscious existence after death. In fact, their own New World Translation puts it this way: "the dead are conscious of nothing".

However, they are taking the verse out of context, which is a very dangerous thing to do, because not every statement in the Bible represents God’s viewpoint. Some passages quote the devil, for example. And some verses record the words of pagans or others who rejected the word of God. Is that the case here?

Like the Song of Solomon where different speakers exchange thoughts in back-and-forth dialog, Ecclesiastes also appears to present a debate between two different points of view: a materialistic view of life that considers this world only, and a spiritual, godly view of life that has eternity in view.

The statement in verse 5 that “the dead don’t know anything” is found in the middle of a presentation of the materialistic view: that the righteous and the wicked share the same fate (verse 2), that there is no hope for the dead (verse 4), that they will never live again (verse 6), and that everything ends with the grave (verse 10).

These thoughts all represent the materialistic, ungodly point of view. They are all wrong: the righteous do have a reward, there is hope for the dead, they will live again, and everything does not end with the grave.

Ecclesiastes swings back and forth, expressing the godly and the secular points of view, but concludes with faith that God will reward good behavior in the judgment: “This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

So, claiming that 'the Bible' says the dead are unconscious is taking this out of context -- just like when a famous doctor quoted 'the Bible' to say "“Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life," but Bible-readers knew this doctor was really quoting Satan from Job 2:4.

After showing a JW how they have twisted those passages, you could go on to look at these:

Is death the end of the matter? Or can something more happen to a person after they die? Jesus answered that, when he said, “don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5)

The fact that the Bible consistently teaches that there is conscious life after death can be seen clearly in these passages:
“The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said . . .” (Luke 16:22-24)
“I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed . . . They cried with a loud voice, saying . . .” (Revelation 6:9-10)
“. . . rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
“. . . today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

David
 

Lily

Looking Up
“The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said . . .” (Luke 16:22-24)
“I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed . . . They cried with a loud voice, saying . . .” (Revelation 6:9-10)
“. . . rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
“. . . today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
I don't have time right now, and it may be a couple of days before I can return here. Your post is very helpful and I have some questions if you don't mind.

For now, I want to point out that I had before used the Abraham and Lazarus verses and my friend promptly took it to an elder who told him this was a parable. It had a spiritual meaning of some sort. I was arguing (figure of speech) that because Jesus called them by their names that these were real people. I didn't know how to answer to the parable argument.

Also, I used Luke 23:43 as an example and as you probably know the JW bible moves the comma and places it after 'today', which changes the meaning of the sentence.

(I haven't tried using the other two verses, but I will.)

It's so hard not to become frustrated with all this twisting, but I'm trying.

Thanks, I'll be back asap.
 

David_A_Reed

Come, Lord Jesus!
I don't have time right now, and it may be a couple of days before I can return here. Your post is very helpful and I have some questions if you don't mind.

For now, I want to point out that I had before used the Abraham and Lazarus verses and my friend promptly took it to an elder who told him this was a parable. It had a spiritual meaning of some sort. I was arguing (figure of speech) that because Jesus called them by their names that these were real people. I didn't know how to answer to the parable argument.

Also, I used Luke 23:43 as an example and as you probably know the JW bible moves the comma and places it after 'today', which changes the meaning of the sentence.

(I haven't tried using the other two verses, but I will.)

It's so hard not to become frustrated with all this twisting, but I'm trying.

Thanks, I'll be back asap.
Good questions!

As far as the rich man and Lazarus being "a parable," you don't really need to argue with that. Just point out that all of Jesus' parables ALWAYS dealt with real-world situations: a man buying a field, buying a pearl, a master giving slaves things to do, a son wasting his inheritance, and so on.

NONE of the parables EVER dealt with total fantasy. So, a man dying and finding himself in torment must also be a real-world situation -- something that can really happen, not a total fantasy.

As for the comma at Luke 23:43, it helps to see how Jesus ALWAYS used that expression "Truly I tell you" or "Truly I say unto you."

Ask a JW to look up the word “truly” in the Watchtower Society’s Comprehensive Concordance published in 1973. It lists the six places in Luke, and all twenty-seven places in the four Gospels, where Jesus used the same expression. And in every case the commas line up—except for Luke 23:43, where the comma was moved to make “today” fall into the first part of the sentence. So, it was obviously a move motivated by a desire to change the meaning of what Jesus said.

David
 

Lily

Looking Up
These posts have helped me so much. Thank you David A. Reed, and Adrian! I have copied down almost all of what you posted for my friend. I saved a portion back for further conversation if the opportunity arises.

I'm going to give him what I've copied within a couple of days, and will go from there. :pray:

Mr. Reed, the explanation you gave me in answer to Luke 12:4-5 was perfect. Sometimes without realizing it, I get caught up in an issue that isn't the point rather than to re-focus on the important subject at hand. In this case, not whether it is a parable but that Jesus was teaching the soul is eternal. Thank you!

Adrian, I'm so glad that you found and helped me with that article at "Got Questions". Thank you!
 

Lily

Looking Up
I'm feeling down right now. My JW friend has been treated badly and cheated by an elder in that organization. The elder has been trying to take advantage of my friend's desperate unemployment situation and force him to work for meager wages. This comes after my friend is living in a rental owned by this elder and so is in debt to him and threatens him with homelessness.

My friend has taken the complaint to those who are above the elder but now has sided with the elder against my friend and has ordered my friend to not visit me or accept car rides from me. It's "forbidden". (He lost his license and only has a bike.) My friend is accepting this treatment by the organization. He's not going to work for the elder any more but has one month to figure it out.

What I'm depressed about is that even after this treatment my friend still won't leave the JW's.

I've just told my friend to please seriously think about this treatment and how when he went to them for help he's now worse off. Now they won't even allow him to accept help from me, for one thing. I also told him to remember that he is never owned by anyone. But that's it. After all I've tried to help, he's deeper into this whole thing.

My friend panics when he thinks I'm not going to be his friend anymore. But yet he allows them to control them. The JW's came very close to telling him not to have anything to do with me anymore. My friend is talking about seeing me anyway and not telling them. He's 56 years old and yet is treating him like a teenager.

I know this story must sound bizarre but it's true.
 

Ducati

Well-Known Member
Tell your friend that YOUR the one that's being a TRUE friend, not them.
If he's that blind and convinced then he must want and depends on them in order to not have to stand on his own.
If he listens to you he'll be left to take care of himself.
You may just have to love him from afar. :(
 

mikalikat

Citizen
AWESOME thread, Adrian! Thank you for this teaching. I have a former schoolmate that is a JW and the way she talks about "assembly" and the "teaching" she makes it sound like Anthony Robbins training for corporations. Lots of "rah rah" and "sis boom bah" but no MEAT. Once I get a printer cartridge I'm printing out your lesson to have on hand and study to be ready. I worked with five of them when I was 19. I didn't grow up in a church-going home, as long as my mom had the Catholic church to go to she was happy. There was never encouragement or effort to get my brother and I into regular church going and I didn't have the knowledge to help guide me until I worked with those five and thank God I knew ENOUGH to know that they were wrong. I bought my first Bible one day after work and gave my life to Him. I will give JW's credit for sending me into the arms of Jesus but that's all I will give them credit for. This is REALLY good.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Sis, I have marked those verses in my own Bible as a chain ... starting with the first verse and writing the verse to go to next in the margin next to it. That way I can go right through it using my Bible (and theirs) and not having to refer to any other paper.
 

David_A_Reed

Come, Lord Jesus!
I'm feeling down right now. My JW friend has been treated badly and cheated by an elder in that organization. The elder has been trying to take advantage of my friend's desperate unemployment situation and force him to work for meager wages. This comes after my friend is living in a rental owned by this elder and so is in debt to him and threatens him with homelessness.

My friend has taken the complaint to those who are above the elder but now has sided with the elder against my friend and has ordered my friend to not visit me or accept car rides from me. It's "forbidden". (He lost his license and only has a bike.) My friend is accepting this treatment by the organization. He's not going to work for the elder any more but has one month to figure it out.

What I'm depressed about is that even after this treatment my friend still won't leave the JW's.

I've just told my friend to please seriously think about this treatment and how when he went to them for help he's now worse off. Now they won't even allow him to accept help from me, for one thing. I also told him to remember that he is never owned by anyone. But that's it. After all I've tried to help, he's deeper into this whole thing.

My friend panics when he thinks I'm not going to be his friend anymore. But yet he allows them to control them. The JW's came very close to telling him not to have anything to do with me anymore. My friend is talking about seeing me anyway and not telling them. He's 56 years old and yet is treating him like a teenager.

I know this story must sound bizarre but it's true.
Well, it only sounds bizarre to people who are not familiar with JWs and what life is like for them -- and for people trapped in other controlling cults.

They become accustomed to being abused by those in authority, and will submit to such abuse to the point that it seems absurd to outsiders who are not under their control.

But I have been there myself -- 13 years as a JW -- so I know what it feels like. When they changed the rules about smoking and told me to cut off my mother and my sister because they smoked, I readily obeyed them, and stopped seeing or talking to my mother and my sister.

Happily, they were both still alive when I eventually left the JWs. Both forgave me for such treatment, and I was able to lead both of them to the Lord.

So, hang in there, and keep being a friend. The process of escaping from Watchtower control often takes years. And having a friend like you will be a great help to him.

David
 

Lily

Looking Up
Well, it only sounds bizarre to people who are not familiar with JWs and what life is like for them -- and for people trapped in other controlling cults.

They become accustomed to being abused by those in authority, and will submit to such abuse to the point that it seems absurd to outsiders who are not under their control.

But I have been there myself -- 13 years as a JW -- so I know what it feels like. When they changed the rules about smoking and told me to cut off my mother and my sister because they smoked, I readily obeyed them, and stopped seeing or talking to my mother and my sister.

Happily, they were both still alive when I eventually left the JWs. Both forgave me for such treatment, and I was able to lead both of them to the Lord.

So, hang in there, and keep being a friend. The process of escaping from Watchtower control often takes years. And having a friend like you will be a great help to him.

David
Thank you for your answer. I am encouraged by it. I just feel so sad for this guy sometimes. I will try to be a friend, sometimes I fear that I fail at it because I do get weary at times when it seems like nothing changes. But I know that's not for me to concern myself with what I see. What matters is what happens inside a person and that's where faith is needed.
 

Lily

Looking Up
I have a question about JW's. I have noticed that they do not have programs (that I know of) to help the homeless. They don't have homeless shelters or food banks. I've also noticed that they don't seem to be compelled to help individuals with their difficult life situations. For instance, do they rally to take donations to help someone in need out?

Catholics, though a cult does some of the above to some degree. Do JW's? If not, why not? What's their reasoning for not doing outreach work?
 
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