How to Answer a Jehovah’s Witness – Psalm 102/Hebrews 1 –

http://media.hamptonroads.com/

When neatly dressed men come to your door identifying themselves as “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” what is your reaction? As soon as you hear the bell ring on a fine Saturday morning do you immediately press the silent alarm button so that you and your family close all the blinds, lock all doors, turn the T.V off, hide the dogs, and finally, check the perimeter by taking a sneak peak through the closed blinds and windows? When they finally cease from ringing your bell or knocking on your door, do you then feel relief and have your sons trained to say, “the perimeter is clear, sir!”? Or do you take another way in which you don’t press the silent alarm button, but you instead open the door, ask them if they are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and when they respond in the affirmative, you immediately proceed, with a polite smile on your face, to give your ultimatum in the form of your declaration of faith by saying, “we are Christians, we don’t believe in what you do, so not today, thank you,” and close the door on them?

If you find yourself nodding to either one of the above, or to both of them, you are in direct disobedience to God’s commandment to preach the gospel and defend the faith.

But there is a third alternative, and I just mentioned it: when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door, open the door to them, if possible even invite them inside your house, and if not, then engage them. Of course, you must be prepared to both share the Gospel and defend the faith, as the Scriptures command.

Preaching the Gospel
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15, ESV).


And,


Defending the Faith,
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality anddeny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4, ESV).


For the purity of God’s Word, which He holds above His very name (Psalm 138:2), for love for God, and for a passion for the lost, the third alternative is what is pleasing to God because it obeys what He has commanded.





So, how do you engage Jehovah’s Witnesses? First of all, you must be aware that they study a lot more than most self-professing Christians do. The fact is that most Christians choose to act in the first two ways at the beginning of this entry because they are either 1) afraid that they don’t know their own Bible, or 2) because they have an erroneous belief that evading Jehovah’s Witnesses is somehow noble and Christlike because it avoids discussions and exchanges, things that, for the modern Christian, are “unloving” and “a waste of time.” This can’t be farther from the truth. And the truth is that in order to share the Gospel we must defend the Faith, and, in order to faithfully present the Gospel we must at times demolish every thought that sets itself against Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). That’s how the Prophets did it, that’s how John the Baptist did it, that’s how Christ did it, that’s how the Apostles did it (e.x.: Acts 17), and that’s how they exhort us to do it.


This doesn’t mean that you must become a Bible scholar and go get a PhD or go to seminary (which I’m not saying it’s bad), but to a degree all Christians are commanded to be students of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:15-16, 2 Timothy 2:15). 





I intend in this entry to lay out a short and straightforward approach to refuting the Jehovah’s Witnesses heretical denial of the deity of Christ which will in turn shake the foundation of their trust in the NWT (New World Translation [or rather, mistranslation]) of the Scriptures, which will in turn also question the reliability of the Watch Tower as “the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth continually” 1

I intend to cover those topics in another entry. SO, let’s get right into it!
NOTE: The following approach is taken and expanded from a lecture given by Dr. James White titled “The Forgotten Trinity.” Dr. White has also written a book by the same name. He is the president of Alpha and Omega Ministries and he is a widely recognized and respected as a trustworthy apologist.
Here is the video (the approach is taking from the last 25 minutes or so of the lecture. The entire lecture is on the doctrine of the Trinity):

If the Bible represents Jesus as YHWH (Yahweh, or, in the NWT, Jehovah (which is actually a Germanic pronounciation of God’s revealed name), then the debate is over.
For the sake of argument, use the word “Jehovah” throughout all this process. Ask them if they can read you some verses from their own Bible. Take them to Psalm 102:25-27. I will post here both the ESV and NWT translations,
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,

   and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
   they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.” (ESV).

Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself,
And the heavens are the work of your hands.
 They themselves will perish, but you yourself will keep standing;

And just like a garment they will all of them wear out.

Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will finish their turn.

(Again, I will post both the ESV and the NWT. Remember, have them read from the NWT. Hebrews 1 is one of MANY passages in Scripture that have been twisted and deformed in the NWT. Don’t worry about the differences you find, just read the passage).
NOTE: All direct quotes of Psalm 102 in this chapter of Hebrews can be recognized by the following insertion of my own: [Old Testament quote]

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,

   [Old Testament quote]  “You are my Son,

   today I have begotten you”?
   
   Or again,

   [Old Testament quote]  “I will be to him a father,

   and he shall be to me a son”?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

    [Old Testament quote] “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Of the angels he says,

   [Old Testament quote]  “He makes his angels winds,

   and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says,

    [Old Testament quote] “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,

   the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
And,

[Old Testament quote] “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
   and the heavens are the work of your hands;

they will perish, but you remain;
   they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
   and your years will have no end.”” (ESV).
(I have put in bold all the modifications the NWT makes to the original text. Don’t worry about them, don’t even discuss them, read through until verses 10-12).
NOTE: All direct quotes of Psalm 102 in this chapter of Hebrews can be recognized by the following insertion of my own: [Old Testament quote]
God, who long ago spoke on many occasions and in many ways to our forefathers by means of the prophets, has at the end of these days spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power; and after he had made a purification for our sins he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in lofty places. So he has become better than the angels, to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs.
For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: [Old Testament quote] “You are my son; I, today, I have become your father”? And again: [Old Testament quote] “I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son”? But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: [Old Testament quote] “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”
Also, with reference to the angels he says: [Old Testament quote] “And he makes his angels spirits, and his public servants a flame of fire.” But with reference to the Son: [Old Testament quote] [part omitted here] God is your throne forever and ever, and [the] scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with [the] oil of exultation more than your partners.” And: [Old Testament quote] “You at [the] beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself are to remain continually; and just like an outer garment they will all grow old, and you will wrap them up just as a cloak, as an outer garment; and they will be changed, but you are the same, and your years will never run out.”” (NWT). 2
Jehovah’s Witnesses will try to get you to discuss all of their modifications to the text, and I have fallen to this trap many times (I’m not saying they’re not important, but the focus of this entry is a straightforward, simple, yet inescapable Biblical conclusion). Focus on the direct quotation made in this chapter of Psalm 102:25-27
Ask:
Who is this passage about?
  • Jesus Christ (even Jehovah’s Witnesses must admit that the passage is indeed speaking about Jesus, the Son of God. This entire approach has said nothing that is in disagreement (not yet) with Watch Tower theology, it is simply reading what’s in the text).

What attributes are ascribed to Jesus (what is said that Jesus is, what characteristics does He have in Hebrews 1:10-12?)
  • Eternal.
  • Creator.
  • Immutable (unchanging, unchangeable).
Can it be said of any created being that they are eternal (no beginning), that they have the power of creation, and that they are unchanging? Since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus to be Michael the Archangel, can it be said of Michael the Archangel to have created anything that exists? Has Michael the Archangel lived eternally, or did he come into existence at a certain point in eternity?
Ask them: 

– Can these attributes be said of any created being or thing?
  • No (Jeremiah 10:11-12, Psalm 96:5, Genesis 1:1).
– Would you say, then, that these attributes are exclusively of Jehovah?
  • Yes.
Here these are attributed to Christ. You agreed with me that these attributes are exclusively of Jehovah, that no other gods or creatures can share these attributes. What conclusion does this lead us to about Jesus Christ?

  • That He is God.


If they have nothing to say to that (which they shouldn’t), don’t use that silence to pat yourself in the back for your victory in a sort of “gotcha!” way, but rather, ask the Jehovah’s Witness if you can read another verse from their Bible. We will look at this verse (John 12:39-43/Isaiah 6) in the next entry!

Remember to always lead the conversation back to the Gospel.
In Christ,
Eliezer Salazar
1 Watchtower 1919 April 1 p.6414.
Online Bible: New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. <http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/index.htm>.
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