Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
By Eric Landstrom
Sometime ago my mother started speaking to two wonderful elderly ladies whom represented the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Since my mother is a new convert to Christ, I became somewhat interested in what the elderly ladies were speaking to my mother about. Having gotten a phone number of one of them from my mother, I called. After an hour long conversation with this well meaning person; I knew something was not quite right, but couldn't put my finger on it. In time, I dropped the issue forgetting of it and got on with my life.
Later on, having sold my home, I moved back in with my parents. A week after I moved in, the two Jehovah's Witnesses my mother had befriended stopped by. We all talked for sometime. In this conversation I learned that JW's believe Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel. The two JW's left after they where unable to prove using their Bible that Jesus is Michael.
Upon their second visit, they were kind enough to provide me with copies of The New World Translation and The Kingdom Interlinear. We talked some more and they left after I asked them again to prove from the Bible Jesus is Michael.
By their third visit, I had been busy reading The New World Translation and learning more of the Watchtower Society. By this time I had a pretty good idea of Watchtower theology and recognized that my two new friends would never recognize any discrepancies I found in The New World Translation as the Watchtower Society has taught their supporters that anyone other than Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates, and who would believe an apostate? A politer way of stating the same thing is that followers of the Watchtower Society are taught to reject outside sources.
In this third visit I concerned my conversation on the Watchtower's history and it's founders Charles Taze Russell and Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford. In essence I questioned whether God would use a single organization exclusively. Bearing in mind that the Watchtower claims to be God's prophet on earth (April 1, 1972, Watchtower Magazine). I reminded my friends that a true prophet of God is 100% accurate, or he's a false prophet (Deut. 18:20-22).
I then told my friends a couple of the prophecies the Watchtower has made over the years.
- In 1920 the Society predicted the physical return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old for 1925 (1). They didn't show up in 1925. The Watchtower made a false prophecy.
(1) Millions Now Living Will Never Die published by Watchtower, 1920, pages 89-90.
To cover up their mistake, in 1929-1930 the Watchtower built a mansion in San Diego, California for those prophets, still hoping they would appear. But they never did. Later the Watchtower sold the mansion which was an embarrassment.
- The Watchtower named dates for the Battle of Armageddon to take place in 1914 (2). Then it was changed to 1918, 1925, 1941, and then to 1975.
(2) The Time is At Hand by C.T. Russell, 1889 (published by the Watchtower, page 101).
These are two of dozens of false prophecies made by The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. I believe I've made my point; if the Watchtower is a prophet, then they are a false prophet and are not to be trusted.
The Watchtower Society opposes the Roman Catholic system. If this is true, then why did the Watchtower use Catholic sources (3) when they translated the New World Translation?
(3) Jose Maria Bover S.J. and A. Merk S.J. found in the forward of the 1950 new Kingdom Translation.
The Bible says that we will all stand before God and be judged by His Word (John 12:48). Who are you going to believe? God, or the Watchtower?
After I told my friends this, they were visibly shaken, and knowing that I had just ambushed them I turned the conversation to something other than faith and religion.
The forth visit I had by the Witnesses was by two elders from the local Hall. They had a large stack of very scholarly written documentation on how Jesus really is Michael. I am no scholar, nor am I even knowledgeable enough to qualify to be an elder in a small church, but even to my eyes while I skimmed over the documentation I could recognize errors. After some conversation on the subject of Greek and Hebrew it became obvious that these two gentleman knew less on the subject than I. I didn't press them on that point, instead I pressed them on this whole "a god" issue that Jesus is the first of all creation and that the Watchtower teaches He is Michael the archangel. I did not allow them to get off my point on sidebars. They conceding that it doesn't concisely say that Jesus is Michael in Scriptures, but implies it. When I rebuked the passages they used to support Jesus is Michael by implication they left in a hurry.
Upon the fifth visit by my friends, the two elderly ladies, we got to talking about the divinity of Christ Jesus.
Using the New World Translation (NWT) here are some things we spoke of.
The NWT proves Jesus is Jehovah. It says in Isaiah 40:3 "Listen! Someone is calling out in the wilderness: 'Clear up the way of Jehovah, You people! Make the highway for our God through the desert plain straight,'"
Again, in the New World Translation (NWT) it says, speaking of John the Baptist's fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 (Matt 3:3) "This, in fact, is the one spoken of through Isaiah the prophet in the words: Listen Someone is crying out in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of Jehovah, You people! Make his roads straight.'"
So who did John the Baptist prepare the way for? Answer -Jesus. So Jesus is Jehovah.
Take a look at Isaiah 7:14. It reads, "Therefore Jehovah himself will give YOU men a sign: LOOK! The maiden herself will actually become pregnant, and she is giving birth to a son, and she will certainly call his name Immanuel." (NWT.)
The key to Isaiah 7:14 is the divine name "Immanuel," which can only be rightly rendered "God with us"; and since there is no God but Jehovah, by His own declaration (Isaiah 43:10-11), therefore Jesus Christ and Jehovah God are of the same substance in power and eternity, hence equal.
This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 1:22-23, thus there can be no doubt that Jesus Christ is the "son of the virgin" so distinctly portrayed in Isaiah 7:14. The only way to refute this is to question the authority of Scripture since the very term "Immanuel" (God, or Jehovah with us) belies any other interpretation. In consideration of any Witnesses that read this, consider Isaiah 43:10-11, which reads, "...Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none. I -I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior" God does not lie. Take this for what it plainly says and do not read into it.
Take a look at Philippians 2:10-11 in the NWT. It says, "so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."
Now look at Romans 14:11-13 in the NWT. "for it is written: "'As I live,' says Jehovah, 'to me every knee will bend down, and every tongue will make open acknowledgement to God,'" So, then each of us will render an account for himself to God. therefore let us not be judging one another any longer, but rather make this YOUR decision, not to put before a brother a stumbling block or a cause for tripping."
It says every knee WILL bend down to Jehovah and make acknowledgement to God. If Jesus isn't Jehovah, this then conflicts with Philippians 2:10-11.
Now read Revelations 1:8. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says Jehovah God, "the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty."
Now compare that to Revelation 1:17 which reads, "And when I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. And he laid his right hand upon me and said: "Do not be fearful. I am the First and the Last, "
The point here is that Alpha and the Omega is the same as the First and Last. Now go to Revelation 22:13. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
Now lets reason together. If the Alpha and the Omega is the Same as the First and the Last, and he has to be according to Rev. 22:13, and Jesus is the first and the last (Rev. 1:17-18), and the Alpha and the Omega is the Almighty (Rev. 1:8), then Jesus is Almighty. Jesus has to be Almighty if you follow all three of these verses all the way through.
In the Watchtower commentary, they say Rev. 22:13 is the Father speaking. Fine. All you need to remember is that the first and Last are the same as Alpha and the Omega. And since Jesus is the First and the Last, and the Alpha and the Omega is the Almighty one, then Jesus is the Almighty one!!! For more proof, look to Isaiah 44:6, "This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel and the Repurchaser of him, Jehovah of armies, 'I am the first and the last, and besides me there is no God."
Reason this out. Why would the Watchtower translators in The New World Translation try to eliminate any references of Jesus being called God; Jesus saying he is God; or Jesus being worshipped as God?
Clearly the Scriptures show that Jesus is God, why does the Watchtower teach otherwise?
In Philippians 2:9 the Watchtower has wrongly inserted a bracket to support their theology. If you toss the bracketed word "other" you would get a profoundly different understanding from this verse. Let's read it from the NWT.
"For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name,"
Now go back and read it without the bracket. Don't believe me, go to your Greek Interlinear and read it.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will cause you to search this out, and not believe this man or any group of men -including the Watchtower.
I closed with my argument with my two friends by reading from Colossians 2:8-9. It reads:
"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry YOU off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily."
My two friends after making they're good-byes left, but not before saying that they will be back. I can't wait! Because it is clear that after speaking to them, and the reading of Watchtower Society material, that the Watchtower teaches it's followers a very skewed interpretation of what Protestant faiths believe the Trinity is. It is no wonder that Witnesses reject the Trinity, if the Watchtower itself misleads you as to what (we) and the Scriptures teach it to be.
Regardless, the Watchtower Society is misleading you in a very fundamental doctrine of the Bible. Many times Jehovah declares His existence as the "only" God and Saviour (Isaiah 41:4; 43:11-13; 44:6; 45:5; 48:12). This is indeed irrefutable proof, since Christ could not be our Saviour or Redeemer if He were not Jehovah, for only Jehovah is the only Saviour (Isaiah 43:11). However, despite the testimony of Scripture that "before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" (Isaiah 43:10 KJV), the "a god" fallacy is pursed and taught by the Watchtower in direct contradiction to God's Word.
I would like to thank the Almighty for all the authors, scholars, and fellow brethren in Christ whom have fought the good fight and shared their experience with me so that I can witness to two wonderful elderly women whom stop by now and then.
May we all walk in truth,
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